Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Gladys, the Reaper   By:

Book cover

First Page:




Author of Fay Arlington , Simplicity and Fascination , The Miller's Daughter , etc. etc.

... standing like Ruth amid the alien corn

Griffith Farran Browne & Co. Limited 35 Bow Street, Covent Garden London


[Illustration: Frontispiece.]



It is an evening in June, and the skies that have been weeping of late, owing to some calamity best known to themselves, have suddenly dried their eyes, and called up a smile to enliven their gloomy countenances. The farmers, who have been shaking their heads at sight of the unmown grass, and predicting a bad hay harvest, are beginning to brighten up with the weather, and to consult upon the propriety of mowing to morrow. The barometer is gently tapped by many a sturdy hand, and the result is favourable; so that there are good prospects of a few weeks' sunshine to atone for the late clouds.

Sunshine: how gracious it is just now! Down yonder in the west, that ancient of days, the sun throws around him his evening glory, and right royally he does it. The rain covered meadows glow beneath it, like so many lakes the river looks up rejoicing, and the distant mountains are wrapped in garments dyed in the old king's own regal colours. The woods look as smooth and glossy as the braided locks of maidens prepared for conquests; and the roads and paths that wind here and there amongst the trees, are as gay as little streamlets in the sun's reflected light.

Suddenly a rainbow leaps, as it were, out of the river, and spans, with its mighty arch, the country scene before us.

'A rainbow at night Is the shepherd's delight;'

so the proverbially grumbling farmers will have another prognostic to clear their countenances.

Perchance the worthy man who inhabits the farm we have just reached, may be congratulating himself upon it, as he jogs home from market this Saturday evening. If he could look upon his homestead with our eyes, I feel sure he would cease to despond. How cheerily the wide, slated roof gleams forth from amongst the trees, and returns the warm glance of the sun with one almost as warm, albeit proceeding from a very moist eyelid! How gladly the white smoke arises once more, spirally, from the large chimneys, after having been so long depressed by the heavy atmosphere! and how the massive ivy that covers the gable end, responds to the songs of the birds that warble their evening gladness amongst its gleaming leaves! The face of the dwelling is as cheerful as are the sun, river, mountains and meads, that it looks down upon from its slight elevation. Every leaf of the vine and pyrus japonica that covers its front, is bedecked with a diamond; and the roses, laburnums, nasturtiums, and other gay flowers in the garden, drop jewels more freely than the maiden in the fairy tale, as they glisten beneath the rainbow.

This is what we see from the hawthorn lane below the house; but walking up into the highroad at the back, the scene changes, and just as our sympathies with beautiful nature were called forth below, so are they instantaneously assailed by our fellow creatures above.

We come to the substantial gate that is the entrance to the pretty farm, and a curious and a motley group is there. We see such groups almost daily, here in Carmarthenshire; but as all the counties of England and Wales are not thoroughfares for the Irish from their country to England, we will describe these poor people as graphically as we can. There is evidently a consultation going on amongst them, and the general attention is directed to one individual of their party.

This is a young girl of some seventeen or eighteen years of age. She is seated on the ground, and leans her back against the stone wall that flanks the substantial gate afore mentioned. To judge from her general appearance she can scarcely belong to the ragged set that surround her, for there is an attempt at neatness and cleanliness in her attire, though it is poor enough, that the rest cannot boast of... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books