The Duke Comes Home

Barbara Cartland

Barbara Cartland Ebooks Ltd

This edition © 2018

Copyright Cartland Promotions 1984

eBook conversion by M-Y Books


Barbara Cartland, who sadly died in May 2000 at the grand age of ninety eight, remains one of the world’s most famous romantic novelists.  With worldwide sales of over one billion, her outstanding 723 books have been translated into thirty six different languages, to be enjoyed by readers of romance globally.

Writing her first book ‘Jigsaw’ at the age of 21, Barbara became an immediate bestseller.  Building upon this initial success, she wrote continuously throughout her life, producing bestsellers for an astonishing 76 years.  In addition to Barbara Cartland’s legion of fans in the UK and across Europe, her books have always been immensely popular in the USA.  In 1976 she achieved the unprecedented feat of having books at numbers 1 & 2 in the prestigious B. Dalton Bookseller bestsellers list.

Although she is often referred to as the ‘Queen of Romance’, Barbara Cartland also wrote several historical biographies, six autobiographies and numerous theatrical plays as well as books on life, love, health and cookery.  Becoming one of Britain’s most popular media personalities and dressed in her trademark pink, Barbara spoke on radio and television about social and political issues, as well as making many public appearances.

In 1991 she became a Dame of the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to literature and her work for humanitarian and charitable causes.

Known for her glamour, style, and vitality Barbara Cartland became a legend in her own lifetime.  Best remembered for her wonderful romantic novels and loved by millions of readers worldwide, her books remain treasured for their heroic heroes, plucky heroines and traditional values.  But above all, it was Barbara Cartland’s overriding belief in the positive power of love to help, heal and improve the quality of life for everyone that made her truly unique.


The Barbara Cartland Eternal Collection is the unique opportunity to collect as ebooks all five hundred of the timeless beautiful romantic novels written by the world’s most celebrated and enduring romantic author.

Named the Eternal Collection because Barbara’s inspiring stories of pure love, just the same as love itself, the books will be published on the internet at the rate of four titles per month until all five hundred are available.

The Eternal Collection, classic pure romance available worldwide for all time .

