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Mr Wray's Cash Box (Christmas Mystery Series) From the prolific English writer, best known for The Woman in White, Armadale, The Moonstone and The Dead Secret von Collins, Wilkie (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 04.12.2016
  • Verlag: e-artnow
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Mr Wray's Cash Box (Christmas Mystery Series)

This carefully crafted ebook: 'Mr Wray's Cash Box (Christmas Mystery Series)' is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Reuben Wray is a retired stage actor whose most valuable possession is a mask of Shakespeare which he guards obsessively in his cash box, attracting thieves towards the box. Upon the theft of his sole possession it is upto his grand-daugter to bring back the lost happiness of his dear old grand-father and make his Christmas worthwhile again. A heartening Christmas mystery read! Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and short story writer. His best-known works are The Woman in White (1859), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866) and The Moonstone (1868). The last is considered the first modern English detective novel.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 88
    Erscheinungsdatum: 04.12.2016
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9788026871927
    Verlag: e-artnow
    Größe: 415 kBytes
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Mr Wray's Cash Box (Christmas Mystery Series)

II

Table of Contents
Before we go boldly into Mr Wray's lodgings, I must first speak a word or two about him, behind his back - but by no means slanderously. I will take his advertisement, now hanging up in the shop window of Messrs Dunball and Dark, as the text of my discourse.

Mr Reuben Wray became, as he phrased it, a 'pupil of the late celebrated John Kemble, Esquire' in this manner. He began life by being apprenticed for three years to a statuary. Whether the occupation of taking casts and clipping stones proved of too sedentary a nature to suit his temperament, or whether an evil counsellor within him, whose name was VANITY, whispered: - 'Seek public admiration, and be certain of public applause,' - I know not; but the fact is, that, as soon as his time was out, he left his master and his native place to join a company of strolling players; or, as he himself more magniloquently expressed it, he went on the stage.

Nature had gifted him with good lungs, large eyes, and a hook nose; his success before barn audiences was consequently brilliant. His professional exertions, it must be owned, barely sufficed to feed and clothe him; but then he had a triumph on the London stage, always present in the far perspective to console him. While waiting this desirable event, he indulged himself in a little intermediate luxury, much in favour as a profitable resource for young men in extreme difficulties - he married; married at the age of nineteen, or thereabouts, the charming Columbine of the company.

And he got a good wife. Many people, I know, will refuse to believe this, - it is a truth, nevertheless. The one redeeming success of the vast social failure which his whole existence was doomed to represent, was this very marriage of his with a strolling Columbine. She, poor girl, toiled as hard and as cheerfully to get her own bread after marriage, as before; trudged many a weary mile by his side from town to town, and never uttered a complaint; praised his acting; partook his hopes; patched his clothes; pardoned his ill-humour; paid court for him to his manager; made up his squabbles; - in a word, and in the best and highest sense of that word, loved him. May I be allowed to add, that she only brought him one child - a girl? And, considering the state of his pecuniary resources, am I justified in ranking this circumstance as a strong additional proof of her excellent qualities as a married woman?

After much perseverance and many disappointments, Reuben at last succeeded in attaching himself to a regular provincial company - Tate Wilkinson's at York. He had to descend low enough from his original dramatic pedestal before he succeeded in subduing the manager. From the leading business in Tragedy and Melodrama, he sank at once, in the established provincial company, to a 'minor utility' - words of theatrical slang signifying an actor who is put to the smaller dramatic uses which the necessities of the stage require. Still, in spite of this, he persisted in hoping for the chance that was never to come; and still poor Columbine faithfully hoped with him to the last.

Time passed - years of it; and this chance never arrived; and he and Columbine found themselves one day in London, forlorn and starving. Their life at this period would make a romance of itself, if I had time and space to write it; but I must get on, as fast as may be, to later dates; and the reader must be contented merely to know that, at the last gasp - the last of hope; almost the last of life - Reuben got employment, as an actor of the lower degree, at Drury Lane.

Behold him, then, now - still a young man, but crushed in his young man's ambition for ever - receiving the lowest theatrical wages for the lowest theatrical work; appearing on the stage as soldier, waiter, footman, and so on; with not a line in the play to speak; just showing his poverty-shrunken carcase to the audience, clothed in

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