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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 6, May, 1896
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 6, May, 1896" ***

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[Illustration: MILLET'S COAT OF ARMS.

the little drawings which Millet was accustomed to make for
acquaintances and collectors of autographs, and which he laughingly
called his "_armes parlantes_."]


in 1847, Sensier, in his "Life" of Millet, says: "It is in crayon, and
life-sized. The head is melancholy, like that of Albert Dürer; the
profound regard is filled with intelligence and goodness."]



MAY, 1896.

No. 6.




These papers, disclaiming any other authority than that which appertains
to the conclusions of a practising painter who has thought deeply on the
subject of his art, have nevertheless avoided the personal equation as
much as possible. A conscientious endeavor has been made to consider the
work of each painter in the place which has been assigned him by the
concensus of opinion in the time which has elapsed since his work was
done. In the consideration of Jean François Millet, however, I desire
for the nonce to become less impersonal, for the reason that it was my
privilege to know him slightly, and in the case of one who as a man and
as a painter occupies a place so entirely his own, the value of recorded
personal impressions is greater, at least for purposes of record, than
the registration of contemporary opinion concerning him.

I must further explain that, as a young student who received at his
hands the kindly reception which the master, stricken in health, and
preoccupied with his work, vouchsafed, I could only know him
superficially. It may have been the spectacle of youthful enthusiasm, or
the modest though dignified recognition of the reverence with which I
approached him, that made this grave man unbend; but it is certain that
the few times when I was permitted to enter the rudely built studio at
Barbizon have remained red-letter days in my life, and on each occasion
I left Millet with an impression so strong and vital that now, after a
lapse of twenty years, the work which he showed me, and the words which
he uttered, are as present as though it all had occurred yesterday. The
reverence which I then felt for this great man was born of his works, a
few of which I had seen in 1873 in Paris; and their constant study, and
the knowledge of his life and character gained since then, have
intensified this feeling.


picture in the Salon of 1861, which is now owned by Mr. Quincy Shaw,
Boston, Massachusetts. Charles Jacque, who had quarrelled with Millet,
after seeing this picture, went to him and said: "We cannot be friends;
but I have come to say that you have painted a masterpiece."]

Jean François Millet was born October 4, 1814, in the hamlet of Gruchy,
a mere handful of houses which lie in a valley descending to the sea, in
the department of the Manche, not far from Cherbourg. He was the
descendant of a class which has no counterpart in England or America,
and which in his native France has all but disappeared. The rude
forefathers of our country may have in a degree resembled the French
peasant of Millet's youth; but their Protestant belief made them more
independent in thought, and the problems of a new country, and the lack
of stability inherent to the colonist, robbed them of the fanatical love
of the earth, which is perhaps the strongest trait of the peasant. Every
inch of the ground up to the cliffs above the sea, in Millet's country,
represented the struggle of man with nature; and each parcel of land,
every stone in the walls which kept the earth from being engulfed in the
floods beneath, bore marks of his handiwork. Small wonder, then, that
this rude people should engender the painter who has best expressed the
intimate relation between the man of the fields and his ally and foe,
the land which he subjugates, and which in turn enslaves him. The
inherent, almost savage, independence of the peasant had kept him freer
and of a nobler type than the English yokel even in the time before the
Revolution, and in the little hamlet where Millet was born, the great
upheaval had meant but little. Remote from the capital, cultivating land
which but for their efforts would have been abandoned as worthless,
every man was a land-owner in a small degree, and the patrimony of
Millet sufficed for a numerous family of which he was the eldest son.
Sufficed, that is, for a Spartan subsistence, made up of unrelaxing
toil, with few or no comforts, save those of a spiritual nature which
came in the guise of religion.


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. This picture, popularly
known as "The man with the hoe," was the cause of much discussion at the
time of its exhibition. Millet was accused of socialism; of inciting the
peasants to revolt; and from his quiet retreat in the country, he
defended himself in a letter to his friend Sensier as follows: "I see
very clearly the aureole encircling the head of the daisy, and the sun
which glows beyond, far, far over the country-side, its glory in the
skies; I see, not less clearly, the smoking plough-horses in the plain,
and in a rocky corner a man bent with labor, who groans as he works, or
who for an instant tries to straighten himself to catch his breath. The
drama is enveloped in splendor. This is not of my creation; the
expression, 'the cry of the earth,' was invented long ago."]

Millet was reared by his grandmother, such being the custom of the
country; the younger women being occupied in the service of the
mastering earth, and the elders, no longer able to go afield, bringing
up the children born to their children, who in turn replaced their
parents in the never-ending struggle. This grandmother, Louise Jumelin,
widow of Nicolas Millet, was a woman of great force of character, and
extremely devout. The most ordinary occupation of the day was made the
subject not of uttered prayer, for that would have entailed suspension
of her ceaseless activity, but of spiritual example tersely expressed,
which fell upon the fruitful soil of Millet's young imagination, and
left such a lasting impression that to the end of his life his natural
expression was almost Biblical in character of language.

Another formative influence of this young life was that of a granduncle,
Charles Millet, a priest who, driven from his church by the Revolution,
had returned to his native village and taken up the simple life of his
people, without, however, abandoning his vocation. He was to be seen
behind his plough, his priest's robe gathered up about his loins, his
breviary in one hand, following the furrow up and down the undulating
fields which ran to the cliffs.


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. Probably commenced at
Cherbourg, where Millet took refuge with his family during the
Franco-Prussian War, as Sensier mentions it on Millet's return. This
picture, or a replica of it (Millet was fond of repeating his subjects,
with slight changes in each case), was in his studio in 1873, and called
forth the remark quoted in the text, about the women in his country.]

Gifted with great strength, he piled up great masses of granite, to
reclaim a precious morsel of earth from the hungry maw of the sea;
lifting his voice, as he worked, in resonant chants of the church. He it
was who taught Millet to read; and, later, it was another priest, the
Abbé Jean Lebrisseux, who, in the intervals of the youth's work in the
fields, where he had early become an efficient aid to his father,
continued his instruction. With the avidity of intelligence Millet
profited by this instruction, not only in the more ordinary studies, but
in Latin, with the Bible and Virgil as text-books. His mind was also
nourished by the books belonging to the scanty library of his
granduncle. These were of a purely religious character--the "History of
the Saints," the "Confessions" of St. Augustine, the letters of St.
Jerome, and the works of Bossuet and Fénelon.


"The three fates of pauperism" was the disdainful appreciation of Paul
de Saint-Victor on the first exhibition of this picture, while Edmond
About wrote: "The picture attracts one from afar by its air of grandeur
and serenity. It has the character of a religious painting. It is drawn
without fault, and colored without crudity; and one feels the August sun
which ripens the wheat." Sensier says: "The picture sold with difficulty
for four hundred dollars. What is it worth to-day?"]

In his father, whose strongest characteristic was an intense love of
nature, Millet found an unconscious influence in the direction which his
life was to follow. Millet recalled in after life that he would show him
a blade of grass or a flower, and say: "See how beautiful; how the
petals overlap; and the tree there, how strong and fine it is!" It was
his father who was attentive to the youth's first rude efforts, and who
encouraged him when the decisive step was to be taken, which Millet,
feeling that his labor in the fields was necessary to the common good of
the family, hesitated to take. The boy was in his eighteenth year when
his father said:

"My poor François, you are tormented between your desire to be an artist
and your duty to the family. Now that your brothers are growing, they
can take their turn in the fields. I have long wished that you could be
instructed in the craft of the painter, which I am told is so noble, and
we will go to Cherbourg and see what can be done."


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. Despite its fame, this
is distinctly not Millet's masterpiece. During his life it sold for
about ten thousand dollars, and later for one hundred and fifty

Thus encouraged, the boy made two drawings--one of two shepherds in
blouse and _sabots_, one listening while the other played a rustic
flute; and a second where, under a starlit sky, a man came from out a
house, carrying bread for a mendicant at his gate. Armed with these two
designs--typical of the work which in the end, after being led astray by
schools and popular taste, he was to do--the two peasants sought a local
painter named Mouchel at Cherbourg. After a moment of doubt as to the
originality of the youth's work, Mouchel offered to teach him all that
he knew.

Millet stayed with Mouchel some months. Then his father's death recalled
him home, where his honest spirit prompted him to remain as the eldest
son and head of the family, although his heart was less than ever in the
fields. But this the mother, brought up in the spirit of resignation,
would not allow him to do. "God has made you a painter. His will be
done. Your father, my Jean Louis, has said it was to be, and you must
return to Cherbourg."

Millet returned to Cherbourg, this time to the studio of one Langlois, a
pupil of Gros, who was the principal painter of the little city. But
Langlois, like his first master, Mouchel, kept him at work copying
either his own studies or pictures in the city museum. After a few
months, though, he had the honesty to recognize that his pupil needed
more efficient instruction than he could give him, and in August, 1836,
he addressed a petition to the mayor and common council of the city of
Cherbourg, who took the matter into consideration, and, with the
authorities of the department, voted a sum of one thousand francs--two
hundred dollars--as a yearly allowance to Millet, in order that he might
pursue his studies in Paris. Langlois in his petition asks that he be
permitted to "raise without fear the veil of the future, and to assure
the municipal council a place in the memory of the world for having been
the first to endow their country with one more great name."
Grandiloquent promise has often been made without result; but one must
admire the hard-headed Norman councillors who, representing a little
provincial city which in 1884 had but thirty-six thousand inhabitants,
gave even this modest sum to assure a future to one who might reflect
honor on his country.


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. A notable instance of
the scope of Millet's power, as tender in depicting children as it is
austere in "The Gleaners."]

With a portion, of this allowance, and a small addition from the
"economies" of his mother and grandmother, Millet went to Paris in 1837.
The great city failed to please the country-bred youth, and, indeed,
until the end of his life, Millet disliked Paris. I remember his saying
that, on his visits from Barbizon to the capital, he was happy on his
arrival at the station, but when he arrived at the column of the
Bastille, a few squares within the city, the _mal du pays_ took him
by the throat.

At first he spent all his time in the Louvre, which revealed to him what
the little provincial museum of Cherbourg had but faintly suggested.
Before long, however, he entered the studio of Paul Delaroche, who was
the popular master of the time. There he won the sobriquet of the "man
of the woods," from a savage taciturnity which was his defence in the
midst of the _atelier_ jokes. He had come to work, and to work he
addressed himself, with but little encouragement from master or
comrades. Strong as a young Hercules, with a dignity which never forsook
him, his studies won at least the success of attention. When a favorite
pupil of the master remonstrated that his men and women were hewed from
stone, Millet replied tranquilly, "I came here because there are Greek
statues and living men and women to study from, not to please you or any
one. Do I preoccupy myself with your figures made of honey and butter?"

Delaroche, won by the strength of the man, at length unbent, and showed
him such favor as a commonplace mind could accord to native superiority.
He advised him to compete for the Prix de Rome, warning him, however,
that whatever might be the merit of his work, he could not take it that
year, as it was arranged that another, approaching the limit of age,
must have it. This revolted the simple nature of Millet, who refused to
compete, and left the school.

A return to Cherbourg, where he married his first wife, who died at the
end of two years; another sojourn in Paris, and a visit home of some
duration; a number of portraits and pictures painted in Cherbourg and
Havre, in which his talent was slowly asserting itself, brings us to
1845, when he remarried. Returning to Paris with his wife, he remained
there until 1849, when he went to Barbizon "for a time," which was
prolonged to twenty-seven years.

In all the years preceding his final return to the country, Millet was
apparently undecided as to the definite character of his work. Out of
place in a city, more or less influenced by his comrades in art, and
forced to follow in a degree the dictation of necessity in the choice of
subject, as his brush was his only resource and his family constantly
increasing, his work of this period is always tentative. In painting it
is luscious in color and firmly drawn and modelled, but it lacks the
perception of truth which, when once released from the bondage of the
city, began to manifest itself in his work. The first indication of the
future Millet is in a picture in the Salon of 1848, "The Winnower,"
which has, in subject at least, much the character of the work which
followed his establishment at Barbizon. For the rest, although the world
is richer in beautiful pictures of charmingly painted nymphs, and of
rustic scenes not altogether devoid of a certain artificiality, and in
at least one masterly mythological picture of Oedipus rescued from the
tree, through Millet's activity in these years, yet his work, had it
continued on this plane, would have lacked the high significance which
the next twenty-five years were to show.

Having endeavored to make clear the source from which Millet came, and
indicated the formative influences of his early life, I may permit
myself (as I warned my readers I should do) to return to my
recollections of Barbizon in 1873, and the glimpses of Millet which my
sojourn there in that and the following year afforded me.

Barbizon lies on a plain, more vast in the impression which it makes on
the eye than in actual area, and the village consists of one long
street, which commences at a group of farm buildings of some importance,
and ends in the forest of Fontainebleau. About midway down this street,
on the way to the forest, Millet's home stood, on the right of the road.
The house, of two low stories, had its gable to the street, and on the
first floor, with the window breast high from the ground, was the
dining-room. Here, in pleasant weather, with the window wide open, sat
Millet at the head of his patriarchal table, his children, of whom there
were nine, about him; his good wife, their days of acute misery past,
smiling contentedly on her brood, which, if I remember rightly, already
counted a grandchild or more: as pleasant a sight as one could readily
see. Later, in the autumn evenings, a lamplit replica of the same
picture presented itself. Or, if the dinner was cleared away, one would
see Madame Millet busy with her needle, the children at their lessons,
and the painter, whom even then tradition painted a sad and cheerless
misanthrope, contentedly playing at dominoes with one of the children,
or his honest Norman face wreathed in smiles as the conversation took an
amusing turn. This, it is true, was when the master of the house was
free from his terrible enemy, the headache, which laid him low so often,
and which in these days became more and more frequent.


Reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. As Sensier remarks,
Millet, with nine children, had abundant opportunity to study them. This
charming drawing was one of the collection of Millet's pastels formed by
M. Gavet, which was unfortunately dispersed by auction soon after the
artist's death.]

The house, to resume the description of Millet's home, went back at
right angles from the street, and contained the various apartments of
the family, many of them on the ground floor, and all of the most modest
character. It was a source of wonder how so large a family could inhabit
so small a house. The garden lay in front, and extended back of the
house. A high wall with a little door, painted green, by which you
entered, ran along the street, and ended at the studio, which was, like
the dining-room, on the street. The garden was pleasant with flowers and
trees, the kitchen garden being at the rear. But a few short years ago,
within its walls Madame Millet plucked a red rose, and gave it to me,
saying: "My husband planted this." Outside the little green door, on
either hand, were stone benches set against the wall, on which the
painter's children sometimes sat and played; but it is somewhat strange
that I never remember Millet at his door or on the village street. He
walked a great deal, but always went out of the garden to the fields
back of the house, and from there gained the forest or the plain. Among
the young painters who frequented Barbizon in those days (which were,
however, long after the time when the men of Millet's age established
themselves there), there were, strange as it may seem, few who cared for
Millet's work, and many who knew little or nothing of it. The prejudices
of the average art student are many and indurated. His horizon is apt to
be bounded by his master's work or the last Salon success, and as Millet
had no pupils, and had ceased to exhibit at the Salon, he was little
known to most of the youths who, as I look back, must have made Barbizon
a most undesirable place for a quiet family to live in. An accident
which made me acquainted with Millet's eldest son, a painter of talent,
seemed for a time to bring me no nearer to knowing the father until one
day some remark of mine which showed at least a sincere admiration for
his work made the son suggest that I should come and see a recently
completed picture.

If the crowd of young painters who frequented the village were
indifferent to Millet, such was not the case with people from other
places. The "personally conducted" were then newly invented, and I have
seen a wagon load of tourists, who had been driven to different points
in the forest, draw up before Millet's modest door and express
indignation in a variety of languages when they were refused admittance.
There were many in those days who tried with little or no excuse to
break in on the work of a man whose working days were already counted,
and who was seldom free from his old enemy _migraine_. I was to
learn this when--I hope after having had the grace to make it plain
that, though I greatly desired to know Millet, I felt no desire to
intrude--the son had arranged for a day when, at last, I was admitted to
the studio.

Millet did not make his appearance at once; and when he came, and the
son had said a few kindly words of presentation, he seemed so evidently
in pain that I managed, in a French which must have been distinguished
by a pure New York accent and a vocabulary more than limited, to express
a fear that he was suffering, and suggested that my visit had better be

"No, it will pass," was his answer; and going to his easel he placed,
with the help of his son, picture after picture, for my delectation.

It was Millet's habit to commence a great number of pictures. On some of
them he would work as long, according to his own expression, as he saw
the scene in nature before him; for, at least at this epoch, he never
painted directly from nature. For a picture which I saw the following
summer, where three great hay-stacks project their mass against a heavy
storm cloud, the shepherd seeking shelter from the impending rain, and
the sheep erring here and there, affected by the changing weather--for
this picture, conveying, as it did, the most intense impression of
nature, Millet showed me (in answer to my inquiry and in explanation of
his method of work) in a little sketch-book, so small that it would slip
into a waistcoat pocket, the pencilled outline of the three hay-stacks.
"It was a stormy day," he said, "and on my return home I sat down and
commenced the picture, but of direct studies--_voila tout_." Of
another picture, now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, of a young girl,
life size, with a distaff, seated on a hillock, her head shaded by a
great straw hat relieved against the sky, he told me that the only
direct painting from nature on the canvas was in a bunch of grass in the
foreground, which he had plucked in the fields and brought into his


From the original painting, now in the collection of Mrs. W.H.
Vanderbilt; reproduced by permission of Braun, Clement & Co. In his
criticism of the Salon of 1850, where the picture was first exhibited,
Théophile Gautier thus described it: "The sower advances with rhythmic
step, casting the seed into the furrowed land; sombre rags cover him; a
formless hat is drawn down over his brow; he is gaunt, cadaverous, and
thin under his livery of misery; and yet life is contained in his large
hand, as with a superb gesture he who has nothing scatters broadcast on
the earth the bread of the future."]

On this first day, it would be difficult to say how many pictures in
various states of advancement I saw. The master would occasionally say,
reflectively: "It is six months since I looked at that, and I must get
to work at it," as some new canvas was placed on the easel. At first,
fearing that he was too ill to have me stay, I made one or two motions
to leave. But each time, with a kindly smile, I was bidden to stay, with
the assurance that the headache was "going better." After a time I quite
forgot everything in enthusiasm at what I saw and the sense that I was
enjoying the privilege of a lifetime. The life of the fields seemed to
be unrolled before me like some vast panorama. Millet's comments were
short and descriptive of what he aimed to represent, seldom or never
concerning the method of his work. "Women in my country," meaning Lower
Normandy, of course, "carry jars of milk in that way," he said,
indicating the woman crossing the fields with the milk-can supported by
a strap on her shoulder. "When I was a boy there were great flights of
wild pigeons which settled in the trees at night, when we used to go
with torches, and the birds, blinded by the light, could be killed by
the hundred with clubs," was his explanation of another scene full of
the confusion of lights and the whirr of the bewildered pigeons.


Delightful for a sense of air through the cool and spacious room, and
for the sculpturesque solidity of the group composed of the woman, the
churn, and the cat.]

"And you have not seen it since you were a boy?" I asked.

"No; but it all comes back to me as I work," was his answer.

From picture to picture, from question to kindly answer, the afternoon
sped, and at length, in response to a question as to the relative
importance of subject, the painter sent his son into the house whence he
returned with a panel a few inches square. The father took it, wiped the
dust from it, absent-mindedly, on his sleeve, with a half caressing
movement, and placed it on the easel. "_Voila!_ (There!)" was all
he said. The panel represented three golden juicy pears, their fat sides
relieved one against the other, forming a compact group which, through
the magic of color, told of autumn sun, and almost gave the odor of
ripened fruit. It was a lovely bit of painting, and much interested, I
said: "Pardon me, but you seem as much or more proud of this than
anything you have shown."

"Exactly," answered Millet, with an amused smile at my eagerness.
"Everything in nature is good to paint, and the painter's business is to
be occupied with his manner of rendering it. These pears, a man or a
woman, a flock of sheep, all have the same qualities for a painter.
There are," with a gesture of his hands to make his meaning clear,
"things that lie flat, that are horizontal, like a plain; and there are
others which stand up, are perpendicular; and there are the planes
between: all of which should be expressed in a picture. There are the
distances between objects also. But all this can be found in the
simplest thing as in the most complicated."

"But," I again ventured, "surely some subjects are more important than

"Some are more interesting in the sense that they add to the problems of
a painter. When he has to paint a human being, he has to represent truth
of action, the particular character of an individual; but he must do the
latter when he paints a pear. No two pears are alike."

I fear at the time I hardly understood the importance of the lesson
which I then received; certainly not to the degree with which experience
has confirmed it. But I have written it here, the sense, if not the
actual language, because Millet has been so often misrepresented as
seeking to point a moral through the subject of his pictures. When we
recall the manner in which "The Angelus" was paraded through the country
a few years ago, and the genuine sentiment of the simple scene--where
Millet had endeavored to express "the things that lie flat, like a
plain; and the things that stand up," like his peasants--was travestied
by gushing sentimentalists, it is pleasant to think of the wholesome
common sense of the great painter.


The background here is typical of that part of the forest of
Fontainebleau which borders the plain of Barbizon.]

The picture which I had specially come to see was meanwhile standing
covered with a drapery, on another easel, and at length the resources of
the studio were apparently exhausted. Millet asked me to step back a few
paces to where a short curtain was placed on a light iron rod at right
angles from the studio window, so that a person standing behind it saw
into the studio while his eyes were screened from the glare of the
window. The painter then drew the covering, and--I feel that what I am
about to say may seem superlative, and I am quite willing to-day to
account for it by the enthusiasm for the painter's work, which had been
growing _crescendo_ with each successive moment passed in the
studio. Be that as it may, the picture which I saw caused me to forget
where I was, to forget painting, and to look, apparently, on a more
enchanting scene than my eyes had ever beheld--one more enchanting than
they have since seen. It was a landscape, "Springtime," now in the
Louvre. Ah me! I have seen the picture since, not once, but many times,
and he who will go to Paris may see it. A beautiful picture; but of the
transcendent beauty which transfigured it that day, it has but the
suggestion. It is still a masterpiece, however, and still conveys, by
methods peculiarly Millet's own, a satisfying sense of the open air, and
the charm of fickle spring. The method is that founded on the constant
observation of nature by a mind acute to perceive, and educated to
remember. The method is one which misses many trivial truths, and
thereby loses the superficial look of reality which many smaller men
have learned to give; but it retains the larger, more essential truths.
Though dependence on memory carried to the extent of Millet's practice
would be fatal to a weaker man, it can hardly be doubted that it was the
natural method for him.

I left the studio that day, walking on clouds. When I returned it was
always to receive kindly and practical counsel. For Millet, though
conscious, as such a man must be, of his importance, was the simplest of
men. In appearance the portrait published here gives him in his youth.
At the time of which I speak he was heavier, with a firm nose, eyes
that, deeply set, seemed to look inwards, except, when directly
addressing one, there was a sudden gleam. His manner of speech was slow
and measured, perhaps out of kindness to the stranger, though I am
inclined to think that it was rather the speech of one who arrays his
thoughts beforehand, and produces them in orderly sequence. In dress he
was like the ordinary _bourgeois_ in the country, wearing generally
a woven coat like a cardigan jacket in the studio, at the door of which
he would leave his _sabots_ and wear the felt slippers, or
_chaussons_, which are worn with the wooden shoes. This was not the
affectation of remaining a peasant; every one in the country in France
wears _sabots_, and very comfortable they are.

One more visit stands out prominently in my memory. It came about in
this wise. In the summer of 1874 the "two Stevensons," as they were
known, the cousins Robert Louis and Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson (the
author of the recent "Life of Velasquez," and the well-known writer on
art), were in Barbizon. It fell that the cousins, in pessimistic vein,
were decrying modern art--the great men were all dead; we should never
see their like again; in short, the mood in which we all fall at times
was dominant. As in duty bound, I argued the cause of the present and
future, and as a clinching argument told them that I had it in my power
to convince them that at least one of the greatest painters of all time
was still busy in the practice of his art. Millet was not much more than
a name to my friends, and I am certain that that day when we talked over
our coffee in the garden of Siron's inn, they had seen little or none of
his work. I ventured across the road, knocked at the little green door,
and asked permission to bring my friends, which was accorded for the
same afternoon. In half an hour, therefore, I was witness of an object
lesson of which the teacher was serenely unconscious. Of my complete
triumph when we left there was no doubt, though one of my friends rather
begged the question by insisting that I had taken an unfair advantage;
and that, as he expressed it, "it was not in the game, in an ordinary
discussion, between gentlemen, concerning minor poets, to drag in
Shakespeare in that manner."

I saw Millet but once after this, when late in the autumn I was
returning to Paris, and went, out of respect, to bid him farewell. He
was already ill, and those who knew him well, already feared for his
life. Not knowing this, it was a shock to learn of his death a few
months after--January 20, 1875. The news came to me in the form of the
ordinary notification and convocation to the funeral, which, in the form
of a _lettre de faire part_, is sent out on the occasion of a death
in France, not only to intimate friends, but to acquaintances.

Determined to pay what honor I could, I went to Barbizon, to find, as
did many others gone for the same sad purpose, that an error in the
notices sent, discovered too late to be rectified, had placed the date
of the funeral a day later than that on which it actually occurred.
Millet rests in the little cemetery at Chailly, across the plain from
Barbizon, near his lifetime friend, Theodore Rousseau, who is buried
there. I will never forget the January day in the village of Barbizon.
Though Millet had little part in the village life, and was known to few,
a sadness, as though the very houses felt that a great man had passed
away, had settled over the place. I sought out a friend who had been
Millet's friend for many years and was with him at the last, and as he
told me of the last sad months, tears fell from his eyes.



Author of "The Gates Ajar," "A Singular Life," etc.


As was said in the last paper, "The Gates Ajar" was written without hope
or expectation of any especial success, and when the happy storm broke
in truth, I was the most astonished girl in North America.

From the day when Mr. Fields's thoughtful note reached the Andover
post-office, that miracle of which we read often in fiction, and
sometimes in literary history, touched the young writer's life; and it
began over again, as a new form of organization.

As I look back upon them, the next few years seem to have been a series
of amazing phantasmagoria. Indeed, at the time, they were scarcely more
substantial. A phantom among phantoms, I was borne along. Incredulous of
the facts, and dubious of my own identity, I whirled through
readjustments of scene, of society, of purposes, of hopes, and now, at
last, of ambitions; and always of hard work, and plenty of it. Really, I
think the gospel of work then, as always, and to all of us, was
salvation from a good deal of nonsense incident to the situation.

I have been told that the American circulation of the book, which has
remained below one hundred thousand, was rather more than that in Great
Britain. Translations, of course, were manifold. The French, the German,
the Dutch, the Italian have been conscientiously sent to the author;
some others, I think, have not. More applications to republish my books
have reached me from Germany than from any other country. For a while,
with the tenderness of a novice in such experience, I kept all these
foreign curiosities on my book-shelves; but the throes of several New
England "movings" have scattered their ashes.

Not long ago I came across a tiny pamphlet in which I used to feel more
honest pride than in any edition of "The Gates Ajar" which it has ever
been my fortune to handle. It is a sickly yellow thing, covered with a
coarse design of some kind, in which the wings of a particularly sprawly
angel predominate.

The print is abhorrent, and the paper such as any respectable publisher
would prepare to be condemned for in this world and in that to come. In
fact, the entire book was thus given out by one of the most enterprising
of English pirates, as an advertisement for a patent medicine. I have
never traced the chemical history of the drug; but it has pleased my
fancy to suppose it to be the one in which Mrs. Holt, the mother of
Felix, dealt so largely; and whose sale Felix put forth his mighty
conscience to suppress.

Of course, owing to the state of our copyright laws at that time, all
this foreign publication was piratical; and most of it brought no
visible consequence to the author, beyond that cold tribute to personal
vanity on which our unlucky race is expected to feed. I should make an
exception. The house of Sampson, Low and Company honorably offered me,
at a very early date, a certain recognition of their editions. Other
reputable English houses since, in the case of succeeding books, have
passed contracts of a gentlemanly nature, with the disproportionately
grateful author, who was, of course, entirely at their mercy. When an
American writer compares the sturdy figures of the foreign circulation
with the attenuated numerals of such visible returns as reach him, he is
more puzzled in his mind than surfeited in his purse. But the relation
of foreign publishers to "home talent" is an ancient and honorable
conundrum, which it is not for this paper or its writer to solve.

Nevertheless, I found the patent medicine "Gates Ajar" delicious, and
used to compare it with Messrs. Fields and Osgood's edition _de
luxe_ with an undisguised delight, which I found it difficult to
induce the best of publishers to share.

Like most such matters, the first energy of the book had its funny and
its serious side. A man coming from a far Western village, and visiting
Boston for the first time, is said to have approached a bartender, in an
exclusive hotel, thus confidentially:

"Excuse me, but I am a stranger in this part of the country, and I want
to ask a question. Everywhere I go, I see posters up like this--'The
Gates Ajar!' 'The Gates Ajar!' I'm sick to death of the sight of the
durn thing; I haven't darst to ask what it is. Do _tell_ a fellar!
Is it a new kind of drink?"

There was a "Gates Ajar" tippet for sale in the country groceries; I
have fancied that it was a knit affair of as many colors as the jewels
in the eternal portals, and extremely openwork. There was a "Gates Ajar"
collar--paper, I fear--loading the city counters. Ghastly rumors have
reached me of the existence of a "Gates Ajar" cigar. I have never
personally set my eyes upon these tangible forms of earthly fame. If the
truth must be told, I have kept a cowardly distance from them. Music, of
course, took her turn at the book, and popular "pieces" warbled under
its title. One of these, I think, is sung in Sunday-schools to this day.
Then there was, and still exists, the "Gates Ajar" funeral piece. This
used to seem to me the least serious of them all; but, by degrees, when
I saw the persistence of force in that elaborate symbol, how many
mourning people were so constituted as to find comfort in it, I came to
have a tolerance for it which even grows into a certain tenderness. I
may frankly admit that I have begun to love it since I heard about the
two ragged little newsboys who came to the eminent city florist, with
all their savings clenched in their grimy fists, and thus made known
their case:

"Ye see, Larks he was our pardner--him an' us sold on the same beat--and
he jes' got run over by a 'lectric, and it went over his back. So they
tuk him to the horspittle, 'n Larks he up an' died there yestiddy. So us
fellars we're goin' to give Larks a stylish funeril, you bet. We liked
Larks--an' it went over his back. Say, mister, there ain't nothin' mean
'bout _us_, come to buryin' of Larks; 'n we've voted to settle on
one them 'Gates Ajar' pieces--made o'flowers, doncherknow. So me 'n him
an' the other fellars we've saved up all our propurty, for we're agoin'
ter give Larks a stylish funeril--an' here it is, mister. I told the
kids ef there was more'n enough you's trow in a few greens, anyhow. Make
up de order right away, mister, and give us our money's worf now,
sure--for Larks."

The gamin proudly counted out upon the marble slab of that fashionable
flower store the sum of seventy-five cents.

The florist--blessings on him--is said not to have undeceived the little
fellows, but to have duly honored their "order," and the biggest and
most costly "Gates Ajar" piece to be had in the market went to the
hospital, and helped to bury Larks.

Of course, as is customary in the case of all authors who have written
one popular book, requests for work at once rained in on the new study
on Andover Hill. For it soon became evident that I must have a quiet
place to write in. In the course of time I found it convenient to take
for working hours a sunny room in the farm-house of the Seminary estate,
a large, old-fashioned building adjoining my father's house. In still
later years I was allowed to build over, for my own purposes, the
summer-house under the big elm in my father's garden, once used by my
mother for her own study, and well remembered by all persons interested
in Andover scenery. This building had been for some years used
exclusively as a mud-bakery by the boys; it was piled with those clay
turnovers and rolls and pies in whose manufacture the most select
circles of Andover youth delighted.

