Pearl of Pearl Island eBook

John Oxenham
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 199 pages of information about Pearl of Pearl Island.

“Yes,” he said, “new things are very enjoyable, and in these times there is no lack of them.  The tendency, I should say, is towards superfluity.  But new places——!  There are surely not many left except the North Pole and the South.  Everybody goes everywhere nowadays, and you tumble over friends in Damascus and find your tailor picnicking on the slopes of Lebanon.”

Now, as it chanced,—­if you admit such a thing as chance in so tangled a coil as this complex world of ours,—­Adam Black had just tucked Charles Pixley into a close little argumentative corner, and given him food for contemplation, and catching Graeme’s last remark, he smiled across the table, and in a word of four letters dropped a seed into several lives which bore odd fruit and blossom.

“Ever been to Sark, Graeme?” he asked.

“Sark?  No.  Let me see——­”

“Channel Islands.  You go across from Guernsey.  If ever you want relief from your fellows—­to finish a book, or to start one, or just to grizzle and find yourself—­try Sark.  It’s the most wonderful little place, and it’s amazing how few people know it.”

Then Charles Pixley bethought him of a fresh line of argument, and engaged Black, and was promptly shown the error of his ways; and Margaret Brandt and Graeme resumed their discussion of places and books and people.  And before that evening ended, with such affinity of tastes, their feet were fairly set in the rosy path of friendship.

Now that is how it all began, and that explains what happened afterwards when the right time came.

Chance, forsooth!  We know better.

IV

Not long after that dinner, Lady Elspeth Gordon came up to town for the first time after her husband’s death.

She had been John Graeme’s mother’s closest friend, and when he was left alone in the world, the dear old lady, before she had fully recovered from her own sore loss, took upon herself a friendly supervision of him and his small affairs, and their intercourse was very delightful.

For Lady Elspeth knew everybody worth knowing, and all that was to be known about the rest; and those gentle brown eyes of hers had missed little of what had gone on around her since she first came to London, fifty years before.  She had known Wellington, and Palmerston, and John Russell, and Disraeli, and Gladstone, and Louis Napoleon, and Garibaldi, and many more.  She was a veritable golden link with the past, and a storehouse of reminiscence and delightful insight into human nature.

And—­since she knew everyone worth knowing, Graeme very soon discovered that she knew Margaret Brandt, and Miss Brandt’s very frequent visits to Phillimore Gardens proved that she was an acceptable visitor there.

Upon that, his own visits to Lady Elspeth naturally became still more frequent than before,—­approximating even, as she had said, the record of the milkman,—­and, though his dear old friend might rate him gently as to the motives for his coming, he had every reason to believe that her sympathies were with him, and that she would do what she could to further his hopes.

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Project Gutenberg
Pearl of Pearl Island from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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