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The Last Hope   By: (1862-1903)

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THE LAST HOPE

By Henry Seton Merriman

"What is it thou knowest, sweet voice?" I cried. "A hidden hope," the voice replied.

CONTENTS

I. LE ROI EST MORT II. VIVE LE ROI III. THE RETURN OF "THE LAST HOPE" IV. THE MARQUIS'S CREED V. ON THE DYKE VI. THE STORY OF THE CASTAWAYS VII. ON THE SCENT VIII. THE LITTLE BOY WHO WAS A KING IX. A MISTAKE X. IN THE ITALIAN HOUSE XI. A BEGINNING XII. THE SECRET OF GEMOSAC XIII. WITHIN THE GATES XIV. THE LIFTED VEIL XV. THE TURN OF THE TIDE XVI. THE GAMBLERS XVII. ON THE PONT ROYAL XVIII. THE CITY THAT SOON FORGETS XIX. IN THE BREACH XX. "NINETEEN" XXI. NO. 8 RUELLE ST. JACOB XXII. DROPPING THE PILOT XXIII. A SIMPLE BANKER XXIV. THE LANE OF MANY TURNINGS XXV. SANS RANCUNE XXVI. RETURNED EMPTY XXVII. OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES XXVIII. BAREBONE'S PRICE XXIX. IN THE DARK XXX. IN THE FURROW AGAIN XXXI. THE THURSDAY OF MADAME DE CHANTONNAY XXXII. PRIMROSES XXXIII. DORMER COLVILLE IS BLIND XXXIV. A SORDID MATTER XXXV. A SQUARE MAN XXXVI. MRS. ST. PIERRE LAWRENCE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND XXXVII. AN UNDERSTANDING XXXVIII. A COUP D'ETAT XXXIX. "JOHN DARBY" XL. FARLINGFORD ONCE MORE

CHAPTER I. LE ROI EST MORT

"There; that's it. That's where they buried Frenchman," said Andrew known as River Andrew. For there was another Andrew who earned his living on the sea.

River Andrew had conducted the two gentlemen from "The Black Sailor" to the churchyard by their own request. A message had been sent to him in the morning that this service would be required of him, to which he had returned the answer that they would have to wait until the evening. It was his day to go round Marshford way with dried fish, he said; but in the evening they could see the church if they still set their minds on it.

River Andrew combined the light duties of grave digger and clerk to the parish of Farlingford in Suffolk with a small but steady business in fish of his own drying, nets of his own netting, and pork slain and dressed by his own weather beaten hands.

For Farlingford lies in that part of England which reaches seaward toward the Fatherland, and seems to have acquired from that proximity an insatiable appetite for sausages and pork. On these coasts the killing of pigs and the manufacture of sausages would appear to employ the leisure of the few, who for one reason or another have been deemed unfit for the sea. It is not our business to inquire why River Andrew had never used the fickle element. All that lay in the past. And in a degree he was saved from the disgrace of being a landsman by the smell of tar and bloaters that heralded his coming, by the blue jersey and the brown homespun trousers which he wore all the week, and by the saving word which distinguished him from the poor inland lubbers who had no dealings with water at all.

He had this evening laid aside his old sou'wester worn in fair and foul weather alike for his Sunday hat. His head part was therefore official and lent additional value to the words recorded. He spoke them, moreover, with a dim note of aggressiveness which might only have been racy of a soil breeding men who are curt and clear of speech. But there was more than an East Anglian bluffness in the statement and the manner of its delivery, as his next observation at once explained.

"Passen thinks it's over there by the yew tree but he's wrong. That there one was a wash up found by old Willem the lighthouse keeper one morning early. No! this is where Frenchman was laid by."

He indicated with the toe of his sea boot a crumbling grave which had never been distinguished by a headstone. The grass grew high all over Farlingford churchyard, almost hiding the mounds where the forefathers slept side by side with the nameless "wash ups," to whom they had extended a last hospitality... Continue reading book >>




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