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Playing With Fire   By: (1831-1919)

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First Page:

PLAYING WITH FIRE

BY AMELIA E. BARR

AUTHOR OF "ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE," "THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON," ETC.

"Truth is like water; the moment it stands it stagnates; creeds are merely stagnant truth. "

ILLUSTRATED BY HOWARD HEATH

WILLIAM BRIGGS TORONTO 1914

COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

Printed in the United States of America

WITH SINCERE RESPECT AND EVERY GOOD WISH I INSCRIBE THIS NOVEL TO WILLIAM JOHN MATHESON, ESQ. OF HUNTINGTON, LONG ISLAND

[Illustration: "'Good bye, Richard!' she cried. 'Good bye, dearest of all!'"]

CONTENTS

I. THE MINISTER'S FAMILY

II. LORD RICHARD CRAMER

III. DONALD PLEASES HIS FATHER

IV. THE GREAT TEMPTATION

V. THE MINISTER IN LOVE

VI. DONALD TAKES HIS OWN WAY

VII. MARION DECIDES

VIII. MACRAE LEARNS A HARD LESSON

IX. WHEN WILL THE NIGHT BE PAST?

X. A DREAM

XI. LOVE IS THE FULFILLING OF THE LAW

XII. AFTERWARD

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"'Good bye, Richard!' she cried. 'Good bye, dearest of all!'"

"There came again to her that singular sense of a past familiarity"

"She smiled and laid her jeweled white hand confidingly on his"

"The descent seemed steep and dark"

PLAYING WITH FIRE

CHAPTER I

THE MINISTER'S FAMILY

An high priest clothed with doctrine and with truth. ESDRAS I: 5:40.

Glasgow is the city of Human Power. It is not a beautiful city, but the gray granite of which it is built gives it a natural nobility. There is nothing romantic about its situation, and its streets are too often steeped in wet, gray mist, or wrapped in yellowish vapor. But there are no loungers in them. The crowd is a busy, hard working crowd, whose civic motto is Enterprise and Perseverance. They made the river that made the city, and then established on its banks those immense shipbuilding yards, whose fleets take the river to the ocean, and the ocean to every known port of the world.

It is also a very religious city. Its inhabitants do not forget that they are mortals, though no doubt mortals of a superior order, and the number of churches they have built is amazing. It is impossible to walk far in any direction without coming face to face with one. I am writing of the midway years of the nineteenth century, when there was one church among the many that all strangers were advised to visit. It was not the Cathedral, nor the old Ram's Horn Kirk; it was a large, plain building, called the Church of the Disciples. No one could find it to day, for it stood upon a corner that became necessary to the trade of a certain great street. Then the Church of the Disciples disappeared, and handsome shops devoted to business of many kinds rose in its place.

This church derived its fame from its minister, a very handsome man, of great scholarly attainments and a preponderance of that quality we call "presence." Even when at twenty three years of age he stepped from the halls of St. Andrew's into the pulpit of the Church of the Disciples, elders, deacons, and the whole congregation succumbed to his influence. And when, after twenty one years of service, he made his dramatic exit from that pulpit he still held his congregation in the hollow of his hand.

He was a Highlander of the once powerful house of Macrae; tall among his brethren as was Saul among his people. His face was darkly handsome, and made doubly attractive by a shadowy Celtic pathos. His eyes were piercing but sad, his voice grand and resonant, suiting well the wrathful, impassioned Calvinism of his sermons. For he was a Pharisee of Pharisees touching every tittle of the law laid down by that troubler of mankind called John Calvin.

One evening in the beginning of June he went to his home after a rather unimportant session with his elders. He had taken his own way as usual, and was not in the least moved by the slight opposition he had been compelled to silence... Continue reading book >>




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