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THE

ALBATROSS NOVELS

By ALBERT ROSS

23 Volumes

May be bad wherever books are sold at the price TOO

paid for this volume

Black Adonis, A
Garston Bigamy, The
Her Husband's Friend
His Foster Sister
His Private Character
In Stella's Shadow
Love at Seventy
Love Gone Astray
Moulding a Maiden
Naked Truth, The
New Sensation, A
Original Sinner, An
Out of Wedlock
Speaking of Ellen
Stranger Than Fiction
Sugar Princess, A
That Gay Deceiver
Their Marriage Bond
Thou Shalt Not
Thy Neighbor's Wife
Why I'm Single
Young Fawcett's Mabel
Young Miss Giddy

a W. DILLINGHAM CO.
Publishers :: :: New York



HER

HUSBAND'S FRIEND,

BY ALBERT Ross,



AUTHOR OF

''THOU SHALT NOT," " IN STELLAS SHADOW,'

"SPEAKING OF ELLEN," "WHY I'M SINGLE,"

" His PRIVATE CHARACTER," ETC.

" No man ever arranged a diffi-
culty between husband and wife
without being himself a sufferer.
You cannot unite these millstones,
but if you could, you would be ground
to pieces between them" Page 182.



NEW YORK:

TIOHT, )I*3, (T 3. W. OILLIK3HA*

G. W Billing ham Co., Publishers.



CONTENTS,



I. In the Place d 1'Etoil 9

II. A Modern Arcadia *6

III. "Was it for this you Married r . . . J

IV. " My nature demands sympathy " . . 53
V. Miss Casson at Home 69

VI. " May we pray for you ?** 86

VII. When Love has Fled IM

VIII. " Why do you visit her r .... 119

IX. " My husband ! You know him P* . 139

X. What the Spy Discovered . . . . i$s

XI. " You have children, also " .... i6

XII. Haunting the Railway Station ... 171

XIII. On Dangerous Ground 177

XIV. Stung to Madness 187

XV. Jim Brodie's Warning 104

XVI. Off the Scent il

XVII. Appealing to the Law sa$

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20619G6



ooimnprs.



XVIII. Darrell under Arrest 232

XIX. An Unsealed Letter 243

XX. " I represent your wife" . . . . . 253

XXI. " I am a wicked woman " 263

XXII. Mordaunt Returns to Auburn ... 271

XXIII. " I love you, Anna Darrell !" ... 283

XXIV. The Touch of Lips 293

XXV. " It is too late, Edmund " 300

XXVI. " Mrs. Grundy is very useful "... 317
XXVII. Shut up in Paris . . .... 333

XXVIII. Side by adc . .... 345

XXIX. Peace at Last 353



TO MY READERS.



A few months ago, while enjoying the bathing at Boulogne*
sur-Mer, I picked up, quite by accident, a copy of a London
newspaper, containing an account of the seizure of certain
novels of mine, in the city of New York, on the ground that
they were of an improper character. Three days later I was
on my way to America, prepared to defend my property and
my reputation. When I arrived, I found that a tribunal had
already passed upon the question, and that the judgment
was in my favor.

No one can doubt that an occurrence of this kind- no
matter what its outcome is very annoying. I have my own
idea of what constitutes literary propriety, and I have made
pronounced departures from the methods of most of the pr-
snt school of fiction writers. In doing this I have achieved a
success which naturally attracts attention and arouses nry.
Incidentally I have made some money, for which I am not
at all sorry. But I would no more write what I considered
an improper book, than I would break into a bank or forge
a check.

While saying this, I may as well admit frankly that I hay
not pretended to write for small children. To place the
standard of novels at the gauge of a school-girl's intellect
would be an outrage on the intelligent mature reader. There
are subjects worth discussing which the infant mind cannot
comprehend. All I claim is that I have never failed to
point out the true path ; and that, if I have erred at all, it
has been in treating my " sinners " too severely.
[7]



TO MT BEADEU8.

The story before you is that of a woman and man who
passed through sore temptation and emerged triumphant.
Surely nothing could be pure if this is not. And yt I have
felt as if a censor stood at my elbow and looked over my
shoulder as I wrote, ready to cavil at a word, an expression,
or a phrase. If there were any recognized authority which
could license me to produce a book, as the Lord Chamberlain
of England does a play, I would write as I choose and submit
to his mutilations. But no one knows from what source light-
ning may strike the American novel. There are societies,
known and unknown, which may take a fancy to " suppress "
it I do not seek for that kind of advertising and I hay*
written accordingly.

