The Bread-winners by John Hay


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Bread-winners, by John Hay


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.net





Title: The Bread-winners
A Social Study


Author: John Hay



Release Date: July 17, 2005 [eBook #16321]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BREAD-WINNERS***


E-text prepared by Michael Gray (Lost_Gamer@comast.net)



THE BREADWINNERS

A Social Study

New York and London
Harper & Brothers Publishers

1901







I.


A MORNING CALL



A French clock on the mantel-piece, framed of brass and crystal, which
betrayed its inner structure as the transparent sides of some insects
betray their vital processes, struck ten with the mellow and lingering
clangor of a distant cathedral bell. A gentleman, who was seated in
front of the fire reading a newspaper, looked up at the clock to see
what hour it was, to save himself the trouble of counting the slow,
musical strokes. The eyes he raised were light gray, with a blue glint
of steel in them, shaded by lashes as black as jet. The hair was also
as black as hair can be, and was parted near the middle of his
forehead. It was inclined to curl, but had not the length required by
this inclination. The dark brown mustache was the only ornament the
razor had spared on the wholesome face, the outline of which was clear
and keen. The face suited the hands--it had the refinement and
gentleness of one delicately bred, and the vigorous lines and color of
one equally at home in field and court; and the hands had the firm,
hard symmetry which showed they had done no work, and the bronze tinge
which is the imprint wherewith sky and air mark their lovers. His
clothes were of the fashion seen in the front windows of the
Knickerbocker Club in the spring of the year 187-, and were worn as
easily as a self-respecting bird wears his feathers. He seemed, in
short, one of those fortunate natures, who, however born, are always
bred well, and come by prescription to most of the good things the
world can give.

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