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The Castle Of The Shadows   By: (1869-1933)

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Transcriber's Notes:

Some changes have been made to correct typographical errors and inconsistencies.

The author's use of a mixture of US and UK English spelling has been retained.

[Illustration: Book cover]

THE CASTLE OF THE SHADOWS

Books by C. N. and A. M. WILLIAMSON

THE LIGHTNING CONDUCTOR THE PRINCESS PASSES MY FRIEND THE CHAUFFEUR LADY BETTY ACROSS THE WATER ROSEMARY IN SEARCH OF A FATHER MY LADY CINDERELLA THE CAR OF DESTINY THE CHAPERON THE PRINCESS VIRGINIA SET IN SILVER ETC., ETC.

The Castle of the Shadows By MRS. C. N. WILLIAMSON

[Illustration: Doubleday logo]

New York Doubleday, Page & Company 1909

AUTHORIZED EDITION DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO.

TO A GOOD MARCHESE THIS STORY OF A WICKED MARCHESE

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. Where Dreamland Began 3 II. The Story Told by Two 31 III. A Mystery and a Bargain 61 IV. The Closed Door 84 V. The Lady on the Verandah 108 VI. The End of the World 134 VII. The Gates Open 158 VIII. Number 1280 178 IX. A Cry Across the Water 201 X. "Once on Board the Lugger" 224 XI. Virginia's Great Moment 248 XII. Stand and Deliver! 270 XIII. The Game of Bluff 294

THE CASTLE OF THE SHADOWS

The Castle of the Shadows

CHAPTER I

WHERE DREAMLAND BEGAN

According to the calendar it was winter; but between Mentone and the frontier town of Ventimiglia, on the white road inlaid like a strip of ivory on dark rocks above the sapphire of the Mediterranean, it was fierce summer in the sunshine. A girl riding between two men, reined in her chestnut mare at a cross road which led into the jade green twilight of an olive grove. The men pulled up their horses also, and all three came to a sudden halt at a bridge flung across a swift but shallow river, whose stony bed cleft the valley.

The afternoon sunshine poured down upon them, burnishing the coils of the girl's hair to gold, and giving a dazzling brilliancy to a complexion which for twenty years to come need not fear the light of day. She was gazing up the valley shut in on either side with thickly wooded hills, their rugged heads still gilded, their shoulders already half in shadow; but the eyes of the men rested only upon her. One was English, the other Italian; and it was the Italian whose look devoured her beauty, moving hungrily from the shining tendrils of gold that curled at the back of her white neck, up to the small pink ear almost hidden with a thick, rippling wave of hair; so to the piquant profile which to those who loved Virginia Beverly, was dearer than cold perfection.

"Oh, the olive woods!" she exclaimed. "How sweet they are! See the way the sunshine touches the old, gnarled trunks, and what a lovely light filters through the leaves. One never sees it anywhere except in an olive grove. I should like to live in one."

"Well, why not?" laughed the Englishman. "What prevents you from buying two or three? But you would soon tire of them, my child, as you do of everything as soon as it belongs to you."

"That's not fair," replied the girl. "Besides, if it were, who has helped to spoil me? I will buy an olive grove, and you shall see if I tire of it. Come, let's ride up the valley, and find out if there are any for sale. It looks heavenly cool after this heat."

"You'll soon discover that it's too cool," said the Italian, in perfect English. "The sun is only in these valleys for a few hours, and it's gone for the day now. Besides, there's nothing interesting here. One sees the best from where we stand."

Virginia Beverly turned her eyes upon him, and let them dwell on his face questioningly... Continue reading book >>




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