" Her Husband's Friend " is not what I would like it to be,
but I hope it may prove welcome to that army of readers
who have in less than two years purchased three hundred
and fifty thousand of my novels. For what is lacking in
realism do not blame me, but lay it to those who would
make one law for the American author and another for the

translator of foreign works.

ALBERT ROSS.

Address :

]9.noW. 23d Street.
New York City.



HER HUSBAND'S FRIEND.



CHAPTER I

IH THE PLACE DE L* KTOILE.

One beautiful afternoon in the month of June, in
the year 1870, two American gentlemen rode slowly
up the Avenue des Champs Elyses, in the city of
Paris. They had traversed the Place de la Con
corde, with its obelisk, its fountains, and its mem-
ories of a great past ; and, after creeping at that
snail's pace which is the delight of the Parisian
cocher along the magnificent way, they paused at
the Arch of Triumph, which stands, the wonder of
nations, in the Place de 1' Etoile. Paris, always
lovely from April to October, is at its best in June,
and this particular afternoon was as nearly perfect
as one could desire.

The gentlemen were both young, if being on the
sunny side of thirty entitles a man to that distinc-
tion. Each was, in fact, nine-and-twenty years of
age, and they had known each other ever since
their boyhood days, when they attended the same
iehool In one of the American cities. Though the



18 HEB HUSBAND'* FRIEND.

siot attached of friends, they were little alike, either
in their views of life, their habits of thought, or
their manner of address.

Harold Mordaunt was the name of the gayer of
the pair, a bright, sunny-faced fellow, with a good
color, a pair of blue eyes, and an athletic build. He
seemed to infuse his own spirits into everything, and
entertained his companion with a constant fire
of running small-talk in reference to the sights of
their drive. Edmund Darrell, the other, was of
slenderer mould, with more of the aspect of the
student in his make-up, and it would not have taken
a very close observer to have detected in his appear-
ance on this June morning a constraint that seemed
almost unnatural.

As soon as the carriage in which the friends rode
paused before the Arch of Triumph, Mordaunt burst
into enthusiastic eulogies of it, both as a work of
art and for the genius which it is meant to com-
memorate. To all of the fulsome praises which he
lavished, his companion returned, however, only
monosyllabic replies. For a time Mordaunt was too
much taken up with the fervor of his own utterances
to note his friend's unresponsive mood, but at length
it dawned upon him that his interest in the monu-
ment was not being wholly shared, and he paused in
the midst of an unusually glowing period to ascer-
tain the reason.

"It occurs to me, my dear Edmund," he said
with a smile, "that you are not paying as strict
attention to my oratory as a good voyager should
give to his guide. Are you fully cognizant of tht
fact that you are standing before the grandest
triumphal arch that the world now possesses, if not,
as I believe the grandest it ever has owned ? Do jott



Df THE PLACE DB L* BTOILB. 11

know that this spot on which you are, with Its
twelve great avenues radiating from this Star, is the
centre of all that is beautiful in France and the envy
of every other capital in Christendom ?"

The other gentleman acknowledged the question
by a slight bow, but gave no indication of being
particularly impressed by the points enumerated.

" You must not forget, Harry," he replied, pleas-
antly, " that this is not the first time I have seen
this arch. I rode past here on Sunday on my way
to the Bois."

" I am quite sure, for all that," responded his
friend, " that this does not explain your coolness.
People usually find the monument growing upon
them with each visit. I know it has been so with
me, the same as it was with the Church of St. Peter,
at Rome. If I were to come here every day for a
year, I think it would impress me more and more
to the end. You have seen it twice, forsooth, and
your interest in it is exhausted ! You have not a
word to say in its praise. There is no rapt astonish-
ment in your gaze, no lighting up of your counte-
nance in the presence of the architecturally perfect
work."

Edmund Darrell grew slightly uneasy at the
knowledge that he was being forced to make an
answer he did not relish.

" I will take no issue with you," he said, " on Its
architectural beauties, but "

" Oh, confound it ! don't bring your Communistic-
Anarchistic notions into such a discussion as this Y*
cried Harry Mordaunt, with an expression of the
greatest aversion. "Try to understand what this
arch truly represents. It commemorates the vi<y
tones of the greatest soldier who ever ?valked the



12 HER HIJSB AMD'S

earth. A nation does well to remember its noblest
sons, and France has done no wiser thing than to
rear this arch to Napoleon, and to build that regal
house for his ashes whose dome you can see over
there at the Invalides."