But the bakery was metamorphosed into a decent, dear little room, about
nine by eleven, and commanding the sun on the four sides of its
quadrangle. In fact, it was a veritable sun-bath; and how dainty was the
tip-drip of the icicles from the big elm-bough, upon the little roof! To
this spot I used to travel down in all weathers; sometimes when it was
so slippery on the hill behind the carriage-house (for the garden paths
were impassable in winter) that I have had to return to primitive
methods of locomotion, and just sit down and coast half the way on the
crust. Later still, when an accident and crutches put this delightful
method of travelling out of the question, the summer-house (in a
blizzard I delighted in the name) was moved up beside my father's study.
I have, in fact, always had an out-of-door study, apart from the house I
lived in, and have come to look upon it as quite a necessity; so that we
have carried on the custom in our Gloucester house. We heartily
recommend it to all people who live by their brains and pens. The
incessant trotting to and fro on little errands is a wholesome thing.
Proof-sheets, empty ink-stands, dried-up mucilage, yawning wood-boxes,
wet feet, missing scissors, unfilled kerosene lamps, untimely thirst, or
unromantic lunches, the morning mail, and the dinner-bell, and the
orders of one's pet dog--all are so many imperious summonses to breathe
the tingling air and stir the blood and muscle.

Be as uncomfortable or as cross about it as you choose, an out-of-door
study is sure to prove your best friend. You become a species of
literary tramp, and absorb something of the tramp's hygiene. It is
impossible to be "cooped" at your desk, if you have to cross a garden or
a lawn thirty times a day to get to it. And what reporter can reach that
sweet seclusion across the distant housemaid's wily and experienced art?
What autograph or lion hunter can ruin your best chapter by bombardment
in mid-morning?

In the farm-house study I remember one of my earliest callers from the
publishing world, that seems always to stand with clawing fingers
demanding copy of the people least able to give it. He was an emissary
from the "Youth's Companion," who threatened or cajoled me into a vow to
supply him with a certain number of stories. My private suspicion is
that I have just about at this present time completed my share in that
ancient bargain, so patient and long-suffering has this pleasant paper
been with me. I took particular delight in that especial visit,
remembering the time when the "Companion" gave my first pious little
sentence to print, and paid me with the paper for a year.

"The Gates Ajar" was attacked by the press. In fact it was virulently
bitten. The reviews of the book, some of them, reached the point of
hydrophobia. Others were found to be in a milder pathological condition.
Still others were gentle or even friendly enough. Religious papers waged
war across that girl's notions of the life to come as if she had been an
evil spirit let loose upon accepted theology for the destruction of the
world. The secular press was scarcely less disturbed about the matter,
which it treated, however, with the more amused good-humor of a man of
the world puzzled by a religious disagreement.

In the days of the Most Holy Inquisition there was an old phrase whose
poignancy has always seemed to me to be but half appreciated. One did
not say: He was racked. She was burned. They were flayed alive, or
pulled apart with little pincers, or clasped in the arms of the red-hot
Virgin. One was too well-bred for so bald a use of language. One
politely and simply said: He was put to the question.

The young author of "The Gates Ajar" was only put to the question.
Heresy was her crime, and atrocity her name. She had outraged the
church; she had blasphemed its sanctities; she had taken live coals from
the altar in her impious hand. The sacrilege was too serious to be
dismissed with cold contempt.

Opinion battled about that poor little tale as if it had held the power
to overthrow church and state and family.

It was an irreverent book--it was a devout book. It was a strong
book--it was a weak book. It was a religious book--it was an immoral
book (I have forgotten just why; in fact, I think I never knew). It was
a good book--it was a bad book. It was calculated to comfort the
comfortless--it was calculated to lead the impressionable astray. It was
an accession to Christian literature--it was a disgrace to the religious
antecedents of the author; and so on, and so forth.

At first, when some of these reviews fell in my way, I read them,
knowing no better. But I very soon learned to let them alone. The kind
notices, while they gave me a sort of courage which by temperament
possibly I needed more than all young writers may, overwhelmed me, too,
by a sense of my own inadequacy to be a teacher of the most solemn of
truths, on any such scale as that towards which events seemed to be
pointing. The unfair notices put me in a tremor of distress. The brutal
ones affected me like a blow in the face from the fist of a ruffian.
None of them, that I can remember, ever helped me in any sense
whatsoever to do better work.

I quickly came to the conclusion that I was not adapted to reading the
views of the press about my own writing. I made a vow to let them alone;
and, from that day to this, I have kept it. Unless in the case of
something especially brought to my attention by friends, I do not read
any reviews of my books. Of course, in a general way, one knows if some
important pen has shown a comprehension of what one meant to do and
tried to do, or has spattered venom upon one's poor achievement. Quite
fairly, one cannot sit like the Queen in the kitchen, eating only bread
and honey--and venom disagrees with me.

I sometimes think--if I may take advantage of this occasion to make the
only reply in a working life of thirty years to any of the "slashers"
with whose devotion I am told that I have been honored--I sometimes
think, good brother critics, that I have had my share of the attentions
of poisoned weapons.

But, regarding my reviewers with the great good humor of one who never
reads what they say, I can afford to wish them lively luck and better
game in some quivering writer who takes the big pile of what it is the
fashion to call criticisms from the publisher's table, and
conscientiously reads them through. With _this_ form of being "put
to the question" I will have nothing to do. If it gives amusement to the
reviewers, they are welcome to their sport. But they stab at the summer
air, so far as any writer is concerned who has the pertinacity of
purpose to let them alone.

Long after I had adopted the rule to read no notices of my work, I
learned from George Eliot that the same had been her custom for many
years, and felt reënforced in the management of my little affairs by
this great example. Discussing the question once, with one of our
foremost American writers, I was struck with something like holy envy in
his expression. He had received rough handling from those "critics" who
seem to consider authors as their natural foes, and who delight in
aiming the hardest blows at the heaviest enemy. His fame is immeasurably
superior to that of all his reviewers put together.

"Don't you really read them?" he asked, wistfully. "I wish I could say
as much. I'm afraid I shouldn't have the perseverance to keep that up
right along."

In interesting contrast to all this discord from the outside, came the
personal letters. The book was hardly under way before the storm of them
set in. It began like a New England snow-storm, with a few large,
earnest flakes; then came the swirl of them, big and little, sleet and
rain, fast and furious, regular and irregular, scurrying and tumbling
over each other through the Andover mails.

The astonished girl bowed her head before the blast at first, with a
kind of terrified humility. Then, by degrees, she plucked up heart to
give to each letter its due attention.

It would not be very easy to make any one understand, who had not been
through a closely similar experience, just what it meant to live in the
centre of such a whirlwind of human suffering.

It used to seem to me sometimes, at the end of a week's reading of this
large and painful mail, as if the whole world were one great outcry.
What a little portion of it cried to the young writer of one little book
of consolation! Yet how the ear and heart ached under the piteous
monotony! I made it a rule to answer every civil letter that I received;
and as few of them were otherwise, this correspondence was no light

I have called it monotonous; yet there was a curious variety in
monotony, such as no other book has brought to the author's attention.
The same mail gave the pleasant word of some distinguished writer who
was so kind as to encourage a beginner in his own art, or so much kinder
as gently and intelligently to point out her defects; and beneath this
welcome note lay the sharp rebuke of some obscure parishioner who found
the Temple of Zion menaced to its foundation by my little story. Hunters
of heresy and of autograph pursued their game side by side. Here, some
man of affairs writes to say (it seemed incredible, but it used to
happen) that the book has given him his first intelligent respect for
religious faith. There, a poor colored girl, inmate of a charitable
institution, where she has figured as in deed and truth the black sheep,
sends her pathetic tribute:

"If heaven is like _that_, I want to go, and I mean to."

To-day I am berated by the lady who is offended with the manner of my
doctrine. I am called hard names in no soft language, and advised to
pray heaven for forgiveness for the harm I am doing by this ungodly

To-morrow I receive a widower's letter, of twenty-six pages, rose-tinted
and perfumed. He relates his personal history. He encloses the
photographs of his dead wife, his living children, and himself. He adds
the particulars of his income, which, I am given to understand, is
large. He adds--but I turn to the next.

This correspondent, like scores upon scores of others, will be told
instanter if I am a spiritualist. On this vital point he demands my
confession or my life.

The next desires to be informed how much of the story is autobiography,
and requires the regiment and company in which my brother served.

And now I am haughtily taken to task by some unknown nature for allowing
my heroine to be too much attached to her brother. I am told that this
is impious; that only our Maker should receive such adoring affection as
poor Mary offered to dead Roy.

Having recovered from this inconceivable slap in the face, I go bravely
on. I open the covers of a pamphlet as green as Erin, entitled,
"Antidote to the Gates Ajar;" consider myself as the poisoner of the
innocent and reverent mind, and learn what I may from this lesson in

There was always a certain share of abuse in these outpourings from
strangers; it was relatively small, but it was enough to save my
spirits, by the humor of it, or they would have been crushed with the
weight of the great majority.

I remember the editor of a large Western paper, who enclosed a clipping
from his last review for my perusal. It treated, not of "The Gates Ajar"
just then, but of a magazine story in "Harper's," the "Century," or
wherever. The story was told in the first person fictitious, and began
after this fashion:

"I am an old maid of fifty-six, and have spent most of my life in
boarding-houses." (The writer was, be it said, at that time, scarcely

"Miss Phelps says of herself," observed this oracle, "that she is
fifty-six years old; and we think she is old enough to know better than
to write such a story as this."

At a summer place where I was in the early fervors of the art of making
a home, a citizen was once introduced to me at his own request. I have
forgotten his name, but remember having been told that he was
"prominent." He was big, red, and loud, and he planted himself with the
air of a man about to demolish his deadliest foe.

"So you are Miss Phelps. Well, I've wanted to meet you. I read a piece
you wrote in a magazine. It was about Our Town. It did not please Me."

I bowed with the interrogatory air which seemed to be expected of me.
Being just then very much in love with that very lovable place, I was
puzzled with this accusation, and quite unable to recall, out of the
warm flattery which I had heaped upon the town in cool print, any
visible cause of offence.

"You said," pursued my accuser, angrily, "that we had odors here. You
said Our Town smelled of fish. Now, you know, _we_ get so used to
these smells _we like 'em!_ It gave great offence to the community,
madam. And I really thought at one time--feelin' ran so high--I thought
it would kill the sale of your book!"

From that day to this I do not believe the idea has visited the brain of
this estimable person that a book could circulate in any other spot upon
the map than within his native town. This delicious bit of provincialism
served to make life worth living for many a long day.

There was fun enough in this sort of thing to "keep one up," so that one
could return bravely to the chief end of existence; for this seemed for
many years to be nothing less, and little else, than the exercise of
those faculties called forth by the wails of the bereaved. From every
corner of the civilized globe, and in its differing languages, they came
to me--entreaties, outpourings, cries of agony, mutterings of despair,
breathings of the gentle hope by which despair may be superseded;
appeals for help which only the Almighty could have given; demands for
light which only eternity can supply.

A man's grief, when he chooses to confide it to a woman, is not an easy
matter to deal with. Its dignity and its pathos are never to be
forgotten. How to meet it, Heaven only teaches; and how far Heaven
taught that awed and humbled girl I shall never know.

But the women--oh, the poor women! I felt less afraid to answer them.
Their misery seemed to cry in my arms like a child who must be
comforted. I wrote to them--I wrote without wisdom or caution or skill;
only with the power of being sorry for them, and the wish to say so; and
if I said the right thing or the wrong one, whether I comforted or
wearied, strengthened or weakened, that, too, I shall not know.

Sometimes, in recent years, a letter comes or a voice speaks: "Do you
remember--so many years ago--when I was in great trouble? You wrote to
me." And I am half ashamed that I had forgotten. But I bless her because
_she_ remembers.

But when I think of the hundreds--it came into the thousands, I
believe--of such letters received, and how large a proportion of them
were answered, my heart sinks. How is it possible that one should not
have done more harm than good by that unguided sympathy? If I could not
leave the open question to the Wisdom that protects and overrules
well-meaning ignorance, I should be afraid to think of it. For many
years I was snowed under by those mourners' letters. In truth, they have
not ceased entirely yet, though of course their visits are now

I am so often asked if I still believe the views of another life set
forth in "The Gates Ajar" that I am glad to use this opportunity to
answer the question; though, indeed, I have been led to do so, to a
certain extent, in another place, and may, perhaps, be pardoned for
repeating words in which the question first and most naturally answered

"Those appeals of the mourning, black of edge and blurred with tears,
were a mass high beneath the hand and heavy to the heart. These letters
had the terrible and unanswerable power of all great, natural voices;
and the chiefest of these are love and grief. Year upon year the
recipient has sat dumb before these signs of human misery and hope. They
have rolled upon the shore of life, a billow of solemn inspiration. I
have called them a human argument for faith in the future life, and see
no reason for amending the term."

But why dwell on the little book, which was only the trembling
organ-pipe through which the music thrilled? Its faults have long since
ceased to trouble, and its friends to elate me. Sometimes one seems to
one's self to be the least or last agency in the universe responsible
for such a work. What was the book? Only an outcry of nature--and nature
answered it. That was all. And nature is of God, and is mighty before

Do I believe in the "middle march" of life, as the girl did in the
morning, before the battle of the day?

For nature's sake--which is for God's sake--I cannot hesitate.

Useless suffering is the worst of all kinds of waste. Unless He created
this world from sheer extravagance in the infliction of purposeless
pain, there must be another life to justify, to heal, to comfort, to
offer happiness, to develop holiness. If there be another world, and
such a one, it will be no theologic drama, but a sensible, wholesome
scene. The largest and the strongest elements of this experimental life
will survive its weakest and smallest. Love is "the greatest thing in
the world," and love "will claim its own" at last.

The affection which is true enough to live forever, need have no fear
that the life to come will thwart it. The grief that goes to the grave
unhealed, may put its trust in unimagined joy to be. The patient, the
uncomplaining, the unselfish mourner, biding his time and bearing his
lot, giving more comfort than he gets, and with beautiful wilfulness
believing in the intended kindness of an apparently harsh force which he
cannot understand, may come to perceive, even here, that infinite power
and mercy are one; and, I solemnly believe, is sure to do so in the life
beyond, where "God keeps a niche in heaven to hold our idols."



  I know a place where the sun is like gold,
    And the cherry blooms burst with snow;
  And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
    Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

  One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,
    And one is for love, you know;
  And God put another one in for luck--
    If you search, you will find where they grow.

  But you must have hope, and you must have faith;
    You must love and be strong--and so--
  If you work, if you wait, you will find the place
    Where the four-leaf clovers grow.



Author of "Stella Grayland," "Larcone's Little Chap," and other stories.

The Windhams and Mandisons were old neighbors, and Phil Windham had
always been very much at home among the Mandisons, and especially with
Mary, the oldest daughter, who was like a wise, kind sister to him. Now
his own house began to break up--his brothers went West; his sisters
married; his father, who was a chemist and inventor, was killed one day
by an explosion. In these trying times the Mandison household was his
chief resource, and Mary most of all.

Then the Mandisons moved away. That seemed to Windham like the end of
things. He was awfully lonely, and thought a great deal about Mary in
the months that followed, but was not quite sure of himself; though he
was certain there was no one else he liked and admired half so much. But
in the following winter he went to spend the holidays with the
Mandisons, and when he came away he and Mary were engaged.

The next summer the Mandisons took a cottage at the shore, and Windham
went to spend some weeks with them. Idly busy and calmly happy in the
pleasant company of Mary and all the friendly house, the sunny days
slipped by till one came that disturbed his dream. An aunt of Mary's
arrived with her husband, Dr. Saxon, and his niece, Agnes Maine. At the
first glance Miss Maine challenged Windham's attention. She was a tall
and striking person, with a keen glance that he felt took his measure at
the first look. She piqued his curiosity, and interested him more and

One day he saw her and Mary together, and caught himself comparing them,
not in Mary's favor. Panic seized him, and he turned his back on Miss
Maine and devoted himself to Mary. Miss Maine went to stay with some
neighbors, the Colemans. One night she was caught at the Mandisons by a
storm. Mary asked Windham to entertain her, and he went and asked her to
play chess. She declined coldly, and Windham turned away with such a
look that Mary wondered what Agnes could have said so unkind. And the
next day Miss Maine spoke so gently to him that it warmed him all
through. Still he persistently avoided her.

The Colemans got up a play in the attic of their large old house. On the
night of the performance the place was crowded. The first two acts went
off smoothly.

Windham had been helping to shift the scenes, and was standing alone,
looking over the animated spectacle as the audience chatted and laughed.
Something in the play had made him think of Agnes Maine, though she was
not in the cast, and he had not seen her. Suddenly, without any notice
of her approach, she stood close to him, looking in his face. Her face
was paler than usual, and her eyes had a startling light in them. She
said only half a dozen low words, but they made him turn ghastly white.
What she said was:

"The house is on fire down-stairs."

He stood looking at her an instant, long enough to reflect that any
alarm would result in piling those gay people in an awful mass at the
foot of the one steep and fragile stairway. The stage entrance was
little better than an enclosed ladder, and not to be thought of.

"Go and stand at the head of the stairs," he said to her.

The bell rang for the curtain to rise, but he slipped back behind it,
and it did not go up. Instead, Jeffrey Coleman appeared before it,
bowing and smiling with exaggeration, and announced that the
continuation of the performance had been arranged as a surprise
below-stairs, and would be found even more exciting and interesting than
the part already given. The audience were requested to go below quickly,
but at the same time were cautioned against crowding, as the stair was
rather steep and temporary. As they did not start at once, he came off
the stage and led the way, going on down the stairs, and calling gayly
to the rest to follow.

Windham had got to the stairhead by this time. Agnes Maine stood there,
on one side, looking calm and contained, and he took up his position on
the other, and followed the cue given by young Coleman. He began to call
out, extolling the absorbing and thrilling character of the performance
down-stairs, with the extravagant epithets of the circus posters,
laughing all the while. He urged them on when they lingered, and
restrained them when they came too fast, addressing one and another with
jocularity, laying his hands on some and pushing them on with assumed
playfulness, keeping up the fire of raillery with desperate resistance.
When screams were heard now and then from below, he made it appear to be
only excited feminine merriment, directing attention to it, and calling
out to those yet to come:

"You hear them? Oh, yes; you'll scream, too, when you see it!"

All the time, though his faculties were sufficiently strained by the
effort he was making, he was watching Agnes Maine, who stood opposite,
doing nothing, but looking her calm, pale self, and now and then smiling
slightly at his extravagant humor. And he thought admiringly that her
simple quiet did more to keep up the illusion than all his labored and
violent simulation.

It seemed as if there never would be an end to the stream of leisurely
people who answered his banter with laugh and joke. But finally the last
of them were fairly on the stair, and he turned to Agnes Maine with a
suddenly transformed face.

"Now--be quick!" he called.

But she gave a low cry, looking away toward the farther end, where she
caught sight of a young couple still lingering. She ran toward them,
calling to them to hurry, and as they did not understand, she took hold
of the girl, and made her run. Windham had followed her, and the four
came together to the stairhead, but there they stopped, and the young
girl broke into wild screams. The foot of the stairway was wrapped in
smoke and flames.

There was an observatory upon the house, into which Windham had once
gone with Jeffrey Coleman, and he turned to it now, and made the three
go up before him. He stopped and cut away a rope that held some of the
hangings, and took it up with him. Miss Maine was standing with her arm
about Fanny Lee, whom she had quieted.

"Had she better go first?" he asked.

"Yes, of course," Miss Maine answered.

He fastened the rope about the girl, assured her they would let her down
safely, and between them they persuaded her, shrinkingly, to let herself
be swung over, and lowered to the ground. In this Miss Maine gave more
help than young Pritchard, who shook and chattered so much as to be of
little use. And as soon as the girl was down and Windham turned toward
Miss Maine, Pritchard took a turn of the rope around the railing, with a
hasty knot, went over, and slid down it, out of sight. But before he
reached the ground, the rope broke loose, and slipped out of Windham's
grasp as he tried to catch it.

A cry came up from below. Windham turned toward Miss Maine, and they
looked at one another, but said nothing. She was very pale and still.
Windham glanced down and around; the fire was already following them up
the tower. He made her come to the other side, where the balcony
overhung the ridge of the sloping roof, got over the railing, and helped
her to do the same, and to seat herself on the narrow ledge outside,
holding on by the bars with her arms behind her. He let himself down by
his hands till within two or three feet of the roof, and dropped safely
upon it. Then he stood up, facing her just below, braced himself with
one foot on each side of the ridge, and told her to loosen her hold and
let herself fall forward. She did so, and he caught her in his arms as
she fell.

It was a struggle for a minute to keep his balance; and whether in the
involuntary stress of the effort, or by an instinctive impulse,
conscious or otherwise, he clasped her close for a moment, till her face
touched his own. Then he put her down, and they sat on the ridge near
each other, flushed, and short of breath. Below, on the lawn, a throng
of people looked up at them, some motionless, some gesticulating, and
some shouting in dumb show, their voices drowned in the fierce roar and
crackling that raged beneath the roof and shut in the two above it in a
kind of visible privacy. They were still a while; then Agnes asked: "Can
we do anything more?"

"No," he answered, "nothing but wait."

Both saw that men were running for ladders and ropes. Presently he asked

"Why did you come to me?"

She looked up at him for a moment, then answered:

"I suppose I thought you would know what to do."

"Thank you," he said, in a grave, low voice.

After a little the tower blazed out above them, and they moved along the
ridge till stopped by a chimney, against which he made her lean. Then
they sat still again. The flames rose above the eaves on one side, and
flared higher and hotter. Soon they grew scorching, and Agnes said, with
quickened breathing:

"We couldn't stay here long."

He looked at her, and the side of her face toward the fire glowed bright
red. He took off his coat, moved close to her, and held it up between
their faces and the flames; and they sat together so, breathing audibly,
but not speaking, till the head of a ladder rose suddenly above the
eaves, and a minute later the head and shoulders of Jeffrey Coleman. He
flung a rope to Windham, who in another minute had let Miss Maine slip
down by it to the ladder; then, throwing a noose of it over the chimney,
he slid down himself to the eaves, and so to the ground.


Miss Maine stood waiting for him, pale and trembling now, but said
nothing. Mary Mandison was with her; she had made no scene, and made
none now.

But there were sharper eyes than Mary's. That night, as Windham strolled
on the lawn alone, Dr. Saxon confronted him, grimly puffing at his pipe.
Then he said:

"I thought you were an honest fellow."

Windham leaned against a tree.

"I want to be," he said feebly.

"Then you'll have to look sharp," the doctor retorted. "You'd better go
fishing with me up-country in the morning."

He went, Mary making him promise to return in time for an excursion to
Blackberry Island which he had helped her plan. He got back the night
before; and in the morning the party set out, some going round the shore
by stage, and some in the boat down the bay.

Miss Maine went with those in the boat, and Windham went with Mary in
the stage. Both on the way and after their arrival, he stayed by her,
and did all he could to be useful and amusing.

They lunched on a grassy bank, in the shade of a cliff, by a tumbling
brook that streamed down from the rocks. By and by Mary remarked that
she would like to see where the little torrent came from, and Windham
said he would try and find out for her. He scrambled up, and soon passed
out of sight among the bowlders. He found some tough climbing, but kept
on, and after a while traced the stream to a clear pool where a spring
bubbled out of a rock wall in a cave-like chamber near the top.

As he reached its edge, he caught sight of the reflection in the pool of
a woman's white dress; and, glancing up, saw Agnes Maine standing a
little above him, on a sort of natural pedestal, in a rude niche at one
side. She looked so like a statue that she smiled slightly at the
confused thought of it which she saw for an instant in his face, but she
turned grave then as their eyes met for a moment in a look of intimate
recognition. Then he turned his away, with a sudden terror at himself,
and leaned back against the wall, white in the face.

She stepped down and passed by him. He half put out his hand to stop
her, but drew it back, and she partly turned at the gesture, but went on
out of his sight.

He stood there for some time; then climbed down the rocks again, shaping
his features into a careless form as he went, and came back to Mary with
a forced smile on his face. But he forgot what he had gone for, and
looked confused when Mary asked him if he had found it. And she

"Why, Philip, what has happened? You look as if you had seen a ghost."

"I have," he answered.

Mary asked no more, except by her look. Some one came and proposed a
sail, and Windham eagerly agreed, and went out in the boat with Mary and

They sailed down the bay. On the return the wind died away, and when
they got back, the stage had gone with more than half the party, and
Agnes Maine was not among those who were waiting. They came on board,
and the boat headed away for home.

After landing they had to walk across some fields. When near the house,
Mary missed something, and Windham went back for it. He had to cross the
road, and as he came near it the stage passed along, with its merry
company laughing and singing. They did not notice him among the trees,
but he distinctly saw all who were in the open vehicle, and Miss Maine
was not among them.

She had climbed up the cliff by a gradual, roundabout path; and after
Windham saw her, she had wandered on, lost herself for a while, and got
back after both stage and boat had left, each party supposing she had
gone with the other.

Windham found a row-boat and started back. He knew nothing about boats;
but the bay was very smooth, it was yet early, and he got across in due
time. As he neared the island he saw her, in her white dress, standing
on the bluff, and looking out toward him.

Off the shore, rocks and bowlders stood thickly out of the water, and
Windham threaded his way in among them, thinking nothing of those
underneath. The skiff was little better than an egg-shell, being built
of half-inch cedar; and before he knew what had happened, the point of a
sunken rock had cut through the bows, and the boat was filling with
water. With a landsman's instinct, he stood up on a thwart; the boat
tipped over and went from under him. In the effort to right it, he made
a thrust downward with one of the oars, but found no bottom; and the
next minute Agnes saw him clinging to the side of a steep rock, with
only his head and shoulders out of water.

She did not cry out; but after he had struggled vainly to get up the
rock, and found no other support for foot or hand than the one
projection just above him, by which he held, he looked toward her as he
clung there out of breath, and saw her eagerly watching him from the
water's edge. And her voice showed the stress of her feeling, though it
was quite clear when she called:

"Can't you climb up?"

"No, there is nothing to hold by."

"Can you swim?"


She looked all about, then back to him. There was no one in sight; the
island was out of the lines of communication, and a point just north of
them shut off the open water. But she saw that the reef to which Windham
clung trended in to the shore a little way off, and she called:

"I think I can get out to you--keep hold till I come."

She ran along the beach, but not all the way. As soon as she was
opposite a part of the reef that seemed accessible, she walked straight
into the water, and made her way through it, though it was two or three
feet deep near the rocks. He saw her clamber upon them and start toward
him, springing from one to another, wading across submerged places,
climbing around or over the higher points. And even there, in his
desperate plight, as he watched her coming steadily toward him, her eyes
fixed on the difficult path, and her skirt instinctively gathered a
little in one hand, the sight of her fearless grace thrilled through
him, and filled him with despairing admiration.

She came presently to the edge of a wider gap with clear water beneath,
and paused for an instant. Windham called out:

"Don't jump; you'll be lost!"

She looked at him a moment, studied the rocks again, stepped back, then
forward quickly, and sprang across. She slipped and fell, but got to her
feet again, and came on as before. She went out of Windham's sight, but
in another minute he heard a rustle above him, looked up, and saw her
standing very near the edge, and looking down at him, panting a little,
but otherwise calm.

"Don't stand there; you will fall!" he called to her.

She kneeled down and tried to reach over, but could not. She raised
herself again, and looked all around anxiously, but saw no one; she had
not seen any one since she left him hours before on the cliff. She
looked down at him and asked:

"Can you hold on long?"

"No," he answered, "not very long."

She moved back and lay down on the rock, with her face over the edge. It
was wet and slippery, and inclined forward, so that she had to brace
herself with one hand by a projection just below the brink. Lying so,
she could reach down very near him.

"Take hold of my hand," she said.

He raised one arm with an effort, so that she caught him by the wrist,
and his fingers closed about hers. She tried to pull him up slowly, but
he felt that it was hopeless, and would only result in drawing her off
the rock; so he settled back as before. He noticed that she had given
him her left hand, and saw that there was another reason besides the
necessity of bracing herself with her right. Her wrist was cut and

"Oh, you are hurt!" he exclaimed.

"Never mind," she replied; "that is nothing."

He looked up in her face with passionate regret. Her lips were parted,
and her breathing came quick and deep. He felt in her wrist the hot
blood with which all her pulses throbbed, and it went through him as
though one current flowed in their veins. Her eyes looked full into his,
and did not turn away till the lashes trembled over them suddenly, and
tears gushed out upon her face. An agony of yearning took hold of
Windham and wrung his heart.

"Agnes, do you know?" he asked.

And she answered, "Yes."

When she could see him again, drops stood out on his forehead, and his
eyes looked up at her with a despairing tenderness. Her lips closed, and
her features settled into a look of answering resolve.

"You must not give up," she urged. "Don't let go of my hand."

"Oh, I must!" he answered. "You couldn't hold me; I should only draw you

She neither looked away nor made any reply.

"It would do no good," he went on. "I should only drown you too."

"I don't care," she answered. "I will not let you go."

"Oh, Agnes!" he responded, the faintness of exhaustion creeping over
him, and mingling with a sharp but sweet despair.

Mary was standing at the door when the stage arrived, and she saw that
Agnes was not there. She took one of her brothers who was a good
boatman, and started back at once. When their boat rounded the point of
the island she was on the lookout, and was the first to see the two they
came to succor none too soon. And before they saw her she caught sight,
with terrible clearness, of the look in the two faces that were bent
upon one another. It was she who supported Windham until Agnes could be
taken off, and preparations made for getting him on board; but she
turned her eyes away, and did not speak to him.

On the way back she hardly noticed the dreary and draggled pair, who had
little to say for themselves. Many things that had puzzled and troubled
her ranged themselves in a dreadful sequence and order now in her
unsuspicious mind. On their arrival she made some arrangements for their
comfort, quietly; then went to her room, and did not come down again.

Windham left early in the morning, went straight back to Dr. Saxon, and
told him the whole story.

"I hardly know whether I'm a villain or not," Windham concluded.

"You might as well be," the doctor growled. "You've been a consummate
fool, and one does about as much harm as the other. Go home now and stay
there; and don't do anything more, for heaven's sake, until you hear
from me."

Windham went home, and was very miserable, as may be supposed. Hearing
nothing for some time, he could not bear it, and wrote to Mary that he
honored and admired her, and thought everything of her that he ever had
or could. In a week he got this reply:

"Mary Mandison has received Philip Windham's letter, and can only reply
that there is nothing to be said."

This stung him more deeply than silence, and he wrote that he was going
to see her on a certain day, and begged her not to deny him. He went at
the time, and she saw him, simply sitting still, and hearing what he had
to say. He hardly knew what to say then, but vowed and protested, and
finally complained of her coldness and cruelty. She replied that she was
not cold or cruel, but only, as she had told him, there was nothing to
be said. In the end he found this was true, and rushed away in despair.

Mary had seemed calm; but when her mother came in that afternoon and
looked for her, she found her in her room, lying on her face.

When she knew who it was, she raised herself silently, looked in her
mother's face a moment, put her arms about her neck, and hid her hot,
dry eyes there as she used to do when a child.

Late that night those two were alone together in the same place, and,
before they parted, the mother said:

"You were always my brave child, and you are going to be my brave Mary

And Mary answered with a low cry:

"Yes--yes; but not now--not now!"

For a good while Windham felt the sensation of having run headlong upon
a blank wall and been flung back and crippled. But the feeling wore
itself out as the months passed.

It was nearly a year before he heard from Dr. Saxon, and he had given up
looking for anything from him, when he received a cold note, inviting
him to call at the doctor's home, if he chose, at a certain date and
hour. At the time set he went to the city, and rang the doctor's bell as
the hour was striking.


He was shown into the library, and when the door closed behind him, he
fell back against it. Dr. Saxon was not the only person in the room; at
the farther end sat Agnes Maine. She knew nothing of his coming; and
when she glanced round and saw him, she stood up and faced him, with her
hands crossed before her, her breathing quickened, and her face flushed

The old doctor leaned back and looked from one to the other, studying
them openly and keenly. When he was satisfied, he ordered Windham to
take a chair near the window and told Agnes she might go out. She faced
him a moment; then went away with her straight, proud carriage. The
doctor finished something he was at, then got his pipe and filled and
lighted it, backed up against the chimney-piece, and stood eying Windham
with something more than his usual scowl.

