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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Complete by Howells

Fulkerson says he comes to see Alma


The Fulkersons spent the summer at a seaside hotel in easy reach of the city; but they returned early to Mrs. Leighton's, with whom they are to board till spring, when they are going to fit up Fulkerson's bachelor apartment for housekeeping. Mrs. March, with her Boston scruple, thinks it will be odd, living over the 'Every Other Week' offices; but there will be a separate street entrance to the apartment; and besides, in New York you may do anything.

The future of the Leightons promises no immediate change. Kendricks goes there a good deal to see the Fulkersons, and Mrs. Fulkerson says he comes to see Alma. He has seemed taken with her ever since he first met her at Dryfoos's, the day of Lindau's funeral, and though Fulkerson objects to dating a fancy of that kind from an occasion of that kind, he justly argues with March that there can be no harm in it, and that we are liable to be struck by lightning any time. In the mean while there is no proof that Alma returns Kendricks's interest, if he feels any. She has got a little bit of color into the fall exhibition; but the fall exhibition is never so good as the spring exhibition. Wetmore is rather sorry she has succeeded in this, though he promoted her success. He says her real hope is in black and white, and it is a pity for her to lose sight of her original aim of drawing for illustration.

News has come from Paris of the engagement of Christine Dryfoos. There the Dryfooses met with the success denied them in New York; many American plutocrats must await their apotheosis in Europe, where society has them, as it were, in a translation. Shortly after their arrival they were celebrated in the news papers as the first millionaire American family of natural-gas extraction who had arrived in the capital of civilization; and at a French watering-place Christine encountered her fate--a nobleman full of present debts and of duels in the past. Fulkerson says the old man can manage the debtor, and Christine can look out for the duellist. "They say those fellows generally whip their wives. He'd better not try it with Christine, I reckon, unless he's practised with a panther."

One day, shortly after their return to town in the autumn from the brief summer outing they permitted themselves, the Marches met Margaret Vance. At first they did not know her in the dress of the sisterhood which she wore; but she smiled joyfully, almost gayly, on seeing them, and though she hurried by with the sister who accompanied her, and did not stay to speak, they felt that the peace that passeth understanding had looked at them from her eyes.

"Well, she is at rest, there can't be any doubt of that," he said, as he glanced round at the drifting black robe which followed her free, nun-like walk.

"Yes, now she can do all the good she likes," sighed his wife. "I wonder--I wonder if she ever told his father about her talk with poor Conrad that day he was shot?"

"I don't know. I don't care. In any event, it would be right. She did nothing wrong. If she unwittingly sent him to his death, she sent him to die for God's sake, for man's sake."

"Yes--yes. But still--"

"Well, we must trust that look of hers."

PG EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

Affected absence of mind Be good, sweet man, and let who will be clever Comfort of the critical attitude Conscience weakens to the need that isn't Death is an exile that no remorse and no love can reach Death is peace and pardon Did not idealize him, but in the highest effect she realized him Does any one deserve happiness Does anything from without change us? Europe, where society has them, as it were, in a translation Favorite stock of his go up and go down under the betting Hemmed round with this eternal darkness of death Indispensable Love of justice hurry them into sympathy with violence Married for no other purpose than to avoid being an old maid Nervous woes of comfortable people Novelists, who really have the charge of people's thinking People that have convictions are difficult Rejoice as much at a non-marriage as a marriage Respect for your mind, but she don't think you've got any sense Superstition of the romances that love is once for all Superstition that having and shining is the chief good To do whatever one likes is finally to do nothing that one likes Took the world as she found it, and made the best of it What we can be if we must When you look it--live it Would sacrifice his best friend to a phrase


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