"Under whom?" Lord Redford asked.
"Under myself," Mannering answered, gravely. "Don't think me over-presumptuous. The matter has been very carefully thought out. You could not serve under Rushleigh, nor could he serve under you. But you could both be invaluable members of a Cabinet of which I was the nominal head. I do not wish to entrap you into consent, however, without your fully understanding this: a modified, and to a certain extent an experimental, scheme of tariff reform would be part of our programme."
"You wish for a reply," Lord Redford said, "only in general terms?"
"Only in general terms, of course," Mannering assented.
"Then you may take it," Lord Redford said, "that I should be proud to become a member of such a Government. Anything would be better than a fourth-party administration with Imperialism on the brain and rank Protection on their programme. They might do mischief which it would take centuries to undo."
"We understand one another, Lord Redford," Mannering said, simply. "I am very much obliged to you. This is my turning."
Mannering, when he found himself alone in his study, drew a little sigh of relief. He flung himself into an easy-chair, and sat with his hands pressed against his temples. The events of the day, from the morning at Sandringham to his recent conversation with Lord Redford, were certainly of sufficiently exciting a nature to provide him with food for thought. And yet his mind was full of one thing only, this chance meeting with Berenice. It was wonderful to him that she should have changed so little. He himself felt that the last two years were equal to a decade, that events on the other side of that line with which his life was riven were events with which some other person was concerned, certainly not the Lawrence Mannering of to-day. And yet he knew now that the battle which he had fought was far from a final one. Her power over him was unchanged. He was face to face once more with the old problem. His life was sworn to the service of the people. He had crowded his days with thoughts and deeds and plans for them. Almost every personal luxury and pleasure had been abnegated. He had found a sort of fierce delight in the asceticism of his daily life, in the unflinching firmness with which he had barred the gates which might lead him into smoother and happier ways. To-night he was beset with a sudden fear. He rose and looked at himself in the glass. He was pale and wan. His face lacked the robust vitality of a few years ago. He was ageing fast. He was conscious of certain disquieting symptoms in the routine of his daily life. He threw himself back into the chair with a little groan. The mockery of his life of ceaseless toil seemed suddenly to spread itself out before him, a grim and unlovely jest. What if his strength should go? What if all this labour and self-denial should be in vain? He found himself growing giddy at the thought.
He rang the bell and ordered wine. Then he went to the telephone and rang up a doctor who lived near. Very soon, with coat and waistcoat off, he was going through a somewhat prolonged examination. Afterwards the doctor sat down opposite to him and accepted a cigar.
"What made you send for me this evening?" he asked, curiously.
"An impulse," he said. "To-morrrow I should have no time to come to you. I wasn't feeling quite myself, and it is possible that I may be undertaking some very important work before long."
"I shouldn't if I were you," the doctor remarked, quietly.
"The work is of such a nature," Mannering said, "that I could not refuse it. It may not come, but if it does I must go through with it."
"I doubt whether you will succeed," the doctor said. "There is nothing the matter with you except that you have been drawing on your reserve stock of strength to such an extent that you are on the verge of a collapse. The longer you stave it off the more complete it will be."
"You are a Job's comforter," Mannering remarked, with a smile. "Send me some physic, and I will take things as easy as I can."
"I'll send you some," the doctor answered, "but it won't do you much good. What you want is rest and amusement."
Mannering laughed, and showed him out. When he returned to his study Hester was there, just returned from a visit to the theatre with some friends. She threw off her wrap and looked through the letters which had come by the evening's post.
"Did you see this from Richard Fardell?" she asked him. "Parkins is dead at last. Fardell says that he has been quite childish for the last eighteen months! Are you ill?" she broke off, suddenly.
Mannering, who was lying back in his easy-chair, white almost to the lips, roused himself with an effort. He poured out a glass of wine and drank it off.
"I'm not ill," he said, with rather a weak smile, "but I'm a little tired."
"Who was your visitor?" she asked.
"A doctor. I felt a little run down, so I sent for him. Of course he told me the usual story. Rest and a holiday."
