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Title: The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Edited by


Editor of "The Best Short Stories of 1915"
"The Best Short Stories of 1916"
"The Best Short Stories of 1917"
"The Best Short Stories of 1918"
"The Best Short Stories of 1919"
"The Best Short Stories of 1920"
"The Great Modern English Stories," Etc

Small, Maynard & Company

Copyright, 1920, by John T. Frederick, Charles J. Finger, The Dial
Publishing Company, Inc., Charles Scribner's Sons, The International
Magazine Company, Harper & Brothers, and Smart Set Company, Inc.

Copyright, 1921, by The Boston Transcript Company.

Copyright, 1921, by B.W. Huebsch, The Century Company, John T.
Frederick, George H. Doran Company, The Dial Publishing Company, Inc.,
The Pictorial Review Company, The Curtis Publishing Company, The Crowell
Publishing Company, Harper & Brothers, Charles Scribner's Sons, The
International Magazine Company, and Smart Set Company, Inc.

Copyright, 1921, by Boni & Liveright, Inc.

Copyright, 1922, by Maxwell Struthers Burt, George H. Doran Co., Lincoln
Colcord, Waldo Frank, Katharine Fullerton Gerould, Doubleday, Page &
Co., Glasgow, Susan Glaspell Cook, Richard Matthews Hallet, Frances
Noyes Hart, Fannie Hurst, Manuel Komroff, Frank Luther Mott, Vincent
O'Sullivan, Wilbur Daniel Steele, Harriet Maxon Thayer, Charles Hanson
Towne, and Mary Heaton Minor.

Copyright, 1922, by Small, Maynard & Company, Inc.

Printed in the United States of America
Press of the Murray Printing Company
Kendall Square, Cambridge



Grateful acknowledgment for permission to include the stories and other
material in this volume is made to the following authors, editors and

To the Editor of _The Century Magazine_, the Editor of _The Bookman_,
the Editor of _The Dial_, the Editor of _The Pictorial Review_, the
Editor of _The Saturday Evening Post_, the Editor of _The American
Magazine_, the Editor of _Scribner's Magazine_, the Editor of _Good
Housekeeping_, the Editor of _Harper's Magazine_, the Editor of _The
Cosmopolitan_, the Editors of _The Smart Set_, The Editor of _The
Midland_, Boni & Liveright, Inc., George H. Doran Co., B.W. Huebsch,
Doubleday, Page & Co., Sherwood Anderson, Konrad Bercovici, Maxwell
Struthers Burt, Irvin S. Cobb, Lincoln Colcord, Charles J. Finger, Waldo
Frank, Katharine Fullerton Gerould, Ellen Glasgow, Susan Glaspell,
Richard Matthews Hallet, Frances Noyes Hart, Fannie Hurst, Manuel
Komroff, Frank Luther Mott, Vincent O'Sullivan, Wilbur Daniel Steele,
Harriet Maxon Thayer, Charles Hanson Towne, and Mary Heaton Vorse.

Acknowledgments are specially due to _The Boston Evening Transcript_ for
permission to reprint the large body of material previously published in
its pages.

I shall be grateful to my readers for corrections, and particularly for
suggestions leading to the wider usefulness of this annual volume. In
particular, I shall welcome the receipt, from authors, editors, and
publishers, of stories printed during the period between October, 1921
and September, 1922 inclusive, which have qualities of distinction and
yet are not printed in periodicals falling under my regular notice. Such
communications may be addressed to me at _Forest Hill, Oxfordshire,




INTRODUCTION. By the Editor.                                xii

BROTHERS. By Sherwood Anderson.                               3
  (From _The Bookman_)

FANUTZA. By Konrad Bercovici.                                13
  (From _The Dial_)

EXPERIMENT. By Maxwell Struthers Burt.                       28
  (From _The Pictorial Review_)

DARKNESS. By Irvin S. Cobb.                                  52
  (From _The Saturday Evening Post_)

AN INSTRUMENT OF THE GODS. By Lincoln Colcord.               82
  (From _The American Magazine_)

THE LIZARD GOD. By Charles J. Finger.                       109
  (From _All's Well_)

UNDER THE DOME. By Waldo Frank.                             130
  (From _The Dial_)

FRENCH EVA. By Katharine Fullerton Gerould.                 142
  (From _Scribner's Magazine_)

THE PAST. By Ellen Glasgow.                                 168
  (From _Good Housekeeping_)

HIS SMILE. By Susan Glaspell.                               194
  (From _The Pictorial Review_)

THE HARBOR MASTER. By Richard Matthews Hallet.              207
  (From _Harper's Magazine_)

GREEN GARDENS. By Frances Noyes Hart.                       240
  (From _Scribner's Magazine_)

SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY. By Fannie Hurst.                       253
  (From _The Cosmopolitan_)

THE LITTLE MASTER OF THE SKY. By Manuel Komroff.            288
  (From _The Dial_)

THE MAN WITH THE GOOD FACE. By Frank Luther Mott.           300
  (From _The Midland_)

MASTER OF FALLEN YEARS. By Vincent O'Sullivan.              321
  (From _The Smart Set_)

THE SHAME DANCE. By Wilbur Daniel Steele.                   337
  (From _Harper's Magazine_)

KINDRED. By Harriet Maxon Thayer.                           362
  (From _The Midland_)

SHELBY. By Charles Hanson Towne.                            386
  (From _The Smart Set_)

THE WALLOW OF THE SEA. By Mary Heaton Vorse.                401
  (From _Harper's Magazine_)

OCTOBER, 1920, TO SEPTEMBER, 1921                           419

  Addresses of American and English Magazines
      Publishing Short Stories.                             421

  The Biographical Roll of Honor of American Short Stories. 424

  The Roll of Honor of Foreign Short Stories
      in American Magazines.                                428

  The Best Books of Short Stories: A Critical Summary.      430

  Volumes of Short Stories Published in the United
      States: An Index.                                     437

  Volumes of Short Stories Published in England and
      Ireland Only.                                         440

  Volumes of Short Stories Published in France.             442

  Articles on the Short Story: An Index.                    443

  Index of Short Stories in Books.                          457

      I. American Authors.                                  458

     II. English and Irish Authors.                         461

    III. Translations.                                      463

  Magazine Averages.                                        466

  Index of Short Stories Published in American Magazines.   469

      I. American Authors.                                  471

     II. English and Irish Authors.                         500

    III. Translations.                                      505


I was talking the other day to Alfred Coppard, who has steered more
successfully than most English story writers away from the Scylla and
Charybdis of the modern artist. He told me that he had been reading
several new novels and volumes of short stories by contemporary American
writers with that awakened interest in the civilization we are framing
which is so noticeable among English writers during the past three
years. He asked me a remarkable question, and the answer which I gave
him suggested certain contrasts which seemed to me of basic importance
for us all. He said: "I have been reading books by Sherwood Anderson,
Waldo Frank and Ben Hecht and Konrad Bercovici and Joseph Hergesheimer,
and I can see that they are important books, but I feel that the
essential point to which all this newly awakened literary consciousness
is tending has somehow subtly eluded me. American and English writers
both use the same language, and so do Scotch and Irish writers, but I am
not puzzled when I read Scotch and Irish books as I am when I read these
new American books. Why is it?"

I had to think for a moment, and then the obvious answer occurred to me.
I told him that I thought the reason for his moderate bewilderment was
due to the fact that the Englishman or the Scotchman or the Irishman
living at home was writing out of a background of racial memory and
established tradition which was very much all of one piece, and that all
such an artist's unspoken implications and subtleties could be easily
taken for granted by his readers, and more or less thoroughly
understood, because they were elements in harmony with a tolerably fixed
and ordered world.

I added that this was more or less true of the American writer up to a
date roughly coinciding with that of the Chicago World's Fair in 1892.
During the thirty years more or less which have elapsed since that date,
there has been an ever widening seething maelstrom of cross currents
thrusting into more and more powerful conflict from year to year the
contributory elements brought to a new potential American culture by the
dynamic creative energies, physical and spiritual, of many races.

My suggestion to Mr. Coppard was that gradually the Anglo-Saxon, to take
the most readily understandable instance, was beginning to absorb large
tracts of many other racial fields of memory, and to share the
experience of Scandinavian and Russian and German and Italian, of Polish
and Irish and African and Asian members of the body politic, and that
all these widening tracts of remembered racial experience interacting
upon one another under the tremendous pressure of our nervous, keen, and
eager industrial civilization had set up a new chaos in many creative
minds. I said that Mr. Anderson and the others, half consciously and
half unconsciously, were trying to create worlds out of each separate
chaos, living dangerously, as Nietzsche advised, and fusing their
conceptions at a certain calculated temperature in artistic crucibles of
their own devising.

Mr. Coppard said that he quite saw that, but added that the particular
meaning in each case more or less escaped him. And then I ventured to
suggest that these meanings were more important for Americans at the
present stage than for Europeans, because American minds would grasp
readily at suggestions that harmonized with their own spiritual pasts,
and seize instinctive relations and congruities which had previously
escaped them in their experience, and so begin to formulate from these
books new intuitive laws. I suggested, moreover, that from the point of
view of the great artist these books were all more or less magnificent
failures which were creating, little by little, out of the shock of
conflict an ultimate harmony, out of which the great book for which we
are all waiting in America might come ten years from now, or five years,
or even tomorrow.

To this he replied that he felt I had supplied the clue which had
baffled him, and asked me if I did not discover a chaos of a different
sort in English life and literature since the armistice. I agreed that I
did discover such a chaos, but that it seemed to me a chaos which was an
end rather than a beginning, a chaos in which the Tower of Babel had
fallen, and men had come to babble with more and more complete
dissociation of ideas, or else, on the other hand, were clinging
desperately to such literary and social traditions as had been left,
while their work froze into a new Augustanism comparable to that of the
early years of the eighteenth century.

Next year, in conjunction with John Cournos, I shall begin in a parallel
series of volumes with the present series, to present my annual study of
the English case. Meanwhile, for the present, I deal once more with that
American chaos in which I have unbounded and ultimate faith. From now on
I should like to take as my motto almost the last paragraph written by
Walt Whitman before he died: "The Highest said: Don't let us begin so
low--isn't our range too coarse--too gross?--The Soul answer'd: No, not
when we consider what it is all for--the end involved in Time and
Space." Or, as the old Dutch flour-miller put it more briefly: "I never
bother myself what road the folks come--I only want good wheat and rye."

To repeat what I have said in these pages in previous years, for the
benefit of the reader as yet unacquainted with my standards and
principles of selection, I shall point out that I have set myself the
task of disengaging the essential human qualities in our contemporary
fiction which, when chronicled conscientiously by our literary artists,
may fairly be called a criticism of life. I am not at all interested in
formulæ, and organized criticism at its best would be nothing more than
dead criticism, as all dogmatic interpretation of life is always dead.
What has interested me, to the exclusion of other things, is the fresh,
living current which flows through the best American work, and the
psychological and imaginative reality which American writers have
conferred upon it.

No substance is of importance in fiction, unless it is organic
substance, that is to say, substance in which the pulse of life is
beating. Inorganic fiction has been our curse in the past, and bids fair
to remain so, unless we exercise much greater artistic discrimination
than we display at present.

The present record covers the period from October 1920, to September
1921, inclusive. During this period, I have sought to select from the
stories published in American magazines those which have rendered life
imaginatively in organic substance and artistic form. Substance is
something achieved by the artist in every act of creation, rather than
something already present, and accordingly a fact or group of facts in a
story only attain substantial embodiment when the artist's power of
compelling imaginative persuasion transforms them into a living truth.
The first test of a short story, therefore, in any qualitative analysis
is to report upon how vitally compelling the writer makes his selected
facts or incidents. This test may be conveniently called the test of

But a second test is necessary if the story is to take rank above other
stories. The true artist will seek to shape this living substance into
the most beautiful and satisfying form, by skilful selection and
arrangement of his materials, and by the most direct and appealing
presentation of it in portrayal and characterization.

The short stories which I have examined in this study, as in previous
years, have fallen naturally into four groups. The first consists of
those stories which fail, in my opinion, to survive either the test of
substance or the test of form. These stories are listed in the year book
without comment or a qualifying asterisk. The second group consists of
those stories which may fairly claim that they survive either the test
of substance or the test of form. Each of these stories may claim to
possess either distinction of technique alone, or more frequently, I am
glad to say, a persuasive sense of life in them to which a reader
responds with some part of his own experience. Stories included in this
group are indicated in the yearbook index by a single asterisk prefixed
to the title.

The third group, which is composed of stories of still greater
distinction, includes such narratives as may lay convincing claim to a
second reading, because each of them has survived both tests, the test
of substance and the test of form. Stories included in this group are
indicated in the yearbook index by two asterisks prefixed to the title.

Finally, I have recorded the names of a small group of stories which
possess, I believe, the even finer distinction of uniting genuine
substance and artistic form in a closely woven pattern with such
sincerity that these stories may fairly claim a position in American
literature. If all of these stories by American authors were
republished, they would not occupy more space than five novels of
average length. My selection of them does not imply the critical belief
that they are great stories. A year which produced one great story would
be an exceptional one. It is simply to be taken as meaning that I have
found the equivalent of five volumes worthy of republication among all
the stories published during the period under consideration. These
stories are indicated in the yearbook index by three asterisks prefixed
to the title, and are listed in the special "Roll of Honor." In
compiling these lists I have permitted no personal preference or
prejudice to consciously influence my judgment. To the titles of certain
stories, however, in the "Rolls of Honor," an asterisk is prefixed, and
this asterisk, I must confess, reveals in some measure a personal
preference, for which, perhaps, I may be indulged. It is from this final
short list that the stories reprinted in this volume have been selected.

It has been a point of honor with me not to republish a story by an
English author or by any foreign author. I have also made it a rule not
to include more than one story by an individual author in the volume.
The general and particular results of my study will be found explained
and carefully detailed in the supplementary part of the volume.

In past years it has been my pleasure and honor to dedicate the best
that I have found in the American magazines as the fruit of my labors to
the American artist who, in my opinion, has made the finest imaginative
contribution to the short story during the period considered. I take
pleasure in recalling the names of Benjamin Rosenblatt, Richard Matthews
Hallet, Wilbur Daniel Steele, Arthur Johnson, Anzia Yezierska, and
Sherwood Anderson. In my opinion Sherwood Anderson has made this year
once more the most permanent contribution to the American short story,
but as last year's book is associated with his name, I am happy to
dedicate this year's offering to a new and distinguished English artist,
A.E. Coppard, to whom the future offers in my opinion a rich harvest of


Forest Hill, Oxon, England,
November 23, 1921


Note.--The order in which the stories in this volume are printed is not
intended as an indication of their comparative excellence; the
arrangement is alphabetical by authors.



(From _The Bookman_)

I am at my house in the country and it is late October. It rains. Back
of my house is a forest and in front there is a road and beyond that
open fields. The country is one of low hills, flattening suddenly into
plains. Some twenty miles away, across the flat country, lies the huge
city, Chicago.

On this rainy day the leaves of the trees that line the road before my
window are falling like rain, the yellow, red, and golden leaves fall
straight down heavily. The rain beats them brutally down. They are
denied a last golden flash across the sky. In October leaves should be
carried away, out over the plains, in a wind. They should go dancing

Yesterday morning I arose at daybreak and went for a walk. There was a
heavy fog and I lost myself in it. I went down into the plains and
returned to the hills and everywhere the fog was as a wall before me.
Out of it trees sprang suddenly, grotesquely, as in a city street late
at night people come suddenly out of the darkness into the circle of
light under a street lamp. Above there was the light of day forcing
itself slowly into the fog. The fog moved slowly. The tops of trees
moved slowly. Under the trees the fog was dense, purple. It was like
smoke lying in the streets of a factory town.

An old man came up to me in the fog. I know him well. The people here
call him insane. "He is a little cracked," they say. He lives alone in a
little house buried deep in the forest and has a small dog he carries
always in his arms. On many mornings I have met him walking on the road
and he has told me of men and women who were his brothers and sisters,
his cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers-in-law. The notion has possession
of him. He cannot draw close to people near at hand so he gets hold of a
name out of a newspaper and his mind plays with it. One morning he told
me he was a cousin to the man named Cox who at the time when I write is
a candidate for the presidency. On another morning he told me that
Caruso the singer had married a woman who was his sister-in-law. "She is
my wife's sister," he said, holding the little dog closely. His gray
watery eyes looked appealingly up to me. He wanted me to believe. "My
wife was a sweet slim girl," he declared. "We lived together in a big
house and in the morning walked about arm in arm. Now her sister has
married Caruso the singer. He is of my family now." As some one had told
me the old man had never been married I went away wondering.

One morning in early September I came upon him sitting under a tree
beside a path near his house. The dog barked at me and then ran and
crept into his arms. At that time the Chicago newspapers were filled
with the story of a millionaire who had got into trouble with his wife
because of an intimacy with an actress. The old man told me the actress
was his sister. He is sixty years old and the actress whose story
appeared in the newspapers is twenty, but he spoke of their childhood
together. "You would not realize it to see us now but we were poor
then," he said. "It's true. We lived in a little house on the side of a
hill. Once when there was a storm the wind nearly swept our house away.
How the wind blew. Our father was a carpenter and he built strong houses
for other people but our own house he did not build very strongly." He
shook his head sorrowfully. "My sister the actress has got into trouble.
Our house is not built very strongly," he said as I went away along the

For a month, two months, the Chicago newspapers, that are delivered
every morning in our village, have been filled with the story of a
murder. A man there has murdered his wife and there seems no reason for
the deed. The tale runs something like this--

The man, who is now on trial in the courts and will no doubt be hanged,
worked in a bicycle factory where he was a foreman, and lived with his
wife and his wife's mother in an apartment in Thirty-Second Street. He
loved a girl who worked in the office of the factory where he was
employed. She came from a town in Iowa and when she first came to the
city lived with her aunt who has since died. To the foreman, a heavy
stolid-looking man with gray eyes, she seemed the most beautiful woman
in the world. Her desk was by a window at an angle of the factory, a
sort of wing of the building, and the foreman, down in the shop, had a
desk by another window. He sat at his desk making out sheets containing
the record of the work done by each man in his department. When he
looked up he could see the girl sitting at work at her desk. The notion
got into his head that she was peculiarly lovely. He did not think of
trying to draw close to her or of winning her love. He looked at her as
one might look at a star or across a country of low hills in October
when the leaves of the trees are all red and yellow gold. "She is a
pure, virginal thing," he thought vaguely. "What can she be thinking
about as she sits there by the window at work?"

In fancy the foreman took the girl from Iowa home with him to his
apartment in Thirty-Second Street and into the presence of his wife and
his mother-in-law. All day in the shop and during the evening at home he
carried her figure about with him in his mind. As he stood by a window
in his apartment and looked out toward the Illinois Central railroad
tracks and beyond the tracks to the lake, the girl was there beside him.
Down below women walked in the street and in every woman he saw there
was something of the Iowa girl. One woman walked as she did, another
made a gesture with her hand that reminded of her. All the women he saw
except only his wife and his mother-in-law were like the girl he had
taken inside himself.

The two women in his own house puzzled and confused him. They became
suddenly unlovely and commonplace. His wife in particular was like some
strange unlovely growth that had attached itself to his body.

In the evening after the day at the factory he went home to his own
place and had dinner. He had always been a silent man and when he did
not talk no one minded. After dinner he, with his wife, went to a
picture show. When they came home his wife's mother sat under an
electric light reading. There were two children and his wife expected
another. They came into the apartment and sat down. The climb up two
flights of stairs had wearied his wife. She sat in a chair beside her
mother groaning with weariness.

The mother-in-law was the soul of goodness. She took the place of a
servant in the home and got no pay. When her daughter wanted to go to a
picture show she waved her hand and smiled. "Go on," she said. "I don't
want to go. I'd rather sit here." She got a book and sat reading. The
little boy of nine awoke and cried. He wanted to sit on the po-po. The
mother-in-law attended to that.

After the man and his wife came home the three people sat in silence for
an hour or two before bedtime. The man pretended to read a newspaper. He
looked at his hands. Although he had washed them carefully grease from
the bicycle frames left dark stains under the nails. He thought of the
Iowa girl and of her white quick hands playing over the keys of a
typewriter. He felt dirty and uncomfortable.

The girl at the factory knew the foreman had fallen in love with her and
the thought excited her a little. Since her aunt's death she had gone to
live in a rooming house and had nothing to do in the evening. Although
the foreman meant nothing to her she could in a way use him. To her he
became a symbol. Sometimes he came into the office and stood for a
moment by the door. His large hands were covered with black grease. She
looked at him without seeing. In his place in her imagination stood a
tall slender young man. Of the foreman she saw only the gray eyes that
began to burn with a strange fire. The eyes expressed eagerness, a
humble and devout eagerness. In the presence of a man with such eyes she
felt she need not be afraid.

She wanted a lover who would come to her with such a look in his eyes.
Occasionally, perhaps once in two weeks, she stayed a little late at the
office, pretending to have work that must be finished. Through the
window she could see the foreman, waiting. When every one had gone she
closed her desk and went into the street. At the same moment the foreman
came out at the factory door.

They walked together along the street, a half-dozen blocks, to where she
got aboard her car. The factory was in a place called South Chicago and
as they went along evening was coming on. The streets were lined with
small unpainted frame houses and dirty-faced children ran screaming in
the dusty roadway. They crossed over a bridge. Two abandoned coal barges
lay rotting in the stream.

He went along by her side walking heavily, striving to conceal his
hands. He had scrubbed them carefully before leaving the factory but
they seemed to him like heavy dirty pieces of waste matter hanging at
his side. Their walking together happened but a few times and during one
summer. "It's hot," he said. He never spoke to her of anything but the
weather. "It's hot," he said; "I think it may rain."

She dreamed of the lover who would some time come, a tall fair young
man, a rich man owning houses and lands. The workingman who walked
beside her had nothing to do with her conception of love. She walked
with him, stayed at the office until the others had gone to walk
unobserved with him, because of his eyes, because of the eager thing in
his eyes that was at the same time humble, that bowed down to her. In
his presence there was no danger, could be no danger. He would never
attempt to approach too closely, to touch her with his hands. She was
safe with him.

In his apartment in the evening the man sat under the electric light
with his wife and his mother-in-law. In the next room his two children
were asleep. In a short time his wife would have another child. He had
been with her to a picture show and presently they would get into bed

He would lie awake thinking, would hear the creaking of the springs of a
bed from where, in another room, his mother-in-law was crawling under
the sheets. Life was too intimate. He would lie awake eager,
expectant--expecting what?

Nothing. Presently one of the children would cry. It wanted to get out
of bed and sit on the po-po. Nothing strange or unusual or lovely would
or could happen. Life was too close, intimate. Nothing that could happen
in the apartment could in any way stir him. The things his wife might
say, her occasional half-hearted outbursts of passion, the goodness of
his stout mother-in-law who did the work of a servant without pay--

He sat in the apartment under the electric light pretending to read a
newspaper--thinking. He looked at his hands. They were large, shapeless,
a workingman's hands.

The figure of the girl from Iowa walked about the room. With her he went
out of the apartment and walked in silence through miles of streets. It
was not necessary to say words. He walked with her by a sea, along the
crest of a mountain. The night was clear and silent and the stars shone.
She also was a star. It was not necessary to say words.

Her eyes were like stars and her lips were like soft hills rising out of
dim, star-lit plains. "She is unattainable, she is far off like the
stars," he thought. "She is unattainable like the stars but unlike the
stars she breathes, she lives, like myself she has being."

One evening, some six weeks ago, the man who worked as foreman in the
bicycle factory killed his wife and he is now in the courts being tried
for murder. Every day the newspapers are filled with the story. On the
evening of the murder he had taken his wife as usual to a picture show
and they started home at nine. In Thirty-Second Street, at a corner near
their apartment building, the figure of a man darted suddenly out of an
alleyway and then darted back again. That incident may have put the
idea of killing his wife into the man's head.

They got to the entrance to the apartment building and stepped into a
dark hallway. Then quite suddenly and apparently without thought the man
took a knife out of his pocket. "Suppose that man who darted into the
alleyway had intended to kill us," he thought. Opening the knife he
whirled about and struck his wife. He struck twice, a dozen
times--madly. There was a scream and his wife's body fell.

The janitor had neglected to light the gas in the lower hallway.
Afterward, the foreman decided that was the reason he did it, that and
the fact that the dark slinking figure of a man darted out of an
alleyway and then darted back again. "Surely," he told himself, "I could
never have done it had the gas been lighted."

He stood in the hallway thinking. His wife was dead and with her had
died her unborn child. There was a sound of doors opening in the
apartments above. For several minutes nothing happened. His wife and her
unborn child were dead--that was all.

He ran upstairs thinking quickly. In the darkness on the lower stairway
he had put the knife back into his pocket and, as it turned out later,
there was no blood on his hands or on his clothes. The knife he later
washed carefully in the bathroom, when the excitement had died down a
little. He told everyone the same story. "There has been a holdup," he
explained. "A man came slinking out of an alleyway and followed me and
my wife home. He followed us into the hallway of the building and there
was no light." The janitor had neglected to light the gas. Well there
had been a struggle and in the darkness his wife had been killed. He
could not tell how it had happened. "There was no light. The janitor had
neglected to light the gas," he kept saying.

For a day or two they did not question him specially and he had time to
get rid of the knife. He took a long walk and threw it away into the
river in South Chicago where the two abandoned coal barges lay rotting
under the bridge, the bridge he had crossed when on the summer evenings
he walked to the street car with the girl who was virginal and pure, who
was far off and unattainable, like a star and yet not like a star.

And then he was arrested and right away he confessed--told everything.
He said he did not know why he had killed his wife and was careful to
say nothing of the girl at the office. The newspapers tried to discover
the motive for the crime. They are still trying. Some one had seen him
on the few evenings when he walked with the girl and she was dragged
into the affair and had her picture printed in the paper. That has been
annoying for her, as of course she has been able to prove she had
nothing to do with the man.

       *       *       *       *       *

Yesterday morning a heavy fog lay over our village here at the edge of
the city and I went for a long walk in the early morning. As I returned
out of the lowlands into our hill country I met the old man whose family
has so many and such strange ramifications. For a time he walked beside
me holding the little dog in his arms. It was cold and the dog whined
and shivered. In the fog the old man's face was indistinct. It moved
slowly back and forth with the fog banks of the upper air and with the
tops of trees. He spoke of the man who has killed his wife and whose
name is being shouted in the pages of the city newspapers that come to
our village each morning. As he walked beside me he launched into a long
tale concerning a life he and his brother, who had now become a
murderer, had once lived together. "He is my brother," he said over and
over, shaking his head. He seemed afraid I would not believe. There was
a fact that must be established. "We were boys together, that man and
I," he began again. "You see we played together in a barn back of our
father's house. Our father went away to sea in a ship. That is the way
our names became confused. You understand that. We have different names
but we are brothers. We had the same father. We played together in a
barn back of our father's house. All day we lay together in the hay in
the barn and it was warm there."

In the fog the slender body of the old man became like a little gnarled
tree. Then it became a thing suspended in air. It swung back and forth
like a body hanging on the gallows. The face beseeched me to believe the
story the lips were trying to tell. In my mind everything concerning the
relationship of men and women became confused, a muddle. The spirit of
the man who had killed his wife came into the body of the little old man
there by the roadside. It was striving to tell me the story it would
never be able to tell in the courtroom in the city, in the presence of
the judge. The whole story of mankind's loneliness, of the effort to
reach out to unattainable beauty tried to get itself expressed from the
lips of a mumbling old man, crazed with loneliness, who stood by the
side of a country road on a foggy morning holding a little dog in his

The arms of the old man held the dog so closely that it began to whine
with pain. A sort of convulsion shook his body. The soul seemed striving
to wrench itself out of the body, to fly away through the fog down
across the plain to the city, to the singer, the politician, the
millionaire, the murderer, to its brothers, cousins, sisters, down in
the city. The intensity of the old man's desire was terrible and in
sympathy my body began to tremble. His arms tightened about the body of
the little dog so that it screamed with pain. I stepped forward and tore
the arms away and the dog fell to the ground and lay whining. No doubt
it had been injured. Perhaps ribs had been crushed. The old man stared
at the dog lying at his feet as in the hallway of the apartment building
the worker from the bicycle factory had stared at his dead wife. "We are
brothers," he said again. "We have different names but we are brothers.
Our father you understand went off to sea."

       *       *       *       *       *

I am sitting in my house in the country and it rains. Before my eyes the
hills fall suddenly away and there are the flat plains and beyond the
plains the city. An hour ago the old man of the house in the forest went
past my door and the little dog was not with him. It may be that as we
talked in the fog he crushed the life out of his companion. It may be
that the dog like the workman's wife and her unborn child is now dead.
The leaves of the trees that line the road before my window are falling
like rain--the yellow, red, and golden leaves fall straight down,
heavily. The rain beats them brutally down. They are denied a last
golden flash across the sky. In October leaves should be carried away,
out over the plains, in a wind. They should go dancing away.



(From _The Dial_)

Light and soft, as though the wind were blowing the dust off the silver
clouds that floated overhead, the first snow was falling over the barren
lands stretching between the Danube and the Black Sea. A lowland wind,
which had already hardened and tightened the marshes, was blowing the
snow skywards. The fine silvery dust, caught between the two air
currents, danced lustily, blown hither and thither until it took hold of
folds and rifts in the frozen land and began to form rugged white ridges
that stretched in soft silvery curves to meet other growing mountains of
snow. The lowland wind, at first a mere breeze playfully teasing the
north wind, like a child that kicks the bed-sheets before falling
asleep, increased its force and swiftness, and scattered huge mountains
of snow, but the steadily rising drone of the north wind soon mastered
the situation. Like silver grain strewn by an unseen hand the snow fell
obliquely in steady streams over the land. A great calm followed. The
long Dobrudgean winter had started. In the dim steady light, in the wake
of the great calm, travelling towards the Danube from the Black Sea, the
"marea Neagra," four gipsy wagons, each drawn by four small horses,
appeared on the frozen plains. The caravan was brought to a standstill
within sight of the slowly moving river. The canvas-covered wagons
ranged themselves, broadwise, in a straight line with the wind. Between
the wagons enough space was allowed to stable the horses. Then, when
that part of the business had been done, a dozen men, in furs from head
to toe, quickly threw a canvas that roofed the temporary quarters of the
animals and gave an additional overhead protection from the snow and
wind to the dwellers of the wheeled homes.

While the unharnessing and quartering of the horses and the stretching
of the canvas roof proceeded, a number of youngsters jumped down from
the wagons, yelling and screaming with all the power of their lusty
lungs. They threw snowballs at one another as they ran, some in search
of firewood and others, with wooden pails dangling from ends of curved
sticks over the left shoulder, in search of water for the horses and for
the cooking pots of their mothers.

Soon afterwards, from little crooked black chimneys that pointed
downwards over the roofs of the wagons, thick black smoke told that the
fires were already started. The youngsters came back; those with the
full water pails marching erectly with legs well apart; the ones with
bundles of firewood strapped to their shoulders leaning forward on
knotted sticks so as not to fall under the heavy burden.

When everything had been done, Marcu, the tall gray-bearded chief,
inspected the work. A few of the ropes needed tightening. He did it
himself, shaking his head in disapproval of the way in which it had been
done. Then he listened carefully to the blowing of the wind and measured
its velocity and intensity. He called to his men. When they had
surrounded him, he spoke a few words. With shovels and axes they set
energetically to work at his direction, packing a wall of snow and wood
from the ground up over the axles of the wheels all around the wagons so
as to give greater solidity to the whole and to prevent the cold wind
from blowing underneath.

By the time the early night settled over the marshes, the camp was quiet
and dark. Even the dogs had curled up near the tired horses and had gone
to sleep.

Early the following morning the whole thing could not be distinguished
from one of the hundreds of mountains of snow that had formed over
night. After the horses had been fed and watered, Marcu, accompanied by
his daughter, Fanutza, left the camp and went riverward, in search of
the hut of the Tartar whose flat-bottomed boat was moored on the shore.
Marcu knew every inch of the ground. He had camped there with his tribe
twenty winters in succession. He sometimes arrived before, and at other
times after, the first snow of the year. But every time he had gone to
Mehmet Ali's hut and asked the Tartar to row him across the Danube, on
the old Roumanian side, to buy there fodder for the horses and the men;
enough to last until after the river was frozen tight and could be
crossed securely with horses and wagon. He had always come alone to
Mehmet's hut, therefore, the Tartar, after greeting Marcu and offering
to do what his friend desired, inquired why the girl was beside the old

"But this is my daughter, Fanutza, Mehmet Ali," Marcu informed.

"Who, Fanutza? She who was born here fourteen winters ago on the plains

"The same, the same, my friend," Marcu answered as he smilingly
appraised his daughter.

Mehmet Ali looked at the girl in frank astonishment at her size and full
development; then he said as he took the oars from the corner of the
hut: "And I, who thought that my friend had taken a new wife to himself!
Allah, Allah! How fast these youngsters grow! And why do you take her
along to the Giaour side, to the heathen side, of the river, friend?" he
continued talking as he put heavy boots on his feet and measured Fanutza
with his eyes as he spoke.

"For everything there is only one right time, say I, Marcu," the chief
explained, in measured solemn voice. "And so now is the time for my
daughter to get married. I have chosen her a husband from amongst the
sons of my men, a husband who will become the chief when I am no longer
here to come to your hut at the beginning of every winter. She shall
marry him in the spring. I now go with her to the bazaars to buy silks
and linens which the women of my tribe will fashion into new clothes for
both. And may Allah be good to them."

"_Allah il Allah_," Mehmet assured Marcu. "And who is he whom you have
chosen from amongst your men?"

"I am old, Mehmet, I would otherwise have chosen a younger man for my
daughter; but because I fear that this or the following winter will be
the last one, I have chosen Stan, whose orphaned daughter is Fanutza's
own age. He is good and true and strong. Young men never make careful

"That be right and wise," remarked Mehmet, who was by that time ready
for the trip. During the whole conversation the young gipsy girl had
been looking to her father when he spoke and sidewise when Mehmet

At fourteen Fanutza was a full-grown woman. Her hair, braided in
tresses, was hanging from underneath a black fur cap she wore well over
her forehead. Her eyes were large and brown, the long eyebrows were coal
black. Her nose was straight and thin and the mouth full and red. Withal
she was of a somewhat lighter hue than her father or the rest of the
gipsy tribe. Yet there was something of a darker grain than the grain in
her people that lurked beneath her skin. And she was light on her feet.
Even trudging in the deep snow, she seemed more to float, to skim on
top, than to walk.

Unconcerned she had listened to the conversation that had gone on
between her father and the Tartar in the hut of the boatman. She had
hardly been interested in the whole affair, yet, when Mehmet Ali
mentioned casually as soon as he was outdoors that he knew a man who
would pay twenty pieces of gold for such a wife as Fanutza was, she
became interested in the conversation.

"I sell horses only," Marcu answered quietly.

"Yet my friend and others from his tribe have bought wives. Remember
that beautiful Circassian girl?" the Tartar continued without raising or
lowering his voice.

"Yes, Mehmet, we buy wives but we don't sell them."

"Which is not fair," Mehmet reflected aloud still in the same voice.

By that time they had reached the river shore. Mehmet, after rolling
together the oil cloth that had covered the boat, helped the gipsy chief
and his daughter to the stern. With one strong push of the oar on the
shore rock, the Tartar slid his boat a hundred feet towards the middle
of the stream. Then he seated himself, face towards his passengers, and
rowed steadily without saying a single word. The gipsy chief lit his
short pipe and looked over his friend's head, trying to distinguish the
other shore from behind the curtain of falling snow. The boat glided
slowly over the thickening waters of the Danube. A heavy snowstorm, the
heaviest of the year, lashed the river. When Mehmet had finally moored
his boat to the Roumanian side of the Danube, he turned around to the
gipsy chief and said:

"Be back before sundown. It shall be my last crossing of the year. For
when the sun rises the waters will be frozen still. The gale blows from
the land of the Russians."

"As you tell me, friend," answered Marcu while helping his daughter out
of the boat.

When the two had gone a short distance Fanutza turned her head. Mehmet
Ali was leaning on an oar and looking after them. A little later, a
hundred paces further, she caught fragments of a Tartar song that
reached her ears in spite of the shrill noises of the wind.

Marcu and his daughter entered the inn that stood a few hundred feet
from the shore. The innkeeper, an old fat greasy Greek, Chiria
Anastasidis, welcomed the gipsy chief. Not knowing the relationship
between the old man and the girl, he feared to antagonize his customer
by talking to the young woman. He pushed a white pine table near the big
stove in the middle of the room and after putting two empty glasses on
the table he inquired "White or red?"

"Red wine, Chiria. It warms quicker. I am getting old."

"Old!" exclaimed the Greek as he brought a small pitcher of wine. "Old!
Why, Marcu, you are as young as you were twenty years ago."

"This is my daughter, Fanutza, Chiria, and not my wife."

"A fine daughter you have. Your daughter, eh?"

"Yes, and she is about to marry, too."

After they had clinked glasses and wished one another health and long
years the innkeeper inquired:

"All your men healthy?"

"All. Only one-eyed Jancu died. You remember him. He was well along in

"_Bogdaproste._ Let not a younger man than he was die," answered
Anastasidis as he crossed himself.

After Marcu had declared himself warmed back to life by the fine wine he
inquired of Anastasidis the price of oats and straw and hay. The
innkeeper's store and his warehouse contained everything from a needle
to an oxcart. The shelves were full of dry goods, socks, shirts, silks,
belts, fur caps, coats, and trousers. Overhead, hanging from the
ceiling, were heavy leather boots, shoes, saddles, harness of all kinds,
fishers' nets, and even a red painted sleigh that swung on heavy chains.
In one corner of the store blankets were piled high, while all over the
floor were bags of dry beans and peas and corn and oats. At the door
were bales of straw and hay, and outside, already half covered with
snow, iron ploughs hobnobbed with small anchors, harrows, and bundles of
scythes that leaned on the wall.

"Oats you wanted? Oats are very high this year, Marcu."

And the bargaining began. Fanutza sat listlessly on her chair and looked
through the window. A few minutes later, the two men called one another
thief and swindler and a hundred other names. Yet each time the bargain
was concluded on a certain article they shook hands and repeated that
they were the best friends on earth.

"Now that we have finished with the oats, Chiria, let's hear your price
for corn? What? Three francs a hundred kilo? No. I call off the bargain
on the oats. You are the biggest thief this side of the Danube."

"And you, you lowborn Tzigane, are the cheapest swindler on earth."

Quarrelling and shaking hands alternately and drinking wine Marcu and
the Greek went on for hours. The gipsy chief had already bought all the
food for his men and horses and a few extra blankets and had ordered it
all carted to the moored boat where Mehmet Ali was waiting, when
Fanutza reminded her father of the silks and linen he wanted to buy.

"I have not forgotten, daughter, I have not forgotten." Fanutza
approached the counter behind which the Greek stood ready to serve his

"Show us some silks," she asked.

He emptied a whole shelf on the counter.

The old gipsy stood aside watching his daughter as she fingered the
different pieces of coloured silk, which the shopkeeper praised as he
himself touched the goods with thumb and forefinger in keen appreciation
of the quality he offered. After she had selected all the colours she
wanted and picked out the linen and neckerchiefs and ear-rings and tried
on a pair of beautiful patent leather boots that reached over the knees
and had stripes of red leather sewed on with yellow silk on the soft
vamps, Fanutza declared that she had chosen everything she wanted. The
bargaining between the Greek and the gipsy was about to start anew when
Marcu looked outdoors thoughtfully, stroked his beard and said to the

"Put away the things my daughter has selected. I shall come again,
alone, to bargain for them."

"If my friend fears he has not enough money--" suavely intervened
Anastasidis, as he placed a friendly hand on the gipsy's arm.

"When Marcu has no money he does not ask his women to select silk,"
haughtily interrupted the gipsy. "It will be as I said it will be. I
come alone in a day if the river has frozen. In a day or a week. I come

"Shall I, then, not take all these beautiful things along with me, now?"
asked Fanutza in a plaintive yet reproachful tone. "There is Marcia who
waits to see them. I have selected the same silk _basma_ for her. Have
you not promised me, even this morning--?"

"A woman must learn to keep her mouth shut," shouted Marcu as he angrily
stamped his right foot on the floor. He looked at his daughter as he had
never looked at her before. Only a few hours ago she was his little
girl, a child! He was marrying her off so soon to Stan, although it was
the customary age for gipsies, against his desire, but because of his
will to see her in good hands and to give to Stan the succession to the
leadership of his tribe.

Only a few hours ago! What had brought about the change? Was it in him
or in her? That cursed Tartar, Mehmet Ali, with his silly offer of
twenty gold pieces! He, he had done it. Marcu looked again at his
daughter. Her eyelids trembled nervously and there was a little
repressed twitch about her mouth. She returned his glance at first, but
lowered her eyes under her father's steady gaze. "Already a shameless
creature," thought the old gipsy. But he could not bear to think that
way about his little daughter, about his Fanutza. He also feared that
she could feel his thoughts. He was ashamed of what passed through his
mind. Rapidly enough in self-defense he turned against her the sharp
edge of the argument. Why had she given him all those ugly thoughts?

"It will be as I said, Anastasidis. In a day or a week. When the river
has frozen, I come alone. And now, Fanutza, we go. Night is coming close
behind us. Come, you shall have all your silks."

The Greek accompanied them to the door. The cart that had brought the
merchandise to the boat of the waiting Mehmet was returning.

"The water is thickening," the driver greeted the gipsy and his

They found Mehmet Ali seated in the boat expecting his passengers.

"Have you bought everything you intended?" the Tartar inquired as he
slid the oars into the hoops.

"Everything," Marcu answered as he watched his daughter from the corner
of an eye.

Vigorously Mehmet Ali rowed till well out into the wide river without
saying another word. His manner was so detached that the gipsy chief
thought the Tartar had already forgotten what had passed between them in
the morning. Sure enough. Why! He was an old man, Mehmet Ali. It was
possible he had been commissioned by some Dobrudgean Tartar chief to buy
him a wife. He had been refused and now he was no longer thinking about
her. He will look somewhere else, where his offer might not be scorned.
That offer of Mehmet had upset him. He had never thought of Fanutza
other than as a child. Of course he was marrying her to Stan--but it was
more like giving her a second father!

Suddenly the old gipsy looked at the Tartar who had lifted his oars from
the water and brought the boat to an abrupt standstill. Mehmet Ali laid
the paddles across the width of the boat and looking steadily into the
eyes of Marcu, he said:

"As I said this morning, Marcu, it is not fair that you should buy wives
from us when you like our women and not sell us yours when we like

"It is as it is," countered the gipsy savagely.

"But it is not fair," argued Mehmet, slyly watching every movement of
his old friend.

"If Mehmet is tired my arms are strong enough to help if he wishes,"
remarked Marcu.

"No, I am not tired, but I should like my friend to know that I think it
is not fair."

There was a long silence during which the boat was carried downstream
although it was kept in the middle of the river by skilful little
movements of the boatman.

Fanutza looked at the Tartar. He was about the same age as Stan was.
Only he was stronger, taller, broader, swifter. When he chanced to look
at her his small bead-like eyes bored through her like gimlets. No man
had ever looked at her that way. Stan's eyes were much like her own
father's eyes. The Tartar's face was much darker than her own. His nose
was flat and his upper lip curled too much noseward and the lower one
chinward, and his bulletlike head rose from between the shoulders. There
was no neck. No, he was not beautiful to look at. But he was so
different from Stan! So different from any of the other men she had seen
every day since she was born. Why! Stan--Stan was like her father. They
were all like him in her tribe!

"And, as I said," Mehmet continued after a while, "as I said, it is not
fair. My friend must see that. It is not fair. So I offer you twenty
gold pieces for the girl. Is it a bargain?"

"She is not for sale," yelled Marcu, understanding too well the meaning
of the oars out of the water.

"No?" wondered Mehmet, "not for twenty pieces of gold? Well, then I
shall offer five more. Sure twenty-five is more than any of your people
ever paid to us for a wife. It would shame my ancestors were I to offer
more for a gipsy girl than they ever received for one of our women."

"She is not for sale," roared the gipsy at the top of his voice.

By that time the Tartar knew that Marcu was not armed. He knew the chief
too well not to know that a knife or a pistol would have been the answer
to his second offer and the implied insult to the race of gipsies.

Twenty-five gold pieces! thought Fanutza. Twenty-five gold pieces
offered for her by a Tartar at a second bid. She knew what that meant.
She had been raised in the noise of continual bargaining between Tartars
and gipsies and Greeks. It meant much less than a quarter of the
ultimate sum the Tartar was willing to pay. Would Stan ever have offered
that for her? No, surely not. She looked at the Tartar and felt the
passion that radiated from him. How lukewarm Stan was! And here was a
man. Stopped the boat midstream and bargained for her, fought to possess
her. Endangered his life for her. For it was a dangerous thing to do
what he did and facing her father. Yet--she will have to marry Stan
because her father bids it.

"I don't mean to offend you," the boatman spoke again, "but you are very
slow in deciding whether you accept my bargain or not. Night is closing
upon us."

Marcu did not answer immediately. The boat was carried downstream very
rapidly. They were at least two miles too far down by now. Mehmet looked
at Fanutza and found such lively interest in her eyes that he was
encouraged to offer another five gold pieces for her.

It was a proud moment for the girl. So men were willing to pay so much
for her! But her heart almost sank when her father pulled out his purse
from his pocket and said:

"Mehmet Ali, who is my best friend, has been so good to me these twenty
years that I have thought to give him twenty gold pieces that he might
buy himself a wife to keep his hut warm during the long winter. What say
he to my friendship?"

"That is wonderful! Only now, he is not concerned about that, but about
the fairness of his friend who does not want to sell wives to the men
whose women he buys. I offer five more gold pieces which makes
thirty-five in all. And I do that not for Marcu but for his daughter
that she may know that I will not harm her and will for ever keep her
well fed and buy her silks and jewels."

"Silks!" It occurred to the gipsy chief to look at his daughter at that
moment. She turned her head away from his and looked at the Tartar, from
under her brows. How had he known?

"A bargain is a bargain only when two men agree on something, says the
Koran," the gipsy chief reminded the Tartar boatman. "I don't want to
sell her."

"So we will travel downstream for a while," answered Mehmet Ali and
crossed his arms.

After a while the gipsy chief who had reckoned that they must be fully
five miles away from his home across the water made a new offer.

"A woman, Mehmet Ali, is a woman. They are all alike after you have
known them. So I offer you thirty-five pieces of gold with which you can
buy for yourself any other woman you please whenever you want."

Fanutza looked at the Tartar. Though it was getting dark she could see
the play of every muscle of his face. Hardly had her father finished
making his offer, when Mehmet, after one look at the girl, said:

"I offer fifty gold pieces for the girl. Is it a bargain?"

Fanutza's eyes met the eyes of her father. She looked at him
entreatingly, "Don't give in to the Tartar," her eyes spoke clearly, and
Marcu refused the offer.

"I offer you fifty instead that you buy yourself another woman than my

"No," answered the Tartar, "but I offer sixty for this one, here."

Quick as a flash Fanutza changed the encouraging glance she had thrown
to the passionate man to a pleading look towards her father. "Poor, poor
girl!" thought Marcu. "How she fears to lose me! How she fears I might
accept the money and sell her to the Tartar!"

"A hundred gold pieces to row us across," he yelled, for the night was
closing in upon them and the boat was being carried swiftly downstream.
There was danger ahead of them. Marcu knew it.

"A hundred gold pieces is a great sum," mused Mehmet, "a great sum! It
has taken twenty years of my life to save such a sum--yet, instead of
accepting your offer, I will give you the same sum for the woman I

"Fool, a woman is only a woman. They are all alike," roared the gipsy.

"Not to me!" answered Mehmet Ali quietly. "I shall not say another

"Fool, fool, fool," roared the gipsy as he still tried to catch
Fanutza's eye. It was already too dark.

"Not to me." The Tartar's words echoed in the girl's heart. "Not to me."
Twenty years he had worked to save such a great sum. And now he refused
an equal amount and was willing to pay it all for her. Would Stan have
done that? Would anybody else have done that? Why should she be
compelled to marry whom her father chose when men were willing to pay a
hundred gold pieces for her? The old women of the camp had taught her to
cook and to mend and to wash and to weave. She must know all that to be
worthy of Stan, they had told her. And here was a man who did not know
whether she knew any of these things who staked his life for her and
offered a hundred gold pieces in the bargain! Twenty years of savings.
Twenty years of work. It was not every day one met such a man. Surely,
with one strong push of his arms he could throw her father overboard. He
did not do it because he did not want to hurt her feelings. And as the
silence continued Fanutza thought her father, too, was a fine man. It
was fine of him to offer a hundred gold pieces for her liberty. That
was in itself a great thing. But did he do it only for her sake or
wasn't it because of Stan, because of himself? And as she thought again
of Mehmet's "Not to me," she remembered the fierce bitterness in her
father's voice when he had yelled, "All women are alike." That was not
true. If it were true why would Mehmet Ali want her and her only after
having seen her only once? Then, too, all men must be alike! It was not
so at all! Why! Mehmet Ali was not at all like Stan. And he offered a
hundred pieces of gold. No. Stan was of the kind who think all women are
alike. That was it. All her people were thinking all women were alike.
That was it. Surely all the men in the tribe were alike in that. All her
father had ever been to her, his kindness, his love was wiped away when
he said those few words. The last few words of Mehmet Ali, "Not to me,"
were the sweetest music she had ever heard.

Marcu waited until it was dark enough for the Tartar not to see, when
pressing significantly his daughter's foot, he said:

"So be it as you said. Row us across."

"It is not one minute too soon," Mehmet answered. "Only a short distance
from here, where the river splits in three forks, is a great rock. Shake
hands. Here. Now here is one oar. Pull as I count, _Bir, icki, outch,
dort_. Again, _Bir, icki, outch, dort_. Lift your oar. Pull again.
Two counts only. _Bir, icki._ So, now we row nearer to the shore. See
that light there? Row towards it. Good. Marcu, your arm is still strong
and steady and you can drive a good bargain."

Again and again the gipsy pressed the foot of his daughter as he bent
over the oar. She should know of course that he never intended to keep
his end of the bargain. He gave in only when he saw that the Tartar
meant to wreck them all on the rocks ahead of them. Why had he, old and
experienced as he was, having dealt with those devils of Tartars for so
many years, not known better than to return to the boat after he had
heard Mehmet say, "It is not fair!" And after he had reflected on the
Tartar's words, why, after he had refused to buy all the silks and
linen on that reflection, not a very clear one at first, why had he not
told Mehmet to row across alone and deliver the fodder and food. He
could have passed the night in Anastasidis' inn and hired another boat
the following morning if the river had not frozen meanwhile! He should
have known, he who knew these passionate beasts so well. It was all the
same with them; whether they set their eyes on a horse that captured
their fancy or a woman. They were willing to kill or be killed in the
fight for what they wanted. A hundred gold pieces for a woman! Twenty
years' work for a woman!

The two men rowed in silence, each one planning how to outwit the other
and each one knowing that the other was planning likewise. According to
Tartar ethics the bargain was a bargain. When the boat had been pulled
out of danger Mehmet hastened to fulfil his end. With one jerk he
loosened a heavy belt underneath his coat and pulled out a leather purse
which he threw to Marcu. As he did so he met Fanutza's proud eye.

"Here. Count it. Just one hundred."

"That's good enough," the gipsy chief answered as he put the purse in
his pocket without even looking at it. "Row, I am cold. I am anxious to
be home."

"It will not be before daylight, chief," remarked Mehmet Ali as he bent
again over his oars and counted aloud, "_Bir, icki, Bir, icki_."
An hour later, Fanutza had fallen asleep on the bags of fodder and was
covered by the heavy fur coat of the Tartar. The two men rowed the whole
night upstream against the current in the slushy heavy waters of the
Danube. A hundred times floating pieces of ice had bent back the flat of
the oar Marcu was handling, and every time Mehmet had saved it from
breaking by a deft stroke of his own oar or by some other similar
movement. He was a waterman and knew the ways of the water as well as
Marcu himself knew the murky roads of the marshes. The gipsy could not
help but admire the powerful quick movements of the Tartar--yet--to be
forced into selling his daughter--that was another thing.

At daylight they were within sight of Mehmet's hut on the shore. The
storm had abated. Standing up on the bags of fodder Marcu saw the black
smoke that rose from his camp. His people must be waiting on the shore.
They were a dozen men. Mehmet was one alone. He will unload the goods
first; then, when his men will be near enough, he will tell Fanutza to
run towards them. Let Mehmet come to take her if he dare!

A violent jerk woke the gipsy girl from her sleep. She looked at the two
men but said nothing. When the boat was moored, the whole tribe of
gipsies, who had already mourned their chief yet hoped against hope and
watched the length of the shore, surrounded the two men and the woman.
There was a noisy welcome. While some of the men helped unload the boat
a boy came running with a sleigh cart.

When all the bags were loaded on the sleigh Marcu threw the heavy purse
Mehmet had given him to the Tartar's feet and grabbed the arm of his

"Here is your money, Mehmet. I take my daughter."

But before he knew what had happened, Fanutza shook off his grip and
picking up the purse she threw it at her father, saying:

"Take it. Give it to Stan that he should buy with the gold another
woman. To him all women are alike. But not to Mehmet Ali. So I shall
stay with him. A bargain is a bargain. He staked his life for me."

Marcu knew it was the end. "All women are alike," he whined to Stan as
he handed him the purse. "Take it. All women are alike," he repeated
with bitterness as he made a savage movement towards his daughter.

"All, save the ones with blood of Chans in their veins," said Mehmet Ali
who had put himself between the girl and the whole of her tribe. And the
Tartar's words served as a reminder to Marcu that Fanutza's own mother
had been the daughter of a Tartar chief and a white woman.



(From _The Pictorial Review_)

When she had reached that point of detachment where she could regard the
matter more or less objectively, Mrs. Ennis, recalling memories of an
interrupted but lifelong friendship, realized that Burnaby's behavior,
outrageous or justifiable or whatever you choose to call it, at all
events aberrational, was exactly what might have been expected of him,
given an occasion when his instincts for liking or disliking had been
sufficiently aroused. Moreover, there was about him always, she
remembered, this additional exceptional quality: the rare and fortunate
knowledge that socially he was independent; was not, that is, subject to
retaliation. He led too roving a life to be moved by the threat of
unpopularity; a grandfather had bequeathed him a small but unshakable

As much, therefore, as any one can be in this world he was a free agent;
and the assurance of this makes a man very brave for either kindness or
unkindness, and, of course, extremely dangerous for either good or evil.
You will see, after a while, what I am driving at. Meanwhile, without
further comment, we can come directly to Mrs. Ennis, where she sat in
her drawing room, and to the night on which the incident occurred.

Mrs. Ennis, small and blond, and in a white evening gown of satin and
silver sequins that made her look like a lovely and fashionable mermaid,
sat in her drawing room and stretched her feet out to the flames of a
gentle woodfire. It was seven o'clock of a late April night, and
through an open window to her left came, from the little park beyond the
house, a faint breeze that stirred lazily the curtains and brought to
the jonquils, scattered about in numerous metal and crystal bowls, word
of their brothers in the dusk without. The room was quiet, save for the
hissing of the logs; remote, delicately lighted, filled with the subtle
odor of books and flowers; reminiscent of the suave personalities of
those who frequented it. On the diminutive piano in one corner, a large
silver frame, holding the photograph of a man in French uniform, caught
here and there on its surface high lights from the shaded wall-lamp
above. In the shelter of white bookcases, the backs of volumes in red
and tawny and brown gave the effect of tapestry cunningly woven. Mrs.
Ennis stared at the logs and smiled.

It was an odd smile, reflective, yet anticipatory; amused,
absent-minded, barely disturbing the lines of her beautifully modeled
red lips. Had any of Mrs. Ennis's enemies, and they were not few in
number, seen it, they would have surmised mischief afoot; had any of her
friends, and there were even more of these than enemies, been present,
they would have been on the alert for events of interest. It all
depended, you see, upon whether you considered a taste for amateur
psychology, indulged in, a wickedness or not. Mrs. Ennis herself would
not have given her favorite amusement so stately a name; she was aware
merely that she found herself possessed of a great curiosity concerning
people, particularly those of forcible and widely different
characteristics, and that she liked, whenever possible, to gather them
together, and then see what would happen. Usually something did--happen,
that is.

With the innocence of a child playing with fire-crackers (and it wasn't
altogether innocent, either), in her rôle of the god in the machine she
had been responsible for many things; several comedies, perhaps a
tragedy or two. Ordinarily her parties were dull enough; complacent
Washington parties; diplomats, long-haired Senators from the West,
short-bearded Senators from the East, sleek young men and women, all of
whom sat about discussing grave nonsense concerning a country with which
they had utterly lost touch, if ever they had had any; but every now and
then, out of the incalculable shufflings of fate, appeared a combination
that seemed to offer more excitement. Tonight such a combination was at
hand. Mrs. Ennis was contented, in the manner of a blithe and beautiful

Burnaby, undoubtedly, was the principal source of this contentment, for
he was a young man--he wasn't really young, but you always thought of
him as young--of infinite potentialities; Burnaby, just back from some
esoteric work in Roumania, whither he had gone after the War, and in
Washington for the night and greatly pleased to accept an invitation for
dinner; but essential as he was, Burnaby was only part of the tableau
arranged. To meet him, Mrs. Ennis had asked her best, for the time
being, friend, Mimi de Rochefort--Mary was her right name--and Mimi de
Rochefort's best, for the time being, friend, Robert Pollen. Nowadays
Pollen came when Madame de Rochefort came; one expected his presence. He
had been a habit in this respect for over six months; in fact, almost
from the time Madame de Rochefort (she was so young that to call her
Madame seemed absurdly quaint), married these five years to a Frenchman,
had set foot once more upon her native land.

In the meeting of Pollen and Burnaby and Mary Rochefort, Mrs. Ennis
foresaw contingencies; just what these contingencies were likely to be
she did not know, but that an excellent chance for them existed she had
no doubt, even if in the end they proved to be no more than the humor to
be extracted from the reflection that a supposedly rational divinity had
spent his time creating three people so utterly unalike.

The gilt clock on the mantelpiece chimed half-past seven. The jonquils
on the piano shone in the polished mahogany like yellow water-lilies in
a pool. Into the silence of the room penetrated, on noiseless feet, a
fresh-colored man servant. Despite such days as the present, Mrs. Ennis
had a way, irritating to her acquaintances, of obtaining faithful
attendance. Even servants seemed to be glad to wait upon her. Her
husband, dead these six years, had been unfailingly precise in all
matters save the one of drink.

"Mr. Burnaby!" announced the man servant.

Burnaby strode close on his heels. Mrs. Ennis had arisen and was
standing with her back to the fireplace. She had the impression that a
current of air followed the entrance of the two men. She remembered now
that she had always felt that way with Burnaby; she had always felt as
if he were bringing news of pine forests and big empty countries she had
never seen but could dimly imagine. It was very exciting.

Burnaby paused and looked about the room doubtfully, then he chuckled
and came forward. "I haven't seen anything like this for three years,"
he said. "Roumanian palaces are furnished in the very latest bad taste."

He took Mrs. Ennis's outstretched hand and peered down at her with
narrowed eyelids. She received the further impression, an impression she
had almost forgotten in the intervening years, of height and leanness,
of dark eyes, and dark, crisp hair; a vibrant impression; something like
a chord of music struck sharply. Unconsciously she let her hand rest in
his for a moment, then she drew it away hastily. He was smiling and
talking to her.

"Rhoda! You ought to begin to look a bit older! You're thirty-six, if
you're a day! How do you do it? You look like a wise and rather naughty
little girl."

"Hush!" said Mrs. Ennis. "I wear my hair parted on one side like a
debutante to give me a head-start on all the knowing and subtle and
wicked people I have to put up with. While they are trying to break the
ice with an ingenue, I'm sizing them up."

Burnaby laughed. "Well, I'm not subtle," he said. He sank down into a
big chair across the fireplace from her. "I'm only awfully glad to be
back; and I'm good and simple and amenable, and willing to do nearly
anything any good American tells me to do. I love Americans."

"You won't for very long," Mrs. Ennis assured him dryly. "Particularly
if you stay in Washington more than a day." She was wondering how even
for a moment she had been able to forget Burnaby's vividness.

"No," laughed Burnaby, "I suppose not. But while the mood is on me,
don't disillusion me."

Mrs. Ennis looked across at him with a smile. "You'll meet two very
attractive people tonight, anyway," she said.

"Oh, yes!" He leaned forward. "I had forgotten--who are they?"

Mrs. Ennis spread her arms out along the chair. "There's Mary
Rochefort," she answered, "and there's Robert Pollen, who's supposed to
be the most alluring man alive."

"Is it doing him any good?"

"Well--" Mrs. Ennis looked up with a laugh.

"You don't like him? Or perhaps you do?"

Mrs. Ennis knit her brows in thought, her blue eyes dark with
conjecture. "I don't know," she said at length. "Sometimes I think I do,
and sometimes I think I don't. He's very good-looking in a tall, blond,
pliable way, and he can be very amusing when he wants to be. I don't

"Why not?"

Mrs. Ennis wrinkled her nose in the manner of one who is being pushed to

"I am not so sure," she confided, "that I admire professional
philanderers as much as I did. Although, so long as they leave me

"Oh, he's that, is he?"

Mrs. Ennis corrected herself hastily. "Oh, no," she protested. "I
shouldn't talk that way, should I? Now you'll have an initial prejudice,
and that isn't fair--only--" she hesitated "I rather wish he would
confine his talents to his own equals and not conjure young married
women at their most vulnerable period."

"Which is?"

"Just when," said Mrs. Ennis, "they're not sure whether they want to
fall in love again with their own husbands or not." Then she stopped
abruptly. She was surprised that she had told Burnaby these things;
even more surprised at the growing incisiveness of her voice. She was
not accustomed to taking the amatory excursions of her friends too much
to heart; she had a theory that it was none of her business, that
perhaps some day she might want charity herself. But now she found
herself perceptibly indignant. She wondered if it wasn't Burnaby's
presence that was making her so. Sitting across from her, he made her
think of directness and dependability and other traits she was
accustomed to refer to as "primitive virtues." She liked his black,
heavily ribbed evening stockings. Somehow they were like him. It made
her angry with herself and with Burnaby that she should feel this way;
be so moved by "primitive virtues." She detested puritanism greatly, and
righteously, but so much so that she frequently mistook the most
innocent fastidiousness for an unforgivable rigidity. "If they once do,"
she concluded, "once do fall in love with their husbands again, they're
safe, you know, for all time."

She looked up and drew in her breath sharply. Burnaby was sitting
forward in his chair, staring at her with the curious, far-sighted stare
she remembered was characteristic of him when his interest was suddenly
and thoroughly aroused. It was as if he were looking through the person
to whom he was talking to some horizon beyond. It was a trifle uncanny,
unless you were accustomed to the trick.

"What's the matter?" she asked. She had the feeling that back of her
some one she could not see was standing.

Burnaby smiled. "Nothing," he said. He sank back into his chair. "That's
an odd name--the name of this alluring fellow of yours, isn't it? What
did you say it was--Pollen?"

"Yes. Robert Pollen. Why, do you know him?"

"No." Burnaby shook his head. He leaned over and lit a cigarette. "You
don't mind, do you?" he asked. He raised his eyes. "So he's conjuring
this Madame de Rochefort, is he?" he concluded.

Mrs. Ennis flushed. "I never said anything of the kind!" she protested.
"It's none of our business, anyway."

Burnaby smiled calmly. "I quite agree with you," he said. "I imagine
that a Frenchwoman, married for a while, is much better able to conduct
her life in this respect than even the most experienced of us."

"She isn't French," said Mrs. Ennis; "she's American. And she's only
been married five years. She's just a child--twenty-six."

"Oh!" ejaculated Burnaby. "One of those hard-faced children! I
understand--Newport, Palm Beach, cocktails--"

His voice was cut across by Mrs. Ennis's indignant retort. "You don't in
the least!" she said. "She's not one of those hard-faced children; she's
lovely--and I've come to the conclusion that she's pathetic. I'm
beginning to rather hate this man Pollen. Back of it all are subtleties
of personality difficult to fathom. You should know Blais Rochefort. I
imagine a woman going about things the wrong way could break her heart
on him like waves on a crystal rock. I think it has been a question of
fire meeting crystal, and, when it finds that the crystal is difficult
to warm, turning back upon itself. I said waves, didn't I? Well, I don't
care if my metaphors are mixed. It's tragic, anyhow. And the principal
tragedy is that Blais Rochefort isn't really cold--at least, I don't
think he would be if properly approached--he is merely beautifully lucid
and intelligent and exacting in a way no American understands, least of
all a petted girl who has no family and who is very rich. He expects,
you see, an equal lucidity from his wife. He's not to be won over by the
fumbling and rather selfish and pretty little tricks that are all most
of us know. But Mary, I think, would have learned if she had only held
on. Now, I'm afraid, she's losing heart. Hard-faced child!" Mrs. Ennis
grew indignant again. "Be careful my friend; even you might find her
dangerously pathetic."

Burnaby's eyes were placidly amused. "Thanks," he observed. "You've told
me all I wanted to know."

Mrs. Ennis waved toward the piano. "There's Blais Rochefort's
photograph," she retorted in tones of good-humored exasperation. "Go
over and look at it."

"I will."

Burnaby's black shoulders, bent above the photograph, were for a moment
the object of a pensive regard. Mrs. Ennis sighed. "Your presence makes
me puritanical," she observed. "I have always felt that the best way for
any one to get over Pollens was to go through with them and forget

Burnaby spoke without turning his head.

"He's good-looking."


"A real man."

"Decidedly! Very brave and very cultivated."

"He waxes his mustache."

"Yes, even brave men do that occasionally."

"I should think," said Burnaby thoughtfully, putting the photograph
down, "that he might be worth a woman's hanging on to."

Mrs. Ennis got up, crossed over to the piano, and leaned an elbow upon
it, resting her cheek in the palm of her upturned hand and smiling at

"Don't let's be so serious," she said. "What business is it of ours?"
She turned her head away and began to play with the petals of a near-by
jonquil. "Spring is a restless time, isn't it?"

It seemed to her that the most curious little silence followed this
speech of hers, and yet she knew that in actual time it was nothing, and
felt that it existed probably only in her own heart. She heard the clock
on the mantelpiece across the room ticking; far off, the rattle of a
taxicab. The air coming through the open window bore the damp, stirring
smell of early grass.

"Madame De Rochefort and Mr. Pollen!" announced a voice.

Mrs. Ennis had once said that her young friend, Mimi de Rochefort,
responded to night more brilliantly than almost any other woman she
knew. The description was apt. Possibly by day there was a pallor too
lifeless, a nose a trifle too short and arrogant, lips, possibly, too
full; but by night these discrepancies blended into something very near
perfection, and back of them as well was a delicate illumination as of
lanterns hung in trees beneath stars; an illumination due to youth, and
to very large dark eyes, and to dark, soft hair and red lips. Nor with
this beauty went any of the coolness or abrupt languor with which the
modern young hide their eagerness.

Mary Rochefort was quite simple beneath her habitual reserve; frank and
appealing and even humorous at times, as if startled out of her usual
mood of reflective quiet by some bit of wit, slowly apprehended, too
good to be overlooked. Mrs. Ennis watched with a sidelong glance the
effect of her entrance upon Burnaby. Madame de Rochefort! How absurd! To
call this white, tall, slim child madame! She admired rather enviously
the gown of shimmering dark blue, the impeccability of adolescence. Over
the girl's white shoulder, too much displayed, Pollen peered at Burnaby
with the vague, hostile smile of the guest not yet introduced to a guest
of similar sex.

"Late as usual!" he announced. "Mimi kept me!" His manner was subtly

"You're really on the stroke of the clock," said Mrs. Ennis. "Madame de
Rochefort--Mr. Burnaby--Mr. Pollen." She laughed abruptly, as if a
thought had just occurred to her. "Mr. Burnaby," she explained to the
girl, "is the last surviving specimen of the American male--he has all
the ancient national virtues. Preserved, I suppose, because he spends
most of his time in Alaska, or wherever it is. I particularly wanted you
to meet him."

Burnaby flushed and laughed uncertainly. "I object--" he began.

The fresh-colored man servant entered with a tray of cocktails. Madame
de Rochefort exclaimed delightedly. "I'm so glad," she said. "Nowadays
one fatigues oneself before dinner by wondering whether there will be
anything to drink or not. How absurd!" The careful choice of words, the
precision of the young, worldly voice were in amusing contrast to the
youthfulness of appearance. Standing before the fireplace in her blue
gown, she resembled a tapering lily growing from the indigo shadows of a
noon orchard.

"Rhoda'll have cocktails when there aren't any more left in the
country," said Pollen. "Trust Rhoda!"

Mary Rochefort laughed. "I always do," she said, "with reservations."
She turned to Burnaby. "Where are you just back from?" she asked. "I
understand you are always just back from some place, or on the verge of

"Usually on the verge," answered Burnaby. He looked at her deliberately,
a smile in his dark eyes; then he looked at Pollen.

"Where were you--the War?"

"Yes--by way of Roumania in the end."

"The War!" Mary Rochefort's lips became petulant. One noticed for the
first time the possibility of considerable petulance back of the shining
self-control. "How sick of it I grew--all of us living over there! I'd
like to sleep for a thousand years in a field filled with daffodils."

"They've plenty scattered about this room," observed Pollen. "Why don't
you start now?"

The fresh-colored man servant announced dinner. "Shall we go down?"
said Mrs. Ennis.

They left the little drawing-room, with its jonquils and warm shadows,
and went along a short hall, and then down three steps and across a
landing to the dining-room beyond. It, like the drawing-room, was small,
white-paneled to the ceiling, with a few rich prints of Constable
landscapes on the walls, and velvet-dark sideboards and tables that
caught the light of the candles. In the center was a table of snowy
drapery and silver and red roses.

Mrs. Ennis sank into her chair and looked about her with content. She
loved small dinners beautifully thought out, and even more she loved
them when, as on this night, they were composed of people who interested
her. She stole a glance at Burnaby. How clean and brown and alert he
was! The white table-cloth accentuated his look of fitness and muscular
control. What an amusing contrast he presented to the rather languid,
gesturing Pollen, who sat opposite him! And yet Pollen was considerable
of a man in his own way; very conquering in the affairs of life;
immensely clever in his profession of architecture. Famous, Mrs. Ennis
had heard.

