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Title: Schwartz: A History - From "Schwartz" by David Christie Murray
Author: Murray, David Christie
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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By David Christie Murray

Author Of 'Aunt Rachel,' 'The Weaker Vessel,' Etc.



I was expatriated by a man with an axe. The man and the axe were alike
visionary and unreal, though it needed a very considerable effort of
the will to hold them at mental arm's length. I had work on hand which
imperatively demanded to be finished, and I was so broken down by a long
course of labour that it was a matter of actual difficulty with me when
I sat down at my desk of a morning to lay hold of the thread of last
night's work, and to recall the personages who had moved through my
manuscript pages for the past three or four months. The day's work
always began with a fog, which at first looked impenetrable, but would
brighten little by little until I could see my ideal friends moving in
it, and could recognise their familiar lineaments. Then the fog would
disperse altogether, and a certain indescribable, exultant, feverish
brightness would succeed it, and in this feverish brightness my ideal
friends would move and talk as it were of their own volition.

But one morning--it was in November, and the sand-tinged foam flecks
caught from the stormy bay were thick on the roadway before my
window--the fog was thicker and more obdurate than common. I read and
re-read the work of the day before, and the written words conveyed no
meaning. In a dim sort of way this seemed lamentable, and I remember
standing at the window, and looking out to where the white crests of the
waves came racing shorewards under a leaden-coloured sky, and saying to
myself over and over again, 'Oh, that way madness lies!' but without
any active sentiment of dismay or fear, and with a clouded, uninterested
wonder as to where the words came from. Quite suddenly I became aware
of a second presence in the chamber, and turned with an actual assurance
that some one stood behind me. I was alone, as a single glance about the
room informed me, but the sense of that second presence was so clearly
defined and positive that the mere evidence of sight seemed doubtful.

The day's work began in the manner which had of late grown customary,
and in a while the fog gave way to a brilliance unusually flushed and
hectic. The uninvited, invisible personage kept his place, until, even
with the constant fancy that he was there looking over my shoulder, and
so close that there was always a risk of contact, I grew to disregard
him. All day long he watched the pen travelling over the paper, all day
long I was aware of him, featureless, shadowy, expressionless, with a
vague cheek near my own. During the brief interval I gave myself
for luncheon he stood behind my chair, and, being much refreshed and
brightened by my morning's work, I mocked him quite gaily.

'Your name is Nerves,' I told him within myself, 'and you live in the
land of Mental Overwork. I have still a fortnight's stretch across the
country you inhabit, and if you so please you may accompany me all the
way. You may even follow me into the land of Repose which lies beyond
your own territory, but its air will not agree with you. You will
dwindle, peak, and pine in that exquisite atmosphere, and in a very
little while I shall have seen the last of you.'

After luncheon I took a constitutional on the pier, not without a hope
that my featureless friend might be blown away by the gusty wind, which
came bellowing up from the Firth of Forth, with enough stinging salt and
vivifying freshness in it, one might have fancied, to shrivel up a host
of phantoms. I tramped him up and down the gleaming planks in the keen
salt wind for half an hour, and he shadowed me unshrinkingly. With
the worst will in the world I took him home, and all afternoon and all
evening he stuck his shadowy head over my shoulder, and watched the pen
as it spread its cobweb lines over the white desert of the paper. He
waited behind my chair at dinner, and late at night, when the long day's
work at last was over, he hung his intrusive head over my shoulder and
stared into the moderate glass of much-watered whisky which kept a final
pipe in company.

He had grown already into an unutterable bore, and when he insisted upon
passing the night with me I could--but for the obvious inutility of the
thing--have lost my temper fairly. He took his place at the bed-head,
and kept it till I fell asleep. He was there when I awoke in the night,
and probably because the darkness, the quiet, and the sense of solitude
were favourable to him he began to grow clearer. Quite suddenly, and
with a momentary but genuine thrill of fear, I made a discovery about
him. He carried an axe. This weapon was edged like a razor, but was
unusually solid and weighty at the back. From the moment at which
I first became aware of it to that happy hour when my phantom bore
departed and took his weapon with him, there was never a conscious
second in which the axe was not in act to fall, and yet it never fell.
It was always going to strike and never struck.

'You cannot be supposed to know it, my phantom nuisance,' I said, being
ready to seek any means by which I might discredit the dreadful rapidity
with which he seemed to be growing real;' you cannot be supposed to know
it, but one of these days you will furnish excellent copy. As a literary
man's companion you are not quite without your uses. One of these days I
will haunt a rascal with you, and he shall sweat and shiver at you, as
I decline to sweat and shiver. You observe I take you gaily. I am very
much inclined to think that if I took you any other way that axe might
fall, and sever something which might be difficult to mend. So long as
you choose to stay, I mean to make a study of you.'

Most happily I was able to adhere to that resolve, but I solemnly
declare it made him no less dreadful. Sometimes I tried to ignore him,
but that was a sheer impossibility. Very often I flouted him and jeered
at him, mocked him with his own unreality, and dared him to carry out
his constant threat and strike. But all day and every day, and in all
the many sleepless watches of my nights, he kept me company, and every
hour the threatened blow of the razor-edged axe seemed likelier to fall.
But at last--thank Heaven--the work was done, I touched the two or three
hundred pounds which paid for it, and I was free to take a holiday.

We had grown too accustomed to each other to part on a sudden, even
then. I never saw him, for he was always behind me (and even when I
stood before a mirror he was invisible but _there_), but he was no
longer featureless. His eyes shone through a black vizard with one
unwinking, glittering, ceaseless threat. He wore a slashed doublet with
long hose reaching to the upper thigh, and he had a rosette on each
instep. I can see quite clearly now the peculiar dull cold gleam the
razor-edged axe wore as he stood in some shadowed place behind me, and
the brighter gleam it had in daylight in the streets.

When I had borne with him until I felt that I could bear with him no
longer, I took him, being back in town again, to a London physician
of some eminence. The doctor took him somewhat gravely, insisted upon
absolute mental rest, prescribed a tonic, laid down certain rules about
diet, certain restrictions upon wine and tobacco, and ordered immediate
change of scene.

