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The Obstacle Race   By: (1881-1939)

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The Obstacle Race

By Ethel M. Dell

1921

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK TO MY DEAR "HALF SISTER," MARY, WITH MY LOVE

"So run, that ye may obtain." I Corinthians 9:24

Give me the ready brain and steadfast face To dare the hazard and to run the race, The high heart that no scathing word can stay O'erleaping obstacles that bar the way, The sportsman's soul that, failing at the end, Can smile upon the victory of a friend, And to my judges make this one protest, A poor performance but I did my best!

CONTENTS

PART I

CHAPTER

I. BETTER THAN LONDON

II. SACRIFICE

III. MAGIC

IV. BROTHER DICK

V. THE GREAT MAN

VI. THE VISITOR

VII. THE OFFER

VIII. MRS. FIELDING

IX. THE INTRUDER

PART II

I. THE WAND OF OFFICE

II. MIDSUMMER MADNESS

III. A DRAWN BATTLE

IV. A POINT OF HONOUR

V. THE WAY TO HAPPINESS

VI. RECONCILIATION

VII. THE SPELL

VIII. THE HONOURS OF WAR

PART III

I. BIRDS OF A FEATHER

II. SALTASH

III. THE PRICE

IV. KISMET

V. THE DRIVING FORCE

VI. THE SISTER OF MERCY

VII. THE SACRIFICE

VIII. THE MESSAGE

IX. THE ANSWER

PART IV

I. THE FREE GIFT

II. FRIENDSHIP

III. CONFESSION

IV. COUNSEL

V. THE THUNDERBOLT

VI. COALS OF FIRE

VII. FLIGHT

VIII. OUT OF THE NIGHT

IX. THE FREE PARDON

X. THE LAST FENCE

THE OBSTACLE RACE

PART I

CHAPTER I

BETTER THAN LONDON

A long, green wave ran up, gleaming like curved glass in the sunlight, and broke in a million sparkles against a shelf of shingle. Above the shingle rose the soft cliffs, clothed with scrubby grass and crowned with gorse.

"Columbus," said the stranger, "this is just the place for us."

Columbus wagged a cheery tail and expressed complete agreement. He was watching a small crab hurrying among the stones with a funny frown between his brows. He was not quite sure of the nature or capabilities of these creatures, and till he knew more he deemed it advisable to let them pass without interference. A canny Scot was Columbus, and it was very seldom indeed that anyone ever got the better of him. He was also a gentleman to the backbone, and no word his mistress uttered, however casual, ever passed unacknowledged by him. He always laughed when she laughed, however obscure the joke.

He smiled now, since she was obviously pleased, but without taking his sharp little eyes off the object of his interest. Suddenly the scuttling crab disappeared and he started up with a whine. In a moment he was scratching in the shingle in eager search, flinging showers of stones over his companion in the process.

She protested, seizing him by his wiry tail to make him desist. "Columbus! Don't! You're burying me alive! Do sit down and be sensible, or I'll never be wrecked on a desert island with you again!"

Columbus subsided, not very willingly, dropping with a grunt into the hole he had made. His mistress released him, and took out a gold cigarette case.

"I wonder what I shall do when I've finished these," she mused. "The simple life doesn't include luxuries of this sort. Only three left, Columbus! After that, your missis'll starve."

She lighted a cigarette with a faint pucker on her wide brow. Her eyes looked out over the empty, tumbling sea grey eyes very level in their regard under black brows that were absolutely straight and inclined to be rather heavily accentuated.

"Yes, I wish I'd asked Muff for a few before I came away," was the outcome of her reflections. "By this time tomorrow I shan't have one left. Just think of that, my Christopher, and be thankful that you're just a dog to whom one rat tastes very like another!"

Columbus sneezed protestingly. Whatever his taste in rats, cigarette smoke did not appeal to him. His mistress's fondness for it was her only failing in his eyes... Continue reading book >>




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