Kerry - Grace Livingston Hill - ebook

Kerry ebook

Grace Livingston Hill

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Kerry Kavanaugh is a beautiful child asked to be adult, not even of age, with a spoiled childlike mother who makes terrible decisions upon the death of Kerry’s father. Forced to flee with her father’s manuscript, a determined Kerry sails for New York to meet with her father’s publishers but is faced with a new challenge when a page of notes goes missing. Someone is out to steal the manuscript! But with a ship full of strangers, who can’t she suspect? Then she meets Graham Mc Nair, who claims that he knew Kerry’s dad years ago. Could this be the man of Kerry’s dreams, or should she be suspicious of him since things are suspicious about her dad’s book? Unsure whom to trust, our heroine faces adversity with a great deal of courage and faith. Classic Grace Livingston Hill.

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Liczba stron: 451

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Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 1

Kerry Kavanaugh thought when her beloved father died that the worst that could had come upon her. The day her mother told her, six months after her father’s funeral, that she was going to marry again, and that she was going to marry Sam Morgan, the multimillionaire, Kerry knew that there were worse things than death.

Sam Morgan had been a youthful acquaintance of Mrs. Kavanaugh’s–a sort of skeleton in the closet ever since Kerry could remember.

“If I had married Sam Morgan,” Mrs. Kavanaugh would say plaintively as she shivered in a cold room, “we wouldn’t have had to stop at such cheap hotels.”

And Kerry’s father would say in a tone as nearly acid as his gentle voice ever took:

“Please leave me out of that, Isobel. If you had married Sam Morgan, remember, I would not have been stopping at the same hotel.”

Then Kerry’s mother’s blue eyes would fill with tears, and her delicate lips would quiver, and she would say:

“Now, Shannon! How cruel of you to take that simple remark in that way! You are always ready to take offense. I meant, of course, that if I–that if we–That I wish we had more money! But of course, Shannon, when you have finished your wonderful book we shall have all we need. In fact, by the time you have written a second book I believe we shall have more than Sam Morgan has.”

Then Kerry’s father would look at her mother with something steely in his blue eyes, his thin sensitive lips pressed firmly together, and would seem about to say something strong and decided, something in the nature of an ultimatum. But after a moment of looking with that piercing glance which made his wife shrink and shiver, a softer look would melt into his eyes, and a stony sadness settle about his lips. He would get up, draw his shabby dressing gown about him, and go out into the draughty hotel hall where he would walk up and down for awhile, with his hands clasped behind his back, and his gaze bent unseeing on the old ingrain carpet that stretched away in dim hotel vistas.

On one such occasion when Kerry was about ten, she had left her weeping mother huddled in a blanket in a big chair, magnifying her chilliness and her misery, and had crept out to the hall and slipped her cold unhappy little hand into her father’s; and so for a full length and back they had paced the hall. Then Father had noticed that Kerry was shivering in her thin little frock that was too short for her and too narrow for her, and he opened wide his shabby dressing gown, and gathered her in close to him where it was warm, and so walked her briskly back another length of the hall.

“Mother was crying,” explained Kerry. “I couldn’t listen to her any longer.”

Then a stricken look came into Father’s eyes and he looked down at Kerry solicitously.

“Poor little mother!” he said. “She doesn’t always understand. Your little mother is all right, Kerry, only she sometimes errs in judgment.”

Kerry said “Yes” in a meek little voice and waited, and after they had taken another length of the hall, her father explained again:

“She is such a beautiful little mother, you know, Kerry.”

“Oh yes!” assented Kerry eagerly, for she could see that a happier light was coming into her father’s eyes, and she really admired her frail little mother’s looks very much indeed.

“She’s always the most beautiful mother in the world, you know, Kerry.”

“Oh yes!” said Kerry again quite eagerly.

