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A Dream of Empire Or, The House of Blennerhassett   By: (1836-1920)

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First Page:

A DREAM OF EMPIRE

Or THE HOUSE OF BLENNERHASSETT

By WILLIAM HENRY VENABLE

AUTHOR OF "A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES," "JOHN HANCOCK, EDUCATOR," &c.

New York DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY MDCCCCI

Copyright, 1901, By Dodd, Mead and Company.

TO EMERSON VENABLE

Contents

I. AN ECCENTRIC VISITOR. 1 II. A NOTED CHARACTER ARRIVES IN PITTSBURG. 16 III. PILLARS OF SMOKE. 28 IV. PLUTARCH BYLE MAKES A NEW ACQUAINTANCE. 39 V. IN THE LADIES' BOWER. 45 VI. DOCTOR DEVILLE AND HIS LUCRECE. 62 VII. CONSPIRACY. 71 VIII. DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND. 82 IX. DON'T FORGET THE BITTERS. 97 X. "NOW TO MY CHARMS AND TO MY WILY TRAINS." 118 XI. PALAFOX GROWS INSOLENT. 127 XII. SNARING A PHILOSOPHER. 137 XIII. THE ENCHANTED GROUND. 150 XIV. A LARGESS OF CORONETS. 169 XV. THERE BE LAND RATS AND WATER RATS. 181 XVI. A PATRIOT NOT TO BE TAMPERED WITH. 193 XVII. THE BUSY NOTE OF PREPARATION. 205 XVIII. THE VOYAGE OF THE BUCKEYE. 218 XIX. ARLINGTON'S RIDE. 234 XX. MOSTLY LOVE MATTERS. 247 XXI. PRO AND CON. 262 XXII. NOT A TRUE BILL. 269 XXIII. THE FATAL CIPHER. 278 XXIV. THE MIDNIGHT DEPARTURE. 286 XXV. HEROINE AND HERO. 297 XXVI. OUT OF THE NET INTO THE TRAP. 312 XXVII. FLIGHT AND SURRENDER. 326 XXVIII. WHAT BECAME OF THEM. 333

A DREAM OF EMPIRE.

I. AN ECCENTRIC VISITOR.

It was the first of May, and the sun had passed the noon line in a bright sky, causing the shadow of Peter Taylor to fall east of north and infusing his substance with the delightful languor called Spring Fever. Leaning upon an idle spade, Peter watched the lazy motions of a negro slave whom he had directed to trim a level lawn ornamented with flowerbeds. The English origin of the overseer was revealed by his looks and in his speech.

"Scipio, 'ave you 'oed the corn?"

"No, boss, but I's jes' gwine to ten' to it right away."

"Well, make 'aste. Daniel and Ransom can 'elp you, and tell Honest Moses to get the south patch ready for the watermelon seed."

Scipio received his orders submissively, and, shouldering a hoe, sauntered toward the cornfield, and was soon hidden by a clump of young weeping willows, the sunny green branches of which trailed to the darker verdure of the sward. Screened by the drooping foliage, the shirking menial cast his body on the grass to store up energy for anticipated toil.

Meanwhile, the taskmaster, having issued commands to his black subordinates, felt justified in neglecting his own duties, in a dignified way, by seeking a shady retreat in which he lingered contemplating the charms of Nature and the pleasing results of his own skill as a landscape gardener. The prevailing aspect of the surroundings was wild, though several acres of cultivated land, including a fine lawn with gravelled walks and drives, attested that much labor had been expended in reclaiming a portion of savage Nature from its primeval condition. The plantation occupied the upper end of Blennerhassett Island. Standing on a knoll, with his back to the "improved" grounds, Peter took in at a sweeping glance a reach of gleaming water which flowed between woody hills overhung by a serene sky... Continue reading book >>




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