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Viola Gwyn   By: (1866-1928)

Book cover

First Page:

Charles Aldarondo, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

[Illustration: "I shall get married when and where I please, and to whom I please, Mr. Gwynne."]

VIOLA GWYN

BY George Barr McCutcheon

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE THE BEGINNING

CHAPTER

I SHELTER FOR THE NIGHT II THE STRANGE YOUNG WOMAN III SOMETHING ABOUT CLOTHES, AND MEN, AND CATS IV VIOLA GWYN V REFLECTIONS AND AN ENCOUNTER VI BARRY LAPELLE VII THE END OF THE LONG ROAD VIII RACHEL CARTER IX BROTHER AND SISTER X MOTHER AND DAUGHTER XI A ROADSIDE MEETING XII ISAAC STAIN APPEARS BY NIGHT XIII THE GRACIOUS ENEMY XIV A MAN FROM DOWN THE RIVER XV THE LANDING OF THE "PAUL REVERE" XVI CONCERNING TEMPESTS AND INDIANS XVII REVELATIONS XVIII RACHEL DELIVERS A MESSAGE XIX LAPELLE SHOWS HIS TEETH XX THE BLOW XXI THE AFFAIR AT HAWK'S CABIN XXII THE PRISONERS XXIII CHALLENGE AND RETORT XXIV IN AN UPSTAIRS ROOM XXV MINDA CARTER XXVI THE FLIGHT OF MARTIN HAWK XXVII THE TRIAL OF MOLL HAWK XXVIII THE TRYSTING PLACE OF THOUGHTS XXIX THE ENDING

PROLOGUE

THE BEGINNING

Kenneth Gwynne was five years old when his father ran away with Rachel Carter, a widow. This was in the spring of 1812, and in the fall his mother died. His grandparents brought him up to hate Rachel Carter, an evil woman.

She was his mother's friend and she had slain her with the viper's tooth. From the day that his questioning intelligence seized upon the truth that had been so carefully withheld from him by his broken hearted mother and those who spoke behind the hand when he was near, from that day he hated Rachel Carter with all his hot and outraged heart. He came to think of her as the embodiment of all that was evil, for those were the days when there was no middle ground for sin and women were either white or scarlet.

He rejoiced in the belief that in good time Rachel Carter would come to roast in the everlasting fires of hell, grovelling and wailing at the feet of Satan, the while his lovely mother looked down upon her in pity, even then he wondered if such a thing were possible, from her seat beside God in His Heaven. He had no doubts about this. Hell and heaven were real to him, and all sinners went below. On the other hand, his father would be permitted to repent and would instantly go to heaven. It was inconceivable that his big, strong, well beloved father should go to the bad place. But Mrs. Carter would! Nothing could save her! God would not pay any attention to her if she tried to repent; He would know it was only "make believe" if she got down on her knees and prayed for forgiveness. He was convinced that Rachel Carter could not fool God. Besides, would not his mother be there to remind Him in case He could not exactly remember what Rachel Carter had done? And were there not dozens of good, honest people in the village who would probably be in Heaven by that time and ready to stand before the throne and bear witness that she was a bad woman?

No, Rachel Carter could never get into Heaven. He was glad. No matter if the Scriptures did say all that about the sinner who repents, he did not believe that God would let her in. He supported this belief by the profoundly childish contention that if God let EVERYBODY in, then there would be no use having a hell at all. What was the use of being good all your life if the bad people could get into Heaven at the last minute by telling God they were sorry and never would do anything bad again as long as they lived? And was not God the wisest Being in all the world? He knew EVERYTHING! He knew all about Rachel Carter. She would go to the bad place and stay there forever, even after the "resurrection" and the end of the world by fire in 1883, a calamity to which he looked forward with grave concern and no little trepidation at the thoughtful age of six... Continue reading book >>




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