A Country Sweetheart by Dora Russell

A Country Sweetheart

byDora Russell

Kobo ebook | November 21, 2014

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CHAPTER I.
THE NEW HEIR.

In the summer time, from the door of a darkened room, a gray-haired, bent old man had just followed a great surgeon down the wide staircase of Woodlea Hall.
The surgeon looked around when he reached the last steps, and there was kindly pity on his grave face as he met the appealing eyes that were fixed on his.
“I am sorry to say there is no hope, Mr. Temple,” he said, in answer to the mute inquiry on his listener’s face.
Mr. Temple’s bowed gray head bent a little lower when he heard this verdict, and that was all.
“Is he your only son?” asked the surgeon, commiseratingly.
“He is our only child,” answered Mr. Temple.
“Ah—that is sad, but there is no doubt football is a dangerous game.”
“How—how long will he be spared to us?” now inquired Mr. Temple with quivering lips.
“He will drift away probably during the night, or in the small hours of the morning. He will not regain consciousness; the injury to the base of the brain is too severe.”
The great surgeon only stayed a few minutes longer in the grief-stricken household after this, and then was driven away. And when he was gone, with a heavy sigh—almost a moan—Mr. Temple began to ascend the staircase, and on the first landing a lady was standing waiting for him with terrible anxiety written on her pale face.
Mr. Temple looked up when he saw her, and shook his head, and as he did this the lady sprang forward and gripped his hand.
“What did he say?” she asked in a hoarse whisper.
“Come in here, my poor Rachel,” he answered gently, and as he spoke he led her forward into a room on the landing, the door of which chanced to be open, and then closed it behind them. “My dear—I grieve very much to say—Sir Henry’s opinion is not very favorable.”
His voice broke and faltered as he said these words, and a sort of gasping sigh escaped the lady’s lips as she listened to them.
“What did he say?” she repeated, with her eyes fixed in a wild stare on Mr. Temple’s face.
“He—he said we must prepare—”
“No, no! not to lose him!” cried the lady with a sudden passionate wail. “Phillip, I can not, I will not! He was so bright a few hours ago—so bright and well—my Phil, my boy—and now, now—it will kill me if he dies!”
She flung herself on the floor in a frantic passion of grief before her husband could prevent her, and lay there writhing in a terrible paroxysm of despair, while the gray-haired man beside her bent over her, and tried in vain to comfort or soothe her. She was his wife, but fully twenty years younger than he was; a handsome dark-eyed woman, of some thirty-five years, and the injured boy lying in the darkened room was her only child.
“Who did it?” she suddenly cried, raising herself up. “Who murdered him? Which of the boys?”
“My dear, it is so difficult to tell in a scramble—so difficult to find out.”
“I will find out!” went on Mrs. Temple, passionately. “I do not believe it was an accident; someone must have struck him on the head. Oh! my boy, my darling!” she continued, rocking herself to and fro; “the one thing I had to love; the only one that loved me—must, must I lose you, too!”
“It is a terrible blow, Rachel—but—”
“Why not try someone else? Do you hear, Phillip?” said Mrs. Temple, now starting to her feet, and grasping her husband’s arm. “Send or telegraph for another doctor at once.”
“My dear, it would do no good,” answered Mr. Temple, sadly. “You heard what Doctor Brown said; Sir Henry Fairfax is one of the first surgeons in town—and—he said there was no hope.”
A wild shriek broke from Mrs. Temple’s lips as she heard this fatal verdict. Her agonized grief was indeed pitiful to behold. Again and again she repeated that her boy was the one being that she had to love; was the only one she loved, and the gray-haired old man sighed deeply as he listened to her frantic words.

 

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Title:A Country SweetheartFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:November 21, 2014Publisher:CHICAGO AND NEW YORK: RAND, McNALLY & COMPANY, PUBLISHERS.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990049697600

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