But Mrs. Ennis, despite her feminine approval of success, couldn't
imagine herself being as much interested in him--dangerously
interested--as she knew her friend Mary Rochefort to be. How odd! From
all the world to pick out a tall, blond, willowy man like Pollen! On the
verge of middle age, too! Perhaps it was this very willowiness, this
apparent placidity that made him attractive. This child, Mary Rochefort,
quite alone in the world, largely untrained, adrift, imperiously
demanding from an imperious husband something to which she had not as
yet found the key, might very naturally gravitate toward any one
presenting Pollen's appearance of security; his attitude of complacence
in the face of feminine authority. But was he complacent? Mrs. Ennis had
her doubts. He was very vain; underneath his urbanity there might be an
elastic hardness.

There were, moreover, at times indications of a rather contemptuous
attitude toward a world less highly trained than himself. She turned to
Pollen, trying to recollect what for the last few moments he had been
saying to her. He perceived her more scrutinizing attention and faced
toward her. From under lowered eyelids he had been watching, with a
moody furtiveness, Mary Rochefort and Burnaby, who were oblivious to the
other two in the manner of people who are glad they have met.

Mrs. Ennis found herself annoyed, her sense of good manners shocked. She
had not suspected that Pollen could be guilty of such clumsiness; she
questioned if matters had reached a point where such an attitude on his
part would be justifiable under any circumstances. At all events, her
doubts concerning his complacency had been answered. It occurred to Mrs.
Ennis that her dinner-party was composed of more inflammable material,
presented more dramatic possibilities, than even she had divined. She
embraced Pollen with her smile.

"What have you been doing with yourself?" she asked.

He lifted long eyebrows and smiled faintly.

"Working very hard," he said.

"Building behemoths for billionaires?"


"And the rest of the time?"

"Rather drearily going about."

She surveyed him with wicked innocence.

"Why don't you fall in love?" she suggested.

His expression remained unmoved. "It is so difficult," he retorted, "to
find the proper subject. A man of my experience frightens the
inexperienced: the experienced frighten me."

"You mean--?"

"That I have reached the age where the innocence no longer possible to
me seems the only thing worth while."

Mrs. Ennis wrinkled her nose daintily. "Nonsense!" she observed, and
helped herself to the dish the servant was holding out to her. "What you
have said," she resumed, "is the last word of the sentimentalist. If I
thought you really meant it, I would know at once that you were very
cold and very cruel and rather silly."


"Oh, I'm talking more or less abstractly."

"Well, possibly I am all of those things."

"But you want me to be personal?"

Pollen laughed. "Of course! Doesn't everybody want _you_ to be

For an instant Mrs. Ennis looked again at Burnaby and Mary Rochefort,
and a slightly rueful smile stirred in her eyes. It was amusing that
she, who detested large dinners and adored general conversation, should
at the moment be so engrossed in preventing the very type of
conversation she preferred. She returned to Pollen. What a horrid man he
really was! Unangled and amorphous, and underneath, cold! He had a way
of framing the woman to whom he was talking and then stepping back out
of the picture. One felt like a model in all manner of dress and
undress. She laughed softly. "Don't," she begged, "be so mysterious
about yourself! Tell me--" she held him with eyes of ingratiating
sapphire--"I've always been interested in finding out just what you
are, anyway."

Far back in Pollen's own eyes of golden brown a little spark slowly
burst into flame. It was exactly as if a gnome had lighted a lantern at
the back of an unknown cave. Mrs. Ennis inwardly shuddered, but
outwardly was gay.

How interminably men talked when once they were launched upon that
favorite topic, themselves! Pollen showed every indication of reaching a
point of intellectual intoxication where his voice would become
antiphonal. His objective self was taking turns in standing off and
admiring his subjective self. Mrs. Ennis wondered at her own kindness of
heart. Why did she permit herself to suffer so for her friends; in the
present instance, a friend who would probably--rather the contrary--by
no means thank her for her pains? She wanted to talk to Burnaby. She was
missing most of his visit. She wanted to talk to Burnaby so greatly that
the thought made her cheeks burn faintly. She began to hate Pollen. Mary
Rochefort's cool, young voice broke the spell.

"You told me," she said accusingly, "that this man--this Mr. Burnaby,
has all the primitive virtues; he is the wickedest man I have ever met."

"Good gracious!" said Mrs. Ennis.

"The very wickedest!"

Pollen's mouth twisted under his mustache. "I wouldn't have suspected
it," he observed, surveying Burnaby with ironic amusement. There was
just a hint of hidden condescension in his voice.

Burnaby's eyes drifted past him with a look of quiet speculation in
their depths, before he smiled at Mrs. Ennis.

"Roumania has changed you," she exclaimed.

He chuckled. "Not in the least! I was simply trying to prove to Madame
de Rochefort that hot-bloodedness, coolly conceived, is the only
possible road to success. Like most innately moral people, she believes
just the opposite--in cool-bloodedness, hotly conceived."

"I moral?" said Mary Rochefort, as if the thought had not occurred to
her before.

"Why, of course," said Burnaby. "It's a question of attitude, not of
actual performance. The most moral man I ever knew was a habitual
drunkard. His life was spent between debauch and disgust. Not, of
course, that I am implying that with you--"

"Tell us what you meant in the first place," commanded Mrs. Ennis.

"Something," said Burnaby slowly, "totally un-American--in short,
whole-heartedness." He clasped his sinewy, brown hands on the
table-cloth. "I mean," he continued, "if, after due thought--never
forget the due thought--you believe it to be the best thing to do to
elope with another man's wife, elope; only don't look back. In the same
way, if you decide to become, after much question, an ironmonger, be an
ironmonger. Love passionately what you've chosen. In other words, life's
like fox-hunting; choose your line, choose it slowly and carefully, then
follow it 'hell-for-leather.'

"You see, the trouble with Americans is that they are the greatest
wanters of cake after they've eaten it the world has ever seen. Our
blood isn't half as mixed as our point of view. We want to be good and
we want to be bad; we want to be a dozen utterly incompatible things all
at the same time. Of course, all human beings are that way, but other
human beings make their choices and then try to eradicate the
incompatibilities. The only whole-hearted people we possess are our
business men, and even they, once they succeed, usually spoil the
picture by astounding open scandals with chorus-girls."

Mrs. Ennis shook her head with amused bewilderment. "Do you mean," she
asked, "that a man or woman can have only one thing in his or her life?"

"Only one very outwardly important thing--publicly," retorted Burnaby.
"You may be a very great banker with a very great background as a
husband, but you can't be a very great banker and at the same time what
is known as a 'very great lover.' In Europe, where they arrange their
lives better, one chooses either banking or 'loving'." He smiled with
frank good humor at Pollen; the first time, Mrs. Ennis reflected, he had
done so that night. A suspicion that Burnaby was not altogether
ingenuous crossed her mind. But why wasn't he?

"You're a man, Pollen," he said; "tell them it's true."

Pollen, absorbed apparently in thoughts of his own stammered slightly.
"Why--why, yes," he agreed hastily.

Mrs. Ennis sighed ruefully and looked at Burnaby with large, humorously
reproachful eyes. "You have changed," she observed, "or else you're not
saying but half of what you really think--and part of it you don't think
at all."

"Oh, yes," laughed Burnaby, "you misunderstand me." He picked up a fork
and tapped the table-cloth with it thoughtfully; then he raised his
head. "I was thinking of a story I might tell you," he said, "but on
second thoughts I don't think I will."

"Don't be foolish!" admonished Mrs. Ennis. "Your stories are always
interesting. First finish your dessert."

Pollen smiled languidly. "Yes," he commented, "go on. It's interesting,
decidedly. I thought people had given up this sort of conversation long

For the third time Burnaby turned slowly toward him, only now his eyes,
instead of resting upon the bland countenance for a fraction of a
second, surveyed it lingeringly with the detached, absent-minded stare
Mrs. Ennis remembered so well. "Perhaps I will tell it, after all," he
said, in the manner of a man who has definitely changed his mind. "Would
you like to hear it?" he asked, turning to Mary Rochefort.

"Certainly!" she laughed. "Is it very immoral?"

"Extremely," vouchsafed Burnaby, "from the accepted point of view."

"Tell it in the other room," suggested Mrs. Ennis. "We'll sit before the
fire and tell ghost stories."

There was a trace of grimness in Burnaby's answering smile. "Curiously
enough, it is a ghost story," he said.

They had arisen to their feet; above the candles their heads and
shoulders were indistinct. For a moment Mrs. Ennis hesitated and looked
at Burnaby with a new bewilderment in her eyes.

"If it's very immoral," interposed Pollen, "I'm certain to like it."

Burnaby bowed to him with a curious old-fashioned courtesy. "I am sure,"
he observed, "it will interest you immensely."

Mrs. Ennis suddenly stared through the soft obscurity. "Good gracious,"
she said to herself, "what is he up to?"

In the little drawing room to which they returned, the jonquils seemed
to have received fresh vigor from their hour of loneliness; their
shining gold possessed the shadows. Mary Rochefort paused by the open
window and peered into the perfumed night. "How ridiculously young the
world gets every spring!" she said.

Mrs. Ennis arranged herself before the fire. "Now," she said to Burnaby,
"you sit directly opposite. And you"--she indicated Pollen--"sit here.
And Mimi, you there. So!" She nodded to Burnaby. "Begin!"

He laughed deprecatingly. "You make it portentous," he objected. "It
isn't much of a story; it's--it's really only a parable."

"It's going to be a moral story, after all," interjected Mrs. Ennis

Burnaby chuckled and puffed at his cigarette. "Well," he said finally,
"it's about a fellow named Mackintosh."

Pollen, drowsily smoking a cigar, suddenly stirred uneasily.

"Who?" he asked, leaning forward.

"Mackintosh--James Mackintosh! What are you looking for? An ash-tray?
Here's one." Burnaby passed it over.

"Thanks!" said Pollen, relaxing. "Yes--go on!"

Burnaby resumed his narrative calmly. "I knew him--Mackintosh, that
is--fifteen, no, it was fourteen years ago in Arizona, when I was
ranching there, and for the next three years I saw him constantly. He
had a place ten miles down the river from me. He was about four years
older than I was--a tall, slim, sandy-haired, freckled fellow,
preternaturally quiet; a trusty, if there ever was one. Unlike most
preternaturally quiet people, however, it wasn't dulness that made him
that way; he wasn't dull a bit. Stir him up on anything and you found
that he had thought about it a lot. But he never told me anything about
himself until I had known him almost two years, and then it came out
quite accidentally one night--we were on a spring round-up--when the two
of us were sitting up by the fire, smoking and staring at the desert
stars. All the rest were asleep." Burnaby paused. "Is this boring you?"
he asked.

"Oh, no!" said Mrs. Ennis; she was watching intently Pollen's
half-averted face.

Burnaby threw away his cigarette. "At first," he said, "it seemed to me
like the most ordinary of stories--the usual fixed idea that the
rejected lover carries around with him for a year or so until he forgets
it; the idea that the girl will regret her choice and one day kick over
the traces and hunt him up.

"But it wasn't the ordinary story--not by a long shot. You'll see. It
seems he had fallen in love with a girl--had been in love with her for
years--before he had left the East; a very young girl, nineteen, and of
an aspiring family. The family, naturally, didn't look upon him with any
favor whatsoever; he was poor and he didn't show the slightest
inclination to engage in any of the pursuits they considered proper to
the ambitions of a worthy young man. Rather a dreamer, I imagine, until
he had found the thing he wanted to do. Not a very impressive figure in
the eyes of whitespatted fatherhood. Moreover, he himself was shy about
trying to marry a rich girl while she was still so young.

"'She was brought up all wrong,' he said. 'What could you expect? Life
will have to teach her. She will have to get over her idea, as one gets
over the measles, that money and houses and possessions are the main
things.' But he knew she would get over it; he was sure that at the
bottom of her heart was a well of honesty and directness. 'Some day,' he
said, 'she'll be out here.'

"Apparently the upshot of the matter was that he went to the girl and
told her--all these ideas of his; quit, came West; left the road open to
the other man. Oh, yes, there was another man, of course; one
thoroughly approved of by the family. Quaint, wasn't it? Perhaps a
little overly judicial. But then that was his way. Slow-moving and sure.
He saw the girl at dusk in the garden of her family's country place;
near a sun-dial, or some other appropriately romantic spot. She kissed
him nobly on the forehead, I suppose--the young girl gesture; and told
him she wasn't worthy of him and to forget her.

"'Oh, no, I won't,' he said. 'Not for a minute! And in five years--or
ten--you'll come to me. You'll find out.' And then he added something
else: 'Whenever things have reached their limit,' he said, 'think of me
with all your might. Think hard! There's something in that sort of
stuff, you know, where two people love each other. Think hard!' Then he
went away."

A log snapped and fell with a soft thud to the ashes beneath. Burnaby
was silent for a moment, staring at the fire.

When he spoke again, it was with a slow precision as if he were trying
with extreme care to find the right words.

"You see," he said, "he had as an added foundation for his
faith--perhaps as the main foundation for it--his knowledge of the other
man's character; the character of the man the girl married. It was"--he
spoke more hastily and, suddenly raising his head, looked at Mary
Rochefort, who, sunk back in her chair, was gazing straight ahead of
her--"an especial kind of character. I must dwell on it for a moment,
and you must mark well what I say, for on it my parable largely depends.
It was a character of the sort that to any but an odalisk means eventual
shame; to any woman of pride, you understand, eventually of necessity a
broken heart. It was a queer character, but not uncommon. Outwardly very
attractive. Mackintosh described it succinctly, shortly, as we sat there
by the fire. He spoke between his teeth--the faint wind stirring the
desert sand sounded rather like his voice." Burnaby paused again and
reached over for a cigarette and lit it deliberately.

"He was a man," he continued, "who apparently had the faculty of making
most women love him and, in the end, the faculty of making all women
hate him. I imagine to have known him very well would have been to leave
one with a mental shudder such as follows the touching of anguilliform
material; snake-like texture. It would leave one ashamed and broken, for
fundamentally he was contemptuous of the dignity of personality,
particularly of the personalities of women. He was a collector, you
understand, a collector of beauty, and women, and incidents--amorous
incidents. He carried into his personal relationships the cold
objectiveness of the artist. But he wasn't a very great artist, or he
wouldn't have done so; he would have had the discrimination to control
the artist's greatest peril. It's a flame, this cold objectiveness, but
a flame so powerful that it must be properly shaded for intimate use.
Otherwise it kills like violet rays. Women wore out their hearts on him,
not like waves breaking on a crystal rock, but like rain breaking into a

"Good Lord!" murmured Mrs. Ennis involuntarily.

Burnaby caught her exclamation. "Bad, wasn't it?" he smiled. "But
remember I am only repeating what Mackintosh told me. Well, there he was
then--Mackintosh--hard at work all day trying to build himself up a
ranch, and he was succeeding, too, and, at night, sitting on his porch,
smoking and listening to the river, and apparently expecting every
moment the girl to appear. It was rather eerie. He had such a convincing
way; he was himself so convinced. You half expected yourself to see her
come around the corner of the log house in the moonlight. There was
about it all the impression that here was something that had a touch of
the inevitability of the Greek idea of fate; something more arranged
than the usual course of human events. Meanwhile, back in the East, was
the girl, learning something about life."

He interrupted himself. "Want a cigarette?" he said to Pollen. "Here
they are." He handed over the box. "What is it? A match? Wait a moment;
I'll strike it for you. Keep the end of the thing steady, will you? All
right." He resumed the thread of his narrative.

"In four years she had learned a lot," he said; "she had become
apparently almost a woman. On a certain hot evening in July--about seven
o'clock, I imagine--she became one entirely; at least, for the moment,
and, at least, her sort of woman. I am not defending what she did,
remember; I am simply saying that she did it.

"It was very hot; even now when dusk was approaching. The girl had been
feeling rather ill all day; feverish. She had not been able to get away
to her country place as yet. Into the semidarkness of the room where she
was came her husband. That night she had determined, as women will, upon
a final test. She knew where he expected to dine; she asked him if he
would dine with her.

"'I can't,' he said. 'I'm sorry--'

"Possibly nothing immediate would have happened had he not added an
unspeakable flourish to his portrait. He reached out his arms and drew
the girl to him and tried to kiss her condescendingly; but I suppose his
hands found her, in her clinging gown, soft to their touch. At all
events, they tightened upon her in an unmistakable way. She pulled
herself away. 'Let me pass!' she said. 'You--you--!'--she could think of
no words to suit him. You see, she understood him completely, now. He
was a collector, but a collector so despicable that he was even
unwilling to trade one article for another. He wanted to keep on his
shelves, as it were, all the accumulation of his life, and take down
from time to time whatever part of it suited his sudden fancy.

"The girl went up to her own room, and very carefully, not knowing
precisely what she did, changed into a black street dress and removed
all marks of identification. Her eyes swam with feverishness. While she
was dressing, she bathed in hot water her arms where her husband's hands
had been. She concluded that it was not what he had done--had constantly
done--but what he was that made life unbearable. When she was through
she went downstairs, and out of the front door, and walked slowly toward
the center of the town and the railway station."

"And is that all?" asked Mary Rochefort, after a while.

"Oh, no," said Burnaby; "it's only the beginning. Mackintosh was in the
hills beyond his ranch, hunting horses. He was camped in a little valley
by himself. On this particular day he had been out since sun-up and did
not get back until just about dusk. He picketed the horse he had been
riding, and built a small fire, and began to cook his supper. All around
him, brooding and unreal, was the light you get in high mountain places.
The fire shone like a tiny ruby set in topaz. Mackintosh raised his head
and saw a woman coming out of the spur of aspen trees across the creek
from him. He wasn't surprised; he knew right away who it was; he knew it
was the girl. He watched her for a moment, and then he went over to her,
and took her hand, and led her to the fire. They didn't speak at all."

"And you mean," asked Mrs. Ennis, "that she did that? That she came all
the way out to him, like that?"

"No," retorted Burnaby, "of course not. How could she? She wasn't even
sure where he was living. At the moment she was in a hospital out of her
head. You see, I didn't know whether to believe Mackintosh or not when
he said he saw her that night, although I am sure he believed he
did--such things are beyond human proof--but what I do know is that he
came straight down from the hills, and boarded a train, and went East,
and found the girl, and, after a while, came back with her." He looked
at the fire. "They were the most completely happy people I have ever
seen," he continued. "They were so calm and determined about themselves.
Everything immaterial had been burned away. They knew they were playing
on the side of fate. And so," he concluded, "that's the end of my
parable. What do you make of it?"

The curtains, stirred by the breeze, tip-tapped softly; in the silence
the fire hissed gently. Pollen spoke first, but with some difficulty, as
if in the long period of listening on his part his throat had become
dry. "It's very interesting," he said; "very! But what's it all about?
And you certainly don't believe it, do you?"

"Of course I do," answered Burnaby calmly. "You should, too; it's true."

Mary Rochefort looked up with an exclamation. "Gracious!" she said. "I
had no idea it was so late! My motor must be waiting." She got to her
feet. She looked very white and her eyes were tired; the translucent
quality of the earlier hours was gone. "I'm worn out," she explained.
"I've been going about too much. I must rest." She held her hand out to
Mrs. Ennis; over her shoulder she spoke to Pollen. "No," she said.
"Don't bother. I'll take myself home, thanks."

"I'll see you to your car," he stammered.

She turned to Burnaby. "Good night!" she said. Her voice was lifeless,
disinterested; her eyes met his for an instant and were withdrawn.

"Good night," he said.

Mrs. Ennis stood by the door for a moment before she walked slowly back
to the fireplace. From the street outside came the whirring of a motor
and the sound of Mary Rochefort's voice saying good-by to Pollen.

Mrs. Ennis rested an arm on the mantelpiece and kicked a log
thoughtfully with a white-slippered foot; then she faced about on

"I suppose," she said, "you realize that you have spoiled my party?"

"I?" said Burnaby.

"Yes, you!" Her small, charming face was a study in ruefulness, and
indecision whether to be angry or not, and, one might almost have
imagined, a certain amused tenderness as well. "Don't you suppose those
people knew of whom you were talking?"

Burnaby, peering down at her, narrowed his eyes and then opened them
very wide. "They couldn't very well have helped it," he said, "could
they? For, you see"--he paused--"the girl who came West was Mrs.

Mrs. Ennis gasped in the manner of a person who is hearing too much.
"Mrs. Pollen?"

"Yes. You knew he had been divorced, didn't you? Years ago."

"I'd heard it, but forgotten." Mrs. Ennis clasped her jeweled hand. "And
you dared," she demanded, "to tell his story before him in that way?"

"Why not? It was rather a complete revenge upon him of fate, wasn't it?
You see, he couldn't very well give himself away, could he? His one
chance was to keep quiet." Burnaby paused and smiled doubtfully at Mrs.
Ennis. "I hope I made his character clear enough," he said. "That, after
all, was the point of the story."

"How did you know it was this Pollen?" she asked, "and how, anyway,
would Mary Rochefort know of whom you were talking?"

Burnaby grinned. "I took a chance," he said. "And as to the second, I
told Madame de Rochefort at dinner--merely as a coincidence; at least, I
let her think so--that I had once known in the West a Mrs. Pollen with a
curious history. Perhaps I wouldn't have told it if Pollen hadn't been
so witty." He picked up a silver dish from the mantelpiece and examined
it carefully.

"One oughtn't to have such a curious name if one is going to lead a
curious life, ought one?" he asked. He sighed. "You're right," he
concluded; "your friend Mary Rochefort is a child."

Mrs. Ennis looked up at him with searching eyes.

"Why don't you stay longer in Washington?" she asked softly. "Just now,
of course, Mary Rochefort hates you; but she won't for long--I think she
was beginning to have doubts about Pollen, anyway."

Burnaby suddenly looked grave and disconcerted. "Oh, no!" he said,
hastily. "Oh, no! I must be off tomorrow." He laughed. "My dear Rhoda,"
he said, "you have the quaintest ideas. I don't like philandering; I'm
afraid I have a crude habit of really falling in love."

Mrs. Ennis's own eyes were veiled. "If you're going away so soon, sit
down," she said, "and stay. You needn't go--oh, for hours!"

"I must," he answered. "I'm off so early."

She sighed. "For years?"

"One--perhaps two." His voice became gay and bantering again. "My dear
Rhoda," he said, "I'm extremely sorry if I really spoiled your party,
but I don't believe I did--not altogether, anyhow. Underneath, I think
you enjoyed it." He took her small hand in his; he wondered why it was
so cold and listless.

At the door leading into the hall he paused and looked back "Oh," he
said, "there was one thing I forgot to tell you! You see, part of my
story wasn't altogether true. Mrs. Pollen--or rather, Mrs.
Mackintosh--left Mackintosh after five years or so. She's in the
movies--doing very well, I understand. She would; wouldn't she? Of
course, she was no good to begin with. But that didn't spoil the point
of my story, did it? Good-by, Rhoda, my dear." He was gone.

Mrs. Ennis did not move until she heard the street door close; she
waited even a little longer, following the sound of Burnaby's footsteps
as they died away into the night; finally she walked over to the piano,
and, sitting down, raised her hands as if to strike the keys. Instead,
she suddenly put both her arms on the little shelf before the music-rack
and buried her head in them. The curtains tip-tapped on the window-sill;
the room was entirely quiet.



(From _The Saturday Evening Post_)

There was a house in this town where always by night lights burned. In
one of its rooms many lights burned; in each of the other rooms at least
one light. It stood on Clay Street, on a treeless plot among flower
beds, a small dull-looking house; and when late on dark nights all the
other houses on Clay Street were black blockings lifting from the lesser
blackness of their background, the lights in this house patterned its
windows with squares of brilliancy so that it suggested a grid set on
edge before hot flames. Once a newcomer to the town, a transient guest
at Mrs. Otterbuck's boarding house, spoke about it to old Squire Jonas,
who lived next door to where the lights blazed of nights, and the answer
he got makes a fitting enough beginning for this account.

This stranger came along Clay Street one morning and Squire Jonas, who
was leaning over his gate contemplating the world as it passed in
review, nodded to him and remarked that it was a fine morning; and the
stranger was emboldened to stop and pass the time of day, as the saying

"I'm here going over the books of the Bernheimer Distilling Company," he
said when they had spoken of this and that, "and you know, when a
chartered accountant gets on a job he's supposed to keep right at it
until he's done. Well, my work keeps me busy till pretty late. And the
last three nights, passing that place yonder adjoining yours, I've
noticed she was all lit up like as if for a wedding or a christening or
a party or something. But I didn't see anybody going in or coming out,
or hear anybody stirring in there, and it struck me as blamed curious.
Last night--or this morning, rather, I should say--it must have been
close on to half-past two o'clock when I passed by, and there she was,
all as quiet as the tomb and still the lights going from top to bottom.
So I got to wondering to myself. Tell me, sir, is there somebody sick
over there next door?"

"Yes, suh," stated the squire, "I figure you might say there is somebody
sick there. He's been sick a powerful long time too. But it's not his
body that's sick; it's his soul."

"I don't know as I get you, sir," said the other man in a puzzled sort
of way.

"Son," stated the squire, "I reckin you've been hearin' 'em, haven't
you, singin' this here new song that's goin' 'round about, 'I'm Afraid
to Go Home in the Dark'? Well, probably the man who wrote that there
song never was down here in these parts in his life; probably he just
made the idea of it up out of his own head. But he might 'a' had the
case of my neighbor in his mind when he done so. Only his song is kind
of comical and this case here is about the most uncomic one you'd be
likely to run acrost. The man who lives here alongside of me is not only
afraid to go home in the dark but he's actually feared to stay in the
dark after he gets home. Once he killed a man and he come clear of the
killin' all right enough, but seems like he ain't never got over it; and
the sayin' in this town is that he's studied it out that ef ever he gets
in the dark, either by himself or in company, he'll see the face of that
there man he killed. So that's why, son, you've been seein' them lights
a-blazin'. I've been seein' 'em myself fur goin' on twenty year or more,
I reckin 'tis by now, and I've got used to 'em. But I ain't never got
over wonderin' whut kind of thoughts he must have over there all alone
by himself at night with everything lit up bright as day around him,
when by rights things should be dark. But I ain't ever asted him, and
whut's more, I never will. He ain't the kind you could go to him astin'
him personal questions about his own private affairs. We-all here in
town just accept him fur whut he is and sort of let him be. He's whut
you might call a town character. His name is Mr. Dudley Stackpole."

In all respects save one, Squire Jonas, telling the inquiring stranger
the tale, had the rights of it. There were town characters aplenty he
might have described. A long-settled community with traditions behind it
and a reasonable antiquity seems to breed curious types of men and women
as a musty closet breeds mice and moths. This town of ours had its town
mysteries and its town eccentrics--its freaks, if one wished to put the
matter bluntly; and it had its champion story-teller and its champion
liar and its champion guesser of the weight of livestock on the hoof.

There was crazy Saul Vance, the butt of cruel small boys, who deported
himself as any rational creature might so long as he walked a straight
course; but so surely as he came to where the road forked or two streets
crossed he could not decide which turning to take and for hours angled
back and forth and to and fro, now taking the short cut to regain the
path he just had quitted, now retracing his way over the long one, for
all the world like a geometric spider spinning its web. There was old
Daddy Hannah, the black root-and-yarb doctor, who could throw spells and
weave charms and invoke conjures. He wore a pair of shoes which had been
worn by a man who was hanged, and these shoes, as is well known, leave
no tracks which a dog will nose after or a witch follow, or a ha'nt.
Small boys did not gibe at Daddy Hannah, you bet you! There was Major
Burnley, who lived for years and years in the same house with the wife
with whom he had quarreled and never spoke a word to her or she to him.
But the list is overlong for calling. With us, in that day and time,
town characters abounded freely. But Mr. Dudley Stackpole was more than
a town character. He was that, it is true, but he was something else
besides; something which tabbed him a mortal set apart from his fellow
mortals. He was the town's chief figure of tragedy.

If you had ever seen him once you could shut your eyes and see him over
again. Yet about him there was nothing impressive, nothing in his port
or his manner to catch and to hold a stranger's gaze. With him,
physically, it was quite the other way about. He was a short spare man,
very gentle in his movements, a toneless sort of man of a palish gray
cast, who always wore sad-colored clothing. He would make you think of a
man molded out of a fog; almost he was like a man made of smoke. His
mode of living might testify that a gnawing remorse abode ever with him,
but his hair had not turned white in a single night, as the heads of
those suddenly stricken by a great shock or a great grief or any greatly
upsetting and disordering emotion sometimes are reputed to turn. Neither
in his youth nor when age came to him was his hair white. But for so far
back as any now remembered it had been a dullish gray, suggesting at a
distance dead lichens.

The color of his skin was a color to match in with the rest of him. It
was not pale, nor was it pasty. People with a taste for comparisons were
hard put to it to describe just what it was the hue of his face did
remind them of, until one day a man brought in from the woods the
abandoned nest of a brood of black hornets, still clinging to the
pendent twig from which the insect artificers had swung it. Darkies used
to collect these nests in the fall of the year when the vicious swarms
had deserted them. Their shredded parchments made ideal wadding for
muzzle-loading scatter-guns, and sufferers from asthma tore them down,
too, and burned them slowly and stood over the smoldering mass and
inhaled the fumes and the smoke which arose, because the country
wiseacres preached that no boughten stuff out of a drug store gave such
relief from asthma as this hornet's-nest treatment. But it remained for
this man to find a third use for such a thing. He brought it into the
office of Gafford's wagon yard, where some other men were sitting about
the fire, and he held it up before them and he said:

"Who does this here hornet's nest put you fellers in mind of--this gray
color all over it, and all these here fine lines runnin' back and forth
and every which-a-way like wrinkles? Think, now--it's somebody you all

And when they had given it up as a puzzle too hard for them to guess he

"Why, ain't it got percisely the same color and the same look about it
as Mr. Dudley Stackpole's face? Why, it's a perfect imitation of him!
That's whut I said to myself all in a flash when I first seen it
bouncin' on the end of this here black birch limb out yonder in the

"By gum, if you ain't right!" exclaimed one of the audience. "Say, come
to think about it, I wonder if spendin' all his nights with bright
lights burnin' round him is whut's give that old man that gray color
he's got, the same as this wasp's nest has got it, and all them puckery
lines round his eyes. Pore old devil, with the hags furever ridin' him!
Well, they tell me he's toler'ble well fixed in this world's goods, but
poor as I am, and him well off, I wouldn't trade places with him fur any
amount of money. I've got my peace of mind if I ain't got anything else
to speak of. Say, you'd 'a' thought in all these years a man would get
over broodin' over havin' killed another feller, and specially havin'
killed him in fair fight. Let's see, now, whut was the name of the
feller he killed that time out there at Cache Creek Crossin's? I
actually disremember. I've heard it a thousand times, too, I reckin, if
I've heard it oncet."

For a fact, the memory of the man slain so long before only endured
because the slayer walked abroad as a living reminder of the taking off
of one who by all accounts had been of small value to mankind in his day
and generation. Save for the daily presence of the one, the very
identity even of the other might before now have been forgotten. For
this very reason, seeking to enlarge the merits of the controversy which
had led to the death of one Jesse Tatum at the hands of Dudley
Stackpole, people sometimes referred to it as the Tatum-Stackpole feud
and sought to liken it to the Faxon-Fleming feud. But that was a real
feud with fence-corner ambuscades and a sizable mortality list and
night-time assassinations and all; whereas this lesser thing, which now
briefly is to be dealt with on its merits, had been no more than a
neighborhood falling out, having but a solitary homicide for its
climatic upshot. So far as that went, it really was not so much the
death of the victim as the survival of his destroyer--and his fashion
of living afterwards--which made warp and woof for the fabric of the

With the passage of time the actuating causes were somewhat blurred in
perspective. The main facts stood forth clear enough, but the underlying
details were misty and uncertain, like some half-obliterated scribble on
a badly rubbed slate upon which a more important sum has been overlaid.
One rendition had it that the firm of Stackpole Brothers sued the two
Tatums--Harve and Jess--for an account long overdue, and won judgment in
the courts, but won with it the murderous enmity of the defendant pair.
Another account would have it that a dispute over a boundary fence
marching between the Tatum homestead on Cache Creek and one of the
Stackpole farm holdings ripened into a prime quarrel by reasons of
Stackpole stubbornness on the one hand and Tatum malignity on the other.
By yet a third account the lawsuit and the line-fence matter were
confusingly twisted together to form a cause for disputation.

Never mind that part though. The incontrovertible part was that things
came to a decisive pass on a July day in the late '80's when the two
Tatums sent word to the two Stackpoles that at or about six o'clock of
that evening they would come down the side road from their place a mile
away to Stackpole Brothers' gristmill above the big riffle in Cache
Creek prepared to fight it out man to man. The warning was explicit
enough--the Tatums would shoot on sight. The message was meant for two,
but only one brother heard it; for Jeffrey Stackpole, the senior member
of the firm, was sick abed with heart disease at the Stackpole house on
Clay Street in town, and Dudley, the junior, was running the business
and keeping bachelor's hall, as the phrase runs, in the living room of
the mill; and it was Dudley who received notice.

Now the younger Stackpole was known for a law-abiding and a
well-disposed man, which reputation stood him in stead subsequently; but
also he was no coward. He might crave peace, but he would not flee from
trouble moving toward him. He would not advance a step to meet it,
neither would he give back a step to avoid it. If it occurred to him to
hurry in to the county seat and have his enemies put under bonds to
keep the peace he pushed the thought from him. This, in those days, was
not the popular course for one threatened with violence by another; nor,
generally speaking, was it regarded exactly as the manly one to follow.
So he bided that day where he was. Moreover, it was not of record that
he told any one at all of what impended. He knew little of the use of
firearms, but there was a loaded pistol in the cash drawer of the mill
office. He put it in a pocket of his coat and through the afternoon he
waited, outwardly quiet and composed, for the appointed hour when
single-handed he would defend his honor and his brother's against the
unequal odds of a brace of bullies, both of them quick on the trigger,
both smart and clever in the handling of weapons.

But if Stackpole told no one, some one else told some one. Probably the
messenger of the Tatums talked. He currently was reputed to have a leaky
tongue to go with his jimberjaws; a born trouble maker, doubtless, else
he would not have loaned his service to such employment in the first
place. Up and down the road ran the report that before night there would
be a clash at the Stackpole mill. Peg-Leg Foster, who ran the general
store below the bridge and within sight of the big riffle, saw fit to
shut up shop early and go to town for the evening. Perhaps he did not
want to be a witness, or possibly he desired to be out of the way of
stray lead flying about. So the only known witness to what happened,
other than the parties engaged in it, was a negro woman. She, at least,
was one who had not heard the rumor which since early forenoon had been
spreading through the sparsely settled neighborhood. When six o'clock
came she was grubbing out a sorghum patch in front of her cabin just
north of where the creek cut under the Blandsville gravel pike.

One gets a picture of the scene: The thin and deficient shadows
stretching themselves across the parched bottom lands as the sun slid
down behind the trees of Eden's swamp lot; the heat waves of a
blistering hot day still dancing their devil's dance down the road like
wriggling circumflexes to accent a false promise of coolness off there
in the distance; the ominous emptiness of the landscape; the brooding
quiet, cut through only by the frogs and the dry flies tuning up for
their evening concert; the bandannaed negress wrangling at the weeds
with her hoe blade inside the rail fence; and, half sheltered within the
lintels of the office doorway of his mill, Dudley Stackpole, a slim,
still figure, watching up the crossroad for the coming of his

But the adversaries did not come from up the road as they had advertised
they would. That declaration on their part had been a trick and device,
cockered up in the hope of taking the foe by surprise and from the rear.
In a canvas-covered wagon--moving wagons, we used to call them in Red
Gravel County--they left their house half an hour or so before the time
set by them for the meeting, and they cut through by a wood lane which
met the pike south of Foster's store; and then very slowly they rode up
the pike toward the mill, being minded to attack from behind, with the
added advantage of unexpectedness on their side.

Chance, though, spoiled their strategy and made these terms of primitive
dueling more equal. Mark how: The woman in the sorghum patch saw it
happen. She saw the wagon pass her and saw it brought to standstill just
beyond where she was; saw Jess Tatum slide stealthily down from under
the overhanging hood of the wagon and, sheltered behind it, draw a
revolver and cock it, all the while peeping out, searching the front and
the nearer side of the gristmill with his eager eyes. She saw Harve
Tatum, the elder brother, set the wheel chock and wrap the lines about
the sheathed whipstock, and then as he swung off the seat catch a boot
heel on the rim of the wagon box and fall to the road with a jar which
knocked him cold, for he was a gross and heavy man and struck squarely
on his head. With popped eyes she saw Jess throw up his pistol and fire
once from his ambush behind the wagon, and then--the startled team
having snatched the wagon from before him--saw him advance into the open
toward the mill, shooting again as he advanced.

All now in the same breath and in a jumble of shock and terror she saw
Dudley Stackpole emerge into full sight, and standing clear a pace from
his doorway return the fire; saw the thudding frantic hoofs of the nigh
horse spurn Harve Tatum's body aside--the kick broke his right leg, it
turned out--saw Jess Tatum suddenly halt and stagger back as though
jerked by an unseen hand; saw him drop his weapon and straighten again,
and with both hands clutched to his throat run forward, head thrown back
and feet drumming; heard him give one strange bubbling, strangled
scream--it was the blood in his throat made this outcry sound thus--and
saw him fall on his face, twitching and wriggling, not thirty feet from
where Dudley Stackpole stood, his pistol upraised and ready for more

As to how many shots, all told, were fired the woman never could say
with certainty. There might have been four or five or six, or even
seven, she thought. After the opening shot they rang together in almost
a continuous volley, she said. Three empty chambers in Tatum's gun and
two in Stackpole's seemed conclusive evidence to the sheriff and the
coroner that night and to the coroner's jurors next day that five shots
had been fired.

On one point, though, for all her fright, the woman was positive, and to
this she stuck in the face of questions and cross-questions. After Tatum
stopped as though jolted to a standstill, and dropped his weapon,
Stackpole flung the barrel of his revolver upward and did not again
offer to fire, either as his disarmed and stricken enemy advanced upon
him or after he had fallen. As she put it, he stood there like a man
frozen stiff.

Having seen and heard this much, the witness, now all possible peril for
her was passed, suddenly became mad with fear. She ran into her cabin
and scrouged behind the headboard of a bed. When at length she
timorously withdrew from hiding and came trembling forth, already
persons out of the neighborhood, drawn by the sounds of the fusillade,
were hurrying up. They seemed to spring, as it were, out of the ground.
Into the mill these newcomers carried the two Tatums, Jess being
stone-dead and Harve still senseless, with a leg dangling where the
bones were snapped below the knee, and a great cut in his scalp; and
they laid the two of them side by side on the floor in the gritty dust
of the meal tailings and the flour grindings. This done, some ran to
harness and hitch and to go to fetch doctors and law officers, spreading
the news as they went; and some stayed on to work over Harve Tatum and
to give such comfort as they might to Dudley Stackpole, he sitting dumb
in his little, cluttered office awaiting the coming of constable or
sheriff or deputy so that he might surrender himself into custody.

While they waited and while they worked to bring Harve Tatum back to his
senses, the men marveled at two amazing things. The first wonder was
that Jess Tatum, finished marksman as he was, and the main instigator
and central figure of sundry violent encounters in the past, should have
failed to hit the mark at which he fired with his first shot or with his
second or with his third; and the second, a still greater wonder, was
that Dudley Stackpole, who perhaps never in his life had had for a
target a living thing, should have sped a bullet so squarely into the
heart of his victim at twenty yards or more. The first phenomenon might
perhaps be explained, they agreed, on the hypothesis that the mishap to
his brother, coming at the very moment of the fight's beginning,
unnerved Jess and threw him out of stride, so to speak. But the second
was not in anywise to be explained excepting on the theory of sheer
chance. The fact remained that it was so, and the fact remained that it
was strange.

By form of law Dudley Stackpole spent two days under arrest; but this
was a form, a legal fiction only. Actually he was at liberty from the
time he reached the courthouse that night, riding in the sheriff's buggy
with the sheriff and carrying poised on his knees a lighted lantern.
Afterwards it was to be recalled that when, alongside the sheriff, he
came out of his mill technically a prisoner he carried in his hand this
lantern, all trimmed of wick and burning, and that he held fast to it
through the six-mile ride to town. Afterwards, too, the circumstance was
to be coupled with multiplying circumstances to establish a state of
facts; but at the moment, in the excited state of mind of those present,
it passed unremarked and almost unnoticed. And he still held it in his
hand when, having been released under nominal bond and attended by
certain sympathizing friends, he walked across town from the county
building to his home in Clay Street. That fact, too, was subsequently
remembered and added to other details to make a finished sum of
deductive reasoning.

Already it was a foregone conclusion that the finding at the coroner's
inquest, to be held the next day, would absolve him; foregone, also,
that no prosecutor would press for his arraignment on charges and that
no grand jury would indict. So, soon all the evidence in hand was
conclusively on his side. He had been forced into a fight not of his own
choosing; an effort, which had failed, had been made to take him
unfairly from behind; he had fired in self-defense after having first
been fired upon; save for a quirk of fate operating in his favor, he
should have faced odds of two deadly antagonists instead of facing one.
What else then than his prompt and honorable discharge? And to top all,
the popular verdict was that the killing off of Jess Tatum was so much
good riddance of so much sorry rubbish; a pity, though, Harve had
escaped his just deserts.

Helpless for the time being, and in the estimation of his fellows even
more thoroughly discredited than he had been before, Harve Tatum here
vanishes out of our recital. So, too, does Jeffrey Stackpole, heretofore
mentioned once by name, for within a week he was dead of the same heart
attack which had kept him out of the affair at Cache Creek. The rest of
the narrative largely appertains to the one conspicuous survivor, this
Dudley Stackpole already described.

Tradition ever afterwards had it that on the night of the killing he
slept--if he slept at all--in the full-lighted room of a house which was
all aglare with lights from cellar to roof line. From its every opening
the house blazed as for a celebration. At the first, so the tale of it
ran, people were of two different minds to account for this. This one
rather thought Stackpole feared punitive reprisals under cover of night
by vengeful kinsmen of the Tatums, they being, root and branch, sprout
and limb, a belligerent and an ill-conditioned breed. That one suggested
that maybe he took this method of letting all and sundry know he felt no
regret for having gunned the life out of a dangerous brawler; that
perhaps thereby he sought to advertise his satisfaction at the outcome
of that day's affair. But this latter theory was not to be credited. For
so sensitive and so well-disposed a man as Dudley Stackpole to joy in
his own deadly act, however justifiable in the sight of law and man that
act might have been--why, the bare notion of it was preposterous! The
repute and the prior conduct of the man robbed the suggestion of all
plausibility. And then soon, when night after night the lights still
flared in his house, and when on top of this evidence accumulated to
confirm a belief already crystallizing in the public mind, the town came
to sense the truth, which was that Mr. Dudley Stackpole now feared the
dark as a timid child might fear it. It was not authentically chronicled
that he confessed his fears to any living creature. But his fellow
townsmen knew the state of his mind as though he had shouted of it from
the housetops. They had heard, most of them, of such cases before. They
agreed among themselves that he shunned darkness because he feared that
out of that darkness might return the vision of his deed, bloodied and
shocking and hideous. And they were right. He did so fear, and he feared
mightily, constantly and unendingly.

That fear, along with the behavior which became from that night
thenceforward part and parcel of him, made Dudley Stackpole as one set
over and put apart from his fellows. Neither by daytime nor by
night-time was he thereafter to know darkness. Never again was he to see
the twilight fall or face the blackness which comes before the dawning
or take his rest in the cloaking, kindly void and nothingness of the
midnight. Before the dusk of evening came, in midafternoon sometimes, of
stormy and briefened winter days, or in the full radiance of the sun's
sinking in the summertime, he was within doors lighting the lights which
would keep the darkness beyond his portals and hold at bay a gathering
gloom into which from window or door he would not look and dared not

There were trees about his house, cottonwoods and sycamores and one
noble elm branching like a lyre. He chopped them all down and had the
roots grubbed out. The vines which covered his porch were shorn away. To
these things many were witnesses. What transformations he worked within
the walls were largely known by hearsay through the medium of Aunt
Kassie, the old negress who served him as cook and chambermaid and was
his only house servant. To half-fearsome, half-fascinated audiences of
her own color, whose members in time communicated what she told to their
white employers, she related how with his own hands, bringing a crude
carpentry into play, her master ripped out certain dark closets and
abolished a secluded and gloomy recess beneath a hall staircase, and how
privily he called in men who strung his ceilings with electric lights,
although already the building was piped for gas; and how, for final
touches, he placed in various parts of his bedroom tallow dips and oil
lamps to be lit before twilight and to burn all night, so that though
the gas sometime should fail and the electric bulbs blink out there
still would be abundant lighting about him. His became the house which
harbored no single shadow save only the shadow of morbid dread which
lived within its owner's bosom. An orthodox haunted house should by
rights be deserted and dark. This house, haunted if ever one was,
differed from the orthodox conception. It was tenanted and it shone with

The man's abiding obsession--if we may call his besetment thus--changed
in practically all essential regards the manners and the practices of
his daily life. After the shooting he never returned to his mill. He
could not bring himself to endure the ordeal of revisiting the scene of
the killing. So the mill stood empty and silent, just as he left it that
night when he rode to town with the sheriff, until after his brother's
death; and then with all possible dispatch he sold it, its fixtures,
contents and goodwill, for what the property would fetch at quick sale,
and he gave up business. He had sufficient to stay him in his needs. The
Stackpoles had the name of being a canny and a provident family, living
quietly and saving of their substance. The homestead where he lived,
which his father before him had built, was free of debt. He had funds
in the bank and money out at interest. He had not been one to make close
friends. Now those who had counted themselves his friends became rather
his distant acquaintances, among whom he neither received nor bestowed

In the broader hours of daylight his ways were such as any man of
reserved and diffident ways, having no fixed employment, might follow in
a smallish community. He sat upon his porch and read in books. He worked
in his flower beds. With flowers he had a cunning touch, almost like a
woman's. He loved them, and they responded to his love and bloomed and
bore for him. He walked downtown to the business district, always alone,
a shy and unimpressive figure, and sat brooding and aloof in one of the
tilted-back cane chairs under the portico of the old Richland House,
facing the river. He took long solitary walks on side streets and
byways; but it was noted that, reaching the outer outskirts, he
invariably turned back. In all those dragging years it is doubtful if
once he set foot past the corporate limits into the open country. Dun
hued, unobtrusive, withdrawn, he aged slowly, almost imperceptibly. Men
and women of his own generation used to say that save for the wrinkles
ever multiplying in close cross-hatchings about his puckered eyes, and
save for the enhancing of that dead gray pallor--the wasp's-nest
overcasting of his skin--he still looked to them exactly as he had
looked when he was a much younger man.

It was not so much the appearance or the customary demeanor of the
recluse that made strangers turn about to stare at him as he passed, and
that made them remember how he looked when he was gone from their sight.
The one was commonplace enough--I mean his appearance--and his conduct,
unless one knew the underlying motives, was merely that of an
unobtrusive, rather melancholy seeming gentleman of quiet tastes and
habits. It was the feeling and the sense of a dismal exhalation from
him, an unhealthy and unnatural mental effluvium that served so
indelibly to fix the bodily image of him in the brainpans of casual and
uninformed passers-by. The brand of Cain was not on his brow. By every
local standard of human morality it did not belong there. But built up
of morbid elements within his own conscience, it looked out from his
eyes and breathed out from his person.

So year by year, until the tally of the years rolled up to more than
thirty, he went his lone unhappy way. He was in the life of the town, to
an extent, but not of it. Always, though it was the daylit life of the
town which knew him. Excepting once only. Of this exceptional instance a
story was so often repeated that in time it became permanently embalmed
in the unwritten history of the place.

On a summer's afternoon, sultry and close, the heavens suddenly went all
black, and quick gusts smote the earth with threats of a great
windstorm. The sun vanished magically; a close thick gloaming fell out
of the clouds. It was as though nightfall had descended hours before its
ordained time. At the city power house the city electrician turned on
the street lights. As the first great fat drops of rain fell, splashing
in the dust like veritable clots, citizens scurrying indoors and
citizens seeing to flapping awnings and slamming window blinds halted
where they were to peer through the murk at the sight of Mr. Dudley
Stackpole fleeing to the shelter of home like a man hunted by a terrible
pursuer. But with all his desperate need for haste he ran no
straightaway course. The manner of his flight was what gave added
strangeness to the spectacle of him. He would dart headlong, on a sharp
oblique from the right-hand corner of a street intersection to a point
midway of the block--or square, to give it its local name--then go
slanting back again to the right-hand corner of the next street
crossing, so that his path was in the pattern of one acutely slanted
zigzag after another. He was keeping, as well as he could within the
circles of radiance thrown out by the municipal arc lights as he made
for his house, there in his bedchamber to fortify himself about, like
one beset and besieged, with the ample and protecting rays of all the
methods of artificial illumination at his command--with incandescent
bulbs thrown on by switches, with the flare of lighted gas jets, with
the tallow dip's slim digit of flame, and with the kerosene wick's
three-finger breadth of greasy brilliance. As he fumbled, in a very
panic and spasm of fear, with the latchets of his front gate Squire
Jonas' wife heard him screaming to Aunt Kassie, his servant, to turn on
the lights--all of them.

That once was all, though--the only time he found the dark taking him
unawares and threatening to envelop him in thirty years and more than
thirty. Then a time came when in a hospital in Oklahoma an elderly man
named A. Hamilton Bledsoe lay on his deathbed and on the day before he
died told the physician who attended him and the clergyman who had
called to pray for him that he had a confession to make. He desired that
it be taken down by a stenographer just as he uttered it, and
transcribed; then he would sign it as his solemn dying declaration, and
when he had died they were to send the signed copy back to the town from
whence he had in the year 1889 moved West, and there it was to be
published broadcast. All of which, in due course of time and in
accordance with the signatory's wishes, was done.

With the beginning of the statement as it appeared in the _Daily Evening
News_, as with Editor Tompkins' introductory paragraphs preceding it, we
need have no interest. That which really matters began two-thirds of the
way down the first column and ran as follows:

"How I came to know there was likely to be trouble that evening at the
big-riffle crossing was this way"--it is the dying Bledsoe, of course,
who is being quoted. "The man they sent to the mill with the message did
a lot of loose talking on his way back after he gave in the message, and
in this roundabout way the word got to me at my house on the Eden's
Swamp road soon after dinnertime. Now I had always got along fine with
both of the Stackpoles, and had only friendly feelings toward them; but
maybe there's some people still alive back there in that county who can
remember what the reason was why I should naturally hate and despise
both the Tatums, and especially this Jess Tatum, him being if anything
the more low-down one of the two, although the youngest. At this late
day I don't aim to drag the name of any one else into this, especially a
woman's name, and her now dead and gone and in her grave; but I will
just say that if ever a man had a just cause for craving to see Jess
Tatum stretched out in his blood it was me. At the same time I will
state that it was not good judgment for a man who expected to go on
living to start out after one of the Tatums without he kept on till he
had cleaned up the both of them, and maybe some of their cousins as
well. I will not admit that I acted cowardly, but will state that I used
my best judgment.

"Therefore and accordingly, no sooner did I hear the news about the dare
which the Tatums had sent to the Stackpoles than I said to myself that
it looked like here was my fitting chance to even up my grudge with Jess
Tatum and yet at the same time not run the prospect of being known to be
mixed up in the matter and maybe getting arrested, or waylaid afterwards
by members of the Tatum family or things of such a nature. Likewise I
figured that with a general amount of shooting going on, as seemed
likely to be the case, one shot more or less would not be noticed,
especially as I aimed to keep out of sight at all times and do my work
from under safe cover, which it all of it turned out practically exactly
as I had expected. So I took a rifle which I owned and which I was a
good shot with and I privately went down through the bottoms and came
out on the creek bank in the deep cut right behind Stackpole Brothers'
gristmill. I should say offhand this was then about three o'clock in the
evening. I was ahead of time, but I wished to be there and get
everything fixed up the way I had mapped it out in my mind, without
being hurried or rushed.

"The back door of the mill was not locked, and I got in without being
seen, and I went upstairs to the loft over the mill and I went to a
window just above the front door, which was where they hoisted up grain
when brought in wagons, and I propped the wooden shutter of the window
open a little ways. But I only propped it open about two or three
inches; just enough for me to see out of it up the road good. And I made
me a kind of pallet out of meal sacks and I laid down there and I
waited. I knew the mill had shut down for the week, and I didn't figure
on any of the hands being round the mill or anybody finding out I was
up there. So I waited, not hearing anybody stirring about downstairs at
all, until just about three minutes past six, when all of a sudden came
the first shot.

"What threw me off was expecting the Tatums to come afoot from up the
road, but when they did come it was in a wagon from down the main
Blandsville pike clear round in the other direction. So at this first
shot I swung and peeped out and I seen Harve Tatum down in the dust
seemingly right under the wheels of his wagon, and I seen Jess Tatum
jump out from behind the wagon and shoot, and I seen Dudley Stackpole
come out of the mill door right directly under me and start shooting
back at him. There was no sign of his brother Jeffrey. I did not know
then that Jeffrey was home sick in bed.

"Being thrown off the way I had been, it took me maybe one or two
seconds to draw myself around and get the barrel of my rifle swung round
to where I wanted it, and while I was doing this the shooting was going
on. All in a flash it had come to me that it would be fairer than ever
for me to take part in this thing, because in the first place the Tatums
would be two against one if Harve should get back upon his feet and get
into the fight; and in the second place Dudley Stackpole didn't know the
first thing about shooting a pistol. Why, all in that same second, while
I was righting myself and getting the bead onto Jess Tatum's breast, I
seen his first shot--Stackpole's I mean--kick up the dust not twenty
feet in front of him and less than halfway to where Tatum was. I was as
cool as I am now, and I seen this quite plain.

"So with that, just as Stackpole fired wild again, I let Jess Tatum have
it right through the chest, and as I did so I knew from the way he acted
that he was done and through. He let loose of his pistol and acted like
he was going to fall, and then he sort of rallied up and did a strange
thing. He ran straight on ahead toward the mill, with his neck craned
back and him running on tiptoe; and he ran this way quite a little ways
before he dropped flat, face down. Somebody else, seeing him do that,
might have thought he had the idea to tear into Dudley Stackpole with
his bare hands, but I had done enough shooting at wild game in my time
to know that he was acting like a partridge sometimes does, or a wild
duck when it is shot through the heart or in the head; only in such a
case a bird flies straight up in the air. Towering is what you call it
when done by a partridge. I do not know what you would call it when done
by a man.

"So then I closed the window shutter and I waited for quite a little
while to make sure everything was all right for me, and then I hid my
rifle under the meal sacks, where it stayed until I got it privately two
days later; and then I slipped downstairs and went out by the back door
and came round in front, running and breathing hard as though I had just
heard the shooting whilst up in the swamp. By that time there were
several others had arrived, and there was also a negro woman crying
round and carrying on and saying she seen Jess Tatum fire the first shot
and seen Dudley Stackpole shoot back and seen Tatum fall. But she could
not say for sure how many shots there were fired in all. So I saw that
everything was all right so far as I was concerned, and that nobody, not
even Stackpole, suspicioned but that he himself had killed Jess Tatum;
and as I knew he would have no trouble with the law to amount to
anything on account of it, I felt that there was no need for me to
worry, and I did not--not worry then nor later. But for some time past I
had been figuring on moving out here on account of this new country
opening up. So I hurried up things, and inside of a week I had sold out
my place and had shipped my household plunder on ahead; and I moved out
here with my family, which they have all died off since, leaving only
me. And now I am about to die, and so I wish to make this statement
before I do so.

"But if they had thought to cut into Jess Tatum's body after he was
dead, or to probe for the bullet in him, they would have known that it
was not Dudley Stackpole who really shot him, but somebody else; and
then I suppose suspicion might have fell upon me, although I doubt it.
Because they would have found that the bullet which killed him was fired
out of a forty-five-seventy shell, and Dudley Stackpole had done all of
the shooting he done with a thirty-eight caliber pistol, which would
throw a different-size bullet. But they never thought to do so."

Question by the physician, Doctor Davis: "You mean to say that no
autopsy was performed upon the body of the deceased?"

Answer by Bledsoe: "If you mean by performing an autopsy that they
probed into him or cut in to find the bullet I will answer no, sir, they
did not. They did not seem to think to do so, because it seemed to
everybody such a plain open-and-shut case that Dudley Stackpole had
killed him."

Question by the Reverend Mr. Hewlitt: "I take it that you are making
this confession of your own free will and in order to clear the name of
an innocent party from blame and to purge your own soul?"

Answer: "In reply to that I will say yes and no. If Dudley Stackpole is
still alive, which I doubt, he is by now getting to be an old man; but
if alive yet I would like for him to know that he did not fire the shot
which killed Jess Tatum on that occasion. He was not a bloodthirsty man,
and doubtless the matter may have preyed upon his mind. So on the bare
chance of him being still alive is why I make this dying statement to
you gentlemen in the presence of witnesses. But I am not ashamed, and
never was, at having done what I did do. I killed Jess Tatum with my own
hands, and I have never regretted it. I would not regard killing him as
a crime any more than you gentlemen here would regard it as a crime
killing a rattlesnake or a moccasin snake. Only, until now, I did not
think it advisable for me to admit it; which, on Dudley Stackpole's
account solely, is the only reason why I am now making this statement."

And so on and so forth for the better part of a second column, with a
brief summary in Editor Tompkins' best style--which was a very dramatic
and moving style indeed--of the circumstances, as recalled by old
residents, of the ancient tragedy, and a short sketch of the deceased
Bledsoe, the facts regarding him being drawn from the same veracious
sources; and at the end of the article was a somewhat guarded but
altogether sympathetic reference to the distressful recollections borne
for so long and so patiently by an esteemed townsman, with a concluding
paragraph to the effect that though the gentleman in question had
declined to make a public statement touching on the remarkable
disclosures now added thus strangely as a final chapter to the annals of
an event long since occurred, the writer felt no hesitancy in saying
that appreciating, as they must, the motives which prompted him to
silence, his fellow citizens would one and all join the editor of the
_Daily Evening News_ in congratulating him upon the lifting of this
cloud from his life.

"I only wish I had the language to express the way that old man looked
when I showed him the galley proofs of Bledsoe's confession," said
Editor Tompkins to a little interested group gathered in his sanctum
after the paper was on the streets that evening. "If I had such a power
I'd have this Frenchman Balzac clear off the boards when it came to
describing things. Gentlemen, let me tell you--I've been in this
business all my life, and I've seen lots of things, but I never saw
anything that was the beat of this thing.

"Just as soon as this statement came to me in the mails this morning
from that place out in Oklahoma I rushed it into type, and I had a set
of galley proofs pulled and I stuck 'em in my pocket and I put out for
the Stackpole place out on Clay Street. I didn't want to trust either of
the reporters with this job. They're both good, smart, likely boys; but,
at that, they're only boys, and I didn't know how they'd go at this
thing; and, anyway, it looked like it was my job.

"He was sitting on his porch reading, just a little old gray shell of a
man, all hunched up, and I walked up to him and I says: 'You'll pardon
me, Mr. Stackpole, but I've come to ask you a question and then to show
you something. Did you,' I says, 'ever know a man named A. Hamilton

"He sort of winced. He got up and made as if to go into the house
without answering me. I suppose it'd been so long since he had anybody
calling on him he hardly knew how to act. And then that question coming
out of a clear sky, as you might say, and rousing up bitter
memories--not probably that his bitter memories needed any rousing,
being always with him, anyway--may have jolted him pretty hard. But if
he aimed to go inside he changed his mind when he got to the door. He
turned round and came back.

"'Yes,' he says, as though the words were being dragged out of him
against his will, 'I did once know a man of that name. He was commonly
called Ham Bledsoe. He lived near where'--he checked himself up,
here--'he lived,' he says, 'in this county at one time. I knew him

"'That being so,' I says, 'I judge the proper thing to do is to ask you
to read these galley proofs,' and I handed them over and he read them
through without a word. Without a word, mind you, and yet if he'd spoken
a volume he couldn't have told me any clearer what was passing through
his mind when he came to the main facts than the way he did tell me just
by the look that came into his face. Gentlemen, when you sit and watch a
man sixty-odd years old being born again; when you see hope and life
come back to him all in a minute; when you see his soul being remade in
a flash, you'll find you can't describe it afterwards, but you're never
going to forget it. And another thing you'll find is that there is
nothing for you to say to him, nothing that you can say, nor nothing
that you want to say.

"I did manage, when he was through, to ask him whether or not he wished
to make a statement. That was all from me, mind you, and yet I'd gone
out there with the idea in my head of getting material for a long newsy
piece out of him--what we call in this business heart-interest stuff.
All he said, though, as he handed me back the slips was, 'No, sir; but I
thank you--from the bottom of my heart I thank you.' And then he shook
hands with me--shook hands with me like a man who's forgotten almost how
'twas done--and he walked in his house and shut the door behind him, and
I came on away feeling exactly as though I had seen a funeral turned
into a resurrection."

Editor Tompkins thought he had that day written the final chapter, but
he hadn't. The final chapter he was to write the next day, following
hard upon a denouement, which to Mr. Tompkins, he with his own eyes
having seen what he had seen, was so profound a puzzle that ever
thereafter he mentally catalogued it under one of his favorite
headlining phrases: "Deplorable Affair Shrouded in Mystery."

Let us go back a few hours. For a fact, Mr. Tompkins had been witness to
a spirit's resurrection. It was as he had borne testimony--a life had
been reborn before his eyes. Even so, he, the sole spectator to and
chronicler of the glory of it, could not know the depth and the sweep
and the swing of the great heartening swell of joyous relief which
uplifted Dudley Stackpole at the reading of the dead Bledsoe's words.
None save Dudley Stackpole himself was ever to have a true appreciation
of the utter sweetness of that cleansing flood, nor he for long.

As he closed his door upon the editor, plans, aspirations, ambitions
already were flowing to his brain, borne there upon that ground swell of
sudden happiness. Into the back spaces of his mind long-buried desires
went riding like chips upon a torrent. The substance of his patiently
endured self-martyrdom was lifted all in a second, and with it the
shadow of it. He would be thenceforth as other men, living as they
lived, taking, as they did, an active share and hand in communal life.
He was getting old. The good news had come late but not too late. That
day would mark the total disappearance of the morbid lonely recluse and
the rejuvenation of the normal-thinking, normal-habited citizen. That
very day he would make a beginning of the new order of things.

And that very day he did; at least he tried. He put on his hat and he
took his cane in his hand and as he started down the street he sought to
put smartness and springiness into his gait. If the attempt was a sorry
failure, he, for one, did not appreciate the completeness of the
failure. He meant, anyhow, that his step no longer should be purposeless
and mechanical; that his walk should hereafter have intent in it. And as
he came down the porch steps he looked about him, but dully, with sick
and uninforming eyes, but with a livened interest in all familiar homely

Coming to his gate he saw, near at hand, Squire Jonas, now a gnarled but
still sprightly octogenarian, leaning upon a fence post surveying the
universe at large, as was the squire's daily custom. He called out a
good morning and waved his stick in greeting toward the squire with a
gesture which he endeavored to make natural. His aging muscles, staled
by thirty-odd years of lack of practice at such tricks, merely made it
jerky and forced. Still, the friendly design was there, plainly to be
divined; and the neighborly tone of his voice. But the squire,
ordinarily the most courteous of persons, and certainly one of the most
talkative, did not return the salutation. Astonishment congealed his
faculties, tied his tongue and paralyzed his biceps. He stared dumbly a
moment, and then, having regained coherent powers, he jammed his
brown-varnished straw hat firmly upon his ancient poll and went
scrambling up his gravel walk as fast as two rheumatic underpinnings
would take him, and on into his house like a man bearing incredible and
unbelievable tidings.

Mr. Stackpole opened his gate and passed out and started down the
sidewalk. Midway of the next square he overtook a man he knew--an
elderly watchmaker, a Swiss by birth, who worked at Nagel's jewelry
store. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of times he had passed this man upon
the street. Always before he had passed him with averted eyes and a
stiff nod of recognition. Now, coming up behind the other, Mr. Stackpole
bade him a cheerful good day. At the sound of the words the Swiss spun
on his heel, then gulped audibly and backed away, flinching almost as
though a blow had been aimed at him. He muttered some meaningless
something, confusedly; he stared at Mr. Stackpole with widened eyes like
one who beholds an apparition in the broad of the day; he stepped on his
own feet and got in his own way as he shrank to the outer edge of the
narrow pavement. Mr. Stackpole was minded to fall into step alongside
the Swiss, but the latter would not have it so. He stumbled along for a
few yards, mute and plainly terribly embarrassed at finding himself in
this unexpected company, and then with a muttered sound which might be
interpreted as an apology or an explanation, or as a token of profound
surprise on his part, or as combination of them all, he turned abruptly
off into a grassed side lane which ran up into the old Enders orchard
and ended nowhere at all in particular. Once his back was turned to Mr.
Stackpole, he blessed himself fervently. On his face was the look of one
who would fend off what is evil and supernatural.

Mr. Stackpole continued on his way. On a vacant lot at Franklin and Clay
Streets four small boys were playing one-eyed-cat. Switching his cane at
the weed tops with strokes which he strove to make casual, he stopped to
watch them, a half smile of approbation on his face. Pose and expression
showed that he desired their approval for his approval of their skill.
They stopped, too, when they saw him--stopped short. With one accord
they ceased their play, staring at him. Nervously the batsman withdrew
to the farther side of the common, dragging his bat behind him. The
three others followed, casting furtive looks backward over their
shoulders. Under a tree at the back of the lot they conferred together,
all the while shooting quick diffident glances toward where he stood. It
was plain something had put a blight upon their spirits; also, even at
this distance, they radiated a sort of inarticulate suspicion--a
suspicion of which plainly he was the object.

For long years Mr. Stackpole's faculties for observation of the motives
and actions of his fellows had been sheathed. Still, disuse had not
altogether dulled them. Constant introspection had not destroyed his
gift for speculation. It was rusted, but still workable. He had read
aright Squire Jonas' stupefaction, the watchmaker's ludicrous alarm. He
now read aright the chill which the very sight of his altered
mien--cheerful and sprightly where they had expected grim aloofness--had
thrown upon the spirits of the ball players. Well, he could understand
it all. The alteration in him, coming without prior warning, had
startled them, frightened them, really. Well, that might have been
expected. The way had not been paved properly for the transformation. It
would be different when the _Daily Evening News_ came out. He would go
back home--he would wait. When they had read what was in the paper
people would not avoid him or flee from him. They would be coming into
his house to wish him well, to reëstablish old relations with him. Why,
it would be almost like holding a reception. He would be to those of his
own age as a friend of their youth, returning after a long absence to
his people, with the dour stranger who had lived in his house while he
was away now driven out and gone forever.

He turned about and he went back home and he waited. But for a while
nothing happened, except that in the middle of the afternoon Aunt Kassie
unaccountably disappeared. She was gone when he left his seat on the
front porch and went back to the kitchen to give her some instruction
touching on supper. At dinnertime, entering his dining room, he had
without conscious intent whistled the bars of an old air, and at that
she had dropped a plate of hot egg bread and vanished into the pantry,
leaving the spilt fragments upon the floor. Nor had she returned. He had
made his meal unattended. Now, while he looked for her, she was hurrying
down the alley, bound for the home of her preacher. She felt the need of
his holy counsels and the reading of scriptural passages. She was used
to queerness in her master, but if he were going crazy all of a sudden,
why that would be a different matter altogether. So presently she was
confiding to her spiritual adviser.

Mr. Stackpole returned to the porch and sat down again and waited for
what was to be. Through the heat of the waning afternoon Clay Street was
almost deserted; but toward sunset the thickening tides of pedestrian
travel began flowing by his house as men returned homeward from work. He
had a bowing acquaintance with most of those who passed.

Two or three elderly men and women among them he had known fairly well
in years past. But no single one of those who came along turned in at
his gate to offer him the congratulation he so eagerly desired; no
single one, at sight of him, all poised and expectant, paused to call
out kindly words across the palings of his fence. Yet they must have
heard the news. He knew that they had heard it--all of them--knew it by
the stares they cast toward the house front as they went by. There was
more, though, in the staring than a quickened interest or a sharpened

Was he wrong, or was there also a sort of subtle resentment in it? Was
there a sense vaguely conveyed that even these old acquaintances of his
felt almost personally aggrieved that a town character should have
ceased thus abruptly to be a town character--that they somehow felt a
subtle injustice had been done to public opinion, an affront offered to
civic tradition, through this unexpected sloughing off by him of the
rôle he for so long had worn?

He was not wrong. There was an essence of a floating, formless
resentment there. Over the invisible tendons of mental telepathy it came
to him, registering emphatically.

As he shrank back in his chair he summoned his philosophy to give him
balm and consolation for his disappointment. It would take time, of
course, for people to grow accustomed to the change in him--that was
only natural. In a few days, now, when the shock of the sensation had
worn off, things would be different. They would forgive him for breaking
a sort of unuttered communal law, but one hallowed, as it were, by rote
and custom. He vaguely comprehended that there might be such a law for
his case--a canon of procedure which, unnatural in itself, had come with
the passage of the passing years to be quite naturally accepted.

Well, perhaps the man who broke such a law, even though it were
originally of his own fashioning, must abide the consequences. Even so,
though, things must be different when the minds of people had
readjusted. This he told himself over and over again, seeking in its
steady repetition salve for his hurt, overwrought feelings.

And his nights--surely they would be different! Therein, after all, lay
the roots of the peace and the surcease which henceforth would be his
portion. At thought of this prospect, now imminent, he uplifted his soul
in a silent pæan of thanksgiving.

Having no one in whom he ever had confided, it followed naturally that
no one else knew what torture he had suffered through all the nights of
all those years stretching behind him in so terribly long a perspective.
No one else knew how he had craved for the darkness which all the time
he had both feared and shunned. No one else knew how miserable a
travesty on sleep his sleep had been, first reading until a heavy
physical weariness came, then lying in his bed through the latter hours
of the night, fitfully dozing, often rousing, while from either side of
his bed, from the ceiling above, from the headboard behind him, and from
the footboard, strong lights played full and flary upon his twitching,
aching eyelids; and finally, towards dawn, with every nerve behind his
eyes taut with pain and strain, awakening unrefreshed to consciousness
of that nimbus of unrelieved false glare which encircled him, and the
stench of melted tallow and the stale reek of burned kerosene foul in
his nose. That, now, had been the hardest of all to endure. Endured
unceasingly, it had been because of his dread of a thing infinitely
worse--the agonized, twisted, dying face of Jess Tatum leaping at him
out of shadows. But now, thank God, that ghost of his own conjuring,
that wraith never seen but always feared, was laid to rest forever.
Never again would conscience put him, soul and body, upon the rack. This
night he would sleep--sleep as little children do in the all-enveloping,
friendly, comforting dark.

