酷兔英语



THE MAKING OF BOBBY BURNIT

[Illustration: I'm in for some of the severest drubbings of my life]

THE MAKING OF BOBBY BURNIT

Being a Record of the Adventures of a Live American Young Man

_By GEORGE RANDOLPH CHESTER_

AUTHOR OF

"Get Rich Quick Wallingford," "The Cash Intrigue," Etc.

WITH FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS

BY JAMES MONTGOMERY FLAGG AND F. R. GRUGER

_A. L. BURT COMPANY_

_Publishers New York_

COPYRIGHT 1908

THE CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY

COPYRIGHT 1909

THE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY

JUNE

DEDICATION

To the Handicapped Sons of Able

Fathers, and the Handicapped

Fathers of Able Sons,

with Sympathy for

each, and a

Smile for

both

THE MAKING OF BOBBY BURNIT

CHAPTER I

BOBBY MAKES SOME IMPORTANT PREPARATIONS FOR A COMMERCIAL LIFE

"I am profoundly convinced that my son is a fool," read the will of

old John Burnit. "I am, however, also convinced that I allowed him to

become so by too much absorption in my own affairs and too little in

his, and, therefore, his being a fool is hereditary; consequently, I

feel it my duty, first, to give him a fair trial at making his own

way, and second, to place the balance of my fortune in such trust that

he can not starve. The trusteeship is already created and the details

are nobody's present business. My son Robert will take over the John

Burnit Store and personally conduct it, as his only resource, without

further question as to what else I may have left behind me. This is my

last will and testament."

That is how cheerful Bobby Burnit, with no thought heretofore above

healthy amusements and Agnes Elliston, suddenly became a business man,

after having been raised to become the idle heir to about three

million. Of course, having no kith nor kin in all this wide world, he

went immediately to consult Agnes. It is quite likely that if he had

been supplied with dozens of uncles and aunts he would have gone first

to Agnes anyhow, having a mighty regard for her keen judgment, even

though her clear gaze rested now and then all too critically upon

himself. Just as he came whirling up the avenue he saw Nick Allstyne's

white car, several blocks ahead of him, stop at her door, and a figure

which he knew must be Nick jump out and trip up the steps. Almost

immediately the figure came down again, much more slowly, and climbed

into the car, which whizzed away.

"Not at home," grumbled Bobby.

It was like him, however, that he should continue straight to the

quaint old house of the Ellistons and proffer his own card, for,

though his aims could seldom be called really worth while, he

invariably finished the thing he set out to do. It seemed to be a sort

of disease. He could not help it. To his surprise, the Cerberus who

guarded the Elliston door received him with a smile and a bow, and

observed:

"Miss Elliston says you are to walk right on up to the Turkish alcove,

sir."

While Wilkins took his hat and coat Bobby paused for a moment

figuratively to hug himself. At home to no one else! Expecting him!

"I'll ask her again," said Bobby to himself with determination, and

stalked on up to the second floor hall, upon which opened a delightful

cozy corner where Aunt Constance Elliston permitted the more

"family-like" male callers to smoke and loll and be at mannish ease.

As he reached the landing the door of the library below opened, and in

it appeared Agnes and an unusually well-set-up young man--a new one,

who wore a silky mustache and most fastidious tailoring. The two were

talking and laughing gaily as the door opened, but as Agnes glanced up

and saw Bobby she suddenly stopped laughing, and he almost thought

that he overheard her say something in an aside to her companion. The

impression was but fleeting, however, for she immediately nodded

brightly. Bobby bowed rather stiffly in return, and continued his

ascent of the stairs with a less sprightly footstep. Crestfallen, and

conscious that Agnes had again closed the door of the library without

either herself or the strange visitor having emerged into the hall, he

strode into the Turkish alcove and let himself drop upon a divan with

a thump. He extracted a cigar from his cigar-case, carefully cut off

the tip and as carefully restored the cigar to its place. Then he

clasped his interlocked fingers around his knee, and for the next ten

minutes strove, like a gentleman, not to listen.

