The Twenty-Fourth of June
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The Twenty-Fourth of June


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Twenty-Fourth of June, by Grace S. RichmondThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Twenty-Fourth of JuneAuthor: Grace S. RichmondRelease Date: December 28, 2004 [eBook #14491]Language: English***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF JUNE***E-text prepared by Ted Garvin, Mary Meehan, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading TeamTHE TWENTY-FOURTH OF JUNEMidsummer's DaybyGRACE S RICHMOND1914CONTENTSCHAPTERI. The Curtain Rises on a HomeII. Richard Changes His PlansIII. While It RainsIV. PicturesV. Richard Pricks His FingersVI. Unsustained ApplicationVII. A Traitorous ProceedingVIII. Roses RedIX. Mr. Kendrick EntertainsX. Opinions and TheoriesXI. "The Taming of the Shrew"XII. BlanketsXIII. Lavender LinenXIV. Rapid FireXV. Making MenXVI. EncountersXVII. IntrigueXVIII. The Nailing of a FlagXIX. In the MorningXX. Side LightsXXI. PortraitsXXII. Roberta Wakes EarlyXXIII. Richard Has Waked EarlierXXIV. The Pillars of HomeXXV. A Stout Little CabinCHAPTER ITHE CURTAIN RISES ON A HOMENone of it might ever have happened, if Richard Kendrick had gone into the house of Mr. Robert Gray, on that firstnight, by the front door. For, if he had made his first entrance ...



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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Twenty-Fourth
of June, by Grace S. Richmond
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at
no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the
terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at
Title: The Twenty-Fourth of June
Author: Grace S. Richmond
Release Date: December 28, 2004 [eBook #14491]
Language: English
E-text prepared by Ted Garvin, Mary Meehan, and
the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed
Proofreading Team
I. The Curtain Rises on a Home
II. Richard Changes His Plans
III. While It Rains
IV. Pictures
V. Richard Pricks His FingersVI. Unsustained Application
VII. A Traitorous Proceeding
VIII. Roses Red
IX. Mr. Kendrick Entertains
X. Opinions and Theories
XI. "The Taming of the Shrew"
XII. Blankets
XIII. Lavender Linen
XIV. Rapid Fire
XV. Making Men
XVI. Encounters
XVII. Intrigue
XVIII. The Nailing of a Flag
XIX. In the Morning
XX. Side Lights
XXI. Portraits
XXII. Roberta Wakes Early
XXIII. Richard Has Waked EarlierXXIV. The Pillars of Home
XXV. A Stout Little Cabin
None of it might ever have happened, if Richard
Kendrick had gone into the house of Mr. Robert
Gray, on that first night, by the front door. For, if
he had made his first entrance by that front door, if
he had been admitted by the maidservant in proper
fashion and conducted into Judge Calvin Gray's
presence in the library, if he had delivered his
message, from old Matthew Kendrick, his
grandfather, and had come away again, ushered
out of that same front door, the chances are that
he never would have gone again. In which case
there would have been no story to tell.
It all came about—or so it seems—from its being a
very rainy night in late October, and from young
Kendrick's wearing an all-concealing motoring rain-coat and cap. He had been for a long drive into the
country, and had just returned, mud-splashed,
when his grandfather, having taken it into his head
that a message must be delivered at once,
requested his grandson to act as his messenger.
So the young man had impatiently bolted out with
the message, had sent his car rushing through the
city streets, and had become a still muddier and
wetter figure than before when he stood upon the
porch of the old Gray homestead, well out in the
edge of the city, and put thumb to the bell.
His hand was stayed by the shrill call of a small boy
who dashed up on the porch out of the dusk. "You
can't get in that way," young Ted Gray cried.
"Something's happened to the lock—they've sent
for a man to fix it. Come round to the back with me
—I'll show you."
So this was why Richard Kendrick came to be
conducted by way of the tall-pillared rear porch into
the house through the rear door of the wide,
central hall. There was no light at this end of the
hall, and the old-fashioned, high-backed settee
which stood there was in shadow.
With a glance at the caller's muddy condition the
young son of the house decided it the part of
prudence to assign him this waiting-place, while he
himself should go in search of his uncle. The lad
had seen the big motor-car at the gate; quite
naturally he took its driver for a chauffeur.
Ted looked in at the library door; his uncle was notTed looked in at the library door; his uncle was not
there. He raced off upstairs, not noting the change
which had already taken place in the visitor's
appearance with the removal of the muddy coat
and cap.
Richard Kendrick now looked a particularly
personable young man, well built, well dressed, of
the brown-haired, gray-eyed, clear-skinned type.
The eyes were very fine; the nose and mouth had
the lines of distinction; the chin was—positive.
