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Ellen Wood (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 441 pages of information about Elster's Folly.

CHAPTER

I. By the Early Train

      II.  Willy Gum

     III.  Anne Ashton

      IV.  The Countess-Dowager

       V. Jealousy

      VI.  At the Bridge

     VII.  Listeners

    VIII.  The Wager Boats

      IX.  Waiting for Dinner

       X. Mr. Pike’s Visit

      XI.  The Inquest

     XII.  Later in the Day

    XIII.  Fever

     XIV.  Another Patient

      XV.  Val’s Dilemma

     XVI.  Between the Two

    XVII.  An Agreeable Wedding

   XVIII.  The Stranger

     XIX.  A Chance Meeting

      XX.  The Stranger Again

     XXI.  Secret Care

    XXII.  Asking the Rector

   XXIII.  Mr. Carr at Work

    XXIV.  Somebody Else at Work

     XXV.  At Hartledon

    XXVI.  Under the Trees

   XXVII.  A Tete-a-Tete Breakfast

  XXVIII.  Once more

    XXIX.  Cross-questioning Mr. Carr

     XXX.  Maude’s Disobedience

    XXXI.  The Sword slipped

   XXXII.  In the Park

  XXXIII.  Coming Home

   XXXIV.  Mr. Pike on the Wing

    XXXV.  The Shed razed

   XXXVI.  The Dowager’s Alarm

  XXXVII.  A Painful Scene

 XXXVIII.  Explanations

ELSTER’S FOLLY

CHAPTER I.

By the early train.

The ascending sun threw its slanting rays abroad on a glorious August morning, and the little world below began to awaken into life—­the life of another day of sanguine pleasure or of fretting care.

Not on many fairer scenes did those sunbeams shed their radiance than on one existing in the heart of England; but almost any landscape will look beautiful in the early light of a summer’s morning.  The county, one of the midlands, was justly celebrated for its scenery; its rich woods and smiling plains, its river and gentler streams.  The harvest was nearly gathered in—­it had been a late season—­but a few fields of golden grain, in process of reaping, gave their warm tints to the landscape.  In no part of the country had the beauties of nature been bestowed more lavishly than on this, the village of Calne, situated about seven miles from the county town.

It was an aristocratic village, on the whole.  The fine seat of the Earl of Hartledon, rising near it, had caused a few families of note to settle there, and the nest of white villas gave the place a prosperous and picturesque appearance.  But it contained a full proportion of the poor or labouring class; and these people were falling very much into the habit of writing the village “Cawn,” in accordance with its pronunciation.  Phonetic spelling was more in their line than Johnson’s Dictionary.  Of what may be called the middle class the village held few, if any:  there were the gentry, the small shopkeepers, and the poor.

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