Kingsblood Royal, by Sinclair Lewis, free ebook. He was a junior bank officer named Neil Kingsblood, recently a captain of infantry. On their way north, after. This web edition published by [email protected] Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at To the best of our knowledge, the text of this. Kingsblood Royal is a satire depicting race relations, bias and attitudes in Midwest American in the ‘s after WWII. Neil Kingsblood, the protagonist, is a .
Blingham, and may he fry in his own cooking-oil, was assistant treasurer of the Flaver-Saver Company. He was driving from New York to Winnipeg, accompanied by Mrs. Blingham and their horrible daughter. As they were New Yorkers, only a business trip could have dragged them into this wilderness, and they found everything west of Pennsylvania contemptible.
They laughed at Chicago for daring to have skyscrapers and at Madison for pretending to have a university, and they stopped the car and shrieked when they entered Kingsblokd and saw a billboard advertising “Ten Thousand Lakes. Miss Blingham, whom they called “Sister,” commented, “Unless you had a New York sense of humor, you would never be able to understand why that sign is so funny!
When they came to their first prairie hamlet in Minnesota, six cottages, a garage, a store and a tall red grain elevator, Mrs.
Blingham giggled, “Why, they’ve got an Empire State Building here! Their laughter buoyed them for a hundred miles, till it was time to think of lunch. Miss Blingham looked at the map. That seems to be about forty miles from here, and it’s quite a village—85, people. When, from the bluffs of the Sorshay River, they looked down to the limestone shaft of the Blue Ox National Bank Building and the welter of steel and glass sheds that had been erected for the Wargate Wood Products Corporation sinceMr.
Blingham said, “Fair-sized war plant they got there. To some ninety thousand immortal souls, it was the center of the universe, and all distances were to be measured from it; Moscow was defined as a place 6, miles from Home, and Saudi Arabia as a market for Wargate wallboard and huts and propellers.
The Blinghams, who knew that the true center of the solar system is the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street, kingsbloof have been irritated to find out how many of the simpletons in the valley below them believed that New York contained nothing but hotels, burlesque shows, a toyal and Wall Street.
Blingham urged, “Come on. We can’t waste all day looking at this dump. The hotel-guide gives the Pineland as the best place for chow. They did not notice them, but on the way to the Pineland they must have passed scrollwork palaces ofan Italian Catholic Church, a pawn-shop in which a Lithuanian lumberjack had recently pawned the Luger pistol with which he had murdered a Siamese mining-camp cook, the best women’s dress-shop between Fort William and Dallas, a Victoria Cross aviator, and a Negro clergyman who was a Doctor of Philosophy.
Blingham said doubtfully, royl, I suppose we can get some kind of grub here. They thought it very funny that the more choosy of the two restaurants in the Pineland should presumptuously be named “The Fiesole Room,” though they would not have found it funny if they had known that locally it was pronounced “Feesoly,” because that was how the Blinghams pronounced it, also.
The Fiesole Room had, for cinquecento atmosphere, Pompeian-red walls, majolica dishes, a Spanish wine-jar on either side of the doorway, and a frieze of antique Grecian runners done by oingsblood local portrait-painter. Blingham authoritatively, kinvsblood looking at the map, “is Grand Republic. They were elaborately escorted to a table by the headwaiter, a dignified, erect colored man whose head resembled a brown billiard ball.
They did not know that he was Drexel Greenshaw, the leader of the conservative wing of the Negro Community. He looked like a bishop, like a general, like a senator, any of whom he kingsblpod have been if he had chosen another calling than table-waiting and another color.
Blingham had the Hungarian goulash. Blingham was bold in the matter of roast lamb. Sister took the chicken salad, snapping at the colored waiter, “And do try to have a little chicken in it, will yuh?
They found it highly comic that the waiter bowed, and said, “Yes, Miss. A nigger hash-hustler in a dump like this making like he was at the Ritz! Rroyal is true that in New York, on their evenings of festival, they did not dine at the Ritz but at a Schrafft’s. Toying delicately with her chicken salad, but finishing all of it as well as all the rolls, Sister looked cynically about the Fiesole Room.
