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The Fortune Hunter   By: (1867-1911)

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First Page:

THE FORTUNE HUNTER

By

DAVID GRAHAM PHILLIPS

Author of

The Deluge, The Social Secretary, The Plum Tree, etc.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I ENTER MR. FEURSTEIN II BRASS OUTSHINES GOLD III FORTUNE FAVORS THE IMPUDENT IV A BOLD DASH AND A DISASTER V A SENSITIVE SOUL SEEKS SALVE VI TRAGEDY IN TOMKINS SQUARE VII LOVE IN SEVERAL ASPECTS VIII A SHEEP WIELDS THE SHEARS IX AN IDYL OF PLAIN PEOPLE X MR. FUERSTEIN IS CONSISTENT XI MR. FEURSTEIN'S CLIMAX XII EXIT MR. FUERSTEIN

THE FORTUNE HUNTER

I

ENTER MR. FEUERSTEIN

On an afternoon late in April Feuerstein left his boarding house in East Sixteenth Street, in the block just beyond the eastern gates of Stuyvesant Square, and paraded down Second Avenue.

A romantic figure was Feuerstein, of the German Theater stock company. He was tall and slender, and had large, handsome features. His coat was cut long over the shoulders and in at the waist to show his lines of strength and grace. He wore a pearl gray soft hat with rakish brim, and it was set with suspicious carelessness upon bright blue, and seemed to blazon a fiery, sentimental nature. He strode along, intensely self conscious, not in the way that causes awkwardness, but in the way that causes a swagger. One had only to glance at him to know that he was offensive to many men and fascinating to many women.

Not an article of his visible clothing had been paid for, and the ten cent piece in a pocket of his trousers was his total cash balance. But his heart was as light as the day. Had he not youth? Had he not health? Had he not looks to bewitch the women, brains to outwit the men? Feuerstein sniffed the delightful air and gazed round, like a king in the midst of cringing subjects. "I feel that this is one of my lucky days," said he to himself. An aristocrat, a patrician, a Hochwohlgeboren, if ever one was born.

At the Fourteenth Street crossing he became conscious that a young man was looking at him with respectful admiration and with the anxiety of one who fears a distinguished acquaintance has forgotten him. Feuerstein paused and in his grandest, most gracious manner, said: "Ah! Mr. Hartmann a glorious day!"

Young Hartmann flushed with pleasure and stammered, "Yes a GLORIOUS day!"

"It is lucky I met you," continued Feuerstein. "I had an appointment at the Cafe Boulevard at four, and came hurrying away from my lodgings with empty pockets I am so absent minded. Could you convenience me for a few hours with five dollars? I'll repay you to night you will be at Goerwitz's probably? I usually look in there after the theater."

Hartmann colored with embarrassment.

"I'm sorry," he said humbly, "I've got only a two dollar bill. If it would "

Feuerstein looked annoyed. "Perhaps I can make that do. Thank you sorry to trouble you. I MUST be more careful."

The two dollars were transferred, Feuerstein gave Hartmann a flourishing stage salute and strode grandly on. Before he had gone ten yards he had forgotten Hartmann and had dismissed all financial care had he not enough to carry him through the day, even should he meet no one who would pay for his dinner and his drinks? "Yes, it is a day to back myself to win fearlessly!"

The hedge at the Cafe Boulevard was green and the tables were in the yard and on the balconies; but Feuerstein entered, seated himself in one of the smoke fogged reading rooms, ordered a glass of beer, and divided his attention between the Fliegende Blatter and the faces of incoming men. After half an hour two men in an arriving group of three nodded coldly to him. He waited until they were seated, then joined them and proceeded to make himself agreeable to the one who had just been introduced to him young Horwitz, an assistant bookkeeper at a department store in Twenty third Street. But Horwitz had a "soul," and the yearning of that secret soul was for the stage. Feuerstein did Horwitz the honor of dining with him. At a quarter past seven, with his two dollars intact, with a loan of one dollar added to it, and with five of his original ten cents, he took himself away to the theater... Continue reading book >>




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