A Rose of Yesterday
F. Marion Crawford
Author of "Saracenesca," "Dr. Claudius," "Katharine
Lauderdale," "The Ralstons," etc., etc.
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
All rights reserved
BY F. MARION CRAWFORD.
Set up and electrotyped May, 1897. Reprinted August,
J. S. Cushing & Co. -- Berwick & Smith
Norwood, Mass. U.S.A.
CHAPTER III When Archie Harmon disappeared and left the colonel and his mother together, she supposed that he had gone to his room to sleep, for he slept a great deal, or to amuse himself after his fashion, and she did not ask him where he was going. She knew what his favourite amusement was, though he did his best to keep it a secret from her. There was a certain mysterious box, which he had always owned, and took everywhere with him, and of which he always had the key in his pocket. It took up a good deal of space, but he could never be persuaded to leave it behind when they went abroad. To-day he went to his room, as usual, locked the door, took off his coat, and got the box out of a corner. Then he sat down on the floor and opened it. He took out some child's building- blocks, some tin soldiers, much the worse for wear, for he was ashamed to buy new ones, and a small and gaudily painted tin cart, in which an impossible lady and gentleman ofpapier-mache', dressed in blue, grey, and yellow, sat leaning back with folded arms and staring, painted eyes. There were a few other toys besides, all packed away with considerable neatness, for Archie was not slovenly. He sat cross-legged on the floor, a strong grown man of nearly twenty years, and began to play with his blocks. His eyes fixed themselves on his occupation, as he built up a little gateway with an arch and set red-legged French soldiers on each side of it for sentinels. He had played the same game a thousand times already, but the satisfaction had not diminished. One day in a hotel he had forgotten to lock the door, and his mother had opened it by mistake, thinking it was that of her own room. Before he could look round shehad shut it again, but she had seen, and it had been like a knife-thrust. She kept his sec...