en-fr  MAMMON AND THE ARCHER
Le vieil Anthony Rockwall, industriel retraité et propriétaire d'Eureka Soap à Rockwall, regarda par la fenêtre de la bibliothèque de son hôtel particulier de la Cinquième Avenue et fit un large sourire. Son voisin de droite —le clubeur aristocratique, G. Van Schuylight Suffolk-Jones - sortait attendant sa voiture, retroussant une narine méprisante, comme d'habitude, à la sculpture renaissance italienne élévée en façade du palais du savon.
— Vieille momie prétentieuse bonne à rien ! * commenta l'ex-roi du savon. * L'Eden Musée finira bien par obtenir ce vieux Nesselrode givré s'il ne fait pas attention. Je ferai peindre cette maison en rouge, blanc et en bleu l'été prochain et je verrai si cela relève son nez de hollandais plus haut.
Ensuite, Anthony Rockwall, qui n'avait jamais prêté la moindre attention aux sonnettes, alla jusqu'à la porte de sa bibliothèque et cria : — Mike ! de la même voix qui avait autrefois arraché des morceaux de la voûte céleste dans les prairies du Kansas.
— Dites à mon fils, déclara Anthony au domestique qui répondit, de venir ici avant de quitter la maison.
Quand le jeune Rockwall entra dans la bibliothèque, le vieil homme mit de côté son journal, le contempla avec une rigueur bienveillante sur son gros visage rougeot et glabre, ébouriffa la touffe de ses cheveux blancs d'une main, et entrechoqua les clés dans sa poche de l'autre.
— Richard, déclara Anthony Rockwall, combien paies-tu pour le savon que tu utilises ?
Richard, revenu de l'université depuis seulement six mois, fut un peu étonné. Il n'avait pas encore pris la mesure de son père, qui était aussi surprenant qu'une jeune fille lors de sa premier soirée.
— Six dollars la douzaine, je pense, papa.
— Et tes vêtements ?
— Environ soixante dollars je pense, en règle générale.
— Tu es un gentleman, dit Anthony avec détermination. J'ai entendu parler de ces jeunes sang qui dépensent 24 $ la douzaine pour le savon et passent la centaine de marques pour des vêtements. Tu as autant d'argent à gaspiller que n'importe lequel d'entre eux, et pourtant tu respectes ce qui est décent et modéré. Désormais j'utilise le vieil Eureka, non seulement par sentimentalité, mais c'est le savon le plus pur fabriqué. Lorsque tu payes plus de 10 cents un pain de savon, tu achetes des parfums de mauvaise qualité et des marques. Mais 50 cents va très bien pour un jeune homme de ta génération, de ta position et de ta condition. Comme je dis, tu es un gentleman. On dit qu'il faut trois générations pour en faire un. Ils sortent. L'argent le fera aussi lisse que la graisse de savon. Ça te fit un. Parbleu ! Il en a presque fait un de moi. Je suis presque aussi impoli, désagréable et grossier que ces deux vieux gentlemen Knickerbocker de chaque côté de moi qui ne peuvent plus dormir la nuit parce que j'ai acheté entre eux deux.
— Il y a des choses que l'argent ne peut pas réaliser, remarqua le jeune Rockwall, d'un air plutôt sombre.
— Voyons, ne dis pas cela, déclara le vieil Anthony, choqué. Je parie mon argent sur l'argent à chaque fois. J'ai parcouru l'encyclopédie jusqu'à Y à la recherche de quelque chose qu'on ne peut pas se procurer avec lui ; et je m'attends à reprendre appendice la semaine prochaine. Je suis pour l'argent sur le terrain. Cite-moi quelque chose que l'argent ne peutachèter.
— Une chose, répondit Richard un peu énervé, il ne vous permet pas de pénétrer dans les cercles mondains fermés.
— Oho ! Vraiment ? tonna le champion de la racine du mal. Dis-moi où se situeraient tes cercles selects si le premier Astor n'avait pas eu l'argent nécessaire pour payer son passage sur l'entrepont ?
Richard soupira.
Et c'est là où je voulais en venir, dit le vieil homme moins bouillonnant. C'est pourquoi je t'ai demandé de venir. Il y a quelque chose qui ne va pas chez toi, mon garçon. Je l'ai remarqué depuis deux semaines. Crache le morceau. Je pense que je pourrais mettre la main sur onze millions en vingt-quatre heures, en plus de l'immobilier. Yes but for a car "the coal" it's really weird. I think the Rambler is not a car but a boat (steamer).It's written "in the bay"... and the Bahamas are islands. ☺
— Pas une mauvaise deduction, papa ; tu n'as pas raté de beaucoup.
