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The Fortune Hunter   By: (1879-1933)

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First Page:

[Illustration: "You can be worth a million ... within a year"]

THE FORTUNE HUNTER

By

Louis Joseph Vance

Author Of "The Brass Bowl," "The Bronze Bell," Etc.

With illustrations by Arthur William Brown

1910

To George Spellvin, Esq.,

This book is cheerfully dedicated

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. FROM HIM THAT HATH NOT

II. TO HIM THAT HATH

III. INSPIRATION

IV. TRIUMPH OF MR. HOMER LITTLE JOHN

V. MARGARET'S DAUGHTER

VI. INTRODUCTION TO MISS CARPENTER

VII. A WINDOW IN RADVILLE

VIII. THE MAN OF BUSINESS IN EMBRYO

IX. SMALL BEGINNINGS

X. ROLAND BARNETTE'S FRIEND

XI. BLINKY LOCKWOOD

XII. DUNCAN'S GRUBSTAKE

XIII. THE BUSINESS MAN AND MR. BURNHAM XIV. MOSTLY ABOUT BETTY

XV. MANOEUVRES OF JOSIE

XVI. WHERE RADVILLE FEARED TO TREAD

XVII. TRACEY'S TROUBLES

XVIII. A BARGAIN IS A BARGAIN

XIX. PROVING THE PERSIPICUITY OF MR. KELLOGG

XX. ROLAND SHOWS HIS HAND

XXI. AS OTHERS SAW HIM

XXII. ROLAND'S TRIUMPH

XXIII. THE RAINBOW'S END

ILLUSTRATIONS

"You can be worth a million ... within a year"

"You mean you're going to work here?"

"Four hundred dollars, Mr. Sheriff"

"Betty!"

"You're a thief with a reward out for you"

"Forever and ever and a day"

I

FROM HIM THAT HATH NOT

Receiver at ear, Spaulding, of Messrs. Atwater & Spaulding, importers of motoring garments and accessories, listened to the switchboard operator's announcement with grave attention, acknowledging it with a toneless: "All right. Send him in." Then hooking up the desk telephone he swung round in his chair to face the door of his private office, and in a brief ensuing interval painstakingly ironed out of his face and attitude every indication of the frame of mind in which he awaited his caller. It was, as a matter of fact, anything but a pleasant one: he had a distasteful duty to perform; but that was the last thing he designed to become evident. Like most good business men he nursed a pet superstition or two, and of the number of these the first was that he must in all his dealings present an inscrutable front, like a poker player's: captains of industry were uniformly like that, Spaulding understood; if they entertained emotions it was strictly in private. Accordingly he armoured himself with a magnificent imperturbability which at times almost deceived its wearer.

Occasionally it deceived others: notably now it bewildered Duncan as he entered on the echo of Spaulding's "Come!" He had apprehended the visage of a thunderstorm, with a rattle of brusque complaints: he encountered Spaulding as he had always seemed: a little, urbane figure with a blank face, the blanker for glasses whose lenses seemed always to catch the light and, glaring, mask the eyes behind them; a prosperous man of affairs, well groomed both as to body and as to mind; a machine for the transaction of business, with all a machine's vivacity and temperamental responsiveness. It was just that quality in him that Duncan envied, who was vaguely impressed that, if he himself could only imitate, however minutely, the phlegm of a machine, he might learn to ape something of its efficiency and so, ultimately, prove himself of some worth to the world and, incidentally, to Nathaniel Duncan. Thus far his spasmodic attempts to adapt to the requirements and limitations of the world of business his own equipment of misfit inclinations and ill assorted abilities, had unanimously turned out signal failures. So he envied Spaulding without particularly admiring him.

Now the sight of his employer, professionally bland and capable, and with no animus to be discerned in his attitude, provided Duncan with one brief, evanescent flash of hope, one last expiring instant of dignity (tempered by his unquenchable humour) in which to face his fate. Something of the hang dog vanished from his habit and for a little time he carried himself again with all his one time grace and confidence.

"Good afternoon, Mr... Continue reading book >>




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