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By Berwen Banks   By: (1836-1908)

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E text prepared by Al Haines

BY BERWEN BANKS

a Novel

by

ALLEN RAINE

Author of "A Welsh Singer," "Torn Sails," etc.

111TH THOUSAND

London Hutchinson & Co. Paternoster Row

CONTENTS

I. BERWEN BANKS II. THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF III. THE SASSIWN IV. THE STORM V. GWYNNE ELLIS ARRIVES VI. CORWEN AND VALMAI VII. THE VICAR'S STORY VIII. THE OLD REGISTER IX. REUBEN STREET X. THE WEB OF FATE XI. THE "BLACK DOG" XII. A CLIMAX XIII. "THE BABIES' CORNER" XIV. UNREST XV. THE SISTERS XVI. DISPERSING CLOUDS XVII. HOME AGAIN XVIII. THE VELVET WALK XIX. THE MEREDITHS XX. GWLADYS XXI. INTO THE SUNSHINE

BY BERWEN BANKS.

CHAPTER I.

BERWEN BANKS.

Caer Madoc is a sleepy little Welsh town, lying two miles from the sea coast. Far removed from the busy centres of civilisation, where the battle of life breeds keen wits and deep interests, it is still, in the opinion of its inhabitants, next to London, the most important place in the United Kingdom. It has its church and three chapels, its mayor and corporation, jail, town hall, and market place; but, more especially, it has its fairs, and awakes to spasmodic jollity on such occasions, which come pretty often quite ten times in the year. In the interims it resigns itself contentedly to its normal state of lethargy.

The day on which my story opens had seen the busiest and merriest fair of the year, and the evening found the little town looking jaded and disreputable after its few hours of dissipation, the dusty High Street being littered with scraps of paper, orange peel, and such like débris . The merry go rounds and the "shows" had departed, the last donkey cart had rattled out of the town, laden with empty gingerbread boxes.

In the stable of the Red Dragon three men stooped in conclave over the hind foot of a horse. Deio, the ostler, and Roberts, the farrier, agreed in their verdict for a wonder; and Caradoc Wynne, the owner of the horse, straightened himself from his stooping posture with a nod of decision.

"Yes, it's quite plain I mustn't ride him to night," he said. "Well, I'll leave him under your care, Roberts, and will either come or send for him to morrow."

"Needn't do that, sir," said Roberts, "for I am going myself to Abersethin on Friday; that will give him one day's complete rest, and I'll bring him up gently with my nag."

"That will do better," said the young man. "Take care of him, Deio," he added, in good, broad Welsh, "and I will pay you well for your trouble," and, with a pat on Captain's flank and a douceur in Deio's ready palm, he turned to leave the yard. Looking back from under the archway which opened into the street, with a parting injunction to Roberts to "take care of him," he turned up the dusty High Street.

"Pagh!" he said, "it has been a jolly fair, but it hasn't sweetened the air. However, I shall soon have left it behind me," and he stepped out briskly towards the straggling end of the street, which merged into a wild moorland country.

" There's a difference between him and his father," said Deio to his companion, as they led Captain back to his stall. "See the old 'Vicare du' hunting between his coppers for a threepenny bit! Jâr i man! you would think it was a sovereign he was looking for."

"Yes," said Roberts, "the old Vicare is a keen man enough, but just; always pays his bills regularly; he is not as black as they make him out to be."

"No, I daresay! They say the devil isn't, either," said Deio.

It was very evident the person in question was no favourite of his.

Meanwhile Caradoc, or Cardo as he was called all over the country side, the "Vicare du's" only son, had begun his tramp homewards with a light heart and a brisk step. He was a tall, broad shouldered man, with health and youthful energy expressed in every limb and feature, with jet black hair and sparkling eyes to match... Continue reading book >>




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