Click here to Download The Conflict PDF Book by David G. Phillips English having PDF Size 2.2 MB and No of Pages 176.
Four years at Wellesley; two years about equally divided among Paris, Dresden and Florence. And now Jane Hastings was at home again. At home in the unchanged house— spacious, old-fashioned—looking down from its steeply sloping lawns and terraced gardens upon the sooty, smoky activities of Remsen City, looking out upon a charming panorama of hills and valleys in the heart of South Central Indiana.
The Conflict PDF Book by David G. Phillip
|Name of Book||The Conflict|
|Author||David G. Phillip|
|PDF Size||2.2 MB|
|No of Pages||176|
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Six years of striving in the East and abroad to satisfy the restless energy she inherited from her father; and here she was, as restless as ever—yet with everything done that a woman could do in the way of an active career. She looked back upon her years of elaborate preparation; she looked forward upon— nothing.
That is, nothing but marriage—dropping her name, dropping her personality, disappearing in the personality of another. She had never seen a man for whom she would make such a sacrifice; she did not believe that such a man existed. She meditated bitterly upon that cruel arrangement of Nature’s whereby the father transmits his vigorous qualities in twofold measure to the daughter.
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Not in order that she may be a somebody, but solely in order that she may transmit them to sons. “I don’t believe it,” she decided. “There’s something for ME to do.” But what? She gazed down at Remsen City, connected by factories and pierced from east, west and south by railways. She gazed out over the fields and woods.
Yes, there must be something for her besides merely marrying and breeding—just as much for her as for a man. But what? If she should marry a man who would let her rule him, she would despise him. If she should marry a man she could respect—a man who was of the master class like her father—how she would hate him for ignoring her and putting her in her ordained inferior feminine place.
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She glanced down at her skirts with an angry sense of enforced masquerade. And then she laughed—for she had a keen sense of humor that always came to her rescue when she was in danger of taking herself too seriously. Through the foliage between her and the last of the stretches of highroad winding up from Remsen City she spied a man climbing in her direction—a long.
Slim figure in cap, Norfolk jacket and knickerbockers. Instantly—and long before he saw her—there was a grotesque whisking out of sight of the serious personality upon which we have been intruding. In its stead there stood ready to receive the young man a woman of the type that possesses physical charm and knows how to use it—and does not scruple to use it.
For a woman to conquer man by physical charm is far and away the easiest, the most fleeting and the emptiest of victories. But for woman thus to conquer without herself yielding anything whatsoever, even so little as an alluring glance of the eye—that is quite another matter. It was this sort of conquest that Jane Hastings delighted in—and sought to gain with any man who came within range. The Conflict PDF Book
If the men had known what she was about, they would have denounced her conduct as contemptible and herself as immoral, even brazen. But in their innocence they accused only their sophisticated and superbly masculine selves and regarded her as the soul of innocence. This was the more absurd in them because she obviously excelled in the feminine art of inviting display of charm.
To glance at her was to realize at once the beauty of her figure, the exceeding grace of her long back and waist. A keen observer would have seen the mockery lurking in her light-brown eyes, and about the corners of her full red lips. She arranged her thick dark hair to make a secret.
Half-revealed charm of her fascinating pink ears and to reveal in dazzling unexpectedness the soft, round whiteness of the nape of her neck. Because you are thus let into Miss Hastings’ naughty secret, so well veiled behind an air of earnest and almost cold dignity, you must not do her the injustice of thinking her unusually artful. The Conflict PDF Book
Such artfulness is common enough; it secures husbands by the thousand and by the tens of thousands. No, only in the skill of artfulness was Miss Hastings unusual. As the long strides of the tall, slender man brought him rapidly nearer, his face came into plain view. A refined, handsome face, dark and serious. He had dark-brown eyes—and Miss Hastings did not like brown eyes in a man.
She thought that men should have gray or blue or greenish eyes, and if they were cruel in their love of power she liked it the better. “Hello, Dave,” she cried in a pleasant, friendly voice. She was posed—in the most unconscious of attitudes—upon a rustic bench so that her extraordinary figure was revealed at its most attractive.
The young man halted before her, his breath coming quickly—not altogether from the exertion of his steep and rapid climb. “Jen, I’m mad about you,” he said, his brown eyes soft and luminous with passion. “I’ve done nothing but think about you in the week you’ve been back. I didn’t sleep last night, and I’ve come up here as early as I dared to tell you—to ask you to marry me.” The Conflict PDF Book
He did not see the triumph she felt, the joy in having subdued another of these insolently superior males. Her eyes were discreetly veiled; her delightful mouth was arranged to express sadness. “And I have been thinking what a delightful friendship ours was,” said she, disgustedly.
“And all the time, your talk about your ambition—the speeches you were going to make— the offices you were going to hold—the good you were going to do in purifying politics—it was all a blind!” “All a blind,” admitted he. “From the first night that you came to our house to dinner— Jen, I’ll never forget that dress you wore—or the way you looked in it.”
Miss Jane had thought extremely well of that toilet herself. She had heard how impervious this David Hull, the best catch in the town, was to feminine charm; and she had gone prepared to give battle. But she said dejectedly, “You don’t know what a shock you’ve given me.” “Yes, I do,” cried he. “I’m ashamed of myself. But—I love you, Jen! Can’t you learn to love me?” The Conflict PDF Book
“I hadn’t even thought of you in that way,” said she. “I haven’t bothered my head about marriage. Of course, most girls have to think about it, because they must get some one to support them——” “I wish to God you were one of that sort,” interrupted he. “Then I could have some hope.” “Hope of what,” said she disdainfully.
