Young Lord Stranleigh - Robert Barr - ebook
Opis

If you have interest in finance, mining and sailing which is largely centered around those 3 topics in this novel, you are welcome! „Young Lord Stranleigh” is a thrilling tale of romance and suspense by Robert Barr. Some very sharp City of London operators think that rich Lord Stranleigh, a Bertie Woosterish West End fashion plate, is an easy mark to make some money. There is a potential gold mine in Africa, for example; a dilapidated but workable cargo steamer The Rajah, to haul the gold ore back to England. What more is needed? An entertaining yarn of dealing, double dealing and even triple dealing, and Young Lord Stranleigh is by no means as big a mug as he looks. Suspenseful and full of character, this tale is a must for Barr fans.

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Liczba stron: 330

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Contents

CHAPTER I. THE KING'S MOVE IN THE CITY

CHAPTER II. THE PREMATURE COMPROMISE

CHAPTER III. THE MISSION OF "THE WOMAN IN WHITE"

CHAPTER IV. THE MAGNET OF THE GOLD FIELD

CHAPTER V. AN INVITATION TO LUNCH

CHAPTER VI. AN ATTACK ON THE HIGH SEAS

CHAPTER VII. THE CAPTAIN OF THE "RAJAH" STRIKES OIL

CHAPTER VIII. THE "RAJAH" GETS INTO LEGAL DIFFICULTIES

CHAPTER IX. THE FINAL FINANCIAL STRUGGLE WITH SCHWARTZBROD

CHAPTER X. THE MEETING WITH THE GOVERNOR OF THE BANK

CHAPTER I

THE KING’S MOVE IN THE CITY

It was shortly after nine o’clock in the morning that young Lord Stranleigh of Wychwood, in a most leisurely fashion, descended the front steps of his town house into the street. The young man was almost too perfectly dressed. Every article of his costume, from his shiny hat to the polished boots, was so exactly what it should be, that he ran some danger of being regarded as a model for one of those beautiful engravings of well-dressed mankind which decorate the shops of Bond-Street tailors. He was evidently one who did no useful work in the world, and as a practical person might remark, why should he, when his income was more than thirty thousand pounds a year? The slightly bored expression of his countenance, the languid droop of his eyelids, the easy but indifferent grace of motion that distinguished him, might have proclaimed to a keen observer that the young man had tested all things, and found there was nothing worth getting excited about. He was evidently a person without enthusiasm, for even the sweet perfection of his attire might be attributed to the thought and care of his tailor, rather than to any active meditation on his own part. Indeed, his indolence of attitude made the very words “active” or “energetic” seem superfluous in our language. His friends found it difficult, if not impossible, to interest Lord Stranleigh in anything, even in a horse race, or the fling of the dice, for he possessed so much more money than he needed, that gain or loss failed to excite a passing flutter of emotion. If he was equipped with brains, as some of his more intimate friends darkly hinted, he had hitherto given no evidence of the fact. Although well set up, he was not an athlete. He shot a little, hunted a little, came to town during the season, went to the Continent when the continental exodus took place, always doing the conventional thing, but not doing it well enough or bad enough to excite comment. He was the human embodiment of the sentiment: “There is nothing really worth while.”

In marked contrast to him stood, undecided, a man of his own age, with one foot on the lower stone step which led up to the front door of his lordship’s town house. His clothes, of undistinguished cut, were worn so carelessly that they almost gave the impression of being ready-made. His flung-on, black slouch hat suggested Western America or Southern Africa. His boots were coarse and clumsy.

But if the attire was uninspiring, the face merited, and usually received, a second glance. It was smooth-shaven, massive and strong, tanned to a slight mahogany tinge by a more eager sun than ever shines on England. The eyes were deep, penetrating, determined, masterful.

Lord Stranleigh’s delicate upper lip supported a silken mustache carefully tended; his eyes were languid and tired, capable of no such gleam of intensity as was now turned upon him from the eyes of the other.

