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The Motor Maid   By: (1859-1920)

Book cover

First Page:

THE MOTOR MAID

BOOKS BY C. N. AND A. M. WILLIAMSON

LORD LOVELAND DISCOVERS AMERICA SET IN SILVER THE LIGHTNING CONDUCTOR THE PRINCESS PASSES MY FRIEND THE CHAUFFEUR LADY BETTY ACROSS THE WATER ROSEMARY IN SEARCH OF A FATHER THE PRINCESS VIRGINIA THE CAR OF DESTINY THE CHAPERON

THE MOTOR MAID

by

C. N. AND A. M. WILLIAMSON

Authors of "Lord Loveland Discovers America," "My Friend the Chauffeur," "The Princess Virginia," etc.

With Four Illustrations in Color by F. M. Du Mond and F. Lowenheim

[Illustration: "We raced along a clear road, the Etang shimmering blue before us"]

A. L. Burt Company Publishers New York All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the scandinavian Copyright, 1910, By Doubleday, Page & Company Published, August, 1910 The Country Life Press, Garden City, N.Y.

To The Three Gertrudes

ILLUSTRATIONS

"We raced along a clear road, the Etang shimmering blue before us" Frontispiece

facing page "While I wrestled ... with a bodice as snug as the head of a drum, the lord of all it contained appeared in the doorway" 48

"It took half an hour to dig the car out, and push her up from the hollow where the snow lay thickest" 272

"Jack's hand, inside Mr. Stokes's beautiful, tall collar, shook Bertie back and forth till his teeth chattered like castanets" 328

CHAPTER I

One hears of people whose hair turned white in a single night. Last night I thought mine was turning. I had a creepy feeling in the roots, which seemed to crawl all the way down inside each separate hair, wriggling as it went. I suppose you couldn't have nervous prostration of the hair? I worried dreadfully, it kept on so long; and my hair is so fair it would be almost a temptation for it, in an emergency, to take the one short step from gold to silver. I didn't dare switch on the light in the wagon lit and peep at my pocket book mirror (which reflects one's features in sections of a square inch, giving the survey of one's whole face quite a panorama effect) for fear I might wake up the Bull Dog.

I've spelt him with capitals, after mature deliberation, because it would be nothing less than lèse majesté to fob him off with little letters about the size of his two lower eye tusks, or chin molars, or whatever one ought to call them.

He was on the floor, you see, keeping guard over his mistress's shoes; and he might have been misguided enough to think I had designs on them though what I could have used them for, unless I'd been going to Venice and wanting a private team of gondolas, I can't imagine.

I being in the upper berth, you might (if you hadn't seen him) have fancied me safe; but already he had once padded half way up the step ladder, and sniffed at me speculatively, as if I were a piece of meat on the top shelf of a larder; and if half way up, why not all the way up? Il était capable du tout.

I tried to distract my mind and focus it hard on other things, as Christian Scientists tell you to do when you have a pin sticking into your body for which les convenances forbid you to make an exhaustive search.

I lay on my back with my eyes shut, trying not to hear any of the sounds in the wagon lit (and they were not confined to the snoring of His Majesty), thinking desperately. "I will concentrate all my mentality," said I to myself, "on thoughts beginning with P, for instance. My Past. Paris. Pamela."

Just for a few minutes it was comparatively easy. "Dear Past!" I sighed, with a great sigh which for divers reasons I was sure couldn't be heard beyond my own berth. (And though I try always even to think in English, I find sometimes that the words group themselves in my head in the old patterns according to French idioms... Continue reading book >>




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