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The Panchronicon   By: (1866-1928)

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THE PANCHRONICON

THE PANCHRONICON

BY HAROLD STEELE MACKAYE

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1904

COPYRIGHT, 1904, BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Published, April, 1904

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE THEORY OF COPERNICUS DROOP 1

II. A VISIT TO THE PANCHRONICON 23

III. A NOCTURNAL EVASION 38

IV. A CHANGE OF PLAN 58

V. DROOP'S THEORY IN PRACTICE 86

VI. SHIPWRECKED ON THE SANDS OF TIME 103

VII. NEW TIES AND OLD RELATIONS 123

VIII. HOW FRANCIS BACON CHEATED THE BAILIFFS 157

IX. PHOEBE AT THE PEACOCK INN 179

X. HOW THE QUEEN READ HER NEWSPAPER 208

XI. THE FAT KNIGHT AT THE BOAR'S HEAD 242

XII. HOW SHAKESPEARE WROTE HIS PLAYS 258

XIII. HOW THE FAT KNIGHT DID HOMAGE 277

XIV. THE FATE OF SIR PERCEVALL'S SUIT 297

XV. HOW REBECCA RETURNED TO NEWINGTON 317

XVI. HOW SIR GUY KEPT HIS TRYST 324

XVII. REBECCA'S TRUMP CARD 340

THE PANCHRONICON

CHAPTER I

THE THEORY OF COPERNICUS DROOP

The two sisters were together in their garden.

Rebecca Wise, turned forty and growing slightly gray at the temples, was moving slowly from one of her precious plants to the next, leaning over each to pinch off a dead leaf or count the buds. It was the historic month of May, 1898, and May is the paradise of flower lovers.

Phoebe was eighteen years younger than her sister, and the beauty of the village. Indeed, many declared their belief that the whole State of New Hampshire did not contain her equal.

She was seated on the steps of the veranda that skirted the little white cottage, and the absent gaze of her frank blue eyes was directed through the gate at the foot of the little path bordered by white rose bushes. In her lap was a bundle of papers yellowed by age and an ivory miniature, evidently taken from the carved wooden box at her side.

Presently Rebecca straightened her back with a slight grimace and looked toward her sister, holding her mold covered hands and fingers spread away from her.

"Well," she inquired, "hev ye found anythin'?"

Phoebe brought her gaze back from infinity and replied:

"No, I ain't. Only that one letter where Isaac Burton writes her that the players have come to town."

"I don't see what good them letters'll do ye in the Shakespeare class, then."

Rebecca spoke listlessly more interested in her garden than in her sister's search.

"I don't know," Phoebe rejoined, dreamily. "It's awful funny but whenever I take out these old letters there comes over me the feelin' that I'm 'way off in a strange country and I feel like somebody else."

Rebecca looked up anxiously from her work.

"Them sort o' philanderin' notions are foolish, Phoebe," she said, and flicked a caterpillar over the fence.

Phoebe gave herself a little shake and began to tie up the papers.

"That's so," she replied. "But they will come when I get these out, an' I got 'em out thinkin' the' might be somethin' about Shakespeare in 'em for our class."

She paused and looked wistfully at the letters again.

"Oh!" she cried, "how I do wonder if he was among those players at the Peacock Inn that day! You know 'players' is what they called play actors in those days, and he was a play actor, they say."

"Did he live very far back, then?" said Rebecca, wishing to appear interested, but really intent upon a new sprout at the foot of the lilac bush... Continue reading book >>




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