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The Scarlet Feather   By:

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THE SCARLET FEATHER

[Illustration: THERE WAS SOMETHING MAGNETIC ABOUT THIS MAN WHOM SHE FEARED AND TRIED TO HATE. Page 201]

THE SCARLET FEATHER

BY HOUGHTON TOWNLEY

Author of "The Bishop's Emeralds"

ILLUSTRATIONS BY WILL GREFÉ

NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT, 1909 BY W. J. WATT & COMPANY

Published June, 1909

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I The Sheriff's Writ 9 II The Check 21 III The Dinner at the Club 33 IV Dora Dundas 39 V Debts 50 VI A Kinship Something Less Than Kind 66 VII Good bye 82 VIII A Tiresome Patient 89 IX Herresford is Told 93 X Hearts Ache and Ache Yet Do Not Break 102 XI A House of Sorrow 117 XII A Difficult Position 125 XIII Dick's Heroism 135 XIV Mrs. Swinton Confesses 147 XV Colonel Dundas Speaks His Mind 168 XVI Mr. Trimmer Comes Home 173 XVII Mrs. Swinton Goes Home 190 XVIII A Second Proposal 195 XIX An Unexpected Telegram 204 XX The Wedding Day Arranged 221 XXI Dick's Return 226 XXII The Blight of Fear 237 XXIII Dora Sees Herresford 249 XXIV Dick Explains to Dora 262 XXV Tracked 280 XXVI Mrs. Swinton Hears the Truth 288 XXVII Ormsby Refuses 297 XXVIII The Will 307 XXIX A Public Confession 320 XXX Flight 333 XXXI Dora Decides 340 XXXII Home Again 348 XXXIII The Scarlet Feather 353

THE SCARLET FEATHER

THE SCARLET FEATHER

CHAPTER I

THE SHERIFF'S WRIT

The residence of the Reverend John Swinton was on Riverside Drive, although the parish of which he was the rector lay miles away, down in the heart of the East Side. It was thus that he compromised between his own burning desire to aid in the cleansing of the city's slums and the social aspirations of his wife. The house stood on a corner, within grounds of its own, at the back of which were the stables and the carriage house. A driveway and a spacious walk led to the front of the mansion; from the side street, a narrow path reached to the rear entrance.

A visitor to night chose this latter humble manner of approach, for the simple reason that this part of the grounds lay unlighted, and he hoped, therefore, to pass unobserved through the shadows. The warm, red light that streamed from an uncurtained French window on the ground floor only deepened the uncertainty of everything. The man stepped warily, closing the gate behind him with stealthy care, and crept forward on tiptoe to lessen the sound of the crunching gravel beneath his heavy shoes. It was an undignified entry for an officer of the law who carried his authorization in his hand; but courage was not this man's strong point. His fear was lest he should meet tall, stalwart Dick Swinton, who, on a previous occasion of a similar character, had forcibly resented what he deemed an unwarrantable intrusion on the part of a shabby rascal. The uncurtained window now attracted the attention of the sheriff's officer, and he peered in. It was the rector's study.

The rector himself was seated with his back toward the window, at his desk, upon which were piled account books and papers in hopeless confusion... Continue reading book >>




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