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With Edge Tools   By: (1865-1945)

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WITH EDGE TOOLS

BY HOBART CHATFIELD TAYLOR

CHICAGO A. C. McCLURG AND COMPANY 1891

COPYRIGHT, BY A. C. MCCLURG AND CO. A. D. 1891.

CONTENTS.

I. THE STATEN CLUB

II. CROSS FIRE

III. TWO WOMEN

IV. IN AN OPERA BOX

V. A CHALLENGE

VI. SPANISH CASTLES

VII. THE PATRICIANS

VIII. GATHERING CLOUDS

IX. OAKHURST

X. "I WILL LAUGH, TOO"

XI. UNDER THE WILLOWS

XII. UNREST

XIII. DERBY DAY

XIV. DANGER

XV. A GAME OF SKILL

XVI. IN THE LIBRARY

WITH EDGE TOOLS.

CHAPTER I.

THE STATEN CLUB.

In the world of clubs the "Staten" held its head proudly. It was a social union comprising the most exclusive men of family and fashion. Though its outward walls differed little from those of other clubs which lined the avenue, its muster roll was sacredly guarded by the governors, and posted at the hall desk was a long list of waiting aspirants, each to undergo in his turn the scrutiny of the committee room, where all antecedents must be known and approved before his card could bear "Staten Club" in the left hand, lower corner. Other club buildings there were, in New York, of greater stateliness, with marble walls and galleries, and well filled libraries, but the "Staten" cared for none of these, and proudly pointed to its members' list, where were inscribed five hundred names which no other club could ever hope to equal. Three rooms, the restaurant, café, and billiard room, received their share of patronage, while the lounging room, upon the avenue, where a few papers were kept for respectability's sake, and others for use, was the daily haunt of some of the choicest spirits. In the early days of the club's history, to be sure, a thoughtless governor had inspired the foundation of a library. A room upstairs somewhere (few of the members knew where) was selected, and into this were placed a set of Dickens, the "Britannica," an atlas, a history or two, a dictionary, and perhaps a hundred other books, which together formed the nucleus of a store of knowledge. But no one went there except Simkins, Rynder and McLaughlin. They were a queer lot; none of the men could make them out; it was their families that got them elected, and they never seemed to have anything better to do than cuddle over musty books. But the choice clique were those whose names were most often signed to the wine room tickets. It was they who ran the club and made it the popular place it was.

On a particular January afternoon, of a year not long since passed, one of the broad, front windows of the lounging room was occupied by three intimates of "the set." There was Rennsler Van Vort, whose ancestor had been a red faced burgher at the time when old Peter Stuyvesant rigorously ruled New Amsterdam. His fortune was his name, for the family was too old to be wealthy and too proud to be in trade; yet he never lacked a berth on a yacht or a room in a country house, and wherever he went, he brought a collection of rare tales and a song or two which made him the friend of all. Like his burgher ancestor he had a red, round face and was bald, but behind his glasses there were two queer, little eyes which shone with kindly humor, and from lips half hidden by stubby black hairs, bright, timely words were sure to come. Rennsler was the senior by several years of his companions, and, if the truth were known, he probably cared little for them, but Roland Waterman owned the "Phrygia," and Clifford Howard Jones was a coaching man with a shooting box and other convenient accessories.

It had been snowing in the morning, but the sun had turned the snow to slush, and the three men, for lack of more exciting sport, were watching the omnibus horses slide and struggle down Murray Hill, and the pedestrians splash and spatter in their vain efforts to dodge the cabs and reach the curbs with unsoiled feet... Continue reading book >>




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