The American eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 514 pages of information about The American.
on Long Island.  I was sick of business; I wanted to throw it all up and break off short; I had money enough, or if I hadn’t I ought to have.  I seemed to feel a new man inside my old skin, and I longed for a new world.  When you want a thing so very badly you had better treat yourself to it.  I didn’t understand the matter, not in the least; but I gave the old horse the bridle and let him find his way.  As soon as I could get out of the game I sailed for Europe.  That is how I come to be sitting here.”

“You ought to have bought up that hack,” said Tristram; “it isn’t a safe vehicle to have about.  And you have really sold out, then; you have retired from business?”

“I have made over my hand to a friend; when I feel disposed, I can take up the cards again.  I dare say that a twelvemonth hence the operation will be reversed.  The pendulum will swing back again.  I shall be sitting in a gondola or on a dromedary, and all of a sudden I shall want to clear out.  But for the present I am perfectly free.  I have even bargained that I am to receive no business letters.”

“Oh, it’s a real caprice de prince,” said Tristram.  “I back out; a poor devil like me can’t help you to spend such very magnificent leisure as that.  You should get introduced to the crowned heads.”

Newman looked at him a moment, and then, with his easy smile, “How does one do it?” he asked.

“Come, I like that!” cried Tristram.  “It shows you are in earnest.”

“Of course I am in earnest.  Didn’t I say I wanted the best?  I know the best can’t be had for mere money, but I rather think money will do a good deal.  In addition, I am willing to take a good deal of trouble.”

“You are not bashful, eh?”

“I haven’t the least idea.  I want the biggest kind of entertainment a man can get.  People, places, art, nature, everything!  I want to see the tallest mountains, and the bluest lakes, and the finest pictures and the handsomest churches, and the most celebrated men, and the most beautiful women.”

“Settle down in Paris, then.  There are no mountains that I know of, and the only lake is in the Bois du Boulogne, and not particularly blue.  But there is everything else:  plenty of pictures and churches, no end of celebrated men, and several beautiful women.”

“But I can’t settle down in Paris at this season, just as summer is coming on.”

“Oh, for the summer go up to Trouville.”

“What is Trouville?”

“The French Newport.  Half the Americans go.”

“Is it anywhere near the Alps?”

“About as near as Newport is to the Rocky Mountains.”

“Oh, I want to see Mont Blanc,” said Newman, “and Amsterdam, and the Rhine, and a lot of places.  Venice in particular.  I have great ideas about Venice.”

“Ah,” said Mr. Tristram, rising, “I see I shall have to introduce you to my wife!”


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The American from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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