Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 245 pages of information about Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts.

I. OCEANUS.

II.  The seventh man.

III.  The room of mirrors.

IV.  A pair of hands.

V. The lady of the ship.

VI.  Frozen Margit.

VII.  The singular adventure of A small free-Trader.

VIII.  The mystery of Joseph Laquedem.

IX.  Prisoners of war.

X. A town’s memory.

XI.  The lady of the red admirals.

XII.  The penance of John Emmet.

XIII.  Elisha.

XIV.  “Once aboard the lugger”.

XV.  Which?

OCEANUS

I

My Dear Violet,—­So you “gather from the tone of two or three recent letters that my spirit is creeping back to light and warmth again”?  Well, after a fashion you are right.  I shall never laugh again as I used to laugh before Harry’s death.  The taste has gone out of that carelessness, and I turn even from the remembrance of it.  But I can be cheerful, with a cheerfulness which has found the centre of gravity.  I am myself again, as people say.  After months of agitation in what seemed to be chaos the lost atom has dropped back to its place in the scheme of things, and even aspires (poor mite!) to do its infinitesimal business intelligently.  So might a mote in a sunbeam feel itself at one with God!

But when you assume that my recovery has been a gradual process, you are wrong.  You will think me more than ever deranged; but I assure you that it has been brought about, not by long strivings, but suddenly—­without preparation of mine—­and by the immediate hand of our dead brother.

Yes; you shall have the whole tale.  The first effect of the news of Harry’s death in October last was simply to stun me.  You may remember how once, years ago when we were children, we rode home together across the old Racecourse after a long day’s skating, our skates swinging at our saddle-bows; how Harry challenged us to a gallop; and how, midway, the roan mare slipped down neck over crop on the frozen turf and hurled me clean against the face of a stone dyke.  I had been thrown from horseback more than once before, but somehow had always found the earth fairly elastic.  So I had griefs before Harry died and took some rebound of hope from each:  but that cast repeated in a worse degree the old shock—­the springless brutal jar—­of the stone dyke.  With him the sun went out of my sky.

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Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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