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Hugo A Fantasia on Modern Themes   By: (1867-1931)

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HUGO

A FANTASIA ON MODERN THEMES

BY ARNOLD BENNETT

Transcriber's Notes: Mismatched quotes have been normalized. "L'éat, c'est moi." corrected to "L'état, c'est moi." Recalicitant corrected to recalcitrant. Other oddities in spelling and punctuation have been left as in the original.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

NOVELS.

A MAN FROM THE NORTH. ANNA OF THE FIVE TOWNS. LEONORA. A GREAT MAN. SACRED AND PROFANE LOVE.

FANTASIAS.

THE GRAND BABYLON HOTEL. THE GATES OF WRATH. TERESA OF WATLING STREET. THE LOOT OF CITIES

SHORT STORIES.

TALES OF THE FIVE TOWNS.

BELLES LETTRES.

JOURNALISM FOR WOMEN. FAME AND FICTION. HOW TO BECOME AN AUTHOR. THE TRUTH ABOUT AN AUTHOR.

DRAMA.

POLITE FARCES.

HUGO

A FANTASIA ON MODERN THEMES

BY ARNOLD BENNETT

AUTHOR OF 'THE GRAND BABYLON HOTEL,' 'ANNA OF THE FIVE TOWNS,' 'A GREAT MAN,' ETC.

[ILLUSTRATION]

LONDON CHATTO & WINDUS 1906

CONTENTS

PART I THE SEALED ROOMS

CHAPTER I. THE DOME II. THE ESTABLISHMENT III. HUGO EXPLAINS HIMSELF IV. CAMILLA V. A STORY AND A DISAPPEARANCE VI. A LAPSE FROM AN IDEAL VII. POSSIBLE ESCAPE OF SECRETS VIII. ORANGE BLOSSOM IX. 'WHICH?' X. THE COFFIN

PART II THE PHONOGRAPH

XI. SALE XII. SAFE DEPOSIT XIII. MR. GALPIN XIV. TEA XV. RAVENGAR IN CAPTIVITY XVI. BURGLARS XVII. POLYCARP AND HAWKE'S MAN XVIII. HUSBAND AND WIFE XIX. WHAT THE PHONOGRAPH SAID

PART III THE TOMB

XX. 'ARE YOU THERE?' XXI. SUICIDE XXII. DARCY XXIII. FIRST TRIUMPH OF SIMON XXIV. THE LODGING HOUSE XXV. CHLOROFORM XXVI. SECOND TRIUMPH OF SIMON XXVII. THE CEMETERY XXVIII. BEAUTY

PART I THE SEALED ROOMS

HUGO

CHAPTER I

THE DOME

He wakened from a charming dream, in which the hat had played a conspicuous part.

'I shouldn't mind having that hat,' he murmured.

A darkness which no eye could penetrate surrounded him as he lay in bed. Absolute obscurity was essential to the repose of that singular brain, and he had perfected arrangements for supplying the deficiencies of Nature's night.

He touched a switch, and in front of him at a distance of thirty feet the ivory dial of a clock became momentarily visible under the soft yellow of a shaded electric globe. It was fifteen minutes past six. At the same moment a bell sounded the quarter in delicate tones, which fell on the ear as lightly as dew. In the upper gloom could be discerned the contours of a vast dome, decorated in turquoise blue and gold.

He pressed a button near the switch. A portière rustled, and a young man approached his bed a short, thin, pale, fair young man, active and deferential.

'My tea, Shawn. Draw the curtains and open the windows.'

'Yes, sir,' said Simon Shawn.

In an instant the room was brilliantly revealed as a great circular apartment, magnificently furnished, with twelve windows running round the circumference beneath the dome. The virginal zephyrs of a July morning wandered in. The sun, although fierce, slanted his rays through the six eastern windows, printing a new pattern on the Tripoli carpets. Between the windows were bookcases, full of precious and extraordinary volumes, and over the bookcases hung pictures of the Barbizon school. These books and these pictures were the elegant monument of hobbies which their owner had outlived. His present hobby happened to be music. A Steinway grand piano was prominent in the chamber, and before the ebony instrument stood a mechanical pianoforte player.

'I must have that hat.'

He paused reflectively, leaning on one elbow, as he made the tea which Simon Shawn had brought and left on the night table. And again, at the third cup, he repeated to himself that he must possess the hat.

He had a passion for tea. His servants had received the strictest orders to supply him at early morn with materials sufficient only for two cups. Nevertheless, they were always a little generous, and, by cheating himself slightly in the first and the second cup, the votary could often, to his intense joy, conjure a third out of the pot... Continue reading book >>




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