The Firm of Girdlestone

Chapter XXVIII: Back in Bohemia

Fortune had been smiling upon the Bohemians of late. Ever since the major’s successful visit to Fenchurch Street he had been able to live in a state of luxury to which he had long been unaccustomed. His uncle, the earl, too, had condescended to think of his humble relative, and had made a small provision…

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The Firm of Girdlestone

Chapter XXVI: Breaking Ground

In spite of John Girdlestone’s temporary satisfaction and the stoical face which he presented to the world, it is probable that in the whole of London there was no more unhappy and heart-weary man. The long fight against impending misfortune had shattered his iron constitution and weakened him both in body and in mind. It…

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The Firm of Girdlestone

Chapter XXV: A Change of Front

This episode had occurred about a fortnight before Ezra’s return from Africa, and was duly retailed to him by his father. “You need not be discouraged by that,” he said. “I can always keep them apart, and if he is absent and you are present—especially as she has no idea of the cause of his…

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The Firm of Girdlestone

Chapter XXIV: A Dangerous Promise

During Ezra Girdlestone’s absence in Africa our heroine’s life had been even less eventful than of old. There was a consistency about the merchant’s establishment which was characteristic of the man. The house itself was austere and gloomy, and every separate room, in spite of profuse expenditure and gorgeous furniture, had the same air of…

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The Firm of Girdlestone

Chapter XXI: An Unexpected Blow

The crisis at the African fields was even more acute than had been anticipated by the conspirators. Nothing approaching to it had ever been known in South Africa before. Diamonds went steadily down in value until they were selling at a price which no dealer would have believed possible, and the sale of claims reached…

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