  1. Elizabethan Lover
  2. The Little Pretender
  3. A Ghost in Monte Carlo
  4. A Duel of Hearts
  5. The Saint and the Sinner
  6. The Penniless Peer
  7. The Proud Princess
  8. The Dare-Devil Duke
  9. Diona and a Dalmatian
  10. A Shaft of Sunlight
  11. Lies for Love
  12. Love and Lucia
  13. Love and the Loathsome Leopard
  14. Beauty or Brains
  15. The Temptation of Torilla
  16. The Goddess and the Gaiety Girl
  17. Fragrant Flower
  18. Look Listen and Love
  19. The Duke and the Preacher’s Daughter
  20. A Kiss for the King
  21. The Mysterious Maid-servant
  22. Lucky Logan Finds Love
  23. The Wings of Ecstacy
  24. Mission to Monte Carlo
  25. Revenge of the Heart
  26. The Unbreakable Spell
  27. Never Laugh at Love
  28. Bride to a Brigand
  29. Lucifer and the Angel
  30. Journey to a Star
  31. Solita and the Spies
  32. The Chieftain Without a Heart
  33. No Escape from Love
  34. Dollars for the duke
  35. Pure and Untouched
  36. Secrets
  37. Fire in the Blood
  38. Love, Lies and Marriage
  39. The Ghost who Fell in Love
  40. Hungry for Love
  41. The Wild Cry of Love
  42. The Blue-eyed Witch
  43. The Punishment of a Vixen
  44. The Secret of the Glen
  45. Bride to the King
  46. For All Eternity
  47. King in Love
  48. A Marriage made in Heaven
  49. Who can deny Love?
  50. Riding to the Moon
  51. Wish for Love
  52. Dancing on a Rainbow
  53. Gypsy Magic
  54. Love in the Clouds
  55. Count the Stars
  56. White Lilac
  57. Too Precious to Lose
  58. The Devil Defeated
  59. An Angel Runs Away
  60. The Duchess Disappeared
  61. The Pretty Horse-breakers
  62. The Prisoner of Love
  63. Ola and the Sea Wolf
  64. The Castle made for Love
  65. A Heart is Stolen
  66. The Love Pirate
  67. As Eagles Fly
  68. The Magic of Love
  69. Love Leaves at Midnight
  70. A Witch’s Spell
  71. Love Comes West
  72. The Impetuous Duchess
  73. A Tangled Web
  74. Love lifts the Curse
  75. Saved By A Saint
  76. Love is Dangerous
  77. The Poor Governess
  78. The Peril and the Prince
  79. A Very Unusual Wife
  80. Say Yes Samantha
  81. Punished with love
  82. A Royal Rebuke
  83. The Husband Hunters
  84. Signpost To Love
  85. Love Forbidden
  86. Gift Of the Gods
  87. The Outrageous Lady
  88. The Slaves Of Love
  89. The Disgraceful Duke
  90. The Unwanted Wedding
  91. Lord Ravenscar’s Revenge
  92. From Hate to Love
  93. A Very Naughty Angel
  94. The Innocent Imposter
  95. A Rebel Princess
  96. A Wish Comes True
  97. Haunted
  98. Passions In The Sand
  99. Little White Doves of Love
  100. A Portrait of Love
  101. The Enchanted Waltz
  102. Alone and Afraid
  103. The Call of the Highlands
  104. The Glittering Lights
  105. An Angel in Hell
  106. Only a Dream
  107. A Nightingale Sang
  108. Pride and the Poor Princess
  109. Stars in my Heart
  110. The Fire of Love
  111. A Dream from the Night
  112. Sweet Enchantress
  113. The Kiss of the Devil
  114. Fascination in France
  115. Love Runs In
  116. Lost Enchantment
  117. Love is Innocent
  118. The Love Trap
  119. No Darkness for Love
  120. Kiss from a Stranger
  121. The Flame Is Love
  122. A Touch of Love
  123. The Dangerous Dandy
  124. In Love In Lucca
  125. The Karma Of Love
  126. Magic For The Heart
  127. Paradise Found
  128. Only Love
  129. A Duel with Destiny
  130. The Heart of the Clan
  131. The Ruthless Rake
  132. Revenge is Sweet
  133. Fire on the Snow
  134. A Revolution of Love
  135. Love at the Helm
  136. Listen to Love
  137. Love Casts out Fear
  138. The Devilish Deception
  139. Riding in the Sky
  140. The Wonderful Dream
  141. This Time it’s Love
  142. The River of Love
  143. A Gentleman in Love
  144. The Island of Love
  145. Miracle for a Madonna
  146. The Storms of Love
  147. The Prince and the Pekingese
  148. The Golden Cage
  149. Theresa and a Tiger
  150. The Goddess of Love
  151. Alone in Paris
  152. The Earl Rings a Belle
  153. The Runaway Heart
  154. From Hell to Heaven
  155. Love in the Ruins
  156. Crowned with Love
  157. Love is a Maze
  158. Hidden by Love
  159. Love is the Key
  160. A Miracle in Music
  161. The Race for Love
  162. Call of the Heart
  163. The Curse of the Clan
  164. Saved by Love
  165. The Tears of Love
  166. Winged Magic
  167. Born of Love
  168. Love Holds the Cards
  169. A Chieftain Finds Love
  170. The Horizons of Love
  171. The Marquis Wins
  172. A Duke in Danger
  173. Warned by a Ghost
  174. Forced to Marry
  175. Sweet Adventure
  176. Love is a Gamble
  177. Love on the Wind
  178. Looking for Love
  179. Love is the Enemy
  180. The Passion and the Flower
  181. The Reluctant Bride
  182. Safe in Paradise
  183. The Temple of Love
  184. Love at First Sight
  185. The Scots Never Forget
  186. The Golden Gondola
  187. No Time for Love
  188. Love in the Moon
  189. A Hazard of Hearts
  190. Just Fate
  191. The Kiss of Paris
  192. Little Tongues of Fire
  193. Love Under Fire
  194. The Magnificent Marriage
  195. Moon over Eden
  196. The Dream and the Glory
  197. A Victory for Love
  198. A Princess in Distress
  199. A Gamble with Hearts
  200. Love Strikes a Devil
  201. In the Arms of Love
  202. Love in the Dark
  203. Love Wins
  204. The Marquis who Hated Women
  205. Love is Invincible
  206. Love Climbs in
  207. The Queen Saves the King
  208. The Duke Comes Home

