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My Lord Duke   By: (1866-1921)

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First Page:

MY LORD DUKE

BY E. W. HORNUNG

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1897

COPYRIGHT, 1897, BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Norwood Press J. S. Cushing & Co. Berwick & Smith Norwood Mass. U.S.A.

CONTENTS

I. THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY 1

II. "HAPPY JACK" 16

III. A CHANCE LOST 31

IV. NOT IN THE PROGRAMME 44

V. WITH THE ELECT 63

VI. A NEW LEAF 77

VII. THE DUKE'S PROGRESS 90

VIII. THE OLD ADAM 105

IX. AN ANONYMOUS LETTER 122

X. "DEAD NUTS" 137

XI. THE NIGHT OF THE TWENTIETH 151

XII. THE WRONG MAN 163

XIII. THE INTERREGNUM 180

XIV. JACK AND HIS MASTER 189

XV. END OF THE INTERREGNUM 199

XVI. "LOVE THE GIFT" 215

XVII. AN ANTI TOXINE 223

XVIII. HECKLING A MINISTER 233

XIX. THE CAT AND THE MOUSE 244

XX. "LOVE THE DEBT" 257

XXI. THE BAR SINISTER 266

XXII. DE MORTUIS 282

MY LORD DUKE

CHAPTER I

THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY

The Home Secretary leant his golf clubs against a chair. His was the longest face of all.

"I am only sorry it should have come now," said Claude apologetically.

"Just as we were starting for the links! Our first day, too!" muttered the Home Secretary.

" I think of Claude," remarked his wife. "I can never tell you, Claude, how much I feel for you! We shall miss you dreadfully, of course; but we couldn't expect to enjoy ourselves after this; and I think, in the circumstances, that you are quite right to go up to town at once."

"Why?" cried the Home Secretary warmly. "What good can he do in the Easter holidays? Everybody will be away; he'd much better come with me and fill his lungs with fresh air."

"I can never tell you how much I feel for you," repeated Lady Caroline to Claude Lafont.

"Nor I," said Olivia. "It's too horrible! I don't believe it. To think of their finding him after all! I don't believe they have found him. You've made some mistake, Claude. You've forgotten your code; the cable really means that they've not found him, and are giving up the search!"

Claude Lafont shook his head.

"There may be something in what Olivia says," remarked the Home Secretary. "The mistake may have been made at the other end. It would bear talking over on the links."

Claude shook his head again.

"We have no reason to suppose there has been a mistake at all, Mr. Sellwood. Cripps is not the kind of man to make mistakes; and I can swear to my code. The word means, 'Duke found I sail with him at once.'"

"An Australian Duke!" exclaimed Olivia.

"A blackamoor, no doubt," said Lady Caroline with conviction.

"Your kinsman, in any case," said Claude Lafont, laughing; "and my cousin; and the head of the family from this day forth."

"It was madness!" cried Lady Caroline softly. "Simple madness but then all you poets are mad! Excuse me, Claude, but you remind me of the Lafont blood in my own veins you make it boil. I feel as if I never could forgive you! To turn up your nose at one of the oldest titles in the three kingdoms; to think twice about a purely hypothetical heir at the antipodes; and actually to send out your solicitor to hunt him up! If that was not Quixotic lunacy, I should like to know what is?"

The Right Honourable George Sellwood took a new golf ball from his pocket, and bowed his white head mournfully as he stripped off the tissue paper.

"My dear Lady Caroline, noblesse oblige and a man must do his obvious duty," he heard Claude saying, in his slightly pedantic fashion... Continue reading book >>




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