To begin with I went to Antwerp, thence to Brussels, and thence, by the
merest chance in the world, to Janenne, a little village in the Belgian
Ardennes, at no great distance from the French frontier. I had no idea
of staying there, and on the surface of things there was no reason why I
should have prolonged my stay beyond a day or two. People visit Janenne
in the summer time, and suppose themselves to have exhausted its limited
attractions in four-and-twenty hours. There is nothing at first sight
to keep the stranger longer, but if he will only stay for a week he will
inevitably want to stay for a fortnight, and if once he has stayed for a
fortnight, his business is done, and he is in love with Janenne for the
rest of his natural life. Rural quiet has made her home in Janenne, and
contentment dwells with her, sleepy-eyed.

Even in the first week of December, the russet and amber-coloured leaves
still cling to the branches of the huge old lime-trees of Lorette, and
my lonely feet on the thick carpet of dead leaves below made the sole
sound I heard there except the ceaseless musical tinkle of chisel
and stone from the distant granite quarries--a succession of notes
altogether rural in suggestion--like the tinkle of many sheep-bells.
Even in that first week of December I could sit in the open air there,
where the mild winter sunlight flashed the huge crucifix and the
colossal Christ of painted wood, which poise above the toy chapel carved
out of the live rock. The chapel and the crucifix are at one end of a
lime-tree avenue a third of a mile long, and the trees are aged beyond
strict local knowledge, gnarled and warty and bulbous and great
of girth. You climb to Lorette by a gentle ascent, and below the
rock-carved chapel lies a precipice--not an Alpine affair at all, but a
reasonable precipice for Belgium--say, two or even three hundred feet,
and away and away and away, the golden-dimpled hills go changing from
the yellowish green of winter grass to the variously-toned grays of the
same grass in mid-distance, and then to a blue which grows continually
hazier until it melts at the sky-line, and seems half to blend with the
dim pallid sapphire of a December sky.

Here, 'with an ambrosial sense of over-weariness falling into sleep,'
would I often sit at the foot of the great crucifix, and would smoke
the pipe of idleness, a little unmindful, perhaps, of the good London
doctor's caution against the misuse of tobacco. It was here that I awoke
to the fact one day that the man with the axe was absent. He had slipped
away with no good-byes on either side, and I was blissfully alone again.
The sweet peace of it, and the quiet of it no tongue or pen can tell.
The air was balsamic with the odours of the pines which clothed the
hillsides for miles and miles and miles in squares and oblongs and a
hundred irregular forms of blackish green, sometimes snaking in a thin
dark line, sometimes topping a crest with a close-cropped hog-mane, and
sometimes clustering densely over a whole slope, but always throwing
the neighbouring yellows and greens and grays into a wonderful aerial
delicacy of contrast. The scarred lime trunks had a bluish gray tone in
the winter sunlight, and the carpet at their feet was of Indian red and
sienna and brown, of fiercest scarlet and gold and palest lemon colour,
of amber and russet and dead green. And everywhere, and in my tired mind
most of all, was peace.

I had been a fortnight at Janenne when my intrusive phantom left me
on Lorette. I had made no acquaintances, for I was but feeble at the
language, and did not care to encounter the trouble of talking in it.
The first friendship I made--I have since spent three years in the
delightful place, and have made several friendships there--was begun
within five minutes of that exquisite moment at which I awoke to the
fact that my phantom was away.

There was not a living creature in sight, and there was not a sound
to be heard except the distant tinkle of chisel and stone, and the
occasional rustle of a falling leaf, until Schwartz, the subject of this
history, walked pensively round a corner eighty yards down the avenue,
and paused to scratch one ear with a hind foot. He stood for a time with
a thoughtful air, looked up the avenue and down the avenue, and then
with slow deliberation, and an occasional pause for thought, he walked
towards me. When within half a dozen yards he stopped and took good
stock of me, with brown eyes overhung by thick grizzled eyebrows.
Then he offered a short, interrogative, authoritative bark, a mere
monosyllable of inquiry.

'A stranger,' I responded. 'An invalid stranger.' He seemed not only
satisfied, but, for some unknown reason, delighted. He wagged the
cropped stump of a gray tail, and writhed his whole body with a greeting
that had an almost slavish air of charmed propitiation; and then,
without a word on his side or on mine, he mounted the steps which led
to the great crucifix, sate down upon the topmost step beside me, and
nestled his grizzled head in my lap. I confess that he could have done
nothing which would have pleased me more. I have always thought the
unconditional and immediate confidence of a dog or a child a sort of
certificate to character, though I know well that there is a kind of dog
whose native friendliness altogether outruns his discretion, and who
is doomed from birth to fall into error, and to encounter consequent
rebuffs which must be grievous to be borne.

My new companion wore a collar, and had other signs that distinguished
him from the mere mongrel of the village street, but he was of no
particular breed. His coat was of a bluish gray, and though soft enough
to the touch, had a harsh and spiky aspect. He came nearer to being a
broken-haired terrier than anything else, but I seemed to discern half a
dozen crosses in him, and a lover of dogs who asked for breed would not
have offered sixpence for him.


Somewhere about the year 1560 this tranquil and beautiful country
was devastated by a plague which carried off hundreds of its sparse
inhabitants, and left many villages desolate. The legends of the
countryside tell of places in which no human life remained.

The people of Janenne, headed by the _doyen_, made a pilgrimage in
procession to the shrine of Our Lady of Lorette, and offered to strike a
bargain. They promised that if Janenne should be spared from the
plague they and their descendants for ever would each year repeat that
procession in honour of Our Lady of Lorette, and that once in seven
years they would appear under arms and fire a salvo. Whether in
consequence of this arrangement or not, Janenne escaped the plague, and
from that year to this the promised procession has never been forgotten.
In course of time it became less the local mode than it had been to
carry arms, and nowadays the great septennial procession can only be
gone through after a prodigious deal of drilling and preparation.

A week or two after my arrival the villagers began to train, under
the conduct of a stout military-looking personage, who had been in the
Belgian cavalry and _gendarmerie_, and was now in honourable
retirement from war's alarms as a grocer. He traded under the name of
Dorn-Casart--the wife's maiden name being tacked to his own, after the
manner of the country. This habit, by the way, gives a certain flavour
of aristocracy to the trading names over even the smallest shop windows.
'Coqueline-Walhaert, _negotiant_,' is the sign over the establishment
wherein a very infirm old woman sells centimes' worth of sweetstuff to
the _jeunesse_ of Janenne, whilst her husband works at the quarries.

