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Her father has been dead for three years and her mother is unable to cope with her brood of seven growing children. Rebecca is being sent to her aunts' farm to try to improve her prospects in life and also ease the family's burden. The aunts had actually wanted her older and more placid sister, Hannah, who is more handy round the house to be sent, but Rebecca's mother sends the dreamy, more imaginative Rebecca instead. The fictional town of Riverboro is based on Hollis, Maine, where the author herself spent her childhood. Kate Douglas Wiggin's life took a monumental turn with a chance encounter — her unexpected meeting with Charles Dickens on a train when she was 11 years old.
Suddenly she turned to me, her small eyes alight. You remember, the one written on his honeymoon, with the snapshot. Bring it down to me right away. Not for the first time I resented the part that I must play in her schemes.
Like a juggler's assistant I produced the props, then silent and attentive I waited on my cue. This newcomer would not welcome intrusion, I felt certain of that.
In the little I had learnt of him at luncheon, a smattering of hearsay garnered by her ten months ago from the daily papers and stored in her memory for future use, I could imagine, in spite of my youth and inexperience of the world, that he would resent this sudden bursting in upon his solitude. Why he should have chosen to come to the Cote d'Azur at Monte Carlo was not our concern, his problems were his own, and anyone but Mrs Van Hopper would have understood.
Tact was a quality unknown to her, discretion too, and because gossip was the breath of life to her this stranger must be served for her dissection.
I found the letter in a pigeon-hole in her desk, and hesitated a moment before going down again to the lounge. It seemed to me, rather senselessly, that I was allowing him a few more moments of seclusion.
I wished I had the courage to go by the Service staircase and so by roundabout way to the restaurant, and there warn him of the ambush. Convention was too strong for me though, nor did I know how I should frame my sentence. There was nothing for it but to sit in my usual place beside Mrs Van Hopper while she, like a large, complacent spider, spun her wide net of tedium about the stranger's person.
I had been longer than I thought, for when I returned to the lounge I saw he had already left the dining-room, and she, fearful of losing him, had not waited for the letter, but had risked a bare-faced introduction on her own. He was even now sitting beside her on the sofa. I walked across to them, and gave her the letter without a word. He rose to his feet at once, while Mrs Van Hopper, flushed with her success, waved a vague hand in my direction and mumbled my name.
It meant I was a youthful thing and unimportant, and that there was no need to include me in the conversation. She always spoke in that tone when she wished to be impressive, and her method of introduction was a form of self-protection, for once I had been taken for her daughter, an acute embarrassment for us both.
This abruptness showed that I could safely be ignored, and women would give me a brief nod which served as a greeting and a dismissal in one, while men, with large relief, would realize they could sink back into a comfortable chair without offending courtesy. It was a surprise, therefore, to find that this newcomer remained standing on his feet, and it was he who made a signal to the waiter. For a moment she looked annoyed - this was not what she had intended but she soon composed her face, and thrusting her large self between me and the table she leant forward to his chair, talking eagerly and loudly, fluttering the letter in her hand.
There's Dora. Isn't she just adorable? That little, slim waist, those great big eyes. Here they are sun-bathing at Palm Beach. Billy is crazy about her, you can imagine. He had not met her of course when he gave that party at Claridge's, and where I saw you first. But I dare say you don't remember an old woman like me? He belonged to a walled city of the fifteenth century, a city of narrow, cobbled streets, and thin spires, where the inhabitants wore pointed shoes and worsted hose.
His face was arresting, sensitive, medieval in some strange inexplicable way, and I was reminded of a portrait seen in a gallery, I had forgotten where, of a certain Gentleman Unknown. Could one but rob him of his English tweeds, and put him in black, with lace at his throat and wrists, he would stare down at us in our new world from a long-distant past - a past where men walked cloaked at night, and stood in the shadow of old doorways, a past of narrow stairways and dim dungeons, a past of whispers in the dark, of shimmering rapier blades, of silent, exquisite courtesy.
I wished I could remember the Old Master who had painted that portrait. It stood in a corner of the gallery, and the eyes followed one from the dusky frame They were talking though, and I had lost the thread of conversation. I remember Billy telling me it had all those big places beat for beauty.
I wonder you can ever bear to leave it. Isn't there a minstrels' gallery at Manderley, and some very valuable portraits? They say that minstrels' gallery is a gem. I suppose your ancestors often entertained royalty at Manderley, Mr de Winter?
In fact, it was while staying with my family that the name was given him. He was invariably late for dinner. My history is very shaky and the kings of England always muddled me. How interesting, though. I must write and tell my daughter; she's a great scholar. I was too young, that was the trouble. Had I been older I would have caught his eye and smiled, her unbelievable behaviour making a bond between us; but as it was I was stricken into shame, and endured one of the frequent agonies of youth.
I think he realized my distress, for he leant forward in his chair and spoke to me, his voice gentle, asking if I would have more coffee, and when I refused and shook my head I felt his eyes were still on me, puzzled, reflective.
He was pondering my exact relationship to her, and wondering whether he must bracket us together in futility. This including of me in the conversation found me at my worst, the raw ex-schoolgirl, red-elbowed and lanky-haired, and I said something obvious and idiotic about the place being artificial, but before I could finish my halting sentence Mrs Van Hopper interrupted. Most girls would give their eyes for the chance of seeing Monte. She shrugged her shoulders, blowing a great cloud of cigarette smoke into the air.
I don't think she understood him for a moment. What brings you here? You're not one of the regulars. Are you going to play "Chemy", or have you brought your golf clubs? She babbled on, impervious. Mrs Van Hopper's voice pierced my dream like an electric bell. One sees so few well-known faces.
The Duke of Middlesex is here in his yacht, but I haven't been aboard yet. They always say that second child isn't his, but I don't believe it. People will say anything, won't they, when a woman is attractive? And she is so very lovely. Tell me, is it true the Caxton-Hyslop marriage is not a success?
Never for a moment did he interrupt or glance at his watch; it was as though he had set himself a standard of behaviour, since the original lapse when he had made a fool of her in front of me, and clung to it grimly rather than offend again. It was a page-boy in the end who released him, with the news that a dressmaker awaited Mrs Van Hopper in the suite.
He got up at once, pushing back his chair. You must come and have a drink some time in the suite. I may have one or two people coming in tomorrow evening. Why not join us?
Your valet has unpacked for you, I suppose? You're a capable child in many ways. He looked down at us, mocking, faintly sardonic, a ghost of a smile on his lips. He travels the fastest who travels alone. Perhaps you have not heard of it. Men do such extraordinary things. I remember a well-known writer once who used to dart down the Service staircase whenever he saw me coming.
I suppose he had a penchant for me and wasn't sure of himself. However, I was younger then. We arrived at our floor. The page-boy flung open the gates. Your efforts to monopolize the conversation quite embarrassed me, and I'm sure it did him. Men loathe that sort of thing. There seemed no possible reply. Eh bien, Blaize. I knelt on the window-seat and looked out upon the afternoon.
The sun shone very brightly still, and there was a gay high wind. In half an hour we should be sitting to our bridge, the windows tightly closed, the central heating turned to the full. I thought of the ashtrays I would have to clear, and how the squashed stubs, stained with lipstick, would sprawl in company with discarded chocolate creams. Bridge does not come easily to a mind brought up on Snap and Happy Families; besides, it bored her friends to play with me.
I felt my youthful presence put a curb upon their conversation, much as a parlour-maid does until the arrival of dessert, and they could not fling themselves so easily into the melting-pot of scandal and insinuation. Her men-friends would assume a sort of forced heartiness and ask me jocular questions about history or painting, guessing I had not long left school and that this would be my only form of conversation.
I sighed, and turned away from the window. The sun was so full of promise, and the sea was whipped white with a merry wind. I thought of that corner of Monaco which I had passed a day or two ago, and where a crooked house leant to a cobbled square.
High up in the tumbled roof there was a window, narrow as a slit. It might have held a presence medieval; and, reaching to the desk for pencil and paper, I sketched in fancy with an absent mind a profile, pale and aquiline. A sombre eye, a high-bridged nose, a scornful upper lip. And I added a pointed beard and lace at the throat, as the painter had done, long ago in a different time.
Someone knocked at the door, and the lift-boy came in with a note in his hand. I opened it, and found a single sheet of note-paper inside, with a few words written in an unfamiliar hand. I was very rude this afternoon. No signature, and no beginning. But my name was on the envelope, and spelt correctly, an unusual thing. I looked up from the scrawled words.
I rang up her doctor, who came round at once and diagnosed the usual influenza. I should prefer', he went on, turning to me, 'that Mrs Van Hopper had a trained nurse. You can't possibly lift her. It will only be for a fortnight or so. I think she enjoyed the fuss it would create, the sympathy of people, the visits and messages from friends, and the arrival of flowers. Monte Carlo had begun to bore her, and this little illness would make a distraction.
