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Fate Knocks at the Door - A Novel
by Will Levington Comfort
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Andrew Bedient, at the age of seventeen, in a single afternoon,—indeed, in one moment of a single afternoon,—performed an action which brought him financial abundance for his mature years. Although this narrative less concerns the boy Bedient than the man as he approaches twice seventeen, the action is worthy of account, beyond the riches that it brought, because it seems to draw him into somewhat clearer vision from the shadows of a very strange boyhood.
Each ship brought the latest papers, periodicals and certain pickings from the publishers' lists. India had not prepared Bedient for this. With glad welcome he discovered David Cairns here and there among short-story contributors, but the love of man and woman which the stories in general exploited, struck him of Indian ideals as shifty and pestilential. The woman of fiction was equipped with everything to make her as common as man. She was glib, pert, mundane, her mind a chatter-mill; a creature of fur, paint, hair, and absurdly young. The clink of coins was her most favorable accompaniment; and her giving of self was a sort of disrobing formality. The men who pursued her were forward and solicitous. There was something of sacrilege about it all.
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