— Ah, dit Anthony avec enthousiasme, quel est son nom ?
Richard commenca à faire les cent pas sur le parquet de la bibliothèque. Il y avait assez de camaraderie et de sympathie dans ce vieux père rustre pour établir la confidence.
Pourquoi ne la demandes-tu pas en mariage ? demanda le vieil Anthony. Elle se jettera sur toi. Tu as l'argent, le physique, et tu es un garçon respectable. Tes mains sont propres. Tu n'as pas de savon Eureka dessus. Tu es allé au collège, mais elle va négliger cela.
— Je n'ai pas eu l'occasion, déclara Richard.
— Crées-en une, dit Anthony. Va faire une promenade dans le parc avec elle, ou un tour en calèche, ou amène-la à la maison après la messe. L'occasion ! Peuh !
— Tu ne connais pas ce monde, papa. Elle fait partie de ce qui fait tourner ce monde. Chaque heure et chaque minute de son temps est planifiée des jours à l'avance. Il faut que je séduise cette fille, papa, ou cette ville sera à tout jamais un marécage immonde. Et je ne peux pas l'écrire, je ne peux pas faire cela.
— Tut ! Dit le vieil homme. Tu ne vas pas me dire qu'avec tout l'argent que j'ai, tu ne peux pas avoir une heure ou deux du temps de cette jeune fille pour toi ?
J'ai trop attendu. Elle prend la mer pour l'Europe à midi après-demain pour un séjour de deux ans. Je vais la voir seule demain soir pendant quelques minutes. Elle est actuellement à Larchmont chez sa tante. Je ne peux pas y aller. Mais je suis autorisé à la rencontrer avec une voiture à la gare Grand Central demain soir au train de 8h30. Nous descendons de Broadway à Wallack's au galop, où sa mère et un carton de soirée nous attendront dans le hall. Penses-tu qu'elle écouterait une déclaration de ma part lors de ces six ou huit minutes dans ces circonstances ? Non. Et quelles seraient mes chances au théâtre ou après ? Aucune. Non, père, il s'agit là d'un imbroglio que votre argent ne peut pas dénouer. On ne peux pas acheter une minute de temps avec de l'argent, si on le pouvait, les riches vivraient plus longtemps. Il n'y a aucun espoir d'avoir une conversation avec Miss Lantry avant qu'elle ne parte. *
— Très bien, Richard, mon garçon, dit le vieil Anthony joyeusement. Tu peux courir à ton club maintenant. Je suis heureux qu'il ne s'agisse pas de ton foie. Mais n'oublie pas de brûler quelques cierges dans la maison de joss au grand dieu Mazuma de temps en temps. Tu dis que l'argent ne achète pas de temps ? Bon, bien entendu, tu ne peux pas ordonner que l'éternité soit enveloppée et livrée à ton domicile moyennant finance, mais j'ai vu le Père Temps avoir de très belles meurtrissures de cailloux sur les talons quand il traversait les mines d'or.
Ce soir-là vint, tante Ellen, aimable, sentimentale, ridée, soupirante, opprimée par la richesse, chez son frère Anthony dans son journal du soir, et commenca à parler du sujet des malheurs des amants.
— Il m'a tout dit, dit Anthony le frère, bâillant. Je lui ai dit que mon compte bancaire était à sa disposition. Et puis il commenca à debiner l'argent. Dit que l'argent ne pouvait pas aider. Déclara que les règles de la société ne pourraient être déplacées d'un mètre par une équipe de dix millionnaires.
— Oh, Anthony, soupira tante Ellen, j'aimerais que tu ne penses pas tant à l'argent.* La fortune n'est rien là où une véritable affection est en cause. L'amour est tout-puissant. Si seulement il avait parlé plus tôt ! Elle n'aurait pas pu refuser notre Richard. Mais maintenant, je crains qu'il ne soit trop tard. Il n'aura d'autre occasion de l'aborder. Tout ton or ne peut pas apporter le bonheur à ton fils.
À huit heures le lendemain soir, la tante Ellen prit un vieil anneau en or d'un ecrin mité et le donna à Richard.
Porte-le ce soir, neveu, demanda-t-elle. Ta mère me l'a donné. Il porte chance en amour, m'a-t-elle dit Elle m'a demandé de te le donner lorsque tu auras trouvé celle que tu aimes.
