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The Gray Dawn   By: (1873-1946)

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First Page:

THE GREY DAWN

BY

STEWART EDWARD WHITE

Illustrated by Thomas Fogarty

ILLUSTRATIONS

They moved away, leaving Mrs. Morrell alone, biting her lips and planning revenges

King listened to him in silence

"Look here, don't try to come that rot. I said, get out and I mean it!"

"Call all you please," he sneered. "Nobody's going to pay any attention to your calls at Jake's Place!"

OTHER BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR

THE CLAIM JUMPERS THE WESTERNERS THE BLAZED TRAIL ARIZONA NIGHTS BLAZED TRAIL STORIES THE CABIN CAMP AND TRAIL CONJUROR'S HOUSE THE FOREST THE SIGN AT SIX THE RULES OF THE GAME

THE RIVERMAN THE SILENT PLACES THE ADVENTURES OF BOBBY ORDE THE MOUNTAINS THE PASS THE MAGIC FOREST THE LAND OF FOOTPRINTS AFRICAN CAMP FIRES THE REDISCOVERED COUNTRY GOLD THE MYSTERY (With Samuel Hopkins Adams)

THE GRAY DAWN

PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS IN TALE

MILTON KEITH: a young lawyer from Baltimore. NAN KEITH: his wife. JOHN SHERWOOD: a gambler. PATSY SHERWOOD: his wife. ARTHUR MORRELL: an English adventurer. MIMI MORRELL: his wife or mistress. BEN SANSOME: a lady killer, destined to become an "old beau." W. T. COLEMAN, or "old Vigilante," a leader. DAVID TERRY: a leader on the other side. JAMES KING OF WILLIAM: a modern Crusader. THE SPIRIT OF SAN FRANCISCO AND OTHERS

I

On the veranda of the Bella Union Hotel, San Francisco, a man sat enjoying his morning pipe. The Bella Union overlooked the Plaza of that day, a dusty, unkempt, open space, later to be swept and graded and dignified into Portsmouth Square. The man was at the younger fringe of middle life. He was dressed neatly and carefully in the fashionable costume of the time, which was the year of grace 1852. As to countenance, he was square and solid; as to physique, he was the same; as to expression, he inclined toward the quietly humorous; in general he would strike the observer as deliberately, philosophically competent. A large pair of steelbound spectacles sat halfway down his nose. Sometimes he read his paper through their lenses; and sometimes, forgetting, he read over the tops of their bows. The newspaper he held was an extraordinary document. It consisted of four large pages. The outside page was filled solidly with short eight or ten line advertisements; the second page grudgingly vouchsafed a single column of news items; the third page warmed to a column of editorial and another of news; all the rest of the space on these and the entire fourth page was again crowded close with the short advertisements. They told of the arrival of ships, the consignment of goods, the movements of real estate, the sales of stock, but mainly of auctions. The man paid little attention to the scanty news, and none at all to the editorials. His name was John Sherwood, and he was a powerful and respected public gambler.

The approach across the Plaza of a group of men caused him to lay aside his paper, and with it his spectacles. The doffing of the latter strangely changed his whole expression. The philosophical middle aged quietude fell from him. He became younger, keener, more alert. It was as though he had removed a disguise.

The group approaching were all young men, and all dressed in the height of fashion. At that rather picturesque time this implied the flat brimmed beaver hat; the long swallowtail, or skirted coat; the tight "pantaloons"; varicoloured, splendid, low cut waistcoats of satin, of velvet, or of brocade; high wing collars; varnished boots; many sparkling, studs and cravat pins; rather longish hair; and whiskers cut close to the cheek or curling luxuriantly under the chin. They were prosperous, well fed, arrogant looking youths, carrying their crests high, the light of questing recklessness in their eyes, ready to laugh, drink, or fight with anybody. At sight of Sherwood they waved friendly hands, and canes, and veered in his direction.

"Yo're just the man we are looking for!" cried a tall, dark, graceful young fellow, "We are all 'specially needful of wisdom. The drinks are on some one, and we cain't decide who... Continue reading book >>




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