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Newspaper Page Text
LApY'OF THE, MANOR
I'- -By'( Frank, Tilson.
(Copyright. by'W. 3.-Chapman.)
"Yfis'MrGurney,. 'this is, the old
Epping .Manor-' -House," said the
agent; '"It has .been" in tbei.hands of
the Epping'familypr close, on three
hundreds-years. For-rent, fully furnished,-;
He'-na'med anabsurdly low sum
at least,. .sp, the, young American
painter .tji6ughtv ,
'Tpu.see," the-man continued con
fidentially, "it'stbo quiet-a place for
Mrs.'Epping' and-Miss Sylvia. While
old Mr. Epping was alive it was a,
home to them. But' since he's been
dead' they've wanted-to get away
from'the-sights'that .perpetually re
minded them of- him. One can't
blame them' for hat1- So 'they've
moved 'into the'n'ew mansion over at
Chil worth,- three-miles'dKtant. But
for a gentleman who wants quiet
why, this is 'just the. place."
Gurney agreed cordial'y with this
sentiment. He was spending the
year in England and meant to t have
at least six weeks alone to finish his
great paneL painting of the destruc
tion 6f Alexandria, the order for
whidh from the public library in his
home city had held out to him the
hope of recognition and success after
his many years of loneliness and pov- .
"Mrs. Epping's a bit of an invalid,"
the agent said one day, just after
Gurney had moved in. "She says
she'd be very pleased to make your
acquaintance if you would care to
call any afternoon at Chilworth."
"He scowled at me something
awful," the agent told Mrs. Epping
afterward. "He seems cut out to be
a hermit, that young man does."
"Well, I'm sure we shan't intrude
upon his loneliness," declared- Miss(
-Sylvia, with pardonable hauteur.
Gurney wanted nothing better.
The loneliness of the place appealed
to him. Except for 'old Mrs. Smith,
who came in daily to cook for hini
and to tidy such parts of the manor
as she could contrive to clean while
Gurney was busy with his work: and
therefore unable to make effective
protest he saw nobody. And he
worked harder than he had ever
Yet somehow the panel painting
made little progress. The fact is,
Gurney found what many people
have Tound; that it is easier to be
alone in company than when one
has one's own thoughts for com
panions. Life in this old English
house proved delightfully puzzle-provoking.
He explored every nook of
the rambling old building! But he al
ways came back to te long central
hall, where the portraits of the Ep-.
They hung in their gilded frames,
stiffly decorous, these dead lords and
ladies of Epping' Manor,-ranging from
Sir Thomas 'Epping, ia--doublet and'