Blake’s Burden - Harold Bindloss - ebook

Blake’s Burden ebook

Harold Bindloss

0,0

Opis

This is a story about a young guy who failed at the front. He believes the whole failure is due to him. Blake returns from India to England. There is some disagreement about whether Blake is really guilty or not. But Blake keeps silence in order to preserve the idyll in the family and not to betray his father and brother.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
czytnikach Kindle™
(dla wybranych pakietów)
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 451

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS



Contents

I. THE BLAKE AFFAIR

II. MILLICENT RENEWS AN ACQUAINTANCE

III. THE COUSINS

IV. CHALLONER RESUMES HIS JOURNEY

V. MRS. KEITH GETS A SURPRISE

VI. HARDING GROWS CONFIDENTIAL

VII. MRS. CHUDLEIGH GATHERS INFORMATION

VIII. THE PRAIRIE

IX. CLARKE MAKES A SUGGESTION

X. BENSON GIVES TROUBLE

XI. HARDING GROWS SUSPICIOUS

XII. THE MUSKEG

XIII. CLARKE'S SUMMONS

XIV. THE CURE

XV. MRS. CHUDLEIGH FINDS A CLUE

XVI. MRS. KEITH ENTERS THE FIELD

XVII. THE PICTURE GALLERY

XVIII. COLONEL CHALLONER PROVES OBDURATE

XIX. CHALLONER'S DECISION

XX. MRS. CHUDLEIGH MAKES A FRESH ATTEMPT

XXI. A NEW PERSECUTOR

XXII. CLARKE MODIFIES HIS PLANS

XXIII. THE CARIBOU

XXIV. THE FACTORY

XXV. THE BACK TRAIL

XXVI. THE RESCUE

XXVII. A STARTLING DISCOVERY

XXVIII. A MATTER OF DUTY

XXIX. BLAKE HOLDS HIS GROUND

XXX. MRS. CHUDLEIGH'S DEFEAT

XXXI. A DIFFICULT QUESTION

XXXII. HARDING STRIKES OIL

CHAPTER I

THE BLAKE AFFAIR

It was a fine morning and Mrs. Keith sat with a companion, enjoying the sunshine, near the end of Dufferin Avenue, which skirts the elevated ground above the city of Quebec. Behind her rose the Heights of Abraham where the dying Wolfe wrested Canada from France; in front, churches, banks, offices and dwellings, curiously combining the old and the very new, rose tier on tier to the great red Frontenac hotel, at which she was staying. It is a picturesque city that climbs back from its noble river; supreme, perhaps, in its situation among Canadian towns, and still retaining something of the exotic stamp set upon it by its first builders whose art was learned in the France of long ago.

From where she sat Mrs. Keith could not see the ugly wooden wharves. Her glance rested on the flood that flowed towards her, still and deep, through a gorge lined with crags and woods, and then, widening rapidly, washed the shores of a low, green island. Opposite her white houses shone on the Levis ridge, and beyond this a vast sweep of country, steeped in gradations of colour that ended in ethereal blue, rolled away towards the hills of Maine. Quebec was then filled with distinguished guests. British royalty had visited it, with many who belonged to the great world in London and some who aspired to do so. Canada had become fashionable, and in addition to English folk of station, Westerners and Americans of note had gathered in the ancient city. The ceremonies were over, but the company had not all dispersed.

The two ladies were elderly. They had played their part in the drama of life, one of them in a strenuous manner, and now they were content with the position of lookers on. So far, however, nothing had occurred since breakfast to excite their interest, and by and by Mrs. Keith turned to her companion with characteristic briskness.

“I think I’ll go to Montreal by the special boat to-night,” she said. “The hotel’s crowded, the town’s full, and you keep meeting people whom you know or have heard about. I came here to see Canada, but find it hard to realize that I’m not in London; I’m tired of the bustle.”

Mrs. Ashborne smiled. She had met Margaret Keith by chance in Quebec, but their acquaintance was of several years’ standing.

“Tired?” she said. “That is surely a new sensation for you. I’ve often envied you your energy.”

Age had touched Mrs. Keith lightly, though she had long been a childless widow and had silvery hair. Tall and finely made, with prominent nose and piercing eyes, she was marked by a certain stateliness and a decided manner. She was blunt without rudeness, and though often forceful was seldom arrogant. Careless of her dress, as she generally was, Margaret Keith bore the stamp of refinement and breeding.