Le jeune Rockwall prit l'anneau avec respect et l'essaya à son plus petit doigt. Il glissa jusqu'à la deuxième articulation et s'arrêta. Il le retira et le mit dans la poche de son gilet, à la manière d'un homme. Et puis il téléphona pour son taxi.
Dans la gare, il prit Miss Lantry hors de la foule des voyageurs à huit heures trente.
— Nous ne devons pas faire attendre maman et les autres, dit-elle.
— Au Wallack's Theatre aussi vite que vous pouvez conduire ! dit Richard loyalement.
Ils tournoyèrent Forty–second à Broadway, puis descendirent la voie à étoiles blanches qui mène des douces prés du coucher de soleil aux collines rocheuses du matin.
Au Thirty–fourth Street, le jeune Richard enfonca rapidement la trappe et aordonna au chauffeur de s'arrêter.
— J'ai laissé tomber une bague, s'excusa-t-il en sortant de voiture. Elle appartenait à ma mère et je détesterais la perdre. Je ne vais pas vous retarder plus d'une minute, j'ai vu où elle est tombée.
Moins d'une minute plus tard, il était remonté dans le taxi avec la bague.
Au bout de cette minute, un autobus s'était arrêté directement devant le taxi. Le chauffeur tenta de passer à gauche, mais un lourd fourgon express lui coupa la route. Il a essayé le droit, et a dû s'éloigner d'une fourgonnette de meuble qui n'avait aucun intérêt à être là. Il essaya de reculer, mais laissa tomber ses rênes et jura scrupuleusement. Il fut bloqué dans un désordre enroulé de véhicules et de chevaux.
L'un de ces blocages de rue s'était produit, ce qui empêche parfois le commerce et le mouvement tout à coup dans la grande ville.
— Pourquoi ne roulez-vous pas ? dit Miss Lantry avec impatience. Nous allons être en retard.
Richard se leva dans le taxi et regarda autour de lui. Il vit une crue congestionnée de wagons, de camions, de taxis, de fourgonnettes et de voitures de rue qui remplissèrent le vaste espace où Broadway, Sixth Avenue et Thirty-fourth street se croissent alors qu'une jeune fille de vingt-six pouces remplit sa ceinture de deux pouces. Et pourtant de toutes les rues transversales, ils se hâtèrent et secouèrent vers le point de convergence à toute vitesse, et se précipitèrent dans la masse en difficulté, en verrouillant les roues et en ajoutant les imprécisions de leurs conducteurs à la clameur. Toute la circulation de Manhattan semblait s'être concentrée autour d'eux. Le plus ancien des New Yorkais parmi les milliers de spectateurs qui bordaient les trottoirs n'a pas connu de blocage de rue aux proportions de celui-ci.
— Je suis désolé, déclara Richard en reprenant son siège, mais il semble que nous soyons bloqués. Ils ne regleront pas ce désordre dans en une heure. C'est de ma faute. Si je n'avais pas laissé tomber l'anneau, nous ... — Permettez-moi de voir l'anneau, dit Miss Lantry. Maintenant qu'on ne peut faire autrement, ça m'est égal. Je pense que les théâtres sont idiots de toute façon.
À 11 heures, cette nuit-là, quelqu'un frappa légèrement la porte d'Anthony Rockwall.
— Entrez, cria Anthony, qui était en robe de chambre rouge, lisant un livre d'aventures de pirates.
La personne était tante Ellen, ressemblant à un ange aux cheveux gris qui avait été laissé sur terre par erreur.
— Ils sont fiancés, Anthony, dit-elle doucement. Elle a promis d'épouser notre Richard. Sur le chemin du théâtre, il y avait un embouteillage, et il fallut deux heures avant que leur taxi ne puisse en sortir.
Et oh, Anthony mon frère, garde-toi de te vanter de la puissance de l'argent à nouveau. Un petit emblème de l'amour véritable - un petit anneau qui symbolisait une affection eternelle et désintéressée - fut à l'origine du bonheur qu'à trouvé notre Richard. Il l'a laissé tomber dans la rue et est sorti pour le récupérer. Avant qu'ils puissent reprendre la route, l'embouteillage s'est produit. Il parla à sa chérie et la mérita là pendant que le taxi était encerclé. L'argent n'est qu'impureté par rapport au véritable amour, Anthony.
— Parfait, dit le vieil Anthony. Je suis heureux que le fiston ait eu ce qu'il voulait. Je lui avais dit que je n'épargnerais aucune dépense en la matière si ... — Mais, mon frère Anthony, à quoi ton argent eût-il pu servir ?
