Reference > The Library > Helen Rex Keller > Reader’s Digest of Books

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
Felix O’Day
Francis Hopkinson Smith (1838–1915)
Felix O’Day, by F. Hopkinson Smith (1915). This was the last work of its author and was published after his death. The scene of the story is laid in New York at the present time; Felix O’Day, an Englishman of distinguished mien and bearing, is introduced in the act of trying to raise money on a costly traveling case in order to pay his board bill. He is recognized as a gentleman, by the curio dealer, who advances him money on his case and also offers him a position in his shop when he discovers his knowledge of antiques. O’Day finds a home in the neighborhood with an energetic and kindhearted woman named Kitty Cleary, who realizes he is passing through a great sorrow and does all in her power to cheer and help him. Through Kitty, O’Day meets Father Cruse, a noble and unselfish priest to whom he confides his past and tells him he is really Sir Felix O’Day, and is in New York searching for his wife Lady Barbara, who had run away with another man some months previously. Her desertion of her husband had been caused by her youth and wilfulness coupled with the loss of his property, which he had relinquished in order to pay his father’s debts. The latter’s financial ruin had been brought about by Guy Dalton, the plausible villain with whom Lady Barbara had eloped. Being obliged to flee the country, Dalton had brought Lady Barbara to New York, where after enduring poverty and abuse she finally leaves him and supports herself by sewing. Dalton discovers her hiding place, and when she refuses to return to him steals a valuable lace mantilla which she is mending for a business house. The proprietor has Lady Barbara arrested and taken to the station-house, but she is recognized by Father Cruse, who has seen her picture, and he rescues her from this terrible situation and restores her to her husband. O’Day meanwhile has received word from England that part of his property has been restored to him so the reader feels that brighter days are in store for him at last.  1

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