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

The Story of a Picture   By: (1857-1917)

Book cover

First Page:

A Dainty Trifle for my Lady Love


By Douglass Sherley

John P. Morton & Co., Louisville,


Copyrighted 1884, By Douglass Sherley.

"Near my bed, there, hangs a Picture jewels could not buy from me."

There was a colored crayon in a crowded shop window. Other people passed it by, but a Youth of the Town, with Hope in his heart, leaned over the guard rail and looked upon the beauty of that pictured face long and earnestly.

It was the head of a pretty girl with dark hair and dark eyes. She was clad in a dainty white gown, loose flowing and beautiful. In her left hand, slender and uplifted, a letter; in her right a pen, and beneath it a spotless page.

She was seated within the shadow of a white marble chimney piece richly carved with Cupids, fluttering, kneeling, supplicating; with arrows new, broken, and mended; with quivers full, depleted, and empty. The great, broad shelf above her pretty head was laden with rare and artistic treasures. A vase from India; a costly fan from China; a dark and mottled bit of color in an ancient frame of tarnished gold, done by some Flemish master of the long ago. Beyond all this, a ground of shadowy green, pale, cool, and delicious. On the table, near the spotless page and the dear pen clasping hand, a bunch of flowers; not a mass of ugly blooms, opulent and oppressive, but a few garden roses, old fashioned and exceeding sweet, blushing to their utmost red, having found themselves so unexpectedly brought into the presence of this pretty girl.

This, in outline, was the picture. The dealer had written on a slip of paper, in large, rude letters,

Her answer: Yes, or No.

It was a frameless crayon, thrust aside and somewhat overshadowed by a huge and garish thing in gaudy flowered gilt, which easily caught and held the eye of the busy throng.

The Youth passed on to his duty of the day with Hope in his heart. Light grew his heavy task, and the drudgery of his work was forgotten he was haunted by the sight of that face in the Picture. The softness of the eye, the sweetness of the mouth, or something, made the Youth of the noisy Town believe her answer would surely be Yes.

Now the Youth and the Afternoon Shadows together came and feasted on the beauty of that Maiden's face. The Shadows, without booty, fled away into the night. But not so with the Youth. In triumph he brought it to the favored room of his own dear home; and always thereafter this Picture gleamed in beauty from out its chimney piece setting of ebony and old cherry.

She was always pretty, sometimes beautiful, but not always the same, this my Lady of the Picture. She was indeed a changeful Lady, as the story will tell. Those who saw her face when first she was given the place of honor in the home of this Youth, with Hope in his heart, all said, and with one accord, "There is but one answer for her to make, and that one answer is, Yes."

The Easter tide growing old, and the Summer time new and beautiful, brought no change. The last light of each day fell on the clear cut and delicate face, gilded the dark hair with a deep russet brown, played about the sweet mouth and was gone, leaving her with answer yet ungiven.

The first fire of the Autumn crackled and glowed on the tiled hearth, and threw a Shadow on the face of the pretty girl in the Picture; and from that moment there was a change. "But it is only a Shadow from the fire light glow," said the Youth of the Town. But something within whispered, "You are wrong; she is going to say, No."

Again and again the words repeated themselves, clearly and distinctly, "You are wrong! you are wrong! you are wrong!" Then vaguely and almost inaudibly, "She is going to say, No;" with his own voice he made effort to drown the words of that fateful refrain... 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
Paid Books