— Ma sœur, déclara Anthony Rockwall. J'ai mon pirate dans un diable de mauvais pas. Le navire vient d'être sabordé, et il est trop bon juge de la valeur de l'argent pour se noyer. J'aimerais que tu me laisses poursuivre ce chapitre.
L'histoire devrait se terminer là. Je souhaite que ce soit aussi chaleureux que toi qui le lis tu aimerais. Mais il faut aller au fond du puits pour la vérité.
Le lendemain, une personne aux mains rouges et avec une cravate bleue à pois, qui se nommait Kelly, se présenta à la maison d'Anthony Rockwall et fut aussitôt reçue dans la bibliothèque.
— Bien, dit Anthony, en atteignant son chéquier, c'était un bonne biline de savon. Voyons voir ... vous avez eu 5 000 $ en espèces.
— J'ai payé 300 $ de plus de mon côté, déclara Kelly. J'ai dû aller un peu au-dessus de l'estimation. J'ai pour la plupart obtenu les fourgons express et les taxis pour 5 $ ; mais les camions et les équipages à deux chevaux m'ont demandé jusqu'à 10 $. Les machinistes voulaient 10 $, et certaines des équipes ont sollicité 20 $. Les flics m'ont saigné le plus fort... j'en ai payé deux 50 $, et les autres 20 $ et 25 $. Mais cela n'a-t-il pas fonctionné merveilleusement, M. Rockwall ? Je suis content que William A. Brady ne soit pas dans cette petite émeute de véhicule dehors. Je ne voudrais pas que William lui brise le cœur de jalousie. Et sans répétition, aucune ! Les hommes furent à l'heure de la fraction de seconde. Il fallut deux heures avant qu'un serpent ne puisse descendre sous la statue de Greeley.
— Treize cents... et voilà, Kelly, dit Anthony en détachant un chèque. Vos mille et les 300 $ que vous avez sortis. Vous ne méprisez pas l'argent, n'est-ce pas, Kelly ?
— Moi ? dit Kelly. Je pourrai mettre une raclée à l'homme qui a inventé la pauvreté.
Anthony rappela Kelly quand il fut à la porte.
— Vous n'avez pas remarqué, dit-il, quelque part dans la bouchon, une sorte de garçon grassouillet sans vêtements tirant des flèches autour de lui avec un arc, n'est-ce pas ?
— Personne non, dit Kelly, perplexe. Je n'ai rien remarqué. S'il était comme vous l'avez dit, peut-être que le policier l'a pincé avant d'être arrivé.
— Je pensais que le petit coquin ne serait pas à portée de main, riposta Anthony. Au revoir, Kelly.
unit 3
"Stuck–up old statuette of nothing doing!"
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commented the ex–Soap King.
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"The Eden Musee'll get that old frozen Nesselrode yet if he don't watch out.
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in the same voice that had once chipped off pieces of the welkin on the Kansas prairies.
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"Tell my son," said Anthony to the answering menial, "to come in here before he leaves the house."
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"Richard," said Anthony Rockwall, "what do you pay for the soap that you use?"
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Richard, only six months home from college, was startled a little.
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"Six dollars a dozen, I think, dad."
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"And your clothes?"
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"I suppose about sixty dollars, as a rule."
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"You're a gentleman," said Anthony, decidedly.
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You've got as much money to waste as any of 'em, and yet you stick to what's decent and moderate.
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Now I use the old Eureka—not only for sentiment, but it's the purest soap made.
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Whenever you pay more than 10 cents a cake for soap you buy bad perfumes and labels.
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But 50 cents is doing very well for a young man in your generation, position and condition.
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As I said, you're a gentleman.
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They say it takes three generations to make one.
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They're off.
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Money'll do it as slick as soap grease.
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It's made you one.
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By hokey!
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it's almost made one of me.
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"There are some things that money can't accomplish," remarked young Rockwall, rather gloomily.
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"Now, don't say that," said old Anthony, shocked.
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"I bet my money on money every time.
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I'm for money against the field.
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Tell me something money won't buy."
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"Oho!
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won't it?"
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thundered the champion of the root of evil.
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Richard sighed.
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"And that's what I was coming to," said the old man, less boisterously.
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"That's why I asked you to come in.
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There's something going wrong with you, boy.
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I've been noticing it for two weeks.
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Out with it.
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"Not a bad guess, dad; you haven't missed it far."
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"Ah," said Anthony, keenly; "what's her name?"