Author’s Note

The ancestral homes in England thrill every tourist because so many of them are still lived in by their owners. Only by opening them to the public can they pay the rates, taxes, upkeep and repairs, which rise astronomically every year.

But what a joy and delight it is to see a house complete with its treasures collected over the centuries and know that it is still a home. In France the Châteaux are empty and in other parts of Europe only museums.

In England the Duke of Marlborough, descendant of the Great Duke, still lives at Blenheim Palace. The Earl Spencer, father of Diana, Princess of Wales, is the ninth Earl to live at Althorp and he and his wife, who is my daughter, are nearly always there at weekends to welcome the sightseers.

At Longleat, the attractive Marquis of Bath and his family show their visitors round and so does the Marquis of Tavistock who follows the example set by his father, the Duke of Bedford, at Woburn Abbey.

The National Trust owns and preserves more than two hundred historic buildings and they are visited annually by nearly five million people.

The Nizam of Hyderabad, at one time reputed to be the richest man in the world, owned the most fabulous jewels. The diamonds came from his own mines, among them the famous Koh-i-Noor, which is now incorporated in the Crown of England.




“ – to my only surviving child, my daughter Ilina, the Nizam’s jewels.”

The voice stopped and Mr. Wicker, the Solicitor, put down on the table the legal documents that he had been reading from.

Lady Ilina Bury stared at him in such surprise that her eyes seemed to fill the whole of her small face.

“Is that – all?” she asked in a voice that quivered.

Mr. Wicker found it difficult to look at her.

“I am afraid, Lady Ilina, that your father altered his will a year before he died. I argued with him at the time and hoped that it was just a passing phase, but then as you know he became unapproachable.”

“Just the – Nizam’s jewels!” Lady Ilina murmured beneath her breath.

Then the words seemed to burst from her lips as she added,

“He hated me! He hated me violently from the moment David was killed, so I suppose I might have expected something like this to happen.”

“Although I cannot believe,” Mr. Wicker answered, “that your father really hated you, if I am frank I would say that from the moment your brother died, his brain became a little deranged.”

Ilina nodded.

She knew that this was the truth and that her father was so desperately unhappy when his only son and heir was killed in Egypt in what was not even a battle but just a skirmish between British troops and some rebellious natives that he was no longer himself.

And yet she could hardly believe that the only thing he had left her in his will was something that did not in reality exist.

The Nizam’s jewels were a legend in the Bury family and it had amused Ilina and her brother David when they were children to search for them in the huge rambling house.

All that was known was that when in 1805 the Marquis of Bury returned from India where he had been serving under Sir Arthur Wellesley, he brought with him what was reported to be a fabulous and extremely valuable collection of jewels that had been given to him by the Nizam of Hyderabad.

History related that he had saved the Nizam’s life and in gratitude had been rewarded with huge diamonds from the Nizam’s own mines as well as emeralds, rubies, sapphires and inevitably large strings of pearls, which would be worth a fortune.

The Marquis, who had later become the second Duke of Tetbury, was, however, already a rich man and he had given them to his wife for safekeeping until the war was over.

When his father died in 1812 and he inherited the title, he set his estates in order and decided that he must fight again under the Duke of Wellington, who was now advancing into France with a large Army.

He was apparently welcomed by the great Duke with open arms, only unfortunately to be killed at the Battle of Waterloo.

It was a generation later that it was learnt from his letters, which had been kept by the Duchess, what had happened to the jewels.

