The Rise of Silas Lapham - William Dean Howells - Страница 1 из 464


THE RISE OF SILAS LAPHAM
by
William Dean Howells
JTABLE 5 27 1
I.
WHEN Bartley Hubbard went to interview Silas Lapham for the "Solid Men
of Boston" series, which he undertook to finish up in The Events, after
he replaced their original projector on that newspaper, Lapham received
him in his private office by previous appointment.
"Walk right in!" he called out to the journalist, whom he caught sight
of through the door of the counting-room.
He did not rise from the desk at which he was writing, but he gave
Bartley his left hand for welcome, and he rolled his large head in the
direction of a vacant chair. "Sit down! I'll be with you in just half
a minute."
"Take your time," said Bartley, with the ease he instantly felt. "I'm
in no hurry." He took a note-book from his pocket, laid it on his knee,
and began to sharpen a pencil.
"There!" Lapham pounded with his great hairy fist on the envelope he
had been addressing.
"William!" he called out, and he handed the letter to a boy who came to
get it. "I want that to go right away. Well, sir," he continued,
wheeling round in his leather-cushioned swivel-chair, and facing
Bartley, seated so near that their knees almost touched, "so you want
my life, death, and Christian sufferings, do you, young man?"
"That's what I'm after," said Bartley. "Your money or your life."
"I guess you wouldn't want my life without the money," said Lapham, as
if he were willing to prolong these moments of preparation.
"Take 'em both," Bartley suggested. "Don't want your money without


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