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Martin Eden - Jack London

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Martin Eden

CHAPTER I



The one opened the door with a latch-key and went in, followed by a
young fellow who awkwardly removed his cap.  He wore rough clothes
that smacked of the sea, and he was manifestly out of place in the
spacious hall in which he found himself.  He did not know what to
do with his cap, and was stuffing it into his coat pocket when the
other took it from him.  The act was done quietly and naturally,
and the awkward young fellow appreciated it.  "He understands," was
his thought.  "He'll see me through all right."

He walked at the other's heels with a swing to his shoulders, and
his legs spread unwittingly, as if the level floors were tilting up
and sinking down to the heave and lunge of the sea.  The wide rooms
seemed too narrow for his rolling gait, and to himself he was in
terror lest his broad shoulders should collide with the doorways or
sweep the bric-a-brac from the low mantel.  He recoiled from side
to side between the various objects and multiplied the hazards that
in reality lodged only in his mind.  Between a grand piano and a
centre-table piled high with books was space for a half a dozen to
walk abreast, yet he essayed it with trepidation.  His heavy arms
hung loosely at his sides.  He did not know what to do with those
arms and hands, and when, to his excited vision, one arm seemed
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