A Splendid Hazard

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III A PLASTER STATUETTE FITZGERALD'S view from his club window afforded the same impersonal outlook as from a window in a car. It was the two living currents, moving in opposite directions, each making toward a similar goal, only in a million different ways, that absorbed him. Subconsciously he was always counting, counting, now by fives, now by tens, but invariably found new entertainment ere he reached the respectable three numerals of an even hundred. Sometimes it was a silk hat which he followed till it became lost up the Avenue; and as often as not he would single out a waiting cabman and speculate on the quality of his fare; and other whimsies. That this was such and such a woman, or that was such and such a man never led him into any of that gossip so common among club-men who areout of touch with the vital things in life. Even when he espied a friend in this mysterious flow of souls, there was only a transient flash of recognition in his eyes. When he wasn't in the tennis-courts, or the billiard- or card-rooms, he was generally to be found in this corner. He had seen all manner of crowds, armies pursuing and retreating, vast concords in public squares, at coronations, at catastrophes, at play, and he never lost interest in watching them; they were the great expressions of humanity. This is perhaps the reason why his articles were always so rich in color. No two crowds were ever alike to him, consequently he never was at loss fof a fresh description. To-day the Italian vender of plaster statuettes Caught his eye. For an hour now the poor wretch hadn't even drawn the attention of one of the thousands passing. Fitzgerald felt sorry for him, and once the desire came to go over and buy out the Neapolitan; but he was too comfortable where he was, and beyond t...
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