Monsieur Dorn is a man with a huge moustache, fat cheeks streaked with
scarlet lines on a bilious groundwork, and a voice raspy with much
Geneva and the habit of command. He rides with the unmistakable seat of
an old cavalry man, and his behaviour on horseback was a marked contrast
to that of the mounted contingent he drilled every day in the open
place in front of the hotel. His steed, artfully stimulated by the spur,
caracoled, danced, and lashed out with his hind feet, and Monsieur Dorn,
with one fist stuck against his own fat ribs, swayed to the motion with
admirable nonchalance. His voice, which has the barky tone inseparable
from military command, would ring about the square like the voice of a
commander-in-chief, and by the exercise of a practised imagination, I
could almost persuade myself that I stood face to face with the horrid
front of war.

When Monsieur Dorn was not drilling his brigade he was generally to be
found at the Café de la Regence, smoking a huge meerschaum with a cherry
wood stem and sipping Geneva. Even in this comparative retirement the
halo of his office clung about him, and seemed to hold men oflf from a
too familiar intercourse; but one afternoon I saw him unbending there.
He was nearly always accompanied by a dog, spotlessly white, the most
ladylike of her species I remember to have seen. Her jet-black beady
eyes and jet-black glittering nose set oflf the snowy whiteness of her
coat, and were in turn set off by it. She had a refined, coquettish,
mincing walk, which alone was enough to bespeak the agreeable sense she
had of her own charms. Perhaps a satiric observer of manners might
have thought her more like a lady's-maid than a lady. A suggestion of
pertness in her beady eyes, and a certain superciliousness of bearing
were mingled with a coquetry not displeasing to one who surveyed her
from the human height. To look important is pretty generally to feel
important, but is, by no means, to be important. We discern this fact
with curious clearness when we look at other people, but it is nowhere
quite so evident as in what we call the brute creation. (As if we didn't
belong to it!) Perhaps there are intelligences who look at us with just
such a pitying amusement and analysis--_our_ prosperous relatives, who
started earlier in the race of life than we did, and met with better

In spite of airs and graces, natural and acquired, Lil's claims to
purity of race were small, though, like my older acquaintance, Schwartz,
she was more a broken-haired terrier than anything else. Schwartz was
simply and purely _bourgeois_. He had no airs and no pretensions; but
Lil, whatever her genuine claims may have been, was of another stamp and

It was Lil who was the cause of Monsieur Dorn's unbending. The fat old
_gendarme_ was putting her through a set of tricks, which she executed
with complete _aplomb_ and intelligence. There was nothing violent in
these exercises; nothing a dog of the best breeding in the world could
have felt to derogate from dignity. She was much petted and applauded
for her performances, and was rewarded by two or three lumps of sugar,
which she ate without any of the vulgar haste characteristic of most
dogs in their dealings with sweetmeats.

The language of the peasantry hereabouts is that same Walloon tongue
in which old Froissart wrote his _Chronicles_. It is little more
comprehensible to the average Frenchman than to the average Englishman,
but its vocabulary is restricted, and the people who talk it have
enriched (or corrupted) it with many words of French. When the loungers
in the _café_ began to talk, as they did presently, it amused me to
listen to this unknown tongue; and whenever I heard '_la procession_'
named, I enjoyed much the kind of refreshment Mr. Gargery experienced
when he encountered a J.O., Jo, in the course of his general reading.
_La procession_ was not merely the staple of the village talk, but the
warp and woof of it, and any intruding strand of foreign fancy was
cut short at the dips of him who strove to spin it into the web of
conversation. I myself ventured an inquiry or two, for all but the
most ignorant speak French of a sort. Monsieur Dorn accepted a glass of
_pequet_ at my request (a fire-water, for a dose of which one halfpenny
is charged, and upon which the unaccustomed stranger may intoxicate
himself madly at an outlay of five-pence), and the fat and stately old
fellow told me all about the origin and meaning of the pious form the
village was then preparing to fulfil. He made the kindest allowance
for my limited powers of speech, and bounteously fed my native sense of
retiring humility with patronage.

The door of the _café_ was open to the mild, fir-scented December air,
though a crackling fire burnt noisily in the thin-ribbed stove. Lil
made occasional excursions to the open doorway, looking out upon the
passers-by with a keen alertness. She had some time returned from one of
these inspections, and had curled herself at her master's feet, when I
heard a singular and persistent tapping upon the unclothed floor, and
looking round caught sight of my friend Schwartz, who was making a
crouching and timid progress toward us, and was wagging his cropped tail
with such vehemence that it sounded on the boards like a light hammer
on a carpeted flooring. At first I fancied that he recognised me, and
I held out to him an encouraging hand, of which he took no notice. That
air of propitiatory humility which I had seen in him when we had first
encountered on Lorette was exaggerated to a slavish adulation. There
is no living creature but a dog who would not have been ashamed to
show such a mixture of transport and self-depreciation. He fawned, he
writhed, he rapped his tail upon the floor in a sustained _crescendo_.
The dumb heart had no language for its own delight and humility. Anybody
who takes pleasure in dogs has seen the _sort_ of thing scores
and scores of times. It was the quality of intensity which made it
remarkable in Schwartz.

Lil, for whom this display of joy and humbleness was made, was
altogether unmoved by it. She was not merely regardless of it, but
ostentatiously disdainful. She took a coquettish lady's-maidish amble to
the door, passing Schwartz by the way, and yawned as she looked out upon
the street. Schwartz fawned after her to the door, and with a second
yawn she repassed him, and returned to lie at the feet of the fat old
_gendarme_. The absurd little drama of coquetry and worship went on
until the old fellow arose with a friendly _bon jour_, to me, and a
whistle to Lil, who followed him with a supercilious nose in the air.
The despised Schwartz stood a while, and then set out after her at a
ridiculous three-legged run, but before he had gone ten yards he stopped
short, looked after the retreating fair in silence, and then walked off
with a dispirited aspect in the opposite direction.

