Margaret Maliphant

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Produced by Fay Dunn, Fiona Holmes and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by the babel.hathitrust.org. Transcriber's Notes. Differences in hyphenation of specific words and missing punctuation have been rectified where applicable. Other changes made are noted at the end of the book. MARGARET MALIPHANT A Novel BY MRS. COMYNS CARR AUTHOR OF "PAUL CREW'S STORY" ETC. NEW YORK HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE 1889 PROLOGUE. It is twilight upon the marsh: the land at the foot of the hill lies a level of dim monotony, and even the sea beyond is lost in mystery. In the middle of the plain one solitary homestead, with its clump of trees, stands out just a little darker than anything else, and from afar there comes to me the sound of the sea, sweetly lulling, as it has come to me ever since I was a little child. A chill breeze creeps up among the aspens on the cliff, and for a moment there steals over me the sense of loneliness of ten years ago, and I seem to see once more a tall, dark figure thread his way down among the trees, and disappear forever onto the wide plain. But this is only for a moment; for as I look, the past lies stretched, as the plain is stretched, before me--vivid, yet distant as a dream. The white mill detaches itself upon the dark hill-side, the cattle rest upon the quiet marsh; and still the sound of the sea comes to me, tenderly murmuring, as it did when I was a happy child, and tells me of a present that is wide and fair as, above the lonely land, the coming night is blue and vast. CHAPTER I. My sister Joyce is older than I am. At the time of which I am thinking she was twenty-one, and I was barely nineteen. We were the only children of Farmer Maliphant of Knellestone Grange, in the county of Sussex. The Maliphants were an old family. Their names were on the oldest tombstones in the graveyard of the abbey, whose choir and ruined transepts were all that was left standing of a splendid church that had been the mother of a great monastery, and of many other churches in the popish days, when our town was a feature in English history. I am not sure that our family dated as far back as that. I had read of knights in helmets and coats of mail skirmishing beneath the city wall, of which there were still fragments standing, and of gallant captains bringing the King's galleys to port in the bay that had become marsh-land, and I hoped that there might have been Maliphants too, riding up and down the hill under the gate-ways that were now ivy-grown; but I am afraid that, even if the family had been in existence at the time, they would only have been archers, shooting their arrows from behind the turrets on the hill. At all events--to leave romancing alone--Maliphants had owned or rented land upon the Udimore hills and the downs of Brede for more than three

Alice Vansittart Strettel Carr

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