She came and sat on the arm of his chair. Every year she grew less and less like her mother. Her hair was smoothly brushed back from her forehead, and her features were distinctly intellectual. She was by far the best secretary Mannering had ever had.
"You need some one to look after you," she said, decisively.
"It seems to me that you do that pretty well," he answered. "I don't want any one else."
"You need some one with more authority than I have," she said. "You ought to marry."
"Marry!" he gasped.
"Any particular person?"
"Of course! You know whom."
Mannering did not reply at once. He was looking steadfastly into the fire, and the gloom in his face was unlightened.
"Hester," he said, at last, in a very low tone, "I will tell you, if you like, a short, a very short chapter of my life. It lasted a few hours, a day or so, more or less. Yet of course it has made a difference always."
"I should like to hear it," she whispered.
"The two great events of my life," he said, "came together. I was engaged to be married to the Duchess of Lenchester at the same time that I found myself forced to sever my connexion with the Liberal party. You know, of course, that the Duchess has always been a great figure in politics. She has ambitions, and her political creed is almost a part of the religion of her life. She looked upon my apostasy with horror. It came between us at the very moment when I thought that I had found in life the one great and beautiful thing."
"If ever she let it come between you," Hester interrupted, softly, "I believe that she has repented. We women are quick to find out those things, you know," she added, "and I am sure that I am right. She has never married any one else. I do not believe that she ever will."
"It is too late," Mannering said. "A union between us now could only lead to unhappiness. The disintegration of parties is slowly commencing, and I think that the next few years will find me still further apart than I am to-day from my old friends. Berenice"—he slipped so easily into calling her so—"is heart and soul with them."
"At least," Hester said, "I think that for both your sakes you should give her the opportunity of choosing."
"Even that," he said, "would not be wise. We are man and woman still, you see, Hester, and there are moments when sentiment is strong enough to triumph over principle and sweep our minds bare of all the every-day thoughts. But afterwards—there is always the afterwards. The conflict must come. Reason stays with us always, and sentiment might weaken with the years."
She shook her head.
"The Duchess is a woman," she said, "and the hold of all other things grows weak when she loves. Give her the chance."
"Don't!" Mannering exclaimed, almost sharply. "You can't see this matter as I do. I have vowed my life now. I have seen my duty, and I have kept my face turned steadily towards it. Once I was contented with very different things, and I think that I came as near happiness then as a man often does. But those days have gone by. They have left a whole world of delightful memories, but I have locked the doors of the past behind me."
Hester shook her head.
"You are making a mistake," she said. "Two people who love one another, and who are honest in their opinions, find happiness sooner or later if they have the courage to seek for it. Don't you know," she continued, after a moment's pause, "that—she understood? I always like to think what I believe to be the truth. She went away to leave you free."
Mannering rose to his feet and pointed to the clock.
"It is time that you and I were in bed, Hester," he said. "Remember that we have a busy morning."
"It seems a pity," she murmured, as she wished him good-night. "A great pity!"
SUMMONED TO WINDSOR
Berenice, who had just returned from making a call, was standing in the hall, glancing through the cards displayed upon a small round table. The major-domo of her household came hurrying out from his office.
"There is a young lady, your Grace," he announced, "who has been waiting to see you for half an hour. Her name is Miss Phillimore."
"Where is she?" Berenice asked.
"In the library, your Grace."
"Show her into my own room," Berenice said, "I will see her at once."
Hester was a little nervous, but Berenice set her immediately at her ease by the graciousness of her manner. They talked for some time of Bonestre. Then there was a moment's pause. Hester summoned up her courage.
"I am afraid," she said, "that you may consider what I am going to say rather a liberty. I've thought it all out, and I decided to come to you. I couldn't see any other way."
Berenice smiled encouragingly.
"I will promise you," she said, "that I will consider it nothing of the sort."
"That is very kind of you," Hester said. "I have come here because Mr. Mannering is the greatest friend I have in the world. He stands to me for all the relatives most girls have, and I am very fond of him indeed. I scarcely remember my father, but Mr. Mannering was always kind to me when I was a child. You know, perhaps, that I am living with him now as his secretary?"
