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The Unspeakable Gentleman by John P. Marquand
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THE UNSPEAKABLE GENTLEMAN

BY J.P. MARQUAND

1922






I


I have seen the improbable turn true too often not to have it disturb me.
Suppose these memoirs still exist when the French royalist plot of 1805
and my father's peculiar role in it are forgotten. I cannot help but
remember it is a restless land across the water. But surely people will
continue to recollect. Surely these few pages, written with the sole
purpose of explaining my father's part in the affair, will not degenerate
into anything so pitifully fanciful as the story of a man who tried his
best to be a bad example because he could not be a good one.

It was my Uncle Jason who was with me when I learned of my father's
return to America. I still remember the look of sympathetic concern on
his broad, good-natured face, as I read my father's letter. There was
anxiety written there as he watched me, for my uncle was a kindly,
thoughtful man. For the moment he seemed to have quite forgotten the
affairs of his counting house, and the inventory of goods from France,
which a clerk had placed before him. Of late he had taken in me an