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Lord Oakhurst's Curse

Short Stories

"Fox-in-the-Morning"

A Bird of Bagdad

A Blackjack Bargainer

A Call Loan

A Chaparral Christmas Gift

A Chaparral Prince

A Comedy in Rubber

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe

A Departmental Case

A Dinner at--------*

A Double-Dyed Deceiver

A Fog in Santone

A Harlem Tragedy

A Lickpenny Lover

A Little Local Colour

A Little Talk about Mobs

A Madison Square Arabian Night

A Matter of Mean Elevation

A Midsummer Knight's Dream

A Midsummer Masquerade

A Municipal Report

A Newspaper Story

A Night in New Arabia

A Philistine in Bohemia

A Poor Rule

A Ramble in Aphasia

A Retrieved Reformation

A Ruler of Men

A Sacrifice Hit

A Service of Love

A Snapshot at the President

A Strange Story

A Technical Error

A Tempered Wind

According to Their Lights

After Twenty Years

An Adjustment of Nature

An Afternoon Miracle

An Apology

An Unfinished Christmas Story

An Unfinished Story

Aristocracy Versus Hash

Art and the Bronco

At Arms With Morpheus

Babes in the Jungle

Best-Seller

Between Rounds

Bexar Scrip No. 2692

Blind Man's Holiday

Brickdust Row

Buried Treasure

By Courier

Calloway's Code

Caught

Cherchez La Femme

Christmas by Injunction

Compliments of the Season

Confessions of a Humorist

Conscience in Art

Cupid a La Carte

Cupid's Exile Number Two

Dickey

Dougherty's Eye-Opener

Elsie in New York

Extradited from Bohemia

Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled

Friends in San Rosario

From Each According to His Ability

From the Cabby's Seat

Georgia's Ruling

Girl

He Also Serves

Hearts and Crosses

Hearts and Hands

Helping the Other Fellow

Holding Up a Train

Hostages to Momus

Hygeia at the Solito

Innocents of Broadway

Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet

Jimmy Hayes and Muriel

Law and Order

Let Me Feel Your Pulse

Little Speck in Garnered Fruit

Lord Oakhurst's Curse

Lost on Dress Parade

Madame Bo-Peep, of the Ranches

Makes the Whole World Kin

Mammon and the Archer

Man About Town

Masters of Arts

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog

Modern Rural Sports

Money Maze

Nemesis and the Candy Man

New York by Camp Fire Light

Next to Reading Matter

No Story

October and June

On Behalf of the Management

One Dollar's Worth

One Thousand Dollars

Out of Nazareth

Past One at Rooney's

Phoebe

Proof of the Pudding

Psyche and the Pskyscraper

Queries and Answers

Roads of Destiny

Roses, Ruses and Romance

Rouge et Noir

Round the Circle

Rus in Urbe

Schools and Schools

Seats of the Haughty

Shearing the Wolf

Ships

Shoes

Sisters of the Golden Circle

Smith

Sociology in Serge and Straw

Sound and Fury

Springtime a La Carte

Squaring the Circle

Strictly Business

Strictly Business

Suite Homes and Their Romance

Telemachus, Friend

The Admiral

The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes

The Assessor of Success

The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear

The Badge of Policeman O'Roon

The Brief Debut of Tildy

The Buyer From Cactus City

The Caballero's Way

The Cactus

The Caliph and the Cad

The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock

The Call of the Tame

The Chair of Philanthromathematics

The Champion of the Weather

The Church with an Overshot-Wheel

The City of Dreadful Night

The Clarion Call

The Coming-Out of Maggie

The Complete Life of John Hopkins

The Cop and the Anthem

The Count and the Wedding Guest

The Country of Elusion

The Day Resurgent

The Day We Celebrate

The Defeat of the City

The Detective Detector

The Diamond of Kali

The Discounters of Money

The Dog and the Playlet

The Door of Unrest

The Dream

The Duel

The Duplicity of Hargraves

The Easter of the Soul

The Emancipation of Billy

The Enchanted Kiss

The Enchanted Profile

The Ethics of Pig

The Exact Science of Matrimony

The Ferry of Unfulfilment

The Fifth Wheel

The Flag Paramount

The Fool-Killer

The Foreign Policy of Company 99

The Fourth in Salvador

The Friendly Call

The Furnished Room

The Gift of the Magi

The Girl and the Graft

The Girl and the Habit

The Gold That Glittered

The Greater Coney

The Green Door

The Guardian of the Accolade

The Guilty Party - An East Side Tragedy

The Halberdier of the Little Rheinschloss

The Hand that Riles the World

The Handbook of Hymen

The Harbinger

The Head-Hunter

The Hiding of Black Bill

The Higher Abdication

The Higher Pragmatism

The Hypotheses of Failure

The Indian Summer of Dry Valley Johnson

The Lady Higher Up

The Last Leaf

The Last of the Troubadours

The Lonesome Road

The Lost Blend

The Lotus And The Bottle

The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein

The Making of a New Yorker

The Man Higher Up

The Marionettes

The Marquis and Miss Sally

The Marry Month of May

The Memento

The Missing Chord

The Moment of Victory

The Octopus Marooned

The Passing of Black Eagle

The Pendulum

The Phonograph and the Graft

The Pimienta Pancakes

The Plutonian Fire

The Poet and the Peasant

The Pride of the Cities

The Princess and the Puma

The Prisoner of Zembla

The Proem

The Purple Dress

The Ransom of Mack

The Ransom of Red Chief

The Rathskeller and the Rose

The Red Roses of Tonia

The Reformation of Calliope

The Remnants of the Code

The Renaissance at Charleroi

The Roads We Take

The Robe of Peace

The Romance of a Busy Broker

The Rose of Dixie

The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball

The Rubber Plant's Story

The Shamrock and the Palm

The Shocks of Doom

The Skylight Room

The Sleuths

The Snow Man

The Social Triangle

The Song and the Sergeant

The Sparrows in Madison Square

The Sphinx Apple

The Tale of a Tainted Tenner

The Theory and the Hound

The Thing's the Play