When Agnes came up presently she made no mention whatever of her

caller, and, of course, Bobby had no excuse upon which to hang

impertinent questions, though the sharp barbs of them were darting

through and through him. Such fuming as he felt, however, was

instantly allayed by the warm and thoroughly honest clasp she gave him

when she shook hands with him. It was one of the twenty-two million

things he liked about her that she did not shake hands like two ounces

of cold fish, as did some of the girls he knew. She was dressed in a

half-formal house-gown, and the one curl of her waving brown hair that

would persistently straggle down upon her forehead was in its

accustomed place. He had always been obsessed with a nearly

irresistible impulse to put his finger through that curl.

"I have come around to consult you about a little business matter,

Agnes," he found himself beginning with sudden breathlessness, his

perturbation forgotten in the overwhelming charm of her. "The

governor's will has just been read to me, and he's plunged me into a

ripping mess. His whole fortune is in the hands of a trusteeship,

whatever that is, and I'm not even to know the trustees. All I get is

just the business, and I'm to carry the John Burnit Store on from its

present blue-ribbon standing to still more dazzling heights, I

suppose. Well, I'd like to do it. The governor deserves it. But, you

see, I'm so beastly thick-headed. Now, Agnes, you have perfectly

stunning judgment and all that, so if you would just----" and he came

to an abrupt and painful pause.

"Have you brought along the contract?" she asked demurely. "Honestly,

Bobby, you're the most original person in the world. The first time, I

was to marry you because you were so awkward, and the next time

because your father thought so much of me, and another time because

you wanted us to tour Norway and not have a whole bothersome crowd

along; then you were tired living in a big, lonely house with just you

and your father and the servants; now, it's an advantageous business

arrangement. What share of the profits am I to receive?"

Bobby's face had turned red, but he stuck manfully to his guns.

"All of them," he blurted. "You know that none of those is the real

reason," he as suddenly protested. "It is only that when I come to

tell you the actual reason I rather choke up and can't."

"You're a mighty nice boy, Bobby," she confessed. "Now sit down and

behave, and tell me just what you have decided to do."

"Well," said he, accepting his defeat with great philosophy, since he

had no reason to regard it as final, "of course, my decision is made

for me. I'm to take hold of the business. I don't know anything about

it, but I don't see why it shouldn't go straight on as it always has."

"Possibly," she admitted thoughtfully; "but I imagine your father

expected you to have rather a difficult time of it. Perhaps he wants

you to, so that a defeat or two will sting you into having a little

more serious purpose in life than you have at present. I'd like,

myself, to see you handle, with credit to him and to you, the splendid

establishment he built up."

"If I do," Bobby wanted to know, "will you marry me?"

"That makes eleven times. I'm not saying, Bobby, but you never can

tell."

"That settles it. I'm going to be a business man. Let me use your

'phone a minute." It was one of the many advantages of the

delightfully informal Turkish alcove that it contained a telephone,

and in two minutes Bobby had his tailors. "Make me two or three

business suits," he ordered. "Regular business suits, I mean, for real

business wear--you know the sort of thing--and get them done as

quickly as you can, please. There!" said he as he hung up the

receiver. "I shall begin to-morrow morning. I'll go down early and

take hold of the John Burnit Store in earnest."

"You've made a splendid start," commented Agnes, smiling. "Now tell me

about the polo tournament," and she sat back to enjoy his enthusiasm

over something about which he was entirely posted.

He was good to look at, was Bobby, with his clean-cut figure and his

clean-cut face and his clean, blue eyes and clean complexion, and she

delighted in nothing more than just to sit and watch him when he was

at ease; he was so restful, so certain to be always telling the truth,

to be always taking a charitably good-humored view of life, to turn on

wholesome topics and wholesome points of view; but after he had gone

she smiled and sighed and shook her head.

"Poor Bobby," she mused. "There won't be a shred left of his tender

little fleece by the time he gets through."