The nurse would give her injections, and a light massage, and she would have a diet. I left her quite happy after the arrival of the nurse, propped up on pillows with a falling temperature, her best bed-jacket round her shoulders and be-ribboned boudoir cap upon her head. Rather ashamed of my light heart, I telephoned her friends, putting off the small party she had arranged for the evening, and went down to the restaurant for lunch, a good half hour before our usual time. I expected the room to be empty - nobody lunched generally before one o'clock.
It was empty, except for the table next to ours. This was a contingency for which I was unprepared. I thought he had gone to Sospel. No doubt he was lunching early because he hoped to avoid us at one o'clock. I was already half-way across the room and could not go back.
I had not seen him since we disappeared in the lift the day before, for wisely he had avoided dinner in the restaurant, possibly for the same reason that he lunched early now.
It was a situation for which I was ill-trained. I wished I was older, different. I went to our table, looking straight before me, and immediately paid the penalty of gaucherie by knocking over the vase of stiff anemones as I unfolded my napkin. The water soaked the cloth, and ran down on to my lap. The waiter was at the other end of the room, nor had he seen. In a second though my neighbour was by my side, dry napkin in hand. Get out of the way. I'm all alone. Mademoiselle will have luncheon with me.
I tried to think of an excuse. I knew he did not want to lunch with me. It was his form of courtesy. I should ruin his meal. I determined to be bold and speak the truth. It's very kind of you but I shall be quite all right if the waiter just wipes the cloth. Even if you had not knocked over that vase so clumsily I should have asked you.
We needn't talk to each other unless we feel like it. His quality of detachment was peculiar to himself, and I knew that we might continue thus, without speaking, throughout the meal and it would not matter. There would be no sense of strain. He would not ask me questions on history. I told him about the influenza. I felt very much ashamed of myself. My manners were atrocious. The only excuse I can make is that I've become boorish through living alone. That's why it's so kind of you to lunch with me today.
That curiosity of hers - she does not mean to be offensive, but she does it to everyone. That is, everyone of importance. He did not answer, and I was aware again of that feeling of discomfort, as though I had trespassed on forbidden ground.
I wondered why it was that this home of his, known to so many people by hearsay, even to me, should so inevitably silence him, making as it were a barrier between him and others.
We ate for a while without talking, and I thought of a picture postcard I had bought once at a village shop, when on holiday as a child in the west country. It was the painting of a house, crudely done of course and highly coloured, but even those faults could not destroy the symmetry of the building, the wide stone steps before the terrace, the green lawns stretching to the sea.
I paid twopence for the painting - half my weekly pocket money - and then asked the wrinkled shop woman what it was meant to be. She looked astonished at my ignorance. Perhaps it was the memory of this postcard, lost long ago in some forgotten book, that made me sympathize with his defensive attitude. He resented Mrs Van Hopper and her like with their intruding questions. Maybe there was something inviolate about Manderley that made it a place apart; it would not bear discussion.
I could imagine her tramping through the rooms, perhaps paying sixpence for admission, ripping the quietude with her sharp, staccato laugh. Our minds must have run in the same channel, for he began to talk about her. Is she a relation? Have you known her long?
She's training me to be a thing called a companion, and she pays me ninety pounds a year. Rather like the Eastern slave market. He laughed, looking quite different, younger somehow and less detached. I looked at him over my glass of citronade.
It was not easy to explain my father and usually I never talked about him. He was my secret property. Preserved for me alone, much as Manderley was preserved for my neighbour. I had no wish to introduce him casually over a table in a Monte Carlo restaurant. There was a strange air of unreality about that luncheon, and looking back upon it now it is invested for me with a curious glamour. There was I, so much of a schoolgirl still, who only the day before had sat with Mrs Van Hopper, prim, silent, and subdued, and twenty-four hours afterwards my family history was mine no longer, I shared it with a man I did not know.
For some reason I felt impelled to speak, because his eyes followed me in sympathy like the Gentleman Unknown. My shyness fell away from me, loosening as it did so my reluctant tongue, and out they all came, the little secrets of childhood, the pleasures and the pains.
It seemed to me as though he understood, from my poor description, something of the vibrant personality that had been my father's, and something too of the love my mother had for him, making it a vital, living force, with a spark of divinity about it, so much that when he died that desperate winter, struck down by pneumonia, she lingered behind him for five short weeks and stayed no more.
I remember pausing, a little breathless, a little dazed. The restaurant was filled now with people who chatted and laughed to an orchestral background and a clatter of plates, and glancing at the clock above the door I saw that it was two o'clock.
We had been sitting there an hour and a half, and the conversation had been mine alone. I tumbled down into reality, hot-handed and self-conscious, with my face aflame, and began to stammer my apologies. He would not listen to me. I've enjoyed this hour with you more than I have enjoyed anything for a very long time.
You've taken me out of myself, out of despondency and introspection, both of which have been my devils for a year. We are both alone in the world. Oh, I've got a sister, though we don't see much of each other, and an ancient grandmother whom I pay duty visits to three times a year, but neither of them make for companionship. I shall have to congratulate Mrs Van Hopper. You're cheap at ninety pounds a year.
He bent his head to light a cigarette, and did not reply immediately. I could be off there by three o'clock with my sketchbook and pencil, and I told him as much, a little shyly perhaps, like all untalented persons with a pet hobby.
I remembered Mrs Van Hopper's warning of the night before about putting myself forward and was embarrassed that he might think my talk of Monaco was a subterfuge to win a lift.
It was so blatantly the type of thing that she would do herself, and I did not want him to bracket us together. I had already risen in importance from my lunch with him, for as we got up from the table the little mattre d'hotel rushed forward to pull away my chair. He bowed and smiled - a total change from his usual attitude of indifference - picked up my handkerchief that had fallen on the floor, and hoped 'mademoiselle had enjoyed her lunch'. Even the page-boy by the swing doors glanced at me with respect.
My companion accepted it as natural, of course; he knew nothing of the ill-carved ham of yesterday. I found the change depressing, it made me despise myself. I remembered my father and his scorn of superficial snobbery. The attentions of the maitre d'hotel had opened up a train of thought, and as we drank coffee I told him about Blaize, the dressmaker.
She had been so pleased when Mrs Van Hopper had bought three frocks, and I, taking her to the lift afterwards, had pictured her working upon them in her own small salon, behind the stuffy little shop, with a consumptive son wasting upon her sofa.
I could see her, with tired eyes, threading needles, and the floor covered with snippets of material. Perhaps you would rather have a frock. Come along to the shop some time without Madame and I will fix you up without charging you a sou.
The vision of the consumptive son faded, and in its stead arose the picture of myself had I been different, pocketing that greasy note with an understanding smile, and perhaps slipping round to Blaize's shop on this my free afternoon and coming away with a frock I had not paid for.
I expected him to laugh, it was a stupid story, I don't know why I told him, but he looked at me thoughtfully as he stirred his coffee. I think you've made a mistake in coming here, in joining forces with Mrs Van Hopper.
You are not made for that sort of job. You're too young, for one thing, and too soft. Blaize and her commission, that's nothing. The first of many similar incidents from other Blaizes. You will either have to give in, and become a sort of Blaize yourself, or stay as you are and be broken.
Who suggested you took on this thing in the first place? It was as though we had known one another for a long time, and had met again after a lapse of years. Supposing Mrs Van Hopper gets tired of her "friend of the bosom", what then? There would be other Mrs Van Hoppers, and I was young, and confident, and strong.
But even as he spoke I remembered those advertisements seen often in good class magazines where a friendly society demands succour for young women in reduced circumstances; I thought of the type of boarding-house that answers the advertisement and gives temporary shelter, and then I saw myself, useless sketch-book in hand, without qualifications of any kind, stammering replies to stern employment agents.
Perhaps I should have accepted Blaize's ten per cent. A pity we can't change over. Go upstairs and put your hat on, and I'll have the car brought round. I had ill-judged him, he was neither hard nor sardonic, he was already my friend of many years, the brother I had never possessed.
Mine was a happy mood that afternoon, and I remember it well. I can see the rippled sky, fluffy with cloud, and the white whipped sea. I can feel again the wind on my face, and hear my laugh, and his that echoed it. It was not the Monte Carlo I had known, or perhaps the truth was that it pleased me better. There was a glamour about it that had not been before. I must have looked upon it before with dull eyes.
