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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Complete by Howells

And walked Fulkerson out before him


Fulkerson

slowly and sadly shook his head, but decidedly. "Wouldn't do. You might as well say St. Louis or Cincinnati. There's only one city that belongs to the whole country, and that's New York."

"Yes, I know," sighed March; "and Boston belongs to the Bostonians, but they like you to make yourself at home while you're visiting."

"If you'll agree to make phrases like that, right along, and get them into 'The Round-Robin' somehow, I'll say four thousand," said Fulkerson. "You think it over now, March. You talk it over with Mrs. March; I know you will, anyway; and I might as well make a virtue of advising you to do it. Tell her I advised you to do it, and you let me know before next Saturday what you've decided."

March shut down the rolling top of his desk in the corner of the room, and walked Fulkerson out before him. It was so late that the last of the chore-women who washed down the marble halls and stairs of the great building had wrung out her floor-cloth and departed, leaving spotless stone and a clean, damp smell in the darkening corridors behind her.

"Couldn't offer you such swell quarters in New York, March," Fulkerson said, as he went tack-tacking down the steps with his small boot-heels. "But I've got my eye on a little house round in West Eleventh Street that I'm going to fit up for my bachelor's hall in the third story, and adapt for 'The

Lone Hand' in the first and second, if this thing goes through; and I guess we'll be pretty comfortable. It's right on the Sand Strip--no malaria of any kind."

"I don't know that I'm going to share its salubrity with you yet," March sighed, in an obvious travail which gave Fulkerson hopes.

"Oh yes, you are," he coaxed. "Now, you talk it over with your wife. You give her a fair, unprejudiced chance at the thing on its merits, and I'm very much mistaken in Mrs. March if she doesn't tell you to go in and win. We're bound to win!"

They stood on the outside steps of the vast edifice beetling like a granite crag above them, with the stone groups of an allegory of life-insurance foreshortened in the bas-relief overhead. March absently lifted his eyes to it. It was suddenly strange after so many years' familiarity, and so was the well-known street in its Saturday-evening solitude. He asked himself, with prophetic homesickness, if it were an omen of what was to be. But he only said, musingly: "A fortnightly. You know that didn't work in England. The fortnightly is published once a month now."

"It works in France," Fulkerson retorted. "The 'Revue des Deux Mondes' is still published twice a month. I guess we can make it work in America--with illustrations."

"Going to have illustrations?"

"My dear boy! What are you giving me? Do I look like the sort of lunatic who would start a thing in the twilight of the nineteenth century without illustrations? Come off!"


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