Von Hutten, Bettina: The Halo. V1. 12 May 2009
Von Hutten, Bettina, 1874-1957.
I found no detailed information about the author other than the quote from the Wikipedia article on Alistaire Cooke:
"While still in Britain, Cooke became engaged to Henrietta Riddle, the daughter of actor Henry Ainley and the novelist Bettina Riddle, also known as the Baroness von Hutten;"
A straight stretch of dusty Norman road dappled with grotesque shadows of the ancient apple-trees that, bent as if in patient endurance of the weight of their thick-set scarlet fruit, edged it on both sides.
Under one of the trees, his back against its gnarled trunk, sat an old man playing a cracked fiddle.
He played horribly, wrenching discords from the poor instrument, grinning with a kind of vacant malice as it shrieked aloud in agony, and rolling in their scarred sockets his long-blind eyes.