In one of them he wrote,

“I would be worried my dearest wife, that you might be in fear of robbers and thieves had I not hidden the Nizam’s jewels in such a clever way that it would be impossible for any outsider to find them. Be very careful therefore not to mention where they are to any member of the household for, even though our servants have been with us for a long time, greed can sometimes undermine loyalty and, as we both already know, that  particular treasure is worth a great deal of money.”


He then went on to describe his activities as a soldier and there was no mention in that letter or any of his others of where the jewels had been hidden.

The Duchess died soon after her husband it was said of a broken heart, but either she did not have time or did not wish to confide to anybody where the jewels were hidden.

The story of their magnificence had intrigued and excited the children of each succeeding Duke and Ilina and her brother had been no exception.

Often when it rained David would say to her,

“Today we will go treasure hunting and I will bet you two sweets to one that we will find first the diamonds and then the rest of the spoils.”

The way he spoke always made Ilina feel that she was betting on a certainty only to find herself at the end of the day the recipient of his sweets while the treasure still evaded them.

Now, as she looked at Mr. Wicker in despair, she thought that despite the size of Tetbury Abbey they had over the years searched every nook and cranny from the attics to the cellars.

In fact she had long ago begun to suspect that the jewels either had never existed or had been stolen long ago.

That her father, whom she had tried to love, should have left her nothing else in his will was not only insulting but in his own rather cruel way was telling her how much he resented that he had no heir.

“Why were you not a boy?” he had asked furiously after David was killed.

Then in a different tone he shouted,

“I must be married. I am not too old to beget another son. Find me a wife. God damn you, there must be some woman who will have me!”

That he was crippled and unable to leave his bed would have made him an object of pity if he had not been so intensely disagreeable and so often cruel to Ilina that at times she felt that she would rather be dead like her brother.

Her father, the fifth Duke, had lived his life fully, handicapped only by the restriction of not having enough money.

When a fall out riding left him partially paralysed and unable to move unless he was carried, he railed against Fate.

He then found life so intolerable that the only solace he could find was in drinking until his fingers were distorted with gout.

Alcohol, however, did not make him merry but merely more aggressive and, as Ilina was the only person who would stay with him and tolerate his behaviour, she found herself enduring a life of such misery that, although she was unwilling to admit it, her father’s death was a merciful release.

And yet now he was stretching out beyond the grave to hurt her again.

Because she had known the grey-haired Solicitor all her life she said after a moment,

“What – can I do – Mr. Wicker?”

“I have lain awake asking myself that very question, Lady Ilina,” he replied, “and to be honest, I have not found an answer.”

Ilina rose to her feet and walked to the window to stand gazing out, not seeing the overgrown garden, the ancient oaks in the Park or the few remaining swans on the lake which would have died or flown away long ago if she had not remembered to feed them.

The sunlight touched her hair and Mr. Wicker thought as he had so often before that she was one of the loveliest girls he had ever seen.

Her gown, threadbare and out of date, did not disguise the elegant and youthful curves of her body.

He suddenly remembered with almost a start that she must be nearly twenty-one, having spent the last two years tied to a sick man’s room and having practically no contact with the outside world. And no longer a girl but a woman.

Now he said a little hesitatingly,

“I suppose there is no relation who you could go and live with?”

Ilina turned from the window.

“Who?” she asked. “You know that Papa quarrelled with everybody we are related to. He disliked them even before David was killed and afterwards refused to have anything to do with them.”

“Nevertheless, ‘blood is thicker than water’,” Mr. Wicker replied.

Ilina sighed.

“What do you think my life would be like if I foisted myself onto some distant cousin and could not even pay for the food I put into my mouth?”

Mr. Wicker’s lips tightened.

“I agree it is an intolerable situation and I only wish that there were something I could do about it.”

“Everything in the house and on the estate is entailed,” Ilina said as if she was talking to herself, “and I suppose the only things I could claim are the few pieces of furniture that belonged to Mama and there are not very many of those.”