"Well, young man," he asked, finally, "what did you come here for?"

"I came here because you asked me to."

"No, sir; you didn't," the old man retorted. "I said you might come if
you liked."

Windham stood up, trembling, and replied with suppressed passion:

"I came on your invitation. I did not come to be insulted."

"Tut, tut," the doctor rejoined. "You needn't be so hoity-toity; you
haven't much occasion; sit down. Have you been making any more of your
'mistakes,' as you call them?"

Windham answered emphatically: "No!"

"Are you going to?" the doctor continued.

"No, sir; I am not," Windham replied, with angry decision.

"Well, I wouldn't; you've done enough," the doctor commented roughly.
"You call it a mistake, but I call it blind stupidity, worse than many
crimes. Mary is worth three of Agnes, to begin with; but it would be
just as bad if she were a doll or a dolt. Any fellow out of
swaddling-clothes, who has brains in his body, and isn't made of wood,
ought to know that passion is as hard a fact as hunger, and no more to
be left out of account. You were bound to know the chances were that it
would have to be reckoned with, first or last, and you deliberately took
the risk of wrecking two women's lives. I don't say anything about your
own; you richly deserve all you got, and all that's coming to you. If
law could be made to conform to abstract justice, it would rank your
offence worse than many for which men pay behind bars."

He went out abruptly, and after a few minutes returned with Agnes, who
came in lingering, and apparently unwilling.

"Here, Agnes, I am going out," he said. "I've been giving this young man
my opinion of him, and haven't any more time to waste. You can tell him
what you think of him, and send him off."

He went out, and banged the door after him. Agnes leaned against it, and
stood there downcast and perfectly still. Windham sat sunk together, as
the doctor had left him, waiting for her to speak. But she did not, and
after a while he got up and stood by the high desk, looking at her.
Finally he spoke low:

"Are you going to scold me, too? Mary has discarded me, and your uncle
says I am a miserable sinner, and ought to be in the penitentiary. I
don't deny it; but if I went there it would be for your sake. Do you
condemn me, too? Have you no mercy for me?"

A flush spread slowly over her pale face. Then she replied softly:

"No, I have no right. I am no better than you."

Two or three hours later Dr. Saxon sat at his desk, when Agnes entered
and came silently and stood beside him. He did not look up, but asked

"Well, have you packed him off?"

"No," she answered under her breath; "you know I haven't."

He smiled up at her. This gruff old man had a rare smile on occasion for
those he liked. And he said:

"Well, he isn't the worst they make; he's got spirit, and he can take a
drubbing, too, when it's deserved. I tried him pretty well. Didn't I
fire into him, though, hot shot!" He fairly grinned at the recollection.
"I had to, you know, to keep myself in countenance. I suppose I said
rather more than I meant--but don't you tell him so."

She smiled. "I have told him so already; I told him you didn't mean a
word you said."

"You presumptuous baggage!" The doctor scowled now. "Then you told him a
tremendous fib. I meant a deal of it. Well, he'll get his deserts yet,
if he gets you, you deceiving minx. I told him one thing that was true
enough, anyway"--he smiled broadly again--"I told him Mary was worth
half a dozen of you."

Agnes turned grave, and put down her head so that she hid her face.

"So she is," she answered. "Oh, I'm very sorry--and ashamed!"

"Well, well," the old doctor responded soberly, stroking her cheek, "it
is a pity; but I suppose it can't be helped. Mary's made of good stuff,
and will pull through. It wouldn't do her any good if three lives were
spoiled instead of one. It's lucky she found out before it was too




_The following article is made up almost entirely of new matter. It
includes six hitherto unpublished letters, all of them of importance in
illustrating Lincoln's political methods and his views on public
questions from 1843 to 1848, and an excellent report of a speech
delivered in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1848, hitherto unknown to
Lincoln's biographers, discovered in course of a search instituted by
this Magazine through the files of the Boston and Worcester newspapers
of September, 1848. The article also comprises various reminiscences of
Lincoln in the period covered, gathered especially for this Magazine
from associates of his who are still living._

For eight successive years Lincoln had been a member of the General
Assembly of Illinois. It was quite long enough, in his judgment. He
wanted something better. In 1842 he declined re-nomination, and became a
candidate for Congress. He did not wait to be asked, nor did he leave
his case in the hands of his friends. He frankly announced his desire,
and managed his own canvass. There was no reason, in Lincoln's opinion,
for concealing political ambition. He recognized, at the same time, the
legitimacy of the ambition of his friends, and entertained no suspicion
or rancor if they contested places with him.

"Do you suppose that I should ever have got into notice if I had waited
to be hunted up and pushed forward by older men?" he wrote his friend
Herndon once, when the latter was complaining that the older men did not
help him on. "The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself
every way he can, never suspecting that anybody wishes to hinder him.
Allow me to assure you that suspicion and jealousy never did help any
man in any situation. There may sometimes be ungenerous attempts to keep
a young man down; and they will succeed, too, if he allows his mind to
be diverted from its true channel to brood over the attempted injury.
Cast about, and see if this feeling has not injured every person you
have ever known to fall into it."

Lincoln had something more to do, however, in 1842, than simply to
announce himself in the innocent manner of earlier politics. The
convention system introduced into Illinois in 1835 by the Democrats had
been zealously opposed by all good Whigs, Lincoln included, until
constant defeat taught them that to resist organization by an
every-man-for-himself policy was hopeless and wasteful, and that if they
would succeed they must meet organization with organization. In 1841 a
Whig State convention had been called to nominate candidates for the
offices of governor and lieutenant-governor; and now, in March, 1843, a
Whig meeting was held again at Springfield, at which the party's
platform was laid, and a committee, of which Lincoln was a member, was
appointed to prepare an "Address to the People of Illinois." In this
address the convention system was earnestly defended. Against this rapid
adoption of the abominated system many of the Whigs protested, and
Lincoln found himself supporting before his constituents the tactics he
had once warmly opposed. In a letter to his friend John Bennett of
Petersburg, written in March, 1843, and now for the first time
published[1], he said:

[Footnote 1: The term "unpublished" is employed in this series of
articles to cover documents that have never been published in any
authoritative or permanent way. Most of the documents so designated have
never, so far as we know, been published at all; but a few have been
printed in local newspapers, though so long ago, and under such
circumstances, as to be practically unpublished now.]

"Your letter of this day was handed me by Mr. Miles. It is too late now
to effect the object you desire. On yesterday morning the most of the
Whig members from this district got together and agreed to hold the
convention at Tremont, in Tazewell County. I am sorry to hear that any
of the Whigs of your county, or of any county, should longer be against

"On last Wednesday evening a meeting of all the Whigs then here from all
parts of the State was held, and the question of the propriety of
conventions was brought up and fully discussed, and at the end of the
discussion a resolution recommending the system of conventions to all
the Whigs of the State was unanimously adopted. Other resolutions also
were passed, all of which will appear in the next 'Journal.' The meeting
also appointed a committee to draft an address to the people of the
State, which address will also appear in the next 'Journal.' In it you
will find a brief argument in favor of conventions, and, although I
wrote it myself, I _will_ say to you that it is conclusive upon the
point, and cannot be reasonably answered.

"The right way for you to do is to hold your meeting and appoint
delegates anyhow, and if there be any who will not take part, let it be

"The matter will work so well this time that even they who now oppose
will come in next time. The convention is to be held at Tremont on the
fifth of April; and, according to the rule we have adopted, your county
is to have two delegates--being double the number of your

"If there be any good Whig who is disposed still to stick out against
conventions, get him, at least, to read the argument in their favor in
the 'Address.'"[2]

[Footnote 2: The original of this letter is owned by E.R. Oeltjen of
Petersburg, Illinois.]

The "brief argument" which Lincoln thought so conclusive, "if he did
write it himself," justified his good opinion. After its circulation
there were few found to "stick out against conventions." The Whigs of
the various counties in the Congressional district met as they had been
ordered to do, and chose delegates. John J. Hardin of Jacksonville,
Edward D. Baker and Abraham Lincoln of Springfield, were the three
candidates for whom these delegates were instructed.

To Lincoln's keen disappointment, the delegation from Sangamon County
was instructed for Baker. A variety of social and personal influences,
besides Baker's popularity, worked against Lincoln. "It would astonish,
if not amuse, the older citizens," wrote Lincoln to a friend, "to learn
that I (a stranger, friendless, uneducated, penniless boy, working on a
flat-boat at ten dollars per month) have been put down here as the
candidate of pride, wealth, and aristocratic family distinction." He was
not only accused of being an aristocrat, he was called "a deist." He had
fought, or been about to fight, a duel. His wife's relations were
Episcopalian and Presbyterian. He and she attended a Presbyterian
church. These influences alone could not be said to have defeated him,
he wrote, but "they levied a tax of considerable per cent. upon my

The meeting that named Baker as its choice for Congress appointed
Lincoln one of the delegates to the convention. "In getting Baker the
nomination," Lincoln wrote to Speed, "I shall be fixed a good deal like
a fellow who is made a grooms-man to a man that has cut him out, and is
marrying his own dear 'gal.'" From the first, however, he stood bravely
by Baker. "I feel myself bound not to hinder him in any way from getting
the nomination; I should despise myself were I to attempt it," he wrote
certain of his constituents who were anxious that he should attempt to
secure the nomination in spite of his instructions. It was soon evident
to both Lincoln and Baker that John J. Hardin was probably the strongest
candidate in the district, and so it proved when the convention met in
May, 1843, at Pekin.

It has frequently been charged that in this Pekin convention, Hardin,
Baker, and Lincoln agreed to take in turn the three next nominations to
Congress, thus establishing a species of rotation in office. This charge
cannot be sustained. What occurred at the Pekin convention has been
written out for this magazine by one of the only two surviving
delegates, the Hon. J.M. Ruggles of Havana, Illinois.

"When the convention assembled," writes Mr. Ruggles, "Baker was there
with his friend and champion delegate, Abraham Lincoln. The ayes and
noes had been taken, and there were fifteen votes apiece, and one in
doubt that had not arrived. That was myself. I was known to be a warm
friend of Baker, representing people who were partial to Hardin. As soon
as I arrived Baker hurried to me, saying: 'How is it? It all depends on
you.' On being told that notwithstanding my partiality for him, the
people I represented expected me to vote for Hardin, and that I would
have to do so, Baker at once replied: 'You are right--there is no other
way.' The convention was organized, and I was elected secretary. Baker
immediately arose, and made a most thrilling address, thoroughly
arousing the sympathies of the convention, and ended by declining his
candidacy. Hardin was nominated by acclamation; and then came the

"Immediately after the nomination, Mr. Lincoln walked across the room to
my table, and asked if I would favor a resolution recommending Baker for
the next term. On being answered in the affirmative, he said: 'You
prepare the resolution, I will support it, and I think we can pass it.'
The resolution created a profound sensation, especially with the friends
of Hardin. After an excited and angry discussion, the resolution passed
by a majority of one."

Lincoln supported Hardin as energetically as he had Baker. In a
letter[3] to the former, hitherto unpublished, written on May 11th, just
after the convention, he says:

    "Butler informs me that he received a letter from you in which
    you expressed some doubt as to whether the Whigs of Sangamon
    will support you cordially. You may at once dismiss all fears on
    that subject. We have already resolved to make a particular
    effort to give you the very largest majority possible in our
    county. From this no Whig of the county dissents. We have many
    objects for doing it. We make it a matter of honor and pride to
    do it; we do it because we love the Whig cause; we do it because
    we like you personally; and, last, we wish to convince you that
    we do not bear that hatred to Morgan County that you people have
    seemed so long to imagine. You will see by the 'Journal' of this
    week that we propose, upon pain of losing a barbecue, to give
    you twice as great a majority in this county as you shall
    receive in your own. I got up the proposal.

    "Who of the five appointed is to write the district address? I
    did the labor of writing one address this year, and got thunder
    for my reward. Nothing new here.

    Yours as ever,

    "A. LINCOLN."

    "P.S. I wish you would measure one of the largest of those
    swords we took to Alton, and write me the length of it, from tip
    of the point to tip of the hilt, in feet and inches. I have a
    dispute about the length[4].

    A. L."

[Footnote 3: The originals of both the letters on this page addressed by
Lincoln to Hardin are owned by the daughter of General Hardin, Mrs.
Ellen Hardin Walworth of New York City.]

[Footnote 4: The swords referred to in this postscript are those used in
the Shields-Lincoln duel. See MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE for April, 1896.]


Hardin was elected, and in 1844 Baker was nominated and elected. Lincoln
had accepted his defeat by Hardin manfully. He had secured the
nomination for Baker in 1844. He felt that his duty toward his friends
was discharged, and that the nomination in 1846 belonged to him. Through
the terms of both Hardin and Baker, he worked persistently and carefully
to insure his own nomination. With infinite pains-taking he informed
himself about the temper of every individual whom he knew or of whom he
heard. In an amusing letter to Hardin, hitherto unpublished, written in
May, 1844, while the latter was in Congress, he tells him of one
disgruntled constituent who must be pacified, giving him, at the same
time, a hint as to the temper of the "Locofocos."

    "Knowing that you have correspondents enough, I have forborne to
    trouble you heretofore," he writes; "and I now only do so to get
    you to set a matter right which has got wrong with one of our
    best friends. It is old Uncle Thomas Campbell of Spring Creek
    (Berlin P.O.). He has received several documents from you, and
    he says they are old newspapers and old documents, having no
    sort of interest in them. He is, therefore, getting a strong
    impression that you treat him with disrespect. This, I know, is
    a mistaken impression, and you must correct it. The way, I leave
    to yourself. Robert W. Canfield says he would like to have a
    document or two from you.

    "The Locos here are in considerable trouble about Van Buren's
    letter on Texas, and the Virginia electors. They are growing
    sick of the tariff question, and consequently are much
    confounded at Van Buren's cutting them off from the new Texas
    question. Nearly half the leaders swear they won't stand it. Of
    those are Ford, T. Campbell, Ewing, Calhoun, and others. They
    don't exactly say they won't go for Van Buren, but they say he
    will not be the candidate, and that _they_ are for Texas

    "As ever yours,

    "A. LINCOLN."


From an ambrotype taken in Springfield, Illinois, in 1860, and given by
Lincoln to J. Henry Brown, a miniature artist who had gone to
Springfield to paint a portrait of the President for Judge Read of
Pennsylvania. The ambrotype is now in a collection in Boston. A
companion picture, made at the same time, is owned by Mr. William H.
Lambert of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was reproduced as the
frontispiece to MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE for March, 1896 (see note to this

[Illustration: GENERAL JOHN J. HARDIN.

After a portrait owned by Mrs. Julia Duncan Kirby, Jacksonville,
Illinois. John J. Hardin was born at Frankfort, Kentucky, January 6,
1810; was educated at Transylvania University; removed to Jacksonville,
Illinois, in 1830, and there began practising law. He at once became
active in politics, and in 1834 was a candidate for Prosecuting
Attorney, an officer at that time chosen by the legislature. He was
defeated by Stephen A. Douglas, then a recent arrival from Vermont. In
1836 he was elected to the lower branch of the General Assembly, and
served three terms. In the session of 1836-37, he was one of the few
members who opposed the internal improvements scheme. He was elected to
Congress from the Sangamon district in 1843, and served until 1845. For
some time he was a general in the State militia. In the Mexican War, he
was colonel of the First Illinois Regiment, and was killed at the battle
of Buena Vista, February 23, 1847. General Hardin was a man of brilliant
parts. He was an able lawyer, and at the time of his death had risen to
the leadership of the Whig party in his State. It was through his
intercession, aided by Dr. R.W. English, that the unpleasantness between
Lincoln and Shields in 1842 was amicably settled and a duel
prevented.--_J. McCan Davis_.]


From the Civil War collection of Mr. Robert Coster. Edward Dickinson
Baker was born in London, February 24, 1811. In his infancy his parents
emigrated to America, and his father became a teacher at Philadelphia.
There Edward was apprenticed to a weaver; but he disliked the trade, and
soon gave it up and left home. He drifted to Belleville, Illinois, about
1826, and was followed a year later by his parents. For several months
he drove a dray in St. Louis, Missouri; then removed to Carrollton,
Illinois, and studied law. His early experience at the bar was
disheartening, and upon becoming a member of the Christian church he
resolved to enter the ministry; but political success about this time
caused a change of mind, and robbed the pulpit of a splendid ornament.
In 1835 he removed to Springfield, and in 1837 was elected to the
legislature. He achieved immediate distinction as an orator, and for the
ensuing fifteen years he ranked among the foremost lawyers and
politicians of the State. He was reflected to the House in 1838, served
in the State Senate from 1840 to 1844, and was then elected to Congress.
Upon the breaking out of the Mexican War he returned home, and raised a
regiment of which he was commissioned colonel. After the war he removed
to Galena, and was there sent back to Congress. In 1851 he went to the
Isthmus of Panama with four hundred laborers to engage in the
construction of the Panama Railroad. In 1852 he went to San Francisco,
California, where he at once became the leader of the bar. He was not
successful there in any of his political aspirations, and removed to
Oregon. That State at once made him a United States Senator. The Civil
War coming on, he resigned his seat in the Senate, raised "the
California regiment," immediately went to the front, and was killed at
Ball's Bluff, October 20, 1861.--. _J. McCan Davis_.]

In 1844, being a presidential elector, Lincoln entered the canvass with
ardor. Henry Clay was the candidate, and Lincoln shared the popular
idolatry of the man. His devotion was not merely a sentiment, however.
He had been an intelligent student of Clay's public life, and his
sympathy was all with the principles of the "gallant Harry of the West."
Throughout the campaign he worked zealously, travelling all over the
State, speaking and talking. As a rule he was accompanied by a Democrat.
The two went unannounced, simply stopping at some friendly house. On
their arrival the word was sent around, "the candidates are here," and
the men of the neighborhood gathered to hear the discussion, which was
carried on in the most informal way, the candidates frequently sitting
tipped back against the side of the house, or perched on a rail,
whittling during the debates. Nor was all of this electioneering done by
argument. Many votes were still cast in Illinois out of personal liking,
and the wily candidate did his best to make himself agreeable,
particularly to the women of the household. The Hon. William L.D. Ewing,
a Democrat who travelled with Lincoln in one campaign, used to tell a
story of how he and Lincoln were eager to win the favor of one of their
hostesses, whose husband was an important man in his neighborhood.
Neither had made much progress until at milking-time Mr. Ewing started
after the woman of the house as she went to the yard, took her pail, and
insisted on milking the cow himself. He naturally felt that this was a
master stroke. But receiving no reply from the hostess, to whom he had
been talking loudly as he milked, he looked around, only to see her and
Lincoln leaning comfortably over the bars, engaged in an animated
discussion. By the time he had his self-imposed task done, Lincoln had
captivated the hostess, and all Mr. Ewing received for his pains was
hearty thanks for giving her a chance to have so pleasant a talk with
Mr. Lincoln.[5]

[Footnote 5: Interview with Judge William Ewing of Chicago.]


Lincoln's speeches at this time were not confined to his own State. He
made several in Indiana, being invited thither by prominent Whig
politicians who had heard him speak in Illinois. The first and most
important of his meetings in Indiana was at Bruceville. The Democrats,
learning of the proposed Whig gathering, arranged one, for the same
evening, with Lieutenant William W. Carr of Vincennes as speaker. As
might have been expected from the excited state of politics at the
moment, the proximity of the two mass-meetings aroused party loyalty to
a fighting pitch. "Each party was determined to break up the other's
speaking," writes Miss O'Flynn, in a description of the Bruceville
meeting prepared for this Magazine from interviews with those who took
part in it. "The night was made hideous with the rattle of tin pans and
bells and the blare of cow-horns. In spite of all the din and uproar of
the younger element, a few grown-up male radicals and partisan women
sang and cheered loudly for their favorites, who kept on with their flow
of political information. Lieutenant Carr stood in his carriage, and
addressed the crowd around him, while a local politician acted as grand
marshal of the night, and urged the yelling Democratic legion to surge
to the schoolhouse, where Abraham Lincoln was speaking, and run the
Whigs from their headquarters. Old men now living, who were big boys
then, cannot remember any of the burning eloquence of either speaker. As
they now laughingly express it: 'We were far more interested in the
noise and fussing than the success of the speakers, and we ran backward
and forward from one camp to the other.'

Fortunately, the remaining speeches in Indiana were made under more
dignified conditions. One was delivered at Rockport; another "from the
door of a harness shop" near Gentryville, Lincoln's old home in Indiana;
and a third at the "Old Carter School" in the same neighborhood. At the
delivery of the last many of Lincoln's old neighbors were present, and
they still tell of the cordial way in which he greeted them and of the
interest he showed in every familiar spot.

"'I was a young fellow,' Mr. Redmond Grigsby says, 'and took a long time
to get to the speaking. When I got to the out-skirts of the crowd, Mr.
Lincoln saw me, and called out: "If that isn't Red Grigsby, then I'm a
ghost." He then came through the crowd and met me. We shook hands and
talked a little. His speech was good, and was talked about for a long
while around in this section. The last words of his speech at the Carter
schoolhouse were: 'My fellow-citizens, I may not live to see it, but
give us protective tariff, and we will have the greatest country on the

"After the speaking was over, Mr. Josiah Crawford invited Abraham
Lincoln and John W. Lamar to go home with him. As they rode along, Mr.
Lincoln talked over olden times. He asked about a saw pit in which he
had worked when a young boy. Mr. Crawford said it was still in
existence, and that he would drive around near it. The three men,
Lincoln, Crawford, and Lamar, went up into the woods where the old pit
was. It had partly fallen down; the northwest corner, where Lincoln used
to stand when working, was propped up by a large forked stick against a
tree. Mr. Lincoln said: 'This looks more natural than I thought it would
after so many years since I worked here.' During the time spent at Mr.
Crawford's home, Mr. Lincoln went around inspecting everything."[6]

[Footnote 6: Lincoln in Indiana in 1844. Unpublished MS. by Anna

So vivid were the memories which this visit to Gentryville aroused, so
deep were Lincoln's emotions, that he even attempted to express them in


The Rev. Peter Cartwright, the most famous itinerant preacher of the
pioneer era, was born in Amherst County, Virginia, on James River,
September 1, 1785. His father was a Revolutionary soldier, and soon
after peace was declared the family moved to the wildest region of
Kentucky. The migrating party consisted of two hundred families, guarded
by an armed escort of one hundred men. Peter was a wild boy; but in his
sixteenth year he was persuaded by his mother to join the Methodist
Church. He at once displayed a wonderful talent for exhorting, and at
the age of seventeen he became a licensed exhorter. A year later he
became a regular travelling preacher. His reputation soon spread over
Kentucky and Ohio. He hated slavery, and in 1823, to get into a free
State, he and his wife (he had married Frances Gaines in 1808) and their
seven children removed to Illinois. They settled in the Sangamon valley,
near Springfield. For the next forty years he travelled over the State,
most of the time on horseback, preaching the gospel in his unique and
rugged fashion. His district was at first so large (extending from
Kaskaskia to Galena) that he was unable to traverse the whole of it in
the same year. He was elected to the legislature in 1828 and again in
1832; Lincoln, in the latter year, being an opposing candidate. In 1846
he was the Democratic nominee for Congress against Lincoln, and was
badly beaten. Peter Cartwright enjoyed, perhaps, a larger personal
acquaintance with the people of Illinois than any other man ever had.
His name was familiar in every household in the West. Up to 1856 (he
wrote an autobiography in that year) he had baptized twelve thousand
persons and preached five hundred funeral sermons. His personality was
quaint and original. A native vigor of intellect largely overbalanced
the lack of education. He was a great wit, and often said startling
things. His religion sometimes bordered upon fanaticism. He was fearless
and aggressive, and was no respecter of persons. It was not a rare thing
for him to descend from the pulpit, and by sheer physical force subdue a
disorderly member of his congregation. On one occasion, attending a
dinner given by Governor Edwards, he requested the governor to "say
grace," observing that the ceremony was about to be dispensed with. The
wife of a Methodist brother objected to family worship; Peter Cartwright
shut her outdoors and kept her there until she became convinced of her
error. At Nashville, Tennessee, as he was about to begin a sermon, a
distinguished-looking stranger entered the church; some one whispered to
him that it was Andrew Jackson; whereupon he at once blurted out, "Who
is General Jackson? If he don't get his soul converted, God will damn
him as quick as he would a Guinea nigger!" Attending the general
conference in New York, he astonished the hotel clerk by asking for an
axe "to blaze his way" up the six flights of stairs, so that he would
not get lost on the return trip. He died in 1872, after having been a
member of the Methodist Church for more than seventy-one years.--_J.
McCan Davis_.]


In this campaign of 1844 the annexation of Texas was one of the most
hotly discussed questions. The Whigs opposed annexation, but their
ground was not radical enough to suit the growing body of Abolitionists
in the country, who nominated a third candidate, James G. Birney.
Lincoln was obliged to meet the arguments of the Abolitionists
frequently in his campaigning. In 1845, while working for Congress, he
found the abolition sentiment stronger than ever. Prominent among the
leaders of the third party in the State were two brothers, Williamson
and Madison Durley of Hennepin, Illinois. They were outspoken advocates
of their principles, and even operated a station of the underground
railroad. Lincoln knew the Durleys, and, when visiting Hennepin to
speak, solicited their support. They opposed their liberty principles.
When Lincoln returned to Springfield he wrote Williamson Durley a letter
which has never before been published,[7] and which sets forth with
admirable clearness his exact position on the slavery question at that
period. It must be regarded, we think, as the most valuable document on
the question which we have up to this point in Lincoln's life.

[Footnote 7: This letter is dated October 3, 1845. It is now owned by
the son of Williamson Durley, Mr. A.W. Durley of West Superior,
Wisconsin. Mr. C.W. Durley of Princeton, Illinois, kindly secured the
copy for us from his brother.]

FOR CLAY IN 1844.]

    "When I saw you at home," Lincoln began, "it was agreed that I
    should write to you and your brother Madison. Until I then saw
    you I was not aware of your being what is generally called an
    Abolitionist, or, as you call yourself, a Liberty man, though I
    well knew there were many such in your county.

    "I was glad to hear that you intended to attempt to bring about,
    at the next election in Putnam, a union of the Whigs proper and
    such of the Liberty men as are Whigs in principle on all
    questions save only that of slavery. So far as I can perceive,
    by such union neither party need yield anything on _the_
    point in difference between them. If the Whig abolitionists of
    New York had voted with us last fall, Mr. Clay would now be
    President, Whig principles in the ascendant, and Texas not
    annexed; whereas, by the division, all that either had at stake
    in the contest was lost. And, indeed, it was extremely probable,
    beforehand, that such would be the result. As I always
    understood, the Liberty men deprecated the annexation of Texas
    extremely; and this being so, why they should refuse to cast
    their votes [so] as to prevent it, even to me seemed wonderful.
    What was their process of reasoning, I can only judge from what
    a single one of them told me. It was this: 'We are not to do
    _evil_ that _good_ may come.' This general proposition
    is doubtless correct; but did it apply? If by your votes you
    could have prevented the _extension_, etc., of slavery,
    would it not have been _good_, and not _evil_, so to
    have used your votes, even though it involved the casting of
    them for a slave-holder? By the _fruit_ the tree is to be
    known. An _evil_ tree cannot bring forth _good_ fruit.
    If the fruit of electing Mr. Clay would have been to prevent the
    extension of slavery, could the act of electing have been evil?

    "But I will not argue further. I perhaps ought to say that
    individually I never was much interested in the Texas question.
    I never could see much good to come of annexation, inasmuch as
    they were already a free republican people on our own model. On
    the other hand, I never could very clearly see how the
    annexation would augment the evil of slavery. It always seemed
    to me that slaves would be taken there in about equal numbers,
    with or without annexation. And if more _were_ taken
    because of annexation, still there would be just so many the
    fewer left where they were taken from. It is possibly true, to
    some extent, that, with annexation, some slaves may be sent to
    Texas and continued in slavery that otherwise might have been
    liberated. To whatever extent this may be true, I think
    annexation an evil. I hold it to be a paramount duty of us in
    the free States, due to the Union of the States, and perhaps to
    liberty itself (paradox though it may seem), to let the slavery
    of the other States alone; while, on the other hand, I hold it
    to be equally clear that we should never knowingly lend
    ourselves, directly or indirectly, to prevent that slavery from
    dying a natural death--to find new places for it to live in,
    when it can no longer exist in the old. Of course I am not now
    considering what would be our duty in cases of insurrection
    among the slaves. To recur to the Texas question, I understand
    the Liberty men to have viewed annexation as a much greater evil
    than ever I did; and I would like to convince you, if I could,
    that they could have prevented it, without violation of
    principle, if they had chosen.

    "I intend this letter for you and Madison together; and if you
    and he or either shall think fit to drop me a line, I shall be

    "Yours with respect,

    "A. LINCOLN."


As the time drew near for the convention of 1846 Lincoln learned that
Hardin proposed to contest the nomination with him. Hardin certainly was
free to do this. He had voluntarily declined the nomination in 1844,
because of the events of the Pekin convention, but he had made no
promise to do so in 1846. Many of the Whigs of the district had not
expected him to be a candidate, however, arguing that Lincoln, because
of his relation to the party, should be given his turn. "We do not
entertain a doubt," wrote the editor of the "Sangamo Journal," in
February, 1846, "that if we could reverse the positions of the two men,
a very large portion of those who now support Mr. Lincoln most warmly
would support General Hardin quite as warmly." Although Lincoln had
anticipated that Hardin would enter the race, it made him anxious and a
little melancholy.

"Since I saw you last fall," he wrote on January 7, 1846, to his friend
Dr. Robert Boal of Lacon, Illinois, in a letter hitherto unpublished[8],
"I have often thought of writing you, as it was then understood I would;
but, on reflection, I have always found that I had nothing new to tell
you. All has happened as I then told you I expected it would--Baker's
declining, Hardin's taking the track, and so on.

[Footnote 8: This letter is still in the possession of Dr. Boal of
Lacon, Illinois, and the right of publication was secured for the
Magazine by W.B. Powell of that city.]

"If Hardin and I stood precisely equal--that is, if _neither_ of us
had been to Congress, or if we _both_ had--it would not only accord
with what I have always done, for the sake of peace, to give way to him;
and I expect I should do it. That I _can_ voluntarily postpone my
pretensions, when they are no more than equal to those to which they are
postponed, you have yourself seen. But to yield to Hardin under present
circumstances seems to me as nothing else than yielding to one who would
gladly sacrifice me altogether. This I would rather not submit to. That
Hardin is talented, energetic, unusually generous and magnanimous, I
have, before this, affirmed to you, and do not now deny. You know that
my only argument is that 'turn about is fair play.' This he, practically
at least, denies.

"If it would not be taxing you too much, I wish you would write me,
telling the aspect of things in your county, or rather your district;
and also send the names of some of your Whig neighbors to whom I might,
with propriety, write. Unless I can get some one to do this, Hardin,
with his old franking list, will have the advantage of me. My reliance
for a fair shake (and I want nothing more) in your county is chiefly on
you, because of your position and standing, and because I am acquainted
with so few others. Let me hear from you soon."

[Illustration: HENRY CLAY.

From a carbon reproduction, by Sherman and McHugh of New York City, of a
daguerreotype in the collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq., and here
reproduced through his courtesy.]

Lincoln followed the vibrations of feeling in the various counties with
extreme nicety, studying every individual whose loyalty he suspected or
whose vote was not yet pledged. "Nathan Dresser is here," he wrote to
his friend Bennett, on January 15, 1846, "and speaks as though the
contest between Hardin and me is to be doubtful in Menard County. I know
he is candid, and this alarms me some. I asked him to tell me the names
of the men that were going strong for Hardin; he said Morris was about
as strong as any. Now tell me, is Morris going it openly? You remember
you wrote me that he would be neutral. Nathan also said that some man
(who, he could not remember) had said lately that Menard County was
again to decide the contest, and that made the contest very doubtful. Do
you know who that was?

