Rich Man, Poor Man

Rich Man, Poor Man

by Maximilian Foster

Maximilian Foster (Feb 27,1871–Sep 21, 1943) is an American writer best known for his work Rich Man, Poor Man, first published in 1915, by the Curtis Publishing Company. In 1918, the story became the silent film romantic drama starring Marguerite Clark and directed by J. Searle Dawley. According to experts the motion picture was lost. Other books by Maximilian Foster When Strangers Marry, The Silent Partner, Something to Do, and A Taste of Life.

Excerpt Chapter 1.

Promptly at six every week-day evening in the year Mr. Mapleson came

down the stairs of the L road station on the corner and trudged up

the side street toward his home. He lived at Mrs. Tilney’s, the

last house but one in the block; but though for more than sixteen

years Mr. Mapleson had boarded there, none of the landlady’s other

patrons–or the landlady either, for that matter–knew much about

their fellow-guest. Frankly he was a good deal of a puzzle. The others

thought him queer in his ways besides. They were right perhaps.


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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