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Heart of the Blue Ridge   By: (1871-)

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Illustrations Shown in this Edition are Reproductions of Scenes from the Photo Play of "Heart of the Blue Ridge," with Clara Kimball Young as the Heroine, Under the Direction of Lewis J. Selznick, to whom The Publishers Desire to Express Their Thanks and Appreciation for Permission to Use the Pictures.

[Illustration: Clara Kimball Young under the direction of Lewis J. Selznick. PLUTINA.]

HEART OF THE BLUE RIDGE

BY

WALDRON BAILY

ILLUSTRATED WITH SCENES FROM THE PHOTOPLAY, WITH CLARA KIMBALL YOUNG AS THE HEROINE, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF LEWIS J. SELZNICK

[Illustration]

NEW YORK

GROSSET & DUNLAP

PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1915, by

W. J. WATT & COMPANY

TO

Irving Bacheller

WITH THE APPRECIATION OF THE AUTHOR

Heart of the Blue Ridge

HEART OF THE BLUE RIDGE

CHAPTER I

Where the trail bent over a knoll, Zeke halted, and put down from his shoulder the hickory cudgel with its dangling valise of black oilcloth total of baggage with which he was faring forth into the world. Then, he straightened himself, and looked back over the way he had come.

There, to the east, the dusk of night still lay somberly, hardly touched by the coming dawn. Through the shadows, the mountain masses loomed formidable and mysterious, vaguely outlined against the deeper gloom of valleys. The melancholy of the scene seemed a fit setting for the cottage that rested invisible within the forest, a half mile distant from him. In imagination, he saw the withered old woman, his mother, still standing on the threshold, looking toward him, even as he looked toward her, her heart warm with love, her every thought a prayer for his happiness. It was borne in on Zeke once again that she would be very lonely in her desolate home, where death had spared to her only this son.... And, now, he was gone from her! A poignant sorrow welled in him.

Zeke thrust the emotion away, lest it unman him. He faced about, drearily enough, and stood with downcast, unseeing eyes, in anxious pondering. And then, presently, assuagement was granted him. He lifted his gaze, and behold! here was another world, all of soft splendors, of throbbing radiance.

The eager beams of the unrisen sun shimmered above the mountain ranges of the horizon, and streamed toward the zenith in a panoply of harmonious hues, colorful promise of the May morning's joyous mood. Of a sudden, under the soothing influence, the watcher became listener as well. His ears noted with delight the glad singing of the birds in the wood around about. His glance caught the white gleam of the tiny belled blossoms that clustered on a crooked sour wood by the path, and the penetrant perfume of them stirred to life a new and subtler emotion. A flame of tenderness burned in the clear hazel of his eyes, as he stared out over the trail before him. Under the increasing light his gaze could distinguish the line of the valley a mile further on, in which the Siddon cottage lay hidden. His firmly set lips relaxed abruptly into a smile of wistful softness. He swung stick and bag across his shoulder once again, and set off briskly down the slope of the knoll. His thoughts were no longer gray over the mother who mourned his going: they were roseate with anticipations of beholding the girl he loved. Now, the mood of the morning danced in his blood. The palpitant desire of all nature in the spring thrilled through his heart. His mind was filled with a vision of her gracious young loveliness, so soon to be present before him at their meeting.... Their meeting their parting! At thought of that corollary, a cold despair clutched the lad, a despair that was nothing like the sedate sorrow over leaving his mother, a despair that was physical sickness, wrenching, nauseating, but passed beyond the physical to rack the deeps of being. For the first time, jealousy surged hideous in him, born of the realization that she must be left exposed to the wooing of other men she, the utterly desirable! In a fierce impulse of mingled fear and rage, he stopped short, and cried out:

"I'll be damned if they kin steal her! She's mine... Continue reading book >>




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