Scarcely could he wait till a proper bedtime hour came. He forgot that
he had had no supper; forgot in that delectable anticipation the
disillusionizing experiences of the day. Mechanically he had, as dusk
came on, turned on the lights throughout the house, and force of habit
still operating, he left them all on when at eleven o'clock he quitted
the brilliantly illuminated porch and went to his bedroom on the second
floor. He undressed and he put on him his night wear, becoming a
grotesque shrunken figure, what with his meager naked legs and his ashen
eager face and thin dust-colored throat rising above the collarless
neckband of the garment. He blew out the flame of the oil lamp which
burned on a reading stand at the left side of his bed and extinguished
the two candles which stood on a table at the right side.

Then he got in the bed and stretched out his arms, one aloft, the other
behind him, finding with the fingers of this hand the turncock of the
gas burner which swung low from the ceiling at the end of a goose-necked
iron pipe, finding with the fingers of that hand the wall switch which
controlled the battery of electric lights round about, and with a
long-drawn sigh of happy deliverance he turned off both gas and
electricity simultaneously and sank his head toward the pillow.

The pæaned sigh turned to a shriek of mortal terror. Quaking in every
limb, crying out in a continuous frenzy of fright, he was up again on
his knees seeking with quivering hands for the switch; pawing about then
for matches with which to relight the gas. For the blackness--that
blackness to which he had been stranger for more than half his life--had
come upon him as an enemy smothering him, muffling his head in its
terrible black folds, stopping his nostrils with its black fingers,
gripping his windpipe with black cords, so that his breathing stopped.

That blackness for which he had craved with an unappeasable hopeless
craving through thirty years and more was become a horror and a devil.
He had driven it from him. When he bade it return it returned not as a
friend and a comforter but as a mocking fiend.

For months and years past he had realized that his optic nerves,
punished and preyed upon by constant and unwholesome brilliancy, were
nearing the point of collapse, and that all the other nerves in his
body, frayed and fretted, too, were all askew and jangled. Cognizant of
this he still could see no hope of relief, since his fears were greater
than his reasoning powers or his strength of will. With the fear lifted
and eternally dissipated in a breath, he had thought to find solace and
soothing and restoration in the darkness. But now the darkness, for
which his soul in its longing and his body in its stress had cried out
unceasingly and vainly, was denied him too. He could face neither the
one thing nor the other.

Squatted there in the huddle of the bed coverings, he reasoned it all
out, and presently he found the answer. And the answer was this: Nature
for a while forgets and forgives offenses against her, but there comes
a time when Nature ceases to forgive the mistreatment of the body and
the mind, and sends then her law of atonement, to be visited upon the
transgressor with interest compounded a hundredfold. The user of
narcotics knows it; the drunkard knows it; and this poor self-crucified
victim of his own imagination--he knew it too. The hint of it had that
day been reflected in the attitude of his neighbors, for they merely had
obeyed, without conscious realization or analysis on their part, a law
of the natural scheme of things. The direct proof of it was, by this
night-time thing, revealed and made yet plainer. He stood convicted, a
chronic violator of the immutable rule. And he knew, likewise, there was
but one way out of the coil--and took it, there in his bedroom, vividly
ringed about by the obscene and indecent circle of his lights which kept
away the blessed, cursed darkness while the suicide's soul was passing.



(From _The American Magazine_)

"You think the Chinese are prosaic," said Nichols from the darkness of
his corner. "I've listened to you closely. You fellows have been
discussing only superficialities. At heart, you and the Oriental are the
same. The Chinese are romantic, I tell you; they are heroic. Yes,
really. Let me tell you a tale."

Suddenly he laughed. "You won't be convinced. But strip my friend Lee Fu
Chang naked, forget about that long silken coat of his; dress him in a
cowboy's suit and locate him on the Western plains, and the game he
played with Captain Wilbur won't seem so inappropriate. You merely won't
expect a mandarin Chinaman to play it. You'll feel that China is too
civilized for what he did.

"Some of you fellows must remember the notorious case of Captain Wilbur
and the 'Speedwell;' but I'll briefly refresh your memories: He was a
well-known shipmaster of the palmy days, and his vessel was one of the
finest clippers ever launched on the shores of New England. But she was
growing old; and Wilbur had suffered serious financial reverses, though
the fact wasn't generally known.

"To make a long story short, he put the 'Speedwell' ashore in Ombay
Pass, on a voyage from Singapore to New York, and abandoned her as she
lay. Within a month after sailing, he was back again in Singapore with
his ship's company in three long boats and a tale of a lost vessel. No
hint of scandal was raised against the affair. The insurance companies
stood the gaff, the business was closed up without a hitch, and the name
of the 'Speedwell' passed simultaneously from the 'Maritime Register'
and from the books of her owners in America.

"Wilbur went immediately to Batavia, and there hired a schooner and crew
with the proceeds of his personal holdings in the vessel. He sailed for
Ombay Pass; after a period of magnificent sailorizing and superhuman
effort he floated the ship and patched her so that she would stay
afloat. When he appeared off Batavia roadstead with the 'Speedwell'
under topgallant-sails, it was the sensation of the port; and when it
transpired what he intended to do with her, the news flew like wildfire
about the China Sea. For he proposed to hold the ship as salvage; and
nothing, apparently, could be done about it. He found men willing to
advance him credit, bought off his Lascar crew, took the 'Speedwell' to
Hong Kong and put her in dry dock, and soon was ready for business with
a fine ship of his own.

"I was off on a trading voyage while these events were taking place. I
heard them first from Lee Fu Chang.

"'An extraordinary incident!' exclaimed Lee Fu in conclusion. 'I am
deeply interested. It is a crowning stroke that he has not seen fit to
change the name of the vessel. All is as it was before, when the
well-known and reputable Captain Wilbur commanded his fine ship, the
"Speedwell," on voyages to the East.'

"'Does the crowd have anything to do with him?' I asked.

"'None of his old associates speak in passing. He goes about like a man
afflicted with a pestilence. Apparently, he is not disturbed by this
treatment. He makes no protest, offers no excuse, takes no notice; in
the face of outrageous insult he maintains an air of dignity and
reserve, like a man conscious of inner rectitude.'

"'Did you talk with him, Lee Fu?'

"'Oh, yes. In fact, I cultivated his acquaintance. It relieved, as it
were, the daily monotony of virtue. Do not think that he is a simple
man. His heart in this matter is unfathomable, and well worth sounding.'

"'By Jove, I believe you liked him!'

"'No, not that.' Lee Fu folded his hands within the long sleeves of his
embroidered coat and laid them across his stomach in a characteristic
attitude of meditation. 'No, quite the opposite. I abhorred him. He
feels no remorse; he goes his way in peace from the betrayal of a sacred
trust. He is an arch-criminal.'

"'Aren't you laying it on a little thick?' I laughed.

"Lee Fu smiled quietly, giving me a glance that was a mere flicker of
the eyelids. 'Captain, let me tell you, murder is brave and honorable
compared to this. Consider what he did: Trained to the sea and ships,
after a lifetime of service to his traditions, he suddenly forsakes them
utterly. It is blasphemy which he has committed; blasphemy against the
gods who guide and sustain us, and without whose aid we cannot live. So
I abhor him--and am fascinated. If you will believe me, Captain, I have
not in all my talk with him received a single flash of illumination; no,
not one! There is no clue to his design. He speaks of his ship as others
do; he is a big, red-faced man with frank glances and open speech. I
swear to you, his heart is untroubled. And that is horrible.'

"I was a little amused at my friend's moral fervor. 'Perhaps he's
innocent,' I said.

"'You forget that he holds the vessel,' Lee Fu reminded me. 'To one of
your race, if no blood flows, then it is not so bad. But bear in mind
that a strong man within your circle has murdered the spirit--and wait
until the actual blood flows.'

"'What do you mean. Lee Fu?'

"'I mean that Captain Wilbur will bear watching. In the meantime, do not
fail to study him when opportunity offers. Thus we learn of heaven and

"A few years went by, while the case of Captain Wilbur and the
'Speedwell' was in its initial stages of being forgotten. Nothing
succeeds like success; the man was growing rich, and there were many to
whom the possession of a fine vessel covered a multitude of sins. Some
of his old friends were willing after a while to let bygones be bygones.
Little by little, one began to see him again on the quarter-deck of an
evening, among the fleet captains. When, in time, it became unwise to
start the story against him for fear of misconstruction of the motive,
it was evident that he'd won his nefarious match against society.

"I'd met him a number of times during this interval. Indeed, he
compelled attention. That perfect urbanity, that air of unfailing
dignity and confidence, that aura of a commanding personality, of an
able shipmaster among his brethren, of a man whose position in the world
was secure beyond peradventure; these could spring only from a quiet
conscience or from a heart perfectly attuned to villainy. So unconscious
was his poise that one often doubted the evidence of memory, and found
one's self going back over the record, only to fetch up point-blank
against the incontestable fact that he had stolen his ship and had
betrayed his profession.

"'It is a triumph, a feat of character!' Lee Fu used to say, as we
compared notes on the case from time to time. 'I think that he has not
been guilty of a single minor error. His correctness is diabolical. It
presages disaster, like too much fair weather in the typhoon season.
Mark my word, Captain, when the major error comes it will be a great

"'Must there be an error?' I asked, falling into the mood of Lee Fu's
exaggerated concern. 'He has carried it off so far with the greatest

"'Yes, with the greatest ease,' Lee Fu repeated thoughtfully. 'Yet I
wonder if he has been properly put to the test. See how the world
protects him! But he is not invulnerable. Life will yet challenge
him--it must be. Can a man escape the gods? I wonder. That is why I
concern myself with him--to know his destiny.'

"'You admit, then, that he may be merely a stupid fool?' I chaffed.

"'Not stupid,' said Lee Fu. 'Yet, on the other hand, not superior to
life. Such faultless power of will is in itself no mean share of
ability. He is, as you might say, self-centered--most accurately
self-centered. But the challenge of the gods displaces the center of
all. He will be like a top that is done spinning. A little breath may
topple him. Wait and see.'

"Voyage followed voyage; and one time, when I had come in from Bangkok
and was on my way to Lee Fu's office I passed Captain Wilbur on the
opposite side of Queen's Road. It flashed across my mind that I hadn't
observed the 'Speedwell' in harbor.

"'The fact is, the successful Captain Wilbur has retired from active
service on the sea,' Lee Fu explained with a quizzical smile, when I put
the question. 'He is now a ship owner alone, and has favored Hong Kong
above all other ports as the seat of his retirement. He resides in a
fine house on Graham Terrace, and has chairmen in white livery edged
with crimson. Captain Nichols, you should steal a ship.'

"'Who goes in the "Speedwell"?'

"'An old friend of ours, one Captain Turner,' said Lee Fu slowly,
without looking in my direction.

"'Not Will Turner?'

"'The same.'

"I pursed up my mouth in a silent whistle. Will Turner in the
'Speedwell!' Poor old chap, he must have lost another ship. Hard luck
seemed to pursue him, gave him no rest on land or sea. A capable sailor
and an honest man, yet life had afforded him nothing but a succession of
black eyes and heavy falls. Death and sorrow, too; he had buried a wife
and child, swept off by cholera, in the Bay of Bengal. Turner and I had
landed together in the China Sea; I knew his heart, his history, some of
his secrets, and liked him tremendously for the man he was.

"Watching Lee Fu in silence, I thought of the relationship between Will
Turner and this extraordinary Chinaman. I won't go into the story, but
there were overwhelming reasons why they should think well of each
other; why Lee Fu should respect and honor Turner, and why Turner should
hold Lee Fu as his best friend.

"'I did not know of the plan until he had accepted,' Lee Fu was saying.
'I did everything in my power to dissuade him.'

"'Didn't Wilbur do the right thing?'

"'Oh, yes. But it is unthinkable, Captain, that he should command the
"Speedwell." The jealous gods have not yet shown their hand.'

"'Nonsense, Lee Fu!' I exclaimed, a little irritated. 'Since the thing
is done, hadn't we better try to be practical?'

"'Exactly,' said Lee Fu. 'Let us be practical. Captain, is it impossible
for the Caucasian to reason from cause to effect? There seems to be no
logic in your design; which explains many curious facts of history. I
have merely insisted that a man who would do one thing would do another,
and that, sooner or later, life would present to him another thing to

"'But I've known too many men to escape what you call destiny,' I argued

"'Have you?' inquired Lee Fu.

"That year I went into the Malay Archipelago for an extended cruise, was
gone seven months among the islands, and reached Hong Kong just ahead of
a bad blow. Typhoon signals were flying from the Peak as I came in; the
sky to the eastward had lowered and darkened like a shutter, and the
breeze had begun to whip in vicious gusts across the harbor. I carried
important communications for Lee Fu, so went ashore at once. The outer
office was full of gathering gloom, although it was still early
afternoon. Sing Toy immediately took in my name; and soon I was ushered
into the familiar room, where my friend sat beside a shaded lamp, facing
a teakwood desk inlaid with ivory, and invariably bare, save for a
priceless Ming vase and an ornament of old green bronze.

"'I am glad to see you, Captain,' he said dispassionately. 'Sit down. I
have bad news.'

"'Yes?' I queried, more than a little alarmed.

"Folding his hands across his stomach and slightly bowing his head, he
gazed at me with a level upturned glance that, without betraying
expression, carried by its very immobility a hint of deep emotion. 'It
is as I told you,' he said at last. 'Now, perhaps, you will believe.'

"'For heaven's sake, what are you talking about?' I demanded.

"'We had another typhoon this season, a very early one. It was this
typhoon into whose face our late friend Captain Turner took his ship,
the "Speedwell," sailing from Hong Kong for New York some four months
ago. Three days after sailing, he met the typhoon and was blown upon a
lee shore two hundred miles along the China coast. In this predicament,
he cut away his masts and came to anchor. But his ship would not float,
and accordingly sunk at the anchors.'

"'Sunk at her anchors!' I exclaimed. 'How could that be? A tight ship
never did such a thing.'

"'Nevertheless, she sunk in the midst of the gale, and all on board
perished. Afterwards the news was reported from shore, and the hull was
discovered in ten fathoms of water. There has been talk of trying to
save the ship; and Captain Wilbur himself, in a diver's suit, has
inspected the wreck. Surely, he should know if it is possible to salve
her! He says no, and it is reported that the insurance companies are in
agreement with him.' Lee Fu's voice dropped to a rasping tone. 'The
lives, of course, he cannot save.'

"I sat for some moments gazing at the green bronze dragon on the desk,
stunned by what I had heard. Turner gone? Even between us, who had seen
each other seldom in late years, there had been a bond. Weren't we known
as the two Eastern wanderers?

"'That is not all,' said Lee Fu suddenly. 'What more?' I asked.

"'Listen, Captain, and pay close attention. Some weeks after the loss of
the "Speedwell," it came to my ears that a man had a tale worth hearing.
He was brought; he proved to be a common coolie who had been employed in
the loading of the "Speedwell." This coolie had been gambling during the
dinner hour, and had lost the small sum that he should have taken home
as the result of several days' labor. Likewise, he feared his wife, and
particularly her mother, who was a shrew. In a moment of desperation, as
the lighter was preparing to leave for the night, he escaped and
secreted himself in the hold of the vessel.

"'He had long been asleep that night when he was suddenly awakened by a
sound on the ladder leading from the upper deck. It was a sound of
careful steps, mingled with a faint metallic rattling. A moment later a
foot descended on the floor of the between-decks, and lantern was
cautiously lighted. The coolie retreated quickly into the lower hold,
and from his post among the bales of merchandise was able to see all
that went on.'

"Again Lee Fu paused, as if lingering over the scene. 'It seems that
this late and secret comer into the hold of the "Speedwell" was none
other than her owner, Captain Wilbur,' he slowly resumed. 'The coolie
knew him by face, and had seen him come on board that afternoon.
Afterwards, through my inquiries, I learned that Captain Turner had
spent that night on shore. It was Captain Wilbur's custom, it seems,
frequently to sleep on board his ship when she lay in port. Have you
ever been in the lower hold of the "Speedwell," Captain Nichols?'

"'No, I haven't.'

"'But you recall her famous ports?'

"'Yes, indeed.' The incident at once came back to me in detail. The
'Speedwell' once had carried a cargo of ironwood from Singapore for a
temple up the Yangtse-kiang. In order to load the immense timbers, she
had been obliged to cut bow ports of extraordinary size, fifty inches in
depth, they were, and nearly seven feet in width, according to my

"'It has been my privilege,' said Lee Fu, 'to examine carefully the
forepeak of this vessel. I had chartered her one time, and felt alarmed
for her safety until I had seen the interior fastenings of these great
windows that looked out into the deep sea. But my alarm was groundless.
There was a most ingenious device for strengthening the bows where they
had been weakened by the cutting of the ports. Four or five timbers had,
of course, been severed; but these were reproduced on the port itself,
and the whole was fashioned like a massive door. It lifted upward on
immense wrought-iron hinges; when it was lowered in place gigantic bars
of iron, fitted into brackets on the adjoining timbers, stretched across
its face to hold it against the impact of the waves. Thus the port, when
tightly caulked from without, became again an integral part of the hull;
I was told that there had never keen a trace of leakage from her bows.
And, most remarkable of all, I was told, when it became necessary to
open these ports for use, the task could easily be accomplished by two
or three men and a stout watch-tackle. This I am now prepared to

"'But, to resume the account of the coolie,' Lee Fu went on with
exasperating deliberation. 'This is what he saw: Our friend Captain
Wilbur descended into the lower hold and forward to the forepeak, where
there was little cargo. There he worked with great effort for several
hours. He had equipped himself with a short crowbar, and carried a light
tackle wrapped beneath his coat. The tackle he loosened and hung to a
hook above the middle of the port; it was merely for the purpose of
lowering the iron crossbars so that they would make no noise. Had one

"'Good God, Lee Fu, what are you trying to tell me?'

"'Merely an incident of the night. So, with the crowbar, Captain Wilbur
pried loose the iron braces, slinging them in his tackle and dropping
them softly one by one into the ship's bottom. It was a heavy task; the
coolie said that sweat poured from the big man like rain. Last of all he
covered the bars with dunnage, and rolled against the bow several bulky
bales of matting to conceal the work. Captain, when the "Speedwell"
sailed from Hong Kong in command of our honored friend, one of her great
bow ports below the water hung on its hinges without internal
fastenings, and held in place only by the tightness of the caulking. The
first heavy weather--'

"'Can this be possible?' I said through clenched teeth.

"'Oh, yes, so easily possible that it happened,' answered Lee Fu.

"'But why should he do such a thing? Had he anything against Turner?'

"'Captain, you do not understand. He merely was tired of the vessel; and
freights are becoming very poor. He wanted his insurance. He had no
thought of disaster so he now assures himself; what he had in mind was
for the ship to sink discreetly in pleasant weather. Yet he was willing
enough to run the chance of wholesale murder.'

"I got up and began pacing the floor; the damnable affair had made me
sick at heart, and a little sick at the stomach.

"'Thus the gods have struck,' said Lee Fu behind me, in that changeless
voice that for a moment seemed to concentrate the echo of the ages.
'There is blood at last, Captain--twenty-seven lives, and among them one
dear to us--enough even to convince one of your race that a crime has
been committed. But I was mistaken in much that I foresaw. The criminal,
it seems, is destined not to suffer. He has escaped the gods.'

"Can't you bring him to a reckoning? Isn't there some way--'

"Lee Fu shook his head. 'No, Captain, he is amply protected. What could
I accomplish in your courts with this fantastic tale, and for witnesses
a coolie and a sampan man?'

"I continued to pace the floor, thinking dark thoughts. There was a way,
of course, between man and man; but such things are no longer done in
the heart of civilization, except in sudden passion or jealousy.

"Pacing rapidly, and oblivious to everything but the four walls of the
room, I nearly ran into Sing Toy coming in with a message from the outer
office. He whispered a word in Lee Fu's ear.

"'Ah!' exclaimed Lee Fu sharply. I started, whirled around. His voice
had lost the level, passive tone; it had taken on the timbre of action.

"'Send him in,' he said in Chinese to Sing Toy.

"'Who is it?' I asked breathlessly.

"'The man we have been speaking of.'

"'Wilbur? What the devil does he want?'

"'Nothing,' answered Lee Fu, speaking swiftly. 'He merely came to make a
call. So he thinks; but I think otherwise. Beware of word or glance.
This chanced by arrangement. We are on the threshold of the gods.'

"Lee Fu remained standing as Captain Wilbur entered the room. His
hurried admonition still rang in my ears: 'Keep silence--beware of word
or glance!' But I couldn't have spoken intelligibly just then. To beware
of glances was a different matter. I stood as if rooted to the floor,
gazing point-blank at Wilbur with a stare that must have made him wonder
as to my sanity.

"'Good afternoon, Captain Wilbur,' said Lee Fu blandly. 'I think you are
acquainted with Captain Nichols, of the bark "Omega"?'

"'Oh, how-do, Nichols,' said Wilbur, advancing down the room. 'I've
missed you around town for a good while. Glad you're back. I suppose you
had the usual assortment of adventures?'

"I drew back to escape shaking his hand.

"'No,' I answered, 'nothing like the adventure that awaited me here.'

"He settled himself in a chair, directly in range of the light, smiled,
and lifted his eyebrows. 'So? Well, I can believe you. This office, you
know, is the heart of all adventure.' He bowed toward Lee Fu, who had
resumed his seat.

"'You honor me, Captain,' replied the Chinaman. 'Yet it is only life
which may be called the heart of adventure--life, with its amazing
secrets that one by one transpire into the day, and with its enormous
burden of evil that weighs us down like slaves.'

"Wilbur laughed. 'Yes, that's it, no doubt. Good, too, Lee Fu, plenty of
good. Don't be pessimistic. But I suppose you're right, in a way; the
evil always does manage to be more romantic.'

"'Much more romantic,' said Lee Fu. 'And the secrets are more romantic
still. Consider, for instance, the case of a dark secret, which by
chance has already become known. How infinitely romantic! Though the man
feels secure, yet inevitably it will be disclosed. When, and how? Such a
case would be well worth watching--as the great writer had in mind when
he wrote, "Murder will out."'

"The winged words made no impression on their mark. Wilbur met Lee Fu's
glance frankly, innocently, with interest. By Jove, he was wonderful!
The damned rascal hadn't a nerve in his body.

"I examined him closely. Above a trimmed brown beard his cheeks showed
the ruddy color of health and energy; his eyes were steady; his mouth
was strong and clean; a head of fine gray hair surmounted a high
forehead; the whole aspect of his countenance was pleasing and
dignified. Sitting at ease, dressed neatly in blue serge, with an arm
thrown over the chair back and one ankle resting on the other knee, he
presented a fine figure.

"He gave a hearty laugh. 'For the Lord's sake, come out of the gloom!'
he cried. 'I drop in for a chat, and find a couple of blue devils up to
their ears in the sins of humanity. Nichols over there has hardly opened
his mouth.'

"'It is the mood of the approaching storm,' interposed Lee Fu quietly.

"A fiercer squall than the last shook the building; it passed in a
moment as if dropping us in mid-air. Wilbur was the first to speak.
'Yes, it's going to be a hummer, isn't it? A bad night to be on the
water, gentlemen. I wouldn't care to be threshing around outside, now,
as poor old Turner was such a short while ago.'

"I could have struck him across the mouth for his callousness.

"Lee Fu's voice fell like oil on a breaking sea. 'All signs point to
another severe typhoon. It happened, Captain, that we were discussing
the loss of the "Speedwell" when you came in.'

"'Too bad--too bad,' said Wilbur slowly, with a shake of the head. 'You
were away, Nichols, weren't you? It was a bad week here, I can tell you,
after the news came in. I shall never forget it. Well, we take our

"'Some of us do, and some of us don't,' I snapped.

"'That's just the way I feel about it,' he said simply. 'It came home
hard to me.' My jaw fairly dropped as I listened. Was it possible that
he liked to talk about the affair?

"'We were wondering,' observed Lee Fu, 'why it was that the "Speedwell"
did not remain afloat. What is your opinion, Captain Wilbur?'

"'It isn't a matter of opinion,' Wilbur answered. 'Haven't I seen you
since the inspection? Why, the starboard bow port is stove in. I've
always been afraid of those big bow ports. When I heard the peculiar
circumstances, I knew in my heart what had happened.'

"'Did you?' inquired Lee Fu, with a slight hardening of the voice.
'Captain, have you collected your insurance?'

"Wilbur frowned and glanced up sharply, very properly offended. The next
moment he had decided to pass it off as an instance of alien manners.
'I've just cleaned up today,' he replied brusquely. 'Had my last
settlement with Lloyd's this morning--and did a silly thing, if you'll
believe me. They had a package of large denomination bank notes, crisp,
wonderful looking fellows; I took a sudden fancy and asked for my money
in this form. To tell the truth, I've got it on me now; must get to the
bank, too, before it closes.'

"'What is the amount of the bank notes which you have in your
possession?' asked Lee Fu in a level tone that carried its own insult.

"Wilbur showed his astonishment. 'Amount? Well, if you want all the
details, I've got about forty thousand dollars in my pocket.'

"Lee Fu turned and shot at me a blank stare full of meaning; it might
have been a look of caution, or a glance of triumph. I knew that I was
expected to understand something, to glimpse some pregnant purpose; but
for the life of me I couldn't catch on.

"'I, also, knew in my heart what had happened,' said Lee Fu slowly,
staring at Wilbur with a steady gaze. As he looked, he reached out with
his right hand and opened the top drawer of the desk. Suddenly he stood
up. The hand held a revolver, pointed at Wilbur's breast.

"'If you move from your chair, Captain, I will shoot you dead, and your
end will never be known,' he said rapidly. 'It is time we came to an
understanding for the day wanes.'

"Wilbur uncrossed his legs, leaned forward, and looked at Lee Fu
narrowly. 'What's the joke?' he asked.

"'A joke that will be clear as time goes on--like one you played with
bow ports on my friend. Captain, we are going on a journey. Will you
join us, Captain Nichols, or will you remain on shore?'

"The question was perfunctory; Lee Fu knew well enough that my decision
was in his hands. I stood up--for until now I had been chained to my
chair by the amazing turn of the moment.

"'Bow ports?' Wilbur was saying. 'Put that gun down! What in hell do you
mean?' He started to rise.

"'Sit down!' commanded Lee Fu. 'I mean that I will shoot. This is not
play.' Wilbur sank back, angry and confused.

"'Are you crazy, Lee Fu?' he demanded. 'What's the meaning of this,
Nichols? Do you intend to rob me? Have both of you gone mad?'

"'Is it possible that you do not comprehend that I share your secret?'
asked Lee Fu sternly. 'You were observed, Captain, that night in the
forepeak of the "Speedwell;" and those details, also, are known to me.
It is needless to dissemble.'

"'That night in the forepeak?--Lee Fu, for God's sake, what are you
talking about?'

"'Ah!' exclaimed Lee Fu with evident satisfaction. 'You are worthy of
the occasion, Captain. That is well. It will be most interesting.'

"He slapped his left palm sharply on the desk; Sing Toy appeared at the
door as if by a mechanical arrangement. 'Bring oilskin coats and hats
for three,' Lee Fu commanded. 'Also, send in haste to my cruising
sampan, with orders to prepare for an immediate trip. Have water and
food provided for a week. We come within the half hour and sail without

"'Master!' protested Sing Toy. 'Master, the typhoon!'

"'I know, fool,' answered Lee Fu. 'I am neither deaf nor blind. Have I
not ordered oilskin coats? Do as I have said.'

"He sat down, resting the gun on the corner of the desk, and resumed the
bland tone of conversation. 'I am sorry, gentlemen, that the rain has
already come; but there is water also below, as Captain Wilbur should be
aware. Yes, it was destined from the first to be a wet journey. Yet it
will still be possible to breathe; and not so bad as solid water on all
sides, where, after a grim struggle, one lies at rest, neither caring
nor remembering--Captain Wilbur, listen to me. We go from this office to
my sampan, which lies moored at the bulkhead not far away. During the
walk, you will precede us. I will hold my revolver in my hand--and I am
an excellent shot. If you attempt to escape, or to communicate with any
passer-by, you will immediately be dead. Do not think that I would fear
the consequences; we will pass through Chinese streets, where action of
mine would not be questioned.'

"'Damn you!' Wilbur burst out. 'What silly nonsense are you up to?
Nichols, will you permit this? Where are you going to take me?'

"'Never mind,' replied Lee Fu. 'As for Captain Nichols, he, also, is at
my mercy. Ah, here are the raincoats. Put one on, Captain Wilbur; you
will need it sorely before your return. Now we must hurry. I would be
clear of the harbor before darkness entirely falls.'

"Issuing from the doorway, the gale caught us with a swirl that carried
us around the corner and down a side street. 'To the right!' Lee Fu
shouted. Wilbur, lurching ahead, obeyed sullenly. We came about and made
for the water front through the fringe of the Chinese quarter, the most
remarkable trio, perhaps, that had ever threaded those familiar

"Overhead, the sky had settled low on the slope of the Peak. We
floundered on, enveloped in a gray gloom like that of an eclipse. When
we reached the water front the face of the bay had undergone a sinister
change, its yellow-green waters lashed into sickly foam and shrouded by
an unnatural gleaming darkness. A distant moaning sound ran through the
upper air, vague yet distinctly audible. The center of the typhoon was
headed in our direction.

"As we staggered along the quay, my thoughts worked rapidly. I saw the
plan now, and recognized the dangerous nature of the undertaking on
which we'd embarked. It was to be a game of bluff, in which we would
have to risk our lives if the other held his ground.

"I edged toward Lee Fu. 'Will you go on the water?' I asked in his ear.

"He nodded, keeping his eyes fixed on Wilbur ahead.

"'But it can't be done,' I told him. 'A boat won't live.'

"'There is always a definite alternative,' he replied abruptly.

"'Yes--that we sink.'


"All at once, in a flash of enlightenment, the greatness of the occasion
came to me. By Jove! He had taken the matter in his own hands; he had
stepped in when the gods had failed. But he had observed the divine
proprieties; had seen that if he presumed to act for the gods he must
throw his own life, as well, into the balance. He must run every risk.
It was for them, after all, to make the final choice. He was only
forcing action on the gods.

"I gazed at him in wonder. He advanced stiffly against the storm,
walking like an automaton. Beneath the close pulled rim of a black
sou'wester his smooth oval countenance looked ridiculously vacant, like
the face of a placid moon. He was the only calm object on earth, sea or
sky; against the lashing rain, the dancing boats, the scudding clouds,
the hurried shadows of appearing and vanishing men, he stood out
plainly, a different essence, a higher spirit, the embodiment of mind
and will.

"And how was it with Wilbur, off there in the lead? He, too, walked
stiffly, wrapped in thought. Once he turned, as if to come back and
speak to us; then whirled with a violent movement of decision and
plunged on into the rain. He knew, now, what it was all about, if not
what to expect. He knew that his crime had been discovered. Yet he had
made no break; in no particular had he given himself away. What had he
decided? What had he been about to say? Would he confess, when he faced
death on the water; or would he be confident enough to believe that he
could beat the game?

"Observing his broad back, his commanding figure, that looked thoroughly
at home in its oilskin coat and leaning against the storm, it came to me
that he would put up a desperate defense before he succumbed. He, too,
was a strong man, and no part of a coward; he, too, in a different way,
was a superior being, the embodiment of mind and will.

"Then, for a moment, my own spirit went slump with the realization of
what lay before us, and a great weakness overcame me. I edged again
toward Lee Fu.

"'My God, what if the man really is innocent?' I cried. 'He hasn't
turned a hair.'

"Lee Fu gave me a flash of the moon face beneath the sou'wester, 'Have
no fear, my friend,' he reassured me. 'I am completely satisfied, in
regions where the soul dwells.'

"When we reached the sampan, lying under a weather shore beneath the
bulkhead, we found a scene of consternation. Lee Fu's orders had
arrived, and had been executed; yet the men couldn't believe that he
actually meant to sail. Gathered in a panic-stricken group on the fore
deck of the sampan, they chattered like a flock of magpies; as they
caught sight of us, they swarmed across the bulkhead and fell at Lee
Fu's feet, begging for mercy.

"'Up, dogs!' he cried. 'There is no danger. I shall steer, and it is
necessary that we go. If any would remain, let them depart now, with no
tale to tell. Let those who stay prepare at once for sea.'

"I found Wilbur beside me. 'What's this madness, Nichols?' he demanded
for the third and last time.

"'I know no more about it than you do,' I answered shortly. 'He has told
his crew to prepare for sea. If he goes, we all go.'

"A moment later we stood on the quarter-deck of the cruising sampan. Lee
Fu took his station at the great tiller. The wind lulled, as the trough
of a squall passed over; he gave a few sharp orders. Moorings were cast
off, a pinch of sail was lifted forward. The big craft found her freedom
with a lurch and a stagger; then pulled herself together and left the
land with a steady rush, skimming dead before the wind across the smooth
upper reach of the harbor and quickly losing herself in the murk and
spray that hung off Kowloon Point. Lee Fu somehow managed to avoid the
fleet at anchor off Wanchi; straight down the length of the bay he
struck, and in an incredibly short time we had left the harbor behind
and were whirling through the narrow gut of Lymoon Pass before a
terrific squall, bound for the open sea.

"I watched Captain Wilbur. He stood carelessly at the rail during our
race down the harbor, scanning the boat and the water with an air of
confidence and unconcern. A sneer curled his lip; he had made up his
mind to see the nonsense through. The sailor in him had quickly
recognized that the craft would stand the weather in smooth water; he
probably expected any minute that Lee Fu would call it quits and put
into some sheltered cove.

"But when we shot through Lymoon Pass, I saw him turn and scrutinize the
Chinaman closely. Darkness was falling behind the murk, the real night
now; and ahead of us lay a widening reach among the islands that opened
abruptly on the main body of the China Sea. We were rapidly leaving the
protection of Victoria Island. Soon we would be unable to see our way.
Ten miles outside a high sea was running. And with every blast of wind
that held in the same quarter, the center of the typhoon was bearing
down on us with unerring aim.

"These things were as patent to Wilbur as to any of us. In fact, his
knowledge was his undoing; had he been less of a sailor, or had he been
entirely ignorant of sea matters, he could have resigned himself to the
situation on the assumption that Lee Fu never would put himself in
actual danger. Perhaps Lee Fu had foreseen this when he chose the sea as
the medium of justice; perhaps he had glimpsed the profound and subtle
truth that Wilbur couldn't properly be broken save in his native
environment. He knew the sea, had trifled with it; then let him face the

"The time came, just before we lost the loom of the land, when Wilbur
could stand it no longer; as a sailor, used to responsibility and
command, he had to speak his mind.

"He dropped aft beside Lee Fu, and put his hand to his mouth. 'You're
running to your death!' he shouted. 'You've already lost Pootoy. If you
can't haul up and make the lee of the Lema Islands--'

"'I intend to pass nowhere near them,' answered Lee Fu, keeping his eyes
on the yawning bow of the sampan.

"'There's nothing to the eastward--no shelter.'

"'Of that I am aware.'

"'Do you know what that means?' Wilbur pointed above the stern rail into
the face of the storm.

"'I think we will get the center, Captain, by tomorrow noon.'

"Wilbur made a move as if to grasp the tiller. 'Haul up, you fool!'

"A stray gleam in the gathering darkness caught the barrel of the
revolver, as Lee Fu steered for a moment with one hand.

"'Beware, Captain! You are the fool; would you broach us to, and end it
now? One thing alone will send me to seek the last shelter; and for that
thing I think you are not ready.'


"'To say that you sunk the "Speedwell."'

"Wilbur gathered his strength as if to strike; his face was distorted
with passion.

"'You lie, you yellow hound!'

"'Exactly--Captain, be careful--come no nearer! Also, leave me alone. If
you value your life, you will keep silence and stay a little forward.
Go, quickly! Here I could shoot you with the greatest impunity.'"

Nichols paused. "Maybe some of you fellows haven't seen Lee Fu's
cruising sampan," he remarked. "In reality, she's more of a junk than a
sampan, a sizable craft of over a hundred tons, and the best product of
the Chinese shipyard. Lee Fu had her built for trips along the coast,
and many of his own ideas, born of an expert knowledge of ships of every
nationality entered into her construction. The result is distinctly a
Chinese creation, a craft that seems to reflect his personality, that
responds to his touch and works with him. She's higher in the bows than
an ordinary junk, and lower in the stern; a broad, shallow hull that
needs a centerboard on the wind. Of course she's completely decked over
for heavy weather. In charge of any of us, perhaps, she would be
unmanageable; but in his hands, I can assure you, she's a sea boat of
remarkable attainments.

"I had seen him handle her under difficult conditions, but never in such
a pass as this. How he did it was inconceivable to me. The last I saw of
him that night he had called two men to help him at the tiller; and, so
far, he had kept the craft before the wind.

"For many hours I was surrounded by pitch blackness and the storm. I
clung to a single stanchion, hardly changing my position during the
night, drenched by rain and spray, seeing nothing, hearing no word. The
gale roared above us with that peculiar tearing sound that accompanies
the body of a typhoon; a sound suggestive of unearthly anger and
violence, as if elemental forces were ripping up the envelope of the
universe. The wind gained steadily in volume; it picked up the sea in
steep ridges of solid water that flung us like a chip from crest to
crest, or caught us, burst above us and swallowed us whole, as if we had
suddenly sunk in a deep well. Every moment I expected would be our last.
Yet, as time wore on, I felt through the sampan's frantic floundering a
hand of guidance, a touch of mastery. Lee Fu steered, and she was still
in his control. A night to turn the hair gray, to shatter the mind.

"But we came through, and saw the dawn. A pale watery light little by
little crept into the east, disclosing a scene of terror beyond
description. The face of the sea was livid with flying yellow foam; the
torn sky hung closely over it like the fringe of a mighty waterfall. In
the midst of this churning cauldron our little craft seemed momently on
the point of disappearing, engulfed by the wrath of the elements.

"In the lull of the storm my glance encountered Wilbur; for a long while
I'd forgotten him entirely. He hung to the rail a little farther
forward, gazing across the maelstrom with a fixed, exhausted expression.
His face was haggard; the strain of the night had marked him with a
ruthless hand. As I watched him, his eye turned slowly in my direction;
he gave me an anxious look, then crawled along the rail to a place by my

"'Nichols, we're lost!' I heard him cry in my ear. The voice was almost
plaintive; it suddenly made me angry, revived a few sparks of my own

"'What of it?' I cried harshly. 'Turner was lost.'

"'You believe that, too?'

"I looked at him point-blank; his eyes shifted; he couldn't face me now.
'Yes, I do,' I told him. 'Why don't you own up, before--?'

"He moved away hastily, as if offended to the heart. But the strong man
had gone, the air of perfect confidence had disappeared; he was
shattered and spent--but not yet broken. Pride is more tenacious than
courage; and men with hearts of water will continue to function through

"Looking above his head, where the sky and the sea met in a blanket of
flying spume, I caught sight for an instant of something that resembled
the vague form of a headland. Watching closely, I soon saw it
again--unmistakably the shadow of land to port, well forward, of the
beam. Land! That meant that the wind had shifted to the southward, that
we were being blown against the shore.

"I worked my way cautiously aft, where Lee Fu stood like a man of iron
at the tiller, lashed to the heavy cross-rail that must have been
constructed for such occasions. He saw me coming, leaned toward me.

"'Land!' I shouted, pointing on the port bow.

"He nodded vigorously, to show me that he'd already seen it.
'Recognize--' The rest of the answer was blown away by the wind.

"By pantomime, I called his attention to the shift of the storm. Again
he nodded--then ducked his head in Wilbur's direction, and shouted
something that I couldn't quite follow. 'Change our tactics--we must
change our tactics--' was what I understood him to say.

"He beckoned me to come closer; grasping the cross-rail, I swung down
beside him.

"'I know our position,' he cried in my ear. 'Have no alarm, my friend.
There are two large islands, and a third, small like a button. Watch
closely the button, while I steer. When it touches the high headland,
give me the news instantly.'

"He had hauled the junk a trifle to port, and with every opportunity was
edging toward the land. The tall headland that I'd first sighted grew
plainer with every moment; soon I made out the island like a button and
saw it closing rapidly on the land behind.

"'Now!' I shouted to Lee Fu, when the two had touched.

"He swung the sampan a couple of points to starboard, discovering close
beneath our bows the tip of another reef that stretched toward the land
diagonally across the path of the wind. In a moment we were almost
abreast this point of reef; a hundred yards away, its spray lashed our
decks as the low-lying black rocks caught the broken wash of the storm.
Another swing of the great tiller, and we had hauled up in the lee of
the reef--in quiet water at last, but with the gale still screaming
overhead like a defeated demon.

"It was like nothing but a return from hell. The wind held us in a solid
blast; but to feel the deck grow quiet, to be able to speak, to
hear--and then, to see the land close aboard. By Jove, we were saved!

"A voice spoke gruffly beside us. 'By God, I hope you're satisfied!' We
turned to see Wilbur at the head of the cross-rail. A twitching face
belied the nonchalance that he'd attempted to throw into the words.

"'I don't know how we lived!' he snarled. 'What in the name of God made
you try it? Nothing but luck--and now the typhoon's leaving us. We can
wait here till the blow dies down.'

"'Is that all, Captain, that you have to say?' inquired Lee Fu, his
attention riveted on the course.

"Wilbur clutched the rail as if he would tear it from its fastenings. 'A
damned sight more, you blackguard; but I'll save it for the

"'You feel no thanks for your escape--and there is nothing on your

"'Nothing but sleep--why should there be? Let's wind up this farce and
get to anchor somewhere; I'm fagged out.'

"'No, we are going on,' said Lee Fu calmly, making no move to come into
the wind. 'No time for rest, Captain; the journey is not done.'

"'Going on?' He turned fiercely, and for a moment he and Lee Fu gazed
deep into each other's eyes in a grapple that gave no quarter.

"'Yes, Captain!' cried Lee Fu sharply. 'We have not yet reached the spot
where the "Speedwell" met her doom. Now go! I cannot waste time in

"Since this experience, I've many times examined the charts of the
region," Nichols went on. "But they don't begin to show it all. Beyond
the middle island stretched a larger island, distant some five miles
from the other; and between them lay the most intricate, extraordinary
and terrible nest of reefs ever devised by the mind of the Maker and the
hand of geologic change.

"The outlying fringe of reefs that had broken first approach ended at
the middle island; beyond that to windward lay clear water, and the nest
of reefs that I've mentioned received the full force of the wind and
sea. Five miles of water stretched in mad confusion, a solid whiteness
of spouting foam that seemed to hold a hideous illumination. Beyond the
point of the middle island the long wind-swept rollers burst in tall
columns of spray that shut off the view like a curtain as we drew near,
where the rocks began in an unbroken wall.

"It was directly against this wall that Lee Fu was driving the sampan.
The first lift of the outside swell had already caught us. I held my
breath, as moment by moment we cut down the margin of safety. No use to
interfere; perhaps he knew what he was doing; perhaps he actually had
gone mad under the terrific strain. As he steered, he seemed to be
watching intently for landmarks. Was it possible that he still knew his
bearings, that there was a way through?

"Wilbur, at Lee Fu's command, had left us without a word. He stood at
the rail, supporting himself by main strength, facing the frightful line
of the approaching reefs; and on his back was written the desperate
struggle he was having. It bent and twisted, sagging with sudden
irresolution, writhing with stubborn obduracy, straightening and shaking
itself at times in a wave of firmness and confidence, only to quail once
more before the sight that met his eyes. He couldn't believe that Lee Fu
would hold the course. 'Only another moment!' he kept crying to himself.
'Hold on a little longer!' Yet his will had been sapped by the long
hours of the night and the terror of the dawn; and courage, which with
him had rested only on the sands of ostentation, had crumbled long ago.

"I turned away, overcome by a sickening sensation; I couldn't look
longer. Lee Fu waited tensely, peering ahead and to windward with
lightning glances. A wave caught us, flung us forward. Suddenly I heard
him cry out at my side in exultation as he bore down on the tiller. The
cry was echoed from forward by a loud scream that shot like an arrow
through the thunder. Wilbur had sunk beside the rail. The sampan fell
off, carried high on the wave.

"Then, in a moment like the coming of death, we plunged into the reef. I
have no knowledge of what took place--and there are no words to tell the
story. Solid water swamped us; the thunder of the surf stopped the mind.
But we didn't touch, there was a way through, we had crossed the outer
margin of the reef. We ran the terrible gauntlet of the reef, surrounded
on every hand by towering breakers, lost in the appalling roar of the
elements. Without warning, we were flung between a pair of jagged ledges
and launched bodily on the surface of a concealed lagoon.

"A low rocky island lay in the center of the nest of reefs, with a
stretch of open water to leeward of it, all completely hidden from view
until that moment. The open water ran for perhaps a couple of miles;
beyond it the surf began again in another unbroken line. It would take
us ten minutes to cross the lagoon.

"'Bring Captain Wilbur,' said Lee Fu.

"I crept forward, where Wilbur lay beside the rail, his arm around a
stanchion. He was moaning to himself as if he'd been injured. I kicked
him roughly; he lifted an ashen face.

"'Come aft--you're wanted,' I cried.

"He followed like a dog. Lee Fu, at the tiller, beckoned us to stand
beside him; I pulled Wilbur up by the slack of his coat, and pinned him
against the cross-rail.

"'This is the end,' said Lee Fu, speaking in loud jerks, as he steered
across the lagoon. 'There is no way out, except by the way we came. That
way is closed. Here we can find shelter until the storm passes, if you
will speak. If not, we shall go on. By this time. Captain, you know me
to be a man of my word.'

"'You yellow devil!'

"'Beyond these reefs, Captain, lies the wreck of your ship the
"Speedwell." There my friend met death at your hands. You have had full
time to consider. Will you join him, or return to Hong Kong? A word will
save you. And remember that the moments are passing very swiftly.'

"With a last flicker of obstinate pride, Wilbur pulled himself together
and whirled on us. 'It's a damnable lie!'

"'Very well, Captain. Go forward once more, and reserve your final
explanation for the gods.'

"The flicker of pride persisted; Wilbur staggered off, holding by the
rail. I waited beside Lee Fu. Thus we stood, watching the approach of
the lagoon's leeward margin. Had Lee Fu spoken truthfully; was there no
way out? I couldn't be certain; all I knew was that the wall of spouting
surf was at our bows, that the jaws of death seemed opening again.

"Suddenly Wilbur's head snapped back; he flung up his arms in a gesture
of finality, shaking clenched fists into the sky. He was at the point of
surrender. The torture had reached his vitals. He floundered aft.

"'What is it I must say?' he cried hoarsely, in a voice that by its very
abasement had taken on a certain dignity.

"'Say that you sunk the "Speedwell."'

"His face was shocking; a strong man breaking isn't a pleasant object.
In a flash I realized how awful had been this struggle of the wills. He
came to the decision as we watched, lost his last grip.

"'Of course I did it! You knew it all along! I had no intention--You
madman! For God's sake, haul up, before you're in the breakers!'

"'Show me your insurance money.'

"Wilbur dug frantically in an inside pocket, produced a packet of bank
notes, held them in a hand that trembled violently as the gale fluttered
the crisp leaves.

"'Throw them overboard.'

"For the fraction of a second he hesitated; then all resolution went out
in his eyes like a dying flame. He extended his arm and loosed the
notes; they were gone down the wind before our eyes could follow them.

"In the same instant Lee Fu flung down the great tiller. The sampan came
into the wind with a shock that threw us to the deck. Close under our
lee quarter lay the breakers, less than a couple of hundred yards away.
Lee Fu made frantic signals forward, where the crew were watching us in
utter terror. I felt the centerboard drop; a patch of sail rose on the
main. The boat answered, gathered headway, drove forward--

"Wilbur lay as he had fallen and made no move.

"Two nights later, under a clear starry sky, we slipped through Lymoon
Pass on the tail of the land breeze. It fell flat calm before we reached
Wanchi; the long sweeps were shipped, and the chattering crew, who'd
never expected to see Hong Kong again, fell to work willingly. At length
we rounded to against the bulkhead and settled into our berth, as if
back from a late pleasure trip down the bay.

"A little forward, Wilbur rose to his feet. He hadn't spoken or touched
food since that tragic hour under the reefs two nights before. Without a
glance in our direction, he made for the side and stepped ashore. There
was a bright light behind him; his form stood out plainly. It had lost
the lines of vigor and alertness; it was the figure of a different and
older man.

"A moment later he had lurched away, vanishing in the darkness of a side
street. Three days later, we heard that he had taken the boat for
Singapore. He hasn't been seen or heard of since that day.

"When he had gone, that night at the bulkhead, Lee Fu reached out a hand
to help me to my feet. 'Thank you, Captain,' he said. 'For my part, it
has been supremely interesting. For your part, I hope that you have been

"'It's enough to be alive, just now,' I answered. 'I want a chart, Lee
Fu. I want to see what you did. How you did it is quite beyond my

"'Oh, that? It was not much. The gods were always with us, as you must
have observed. And I know that place pretty well.'

"'Evidently. Did the "Speedwell" fetch up among those reefs, or to
leeward of them?'

"'The "Speedwell?" Captain, you did not believe my little pleasantry! We
were nowhere near the wreck of the "Speedwell," as Captain Wilbur should
have known had he retained his mind.'

"I smiled feebly. 'I didn't know it. Tell me another thing, Lee Fu. Were
you bluffing, there at the last, or wasn't there really a hole through
the reef?'

"'So far as I am aware, Captain, there was no passage,' answered my
imperturbable friend. 'I believe we were heading for the rocks when we
came into the wind.'

"'Would you have piled us up?'

"'That is merely a hypothetical question. I knew that I would not be
forced to do it. I was only afraid that, in the final anguish, Captain
Wilbur would lose his sense of seamanship, and so would wait too long.
That, I confess, would have been unfortunate. Otherwise, there was no
doubt or especial danger.'

"'I'm glad to know it!' I exclaimed, with a shudder of recollection. 'It
wasn't apparent at the time.'

"'No, perhaps not; time was very swift. In fact, he did wait too long.
He was more willful than I had anticipated.'

"I gazed across the harbor, reviewing the experience. 'What did you have
in mind,' I asked, 'before the typhoon shifted? Did you expect to catch
the center?'

"'I had no plan; it is dangerous to plan. There was a task to be begun;
the determination of its direction and result lay with the gods. It was
plain that I had been called upon to act; but beyond that I neither saw
nor cared to see.'

"I could believe him only because I'd witnessed his incredible calm. He
waved a hand toward the city. 'Come, my friend, let us sleep,' he said.
'We have earned our rest. Learn from this never to plan, and always to
beware of overconfidence. It is by straining to look into the future
that men exhaust themselves for present duty; and it is by making their
little plans that men bring down the wrath of the gods. We are their
instruments, molding in faith and humility our various destinies.
Perhaps you thought me unfeeling, but I was only happy. There constantly
were too many propitious signs.'"



(From _All's Well_)

It is not pleasant to have one's convictions disturbed, and that is why
I wish I had never seen that man Rounds. He seems to have crossed my
path only to shake my self-confidence. The little conversation we had
has left me dissatisfied. I look upon my collection with less interest
than I did. I am not as pleased with the result of my investigations as
they appear in my monograph on "The Saurian Family of Equatorial
America." Doubtless the mood that now possesses me will pass away, and I
shall recover my equanimity. His story would have upset most men. Worse
still was his unpleasant habit of interjecting strange opinions. Judge
for yourself.

It was when passing through the Reptile room on my way to the study that
I first saw him. I took him to be a mere common working man passing away
an idle hour; one of the ordinary Museum visitors. Two hours later, I
noticed that he was closely examining the lizard cases. Then later, he
seemed interested in my collection of prints illustrating the living
world of the ante-diluvian period. It was then that I approached him,
and, finding him apparently intelligent, with, as it seemed, a bent
towards lizards, and further, discovering that he had traveled in Peru
and Colombia, took him to the study.

The man had some unusual habits. He was absolutely lacking in that sense
of respect, as I may term it, usually accorded to one in my position.
One who is a professor and curator becomes accustomed to a certain
amount of, well, diffidence in laymen. The attitude is entirely natural.
It is a tribute. But Rounds was not that way. He was perfectly at ease.
He had an air of quiet self-possession. He refused the chair I
indicated, the chair set for visitors and students, and instead, walked
to the window and threw up the lower sash, taking a seat on the sill,
with one foot resting on the floor and the other swinging. Thus, he
looked as though he were prepared to leap, or to jump or run. He gave me
the impression of being on the alert. Without asking permission, he
filled and lit his pipe, taking his tobacco from a queerly made pouch,
and using but one hand in the process.

"What I was looking for," he said, "is a kind of lizard. Yet it is not a
lizard. It is too hard and thin in the body to be that. It runs on its
hind legs. It is white. Its bite is poisonous. It lives in the
equatorial districts of Colombia."

"Have you seen one?" I asked.

"No," was the reply. Then after a moment he asked, "Why?"

"Because there is no such living creature," I said.

"How do you know?" he said abruptly.

"The lizard group is thoroughly classified," I said. "There is nothing
answering to that description. In the first place--"

"Does that make it non-existent? Your classification of what you know?"
he interrupted.

"I have made a study of the Saurians," I said.

"No you haven't," he said. "You have read what other men have written
and that is not the same thing."

"Really," I began, but he broke in.

"I mean to say that you have never been in any new equatorial country,"
he said. "Your manner shows that. You are too quiet. Too easy. Too
sedentary. You would have been killed because of your lack of

That is, as nearly as I can repeat and remember, the opening of the
conversation. There was an air of challenge about the man that I found
unpleasant. Of course I admitted the fact that I was not an explorer
myself, and that mine was the humbler if more tedious task of collecting
and arranging data. At that he said that in his opinion, organized
expeditions were little more than pleasure jaunts taken at the public
expense. His viewpoint was most extraordinary.

"Such an expedition," he said, "must fail in its main purpose because
its very unwieldiness destroys or disperses the very things it was
organized to study. It cannot penetrate the wilds; it cannot get into
the dry lands. The very needs of the men and horses and dogs prevent
that. It must keep to beaten tracks and in touch with the edge of
civilization. The members of such an expedition are mere killers on a
large scale, and to kill or to hunt a thing is to not know it at all.
Further, the men in such expeditions are not hunters even. They are
destroyers who destroy while keeping themselves in safety. They have
their beaters. Their paid natives. Humbug! That's the only word to
describe that kind of thing. Staged effects they have. Then they come
back here to pose as heroes before a crowd of gaping city clerks."

I mentioned the remarkable results obtained by the Peary and Roosevelt
expeditions and pointed to the fact that the specimens brought back and
properly set up by efficient taxidermists, did, in fact, give the common
people some notion of the wonders of animal life.

"Nothing of the kind," he said. "Look at that boa-constrictor you have
out there. It is stuffed and in a glass case. Don't you know that in its
natural surroundings you yourself would come mighty near stepping on one
without seeing it? You would. If you had that thing set up as it should
be, these museum visitors of yours would pass the case believing it was
a mere collection of foliage. They wouldn't see the snake itself. See
what I mean? Set up as they are in real life they'd come near being

The man walked up and down the study floor for half a minute or so, then
paused at the desk and said:

"Don't let us get to entertaining one another though. But remember this,
you only get knowledge at a cost. I mean to say that the man that would
know something, can only get the knowledge at first hand. The people who
wander around this junk shop that you call a museum, go out as empty
headed as they came in. Consider. Say a Fiji islander came here and took
back with him from the United States an electric light bulb, a stuffed
possum, an old hat, a stalactite from the Mammoth cave, a sackful of
pecan nuts, a pair of handcuffs, half a dozen photographs and a dozen
packing cases full of things gathered from here and there, and then set
the whole junk pile up under a roof in the Fiji Islands, what would his
fellow Fijians know from that of the social life of this country. Eh?
Tell me that?"

"You exaggerate," I protested. "You take an extreme point of view."

"I don't," he said.

His contradictions would have made me angry, perhaps, were they not made
in such a quiet tone of voice.

"Take anything from its natural surroundings," he went on, "and it is
meaningless. The dull-eyed men and women that wander through this Museum
of yours are just killing time. There's no education in that kind of
thing. Besides, what they see are dead things, anyway, and you can't
study human nature in a morgue."

He resumed his seat on the window sill, then took from an inner pocket a
leather wallet, and drew from that a photograph which he tossed across
so that it fell on the desk before me. I examined it carefully. It had
been badly developed and badly printed, and what was worse, roughly
handled. But still, one could distinguish certain features.

It pictured the interior of a building. It was roofless, and above the
rear wall was what I recognized as tropical vegetation, mainly by its
wild luxuriance. In the center of the rear wall was what seemed to be a
giant stone lizard, standing on its hind legs. The one foreleg that
showed was disproportionately short. The body, too, was more attenuated
than that of any lizard. The thing was headless and the statue, idol or
whatever it was, stood on a pedestal, and before that again, seemed to
be a slab of stone. Then my attention was caught by the head of the
thing, which was to be seen in a corner. It was shaped roughly
triangular. The jaws were broad at the base and the thing had, even in
the photograph, something of the same repulsive appearance as the head
of a vampire bat.

"It is the result of the imagination of some Indian," I said. "No
post-diluvian Saurian ever existed of that size."

"Good God, man, you jump to conclusions," he said. "This is only a
representation of the thing itself. Made in heroic size, so to say. But
see here!"

He leaned over my shoulder and pointed to a kind of border that ran
along the base of the pedestal. Examining closely, I made out a series
of lizards running on their hind legs.

"They," he explained, "are cut into the stone. It is a sort of red
sandstone. They are a little bigger than the thing itself as it is
living. But look at this."

The particular spot to which he pointed was blurred and dirty, as though
many fingers had pointed to it and I took the magnifying glass for
closer inspection. Even then I only saw dimly as something that bore a
resemblance to the carved figures.

"That," he said, "is as near as ever I came to seeing one of the little
devils. I think it was one of them though I am not sure. I caught sight
of it flashing across like a swiftly blown leaf. We took the picture by
flashlight you see, so I'm not sure. Somerfield, of course, was too busy
attending to his camera. He saw nothing."

"We might have another picture made," I said. "It would be interesting."

"D'ye think I'd be able to carry plunder around traveling as I was
then?" he asked. "You see, I went down there for the Company I'm working
for. I was looking out for rubber and hard woods. I'd worked from
Buenaventura. From Buenaventura down to the Rio Caqueta and then
followed that stream up to the water head, and then down the Codajaz. If
you look at the map, you'll see it's no easy trip. No chance to pack
much. All I wanted to carry was information. And there was only
Somerfield along."

"But Somerfield--he, as I take it, was the photographer, was he not? Did
he not take care of the negatives? It would not have been much for him
to take care of."

"Well you see, he did take care of his negatives. But circumstances were
different at the time. He had laid them away somewhere. After I killed
him, I just brought away the camera and that was all."

Positively, I gasped at the audacity of the man. He said the words "I
killed him," so quietly, in so matter of fact a way, that for the moment
I was breathless. Like most other men, I had never sat face to face with
one who had taken the life of another. Even soldiers, though they, we
suppose, kill men, do it in a machine-like way. The killing is
impersonal. The soldier handles the machine and it is the machine that
kills. The individual soldier does not know whether he kills or not.
That is why we are able to make much of the soldier, perhaps, I have
thought since, though it never appeared to me in that light before I met
Rounds. Actually, we are repelled at the thought of a man who kills
another deliberately. If it were not so, as Rounds pointed out, we would
make a hero of the public executioner. He should be as heroic a figure
as a general. But as I tell you, at the moment, when Rounds said, "when
I killed him," I was shocked. I had never before realized how violence
was a thing apart from my life. I had looked at the representation of
murder on the stage. I had read novels with murder as the mainspring. I
had seen shootings and stabbings in moving pictures. Yet, not until that
moment had I any suspicion that violence was so rare a thing and that
most of our lives are far, far removed from it. Actually, I have never
struck a man, nor has any man ever lifted his hand against me in anger.

It was, therefore, a startling thing to hear Rounds confess to having
killed a fellow man. It was awesome. And yet, let me say, that at once I
was possessed of a great desire to learn all about it, and down in my
heart I feared that he would decide he had said something that he should
not have said, and would either deny his statement or modify it in some
way. I wanted to hear all the details. I was hugely interested. Was it
morbidity? Then I came to myself after what was a shock, and awoke to
the fact that he was talking in his quiet, even way.

"But those Tlingas held the belief, and that was all there was to it,"
he was saying.

I came to attention and said, "Of course. It is natural," for I feared
to have him know that I was inattentive even for that short space, and
waited for elucidations.

"It seems," he went on, "that the tribe was dying out. Helm, who first
told me something of it at Buenaventura, was one of those scientists who
have to invent a new theory for every new thing they were told of. He
said it was either because of eating too much meat, or not enough. I
forget which. There had been a falling off in the birth rate. The
Tocalinian who had lived with them, and who joined us at the headwaters
of the Codajaz, maintained that there had been too much inbreeding. So
there was some arrangement by means of which they invited immigrants, as
it were. Men from other neighboring tribes were encouraged to join the
Tlingas. And they did. The Tlingas had a fat land and welcomed the
immigrants. The immigrants on their part expected to have an easy time."

"That would make for racial improvement," I hazarded.

"Why?" he asked.

"The best from other lands would tend to improve their race. That was my
idea when I spoke," I said.

He laughed quietly. "Something of the same idea that you foster here,"
he said. "I've laughed at that many's the time. America is this, that
and the other; its people are inventive, intelligent, original, free,
independent and all the rest of it because it is a result of the best
blood of other lands. Eh? Lord, man, how you fool yourself! Can't you
see that you would have a far better case if you deplored the fact that
we are a result of the worse? All the fugitives, the poor, the
ill-educated, the unfortunate, the ne'er-do-wells have been swarming
here from Europe for two centuries. Can't you see that no man who could
fight successfully against odds in his own country would emigrate? Can't
you see that? If you said that we are a people that will allow any
active minority to put anything over on us, because we are the result of
generations of poor-spirited fugitives who couldn't fight for their
personal freedom, you would be nearer the mark."

His argument of course was absurd, and at the moment I had no answer
ready, though since I have thought of the thing I should have said. As
Rounds talked, he grew quieter in his tone. He moved from his place on
the window sill and sat on the corner of my desk. I had forgotten my
uneasiness at being in the presence of one who had taken his fellow's
life. He went on:

"When there's a falling birth rate, things change. There are manners and
customs evolved that would seem strange to you. There come laws and
religions, all made to match current requirements. Celibacy and
sterility become a crime. Virginity becomes a disgrace, a something to
be ridiculed."

"It seems impossible," I said.

"No," he said. "You have that in part. You ridicule what you call old
maids, don't you?"

Again I was too slow with my reply. If I ever meet him again, I shall
show him the fallacy of many of his arguments.

"Men with most children had the most to say. The childless were
penalized, were punished. The sterile were put to death. There grew up a
religion and a priesthood, ceremonials, sacrifices and rituals. And they
had their god, in the shape of this lizard thing. Of course, like most
other gods, it was more of a malevolent creature than anything else.
Gods generally are if you will consider a little. I don't care what
creed or religion gets the upper hand, it's Fear that becomes the power.
Look around and see if I'm not right.

"Well, Somerfield and I walked into that kind of thing. Now like me, he
had worked for the Exploration Company a good few years and had been to
all kinds of places prospecting. Torres Straits, the Gold Coast,
Madagascar, Patagonia. We prospectors have to get around in queer
corners and the life's a dull one. All monotony. But Somerfield had
queer notions. He worked at the job because he could make more money
than at anything else and that gave him a chance to keep his family in
Ohio in comfort. He was mighty fond of his family. Besides, the job gave
him more time with the wife and kids than the average man gets. When he
was at home, he was at home three months on end at times. That's better
than the ordinary man. A man in a city, for example, leaves home early
and gets home late, and then he's too grouchy what with the close air
and one thing and another to find the children anything but an infernal
nuisance. Now a man away from his home for a long spell on end really
enjoys the company when he does get home, and they enjoy his company,
too. Then, too, he does not get to messing into the affairs of the
family. He's not the Lord Almighty and Supreme Court Judge all the time.
Besides that, the wife and children get a kind of independence.

"Now this being so, Somerfield was what he was. He had ideas about
religion. He was full of the notion that things are arranged so that if
you live up to a certain code, you'll get a reward. 'Do right, and
you'll come out right,' was one of his sayings. 'The wages of sin is
death,' was another. Point out to him that virtue got paid in the same
coin, and he'd argue. No use. In a way he was like a man who wouldn't
walk under a ladder or spill salt. You know.

"Naturally, for him things were awkward at the Tlinga village. We stayed
there quite a while, I should say. He lived in his own shack, cooking
for himself and all that. He was full of ideas of duty to his wife and
so on. I fell in with the local customs and took up with a sweetheart,
and handled things so well that there was one of their ceremonials
pretty soon in which I was central figure. Ista, it seems, made a public
announcement. That would be natural enough with a tribe so concerned
about the family birth rate. But it made me sorter mad to hear the
natives everlastingly accusing Somerfield of being an undesirable. But
they never let up trying to educate him and make him a Tlinga citizen.
They were patient and persistent enough. On the other hand, I was looked
on as a model young man, and received into the best society.

"About the time we were ready to strike west, Ista, that was my girl,
told me that there would have to be a new ceremonial. She took my going
in good part, for there was nothing more I could do. They were sensible
enough to know that man was only an instrument in the great game as they
understood it. Ista had led me out to a quiet place to put me next. I
remember that vividly because of a little thing that happened that
doesn't mean anything. I often wonder why resultless things sometimes
stick in the mind. We were sitting at the base of a tall tree and there
was a certain bush close by with bright red berries when they were
unripe. They look good to eat. But when they ripened, they grew fat and
juicy, the size of a grape, and of a liverish color. I thought that one
of them had fallen on my left forearm and went to flick it off. Instead
of being that, the thing burst into a blood splotch as soon as I hit it.
That was the first time I had been bitten by one of those bugs. They are
about the size of a sheep tick when empty, but they get on you and suck
and suck, till they are full of your blood and size of a grape. Queer
things, but ugly. Ista laughed as you would laugh if you saw a nigger
afraid of a harmless snake. It's queer that it should be considered a
joke when one fears something that another does not.

"But that has nothing to do with the story. What has, is that Ista
wanted to tell me about the ceremonial. She did not believe in it at
all. Privately, she was a kind of atheist among her people, but kept her
opinions to herself. You must not think that because you see, hear or
read of savage rites, that all the savages believe in those things. No
sir. There is as much disbelief amongst them as with us. Perhaps more.
They think things out. I might say that in a way they think more than
the average civilized man. You see, a civilized child thinks for itself
up until it is six or seven or so, and then the schools get hold of it,
and from then on, it's tradition and believing what it's told to
believe. That goes on through school life. Then at work, the man who
would dare to vary on his own account is not wanted. So independent
thought is not possible there. Work finished, it's the evening paper and
editorial opinions. So really, man does not get much of a chance to
think straight at any time. I guess if he did, the whole scheme would
fall to pieces. That's why I say civilized man does not only not think,
but perhaps can't think. His brains are not trained to it. Give the
average man something with real, straight, original, first-hand thought
in it, and he's simply unable to tackle it. His brain has not been
cultivated. He wilts mentally. It's like putting the work of a man on a
boy. Catch what I mean? Now a savage gets more of a chance. It was that
way with Ista. She had thought out things for herself and had her own
beliefs, but they were not the beliefs the Tlingas were supposed to
hold. But after all she did not tell me much besides her own disbeliefs.
When you think of it, no one can tell another much. What you know you
have to discover alone. All she told me was what was going to be done,
and that was about as disappointing as the information you might get
about what would take place in initiation in a secret society. Some was
lost in transmission.

"Well, at last the ceremonial started up with a great banging of drums
and all that. It was a great scene, let me tell you, with the tumbled
vegetation, glaringly colored as if a scene painter had gone crazy.
There were the flashing birds--blood-colored and orange scarlet and
yellow, gold and green. Butterflies, too,--great gaudy things that
looked like moving flowers. And the noise and chatterings and whistlings
in the trees of birds and insects. There were flowers and fruits, and
eatings and speech-makings. As far as I could gather, the chief speakers
were congratulating the hearers upon their luck in belonging to the
Tlingas, which was the greatest tribe on earth and the favorite of Naol,
the lizard god. We capered round the tribal pole, I capering with the
rest of them of course. Somerfield took a picture of it. Then there was
a procession of prospective mothers with Ista among them. Rotten, I
thought it. Don't imagine female beauty, by the way, as some of the
writers on savage life would have you imagine it. Nothing of the kind.
White, black or yellow, I never saw a stark woman that looked beautiful
yet. That's all bunk. Muscular and strong, yes. That's a kind of beauty
in its way. True as God, I believe that one of the causes of unhappy
marriages among white folk is that the lads are fed upon false notions
about womanly beauty, and when they get the reality they think that
they've captured a lemon.

"Presently the crowd quieted down and the men were set around in a
semicircle with me and Somerfield at the end. Then a red-eyed old hag
tottered out and began cursing Somerfield. She spat in his face and
called him all outrageous names that came to her vindictive tongue.
Luckily it was that he had been put next, and so, forewarned, was able
to grin and bear it. But Lord, how she did tongue-lash him. Then she
took a flat piece of wood, shaped like a laurel leaf, which was fastened
to a thin strip of hide, and showed him that. It was a kind of charm,
and on it was cut one of the running lizards. She wanted him to rub it
on his forehead. Of course with his notions of religion he wouldn't do
it. That's natural. When she passed it to me, I did what she wanted
done. I never was particular that way. Symbols mean nothing anyway and
if fools are in the majority, it's no use stirring up trouble. It's
playing a lie of course, but then that's the part of wisdom it seems to
me, sometimes. It's in a line with protective coloring. You remember
what I said about the proper mounting of your specimens don't you? Well,
it's like that. That's why persecutions have never stamped out opinions
nor prohibitions appetites. The wisest keep their counsel and go on as
usual. The martyrs are the weak fools. But let's see. Where was I? Oh,
yes. The old woman and the piece of wood.

"She began running from this one to that, kind of working herself up
into a frenzy. Then she started to chant some old nonsense. There was a
rhythm to it. She sang:

    'Nao calls for the useless.'

"Then the rest of them would shout

    'Nao calls. Nao calls.'

"There was a terrible lot of it. The main purport was that this Nao was
the ruling devil or god of the place. It called for the sacrifice of the
useless. Many men were needed so that the one should be born who would
lead the Tlingas to victory. That was the tone of it, and at the end of
every line she sang, the crowd joined in with the refrain.

    'Nao calls. Nao calls.'

