Red Rowans: A Love Story

Red Rowans: A Love Story

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by Flora Annie Steele
     
 

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Red Rowans: A Love Story by Flora Annie Steel, author of “Miss Stuart’s Legacy,” etc.

Prologue.

“Love took up the Harp of Life and
.... smote the Chord of Self.”
“Am I really like yon?”

A small brown hand pointed peremptorily to a finished drawing on a sketcher’s easel hard by,… See more details below

Overview

Red Rowans: A Love Story by Flora Annie Steel, author of “Miss Stuart’s Legacy,” etc.

Prologue.

“Love took up the Harp of Life and
.... smote the Chord of Self.”
“Am I really like yon?”

A small brown hand pointed peremptorily to a finished drawing on a sketcher’s easel hard by, and a pair of blue eyes frowned somewhat imperiously at a young man, who, with one knee on the ground, was busily searching in the long grass for a missing brush, while palette and colours lay beside him ready to be packed up. The frown, however, was lost on the back of his head, for he gave a decisive denial, without turning round to look at the questioner.
The girl’s eyes shifted once more to the drawing, and an odd, wistful curiosity came to her face as she took a step nearer to the easel. What she saw there was really rather a clever study of herself as she had been standing a few moments before, erect, yet with a kind of caress towards the branch full of scarlet rowan berries, which one round firm arm bent down from the tree above, against her glowing face. There was a certain strength in the treatment; the artist had caught something of the glorious richness of colouring in the figure and its background, but the subject had been too much for him, and he admitted it frankly. In truth, it would have needed a great painter to have done Jeanie Duncan justice as she stood under the rowan tree that autumn evening, and Paul Macleod was at best but a dabbler in art. Still, it was a truthful likeness, though the nameless charm which belongs to one face and not to another of equal beauty of form--in other words, the mysterious power of attraction--had escaped pencil and brush. There was nothing spiritual in this charm; it was simply the power which physical beauty has sometimes to move the imagination--almost the spiritual nature of men; and, such as it was, it breathed from every curve of Jeanie Duncan’s face and form. She was very young, not more than seventeen at the most, and, as yet, in that remote Highland glen, where every girl, regardless of her appearance, had a jo, the pre-eminence of her own good looks had never dawned upon her. So there was no mock humility in the words which followed on rather a long pause.

“I’ll no be sae bonnie, I’m thinking.”

Something in her tone struck through even her companion’s absorption; for Paul Macleod was given to forgetting his world over trivialities. He looked up sharply, rose hastily, stepped across to where she stood, and laid his hand on her shoulder in easy familiarity.

“Why, Jeanie, what’s the matter now?”

She moved away impatiently from his touch, and, as if from habit, her arm, showing white under the russet bedgown she wore, went up to the branch above her head. And there she stood once more with the ripe red berries against her ripe red lips.

“I’m sayin’ I’ll no be sae bonnie as yon.”

“Your eyes are not quite so blue, certainly; your cheeks not quite so pink, your hair not quite so golden, nor your----”

“That’s enough, sir; ye needn’t fash yourself more. I’m no for sale by public roup. I was sayin’ myself that I’ll no be near sae bonnie as yon.”

The rowan berries were being viciously stripped from their stems, and allowed to fall in a defiant patter on the ground; yet there were audible tears in the young voice.

“You little goose! I didn’t know you were so vain, Jeanie,” he began.

“I’m no vain,” she interrupted, sharply. “It’s no that, Mr. Paul. I dinna care--at least no much--but if a lassie’s bonnie----” she paused suddenly and let the branch go. It swung back, sending a red shower of overripe berries pattering round the girl and the man.

“Well, Jeanie! If a lassie’s bonnie?” repeated Paul Macleod, watching the rapid changes in her vivid face with amused admiration; “if a lassie’s bonnie, what happens?”

She confronted him with a certain dignity new to his experience of her.

“Ye ken fine, Mr. Paul, the difference it makes to a lassie if she is real bonnie.

Continued...

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014688376
Publisher:
Denise Henry
Publication date:
07/04/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
268
File size:
0 MB

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