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

Dorothy's Double Volume I (of 3)   By: (1832-1902)

Book cover

First Page:

DOROTHY'S DOUBLE

BY G. A. HENTY

AUTHOR OF 'RUJUB THE JUGGLER' 'IN THE DAYS OF THE MUTINY' 'THE CURSE OF CARNE'S HOLD' ETC.

IN THREE VOLUMES VOL. I.

London CHATTO & WINDUS PICCADILLY 1894

PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW STREET SQUARE LONDON

DOROTHY'S DOUBLE

PROLOGUE

A dark night on the banks of the Thames; the south west wind, heavily charged with sleet, was blowing strongly, causing little waves to lap against the side of a punt moored by the bank. Its head rope was tied round a weeping willow which had shed most of its leaves, and whose pendent boughs swayed and waved in the gusts, sending at times a shower of heavy drops upon a man leaning against its trunk. Beyond stretched a broad lawn with clumps of shrubs, and behind loomed the shadow of a mansion, but so faintly that it might have passed unnoticed in the darkness had it not been for some lights in the upper windows.

At times the man changed his position, muttering impatiently as the water made its way down between his collar and neck and soaked through his clothes to the shoulders.

'I must have been waiting an hour!' he exclaimed at last. 'If she doesn't come soon I shall begin to think that something has prevented her getting out. It will be no joke to have to come again to morrow night if it keeps on like this. It has been raining for the last three days without a stop, and looks as if it would keep on as much longer.'

A few minutes later he started as he made out a figure in the darkness. It approached him, and stopped ten yards away.

'Are you there?' a female voice asked.

'Of course I am,' he replied, 'and a nice place it is to be waiting in for over an hour on such a night as this. Have you got it?'

'Yes.'

'That is all right. Well, chuck your bonnet down there, three or four feet from the edge of the water.'

'And my cloak? I have brought that and a shawl, as you told me.'

'No; give it to me. Now get into the boat, and we will shove off.'

As soon as the woman had seated herself in the punt the man unfastened the head rope and stepped in; then, taking a long pole in his hand, he let the boat drift down with the strong stream, keeping close to the bank. Where the lawn ended there was a clump of bushes overhanging the water. He caught hold of these, broke off two branches that dipped into the stream, then, hauling the punt a little farther in, he took the cloak the woman had handed to him and hitched it fast round a stump that projected an inch or two above the swollen stream.

'That will do the trick,' he said. 'They will find it there when the river falls.' Then he poled the boat out and let her drift again. 'You have brought another bonnet, I see, Polly.'

'You don't suppose I was going to be such a fool as to leave myself bareheaded on such a night as this,' she said sullenly.

'Well, there is no occasion to be bad tempered; it has been a deal worse for me than it has for you, waiting an hour and a half there, besides being a good half hour poling this tub up against the stream. I suppose it went off all right?'

'Yes, there was no difficulty about it. I kicked up a row and pretended to be drunk. Not too bad, or they would have turned me straight out of the house, but I was told I was to go the first thing in the morning. The rest was easy enough. I had only to slip down, get it, and be off, but I had to wait some time at the door. I opened it about an inch or two, and had to stand there listening until I was sure they were both asleep. I am sorry I ever did it. I had half a mind to chuck it up three or four times, but '

'But you thought better of it, Polly. Well, you were perfectly right; fifty pounds down and a pound a week regular, that ain't so bad you know, especially as you were out of a place, and had no character to show.'

'But mind,' she said threateningly, 'no harm is to come to it. I don't know what your game is, but you promised me that, and if you break your word I will peach, as true as my name is Polly Green... Continue reading book >>


Book sections



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