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Nobody   By: (1879-1933)

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[Transcriber's note: The original unedited text file came from http://www.archive.org/details/nobody00jacogoog]

NOBODY

LOUIS JOSEPH VANCE

[Illustration: "Miss Manwaring! For the Love of Mike "]

NOBODY

By LOUIS JOSEPH VANCE

AUTHOR OF "The Lone Wolf,"

"The Brass Bowl," "Cynthia of the Minute,"

"The Destroying Angel," Etc.

With Frontispiece

By W. L. JACOBS

A. L. BURT COMPANY

Publishers

New York

Published by Arrangement with GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

Copyright, 1914,

By LOUIS JOSEPH VANCE

Copyright, 1915,

By GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

This novel was originally published serially, under the title of "An Outsider."

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I ANARCHY

II BURGLARY

III ACCESSARY AFTER THE FACT

IV BLACKMAIL

V CONSPIRACY

VI ALIAS MANWARING

VII FRAUD

VIII A THIEF IN THE NIGHT

IX PICAROON

X LEGERDEMAIN

XI THE THIRD DEGREE

XII MACHIAVELLIAN

XIII MARPLOT

XIV MAGIC

XV FALSE WITNESS

XVI THE PLANT

XVII EXPOSE

XVIII BREAKING JAIL

NOBODY

CHAPTER I

ANARCHY

"What you gonna have?"

To this inquiry the patron made no response; head bent, nose between the pages of the magazine, she pored sedulously over a legend attached to one of the illustrations.

After a decent pause in waiting the waitress renewed her demand with a sharper accent:

"Say, lis'en; what you want?"

"White satin, veiled with point d' Angleterre ,'" Miss Manvers replied distinctly, if without looking up, aware simply of something imperative in the starched but humid presence at her elbow.

Pardonably startled, the waitress demanded with the rising inflection: " Wha a at? "

"'The court train,'" Miss Manvers pursued in abstraction, "'is lined with lace and dotted with bouquets of orange blossoms '"

She checked herself suddenly, looked up shyly, and essayed a pale, apologetic smile.

"I'm sorry; I didn't realise "

But now the waitress had caught a glimpse of the illustration and was bending over the patron's shoulder for a better look.

"Gee!" she commented sincerely. "Ain't that a dream?"

"Yes," Miss Manvers admitted wistfully, "it's a dream, right enough!"

"That's so, too." Deftly, with a large, moist, red hand, the waitress arranged knife, fork, spoon, and paper serviette on the unclothed brown board before Miss Manvers. "That's the worst of them fashion mag'zines," she complained; "they get your goat. Sometimes after readin' some of that dope I can't hardly remember orders right, just for wishin' somebody'd come along and hang some of them joyful rags onto me!"

Then, catching the eye of the manager, she straightway resumed her professional habit of slightly wilted hauteur compounded in equal parts of discontent, tired feet, heat fag and that profound disdain for food consuming animals which inevitably informs the mind of every quick lunch waitress.

"What you gonna have?" she demanded dispassionately.

"Ham and, please."

"Plate of ham and. Cawfy?"

"Yes, iced coffee and" Miss Manvers hesitated briefly "and a napoleon."

Reciting the amended order, the waitress withdrew.

For the next few moments the customer neglected the fashion magazine which she had found apparently a souvenir of some other absent minded patron on the seat of the chair next that one of her own casual choice.

She stared blankly at the smudged and spotted bill of fare propped up, in its wooden frame, against an armour plate china sugar bowl. She was deeply intrigued by the mystery of human frailty as exemplified by her reckless extravagance in ordering that superfluous bit of pastry. Miss Manvers's purse contained a single coin of silver, the quarter of a dollar; being precisely the sum of her entire fortune. Her ham and beans would cost fifteen cents, the coffee and the napoleon five cents each. In other words, she would be penniless when she had paid her score and Heaven only knew for how long afterward.

Her lips moved without sound in her worn and pallid face. "What's the difference?" she bully ragged her conscience... Continue reading book >>




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