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The Face and the Mask   By: (1850-1912)

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E text prepared by Lee Dawei, Michelle Shephard, David Moynihan, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

The Face and the Mask

BY ROBERT BARR

[Illustration: "THE GIRL KISSED THE TIPS OF HER FINGERS."]

THE HON. WILLIAM E. QUINBY

( United States Minister to the Netherlands )

HAS HELPED SO MANY UNKNOWN LITERARY ASPIRANTS THAT HE CAN HARDLY HAVE HOPED TO ESCAPE THE DEDICATION TO HIM OF A BOOK BY AT LEAST ONE OF THEM

CONTENTS.

CHAP. I. THE WOMAN OF STONE II. THE CHEMISTRY OF ANARCHY III. THE FEAR OF IT IV. THE METAMORPHOSES OF JOHNSON V. THE RECLAMATION OF JOE HOLLENDS VI. THE TYPE WRITTEN LETTER VII. THE DOOM OF LONDON VIII. THE PREDICAMENT OF DE PLONVILLE IX. A NEW EXPLOSIVE X. THE GREAT PEGRAM MYSTERY XI. DEATH COMETH SOON OR LATE XII. HIGH STAKES XIII. "WHERE IGNORANCE IS BLISS" XIV. THE DEPARTURE OF CUB MCLEAN XV. OLD NUMBER EIGHTY SIX XVI. PLAYING WITH MARKED CARDS XVII. THE BRUISER'S COURTSHIP XVIII. THE RAID ON MELLISH XIX. STRIKING BACK XX. CRANDALL'S CHOICE XXI. THE FAILURE OF BRADLEY XXII. RINGAMY'S CONVERT XXIII. A SLIPPERY CUSTOMER XXIV. THE SIXTH BENCH

[Illustration]

The Personal Conductor: "It is a statue of no importance whatever."

The Personally Conducted: "Yes, but what does it mean?"

The Personal Conductor: "I don't suppose it means anything in particular. It is not by any well known artist and the guidebooks say nothing about it."

The Personally Conducted: "Perhaps the sculptor intended to typify life; the tragic face representing one side of existence and the comic mask another."

The Personal Conductor: "Very likely. This way to the Louvre, if you please."

THE WOMAN OF STONE.

Lurine, was pretty, petite , and eighteen. She had a nice situation at the Pharmacie de Siam, in the Rue St. Honoré. She had no one dependent upon her, and all the money she earned was her own. Her dress was of cheap material perhaps, but it was cut and fitted with that daintiness of perfection which seems to be the natural gift of the Parisienne, so that one never thought of the cheapness, but admired only the effect, which was charming. She was book keeper and general assistant at the Pharmacie, and had a little room of her own across the Seine, in the Rue de Lille. She crossed the river twice every day once in the morning when the sun was shining, and again at night when the radiant lights along the river's bank glittered like jewels in a long necklace. She had her little walk through the Gardens of the Tuileries every morning after crossing the Pont Royal, but she did not return through the gardens in the evening, for a park in the morning is a different thing to a park at night. On her return she always walked along the Rue de Tuileries until she came to the bridge. Her morning ramble through the gardens was a daily delight to her, for the Rue de Lille is narrow, and not particularly bright, so it was pleasant to walk beneath the green trees, to feel the crisp gravel under her feet, and to see the gleaming white statues in the sunlight, with the sparkle on the round fountain pond, by the side of which she sometimes sat. Her favorite statue was one of a woman that stood on a pedestal near the Rue de Rivoli. The arm was thrown over her head, and there was a smile on the marble face which was inscrutable. It fascinated the girl as she looked up to it, and seemed to be the morning greeting to her busy day's work in the city. If no one was in sight, which was often the case at eight o'clock in the morning, the girl kissed the tips of her fingers, and tossed the salute airily up to the statue, and the woman of stone always smiled back at her the strange mystical smile which seemed to indicate that it knew much more of this world and its ways than did the little Parisienne who daily gazed up at her.

Lurine was happy, as a matter of course, for was not Paris always beautiful? Did not the sun shine brightly? And was not the air always clear? What more, then, could a young girl wish? There was one thing which was perhaps lacking, but that at last was supplied; and then there was not a happier girl in all Paris than Lurine... Continue reading book >>




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