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Richard began to walk up and down the library floor.
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There was enough comradeship and sympathy in this crude old father of his to draw his confidence.
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"Why don't you ask her?"
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demanded old Anthony.
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"She'll jump at you.
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You've got the money and the looks, and you're a decent boy.
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Your hands are clean.
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You've got no Eureka soap on 'em.
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You've been to college, but she'll overlook that."
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"I haven't had a chance," said Richard.
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"Make one," said Anthony.
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"Take her for a walk in the park, or a straw ride, or walk home with her from church.
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Chance!
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Pshaw!"
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"You don't know the social mill, dad.
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She's part of the stream that turns it.
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Every hour and minute of her time is arranged for days in advance.
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I must have that girl, dad, or this town is a blackjack swamp forevermore.
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And I can't write it—I can't do that."
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"Tut!"
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said the old man.
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"I've put it off too late.
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She's going to sail for Europe at noon day after to–morrow for a two years' stay.
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I'm to see her alone to–morrow evening for a few minutes.
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She's at Larchmont now at her aunt's.
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I can't go there.
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No.
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And what chance would I have in the theatre or afterward?
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None.
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No, dad, this is one tangle that your money can't unravel.
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We can't buy one minute of time with cash; if we could, rich people would live longer.
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There's no hope of getting a talk with Miss Lantry before she sails."
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"All right, Richard, my boy," said old Anthony, cheerfully.
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"You may run along down to your club now.
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I'm glad it ain't your liver.
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You say money won't buy time?
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"He told me all about it," said brother Anthony, yawning.
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"I told him my bank account was at his service.
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And then he began to knock money.
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Said money couldn't help.
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Said the rules of society couldn't be bucked for a yard by a team of ten–millionaires."
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"Oh, Anthony," sighed Aunt Ellen, "I wish you would not think so much of money.
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Wealth is nothing where a true affection is concerned.
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Love is all–powerful.
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If he only had spoken earlier!
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She could not have refused our Richard.
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But now I fear it is too late.
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He will have no opportunity to address her.
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All your gold cannot bring happiness to your son."
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"Wear it to–night, nephew," she begged.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 110
"Your mother gave it to me.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 111
Good luck in love she said it brought.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 112
She asked me to give it to you when you had found the one you loved."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 113
Young Rockwall took the ring reverently and tried it on his smallest finger.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 114
It slipped as far as the second joint and stopped.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 115
He took it off and stuffed it into his vest pocket, after the manner of man.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 116
And then he 'phoned for his cab.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 117
At the station he captured Miss Lantry out of the gadding mob at eight thirty–two.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 118
"We mustn't keep mamma and the others waiting," said she.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 119
"To Wallack's Theatre as fast as you can drive!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 120
said Richard loyally.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 122
At Thirty–fourth Street young Richard quickly thrust up the trap and ordered the cabman to stop.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 123
"I've dropped a ring," he apologised, as he climbed out.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 124
"It was my mother's, and I'd hate to lose it.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 125
I won't detain you a minute—I saw where it fell."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 126
In less than a minute he was back in the cab with the ring.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 127
But within that minute a crosstown car had stopped directly in front of the cab.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 128
The cabman tried to pass to the left, but a heavy express wagon cut him off.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 129
He tried the right, and had to back away from a furniture van that had no business to be there.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 130
He tried to back out, but dropped his reins and swore dutifully.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 131
He was blockaded in a tangled mess of vehicles and horses.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 133
"Why don't you drive on?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 134
said Miss Lantry, impatiently.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 135
"We'll be late."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 136
Richard stood up in the cab and looked around.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 139
The entire traffic of Manhattan seemed to have jammed itself around them.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 141
"I'm very sorry," said Richard, as he resumed his seat, "but it looks as if we are stuck.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 142
They won't get this jumble loosened up in an hour.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 143
It was my fault.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 144
If I hadn't dropped the ring we—" "Let me see the ring," said Miss Lantry.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 145
"Now that it can't be helped, I don't care.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 146
I think theatres are stupid, anyway."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 147
At 11 o'clock that night somebody tapped lightly on Anthony Rockwall's door.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 148
unit 149
Somebody was Aunt Ellen, looking like a grey–haired angel that had been left on earth by mistake.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 150
"They're engaged, Anthony," she said, softly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 151
"She has promised to marry our Richard.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 153
"And oh, brother Anthony, don't ever boast of the power of money again.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 155
He dropped it in the street, and got out to recover it.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 156
And before they could continue the blockade occurred.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 157
He spoke to his love and won her there while the cab was hemmed in.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 158
Money is dross compared with true love, Anthony."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 159
"All right," said old Anthony.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 160
"I'm glad the boy has got what he wanted.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 162
"Sister," said Anthony Rockwall.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 163
"I've got my pirate in a devil of a scrape.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 164
His ship has just been scuttled, and he's too good a judge of the value of money to let drown.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 165
I wish you would let me go on with this chapter."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 166
The story should end here.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 167
I wish it would as heartily as you who read it wish it did.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 168
But we must go to the bottom of the well for truth.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 170
"Well," said Anthony, reaching for his chequebook, "it was a good bilin' of soap.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 171
Let's see—you had $5,000 in cash."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 172
"I paid out $300 more of my own," said Kelly.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 173
"I had to go a little above the estimate.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 175
The motormen wanted $10, and some of the loaded teams $20.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 176
The cops struck me hardest—$50 I paid two, and the rest $20 and $25.
