Vain Oblations

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C. Scribner's Sons, 1914 - Short stories, American - 322 pages
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Page 22 - Saxe said; but it was tanned to a deep brown — virtually bronzed. For that matter, there was hardly an inch of her that was not tattooed or painted. Some great design, crudely smeared in with thick strokes of ochre, covered her throat, shoulders, and breast. Over it were hung rows and rows of shells, the longest rows reaching to the top of the petticoat. Her face was oddly marred — uncivilized, you might say — by a large nose-ring, and a metal disk that was set in the lower lip, distending...
Page 150 - Wender's theory that time, but I pleaded a dinner engagement and got off. You can imagine that I was delighted when I heard from Lithway, some years after my own encounter with the savage on the staircase, that he had decided to pull out and go to Europe. He had the most fantastic reasons for doing it— this time he wrote me fully. It seems he had become convinced that his apparition was displeased with him — didn't like the look in her eyes, found it critical. As he wasn't doing anything in particular...
Page 31 - Saxe go out baffled from the hut in which she deliberately chose to stay with her half-drunk, wholly vile captor. Women who could have done all the rest, would have turned at Saxe's offer of a kindly shot through the heart. But Mary Bradford was great. She was also infinitely wronged by Fate. It is all wanton, wanton — to the very last: all, that is, except her own part, which was sublimely reasoned. Saxe slept, I say ; and at dawn woke to his problem. The intelligence that works for us while we...
Page 164 - Would you mind taking the car into the village and getting this filled again? " she asked. Her eyes had dark shadows beneath them: she had evidently not slept • the night before. I flatter myself that I did not betray to her in any way my perturbation. Indeed, the event had fallen on a mind so ripe for solutions that, in the very instant of my facing her, I realized that what I had just seen above-stairs (and seen by mistake, I can assure you; she had fled from me) was Lithway's old ghost — no...
Page 14 - The enemy, afraid of Ngawa's return, did not stop for the half-grown children. The white girl tore away, the boy said, and started back to her father, but the warrior who held her hit her on the head, so that she dropped, and then carried her off. Oh yes, he had seen it all quite well : he had climbed into a tree. The huts were all burning, and it was lighter than day. Ngawa came back that night, and, later, they destroyed utterly the villages of the other tribe, but they got back no captives. These...
Page 172 - ... my savage, and got the wound I bear the scar of, that I gave entire credence to Lithway's tragedy. I put some time into recovering from the effect of that midnight skirmish in the jungle, and during my recovery I had full opportunity to pity Lithway. It became quite clear to me that the presences at Braythe concerned themselves only with major dooms. If Lithway's ghost had been his wife, his wife must have been a bad lot. I am as certain as I can be of anything that he was exceedingly unhappy...
Page 145 - In spite of her eyes. And— I've thought that look in them might be the cross light on the staircase." I burst out laughing. "Lithway, come away with me. Solitude is getting on your nerves. We'll go to Germany and look after your little cousin and the aunt who writes such wonderful letters." "No." Lithway was firm. "It's too much like work.
Page 165 - ... very instant of my facing her, I realized that what I had just seen above-stairs (and seen by mistake, I can assure you; she had fled from me) was Lithway's old ghost — no less. I took the bottle, read the label, and assured Mrs. Lithway that I would go at once. Mrs. Lithway was wrapped in a darkish house-gown of some sort. The lady in the upper hall had been in white, with a blue sash. ... I was very glad when I saw Mrs. Lithway go into her husband's room and shut the door. I was having hard...
Page 41 - And if you are tempted for a moment to think of her as mad, or exdtee, reflect on how completely she understood Saxe. I am only half a New Englander; and I confess that, though I reverence her heroism, I am even more humble before her intelligence. It is no blame to Saxe that he stumbled out of the chief's hut, completely her dupe.
Page 164 - I saw her, out of the tail of my eye, walk, with her peculiar lightness of step, along the upper corridor to the trunk-loft. She had the air of being caught, of not having wished to be seen. I opened my bedroom door immediately, but as I opened it I heard a sound behind me. Margaret Lithway stood on the threshold of her husband's room, with an empty bottle. "Would you mind taking the car into the village and getting this filled again?" she asked. Her eyes had dark shadows beneath them; she had evidently...

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