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The Pagan's Cup   By: (1859-1932)

The Pagan's Cup by Fergus Hume

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover]

The Pagan's Cup

BY

Fergus Hume

AUTHOR OF

"THE MYSTERY OF A HANSOM CAB," "THE RAINBOW FEATHER," "CLAUDE DUVAL OF NINETY FIVE," ETC.

[Illustration: Vignette]

NEW YORK

G. W. DILLINGHAM COMPANY

PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1902, by

G. W. DILLINGHAM COMPANY

[All rights reserved]

The Pagan's Cup

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE I. A Modern Arcadia 1 II. The Crusaders' Chapel 14 III. The Lady of the Manor 28 IV. The Dinner Party 42 V. Love's Young Dream 58 VI. Trouble 71 VII. A Nine Days' Wonder 87 VIII. Haverleigh's Defence 101 IX. A Bad Reputation 113 X. The Price of Silence 126 XI. The London Detective 140 XII. A Surprise 154 XIII. An Interesting Document 168 XIV. An Unexpected Meeting 183 XV. A New Complication 198 XVI. Sybil's Visitor 214 XVII. Lord Kilspindie Explains 227 XVIII. A Miracle 242 XIX. A Story of the Past 257 XX. Mrs Gabriel's Secret 276

THE PAGAN'S CUP

CHAPTER I

A MODERN ARCADIA

Certain portions of England yet remain undiscovered by Americans and uncivilised by railways. Colester village above King's meadows, in a county which need not be named, is one of these unknown spots. No doubt before long the bicycle and the motor car will enliven its somnolent neighbourhood, but at present it is free from the summer jaunts of tourists. With this neglect the Colester folk profess themselves satisfied. They have no wish to come into contact with the busy world. This prejudice against intrusion dates from mediƦval times, when strangers rarely came to the village with peaceful intentions. Even now a chance comer is looked upon with suspicion.

Mr Richard Pratt said something of this sort to the vicar during a morning ramble, some six weeks after he had taken up his residence in The Nun's House. With the parson and the gentry of the parish Mr Pratt agreed very well, his respectability having been vouched for by Mrs Gabriel, the lady of the manor. But the villagers still held aloof, although the newcomer did his best to overcome their churlish doubts. They did not credit his story that he had settled in Colester to pass his remaining years in peace, and even the money he scattered so freely could not buy their loyalty. Pratt had never met with such people before. In most countries an open purse invites an open heart; but the Colester villagers were above Mammon worship. Such an experience was refreshing to Pratt, and introduced him to a new type of humanity.

"The first place I ever struck in which the dollar is not all powerful," he said, with his Yankee twang and pleasant laugh.

"We are not sufficiently educated in that respect," replied Mr Tempest in his simple way. "For my part, I am not ill pleased that my parishioners should refuse to worship the Golden Calf."

"There is no calf about me, I guess," said Pratt, grimly, "and very little gold. I don't say I haven't a decent income, but as to being a millionaire no, sir."

"In the kingdom of the blind the one eyed is king, Mr Pratt. You are a millionaire in this poor place. But I fear you find it dull."

"Why, no, vicar. I'm glad to be out of the buzz. The world's made up of nerves and machinery nowadays. At fifty two years of age I can't stand the racket. This Sleepy Hollow's good enough for me to stay in until I peg out... Continue reading book >>




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