Barbarossa and Other Tales

Barbarossa and Other Tales

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Excerpt: ...friendless, might at that very moment be driven by despair to end his life. For that it would come to this at last, was the one spectral thought that cast its shadow over the mother's soul both in her waking and sleeping hours. The house that had belonged to the Amthors for many generations, was a narrow three-storied antique building, with wainscoted walls and ceilings, and handsomely furnished with old silk tapestry and heavy hangings. On the ground-floor were the offices and the room in which dwelt the old man-servant and the faithful maid by whom the work of the house was done. Above were the rooms inhabited by the mother and daughter, which opened at the back upon the garden; and in the third story were what had been the late councillor's library and study, and of later years rooms entirely devoted to Andreas. The chamber where his bed stood had not since his departure been entered by any one but the old maid-servant. His mother never set her foot in it, and if his sister crept by it to take a book from the library, she held her breath as she passed the door as though it were haunted. Our story begins on a September evening--on the very day that Lisabethli had completed her nineteenth year. In honour of the anniversary, her mother had invited some half-dozen of the girl's favourite companions and what with singing and other amusements, which the grave matron left the young people to carry on alone, the hour of ten had struck unobserved. Indeed the girls, who after a very sultry day were still pacing the garden walks arm in arm, deep in important confidential talk, might easily have forgot time till midnight, if a storm that had gathered on the other side of the river had not scared them in. And once in, they found that their respective attendants had come for them with lanterns, and so kisses and good-byes were heartily exchanged, and in the great room looking out on the terrace the usual stillness prevailed, when the first roll of thunder...
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 168g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 123668303X
  • 9781236683038