The Evil Genius eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 424 pages of information about The Evil Genius.

Leaving the house, Linley slipped a bribe into the servant’s hand.  “I am going to write to Miss Westerfield,” he said.  “Will you see that she gets my letter?”

“That I will!”

He was surprised by the fervor with which the girl answered him.  Absolutely without vanity, he had no suspicion of the value which his winning manner, his kind brown eyes, and his sunny smile had conferred on his little gift of money.  A handsome man was an eighth wonder of the world, at Miss Wigger’s school.

At the first stationer’s shop that he passed, he stopped the carriage and wrote his letter.

“I shall be glad indeed if I can offer you a happier life than the life you are leading now.  It rests with you to help me do this.  Will you send me the address of your parents, if they are in London, or the name of any friend with whom I can arrange to give you a trial as governess to my little girl?  I am waiting your answer in the neighborhood.  If any hinderance should prevent you from replying at once, I add the name of the hotel at which I am staying—­so that you may telegraph to me, before I leave London to-night.”

The stationer’s boy, inspired by a private view of half-a-crown, set off at a run—­and returned at a run with a reply.

“I have neither parents nor friends, and I have just been dismissed from my employment at the school.  Without references to speak for me, I must not take advantage of your generous offer.  Will you help me to bear my disappointment, permitting me to see you, for a few minutes only, at your hotel?  Indeed, indeed, sir, I am not forgetful of what I owe to my respect for you, and my respect for myself.  I only ask leave to satisfy you that I am not quite unworthy of the interest which you have been pleased to feel in—­S.W.”

In those sad words, Sydney Westerfield announced that she had completed her education.

THE STORY

FIRST BOOK.

Chapter I.

Mrs. Presty Presents Herself.

Not far from the source of the famous river, which rises in the mountains between Loch Katrine and Loch Lornond, and divides the Highlands and the Lowlands of Scotland, travelers arrive at the venerable gray walls of Mount Morven; and, after consulting their guide books, ask permission to see the house.

What would be called, in a modern place of residence, the first floor, is reserved for the occupation of the family.  The great hall of entrance, and its quaint old fireplace; the ancient rooms on the same level opening out of it, are freely shown to strangers.  Cultivated travelers express various opinions relating to the family portraits, and the elaborately carved ceilings.  The uninstructed public declines to trouble itself with criticism.  It looks up at the towers and the loopholes, the battlements and the rusty old guns, which still bear witness to the perils

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The Evil Genius from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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