Title: The Guest of Quesnay
Author: Booth Tarkington
Release Date: May, 2004 [EBook #5756] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on August 28, 2002] [Date last updated: December 11, 2004]
Character set encoding: ASCII
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THE GUEST OF QUESNAY
Ovid Butler Jameson
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Several pairs of brighter eyes followed my companion ...... Frontispiece
“I haven’t had my life. It’s gone!”
“You and Miss Ward are old and dear friends, aren’t you?”
“Embrasse moi, Larrabi! Embrasse moi!” she cried
There are old Parisians who will tell you pompously that the boulevards, like the political cafes, have ceased to exist, but this means only that the boulevards no longer gossip of Louis Napoleon, the Return of the Bourbons, or of General Boulanger, for these highways are always too busily stirring with present movements not to be forgetful of their yesterdays. In the shade of the buildings and awnings, the loungers, the lookers-on in Paris, the audience of the boulevard, sit at little tables, sipping coffee from long glasses, drinking absinthe or bright-coloured sirops, and gazing over the heads of throngs afoot at others borne along through the sunshine of the street in carriages, in cabs, in glittering automobiles, or high on the tops of omnibuses.
From all the continents the multitudes come to join in that procession: Americans, tagged with race-cards and intending hilarious disturbances; puzzled Americans, worn with guide-book plodding; Chinese princes in silk; queer Antillean dandies of swarthy origin and fortune; ruddy English, thinking of nothing; pallid English, with upper teeth bared and eyes hungrily searching for sign-boards of tea-rooms; over-Europeanised Japanese, unpleasantly immaculate; burnoosed sheiks from the desert, and red-fezzed Semitic peddlers; Italian nobles in English tweeds; Soudanese negroes swaggering in frock coats; slim Spaniards, squat Turks, travellers, idlers, exiles, fugitives, sportsmen—all the tribes and kinds of men are tributary here to the Parisian stream which, on a fair day in spring, already overflows the banks with its own much-mingled