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CHAPTER I The blind Basket-maker and his family. It was a winter's day, and piercing cold; very few pedestrians were to be seen in Boston, and those few were carefully enveloped in warm cloak and great coats, for the weather was of that intense kind that chills the blood and penetrates to the very bone. Even Washington street—that great avenue of wealth and promenade of fashion, usually thronged with the pleasure-seeking denizens of the... more...

CHAPTER I   arl Ericson was being naughty. Probably no boy in Joralemon was being naughtier that October Saturday afternoon. He had not half finished the wood-piling which was his punishment for having chased the family rooster thirteen times squawking around the chicken-yard, while playing soldiers with Bennie Rusk. He stood in the middle of the musty woodshed, pessimistically kicking at the scattered wood. His face was stern, as became... more...

"I'm N. G.—that's a cinch! The sooner I chuck it the better!" Caught in the swirl of the busy city's midday rush, engulfed in Broadway's swift moving flood of hustling humanity, jostled unceremoniously by the careless, indifferent crowds, discouraged from stemming further the tide of pushing, elbowing men and women who hurried up and down the great thoroughfare, Howard Jeffries, tired and hungry and thoroughly disgusted with himself, stood... more...

I When old Mr. Marshall finally took to his bed, the household viewed this action with more surprise than sympathy, and with more impatience than surprise. It seemed like the breaking down of a machine whose trustworthiness had been hitherto infallible; his family were almost forced to the acknowledgement that he was but a mere human being after all. They had enjoyed a certain intimacy with him, in lengths varying with their respective ages, but... more...

CHAPTER I MONEY IN THE HOUSE I In the evening dimness of old Mrs. Maldon's sitting-room stood the youthful virgin, Rachel Louisa Fleckring. The prominent fact about her appearance was that she wore an apron. Not one of those white, waist-tied aprons, with or without bibs, worn proudly, uncompromisingly, by a previous generation of unaspiring housewives and housegirls! But an immense blue pinafore-apron, covering the whole front of the figure... more...


I Mrs Brindeley looked across the lunch-table at her husband with glinting, eager eyes, which showed that there was something unusual in the brain behind them. "Bob," she said, factitiously calm. "You don't know what I've just remembered!" "Well?" said he. "It's only grandma's birthday to-day!" My friend Robert Brindley, the architect, struck the table with a violent fist, making his little boys blink, and then he said quietly: "The... more...

THE LION'S SHARE I In the Five Towns the following history is related by those who know it as something side-splittingly funny—as one of the best jokes that ever occurred in a district devoted to jokes. And I, too, have hitherto regarded it as such. But upon my soul, now that I come to write it down, it strikes me as being, after all, a pretty grim tragedy. However, you shall judge, and laugh or cry as you please. It began in the little... more...

ENTER CHORUS A dry snow had fallen steadily throughout the still night, so that when a cold, upper wind cleared the sky gloriously in the morning the incongruous Indiana town shone in a white harmony—roof, ledge, and earth as evenly covered as by moonlight. There was no thaw; only where the line of factories followed the big bend of the frozen river, their distant chimneys like exclamation points on a blank page, was there a first threat... more...

Two gentlemen were seated, one March morning in 189—, in the private office of French and Company, Limited, on lower Broadway. Mr. Kirby, the junior partner—a man of thirty-five, with brown hair and mustache, clean-cut, handsome features, and an alert manner, was smoking cigarettes almost as fast as he could roll them, and at the same time watching the electric clock upon the wall and getting up now and then to stride restlessly back... more...

CHAPTER I. THE HOME OF THE ALLY "And because the town of this story is what it is, there came to dwell in it a Spirit—a strange, mysterious power—playful, vicious, deadly; a Something to be at once feared and courted; to be denied—yet confessed in the denial; a deadly enemy, a welcome friend, an all-powerful Ally." This story began in the Ozark Mountains. It follows the trail that is nobody knows how old. But mostly this... more...