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The Mystery of Metropolisville   By: (1837-1902)

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THE MYSTERY OF METROPOLISVILLE

BY EDWARD EGGLESTON

AUTHOR OF "THE HOOGLEE SCHOOL MASTER," "THE END OF THE WORLD," ETC

1888

TO ONE WHO KNOWS WITH ME A LOVE STORY, NOW MORE THAN FIFTEEN YEARS IN LENGTH, AND BETTER A HUNDREDFOLD THAN ANY I SHALL EVER BE ABLE TO WRITE, THIS BOOK IS INSCRIBED, ON AN ANNIVERSARY.

MARCH 18TH, 1873.

PREFACE.

A novel should be the truest of books. It partakes in a certain sense of the nature of both history and art. It needs to be true to human nature in its permanent and essential qualities, and it should truthfully represent some specific and temporary manifestation of human nature: that is, some form of society. It has been objected that I have copied life too closely, but it seems to me that the work to be done just now, is to represent the forms and spirit of our own life, and thus free ourselves from habitual imitation of that which is foreign. I have wished to make my stories of value as a contribution to the history of civilization in America. If it be urged that this is not the highest function, I reply that it is just now the most necessary function of this kind of literature. Of the value of these stories as works of art, others must judge; but I shall have the satisfaction of knowing that I have at least rendered one substantial though humble service to our literature, if I have portrayed correctly certain forms of American life and manners.

BROOKLYN, March, 1873.

CONTENTS.

PREFACE

WORDS BEFOREHAND

CHAPTER I. The Autocrat of the Stage Coach

CHAPTER II. The Sod Tavern

CHAPTER III. Land and Love

CHAPTER IV. Albert and Katy

CHAPTER V. Corner Lots

CHAPTER VI. Little Katy's Lover

CHAPTER VII. Catching and Getting Caught

CHAPTER VIII. Isabel Marlay

CHAPTER IX. Lovers and Lovers

CHAPTER X. Plausaby, Esq., takes a Fatherly Interest

CHAPTER XI. About Several Things

CHAPTER XII. An Adventure

CHAPTER XIII. A Shelter

CHAPTER XIV. The Inhabitant

CHAPTER XV. An Episode

CHAPTER XVI. The Return

CHAPTER XVII. Sawney and his Old Love

CHAPTER XVIII. A Collision

CHAPTER XIX. Standing Guard in Vain

CHAPTER XX. Sawney and Westcott

CHAPTER XXI. Rowing

CHAPTER XXII. Sailing

CHAPTER XXIII. Sinking

CHAPTER XXIV. Dragging

CHAPTER XXV. Afterwards

CHAPTER XXVI. The Mystery

CHAPTER XXVII. The Arrest

CHAPTER XXVIII. The Tempter

CHAPTER XXIX. The Trial

CHAPTER XXX. The Penitentiary

CHAPTER XXXI. Mr. Lurton

CHAPTER XXXII. A Confession

CHAPTER XXXIII. Death

CHAPTER XXXIV. Mr. Lurton's Courtship

CHAPTER XXXV. Unbarred

CHAPTER XXXVI. Isabel

CHAPTER XXXVII. The Last

WORDS AFTERWARDS

ILLUSTRATIONS BY FRANK BEARD

The Superior Being

Mr. Minorkey and the Fat Gentleman

Plausaby sells Lots

"By George! He! he! he!"

Mrs. Plausaby

The Inhabitant

A Pinch of Snuff

Mrs. Ferret

One Savage Blow full in the Face

"What on Airth's the Matter?"

His Unselfish Love found a Melancholy Recompense

The Editor of "The Windmill"

"Git up and Foller!"

THE MYSTERY OF METROPOLISVILLE.

WORDS BEFOREHAND.

Metropolisville is nothing but a memory now. If Jonah's gourd had not been a little too much used already, it would serve an excellent turn just here in the way of an apt figure of speech illustrating the growth, the wilting, and the withering of Metropolisville. The last time I saw the place the grass grew green where once stood the City Hall, the corn stalks waved their banners on the very site of the old store I ask pardon, the "Emporium" of Jackson, Jones & Co., and what had been the square, staring white court house not a Temple but a Barn of Justice had long since fallen to base uses. The walls which had echoed with forensic grandiloquence were now forced to hear only the bleating of silly sheep... Continue reading book >>




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