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A Terrible Secret   By: (1840-1880)

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First Page:

A TERRIBLE SECRET.

A Novel.

BY

MAY AGNES FLEMING,

To

CHRISTIAN REID,

AUTHOR OF

"VALERIE AYLMER," ETC.,

AS A

TOKEN OF ADMIRATION AND ESTEEM,

THIS

STORY IS DEDICATED.

MAY AGNES FLEMING.

BROOKLYN,

September , 1874.

CONTENTS.

I. Bride and Bridegroom Elect II. Wife and Heir III. How Lady Catheron came Home IV. "I'll not Believe but Desdemona's Honest" V. In the Twilight VI. In the Moonlight VII. In the Nursery VIII. In the Darkness IX. From the "Chesholm Courier" X. From the "Chesholm Courier" Continued XI. "Ring out your Bells! Let Mourning Shows be Spread!" XII. The first Ending of the Tragedy

PART II.

I. Miss Darrell II. A Night in the Snow III. Trixy's Party IV. "Under the Gaslight" V. Old Copies of the "Courier" VI. One Moonlight Night VII. Short and Sentimental VIII. In Two Boats IX. Alas for Trix X. How Trix took it XI. How Lady Helena took it XII. On St. Partridge Day XIII. How Charley took it XIV. To morrow XV. Lady Helena's Ball XVI. "O My Cousin Shallow hearted!" XVII. "Forever and Ever" XVIII. The Summons XIX. At Poplar Lodge XX. How the Wedding day Began XXI. How the Wedding day Ended XXII. The Day After XXIII. The Second Ending of the Tragedy

PART III.

I. At Madame Mirebeau's, Oxford Street II. Edith III. How they Met IV. How they Parted V. The Telling of the Secret VI. The last Ending of the Tragedy VII. Two Years After VIII. Forgiven or Forgotten? IX. Saying Good by X. The Second Bridal XI. The Night XII. The Morning

CHAPTER I.

BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM ELECT.

Firelight falling on soft velvet carpet, where white lily buds trail along azure ground, on chairs of white polished wood that glitters like ivory, with puffy of seats of blue satin; on blue and gilt panelled walls; on a wonderfully carved oaken ceiling; on sweeping draperies of blue satin and white lace; on half a dozen lovely pictures; on an open piano; and last of all, on the handsome, angry face of a girl who stands before it Inez Catheron.

The month is August the day the 29th Miss Catheron has good reason to remember it to the last day of her life. But, whether the August sun blazes, or the January winds howl, the great rooms of Catheron Royals are ever chilly. So on the white tiled hearth of the blue drawing room this summer evening a coal fire flickers and falls, and the mistress of Catheron Royals stands before it, an angry flush burning deep red on either dusk cheek, an angry frown contracting her straight black brows.

The mistress of Catheron Royals, the biggest, oldest, queerest, grandest place in all sunny Cheshire, this slim, dark girl of nineteen, for three years past the bride elect of Sir Victor Catheron, baronet, the last of his Saxon race and name, the lord of all these sunny acres, this noble Norman pile, the smiling village of Catheron below. The master of a stately park in Devon, a moor and "bothy" in the highlands, a villa on the Arno, a gem of a cottage in the Isle of Wight. "A darling of the gods," young, handsome, healthy; and best of all, with twenty thousand a year.

She is his bride elect. In her dark way she is very handsome. She is to be married to Sir Victor early in the next month, and she is as much in love with him as it is at all possible to be. A fair fate surely. And yet while the August night shuts down, while the wind whistles in the trees, while the long fingers of the elm, just outside the window, tap in a ghostly way on the pane, she stands here, flushed, angry, impatient, and sullen, her handsome lips set in a tight, rigid line.

She is very dark at all times. Her cousin Victor tells her, laughingly, she is an absolute nigger when in one of her silent rages... Continue reading book >>




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