"Of course they became worked up. She handled them pretty much the same
as a skillful speaker does things at a political meeting or an
evangelist at a revival. The same spirit was there. Instead of a flag,
there was the tribal pole. There was the old gag of their nation or
tribe being the chosen one. I don't care where you go, there is always
the same thing. Every tribe and nation is cock-sure that theirs is the
best. They have the bravest and the wisest men and the best women. But I
kept nudging Somerfield. It was hard on him. He was the Judas and the
traitor and all that. 'Damn-fool superstition,' he muttered to me time
and again. But of course he was a bit nervous, and so was I. Being in
the minority is awkward. The human brain simply isn't strong enough to
encounter organized opposition. It wears. You spend too much energy
being on the defensive.

"After a time, when the song was done, the old hag seemed pretty well
played out. Then she passed the piece of wood I told you of to a big
buck, and he started to whirling it round and round. He was a skillful
chap at the trick, and in a little had it whirling and screaming. Then
presently some of the birds fell to noise making just as you will hear
canaries sing when some one whistles, or women talk when a piano
commences to play. I saw something of the same down in Torres Straits.
They call it the Twanyirika there. In the Malay Peninsula they use
something of the kind to scare the elephants out of the plantations.
They've got it on the Gold Coast as well. It's called the Oro there.
Really it's all over the world. I've seen Scotch herd boys use something
like it to scare the cattle, and Mexican sheep herders in Texas to make
the sheep run together when they scatter too far. Of course there's
really nothing to be scared of, but when it comes near you, you feel
inclined to duck. To me, it was the feeling that the flat piece of wood
would fly off and hit me. You always duck when you hear a whizzing.
Still, the priests or medicine men trade on the head-ducking tendency.
So, somehow, in the course of time, it gets so that those that listen
have to bow down. Oh, yes! You say it's ridiculous and fanciful and all
that sort of thing. I know. I have heard others say the same. It's only
a noise and nothing to be scared of. But then, when you come to think of
it, most men are scared of noise. They're like animals in that respect.
What is a curse but a noise? Yet most men are secretly afraid of
curses. They're uneasy under them. Yet they know it's only noise. Then
look at thunderings from the pulpit. Look at excommunications. Look at
denunciations. All noises to be sure. But there's the threat of force
behind some of them. The blow may come and again it may not.

"As I said, every one bowed down and of course so did I, on general
principles. Somerfield didn't and the old buck whirled that bull-roarer
over him ever so long, and the red-eyed hag cursed and spat at him, but
he never budged. That sort of conduct is damned foolishness according to
my notion. But then, you see, in a kind of a way he was backing his
prejudices against theirs and prejudices are pretty solid things when
you consider. Still, he took a hell of a chance.

"On the trail next day, for we left the following morning, I argued with
him about that, but he couldn't be budged. He said he stood for truth
and all that kind of thing. I put it to him that he would expect any
foreigner to conform to his national customs. He'd expect a Turk to give
up his polygamy, I said, no matter what heart-breakings it cost some of
the family. But he had a kink in his thinking, holding that his people
had the whole, solid, unchanging truth. Of course, the argument came
down with a crash then, for it worked around to a question of what is
truth. There you are. There was the limit. So we quit. As I tell you,
the human brain is not constituted to do much thinking. It's been
crippled by lack of use. We are mentally stunted in growth. I remember
that I began to say something about the possibility of there being
several gods, meaning that some time or other men with imagination had
defied some natural thing, but it came to me that I was talking
nonsense, so I quit. Yet I know right well that many tribes have made
gods of things of which they were afraid. But it's small profit to

"It was near sundown when we came to that building shown in that
photograph. The vegetation was so thick thereabouts that the temple, for
I suppose it was that, appeared before us suddenly. One moment we were
crawling like insects between the trunks of great jungle trees that shot
upwards seventy feet or more without a branch, as if they were racing
for dear life skyward, and then everything fell away and there was the
old building. It startled the both of us. We got the sensation that you
get when you see a really good play. You forget your bodily presence and
you are only a bundle of nerves. You walk or sit or stand, but without
any effort or knowledge that you are doing it. We had been talking, and
the sight of that building, so unexpected, startled us into silence. It
would any one. Believe me, your imperturbable man with perfect, cool,
self-possession does not exist. Man's a jumpy thing, given to nerves.
You may deny it and talk about the unexcitability of the American
citizen and all that bunk, but let me tell you that your journalists and
moving picture producers and preachers and politicians have caught on to
the fact that man is jumpy, and they trade on their discovery, believe
me. They've got man on the hop every which way and keep him going.

"There had been a gateway there once, but for some reason or other it
had become blocked with a rank vegetation. The old gap was chocked full
with a thorny, flower-bearing bush so thick that a cat could not have
passed through. Somerfield switched on one of his theories as soon as he
got over his first surprise. Worshipers, he held, had brought flowers
there and the seeds that had dropped had sprouted. It looked reasonable.

"Above the lintel was carved one of those running lizards. That you
noticed early. You can't see that in the picture because we took that
from the edge of a broken wall. You see, all the walls stood except that
to the left of this doorway and that had partly fallen and what was left
was chin high. We saw at a glance that the people who had built that
temple were handy with tools. The stones of the wall were quite big--two
feet or more square, and fitted closely. There was no mortar to hold
them but the ends had been made with alternate grooves and projections
that fitted well. The stone was a kind of red sandstone. But I told you
that before.

"When we looked over the broken wall and saw that stone lizard, we had
another shock. I don't care how you school yourself, there's a scare in
every man. That's what annoys me, to see men posing and letting
themselves be written up and speechified over as fearless. Fearless
General this and Admiral that. Our fearless boys in the trenches. It
sickens me. Why the whole race has been fed up on fear for ages.
Fearlessness is impossible. Hell-fire, boogermen, devils, witches, the
wrath of God--it's all been fear. Things that we know nothing of and
have no proof of have been added to things that we do know of that will
hurt, and, on top of that there has been the everlasting 'cuidado' lest
you say a word that will run foul of current opinion--so what wonder
that man is scary? It's a wonder that he's sane.

"After we took that picture we debated for the first time where we
should camp that night. A new scare possessed us. In the end, we decided
to camp inside the temple because of the greater security afforded by
the walls. The truth is that some half fear of a giant lizard had gotten
hold of us. So, as it was the lizard that scared us, we decided to stay
in the lizard temple. Man's built that way. He likes to keep close to
the thing that he fears. I heard a man who was a banker once say that he
always mistrusted the man who would not take a vacation. As I take it,
his idea was that the man who knew some danger was nigh, wanted to be
around where he could catch the first intimation of a crash. But then,
too, besides that, there is a sense of comfort in being within walls,
especially with a floor paved as this one was. Besides, it was a change
from the trees with their wild-tangled vines and their snake-like
lianas. So we decided on the temple.

"That night I was a long time getting to sleep. The memory of the old
hag and the bull-roarer was in my mind. I kept thinking of Ista, too. It
was a warmer night than usual, and, after the moon dropped, pitchy dark.
I slept stripped as I generally do, with a light blanket across my legs
so that I could find it if needed without waking up.

"I awoke presently, feeling something run lightly and swiftly across my
face. I thought it was a spider. It seemed to run in a zig-zag. Then
feeling nothing more I set it down to fancy and dropped off to sleep
again, face turned towards that idol. Later, I felt the same kind of
thing run across my neck. I knew it was no fancy then, and my scare
vanished because here was something to do. So I waited with my right
hand poised to grab. I waited a long time, too, but I have lots of
patience. Presently it ran down my body starting at my left shoulder and
I brought down my hand at a venture, claw fashion, and caught the thing
on the blanket. I felt the blanket raise and then fall again, just a
little, of course, as I lifted my hand with the thing in it, and by that
knew that it had claws. Yet bet I held tight. It seemed to be hard and
smooth. It was a wiry, wriggling thing, somewhat like a lizard. But it
was much more vigorous than any lizard. I tried to crush it, but could
not. As to thickness, it seemed to be about the diameter of one of those
lead pencils. It was like this I had it."

Rounds picked up a couple of lead pencils from the desk and took my hand
in his. He told me to close my fist and then placed one pencil
lengthwise so that an end of it was between my first and second finger
and the rubber-tipped end lay across my wrist. The other pencil he
thrust crosswise so that the pointed end stuck out between the second
and third finger and the blunt end between the index finger and thumb.

"There you have it," he said. "That's how I held the little devil. Now
grip hard and try to crush the pencils and you'll have something of the
same sensation as I had. Holding it thus, I could feel its head jerking
this way and that, violently, and its tail, long and lithe, lashing at
my wrist. The little claws were trying to tear, but they were evidently
softish. I could hear, or thought I could, the snap of its little jaws.
It was about the nastiest sensation that I ever experienced. I don't
know why I thought that it was venomous, but I did. I tried to smash the
thing in my hand--tried again and again, and I have a good grip--but
might just as well have tried to crush a piece of wire. There was no
give to it. It tried to wriggle backwards but I had it under its jaws.
So there we were: it wriggling, writhing and lashing and me laying there
holding it at arms length. I felt the sweat start on me and the hair at
the nap of my neck raise up, and I did some quick and complicated
thinking. Of course, I dared not throw it away, but I got to my feet and
as I did so, tried to bend its head backwards against the stone floor.
But the head slipped sideways. I called on Somerfield for a light then,
and he struck one hurriedly and it went out immediately. All that I saw
was that the thing was white and had a triangular shaped head.

"Somehow I ran against Somerfield before he got another match struck and
he swore at me, saying that I had cut him. I knew that I had touched him
with my outstretched hand that held the beast. I drew back my hand a
little and remembered afterwards that I then felt a slight, elastic
resistance as if the thing that I held had caught on to something, as it
had before to my blanket. Afterwards I found that the thing had gotten
Somerfield's neck. As he struck another match, I saw the low place in
the wall and flung the thing away with a quick jerk. You know the kind
of a motion you'd make getting rid of some unseen noxious thing like
that. That's how I never really saw the beast and can only conjecture
what it was like from the feel of it.

"On Somerfield's neck, just below the angle of the jaw, was a clean-cut
little oval place about half an inch in length. It did not bleed much,
but it seemed to pain him a lot. He maintained that the thing was some
kind of rodent. Anyway we put a little chewed tobacco on the place and,
after awhile, tried to sleep again. We didn't do much good at it,
neither of us. He was tossing and grumbling like a man with the

"Next morning the bitten place had swollen up to the size of an apple
and was a greenish yellow color. He was feeling sick and a bit feverish,
so I made him comfortable after looking around to see whether there was
anything to harm him in the courtyard, and went to hunt water. I
remember that I gave the head of the idol a kick with the flat of my
foot for spite, as I passed it. Like a kid, that was, wasn't it? Now I
was running back and forth all the morning with the canteen, for he
drank a terrible quantity. His eyes grew bright, too, and his skin
flushed. Towards noon, he began to talk wild, imagining that he was at
home. Then I judged it best to let him stay there in the temple where
he was, so to speak, corraled. Coming back shortly after from one
water-hunting trip, I heard singing, and, looking over the wall, saw him
sitting on the slab in front of the idol. He must have fancied that he
had his kids before him for he was beating time with his hands and
snapping his fingers and thumbs and singing:

    'London bridge is fallen down,
     Fallen down, fallen down.'

"It was rotten to hear that out there, but I was halfway glad to see him
that way, knowing that he wasn't miserable. After a little, he quit
babbling and took more water; emptied the canteen, in fact, so back I
had to start for more.

"Returning, I found things changed. He was going around, crouched like a
hunting Indian, peering here and there, behind the idol then across to
the head as if seeking some one. He had the _facon_ in his hand. 'Rounds
stabbed me,' he was saying. 'It was Rounds, damn him, that killed me.'
Over and over again he said that. He was talking to invisible people,
creatures of his mad brain. One would have thought, if one had not seen,
that the temple court was crowded with spectators. Then he rose to his
feet and, with the knife held close to his breast, began walking round
and round as if seeking an outlet. He passed me once, he on one side of
the wall and I on the other, and he looked me square in the eye, but
never saw me. So round and round he went with long strides, knees bent
and heels never touching the ground. He eyes were fixed and staring and
his teeth clenched. Now and then he made long, slashing stabs in the air
with the _facon_.

"Suddenly he saw me, and there was a change. The blood lust was in his
eyes. He was standing on the slab in front of the idol, then made a
great leap and started for the broken wall where I was. I saw then that
the lump on his neck had swollen to the size of a big goitre. His whole
body was a-quiver. There was an animal-like celerity in his movements
that made me shudder. Then I knew that I dared not let him get on the
same side of the wall as me. But he leaped at the gap from a distance
that I would have thought no human could compass, and hung on to the
wall with one arm over. He snarled like an animal. Then I smashed him
over the head with the canteen, gripping the strap with my right hand.
He fell back with the force of the blow, but immediately came at the gap
again, then changed his mind and went to tearing around the chamber with
great leaps. He was a panther newly caged. He sprang on to the head of
the idol and from that to the pedestal, and then to the slab in front of
it. Then he went across and across the floor, sometimes screaming and
yelling, and then again moaning and groaning. One side of his face was
all bloody where I had smashed it with the canteen. Seeing him so, a
thing not human, but with all the furtive quickness of an animal and its
strength, too, I felt sorry no more. I hated him with a wild hate. He
was dangerous to me and I had to conquer him. That's fundamental. So I
stood, gripping the strap of the canteen, watching, waiting. He came at
me again, striding and leaping. That time he got one leg over with both
hands gripping the top stones. The _facon_ he dropped on my side of the
wall, but I had no time to stoop for it just then. There were other
things to do. He was getting over. It took some frantic beating with the
canteen and he seemed to recover from the blows quicker than I could get
the swing to strike again. But I beat him down at last, though I saw
that he had lots more life in him than I, with that devil of madness
filling him. So, when I saw him stumble, then recover and begin that
running again, I picked up the knife and leaped over the wall to settle
the matter once and for all. It was an ugly thing to do, but it had to
be done and done quickly. At the root of things it's life against life."

Rounds ceased and fell to filling his pipe. I waited for him to
recommence, but he made as if to leave, but paused a moment at my desk
to pick up and examine a piece of malachite. I felt it incumbent upon me
to say something to relieve the tension that I felt.

"I understand," said I. "It was a horrible necessity. It is a terrible
thing to have to kill a fellow creature."

"That wasn't a fellow creature," he said. "What I killed was not the
partner I knew. Don't you understand?"

"Yes, I understand," I replied. Then I asked, "Did you bury him?"

"Bury him? What for? How?" Rounds seemed indignant. "How could I bury
him in a stone-paved court? How could I lift a dead man over a wall chin

"Of course. Of course," I said. "I had forgotten that. But to us who
lead quiet lives, it seems terrible to leave a dead man unburied."

"Do you feel that way about that mummy you have out there?" he asked,
indicating the museum with his thumb. "If not, why not? But if you want
the story to the bitter end, I dragged him to the only clean spot in the
place, which was that slab in front of the idol. There I left him, or
it. But things take odd turns. By the time I got back to the Tlinga
village, they knew all about it and the priests used the affair to their
own advantage. Mine was incidental. Yet I did reap some benefit.
According to the priests, I had accepted the whole blessed lizard
theory, or religion or whatever it was, and had sacrificed the
unbeliever to the lizard god. Ista helped things along, I suspect, for
with me as a former mate, there was some fame for her. Anyway, they met
and hailed me as a hero and brought tribute to me. Gold dust. I wanted
them to quit their damned foolishness and tried to explain, but it was
no use. You can't teach a mob to have sense. Well, adios. But remember
this: Don't be too cocksure."



(From _the Dial_)

They were two figures under the grey of the Dome--two straight faint
figures of black; they were a man and woman with heads bowed,
straight--under the surge of the Dome.


Friday night, when always he broke away in order to pray in the _Schul_,
and when she sat in the shop and had to speak with the customers who
came, these praying hours of Friday night. _Shabbas_ morning at least he
did not go also.--My heart tells me it is wrong. Lord, forgive me for
Esther and for my little girl. Lord, you know it is for them I do not go
to _Schul_ on _Shabbas_ morning.--But by God, you will keep the store
those two hours Friday! Do you hear? By God, what else have I ever asked
you for? Don't you sit around, do nothing all the day, and aren't
Flora's clothes a filth? and hardly if you'll cook our meals. But this
you will do: this you will do! Friday nights. Lord, why is there no
light in Esther? What have I done, Lord? what have I not done?

She sat in a chair, always, near the side wall: her eyes lay burning
against the cold glare of the gas.

Above her shoulder on the wall was a large sheet of fashions: women with
wasp waists, smirking, rolling: stiff men, all clothes, with little
heads. Under the table--where Meyer sits with his big feet so much to
look at--Flora played, a soiled bundle, with a ball of yarn and a huge
gleaming scizzors.--No one perhaps comes, and then I do not mind sitting
and keeping the store. I saw a dead horse in the street.--A dead horse,
two days dead, rotting and stiff. Against the grey of the living street,
a livid dead horse: a hot stink was his cold death against the street's
clean-ness. There are two little boys, wrapped in blue coat, blue
muffler, leather caps. They stand above the gaunt head of the horse and
sneer at him. His flank rises red and huge. His legs are four strokes
away from life. He is dead. The naughty boys pick up bricks. They stand,
very close, above the head of the horse. They hurl down a brick. It
strikes the horse's skull, falls sharp away. They hurl down a brick. It
cuts the swollen nostril, falls soft away. The horse does not mind, the
horse does not hurt. He is dead.

--Go away, you two! Throwing stones at a dead horse! Go away, I say! How
would you like--When one is dead, stones strike one's skull and fall
sharp away, one is moveless. When one is dead, stones strike the soft of
one's throat and fall soft away, one is hurtless. When one is dead one
does not hurt.

She sat and turned her eyes away from her child. Flora had smear on her
face; her hands were grimed with the floor. One of her stockings was
down: her little white knee was going to scrape on the floor, be black
before it was bloody. So--A long shining table under a cold gas spurt. A
store with clothes and a stove: no place for herself. A row of suits,
all pressed and stiff with Meyer's diligence. A pile of suits, writhed
with the wear of men, soiled, crumpled with traffic of streets, with
bending of bodies in toil, in eating, in loving perhaps. Grimed living
suits. Meyer takes an iron and it steams and it presses hard, it sucks
up the grime. It sucks out the life from the suit. The suit is stiff and
dead, now, ready to go once more over the body of a man and suck to
itself his life.

The automatic bell clangs. There in the open door was a dark tall

Esther stood, too. She felt she was shorter and less tidy: more
beautiful though.

Two women across the tailor-shop, seeing each other.

"I came for my husband's--for Mr. Breddan's dress suit. Mr. Lanich told
him it would be ready at seven?"

Esther Lanich moved, Sophie Breddan stood. Between slow dark curve,
swift dark stroke of these two women, under a tailor's table the burn of
a dirty child, mumbling intent with scizzors between her soiled frail
legs, at play with loose hair.

"Is this the one?"

The curve and the stroke came near across the table.


Eyes met.--She is tidy and fresh, less beautiful, though, than I. She
has no child. She has a flat with Sun and a swell husband who wears a
swallow-tail and takes her out to parties. She has a diamond ring, her
corsets are sweet. She has things to put into her time like candies into
her mouth, like loved kisses into my mouth. She is all new with her
smooth skin going below the collar of her suit.

--She has a child, and she lets her play dirty with scizzors under a
tailor table. "How much is it?"--After a decent bedtime.

--Does she think I care about this? "Oh, no hurry. Better come in and
pay my--Mr. Lanich. Any time."

The clang of the bell.

Esther is seated. Her grey tilted eyes seem sudden to stand upon the
farther wall of her husband's shop, and to look upon her. Her eyes speak
soft warm words that touch her hair, touch her lips, lie like caressing
fingers upon the soft cloth that lies upon her breast.

--Less beautiful than I, though. My flesh is soft and sweat, it is the
colour of cream. What for? My hair is like an autumn tree gleaming with
sun. I can let it fall through the high channel of my breast against my
stomach that does not bulge but lies soft and low like a cushion of
silk. What for? My eyes see beauty. What for? O there is no God. If
there is God, what for?--He will come back and work. He will eat and
work. He is kind and good. What for? When he is excited with love,
doesn't he make an ugly noise with his nose? What else does he make with
his love?--Another like Flora? God forbid. What for?

She did not pull down the wide yellow shade, though it was night. The
street was a ribbon of velvet blackness laid beside the hurting and
sharp brightness of the store. The yellow light was hard like grains of
sand under the quick of her nails. She was afraid of the street. She was
hurt in the store. But the brightness clamped her. She did not move.--O
let no more customers come! "Keep quiet, Flora." I can not move.--She
was clamped.

But the store moved, moved.

There was a black wheel with a gleaming axle--the Sun--that sent light
dimming down its spokes as it spun. From the rim of the wheel where it
was black, bright dust flung away as it spun. The store was a speck of
bright dust. It flung straight. It moved along the velvet path of the
street, touching, not merging with its night. It moved, it moved, she
sat still in its moving. The store caught up with Meyer. He entered the
store. He was there. He was there, scooped up from the path of the
street by the store. Now her work was over. He was there. The store was
a still store, fixed in a dirty house. Its brightness the spurt of two
jets of gas. He was back from _Schul_.--That is all.

A man with blond hair, flat feet that shuffled, small tender hands. A
man with a mouth gentle, slow; with eyes timid to see. "Come dear: that
is no place."--Why she lets the child play with my shears!

Tender hands pull Flora from beneath the table. Flora comes blinking,
unprotesting. Where her father's hands leave off from her, she stays.
She sinks back to the floor. She looks at her little fists from which
the scizzors are gone. She misses hard gleaming steel. She opens and
shuts her fists and looks at them: she cries. But she does not
move.--Her mother does not move.--Her father does not move. He squats on
the table. His head sways with his thoughts. He knows that Flora will
stop--what can he do?--in perhaps half an hour. It is a weak cry. Grows
weaker. He is used to it. There is work.

He sews. 'A woman of valour who can find? For her price is far above
rubies'--She will stay here, stay here silent. Flora should be in bed.
Who to put his child in bed? Hard gas-light on her beloved hair? A
wither, a wilt--'She is like the merchant ships; she bringeth her food
from afar'--He sews and rips.--What, Lord, have I left undone? I love my
Esther.--He sews.--I love my little girl. Lord, I fear the Lord--'She
looketh well to the ways of the household, and eateth not the bread of
idleness.'--Lighten me, Lord, give me light. There is my daughter
crying, who should sleep: and my wife sitting, who will not, who will
never without me go home. She is afraid. She says she is afraid. She is
sullen and silent. She is so fair and sweet against my heart. Lord! why
did her hands that held my head speak a lie? and her silent lips that
she let press upon my mouth, why were they lies? Lord, I cannot
understand. Lord, I pray. I must sew bread for Esther and for my child.
I go to _Schul_ at least once each _Shabbas_, Lord--Do I not fill the
deep ten Penitential Days from _Rosh Ha Shonoh_ to _Yom Ha Kippurim_
with seeking out of heart?--He sews, he rips. The weeping of his child
is done. Long stitches, here. She has found a chair's leg to play with.
Her moist fingers clasp at the shrill wood. The wooden chair and her
soft flesh wrestle. Esther sits still. He sews.

    'Her children arise, and call her blessed;
    Her husband also, and he praiseth her;
    --Many daughters have done valiantly,
    But thou excellest them all.--
    Grace is deceitful and beauty is vain;
    But a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
    Give her of the fruit of her hands;
    And let her works praise her in the gates.'


In the door and the clang again of the bell, a boy with them. A boy they
knew--son of their neighbours--big for his years and heavy, with fat
lips, eyes clouded, hair black and low over his clouded eyes. Esther
alone saw, as he lurched in, one foot dragging always slightly.

He went for little Flora with no greeting for them: familiarly as he
knew he would find her, had come so, often.--He loves her. The man who
squats on the table and sews smiles on the boy who loves and plays with
his child.

"Hello, kid," voice of a thick throat, "look--what I got for you here."

Flora lets the chair of her late love lurch against her back, strike her
forward. She does not care. She watches two hands--grey-caked over
red--unwrap from paper a dazzle of colours, place it to her eyes on the
floor, pull with a string: it has little wheels, it moves!

"Quackle-duck," he announces.

Flora spreads out her hands, sinks on her rump, feels its green head
that bobs with purple bill, feels its yellow tail.

"Quackle-duck--yours," says the boy.

She takes the string from his hand. With shoulder and stomach she swings
her arm backward and pulls. The duck spurts, bobbing its green long head
against her leg.

She plays. The boy on his knees with soiled thick drawers showing
between his stockings and his pants plays with her.--

Meyer Lanich did not cease from work, nor his woman from silence. His
face was warm in pleasure, watching his child who had a toy and a
playmate.--I am all warm and full of love for Herbert Rabinowich:
perhaps some day I can show him, or do something for his father. Now
there was no way but to go on working, and smile so the pins in his
mouth did not prick.

The eyes of Esther drew a line from these two children back to the birth
of the one that was hers. She dwelt in a world about the bright small
room like the night: in a world that roared and wailed, that reeled with
despair of her hope.

She had borne this dirty child all clean beneath her heart. Her belly
was sweet and white, it had borne her: her breasts were high and proud,
they had emptied, they had come to sag for this dirty child on the
floor--face and red lips on a floor that any shoes might step.

Had she not borne a Glory through the world, bearing this stir of
perfect flesh? Had she not borne a song through the harsh city? Had she
not borne another mite of pain, another fleck of dirt upon the city's

She lies in her bed burned in sweet pain. Pain wrings her body, wrings
her soul like the word of the Lord within lips of Deborah. Her bed with
white sheets, her bed with its pool of blood is an altar where she lays
forth her Glory which she has walking carried like a song through the
harsh city.--What have I mothered but dirt?--

A transfigured world she knows she will soon see. Yes: it is a flat of
little light--and the bugs seep in from the other flats no matter how
one cleans--it is a man of small grace, it is a world of few windows.
But her child will be borne to smite life open wide. Her child shall
leap above its father and its mother as the sun above forlorn
fields.--She arose from her bed. She held her child in her arms. She
walked through the reeling block with feet aflame. She entered the
shop.--There--squatting with feet so wide to see--her man: his needle
pressed by the selfsame finger. The world was not changed for her child.
Behold her child changing--let her sit for ever upon her seat of
tears--let her lay like fire to her breast this endless vision of her
child changing unto the world.--

    --I have no voice, I have no eyes. I am a woman who has
        lain with the world.
    The world's voice upon my lips gave my mouth gladness.
    The world's arms about my flanks gave my flesh glory.
    I was big with gladness and glory.
    Joyful I lost in love of my vision my eyes, in love of my
        song my voice.
    I have borne another misery into the world.--

Meyer Lanich moves, putting away the trousers he has patched.--O Lord,
why must I sew so many hours in order to reap my pain? Why must I work
so long, heap the hard wither of so many hours upon my child who can not
sleep till I do, in order that all of us may be unhappy?

       *       *       *       *       *

The clang and the door open. The mother of the boy.

"Oh, here you are! Excuse me, friends. I was worrying over
Herbert.--Well, how goes it?"

She smiled and stepped into the room: saw them all.

"All well, Mrs. Rabinowich," said Meyer. "We are so glad when your
Herbert comes to play with Florchen."

Mrs. Rabinowich turns the love of her face upon the children who do not
attend her. A grey long face, bitterly pock-marked, in a glow of love.

"Look what your Herbert brought her," Meyer sews and smiles. "A toy. He
shouldn't, now. Such a thing costs money."

Mrs. Rabinowich puts an anxious finger to her lips.

"Don't," she whispers. "If he wants to, he should. It is lovely that he
wants to. There's money enough for such lovely wants.--Well, darling.
Won't you come home to bed?"

Herbert does not attend.

His mother sighed--a sigh of great appeasement and of content.--This is
my son! She turned to where Esther sat with brooding eyes. Her face was
serious now, grey ever, warm with a grey sorrow. Her lips moved: they
knew not what to say.

"How are you, Esther?"

"Oh, I am well, Mrs. Rabinowich. Thank you." A voice resonant and deep,
a voice mellowed by long keeping in the breast of a woman.

"Why don't you come round, some time, Esther? You know, I should always
be so glad to see you."

"Thank you, Mrs. Rabinowich."

"You know--we're just next door," the older woman smiled. "You got time,
I think. More time than I."

"Oh, she got time all right!" The sharp words flash from the soft mouth
of Meyer, who sews and seems in no way one with the sharp words of his
mouth. Esther does not look. She takes the words as if like stones they
had fallen in her lap. She smiles away. She is still. And Lotte
Rabinowich is still, looking at her with a deep wonder, shaking her
head, unappeased in her search.

She turns at last to her boy: relieved.

"Come Herbert, now. Now we really got to go."

She takes his hand that he lets limply rise. She pulls him gently.

"Good night, dear ones.--Do come, some time, Esther--yes?"

"Thank you, Mrs. Rabinowich."

Meyer says: "Let the boy come when he wants. We love to have him."

His mother smiles.--Of course: who would not love to have him? Good
heart, fine boy, dear child. "It's long past bedtime. Naughty!" She
kisses him.

Herbert, a little like a horse, swings away his heavy head.

They are gone in the bell's jangle.

       *       *       *       *       *

"What a good boy: what a big-hearted boy!" Meyer said aloud. "I like the
boy. He will be strong and a success, you see."

Her words, "I saw him lift the skirt of Flora and peep up," she could
not utter. She was silent, seeing the dull boy with the dirty mind, and
his mother and Meyer through love thinking him good. What she saw in her
silence hurt her.

Her hurt flowed out in fear. She saw her child: a great fear came on
Esther.--Flora is small and white, the world is full of men with thick
lips, hairy hands, of men who will lift her skirt and kiss her, of men
who will press their hairiness against her whiteness.

--There is a Magic, Love, whereby this shame is sweet. Where is it? A
world of men with hair and lips against her whiteness. Where is the
magic against them? Esther was very afraid. She hated her daughter.


Meyer Lanich came down from his table and drew down the wide yellow
shade and shut out the night. No more stray customers to enter. He
turned the key of the door. He had his back to the door, seeing his work
and his child who now sat vacant upon the floor and grimed her eyes with
her fists too sleepy to hunt play--seeing his wife. He sought to see
this woman who was his wife. To this end came his words, old words, old
words he had tried often, often failed with, words that would come again
since they were the words of his seeking to find the woman his wife.

"Esther," he said, "it is nine o'clock and I have much work to do--a
couple of hours of work.--"--I could work faster alone, it will be
midnight so with this pain for ever in my eyes. "Esther won't you go
home and put Florchen to bed?"

She looked at him with her full lovely eyes. Why since he saw them
lovely could he not see them loving? He had said these words before, so
often before. She looked at him.

"Esther," he said, "it is bad for a baby of four to be up so late. It is
bad for her to sit around on the floor under the gas--smelling the gas
and the gasoline and the steam of the clothes. Can't you consider

"I am afraid."

"What is there to be afraid of? Can't you see? Why aren't you afraid of
what will happen to Flora? Eh--that don't frighten you, does it? She's a
baby. If my Mother could see--"

"Meyer, I can't. Meyer, I can't. You know that I can't."

He waved his hands. She was stiff. They came no nearer one to the other.
About them each, two poles, swirled thoughts and feeling--a world that
did not touch the other.

He clambered back to his work. The room was hot. The gaslight burned.
Against his temples it beat harsh air, harsh light, the acrid smells of
his work--against her temples.

Esther sat. The words of her man seeking the woman she was had not found
for him but had stirred her. Her breast moved fast, but all else of her
was stiff. Stiff, all she moved like a thick river drawn against its
flow, drawn mounting to its head.--I cannot go home alone, to the empty
hall alone, into the black rooms alone. Against their black the flicker
of a match that may go out, the dare of a gas-light that is all white
and shrieking with its fear of the black world it is in. She could not
go home alone.--For, Esther, in your loneliness you will find your life.
I am afraid of my life.

She was caught, she was trapped.--I am miserable. Let me only not
move.--Since to move was to break against walls of a trap. Here in the
heart of movelessness a little space. Let her not stir where the walls
and the roof of the black small trap will smite her!


The room moves up the dimension of time. Hour and hour and hour. Bearing
its freight toward sleep. Thick hot room, torn by the burr of two
lights, choked by the strain of two bound souls, moving along the night.
Writhing in dream. Singing.--

    --My flesh sings for silk and rich jewels;
    My flesh cries for the mouth of a king.
    My hair, why is it not a canopy of love,
    Why does it not cover sweet secrets of love?
    My hair cries to be laid upon white linen.
    I have brought misery into the world.--
    I have lived with a small man and my dreams have shrunk him,
    Who in my dreams enlarged the glory of princes.
    He looks upon me with soft eyes, and my flesh is hard against them.
    He beats upon me with warm heart, and my breasts do not rise up for
    They are soft and forgetful of his beating heart.
    My breasts dream far when he is near to them--
      They droop, they die.
    His hands are a tearful prayer upon my body--
    I sit: there is no way between my man and my dream,
    There is no way between my life and life,
    There is no way between my love and my child.
    I lie: and my eyes are shut. I sleep: and they open.
    A world of mountains
    Plunges against my sleep.--

--Lord, Lord: this is my daughter before me, her cheeks that have not
bloomed are wilting. Preserve her, Lord. This is my wife before me, her
love that has not lived is dead.--Time is a barren field that has no
end. I see no horizon. My feet walk endlessly, I see no horizon.--I am
faithful, Lord.--

       *       *       *       *       *

The tailor-shop is black. It has moved up three hours into midnight. It
is black.

Esther and Meyer walk the grey street. In the arms of the man sleeps
Flora. His arm aches. He dares not change her to his other arm. Lest she

He has undressed her. Gentle hands of a man. He holds her little body,
naked, near his eyes. Her face and her hands, her feet and her knees are
soiled. The rest of her body is white--very white--no bloom upon her
body. He kisses her black hair.

He lays her away beneath her coverlet.

There is his wife before him. She is straight. Her naked body rises,
column of white flame, from her dun skirt. Esther--his love--she is in a
case of fire. Within her breasts as within hard jewels move the liquids
of love. Within her body, as within a case, lies her soul, pent, which
should pour forth its warmth upon them.

He embraces her.

"Esther.--Esther--" He can say no more.

His lips are at her throat. Can he not break her open?

She sways back, yielding. Her eyes swerve up. They catch the cradle of
her child.

--Another child--another agony of glory--another misery to the world?

She is stiff in the unbroken case of a vast wound all about her.

So they lie down in bed. So they sleep.

       *       *       *       *       *

She has cooked their breakfast.

They walk, a man and a woman, down the steep street to work. A child
between them, holding the hand of a man.

They are grey, they are sullen. They are caught up in the sullen strife
of their relentless life. There is no let to them. Time is a barren
field with no horizon.



(From _Scribner's Magazine_)

The real _dramatis personæ_ are three (for Schneider was only a
sign-post pointing): Follet, the remittance-man, Stires, and French Eva.
Perhaps I should include Ching Po--but I hate to. I was the man with his
hands in his pockets who saw the thing steadily and saw it whole--to
filch a windy phrase. I liked Stires, who had no social standing, even
on Naapu, and disliked Follet, who had all the standing there was.
Follet dined with magnates; and, believe me, the magnates of Naapu were
a multicolored lot. A man might have been made by copra or by pearls--or
by blackbirding. We were a plutocracy; which means that so long as a man
had the house and the drinks, you asked no questions. The same rule
holds--allowing for their dizzier sense of figures--in New York and
Chicago. On the whole, I think we were more sensible. There is certainly
more difference between good food and bad than between five millions and
fifty (which, I take it, is a figure that buys immunity over here). I
don't think any man's hospitality would have ranked him permanently on
Naapu if his dinners had been uneatable. Though perhaps--to be
frank--drinks counted more than food as a measuring-rod of aristocracy.

Well, Follet trained with the people who received consignments of
champagne and good whiskey. And Stires did not. Anyhow, Stires was a
temperance man: he took only one or two drinks a day, and seldom went
beyond a modest gin-fizz. With the remarkable native punch, compounded
secretly and by unknown ways, but purchasable, and much esteemed by the
knowing, he never would have anything to do. Stires looked like a cowboy
and was, in truth, a melancholy New Englander with a corner-grocery
outlook on life, and a nasal utterance that made you think of a barrel
of apples and a corn-cob pipe. He was a ship-chandler in a small--a very
small--way. Follet lived at the ramshackle hotel, owned by the ancient
Dubois and managed, from roof to kitchen-midden, by Ching Po. French Eva
dwelt alone in a thatched cottage built upon poles, and sold eggs and
chickens and fish. The poultry she raised herself; for the fish, she was
a middleman between fishermen and householders. As she owned a
gramophone and one silk dress, it was clear that her business prospered.
Even Ching Po bought eggs of her, though there was a nameless,
uninterpreted hostility between them.

Let me give you, at once, the few facts I could gather about French Eva.
There were rumors a-plenty, but most of them sifted down to a little
residual malice. I confined my questionings to the respectable
inhabitants of Naapu; they were a very small circle. At last, I got some
sort of "line" on French Eva.

None within our ken fathered or mothered her. Old Dubois knew most about
her, but old Dubois, a semi-paralyzed colossus, "doped" most of the
time, kept his thick lips closed. "An excellent girl" was all that any
one could wring from him. As she had begun life on Naapu by being _dame
de comptoir_ for him, he had some right to his judgment. She had
eventually preferred independence, and had forsaken him; and if he still
had no quarrel with her, that speaks loudly for her many virtues.
Whether Dubois had sent for her originally, no one knew. His memory was
clouded by opium, and you could get little out of him. Besides, by the
time I arrived on Naapu, French Eva belonged to the landscape and to
history. She was generally supposed to be pure French, and her accent
supported the theory, though she was in a small way a linguist. Her
English was as good as any one's--on Naapu, where we were by no means
academic. She could speak the native tongue after a fashion, and her
bêche-de-mer was at least fluent.

I had heard of the lady before I ever saw her, and had wondered why
Naapu chose to distinguish a female fish-vender--even if she had begun
with old Dubois. As soon as I clapped eyes on her, I perceived her
distinction, her "difference"--the reason for the frequent "Mam'selle."
She was, at first glimpse, unusual. To begin with, never was so white a
face matched with hair and brows and eyes so black. In the ordinary
pursuit of her business she wore her hair half loose, half braided, down
her back; and it fell to her knees like a heavy crape veil. A bad
simile, you will say; but there are no words to express the unrelieved
blackness of her hair. There were no lights in it; no "reflets," to use
the French phrase. It might have been "treated" with ink. When, on rare
occasions--not often, for the weight of it, as she freely explained,
made her head ache--she put it up in coils, it was like a great mourning
bonnet under which her white face seemed to shrink away. Her eyes were
nearly as black as her hair. Her figure was very lovely, whether in
forming the loose native garment or laced into her silk dress.

You will say that I have painted for you a person who could not, by any
possibility, be beautiful; and yet French Eva was beautiful. You got
used to that dull curtain of her hair; it made Madame Maür's lustrous
raven locks look oily. It came to seem, after a time, all that hair
should be. Her features were nearly perfect from our finicking European
point of view, and she grew in grace even while I, a newcomer, watched;
for the effect of the tropic sun upon her skin was curious and lovely:
it neither blotched nor reddened nor tanned her, but rather gilded her
pallor, touching it with the faintest brown in the world. I must, in the
interests of truth, mention one more fact. Mam'selle Eva was the sort of
woman who has a direct effect on the opposite sex. Charm hardly
expresses it; magnetism, rather, though that is a poor word. A man
simply wanted to be near her. She intrigued you, she drew you on, she
assailed your consciousness in indefinable ways--all without the sweep
of an eyelash or the pout of a lip. French Eva was a good girl, and went
her devious ways with reticent feet. But she was not in "society," for
she lived alone in a thatched hut, and attended native festivals, and
swore--when necessary--at the crews of trading barques. I am not sure
that she did not, of all tongues possible to her, prefer bêche-de-mer;
which is not, at its most innocent, an elegant language. She had no
enemies except Ching Po--for reasons unknown; and she paid her
occasional respects to any and all religions that Naapu boasted. When
there was a row, she was always, of course, on the European side; though
she would stretch a point now and then in favor of the native

So much for French Eva--who was by no means so important in the Naapu
scheme of things as my long description may imply. She had her eminently
respectable, her perfectly recognized niche, and we all bought eggs and
fish of her when we could. She was a curious figure, to be sure; but you
must remember that on Naapu every one, nearly, was unaverage, if not
abnormal. Even the agents and officials were apt to be the least
promising of their kind--or they would have been somewhere else. It was
a beautiful refuge for utter bounders and men who, though not bounders,
had a very low limit of achievement. The jetsam of officialdom was
washed up on that lonely, lovely shore. The magnates of Naapu were not
to be trusted. Naapu was a rich island, the richest of its group; and,
being off the main lines of traffic, was an excellent field for the
unscrupulous. Tourists did not bother us, for tourists do not like
eighty-ton schooners; maps did not particularly insist upon us; we were
well known in places where it was profitable to know us, and not much
talked about anywhere. Our copra was of the best; there were pearls to
be had in certain waters if you could bribe or fight your way to them;
and large groups of natives occasionally disappeared over night from one
of the surrounding islands. Naapu was, you might say, the clasp of a
necklace. How could we be expected to know what went on in the rest of
the string--with one leaky patrol-boat to ride those seas? Sometimes
there were fights down by the docks; strangers got arrested and were
mysteriously pardoned out; there were always a good many people in the
landscape who had had too much square-face. We were very far away from
everything, and in spite of all these drawbacks we were happy, because
the climate was, most of the year, unexceptionable. When you recall what
most civilized climates are like, "unexceptionable," that cold and
formal word, may well take your breath away. Lest any one should suspect
me of blackbirding or gin-selling, I will say at once that I had come to
Naapu by accident and that I stayed because, for reasons that I will not
go into here, I liked it. I lived in a tiny bungalow with an ex-ship's
cook whom I called Joe, and several thousand cockroaches. I had hired
Joe to cook for me, but his chief duty soon became to keep the
cockroaches out of my bedroom. As a matter of fact, I usually dined at
Dubois's hotel or at some private house.

Why so idle a person as I should have looked down--as I did, from the
first--on Follet, I cannot explain. The money I lived on was certainly
not of my own making. But, strictly speaking, I could have gone home if
I had chosen, and I more than suspected that Follet could not have.
Follet was not enamoured of Naapu, and talked grandiloquently of
Melbourne and Batavia and Hong-Kong. He continued, however, to be a
resident of the island, and none of his projects of removal to a better
place ever went beyond mere frothy talk. He lived at Dubois's, but spent
much of his time with the aforesaid magnates. He had an incorruptible
manner; some grace that had been bred in him early never forsook him,
and the ladies of Naapu liked him. Even good Madame Maür, who squinted,
squinted more painfully at Follet than at any one else. But his idleness
was beginning to tell on him; occasionally he had moody fits, and there
were times when he broke out and ran amuck among beach-combers and tipsy
natives along the water-front. More than once, Ching Po sought him out
and fetched him home.

My first intimation of trouble came from Stires. I had nothing to do
with this particular Yankee in the way of business, but I lingered
occasionally by his door in the cool of the afternoon, just to feed my
eyes on his brawn and my ears on his homely and pleasant nasality.
Stires's eyes were that disconcerting gray-blue which seems to prevail
among men who have lived much in the desert or on the open sea. You find
it in Arizona; and in the navies of all the northern countries. It added
to his cowboy look. I knew nothing about Stires--remember that on Naapu
we never asked a man questions about himself--but I liked him. He sat
about on heaps of indescribable junk--things that go into the bowels of
ships--and talked freely. And because Follet and I were both in what
Naapu would have called its best circles, I never talked about Follet,
though I liked him no better than Stires did. I say it began with
Stires; but it began really with Schneider, introduced by Stires into
our leisurely conversation. This is Schneider's only importance: namely,
that, mixing himself up in French Eva's context, he made other men speak
of her.

The less said about Schneider, the better; which means always that there
is a great deal to say. In this case, there was perhaps less to say than
to surmise. He did not give himself away--to us. Schneider had turned up
on a trading schooner from Melbourne, was stopping at the hotel in one
of the best rooms, and had a general interest in the potentialities of
Naapu. I say potentialities advisedly, for he was not directly
concerned, so far as I know, with any existing business there. He
frequented everybody, and asked questions in the meticulous German way.
He wandered all over the island--islands, I should say, for once or
twice I saw him banging off in a creaky motor-boat to the other jewels
of the necklace. Guesses as to his real business were free and frequent.
He was a pearl-smuggler; the agent of a Queensland planter; a fugitive
from justice; a mad scientist; a servant of the Imperial German
Government. No one presumed to certitude--which was in itself a tribute
to German efficiency. Schneider was blond and brush-haired and
thick-lipped; he was unpleasant from the crown of his ill-shaped head to
the soles of his ill-shaped shoes; but, though lacking in every charm,
he was not sinister. He had seen curious places and amusing things, and
could cap most adventures with something relevant; but his type and
temperament prevented him from being a "good mixer," and he was not

Stires, however, had his own grievance, and his judgment of Schneider
went deep. He did not mind the shape of Schneider's skull, or the hint
of goose-step in Schneider's gait; but he minded, very much, the kind of
interest that Schneider took in French Eva. He told me that, straight,
emphasizing his statements with a rusty spanner, which he wielded in a
curious, classical way, like a trident. According to him, Schneider was
bothering the life out of the girl. "Always asking her to dress up and
come over to chow with him at the hotel." And the spanner went down as
if Neptune were rebuking the seas.

"Does she go?"


"Well, then--can't you leave the lady to discourage him in her own way?"

"She won't go to the ho-tel, because she hates Ching Po. But she walks
out with him Sunday afternoons. He gives her gimcracks."

"Then she likes him?"

"There's no telling. She's a real lady." And the discouraged Stires
beat, with his spanner, a refrain to his involuntary epigram.

"She can take care of herself, can't she?" I had watched her deal with a
drunken Solomon Islander, and did not see how Schneider could be a match
for her.

"I don't know." Stires's lazy drawl challenged the sunset.

"Anything I can do?" I asked as I rose.

"Unless you go in and cut him out," he meditated with a grin.

"But I'm not in love with her," I protested.

"You might take her to church."

But I refused. Philandering was not my forte, and church, in any case,
was the last thing I should venture to propose.

"Why don't you go in yourself?"

Stires scratched his head. The trident trailed upon the ground. "It's
serious or nothing with me, I guess. And she's got something against me.
I don't know what. Thinks I don't blarney the Kanakas enough, perhaps.
Then there's Follet."

"Oh, is he in it?" I forgot to go.

"He's more in it than I am, and I'm darned if I know what she's up to
with the three of us. I'm playing 'possum, till I find out."

"If you can stand Follet butting in, why can't you stand Schneider?
Safety in numbers, you know."

"Well, Mr. Follet belongs here. I can have it out with him any time.
He'll have to play the game. But if I know Schneider, there's no wedding
bells in his. And Mam'selle Eva hasn't, as you might say, got a

The spectacle of "Mam'selle Eva," as I had last seen her, perspiring,
loosely girdled, buying a catch of fish at a fair price from three
mercenary natives adorned with shark's-tooth necklaces, rose before me.

"Man alive, you don't have to chaperon _her_," I cried. "She's on to

The sun-and-wind-whipt eyes flashed at me. The spanner trembled a

"Don't misunderstand me," I insisted. "But it stands to reason that,
here on Naapu, she's learned a good many things they don't teach in
little red schoolhouses. I have a great respect for her, and, between
you and me, I shouldn't wonder if she had sized Schneider up already."

The eyes were appeased. "Maybe, maybe," he grunted. "But lies come easy
to him, I guess. Miss Eva wouldn't be the first he'd fooled."

"Do you know anything about him?"

"Not a thing, except what sticks out all over him. For a man's eyes,
that is. You never can tell what a woman will see."

I left him poking in the dust with his spanner.

I dined that night at Lockerbie's. There was no Mrs. Lockerbie, and it
was a man's party. Follet was there, of course, and Schneider, too, his
teeth and his clothes whiter than the rest of ours. I was surprised to
see Schneider, for Lockerbie had suspected the Teuton of designs on his
very privately and not too authentically owned lagoon. Lockerbie did a
fair business in pearls; no great beauties or values among them, but a
good marketable cheap product. But no one held out very long against any
one on Naapu.

Schneider was drunk before he ever got to Lockerbie's that night. It was
part of the Naapu ritual not to drink just before you reached your
host's house, and that ritual, it soon became evident, Schneider had not
observed. I saw Lockerbie scowl, and Follet wince, and some of the
others stare. I could not help being amused, for I knew that no one
would object to his being in that condition an hour later. The only
point was that he should not have arrived like that. If Schneider had
had anything resembling a skin, he would have felt about as comfortable
as Mother Eve at a woman's club. Lockerbie's scowl was no joke; and
Follet had a way of wriggling his backbone gracefully.--It was up to me
to save Schneider, and I did. The honor of Naapu was nothing to me; and
by dint of almost embracing him, I made myself a kind of absorbent for
his worst breaks. It was not a pleasant hour for me before the rest
began to loosen up.

In my eagerness to prevent Lockerbie from insulting his guest, I drank
nothing, myself, after the first cocktail. So it came to pass that by
the time I could safely leave Schneider to the others, I found myself
unwontedly incarnating the spirit of criticism.

They were a motley crowd, coalesced for the moment into a vinous
solidarity. Follet spat his words out very sweetly; his poisonous grace
grew on him in his cups. Lockerbie, warmed by wine, was as simple--and
charming--as a wart-hog. Old Maskell, who had seen wind-jammer days and
ways and come very close, I suspected, to piracy, always prayed at least
once. Pasquier, the successful merchant who imported finery for the
ladies of Naapu, rolled out socialistic platitudes--he was always
flanked, at the end of the feast, by two empty chairs. Little Morlot
began the endless tale of his conquests in more civilized lands: all
patchouli and hair-oil. Anything served as a cue for all of them to dive
into the welter of their own preoccupations. Just because they knew each
other and Naapu so well, they seemed free to wander at will in the
secret recesses of their predilections and their memories. I felt like
Circe--or perhaps Ulysses; save that I had none of that wise man's

The reward of my abstinence, I found, was to be the seeing home of
Schneider. It would have come more naturally to Follet, who also lived
at Dubois's, but Follet was fairly snarling at Schneider. French Eva's
name had been mentioned. On my word, as I saw Follet curving his spinal
column, and Schneider lighting up his face with his perfect teeth, I
thought with an immense admiration of the unpolished and loose-hung
Stires amid the eternal smell of tar and dust. It was a mere discussion
of her hair, incoherent and pointless enough. No scandal, even from
Schneider. There had been some sense, of a dirty sort, in his talk to
me; but more wine had scattered his wits.

I took Schneider home, protesting to myself that I would never be so
caught again. He lurched rather stiffly along, needing my help only when
we crossed the unpaved roads in the darkness. Follet went ahead, and I
gave him a good start. When we reached the hotel, Ching Po surged up out
of the black veranda and crooked his arm for Schneider to lean upon.
They passed into the building, silently, like old friends.

A stupid indisposition housed me for a little after Lockerbie's feast. I
resented the discomfort of temporary illness, but rather liked being
alone, and told Joe to refuse me to callers--even the Maürs, who were
more like friends and neighbors than any one else in the place. My own
affairs should not obtrude on this tale at all; and I will not go into
them more than to say that I came to the end of my dosing and emerged
upon the world after three days. The foolish thought came to me that I
would have a look at French Eva's hair, of which little Morlot had
spoken in such gallant hiccoughs.

The lady was not upon her veranda, nor yet in her poultry-yard, as I
paced past her dwelling. I had got nearly by, when I heard myself
addressed from the unglazed window.


I strolled back, wondering if at last I should be invited to hear the
gramophone--her chiefest treasure. The mass of hair spread out of the
crude opening in the bamboo wall, for all the world like Rapunzel's. I
faced a great curtain of black. Then hands appeared and made a rift in
it, and a face showed in the loose black frame.

"Monsieur, what is the German for 'cochon'?"

My German is scanty, and I reflected. "'Schweinhund' will do, I think,"
I answered after consideration.

"A thousand thanks." The face disappeared, and the hair was pulled after

I waited. I could hear nothing distinctly, but in a moment Schneider
came running quickly and stiffly down the creaky ladder from the door.
He saw me--of that I am sure--but I did not blame him for not greeting
one who had doubtless been giving aid and comfort to the enemy. I
squatted on the low railing of French Eva's compound, but she herself
was not forthcoming. After ten minutes I heard a commotion in the
poultry yard, and found her at the back among her chickens. Her hair was
piled up into an amazing structure: it looked as if some one had placed
the great pyramid on top of the sphinx.

"Do you need my further services?"

She smiled. "Not in the least. But I like to speak to animals, when
possible, in their own language. It saves time." By way of illustration,
she clucked to a group of hens. She turned her back to me, and I was
dismissed from her barefoot presence.

Stires was my logical goal after that, and I found him busy with the
second mate of a tramp just in from Papua and bound for the Carolines.
After the man had gone, I informed Stires of the episode. For a man who
had damned Schneider up and down for making presents to a lady, Stires
reacted disappointingly.

"He got his, eh?" was all he said.

"Evidently. You don't seem to be much affected."

"So long as she's shipped him, that's all right," he drawled.

"I can't make out what your interest in the matter is," I suggested.

"Sure you can't," Stires began to whistle creakily, and took up some
nameless object to repair.

"How long is Schneider staying round these parts?"

"Not long, I guess. I heard he was leaving on the Sydney packet next

"So you're only up against Follet?" I pressed him.

"I ain't up against anybody. Miss Eva'll settle her own affairs."

"Excuse me." And I made the gesture of withdrawing.

"Don't get het up under the collar," he protested. "Only I never did
like this discussing ladies. She don't cotton to me for some reason. I'm
free to say I admire her very much. I guess that's all."

"Nothing I can do for you, then?"

Stires lighted a pipe. "If you're so set on helping me, you might watch
over Ching Po a little."

"What is he up to?"

"Don't know. But it ain't like him to be sitting round idle when there's
harm to be done. He's got something up his sleeve--and a Chink's
sleeve's big enough to hold a good-sized crime," he finished, with a
grim essay of humor.

"Are these mere suspicions on your part, or do you know that something's

"Most things happen on Naapu before there's been any time for
suspicion," he rejoined, squinting at his pipe, which had stopped
drawing. "These folks lie low and sing little songs, and just as you're
dropping off there's a knife somewhere.--Have you heard anything about
the doings up yonder?" He indicated the mountain that rose, sharply cut
and chasmed, back of the town.

"Trouble with the natives? No."

"This is the time o' year when the heathen begin to feel their oats.
Miss Eva, she's interested in their superstitions. They don't usually
come to anything--just a little more work for the police if they get
drunk and run amuck. The constabulary is mostly off on the spree. They
have gods of wood and stone up in the caves yonder, you know. But it's
always a kind of uneasy feel to things till they settle down again."

I leaned against a coil of rope and pursued the subject. "But none of
the people you and I are interested in are concerned with native orgies.
We are all what you might call agnostics."

"Speak for yourself, sir. I'm a Methodist. 'Tain't that they mix
themselves up in the doings. But--well, you haven't lived through the
merry month of May on Naapu. I tell you, this blessed island ain't big
enough to hold all that froth without everybody feeling it. Just because
folks don't know what's going on up yonder it kind of relaxes 'em. I
don't say the Kanakas do anything they shouldn't, except get drunk, and
joy-ride down waterfalls, and keep up an infernal tom-toming. But it
sort of gets on your nerves. And I wouldn't call Naapu straitlaced,
either. Everybody seems to feel called on to liquor up, this time o'
year. If it isn't one pretext it's another. Things folks have been kind
of hesitating over, in the name of morals, they start out and perform,
regardless. The authorities, they get worried because a Kanaka's spree
lands him, like as not, in a blackbirder. Mighty queer craft hang round
at this season. There ain't supposed to be anything doing in these
blessed islands that ain't aboveboard, but 'tisn't as though the place
was run by Americans."

"And I am to watch Ching Po? Where does he come in?"

"I wish't I knew. He makes money out of it somehow. Dope, I suppose. Old
man Dubois ain't his only customer, by a long shot."

"Ching Po isn't likely to go near French Eva, is he? They don't speak,
I've noticed."

"No, they don't. But that Chink's little ways are apt to be indirect.
She's afraid of him--afraid of the dust under her feet, as you might

Stires puffed meditatively at his pipe. Then a piratical-looking
customer intervened, and I left.

Leisurely, all this, and not significant to the unpeeled eye. And then,
within twenty-four hours of the time when I had left Stires, things
began to happen. It was as if a tableau had suddenly decided to become a
"movie." All those fixed types began to dash about and register the most
inconvenient emotions. Let me set down a few facts diary fashion.

To begin with, when I got up the next morning, Joe had disappeared. No
sign of breakfast, no smell of coffee. It was late for breakfast at
Dubois's, and I started out to get my own. There were no eggs, and I
sauntered over to French Eva's to purchase a few. The town looked queer
to me as I walked its grassy streets. Only when I turned into the lane
that led to French Eva's did I realize why. It was swept clean of
natives. There weren't any. Not a stevedore, not a fisherman, not a
brown fruit-vender did I see.

French Eva greeted me impatiently. She was not doing business,
evidently, for she wore her silk dress and white canvas shoes. Also, a
hat. Her face was whiter than ever, and, just offhand, I should have
said that something had shaken her. She would not let me in, but made me
wait while she fetched the eggs. I took them away in a little basket of
plaited palm-fronds, and walked through the compound as nonchalantly as
I could, pretending that I had not seen what I knew I had seen--Ching
Po's face within, a foot or two behind the window opening. It startled
me so much that I resolved to keep away from Stires: I wished to digest
the phenomenon quite alone.

At ten o'clock, my breakfast over, I opened my door to a knock, and
Follet's bloodshot eyes raked me eagerly. He came in with a rush, as if
my hit-or-miss bungalow were sanctuary. I fancied he wanted a drink, but
I did not offer him one. He sat down heavily--for all his
lightness--like a man out of breath. I saw a pistol-butt sticking out of
his pocket and narrowed my eyes upon him. Follet seldom looked me up in
my own house, though we met frequently enough in all sorts of other
places. It was full five minutes before he came to the point. Meanwhile
I remarked on Joe's defection.

"Yes," he said, "the exodus has begun."

"Is there really anything in that?"

"What?" he asked sharply.

"Well--the exodus."

"Oh, yes. They do have some sort of shindy--not interesting to any one
but a folk-lorist. Chiefly an excuse, I fancy, for drinking too much.
Schneider says he's going to investigate. I rather wish they'd do him

"What have you got against him--except that he's an unpleasant person?"

By this roundabout way Follet had reached his point. "He's been trying
to flirt with my lady-love."

"French Eva?"

"The same." His jauntiness was oppressive, dominated as it was by those
perturbed and hungry eyes.

"Oh--" I meditated. But presently I decided. "Then why do you let Ching
Po intrude upon her in her own house?"

"Ching Po?" He quivered all over as if about to spring up from his
chair, but he did not actually rise. It was just a supple, snake-like
play of his body--most unpleasant.

"I saw him there an hour ago--when I fetched my eggs. My cook's off, you

Still that play of muscles underneath the skin, for a moment or two.
Then he relaxed, and his eyes grew dull. Follet was not, I fancy, what
the insurance men call a good risk.

"She can take care of herself, I expect," he said. They all seemed surer
of that than gentlemen in love are wont to be.

"She and Ching Po don't hit it off very well, I've noticed."

"No, they don't." He admitted it easily, as if he knew all about it.

"I wonder why." I had meant to keep my hands off the whole thing, but I
could not escape the tension in the Naapu air. Those gods of wood and
stone were not without power--of infection, at the least.

"Better not ask." He bit off the words and reached for a cigarette.

"Does any one know?"

"An old inhabitant can guess. But why she should be afraid of him--even
the old inhabitant doesn't know. There's Dubois; but you might as well
shriek at a corpse as ask Dubois anything."

"You don't think that I'd better go over and make sure that Ching Po
isn't annoying her?"

Follet's lips drew back over his teeth in his peculiar smile. "If I had
thought he could annoy her, I'd have been over there myself a short time
ago. If he really annoyed French Eva any day, he'd be nothing but a neat
pattern of perforations, and he knows it."

"Then what has the oldest inhabitant guessed as to the cause of the
quarrel?" I persisted. Since I was in it--well, I hate talk that runs in

"She hasn't honored me with her confidence. But, for a guess, I should
say that in the happy time now past he had perhaps asked her to marry
him. And--Naapu isn't Europe, but, you know, even here a lady might
resent that."

"But why does she let him into her house?"

"That I can't tell you. But I can almost imagine being afraid of Ching
Po myself."

"Why don't you settle it up, one way or the other?" I _was_ a newcomer,
you see.

Follet laughed and took another cigarette. "We do very well as we are, I
think. And I expect to go to Auckland next year." His voice trailed off
fatuously in a cloud of smoke, and I knew then just why I disliked him.
The fibre was rotten. You couldn't even hang yourself with it.

I was destined to keep open house that day. Before Follet's last
smoke-puff had quite slid through the open window, Madame Maür, who was
perpetually in mourning, literally darkened my doorway. Seeing Follet
she became nervous--he did affect women, as I have said. What with her
squint and her smile, she made a spectacle of herself before she panted
out her staccato statement. Doctor Maür was away with a patient on the
other side of the island; and French Eva had been wringing her hands
unintelligibly on the Maürs' porch. She--Madame Maür--couldn't make out
what the girl wanted.

Now, this was nothing to break in on me for; and Madame Maür, in spite
of her squint and her smile, was both sensible and good--broke,
moreover, to the ridiculous coincidences and unfathomable dramas of
Naapu. Why hadn't she treated the girl for hysterics? But I gathered
presently that there was one element in it that she couldn't bear. That
element, it appeared, was Ching Po, perfectly motionless in the public
road--no trespasser, therefore--watching. She had got Eva into the house
to have her hysterics out in a darkened room. But Ching Po never
stirred. Madame Maür thought he never would stir. She couldn't order him
off the public thoroughfare, and there was no traffic for him to block.
He was irreproachable and intolerable. After half an hour of it, she had
run out across her back garden to ask my help. He must go away or she,
too, would have hysterics. And Madame Maür covered the squint with a
black-edged handkerchief. If he would walk about, or whistle, or mop his
yellow face, she wouldn't mind. But she was sure he hadn't so much as
blinked, all that time. If a man could die standing up, she should think
he was dead. She wished he were. If he stayed there all day--as he had a
perfect right to do--she, Madame Maür, would have to be sent home to a
_maison de santé_.--And she began to make guttural noises. As Félicité
Maür had seen, in her time, things that no self-respecting _maison de
santé_ would stand for, I began to believe that I should have to do
something. I rose reluctantly. I was about fed up with Ching Po, myself.

I helped Madame Maür out of her chair, and fetched my hat. Then I looked
for Follet, to apologize for leaving him. I had neither seen nor heard
him move, but he was waiting for us on the porch. He could be as
noiseless on occasion as Ching Po.

"You'd better not come into this," I suggested; for there was no staying
power, I felt, in Follet.

He seemed to shiver all over with irritation. "Oh, damn his yellow soul,
I'll marry her!" He spat it out--with no sweetness, this time.

Madame Maür swung round to him like a needle to the pole. "You may save
yourself the _corvée_. She won't have you. Not if any of the things she
has been sobbing out are true. She loves the other man--down by the
docks. _Your_ compatriot." She indicated me. Her French was clear and
clicking, with a slight provincial accent.

"Oh--" He breathed it out at great length, exhaling. Yet it sounded like
a hiss. "Stires, eh?" And he looked at me.

I had been thinking, as we stood on the steps. "How am I to move Ching
Po off?" I asked irritably. It had suddenly struck me that, inspired by
Madame Maür, we were embarking on sheer idiocy.

"I'll move him," replied Follet with a curious intonation.

At that instant my eye lighted again on the pistol. "Not with that." I
jerked my chin ever so slightly in the direction of his pocket.

"Oh, take it if you want it. Come on." He thrust the weapon into my
innocent hand and began to pull at my bougainvillea vine as if it were
in his way. Some of the splendid petals fluttered about Madame Maür's

We reached the Maürs' front porch by a circuitous route--through the
back garden and the house itself--and paused to admire the view. Yes, we
looked for Ching Po as if we were tourists and he were Niagara.

"He hasn't moved yet." This was Madame Maür's triumphant whimper.
Inarticulate noises somewhere near indicated that French Eva was still
in sanctuary.

Follet grunted. Then he unleashed his supple body and was half way to
the gate in a single arrow flight. I followed, carrying the pistol still
in my hand. My involuntary haste must have made me seem to brandish it.
I heard a perfectly civilized scream from Madame Maür, receding into the
background--which shows that I was, myself, acquiring full speed ahead.
By the time Follet reached the gate, Ching Po moved. I saw Follet
gaining on him, and then saw no more of them; for my feet acting on some
inspiration of their own which never had time to reach my brain, took a
short cut to the water front. I raced past French Eva's empty house,
pounding my way through the gentle heat of May, to Stires's
establishment. I hoped to cut them off. But Ching Po must have had a
like inspiration, for when I was almost within sight of my goal--fifty
rods ahead--the Chinaman emerged from a side lane between me and it. He
was running like the wind. Follet was nowhere to be seen. Ching Po and I
were the only mites on earth's surface. The whole population,
apparently, had piously gone up the mountain in order to let us have our
little drama out alone. I do not know how it struck Ching Po; but I felt
very small on that swept and garnished scene.

I was winded; and with the hope of reaching Stires well dashed, my legs
began to crumple. I sank down for a few seconds on the low wall of some
one's compound. But I kept a keen eye out for Follet. I thought Stires
could look out for himself, so long as it was just Ching Po. It was the
triangular mix-up I was afraid of; even though I providentially had
Follet's pistol. And, for that matter, where was Follet? Had he given up
the chase? Gone home for that drink, probably.

But in that I had done him injustice; for in a few moments he debouched
from yet a third approach. Ching Po had evidently doubled, somehow, and
baffled him.

I rose to meet him, and he slowed down to take me on. By this time the
peaceful water front had absorbed the Chinaman; and if Stires was at
home, the two were face to face. I made this known to Follet.

"Give me back my pistol," he panted.

"Not on your life," I said, and jammed it well into my pocket.

"What in hell have you got to do with it?" he snarled.

"Stires is a friend of mine." I spoke with some difficulty, for though
we were not running, we were hitting up a quick pace. Follet was all
colors of the rainbow, and I looked for him to give out presently, but
he kept on.

"Ching Po, too?" he sneered.

"Not a bit of it. But they won't stand for murder in open daylight--even
_your_ friends."

We were very near Stires's place by this time. There was no sign of any
one in the yard; it was inhabited solely by the familiar rusty monsters
of Stires's trade. As we drew up alongside, I looked through the window.
Stires and Ching Po were within, and from the sibilant noise that
stirred the peaceful air, I judged that Ching Po was talking. Their
backs were turned to the outer world. I pushed open the door, and Follet
and I entered.

For the first time I found myself greeted with open hostility by my
fellow countryman. "What the devil are you doing here?" I was annoyed.
The way they all dragged me in and then cursed me for being there! The
Chinaman stood with his hands folded in his wicked sleeves, his eyes on
the ground. In the semi-gloom of Stires's warehouse, his face looked
like a mouldy orange. He was yellower even than his race
permitted--outside and in.

"If I can't be of any service to you or Miss Eva, I should be only too
glad to go home," I retorted.

"What about her?" asked Stires truculently. He advanced two steps
towards me.

"I'm not looking for trouble--" It seemed to me just then that I hated
Naapu as I had never hated any place in the world. "She's having
hysterics up at Madame Maür's. I fancy that's why we're here. Your
yellow friend there seems to have been responsible for the hysterics.
This other gentleman and I"--I waved a hand at Follet, who stood, spent
and silent, beside me--"resented it. We thought we would follow him up."

How much Ching Po understood of plain English, I do not know. One always
conversed with him in the pidgin variety. But he certainly looked at
peace with the world: much as the devil must have looked, gazing at
Pompeii in the year '79.

"You can do your resenting somewheres else," snapped Stires. "Both of

"I go," murmured Ching Po. He stepped delicately towards the door.

"No, you don't!" Follet's foot shot out to trip him. But the Chinaman
melted past the crude interruption.

"I go," he repeated, with ineffable sadness, from the threshold.

The thing was utterly beyond me. I stood stock-still. The two men,
Follet and Stires, faced each other for an instant. Then Follet swung
round and dashed after Ching Po. I saw him clutch the loose black sleeve
and murmur in the flat ear.

Stires seemed to relent towards me now that Follet was gone. "Let 'em
alone," he grunted. "The Chink won't do anything but tell him a few
things. And like as not, he knows 'em already, the--" The word indicated
his passionate opinion of Follet.

"I was called in by Madame Maür," I explained weakly. "Ching Po wouldn't
leave the road in front of her compound. And--Miss Eva was inside,
having hysterics. Ching Po had been with her earlier. Now you know all
I know, and as I'm not wanted anywhere, I'll go. I assure you I'm very
glad to."

I was not speaking the strictest truth, but I saw no reason to pour out
Madame Maür's revelations just then upon Stires's heated soul. Nor would
I pursue the subject of Follet.

Stires sank down on something that had once been an office-chair. Thence
he glowered at me. I had no mind to endure his misdirected anger, and I
turned to go. But in the very instant of my turning from him I saw
tragedy pierce through the mask of rage. The man was suffering; he could
no longer hold his eyes and lips to the expression of anger. I spoke to
him very gently.

"Has Miss Eva really anything to fear from that miserable Chinaman?"

Stires bowed his head on his hands. "Not a thing, now. He's done his
damnedest. It only took a minute for him to spit it out."

"Will he spit it out to Follet?"

"You bet he will. But I've got a kind of a hunch Follet knew all along."

"I'm sure he didn't--whatever it is."

"Well, he does by now. They must be nearly back to the ho-tel. I'm kind
of busy this morning"--he waved his hand round that idle scene--"and I

"Certainly. I'm going now." I spared him the effort of polishing off his
lie. The man wanted to be alone with his trouble, and that was a state
of mind I understood only too well.

The circumstantial evidence I had before me as I walked back to my own
house led inevitably to one verdict. I could almost reconstruct the
ignoble pidgin-splutter in which Ching Po had told Stires, and was even
now telling Follet. The wonder to me was that any one believed the
miserable creature. Truth wouldn't be truth if it came from Ching Po.
Yet if two men who were obviously prepossessed in the lady's favor were
so easily to be convinced by his report, some old suspicions, some
forgotten facts must have rushed out of the dark to foregather with it.
French Eva had been afraid of the Chinaman; yet even Follet had
pooh-poohed her fears; and her reputation was--or had been--well-nigh
stainless on Naapu, which is, to say the least, a smudgy place.
Still--there was only one road for reason to take, and in spite of these
obstacles it wearily and doggedly took it.