Berenice nodded pleasantly.
"I see him every day," Hester continued, "and I notice things. He has changed a great deal during the last few years. I am getting very anxious about him."
"He is not ill, I hope?" Berenice asked. "I too noticed a change. It grieved me very much."
"He is simply working himself to death," Hester continued, "without relaxation or pleasure of any sort. And all the time he is unhappy. Other men, however hard they work, have their hobbies and their occasional holidays. He has neither. And I think that I know why. He fights all the time to forget."
"To forget what?" Berenice asked, slowly turning her head.
"To forget how near he came once to being very happy," Hester answered, boldly. "To forget—you!"
Then her heart sang a little song of triumph, for she saw the instant change in the still, cold face turned now a little away from her. She saw the proud lips tremble and the unmistakable light leap out from the dark eyes. She saw the colour rush into the cheeks, and she had no more fear. She rose from her chair and dropped on one knee by Berenice's side.
"Make him happy, please," she begged. "You can do it. You only! He loves you!"
Berenice smiled, although her eyes were wet with tears. She laid her long, delicate fingers upon the other's hand.
"But, my dear child," she protested, "what can I do? Mr. Mannering won't come near me. He won't even write to me. I can't take him by storm, can I?"
"He is so foolish," Hester said, also smiling. "He will not understand how unimportant all other things are when two people care for one another. He talks about the difference in your politics, as though that were sufficient to keep you apart!"
Berenice was silent for a moment.
"There was a time," she said, softly, "when I thought so, too."
"Exactly!" Hester declared. "And he doesn't know, of course, that you don't think so now."
Berenice smiled slightly.
"You must remember, dear," she said, "that Mr. Mannering and I are in rather a peculiar position. My great-grandfather, my father and my uncle were all Prime Ministers of England, and they were all staunch Liberals. My family has always taken its politics very seriously indeed, and so have I. It is not a little thing, this, after all."
"But you will do it!" Hester exclaimed. "I am sure that you will."
Berenice rose to her feet. A sense of excitement was suddenly quivering in her veins, her heart was beating fiercely. After all, this child was wise. She had been drifting into the dull, passionless life of a middle-aged woman. All the joys of youth seemed suddenly to be sweeping up from her heart, mocking the serenity of her days, these stagnant days, sheltered from the great winds of life, where the waves were ripples and the hours changeless. She raised her arms for a moment and dropped them to her side.
"Oh, I do not know!" she cried. "It is such an upheaval. If he were here—if he asked me himself. But he will never come now."
"I believe that he would come to-morrow," Hester said, "if he were sure—"
Berenice laughed softly. There was colour in her cheeks as she turned to Hester.
"Tell him to come and have tea with me to-morrow afternoon," she said. "I shall be quite alone."
* * * * *
Hester felt all her confidence slipping away from her. The echoes of her breathless, passionate words had scarcely died away, and Mannering, to all appearance, was unmoved. His still, cold face showed no signs of agitation, his dark, beringed eyes were full of nothing but an intense weariness.
"Do I understand, Hester," he asked, "that you have been to see the Duchess?—that you have spoken of these things to her?"
Her heart sank. His tone was almost censorious. Nevertheless, she stood her ground.
"Yes! I have told you the truth. And I am glad that I went. You are very clever people, both of you, but you are spoiling your lives for the sake of a little common sense. It was necessary for some one to interfere."
Mannering shook his head slowly.
"You meant kindly, Hester," he said, "but it was a mistake. The time when that might have been possible has gone by. Neither she nor I can call back the hand of time. The last two years have made an old man of me. I have no longer my enthusiasm. I am in the whirlpool, and I must fight my way through to the end."
She sat at his feet. He was still in the easy-chair into which he had sunk on his first coming into the room. He had been speaking in the House late, amidst all the excitement of a political crisis.
"Why fight alone," she murmured, "when she is willing to come to you?"
He shook his head.