So far as I could tell, my shadowy enemy with the axe had taken himself
away for good and all, but I was so fearful of recalling him that I kept
altogether idle, and in other respects nursed and coddled myself with a
constant assiduity. But it is a hard thing for a man who has accustomed
himself to constant mental employment to go without it, and in the
absence of pens, ink, and paper, books and journals, the procession bade
fair to be a perfect godsend. Even when the inhabitants of the village
took to rising at four o'clock in the morning, and fanfaronaded with
ill-blown bugles, and flaring torches, and a dreadful untiring drum
about the street, I forbore to grumble, and when on Sundays they turned
out in a body after mass to see their own military section drilled in
the _Place_ of the Hotel de Ville, one bored valetudinarian welcomed
them heartily. The military section had got down uniforms from one of
the Brussels theatres,--busbies and helmets, and the gloriously comic
hats of the _garde civile_,--dragoon tunics, hussar jackets, infantry
shell-jackets, cavalry stable-jackets, foresters' boots, dragoon
jack-boots, stage piratical boots with wide tops to fit the thigh that
drooped about the ankles,--trousers of every sort, from blue broadcloth,
gold-striped, to the homely fustian,--and a rare show they made.
They went fours right or fours left with a fine military jangle, and
sometimes went fours right and fours left at the same time, with results
disastrous to military order. Then it was good to see and hear the fat
Dorn as he caracoled in a field-marshal's uniform, and barked his orders
at the disordered crowd like a field-marshal to the manner born.

Monsieur Dorn being thus gloriously lifted into the range of the public
eye, Lil seemed to take added airs of importance. I say _seemed_, but
that is only because of the foolish and ignorant habit into which I was
born and educated. Ever since I can remember, people have been telling
stories to prove that dogs have some sort of intelligence, as if--except
to the most stupid and the blindest--the thing had ever stood in need
of proof. There is nothing much more fatal to the apprehension of a fact
than the constant causeless repetition of it. And then the tales of
the intelligence of dogs are told as a general thing with a sort of
wide-eyed wonder, so that the dog's very advocates contrive to impress
their readers with the belief that their commonplace bit of history is

Of course there are clever dogs and dull dogs, just as there are
sages and idiots, but any dog who was not a fool would have known and
recognised his master's splendour and importance if he had belonged
at this epoch to Monsieur Dorn. Lil saw him sitting up there in vivid
colours, heard him shouting in a voice of authority, and saw people
answer to that voice There was not a Christian in the crowd who had a
better understanding of the situation. To see her running in and out
amongst the horses' feet, ordering the sham dragoons and hussars about
in her own language, was to know she understood the thing, and had
invested herself with some of her master's glory. Wherever she went,
in and out and about, Schwartz, with his meek spikes raging in all
directions, followed, close at heel. Almost everybody has seen the loud
aggressive swaggering boy with the meek admiring small boy in his train.
The small boy glorifies the other in his mind, setting him on a level
with Three-Fingered Jack, or Goliath's conqueror, and the aggressive
boy, feeling rather than understanding the other's reverence, does his
best to look as if he deserved it. To see Lil swagger and to hear her
bark, and to see the foolish humble Schwartz follow her, admiring her,
believing in her, utterly borne away by her insolent pretence that the
whole show was got up by her orders--to observe this was to see one half
the world in little.

On other days Lil was as other dogs, except, perhaps, to the
love-blinded eyes of Schwartz, but on Sundays, so long as the drills
for the procession lasted, the field was all her own. One or two of
her companions, carried away by her example, dared to run amongst
the horses' feet and bark. They were promptly kicked into the ring of
spectators, and Lil was left alone in her glory. Of course it all went
with his own confiding nature, and the state of complete slavery in
which he lived, to persuade Schwartz of her greatness. She deserves at
least that one truth should be admitted. She never gave her admirer
the least encouragement so far as I could see. She never in a chance
encounter in the street paused to exchange good-morrow. She never so
much as turned a head in his direction. She tolerated his presence
and that was all. But wherever she went he shadowed her. He was not
obtrusive, but was content to keep at heel, and to be permitted to
admire. I have seen him sit for half an hour on a doorstep, a canine
monument of patience, waiting for her to come out, and I have seen her
travel about the _Place_ in apparently purposeless zigzags and circles
for the mere pride and vanity of knowing how closely he would follow her
least reasonable movements.

A week or two before the grand event came off there was a prodigious
excitement in Janenne. An idea, originating in the military spirit of
Monsieur Dorn, had been industriously put about, a subscription had been
set on foot for it, a committee had been appointed to superintend its
working, and now the glorious fancy was actually translated into fact.
The procession was to be supplemented by artillery, and now here was a
time-eaten old gun, mounted on a worm-eaten old carriage, and trailed in
harness of rope by two stalwart Flemish horses. Here also was gunpowder
enough to wreck the village, and the Janennois, who for a moral people
have a most astounding love of noise, were out at earliest dawn of light
on Sunday morning to see the gun fired. The first firing was supposed to
be an experiment, and everybody was warned to a safe distance when the
gun was loaded, whilst Monsieur Dorn arranged a train of powder, and set
a slow match in connection with it. When the bang came and the old iron
stood the strain everybody went wild with joy, and even Monsieur Dorn
himself was so carried away by the general enthusiasm that he tested
the piece all morning. It was finally discovered that the powder
was exhausted, and the hat had to be sent round again for a new

The annual procession is far and away the greatest event of the year
at Janenne, and the septennial procession would of itself be enough to
satisfy any resident in the village that he had lived if he had but seen
it once. Nobody dreamed of spoiling the procession for the sake of a
cart-load or so of gunpowder, and the hat was soon filled. Next Sunday
Janenne enjoyed a new series of experiments on the big gun, and what
with the banging of the drum, and the blowing of the bugle, and the
flaming of torches in the dark morning, and the banging of the big gun
from dawn till noon, and the clatter and glitter of the drill in the
after part of the short winter day, the atmosphere of the village was
altogether warlike.

The big gun gave Lil an added claim on the veneration of her admirer. On
the morning of the second firing she came demurely down to the field in
which the artillery experiments were conducted, with an air of knowing
all about it, and Schwartz, as usual, pursued her. The gun was sponged
and loaded, and the charge was rammed home under Monsieur Dorn's
supervision, Lil standing gravely by, and Schwartz grovelling in her
neighbourhood. Then the old _gendarme_ himself primed the piece,
and taking a torch from a boy who stood near him applied it to the
touch-hole. Out at the muzzle sprang the answering flame and roar,
and away went Schwartz as if he had been projected by the force of
the powder. Panic declared itself in every hair, and his usual foolish
three-legged amble was exchanged for a pace like that of a greyhound. He
had gone but a hundred yards at most, when reason resumed her seat. He
stopped and turned, and after a little pause came back with an evident
shamefacedness. Lil had stood her ground without the slightest sign of
fear, and when Schwartz returned she took to looking so triumphantly,
and superintended the subsequent operations with so much authority, that
I am profoundly convinced of her intent to persuade her slavish follower
that this was some new and astonishing form of bark of which she alone
possessed the secret.

