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- The One Woman - 1/53 -


THE ONE WOMAN

A STORY OF MODERN UTOPIA

BY

THOMAS DIXON, JR.

ILLUSTRATED BY

B. WEST CLINEDINST

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MY MOTHER

(1834-1902)

TO WHOSE SCOTCH LOVE OF ROMANTIC LITERATURE I OWE THE HERITAGE OF ETERNAL YOUTH

CONTENTS

I. The Man and the Woman II. Visions in the Night III. The Banker and His Fad IV. The Shorthorn Deacon V. The Cry of the City VI. The Puddle and the Tadpole VII. A Stolen Kiss VIII. Sweet Danger IX. The Spider X. The Black Cat XI. An Answer to Prayer XII. Out of the Shadows XIII. A Broken Heart-String XIV. The Voice of the Siren XV. Goest Thou to See a Woman? XVI. The Parting XVII. The Thought That Sweeps the Century XVIII. A Voice from the Past XIX. The Wedding of the Annunciation XX. An Old Sweetheart XXI. Freedom and Fellowship XXII. A Scarlet Flame in the Sky XXIII. The New Heaven XXIV. Courtier and Queen XXV. The Irony of Fate XXVI. At Close Quarters XXVII. Venus Victrix XXVIII. The Growl of the Animal XXIX. Bulldog and Mastiff XXX. The Cloud's Silver Lining XXXI. A Lace Handkerchief XXXII. A Lifetime in a Day XXXIII. The Verdict XXXIV. The Appeal XXXV. Between Two Fires XXXVI. Swift and Beautiful Feet XXXVII. The Kiss of the Bride

List of Illustrations

"Her tapering fingers rested on his broad foot."

"About her personality there was a haunting charm, the breath of a soul capable of the highest heroism."

"Little ringlets of hair curling about her face as though scorched by the warmth of the red blood below."

"Ripped it open, tore it from his arms, and threw it on the floor."

"Her arms stole around his neck."

"A faint cry came from the full lips."

"Driving his great fingers into his throat."

"A cheer suddenly burst from the crowd and echoed through the court-room."

Leading Characters of the Story

Scene: New York-Time: The Present

RUTH GORDON . . . The One Woman

REV. FRANK GORDON . . A Social Dreamer

KATE RANSOM . . . The Other Woman

MARK OVERMAN . . . .A Banker

MORRIS KING . . Ruth's Old Sweetheart

ARNOLD VAN METER . . A Shorthorn Deacon

BARRINGER . . Assistant District Attorney

CHAPTER I

THE MAN AND THE WOMAN

"Quick--a glass of water!" A man sprang to his feet, beckoning to an usher.

When he reached the seat, the woman had recovered by a supreme effort of will and sat erect, her face flushed with anger at her own weakness.

"Thank you, I am quite well now," she said with dignity.

The man settled back and the usher returned to his place and stood watching her out of the corners of his eyes, fascinated by her beauty.

The church was packed that night with more than two thousand people. The air was hot and foul. The old brick building, jammed in the middle of a block, faced the street with its big bare gable. The ushers were so used to people fainting that they kept water and smelling-salts handy in the anterooms. The Reverend Frank Gordon no longer paused or noticed these interruptions. He had accepted the truth that, while God builds the churches, the devil gets the job to heat, light and ventilate them.

The preacher had not noticed this excitement under the gallery, but had gone steadily on in an even monotone very unusual to his fiery temperament.

A half-dozen reporters yawned and drummed on their fingers with their pencils. The rumour of a brewing church trouble had been published, but he had not referred to it in the morning, and evidently was not going to do so to-night.

Toward the close of his sermon he recovered from the stupor with which he had been struggling and ended with something of his usual fervour.

He was a man of powerful physique, wide chest and broad shoulders, a tall athlete, six feet four, of Viking mould, hair blond and waving, steel-gray eyes, a strong aquiline nose and frank, serious face.

He had been called from a town in southern Indiana to the Pilgrim Congregational Church in New York when, on its last legs, it was about to sell out and move uptown. He had created a sensation, and in six months the building could not hold the crowds which struggled to hear him.

His voice was one of great range and its direct personal tone put him in touch with every hearer. Before they knew it his accents quivered with emotion that swept the heart. Emotional thinking was his trait. He could thrill his crowd with a sudden burst of eloquence, but he loved to use the deep vibrant subtones of his voice so charged with feeling that he melted the people into tears. His face, flashing and trembling, smiling and clouding with hidden fires of passion, held every eye riveted. His gestures were few and seemed the resistless burst of enormous reserve power--an impression made stronger by his great hairy blue-veined hands and the way


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