A Family Feud

Mrs. A. L. Wister


Excerpt from A Family Feud: After the German of Ludwig Harder

The scene of our story is a province of Germany which, but moderately provided with railways, and almost secluded from the busy traffic of the present century, may be regarded as the very paradise of a landed aristocracy. It was towards the close of the summer; the sun was declining in the west, - its rays beamed with mocking splendour full in the faces of the light-haired, dull-faced peasants, who were occupied in gathering in their master's grain, and stole brightly from the busy harvest-fields into the gray stillness of the old mansion-house of Buchdorf, which lay with its front looking abroad into the green alleys of the park, while the windows at the back opened upon the spacious ill-paved court-yard surrounded by the farm-buildings and opening into the ancient avenue of lindens.

For miles around, forests, pasture-land, and cultured fields all belonged to the Arning estate. Its present possessor was a childless man of fifty-five, sturdy and well built in figure, with a sunburned face and blue eyes that beamed with good humour. He troubled himself not at all about the world in general, and very little indeed about the smaller world of his own estates, of which he, Kurt von Arning, owned four, - Ermsdal, the only one strictly entailed in the male line, Buchdorf, Harsbye, and Grasort.

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