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The Bronze Eagle A Story of the Hundred Days   By: (1865-1947)

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First Page:

THE BRONZE EAGLE

by

BARONESS ORCZY

By BARONESS ORCZY

THE BRONZE EAGLE A BRIDE OF THE PLAINS THE LAUGHING CAVALIER "UNTO CAESAR" EL DORADO MEADOWSWEET THE NOBLE ROGUE THE HEART OF A WOMAN PETTICOAT RULE

GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY NEW YORK

THE BRONZE EAGLE

A Story of the Hundred Days

by

BARONESS ORCZY

Author of "The Laughing Cavalier," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," Etc., Etc.

[Illustration]

New York George H. Doran Company

Copyright, 1915, by Baroness Orczy Copyright, 1915, by George H. Doran Company

This novel was published serially, under the title of "Waterloo"

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE THE LANDING AT JOUAN 9 I. THE GLORIOUS NEWS 14 II. THE OLD RÉGIME 49 III. THE RETURN OF THE EMPEROR 85 IV. THE EMPRESS' MILLIONS 138 V. THE RIVALS 196 VI. THE CRIME 221 VII. THE ASCENT OF THE CAPITOL 236 VIII. THE SOUND OF REVELRY BY NIGHT 261 IX. THE TARPEIAN ROCK 285 X. THE LAST THROW 305 XI. THE LOSING HANDS 338 XII. THE WINNING HAND 370

THE BRONZE EAGLE

THE LANDING AT JOUAN

The perfect calm of an early spring dawn lies over headland and sea hardly a ripple stirs the blue cheek of the bay. The softness of departing night lies upon the bosom of the Mediterranean like the dew upon the heart of a flower.

A silent dawn.

Veils of transparent greys and purples and mauves still conceal the distant horizon. Breathless calm rests upon the water and that awed hush which at times descends upon Nature herself when the finger of Destiny marks an eventful hour.

But now the grey and the purple veils beyond the headland are lifted one by one; the midst of dawn rises upwards like the smoke of incense from some giant censers swung by unseen, mighty hands.

The sky above is of a translucent green, studded with stars that blink and now are slowly extinguished one by one: the green has turned to silver, and the silver to lemon gold: the veils beyond the upland are flying in the wake of departing Night.

The lemon gold turns to glowing amber, anon to orange and crimson, and far inland the mountain peaks, peeping shyly through the mist, blush a vivid rose to find themselves so fair.

And to the south, there where fiery sea blends and merges with fiery sky, a tiny black speck has just come into view. Larger and larger it grows as it draws nearer to the land, now it seems like a bird with wings outspread an eagle flying swiftly to the shores of France.

In the bay the fisher folk, who are making ready for their day's work, pause a moment as they haul up their nets: with rough brown hands held above their eyes they look out upon that black speck curious, interested, for the ship is not one they have seen in these waters before.

"'Tis the Emperor come back from Elba!" says someone.

The men laugh and shrug their shoulders: that tale has been told so often in these parts during the past year: the good folk have ceased to believe in it. It has almost become a legend now, that story that the Emperor was coming back their Emperor the man with the battered hat and the grey redingote: the people's Emperor, he who led them from victory to victory, whose eagles soared above every capital and every tower in Europe, he who made France glorious and respected: her citizens, men, her soldiers, heroes.

And with stately majesty the dawn yields to day, the last tones of orange have faded from the sky: it is once more of a translucent green merging into sapphire overhead. And the great orb in the east rises from out the trammels of the mist, and from awakening Earth and Sea comes the great love call, the triumphant call of Day... Continue reading book >>




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