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A Bride from the Bush by E. W. Hornung

A BRIDE FROM THE BUSH

by

Ernest Wm. Hornung

Collins' Clear-Type Press London & Glasgow

[Illustration: B.B. _Chap. 4._ 'She looked very fresh and buoyant in the summer morning.']

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE I. A LETTER FROM ALFRED 9

II. HOME IN STYLE 24

III. PINS AND NEEDLES 35

IV. A TASTE OF HER QUALITY 49

V. GRANVILLE ON THE SITUATION 61

VI. COMPARING NOTES 71

VII. IN RICHMOND PARK 81

VIII. GRAN'S REVENGE 96

IX. E TENEBRIS LUX 112

X. PLAIN SAILING 129

XI. A THUNDER-CLAP 142

XII. PAST PARDON 151

XIII. A SOCIAL INFLICTION 160

XIV. 'HEAR MY PRAYER!' 172

XV. THE FIRST PARTING 186

XVI. TRACES 194

XVII. WAITING FOR THE WORST 209

XVIII. THE BOUNDARY-RIDER OF THE YELKIN PADDOCK 228

XIX. ANOTHER LETTER FROM ALFRED 244

CHAPTER I

A LETTER FROM ALFRED

There was consternation in the domestic camp of Mr Justice Bligh on the banks of the Thames. It was a Sunday morning in early summer. Three-fourths of the family sat in ominous silence before the mockery of a well-spread breakfast-table: Sir James and Lady Bligh and their second son, Granville. The eldest son--the missing complement of this family of four--was abroad. For many months back, and, in fact, down to this very minute, it had been pretty confidently believed that the young man was somewhere in the wilds of Australia; no one had quite known where, for the young man, like most vagabond young men, was a terribly meagre corespondent; nor had it ever been clear why any one with leisure and money, and of no very romantic turn, should have left the beaten track of globe-trotters, penetrated to the wilderness, and stayed there--as Alfred Bligh had done. Now, however, all was plain. A letter from Brindisi, just received, explained everything; Alfred's movements, so long obscure, were at last revealed, and in a lurid light--that, as it were, of the bombshell that had fallen and burst upon the Judge's breakfast-table. For Alfred was on his way to England with an Australian wife; and this letter from Brindisi, was the first that his people had heard of it, or of her.

'Of course,' said Lady Bligh, in her calm and thoughtful manner, 'it was bound to happen sooner or later. It might have happened very much sooner; and, indeed, I often wished that it would; for Alfred must be--what? Thirty?'


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