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Marriage à la mode   By: (1851-1920)

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Marriage à la Mode

BY MRS. HUMPHRY WARD

ILLUSTRATED BY FRED PEGRAM

NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 1909

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY MRS. HUMPHRY WARD COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY MARY AUGUSTA WARD PUBLISHED, MAY, 1909

TO L. C. W.

[Illustration: DAPHNE FLOYD]

NOTE

THIS STORY APPEARED IN ENGLAND UNDER THE TITLE OF "DAPHNE." THE PUBLISHERS ARE INDEBTED TO THE PROPRIETORS OF THE "PALL MALL MAGAZINE" FOR THEIR PERMISSION TO USE THE DRAWINGS BY MR. FRED PEGRAM.

ILLUSTRATIONS

Daphne Floyd

"He caught the hand, he gathered its owner into a pair of strong arms, and bending over her, he kissed her"

"In the dead of night Daphne sat up in bed, looking at the face and head of her husband beside her on the pillow"

"Her whole being was seething with passionate and revengeful thought"

Marriage à la Mode

PART I

CHAPTER I

"A stifling hot day!" General Hobson lifted his hat and mopped his forehead indignantly. "What on earth this place can be like in June I can't conceive! The tenth of April, and I'll be bound the thermometer's somewhere near eighty in the shade. You never find the English climate playing you these tricks."

Roger Barnes looked at his uncle with amusement.

"Don't you like heat, Uncle Archie? Ah, but I forgot, it's American heat."

"I like a climate you can depend on," said the General, quite conscious that he was talking absurdly, yet none the less determined to talk, by way of relief to some obscure annoyance. "Here we are sweltering in this abominable heat, and in New York last week they had a blizzard, and here, even, it was cold enough to give me rheumatism. The climate's always in extremes like the people."

"I'm sorry to find you don't like the States, Uncle Archie."

The young man sat down beside his uncle. They were in the deck saloon of a steamer which had left Washington about an hour before for Mount Vernon. Through the open doorway to their left they saw a wide expanse of river, flowing between banks of spring green, and above it thunderous clouds, in a hot blue. The saloon, and the decks outside, held a great crowd of passengers, of whom the majority were women.

The tone in which Roger Barnes spoke was good tempered, but quite perfunctory. Any shrewd observer would have seen that whether his uncle liked the States or not did not in truth matter to him a whit.

"And I consider all the arrangements for this trip most unsatisfactory," the General continued angrily. "The steamer's too small, the landing place is too small, the crowd getting on board was something disgraceful. They'll have a shocking accident one of these days. And what on earth are all these women here for in the middle of the day? It's not a holiday."

"I believe it's a teachers' excursion," said young Barnes absently, his eyes resting on the rows of young women in white blouses and spring hats who sat in close packed chairs upon the deck an eager, talkative host.

"H'm Teachers!" The General's tone was still more pugnacious. "Going to learn more lies about us, I suppose, that they may teach them to school children? I was turning over some of their school books in a shop yesterday. Perfectly abominable! It's monstrous what they teach the children here about what they're pleased to call their War of Independence. All that we did was to ask them to pay something for their own protection. What did it matter to us whether they were mopped up by the Indians, or the French, or not? 'But if you want us to go to all the expense and trouble of protecting you, and putting down those fellows, why, hang it,' we said, 'you must pay some of the bill!' That was all English Ministers asked; and perfectly right too. And as for the men they make such a fuss about, Samuel Adams, and John Adams, and Franklin, and all the rest of the crew, I tell you, the stuff they teach American school children about them is a poisoning of the wells! Franklin was a man of profligate life, whom I would never have admitted inside my doors! And as for the Adamses intriguers canting fellows! both of them... Continue reading book >>




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