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The Honorable Percival   By: (1870-1942)

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THE HONORABLE PERCIVAL

[Illustration: Their boat had sailed]

THE HONORABLE PERCIVAL

BY ALICE HEGAN RICE

AUTHOR OF "MRS. WIGGS OF THE CABBAGE PATCH," "A ROMANCE OF BILLY GOAT HILL," ETC.

NEW YORK THE CENTURY CO. 1914

Copyright, 1914, by THE CENTURY CO. Copyright, 1914, by MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE

Published, October, 1914

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I A BLIGHTED BEING

II A COUNTER IRRITANT

III CONVALESCENCE

IV COUNTER CURRENTS

V STRANDED

VI IN THE WIND SHELTER

VII THE DAY THAT NEVER WAS

VIII IN THE CROW'S NEST

IX DRAGGING ANCHOR

X ON THE SEARCH

XI THE GYMKHANA

XII THE SONG OF THE SIREN

XIII PERCIVAL PROCRASTINATES

XIV NEPTUNE TAKES A HAND

XV PERCIVAL RISES TO AN OCCASION

XVI IN PORT

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Their boat had sailed

"Well, did you ever! Where did you come from?"

Her hair, still damp, was hanging about her shoulders, and she carried a bundle of bath towels under her arm

"Mr. Hascombe!" she demanded breathlessly, "you'll take me out in the surf boat, won't you?"

At a break neck speed towards the wharf

"I don't know what makes me so everlastingly silly!" she said fiercely trying to swallow the rising sobs, "but he won't understand!"

"I like the way your mouth looks when you read it"

"Roberta!" he called sternly. "What are you doing out here?"

"You will have to join the crowd," suggested Bobby when Percival complained of not seeing her as often as he wished

"If you want to hold my hand, Mr. Hascombe, you are welcome to it"

He sat on a table swinging his feet in unison with a lot of other young feet, while he sipped lemonade from the same glass as Bobby Boynton

"Isn't that the prettiest thing you ever saw?" she asked, glancing at him over her shoulder

"It's quite worth while," he said, "getting a jab in the wrist, to have you looking after me like this"

"I'm so sorry!" whispered Bobby, putting her arm impulsively around his heaving shoulders

THE HONORABLE PERCIVAL

I

A BLIGHTED BEING

The Honorable Percival Hascombe came aboard the Pacific liner about to sail from San Francisco, preceded by a fur coat, a gun case, two pigskin bags, a hat box, and a valet. He was tall and slender, and moved with an air of fastidious distinction. He wore a small mustache, a monocle, and an expression of unutterable ennui. His costume consisted of a smart tweed traveling suit, with cap to match, white spats, and a pair of binoculars swung across his shoulders. In his eyes was the look, carefully maintained, of one who has sounded the depths of human tragedy.

Since his advent into the world twenty eight years before, he had been made to feel but one responsibility. His elder brother, having persistently refused to provide himself with a wife and heir, the duty of perpetuating the family name fell upon him, Percival Hascombe, second son of the late Earl of Westenhanger, of Hascombe Hall, fifth in descent from the great Westenhanger whose marble effigy adorns the dullest and most respectable cathedral in southern England.

From the time Percival had been able to cast a discriminating eye, his adoring family had presented the feminine flowers of the country side for his inspection. One after another they had met with his grave consideration and subsequent disapprobation. Fears had begun to be entertained that he would follow in the solitary footsteps of his bachelor brother, when Lady Hortense Vevay appeared on the scene.

Lady Hortense, with her mother, the Duchess of Dare, had come down to Devon for the shooting one autumn, seeking rest after a strenuous social season following her presentation at court. She had been there less than a week when she bagged the biggest game in the neighborhood. The explanation was obvious: the Lady Hortense had no faults to be discovered. The closest inspection through two pairs of glasses, Percival's and her own, failed to reveal a flaw... Continue reading book >>




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