Schwartz was most probably willing to believe anything she told him. It
is the way of some natures to confide, and it is the way of others to
presume upon their confidence.


Janenne is on the outskirts of the Forest Country, and in the shooting
season the _chasseur_ is a familiar personage. He arrives by evening
train or diligence, half a dozen strong. He sups and betakes himself to
the singing of comic songs with choruses, moistening and mellowing his
vocal chords with plenteous burgundy. Long after everybody else has gone
to bed, he tramps in chorus along the echoing unclothed corridor, and
he and his chums open bedroom doors to shout Belgian scraps of _facetio_
at each other, or to cast prodigious boots upon the sounding boards.
Then long before anybody else has a mind to rise, he is up again
promenading the corridor like a multiplied copy of the giant in the
_Castle of Otranto_. He rolls away in the darkness with the cracking of
whips and jingling of bells, and sleep and silence settle down again.
At night he is back to supper with tales of big game multitudinous as
Laban's flocks, and a bag unaccountably empty. That same evening he is
away to desk or counter or studio in Brussels, Antwerp, or Liège, and
Janenne falls back into its normal peace.

It was mid-December, and the snow was falling in powdery flakes, when
a sportsman alighted at the Hotel des Postes, and at the first glance
I knew him for a countryman. He was a fine, frank, free-hearted young
fellow, one of the most easily likable of youngsters, and we were on
friendly terms together before the first evening was over. He knew a
number of people in the neighbourhood, had received a dozen invitations
to shoot, or thereabouts, and meant to put up three weeks at Janenne,
so he told me, shooting when sport was to be had, and on other days
tramping about the country. He was accompanied by a bull-terrier, who
answered to the name of Scraper, a handsome creature of his kind, with
one eye in permanent mourning.

'Of course he's no good,' said the young fellow, in answer to an
observation of mine, 'but then he's perfectly tamed, and therefore he's
no harm. He'll stay where he's told; and I believe the poor beggar would
break his heart if I left him behind. Wouldn't you, old chap?'

The young sportsman went away to the chase next morning, taking his
bull-terrier with him, and returning at night reported Scraper's perfect
good behaviour. In the course of that evening's talk I spoke of certain
peculiarities I had noticed in the formation of the country, and my new
acquaintance proposed that on an idle day of his next week we should
take a walk of exploration. When the day came we started together, and I
showed him some of the curiosities of nature I had noticed.

Round and about Janenne the world is hollow. The hills are mere bubbles,
and the earth is honeycombed with caverns. By the side of the road which
leads to Houssy a river accompanies the traveller's steps, purling and
singing, and talking secrets (as shallow pebbly-bedded streams have a
way of doing), and on a sudden the traveller misses it. There, before
him, is a river bed, wide, white, and stony, but where is the river? If
he be a curious traveller he will retrace his steps, and will find the
stream racing with some impetuosity towards a bend, where it dwindles by
apparent miracle into nothing. The curious traveller, naturally growing
more curious than common in the presence of these phenomena, will,
at some risk to his neck, descend the bank, and make inquiry into the
reason for the disappearance of the stream. He will see nothing to
account for it, but he will probably arrive at the conclusion that there
are fissures in the river's bed, through which the water falls to feed
the subterranean stream, of which he is pretty certain to have heard
or read. If he will walk back a mile, against the course of the stream,
will cross the main street of Janenne, strike the Montcourtois Road
there, and cross the river bridge, he will see a cavern lipped by the
flowing water, and in that cavern, only a foot or so below the level of
the open-air stream, he will find its subterranean continuation. It has
worked back upon itself in this secret way, by what strange courses no
man knows or can guess. But that the stream is the same has been proved
by a device at once ingenious and simple. Colouring matter of various
sorts has from time to time been thrown into the water at its place
of disappearance, and the tinted stream has poured, hours and hours
afterwards, through the cavern, which is only a mile away, and stands so
near the earlier stream that in times of rain the waters mingle there.

On the sides of the hills, and in the brushwood which clothes their
feet, one finds all manner of holes and caves and crevices, some of them
very shallow, and some of them of unknown depth. In the Bois de Janenne
alone there are four or five of them.

All this has strictly to do with the history of Schwartz, as will by and
by be seen.

When heavy rains fall the river is so swollen that the underground call
upon its resources fails to drain it, and it foams above the fissures in
full volume, so wild and deep that a passer-by would never guess of the
curious trick of nature which is here being played. But the season being
exceptionally dry, I was able to show my find, and from the spot of
the stream's disappearance I led my acquaintance to the cavern. Here
prowling about in a light-footed and adventurous fashion the young
Englishman found a hole in the wall of stone, and, venturing into it,
discovered to his great delight a passage which seemed to lead into the
very entrails of the hill. He proposed instantly to explore this, and I
having that morning purchased of the local tobacconist a box of Italian
vestas, each three or four inches long, and calculated to burn for
several minutes, and having the same in my pocket at the moment, we set
out together on a journey of adventure. The passage varied in width
from six to three feet, and in height from eight feet upwards. The faint
illumination of the big wax vestas often failed to touch the roof. The
way was sometimes over ankle deep in a thick mud, and sometimes strewn
with fragments of rock which had fallen from the roof; but we went
on gaily until we came to a great slippery boulder, which blocked
the passage for some three feet in height. My companion was in act to
clamber over this, when the light I carried pinched my thumb and finger
with sudden heat, and I dropped it on to the ground. I struck another,
and found the youngster perched upon the boulder.

'Wait a moment,' said I, 'and let us see what is beyond. There may be a
deepish hole there.'

We leaned over, and could see nothing. My companion got down from the
boulder with a grave look.

'I was just going to jump when you spoke,' he said. 'Lucky I didn't. I
wonder how deep it is?'

