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Rosa Mundi and Other Stories   By: (1881-1939)

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ROSA MUNDI AND OTHER STORIES

by

ETHEL M. DELL

Author of The Bars of Iron , The Keeper of the Door , The Knave of Diamonds , The Obstacle Race , The Rocks of Valpré , The Way of an Eagle , etc.

CONTENTS

ROSA MUNDI

A DEBT OF HONOUR I. HOPE AND THE MAGICIAN II. THE VISITOR III. THE FRIEND IN NEED IV. HER NATURAL PROTECTOR V. MORE THAN A FRIEND VI. HER ENEMY VII. THE SCRAPE VIII. BEFORE THE RACE IX. THE RACE X. THE ENEMY'S TERMS XI. WITHOUT DEFENCE XII. THE PENALTY XIII. THE CURSE OF THE VALLEY XIV. HOW THE TALE WAS TOLD XV. THE NIGHT OF DESPAIR XVI. THE COMING OF HOPE

THE DELIVERER I. A PROMISE OF MARRIAGE II. A RING OF VALUE III. THE HONEYMOON IV. A GRIEVOUS WOUND V. A STRUGGLE FOR MASTERY VI. AN OFFER OF HELP VII. THE DELIVERER VIII. AFTER THE ACCIDENT IX. THE END OF A MYSTERY X. TAKEN TO TASK XI. MONEY'S NOT EVERYTHING XII. AFTERWARDS LOVE

THE PREY OF THE DRAGON

THE SECRET SERVICE MAN I. A TIGHT PLACE II. A BROKEN FRIENDSHIP III. DERRICK'S PARADISE IV. CARLYON DEFENDS HIMSELF V. A WOMAN'S FORGIVENESS VI. FIEND OR KING? VII. THE REAL COLONEL CARLYON VIII. THE STRANGER ON THE VERANDA IX. A FIGHT IN THE NIGHT X. SAVED A SECOND TIME XI. THE SECRET OUT

THE PENALTY

Rosa Mundi

Was the water blue, or was it purple that day? Randal Courteney stretched his lazy length on the shady side of the great natural breakwater that protected Hurley Bay from the Atlantic rollers, and wondered. It was a day in late September, but the warmth of it was as a dream of summer returned. The season was nearly over, or he had not betaken himself thither, but the spell of heat had prolonged it unduly. It had been something of a shock to him to find the place still occupied by a buzzing crowd of visitors. He never came to it till he judged the holidays to be practically over. For he loved it only when empty. His idea of rest was solitude.

He wondered how long this pearly weather would last, and scanned the sky for a cloud. In vain! There was no cloud all round that blue horizon, and behind him the cliffs stood stark against an azure sky. Summer was lingering, and even he had not the heart to wish her gone.

Something splashed noisily on the other side of the rocky breakwater. Something squeaked and gurgled. The man frowned. He had tramped a considerable distance to secure privacy. He had his new novel to think out. This invasion was intolerable. He had not even smoked the first pipe of his meditations. Impatiently he prepared to rise and depart.

But in that moment a voice accosted him, and in spite of himself he paused. "I want to get over the breakwater," said the voice. "There's such a large crab lives this side."

It was an engaging voice a voice with soft, lilting notes in it the voice of a child.

Courteney's face cleared a little. The grimness went out of his frown, the reluctance from his attitude. He stood up against the rocky barrier and stretched his hands over to the unseen owner of the voice.

"I'll help you," he said.

"Oh!" There was an instant's pause; then two other hands, wet, cool, slender, came up, clasping his. A little leap, a sudden strain, and a very pink face beneath a cloud of golden hair laughed down into his. "You must pull," she said; "pull hard!"

Courteney obeyed instructions. He pulled, and a pair of slim shoulders clad in white, with a blue sailor collar, came into view. He pulled again, and a white knee appeared, just escaping a blue serge skirt. At the third pull she was over and standing, bare footed, by his side. It had been a fairy leap. He marvelled at the lightness of her till he saw her standing so, with merry eyes upraised to his. Then he laughed, for she was laughing the infectious laugh of the truant... Continue reading book >>




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