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For reasons never explained to him, Edgar Arden was raised and educated on the Continent, away from his father and sister Clare. Now after the death of his father Edgar returns as squire of Arden Hall. The only shadows in his path are the enmity of the next heir, his cousin Arthur Arden, and vague rumours that Edgar is not the legitimate heir. But meanwhile he settles into his new role, and finds himself attracted to a neighbourhood family of lively girls. Unknown to Edgar his sister Clare has passionate feelings for her unprincipled cousin Arthur, both loving and hating him. Before long Arthur manipulates Clare into searching through old family papers - with devastating results.