BLTC Press Titles

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Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

Island of intrigue

by Isabel Ostrander


"They have been my brokers, too, on your father's advice, for a long time," she replied. "I've given them full charge of all my affairs, and I trust them as implicitly as I would your father. A letter came from Mr. Hilton in this morning's mail."

"When will he be here?" I asked.

"Tomorrow morning. It is just a flying visit, you know, on a matter of business. I don't believe he will be able to stay longer than just over night."

"He's such a nice old gentleman!" Bijou remarked. "I'm sure you'll like him, Maida."

"I don't think he's so old!" I protested. "He can't be anywhere near fifty, yet. Daddy says he is one of the youngest men to have attained such prominence in the Street."

"What!" cried Lorna. "You—you know him, Maida?"

"Of course," I replied, surprised at her tone. "Daddy has taken me out to dinner with him several times. I believe his partner, Mr. Fordyce, is older. I've never seen him."

"Just fancy your being friends! Isn't that lovely, mother?" It struck me oddly that Lorna's tone wasn't as enthusiastic as her words. She did not glance at Aunt Julie but drank the last of her coffee before she went on. "Mother has transacted more of her business with Mr. Fordyce than with the junior partner. That is why she didn't understand his sending Mr. Hilton instead of coming himself, but I suppose he is too busy."

"I wish your father were here to advise me," remarked Aunt Julie, plaintively. "Of course I trust Hilton and Fordyce, but ever since Daniel died, I've consulted your father, about every big financial move I've made, and I have grown to rely on him."

"Well, if you're not sure about it, mater, keep out of it," advised Alaric, "at least until Mr. Waring gets back from Europe. Women have no business monkeying around Wall Street, anyway! Sooner or later they're bound to take things into their own hands, make a fool move, and get swamped."

"Did you ever know me to make a fool move, as you call it?" demanded Aunt Julie in a peculiarly dry, significant tone.

Alaric looked at her, and a slow smile broke over his heavy face.

"Yes, once," he chuckled. "Wasn't there a man

named Bridgewater"

"Alaric!" his mother cried, rising swiftly from her chair. She was trembling violently and her eyes were like points of steel.

"Oh, all right, mater!" Alaric returned easily. "You needn't get ruffled. You asked me, you know!"

Still chuckling, he pushed back his chair and sauntered out to the veranda, and Aunt Julie seated herself again.

"Insolent!" she muttered, half under her breath. Her hand shook as she put down her cup and she was quite pale from anger. I couldn't help wondering what Alaric had referred to; the name "Bridgewater" had a familiar ring somehow.

"I think you said you'd never met Mr. Fordyce, Maida?" Lorna asked turning to me after a rather uncomfortable pause.

"No," I answered. "I suppose I shall meet him next winter, when Daddy and I have an establishment of our own in New York."

"I wish Mr. Fordyce could have come instead of Mr. Hilton," Lorna's tone was troubled, and her mother's sharply indrawn breath, like a sigh, seemed to echo it. That afternoon I slipped away by myself and went for a walk. Monsieur Pelissier annoyed me, and the rest seemed so much occupied with their own affairs that I felt as if my presence were an intrusion. The atmosphere of the whole house seemed surcharged with anxiety and suspense, and the tension made me feel horribly ill at ease, although I didn't in the least know why.

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