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Louis Joseph Vance
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 176 pages of information about The Day of Days.
metropolitan night.  Across the way gas-lit windows glowed like squares on some great, blurred checker-board.  The roadway teemed with shrieking children.  Somewhere—­near at hand—­a pianola lost its temper and whaled the everlasting daylights out of an inoffensive melody from “The Pink Lady.”  Other, more diffident instruments tinkled apologetically in the distance.  Intermittently, across the gaunt scaffolding of the Ninth Avenue L, at one end of the block, roaring trains flashed long chains of lights.  On the other hand, Eighth Avenue buzzed resonantly in stifling clouds of incandescent dust.  The air smelt of warm asphalt....

And it was Spring:  the tenth Spring P. Sybarite had watched from that self-same spot.

Discontent bred in him a brooding despondency.  He felt quite sure that the realists were right about Life:  it wasn’t worth living, after all.

The prospect of the theatre lost its attraction.  He was sure he wouldn’t enjoy it.  Such silly romantical nonsense was out of tune with the immortal Truth about Things, which he had just discovered:  Life was a poor Joke....

At his side, George Bross, on his behalf, was nursing his private and personal grouch.  Between them they manufactured an atmosphere of gloom that would have done credit to a brace of dumb Socialists.

But presently Miss Prim and Miss Lessing appeared, and changed all that in a twinkling.

VII

AFTERMATH

“Well,” observed Violet generously, “I thought little me was pretty well stage-broke; but I gotta hand it to Otis.  He’s some actor.  He had me going from the first snore.”

“Some actor is right,” affirmed Mr. Bross with conviction, “and some show, too, if you wanta know.  I could sit through it twicet.  Say, I couldn’t quit thinkin’ what a grand young time I’d start in this old burg if I could only con this Kismet thing into slippin’ me my Day of Days.  Believe me or not, there would be a party.”

“What would you do?” asked Molly Lessing, smiling.

“Well, the first flop I’d nail down all the coin that was handy, and then I’d buy me a flock of automobiles—­and have a table reserved for me at the Knickerbocker for dinner every night—­and....”  Imagination flagged.  “Well,” he concluded defensively, “I can tell you one thing I wouldn’t do.”

“What?” demanded Violet.

“I wouldn’t let any ward politician like that there Wazir, or whatever them A-rabs called him, kid me into trying to throw a bomb at Charlie Murphy—­or anythin’ like that.  No-oh!  Not this infant.  That’s where your friend Hajj the Beggar’s foot slipped on him.  Up to then he had everythin’ his own way.  If he’d only had sense enough to stall, he’d’ve wound up in a blaze of glory.”

“But, you bonehead,” Violet argued candidly, “he had to.  That was his part:  it was written in the play.”

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