The harbour was a dancing thing, with fluttering paper boats, and the sailors on the quay were jovial, smiling fellows, merry as the wind. We passed the yacht, beloved of Mrs Van Hopper because of its ducal owner, and snapped our fingers at the glistening brass, and looked at one another and laughed again. I can remember as though I wore it still my comfortable, ill-fitting flannel suit, and how the skirt was lighter than the coat through harder wear.
My shabby hat, too broad about the brim, and my low-heeled shoes, fastened with a single strap. A pair of gauntlet gloves clutched in a grubby hand. I had never looked more youthful, I had never felt so old. Mrs Van Hopper and her influenza did not exist for me. The bridge and the cocktail parties were forgotten, and with them my own humble status. I was a person of importance, I was grown up at last. That girl who, tortured by shyness, would stand outside the sitting-room door twisting a handkerchief in her hands, while from within came that babble of confused chatter so unnerving to the intruder - she had gone with the wind that afternoon.
She was a poor creature, and I thought of her with scorn if I considered her at all. The wind was too high for sketching, it tore in cheerful gusts around the corner of my cobbled square, and back to the car we went and drove I know not where. The long road climbed the hills, and the car climbed with it, and we circled in the heights like a bird in the air. How different his car to Mrs Van Hopper's hireling for the season, a square old-fashioned Daimler that took us to Mentone on placid afternoons, when I, sitting on the little seat with my back to the driver, must crane my neck to see the view.
This car had the wings of Mercury, I thought, for higher yet we climbed, and dangerously fast, and the danger pleased me because it was new to me, because I was young. I remember laughing aloud, and the laugh being carried by the wind away from me; and looking at him, I realized he laughed no longer, he was once more silent and detached, the man of yesterday wrapped in his secret self.
I realized, too, that the car could climb no more, we had reached the summit, and below us stretched the way that we had come, precipitous and hollow. He stopped the car, and I could see that the edge of the road bordered a vertical slope that crumbled into vacancy, a fall of perhaps two thousand feet.
We got out of the car and looked beneath us. This sobered me at last. I knew that but half the car's length had lain between us and the fall. The sea, like a crinkled chart, spread to the horizon, and lapped the sharp outline of the coast, while the houses were white shells in a rounded grotto, pricked here and there by a great orange sun. We knew another sunlight on our hill, and the silence made it harder, more austere.
A change had come upon our afternoon; it was not the thing of gossamer it had been. The wind dropped, and it suddenly grew cold. When I spoke my voice was far too casual, the silly, nervous voice of someone ill at ease. He had the face of one who walks in his sleep, and for a wild moment the idea came to me that perhaps he was not normal, not altogether sane. There were people who had trances, I had surely heard of them, and they followed strange laws of which we could know nothing, they obeyed the tangled orders of their own subconscious minds.
Perhaps he was one of them, and here we were within six feet of death. I had misjudged him, of course, there was nothing wrong after all, for as soon as I spoke this second time he came clear of his dream and began to apologize. I had gone white, I suppose, and he had noticed it. I wanted to see if it had changed. What gulf of years stretched between him and that other time, what deed of thought and action, what difference in temperament? I did not want to know.
I wished I had not come. Down the twisting road we went without a check, without a word, a great ridge of cloud stretched above the setting sun, and the air was cold and clean. Suddenly he began to talk about Manderley.
He said nothing of his life there, no word about himself, but he told me how the sun set there, on a spring afternoon, leaving a glow upon the headland. The sea would look like slate, cold still from the long winter, and from the terrace you could hear the ripple of the coming tide washing in the little bay.
The daffodils were in bloom, stirring in the evening breeze, golden heads cupped upon lean stalks, and however many you might pick there would be no thinning of the ranks, they were massed like an army, shoulder to shoulder. On a bank below the lawns, crocuses were planted, golden, pink, and mauve, but by this time they would be past their best, dropping and fading, like pallid snowdrops. The primrose was more vulgar, a homely pleasant creature who appeared in every cranny like a weed. Too early yet for bluebells, their heads were still hidden beneath last year's leaves, but when they came, dwarfing the more humble violet, they choked the very bracken in the woods, and with their colour made a challenge to the sky.
He never would have them in the house, he said. Thrust into vases they became dank and listless, and to see them at their best you must walk in the woods in the morning, about twelve o'clock, when the sun was overhead. They had a smoky, rather bitter smell, as though a wild sap ran in their stalks, pungent and juicy.
People who plucked bluebells from the woods were vandals; he had forbidden it at Manderley. Sometimes, driving in the country, he had seen bicyclists with huge bunches strapped before them on the handles, the bloom already fading from the dying heads, the ravaged stalks straggling naked and unclean. The primrose did not mind it quite so much; although a creature of the wilds it had a leaning towards civilization, and preened and smiled in a jam-jar in some cottage window without resentment, living quite a week if given water.
No wild flowers came in the house at Manderley. He had special cultivated flowers, grown for the house alone, in the walled garden. A rose was one of the few flowers, he said, that looked better picked than growing. There was something rather blousy about roses in full bloom, something shallow and raucous, like women with untidy hair. In the house they became mysterious and subtle. He had roses in the house at Manderley for eight months in the year.
Did I like syringa, he asked me? There was a tree on the edge of the lawn he could smell from his bedroom window. His sister, who was a hard, rather practical person, used to complain that there were too many scents at Manderley, they made her drunk.
Perhaps she was right. He did not care. It was the only form of intoxication that appealed to him. His earliest recollection was of great branches of lilac, standing in white jars, and they filled the house with a wistful, poignant smell.
The little pathway down the valley to the bay had clumps of azalea and rhododendron planted to the left of it, and if you wandered down it on a May evening after dinner it was just as though the shrubs had sweated in the air. You could stoop down and pick a fallen petal, crush it between your fingers, and you had there, in the hollow of your hand, the essence of a thousand scents, unbearable and sweet.
All from a curled and crumpled petal. And you came out of the valley, heady and rather dazed, to the hard white shingle of the beach and the still water. A curious, perhaps too sudden contrast As he spoke the car became one of many once again, dusk had fallen without my noticing it, and we were in the midst of light and sound in the streets of Monte Carlo.
The clatter jagged on my nerves, and the lights were far too brilliant, far too yellow. It was a swift, unwelcome anticlimax. Soon we would come to the hotel, and I felt for my gloves in the pocket of the car. I found them, and my fingers closed upon a book as well, whose slim covers told of poetry. I peered to read the title as the car slowed down before the door of the hotel.
I was glad, and held it tightly with my gloves. I felt I wanted some possession of his, now that the day was finished.
I shan't see you in the restaurant this evening as I'm dining out. But thank you for today. My afternoon had spoilt me for the hours that still remained, and I thought how long they would seem until my bed-time, how empty too my supper all alone. Somehow I could not face the bright inquiries of the nurse upstairs, or the possibilities of Mrs Van Hopper's husky interrogation, so I sat down in the corner of the lounge behind a pillar and ordered tea.
The waiter appeared bored; seeing me alone there was no need for him to press, and anyway it was that dragging time of day, a few minutes after half past five, when the nonnal tea is finished and the hour for drinks remote.
Rather forlorn, more than a little dissatisfied, I leant back in my chair and took up the book of poems. The volume was well worn, well thumbed, falling open automatically at what must be a much-frequented page. I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed slopes I sped And shot, precipited Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears, From those strong feet that followed, followed after. I felt rather like someone peering through the keyhole of a locked door, and a little furtively I laid the book aside. What hound of heaven had driven him to the high hills this afternoon? I thought of his car, with half a length between it and that drop of two thousand feet, and the blank expression on his face.
What footsteps echoed in his mind, what whispers, and what memories, and why, of all poems, must he keep this one in the pocket of his car? I wished he were less remote; and I anything but the creature that I was in my shabby coat and skirt, my broad-brimmed schoolgirl hat. The sulky waiter brought my tea, and while I ate bread-and-butter dull as sawdust I thought of the pathway through the valley he had described to me this afternoon, the smell of the azaleas, and the white shingle of the bay.
If he loved it all so much why did he seek the superficial froth of Monte Carlo? He had told Mrs Van Hopper he had made no plans, he came away in rather a hurry. And I pictured him running down that pathway in the valley with his own hound of heaven at his heels.
I picked up the book again, and this time it opened at the title-page, and I read the dedication. A little blob of ink marred the white page opposite, as though the writer, in impatience, had shaken her pen to make the ink flow freely. And then as it bubbled through the nib, it came a little thick, so that the name Rebecca stood out black and strong, the tall and sloping R dwarfing the other letters.
I shut the book with a snap, and put it away under my gloves; and stretching to a nearby chair, I took up an old copy of VIllustration and turned the pages.
There were some fine photographs of the chateaux of the Loire, and an article as well. I read it carefully, referring to the photographs, but when I finished I knew I had not understood a word. It was not Blois with its thin turrets and its spires that stared up at me from the printed page.
