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In the Onyx Lobby   By: (1862-1942)

In the Onyx Lobby by Carolyn Wells

First Page:

IN THE ONYX LOBBY

BY CAROLYN WELLS

Author of "The Man Who Fell Through the Earth," "The Room With the Tassels," "Faulkner's Folly," etc.

NEW YORK GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

I SUCH A FEUD!

II A TRICKY GAME

III THE SCRAWLED MESSAGE

IV THE BUSY POLICE

V WHO WERE THE WOMEN?

VI THE LITTLE DINNER

VII ENLIGHTENING INTERVIEWS

VIII JULIA BAXTER

IX THE LIBRARY SET

X SEEK THE WOMEN

XI THE OLD FEUD

XII ONE WOMAN AND ANOTHER

XIII MOTIVES

XIV PENNY WISE

XV AND ZIZI

XVI TESTIMONY

XVII A WOMAN SCORNED

XVIII FITTED TO A T

IN THE ONYX LOBBY

CHAPTER I

Such a Feud!

"Well, by the Great Catamaran! I think it's the most footle business I ever heard of! A regulation, clinker built, angle iron, sunk hinge family feud, carried on by two women! Women! conducting a feud! They might as well conduct a bakery!"

"I daresay they could do even that! Women have been known to bake with a fair degree of success!"

"Of course, of course, but baking and conducting a bakery are not identical propositions. Women are all right, in their place, which, by the way, is not necessarily in the home, but a family feud, of all things, calls for masculine management and skill."

Sir Herbert Binney stood by the massive mantelpiece in the ornate living room of the Prall apartment. The Campanile Apartment House came into being with the century, and though its type was now superseded by the plain, flat stucco of the newer buildings, yet it haughtily flaunted its elaborate fa├žade and its deeply embrasured windows with the pride of an elder day. Its onyx lobby, lined with massive pillars, had once been the talk of the neighborhood, and the black and white tessellated floor of the wide entrance hall was as black and as white as ever.

The location, between the Circle and the Square, which is to say, between Columbus Circle and Times Square, in the City of New York, had ceased to be regarded as the pick of the householders, though still called the heart of the city. People who lived there were continually explaining the reason for their stay, or moving across town.

But lots of worthwhile people yet tarried, and among them were none more so than certain dwellers in The Campanile.

Miss Letitia Prall, lessee of the mantelpiece already referred to, was a spinster, who, on dress parade, possessed dignity and poise quite commensurate with the quality of her home.

But in the shelter of her own fireside, she allowed herself latitude of speech and even loss of temper when she felt the occasion justified it. And any reference to or participation in the famous feud was such justification.

Her opponent in the deadly strife was one Mrs Everett, also an occupant of The Campanile, and equally earnest in prolonging the life and energy of the quarrel.

Sir Herbert Binney, an Englishman, knighted since the war, had come to America in the interests of its own business, no less an enterprise than the establishment of an American branch of the great and well known "Binney's Buns."

Celebrated in England, he hoped and expected to make the admirable buns equally popular over here, and trusted to his engaging personality as well as his mercantile acumen to accomplish this purpose.

Not exactly related to Miss Prall, Sir Herbert was connected by the marriage of a relative. That is, his stepbrother's son, one Richard Bates, was also the son of Miss Prall's sister. This young gentleman, who, by the way, lived with his Aunt Letitia, was another reason for Sir Herbert's presence in New York. He had thought that if this nephew showed the right sort of efficiency he could be set to manage the American branch, or, at least, have a hand in the management.

And so, Binney of "Binney's Buns" had established himself in one of the smaller suites of The Campanile, had had his living room repapered to his taste, had made arrangements for his proper service, and was comfortably domiciled... Continue reading book >>




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