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July 08 , 2010

Rich Man, Poor Man (Illustrated)


He was a little man, round-shouldered, elderly and spare, with an air of alert, bustling energy quite birdlike in its abruptness. Uppish you might have judged him, and self-important too; yet in his tired eyes as well as in the droop of his small sensitive mouth there was something that belied the vanity of a pompous, confident man. Nor was his briskness so very convincing, once you had closely scanned him, for beneath it all was a secret, furtive nervousness that bordered at times on the panicky. He was, in short, shy—shy to a last degree; a self-conscious, timorous man that on every occasion shrank mistrustfully from the busy world about him. A castaway marooned on a desert island could scarcely have been more solitary, only in Mr. Mapleson's case, of course, the solitude was New York.

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