The Place of Honeymoons (Chapter 9, page 1 of 10)


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Chapter 9

Abbott's studio was under the roof of one of the little hotels that stand
timorously and humbly, yet expectantly, between the imposing cream-stucco
of the Grand Hotel at one end and the elaborate pink-stucco of the Grande
Bretegne at the other. The hobnailed shoes of the Teuton (who wears his
mountain kit all the way from Hamburg to Palermo) wore up and down the
stairs all day; and the racket from the hucksters' carts and hotel
omnibuses, arriving and departing from the steamboat landing, the shouts
of the begging boatmen, the quarreling of the children and the barking of
unpedigreed dogs,--these noises were incessant from dawn until sunset.

The artist glared down from his square window at the ruffled waters, or
scowled at the fleeting snows on the mountains over the way. He passed
some ten or twelve minutes in this useless occupation, but he could not
get away from the bald fact that he had acted like a petulant child. To
have shown his hand so openly, simply because the Barone had beaten him in
the race for the motor-boat! And Nora would understand that he was weak
and without backbone. Harrigan himself must have reasoned out the cause
for such asinine plays as he had executed in the game of checkers. How
many times had the old man called out to him to wake up and move? In
spirit he had been across the lake, a spirit in Hades. He was not only a
fool, but a coward likewise. He had not dared to "... put it to the touch
To gain or lose it all."

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