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Fairfax and His Pride by Marie Van Vorst

FAIRFAX AND HIS PRIDE

_A NOVEL_

BY

MARIE VAN VORST

Author of "Big Tremaine," etc.

BOSTON SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1920, BY SMALL, MAYNARD& COMPANY (INCORPORATED)

TO

B. VAN VORST

IN MEMORY OF A LONG FRIENDSHIP

FAIRFAX AND HIS PRIDE

BOOK I

THE KINSMEN

CHAPTER I

One bitter day in January in the year 1880, when New York was a tranquil city, a young man stood at the South Ferry waiting for the up-town horse car. With a few other passengers he had just left the packet which had arrived in New York harbour that afternoon from New Orleans.

Antony Fairfax was an utter stranger to the North.

In his hand he carried a small hand-bag, and by his side on the snow rested his single valise. Before him waited a red and yellow tram-car drawn by lean horses, from whose backs the vapour rose on the frosty air. Muffled to his ears, the driver beat together his hands in their leather gloves; the conductor stamped his feet. The traveller climbed into the car, lifting his big bag after him.

The cold was even more terrible to him than to the conductor and driver. He had come from the South, where he had left the roses and magnolias in bloom, and the warmth of the country was in his blood. He dug his feet into the straw covering the floor of the car, buttoned his coat tight about his neck, pushed his hands deep in his pockets and sat wondering at the numbing cold.

This, then, was the North!

He watched with interest the few other passengers board the little car: two fruit vendors and after them were amiably lifted in great bunches of bananas. Antony asked himself the question whether this new country would be friendly to him, what would its spirit be toward him, and as he asked this question of the cold winter air the city suddenly took reality and formed for him out of his dreams. Would it be kind or cruel? The coming days would answer: meanwhile he could wait. Some places, like some people whom we meet, at once extend to us a hand; there are some that even seem to offer an embrace. Through the car blew a sudden icy blast and New York's welcome to Fairfax was keen as a blow. There was an actual physical affront in this wind that struck him in the face.


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