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A Woman Martyr

Produced by Al Haines.

[Illustration: Cover]

[Illustration: "She turned a white set face upon her self-elected escort." _A Woman Martyr_. _Page 10_.]

A WOMAN MARTYR

BY ALICE MANGOLD DIEHL

AUTHOR OF "PASSION PUPPETS" "THE KNAVE OF HEARTS" "FIRE" ETC. ETC

ILLUSTRATIONS BY ADOLF THIEDE

LONDON WARD, LOCK AND CO. LIMITED NEW YORK AND MELBOURNE 1903

Contents

CHAPTER I CHAPTER II CHAPTER III CHAPTER IV CHAPTER V CHAPTER VI CHAPTER VII CHAPTER VIII CHAPTER IX CHAPTER X CHAPTER XI CHAPTER XII CHAPTER XIII CHAPTER XIV CHAPTER XV CHAPTER XVI CHAPTER XVII CHAPTER XVIII CHAPTER XIX CHAPTER XX CHAPTER XXI CHAPTER XXII CHAPTER XXIII CHAPTER XXIV CHAPTER XXV CHAPTER XXVI CHAPTER XXVII CHAPTER XXVIII CHAPTER XXIX CHAPTER XXX CHAPTER XXXI CHAPTER XXXII CHAPTER XXXIII CHAPTER XXXIV CHAPTER XXXV

CHAPTER I

A sharp shower pattering on the foliage of the sycamores and elms was scattering the equestrians in the Row. Fair girls urged their hacks into a canter and trotted swiftly homewards. Other riders, glancing upwards, and deciding that the clouds had done their worst, drew up under the trees. Among these was a slight, graceful girl in a well-fitting habit with a pale, classic face, and the somewhat Venetian combination of dark brown eyes and red-gold hair. With a slight wave of her whip to her groom--who halted obediently under a neighbouring tree--she reined in her slender-limbed bay mare under a horse-chestnut tree whose shelter was still undemanded.

There she sat still in her saddle, with a slight frown--biting her lip--as she asked herself again and again, "Did he see me? Has he ridden out of the park?"

When she cantered along just as the shower began, she fancied she recognised an admirer she had believed to be far away, walking his horse in the same direction as herself. This was Lord Vansittart--a man who had several times repeated his offer of marriage--an offer she did not refuse because he had not stirred her heart--for she loved him, and passionately--but for other reasons. Although it had caused her bitter pain, she had at least been determined enough in her "No" to send him off, in dudgeon, to seek forgetfulness in other climes.


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