Fiction With Purpose Romantic Gwen Wynn (MobiPocket Edition) A Romance of the Wye

Gwen Wynn (MobiPocket Edition) A Romance of the Wye

Gwen Wynn (MobiPocket Edition) A Romance of the Wye
Catalog # SKU3437
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Captain Mayne Reid
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ISBN 13: 0000000000000
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Gwen Wynn

A Romance
of the Wye

Electronic Edition for
MobiPocket Readers

Captain Mayne Reid

A tourist descending the Wye by boat from the town of Hereford to the ruined Abbey of Tintern, may observe on its banks a small pagoda-like structure; its roof, with a portion of the supporting columns, o'er-topping a spray of evergreens. It is simply a summer-house, of the kiosk or pavilion pattern, standing in the ornamental grounds of a gentleman's residence.


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Though placed conspicuously on an elevated point, the boat traveller obtains view of it only from a reach of the river above. When opposite he loses sight of it; a spinney of tall poplars drawing curtain-like between him and the higher bank. These stand on an oblong island, which extends several hundred yards down the stream, formed by an old channel, now forsaken. With all its wanderings the Wye is not suddenly capricious; still, in the lapse of long ages it has here and there changed its course, forming aits, or eyots, of which this is one.

The tourist will not likely take the abandoned channel. He is bound and booked for Tintern-possibly Chepstow-and will not be delayed by lesser "lions." Besides, his hired boatmen would not deviate from their terms of charter, without adding an extra to their fare.

Were he free, and disposed for exploration, entering this unused water way, he would find it tortuous, with scarce any current, save in times of flood; on one side the eyot, a low marshy flat, thickly overgrown with trees; on the other a continuous cliff, rising forty feet sheer, its façade grim and grey, with flakes of reddish hue, where the frost has detached pieces from the rock-the old red sandstone of Herefordshire. Near its entrance he would catch a glimpse of the kiosk on its crest; and, proceeding onward, will observe the tops of laurels and other exotic evergreens, mingling their glabrous foliage with that of the indigenous holly, ivy, and ferns; these last trailing over the cliff's brow, and wreathing it with fillets of verdure, as if to conceal its frowning corrugations.

About midway down the old river's bed he will arrive opposite a little embayment in the high bank, partly natural, but in part quarried out of the cliff-as evinced by a flight of steps, leading up at back, chiselled out of the rock in situ.

The cove thus contrived is just large enough to give room to a row-boat; and, if not out upon the river, one will be in it, riding upon its painter; this attached to a ring in the red sandstone. It is a light two-oared affair-a pleasure-boat, ornamentally painted, with cushioned thwarts, and tiller ropes of coloured cord athwart its stern, which the tourist will have turned towards him, in gold lettering, "The Gwendoline."

Charmed by this Idyllic picture, he may forsake his own craft, and ascend to the top of the stair. If so, he will have before his eyes a lawn of park-like expanse, mottled with clumps of coppice, here and there a grand old tree-oak, elm, or chestnut-standing solitary; at the upper end a shrubbery of glistening evergreens, with gravelled walks, fronting a handsome house; or, in the parlance of the estate agent, a noble mansion. That is Llangorren Court, and there dwells the owner of the pleasure-boat, as also prospective owner of the house, with some two thousand acres of land lying adjacent.

The boat bears her baptismal name, the surname being Wynn, while people, in a familiar way, speak of her as "Gwen Wynn;" this on account of her being a lady of proclivities and habits that make her somewhat of a celebrity in the neighbourhood. She not only goes boating, but hunts, drives a pair of spirited horses, presides over the church choir, plays its organ, looks after the poor of the parish-nearly all of it her own, or soon to be-and has a bright smile, with a pleasant word, for everybody.

If she be outside, upon the lawn, the tourist, supposing him a gentleman, will withdraw; for across the grounds of Llangorren Court there is no "right of way," and the presence of a stranger upon them would be deemed an intrusion. Nevertheless, he would go back down the boat stair reluctantly, and with a sigh of regret, that good manners do not permit his making the acquaintance of Gwen Wynn without further loss of time, or any ceremony of introduction.

But my readers are not thus debarred; and to them I introduce her, as she saunters over this same lawn, on a lovely April morn.

She is not alone; another lady, by name Eleanor Lees, being with her. They are nearly of the same age-both turned twenty-but in all other respects unlike, even to contrast, though there is kinship between them. Gwendoline Wynn is tall of form, fully developed; face of radiant brightness, with blue-grey eyes, and hair of that chrome-yellow almost peculiar to the Cymri-said to have made such havoc with the hearts of the Roman soldiers, causing these to deplore the day when recalled home to protect their seven-hilled city from Goths and Visigoths.

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