The opening days of this their second return to New York were a period o_reat joy to Angela. Unlike that first time when she was returning after seve_onths of loneliness and unhappiness to a sick husband and a gloomy outlook,
she was now looking forward to what, in spite of her previous doubts, was _lorious career of dignity, prosperity and abundance. Eugene was such a_mportant man now. His career was so well marked and in a way almos_ertified. They had a good bit of money in the bank. Their investments i_tocks, on which they obtained a uniform rate of interest of about seven pe_ent., aggregated $30,000. They had two lots, two hundred by two hundred, i_ontclair, which were said to be slowly increasing in value and which Eugen_ow estimated to be worth about six thousand. He was talking about investin_hat additional money he might save in stocks bearing better interest or som_ound commercial venture. When the proper time came, a little later, he migh_ven abandon the publishing field entirely and renew his interest in art. H_as certainly getting near the possibility of this.
The place which they selected for their residence in New York was in a new an_ery sumptuous studio apartment building on Riverside Drive near Seventy-nint_treet, where Eugene had long fancied he would like to live. This famou_horoughfare and show place with its restricted park atmosphere, it_agnificent and commanding view of the lordly Hudson, its wondrous woods o_olor and magnificent sunsets had long taken his eye. When he had first com_o New York it had been his delight to stroll here watching the stream o_ashionable equipages pour out towards Grant's Tomb and return. He had sat o_ park bench many an afternoon at this very spot or farther up, and watche_he gay company of horsemen and horsewomen riding cheerfully by, nodding t_heir social acquaintances, speaking to the park keepers and road scavenger_n a condescending and superior way, taking their leisure in a comfortabl_ashion and looking idly at the river. It seemed a wonderful world to him a_hat time. Only millionaires could afford to live there, he thought—s_gnorant was he of the financial tricks of the world. These handsomely garbe_en in riding coats and breeches; the chic looking girls in stiff black hats,
trailing black riding skirts, yellow gloved, and sporting short whips whic_ooked more like dainty canes than anything else, took his fancy greatly. I_as his idea at that time that this was almost the apex of social glory—to b_ermitted to ride here of an afternoon.
Since then he had come a long way and learned a great deal, but he stil_ancied this street as one of the few perfect expressions of the elegance an_uxury of metropolitan life, and he wanted to live on it. Angela was give_uthority, after discussion, to see what she could find in the way of a_partment of say nine or eleven rooms with two baths or more, which should no_ost more than three thousand or three thousand five hundred. As a matter o_act, a very handsome apartment of nine rooms and two baths including a studi_oom eighteen feet high, forty feet long and twenty-two feet wide was found a_he now, to them, comparatively moderate sum of three thousand two hundred.
The chambers were beautifully finished in old English oak carved and staine_fter a very pleasing fifteenth century model, and the walls were left to th_iscretion of the incoming tenant. Whatever was desired in the way o_apestries, silks or other wall furnishing would be supplied.
Eugene chose green-brown tapestries representing old Rhine Castles for hi_tudio, and blue and brown silks for his wall furnishings elsewhere. He no_ealized a long cherished dream of having the great wooden cross of brow_tained oak, ornamented with a figure of the bleeding Christ, which he set i_ dark shaded corner behind two immense wax candles set in tall heavy bronz_andlesticks, the size of small bed posts. These when lighted in an otherwis_arkened room and flickering ruefully, cast a peculiar spell of beauty ove_he gay throngs which sometimes assembled here. A grand piano in old Englis_ak occupied one corner, a magnificent music cabinet in French burnt woodwork,
stood near by. There were a number of carved and fluted high back chairs, _arved easel with one of his best pictures displayed, a black marble pedesta_earing a yellow stained marble bust of Nero, with his lascivious, degenerat_ace, scowling grimly at the world, and two gold plated candelabra of eleve_ranches each hung upon the north wall.
Two wide, tall windows with storm sashes, which reached from the floor to th_eiling, commanded the West view of the Hudson. Outside one was a small ston_alcony wide enough to accommodate four chairs, which gave a beautiful, coo_iew of the drive. It was shielded by an awning in summer and was nine storey_bove the ground. Over the water of the more or less peaceful stream were th_tacks and outlines of a great factory, and in the roadstead lay boats always,
war vessels, tramp freighters, sail boats, and up and down passed the endles_raffic of small craft always so pleasant to look upon in fair or fou_eather. It was a beautiful apartment, beautifully finished in which most o_heir furniture, brought from Philadelphia, fitted admirably. It was here tha_t last they settled down to enjoy the fruit of that long struggle an_omparative victory which brought them so near their much desired goal—a_ndestructible and unchangeable competence which no winds of ill fortune coul_eadily destroy.
Eugene was quite beside himself with joy and satisfaction at thus findin_imself and Angela eventually surrounded by those tokens of luxury, comfor_nd distinction which had so long haunted his brain. Most of us go throug_ife with the furniture of our prospective castle well outlined in mind, bu_ith never the privilege of seeing it realized. We have our pictures, ou_angings, our servitors well and ably selected. Eugene's were real at last.