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The Right Knock

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Pages: 204

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Helen Van-Anderson

Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. :Such is the world, understand it, despise it, love it: cheerfully hold on thy way through it, with thy eye on highest loadstars." —Carlyle. was a week since the party. Mrs. Hayden had been to the opera and returned late. Her husband was absent on a business trip, and she felt a vague uneasiness come over her as she entered the room. She knew not why, but it seemed unusually lonely without him. She seldom went out alone, but to-night she had gone out as much to while away the time as to hear the music. After paying her usual visit to the nursery, she went to bed, but slept little for several hours. About 4 o'clock she was awakened by stifling fumes of smoke and startling cries of fire. Was it too late ? She sprang up and ran to the nursery stairs, but the scorching flames met her, and she retreated to the window, shrieking for help, only to get a glimpse of someone through the smoke climbing toward her. " Hold on !" cried the fireman, and reached out his arms for her just as she fell back fainting. Grasping her firmly, the brave man dragged her out of the window, and began his perilous descent. When about half way down, the ladder fell, but its burden was expected, and mattress and bed-clothing saved them from what might have been worse. As it was, the fireman escaped with a few bruises and slight scorching,and Mrs. Hay den with a broken limb. First they feared she was dead, but after a few moments she revived and moaned feebly for husband and children. Little Mabel clung desperately to her mother, and sob- bingly told her '' only the house was burnt. Fred and Jamie were safe, and now she must get up and be glad." Poor child, instinctively she knew the value of life above all other things. " How did it happen, where did it start, and who saw it first ?"...  

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