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The Briary Bush A Novel

The Briary Bush
A Novel
Category:
Author: Dell Floyd
Title: The Briary Bush A Novel
Release Date: 2019-01-06
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 28
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I

THE
 
BRIARY-BUSH

A Novel
By
Floyd Dell
New York
Alfred · A · Knopf
1921

IICOPYRIGHT, 1921, BY
ALFRED A. KNOPF, Inc.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

IIITO
S. A. TANNENBAUM, M.D.,
EXPLORER OF THE DARK
CONTINENT OF THE MIND

IVOh, the briary-bush
That pricks my heart so sore!
If I ever get out of the briary-bush
I’ll never get in any more!
—Old Song

V

CONTENTS

BOOK ONE: COMMUNITY HOUSE

CHAPTER  
I Felix Decides to Change His Character 3
II Bon Voyage!9
III Plans 22
IV Surprises 28
V The Struggle for Existence 37
VI A Guide to Chicago 47
VII Work and Play 52
VIII Rose-Ann Goes Away 62

BOOK TWO: CANAL STREET

IX How to Spend One’s Evenings 69
X The Detached Attitude 75
XI An Adventure in Philosophy 83
XII Bachelor’s Hall 89
XIII In Hospital 99

BOOK THREE: WOODS POINT

XIV Heart and Hand 105
XV Pre-Nuptial 108
XVI Clive’s Assistance 114
XVII Charivari 121
XVIII The Authority of the State of Illinois 131
XIX Together 134
XX The Nest-Building Instinct143

BOOK FOUR: FIFTY-SEVENTH STREET

XXI Advancement 155
XXII Mainly About Clothes 162
XXIII A Bargain in Utopias 170
XXIV Studio 176
XXV St. George of the Minute 180
XXVI What Rose-Ann Wanted 187
XXVII Parties 197
XXVIII A Father-in-Law 201
XXIX Interlude at Midnight 207
XXX Fathers and Daughters 210
VIXXXI More or Less Theatrical 215
XXXII Duty 224
XXXIII A Parable 231
XXXIV Journeys 235
XXXV Civilization 244
XXXVI We needs must know that in the days to come247
XXXVII Symbols 249
XXXVIII The Portrait of Felix Fay 254
XXXIX A Date on the Calendar 259
XL Celebration 264

BOOK FIVE: GARFIELD BOULEVARD

XLI Changes 271
XLII An Apparition 275
XLIII Nocturne 280
XLIV Aubade 292
XLV Foursome 297
XLVI The Rehearsal 307
XLVII Gyge’s Ring 312
XLVIII Dream-Tryst 317
XLIX A Matter of Convention 322
L Babes in the Wood 330
LI Bienfaits de la Lune334
LII Sleepless Nights 341
LIII Two Letters 348
LIV The God and the Pedestal 353

BOOK SIX: WILSON AVENUE

LV The Consolations of Philosophy 363
LVI Eulenspiegel 371
LVII Three Days 380
LVIII Rendezvous 385
LIX Unanswered Questions 394
LX A Leave-taking 397
LXI Two Men Discuss a Girl 401
LXII Theory and Practice 408
LXIII In Play 416
LXIV In Earnest 422

VIIBook One
Community House

3

I. Felix Decides to Change His Character

1

CHICAGO!

Felix Fay saw with his mind’s eye the map on thewall of the railway station—the map with a pictureof iron roads from all over the middle west centering in adark blotch in the corner.

He was sitting at a desk in the office of the Port RoyalDaily Record, writing headings on sheaves of items sentin by country correspondents.

John Hoffman has finished his new barn.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Elbert Hayes last Wednesdaya fine ten pound boy.

Miss Edythe Brush has returned to the State Normalfor the fall term.

And so on.

Felix wrote at the top of the page, Wheaton Whittlings.A rotten heading—but it would have to do. He yawned,and then stared unseeingly at the next page.

He was not thinking about those news-items. He wasthinking about Chicago....

A year ago, he had determined to leave Port Royal forever—andgo to Chicago.

But here he was, still!

2

He had hoped, a year ago, to find, in the excitement of anew life in Chicago, healing for the desperate hurts of love.If only he had gone then!...

But he hadn’t had the money to buy a railway ticket.

He had taken this job on the Record, and settled down tolife in Port Royal again as a reporter.

His twenty-first year had gone by.

The hurts of love, so intolerably hard to bear, had healed.

After all, Joyce Tennant had loved him; nothing could4ever take away his memories of those starlit evenings onthe river, and in the little cabin on their lonely island. Shehad loved him, she had been his. There was comfort inthat thought.... The hurts of love had healed.

But the hurts of pride remained. Loving him, she hadchosen to marry another. That wound still ached....

She had seen him all along for what he was—a moonstruckdreamer! She had thought him the fit companionof a reckless love-adventure—that was all.

Her scorn, or what seemed to him her scorn, mirroredand magnified by the secret consciousness of his own weakness,came to assume in his mind the proportions of afinal and universal judgment.

A dreamer? And a dreamer only? His egotism couldnot endure the thought.

The shadow-world of ideas, of theories, of poetic fancies,amidst which he had moved all

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