Slain by the Doones by R D Blackmore Page 1 of 34
CHAPTER I-AFTER A STORMY LIFE.
CHAPTER II.-BY A QUIET RIVER.
CHAPTER III.-WISE COUNSEL.
CHAPTER IV.-A COTTAGE HOSPITAL.
CHAPTER V.-MISTAKEN AIMS.
CHAPTER VI.-OVER THE BRIDGE.
-AFTER A STORMY LIFE.
To hear people talking about North Devon, and the savage part called Exmoor, you might almost think that there never was any place in the world so beautiful, or any living men so wonderful.
It is not my intention to make little of them, for they would be the last to permit it; neither do I feel ill will against them for the pangs they allowed me to suffer; for I dare say they could not help themselves, being so slow-blooded, and hard to stir even by their own egrimonies.
But when I look back upon the things that happened, and were for a full generation of mankind accepted as the will of God, I say, that the people who endured them must have been born to be ruled by the devil. And in thinking thus I am not alone; for the very best judges of that day stopped short of that end of the world, because the law would not go any further.
Nevertheless, every word is true of what I am going to tell, and the stoutest writer of history cannot make less of it by denial.
My father was Sylvester Ford of Quantock, in the county of Somerset, a gentleman of large estate as well as ancient lineage. Also of high courage and resolution not to be beaten, as he proved in his many rides with Prince Rupert, and woe that I should say it! in his most sad death.