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The Lighted Match   By: (1879-1930)

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First Page:

THE LIGHTED MATCH

[Illustration: SHE HELD OUT HER HAND TO BENTON AND WATCHED, TRANCE LIKE, HIS LOWERED HEAD AS HE BENT HIS LIPS TO HER FINGERS.]

The LIGHTED MATCH

by

CHARLES NEVILLE BUCK

Author of

The Key to Yesterday

Illustrations by R. F. Schabelitz

W. J. Watt & Company Publishers New York

COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY W. J. WATT & COMPANY

Published May

PRESS OF BRAUNWORTH & CO. BOOKBINDERS AND PRINTERS BROOKLYN, N. Y.

To K. du P.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I AN OMEN IS CONSTRUED 9

II BENTON PLAYS MAGICIAN 17

III THE MOON OVERHEARS 28

IV THE DOCTRINE ACCORDING TO JONESY 40

V IT IS DECIDED TO MASQUERADE 49

VI IN WHICH ROMEO BECOMES DROMIO 56

VII IN WHICH DROMIO BECOMES ROMEO 70

VIII THE PRINCESS CONSULTS JONESY 82

IX THE TOREADOR APPEARS 92

X OF CERTAIN TRANSPIRINGS AT A CAFÉ TABLE 102

XI THE PASSING PRINCESS AND THE MISTAKEN COUNTESS 112

XII BENTON MUST DECIDE 123

XIII CONCERNING FAREWELLS AND WARNINGS 137

XIV COUNTESS AND CABINET NOIR JOIN FORCES 144

XV THE TOREADOR BECOMES AMBASSADOR 155

XVI THE AMBASSADOR BECOMES ADMIRAL 167

XVII BENTON CALLS ON THE KING 178

XVIII IN WHICH THE SPHINX BREAKS SILENCE 190

XIX THE JACKAL TAKES THE TRAIL 203

XX THE DEATH OF ROMANCE IS DEPLORED 214

XXI NAPLES ASSUMES NEW BEAUTY 222

XXII THE SENTRY BOX ANSWERS THE KING'S QUERY 229

XXIII "SCARABS OF A DEAD DYNASTY" 244

XXIV IN WHICH KINGS AND COMMONERS DISCUSS LOVE 255

XXV ABDUL SAID BEY EFFECTS A RESCUE 265

XXVI IN A CURIO SHOP IN STAMBOUL 276

XXVII BENTON SAYS GOOD BY 288

XXVIII JUSSERET MAKES A REPORT 300

THE LIGHTED MATCH

CHAPTER I

AN OMEN IS CONSTRUED

"When a feller an' a gal washes their hands in the same basin at the same time, it's a tol'able good sign they won't git married this year."

The oracle spoke through the bearded lips of a farmer perched on the top step of his cabin porch. The while he construed omens, a setter pup industriously gnawed at his boot heels.

The girl was bending forward, her fingers spread in a tin basin, as the man at her elbow poured water slowly from a gourd dipper. Heaped, in disorder against the cabin wall, lay their red hunting coats, crops, and riding gauntlets.

The oracle tumbled the puppy down the steps and watched its return to the attack. Then with something of melancholy retrospect in his pale eyes he pursued his reflections. "Now there was Sissy Belmire an' Bud Thomas, been keeping company for two years, then washed hands in common at the Christian Endeavor picnic an' " He broke off to shake his head in sorrowing memory.

The young man, holding his muddied digits over the water, paused to consider the matter.

Suddenly his hands went down into the basin with a splash.

"It is now the end of October," he enlightened; "next year comes in nine weeks."

The sun was dipping into a cloud bank already purpled and gold rimmed... Continue reading book >>




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