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Beth Norvell A Romance of the West   By: (1858-1923)

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BETH NORVELL

A Romance of the West

by

RANDALL PARRISH

Author of "When Wilderness Was King," "My Lady of the North," "Bob Hampton of Placer," Etc.

With Frontispiece in Color by N. C. Wyeth

[Frontispiece: The woman never changed her posture, never seemed to realize the approach of dawn; but Winston roused up, lifting his head to gaze wearily forward.]

A. L. Burt Company Publishers New York Copyright A. C. McClurg & Co. 1907 Entered at Stationers' Hall, London All Rights Reserved Published September 21, 1907 Second Edition October 5, 1907 Third Edition, October 10, 1907 Fourth Edition, December 2, 1907 Fifth Edition, December 12, 1907

CONTENTS

I A CHANCE MEETING II OUT WITH A ROAD COMPANY III A BREAKING OF ICE IV A NEW DEAL OF THE CARDS V IN OPEN REBELLION VI THE "LITTLE YANKEE" MINE VII A DISMISSAL VIII "HE MEANS FIGHT" IX THE FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCES X A NEW ALLIANCE XI HALF CONFIDENCES XII THE COVER OF DARKNESS XIII TWO WOMEN XIV UNDERGROUND XV THE PROOF OF CRIME XVI A RETURN TO THE DAY XVII A COUNCIL OF WAR XVIII THE CONFESSION XIX THE POINT OF VIEW XX THE GAME OF FOILS XXI UNDER ARREST XXII THE INTERVENTION OF SWANSON XXIII A NEW VOLUNTEER XXIV AN AVOWAL OF LOVE XXV THE PROOF OF LOVE XXVI BENEATH THE DARKNESS XXVII THE SHADOW OF CRIME XXVIII ACROSS THE DESERT TO THE END XXIX THE SUMMIT OF SUCCESS XXX THE MISSION OF A LETTER

BETH NORVELL

A TALE OF THE WEST

CHAPTER I

A CHANCE MEETING

There were nine altogether in the party registering. This number included the manager, who, both on and off the stage, quite successfully impersonated the villain a rather heavy jawed, middle aged fellow, of foreign appearance, with coarse, gruff voice; three representatives of the gentler sex; a child of eight, exact species unknown, wrapped up like a mummy; and four males. Beyond doubt the most notable member of the troupe was the comedian "star," Mr. T. Macready Lane, whose well known cognomen must even now awaken happy histrionic memories throughout the western circuit. The long night's ride from their previous stand, involving as it did two changes of trains, had proven exceedingly wearisome; and the young woman in the rather natty blue toque, the collar of her long gray coat turned up in partial concealment of her face, was so utterly fatigued that she refused to wait for a belated breakfast, and insisted upon being at once directed to her room. There was a substantial bolt decorating the inside of the door, but, rendered careless by sheer exhaustion of both mind and body, she forgot everything except her desire for immediate rest, dropped her wraps upon the only chair visible, and flung herself, fully dressed, upon the bed. Her cheek had barely pressed the hard pillow before she was sleeping like a tired child.

It must have been an hour later when Winston drove in from Flat Rock, shook the powdery snow from off his long fur overcoat, his cheeks still tingling from the sharp wind, and, with fingers yet stiffened by cold, wrote his name carelessly across the lower line of the dilapidated hotel register.

"Can you let me have the same room, Tom?" he questioned familiarly of the man ornamenting the high stool behind the desk.

The latter, busy with some figures, nodded carelessly, and the last arrival promptly picked up his valise from the floor and began climbing the stairs, whistling softly. He was a long limbed, broad chested young fellow, with clean shaven face, and a pair of dark gray eyes that looked straight ahead of him; and he ran up the somewhat steep steps as though finding such exercise a pleasure. Rounding the upper railing, he stopped abruptly before Number Twenty seven, flung open the door, took a single step within, and came to a sudden pause, his careless whistling suspended in breathless surprise... Continue reading book >>




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