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Cynthia's Chauffeur   By: (1863-1928)

Cynthia's Chauffeur by Louis Tracy

First Page:

CYNTHIA'S CHAUFFEUR

by

LOUIS TRACY

Author of The Wings of the Morning, A Son of the Immortals, Etc., Etc.

Illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy

New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers

Copyright, 1910, by Edward J. Clode Entered at Stationers' Hall

[Illustration: " There is no lovelier garden in England than at Wells Palace. "]

CYNTHIA'S CHAUFFEUR

By LOUIS TRACY

The scene opens in London on Derby day. A lovely American girl and her English chaperon had engaged a chauffeur to take them in his car on a thousand miles run for ten days. On his way to keep the appointment the car met with an accident, and a young Englishman, the son of an earl, happened to be in the vicinity. The chauffeur had once been in his employ, and when he saw his distress at the possible loss of a good customer he thought it would be a fine lark to go himself, in the guise of a chauffeur, and take the ladies on their journey.

The girl was beautiful and the pseudo chauffeur was young and romantic, and one of the strangest of love stories began.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE HIRED CAR 1

II. THE FIRST DAY'S RUN 23

III. SOME EMOTIONS WITHOUT A MORAL 47

IV. SHADOWS WITH OCCASIONAL GLEAMS 72

V. A FLURRY ON THE MENDIPS 94

VI. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S VAGARIES 119

VII. WHEREIN CYNTHIA TAKES HER OWN LINE 143

VIII. BREAKERS AHEAD 167

IX. ON THE WYE 191

X. THE HIDDEN FOUNTS OF EVIL 216

XI. THE PARTING OF THE WAYS 239

XII. MASQUES, ANCIENT AND MODERN 260

XIII. WHEREIN WRATH BEGUILES GOOD JUDGMENT 283

XIV. AND GOOD JUDGMENT YIELDS TO FOLLY 307

XV. THE OUTCOME 324

XVI. THE END OF ONE TOUR: THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER 344

CYNTHIA'S CHAUFFEUR

CHAPTER I

THE HIRED CAR

Derby Day fell that year on the first Wednesday in June. By a whim of the British climate, the weather was fine; in fact, no rain had fallen on southern England since the previous Sunday. Wise after the event, the newspapers published cheerful "forecasts," and certain daring "experts" discussed the probabilities of a heat wave. So London, on that bright Wednesday morning, was agog with excitement over its annual holiday; and at such a time London is the gayest and liveliest city in the world.

And then, wholly independent of the weather, there was the Great Question.

From the hour when the first 'bus rumbled Citywards until some few seconds before three o'clock in the afternoon the mass of the people seemed to find delight in asking and answering it. The Question was ever the same; but the answer varied. In its way, the Question formed a tribute to the advance of democracy. It caused strangers to exchange opinions and pleasantries in crowded trains and omnibuses. It placed peers and commoners on an equality. During some part of the day it completely eclipsed all other topics of conversation.

Thus, young Lord Medenham made no pretense of shirking it while he stood on the steps of his father's mansion in Cavendish Square and watched his chauffeur stowing a luncheon basket beneath the front seat of the Mercury 38.

"You know a bit about racing, Tomkinson," he said, smiling at the elderly butler who had brought the basket out of the house. "What's going to win?"

"The King's horse, my lord," replied Tomkinson, with the unctuous conviction of a prelate laying down a dogma.

"Is it as sure as all that?"

"Yes, my lord."

"Well, I hope so. You are on a sovereign By gad, you really are, you know."

Tomkinson was far too keenly alive to the monetary side of the transaction to pay heed to the quip... Continue reading book >>




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