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CHAPTER I THE INVITATION It was late in the afternoon in the spring of the year 1630; the hilltops of the south of Scotland were covered with masses of cloud, and a fierce wind swept the driving rain before it with such force that it was not easy to make way against it. It had been raining for three days without intermission. Every little mountain burn had become a boiling torrent, while the rivers had risen above their banks and flooded the low... more...

THE KING OF THE REBU. The sun was blazing down upon a city on the western shore of the Caspian. It was a primitive city, and yet its size and population rendered it worthy of the term. It consisted of a vast aggregation of buildings, which were for the most part mere huts. Among them rose, however, a few of more solid build and of higher pretensions. These were the abodes of the chiefs and great men, the temples, and places of assembly. But... more...

CHAPTER I A Journey to France "I don't know what to say, my dear." "Why, surely, James, you are not thinking for a moment of letting him go?" "Well, I don't know. Yes, I am certainly thinking of it, though I haven't at all made up my mind. There are advantages and disadvantages." "Oh, but it is such a long way, and to live among those French people, who have been doing such dreadful things, attacking the Bastille, and, as I have heard you... more...

Chapter 1: Fresh from Ireland. A number of officers of O'Brien's regiment of foot, forming a part of the Irish Brigade in the service of France, were gathered in a handsome apartment in the Rue des Fosses, on the 20th of June, 1701, when the door opened, and their colonel entered with a young officer in the uniform of the regiment. "I have asked you here, gentlemen all," he said, "to present to you a new comrade, Desmond Kennedy, who, through... more...

CHAPTER I TOM'S CHOICE "I can be of no use here, Carry. What am I good for? Why, I could not earn money enough to pay for my own food, even if we knew anyone who would help me to get a clerkship. I am too young for it yet. I would rather go before the mast than take a place in a shop. I am too young even to enlist. I know just about as much as other boys at school, and I certainly have no talent anyway, as far as I can see at present. I can... more...


Chapter I Glen Cairn The village of Glen Cairn was situated in a valley in the broken country lying to the west of the Pentland Hills, some fifteen miles north of the town of Lanark, and the country around it was wild and picturesque. The villagers for the most part knew little of the world beyond their own valley, although a few had occasionally paid visits to Glasgow, which lay as far to the west as Lanark was distant to the south. On a spur... more...

CHAPTER I. THE EVE OF THE WAR. It was a pleasant afternoon in the month of July, 1642, when three young people sat together on a shady bank at the edge of a wood some three miles from Oxford. The country was undulating and picturesque, and a little more than a mile in front of them rose the lofty spire of St. Helen's, Abingdon. The party consisted of two lads, who were about fifteen years of age, and a girl of ten. The lads, although of about... more...

Preface. In following the hero of this story through the last Afghan war, you will be improving your acquaintance with a country which is of supreme importance to the British Empire and, at the same time, be able to trace the operations by which Lord Roberts made his great reputation as a general, and a leader of men. Afghanistan stands as a line between the two great empires of England and Russia; and is likely, sooner or later, to become the... more...

CHAPTER I The King Maker A stately lady was looking out of the window of an apartment in the Royal Chateau of Amboise, in the month of June, 1470. She was still handsome, though many years of anxiety, misfortune, and trouble, had left their traces on her face. In the room behind her, a knight was talking to a lady sitting at a tambour frame; a lad of seventeen was standing at another window stroking a hawk that sat on his wrist, while a boy of... more...

CHAPTER I. A QUARREL. The great Abbey of Westminster was approaching its completion; an army of masons and labourers swarmed like bees upon and around it, and although differing widely in its massive architecture, with round Saxon windows and arches, from the edifice that was two or three generations later to be reared in its place,—to serve as a still more fitting tomb for the ashes of its pious founder,—it was a stately abbey,... more...