|About the Book|
In a blaze of splendor the morning sun broke over the mountain, throwing its scraggy brown bowlders, spruce-pines, thorn-bushes, and tangled vines into impenetrable shadow. Massed at the base and along the rocky sides were mists as dense as clouds, through the filmy upper edges of which the yellow light shone as through a mighty prism, dancing on the dew-coated corn-blades, cotton-plants, and already drinking from the fresh-ploughed, mellow soil of the farm-lands which fell away in gentle undulations to the confines of the village hard by. A fellow couldnt ask for a prettier day than this, no matter how greedy he was, Alfred Henley mused as he stood in the doorway of his barn and heard the gnawing of the horses he had just fed in the stalls behind him. A hundred yards distant, on the main-travelled road which ran into the village of Chester, only half a mile away, stood his house, the eight rooms of which were divided into two equal parts by an open veranda, in which there was a shelf for water-pails, tin wash-basins, and a towel on a clumsy roller. A slender woman, with harsh, sharp features, older-looking than her thirty years would have justified, and a stiff figure disguised by few attempts at adornment, was sweeping the veranda floor, and in chairs propped back against the weather-boarding sat an old man and an old woman in the plainest of mountain attire.