Mr. Herrick has selected several principal characters for his remarkable study--the Rev. Roper Elwell, a noted New England divine of a bygone generation; Mark Elwell, his son, who made a fortune in the wool business; John Elwell, grandson to old Roper Elwell, who spent two riotous years at Cambridge, and then was married suddenly; John's daughter Leonora, and Jarvis Thornton, who had been granted a degree in medicine, but who intended to devote his life to scientific studies instead of practicing his profession, being enabled to do so owing to a small fortune which had been acquired by his father. As a story it is far above the ordinary offering; as a study of the disintegration of a fine old family it is admirable; as an argument as to the laws of heredity--well, men of science will debate that question for a long time to come.
a lonely drive to the country.
"I say, Thornton," he threw out at random, "come down to our place over night. The cart will be round in a few minutes."
Thornton, flaccid from hot days in the laboratory, welcomed any proffered excuse for a loaf. So they jogged away in the soft evening, from the cropped green hedges and the red brick buildings of Camberton into the country turnpike, smoking and keeping a peaceful silence. After athletics and carts had been talked out there was not much to start fresh conversation with. Camberton slipped away, with its endless problems, its ambitious prods. Jarvis Thornton entered another atmosphere when the cart crunched the gravel of the drive at the Four Corners. The Ellwells were on the veranda. "Who are the Ellwells?" Thornton asked himself as he found a chair next the white dress of the daughter. "And why did I get myself into a family party for a day and two nights without knowing what to expect?"
He discovered an order of things he had never seen bef
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