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Wilkie Collins: The Complete Short Stories The Best Short Fiction from the English writer, known for his mystery novels The Woman in White, No Name, Armadale, The Moonstone, The Law and The Lady, The Dead Secret, Man and Wife and many more... von Collins, Wilkie (eBook)

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Wilkie Collins: The Complete Short Stories

This carefully crafted ebook: 'Wilkie Collins: The Complete Short Stories' is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories. His best-known works are The Woman in White, No Name, Armadale, and The Moonstone. Table of Contents: After The Dark The Ostler Mr. Wray's Cash Box The Queen of Hearts A House To Let The Haunted House ('The Ghost in the Cupboard Room') My Miscellanies No Thoroughfare Miss or Mrs? 'Blow up with the Brig!' The Hidden Cash The Perils of Certain English Prisoners The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices The Last Stage Coachman The Fatal Cradle The Frozen Deep and Other Stories The Captain's Last Love The Dead Hand The Devil's Spectacles The First Officer's Confession Farmer Fairweather Fatal Fortune Fie! Fie! Or The Fair Physician Love's Random Shot The Midnight Mass Nine O'Clock A Passage in the Life of Mr. Perugino Potts The Haunted Hotel My Lady's Money Who Killed Zebedee Little Novels The Poetry Did It A Sad Death and A Brave Life The Twin Sisters Volpurno - Or The Student John Steadiman's Account (The Wreck of The Golden Mary) A Message from The Sea The Seafaring Man The Dead Alive


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 3600
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9788026837756
    Verlag: e-artnow
    Größe: 2692 kBytes
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Wilkie Collins: The Complete Short Stories

Prologue to the Third Story

Table of Contents
It was a sad day for me when Mr. Lanfray, of Rockleigh Place, discovering that his youngest daughter's health required a warm climate, removed from his English establishment to the South of France. Roving from place to place, as I am obliged to do, though I make many acquaintances, I keep but few friends. The nature of my calling is, I am quite aware, mainly answerable for this. People cannot be blamed for forgetting a man who, on leaving their houses, never can tell them for certain when he is likely to be in their neighbourhood again.

Mr. Lanfray was one of the few exceptional persons who always remembered me. I have proofs of his friendly interest in my welfare in the shape of letters which I treasure with grateful care. The last of these is an invitation to his house in the South of France. There is little chance at present of my being able to profit by his kindness; but I like to read his invitation from time to time, for it makes me fancy, in my happier moments, that I may one day really be able to accept it.

My introduction to this gentleman, in my capacity of portrait-painter, did not promise much for me in a professional point of view. I was invited to Rockleigh - or to "The Place," as it was more frequently called among the people of the county - to take a likeness in watercolours, on a small scale, of the French governess who lived with Mr. Lanfray's daughters. My first idea on hearing of this was, that the governess was about to leave her situation, and that her pupils wished to have a memorial of her in the shape of a portrait. Subsequent inquiry, however, informed me that I was in error. It was the eldest of Mr. Lanfray's daughters, who was on the point of leaving the house to accompany her husband to India; and it was for her that the portrait had been ordered as a home remembrance of her best and dearest friend. Besides these particulars, I discovered that the governess, though still called "mademoiselle," was an old lady; that Mr. Lanfray had been introduced to her many years since in France, after the death of his wife; that she was absolute mistress in the house; and that her three pupils had always looked up to her as a second mother, from the time when their father first placed them under her charge.

These scraps of information made me rather anxious to see Mademoiselle Clairfait, the governess.

On the day appointed for my attendance at the comfortable country house of Rockleigh, I was detained on the road, and did not arrive at my destination until late in the evening. The welcome accorded to me by Mr. Lanfray gave an earnest of the unvarying kindness that I was to experience at his hands in afterlife. I was received at once on equal terms, as if I had been a friend of the family, and was presented the same evening to my host's daughters. They were not merely three elegant and attractive young women, but - what means much more than that - three admirable subjects for pictures, the bride particularly. Her young husband did not strike me much at first sight; he seemed rather shy and silent. After I had been introduced to him, I looked round for Mademoiselle Clairfait, but she was not present; and I was soon afterward informed by Mr. Lanfray that she always spent the latter part of the evening in her own room.

At the breakfast-table the next morning, I again looked for my sitter, and once more in vain. "Mamma, as we call her," said one of the ladies, "is dressing expressly for her picture, Mr. Kerby. I hope you are not above painting silk, lace, and jewelry. The dear old lady, who is perfection in everything else, is perfection also in dress, and is bent on being painted in all her splendor."

This explanation prepared me for something extraordinary; but I found that my anticipations had fallen far below the reality when Mademoiselle Clairfait at last made her appearance, and announc

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