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unit 177
But didn't it work beautiful, Mr. Rockwall?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 178
I'm glad William A. Brady wasn't onto that little outdoor vehicle mob scene.
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unit 179
I wouldn't want William to break his heart with jealousy.
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unit 180
And never a rehearsal, either!
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unit 181
The boys was on time to the fraction of a second.
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unit 182
It was two hours before a snake could get below Greeley's statue."
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unit 183
"Thirteen hundred—there you are, Kelly," said Anthony, tearing off a check.
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unit 184
"Your thousand, and the $300 you were out.
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unit 185
You don't despise money, do you, Kelly?"
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unit 186
"Me?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 187
said Kelly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 188
"I can lick the man that invented poverty."
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unit 189
Anthony called Kelly when he was at the door.
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unit 191
"Why, no," said Kelly, mystified.
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unit 192
"I didn't.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 193
If he was like you say, maybe the cops pinched him before I got there."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 194
"I thought the little rascal wouldn't be on hand," chuckled Anthony.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
unit 195
"Good–by, Kelly."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 4 months ago
gaelle044 • 5129  translated  unit 82  1 year, 4 months ago
gaelle044 • 5129  translated  unit 84  1 year, 4 months ago
francevw • 14015  translated  unit 65  1 year, 4 months ago

Old Anthony Rockwall, retired manufacturer and proprietor of Rockwall's Eureka Soap, looked out the library window of his Fifth Avenue mansion and grinned. His neighbour to the right—the aristocratic clubman, G. Van Schuylight Suffolk–Jones—came out to his waiting motor–car, wrinkling a contumelious nostril, as usual, at the Italian renaissance sculpture of the soap palace's front elevation.
"Stuck–up old statuette of nothing doing!" commented the ex–Soap King. "The Eden Musee'll get that old frozen Nesselrode yet if he don't watch out. I'll have this house painted red, white, and blue next summer and see if that'll make his Dutch nose turn up any higher."
And then Anthony Rockwall, who never cared for bells, went to the door of his library and shouted "Mike!" in the same voice that had once chipped off pieces of the welkin on the Kansas prairies.
"Tell my son," said Anthony to the answering menial, "to come in here before he leaves the house."
When young Rockwall entered the library the old man laid aside his newspaper, looked at him with a kindly grimness on his big, smooth, ruddy countenance, rumpled his mop of white hair with one hand and rattled the keys in his pocket with the other.
"Richard," said Anthony Rockwall, "what do you pay for the soap that you use?"
Richard, only six months home from college, was startled a little. He had not yet taken the measure of this sire of his, who was as full of unexpectednesses as a girl at her first party.
"Six dollars a dozen, I think, dad."
"And your clothes?"
"I suppose about sixty dollars, as a rule."
"You're a gentleman," said Anthony, decidedly. "I've heard of these young bloods spending $24 a dozen for soap, and going over the hundred mark for clothes. You've got as much money to waste as any of 'em, and yet you stick to what's decent and moderate. Now I use the old Eureka—not only for sentiment, but it's the purest soap made. Whenever you pay more than 10 cents a cake for soap you buy bad perfumes and labels. But 50 cents is doing very well for a young man in your generation, position and condition. As I said, you're a gentleman. They say it takes three generations to make one. They're off. Money'll do it as slick as soap grease. It's made you one. By hokey! it's almost made one of me. I'm nearly as impolite and disagreeable and ill–mannered as these two old Knickerbocker gents on each side of me that can't sleep of nights because I bought in between 'em."