The Third Ingredient

The Trimmed Lamp

The Unknown Quantity

The Unprofitable Servant

The Venturers

The Vitagraphoscope

The Voice of the City

The Whirligig of Life

The World and the Door

Thimble, Thimble

Tictocq

To Him Who Waits

Tobin's Palm

Tommy's Burglar

Tracked to Doom

Transformation of Martin Burney

Transients in Arcadia

Two Recalls

Two Renegades

Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen

Ulysses and the Dogman

Vanity and Some Sables

What You Want

While the Auto Waits

Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking

Witches' Loaves







I

Lord Oakhurst lay dying in the oak chamber in the eastern wing of
Oakhurst Castle. Through the open window in the calm of the summer
evening, came the sweet fragrance of the early violets and budding
trees, and to the dying man it seemed as if earth's loveliness and
beauty were never so apparent as on this bright June day, his last day
of life.

His young wife, whom he loved with a devotion and strength that the
presence of the king of terrors himself could not alter, moved about the
apartment, weeping and sorrowful, sometimes arranging the sick man's
pillow and inquiring of him in low, mournful tones if anything could be
done to give him comfort, and again, with stifled sobs, eating some
chocolate caramels which she carried in the pocket of her apron. The
servants went to and fro with that quiet and subdued tread which
prevails in a house where death is an expected guest, and even the crash
of broken china and shivered glass, which announced their approach,
seemed to fall upon the ear with less violence and sound than usual.

Lord Oakhurst was thinking of days gone by, when he wooed and won his
beautiful young wife, who was then but a charming and innocent girl. How
clearly and minutely those scenes rose up at the call of his memory. He
seemed to be standing once more beneath the old chestnut grove where
they had plighted their troth in the twilight under the stars; while the
rare fragrance of the June roses and the smell of supper came gently by
on the breeze. There he had told her his love; how that his whole
happiness and future joy lay in the hope that he might win her for a
bride; that if she would trust her future to his care the devotedness of
his lifetime should be hers, and his only thought would be to make her
life one long day of sunshine and peanut candy.

How plainly he remembered how she had, with girlish shyness and coyness,
at first hesitated, and murmured something to herself about "an old
bald-beaded galoot," but when he told her that to him life without her
would be a blasted mockery, and that his income was 50,000 a year, she
threw herself on to him and froze there with the tenacity of a tick on a
brindled cow, and said, with tears of joy, "Hen-ery, I am thine."

And now he was dying. In a few short hours his spirit would rise up at
the call of the Destroyer and, quitting his poor, weak, earthly frame,
would go forth into that dim and dreaded Unknown Land, and solve with
certainty that Mystery which revealeth itself not to mortal man.





II

A carriage drove rapidly up the avenue and stopped at the door. Sir
Everhard FitzArmond, the famous London physician, who had been
telegraphed for, alighted and quickly ascended the marble steps. Lady
Oakhurst met him at the door, her lovely face expressing great anxiety
and grief. "Oh, Sir Everhard, I am so glad you have come. He seems to be
sinking rapidly. Did you bring the cream almonds I mentioned in the
telegram?"

Sir Everhard did not reply, but silently handed her a package, and,
slipping a couple of cloves into his mouth, ascended the stairs that led
to Lord Oakhurst's apartment. Lady Oakhurst followed.

Sir Everhard approached the bedside of his patient and laid his hand
gently on this sick man's diagnosis. A shade of feeling passed over his
professional countenance as lie gravely and solemnly pronounced these
words: "Madam, your husband has croaked."

Lady Oakhurst at first did not comprehend his technical language, and
her lovely mouth let up for a moment on the cream almonds. But soon his
meaning flashed upon her, and she seized an axe that her husband was
accustomed to keep by his bedside to mangle his servants with, and
struck open Lord Oakhurst's cabinet containing his private papers, and
with eager hands opened the document which she took therefrom. Then,
with a wild, unearthly shriek that would have made a steam piano go out
behind a barn and kick itself in despair, she fell senseless to the
floor.

Sir Everhard FitzArmond picked up the paper and read its contents. It
was Lord Oakhurst's will, bequeathing all his property to a scientific
institution which should have for its object the invention of a means
for extracting peach brandy from sawdust.

Sir Everhard glanced quickly around the room. No one was in sight.
Dropping the will, he rapidly transferred some valuable ornaments and
rare specimens of gold and silver filigree work from the centre table to
his pockets, and rang the bell for the servants.


III--THE CURSE

Sir Everhard FitzArmond descended the stairway of Oakhurst Castle and
passed out into the avenue that led from the doorway to the great iron
gates of the park. Lord Oakhurst had been a great sportsman during his
life and always kept a well-stocked kennel of curs, which now rushed out
from their hiding places and with loud yelps sprang upon the physician,
burying their fangs in his lower limbs and seriously damaging his
apparel.

Sir Everllard, startled out of his professional dignity and usual
indifference to human suffering, by the personal application of feeling,
gave vent to a most horrible and blighting CURSE and ran with great
swiftness to his carriage and drove off toward the city.




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