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

The Guarded Heights   By: (1879-1936)

Book cover

First Page:

THE GUARDED HEIGHTS

BY WADSWORTH CAMP

FRONTISPIECE BY C. D. MITCHELL

GARDEN CITY, N. Y., AND TORONTO DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 1921

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

COPYRIGHT 1920, BY P. F. COLLIER & SON COMPANY

[Illustration: "GEORGE WATCHED SYLVIA LIFT HER RIDING CROP, HER FACE DISCLOSING A TEMPER TO MATCH HIS OWN"]

CONTENTS

PART I OAKMONT

PART II PRINCETON

PART III THE MARKET PLACE

PART IV THE FOREST

PART V THE NEW WORLD

THE GUARDED HEIGHTS

PART I

OAKMONT

I

George Morton never could be certain when he first conceived the preposterous idea that Sylvia Planter ought to belong to him. The full realization, at any rate, came all at once, unexpectedly, destroying his dreary outlook, urging him to fantastic heights, and, for that matter, to rather curious depths.

It was, altogether, a year of violent change. After a precarious survival of a rural education he had done his best to save his father's livery business which cheap automobiles had persistently undermined. He liked that, for he had spent his vacations, all his spare hours, indeed, at the stable or on the road, so that by the time the crash came he knew more of horses and rode better than any hunting, polo playing gentleman he had ever seen about that rich countryside. Nor was there any one near his own age who could stand up to him in a rough and tumble argument. Yet he wondered why he was restless, not appreciating that he craved broader worlds to conquer. Then the failure came, and his close relation with the vast Planter estate of Oakmont, and the arrival of Sylvia, who disclosed such worlds and heralded the revolution.

That spring of his twentieth year the stable and all its stock went to the creditors, and old Planter bought the small frame house just outside the village, on the edge of his estate, and drew his boundary around it. He was willing that the Mortons should remain for the present in their old home at a nominal rent, and after a fashion they might struggle along, for George's mother was exceptionally clever at cleansing fine laces and linens; the estate would have work for his father from time to time; as for himself, Planter's superintendent suggested, there were new and difficult horses at Oakmont and a scarcity of trustworthy grooms. George shook his head.

"Sure, I want a job," he admitted, "but not as old Planter's servant, or anybody else's. I want to be my own boss."

George hadn't guessed that his reputation as a horseman had travelled as far as the big house. The superintendent explained that it had, and that, living at home, merely helping out for the summer, he would be quite apart from the ordinary men around the stables. His parents sensed a threat. They begged him to accept.

"We've got to do as Old Planter wants at the start or he'll put us out, and we're too old to make another home."

So George went with his head up, telling himself he was doing Planter a favour; but he didn't like it, and almost at once commenced to plan to get away, if he could, without hurting his parents. Then Sylvia, just home from her last year at school, came into the stable toward the end of his day's work. Her overpowering father was with her, and her brother, Lambert, who was about George's age. She examined interestedly the horse reserved for her, and one or two others of which she was envious.

George wanted to stare at her. He had only glimpsed her casually and at a distance in summers gone by. Now she was close, and he knew he had never seen anything to match her slender, adolescent figure, or her finely balanced face with its intolerant eyes and its frame of black hair.

"But," he heard her say to her father in a flexible contralto voice, "I don't care to bother you or Lambert every time I want to ride."

An argument, unintelligible to George, flowed for a moment... 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
Languages
Paid Books