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The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers   By: (1859-1925)

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Transcriber's Note: A number of typographical errors found in the original text have been corrected in this version. A list of these errors is found at the end (before the advertisments from the original book).

THE DANVERS JEWELS

AND

SIR CHARLES DANVERS

by

Mary Cholmondeley

NEW YORK

HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE

1890

TO MY SISTER

"DI"

I AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATE THE STORY WHICH SHE HELPED ME TO WRITE

CONTENTS.

THE DANVERS JEWELS 9

THE SEQUEL.

SIR CHARLES DANVERS 93

THE DANVERS JEWELS.

CHAPTER I.

I was on the point of leaving India and returning to England when he sent for me. At least, to be accurate and I am always accurate I was not quite on the point, but nearly, for I was going to start by the mail on the following day. I had been up to Government House to take my leave a few days before, but Sir John had been too ill to see me, or at least he had said he was. And now he was much worse dying, it seemed, from all accounts; and he had sent down a native servant in the noon day heat with a note, written in his shaking old hand, begging me to come up as soon as it became cooler. He said he had a commission which he was anxious I should do for him in England.

Of course I went. It was not very convenient, because I had to borrow one of our fellows' traps, as I had sold my own, and none of them had the confidence in my driving which I had myself. I was also obliged to leave the packing of my collection of Malay krises and Indian kookeries to my bearer.

I wondered as I drove along why Sir John had sent for me. Worse, was he? Dying? And without a friend. Poor old man! He had done pretty well in this world, but I was afraid he would not be up to much once he was out of it; and now it seemed he was going. I felt sorry for him. I felt more sorry when I saw him when the tall, long faced A.D.C. took me into his room and left us. Yes, Sir John was certainly going. There was no mistake about it. It was written in every line of his drawn fever worn face, and in his wide fever lit eyes, and in the clutch of his long yellow hands upon his tussore silk dressing gown. He looked a very sick bad old man as he lay there on his low couch, placed so as to court the air from without, cooled by its passage through damped grass screens, and to receive the full strength of the punka, pulled by an invisible hand outside.

"You go to England to morrow?" he asked, sharply.

It was written even in the change of his voice, which was harsh, as of old, but with all the strength gone out of it.

"By to morrow's mail," I said. I should have liked to say something more something sympathetic about his being ill and not likely to get better; but he had always treated me discourteously when he was well, and I could not open out all at once now that he was ill.

"Look here, Middleton," he went on; "I am dying, and I know it. I don't suppose you imagined I had sent for you to bid you a last farewell before departing to my long home. I am not in such a hurry to depart as all that, I can tell you; but there is something I want done that I want you to do for me. I meant to have done it myself, but I am down now, and I must trust somebody. I know better than to trust a clever man. An honest fool But I am digressing from the case in point. I have never trusted anybody all my life, so you may feel honored. I have a small parcel which I want you to take to England for me. Here it is."

His long lean hands went searching in his dressing gown, and presently produced an old brown bag, held together at the neck by a string.

"See here!" he said; and he pushed the glasses and papers aside from the table near him and undid the string... Continue reading book >>




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