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The Maids of Paradise   By: (1865-1933)

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First Page:

THE MAIDS OF PARADISE

A Novel

by

ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

Author of "Cardigan" "The Conspirators" "Maid at Arms" etc.

Illustrated

[Illustration: "'LOOK THERE!' SHE CRIED, IN TERROR" [See p. 81]]

[Illustration]

New York and London Harper & Brothers Publishers 1903

Copyright, 1902, by Robert W. Chambers. All rights reserved.

Published September, 1903.

PREFACE

As far as the writer knows, no treasure trains were actually sent to the port of Lorient from the arsenal at Brest. The treasures remained at Brest.

Concerning the German armored cruiser Augusta , the following are the facts: About the middle of December she forced the blockade at Wilhelmshafen and ran for Ireland, where, owing to the complaisance of the British authorities, she was permitted to coal.

From there she steamed towards Brest, capturing a French merchant craft off that port, another near Rochefort, and finally a third. That ended her active career during the war; a French frigate chased her into the port of Vigo and kept her there.

To conclude, certain localities and certain characters have been sufficiently disguised to render recognition improbable. This is proper because "The Lizard" is possibly alive to day, as are also the mayor of Paradise, Sylvia Elven, Jacqueline, and Speed, the latter having barely escaped death in the Virginius expedition. The original of Buckhurst now lives in New York, and remains a type whose rarity is its only recommendation.

Those who believe they recognize the Countess de Vassart are doubtless in error. Mornac, long dead, is safe in his disguise; Tric Trac was executed on the Place de la Roquette, and celebrated in doggerel by an unspeakable ballad writer. There remains Scarlett; dead or alive, I wish him well.

ROBERT W. CHAMBERS. Ormond, Florida, Feb. 7 , 1902.

[Illustration: To E.M.C.]

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE I. At the Telegraph 3 II. The Government Interferes 21 III. La Trappe 34 IV. Prisoners 50 V. The Immortals 65 VI. The Game Begins 87 VII. A Struggle Foreshadowed 110 VIII. A Man to Let 136 IX. The Road to Paradise 159 X. The Town Crier 171 XI. In Camp 180 XII. Jacqueline 195 XIII. Friends 207 XIV. The Path of the Lizard 229 XV. Forewarned 253 XVI. A Restless Man 265 XVII. The Circus 280 XVIII. A Guest Chamber 303 XIX. Trécourt Garden 318 XX. The Semaphore 339 XXI. Like Her Ancestors 353 XXII. The Secret 381

ILLUSTRATIONS

"'LOOK THERE!' SHE CRIED, IN TERROR" Frontispiece "'ACROSS THAT MEADOW,' SAID THE YOUNG GIRL" Facing p . 22 "TO RIGHT AND LEFT, PRUSSIAN LANCERS WERE RIDING" " 62 "A COMPANY OF TURCOS CAME UP" " 74 "'HALT! HALT!' HE SHOUTED" " 84 "EVERY BRIDGE WAS GUARDED" " 124 "SISTERS OF CHARITY WERE GIVING FIRST AID" " 132 "I WAS ON MY KNEES" " 298

PART FIRST

THE MAIDS OF PARADISE

I

AT THE TELEGRAPH

On the third day of August, 1870, I left Paris in search of John Buckhurst.

On the 4th of August I lost all traces of Mr. Buckhurst near the frontier, in the village of Morsbronn. The remainder of the day I spent in acquiring that "general information" so dear to the officials in Paris whose flimsy systems of intelligence had already begun to break down.

On August 5th, about eight o'clock in the morning, the military telegraph instrument in the operator's room over the temporary barracks of the Third Hussars clicked out the call for urgency, not the usual military signal, but a secret sequence understood only by certain officers of the Imperial Military Police... Continue reading book >>




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