No Man's Land: A Romance/Thriller Classic By Louis Joseph Vance!by Louis Joseph Vance
"Striking diagonally across Madison Square Park, past the drearily jetting fountain and between arrays of empty benches scarcely beggarly (since that class had deserted them for warmer lounging places) he turned northward on Fifth Avenue, threading the early evening throngs with a spring of impatience in his stride to distance casual competition; and… See more details below
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"Striking diagonally across Madison Square Park, past the drearily jetting fountain and between arrays of empty benches scarcely beggarly (since that class had deserted them for warmer lounging places) he turned northward on Fifth Avenue, threading the early evening throngs with a spring of impatience in his stride to distance casual competition; and received upon a mind still impressionable, for all that it had ample food for meditation and nursed a private grievance, a variety of pleasurable suggestions.
Dusk, the early violet dusk of late November, brooded over the city, blurring its harsh contours, subduing its too blatant youth, lending an illusion resembling the dim enchantment of antiquity. In the west a cloudless sunset had faded to an afterglow of amethyst which, shading insensibly into mauve, toward the zenith blended with the deep purple of the shrouded east. Against this lucent curtain bulked monstrous walls with a broken skyline, now low, now lofty, dotted here and there on high with glittering windows, below rendered brilliant by a dado of illuminated plate-glass shielding covetable wares, the whole cut at regular intervals by the gullies of crosstown streets. Northward were strung parallel lines of opalescent arc-lamps, swelling over the generous rise of Murray Hill like twin chains of luminous pearls upon a woman's bosom. Between them fluent streams of conveyances moved sedately in opposite directions, their decorum rudely mitigated by strident horns of motors chafing under discipline of mounted members of the Traffic Squad soldierly figures statuesque en silhouette against the tinted glow. On the sidewalks a composite civilization paraded at leisure: a concourse largely feminine. The wayfarer was conscious of alluring glimpses of sleek profiles softly lighted, of eyes whose mystery was enhanced by 'dusky shadows: that he breathed an atmosphere of ease and luxury with which he was on familiar terms and which he found, subjectively, pleasant, comforting with a reassurance of the stability of the social order. At another period of the day, he was aware, the thoroughfare would have told a very different tale: now as at none other, wealth usurped its freedom, dominated it, mildly arrogant. The very air, brisk and keen with frost, was none the less sensuously impregnated with this softening and tempering influence."
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