The cab-driver, happy in knowing that he was to be
paid by the hour, sat on his box, blinking in the sun
and wondering what the two Anglaises were talking
about so earnestly.

Darrellgave a slight gesture of impatience.

"You know very well, Harry, that I consider that
sort of thing stuff and nonsense," said he. " Bona-
parte was simply and solely an ambitious soldier of
fortune, who coldly sacrificed a million mistaken
followers to gain for himself an empire the greatest
in the world, and perished miserably in a prison, as
he deserved. All talk about his grandeur is lost on
me. As for this monument, if one could consider it
solely by itself, it is indeed a thing of beauty. If I
were able to forget what it means, I might become as
enthusiastic as you are. But when I look at it with
the light of history in my eyes I can see only the
glorification of an unprincipled Corsican butcher.
Let us drive on. The memories that this arch calls up
will be likely to put me in an ill-temper, and the
sooner we get away from it the better."

Harry Mordaunt met these rather waspish expres-
sions with a musical laugh, and, bidding the coach-
man continue the drive into the Bois, he entered the
carriage with his friend. As they passed down the
Avenue de la Grande Arme'e, he resumed the con-
versation at the point where it had been left off.

"Edmund Darrell, descendant as you are of along
line of French rulers, if not of princes, through your
ancestors, the DeCourccys, I am surprised at you.



IN THE PLACE DB L* ETOILB. IS

It is a wonder of wonders that time has made such a
raving king-hater out of the happy-go-lucky chap I
used to know at school. When you first began to
talk like this to me, I thought it merely a new phase
of the old humor I remembered so well ; but you
have kept it up till I actually am compelled to believe
you really mean it ! I should think such fellows as
you would keep away from a place like Paris. If
you had your way it would be a nice city to live in,
wouldn't it ? Not a fountain, not a monument, not
a flower-bed nothing but one dreary dead-level of
Equality !"

As Darrell turned toward his companion his dark
eyes kindled.

" How inexcusably you misunderstand us, Harry !
Not a monument ! If I governed France or rather
if I were the representative of the People, who ought
to and will yet govern her I would place a monu-
ment in that very Place de 1' Etoile, greater and
grander fhan that sign of the shambles that now
degrades it. Instead of bearing titles that tell only
of blood and rapine, it should be covered with the
names of the men of all countries who have achieved
true glory in the arts and sciences. It should sym-
bolize the grandeur of peace and prosperity, rather
than the brutal murder of brethren at the whim of a
despot. I would tear down that Corsican's image,
and in its place present the likenesses of Shakes-
peare and Homer, of Dante and Petrarch. The new
arch should teach the children to reverence the
name of Morse, who invented the telegraph, of Gut-
tenberg, who introduced in Europe the first movable
types, of Hoe, who perfected the printing press, of
Howe, who revolutionized the art of sewing. It
should tell to the world to whom we owe the theory



14 HKB HTJiBAND'8 FXIEXD.

of vaccination, which has prevented the periodical
depopulation of countries ; the anaesthetics that lull
to sleep the senses formerly racked with excruciat-
ing pain during surgical operations. Think of the
glories that a genuine Arch of Triumph might bear,
and then compare them to this pitiable tale of the
most disgraceful page of history in so-called civilized
times !"

" Most of the men you speak of have also their
monuments," interposed Mordaunt.

"Yes," assented Darrell, quickly. "I wish they
could be ranged in a row by the side of that one
yonder, so that you could mark the contrast. It
would take the stone in all of them put together, to
reach half way to the top of this tribute to one man,
and the generation that is growing up judges their
relative importance by just such visible signs as
these. Everywhere is the lesson taught that no one
is so deserving of adulation as the successful soldier.
Go to London and see which is the tallest monu-
ment. Nelson's ! Which is second to it ? Welling-
ton's ! Here it is Bonaparte's. Follow the sun
around the earth and see if it is not the same, except
where some hereditary king has given the prefer-
ence to himself or one of his worthless ancestors."