“Ah!” she said; “I begin to feel I’m old. But will you come to Montreal with me to-night?”

“I suppose I’d better, though the boat takes longer than the train and I hear that the Place Viger is full. I don’t know anything about the other hotels; they mightn’t be comfortable.”

“They’ll no doubt be able to offer us all that we require, and I never pamper myself,” Mrs. Keith replied. “In fact, it’s now and then a relief to do something that’s opposed to the luxuriousness of the age.”

This was a favourite topic, but she broke off as a man came towards her, carrying one or two small parcels which apparently belonged to the girl at his side. He was a handsome man, tall and rather spare, with dark eyes and a soldierly look. His movements were quick and forceful, but a hint of what Mrs. Keith called swagger somewhat spoiled his bearing. She thought he allowed his self-confidence to be seen too plainly. The girl formed a marked contrast to him; she was short and slender, her hair and eyes were brown, while her prettiness, for one could not have called her beautiful, was of an essentially delicate kind. It did not strike one at first sight, but grew upon her acquaintances. Her manner was quiet and reserved and she was plainly dressed in white, but when she turned and dismissed her companion her pose was graceful. Then she handed Mrs. Keith some letters and papers.

“I have been to the post office and Captain Sedgwick made them search for our mail,” she said. “It came some time ago, but there was a mistake through its not being addressed to the hotel.”

Mrs. Keith took the letters and gave Mrs. Ashborne an English newspaper, but the girl went on: “The bobcat has torn a hole in the basket and I’m afraid it’s trying to get at the mink.”

“Tell some of the hotel people to take it out at once and see that the basket is sent to be mended.”

The girl withdrew and Mrs. Ashborne looked up. “Did I hear aright? She said a bob-cat.”

“You did. I am making a collection of the smaller American animals, and a bob-cat is something like a big English ferret. It has high hindquarters and walks with a curious jump, which I suppose is why it got its name. I’m not sure it lives in Canada, and an American got this one for me. I find natural history interesting.”

Margaret Keith was known to be eccentric, and her companion laughed. “I should imagine you found it expensive, and aren’t some of the creatures savage?”

“Millicent looks after them, and I always beat the sellers down. Fortunately, I can afford to indulge in my caprices, and you can consider this my latest fad if you like. I am subject to no claims, and my means are hardly large enough to make me an object of interest to sycophantic relatives.”

“Is your companion fond of attending to wild animals?” Mrs. Ashborne inquired. “I have wondered where you got her. You have had a number, but she is different from the rest.”

“I suppose you mean she is too good for the post?” Mrs. Keith suggested. “However, I don’t mind telling you that she is Eustace Graham’s daughter; you must have heard of him.”

“Eustace Graham? Wasn’t he in rather bad odour?–only tolerated on the fringe of society? I seem to recollect some curious tales about him.”

“Latterly he was outside the fringe; indeed, I don’t know how he kept on his feet so long, but he went downhill fast towards the end. A plucker of plump pigeons, an expensive friend to smart young subalterns and boys about town. Cards, bets, loans arranged, and that kind of thing! All the same, he had his good points when I first knew him.”

“But after such a life as his daughter must have led, do you consider her a suitable person to take about with you? What do your friends think? They have to receive her now and then.”

“I can’t say that I have much cause to respect my friends’ opinions, and I’m not afraid of the girl’s contaminating me,” Mrs. Keith replied. “Besides, Millicent, who lost her mother early, lived with her aunts until a few months before her father’s death. I expect Eustace felt more embarrassed than grateful when she came to take care of him, but, to do him justice, he would see that none of the taint of his surroundings rested on the girl. He did wrong, but I think he paid for it, and it is better to be charitable.”

She broke off, and glanced down at the big liner with cream-coloured funnel that was slowly swinging across the stream as she resumed: “I must send Millicent to buy our tickets for Montreal. The hotel will be crowded before long with that steamer’s noisy passengers.”

“Do you know anything about Captain Sedgwick, who brought you your letters?” her companion asked.

“Not much. Distinguished himself somewhere and holds a Government post in a West African colony. Came home on furlough, and seems to have had some part in the state functions here. I’m inclined to think he’s a soldier of fortune; a man with a humble beginning, determined to get on.”

“Isn’t that Mrs. Chudleigh he’s now talking to?”

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.