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The House of Toys   By: (1880-1955)

Book cover

First Page:

THE HOUSE OF TOYS

By

HENRY RUSSELL MILLER

Author of

THE MAN HIGHER UP, HIS RISE TO POWER THE AMBITION OF MARK TRUITT

WITH FRONTISPIECE BY

FRANK SNAPP

[Transcriber's note: Frontispiece missing from book]

INDIANAPOLIS

THE BOBBS MERRILL COMPANY

PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT 1914

THE BOBBS MERRILL COMPANY

CONTENTS

CHAPTER.

I THE PLANS II THE WITCH III ON THE SANDS IV TO THE RESCUE V GOOD FAIRIES VI SPELLS VII SANCTUARY VIII CERTAIN PLOTS IX A NEW HOUSE X AT THE DOOR XI THE WITCH LAUGHS XII WHICH HOUSE? XIII THE HAPPY ENDING

THE HOUSE OF TOYS

CHAPTER I

THE PLANS

This is not a fairy tale, although you will find some old friends here. There is, for example, a witch, a horrid old creature who tricks the best and wisest of us: Circumstance is one of her many names, and a horde of grisly goblins follow in her train. For crabbed beldame an aunt, who meant well but was rich and used to having her own way, will do fairly well. Good fairies there are, quite a number; you must decide for yourself which one is the best. But the tale has chiefly to do with a youth to whom the witch had made one gift, well knowing that one would not be enough. Together with a girl a sunflower who did not thrive in the shade, as Jim Blaisdell has said he undertook to build, among other things, a house of love wherein she should dwell and reign. But when it was built he met another girl, who was say, an iris. There are white irises, and very beautiful flowers they are. From her

But that is the story.

He was, then, tall, as well favored as is good for a young man, with straight gazing though at times rather dreamy gray green eyes, kinky brown hair and a frank friendly manner that was very engaging. Since his tenth year he had been alone in the world, with a guardian trust company for sole relative. But he tried to make up for that by having many friends. He did not have to try very hard.

Men liked him, which was much to his credit. Those near his own age often made him a confidant in such matters as their ambitions and loves. His elders saw to it that he was asked not only to the things their wives and sisters gave but to week ends in the family bosom as well.

And women liked him, which was not so much to his credit, since we judge our own sex far more wisely than the other. Old ladies praised his manners and visited his rooms, taking an active interest in his intimate wardrobe. Younger women flirted with him ad libitum and used him unconscionably, sure that he would take no advantage. Girls of sixteen or thereabouts secretly held him in awe and spun romances around him. In return he gave them all a sort of reverence, thinking them superfine creatures who could do no meanness or wrong. He envied his men friends who had mothers or sisters or wives to be served; in the life of a young man alone in the world there are gaps that even pleasant friendships can not fill. He had a dream over which he used to burn much tobacco: of a day when he should not be alone. He awaited impatiently the coming of that splendid day.

Therefore he dabbled recklessly in the tender passion. About twice a year on an average he fell experimentally in love. It made him very sad that after a brief captivity his heart was always set free.

Moreover, there was something about him that made his friends, men as well as women, say to one another, "Some of these days that Davy Quentin is going to do big things." You have known young men like that; as often as not they continue through life a promise unfulfilled.

In David's case the faith survived stubbornly on scanty nourishment. He had been left a little patrimony sufficient to carry him beyond college, where he smoked the usual number of cigarettes, drank a limited quantity of beer and managed to pass his examinations respectably though not even cum laude . After that he studied architecture, with more distinction because he had a real enthusiasm for the work, especially the ecclesiastical branch... Continue reading book >>




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