Joe, of course, was still absent; and though I was never more in need of
food, my larder was empty. I would not go to Dubois's and encounter
Follet and Ching Po. Perhaps Madame Maür would give me a sandwich. I
wanted desperately to have done with the whole sordid business; and had
there been food prepared for me at home, I think I should have
barricaded myself there. But my hunger joined hands with a lurking
curiosity. Between them they drove me to Madame Maür's.

The lady bustled about at once to supply my needs. Her husband was still
away, and lunch there was not in any proper sense. But she fed me with
odd messes and endless cups of coffee. Hunger disappeared leaving
curiosity starkly apparent.

"How's Eva?" I asked.

Madame Maür pursed her lips. "She went away an hour ago."


The lady shrugged her shoulders. "It looked like it. I did not ask her.
She would go--with many thanks, but with great resolution.--What has
happened to you?" she went on smoothly.

I deliberated. Should I tell madame anything or should I not? I decided
not to. "Ching Po went back to the hotel," I said. "I don't believe he
meant to annoy you."

She let the subject drop loyally. And, indeed, with Ching Po and French
Eva both out of the way, she had become quite normal again. Of course,
if I would not let her question me, I could not in fairness question
her. So we talked on idly, neither one, I dare say, quite sure of the
other, and both ostensibly content to wait. Or she may have had reasons
as strong as mine for wishing to forget the affair of the morning.

I grew soothed and oblivious. The thing receded. I was just thinking of
going home when Follet appeared at the gate. Then I realized how futile
had been our common reticence.

"Is Eva here?" he shouted before he reached us.

"She went home long ago." Madame Maür answered quietly, but I saw by her
quick shiver that she had not been at peace, all this time.

"She's not there. The place is all shut up."

"Doesn't she usually attend these festivities up the hill?" I asked.

His look went through me like a dagger. "Not today, you fool!"

"Well, why worry about her?" It was I who put it calmly. Six hours
before, I had not been calm; but now I looked back at that fever with

"She's been to Stires's," he went on; and I could see the words hurt

"Well, then, ask him."

"He was asleep. She left her beloved gramophone there. He found it when
he waked."

"Her gramophone?" I ejaculated. "Where is Stires?"

"Looking for her--and hoping he won't find her, curse him!"

Follet took hold of me and drew me down the steps. "Come along," he
said. Then he turned to Madame Maür. "Sorry, madame. This is urgent.
We'll tell you all about it later."

Félicité Maür did not approve of Follet, but he could do no wrong when
she was actually confronted with him. She took refuge in a shrug and
went within.

When we were outside the gate, I stood still and faced Follet. "What did
Ching Po tell you and Stires?"

"Don't you know?" Sheer surprise looked out at me from his eyes.

"Of course, I think I know. Do you really want to tear the place up,
looking for her?"

"It's not that!" he shouted. "If it had been, every one would have known
it long since. Ching Po got it out of old Dubois. I shook Dubois out of
his opium long enough to confirm it. I had to threaten him.--Ching Po's
a dirty beast, but, according to the old man he told the truth. Ching Po
did want to marry her once. She wouldn't, of course, and he's just been
waiting to spike her guns. When he found out she really wanted that
impossible Yankee, he said he'd tell. She had hysterics. He waited for
her outside the Maürs', hoping, I suppose, it would work out another
way. When we appeared, he decided to get his work in. He probably
thought she had sent for us. And he was determined no one should stop
him from telling. Now do you see? Come on." He pulled at my arm.

"In heaven's name, man, _what_ did he tell?" I almost shrieked.

"Just the one thing you Yankees can't stand," Follet sneered. "A touch
of the tar-brush. She wasn't altogether French, you see. Old Dubois
knows her pedigree. Her grandmother was a mulatto, over Penang way. She
knew how Stires felt on the subject--a damn, dirty ship-chandler no
self-respecting officer deals with--"

"None of that!" I said sharply. "He's a good man, Stires. A darned sight
too good for the Naapu grafters. A darned sight too good to go native--"
Then I stopped, for Follet was hardly himself, nor did I like the look
of myself as a common scold.

We did not find Stires, and after an hour or two we gave up the search.
By dusk, Follet had got to the breaking-point. He was jumpy. I took him
back myself to the hotel, and pushed him viciously into Ching Po's arms.
The expressionless Chinese face might have been a mask for all the
virtues; and he received the shaking burden of Follet as meekly as a
sister of charity.

I bought some tinned things for my dinner and took my way home. I should
not, I felt sure, be interrupted, and I meant to turn in early. Madame
Maür would be telling the tale to her husband; Follet would, of a
certainty, be drunk; and Stires would be looking, I supposed, for French
Eva. French Eva, I thought, would take some finding; but Stires was the
best man for the job. It was certainly not my business to notify any one
that night. So I chowed alone, out of the tins, and smoked a long
time--alone--in the moonlight.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was not Stires, after all, who found her, though he must have hunted
the better part of that night. It was three days before she was washed
ashore. She was discovered by a crew of fishermen whom she had often
beaten down in the way of business. They brought her in from the remote
cove, with loud lamentations and much pride. She must have rocked back
and forth between the shore and the reef, for when they found her, her
body was badly battered. From the cliff above, they said, she looked at
first like a monstrous catch of seaweed on the sand Her hair--

Follet had treated himself to a three days' drinking-bout, and only
emerged, blanched and palsied, into a town filled with the clamor of her
funeral. Stires had shut up his junk-shop for a time and stayed strictly
at home. I went to see him, the day after they found her. His face was
drawn and gloomy, but it was the face of a man in his right mind. I
think his worst time was that hour after Follet had followed Ching Po
out of his warehouse. He never told me just how things had stood between
French Eva and him, but I am sure that he believed Ching Po at once, and
that, from the moment Ching Po spoke, it was all over. It was no longer
even real to him, so surely had his inborn prejudice worked. Stires was
no Pierre Loti.

In decency we had to mention her. There was a great to-do about it in
the town, and the tom-toms had mysteriously returned from the hillsides.

"I've been pretty cut up about it all," he admitted. "But there's no
doubt it's for the best. As I look back on it, I see she never was
comfortable in her mind. On and off, hot and cold--and I took it for
flightiness. The light broke in on me, all of a sudden, when that dirty
yellow rascal began to talk. But if you'll believe me, sir, I used to be
jealous of Follet. Think of it, now." He began to whittle.

Evidently her ravings to Madame Maür had not yet come to his ears.
Madame Maür was capable of holding her tongue; and there was a chance
Follet might hold his. At all events, I would not tell Stires how
seriously she had loved him. He was a very provincial person, and I
think--considering her pedigree--it would have shocked him.

French Eva's cerebrations are in some ways a mystery to me, but I am
sure she knew what she wanted. I fancy she thought--but, as I say, I do
not know--that the mode of her passing would at least make all clear to
Stires. Perhaps she hoped for tardy regrets on his part; an
ex-post-facto decision that it didn't matter. The hot-and-cold business
had probably been the poor girl's sense of honor working--though,
naturally, she couldn't have known (on Naapu) the peculiar
impregnability of Stires's prejudices. When you stop to think of it,
Stires and his prejudices had no business in such a place, and nothing
in earth or sky or sea could have foretold them to the population of
that landscape. Perhaps when she let herself go, in the strong seas, she
thought that he would be at heart her widower. Don't ask me. Whatever
poor little posthumous success of the sort she may have hoped for, she
at least paid for it heavily--and in advance. And, as you see, her ghost
never got what her body had paid for. It is just as well: why should
Stires have paid, all his life? But if you doubt the strength of her
sincerity, let me tell you what every one on Naapu was perfectly aware
of: she could swim like a Kanaka; and she must have let herself go on
those familiar waters, against every instinct, like a piece of
driftwood. Stires may have managed to blink that fact; but no one else

Lockerbie gave a dinner-party at the end of the week, and Follet got
drunk quite early in the evening. He embarrassed every one (except me)
by announcing thickly, at dessert, that he would have married French Eva
if she hadn't drowned herself. I believed it no more the second time
than I had believed it the first. Anyhow, she wouldn't have had him.
Schneider left us during those days. We hardly noticed his departure.
Ching Po still prospers. Except Stires, we are not squeamish on Naapu.



(From _Good Housekeeping_)

I had no sooner entered the house than I knew something was wrong.
Though I had never been in so splendid a place before--it was one of
those big houses just off Fifth Avenue--I had a suspicion from the first
that the magnificence covered a secret disturbance. I was always quick
to receive impressions, and when the black iron doors swung together
behind me, I felt as if I were shut inside of a prison.

When I gave my name and explained that I was the new secretary, I was
delivered into the charge of an elderly lady's maid, who looked as if
she had been crying. Without speaking a word, though she nodded kindly
enough, she led me down the hall, and then up a flight of stairs at the
back of the house to a pleasant bedroom in the third story. There was a
great deal of sunshine, and the walls, which were painted a soft yellow,
made the room very cheerful. It would be a comfortable place to sit in
when I was not working, I thought, while the sad-faced maid stood
watching me remove my wraps and hat.

"If you are not tired, Mrs. Vanderbridge would like to dictate a few
letters," she said presently, and they were the first words she had

"I am not a bit tired. Will you take me to her?" One of the reasons, I
knew, which had decided Mrs. Vanderbridge to engage me was the
remarkable similarity of our handwriting. We were both Southerners, and
though she was now famous on two continents for her beauty, I couldn't
forget that she had got her early education at the little academy for
young ladies in Fredericksburg. This was a bond of sympathy in my
thoughts at least, and, heaven knows, I needed to remember it while I
followed the maid down the narrow stairs and along the wide hall to the
front of the house.

In looking back after a year, I can recall every detail of that first
meeting. Though it was barely four o'clock, the electric lamps were
turned on in the hall, and I can still see the mellow light that shone
over the staircase and lay in pools on the old pink rugs, which were so
soft and fine that I felt as if I were walking on flowers. I remember
the sound of music from a room somewhere on the first floor, and the
scent of lilies and hyacinths that drifted from the conservatory. I
remember it all, every note of music, every whiff of fragrance; but most
vividly I remember Mrs. Vanderbridge as she looked round, when the door
opened, from the wood fire into which she had been gazing. Her eyes
caught me first. They were so wonderful that for a moment I couldn't see
anything else; then I took in slowly the dark red of her hair, the clear
pallor of her skin, and the long, flowing lines of her figure in a
tea-gown of blue silk. There was a white bearskin rug under her feet,
and while she stood there before the wood fire, she looked as if she had
absorbed the beauty and colour of the house as a crystal vase absorbs
the light. Only when she spoke to me, and I went nearer, did I detect
the heaviness beneath her eyes and the nervous quiver of her mouth,
which drooped a little at the corners. Tired and worn as she was, I
never saw her afterwards--not even when she was dressed for the
opera--look quite so lovely, so much like an exquisite flower, as she
did on that first afternoon. When I knew her better, I discovered that
she was a changeable beauty, there were days when all the colour seemed
to go out of her, and she looked dull and haggard, but at her best no
one I've ever seen could compare with her.

She asked me a few questions, and though she was pleasant and kind, I
knew that she scarcely listened to my responses. While I sat down at the
desk and dipped my pen into the ink, she flung herself on the couch
before the fire with a movement which struck me as hopeless. I saw her
feet tap the white fur rug, while she plucked nervously at the lace on
the end of one of the gold-coloured sofa cushions. For an instant the
thought flashed through my mind that she had been taking something--a
drug of some sort--and that she was suffering now from the effects of
it. Then she looked at me steadily, almost as if she were reading my
thoughts, and I knew that I was wrong. Her large radiant eyes were as
innocent as a child's.

She dictated a few notes--all declining invitations--and then, while I
still waited pen in hand, she sat up on the couch with one of her quick
movements, and said in a low voice, "I am not dining out to-night, Miss
Wrenn. I am not well enough."

"I am sorry for that." It was all I could think of to say, for I did not
understand why she should have told me.

"If you don't mind, I should like you to come down to dinner. There will
be only Mr. Vanderbridge and myself."

"Of course I will come if you wish it." I couldn't very well refuse to
do what she asked me, yet I told myself, while I answered, that if I had
known she expected me to make one of the family, I should never, not
even at twice the salary, have taken the place. It didn't take me a
minute to go over my slender wardrobe in my mind and realize that I had
nothing to wear that would look well enough.

"I can see you don't like it," she added after a moment, almost
wistfully, "but it won't be often. It is only when we are dining alone."

This, I thought, was even queerer than the request--or command--for I
knew from her tone, just as plainly as if she had told me in words, that
she did not wish to dine alone with her husband.

"I am ready to help you in any way--in any way that I can," I replied,
and I was so deeply moved by her appeal that my voice broke in spite of
my effort to control it. After my lonely life I dare say I should have
loved any one who really needed me, and from the first moment that I
read the appeal in Mrs. Vanderbridge's face I felt that I was willing to
work my fingers to the bone for her. Nothing that she asked of me was
too much when she asked it in that voice, with that look.

"I am glad you are nice," she said, and for the first time she smiled--a
charming, girlish smile with a hint of archness. "We shall get on
beautifully, I know, because I can talk to you. My last secretary was
English, and I frightened her almost to death whenever I tried to talk
to her." Then her tone grew serious. "You won't mind dining with us.
Roger--Mr. Vanderbridge--is the most charming man in the world."

"Is that his picture?"

"Yes, the one in the Florentine frame. The other is my brother. Do you
think we are alike?"

"Since you've told me, I notice a likeness." Already I had picked up the
Florentine frame from the desk, and was eagerly searching the features
of Mr. Vanderbridge. It was an arresting face, dark, thoughtful,
strangely appealing, and picturesque--though this may have been due, of
course, to the photographer. The more I looked at it, the more there
grew upon me an uncanny feeling of familiarity; but not until the next
day, while I was still trying to account for the impression that I had
seen the picture before, did there flash into my mind the memory of an
old portrait of a Florentine nobleman in a loan collection last winter.
I can't remember the name of the painter--I am not sure that it was
known--but this photograph might have been taken from the painting.
There was the same imaginative sadness in both faces, the same haunting
beauty of feature, and one surmised that there must be the same rich
darkness of colouring. The only striking difference was that the man in
the photograph looked much older than the original of the portrait, and
I remembered that the lady who had engaged me was the second wife of Mr.
Vanderbridge and some ten or fifteen years younger, I had heard, than
her husband.

"Have you ever seen a more wonderful face?" asked Mrs. Vanderbridge.
"Doesn't he look as if he might have been painted by Titian?"

"Is he really so handsome as that?"

"He is a little older and sadder, that is all. When we were married it
was exactly like him." For an instant she hesitated and then broke out
almost bitterly, "Isn't that a face any woman might fall in love with, a
face any woman--living or dead--would not be willing to give up?"

Poor child, I could see that she was overwrought and needed some one to
talk to, but it seemed queer to me that she should speak so frankly to a
stranger. I wondered why any one so rich and so beautiful should ever be
unhappy--for I had been schooled by poverty to believe that money is the
first essential of happiness--and yet her unhappiness was as evident as
her beauty, or the luxury that enveloped her. At that instant I felt
that I hated Mr. Vanderbridge, for whatever the secret tragedy of their
marriage might be, I instinctively knew that the fault was not on the
side of the wife. She was as sweet and winning as if she were still the
reigning beauty in the academy for young ladies. I knew with a knowledge
deeper than any conviction that she was not to blame, and if she wasn't
to blame, then who under heaven could be at fault except her husband?

In a few minutes a friend came in to tea, and I went upstairs to my
room, and unpacked the blue taffeta dress I had bought for my sister's
wedding. I was still doubtfully regarding it when there was a knock at
my door, and the maid with the sad face came in to bring me a pot of
tea. After she had placed the tray on the table, she stood nervously
twisting a napkin in her hands while she waited for me to leave my
unpacking and sit down in the easy chair she had drawn up under the

"How do you think Mrs. Vanderbridge is looking?" she asked abruptly in a
voice, that held a breathless note of suspense. Her nervousness and the
queer look in her face made me stare at her sharply. This was a house, I
was beginning to feel, where everybody, from the mistress down, wanted
to question me. Even the silent maid had found voice for interrogation.

"I think her the loveliest person I've ever seen," I answered after a
moment's hesitation. There couldn't be any harm in telling her how much
I admired her mistress.

"Yes, she is lovely--every one thinks so--and her nature is as sweet as
her face." She was becoming loquacious. "I have never had a lady who was
so sweet and kind. She hasn't always been rich, and that may be the
reason she never seems to grow hard and selfish, the reason she spends
so much of her life thinking of other people. It's been six years now,
ever since her marriage, that I've lived with her, and in all that time
I've never had a cross word from her."

"One can see that. With everything she has she ought to be as happy as
the day is long."

"She ought to be." Her voice dropped, and I saw her glance suspiciously
at the door, which she had closed when she entered. "She ought to be,
but she isn't. I have never seen any one so unhappy as she has been of
late--ever since last summer. I suppose I oughtn't to talk about it, but
I've kept it to myself so long that I feel as if it was killing me. If
she was my own sister, I couldn't be any fonder of her, and yet I have
to see her suffer day after day, and not say a word--not even to her.
She isn't the sort of lady you could speak to about a thing like that."

She broke down, and dropping on the rug at my feet, hid her face in her
hands. It was plain that she was suffering acutely, and while I patted
her shoulder, I thought what a wonderful mistress Mrs. Vanderbridge must
be to have attached a servant to her so strongly.

"You must remember that I am a stranger in the house, that I scarcely
know her, that I've never even seen her husband," I said warningly, for
I've always avoided, as far as possible, the confidences of servants.

"But you look as if you could be trusted." The maid's nerves, as well as
the mistress's, were on edge, I could see. "And she needs somebody who
can help her. She needs a real friend--somebody who will stand by her no
matter what happens."

Again, as in the room downstairs, there flashed through my mind the
suspicion that I had got into a place where people took drugs or
drink--or were all out of their minds. I had heard of such houses.

"How can I help her? She won't confide in me, and even if she did, what
could I do for her?"

"You can stand by and watch. You can come between her and harm--if you
see it." She had risen from the floor and stood wiping her reddened eyes
on the napkin. "I don't know what it is, but I know it is there. I feel
it even when I can't see it."

Yes, they were all out of their minds; there couldn't be any other
explanation. The whole episode was incredible. It was the kind of thing,
I kept telling myself, that did not happen. Even in a book nobody could
believe it.

"But her husband? He is the one who must protect her."

She gave me a blighting look. "He would if he could. He isn't to
blame--you mustn't think that. He is one of the best men in the world,
but he can't help her. He can't help her because he doesn't know. He
doesn't see it."

A bell rang somewhere, and catching up the tea-tray, she paused just
long enough to throw me a pleading word, "Stand between her and harm, if
you see it."

When she had gone I locked the door after her, and turned on all the
lights in the room. Was there really a tragic mystery in the house, or
were they all mad, as I had first imagined? The feeling of apprehension,
of vague uneasiness, which had come to me when I entered the iron doors,
swept over me in a wave while I sat there in the soft glow of the shaded
electric light. Something was wrong. Somebody was making that lovely
woman unhappy, and who, in the name of reason, could this somebody be
except her husband? Yet the maid had spoken of him as "one of the best
men in the world," and it was impossible to doubt the tearful sincerity
of her voice. Well, the riddle was too much for me. I gave it up at last
with a sigh--dreading the hour that would call the downstairs to meet
Mr. Vanderbridge. I felt in every nerve and fibre of my body that I
should hate him the moment I looked at him.

But at eight o'clock, when I went reluctantly downstairs, I had a
surprise. Nothing could have been kinder than the way Mr. Vanderbridge
greeted me, and I could tell as soon as I met his eyes that there wasn't
anything vicious or violent in his nature. He reminded me more than
ever of the portrait in the loan collection, and though he was so much
older than the Florentine nobleman, he had the same thoughtful look. Of
course I am not an artist, but I have always tried, in my way, to be a
reader of personality; and it didn't take a particularly keen observer
to discern the character and intellect in Mr. Vanderbridge's face. Even
now I remember it as the noblest face I have ever seen; and unless I had
possessed at least a shade of penetration, I doubt if I should have
detected the melancholy. For it was only when he was thinking deeply
that this sadness seemed to spread like a veil over his features. At
other times he was cheerful and even gay in his manner; and his rich
dark eyes would light up now and then with irrepressible humour. From
the way he looked at his wife I could tell that there was no lack of
love or tenderness on his side any more than there was on hers. It was
obvious that he was still as much in love with her as he had been before
his marriage, and my immediate perception of this only deepened the
mystery that enveloped them. If the fault wasn't his and wasn't hers,
then who was responsible for the shadow that hung over the house?

For the shadow was there. I could feel it, vague and dark, while we
talked about the war and the remote possibilities of peace in the
spring. Mrs. Vanderbridge looked young and lovely in her gown of white
satin with pearls on her bosom, but her violet eyes were almost black in
the candlelight, and I had a curious feeling that this blackness was the
colour of thought. Something troubled her to despair, yet I was as
positive as I could be of anything I had ever been told that she had
breathed no word of this anxiety or distress to her husband. Devoted as
they were, a nameless dread, fear, or apprehension divided them. It was
the thing I had felt from the moment I entered the house; the thing I
had heard in the tearful voice of the maid. One could scarcely call it
horror, because it was too vague, too impalpable, for so vivid a name;
yet, after all these quiet months, horror is the only word I can think
of that in any way expresses the emotion which pervaded the house.

I had never seen so beautiful a dinner table, and I was gazing with
pleasure at the damask and glass and silver--there was a silver basket
of chrysanthemums, I remember, in the centre of the table--when I
noticed a nervous movement of Mrs. Vanderbridge's head, and saw her
glance hastily toward the door and the staircase beyond. We had been
talking animatedly, and as Mrs. Vanderbridge turned away, I had just
made a remark to her husband, who appeared to have fallen into a sudden
fit of abstraction, and was gazing thoughtfully over his soup-plate at
the white and yellow chrysanthemums. It occurred to me, while I watched
him, that he was probably absorbed in some financial problem, and I
regretted that I had been so careless as to speak to him. To my
surprise, however, he replied immediately in a natural tone, and I saw,
or imagined that I saw, Mrs. Vanderbridge throw me a glance of gratitude
and relief. I can't remember what we were talking about, but I recall
perfectly that the conversation kept up pleasantly, without a break,
until dinner was almost half over. The roast had been served, and I was
in the act of helping myself to potatoes, when I became aware that Mr.
Vanderbridge had again fallen into his reverie. This time he scarcely
seemed to hear his wife's voice when she spoke to him, and I watched the
sadness cloud his face while he continued to stare straight ahead of him
with a look that was almost yearning in its intensity.

Again I saw Mrs. Vanderbridge, with her nervous gesture, glance in the
direction of the hall, and to my amazement, as she did so, a woman's
figure glided noiselessly over the old Persian rug at the door, and
entered the dining-room. I was wondering why no one spoke to her, why
she spoke to no one, when I saw her sink into a chair on the other side
of Mr. Vanderbridge and unfold her napkin. She was quite young, younger
even than Mrs. Vanderbridge, and though she was not really beautiful,
she was the most graceful creature I had ever imagined. Her dress was of
gray stuff, softer and more clinging than silk, and of a peculiar misty
texture and colour, and her parted hair lay like twilight on either side
of her forehead. She was not like any one I had ever seen before--she
appeared so much frailer, so much more elusive, as if she would vanish
if you touched her. I can't describe, even months afterwards, the
singular way in which she attracted and repelled me.

At first I glanced inquiringly at Mrs. Vanderbridge, hoping that she
would introduce me, but she went on talking rapidly in an intense,
quivering voice, without noticing the presence of her guest by so much
as the lifting of her eyelashes. Mr. Vanderbridge still sat there,
silent and detached, and all the time the eyes of the stranger--starry
eyes with a mist over them--looked straight through me at the tapestry
on the wall. I knew she didn't see me and that it wouldn't have made the
slightest difference to her if she had seen me. In spite of her grace
and her girlishness I did not like her, and I felt that this aversion
was not on my side alone. I do not know how I received the impression
that she hated Mrs. Vanderbridge--never once had she glanced in her
direction--yet I was aware from the moment of her entrance, that she was
bristling with animosity, though animosity is too strong a word for the
resentful spite, like the jealous rage of a spoiled child, which gleamed
now and then in her eyes. I couldn't think of her as wicked any more
than I could think of a bad child as wicked. She was merely wilful and
undisciplined and--I hardly know how to convey what I mean--elfish.

After her entrance the dinner dragged on heavily. Mrs. Vanderbridge
still kept up her nervous chatter, but nobody listened, for I was too
embarrassed to pay any attention to what she said, and Mr. Vanderbridge
had never recovered from his abstraction. He was like a man in a dream,
not observing a thing that happened before him, while the strange woman
sat there in the candlelight with her curious look of vagueness and
unreality. To my astonishment not even the servants appeared to notice
her, and though she had unfolded her napkin when she sat down, she
wasn't served with either the roast or the salad. Once or twice,
particularly when a course was served, I glanced at Mrs. Vanderbridge to
see if she would rectify the mistake, but she kept her gaze fixed on her
plate. It was just as if there were a conspiracy to ignore the presence
of the stranger, though she had been, from the moment of her entrance,
the dominant figure at the table. You tried to pretend she wasn't there,
and yet you knew--you knew vividly that she was gazing insolently
straight through you.

The dinner lasted, it seemed, for hours, and you may imagine my relief
when at last Mrs. Vanderbridge rose and led the way back into the
drawing-room. At first I thought the stranger would follow us, but when
I glanced round from the hall she was still sitting there beside Mr.
Vanderbridge, who was smoking a cigar with his coffee.

"Usually he takes his coffee with me," said Mrs. Vanderbridge, "but
tonight he has things to think over."

"I thought he seemed absent-minded."

"You noticed it, then?" She turned to me with her straightforward
glance. "I always wonder how much strangers notice. He hasn't been well
of late, and he has these spells of depression. Nerves are dreadful
things, aren't they?"

I laughed. "So I've heard, but I've never been able to afford them."

"Well, they do cost a great deal, don't they?" She had a trick of ending
her sentences with a question. "I hope your room is comfortable, and
that you don't feel timid about being alone on that floor. If you
haven't nerves, you can't get nervous, can you?"

"No, I can't get nervous." Yet while I spoke, I was conscious of a
shiver deep down in me, as if my senses reacted again to the dread that
permeated the atmosphere.

As soon as I could, I escaped to my room, and I was sitting there over a
book, when the maid--her name was Hopkins, I had discovered--came in on
the pretext of inquiring if I had everything I needed. One of the
innumerable servants had already turned down my bed, so when Hopkins
appeared at the door, I suspected at once that there was a hidden motive
underlying her ostensible purpose.

"Mrs. Vanderbridge told me to look after you," she began. "She is afraid
you will be lonely until you learn the way of things."

"No, I'm not lonely," I answered. "I've never had time to be lonely."

"I used to be like that; but time hangs heavy on my hands now. That's
why I've taken to knitting." She held out a gray yarn muffler. "I had an
operation a year ago, and since then Mrs. Vanderbridge has had another
maid--a French one--to sit up for her at night and undress her. She is
always so fearful of overtaxing us, though there isn't really enough
work for two lady's-maids, because she is so thoughtful that she never
gives any trouble if she can help it."

"It must be nice to be rich," I said idly, as I turned a page of my
book. Then I added almost before I realized what I was saying, "The
other lady doesn't look as if she had so much money."

Her face turned paler if that were possible, and for a minute I thought
she was going to faint. "The other lady?"

"I mean the one who came down late to dinner--the one in the gray dress.
She wore no jewels, and her dress wasn't low in the neck."

"Then you saw her?" There was a curious flicker in her face as if her
pallor came and went.

"We were at the table when she came in. Has Mr. Vanderbridge a secretary
who lives in the house?"

"No, he hasn't a secretary except at his office. When he wants one at
the house, he telephones to his office."

"I wondered why she came, for she didn't eat any dinner, and nobody
spoke to her--not even Mr. Vanderbridge."

"Oh, he never speaks to her. Thank God, it hasn't come to that yet."

"Then why does she come? It must be dreadful to be treated like that,
and before the servants, too. Does she come often?"

"There are months and months when she doesn't. I can always tell by the
way Mrs. Vanderbridge picks up. You wouldn't know her, she is so full of
life--the very picture of happiness. Then one evening she--the Other
One, I mean--comes back again, just as she did tonight, just as she did
last summer, and it all begins over from the beginning."

"But can't they keep her out--the Other One? Why do they let her in?"

"Mrs. Vanderbridge tries hard. She tries all she can every minute. You
saw her tonight?"

"And Mr. Vanderbridge? Can't he help her?"

She shook her head with an ominous gesture. "He doesn't know."

"He doesn't know she is there? Why, she was close by him. She never took
her eyes off him except when she was staring through me at the wall."

"Oh, he knows she is there, but not in that way. He doesn't know that
any one else knows."

I gave it up, and after a minute she said in a suppressed voice, "It
seems strange that you should have seen her. I never have."

"But you know all about her."

"I know and I don't know. Mrs. Vanderbridge lets things drop
sometimes--she gets ill and feverish very easily--but she never tells me
anything outright. She isn't that sort."

"Haven't the servants told you about her--the Other One?"

At this, I thought, she seemed startled. "Oh, they don't know anything
to tell. They feel that something is wrong; that is why they never stay
longer than a week or two--we've had eight butlers since autumn--but
they never see what it is."

She stooped to pick up the ball of yarn which had rolled under my chair.
"If the time ever comes when you can stand between them, you will do
it?" she asked.

"Between Mrs. Vanderbridge and the Other One?"

Her look answered me.

"You think, then, that she means harm to her?"

"I don't know. Nobody knows--but she is killing her."

The clock struck ten, and I returned to my book with a yawn, while
Hopkins gathered up her work and went out, after wishing me a formal
good night. The odd part about our secret conferences was that as soon
as they were over, we began to pretend so elaborately to each other that
they had never been.

"I'll tell Mrs. Vanderbridge that you are very comfortable," was the
last remark Hopkins made before she sidled out of the door and left me
alone with the mystery. It was one of those situations--I am obliged to
repeat this over and over--that was too preposterous for me to believe
even while I was surrounded and overwhelmed by its reality. I didn't
dare face what I thought, I didn't dare face even what I felt; but I
went to bed shivering in a warm room, while I resolved passionately that
if the chance ever came to me I would stand between Mrs. Vanderbridge
and this unknown evil that threatened her.

In the morning Mrs. Vanderbridge went out shopping, and I did not see
her until the evening, when she passed me on the staircase as she was
going out to dinner and the opera. She was radiant in blue velvet, with
diamonds in her hair and at her throat, and I wondered again how any one
so lovely could ever be troubled.

"I hope you had a pleasant day, Miss Wrenn," she said kindly. "I have
been too busy to get off any letters, but tomorrow we shall begin
early." Then, as if from an afterthought, she looked back and added,
"There are some new novels in my sitting-room. You might care to look
over them."

When she had gone, I went upstairs to the sitting-room and turned over
the books, but I couldn't, to save my life, force an interest in printed
romances after meeting Mrs. Vanderbridge and remembering the mystery
that surrounded her. I wondered if "the Other One," as Hopkins called
her, lived in the house, and I was still wondering this when the maid
came in and began putting the table to rights.

"Do they dine out often?" I asked.

"They used to, but since Mr. Vanderbridge hasn't been so well, Mrs.
Vanderbridge doesn't like to go without him. She only went tonight
because he begged her to."

She had barely finished speaking when the door opened, and Mr.
Vanderbridge came in and sat down in one of the big velvet chairs before
the wood fire. He had not noticed us, for one of his moods was upon him,
and I was about to slip out as noiselessly as I could when I saw that
the Other One was standing in the patch of firelight on the hearth rug.
I had not seen her come in, and Hopkins evidently was still unaware of
her presence, for while I was watching, I saw the maid turn towards her
with a fresh log for the fire. At the moment it occurred to me that
Hopkins must be either blind or drunk, for without hesitating in her
advance, she moved on the stranger, holding the huge hickory log out in
front of her. Then, before I could utter a sound or stretch out a hand
to stop her, I saw her walk straight through the gray figure and
carefully place the log on the andirons.

So she isn't real, after all, she is merely a phantom, I found myself
thinking, as I fled from the room, and hurried along the hall to the
staircase. She is only a ghost, and nobody believes in ghosts any
longer. She is something that I know doesn't exist, yet even, though she
can't possibly be, I can swear that I have seen her. My nerves were so
shaken by the discovery that as soon as I reached my room I sank in a
heap on the rug, and it was here that Hopkins found me a little later
when she came to bring me an extra blanket.

"You looked so upset I thought you might have seen something," she said.
"Did anything happen while you were in the room?"

"She was there all the time--every blessed minute. You walked right
through her when you put the log on the fire. Is it possible that you
didn't see her?"

"No, I didn't see anything out of the way." She was plainly frightened.
"Where was she standing?"

"On the hearthrug in front of Mr. Vanderbridge. To reach the fire you
had to walk straight through her, for she didn't move. She didn't give
way an inch."

"Oh, she never gives way. She never gives way living or dead."

This was more than human nature could stand. "In Heaven's name," I cried
irritably, "who is she?"

"Don't you know?" She appeared genuinely surprised. "Why, she is the
other Mrs. Vanderbridge. She died fifteen years ago, just a year after
they were married, and people say a scandal was hushed up about her,
which he never knew. She isn't a good sort, that's what I think of her,
though they say he almost worshipped her."

"And she still has this hold on him?"

"He can't shake it off, that's what's the matter with him, and if it
goes on, he will end his days in an asylum. You see, she was very young,
scarcely more than a girl, and he got the idea in his head that it was
marrying him that killed her. If you want to know what I think, I
believe she puts it there for a purpose."

"You mean--?" I was so completely at sea that I couldn't frame a
rational question.

"I mean she haunts him purposely in order to drive him out of his mind.
She was always that sort, jealous and exacting, the kind that clutches
and strangles a man, and I've often thought, though I've no head for
speculation, that we carry into the next world the traits and feelings
that have got the better of us in this one. It seems to me only common
sense to believe that we're obliged to work them off somewhere until we
are free of them. That is the way my first lady used to talk anyhow, and
I've never found anybody that could give me a more sensible idea."

"And isn't there any way to stop it? What has Mrs. Vanderbridge done?"

"Oh, she can't do anything now. It has got beyond her, though she has
had doctor after doctor, and tried everything she could think of. But,
you see, she is handicapped because she can't mention it to her husband.
He doesn't know that she knows."

"And she won't tell him?"

"She is the sort that would die first--just the opposite from the Other
One--for she leaves him free, she never clutches and strangles. It isn't
her way." For a moment she hesitated, and then added grimly--"I've
wondered if you could do anything?"

"If I could? Why, I am a perfect stranger to them all."

"That's why I've been thinking it. Now, if you could corner her some
day--the Other One--and tell her up and down to her face what you think
of her."

The idea was so ludicrous that it made me laugh in spite of my shaken
nerves. "They would fancy me out of my wits! Imagine stopping an
apparition and telling it what you think of it!"

"Then you might try talking it over with Mrs. Vanderbridge. It would
help her to know that you see her also."

But the next morning, when I went down to Mrs. Vanderbridge's room, I
found that she was too ill to see me. At noon a trained nurse came on
the case, and for a week we took our meals together in the morning-room
upstairs. She appeared competent enough, but I am sure that she didn't
so much as suspect that there was anything wrong in the house except the
influenza which had attacked Mrs. Vanderbridge the night of the opera.
Never once during that week did I catch a glimpse of the Other One,
though I felt her presence whenever I left my room and passed through
the hall below. I knew all the time as well as if I had seen her that
she was hidden there, watching, watching--

At the end of the week Mrs. Vanderbridge sent for me to write some
letters, and when I went into her room, I found her lying on the couch
with a tea table in front of her. She asked me to make the tea because
she was still so weak, and I saw that she looked flushed and feverish,
and that her eyes were unnaturally large and bright. I hoped she
wouldn't talk to me, because people in that state are apt to talk too
much and then to blame the listener; but I had hardly taken my seat at
the tea table before she said in a hoarse voice--the cold had settled on
her chest:

"Miss Wrenn, I have wanted to ask you ever since the other evening--did
you--did you see anything unusual at dinner? From your face when you
came out I thought--I thought--"

I met this squarely. "That I might have? Yes, I did see something."

"You saw her?"

"I saw a woman come in and sit down at the table, and I wondered why no
one served her. I saw her quite distinctly."

"A small woman, thin and pale, in a grey dress?"

"She was so vague and--and misty, you know what I mean, that it is hard
to describe her; but I should know her again anywhere. She wore her hair
parted and drawn down over her ears. It was very dark and fine--as fine
as spun silk."

We were speaking in low voices, and unconsciously we had moved closer
together while my idle hands left the tea things.

"Then you know," she said earnestly, "that she really comes--that I am
not out of my mind--that it is not an hallucination?"

"I know that I saw her. I would swear to it. But doesn't Mr.
Vanderbridge see her also?"

"Not as we see her. He thinks that she is in his mind only." Then after
an uncomfortable silence, she added suddenly, "She is really a thought,
you know. She is his thought of her--but he doesn't know that she is
visible to the rest of us."

"And he brings her back by thinking of her?"

She leaned nearer while a quiver passed over her features and the flush
deepened in her cheeks. "That is the only way she comes back--the only
way she has the power to come back--as a thought. There are months and
months when she leaves us in peace because he is thinking of other
things, but of late, since his illness, she has been with him almost
constantly." A sob broke from her, and she buried her face in her hands.
"I suppose she is always trying to come--only she is too vague--and she
hasn't any form that we can see except when he thinks of her as she used
to look when she was alive. His thought of her is like that, hurt and
tragic and revengeful. You see, he feels that he ruined her life because
she died when the child was coming--a month before it would have been

"And if he were to see her differently, would she change? Would she
cease to be revengeful if he stopped thinking her so?"

"God only knows. I've wondered and wondered how I might move her to

"Then you feel that she is really there? That she exists outside of his

"How can I tell? What do any of us know of the world beyond? She exists
as much as I exist to you or you to me. Isn't thought all that there
is--all that we know?"

This was deeper than I could follow; but in order not to appear stupid,
I murmured sympathetically.

"And does she make him unhappy when she comes?"

"She is killing him--and me. I believe that is why she does it."

"Are you sure that she could stay away? When he thinks of her isn't she
obliged to come back?"

"Oh, I've asked that question over and over! In spite of his calling her
so unconsciously, I believe she comes of her own will. I have always the
feeling--it has never left me for an instant--that she could appear
differently if she would. I have studied her for years until I know her
like a book, and though she is only an apparition, I am perfectly
positive that she wills evil to us both. Don't you think he would change
that if he could? Don't you think he would make her kind instead of
vindictive if he had the power?"

"But if he could remember her as loving and tender?"

"I don't know. I give it up--but it is killing me."

It _was_ killing her. As the days passed I began to realize that she had
spoken the truth. I watched her bloom fade slowly and her lovely
features grow pinched and thin like the features of a starved person.
The harder she fought the apparition, the more I saw that the battle was
a losing one, and that she was only wasting her strength. So impalpable
yet so pervasive was the enemy that it was like fighting a poisonous
odour. There was nothing to wrestle with, and yet there was everything.
The struggle was wearing her out--was, as she had said, actually
"killing her"; but the physician who dosed her daily with drugs--there
was need now of a physician--had not the faintest idea of the malady he
was treating. In those dreadful days I think that even Mr. Vanderbridge
hadn't a suspicion of the truth. The past was with him so constantly--he
was so steeped in the memories of it that the present was scarcely more
than a dream to him. It was, you see, a reversal of the natural order of
things; the thought had become more vivid to his perceptions than any
object. The phantom had been victorious so far, and he was like a man
recovering from the effects of a narcotic. He was only half awake, only
half alive to the events through which he lived and the people who
surrounded him. Oh, I realize that I am telling my story badly!--that I
am slurring over the significant interludes! My mind has dealt so long
with external details that I have almost forgotten the words that
express invisible things. Though the phantom in the house was more real
to me than the bread I ate or the floor on which I trod, I can give you
no impression of the atmosphere in which we lived day after day--of the
suspense, of the dread of something we could not define, of the brooding
horror that seemed to lurk in the shadows of the firelight, of the
feeling always, day and night, that some unseen person was watching us.
How Mrs. Vanderbridge stood it without losing her mind, I have never
known; and even now I am not sure that she could have kept her reason if
the end had not come when it did. That I accidentally brought it about
is one of the things in my life I am most thankful to remember.

It was an afternoon in late winter, and I had just come up from
luncheon, when Mrs. Vanderbridge asked me to empty an old desk in one of
the upstairs rooms. "I am sending all the furniture in that room away,"
she said, "it was bought in a bad period, and I want to clear it out and
make room for the lovely things we picked up in Italy. There is nothing
in the desk worth saving except some old letters from Mr. Vanderbridge's
mother before her marriage."

I was glad that she could think of anything so practical as furniture,
and it was with relief that I followed her into the dim, rather musty
room over the library, where the windows were all tightly closed. Years
ago, Hopkins had once told me, the first Mrs. Vanderbridge had used this
room for a while, and after her death her husband had been in the habit
of shutting himself up alone here in the evenings. This, I inferred, was
the secret reason why my employer was sending the furniture away. She
had resolved to clear the house of every association with the past.

For a few minutes we sorted the letters in the drawers of the desk, and
then, as I expected, Mrs. Vanderbridge became suddenly bored by the task
she had undertaken. She was subject to these nervous reactions, and I
was prepared for them even when they seized her so spasmodically. I
remember that she was in the very act of glancing over an old letter
when she rose impatiently, tossed it into the fire unread, and picked up
a magazine she had thrown down on a chair.

"Go over them by yourself, Miss Wrenn," she said, and it was
characteristic of her nature that she should assume my trustworthiness.
"If anything seems worth saving you can file it--but I'd rather die than
have to wade through all this."

They were mostly personal letters, and while I went on, carefully filing
them, I thought how absurd it was of people to preserve so many papers
that were entirely without value. Mr. Vanderbridge I had imagined to be
a methodical man, and yet the disorder of the desk produced a painful
effect on my systematic temperament. The drawers were filled with
letters evidently unsorted, for now and then I came upon a mass of
business receipts and acknowledgements crammed in among wedding
invitations or letters from some elderly lady, who wrote interminable
pale epistles in the finest and most feminine of Italian hands. That a
man of Mr. Vanderbridge's wealth and position should have been so
careless about his correspondence amazed me until I recalled the dark
hints Hopkins had dropped in some of her midnight conversations. Was it
possible that he had actually lost his reason for months after the death
of his first wife, during that year when he had shut himself alone with
her memory? The question was still in my mind when my eyes fell on the
envelope in my hand, and I saw that it was addressed to Mrs. Roger
Vanderbridge. So this explained, in a measure at least, the carelessness
and the disorder! The desk was not his, but hers, and after her death he
had used it only during those desperate months when he barely opened a
letter. What he had done in those long evenings when he sat alone here
it was beyond me to imagine. Was it any wonder that the brooding should
have permanently unbalanced his mind?

At the end of an hour I had sorted and filed the papers, with the
intention of asking Mrs. Vanderbridge if she wished me to destroy the
ones that seemed to be unimportant. The letters she had instructed me to
keep had not come to my hand, and I was about to give up the search for
them, when, in shaking the lock of one of the drawers, the door of a
secret compartment fell open and I discovered a dark object, which
crumbled and dropped apart when I touched it. Bending nearer, I saw that
the crumbled mass had once been a bunch of flowers, and that a streamer
of purple ribbon still held together the frail structure of wire and
stems. In this drawer some one had hidden a sacred treasure, and moved
by a sense of romance and adventure, I gathered the dust tenderly in
tissue paper, and prepared to take it downstairs to Mrs. Vanderbridge.
It was not until then that some letters tied loosely together with a
silver cord caught my eyes, and while I picked them up, I remember
thinking that they must be the ones for which I had been looking so
long. Then, as the cord broke in my grasp and I gathered the letters
from the lid of the desk, a word or two flashed back at me through the
torn edges of the envelopes, and I realized that they were love letters
written, I surmised, some fifteen years ago, by Mr. Vanderbridge to his
first wife.

"It may hurt her to see them," I thought, "but I don't dare destroy
them. There is nothing I can do except give them to her."

As I left the room, carrying the letters and the ashes of the flowers,
the idea of taking them to the husband instead of to the wife, flashed
through my mind. Then--I think it was some jealous feeling about the
phantom that decided me--I quickened my steps to a run down the

"They would bring her back. He would think of her more than ever," I
told myself, "so he shall never see them. He shall never see them if I
can prevent it." I believe it occurred to me that Mrs. Vanderbridge
would be generous enough to give them to him--she was capable of rising
above her jealousy, I knew--but I determined that she shouldn't do it
until I had reasoned it out with her. "If anything on earth would bring
back the Other One for good, it would be his seeing these old letters,"
I repeated as I hastened down the hall.

Mrs. Vanderbridge was lying on the couch before the fire, and I noticed
at once that she had been crying. The drawn look in her sweet face went
to my heart, and I felt that I would do anything in the world to comfort
her. Though she had a book in her hand, I could see that she had not
been reading. The electric lamp on the table by her side was already
lighted, leaving the rest of the room in shadow, for it was a grey day
with a biting edge of snow in the air. It was all very charming in the
soft light; but as soon as I entered I had a feeling of oppression that
made me want to run out into the wind. If you have ever lived in a
haunted house--a house pervaded by an unforgettable past--you will
understand the sensation of melancholy that crept over me the minute the
shadows began to fall. It was not in myself--of this I am sure, for I
have naturally a cheerful temperament--it was in the space that
surrounded us and the air we breathed.

I explained to her about the letters, and then, kneeling on the rug in
front of her, I emptied the dust of the flowers into the fire. There
was, though I hate to confess it, a vindictive pleasure in watching it
melt into the flames and at the moment I believe I could have burned the
apparition as thankfully. The more I saw of the Other One, the more I
found myself accepting Hopkins' judgment of her. Yes, her behaviour,
living and dead, proved that she was not "a good sort."

My eyes were still on the flames when a sound from Mrs.
Vanderbridge--half a sigh, half a sob--made me turn quickly and look up
at her.

"But this isn't his handwriting," she said in a puzzled tone. "They are
love letters, and they are to her--but they are not from him." For a
moment or two she was silent, and I heard the pages rustle in her hands
as she turned them impatiently. "They are not from him," she repeated
presently, with an exultant ring in her voice. "They are written after
her marriage, but they are from another man." She was as sternly tragic
as an avenging fate. "She wasn't faithful to him while she lived. She
wasn't faithful to him even while he was hers--"

With a spring I had risen from my knees and was bending over her.

"Then you can save him from her. You can win him back? You have only to
show him the letters, and he will believe."

"Yes, I have only to show him the letters." She was looking beyond me
into the dusky shadows of the firelight, as if she saw the Other One
standing there. "I have only to show him the letters," I knew now that
she was not speaking to me, "and he will believe."

"Her power over him will be broken," I cried out. "He will think of her
differently. Oh, don't you see? Can't you see? It is the only way to
make him think of her differently. It is the only way to break for ever
the thought that draws her back to him."

"Yes, I see, it is the only way," she said slowly; and the words were
still on her lips when the door opened and Mr. Vanderbridge entered.

"I came for a cup of tea," he began, and added with playful tenderness,
"What is the only way?"

It was the crucial moment, I realized--it was the hour of destiny for
these two--and while he sank wearily into a chair, I looked imploringly
at his wife and then at the letters lying scattered loosely about her.
If I had had my will I should have flung them at him with a violence
which would have startled him out of his lethargy. Violence, I felt was
what he needed--violence, a storm, tears, reproaches--all the things he
would never get from his wife.

For a minute or two she sat there, with the letters before her, and
watched him with her thoughtful and tender gaze. I knew from her face,
so lovely and yet so sad, that she was looking again at invisible
things--at the soul of the man she loved, not at the body. She saw him,
detached and spiritualized, and she saw also the Other One--for while we
waited I became slowly aware of the apparition in the firelight--of the
white face and the cloudy hair and the look of animosity and bitterness
in the eyes. Never before had I been so profoundly convinced of the
malignant will veiled by that thin figure. It was as if the visible form
were only a spiral of grey smoke covering a sinister purpose.

"The only way," said Mrs. Vanderbridge, "is to fight fairly even when
one fights evil." Her voice was like a bell, and as she spoke, she rose
from the couch and stood there in her glowing beauty confronting the
pale ghost of the past. There was a light about her that was almost
unearthly--the light of triumph. The radiance of it blinded me for an
instant. It was like a flame, clearing the atmosphere of all that was
evil, of all that was poisonous and deadly. She was looking directly at
the phantom, and there was no hate in her voice--there was only a great
pity, a great sorrow and sweetness.

"I can't fight you that way," she said, and I knew that for the first
time she had swept aside subterfuge and evasion, and was speaking
straight to the presence before her. "After all, you are dead and I am
living, and I cannot fight you that way. I give up everything. I give
him back to you. Nothing is mine that I cannot win and keep fairly.
Nothing is mine that belongs really to you."

Then, while Mr. Vanderbridge rose, with a start of fear, and came
towards her, she bent quickly, and flung the letters into the fire. When
he would have stooped to gather the unburned pages, her lovely flowing
body curved between his hands and the flames; and so transparent, so
ethereal she looked, that I saw--or imagined that I saw--the firelight
shine through her. "The only way, my dear, is the right way," she said

The next instant--I don't know to this day how or when it began--I was
aware that the apparition had drawn nearer, and that the dread and fear,
the evil purpose, were no longer a part of her. I saw her clearly for a
moment--saw her as I had never seen her before--young and gentle
and--yes, this is the only word for it--loving. It was just as if a
curse had turned into a blessing, for, while she stood there, I had a
curious sensation of being enfolded in a kind of spiritual glow and
comfort--only words are useless to describe the feeling because it
wasn't in the least like anything else I had ever known in my life. It
was light without heat, glow without light--and yet it was none of these
things. The nearest I can come to it is to call it a sense of
blessedness--of blessedness that made you at peace with everything you
had once hated.

Not until afterwards did I realize that it was the victory of good over
evil. Not until afterwards did I discover that Mrs. Vanderbridge had
triumphed over the past in the only way that she could triumph. She had
won, not by resisting, but by accepting, not by violence, but by
gentleness, not by grasping, but by renouncing. Oh, long, long
afterwards, I knew that she had robbed the phantom of power over her by
robbing it of hatred. She had changed the thought of the past, in that
lay her victory.

At the moment I did not understand this. I did not understand it even
when I looked again for the apparition in the firelight, and saw that it
had vanished. There was nothing there--nothing except the pleasant
flicker of light and shadow on the old Persian rug.



(From _The Pictorial Review_)

Laura stood across the street waiting for the people to come out from
the picture-show. She couldn't have said just why she was waiting,
unless it was that she was waiting because she could not go away. She
was not wearing her black; she had a reason for not wearing it when she
came on these trips, and the simple lines of her dark-blue suit and the
smart little hat Howie had always liked on her, somehow suggested young
and happy things. Two soldiers came by; one of them said, "Hello, there,
kiddo," and the other, noting the anxiety with which she waited, assured
her, "_You_ should worry." She looked at them, and when he saw her face
the one who had said, "You should worry," said, in sheepish fashion,
"Well, _I_ should worry," as if to get out of the apology he didn't know
how to make. She was glad they had gone by. It hurt so to be near the

The man behind her kept saying, "Pop-_corn_! _Pop_-corn right _here_."
It seemed she must buy pop-corn if she stood there. She bought some. She
tried to do the thing she was expected to do--so she wouldn't be

Then the people came pushing out from the theater. They did it just as
they did it in the other towns. A new town was only the same town in a
different place; and all of it was a world she was as out of as if it
were passing before her in a picture. All of it except that one thing
that was all she had left! She had come so far to have it tonight. She
_wouldn't_ be cheated. She crossed the street, and as the last people
were coming out of the theater she went in.

A man, yawning, was doing something to a light. He must belong to the
place. His back was to her, and she stood there trying to get brave
enough to speak. It had never been easy for her to open conversations
with strangers. For so many years it was Howie who had seemed to connect
her with the world. And suddenly she thought of how sorry Howie would be
to see her waiting around in this dismal place after every one else had
gone, trying to speak to a strange man about a thing that man wouldn't
at all understand. How well Howie would understand it! He would say, "Go
on home, Laura." "Don't do this, sweetheart." Almost as if he had said
it, she turned away. But she turned back. This was her wedding

She went up to the man. "You didn't give all of the picture tonight, did
you?" Her voice was sharp; it mustn't tremble.

He looked round at her in astonishment. He kept looking her up and down
as if to make her out. Her trembling hands clutched the bag of pop-corn
and some of it spilled. She let it all fall and put one hand to her

A man came down from upstairs. "Lady here says you didn't give the whole
show tonight," said the first man.

The young man on the stairs paused in astonishment. He, too, looked
Laura up and down. She took a step backward.

"What was left out wasn't of any importance, lady," said the man,
looking at her, not unkindly, but puzzled.

"I think it was!" she contended in a high, sharp voice. They both stared
at her. As she realized that this could happen, saw how slight was her
hold on the one thing she had, she went on, desperately, "You haven't
any right to do this! It's--it's _cheating_."

They looked then, not at her, but at each other--as the sane counsel
together in the presence of what is outside their world. Oh, she knew
that look! She had seen her brother and his wife doing it when first she
knew about Howie.

"Now I'll tell you, lady," said the man to whom she had first spoken,
in the voice that deals with what has to be dealt with carefully, "you
just let me give you your money back, then you won't have the feeling
that you've been cheated." He put his hand in his pocket.

"I don't want my money back!" cried Laura. "I--want to see what you left

"Well, I'll tell you what I'll do," proposed the young man, taking his
cue from the older one. "I'll tell you just exactly what happened in the
part that was left out."

"I know exactly what happened," cut in Laura. "I--I want to _see_--what

It was a cry from so deep that they didn't know what to do.

"Won't you do it for me?" she begged of the young man, going up to him.
"What you left out--won't you show it for me--_now_?"

He just stood there staring at her.

"It means--! It--" But how could she tell them what it meant? She looked
from one to the other, as if to see what chance there was of their doing
it without knowing what it meant. When she couldn't keep sobs back, she
turned away.

Even in her room at the hotel she had to try to keep from crying. She
could hear the man moving around in the next room--so he, of course,
could hear her, too. It was all as it was in the pictures--people
crowded together, and all of it something that seemed life and really
wasn't. Even _that_--the one thing, the one moment--really wasn't life.
But it was all she had! If she let herself think of how little that all
was--it was an emptiness she was afraid of.

The people who had tried to comfort her used to talk of how much she had
had. She would wonder sometimes why they were talking on her side
instead of their own. For if you have had much--does that make it easy
to get along with nothing? Why couldn't they _see_ it? That because of
what Howie had been to her--and for ten years!--she just didn't know any
way of going on living without Howie!

Tonight made fresh all her wedding anniversaries--brought happiness to
life again. It almost took her in. And because she had been so near the
dear, warm things in which she had lived, when morning came she couldn't
get on the train that would take her back to that house to which Howie
would never come again. Once more it all seemed slipping from her. There
must be _something_. As a frightened child runs for home, she turned to
that place where--for at least a moment--it was as if Howie were there.

She went to the telegraph office and wired the company that sent out
"The Cross of Diamonds," asking where that film could be seen. She had
learned that this was the way to do it. She had known nothing about such
things at first; it had been hard to find out the ways of doing. It was
a world she didn't know the ways of.

When she got her answer, and found that the place where "The Cross of
Diamonds" would be shown that night was more than a hundred miles
away--that it meant going that much farther away from home--she told
herself this was a thing she couldn't do. She told herself this must
stop--that her brother was right in the things he said against it. It
wouldn't do. He hadn't said it was crazy, but that was what he meant--or
feared. She had told him she would try to stop. Now was the time to do
it--now when she would have to go so much farther away. But--_it_ was
going farther away--this glimpse of Howie--all that was left of Howie
was moving away from her! And after the disappointment of the night
before--She must see him once more! Then--yes, then she would stop.

She was excited when she had decided to do this. It lifted her out of
the nothingness. From this meager thing her great need could in a way
create the feeling that she was going to meet Howie. Once more she would
see him do that thing which was so like him as to bring him back into
life. _Why_ should she turn from it? What were all the other things
compared with this thing? This was one little flash of life in a world
that had ceased to be alive.

So again that night, in the clothes he had most liked, she went for that
poor little meeting with her husband--so pitifully little, and yet so
tremendous because it was all she would ever have. Again she sat in a
big, noisy place with many jostling, laughing people--and waited to see
Howie. She forgot that the place had ugly red walls and sickly green
lights; she could somehow separate herself from harsh voices and
smells--for she was here to meet Howie!

She knew just the part of the house to sit in. Once she had sat where
she couldn't see him as he passed from sight! After that she had always
come very early. So she had to sit there while other people were coming
in. But she didn't much mind that; it was like sitting in a crowded
railway station when the person you love is coming soon.

But suddenly something reached over that gulf between other people and
her. A word. A terrible word. Behind her some one said "munitions." She
put her hand to her eyes and pressed tight. Not to _see_. That was why
she had to keep coming for this look at Howie. She had to see
_him_--that she might shut out _that_--the picture of Howie--_blown into

She _hated_ people. They were always doing something like this to her.
She hated all these people in the theater. It seemed they were all,
somehow, against her. And Howie had been so good to them! He was so good
to people like the people in this theater. It was because he was so good
and kind to them that he was--that he was not Howie now. He was always
thinking of people's comfort--the comfort of people who had to work
hard. From the time he went into his father's factory he had always been
thinking up ways of making people more comfortable in their work. To see
girls working in uncomfortable chairs, or standing hour after hour at
tables too low or too high for them--he couldn't pass those things by as
others passed them by. He had a certain inventive faculty, and his
kindness was always making use of that. His father used to tell him he
would break them all up in business if his mind went on working in that
direction. He would tell him if he was going to be an inventor he had
better think up some money-making inventions. Howie would laugh and
reply that he'd make it all up some day. And at last one of the things
he had thought out to make it better for people was really going to make
it better for Howie. It was a certain kind of shade for the eyes. It
had been a relief to the girls in their little factory, and it was being
tried out elsewhere. It was even being used a little in one of the big
munition plants. Howie was there seeing about it. And while he was
there--He went in there Howie. There wasn't even anything to carry out.

The picture had begun. She had to wait until almost half of it had
passed before her moment came. The story was a tawdry, meaningless thing
about the adventures of two men who had stolen a diamond cross--a
strange world into which to come to find Howie. Chance had caught him
into it--he was one of the people passing along a street which was being
taken for the picture. His moment was prolonged by his stopping to do
the kind of thing Howie would do, and now it was as if that one moment
was the only thing saved out of Howie's life. They who made the picture
had apparently seen that the moment was worth keeping--they left it as a
part of the stream of life that was going by while the detective of
their story waited for the men for whom he had laid a trap. The story
itself had little relation to real things--yet chance made it this
vehicle for keeping something of the reality that had been Howie--a
disclosing moment captured unawares.

She was thinking of the strangeness of all this when again the people
seated back of her said a thing that came right to her. They were saying
"scrap-heap." She knew--before she knew why--that this had something to
do with her. Then she found that they were talking about this film. It
was ready for the scrap-heap. It was on its last legs. They laughed and
said perhaps they were seeing its "last appearance."

She tried to understand what it meant. Then even this would cease to be
in the world. She had known she ought to stop following the picture
around, she had even told herself this would be the last time she would
come to see it--but to feel it wouldn't any longer be there to be
seen--that even this glimpse of Howie would go out--go out as life goes
out--scrap-heap! She sat up straight and cleared her throat. She would
have to leave. She must get air. But she looked to see where they were.
Not far now. She might miss Howie! With both hands she took hold of the
sides of the seat. She was _not_ going to fall forward! _Not_
suffocating. Not until after she had seen him.

_Now._ The detective has left the hotel--he is walking along the street.
He comes to the cigar-store door, and there steps in to watch. And there
comes the dog! Then it was not going to be cut out tonight! Along comes
the little dog--pawing at his muzzle. He stops in distress in front of
the cigar-store. People pass and pay no attention to the dog--there on
the sidewalk. And then--in the darkened theater her hands go out, for
the door has opened--and she sees her husband! _Howie._ _There._ Moving
as he always moved! She fights back the tears that would blur him. That
dear familiar way he moves! It is almost as if she could step up and
meet him, and they could walk away together.

He starts to go the other way. Then he sees the dog. He goes up to him;
he is speaking to him, wanting to know what is the matter. She can
fairly hear the warmth and kindness of his voice as he speaks to the
little dog. He feels of the muzzle--finds it too tight; he lets it out a
notch. _Dear_ Howie. Of _course_ he would do that. No one else had
cared, but he would care. Then he speaks to the dog--pats him--tells him
he is all right now. Then Howie turns away.

But the dog thinks he will go with this nice person! Howie laughs and
tells him he can't come. A little girl has come across the street. Howie
tells her to keep the dog from following him. Then again he turns to go.
But just before he passes from sight the child calls something to him,
and he looks back over his shoulder and smiles. She sees again the smile
that has been the heart of her life. Then he passes from sight.

And he always leaves friends behind him--just as he always did leave
friends behind him. There will be little murmurs of approval; sometimes
there is applause. Tonight a woman near Laura said, "Say, I bet that's
an awful nice fellow."

She never left her seat at once, as if moving would break a spell. For a
little while after she had seen it, his smile would stay with her. Then
it would fade, as things fade in the motion pictures. Somehow she didn't
really _have_ it. That was why she had to keep coming--constantly
reaching out for something that was not hers to keep.

When her moment had gone, she rose and walked down the aisle. It was
very hard to go away tonight. There had been all the time the fear that
what happened the night before would happen again--that she would not
see Howie, after all. That made her so tense that she was exhausted now.
And then "munitions"--and "scrap-heap." Perhaps it was because of all
this that tonight her moment had been so brief. Only for an instant
Howie's smile had brought her into life. It was gone now. It had passed.

She was so worn that when, at the door, her brother Tom stepped up to
her she was not much surprised or even angry. Tom had no business to be
following her about. She had told him that she would have to manage it
her own way--that he would have to let her alone. Now here he was
again--to trouble her, to talk to her about being brave and sane--when
he didn't _know_--when he didn't have any idea what he was talking
about! But it didn't matter--not tonight. Let him do things--get the
tickets--and all that. Even let him talk to her. That didn't matter

But he talked very little. He seemed to think there was something wrong
with her. He looked at her and said, "O, Laura!" reproachfully, but

"I thought you weren't going to do this any more, Laura," he said
gently, after they had walked a little way.

"How did you know I was here?" she asked listlessly.

"They sent me word you had left home. I traced you."

"I don't see why you should trace me," she said, but not as if it

"O, Laura!" he said again. "Well, I must say I don't think Mrs. Edmunds
was much of a friend!"

It was Mrs. Edmunds who had told Laura that there was this glimpse of
her husband in "The Cross of Diamonds." She had hesitated about telling
her, but had finally said it was so characteristic and beautiful a
moment she felt Laura should see it.

From the first Tom had opposed her seeing it, saying it would be nothing
but torture to her. Torture it was, but it was as if that torture were
all there was left of life.

Tonight everything was as a world of shadows. She knew that her brother
was taking her to his home instead of back to her own. He had wanted to
do this before, but she had refused. There was nothing in her now that
could refuse. She went with him as if she were merely moving in a
picture and had no power of her own to get out of it.

And that was the way it was through the next few weeks. Tom and his wife
would talk to her about trying to interest herself in life. She made no
resistance, she had no argument against this; but she had no power to do
it. They didn't know--they didn't know how it had been with her and

She herself had never been outgoing. It was perhaps a habit of reserve
built out of timidity, but she had been a girl whose life did not have a
real contact with other lives. Perhaps there were many people like
that--perhaps not; she did not know. She only knew that before Howie
came the life in her was more as a thing unto itself than a part of the
life of the world.

Then Howie came! Howie, who could get on with any one, who found
something to like in every one; and in the warmth and strength of his
feeling for people he drew her into that main body of life where she had
not been before. It had been like coming into the sunshine!

Now he was gone; and they asked her to be alone what she had been
through him. It was like telling one to go into the sunshine when the
sun is not shining.

And the more these others tried to reach her, the more alone she felt,
for it only made her know they could not reach her. When you have lived
in the sunshine, days of cold mist may become more than you can bear.
After a long struggle not to do so, she again went to the long-distance
telephone to find out where that picture was being shown--that picture
into which was caught one moment of Howie's life as he moved through the

Worn by the struggle not to do what she was doing, and tormented by the
fear that she had waited too long, that this one thing which was left to
her might no longer _be_, she had to put every bit of her strength into
establishing this connection with the people who could tell her what she
must know. Establishing the connection with living was like this. She
was far off and connected only by a tenuous thing which might any moment
go into confusion and stop.

At the other end some one was making fun of her. They doubted if "The
Cross of Diamonds" could be seen anywhere at all. "The Cross of
Diamonds" had been double-crossed. Wasn't it too much of a cross,
anyway, to see "The Cross of Diamonds"?

Finally another man came to the phone. "The Cross of Diamonds" could be
seen at a certain town in Indiana. But she'd better hurry! And she'd
better look her last look. Why did she want to see it--might he ask? But
Laura hung up the receiver. She must hurry!

All the rest of it was a blur and a hurry. Through the unreal confusion
drove the one idea--she must get there in time! And that whole life of
the world seemed pitted against her--it was as if the whole of that main
body of life was thrown in between her and Howie. The train was late. It
was almost the hour for pictures to begin when she got down at that
lonely, far-away station. And the town, it seemed, was a mile from the
station! There was a bus she must take. Every nerve of her being was
hurrying that bus on--until that very anxiety made it seem it was Howie
himself she would see if only she could get there in time.

And being late, the downstairs at the theater was full. "Balcony only,"
said a man as she came in. "Oh, _won't_ you find me a good seat?" Laura
besought him. "Like to know how I'll find you a seat when there ain't no
seat," was the answer--the whole big life of the world in between her
and Howie!

Upstairs, too, it was hard to find a place. And all those people seated
there--for them it meant only a few hours' silly entertainment!

But after a moment a man directed her to a seat. There was another place
beside it, and just as Laura was being seated a woman came along with
two children. "We can't all sit together," she was saying, "so you just
sit in here, Mamie. You sit right in here--beside the nice lady."

The mother looked at Laura, as if expecting her to welcome her child.
Laura did nothing. She must be alone. She was there to be with Howie.

She was not as late as she had feared. There would be time for getting
ready--getting ready for Howie! She knew this would be the last time she
would see Howie as he had moved through the world. For the last time she
would see his face light to a smile. If she did not reach him tonight,
she would never reach him. She had a feeling that she could reach him,
if only something in her--if only something in her--

She could not finish that; it brought her to a place into which she
could not reach, but as never before she had a feeling that he could be
reached. And so when the little girl beside her twisted in her seat and
she knew that the child was looking up at her she tried not to know this
little girl was there--tried not to know that any of those people were
there. If only she could get them all out of the _way_--she could reach
into the shadow and feel Howie near!

But there was one thing she kept knowing--try her best not to know it!
The little girl beside her, too young to be there, was going to sleep.
When it came right up to the moment for her to see Howie, she was
knowing that that little girl had fallen asleep in an uncomfortable
position. Her head had been resting on the side of the seat--the side
next Laura--and as she fell asleep it slipped from its support in a way
that--Could _she_ help it if this child was not comfortable? Angry, she
tried to brush this from her consciousness as we brush dust from our
eyes. This was her moment with _Howie_--her _chance_.

But when her moment came, a cruel thing happened. Something was wrong
with the machine that was showing the picture. At just _that_ moment--of
all the moments!--the worn-out film seemed to be going to pieces before
her eyes. After the little dog came along, and just as Howie should come
out from the cigar-store, there was a flash--a blur--a jumble of
movements. It was like an earthquake--it looked like life ceasing to be
life. "_No!_" she gasped under her breath. "_No!_" The people around her
were saying things of a different sort. "Cut it!" "What you givin' us?"
"Whoa, boy!" They laughed. _They_ didn't care. It got a little better;
she could make out Howie bending down to fix the dog's muzzle--but it
was all dancing crazily--and people were laughing. And then--then the
miracle! It was on Howie's smile the picture steadied--that smile back
over his shoulder after he had turned to go. And, as if to bring to
rights what had been wrong, the smile was held, and it was as if Howie
lingered, as if in leaving life he looked back over his shoulder and
waited--waited for his smile to reach Laura. Out of the jumble and
blur--out of the wrong and meaningless--Howie's beautiful steady smile
_making it all right_.

She could not have told how it happened. As Howie passed, she turned to
the little girl beside her whose head was without support and, not
waking her, supported the child's head against her own arm. And after
she had done this--it was after she had done it that she began to know,
as if doing it let down bars.

Now she was knowing. She had wanted to push people aside and reach into
the shadows for Howie. She began to see that it was not so she would
reach him. It was in being as he had been--kind, caring--that she could
have a sense of him near. Here was her chance--among the people she had
thought stood between her and her chance. Howie had always cared for
these people. On his way through the world with them he had always
stopped to do the kind thing--as he stopped to make it right for the
badly muzzled dog. Then there _was_ something for her to do in the
world. She could do the kind things Howie would be doing if he were
there! It would somehow--keep him. It would--fulfill him. Yes, fulfill
him. Howie had made her more alive--warmer and kinder. If she became as
she had been before--Howie would have failed. She moved so that the
little girl who rested against her could rest the better. And as she did
this--it was as if Howie had smiled. The one thing the picture had never
given her--the sense that it was hers to keep--that stole through her
now as the things come which we know we can never lose. For the first
moment since she lost him, she had him. And all the people in that
theater, and all the people in the world--_here_ was the truth! It
cleared and righted as Howie's smile had righted the picture. In so far
as she could come close to others she would come closer to him.



(From _Harper's Magazine_)

Coming ashore one summer's night from Meteor Island, Jethro Rackby was
met by Peter Loud--Deep-water Peter he was called, because even so early
he had gone one foreign voyage. Peter was going round with a paper
containing the subscription to a dance.

"Come, Harbor Master," he said; "put your thumb mark in the corner along
with the rest of us."

Rackby drew back. "Why should I dance?" he muttered.

He was town clerk as well as harbor master--a scholarly man with
visionary, pale eyes, and a great solitary, as Peter knew.

"Why? I'll tell you why," said Peter. "To bring joy to Caddie Sill's
heart, if nothing more. The girl would throw all the rest of us in a
heap tomorrow for a firm hold of you, Rackby."

He winked at Zinie Shadd, who swayed on his heels soberly.

Rackby turned his eyes toward the black mound of Meteor, which lay like
a shaggy stone Cerberus at the harbor's mouth.