Altogether the young man did not look the part he
had that day been playing—that of the rich young
idler who drives a hundred and fifty miles in a
powerful car, over the worst kind of roads, merely
for the sake of diversion and a good luncheon.
While he waited Richard considered the hall, at one
end of which he sat in the shadow. There was
something very homelike about this hall. The quaint
landscape paper on the walls, the perceptibly worn
and faded crimson Turkey carpeting on the floors,
the wide, spindle-balustrade staircase with the old
clock on its landing; more than all, perhaps, on an
October night like this, the warm glow from a lamp
with crystal pendants which stood on the table of
polished mahogany near the front door—all these
things combined to give the place a quite distinctive
look of home.
There were one or two other touches in the picture
worth mentioning, the touches which spoke of
human life. An old-fashioned hat-tree just opposite
the rear door was hung full with hats. A heavy
ulster lay over a chair close by, and two umbrellasstood in the corner. And over hat-rack, hats, ulster,
and chair, with one end of silken fringe caught
upon one of the umbrella ribs, had been flung by
some careless hand, presumably feminine, a long
silken scarf of the most intense rose-colour, a hue
so vivid, as the light caught it from the landing
above, that it seemed almost to be alive.
From various parts of the house came sounds—of
voices and of footsteps, more than once of distant
laughter. Far above somewhere a child's high call
rang out. Nearer at hand some one touched the
keys of a piano, playing snatches of Schumann
—Der Nussbaum, Mondnacht, Die Lotosblume.
Richard recognized the airs which thus reached his
ears, and was sorry when they ceased.
Now there might be nothing in all this worth
describing if the effect upon the observer had not
been one to him so unaccustomed. Though he had
lived to the age of twenty-eight years, he had
never set foot in a place which seemed so
curiously like a vague dream he had somewhere at
the back of his head. For the last two years he had
lived with his grandfather in the great pile of stone
which they called home. If this were no real home,
the young man had never had one. He had spent
periods of his life in various sorts of dwelling-
places; in private rooms at schools and college—
always the finest of their kind—in clubs, on ships,
in railway trains; but no time at all in any place
remotely resembling the house in which he now
waited, a stranger in every sense of the word,
more strange to the everyday, fine type of homeknown to the American of good birth and breeding
than may seem credible as it is set down.
"Hold on there!" suddenly shouted a determined
male voice from somewhere above Richard. A door
banged, there was a rush of light-running feet
along the upper hall, closely followed by the tread
of heavier ones. A burst of the gayest laughter was
succeeded by certain deep grunts, punctuated by
little noises as of panting breath and half-stifled
merriment. It was easy to determine that a playful
scuffle of some sort was going on overhead, which
seemed to end only after considerable inarticulate
but easily translatable protest on the part of the
weaker person involved.
Then came an instant's silence, a man's ringing
laugh of triumph; next, in a girl's voice, a little
breathless but of a quality to make the listener
prick up ears already alert, these most unexpected
"'O, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant!'"
"Is it, indeed, Miss Arrogance?" mocked the
deeper voice. "Well, if you had given it back at
once, as all laws of justice, not to mention
propriety, demanded, I should not have had to
force it away from you. Oh, I say, did I really hurt
that wrist, or are you shamming?"
"Shamming! You big boys have no idea how
brutally violent you are when you want some littlebrutally violent you are when you want some little
thing you ought not to have. It aches like anything,"
retorted the other voice, its very complaints uttered
in such melodious tones of contralto music that the
listener found himself wishing with all his might to
know if the face of its owner could by any
possibility match the loveliness of her voice. Dark,
he fancied she must be, and young, and strong—
of education, of a gay wit, yet of a temper—all this
the listener thought he could read in the voice.
"Poor little wilful girl! Did she get hurt, then, trying
to have her own way? Come in here, jade, and I'll
fix it up for you," the deeper tones declared.
Footsteps again; a door closed. Silence succeeded
for a minute; then the Schumann music began
again, a violin accompanying. And suddenly,
directly opposite the settee, a door swung slowly
open, the hand upon the knob invisible. A picture
was presented to the stranger's eyes as if
somebody had meant to show it to him. He could
but look. Anybody, seeing the picture, would have
looked and found it hard to turn his eyes away.
For it was the heart of the house, right here, so
close at hand that even a stranger could catch a
glimpse of it by chance. A great, wide-throated
fireplace held a splendid fire of burning logs, the
light from it illumining the whole room, otherwise
dark in the October twilight. Before it on the
hearth-rug were silhouetted, in distinct lines against
its rich background, two figures. One was that of a
woman in warm middle life, sitting in a big chair,
her face full of both brightness and peace; at her