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The Wheel O' Fortune   By: (1863-1928)

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E text prepared by Charles Aldarondo, Tiffany Vergon, Charles Kirschner, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

THE WHEEL O' FORTUNE

BY

LOUIS TRACY

Author of "The Wings of the Morning," "The Pillar of Light," "The Captain of the Kansas" etc.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY JAMES MONTGOMERY FLAGG

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. WHEREIN FORTUNE TURNS HER WHEEL CHAPTER II. THE COMPACT CHAPTER III. A CHANGE OF SKY, BUT NOT OF HABIT CHAPTER IV. VON KERBER EXPLAINS CHAPTER V. MISS FENSHAWE SEEKS AN ALLY CHAPTER VI. AT THE PORTAL CHAPTER VII. MRS. HAXTON RECEIVES A SHOCK CHAPTER VIII. MASSOWAH ASSERTS ITSELF CHAPTER IX. A GALLOP IN THE DARK CHAPTER X. THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM CHAPTER XI. A WOMAN INTERVENES CHAPTER XII. STUMP DEPENDS ON OBSERVATION CHAPTER XIII. THE SIGN IN THE SKY CHAPTER XIV. WHEREIN A BISHARIN CAMEL BECOMES USEFUL CHAPTER XV. THE DESERT AWAKES CHAPTER XVI. A FLIGHT AND A FIGHT CHAPTER XVII. HOW THREE ROADS LED IN ONE DIRECTION CHAPTER XVIII. THE FINDING OF THE TREASURE

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"By the Prophet!" he exclaimed, "I am overjoyed at seeing you" "I don't want your charity, I want work!" "Let your prisoner go, Mr. King" "Good morning, Mr. King," she cried "You need no promise from me, Miss Fenshawe" The Arab appraised Royson with critical eye He did not dare meet the glance suddenly turned upon him "Go, Dick, but come back to me in safety"

CHAPTER I

WHEREIN FORTUNE TURNS HER WHEEL

At ten o'clock on a morning in October a dazzling, sunlit morning after hours of wind lashed rain a young man hurried out of Victoria Station and dodged the traffic and the mud pools on his way towards Victoria Street. Suddenly he was brought to a stand by an unusual spectacle. A procession of the "unemployed" was sauntering out of Vauxhall Bridge Road into the more important street. Being men of leisure, the processionists moved slowly. The more alert pedestrian who had just emerged from the station did not grumble at the delay he even turned it to advantage by rolling and lighting a cigarette. The ragged regiment filed past, a soiled, frayed, hopeless looking gang. Three hundred men had gathered on the south side of the river, and were marching to join other contingents on the Thames Embankment, whence some thousands of them would be shepherded by policemen up Northumberland Avenue, across Trafalgar Square, and so, by way of Lower Regent Street and Piccadilly, to Hyde Park, where they would hoarsely cheer every demagogue who blamed the Government for their miseries.

London, like Richard Royson, would stand on the pavement and watch them. Like him, it would drop a few coins into the collecting boxes rattled under its nose, and grin at the absurd figure cut by a very fat man who waddled notably, among his leaner brethren, for hunger and substance are not often found so strangely allied. But, having salved its conscience by giving, and gratified its sarcastic humor by laughing, London took thought, perhaps, when it read the strange device on the banner carried by this Vauxhall contingent. "Curse your charity we want work," said the white letters, staring threateningly out of a wide strip of red cotton. There was a brutal force in the phrase. It was Socialism in a tabloid. Many a looker on, whose lot was nigh as desperate as that of the demonstrators, felt that it struck him between the eyes.

It had some such effect on Royson. Rather abruptly he turned away, and reached the less crowded Buckingham Palace Road. His face was darkened by a frown, though his blue eyes had a glint of humor in them. The legend on the banner had annoyed him. Its blatant message had penetrated the armor of youth, high spirits, and abounding good health. It expressed his own case, with a crude vigor. The "unemployed" genius who railed at society in that virile line must have felt as he, Dick Royson, had begun to feel during the past fortnight, and the knowledge that this was so was exceedingly distasteful... Continue reading book >>




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