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The Twenty-Fourth of June   By: (1866-1959)

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First Page:


Midsummer's Day






I. The Curtain Rises on a Home

II. Richard Changes His Plans

III. While It Rains

IV. Pictures

V. Richard Pricks His Fingers

VI. Unsustained Application

VII. A Traitorous Proceeding

VIII. Roses Red

IX. Mr. Kendrick Entertains

X. Opinions and Theories

XI. "The Taming of the Shrew"

XII. Blankets

XIII. Lavender Linen

XIV. Rapid Fire

XV. Making Men

XVI. Encounters

XVII. Intrigue

XVIII. The Nailing of a Flag

XIX. In the Morning

XX. Side Lights

XXI. Portraits

XXII. Roberta Wakes Early

XXIII. Richard Has Waked Earlier

XXIV. The Pillars of Home

XXV. A Stout Little Cabin



None of it might ever have happened, if Richard Kendrick had gone into the house of Mr. Robert Gray, on that first night, by the front door. For, if he had made his first entrance by that front door, if he had been admitted by the maidservant in proper fashion and conducted into Judge Calvin Gray's presence in the library, if he had delivered his message, from old Matthew Kendrick, his grandfather, and had come away again, ushered out of that same front door, the chances are that he never would have gone again. In which case there would have been no story to tell.

It all came about or so it seems from its being a very rainy night in late October, and from young Kendrick's wearing an all concealing motoring rain coat and cap. He had been for a long drive into the country, and had just returned, mud splashed, when his grandfather, having taken it into his head that a message must be delivered at once, requested his grandson to act as his messenger.

So the young man had impatiently bolted out with the message, had sent his car rushing through the city streets, and had become a still muddier and wetter figure than before when he stood upon the porch of the old Gray homestead, well out in the edge of the city, and put thumb to the bell.

His hand was stayed by the shrill call of a small boy who dashed up on the porch out of the dusk. "You can't get in that way," young Ted Gray cried. "Something's happened to the lock they've sent for a man to fix it. Come round to the back with me I'll show you."

So this was why Richard Kendrick came to be conducted by way of the tall pillared rear porch into the house through the rear door of the wide, central hall. There was no light at this end of the hall, and the old fashioned, high backed settee which stood there was in shadow.

With a glance at the caller's muddy condition the young son of the house decided it the part of prudence to assign him this waiting place, while he himself should go in search of his uncle. The lad had seen the big motor car at the gate; quite naturally he took its driver for a chauffeur.

Ted looked in at the library door; his uncle was not there. He raced off upstairs, not noting the change which had already taken place in the visitor's appearance with the removal of the muddy coat and cap.

Richard Kendrick now looked a particularly personable young man, well built, well dressed, of the brown haired, gray eyed, clear skinned type. The eyes were very fine; the nose and mouth had the lines of distinction; the chin was positive. Altogether the young man did not look the part he had that day been playing that of the rich young idler who drives a hundred and fifty miles in a powerful car, over the worst kind of roads, merely for the sake of diversion and a good luncheon.

While he waited Richard considered the hall, at one end of which he sat in the shadow. There was something very homelike about this hall. The quaint landscape paper on the walls, the perceptibly worn and faded crimson Turkey carpeting on the floors, the wide, spindle balustrade staircase with the old clock on its landing; more than all, perhaps, on an October night like this, the warm glow from a lamp with crystal pendants which stood on the table of polished mahogany near the front door all these things combined to give the place a quite distinctive look of home... Continue reading book >>

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