" And you and your Communists will never change
it, either," remarked Mordaunt, cynically. " Ah, my
dear boy, how silly it is of you to take all the
wrongs of mankind on those not too broad shoulders
of yours, and set about the herculean task of trying
to right such a tangled mess as this world presents !
Here we are in the city of Paris the loveliest spot
lhat the feet of civilized man is permitted to tread.
The sky above our heads is blue ; the air we breathe
K; salubrious. Thanks to one of those despots you



IS THB PLACE DK L* ETOILK. 15

hate so much, we can drive along a hundred broad
avenues or through a score of boulevards, well
shaded, well paved, well lit at night equipped, in
short, with everything necessary to our peace and
comfort. With his beautiful empress Napoleon
rests in his palace at the Tuilkries, enjoying the
legitimate results of his daring and successful
attempt to recoup his uncle's throne from the
Orleans princes, who, like their cousins, the Bour-
bons, hau outlived their usefulness. I know what
you are going to say that he took the throne, not
from other crowned heads, but from the people, at
the time of the coup d" Mat. I will admit that there
was a little irregularity in the proceeding, but, as
principalities go, eighteen years or so gives a very
good title. He is at any rate in the saddle, and if
you were to try to dispossess him you would not
find it an easy thing. Now what has he done to
deserve his place ? In imitation of the Roman
emperor, he found Paris of brick, and he will leave
it to his son of stone ; he found it full of ramshackle
lanes, and he has made it a city of superb distances.
He has proved his capacity to govern these French-
men much better than they could govern themselves.
And if you will pardon me for the suggestion,
speaking to you as to a stranger in these parts, it
would seem much more becoming in you to thank-
fully enjoy the treat he has spread out than to growl
at everything you see, like a caged mastiff."

Darrell smiled for the first time.

"I never supposed I was deserving of such a com-
parison as that," he said. " But, seriously, Harry,
how could any reform be brought about if all were
to follow the rule you lay down ? How could Greece
or Switzerland have escaped the foreign yoke, how



It not HOTBAMD'S

could the American colonies have become a nation,
except by first expressing in vigorous language the
wrongs under which they suffered ? It was only
after the people had been aroused by those who
could not be kept silent, that they put their enemies
to flight."

Mordaunt opened his blue eyes in mock astonish-
ment

" Then you believe in war, after all !" he cried.
M You do think it proper to shed your brother's blood,
occasionally !"

" Without doubt," was the immediate rejoinder,
N when freedom is the issue. If that arch we have
just left had been reared to a Washington, a Kos-
ciusko or a Garibaldi, it would not awake my con-
tempt, though Peace has produced many nobler
names than either. Don't stare at me like that,
Harry. I am fully aware of what I am saying. I
have sufficient pride in the name of the Father of his
Country, who was much more than a great soldier.
But I maintain that Jenner did a higher service for
the human race than Washington. When Elias Howe,
in his attic at Cambridgeport, discovered the way to
make a successful sewing machine, he achieved a
greater thing than can be credited to Kossuth. It is
not the fashion to enthuse over these men. It is not
before such ' musty old grubbers ' that the world falls
in speechless adoration. To bring out the real enthu-
siasm of the people, you need a general whose hands
are red with the blood of a hundred thousand hearts.
Idiots that they are ! When will they learn that the
men whom they deify are their greatest enemies !"

Most of the beauties of the drive the friends were
taking were lost to them on account of the animated
nature of their argument, but at this moment a turn



Or THE PLACE DK L* ETOIL*. 17

in the road brought them opposite to a particularly
lovely sheet of water, and they were compelled to
pause for a moment in silent admiration.

" It has just occurred to me what it is that actu-
ates you in the course you are taking," said Mor-
daunt, with a trace of mischief in his eyes, when they
had passed the object which distracted their atten-
tion. " You are consumed with envy. You have an
intense desire to see your own name emblazoned
across the top of some triumphal arch of the future,
as one of the most distinguished men of this age.
Not being a soldier, you could hope only for the
common oblivion, as things are at present arranged.
Under the system you advocate, however, the inven-
tion which you have just perfected, and for which
you are now filing caveats in Europe, would secure
you a niche in one of your arches of fame. Yes, you
are actuated by the merest selfishness, after all.
With your high-flown ideas, you are really no batter
than the rest of us."

The raillery of his friend, instead of causing
merriment in Edmund DarrelFs face, only made it
grow suddenly graver.

" No, Harry," he said, " I have not the least desire
for posthumous admiration. I do not wish any monu-
ment to record my name, nor what I have succeeded
in accomplishing. It is enough for me to feel that
I have made a discovery, or rather a new application
of an old one, that will lighten the labors of coming
millions. If I had invented a mittrailleuse or a new
torpedo that wouM destroy twenty men where the
old munitions of war would kill but one, I could not
take equal satisfaction. Yet it is the Krupps who
wear the medals, and the school-children forget the



IS HER HUSBAND'S FEIEKD.

names of the Pultons and the Stephensons almost as
soon as they learn them."