“You see,” said Father slowly, after another pause, “you ought to understand, little daughter, I took her from a beautiful home where she had every luxury, and it’s hard on her, very hard. She has to go without a great many things that she has been used to having. You see I loved her, little Kerry!”

“Yes?” said Kerry with a question in her voice.

“And she loved me. She wanted to come!” It was as if he were arguing over and over with himself a long debated question.

“But, Father, of course,” bristled Kerry, “why wouldn’t she want to come with you? You’re the bestest father in the whole wide–”

Then Kerry’s father stopped her words with a kiss, and suddenly hastened his steps.

“She might have had the best in the land. She might have had riches and honor!”

“You mean that ugly fat Sam Morgan, Father?” Kerry had asked innocently with a frown.

“Oh, not that man!” said her father sharply. “He is a–a–louse!” Kerry remembered how her father had spoken the word, and then seemed to try to wipe it out with his voice.

“I mean, Kerry, that he was not worthy of your mother, your beautiful mother. But there were others she might have had who could have given her everything. It is true I thought I would be able to do so too, some day, but my plans haven’t worked out, not yet–. But Kerry, little Kerry, Beautiful Mother gave up all her chances in life for me. We must remember that. We must not mind when she feels the lack of things. She ought to have them. She was made for them. She is your beautiful little mother, Kerry, you will always remember that?”

“Oh yes,” caroled Kerry for she could feel that a different tone was coming into her father’s voice, the tone he wore when he went out and bought Mother a rose, and made jokes and laughed and cheered Mother so that she smiled. Kerry was glad the cloud was passing, so she promised. But she always remembered that promise. And she never forgot the tone her father used, nor the look of his face, when he called Sam Morgan a louse! That was a word nice people didn’t say. It was a word that she had been taught not to use, except when it applied to rose insects. It showed that Father felt very deeply about it that he would use the word, and she could sense that there had been apology to her in his eyes when he used it. She would never forget the thought of that great big thick-lipped Sam Morgan as a louse crawling around. Even as a rose louse he acquired the sense of destructiveness. Rose lice spoiled roses, and her beautiful little mother was like a rose.

After that Kerry’s father worked harder than ever on his book. He used Kerry’s little bedroom for a study, and his papers would be littered over her bed and small bureau, and Kerry never went in there except when she had to, to get something, while Father was working; and then she went on tiptoe. He was always deep into one of the great musty books he brought from the library, and he must not be disturbed. He told her one day that he was going to make Mother rich when his book was done, but there was still much work to be done on it, much much work, for it was to be the very greatest book of its kind that had ever been written, and it would not do to hurry, because there must be no mistakes in the book.

Kerry’s mother read a great many story books, and ate a great deal of chocolate candy. Sometimes she gave some to Kerry, but most of the time she said it wasn’t good for little girls.

Kerry went to school whenever they stayed long enough in a place to make it worth while, for Father had to go to a great many different places to be near some of the big libraries so that he might finish his book sooner. And then when they would think he was almost done with the book, he would find out there was some other book or books he must consult before he would be sure that his own was complete, and so they would journey on again to other cheap hotels.

In this way they spent some years in Europe, and Kerry had wide opportunities of seeing foreign lands, of visiting great picture galleries, and wonderful cathedrals, and studying history right in the historic places. For often Kerry’s father would stop his work in the middle of a morning, or an afternoon, and take her out for a walk, and then he would tell her about the different places they were passing, and give her books out of the library to read about them. He taught her Latin also, and to speak French and German and Italian. As she grew older, she would go by herself to visit the galleries and great buildings, and would study them and delight in them, and read about the pictures, and so she grew in her own soul. Sometimes, on rare occasions, her beautiful mother would go with her to a gallery, dressed in a new coat, or a pretty hat that her father had bought for her, and people would always turn to look at the beautiful mother. Once Mother told her that she had been called the most beautiful girl in her home town when she married Father.

And once, when Mother and she had gone to the Louvre together, Sam Morgan had suddenly turned up.

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