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Mischievous Maid Faynie   By: (1862-1924)

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Author of Ione , Parted By Fate , Sweet Kitty Clover , etc.


[Illustration: Cover of Mischievous Maid Faynie]



It was five o'clock on a raw, gusty February afternoon. All that day and all the night before it had been snowing hard. New York lay buried beneath over two feet of its cold white mantle, and with the gathering dusk a fierce hurricane set in, proclaiming the approach of the terrible blizzard which had been predicted.

On this afternoon, which was destined to be so memorable, two young men were breasting the sleet and hail, which tore down Broadway with demoniac glee, as though amused that the cable cars were stalled fully a mile along the line, and the people were obliged to get out and walk, facing the full fury of the elements, if they hoped to arrive at their destinations that night.

It could easily be ascertained by the gray, waning light that both young men were tall, broad shouldered and handsome of face, bearing a striking resemblance to one another.

They were seldom in each other's company, but those who saw them thus jumped naturally to the conclusion that they were twin brothers; but this was a great mistake; they were only cousins. One was Clinton Kendale, whom everybody was speaking of as "the rage of New York," the handsomest actor who had ever trod the metropolitan boards, the idol of the matinee girls, and the greatest attraction the delighted managers had gotten hold of for years.

His companion was of not much consequence, only Lester Armstrong, assistant cashier in the great dry goods house of Marsh & Co., on upper Broadway.

He had entered their employ as a cashboy; had grown to manhood in their service, and he had no further hope for the future, save to remain in his present position by strict application, proving himself worthy of a greater opportunity if the head cashier ever chose to retire.

He lived in the utmost simplicity, was frugal, dressed with unusual plainness, and put by money.

He hadn't a relative on earth, save his handsome, debonair cousin, who never sought him out save when he wanted to borrow money of him.

Clint Kendale's salary was fifty dollars per week, but that did not go far toward paying his bills at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, keeping a fast horse and giving wine suppers. In his early youth he had begun the pace he was now going. He had received a fine collegiate education, and at his majority stepped into the magnificent fortune his parents had left him. It took him just one year to run through it, then, penniless, he came from Boston to New York and sought out his poor cousin. Lester Armstrong succeeded in getting a position for Kendale with the same firm with which he was employed, but at the end of the first week Clinton Kendale threw it up with disgust, declaring that what he had gone through these six days was too much for him. He had rather die than work.

He borrowed a hundred dollars from his Cousin Lester and suddenly disappeared. When he was next heard from he blossomed out, astonishing all New York as the handsomest society actor who had ever graced the metropolitan boards, and caused a furore.

There was another great difference between the two cousins, and that was a heart; just one of them possessed it, and that one was Lester Armstrong.

On this particular afternoon Kendale had lain in wait for his cousin at the entrance of Marsh & Co.'s to waylay him when he came from the office. He must see him, he told himself, and Lester must let him have another loan.

Lester Armstrong was glad from the bottom of his true, honest heart to see him, but his brow clouded over with a troubled expression when he learned that he wanted to borrow five hundred dollars. That amount seemed small, indeed, to the lordly Kendale, but to Lester it meant months of toil and rigid self denial.

"Come into the café, and while we lunch I will explain to you why I must have it, old fellow," said Kendale, always ready with some plausible story on his glib tongue... Continue reading book >>

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