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CASTE. A Novel. By the Author of "Colonel Dacre," &c. 8vo, Paper, 50 cents.
It is so well written that whoever begins to read will certainly finish it.-Philadelphia Press. Very entertaining and instructive.-N. Y. Commercial Advertiser.
Well planned and powerfully written.—Boston Traveller.
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK.
HARPER & BROTHERS will send the above work by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
THREE-DAYS-OLD October moon was just setting behind the larch-wood fringing the far edge of a lately-plowed, chocolatecolored field on his right hand, as Colonel Dacre drew near the gates of the home avenue. It was a tenderly-pathetic evening. Along the base of the sky were grand lines of cloud; above these a clear heaven, giving promise of slight autumnal frost. Under the lines of cloud were sweeping undulations of hill, sparsely dotted with lights from wide-lying upland farms. Between the road along which Colonel Dacre was being driven, and the scene at which he gazed across, was a deep, gorge-like valley, already full of mist, through which, here and there, twinkled the lighted casements of unseen cottages. As the lights had begun to shine on the hill-sides and in the valley, the stars began to show palely in the sky.
The carriage turned an abrupt corner of the road, and a few minutes after Colonel Dacre was within his own gates. From thence a drive of half a mile, heathery-banked and firshaded, brought him to his own door.
The door stood wide, showing a warm, ruddy glow from logs burning on the hearth, which seemed to bring the dark browns and dim crimsons of the interior into pleasant harmony with the only half-seen gorgeous coloring of larch and birch, of beech and oak, of maple and wild cherry, held in solution by the October twilight outside.
At the sound of the carriage wheels upon the drive had arisen a great barking of dogs, . bringing Miss Dacre into the hall. Her brother's arm was soon around her; he held her lovingly, and gave her close and warm kisses; but, even as he did so, his eyes searched beyond her, seeking some else. The carriage had driven round to the back of the house directly Colonel Dacre had sprung out of it.
"Where are the others?" he questioned, after a few moments.
"You mean, 'Where is Alice?'" was answered, mischievously.
"Alice and Grace; but, of course, chiefly Alice."
"And where she is exactly, I can't tell youbut not far off, I'm sure. We half expected When you failed us you yesterday, brother. yesterday, we expected you quite early this morning. Alice hardly slept last night, and has been wandering and watching all day. So you mustn't be disappointed if she looks fagged and pale."
"But where do you think she is now ?" "I thought she might have meant to meet you at the gate."
"I don't think she was likely to intend to do that."
"Perhaps not. Anyway, she can't be far off. The dogs will announce you to her, and she will soon appear. You must be cold and hungry. Let us shut the hall door and go in."
"Let the door stay open, if there is any chance that Alice is still out! But should she be out so late, Olivia? The evenings are cold and damp now. The mists lie thick in the valley."
"You know, Walter, what a little outdoor creature she is; with always some pretty excuse of moonrise or sunset, of twilight or starlight, or bird's song or flower scent, for postponing what she feels the evil hour of finally coming indoors."
"Not changed in that, then!"
"Not in that, nor in any thing; unless to grow sweeter, brighter, better."
The brother's eyes eloquently thanked the sister for those words. Then he went from the hall to the porch, from the porch to the drive, and looked to the right and to the left. No one was in sight.
"If I try to find her, I shall probably miss her," he said; "so I will wait till she finds me."
And he allowed Olivia, her hand passed through his arm, to lead him into one of the rooms which opened on the hall.
"No changes here, I hope ?" he exclaimed,