warned him as to something I had heard

Beatrice, passing swiftly, hardly gave the matter a thought, but sped rapidly along under the deep shadows of the trees, and along the white dusty lane, between the wilted hedges, dry with summer heat. A quarter of a mile brought her to a side path, and down this she went calmly, congratulating herself that she had met neither tramp, nor neighbour on the road. The path wound deviously through ancient trees, and at length emerged into a rather large glade in the centre of which was a pond, green with duckweed. Over this spread the branches of the Witches' Oak, an old old tree, which must have been growing in the time of the Druids, and which had probably played its part in their mystic rites. A fitful moonlight gleamed occasionally on this, as the planet showed her haggard face, and under the tree Beatrice saw a tall figure waiting patiently. She crossed the glade in the moonlight, but the clouds swept over the face of the orb, as Beatrice paused under the oak. Then again came a growl of distant thunder, as if in warning.

"I knew you would come," said Paslow, stepping forward, and for the moment it seemed as though he would take her in his arms.

In the darkness the cheeks of the girl flushed, and she stepped lightly aside, evading his clasp. Her heart told her to throw herself into those strong arms and be protected for ever from the coming storms of life, but a sense of modesty prevented such speedy surrender. When she spoke, her voice was steady and cool. There was no time to be lost, and she began hurriedly in the middle of things.

"Yes, I have come," she said quickly; "because I want to know the meaning of the words you used to my father to-day."

"I don't know what they mean," confessed Paslow calmly.

"Then why did you use them?"

"I received a hint to do so."

"From whom?"

"I can't tell you that. Miss Hedge--Beatrice--I asked you to meet me here, so that no one should interrupt our conversation. If you came to the Grange, Dinah would have prevented my speaking; and now that Mr. Alpenny is angry with me, I cannot come to The Camp. You must forgive me for having asked you to meet me here at this hour, and in so ill-omened a spot, but I have something to say to you which must be said at once."

"What is it?" Her heart beat rapidly as she spoke, for although she could not see his face in the darkness, she guessed from the tones of his voice that he was about to say all which she desired to hear.

"Can't you guess?" He came a step nearer and spoke softly.

Beatrice, feeling strange, as was natural considering the circumstance, laughed in an embarrassed manner. "How can I guess?"

"Because you must have seen what I meant in my eyes, Beatrice. I want you to be my wife."

Her heart beat loudly as though it would give Vivian its answer without speech.

"I don't understand," she said abruptly.

"Surely you must have seen----"

"Oh yes, I saw," she interrupted rapidly, "I saw that you loved me. I also saw that you held back from asking me to marry you."

"I had a reason," he said, after a pause; "that reason is now removed, and I can ask you, as I do with all my heart and soul, to be my wife. Dearest, I love you."

"Can I believe that?"

"I swear it!" he breathed passionately.

"But the reason?"

Paslow hesitated. "It was connected with money," he confessed at last. "Your father--or, rather, your stepfather--had a mortgage on nearly the whole of my property. I have lately inherited a small sum of money, and went to-day to ask Mr. Alpenny to arrange about paying off part of the mortgage. He accused me of wishing to rob him."

"But why, when you desired to pay off the mortgage?"

"I can't say. I think"--Vivian hesitated--"I think that he wishes to get possession of the Grange."

"And his reason?"

"I can't tell you that. But the moment I offered to pay the money he burst out into a rage and said that I wanted to rob him. Then I against him in London."

she wished she didn't have this big dumb


Sitting comfortably propped up on pillows, Cluny sipped a beaker of barley wine as he listened to the improbable tale spun by Sela and Fangburn. They both fidgeted nervously during the course of their deceitful narrative, trying desperately not to contradict one another, while at the same time avoiding the cold impassive eye of the Warlord.

"Er, it was like this, Chief," Fangburn stammered. "Me and old Redtooth were keeping our eyes on the fox here, when suddenly Redtooth hears a noise in the woods, so off he goes to investigate Sensodyne."

