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The Hollow of Her Hand   By: (1866-1928)

Book cover

First Page:

Charles Aldarondo, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

[Illustration: "The black pile is mine, the gay pile is yours," she went on, turning toward the sleeping girl]

THE HOLLOW OF HER HAND

By GEORGE BARR McCUTCHEON

CONTENTS

I MARCH COMES IN LIKE THE LION

II THE PASSING OF A NIGHT

III HETTY CASTLETON

IV WHILE THE MOB WAITED

V DISCUSSING A SISTER IN LAW

VI SOUTHLOOK

VII A FAITHFUL CRAYON POINT

VIII IN WHICH HETTY IS WEIGHED

IX HAWKRIGHT'S MODEL

X THE GHOST AT THE FEAST

XI MAN PROPOSES

XII THE APPROACH OF A MAN NAMED SMITH

XIII MR. WRANDALL PERJURES HIMSELF

XIV IN THE SHADOW OF THE MILL

XV SARA WRANDALL FINDS THE TRUTH

XVI THE SECOND ENCOUNTER

XVII CROSSING THE CHANNEL

XVIII RATTLING OLD BONES

XIX VIVIAN AIRS HER OPINIONS

XX ONCE MORE AT BURTON'S INN

XXI DISTURBING NEWS

XXII THE HOLLOW OF HER HAND

XXIII SARA WRANDALL'S DECISION

XXIV THE JURY OF FOUR

XXV RENUNCIATION

CHAPTER I

MARCH COMES IN LIKE THE LION

The train, which had roared through a withering gale of sleet all the way up from New York, came to a standstill, with many an ear splitting sigh, alongside the little station, and a reluctant porter opened his vestibule door to descend to the snow swept platform: a solitary passenger had reached the journey's end. The swirl of snow and sleet screaming out of the blackness at the end of the station building enveloped the porter in an instant, and cut his ears and neck with stinging force as he turned his back against the gale. A pair of lonely, half obscured platform lights gleamed fatuously at the top of their icy posts at each end of the station; two or three frost encrusted windows glowed dully in the side of the building, while one shone brightly where the operator sat waiting for the passing of No. 33.

The train itself was dark. Frosty windows, pelted for miles by the furious gale, white outside but black within, protected the snug travellers who slept the sleep of the hurried and thought not of the storm that beat about their ears nor wondered at the stopping of the fast express at a place where it had never stopped before. Far ahead the panting engine shed from its open fire box an aureole of glaring red as the stoker fed coal into its rapacious maw. The unblinking head light threw its rays into the thick of the blinding snow storm, fruitlessly searching for the rails through drifts denser than fog and filled with strange, half visible shapes.

An order had been issued for the stopping of the fast express at B , a noteworthy concession in these days of premeditated haste. Not in the previous career of flying 33 had it even so much as slowed down for the insignificant little station, through which it swooped at midnight the whole year round. Just before pulling out of New York on this eventful night the conductor received a command to stop 33 at B and let down a single passenger, a circumstance which meant trouble for every despatcher along the line.

The woman who got down at B in the wake of the shivering but deferential porter, and who passed by the conductors without lifting her face, was without hand luggage of any description. She was heavily veiled, and warmly clad in furs. At eleven o'clock that night she had entered the compartment in New York. Throughout the thirty miles or more, she had sat alone and inert beside the snow clogged window, peering through veil and frost into the night that whizzed past the pane, seeing nothing yet apparently intent on all that stretched beyond. As still, as immobile as death itself she had held herself from the moment of departure to the instant that brought the porter with the word that they were whistling for B . Without a word she arose and followed him to the vestibule, where she watched him as he unfastened the outer door and lifted the trap. A single word escaped her lips and he held out his hand to receive the crumpled bill she clutched in her gloved fingers. He did not look at it. He knew that it would amply reward him for the brief exposure he endured on the lonely, wind swept platform of a station, the name of which he did not know... Continue reading book >>




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