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The Yellow Rose by Mór Jókai

THE YELLOW ROSE

[Illustration: Budapest 1896 17 III Dr. Jokai Mor]

THE YELLOW ROSE

A Novel

by

MAURUS JOKAI

Author of "Black Diamonds," "The Green Book," "Eyes like the Sea," "Pretty Michal," "Doctor Dumany's Wife," etc.

[Illustration]

London Jarrold & Sons, 10 & 11, Warwick Lane, E.C.

[All Rights Reserved]

Translated by BEATRICE DANFORD from the original Hungarian.

Copyright:-- London: Jarrold & Sons.

CONTENTS. PAGE CHAPTER I. 7 CHAPTER II. 13 CHAPTER III. 44 CHAPTER IV. 77 CHAPTER V. 94 CHAPTER VI. 97 CHAPTER VII. 107 CHAPTER VIII. 119 CHAPTER IX. 129 CHAPTER X. 147 CHAPTER XI. 165 CHAPTER XII. 181

THE YELLOW ROSE

CHAPTER I.

This happened when no train crossed the Hortobagy, when throughout the Alfold there was not a railway, and the water of the Hortobagy had not been regulated. The two-wheeled mill clattered gaily in the little river, and the otter lived happily among the reeds.

At the first streak of dawn, a horseman came riding across the flat Zam puszta, which lies on the far side of the Hortobagy River (taking Debreczin as the centre of the world). Whence did he come? Whither was he going? Impossible to guess. The puszta has no pathway, grass grows over hoof-print and cart track. Up to the endless horizon there is nothing but grass, not a tree, a well pole, or a hut to break the majestic green plain. The horse went its way instinctively. Its rider dozing, nodded in the saddle, first on one side, then the other, but never let slip his foot from the stirrup.

He was evidently a cowherd, for his shirt sleeves were tight at the wrists--wide sleeves would be in the way among horned beasts. His waistcoat was blue, his jacket, with its rows of buttons, black, and so was his cloak, worked in silken flowers, and hanging loosely strapped over his shoulder. The slackly gathered reins were held in the left hand, while from the right wrist dangled a thick stock whip. A long loaded cudgel was fastened to the horn of the saddle in front. In the wide upturned brim of his hat he wore a single yellow rose. Once or twice the horse tossed its head, and shaking the fringed saddle cloth, woke the rider for an instant. His first movement was to his cap, to feel whether the rose was there, or if perchance it had dropped out. Then removing the cap, he smelt the flower with keen enjoyment (although it had no rose's scent), and replacing it well to one side, threw back his head as if he hoped, in that way, to catch sight of the rose. Presently (and very probably to keep himself awake) he began humming his favourite song:

"If only the inn were not so near, If only I did not find such cheer In golden quart and copper gill, I would not linger, my love, until It ever should grow so late."


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