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The House in the Mist   By: (1846-1935)

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The Pocket Books

A series designed to represent the three aspects of American romance, adventure, mystery and humor

THE AMETHYST BOX By Anna Katharine Green

A detective story of a Newport wedding

THE HOUSE IN THE MIST By Anna Katharine Green

A tale of unexpected fortunes. Including also The Ruby and the Caldron

ENCHANTMENT By Harold MacGrath

Short stories of whimsical adventure

THE PRINCESS ELOPES By Harold MacGrath

An extravagant romance of a European Duchy

THE MOTORMANIACS By Lloyd Osbourne

Tales of the road and the automobile

[Illustration]

THE HOUSE IN THE MIST

By ANNA KATHARINE GREEN

Author of The Millionaire Baby The Amethyst Box The Filigree Ball, etc., etc.

INDIANAPOLIS THE BOBBS MERRILL COMPANY PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT 1905 THE BOBBS MERRILL COMPANY

CONTENTS

THE HOUSE IN THE MIST

I AN OPEN DOOR II WITH MY EAR TO THE WAINSCOTING III A LIFE DRAMA IV THE FINAL SHOCK

THE RUBY AND THE CALDRON

THE HOUSE IN THE MIST

I

AN OPEN DOOR

It was a night to drive any man indoors. Not only was the darkness impenetrable, but the raw mist enveloping hill and valley made the open road anything but desirable to a belated wayfarer like myself.

Being young, untrammeled, and naturally indifferent to danger, I was not averse to adventure; and having my fortune to make, was always on the look out for El Dorado, which, to ardent souls, lies ever beyond the next turning. Consequently, when I saw a light shimmering through the mist at my right, I resolved to make for it and the shelter it so opportunely offered.

But I did not realize then, as I do now, that shelter does not necessarily imply refuge, or I might not have undertaken this adventure with so light a heart. Yet, who knows? The impulses of an unfettered spirit lean toward daring, and youth, as I have said, seeks the strange, the unknown and, sometimes, the terrible.

My path toward this light was by no means an easy one. After confused wanderings through tangled hedges, and a struggle with obstacles of whose nature I received the most curious impression in the surrounding murk, I arrived in front of a long, low building which, to my astonishment, I found standing with doors and windows open to the pervading mist, save for one square casement through which the light shone from a row of candles placed on a long mahogany table.

The quiet and seeming emptiness of this odd and picturesque building made me pause. I am not much affected by visible danger, but this silent room, with its air of sinister expectancy, struck me most unpleasantly, and I was about to reconsider my first impulse and withdraw again to the road, when a second look, thrown back upon the comfortable interior I was leaving, convinced me of my folly and sent me straight toward the door which stood so invitingly open.

But half way up the path, my progress was again stayed by the sight of a man issuing from the house I had so rashly looked upon as devoid of all human presence. He seemed in haste and, at the moment my eye first fell on him, was engaged in replacing his watch in his pocket.

But he did not shut the door behind him, which I thought odd, especially as his final glance had been a backward one, and seemed to take in all the appointments of the place he was so hurriedly leaving.

As we met, he raised his hat. This likewise struck me as peculiar, for the deference he displayed was more marked than that usually bestowed on strangers, while his lack of surprise at an encounter more or less startling in such a mist was calculated to puzzle an ordinary man like myself. Indeed, he was so little impressed by my presence there that he was for passing me without a word or any other hint of good fellowship, save the bow of which I have spoken. But this did not suit me. I was hungry, cold, and eager for creature comforts, and the house before me gave forth not only heat, but a savory odor which in itself was an invitation hard to ignore... Continue reading book >>




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