The Heiress of Wyvern Court

Emilie Searchfield

The Heiress of Wyvern Court, by Emilie

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Title: The Heiress of Wyvern Court
Author: Emilie Searchfield

Release Date: August 25, 2007 [eBook #22398]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by David Wilson, Chuck Greif, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (

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Author of "Claimed at Last"

[Illustration: "'GOOD MORNING, MADAME GICHE'" (p. 65).]

Cassell and Company, Limited London, Paris, New York & Melbourne 1900
All Rights Reserved

--In the Railway Carriage--New Friends 9
" II.--Willett's Farm--Tea in the Dining-room 21
" III.--Dr. Willett--The Nutting Expedition--The Fire 35
" IV.--Oscar's Burnt Arm--Black Hole 47
" V.--Inna at the Owl's Nest--More Wrong Steps 61
" VI.--Inna's Firstfruits--On the Tor 73
" VII.--Oscar Lost--A Fruitless Search 86
" VIII.--At the Owl's Nest--The Song--The Surprise 96
" IX.--Oscar's Return--The Mystery Cleared--On the Tor Again 109
" X.--The Expedition to Swallow's Cliff--Caught by the Tide 119
" XI.--The Rescue--Cloudy Days--Good News at Last 133
" XII.--New Thoughts and Ways--The Heiress of Wyvern Court 146

"'Good morning, Madame Giche'" Frontispiece
"A donkey and cart came driving up" To face page 40
"It snapped, and he was gone" " 130
"Dick shook her by the hand" " 144

"Well, little friend, and where do you hail from?"
The speaker was a merry-faced, brown-eyed boy of eleven, with curly brown hair--just the school-boy all over.
He had leaped into a railway carriage with cricket-bat, fishing-rod, and a knowing-looking little hamper, which he deposited on the seat beside him; then away went the snorting steam horse, train, people, and all, and out came this abrupt question. "Little friend" was a mite of a girl of nine, dressed in a homely blue serge frock and jacket, with blue velvet hat to match: a shy little midge of a grey-eyed maiden, with sunny brown curls twining about her forehead and rippling down upon her shoulders, nestling in one corner of the carriage--the sole occupant thereof until this merry questioner came to keep her company.
"I don't quite know what you mean," was the little girl's reply--a sweet, refined way of speaking had she, and her eyes sparkled with shy merriment, although there was a startled look in them too.
"Well, where do you come from, my dear mademoiselle?" and now the merry speaker made a courtly bow.
"From London--but I'm not French, you know," was the retort, with the demurest of demure smiles.
"No--just so; and where are you going?" One could but answer him, his questions came with such winning grace of manner.
"To Cherton--to uncle--to Mr. Jonathan Willett's."
"Cherton! why, that's not far from my happy destination. I get out only one station before you."
"Little friend" smiled her demure little smile again, as if she was glad to hear it.
"So you're going to Mr. Willett's--Dr. Willett he's generally called, being a physician," continued the boy, after glancing from the window a second or two, as if to note how fast the landscape was rushing past the train, or the train past the landscape.
"Yes; do you know him?" inquired the silvery tongue of the other.
"Oh yes; I know him!"--a short assent, comically spoken.
"I don't," sighed the little girl, as if the thought oppressed her.
"Then you'd like to know what he's like," spoke the boy, using the word like twice for want of another.
"Yes--only--only would it be nice to talk about a person--one's uncle, one doesn't know, be----" she did not like to say behind his back, but the faltering little tongue stuck fast, and the small sensitive face of the child looked a little confused.
"Ah! behind his back," spoke the boy readily. "Well, perhaps not; but you'll know him soon enough, I'm quite sure, and all about Peggy, too. Peggy is the best of the couple," he added.
"Do you mean Mrs. Grant, my uncle's housekeeper?"
"Yes, that very lady--only, you see, I like to call her Peggy."
"Yes," returned the child, supposing she ought to say something.
"'Tis a farm, you know--jolly old place. Do you know that?"
"Yes--that is, I know 'tis a farm; mamma told me that. But I didn't know 'twas jolly; mamma said 'twas very pretty, and home-like, and nice."
"Ah, yes! just a lady's view of the place," nodded the boy approvingly. "The farm is the best part of it all, and so you'll say when----"
"Perhaps we'll not talk about it," broke in "little friend" timidly.
"Well, you are a precise little lady not to talk about a farm,
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