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E debonair, in his twenty-seventh yond that nothing
stars surrounded by a hazy aureola. Be
yond that—nothing. Sounds of traffic year, came face to face with in
on a nearby thoroughfare came to him exorable poverty. He had always dimly muffled and indistinct. It was a bad night realized that this would be the inevitable to be abroad. Fortunately, he did not end, but he had not expected that the live far away. He could walk home.
. sensation of being penniless would be felt Home! In a few days he would have no so keenly at once, that its attributes would home. The thought struck him with an become immediately effective. It was like intensity that caused him to stop suddenly leaping from a warm bed into a tank of and then go on at a much slower gait. icy water. Yesterday he was Ernest It was difficult to believe that this had Carruthers, gentleman; tomorrow he been his last dinner. It had been a perwould be a nobody. For a moment he fect one. Yet for all its perfection, he, considered the possibility of putting up a Ernest Carruthers had been what is front, hanging on, in spite of the sneers popularly known as “the life of the and innuendos behind his back and the
party.” His conversation had never been elaborate schemes his friends would de more sparkling, his epigrams vise for avoiding him. No, that would pointed. He had kept everyone in a connot be like Ernest Carruthers. He would stant flutter of applause of his drollery face the condition boldly.
and quaint inconsistencies. He had In his musing he had forgotten the earnestly stated that the high cost of attendant who had helped him with his living was due to the extravagances of coat and who now stood patiently waiting the idle rich and then had tipped his to call a taxi. He dismissed the man waiter ten dollars—the last ten he poswith a nod and a curt: “Never mind, I'll sessed. In short, he had been Ernest walk.”.
Carruthers at his best. The situation had its humorous side The reflection afforded him a brief Ernest Carruthers walking because he did thrill of satisfaction which was, the next not have taxi fare. With a wry smile, he moment, swallowed in the overwhelming adjusted his muffler against the raw, gloom of what the future had in store for damp air, and made his way down the him. Well, it was to be expected. A broad steps of the Courtney home into the
young man with limited resources and a December night. A typical San Francisco taste for luxury is a combination that profog hung over the city, so heavy that it duces no other result. The small fortune dampened his hands and face and depos- which he had inherited had soon melted ited little beads of moisture on his over in the feverish whirl of gaiety. Dinners, coat. The street lights were like pale a season or two at Coronado, a chartered
yacht, the races, his clubs, all had claimed ventions don't count for much when a their share. Right merrily he had danced, person's hungry, do they? I'll go." and now the piper was demanding pay The lobby was deserted and the automent. The pay was not, however, of a matic elevator took them to Carruthers' monetary nature. Quite on the contrary floor unobserved. Even if someone had it was a handy little automatic pistol in seen him letting a girl into his apartment, his writing desk.
what did it matter. It rather amused him He mentally arranged the actions of his to speculate upon the wealth of imaginalast hour, planning every step carefully
tion that would be wasted in connecting and with as infinite regard for detail as up the girl's visit with his death. Cara dramatist shaping the climax of his ruthers shot a quick glance at her as he play. He would slip into his lounging touched the switch and the room sprang robe; and then, seated at the desk, he into light. She seemed unperturbed at would reach for the automatic. The shot the prospect of dining in a strange man's would be through the heart. Everything apartment. would be well arranged and smoothly "Make yourself at home," he said, pullcarried out with none of the usual messy ing a great leather chair in front of the details. The morning newspapers would radiator. "Sit down and warm yourself, carry the story that Ernest Carruthers, I'll have dinner ready in a jiffy." society man, had accidentally shot him
When he returned from the kitchen self while cleaning his pistol.
with a tray containing a smoking dish of All of this had passed through Car- ham and eggs and a pot of coffee, she was ruthers' mind when he was aroused from curled up in the chair with an air of being his reverie by a shadowy patch that entirely at ease. He placed the tray upon suddenly loomed up in the fog directly the table, pulled up a chair for her, and ahead of him. His endeavor to step moved back into the shadows where he aside came too late; he bumped squarely could study the details of her appearinto it. There was a muffled feminine
ance; the metallic shimmer of reddish cry. A cylindrical object slipped from brown hair under her black tam-othe girl's arms and broke into fragments shanter, her intensely blue eyes, the slight on the sidewalk.
upward turn of her nose, the trim blue "I beg your pardon,” Carruthers skirt, the blouse open at the throat, her stammered, "the fog—so thick I didn't silken hose with a rent neatly mended. see you. Your package—I'm afraid it's He noticed also that the oval face was a broken. I hope it wasn't something that little too pale to match the rosiness of her can't be replaced."
