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by Francis Hopkinson Smith
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1911. Smith had several careers: engineer, artist, illustrator and short story writer. His success in engineering included planning the foundations for the Statue of Liberty. He traveled frequently to Europe and became known for his portraits and illustration. Smith was an entertaining after-dinner storyteller and in his fifties he decided to commit his stories to paper and is remembered for his Colonel Carter novels. The book begins: On the precise day on which this story opens-some sixty or more years ago, to be exact-a bullet-headed, merry-eyed, mahogany-colored young darky stood on the top step of an old-fashioned, high-stoop house, craning his head up and down and across Kennedy Square in the effort to get the first glimpse of his master, St. George Wilmot Temple, attorney and counsellor-at-law, who was expected home from a ducking trip down the bay. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
Outside the sick-room such guests as could be trusted were gathered together in the colonel's den, where they talked in whispers. All agreed that the ladies and the older men must be sent home as soon as possible, and in complete ignorance of what had occurred. If Willits lived--of which there was little hope--his home would be at the colonel's until he fully recovered, the colonel having declared that neither expense nor care would be spared to hasten his recovery. If he died, the body would be sent to his father's house later on.
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