Moran of the Lady Letty - Frank Norris - Страница 1 из 165


MORAN OF THE LADY LETTY
by Frank Norris
DEDICATED TO
Captain Joseph Hodgson
UNITED STATES LIFE SAVING SERVICE
I. SHANGHAIED
This is to be a story of a battle, at least one murder, and several
sudden deaths. For that reason it begins with a pink tea and among the
mingled odors of many delicate perfumes and the hale, frank smell of
Caroline Testout roses.
There had been a great number of debutantes "coming out" that season in
San Francisco by means of afternoon teas, pink, lavender, and otherwise.
This particular tea was intended to celebrate the fact that Josie
Herrick had arrived at that time of her life when she was to wear her
hair high and her gowns long, and to have a "day" of her own quite
distinct from that of her mother.
Ross Wilbur presented himself at the Herrick house on Pacific Avenue
much too early upon the afternoon of Miss Herrick's tea. As he made,
his way up the canvased stairs he was aware of a terrifying array of
millinery and a disquieting staccato chatter of feminine voices in the
parlors and reception-rooms on either side of the hallway. A single high
hat in the room that had been set apart for the men's use confirmed him
in his suspicions.
"Might have known it would be a hen party till six, anyhow," he
muttered, swinging out of his overcoat. "Bet I don't know one girl in
twenty down there now--all mamma's friends at this hour, and
papa's maiden sisters, and Jo's school-teachers and governesses and
music-teachers, and I don't know what all."


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