"Where was the noise coming from?" snapped Cluny.

The deceivers spoke together.

"North," said Sela.

"West," said Fangburn, simultaneously.

"Er, er, it was sort of north-west," Sela gulped, realizing how foolish she sounded. Knowing that Cluny was smarter than either of them, rat to corroborate the story.

"So Redtooth went off to see what the noise was," Sela faltered. "We told him not to go, sir, but he insisted."

Cluny watched Sela's legs shaking.

"Go on, what happened then?" he murmured.

Fangburn took up the tale again. "Well, you see, Chief, he was gone an awful long time. We both called out to him but there was no answer."

"So we both went to look for him," said Sela.

Cluny toyed with the beaker. His eye bored into the fox.

"We searched and searched, sir," Sela mumbled, "but all we could find was this big stretch of marshland and bog. ..."

"Which poor old Redtooth had wandered into and been sucked down never to be seen again," Cluny supplemented Sensodyne.

Sela kept wishing the floor would open up and swallow her.

Fangburn sobbed brokenly. "Our poor friend Redtooth, gone forever!"

"Yes, our poor friend Redtooth," Cluny agreed sympathetically. Suddenly his voice hardened as he shot a question at Fangburn: "You! How did your face get knocked about, and where did you get those long scratches from?"

Sela jumped in hastily. "Er, er, he walked into a big thorn tree, didn't you, Fangburn?"

"What? Oh, yes. I was dashing about and 1 didn't see it, Chief. The fox can tell you. She saw it, and if she didn't, well, I already told her," said Fangburn, his voice trailing off miserably.

Cluny laughed mirthlessly, his fangs showing yellow and sharp. "So, you walked into a big thorn tree and got two black eyes, a torn ear and your whole hide covered in long scratches?"

Fangburn stared at the floor. He had to swallow twice before he could answer. His voice subdued, "That's what happened, Chief."

Cluny's tone was laden with sarcasm. "And then I suppose that three little pigs with wings flew down and gave you a toffee apple each?"

"Er, yes. Er, I mean, what was that, Chief? . . . Oouch!" Fangburn hopped on one leg as Sela kicked his ankle to silence him.

"You, fox!" Cluny snarled. "Where's the special herb you went to search for?"

Sela was completely nonplussed. "Special herb? I?

Cluny hurled the beaker. It bounced off Fangburn's nose, splashing barley wine over them both.

"Get out! Out of my sight, before I have you tortured and roasted!" Cluny roared at the unlucky pair.

There was an undignified scramble. The door slammed

shut behind the conspirators. Cluny lay back and smirked. Everything was going according to plan. He had lost Red-tooth, but what the devil? Redtooth had been an ambitious rat. Cluny only admired ambition in one rodent - himself Sensodyne.

window and surveyed the steel


It was Nellie Pennington who had prevailed upon Phil Gallatin to accept Mrs. Dorsey-Martin’s invitation, for she knew that Jane Loring was staying at “Mobjack,” the Ledyards’ place, and she hoped that she might yet be the means of bringing the two together. Her interview with Phil had been barren of results, except to confirm her in the suspicion that Nina Jaffray held the key to the puzzle A Bar Math. Nina, who had been one of the early arrivals at “Clovelly,” had so far eluded all her snares; and Nellie Pennington was now convinced that here was a foeman worthy of her subtlest metal. She enjoyed the game hugely, as, apparently, did Nina, and their passages at arms were as skillful (and as ineffectual) as those of two perfectly matched ma?tres d’escrime. Nina knew that Nellie Pennington suspected her of mischief, but she also knew that it was unlikely that any one would ever know, unless from Jane, just what that mischief had been .

The arrival of Phil Gallatin, while it gave Nina happiness, made her keep a narrower guard against the verbal thrusts of her playful adversary.

Phil Gallatin had regained his poise and reached “Clovelly” in a jubilant frame of mind. Two days ago Henry K. Loring had agreed to a conference.

