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H. R.   By: (1871-1943)

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First Page:


SAMPSON ROCK OF WALL STREET. Illustrated. Post 8vo. H. R. Illustrated. Post 8vo.



[Illustration: H. R.]




Copyright, 1915, by Harper & Brothers


My dear Bob: In dedicating this book to you, I do more than follow the selfish impulse of pleasing myself. It was you who warned me that none of the usual fiction labels would fit "H. R." To irritate the reader by compelling him to think in order to understand was, you told me, both unfair and unwise. But a writer occasionally may be permitted to please himself, and if his experiment fails there remains the satisfaction of having tried. I have not labelled my jokes explicitly nor have I written a single foot note in the middle of a page. I have endeavored to reproduce a recognizable atmosphere by intentionally exaggerating certain phases of the attitude of New York toward the eternal verities. Not even for purposes of contrast have I felt bound to have a nice character in the book. But if the reader fails to get what you so clearly understood, and if the critics point out how completely I have failed to write a Satirical Romance of To day, I can at least make certain of having one line in this volume with which none may find fault. And that, Great and Good Friend, is the line at the top of this page.

E. L. Dorset, Vt., June, 1915.

H. R.


The trouble was not in being a bank clerk, but in being a clerk in a bank that wanted him to be nothing but a bank clerk. That kind always enriches first the bank and later on a bit of soil.

Hendrik Rutgers had no desire to enrich either bank or soil.

He was blue eyed, brown haired, clear skinned, rosy cheeked, tall, well built, and square chinned. He always was in fine physical trim, which made people envy him so that they begrudged him advancement, but it also made them like him because they were so flattered when he reduced himself to their level by not bragging of his muscles. He had a quick gaited mind and much fluency of speech. Also the peculiar sense of humor of a born leader that enabled him to laugh at what any witty devil said about others, even while it prevented him from seeing jokes aimed at his sacred self. He not only was congenitally stubborn from his Dutch ancestors but he had his Gascon grandmother's ability to believe whatever he wished to believe, and his Scandinavian great grandfather's power to fill himself with Berserker rage in a twinkling. This made him begin all arguments by clenching his fists. Having in his veins so many kinds of un American blood, he was one of the few real Americans in his own country, and he always said so.

It was this blood that now began to boil for no reason, though the reason was really the spring.

He had acquired the American habit of reading the newspapers instead of thinking, and his mind therefore always worked in head lines. This time it worked like this: MORE MONEY AND MORE FUN!

Being an American, he instantly looked about for the best rung of the ladder of success.

He had always liked the cashier. A man climbs at first by his friends. Later by his enemies. That is why friends are superfluous later.

Hendrik, so self confident that he did not even have to frown, approached the kindly superior.

"Mr. Coster," he said, pleasantly, "I've been on the job over two years. I've done my work satisfactorily. I need more money." You could see from his manner that it was much nicer to state facts than to argue.

The cashier was looking out of the big plate glass window at the wonderful blue sky New York! April! He swung on his swivel chair and, facing Hendrik Rutgers, stared at a white birch by a trout stream three hundred miles north of the bank.

"Huh?" he grunted, absently... Continue reading book >>

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