a suburban pastoral and other tales

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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: HI. A COMEDY OF ERRORS. A COMEDY OF ERRORS. J1R. WILLIAM MERRIMAN, JR., described by his friends as a rising young lawyer, came uptown one evening in December about an hour later than usual. It was his habit to stop somewhere on the way up and dine in a leisurely way, and then to get to his room at half-past seven or thereabouts. On this particular evening, however, he had lingered over his coffee and newspaper, and now, as he reached the door of his apartment, he was made aware of the lateness of the hour by the roar of the grate inside. The chambermaid had been instructed to leave the blower up when she kindled the fire, by which means the reluctant draught was coaxed into efficiency just at the time of his customary arrival. It had now an hour's extra headway, but the faithful domestic, with the unreasoning obedience of a Casabianca, stuck to the letter of her instructions. Accordingly, when Merriman entered the room he found things booming. A loud smell of varnish went up from the legs of the chairs, a crimson glare from the bottom of the grate smote upon the carpet, and a fiery crack defined the outline of the dull red blower. 6, This last being taken down, the walls and ceiling bloomed like a rose ; and while the glowing iron snapped and cracked, as it slowly cooled, Merrinian got himself into dressing gown and slippers, lighted a big pipe, settled himself in his easy-chair and, by the steady firelight, proceeded to read a "brace of letters which he had found on his mantel. The first of these ran as follows: BLANKSKILL-ON-HUDSON, December 18, 187-. Dear Mr. Merriman : Mamma is ill with a cold, so I am doing her correspondence. We came up to Blankskill very unexpectedly, but now that we have opened the house we mean to spend Christmas here, and we have hi...
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