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The Mistress of Shenstone   By: (1862-1921)

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By Florence L. Barclay

Author Of The Rosary, Etc.

Grosset & Dunlap Publishers :: New York

Copyright, 1910 BY FLORENCE L. BARCLAY

The Rosary The Following of the Star The Mistress of Shenstone The Broken Halo Through the Postern Gate The Wall of Partition The Upas Tree My Heart's Right There

This edition is issued under arrangement with the publishers G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London

The Knickerbocker Press, New York

To C. W. B.


CHAPTER PAGE I On the Terrace at Shenstone 1 II The Forerunner 8 III What Peter Knew 23 IV In Safe Hands 48 V Lady Ingleby's Rest Cure 61 VI At The Moorhead Inn 77 VII Mrs. O'Mara's Correspondence 82 VIII In Horseshoe Cove 105 IX Jim Airth To The Rescue 111 X "Yeo Ho, We Go!" 114 XI 'Twixt Sea And Sky 129 XII Under The Morning Star 152 XIII The Awakening 159 XIV Golden Days 170 XV "Where Is Lady Ingleby?" 190 XVI Under The Beeches At Shenstone 205 XVII "Surely You Knew?" 214 XVIII What Billy Had To Tell 220 XIX Jim Airth Decides 231 XX A Better Point Of View 250 XXI Michael Veritas 260 XXII Lord Ingleby's Wife 271 XXIII What Billy Knew 289 XXIV Mrs. Dalmain Reviews the Situation 303 XXV The Test 327 XXVI "What Shall We Write?" 337




Three o'clock on a dank afternoon, early in November. The wintry sunshine, in fitful gleams, pierced the greyness of the leaden sky.

The great trees in Shenstone Park stood gaunt and bare, spreading wide arms over the sodden grass. All nature seemed waiting the first fall of winter's snow, which should hide its deadness and decay under a lovely pall of sparkling white, beneath which a promise of fresh life to come might gently move and stir; and, eventually, spring forth.

The Mistress of Shenstone moved slowly up and down the terrace, wrapped in her long cloak, listening to the soft "drip, drip" of autumn all around; noting the silent fall of the last dead leaves; the steely grey of the lake beyond; the empty flower garden; the deserted lawn.

The large stone house had a desolate appearance, most of the rooms being, evidently, closed; but, in one or two, cheerful log fires blazed, casting a ruddy glow upon the window panes, and sending forth a tempting promise of warmth and cosiness within.

A tiny white toy poodle walked the terrace with his mistress an agitated little bundle of white curls; sometimes running round and round her; then hurrying on before, or dropping behind, only to rush on, in unexpected haste, at the corners; almost tripping her up, as she turned.

"Peter," said Lady Ingleby, on one of these occasions, "I do wish you would behave in a more rational manner! Either come to heel and follow sedately, as a dog of your age should do; or trot on in front, in the gaily juvenile manner you assume when Michael takes you out for a walk; but, for goodness sake, don't be so fidgety; and don't run round and round me in this bewildering way, or I shall call for William, and send you in. I only wish Michael could see you!"

The little animal looked up at her, pathetically, through his tumbled curls a soft silky mass, which had earned for him his name of Shockheaded Peter... Continue reading book >>

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