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Madcap   By: (1870-1942)

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This eBook was produced by Carolyn Derkatch.

MADCAP

by George Gibbs

[Illustration: "'You must flirt, Mr. Markham and make pretty speeches '"]

CONTENTS

Chapter I. Hermia II. The Gorilla III. The Ineffectual Aunt IV. Marooned V. Bread and Salt VI. The Rescue VII. "Wake Robin" VIII. Olga Tcherny IX. Out of His Depth X. The Fugitive XI. The Gates of Chance XII. The Fairy Godmother XIII. Vagabondia XIV. The Fabiani Family XV. Danger XVI. Manet Cicatrix XVII. Pre GuŽgou's Roses XVIII. A Philosopher in a Quandary XIX. Mountebanks XX. The Empty House XXI. Nemasis XXII. Great Pan is Dead XXIII. A Lady in the Dark XXIV. The Wings of the Butterfly XXV. Circe and the Fossil XXVI. Mrs. Berkeley Hammond Entertains XXVII. The Seats of the Mighty XXVIII. The Brass Bell XXIX. Duo

CHAPTER I

HERMIA

Titine glanced at the parted curtains and empty bed, then at the clock, and yawned. It was not yet eight o'clock. From the look of things, she was sure that Miss Challoner had arisen and departed for a morning ride before the breaking of the dawn. She peered out of the window and contracted her shoulders expressively. To ride in the cold morning air upon a violent horse when she had been out late! B r! But then, Mademoiselle was a wonderful person like no one since the beginning of the world. She made her own laws and Titine was reluctantly obliged to confess that she herself was delighted to obey them.

Another slight shrug of incomprehension of absolution from such practices and Titine moved to the linen cabinet and took out some fluffy things of lace and ribbon, then to a closet from which she brought a soft room gown, a pair of silk stockings and some very small suede slippers.

She had hardly completed these preparations when there was the sound of a door hurriedly closed downstairs, a series of joyous yelps from a dog, a rush of feet on the stairs and the door of the room gave way before the precipitate entrance of a slight, almost boyish, female person, with blue eyes, the rosiest of cheeks and a mass of yellow hair, most of which had burst from its confines beneath her hat.

To the quiet Titine her mistress created an impression of bringing not only herself into the room, but also the violent horse and the whole of the out of doors besides.

"Down, Domino! Down, I say!" to the clamorous puppy. "Now out with you!" And as he refused to obey she waved her crop threateningly and at a propitious moment banged the door upon his impertinent snub nose.

"Quick, Titine, my bath and why, what are you looking at?"

"Your hat, Mademoiselle," in alarm, "It is broken, and your face "

"It's a perfectly good face. What's the matter with it?"

By this time Miss Challoner had reached the cheval glass. Her hat was smashed in at one side and several dark stains disfigured her cheek and temple.

"Oh, I'm a sight . He chucked me into some bushes, Titine "

"That terrible horse Mademoiselle!"

"The same into some very sticky bushes but he didn't get away. I got on without help, too. Lordy, but I did take it out of him! Oh, didn't I!"

Her eye lighted gaily as though in challenge at nothing at all as she removed her gloves and tossed her hat and crop on the bed and sprawled into a chair with a sigh, while Titine removed her boots and made tremulous and reproachful inquiries.

"Mademoiselle will will kill herself, I am sure."

Hermia Challoner laughed.

"Better die living than be living dead. Besides, no one ever dies who doesn't care whether he dies or not. I shall die comfortably in bed at the age of eighty three, I'm sure of it. Now, my bath. Vite , Titine! I have a hunger like that which never was before."

Miss Challoner undressed and entered her bathroom, where she splashed industriously for some minutes, emerging at last radiant and glowing with health and a delight in the mere joy of existence... Continue reading book >>




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