One more monitor Bobby went to see that afternoon, and this was Biff

Bates. It required no sending in of cards to enter the presence of

this celebrity. One simply stepped out of the elevator and used one's

latch-key. It was so much more convenient. Entering a big, barnlike

room he found Mr. Bates, clad only in trunks and canvas shoes,

wreaking dire punishment upon a punching-bag merely by way of

amusement; and Mr. Bates, with every symptom of joy illuminating his

rather horizontal features--wide brows, wide cheek-bone, wide nose,

wide mouth, wide chin, wide jaw--stopped to shake hands most

enthusiastically with his caller without removing his padded glove.

"What's the good news, old pal?" he asked huskily.

He was half a head shorter than Bobby and four inches broader across

the shoulders, and his neck spread out over all the top of his torso;

but there was something in the clear gaze of the eyes which made the

two gentlemen look quite alike as they shook hands, vastly different

as they were.

"Bad news for you, I'm afraid," announced Bobby. "That little

partnership idea of the big gymnasium will have to be called off for a

while."

Mr. Bates took a contemplative punch or two at the still quivering

bag.

"It was a fake, anyway," he commented, putting his arm around the top

of the punching-bag and leaning against it comfortably; "just like

this place. You went into partnership with me on this joint--that is,

you put up the coin and run in a lot of your friends on me to be

trained up--squarest lot of sports I ever saw, too. You fill the place

with business and allow me a weeklyenvelope that makes me tilt my

chin till I have to wear my lid down over my eyes to keep it from

falling off the back of my head, and when there's profits to split up

you shoves mine into my mitt and puts yours into improvements. You put

in the new shower baths and new bars and traps, and the last thing,

that swimming-tank back there. I'm glad the big game's off. I'm so

contented now I'm getting over-weight, and you'd bilk me again. But

what's the matter? Did the bookies get you?"

"No; I'll tell you all about it," and Bobby carefully explained the

terms of his father's will and what they meant.

Mr. Bates listened carefully, and when the explanation was finished he

thought for a long time.

"Well, Bobby," said he, "here's where you get it. They'll shred you

clean. You're too square for that game. Your old man was a fine old

sport and _he_ played it on the level, but, say, he could see a marked

card clear across a room. They'll double-cross you, though, to a

fare-ye-well."

The opinion seemed to be unanimous.

CHAPTER II

PINK CARNATIONS APPEAR IN THE OFFICE OF THE JOHN BURNIT STORE

Bobby gave his man orders to wake him up early next morning, say not

later than eight, and prided himself very much upon his energy when,

at ten-thirty, he descended from his machine in front of the old and

honored establishment of John Burnit, and, leaving instructions for

his chauffeur to call for him at twelve, made his way down the long

aisles of white-piled counters and into the dusty little office where

old Johnson, thin as a rail and with a face like whittled chalk,

humped over his desk exactly as he had sat for the past thirty-five

years.

"Good-morning, Johnson," observed Bobby with an affable nod. "I've

come to take over the business."

He said it in the same untroubled tone he had always used in asking

for his weekly check, and Johnson looked up with a wry smile.

Applerod, on the contrary, was beaming with hearty admiration. He was

as florid as Johnson was colorless, and the two had rubbed elbows and

dispositions in that same room almost since the house of Burnit had

been founded.

"Very well, sir," grudged Johnson, and immediately laid upon the

time-blackened desk which had been old John Burnit's, a closely

typewritten statement of some twenty pages. On top of this he placed a

plain gray envelope addressed:

_To My Son Robert,

Upon the Occasion of His Taking Over the Business_

Upon this envelope Bobby kept his eyes in mild speculation, while he

leisurely laid aside his cane and removed his gloves and coat and hat;

next he sat down in his father's jerky old swivel chair and lit a

cigarette; then he opened the letter. He read:

"Every business needs a pessimist and an optimist, with ample

opportunities to quarrel. Johnson is a jackass, but honest. He

is a pessimist and has a pea-green liver. Listen to him and

the business will die painlessly, by inches. Applerod is also

a jackass, and I presume him to be honest; but I never tested

it. He suffers from too much health, and the surplus goes into

optimism. Listen to him and the business will die in horrible

agony, quickly. But keep both of them. Let them fight things

out until they come almost to an understanding, then take the

middle course."