"Don't fail to write me instantly on receiving, telling me
all--particularly the names of those who are going strong against

[Footnote 9: This letter, hitherto unpublished, is owned by E. R.
Oeltjen of Petersburg, Illinois.]

In January, General Hardin suggested that, since he and Mr. Lincoln were
the only persons mentioned as candidates, there be no convention, but
the selection be left to the Whig voters of the district. Lincoln

"It seems to me," he wrote Hardin, "that on reflection you will see the
fact of your having been in Congress has, in various ways, so spread
your name in the district as to give you a decided advantage in such a
stipulation. I appreciate your desire to keep down excitement; and I
promise you to 'keep cool' under all circumstances.... I have always
been in the habit of acceding to almost any proposal that a friend would
make, and I am truly sorry that I cannot in this. I perhaps ought to
mention that some friends at different places are endeavoring to secure
the honor of the sitting of the convention at their towns respectively,
and I fear that they would not feel much complimented if we shall make a
bargain that it should sit nowhere."[10]

[Footnote 10: From a letter published in the "Sangamo Journal" of
February 26, 1846, and which is not found in any collection of Lincoln's
letters and speeches.]

After General Hardin received this refusal he withdrew from the contest,
in a manly and generous letter which was warmly approved by the Whigs of
the district. Both men were so much loved that a break between them
would have been a disastrous thing for the party. "We are truly glad
that a contest which in its nature was calculated to weaken the ties of
friendship has terminated amicably," said the "Sangamo Journal."


Born in Boston in 1809, graduated at Harvard, and studied law with
Daniel Webster. Winthrop's career as a statesman began with his election
to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1834. He remained there
until elected to Congress in 1840, where he served ten years. In 1847 he
was elected Speaker by the Whigs. In 1850 Winthrop was appointed Senator
to take Daniel Webster's place, but he was defeated in his efforts to be
re-elected. Candidate for governor in the same year, he was also
defeated. He retired from politics after this, though often offered
various candidacies. Winthrop was especially noted as an orator.]

The charge that Hardin, Baker, and Lincoln tried to ruin one another in
this contest for Congress has often been denied by their associates, and
never more emphatically than by Judge Gillespie, an influential
politician of the State. In an unpublished letter Judge Gillespie says:
"Hardin was one of the most unflinching and unfaltering Whigs that ever
drew the breath of life. He was a mirror of chivalry, and so was Baker.
Lincoln had boundless respect for, and confidence in, them both. He knew
they would sacrifice themselves rather than do an act that could savor
in the slightest degree of meanness or dishonor. Those men, Lincoln,
Hardin, and Baker, were bosom friends, to my certain knowledge....
Lincoln felt that they could be actuated by nothing but the most
honorable sentiments towards him. For although they were rivals, they
were all three men of the most punctilious honor, and devoted friends. I
knew them intimately, and can say confidently that there never was a
particle of envy on the part of one towards the other. The rivalry
between them was of the most honorable and friendly character, and when
Hardin and Baker were killed (Hardin in Mexico, and Baker at Ball's
Bluff) Lincoln felt that in the death of each he had lost a dear and
true friend[11]."

[Footnote 11: From an unpublished letter by Joseph Gillespie, owned by
Mrs. Ellen Hardin Walworth of New York City.]


After Hardin's withdrawal, Lincoln went about in his characteristic way
trying to soothe his and Hardin's friends. "Previous to General Hardin's
withdrawal," he wrote one of his correspondents,[12] "some of his
friends and some of mine had become a little warm; and I felt ... that
for them now to meet face to face and converse together was the best way
to efface any remnant of unpleasant feeling, if any such existed. I did
not suppose that General Hardin's friends were in any greater need of
having their feelings corrected than mine were."

[Footnote 12: From an unpublished letter to Judge James Berdan of
Jacksonville, Illinois, dated April 26, 1846. The original is now owned
by Mrs. Mary Berdan Tiffany of Springfield, Illinois.]

In May, Lincoln was nominated. His Democratic opponent was Peter
Cartwright, the famous Methodist exhorter. Cartwright had been in
politics before, and made an energetic canvass. His chief weapon against
Lincoln was the old charges of deism and aristocracy; but they failed of
effect, and in August, Lincoln was elected.

The contest over, sudden and characteristic disillusion seized him.
"Being elected to Congress, though I am grateful to our friends for
having done it, has not pleased me as much as I expected," he wrote


In November, 1847, Lincoln started for Washington. The city in 1848 was
little more than the outline of the Washington of 1896. The Capitol was
without the present wings, dome, or western terrace. The White House,
the City Hall, the Treasury, the Patent Office, and the Post-Office were
the only public buildings standing then which have not been rebuilt or
materially changed. The streets were unpaved, and their dust in summer
and mud in winter are celebrated in every record of the period. The
parks and circles were still unplanted. Near the White House were a few
fine old homes, and Capitol Hill was partly built over. Although there
were deplorable wastes between these two points, the majority of the
people lived in this part of the city, on or near Pennsylvania Avenue.
The winter that Lincoln was in Washington, Daniel Webster lived on
Louisiana Avenue, near Sixth Street; Speaker Winthrop and Thomas H.
Benton on C Street, near Third; John Quincy Adams and James Buchanan,
the latter then Secretary of State, on F Street, between Thirteenth and
Fourteenth. Many of the senators and congressmen were in hotels, the
leading ones of which were Willard's, Coleman's, Gadsby's, Brown's,
Young's, Fuller's, and the United States. Stephen A. Douglas, who was in
Washington for his first term as senator, lived at Willard's. So
inadequate were the hotel accommodations during the sessions that
visitors to the town were frequently obliged to accept most
uncomfortable makeshifts for beds. Seward, visiting the city in 1847,
tells of sleeping on "a cot between two beds occupied by strangers."

The larger number of members lived in "messes," a species of
boarding-club, over which the owner of the house occupied usually
presided. The "National Intelligencer" of the day is sprinkled with
announcements of persons "prepared to accommodate a mess of members."
Lincoln went to live in one of the best known of these clubs, Mrs.
Sprigg's, in "Duff Green's Row," on Capitol Hill. This famous row has
now entirely disappeared, the ground on which it stood being occupied by
the new Congressional Library.


Born in New Hampshire in 1802; removed to Illinois in 1832. A member of
the legislature from 1836 to 1840, and of Congress from 1843 to 1849.
During the war, paymaster in the United States Army at St. Louis. Died
at Alton in 1868.]

At Mrs. Sprigg's, Lincoln had as mess-mates several Congressmen: A.R.
McIlvaine, James Pollock, John Strohm, and John Blanchard, all of
Pennsylvania, Patrick Tompkins of Mississippi, Joshua R. Giddings of
Ohio, and Elisha Embree of Indiana. Among his neighbors in messes on
Capitol Hill were Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, Alexander H. Stephens of
Georgia, and Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. Only one of the members of
the mess at Mrs. Sprigg's in the winter of 1847-1848 is now living, Dr.
S.C. Busey of Washington, D.C. He sat nearly opposite Lincoln at the

"I soon learned to know and admire him," says Dr. Busey[13], "for his
simple and unostentatious manners, kind-heartedness, and amusing jokes,
anecdotes, and witticisms. When about to tell an anecdote during a meal
he would lay down his knife and fork, place his elbows upon the table,
rest his face between his hands, and begin with the words, 'That reminds
me,' and proceed. Everybody prepared for the explosions sure to follow.
I recall with vivid pleasure the scene of merriment at the dinner after
his first speech in the House of Representatives, occasioned by the
descriptions, by himself and others of the Congressional mess, of the
uproar in the House during its delivery.

[Footnote 13: "Personal Reminiscences and Recollections," by Samuel C.
Busey, M.D., LL.D., Washington, D.C., 1895.]


Wentworth removed to Chicago from New Hampshire in 1836, where he
published the "Chicago Democrat." He was twice Mayor of Chicago, and
served in Congress from 1843 to 1851. He was an ardent anti-slavery man.
He died in 1888.]

"Congressman Lincoln was always neatly but very plainly dressed, very
simple and approachable in manner, and unpretentious. He attended to his
business, going promptly to the House and remaining till the session
adjourned, and appeared to be familiar with the progress of

The town offered then little in the way of amusement. The Adelphi
Theatre was opened that winter for the first time, and presented a
variety of mediocre plays. At the Olympia were "lively and beautiful
exhibitions of model artists." Herz and Sivori, the pianists, then
touring in the United States, played several times in the season; and
there was a Chinese Museum. Add the exhibitions of Brown's paintings of
the heroes of Palo Alto, Resaca, Monterey, and Buena Vista, and of
Powers's "Greek Slave," the performances of Dr. Valentine, "Delineator
of Eccentricities," a few lectures, and numerous church socials, and you
have about all there was in the way of public entertainment in
Washington in 1848. But of dinners, receptions, and official gala
affairs there were many. Lincoln's name appears frequently in the
"National Intelligencer" on committees to offer dinners to this or that
great man. He was, in the spring of 1849, one of the managers of the
inaugural ball given to Taylor. His simple, sincere friendliness and his
quaint humor won him soon a sure, if quiet, social position. He was
frequently invited to Mr. Webster's Saturday breakfasts, where his
stories were highly relished for their originality and drollery.


Member of the United States House of Representatives during the
twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth Congresses. In 1846 Douglas was chosen
Senator by the Democrats.]


Richardson removed to Illinois from Kentucky about 1831. He was a
prominent Democratic politician, serving in the state legislature and in
Congress. He was a captain in the Mexican War, Governor of the territory
of Nebraska in 1858, and in 1863 the successor of Douglas in the United
States Senate. He died in 1875.]


Sidney Breese was born at Whitesboro, New York, July 15, 1800; graduated
from Union College, New York, in 1818; and at once removed to Illinois,
where he was admitted to the bar. He became active in the Democratic
party, and served in many important positions: United States District
Attorney, Judge of the Supreme Court, and United States Senator. He died
in 1878.]

Dr. Busey recalls his popularity at one of the leading places of
amusement on Capitol Hill.

"Congressman Lincoln was very fond of bowling," he says, "and would
frequently join others of the mess, or meet other members in a match
game, at the alley of James Casparis, which was near the boarding-house.
He was a very awkward bowler, but played the game with great zest and
spirit, solely for exercise and amusement, and greatly to the enjoyment
and entertainment of the other players and bystanders by his criticisms
and funny illustrations. He accepted success and defeat with like good
nature and humor, and left the alley at the conclusion of the game
without a sorrow or disappointment. When it was known that he was in the
alley, there would assemble numbers of people to witness the fun which
was anticipated by those who knew of his fund of anecdotes and jokes.
When in the alley, surrounded by a crowd of eager listeners, he indulged
with great freedom in the sport of narrative, some of which were very
broad. His witticisms seemed for the most part to be impromptu, but he
always told the anecdotes and jokes as if he wished to convey the
impression that he had heard them from some one; but they appeared very
many times as if they had been made for the immediate occasion."

Another place where he became at home and was much appreciated was in
the post-office at the Capitol. "During the Christmas holidays," says
Ben: Perley Poore, "Mr. Lincoln found his way into the small room used
as the post-office of the House, where a few jovial _raconteurs_
used to meet almost every morning, after the mail had been distributed
into the members' boxes, to exchange such new stories as any of them
might have acquired since they had last met. After modestly standing at
the door for several days, Mr. Lincoln was reminded of a story, and by
New Year's he was recognized as the champion story-teller of the
Capitol. His favorite seat was at the left of the open fireplace, tilted
back in his chair, with his long legs reaching over to the chimney jamb.
He never told a story twice, but appeared to have an endless
_répertoire_ of them always ready, like the successive charges in a
magazine gun, and always pertinently adapted to some passing event. It
was refreshing to us correspondents, compelled as we were to listen to
so much that was prosy and tedious, to hear this bright specimen of
Western genius tell his inimitable stories, especially his reminiscences
of the Black Hawk War."


Ficklin was a Kentuckian who settled in Illinois in 1830. He served four
terms in the state legislature, four terms in Congress, and filled many
important posts in the Democratic party, of which he was a leader. He
died in 1885.]


But Lincoln had gone to Washington for work, and he at once interested
himself in the Whig organization formed to elect the officers of the
House. There was only a small Whig majority, and it took skill and
energy to keep the offices in the party. Lincoln's share in achieving
this result was generally recognized. As late as 1860, twelve years
after the struggle, Robert C. Winthrop of Massachusetts, who was elected
speaker, said in a speech in Boston wherein he discussed Lincoln's
nomination to the Presidency: "You will be sure that I remember him with
interest, if I may be allowed to remind you that he helped to make me
the speaker of the Thirtieth Congress, when the vote was a very close
and strongly contested vote."


Came to Illinois from Kentucky when a boy. Served in Black Hawk War, and
was one of the earliest editors of the State. Served three terms in the
state legislature, and in Congress. Was active in the war, rising to the
rank of major-general. General McClernand is still living in
Springfield, Illinois.]

A week after Congress organized, Lincoln wrote to Springfield: "As you
are all so anxious for me to distinguish myself, I have concluded to do
so before long;" and he did it--but not exactly as his Springfield
friends wished. The United States were then at war with Mexico, a war
that the Whigs abhorred. Lincoln had used his influence against it; but,
hostilities declared, he had publicly affirmed that every loyal man must
stand by the army. Many of his friends, Hardin, Baker, and Shields,
among others, were at that moment in Mexico. Lincoln had gone to
Washington intending to say nothing in opposition to the war. But the
administration wished to secure from the Whigs not only votes of
supplies and men, but a resolution declaring that the war was just and
right. Lincoln, with others of his party in Congress, refused his
sanction, voting a resolution that the war had been "unnecessarily and
unconstitutionally" begun. On December 22d he made his debut in the
House by the famous "Spot Resolutions," a series of searching questions
so clearly put, so strong historically and logically, that they drove
the administration step by step from the "spot" where the war began, and
showed that it had been the aggressor in the conquest. In January
Lincoln followed up these resolutions with a speech in support of his
position. His action was much criticised in Illinois, where the sound of
the drum and the intoxication of victory had completely turned attention
from the moral side of the question, and Lincoln found himself obliged
to defend his position with even his oldest friends.


The routine work assigned him in the Thirtieth Congress was on the
Committee on the Post-office and Post Roads. Several reports were made
by him from this committee. These reports, with a speech on internal
improvements, cover his published work in the House up to July. Then he
made a speech which was at the time quoted far and wide.

In July Zachary Taylor had been nominated at Philadelphia for President
by the Whigs. Lincoln had been at the convention, and went back to
Washington full of enthusiasm. "In my opinion we shall have a most
overwhelming, glorious triumph," he wrote a friend. "One unmistakable
sign is that all the odds and ends are with us--Barnburners, Native
Americans, Tyler men, disappointed office-seekers, Locofocos, and the
Lord knows what. This is important, if in nothing else, in showing which
way the wind blows."

In connection with Alexander H. Stephens, with whom he had become a warm
friend, Toombs, and Preston, Lincoln formed the first Congressional
Taylor Club, known as the "Young Indians." Campaigning had already begun
on the floor of Congress, and the members were daily making speeches for
the various candidates. On July 27th Lincoln made a speech for Taylor.
It was a boisterous election speech, full of merciless caricaturing, and
delivered with inimitable drollery. It kept the House in an uproar, and
was reported the country over by the Whig press. The "Baltimore
American," in giving a synopsis of it, called it the "crack speech of
the day," and said of Lincoln: "He is a very able, acute, uncouth,
honest, upright man, and a tremendous wag, withal.... Mr. Lincoln's
manner was so good-natured, and his style so peculiar, that he kept the
House in a continuous roar of merriment for the last half hour of his
speech. He would commence a point in his speech far up one of the
aisles, and keep on talking, gesticulating, and walking until he would
find himself, at the end of a paragraph, down in the centre of the area
in front of the clerk's desk. He would then go back and take another
_head_, and _work down_ again. And so on, through his capital


This speech, as well as the respect Lincoln's work in the House had
inspired among the leaders of the party, brought him an invitation to
deliver several campaign speeches in New England at the close of
Congress, and he went there early in September. There was in New
England, at that date, much strong anti-slavery feeling. The Whigs
claimed to be "Free Soilers" as well as the party which appropriated
that name, and Lincoln, in the first speech he made, defined carefully
his position on the slavery question. This was at Worcester,
Massachusetts, on September 12th. The Whig State convention had met to
nominate a candidate for governor, and the most eminent Whigs of
Massachusetts were present. Curiously enough the meeting was presided
over by ex-Governor Levi Lincoln, a descendant, like Abraham Lincoln,
from the original Samuel of Hingham. There were many brilliant speeches
made; but if we are to trust the reports of the day, Lincoln's was the
one which by its logic, its clearness, and its humor, did most for the
Whig cause. "Gentlemen inform me," says one Boston reporter, who came
too late for the exercises, "that it was one of the best speeches ever
heard in Worcester, and that several Whigs who had gone off on the Free
Soil fizzle have come back again to the Whig ranks."

A report was made and printed in the Boston "Advertiser," though it has
hitherto been entirely overlooked by biographers of Lincoln. A search
made for this magazine through the files of the Boston and Worcester
papers of the year brought it to light, and we reprint it here for the
first time. It gives concisely what Lincoln thought about the slavery
question in 1848. The report reads:

"Mr. Lincoln has a very tall and thin figure, with an intellectual
face, showing a searching mind and a cool judgment. He spoke in a
clear and cool and very eloquent manner for an hour and a half,
carrying the audience with him in his able arguments and brilliant
illustrations--only interrupted by warm and frequent applause. He
began by expressing a real feeling of modesty in addressing an
audience this 'side of the mountains,' a part of the country where, in
the opinion of the people of his section, everybody was supposed to be
instructed and wise. But he had devoted his attention to the question
of the coming Presidential election, and was not unwilling to exchange
with all whom he might the ideas to which he had arrived. He then
began to show the fallacy of some of the arguments against General
Taylor, making his chief theme the fashionable statement of all those
who oppose him (the old Locofocos as well as the new), that he _has no
principles_, and that the Whig party have abandoned their principles
by adopting him as their candidate. He maintained that General Taylor
occupied a high and unexceptionable Whig ground, and took for his
first instance and proof of this his statement in the Allison
letter--with regard to the Bank, Tariff, Rivers and Harbors,
etc.--that the will of the people should produce its own results,
without executive influence. The principle that the people should do
what--under the Constitution--they please, is a Whig principle. All
that, General Taylor not only consents to, but appeals to the people
to judge and act for themselves. And this was no new doctrine for
Whigs. It was the 'platform' on which they had fought all their
battles, the resistance of executive influence, and the principle of
enabling the people to frame the government according to their will.
General Taylor consents to be the candidate, and to assist the people
to do what they think to be their duty, and think to be best in their
national affairs; but because _he don't want to tell what we ought to
do_, he is accused of having no principles. The Whigs have maintained
for years that neither the influence, the duress, nor the prohibition
of the executive should control the legitimately expressed will of the
people; and now that on that very ground General Taylor says that he
should use the power given him by the people to do, to the best of his
judgment, the will of the people, he is accused of want of principle
and of inconsistency in position.

"Mr. Lincoln proceeded to examine the absurdity of an attempt to make a
platform or creed for a national party, to _all_ parts of which
_all_ must consent and agree, when it was clearly the intention and
the true philosophy of our government, that in Congress all opinions and
principles should be represented, and that when the wisdom of all had
been compared and united, the will of the majority should be carried
out. On this ground he conceived (and the audience seemed to go with
him) that General Taylor held correct, sound republican principles.


From a photograph kindly loaned by Miss Frances M. Lincoln of Worcester,
Massachusetts, after a painting by Chester Harding. Levi Lincoln was
born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1782, and died there in 1868. He
was a fourth cousin of Thomas Lincoln, father of the President, being
descended from the oldest son of Samuel Lincoln of Hingham,
Massachusetts, from whose fourth son, Mordecai, Abraham Lincoln
descended. Levi Lincoln was a graduate of Harvard, and studied law,
practising in Worcester. He filled many important public positions in
the State, serving in the legislature, and as lieutenant-governor, judge
of the Supreme Court, and from 1825 to 1834 as governor. He represented
the Whigs in Congress from 1835 to 1841, and after the expiration of his
term was made collector of the port of Boston. Levi Lincoln was an
active member of several learned societies, and prominent in all the
public functions of his State. In 1848, when Abraham Lincoln, then
member of Congress, spoke in Worcester, ex-Governor Lincoln presided.]

"Mr. Lincoln then passed to the subject of slavery in the States, saying
that the people of Illinois agreed entirely with the people of
Massachusetts on this subject, except, perhaps, that they did not keep
so constantly thinking about it. All agreed that slavery was an evil,
but that we were not responsible for it, and cannot affect it in States
of this Union where we do not live. But the question of the
_extension_ of slavery to new territories of this country is a part
of our responsibility and care, and is under our control. In opposition
to this Mr. Lincoln believed that the self-named 'Free Soil' party was
far behind the Whigs. Both parties opposed the extension. As he
understood it, the new party had no principle except this opposition. If
their platform held any other, it was in such a general way that it was
like the pair of pantaloons the Yankee peddler offered for sale, 'large
enough for any man, small enough for any boy.' They therefore had taken
a position calculated to break down their single important declared
object. They were working for the election of either General Cass or
General Taylor. The speaker then went on to show, clearly and
eloquently, the danger of extension of slavery likely to result from the
election of General Cass. To unite with those who annexed the new
territory, to prevent the extension of slavery in that territory, seemed
to him to be in the highest degree absurd and ridiculous. Suppose these
gentlemen succeed in electing Mr. Van Buren, they had no specific means
to _prevent_ the extension of slavery to New Mexico and California;
and General Taylor, he confidently believed, would not encourage it, and
would not prohibit its restriction. But if General Cass was elected, he
felt certain that the plans of farther extension of territory would be
encouraged, and those of the extension of slavery would meet no check.
The 'Free Soil' men, in claiming that name, indirectly attempt a
deception, by implying that Whigs were _not_ Free Soil men. In
declaring that they would 'do their duty and leave the consequences to
God,' they merely gave an excuse for taking a course they were not able
to maintain by a fair and full argument. To make this declaration did
not show what their duty was. If it did, we should have no use for
judgment; we might as well be made without intellect; and when divine or
human law does not clearly point out what _is_ our duty, we have no
means of finding out what it is but using our most intelligent judgment
of the consequences. If there were divine law or human law for voting
for Martin Van Buren, or if a fair examination of the consequences and
first reasoning would show that voting for him would bring about the
ends they pretended to wish, then he would give up the argument. But
since there was no fixed law on the subject, and since the whole
probable result of their action would be an assistance in electing
General Cass, he must say that they were behind the Whigs in their
advocacy of the freedom of the soil.

"Mr. Lincoln proceeded to rally the Buffalo convention for forbearing to
say anything--after all the previous declarations of those members who
were formerly Whigs--on the subject of the Mexican War because the Van
Burens had been known to have supported it. He declared that of all the
parties asking the confidence of the country, this new one had
_less_ of principle than any other.

"He wondered whether it was still the opinion of these Free Soil
gentlemen, as declared in the 'whereas' at Buffalo, that the Whig and
Democratic parties were both entirely dissolved and absorbed into their
own body. Had the _Vermont election_ given them any light? They had
calculated on making as great an impression in that State as in any part
of the Union, and there their attempts had been wholly ineffectual.
Their failure there was a greater success than they would find in any
other part of the Union.

"Mr. Lincoln went on to say that he honestly believed that, if all those
who wished to keep up the character of the Union, who did not believe in
enlarging our field, but in keeping our fences where they are, and
cultivating our present possessions, making it a garden, improving the
morals and education of the people, devoting the administrations to this
purpose--all real Whigs, friends of good honest government--will unite,
the race was ours. He had opportunities of hearing from almost every
part of the Union, from reliable sources, and had not heard of a county
in which we had not received accessions from other parties. If the true
Whigs come forward and join these new friends, they need not have a
doubt. We had a candidate whose personal character and principles he had
already described, whom he could not eulogize if he would. General
Taylor had been constantly, perseveringly, quietly standing up, _doing
his duty_, and asking no praise or reward for it. He was and must be
just the man to whom the interests, principles, and prosperity of the
country might be safely intrusted. He had never failed in anything he
had undertaken, although many of his duties had been considered almost

"Mr. Lincoln then went into a terse though rapid review of the origin of
the Mexican War, and the connection of the administration and General
Taylor with it, from which he deduced a strong appeal to the Whigs
present to do their duty in the support of General Taylor, and closed
with the warmest aspirations for and confidence in a deserved success.

"At the close of this truly masterly and convincing speech, the audience
gave three enthusiastic cheers for Illinois, and three more for the
eloquent Whig member from that State."

After the speech at Worcester, Lincoln spoke at Dorchester, Dedham,
Roxbury, and Chelsea, and on September 22d, in Tremont Temple,
Boston,[14] following a splendid oration by Governor Seward. His speech
on this occasion was not reported, though the Boston papers united in
calling it "powerful and convincing." His success at Worcester and
Boston was such that invitations came from all over New England asking
him to speak, and "The Atlas," to which many of these requests were
sent, was obliged finally to print the following note:

[Footnote 14: At this meeting the secretary was Ezra Lincoln, also a
descendant of Samuel Lincoln of Hingham.]


    In answer to the many applications which we daily receive from
    different parts of the State for this gentleman to speak, we
    have to say that he left Boston on Saturday morning on his way
    home to Illinois.

But Lincoln won something in New England of vastly deeper importance
than a reputation for making popular campaign speeches. He for the first
time caught a glimpse of the utter irreconcilableness of the Northern
conviction that slavery was evil and unendurable, and the Southern claim
that it was divine and necessary; and he began here to realize that
something must be done. Listening to Seward's speech in Tremont Temple,
he seems to have had a sudden insight into the truth, a quick
illumination; and that night, as the two men sat talking, he said
gravely to the great anti-slavery advocate:

"Governor Seward, I have been thinking about what you said in your
speech. I reckon you are right. We have got to deal with this slavery
question, and got to give much more attention to it hereafter than we
have been doing."


[Illustration: "PHROSO"]



Author of "The Prisoner of Zenda," "The Dolly Dialogues," etc.


    Lord Charles Wheatley, having taken leave in London (in a
    parting not overcharged with emotion) of Miss Beatrice Hipgrave,
    to whom he is to be married in a year; of her mother, Mrs.
    Kennett Hipgrave. and of Mr. Bennett Hamlyn, a rich young man
    who gives promise of seeing that Miss Hipgrave does not wholly
    lack a man's attentions in the absence of her lover,--sets put
    to enter possession of a remote Greek island, Neopalia, which he
    has purchased of the hereditary lord, Stefanopoulos. But on
    arriving he finds himself anything but welcome. He and his
    companions,--namely, his cousin, Denny Swinton; his factotum,
    Hogvardt; and his servant, Watkins,--are at once locked up; and
    though released soon, it is with a warning from the populace,
    headed by Vlacho, the innkeeper, that if found on the island
    after six o'clock the next morning, their lives will not be
    worth much. Toward midnight, little disposed to sleep, and
    curious to look about somewhat before leaving the island, they
    stroll inland, and come by chance upon the manor-house, still
    and apparently deserted. Curiosity drives them to enter. They
    find Lord Stefanopoulos, whom Vlacho had reported to them as
    recently dead of a fever, not dead, but on the point of
    dying--from a dagger wound. And the wound, they learn from his
    own lips, was given him by his nephew, Constantine, in a tumult
    that arose a few hours before when the people came up to protest
    against the sale of the island, and to persuade the lord to send
    the strangers away. Constantine, it further appears, is making
    them all their trouble, having come to the island just ahead of
    them to that end, after learning their plans by overhearing
    Wheatley talking in a London restaurant. In the darkness, on
    their way up, they have met a man and a woman going toward the
    village. The man, by his voice, they knew to be Constantine. The
    woman, they now learn, was the Lady Euphrosyne, cousin of
    Constantine and heiress to the island. From talk overheard
    between her and Constantine, she had seemed to be, while
    desirous of their departure, also anxious to spare them harm. In
    full possession of the house, they decide to stand siege, though
    scant of provisions and ammunition, and armed only with their
    own revolvers and a rifle left behind by Constantine. Soon
    Stefanopoulos dies, and by an old serving-woman they send
    warning to Constantine that he shall be brought to justice for
    his crime. Thus passes the night. Next morning Wheatley's
    attention is engaged by a woman studying them through a
    field-glass from before a small bungalow, higher up the
    mountain. Then Vlacho, the innkeeper, presents himself for a
    parley, of which nothing comes but the disclosure that
    Constantine is pledged to marry Euphrosyne, while already
    secretly married to another woman. The evening falls with the
    "death-chant" sounding in the air--a chant made by Alexander the
    Bard when an earlier Lord Stefanopoulos was killed by the people
    for having tried to sell the island. Lord Wheatley himself tells
    the story.



It was between eight and nine o'clock when the first of the enemy
appeared on the road, in the persons of two smart fellows in gleaming
kilts and braided jackets. It was no more than just dusk, and I saw that
they were strangers to me. One was tall and broad, the other shorter,
and of very slight build. They came on towards us confidently enough. I
was looking over Denny's shoulder; he held Constantine's rifle, and I
knew that he was impatient to try it. But inasmuch as might was
certainly not on our side, I was determined that right should abide with
us, and was resolute not to begin hostilities. Constantine had at least
one powerful motive for wishing our destruction; I would not furnish him
with any plausible excuse for indulging his desire. So we stood, Denny
and I at one window, Hogvardt and Watkins at the other, and watched the
approaching figures. No more appeared; the main body did not show
itself, and the sound of the fierce chant had suddenly died away. But
all at once a third man appeared, running rapidly after the first two.
He caught the shorter by the arm, and seemed to argue or expostulate
with him. For a while the three stood thus talking; then I saw the last
comer make a gesture of protest, and they all came on together.

"Push the barrel of that rifle a little farther out," said I to Denny,
"It may be useful to them to know it's there."

Denny obeyed. The result was a sudden pause in our friends' advance; but
they were near enough now for me to distinguish the last comer, and I
discerned in him, although he wore the native costume, and had discarded
his tweed suit, Constantine Stefanopoulos himself.

"Here's an exercise of self-control," I groaned, laying a detaining hand
on Denny's shoulder.

As I spoke, Constantine put a whistle to his lips and blew loudly. The
blast was followed by the appearance of five more fellows. In three of
them I recognized old acquaintances--Vlacho, Demetri, and Spiro. These
three all carried guns; and the whole eight came forward again, till
they were within a hundred yards of us. There they halted, and, with a
sudden, swift movement, three barrels were levelled at the window where
Denny and I were looking out. Well, we ducked. There is no use in
denying it. For we thought that the fusillade had really begun. Yet no
shot followed, and, after an instant, holding Denny down, I peered out
cautiously myself. The three stood motionless, their aim full on us. The
other five were advancing cautiously, well under the shelter of the
rock, two on one side of the road and three on the other. The slim,
boyish fellow was with Constantine, on our right hand; a moment later
the other three dashed across the road and joined them. Suddenly what
military men call "the objective," the aim of these manoeuvres, flashed
across me. It was simple almost to ludicrousness; yet it was very
serious, for it showed a reasoned plan of campaign, with which we were
very ill prepared to cope. While the three held us in check, the five
were going to carry off our cows. And without our cows we should soon be
hard put to it for food. For the cows had formed in our plans a most
important _pièce de résistance_.

"This won't do," said I. "They're after the cows." And I took the rifle
from Denny's hand, cautioning him not to show his face at the window.
Then I stood in the shelter of the wall, so that I could not be hit by
the three, and levelled the rifle, not at any human enemies, but at the
unoffending cows.

