Sigrid is pulled out of the orphanage convent she’s lived in her whole life to serve as a traveling companion to Lady Yelvertoun, who has been jumping about the world for more than two years now. That she hates Sigrid is plain but she also can’t be separated from her. Sir John first met her when they were in New England. Aboard the Columbia on their return to Old England, they meet again. John has become a friend of Hugh Gretton, an older gentleman of considerable wealth returning home to die on English soil. He keeps the severity of his condition from Millicent, his daughter, so as not to frighten her. At the sight of Sigrid and Yelvertoun, he suffers a severe stroke and dies. Millicent becomes John’s ward. John knows that he loves Sigrid, but Millicent is frail and delicate and — most importantly — accustomed to being indulged in all her whims. Right now, she want to marry John and he’s resigned to the fact.
Skipping to the end now because you’re only missing a lot of filler. Lady Yelvertoun was lawfully though secretly married to Hugh Huntingdon and bore a child. When the Earl of Yelvertoun became the most eligible bachelor in England, Yelvertoun trumped up charges against Hugh — sending him into self-imposed exile — and dumped the scarcely newborn baby at a convent. Sigrid, as she’s called, is Yelvertoun’s daughter. Millicent was not biologically related to Hugh Gretton, a.k.a. Hugh Huntingdon — she’s the orphaned daughter of his business partner. Never mind Millicent, though. Flighty and capricious, she breaks her engagement to elope with the present Earl of Yelvertoun. John and Sigrid are married.
Inscriptions: Stamped on the front end paper “Clinton, Maine”. Public library? School system? I don’t know — perhaps it was the town’s own personal copy.