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The Belovéd Traitor   By: (1877-1942)

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The Belovéd Traitor

BY

FRANK L. PACKARD

AUTHOR OF "THE MIRACLE MAN," "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN," ETC.

THE COPP, CLARK CO., LIMITED

TORONTO

COPYRIGHT, 1915

BY FRANK L. PACKARD

There is a Valley called the Valley of Illusion, but beyond it, sun crowned, is the Peak of Eternal Truth and the Way from the Valley to the Peak is sore beset, for the Way is the Understanding of Things Real, and its Achievement is the Fullness of Life.

CONTENTS

BOOK I: BERNAY SUR MER

CHAPTER

I THE HOUSE ON THE BLUFF II THE KEEPERS OF THE LIGHT III THE BEACON IV STRANGERS WITHIN THE GATES V "WHO IS JEAN LAPARDE?" VI THE GIFT VII WHERE GLORY AWAITS VIII SHADOWS BEFORE IX FORKED ROADS X A DAUGHTER OF FRANCE XI THE PENDULUM

BOOK II: TWO YEARS LATER

I THE DUPLICITY OF FATHER ANTON II 26 RUE VANITAIRE III IN THE DEAD OF THE NIGHT IV THE ACCUSATION V THE SECRET MODEL VI "JEAN MUST NOT KNOW" VII MEA CULPA VIII FLIGHT IX MYRNA'S STRATEGY X THROUGH THE FOG XI THE "DEATH" OF JEAN LAPARDE XII AT THE "GATEWAY" XIII DAWN XIV THE STATUE OF DREAMS

The Belovéd Traitor

BOOK I: BERNAY SUR MER

I

THE HOUSE ON THE BLUFF

It was a wilder gust than any that had gone before. It tore along the beach with maniacal fury; and, shrieking in a high, devilishly gleeful falsetto, while the joints of the little inn, rheumatic with age, squeaked in its embrace, shook the Taverne du Bas Rhône much after the fashion of a terrier shaking a rat. And with that gust, loosening the dilapidated fastening on the casement, a window crashed inward, shattering the pane against the wall.

" Sacré bleu! " shouted a man, springing smartly to his feet from his seat at a small table as the rain lashed him. "What a dog of a night!"

Against the opposite wall, tilted back in a chair, Papa Fregeau, the patron, a rotund, aproned little individual, stopped the humming of his song.

" Tiens! " said he fatuously. "But it is worse than that, Alcide, since it is bad for business hah! Not a franc profit to night the Bas Rhône is desolated." And he resumed his song:

"In Languedoc, where the wine flows free, We drink to "

"Hold your bibulous tongue, Jacques Fregeau, and get something with which to fix that window before we are as wet inside as you!" it was Madame Fregeau, stout, middle aged and rosy, already hurrying to the aid of the first speaker, who was wrestling with the dismantled fastening.

Usually the nightly resort of the little fishing village of Bernay sur Mer, the Bas Rhône, inn, cabaret, tavern or cafe, as it was variously styled, now held but two others in the room that was habitually crowded to suffocation. One was a young man, sturdily built, with a tanned, clean cut face, smooth shaven save for a small black moustache, whose rumpled black hair straggled in pleasing disarray over his forehead; the other was older, a man of forty, whose skin was bronzed almost to blackness from the Mediterranean sun. Both were in rough fishermen's dress, sitting at dominoes under the hanging lamp in the centre of the room. On the table, pushed to one side, were the remains of a simple meal of bread and cheese; and from the inside of the loaf, the younger man, somewhat to the detriment of his own game and to the advantage of his opponent, had plucked out a piece of the soft bread, which he had kneaded between his fingers into a plastic lump, and thereafter, with amazing skill and deftness, had been engaged in moulding into little faces, and heads, and figures of various sorts, as he played.

The older man spoke slowly now:

"It is twenty years since we have had the like you do not remember that, Jean? You were too young."

Jean Laparde, an amused smile lurking in his dark eyes as he watched Jacques Fregeau waddle obediently to his wife's side, shook his head... Continue reading book >>




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