Living Alone eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 165 pages of information about Living Alone.

“I didn’t need reminding,” interrupted Sarah Brown.  “It seems to me that everybody has forgotten why they came here.  Please, Richard, do you know of a spell to find a missing person?”

“Yes, several,” answered Richard, who was always as eager as a travelling salesman to recommend his wares.  “There is an awfully ingenious little spell I can show you, if you happen to have a telephone book and a compass and a toad’s heart and a hair from a black goat’s beard about you.  Or again, if you stand on a sea-beach at low tide on Christmas night with the moon at your back and a wax candle in your left hand, and write upon the sand the name—­by the way, who is it you want to find?”

“The witch,” answered Sarah Brown.

Richard’s face fell.  “Oh, only the witch?” he said.  “I can tell you where she is without any spell at all.  She’s with my True Love at Higgins Farm, helping—­oh, by the way, mother, I forgot to tell you.  You are a grandmother.”

“RRCHUD!” said Lady Arabel.  She sat down suddenly on the smooth grass slope between the road and the garden hedge.  “Ah, it is too cruel,” she cried, burying her face in her hands.  “It is too cruel.  Is this my son?  I meant so well, and all my life I did the things that other people did, the natural things.  Except just once.  And for that once, I am so cruelly punished....  I am given a son who is no son to me, who says only things I mustn’t understand ... who does only things I mustn’t see....”  She paused, and, taking her hands from her face, looked round aghast at Richard, who was sitting beside her on the bank, stroking her arm. “A faery son ...” she added in a terrified whisper, and then broke out again crying:  “Ah, it is too cruel....”

Richard continued to stroke her arm without comprehension.  “Yes, mother, and Peony, my True Love, insists on calling him Elbert,” he said.  “Mother, listen, Elbert your faery grandson....”

But Lady Arabel still sobbed.



“Well, Sarah Brown, here we are,” said the witch, her Byronic hair flying as she sat perilously on the rail of the deck.  The distant flying buttresses of New York were supporting a shining sky, and north and east lay the harbour and sea, and many ships moving with the glad gait of home-comers after perilous voyaging.

Every minute upon the sea is a magic minute, but the voyage of the witch and Sarah Brown had been unmarked by any supernatural activities on the part of the witch.  She had been more or less extinguished by the presence of five hundred Americans, not one of whom had ever heard the word “magic” used, except by advertisers in connection with their wares.

Miss Ford had been left behind, cured for ever of nerve-storms.  She had become unexpectedly engaged to Mr. Bernard Tovey while looking for a porter on Lime Street Station, Liverpool, and had returned with him to London to celebrate the event by means of a Super-Wednesday.  The Mayor also had failed to embark.  Indeed the unfortunate man had not been heard of since his seizure on the night of the fire, and I believe that the London police are still trying to arrest him as a German spy.

Project Gutenberg
Living Alone from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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