A Son of Austerity

Cover of book A Son of Austerity
Categories: Fiction » Children

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III PORTI


A Patrick Stuart, vicar of St. Faith's, sat in his library. Before him lay a pile of quarto sheets, closely covered with heavy yet fretful handwriting, not unlike mediaeval text. The first of the folios bore the inscription? Ezekiel XXVIII, 2, and the motto? "Thou art a man and not God, though thou set thy heart as the heart of Cod." Opposite the vicar, as he sat at a pretentious rosewood escritoire, were a couple of French casements. Through one of these he could discern the Gothic tower of his church, its aerial spire truncated by the lintel of the window, and silhouetted against a low moon. He looked out at the soaring structure, sighed gustily, and gathered the blotted pages together. He had finished his sermon, and the physical chill that follows hard upon inspiration was beginning to lay hold of him. As he slipped the completed essay into a worn morocco "back"?heir to so many premeditated harangues?the folding doors at the farther extremity of the room yawned by circumspect installments. Patrick Stuart glanced up. "Come in, dear," he said tenderly; "I have finished now." A little figure stepped forward?a figure that had the stature of a child, with the mature, though blemished, outlines of a woman. As she came faltering towards him with the cautious footsteps of the blind, the rays from the vicar's reading-lamp shone upon her face?pure Greek, with sightless violet eyes and a quivering, sensuous mouth. A deep cape of scarlet?the upper portion of some stage-doctor's robes?hung down to the hem of her skirt, and her chestnut hair was put up in a coronet of braids beneath a scholar's cap. Patrick Stuart's face lit with surprise. "What have you been doing, my darling?" he asked gently. "Do I look pretty?" queried his visitor. Th...

A Son of Austerity
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