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Castle Craneycrow By George Barr McCutcheon Characters: 3684

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

New York had never been so nasty and cold and disagreeable. For three weeks it had rained-a steady, chilling drizzle. Quentin stood it as long as he could, but the weather is a large factor in the life of a gentleman of leisure. He couldn't play Squash the entire time, and Bridge he always maintained was more of a profession than a pastime. So it was that one morning, as he looked out at the sheets of water blowing across the city, his mind was made up.

"We'll get out of this, Turk. I've had enough of it."

"Where do we go, sir?" calmly asked the servant.

"Heaven knows! But be ready to start tomorrow. We'll go somewhere and dodge this blessed downpour. Call me a cab."

As he drove to the club, he mentally tossed coppers as to his destination. People were already coming back from Aiken and Palm Beach, and those who had gone to the country were cooped up indoors and shivering about the fireplaces. Where could he go? As he entered the club a man hailed him from the front room.

"Quentin, you're just the man I'm looking for. Come in here."

It was the Earl of Saxondale-familiarly "Lord Bob"-an old chum of Quentin's. "My missus sent me with an invitation for you, and I've come for your acceptance," said the Englishman, when Quentin had joined him.

"Come home with us. We're sailing on the Lucania to-morrow, and there are going to be some doings in England this month which you mustn't miss. Dickey Savage is coming, and we want you."

Quentin looked at him and laughed. Saxondale was perfectly serious. "We're going to have some people up for Goodwood, and later we shall have a house-boat for Henley. So you'd better come. It won't be bad sport."

Quentin started to thank his friend and decline. Then he remembered that he wanted to get away-there was absolutely nothing to keep him at home, and, beside

s, he liked Lord Bob and his American wife.

Fashionable New York recalls the marriage of the Earl of Saxondale and Frances Thornow when the '90's were young, and everybody said it was a love match. To be sure, she was wealthy, but so was he. She had declined offers of a half-dozen other noblemen; therefore it was not ambition on her part. He could have married any number of wealthier American girls; therefore it was not avarice on his part. He was a good-looking, stalwart chap with a very fetching drawl, infinite gentility, and a man despite his monocle, while she was beautiful, witty and womanly; therefore it is reasonable to suspect that it must have been love that made her Lady Saxondale.

Lord Bob and Lady Frances were frequent visitors to New York. He liked New York, and New Yorkers liked him. His wife was enough of a true American to love the home of her forefathers. "What my wife likes I seem to have a fondness for," said he, complacently. He once remarked that were she to fall in love with another man he would feel in duty bound to like him.

Saxondale had money invested in American copper mines, and his wife had railroad stocks. When they came to New York, once or twice a year, they took a furnished apartment, entertained and were entertained for a month or so, rushed their luggage back to the steamer and sailed for home, perfectly satisfied with themselves and-the markets.

Quentin looked upon Lord Bob's invitation as a sporting proposition. This would not be the first time he had taken a steamer on twenty-four hours' notice. The one question was accommodation, and a long acquaintance with the agent helped him to get passage where others would have failed.

So it happened that the next morning Turk was unpacking things in Mr. Quentin's cabin and establishing relations with the bath steward.

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