Harold Mordaunt declined to become serious, no
matter how great the provocation. His view of
life was to extract all the honey there was in it and
forget the stings as soon as possible.

" Is there anything in this beautiful Paris that
exactly suits you ?" he asked, with delicate irony.

"Yes," replied Darrell, brightening. "This Bois,
where I saw yesterday a great company of merry
children romping in all the abandon of unrestraint,
as they are never allowed to romp on a Sunday in
America. I am delighted with this broad stretch of
land and water and forest, just at the door of that
great municipality, where nature has been interfered
with as little as possible consistent with comfort,
and where there is no unreasonable limit to the
enjoyment of the poorest ragamuffin who has not
one foot of other soil where he can woo the sweet
repose that come with grass and trees and pure air.
This park is to me all admirable. Within a stone's
throw of the fortifications that are a continual
reminder of a long and causeless quarrel, the poor
laborer or the little men and women of the future
may easily imagine themselves in the heart of some
country district a hundred miles away. The
grown-up Frenchman knows how to play a thing
Americans have never learned. I saw here yester-
day hundreds of families, from the eldest son or
daughter to the baby who had not yet learned
to creep. I marked how easily they seemed to for-
get their troubles and abandon themselves to the
ecstacy of the hour. And then I thought how
could I help thinking of the conscription laws that
stand ready to take the best years of those sons,



IK THE PLAGE DK L f KTOIUk If

those years which in our more favored land are
regarded as necessary in getting a start in the real
business of life. In a worse than useless service he
is destined to pass from three to seven years of his
youth, learning to kill the neighbors he ought to
cultivate as friends. At the command of a ruler
whom he did not help to choose, he will go forth to
assail men who never injured him or his, giving and
taking death-wounds as if they were meritorious
things. The mothers and the wives will dim their
sad eyes with weeping, the sisters will be con-
demned to harder toil because of the support taken
from them ! And so the frightful, ghastly farce will
go on, until "

He paused so long that his companion felt it
almost necessary to prompt him.

" ' Until,' you were saying "

" Until some great, unselfish soul arises, strong
enough to teach the people the folly of which they
have been guilty for ages, virtuous enough to com-
mand their confidence and love, and brave enough
to sacrifice himself, if need be, to emphasize the
lesson he has taught."

Mordaunt assumed an air of conviction, and struck
his companion lightly on the shoulder as if he had
just thought of something of the greatest impor-
tance.

" My dear fellow," he cried, with mock enthusi-
asm, " you are the very man !"

" I !" exclaimed Darrell, starting.

" You, certainly," was the reply, still couched in
an assumed tone of seriousness. " You are all that
you describe brave, unselfish, virtuous, strong.
Put yourself at the head of the unorganized rabble of
Paris, and lead them out of Egypt .' Become the



10 HER HUSBAND'S FRIEND.

leader of a heroic cause ! Earn yourself a name
among the gods ! Throw down this insignificant
emperor from his ill-acquired throne. Raze to the
ground the marble columns and the brazen images
that glorify the real enemies of mankind, and rear
others in their places to the fellows who invented
spring beds and Ayrshire cows. The corn is ripe
for the harvest, oh reaper ! Put in your sickle and
gather the golden grain !"

Even this ridicule failed to arouse Darrell from the
vein into which he had fallen. Fully realizing the
ironical nature of his companion's expressions, he
seemed to find in them, nevertheless, only food for
serious thought.

"The hour cannot be far away," he said, soberly,
" and when it comes the Man will be found, as he
has always been in the past. I am not equal to the
leadership would to Heaven I were ! but I will
fight as best I can in the ranks when the time for
action is upon us."

Mordaunt looked alarmed. He could not doubt
the perfect sincerity of his friend, and he thought it
time to try a more serious vein.

" Edmund Darrell," he said, sharply, " what do you
mean ? Are you so far gone in this insanity that
you would actually enroll yourself with the Paris
canaille, if they attempted an outbreak ? Do you
contemplate the pleasure of standing behind barri-
cades, with a lot of crazy blouse-wearers, to be
mowed down by the emperor's cannon, or taken,
when the emute is over, to the scaffold ? Thank
God, Napoleon is too shrewd to allow you the
chance ! But if the rabble should ever catch him



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