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by Charles Dudley Warner
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"The twists and turns of this plot are riveting. One man enjoys the affection of three women despite his misdemeanour. Warner asserts that friendship and love should prevail above all hurdles. With conceit and malice as the order of the day, the story unravels with a subtlety that is amazing and spellbinding!"
On a summer day, long gone among the summer days that come but to go, a lad of twelve years was idly and recklessly swinging in the top of a tall hickory, the advance picket of a mountain forest. The tree was on the edge of a steep declivity of rocky pasture-land that fell rapidly down to the stately chestnuts, to the orchard, to the cornfields in the narrow valley, and the maples on the bank of the amber river, whose loud, unceasing murmur came to the lad on his aerial perch like the voice of some tradition of nature that he could not understand.
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