It was the face of Mrs Van Hopper in the restaurant the day before, her small pig's eyes darting to the neighbouring table, her fork, heaped high with ravioli, pausing in mid-air. They say he never talks about it, never mentions her name. She was drowned you know, in the bay near Manderley For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.
They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. Today, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one lightly and are soon forgotten, but then - how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal.
A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself. All I can say is that I hope your tennis will improve; it will be useful to you later on. A poor player is a great bore. Do you still serve underhand? It described me well. I was underhand. I had not played tennis with the professional at all.
I had not once played since she had lain in bed, and that was a little over a fortnight now. I wondered why it was I clung to this reserve, and why it was I did not tell her that every morning I drove with de Winter in his car, and lunched with him, too, at his table in the restaurant. I have forgotten much of Monte Carlo, of those morning drives, of where we went, even our conversation; but I have not forgotten how my fingers trembled, cramming on my hat, and how I ran along the corridor and down the stairs, too impatient to wait for the slow whining of the lift, and so outside, brushing the swing doors before the commissionaire could help me.
He would be there, in the driver's seat, reading a paper while he waited, and when he saw me he would smile, and toss it behind him in the back seat, and open the door, saying, 'Well, how is the friend-of-the-bosom this morning, and where does she want to go?
I was like a little scrubby schoolboy with a passion for a sixth-form prefect, and he kinder, and far more inaccessible.
Not for me the languor and the subtlety I had read about in books. The challenge and the chase. The sword-play, the swift glance, the stimulating smile. The art of provocation was unknown to me, and I would sit with his map upon my lap, the wind blowing my dull, lanky hair, happy in his silence yet eager for his words.
Whether he talked or not made little difference to my mood. My only enemy was the clock on the dashboard, whose hands would move relentlessly to one o'clock.
We drove east, we drove west, amidst the myriad villages that cling like limpets to the Mediterranean shore, and today I remember none of them. All I remember is the feel of the leather seats, the texture of the map upon my knee, its frayed edges, its worn seams, and how one day, looking at the clock, I thought to myself, 'This moment now, at twenty past eleven, this must never be lost,' and I shut my eyes to make the experience more lasting. When I opened my eyes we were by a bend in the road, and a peasant girl in a black shawl waved to us; I can see her now, her dusty skirt, her gleaming, friendly smile, and in a second we had passed the bend and could see her no more.
Already she belonged to the past, she was only a memory. I wanted to go back again, to recapture the moment that had gone, and then it came to me that if we did it would not be the same, even the sun would be changed in the sky, casting another shadow, and the peasant girl would trudge past us along the road in a different way, not waving this time, perhaps not even seeing us. In this unabridged and unedited edition you will find all the principal stories of the Bible, each one complete in itself, while together combining to form a continuous narrative.
With stories from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, there is ample material for a full year of reading. Ideal introduction to the stories of the Bible for young children, including as it does those stories best suited for the youngest listeners, retold with rare literary skill. Dozens of attractive illustrations complement the text.
This ebook is included in Treasury 2. In this timeless Christmas story, a stingy old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened to the spirit of Christmas through a series of mystical experiences. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the miserable ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, who heralds the arrival of three more spirits: As Scrooge encounters each spirit and witnesses the visions they present, his hardened heart melts, and he emerges from the experience a changed man, able to embrace the world with joy, compassion and generosity.
Draw close to the fire, all you who believe in the spirit of Christmas, whether you call it Santa Claus, or simply good will to men; and listen to the story of Nicholas the Wandering Orphan who became Nicholas the Wood-carver, a lover of little children. Follow him through his first years as a lonely little boy, who had the knack of carving playthings for children; then as a young man, busy over the little toys; then as a prosperous, fat, rosy old man, who overcomes all sorts of difficulties in order to attain his ambition, a toy for every child in the village.
Learn how he started to drive a beautiful sleigh drawn by prancing reindeer; why he first came down a chimney; how he filled the first stocking; where the first Christmas tree was decorated; and finally how he came to be known as Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus.
When illness keeps Kristy at Grandma's for Christmas, she comes up with a most ingenious way to keep the holiday. She invites neighbors and relatives to a Christmas Eve gathering, announcing only after they arrive that they are all to tell a story of the oddest, most miserable, or most agreeable Christmas they ever spent. There follow 14 heartwarming tales that will call forth tears, dismay, laughter, and surprise. A fine collection of stories for family reading that embody the true spirit of Christmas.
Stranded in upstate New York with just seven days to go until Christmas, a lonesome boy comes up with an ingenious way to bring Christmas to the equally lonesome inhabitants of his small mountain community, all of whom were spending the winter far from home. Visiting each in turn, David befriends his neighbors and delights in hearing the Christmas stories they share with him, stories they heard in their homelands long ago. A final celebration brings all the neighbors of different nationalities together, forging relationships that will outlast the holiday season and sending a message of hope to a war-torn world.
An exceptional collection of Christmas stories, legends, and poems, that have distinct literary merit, a spirit of reverence, and an appeal for children.
Chosen from a wide variety of sources by a pair of children's librarians, the stories represent the work of many writers. The selections are arranged chronologically, beginning with the birth of the Christ Child. An earthenware porringer, bought by a little Flemish girl of Bruges as a gift for the Christ child and stolen by Robber Hans, finally brings much happiness to her and her grandmother, the lace maker.
Heartwarming story of the life of Carol Bird, who, though sickly herself, brings sunshine to all those around her, including the nine Ruggles children, whom she invites to a special Christmas dinner and celebration. Classic holiday book first published in and beloved by generations of children. Attractive color illustrations enliven the text.
Parables for children inspired by nature. This collection includes all 29 stories from the first, second, third, and fourth series, originally published in separate volumes. Engaging introduction to the peoples of the world through the stories of the seven little sisters: Each and All: In lesson after lesson children are directed to make their own observations and think about what they have seen, the idea being that from the geographical forms they observe near their homes, they will create mental images, that will help them imagine similar forms which are distant and unknown.
Introduction to key concepts in the study of geography, beginning with the Earth's basic orientation, its hemispheres, and the imaginary lines for measuring latitude and longitude.
The reader then learns about the earth's motion in relation to the sun and how a country's location affects its temperature and the rotation of seasons.
The final topics covered are the fundamentals of map-making and descriptions of land and water features. Carefully selected poems accompany the text. Full of brave deeds in the face of daunting odds, this book will leave even a restless child hungry for another chapter.
Four compact biographies of American pioneers. A biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, a general who fought in both the American and French Revolutions. Burton sketches the life of this 'friend of liberty' in a pithy and engaging style, providing an excellent introduction to a fascinating man. Young students of the Revolutionary era stand to gain a great deal from this inspiring story.
Follow the strangely interwoven trails of Grant and Lee, Civil War generals on opposing sides, as they are recounted in this book.
Both were Americans, and widely as they differed in opinions, tastes and sympathies, each exhibited qualities of mind and character which should appeal to all their fellow countrymen and make them proud of the land that gave them birth.
Neither man, in his life, posed before the public as a hero, and the writer makes no attempt to place either of them on a pedestal. Theirs is a very human story, requiring neither color nor concealment, but illustrating a high development of those traits that make for manhood and national greatness.
An engaging and exciting account of life in the Iowa countryside shortly after the end of the Civil War. Young Lincoln's days are filled with hard work on the farm and sometimes dangerous encounters with the local wildlife, including rattlesnakes and wolves. But life is also filled with joys, such as trips to the county fair and Fourth of July celebrations.
Drawn from Garland's own life experiences, this book is the perfect guide to anyone wondering what life on the prairie was like when it was first settled. When the children beg Grandfather for a story about his chair, he obliges by telling them not just one, but a whole series of stories about it. As Grandfather recounts the history of the chair from its arrival through Revolutionary times, he shares stories of early American history in a way his listeners are sure to remember.
What is liberty as exemplified in American institutions? Where and how did it originate? Through what struggles and triumphs has it advanced? It is in order to answer these questions that the author presents these brief sketches, supplemented by extracts and selections, so the reader can have a panoramic view of the beginnings and growth of political liberty among English-speaking peoples.
Engaging account of the life and death of the peasant girl of Domremy, who at a young age was called to the aid of France, becoming a warrior-maid and martyr.
Many beautiful color illustrations by the author bring the story to life. Readers of this well-crafted narrative will follow Marco Polo from his Venetian home, across the entire continent of Asia to the court of Kublai Khan, and in his various adventures and journeys while in the far-off Orient, with eager curiosity and ever-deepening interest. The central figure of the story is heroic, for Marco Polo was in all things manly, brave, persevering, intelligent, and chivalrous; and the scenes and incidents in which he was the leading actor were in the highest degree thrilling and dramatic.
