The Amazing Adventures of Letitia Carberry
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Mary Roberts Rinehart was born Mary Ella Roberts in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, now a part of Pittsburgh. Her father was a frustrated inventor, and throughout her childhood, the family often had financial problems. Left-handed at a time when that was considered inappropriate, she was trained to use her right hand instead. She attended public schools and graduated at age 16, then enrolled at the Pittsburgh Training School for Nurses at Pittsburgh Homeopathic Hospital, where she graduated in 1896. She described the experience as "all the tragedy of the world under one roof." After graduation, she married Stanley Marshall Rinehart (1867–1932), a physician she had met there. They had three sons and one daughter: Stanley Jr., Frederick, Alan, and Elizabeth Glory. During the stock market crash of 1903, the couple lost their savings, spurring Rinehart's efforts at writing as a way to earn income. She was 27 that year, and produced 45 short stories. In 1907, she wrote The Circular Staircase, the novel that propelled her to national fame. According to her obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1958, the book sold 1.25 million copies. Her regular contributions to The Saturday Evening Post were immensely popular and helped the magazine mold American middle-class taste and manners. In 1911, after the publication of five successful books and two plays, the Rineharts moved to Glen Osborne, Pennsylvania, where they purchased a large home at the corner of Orchard and Linden Streets called "Cassella." Before they moved into the house, however, Mrs. Rinehart had to have the house completely rebuilt, as it had fallen into disrepair. "The venture was mine, and I had put every dollar I possessed into the purchase. All week long I wrote wildly to meet the payroll and contractor costs." she wrote in her autobiography. In 1925, the Rineharts sold the house to the Marks family and the house was demolished in 1969. Today, a Mary Roberts Rinehart Nature Park sits in the borough of Glen Osborne at 1414 Beaver Street, Sewickley, Pennsylvania. Rinehart's commercial success sometimes conflicted with her domestic roles of wife and mother, yet she often pursued adventure, including a job as a war correspondent for The Saturday Evening Post at the Belgian front during World War I.During her time in Belgium, she interviewed Albert I of Belgium, Winston Churchill and Mary of Teck, writing of the latter, "This afternoon I am to be presented to the queen of England. I am to curtsey and to say 'Your majesty,' the first time!"Rinehart was working in Europe in 1918 to report on developments to the War Department and was in Paris when the armistice was signed.
dream; Lizzie and I both saw it. The pipe-moulding over Aggie’s bed is pulled loose from the wall and bent down.” Tommy stared at us both. Then he whistled. “No!” he said, and fell into a deep study, with his hands in his heavy thatch of hair. After a minute he got off the bed and sauntered toward the door. “I’ll just wander in and have a look at it,” he said, and disappeared. It was Tish’s suggestion that we put the light out and sit in the dark. Probably Tommy’s nearness gave us courage. As
of stairs from this end of the hall, not far from this very room. Nobody was anxious to lead off, but Miss Blake seemed determined to go back and prove she hadn’t been asleep, and at last they moved off huddled in a group and left me there. (You haven’t got a spite against my right shoulder, have you?) Miss Lewis followed them.” “I didn’t,” said Miss Lewis sourly. Tish turned and looked up at her over her shoulder, “You looked as if you were going to, and you know it,” she asserted. “And don’t
finger; I’m going home.” “Don’t be an ass,” said the red-haired gentleman. “These women in here came over the transom from the next room. It’s empty.” “Good gracious!” Aggie gasped. “I left my forms hanging to the gas jet!” The red-haired man backed into the hall, but he still held the door. “I’m going home,” said our Mr. Lewis again. “I’m sick of things around here, anyhow. I’ve got a chance to get an orange grove cheap in California.” “Fiddlesticks!” retorted the red-haired man, “Why don’t
looked up at our cottage. “Bless their dear, romantic hearts!” said the girl. I was glad Tish was asleep. “They should have been pirates!” said the man. “They are true old sports. I suppose they’ve had their catnip tea by now and are sound asleep. Beloved!” he said, and held out his arms again. Pirates! I went back to bed in a rage, but I couldn’t sleep. Somehow I kept seeing that young idiot holding out his arms, and I felt lonely. Finally I filled the hot-water bottle and put it at my back.
apron belt a twitch. “At twelve o’clock!” Tish repeated, and then Miss Lewis gave it up. “Very well,” she said unpleasantly. “Does it make any difference what I eat?” “None whatever. And now send me the Smith woman,” said Tish calmly. “And shut the door. There’s a draught.” Miss Lewis slammed out. And whatever reason Tish had for wanting to get rid of her at noon, she deigned no explanation. In ten minutes Miss Smith knocked at the door and came in. She looked tired, but cheerful. “Do you