White Heather (Vol. I) by William Black

White Heather (Vol. I)

byWilliam Black

Kobo ebook | August 13, 2013

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CONTENTS OF VOL. I.
CHAPTER I.
A JOURNEY NORTHWARD
CHAPTER II.
MEENIE
CHAPTER III.
ON THE LOCH
CHAPTER IV.
A LETTER
CHAPTER V.
BEGINNINGS
CHAPTER VI.
A PROGRAMME
CHAPTER VII.
AN EYRIE
CHAPTER VIII.
THE NEW YEAR'S FEAST
CHAPTER IX.
ENTICEMENTS
CHAPTER X.
HIGH FESTIVAL
CHAPTER XI.
A REVELATION
CHAPTER XII.
'WHEN SHADOWS FALL'
CHAPTER XIII.
A NEW ARRIVAL
CHAPTER XIV.
'ABOUT ILLINOIS'
CHAPTER XV.
WILD TIMES
CHAPTER XVI.
DREAMS AND VISIONS
WHITE HEATHER.
CHAPTER I.
A JOURNEY NORTHWARD.
On a certain cold evening in January, and just as the Scotch night-mail was about to start for the north, a stranger drove up to Euston and alighted, and was glad enough to escape from the chill draughts of the echoing station into the glow and warmth and comfort of a sleeping-car. He was a man of means apparently; for one half of this carriage, containing four berths, and forming a room apart, as it were, had been reserved for himself alone; while his travelling impedimenta—fur-lined coats and hoods and rugs and what not—were of an elaborate and sumptuous description. On the other hand, there was nothing of ostentation about either his dress or appearance or demeanour. He was a tall, thin, quiet-looking man, with an aquiline nose, sallow complexion, and keen but not unkindly gray eyes. His short-cropped hair was grizzled, and there were deep lines in the worn and ascetic face; but this may have been the result of an exhausting climate rather than of any mental care, for there was certainly no touch of melancholy in his expression. His costume was somewhat prim and precise; there was a kind of schoolmasterish look about the stiff white collar and small black tie; his gloves were new and neat. For the rest, he seemed used to travelling; he began to make himself at home at once, and scarcely looked up from this setting of things to rights when the conductor made his appearance.
'Mr. Hodson, sir?' the latter said, with an inquiring glance.
'That's about what they call me,' he answered slowly, as he opened a capacious dressing-bag covered with crocodile-hide.
'Do you expect any friends to join you farther along, sir?'
'Not that I know of,' was the answer—and a pair of dark-blue velvet slippers, with initials worked in gold, were fished out and thrown upon the seat beside him.
But when the conductor had got one of the lower sleeping-berths made ready and the traveller had completed his leisurely arrangements for passing the night in comfort, a somewhat one-sided conversation ensued. This gaunt, slow-speaking, reserved man proved to be quite talkative—in a curious, measured, dry, and staccato fashion; and if his conversation consisted chiefly of questions, these showed that he had a very honest and simple concern in the welfare of this other human being whom chance had thrown in his way, and that he could express his friendly interest without any touch of patronage or condescension. He asked first about the railway-line; how the company's servants were paid; what were their hours on duty; whether they had formed any associations for relief in case of sickness; what this particular man got for his work; whether he could look forward to any bettering of his lot, and so forth. And then, fixing his eyes more scrutinisingly on his companion, he began to ask about his family affairs—where he lived; what children he had; how often he saw them; and the like; and these questions were so obviously prompted by no idle curiosity, but by an honest sympathy, and by the apparent desire of one human being to get to understand fully and clearly the position and surroundings and prospects of this other fellow-creature, that it was impossible for any one to take offence.
'And how old is your little girl?'
'Eight, sir:

Title:White Heather (Vol. I)Format:Kobo ebookPublished:August 13, 2013Publisher:Lost Leaf PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990006489897

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