A collection of fantastical short stories about the history of England, narrated to two children by the mischievous Puck, a mythological figure familiar to many from Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Puck leads off with a story set just prior to the Norman Conquest of England, and concludes with a tale from the time of the Magna Carta. In between are stories from the Roman and Viking eras, providing an informative look at the early development of England as a nation, told through the lens of historical fantasy by a master storyteller.
Starting with the triumph of the Gauls over Rome nearly four centuries before Christ, and continuing up to the successful establishment of the Third Republic, the author of Our Island Story guides readers through France's complex past by means of numerous colorful stories. Marshall's words are simple and well-measured, providing a good place to begin reading and thinking about the subject of French history.
An engaging introduction to grammar through the conversations Mary shares with her mother. Stories are interspersed periodically to enliven the short lessons on grammar. The author of this book, Jane Marcet, was a prolific writer in the first half of the 19th century. Her success lay in her ability to explain complex concepts in simple language to a broad audience, to adults as well as to children.
In her works for children, she guides the youthful reader to discovery, prompting her to be observant and engendering in her a thirst for further knowledge. A singularly ingenious, witty, and amusing attempt to teach some of the elements of grammar by allegory and pictorial illustration.
A wonderful introduction to the parts of speech for young and old. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. A choice collection of stories for the preschool child, carefully selected, adapted, and arranged by two veteran kindergarten teachers.
Includes nature stories, holiday stories, fairy tales and fable, as well as stories of home life. Emphasis is placed on fanciful tales for their value in the training of the imagination and on cumulative tales for developing a child's sense of humor and appealing to his instinctive love of rhyme and jingle. A full collection of stories and rhymes for the youngest listeners. In addition to the usual fairy tales, folk tales, and fables, there are numerous stories about animals, tales of everyday doings, and stories of the seasons.
The material is conveniently arranged in groups, with several stories and rhymes for each holiday and season throughout the year. A choice collection of old folk tales and fables, attractively arranged and illustrated. Between each of the longer tales appear several short fables, offering a varied reading experience for the young reader for whom it is intended.
First published in , these simple retellings of the plots of Shakespeare's plays have delighted generations of children, while serving as an excellent introduction to the dramas of our greatest playwright. Shakespeare's own language is used as much as possible to accustom children to the English of the Elizabethan age and so make easier their transition to the reading of the plays themselves. Numerous black and white illustrations by Louis Rhead complement the text.
Twenty stories from Shakespeare retold in lively prose. The author makes the complex language of Shakespeare's greatest plays accessible to young children by relating the stories that form the core of the plays. Her graceful, vivid retellings are the perfect introduction to Shakespeare's works. Eighteen fables from the Jatakas of India, skillfully retold and attractively illustrated.
Twenty-one more fables from the Jataka tradition of India, compiled at the request of children captivated by the charm of the stories in Jataka Tales, retold by the same author and illustrated by the same artist. Thirty-four animal fables ably retold from the Panchatantra of India. Originally written in Sanskrit, tradition attributes the fables to Bidpai, an Indian sage, who, as legend has it, wrote them to instruct the king in moral wisdom. The king was delighted with the gentle wisdom and humor of the fables, which continue to be enjoyed by children to this day.
Attractive black and white illustrations complement the text. An appealing collection of more than a hundred Indian fables that are delightful as well as short, pithy, and ingenious. Each fable has its separate moral in prose or rhyme; these are often epigrams of the shrewdest kind, full of wit and subtlety.
Most of these fables are likely to be new to the majority of readers. In the characters of animals the same rules are observed as in Western fables. As the symbol of strength, the lion or, in one or two instances, the tiger is king, the fox is the symbol of cunning, the bear of inert power, the wolf of ferocity, the owl of assumed wisdom, and so forth.
An epic story of intrigue and adventure, this book is written by one of the most acclaimed Irish storytellers of all time.
Eaen, a humble fisherman's son, must set out to vanquish the evil Zabulun. Children are sure to be drawn in by this powerful, magical tale. A choice collection of favorite fairy tales, to delight children of all ages. The 86 stories selected for this collection include folk tales from England, Norway, and India, as well as the best fairy tales from Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault.
The volume also contains a handful of fables from Aesop and several tales from the Arabian Nights. A favorite collection of the best-known fairy tales, drawn from the folklore of many nations. It is the first and one of the best volumes in the series of colored fairy books produced by Andrew Lang at the turn of the twentieth century. Like the other volumes in the series, it includes engaging black and white illustrations that enliven the text.
One of the earliest collections of fairy tales from different countries, first published in Carefully selected and rendered anew in language close to the oral tradition. Includes old English tales, such as Jack the Giant-killer and Tom Thumb, as well as German stories from Grimm, and French tales of Perrault and Madame d'Aulnoy, and many other delightful and time-honored fairy tales.
Seven classic children's tales are here retold and graced with beautiful illustrations by Frederick Richardson. Follow along as these animal and human characters interact with each other and learn from their experiences. The first of two fairy tale anthologies for 5 year olds, each containing 36 stories specially selected for their literary merit, ethical soundness, and child appeal.
All the well-known nursery tales are included, along with a smattering of less familiar stories. Attractive illustrations, many in color, accompany most of the tales. The second of two fairy tale anthologies for 5 year olds, each containing 36 stories specially selected for their literary merit, ethical soundness, and child appeal. Includes many well-known nursery tales, as well as a number of less familiar stories from a variety of sources. The first of two fairy tale anthologies for 6 year olds, each containing 36 stories specially selected for their literary merit, ethical soundness, and child appeal.
This volume includes over a dozen well-known Grimm stories suited for this age, as well as fairy tales from the English, French, and Scandinavian traditions. A few stories from other regions round out the collection. The second of two fairy tale anthologies for 6 year olds, each containing 36 stories specially chosen to appeal to this age. Four tales in this volume come from Uncle Remus and three from Kipling's Just So Stories , with the remaining selected from 24 different books, representing the Norse, German, English, Czech, and Japanese traditions.
Numerous illustrations, some in color, accompany many of the tales. The first of two anthologies of the best fairy tales for seven year olds, compiled by Lisa M. The remaining 16 tales in this collection were selected from a wide variety of sources for their appeal to children of this age. The second of two fairy tale anthologies for 7 year olds, each containing 36 stories specially chosen to appeal to this age. Five tales in this volume come from Andersen, five from Pyle's The Wonder Clock , and three from the Norse, with the remaining selected from 19 different books, representing German, Irish, Czech, Finnish, Italian, and Russian traditions.
Numerous illustrations, some in color, enliven many of the tales. The first of two anthologies of the best fairy tales for eight year olds, compiled by Lisa M. The remaining tales in this collection were selected from a wide variety of sources for their appeal to children of this age.
The second of two fairy tale anthologies for 8 year olds, each containing 36 stories specially chosen to appeal to this age. Three selections in this volume come from Andersen, five from Grimm, three from Ewing's Old-Fashioned Fairy Tales , and three from Pyle's Wonder Clock , with the remaining selected from 17 different books, representing the Norse, English, Czech, Finnish, Russian, and Swedish traditions. Numerous illustrations, some in color, add interest to many of the tales.
The first of two anthologies of the best fairy tales for nine year olds, compiled by Lisa M. The remaining 11 tales in this collection were selected from a wide variety of sources for their appeal to children of this age.
The second of two fairy tale anthologies for 9 year olds, containing stories specially chosen to appeal to this age. Two complete books are included in this volume: Almost all the other selections are literary fairy tales as well, including four from Kipling's Just So Stories and three from Browne's Granny's Wonderful Chair.
Seven different books are the source for the rest of the tales. Numerous illustrations, some in color, accompany many of the selections. The first of two anthologies of the best fairy tales for ten year olds, compiled by Lisa M. The second of two fairy tale anthologies for 10 year olds, containing stories specially chosen to appeal to this age. Three complete books are included in this volume: Almost all the other selections are literary fairy tales as well, including The Reluctant Dragon and individual stories from Nesbit, Stockton, de Morgan, and Hauff.
The authors read thousands of fairy tales to locate the best of the less familiar tales to include in this volume. Numerous black and white illustrations accompany the text. A collection of highly imaginative modern fairy tales which inspire children to right behavior.
Seven fairy tales, set in an interesting framework in which are related the adventures of the little girl Snowflower and her magical chair at the court of King Winwealth. When Snow-flower, from her nook in the kitchen, said, Ages Vividly told stories of kingdoms lost and kingdoms won by Cormac of the magical green jerkin and his three sons, by a masterful storyteller in the Gaelic tradition whose language conjures up the hearth-side of long ago with its tales of happenings in a world filled with Kings, Princesses, and Champions.