Mr. Wicker was aware of this and said,

“There is just one thing which may help you, although I admit it is not very much.”

“What is that?”

“My partners and I sold a cottage on the outskirts of the estate a year ago,” Mr. Wicker explained. “I reckoned at the same time that you had spent some of the money your mother left on her death on things that were needed in the house.”

Ilina was listening intently as he went on.

“As we were aware of this cruel clause in your father’s will, we set aside fifty pounds of what we received for the cottage, which we considered to be yours, should necessity arise.”

Ilina smiled and it made her look lovelier than she was already.

“That was very kind of you, Mr. Wicker, and I shall be very grateful for the fifty pounds. It is almost exactly the amount I spent on a new kitchen stove when the old one was burnt out and Papa refused to replace it.”

She gave a little sigh before she continued,

“The rest of the money, which, as you know was less than one hundred pounds, has been spent on food, clothes and charities. The last, I regret to say, claimed a very small share.”

There was a faint smile on her lips and just a fleeting glimpse of two dimples one on either side of her mouth.

Then, as she walked back towards the old Solicitor, she declared,

“So I have fifty pounds and, of course, Pegasus! He is mine and nobody can dispute that.”

As Mr. Wicker knew, Pegasus was her adored horse, which her brother David had given her as a birthday present before he went abroad never to return.

He had then been only a foal, but Ilina had loved him and brought him up so that he followed her everywhere and came when she called as a child or a dog would have done.

She sat down on a chair facing the Solicitor and asked,

“What can I do? Shall I set off on Pegasus with my fifty pounds to seek my fortune or do I stay here and throw myself on the – mercy of the – new Duke?”

There was a note in her voice that told Mr. Wicker how disagreeable the second idea was to her.

“I am sure that His Grace will do his duty,” Mr. Wicker replied hastily.

“Duty! Duty!” Ilina cried. “I know exactly what that means. Christian charity and the expectation that I shall grovel and be effusively grateful for every crumb he allows me.”

The way she spoke made Mr. Wicker give a little laugh before he replied,

“Now, Lady Ilina, it need not be as bad as that. After all we know nothing about the new Duke and he may in fact be a charming man.”

“That was not Papa’s impression. He had always hated the new Duke’s father and used to refer to him as my ‘crooked cousin’.”

“I have heard His Grace say it,” Mr. Wicker admitted, “but I was never brave enough to ask the reason.”

“It was something quite simple,” Ilina said. “He either had charged my father too much for a horse he had bought for him or Papa suspected, without there being any foundation in fact that he cheated at cards.”

She gave a little sigh as she added,

“You know what Papa was like once he had an idea in his head.”

“I do indeed,” Mr. Wicker agreed, “and I know that there was no love lost between His Grace and Mr. Roland Bury.”

“Papa always said that his son Sheridan was a ‘chip off the old block’ and just as crooked and unpleasant as his father.”

“You have never met your cousin Sheridan?” Mr. Wicker enquired.

“You don’t suppose Papa would ever let Cousin Roland come here and his son being tarred with the same brush. Papa barred him too.”

“That all happened a long time ago,” Mr. Wicker pointed out in a tone that tried to be consoling. “After all the new Duke is now thirty-four or thirty-five and his father has been dead for years.”

“I know that, but Cousin Sheridan has been abroad for so long I doubt if he will understand English – ways and English requirements.”

The way Ilina spoke made Mr. Wicker aware that she was worrying about the estate, the pensioners and the few people they still employed who were really too old for a long day’s work.

“I am sure that His Grace will not be ungenerous,” he said hoping that what he was prophesying would be the truth.

“Supposing he is as hard up as I am?” Ilina asked. “I know his father did not have much money and the reason Cousin Sheridan went abroad was that he could not afford the gaieties he wished to enjoy in London.”

Mr. Wicker had no reply to this. He was only thinking that it would require a very rich man to restore Tetbury Abbey to what it had been in the past.

