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Leah Mordecai   By:

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This eBook was edited by Charles Aldarondo (www.aldarondo.net).

LEAH MORDECAI. A NOVEL.

BY MRS. BELLE KENDRICK ABBOTT.

NEW YORK:

1856.

TO MY BELOVED UNCLE, THE REV. J. RYLAND KENDRICK, D.D., WHOSE HOSPITABLE HOME I ONCE SPENT MANY HAPPY DAYS DAYS MADE FOR EVER BRIGHT BY THE LOVE OF HIS GREAT HEART, LOVE THAT FLOWED LIKE A PURE STREAM FROM A CRYSTAL FOUNTAIN, ABOUND AND ABOUT MY YOUNG LIFE THIS BOOK IS MOST TENDERLY

INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR.

ATLANTA, GA, November, 1875.

LEAH MORDECAI.

CHAPTER I.

THE giant clock on the wall in the assembly room of Madam Truxton's fashionable school had marked the hour for dismission.

Groups of restless, anxious pupils stood about the apartment, or were gathered at the windows, watching the rain that had been falling in copious showers since morning. All were eager to go, yet none dared brave the storm.

Under the stone archway of the entrance to the assembly hall, a group of four maidens stood chatting, apart from the rest, watching the rain, and impatient for its cessation.

"I know my father will either send my brother, or come for me himself," said Helen Le Grande, "so I need not fear the rain." Then, turning to the soft eyed Jewess who stood by her side, she added, "When the carriage comes, Leah, you can take a seat with me. I'll see that you are safely deposited at home."

"Thank you, Helen, but it won't hurt me to walk. Nothing hurts me Leah Mordecai the despised." Then, averting her face, the young girl gazed abstractedly into the street, and began humming in a low tone.

To these words of the young Jewess there was no reply. A certain sort of emphasis in her utterance seemed to forbid any inquiry, and silence any word of censure that might arise to the lips of her companions.

"How mean of me, not to offer a seat in the carriage to Lizzie Heartwell, too," thought Helen after a moment's reflection; "but I dared not, on account of my brother, who has so repeatedly urged me to make equals only of the rich. He little knows how I love Lizzie Heartwell, and whether she be rich or poor I know not, neither do I care."

"I say, girls," at length broke the silence, as the fourth member of the group, Bertha Levy, a Jewess too, spoke out, "think how stupid I am. Mamma has promised me a small tea party to morrow night, and this wretched rain had well nigh caused me to forget it; but, thank fortune, it's giving way a little, and maybe we shall all get home after awhile. I'm desperately hungry! Of course, you will all promise me to come, and I shall expect you." Then, turning to Helen, she said, "Won't you?"

Helen assented.

"And you, Leah?"

"I will if I can. I am never sure of my movements, however."

"And you, dear Lizzie?"

"With the permission of my uncle and aunt; at any rate, I thank you for your kindness."

"Well, I shall expect you every one, and "

"There comes the carriage," shouted Helen, as the liveried coach of the wealthy judge rolled round the corner, and drove up in front of the spacious school building. "I knew my father would not forget me yes, there is my brother."

The horses, thoroughly wet, looked dark and sleek as greyhounds, as they stood impatiently stamping the paving stones, while a visible cloud of vapor rose from each distended nostril.

The coach door opened, and Emile Le Grande, with handsome, manly figure clad in a gray military suit, and equally handsome face, stepped out, and approached the group so impatiently watching the progress of the storm.

"Good morning, Miss Mordecai; I am happy that we meet again," said the gentleman, politely bowing.

"Thank you, sir; but your presence rather surprises us," replied Leah.

"I trust, though, I am not an unwelcome intruder upon this fair group?"

"Allow me to remind you, my brother, that my friends, Miss Heartwell and Miss Levy, are also present," said Helen rather reproachfully.

Emile acknowledged the reproof and the courtesy with an apology and a smile, and then added, "To Miss Mordecai's charms I owe the breach of politeness... Continue reading book >>




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