"There would be conditions," he said, "and she would not understand. I may be in office in a month with most of her friends in opposition. The situation would be impossible!"
"Rubbish!" Hester declared. "The Duchess is too great a woman to lose so utterly her sense of proportion. Don't you understand—that she loves you?"
Mannering laughed bitterly.
"She must love a shadow, then!" he said, "for the man she knew does not exist any longer. Poor little girl, are you disappointed?" he added, more kindly. "I am sorry!"
"I am disappointed to hear you talking like this," she declared. "I will not believe that it is more than a mood. You are overtired, perhaps!"
"Ay!" he said. "But I have been overtired for a long time. The strength the gods give us lasts a weary while. You must send my excuses to the Duchess, Hester. The fates are leading me another way."
"I won't do it," she sobbed. "You shall be reasonable! I will make you go!"
He shook his head.
"If you could," he murmured, "you might alter the writing on one little page of history. We defeated the Government to-night badly, and I am going to Windsor to-morrow afternoon."
Hester rose to her feet and paced the room restlessly. Mannering had spoken without exultation. His pallid face seemed to her to have grown thin and hard. He saw himself the possible Prime Minister of the morrow without the slightest suggestion of any sort of gratified ambition.
"I don't know whether to say that I am glad or not," Hester declared, stopping once more by his side. "If you are going to shut yourself off from everything else in life which makes for happiness, to forget that you are a man, and turn yourself into a law-making machine, well, then, I am sorry. I think that your success will be a curse to you. I think that you will live to regret it."
Mannering looked at her for a moment with a gleam of his old self shining out of his eyes. A sudden pathos, a wave of self-pity had softened his face.
"Dear child!" he said, gravely, "I cannot make you understand. I carry a burden from which no one can free me. For good or for evil the powers that be have set my feet in the path of the climbers, and for the sake of those whose sufferings I have seen I must struggle upwards to the end. Berenice and the Duchess of Lenchester are two very different persons. I cannot take one into my life without the other. It is because I love her, Hester, that I let her go. Good-night, child!"
She kissed his hand and went slowly to her room, stumbling upstairs through a mist of tears. There was nothing more that she could do.
CHECKMATE TO BORROWDEAN
Mannering's town house, none too large at any time, was transformed into a little hive of industry. Two hurriedly appointed secretaries were at work in the dining-room, and Hester was busy typing in her own little sanctum.
Mannering sat in his study before a table covered with papers, and for the first time during the day was alone for a few moments.
His servant brought in a card. Mannering glanced at it and frowned.
"The gentleman said that he would not keep you for more than a moment, sir," the servant announced quietly, mindful of the half-sovereign which had been slipped into his hand.
Mannering still looked at the card doubtfully.
"You can show him up," he said at last.
"Very good, sir!"
The man withdrew, and reappeared to usher in Sir Leslie Borrowdean. Mannering greeted him without offering his hand.
"You wished to see me, Sir Leslie?" he asked.
Borrowdean came slowly into the room. He closed the door behind him.
"I hope," he said, "that you will not consider my presence an intrusion!"
"You have business with me, I presume," Mannering answered, coldly. "Pray sit down."
Borrowdean ignored the chair, towards which Mannering had motioned. He came and stood by the side of the table.
"Unless your memory, Mannering," he said, with a hard little laugh, "is as short as the proverbial politician's, you can scarcely be surprised at my visit."
Mannering raised his eyebrows, and said nothing.
"I must confess," Borrowdean continued, "that I scarcely expected to find it necessary for me to come here and remind you that it was I who am responsible for your reappearance in politics."
"I am not likely," Mannering said, slowly, "to forget your good offices in that respect."
"I felt sure that you would not," Borrowdean answered. "Yet you must not altogether blame me for my coming! I understand that the list of your proposed Cabinet is to be completed to-morrow afternoon, and as yet I have heard nothing from you."
"Your information," Mannering said, "is quite correct. In fact, my list is complete already. If your visit here is one of curiosity, I have no objection to gratify it. Here is a list of the names I have selected."
