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The Bigamist   By:

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The Bigamist By F.E. Mills Young Published by John Lane Company, New York. This edition dated 1916.

The Bigamist, by F.E. Mills Young.

THE BIGAMIST, BY F.E. MILLS YOUNG.

CHAPTER ONE.

In the handsome room, softly lighted with shaded electric lamps, a man sat in a low chair, his legs stretched out compass wise, his brow resting on his hand. He had the appearance of being asleep, save that every now and again the fingers pressing his brow pressed harder or were momentarily relaxed; he made no other movement: for fully half an hour he had not altered his pose. The only other occupant of the room, a woman, tall and slender, with a wealth of golden hair crowning her small head, stood at the long open window with her back to the room, her pose as still as the man's, but considerably less absorbed.

The girl, she was little more than a girl, despite the five years of happy married life, and the tiny mite of four asleep in the nursery overhead, turned from the open window and the soft darkness of the summer night and faced the lighted room. So long the man had sat there silent, motionless, plunged in thought, that she had almost forgotten his presence in a pleasant reverie of her own till roused by the extraordinary quiet, as effectually as though recalled by some unexpected sound. She turned her head and regarded him with surprised, inquiring eyes.

"Worried, Herbert?" she asked.

He started at the sound of her voice, and roused himself with an effort.

"What makes you ask that?" he said, without looking at her.

"I don't know... You are so quiet," she answered. "And at dinner I fancied you seemed a little put out."

She crossed to his chair and knelt beside him, resting her clasped hands on his shoulders, her face lifted to his. He put out a hand and touched her hair. "Pamela," he said abruptly, "you've been happy with me? You've I've made you happy?" he insisted.

She looked surprised: a faint questioning showed in the blue eyes and the slight puckering of the finely pencilled brows.

"My dear!" she said. "You know that." She pulled his face down to hers and kissed him. "You never doubted me?" she asked.

"No," he answered, "no."

Suddenly he caught her to him and held her strained against his breast.

"Oh! but it's good to have you," he cried. "You are the best thing that life has given me. I'd fight till my last breath to keep you."

"Well, but there isn't any fear of your losing me," she said, and drew back to regard him, perplexed at this unusual demonstration from a man who, save in moments of passionate excess, was habitually rather reserved. "Silly person! Did you think I was going to run away?"

"You couldn't," he answered confidently. "You are chained here to my side with invisible, unbreakable bonds."

"Oh; there's the divorce court," she remarked with light hearted flippancy.

"I wasn't referring to social laws," he answered gravely. "The bond that holds you is the strength of our love. It is the one invincible power in the world. Whatever happened, you would never cease to love me, Pamela."

He made the statement with a look which seemed to question her. Pamela responded to the look.

"No," she answered, her sweet face grown suddenly very earnest. "I could never cease to love you. That's the surest thing in heaven or earth to me."

He set her aside and stood up. Then he lifted her to her feet and put his arm about her and drew her towards the open window.

"Come into the garden," he said. "The air indoors stifles me. I don't want to talk. I want to be in the open and feel you near."

She pressed his hand sympathetically.

"There's certainly a little worry of some sort," she said.

"Yes, there's a little worry," he answered in an evasive tone which discouraged inquiries... Continue reading book >>




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