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The Shadow of a Shade
     

The Shadow of a Shade

by Tom Hood
 
My sister Lettie has lived with me ever since I had a home of my own.
She was my little housekeeper before I married. Now she is my wife's
constant companion, and the 'darling auntie' of my children, who go to
her for comfort, advice, and aid in all their little troubles and
perplexities.

But, though she has a comfortable home, and loving

Overview

My sister Lettie has lived with me ever since I had a home of my own.
She was my little housekeeper before I married. Now she is my wife's
constant companion, and the 'darling auntie' of my children, who go to
her for comfort, advice, and aid in all their little troubles and
perplexities.

But, though she has a comfortable home, and loving hearts around her,
she wears a grave, melancholy look on her face, which puzzles
acquaintances and grieves friends.

A disappointment! Yes, the old story of a lost lover is the reason for
Lattie's looks. She has had good offers often; but since she lost the
first love of her heart she has never indulged in the happy dream of
loving and being loved.

George Mason was a cousin of my wife's--a sailor by profession. He and
Lettie met one another at our wedding, and fell in love at first
sight. George's father had seen service before him on the great
mysterious sea, and had been especially known as a good Arctic sailor,
having shared in more than one expedition in search of the North Pole
and the North-West Passage.

It was not a matter of surprise to me, therefore, when George
volunteered to go out in the Pioneer, which was being fitted out for a
cruise in search of Franklin and his missing expedition.

There was a fascination about such an undertaking that I felt I could
not have resisted had I been in his place. Of course, Lettie did not
like the idea at all, but he silenced her by telling her that men who
volunteered for Arctic search were never lost sight of, and that he
should not make as much advance in his profession in a dozen years as
he would in the year or so of this expedition.

I cannot say that Lettie, even after this, was quite satisfied with
the notion of his going, but, at all events, she did not argue against
it any longer. But the grave look, which is now habitual with her, but
was a rare thing in her young and happy days, passed over her face
sometimes when she thought no one was looking.

My younger brother, Harry, was at this time an academy student. He was
only a beginner then.

Now he is pretty well known in the art world, and his pictures command
fair prices. Like all beginners in art, he was full of fancies and
theories. He would have been a pre-Raphaelite, only pre-Raphaelism had
not been invented then. His peculiar craze was for what he styled the
Venetian School. Now, it chanced that George had a fine Italian-
looking head, and Harry persuaded him to sit to him for his portrait.
It was a fair likeness, but a very moderate work of art. The
background was so very dark, and George's naval costume so very deep
in colour, that the face came out too white and staring. It was a
three-quarter picture; but only one hand showed in it, leaning on the
hilt of a sword. As George said, he looked much more like the
commander of a Venetian galley than a modern mate.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013683259
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/21/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
21 KB

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