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قراءة كتاب In a Little Town

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In a Little Town

In a Little Town

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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IN A LITTLE TOWN

Books by

RUPERT HUGHES

IN A LITTLE TOWN Illustrated. Post 8vo
THE THIRTEENTH COMMANDMENT Illustrated. Post 8vo
CLIPPED WINGS. Frontispiece. Post 8vo
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY? Illustrated. Post 8vo
THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER. Frontispiece. 16mo
EMPTY POCKETS. Illustrated. Post 8vo

HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK



Frontispiece



In a Little Town

Title page decoration

BY

RUPERT HUGHES

Publisher's mark

HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS

NEW YORK AND LONDON

In A Little Town Copyright, 1917, by Harper & Brothers
Printed in the United States of America
Published March, 1917

to
Frederick Atherton Duneka
as an i-o-u of
heartfelt esteem



CONTENTS

PAGE
Don't You Care! 1
Pop 42
Baby Talk 73
The Mouth of the Gift Horse 106
The Old Folks at Home 141
And This Is Marriage 173
The Man That Might Have Been 191
The Happiest Man in Ioway 222
Prayers 224
Pain 232
The Beauty and the Fool 262
The Ghostly Counselors 267
Daughters of Shiloh 285
"A" as in "Father" 356




FOREWORD

There are two immortal imbecilities that I have no patience for.

The other one is the treatment of little towns as if they were essentially different from big towns. Cities are not "Ninevehs" and "Babylons" any more than little towns are Arcadias or Utopias. In fact we are now unearthing plentiful evidence of what might have been safely assumed, that Babylon never was a "Babylon" nor Nineveh a "Nineveh" in the sense employed by poets and praters without number. Those old cities were made up of assorted souls as good and as bad and as mixed as now.

They do small towns a grievous injustice who deny them restlessness, vice, ostentation, cruelty; as they do cities a grievous injustice who deny them simplicity, homeliness, friendship, and contentment. It is one of those undeniable facts (which everybody denies) that a city is only a lot of small towns put together. Its population is largely made up of people who came from small towns and of people who go back to small towns every evening.

A village is simply a quiet street in the big city of the world. Quaint, sweet happenings take place in the avenues most thronged, and desperate events come about in sleepy lanes. People are people, chance is chance.

My novels have mainly concerned themselves with New York, and I have tried therein to publish bits of its life as they appear to such eyes and such mind as I have. Though several of my short stories have been published in single volumes, this is the first group to be issued. They are all devoted to small-town people. In them I have sought the same end as in the city novels: to be true to truth, to observe with sympathy and explain with fidelity, to find the epic of a stranger's existence and shape it for the eyes of strangers—to pass the throb of another heart through my heart to your heart.

The scene of these stories lies pretty close to the core of these United States, in the Middle West, in the valley of the Mississippi River. I was born near that river and spent a good deal of my boyhood in it.

Though it would be unfair, false, and unkind to fasten

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