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A Lost Leader   By: (1866-1946)

Book cover

First Page:




Author of "A Maker of History," "Mysterious Mr. Sabin," "The Master Mummer," "Anna the Adventuress," Etc.

Illustrated by Fred Pegram

Boston Little, Brown & Company





I Reconstruction

II The Woman with an Alias

III Wanted A Politician

IV The Duchess Asks a Question

V The Hesitation of Mr. Mannering

VI Sacrifice

VII The Duchess's "At Home"

VIII The Mannering Mystery

IX The Pumping of Mrs. Phillimore

X The Man with a Motive

XI Mannering's Alternative


I Borrowdean makes a Bargain

II "Cherchez la Femme"

III One of the "Sufferers"

IV Debts of Honour

V Love versus Politics

VI The Conscience of a Statesman

VII A Blow for Borrowdean

VIII A Page from the Past

IX The Faltering of Mannering

X The End of a Dream

XI Borrowdean shows his "Hand"

XII Sir Leslie Borrowdean incurs a Heavy Debt

XIII The Woman and the Other Woman


I Matrimony and an Awkward Meeting

II The Snub for Borrowdean

III Clouds and a Call to Arms

IV Disaster

V The Journalist Intervenes

VI Treachery and a Telegram

VII Mr. Mannering, M.P.

VIII Playing the Game

IX The Tragedy of a Key

X Blanche finds a Way Out


I The Persistency of Borrowdean

II Hester Thinks it "A Great Pity"

III Summoned to Windsor

IV Checkmate to Borrowdean

V A Brazen Proceeding





The two men stood upon the top of a bank bordering the rough road which led to the sea. They were listening to the lark, which had risen fluttering from their feet a moment or so ago, and was circling now above their heads. Mannering, with a quiet smile, pointed upwards.

"There, my friend!" he exclaimed. "You can listen now to arguments more eloquent than any which I could ever frame. That little creature is singing the true, uncorrupted song of life. He sings of the sunshine, the buoyant air; the pure and simple joy of existence is beating in his little heart. The things which lie behind the hills will never sadden him. His kingdom is here, and he is content."

Borrowdean's smile was a little cynical. He was essentially of that order of men who are dwellers in cities, and even the sting of the salt breeze blowing across the marshes marshes riven everywhere with long arms of the sea could bring no colour to his pale cheeks.

"Your little bird a lark, I think you called it," he remarked, "may be a very eloquent prophet for the whole kingdom of his species, but the song of life for a bird and that for a man are surely different things!"

"Not so very different after all," Mannering answered, still watching the bird. "The longer one lives, the more clearly one recognizes the absolute universality of life."

Borrowdean shrugged his shoulders, with a little gesture of impatience. He had left London at a moment when he could ill be spared, and had not travelled to this out of the way corner of the kingdom to exchange purposeless platitudes with a man whose present attitude towards life at any rate he heartily despised. He seated himself upon a half broken rail, and lit a cigarette.

"Mannering," he said, "I did not come here to simper cheap philosophies with you like a couple of schoolgirls. I have a real live errand. I want to speak to you of great things."

Mannering moved a little uneasily. He had a very shrewd idea as to the nature of that errand.

"Of great things," he repeated slowly. "Are you in earnest, Borrowdean?"

"Why not?"

"Because," Mannering continued, "I have left the world of great things, as you and I used to regard them, very far behind. I am glad to see you here, of course, but I cannot think of any serious subject which it would be useful or profitable for us to discuss. You understand me, Borrowdean, I am sure!"

Borrowdean closely eyed this man who once had been his friend.

"The old sore still rankles, then, Mannering," he said... Continue reading book >>

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