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Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon

The Graustark novels are stories of court intrigue, royal disguise, and romance similar to Anthony Hope’s 1894 novel, The Prisoner of Zenda, and its sequels. They were popular best-sellers at the time they were published and the original editions are still readily available in used book shops. The novels gave their name to a fictional genre called Graustarkian: this genre contains tales of romance and intrigue usually featuring titled characters in small, fictional, Central European countries.

During the 1870’s, Graustark’s ruler, Prince Ganlook, was killed in a war with neighboring Axphain. As part of the ensuing peace treaty, Graustark agreed to pay a large indemnity to Axphain, to be due, with interest, in fifteen years.

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By George Barr McCutcheon


Mr. Grenfall Lorry boarded the east bound express at Denver with all the air of a martyr. He had traveled pretty much all over the world, and he was not without resources, but the prospect of a twenty five hundred mile journey alone filled him with dismay. The country he knew; the scenery had long since lost its attractions for him; countless newsboys had failed to tempt him with the literature they thrust in his face, and as for his fellow passengers well, he preferred to be alone. And so it was that he gloomily motioned the porter to his boxes and mounted the steps with weariness.

As it happened, Mr. Grenfall Lorry did not have a dull moment after the train started.

He stumbled on a figure that leaned toward the window in the dark passageway. With reluctant civility he apologized; a lady stood up to let him pass, and for an instant in the half light their eyes met, and that is why the miles rushed by with incredible speed.

Mr. Lorry had been dawdling away the months in Mexico and California... Continue reading book >>

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