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The Gap in the Fence   By:

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[Illustration: Front cover art]

[Frontispiece: "'Oh, Ruth,' she said, 'The foreign gentleman has come!'"]

THE RED NURSERY SERIES

THE GAP IN THE FENCE

BY

FREDERICA J. TURLE

Author of

"The Squire's Grandchildren," "Jerry O'Shassenagh," etc., etc.

WITH TWELVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY WATSON CHARLTON

LONDON:

THE SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION

57 AND 59 LUDGATE HILL, E.C.

1914

CONTENTS

CHAPTER.

I. HAVER GRANGE II. A QUEER VISITOR III. THE LITTLE FOREIGN GIRL IV. FAIRIES V. HAPPY DAYS VI. UNA ASKS A QUESTION VII. SECRETS VIII. THE GYPSIES ON THE COMMON IX. UNA'S PET X. WHAT THE YOUNG MAN SAID XI. SAD DAYS XII. HER FATHER'S SECRET

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Front cover art

"'OH, RUTH,' SHE SAID, 'THE FOREIGN GENTLEMAN HAS COME!'" . . . . . . Frontispiece

"YOU MUSTN'T LAUGH, ANY OF YOU PROMISE!"

SHE RAISED HER HEAD AND LOOKED AT NORAH GRAVELY.

"'FAIRIES! FAIRIES!' SHE CRIED, CLAPPING HER HANDS."

"THERE, IN THE OLD BRICK WALL, WAS A TINY OAK DOOR!"

"SHE WAS STILL BENDING OVER THE BASIN WHEN SHE HEARD A TAP, TAP, TAP."

"SHE CAME ACROSS TOM SEATED ON THE GROUND."

"'THERE THEY ARE!' TOM SAID SUDDENLY."

"'OH, TOM, IT'S ALIVE!' CRIED UNA."

"THE CHILDREN FOLLOWED HIM OUT INTO THE SUNSHINE."

"UNA SAT BESIDE HIM, FANNING HIM."

"'I WAS JUST WONDERING IF I SHOULD TELL YOU,' SAID UNA."

Back cover art

THE GAP IN THE FENCE.

CHAPTER I.

HAVER GRANGE.

Think of the prettiest garden you have ever seen: a dear, old fashioned, sunny garden, with masses of snapdragon and white lilies and carnations, and big yellow sunflowers; and damask roses, and white cluster roses, and sweet smelling pink cabbage roses, and tiny yellow Scotch roses in fact, every kind of rose you can think of, except modern ones. Then you can imagine the Vicarage garden at Haversham.

Not that all these flowers were out in August; indeed, the best of the roses and all the carnations were over by then, but the garden was still gay with lots of other kinds of flowers; and dear little twisting paths led the way under shady nut trees to the kitchen garden and orchard, where apricots and plums turned golden and red in the sunshine, and the apple trees were so laden that it seemed quite wonderful to think the branches did not break with the weight of the fruit.

The summer holidays were half over now, and already Mother had begun to look over the boys' socks and shirts for the next term at school, and the girls had begun to talk seriously of the holiday tasks, which had been lightheartedly put on one side when they first came home from school with eight long weeks of idleness before them.

They were all having tea under the big ash tree on the lawn one very hot afternoon, when Philip announced a rather important piece of news.

"Haver Grange is let," he said.

" Is it? Oh, Philip, how do you know? Who told you? Who has taken it, and when are they coming?" asked the others.

For over twelve years now the old Grange had been empty except for a very deaf old man and his wife who lived there as caretakers. The present owner liked better to travel about the world than to live quietly in England, and his sons generally spent their holidays with him abroad.

But although the same old board had stood beside the big iron gates with "This House to be Let Furnished" written upon it in large white letters, no one had come to live in it, and the children had grown to look upon the Grange garden, with its moss grown walks and weedy flower beds, as their especial property.

"Mrs. Mills told me when I went to buy mother's stamps just now," said the boy. "She said an Italian gentleman had taken it, or an Austrian or a Frenchman she didn't know which," and Philip laughed as he helped himself to a piece of cake.

Just then the vicar turned in at the gate and crossed the lawn towards them.

"Don't bother father with questions until he has had a cup of tea," said Mrs. Carew, and six eager faces were turned towards the vicar as, with a sigh of relief, he seated himself under the shade of the tree... Continue reading book >>




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