He handed a sheet of paper to Borrowdean, who glanced it eagerly down. Afterwards he looked up and met Mannering's calm gaze. There was an absolute silence for several seconds.
"My name," Borrowdean said, hoarsely, "is not amongst these!"
"It really never occurred to me for a single second to place it there," Mannering answered.
Borrowdean drew a little breath. He was deathly pale.
"You include Redford," he said. "He is a more violent partizan than I have ever been. I have heard you say a dozen times that you disapprove of turning a man out of office directly he has got into the swing of it. Has any one any fault to find with me? I have done my duty, and done it thoroughly. I don't know what your programme may be, but if Redford can accept it I am sure that I can."
"Possibly," Mannering answered. "I have this peculiarity, though. Call it a whim, if you like. I desire to see my Cabinet composed of honourable men."
Borrowdean started back as though he had received a blow.
"Am I to accept that as a statement of your opinion of me?" he demanded.
"It seems fairly obvious," Mannering answered, "that such was my intention."
"You owe your place in public life to me," Borrowdean exclaimed.
"If I do," Mannering answered, "do you imagine that I consider myself your debtor? I tell you that to-day, at this moment, I have no political ambitions. Before you appeared at Blakely and commenced your underhand scheming, I was a contented, almost a happy man. You imagined that my reappearance in political life would be beneficial to you, and with that in view, and that only, you set yourself to get me back. You succeeded! We won't say how! If you are disappointed with the result what concern is that of mine? You have called yourself my friend. I have not for some time considered you as such. I owe you nothing. I have no feeling for you save one of contempt. To me you figure as the modern political adventurer, living on his wits and the credulity of other people. Better see how it will pay you in opposition."
Borrowdean, a cold-blooded and calculating man, knew for the first time in his life what it was to let his passions govern him. Every word which this man had spoken was truth, and therefore all the more bitter to hear. He saw himself beaten and humiliated, outwitted by the man whom he had sought to make his tool. A slow paroxysm of anger held him rigid. He was white to the lips. His nerves and senses were all tingling. There was red fire before his eyes.
"If your business with me is ended," Mannering said, waving his hand towards the door, "you will forgive me if I remind you that I am much occupied."
Borrowdean snatched up the square glass paper cutter from the table, and without a second's warning he struck Mannering with it full upon the temple.
"Damn you!" he said.
Mannering tried to struggle to his feet, but collapsed, and fell upon the floor. Borrowdean kicked his prostrate body.
"Now go and form your Cabinet," he muttered. "May you wake in hell!"
* * * * *
Borrowdean, who left the study a madman, was a sane person the moment he began to descend the stairs and found himself face to face with a tall, heavily cloaked woman. The flash of familiar jewels in her hair, something, perhaps, in the quiet stateliness of her movements, betrayed her identity to him. His heart gave a quick jump. A sickening fear stole over him. He barred the way.
"Duchess!" he exclaimed.
She waved him aside with an impatient gesture. He could see the frown gathering upon her face.
"Sir Leslie!" she replied. "Please let me pass! I want to see Mr. Mannering before any one else goes up!"
Sir Leslie drew immediately to one side.
"Pray do not let me detain you," he said, coolly. "Between ourselves, I do not think that Mannering is in a fit state to see anybody. I have not been able to get a coherent word out of him. He walks all the time backwards and forwards like a man demented."
Berenice smiled slightly.
"You are annoyed," she declared, "because you will be in opposition once more!"
"If I go into opposition again," Borrowdean answered, "it will be my own choice. Mannering has asked me to join his Cabinet."
Berenice raised her eyebrows. Her surprise was genuine.
"You amaze me!" she declared.
"I was amazed myself," he answered.
She passed on her way, and Borrowdean descending, took a cab quietly home. Berenice, with her hand upon the door, hesitated. Hester had purposely sent her up alone. They had waited until they had heard Borrowdean leave the room. And now at the last moment she hesitated. She was a proud woman. She was departing now, for his sake, from the conventions of a lifetime. He had declined to come to her; no matter, she had come to him instead. Suppose—he should not be glad? Suppose she should fail to see in his face her justification? It was very quiet in the room. She could not even hear the scratching of his pen. Twice her fingers closed upon the knob of the door, and twice she hesitated. If it had not been for facing Hester below she would probably have gone silently away.
