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John Marchmont's Legacy, Volume III (of 3)   By: (1835-1915)

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JOHN MARCHMONT'S LEGACY.

BY [M.E. Braddon] THE AUTHOR OF "LADY AUDLEY'S SECRET," ETC. ETC. ETC.

IN THREE VOLUMES

VOL. III.

Published by Tinsley Brothers of London in 1863 (third edition).

CONTENTS. CHAPTER I. CAPTAIN ARUNDEL'S REVENGE. CHAPTER II. THE DESERTED CHAMBERS. CHAPTER III. TAKING IT QUIETLY. CHAPTER IV. MISS LAWFORD SPEAKS HER MIND. CHAPTER V. THE RETURN OF THE WANDERER. CHAPTER VI. A WIDOWER'S PROPOSAL. CHAPTER VII. HOW THE TIDINGS WERE RECEIVED IN LINCOLNSHIRE. CHAPTER VIII. MR. WESTON REFUSES TO BE TRAMPLED ON. CHAPTER IX. "GOING TO BE MARRIED!" CHAPTER X. THE TURNING OF THE TIDE. CHAPTER XI. BELINDA'S WEDDING DAY. CHAPTER XII. MARY'S STORY. CHAPTER XIII. "ALL WITHIN IS DARK AS NIGHT." CHAPTER XIV. "THERE IS CONFUSION WORSE THAN DEATH." CHAPTER THE LAST. "DEAR IS THE MEMORY OF OUR WEDDED LIVES." THE EPILOGUE.

JOHN MARCHMONT'S LEGACY.

VOLUME III.

CHAPTER I.

CAPTAIN ARUNDEL'S REVENGE.

Edward Arundel went back to his lonely home with a settled purpose in his mind. He would leave Lincolnshire, and immediately. He had no motive for remaining. It may be, indeed, that he had a strong motive for going away from the neighbourhood of Lawford Grange. There was a lurking danger in the close vicinage of that pleasant, old fashioned country mansion, and the bright band of blue eyed damsels who inhabited there.

"I will turn my back upon Lincolnshire for ever," Edward Arundel said to himself once more, upon his way homeward through the October twilight; "but before I go, the whole country shall know what I think of Paul Marchmont."

He clenched his fists and ground his teeth involuntarily as he thought this.

It was quite dark when he let himself in at the old fashioned half glass door that led into his humble sitting room at Kemberling Retreat. He looked round the little chamber, which had been furnished forty years before by the proprietor of the cottage, and had served for one tenant after another, until it seemed as if the spindle legged chairs and tables had grown attenuated and shadowy by much service. He looked at the simple room, lighted by a bright fire and a pair of wax candles in antique silver candlesticks. The red firelight flickered and trembled upon the painted roses on the walls, on the obsolete engravings in clumsy frames of imitation ebony and tarnished gilt. A silver tea service and a Sèvres china cup and saucer, which Mrs. Arundel had sent to the cottage for her son's use, stood upon the small oval table: and a brown setter, a favourite of the young man's, lay upon the hearth rug, with his chin upon his outstretched paws, blinking at the blaze.

As Mr. Arundel lingered in the doorway, looking at these things, an image rose before him, as vivid and distinct as any apparition of Professor Pepper's manufacture; and he thought of what that commonplace cottage chamber might have been if his young wife had lived. He could fancy her bending over the low silver teapot, the sprawling inartistic teapot, that stood upon quaint knobs like gouty feet, and had been long ago banished from the Dangerfield breakfast table as utterly rococo and ridiculous. He conjured up the dear dead face, with faint blushes flickering amidst its lily pallor, and soft hazel eyes looking up at him through the misty steam of the tea table, innocent and virginal as the eyes of that mythic nymph who was wont to appear to the old Roman king. How happy she would have been! How willing to give up fortune and station, and to have lived for ever and ever in that queer old cottage, ministering to him and loving him!

Presently the face changed. The hazel brown hair was suddenly lit up with a glitter of barbaric gold; the hazel eyes grew blue and bright; and the cheeks blushed rosy red. The young man frowned at this new and brighter vision; but he contemplated it gravely for some moments, and then breathed a long sigh, which was somehow or other expressive of relief.

"No," he said to himself, "I am not false to my poor lost girl; I do not forget her... Continue reading book >>




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