Kennedy Square eBook

Francis Hopkinson Smith
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 369 pages of information about Kennedy Square.

“Man been lookin’ for you—­comin’ back, he says.  My trick!  Hearts, wasn’t it?” (this to his companions).

“Do I know him?” asked Harry with a slight start, pausing on his way to his bedroom upstairs, where he had left his bag of clothes two hours before.  Could he have been recognized and shadowed?

“No—­don’t think so; he’s a street vendor.  Got some China silks to sell—­carries his pack on his back and looks as if he’d took up a extry ’ole in his belt.  Hungry, I wouldn’t wonder.  Wanted to h’ist ’em fur a glass o’ grog an’ a night’s lodgin’, but Cap wouldn’t let him—­said you’d be back and might help him.  Wasn’t that it, Cap?”—­this to the landlord, who nodded in reply.

“How could I help him?” asked Harry, selecting a tallow dip from a row on a shelf, but in a tone that implied his own doubt in the query, as well as his relief, now that the man was really a stranger.

“Well, this is your port, so I ‘ear.  Some o’ them high-flyers up ’round the park might lend a hand, may be, if you’d tip ’em a wink, or some o’ their women folks might take a shine to ’em.”

“Looked hungry, did you say?” Harry asked, lighting the dip at an oil lamp that swung near the bar.

“Yes—­holler’s a drum—­see straight through him; tired too—­beat out.  You’d think so if you see him.  My play—­clubs.”

Harry turned to the landlord:  “If this man comes in again give him food and lodging,” and he handed him a bank bill.  “If he is here in the morning let me see him.  I’m going to bed now.  Good-night, men!”

CHAPTER XXV

Should I lapse into the easy-flowing style of the chroniclers of the period of which I write—­(and how often has the scribe wished he could)—­this chapter would open with the announcement that on this particularly bleak, wintry afternoon a gentleman in the equestrian costume of the day, and mounted upon a well-groomed, high-spirited white horse, might have been seen galloping rapidly up a country lane leading to an old-fashioned manor house.

Such, however, would not cover the facts.  While the afternoon was certainly wintry, and while the rider was unquestionably a gentleman, he was by no manner of means attired in velveteen coat and russet-leather boots with silver spurs, his saddle-bags strapped on behind, but in a rough and badly worn sailor’s suit, his free hand grasping a bundle carried loose on his pommel.  As to the horse neither the immortal James or any of his school could truthfully picture this animal as either white or high-spirited.  He might, it is true, have been born white and would in all probability have stayed white but for the many omissions and commissions of his earlier livery stable training—­traces of which could still be found in his scraped sides and gnawed mane and tail; he might also have once had a certain commendable spirit had not the ups and downs of road life—­and they were pretty steep outside Kennedy Square—­taken it out of him.

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Project Gutenberg
Kennedy Square from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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