Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Shadow   By: (1865-1951)

Book cover

First Page:

Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive. See http://www.archive.org/details/theshadow00ovinuoft

THE SHADOW

by

MARY WHITE OVINGTON

Author of "Half a Man"

New York Harcourt, Brace and Howe 1920

Copyright, 1920, by Harcourt, Brace and Howe, Inc.

The Quinn & Boden Company Rahway. N. J.

TO MY MOTHER

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

I THE PINES

II KATHLEEN

III DICK

IV THE LIVE OAKS

THE SHADOW

PROLOGUE

When George Ogilvie, distinguished Judge of Palmetto County, Florida, read of the death in the papers the quick death after the surgeon's knife he felt glad and inexpressibly relieved. To play the part of avenger was sadly out of keeping with his gentle temperament. His wife could have done it without a qualm but since this was not permitted her she would in time have forced the role upon him. Fate, however, had taken her revenge without using him as her instrument, and the man who had brought disgrace into his home had slipped from the world honored by his associates, without visible taint upon his career. Remembering this, the Judge's sense of relief changed to a desire to play the familiar role, to sit himself upon the throne of justice and pronounce sentence upon this fresh faced, laughing, persuasive criminal. Would he at the Most High Tribunal be given his full penalty?

But this autumn night, as the wind howled about the old house shaking the windows in their frames, as the rain tore the leaves from the branches and beat them upon the sodden ground, he almost wished the lad was alive again. He would then find some way to tie the loose, careless life to the life that it had maimed, to the life it had brought into existence. In this driving storm of circumstance that a week since had hurled a human being out of the world and last night had brought a second to take its place, he found himself helpless. His long career, a career in which he had decided with quiet assurance the guilt or innocence of men and women standing fearful before him, was of no assistance. This was not another man's problem but his own. He poured himself a drink from the old, ruby glass decanter upon the sideboard, and found his hand trembling so that the liquor was spilled upon the cloth. His head swirled with the swirling leaves that the rain tore from their sockets. All that he had believed and preached was taken from him by his own world's tragic storm.

In the south room, however, it was peaceful and quiet. The wind spent its strength in the north, and here one could listen to the creak of the chair as the old nurse rocked slowly back and forth. Near her, on the bed, upon her back, was a young girl. Her curling brown hair lay a braid on either side of her delicate face. Her eyes were closed, but not in sleep, for every now and then she would move her right arm as though to draw something toward her. At length, opening her eyes, and looking to the far corner of the room, she said: "Mammy, I want it."

The old colored woman left her seat and walked to where a cradle stood. "Not right now, lil' lamb."

"Why not?"

"It done sleep now."

The girl turned upon her side and, crooking her arm, rested her head within it. She listened, her brow slightly wrinkled, to the rain as it beat upon the roof of the gallery.

Presently: "Why doesn't it cry, mammy?"

"Ain't I tole yer, chile, it done sleep. Ain't I tole yer?"

Downstairs the man of the house had stepped across the hall and joined a little thin old gentleman who sat close to a blazing fire.

"Doctor!"

"Yes, George."

"Remember Lillias when you gave her to me, eighteen years ago?"

"What of it?"

"Nothing. How helpless she was. I reckon all baby things are helpless." In lowered voice: "That baby upstairs now. It seems worse being a girl."

The doctor made no reply, but crouched by the fire... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books