The City of Fire

Grace Livingston Hill
The City of Fire

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Title: The City of Fire
Author: Grace Livingston Hill
Release Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7008] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on February 21,
Edition: 10
Language: English

Character set encoding: Latin-1

This eBook was produced by Anne Folland, Tiffany Vergon, Charles
Aldarondo, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading

[Postprocessor's Note:
*renumbered chapters beginning with chapter 24: original text had two
chapters numbered 23
*changed Fenning to Fenner 3 times (11 instances of Fenner) on pages
120, 122, and 133 of the original.]



Sabbath Valley lay like a green jewel cupped in the hand of the
surrounding mountains with the morning sun serene upon it picking out
the clean smooth streets, the white houses with their green blinds, the
maples with their clear cut leaves, the cosy brick school house wide
winged and friendly, the vine clad stone church, and the little stone
bungalow with low spreading roof that was the parsonage. The word
manse had not yet reached the atmosphere. There were no affectations
in Sabbath Valley.
Billy Gaston, two miles away and a few degrees up the mountain side,
standing on the little station platform at Pleasant View, waiting for the
morning train looked down upon the beauty at his feet and felt its
loveliness blindly. A passing thrill of wonder and devotion fled through
his fourteen-year-old soul as he regarded it idly. Down there was home

and all his interests and loyalty. His eyes dwelt affectionately on the
pointing spire and bell tower. He loved those bells, and the one who
played them, and under their swelling tones had been awakened new
thoughts and lofty purposes. He knew they were lofty. He was not yet
altogether sure that they were his, but they were there in his mind for
him to think about, and there was a strange awesome lure about their
Down the platform was the new freight agent, a thickset, rubber-shod
individual with a projecting lower jaw and a lowering countenance. He
had lately arrived to assist the regular station agent, who lived in a bit
of a shack up the mountain and was a thin sallow creature with sad eyes
and no muscles. Pleasant View was absolutely what it stated, a pleasant
view and nothing else. The station was a well weathered box that
blended into the mountain side unnoticeably, and did not spoil the view.
The agent's cabin was hidden by the trees and did not count. But
Pleasant View was important as a station because it stood at the
intersection of two lines of thread like tracks that slipped among the
mountains in different directions; one winding among the trees and
about a clear mountain lake, carried guests for the summer to and fro,
and great quantities of baggage and freight from afar; the other
travelled through long tunnels to the world beyond and linked great
cities like jewels on a chain. There were heavy bales and boxes and
many trunks to be shifted and it was obvious that the sallow station
agent could not do it all. The heavy one had been sent to help him
through the rush season.
In five minutes more the train would come from around the mountain
and bring a swarm of ladies and children for the Hotel at the Lake.
They would have to be helped off with all their luggage, and on again
to the Lake train, which would back up two minutes later. This was
Billy's harvest time. He could sometimes make as much as fifty cents
or even seventy-five if he struck a generous party, just being generally
useful, carrying
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