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I ALTHEA Nothing impairedbut all disordered.—Midsummer Night's Dream. There are four guest-rooms in my house. It is not a large house, and how there came to be so many rooms to spare for the entertaining of friends is not a story to be told here. It is only a few years since they were all full—and not with guests. But they are nearly always full now. And when I assign each room it is after taking thought. There are two... more...

CHAPTER I HEART BURNINGS She did not want to hate the girls; indeed, since she loved them all, it would go particularly hard with her if she had to hate them; love turned to hate is such a virulent product! But, certainly, she had never found it so hard to be patient with them. They were all five her college classmates, of only last year's class, and it was dear and kind of them to drive out here into the country to see her, coming in... more...

I have the greatest mother on earth. I can't call her a "little mother," for she's five feet six inches tall, and weighs just exactly what she ought to according to the table of weights. If she were a trifle less active she might put on too much flesh, but she'll never keep still long enough for that. I always enjoy having her along on any kind of an outing, for she's game for just anything, and awfully good company, too. In fact, she seems more... more...

CHAPTER I THE CURTAIN RISES ON A HOME None of it might ever have happened, if Richard Kendrick had gone into the house of Mr. Robert Gray, on that first night, by the front door. For, if he had made his first entrance by that front door, if he had been admitted by the maidservant in proper fashion and conducted into Judge Calvin Gray's presence in the library, if he had delivered his message, from old Matthew Kendrick, his grandfather, and had... more...

CHAPTER I Crash! Bang! Bang! "The March of the Pilgrims" came to an abrupt end. John Lansing Birch laid down his viola and bow, whirled about, and flung out his arms in despair. "Oh, this crowd is hopeless!" he groaned. "Never mind any other instrument, providing yours is heard. This march is supposed to die away in the distance! You murder it in front of the house. That second violin--" Here his wrath centered upon the red-cheeked, black-eyed... more...


I BROWN HIMSELF Brown was so tall and thin, and his study was so low and square, that the one in the other seemed a misfit. There was not much in the study. A few shelves of books—not all learned books by any means—three chairs, one of them a rocker cushioned in a cheerful red; a battered old desk; a broad and rather comfortable looking couch: this was nearly all the study's furniture. There was a fireplace with a crumbling old... more...

CHAPTER I FIVE MILES OUT The four Lanes—Max, Sally, Alec and Robert—climbed the five flights of stairs to their small flat with the agility of youth and the impetus of high but subdued excitement. Uncle Timothy Rudd, following more slowly, reached the outer door of the little suite of rooms in time to hear what seemed to be the first outburst. "Well, what do you think now?" "Forty-two acres and the house! Open the windows and give... more...

CHAPTER I AN INTELLIGENT PRESCRIPTION The man in the silk-lined, London-made overcoat, holding his hat firmly on his head lest the January wind send its expensive perfection into the gutter, paused to ask his way of the man with no overcoat, his hands shoved into his ragged pockets, his shapeless headgear crowded down over his eyes, red and bleary with the piercing wind. "Burns?" repeated the second man to the question of the first. "Doc... more...

CHAPTER I. IN WHICH HE VOWS A VOW "There comes the Green Imp." "How can you tell?" "Don't you hear? Red's coming in on five cylinders for all he can get out of 'em. Anybody else would stop and fix up. He's in too much of a hurry—as usual." The Green Imp tore past the porch where Burns's neighbours waved arms of greeting which he failed to see, for he did not turn his head. The car went round the curve of the driveway at perilous speed,... more...

WHOLLY GIVEN OVER TO SENTIMENT The Green Imp, long, low and powerful, carrying besides its two passengers a motor trunk, a number of bulky parcels, and a full share of mud, drew to one side of the road. The fifth April shower of the afternoon was on, although it was barely three o'clock. Redfield Pepper Burns, physician and surgeon, descended from the car, a brawny figure in an enveloping gray motoring coat. He wore no hat upon his heavy crop... more...