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The Husbands of Edith   By: (1866-1928)

Book cover

First Page:

THE HUSBANDS OF EDITH

by

GEORGE BARR McCUTCHEON

With Illustrations by Harrison Fisher and Decorations by Theodore B. Hapgood

New York Dodd, Mead & Company The University Press, Cambridge, U.S.A.

1908

OTHER BOOKS BY MR. McCUTCHEON

NEDRA BEVERLY OF GRAUSTARK THE DAY OF THE DOG THE PURPLE PARASOL THE SHERRODS GRAUSTARK CASTLE CRANEYCROW BREWSTER'S MILLIONS JANE CABLE COWARDICE COURT THE DAUGHTER OF ANDERSON CROW THE FLYERS

[Illustration: Motif]

[Illustration: "'Don't you think Connie is a perfect dear?'" (page 54)]

CONTENTS

CHAPTER Page

I HUSBANDS AND WIFE 1

II THE SISTER IN LAW 17

III THE DISTANT COUSINS 37

IV THE WOULD BE BROTHER IN LAW 51

V THE FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY 70

VI OTHER RELATIONS 87

VII THE THREE GUARDIANS 102

VIII THE PRODIGAL HUSBAND 116

ILLUSTRATIONS

"'Don't you think Connie is a perfect dear?'" (page 54) Frontispiece

Brock 24

Katherine 44

"She began to detect a decided falling off in his ardour" 74

"'I do love you,' she said simply" 98

THE HUSBANDS OF EDITH

CHAPTER I

HUSBANDS AND WIFE

Brock was breakfasting out of doors in the cheerful little garden of the Hôtel Chatham. The sun streamed warmly upon the concrete floor of the court just beyond the row of palms and oleanders that fringed the rail against which his Herald rested, that he might read as he ran, so to speak. He was the only person having déjeuner on the "terrace," as he named it to the obsequious waiter who always attended him. Charles was the magnet that drew Brock to the Chatham (that excellent French hotel with the excellent English name). It is beside the question to remark that one is obliged to reverse the English when directing a cocher to the Chatham. The Paris cabman looks blank and more than usually unintelligent when directed to drive to the Chatham, but his face radiates with joy when his fare is inspired to substitute Sha t'am , with distinct emphasis on the final syllable. Then he cracks his whip and lashes his sorry nag, with passive appreciation of his own astuteness, all the way to the Rue Daunou. The street is so short that he almost invariably takes one to it instead of to the hotel itself. But one must say Sha t'am !

Charles was standing, alert but pensive, quite near at hand, ready to replenish the bowl with honey (Brock was especially fond of it), but with his eyes cocked inquiringly, even eagerly, in the direction of an upstairs window across the court, beyond which a thoughtless guest of the establishment was making her toilette in blissful ignorance of the fact that the flimsy curtains were not tightly drawn. Brock had gone to the Chatham for years just because Charles was a fixture there. Charles spoke the most execrably picturesque English, served with a punctiliousness that savoured almost of the overbearing, and boasted that he had acquired the art of making American cocktails in the Waldorf during a five weeks' residence in the United States.

It was a lazy morning. Brock was happy. He was even interested when a porter came forth and unravelled a long roll of garden hose, with which he abruptly began to splash water upon the concrete surface of the court without regard for distance or direction. Moreover, he proceeded to water the palms at Brock's elbow, operating from a spot no less than twenty feet away. He likewise was casting inquiring glances at divers windows few if any at the plants until the faithful Charles restored him to earth by means of certain subdued injunctions and less moderate gesticulations, from which it could be readily gathered that "M'sieur was eating, not bathing... Continue reading book >>




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