The Man who was Two

The Man who was Two

by Fred Merrick White
     
 

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The Throne Room in the Royal Windsor Hotel was discreetly full of
diners--the management never allowed that sacred haven to be packed even
in holiday times--and every little table, with its shaded pink lights,
held its sheaf of youth and beauty spilling with laughter and dazzling
with eyes as bright and alluring as the gems that seemed to float

Overview

The Throne Room in the Royal Windsor Hotel was discreetly full of
diners--the management never allowed that sacred haven to be packed even
in holiday times--and every little table, with its shaded pink lights,
held its sheaf of youth and beauty spilling with laughter and dazzling
with eyes as bright and alluring as the gems that seemed to float there
on a sea of foamy froth cradled in pink and mauve chiffon and diaphanous
lace. There was something exceedingly intimate in the half-shrouded
tables, each encrusted with the loveliest things that breathe and
palpitate in this transient life of ours, and yet it seemed part of one
smooth harmonious whole as if the elect gathered there were, after all,
one exclusive family.

It was warm and alluring there that eventful New Year's Eve, with its
lights and warmth and laughter, its well-trained waiters, and the scent
of roses that clung caressingly to it all. The mere whisper of care or
sorrow or tragedy there would have savoured of outrage, and yet those
inconsequent diners were no more than ordinary flesh and blood with the
heritage of sorrow and suffering that comes to us all. But not to-night,
surely not to-night, amidst the wealth of flowers and the ripple of
laughter and the sheer joy of being. And it was some half humorous
philosophy like this that Roy Gilette was casting inconsequently before
his three dinner companions as he sat at Sir Marston Manley's table in
the centre of the room.

"Now, to an old traveller like me," he frivolled on, "this is a lasting
joy. To a man of the world, Sir Marston, this is a dozen novels rolled
into one. How many stories, how many plots for my film dramas that one
day shall thrill the world are awaiting me here if only the gifts of
Asmodeus were mine?"

Gilette waved his well-manicured hand comprehensively around and smiled
into the faces of his companions. That clean-shaven, handsome face of
his was distinctly alluring. Sir Marston smiled, too, but it was a smile
of envy, that the famous painter successfully disguised behind his white
flowing beard and wide-rimmed silver spectacles. Yet he loved to be with
youth and bathe in it. And that was why he was entertaining youth and
beauty tonight.

"It's good to hear that you are going to do something at last," he said
"Even the youngest of us has his responsibilities. But the cinema!
Really, my dear Roy."

"And why not?" Gilette demanded. "There's a great future before the
pictorial drama when the cowboys cease from troubling and the Chaplins
are at rest. And it fills me with grief, my dear old guardian, to see
this professional jealousy. A painter who is the friend of kings ought
to be beyond such weakness."

"Oh, well," the famous artist laughed, "I ought to be happy in the
knowledge that you are doing something useful. But do you really mean
it, dear boy? What about the famous comedy that was to make the shade of
Sheridan turn uneasily in his grave? And the novel that should cause
folk to forget the very name of Dickens."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013662971
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/16/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
209 KB

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