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The Girl at Central   By: (1870-1930)

The Girl at Central by Geraldine Bonner

First Page:

THE GIRL AT CENTRAL BY GERALDINE BONNER

Author of "The Emigrant Trail," "The Book of Evelyn," etc.

ILLUSTRATED BY ARTHUR WILLIAM BROWN

NEW YORK AND LONDON D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 1915

Copyright, 1915, by D. Appleton and Company

Copyright, 1914, 1915, by The Curtis Publishing Company

Printed in the United States of America

[Illustration: 'Mark my words, there's going to be trouble at Mapleshade'" ]

CONTENTS

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII XIII XIV XV XVI XVII

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

'Mark my words, there's going to be trouble at Mapleshade' Sylvia was in her riding dress, looking a picture A day later he was arrested at Firehill and taken to Bloomington jail I came down to the parlor where Babbitts was waiting

I

Poor Sylvia Hesketh! Even now, after this long time, I can't think of it without a shudder, without a comeback of the horror of those days after the murder. You remember it the Hesketh mystery? And mystery it surely was, baffling, as it did, the police and the populace of the whole state. For who could guess why a girl like that, rich, beautiful, without a care or an enemy, should be done to death as she was. Think of it at five o'clock sitting with her mother taking tea in the library at Mapleshade and that same night found dead murdered by the side of a lonesome country road, a hundred and eighteen miles away.

It's the story of this that I'm going to tell here, and as you'll get a good deal of me before I'm through, I'd better, right now at the start, introduce myself.

I'm Molly Morganthau, day operator in the telephone exchange at Longwood, New Jersey, twenty three years old, dark, slim, and as for my looks well, put them down as "medium" and let it go at that. My name's Morganthau because my father was a Polish Jew a piece worker on pants but my two front names, Mary McKenna, are after my mother, who was from County Galway, Ireland. I was raised in an East Side tenement, but I went steady to the Grammar school and through the High and I'm not throwing bouquets at myself when I say I made a good record. That's how I come to be nervy enough to write this story but you'll see for yourself. Only just keep in mind that I'm more at home in front of a switchboard than at a desk.

I've supported myself since I was sixteen, my father dying then, and my mother God rest her blessed memory! two years later. First I was in a department store and then in the Telephone Company. I haven't a relation in the country and if I had I wouldn't have asked a nickel off them. I'm that kind, independent and but that's enough about me.

Now for you to rightly get what I'm going to tell I'll have to begin with a description of Longwood village and the country round about. I've made a sort of diagram it isn't drawn to scale but it gives the general effect, all right and with that and what I'll describe you can get an idea of the lay of the land, which you have to have to understand things.

Longwood's in New Jersey, a real picturesque village of a thousand inhabitants. It's a little over an hour from New York by the main line and here and there round it are country places, mostly fine ones owned by rich people. There are some farms too, and along the railway and the turnpike are other villages. My exchange is the central office for a good radius of country, taking in Azalea, twenty five miles above us on the main line, and running its wires out in a big circle to the scattered houses and the crossroad settlements. It's on Main Street, opposite the station, and from my chair at the switchboard I can see the platform and the trains as they come down from Cherry Junction or up from New York... Continue reading book >>




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