“Two, my dear, if you please. Now what will give you all the most pleasure to-day?”
Alfonso answered, “Why not take a drive, and possibly attend some church?”
This plan was approved. Breakfast over, the Harris family entered a carriage, and the coachman, with Jean by his side, drove through Washington Square, under the American Arch of Triumph, and out Fifth Avenue, the fashionable street of New York. Alfonso acted as guide. “This white sepulchral looking building on the left at the corner of 34th street is where A.T. Stewart, the Irish merchant prince, lived.”
Gertrude remarked, “How true in his case, the proverb ’Riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away, as an eagle towards heaven.’”
“You should quote Scripture correctly, my child,” said the mother. “‘Riches take wings.’”
“No, no, mamma—I am sure that I am right. ’Riches make themselves wings’ and the proverb is as true to-day as in Solomon’s time.”
“Well, Gertrude, we will look at the hotel Bible on our return.”
“Yes, mamma, if the hotel has one.”
Colonel Harris responded, “I think Gertrude is right. Stewart’s millions have changed hands. Dead men have no need of dollars. No wonder Stewart’s bones were restless.”
“Here at West 39th Street is the sumptuous building of the Union League Club. It has over 1500 members, all pledged to absolute loyalty to the Government of the United States, to resist every attempt against the integrity of the nation, and to promote reform in national, state, and municipal affairs. The club equipped and sent two full regiments to the front in the Civil War.”
Alfonso pointed out Jay Gould’s old residence, more club houses, libraries, the Windsor Hotel, Dr. Hall’s handsome Presbyterian Church, and the brown stone and marble palaces of the Vanderbilt family, two miles of splendid residences and magnificent churches before you reach Central Park at 59th Street.
The walks were thronged with beautiful women and well dressed men. It was now 10:30 o’clock. The chimes had ceased their hallowed music. People of all nationalities were jostling each other in their haste to enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a copy of the Gothic masterpiece in Cologne, and the most imposing church building in America.
The Harris carriage stopped; Lucille’s heart suddenly began to beat quickly, for she saw Leo Colonna hastening from the Cathedral steps towards the carriage. “Good morning, Mrs. Harris! Glad you have come to my church,” Leo said; then taking her hand cordially, he added, “And you have brought the family. Well, I am pleased, for you could not have come to a more beautiful church or service.”
As Leo conducted his friends up the granite steps, all were enthusiastic in their praise of the Fifth Avenue facade; white marble from granite base to the topmost stones of the graceful twin spires.