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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Complete by Howells

Where he saw Fulkerson standing


I know," said Conrad.

"Of course, I don't agree with Lindau. I think there are as many good, kind, just people among the rich as there are among the poor, and that they are as generous and helpful. But Lindau has got hold of one of those partial truths that hurt worse than the whole truth, and--"

"Partial truth!" the young man interrupted. "Didn't the Saviour himself say, 'How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God?'"

"Why, bless my soul!" cried March. "Do you agree with Lindau?"

"I agree with the Lord Jesus Christ," said the young man, solemnly, and a strange light of fanaticism, of exaltation, came into his wide blue eyes. "And I believe He meant the kingdom of heaven upon this earth, as well as in the skies."

March threw himself back in his chair and looked at him with a kind of stupefaction, in which his eye wandered to the doorway, where he saw Fulkerson standing, it seemed to him a long time, before he heard him saying: "Hello, hello! What's the row? Conrad pitching into you on old Lindau's account, too?"

The young man turned, and, after a glance at Fulkerson's light, smiling face, went out, as if in his present mood he could not bear the contact of that persiflant spirit.

March felt himself getting provisionally

very angry again. "Excuse me, Fulkerson, but did you know when you went out what Mr. Dryfoos wanted to see me for?"

"Well, no, I didn't exactly," said Fulkerson, taking his usual seat on a chair and looking over the back of it at March. "I saw he was on his car about something, and I thought I'd better not monkey with him much. I supposed he was going to bring you to book about old Lindau, somehow." Fulkerson broke into a laugh.

March remained serious. "Mr. Dryfoos," he said, willing to let the simple statement have its own weight with Fulkerson, and nothing more, "came in here and ordered me to discharge Lindau from his employment on the magazine--to turn him off, as he put it."

"Did he?" asked Fulkerson, with unbroken cheerfulness. "The old man is business, every time. Well, I suppose you can easily get somebody else to do Lindau's work for you. This town is just running over with half-starved linguists. What did you say?"

"What did I say?" March echoed. "Look here, Fulkerson; you may regard this as a joke, but I don't. I'm not used to being spoken to as if I were the foreman of a shop, and told to discharge a sensitive and cultivated man like Lindau, as if he were a drunken mechanic; and if that's your idea of me--"

"Oh, hello, now, March! You mustn't mind the old man's way. He don't mean anything by it--he don't know any better, if you come to that."

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