Who is the middle-aged, British gent who says he’s too broke to pay his rent?
The one who looks for someone each night among patrons of Broadway’s theaters and restaurants?
Felix O’ Day by F. Hopkinson Smith
Project Gutenberg ebook #5229. 1915 bestseller #7. My grade: B.
It’s Felix O Day.
The novel of which Felix is titular character is a romance that derives its interest mainly from the Felix’s mysterious behavior.
While Felix is negotiating a loan at a secondhand shop, he tells owner Otto Kling some of his merchandise is undervalued. Impressed, Otto asks Felix to come work for him.
Otto arranges for Felix to room across the street with Kitty and John Cleary, who own a moving company.
It’s a happy arrangement.
Felix mostly enjoys the work.
He is charmed by Maisie, Otto’s 10-year-old daughter.
He learns to know and value Kitty and the other Fourth Street business owners.
One day an unexpected discovery leads Felix to share his secret with the local priest, Father Cruse. That, and advice from Kitty, lead to a happy ending.
Felix O’Day kept me up past my bedtime. Though the parable of the lost sheep post’s familiar, author F. Hopkinson Smith makes Felix, with his inbred class-consciousness, sufficiently human to make it feel fresh.
© 2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni