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The Eagle's Shadow   By: (1879-1958)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: "Margaret"]

THE

EAGLE'S SHADOW

By

JAMES BRANCH CABELL

1904

To

Martha Louise Branch

In trust that the enterprise may be judged less by the merits of its factor than by those of its patron

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.

VI.

VII.

VIII.

IX.

X.

XI.

XII.

XIII.

XIV.

XV.

XVI.

XVII.

XVIII.

XIX.

XX.

XXI.

XXII.

XXIII.

XXIV.

XXV.

XXVI.

XXVII.

XXVIII.

XXIX.

XXX.

XXXI.

XXXII.

XXXIII.

THE CHARACTERS

Colonel Thomas Hugonin, formerly in the service of Her Majesty the Empress of India, Margaret Hugonin's father.

Frederick R. Woods, the founder of Selwoode, Margaret's uncle by marriage.

Billy Woods, his nephew, Margaret's quondam fiancé.

Hugh Van Orden, a rather young young man, Margaret's adorer.

Martin Jeal, M.D., of Fairhaven, Margaret's family physician.

Cock Eye Flinks, a gentleman of leisure, Margaret's chance acquaintance.

Petheridge Jukesbury, president of the Society for the Suppression of Nicotine and the Nude, Margaret's almoner in furthering the cause of education and temperance.

Felix Kennaston, a minor poet, Margaret's almoner in furthering the cause of literature and art.

Sarah Ellen Haggage, Madame President of the Ladies' League for the Edification of the Impecunious, Margaret's almoner in furthering the cause of charity and philanthropy. Kathleen Eppes Saumarez, a lecturer before women's clubs, Margaret's almoner in furthering the cause of theosophy, nature study, and rational dress.

Adèle Haggage, Mrs. Haggage's daughter, Margaret's rival with Hugh Van Orden.

And Margaret Hugonin.

The other participants in the story are Wilkins, Célestine, The Spring Moon and The Eagle.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"Margaret"

"'Altogether,' says Colonel Hugonin, 'they strike me as being the most ungodly menagerie ever gotten together under one roof since Noah landed on Ararat'"

"Then, for no apparent reason, Margaret flushed, and Billy ... thought it vastly becoming"

"Billy Woods"

"Billy unfolded it slowly, with a puzzled look growing in his countenance"

"'My lady,' he asked, very softly, 'haven't you any good news for me on this wonderful morning?'"

"Miss Hugonin pouted. 'You needn't, be such a grandfather,' she suggested helpfully."

"Regarded them with alert eyes"

THE EAGLE'S SHADOW

I

This is the story of Margaret Hugonin and of the Eagle. And with your permission, we will for the present defer all consideration of the bird, and devote our unqualified attention to Margaret.

I have always esteemed Margaret the obvious, sensible, most appropriate name that can be bestowed upon a girl child, for it is a name that fits a woman any woman as neatly as her proper size in gloves.

Yes, the first point I wish to make is that a woman child, once baptised Margaret, is thereby insured of a suitable name. Be she grave or gay in after life, wanton or pious or sullen, comely or otherwise, there will be no possible chance of incongruity; whether she develop a taste for winter gardens or the higher mathematics, whether she take to golf or clinging organdies, the event is provided for. One has only to consider for a moment, and if among a choice of Madge, Marjorie, Meta, Maggie, Margherita, Peggy, and Gretchen, and countless others if among all these he cannot find a name that suits her to a T why, then, the case is indeed desperate and he may permissibly fall back upon Madam or if the cat jump propitiously, and at his own peril on Darling or Sweetheart.

The second proof that this name must be the best of all possible names is that Margaret Hugonin bore it. And so the murder is out. You may suspect what you choose. I warn you in advance that I have no part whatever in her story; and if my admiration for her given name appear somewhat excessive, I can only protest that in this dissentient world every one has a right to his own taste. I knew Margaret. I admired her. And if in some unguarded moment I may have carried my admiration to the point of indiscretion, her husband most assuredly knows all about it, by this, and he and I are still the best of friends... Continue reading book >>




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