The star-pointed harbor was quiet at his feet. Shadows in the water were
deep and languid, betokening an early fall of rain through the still
air. But from the rim of the sea, where the surf was seen only as a
white glow waxing and waning, a constant drone was borne in to them--a
thunder of the white horses' hoofs trampling on Pull-an'-be-Damned; the
vindictive sound of seas falling down one after another on wasted rocks,
on shifting sand bars--a powerful monotone seeming to increase in the
ear with fuller attention. The contrast was marked between the
heavy-lying peace of the inner harbor and that hungry reverberation from
without of waters seeking fresh holds along a mutilated coast. On damp
nights when the wind hauled to the southeast, men stood still in their
tracks, and said, simply, "There's the Old Roke," as if it was the Old
Man of the Sea himself. The sound was a living personality in their
ears.--Women whom the sea had widowed shivered and rattled irons when
the Old Roke came close to their windows; but the men listened, as if
they had been called--each by his own name.

"What's the ringle jingle of feet by the side of that?" Rackby said, his
mystified face turned toward the water. "I'm a man for slow tunes,
Peter. No, no, no; put your paper up again."

"No? You're a denying sort of a crab, and no mistake. Always seeing how
fast you can crawl backward out of pleasure."

"I mistrust women."

"You cleave to the spirit and turn from the flesh, that I know. But
here's a woman with a voice to waken the dead."

"That's the voice on the seaward side of Meteor," answered Rackby.

"Cad Sills is flesh and blood of the Old Roke, I'm agreed," said
Deep-water Peter. "She's a seafaring woman, that's certain. Next door to
ending in a fish's tail, too, sometimes I think, when I see her carrying
on--Maybe you've seen her sporting with the horse-shoe crabs and all o'
that at Pull-an'-be-Damned?"

"No, I can't say that."

"No, it wasn't to be expected, you with your head and shoulders walking
around in a barrel of jam."

The harbor master smiled wistfully.

"More I don't require," he said.

"Ah, so you say now--Well, marry the sea, then. It's a slippery embrace,
take the word of a man who has gone foreign voyages."

"I mistrust the sea," said Jethro.

"So you do.--You mistrust the sea and the like o' that, and you mistrust
women and the like o' that. There's too much heaving and tossing in such
waters for a harbor master, hey?"

"I'm at home here, that's a fact," said Jethro. "I know the tides and
the buoys. I can find my way in the dark, where another man would be at
a total loss. I'm never suffering for landmarks."

"Landmarks!" roared Deep-water Peter. "What's a landmark good for but to
take a new departure?"

To the sea-goers, tilted on a bench in the shadow of the Customs House,
he added, "What life must be without a touch of lady fever is more than
I can tell."

A red-bearded viking at the end of the bench rose and took Peter's
shoulders in a fearful grip.

"What's all this talk of lady fever?"

"Let be, Cap'n Dreed!" cried Peter. His boisterousness failed him like
wind going out of a sail. He twisted out of the big seaman's grip and
from a distance shouted, "If you weren't so cussed bashful, you might
have had something more than a libel pinned to your mainmast by now,
with all this time in port."

There was a general shifting along the bench, to make room for possible
fray. It was a sore point with Sam Dreed that the ship chandler had that
day effected a lien for labor on his ship, and the libel was nailed to
the mast.

"Now they'll scandalize each other," murmured Zinie Shadd.

They were turned from that purpose only by the sudden passing at their
backs of the woman in question, Caddie Sills.

Quiet reigned. The older men crossed their legs, sat far down on their
spines, and narrowed their eyes. The brick wall of the Customs House,
held from collapsing by a row of rusty iron stars, seemed to bulge more
than its wont for the moment--its upper window, a ship's deadlight,
round and expressionless as the eye of a codfish.

Cad Sills ran her eye over them deftly, as if they were the separate
strings of an instrument which could afford gratification to her only
when swept lightly all at one time by her tingling finger tips, or,
more likely, by the intangible plectrum in her black eye.

The man she selected for her nod was Sam Dreed, however.

Peter Loud felt the walls of his heart pinch together with jealousy.

It was all in a second's dreaming. "Gape and swallow," as Zinie Shadd
said, from his end of the bench. The woman passed with a supercilious
turn of her head away from them.

"That's a foot-loose woman if ever there was one."

With all her gift of badinage, she was a solitary soul. The men feared
no less than they admired her. They were shy of that wild courage,
fearful to put so dark a mystery to the solution. The women hated her,
backbit and would not make friends, because of the fatal instantaneous
power she wielded to spin men's blood and pitch their souls derelict on
that impassioned current. Who shall put his finger on the source of this
power? There were girls upon girls with eyes as black, cheeks as like
hers as fruit ripened on the same bough, hair as thick and lustrous--yet
at the sound of Caddie Sills's bare footfall eyes shifted and glowed,
and in the imaginations of these men the women of their choice grew pale
as the ashes that fringe a fallen fire.

"She's a perilous woman," muttered the collector of the port. "Sticks in
the slant of a man's eye like the shadow of sin. Ah! there he goes, like
the leaves of autumn."

Samuel Dreed trod the dust of the road with a wonderful swaying of his
body, denominated the Western Ocean roll. He was a mighty man, all were
agreed; not a nose of wax, even for Cad Sills to twist.

"Plump she'll go in his canvas bag, along with his sea boots and his
palm and needle, if she's not precious careful, with her
shillyshallying," said Zinie Shadd. "I know the character of the man,
from long acquaintance, and I know that what he says he'll do he'll do,
and no holding off at arm's length, either, for any considerable period
of time."

Such was the situation of Cad Sills. A dark, lush, ignorant, entrancing
woman, for whose sake decent men stood ready to drop their principles
like rags--yes, at a mere secret sign manifested in her eye, where the
warmth of her blood was sometimes seen as a crimson spark alighted on
black velvet. She went against the good government of souls.

Even Rackby had taken note of her once, deep as his head was in the
clouds by preference and custom. It was a day in late November. No snow
had fallen, and she floated past him like a cloud shadow as he plodded
in the yellow road which turned east at the Preaching Tree. She passed,
looked back, slashed a piece of dripping kelp through the air so close
that salt drops stung his pale eyes, laughed aloud, and at the top of
her laugh, broke into a wild, sweet song unfamiliar to him. It was a
voice unlike the flat voices of women thereabouts--strong, sweet,
sustained, throbbing with a personal sense of the passion which lurked
in the warm notes.

Her foot was bare, and more shapely in consequence than if she had had a
habit of wearing shoes. Its shape was the delicate shape of strength
native to such a foot, and each toe left its print distinct and even in
the dust. With his eye for queer details, he remembered that print and
associated with it the yellow-rutted road, the rusty alders in the
meadow beyond, and the pale spire of the church thrust into a November

He called this to mind when on the night of the dance information came
to his ear that she had sold her pearls to lift the lien on Cap'n Sam
Dreed's ship, with her own hands tearing down the libel from the mast
and grinding it under her heel.

No man whom she had once passed and silently interrogated could quite
forget her, not even Jethro Rackby. The harbor master swayed on his
oars, collected himself, and looked forward across the dimpled floor of
his harbor, which in its quietude was like a lump of massy silver or
rich ore, displaying here and there a spur of light, a surface sparkle.
The serenity of his own soul was in part a reflection of this nightly
calm, when the spruce on the bank could not be known from its fellow in
the water by a man standing on his head. Moreover, to maintain this
calm was the plain duty of the harbor master. For five years he had held
that office by an annual vote of the town meeting. With his title went
authority to say where were the harbor lines, to order the removal of
hulks, to provide for keeping open a channel through winter ice--in a
word, to keep the peace. This peace was of his own substance.

It was rudely shattered. On the night following the dance Cad Sills put
herself in his path for the second time and this time she gave him short
shrift. He was pushing forward, near sundown, to take the impulse of an
eddy at the edge of Pull-an'-be-Damned when he saw that predatory,
songful woman balanced knee-deep in rushing water, her arms tossing.

"She's drowning herself after her quarrel with Sam Dreed," was his first
thought. He had just heard a fine tale of that quarrel. The truth was
not quite so bold. She had been caught by the tide, which, first peering
over the rim of that extended flat, had then shot forth a frothy tongue,
and in a twinkling lapped her up.

Jethro presently brought up the webs of his two thumbs hard at her
armpits, and took her into his boat, dripping.

"She's not so plump as she was ashore," he said to himself with a vague
astonishment. She was as lean as a man at the hips, and finned away like
a mermaid, as became a daughter of the Old Roke.

"Steady now, my girl--. Heave and away."

There they stood confronting each other. Enraptured, life given into her
hand again, Cad Sills flung her arms about his neck and kissed him--a
moist, full-budded, passionate, and salty kiss. Even on the edge of
doom, it was plain, she would not be able to modulate, tone, or contain
these kisses, each of which launched a fiery barb into the recipient's

The little fisherman had not known what elemental thing was in a kiss
before. He bit his lip and fell back slowly. Then, after a second's vain
reflection, he seized the butts of his oars, which had begun to knock
together. Caddie Sills sank across a thwart and shivered a little to
mark the crowding together of white horses at the very place where she
had stood. Contrary currents caused the tide to horse in strongly over

"What a ninny!" she whispered. "Was I sick with love, I wonder?"

The harbor master answered with the motion of his oars.

She glanced at him shrewdly, then struck her hands together at her
breast, which she caused to rise and fall stormily. She was, in fact, a
storm petrel in the guise of woman.

"You have saved my life," she cried out, "when not another man in all
this world would have lifted so much as his little finger. Do what you
will with me after this. Let me be your slave, your dog--. I am a lost
woman if you will not take pity on me."

Rackby's heart came into his throat with the slow surge of a sculpin on
a hook.

"Nothing--. Nothing at all. Nothing in the world. I happened along--.
Just a happen so."

The girl stood up, looked at him long and long, cried, "Thank you for
nothing, then, Mr. Happen-so," and from the humility of gratitude she
went to the extreme of impudence, and laughed in his face--a ringing,
brazen laugh, with the wild sweetness in it which he had noted in the
song she sang on that November hillside.

"You're a caution, little man, you're a caution," she said, slanting her
lashes. "You certainly are. I've heard of you. Yes, I have, only this
morning. I'm a solitary like yourself. See here. You and I could set the
world on fire if we joined hands. Do you know that?"

The little man was struck dumb at his oars for very fear of the boldness
of her advance. He recognized this for an original and fearsome, not to
say delectable, vein of talk. She came on like the sea itself, impetuous
and all-embracing. Unfathomed, too. Could fancy itself construct a woman
so, pat to his hand?

"Is it true that you despise women as they say?" she whispered. She
breathed close, and electrified the tip of his ear with a tendril of
hair. He saw that she wore coral now, in place of the pearls. But her
lips were redder than the coral. He raised his head.

"Yesterday morning you sold pearls for the benefit of Sam Dreed," he
said, in dull tones. "And here you are with your brimstone fairly in my

He looked at her as if the Old Roke himself had clambered into the boat,
with his spell of doom.

"I am not afraid of helping honest men in trouble that I know of," said
Cad Sills, sucking in her lower lip. "But do you throw that up to me?"

Jethro felt the wickedness of his position like a breath of fire fanning
his cheek. Perilously tempted, he sagged back on the oars without a

"Soho! you're setting me ashore," said that dark woman, laughing. "I
don't wear very well in the eye and that's a plain conclusion."

She laid a finger to her breast, and her eye mocked him. This brazen
hardness put him from his half-formed purpose. He addressed himself to
the oars, and the dory grated on the shore.

"Good-bye, then, little man," she said, springing past him.

But even now she lingered and looked back, biting the coral and letting
it fall, intimating that a word, a whispered syllable, might lay her

He sat like a man crushed to earth. When he raised his head she was

Was this the voice from the seaward side of Meteor? True, the sea had
yielded this wild being up, but did she speak with the sea's voice? She
had at least the sea's inconstancy, the sea's abandonment.

Her words were hot and heavy in little Rackby's heart. Serene harbor
master that he was, the unearthly quiet of his harbor was an affront
upon him in his present mood. Now that she was lost to him, he could
not, by any makeshift of reason, be rid of the impulse that had come
upon him to jump fairly out of his own skin in an effort to recapture
that tormenting woman--.

He drifted down upon Meteor Island, bowed and self-reproachful, like a
spirit approaching the confines of the dead. He stepped ashore and
passed the painter of his dory through its ring.

On the crest of the island, at the very spot where, scientists averred,
a meteorite had fallen in some prehistoric age, there stood a thick
grove, chiefly of hemlock trees. Here on this night he paused. A strange
inertness filled all nature. Not a whisper from the branches overhead,
not a rustle from the dark mold underfoot. Moonlight in one place
flecked the motionless leaves of an alder. Trunk and twigs were quite
dissolved in darkness--nothing but the silver pattern of the leaves was
shown in random sprays. He felt for an instant disembodied, like these
leaves--as if, taking one step too many, he had floated out of his own
body and might not return.

"Bear and forbear," he thought. "You wouldn't have stirred, let her say
what she would," his heart whispered to the silver leaves.

But he could not forget that wild glance, the wet hand clinging to his
wrist, the laugh repeated like an echo from the symphony of that
November hillside. He reproached himself withal. What was known of Cad
Sills? Little known, and nothing cared to be known. A waif, pursuing him
invisibly with a twinkle or flare from her passionate eyes. She was the
daughter of a sea captain by his fifth wife. He had escaped the other
four. They had died or been deserted in foreign ports, but this one he
could not escape. Tradition had it that he lost the figurehead from his
ship on the nuptial voyage, attributed this disaster to his bride, and
so left her at Rosario, only to find her, after all sail was set, in the
forechains, at the very stem of his ship, half drowned, her arms
outstretched, a living figurehead. She had swum after him. She outlived
him, too, and died in giving birth to Cad Sills, whose blood had thus a
trace of sea water--.

He entered his house. In his domestic arrangements he was the very
figure of a bachelor. His slimsy silver spoon, dented with toothmarks of
an ancestor who had died in a delirium, was laid evenly by his plate.
The hand lamps on the shelf wore speckled brown-paper bags inverted over
their chimneys. A portrait of a man playing the violin hung out, in
massive gilt, over the table, like a ship's figurehead projecting over a
wharf's end. His red couch bore northeast and southwest, so that he
might not lose good sleep by opposing his body to the flow of magnetic

On this night he drew out from a hole in the upholstery of the couch a
bag of stenciled canvas, which chinked. It was full of money, in gold
and silver pieces. He counted it, and sat thoughtful. Later he went out
of the house and stood looking at the sea as if for a sign. But the sea
gave him no sign; and on that night at least had no voice.

It was three days before he came up with Cad Sills again. Then he spied
her at nightfall, reclining under the crab-apple tree at Hannan's

The little man came close enough to tread on her shadow, cleared his
throat, and almost shouted:

"Did you mean what you said? Did you mean what you said, girl?"

She laughed and threw the core of an apple in his direction.

"I did when I said it, Mr. Happen-so. I did when I said it."

"I'm ready--. I'm ready now. We'll be married tomorrow, if you don't

"But will I sell my cabbages twice, I wonder? I've had a change of heart
since, if I must tell you."

"Surely not in this short space of time," Rackby gasped, dismayed.

A light throbbed in her eye. "Well, perhaps I haven't."

The storm petrel hovered high, swooped close, her lips parted. Her teeth
shone with a native luster, as if she had lived on roots and tough
things all her life. Again little Rackby felt that glow of health and
hardness in her person, as if one of the cynical and beautiful immortals
of the Greeks confronted him. He was heartily afraid of her mystifying
power of enchantment, which seemed to betray him to greater lengths than
he had dreamed. Even now perhaps all was lost.

"I will meet you tonight, then--at the top of the hill. See? By the
Preaching Tree."

She nodded her head toward the church corner. "At eight sharp, by the
west face of the clock. And, mind you, Mr. Man, not one jot late or

Although he heard the quick fall of her feet in the dust grow fainter,
it pleased him not to turn. There was a prickling above his heart and at
the cords of his throat. The harbor was as blue as a map suddenly
unrolled at his feet. Clouds with a purple warp were massing in the

The harbor master stared hard at the low ridge of an outlying island
where a cow had been put to pasture. The hillocky back of that lone
ruminant grew black as ink in the glow of sunset. The creature exhibited
a strange fixity of outline, as if it had been a chance configuration of
rocks. Rackby in due time felt a flaming impatience shoot upward from
his heels. Water soughed and chuckled at the foot of the crab-apple
tree, but these eager little voices could no longer soothe or even
detain him with their familiar assurances.

He jumped up and stared hard at the west face of the clock, whose gilt
hands were still discernible in the fading light. It was five minutes of

When he slipped into the shadow of the Preaching Tree it had grown dark.
Fitful lightning flashed. In the meadow fireflies were thick. They made
him think of the eager beating of many fiery little hearts, exposed by
gloom, lost again in that opalescent glare on the horizon against which
the ragged leaves of elm and maple were hung like blobs of ink or swarms
of bees.

He breathed fast; he heard mysterious fluted calls. A victim of
torturing uncertainty, he strained his ear for that swift footfall.
Suddenly he felt her come upon him from behind, buoyant, like a warm
wave, and press firm hands over his eyelids. Her hair stung his cheek
like wire.

"Guess three times."

Rackby felt the strong beat of that adventurous heart like drums of
conquest. He crushed her in his arms until she all but cried out. There
was nothing he could say. Her breath carried the keen scent of crushed
checkerberry plums. She had been nibbling at tender pippins by the way,
like a wild thing.

The harbor master remembered later that he seemed to have twice the
number of senses appointed to mortals in that hour. A heavy fragrance
fell through the dusk out of the thick of the horse-chestnut tree. A
load of hay went by, the rack creaking, the driver sunk well out of
sight. He heard the dreaming note of the tree toad; frogs croaked in the
lush meadow, water babbled under the crazy wooden sidewalk.--The meadow
was one vast pulse of fireflies. He felt this industrious flame enter
his own wrists.

Then the birches over the way threshed about in a gust of wind. Almost
at once rain fell in heavy drops; blinds banged to and fro, a strong
smell of dust was in his nostrils, beat up from the road by driving

The girl first put the palm of her hand hard against his cheek, then
yielded, with a pliant and surprising motion of the whole body. Her eyes
were full of a strange, bright wickedness. Like torches they seemed to
cast a crimson light on the already glowing cheek.

Fascinated by this thought, Rackby bent closer. The tented leaves of the
horse-chestnut did not stir. Surely the dusky cheek had actually a touch
of crimson in the gloom.

This effect, far from being an illusion was produced by a lantern in the
fist of a man swinging toward them with vast strides. And now the clock,
obeying its north face, struck eight.

Before the last stroke had sounded the girl was made aware of the
betraying light. She whirled out of Rackby's arms and ran toward Sam
Dreed. The big viking stood with his feet planted well apart, and a
mistrustful finger in his beard.

"Touch and go!" cried Caddie Sills, falling on his neck. "Do we go at
the top of the tide, mister?"

"What hellion is that under the trees?" he boomed at her, striking the
arm down savagely.

"You will laugh when you see," said Cad Sills, wrung with pain, but
returning to him on the instant.

"On the wrong side of my face, maybe."

"Can't you see? It's the little harbor master."

"Ah! and standing in the same piece of dark with you, my girl."

Cad Sills laughed wildly. "Did ever I look for more thanks than this
from any mortal man? Then I'm not disappointed. But let me ask you, have
you taken your ship inside the island to catch the tide?"


"Oh, you have. And would you have done that with the harbor master
looking on? Hauled short across the harbor lines? Maybe you think I
have a whole chest of pearls at your beck and call, Sam Dreed. Oh, what
vexation! Here I hold the little man blindfolded by my wiles--and this
is my thanks!"

The voice was tearful with self-pity.

"Is that so, my puss?" roared the seaman, melted in a flash. He swung
the girl by the waist with his free arm. "You _have_ got just enough
natural impudence for the tall water and no mistake. Come along."

"Wait!" cried Jethro Rackby. He stepped forward. He felt the first of
many wild pangs in thus subjecting himself to last insult. "Where are
you going?"

The words had the pitiful vacuity of a detaining question. For what
should it matter to Jethro where she went, if she went in company with
Sam Dreed?

"How can I tell you that, little man?" Cad Sills flung over her shoulder
at him. "The sea is wide and uncertain."

Her full cheek, with its emphatic curve, was almost gaunt in the moment
when she fixed her eyes on the wolfish face of that tousle-headed giant
who encircled her. Her shoulder blades were pinched back; the line of
the marvelous full throat lengthened; she devoured the man with a
vehemence of love, brief and fierce as the summer lightning which played
below the dark horizon.

She was gone, planting that aerial foot willfully in the dust. Raindrops
ticked from one to another of the broad, green leaves over the harbor
master's head. Water might be heard frothing in a nearby cistern.

Suddenly the moon glittered on the parson's birch-wood pile, and slanted
a beam under the Preaching Tree. Sunk in the thick dust which the rain
had slightly stippled in slow droppings, he saw the tender prints of a
bare foot and the cruel tracks of the seaman's great, square-toed boots
pointing together toward the sea.

He raised his eyes only with a profound effort. They encountered a
blackboard affixed to the fat trunk of the Preaching Tree, on which from
day to day the parson wrote the text for its preachments in colored
chalk. The moon was full upon it, and Rackby saw in crimson lettering
the words, "Woman, hath no man damned thee?" The rest of the text he
had rubbed out with his own shoulders in turning to take the girl into
his arms.

"I damn ye!" he cried, raising his arms wildly. "Yes, by the Lord, I
damn ye up and down. May you burn as I burn, where the worm dieth not,
and the fires are not quenched."

So saying, he set his foot down deliberately on the first of the light
footprints she had made in springing from his side--as if he might as
easily as that blot out the memory of his enslavement.

Thereafter the Customs House twitted him, as if it knew the full extent
of his shame. Zinie Shadd called after him to know if he had heard that
voice from the sea yet, in his comings and goings.

"Peter Loud was not so easy hung by the heels," that aged loiterer
affirmed, "shipping as he did along with the lady herself, as bo's'n for
Cap'n Sam Dreed."

Jethro Rackby took to drink somewhat, to drown these utterances, or
perhaps to quench some stinging thirst within him which he knew not to
be of the soul.

When certain of the elders asked him why he did not cut the drink and
take a decent wife, he laughed like a demon, and cried out:

"What's that but to swap the devil for a witch?"

Others he met with a counter question:

"Do you think I will tie a knot with my tongue that I can't untie with
my teeth?"

So he sat by himself at the back windows of a water-front saloon, and
when he caught a glimpse of the water shining there low in its channels
he would shut his lips tight.--Who could have thought that it would be
the sea itself to throw in his path the woman who had set this
blistering agony in his soul? There it lay like rolled glass; the black
piles under the footbridge were prolonged to twice their length by their
own shadows, so that the bridge seemed lifted enormously high out of
water. Beyond the bridge the seine pockets of the mackerel men hung on
the shrouds like black cobwebs, and the ships had a blighting look of
funeral ships.--

He had mistrusted the sea. It was life; it was death; flow, slack, and
ebb--and his pulse followed it.

Officials of the Customs House could testify that for better than a
year, if he mentioned women at all, it was in a tone to convey that his
fingers had been sorely burned in that flame and smarted still.

The second autumn, from that moment under the Preaching Tree, found him
of the same opinion still. He trod the dust a very phantom, while little
leaves of cardinal red spun past his nose like the ebbing heart's blood
of full-bodied summer. The long leaves of the sumach, too, were like
guilty fingers dipped in blood. But the little man paid no heed to the
analogies which the seasons presented to his conscience in their dying.
Though he thought often of his curse, he had not lifted it. But when he
saw a cluster of checkerberry plums in spring gleam withered red against
gray moss, on some stony upland, he stood still and pondered.

Then, on a night when the fall wind was at its mightiest, and shook the
house on Meteor Island as if clods of turf had been hurled against it,
he took down his Bible from its stand. At the first page to which he
turned, his eye rested on the words, "Woman, hath no man damned thee?"

He bent close, his hand shook, and his blunt finger traced the remainder
of that text which he and Cad Sills together had unwittingly erased from
the Preaching Tree.

"No man, Lord."--"Neither do I damn thee: go, and sin no more."

He left the Bible standing open and ran out-of-doors.

The hemlock grove confronted him a mass of solid green. Night was coming
on, as if with an ague, in a succession of coppery cold squalls which
had not yet overtaken the dying west. In that quarter the sky was like a
vast porch of crimson woodbine.

When this had sunk, night gave a forlorn and indistinguishable look to
everything. A spark of ruddy light glowed deep in the valley. The
rocking outlines of the hills were lost in rushing darkness. At his back
sounded the pathetic clatter of a dead spruce against its living
neighbor, bespeaking the deviltry of woodland demons.--It was the hour
which makes all that man can do seem as nothing in the mournful
darkness, causing his works to vanish and be as if they had not been.

At this hour the heart of man may be powerfully stirred, by an anguish,
a prayer, or perhaps--a fragrance.

The harbor master, uttering a brief cry, dropped to his knees and
remained mute, his arms extended toward the sea in a gesture of

On that night the _Sally Lunn_, Cap'n Sam Dreed, was wrecked on the
sands of Pull-an'-be-Damned.

Rackby, who had fallen into a deep sleep, lying northeast and southwest,
was awakened by a hand smiting his door in, and a wailing outside of the
Old Roke busy with his agonies. In a second his room was full of
crowding seamen, at their head Peter Loud, bearing in his arms the
dripping form of Caddie Sills. He laid her gently on the couch.

"Where did you break up?" whispered Rackby. He trembled like a leaf.

"Pull-an'-be-Damned," said Deep-water Peter. "The Cap'n's gone. He
didn't come away. Men can say what they like of Sam Dreed; he wouldn't
come into the boat. I'll tell all the world that."

The crew of the wrecked ship stood heaving and glittering in their oils,
plucking their beards with a sense of trespass, hearing the steeple
clock tick, and water drum on the worn floor.

"All you men clear out," said Caddie Sills, faintly. "Leave me here with
Jethro Rackby."

They set themselves in motion, pushing one against the other with a rasp
and shriek of oilskins--and Peter Loud last of all.

The harbor master, not knowing what to say, took a step away from her,
came back, and, looking into her pale face, cried out, horror-struck, "I
damned ye." He dropped on his knees. "Poor girl! I damned ye out and

"Hold your horses, Mr. Happen-so," said Cad Sills. "There's no harm in
that. I was damned and basted good and brown before you ever took me
across your little checkered apron."

She looked at him almost wistfully, as if she had need of him. With her
wet hair uncoiling to the floor, she looked as if she had served,
herself, for a fateful living figurehead, like her mother before her.
The bit of coral was still slung round her throat. The harbor master
recalled with what a world of meaning she had caught it between her
teeth on the night of his rescue--the eyes with a half-wistful light as

"Come," she said, "Harbor Master. I wasn't good to you, that's true; but
still you have done me a wrong in your turn, you say?"

"I hope God will forgive me," said the harbor master.

"No doubt of that, little man. But maybe you would feel none the worse
for doing me a favor, feeling as you do."

"Yes, yes."

Her hand sought his. "You see me--how I am. I shall not survive my
child, for my mother did not before me. Listen. You are town clerk. You
write the names of the new born on a sheet of ruled paper and that is
their name?"

Rackby nodded.

"So much I knew--Come. How would it be if you gave my child your
name--Rackby? Don't say no to me. Say you will. Just the scratching of a
pen, and what a deal of hardship she'll be saved not to be known as Cad
Sills over again."

Her hand tightened on his wrist. Recollecting how they had watched the
tide horse over Pull-an'-be-Damned thus, he said, eagerly, "Yes, yes, if
so be 'tis a she," thinking nothing of the consequences of his promise.

"Now I can go happy," murmured Cad Sills.

"Where will you go?" said the harbor master, timorously, feeling that
she was whirled out of his grasp a second time.

"How should I know?" lisped Caddie Sills, with a remembering smile. "The
sea is wide and uncertain, little man."

The door opened again. A woman appeared and little Rackby was thrust out
among the able seamen.

Three hours later he came and looked down on Cad Sills again. Rain still
beat on the black windows. Her lips were parted, as if she were only
weary and asleep. But in one glance he saw that she had no need to lie
northeast and southwest to make certain of unbroken sleep.

To the child born at the height of the storm the harbor master gave a
name, his own--Rackby. He was town clerk, and he gave her this name when
he came to register her birth on the broad paper furnished by the
government. And for a first name, Day, as coming after that long night
of his soul, perhaps.

When this was known, he was fined by the government two hundred dollars.
Such is the provision in the statutes, in order that there may be no
compromise with the effects of sin.

The harbor master did not regret. He reckoned his life anew from that
night when he sat in the dusk with the broad paper before him containing
the names of those newly born.

So the years passed, and Day Rackby lived ashore with her adoptive
father. When she got big enough they went by themselves and reopened the
house on Meteor Island.

The man was still master of the harbor, but he could not pretend that
his authority extended to the sea beyond. There he lost himself in
speculation, sometimes wondering if Deep-water Peter had found a thing
answering his quest. But Peter did not return to satisfy him on this

The harbor master was content to believe that he had erred on the side
of the flesh, and that the sea, a jealous mistress, had swept him into
the hearing of the gods, who were laughing at him.

As for the child of Cad Sills, people who did not know her often said
that her eyes were speaking eyes. Well if it were so, since this voice
in the eyes was all the voice she had. She could neither speak nor hear
from birth. It was as if kind nature had sealed her ears against those
seductive whisperings which--so the gossips said--had been the ruination
of her mother.

As she grew older, they said behind their hands that blood would tell,
in spite of all. Then, when they saw the girl skipping along the shore
with kelp in her hands they said, mistrustfully, that she was "marked"
for the sea, beyond the shadow of a doubt.

"She hears well enough, when the sea speaks," Zinie Shadd averred. He
had caught her listening in a shell with an intent expression.

"She will turn out to be a chip of the old block," said Zinie Shadd's
wife, "or I shall never live to see the back of my neck."

Jethro Rackby heard nothing of such prophecy. He lived at home. Here in
his estimation was a being without guile, in whose innocence he might
rejoice. His forethought was great and pathetic. He took care that she
should learn to caress him with her finger tips alone. He remembered the
fatal touch of Cad Sills's kiss at Pull-an'-be-Damned, which had as good
as drawn the soul out of his body in a silver thread and tied it in a

Once, too, he had dreamed of waking cold in the middle of the night and
finding just a spark on the ashes of his hearth. This he nursed to
flame; the flame sprang up waist-high, hot and yellow. Fearful, he beat
it down to a spark again. But then again he was cold. He puffed at this
spark, shivering; the flame grew, and this time, with all he could do,
it shot up into the rafters of his house and devoured it.--

So it was that the passion of Cad Sills lived with him still.

He taught the child her letters with blue shells, and later to take the
motion of his lips for words. She waylaid him everywhere--on the rocks,
on the sands, in the depths of the hemlock grove, on tiny antlers of
gray caribou moss, with straggling little messages and admonishings of
love. Her apron pocket was never without its quota of these tiny shells
of brightest peacock blue. They trailed everywhere. He ground them under
heel at the threshold of his house. From long association they came to
stand for so many inquisitive little voices in themselves, beseeching,
questioning, defying.

But for his part, he grew to have a curious belief, even when her head
was well above his shoulder, that the strong arch of her bosom must ring
out with wild sweet song one day, like that which he had heard on the
November hillside, when Caddie Sills had run past him at the Preaching
Tree. This voice of Day's was like the voice sleeping in the great
bronze horn hanging in a rack, which his father had used to call the
hands to dinner. A little wind meant no sound, but a great effort,
summoning all the breath in the body, made the brazen throat ring out
like a viking's horn, wild and sweet.

So with Day, if an occasion might be great enough to call it forth.

"He always was a notional little man," the women said, on hearing this.
The old bachelor was losing his wits. Such doctrine as he held made him
out not one whit better off than Zinie Shadd, who averred that the heart
of man was but a pendulum swaying in his bosom--though how it still
moved when he stood on his head was more than even Zinie Shadd could
fathom, to be sure.

"It's the voice of conscience he's thinking of, to my judgment," said
one. "That girl is deafer than a haddock and dumb as the stone."

Untouched by gossip, the harbor master felt with pride that his jewel
among women was safe, and that here, within four humble walls, he
treasured up a being literally without guile, one who grew straight and
white as a birch sapling. "Pavilioned in splendor" were the words
descriptive of her which he had heard thunderously hymned in church. The
hair heavy on her brow was of the red gold of October.

If they might be said to be shipmates sailing the same waters, they yet
differed in the direction of their gaze. The harbor master fixed his
eyes upon the harbor; but little Day turned hers oftenest upon the blue
sea itself, whose mysterious inquietude he had turned from in dismay.

True, the harbor was not without its fascination for her. Leaning over
the side of his dory, the sea girl would shiver with delight to descry
those dismal forests over which they sailed, dark and dizzying masses
full of wavering black holes, through which sometimes a blunt-nosed
bronze fish sank like a bolt, and again where sting ray darted, and
jellyfish palpitated with that wavering of fringe which produced the
faintest of turmoil at the surface of the water.

This would be at the twilight hour when warm airs alternated with cold,
like hopes with despairs. Sparbuoys of silver gray were duplicated in
the water, wrinkled like a snout at the least ripple from the oars.
Boats at anchor seemed twice their real size by reason of their dark
shadows made one with them. One by one the yellow riding lights were
hung, far in. They shone like new-minted coins; the harbor was itself a
purse of black velvet, to which the harbor master held the strings. The
quiet--the immortal quiet--operated to restore his soul. But at such
times Day would put the tips of her fingers mysteriously to her
incarnadined dumb lips and appear to hearken on the seaward side. If a
willful light came sometimes in her eyes he did not see it.

But even on the seaward side there would not be heard, on such nights,
the slightest sound to break the quiet, unless that of little fish
jumping playfully in the violet light, and sending out great circles to
shimmer toward the horizon.

So it drew on toward Day Rackby's eighteenth birthday.

One morning in October they set out from Meteor for the village. A cool
wind surged through the sparkling brown oak leaves of the oaks at
Hannan's Landing.

"They die as the old die," reflected Jethro Rackby, "gnarled, withered,
still hanging on when they are all but sapless."

Despite the melancholy thought, his vision was gladdened by a magic
clarity extending over all the heavens, and even to the source of the
reviving winds. The sea was blown clear of ships. In the harbor a few
still sat like seabirds drying plumage. Against the explosive whiteness
of wind clouds, their sails looked like wrinkled parchment, or yellowing
Egyptian cloth; the patches were mysterious hieroglyphs.

Day sat sleepily in the stern of the dory, her shoulders pinched back,
her heavy braid overside and just failing the water, her eyes on the
sway of cockles in the bottom of the boat.

Rackby puckered his face, when the square bell tower of the church,
white as chalk, came into view, dazzling against the somber green
upland. The red crown of a maple showed as if a great spoke of the
rising sun had passed across that field and touched the tree to fire
with its brilliant heat.

So he had stood--so he had been touched. His heart beat fast, and now he
stood under the Preaching Tree again, and drew a whiff of warm hay,
clover-spiced, as it went creaking past, a square-topped load, swishing
and dropping fragrant tufts.--This odor haunted him, as if delights
forgotten, only dreamed, or enjoyed in other lives, had drifted past
him.--Then the vivid touch of Cad Sills's lips.

He glanced up, and at once his oars stumbled, and he nearly dropped them
in his fright. For the fraction of a second he had, it seemed, surprised
Cad Sills herself looking at him steadily out of those blue, half-shut
lazy eyes of his scrupulously guarded foster child. The flesh cringed on
his body. Was she lurking there still? Certainly he had felt again, in
that flash, the kiss, the warm tumult of her body, the fingers
dove-tailed across his eyes; and even seen the scented hay draw past
him, toppling and quivering.

He stared more closely at the girl. She looked nothing like the wild
mother. There was no hint of Cad Sills in that golden beauty unless,
perhaps, in a certain charming bluntness of sculpturing at the very tip
of her nose, a deft touch. Nevertheless, some invisible fury had beat
him about the head with her wings there in the bright sunshine.

Disquieted, he resumed the oars. They had drifted close to the bank, and
a shower of maple leaves, waxen red, all but fell into the boat.

"These die as the young die," thought the harbor master, sadly. "They
delight to go, these adventurers, swooping down at a breath. They are
not afraid of the mystery of mold."

His glance returned to the wandlike form of his daughter, whose eyes now
opened upon his archly.

"So she would adventure death," he reflected. "Almost at as light a
whisper from the powers of darkness, too."

They were no sooner ashore than the girl tugged at his hand to stay him.
The jeweler's glass front had intrigued her eye, for there, displayed
against canary plush, was a string of pearls, like winter moons for
size and luster. Her speaking eye flashed on them and her slim fingers
twisted and untwisted at her back. She lifted her head and with her
forefinger traced a pleading circle round her throat.

A dark cloud came over Rackby's features. These were the pearls, he knew
at once, which Caddie Sills had sold in the interest of Cap'n Dreed so
long ago. They were a luckless purchase on the part of the jeweler. All
the women were agreed that such pearls had bad luck somewhere on the
string, and no one had been found to buy.

"Why does he display them at this time of all times, in the face and
eyes of everybody?" thought the harbor master.

A laugh sounded behind him. It was Deep-water Peter, holding a gun in
one hand, and a dead sheldrake in the other. The red wall of the Customs
House bulged over him.

"Ah, there, Jethro!" he said. "Have you married the sea at last and
taken a mermaid home to live?"

"This is my daughter, if you please," said Jethro Rackby. An ugly glint
was in his usually gentle eye, but he did not refuse the outstretched
hand. "You have prospered seemingly."

"Oh, I have enough to carry me through," said Peter. "I picked up a
trifle here, and a trifle there, and a leetle pinch from nowhere, just
to salt it down. And so all this time you've been harbor master here?"

His tone was between contempt and tolerance, as befitted the character
formed in a harder school, and the harbor master was bitterly silent.

Day had turned from the jewels and was coming toward her father. When
she saw the strange man beside him she stopped short and averted her
face, not before observing that Rackby might have passed for Peter's

"Not so shy--not so shy," murmured Deep-water Peter, as if she had been
a wild filly coming up to his hand.

"She cannot hear you," Rackby interposed. The gleam of triumph in his
eye was plain.

"Can't hear?"

"Neither speak nor hear."

Peter Loud turned toward the girl again--and this time her blue eye met
his, and a spark was struck, not dying out instantly, such a spark as
might linger on the surface of a flint struck by steel.

Was it a certain trick of movement, or only the quickened current of his
blood that made Deep-water Peter know the truth?

"This is strange," he said.

That wind-blown voice of his, with its deepwater melodiousness, had
dropped to a whisper.

"Even providential," the harbor master returned, and his eye glittered.

Peter would have said something to that, but Rackby, with a stern hand
at his daughter's elbow, passed out of hearing.

Peter Loud was promptly taken in the coils of that voiceless beauty
whose speaking eye had met his so squarely. The mother had played him
false, as she had Jethro--but with Peter these affairs were easier

Within the week, as he was striding over the bare flats of
Pull-an'-be-Damned, he saw the flash of something white inside a weir.
The sun was low and dazzled him. He came close and saw that this was
Rackby's daughter. She had slipped into the weir to tantalize a crab
with the sight of her wriggling toes and so had stepped on a sharp shell
and cut her foot to the bone.

Peter cried amazedly. The shadow of the weir net on her face and body
trembled, but she uttered no slightest sound. It was as if some wild
swan had fallen from the azure.

In falling she had hurt her leg and could not walk. Peter tore the
sleeves from her arms and bound the foot, then bent eagerly and lifted
her out of the weir.

Immediately she hid her cheek in his coat, shivered, set her damp lips
with their flavor of sweet salt, full against his.

Deep-water Peter held her tighter yet. How could he know that here, on
Pull-an'-be-Damned, within a biscuit's toss of the weirs, Cad Sills had
served the same fare to Rackby. He turned and ran, holding her close,
and the tide hissed at his heels like a serpent.

The harbor master, lately returned from evening inspection of the
harbor, heard the rattle of oars under his wharf, and in no great while
he saw Peter advancing with Day limp in his arms.

The sailor brushed past him into the kitchen, and laid the girl down, as
he had laid her mother, northeast and southwest. Rackby at his side

"How come you here like this? How come you?"

A fearful misgiving caused him to drop to his knees. The girl opened her
eyes; a new brilliance danced there. With a shiver, the harbor master
perceived those signs of a fire got beyond control which had consumed
the mother.

"She has cut her foot, friend Rackby," said Peter. "I took the liberty
to bring her here--so."

Wrath seized the little man. "Thank you for nothing, Peter Loud!" he
cried, and these again were the very words Cad Sills had hurled at him
when he had saved her life at Pull-an'-be-Damned.

"That's as you say," said Deep-water Peter.

"You have done your worst now," said Jethro. "If I find you here again I
will shoot you down like a dog."

Peter laughed very bitterly. "You have got what is yours, Harbor
Master," he said, "and it takes two to make a quarrel."

But as he was going through the door he looked back. The girl unclosed
her eyes, and a light played out of them that followed him into the dark
and streamed across the heavens like the meteorite that had once fallen
on Meteor Island.

Peter had taken a wreath of fire to his heart. The girl attended him
like something in the corner of his eye. Times past count, he plied his
oars among the cross currents to the westward of that island, hoping to
catch a glimpse of his siren on the crags.

Sometimes for long moments he lay on his oars, hearing the blue tide
with a ceaseless motion heave and swirl and gutter all round its rocky
border, and the serpents' hiss come from some Medusa's head of trailing
weed uttered in venomous warning. Under flying moons the shaggy hemlock
grove was like a bearskin thrown over the white and leprous nakedness of
stony flanks. At the approach of storm the shadows stealing forth from
that sullen, bowbacked ridge were blue-filmed, like the languid veil
which may be seen to hang before blue, tear-dimmed eyes.

Deep-water Peter felt from the first that he could not dwell for long on
the mysteries of that island without meeting little Rackby's mad
challenge. Insensibly he drew near--and at last set foot on its shores
again. Late on a clear afternoon he landed in the very lee of the
island, at a point where the stone rampart was fifty feet in height,
white as a bone, and pitted like a mass of grout. This cliff was split
from top to bottom, perhaps by frosts, perhaps by the fall of the buried
meteor. A little cove lay at the base of this crevasse, and here a bed
of whitest sand had sifted in, rimmed by a great heap of well-sanded,
bright-blue shells of every size and shape. This was the storehouse from
which Day Rackby drew her speaking shells.

He looped the painter of his dory under a stone and ascended the rock.
His heart was in his throat. All the world hitherto had not proffered
him such choice adventure, if he had read the signs aright. As if
directed by the intuition of his heart, he slipped into the shadows of
the grove. Fragrance was broadcast there, the clean fragrance of nature
at her most alone. Crows whirred overhead; their hoarse plaint, with its
hint of desolation, made a kind of emptiness in the wood, and he went
on, step by step, as in a dream, wrapt, expectant. Was she here? Could
Rackby's will detain her here, a presence so swift, mischievous, and
aerial? Such a spirit could not be held in the hollow of a man's hand.
He remembered how in his youth a man had tried to keep wild foxes on
this same island, for breeding purposes, but they had whisked their
brushes in his face and swum ashore.

The green dusk was multiplied many times now by tiny spruces, no thicker
than a man's thumb, which grew up in racks and created a dense
blackness, its edges pierced by quivering shafts of the sun, some of
which, as if by special providence, fell between all the outer
saplings, and struck far in. A certain dream sallowness was manifested
in that sunlit glimpse. The air was quiet. Minutest things seemed to
marshal themselves as if alone and unobserved, so that it was strange to
spy them out.

"She is not here," he thought. His footfall was nothing on the soft
mold. Portly trunks of the hemlocks began to bar his way. The thick
shade entreated secrecy; he stood still, and saw his dryad, a green
apparition, kneeling at the foot of a beech tree, and looking down. In
the stillness, which absorbed all but the beating of his heart, he heard
the dry tick, tick of a beech leaf falling. Those that still clung to
the sleek upper boughs were no more than a delicate yellow cloud or
glowing autumnal atmosphere suffusing the black bole of the tree with a
light of pure enchantment. He was surprised that anything so vaporous
and colorful should come from the same sap that circulated through the
bark and body of the thick tree itself. But then he reflected that,
after all, the crown and flame of Sam Dreed's life was Day Rackby.

Had she, perhaps, descended from that yellow cloud above her? Deep-water
Peter had a moment of that speechless joy which comes when all the doors
in the house of vision are flung open at one time.

His feet sank unheeded in a patch of mold. He saw now that her eye was
on the silent welling of a spring into a sunken barrel. She had one hand
curled about the rim. The arm was of touching whiteness against that
cold, black round, which faithfully reflected the silver sheen of the
flesh on its under parts. Red and yellow leaves, crimped and curled, sat
or drifted to her breath in the pool, as if they had been gaudy little

Suddenly the sun sent a pale shaft, tinctured with lustrous green,
through the hemlock shades. This shaft of light moved over the forest
floor, grew ruddy, spied out a secret sparkle hidden in a fallen leaf,
shone on twisting threads of gossamer-like lines of running silver on
which the gloom was threaded, and, last of all, blazing in the face of
that fascinating dryad, caused her to draw back.

Peter, as mute as she, stretched out his arms. She darted past him in a
flash, putting her finger to her lips and looking back. The light
through the tiny spruces dappled her body; she stopped as if shot; he
came forward, humble and adoring, thinking to crush into this moment,
within these arms, all that mortal beauty, the _ignis fatuus_ of

His lips were parted. He seemed now to have her with her back against a
solid wall of rock outcropping, green-starred; but next instant she had
slipped into a cleft where his big shoulders would not go. Her eyes
shone like crystals in that inviting darkness.

"What can I do for you?" said Peter, voicelessly.

Day Rackby pinched her shoulders back, leaned forward, and drew a
mischievous finger round her throat.

       *       *       *       *       *

On that night Jethro stole more than one look at the girl while she was
getting supper. Of late, when she came near him, she adopted a
beloved-old-fool style of treatment which was new to him.

She was more a woman than formerly, perhaps. He did not understand her
whimsies. But still they had talked kindly to each other with their
eyes. They communed in mysterious ways--by looks, by slight pressures,
by the innumerable intuitions which had grown up, coral-wise, from the
depths of silence.

But this intercourse was founded upon sympathy. That once gone, she
became unfathomable and lost to him, as much so as if visible bonds had
been severed.--

A certain terror possessed him at the waywardness she manifested.
Evidently some concession must be made.

"Come," he said, turning her face toward him with a tremulous hand. "I
will make you a little gift for your birthday. What shall it be?"

She stood still--then made the very gesture to her bosom and around her
neck, which had already sent Peter scurrying landward.

The movement evoked a deadly chill in Rackby's heart. Was the past,
then, to rise against him, and stretch out its bloodless hands to link
with living ones? That sinister co-tenant he had seen peering at him
through the blue eyes would get the better of him yet.

Conscious of his mood, she leaped away from him like a fawn. A guilty
light was in her eye, and she ran out of the house.

Rackby followed her in terror, not knowing which way to go in the lonely
darkness to come up with her. In his turn he remembered the man who had
tried to keep wild foxes on Meteor.

The harbor was calm, wondrous calm, with that blackness in the water
which always precedes the _rigor mortis_ of winter itself. All calm, all
in order--not a ship of all those ships displaying riding lights to
transgress the harbor lines he had decreed. How, then, should his own
house not be in order?

But this was just what he had thought when Caddie Sills first darted the
affliction of love into his bosom. Somewhere beyond the harbor mouth
were the whispers of the tide's unrest, never to be quite shut out. Let
him turn his back on that prospect as he would, the Old Roke would
scandalize him still.

A man overtaken by deadly sickness, he resolved upon any sacrifice to
effect a cure. On the morrow he presented himself at the jeweler's and
asked to be shown the necklace.

"It is sold at last," said the jeweler, going through the motions of
washing his hands.

"Sold? Who to?"

"To Peter Loud," said the jeweler.

Jethro Rackby pressed the glass case hard with his finger ends. What
should Deep-water Peter be doing with a string of pearls? He must go at
once. Yet he must not return empty-handed. He bought a small pendant,
saw it folded into its case, and dropped the case into his pocket.

When he came to the harbor's edge he found a fleecy fog had stolen in.
The horn at the harbor's mouth groaned like a sick horse. As he pulled
toward Meteor the fog by degrees stole into his very brain until he
could not rightly distinguish the present from the past, and Caddie
Sills, lean-hipped and dripping, seemed to hover in the stern.

At one stroke he pulled out of the fog. Then he saw a strong, thick
rainbow burning at the edge of the fog, a jewel laid in cotton wool.
Its arch just reached the top of the bank, and one brilliant foot was
planted on Meteor Island.

"That signifies that I shall soon be out of my trouble," he thought,

The fog lifted; the green shore stood out again mistily, then more
vividly, like a creation of the brain. He saw the black piles of the
herring wharf, and next the west face of the church clock, the hands and
numerals glittering like gold.

The harbor was now as calm as a pond, except for the pink and dove color
running vaporously on the back of a long swell from the south. A white
light played on the threshold of the sea, and the dark bank of
seaward-rolling fog presently revealed that trembling silver line in all
its length, broken only where the sullen dome of Meteor rose into it.

High above, two wondrous knotty silver clouds floated, whose image
perfectly appeared in the water.

"Glory be!" said Jethro Rackby, aloud. He hastened his stroke.

Rackby, returning to the gray house with his purchase, peered past its
stone rampart before going in. His eye softened in anticipation of
welcome. Surely no angel half so lovely was ever hidden at the heart of

The kitchen was empty. So were all the rooms of the house, he soon
enough found out. Not a sound but that of the steeple clock on the
kitchen shelf, waddling on at its imperfect gait, loud for a few
seconds, and then low.

Jethro went outside. The stillness rising through the blue dusk was
marvelous, perfect. But an icy misgiving raced through his frame. He
began to walk faster, scanning the ground. At first in his search he did
not call aloud, perhaps because all his intercourse with her had been
silent, as if she were indeed only the voice of conscience in a radiant
guise. And when at length he did cry out, it was only as agony may wring
from the lips a cry to God.

He called on her in broken phrases to come back. Let her only come, she
might be sure of forgiveness. He was an old man now, and asked for
nothing but a corner in her house. Then again, he had here a little
surprise for her. Ah! Had she thought of that? Come; he would not open
the package without a kiss from her finger ends.

He hurried forward, hoarse breathing. A note of terrible joy cracked his
voice when the thought came to him that she was hiding mischievously.
That was it--she was hiding--just fooling her old father. Come; it
wouldn't do to be far from his side on these dark nights. The sea was
wide and uncertain--wide and uncertain.

But he remembered that ominous purchase of the pearls by Deep-water
Peter, and shivered. His voice passed into a wail. Little by little he
stumbled through the hemlock grove, beseeching each tree to yield up out
of obdurate shadow that beloved form, to vouchsafe him the lisp of
flying feet over dead beech leaves. But the trees stood mournfully
apart, unanswering, and rooted deep.

Now he was out upon the pitted crags, calling madly. She should have all
his possessions, and the man into the bargain. Yes, his books, his
silver spoons, that portrait of a man playing on the violin which she
had loved.

With a new hope, he pleaded with her to speak to him, if only once, to
cry out. Had he not said she would, one day? Yes, yes, one little cry of
love, to show that she was not so voiceless as people said.--

He stood with awful expectation, a thick hand bending the lobe of his
ear forward. Then through silver silences a muttering was borne to him,
a great lingering roar made and augmented by a million little
whispers.--The Old Roke himself, taking toll at the edge of his

Nothing could approach the lonely terror of that utterance. He ran
forward and threw himself on his knees at the very brink of that cracked
and mauled sea cliff.

It was true that Peter, in his absence, had disembarked a second time on
Meteor--a fit habitation for such a woman as Day Rackby. But did that
old madman think that he could coop her up here forever? How far must he
be taken seriously in his threat?

Peter advanced gingerly. Blue water heaved eternally all round that
craggy island, clucked and jabbered in long corridors of faulted stone,
while in its lacy edge winked and sparkled new shells of peacock blue,
coming from the infinite treasury of the sea to join those already on
deposit here.

What, then, was he about? He loved her. What was love? What, in this
case, but an early and late sweetness, a wordless gift, a silent form
floating soft by his side--something seeking and not saying, hoping and
not proving, burning and as yet scarce daring--and so, perhaps, dying.

Then he saw her.

She lay in an angle of the cover, habited in that swimming suit she had
plagued Jethro into buying, for she could swim like a dog. There, for
minutes or hours, she had lain prone upon the sands, nostrils wide, legs
and arms covered with grains of sand in black and gold glints. Staring
at the transfigured flesh, she delighted in this conversion of herself
into a beautiful monster.--

Suddenly the sea spoke in her blood, as the gossips had long prophesied,
or something very like it. Lying with her golden head in her arms, the
splendid shoulders lax, she felt a strong impulse toward the water shoot
through her form from head to heel at this wet contact with the naked
earth. She felt that she could vanish in the tide and swim forever.

At that moment she heard Peter's step, and sprang to her feet. She could
not be mistaken. Marvelous man, in whose arms she had lain; fatal
trespasser, whom her father had sworn to kill for some vileness in his
nature. What could that be? Surely, there was no other man like Peter.
She interpreted his motions no less eagerly than his lips.

The sun sank while they stared at each other. Flakes of purple darkness
seemed to scale away from the side of the crag whose crest still glowed
faintly red. It would be night here shortly. Deep-water Peter gave a
great sigh, fumbled with his package, and next the string of pearls
swayed from his finger.

"Yours," he uttered, holding them toward her.

Silence intervened. A slaty cloud raised its head in the east, and
against that her siren's face was pale. Her blue eyes burned on the gems
with a strange and haunted light. There was wickedness here, she
mistrusted, but how could it touch her?

Peter came toward her, bent over her softly as that shadow in whose
violet folds they were wrapped deeper moment by moment. His fingers
trembled at the back of her neck and could not find the clasp. Her damp
body held motionless as stone under his attempt.

"It is done," he cried, hoarsely.

She sprang free of him on the instant.

"Is this all my thanks?" Peter muttered.

She stooped mischievously and dropped a handful of shells deftly on the
sand, one by one. Peter, stooping, read what was written there; he cried
for joy, and crushed her in his arms, as little Rackby had crushed her
mother, once, under the Preaching Tree.

A strong shudder went through her. The yellow hair whipped about her
neck. Then for one instant he saw her eyes go past him and fix
themselves high up at the top of that crag. Peter loosened his hold with
a cry almost of terror at the light in those eyes. He thought he had
seen Cad Sills staring at him.

There was no time to verify such notions. Day Rackby had seen Jethro on
his knees, imploring her, voicelessly, with his mysterious right reason,
which said, plainer than words, that the touch of Peter's lips was
poison to her soul. It seemed to Jethro in that moment that a ringing
cry burst from those dumb lips, but perhaps it was one of the voices of
the surf. The girl's arms were lifted toward him; she whirled, thrust
Peter back, and fled over soft and treacherous hassocks of the purple
weed. In another instant she flashed into the dying light on the sea
beyond the headland, poised.

The weed lifted and fell, seething, but the cry, even if the old man had
heard it once, was not repeated.



(From _Scribner's Magazine_)

Daphne was singing to herself when she came through the painted gate in
the back wall. She was singing partly because it was June, and Devon,
and she was seventeen, and partly because she had caught a breath-taking
glimpse of herself in the long mirror as she had flashed through the
hall at home, and it seemed almost too good to be true that the radiant
small person in the green muslin frock with the wreath of golden hair
bound about her head, and the sea-blue eyes laughing back at her, was
really Miss Daphne Chiltern. Incredible, incredible luck to look like
that, half Dryad, half Kate Greenaway--she danced down the turf path to
the herb-garden, swinging her great wicker basket and singing like a
small mad thing.

    "He promised to buy me a bonnie blue ribbon,"

carolled Daphne, all her own ribbons flying,

    "He promised to buy me a bonnie blue ribbon,
    He promised to buy me a bonnie blue ribbon
    To tie up--"

The song stopped as abruptly as though some one had struck it from her
lips. A strange man was kneeling by the beehive in the herb-garden. He
was looking at her over his shoulder, at once startled and amused, and
she saw that he was wearing a rather shabby tweed suit and that his face
was oddly brown against his close-cropped, tawny hair. He smiled, his
teeth a strong flash of white.

"Hello!" he greeted her, in a tone at once casual and friendly.

Daphne returned the smile uncertainly. "Hello," she replied gravely.
The strange man rose easily to his feet, and she saw that he was very
tall and carried his head rather splendidly, like the young bronze Greek
in Uncle Roland's study at home. But his eyes--his eyes were
strange--quite dark and burned out. The rest of him looked young and
vivid and adventurous--but his eyes looked as though the adventure were
over, though they were still questing.

"Were you looking for any one?" she asked, and the man shook his head,

"No one in particular, unless it was you."

Daphne's soft brow darkened. "It couldn't possibly have been me," she
said in a rather stately small voice, "because, you see, I don't know
you. Perhaps you didn't know that there is no one living in Green
Gardens now?"

"Oh, yes, I knew. The Fanes have left for Ceylon, haven't they?"

"Sir Harry left two weeks ago, because he had to see the old governor
before he sailed, but Lady Audrey only left last week. She had to close
the London house, too, so there was a great deal to do."

"I see. And so Green Gardens is deserted?"

"It is sold," said Daphne, with a small quaver in her voice, "just this
afternoon. I came over to say good-by to it, and to get some mint and
lavender from the garden."

"Sold?" repeated the man, and there was an agony of incredulity in the
stunned whisper. He flung out his arm against the sun-warmed bricks of
the high wall as though to hold off some invader. "No, no; they'd never
dare to sell it."

"I'm glad you mind so much," said Daphne softly. "It's strange that
nobody minds but us, isn't it? I cried at first--and then I thought that
it would be happier if it wasn't lonely and empty, poor dear--and then,
it was such a beautiful day, that I forgot to be unhappy."

The man bestowed a wretched smile on her. "You hardly conveyed the
impression of unrelieved gloom as you came around that corner," he
assured her.

"I--I haven't a very good memory for being unhappy," Daphne confessed
remorsefully, a lovely and guilty rose staining her to her brow at the
memory of that exultant chant.

He threw back his head with a sudden shout of laughter.

"These are glad tidings! I'd rather find a pagan than a Puritan at Green
Gardens any day. Let's both have a poor memory. Do you mind if I smoke?"

"No," she replied, "but do you mind if I ask you what you are doing

"Not a bit." He lit the stubby brown pipe, curving his hand dexterously
to shelter it from the little breeze. He had the most beautiful hands
that she had ever seen, slim and brown and fine--they looked as though
they would be miraculously strong--and miraculously gentle. "I came to
see--I came to see whether there was 'honey still for tea,' Mistress

"Honey--for tea?" she echoed wonderingly; "was that why you were looking
at the hive?"

He puffed meditatively, "Well--partly. It's a quotation from a poem.
Ever read Rupert Brooke?"

"Oh, yes, yes." Her voice tripped in its eagerness. "I know one by

    "'If I should die think only this of me:
    (That there's some corner of a foreign field
    (That is forever England. There shall be--"

He cut in on the magical little voice roughly.

"Ah, what damned nonsense! Do you suppose he's happy, in his foreign
field, that golden lover? Why shouldn't even the dead be homesick? No,
no--he was sick for home in Germany when he wrote that poem of
mine--he's sicker for it in Heaven, I'll warrant." He pulled himself up
swiftly at the look of amazement in Daphne's eyes. "I've clean forgotten
my manners," he confessed ruefully. "No, don't get that flying look in
your eyes--I swear that I'll be good. It's a long time--it's a long time
since I've talked to any one who needed gentleness. If you knew what
need I had of it, you'd stay a little while, I think."

"Of course, I'll stay," she said. "I'd love to, if you want me to."

"I want you to more than I've ever wanted anything that I can remember."
His tone was so matter-of-fact that Daphne thought that she must have
imagined the words. "Now, can't we make ourselves comfortable for a
little while? I'd feel safer if you weren't standing there ready for
instant flight! Here's a nice bit of grass--and the wall for a back--"

Daphne glanced anxiously at the green muslin frock. "It's--it's pretty
hard to be comfortable without cushions," she submitted diffidently.

The man yielded again to laughter. "Are even Dryads afraid to spoil
their frocks? Cushions it shall be. There are some extra ones in the
chest in the East Indian room, aren't there?"

Daphne let the basket slip through her fingers, her eyes black through
sheer surprise.

"But how did you know--how did you know about the lacquer chest?" she
whispered breathlessly.

"'Oh, devil take me for a blundering ass!" He stood considering her
forlornly for a moment, and then shrugged his shoulders, with the
brilliant and disarming smile. "The game's up, thanks to my inspired
lunacy! But I'm going to trust you not to say that you've seen me. I
know about the lacquer chest because I always kept my marbles there."

"Are you--are you Stephen Fane?"

At the awed whisper the man bowed low, all mocking grace, his hand on
his heart--the sun burnishing his tawny head.

"Oh-h!" breathed Daphne. She bent to pick up the wicker basket, her
small face white and hard.

"Wait!" said Stephen Fane. His face was white and hard too. "You are
right to go--entirely, absolutely right--but I am going to beg you to
stay. I don't know what you've heard about me--however vile it is, it's
less than the truth--"

"I have heard nothing of you," said Daphne, holding her gold-wreathed
head high, "but five years ago I was not allowed to come to Green
Gardens for weeks because I mentioned your name. I was told that it was
not a name to pass decent lips."

Something terrible leaped in those burned-out eyes--and died.

"I had not thought they would use their hate to lash a child," he said.
"They were quite right--and you, too. Good night."

"Good night," replied Daphne clearly. She started down the path, but at
its bend she turned to look back--because she was seventeen, and it was
June, and she remembered his laughter. He was standing quite still by
the golden straw beehive, but he had thrown one arm across his eyes, as
though to shut out some intolerable sight. And then, with a soft little
rush she was standing beside him.

"How--how do we get the cushions?" she demanded breathlessly.

Stephen Fane dropped his arm, and Daphne drew back a little at the
sudden blaze of wonder in his face.

"Oh," he whispered voicelessly. "Oh, you Loveliness!" He took a step
toward her, and then stood still, clinching his brown hands. Then he
thrust them deep in his pockets, standing very straight. "I do think,"
he said carefully, "I do think you had better go. The fact that I have
tried to make you stay simply proves the particular type of rotter that
I am. Good-by--I'll never forget that you came back."

"I am not going," said Daphne sternly. "Not if you beg me. Not if you
are a devil out of hell. Because you need me. And no matter how many
wicked things you have done, there can't be anything as wicked as going
away when some one needs you. How do we get the cushions?"

"Oh, my wise Dryad!" His voice broke on laughter, but Daphne saw that
his lashes were suddenly bright with tears. "Stay, then--why, even I
cannot harm you. God himself can't grudge me this little space of
wonder--he knows how far I've come for it--how I've fought and struggled
and ached to win it--how in dirty lands and dirty places I've dreamed of
summer twilight in a still garden--and England, England!"

"Didn't you dream of me?" asked Daphne wistfully, with a little catch of

He laughed again, unsteadily. "Why, who could ever dream of you, my
Wonder? You are a thousand, thousand dreams come true."

Daphne bestowed on him a tremulous and radiant smile. "Please let us get
the cushions. I think I am a little tired."

"And I am a graceless fool! There used to be a pane of class cut out in
one of the south casement windows. Shall we try that?"

"Please, yes. How did you find it, Stephen?" She saw again that thrill
of wonder on his face, but his voice was quite steady.

"I didn't find it; I did it! It was uncommonly useful, getting in that
way sometimes, I can tell you. And, by the Lord Harry, here it is. Wait
a minute, Loveliness--I'll get through and open the south door for
you--no chance that way of spoiling the frock." He swung himself up with
the swift, sure grace of a cat, smiled at her--vanished--it was hardly a
minute later that she heard the bolts dragging back in the south door,
and he flung it wide.

The sunlight streamed into the deep hall and stretched hesitant fingers
into the dusty quiet of the great East Indian room, gilding the soft
tones of the faded chintz, touching very gently the polished furniture
and the dim prints on the walls. He swung across the threshold without a
word, Daphne tiptoeing behind him.

"How still it is," he said in a hushed voice. "How sweet it smells!"

"It's the potpurri in the Canton jars," she told him shyly. "I always
made it every summer for Lady Audrey--she thought I did it better than
any one else. I think so too." She flushed at the mirth in his eyes, but
held her ground sturdily. "Flowers are sweeter for you if you love
them--even dead ones," she explained bravely.

"They would be dead indeed, if they were not sweet for you." Her cheeks
burned bright at the low intensity of his voice, but he turned suddenly
away. "Oh, there she sails--there she sails still, my beauty. Isn't she
the proud one though--straight into the wind!" He hung over the little
ship model, thrilled as any child. "_The Flying Lady_--see where it's
painted on her? Grandfather gave it to me when I was seven--he had it
from his father when he was six. Lord, how proud I was!" He stood back
to see it better, frowning a little. "One of those ropes is wrong; any
fool could tell that--" His hands hovered over it for a moment--dropped.
"No matter--the new owners are probably not seafarers! The lacquer
chest is at the far end, isn't it? Yes, here. Are three enough--four?
We're off!" But still he lingered, sweeping the great room with his
dark eyes. "It's full of all kinds of junk--they never liked it--no
period, you see. I had the run of it--I loved it as though it were
alive; it was alive, for me. From Elizabeth's day down, all the family
adventurers brought their treasures here--beaten gold and hammered
silver--mother-of-pearl and peacock feathers, strange woods and stranger
spices, porcelains and embroideries and blown glass. There was always an
adventurer somewhere in each generation--and however far he wandered, he
came back to Green Gardens to bring his treasures home. When I was a
yellow-headed imp of Satan, hiding my marbles in the lacquer chest, I
used to swear that when I grew up I would bring home the finest treasure
of all, if I had to search the world from end to end. And now the last
adventurer has come home to Green Gardens--and he has searched the world
from end to end--and he is empty-handed."

"No, no," whispered Daphne. "He has brought home the greatest treasure
of all, that adventurer. He has brought home the beaten gold of his
love, and the hammered silver of his dreams--and he has brought them
from very far."

"He had brought greater treasures than those to you, lucky room," said
the last of the adventurers. "You can never be sad again--you will
always be gay and proud--because for just one moment he brought you the
gold of her hair and the silver of her voice."

"He is talking great nonsense, room," said a very small voice, "but it
is beautiful nonsense, and I am a wicked girl, and I hope that he will
talk some more. And please, I think we will go into the garden and see."

All the way back down the flagged path to the herb-garden they were
quiet--even after he had arranged the cushions against the rose-red
wall, even after he had stretched out at full length beside her and
lighted another pipe.

After a while he said, staring at the straw hive: "There used to be a
jolly little fat brown one that was a great pal of mine. How long do
bees live?"

"I don't know," she answered vaguely, and after a long pause, full of
quiet, pleasant odors from the bee-garden, and the sleepy happy noises
of small things tucking themselves away for the night, and the faint but
poignant drift of tobacco smoke, she asked: "What was it about 'honey
still for tea'?"

"Oh, that!" He raised himself on one elbow so that he could see her
better. "It was a poem I came across while I was in East Africa; some
one sent a copy of Rupert Brooke's things to a chap out there, and this
one fastened itself around me like a vise. It starts where he's sitting
in a cafe in Berlin with a lot of German Jews around him, swallowing
down their beer; and suddenly he remembers. All the lost, unforgettable
beauty comes back to him in that dirty place; it gets him by the throat.
It got me, too.

    "'Ah, God! to see the branches stir
    Across the moon at Grantchester!
    To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
    Unforgettable, unforgotten
    River-smell, and hear the breeze
    Sobbing in the little trees.
    Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
    Gentle and brown, above the pool?
    And laughs the immortal river still
    Under the mill, under the mill?
    Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
    And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
    Deep meadows yet, for to forget
    The lies, and truths, and pain?--oh, yet
    Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
    And is there honey still for tea?'"

"That's beautiful," she said, "but it hurts."

"Thank God you'll never know how it hurts, little Golden Heart in quiet
gardens. But for some of us, caught like rats in the trap of the ugly
fever we called living, it was black torture and yet our dear delight
to remember the deep meadows we had lost--to wonder if there was honey
still for tea."

"Stephen, won't you tell me about it--won't that help?"

And suddenly some one else looked at her through those haunted eyes--a
little boy, terrified and forsaken. "Oh, I have no right to soil you
with it. But I came back to tell some one about it--I had to, I had to.
I had to wait until father and Audrey went away. I knew they'd hate to
see me--she was my stepmother, you know, and she always loathed me, and
he never cared. In East Africa I used to stay awake at night thinking
that I might die, and that no one in England would ever care--no one
would know how I had loved her. It was worse than dying to think that."

"But why couldn't you come back to Green Gardens--why couldn't you make
them see, Stephen?"

"Why, what was there to see? When they sent me down from Oxford for that
dirty little affair, I was only nineteen--and they told me I had
disgraced my name and Green Gardens and my country--and I went mad with
pride and shame, and swore I'd drag their precious name through the dirt
of every country in the world. And I did--and I did."

His head was buried in his arms, but Daphne heard. It seemed strange
indeed to her that she felt no shrinking and no terror; only great pity
for what he had lost, great grief for what he might have had. For a
minute she forgot that she was Daphne, the heedless and gay-hearted, and
that he was a broken and an evil man. For a minute he was a little lad,
and she was his lost mother.

"Don't mind, Stephen," she whispered to him, "don't mind. Now you have
come home--now it is all done with, that ugliness. Please, please don't

"No, no," said the stricken voice, "you don't know, you don't know,
thank God. But I swear I've paid--I swear, I swear I have. When the
others used to take their dirty drugs to make them forget, they would
dream of strange paradises, unknown heavens--but through the haze and
mist that they brought, I would remember--I would remember. The filth
and the squalor and vileness would fade and dissolve--and I would see
the sun-dial, with the yellow roses on it, warm in the sun, and smell
the clove pinks in the kitchen border, and touch the cresses by the
brook, cool and green and wet. All the sullen drums and whining flutes
would sink to silence, and I would hear the little yellow-headed cousin
of the vicar's singing in the twilight, singing, 'There is a lady, sweet
and kind' and 'Weep you no more, sad fountains' and 'Hark, hark, the
lark.' And the small painted yellow faces and the little wicked hands
and perfumed fans would vanish and I would see again the gay beauty of
the lady who hung above the mantel in the long drawing-room, the lady
who laughed across the centuries in her white muslin frock, with eyes
that matched the blue ribbon in her wind-blown curls--the lady who was
as young and lovely as England, for all the years! Oh, I would remember,
I would remember! It was twilight, and I was hurrying home through the
dusk after tennis at the rectory; there was a bell ringing quietly
somewhere and a moth flying by brushed against my face with velvet--and
I could smell the hawthorn hedge glimmering white, and see the first
star swinging low above the trees, and lower still, and brighter still,
the lights of home.--And then before my very eyes, they would fade, they
would fade, dimmer and dimmer--they would flicker and go out, and I
would be back again, with tawdriness and shame and vileness fast about
me--and I would pay."