Originally until the time of King Henry VIII it had been a Monastery. Then every successive owner had added to it and altered it until it was difficult to believe that there had ever been anything sanctified about the building.

Even so Ilina often imagined that there was an air of Holiness about the Chapel, although it had been rebuilt and the cloisters, which had been preserved even when the rest of the house had been altered.

The first Duke had employed the leading architect of his time to practically rebuild the house altogether and its Palladian appearance was very impressive.

And yet there were parts dating from Queen Anne, Charles II and even Queen Elizabeth tucked away behind the great facade which made it, Ilina thought, very lovable and different from anybody’s else’s ancestral home.

Whatever her difficulties and unhappiness with her father, she had always felt as if she was part of The Abbey, that it protected her and as long as she was underneath its roof nothing could really harm her.

And yet now a stranger had inherited it, a stranger who was coming here to take her father’s place and every instinct in her rebelled against asking him to support her.

‘What can I do?’ she asked herself wildly and knew that Mr. Wicker was asking the same question.

Aloud she said,

“I shall have to find employment of some sort.”

“That is impossible.”


“I could give you a number of reasons,” Mr. Wicker replied. “The first is because you are who you are, and secondly you are far too lovely to earn your living in any way and to attempt to do so would be dangerous.”

“Dangerous?” Ilina queried.

Then she said,

“I suppose you are thinking that I might be – pursued or – insulted by men.”

“Of course I think that,” Mr. Wicker answered, “and you know that, if your mother was alive, by this time you would have made your curtsey to the Queen and had a Season in London. And doubtless by now you would be married.”

Ilina laughed and it was a very musical sound like the song of a bird.

“Oh, Mr. Wicker, you are a romantic! And even if Mama had been alive, I doubt if there would have been enough money for a Season in London and, if there are any eligible bachelors in this part of the world, I have yet to meet them.”

“You have not had the chance.”

As that was an indisputable fact, Ilina did not argue.

She only thought of how gloomy it had been, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, tending a sick man who growled and shouted at her and who refused to allow anybody to come into the house.

Her father had always been quarrelsome and after his accident he had a horror of being seen or pitied.

Looking back Ilina could only remember the doctor and Mr. Wicker and occasionally a local farmer or two ever coming to see her.

“It has been very depressing,” she said frankly, “but I cannot see that things will be very much better if I have to live in one of the cottages in the village. Fifty pounds will not keep me from starving for ever and I have to feed Pegasus.”

The urgency in her voice when she mentioned her horse was very obvious and Mr. Wicker answered,

“Yes, of course. We must not forget Pegasus.”

Then, as if he had made up his mind, he bent forward to say earnestly,

“Quite frankly, Lady Ilina, there is nothing you can do but stay here and, as there is nobody but you to run the house and the estate, I feel that the new Duke will find you very useful.”

“I doubt it. If he is like most people he will be a new broom wanting to sweep clean and the last thing he will want is somebody like me hanging round his neck and telling him how things were done in the past.”

The Solicitor did not reply and after a moment she asked him,

“There is not much – alternative – is there?”

“I am afraid not and quite frankly, Lady Ilina, you cannot be here on your own, as you must be well aware.”

“I shall be twenty-one in a month’s time.”

“Even at that great age,” Mr. Wicker said with a smile, “you cannot live by yourself or as you suggest, earn your own living.”

“It is really ridiculous, is it not,” Ilina asked, “that although I am well educated and without being conceited very well read, I cannot earn anything with my talents.”

“Ladies are not expected to earn their own living.”

“I am sure that most ladies enjoy playing the piano, sketching and entertaining their friends,” Ilina said, “but those comforts are what I cannot afford.”

Mr. Wicker sighed.

“I am afraid then you will have to ask the new Duke to look after you. After all that is what is expected of the Head of the Family.”

Ilina gave a little start.

“I have not really been thinking of him as the Head of the Family. Do you think when he arrives that the cousins and the other relations I have not seen for years will gather round him and perhaps also make demands on his purse?”

“If so, I can only hope it is a large one!” Mr. Wicker said a little cynically.