An Adventure with a Genius eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about An Adventure with a Genius.

The whole of the basement of the tower was taken up by a swimming pool and dressing rooms.  The water was pumped in from the sea and could be heated by a system of steam pipes.  The upper floors of the tower were given over to bedrooms, for J. P., for the major-domo and for several of the secretaries.

Most of the servants were housed in a large building some distance from the main residence, and there were separate quarters for the grooms and stablemen, and for the heard gardener and his assistants.

While we were at Chatwold there was a gathering of the Pulitzer family—­ Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer, a cousin of Jefferson Davis and a belle of Washington in her day, who married Mr. Pulitzer years before his success in life had been made and when the fight for his place in journalism was still in its early stages; Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Pulitzer and their young son, Ralph; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Miss Edith Pulitzer, Miss Constance Pulitzer and Mr. Pulitzer’s youngest child, Herbert, a boy of fifteen.

The presence of the family had little effect upon the routine of Mr. Pulitzer’s daily life.  He saw as much of his wife and children as he could; but the intensity of his family emotions was such that they could only be given rein at the price of sleepless nights, savage pain, and desperate weariness.  His interest in everything concerning the family was overwhelming, his curiosity inexhaustible.  Everybody had to be described over and over again, but especially young Master Ralph, a bright and handsome child, born long after his grandfather had become totally blind, and Master Herbert, of whose appearance he retained only a memory of the dim impressions he had been able to gather years before when a little sight yet remained to him.

It was at lunch and at dinner that Mr. Pulitzer saw most of the family.  He almost always took his meals in the library at a table seating four; and the party usually included Mrs. Pulitzer, one of the other ladies or Master Herbert, and a secretary.  I was present at a great many of these gatherings, partly because J. P. had gradually acquired a taste for such humor as I was able to contribute to the conversation, and partly because he relished a salad-dressing which represented my only accomplishment in the gastronomic field.

A feature of the Bar Harbor life which Mr. Pulitzer enjoyed greatly and which he could not indulge in elsewhere were the long trips he made in a big electric launch on the sheltered waters of Frenchman’s Bay.  When the weather was fine these trips occupied two or three hours each day.  J. P. sat in an armchair amidships, with two companions, very often his two older sons, to read to him or to discuss business affairs.

On the occasions when I formed one of the party I had the opportunity of observing that so far as the quantity and the quality of work were concerned it was an easier task to be one of Mr. Pulitzer’s secretaries than to be one of his sons.  I have never seen men put to a more severe test of industry, concentration, and memory than were Mr. Ralph and Mr. Joseph, Jr., while they were at Bar Harbor or on the yacht.

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An Adventure with a Genius from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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