The Chinese Parrot

The Chinese Parrot

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by Earl Derr Biggers
     
 

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Alexander Eden stepped from the misty street into the great,
marble-pillared room where the firm of Meek and Eden offered its wares.
Immediately, behind showcases gorgeous with precious stones or bright
with silver, platinum and gold, forty resplendent clerks stood at
attention. Their morning coats were impeccable, lacking the slightest
suspicion… See more details below

Overview

Alexander Eden stepped from the misty street into the great,
marble-pillared room where the firm of Meek and Eden offered its wares.
Immediately, behind showcases gorgeous with precious stones or bright
with silver, platinum and gold, forty resplendent clerks stood at
attention. Their morning coats were impeccable, lacking the slightest
suspicion of a wrinkle, and in the left lapel of each was a pink
carnation, as fresh and perfect as though it had grown there.

Eden nodded affably to right and left and went on his way, his heels
clicking cheerily on the spotless tile floor. He was a small man,
gray-haired and immaculate, with a quick keen eye and the imperious
manner that so well became his position. For the clan of Meek, having
duly inherited the earth, had relinquished that inheritance and passed to
the great beyond, leaving Alexander Eden the sole owner of the best-known
jewelry store west of the Rockies.

Arriving at the rear of the shop, he ascended a brief stairway to the
luxurious suite of offices on the mezzanine floor where he spent his
days. In the anteroom of the suite he encountered his secretary.

"Ah, good morning, Miss Chase," he said.

The girl answered with a smile. Eden's eye for beauty, developed by long
experience in the jewel trade, had not failed him when he picked Miss
Chase. She was an ash blonde with violet eyes; her manners were
exquisite; so was her gown. Bob Eden, reluctant heir to the business, had
been heard to remark that entering his father's office was like arriving
for tea in a very exclusive drawing-room.

Alexander Eden glanced at his watch. "In about ten minutes," he
announced, "I expect a caller--an old friend of mine--Madame Jordan, of
Honolulu. When she arrives, show her in at once."

"Yes, Mr. Eden," replied the girl.

He passed on into his own room, where he hung up his hat, coat and stick.
On his broad, gleaming desk lay the morning mail; he glanced at it idly,
but his mind was elsewhere. In a moment he strolled to one of the windows
and stood there gazing at the facade of the building across the way.

The day was not far advanced, and the fog that had blanketed San
Francisco the night before still lingered in the streets. Staring into
that dull gray mist, Eden saw a picture, a picture that was incongruously
all color and light and life. His thoughts had traveled back down the
long corridor of the years, and in that imagined scene outside the
window, he himself moved, a slim dark boy of seventeen.

Forty years ago--a night in Honolulu, the gay happy Honolulu of the
monarchy. Behind a bank of ferns in one corner of the great Phillimore
living-room Berger's band was playing, and over the polished floor young
Alec Eden and Sally Phillimore danced together. The boy stumbled now and
then, for the dance was a new-fangled one called the two-step, lately
introduced into Hawaii by a young ensign from the Nipsic. But perhaps it
was not entirely his unfamiliarity with the two-step that muddled him,
for he knew that in his arms he held the darling of the islands.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013769229
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/08/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
0 MB

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