Click here to Download The Scarlet Car PDF Book by Richard Harding Davis Language English having PDF Size 1 MB and No of Pages 57.
For a long time it had been arranged they all should go to the Harvard and Yale game in Winthrop’s car. It was perfectly well understood. Even Peabody, who pictured himself and Miss Forbes in the back of the car, with her brother and Winthrop in front, condescended to approve. It was necessary to invite Peabody because it was his great good fortune to be engaged to Miss Forbes.
The Scarlet Car PDF Book by Richard Harding Davis
|Name of Book||The Scarlet Car|
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|No of Pages||57|
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Her brother Sam had been invited, not only because he could act as chaperon for his sister, but because since they were at St. Paul’s, Winthrop and he, either as participants or spectators, had never missed going together to the Yale-Harvard game. And Beatrice Forbes herself had been invited because she was herself.
When at nine o’clock on the morning of the game, Winthrop stopped the car in front of her door, he was in love with all the world. In the November air there was a sting like frost-bitten cider, in the sky there was a brilliant, beautiful sun, in the wind was the tingling touch of three ice-chilled rivers.
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And in the big house facing Central Park, outside of which his prancing steed of brass and scarlet chugged and protested and trembled with impatience, was the most wonderful girl in all the world. It was true she was engaged to be married, and not to him. But she was not yet married.
And to-day it would be his privilege to carry her through the State of New York and the State of Connecticut, and he would snatch glimpses of her profile rising from the rough fur collar, of her wind-blown hair, of the long, lovely lashes under the gray veil. “‘Shall be together, breathe and ride, so, one day more am I deified.’
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“Whispered the young man in the Scarlet Car; “‘who knows but the world may end to-night?'” As he waited at the curb, other great touring-cars, of every speed and shape, in the mad race for the Boston Post Road, and the town of New Haven, swept up Fifth Avenue. Some rolled and puffed like tugboats in a heavy seaway, others glided by noiseless and proud as private yachts.
But each flew the colors of blue or crimson. Winthrop’s car, because her brother had gone to one college, and he had played right end for the other, was draped impartially. And so every other car mocked or cheered it, and in one a bare-headed youth stood up, and shouted to his fellows: “Look! there’s Billy Winthrop! Three times three for old Billy Winthrop!” The Scarlet Car PDF Book
And they lashed the air with flags, and sent his name echoing over Central Park. Winthrop grinned in embarrassment, and waved his hand. A bicycle cop, and Fred, the chauffeur, were equally impressed. “Was they the Harvoids, sir?” asked Fred. “They was,” said Winthrop. Her brother Sam came down the steps carrying sweaters and steamer-rugs.
But he wore no holiday countenance. “What do you think?” he demanded indignantly. “Ernest Peabody’s inside making trouble. His sister has a Pullman on one of the special trains, and he wants Beatrice to go with her.” In spite of his furs, the young man in the car turned quite cold. “Not with us?” he gasped.
Miss Forbes appeared at the house door, followed by Ernest Peabody. He wore an expression of disturbed dignity; she one of distressed amusement. That she also wore her automobile coat caused the heart of Winthrop to leap hopefully. “Winthrop,” said Peabody, “I am in rather an embarrassing position. The Scarlet Car PDF Book
My sister, Mrs. Taylor Holbrooke”—he spoke the name as though he were announcing it at the door of a drawing-room—”desires Miss Forbes to go with her. She feels accidents are apt to occur with motor cars—and there are no other ladies in your party—and the crowds——” Winthrop carefully avoided looking at Miss Forbes.
“I should be very sorry,” he murmured. “Ernest!” said Miss Forbes, “I explained it was impossible for me to go with your sister. We would be extremely rude to Mr. Winthrop. How do you wish us to sit?” she asked. She mounted to the rear seat, and made room opposite her for Peabody.
“Do I understand, Beatrice,” began Peabody in a tone that instantly made every one extremely uncomfortable, “that I am to tell my sister you are not coming?” At West Haven Green Winthrop turned out of the track of the racing monsters into a quiet street leading to the railroad station, and with a half-sigh, half-laugh, leaned back comfortably. The Scarlet Car PDF Book
“Those lights coming up suddenly make it hard to see,” he said. “Hard to breathe,” snorted Sam; “since that first car missed us, I haven’t drawn an honest breath. I held on so tight that I squeezed the hair out of the cushions.” When they reached the railroad station, and Sam had finally fought his way to the station master.
That half-crazed official informed him he had missed the departure of Mrs. Taylor Holbrooke’s car by just ten minutes. Brother Sam reported this state of affairs to his companions. “God knows we asked for the fish first,” he said; “so now we’ve done our duty by Ernest, who has shamefully deserted us, and we can get something to eat, and go home at our leisure.
As I have always told you, the only way to travel independently is in a touring-car.” At the New Haven House they bought three waiters, body and soul, and, in spite of the fact that in the very next room the team was breaking training, obtained an excellent but chaotic dinner; and by eight they were on their way back to the big city. The Scarlet Car PDF Book
The night was grandly beautiful. The waters of the Sound flashed in the light of a cold, clear moon, which showed them, like pictures in silver print, the sleeping villages through which they passed, the ancient elms, the low-roofed cottages, the town hall facing the common. The post road was again empty, and the car moved as steadily as a watch.
“Just because it knows we don’t care now when we get there,” said Brother Sam, “you couldn’t make it break down with an axe.” From the rear, where he sat with Fred, he announced he was going to sleep, and asked that he be not awakened until the car had crossed the State line between Connecticut and New York. Winthrop doubted if he knew the State line of New York.
