The Paradise Mystery by J. S. Fletcher


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Paradise Mystery, by J. S. Fletcher

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Title: The Paradise Mystery

Author: J. S. Fletcher

Release Date: March, 2004 [EBook #5308]
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[This file was first posted on June 27, 2002]

[Date last updated: April 4, 2005]
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The Paradise Mystery
by J. S. Fletcher



American tourists, sure appreciators of all that is ancient
and picturesque in England, invariably come to a halt, holding
their breath in a sudden catch of wonder, as they pass through
the half-ruinous gateway which admits to the Close of
Wrychester. Nowhere else in England is there a fairer
prospect of old-world peace. There before their eyes, set in
the centre of a great green sward, fringed by tall elms and
giant beeches, rises the vast fabric of the thirteenth-century
Cathedral, its high spire piercing the skies in which rooks
are for ever circling and calling. The time-worn stone, at a
little distance delicate as lacework, is transformed at
different hours of the day into shifting shades of colour,
varying from grey to purple: the massiveness of the great nave
and transepts contrasts impressively with the gradual tapering
of the spire, rising so high above turret and clerestory that
it at last becomes a mere line against the ether. In morning,
as in afternoon, or in evening, here is a perpetual atmosphere
of rest; and not around the great church alone, but in the
quaint and ancient houses which fence in the Close. Little
less old than the mighty mass of stone on which their
ivy-framed windows look, these houses make the casual observer
feel that here, if anywhere in the world, life must needs run
smoothly. Under those high gables, behind those mullioned
windows, in the beautiful old gardens lying between the stone
porches and the elm-shadowed lawn, nothing, one would think,
could possibly exist but leisured and pleasant existence: even
the busy streets of the old city, outside the crumbling
gateway, seem, for the moment, far off.

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