The Mistress of Shenstone by Florence Louisa Barclay

The Mistress of Shenstone

byFlorence Louisa Barclay

Kobo ebook | March 8, 2015

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The great trees in Shenstone Park stood gaunt and bare, spreading wide arms over the sodden grass. All nature seemed waiting the first fall of winter’s snow, which should hide its deadness and decay under a lovely pall of sparkling white, beneath which a promise of fresh life to come might gently move and stir; and, eventually, spring forth. The Mistress of Shenstone moved slowly up and down the terrace, wrapped in her long cloak, listening to the soft “drip, drip” of autumn all around; noting the silent fall of the last dead leaves; the steely grey of the lake beyond; the empty flower-garden; the deserted lawn. The large stone house had a desolate appearance, most of the rooms being, evidently, closed; but, in one or two, cheerful log-fires blazed, casting a ruddy glow upon the window-panes, and sending forth a tempting promise of warmth and cosiness within. A tiny white toy-poodle walked the terrace with his mistress—an agitated little bundle of white curls; sometimes running round and round her; then hurrying on before, or dropping behind, only to rush on, in unexpected haste, at the corners; almost tripping her up, as she turned. “Peter,” said Lady Ingleby, on one of these occasions, “I do wish you would behave in a more rational manner! Either come to heel and follow sedately, as a dog of your age should do; or trot on in front, in the gaily juvenile manner you assume when Michael takes you out for a walk; but, for goodness sake, don’t be so fidgety; and don’t run round and round me in this bewildering way, or I shall call for William, and send you in. I only wish Michael could see you!” The little animal looked up at her, pathetically, through his tumbled curls—a soft silky mass, which had earned for him his name of Shockheaded Peter. His eyes, red-rimmed from the cold wind, had that unseeing look, often noticeable in a very old dog. Yet there was in them, and in the whole pose of his tiny body, an anguish of anxiety, which could not have escaped a genuine dog-lover. Even Lady Ingleby became partially aware of it. She stooped and patted his head. “Poor little Peter,” she said, more kindly. “It is horrid, for us both, having Michael so far away at this tiresome war. But he will come home before long; and we shall forget all the anxiety and loneliness. It will be spring again. Michael will have you properly clipped, and we will go to Brighton, where you enjoy trotting about, and hearing people call you ‘The British Lion.’ I verily believe you consider yourself the size of the lions in Trafalgar Square! I cannot imagine why a great big man, such as Michael, is so devoted to a tiny scrap of a dog, such as you! Now, if you were a Great Dane, or a mighty St. Bernard—! However, Michael loves us both, and we both love Michael; so we must be nice to each other, little Peter, while he is away.”
Title:The Mistress of ShenstoneFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 8, 2015Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1465608265

ISBN - 13:9781465608260

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