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The Wood Fire in No. 3   By: (1838-1915)

The Wood Fire in No. 3 by Francis Hopkinson Smith

First Page:

THE WOOD FIRE IN No. 3

BY F. HOPKINSON SMITH

ILLUSTRATED IN COLORS BY ALONZO KIMBALL

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS NEW YORK 1913

Copyright, 1905, by CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SON

Published, October, 1905

[Illustration: Mac had the floor this afternoon.]

A WORD OF WELCOME:

To those of you who love an easy chair, a mug, a pipe, and a story; to whom a well swept hearth is a delight and the cheery crackle of hickory logs a joy; the touch of whose elbows sends a thrill through responsive hearts and whose genial talk but knits the circle the closer, as well as those gentler spirits who are content to listen how rare they are! do I repeat Sandy MacWhirter's hearty invitation: "Draw up, draw up! By the gods, but I'm glad to see you! Get a pipe. The tobacco is in the yellow jar."

Yours warmly,

THE BACK LOG.

THE HEARTH, Room No. 3, Old Building, October, 1905.

CONTENTS

I. In which Certain Details regarding a Lost Opal are set Forth

II. Wherein the Gentle Art of Dining is Variously Described

III. With Especial Reference to a Girl in a Steamer Chair

IV. With a Detailed Account of a Dangerous Footpad

V. In which Boggs Becomes Dramatic and Relates a Tale of Blood

VI. Wherein Mac Dilates on the Human Side of "His Worship, the Chief Justice" and his Fellow Dogs

VII. Containing Mr. Alexander MacWhirter's Views on Lord Ponsonby, Major Yancey, and their Kind

VIII. In which Murphy and Lonnegan Introduce Some Mysterious Characters

IX. Around the Embers of the Dying Fire

ILLUSTRATIONS

From drawings in color by Alonzo Kimball

Mac had the floor this afternoon

MacWhirter

But the perfume of the violets and the way she looked at me

The men pressed closer to look. "Roses, on a man like him!"

Not a tramp; rather a good looking, well mannered man, who had evidently seen better days

Again his fingers tightened; my breath was going

"It's a better advertisement than two columns in a morning paper"

Pushed the Engineer into the salon

Around the embers of the dying fire

THE WOOD FIRE IN No. 3

PART I

In which Certain Details regarding a Lost Opal are Set Forth.

Sandy MacWhirter would have an open fire. He had been brought up on blazing logs and warm hearths, and could not be happy without them. In his own boyhood's home the fireplace was the shrine, and half the orchard and two big elms had been offered up on its altar.

There was no chimney in No. 3 when he moved in no place really to put one, unless he knocked a hole in the roof, started a fire on the bare floor, and sat around it wigwam fashion; nor was there any way of supporting the necessary brickwork, unless a start was made from the basement up through every room to No. 3 and so on to the roof. But trifling obstacles like these never daunted MacWhirter. Lonnegan, a Beaux Arts man, who built the big Opera House, and who also hungered for blazing logs, solved the difficulty. It was only a matter of fifteen feet from where Mac's easel stood to the roof of the building that sheltered him, and it was not many days before Lonnegan's foreman had a hole in the roof and a wide and spacious chimney breast rising from Mac's floor, which filled the opening in the ceiling and rose some ten feet above it, the whole resting on an iron plate bolted to four upright iron rods which were in turn bolted to two heavy timbers laid flat on the roof. Lonnegan's men did the work, and Lonnegan settled with the landlord and forgot ever afterward to send Mac the bill, and hasn't to this day.

No one else inside the four walls of the Old Building had any such comfort. All the other denizens had heaters; or choked up, shivering, contracted grates; or a half strangled flue from the basement below. Poor Pitkin relied on a rubber tube fastened to his gas light, which was connected with a sort of Chinese tea caddy of a stove propped up on four legs, and which was shifted about so as to thaw out the coldest spots in his studio... Continue reading book >>




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