"But now you have paid enough," Daphne told him. "Oh, surely,
surely--you have paid enough. Now you have come home--now you can

"No," said Stephen Fane. "Now I must go."

"Go?" At the small startled echo he raised his head.

"What else?" he asked. "Did you think that I would stay?"

"But I do not want you to go." Her lips were white, but she spoke very

Stephen Fane never moved but his eyes, dark and wondering, rested on her
like a caress.

"Oh, my little Loveliness, what dream is this?"

"You must not go away again, you must not."

"I am baser than I thought," he said, very low. "I have made you pity
me, I who have forfeited your lovely pity this long time. It cannot even
touch me now. I have sat here like a dark Othello telling tales to a
small white Desdemona, and you, God help me, have thought me tragic and
abused. You shall not think that. In a few minutes I will be gone--I
will not have you waste a dream on me. Listen--there is nothing vile
that I have not done--nothing, do you hear? Not clean sin, like
murder--I have cheated at cards, and played with loaded dice, and stolen
the rings off the fingers of an Argentine Jewess who--" His voice
twisted and broke before the lovely mercy in the frightened eyes that
still met his so bravely.

"But why, Stephen?"

"So that I could buy my dreams. So that I could purchase peace with
little dabs of brown in a pipe-bowl, little puffs of white in the palm
of my hand, little drops of liquid on a ball of cotton. So that I could
drug myself with dirt--and forget the dirt and remember England."

He rose to his feet with that swift grace of his, and Daphne rose too,

"I am going now; will you walk to the gate with me?"

He matched his long step to hers, watching the troubled wonder on her
small white face intently.

"How old are you, my Dryad?"

"I am seventeen."

"Seventeen! Oh, God be good to us, I had forgotten that one could be
seventeen. What's that?"

He paused, suddenly alert, listening to a distant whistle, sweet on the
summer air.

"Oh, that--that is Robin."

"Ah--" His smile flashed, tender and ironic. "And who is Robin?"

"He is--just Robin. He is down from Cambridge for a week, and I told him
that he might walk home with me."

"Then I must be off quickly. Is he coming to this gate?"

"No, to the south one."

"Listen to me, my Dryad--are you listening?" For her face was turned

"Yes," said Daphne.

"You are going to forget me--to forget this afternoon--to forget
everything but Robin whistling through the summer twilight."

"No," said Daphne.

"Yes; because you have a very poor memory about unhappy things! You told
me so. But just for a minute after I have gone, you will remember that
now all is very well with me, because I have found the deep meadows--and
honey still for tea--and you. You are to remember that for just one
minute--will you? And now good-by--"

She tried to say the words, but she could not. For a moment he stood
staring down at the white pathos of the small face, and then he turned
away. But when he came to the gate, he paused and put his arms about the
wall, as though he would never let it go, laying his cheek against the
sun-warmed bricks, his eyes fast closed. The whistling came nearer, and
he stirred, put his hand on the little painted gate, vaulted across it
lightly, and was gone. She turned at Robin's quick step on the walk.

"Ready, dear? What are you staring at?"

"Nothing! Robin--Robin, did you ever hear of Stephen Fane?"

He nodded grimly.

"Do you know--do you know what he is doing now?"

"Doing now?" He stared at her blankly. "What on earth do you mean? Why,
he's been dead for months--killed in the campaign in East Africa--only
decent thing he ever did in his life. Why?"

Daphne never stirred. She stood quite still, staring at the painted
gate. Then she said, very carefully: "Some one thought--some one thought
that they had seen him--quite lately."

Robin laughed comfortingly. "No use looking so scared about it, my
blessed child. Perhaps they did. The War Office made all kinds of
ghastly blunders--it was a quick step from 'missing in action' to
'killed.' And he'd probably would have been jolly glad of a chance to
drop out quietly and have every one think he was done for."

Daphne never took her eyes from the gate. "Yes," she said quietly, "I
suppose he would. Will you get my basket, Robin? I left it by the
beehive. There are some cushions that belong in the East Indian room,
too. The south door is open."

When he had gone, she stood shaking for a moment, listening to his
footsteps die away, and then she flew to the gate, searching the
twilight desperately with straining eyes. There was no one there--no one
at all--but then the turn in the lane would have hidden him by now. And
suddenly terror fell from her like a cloak.

She turned swiftly to the brick wall, straining up, up on tiptoes, to
lay her cheek against its roughened surface, to touch it very gently
with her lips. She could hear Robin whistling down the path but she did
not turn. She was bidding farewell to Green Gardens--and the last



(From _The Cosmopolitan_)

By that same mausolean instinct that was Artimesia's when she mourned
her dear departed in marble and hieroglyphics; by that same
architectural gesture of grief which caused Jehan at Agra to erect the
Taj Mahal in memory of a dead wife and a cold hearthstone, so the Bon
Ton Hotel, even to the pillars with red-freckled monoliths and
peacock-backed lobby chairs, making the analogy rather absurdly
complete, reared its fourteen stories of "Elegantly furnished suites,
all the comforts and none of the discomforts of home."

A mausoleum to the hearth. And as true to form as any that ever mourned
the dynastic bones of an Augustus or a Hadrian.

It is doubtful if in all its hothouse garden of women the Hotel Bon Ton
boasted a broken finger-nail or that little brash place along the
forefinger that tattles so of potato peeling or asparagus scraping.

The fourteenth story, Manicure, Steam-bath, and Beauty Parlors, saw to
all that. In spite of long bridge-table, lobby-divan and _table d'hote_
séances, "tea" where the coffee was served with whipped cream and the
tarts built in four tiers and mortared in mocha filling, the Bon Ton
Hotel was scarcely more than an average of fourteen pounds over-weight.

Forty's silhouette, except for that cruel and irrefutable place where
the throat will wattle, was almost interchangeable with eighteen's.
Indeed, Bon Ton grandmothers with backs and French heels that were
twenty years younger than their throats and bunions, vied with twenty's

Whistler's kind of mother, full of sweet years that were richer because
she had dwelt in them, but whose eyelids were a little weary, had no
place there.

Mrs. Gronauer, who occupied an outside, southern-exposure suite of five
rooms and three baths, jazz-danced on the same cabaret floor with her

Fads for the latest personal accoutrements gripped the Bon Ton in
seasonal epidemics.

The permanent wave swept it like a tidal one.

The beaded bag, cunningly contrived, needleful by needleful, from little
colored strands of glass caviar, glittered its hour.

_Filet_ lace came then, sheerly, whole yokes of it for _crepe de Chine_
nightgowns and dainty scalloped edges for camisoles.

Mrs. Samstag made six of the nightgowns that winter, three for herself
and three for her daughter. Peach-blowy pink ones with lace yokes that
were scarcely more to the skin than the print of a wave edge running up
sand, and then little frills of pink satin ribbon, caught up here and
there with the most delightful and unconvincing little blue satin

It was bad for her neuralgic eye, the meanderings of the _filet_
pattern, but she liked the delicate threadiness of the handiwork, and
Mr. Latz liked watching her.

There you have it! Straight through the lacy mesh of the _filet_ to the
heart interest!

Mr. Louis Latz, who was too short, slightly too stout, and too shy of
likely length of swimming arm ever to have figured in any woman's
inevitable visualization of her ultimate Leander, liked, fascinatedly,
to watch Mrs. Samstag's nicely manicured fingers at work. He liked them
passive, too. Best of all, he would have preferred to feel them between
his own, but that had never been.

Nevertheless, that desire was capable of catching him unawares. That
very morning as he had stood, in his sumptuous bachelor's apartment,
strumming on one of the windows that overlooked an expensive tree and
lake vista of Central Park, he had wanted very suddenly and very badly
to feel those fingers in his and to kiss down on them. He liked their
taper and the rosy pointedness, those fingers, and the dry, neat way
they had of slipping in between the threads.

On this, one of a hundred such typical evenings in the Bon Ton lobby,
Mr. Latz, sighing out a satisfaction of his inner man, sat himself down
on a red velvet chair opposite Mrs. Samstag. His knees wide-spread,
taxed his knife-pressed gray trousers to their very last capacity, but
he sat back in none the less evident comfort, building his fingers up
into a little chapel.

"Well, how's Mr. Latz this evening?" asked Mrs. Samstag, her smile
encompassing the question.

"If I was any better I couldn't stand it"--relishing her smile and his

The Bon Ton had just dined, too well, from fruit-flip _à la_ Bon Ton,
mulligatawny soup, _filet_ of sole, _sauté_, choice of, or both,
Poulette _émincé_ and spring lamb _grignon_ and on through to fresh
strawberry ice-cream in fluted paper boxes, _petit fours_ and
_demi-tasse_. Groups of carefully corseted women stood now beside the
invitational plush divans and peacock chairs, paying twenty minutes
after-dinner standing penance. Men with Wall Street eyes and blood
pressure, slid surreptitious celluloid toothpicks, and gathered around
the cigar stand. Orchestra music flickered. Young girls, the traditions
of demure sixteen hanging by one inch shoulder-straps and who could not
walk across a hardwood floor without sliding the last three steps,
teetered in bare arm-in-arm groups, swapping persiflage with pimply,
patent-leather haired young men who were full of nervous excitement and
eager to excel in return badinage.

Bell hops scurried with folding tables. Bridge games formed.

The theater group got off, so to speak. Showy women and show-off men.
Mrs. Gronauer, in a full length mink coat that enveloped her like a
squaw, a titillation of diamond aigrettes in her Titianed hair and an
aftermath of scent as tangible as the trail of a wounded shark, emerged
from the elevator with her son and daughter-in-law.

"Foi!" said Mr. Latz, by way of--somewhat unduly perhaps--expressing his
own kind of cognizance of the scented trail.

"_Fleur de printemps_," said Mrs. Samstag in quick olfactory analysis.
"Eight ninety-eight an ounce." Her nose crawling up to what he thought
the cunning perfection of a sniff.

"Used to it from home--not? She is not. Believe me, I knew Max Gronauer
when he first started in the produce business in Jersey City and the
only perfume he had was seventeen cents a pound, not always fresh killed
at that. Cold storage _de printemps_."

"Max Gronauer died just two months after my husband," said Mrs. Samstag,
tucking away into her beaded hand-bag her _filet_ lace handkerchief,
itself guilty of a not inexpensive attar.

"_Thu-thu_," clucked Mr. Latz for want of a fitting retort.

"Heigh-ho! I always say we have so little in common, me and Mrs.
Gronauer. She revokes so in bridge, and I think it's terrible for a
grandmother to blondine so red; but we've both been widows for almost
eight years. Eight years," repeated Mrs. Samstag on a small scented

He was inordinately sensitive to these allusions, reddening and wanting
to seem appropriate.

"Poor, poor little woman!"

"Heigh-ho," she said, and again, "Heigh-ho."

It was about the eyes that Mrs. Samstag showed most plainly whatever
inroads into her clay the years might have gained. There were little
dark areas beneath them like smeared charcoal and two unrelenting sacs
that threatened to become pouchy.

Their effect was not so much one of years, but they gave Mrs. Samstag,
in spite of the only slightly plump and really passable figure, the look
of one out of health.

What ailed her was hardly organic. She was the victim of periodic and
raging neuralgic fires that could sweep the right side of her head and
down into her shoulder blade with a great crackling and blazing of
nerves. It was not unusual for her daughter Alma to sit up the one or
two nights that it could endure, unfailing, through the wee hours, with
hot applications.

For a week sometimes, these attacks heralded their comings with little
jabs, like the pricks of an exploring needle. Then the under-eyes began
to look their muddiest. They were darkening now and she put up two
fingers with little pressing movement to her temple.

"You're a great little woman," reiterated Mr. Latz, rather riveting even
Mrs. Samstag's suspicion that here was no great stickler for variety of

"And a great sufferer, too," he said, noting the pressing fingers.

She colored under this delightful impeachment.

"I wouldn't wish one of my neuralgia spells to my worst enemy, Mr.

"If you were mine--I mean--if--the--say--was mine, I wouldn't stop until
I had you to every specialist in Europe. I know a thing or two about
those fellows over there. Some of them are wonders."

Mrs. Samstag looked off, her profile inclined to lift and fall as if by
little pulleys of emotion.

"That's easier said than done, Mr. Latz, by a--a widow who wants to do
right by her grown daughter and living so--high since the war."

"I--I--" said Mr. Latz, leaping impulsively forward on the chair that
was as tightly upholstered in effect as he in his modish suit, then
clutching himself there as if he had caught the impulse on the fly--"I
just wish I could help."

"Oh!" she said, and threw up a swift, brown look from the lace making.

He laughed, but from nervousness.

"My little mother was an ailer too."

"That's me, Mr. Latz. Not sick--just ailing. I always say that it's
ridiculous that a woman in such perfect health as I am should be such a

"Same with her and her joints."

"Why, I can outdo Alma when it comes to dancing down in the grill with
the young people of an evening, or shopping."

"More like sisters than any mother and daughter I ever saw."

"Mother and daughter, but which is which from the back, some of my
friends put it," said Mrs. Samstag, not without a curve to her voice,
then hastily: "But the best child, Mr. Latz. The best that ever lived.
A regular little mother to me in my spells."

"Nice girl, Alma."

"It snowed so the day of--my husband's funeral. Why, do you know that up
to then I never had an attack of neuralgia in my life. Didn't even know
what a headache was. That long drive. That windy hill-top with two men
to keep me from jumping into the grave after him. Ask Alma. That's how I
care when I care. But of course, as the saying is, time heals. But
that's how I got my first attack. Intenseness is what the doctors called
it. I'm terribly intense."

"I--guess when a woman like you--cares like--you--cared, it's not much
use hoping you would ever--care again. That's about the way of it, ain't

If he had known it, there was something about his own intensity of
expression to inspire mirth. His eyebrows lifted to little gothic arches
of anxiety, a rash of tiny perspiration broke out over his blue shaved
face and as he sat on the edge of his chair, it seemed that inevitably
the tight sausage-like knees must push their way through mere fabric.

"That's about the way of it, ain't it?" he said again into the growing

"I--when a woman cares for--a man like--I did--Mr. Latz, she'll never be
happy until--she cares again--like that. I always say, once an
affectionate nature, always an affectionate nature."

"You mean," he said, leaning forward the imperceptible half-inch that
was left of chair, "you mean--me?"

The smell of bay rum came out greenly then as the moisture sprang out on
his scalp.

"I--I'm a home woman, Mr. Latz. You can put a fish in water but you
cannot make him swim. That's me and hotel life."

At this somewhat cryptic apothegm Mr. Latz's knee touched Mrs.
Samstag's, so that he sprang back full of nerves at what he had not

"Marry me, Carrie," he said more abruptly than he might have, without
the act of that knee to immediately justify.

She spread the lace out on her lap.

Ostensibly to the hotel lobby, they were casual as, "My mulligatawny
soup was cold tonight" or "Have you heard the new one that Al Jolson
pulls at the Winter Garden?" But actually, the roar was high in Mrs.
Samstag's ears and he could feel the plethoric red rushing in flashes
over his body.

"Marry me, Carrie," he said, as if to prove that his stiff lips could
repeat their incredible feat.

With a woman's talent for them, her tears sprang.

"Mr. Latz--"

"Louis," he interpolated, widely eloquent of posture.

"You're proposing--Louis!" She explained rather than asked, and placed
her hand to her heart so prettily that he wanted to crush it there with
his kisses.

"God bless you for knowing it so easy, Carrie. A young girl would make
it so hard. It's just what has kept me from asking you weeks ago, this
getting it said. Carrie, will you?"

"I'm a widow, Mr. Latz--Louis--"


"L--Loo. With a grown daughter. Not one of those merry widows you read

"That's me! A bachelor on top but a home-man underneath. Why, up to five
years ago, Carrie, while the best little mother a man ever had was
alive, I never had eyes for a woman or--"

"It's common talk what a grand son you were to her, Mr. La--Louis--"



"I don't want to seem to brag, Carrie, but you saw the coat that just
walked out on Mrs. Gronauer? My little mother, she was a humpback,
Carrie, not a real one, but all stooped from the heavy years when she
was helping my father to get his start. Well, anyway, that little
stooped back was one of the reasons why I was so anxious to make it up
to her. Y'understand?"


"But you saw that mink coat? Well, my little mother, three years before
she died, was wearing one like that in sable. Real Russian. Set me back
eighteen thousand, wholesale, and she never knew different than that it
cost eighteen hundred. Proudest moment of my life when I helped my
little old mother into her own automobile in that sable coat."

"I had some friends lived in the Grenoble Apartments when you did--the
Adelbergs. They used to tell me how it hung right down to her heels and
she never got into the auto that she didn't pick it up so as not to sit
on it."

"That there coat is packed away in cold storage, now, Carrie, waiting,
without me exactly knowing why, I guess, for--the one little woman in
the world besides her I would let so much as touch its hem."

Mrs. Samstag's lips parted, her teeth showing through like light.

"Oh," she said, "sable. That's my fur, Loo. I've never owned any, but
ask Alma if I don't stop to look at it in every show window. Sable!"

"Carrie--would you--could you--I'm not what you would call a youngster
in years, I guess, but forty-four ain't--"

"I'm--forty-one, Louis. A man like you could have younger."

"No. That's what I don't want. In my lonesomeness, after my mother's
death, I thought once that maybe a young girl from the West, nice girl
with her mother from Ohio--but I--funny thing, now I come to think about
it--I never once mentioned my little mother's sable coat to her. I
couldn't have satisfied a young girl like that or her me, Carrie, any
more than I could satisfy Alma. It was one of those mama-made matches
that we got into because we couldn't help it and out of it before it was
too late. No, no, Carrie, what I want is a woman near to my own age."

"Loo, I--I couldn't start in with you even with the one little lie that
gives every woman a right to be a liar. I'm forty-three, Louis--nearer
to forty-four. You're not mad, Loo?"

"God love it! If that ain't a little woman for you! Mad? Just doing that
little thing with me raises your stock fifty per cent."

"I'm--that way."

"We're a lot alike, Carrie. At heart, I'm a home man, Carrie, and unless
I'm pretty much off my guess, you are, too--I mean a home woman. Right?"

"Me all over, Loo. Ask Alma if--"

"I've got the means, too, Carrie, to give a woman a home to be proud

"Just for fun, ask Alma, Loo, if one year since her father's death I
haven't said, 'Alma, I wish I had the heart to go back housekeeping.'"

"I knew it!"

"But I ask you, Louis, what's been the incentive? Without a man in the
house I wouldn't have the same interest. That first winter after my
husband died I didn't even have the heart to take the summer-covers off
the furniture. You can believe me or not, but half the time with just me
to eat it, I wouldn't bother with more than a cold snack for supper and
every one knew what a table we used to set. But with no one to come home
evenings expecting a hot meal--"

"You poor little woman. I know how it is. Why, if I used to so much as
telephone that I couldn't get home for supper right away I knew my
little mother would turn out the gas under what was cooking and not eat
enough herself to keep a bird alive."

"Housekeeping is no life for a woman alone. On the other hand, Mr.
Latz--Louis--Loo, on my income, and with a daughter growing up, and
naturally anxious to give her the best, it hasn't been so easy. People
think I'm a rich widow and with her father's memory to consider and a
young lady daughter, naturally I let them think it, but on my
seventy-four hundred a year it has been hard to keep up appearances in a
hotel like this. Not that I think you think I'm a rich widow, but just
the same, that's me every time. Right out with the truth from the

"It shows you're a clever little manager to be able to do it."

"We lived big and spent big while my husband lived. He was as shrewd a
jobber in knit underwear as the business ever saw, but--well, you know
how it is. Pneumonia. I always say he wore himself out with

"Maybe you don't believe it, Carrie, but it makes me happy what you just
said about money. It means I can give you things you couldn't afford for
yourself. I don't say this for publication, Carrie, but in Wall Street
alone, outside of my brokerage business, I cleared eighty-six thousand
last year. I can give you the best. You deserve it, Carrie. Will you say

"My daughter, Loo. She's only eighteen, but she's my shadow--I lean on
her so."

"A sweet, dutiful girl like Alma would be the last to stand in her
mother's light."

"She's my only. We're different natured. Alma's a Samstag through and
through, quiet, reserved. But she's my all, Louis. I love my baby too
much to--to marry where she wouldn't be as welcome as the day itself.
She's precious to me, Louis."

"Why, of course. You wouldn't be you if she wasn't. You think I would
want you to feel different?"

"I mean--Louis--no matter where I go, more than with most children,
she's part of me, Loo. I--why that child won't so much as go to spend
the night with a girl friend away from me. Her quiet ways don't show it,
but Alma has character! You wouldn't believe it, Louis, how she takes
care of me."

"Why, Carrie, the first thing we pick out in our new home will be a room
for her."


"Not that she will want it long the way I see that young rascal
Friedlander sits up to her. A better young fellow and a better business
head you couldn't pick for her. Didn't that youngster go out to Dayton
the other day and land a contract for the surgical fittings for a big
new hospital out there before the local firms even rubbed the sleep out
of their eyes? I have it from good authority, Friedlander & Sons doubled
their excess-profits tax last year."

A white flash of something that was almost fear seemed to strike Mrs.
Samstag into a rigid pallor.

"No! No! I'm not like most mothers, Louis, for marrying their daughters
off. I want her with me. If marrying her off is your idea, it's best you
know it now in the beginning. I want my little girl with me--I have to
have my little girl with me!"

He was so deeply moved that his eyes were moist.

"Why, Carrie, every time you open your mouth, you only prove to me
further what a grand little woman you are."

"You'll like Alma, when you get to know her, Louis."

"Why, I do now. Always have said she's a sweet little thing."

"She is quiet and hard to get acquainted with at first, but that is
reserve. She's not forward like most young girls nowadays. She's the
kind of a child that would rather sit upstairs evenings with a book or
her sewing than here in the lobby. She's there now."

"Give me that kind every time, in preference to all these gay young
chickens that know more they oughtn't to know about life before they
start than my little mother did when she finished."

"But do you think that girl will go to bed before I come up? Not a bit
of it. She's been my comforter and my salvation in my troubles. More
like the mother, I sometimes tell her, and me the child. If you want me,
Louis, it's got to be with her too. I couldn't give up my baby--not my

"Why, Carrie, have your baby to your heart's content. She's got to be a
fine girl to have you for a mother and now it will be my duty to please
her as a father. Carrie will you have me?"

"Oh, Louis--Loo!"

"Carrie, my dear!"

And so it was that Carrie Samstag and Louis Latz came into their

None the less, it was with some misgivings and red lights burning high
on her cheek-bones that Mrs. Samstag, at just after ten that evening,
turned the knob of the door that entered into her little sitting-room,
but in this case, a room redeemed by an upright piano with a green silk
and gold-lace shaded floor lamp glowing by it. Two gilt-framed
photographs and a cluster of ivory knickknacks on the white mantel. A
heap of hand-made cushions. Art editions of the gift-poets and some
circulating library novels. A fireside chair, privately owned and drawn
up, ironically enough, beside the gilded radiator, its head rest worn
from kindly service to Mrs. Samstag's neuralgic brow.

From the nest of cushions in the circle of lamp glow, Alma sprang up at
her mother's entrance. Sure enough she had been reading and her cheek
was a little flushed and crumpled from where it has been resting in the
palm of her hand.

"Mama," she said, coming out of the circle of light and switching on the
ceiling bulbs, "you stayed down so late."

There was a slow prettiness to Alma. It came upon you like a little
dawn, palely at first and then pinkening to a pleasant consciousness
that her small face was heart-shaped and clear as an almond, that the
pupils of her gray eyes were deep and dark like cisterns and to young
Leo Friedlander, rather apt his comparison, too, her mouth was exactly
the shape of a small bow that had shot its quiverful of arrows into his

And instead of her eighteen she looked sixteen. There was that kind of
timid adolescence about her, yet when she said, "Mama, you stayed down
so late," the bang of a little pistol-shot was back somewhere in her

"Why--Mr. Latz--and I--sat and talked."

An almost imperceptible nerve was dancing against Mrs. Samstag's right
temple. Alma could sense, rather than see the ridge of pain.

"You're all right, mama?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Samstag, and plumped rather than sat herself down on a
divan, its naked greenness relieved by a thrown scarf of black velvet,
stenciled in gold.

"You shouldn't have remained down so long if your head is hurting," said
her daughter, and quite casually took up her mother's beaded hand-bag
where it had fallen in her lap, but her fingers feeling lightly and
furtively as if for the shape of its contents.

"Stop that," said Mrs. Samstag, jerking it back, a dull anger in her

"Come to bed, mama. If you're in for neuralgia, I'll fix the electric

Suddenly Mrs. Samstag shot out her arm, rather slim looking in the
invariable long sleeve she affected, drawing Alma back toward her by the
ribbon sash of her pretty chiffon frock.

"Alma, be good to mama tonight! Sweetheart--be good to her."

The quick suspecting fear that had motivated Miss Samstag's groping
along the beaded hand-bag shot out again in her manner.

"Mama--you haven't?"

"No, no. Don't nag me. It's something else, Alma. Something mama is very
happy about."

"Mama, you've broken your promise again."

"No. No. No. Alma, I've been a good mother to you, haven't I?"

"Yes, mama, yes, but what--"

"Whatever else I've been hasn't been my fault--you've always blamed

"Mama, I don't understand."

"I've caused you worry, Alma--terrible worry. But everything is changed
now. Mama's going to turn over a new leaf that everything is going to be
happiness in this family."

"Dearest, if you knew how happy it makes me to hear you say that."

"Alma, look at me."

"Mama, you--you frighten me."

"You like Louis Latz, don't you, Alma?"

"Why yes, mama. Very much."

"We can't all be young and handsome like Leo, can we?"

"You mean--"

"I mean that finer and better men than Louis Latz aren't lying around
loose. A man who treated his mother like a queen and who worked himself
up from selling newspapers on the street to a millionaire."


"Yes, baby. He asked me tonight. Come to me, Alma, stay with me close.
He asked me tonight."


"You know. Haven't you seen it coming for weeks? I have."

"Seen what?"

"Don't make mama come out and say it. For eight years I've been as
grieving a widow to a man as a woman could be. But I'm human, Alma, and
he--asked me tonight."

There was a curious pallor came over Miss Samstag's face, as if smeared
there by a hand.

"Asked you what?"

"Alma, it don't mean I'm not true to your father as I was the day I
buried him in that blizzard back there, but could you ask for a finer,
steadier man than Louis Latz? It looks out of his face."

"Mama, you--what--are you saying?"


There lay a silence between them that took on the roar of a simoon and
Miss Samstag jumped then from her mother's embrace, her little face
stiff with the clench of her mouth.

"Mama--you--no--no. Oh, mama--Oh--"

A quick spout of hysteria seemed to half strangle Mrs. Samstag, so that
she slanted backward, holding her throat.

"I knew it. My own child against me. Oh, God! Why was I born? My own
child against me!"

"Mama--you can't marry him. You can't marry--anybody."

"Why can't I marry anybody? Must I be afraid to tell my own child when a
good man wants to marry me and give us both a good home? That's my
thanks for making my child my first consideration--before I accepted

"Mama, you didn't accept him. Darling, you wouldn't do a--thing like

Miss Samstag's voice thickened up then, quite frantically, into a little
scream that knotted in her throat and she was suddenly so small and
stricken, that with a gasp for fear she might crumple up where she
stood, Mrs. Samstag leaned forward, catching her again by the sash.


It was only for an instant, however. Suddenly Miss Samstag was her
coolly firm little self, the bang of authority back in her voice.

"You can't marry Louis Latz."

"Can't I? Watch me."

"You can't do that to a nice, deserving fellow like him!"

"Do what?"


Then Mrs. Samstag threw up both her hands to her face, rocking in an
agony of self-abandon that was rather horrid to behold.

"Oh, God, why don't you put me out of it all? My misery! I'm a leper to
my own child!"


"Yes, a leper. Hold my misfortune against me. Let my neuralgia and
Doctor Heyman's prescription to cure it ruin my life. Rob me of what
happiness with a good man there is left in it for me. I don't want
happiness. Don't expect it. I'm here just to suffer. My daughter will
see to that. Oh, I know what is on your mind. You want to make me out
something--terrible--because Dr. Heyman once taught me how to help
myself a little when I'm nearly wild with neuralgia. Those were doctor's
orders. I'll kill myself before I let you make me out something
terrible. I never even knew what it was before the doctor gave his
prescription. I'll kill--you hear--kill myself."

She was hoarse, she was tear splotched so that her lips were slippery
with them, and while the ague of her passion shook her, Alma, her own
face swept white and her voice guttered with restraint, took her mother
into the cradle of her arms, and rocked and hushed her there.

"Mama, mama, what are you saying? I'm not blaming you, sweetheart. I
blame him--Dr. Heyman--for prescribing it in the beginning. I know your
fight. How brave it is. Even when I'm crossest with you, I realize.
Alma's fighting with you, dearest, every inch of the way until--you're
cured! And then--maybe--some day--anything you want! But not now. Mama,
you wouldn't marry Louis Latz now!"

"I would. He's my cure. A good home with a good man and money enough to
travel and forget myself. Alma, Mama knows she's not an angel--sometimes
when she thinks what she's put her little girl through this last year,
she just wants to go out on the hill-top where she caught the neuralgia
and lay down beside that grave out there and--"

"Mama, don't talk like that!"

"But now's my chance, Alma, to get well. I've too much worry in this big
hotel trying to keep up big expenses on little money and--"

"I know it, mama. That's why I'm so in favor of finding ourselves a
sweet, tiny little apartment with kitch--"

"No! Your father died with the world thinking him a rich man and it will
never find out from me that he wasn't. I won't be the one to humiliate
his memory--a man who enjoyed keeping up appearances the way he did. Oh,
Alma, Alma, I'm going to get well now. I promise. So help me God, if I
ever give in to--to it again."

"Mama, please. For God's sake, you've said the same thing so often only
to break your promise."

"I've been weak, Alma; I don't deny it. But nobody who hasn't been
tortured as I have, can realize what it means to get relief just by--"

"Mama, you're not playing fair this minute. That's the frightening part.
It isn't only the neuralgia any more. It's just desire. That's what's so
terrible to me, mama. The way you have been taking it these last months.
Just from--desire."

Mrs. Samstag buried her face, shuddering down into her hands.

"Oh, God, my own child against me!"

"No, mama. Why, sweetheart, nobody knows better than I do how sweet and
good you are when you are away--from it. We'll fight it together and
win! I'm not afraid. It's been worse this last month because you've been
nervous, dear. I understand now. You see, I--didn't dream of you
and--Louis Latz. We'll forget--we'll take a little two room apartment of
our own, darling, and get your mind on housekeeping and I'll take up
stenography or social ser--"

"What good am I anyway? No good. In my own way. In my child's way. A
young man like Leo Friedlander crazy to propose and my child can't let
him come to the point because she is afraid to leave her mother. Oh, I
know--I know more than you think I do. Ruining your life! That's what I
am, and mine too!"

Tears now ran in hot cascades down Alma's cheeks.

"Why, mama, as if I cared about anything--just so you--get well."

"I know what I've done. Ruined my baby's life and now--"


"Then help me, Alma. Louis wants me for his happiness. I want him for
mine. Nothing will cure me like having a good man to live up to. The
minute I find myself getting the craving for--it--don't you see, baby,
fear that a good husband like Louis could find out such a thing about me
would hold me back. See, Alma?"

"That's a wrong basis to start married life on--"

"I'm a woman who needs a man to baby her, Alma. That's the cure for me.
Not to let me would be the same as to kill me. I've been a bad, weak
woman, Alma, to be so afraid that maybe Leo Friedlander would steal you
away from me. We'll make it a double wedding, baby!"

"Mama, mama, I'll never leave you."

"All right then, so you won't think your new father and me want to get
rid of you. The first thing we'll pick out in our new home, he said it
himself tonight, is Alma's room."

"I tell you it's wrong. It's wrong!"

"The rest with Leo can come later, after I've proved to you for a little
while that I'm cured. Alma, don't cry! It's my cure. Just think, a good
man. A beautiful home to take my mind off--worry. He said tonight he
wants to spend a fortune if necessary to cure--my neuralgia."

"Oh, mama, mama, if it were only--that!"

"Alma, if I promise on my--my life! I never felt the craving so little
as I do--now."

"You've said that before--and before."

"But never, with such a wonderful reason. It's the beginning of a new
life. I know it. I'm cured!"

"Mama, if I thought you meant it."

"I do. Alma, look at me. This very minute I've a real jumping case of
neuralgia. But I wouldn't have anything for it except the electric pad.
I feel fine. Strong! Alma, the bad times with me are over."

"Oh, mama, mama, how I pray you're right."

"You'll thank God for the day that Louis Latz proposed to me. Why, I'd
rather cut off my right hand than marry a man who could ever live to
learn such a--thing about me."

"But it's not fair. We'll have to explain to him, dear that we hope
you're cured now, but--"

"If you do--if you do--I'll kill myself! I won't live to bear that! You
don't want me cured. You want to get rid of me, to degrade me until I
kill myself! If I was ever anything else than what I am now--to Louis
Latz--anything but his ideal--Alma, you won't tell! Kill me, but don't
tell--don't tell!"

"Why, you know I wouldn't, sweetheart, if it is so terrible to you.

"Say it again."


"As if it hasn't been terrible enough that you should have to know. But
it's over, Alma. Your bad times with me are finished. I'm cured."

"But wait a little while, mama, just a year."

"No. No."

"A few months."

"Now. He wants it soon. The sooner the better at our age. Alma, mama's
cured! What happiness. Kiss me, darling. So help me God, to keep my
promises to you. Cured, Alma, cured."

And so in the end, with a smile on her lips that belied almost to
herself the little run of fear through her heart, Alma's last kiss to
her mother that night was the long one of felicitation.

And because love, even the talk of it, is so gamey on the lips of woman
to woman, they lay in bed that night heart-beat to heart-beat, the
electric pad under her pillow warm to the hurt of Mrs. Samstag's brow
and talked, these two, deep into the stillness of the hotel night.

"My little baby, who's helped me through such bad times, it's your turn
now, Alma, to be care-free, like other girls."

"I'll never leave you mama, even if--he shouldn't want me."

"He will, darling, and does! Those were his words. 'A room for Alma.'"

"I'll never leave you!"

"You will! Much as Louis and me want you with us every minute, we won't
stand in your way! That's another reason I'm so happy, Alma. I'm not
alone, any more now. Leo's so crazy over you, just waiting for the
chance to--pop--"


"Don't tremble so, darling. Mama knows. He told Mrs. Gronauer last night
when she was joking him to buy a ten dollar carnation for the
Convalescent Home Bazaar, that he would only take one if it was white,
because little white flowers reminded him of Alma Samstag."

"Oh, mama--"

"Say, it is as plain as the nose on your face. He can't keep his eyes
off you. He sells goods to Doctor Gronauer's clinic and he says the same
thing about him. It makes me so happy, Alma, to think you won't have to
hold him off any more."

"I'll never leave you. Never!"

None the less she was the first to drop off to sleep, pink, there in the
dark, with the secret of her blushes.

Then for Mrs. Samstag the travail set in. Lying there with her raging
head tossing this way and that on the heated pillow, she heard with
cruel awareness, the _minutiæ_, all the faint but clarified noises that
can make a night seem so long. The distant click of the elevator,
depositing a night-hawk. A plong of the bed spring. Somebody's cough. A
train's shriek. The jerk of plumbing. A window being raised. That creak
which lies hidden in every darkness, like a mysterious knee-joint. By
three o'clock she was a quivering victim to these petty concepts, and
her pillow so explored that not a spot but what was rumpled to the
aching lay of her cheek.

Once Alma, as a rule supersensitive to her mother's slightest unrest,
floated up for the moment out of her young sleep, but she was very
drowsy and very tired and dream-tides were almost carrying her back, as
she said:

"Mama, are you all right?"

Simulating sleep, Mrs. Samstag lay tense until her daughter's breathing
resumed its light cadence.

Then at four o'clock, the kind of nervousness that Mrs. Samstag had
learned to fear, began to roll over her in waves, locking her throat and
curling her toes and her fingers, and her tongue up dry against the roof
of her mouth.

She must concentrate now--must steer her mind away from the craving!

Now then: West End Avenue. Louis liked the apartments there. Luxurious.
Quiet. Residential. Circassian walnut or mahogany dining room? Alma
should decide. A baby-grand piano. Later to be Alma's engagement gift
from, "Mama and--Papa." No, "Mama and Louis." Better so.

How her neck and her shoulder-blade, and now her elbow, were flaming
with the pain! She cried a little, far back in her throat with the small
hissing noise of a steam-radiator, and tried a poor futile scheme for
easing her head in the crotch of her elbow.

Now then: She must knit Louis some neckties. The silk-sweater-stitch
would do. Married in a traveling-suit. One of those smart dark-blue
twills like Mrs. Gronauer Junior's. Top-coat--sable. Louis' hair
thinning. Tonic. Oh God, let me sleep. Please, God. The wheeze rising in
her closed throat. That little threatening desire that must not shape
itself! It darted with the hither and thither of a bee bumbling against
a garden wall. No. No. Ugh! The vast chills of nervousness. The flaming,
the craving chills of desire!

Just this last giving-in. This once. To be rested and fresh for him
tomorrow. Then never again. The little beaded handbag. Oh God, help me.
That burning ache to rest and to uncurl of nervousness. All the
thousand, thousand little pores of her body, screaming each one, to be
placated. They hurt the entire surface of her. That great storm at sea
in her head; the crackle of lightning down that arm--

Let me see--Circassian walnut--baby-grand--the pores demanding,

It was then that Carrie Samstag, even in her lovely pink night-dress, a
crone with pain, and the cables out dreadfully in her neck, began by
infinitesimal processes to swing herself gently to the side of the bed,
unrelaxed inch by unrelaxed inch, softly and with the cunning born of

It was actually a matter of fifteen minutes, that breathless swing
toward the floor, the mattress rising after her with scarcely a whisper
of its stuffings and her two bare feet landing patly into the pale blue
room-slippers, there beside the bed.

Then her bag, the beaded one on the end of the divan. The slow taut
feeling for it and the floor that creaked twice, starting the sweat out
over her.

It was finally after more tortuous saving of floor creaks and the
interminable opening and closing of a door that Carrie Samstag, the
beaded bag in her hand, found herself face to face with herself in the
mirror of the bathroom medicine chest.

She was shuddering with one of the hot chills, the needle and little
glass piston out of the hand-bag and with a dry little insuck of breath,
pinching up little areas of flesh from her arm, bent on a good firm
perch, as it were.

There were undeniable pock-marks on Mrs. Samstag's right forearm.
Invariably it sickened her to see them. Little graves. Oh, oh, little
graves. For Alma. Herself. And now Louis. Just once. Just one more
little grave--

And Alma, answering her somewhere down in her heart-beats: "No, mama,
no, mama. No. No. No."

But all the little pores gaping. Mouths! The pinching up of the skin.
Here, this little clean and white area.

"No, mama. No, mama. No. No. No."

"Just once, darling?" Oh--oh--graves for Alma and Louis. No. No. No.

Somehow, some way, with all the little mouths still parched and gaping
and the clean and quite white area unblemished, Mrs. Samstag found her
way back to bed. She was in a drench of sweat when she got there and the
conflagration of neuralgia curiously enough, was now roaring in her
ears so that it seemed to her she could hear her pain.

Her daughter lay asleep, with her face to the wall, her flowing hair
spread in a fan against the pillow and her body curled up cozily. The
remaining hours of the night, in a kind of waking faint she could never
find the words to describe, Mrs. Samstag, with that dreadful dew of her
sweat constantly out over her, lay with her twisted lips to the faint
perfume of that fan of Alma's flowing hair her toes curling in and out.
Out and in. Toward morning she slept. Actually, sweetly and deeply as if
she could never have done with deep draughts of it.

She awoke to the brief patch of sunlight that smiled into their
apartment for about eight minutes of each forenoon.

Alma was at the pretty chore of lifting the trays from a hamper of
roses. She places a shower of them on her mother's coverlet with a kiss,
a deeper and dearer one somehow, this morning.

There was a card and Mrs. Samstag read it and laughed:

     Good morning, Carrie.


They seemed to her, poor dear, these roses, to be pink with the glory of
the coming of the dawn.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the spur of the moment and because the same precipitate decisions
that determined Louis Latz's successes in Wall Street determined him
here, they were married the following Thursday in Greenwich,
Connecticut, without even allowing Carrie time for the blue twill
traveling suit. She wore her brown velvet instead, looking quite modish,
and a sable wrap, gift of the groom, lending genuine magnificence.

Alma was there, of course, in a beautiful fox scarf, also gift of the
groom, and locked in a white kind of tensity that made her seem more
than ever like a little white flower to Leo Friedlander, the sole other
attendant, and who during the ceremony yearned at her with his gaze. But
her eyes were squeezed tight against his, as if to forbid herself the
consciousness that life seemed suddenly so richly sweet to her--oh, so
richly sweet!

There was a time during the first months of the married life of Louis
and Carrie Latz, when it seemed to Alma, who in the sanctity of her
lovely little ivory bedroom all appointed in rose-enamel toilet trifles,
could be prayerful with the peace of it, that the old Carrie, who could
come pale and terrible out of her drugged nights, belonged to some
grimacing and chimeric past. A dead past that had buried its dead and
its hatchet.

There had been a month at Hot Springs in the wintergreen heart of
Virginia, and whatever Louis may have felt in his heart, of his right to
the privacy of these honeymoon days, was carefully belied on his lips,
and at Alma's depriving him now and then of his wife's company, packing
her off to rest when he wanted a climb with her up a mountain slope or a
drive over piny roads, he could still smile and pinch her cheek.

"You're stingy to me with my wife, Alma," he said to her upon one of
these provocations. "I don't believe she's got a daughter at all, but a
little policeman instead."

And Alma smiled back, out of the agony of her constant consciousness
that she was insinuating her presence upon him, and resolutely, so that
her fear for him should always subordinate her fear of him, she bit down
her sensitiveness in proportion to the rising tide of his growing, but
still politely held in check, bewilderment.

One day, these first weeks of their marriage, because she saw the
dreaded signal of the muddy pools under her mother's eyes and the little
quivering nerve beneath the temple, she shut him out of her presence for
a day and a night, and when he came fuming up every few minutes from the
hotel veranda, miserable and fretting, met him at the closed door of her
mother's darkened room and was adamant.

"It won't hurt if I tiptoe in and sit with her," he pleaded.

"No, Louis. No one knows how to get her through these spells like I do.
The least excitement will only prolong her pain."

He trotted off then down the hotel corridor with a strut to his
resentment that was bantam and just a little fighty.

That night as Alma lay beside her mother, fighting sleep and watching,
Carrie rolled her eyes sidewise with the plea of a stricken dog in them.

"Alma," she whispered, "for God's sake. Just this once. To tide me over.
One shot--darling. Alma, if you love me?"

Later, there was a struggle between them that hardly bears relating. A
lamp was overturned. But toward morning, when Carrie lay exhausted, but
at rest in her daughter's arms, she kept muttering in her sleep:

"Thank you, baby. You saved me. Never leave me, Alma.
Never--never--never. You saved me Alma."

And then the miracle of those next months. The return to New York. The
happily busy weeks of furnishing and the unlimited gratifications of the
well-filled purse. The selection of the limousine with the special body
that was fearfully and wonderfully made in mulberry upholstery with
mother-of-pearl caparisons. The fourteen-room apartment on West End
Avenue, with four baths, drawing-room of pink brocaded walls and
Carrie's Roman bathroom that was precisely as large as her old hotel
sitting room, with two full length wall-mirrors, a dressing table
canopied in white lace over white satin and the marble bath itself, two
steps down and with the rubber curtains that swished after.

There were evenings when Carrie, who loved the tyranny of things with
what must have been a survival within her of the bazaar instinct, would
fall asleep almost directly after dinner her head back against her
husband's shoulder, roundly tired out after a day all cluttered up with
matching the blue upholstery of their bedroom with taffeta bed hangings.

Latz liked her so, with her fragrantly coiffured head, scarcely gray,
back against his shoulder and with his newspapers--Wall Street journals
and the comic weeklies which he liked to read--would sit an entire
evening thus, moving only when his joints rebelled, and his pipe smoke
carefully directed away from her face.

Weeks and weeks of this and already Louis Latz's trousers were a little
out of crease and Mrs. Latz after eight o'clock and under cover of a
very fluffy and very expensive négligée, would unhook her stays.

Sometimes friends came in for a game of small-stake poker, but after the
second month they countermanded the standing order for Saturday night
musical comedy seats. So often they discovered it was pleasanter to
remain at home. Indeed, during these days of household adjustment, as
many as four evenings a week Mrs. Latz dozed there against her husband's
shoulder, until about ten, when he kissed her awake to forage with him
in the great, white porcelain refrigerator and then to bed.

And Alma. Almost, she tiptoed through these months. Not that her
scorching awareness of what must have crouched low in Louis' mind ever
diminished. Sometimes, although still never by word, she could see the
displeasure mount in his face.

If she entered in on a tête-à-tête, as she did once, when by chance she
had sniffed the curative smell of spirits of camphor on the air of a
room through which her mother had passed, and came to drag her off that
night to share her own lace-covered and ivory bed.

Again: upon the occasion of an impulsively planned motor trip and
week-end to Lakewood, her intrusion had been so obvious.

"Want to join us, Alma?"

"O--yes--thank you, Louis."

"But I thought you and Leo were--"

"No, no, I'd rather go with you and mama, Louis."

Even her mother had smiled rather strainedly. Louis' invitation,
politely uttered, had said so plainly: "Are we two never to be alone.
Your mother and I?"

Oh, there was no doubt that Louis Latz was in love and with all the
delayed fervor of first youth.

There was something rather throat-catching about his treatment of her
mother that made Alma want to cry.

He would never tire of marveling, not alone at the wonder of her, but at
the wonder that she was his.

"No man has ever been as lucky in women as I have, Carrie," he told her
once in Alma's hearing. "It seemed to me that after--my little mother,
there couldn't ever be another--and now you! You!"

At the business of sewing some beads on a lamp-shade, Carrie looked up,
her eyes dewy.

"And I felt that way about one good husband," she said, "and now I see
there could be two."

Alma tiptoed out.

The third month of this, she was allowing Leo Friedlander his two
evenings a week. Once to the theater in a modish little sedan car which
Leo drove himself. One evening at home in the rose and mauve
drawing-room. It delighted Louis and Carrie slyly to have in their
friends for poker over the dining-room table these evenings, leaving the
young people somewhat indirectly chaperoned until as late as midnight.
Louis' attitude with Leo was one of winks, quirks, slaps on the back and
the curving voice of innuendo.

"Come on in, Leo, the water's fine!"

"Louis!" This from Alma stung to crimson and not arch enough to feign
that she did not understand.

"Loo, don't tease," said Carrie, smiling, but then closing her eyes as
if to invoke help to want this thing to come to pass.

But Leo was frankly the lover, kept not without difficulty on the edge
of his ardor. A city youth with gymnasium bred shoulders, fine, pole
vaulter's length of limb and a clean tan skin that bespoke cold
drubbings with Turkish towels.

And despite herself, Alma, who was not without a young girl's feelings
for nice detail, could thrill to this sartorial svelteness and to the
patent-leather lay of his black hair which caught the light like a
polished floor.

The kind of sweetness he found in Alma he could never articulate even to
himself. In some ways she seemed hardly to have the pressure of vitality
to match his, but on the other hand, just that slower beat to her may
have heightened his sense of prowess. His greatest delight seemed to lie
in her pallid loveliness. "White Honeysuckle," he called her and the
names of all the beautiful white flowers he knew. And then one night, to
the rattle of poker chips from the remote dining-room, he jerked her to
him without preamble, kissing her mouth down tightly against her teeth.

"My sweetheart. My little, white carnation sweetheart. I won't be held
off any longer. I'm going to carry you away for my little moon-flower

She sprang back prettier than he had ever seen her in the dishevelment
from where his embrace had dragged at her hair.

"You mustn't," she cried, but there was enough of the conquering male in
him to read easily into this a mere plating over her desire.

"You can't hold me at arm's length any longer. You've maddened me for
months. I love you. You love me. You do. You do," and crushed her to
him, but this time his pain and his surprise genuine as she sprang back,

"You--I--mustn't!" she said, frantic to keep her lips from twisting, her
little lacy fribble of a handkerchief a mere string from winding.

"Mustn't what?"

"Mustn't," was all she could repeat and not weep her words.




"You see--I--she's all alone."

"You adorable, she's got a brand-new husky husband."

"No--you don't--understand."

Then, on a thunder-clap of inspiration, hitting his knee, "I have it.
Mama-baby! That's it. My girlie is a cry-baby, mama-baby!" And made to
slide along the divan toward her, but up flew her two small hands, like

"No," she said with the little bang back in her voice which steadied him
again. "I mustn't! You see, we're so close. Sometimes it's more as if I
were the mother and she my little girl."

Misery made her dumb.

"Why don't you know, dear, that your mother is better able to take care
of herself than you are. She's bigger and stronger. You--you're a little
white flower."

"Leo--give me time. Let me think."

"A thousand thinks, Alma, but I love you. I love you and want so
terribly for you to love me back."


"Then tell me with kisses."

Again she pressed him to arm's length.

"Please, Leo. Not yet. Let me think. Just one day. Tomorrow."

"No, no. Now."




"No, morning."

"All right Leo--tomorrow morning--"

"I'll sit up all night and count every second in every minute and every
minute in every hour."

She put up her soft little fingers to his lips.

"Dear boy," she said.

And then they kissed and after a little swoon to his nearness she
struggled like a caught bird and a guilty one.

"Please go, Leo," she said, "leave me alone--"

"Little mama-baby sweetheart," he said. "I'll build you a nest right
next to hers. Good night, little White Flower. I'll be waiting, and
remember, counting every second of every minute and every minute of
every hour."

For a long time she remained where he had left her, forward on the pink
divan, her head with a listening look to it, as if waiting an answer for
the prayers that she sent up.

At two o'clock that morning, by what intuition she would never know, and
with such leverage that she landed out of bed plump on her two feet,
Alma, with all her faculties into trace like fire-horses, sprang out of

It was a matter of twenty steps across the hall. In the white tiled
Roman bathroom, the muddy circles suddenly out and angry beneath her
eyes, her mother was standing before one of the full-length

There was a fresh little grave on the inside of her right fore arm.

Sometimes in the weeks that followed, a sense of the miracle of what was
happening would clutch at Alma's throat like a fear.

Louis did not know.

That the old neuralgic recurrences were more frequent again, yes.
Already plans for a summer trip abroad, on a curative mission bent, were
taking shape. There was a famous nerve specialist, the one who had
worked such wonders on his little mother's cruelly rheumatic limbs,
reassuringly foremost in his mind.

But except that there were not infrequent and sometimes twenty-four hour
sieges when he was denied the sight of his wife, he had learned with a
male's acquiescence to the frailties of the other sex, to submit, and
with no great understanding of pain, to condone.

And as if to atone for these more or less frequent lapses there was
something pathetic, even a little heart-breaking, in Carrie's zeal for
his wellbeing. No duty too small. One night she wanted to unlace his
shoes and even shine them, would have, in fact, except for his fierce
catching of her into his arms and for some reason, his tonsils aching as
he kissed her.

Once after a "spell" she took out every garment from his wardrobe and
kissing them piece by piece, put them back again and he found her so,
and they cried together, he of happiness.

In his utter beatitude, even his resentment of Alma continued to grow
but slowly. Once, when after forty-eight hours she forbade him rather
fiercely an entrance into his wife's room, he shoved her aside almost
rudely, but at Carrie's little shriek of remonstrance from the darkened
room, backed out shamefacedly and apologized next day in the
conciliatory language of a tiny wrist-watch.

But a break came, as she knew and feared it must.

One evening during one of these attacks, when for two days Carrie had
not appeared at the dinner table, Alma, entering when the meal was
almost over, seated herself rather exhaustedly at her mother's place
opposite her stepfather.

He had reached the stage when that little unconscious usurpation in
itself could annoy him.

"How's your mother?" he asked, dourly for him.

"She's asleep."

"Funny. This is the third attack this month and each time it lasts
longer. Confound that neuralgia."

"She's easier now."

He pushed back his plate.

"Then I'll go in and sit with her while she sleeps."

She who was so fastidiously dainty of manner, half rose, spilling her

"No," she said, "you mustn't! Not now!" And sat down again hurriedly,
wanting not to appear perturbed.

A curious thing happened then to Louis. His lower lip came pursing out
like a little shelf and a hitherto unsuspected look of pigginess
fattened over his rather plump face.

"You quit butting into me and my wife's affairs, you, or get the hell
out of here," he said, without changing his voice or his manner.

She placed her hand to the almost unbearable flutter of her heart.

"Louis! You mustn't talk like that to--me!"

"Don't make me say something I'll regret. You! Only take this tip, you!
There's one of two things you better do. Quit trying to come between me
and her or--get out."

"I--she's sick."

"Naw, she ain't. Not as sick as you make out. You're trying, God knows
why, to keep us apart. I've watched you. I know your sneaking kind.
Still water runs deep. You've never missed a chance since we're married
to keep us apart. Shame!"


"Now mark my word, if it wasn't to spare her, I'd have invited you out
long ago. Haven't you got any pride?"

"I have. I have," she almost moaned and could have crumpled up there and
swooned in her humiliation.

"You're not a regular girl. You're a she-devil. That's what you are!
Trying to come between your mother and me. Ain't you ashamed? What is it
you want?"

"Louis--I don't--"

"First you turn down a fine fellow like Leo Friedlander, so he don't
come to the house any more and then you take out on us whatever is
eating you, by trying to come between me and the finest woman that ever
lived. Shame. Shame."

"Louis," she said. "Louis," wringing her hands in a dry wash of agony,
"can't you understand? She'd rather have me. It makes her nervous trying
to pretend to you that she's not suffering when she is. That's all,
Louis. You see, she's not ashamed to suffer before me. Why,
Louis--that's all. Why should I want to come between you and her? Isn't
she dearer to me than anything in the world and haven't you been the
best friend to me a girl could have? That's all--Louis."

He was placated and a little sorry and did not insist further upon going
into the room.

"Funny," he said. "Funny," and adjusting his spectacles, snapped open
his newspaper for a lonely evening.

The one thing that perturbed Alma almost more than anything else, as the
dreaded cravings grew, with each siege her mother becoming more brutish
and more given to profanity, was where she obtained the drug.

The well-thumbed old doctor's prescription she had purloined even back
in the hotel days, and embargo and legislation were daily making more
and more furtive and prohibitive the traffic in narcotics.

Once Alma, mistakenly too, she thought later, had suspected a chauffeur
of collusion with her mother and abruptly dismissed him. To Louis' rage.

"What's the idea," he said out of Carrie's hearing, of course. "Who's
running this shebang anyway?"

Once after Alma had guarded her well for days, scarcely leaving her
side, Carrie laughed sardonically up into her daughter's face, her eyes
as glassy and without swimming fluid as a doll's.

"I get it! But wouldn't you like to know where? Yah!"

And to Alma's horror she slapped her quite roundly across the cheek.

And then one day, after a long period of quiet, when Carrie had lavished
her really great wealth of contrite love upon her daughter and husband,
spending on Alma and loading her with gifts of jewelry and finery to
somehow express her grateful adoration of her; paying her husband the
secret penance of twofold fidelity to his well-being and every whim,
Alma, returning from a trip, taken reluctantly, and at her mother's
bidding, down to the basement trunk room, found her gone, a modish
black-lace hat and the sable coat missing from the closet.

It was early afternoon, sunlit and pleasantly cold.

The first rush of panic and the impulse to dash after, stayed, she
forced herself down into a chair, striving with the utmost difficulty
for coherence of procedure.

Where in the half hour of her absence had her mother gone? Matinee?
Impossible! Walking. Hardly probable. Upon inquiry in the kitchen
neither of the maids had seen nor heard her depart. Motoring? With a
hand that trembled in spite of itself, Alma telephoned the garage. Car
and chauffeur were there. Incredible as it seemed, Alma, upon more than
one occasion had lately been obliged to remind her mother that she was
becoming careless of the old pointedly rosy hand. Manicurist? She
telephoned the Bon Ton Beauty Parlor. No! Where, oh God, where? Which
way to begin? That was what troubled her most. To start right, so as not
to lose a precious second.

Suddenly, and for no particular reason, Alma began a hurried search
through her mother's dresser-drawers of lovely personal appointments.

A one-inch square of newspaper clipping apparently gouged from the sheet
with a hairpin, caught her eye from the top of one of the gold-backed
hair-brushes. Dawningly, Alma read.

It described in brief detail the innovation of a newly equipped Narcotic
Clinic on the Bowery below Canal Street, provided to medically
administer to the pathological cravings of addicts.

Fifteen minutes later Alma emerged from the subway at Canal Street and
with three blocks toward her destination ahead, started to run.

At the end of the first block she saw her mother, in the sable coat and
the black-lace hat, coming toward her.

Her first impulse was to run faster and yoo-hoo, but she thought better
of it and by biting her lips and digging her fingernails, was able to
slow down to a casual walk.

Carrie's fur coat was flaring open and because of the quality of her
attire down there where the bilge waters of the city-tide flow and eddy,
stares followed her.

Once, to the stoppage of Alma's heart, she halted and said a brief word
to a truckman as he crossed the sidewalk with a bill of lading. He
hesitated, laughed and went on.

Then she quickened her pace and went on, but as if with sense of being
followed, because constantly as she walked, she jerked a step, to look
back, and then again, over her shoulder.

A second time she stopped, this time to address a little nub of a woman
without a hat and lugging one-sidedly a stack of men's basted
waistcoats, evidently for homework in some tenement. She looked and
muttered her un-understanding of whatever Carrie had to say and shambled

Then Mrs. Latz spied her daughter, greeting her without surprise or any
particular recognition.

"Thought you could fool me! Heh, Louis? Alma."

"Mama, it's Alma. It's all right. Don't you remember, we had this
appointment? Come, dear."

"No, you don't! That's a man following. Shh-h-h-h, Louis. I was fooling.
I went up to him (snicker) and I said to him, 'Give you five dollars for
a doctor's certificate.' That's all I said to him, or any of them. He's
in a white carnation, Louis. You can find him by the--it's on his coat
lapel. He's coming! Quick--"

"Mama, there's no one following. Wait, I'll call a taxi!"

"No, you don't! He tried to put me in a taxi, too. No, you don't!"

"Then the subway, dearest. You'll sit quietly beside Alma in the subway,
won't you, Carrie. Alma's so tired."

Suddenly Carrie began to whimper.

"My baby! Don't let her see me. My baby. What am I good for? I've ruined
her life. My precious sweetheart's life. I hit her once--Louis--in the
mouth. God won't forgive me for that."

"Yes, He will, dear, if you come."

"It bled. Alma, tell him mama lost her doctor's certificate. That's all
I said to him--give you five dollars for a doctor's certificate--he had
a white carnation--right lapel--stingy! Quick! He's following!"

"Sweetheart, please, there's no one coming."

"Don't tell! Oh, Alma darling--mama's ruined your life. Her sweetheart
baby's life."

"No, darling, you haven't. She loves you if you'll come home with her,
dear, to bed, before Louis gets home and--"

"No. No. He mustn't see. Never this bad--was I, darling--oh--oh--"

"No, mama--never--this bad. That's why we must hurry."

"Best man that ever lived. Best baby. Ruin. Ruin."

"Mama, you--you're making Alma tremble so that she can scarcely walk if
you drag her back so. There's no one following, dear. I won't let any
one harm you. Please, sweetheart--a taxicab."

"No. I tell you he's following. He tried to put me into a taxicab."

"Then mama, listen. Do you hear! Alma wants you to listen. If you
don't--she'll faint. People are looking. Now I want you to turn square
around and look. No, look again. You see now, there's no one following.
Now, I want you to cross the street over there to the subway. Just with
Alma, who loves you. There's nobody following. Just with Alma who loves

And then Carrie, whose lace hat was crazily on the back of her head,
relaxed enough so that through the enormous maze of the traffic of
trucks and the heavier drags of the lower city, she and her daughter
could wind their way.

"My baby. My poor Louis," she kept saying. "The worst I've ever been.
Oh--Alma--Louis--waiting--before we get there--Louis."

It was in the tightest tangle of the crossing and apparently on this
conjuring of her husband, that Carrie jerked suddenly free of Alma's
frailer hold.

"No--no--not home--now. Him. Alma!" And darted back against the breast
of the down side of the traffic.

There was scarcely more than the quick rotation of her arm around with
the spoke of a truck wheel, so quickly she went down.

It was almost a miracle, her kind of death, because out of all that jam
of tonnage, she carried only one bruise, a faint one, near the brow.

And the wonder was that Louis Latz in his grief was so proud.

"To think," he kept saying over and over again and unabashed at the way
his face twisted, "to think they should have happened to me. Two such
women in one lifetime, as my little mother--and her. Fat little old
Louis to have had those two. Why just the memory of my Carrie--is almost
enough--to think old me should have a memory like that--it is almost
enough--isn't isn't it, Alma?"

She kissed his hand.

That very same, that dreadful night, almost without her knowing it, her
throat-tearing sobs broke loose, her face to the waistcoat of Leo

He held her close. Very, very close.

"Why sweetheart," he said, "I could cut out my heart to help you. Why,
sweetheart. Shh-h-h, remember what Louis says. Just the beautiful

"Just--the b-beautiful--memory--you'll always have it too--of her--my
mama--won't you, Leo? Won't you?"

"Always," he said, when the tight grip in his throat had eased enough.

"Say--it again--Leo."


She could not know how dear she became to him then, because not ten
minutes before, from the very lapel against which her cheek lay pressed,
he had unpinned a white carnation.



(From _The Dial_)

Even idiots it seems have their place and purpose in society, or as a
chess player would say tapping his fingers on the board--"That pawn may
cost you your queen." The little village of M---- only realized this
after it was too late.

The police of M---- all knew that Peter, a half-wit, or "Silly Peter" as
he was called, was perfectly harmless; even though at times he would
litter the streets and market-place with bread crumbs. But the pigeons
of M---- soon cleared the walks.

Peter, it seems, had at an early age dedicated his silly life to the
pigeons. All his cares and sorrows were bound up in the lives of the
birds. In fact it seemed as though he himself became birdlike. He could
flap his arms to his sides and produce that same dull penetrating note
that was given only to this particular species of bird when they flapped
their wings.

At an early age he was left without parents and managed to grow up among
the horses and cows in the barns. But these larger animals were entirely
out of his sphere--he did not understand them.

One day when the lad was about seven years old, the village folks
suddenly noticed that he was lame. When asked about it, all he would
reply was: "The pigeons made me lame."

Luba, a farmer's fat cook, once told at the market-place how Peter
became lame. She told of how the boy stood on the roof of her master's
barn flapping his arms in imitation of the birds encircling his head;
how he sprang in the air in a mad attempt to fly, and fell to the
ground. But Luba had a reputation for being a liar, and none believed
her although all enjoyed listening. "Such good imagination," they would
say, after she was gone.

Peter grew up a little lame, but this defect seemed only to add to his
nimbleness. He could climb a telegraph pole sideways like a parrot
walking up a stick. Once on top he would swing his good leg around the
cross beam and wave his hat--and from below a flight of flapping and
fluttering birds would arise.

In this way he lived and grew to the age of sixteen, although his small,
protruding bones and round, child-like eyes kept him looking younger.
Where he slept and where he ate, all remained a mystery to the village
folk; but this mystery was not near as great as another--

The schoolmaster once noticed that at times the pigeons seemed all grey,
and at other times the greater number of them carried large pink
breasts; also at times there were few, while on other days the streets
and market-place were thickly dotted with nodding, pecking birds; also
that never could they find the very young ones.

It seemed as though only Peter knew the secret--but when asked about it
he would show a silly grin and shy away, pretending to be much occupied
chasing the birds that ever flocked about him.

He would travel about from barn to barn collecting the feed that fell
from the bins of careless animals. He would sometimes travel along the
back yards, twist his mouth and call to nobody in particular: "A few
crumbs for the birdies, lady?" And presently through an open window a
crust would fly, and with this buried in his hat he would be off.

Only among the poor would he hobble about. He never ventured up the hill
where the better people lived; and it is perhaps for this reason that he
was seldom disturbed.

       *       *       *       *       *

To himself Silly Peter was monarch of the air. In his own distorted mind
he was master of all creatures that flew. Worldly cares he left to
those who had inherited worldly material; as for himself, he was
concerned only with the aerial strata and with the feathery creatures
thereof. Nobody wanted it; so he acquired it as he acquired the cast-off
hat that he wore. He fathomed it, tasted it, drank it, navigated his
creatures through it, and even fanned life into it by flapping his bony

He understood the air and the sky, and it all belonged to him. Every
atom of sky that poured itself over the village of M---- belonged to
Silly Peter. It seemed as though he purposely limped lightly over the
ground that was foreign to his nature; for he was captain and master of
the sky.


"We must first loosen the ground," said a petty officer. "If the soil is
too hard, then the action will drag. And quick action and a brisk finish
always make for a better picture."

"Hey, you!" commanded the Captain. "Go get another shovel and help dig."

While two soldiers stood digging in a rectangular plot in the
market-place, the camera-men had set up and were adjusting a motion
picture apparatus. Twenty-five feet away stood six soldiers leaning on
their rifles talking and laughing.

"Enough digging!" shouted the Captain. "Turn the loose earth back into
the pit." The soldiers obeyed.

"Are you ready?" he said as he turned to the camera-men.

"All ready," came the reply.

"Now," said the Captain winking maliciously to two of his men. "You run
around and pick me up a beggar."

The soldiers started off, pushing their way through the sheepish crowd
and into a side street. After walking a few hundred paces one remarked
to the other: "When you don't need them, a hundred are upon you. When
you want them--the devil take it."

At last they came upon Silly Peter and decided that he would answer.

"Come along, boy; the Captain wants you," they said, taking hold of his

"Let me go!" The boy struggled. "I did nothing."

"Come along, you fool!"

They brought Silly Peter to the square, placed him on the spot that
smelled fresh with upturned earth, placed a shovel in his hands and told
him to dig his grave.

When they stepped aside, the terrified boy could see the camera before
him and the six soldiers standing at attention a few paces away. Already
the clicking handles started turning.

"Dig!" shouted the Captain.

"I don't want a grave," whimpered the frightened creature as several
pigeons approached. "I don't want a grave," as he turned up the loose
earth with trembling shovel-strokes. "I don't want a grave," and tears
ran in trickling rivulets down his silly face.

Even an idiot could understand. At one side of him he was confronted
with death for no apparent reason at all. And on the other side of him
flew his pigeons.

Suddenly the signal was given; the six rifles were raised, and a volley
of blank cartridges shot at the boy. The frightened birds flew into the
air as the twisted frame of Silly Peter sank into the soft, upturned

When the smoke had cleared, a soldier came up and shouted: "Hey fool?
Get up!--You're not dead." But the boy only sobbed, with his face beside
the shovel in the fresh earth.

The soldiers were dismissed, and the Captain climbed into his carriage
and drove away. The sheep-like inhabitants of the village of M----
feared to venture near the spot of military manoeuvre.

Presently an old farmer, driving his horse across the square, stopped,
lifted the boy, and said: "Don't cry, Peter. It is only a little joke.
See, you're not dead--here, pick up your hat. See all the pigeons are
around us--you're not dead."

The boy seemed numb and twisted like the limb of a tree as the old man
following his horse helped him across the market-place and through the

"Don't be foolish, Peter. You're not dead. See the pigeons; see the
sky. Look, here is Luba--she will bring us soup."

But the boy squinted at the sun through a film of tears and with his
one-sided mouth mumbled: "I don't want a grave."


The Captain lit a cigarette as he leaned back in the carriage. The
horses snorted as they drew up the hill. "Why," he asked himself, "are
people afraid of dying? For many, life can hold little attraction, yet
even an imbecile fears death as though it were the devil himself. Yet
each man nurses his own pet fears."

The carriage rocked from side to side as it climbed the hill, and the
Captain turned his mind to his young wife. "It's all imagination; that's
what I think," he said to himself. "It's all in her mind. Now she's
afraid of this and afraid of that, and in this way she worries herself

"And the doctor thinks he knows it all, but he knows nothing. He should
have given her iron, she's too pale. Now we shall have to call him
again. It is all a trick that doctors have. Yes, each man looks out for
himself. But I will call him again and say to him: 'Don't you think a
little iron would be good for her, she is so pale?' And he will reply:
'Yes, it can't harm.' But I would have to say this to the doctor when he
is putting on his coat in the hallway so that Vera does not hear.

"No. Vera must not hear that I think her pale. It would worry her and
she might become worse. Then she would have to go to bed again, the
doctor would come again, and the servants would do as they pleased. And
Vera would grow worse and more nervous and--"

"Here we are!" called the coachman, and the Captain stepped out upon his
own lawn.

The house was built of stone, and although its architecture was plain,
it had the solidity of a castle. Even the vines that grew up the
lattice-work and walls seemed to intertwine their curly branches into a
living network that helped fortify the stone nest of the Captain and his
beautiful Vera.

The lovely creature was passing her hands lightly over the keyboard of
the piano as the Captain entered.

"It is only I," he called, but she was startled nevertheless.

"I am glad you came," she said as she rose to meet him, and placing her
pale head on his decorated breast added--"I am afraid to remain here

"But where are the servants, my dear?"

"Oh, servants don't count."

"Well, well, my darling," spoke the Captain, petting her. "You have
nothing to fear. It is all imagination."

"But I am so nervous."

"Come, my dear. Let's have tea and I will tell you a funny story."

Presently they were seated at the table drinking tea, and the Captain
began his story.

"You know, my dear," he said; "we are going to put an end to all this
foolish political talk and people's committees. Any beggar forms a
committee, and they do what they like. Civil authorities and military
authorities are all alike to them."

"Oh, I am so afraid of beggars," interrupted the beautiful Vera.

"Well, my dear; soon there will be nothing to be afraid of; a propaganda
council was organized at headquarters this morning, and what do you
think? This morning two men arrived with a moving picture camera to take
pictures of our orderly town, and in the afternoon we took an
object-lesson picture. I marched the soldiers into the square and we dug
up a plot so that the earth might be soft.

"Then we had a beggar dig his own grave as we took the picture. When he
had dug enough, I gave the signal and the firing squad drew up their
rifles and blazed away."

"Why did you kill him?"

