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The Betrayal   By: (1866-1946)

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THE BETRAYAL

by

E. PHILLIPS OPPENHEIM

1904

CONTENTS

I THE FACE AT THE WINDOW II GOOD SAMARITANS III THE CRY IN THE NIGHT IV MISS MOYAT'S PROMISE V THE GRACIOUSNESS OF THE DUKE VI LADY ANGELA GIVES ME SOME ADVICE VII COLONEL RAY'S RING VIII A WONDERFUL OFFER IX TREACHERY X AN EXPRESSION OF CONFIDENCE XI HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS XII AN ACCIDENT XIII A BRIBE XIV A RELUCTANT APOLOGY XV TWO FAIR CALLERS XVI LADY ANGELA'S ENGAGEMENT XVII MORE TREACHERY XVIII IN WHICH I SPEAK OUT XIX MRS. SMITH LESSING XX TWO TO ONE XXI LADY ANGELA APPROVES XXII MISS MOYAT MAKES A SCENE XXIII MOSTYN RAY EXPLAINS XXIV LORD BLENAVON'S SURRENDER XXV MY SECRET XXVI "NOBLESSE OBLIGE" XXVII FRIEND OF ENEMY? XXVIII A WOMAN'S TONGUE XXIX THE LINK IN THE CHAIN XXX MOSTYN RAY'S LOVE STORY XXXI MY FATHER'S LETTER XXXII A PAINFUL ENCOUNTER XXXIII THE DUKE'S MESSAGE XXXIV MYSELF AND MY STEPMOTHER XXXV ANGELA'S CONFESSION XXXVI I LOSE MY POST XXXVII LORD CHELSFORD'S DIPLOMACY XXXVIII A TERRIBLE DISCOVERY XXXIX THE TRAITOR XL THE THEORIES OF A NOVELIST

THE BETRAYAL

CHAPTER I

THE FACE AT THE WINDOW

Like a clap of thunder, the north wind, rushing seawards, seemed suddenly to threaten the ancient little building with destruction. The window sashes rattled, the beams which supported the roof creaked and groaned, the oil lamps by which alone the place was lit swung perilously in their chains. A row of maps designed for the instruction of the young the place was a schoolhouse commenced a devil's dance against the wall. In the street without we heard the crash of a fallen chimneypot. My audience of four rose timorously to its feet, and I, glad of the excuse, folded my notes and stepped from the slightly raised platform on to the floor.

"I am much obliged to you for coming," I said, "but I think that it is quite useless to continue, for I can scarcely make you hear, and I am not at all sure that the place is safe."

I spoke hastily, my one desire being to escape from the scene of my humiliation unaccosted. One of my little audience, however, was of a different mind. Rising quickly from one of the back seats, she barred the way. Her broad comely face was full of mingled contrition and sympathy.

"I am so sorry, Mr. Ducaine," she exclaimed. "It does seem a cruel pity, doesn't it? and such a beautiful lecture! I tried so hard to persuade dad and the others to come, but you know how they all love hearing anything about the war, and "

"My dear Miss Moyat," I interrupted, "I am only sorry that a mistaken sense of kindness should have brought you here. With one less in the audience I think I should have ventured to suggest that we all went round to hear Colonel Ray. I should like to have gone myself immensely."

Blanche Moyat looked at me doubtfully.

"That's all very well," she declared, "but I think it's jolly mean of the Duke to bring him down here the very night you were giving your lecture."

"I do not suppose he knew anything about that," I answered. "In any case, I can give my lecture again any time, but none of us may ever have another opportunity of hearing Colonel Ray. Allow me "

I opened the door, and a storm of sleet and spray stung our faces. Old Pegg, who had been there to sell and collect tickets, shouted to us.

"Shut the door quick, master, or it'll be blown to smithereens. It's a real nor'easter, and a bad 'un at that. Why, the missie'll hardly stand. I'll see to the lights and lock up, Master Ducaine. Better be getting hoam while thee can, for the creeks'll run full to night."

Once out in the village street I was spared the embarrassment of conversation. We had to battle the way step by step. We were drenched with spray and the driving rain... Continue reading book >>




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