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Joan Thursday   By: (1879-1933)

Joan Thursday by Louis Joseph Vance

First Page:

JOAN THURSDAY

A Novel

by

LOUIS JOSEPH VANCE

With Illustrations by Oscar Cesare

Boston Little, Brown, and Company 1913

Copyright, 1913, By Louis Joseph Vance.

All rights reserved, including those of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian.

Published, September, 1913. Reprinted, September, 1913. Reprinted, December, 1913.

The University Press, Cambridge, U. S. A.

TO GRANT RICHARDS

[Illustration: "Oh," she said, "I guess I'll do, all right, all right!"]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"Oh," she said, "I guess I'll do, all right, all right!"

"What's the matter with you, anyway?" he demanded, hotly

"Miss Thursday my fiancée. Joan, this is Mrs. Marbridge"

The door slammed. He was gone

JOAN THURSDAY

I

She stood on the southeast corner of Broadway at Twenty second Street, waiting for a northbound car with a vacant seat. She had been on her feet all day and was very tired, so tired that the prospect of being obliged to stand all the way uptown seemed quite intolerable. And so, though quick with impatience to get home and "have it over with," she chose to wait.

Up out of the south, from lower Broadway and the sweatshop purlieus of Union Square, defiled an unending procession of surface cars, without exception dark with massed humanity. Pausing momentarily before the corner where the girl was waiting (as if mockingly submitting themselves to the appraisal of her alert eyes) one after another received the signal of the switchman beyond the northern crossing and ground sluggishly on. Not one but was crowded to the guards, affording the girl no excuse for leaving her position.

She waited on, her growing impatience as imperceptible as her fatigue: neither of them discernible to those many transient stares which she received with a semblance of blank indifference that was, in reality, not devoid of consciousness. Youth will not be overlooked; reinforced by an abounding vitality, such as hers, it becomes imperious. This girl was as pretty as she was poor, and as young.

Judged by her appearance, she might have been anywhere between sixteen and twenty years of age. She was, in fact, something over eighteen, and at heart more nearly a child than this age might be taken to imply more a child than any who knew her suspected. She herself suspected it least of all.

She looked what she liked to believe herself, a young woman of considerable experience with life. Simple, and even cheap, her garments still owned a certain distinction which she would without hesitation have termed "stylish": a quality of smartness which somehow contrived not incongruously to associate with inferior materials. Her shirtwaist was of opaque linen, pleated, and while not laundry fresh was still presentable; her skirt fitted her hips snugly, and fell in graceful lines to a point something short of her low tan shoes, showing stockings of a texture at once coarse and sheer; to her hat, an ordinary straw simply trimmed with a band and chou of ribbon, she had lent some little factitious character by deftly twisting it a trifle out of the prevailing shape. Over one arm she carried a coat of the same material as her skirt, and in her hand a well worn handbag of imitation leather, rather too large, and decorated with a monogram of two initials in German silver. The initials were J T: her name was Joan Thursby.

Uniform with a thousand sisters of the shop counters, she was yet mysteriously different. Men looked twice in passing; after passing some turned to look again.

Her face, tinted by the glow of the western sky, was by no means poor in native colour: a shade thin, its regular features held a promise, vague, fugitive, and provoking. Her hair was a brown which hardly escaped being ruddy, and her skin matched it, lacking alike the dusky warmth of the brune and the purity of the blonde. She was neither tall nor short, but seemed misleadingly smaller than she was in fact, thanks to the slightness of a body more stupidly nourished than under nourished or immature... Continue reading book >>




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