Hayden was back in New York again after several years spent in the uttermost parts of the earth. He had been building railroads in South America, Africa, and China, and had maintained so many lodges in this or that wilderness that he really feared he might be curiously awkward in adapting himself to the conventional requirements of civilization. In his long roundabout journey home he had stopped for a few weeks in both London and Paris; but to his mental discomfort, they had but served to accentuate his loneliness and whet his longings for the dear, unforgotten life of his native city, that intimate, easy existence, wherein relatives, not too near, congenial friends and familiar haunts played so important a part.
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