Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Key to Yesterday   By: (1879-1930)

Book cover

First Page:

THE KEY TO YESTERDAY

by

CHARLES NEVILLE BUCK

New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers

Copyright, 1910, by W. J. Watt & Company

[Illustration: {Saxon and Duska with her portrait}]

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I 1 CHAPTER II 22 CHAPTER III 37 CHAPTER IV 55 CHAPTER V 70 CHAPTER VI 88 CHAPTER VII 102 CHAPTER VIII 119 CHAPTER IX 134 CHAPTER X 156 CHAPTER XI 172 CHAPTER XII 186 CHAPTER XIII 207 CHAPTER XIV 221 CHAPTER XV 238 CHAPTER XVI 255 CHAPTER XVII 270 CHAPTER XVIII 285 CHAPTER XIX 304 CHAPTER XX 315 CHAPTER XXI 333

The Key to Yesterday

CHAPTER I

The palings of the grandstand inclosure creaked in protest under the pressure. The shadows of forward surging men wavered far out across the track. A smother of ondriving dust broke, hurricane like, around the last turn, sweeping before it into the straightaway a struggling mass of horse flesh and a confusion of stable colors. Back to the right, the grandstand came to its feet, bellowing in a madman's chorus.

Out of the forefront of the struggle strained a blood bay colt. The boy, crouched over the shoulders, was riding with hand and heel to the last ounce of his strength and the last subtle feather weight of his craft and skill. At his saddleskirts pressed a pair of distended nostrils and a black, foam flecked muzzle. Behind, with a gap of track and daylight between, trailed the laboring "ruck."

A tall stranger, who had lost his companion and host in the maelstrom of the betting shed, had taken his stand near the angle where the paddock grating meets the track fence. A Derby crowd at Churchill Downs is a congestion of humanity, and in the obvious impossibility of finding his friend he could here at least give his friend the opportunity of finding him, since at this point were a few panels of fence almost clear. As the two colts fought out the final decisive furlongs, the black nose stealing inch by inch along the bay neck, the stranger's face wore an interest not altogether that of the casual race goer. His shoulders were thrown back, and his rather lean jaw angle swept into an uncompromising firmness of chin just now uptilted.

The man stood something like six feet of clear cut physical fitness. There was a declaration in his breadth of shoulder and depth of chest, in his slenderness of waist and thigh, of a life spent only partly within walls, while the free swing of torso might have intimated to the expert observer that some of it had been spent in the saddle.

Of the face itself, the eyes were the commanding features. They were gray eyes, set under level brows; keenly observant by token of their clear light, yet tinged by a half wistful softness that dwells hauntingly in the eyes of dreamers.

Just now, the eyes saw not only the determination of a four furlong dash for two year olds, but also, across the fresh turf of the infield, the radiant magic of May, under skies washed brilliant by April's rains.

Then, as the colts came abreast and passed in a muffled roar of drumming hoofs, his eyes suddenly abandoned the race at the exact moment of its climax: as hundreds of heads craned toward the judges' stand, his own gaze became a stare focused on a point near his elbow.

He stared because he had seen, as it seemed to him, a miracle, and the miracle was a girl. It was, at all events, nothing short of miraculous that such a girl should be discovered standing, apparently unaccompanied, down in this bricked area, a few yards from the paddock and the stools of the bookmakers.

Unlike his own, her eyes had remained constant to the outcome of the race, and now her face was averted, so that only the curve of one cheek, a small ear and a curling tendril of brown hair under the wide, soft brim of her Panama hat rewarded him for the surrender of the spectacle on the track... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books