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The False Gods
written by "Lorimer, George Horace, 1869-1937"
... place of a card, as being more likely to gain him admittance. "Aw, fergit it," the youth answered with fine American independence. "I'll let youse know when your turn comes, an' youse can keep your ref'rences till you're asked for 'em," and he surveyed Simpkins with marked disfavor. The reporter made no answer and asked no questions. Until that moment he had not known that he had a turn, but if he had, he did not propose to lose it by any foolish slip. So he settled down in his chair and began to turn over his assignment in his mind. That Simpkins had come over to New York was due to the conviction of his managing editor, Mr. Naylor, that a certain feature which had been shaping up in his head would possess a peculiar interest if it could be "led" with a few remarks by Mrs. Athelstone. Though her husband, the Rev. Alfred W.R. Athelstone, was a Church of England clergyman, whose interest in Egyptology had led him to accept the presidency of the American branch of the Royal Society, she was a leader among the Theosophists. And now that the old head of the cult was dead, it was rumored that Mrs. Athelstone had announced the reincarnation of Madame Blavatsky in her own person. This in itself was a good "story," but it was not until a second rumor reached Naylor's ears that his newspaper soul was stirred to its yellowest depths. For there was in Boston an association known as the American Society for the Investigation of Ancient Beliefs, which was a rival of the Royal Society in its good work of laying bare with pick and spade the buried mysteries along the Nile. And this rivalry, which was strong between the societies and bitter between their presidents, became acute in the persons of their secretaries, both of whom were women. Madame Gianclis, who served the Boston Society, boasted Egyptian blood in her veins, a claim which Mrs. Athelstone, who acted as secretary for her husband's society, politely conceded, with the qualifica...

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