cheeks. There was something about her "It was a bottle of milk. I haven't face that Carruthers could not underhad my dinner yet, and the store is stand. It lacked the hardness, the inconclosed."
cealable touch of coarseness that stamps “Jove, that's too bad,” he said, con the sort of women who call at bachelor tritely. “I'm awfully sorry. You must apartments. Yet there was a provocative let me buy your dinner for you."
expression about her eyes. Plainly she He had scarcely made the proposal was a type he had never before encounwhen he realized the extreme awkward tered. He was conscious of a growing ness of his position. He quickly amended irritation at being unable to catalogue the invitation. “No, I'll have to take her. As she finished the repast he turned that back. Frankly, I haven't any money
suddenly upon her. with me, but if you care to accompany me "Who are you?" he said, "and why to my apartment—it's only a half block should you come here? You don't look from here—I think I can find some ham
woman of the streets, yet you and eggs. I know it isn't the conventional accept the invitation of a man you have thing to do,” he struggled on, aware that never seen before and visit his apartment he was making a mess of it, “but if you at night. What am I to think? if that will"
The girl laughed roguishly. “My name The girl shrugged her shoulders. "Con is—well, you may call me Toto. As for
SOMETHING ALWAYS TURNS UP
who I am:
as the uncertainties of life. That alone acquainted enough with human nature to makes it worth while." know that a man doesn't attempt to She surveyed the room with an appraisseduce a girl with an offer of ham and ing glance before she continued. eggs.
"You have a cozy little nest here. It There was a brief pause and then she
must have cost you a pretty sum to furfaced her host squarely.
nish it. Those candle sticks,” she nodded
toward the silver candelabrum on the “So you have planned to end it all tonight?"
mantle—“must be worth close to a hun
dred dollars." Carruthers made a sign of bewilder
to thousand. They're ment.
Georgian silver.” “Oh, come now, you can be frank with Remember, I have never seen you
“I know a pawn shop where they would
bring you enough to live comfortably for before.”
several months. By that time something "You are a foolish child."
will turn up. Why not try it? You don't “Am I?" she laughed. “A well dressed know how interesting it is, this living withman with not enough money in his out a future. It's like being the principal pockets to pay for a table d'hote"
character in a story which the author "I might have been gambling and hasn't completed." lost”
Carruthers shook his head. “Your —“and who has left his revolver lying philosophy is not mine. I couldn't live on a pile of unpaid bills, what am I to the life you describe if I tried. My breedthink?"
ing, my training, all of me would revolt Carruthers was at the writing desk in against it. There is such a thing as selftwo rapid strides. It was locked. He
respect. I must live decently, or not turned slowly and faced her.
at all.” "You have the revolver?”
“So you are a coward, eh? Afraid to "No, it's in the desk; but I have the play the game squarely? You have taken key."
all the good things life has given you, and “Why?"
now you want to quit." She resorted to a characteristic shrug “But
you don't understand, 1-" of her shoulders. "How do I know? A
“Understand!” Her fury burst upon woman doesn't act by reason. That's
him, the suddenness of a summer thunder why she can always be depended upon to
shower. "Oh, yes, I understand. Your do the right thing. Perhaps it was the
breed is not so scarce that I haven't enfascination of influencing the life of some
countered it. You are M'sieu Respectaone else; perhaps experience has given bility. You have culture, breeding, posime something that you lack-optimism.
tion, everything that makes you, oh, far No matter what kind of a fix you're in, superior to those people whose everyday something always turns up. An hour ago life is never-ending, soul-wearing I had visions of dining on crackers and struggle against poverty and misfortune. . milk; yet here, I have just enjoyed a
But remove you from your little, prosumptuous repast of ham and eggs, and
tected sphere and what happens ? Are coffee which was excellent. Permit me
you willing to make the same fight against to compliment you upon it. After all,
the same odds as they? No, you
lie there is a world of truth in the saying that
down and whine—whine like a whipped it is always darkest before dawn."
pup. Where then is your superiority ? "Dawn is the beginning of a day,” he Bah!” replied, continuing the simile, "this is She leaped from her chair, ran to the the end.”
writing desk, and opened it. “But there are other days. It is fascin "Here is your revolver. Perhaps you ating to contemplate what tomorrow will had the right solution to the problem bring. Always something new, something after all. Do me the favor of waiting in unexpected. There is nothing so certain
(Continued on Page 93)
In Realm of Bookland WWW WWWWW
AMERICA'S LITERARY FUTURE the reign of Louis XIV and Louis XV Very interesting are the recently pub- which he associates with the flowering lished opinions of Anatole France, on the
of French culture, were followed by the prospects of literature in America. The Reign of Terror in which Louis XVI and famous French novelist sees old Europe
Marie Antoinette lost their heads in the dying, and predicts the expansion of
guillotine. nations, economically more powerful, The Golden Age of Art in Athenian with the United States growing in wealth history preceded the war of the Grecian while Europe is going bankrupt. But
states for pre-eminence, which ended what of the literary possibilities of after sixty years in the surrender of America as seen by the Paris litterateur?
