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The Pines of Lory   By: (1845-1918)

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Author of "Amos Judd," "That First Affair," "Gloria Victis," etc.

Decorations by Albert D. Blashfield


New York Life Publishing Company 1901

Copyright, 1901 By J. A. Mitchell New York City

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London

Printed in the United States

All rights reserved










[Illustration: There is a pleasure in the pathless wood, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. Byron .]




The Maid of the North was ready for sea.

Only the touch of the engineer was wanting to send her, once again, on a homeward voyage to the St. Lawrence. Meanwhile, in solemn undertones, she was breathing forth her superabundant steam.

Behind the wharf lay the city of Boston.

A score of passengers, together with friends who had come aboard to see them off, were scattered about the little steamer. Among them, on the after deck, indifferent to the hot June sun, moved a gentleman of aristocratic mien. His raiment was above reproach. He gave the impression of being a distinguished person. But this impression was delusive, his distinction being merely social. He was too well provided for, too easily clever and in too many ways, to achieve renown in any field requiring serious labor.

He inhaled the salt air as it came in from the sea, took out his watch, scanned the wharf, picked a thread from his sleeve, and twirled, somewhat carefully, the ends of a yellow moustache. His glance moved indifferently over various passengers and things about him until it rested on a man, not far away. The man was leaning against the railing of the deck watching the scene upon the wharf below.

The extreme attenuation of this person had already rendered him an object of interest to several passengers. His clothing hung loosely from his shoulders. Both coat and vest were far too roomy for the body beneath, while the trousers bore no relation to his legs. But the emaciated face, deeply browned by exposure, told a story of hardship and starvation rather than of ordinary sickness. Two thin, dark hands that rested on the ship's rail seemed almost transparent.

The aristocratic gentleman regarded this person with increasing interest. He approached the railing himself and furtively studied the stranger's profile. Then, with an expression in his face less blasé than heretofore, he approached the man and stood behind him. Laying a hand on one of the shoulders to prevent his victim turning, he said:

"I beg your pardon, sir, but could you tell me the name of this town?"

There was a short silence. Then the stranger answered, in a serious tone, and with no effort to see his questioner:

"This is Boston, the city of respectability and other delights."


"It is also the home of a man who doesn't seem to have matured with the passing years."

"Well, who is that man?"

"A fellow that might have been a famous tenor if he had a voice and some idea of music."

The other man laughed, removed his hand, and his friend turned about. Then followed a greeting as between old intimates, long separated. And such was the mutual pleasure that a neighboring spectator, many years embittered by dyspepsia, so far forgot himself as to allow a smile of sympathy to occupy his face.

The countenance of the attenuated person was unusual; not from any peculiarity of feature, but from its invincible cheerfulness. This cheerfulness was constitutional, and contagious. His face seemed nearly ten years younger than it was; for the unquenchable good humor having settled there in infancy had thwarted the hand of time. No signs of discouragement, of weariness or worry had gained a footing. There were no visible traces of unwelcome experience. While distinctly a thoughtful face, good humor and a tranquil spirit were the two things most clearly written... Continue reading book >>

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