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

Wild Honey Stories of South Africa   By: (1883-1936)

Book cover

First Page:

Wild Honey Stories of South Africa By Cynthia Stockley Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York. This edition dated 1914.

Wild Honey, by Cynthia Stockley.




It was a six mule mail coach that bumped and banged along the rough highroad to Buluwayo, and Vivienne Carlton anathematised the fate that condemned her to travel by it. Cordially she detested the cheerful garrulity of certain of her fellow passengers, quoting to herself Louis Vance's satirical mot: "A pessimist is a person who has to live with optimists." Gladly would she have slain the optimists with whom she was so tightly packed in the hooded body of the cart for the term "coach" was merely a polite fiction: the affair was neither more nor less than a two seated Cape cart, with the hood thrown back so that the mules might find the pulling easier and the passengers be more effectively grilled.

Two passengers shared the front seat with the driver. Miss Carlton was wedged in the back seat between a perspiring Cape Colonial and a tall lithe man with a deeply tanned complexion and careless light grey eyes, who was as taciturn as herself. No one looking at her sitting there so composedly, closely veiled and gloved, violet eyes quietly fixed on the horizon, her tall khaki clad figure preserving in spite of its contiguity with strangers an air of dainty aloofness, would have guessed her frame of mind. Her companions had her marked down as an English girl whose beauty and breeding warranted her to put on as much "side" as she liked, and in this they were not very far from the truth. They were also certain that she was the daughter of a lord, and wondered how she came to be travelling alone. The Colonial and the man who came from Kimberley admired her madly without daring to address a word to her; the showy blonde who was going up to be a barmaid in Salisbury, would have given the necklace of diamonds she wore for its safety under her cotton blouse, to possess that aloof manner and gift of remaining silent without being offensive. Only the third man with his careless glance that took in every point of the changing scene of bush, and tree, and kop, had any notion of what was going on behind the composed lovely face of the girl next to him. And the reason he knew was that though he looked like a pirate or a Klondike miner, or anything that was reckless and disreputable he was really of the same world as herself, and could very well guess how the discomfort and hateful intimacy of coach travelling outraged her. But even he was far from guessing at the hopeless fury, and bitter disdain of her surroundings and the world in general that was rankling in the heart so close to him that he could almost feel its beating.

Vivienne Carlton's hand was against all men as she believed all women's to be against her; but she had learned to conceal the fact well. Not by brandishing her scorn and detestation of it could she hope to get back her own from a world that had treated her badly. Two years of struggling for a living in the ranks of journalism had taught her nothing if it had not taught her this!

Ah! what a two years! Instead of enjoying the brilliant peace of the land about her, she was thinking of them now, turning her eyes inward to memories that were poisoning her life. Two years of outward kow towing to those who had once kow towed to her, of being cut and ignored by people who when she was heiress to great estates and an ancient name would have petted and fawned upon her, had not the natural haughtiness of her nature rebuffed them. They remembered those rebuffs when the tide of her family's prosperity turned, and the great law case that had dragged on wearily for many months came to an end with the verdict that disinherited her father and gave to an Australian cad all that Vivienne had been taught from her birth to consider irrefragably hers... 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