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A Blot on the Scutcheon   By: (1875-1949)

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First Page:

A BLOT ON THE SCUTCHEON

BY

MAY WYNNE

AUTHOR OF "HENRY OF NAVARRE," "A MAID OF BRITTANY," "FOR CHURCH AND CHIEFTAIN," ETC.

SECOND EDITION

MILLS & BOON, LIMITED

49 WHITCOMB STREET

LONDON W.C.

TO MY MOTHER

Published, January 12, 1910

Second Edition, February, 1910

CONTENTS

CHAP.

I. SIR HENRY'S HEIR II. SWEETHEARTS TRUE III. A TRAITOR'S SON IV. ON THE COACH FROM OXFORD V. A LEGACY VI. MISTRESS GABRIELLE GOES PRIMROSING VII. THE PRODIGAL'S RETURN VIII. AT LANGTON HALL IX. "WHEN TWO'S COMPANY AND THREE NONE" X. THE COUSIN FROM BRITTANY XI. THE ADVANTAGES OF A KEYHOLE XII. AN UNPRINCELY JEST XIII. A WOMAN'S WILL XIV. ON BRETON SOIL XV. CÉCILE DE QUERNAIS XVI. A MORNING ADVENTURE XVII. FAITH AND UNFAITH XVIII. MY LORD AWAITS HIS HOST XIX. AND WELCOMES A HOSTESS XX. MORRY EXPLAINS XXI. A STRANGE DISAPPEARANCE XXII. COUNT JÉHAN IS NOT CONVINCED XXIII. THE MEETING IN THE FOREST XXIV. THE HUT OF NANETTE LEROC XXV. BERTRAND TELLS A TALE XXVI. A BLIND ATONEMENT XXVII. WHO MICHAEL MET ON THE ROAD TO VARENAC XXVIII. LORD DENNINGHAM FIGHTS XXIX. "I AM THE MARQUIS DE VARENAC" XXX. THE TERROR COMES TO KÉRNAK XXXI. THE CALVARY ON THE MOORS XXXII. "MICHAEL! MICHAEL!" XXXIII. THE CAVE OF LOST SOULS

A Blot on the Scutcheon

CHAPTER I

SIR HENRY'S HEIR

The evening sunshine fell athwart the pleasant gardens of Berrington Manor, glorifying all. Stray beams of light stole through the mullioned windows of the old grey building, peeping unbidden into dusty corners and dim recesses. They shone, too, on the figure of an old man, seated near an open casement, in the wainscotted library.

But Sir Henry Berrington was heedless of the dancing shafts of glory which played daringly amongst the powdered hairs of his wig and shone on the gold buttons adorning his blue coat.

He was busy adjusting his lace cravat, as though it choked him, whilst he addressed his friend, Squire Poynder, who sat opposite, sipping his port and puffing smoke from a long and blackened pipe.

"My heir, indeed," Sir Henry was crying, with much heat, and a twisted frown of displeasure on his fine old face, "that gawk of a lad! with the brains of a mouse, I'll be sworn, and a name which any honest Englishman would be ashamed of. Michael! Michael ! Faith, Hugh, you laugh at me, but it's sober truth I'm telling you. Heir of mine he is, I'll not deny it. And the son of his father, too, unless I'm mistaken. Thus more shame and dishonour to the name I'm proud or was proud to bear. Lord grant I may be in my grave before the boy proves my words."

Squire Poynder puffed at his pipe in silence. It was not often that his friend ever alluded even indirectly to his son.

It was time to change the conversation.

The Squire gulped an inspiring draught of wine, pulled his pipe reluctantly from his lips, and, remarking hastily that the lad was young, turned his host's attention to the points of a certain black mare which a neighbour had for sale.

And, meantime, in the garden, perched on the bough of a chestnut tree, overhanging a sunken wall, sat the object of Sir Henry's dislike and choler, one Michael Berrington, sole heir to Berrington Manor, its wide estates and something more, of which, as yet, he was in pleasant ignorance.

A well grown lad of fifteen, his clothes the shabbier for rough usage rather than long wear, curly brown hair caught back by a black ribbon, a long face which gave the impression of being one of many points, accentuated by the long, thin nose; lean cheeks, fine grey eyes, and a mouth which showed sensitiveness and a love of humour, closing, too, with the resoluteness of a strong will.

An expressive, if not a handsome, face, with possibilities of improvement when the owner reached maturity; above all, the desire for laughter and mischief dominant... Continue reading book >>




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