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Ailsa Paige   By: (1865-1933)

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AILSA PAIGE

A NOVEL

BY

ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

"It is at best but a mixture of a little good with much evil and a little pleasure with much pain; the beautiful is linked with the revolting, the trivial with the solemn, bathos with pathos, the commonplace with the sublime."

ILLUSTRATED

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY NEW YORK AND LONDON 1910

COPTRIGHT, 1910, BY

ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

Copyright, 1910, by The Curtis Publishing Company

Published August, 1910

TO THE CONQUERORS WHO WON IMMORTAL VICTORY

"Arm yourselves and be Valiant Men, and see that ye rise up in readiness against the Dawn, that ye may do Battle with These that are Assembled against us. . . .

"For it is better to die in Battle than live to behold the Calamities of our own People. . . ."

"Lord, we took not the Land into Possession by our own Swords; neither was it our own Hands that helped us; but Thy Hand was a Buckler; and Thy right Arm a Shield, and the Light of Thy Countenance hath conquered forever."

AND TO THE VANQUISHED WHO WON IMMORTALITY

"We are the fallen, who, with helpless faces Low in the dust, in stiffening ruin lay, Felt the hoofs beat, and heard the rattling traces As o'er us drove the chariots of the fray.

"We are the fallen, who by ramparts gory, Awaiting death, heard the far shouts begin, And with our last glance glimpsed the victor's glory For which we died, but dying might not win.

"We were but men. Always our eyes were holden, We could not read the dark that walled us round, Nor deem our futile plans with Thine enfolden We fought, not knowing God was on the ground.

"Aye, grant our ears to bear the foolish praising Of men old voices of our lost home land, Or else, the gateways of this dim world, raising, Give us our swords again, and hold Thy hand."

W. H. WOODS.

PREFACE

Among the fifty eight regiments of Zouaves and the seven regiments of Lancers enlisted in the service of the United States between 1861 and 1865 it will be useless for the reader to look for any record of the 3d Zouaves or of the 8th Lancers. The red breeches and red fezzes of the Zouaves clothed many a dead man on Southern battle fields; the scarlet swallow tailed pennon of the Lancers fluttered from many a lance tip beyond the Potomac; the histories of these sixty five regiments are known. But no history of the 3d Zouaves or of the 8th Lancers has ever been written save in this narrative; and historians and veterans would seek in vain for any records of these two regiments regiments which might have been, but never were.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"'It is there, in you all that I believed'"

"What an insolently reckless head it was!"

"'I won it fairly, and I'm going to stake it all on one last bet'"

"'Is Ormond your name?'"

"' Must you go so soon? So soon?'"

"He dismounted and clutched the senseless carbineer"

"She dropped on her knees at his bedside and hid her face on his hands"

"'Phillip Phillip my lover, my country, my God worshipped and adored of men!'"

AILSA PAIGE

CHAPTER I

The butler made an instinctive movement to detain him, but he flung him aside and entered the drawing room, the servant recovering his equilibrium and following on a run. Light from great crystal chandeliers dazzled him for a moment; the butler again confronted him but hesitated under the wicked glare from his eyes. Then through the brilliant vista, the young fellow caught a glimpse of a dining room, a table where silver and crystal glimmered, and a great gray man just lowering a glass of wine from his lips to gaze at him with quiet curiosity.

The next moment he traversed the carpeted interval between them and halted at the table's damask edge, gazing intently across at the solitary diner, who sat leaning back in an arm chair, heavy right hand still resting on the stem of a claret glass, a cigar suspended between the fingers of his left hand.

"Are you Colonel Arran?"

"I am," replied the man at the table coolly... Continue reading book >>




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