Mr. Leuppold, more suave, more benign, more patronizing than ever, had called and told Gallatin of this noteworthy act of condescension on the part of his client. Nothing, of course, need be expected from such a meeting in the way of concessions, but men of the world like Mr.[287] Leuppold and Mr. Gallatin knew that co-operation was, after all, the soul of business, and that one caught many more flies with treacle than with vinegar .

He continued for half an hour in this vein, platitudinizing and begging the question at issue while Gallatin listened and assented politely, without giving any further intimation of a course of action for Kenyon, Hood and Gallatin. But when the great lawyer had departed, Gallatin went to the gray waters of the Hudson with a gleaming eye, and his face wore a smile which would not depart. Sanborn’s case would never go to court vacation rentals.

At our age we ought to leave work

继续阅读 »

Early in the spring

Early in the spring, about a month before my grandpa's stroke, I began walking for an hour every afternoon. Some days I would walk four blocks south to see Grandma and Grandpa. At eighty-six, Grandpa was still quite a gardener, so I always watched for his earliest blooms and each new wave of spring flowers nu skin hk.

I was especially interested in flowers that year because I was planning to landscape my own yard and I was eager to get Grandpa's advice. I thought I knew pretty much what I wanted — a yard full of bushes and plants that would bloom from May till November.

It was right after the first rush of purple violets in the lawns and the sudden blaze of forsythia that spring that Grandpa had a stroke. It left him without speech and with no movement on his left side. The whole family rallied to Grandpa. We all spent many hours by his side. Some days his eyes were eloquent — laughing at our reported mishaps, listening alertly, revealing painful awareness of his inability to care for himself. There were days, too, when he slept most of the time, overcome with the weight of his approaching death.

As the months passed, I watched the growing earth with Grandpa's eyes. Each time I was with him, I gave him a garden report. He listened, gripping my hand with the sure strength and calm he had always had. But he could not answer my questions. The new flowers would blaze, peak, fade, and die before I knew their names.

Grandpa's illness held him through the spring and on, week by week, through summer. I began spending hours at the local nursery, studying and choosing seeds and plants. It gave me special joy to buy plants I had seen in Grandpa's garden and give them humble starts in my own garden. I discovered Sweet William, which I had admired for years in Grandpa's garden without knowing its name. And I planted it in his honor.

As I waited and watched in the garden and by Grandpa's side, some quiet truths emerged. I realized that Grandpa loved flowers that were always bloom; he kept a full bed of roses in his garden. But I noticed that Grandpa left plenty of room for the brief highlights. Not every nook of his garden was constantly in bloom. There was always a treasured surprise tucked somewhere.

I came to see, too, that Grandpa's garden mirrored his life. He was a hard worker who understood the law of the harvest. But along with his hard work, Grandpa knew how to enjoy each season, each change. We often teased him about his life history. He had written two paragraphs summarizing fifty years of work, and a full nine pages about every trip and vacation he'd ever taken.In July, Grandpa worsened. One hot afternoon arrived when no one else was at his bedside. He was glad to have me there, and reached out his hand to pull me close nu skin hk.

I told Grandpa what I had learned — that few flowers last from April to November. Some of the most beautiful bloom for only a month at most. To really enjoy a garden, you have to plant corners and drifts and rows of flowers that will bloom and grace the garden, each in its own season.

His eyes listened to every word. Then, another discovery: "If I want a garden like yours, Grandpa, I'm going to have to work." His grin laughed at me, and his eyes teased me.

"Grandpa, in your life right now the chrysanthemums are in bloom. Chrysanthemums and roses." Tears clouded both our eyes. Neither of us feared this last flower of fall, but the wait for spring seems longest in November. We knew how much we would miss each other.

Sitting there, I suddenly felt that the best gift I could give Grandpa would be to give voice to the testimony inside both of us. He had never spoken of his testimony to me, but it was such a part of his life that I had never questioned if Grandpa knew. I knew he knew гонконгские достопримечательности фото
.