Alisa Paige - A Book Sample (Chapter 1, page 1 of 11)


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Chapter 1

The butler made an instinctive movement to detain him, but he flung
him aside and entered the drawing-room, the servant recovering his
equilibrium and following on a run. Light from great crystal
chandeliers dazzled him for a moment; the butler again confronted
him but hesitated under the wicked glare from his eyes. Then
through the brilliant vista, the young fellow caught a glimpse of a
dining-room, a table where silver and crystal glimmered, and a
great gray man just lowering a glass of wine from his lips to gaze
at him with quiet curiosity.

The next moment he traversed the carpeted interval between them and
halted at the table's damask edge, gazing intently across at the
solitary diner, who sat leaning back in an arm-chair, heavy right
hand still resting on the stem of a claret glass, a cigar suspended
between the fingers of his left hand.

"Are you Colonel Arran?"

"I am," replied the man at the table coolly. "Who the devil are
you?"

"By God," replied the other with an insolent laugh, "that's what I
came here to find out!"

The man at the table laid both hands on the edge of the cloth and
partly rose from his chair, then fell back solidly, in silence, but
his intent gaze never left the other's bloodless face.

"Send away your servants, Colonel Arran!" said the young man in a
voice now labouring under restraint. "We'll settle this matter
now."

The other made as though to speak twice; then, with an effort, he
motioned to the butler.

What he meant by the gesture perhaps he himself scarcely realised
at the moment.

The butler instantly signalled to Pim, the servant behind Colonel
Arran's chair, and started forward with a furtive glance at his
master; and the young man turned disdainfully to confront him.

"Will you retire peaceably, sir?"

"No, but you will retire permanently if you touch me. Be very
careful."

Colonel Arran leaned forward, hands still gripping the table's edge:

"Larraway!"

"Sir?"

"You may go."

The small gray eyes in the pock-pitted face stole toward young
Berkley, then were cautiously lowered.

"Very well, sir," he said.

"Close the drawing-room doors. No--this way. Go out through the
pantry. And take Pim with you."

"Very well, sir."

"And, Larraway!"

"Sir?"

"When I want you I'll ring. Until then I don't want anybody or
anything. Is that understood?"

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