"There are some things that money can't accomplish," remarked young Rockwall, rather gloomily.
"Now, don't say that," said old Anthony, shocked. "I bet my money on money every time. I've been through the encyclopaedia down to Y looking for something you can't buy with it; and I expect to have to take up the appendix next week. I'm for money against the field. Tell me something money won't buy."
"For one thing," answered Richard, rankling a little, "it won't buy one into the exclusive circles of society."
"Oho! won't it?" thundered the champion of the root of evil. "You tell me where your exclusive circles would be if the first Astor hadn't had the money to pay for his steerage passage over?"
Richard sighed.
"And that's what I was coming to," said the old man, less boisterously. "That's why I asked you to come in. There's something going wrong with you, boy. I've been noticing it for two weeks. Out with it. I guess I could lay my hands on eleven millions within twenty–four hours, besides the real estate. If it's your liver, there's the Rambler down in the bay, coaled, and ready to steam down to the Bahamas in two days."
"Not a bad guess, dad; you haven't missed it far."
"Ah," said Anthony, keenly; "what's her name?"
Richard began to walk up and down the library floor. There was enough comradeship and sympathy in this crude old father of his to draw his confidence.
"Why don't you ask her?" demanded old Anthony. "She'll jump at you. You've got the money and the looks, and you're a decent boy. Your hands are clean. You've got no Eureka soap on 'em. You've been to college, but she'll overlook that."
"I haven't had a chance," said Richard.
"Make one," said Anthony. "Take her for a walk in the park, or a straw ride, or walk home with her from church. Chance! Pshaw!"
"You don't know the social mill, dad. She's part of the stream that turns it. Every hour and minute of her time is arranged for days in advance. I must have that girl, dad, or this town is a blackjack swamp forevermore. And I can't write it—I can't do that."
"Tut!" said the old man. "Do you mean to tell me that with all the money I've got you can't get an hour or two of a girl's time for yourself?"
"I've put it off too late. She's going to sail for Europe at noon day after to–morrow for a two years' stay. I'm to see her alone to–morrow evening for a few minutes. She's at Larchmont now at her aunt's. I can't go there. But I'm allowed to meet her with a cab at the Grand Central Station to–morrow evening at the 8.30 train. We drive down Broadway to Wallack's at a gallop, where her mother and a box party will be waiting for us in the lobby. Do you think she would listen to a declaration from me during that six or eight minutes under those circumstances? No. And what chance would I have in the theatre or afterward? None. No, dad, this is one tangle that your money can't unravel. We can't buy one minute of time with cash; if we could, rich people would live longer. There's no hope of getting a talk with Miss Lantry before she sails."
"All right, Richard, my boy," said old Anthony, cheerfully. "You may run along down to your club now. I'm glad it ain't your liver. But don't forget to burn a few punk sticks in the joss house to the great god Mazuma from time to time. You say money won't buy time? Well, of course, you can't order eternity wrapped up and delivered at your residence for a price, but I've seen Father Time get pretty bad stone bruises on his heels when he walked through the gold diggings."
That night came Aunt Ellen, gentle, sentimental, wrinkled, sighing, oppressed by wealth, in to Brother Anthony at his evening paper, and began discourse on the subject of lovers' woes.
"He told me all about it," said brother Anthony, yawning. "I told him my bank account was at his service. And then he began to knock money. Said money couldn't help. Said the rules of society couldn't be bucked for a yard by a team of ten–millionaires."
"Oh, Anthony," sighed Aunt Ellen, "I wish you would not think so much of money. Wealth is nothing where a true affection is concerned. Love is all–powerful. If he only had spoken earlier! She could not have refused our Richard. But now I fear it is too late. He will have no opportunity to address her. All your gold cannot bring happiness to your son."
At eight o'clock the next evening Aunt Ellen took a quaint old gold ring from a moth–eaten case and gave it to Richard.
"Wear it to–night, nephew," she begged. "Your mother gave it to me. Good luck in love she said it brought. She asked me to give it to you when you had found the one you loved."
Young Rockwall took the ring reverently and tried it on his smallest finger. It slipped as far as the second joint and stopped. He took it off and stuffed it into his vest pocket, after the manner of man. And then he 'phoned for his cab.
At the station he captured Miss Lantry out of the gadding mob at eight thirty–two.
"We mustn't keep mamma and the others waiting," said she.
"To Wallack's Theatre as fast as you can drive!" said Richard loyally.
They whirled up Forty–second to Broadway, and then down the white–starred lane that leads from the soft meadows of sunset to the rocky hills of morning.
