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Eveline Mandeville Or, The Horse Thief Rival   By:

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Note: Images of the original pages are available through the Library Electronic Text Resource Service of Indiana University See idx?c=wright2;idno=Wright2 0028


Or, The Horse Thief Rival



Author of "The Rival Hunters."

Cincinnati: Published by U. P. James, 167 Walnut Street.



"Why do you persist in refusing to receive the addresses of Willard Duffel, when you know my preference for him?"

"Because I do not like him."

"'Do not like him,' forsooth! And pray, are you going to reject the best offer in the county because of a simple whim? the mere fancy of a vain headed, foolish and inexperienced girl? I did not before suppose that a daughter of mine would manifest such a want of common sense."

"Whether my opinions of men are made up of that rare article so inappropriately called 'common sense' or not, is a question I shall not attempt to decide; it is sufficient for me to know that I have my 'likes and my dislikes,' as well as other folks, and that it is my right to have them."

"Oh, yes! you have rights, but a parent has not, I suppose!"

"You know very well, father, that I do not deserve an insinuation of that kind from you: I have always regarded your wishes, when expressed, save in this one instance, and I have too much at stake, in so serious a matter, to lightly throw aside my own opinions."

"Yes, yes, you have been the most obliging of daughters, to hear your own story; but no sooner does a point of any moment come up, upon which we happen to disagree, than my wishes are as nothing a mere school girl whim is set up in opposition to them, and that, too, without even a shadow of reason! A very dutiful child, truly."

"Father, how can you talk so? You surely are but trying me; for you know I do not merit the rebuke conveyed by your words and manner."

"Why not?"

"Why do I?"

"Because you are willfully disobedient."

"No, not willfully but sorrowfully disobedient to your wishes. Glad, indeed, would I be if I could comply with them, but I cannot. Nor should you expect me to, until you show some good grounds why you entertain them."

"Have I not already done so repeatedly? Have I not told you that Duffel's prospects are fairer than those of any other young man of your acquaintance? Is he not wealthy? Has he not one of the best farms in the country? What more do you want?"

"A man of principle, not of property."

"And is not Duffel a man of principle? Is he not strictly honorable in all his dealings?"

"He may or may not be honest in his dealings; I do not allude to business, but moral principle, and in this I think he is decidedly wanting."

"Why do you think so?"

"His actions and manners impress me with such a belief; I feel it more than see it, yet I am as fully satisfied on that point as if he had told me in so many words that he had no regard for the restraints of morality and religion, save such as a decent respect for the customs and opinion of society enjoins."

"Mere fancy again! I'd like to know if you expect to live in any of the air castles you are building?"

"I think there is not quite as much probability of my inhabiting one of them as there is of Duffel's incarceration in the penitentiary."

"What do you mean, girl?"

"To be plain, I do not believe Duffel's wealth was honestly obtained, or is honestly held. You have heard of the Secret Gang of Horse Thieves, I suppose. Well, I overheard this immaculate Duffel of yours, without any intention on my part, conversing with a 'hale fellow well met,' no other than the stranger you yourself suspected of being a villain and from the tenor of their remarks, they belong to some clique of rascals. I could not gather a very distinct idea as to what the organization was formed to accomplish, for I could not hear all that was said; but I learned enough to satisfy myself that all was not right. I had not mentioned the circumstance before, for the simple reason that I wished to obtain stronger evidence against the parties, but you have my secret act upon it as you think best... Continue reading book >>

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