BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner


The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


Her ladyship's elephant

by David Dwight Wells

Excerpt:

A WORD TO THE WISE.

A Well-known English novelist once told me that of all his published works—and their name is legion—one only had been founded on fact, and that one his critics united in condemning as impossible and unnatural. In the case of my own little book, I venture to forestall such criticism by stating that while the characters which appear in its pages are at the most only composite photographs, the one " impossible " and " unnatural " figure, the elephant, had his foundation in actual fact, ,-< and the history of his acquirement by the

^ Consul, as hereinafter set forth, is the truth

ful narration of an actual experience, one of many episodes, stranger than fiction, which went to form the warp and woof of my diplo,f matic experience.

David Dwight Wells.

HER LADYSHIP'S ELEPHANT.

CHAPTER I.

In Which The Same Question Is Answered In Two Ways.

Harold Stanley Malcolm St. Hubart Scarsdale, Esq., of " The Towers," Sussex, sat uncomfortably on a very comfortable chair. His patent-leather boots were manifestly new, his trousers fresh from the presser, his waistcoat immaculate, while his frock coat with its white gardenia, and his delicate gray suede gloves, completed an admirable toilet. He was, in short, got up for the occasion, a thoroughly healthy, muscular, wellgroomed animal; good-natured too, fond in his big-hearted boyish way of most other animals, and enough of a sportsman to find no pleasure in winging tame or driven grouse and pheasants. He was possessed, moreover, of sufficient brains to pass with credit an examination which gave him a post in the War Office, and had recently become, owing to the interposition of Providence and a restive mare, the eldest son.

In spite of all this, he was very much out of his depth as he sat there; for he was face to face with a crisis in his life, and that crisis was embodied in a woman. And such a woman !—quite unlike anything his conservative British brain had ever seen or imagined before the present London season : a mixture of Parisian daintiness and coquetry, nicely tempered by Anglo-Saxon breeding and common sense—in a word, an American.

He had come to propose to her, or rather she had sent for him, to what end he hardly knew. Of this only was he certain, that she had turned his world topsy-turvy; cast down his conventional gods; admired him for what he considered his fallings-off from the established order of things; laughed at his great coups; cared not a whit for his most valued possessions; and become, in short, the most incomprehensible, bewitching, lovable woman on earth.

He had talked to her about the weather, the opera, the Court Ball, and now—now he must speak to her of his love, unless, blessed reprieve ! she spoke first—which she did.

" Now, Mr. Scarsdale," she remarked, " I have not sent for you to talk amiable society nonsense: I want an explanation."

" Yes, Miss Vernon," he replied, nerving himself for the ordeal.

" Why did you propose to Aunt Eliza at the Andersons' crush last night ? "

"Because—" he faltered. "Well, really, you see she is your only relative in England— your chaperon—and it is customary here to address offers of marriage to the head of the family."

" I really don't see why you want to marry her," continued his tormentor. " She is over sixty. Oh, you needn't be shocked ; Aunt Eliza is not sensitive about her age, and it is well to look these things fairly in the face. You can't honestly call her handsome, though she is a dear good old soul, but I fear too inured to Chicago to assimilate readily with English society. Of course her private means are enormous—"


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