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Charles Rex   By: (1881-1939)

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First Page:

CHARLES REX

BY ETHEL M. DELL

AUTHOR OF THE TOP OF THE WORLD, THE LAMP IN THE DESERT, THE HUNDREDTH CHANCE, Etc.

1922

I Dedicate This Book To G. T. S. In Remembrance of A Winter Day

"When half gods go, the gods arrive." R. W. Emerson

Not with the clash of trumpets And clangour of gates thrown wide, As when the eager crowds press round To see the half gods ride; But like a bird at even Silently winging home, A message came from the darkness To say that the gods had come.

And the half gods scoffed in the temple Which custom had bid them hold Sin and Success and Pleasure And the hideous Image of Gold. Who and what are these strangers? Bid them worship before the shrine Where we, the gods of the new world, Sit o'er the cards and wine!

So they derided the strangers Those gods whom the old folk call Courage and Honour and Faithfulness And Love which is greater than all. But when the night was over And the new day pierced within, The half gods were gone from the temple, And the gods had entered in.

CONTENTS

PART I

I. Ennui II. Adieu III. The Gift IV. Toby V. Discipline VI. The Abyss VII. Larpent's Daughter

PART II

I. Jake Bolton II. Maud Bolton III. Bunny IV. Saltash V. The Visitor VI. How to Manage Men VII. The Promise VIII. The Ally IX. The Idol X. Resolutions XI. The Butterfly XII. The Ogre's Castle XIII. The End of the Game

PART III

I. The Virtuous Hero II. The Compact III. L'oiseau bleu IV. The Trap V. The Confidence VI. The Sacred Fire VII. Surrender VIII. The Magician's Wand IX. The Warning X. The Mystery XI. Suspicion XII. The Ally XIII. The Truth XIV. The Last Card

PART IV

I. The Winning Post II. The Villain Scores III. A Wife Is Different IV. The Idol of Paris V. The Dance of Death VI. The New Lover VII. The Refugee VIII. The Turning point IX. Larpent X. In the Name of Love XI. The Gift of the Gods

CHARLES REX

PART I

CHAPTER I

ENNUI

"I shall go to sea to morrow," said Saltash, with sudden decision. "I'm tired of this place, Larpent, fed up on repletion."

"Then by all means let us go, my lord!" said Larpent, with the faint glimmer of a smile behind his beard, which was the only expression of humour he ever permitted himself.

"Believe you're fed up too," said Saltash, flashing a critical look upon him.

Captain Larpent said nothing, deeming speech unnecessary. All time spent ashore was wasted in his opinion.

Saltash turned and surveyed the sky line over the yacht's rail with obvious discontent on his ugly face. His eyes were odd, one black, one grey, giving a curiously unstable appearance to a countenance which otherwise might have claimed to possess some strength. His brows were black and deeply marked. He had a trick of moving them in conjunction with his thoughts so that his face was seldom in absolute repose. It was said that there was a strain of royal blood in Saltash, and in the days before he had succeeded to the title when he had been merely Charles Burchester, he had borne the nickname of "the merry monarch." Certain wild deeds in a youth that had not been beyond reproach had seemed to warrant this, but of later years a friend had bestowed a more gracious title upon him, and to all who could claim intimacy with him he had become "Charles Rex." The name fitted him like a garment. A certain arrogance, a certain royalty of bearing, both utterly unconscious and wholly unfeigned, characterized him. Whatever he did, and his actions were often far from praiseworthy, this careless distinction of mien always marked him. He received an almost involuntary respect where he went... Continue reading book >>




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