Athens and the transfer of political leadAmerica has already contributed a ership to the rugged Spartans, who devigorous theme in its literature the out spised all art save that of war. doors-admits Monsieur France. The Is pre-eminence in Art an indication of works of such men as Bret Harte and
national deterioration in the sterner qualiJack London are invigorating to a world
ties that enable nations to triumph in the which has lived, perhaps, too closeted. eternal struggle for existence? What an But France sees no especial reason why interesting book might be written on that there should come out of America litera- subject by Anatole France. ture more than out of any other new nation. Literature is not produced neces
BRITISH OUTLOOK DUBIOUS sarily in proportion to the number of Recent reports of the publishing busipeople in a land.
a land. It is usually the ness in London describe the British situametier of a small number of people. tion as rather discouraging to authors.
Monsieur France points out that the Books are being talked about rather than most favorable conditions for the produc- published. Will the public stand higher tion of copious literature, are such as pre. prices? There is a remarkable concurvailed under Louis XIV and Louis XV, rence of opinion that they will not. One who were absolute monarchs, and pro of the best known of London bookselling tectors of the old regime, with its many firms says that buyers are being frightened privileges of a recognized leisure class. away, and that instead of a great revival The population of France was then small, in trade, which seemed possible, a few but the wars were carried on by mer months
ago, a very doubtful
is cenaries. Conscription of the youth of portended. France had not yet been established. The door is being barred to "first “The king can do no wrong!” was still
novels." It gives the author no royalty a loyal fiction accepted without protest on the first thousand copies, 20 per cent by the people.
on the second thousand, and 10 per cent In ancient Athens the social conditions on the residue. Thus the author's profit were similar, as the state possessed a lies in a sort of equatorial region which leisure class, whose drudgery was done he is very unlikely to see at all. “No first by slaves and whose wars were fought work of literary merit can hope to sell by slaves.
more than a thousand copies" is not an In reading Monsieur France's remarks excessive statement today, and it means on the Golden Age of literature in his that the author suffers a net loss on his land, one cannot exclude the thought that typewriting alone.
IN REALM OF BOOKLAND
After reading the numerous letters from Overland Monthly readers eager to express
the pleasure afforded them by Mrs. Caroline Katherine Franklin's serial, “The Black Opal,” one cannot doubt that the story was a gratifying success fronı the publishers' point of view. Magazine publishers sense the success or failure of a novel, before the writer has had full opportunity to learn the result. While a serial is running, subscribers write to the editor, in commendation or condemnation of the serial. It is a failing of human nature that the faultfinders are usually more determined to make their sentiments known.
With Mrs. Franklin's cheery narrative, nobody had an) quarrel.
The eulogists wer: many and the complainants non-existent, according to the letters received by the Over
Carolinc Katherine Franklin. land Monthly. It is pleasant to announce that Mrs. Franklin's second "THE ADVENTUROUS LADY" serial, “From a Clear Sky,” now appear
A literary event of moment is the aning in the Overland, is as satisfactory to
nouncement by D. Appleton & Company the reading public as its predecessol. that they have published a new novel by scarcely a mail, but some subscriber in
J. C. Snaith, entitled “The Adventurous forms the editorial offices that the serial Lady.” This volume marks a departure meets expectations. Mrs. Franklin is
from Mr. Snaith's earlier noted sucfinding the road of authorship much
cesses, “The Sailor,” and “The Undepleasanter than many who set out with feated,” in that it is a sparkling social high hopes
. The secret of her success is comedy. A whimsical wit and skilful proclaimed by her brilliant work in the manipulation of plot and all the author's Överland—talent, technique and pains- keenness of character delineation are taking industry.
brought into full play. Delightful situa"The Editor," which has a wide circu tions center about a titled lady who lation among people interested in Ameri- changes places with a governess while can literature, has considered it worth they are both traveling to a common deswhile to publish a history of Mrs. Frank- tination where neither of them is known. lin's serial, “The Black Opal,” which appeared in the Overland. Mrs. Franklin has had an attractive proposition from H. G. Wells, who had been planning to a prominent producing company for the come to America in January for a lecture film rights and the production will carry tour, will be among those who are to repthe inscription, "First published in the resent Great Britain at the Pilgrim's Overland Monthly.”