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The Splendid Folly   By: (-1948)

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E text prepared by Al Haines

THE SPLENDID FOLLY

by

MARGARET PEDLER

Author of the Hermit of Far End, etc.

New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers

1921

TO MY HUSBAND

W. G. Q. PEDLER

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I THE VERDICT II FELLOW TRAVELLERS III AN ENCOUNTER WITH DEATH IV CRAILING RECTORY V THE SECOND MEETING VI THE AFTERMATH OF AN ADVENTURE VII DIANA SINGS VIII MRS. LAWRENCE'S HOSPITALITY IX A CONTEST OF WILLS X MISS LERMONTOF'S ADVICE XI THE YEAR'S FRUIT XII MAX ERRINGTON'S RETURN XIII THE FRIEND WHO STOOD BY XIV THE FLAME OF LOVE XV DIANA'S DECISION XVI BARONI'S OPINION OF MATRIMONY XVII "WHOM GOD HATH JOINED TOGETHER" XVIII THE APPROACHING SHADOW XIX THE "FIRST NIGHT" PERFORMANCE XX THE SHADOW FALLS XXI THE OTHER WOMAN XXII THE PARTING OF THE WAYS XXIII PAIN XXIV THE VISION OF LOVE XXV BREAKING POINT XXVI THE REAPING XXVII CARLO BARONI EXPLAINS XXVIII THE AWAKENING XXIX SACRIFICE

THE HAVEN OF MEMORY

Do you remember Our great love's pure unfolding, The troth you gave, And prayed for God's upholding, Long and long ago?

Out of the past A dream and then the waking Comes back to me, Of love and love's forsaking, Ere the summer waned.

Ah! Let me dream That still a little kindness Dwelt in the smile That chid my foolish blindness, When you said good bye.

Let me remember, When I am very lonely, How once your love But crowned and blessed me only, Long and long ago!

MARGARET PEDLER.

NOTE: Musical setting by Isador Epstein. Published by G. Ricordi & Co.; 14 East 43rd Street, New York.

THE SPLENDID FOLLY

CHAPTER I

THE VERDICT

The March wind swirled boisterously down Grellingham Place, catching up particles of grit and scraps of paper on his way and making them a torment to the passers by, just as though the latter were not already amply occupied in trying to keep their hats on their heads.

But the blustering fellow cared nothing at all about that as he drove rudely against them, slapping their faces and blinding their eyes with eddies of dust; on the contrary, after he had swept forwards like a tornado for a matter of fifty yards or so he paused, as if in search of some fresh devilment, and espied a girl beating her way up the street and carrying a roll of music rather loosely in the crook of her arm. In an instant he had snatched the roll away and sent the sheets spread eagling up the street, looking like so many big white butterflies as they flapped and whirled deliriously hither and thither.

The girl made an ineffectual grab at them and then dashed in pursuit, while a small greengrocer's boy, whose time was his master's (ergo, his own), joined in the chase with enthusiasm.

Given a high wind, and half a dozen loose sheets of music, the elusive quality of the latter seems to be something almost supernatural, not to say diabolical, and the pursuit would probably have been a lengthy one but for the fact that a tall man, who was rapidly advancing from the opposite direction, seeing the girl's predicament, came to her help and headed off the truant sheets. Within a few moments the combined efforts of the girl, the man, and the greengrocer's boy were successful in gathering them together once more, and having tipped the boy, who had entered thoroughly into the spirit of the thing and who was grinning broadly, she turned, laughing and rather breathless, to thank the man.

But the laughter died suddenly away from her lips as she encountered the absolute lack of response in his face. It remained quite grave and unsmiling, exactly as though its owner had not been engaged, only two minutes before, in a wild and undignified chase after half a dozen sheets of paper which persisted in pirouetting maddeningly just out of reach... Continue reading book >>




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