**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Halo They Gave Themselves
by [?]

She smiled up at him bravely. “The Manor House,” she said.

His voice became yet more gentle. “And now tell me your income,” he whispered; and his whole being trembled with emotion as he waited for her reply.

[Mrs. Barclay. There! That’s the end of the chapter. Now it’s your turn.

Hall Caine (waking up). I don’t know if I told you that in my last great work of the imagination, in which I collaborated with the Bishop of London, I wrote throughout in the first person. Nearly a million copies were sold, thus showing that the heart of the great public approved of my method of telling my story through the mouth of a young and innocent girl, exposed to great temptation. I should wish, therefore, to repeat that method in this story, if you could so arrange it.

Mrs. Barclay. But that’s easy. The Little Grey Woman shall tell Dr. Dick the story of her first marriage. I did that in my last book, “The Broken Halo,” now in its two hundredth edition.

Hall Caine (annoyed). Tut!]


(MRS. BARCLAY continues)

They were having tea in the garden–the Little Grey Woman and Dr. Dick. More than six months had elapsed since the accident outside the church, and Dr. Dick still remained on at the Manor House in charge of his patient, wishing to be handy in case the old sprain came on again suddenly. She was eighty-two and had twelve thousand a year. On the lawn a thrush was singing.

“How fresh and green the world is to-day,” sighed Dr. Dick, leaning back and exhaling youth. “As the curate used to say to my Aunt Louisa, ‘A delightful shower after the rain.'” He laughed merrily, and threw a crumb at the thrush with the perfect aim of a good cricketer throwing the ball at the wickets.

“My dear boy,” said the Little Grey Woman, “the world is always fresh and green to youth like yours. But to an old woman like me—-“

“Not old,” said Dick, with an ardent glance; “only eighty-two. Mrs. Beauchamp, will you marry me?”

She looked at him with a sad but tender smile.

“What would my friends say?” she asked.

“Bother your friends.”

“My dear boy, you would be considerably surprised if you could glance through an approximate list of the friends I possess to-day. Do you know that if I marry you I shall be required to make an explanation to several royal ladies–that is, if they graciously grant me the opportunity so to do.”

“But I want your mon–I mean I love you,” he pleaded, the light of youth shining in his brown eyes.

The Little Grey Woman looked at him tenderly. Their eyes met.

“Listen,” she said. “I will tell you the story of my first marriage, and then if you wish you shall ask me again.”

Dr. Dick helped himself to another slice of cake and leant back to listen.

[Mrs. Barclay. There you are. Now you can do Chapter Three.

Hall Caine. Excellent. It is quite time that one got some emotion into this story. In “The Woman Thou Gavest Me,” of which more than a million—-

Mrs. Barclay. Emotion, indeed! My last book is already in its two hundredth edition.

Hall Caine (annoyed). Tut!]


(MR. HALL CAINE takes up the tale)

I have always had a wonderful memory, and my earliest recollection is of hearing my father ask, on the day when I was born, whether it was a boy or a girl. When they told him “a girl,” he let fall a rough expression which sent the blood coursing over my mother’s pale cheeks like lobster-sauce coursing over a turbot. My father, John Boomster, was a great advertising agent, perhaps the greatest in the island, though he always said that there was one man who could beat him. He wanted a son to succeed him in the business, and in the years to come he never forgave me for being a girl. He would often glare at me in silence for three-quarters of an hour, and then, letting fall the same rough expression, throw a boot at me and stride from the room. A hard, cruel man, my father, and yet, in his fashion, he was fond of me.