In his introduction to the book, Padraic Colum says of Dunbar, "Here is a writer who has not merely entered into, but who has possession of, a real vein in story-telling.
Romantic tale of the knight Huldbrand, who ventured alone into a haunted forest, there meeting and falling in love with a mysterious young woman, not knowing her true nature, whereupon tragic events ensue. Many of the characters in the narrative are full of interest, including the malicious Kuhleborn, the quaint old fisherman and his dame, good Father Heilmann, the worldly Bertalda, and the gallant but fickle Huldbrand, but most beautiful and lovely in her supernatural form of watersprite, and afterwards in the suffering wife when she had found a soul, is Undine.
Few characters in romance have surpassed her in grace, refinement, and poetical beauty. The exquisite illustrations by Arthur Rackham that accompany this text are not to be missed!
A collection of fifteen original stories ideally suited for young children. Each of the stories features a light-filled being whose radiance illumines the path for those who follow.
Meant to be suggestive to the parent or teacher of the types of stories that can be told to children to inspire them to grow in goodness. Some of the stories are set in his native Germany, but most have an Oriental setting.
A fine storyteller, Hauff holds the attention of his readers with his carefully crafted plots, alternating action with dialogue to build suspense. A modern fairy tale, beautiful in spirit and unusual in theme and setting. Relates the story of little Prince Dolor and his magic cloak, telling how, with the help of the fairy who is godmother to all children, he learned to endure affliction with cheerfulness and fortitude, and eventually came into his own.
While drawing on German, English, and Scandinavian folk literature for many of his characters and plots, Pyle reworks the material in an imaginative way, crafting the tales in his own inimitable style. Equally engaging are the numerous woodcuts that accompany the stories and enliven the narrative. A fairy tale of what happened to two men who tried to get rich in evil ways and of how the fortune they sought came to their younger brother, whose kind and loving heart prompted him to right action.
Widely regarded as a masterpiece of 19th century stories for children. Includes four black and white illustrations by Maria L. A fireside pantomime for children great and small, who delight at the twists the plot takes when the rose and the ring change hands, for whoever has either one becomes charming in the eyes of any beholder. Prince Giglio, Betsinda, Gruffanuff, and Bulbo all have their affections turned multiple times in the course of the story.
Illustrations by the author are not to be missed! The couplets at the head of each chapter in the book are here combined into a single poem at the end. Twenty-two Norwegian folk tales, especially selected and carefully adapted for young readers.
A collection of stories that has delighted children for generations. A retelling for the youthful reader of the most interesting parts of Cervantes' great novel about Don Quixote, the eccentric gentleman who fancies himself a knight-errant.
The adventures most appealing to children are included, and related in such a way as to form a continuous narrative, with both the spirit and style of the original preserved as much as possible. It was all because the dog Nana nursemaid to the three Darling children had been banished to the kennel, that Peter Pan was able to entice Wendy, John, and Michael to fly away with him to Neverland, a magical place where no one ever grows old.
There they befriend the Lost Boys, rescue the Princess Tiger Lily, and are captured by the pirates at the behest of their fearless commander, Captain Hook! Miraculously, they overcome the pirates and steer the ship toward home, bringing the Lost Boys with them. Though Peter accompanies them on their flight back, he chooses to return to Neverland, where he can remain a boy forever. When young Alice follows a peculiar White Rabbit down a magical hole, she begins a curious adventure in an unforgettable imaginative world.
What a strange place Wonderland is! Magic potions make Alice grow and shrink as she encounters such bizarre and memorable characters as the Mad Hatter, the talking Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and the impatient and ill-tempered Queen of Hearts.
Danger always lurks around the corner, though, in Lewis Carroll's classic novel filled with playful language and literary flair. In this sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, our young heroine discovers another fantastic world, not down a rabbit hole, but on the other side of her family's mirror.
Through the looking glass, everything works differently; Alice finds, for instance, that books are printed in reverse and can only be read in a mirror! Chess pieces and nursery rhymes come to life, here; imagine what Alice must think when she encounters Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Humpty Dumpty, and the Lion and the Unicorn! When the Red Queen challenges Alice to a sweeping game of chess that spans the checkered countryside, Alice makes her way through this imaginative world, meeting both new and familiar characters as she goes.
As always, Lewis Carroll writes with great whimsical style, weaving such poems as 'The Walrus and the Carpenter,' and 'Jabberwocky' into the narrative. Beloved tale of the adventures of a puppet, carved from a stick of wood, who eventually becomes a real boy after many trials and tribulations.
Though urged to right behavior by his father Gepetto, the Talking-cricket, and the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio yields to temptations that land him in desperate straits.
Yet, time after time, he is rescued, sometimes by a stroke of luck and other times by someone he had befriended previously. Pinocchio's indomitable spirit shines throughout, lending humor and playfulness to whatever situation he finds himself in, whether that is planting his money in the Field of Miracles, sharing the humiliation of growing donkey ears with his good friend Candlewick, or discovering his father at long last in the belly of the Dog-fish.
All the while Pinocchio is growing in goodness and at last becomes a real little boy with a loving heart, a dutiful son to a devoted father. This edition couples the first translation from the Italian into English by M. Murray with dozens of engaging illustr Ages Elmer Elevator has always dreamed of flying. One day, when he offers some milk to a stray cat, he learns about the Wild Island, where a dragon is held captive at the end of a long rope.
In this Newbery-winning novel by Ruth Stiles Gannet, the first in a trilogy, Elmer sets off from home to find this magical island. There he encounters a number of wild inhabitants, including boars, lions, tigers, mice and gorillas, that he must outsmart in order to rescue the captive dragon.
In this unforgettable story of the adventures of the lovable Toad, Ratty, Mole, and Badger, the exhilaration of venturing abroad—whether that means messing about in boats with Ratty and Mole or racing motor cars in the case of Toad—is contrasted with the pleasures of home, the sharing of companionship, and the offering of hospitality.
The tale culminates in their joining forces to take back Toad Hall, ensuring a setting for their continued fellowship. When a young chimney-sweep named Tom falls into a river, he dies, becoming a water-baby.
In the course of his adventures, Tom befriends other water-beings and learns many valuable lessons from insightful fairies. Kingsley's narrative incorporates Christian themes as well as social commentaries. As Tom improves himself, he gains an opportunity to rejoin the human world.
Swift-moving, exciting stories of the life and law of the jungle. The first three chapters focus on Mowgli, an abandoned 'man-cub' raised by wolves. Another features Rikki-tikki-tavi, a mongoose pitted against a cobra. A lively poem penned by the author accompanies each of the seven tales. Fanciful explanations, that delight both young and old, of how some curious things came to be, including stories of how the elephant got his trunk, how the camel got his hump, and how the alphabet was invented.
Continues the story of Mowgli begun in The Jungle Book with happenings in the time of Mowgli's maturity, when he shows increasing wisdom in helping to rescue his birth-parents, disposing of an ill-fated weapon, and leading the Jungle People in their rout of the Red Dogs. The last Mowgli story ends with his leaving the Jungle People to return to his own. Three other stories are interspersed among the Mowgli stories, two of them about villages in dire circumstances saved through the efforts of extraordinary individuals.
A contest of tales between two storytellers—Tintil, the rover who spins magical yarns about the Enchanted Wood, and Dicomill, a stay-at-home who tells stories that might have happened anywhere in the Border Land.
Well, YOU be the judge! It is Christmastime in England, and laughter fills the great hall where the Squire's guests have gathered to commence their holiday festivities. No sooner has the Yule Log been heaved onto the fire, then the Squire's little son asks for a tale, and in the blink of an eye the reader is transported to a realm of enchantment, where a dog can rule as king, a clever tailor saves a kingdom, and apples given as gifts may lead to strange turns of fortune.
Writing in both prose and verse, Lindsay guides readers alternately through the world of stories, and the equally lovely world of a medieval Christmas, with deep love, and a clarity of vision not quickly forgotten. A Squire and his little son are among the party, and to amuse the boy, it is agreed each time they stop to rest, one of their number will tell a tale. And marvelous tales they tell! Mysterious smiths, royal riddles, wishing wells and ancient harpers chase one another through these pages, stirring the heart, and lingering in the imagination long after the last story reaches its end.
Highly recommended. Within the pages of this volume are the stories told by a traveling Storyteller—a man who, after miles of journeying, comes to town in olden times around special holidays such as Christmas or Mayday or All Hallow's Eve to share with everyone the stories he has collected.
The stories here tell of princes and kings, of magical holiday events and children who must wander through Enchanted Forests full of goblins and other creatures. Each story is accompanied by either a beautiful full color illustration or the sheet music to a song that the family can learn together, making this a wonderful volume to share with readers of all ages.
