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A Book o' Nine Tales. by Arlo Bates

A BOOK O' NINE TALES

ARLO BATES

[Illustration]

BOSTON ROBERTS BROTHERS 1891

CONTENTS.

PAGE Tale the First: A STRANGE IDYL 7

Interlude First: AN EPISODE IN MASK 55

Tale the Second: THE TUBEROSE 67

Interlude Second: AN EVENING AT WHIST 89

Tale the Third: SAUCY BETTY MORK 101

Interlude Third: MRS. FRUFFLES IS AT HOME 131

Tale the Fourth: JOHN VANTINE 141

Interlude Fourth: THE RADIATOR 155

Tale the Fifth: MERE MARCHETTE 163

Interlude Fifth: "SUCH SWEET SORROW" 189

Tale the Sixth: BARUM WEST'S EXTRAVAGANZA 201

Interlude Sixth: A BUSINESS MEETING 221

Tale the Seventh: A SKETCH IN UMBER 233

Interlude Seventh: THIRTEEN 253

Tale the Eighth: APRIL'S LADY 263

Interlude Eighth: A CUBAN MORNING 285

Tale the Ninth: DELIA GRIMWET 301

Tale the first.

A STRANGE IDYL.

A BOOK O' NINE TALES.

A STRANGE IDYL.

I.

He lay upon an old-fashioned bedstead whose carved quaintness would once have pleased him, but to which he was now indifferent. He rested upon his back, staring at the ceiling, on whose white surface were twinkling golden dots and lines in a network which even his broken mind knew must be the sunlight reflected from off the water somewhere. The windows of the chamber were open, and the sweet summer air came in laden with the perfume of flowers piquantly mingled with pungent sea odors. Now and then a bee buzzed by the casement, or a butterfly seemed tempted to enter the sick-room--apparently thought better of it, and went on its careless way.

Of all these things the sick man who lay there was unconscious, and the sweet young girl sitting by his bed was too deeply buried in her book to notice them. For some time there was no movement in the chamber, until, the close of a chapter releasing for an instant the reader's attention, she looked to discover that the patient's eyes were open. Seeing him awake, she rose and came a step nearer, thereby making the second discovery, more startling than the first, that the light of reason had replaced in those eyes the stare of delirium.


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