"A dead cow," I remarked, "is a great deal harder to move than a live

The five had now come quite near the pen of rude hurdles in which the
cows were. As I spoke, Constantine appeared to give some order; and
while he and the boy stood looking on, Constantine leaning on his gun,
the boy's hand resting with jaunty elegance on the handle of the knife
in his girdle, the others leaped over the hurdles. Crack, went the
rifle! A cow fell! I reloaded hastily. Crack! And the second cow fell.
It was very fair shooting in such a bad light, for I hit both mortally;
and my skill was rewarded by a shout of anger from the robbers (for
robbers they were; I had bought the live stock).

"Carry them off now!" I cried, carelessly showing myself at the window.
But I did not stay there long, for three shots rang out, and the bullets
pattered on the masonry above me. Luckily the covering party had aimed a
trifle too high.

"No more milk, my lord," observed Watkins, in a regretful tone. He had
seen the catastrophe from the other window.

The besiegers were checked. They leaped out of the pen with alacrity. I
suppose they realized that they were exposed to my fire, while at that
particular angle I was protected from the attack of their friends. They
withdrew to the middle of the road, selecting a spot at which I could
not take aim without showing myself at the window. I dared not look out
to see what they were doing. But presently Hogvardt risked a glance, and
called out that they were in retreat, and had rejoined the three, and
that the whole body stood together in consultation, and were no longer
covering my window. So I looked out, and saw the boy standing in an
easy, graceful attitude, while Constantine and Vlacho talked a little
apart. It was growing considerably darker now, and the figures became
dim and indistinct.

"I think the fun's over for to-night," said I, glad to have it over so

Indeed, what I said seemed to be true, for the next moment the group
turned, and began to retreat along the road, moving briskly out of our
sight. We were left in the thick gloom of a moonless evening and the
peaceful silence of still air.

"They'll come back and fetch the cows," said Hogvardt. "Could we not
drag one in, my lord, and put it where the goat is, behind the house?"

I approved of this suggestion, and Watkins having found a rope, I armed
Denny with the rifle, took from the wall a large, keen hunting-knife,
opened the door, and stole out, accompanied by Hogvardt and Watkins, who
carried their revolvers. We reached the pen without interruption, tied
our rope firmly round the horns of one of the dead beasts, and set to
work to drag it along. It was no child's play, and our progress was very
slow; but the carcass moved, and I gave a shout of encouragement as we
got it down to the smoother ground of the road and hauled it along with
a will. Alas! that shout was a great indiscretion. I had been too hasty
in assuming that our enemy was quite gone. We heard suddenly the rush of
feet; shots whistled over our heads; we had but just time to drop the
rope and turn round when Denny's rifle rang out, and then--somebody was
at us! I really do not know exactly how many there were. I had two at
me, but by great good luck I drove my big knife into one fellow's arm at
the first hazard, and I think that was enough for him. In my other
assailant I recognized Vlacho. The fat innkeeper had got rid of his gun,
and had a knife much like the one I carried myself. I knew him more by
his voice, as he cried fiercely, "Come on," than by his appearance, for
the darkness was thick now. Parrying his fierce thrusts--he was very
active for so stout a man--I called out to our people to fall back as
quickly as they could, for I did not know but that we might be taken in
the rear also.

But discipline is hard to maintain in such a force as mine.

"Bosh!" cried Denny's voice.

"Mein Gott, no!" exclaimed Hogvardt.

Watkins said nothing, but for once in his life he also disobeyed me.

Well, if they would not do as I said, I must do as they did. The line
advanced--the whole line, as at Waterloo. We pressed them hard. I heard
a revolver fired and a cry follow. Fat Vlacho slackened in his attack,
wavered, halted, turned and ran. A shout of triumph from Denny told me
that the battle was going well there. Fired with victory, I set myself
for a chase. But, alas! my pride was checked. Before I had gone two
yards I fell headlong over the body for which we had been fighting (as
Greeks and Trojans fought for the body of Hector), and came to an abrupt
stop, sprawling most ignominiously over the cow's broad back.

"Stop! stop!" I cried. "Wait a bit, Denny. I'm down over this infernal
cow!" It was an inglorious ending to the exploits of the evening.

Prudence, or my cry, stopped them. The enemy were in full retreat; their
steps pattered quick along the rocky road, and Denny observed in a tone
of immense satisfaction:

"I think that's our trick, Charlie,"

"Are you hurt?" I asked, scrambling to my feet.

Watkins owned to a crack from the stock of a gun on his right shoulder;
Hogvardt to a graze of a knife on the arm. Denny was unhurt. We had
reason to suppose that we had left our mark on at least two of the
enemy. For so great a victory it was cheaply bought.

"We'll just drag in the cow," said I--I like to stick to my point--"and
then we might see if there's anything in the cellar."

We did drag in the cow; we dragged it through the house, and finally
bestowed it in the compound behind. Hogvardt suggested that we should
fetch the other also; but I had no mind for another surprise, which
might not end so happily, and I decided to run the risk of leaving the
second animal till the morning. So Watkins went off to seek for some
wine, for which we all felt very ready, and I went to the door with the
intention of securing it. But before I did so I stood for a moment on
the step, looking out into the night, and snuffing the sweet, clear,
pure air. It was in quiet moments like this, not in the tumult that had
just passed, that I had pictured my beautiful island; and the love of it
came on me now, and made me swear that these fellows and their arch
ruffian Constantine should not drive me out of it without some more and
more serious blows than had been struck that night. If I could get away
safely, and return with enough force to keep them quiet, I would pursue
that course. If not--well, I believe I had very blood-thirsty thoughts
in my mind, as even the most peaceable man will have, when he has been
served as I had and his friends roughly handled on his account.

Having registered these determinations, I was about to proceed with my
task of securing the door, when I heard a sound that startled me. There
was nothing hostile or alarming about it, rather it was pathetic and
appealing; and, in spite of my previous truculence of mind, it caused me
to exclaim: "Hullo, is that one of those poor beggars mauled?" For the
sound was a slight, painful sigh, as of somebody in suffering, and it
seemed to come from out of the darkness about a dozen yards ahead of me.
My first impulse was to go straight to the spot; but I had begun by now
to doubt whether the Neopalians were not unsophisticated in quite as
peculiar a sense as that in which they were good-hearted; so I called
Denny and Hogvardt, bidding the latter to bring his lantern with him.
Thus protected, I stepped out of the door, in the direction from which
the sigh had come. Apparently we were to crown our victory by the
capture of a wounded enemy.

An exclamation from Hogvardt told me that he, aided by the lantern, had
come upon the quarry; but Hogvardt spoke in disgust rather than triumph.

"Oh, it's only the little one!" said he. "What's wrong with him, I
wonder." He stooped down, and examined the prostrate form. "By heaven, I
believe he's not touched! Yes, there's a bump on his forehead; but not
big enough for any of us to have given it."

By this time Denny and I were with him, and we looked down on the boy's
pale face, which seemed almost death-like in the glare of the lantern.
The bump was not such a very small one, but it would not have been made
by any of our weapons, for the flesh was not cut. A moment's further
inspection showed that it must be the result of a fall on the hard,
rocky road.

"Perhaps he tripped on the cord, as you did on the cow;" suggested
Denny, with a grin.

It seemed likely enough, but I gave very little thought to it, for I was
busy studying the boy's face.

"No doubt," said Hogvardt, "he fell in running away, and was stunned;
and they did not notice it in the dark, or were afraid to stop. But
they'll be back, my lord, and soon."

"Carry him inside," said I. "It won't hurt us to have a hostage."

Denny lifted the lad in his long arms--Denny was a tall, powerful
fellow--and strode off with him. I followed, wondering who it was that
we had got hold of; for the boy was strikingly handsome. I was last in,
and barred the door. Denny had set our prisoner down in an armchair,
where he sat now, conscious again, but still with a dazed look in his
large, dark eyes, as he looked from me to the rest, and back again to
me, finally fixing a long glance on my face.

"Well, young man," said I, "you've begun this sort of thing early.
Lifting cattle and taking murder in the day's work is pretty good for a
youngster like you. Who are you?"

"Where am I?" he cried, in that blurred, indistinct kind of voice that
comes with mental bewilderment.

"You're in my house," said I, "and the rest of your infernal gang's
outside, and going to stay there. So you must make the best of it."

The boy turned his head away and closed his eyes. Suddenly I snatched
the lantern from Hogvardt. But I paused before I brought it close to the
boy's face, as I had meant to do, and I said:

"You fellows go and get something to eat and a snooze, if you like. I'll
look after this youngster. I'll call you if anything happens outside."

After a few unselfish protests, they did as I bade them. I was left
alone in the hall with the prisoner, and merry voices from the kitchen
told me that the battle was being fought again over the wine. I set the
lantern close to the boy's face.

"H'm!" said I, after a prolonged scrutiny. Then I sat down on the table,
and began to hum softly that wretched chant of One-eyed Alexander's,
which had a terrible trick of sticking in a man's head.

For a few minutes I hummed. The lad shivered, stirred uneasily, and
opened his eyes. I had never seen such eyes, and I could not
conscientiously except even Beatrice Hipgrave's, which were in their way
quite fine. I hummed away, and the boy said, still in a dreamy voice,
but with an imploring gesture of his hand:

"Ah, no, not that! Not that, Constantine!"

"He's a tender-hearted youth," said I; and I was smiling now. The whole
episode was singularly unusual and interesting.

The boy's eyes were on mine again. I met his glance full and square.
Then I poured out some water, and gave it to him. He took it with
trembling hand--the hand did not escape my notice--and drank it eagerly,
setting the glass down with a sigh.

"I am Lord Wheatley," said I, nodding to him. "You came to steal my
cattle, and murder me, if it happened to be convenient, you know."

The boy flashed out at me in a minute:

"I didn't. I thought you'd surrender, if we got the cattle away."

"You thought," said I, scornfully. "I suppose you did as you were bid."

"No; I told Constantine that they weren't to--" The boy stopped short,
looked round him, and said in a questioning voice: "Where are all the
rest of my people?"

"The rest of your people," said I, "have run away. You are in my hands.
I can do just as I please with you."

His lips set in an obstinate curve, but he made no answer. I went on as
sternly as I could: "And when I think of what I saw here yesterday--of
that poor old man stabbed by your blood-thirsty crew--"

"It was an accident," he cried, sharply; the voice had lost its
dreaminess, and sounded clear now.

"We'll see about that when we get Constantine and Vlacho before a
judge," I retorted grimly. "Anyhow, he was foully stabbed in his own
house, for doing what he had a perfect right to do."

"He had no right to sell the island," cried the boy; and he rose for a
moment to his feet, with a proud air, only to sink back again into the
chair and stretch out his hand for water again.

Now at this moment Denny, refreshed by meat and drink, and in the
highest of spirits, bounded into the hall.

"How's the prisoner?" he cried.

"Oh, he's all right. There's nothing the matter with him," I said; and,
as I spoke, I moved the lantern, so that the boy's face and figure were
again in shadow.

"That's all right," observed Denny, cheerfully. "Because I thought,
Charlie, we might get a little information out of him."

"Perhaps he won't speak," I suggested, casting a glance at the captive,
who sat now motionless in the chair.

"Oh, I think he will," said Denny, confidently; and I observed for the
first time that he held a very substantial looking whip in his hand; he
must have found it in the kitchen. "We'll give the young ruffian a taste
of this, if he's obstinate," said Denny; and I cannot say that his tone
witnessed any great desire that the boy should prove at once compliant.

I shifted my lantern so that I could see the proud young face while
Denny could not. The boy's eyes met mine defiantly.

"You hear what he proposes?" I asked. "Will you tell us all we want to

The boy made no answer, but I saw trouble in his face, and his eyes did
not meet mine so boldly now.

"We'll soon find a tongue for him," said Denny, in cheerful barbarity;
"upon my word, he richly deserves a thrashing. Say the word, Charlie."

"We haven't asked him anything yet," said I.

"Oh, I'll ask him something. Look here, who was the fellow with you and

The boy was silent; defiance and fear struggled in the dark eyes.

"You see, he's an obstinate beggar," said Denny, as though he had
observed all necessary forms and could now get to business; and he drew
the lash of the whip through his fingers. I am afraid Denny was rather
looking forward to executing justice with his own hands.

The boy rose again, and stood facing that heartless young ruffian,
Denny--it was thus that I thought of Denny at the moment--then once
again he sank back into his seat, and covered his face with his hands.

"Well, I wouldn't go out killing if I hadn't more pluck than that," said
Denny, scornfully. "You're not fit for the trade, my lad."

The boy had no retort. His face was buried in those slim hands of his.
For a moment he was quite still. Then he moved a little; it was a
movement that spoke of helpless pain, and I heard something very like a
stifled sob.

"Just leave us alone a little, Denny," said I. "He may tell me what he
won't tell you."

"Are you going to let him off?" demanded Denny, suspiciously. "You never
can be stiff in the back, Charlie."

"I must see if he won't speak to me first," I pleaded, meekly.

"But if he won't?" insisted Denny.

"If he won't," said I, "and you still wish it, you may do what you

Denny sheered off to the kitchen, with an air that did not seek to
conceal his opinion of my foolish tender-heartedness. Again I was alone
with the boy.

"My friend is right," said I, gravely. "You are not fit for the trade.
How came you to be in it?"

My question brought a new look, as the boy's hands dropped from his

"How came you," said I, "who ought to restrain these rascals, to be at
their head? How came you, who ought to shun the society of men like
Constantine Stefanopoulos and his tool Vlacho, to be working with them?"

I got no answer; only a frightened look appealed to me in the white
glare of Hogvardt's lantern. I came a step nearer, and leaned forward to
ask my next question:

"Who are you? What's your name?"

"My name--my name?" stammered the prisoner. "I won't tell my name."

"You'll tell me nothing? You heard what I promised my friend?"

"Yes, I heard," said the lad, with a face utterly pale, but with eyes
that were again set in fierce determination. I laughed a low laugh.

"I believe you are fit for the trade, after all," said I; and I looked
with mingled distaste and admiration on him. But I had my last weapon
still, my last question.

I turned the lantern full on his face; I leaned forward again, and said,
in distinct, low tones--and the question sounded an absurd one to be
spoken in such an impressive way:

"Do you generally wear clothes like these?"

I had got home with that question. The pallor vanished; the haughty eyes
sank. I saw long, drooping lashes and a burning flush; and the boy's
face once again sought his hands.

At the moment I heard chairs pushed back in the kitchen. In came
Hogvardt, with an amused smile on his broad face; in came Watkins, with
his impassive acquiescence in anything that his lordship might order; in
came Master Denny, brandishing his whip in jovial relentlessness.

"Well, has he told you anything?" cried Denny. It was plain that he
hoped for the answer "No."

"I have asked him half a dozen questions," said I, "and he has not
answered one."

"All right," said Denny, with wonderful emphasis.

Had I been wrong to extort this much punishment for my most inhospitable
reception? Sometimes now I think that it was cruel. In that night much
had occurred to breed viciousness in a man of the most equable temper.
But the thing had now gone to the extreme limit to which it could; and I
said to Denny:

"It's a gross case of obstinacy, of course, Denny; but I don't see very
well how we can horsewhip the lady!"

A sudden, astounded cry, "The lady!" rang from three pairs of lips; the
lady herself dropped her head on the table, and fenced her face round
about with her protecting arms.

"You see," said I, "this lad is the Lady Euphrosyne."

For who else could it be that would give orders to Constantine
Stefanopoulos, and ask where "my people" were? Who else, I also asked
myself, save the daughter of the noble house, would boast the air, the
hands, the face, that graced our young prisoner? In all certainty it was
Lady Euphrosyne.



The effect of my remark was curious. Denny turned scarlet, and flung his
whip down on the table; the others stood for a moment motionless, then
turned tail and slunk back to the kitchen. Euphrosyne's face remained
invisible. However, I felt quite at my ease. I had a triumphant
conviction of the importance of my capture, and a determination that no
misplaced chivalry should rob me of it. Politeness is, no doubt, a duty,
but only a relative duty; and, in plain English, men's lives were at
stake here. Therefore I did not make my best bow, fling open the door,
and tell the lady that she was free to go whither she would; but I said
to her in a dry, severe voice:

"You had better go, madam, to that room you usually occupy here, while
we consider what to do with you. You know where the room is; I don't."

She raised her head, and said in tones that sounded almost eager:

"My own room? May I go there?"

"Certainly," said I. "I shall accompany you as far as the door; and
when you've gone in, I shall lock the door."

This programme was duly carried out, Euphrosyne not favoring me with a
word during its progress. Then I returned to the hall, and said to

"Rather a trump card, isn't she?"

"Yes, but they'll be back pretty soon to look for her, I expect."

Denny accompanied this remark with such a yawn that I suggested he
should go to bed.

"And aren't you going to bed?" he asked.

"I'll take first watch," said I. "It's nearly twelve now. I'll wake you
at two, and you can wake Hogvardt at five, and Watkins will be fit and
well at breakfast time, and can give us roast cow."

Thus I was left alone again; and I sat, reviewing the position. Would
the islanders fight for their lady? Or would they let us go? They would
only let us go, I felt sure, if Constantine were outvoted, for he could
not afford to see me leave Neopalia with a head on my shoulders and a
tongue in my mouth. Then they probably would fight. Well, I calculated
that as long as our provisions held out, we could not be stormed; our
stone fortress was too strong. But we could be beleaguered and starved
out, and should be very soon, unless the lady's influence could help us.
I had just arrived at the conclusion that I would talk very seriously to
her in the morning, when I heard a remarkable sound.

"There never was such a place for queer noises," said I, pricking up my

The noise seemed to come from directly above my head; it sounded as
though a light, stealthy tread were passing over the roof of the hall in
which I sat. But the only person in the house besides ourselves was the
prisoner; she had been securely locked in her room; how then could she
be on the top of the hall? For her room was in the turret over the door.
Yet the steps crept over my head, going toward the kitchen. I snatched
up my revolver, and trod with a stealth equal to the stealth of the
steps overhead, across the hall and into the kitchen beyond. My three
companions slept the sleep of tired men, but I ruthlessly roused Denny.

"Go on guard in the hall," said I; "I want to have a look round."

Denny was sleepy, but obedient. I saw him start for the hall, and went
on till I reached the compound behind the house. Here I stood, deep in
the shadow of the wall. The steps were now over my head again. I glanced
up cautiously, and above me, on the roof, three yards to the right, I
saw the flutter of a white kilt.

"There are more ways out of this house than I know," I thought to

I heard next a noise as though of something being pushed cautiously
along the flat roof. Then there protruded from between two of the
battlements the end of a ladder! I crouched closer under the wall. The
light flight of steps was let down; it reached the ground; the kilted
figure stepped on it and began to descend. Here was the Lady Euphrosyne
again! Her eagerness to go to her own room was fully explained; there
was a way from it across the house and out on to the roof of the
kitchen; the ladder showed that the way was kept in use. I stood still.
She reached the ground, and as her foot touched it she gave the softest
possible little laugh of gleeful triumph. A pretty little laugh it was.
Then she stepped briskly across the compound, till she reached the rocks
on the other side. I crept forward after her, for I was afraid of losing
sight of her in the darkness, and yet did not desire to arrest her
progress till I saw where she was going. On she went, skirting the
perpendicular drop of rock, I was behind her now. At last she came to
the angle formed by the rock running north and that which, turning to
the east, enclosed the compound.

"How's she going to get up?" I asked myself.

But up she began to go--her right foot on the north rock, her left foot
on the east. She ascended with such confidence that it was evident that
steps were ready for her feet. She gained the top. I began to mount in
the same fashion, finding steps cut in the face of the cliff. I reached
the top, and I saw her standing still, ten yards ahead of me. She went
on. I followed. She stopped, looked, saw me, screamed. I rushed on her.
Her arms dealt a blow at me--I caught her hand, and in her hand there
was a little dagger. Seizing her other hand, I held her fast.

"Where are you going?" I asked in a matter-of-fact tone, taking no
notice of her hasty resort to the dagger. No doubt that was purely a
national trait.

Seeing that she was caught, she made no attempt to struggle.

"I was trying to escape," she said. "Did you hear me?"

"Yes, I heard you. Where were you going?"

"Why should I tell you? Shall you threaten me with the whip again?"

I loosed her hands. She gave a sudden glance up the hill. She seemed to
measure the distance.

"Why do you want to go to the top of the hill?" I asked. "Have you
friends there?"

She denied the suggestion, as I thought she would.

"No, I have not. But anywhere is better than with you."

"Yet there is some one in the cottage up there," I observed. "It belongs
to Constantine, doesn't it?"

"Yes, it does," she answered, defiantly. "Dare you go and seek him
there? Or dare you only skulk behind the walls of the house?"

"As long as we are only four against a hundred I dare only skulk," I
answered. She did not annoy me at all by her taunts. "But do you think
he's there?"

"There! No, he's in the town--and he'll come from the town to kill you

"There is nobody there?" I pursued.

"Nobody," she answered.

"You're wrong," said I. "I saw somebody there to-day."

"Oh, a peasant, perhaps."

"Well, the dress didn't look like it. Do you really want to go there

"Haven't you mocked me enough?" she burst out. "Take me back to my

Her tragedy air was quite delightful. But I had been leading her up to
something which I thought she ought to know.

"There's a woman in that cottage," said I. "Not a peasant--a woman in
some dark-colored dress, who uses opera glasses."

I saw her draw back with a start of surprise.

"It's false," she cried. "There's no one there. Constantine told me no
one went there except Vlacho, and sometimes Demetri."

"Do you believe all Constantine tells you?" I asked.

"Why should I not? He's my cousin and--"

"And your suitor?"

She flung her head back proudly.

"I have no shame in that," she answered.

"You would accept his offer?"

"Since you ask, I will answer. Yes; I have promised my uncle I would."

"Good God!" said I, for I was very sorry for her.

The emphasis of my exclamation seemed to startle her afresh. I felt her
glance rest on me in puzzled questioning.

"Did Constantine let you see the old woman whom I sent to him?" I

"No," she murmured. "He told me what she said."

"That I told him he was his uncle's murderer?"

"Did you tell her to say that?" she asked, with a sudden inclination of
her body toward me.

"I did. Did he give you the message?"

She made no answer. I pressed my advantage.

"On my honor I saw what I have told you at the cottage," I said. "I know
what it means no more than you do. But before I came here I saw
Constantine in London. And there I heard a lady say she would come with
him. Did any lady come with him?"

"Are you mad?" she asked; but I could hear her breathing quickly, and I
knew that her scorn was assumed. I drew suddenly away from her, and put
my hands behind my back.

"Go to the cottage if you like," said I. "But I won't answer for what
you'll find there."

"You set me free?" she cried with eagerness.

"Free to go to the cottage. You must promise to come back. Or I'll go to
the cottage, if you'll promise to go back to your room and wait till I

She hesitated, looking again toward where the cottage was; but I had
stirred suspicion and disquietude in her. She dared not face what she
might find in the cottage.

"I'll go back and wait for you," she said. "If I went to the cottage
and--and all was well, I'm afraid I shouldn't come back."

The tone sounded softer. I would have sworn a smile or a half smile
accompanied the words, but it was too dark to be sure; and when I leaned
forward to look, Euphrosyne drew back.

"Then you mustn't go," said I decisively, "I can't afford to lose you,"

"But if you let me go, I could let you go," she cried.

"Could you? Without asking Constantine? Besides, it's my island, you

"It's not," she cried, with a stamp of her foot. And without more she
walked straight by me and disappeared over the ledge of rock. Two
minutes later I saw her figure defined against the sky, a black shadow
on the deep gray ground. Then she disappeared. I set my face straight
for the cottage under the summit of the hill. I knew that I had only to
go straight, and I must come to the little plateau, scooped out of the
hillside, on which the cottage stood. I found not a path, but a sort of
rough track that led in the desired direction, and along this I made my
way very cautiously. At one point it was joined at right angles by
another track, from the side of the hill where the main road across the
island lay. This, of course, afforded an approach to the cottage without
passing by my house. In twenty minutes the cottage loomed, a blurred
mass, before me. I fell on my knees and peered at it.

There was a light in one of the windows; I crawled nearer. Now I was on
the plateau; a moment later I was under the wooden veranda and beneath
the window where the light glowed. My hand was on my revolver. If
Constantine or Vlacho caught me here, neither side would be able to
stand on trifles; even my desire for legality would fail under the
strain. But for the minute everything was quiet, and I began to fear
that I should have to return empty-handed; for it would be growing light
in another hour or so, and I must be gone before the day began to
appear. Ah! There was a sound--a sound that appealed to me after my
climb--the sound of wine poured into a glass; and then came a voice I

"Probably they have caught her," said Vlacho the innkeeper. "What of
that? They will not hurt her. And she'll be kept safe."

"You mean she can't come spying about here?"

"Exactly. And that, my lord, is an advantage. If she came here--"

"Oh the deuce!" laughed Constantine. "But won't the men want me to free
her by letting that infernal crew go?"

"Not if they think Wheatley will go to Rhodes and get soldiers and
return. They love the island more than her. It will all go well, my
lord. And this other here?"

I strained my ears to listen. No answer came; yet Vlacho went on as
though he had received an answer.

"These cursed fellows make that difficult, too," he said. "It would be
an epidemic." Then he laughed, seeming to see wit in his own remark.

"Curse them, yes. We must move cautiously," said Constantine. "What a
nuisance women are, Vlacho."

"Ay, too many of them," laughed Vlacho.

"I had to swear my life out that no one was here--and then, 'If no one's
there, why mayn't I come?' You know the sort of thing."

"Indeed, no, my lord. You wrong me," protested Vlacho, humorously; and
Constantine joined in his laugh.

"You've made up your mind which, I gather?" asked Vlacho.

"Oh, this one, beyond doubt," answered his master.

Now, I thought that I understood most of this conversation, and I was
very sorry that Euphrosyne was not by my side to listen to it. But I had
heard about enough for my purpose, and I had turned to crawl away
stealthily--it is not well to try fortune too far--when I heard the
sound of a door opening in the house. Constantine's voice followed
directly on the sound.

"Ah, my darling, my sweet wife," he cried, "not sleeping yet? Where will
your beauty be. Vlacho and I must plot and plan for your sake, but you
need not spoil your eyes with sleeplessness."

Constantine did it uncommonly well. His manner was a pattern for
husbands. I was guilty of a quiet laugh all to myself, in the veranda.

"For me? You're sure it's for me?" came in that Greek tongue with a
strange accent which had first fallen on my ears in the Optimum

"She's jealous, she's most charmingly jealous!" cried Constantine, in
playful rapture. "Does your wife pay you such compliments, Vlacho?"

"She has not cause, my lord. Now my Lady Francesca thinks she has cause
to be jealous of the Lady Euphrosyne."

Constantine laughed scornfully at the suggestion.

"Where is she now?" came swift and sharp from the woman. "Where is

"Why, she's a prisoner to that Englishman," answered Constantine.

I suppose explanations passed on this point, for the voices fell to a
lower level, as is apt to happen in the telling of a long story, and I
could not catch what passed till Constantine's tones rose again, as he

"Oh, yes, we must have a try at getting her out, just to satisfy the
people. For me, she might stay there as long as she likes, for I care
for her just as little as, between ourselves, I believe she cares for

Really, this fellow was a very tidy villain; as a pair, Vlacho and he
would be hard to beat--in England, at all events. About Neopalia I had
learned to reserve my opinion. Such were my reflections as I turned to
resume my interrupted crawl to safety. But in an instant I was still
again--still, and crouching close under the wall, motionless as an
insect that feigns death, holding my breath, my hand on the trigger. For
the door of the cottage was flung open, and Constantine and Vlacho
appeared on the threshold.

"Ah," said Vlacho, "dawn is nearly on us. See, it grows lighter on the

A more serious matter was that, owing to the opened door and the lamp
inside, it had grown lighter on the veranda, so light that I saw the
three figures--for the woman had come also--in the doorway; so light
that my huddled shape would be seen if any of the three turned an eye
towards it. I could have picked off both men before they could move; but
a civilized education has drawbacks; it makes a man scrupulous; I did
not fire. I lay still, hoping that I should not be noticed. And I should
not have been noticed but for one thing. Acting up to his part in the
ghastly farce which these two ruffians were playing with the wife of one
of them, Constantine turned to bestow kisses on the woman before he
parted from her. Vlacho, in a mockery that was horrible to me who knew
his heart, must needs be facetious. With a laugh he drew back; he drew
back farther still; he was but a couple of feet from the wall of the
house, and that couple of feet I filled.

In a moment, with one step backward, he would be upon me. Perhaps he
would not have made that step; perhaps I should have gone, by grace of
that narrow interval, undetected. But the temptation was too strong for
me. The thought of the thing threatened to make me laugh. I had a
penknife in my pocket; I opened it, and I dug it hard into that portion
of Vlacho's frame which came most conveniently (and prominently) to my
hand. Then, leaving the penknife where it was, I leaped up, gave the
howling ruffian a mighty shove, and with a loud laugh of triumph bolted
for my life down the hill. But when I had gone twenty yards I dropped on
my knees, for bullet after bullet whistled over my head. Constantine,
the outraged Vlacho too, perhaps, carried a revolver. And the barrels
were being emptied after me. I rose and turned one hasty glance behind
me. Yes, I saw their dim shapes like moving trees. I fired once, twice,
thrice, in my turn, and then went crashing and rushing down the path
that I had ascended so cautiously.

I cannoned against the tree trunks; I tripped over trailing branches; I
stumbled over stones. Once I paused and fired the rest of my barrels; a
yell told me I had hit--but Vlacho, alas! not Constantine. At the same
instant my fire was answered, and a bullet went through my hat. I was
defenceless now, save for my heels, and to them I took again with all
speed. But as I crashed along, one, at least, of them came crashing
after me. Yes, it was only one. I had checked Vlacho's career. It was
Constantine alone. I suppose one of your heroes of romance would have
stopped and faced him, for with them it is not etiquette to run away
from one man. Ah, well, I ran away. For all I knew, Constantine might
still have a shot in the locker. I had none. And if Constantine killed
me, he would kill the only man who knew all his secrets. So I ran. And
just as I got within ten yards of the drop into my own territory I heard
a wild cry, "Charlie, Charlie! Where the devil are you, Charlie?"

"Why, here, of course," said I, coming to the top of the bank and
dropping over.

I have no doubt that it was the cry uttered by Denny which gave pause to
Constantine's pursuit. He would not desire to face all four of us. At
any rate the sound of his pursuing feet died away and ceased. I suppose
he went back to look after Vlacho and show himself safe and sound to
that most unhappy woman, his wife. As for me, when I found myself safe
and sound in the compound, I said, "Thank God!" And I meant it, too.
Then I looked round. Certainly the sight that met my eyes had a touch of
comedy in it.

Denny, Hogvardt, and Watkins stood in the compound. Their backs were
toward me, and they were all staring up at the roof of the kitchen, with
expressions which the cold light of morning revealed in all their
puzzled foolishness. On the top of the roof, unassailable and out of
reach--for no ladder ran from roof to ground now--stood Euphrosyne, in
her usual attitude of easy grace. And Euphrosyne was not taking the
smallest notice of the helpless three below, but stood quite still, with
unmoved face, gazing up toward the cottage. The whole thing reminded me
of nothing so much as of a pretty, composed cat in a tree, with three
infuriated, helpless terriers barking round the trunk. I began to laugh.

"What's all the shindy?" called out Denny. "Who's doing revolver
practice in the wood? And how the dickens did she get there, Charlie?"

But when the still figure on the roof saw me, the impassivity of it
vanished. Euphrosyne leant forward, clasping her hands, and said to me:

"Have you killed him?"

The question vexed me. It would have been civil to accompany it, at all
events, with an inquiry as to my own health.

"Killed him?" I answered gruffly. "No, he's sound enough."

"And--" she began; but now she glanced, seemingly for the first time, at
my friends below. "You must come and tell me," she said; and with that
she turned and disappeared from our gaze behind the battlements. I
listened intently. No sound came from the wood that rose gray in the new
light behind us.

"What have you been doing?" demanded Denny, surlily; he had not enjoyed
Euphrosyne's scornful attitude.

