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The Man in Lonely Land   By: (1865-1932)

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E text prepared by Al Haines

THE MAN IN LONELY LAND

by

KATE LANGLEY BOSHER

Author of "Mary Cary" and "Miss Gibbie Gault"

MCMXII

TO MY BROTHER

EDWARD PORTIUS LANGLEY

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. GENERAL II. THE REQUEST III. SCIENTIFICS IV. DOROTHEA AND MR. LAINE V. THE LOSS OF HIS BEST FRIEND VI. A LETTER FROM DOROTHEA VII. AN AFTERNOON CALL VIII. THE RECEPTION IX. DOROTHEA ASKS QUESTIONS X. A DISCOVERY XI. A CHANCE ENCOUNTER XII. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING XIII. MR. LAINE GOES SHOPPING ALONE XIV. AN INFORMAL VISIT XV. THE MAN WHO DID NOT KNOW XVI. A CHANGE OF PLANS XVII. A VISIT TO VIRGINIA XVIII. ELMWOOD XIX. CHRISTMAS XX. CLAUDIA XXI. A VISIT FROM DOROTHEA XXII. SPRINGTIME

I

GENERAL

Mr. Winthrop Laine threw his gloves on the table, his overcoat on a chair, put his hat on the desk, and then looked down at his shoes.

"Soaking wet," he said, as if to them. "I swear this weather would ruin a Tapley temper! For two weeks rain and sleet and snow and steam heat to come home to. Hello, General! How are the legs tonight, old man?" Stooping, he patted softly the big, beautiful collie which was trying to welcome him, and gently he lifted the dog's head and looked in the patient eyes.

"No better? Not even a little bit? I'd take half if I could, General, more than half. It's hard luck, but it's worse not to know what to do for you." He turned his head from the beseeching eyes. "For the love of heaven don't look at me like that, General, don't make it " His breath was drawn in sharply; then, as the dog made effort to bark, to raise his right paw in greeting as of old, he put it down carefully, rang the bell, walked over to the window, and for a moment looked out on the street below.

The gray dullness of a late November afternoon was in the air of New York, and the fast falling snowflakes so thickened it that the people hurrying this way and that seemed twisted figures of fantastic shapes, wind blown and bent, and with a shiver Laine came back and again stood by General's side.

At the door Moses, his man, waited. Laine turned toward him. "Get out some dry clothes and see what's the matter with the heat. A blind man coming in here would think he'd struck an ice pond." He looked around and then at the darkey in front of him. "The Lord gave you a head for the purpose of using it, Moses, but you mistake it at times for an ornament. Zero weather and windows down from the top twelve inches! Has General been in here to day?"

"No, sir. He been in the kitchen 'most all day. You told me this morning to put fresh air in here and I put, but me and General ain't been in here since I clean up. He's been powerful poorly to day, sir."

"I see he has." Laine's hand went to the dog and rested a moment on his head. "Close up those windows and turn on the lights and see about the heat. This room is almost as cheerful as a morgue at daybreak."

"I reckon you done took a little cold, sir." Moses closed the windows, drew the curtains, turned on more heat, and made the room a blaze of light. "It's a very spacious room, sir, and for them what loves books it's very aspirin', but of course in winter time a room without a woman or a blazin' fire in it ain't what it might be. Don't you think you'd better take a little something, sir, to het you up inside?"

Laine, bending over General, shook his head. "No, I don't. I want sleep. I came home early to try and get a little, but "

"You ain't had none to speak of for 'most a week." Moses still lingered. "I wish you'd let General come in my room to night. You can't stand seein' him suffer, and you'll be sick yourself if you keep a waitin' on him all night. Can't I get you a little Scotch, sir, or a hot whiskey punch? I got the water waitin'. They say now whiskey ain't no permanent cure for colds, but it sure do help you think it is. Experience is better than expoundin' and "

Again Laine shook his head... Continue reading book >>




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