And then—she heard a sound. It was not at all the sort of sound for which she had been listening, but it brought her hesitation to a sudden end. She threw open the door, and a little cry of amazement broke from her trembling lips. It was indeed a groan which she had heard. Mannering was stretched upon the floor, his eyes half closed, his face ghastly white. For a moment she stood motionless, a whole torrent of arrested speech upon her quivering lips. Then she dropped on her knees by his side and lifted his cold hand.
"Oh, my love!" she murmured. "My love!"
But he made no sign. Then she stood up, and her cry of horror rang through the house.
A BRAZEN PROCEEDING
Mannering opened his eyes lazily. His companion had stopped suddenly in his reading. He appeared to be examining a certain paragraph in the paper with much interest. Mannering stretched out his hand for a match, and relit his cigarette.
"Read it out, Richard," he said. "Don't mind me."
The young man started slightly.
"I am very sorry, sir," he said. "I thought that you were asleep!"
"What about the paragraph?" he asked.
"It is just this," Richard answered, reading. "'The Duchess of Lenchester and Miss Clara Mannering have arrived at Claridge's from the South of Italy.'"
Mannering looked at him keenly.
"I am curious to know which part of that announcement you find so interesting," he said.
"Certainly not the latter part, sir," the young man answered. "I thought perhaps you would have noticed—I meant to speak to you as soon as you were a little stronger—I have asked Hester to be my wife!"
"Then all I can say," Mannering declared, gravely, "is, that you are a remarkably sensible young man. I am quite strong enough to bear a shock of that sort."
"I'm very glad to hear you say so, sir," Richard said. "Of course I shouldn't think of taking her away until you were quite yourself again."
"The cheek of the young man!" Mannering murmured. "She wouldn't go!"
"I don't believe she would," Richard laughed. "Of course we consider that you are very nearly well now."
"You can consider what you like," Mannering answered, "but I shall remain an invalid as long as it pleases me."
Hester appeared on the upper lawn, and Richard rose up at once.
"If you don't mind, sir," he said, "I think that I should like to go and tell Hester that I have spoken to you."
Mannering nodded. He watched the two young people stroll off together towards the rose-garden, talking earnestly. He heard the little iron gate open and close. He watched them disappear behind the hedge of laurels. A puff of breeze brought the faint odour of roses to him, and with it a sudden host of memories. His eyes grew wistful. He felt something tugging at his heartstrings. Only a few years ago life here had seemed so wonderful a thing—only a few years, but with all the passions and struggles of a lifetime crowded into them. The maelstrom was there still, but he himself had crept out of it. What was there left? Peace, haunted with memories, rest, troubled by desire. He heard the sound of their voices in the rose-garden, and he turned away with a pain in his heart of which he was ashamed. These things were for the young! If youth had passed him by, still there were compensations!
Compensations, aye—but he wanted none of them! He picked up the newspaper, and with a little difficulty, for his sight was not yet good, found a certain paragraph. Then the paper slipped again from his fingers, and he heard the sweeping of a woman's dress across the smooth-shaven lawn. He gripped the sides of his chair and set his teeth hard. He struggled to rise, but she moved swiftly up to him with a gesture of remonstrance.
"Please don't move," she exclaimed, as though her coming were the most natural thing in the world. "I am going to sit down with you, if I may!"
He murmured an expression of conventional delight. She wore a dress of some soft white material, and her figure was as wonderful as ever. He recovered himself almost at once and studied her admiringly.
"Paris?" he murmured.
"Paquin!" she answered. "I remembered that you liked me in white."
"But where on earth have you come from?" he asked.
"The Farm," she answered. "I'm going to take it for three months—if you're decent to me!"
"That rascal Richard!" he muttered. "Never told me a word! Pretended to be surprised when he heard you and Clara were back."
