Queed eBook

Henry Sydnor Harrison
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 413 pages of information about Queed.
time till his work was finished....  Had been—­but no longer was.  Looking back now, he found it impossible to reconstruct the chain of impulse and circumstance which had trapped him into it, but the stark fact was that his own lips had authorized Fifi to profane at will his holy time.  Not three hours before he had been betrayed into weakly telling her that he was her friend.  He was a man of truth and honor.  He could not possibly get back of that confession of friendship, or of the privileges it bestowed.  So there was no elimination of the non-essential he could make there.

These were the short and ugly facts.  And now he must take official cognizance of them.

With a leaden heart and the hands of lamentation, he took the Schedule to pieces and laboriously fitted it together again with a fire-new item in its midst.  The item was Human Intercourse, and to it he allotted the sum of thirty minutes per diem.

It was a historic moment in his life, and, unlike most men at such partings of the ways, he was fully conscious of it.  Nevertheless, he passed straight from it to another performance hardly less extraordinary.  From his table drawer he produced a little memorandum book, and in it—­just below a diagram of a new chest-developing exercise invented last night by Klinker—­he jotted down the things that Fifi said a man must do to be like other men.

A clean half-hour remained before he must go and call on the young lady with the tom-boy name, Charles Weyland, who knew “what the public liked.”  He spent it, he, the indefatigable minute-shaver, sitting with the head that no longer ached clamped in his hand.  It had been the most disturbing day of his life, but he was not thinking of that exactly.  He was thinking what a mistake it had been to leave New York.  There he had had but two friends with no possibility of getting any more.  Here—­it was impossible to blink the fact any longer—­he already had two, with at least two more determinedly closing in on him.  He had Fifi and he had Buck—­yes, Buck; the young lady Charles Weyland had offered him her friendship this very day; and unless he looked alive he would wake up some morning to find that Nicolovius also had captured him as a friend.

He was far better off in New York, where days would go by in which he never saw Tim or Murphy Queed.  And yet ... did he want to go back?

XIII

"Taking the Little Doctor Down a Peg or Two”:  as performed for the First and Only Time by Sharlee Weyland.

The Star that fought in its course for men through Sharlee Weyland was of the leal and resolute kind.  It did not swerve at a squall.  Sharlee had thought the whole thing out, and made up her mind.  Gentle raillery, which would do everything necessary in most cases, would be wholly futile here.  She must doff all gloves and give the little Doctor the dressing-down of his life.  She must explode a mine under that

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Queed from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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