K (Chapter 3, page 1 of 13)


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Chapter 3

K. Le Moyne had wakened early that first morning in his new quarters. When
he sat up and yawned, it was to see his worn cravat disappearing with
vigorous tugs under the bureau. He rescued it, gently but firmly.

"You and I, Reginald," he apostrophized the bureau, "will have to come to
an understanding. What I leave on the floor you may have, but what blows
down is not to be touched."

Because he was young and very strong, he wakened to a certain lightness of
spirit. The morning sun had always called him to a new day, and the sun
was shining. But he grew depressed as he prepared for the office. He told
himself savagely, as he put on his shabby clothing, that, having sought for
peace and now found it, he was an ass for resenting it. The trouble was,
of course, that he came of fighting stock: soldiers and explorers, even a
gentleman adventurer or two, had been his forefather. He loathed peace
with a deadly loathing.

Having given up everything else, K. Le Moyne had also given up the love of
woman. That, of course, is figurative. He had been too busy for women;
and now he was too idle. A small part of his brain added figures in the
office of a gas company daily, for the sum of two dollars and fifty cents
per eight-hour working day. But the real K. Le Moyne that had dreamed
dreams, had nothing to do with the figures, but sat somewhere in his head
and mocked him as he worked at his task.

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