The Swing of the Pendulum by Frances Peard Page 1 of 343

Chapter One.

The shallow North Sea had been fretted by a northerly gale, and the voyage from Hull even more than usually unpleasant, when the passengers on board the Eldorado struggled up to see the low-lying land which forms the entrance to Stavanger.

The vessel was crowded, but hardly any one had appeared at meals, and the groups on deck had been too much occupied with their own discomforts to do more than take a languid interest in each other. Now that the worst was over, this interest quickened.

Two ladies, a mother and daughter, were standing a little apart, when a gentleman strolled up to them. They greeted him with a smile.

"I have not seen you since the night you came on board; where have you been all the time?" he began.

"Don"t ask," said the elder lady, with a shudder. "For the first time in my life I have suffered the pangs of actual remorse, because I persuaded Millie to come. However, we are never going home again, that is quite decided."

"Unless we walk," said Millie firmly.

"Do you mean to land at Stavanger?"

"How can you ask? I would land anywhere, even on a desert island. Besides, we have been reading somebody"s Best Tour, and according to that it is the right way of going into Norway. Once adopt a guide-book, you become its slave."

"Then we shall be likely to jog along together, unless you object?" said Wareham, with a smile.

Millie looked at him with frank delight, her mother gave a quick glance, in which more mingled feelings might have been read. She made haste, however, to express her pleasure.

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