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What's-His-Name   By: (1866-1928)

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First Page:

[Illustration: Copyright, 1911, by Dodd, Mead & Company Nellie Duluth]

What's His Name








Copyright, 1910, 1911



Published March, 1911


CHAPTER PAGE I. Our Hero 1 II. Miss Nellie Duluth 31 III. Mr. Fairfax 71 IV. Luncheon 95 V. Christmas 124 VI. The Revolver 150 VII. The Lawyer 176 VIII. Blakeville 201


Nellie Duluth Frontispiece

Fairfax was sitting on a trunk, a satisfied smile on his lips 67

Phoebe 134

He stopped, aghast, petrified 238




Two men were standing in front of the Empire Theatre on Broadway, at the outer edge of the sidewalk, amiably discussing themselves in the first person singular. It was late in September and somewhat early in the day for actors to be abroad, a circumstance which invites speculation. Attention to their conversation, which was marked by the habitual humility, would have convinced the listener (who is always welcome) that both had enjoyed a successful season on the road, although closing somewhat prematurely on account of miserable booking, and that both had received splendid "notices" in every town visited.

These two loiterers serve a single purpose in this tale they draw your attention to the principal character, to the person who plays the title rĂ´le, so to speak, and then, having done so, sink back into an oblivion from which it is quite unnecessary to retrieve them.

The younger of the two players was in the act of lighting a cigarette, considerately tendered by the older, when his gaze fell upon the figure of the approaching hero. He hesitated for a moment, squinting his eyes reflectively as if to make sure of both vision and memory before committing himself to the declaration that was to follow.

"See that fellow there? The little chap with his hands in his pockets?"

The other permitted a vague, indifferent glance to enter the throng of pedestrians, plainly showing that he did not see the person indicated. (Please note this proof of the person's qualifications as a hero.)

"The fellow in front of Browne's," added the first speaker, so eagerly that his friend tried once more and succeeded.

"What of him?" he demanded, unimpressed.

"That is What's His Name, Nellie Duluth's husband."

The friend's stare was prolonged and incredulous.


"Yes. That's the fair Nellie's anchor. Isn't he a wonder?"

The object of these remarks passed slowly in front of them and soon was lost in the crowd. Now that we know who he is we will say thank you to the obliging Thespian and be off up Broadway in his wake, not precisely in the capacity of spies and eavesdroppers, but as acquaintances who would know him better.

He was not an imposing figure. You would not have looked twice at him. You could not have remembered looking once at him, for that matter. He was the type of man who ambles through life without being noticed, even by those amiably inclined persons who make it their business to see everything that is going on, no matter how trivial it is.

Somewhere in this wide and unfeeling world the husband of Nellie Duluth had an identity of his own, but New York was not the place... Continue reading book >>

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