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The Port of Missing Men by Meredith Nicholson




Author of _The House of a Thousand Candles_, _The Main Chance_, _Zelda Dameron_, etc.


Then Sir Pellinore put off his armour; then a little afore midnight they heard the trotting of an horse. Be ye still, said King Pellinore, for we shall hear of some adventure.--Malory.

To the Memory of Herman Kountze


Come, sweetheart, let us ride away beyond the city's bound, And seek what pleasant lands across the distant hills are found. There is a golden light that shines beyond the verge of dawn, And there are happy highways leading on and always on; So, sweetheart, let us mount and ride, with never a backward glance, To find the pleasant shelter of the Valley of Romance.

Before us, down the golden road, floats dust from charging steeds, Where two adventurous companies clash loud in mighty deeds; And from the tower that stands alert like some tall, beckoning pine, E'en now, my heart, I see afar the lights of welcome shine! So loose the rein and cheer the steed and let us race away To seek the lands that lie beyond the Borders of To-day.

Draw rein and rest a moment here in this cool vale of peace; The race half-run, the goal half-won, half won the sure release! To right and left are flowery fields, and brooks go singing down To mock the sober folk who still are prisoned in the town. Now to the trail again, dear heart; my arm and blade are true, And on some plain ere night descend I'll break a lance for you!

O sweetheart, it is good to find the pathway shining clear! The road is broad, the hope is sure, and you are near and dear! So loose the rein and cheer the steed and let us race away To seek the lands that lie beyond the borders of To-day. Oh, we shall hear at last, my heart, a cheering welcome cried As o'er a clattering drawbridge through the Gate of Dreams we ride!


CHAPTER I "Events, Events" II The Claibornes, of Washington III Dark Tidings IV John Armitage a Prisoner V A Lost Cigarette Case VI Toward the Western Stars VII On the Dark Deck VIII "The King Is Dead; Long Live the King" IX "This Is America, Mr. Armitage" X John Armitage Is Shadowed XI The Toss of a Napkin XII A Camp in the Mountains XIII The Lady of the Pergola XIV An Enforced Interview XV Shirley Learns a Secret XVI Narrow Margins XVII A Gentleman in Hiding XVIII An Exchange of Messages XIX Captain Claiborne on Duty XX The First Ride Together XXI The Comedy of a Sheepfold XXII The Prisoner at the Bungalow XXIII The Verge of Morning XXIV The Attack in the Road XXV The Port of Missing Men XXVI "Who Are You, John Armitage?" XXVII Decent Burial XXVIII John Armitage

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