"I have been running for my life," said I, "from the biggest scoundrels
unhanged. Denny, make a guess who lives in that cottage."


"I don't mean him."

"Not Vlacho--he's at the inn."

"No, I don't mean Vlacho."

"Who, then, man?"

"Some one you've seen."

"Oh, I give it up. It's not the time of day for riddles."

"The lady who dined at the next table to us at the Optimum," said I.

Denny jumped back in amazement, with a long, low whistle.

"What, the one who was with Constantine?" he cried.

"Yes," said I. "The one who was with Constantine."

They were all three round me now; and, thinking that it would be better
that they should know what I knew, and four lives instead of one stand
between a ruffian and the impunity he hoped for, I raised my voice and
went on in an emphatic tone:

"Yes. She's there, and she's his wife."

A moment's astonished silence greeted my announcement. It was broken by
none of our party. But there came from the battlemented roof above us a
low, long, mournful moan that made its way straight to my heart, armed
with its dart of outraged pride and trust betrayed. It was not thus,
boldly and abruptly, that I should have told my news. But I did not know
that Euphrosyne was still above us, hidden by the battlements; nor had I
known that she understood English. We all looked up. The moan was not
repeated. Presently we heard slow steps retreating with a faltering
tread across the roof; and we also went into the house in silence and
sorrow. For a thing like that gets hold of a man; and when he has heard
it, it's hard for him to sit down and be merry till the fellow that
caused it has paid his reckoning--as I swore then and there that
Constantine Stefanopoulos should pay his.



There is a matter on my conscience which I can't excuse, but may as well
confess. To deceive a maiden is a very sore thing--so sore that it had
made us all hot against Constantine; but it may be doubted by a cool
mind whether it is worse, nay, whether it is as bad, as to contrive the
murder of a lawful wife. Poets have paid more attention to the
first--maybe they know more about it; the law finds greater employment
on the whole in respect to the latter. For me, I admit that it was not
till I found myself stretched on a mattress in the kitchen, with the
idea of getting a few hours' sleep, that it struck me that Constantine's
wife deserved a share of my concern and care. Her grievance against him
was at least as great as Euphrosyne's; her peril was far greater. For
Euphrosyne was his object, Francesca (for that appeared from Vlacho's
mode of address to be her name) was an obstacle that prevented his
attaining that object.

For myself, I should have welcomed a cutthroat if it came as an
alternative to Constantine's society; but probably his wife would not
agree with me; and the conversation I had heard left me in little doubt
that her life was not safe. They could not have an epidemic, Vlacho had
prudently reminded his master; the island fever could not kill
Constantine's wife and our party all in a day or two. Men suspect such
obliging maladies, and the old lord had died of it, pat to the happy
moment, already. But if the thing could be done, if it could be so
managed that London, Paris, and the Riviera would find nothing strange
in the disappearance of one Madame Stefanopoulos and the appearance of
another, why, to a certainty, done the thing would be, unless I could
warn or save the woman in the cottage. But I did not see how to do
either. So (as I set out to confess) I dropped the subject. And when I
went to sleep I was thinking, not how to save Francesca, but how to
console Euphrosyne, a matter really of less urgency, as I should have
seen had not the echo of that sad little cry still filled my ears.

The news that Hogvardt brought me, when I woke in the morning and was
enjoying a slice of cow steak, by no means cleared my way. An actual
attack did not seem imminent--I fancy these fierce islanders were not
too fond of our revolvers--but the house was, if I may use the term,
carefully picketed; and that both before and behind. Along the road that
approached it in front, there stood sentries at intervals. They were
stationed just out of range of our only effective long-distance weapon,
but it was evident that egress on that side was barred; and the same was
the case on the other. Hogvardt had seen men moving in the wood, and had
heard their challenges to one another, repeated at regular intervals. We
were shut off from the sea; we were shut off from the cottage. A
blockade would reduce us as well as an attack. I had nothing to offer
except the release of Euphrosyne. And to release Euphrosyne would in all
likelihood not save us, while it would leave Constantine free to play
out his ghastly game to its appointed end.

I finished my breakfast in some perplexity of spirit. Then I went and
sat in the hall, expecting that Euphrosyne would appear from her room
before long. I was alone, for the rest were engaged in various
occupations, Hogvardt being particularly busy over a large handful of
hunting-knives that he had gleaned from the walls; I did not understand
what he wanted with them, unless he meant to arm himself in porcupine

Presently Euphrosyne came, but it was a transformed Euphrosyne. The
kilt, knee breeches, and gaiters were gone; in their place was the white
linen garment with flowing sleeves and the loose jacket over it, the
national dress of the Greek woman; but Euphrosyne's was ornamented with
a rare profusion of delicate embroidery, and of so fine a texture that
it seemed rather like some delicate, soft, yielding silk. The change of
attire seemed reflected in her altered manner. Defiance was gone and
appeal glistened from her eyes as she stood before me. I sprang up, but
she would not sit. She stood there, and, raising her glance to my face,
asked simply: "Is it true?"

In a business-like way I told her the whole story, starting from the
every-day scene at home in the restaurant, ending with the villainous
conversation and the wild chase of the night before. When I related how
Constantine had called Francesca his wife, Euphrosyne shivered; while I
sketched lightly my encounter with him and Vlacho, she eyed me with a
sort of grave curiosity; and at the end she said: "I'm glad you weren't
killed." It was not an emotional speech, nor delivered with any
_empressement_; but I took it for thanks, and made the best of it.
Then at last she sat down and rested her head on her hand. Her absent
air allowed me to study her closely, and I was struck by a new beauty
which the bizarre boy's dress had concealed. Moreover, with the doffing
of that, she seemed to have put off her extreme hostility; but perhaps
the revelation I had made to her, which showed her the victim of an
unscrupulous schemer, had more to do with her softened air. Yet she bore
the story firmly, and a quivering lip was her extreme sign of grief or
anger. And her first question was not of herself.

"Do you mean that they will kill this woman?" she asked.

"I'm afraid it's not unlikely that something will happen to her, unless,
of course--" I paused, but her quick wit supplied the omission.

"Unless," she said, "he lets her live now, because I am out of his

"Will you stay out of his hands?" I asked. "I mean, as long as I can
keep you out of them."

She looked round with a troubled expression.

"How can I stay here?" she said in a low tone.

"You will be as safe here as you were in your mother's arms," I

She acknowledged my promise with a movement of her head; but a moment
later she cried:

"But I am not with you--I am with the people! The island is theirs and
mine. It is not yours. I will have no part in giving it to you."

"I wasn't proposing to take pay for my hospitality," said I. "It'll be
hardly handsome enough for that, I'm afraid. But mightn't we leave that
question for the moment?" And I described briefly to her our present

"So that," I concluded, "while I maintain my claim to the island, I am
at present more interested in keeping a whole skin on myself and my

"If you will not give it up, I can do nothing," said she. "Though they
knew Constantine to be all you say, yet they would follow him and not me
if I yielded the island. Indeed, they would most likely follow him in
any case. For the Neopalians like a man to follow, and they like that
man to be a Stefanopoulos; so they would shut their eyes to much, in
order that Constantine might marry me and become lord."

She stated all this in a matter-of-fact way, disclosing no great horror
of her countrymen's moral standard. The straightforward barbarousness of
it perhaps appealed to her a little; she loathed the man who would rule
on those terms, but had some toleration for the people who set the true
dynasty above all else. And she spoke of her proposed marriage as though
it were a natural arrangement.

"I shall have to marry him, I expect, in spite of everything," she said.

I pushed my chair back violently. My English respectability was

"Marry him?" I cried. "Why, he murdered the old lord!"

"That has happened before among the Stefanopouloi," said Euphrosyne,
with a calmness dangerously near to pride.

"And he proposes to murder his wife," I added.

"Perhaps he will get rid of her without that." She paused; then came the
anger I had looked for before. "Ah, but how dared he swear that he had
thought of no one but me and loved me passionately? He shall pay for
that." Again it was injured pride that rang in her voice, as in her
first cry. It did not sound like love, and for that I was glad. The
courtship had probably been an affair of state rather than affection. I
did not ask how Constantine was to be made to pay, whether before or
after marriage. I was struggling between horror and amusement at my
guest's point of view. But I take leave to have a will of my own, even
sometimes in matters that are not exactly my concern, and I said now,
with a composure that rivalled Euphrosyne's: "It is out of the question
that you should marry him. I'm going to get him hanged, and, anyhow, it
would be atrocious."

She smiled at that, but then she leant forward and asked:

"How long have you provisions for?"

"That's a good retort," I admitted. "A few days; that's all. And we
can't get out to procure any more; and we can't go shooting, because the
wood's infested with these ruff--I beg pardon--with your countrymen."

"Then it seems to me," said Euphrosyne, "that you and your friends are
more likely to be hanged."

Well, on a dispassionate consideration, it did seem more likely; but she
need not have said so. And she went on with an equally discouraging good

"There will be a boat from Rhodes in about a month or six weeks. The
officer will come then to take the tribute; perhaps the governor will
come. But till then nobody will visit the island, unless it be a few
fishermen from Cyprus."

"Fishermen? Where do they land? At the harbor?"

"No. My people do not like them, though the governor threatens to send
troops if we do not let them land. So they come to a little creek at the
opposite end of the island, on the other side of the mountain. Ah, what
are you thinking of?"

As Euphrosyne perceived, her words had put a new idea in my mind. If I
could reach that creek and find the fishermen and persuade them to help
me, or to carry me and my party off, that hanging might happen to the
right man, after all.

"You're thinking you can reach them?" she cried.

"You don't seem sure that you want me to," I observed.

"Oh, how can I tell what I want? If I help you, I am betraying the
island. If I do not--"

"You'll have a death or two at your door, and you'll marry the biggest
scoundrel in Europe," said I.

She hung her head, and plucked fretfully at the embroidery on the neck
of her dress.

"But, anyhow, you couldn't reach them," she said. "You are close
prisoners here."

That, again, seemed true, so true that it put me in a very bad temper.
Therefore I rose, and, leaving her without much ceremony, strolled into
the kitchen. Here I found Watkins dressing the cow's head, Hogvardt
surrounded by knives, and Denny lying on a rug on the floor with a small
book, which he seemed to be reading. He looked up with a smile that he.
considered knowing.

"Well, what does the captive queen say?" he asked with levity.

"She proposes to marry Constantine," I answered, and added quickly to
Hogvardt: "What's the game with those knives, Hog?"

"Well, my lord," said Hogvardt, surveying his dozen murderous
instruments, "I thought there was no harm in putting an edge on them, in
case we should find a use for them;" and he fell to grinding one with
great energy.

"I say, Charlie, I wonder what this yarn's about? I can't construe half
of it. It's in Greek, and it's something about Neopalia, and there's a
lot about a Stefanopoulos."

"Is there? Let's see;" and taking the book I sat down to look at it. It
was a slim old book, bound in calfskin. The Greek was written in an
antique style; it was verse. I turned to the title-page. "Hullo, this is
rather interesting," I exclaimed. "It's about the death of old
Stefanopoulos--the man they sing that song about, you know."

In fact, I had got hold of the poem which One-eyed Alexander composed.
Its length was about three hundred lines, exclusive of the refrain which
the islanders had chanted, and which was inserted six times, occurring
at the end of each fifty lines. The rest was written in rather barbarous
iambics; and the sentiments were quite as barbarous as the verse. It
told the whole story, and I ran rapidly over it, translating here and
there for the benefit of my companions. The arrival of the Baron
d'Ezonville recalled our own with curious exactness, except that he came
with one servant only. He had been taken to the inn, as I had, but he
had never escaped from there, and had been turned adrift the morning
after his arrival. I took more interest in Stefan, and followed eagerly
the story of how the islanders had come to his house, and demanded that
he should revoke the sale. Stefan, however, was obstinate; it lost the
lives of four of his assailants before his house was forced. Thus far I
read, and expected to find next an account of a _mêlée_ in the
hall. But here the story took a turn unexpected by me, one that might
make the reading of the old poem more than a mere pastime.

"But when they had broken in," said One-eyed Alexander, "behold, the
hall was empty and the house empty! And they stood amazed. But the two
cousins of the lord, who had been the hottest in seeking his death, put
all the rest to the door, and were themselves alone in the house; for
the secret was known to them who were of the blood of the Stefanopouloi.
Unto me, the bard, it is not known. Yet men say they went beneath the
earth, and there in the earth found the lord. And certain it is they
slew him, for in a space they came forth to the door bearing his head,
and they showed it to the people, who answered with a great shout. But
the cousins went back, barring the door again; and again, when but a few
minutes had passed, they came forth, and opened the door, and the elder
of them, being now by the traitor's death become lord, bade the people
in and made a great feast for them. But the head of Stefan none saw
again, nor did any see his body; but the body and head were gone,
whither none know saving the noble blood of the Stefanopouloi; for
utterly they disappeared, and the secret was securely kept."

I read this passage aloud, translating as I went. At the end Denny drew
a breath.

"Well, if there aren't ghosts in this house, there ought to be," he
remarked. "What the deuce did those rascals do with the old gentleman,

"It says 'they went beneath the earth.'"

"The cellar," suggested Hogvardt, who had a prosaic mind.

"But they wouldn't leave the body in the cellar," I objected; "and if,
as this fellow says, they were only away a few minutes, they couldn't
have dug a grave for it. And then it says that they 'there in the earth
found the lord'!"

"It would have been more interesting," said Denny, "if they'd told
Alexander a bit more about it. However, I suppose he consoles himself
with his chant again?"

"He does. It follows immediately on what I've read, and so the thing
ends." And I sat looking at the little yellow volume. "Where did you
find it, Denny?" I said.

"Oh, on a shelf in the corner of the hall, between the Bible and a Life
of Byron."

I got up and walked back to the hall. I looked round. Euphrosyne was not
there. I inspected the hall door; it was still locked on the inside. I
mounted the stairs, and called at the door of her room; when no answer
came I pushed it open and took the liberty of glancing round; she was
not there. I called again, for I thought she might have passed along the
way over the hall and reached the roof, as she had done before. This
time I called loudly. Silence followed for a moment. Then came an
answer, in a hurried, rather apologetic tone, "Here I am." But then the
answer came, not from the direction that I had expected, but from the
hall. And looking over the balustrade, I saw Euphrosyne sitting in the

"This," said I, going down-stairs, "taken in conjunction with this," and
I patted One-eyed Alexander's book, which I held in my hand, "is
certainly curious and suggestive." "Here I am," said Euphrosyne, with an
air that added, "I've not moved. What are you shouting for?"

"Yes, but you weren't there a minute ago," I observed, reaching the hall
and walking across to her.

She looked disturbed and embarrassed.

"Where have you been?" I asked.

"Must I give an account of every movement?" said she, trying to cover
her confusion with a show of haughty offence.

The coincidence was really a remarkable one; it was as hard to account
for Euphrosyne's disappearance and reappearance as for the vanished head
and body of old Stefan. I had a conviction, based on a sudden intuition,
that one explanation must lie at the root of both these curious things,
that the secret of which Alexander spoke was a secret still hidden,
hidden from my eyes but known to the girl before me, the daughter of the

"I won't ask you where you've been, if you don't wish to tell me," said
I, carelessly.

She bowed her head in recognition of my indulgence.

"But there is one question I should like to ask you," I pursued, "if
you'll be so kind as to answer it."

"Well, what is it?"

"Where was Stefan Stefanopoulos killed, and what became of his body?"

As I put my question I flung One-eyed Alexander's book open on the table
beside her.

She started visibly, crying, "Where did you get that?"

I told her how Denny had found it, and I added:

"Now, what does 'beneath the earth' mean? You are one of the house, and
you must know."

"Yes, I know, but I must not tell you. We are all bound by the most
sacred oath to tell no one."

"Who told you?"

"My uncle. The boys of our house are told when they are fifteen, the
girls when they are sixteen. No one else knows."

"And why is that?"

She hesitated, fearing perhaps that her answer would itself tend to
betray the secret.

"I dare tell you nothing," she said. "The oath binds me; and it binds
every one of my kindred to kill me if I break it."

"But you've no kindred left except Constantine," I objected.

"He is enough. He would kill me."

"Sooner than marry you?" I suggested, rather maliciously.

"Yes, if I broke the oath."

"Hang the oath!" said I, impatiently. "The thing might help us. Did they
bury Stefan somewhere under the house?"

"No, he was not buried," she answered.

"Then they brought him up, and got rid of his body when the islanders
had gone?"

"You must think what you will."

"I'll find it out," said I. "If I pull the house down, I'll find it. Is
it a secret door or--"

She had colored at the question. I put the latter part in a low, eager
voice, for hope had come to me.

"Is it a way out?" I asked, leaning over to her.

She sat mute, but irresolute, embarrassed and fretful.

"Heavens!" I cried, impatiently, "it may mean life or death to all of
us, and you boggle over your oath!"

My rude impatience met with a rebuke that it perhaps deserved. With a
glance of the utmost scorn, Euphrosyne asked, coldly:

"And what are the lives of all of you to me?"

"True, I forgot," said I with a bitter politeness. "I beg your pardon. I
did you all the service I could last night, and now I and my friends may
as well die as live! But I'll pull this place to ruin but I'll find your

I was walking up and down now in a state of some excitement. My brain
was fired with the thought of stealing a march on Constantine through
the discovery of his own family secret.

Suddenly Euphrosyne gave a little soft clap with her hands. It was over
in a minute, and she sat blushing, confused, trying to look as if she
had not done it at all.

"What did you do that for?" I asked, stopping in front of her.

"Nothing," said Euphrosyne.

"Oh, I don't believe that," said I.

She looked at me. "I didn't mean to do it," she said again. "But can't
you guess why?"

"There's too much guessing to be done here," said I, impatiently; and I
started walking again. But presently I heard a voice say softly, and in
a tone that seemed to address nobody in particular--me least of all:

"We Neopalians like a man who can be angry, and I began to think you
never would."

"I am not the least angry," said I, with great indignation. I hate being
told that I am angry when I am merely showing firmness.

Now, at this protest of mine Euphrosyne saw fit to laugh--the most
hearty laugh she had given since I had known her. The mirthfulness of it
undermined my wrath. I stood still opposite her, biting the end of my

"You may laugh," said I, "but I'm not angry; and I shall pull this house
down--or dig it up--in cold blood, in perfectly cold blood."

"You are angry," said Euphrosyne, "and you say you're not. You are like
my father. He would stamp his foot furiously like that and say, 'I am
not angry, I am not angry, Phroso.'"

Phroso! I had forgotten that diminutive of my guest's classical name. It
rather pleased me, and I repeated it gently after her, "Phroso, Phroso,"
and I'm afraid I eyed the little foot that had stamped so bravely.

"He always called me Phroso. Oh, I wish he were alive! Then

"Since he isn't," said I, sitting by Phroso (I must write it, it's a
deal shorter)--by Phroso's elbow--"since he isn't, I'll look after
Constantine. It would be a pity to spoil the house, wouldn't it?"

"I've sworn," said Phroso.

"Circumstances alter oaths," said I, bending till I was very near
Phroso's ear.

"Ah," said Phroso, reproachfully, "that's what lovers say when they find
another more beautiful than their old love."

I shot away from Phroso's ear with a sudden backward start. Her remark,
somehow, came home to me with a very remarkable force. I got off the
table, and stood opposite to her, in an awkward and stiff attitude.

"I am compelled to ask you for the last time if you will tell me the
secret," said I, in the coldest of tones.

She looked up with surprise. My altered manner may well have amazed her.
She did not know the reason of it.

"You asked me kindly and--and pleasantly, and I would not. Now you ask
me as if you threatened," she said. "Is it likely I should tell you

Well, I was angry with myself, and with her because she had made me
angry with myself; and, the next minute, I became furiously angry with
Denny, whom I found standing in the doorway that led to the kitchen,
with a grin of intense amusement on his face.

"What are you grinning at?" I demanded fiercely.

"Oh, nothing," said Denny, and his face strove to assume a prudent

"Bring a pickaxe," said I.

Denny's face wandered toward Phroso. "Is she as annoying as that?" he
seemed to ask. "A pickaxe?" he repeated in surprised tones.

"Yes, two pickaxes! I'm going to have this floor up, and see if I can
find out the great Stefanopoulos secret." I spoke with an accent of
intense scorn.

Again Phroso laughed; her hands beat very softly against one another.
Heavens, what did she do that for when Denny was there, watching
everything with those shrewd eyes of his?

"The pickaxes!" I roared.

Denny turned and fled; a moment elapsed; I did not know what to do, how
to look at Phroso, or how not to look at her. I took refuge in flight. I
rushed into the kitchen on pretence of aiding or hastening Denny's
search. I found him taking up an old pick that stood near the door
leading to the compound. I seized it from his hand.

"Confound you!" I cried, for Denny laughed openly at me; and I rushed
back to the hall! But on the threshold I paused--and said what I will
not write.

For, though there came from somewhere just the last ripple of a mirthful
laugh, the hall was empty! Phroso was gone! I flung the pickaxe down
with a clatter on the boards, and exclaimed in my haste:

"I wish to heaven I'd never bought the island!"

But I did not mean that really.

(_To be continued._)




Author of "Astronomy with an Opera Glass," "Climbing the Matterhorn,"[15]

[Footnote 15: See MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE for September, 1895.]

Standing on the spindling tower of the Matterhorn early one August
morning in 1894 I saw, for the first time, the white crown of Europe,
Mont Blanc, with its snows sparkling high above the roof of clouds that
covered the dozing summer in the valleys of Piedmont. Just one year
later I started from Chamonix to climb to that cool world in the blue.

My guide was Ambroise Couttet, whose family name is famous in the
mountaineering annals of Savoy. An earlier Ambroise Couttet lies in the
icy bosom of Mont Blanc, fallen, years ago, down a crevasse so profound
that his would-be rescuers were drawn, baffled, awe-struck, and with
shaking nerves, from its horrible depths, whose bottom they could not
find. Even before that time Pierre Couttet had been whirled to death on
the great peak, and his body, embedded and preserved in a glacier, was
found nearly half a century afterward at its foot. And two other
Couttets of past years escaped, by the merest hair of miraculous
fortune, from a catastrophe on the same dreadful slopes in which three
of their comrades were swallowed up. Yet the Ambroise Couttet of to-day
is never so happy as when he is on the mountain. His eyes sparkle if he
hears the thunder of an avalanche, and he smiles as he watches its
tossing white crest ploughing swiftly across some snowy incline which he
has just traversed.

One porter sufficed, for my only traps consisted of a hand camera, a
field-glass, and a few extra woollen shirts and stockings. Having had no
serious exercise since climbing the Matterhorn a year before, I deemed
it prudent to spare my strength for the more important work above by
taking a mule to the Pierre Pointue. It was a fine morning, offering a
promise of favorable weather after several days of mist and rain.
Monsieur Janssen, the French astronomer, who was waiting at Chamonix for
his porters to complete their long and wearisome labor of transporting
piecemeal his telescope and other instruments of observation to the
summit, before making the ascent himself, said, grasping my arm at

"I wish you good luck; good weather you are sure of."

[Illustration: COL DE BLANC, MONT BLANC.

From a photograph loaned by Mr. Frank Hegger, New York.]

It was high authority, for Monsieur Janssen has studied the weather all
his life, and knows the atmosphere of mountain peaks and of the airy
levels where balloons float; yet if he could have foreseen what was to
occur on Mont Blanc within twenty hours, he would have wished me the
good fortune of being somewhere else.

It was past the middle of the forenoon of the 10th of August when, with
Couttet and the porter, I left Chamonix. Dismissing my tired mule at the
Pierre Pointue, which hangs with its flag nearly seven thousand feet
above sea level, and high over the séracs of the Glacier des Bossons, we
began the ascent by way of the Pierre a l'Echelle and over the
missile-scarred foot of the Aiguille du Midi. The upper part of this
mountain as seen from Chamonix looks quite sharp-pointed enough to
deserve its name of the "Needle of the South." The side toward the
Glacier des Bossons is exceedingly steep, and when the snows are melting
the peak becomes a perfect catapult, volleys of ice and stones being
discharged from its lofty precipices. The falling rocks, dropping, as
some of them do, from ledge to ledge half a mile, acquire the velocity
of cannon shots. Nobody ever lingers on this part of the route, and we
had no desire to pause, although the Aiguille sends comparatively few
stones down so late in the summer.

The sun beat furiously while we were scrambling on the rocks, and the
latter were warm to the touch, although, thousands of feet below, the
immense cleft in the mountain side was choked with masses of
never-melted ice.

"Never mind," said Couttet, as I stopped to wipe the perspiration from
my face, "it will be cool enough when we get onto the glacier."

And it was--so cool in fact that I hastily pulled on my coat. Having
passed out of range of the Aiguille du Midi, we found comfortable going
on the ice.



The northern slope of Mont Blanc is hollowed into a vast cavernous
channel, half filled with glaciers, and edged on the east by the Mont
Maudit, the Aiguille de Saussure, and the Aiguille du Midi, and on the
west by the Dome and Aiguille du Gouter and the Gros Bechat. Down this
tremendous gutter crowd the eternal snows of Mont Blanc, compressed
toward the bottom into the Glacier des Bossons and the Glacier de
Taconnaz. These immense ice streams are separated by the projecting nose
of the Montagne de la Cote, which rises from the valley of Chamonix and
lies in a long, dark ridge on the foot of Mont Blanc. Above the Montagne
de la Cote several gigantic rock masses, shooting into pinnacles, push
up through the ice from the bottom and near the centre of the channel.
These are called the Grands Mulets, from the resemblance which they
present, when seen from Chamonix, to a row of huge black mules tramping
up the white mountain side.


I mention these features because the best route to the summit of Mont
Blanc lies over the glaciers and snow fields and between the walls of
the great trough I have described, and the first station is at the
Grands Mulets, where a cabin for the accommodation of climbers has
existed for many years. From the foot of the Aiguille du Midi, at the
Pierre a l'Echelle, across the Glacier des Bossons to the rocks of the
Grands Mulets the distance is about a mile and a quarter, and the
perpendicular increase of elevation nearly two thousand feet. The
passage seldom presents any difficulty, except to inexperienced persons,
although at times many crevasses must be crossed, particularly at what
is called the Junction, just above the point where the Glacier des
Bossons and the Glacier de Taconnaz are divided by the Montagne de la
Cote. Here some underlying irregularity of the rocks, deep beneath the
surface of the mighty river of ice, causes the formation of a labyrinth
of fissures and crevasses, overhung with towering séracs, or ice
turrets; and the ice descends between the Grands Mulets and the rock
wall in front of the Gros Bechat in a sort of motionless
cascade--motionless, that is to say, except when cracks break apart into
yawning chasms, and massive blocks tumble into the depths.

Even a practised climber is occasionally compelled to look to his steps
in passing the Junction. On my return I witnessed an accident in this
place which proved at the same time the reality of the danger and the
usefulness in sudden crises of the mountaineer's rope. A tourist
descending from the Grands Mulets was passing, under an impending sérac,
around the head of a crevasse, where the only footway was a few inches
of ice hewn with the axe. Being heedless or nervous, his feet shot from
under him, and with a yell he plunged into the pit. Luckily, he was tied
to the rope between two guides, one of whom had passed the dangerous
corner, while the other, behind, had also a safe footing. As he fell the
guides braced themselves, the rope zipped, and the unfortunate
adventurer hung clutching and kicking at the polished blue wall. He had
really descended but a few feet into the crevasse, though to him
doubtless it seemed a hundred, and with a surprising display of
strength, or skill, the guides hauled him out by simply tightening the
rope. One of them pulled back and the other forward, and between them
the sprawling victim rose with the strain to the brink of the chasm,
where a third man dexterously caught and landed him.


Madame Marke and Olivier Gay were not so fortunate near this spot in
1870. A bridge of snow spanning a crevasse gave way beneath them, and,
the rope breaking, they disappeared and perished in the abyss.

We reached the Grands Mulets in the middle of the afternoon. Here the
great majority of amateur climbers are content to terminate their ascent
of Mont Blanc. The experience of getting as far as this point and back
again is, as the incidents just related show, anything but
insignificant, and may prove not only exciting but even tragic. Yet, of
course, the real work, the tug of war between human endurance and the
obstacles of untamed nature, is above. The Grands Mulets formed the
stopping place in some of the earliest attempts to climb Mont Blanc,
more than a hundred years ago. Here Jacques Balmat, the hero of the
first ascent, passed an awful night alone, amid the cracking of glaciers
and the shaking of avalanches, before his final victory over the peak in
1786. In the spirit which led the Romans to surname the conqueror of
Hannibal "Scipio Africanus," the exultant Chamonniards called their hero
"Balmat de Mont Blanc." He, too, finally perished by a fall from a
precipice in 1834, and to-day there are those who whisper that his
spirit can be seen flitting over the snowy wastes before every new

The cabin at the Grands Mulets is furnished with rough bunks and cooking
apparatus, and during the summer a woman, Adéle Balmat, assisted by the
guides, acts as hostess for this high-perched "inn," ten thousand feet
above sea level.

It is customary to leave the Grands Mulets for the ascent to the summit
soon after midnight, in order to get over the immense snow slopes before
the action of the sun has loosened the avalanches and weakened the
crevasse bridges. But we did not start until half-past three in the
morning. The waning moon, hanging over the Dome du Gouter, gave
sufficient light to render a lantern unnecessary, and dawn was near at
hand. Threatening bands of clouds attracted anxious glances from
Couttet, and it was evident that a change of weather impended. But we
clambered over the rocks to the crevassed slopes below the Gouter, and
pushed upward.

We were now approaching the higher and narrower portion of the immense
cleft or channel in the mountain that I have described. On our right
towered the Dome du Gouter, and on the left the walls of the Mont Maudit
and its outlying pinnacles. Snowy ridges and peaks shone afar in the
moonlight on all sides. It was a wilderness of white.


At the height of twelve thousand feet we came upon the Petit Plateau, a
comparatively horizontal lap of snow which is frequently swept clear
across with avalanches of ice descending from the enormous séracs that
hang like cornices upon the precipices above. The frosty splinters of a
recent downfall sparkled and crunched under our feet. It is one of the
most dangerous places on the mountain. "Men have lost their lives here
and will again lose them," is the remark of Mr. Conway, the Himalayan
climber, in describing his passage of the place. "Many times I have
crossed it," said Monsieur Vallot, the mountain meteorologist, last
summer, "but never without a sinking of the heart, and the moment we are
over the Petit Plateau I always hear my guides, trained and fearless
men, mutter, 'Once more we are out of it.'"

Knowing these things, it is needless to say that I found the Petit
Plateau keenly interesting. The menacing séracs leaned from the cliffs,
glittering icily, and threw black shadows upon the _névé_ beneath,
but suffered us to pass unmolested.

Above the Petit Plateau is a steep ascent called the Grands Montées
which taxes the breath. Having surmounted this, we were on the Grand
Plateau, a much wider level than the other, edged with tremendous ice
cliffs and crevasses, and situated at an elevation of thirteen thousand
feet. For some time now it had been broad day, but the clouds had
thickened rapidly, and the summit was wrapped and completely hidden in
them. Blasts of frigid wind began to whistle about us, driving stinging
pellets of ice into our faces. We quickened our steps, for it would not
do to be caught in a storm here. The Grand Plateau has taken more lives
than its ill-starred neighbor below.


We now bore off to the right, in order to clamber up the side of the
great channel, or depression, that we had thus far followed, because at
its upper end, where it meets the base of the crowning pyramid of Mont
Blanc, it abuts against ice-covered precipices that no mortal will ever
scale. Snow commenced to fall, and the wind rose. As we neared the crest
of the ridge connecting the Dome du Gouter with the Bosses du Dromadaire
and the summit, the tempest burst fiercely upon us. In an instant we
were enveloped by a cloud of whirling snow that blotted out sky and
mountains alike. It drove into my eyes, and half blinded me. It was so
thick that objects a few yards away would have been concealed even
without a violent wind to confuse the vision. At times Couttet, close
ahead of me, was visible only in a kind of gray outline, like a wraith.
On an open plain such a storm in such a temperature would have had its
dangers for a traveller seeking his way. We were seeking our way, not on
an open plain, but two miles and a half above sea level, in a desert of
snow and ice, encompassed with precipices, chasms, and pitfalls,
treading on we knew not what, assailed by a wild storm, all landmarks
obliterated, and our footsteps filling so fast with drifted snow that in
two minutes we could not see from what direction we had last come.