We hunted about for a stone, and by and by found one about the size of
a man's head. This the youngster tossed over the boulder into
the darkness, and we stood looking at each other, by the little
clear-burning light of the wax match. I do not know how long we stood
there, for time has a knack of magnifying itself beyond belief in such
conditions, but it was long, long before an awful hollow boom came
rolling to our ears from the depth. We turned without a word, and
stumbled back towards the daylight, and when we reached it I looked
at the young Englishman and saw that all the roses had faded from his
healthy young cheeks, and that he was as gray as ashes.

'I was going to jump when you spoke,' he said. 'Precious lucky for me I

I congratulated him very heartily on not having jumped, and our search
for natural wonders being ended we went back to the hotel. We made
inquiry there--at first in vain--about this inner cavern, but at last
we came across the Garde Champêtre of the district, who told us that the
depth was unknown. He and some of his friends had had the curiosity to
try to measure it, but they never had rope enough.

It befell on the morning of the next day that I wandered out alone, and
in the course of the first score yards encountered Schwartz, who was
demonstrative of friendly civilities. I returned his salutations, and he
gave me to understand in his own too-humble manner that he would like to
accompany me. I let him know that I should be delighted by his society,
and away we went together. The ground was firm with last night's frost
and musical to the sabots of peasants and the iron-shod feet of horses.
The hills and fields were covered with a powdery snow that threw their
grays into a dark relief, and the air was so still that I could hear the
bell-like tinkle of chisel and stone from the quarry nearly a mile
away. We entered the Bois de Janenne together, and wandered through its
branchy solitudes by many winding pathways. There is a main road running
through this wood, cut by order of the commune for the pleasure of
visitors, and the middle of this road was white with a thin untrodden
snow. On either side this ribbon of white lay a narrower ribbon of gold
where the pines had shed their yellow needles and the overhanging
boughs had guarded them from the falling snow. The ground ivy was of all
imaginable colours, but only yielded its secrets on a close examination,
and did not call upon the eye like some of the louder reds and yellows
which still clung to the trees. Here and there the _fusain_ burned like
a flame with its vivid scarlet berries--_chapeau de curé_ the country
people call them, though the colour is a little too gay for less than a
cardinal's wearing. For the most part the undergrowth was bare, and the
branches were either purple or of the tone of a ripe filbert, so that
the atmosphere, with the reflected dull golds and bluish-reds and
reddish-blues, was in a swimming maze like that of a sunset distance,
though the eye could scarcely pierce twenty yards into the thick-grown

Schwartz and I rambled along, now and then exchanging a sign of friendly
interest, and in a while we left the main path and wandered where we
would. Suddenly Schwartz began to hunt and sniff and bark on what I
supposed to be the recent trace of a rabbit or a hare, and I stood
still to watch him. He worried industriously here and there until he
disappeared behind a clump of brushwood, and then I heard a sudden
'Yowk!' of unmistakable terror. After this there was dead silence. I
called, but there was not even the rustle of a leaf in answer. I waited
a while and called again, but still no answer came. Not in the least
guessing what had befallen the dog, I mounted the hillside and came to
the clump of bushes behind which he had disappeared. There I found a
hole some three feet wide and two in height, a hole with sides of moist
earth, formed like an irregularly-shaped funnel, and affording at its
farther end little more than room enough for a creature of Schwartz's
size to pass. At the narrow end the earth was freshly disturbed.

I shouted down this reversed trumpet of a hole. I listened after every
call I explored the place so far as I could with a six-foot wand cut
from a near tree. I heard no movement, no whine of distress, and I
touched nothing with the wand except the roof of the cavern into which
poor Schwartz had fallen. At length I gave him up for dead, remembering
the adventure of the day before, the terrible space of time which had
elapsed before the echo of the fallen boulder came booming from the
abyss, and thinking it as likely as not that Schwartz had fallen to an
equal depth. When I got back to the hotel I told the tale as well as I
could, and one of the servants took the news to Schwartz's master.

When once this lamentable accident had happened, it became surprising to
learn how frequently its like had happened before. There was scarcely
a sportsman in the village who had not his story of some such
disappearance of a dog whilst out shooting. The poor beast would become
excited in pursuit of game, would dash headlong into a set of bushes and
emerge no more. Then a moment's examination would reveal the fatal cave.
I am certain that I heard a good half-score of such histories. The cave,
by the way, was not always fatal, for I heard of cases in which the dog
had been known to find his way out of the underground labyrinth, and
return home dreadfully thin and hungry, but otherwise undamaged. These
cases gave me some faint hope for Schwartz, but as day after day went by
the hope faded, and I made up my mind that I had seen the last of him.
I was sorry to think so, for he had been very much a friend and a


It was curious to notice how that unquestioning allegiance and
admiration which the missing Schwartz had been used to bestow on Lil
was now bestowed by her on the new-comer who answered to the name of
Scraper, and how in answer to all her advances and endearments Scraper
remained scornful and unreceptive. One knows a hundred poems and
legends in which this form of vengeance is taken upon the cruel fair; in
which the proud lady who has scorned the humble and faithful heart lives
to be scorned in turn. Scraper, probably unconscious of his mission as
avenger, fulfilled it none the less on that account.

His master, being an Englishman, had the common English reverence for
the Sunday, and would not shoot on that day, though by his conscientious
abstention he missed, undoubtedly, the best battue the country-side
afforded. We had a brief discussion as to the morality and propriety
of the procession, and I pointed out to him that notwithstanding the
military element by which it was so strongly marked, it was purely
sacerdotal in origin and pious in intent, but he merely replied that as
a form of religious exercise for a Sunday it struck him as being jolly
rum. He added shortly afterwards that whether he looked at it or not the
coves would do it, and that he therefore felt at liberty to watch them.

Scraper displayed the profoundest interest in the business, and took
upon himself the organisation of the whole affair, barking with so much
authority, and careering about the cavalry squadron with such untiring
energy that he threw Lil's efforts in that way into the shade, and
in the course of a mere half-hour had superseded her. Then, just as
Schwartz had been used, with every evidence of faith, to follow Lil,
regarding her as the very mainspring of the military movement, Lil
followed Scraper. Mr. Herbert Spencer has shown that, in spite of the
apparent unreasonableness of the fact, humbug and credulity are sworn
companions. The savage mystery man, who knows what a humbug he himself
is, is the first to yield allegiance and faith to the abler humbug,
who has more tricks or bolder invention than he. So, Lil's groundless
pretensions of a week ago did not seem in the least to prevent her from
being imposed upon by the groundless pretensions of Scraper, much as one
might have thought her own career of imposture would have set her upon
her guard. She had caught that very fawning method of appeal for a kind
regard which had once distinguished Schwartz, and it was obvious that
Scraper could make no claim to which she would not be ready to give
adhesion. It is in the very nature of poetical justice that it satisfies
the emotions, and I was not displeased to see affairs take this sudden
turn, to view the hard and despiteful heart thus humbled.

