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Danger Or, Wounded in the House of a Friend   By: (1809-1885)

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DANGER;

OR, WOUNDED IN THE HOUSE OF A FRIEND.

BY

T. S. ARTHUR,

AUTHOR OF "THREE YEARS IN A MAN TRAP," "CAST ADRIFT," "TEN NIGHTS IN A BAR ROOM," ETC., ETC.

PHILADELPHIA, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO, ST. LOUIS AND SAN FRANCISCO.

1875

PREFACE.

ALL efforts at eradicating evil must, to be successful, begin as near the beginning as possible. It is easier to destroy a weed when but an inch above the ground than after it has attained a rank growth and set its hundred rootlets in the soil. Better if the evil seed were not sown at all; better if the ground received only good seed into its fertile bosom. How much richer and sweeter the harvest!

Bars and drinking saloons are, in reality, not so much the causes as the effects of intemperance. The chief causes lie back of these, and are to be found in our homes. Bars and drinking saloons minister to, stimulate and increase the appetite already formed, and give accelerated speed to those whose feet have begun to move along the road to ruin.

In "THREE YEARS IN A MAN TRAP" the author of this volume uncovered the terrible evils of the liquor traffic; in this, he goes deeper, and unveils the more hidden sources of that widespread ruin which is cursing our land. From the public licensed saloon, where liquor is sold to men not to boys, except in violation of law he turns to the private home saloon, where it is given away in unstinted measure to guests of both sexes and of all ages, and seeks to show in a series of swiftly moving panoramic scenes the dreadful consequences that flow therefrom.

This book is meant by the author to be a startling cry of "DANGER!" Different from "THE MAN TRAP," as dealing with another aspect of the temperance question, its pictures are wholly unlike those presented in that book, but none the less vivid or intense. It is given as an argument against what is called the temperate use of liquor, and as an exhibition of the fearful disasters that flow from our social drinking customs. In making this argument and exhibition the author has given his best effort to the work.

WOUNDED IN THE HOUSE OF A FRIEND.

CHAPTER I.

SNOW had been falling for more than three hours, the large flakes dropping silently through the still air until the earth was covered with an even carpet many inches in depth.

It was past midnight. The air, which had been so still, was growing restless and beginning to whirl the snow into eddies and drive it about in an angry kind of way, whistling around sharp corners and rattling every loose sign and shutter upon which it could lay its invisible hands.

In front of an elegant residence stood half a dozen carriages. The glare of light from hall and windows and the sound of music and dancing told of a festival within. The door opened, and a group of young girls, wrapped in shawls and waterproofs, came out and ran, merrily laughing, across the snow covered pavement, and crowding into one of the carriages, were driven off at a rapid speed. Following them came a young man on whose lip and cheeks the downy beard had scarcely thrown a shadow. The strong light of the vestibule lamp fell upon a handsome face, but it wore an unnatural flush.

There was an unsteadiness about his movements as he descended the marble steps, and he grasped the iron railing like one in danger of falling. A waiter who had followed him to the door stood looking at him with a half pitying, half amused expression on his face as he went off, staggering through the blinding drift.

The storm was one of the fiercest of the season, and the air since midnight had become intensely cold. The snow fell no longer in soft and filmy flakes, but in small hard pellets that cut like sand and sifted in through every crack and crevice against which the wild winds drove it.

The young man boy, we might better say, for, he was only nineteen moved off in the very teeth of this storm, the small granules of ice smiting him in the face and taking his breath... Continue reading book >>




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