Author: F. Hopkinson Smith
Release Date: December, 2003 [Etext #4713] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 6, 2002]
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THE VEILED LADY
And Other Men And Women
F. Hopkinson Smith
To my Readers:
This collection of stories has been labelled “The Veiled Lady” as being the easiest way out of a dilemma; and yet the title may be misleading. While, beyond doubt, there is between these covers a most charming and lovable Houri, to whom the nightingales sing lullabies, there can also be found a surpassingly beautiful Venetian whose love affairs upset a Quarter, a common-sense, motherly nurse whose heart warmed toward her companion in the adjoining berth, a plucky New England girl with the courage of her convictions, and a prim spinster whose only consolation was the boarder who sat opposite.
Nor does the list by any means end here. Rough sea-dogs, with friendly feelings toward other dogs, crop up, as well as brave Titans who make derricks of their arms and fender-piles of their bodies. Here, too, are skinny, sun-dried Excellencies with a taste for revolutions, well-groomed club swells with a taste for adventure and cocktails, not to mention half a dozen gay, rollicking Bohemians with a taste for everything that came their way.
Perhaps it might have been best to enclose each story in a separate cover, and then to dump the unassorted lot upon the table, where those who wished could make their choice. And yet, as I turn the leaves, I must admit that, after all, the present form is best, since each and every incident, situation, and bit of local color has either passed before or was poured into the wide-open eyes and willing ears of your most humble and obedient servant
A Staid Old Painter.