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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 96 | volume XVII | May-June, 2014



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 96May-June, 2014
Prose

The Minions of Midas

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p. 1
Jack London

Wade Atsheler is dead—dead by his own hand. To say that this was entirely unexpected by the small coterie which knew him, would be to say an untruth; and yet never once had we, his intimates, ever canvassed the idea. Rather had we been prepared for it in some incomprehensible sub-conscious way. Before the perpetration of the deed, its possibility was remotest from our thoughts; but when we did know he was dead, it seemed, somehow, that we had understood and looked forward to it all the time. This, by retrospective analysis, we could easily explain by the fact of his great trouble. I use “great trouble” advisedly. Young, handsome, with an assured position as the right-hand man of Eben Hale, the great street-railway magnate, there could be no reason for him to complain of fortune's favors. Yet had we not watched his smooth brow furrow and corrugate as under some carking care or devouring sorrow? Had we not watched his thick, black hair thin and silver as green grain under brazen skies and parching drought? The most cordial of friends and the jolliest of companions, who can forget, in the midst of the hilarious scenes he toward the last sought with greater and greater avidity—who can forget, I say, the deep abstractions and black moods into which he fell? At such times, when the fun rippled and roared from height to height, suddenly, without rhyme or reason, his eyes would turn lack-lustre, his brows knit, as with clenched hands, and face over-shot with spasms of mental pain, he wrestled on the edge of the abyss with some unknown danger.
    He never spoke of his trouble, nor were we indiscreet enough to ask. But it was just as well; for had we and had he spoken, our help and strength could have availed nothing. When Eben Hale died, whose confidential secretary he was—nay, well nigh adopted son and full business partner—he no longer came among us. Not, as I now know, that our company was distasteful to him, but because his trouble had so grown that he could not respond to our happiness nor find surcease with us. Why this should be so we could not at the time understand, for when Eben Hale's will was probated, the world learned that he was sole heir to his employer's many millions, and it was expressly stipulated that this great inheritance was given






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