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The Ten-foot Chain; or, Can Love Survive the Shackles? A Unique Symposium, page 1

 

The Ten-foot Chain; or, Can Love Survive the Shackles? A Unique Symposium
 


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The Ten-foot Chain; or, Can Love Survive the Shackles? A Unique Symposium


  Produced by Suzanne Shell and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net

  THE TEN-FOOT CHAIN

  OR CAN LOVE SURVIVE THE SHACKLES?

  "WHEN I LOOK INTO YOUR FACE THE SUN RISES AND THE BOAT OFMY LIFE ROCKS ON THE DANCING WAVES OF PASSION."]

  THE TEN-FOOT CHAIN

  OR

  CAN LOVE SURVIVE THE SHACKLES?

  A UNIQUE SYMPOSIUM

  BY

  ACHMED ABDULLAH MAX BRAND E. K. MEANS P. P. SHEEHAN

  REYNOLDS PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC. NEW YORK 1920

  _Copyright 1920_ REYNOLDS PUB. CO. Inc.

  _Copyright 1920_ THE FRANK A. MUNSEY CO.

  CONTENTS

  PAGE

  INTRODUCTION 11

  FIRST TALE AN INDIAN JATAKA 17 _By Achmed Abdullah_

  SECOND TALE OUT OF THE DARK 45 _By Max Brand_

  THIRD TALE PLUMB NAUSEATED 81 _By E. K. Means_

  FOURTH TALE PRINCESS OR PERCHERON 127 _By Perley P. Sheehan_

  _INTRODUCTION_

  Some time ago I was dining with four distinguished writers. Needless tosay where two or three authors are gathered together with a sympatheticeditor in their midst, the flood-gates of fancy are opened wide.

  In an inspired moment, Dr. Means tossed this "tremendous trifle" intothe center of the table: "What mental and emotional reaction would a manand a woman undergo, linked together by a ten-foot chain, for three daysand nights?" The query precipitated an uproar.

  Captain Abdullah stepped into the arena at once, and with that elan ofthe heart, which is bred only in the Orient, declared if the man and thewoman really loved one another, no chain could be riveted too close ortoo enduring to render onerous its existence. For through this world andthe next, love would hold these twain in ever deeper and tendererembrace.

  Then the doctor, who claims he cuts nearer to the realities, insisted noemotion could bear such a physical impact. The reaction from such animposed contact would leave love bereft of life, strangled in its owngolden mesh. Max Brand begged to differ with both of his fellowcraftsmen. With the cold detachment of a mind prepared to see all foursides of an object and with no personal animus of either prejudice orprepossession, Mr. Brand averred no blanker conclusion covered the casein question but in any given instance, the multiple factors of heredity,environment, habit, and temperament, would largely determine the finalstate of both the man and the woman.

  Hereupon, Perley Poore Sheehan, the fourth member of the writingfraternity present, insisted on a hearing. Mr. Sheehan, nothing dauntedby the naturally polygamous instincts of the male heart, insisted a goodman, once in love, would and could discount the handicap of a ten-footchain, since love was after all, as others have contended, not the wholeof a man's life. To be sure it was an integral need, a recurrentappetite; the glamour and the glory, if you like, enfolding with itsovershadowing wings his house of happiness. As for the woman--well, wewill let Mr. Sheehan report, in person, his conviction as to thestability of her attachment.

  The editor, whose business it is to keep an open mind, scarcely feltequal to the responsibility of passing judgment, where experts differed.But the discussion presented an opportunity which he felt called upon todevelop. Therefore, each of the four authors was invited to present hisconclusions in fiction form, the four stories to be published under thegeneral caption "The Ten-Foot Chain." Herewith we are printing thisunique symposium, one of the most original series ever presented.

  Naturally, the stories are bound to provoke opinion and raisediscussion. The thesis in the form presented by Dr. Means is quitenovel, but the underlying problem of the stability of human affections,is as old as the heart of man. Wasn't it that prosaic but wise old poet,Alexander Pope, who compared our minds to our watches? "No two go justalike, yet each believes his own."

 
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