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CHAPTER I Judging from my own experience it is my opinion that many strange and wonderful events have happened during the past in which man took part, that have never been recorded. Many reasons could be given for this, but the main causes perhaps, are that the participants have lacked the intelligence, education or literary ability to properly describe them. In these respects I must admit my own... more...

CHAPTER I THE MAN BY THE ROADSIDE A solemn twilight, heavy and oppressive, was closing a dull, slumberous day. It was late in the year for such weather. Not a breath stirred in the trees by the roadside, not a movement in hedge or ditch; some plague might have swept across the land, leaving it stricken and desolate, even the cottages here and there showed no lights and appeared to be deserted. The road... more...

HIS BIRTH On an evening in 1866 (exactly eight hundred years after the Battle of Hastings) Mr. Henry Knight, a draper's manager, aged forty, dark, clean-shaven, short, but not stout, sat in his sitting-room on the second-floor over the shop which he managed in Oxford Street, London. He was proud of that sitting-room, which represented the achievement of an ideal, and he had a right to be proud of... more...

CHAPTER I THE PAST INTERVENES James Challoner, known to his friends and intimates as Jimmy, brushed an imaginary speck of dust from the shoulder of his dinner jacket, and momentarily stopped his cheery whistling to stare at himself in the glass with critical eyes. Jimmy was feeling very pleased with himself in particular and the world in general. He was young, and quite passably good-looking, he had... more...

CHAPTER I. PEACEFUL HART RANCH It was somewhere in the seventies when old Peaceful Hart woke to a realization that gold-hunting and lumbago do not take kindly to one another, and the fact that his pipe and dim-eyed meditation appealed to him more keenly than did his prospector's pick and shovel and pan seemed to imply that he was growing old. He was a silent man, by occupation and by nature, so he... more...

For over forty years, in one part of the world or another, old man Marshall had, served his country as a United States consul. He had been appointed by Lincoln. For a quarter of a century that fact was his distinction. It was now his epitaph. But in former years, as each new administration succeeded the old, it had again and again saved his official head. When victorious and voracious place-hunters,... more...

LOVE OF LIFE “This out of all will remain—   They have lived and have tossed:So much of the game will be gain,   Though the gold of the dice has been lost.” They limped painfully down the bank, and once the foremost of the two men staggered among the rough-strewn rocks.  They were tired and weak, and their faces had the drawn expression of patience which comes of hardship long endured. ... more...

CHAPTER I. THE BARONET'S BRIDE. "And there is danger of death—for mother and child?" "Well, no, Sir Jasper—no, sir; no certain danger, you know; but in these protracted cases it can do no harm, Sir Jasper, for the clergyman to be here. He may not be needed but your good lady is very weak, I am sorry to say, Sir Jasper Kingsland." "I will send for the clergyman," Sir... more...

Three o'clock on a warm June afternoon. The great heat has caused something like a purple haze to cloud over the deep blue of the sapphire sky. There is not one breath of wind to stir the leaves or cool the flushed faces of those whose duties call them out on this sultry June day. Away in the deep green heart of the broad land broad streams are flowing; in the very heart of the green woods there... more...

CHAPTER I. A NEW DISCOVERY DEEPENS A MYSTERY. When Mrs. Montague entered her room, an hour after Mona went up stairs, there was a deep frown upon her brow. She found Mona arrayed in a pretty white wrapper, and sitting before the glowing grate reading a new book, while she waited for her. "What are you sitting up for, and arrayed in that style?" she ungraciously demanded. "I thought you... more...