In such a situation the imagination becomes dramatic. The night before I
had been reading the account of the loss, in 1870, of Dr. Bean, Mr.
Randall, and the Rev. Mr. Corkendale, together with five guides and
three porters, eleven persons in all, in just such a storm and within
sight of this spot. And now as we stumbled along I repeated to myself,
almost word for word, Dr. Bean's message to his wife, found when his
body was discovered:

"September 7, evening--My dear Hessie: We have been two days on Mont
Blanc in the midst of a terrible hurricane of snow; we have lost our
way, and are in a hole scooped in the snow at an altitude of fifteen
thousand feet. I have no longer any hope of descending. Perhaps this
notebook will be found and sent to you. We have nothing to eat, my feet
are already frozen, and I am exhausted. I have strength to write only a
few words more. I have left means for C.'s education; I know you will
employ them wisely. I die with faith in God and with loving thoughts of
you. Farewell to all. We shall meet again in heaven--I think of you

The bodies of five of these victims were found but a few feet aside from
the proper route which in clear weather would have led to safety; the
other six had disappeared.

While such cheerful recollections were running through my mind I noticed
that we were no longer ascending, and that Couttet, whom I had not
troubled with questions as long as he showed no hesitation, was bearing
now this way and now that, and occasionally stopping and peering about
with spread nostrils, like a dog seeking a trail. Clearly we were on the
top of the highest elevation in our neighborhood, for the wind now came
point blank in our faces out of the white abyss of the atmosphere, and
almost blew me off my feet.

"Have you lost the way?" I asked.

"I'll find it," Couttet replied.

"Where are we?"

"Near the Bosses."

"Isn't there a refuge hut on the Bosses?"


"Can we reach it?"

Couttet did not immediately reply, but looked up and about, as if trying
to pierce the driving snow with his gaze. "If I could catch sight of the
rocks," at length he said.

Suddenly the gale seemed to split the clouds, and for an instant a
vision opened of blue sky over our heads, and endless slopes of snow,
falling one below another, under our feet. I saw that we were standing
on the rounded back of a snowy ridge. Just in front the white surface
dipped and disappeared in a vast gulf of air, where flying clouds were
torn against the black jagged points of lower mountains. Above our
level, to the left, rocks appeared projecting through the covering of
snow. I knew that these must belong to the Bosses du Dromadaire, and
that the hut we sought was perched on one of them.

All this the eye caught in a twinkling, for the storm curtain was lifted
only to be as quickly dropped again, shutting out both the upper and the
lower world, and leaving us isolated on the slippery roof ridge of
Europe. At the same time the wind increased its violence, and the cold
became more penetrating. I pulled my fingers out of the digits of my
woollen gloves, and gripped my iron-shod baton between thumb and
knuckles. We now had our bearings, thanks to the momentary glance, and
it behooved us not to lose them, for the storm was every instant growing
worse. At times it was not the simplest thing in the world to keep one's
feet in the face of the blasts. I was too fresh from reading the history
of Mont Blanc not to remember that a few years ago Count Villanova and
two guides were blown from another nearby ridge into the very abyss
whose jaws had just opened before us, where their bodies lie
undiscovered to this day.

Moving cautiously, we began to descend, in order to cross the neck which
stretches between the Dome du Gouter and the Bosses. When we wandered a
little to the right the surface commenced to pitch off, and we knew what
that meant--beware! Once when we had veered too far to the left,
staggering down hill under the blows of the storm, and able to see but a
few feet away, we stopped as if a shot had arrested us. Another step or
two would have carried us over a precipice of ice, whose blue wall fell
perpendicularly from the brittle edge at our feet into cloud-choked
depths. We had gone down our roof to the eaves. Not a word was spoken,
but with instant unanimity we turned and scrambled up again, Couttet in
the lead, and the porter breathing hard at my heels. Such a scene in the
fraction of a second is photographed on the memory for a lifetime.

In a little while we began to ascend another slope, to which we had felt
our way, and this was surely the swelling hump of the first of the
Bosses, and the rocks must be near at hand. Another opportune gap in the
clouds, which left us for an instant surrounded with retreating walls of
vapor, confirmed that opinion, and vindicated the mountaineering skill
of Couttet, who had found the way though way there was none. A quick,
breathless scramble up a confused heap of ice and slippery points of
rock brought us at last to the refuge.



Couttet shook and banged the door, making a noise that did not penetrate
far through the whistling air, and, with cold fingers, began fumbling at
the latch, when, to my surprise, the door opened and a muffled voice
bade us enter. An Englishman who had started with his guides at midnight
from the Grands Mulets, and three or four of Monsieur Janssen's porters,
had already sought refuge in the hut. Icicles hung about my face, and my
clothes were as stiff as chain armor. There was no fire in the little
hut and no means of making any. My watch, when I was able to get it out
of my pocket, showed the time to be a quarter to nine A.M.

Pulling off our shoes and putting on dry stockings as quickly as
possible, we imitated the example of the man who had let us in, and who
no sooner closed the door than he tumbled back into his bunk and buried
himself in the rough woollen blankets which the Alpine Club has provided
for the use of those who may need them.

In about an hour the storm lightened, and the Englishman and the porters
started back to the Grands Mulets. I consulted Couttet about making a
dash for the summit; but he thought it would be better to wait awhile,
and better still to follow the others down the mountain. To this last
proposition I decidedly objected, although Couttet was right, as it
turned out; for in another hour the storm, which had not entirely ceased
at any time, whipped itself into renewed fury, and before noon the wind
was howling and shrieking with demoniac energy, and flinging gritty snow
and ice in blinding clouds against the hut, which, situated on a ridge,
was completely exposed. Fortunately it is strongly built and solidly
anchored. While I entertained no reasonable doubt of its security, yet
when a blast of extraordinary fierceness made it tremble, as if it were
holding itself with desperate grip upon the rocks, I could not help
picturing it, in imagination, taking flight at last, and sailing high
over the mountains in the wild embrace of the tempest.

Time moved with a dreadfully slow pace. The only way to keep warm was to
remain in the bunk under a pile of blankets. Once, in my impatience, I
got out and painfully hauled on my shoes, which were as cold as ice, and
as hard almost; but my feet were blistered through lack of previous
exercise, and after hobbling and shivering for a few minutes on the
narrow floor, which was partly covered with a constantly accumulating
deposit of snow, as fine and dry as flour and as frigid as though it had
come straight from the Arctic Circle, I hurried back under the blankets.
The invading snow penetrated through cracks that one could hardly see,
around the door and the little square window.

At last noon came, and we ate our remaining morsels of dry bread, which
finished our provisions. We had brought along only enough to provide a
lunch on the way to the summit, intending to be back at the Grands
Mulets not later than midday. Then the long afternoon dragged its weary
hours, while the storm got higher, shriller, and colder, and the sense
of our isolation became keener. Finally daylight began to fade. Slowly
the light grew dim in the window at my feet, until it was a mere
glimmer. Since we had to stay, we thanked the storm for hastening the
fall of night. When the gloom became so dense that even the window had
disappeared, Couttet lit a tallow dip, but it would not remain upright
in its improvised holder, and the freezing draughts that stole through
the hut kept it flickering so that he finally put it out, and we
remained in the dark, not "seein' things," like Eugene Field's youthful
hero, but hearing things no less uncanny. The wind whistled, moaned,
screeched, growled, and occasionally shouted with such startling
imitation of human voices that I once asked Couttet if some one were not
calling for help. But investigation showed that we were alone on our
tempestuous perch, and that the cry of agony had been uttered by the
hurricane, or the wind-lashed rocks.


Supperless, we wrapped our blankets closer, got ears and noses under,
and tried to sleep. I had a few naps, but the roar outside, and the
shaking of the hut as the storm smote it again and again, rendered
continuous sleep impossible. Something had been loosened on the roof
close overhead, and it rattled and banged as if the destruction of the
hut had actually begun. It was a queer sound, angry, imperious,
menacing, and it produced a quaking sensation. Sometimes it would die
down, and, with a final rap or two, entirely cease. Then it would
resume, with perhaps five strokes to the second, increasing to ten, then
to twenty, and quickly rising to an ear-splitting r-r-r-h, terminated
with a bang! bang!! bang!!! that made the heart leap, while the hut
seemed to rock on its foundations.

Getting out of the bunk, I found by the sense of touch that the powdery
snow-drifts were becoming steadily deeper on the floor. This recalled
another incident which had greatly interested me during my preliminary
reading at Chamonix. The winter before, Monsieur Janssen's men had
stored some of the heavier materials for his observatory near these
rocks. At the opening of summer they could not be found, and no one knew
what had become of them. Finally, as the snows melted and fell from the
peak in slides and avalanches, the missing articles were uncovered,
having been buried in a white grave forty feet deep.

And so the wild night passed, until with tedious deliberation the little
window made a hole in the darkness, and I knew that morning was at hand.
The howling without was as loud as ever, and the fine snow was packed
high upon the window, shutting out a good share of the light. The floor
was covered with white drifts, and my shoes had swallowed snow; but
being hard and dry, it was easily shaken out. There was no fire to be
built and no breakfast to be prepared. But it was impossible to lie
still, even for the sake of keeping warm, and pulling on our shoes we
stamped about the floor, and occasionally opened the door to see what
the storm was about. Along about eight o'clock it began to lighten, and
my hopes rose. We could catch an occasional glimpse of the crowning peak
and of the observatory, which we knew contained two or three of
Janssen's men and some provisions. An hour later, when the storm seemed
about at an end, and we were preparing to ascend to the top, we saw the
men from the observatory coming down. They warned us that the snow above
was in bad condition, and, believing that more foul weather was to come,
they were embracing this opportunity to get down. Couttet proposed that
we should accompany them, especially as they reported nothing left to
eat at the observatory, but I declined. Again the event proved that he
was right, for while we waited a little before starting out, the storm
fell upon us once more. Then Couttet insisted upon descending, and I did
not think it wise to oppose his decision, knowing that it was based upon
experience and that he had nothing to gain and something to lose in
returning without having conducted his "monsieur" to the summit.



We put on the rope and scrambled down, but when we got upon the neck
below the Bosses the clouds whirled off and the burnished sun stood over
the white peak, too splendid to be looked upon.

"Couttet, we must go up," I exclaimed.

"As you say," he replied; and we turned upon our track.

We had got back to the hut and started up the steep arête above it, when
the sun disappeared, the air turned white, and the wind resumed its
wrestle. So powerful was it that on our narrow ridge it had the
advantage of us, and we crouched behind a projecting point.

"It is too perilous," said Couttet, "and we must descend. I will not
take the risk."

I saw it was necessary to yield, and down we went. Hunger was beginning
to tell, and we made haste. Where the slopes were not seamed with open
crevasses we "glissaded," which is a very expeditious and exhilarating
method of getting down a mountain, although unsafe unless one is certain
of his ground. Sometimes we slid on our feet, steadying ourselves with
our batons or ice-axes, and sometimes I sat on the hard snow and glided
like a Turk on a toboggan slide, the tassel of my woollen cap fluttering
behind in the wind. We took the unbridged crevasses with flying leaps,
and so plunged rapidly downward, with frequent keen regrets on my part,
because the weather seemed mending again. But it would not do to turn
back now in our half-famished condition, and we were glad when the
Grands Mulets hove in sight below, a black squadron in a sea of snow.


In Chamonix I took a day or two to thaw out and mend bruises, and then
ran over to Martigny, crossed the Grand St. Bernard, the St. Gotthard,
and the Grimsel passes, spent a week in William Tell's country, prowling
about the ruins of old castles and the sites of legendary battles, and
finally settled down in Milan to feast my eyes on the pinnacles of its
wondrous cathedral. But my failure to reach the top of Mont Blanc cast a
perceptible shadow over everything I saw.

One day, the 27th of August, as I stood on the cathedral spire, the sun
lay warm upon the Alps, and Mont Blanc shone in the distance. "It is
time to go," I said to myself; and descending, I hurried to my hotel and
packed a gripsack. The night express via Mont Cenis placed me in Geneva
the next morning in time to catch the first train for Cluses. The same
evening the diligence landed me in Chamonix. I sent for Couttet.

"Mont Blanc in the morning," I said.

"Delighted, monsieur; we'll do it this time."

"Storm or no storm?"


It so happened that I was to hear one more story of disaster before
getting to the top of Mont Blanc. While I watched the distant mountain
from the Milan cathedral spire the closing scene of a new tragedy was
being enacted amid its merciless crevasses. Dr. Robert Schnurdreher, an
advocate of Prague, accompanied by Michael Savoye, guide, and Laurent
Brou, porter, ascended Mont Blanc from the Italian side on August 17th,
and passed the night in the hut on the Bosses du Dromadaire where, six
days before, I had had a stormy experience. But now the weather was
superb, and when, on the morning of the 18th, they started to descend to
Chamonix, no thought of impending evil could have oppressed their minds.

They passed the Grand Plateau and the Petit Plateau in safety, and
reached the labyrinth of crevasses between the cliffs of the Dome du
Gouter and the Grands Mulets. Just what happened then no one will ever
know, but there they disappeared from the world of the living.


Eight days went by, and then a telegram was received at Chamonix from
the family of the guide Savoye, in Courmayer, Italy, inquiring if he and
his party had been seen. All Chamonix comprehended in an instant the
significance of that telegram, and thirty guides started post haste for
the mountains.

The fact was now recalled that several days before some of Monsieur
Janssen's porters had noticed an ice axe lying on the snow a little
aside from the ordinary route. They thought nothing of it at the time,
supposing that the implement had either been thrown away, or left behind
by some one who would return to get it. This abandoned axe now became
the first object of the search. Having discovered it, the guides knew
well where to look for its owner. The axe lay on a slope of snow almost
as hard as ice, and at the foot of the slope was the inevitable
crevasse; not one of the largest, being only fifteen feet wide by two
hundred long, and one hundred deep, but all too sufficient. They crept
to the edge, and peered into the gloomy depths. There lay the missing
men, still tied together. Schnurdreher and Savoye had apparently been
killed at once; but there was heart-rending evidence that Brou had
survived the fall, and made a pitiful effort to scale the perpendicular
walls of the ice chasm. Enclosed in bags of rough sacking, the bodies
were dragged with ropes down to the Pierre Pointue, and thence carried
to Chamonix. This is a time-honored procedure in such cases. Every boy
in Chamonix understands how a body should be brought down from Mont

On the night of my arrival Savoye and Brou had just been buried at
Chamonix, and money was being raised for the relief of their almost
destitute families. But Schnurdreher, in his mountain dress, with his
spiked shoes on his feet, still lay at the undertaker's, awaiting the
coming of his relatives.


The morning of August 29th was cloudless, and with the same outfit as
before, but with a scion of the house of Balmat for porter in place of
the man who had filled that office on the first occasion, I started once
more for the frosty topknot of Europe. At the Grands Mulets we found two
Germans with their retinue of guides and porters, six persons in all,
who were also bound for the summit. They left the Grands Mulets at
midnight, and we followed them three-quarters of an hour later. There
was no moon, and Couttet carried a lantern. On reaching the Petit
Plateau we saw the lights of the other party flashing ahead of us, and
at the foot of the Grands Montées we overtook them. They had talked
confidently of making the ascent in extraordinarily quick time, and some
good-natured chaffing now passed between Couttet and the rival guides. I
had had no thought of a race; but I defy anybody, under the
circumstances in which we were placed, not to experience a little
spurring from the spirit of emulation. Jerking the rope to attract
Couttet's attention, I told him in a low voice to pass the others at the
first opportunity.

"We'll do it on the Grand Plateau," he whispered.

Five minutes later, however, the advance party paused to take breath. We
immediately broke out of their tracks in the snow and started to pass
around them; but they instantly accepted the challenge, and a scrambling
race began up the steep slope. Sometimes we sank so deep that time was
lost in extricating our legs, and again we slipped back, which was even
more annoying than sticking fast. The powdery snow flew about like dust,
and was occasionally dumped into my face by the piston-like action of my
knees. The lanterns jangled and flickered wildly, and in their shifting
and uncertain light, with our odd habiliments, we must have resembled a
company of mad demons on a lark.

Such a race in such a place could only last a couple of minutes, and it
was soon over, the American coming out ahead. Getting upon the Grand
Plateau, we did not stop to rest, but broke into a dog trot.

"Whatever happens, Couttet, we must be first at the top."

"Very well, monsieur."

From the Grand Plateau there are two ways to the summit: one by the
Bosses du Dromadaire, which we followed on the first attempt; the other,
which we now adopted, by the "Corridor." This is a steep furrow, crossed
by an ice precipice with a great crevasse near its foot, which leads
upward from the left-hand border of the Grand Plateau to a snowy saddle
between the Mont Maudit and a precipitous out-cropping of rock called
the Mur de la Cote. A faint glimmer of approaching dawn now lay on part
of the rim of mountains surrounding us.

When we reached the foot of the Corridor the lights of the other party
were not visible. But here step-cutting became necessary, and this
delayed us so much that presently I caught dancing gleams from the
pursuing lanterns moving rapidly at the bottom of the bowl of night out
of which we were climbing. They were fast gaining upon us.

"We must hurry, Couttet!"

"Yes, but no man goes quick here who does not go for the last time."

In fact, our position had an appearance of peril. We were part way up
the frozen precipice that cuts across the Corridor, and were balancing
ourselves on an acute wedge of ice which stood off several feet in front
of the precipice, being separated from it by a deep cleft. The outer
side of this wedge, whose edge we were traversing lengthwise, pitched
down into the darkness and ended, I believe, in a crevasse. Presently we
reached a place where the precipice overhung our precarious footway, and
an inverted forest of icicles depended above us.

"Make as little noise as possible, and step gently," said Couttet.

This is a familiar precaution in the High Alps, where the vibrations of
sound sometimes act the part of the trigger of a gun and let loose
terrific energies ready poised for action. The clinking of particles of
ice that shot from our feet into the depths distracted attention from
the beautiful play of the light of the lanterns on some of the hanging

At last we attained a point where it was possible, by swinging round a
somewhat awkward corner, to get upon the roof of the precipice. This we
found so steep that occasional steps had also to be cut there.

The lights of the pursuers had approached the foot of the wall, and
though now invisible, we knew the party was ascending close behind,
taking advantage of the steps we had made. This spurred us on, although
I was beginning to suffer some inconvenience from the rarity of the air,
and had to stop to breathe much oftener than I liked. In truth, the
spurt we had made, beginning at the Grands Montées, involved an
over-expenditure of energy whose effects I could not escape, and nature
was already demanding usury for the loan.

As we approached the ridge of the saddle, day rose blushing in the east,
and Couttet put out the lantern. Turning to the right, we hurried in
zigzags up the slippery Mur de la Cote, stopping to cut steps only when
strictly necessary. While we were ascending this wall the sun appeared,
and hung for a moment, a great, dazzling, fire-colored circle, on a
distant mountain rim. Below us for a long time the great valleys
remained filled with gloom, while out of and around there rose hundreds
of peaks, tipped with pink and gold. But very few of the towering giants
now reached to our level, and in a little while we should be above them

Once on top of the Mur we had level going again for a space, and
hurrying to the base of the crowning dome, which swells upward another
thousand feet, we began its ascent without stopping. About half way up
the dome the highest visible rocks of Mont Blanc on this side break
through the Mur. They are called the Petits Mulets. We had nearly
reached them when, looking back, I saw the heads of the other party
appearing on the brink of the Mur. They looked up at us hanging right
above them on the white slope, while Couttet carried my handkerchief,
streaming triumphantly in the morning wind, from the end of his baton.
Waving their hands, they sat down and gave up the race. While they
lunched we pushed upward more slowly, and at six o'clock entered the
door of Monsieur Janssen's observatory, fifteen thousand seven hundred
and seventy-seven feet above the sea.

My first look was directed to the Matterhorn, which, thirty-five miles
away, pierced the morning sky with its black spike. Glittering near it
were the snow turrets of Monte Rosa, the Dent Blanche, and all the
marvellous circle of peaks that stand around Zermatt. There was not a
cloud to break the view. On one side lay Italy; on the other France. It
would be impossible to imagine the wild scene immediately below us. The
tremendous slopes of snow falling away on all sides, now in steep
inclines and now in broken precipices, ever down and down, were not
after all so imposing as the jagged pinnacles of bare rock that sprang
out of them.

There was something peculiarly savage, almost menacing, in the aspect of
these lower mountains, pressing in serried ranks around their
white-capped chief. They seemed to shut us far away from the human world
below, and one felt that he had placed himself entirely in the hands of
nature. This was her realm, where she acknowledged no laws but her own,
and was incapable of sympathy, pity, or remorse.



Author of "The Coupons of Fortune," "Henry," and other stories.

When Mr. William Belden walked out of his house one wet October evening
and closed the hall door carefully behind him, he had no idea that he
was closing the door on all the habits of his maturer life and entering
the borders of a land as far removed from his hopes or his imagination
as the country of the Gadarenes.

He had not wanted to go out that evening at all, not knowing what the
fates had in store for him, and being only too conscious of the comfort
of the sitting-room lounge, upon which, after the manner of the suburban
resident who travelleth daily by railways, he had cast himself
immediately after the evening meal was over. The lounge was in
proximity--yet not too close proximity--to the lamp on the table; so
that one might have the pretext of reading to cover closed eyelids and a
general oblivion of passing events. On a night when a pouring rain
splashed outside on the pavements and the tin roofs of the piazzas, the
conditions of rest in the cosey little room were peculiarly attractive
to a man who had come home draggled and wet, and with the toil and wear
of a long business day upon him. It was therefore with a sinking of the
heart that he heard his wife's gentle tones requesting him to wend his
way to the grocery to purchase a pound of butter.

"I hate to ask you to go, William dear, but there really is not a scrap
in the house for breakfast, and the butter-man does not come until
to-morrow afternoon," she said deprecatingly. "It really will only take
you a few minutes."

Mr. Belden smothered a groan, or perhaps something worse. The butter
question was a sore one, Mrs. Belden taking only a stated quantity of
that article a week, and always unexpectedly coming short of it before
the day of replenishment, although no argument ever served to induce her
to increase the original amount for consumption.

"Cannot Bridget go?" he asked weakly, gazing at the small, plump figure
of his wife, as she stood with meek yet inexorable eyes looking down at

"Bridget is washing the dishes, and the stores will be closed before she
can get out."

"Can't one of the boys--" He stopped. There was in this household a god
who ruled everything in it, to whom all pleasures were offered up, all
individual desires sacrificed, and whose Best Good was the greedy and
unappreciative Juggernaut before whom Mr. Belden and his wife prostrated
themselves daily. This idol was called The Children. Mr. Belden felt
that he had gone too far.

"William!" said his wife severely, "I am surprised at you. John and
Henry have their lessons to get, and Willy has a cold; I could not think
of exposing him to the night air; and it is so damp, too!"

Mr. Belden slowly and stiffly rose from his reclining position on the
sofa. There was a finality in his wife's tone before which he succumbed.

The night air _was_ damp. As he walked along the street the water
slopped around his feet, and ran in rills down his rubber coat. He did
not feel as contented as usual. When he was a youngster, he reflected
with exaggerated bitterness, boys were boys, and not treated like
precious pieces of porcelain. He did not remember, as a boy, ever having
any special consideration shown him; yet he had been both happy and
healthy, healthier perhaps than his over-tended brood at home. In his
day it had been popularly supposed that nothing could hurt a boy. He
heaved a sigh over the altered times, and then coughed a little, for he
had a cold as well as Willy.

The streets were favorable to silent meditation, for there was no one
out in them. The boughs of the trees swished backward and forward in the
storm, and the puddles at the crossings reflected the dismal yellow
glare of the street lamps. Every one was housed to-night in the pretty
detached cottages he passed, and he thought with growing wrath of the
trivial errand on which he had been sent. "In happy homes he saw the
light," but none of the high purpose of the youth of "Excelsior" fame
stirred his heart--rather a dull sense of failure from all high things.
What did his life amount to anyway, that he should count one thing more
trivial than another? He loved his wife and children dearly, but he
remembered a time when his ambition had not thought of being satisfied
with the daily grind for a living and a dreamless sleep at night.

"'Our life is but a sleep and a forgetting,'" he thought grimly, "in
quite a different way from what Wordsworth meant." He had been one of
the foremost in his class at college, an orator, an athlete, a favorite
in society and with men. Great things had been predicted for him. Then
he had fallen in love with Nettie; a professional career seemed to place
marriage at too great a distance, and he had joyfully, yet with some
struggles in his protesting intellect, accepted a position that was
offered to him--one of those positions which never change, in which men
die still unpromoted, save when a miracle intervenes. It was not so good
a position for a family of six as it had been for a family of two, but
he did not complain. He and Nettie went shabby, but the children were
clothed in the best, as was their due.

He was too wearied at night to read anything but the newspapers, and the
gentle domestic monotony was not inspiring. He and Nettie never went out
in the evenings; the children could not be left alone. He met his
friends on the train in that diurnal journey to and from the great city,
and she occasionally attended a church tea; but their immediate and
engrossing world seemed to be made up entirely of persons under thirteen
years of age. They had dwelt in the place almost ever since their
marriage, respected and liked, but with no real social life. If Mr.
Belden thought of the years to come, he may be pardoned an unwonted
sinking of the heart.

It was while indulging in these reflections that he mechanically
purchased the pound of butter, which he could not help comparing with
Shylock's pound of flesh, so much of life had it taken out of him, and
then found himself stepping up on the platform of the station, led by
his engrossing thoughts to pass the street corner and tread the path
most familiar to him. He turned with an exclamation to retrace his way,
when a man pacing leisurely up and down, umbrella in hand, caught sight
of him.

"Is that you, Belden?" said the stranger. "What are you doing down here

"I came out on an errand for my wife," said Belden sedately. He
recognized the man as a young lawyer, much identified with politics; a
mere acquaintance, yet it was a night to make any speaking animal seem a
friend, and Mr. Belden took a couple of steps along beside him.

"Waiting for a train?" he said.

"Oh, thunder, yes!" said Mr. Groper, throwing away the stump of a cigar.
"I have been waiting for the last half hour for the train; it's late, as
usual. There's a whole deputation from Barnet on board, due at the
Reform meeting in town to-night, and I'm part of the committee to meet
them here."

"Where is the other part of the committee?" asked Mr. Belden.

"Oh, Jim Crane went up to the hall to see about something, and Connors
hasn't showed up at all; I suppose the rain kept him back. What kind of
a meeting we're going to have I don't know. Say, Belden, I'm not up to
this sort of thing. I wish you'd stay and help me out--there's no end of
swells coming down, more your style than mine."

"Why, man alive, I can't do anything for you," said Mr. Belden. "These
carriages I see are waiting for the delegation, and here comes the train
now; you'll get along all right."

He waited as the train slowed into the station, smiling anew at little
Groper's perturbation. He was quite curious to see the arrivals. Barnet
had been the home of his youth, and there might be some one whom he
knew. He had half intended, earlier in the day, to go himself to the
Reform meeting, but a growing spirit of inaction had made him give up
the idea. Yes, there was quite a carload of people getting out--ladies,

"Why, Will Belden!" called out a voice from the party. A tall fellow in
a long ulster sprang forward to grasp his hand. "You don't say it's
yourself come down to meet us. Here we all are, Johnson, Clemmerding,
Albright, Cranston---all the old set. Rainsford, you've heard of my
cousin, Will Belden. My wife and Miss Wakeman are behind here; but we'll
do all the talking afterward, if you'll only get us off for the hall

"Well, I am glad to see you, Henry," said Mr. Belden heartily. He thrust
the pound of butter hastily into a large pocket of his mackintosh, and
found himself shaking hands with a score of men. He had only time to
assist his cousin's wife and the beautiful Miss Wakeman into a carriage,
and in another moment they were all rolling away toward the town hall,
with little Mr. Groper running frantically after them, ignored by the
visitors, and peacefully forgotten by his friend.

The public hall of the little town--which called itself a city--was all
ablaze with light as the party entered it, and well filled,
notwithstanding the weather. There were flowers on the platform where
the seats for the distinguished guests were placed, and a general air of
radiance and joyful import prevailed. It was a gathering of men from all
political parties, concerned in the welfare of the State. Great measures
were at stake, and the election of governor of immediate importance. The
name of Judge Belden of Barnet was prominently mentioned. He had not
been able to attend on this particular occasion, but his son had come
with a delegation from the county town, twenty miles away, to represent
his interests. On Mr. William Belden devolved the task of introducing
the visitors; a most congenial one, he suddenly found it to be.

His friends rallied around him as people are apt to do with one of their
own kind when found in a foreign country. They called him Will, as they
used to, and slapped him on the shoulder in affectionate abandon. Those
among the group who had not known him before were anxious to claim
acquaintance on the strength of his fame, which, it seemed, still
survived him in his native town. It must not be supposed that he had not
seen either his cousin or his friends during his sojourn away from them;
on the contrary, he had met them once or so in two or three years, in
the street, or on the ferry-boat--though they travelled by different
roads--but he had then been but a passing interest in the midst of
pressing business. To-night he was the only one of their kind in a
strange place---his cousin loved him, they all loved him. The expedition
had the sentiment of a frolic under the severer political aspect.

In the welcome to the visitors by the home committee Mr. Belden also
received his part, in their surprised recognition of him, almost
amounting to a discovery.

"We had no idea that you were a nephew of Judge Belden," one of them
said to him, speaking for his colleagues, who stood near.

Mr. William Belden bowed, and smiled; as a gentleman, and a rather
reticent one, it had never occurred to him to parade his family
connections. His smile might mean anything. It made the good
committeeman, who was rich and full of power, feel a little
uncomfortable, as he tried to cover his embarrassment with effusive
cordiality. In the background stood Mr. Groper, wet, and breathing hard,
but plainly full of admiration for his tall friend, and the position he
held as the centre of the group. The visitors referred all arrangements
to him.

At last they filed on to the platform--the two cousins together.

"You must find a place for the girls," said Henry Belden, with the
peculiar boyish giggle that his cousin remembered so well. "By George,
they _would_ come; couldn't keep 'em at home, after they once got
Jim Shore to say it was all right. Of course, Marie Wakeman started it;
she said she was bound to go to a political meeting and sit on the
platform; arguing wasn't a bit of use. When she got Clara on her side I
knew that I was doomed. Now, you couldn't get them to do a thing of this
kind at home; but take a woman out of her natural sphere, and she
ignores conventionalities, just like a girl in a bathing-suit. There
they are, seated over in that corner. I'm glad that they are hidden from
the audience by the pillar. Of course, there's that fool of a Jim, too,
with Marie."

"You don't mean to say she's at it yet?" said his cousin William.

"'At it yet'! She's never stopped for a moment since you kissed her that
night on the hotel piazza after the hop, under old Mrs. Trelawney's
window--do you remember that, Will?"

Mr. William Belden did indeed remember it; it was a salute that had
echoed around their little world, leading, strangely enough, to the
capitulation of another heart--it had won him his wife. But the little
intimate conversation was broken off as the cousins took the places
allotted to them, and the business of the meeting began.

If he were not the chairman, he was appealed to so often as to almost
serve in that capacity. He became interested in the proceedings, and in
the speeches that were made; none of them, however, quite covered the
ground as he understood it. His mind unconsciously formulated
propositions as the flow of eloquence went on. It therefore seemed only
right and fitting toward the end of the evening, when it became evident
that his Honor the Mayor was not going to appear, that our distinguished
fellow-citizen, Mr. William Belden, nephew of Judge Belden of Barnet,
should be asked to represent the interests of the county in a speech,
and that he should accept the invitation.

He stood for a moment silent before the assembly, and then all the old
fire that had lain dormant for so long blazed forth in the speech that
electrified the audience, was printed in all the papers afterward, and
fitted into a political pamphlet.

