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The House of Martha   By: (1834-1902)

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Boston and New York Houghton, Mifflin and Company The Riverside Press, Cambridge 1891 Copyright, 1891, By Frank B. Stockton. All rights reserved. The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A. Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.



I. My Grandmother and I

II. Relating to my Year in Europe

III. The Modern Use of the Human Ear

IV. I obtain a Listener

V. Chester Walkirk

VI. My Under Study

VII. My Book

VIII. The Malarial Adjunct

IX. Walkirk's Idea

X. The Plan of Seclusion

XI. My Nun

XII. Eza

XIII. My Friend Vespa

XIV. I favor Permanency in Office

XV. How we went back to Genoa

XVI. I run upon a Sandbar

XVII. Regarding the Elucidation of National Characteristics

XVIII. An Illegible Word

XIX. Gray Ice

XX. Tomaso and I

XXI. Lucilla and I

XXII. I close my Book

XXIII. Racket Island

XXIV. The Interpolation

XXV. About Sylvia

XXVI. Mother Anastasia

XXVII. A Person

XXVIII. The Floating Grocery

XXIX. Fantasy?

XXX. A Discovery

XXXI. Taking up Unfinished Work

XXXII. Tomaso and Lucilla

XXXIII. The Distant Topsail

XXXIV. The Central Hotel

XXXV. Money makes the Mare go

XXXVI. In the Shade of the Oak

XXXVII. The Performance of my Under Study

XXXVIII. A Broken Trace

XXXIX. A Soul Whisper?

XL. An Inspiration

XLI. Miss Laniston

XLII. The Mother Superior

XLIII. Was his Heart true to Poll?

XLIV. Preliminary Brotherhood

XLV. I make Coffee and get into Hot Water

XLVI. Going back for a Friend

XLVII. I interest Miss Laniston

XLVIII. In a Cold, Bare Room

XLIX. My Own Way

L. My Book of Travel

LI. A Loose End

LII. I finish the Sicilian Love Story




My grandmother sat in her own particular easy chair by the open window of her back parlor. This was a pleasant place in which to sit in the afternoon, for the sun was then on the other side of the house, and she could look not only over the smooth grass of the side yard and the flower beds, which were under her especial care, but across the corner of the front lawn into the village street. Here, between two handsome maple trees which stood upon the sidewalk, she could see something of what was going on in the outer world without presenting the appearance of one who is fond of watching her neighbors. It was not much that she saw, for the street was a quiet one; but a very little of that sort of thing satisfied her.

She was a woman who was easily satisfied. As a proof of this, I may say that she looked upon me as a man who always did what was right. Indeed, I am quite sure there were cases when she saved herself a good deal of perplexing cogitation by assuming that a thing was right because I did it. I was her only grandchild: my father and mother had died when I was very young, and I had always lived with her, that is, her house had always been my home; and as I am sure there had never been any reason why I should not be a dutiful and affectionate grandson, it was not surprising that she looked upon me with a certain tender partiality, and that she considered me worthy of all the good that she or fortune could bestow upon me.

My grandmother was nearly seventy, but her physical powers had been excellently well preserved; and as to her mental vigor, I could see no change in it. Even when a little boy I had admired her powers of sympathetic consideration, by which she divined the needs and desires of her fellow creatures; and now that I had become a grown man I found those powers as active and ready as they had ever been.

The village in which we lived contained a goodly number of families of high standing and comfortable fortune. It was a village of well kept and well shaded streets, of close cut grass, with no litter on the sidewalks... Continue reading book >>

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