That was all. Bobby turned squarely to survey the frowning Johnson and

the still beaming Applerod, and with a flash of clarity he saw his

father's wisdom. He had always admired John Burnit, aside from the

fact that the sturdypioneer had been his father, had admired him much

as one admires the work of a master magician--without any hope of

emulation. As he read the note he could seem to see the old gentleman

standing there with his hands behind him, ready to stretch on tiptoe

and drop to his heels with a thump as he reached a climax, his

spectacles shoved up on his forehead, his strong, wrinkled face stern

from the cheek-bones down, but twinkling from that line upward, the

twinkle, which had its seat about the shrewd eyes, suddenly


生词表:
  • sympathy [´simpəθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同情,怜悯   (初中英语单词)
  • commercial [kə´mə:ʃəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.商业的 n.广告节目   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • starve [stɑ:v] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.(使)饥饿   (初中英语单词)
  • resource [ri´zɔ:s] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.手段;智谋   (初中英语单词)
  • cheerful [´tʃiəful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.快乐的;高兴的   (初中英语单词)
  • consult [kən´sʌlt] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.商量;磋商;请教   (初中英语单词)
  • tailoring [´teiləriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.裁缝业;缝工   (初中英语单词)
  • companion [kəm´pæniən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同伴;同事;伴侣   (初中英语单词)
  • visitor [´vizitə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.访问者;来宾;参观者   (初中英语单词)
  • presently [´prezəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不久;目前   (初中英语单词)
  • whatever [wɔt´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  pron.&a.无论什么   (初中英语单词)
  • thoroughly [´θʌrəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.完全地,彻底地   (初中英语单词)
  • forehead [´fɔrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.额,前部   (初中英语单词)
  • impulse [´impʌls] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.推动(力);冲动;刺激   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • governor [´gʌvənə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.总督;州长   (初中英语单词)
  • lonely [´ləunli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.孤独的;无人烟的   (初中英语单词)
  • actual [´æktʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.现实的;实际的   (初中英语单词)
  • philosophy [fi´lɔsəfi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.哲学;人生观   (初中英语单词)
  • monitor [´mɔnitə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.班长 v.监控;检查   (初中英语单词)
  • convenient [kən´vi:niənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.方便的   (初中英语单词)
  • canvas [´kænvəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.帆布;油画(布)   (初中英语单词)
  • punishment [´pʌniʃmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.罚,刑罚   (初中英语单词)
  • weekly [´wi:kli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&ad.每周一次(的)   (初中英语单词)
  • envelope [´envələup] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.信封,封皮   (初中英语单词)
  • shower [´ʃauə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.展出者;阵雨;淋浴   (初中英语单词)
  • explanation [,eksplə´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.解释;说明;辩解   (初中英语单词)
  • energy [´enədʒi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.活力,精力;能力   (初中英语单词)
  • establishment [i´stæbliʃmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.建(成)立;研究所   (初中英语单词)
  • contrary [´kɔntrəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.相反的 n.相反   (初中英语单词)
  • admiration [,ædmə´reiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.赞赏,钦佩   (初中英语单词)
  • survey [´sə:vei] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.俯瞰;审视;测量   (初中英语单词)
  • wisdom [´wizdəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.智慧,聪明,才智   (初中英语单词)
  • pioneer [,paiə´niə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.拓荒者 v.开辟;倡导   (初中英语单词)
  • upward [´ʌpwəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&ad.向上(的);以上   (初中英语单词)
  • consequently [´kɔnsikwəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.因此,所以   (高中英语单词)
  • personally [´pə:sənəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.亲自;就个人来说   (高中英语单词)
  • mighty [´maiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强有力的 ad.很   (高中英语单词)
  • determination [di,tə:mi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.决心;决定   (高中英语单词)
  • stiffly [´stifli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.硬;顽固地   (高中英语单词)