It was on a Friday that Schwartz's chase had ended so disastrously. It
was on the following Sunday that Lil laid down the honours of command at
the feet of the new-comer. It was on the Sunday following, the ninth day
clear from the date of the mischance, that the great event of the seven
years took place. My young acquaintance had two or three days free of
engagements, and he spent these in watching the preparations for the
procession. He spoke French with a fluency and purity which excited my
envy, and he spent most of his spare time among the village people, who
talked and thought and dreamed of nothing but the procession. Wherever
he went Scraper accompanied him, and wherever Scraper went Lil was to be
seen following in fascinated admiration.

For a whole week the drum had known but little rest. I never learned the
purpose of the proceeding, but every day and all day, from long before
daylight till long after dark, somebody marched about the village and
rattled unceasingly upon the drum. It could not possibly have been one
man who did it all, for the energies of no one man that ever lived could
have been equal to the task. Most of the time it was far away, and it
only made two daily promenades past the hotel, but whenever I listened
for it I could hear it, beating the same unweary rataplan. Then at
intervals all day and every day, the big gun boomed and the clarion
blared until I used to dream that I was back at Plevna or the Shipka
Pass, and could not get my "copy" to London and New York because
Monsieur Dorn had filled the Houssy Wood with Cossacks from Janenne. It
may be supposed that all this _charivari_ was but an evil thing for
a man as much in need of rest as I was, but I verily believe that the
noise and bustle of the preparations, though they robbed me now and then
of an hour of morning sleep, were almost as useful to me as the idleness
I enjoyed, and the tranquil country air into which I could drive or
wander afoot whenever the fancy for perfect quiet came upon me.

At last the great day dawned, and the great event dawned earlier than
the day. At five o'clock the noise of drum and clarion began, and the
light of torches flared on the painted fronts of houses--yellow and pink
and blue--in the quaint old village street. A little later a band came
by with shattering brass and booming drum, and for an hour or so the
whole place was in a ferment. The cavalry came clattering into the
_Place_, the hoarse voice of Monsieur Dorn barked through the orders
which had by this time grown conventional, and his squadron jingled for
the last time for seven years through the movements he had taught them
at the expense of so much time and lung power. Then a strange foreboding
sort of quiet, an unnatural tranquillity, settled upon everything and
continued until near upon the hour of ten. A long waggon drawn by four
oxen excited, by the freight it bore, a momentary curiosity, and brought
faces to doors and windows. The air was keen to-day, and we were at the
very season of mid-winter, but in the waggon which the four slow
oxen dragged through the streets of Janenne were a dozen lofty shrubs
reaching to a height of eight or nine feet at least, the which shrubs
were one mass of exotic-looking blossom. I discovered later on that
they were nothing more than a set of young pines with artificial paper
flowers attached to every twig, but the effect as they went down the
wintry street in their clothing of gold and rose and white with the
live green of the fir peeping through the wealth of bloom was quite an
astonishment in its way. These decorated shrubs were set at the church
porch, and seemed to fill the whole of that part of the street with
colour and light.

When the procession came at last there was one curious thing about it.
Such a crowd of people--for Janenne took part in it--that there was
scarcely anybody left to look at it. But then the processionists had the
pleasure of looking at each other. The band came first, in blue blouse
and clean white trousers. Then came the soldiery, a motley crew, with
Monsieur Dorn at their head, drawn sword in hand, and next to him
a personage who might have been translated clean from Astley's--a
gentleman in long hose, with a flower on each shoe, and a hat of red
velvet shaped like a bread tray, decorated with prodigious coloured
feathers, and a slashed doublet gay with many knots of bright ribbon.
Years and years ago Janenne had a Count and a _château_. The ruins of
the _château_ still kept gray guard over the village street; but there
is not even a ruin left of the old family. But in the day when Our Lady
of Lorette stayed the local pestilence the existing Count of Janenne was
pious enough to ride in the promised procession; and for a century or so
the magnate of the village and its neighbourhood was never absent from
the demonstration of thanksgiving. In a while, however, the Counts of
Janenne took to wildish ways, and, leaving the home of their ancestors,
went away to Paris and led extravagant lives there, gambling and
drinking, and squandering their substance in other and even more foolish
fashions, and at last there ceased to be estates of Janenne to draw
upon, or even Counts of Janenne to draw. But before things came to this
pass the absentee Counts had always sent a representative to join the
procession to the shrine of Our Lady of Lorette; and it has come about
that the legend has clung in the popular fancy even unto the present
day. Somebody--anybody--gets himself up in theatrical guise, and rides
at the head of the military forces, between the first rank and the
commander-in-chief, as the representative of that extinct great house.
On this occasion it was a red-cheeked shy young man, cousin to the
chambermaid of the Hotel des Postes, a peasant proprietor who farmed,
and still farms, some ten or a dozen hectares of sour land on the road
to Montcourtois. The red-cheeked shy young man's female cousin exchanged
a red-cheeked, shame-faced, rustic grin with him as he rode by, and the
young man, in imitation of Monsieur Dorn, made his horse caracole, but
being less versed in horsemanship than the old _gendarme_, had to hold
on ignominiously by the mane in payment for his own temerity.

