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The Firing Line   By: (1865-1933)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: "She faced him, white as death, looking at him blindly."]

THE

FIRING LINE

BY

ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

AUTHOR OF "THE FIGHTING CHANCE," "THE YOUNGER SET," ETC.

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY NEW YORK, 1908

TO

MARGERY CHAMBERS

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. A SKIRMISH

CHAPTER II. A LANDING

CHAPTER III. AN ADVANCE

CHAPTER IV. RECONNAISSANCE

CHAPTER V. A FLANK MOVEMENT

CHAPTER VI. ARMISTICE

CHAPTER VII. A CHANGE OF BASE

CHAPTER VIII. MANOEUVERING

CHAPTER IX. THE INVASION

CHAPTER X. TERRA INCOGNITA

CHAPTER XI. PATHFINDERS

CHAPTER XII. THE ALLIED FORCES

CHAPTER XIII. THE SILENT PARTNERS

CHAPTER XIV. STRATEGY

CHAPTER XV. UNDER FIRE

CHAPTER XVI. AN ULTIMATUM

CHAPTER XVII. ECHOES

CHAPTER XVIII. PERIL

CHAPTER XIX. THE LINE OF BATTLE

CHAPTER XX. A NEW ENEMY

CHAPTER XXI. REINFORCEMENTS

CHAPTER XXII. THE ROLL CALL

CHAPTER XXIII. A CAPITULATION

CHAPTER XXIV. THE SCHOOL OF THE RECRUIT

CHAPTER XXV. A CONFERENCE

CHAPTER XXVI. SEALED INSTRUCTIONS

CHAPTER XXVII. MALCOURT LISTENS

CHAPTER XXVIII. HAMIL IS SILENT

CHAPTER XXIX. CALYPSO'S GIFT

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"She faced him, white as death, looking at him blindly"

"So he sat there and told her all about his commission"

"Never had he tasted such a heavenly banquet"

"Examining the pile of plans, reports, and blue prints"

"She walked a few paces toward the house, halted, and looked back audaciously"

"Then fell prone, head buried in her tumbled hair"

"'You can't go!' he said"

"And locked in his embrace, she lifted her lips to his"

CHAPTER I

A SKIRMISH

As the wind veered and grew cooler a ribbon of haze appeared above the Gulf stream.

Young Hamil, resting on his oars, gazed absently into the creeping mist. Under it the ocean sparkled with subdued brilliancy; through it, shoreward, green palms and palmettos turned silvery; and, as the fog spread, the sea pier, the vast white hotel, bathing house, cottage, pavilion, faded to phantoms tinted with rose and pearl.

Leaning there on his oars, he could still make out the distant sands flecked with the colours of sunshades and bathing skirts; the breeze dried his hair and limbs, but his swimming shirt and trunks still dripped salt water.

Inshore a dory of the beach guard drifted along the outer line of breakers beyond which the more adventurous bathers were diving from an anchored raft. Still farther out moving dots indicated the progress of hardier swimmers; one in particular, a girl capped with a brilliant red kerchief, seemed to be already nearer to Hamil than to the shore.

It was all very new and interesting to him the shore with its spectral palms and giant caravansary, the misty, opalescent sea where a white steam yacht lay anchored north of him the Ariani from which he had come, and on board of which the others were still doubtless asleep Portlaw, Malcourt, and Wayward. And at thought of the others he yawned and moistened his lips, still feverish from last night's unwisdom; and leaning forward on his oars, sat brooding, cradled by the flowing motion of the sea.

The wind was still drawing into the north; he felt it, never strong, but always a little cooler, in his hair and on his wet swimming shirt. The flat cloud along the Gulf stream spread thickly coastward, and after a little while the ghosts of things terrestrial disappeared.

All around him, now, blankness save for the gray silhouette of the Ariani . A colourless canopy surrounded him, centred by a tiny pool of ocean. Overhead through the vanishing blue, hundreds of wild duck were stringing out to sea; under his tent of fog the tarnished silver of the water formed a floor smoothly unquiet... Continue reading book >>




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