The Parts Men Play eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about The Parts Men Play.


     I. Lady Durwent decides on A dinner
    II.  Concerning lady Durwent’s family
   III.  About A town house
    IV.  Prologue to A dinner-party
     V. The Olympians thunder
    VI.  A morning in November
   VII.  The cafe Rouge
  VIII.  Intermezzo
    IX.  A house-party at Roselawn
     X. Gathering shadows
    XI.  The rending of the Veil
   XII.  The honourable Malcolm Durwent starts on A Journey
  XIII.  The man of solitude
   XIV.  Strange craft
    XV.  Dick Durwent
   XVI.  The feminine touch
  XVII.  Moonlight
 XVIII.  Elise
   XIX.  En voyage
    XX.  The great neutral
   XXI.  A night in January
  XXII.  The challenge
 XXIII.  The smuggler breed
  XXIV.  The sentence
   XXV.  The fight for the bridge
  XXVI.  The end of the road
 XXVII.  A light on the water



Lady Durwent decides on A dinner.


His Majesty’s postmen were delivering mail.  Through the gray grime of a November morning that left a taste of rust in the throat, the carriers of letters were bearing their cargo to all the corners of that world which is called London.

There were letters from hospitals asking for funds; there were appeals from sick people seeking admission to hospital.  There were long, legal letters and little, scented letters lying wonderingly together in the postman’s bag.  There were notes from tailors to gentlemen begging to remind them; and there were answers from gentlemen to their tailors, in envelopes bearing the crests of Pall Mail clubs, hinting of temporary embarrassment, but mentioning certain prospects that would shortly enable them to . . . .

Fat, bulging envelopes, returning manuscripts with editors’ regrets, were on their way to poor devils of scribblers living in the altitude of unrecognised genius and a garret.  There were cringing, fawning epistles, written with a smirk and sealed with a scowl; some there were couched in a refinement of cruelty that cut like a knife.

But, as unconcerned as tramps plying contraband between South America and Mexico, His Majesty’s postmen were delivering His Majesty’s mail, with never a thought of the play of human emotions lying behind the sealed lips of an envelope.  If His Majesty’s subjects insisted upon writing to one another, it was obvious that their letters, in some mysterious way become the property of His Majesty, had to be delivered.

Thus it happened, on a certain November morning in the year 1913, that six dinner invitations, enclosed in small, square envelopes with a noble crest on the back, and large, unwieldy writing on the front, were being carried through His Majesty’s fog to six addresses in the West End of London.

Project Gutenberg
The Parts Men Play from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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