Following the military came a long array of little girls in white
muslin, with sashes blue or red. Half a dozen nuns kept watch over them,
pacing sombre in white head-dresses and black gowns by the side of all
that smiling troop of glad hearts and childish faces. All the little
girls carried bannerets of bright colour, and all went bareheaded,
after the manner of the district, where no woman, short of the highest
fashion, ever permits herself to wear hat or bonnet, except when going
to mass or upon a railway journey. White childish locks, braided and
shining, red locks, brown locks, black locks, with bright faces under
all, went streaming by, and then a solemn priest or two headed a
rambling host of lads with well-scrubbed cheeks and clean collars, and
decent raiment of church-going Sunday black. Then came a flock of young
women in white muslin, very starched and stiff, with blue bows and blue
sashes. In front of these two stalwart wenches bore a flapping banner,
inscribed 'La Jeunesse de Janenne'; and closing up the rank of Janenne's
youth and rustic beauty came half a dozen chosen damsels, big limbed and
strong, bearing on their shoulders a huge waxen statue of Our Lady of
Lorette, and in her arms a crowned child, she herself being crowned with
glittering tinsel, and robed in a glowing and diaphanous stuff, which
only half revealed the white satin and spangles of the dress below
it. Then a number of chubby-cheeked little boys in semi-ecclesiastical
costume, improvised--no doubt under clerical supervision--by careful
hands at home. Each little boy carried a fuming censer, and it was not
difficult to see that they were well pleased with themselves and their
office. After them came the _doyen_ in full ecclesiastical costume, a
little tawdry perhaps, for the village is but poor and with the best
heart in the world can only imitate the real splendours from afar. Then
following the _doyen_ (who, by the way, marched under a canopy like the
roof of an old-fashioned four-post bedstead) came the male choir of the
church, chanting a musical service, which harmonised indifferently with
the strains of the military band in front. Then the big gun, drawn
by the two big Flemish horses. Then Jacques, Jules, André, François,
Chariot, Pierre, Joseph, Jean, and all the rest, in sabots, short
trousers, and blue blouses, marching bareheaded with reverent air, and
with them Julie, and Fifine, and Nana, and Adèle, and other feminine
relatives, all in their Sunday best, and all devout in mien. Then, at a
little distance--the most astonishing and unlooked-for tail to all this
village splendour and devoutness--Schwartz.

Schwartz himself, but Schwartz so changed, so lean, so woebegone, as
hardly to be recognisable, even to the eye of friendship. Of all his
diverse-raging hairs not one to assert itself, but all plastered close
with an oily sleekness by a slimy clinging mud, the thin ribs showing
plainly, and the hinder part of the poor wretch's barrel a mere
hand-grasp. His very tail, which had used to look like an irregular
much-worn bottle-brush, was thin and sleek like a rat's, and he tucked
it away as if he were ashamed of it. His feet were clotted with red
earth, and he walked as if his head were a burden to him, he hung it so
mournfully and carried it so low.

My young English acquaintance, who, like myself, had been watching the
procession, had posted himself a little farther down the road, with
Scraper near at hand. Near to him, employing all the ingratiatory
insinuating arts she knew, and so absorbed in Scraper that she forgot
even to direct the procession, was Lil. To her, fawning and whining in
such an excess of feeble joy as can be rarely known to dogs or man,
came the half-starved, half-drowned creature. I was already halfway
to Schwartz's rescue, with immediate milk, to be followed by soap
and water, in my mind, but I stopped to see how Lil would receive
the returned companion of old days. It is scarcely probable that dogs
believe in ghosts, and yet it would have been easy to fancy that she saw
in him at first some purely supernatural apparition, she recoiled
with so obvious a surprise and terror when she first beheld him. The
wretched, propitiatory, humbly-ecstatic Schwartz advanced, but she
showed her gleaming teeth, and growled aversion. He stopped stock-still,
and whined a little, and Lil responded furiously. I took the returned
wanderer up in both hands, and carried him into the hotel scullery, and
got milk for him. He lapped it with tears running down his muddy nose;
and when I had had him washed and tucked away into an old railway rug,
beside a stove in the little room, he lay there winking and
blinking, and licked at his own tears with an expression altogether
broken-hearted. I should have liked to have known something of the
history of his subterranean wanderings, but that was only to be left to
conjecture. I bade him be of better cheer, and went outside to wait for
the return of the procession, and to smoke a cigar in the open air,
and an hour later found that Schwartz had again disappeared. This time,
however, he had merely gone home, and though for a day or two he was
quite an invalid, he was soon about the streets again, completely

And now I come to the relation of the one tragic fact which seemed to
me to make this simple history worth writing. I hope that nobody will
regard it as an invention, or will suppose that I am trading upon their
sympathies on false pretences.

On the day of the young Englishman's departure I accompanied him to the
railway station. Lil came down in attendance upon Scraper, and barked
fiercely at the departing train which bore him away. Schwartz followed
in humble pursuit of Lil, who, so far as I could understand affairs, had
never forgiven him for intruding himself in so unpresentable a guise,
and claiming acquaintance whilst she was engaged in conversation with a
swell like Scraper. From that hour she had refused to hold the slightest
communion with him, showing her teeth and growling in the cruellest
way whenever he approached her. In spite of this, Schwartz seemed to be
persuaded that, in the absence of his rival, he still stood a chance,
and day after day he followed her with the old fawning humbleness, and
day after day she received him with the same anger and disdain.

On a certain Wednesday afternoon the air was wonderfully mild and dry.
It was early in January, but the weather was so fine that I had not even
need of an overcoat, as I sat in the sunshine smoking and reading. I had
seen Monsieur Dorn enter the opposite house, taking Lil with him, and
Schwartz had settled himself on the doorstep, as usual, to await her
exit. I called him to me, and he crossed over, but soon returned and
resumed his place, and sat there waiting still. After a considerable
time the door opened, and Monsieur Dorn and Lil emerged together.
I looked up at that moment, and saw Lil make a savage dart at her
too-persistent worshipper. Monsieur Dorn beat them apart, but Schwartz
had attempted no resistance. He was rather badly bitten, and when I
picked him up the tears were running fast down his nose, and he was
feebly licking at them, and whining to himself in a way which indicated
the extremest weakness of spirit. I sat down with him, and comforted
the poor-hearted creature, and he seemed grateful, for he licked my hand
repeatedly, but he did not cease to whine and weep.

By and by I heard, though I did not notice it at the time, the warning
whistle of the approaching train. The station is little more than a
stone's throw from the hotel. Schwartz made a leap, licked my face,
jumped from the bench, and ambled away. I never saw him alive again,
for, on the testimony of the signalman, he ran down to the railway line,
stretched himself upon one of the rails, and, in spite of a stone the
man threw at him when the train had advanced dangerously near to him, he
held his place until the wheels passed over his body.

His remains were buried in his master's back garden. I know that he knew
full well what he was doing when he stretched himself upon the rail, and
I know that his feeble and affectionate heart was broken before he did

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Schwartz: A History - From "Schwartz" by David Christie Murray" ***

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we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.