Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Desert and the Sown   By: (1847-1938)

Book cover

First Page:

The Desert and The Sown

MARY HALLOCK FOOTE

CONTENTS

I. A COUNCIL OF THE ELDERS

II. INTRODUCING A SON IN LAW

III. THE INITIAL LOVE

IV. "A MAN THAT HAD A WELL IN HIS OWN COURT"

V. DISINHERITED

VI. AN APPEAL TO NATURE

VII. MARKING TIME

VIII. A HUNTER'S DIARY

IX. THE POWER OF WEAKNESS

X. THE WHITE PERIL

XI. A SEARCHING OF HEARTS

XII. THE BLOOD WITE

XIII. CURTAIN

XIV. KIND INQUIRIES

XV. A BRIDEGROOM OF SNOW

XVI. THE NATURE OF AN OATH

XVII. THE HIDDEN TRAIL

XVIII.THE STAR IN THE EAST

XIX. PILGRIMS AND STRANGERS

XX. A STATION IN THE DESERT

XXI. INJURIOUS REPORTS CONCERNING AN OLD HOUSE

XXII. THE CASE STRIKES IN

XXIII.RESTIVENESS

XXIV. INDIAN SUMMER

XXV. THE FELL FROST

XXVI. PEACE TO THIS HOUSE

I

A COUNCIL OF THE ELDERS

It was an evening of sudden mildness following a dry October gale. The colonel had miscalculated the temperature by one log only one, he declared, but that had proved a pitchy one, and the chimney bellowed with flame. From end to end the room was alight with it, as if the stored up energies of a whole pine tree had been sacrificed in the consumption of that four foot stick.

The young persons of the house had escaped, laughing, into the fresh night air, but the colonel was hemmed in on every side; deserted by his daughter, mocked by the work of his own hands, and torn between the duties of a host and the host's helpless craving for his after dinner cigar.

Across the hearth, filling with her silks all the visible room in his own favorite settle corner, sat the one woman on earth it most behooved him to be civil to, the future mother in law of his only child. That Moya was a willing, nay, a reckless hostage, did not lessen her father's awe of the situation.

Mrs. Bogardus, according to her wont at this hour, was composedly doing nothing. The colonel could not make his retreat under cover of her real or feigned absorption in any of the small scattering pursuits which distract the female mind. When she read she read she never "looked at books." When she sewed she sewed presumably, but no one ever saw her do it. Her mind was economic and practical, and she saved it whole, like many men of force, for whatever she deemed her best paying sphere of action.

It was a silence that crackled with heat! The colonel, wrathfully perspiring in the glow of that impenitent stick, frowned at it like an inquisitor. Presently Mrs. Bogardus looked up, and her expression softened as she saw the energetic despair upon his face.

"Colonel, don't you always smoke after dinner?"

"That is my bad habit, madam. I belong to the generation that smokes after dinner and most other times more than is good for us." Colonel Middleton belonged also to the generation that can carry a sentence through to the finish in handsome style, and he did it with a suave Virginian accent as easy as his seat in the saddle. Mrs. Bogardus always gave him her respectful attention during his best performances, though she was a woman of short sentences herself.

"Don't you smoke in this room sometimes?" she asked, with a barely perceptible sniff the merest contraction of her housewifely nostrils.

"Ah h! Those rascally curtains and cushions! You ladies women, I should say Moya won't let me say ladies you bolster us up with comforts on purpose to betray us!"

"You can say 'ladies' to me," smiled the very handsome one before him. "That's the generation I belong to."

The colonel bowed playfully. "Well, you know, I don't detect myself, but there's no doubt I have infected the premises."

"Open fires are good ventilators. I wish you would smoke now. If you don't, I shall have to go away, and I'm exceedingly comfortable."

"You are exceedingly charming to say so on top of that last stick, too!" The colonel had Irish as well as Virginian progenitors. "Well," he sighed, proceeding to make himself conditionally happy, "Moya will never forgive me! We spoil each other shamefully when we're alone, but of course we try to jack each other up when company comes... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books