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.