At Thirty–fourth Street young Richard quickly thrust up the trap and ordered the cabman to stop.
"I've dropped a ring," he apologised, as he climbed out. "It was my mother's, and I'd hate to lose it. I won't detain you a minute—I saw where it fell."
In less than a minute he was back in the cab with the ring.
But within that minute a crosstown car had stopped directly in front of the cab. The cabman tried to pass to the left, but a heavy express wagon cut him off. He tried the right, and had to back away from a furniture van that had no business to be there. He tried to back out, but dropped his reins and swore dutifully. He was blockaded in a tangled mess of vehicles and horses.
One of those street blockades had occurred that sometimes tie up commerce and movement quite suddenly in the big city.
"Why don't you drive on?" said Miss Lantry, impatiently. "We'll be late."
Richard stood up in the cab and looked around. He saw a congested flood of wagons, trucks, cabs, vans and street cars filling the vast space where Broadway, Sixth Avenue and Thirty–fourth street cross one another as a twenty–six inch maiden fills her twenty–two inch girdle. And still from all the cross streets they were hurrying and rattling toward the converging point at full speed, and hurling themselves into the struggling mass, locking wheels and adding their drivers' imprecations to the clamour. The entire traffic of Manhattan seemed to have jammed itself around them. The oldest New Yorker among the thousands of spectators that lined the sidewalks had not witnessed a street blockade of the proportions of this one.
"I'm very sorry," said Richard, as he resumed his seat, "but it looks as if we are stuck. They won't get this jumble loosened up in an hour. It was my fault. If I hadn't dropped the ring we—"
"Let me see the ring," said Miss Lantry. "Now that it can't be helped, I don't care. I think theatres are stupid, anyway."
At 11 o'clock that night somebody tapped lightly on Anthony Rockwall's door.
"Come in," shouted Anthony, who was in a red dressing–gown, reading a book of piratical adventures.
Somebody was Aunt Ellen, looking like a grey–haired angel that had been left on earth by mistake.
"They're engaged, Anthony," she said, softly. "She has promised to marry our Richard. On their way to the theatre there was a street blockade, and it was two hours before their cab could get out of it.
"And oh, brother Anthony, don't ever boast of the power of money again. A little emblem of true love—a little ring that symbolised unending and unmercenary affection—was the cause of our Richard finding his happiness. He dropped it in the street, and got out to recover it. And before they could continue the blockade occurred. He spoke to his love and won her there while the cab was hemmed in. Money is dross compared with true love, Anthony."
"All right," said old Anthony. "I'm glad the boy has got what he wanted. I told him I wouldn't spare any expense in the matter if—"
"But, brother Anthony, what good could your money have done?"
"Sister," said Anthony Rockwall. "I've got my pirate in a devil of a scrape. His ship has just been scuttled, and he's too good a judge of the value of money to let drown. I wish you would let me go on with this chapter."
The story should end here. I wish it would as heartily as you who read it wish it did. But we must go to the bottom of the well for truth.
The next day a person with red hands and a blue polka–dot necktie, who called himself Kelly, called at Anthony Rockwall's house, and was at once received in the library.
"Well," said Anthony, reaching for his chequebook, "it was a good bilin' of soap. Let's see—you had $5,000 in cash."
"I paid out $300 more of my own," said Kelly. "I had to go a little above the estimate. I got the express wagons and cabs mostly for $5; but the trucks and two–horse teams mostly raised me to $10. The motormen wanted $10, and some of the loaded teams $20. The cops struck me hardest—$50 I paid two, and the rest $20 and $25. But didn't it work beautiful, Mr. Rockwall? I'm glad William A. Brady wasn't onto that little outdoor vehicle mob scene. I wouldn't want William to break his heart with jealousy. And never a rehearsal, either! The boys was on time to the fraction of a second. It was two hours before a snake could get below Greeley's statue."
"Thirteen hundred—there you are, Kelly," said Anthony, tearing off a check. "Your thousand, and the $300 you were out. You don't despise money, do you, Kelly?"
"Me?" said Kelly. "I can lick the man that invented poverty."
Anthony called Kelly when he was at the door.
"You didn't notice," said he, "anywhere in the tie–up, a kind of a fat boy without any clothes on shooting arrows around with a bow, did you?"
"Why, no," said Kelly, mystified. "I didn't. If he was like you say, maybe the cops pinched him before I got there."
"I thought the little rascal wouldn't be on hand," chuckled Anthony. "Good–by, Kelly."