“It is where the advertisements for Besse Baker’s twenty-seven stores cease,” said Sam drowsily, “and the billposters of Ethel Barrymore begin.” In the front of the car the two young people spoke only at intervals, but Winthrop had never been so widely alert, so keenly happy, never before so conscious of her presence. The Scarlet Car PDF Book Download
And it seemed as they glided through the mysterious moonlit world of silent villages, shadowy woods, and wind-swept bays and inlets, from which, as the car rattled over the planks of the bridges, the wild duck rose in noisy circles, they alone were awake and living. The cell to which the constable led Winthrop was in a corner of the cellar in which formerly coal had been stored.
This corner was now fenced off with boards, and a wooden door with chain and padlock. High in the wall, on a level with the ground, was the opening, or window, through which the coal had been dumped. This window now was barricaded with iron bars. Winthrop tested the door by shaking it, and landed a heavy kick on one of the hinges.
It gave slightly, and emitted a feeble groan. “What you tryin’ to do?” demanded the constable. “That’s town property.” In the light of the constable’s lantern, Winthrop surveyed his cell with extreme dissatisfaction. “I call this a cheap cell,” he said. “It’s good enough for a cheap sport,” returned the constable. The Scarlet Car PDF Book Download
It was so overwhelming a retort that after the constable had turned the key in the padlock, and taken himself and his lantern to the floor above, Winthrop could hear him repeating it to the volunteer firemen. They received it with delighted howls. For an hour, on the three empty boxes that formed his bed, Winthrop sat, with his chin on his fists.
Planning the nameless atrocities he would inflict upon the village of Fairport. Compared to his tortures, those of Neuremberg were merely reprimands. Also he considered the particular punishment he would mete out to Sam Forbes for his desertion of his sister, and to Fred. He could not understand Fred. It was not like the chauffeur to think only of himself.
Nevertheless, for abandoning Miss Forbes in the hour of need, Fred must be discharged. He had, with some regret, determined upon this discipline, when from directly over his head the voice of Fred hailed him cautiously. “Mr. Winthrop,” the voice called, “are you there?” To Winthrop the question seemed superfluous. The Scarlet Car PDF Book Download
He jumped to his feet, and peered up into the darkness. “Where are YOU?” he demanded. “At the window,” came the answer. “We’re in the back yard. Mr. Sam wants to speak to you.” On Miss Forbes’s account, Winthrop gave a gasp of relief. On his own, one of savage satisfaction.
“I’ve got to find out what the devil has happened to Fred!” he said. “You go back to the car. Send your brother here on the run. Tell him there’s going to be a rough-house. You’re not afraid to go?” “No,” said the girl. A shadow blacker than the night rose suddenly before them, and a voice asked sternly but quietly.
“What are you doing here?” The young man lifted his arm clear of the girl, and shoved her quickly from him. In his hand she felt the pressure of the revolver. “Well,” he replied truculently, “and what are you doing here?” “I am the night watchman,” answered the voice. “Who are you?” The Scarlet Car PDF Book Download
It struck Miss Forbes if the watchman knew that one of the trespassers was a woman he would be at once reassured, and she broke in quickly: “We have lost our way,” she said pleasantly. “We came here——” She found herself staring blindly down a shaft of light. For an instant the torch held her, and then from her swept over the young man.
“Drop that gun!” cried the voice. It was no longer the same voice; it was now savage and snarling. For answer the young man pressed the torch in his left hand, and, held in the two circles of light, the men surveyed each other. The newcomer was one of unusual bulk and height. The collar of his overcoat hid his mouth, and his derby hat was drawn down over his forehead.
But what they saw showed an intelligent, strong face, although for the moment it wore a menacing scowl. The young man dropped his revolver into his pocket. “My automobile ran dry,” he said; “we came in here to get some water. My chauffeur is back there somewhere with a couple of buckets. The Scarlet Car PDF Book Download
This is Mr. Carey’s place, isn’t it?” “Take that light out of my eyes!” said the watchman. “Take your light out of my eyes,” returned the young man. “You can see we’re not— we don’t mean any harm.” The two lights disappeared simultaneously, and then each, as though worked by the same hand, sprang forth again.
Once or twice when in his car, Death had reached for Winthrop, and only by the scantiest grace had he escaped. Then the nearness of it had only sobered him. Now that he believed he had brought it to a fellow man, even though he knew he was in no degree to blame, the thought sickened and shocked him.
His brain trembled with remorse and horror. But voices assailing him on every side brought him to the necessity of the moment. Men were pressing close upon him, jostling, abusing him, shaking fists in his face. Another crowd of men, as though fearing the car would escape of its own volition, were clinging to the steps and running boards. The Scarlet Car PDF Book Free
Winthrop saw Miss Forbes standing above them, talking eagerly to Peabody, and pointing at him. He heard children’s shrill voices calling to new arrivals that an automobile had killed a man; that it had killed him on purpose. On the outer edge of the crowd men shouted: “Ah, soak him,” “Kill him,” “Lynch him.”
A soiled giant without a collar stooped over the purple, blood-stained face, and then leaped upright, and shouted: “It’s Jerry Gaylor, he’s killed old man Gaylor.” The response was instant. Every one seemed to know Jerry Gaylor. Winthrop took the soiled person by the arm. “You help me lift him into my car,” he ordered.
“Take him by the shoulders. We must get him to a hospital.” “To a hospital? To the Morgue!” roared the man. “And the police station for yours. You don’t do no get-away.” Winthrop answered him by turning to the crowd. “If this man has any friends here, they’ll please help me put him in my car, and we’ll take him to Roosevelt Hospital.” The Scarlet Car PDF Book Free
The soiled person shoved a fist and a bad cigar under Winthrop’s nose. “Has he got any friends?” he mocked. “Sure, he’s got friends, and they’ll fix you, all right.”