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A Perilous Secret by Charles Reade

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Mary Meehan and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

A PERILOUS SECRET

BY CHARLES READE

AUTHOR OF "HARD CASH" "PUT YOURSELF IN HIS PLACE" "GRIFFITH GAUNT" "IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND" ETC., ETC.

1884

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. THE POOR MAN'S CHILD

CHAPTER II. THE RICH MAN'S CHILD

CHAPTER III. THE TWO FATHERS

CHAPTER IV. AN OLD SERVANT

CHAPTER V. MARY'S PERIL

CHAPTER VI. SHARP PRACTICE

CHAPTER VII. THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE

CHAPTER VIII. THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE

CHAPTER IX. LOVERS PARTED

CHAPTER X. THE GORDIAN KNOT

CHAPTER XI. THE KNOT CUT.--ANOTHER TIED

CHAPTER XII. THE CLANDESTINE MARRIAGE

CHAPTER XIII. THE SERPENT LET LOOSE

CHAPTER XIV. THE SERPENT

CHAPTER XV. THE SECRET IN DANGER

CHAPTER XVI. REMINISCENCES.--THE FALSE ACCUSER.--THE SECRET EXPLODED

CHAPTER XVII. LOVERS' QUARRELS

CHAPTER XVIII. APOLOGIES

CHAPTER XIX. A WOMAN OUTWITS TWO MEN

CHAPTER XX. CALAMITY

CHAPTER XXI. BURIED ALIVE

CHAPTER XXII. REMORSE

CHAPTER XXIII. BURIED ALIVE.--THE THREE DEADLY PERILS

CHAPTER XXIV. STRANGE COMPLICATIONS

CHAPTER XXV. RETRIBUTION

CHAPTER XXVI. STRANGE TURNS

CHAPTER XXVII. CURTAIN

A PERILOUS SECRET.

CHAPTER I.

THE POOR MAN'S CHILD.

Two worn travellers, a young man and a fair girl about four years old, sat on the towing-path by the side of the Trent.

The young man had his coat off, by which you might infer it was very hot; but no, it was a keen October day, and an east wind sweeping down the river. The coat was wrapped tightly round the little girl, so that only her fair face with blue eyes and golden hair peeped out; and the young father sat in his shirt sleeves, looking down on her with a loving but anxious look. Her mother, his wife, had died of consumption, and he was in mortal terror lest biting winds and scanty food should wither this sweet flower too, his one remaining joy.


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