In this novel, Hugh Lofting introduces the memorable English doctor, John Dolittle, who knows how to speak with his animal patients! When Dr. Dolittle learns of a monkey epidemic in Africa, he plans to voyage there, despite his own financial problems.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle relates the many dangers and delights of this exciting expedition. It also features many extraordinary animals, including the unforgettable two-headed pushmi-pullyu. The story of Diamond and his adventures with the North Wind, sometimes portrayed as the tiny fairy who blows the primrose, and again as the glorious woman whose home is all Out-Doors, and who sweeps through the skies with little Diamond nestled in her hair.
This modern fairy tale inspires in the reader a stronger faith in things unseen. Poetically conceived and masterfully written. Sequel to The Princess and the Goblin in which Curdie travels to Gwyntystorm, the capital city, with many adventures along the way. There he finds a group of corrupt courtiers plotting to seize the throne. With the aid of Lina, a curious monster, and forty-nine other strange animals, he clears the palaces of these conspirators, eventually marrying the princess and becoming heir to the kingdom.
In the sphere of fantasy, author George MacDonald has few equals, and his rare touch of many aspects of life invariably gives to his stories a deeper meaning of the highest value. A marvelous tale of how the princess and Curdie, with the help of the great-great-grandmother, overcome the wicked goblins of the mountain.
A contemporary writes of The Princess and the Goblin: Faith in that which is invisible, and the courage of that which we believe, are what he tries to teach. He speaks with a tender, earnest eloquence which draws a response from the reader, like music from the harp of a master minstrel.
When five British children discover a temperamental sand-fairy in a gravel pit, they are granted a series of wishes, but learn how troublesome it can be to get exactly what you wish for.
They wish for beauty and become unrecognizable at home; they wish for riches and end up with outdated currency; they wish to fly and get stuck atop a bell tower! Their wishes get them into trouble and into dangerous situations, too.
This is the first book in a three volume series. The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher lives in a little house among the buttercups on the edge of a pond. His rooms are all quite damp, and there are puddles in the passageways, which many people would find unpleasant, but since Mr. Fisher is a frog, he loves it! One day, seeing a drizzle out his window, he decides to try his luck at a bit of quiet fishing, hoping to catch some minnows to share with his friends.
Simple words and heartwarming illustrations take readers into Mr. This a story of squirrels—and an owl. Squirrel Nutkin and his family live on the shores of a lake, in which lies an island covered in nut-bushes.
While his cousins bring gifts to propitiate Old Brown the owl who lives on the island , Nutkin sings, dances, asks riddles, and generally makes an owl-pestering nuisance of himself. His antics and their eventual result come wonderfully alive in this book. On par with the best of Peter Rabbit. So they won't be underfoot while she is making toast, Mrs. Tabitha sends her offspring outside, where the combination of earth, kittens, and newly washed-frocks leads to several.
Tom Kitten's bright eyes will likely remain fresh in the reader's mind a good while after the book has closed. Margery Williams' beautiful story of a toy rabbit who becomes real through his love of the child that owns him. Originally looked down upon by more expensive toys, the velveteen rabbit becomes the boy's constant companion.
One day, the boy falls ill with scarlet fever, and all of his possessions, the rabbit included, are to be burned. When the toy sheds a real tear, however, a magical fairy appears and transforms him into a real rabbit, at last. A sledding accident sends friends Jack and Jill to bed for months, one with a broken leg, the other with an injured back. After a short period of self-pity, they decide to make the most of their convalescence.
And so with the help of their friends and their mothers, they find all sorts of imaginative ways to keep themselves amused. After inheriting a big old house, Jo joins forces with her professor husband to open Plumfield as a school for boys. Like Jo herself, her school was anything but conventional. All manner of jovial games were allowed under the once decorous roof of Plumfield, but the lads had learned that liberty must not be abused.
So, in spite of many dark predictions, the school flourished, and manners and morals were insinuated, without the pupils exactly knowing how it was done. Meg, the sensible homemaker; Jo, the literary genius with impulsive ways, a warm heart, and a fiery temper; Beth, the music lover presiding as the gentle angel of the hearth-side; and Amy, the artistic one, adored by all. The Marches are a family like no other, living through all sorts of everyday experiences in a delightful way, each of the girls working out her destiny in turn.
This wonderful picture of wholesome home life has deservedly been beloved for generations. When Sara Crewe is transported from India to Miss Minchin's Select Seminary at the age of seven, she quickly gains star pupil status and wins her way into the hearts of the younger girls.
A reverse in her father's fortunes, however, results in the loss of her comfortable existence there. She is sent to the attic and relegated to the position of servant girl.
Only her imagination and resourcefulness carry her through this time of trial. Her generosity to others, even as she is starving herself, eventually brings about a happy turn of affairs. Walled in and locked for years, the secret garden becomes the setting for the transformation of Mary, an ill-tempered child, and Colin, a sickly boy.
Coached by Dickon, a young lad at home on the moor, Mary and Colin bring new life to the neglected garden, and, in the process, restore themselves to a robust state of health, putting color in their cheeks and liveliness in their steps. In this lovely children's book, The Farmer's Boy for the edification of a pretty lass lists the various animals he has tended and their characteristic sounds. Beginning with horses, he names his charges one by one, not neglecting, each time a new creature appears, to go back over all its predecessors, mimicking their quacks, grunts, baas, et cetera.
The chorus of noises grows quite rapidly, in a manner that paired with the quiet contentment of Caldecott's illustrations will bring a smile to any reader's face. A book to return to again and again. This classic novel relates the remarkable adventures of the title character.
Opposing his family's desires for his future, Robinson Crusoe sets sail in and embarks on a life of travel. On his ventures, he experiences shipwreck, encounters pirates and cannibals, and learns to survive on an island, where after long years he saves and befriends a man named Friday. Robinson's life takes many twists and turns before he sees his homeland of England again.
The sprightly Dot Perrybingle and her steady John, Tilly Slowboy and her infant charge, the sweet blind Bertha and her misguided father, even gruff Tackleton and the young lovers themselves, are not so responsible for this homely yet artistic story as the kettle and the cricket—although to which of these the credit belongs remains a matter of doubt since each insists the other began it.
An excellent introduction to Dickens, showcasing his colorful characterizations and engaging narrative. Nine year old Elizabeth Ann has been pampered by her aunts in the city, but when she is sent to live with her Putney cousins on a farm in Vermont, she encounters a whole new set of expectations. Lucretia Hale's tales of the Peterkins, originally published in newspapers in the s and s, are here collected in book form. The stories tell of incidents in the life of a family of foolish individuals whose unusual and often silly solutions to the problems they face make for fun and humorous anecdotes.
Join four year old Harriet as she explores the world in and about her apartment home in New York City a century ago. What wonders she experiences in the course of a week as she bakes cookies on Friday, rides the trolley to the beach on Saturday, goes to church on Sunday, enjoys a neighborly tea party on Monday, downloads groceries on Tuesday, shops on Wednesday, and visits the library on Thursday, all in the company of a loving family. It is a joy to read about the activities of a child whose mind has been richly furnished by many storybook experiences and whose senses are so alive that she eagerly anticipates the coming of each new day.
An excellent story of character development as well as a vivid sketch of the life of the New England fishermen. Maud Lindsay has an extraordinary gift for making delightful stories out of ordinary events that help very young children make sense of their surroundings. Each chapter in this collection presents a simple story, depicting a child actively engaged in the world, whether that is gathering wild fruit, saving pennies to download a tool, or helping to make biscuits. All the stories are illustrated and many include an engaging rhyme to move the story along.
Once upon a time on a quiet street in an old city there was a Toy Shop. And there was never a day that some one did not stop to look at the shop window. One day it might be filled with bright balloons that were like great colored lights; and the next with jumping-jacks. Each chapter in this book relates the story of one of the toys in this shop of long ago: What child wouldn't want to hear about these toys and imagine himself as the recipient! Seventeen stories ideally suited for kindergarten children who take great interest in lively stories about familiar things, especially those that include rhyme and repetition as these stories do.
Within each story is a subtle moral, pleasing to children and not at all obtrusive. Twenty more delightful stories for kindergarten children about the commonplace things they care about most, with enough rhyme and repetition to keep them begging for more. Most of the stories in this book revolve around animals of the barnyard, with a sprinkling of stories of everyday doings. Two Christmas stories conclude the volume. A magnificent dog, stolen from a comfortable home for use as a husky in the Klondike, develops, through his varied life on the team and among men, a remarkable sense of responsibility and an unbounded capacity for love and hate.
Upon the death of his master, his only friend, he responds to the call of the wild and becomes one of a great wolf pack. A powerful story, vivid in background and dramatic in incident. Balsar, a pioneer lad, enters manhood at the age of 13 when he encounters a great bear while fishing on the river and proves his mettle.
