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The Rider of Waroona   By:

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The Rider of Waroona

By Firth Scott

Author of "The Track of Midnight," "The Last Lemurian," "Romance of Polar Exploration," etc.

London John Long, Limited Norris Street, Haymarket

All rights reserved

First Published in 1912

SOME PRESS OPINIONS OF THE AUTHOR'S WORKS

Daily Chronicle: "Mr. Scott knows the colonial, native born, to the bones and the marrow."

Westminster Gazette: "To say that each of them is a gem is not saying too much."

Globe: "Mr. Firth Scott writes a straightforward, vigorous style, and has a keen eye for effective incident."

World: "Deserves grateful recognition by lovers of tales well told."

Scotsman: "Characteristically Australian."

Morning Post: "The story of Australian settlement is of enthralling interest."

Saturday Review: "This interesting and instructive book is very pleasant reading."

Literary World: "Mr. Firth Scott's stories are, alternately imbued with rare glamour and realism. In either atmosphere he is entertaining, and in both convincing."

AT ALL LIBRARIES AND BOOKSELLERS

Contents

I. CROTCHETY DUDGEON 9 II. THE RIDDLE 21 III. DISAPPEARED 34 IV. DURHAM'S SURMISE 44 V. MRS. BURKE'S PRESENTIMENT 58 VI. THE FACE AT THE WINDOW 79 VII. SNARED 93 VIII. THE NOTE THAT FAILED 103 IX. DUDGEON'S HOSPITALITY 118 X. "FOOLED" 133 XI. MRS. BURKE'S REBUFF 156 XII. AS THROUGH A MIST 173 XIII. REVENGE IS SWEET 191 XIV. THE LAST STRAW 211 XV. THE RIDER'S SCORN 227 XVI. LOVE'S CONQUEST 244 XVII. DUDGEON PROPOSES 265 XVIII. UNMASKED 286 XIX. THE ASHES OF SILENCE 307

CHAPTER I

CROTCHETY DUDGEON

In an old, rackety, single horse buggy, a vehicle which, to judge by the antiquity of its build and appearance and the rattle of its loose worn bolts, might have done duty since the days of the first pioneers, Dudgeon drove from his homestead to the bank.

He was a man who never discarded any article of use or clothing until it was hopelessly beyond repair. With a huge fortune stowed away in gilt edged securities and metropolitan house property, he grudged even a coat of paint for the vehicle he had driven for nearly forty years. The local wheelwright had long since declined to attempt to repair it, so the old man fell back on fencing wire and his own skill whenever the final collapse seemed imminent.

There was a legend circulating among the older residents of the district as to the reason for his peculiarities. To the younger generation it was merely an out of date story, for young Australia has scant heed for everything which does not come within his own personal range of experience or knowledge. But the legend, as extant, gave some significance to the seemingly unreasonable actions of the eccentric old man.

In the early days, when railways were not and the land was open and free for the bold young bloods to conquer, Dudgeon had come out from the coastal cities of the south. He had health and strength, and a heart which knew not fear; but whatever of wealth he had had was left in the hands of gambling sharks in the cities whence he came. He arrived at the township on foot, a rare occurrence in those days when no man journeyed half a mile except in the saddle. But the fact that he had walked "looking for work," as he said, drew so much attention to him that offers were made from all sides to hire his services. He accepted the best, and went to Waroona Downs with the then owner, one Henry Lambton, who, with his wife and daughter, resided at the house beyond the range... Continue reading book >>




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