“I beg your pardon, sir, but are you Lord Stranleigh of Wychwood?”

His lordship paused on the upper steps, and drawled the one word “Yes.”

“My name is Peter Mackeller, and the Honorable John Hazel gave me a letter of introduction to you, saying I should probably catch you in at this hour. It seems he underestimated your energy, for you are already abroad.”

There was an undercurrent of resentment in the impatient tone Mackeller had used. He was manifestly impressed unfavorably by this modern representative of a very ancient family, but the purpose he had in view caused him to curb his dislike, although he had not been tactful enough to prevent a hint of it appearing in his words. If the other had gathered any impression of that hint, he was too perfectly trained to betray his knowledge, either in phrase or expression of countenance. The opinion of his fellows was a matter of complete indifference to him. A rather engaging smile stirred the silken mustache.

“Oh, Jack always underestimates my good qualities, so we won’t trouble about his note of introduction. Besides, a man cannot read a letter in the street, can he?”

“I see no reason against it,” replied the other sharply.

“Don’t you really? Well, I am going across to my club, and perhaps as we walk along together, you will be good enough to say why you wish to see me.”

Lord Stranleigh was about to proceed down another step when the other answered “No” so brusquely that his lordship paused once more, with a scarcely perceptible elevation of the eyebrows, for, as a rule, people did not say “No” to Lord Stranleigh of Wychwood, who was known to enjoy thirty thousand pounds a year.

“Then what do you propose?” asked his lordship, as though his own suggestion had exhausted all the possibilities of action.

“I propose that you open the door, invite me in, and give me ten minutes of your valuable time.”

The smile on his lordship’s countenance visibly increased.

“That’s not a bad idea,” he said, with the air of one listening to unexpected originality. “Won’t you come in, Mr. Mackeller?” and with his latch-key he opened the door, politely motioning the other to precede him.

Young Mackeller was ushered into a small room to the left of the hall. It was most severely plain, paneled somberly in old oak, lit by one window, and furnished with several heavy leather-covered chairs. In the center stood a small table, carrying a huge bottle of ink, like a great dab of black metal which had been flung while soft on its surface, and now, hardened, sat broad and squat as if it were part of the table itself. On a mat lay several pens, and at one end of the table stood a rack such as holds paper and envelopes, but in this case of most minute proportions, displaying three tiers, one above the other, of what appeared to be visiting cards; twelve minute compact packs all in all, four in each row.

“This,” said Lord Stranleigh, with almost an air of geniality, “is my business office.”

The visitor looked around him. There were no desks; no pillars of drawers; no japanned-metal boxes that held documents; no cupboards; no books; no pictures.

“Pray be seated, Mr. Mackeller,” and when the young man had accepted the invitation, Lord Stranleigh drew up opposite to him at the small table with the packets of cards close to his right hand.

“And now, if you will oblige me with Jack’s letter, I will glance over it, though he rarely writes anything worth reading.”

Mackeller handed him the letter in an open envelope. His lordship slowly withdrew the document, adjusted an eyeglass, and read it; then he returned it to the envelope, and passed it back to its owner.

“Would it be too much if I asked you to replace it in your pocket, as there is no waste-paper basket in this room?”

Mackeller acted as requested, but the frown on his broad brow deepened. This butterfly seemed to annoy him with his imperturbable manner, and his trifling, finicky, childish insincerity. Confronted with a real man, Mackeller felt he might succeed, but he had already begun to fear that this bit of mental thistle-down would evade him, so instead of going on with his recital, he sat there glowering at Lord Stranleigh, who proved even more of a nonentity than the Honorable John Hazel had led him to believe. He had been prepared to meet some measure of irresponsible inanity, but not quite so much as this. It was Lord Stranleigh himself who broke the silence.

“What do you want?” he asked, almost as if some of his opponent’s churlishness had hypnotically permeated into his own being.

“Money,” snapped the other shortly.

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