Bought and Paid For - From the Play of George Broadhurst
111 Pages
English

Bought and Paid For - From the Play of George Broadhurst

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Published 01 December 2010
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Language English
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Bought and Paid For, by Arthur Hornblow This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Bought and Paid For From the Play of George Broadhurst Author: Arthur Hornblow Release Date: July 8, 2005 [EBook #16249] Last updated: January 3, 2009 Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BOUGHT AND PAID FOR *** Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Carol David, Joshua Hutchinson and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net Bought And Paid For A Story of To-day From the Play of George Broadhurst by Arthur Hornblow Illustrations From Scenes In The Play New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers Copyright, 1912, by G.W. Dillingham Company Without Further Argument, He Seized Hold Of Her. Contents Contents Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV Chapter XVI Chapter XVII Chapter XVIII Chapter XIX Chapter XX Chapter XXI Chapter XXII Chapter I "How is he now, doctor? Don't—don't tell me there is no hope!" The wife, a tall, aristocratic looking woman who, despite her advanced years, her snow-white hair, her eyes now red and swollen from weeping, and pallid face seamed with careworn lines from constant vigils, still showed traces of former beauty, scanned the physician fearfully, trying to read in the expression of his countenance what the friend and man of science, out of sheer compassion, was doing his utmost to conceal. He had just emerged from the sick chamber; the trained nurse, methodical and quick, and singularly attractive looking in her neat uniform, had closed the door noiselessly behind him. Two young girls, one about eighteen and the other some four years her junior, both possessing more than average good looks, stood timidly in the background anxiously awaiting, together with their grief-stricken mother, to hear the dreaded verdict. The physician paid no attention to them, but paced up and down the room, his manner stern and forbidding, his head inclined in deep thought, as if bent under the weight of tremendous responsibilities. A noted specialist in pulmonary troubles, Dr. Wilston Everett was well past middle age, and his tall, erect figure, massive frame and fine, leonine head, crowned by a mass of stubborn, iron-gray hair, made him a conspicuous figure everywhere. His expression, stern in repose, was that of a profound student; it was a face where lofty thoughts, humane feeling and every other noble attribute had left its indelible impress. Mrs. Blaine watched him fearfully, afraid to intrude on his reflections. Finally, summoning up courage, she stammered weakly: "How do you find him—not worse, is he?" The doctor made no reply, but for a few moments stood looking at the three women in silence. He felt sorry for them—so sorry that it was only by the exercise of the greatest self-control that he kept his eyes from filling with tell-tale tears. Who, better than he, could realize the full extent of the misfortune which had suddenly befallen these poor people? It was almost the same as if it had happened to himself. Was he not, indeed, one of the family? Had he not been present at poor Blaine's wedding, brought each of these girls into the world and played with them on his knees? Now they had grown up to be young women, they looked upon him as their second father. Blaine, poor fellow, little thought that the end was so near! That's what he had got for giving up his life to the most exciting and ungrateful profession in the world. He had worked himself to death for a pittance, until, giving way under the strain, his constitution completely undermined, he proved an easy victim for pneumonia. If he had been less scrupulous, more of a grafter, if he had seen in his profession only the money to be made out of it, he might have been a rich man by this time. But he was honest, honorable to a fault. No amount of money could induce him to take tainted money. No matter what legal white washing he was promised, he would have nothing to do with thieves and perjurers. What was the result? After twenty years of legal practice he was still a poor man and here on his deathbed, suddenly struck down in the prime of life before he had time to properly provide for his dear ones. Probably there was no insurance. In fact, everyone knew that there was not. Blaine had admitted as much to him some time ago. He had said then that he had only $2,000 worth, but intended getting more. Now it was too late. Only a few paltry dollars—barely enough to bury him. The comfortably furnished room with its piano, books and pictures and other scattered evidence of culture and refinement, showed the manner in which the Blaines liked to live. Through the open window, affording a fine view of Central Park, with its rolling lawns, winding paths and masses of green foliage, came the distant sounds of busy traffic on the Avenue, ten stories below. Of course, they would have to give up all this. There was not the slightest hope for the patient. He was past human aid. It was only a question of a few hours, perhaps only minutes, when the end would come. Yet how could he break the terrible truth to this poor woman, to these children who now stood watching him, their lips not daring to give utterance to the dread question he could plainly read in their tired, red eyes? There was an unnatural silence. When anyone spoke it was in an almost inaudible whisper. Each seemed to feel that Death, grim and awful of aspect, was stalking invisible through the room. From behind the closed door where the father and husband lay dying there came no sound. Only an occasional sob from the wife, and the movements of the two girls as they endeavored to console her, relieved the oppressive stillness. Suddenly the doctor's eye encountered Mrs. Blaine's searching, questioning gaze. Averting his head, he said: "We must wait and hope for the best. You must be brave. He may rally. I don't like the heart action. That's what bothers me. If there's another sinking spell—" Mrs. Blaine laid her cold, trembling hand on his. Quickly she said: "You won't go away?" He shook his head.