Respected parents, will you look at the table to my right? Please buy him for me—the young one. The person whom she had thus favored was an amiable man of thirty with solid shoulders and freckled paws and the clear skin that often goes with red hair like his. You thought of football, later tempered by tennis. But what you most noticed was the singular innocence of his blue eyes and the innocence and enthusiasm of his smile. With that, they forgot the young man, who was neither a shoe-clerk nor more than a quarter Scotch.
He was a junior bank officer named Neil Kingsblood, recently a captain of infantry. On their way north, after lunch, the Blinghams got off their proper route. They were too proud to ask questions of the barbaric natives, and they circled through the expensive residence district of Ottawa Heights and a new, gray-shingle and stucco and asphalt-roof and picture-window real-estate development called Sylvan Park.
As they turned from Linden Lane upon Balsam Trail, they did not note a “colonial cottage,” new and neat and painty, with broad white clapboards and blue shutters, on the northwest corner; nor did they look at the brisk and handsome young woman and the four-year-old girl, all pink and kingsbliod gold, who were coming out of the cottage.
Yet this was the house of Captain Neil Kingsblood, and these were his wife, Vestal, and Biddy, his lively daughter. Do you s’pose the folks out here speak English? That evening, as they were approaching Crookston, where they were to spend the night, Mr. Blingham mused, “What was the name of that burg where we had lunch today—where we got lost, leaving town?
Neil and Vestal Kingsblood were having an amount of servant trouble that seemed improbable with so tolerant a couple, and it was not entirely a comedy of domestic mishaps.
Kingsblood Royal, by Sinclair Lewis
Tragedy in wry forms may come even to the Colonial Residence of a Young Banker. You would have said of Neil Kingsblood that kingsblkod would not encounter either tragedy or remarkable success. Red-headed, curly-headed, blue-eyed, stalwart, cheerful, and as free of scholarship as he was of malice, Neil was, in November,an assistant cashier in the Second National Bank of Grand Republic, of which Mr.
John William Prutt was president.
He was devoted to his family, his friends, his job, to shooting and fishing and golf, and to the guns, rods, canoes and other enchanting and childish objects associated with those sports.
But he was now unfitted for excursions among the forests and lakes of Northern Minnesota. A year ago, when he was a captain of infantry, his right leg had been wrecked in the capture of an Italian village. That leg would always be half an inch shorter than the other, but he could limp briskly now, and by spring ofhe was sure, he would be able to hitch about the court in a sort of tennis.
The limp did not damage his position as one of the best-looking men in town; it gave an almost humorous lurch to his gait, and his chest and arms were as powerful as ever.
Last Christmas he had spent in agony in an army hospital in England; this Christmas, he would be with his beloved Vestal, a tall, gay, affectionate but sensible matron, and his daughter Elizabeth, aged four and always known as “Biddy”—the enchanting, the good-tempered Biddy, with her skin of strawberries and cream, her hair like champagne. Neil was born induring the fever-symptoms of the First World War; he had believed in the sanctity of the Second World War; and over highballs at the Sylvan Park Tennis Club, he stated bravely and he almost believed that there would not be a Third World War arriving just in time to catch the son whom the benevolent gods his God was Baptist and Vestal’s was Episcopal might send them.
His father, still blessedly alive and in practice, was Dr.
Kingsblood, the popular dentist office in the Professional and Arts Building, Chippewa Avenue at West Ramsey Street and kijgsblood maternal grandfather was Edgar Saxinar, retired telephone official living in Minneapolis. He had, thus, a scientific and industrial background, very solid, but it must be owned that for wealth and social standing, his family could not touch the gentility of Vestal’s father, kingsblooe was Morton Beehouse, president of the Prairie Power and Light Corporation, brother of Oliver Beehouse, chief counsel for the Wargate industries.
Vestal had been president of the Junior League, women’s golf-champion of the Heather Country Club, top war-bond saleswoman of the county, secretary of the St. Anselm’s Altar Guild, chairman of the Program Committee of the Foyal Club, and winner of the after-dinner coffee-set at the Cosmopollies’ bridge-tournament.
She was, however, human. She was a graduate of Sweet Briar College in Virginia, and it was understood that she was possessed of rather better taste than Neil, who had had a boarding-house and beer existence at the University of Minnesota.
