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

Viviette   By: (1863-1930)

Book cover

First Page:

VIVIETTE

BY

WILLIAM J. LOCKE

1916

[Illustration: "No, don't, Viviette; forgive me"]

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. THE BROTHERS

II. THE CONSPIRATORS

III. KATHERINE

IV. THE FAMOUS DUELLING PISTOLS

V. A CRISIS

VI. VIVIETTE TAKES THE RISK

ILLUSTRATIONS

"No, don't, Viviette; forgive me"

"Dick glared at him"

"He held out imploring hands"

"I want you to love me forever and ever"

VIVIETTE

CHAPTER I

THE BROTHERS

"Dick," said Viviette, "ought to go about in skins like a primitive man."

Katherine Holroyd looked up from her needlework. She was a gentle, fair haired woman of thirty, with demure blue eyes, which regarded the girl with a mingling of pity, protection, and amusement.

"My dear," she said, "whenever I see a pretty girl fooling about with a primitive man I always think of a sweet little monkey I once knew, who used to have great sport with a lyddite shell. Her master kept it on his table as a paper weight, and no one knew it was loaded. One day she hit the shell in the wrong place and they're still looking for the monkey. Don't think Dick is the empty shell."

Whereupon she resumed her work, and for a few moments the click of thimble and needle alone broke the summer stillness. Viviette lay idly on a long garden chair admiring the fit of a pair of dainty tan shoes, which she twiddled with graceful twists of the ankles some five feet from her nose. At Mrs. Holroyd's remark she laughed after the manner of one quite contented with herself a low, musical laugh, in harmony with the blue June sky and the flowering chestnuts and the song of the thrushes.

"My intentions with regard to Dick are strictly honourable," she remarked. "We've been engaged for the last eleven years, and I still have his engagement ring. It cost three and sixpence."

"I only want to warn you, dear," said Mrs. Holroyd. "Anyone can see that Dick is in love with you, and if you don't take care you'll have Austin falling in love with you too."

Viviette laughed again. "But he has already fallen! I don't think he knows it yet; but he has. It's great fun being a woman, isn't it, dear?"

"I don't know that I've ever found it so," Katherine replied with a sigh. She was a widow, and had loved her husband, and her sky was still tinged with grey.

Viviette, quick to catch the sadness in the voice, made no reply, but renewed the contemplation of her shoe tips.

"I'm afraid you're an arrant little coquette," said Katherine indulgently.

"Lord Banstead says I'm a little devil," she laughed.

If she was in some measure a coquette she may be forgiven. What woman can have suddenly revealed to her the thrilling sense of her sex's mastery over men without snatching now and then the fearful joy of using her power? She was one and twenty, her heart still unawakened, and she had returned to her childhood's home to find men who had danced her on their knees bending low before her, and proclaiming themselves her humble vassals. It was intoxicating. She had always looked up to Austin with awe, as one too remote and holy for girlish irreverence. And now! No wonder her sex laughed within her.

Until she had gone abroad to finish her education, she had lived in that old, grey manor house, that dreamed in the sunshine of the terrace below which she was sitting, ever since they had brought her thither, an orphaned child of three. Mrs. Ware, her guardian, was her adopted mother; the sons, Dick and Austin Ware, her brothers the engagement, when she was ten and Dick one and twenty, had hardly fluttered the fraternal relationship. She had left them a merry, kittenish child. She had returned a woman, slender, full bosomed, graceful, alluring, with a maturity of fascination beyond her years. Enemies said she had gipsy blood in her veins. If so, the infusion must have taken place long, long ago, for her folks were as proud of their name as the Wares of Ware House... 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
Languages
Paid Books