"Clara is going to marry that Frenchman next month," she said, "and I shall be looking for another companion. Do you know of one?"
"I haven't another niece," he answered.
"Even if you had," she said, "I have come to the conclusion that I want something different. Will you listen to me patiently for a moment?"
"Will you marry me, please?" she said. "No, don't interrupt. I want there to be no misunderstandings this time. I don't care whether you are an invalid or not. I don't care whether you are going back into politics or not. I don't care whether we live here or in any other corner of the world. You can call yourself anything, from an anarchist to a Tory—or be anything. You can have all your workingmen here to dinner in flannel shirts, if you like, and I'll play bowls with their wives on the lawn. Nothing matters but this one thing, Lawrence. Will you marry me—and try to care a little?"
"This is absolutely," Mannering declared, taking her into his arms, "the most brazen proceeding!"
"It's a good deal better than the bungle we made of it before," she murmured.
* * * * * *
E. Phillips Oppenheim's Novels
A PRINCE OF SINNERS
Thoroughly matured, brilliantly constructed, and convincingly told.—London Times.
It is rare that so much knowledge of the world, taken as a whole, is set between two covers of a novel.—Chicago Daily News.
ANNA THE ADVENTURESS
A story of London life that is at once unusual, original, consistent, and delightful.—Buffalo Express.
An entrancing story which has seldom been surpassed as a study of feminine character and sentiment.—Outlook, London.
In no other novel has Mr. Oppenheim created such life-like characters or handled his plot with such admirable force and restraint as in this capital story of the career of masterful Enoch Strone.
A SLEEPING MEMORY
A story in occultism, but with all its mysticism and its dealings with the unknowable the book is never dull, the thread of the human story in it is never lost sight of for a moment.—Boston Transcript.
MYSTERIOUS MR. SABIN
Emphatically a good story—strong, bold, original, and admirably told.—Literature, London.
Intensely readable for the dramatic force with which the story is told, the absolute originality of the underlying creative thought, and the strength of all the men and women who fill the pages.—Pittsburgh Times.
THE YELLOW CRAYON
Containing the Further Adventures of "Mysterious Mr. Sabin"
The efforts of Mr. Sabin, one of Mr. Oppenheim's most fascinating characters, to free his wife from an entanglement with the Order of the Yellow Crayon, give the author one of his most complicated and absorbing plots. A number of the characters of "Mysterious Mr. Sabin" figure in this delightful work.
A brilliant and engrossing story of love and adventure and Russian political intrigue. A revolution, the recall of an exiled king, the defence of his dominion against Turkish aggression, furnish a series of exciting pictures and dramatic situations.
In none of Mr. Oppenheim's fascinating and absorbing books has he better illustrated his remarkable faculty for holding the reader's interest to the end than in "The Betrayal." The efforts of the French Secret Service to obtain important papers relating to the Coast Defence of England are the motif of its remarkable plot.
A MILLIONAIRE OF YESTERDAY
Mr. Oppenheim has never written a better story than "A Millionaire of Yesterday." He grips the reader's attention at the start by his vivid picture of the two men in the West African bush making a grim fight for life and fortune, and he holds it to the finish. The volume is thrilling throughout, while the style is excellent.
THE MAN AND HIS KINGDOM
This brilliant, nervous, and intensely dramatic tale of love, intrigue, and revolution in a South American State is so human and life-like that the reader is bewildered by the writer's evident daring, and his equal fidelity to things as they are.
THE LOST LEADER
As fascinating a story of modern life as a novelist has yet conceived and one that arrests the mind by its fine strenuousness of purpose.
This amazing story of the strange revenge of Sir Wingrave Seton, who suffered imprisonment for a crime he did not commit rather than defend himself at a woman's expense, "will make the most languid alive with expectant interest," says the Chicago Record-Herald.
A MAKER OF HISTORY
A story of absorbing interest turning on a complicated plot worked out with dexterous craftsmanship. A capital yarn of European secret service.—Literary Digest.
THE MASTER MUMMER
Will be found of absorbing interest to those who love a story of action and romance.—Academy, London.