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The Brightener   By: (1859-1920)

The Brightener by Charles Norris Williamson

First Page:

THE BRIGHTENER

BY C. N. & A. M. WILLIAMSON

FRONTISPIECE BY WALTER DE MARIS

GARDEN CITY, N. Y., AND TORONTO DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 1921

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY C. N. & A. M. WILLIAMSON

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY AINSLEE's MAGAZINE CO., NEW YORK AND GREAT BRITAIN. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

[Illustration: "A SLIGHT SOUND ATTRACTED OUR ATTENTION TO THE HISTORIC STAIRWAY"]

PREFACE

To the Kind People Who Read Our Books:

I want to explain to you, in case it may interest you a little, why it is that I want to keep the "firm name" (as we used to call it) of "C. N. & A. M. Williamson," although my husband has gone out of this world.

It is because I feel very strongly that he helps me with the work even more than he was able to do in this world. I always had his advice, and when we took motor tours he gave me his notes to use as well as my own. But now there is far more help than that. I cannot explain in words: I can only feel. And because of that feeling, I could not bear to have the "C. N." disappear from the title page.

Dear People who may read this, I hope that you will wish to see the initials "C. N." with those of

A. M. WILLIAMSON

CONTENTS

BOOK I. THE YACHT

I. DOWN AND OUT

II. UP AND IN

III. THUNDERBOLT SIX

IV. THE BLACK THING IN THE SEA

V. WHAT I FOUND IN MY CABIN

VI. THE WOMAN OF THE PAST

VII. THE SECRET BEHIND THE SILENCE

VIII. THE GREAT SURPRISE

IX. THE GAME OF BLUFF

BOOK II. THE HOUSE WITH THE TWISTED CHIMNEY

I. THE SHELL SHOCK MAN

II. THE ADVERTISEMENT

III. THE LETTER WITH THE PURPLE SEAL

IV. THE TANGLED WEB

V. THE KNITTING WOMAN OF DUN MOAT

VI. THE LIGHTNING STROKE

VII. THE RED BAIZE DOOR

VIII. "WHEN IN DOUBT, PLAY A TRUMP"

IX. THE RAT TRAP

BOOK III. THE DARK VEIL

I. THE GIRL WITH THE LETTER

II. THE HERMIT

III. THE CHAIR AT THE SAVOY

IV. THE SPIRIT OF JUNE

V. THE BARGAIN

VI. THE LAST SÉANCE

BOOK IV. THE MYSTERY OF MRS. BRANDRETH

I. THE MAN IN THE CUSHIONED CHAIR

II. MRS. BRANDRETH

III. THE CONDITION SHE MADE

IV. THE OLD LOVE STORY

V. THE MAN WITH THE BRILLIANT EYES

VI. THE PICTURES

VII. SIR BEVERLEY'S IMPRESSIONS

VIII. WHILE WE WAITED

IX. THE GOOD NEWS

X. THE CLIMAX

XI. WHAT GABY TOLD

XII. THE WOMAN IN THE THEATRE

XIII. MRS. BRANDRETH'S STORY

THE BRIGHTENER

BOOK I

THE YACHT

CHAPTER I

DOWN AND OUT

"I wonder who will tell her," I heard somebody say, just outside the arbour.

The somebody was a woman; and the somebody else who answered was a man. "Glad it won't be me!" he replied, ungrammatically.

I didn't know who these somebodies were, and I didn't much care. For the first instant the one thing I did care about was, that they should remain outside my arbour, instead of finding their way in. Then, the next words waked my interest. They sounded mysterious, and I loved mysteries then .

"It's an awful thing to happen a double blow, in the same moment!" exclaimed the woman.

They had come to a standstill, close to the arbour; but there was hope that they mightn't discover it, because it wasn't an ordinary arbour. It was really a deep, sweet scented hollow scooped out of an immense arbor vitæ tree, camouflaged to look like its sister trees in a group beside the path. The hollow contained an old marble seat, on which I was sitting, but the low entrance could only be reached by one who knew of its existence, passing between those other trees.

I felt suddenly rather curious about the person struck by a "double blow," for a "fellow feeling makes one wondrous kind"; and at that moment I was a sort of modern, female Damocles myself... Continue reading book >>




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