“You don’t mean that you’d marry a girl who was marrying you because she had to have food, clothing and shelter?” “I’d marry the woman I loved. Then—I’d MAKE her love me. She simply couldn’t help it.” Jane Hastings shuddered. “Thank heaven, I don’t have to marry!” Her eyes flashed. “But I wouldn’t, even if I were poor. I’d rather go to work. Why shouldn’t a woman work, anyhow?”
“At what?” inquired Hull. “Except the men who do manual labor, there are precious few men who can make a living honestly and self-respectingly. It’s fortunate the women can hold aloof and remain pure.” Jane laughed unpleasantly. “I’m not so sure that the women who live with men just for shelter are pure,” said she. “Jen,” the young man burst out, “you’re ambitious—aren’t you?” “Rather,” replied she. The Conflict PDF Book
“And you like the sort of thing I’m trying to do—like it and approve of it?” “I believe a man ought to succeed—get to the top.” “So do I—if he can do it honorably.” Jane hesitated—dared. “To be quite frank,” said she, “I worship success and I despise failure. Success means strength. Failure means weakness—and I abominate weakness.”
Such a fury rose up in Jane that the undigested breakfast went wrong and put her in condition to give such exhibition as chance might tempt of that ugliness of disposition which appears from time to time in all of us not of the meek and worm-like class, and which we usually attribute to any cause under the sun but the vulgar right one.
“The impertinence!” muttered Jane, with a second glance at the note which conveyed; among other humiliating things, an impression of her own absolute lack of importance to Selma Gordon. “Serves me right for lowering myself to such people. If I wanted to try to do anything for the working class I’d have to keep away from them. The Conflict PDF Book
They’re so unattractive to look at and to associate with—not like those shrewd, respectful, interesting peasants one finds on the other side. They’re better in the East. They know their place in a way. But out here they’re insufferable.” And she spent the morning quarrelling with her maid and the other servants.
Issuing orders right and left, working herself into a horrible mood dominated by a headache that was anything but a pretense. As she wandered about the house and gardens, she trailed a beautiful negligee with that carelessness which in a woman of clean and orderly habits invariably indicates the possession of many clothes.
And of a maid who can be counted on to freshen things up before they shall be used again. Her father came home to lunch in high good humor. “I’ll not go down town again for a few days,” said he. “I reckon I’d best keep out of the way. That scoundrelly Victor Dorn has done so much lying and inciting these last four or five years that it ain’t safe for a man like me to go about when there’s trouble with the hands.” The Conflict PDF Book Download
“If I didn’t I’d be cheating them,” said Hastings. “And if the men don’t like their jobs, why, they can quit and get jobs they do like.” He added, in absolute unconsciousness of his inconsistency, in absolute belief in his own honesty and goodness, “The truth is our company pays as high wages as can be got anywhere.
As for them hours—when I was working my way up, I used to put in sixteen and eighteen hours a day, and was mighty glad to do it. This lazy talk of cutting down hours makes me sick. And these fellows that’re always kicking on their jobs, I’d like to know what’d become of them and their families if I and men like me didn’t provide work for ’em.”
“Yes, indeed!” cried Jane, eagerly seizing upon this attractive view of the situation—and resolutely accepting it without question. In came one of the maids, saying: “There’s a man wants to see you, Mr. Hastings.” “What’s his name? What does he want?” inquired Hastings, while Jane made a mental note that she must try to inject at least a little order and form into the manners of announcing visitors. The Conflict PDF Book Download
“He didn’t give a name. He just said, ‘Tell the old man I want to see him.’ I ain’t sure, but I think it’s Dick Kelly.” As Lizzie was an ardent Democrat, she spoke the name contemptuously—for Dick Kelly was the Republican boss. If it had been House, the Democratic boss and Kelly’s secret dependent and henchman, she would have said “Mr. Joseph House” in a tone of deep respect.
“Kelly,” said Hastings. “Must be something important or he’d ‘a telephoned or asked me to see him at my office or at the Lincoln Club. He never came out here before. Bring him in, Lizzie.” A moment and there appeared in the doorway a man of perhaps forty years who looked like a prosperous contractor who had risen from the ranks.
His figure was notable for its solidity and for the power of the shoulders; but already there were indications that the solidity, come of hard manual labor in early life, was soon to soften into fat under the melting influence of prosperity and the dissipation it put within too easy reach. The striking features of his face were a pair of keen, hard, greenish eyes and a jaw that protruded uglily —the jaw of aggressiveness. The Conflict PDF Book Free
Not the too prominent jaw of weakness. At sight of Jane he halted awkwardly. “I’m not so sure of that,” replied Kelly, who was wise enough to realize the value of a bogey like Dorn—its usefulness for purposes of “throwing a scare into the silk-stocking crowd.” “Dorn’s getting mighty strong with the people.” “Stuff and nonsense!” retorted Hastings.
“They’ll listen to any slick tongued rascal that roasts those that are more prosperous than they are. But when it comes to doing anything, they know better. They envy and hate those that give them jobs, but they need the jobs.” “There’s a good deal of truth in that, Mr. Hastings,” said Kelly, who was nothing if not judicial.
“But Dorn’s mighty plausible. I hear sensible men saying there’s something more’n hot air in his facts and figgures.” Kelly paused, and made the pause significant. “About that last block of traction stock, Mr. Hastings. I thought you were going to let me in on the ground floor. But I ain’t heard nothing.” “You ARE in,” said Hastings, who knew when to yield. The Conflict PDF Book Free
“Hasn’t Barker been to see you? I’ll attend to it, myself.” “Thank you, Mr. Hastings,” said Kelly—dry and brief as always when receipting with a polite phrase for pay for services rendered. “I’ve been a good friend to your people.” “Yes, you have, Dick,” said the old man heartily. “And I want you to jump in and take charge.”