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Chapter I The chief merchant of Ascalon stood in the guest-chamber of his house. Although it was a late winter day the old man was clad in the free white garments of a midsummer afternoon, for to the sorrow of Philistia the cold season of the year sixty-nine had been warm, wet and miasmic. An old woman entering presently glanced at the closed windows of the apartment when she noted the flushed face of... more...

CHAPTER I. MARK NELSON'S FAMILY. "I wish I could pay off the mortgage on my farm," said Mark Nelson soberly, taking his seat on the left of the fireplace, in the room where his wife and family were assembled. "Have you paid the interest, Mark?" asked his wife. "Yes; I paid it this afternoon, and it has stripped me of money completely. I have less than five dollars in my... more...

ORRAIN CHAPTER I THE CRY IN THE RUE DES LAVANDIERES My father, René, Vidame d'Orrain, was twice married. By his first wife he had one son, Simon, who subsequently succeeded to his title and estates, and was through his life my bitter enemy. By his second wife, whom he married somewhat late in life, he had two sons—the elder, Anne, known as the Chevalier de St. Martin from his mother's... more...

CHAPTER I. THE SCEPTER WHICH WAS A STICK The king sat in his private garden in the shade of a potted orange tree, the leaves of which were splashed with brilliant yellow. It was high noon of one of those last warm sighs of passing summer which now and then lovingly steal in between the chill breaths of September. The velvet hush of the mid-day hour had fallen. There was an endless horizon of turquoise... more...

JOHN GAYTHER'S GARDEN The garden did not belong to John Gayther; he merely had charge of it. At certain busy seasons he had some men to help him in his work, but for the greater part of the year he preferred doing everything himself. It was a very fine garden over which John Gayther had charge. It extended this way and that for long distances. It was difficult to see how far it did extend, there... more...

INTRODUCTION. The conte is a form of fiction in which the French have always delighted and in which they have always excelled, from the days of the jongleurs and the trouvères, past the periods of La Fontaine and Voltaire, down to the present. The conte is a tale, something more than a sketch, it may be, and something less than a short story. In verse it is at times but a mere rhymed anecdote, or it... more...

CHAPTER ONE IT is within my memory that Melville Clarendon, a lad of sixteen years, was riding through Southern Minnesota, in company with his sister Dorothy, a sweet little miss not quite half his own age. They were mounted on Saladin, a high-spirited, fleet, and good-tempered pony of coal-black color. Melville, who claimed the steed as his own special property, had given him his Arabian name because... more...

PREFACE. This volume is an historical fiction, but the plan of it was suggested by biography, and is made to include the most interesting and picturesque episodes in the home side of the life of Benjamin Franklin, so as to form a connected narrative or picture of his public life. I have written no book with a deeper sympathy with my subject, for, although fiction, the story very truthfully shows that... more...

It is well known to every man conversant with the earlier history of this country that, shortly subsequent to the cession of the Canadas to England by France, Ponteac, the great head of the Indian race of that period, had formed a federation of the various tribes, threatening extermination to the British posts established along the Western frontier. These were nine in number, and the following... more...

FLORE (1643) It was about a month after my marriage—and third clerk to the most noble the Bishop of Beauvais, and even admitted on occasions to write in his presence and prepare his minutes, who should marry if I might not?—it was about a month after my marriage, I say, that the thunderbolt, to which I have referred, fell and shattered my fortunes. I rose one morning—they were firing guns for the... more...