The Valley of Decision

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Author: Edith Wharton
Published: 1902
Language: English
Wordcount: 153,901 / 443 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 58.1
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,202
mnybks.net#: 7386
Excerpt

he chapel was never opened save when, on Easter Sunday, a priest came from the town to say mass. At other times it stood abandoned, cobwebs curtaining the narrow windows, farm tools leaning against the walls, and the dust deep on the sea-gods and acanthus volutes of the altar. The manor of Pontesordo was very old. The country people said that the great warlock Virgil, whose dwelling-place was at Mantua, had once shut himself up for a year in the topmost chamber of the keep, engaged in unholy researches; and another legend related that Alda, wife of an early lord of Pianura, had thrown herself from its battlements to escape the pursuit of the terrible Ezzelino. The chapel adjoined this keep, and Filomena, the farmer's wife, told Odo that it was even older than the tower and that the walls had been painted by early martyrs who had concealed themselves there from the persecutions of the pagan emperors.

On such questions a child of Odo's age could obviously have no pronounced opinion, the less so as Filomena's

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