The President

Alfred Henry Lewis

The President

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Title: The President A novel
Author: Alfred Henry Lewis

Release Date: June 13, 2006 [eBook #18572]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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A Novel by
Author of "The Boss," "Wolfville Days," Etc.

New York A. S. Barnes and Company MDCCCCIV


[Illustration: Across the Senator's Desk]

I. How Richard Began to Woo
II. How a President is Bred
III. How Mr. Gwynn Dined with the Harleys
IV. How a Speakership was Fought for
V. How Richard was Taught Many Things
VI. How Storri Had a Vivid Imagination
VII. How Richard Gained in Knowledge
VIII. How Storri Wooed Mrs. Hanway-Harley
IX. How Storri Made an Offer of His Love
X. How Storri Plotted a Vengeance
XI. How Mr. Harley Found Himself a Forger
XII. How Mr. Fopling was Inspired
XIII. How the San Reve Gave Storri Warning
XIV. How They Talked Politics at Mr. Gwynn's
XV. How Richard Met Inspector Val
XVI. How Richard Received a Letter
XVII. How Northern Consolidated was Sold
XVIII. How Storri Explored for Gold
XIX. How London Bill Took a Pal
XX. How Storri Foolishly Wrote a Message
XXI. How the Gold Came Down
XXII. How the San Reve Kept Her Storri
XXIII. How Richard and Dorothy Sailed Away

Across the Senator's Desk
One of the Most Reverend of the Senate Walruses
At the Door of the Caucus Room
It was a Kind of Prodigy
That Artist of Pursuit
"Sit Down!" Thundered Mr. Harley
He Held Her Close
"It'll Take Two Months to Dig that Tunnel"

On this far-away November morning, it being ten by every steeple clock and an hour utterly chaste, there could have existed no impropriety in one's having had a look into the rooms of Mr. Richard Storms, said rooms being second-floor front of the superfashionable house of Mr. Lorimer Gwynn, Washington, North West. Richard, wrapped to the chin in a bathrobe, was sitting much at his ease, having just tumbled from the tub. There was ever a recess in Richard's morning programme at this point during which his breakfast arrived. Pending that repast, he had thrown himself into an easy-chair before the blaze which crackled in the deep fireplace. The sudden sharp weather made the fire pleasant enough.
The apartment in which Richard lounged, and the rooms to the rear belonging with it, were richly appointed. A fortune had been spilled to produce those effects in velvets and plushes and pictures and bronzes and crystals and chinas and lamps and Russia leathers and laces and brocades and silks, and as you walked the thick rugs you made no more noise than a ghost. It was Richard's caprice to have his environment the very lap of splendor, being as given to luxury as a woman.
Against the pane beat a swirl and white flurry of snow, for winter broke early that year. Richard turned an eye of gray indolence on the window. The down-come of snow in no sort disquieted him; there abode a bent for winter in his blood, throughout the centuries Norse, that would have liked a Laplander. Even his love for pictures ran away to scenes of snow and wind-whipped wolds with drifts piled high. These, if well drawn, he would look at; while he turned his back on palms and jungles and things tropical in paint, the sight of which made him perspire like a harvest hand. As Richard's idle glance came back from the window, it caught the brown eyes of Mr. Pickwick considering him through a silvery, fringy thicket of hair. Mr. Pickwick was said to be royally descended; however that might have been, indubitably his pedigree harbored somewhere both a door-mat and a mop.
"Rats!" observed Richard to Mr. Pickwick.
Richard did not say this because it was true, but to show Mr. Pickwick that the ties which bound them were friendly. On his side, Mr. Pickwick, albeit he stood well aware how there was never a rat in the room, arose vivaciously and went snuffling and scuffling behind curtains and beneath sofas, and all in a mood prodigiously dire.
The room being exhaustively searched, Mr. Pickwick came and sat by Richard, and with yelp and howl, and at intervals a little epileptic bark, proceeded to disparage all manners and septs of rats, and spake slightingly of all such vermin deer. Having freed his mind on the important subject of rats, Mr. Pickwick returned to silence and his cushion and curled up.
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