This book, full of harrowing adventures, great danger, and many acts of valor, tells of Balsar's subsequent encounters with bears, wolves, Indians and the legendary one-eared 'demon' bear, offering a dynamic portrait of the daily life in Indiana during the s.
After Willy, with a sixpence allowance, gets into debt at boarding school, he makes a chance remark to his mother when he is home on holiday that he wished he had as much money as the king so he could download whatever he wanted.
That leads his mother to launch into a conversation with him about the king's finances. On subsequent days Willy's questions prompt all sorts of interesting discussions on topics such as government, despotism, republics, and slavery that even a seven year old can understand.
This autumnal volume of The Seasons follows young Willy and his mother through a variety of seasonal experiences. Curious and full of wonder, Willy questions his mother about each new thing he encounters. Throughout this book, she teaches him many valuable lessons. He learns about the harvest of grains, how windmills work, how steam-boats run, how trees grow and leaves fall, how shadows are cast, and how money is made from metals found deep within the earth.
Snow falls and young Willy heads out to play in it! After his mother teaches him how to bundle up, Willy learns all about snowballs: His father shows him the pleasures of sliding on frozen water, but Willy observes how dangerous it can be, as well. In this volume of The Seasons, Willy is taught about the sun's rising and setting, discovers how tea is made, and learns how to feed a sparrow. Willy and his mother observe the trees closely as they begin to bud and bloom.
As he is almost four, Willy still has a lot to learn about the world. In this volume of the The Seasons , his mother teaches him about animals and plants, buds and blossoms. In addition, she shows him how to water a plant and read a weathercock, while also helping him understand how a bellows works, why days grow longer in the summer, and why objects look smaller when they are distant than when they are close.
Join Willy as he learns to trundle a hoop with his friend, Harry, and explore the spring season with his mother as guide. Summer has arrived and Willy's family prepares to leave for Ash Grove. As Willy greets each day with curiosity and wonder, he finds out how much there is to learn! Guided by his patient and articulate mother, Willy learns many lessons about God's goodness, about nature's complexity, and about the practical skills required in everyday life.
Join him for wonderful days in the garden, haymaking festivities, and illuminating encounters with the people who live nearby.
Little Mitchell: From the time the days-old gray squirrel is rescued by the Lady, he is her constant companion. She names him Little Mitchell because she found him fallen from the nest on the flank of Mt. Mitchell in the mountains of North Carolina. Tucked in her jacket or carried in a box, he travels to Boston, by wagon, car, and train, encountering all sorts of adventures along the way.
Once in Boston he continues the mischief-making that puts smiles on the faces of young listeners lucky enough to have this book read to them. When their father disappears under mysterious circumstances, Roberta, Peter and Phyllis leave London with their mother and settle in a country house beside the railway.
Entertained by the trains and their passengers, the children form friendships in the station that ultimately assist them in solving the mystery of their father's disappearance and bringing him back to the family. After their mother dies, their father falls into depression and the family's business starts to falter. The children, recognizing the signs of their fallen fortune, resolve to help by finding treasure in whatever way they can—by digging for buried treasure, becoming bandits, rescuing a princess or wealthy gentlemen, publishing poetry, editing their own newspaper and more!
Join them in their earnest attempts to help in whatever way they can, learning important lessons and working to support each other along the way. The Bastables have moved to the Blackheath House and are becoming increasingly bored, when their cousins Daisy and Dennis come to visit. Follow the Wouldbgoods' trials and tribulations through this occasionally infuriating, but quite jolly book. Through the eyes of Kit and Kat, 5 year-old twins, we catch a glimpse of life in Holland a century ago.
We follow them as they go fishing with grandfather, join their father on market day, help their mother around the house, drive the milk cart, and get new skates. The story draws to a close on St. Nicholas Day when St. Nicholas himself pays them a visit. Share the adventures of Menie and Monnie, 5 year-old twins in an Eskimo village, where the villagers have to provide for all their own needs.
Their father, Kesshoo, is a brave fisherman and strong hunter and their mother Koolee is clever in making clothing and shoes out of the skins of the animals which he brings home. We watch the twins as they spot a polar bear while coasting on their sleds, then join with the villagers in the sharing of the meat and the feasting afterwards. Among the other activities they enjoy are ice fishing, building a snow house, hunting for seals, and traveling by boat to their summering ground where they catch salmon to dry for the winter.
Children are captivated by the humor and playfulness in this community where the winter night lasts for four long months! With Irish twins Larry and Eileen, we enjoy a visit to Granny Malone's and puzzle over the letter she has received from her son in America, a letter that sets the wheels in motion for all sorts of adventures.
Along the way the twins encounter gypsies and discover a pig stuck in a bog that brings a change in fortune to their family. While following Larry and Eileen on their adventures, we gain a vivid understanding of the close-knit community life of the Irish countryside, as it existed a century ago.
Join Taro and Take, 5 year-old Japanese twins, as they greet a new baby brother, play in their garden, and thrill to the sights they see when they ride in rickshaws to the temple to have their new brother blessed.
A rainy day finds them painting pictures with colored sands and harnessing beetles with thread, then preparing for their first day of school.
The story concludes with the celebration of their birthday-on different days! For Take and all the other girls in Japan celebrate their birthday on one day with a Feast of Dolls, and Taro and all the boys celebrate on another day with a Feast of Flags. With Father and Fritz going to the high alps all summer to make cheese, responsibility for the family goats falls on Seppi and Leneli, the ten year old twins.
They had never even been to the goat pasture in the alps before, but after three days of tagging along while older brother Fritz drove the goats to their pasture in the alps in the morning and led them home at night, they would be on their own. On their first day they had just settled the goats in their pasture, when a fierce storm broke. Gathering the goats to them, they looked on in dismay as the storm triggered an avalanche which blocked their homeward path.
How they eventually manage to get home with the goats is a story you won't want to miss! This popular novel by Eleanor H. Porter introduces a memorable young heroine whose exceptional optimism allows her to find the good in any situation, no matter how dreary, difficult, or unpleasant it may be.
When Pollyanna moves to her Aunt Polly's house in Beldingsville, Vermont, her bright outlook on life is put to the test. Over time, her sunny disposition, along with her 'glad game,' brightens the lives of many, including her austere Aunt. When unexpected tragedy befalls her, though, and she falls into uncharacteristic despair, it takes the encouragement of others to restore Pollyanna to her former state of gladness.
Told from the horse's perspective, this narrative relates the life experiences of Black Beauty, from his earliest days through old age. Born on a farm and raised by kind masters, Black Beauty enjoys a wonderful start in life. When sickness befalls his mistress, however, the family must leave their home and Black Beauty is sold. So begins a long and arduous journey through the hands of many masters. Blessed with a fine temperament and with perseverance, Black Beauty finds the strength to endure many grievances, and the grace to appreciate kindness when it is shown to him.
Written by Margaret Sidney, this delightful novel tells the story of the spirited Pepper family. When Mr. Pepper passed away, Mrs. Mamsie Pepper was left with five children to raise in their little brown house. Though the Peppers are poor and hardworking souls, they keep their spirits up and take much joy in life. When Phronsie Pepper is kidnapped, a young man named Jasper King comes to her rescue and the two children's families become quite close, eventually resulting in a change of fortune for the Peppers.
The well-loved tale of Heidi, the young Swiss mountain girl, whose joyous nature transforms the lives of all those around her. Brought as an orphan to the Alm Uncle's rude Alpine hut, Heidi soon softens his heart and comes to delight in gamboling on the mountainside with Peter and his goats.
But her aunt procures for her a position as companion to the ailing Clara, so she reluctantly leaves behind her primitive life and sweeps, like a breath of fresh air, into the sophisticated city home. Her love for the Alpine pastures is so strong, however, that she grows ill herself for want of the bracing mountain air.
On her return home, she brings joy to the Alm Uncle and the grandmother and quickly regains her vitality. When young David Balfour loses his father, he learns of his wealthy uncle, Ebenezer, and sets out to visit him. Ebenezer holds secrets that could change David's fortune, but disinclined to reveal them, he arranges for his nephew to be kidnapped by the captain of a ship.
This classic novel follows David on his long journey home as he saves a life, befriends a traveler, survives a shipwreck, witnesses a murder, flees capture, and undergoes numerous other trials before finally returning home to confront his uncle.
When Captain Billy Bones dies in an inn called the Admiral Benbow, the innkeepers' son, Jim Hawkins, discovers a treasure map in the dead man's trunk. Intent on discovering the treasure, Jim and his acquaintances set out to sea, but not all their crew can be trusted.
In fact, many of them are pirates!