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The Dust Flower   By: (1859-1928)

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First Page:

THE DUST FLOWER

BOOKS BY BASIL KING The Dust Flower The Empty Sack Going West The City of Comrades Abraham's Bosom The Lifted Veil The Side of the Angels The Letter of the Contract The Way Home The Wild Olive The Inner Shrine The Street Called Straight Let No Man Put Asunder In the Garden of Charity The Steps of Honor The High Heart HARPER & BROTHERS Established 1817

[Illustration: THEN SLOWLY, SLOWLY LETTY SANK ON HER KNEES, BOWING HER HEAD ON THE HANDS WHICH DREW HER CLOSER. [See p. 350]]

THE DUST FLOWER

By BASIL KING

Author of "THE EMPTY SACK" "THE INNER SHRINE" ETC.

With Illustrations by HIBBARD V. B. KLINE

Publishers Harper & Brothers New York and London MCMXXII

THE DUST FLOWER

Copyright, 1922 Harper & Brothers Printed in the U. S. A.

First Edition H W

ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE THEN SLOWLY, SLOWLY LETTY SANK ON HER KNEES, BOWING HER HEAD ON THE HANDS WHICH DREW HER CLOSER Frontispiece

BY THE TIME HE HAD FINISHED, HIS HEART WAS A LITTLE EASED AND SOME OF HER TENDERNESS BEGAN TO FLOW TOWARD HIM Facing page 68

THE PRINCE'S FIRST WORDS WERE ALSO A DISTRACTION FROM TERRORS, AND ENCHANTMENTS WHICH MADE HER FEEL FAINT Facing page 230

"BUT BY AND BY I CREEPS OUT AND DOWN THE STEPS, AND THERE 'E WAS, ALL 'UDDLED EVERY WYE" Facing page 328

THE DUST FLOWER

Chapter I

It is not often that you see a man tear his hair, but this is exactly what Rashleigh Allerton did. He tore it, first, because of being under the stress of great agitation, and second, because he had it to tear a thick, black shock with a tendency to part in the middle, but brushed carefully to one side. Seated on the extreme edge of one of Miss Walbrook's strong, slender armchairs, his elbows on his knees, he dug his fingers into the dark mass with every fresh taunt from his fiancée.

She was standing over him, high tempered, imperious. "So it's come to this," she said, with decision; "you've got to choose between a stupid, vulgar lot of men, and me."

He gritted his teeth. "Do you expect me to give up all my friends?"

"All your friends! That's another matter. I'm speaking of half a dozen profligates, of whom you seem determined I must say it, Rash; you force me to it of whom you seem determined to be one."

He jumped to his feet, a slim, good looking, well dressed figure in spite of the tumbled effect imparted by excitement. "But, good heavens, Barbara, what have I been doing?"

"I don't pretend to follow you there. I only know the condition in which you came here from the club last night."

He was honestly bewildered. "Came here from the club last night? Why why, I wasn't so bad."

Standing away from him, she twirled the engagement solitaire as if resisting the impulse to snatch it off. "That would be a question of point of view, wouldn't it? If Aunt Marion hadn't been here "

"I'd only had "

"Please, Rash! I don't want to know the details."

"But I want you to know them. I've told you a dozen times that if I take so much as a cocktail or a glass of sherry I'm all in, when another fellow can take ten times as much and not "

"Rash, dear, I haven't known you all my life without being quite aware that you're excitable. 'Crazy Rash' we used to call you when we were children, and Crazy Rash you are still. But that's not my point."

"Your point is that that infernal old Aunt Marion of yours doesn't like me."

"She's not infernal, and she's not old, but it's true that she doesn't like you. All the more reason, then, that when she gave her consent to our engagement on condition that you'd give up your disgusting habits "

He raced away from her to the other side of the room, turning to face her like an exasperated animal at bay... Continue reading book >>




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