He began with a comprehensive statement of facts, he drew large and
logical deductions from them, and then lit up the whole subject with
those brilliant flashes of wit and sarcasm for which he had been famous
in bygone days. More than that, a power unknown before had come to him;
he felt the real knowledge and grasp of affairs which youth had denied
him, and it was with an exultant thrill that his voice rang through the
crowded hall, and stirred the hearts of men. For the moment they felt as
he felt, and thought as he thought, and a storm of applause arose as he
ended--applause that grew and grew until a few more pithy words were
necessary from the orator before silence could be restored.

He made his way to the back of the hall for some water, and then, half
exhausted, yet tingling still from the excitement, dropped into an empty
chair by the side of Miss Wakeman.

"Well done, Billy," she said, giving him a little approving tap with her
fan. "You were just fine." She gave him an upward glance from her large
dark eyes. "Do you know you haven't spoken to me to-night, nor shaken
hands with me?"

"Let us shake hands now," he said, smiling, flushed with success, as he
looked into the eyes of this very pretty woman.

"I shall take off my glove first--such old friends as we are! It must be
a real ceremony."

She laid a soft, white, dimpled hand, covered with glistening rings, in
his outstretched palm, and gazed at him with coquettish plaintiveness.
"It's so _lovely_ to see you again! Have you forgotten the night
you kissed me?"

"I have thought of it daily," he replied, giving her hand a hearty
squeeze. They both laughed, and he took a surreptitious peep at her from
under his eyelids. Marie Wakeman! Yes, truly, the same, and with the
same old tricks. He had been married for nearly fourteen years, his
children were half grown, he had long since given up youthful
friskiness, but she was "at it" still. Why, she had been older than he
when they were boy and girl; she must be for--He gazed at her soft,
rounded, olive cheek, and quenched the thought.

"And you are very happy?" she pursued, with tender solicitude. "Nettie
makes you a perfect wife, I suppose."

"Perfect," he assented gravely.

"And you haven't missed me at all?"

"Can you ask?" It was the way in which all men spoke to Marie Wakeman,
married or single, rich or poor, one with another. He laughed inwardly
at his lapse into the expected tone. "I feel that I really breathe for
the first time in years, now that I'm with you again. But how is it that
you are not married?"

"What, after I had known you?" She gave him a reproachful glance. "And
you were so cruel to me--as soon as you had made your little Nettie
jealous you cared for me no longer. Look what I've declined to!" She
indicated Jim Shore, leaning disconsolately against the cornice, chewing
his moustache. "Now don't give him your place unless you really want to;
well, if you're tired of me already--thank you ever so much, and I
_am_ proud of you to-night, Billy!"

Her lustrous eyes dwelt on him lingeringly as he left her; he smiled
back into them. The lines around her mouth were a little hard; she
reminded him indefinably of "She;" but she was a handsome woman, and he
had enjoyed the encounter. The sight of her brought back so vividly the
springtime of life; his hopes, the pangs of love, the joy that was his
when Nettie was won; he felt an overpowering throb of tenderness for the
wife at home who had been his early dream.

The last speeches were over, but Mr. William Belden's triumph had not
ended. As the acknowledged orator of the evening he had an ovation
afterward; introductions and unlimited hand-shakings were in order.

He was asked to speak at a select political dinner the next week; to
speak for the hospital fund; to speak for the higher education of woman.
Led by a passing remark of Henry Belden's to infer that his cousin was a
whist player of parts, a prominent social magnate at once invited him to
join the party at his house on one of their whist evenings.

"My wife, er--will have great pleasure in calling on Mrs. Belden," said
the magnate. "We did not know that we had a good whist player among us.
This evening has indeed been a revelation in many ways--in many ways.
You would have no objection to taking a prominent part in politics,
if you were called upon? A reform mayor is sadly needed in our
city--sadly needed. Your connection with Judge Belden would give great
weight to any proposition of that kind. But, of course, all this is in
the future."

Mr. Belden heard his name whispered in another direction, in connection
with the cashiership of the new bank which was to be built. The
cashiership and the mayoralty might be nebulous honors, but it
_was_ sweet, for once, to be recognized for what he was--man of
might; a man of talent, and of honor.

There was a hurried rush for the train at the last on the part of the
visitors. Mr. William Belden snatched his mackintosh from the peg
whereon it had hung throughout the evening, and went with the crowd,
talking and laughing in buoyant exuberance of spirits. The night had
cleared, the moon was rising, and poured a flood of light upon the wet
streets. It was a different world from the one he had traversed earlier
in the evening. He walked home with Miss Wakeman's exaggeratedly tender
"Good-by, dear Billy!" ringing in his ears, to provoke irrepressible
smiles. The pulse of a free life, where men lived instead of vegetating,
was in his veins. His footstep gave forth a ringing sound from the
pavement; he felt himself stalwart, alert, his brain rejoicing in its
sense of power. It was even with no sense of guilt that he heard the
church clocks striking twelve as he reached the house where his wife had
been awaiting his return for four hours.

She was sitting up for him, as he knew by the light in the parlor
window. He could see her through the half-closed blinds as she sat by
the table, a magazine in her lap, her attitude, unknown to herself,
betraying a listless depression. After all, is a woman glad to have all
her aspirations and desires confined within four walls? She may love her
cramped quarters, to be sure, but can she always forget that they are
cramped? To what does a wife descend after the bright dreams of her
girlhood! Does she really like above all things to be absorbed in the
daily consumption of butter, and the children's clothes, or is she
absorbed in these things because the man who was to have widened the
horizon of her life only limits it by his own decadence?

She rose to meet her husband as she heard his key in the lock. She had
exchanged her evening gown for a loose, trailing white wrapper, and her
fair hair was arranged for the night in a long braid. Her husband had a
smile on his face.

"You look like a girl again," he said brightly, as he stooped and kissed
her. "No, don't turn out the light, come in and sit down a while longer,
I've ever so much to tell you. You can't guess where I've been this

"At the political meeting," she said promptly.

"How on earth did you know?"

"The doctor came here to see Willy, and he told me he saw you on the
way. I'm glad you did go, William; I was worrying because I had sent you
out; I did not realize until later what a night it was."

"Well, I am very glad that you did send me," said her husband. He lay
back in his chair, flushed and smiling at the recollection. "You ought
to have been there, too; you would have liked it. What will you say if I
tell you that I made a speech--yes, it is quite true--and was applauded
to the echo. This town has just waked up to the fact that I live in it.
And Henry said--but there, I'll have to tell you the whole thing, or you
can't appreciate it."

His wife leaned on the arm of his chair, watching his animated face
fondly, as he recounted the adventures of the night. He pictured the
scene vividly, and with a strong sense of humor.

"And you don't say that Marie Wakeman is the same as ever?" she
interrupted, with a flash of special interest. "Oh, William!"

"_She_ called me Billy." He laughed anew at the thought. "Upon my
word, Nettie, she beats anything I ever saw or heard of."

"Did she remind you of the time you kissed her?"

"Yes!" Their eyes met in amused recognition of the past.

"Is she as handsome as ever?"

"Um--yes--I think so. She isn't as pretty as you are."

"Oh, Will!" She blushed and dimpled.

"I declare, it is true!" He gazed at her with genuine admiration. "What
has come over you to-night, Nettie?--you look like a girl again."

"And you were not sorry when you saw her, that--that--"

"Sorry! I have been thinking all the way home how glad I was to have won
my sweet wife. But we mustn't stay shut up at home as much as we have;
it's not good for either of us. We are to be asked to join the whist
club--what do you think of that? You used to be a little card fiend once
upon a time, I remember."

She sighed. "It is so long since I have been anywhere! I'm afraid I
haven't any clothes, Will. I suppose I _might_--"

"What, dear?"

"Take the money I had put aside for Mary's next quarter's music lessons;
I do really believe a little rest would do her good."

"It would--it would," said Mr. Belden with suspicious eagerness. Mary's
after-dinner practising hour had tinged much of his existence with gall.
"I insist that Mary shall have a rest. And you shall join the reading
society now. Let us consider ourselves a little as well as the children;
it's really best for them, too. Haven't we immortal souls as well as
they? Can we expect them to seek the honey dew of paradise while they
see us contented to feed on the grass of the field?"

"You call yourself an orator!" she scoffed.

He drew her to him by one end of the long braid, and solemnly kissed
her. Then he went into the hall and took something from the pocket of
his mackintosh which he placed in his wife's hand--a little wooden dish
covered with a paper, through which shone a bright yellow substance--the
pound of butter, a lump of gleaming fairy gold, the quest of which had
changed a poor, commonplace existence into one scintillating with magic

Fairy gold, indeed, cannot be coined into marketable eagles. Mr. William
Belden might never achieve either the mayoralty or the cashiership, but
he had gained that of which money is only a trivial accessory. The
recognition of men, the flashing of high thought to high thought, the
claim of brotherhood in the work of the world, and the generous social
intercourse that warms the earth--all these were to be his. Not even his
young ambition had promised a wider field, not the gold of the Indies
could buy him more of honor and respect.

At home also the spell worked. He had but to speak the word, to name the
thing, and Nettie embodied his thought. He called her young, and happy
youth smiled from her clear eyes; beautiful, and a blushing loveliness
enveloped her; clever, and her ready mind leaped to match with his in
thought and study; dear, and love touched her with its transforming fire
and breathed of long-forgotten things.

If men only knew what they could make of the women who love them--but
they do not, as the plodding, faded matrons who sit and sew by their
household fires testify to us daily.

Happy indeed is he who can create a paradise by naming it!


The Ruhmkorff coil in the background; the Crookes tube in front of it;
under the hand is the photographic plate in its plate-holder.]



The nineteenth century resembles the sixteenth in many ways. In or about
the sixteenth we have the extensive use of the mariner's compass and of
gunpowder, the discovery of printing, the discovery and exploration of
America, and the acquisition of territory in the New World by various
European states. In the nineteenth century we have the exploration of
Africa and the acquisition of territory in its interior, in which the
various nations of Europe vie with each other again as three centuries
before; the discovery of steam, and its ever-growing application to the
transportation of goods and passengers on sea and land; of the
spectroscope, and through it of many new elements, including helium in
the sun, and, later, on the earth; of argon in the earth's atmosphere;
of anæsthetics and of the antiseptic methods in surgery, and, lastly,
the enormous recent strides in electrical science.

Not only has electricity been applied to transportation and the
development of light and power; but the latest discovery by Professor
Röntgen of the X rays seems destined, possibly, not only to
revolutionize our ideas of radiation in all its forms on the scientific
side, but also on the practical side to be of use in the domain of
medicine. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I accede to the
request of the editor of this Magazine to state briefly what has been
achieved in the department of medicine up to the present time.

The method of investigating the body by means of the X rays is very
simple, as is shown in Figure 1. The Crookes tube, actuated from a
storage battery or other source of electricity through a Ruhmkorff coil,
is placed on one side of the body. If need be, instead of using the
entire tube, the rays from the most effective portion of it only are
allowed to impinge upon the part of the body to be investigated, through
an opening in a disk of lead interposed between the Crookes tube and the
body. On the other side of the part to be investigated is placed a quick
photographic plate shut up in its plate-holder, and is exposed to the
rays emanating from the tube for a greater or less length of time. The
parts of the plate not protected by the body are acted upon by the rays,
through the lid of the plate-holder (to which the rays are pervious),
while the tissues of the body act, feebly or strongly, as the case may
be, as obstacles to the rays. Hence, the part of the plate thus
protected is less acted upon than the rest, and a shadow is produced
upon the plate. The soft tissues of the body form but a very slight
obstacle to the passage of the rays, and, hence, throw very faint
shadows on the plate. The more dense portions, presenting a greater
obstacle to the passage of the rays, throw deeper shadows; hence the
bones are seen as dark shadows, the soft parts as lighter ones. That the
flesh or soft parts are not wholly permeable to the rays is well shown
in the skiagraph--i.e., a "shadow picture"--of a foot. (Figure
2.) Where two toes overlap, it will be observed that there is a deeper
shadow, like the section of a biconvex lens.


(From the "British Medical Journal.")]

When we attempt to skiagraph the thicker portions of the body, for
example, the shoulder, the thigh, or the trunk, even the parts
consisting only of flesh obstruct the rays to such an extent, by reason
of their thickness, that the shadows of the still more dense tissues,
like the thigh bone, the arm bone, or the bones of the trunk, cannot be
distinguished from the shadows of the thicker soft parts. Tesla
("Electrical Review," March 11, 1896) has to some extent overcome these
difficulties by his improved apparatus, and has skiagraphed, though
rather obscurely, the shoulder and trunk, and Rowland has been able to
do the same. Doubtless when we are able to devise apparatus of greater
penetration, and to control the effect of the rays, we shall be able to
skiagraph clearly even through the entire thickness of the body.

It might be supposed that clothing or surgical dressings would prove an
obstacle to this new photography, but all our preconceived notions
derived from the ordinary photograph must be thrown aside. The bones of
the forearm or the hand can be as readily skiagraphed through a
voluminous surgical dressing or through the ordinary clothing, as when
the parts are entirely divested of any covering. Even bed-ridden
patients can be skiagraphed through the bed-clothes, and, therefore,
without danger from exposure.


(From the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)]


(From the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)]

One of the principal difficulties of the method at present is the time
ordinarily required to obtain a good picture. Usually this time may be
stated at in the neighborhood of an hour, though many good skiagraphs
have been taken in a half hour or twenty minutes. It is stated that
Messrs. McLeennan, Wright, and Keele of Toronto have reduced the
necessary time to one second, and that Mr. Edison has taken even
instantaneous pictures; but I am not aware of the publication of any
pictures showing how perfect these results are. Undoubtedly, as a result
of the labors of so many scores of physicists and physicians as are now
working at the problem, before long we shall be able to skiagraph at
least the thinner parts of the body in a very brief interval. The
brevity of the exposure will also better the pictures in another way. At
present, if the attempt is made to skiagraph the shoulder or parts of
the trunk, we have to deal with organs which cannot be kept motionless,
since the movements incident to breathing produce a constant to and fro
movement of the shoulder, the lungs, the heart, the stomach, the liver,
and other organs which, hereafter, may be made accessible to this
process. There is no serious discomfort excepting the somewhat irksome
necessity of remaining absolutely still.

Another method of seeing the denser tissues of the body is by direct
observation. A means of seeing through the thinner parts of the body,
such as the fingers or the toes, has been devised simultaneously by
Salvioni of Italy, and Professor Magie of Princeton. Their instruments
are practically identical, consisting of a hollow cylinder a few inches
long, one end of which is applied to the eye, the other end, instead of
having a lens, being covered by a piece of paper smeared with a
phosphorescent salt, the double cyanide of platinum and barium. When the
hand is held before a Crookes tube, and is looked at through the
cylinder, we can see the bones of the hand or foot almost as clearly as
is shown in Figure 2. It has not yet, I believe, been applied to thicker
parts of the body. Figures 3 and 4 show a baby's foot and knee as seen
through this tube. The partial development of the bones accounts for the
peculiar appearance. There is no bony knee-pan, or patella, at birth,
and the bones of the toes consist only of cartilage, which is
translucent, and therefore not seen. The name given by Professor
Salvioni to this sort of "spy-glass"--if one may apply this term to an
instrument which has no glass--is that of "cryptoscope" (seeing that
which is hidden). The name suggested by Professor Magie is "skiascope"
(seeing a shadow.)

This leads me to say a word in reference to the nomenclature. The very
unfortunate name "shadowgraph" has been suggested and largely used in
the newspapers, and even in medical journals. It has only the merit of
clearness as to its meaning to English-speaking persons. It is, however,
an abominable linguistic crime, being an unnatural compound of English
and Greek. "Radiograph" and its derivatives are equally objectionable as
compounds of Latin and Greek. The Greek word for shadow is "skia," and
the proper rendering, therefore, of shadowgraph is "skiagraph,"
corresponding to photograph.

The first question that meets us in the use of the method in medicine is
what normal constituents of the body are permeable or impermeable to the
X rays. It may be stated, in a general way, that all of the fleshy parts
of the body are partially permeable to the rays in a relatively short
time; and if the exposure is long enough, they become entirely
permeable, so that no shadow is cast. Even the bones, on
_prolonged_ exposure, do not present a sufficient obstacle to the
passage of the rays, and the shadow originally cast becomes obliterated.
Hence, skiagraphs of the same object exposed to the rays for varying
times may be of value in showing the different tissues. The most
permeable of the normal tissues are cartilage or gristle, and fat. A
kidney (out of the body) is stated by Dr. Reid of Dundee to show the
difference between the rind, or secreting portion, which is more
transparent, and the central portion, consisting chiefly of conducting
tubes, which is less transparent. On the contrary, in the brain the gray
cortex, or rind, is less transparent than the white nerve tubules in the

The denser fibrous tissues, such as the ligaments of joints and the
tendons or sinews of muscles, cast very perceptible shadows, so that
when we come to a thick tendon like the tendo Achillis, the shadow
approaches even the density of the shadow cast by bone. I presume that
it is for the same reason (the dense fibrous envelope, or sclerotic
coat) that the eye-ball is not translucent to the rays, as is seen in
Figure 5, of a bullock's eye.


(From the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March 1896.)]

Mr. Arthur H. Lea has ingeniously suggested that the translucency of the
soft parts of the living and of those of the dead body might show a
difference, and that, if such were the case, it might be used as a
definite test of death. Unfortunately Figure 6, of a dead hand, when
contrasted with Figure 11, of a living hand, shows virtually no
difference, and the method cannot be used as a positive proof of death.

That we are not able at present to skiagraph the soft parts of the body,
does not imply that we shall not be able to do it hereafter; and should
this be possible, especially with our increasing ability to penetrate
thick masses of tissue, it is evident, without entering into details,
that the use of the X rays may be of immense importance in obstetrics.

The bones, however, as is seen in nearly all of the skiagraphs
illustrating this paper, cast well-defined shadows. This is at once an
advantage and a hindrance. To illustrate the latter first, even one
thickness of bone is difficult to penetrate, so that the attempt to
skiagraph the opening which had been made in a skull of a living person
by a trephine entirely failed, since the bone upon the opposite side of
the skull formed so dense an obstacle that not the slightest indication
of the trephine opening appeared. To take, therefore, a skiagraph of a
brain through two thicknesses of skull, with our present methods, is an
impossibility. Even should the difficulty be overcome, it is very
doubtful whether there would be any possibility of discovering diseases
of the brain, since diseased tissues, such as cancer, sarcoma, etc., are
probably as permeable to the X rays as the normal tissues. Thus Reid
("British Medical Journal," February 15, 1896) states that a cancerous
liver showed no difference in permeability to the rays through its
cancerous and its normal portions.

Foreign bodies, such as bullets, etc., in the brain may be discovered
when our processes have become perfected. Figure 7 shows two buck-shot
skiagraphed inside of a baby's skull, and therefore through two
thicknesses of bone. It must be remembered, however, that not only are
the bones of a baby's skull much less thick than those of an adult's
skull, but they are much less densely ossified, and so throw far less of
a shadow.

The dense shadows cast by bone are, at least at present, an insuperable
obstacle to skiagraphing the soft translucent organs of the body which
are enclosed within a more or less complete bony case, as the rays will
be intercepted by the bones. Efforts, therefore, to skiagraph the heart,
the lungs, the liver, and stomach, and all the pelvic organs, probably
will be fruitless to a greater or less extent until our methods are
improved. While a stone in a bladder outside the body would undoubtedly
be perceptible, in the body the bones of the pelvis prevent any
successful picture being taken.


("American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)]

To turn from the hindrances to the advantages of the application of the
method to the bones, one of the most important uses will be in diseases
and injuries of bones. In many cases it is very difficult to determine,
even under ether, by the most careful manipulations, whether there is a
fracture or a dislocation, or both combined. When any time has elapsed
after the accident, the great swelling which often quickly follows such
injuries still further obscures the diagnosis by manipulation. The X
rays, however, are oblivious, or nearly so, of all swelling, and the
bones can be skiagraphed in the thinner parts of the body at present,
say up to the elbow and the ankle, with very great accuracy. Thus,
Figure 8 shows the deformity from an old fracture of the ulna (one of
the bones of the forearm) very clearly.

By this means we shall be able to distinguish between fracture and
dislocation in obscure cases. Thus Mr. Gray ("British Medical Journal,"
March 7, 1896), in a case of injury to an elbow, was enabled to
diagnosticate and successfully to replace a very rare dislocation, which
could not be made out by manipulation, but was clearly shown by the X
rays. We may also possibly be able to determine when the bones are
properly adjusted after a fracture; and all the better, since the
skiagraph can be taken through the dressings, even if wooden splints
have been employed. If plaster of Paris is used (and it is often the
best "splint") this is impermeable to the rays.

That this method will come into general use, however, is very unlikely,
since the expense, the time, and the trouble will be so great that it
will be impracticable to use it in every case, especially in hospitals
or dispensaries, where crowds of patients have to be attended to in a
relatively brief time. In the surgical dispensary alone of the Jefferson
Medical College Hospital, about one hundred patients are in attendance
between twelve and two o'clock every day, and all the time of a large
number of assistants is occupied with dressing the cases. It would be
manifestly an utter impossibility to skiagraph the many fractures which
are seen there daily, considering that it would take from half an hour
to an hour of the time of not less than two or three assistants skilled
not only in surgery, but also in electricity, to skiagraph a single
fracture. Now and then, in obscure cases, however, the method will be
undoubtedly of great service, as in the case above described.


("American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)]

Too hasty conclusions, especially in medico-legal cases, may easily be
reached. We do not yet know, by skiagraphs of successful results after
fracture, just how such bones look during the process of healing, and,
therefore, we cannot yet be sure that the skiagraph of an unsuccessful
case is an evidence of unskilfulness on the part of the surgeon.

In diseases of bone, which are obscure, it has already proved of great
advantage, as in a case related by Mr. Abrahams ("British Medical
Journal," February 22, 1896). A lad of nineteen, who had injured his
little finger in catching a cricket ball, had the last joint of the
finger bent at a slight angle, and he could neither flex nor extend it.
Any attempt to do so caused great pain. The diagnosis was made of a
fracture extending into the joint, and that the joint having become
ossified, nothing short of amputation would give relief. Mr. Sydney
Rowland skiagraphed the hand, and showed that there was only a bridge of
bone uniting the last two joints of the finger. An anaesthetic was
administered, and with very little force the bridge of bone was snapped,
the finger saved, and the normal use of the hand restored.

Deformities of bone can be admirably shown. Thus Figure 9 ("British
Medical Journal," February 15, 1896) shows the deformity of the last two
toes of the foot, due to the wearing of tight shoes. (Owing to the
accidental breaking of the plate, only a part of the foot is shown.) The
lady whose foot was thus skiagraphed stated that she had suffered
tortures from her boots, so that walking became a penance, and she even
wanted the toes amputated. Relief was obtained by wearing broad-toed
boots, which gave room for the deformed toes. Another admirable
illustration of a similar use of the method is seen in Figure 2, from a
case of Professor Mosetig in Vienna. The last joint of the great toe was
double the ordinary size, and by touch it was recognized that there were
two bones instead of one. The difficulty was to determine which was the
normal bone, and which the extra bone that ought to be removed. The
moment the skiagraph was taken, it was very clear which bone should be
removed. Bony tumors elsewhere can also be diagnosticated and properly
treated. Possibly, also, we may be able to determine the presence of
dead bone, though I am not aware of any such skiagraphs having been


(Taken at the State Physical Laboratory, Hamburg, and published in the
"British Medical Journal.")]

Diseases and injuries of the joints will be amenable to examination by
this method. Figure 10 shows an elbow joint with tuberculous disease.
The bones of the arm and forearm are clearly seen, and between them, is
a light area due to granulation-tissue, or to fluid, probably of
tuberculous nature, which is translucent to the rays. The picture
confirms the prior diagnosis of tuberculous disease, and shows that the
joint will have to be opened and treated for the disease. Deposits of
uric acid in gouty diseases of the joints will undoubtedly be shown by
these methods, but this will scarcely be of any help in the treatment.
Whether light will be thrown on other diseases of the joints is a
problem not yet solved.

Analogous to the bony tissues are the so-called ossified (really,
calcified) arteries. In the dead body, arteries filled with substances
opaque to the X rays, such as plaster of Paris or cinnabar mixtures,
have already been skiagraphed successfully. It is not at all improbable
that calcified arteries in the living subject may be equally well shown.
So, too, when we are able to skiagraph through thick tissues, we may be
able to show such deposits in the internal organs of the body. Stones in
various organs, such as the kidney, will be accessible to examination so
soon as our methods have improved sufficiently for us to skiagraph
through the thicker parts of the trunk. The presence of such stones in
the kidney is very often inferential, and it will be a great boon, both
to the surgeon and the patient, if we shall be able to demonstrate
positively their presence by skiagraphy. For the reason already given
(the pelvic bones which surround the bladder), it is doubtful whether we
can make use of it in stone in the bladder. Gall stones, being made not
of lime and other similar salts, as are stones in the kidney and
bladder, but of cholesterine, are, unfortunately, permeable to these
rays; and it is, therefore, doubtful whether the X rays will be of any
service to us in determining their presence.

The chief use of the method up to the present time, besides determining
the diseases, injuries, and abnormities of bone, has been in determining
with absolute accuracy the presence of foreign bodies, especially of
needles, bullets, or shot and glass. It is often extremely difficult to
decide whether a needle is actually present or not. There may be a
little prick of the skin, and no further positive evidence, as the
needle is often imperceptible to touch. The patient, when
cross-questioned, is frequently doubtful whether the needle has not
dropped on the floor; and it might be, in some cases, a serious question
whether an exploratory operation to find a possible needle might not do
more harm than the needle. Moreover, though certainly present, to locate
it exactly is often very difficult; and even after an incision has been
made, though it may be embedded in a hand or foot, it is no easy task to
find it.


(Skiagraphed by Mr. Sydney Rowland, and published in the "British
Medical Journal.")]

The new method is a great step in advance in the line of precision of
diagnosis, and, therefore, of correct treatment. About half a dozen
cases have already been reported in the medical journals in which a
needle was suspected to be in the hand or the foot, and, in some
instances, had been sought for fruitlessly by a surgeon, in which the
use of the X rays demonstrated absolutely, not only its presence, but
its exact location, and it has then been an easy matter to extract it.
So, too, in an equal number of cases, bullets and shot have been
located, even after a prior fruitless search, and have been successfully
extracted. Figure 6 is the skiagraph of the hand of a cadaver which
shows a needle deeply embedded in the thumb, and also two buck-shot,
which were inserted into the palm of the hand through two incisions. It
will be noticed that their denser shadow is seen even _through the
bones_ of the hand themselves, for the hand was skiagraphed palm

Professor von Bergmann of Berlin has uttered, however, a timely warning
upon this very point. In many cases, after bullets or shot have been
embedded in the tissues for any length of time, they become quite
harmless. They are surrounded with a firm capsule of gristly substance
which renders them inert. In 1863, soon after I graduated in medicine, I
remember very well assisting the late Professor S.D. Gross in extracting
a ball from the leg of a soldier who had been wounded at the Borodino,
during Napoleon's campaign in Russia. It lay in the leg entirely
harmless for almost fifty years, and then became a source of irritation,
and was easily found and removed. There are many veterans of the Civil
War now living with bullets embedded in their bodies which are doing no
harm; and there is not a little danger that in the desire to find and
remove them greater harm may be done by an operation than by letting
them alone.

Glass is, fortunately, quite opaque to the Röntgen rays, and it will be
of great service to the patient, if the surgeon shall be able, by
skiagraphing the hand, to determine positively whether any fragment of
glass still remains in a hand from which it is at least presumed all the
fragments have been extracted. Even after the hand has been dressed, it
is possible, through the dressing, to skiagraph it, and determine the
presence or absence of any such fragments of glass.


("American Journal of the Medical Sciences," March, 1896.)]

Possibly before long we shall be able to determine also the presence or
absence of solid foreign bodies in the larynx or windpipe. Every now and
then, patients, especially children, get into the windpipe jack-stones,
small tin toys, nails, pins, needles, etc., foreign bodies which may
menace life very seriously. To locate them exactly is very difficult.
The X rays may here be a great help. An attempt has been made by Rowland
and Waggett. to skiagraph such foreign bodies, with encouraging results.
Improvements in our methods will, I think, undoubtedly lead to a
favorable use of the method in these instances. Beans, peas, wooden
toys, and similar foreign bodies, being easily permeable to the rays,
will not probably be discovered.

If our methods improve so that we can skiagraph through the entire body,
it will be very possible to determine the presence and location of
foreign bodies in the stomach and intestines. A large number of cases
are on record in which plates with artificial teeth, knives, forks,
coins, and other such bodies have been swallowed; and the surgeon is
often doubtful, especially if they are small, whether they have remained
in the stomach, or have passed into the intestines, or entirely escaped
from the body. In these cases, too, a caution should be uttered as to
the occasional inadvisability of operating, even should they be located,
for if small they will probably escape without doing any harm. But it
may be possible to look at them from day to day and determine whether or
not they are passing safely through the intestinal canal, or have been
arrested, at any point, and, therefore, whether the surgeon should
interfere. The man who had swallowed a fork which remained in his
stomach (_l'homme a la fourchette_, as he was dubbed in Paris) was
a noted patient, and would have proved an excellent subject for a
skiagraph, had the method then existed.

As sunlight is known to be the foe of bacteria, the hope has been
expressed that the new rays might be a means of destroying the microbes
of consumption and other diseases in the living body. Delépine, Park,
and others have investigated this with a good deal of care. A dozen
different varieties of bacteria have been exposed to the Röntgen rays
for over an hour, but cultures made from the tubes after this exposure
have shown not only that they were not destroyed, but possibly they were
more vigorous than before.

The facts above stated seem to warrant the following conclusions as to
the present value of the method:

_First_.--That deformities, injuries, and diseases of bone can be
readily and accurately diagnosticated by the Röntgen rays; but that the
method at present is limited in its use to the thinner parts of the
body, especially to the hands, forearms, and feet.

_Second_.--That foreign bodies which are opaque to the rays, such
as needles, bullets, and glass, can be accurately located and their
removal facilitated by this means; but that a zeal born of a new
knowledge almost romantic in its character, should not lead us to do
harm by attempting the indiscriminate removal of every such foreign
body. _Non nocere_ (to do no harm) is the first lesson a surgeon

_Third_.--That at present the internal organs are not accessible to
examination by the X rays for two reasons: First, because many of them
are enclosed in more or less complete bony cases, which cut off the
access of the rays; and, second, because even where not so enclosed, the
thickness of the body, even though it consists only of soft parts, is
such that the rays have not sufficient power of penetration to give us
any information.

_Fourth_.--Even if the rays can be made to permeate the thicker
parts of the body, it is doubtful whether tumors, such as cancers,
sarcoma, fatty tumors, etc., which are as permeable to the rays as the
normal soft parts, can be diagnosticated. Bony tumors, however, can be
readily diagnosticated; and possibly fibrous tumors, by reason of their
density, may cast shadows.

_Fifth_.--That stones in the kidney, bladder, and gall bladder
cannot be diagnosticated, either (1) because they are embedded in such
parts of the body as are too thick to be permeable by the rays, or (2)
are surrounded by the bones of the pelvis, or (3) are, in the case of
gall stones, themselves permeable to the Röntgen rays.

_Sixth_.--That with the improvements which will soon be made in our
methods, and with a better knowledge of the nature of the rays, and
greater ability to make them more effective, we shall be able to
overcome many of the obstacles just stated, and that the method will
then probably prove to be much more widely useful than at present.


From a photograph taken by Mr. Herbert B. Shallenberger, Rochester,
Pennsylvania, and reproduced by his permission. This is a particularly
interesting picture, because it not only shows the bones with unusual
clearness, but also shows that the ulna (the small bone of the forearm)
has been broken; a small projection at its lower end, which ought to
appear, being absent from the bone as shown in the picture.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 6, May, 1896" ***

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