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The Gay Cockade   By: (-1953)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: AND HERE, DAY AFTER DAY, HE SAT ALONE]

THE GAY COCKADE

BY TEMPLE BAILEY

AUTHOR OF THE TRUMPETER SWAN, THE TIN SOLDIER, Etc.

FRONTISPIECE BY C.E. CHAMBERS

[Illustration]

GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS NEW YORK Made in the United States of America

COPYRIGHT 1921 BY THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY

[Illustration]

Manufacturing Plant Camden, N.J.

Made in U.S.A.

The Gay Cockade

For permission to reprint some of the stories in this volume, the author is indebted to the courtesy of the editors of Harper's Magazine , Scribner's Magazine , Collier's Magazine , Ladies' Home Journal , Saturday Evening Post , Good Housekeeping , and Harper's Bazar .

Contents

THE GAY COCKADE 7

THE HIDDEN LAND 33

WHITE BIRCHES 84

THE EMPEROR'S GHOST 118

THE RED CANDLE 132

RETURNED GOODS 149

BURNED TOAST 165

PETRONELLA 187

THE CANOPY BED 205

SANDWICH JANE 223

LADY CRUSOE 272

A REBELLIOUS GRANDMOTHER 310

WAIT FOR PRINCE CHARMING 327

BEGGARS ON HORSEBACK 351

THE GAY COCKADE

THE GAY COCKADE

From the moment that Jimmie Harding came into the office, he created an atmosphere. We were a tired lot. Most of us had been in the government service for years, and had been ground fine in the mills of departmental monotony.

But Jimmie was young, and he wore his youth like a gay cockade. He flaunted it in our faces, and because we were so tired of our dull and desiccated selves, we borrowed of him, remorselessly, color and brightness until, gradually, in the light of his reflected glory, we seemed a little younger, a little less tired, a little less petrified.

In his gay and gallant youth there was, however, a quality which partook of earlier times. He should, we felt, have worn a feather in his cap and a cloak instead of his Norfolk coat. He walked with a little swagger, and stood with his hand on his hip, as if his palm pressed the hilt of his sword. If he ever fell in love, we told one another, he would, without a doubt, sing serenades and apostrophize the moon.

He did fall in love before he had been with us a year. His love affair was a romance for the whole office. He came among us every morning glorified; he left us in the afternoon as a knight enters upon a quest.

He told us about the girl. We pictured her perfectly before we saw her, as a little thing, with a mop of curled brown hair; an oval face, pearl tinted; wide, blue eyes. He dwelt on all her small perfections the brows that swept across her forehead in a thin black line, the transparency of her slender hands, the straight set of her head on her shoulders, the slight halt in her speech like that of an enchanting child.

Yet she was not in the least a child. "She holds me up to my best, Miss Standish," Jimmie told me; "she says I can write."

We knew that Jimmie had written a few things, gay little poems that he showed us now and then in the magazines. But we had not taken them at all seriously. Indeed, Jimmie had not taken them seriously himself.

But now he took them seriously. "Elise says that I can do great things. That I must get out of the Department."

To the rest of us, getting out of the government service would have seemed a mad adventure... Continue reading book >>




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