  • footstep [´futstep] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.足迹,脚步声   (高中英语单词)
  • strove [strəuv] 移动到这儿单词发声  strive的过去式   (高中英语单词)
  • abrupt [ə´brʌpt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.突然的;粗鲁的   (高中英语单词)
  • painful [´peinfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.痛(苦)的;费力的   (高中英语单词)
  • awkward [´ɔ:kwəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.笨拙的;为难的   (高中英语单词)
  • norway [´nɔ:wei] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.挪威   (高中英语单词)
  • decided [di´saidid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.明显的;决定的   (高中英语单词)
  • thoughtfully [´θɔ:tfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.深思地;体贴地   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • complexion [kəm´plekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.肤色;情况;局面   (高中英语单词)
  • wholesome [´həulsəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有益于健康的   (高中英语单词)
  • elevator [´eliveitə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.电梯;升降机   (高中英语单词)
  • symptom [´simptəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.症状,症候   (高中英语单词)
  • comfortably [´kʌmfətəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.舒适地   (高中英语单词)
  • partnership [´pɑ:tnəʃip] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.合伙关系   (高中英语单词)
  • hearty [´hɑ:ti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.热忱的;强健的   (高中英语单词)
  • speculation [,spekju´leiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.思索,推测;投机   (高中英语单词)
  • presume [pri´zju:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.假定;推测;以为   (高中英语单词)
  • surplus [´sə:pləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.剩余(的)   (高中英语单词)
  • sturdy [´stə:di] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.坚强的;坚定的   (高中英语单词)
  • climax [´klaimæks] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.顶点;高潮   (高中英语单词)
  • shrewd [ʃru:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精明的;狡猾的   (高中英语单词)
  • profoundly [prə´faundli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.深深地   (英语四级单词)
  • absorption [əb´sɔ:pʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.吸收;吸收作用   (英语四级单词)
  • hereditary [hi´reditəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.遗传的;世袭的   (英语四级单词)
  • heretofore [,hiətu´fɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.以前,迄今为止   (英语四级单词)
  • proffer [´prɔfə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.提供;贡献   (英语四级单词)
  • unusually [ʌn´ju:ʒuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.异常地;非常   (英语四级单词)
  • mustache [mə´stɑ:ʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.髭,小胡子   (英语四级单词)
  • overwhelming [,əuvə´welmiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.压倒的;势不可挡的   (英语四级单词)
  • informal [in´fɔ:məl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.非正式的,非正规的   (英语四级单词)
  • fleece [fli:s] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.羊毛;羊毛状物   (英语四级单词)
  • horizontal [,hɔri´zɔntl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.水平的,横的   (英语四级单词)
  • vastly [´vɑ:stli, ´væstli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.巨大地;广阔地   (英语四级单词)
  • chauffeur [´ʃəufə,ʃeu´fə:] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(汽车)司机   (英语四级单词)
  • squarely [´skwɛəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.成方形地;正直地   (英语四级单词)
  • turkish [´tə:kiʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.土耳其人(语)的   (英语六级单词)
  • landing [´lændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.登陆;降落;楼梯平台   (英语六级单词)
  • fleeting [´fli:tiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.飞逝的,疾驰的   (英语六级单词)
  • sprightly [´spraitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.活泼的;轻快的   (英语六级单词)
  • beastly [´bi:stli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.残忍的;卑鄙的   (英语六级单词)
  • advantageous [,ædvən´teidʒəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有利的;有帮助的   (英语六级单词)
  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迷人的 n.捕获物   (英语六级单词)
  • celebrity [si´lebriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.名声;名人   (英语六级单词)
  • caller [´kɔ:lə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼喊者;访问者   (英语六级单词)
  • gymnasium [dʒim´neiziəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.体育馆   (英语六级单词)
  • beaming [´bi:miŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.笑吟吟的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:52:02
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