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A Bachelor Husband by Ruby M. Ayres

Produced by Elaine Laizure from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.

A BACHELOR HUSBAND

BY

RUBY M. AYRES

AUTHOR OF "RICHARD CHATTERTON," ETC.

Frontispiece by

PAUL STAHR

New York

W. J. Watt & Company

PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY

W. J. WATT & COMPANY

Printed in the United States of America

TO

FEATHERS

CHAPTER I

"Ah, then, was it all spring weather? Nay! but we were young--and together."

SHE had always adored him. From the first moment he came to the house--an overgrown, good-looking schoolboy, and had started to bully and domineer over her, Marie Chester had thought him the most wonderful person in all the world. She waited on him hand and foot, she was his willing bondslave; she did not mind at all when once, in an unusual fit of eloquence, she had confided in him that she thought it was the loveliest thing on earth to have a brother, young Christopher answered almost brutally that she "talked rot, anyway, and that sisters were a bally nuisance!"

He looked at her with a sort of contempt for a moment, then added: "Besides, we're not brother and sister, really!"

They were not; but their fathers had been lifelong friends, and when George Chester's wife inconsiderately--or so her husband thought--died without presenting him with a son, and almost at the same time young Christopher Lawless was left an orphan, George Chester promptly adopted him.

"It will do Marie good to have a brother," he maintained, when his sister. Miss Chester, who kept house for him, raised an objection. "She's spoilt--shockingly spoilt--and a boy about the place will knock off some of her airs and graces."

Young Christopher certainly did that much, if no more, for in a fortnight he had turned Marie, who was naturally rather shy and reserved, into a tomboy who climbed trees with him regardless of injury to life and limb, who rode a cob barebacked round the paddock, who did, in fact, everything he dared or ordered her to do.


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