The Last Gentleman: A Novel
The Last Gentleman: A Novel
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Will Barrett is a 25-year-old wanderer from the South living in New York City, detached from his roots and with no plans for the future, until the purchase of a telescope sets off a romance and changes his life forever.
bitty Spite was gone when I got here. And I got here on time.” “Is anyone else there?” “Nobody but Miss Rita.” “Never mind. Give Miss Kitty a message.” “Oh yes suh.” “Tell her I got hurt at the college, got hit in the head, and had a relapse. She’ll understand. Tell her I’ve been sick but I feel better.” “Yes suh. I’ll sho tell her. Sick?” David, aiming for the famous Negro sympathy, hit instead on a hooting incredulity. David, David, thought the engineer, shaking his head, what is going to
affably. Lining up beside him, he rubbed himself against the vanes of the radiator and began to smoke a cigar with great enjoyment. He cradled one elbow in the crook of the other arm and rocked to and fro in his narrow yellow shoes. “It looks like Dr. Calamera is running late.” The stranger screwed up an eye and spoke directly into the smoke. He was a puckish-looking old fellow who, the engineer soon discovered, had the habit of shooting his arm out of his cuff and patting his gray hair. “Who?”
went on, no longer so nervous now but seeming rather to have hit upon a course she might steer between the two of them, he noticed a spot of color in her cheek. There was a liquid light, not a tear, in the corner of her eye. “Ree’s been giving me the most fascinating account of the hikuli rite which is practiced by the Huichol Indians. The women are absolved from their sins by tying knots in a palm-leaf string, one knot for each lover. Then they throw the string into Grandfather Fire. Meanwhile
come from Jersey.” “I just want to make it damn clear I’m selling to anyone I please, regardless of race, creed, or national origin.” “Me too! That’s just what I was telling Lou here.” “And hear this,” said the writer, massaging his wristlet grimly. “If there is any one thing that pisses me off, its bigotry.” “You’re right,” cried Jiggs. “Mr. Prince, if Mae and I didn’t have our savings in our house—listen, let me tell you!” But though everyone listened, he fell silent. “We keep the lawr,
owe spiritual people, ladies, a great deal—they’re very generous with me when I beg from them. It’s a strange business, isn’t it? The most unlikely people are generous. Last week I persuaded the local Klonsul of the Klan to give us a Seven-Up machine. Do you think it is possible to come to Christ through ordinary dislike before discovering the love of Christ? Can dislike be a sign?” “I couldn’t say,” said the sleepy engineer. She brought herself up and looked at him for the first time. “Mr.