The Goose Man

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: THE NERO OF TO-DAY The spectacle of wellnigh complete degeneracy offered by the roister-doistering slough brethren of the Vale of Tears gave Herr Carovius a new lease on life. He had a really affable tendency to associate with men who were standing just on the brink of human existence. He always drank a great deal of liqueur. The brand he preferred above all others was what is known as Knickebein. Once he had enjoyed his liberal potion, he became jovial, friendly, companionable. In these moods he would venture the hardiest of assertions, not merely in the field of eroticism, but against the government and divine providence as well. And yet, when he trippled home with mincing steps, there was in his face an expression of cowardly, petty smirking. It was the sign of his inner return to virtuous living; for his night was not as his day. The one belied the other. He had a quite respectable income; the house in which he lived was his own private property. It was pointed out to strangers as one of the sights of the town; it was certainly one of the oldest and gloomiest buildings in that part of the country. An especially attractive feature of it was the smart and graceful bay-window. Above the beautifully arched outer door there was a patrician coat- of-arms, consisting of two crossed spears with a helmet above. This was chiselled into the stone. In the narrow court was a draw-well literally set in a frame of moss. Each floor of the house had its own gallery, richly supplied with the most artistic of carvings. The stairway was spacious; the tread of the steps was broad, the elevation slight; there were four landings. It symbolised in truth the leisurely, comfortable tarrying of centuries gone before and now a matter of easy memory only. Often in the nighttime, Herr Carovius ...
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