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The Postmaster's Daughter

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    Louis Tracy's

    The Postmaster's Daughter

    1916

    Also by this author:
    Number Seventeen, The Wheel of Fortune, The Terms of Surrender, The Wings of the Morning, &c.

    Table of Contents

    The Face at the Window
    P. C. Robinson "Takes a Line"
    The Gathering Clouds
    A Cabal
    The Seeds of Mischief
    Scotland Yard Takes a Hand
    "Alarums and Excursions"
    An Interrupted Symposium
    He Whom the Cap Fits—
    The Case Against Grant
    P. C. Robinson Takes Another Line
    Wherein Winter Gets To Work
    Concerning Theodore Siddle
    On Both Sides of the River
    A Matter of Heredity
    Furneaux Makes a Successful Bid
    An Official Housebreaker
    The Truth at Last

    John Menzies Grant, having breakfasted, filled his pipe, lit it, and strolled out bare-headed into the garden. The month was June, that glorious rose-month which gladdened England before war-clouds darkened the summer sky. As the hour was nine o'clock, it is highly probable that many thousands of men were then strolling out into many thousands of gardens in precisely similar conditions; but, given youth, good health, leisure, and a fair amount of money, it is even more probable that few among the smaller number thus roundly favored by fortune looked so perplexed as Grant.

    Moreover, his actions were eloquent as words. A spacious French window had been cut bodily out of the wall of an old-fashioned room, and was now thrown wide to admit the flower-scented breeze. Between this window and the right-hand angle of the room was a smaller window, square-paned, high above the ground level, and deeply recessed—in fact just the sort of window which one might expect to find in a farm-house built two centuries ago, when light and air were rigorously excluded from interiors. The two windows told the history of The Hollies at a glance. The little one had served the needs of a "best" room for several generations of Sussex yeomen. Then had come some iconoclast who hewed a big rectangle through the solid stone-work, converted the oak-panelled apartment into a most comfortable dining-room, built a new wing with a gable, changed a farm-yard into a flower-bordered lawn, and generally played havoc with Georgian utility while carrying out a determined scheme of landscape gardening.

    Happily, the wrecker was content to let well enough alone after enlarging the house, laying turf, and planting shrubs and flowers. He found The Hollies a ramshackle place, and left it even more so, but with a new note of artistry and several unexpectedly charming vistas. Thus, the big double window opened straight into an irregular garden which merged insensibly into a sloping lawn bounded by a river-pool. The bank on the other side of the stream rose sharply and was well wooded. Above the crest showed the thatched roofs or red tiles of Steynholme, which was a village in the time of William the Conqueror, and has remained a village ever since. Frame this picture in flowering shrubs, evergreens, a few choice firs, a copper beech, and some sturdy oaks shadowing the lawn, and the prospect on a June morning might well have led out into the open any young man with a pipe.

    But John Menzies Grant seemed to have no eye for a scene that would have delighted a painter. He turned to the light, scrutinized so closely a strip of turf which ran close to the wall that he might have been searching for a lost diamond, and then peered through the lowermost left-hand pane of the small window into the room he had just quitted.

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