Hearts and Masks (Chapter 1, page 1 of 13)


 
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Chapter 1

It all depends upon the manner of your entrance to the Castle of
Adventure. One does not have to scale its beetling parapets or assault
its scarps and frowning bastions; neither is one obliged to force with
clamor and blaring trumpets and glittering gorgets the drawbridge and
portcullis. Rather the pathway lies through one of those many little
doors, obscure, yet easily accessible, latchless and boltless, to which
the average person gives no particular attention, and yet which
invariably lead to the very heart of this Castle Delectable. The
whimsical chatelaine of this enchanted keep is a shy goddess.
Circumspection has no part in her affairs, nor caution, nor
practicality; nor does her eye linger upon the dullard and the
blunderer. Imagination solves the secret riddle, and wit is the guide
that leads the seeker through the winding, bewildering labyrinths.

And there is something in being idle, too!

If I had not gone idly into Mouquin's cellar for dinner that night, I
should have missed the most engaging adventure that ever fell to my
lot. It is second nature for me to be guided by impulse rather than by
reason; reason is always so square-toed and impulse is always so
alluring. You will find that nearly all the great captains were and
are creatures of impulse; nothing brilliant is ever achieved by
calculation. All this is not to say that I am a great captain; it is
offered only to inform you that I am often impulsive.

 
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