But she said, “I’m no doyal. At heart, I’m a Hausfrau. Her face was narrow, a bit long, but lightened by humorous gray eyes, and royxl hair, of an average chestnut, was remarkably thick. Her hands were squarer than Neil’s, which were strong but tapered to slender fingers. Vestal laughed easily and not too much. She loved Neil, she respected him, she liked him; she often held his hand at the movies, and in the bedroom she was serious about him.
She had, kingsblold his leg was injured, enjoyed canoeing with him all through the lonely Border Lakes; and she shared with him his Sound Conservative Republican Beliefs about banking, taxes, and the perfidy of labor unions. Though she had been reared in a Beehouse mansion of gray stone, in the old faubourg of Beltrami Avenue, Vestal liked coming home to the artful simplicities of Sylvan Park.
Here were forests ancient as the hills enclosing sunny spots of greenery, all laid out in curves and crescents, regardless of expense, by Mr. William Stopple, Realtor and Developer. Vestal was friendly with her own white cottage and the smart semi-circular stoop and its slim pillars.
Inside, the living-room was modest enough but bright as a gold purse, with barrel-chairs in dark-blue corduroy, maroon curtains, a ship’s-clock, an ardent hearth-fire electric, with glass coalsand on the mantel a German helmet which Neil was supposed to have captured in combat. But even more indicative of their prosperity was the “sun-porch,” with green wicker furniture and red-tile floor and a portable bar and, for grandeur, a view of the mound on which was “Hillhouse,” the fabulous residence of Berthold Eisenherz.
No ordinary bank teller could have afforded such richness, and Neil had been only a teller until a couple of months ago. His father-in-law had helped to make this splendor possible, and to enable them to have a maid of all work, that last and dearest luxury in a pattern of American civilization in which you own a Cadillac kingsbblood black your own shoes; and a sound civilization it is, too, in which you may bully only the kintsblood that are made of steel.
In Sylvan Park there are none of the brick-walled gardens and brick-faced chauffeurs which adorn Ottawa Heights. Neil’s neighbors rejoice in Cape Cod kintsblood, seven-room chalets, and plain wooden boxes with fake half-timbering. Along the halfmoon Lanes and Trails are fountains, and the chief square, named “The Carrefour,” is surrounded by smart shops with illegitimate Spanish arcading. But all over this plaster Granada children are passionately running, mothers are wheeling baby-carriages, and fathers are raking leaves.
William Stopple and remember that not long ago he was mayor of Grand Republic privately advises you that Sylvan Park is just as free of Jews, Italians, Negroes, and the exasperatingly poor as it is of noise, mosquitoes, and rectangularity of streets.
Neil and Vestal jeered at this true modern poetry, but they did consider Sylvan Park a paradise and a highly sensible paradise—and their house was almost paid for. Back of their own double bedroom it had a tiled bathroom adorned with seahorses and lotos blossoms was Biddy’s apartment, bunnies and Mickey Mouses, and behind that a coop, all angles and eaves, with things tucked behind other things, which they called Neil’s “den,” and which could serve as guest-room. Here Neil came to gloat over his rods and clubs, the Arrowhead Rifle Marksmanship Cup, which he had won inand his beloved collection of guns.
He had a Hudson’s-Bay trade rifle, a. He had always wanted to be a frontiersman, an Astor Company trader of on the Minnesota border, and he liked calendars portraying canoemen and the habits of the moose. And here were his own not-very-numerous books.
The set of Kipling, the set of O. Henry, the set of Sherlock Holmes, a history of banking, and the bound volumes of the National Geographic Magazine, with Beasley on tennis and Morrison kingslood golf. Among these solid wares, pushed back on a shelf, was a volume of Emily Dickinson, which a girl, whose name and texture he had now forgotten, had given to him in college, and sometimes Neil picked at it and wondered.
The rooms to which they gave the most nervous care were at the end of a constricted hall: In the hope of keeping a maid at all in these war days, they had made Belfreda’s suite as pretty as they could afford. The bedroom was complete with radio, candlewick spread, and copies of Good Housekeeping, and kingsbblood an entirely insane moment, Vestal had bought a real English loofah for the bathroom.
Belfreda had considered it some form of mummified bug, kingsvlood had almost quit when Vestal presented it to her.
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