John Smith, a writer, is visiting his friend Colonel Cathcart for the Christmas holidays. While there, he meets and befriends the town's curate, schoolmaster and a young doctor who is new to that town.
Miss Adela Cathcart, whose health is failing, is the main subject of this book. John and the young doctor seek to bring Adela back to good health by beginning a story club in her home. Adela's aunt and would-be mother-in-law sees the young doctor as a threat to her plans for Adela.
The story club meets around the fireplace in the Colonel's home. Stories and ballads are read to Adela, with the hope of lifting her spirits and giving her something worth thinking about.--Submitted by Anonymous
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