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The Education of Eric Lane   By: (1888-1967)

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First Page:

THE SENSATIONALISTS: II

THE EDUCATION OF ERIC LANE

STEPHEN McKENNA

By STEPHEN McKENNA

THE SENSATIONALISTS PART ONE: LADY LILITH PART TWO: THE EDUCATION OF ERIC LANE PART THREE: In preparation

SONIA MARRIED SONIA MIDAS AND SON NINETY SIX HOURS' LEAVE THE SIXTH SENSE SHEILA INTERVENES

NEW YORK GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

THE EDUCATION OF ERIC LANE

BY

STEPHEN McKENNA

AUTHOR OF "LADY LILITH," "SONIA MARRIED," "MIDAS AND SON," "SONIA," "NINETY SIX HOURS' LEAVE," ETC.

NEW YORK GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

TO THE WITTIEST WOMAN IN LONDON

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I AN EXPERIMENT IN EMOTION 11

II LADY BARBARA NEAVE 52

III LASHMAR MILL HOUSE 88

IV INTERMEZZO 120

V MORTMAIN 149

VI DAME'S SCHOOL EDUCATION 184

VII EDUCATION FOR THOSE OF RIPER YEARS 210

VIII THE STRONGEST THING OF ALL 237

IX THE EDUCATION OF BARBARA NEAVE 260

THE EDUCATION OF ERIC LANE

"Because lust was not good enough, the Celt invented romance." SHANE LESLIE: The End of a Chapter.

THE EDUCATION OF ERIC LANE

CHAPTER ONE

AN EXPERIMENT IN EMOTION

". . . A genial . . . bachelor, whom the outside world called selfish because it derived no particular benefit from him. . . ." OSCAR WILDE: "THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY."

1

Eric Lane, visible only from ear to chin above the water line, peered through the steam of the bathroom at a travelling clock on his dressing table. The bath would have been improved by another half handful of verbena salts; but, even lacking this, the water was still too hot to be lightly dismissed with an aggrieved gurgle down the waste pipe. It was an added self indulgence to know that, if he lay gently boiling himself for more than another minute, he would be late for dinner with Lady Poynter; but, if any one had to suffer, let it be Lady Poynter. It was not his fault that the rehearsal of "The Bomb Shell" had dragged on until after seven; something had to be sacrificed the letters which his secretary had left for him to sign, or the hot bath, or the cigarette and glass of sherry as he dressed, or (in the last resort and quite obviously) Lady Poynter. He had already foregone a cocktail, which would have made him two minutes later.

As the water began to cool, Eric threw a towel over his shoulders, wiped the steam from the face of the clock and began to dry himself slowly, looking round with ever fresh delight at the calculated ingenuity of comfort in his new flat. It was his reward for the successful play. For ten years after coming down from Oxford he had lived in the Temple, first with Jack Waring and afterwards by himself; lonely, hard working years, when he had painfully learned the value of money and time. With one play running indefatigably, another rehearsing and a third in sight of completion, he had decided to construct a frame better suited to his new position. Ten years ago he had dreamed at Oxford of a day when he would burst upon London as a new young Byron; and, when the dream was almost forgotten, he found himself living in its midst. He was courted and quoted, photographed and "paragraphed"; Lady Poynter and the rich, malcontent world which aspired to intelligence humbly invited him to dine, and it did not matter whether she wanted to pay him homage or to exhibit him as her latest celebrity... Continue reading book >>




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