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A Red Wallflower   By: (1819-1885)

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[Transcriber's note: Susan Warner, A red wallflower , (1884), Nisbet 1913 edition]

A RED WALLFLOWER

BY SUSAN WARNER AUTHOR OF 'THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD,' 'QUEECHY,' ETC.

LONDON JAMES NISBET & CO. LIMITED 21 BERNERS STREET W

NOTE TO THE READER.

The story following is again in its whole chain of skeleton facts a true story. I beg to observe, in particular, that the denominational feeling described in both families, with the ways it showed itself, is part of the truth of the story, and no invention of mine.

S. W.

MARTLAER'S ROCK, June 25, 1884.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

I. AFTER DANDELIONS II. AT HOME III. THE BOX OF COINS IV. LEARNING V. CONTAMINATION VI. GOING TO COLLEGE VII. COMING HOME VIII. A NOSEGAY IX. WANT OF COMFORT X. THE BLESSING XI. DISSENT XII. THE VACATION XIII. LETTERS XIV. STRUGGLES XV. COMFORT XVI. REST AND UNREST XVII. MOVING XVIII. A NEIGHBOUR XIX. HAPPY PEOPLE XX. SCHOOL XXI. THE COLONEL'S TOAST XXII. A QUESTION XXIII. A DEBATE XXIV. DISAPPOINTMENT XXV. A HEAD OF LETTUCE XXVI. WAYS AND MEANS XXVII. ONIONS XXVIII. STRAWBERRIES XXIX. HAY AND OATS XXX. A HOUSE XXXI. MAJOR STREET XXXII. MOVING XXXIII. BETTY XXXIV. HOLIDAYS XXXV. ANTIQUITIES XXXVI. INTERPRETATIONS XXXVII. A STAND XXXVIII. LIFE PLANS XXXIX. SKIRMISHING XL. LONDON XLI. AN OLD HOUSE XLII. THE TOWER XLIII. MARTIN'S COURT XLIV. THE DUKE OF TREFOIL XLV. THE ABBEY XLVI. A VISIT XLVII. A TALK XLVIII. A SETTLEMENT

A RED WALLFLOWER.

CHAPTER I.

AFTER DANDELIONS .

It is now a good many years ago that an English family came over from the old country and established itself in one of the small villages that are scattered along the shore of Connecticut. Why they came was not clearly understood, neither was it at all to be gathered from their way of life or business. Business properly they had none; and their way of life seemed one of placid contentment and unenterprising domestic pleasure. The head of the family was a retired army officer, now past the prime of his years; tall, thin, grey, and grave; but a gentleman through and through. Everybody liked Colonel Gainsborough, although nobody could account for a man of his age leading what seemed such a profitless life. He was doing really nothing; staying at home with his wife and his books. Why had he come to Connecticut at all? If he lived for pleasure, surely his own country would have been a better place to seek it. Nobody could solve this riddle. That Colonel Gainsborough had anything to be ashamed of, or anything to be afraid of, entered nobody's head for a moment. Fear or shame were unknown to that grave, calm, refined face. The whisper got about, how, it is impossible to say, that his leaving home had been occasioned by a disagreement with his relations. It might be so. No one could ask him, and the colonel never volunteered to still curiosity on the subject.

The family was small. Only a wife and one little girl came with the colonel to America; and they were attended by only two old retainers, a man and a woman. They hired no other servants after their arrival, which, however, struck nobody as an admission of scantness of means. According to the views and habits of the countryside, two people were quite enough to look after three; the man outside and the woman inside the house. Christopher Bounder took care of the garden and the cow, and cut and made the hay from one or two little fields. And Mrs. Barker, his sister, was a very capable woman indeed, and quite equal to the combined duties of housekeeper, cook, lady's maid, and housemaid, which she fulfilled to everybody's satisfaction, including her own. However, after two or three years in Seaforth these duties were somewhat lessened; the duties of Mrs. Barker's hands, that is, for her head had more to do. Mrs. Gainsborough, who had been delicate and failing for some time, at last died, leaving an almost inconsolable husband and daughter behind her... Continue reading book >>




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