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The Definite Object A Romance of New York   By: (1878-1952)

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A Romance of New York



Author of The Broad Highway, The Amateur Gentleman, The Honourable Mr. Tawnish, Beltane the Smith



I Which Describes, among Other Things, a Pair of Whiskers II Of a Mournful Millionaire Who Lacked an Object III How Geoffrey Ravenslee Went Seeking an Object IV Telling How He Came to Hell's Kitchen at Peep o' Day V How Mrs. Trapes Acquired a New Lodger, Despite her Elbows VI How Spike Initiated Mr. Ravenslee into the Gentle Art of Shopping VII Concerning Ankles, Stairs, and Neighbourliness VIII Of Candies and Confidences IX Which Recounts the End of an Episode X Tells How Mr. Ravenslee Went into Trade XI Antagonism is Born and War Declared XII Containing Some Description of a Supper Party XIII Wherein may be Found Some Particulars of the Beautiful City of Perhaps XIV Of a Text, a Letter, and a Song XV Which Introduces Joe and the Old Un XVI Of the First and Second Persons, Singular Number XVII How Geoffrey Ravenslee Made a Deal in Real Estate XVIII How Spike Hearkened to Poisonous Suggestion and Soapy Began to Wonder XIX In which the Poison Begins to Work XX Of an Expedition by Night XXI How M'Ginnis Threatened and Went XXII Tells of an Early Morning Visit and a Warning XXIII Chiefly Concerning a Letter XXIV How the Old Un and Certain Others had Tea XXV How Spike Made a Choice and a Promise XXVI Which Makes Further Mention of a Ring XXVII Mrs. Trapes Upon the Millennium XXVIII Which should have Related Details of a Wedding XXIX In which Hermione Makes a Fateful Decision XXX How Geoffrey Ravenslee Departed from Hell's Kitchen XXXI In which Soapy Takes a Hand XXXII Of Harmony and Discord XXXIII Of Tragedy XXXIV Of Remorse XXXV How Geoffrey Ravenslee Came Out of the Dark XXXVI Concerning a Clew XXXVII The Woes of Mr. Brimberly XXXVIII In which Soapy Takes upon Himself a New Role XXXIX The Old Un Advises and Ravenslee Acts XL Concerning a Handful of Pebbles XLI Of a Packet of Letters XLII Tells How Ravenslee Broke his Word and Why XLIII How Spike Got Even XLIV Retribution XLV Of the Old Un and Fate XLVI In which Geoffrey Ravenslee Obtains his Object



In the writing of books, as all the world knows, two things are above all other things essential the one is to know exactly when and where to leave off, and the other to be equally certain when and where to begin.

Now this book, naturally enough, begins with Mr. Brimberly's whiskers; begins at that moment when he coughed and pulled down his waistcoat for the first time. And yet (since action is as necessary to the success of a book as to life itself) it should perhaps begin more properly at the psychological moment when Mr. Brimberly coughed and pulled down the garment aforesaid for the third time, since it is then that the real action of this story commences.

Be that as it may, it is beyond all question that nowhere in this wide world could there possibly be found just such another pair of whiskers as those which adorned the plump cheeks of Mr. Brimberly; without them he might have been only an ordinary man, but, possessing them, he was the very incarnation of all that a butler could possibly be.

And what whiskers these were! So soft, so fleecy, so purely white, that at times they almost seemed like the wings of cherubim, striving to soar away and bear Mr. Brimberly into a higher and purer sphere. Again, what Protean whiskers were these, whose fleecy pomposity could overawe the most superior young footmen and reduce page boys, tradesmen, and the lower orders generally, to a state of perspiring humility; to his equals how calmly aloof, how blandly dignified; and to those a misguided fate had set above him, how demurely deferential, how obligingly obsequious! Indeed, Mr... Continue reading book >>

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