Thirty
95 Pages
English
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Thirty

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95 Pages
English

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Published 01 December 2010
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Language English

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Thirty, by Howard Vincent O'Brien, Illustrated by Robert W. Amick 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.org Title: Thirty Author: Howard Vincent O'Brien Release Date: July 8, 2010 [eBook #33117] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THIRTY*** E-text prepared by Darleen Dove, Roger Frank, Mary Meehan, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net) THIRTY BY HOWARD VINCENT O'BRIEN Author of "New Men for Old." Illustrated by ROBERT W. AMICK NEW YORK DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY 1915 COPYRIGHT. 1915 BY DODD MEAD & COMPANY TO MY MOTHER WHO SOUGHT ALWAYS TO MAKE ME LOVE THE TRUTH, THOUGH KNOWING THAT MY TRUTH WOULD NOT, IN THE NATURE OF THINGS, BE HERS. "What right have you to put such impudent questions to us, anyway?" he demanded hotly CONTENTS CHAPTER I AN UNINVITED GUEST CHAPTER II A BLOW—AND A RESOLUTION CHAPTER III "YOU DON'T KNOW MR. IMRIE" CHAPTER IV OIL AND WATER CHAPTER V A SLEEPER WAKES CHAPTER VI DEAD IDOLS CHAPTER VII "IF PEOPLE ONLY KNEW !" CHAPTER VIII THE GREATEST GAME IN THE WORLD CHAPTER IX BURNED BRIDGES CHAPTER X A BLUFF CALLED CHAPTER XI "TEARS ... AND THEN ICE" CHAPTER XII ONLY A WOMAN CHAPTER XIII THE PILOT GOES OVERBOARD CHAPTER XIV A SECRET REVEALED CHAPTER XV "THIRTY"—AND ANOTHER STORY ILLUSTRATIONS "What right have you to put such impudent questions to us, anyway?" he demanded hotly. It was hard to refuse Imrie—a million times harder than all the rest "I say, you know," he said between puffs, "business is the—greatest—game—in the world" The air was surcharged with expectancy THIRTY CHAPTER I AN UNINVITED GUEST Roger Wynrod was the first down to breakfast, and he was feeling far from well. But a glass of bitters, followed by half a grapefruit and a large cup of coffee, made him more nearly his usual cheerful self. He had a word and a smile for each one of the houseparty, as they straggled in, albeit the memory of last night's disastrous game haunted him uncomfortably. The fact was that once again he faced the necessity of appealing to his sister for further funds, and he had his doubts as to how she would take it. The meal lacked something of the cheer usually characteristic of Judith Wynrod's gatherings. Perhaps it was due to the lateness of the hour and the feverishly high stakes of the night before, or perhaps it was only the sultriness of the morning. At any rate, a certain constraint was in evidence, and no one showed any desire to linger longer than was necessary. As one by one her guests withdrew, with more or less perfunctory excuses, Judith remained sprightliness itself, laughingly protesting at the desertion of Faxon, suddenly called to town on private business, and threatening dire things to vivacious little Mrs. Baker if her dentist detained her too long to catch the late afternoon train. But when they were all gone, little lines of weariness crept into her face, and she arose irresolutely and stood for a while watching her brother who, deeply sunk in the columns of baseball news, was unconscious of her scrutiny. She studied him thoughtfully, the corners of her mouth drooping. It was that feature which modified her otherwise complete resemblance to her brother. She had the same undulant black hair, the same oval face and olive complexion, the same snapping eyes. But where his mouth was merely handsome, or, perhaps, better, affectionate, hers was firm and determined. One might say, in comparing the two, that if Roger wanted anything he would ask for it, whereas Judith would demand it. She herself was not conscious of anything approaching such masterfulness or determination in her character. She had never experienced the sensation of breaking down opposition. But that was merely because there had never been any opposition offered her. Orphaned when scarce out of childhood, with an incredible fortune and no near relatives, she, like her brother, had had only to ask; it had never been necessary to demand. But of the latent strength of her will there were not lacking evidences. Be that as it may, her time for action had not yet come. How deeply worried she had grown about Roger, no one guessed, least of all the boy himself. There was no escaping the knowledge that she was in a sense responsible for him; the terms of their father's will had made her trustee of her brother's half until he should reach the age of thirty. Of course, she ought to do something, she had often told herself, something radical and decisive; but she was too indolent, too definitely in a groove, too bored with herself and her surroundings, to take that keen interest essential to decisive action. So, with another sigh, she passed through the long window opening on the piazza, and thence to the lawn beyond. Roger awoke just a minute too late to the fact that they had been alone together and that he had missed the opportunity he had been waiting for. He always preferred to approach Judith on money matters casually, and not as though the occasion were of his own seeking. It certainly was absurd for a man of his years and income to be kept in leading-strings by his own sister. However, there was no help for it, and Judith had always been a good sort, he would say that for her. He needed a cheque, and he might as well get it over with at once. He found her in the garden, examining some flowers which had just been set out. Flowers were her one hobby, and he knew that a resort to them usually indicated a certain degree of boredom with those around her. But he went straight to the point. "Say, sis, I'm running into town presently. Can you come in and draw me a cheque? Better make it five hundred this time, to keep me going a while." "You lost again last night, Roger?" "Lost?" He laughed mirthlessly. "Lord! Yes, I lost all right. The family resources can stand it, can't they?" "How much?" "Oh, don't ask me to figure now. My head's like a ship in a storm this morning. I don't know—lots." "How much, Roger?" "Oh, come on, sis, I'm in a hurry. Draw the cheque like a good girl ... let's talk about it to-morrow." Suddenly he caught the expression on his sister's face. It was an