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The Vagrant Duke   By: (1870-1942)

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First Page:

The

VAGRANT DUKE

BY GEORGE GIBBS

The Vagrant Duke The Splendid Outcast The Black Stone The Golden Bough The Secret Witness Paradise Garden The Yellow Dove The Flaming Sword Madcap The Silent Battle The Maker of Opportunities The Forbidden Way The Bolted Door Tony's Wife The Medusa Emerald

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY Publishers New York

[Illustration: PETER STRUCK HIM FULL ON THE HEAD]

The VAGRANT DUKE

BY

GEORGE GIBBS

AUTHOR OF "THE SPLENDID OUTCAST," "THE YELLOW DOVE," "THE SECRET WITNESS," ETC.

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY NEW YORK LONDON 1921

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

Copyright, 1920, by The Story Press Corporation PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

PROLOGUE 1

I INTRODUCING PETER NICHOLS 15

II NEW YORK 27

III THE OVERALL GIRL 42

IV THE JOB 56

V NEW ELEMENTS 71

VI THE HOUSE OF TERROR 88

VII MUSIC 105

VIII THE PLACARD 121

IX SHAD IS UNPLEASANT 137

X "HAWK" 153

XI ANCIENT HISTORY 170

XII CONFESSION 186

XIII THE CHASE 207

XIV TWO LETTERS 226

XV SUPERMAN 236

XVI IDENTIFICATION 253

XVII PETER BECOMES A CONSPIRATOR 266

XVIII FACE TO FACE 276

XIX YAKIMOV REVEALS HIMSELF 291

XX THE RUSSIAN PAYS 308

XXI THE INFERNO 326

XXII RETRIBUTION 343

XXIII A VISITOR 357

The VAGRANT DUKE

THE VAGRANT DUKE

PROLOGUE

At the piano a man sat playing the "Revolutionary √Čtude" of Chopin. The room was magnificent in its proportions, its furnishings were massive, its paneled oak walls were hung with portraits of men and women in the costumes of a bygone day. Through the lofty windows, the casements of which were open to the evening sky there was a vista of forest and meadow land stretching interminably to the setting sun. The mosquelike cupola of a village church, a few versts distant, glimmered like a pearl in the dusky setting of wooded hills, and close by it, here and there, tiny spirals of opalescent smoke marked the dwellings of Zukovo village.

But the man at the piano was detached, a being apart from this scene of quiet, absorbed in his piano, which gave forth the turbulence which had been in the soul of the great composer. The expression upon the dark face of the young musician was rapt and eager, until he crashed the chords to their triumphant conclusion when he sank back in his chair with a gasp, his head bent forward upon his breast, his dark gaze fixed upon the keys which still echoed with the tumult.

It was at this moment that a door at the side of the room was opened and a white haired man in purple livery entered and stood in silence regarding rather wistfully the man at the piano, who raised his head abruptly like one startled from a dream.

"What is it, Vasili?" asked the musician.

The servant approached softly a few steps.

"I did not wish to intrude, Highness, but "

As the old servant hesitated, the young man shrugged and rose, disclosing a tall, straight figure, clad in a dark blue blouse, loose trousers and brown boots liberally bespattered with mud... Continue reading book >>




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