The Guilty River

The Guilty River

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The Guilty River by Wilkie Collins

Published:

1886

Pages:

139

Downloads:

2,781

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The Guilty River

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The guilty river is the "ugliest, muddiest stream in England." It runs back of an old mill, inhabited by the miller, his beautiful daughter, and a lodger, who is deaf and almost insane with jealousy if any one notices the miller's daughter. The rich young man of the place, after being absent for years, comes into his property, and by accident meets this lodger and learns his strange story.

Book Excerpt

l sugaring the trees.

The summer evening was hot and still; the time was between dusk and dark. After ten years of absence in foreign parts, I perceived changes in the outskirts of the wood, which warned me not to enter it too confidently when I might find a difficulty in seeing my way. Remaining among the outermost trees, I painted the trunks with my treacherous mixture--which allured the insects of the night, and stupefied them when they settled on its rank surface. The snare being set, I waited to see the intoxication of the moths.

A time passed, dull and dreary. The mysterious assemblage of trees was blacker than the blackening sky. Of millions of leaves over my head, none pleased my ear, in the airless calm, with their rustling summer song.

The first flying creatures, dimly visible by moments under the gloomy sky, were enemies whom I well knew by experience. Many a fine insect specimen have I lost, when the bats were near me in search of their evening meal.

What had happened before, in other

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