"No, my dear; we only pretended to kill him. I myself was careful to see
that the leads were taken off the cartridge. But you see we could not
tell the beggar that he was not going to die because we wanted to make
the picture look realistic--he might have run away in the middle and
ruined the film.

"Well, my dear, to make a long story short, the fool beggar fell into
the pit, believing himself really killed. It will make a fine picture.
It will be shown in all the surrounding towns as an object lesson, and
before the picture itself appears on the screen it will be entitled--I
suggested it myself--it will read--'This is what happened to a fool who
thought he could oppose the military authorities,' and then will be
shown the picture of the beggar digging his own grave.

"It will be a great lesson and education to the people whose heads have
been turned. It will be sent all over the country and if the results are
favourable and it pleases headquarters who can say," at this point he
clasped his wife's pale hand, "who can say that I will not receive
another decoration, or perhaps a promotion? Who can tell, my dear?
Things move so quickly these days."

In the evening as they were eating, Vera looked up from her plate and
spoke: "You know, if it happened to me, I think I should die."

"Don't talk nonsense," replied the Captain angered by the idea. "How
could it happen to you?"

"Well, supposing the revolutionists took control, and then--"

"Supposing! Supposing the sky should fall," he interrupted, and smiled
on his lovely and delicate Vera.


Silly Peter refused to eat the bowl of soup that Luba placed out for
him, but he went aloft in the barn and cried in his dull, monotonous
tone: "I don't want a grave--I don't want a grave," until he fell

Then over his simple, slumbering brain came a vision.

He saw himself standing on an elevated place and over him rested the
great ultramarine dome of sky. About him he could see the horizon as
though it were a white circle of foam.

Gradually this circle grew smaller and smaller and rose up like a
sparkling and living halo. As it came nearer, he discovered that the
circle was composed of hundreds of white doves.

Soon they were close over him encircling the elevation on which he
stood, and he could hear the wild beating of the wings as though they
were rolling a tattoo on muffled drums. Then suddenly the circle broke,
and rose like a puff of smoke against a sky of blue.

With startling rapidity it rose until it rent and perforated the sky,
and was lost from sight. Only a large oval opening of light-grey
nothingness remained overhead--a hole in the sky--an opening to heaven.

Then from all quarters came a loud uproar; a thousand piercing,
whistling yells; a rackety, rumbling, rattling commotion mixed with the
beat and swish of wings. This was followed by an upward rush which
darkened the sky.

Peter saw himself standing like a monarch reviewing his nation from an
elevated platform. Around him flew the feathered tribes of the air. From
the fluttering starling to the giant albatross, all were liberated and
each paid homage to him--the master of the sky, before they shot upward
and through the oval opening in the rent heaven. It was a grand and
colourful sight to behold.

Finally they were all gone and he saw himself take a last look about him
as he stood alone on his elevation. He then craned his neck and turned
his face to the oval nothingness--flapped his arms, and with a thrilling
sensation flew heavenward. His body went through the air a little
sideways--but it flew, and the rest did not matter.

Poor Peter awoke to find himself in the loft of the barn among his cages
of pigeons, confronted with the sordidness of material reality. He
opened a small window and then flung open the cages.

Through the night he limped from barn to barn, darting under wagons, and
between the legs of slumbering horses, opening doors, boxes, and even
barrels. He was liberating the imprisoned, full-breasted creatures.

The little village of M---- slept soundly as it was being flooded with
fluttering birds. Only the hypersensitive Vera was disturbed by the
monotonous beating of restless wings.

No longer was there any mystery regarding the pigeons.


In the morning the streets were covered with pink-breasted birds as well
as grey. Besides this, there were breeds and species of pigeons that the
villagers of M---- had never seen before. Wherever one turned, one saw
pigeons. They were on the ground and in the sky, as well as upon the
roofs. Their colours were mixed, and their leaders were lost.

Silly Peter ran joyfully about the streets waving a little white flag at
the disorganized flying tribes, waving a white flag as though it were a
truce to the sky.

For some reason or other, an extra large number of birds took refuge on
the gable and chimney of the Captain's stone house on the hill.

Late in the afternoon, as the charming Vera was playing at the piano, a
dark shadow crept over her page of music, and this was accompanied by a
scrambling noise from outside. As she turned about, she could see
through the corner of her eye a struggling figure across the window,
clambering on the vines. The body was silhouetted against the sky.

One glance was sufficient--her throat let loose a piercing scream as she
ran from the room into the kitchen. "A man! A man is climbing up the
house--quick, send for the police!" she shouted breathlessly to the

Holding her throbbing temples with both hands, she waited with the
servants in the kitchen. Soon two policemen arrived, having been told
that a robber had entered the house, but they found nothing excepting
Silly Peter on top of the roof, propped against the chimney, waving his
flag and signalling to his birds.

"He's harmless," said the officer. "I can't make him come down, madam.
I'm a policeman, not a fireman." And with this they went away, leaving
Vera with her servants and Peter with his pigeons.

Presently the Captain came home, raved and shouted as he swung his
arms--but Peter sat with his back against the chimney, making bubbles
with his mouth and holding two new-born birds close to his face in order
that they might prick the bubbles with their little soft beaks and

"Come down from my house, you beggar!" But this did not even frighten
the birds that flocked about Silly Peter in ever increasing numbers.

At length he came into the house, and took a rifle from his case. "Just
wait till it grows dark," he mumbled. But the lovely Vera jumped from
her chair and, with tears in her eyes, cried: "No! No! God will see you.
He will never forgive us. After all, what harm does the boy do? He did
not intend to frighten me, I am sure, put it away, my dear--God will
never forgive us if you don't."

Who could resist a pleading tear from lovely Vera? Surely not the

"You are right, my dear. He can do us no harm," he finally allowed.

At night there was a noise and commotion on the roof. Vera awoke, but
then all was silent again. A fearful silence hung over the house,
interrupted only by the heavy breathing of her devoted soldier husband.

She remained awake until morning and was glad when she heard the
servants stir. Then thinking that a little music might be restful, she
dressed herself lightly and went down to the drawing room, opened the
piano and finally opened the shutter. There beneath her on the ground
lay Peter, with his face up--dead. His round child-like eyes stared
heavenward as his birds sat about in mournful groups of twos and fours.

The unfortunate Vera again rushed into the kitchen and sent for the
police before she ran, terrified by the sight she had just beheld, to
awaken her husband. In about an hour, although it seemed longer, the
poor folk of the village arrived and carried the body from the yard. Fat
Luba insisted upon halting the procession long enough so that she could
kiss the white forehead of the little dead master of the sky. A ring of
pigeons swirled around the procession as it marched down the hill.

Vera nursed up a little fever for herself and was put to bed, while
Luba, the cook, stood in the market-place and with tears in her eyes
told everybody that the Captain killed her little Major of the
Birds--"and now nobody will look after them, and they will make dirt
everywhere. And people will have to move away. And he is such a bad man
to take the crumbs away from little doves. And if he has any children, I
wish them the best of everything for they surely will be unfortunate."

Marking the spot where Peter fell were two new-born birds crushed beside
the stone house on the hill. Through the air swung a grand flight
describing an oval in the sky. At each end of the oval the pigeons beat
their wings as they rounded the curve. With mournful thuds they beat, as
they circled over the old farmer's house and again over the solid stone
house on the hill.

All day they flapped a tattoo with their wings and beat their sorrowful
dead sounds into lovely Vera's ears. In the evening the Captain sent for
the doctor.

All night long the uncontrollable feathery tribes encircled the town
with their monotonous beating and swishing of wings.

The next day Vera grew worse, as Luba in the market place kept insisting
that the Captain killed her Little Master of the Birds; until a
committee of three working-men took it upon themselves to investigate.
They started for the hill, but stopped off in order to induce the
schoolmaster to join them.

The schoolmaster, however, did not allow himself to be disturbed. He was
playing chess with a friend, and kept tapping the dull-sounding table
with his fingers, and repeating in a monotone: "If he disturbs that
pawn, he may lose his queen."

As the committee went on to the hill, they were overtaken by the doctor
in his carriage. At last they arrived at the stone house and found the
doctor walking briskly up and down the drawing room smoking a
cigarette--he had not yet told the Captain.

Upstairs they could hear the Captain in Vera's darkened room, kneel down
beside the bed.

"Do you know, my darling," he spoke. "I have never kept anything from
you--but the other day when I told you about the beggar, I should have
told you that he was--Are you listening, my dear? I should have told you
that he was the same boy--the poor boy that lived with the pigeons.

"See; we have already been--are you listening, my dear? God has already
punished us--now you can get better and we will go away from here. We
will go to some quiet place.--Are you listening, my dear? We will go to
some--do you hear me, Vera? My darling girl, don't sleep now. Tell me,
what did the doctor say? Wake up Vera."--But the hand of death had
already passed over Vera.

The Little Master of the Sky didn't need a grave and didn't want one.
But they dug one for him just the same, at the end of the town. While
his pigeons encircled the sky and swished the air, the villagers
straightened his twisted, little body and slipped it into a narrow box,
and lowered him down. The poor folk gave him a little grave, but he
doesn't need it for he never uses it.



(From _The Midland_)

A subway express train roared into the Fourteenth Street Station and
came to a full stop, and the doors slid open. It was just at the lull of
traffic before the rush of the late afternoon, and the cars were only
comfortably filled. As the train stopped, a small, unobtrusive man,
sitting near one end of the third car, quickly rose from his seat on the
side of the car facing the station platform, and peered through the
opposite windows. All the way up from Wall Street this little man had
sat quietly observing through his deep-set grey eyes every man or woman
who had entered or left the car. His figure was slight, and the office
pallor that overspread his serious face seemed to give to his eyes a
singular intensity of gaze. Now he peered intently out at the people on
the Fourteenth Street platform.

Suddenly his eyes dilated; he leaned toward the window, and raised both
hands as if to shade his eyes. Then he turned and ran toward the door,
which was sliding shut. The little man's face was white as chalk; his
eyes were round and blazing with excitement. Against the protests of the
guard, he squeezed through the door and made his escape just as the
train was beginning to move. Heedless of the commotion he caused, the
man dodged wildly across the platform toward a local, which stood there,
gongs ringing and doors closing. For all his haste, the little man was
too late to enter. He pounded on the glass of one of the closed doors

"Next train," said the guard shortly.

"Let me on!" demanded the little man, waving his arms wildly. "Let me
on! You have time!"

"Next train," repeated the guard.

The train began to move swiftly. The little man ran alongside, peering
in through the windows at something or somebody inside.

"Look out!" called the guard, watching him.

The man, however, paid no attention to the warning. It is strange that
he was not hurt as he ran blindly alongside the train. Perilously near
the end of the platform he stopped short and put his hand to his head.
The train thundered away, its colored rear-lights vanishing far-off in
the black tunnel. Oblivious to the interest of the spectators, oblivious
to all the hurrying and running and crowding as other trains roared into
the underground station, the little man leaned limply against a pillar.

"He's gone!" he muttered to himself. "He's gone!"

For upward of twenty years Mr. James Neal had been a clerk in the
offices of Fields, Jones & Houseman on Lower Broadway. Every day of
these twenty-odd years, if we except Sundays and holidays, Mr. Neal had
spent an hour and a half on subway trains. An hour and a half every day
for more than twenty years he had spent in the great underground system
of the Interborough. Its ceaseless roar benumbed his senses as he was
hurtled from the Bronx, where he had a room, to the Imperial Building,
where he worked, and back again. This, as he had often computed,
amounted to fifty-eight and a half working days each year, or about two
months' time. Such was the fee he paid to Time for the privilege of
using other hours for working and living. It had seemed a cruel loss at
first--this hour and a half from every working day--but that was in the
early days of his experience in the city. Then he had been driven by
boundless energy and hope--the same energy and the same hope that had
brought him here from his little mid-western community in the first
place. Year by year, however, as custom calloused him to the only part
in life he seemed fit to play, he forgot about the waste of time in the
Interborough cars. Destiny, he said to himself, had hollowed out the
subway as the rut in which his life was ordained to travel; destiny had
condemned him inescapably to an underground roar.

He never confessed to anyone that he held the subway as the sign and
symbol of the rut into which his life had grown. There was, indeed,
nobody to whom he might impart such thoughts as he had about the deeper
meanings of life. When Mr. Neal first came to Fields, Jones &
Houseman's, timid and green from the country, he had been repelled by
the lack of interest in his new problems on the part of his fellow
clerks, and he had then put on for the first time that armor of
indifference which now clung to him with the familiarity of an
accustomed garment. Nor did he feel a greater kinship with the family in
the Bronx with which he lodged. They were at pains not to annoy him; he
kept apart from them.

Perhaps the pallid little clerk with the large grey eyes would have
become very lonesome if he had not eventually found a real interest in
life. This, then, was the manner and substance of his finding.

As he traveled back and forth on the subway morning and evening, day in
and day out, week after week, he wasted the hours much more completely
than most of his fellow travelers. The average subway passenger reads
his newspaper and forgets the world; he knows by some sixth sense when
the train has arrived at his station, and only then does he look up from
his reading. Mr. Neal seldom read newspapers. The blatancy, the
crassness of the daily prints revolted him. Perhaps there was another
reason, too, which Mr. Neal himself did not realize; perhaps the settled
selfishness which his manner of life had fixed upon him had destroyed a
natural craving for the so-called "human interest" that is spread over
the pages of the journals of the metropolis. He despised the little
brawls aired in the papers, the bickerings of politics, the fights and
strikes and broils of all humanity reflected in daily mirrors.

Self-deprived of the newspapers, it was natural that he should fall to
watching the people on the cars. He got to studying faces. At first he
did it unconsciously, and he had probably been analyzing features idly
for years before he discovered and fully realized how extremely
interesting this occupation was becoming. One half holiday he went up to
the library and read a book on physiognomy, and after that he laid out
his course of study carefully, classifying and laying away in his memory
the various types of faces that he saw. He pursued his investigations in
the detached, careful spirit of the scientist, but as time passed he was
absorbingly interested. Every morning and every evening he worked in his
laboratory--the subway trains.

He never had to stand up in the cars, for he boarded them, whether at
one end of his trip or the other, before they were crowded; but as soon
as crowds began to fill up the aisles he always gave up his seat. This
naturally gained him repeated credit for courtesy, but the real reason
for his apparent gallantry was that he could not see people's faces when
he was sitting while others stood in the aisles. But when he hung to a
strap and looked at the window in front of him, the blackness outside
combined with the bright light of the car to make the glass of the
windows an excellent mirror to reflect the faces of those who stood near

To classify faces according to nationality was not easy in the polyglot
crowds of this East Side line. But Mr. Neal devised many schemes to help
him. He watched the papers they read: everybody read papers! He even
ventured when greatly curious, to ask a question of the object of his
interest, so that the man might reveal his origin. Usually he was
rebuffed, but sometimes he was successful. He read all the books on
immigrants he could get his hands on. More than once he even followed a
rare specimen--shadowed him to his work and there made guarded
inquiries. Such investigations had several times made him late to work,
so that his chief had made sarcastic remarks. The chief clerk at Fields,
Jones & Houseman's was a tall, gaunt, old-young man with a hawk-like
nose that carried eyeglasses perched perilously astride it, and he had a
tongue that spit caustic. But the chief clerk's ugly words did not annoy
Mr. Neal if his inquiry had been successful.

At length he became so skillful that he could separate the Slavic types
into their various nationalities, and he could tell Polish, Lithuanian
and Roumanian Jews apart. He could name the provinces from which
Italians and Germans came with few errors.

But the most interesting set of categories, according to which he filed
away the various faces he saw was that of their ruling passions. There
was the scholar, the sport, the miser, the courtesan, the little
shopkeeper, the clerk, the housewife, the artist, the brute, the
hypocrite, the clergyman, the bar-hound, the gambler. The charm of this
classification was that the categories were not mutually exclusive, and
permitted infinite variation.

Mr. Neal became as devoted to this fascinating game as ever any
enthusiast has been to billiards, golf, baseball or poker. He looked
forward all day, while in the midst of the ancient grind of Fields,
Jones & Houseman, to the moment when he could establish himself in a
position of vantage on a subway car, and get back to his study of faces.
All night long he dreamed of faces--faces wise and foolish, good and

Yet more and more the ugliness in the subway faces oppressed Mr. Neal.
Sometimes he looked into faces loosened by liquor and saw such an empty
foulness looking out at him that he was heartsick. Then he would look at
all the faces about him and see sin in manifold guise marking all of
them. The sodden eyes of disillusion, the protruding underlip of lust,
the flabby wrinkles of dissipation, the vacuous faces of women: it was a
heart-breaking picture gallery.

Every face was stamped with the little passion peculiar to it--the mark
of its peculiar spirit. The mouths, especially, betrayed the souls
within. Somewhere Mr. Neal had once read weird stories of souls seen to
escape from the bodies of dying persons, and always they had been seen
to issue from the open mouths of the corpses. There was a singular
appropriateness in this phenomenon, it seemed to Mr. Neal, for the soul
stamped the mouth even before it marked the eyes. Lewd mouths, and
cunning mouths, and hateful mouths there were aplenty. Even the mouths
of children were old in evil.

"I'm sorry I've learned it," breathed Mr. Neal one day. "Now I must
always look into a man's soul when I look into his face."

It was true. Men who could hide secret sins from bosom friends--even
from their wives--were defenseless against this little clerk hanging to
a strap--this man with the serious pale face and the large grey eyes who
had learned by years of systematic observation to pierce every barrier
of reserve.

His study and classification went on for several years before it
occurred to him that there was one kind of face that he never saw--one
type that he never found in all the Manhattan crowds. When he had first
discovered that this face was missing he had called it "the good face;"
and though he realized the insufficiency of this designation he could
not think of a better, and the term stuck. It was not that he never saw
faces with good qualities stamped upon them: he sometimes saw faces
marked with benevolence, honesty and resolution, for example, and these
were all good faces in a way. But they were not what Mr. Neal was
looking for--what he searched for more intently with the passing months.
He remembered the face of his own mother dimly through the years; it was
a little like what he wanted to see here in the subway. He searched for
simplicity, for transparent truth, for depth of spirituality, for meek
strength and gentle power. But simplicity in the subway? Guileless
transparency of any sort? Spirituality? Mockery!

The face he never saw became an obsession with Mr. Neal. He hunted for
it in various parts of the city. He tried the Broadway line of the
subway where the faces are notably pleasanter, more prosperous, and
smugger. But neither there nor about the Universities on Morningside
Heights and on the banks of the Harlem, nor in Brooklyn, nor anywhere he
looked, did he find the face he sought. He could always see it when he
closed his eyes. At night he dreamed of it continuously--of meeting it
on the subway and looking into eyes of ineffable kindness.

It came finally to affect his life--this search for the unseen face. It
gradually altered his attitude toward all his subway folk. He came to
have a great pity for the ignorant, and pain filled his heart at all the
marks of Cain he saw. He came to have an inexpressible hunger for the
sight of spiritual quality lighting the faces of the people of the
subway crowds. He did not express his hunger in words, as people do when
they want to make a thing definite and tangible. It was perfectly clear
and distinct to him when he closed his eyes; then he saw the face.

The time came when Mr. Neal could not sleep of nights for the evil faces
that leered at him from every side out of the darkness. It was only when
he slept that he could see, in his dreams, the "good face." Finally, he
was driven to make a resolution. He would consciously seek for the good
faces; evil ones he would pass over quickly. Thenceforward he was
happier. As his train roared through the tunnels of night under New
York, his eyes dwelt most upon the faces that were marked, however
lightly, with the qualities that reached their united culmination in the
"good face." He found his old faith in the perfectibility of man
renewed, and often he would keep his eyes closed for many minutes
together, so that he could see the face of his dreams.

So months went on, and joined together into years.

Then, one day in the subway, with his eyes full open, James Neal
suddenly saw the face! He had been going home from work in the evening
quite as usual. The express train on which he was riding was about to
leave Fourteenth Street Station when a tall man who was about to enter
the local train standing at the other side of the station platform
turned and looked directly at him. Mr. Neal's heart almost stopped
beating. His eyes were blinded, and yet he saw the face so distinctly
that he could never forget it. It was just as he had known it would be,
and yet gentler and stronger. A moment Mr. Neal stood spellbound. The
door of his own car was sliding shut; he leaped toward it, and, as we
have already seen, squeezed through and ran toward the other train.
Though he was too late to get in, still he could see the face within the
moving car. Thinking about it later, as he did very, very often, he
realized that he could not tell how the man with the "good face" was
dressed; he could see only his face, and that for a moment only, as the
local moved swiftly out of the station. Suddenly he found himself alone
and disconsolate.

He went home sick in spirit. As he lay in his bed that night, trying to
go to sleep, he said to himself that if ever he should see the face
again--and he prayed that he might--no merely physical barriers should
keep him from seeking out the rare spirit that animated such features.
Ah, but it had been much even to have seen that face; even that had been
worth living for. At last he fell asleep peacefully.

The next morning Mr. Neal entered upon a new life. He had seen the face;
it had not been a dream after all. He felt young again--not young with
the ambition he had once felt so strongly, but glad and cleansed and
strengthened by a sure faith in the supremacy of truth and goodness in
the world. A happy smile lighted his serious face that morning; a faint
flush touched the pallor of his cheeks; and his deep grey eyes were
unusually luminous.

Even the roar of the subway did not pull his spirits down, and when he
briskly entered the office of Fields, Jones & Houseman, the
old-fashioned high desks and stools and all the worn, dingy furniture of
the room seemed to the little clerk with the shining face to be
strangely new. The chief clerk, sitting at a dusty old roll-top desk in
the corner, looked up at Mr. Neal sharply as he entered. The chief clerk
always looked up sharply. There was a preternatural leanness about the
chief clerk which was accentuated by his sharp hawk's nose, and when he
looked up quickly from his position hunched over his desk, his sharp
little eyes pierced his subordinate through and through, and his
glasses, perched halfway down his nose, trembled from the quickness of
his movements.

"Morning!" he said briefly, and dived down again into his work, with his
shoulders humped.

But Mr. Neal was more expansive.

"Good morning!" he called, so cheerily that the whole office felt the
effect of his good humor.

A young man with a very blond pompadour was just slipping into a worn
office coat.

"Well, Mr. Neal!" he exclaimed. "I swear you're getting younger every

Mr. Neal laughed happily as he changed his own coat and climbed upon his
familiar stool. His desk neighbor turned and regarded him

"He'll be running off and getting married pretty soon," prophesied the
neighbor, for the benefit of the whole office force.

Mr. Neal laughed again.

"You're judging me by your own case, Bob," he rejoined. Then in a lower
tone, "That romance of yours now--how is it coming?"

That was enough to cause the young man to pour into Mr. Neal's willing
ear all the latest developments of Bob's acquaintance with the only girl
in the world.

For a long time Mr. Neal lived in daily hope of seeing the face again.
He got into the habit of changing to a local at Fourteenth Street
because it was at that station he had seen the face before, but he
caught not a glimpse of any face resembling the one that he could see at
any time he closed his eyes. Yet he was not discouraged. He was happy,
because he felt that something big and noble had come into his
life--that now he had something to live for. It was only a question of
time, he told himself, until he should find the face. It was but a
question of time--and he could wait.

So the weeks and months passed by. Mr. Neal never relaxed his search for
the face; it had become a part of his life. There was no monotony in his
great game. He always found new faces interesting to classify, some
unusual combination, some degree of emotional development he had not
seen before. But _the_ face never.

Until one Saturday half holiday in December. This is the way it

Mr. Neal employed this particular half holiday at Columbus Park. Long
ago he had found this park, adjoining Chatham Square and near Chinatown,
Mulberry Bend and the Bowery, a great gathering place for the lower
types of humanity, and such half holidays as he did not spend at the
library studying Lombroso, Darwin, Piderit, Lavater, and other
physiognomists, he usually employed at Columbus Park. Sometimes he
wandered over to Hester Street, or up Orchard or some other Ghetto
street off Delancey, or sometimes he spent a few hours in Battery Park
or in the tenement district of the lower West Side. On this particular
Saturday he found Columbus Park less populous than it had been on his
last visit a month before, for many of its habitues had sought warmer
climes. The weather was seasonably cold, and Mr. Neal felt really sorry
for some of the old, broken-down men and women he saw.

Toward the end of the short December afternoon, he found an old man,
shaking with the cold, huddled up on one of the benches of the park. The
haggard, unshaven face told the usual story of the derelict, but
something in the face--perhaps the abject fear that glowered in the
eyes--sounded before he knew it the depths of pity in the little clerk's
heart. Mr. Neal tried to talk to him, but there was no ready beggar's
tale to be poured into the ears of benevolence; there was only fear of
the cold, and of misery, and of death. Yielding suddenly to an impulse
so strong that it bore down all thoughts of prudence, Mr. Neal slipped
out of his own overcoat and put it about the man's threadbare shoulders,
and then hurried off toward the Worth Street Station of the subway.

The wintry breeze chilled him as he hastened along, a slight figure in
worn business suit, leaning against the wind, but his heart was warm and
light within him. Down he hurried into the subway station, and dropped
his tithe of tribute into the multiple maw of the Interborough. The
train was thundering in, its colored lights growing momentarily brighter
as they came down the black tunnel. The train was crammed to the doors,
for it was the rush hour and even down here the trains were crowded. Mr.
Neal edged into the nearest door and then squirmed over to a place
against the opposite door in the vestibule, where he could see people as
they came out.

The train shot again into the dark tunnels. A thousand men and women
were being hurtled at terrific thundering speed, by some strange power
but half understood, through the black corridors of the night that
reigned under old Manhattan, to some unseen goal. It was magnificent;
it was colossal; but it was uncanny. Mr. Neal had always been moved by
the romance of the subway, but tonight, in his elevation of spirit, it
seemed something of epic quality, full of a strange, unreal grandeur.
Faint red lights here and there revealed nothing of the tunnel; they but
lent mystery to dimly seen arches and darkling bastions, fleeting by the
roaring train.

They stopped a minute at Canal Street, and more people pushed into the
overcrowded car, and then the train was off again. The man pushing
against Mr. Neal was heavy-jowled as a prize-fighter, but if ever he had
followed the ring his fighting days were over now. Good feeding had done
for him; he breathed heavily in the fetid atmosphere of the car. He was
almost squeezing the breath out of the little man with a heavy red
mustache who stood just behind him. The red mustache made the little
man's face seem out of proportion; there was not enough of chin to make
a proper balance.

At Spring Street two women struggled to get off.

"Let 'em off!" came the familiar admonition of the guard.

Those about the women made every effort to give them room, but at the
best they had a hard fight to make their way out. Both the women were
modishly dressed, and their complexions were correctly made. There was,
too, that hardness about the mouths of both of them that Mr. Neal found
in the faces of most of the women he saw--a hardness that even the
stress of their effort to get out of the car could not disturb. When
they finally got out, others crowded in.

Mr. Neal was happy, and he looked about him to find other happy faces.
But they were nowhere to be seen; the faces were stolid, or indifferent,
or intent, or vacuous. None of them were glad. If their mouths would
only turn up at the corners! Well, it was the same old story. Mouths
that turned up at the corners were seldom met with in Mr. Neal's book of
subway faces.

Bleecker Street, and a worse jam than ever, but there was encouragement
in the thought that Fourteenth Street would soon relieve the pressure.
Two girls crowded on at Bleecker, amid shrill laughter and many
smothered exclamations. Their lips were carmined and their eyes bold.
Every swerve of the train brought fresh giggles or stifled screams from

As the train was slowing down for Astor Place Station an express train
passed it, speeding for Fourteenth Street. Mr. Neal turned with an
effort (for he was wedged in tightly) and looked through the glass door
at the brightly lighted cars as they passed, and then slowly gained
upon, his own train. The express was crowded too, with people standing
in the aisles, hanging to straps. The faces were very clearly
distinguishable in the bright light; and Mr. Neal, strangely excited at
this rapid panorama of faces, saw each one distinctly. Suddenly he
leaned forward, close to the glass. He saw it! The face! It was there!
But it was gone in a moment. It had been like a flash in the dark
tunnel. His own train had come to a jarring stop, and the express was
only thunder in the distance.

Mr. Neal felt that he must rush out of the car, must get out into the
open. But the big prize-fighter still pressed against him, and in a
moment they were rushing on again into the darkness.

Now the clerk had no eyes for the occupants of his car. His face was
pressed against the glass door. He saw, out there in the darkness, that
serenely beautiful face, beatific, transcendent. And even as he looked,
he saw again the rear-lights of the express. They were going to overtake
it--to pass it again. It had been halted by the block signals of the
train ahead, perhaps--at any rate it was now moving very slowly. As the
local shot by, the panorama of faces was unfolded much more rapidly than
it had been before, but Mr. Neal caught a glimpse of the face once more.
It looked directly at him, as it had before, and he thought it smiled
upon him a little.

The little clerk was greatly excited. As soon as the local had come to a
stop at the Fourteenth Street Station and the doors had been opened, he
darted out and hurried to the other side of the platform. There he stood
leaning out to watch for the approach of the express. In a moment it
came, rumbling in quite as usual, mechanically and regularly, and the
doors slid open to allow the flood of people to pour out. Mr. Neal
squirmed through the crowd, looking in at the windows and watching the
people coming out; but he did not see the face, and frantic lest he
should lose it once more, he crowded into one of the cars again at the
last minute. He tried at first to pass through the train searching for
the man with the "good face," but the guards rebuffed him, and the
usually good-natured crowd was provoked to impatience by his squirming
efforts; and he himself soon became so exhausted in his attempt that he
gave it up. At Grand Central Station he again hurried out upon the
platform to watch the crowds getting off. The gong had begun to ring
again when he caught sight of a tall figure mounting a short flight of
stairs toward the upper platform, and he immediately knew that there was
the man he sought. The face was turned away, yet he thought he could not
be mistaken. He rushed toward the stairway, bumping into others so many
times in his haste that he really made little speed. When he reached the
top of the stairs he looked about. For one heartsick moment he thought
he had lost the man after all. Then, away across the station, near one
of the exits, he saw the tall figure again. The man was leaving the
station, and as he passed out, for a moment he turned his face toward
the crowd within; and Mr. Neal knew then that he had not been mistaken.

To the little clerk it seemed an age before he could reach the exit
through which the tall figure had passed. He ran around people and
dodged and ducked, oblivious of the curious watching of the crowd. At
last he gained the exit. The tall man was nowhere to be seen.

Mr. Neal found himself on Forty-Second Street, east of Fourth Avenue. It
was night, and the December wind pierced his clothing and cut to his
very bones like a knife. He buttoned his sack coat up tightly and turned
up the collar. He decided to walk east down Forty-Second Street, in the
hope of seeing the face again. He walked very rapidly, impelled both by
the desire to keep as warm as possible, and the thought that whatever
chance he had of finding the man would be lost if he did not hurry.

As he stood for a moment on the curb before crossing Lexington Avenue,
halted by a long string of passing automobiles, he thought he saw the
tall man at about the middle of the next block. Taking his life in his
hands, he scurried across the street, dodging in and out among the
vehicles with the curses of drivers in his ears. But he got across
safely, and now he was certain that he had been right: there was the
tall figure he could not mistake. Now he gained on the man, who turned
south into Third Avenue. As Mr. Neal breathlessly turned the corner he
saw the tall man mounting the stoop of a shabby four-story apartment
house a little way down the street. About to enter, he turned his face
toward the running clerk, and even by the dim light at the entrance to
the dingy house, Mr. Neal could see how ineffably spiritual and strong
the face was. Joy filled the little clerk's heart so full that tears
came to his eyes. At last he was to meet the man with the "good
face"--after so long! He managed to find breath to call out.

"I say!" he shouted.

But he was too late, for the door had closed almost before the words
left his mouth.

Leaping up the steps, he found that the door was not locked, and he
entered a dark hallway. He heard a step on the landing above, and called
out again, but there was no answer. He hurried up the creaking stairs,
but he was just in time to see the first door on his left closed
silently but firmly.

Mr. Neal hesitated. He took off his hat and wiped his forehead, which
was damp with perspiration. Then he rang the bell.

The hallway was dimly lighted with one small gas jet over against the
discolored wall. Mr. Neal waited. Presently he heard footsteps. Then the
door was opened and a flood of warm light poured into the dim little
hall. A short, white-bearded old man stood in the doorway. He seemed the
very personification of serene happiness, and over his shoulder peered
an old lady whose face was lighted by the same kindly joy. There was an
atmosphere of quiet goodness about them both; it flooded out into the
hallway as sensibly as the glow of light itself. The old couple looked
questioningly at Mr. Neal. The little clerk was somewhat embarrassed.

"I--I wanted to see the gentleman who just came in here," he said.

The white-bearded old man seemed surprised.

"Why, nobody has come in here," he said in a gentle voice. "Not since I
came home over an hour ago."

"Oh, the tall man, with--with--"

"But nobody has come in, sir," reiterated the old man.

"Just now, you know," insisted Mr. Neal. "A tall man--"

A shadow crossed the old man's face--a shade of alarm. The woman
withdrew a little. Some of the happiness seemed to leave their faces,
allowing the wrinkles of age to show themselves.

"I don't know what you mean, sir," the old man said slowly, "but we two
are alone here. There is no tall man here, I assure you. Please--"

"But haven't you a lodger?" asked Mr. Neal hopefully. "This was a very
tall man; that was the reason I could see him so well in the subway. He
has a good face--a really wonderful face--"

Mr. Neal hesitated a moment, realizing that he had been led to reveal
his secret to one who might not understand.

Pity came into the old gentleman's eyes.

"Ah," he said, and nodded. "If I could be of any help to you--Would you
come in?"

"Didn't he come in here, really? Hasn't a tall man been here?"

"Nobody is here, sir, but us. But if I could do anything for you, I'd be
glad to."

Mr. Neal saw that the old gentleman thought he was dealing with a
demented man; he saw, too, that the denial was an honest one.

"Thank you," said Mr. Neal. "No. I must be going. I am very sorry I
troubled you."

The old man bade him a cheery good-night, but he looked after Mr. Neal
in solicitude as the clerk went slowly down the steps.

The air was bitter cold outside, and Mr. Neal realized for the first
time that he did not have his overcoat. He shivered.

Hunching his shoulders up against the blast, he hurried back to the

Heartbreaking though his disappointment was, Mr. Neal was not
embittered. There was one thing that he knew now beyond all cavil or
doubt: he knew that he should find the man with the good face. He knew
that he should eventually meet him somewhere, sometime, and come to know
him. How Mr. Neal longed for that time words cannot describe, but his
settled faith that his desire would one day be fulfilled kept him
tranquil and happy. Why should he be impatient? Perhaps today, or
tomorrow--perhaps in this car he was entering, perhaps just around the
next corner--he would see the face.

"It will be soon," he would say to himself. "I know it will be soon."

The beggars in front of the Imperial building came to know the little
clerk and thank him in advance for his alms. The elevator men and the
newsies came to watch for him. Mr. Neal himself took an interest in
everybody. He formed the habit of watching crowds wherever they were
greatest, partly because thereby his chance of discovering the face was
enhanced, and partly because crowds thrilled him. What a tremendous mass
of emotions--hopes, fears, ambitions, joys, sorrows--were in these
thousand faces swirling about him in ceaseless tide! They were all
individuals; that was the wonder of it! All were individuals with
personalities of their own, with their own lives to live and their own
problems to think out. He would like to help them all.

Mr. Neal at last formed the acquaintance of the members of the family
with whom he had lodged so long. One evening just outside his room he
met a red-cheeked boy whom he supposed to be the son of his landlord,
and it came to him with a shock that he scarcely knew these people under
whose roof he had lived for many years. The boy seemed surprised and a
little frightened when Mr. Neal tried to talk to him, and the clerk
resolved there and then to make amends for past neglect. The very next
evening he made an excuse to visit the father of the household. A fine
hearty fellow he found him, sitting in the kitchen with his stockinged
feet up on a chair, smoking an old clay pipe and reading the evening
paper. Mr. Neal learned he was a hard-working teamster. The man seemed
pleased with his lodger's attentions, and invited him to come again, and
Mr. Neal did come again and often, for he liked his landlord from the
start. There were three children, two of them pictures of health, but
the third thin and pale and unable to romp about because of a twisted

Mr. Neal became a veritable member of the household, and when he
discovered from a chance remark of the father that they were saving
money, penny by penny, to buy a brace for the crooked leg, he insisted
on "loaning" the money to make up the balance still lacking.

"Funny thing," commented the teamster one evening. "We used to think you
wasn't human exactly." He laughed heartily. "Gotta get acquainted with a
guy, ain't you?"

Then his wife, a thin, washed-out little woman, embarrassed the little
clerk greatly by saying gravely:

"Mr. Neal, you're a good man."

Her eyes were on the little cripple.

In the same vein was the comment of the office force at Fields, Jones &
Houseman's on the occasion of Arnold's injury in the elevator accident,
when Mr. Neal took up a collection for the injured man, heading the
subscription himself.

"Funny thing," exclaimed the chief clerk to a stenographer as they were
leaving the office that afternoon. "Funny thing: when I first came here
James Neal was close as a clam; never a word out of him. Paid no
attention to anybody, all gloom. Now look at him helping everybody! Best
old scout in the office!"

As he nodded his head in emphasis, his eyeglasses trembled on his
nose--but they stuck.

"I've not got a better friend in the whole town than James Neal, and I
know it," he added, "and I guess that's true of everybody in the

It was true that Mr. Neal and the chief clerk had become fast friends.
They had come to spend their Sundays together, and even to share
confidences, and so it was natural that when Mr. Neal saw the face for
the third time he should be moved to tell his friend about it. This
telling of his secret was epochal in Mr. Neal's life.

The two men sat on a bench in a more or less secluded part of Bronx
Park. Mr. Neal looked off among the trees as he told the story of the
face hesitatingly, often in difficulty for the right word, the light of
the mystic in his glowing eyes. The chief clerk listened attentively,
his cane across his knees, his lean face serious. His eyes bored into
the very mind of his friend with their keen gaze. When Mr. Neal told of
his failure to find the man with the good face in the house on Third
Avenue, his friend shook his head definitely.

"No!" he said. "No! I'll tell you what it is: it is what they call a

"Oh, no," replied Mr. Neal calmly. "It is real, John. There's no doubt
it's real."

The chief clerk shook his head sharply again, and there was a pause.

"I felt I must tell you," resumed Mr. Neal at length, "because I saw him
again last night."

His friend looked quickly at the little clerk, who gazed away among the
trees, his eyes luminous.

"I saw him in the Pennsylvania subway station, and I followed him out.
There was no doubt about it: I saw his face. He went down Eighth Avenue,
and I saw him turn in at a door. I wasn't far behind him. The door was
right next to a pawnshop. It was unlatched, and I went in. I found
myself in a dark hallway, but toward the other end there was light
coming from a half opened door. I was excited, John. Tremendously. You
see, John, it was the great experience of my life--no wonder I was

"I stepped quietly back to where the light was, and looked into the room
that it came from. What do you think I saw, John? There was a young
mother and two fresh-cheeked boys; one of the boys was reading at the
table, and the other one sat in a low chair at his mother's knee and she
was talking to him--telling him stories, I think. The room was poor,
John, but the mother's face! It was wonderful! It reminded me of my own
mother's. There is just one word to describe it, John: it was a
Madonna's face--a Madonna of Eighth Avenue!"

Mr. Neal paused and glanced at his friend. The chief clerk said nothing,
but dug at the turf with his stick.

"But the tall man was not there," resumed Mr. Neal. "I knocked at the
door and asked about him. The woman didn't know; no man was in their
rooms, she said. She was a poor widow. She wanted to know how I got in.
I could see I was frightening her, so I left, and I could hear the door
locked behind me."

The little clerk sighed, and passed his hand over his eyes.

His friend rose suddenly.

"Come," he said. "Let's walk--and talk about something else."

This was but the first of many talks the two clerks had about the face.
Mr. Neal's friend became more and more sympathetic toward the quest. One
afternoon Mr. Neal detained the chief clerk as he was leaving the office
after work. The little clerk's eyes were very serious, and his voice was
low as he said:

"John, I know that I am going to find him very soon. I know it."

"How do you know it?" asked the chief clerk. "Something--well--psychic?"

"Oh, no. It's not mysterious. It's just a--a certainty, John. I know I
shall find him very, very soon."

"Well, you know--" and the chief clerk looked at Mr. Neal steadily, "you
know that I--I should like to know him, too."

Mr. Neal wrung his friend's hand. They went down together in the
elevator, and parted. Mr. Neal hurried down into his subway station.
There were not many waiting on the platforms. Far down the black tunnels
in either direction the little white lights glimmered. The echoing
silence of a great cave was in the station. Then suddenly the red and
green lights of a train appeared far away; then a rumble and a roar, the
doors of the train slid open and Mr. Neal stepped in. All the way home
he kept his eyes shut. The hurtling roar, the crush of people growing
greater as they approached the great business sections, the calls of
the guards, did not disturb Mr. Neal. He kept his eyes closed so he
might see the face.

It was about one o'clock of the next day that the accident occurred of
which James Neal was the victim. He had been trying to cross the street
in defiance of traffic regulations, and had been struck by a heavily
loaded truck and knocked down, with some injury to his skull. He had
been taken, unconscious, to St. Cecilia's Hospital.

Little work was done by the clerks of Fields, Jones & Houseman that
afternoon. One of the clerks had seen the accident; indeed he had been
talking to Mr. Neal just before the latter had rushed into the street.
He had seen the little clerk suddenly raise his hand and point across
the street.

"I see it! There he is!" Mr. Neal had said in a voice exultant with joy,
and then he had dodged into the traffic, reckless of life and limb.

The chief clerk was greatly distressed. He could not work. He would sit
with his lank form huddled up in his office chair, gazing fixedly over
his eyeglasses at nothing in particular. About two o'clock he bethought
himself to look up the family with which Mr. Neal lodged in the
telephone directory and to inform them of the accident. The whole office
force listened to the conversation over the telephone, and heard the
chief's voice break as he told of the seriousness of the injury. Then
the chief clerk shut his books sharply, clapped on his street coat and
rusty straw hat, and set out for the hospital.

Long before the chief clerk arrived at the hospital, a white-coated
doctor, standing momentarily in a doorway of the ward in which Mr. James
Neal lay, met a nurse coming out. The doctor's face was such a one as
would have delighted Mr. Neal if he had been able to see it. It was a
benevolent face. A profound knowledge of the problems of humanity had
marked it with depth of understanding, and withal, a kindliness and
sympathy, that made it worthy a second and a third glance in any
company, however distinguished.

"How about the skull fracture?" asked the doctor in a low voice, as the
nurse was passing out.

"He is dead," said the nurse.

"When?" asked the doctor.

"Just now. I just left him."

"There was no chance," said the doctor.

The nurse was about to pass on when the doctor detained her.

"That tall man," he said, "who was with him: where has he gone?"

The nurse looked at the doctor in surprise.

"There was no one with him but me," she said.

"Oh, yes," said the doctor. "I saw a man bending over the bed--a very
tall man with a remarkable face. I wondered who he could be."

The nurse turned, and with the doctor looked over toward the bed where
the body of James Neal lay.

"That is strange," said the nurse.

"I saw him there," said the doctor, "just as you were leaving the
patient; now he is gone."

"Queer! I saw no one," said the nurse, and moved away to attend to other

The doctor walked over to the bed where the body of the little clerk

"It _is_ strange," he mused. "I surely saw him.--The most beautiful face
I ever saw."

Then he looked down at what had been James Neal.

"He was very fortunate," said the doctor in a low tone, "to die with a
face like that looking into his."

There was a smile on the death-white lips of the little clerk.



(From _The Smart Set_)

Several years ago, I was intimately acquainted with a young man named
Augustus Barber. He was employed in a paper-box manufacturer's business
in the city of London. I never heard what his father was. His mother was
a widow and lived, I think, at Godalming; but of this I am not sure. It
is odd enough that I should have forgotten where she lived, for my
friend was always talking about her. Sometimes he seemed immensely fond
of her; at other times almost to hate her; but whichever it was, he
never left her long out of his conversation. I believe the reason I
forget is that he talked so much about her that I failed at last to pay
attention to what he said.

He was a stocky young man, with light-coloured hair and a pale, rather
blotchy complexion. There was nothing at all extraordinary about him on
either the material or spiritual side. He had rather a weakness for
gaudy ties and socks and jewelry. His manners were a little boisterous;
his conversation, altogether personal. He had received some training at
a commercial school. He read little else than the newspapers. The only
book I ever knew him to read was a novel of Stevenson's, which he said
was "too hot for blisters."

Where, then, in this very commonplace young man, were hidden the
elements of the extraordinary actions and happenings I am about to
relate? Various theories offer; it is hard to decide. Doctors,
psychologists whom I have consulted, have given different opinions; but
upon one point they have all agreed--that I am not able to supply
enough information about his ancestry. And, in fact, I know hardly
anything about that.

This is not, either, because he was uncommunicative. As I say, he used
to talk a lot about his mother. But he did not really inspire enough
interest for anybody to take an interest in his affairs. He was there;
he was a pleasant enough fellow; but when he had gone you were finished
with him till the next time. If he did not look you up, it would never
occur to you to go and see him. And as to what became of him when he was
out of sight, or how he lived--all that, somehow, never troubled our

What illustrates this is that when he had a severe illness a few years
after I came to know him, so little impression did it make on anyone
that I cannot now say, and nobody else seems able to remember, what the
nature of the illness was. But I remember that he was very ill indeed;
and one day, meeting one of his fellow clerks in Cheapside, he told me
that Barber's death was only a question of hours. But he recovered,
after being, as I heard, for a long time in a state of lethargy which
looked mortal.

It was when he was out again that I--and not only myself but
others--noticed for the first time that his character was changing. He
had always been a laughing, undecided sort of person; he had a facile
laugh for everything; he would meet you and begin laughing before there
was anything to laugh at. This was certainly harmless, and he had a
deserved reputation for good humor.

But his manners now became subject to strange fluctuations, which were
very objectionable while they lasted. He would be overtaken with fits of
sullenness in company; at times he was violent. He took to rambling in
strange places at night, and more than once he appeared at his office in
a very battered condition. It is difficult not to think that he provoked
the rows he got into himself. One good thing was that the impulses which
drove him to do such actions were violent rather than enduring; in fact,
I often thought that if the force and emotion of these bouts ever came
to last longer, he would be a very dangerous character. This was not
only my opinion; it was the opinion of a number of respectable people
who knew him as well as I did.

I recollect that one evening, as three or four of us were coming out of
a music hall, Barber offered some freedom to a lady which the gentleman
with her--a member of Parliament, I was told--thought fit to resent. He
turned fiercely on Barber with his hand raised--and then suddenly grew
troubled, stepped back, lost countenance. This could not have been
physical fear, for he was a strongly built, handsome man--a giant
compared to the insignificant Barber. But Barber was looking at him, and
there was something not only in his face, but, so to speak,
_encompassing_ him--I can't well describe it--a sort of abstract
right--an uncontrolled power--a command of the issues of life and death,
which made one quail.

Everybody standing near felt it; I could see that from their looks. Only
for a moment it lasted, and then the spell was broken--really as if some
formidable spectacle had been swept away from before our eyes; and there
was Barber, a most ordinary looking young man, quiet and respectable,
and so dazed that he scarcely heeded the cuff which the gentleman
managed to get in before we could drag our friend off--

It was about this time that he began to show occasionally the strangest
interest in questions of art--I mean, strange in him whom we had never
known interested in anything of the kind. I am told, however, that this
is not so very remarkable, since not a few cases have been observed of
men and women, after some shock or illness, developing hitherto
unsuspected aptitude for painting or poetry or music. But in such cases
the impulse lasts continuously for a year or two, and now and then for

With Barber the crisis was just momentary, never lasting more than half
an hour, often much less. In the midst of his emphatic and pretentious
talk, he would break off suddenly, remain for a minute lost and
dreaming, and then, after spying at us suspiciously to see if we had
noticed anything strange, he would give an undecided laugh and repeat a
joke he had read in some comic paper.

His talk on these art subjects was without sense or connection, so far
as I could discover. Sometimes he spoke of painting, but when we put to
him the names of famous painters, he had never heard of them, and I
don't believe he had ever been in an art gallery in his life. More often
he spoke of theatrical matters. Coming back from a theatre, he would
sometimes fall to abusing the actors, and show the strongest jealousy,
pointing out how the parts should have been played, and claiming roundly
that he could have played them better. Of course, there were other
times--most times--when he was alike indifferent to plays and players,
or summed them up like the rest of us, as just "ripping" or "rotten." It
was only when the play had much excited him that he became critical, and
at such times none of us seemed willing to dispute with him, though we
hardly ever agreed with what he was saying.

Sometimes, too, he would talk of his travels, telling obvious lies, for
we all knew well enough that he had never been outside the home
counties, except once on a week-end trip to Boulogne-sur-mer. On one
occasion he put me to some confusion and annoyed me considerably before
a gentleman whom I had thoughtlessly brought him with me to visit. This
gentleman had long resided in Rome as agent for an English hosiery firm,
and he and his wife were kindly showing us some photographs, picture
post-cards, and the like, when, at the sight of a certain view, Barber
bent over the picture and became absorbed.

"I have been there," he said.

The others looked at him with polite curiosity and a little wonder. To
pass it off I began to mock.

"No," he persisted, "I have seen it."

"Yes, at the moving-pictures."

But he began to talk rapidly and explain. I could see that the gentleman
and his wife were interested and quite puzzled. It would seem that the
place he described--Naples, I think it was--resembled broadly the place
they knew, but with so many differences of detail as to be almost
unrecognizable. It was, as Mrs. W. said afterward, "like a city
perceived in a dream--all the topsy-turvydom, all the mingling of
fantasy and reality."

After outbursts of this kind, he was generally ill--at least he kept his
bed and slept much. As a consequence, he was often away from the office;
and whenever I thought of him in those days, I used to wonder how he
managed to keep his employment.

One foggy evening in January, about eight o'clock, I happened to be
walking with Barber in the West End. We passed before a concert hall,
brilliantly lighted, with a great crowd of people gathered about the
doors, and I read on a poster that a concert of classical music was
forward at which certain renowned artists were to appear. I really
cannot give any sort of reason why I took it into my head to go in. I am
rather fond of music, even of the kind which requires a distinct
intellectual effort; but I was not anxious to hear music that night, and
in any case, Barber was about the last man in the world I should have
chosen to hear it with. When I proposed that we should take tickets, he
strongly objected.

"Just look me over," he said. "I ain't done anything to you that you
want to take my life, have I? I know the kind of merry-go-round that
goes on in there, and I'm not having any."

I suppose it was his opposition which made me stick to the project, for
I could not genuinely have cared very much, and there was nothing to be
gained by dragging Barber to a concert against his will. Finally, seeing
I was determined, he yielded, though most ungraciously.

"It'll be the chance of a lifetime for an hour's nap," he said as we
took our seats, "if they only keep the trombone quiet."

I repeat his trivial sayings to show how little there was about him in
manner or speech to prepare me for what followed.

I remember that the first number on the programme was Beethoven's
Seventh Symphony. This work, as is well known, is rather long, and so,
at the end of the third movement, I turned and looked at Barber to see
if he was asleep. But his eyes were wide open, feverish, almost glaring;
he was twining and untwining his fingers and muttering excitedly.
Throughout the fourth movement he continued to talk incoherently.

"Shut up!" I whispered fiercely. "Just see if you can't keep quiet, or
we shall be put out."

I was indeed very much annoyed, and some people near by were turning in
their chairs and frowning.--

I do not know whether he heard what I said: I had no chance to talk to
him. The applause had hardly died away at the end of the symphony when a
singer appeared on the stage. Who he was, or what music he sang, I am
utterly unable to say; but if he is still alive it is impossible that he
should have forgotten what I relate. If I do not remember him, it is
because all else is swallowed up for me in that extraordinary event.

Scarcely had the orchestra ceased preluding and the singer brought out
the first notes of his song, than Barber slowly rose from his seat.

"That man is not an artist," he said in a loud and perfectly final
voice, "I will sing myself."

"Sit down, for God's sake!--The management--the police"--

Some words like these I gasped, foreseeing the terrible scandal which
would ensue, and I caught him by the arm. But he shook himself free
without any difficulty, without even a glance at me, and walked up the
aisle and across the front of the house toward the little stairs at the
side which led up to the platform. By this time the entire audience was
aware that something untoward was happening. There were a few cries of
"Sit down! Put him out!" An usher hastened up as Barber was about to
mount the steps.

Then a strange thing happened.

As the usher drew near, crying out angrily, I saw Barber turn and look
at him. It was not, as I remember, a fixed look or a determined look; it
was the kind of untroubled careless glance a man might cast over his
shoulder who heard a dog bark. I saw the usher pause, grow pale and
shamefaced feel like a servant who has made a mistake; he made a
profound bow and then--yes, he actually dropped on his knees. All the
people saw that. They saw Barber mount the platform, the musicians
cease, the singer and the conductor give way before him. But never a
word was said--there was a perfect hush. And yet, so far as my stunned
senses would allow me to perceive, the people were not wrathful or even
curious; they were just silent and collected as people generally are at
some solemn ceremonial. Nobody but me seemed to realize the
outrageousness and monstrosity of the vulgar-looking, insignificant
Barber there on the platform, holding up the show, stopping the
excellent music we had all paid to hear.

And in truth I myself was rapidly falling into the strangest confusion.
For a certain time--I cannot quite say how long--I lost my hold on
realities. The London concert hall, with its staid, rather sad-looking
audience, vanished, and I was in a great white place inundated with
sun--some vast luminous scene. Under a wide caressing blue sky, in the
dry and limpid atmosphere, the white marble of the buildings and the
white-clad people appeared as against a background of an immense blue
veil shot with silver. It was the hour just before twilight, that rapid
hour when the colors of the air have a supreme brilliance and serenity,
and a whole people, impelled by some indisputable social obligation,
seemed to be reverently witnessing the performance of one magnificent
man of uncontrollable power, of high and solitary grandeur.--

Barber began to sing.

Of what he sang I can give no account. The words seemed to me here and
there to be Greek, but I do not know Greek well, and in such words as I
thought I recognized, his pronunciation was so different from what I had
been taught that I may well have been mistaken.

I was so muddled, and, as it were, transported, that I cannot say even
if he sang well. Criticism did not occur to me; he was there singing and
we were bound to listen. As I try to hear it, now, it was a carefully
trained voice. A sound of harps seemed to accompany the singing; perhaps
the harpists in the orchestra touched their instruments.--

How long did it last? I have no idea. But it did not appear long before
all began to waver. The spell began to break; the power by which he was
compelling us to listen to him was giving out. It was exactly as if
something, a mantle or the like, was falling from Barber.

The absurdity of the whole thing began to dawn on me. There was Barber,
an obscure little Londoner, daring to interrupt a great musical
performance so that the audience might listen to him instead! Probably
because I was the only one on the spot personally acquainted with
Barber, I was perceiving the trick put upon us sooner than the rest of
the audience; but they, too, were becoming a little restless, and it
would not be long ere they fully awoke. One thing I saw with perfect
clearness and some terror, and that was that Barber himself realized
that his power was dying within him. He appeared to be dwindling,
shrinking down; in his eyes were suffering and a terrible panic--the
distress of a beaten man appealing for mercy. The catastrophe must fall
in a minute--

With some difficulty I rose from my place and made for the nearest exit.
My difficulty came, not from the crowd or anything like that, but from
an inexplicable sensation that I was committing some crime by stirring
while Barber was on the stage, and even risking my life.

Outside it was raining.

I walked away rapidly, for although I was, to a certain extent, under
the influence of the impression I have just described, some remains of
common sense urged me to put a long distance between myself and the
concert hall as soon as possible. I knew that the hoots and yells of
fury and derision had already broken loose back there. Perhaps Barber
would be taken to the police station. I did not want to be mixed up in
the affair--

But suddenly I heard the steps of one running behind me. As I say, it
was a wet night, and at that hour the street was pretty empty. Barber
ran up against me and caught my arm. He was panting and trembling

"You fool!" I cried furiously. "Oh, you fool!" I shook myself free of
his hold. "How did you get out?"

"I don't know," he panted. "They let me go--that is, as soon as I saw
that I was standing up there before them all, I jumped off the stage and
bolted. Whatever made me do it? My God, what made me do it? I heard a
shout. I think they are after me."

I hailed a passing cab and shoved Barber inside, and then got in
myself. I gave the cabman a fictitious address in Kensington.

"Yes," I said fiercely. "What made you do it?"

He was bunched in a corner of the cab, shuddering like a man who has
just had some great shock, or who has been acting under the influence of
a drug which has evaporated and left him helpless. His words came in

"If you can tell me that!--God, I'm frightened! I'm frightened! I must
be crazy. Whatever made me do it? If they hear of it at the office I'll
lose my job."

"They'll hear of it right enough, my boy," I sneered, "and a good many
other people too. You can't do these little games with impunity."

I caught sight of the clock at Hyde Park corner. It was near a quarter
to ten.

"Why," I said, "you must have been up there over twenty minutes. Think
of that!"

"Don't be so hard on me," said Barber miserably. "I couldn't help it."

And he added in a low voice: "It was the _Other_."

I paid off the cab, and we took a 'bus which passed by the street where
Barber lived. All the way I continued to reproach him. It was not enough
for him to play the fool on his own account, but he must get me into a
mess, too. I might lose my work through him.

I walked with him to his door. He looked extremely ill. His hand
trembled so badly that he could not fit his latchkey. I opened the door
for him.

"Come up and sit with a fellow," he ventured.


"I'm frightened.--"

"I believe," I said roughly, "that you've been drinking--or drugging."

I shoved him inside the house, pulled the door closed, and walked away
down the street. I was very angry and disturbed, but I felt also the
need to treat Barber with contempt so as to keep myself alive to the
fact that he was really a mere nothing, a little scum on the surface of
London, of no more importance than a piece of paper on the pavement.
For--shall I confess it?--I was even yet so much under the emotion of
the scene back there in the concert hall that I could not help regarding
him still with some mixture of respect and--yes, absurd as it may sound,
of fear.

It was nearly a year before I saw Barber again. I heard that he had lost
his place at his office. The cashier there, who told me this, said that
although the young man was generally docile and a fair worker, he had in
the last year become very irregular, and was often quarrelsome and
impudent. He added that Barber could now and then influence the
management--"when he was not himself," as the cashier put it--or they
would not have tolerated him so long.

"But this was only momentary," said the cashier. "He was more often weak
and feeble, and they took a good opportunity to get rid of him. He was
uncanny," ended the cashier significantly.

I cannot imagine how Barber existed after he lost his place. Perhaps his
mother was able to help a little. On the day I met him, by mere chance
in the street, he looked sick and miserable; his sallow face was more
blotchy than ever. Whether he saw me or not I don't know, but he was
certainly making as if to go by when I stopped him. I told him he looked
weak and unwell.

"Trust you to pass a cheery remark!" And he continued irritably:

"How can you expect a chap to look well if he has something inside him
stronger than himself forcing him to do the silliest things? It _must_
wear him out. I never know when it will take me next. I'm here in London
looking for a job today, but even if I find one, I'm sure to do some
tom-fool thing that will get me the sack."

He passed his hand across his face. "I'd rather not think about it."

I took pity on him, he looked so harassed, and I asked him to come on to
a Lyons restaurant with me and have a bit of lunch. As we walked through
the streets, we fell in with a great crowd, and then I remembered that
some royal visitors were to proceed in great state to the Mansion House.
I proposed to Barber that we should go and look at the procession, and
he agreed more readily than I expected.

In fact, after a while, the crowd, and the rumor, and stirring of troops
as they fell into position, evidently wrought on him to a remarkable
degree. He began to talk loud and rather haughtily, to study his
gestures; there was infinite superiority and disdain in the looks he
cast on the people. He attracted the attention and, I thought, the
derision of those close to us, and I became rather ashamed and impatient
of those ridiculous airs. Yet I could not help feeling sorry for him.
The poor creature evidently suffered from megalomania--that was the only
way to account for his pretentious notions of his own importance, seeing
that he was just a needy little clerk out of work.--

The place from which we were watching the procession was a corner of
Piccadilly Circus. The street lay before our eyes bleached in the sun,
wide and empty, looking about three times as large as usual, bordered
with a line of soldiers and mounted police, and the black crowd massed
behind. In a few minutes the procession of princes would sweep by. There
was a hush over all the people.

What followed happened so quickly that I can hardly separate the
progressive steps. Barber continued to talk excitedly, but all my
attention being on the scene before me, I took no heed of what he said.
Neither could I hear him very plainly. But it must have been the ceasing
of his voice which made me look around, when I saw he was no longer by
my side.

How he managed, at that moment, to get out there I never knew, but
suddenly in the broad vacant space, fringed by police and soldiery, I
saw Barber walking alone in the sight of all the people.

I was thunderstruck. What a madman! I expected to hear the crowd roar at
him, to see the police ride up and drag him away.

But nobody moved; there was a great stillness; and before I knew it my
own feelings blended with the crowd's. It seemed to me that Barber was
in his right place there: this mean shabby man, walking solitary, was
what we had all come to see. For his passage the street had been
cleared, the guards deployed, the houses decked.

It all sounds wild, I know, but the whole scene made so deep an
impression on my mind that I am perfectly certain as to what I felt
while Barber was walking there. He walked slowly, with no trace of his
usual shuffling uncertain gait, but with a balanced cadenced step, and
as he turned his head calmly from side to side his face seemed
transfigured. It was the face of a genius, an evil genius, unjust and
ruthless--a brutal god. I felt, and no doubt everyone in the crowd felt,
that between us and that lonely man there was some immense difference
and distance of outlook and will and desire.

I could follow his progress for several yards. Then I lost sight of him.
Almost immediately afterward I heard a tumult--shouts and uproar--

Then the royal procession swept by.

I said to Mr. G.M., "Whether he was arrested that day, or knocked down
by the cavalry and taken to a hospital, I don't know. I have not seen or
heard of him till I got that letter on Wednesday."

Mr. G.M., who is now one of the managers of a well-known tobacconist
firm, had been in the same office as Barber, and notwithstanding the
disparity of age and position, had always shown a kindly interest in him
and befriended him when he could. Accordingly, when I received a letter
from Barber begging in very lamentable terms to visit him at an address
in Kent, I thought it prudent to consult this gentleman before sending
any reply. He proposed very amiably that we should meet at Charing Cross
Station on the following Saturday afternoon and travel in to Kent
together. In the train we discussed Barber's case. I related all I knew
of the young man and we compared our observations.

"Certainly," said Mr. G.M., "what you tell me is rather astonishing. But
the explanation is simple as far as poor Barber is concerned. You say he
has been often ill lately? Naturally, this has affected his brain and
spirits. What is a little more difficult to explain is the impression
left by his acts on you and other spectators. But the anger you always
experienced may have clouded your faculties for the time being. Have you
inquired of anybody else who was present on these occasions?"

I replied that I had not. I had shrunk from being identified in any way
with Barber. I had to think of my wife and children. I could not afford
to lose my post.

"No," rejoined Mr. G.M., "I can quite understand that. I should probably
have acted myself as you did. Still, the effect his performances have
had on you, and apparently on others, is the strangest element in
Barber's case. Otherwise, I don't see that it offers anything
inexplicable. You say that Barber acts against his will--against his
better judgment. We all do that. All men and women who look back over
their lives must perceive the number of things they have done which they
had no intention of doing. We obey some secret command; we sail under
sealed orders. We pass by without noticing it some tiny fact which,
years later, perhaps, influences the rest of our lives. And for all our
thinking, we seldom can trace this tiny fact. I myself cannot tell to
this day why I did not become a Baptist minister. It seems to me I
always intended to do this, but one fine afternoon I found I had ended
my first day's work in a house of business.

"Much of our life is unconscious; even the most wide-awake of us pass
much of our lives in dreams. Several hours out of every twenty-four we
pass in a dream state we cannot help carrying some of those happy or
sinister adventures into our waking hours. It is really as much our
habit to dream as to be awake. Perhaps we are always dreaming. Haven't
you ever for a moment, under some powerful exterior shock, become half
conscious that you should be doing something else from what you are
actually doing? But with us this does not last; and as life goes on such
intimations become dimmer and dimmer. With subjects like Barber, on the
other hand, the intimations become stronger and stronger, till at last
they attempt to carry their dreams into action. That is the way I
explain this case."

"Perhaps you are right."

The house where Barber was lodging stood high up on the side of a hill.
We reached it after a rather breathless climb in the rain. It was a
shepherd's cottage, standing quite lonely. Far down below the village
could be seen with the smoke above the red roofs.

The woman told us that Barber was in, but she thought he might be
asleep. He slept a lot.

"I don't know how he lives," she said. "He pays us scarce anything. We
can't keep him much longer."

He was fast asleep, lying back in a chair with his mouth half open,
wrapped in a shabby overcoat. He looked very mean; and when he awoke it
was only one long wail on his hard luck. He couldn't get any work.
People had a prejudice against him; they looked at him askance. He had a
great desire for sleep--couldn't somehow keep awake.

"If I could tell you the dreams I have!" he cried fretfully. "Silliest
rotten stuff. I try to tell 'em to the woman here or her husband
sometimes, but they won't listen. Shouldn't be surprised if they think
I'm a bit off. They say I'm always talking to myself. I'm sure I'm
not.--I wish I could get out of here. Can't you get me a job?" he asked,
turning to Mr. G.M.

"Well, Gus, I'll see. I'll do my best."

"Lummy!" exclaimed Barber excitedly, "you ought to see the things I
dream. I can't think where the bloomin' pictures come from. And yet I've
seen it all before. I know all those faces. They are not all white. Some
are brown like Egyptians, and some are quite black. I've seen them
somewhere. Those long terraces and statues and fountains and marble
courts, and the blue sky and the sun, and those dancing girls with the
nails of their hands and feet stained red, and the boy in whose hair I
wipe my fingers, and the slave I struck dead last night--"

His eyes were delirious, terrible to see.

"Ah," he cried hoarsely, "I am stifling here. Let us go into the air."

And indeed he was changing so much--not essentially in his person,
though his face had become broader, intolerant, domineering and
cruel--but there was pouring from him so great an emanation of power
that it seemed to crack and break down the poor little room. Mr. G.M.
and myself had no desire to thwart him, and it never occurred to us to
do so. We should as soon have thought of stopping a thunderstorm. We
followed him outside on to the space of level ground before the house
and listened humbly while he spoke.

As well as I can recollect, he was lamenting some hindrance to his
impulses, some flaw in his power. "To have the instincts of the ruler
and no slaves to carry out my will. To wish to reward and punish and to
be deprived of the means. To be the master of the world, but only in my
own breast--Oh, fury! The ploughboy there is happy, for he has no
longings outside of his simple round life. While I--if I had the earth
in my hand, I should want a star. Misery! Misery!"

He leaned upon a low stonewall and looked down on the town, over the
pastures blurred with rain.

"And those wretches down there," he pronounced slowly, "who jeer at me
when I pass and insult me with impunity, whose heads should be struck
off, and I cannot strike them off! I loathe that town. How ugly it is!
It offends my eyes."

He turned and looked us full in the face and our hearts became as water.

"Burn it," he said.

Then he turned away again and bowed his head in his arms on the wall.

I don't remember anything clearly till a long time afterward, when I
found myself walking with Mr. G.M. in the wet night on a deserted road
on the outskirts of the town. We were carrying some inflammable things,
flax, tar, matches, etc., which we must have purchased.

Mr. G.M. stopped and looked at me. It was exactly like coming out of a
fainting fit.

"What are we doing with this gear?" he said in a low voice.

"I don't know."

"Better chuck it over a hedge.--"

We made our way to the station in silence. I was thinking of that
desolate figure up there on the hill, leaning over the wall in the dark
and the rain.

We caught the last train to London. In the carriage Mr. G.M. began to
shiver as though he were cold.

"Brrr! that fellow got on my nerves," he said; and we made no further
allusion to the matter.

But as the train, moving slowly, passed a gap which brought us again in
sight of the town, we saw a tongue of flame stream into the sky.



(From _Harper's Magazine_)

"Stories of New York life preferable."

Well, then, here is a story of New York. A tale of the night heart of
the city, where the vein of Forty-Second touches the artery of Broadway;
where, amid the constellations of chewing-gum ads and tooth paste and
memory methods, rise the incandescent façades of "dancing academies"
with their "sixty instructresses," their beat of brass and strings,
their whisper of feet, their clink of dimes.--Let a man not work away
his strength and his youth. Let him breathe a new melody, let him draw
out of imagination a novel step, a more fantastic tilt of the pelvis, a
wilder gesticulation of the deltoid. Let him put out his hand to the
Touch of Gold.--

It is a tale of this New York. That it didn't chance to happen in New
York is beside the point. Where? It wouldn't help you much if I told
you. Taai. That island. Take an imaginary ramrod into Times Square, push
it straight down through the center of the earth; where it comes out on
the other side will not be very many thousand miles wide of that earth
speck in the South Seas. Some thousands, yes; but out here a few
thousand miles and a month or so by schooner make less difference than
they do where the trains run under the ground.--

"Glauber's Academy"--"Einstein's Restaurant"--"Herald Square"--

I can't tell you how bizarrely those half-fabulous names fell from
Signet's lips in the turquoise and gold of the afternoon. It was like
the babble of some monstrous and harmless mythology. And all the while,
as he kicked his bare heels on the deckhouse and harassed me with his
somnolent greed for "talk," one could see him wondering, wondering, in
the back of his mind. So he would have been wondering through all the
hours of weeks, months--it had come to the dignity of years, on the
beach, in the bush--wondering more than ever under the red iron roof of
the Dutchman: "What in hell am I doing here? What in hell?"

A guttersnipe, pure and simple. That's to say, impure and unpleasantly
complex. It was extraordinary how it stuck. Even with nothing on but a
pair of cotton pants swimming out to me among the flashing bodies of the
islanders, men, women, girls, youths, who clung to the anchor cable and
showed their white teeth for pilot biscuit, condensed milk, and
gin--especially gin--even there you could see Signet, in imagination,
dodging through the traffic on Seventh Avenue to pick the _Telegraph
Racing Chart_ out of the rubbish can under the Elevated.--

I hadn't an idea who the fellow was. He burst upon me unheralded. I sail
out of west-coast ports, but once I had been in New York. That was
enough for him. He was "pals" in ten minutes; in fifteen, from his
eminence on the deckhouse, with a biscuit in one hand and a tumbler of
much-diluted Hollands in the other, he gazed down at his erstwhile beach
fellows with almost the disdainful wonder of a tourist from a white
ship's rail.--

"Gi' me an article you can retail at a nickel--any little thing
everybody needs--or gi' me a song with a catchy chorus--something you
can turn out on them ten-cent records.--That makes _me_. Don't want any
Wall Street stuff. That's for Rockefeller and the boobs. But just one
time le' me catch on with one little old hunch that'll go in vaudeville
or the pi'tures--get Smith and Jones diggin' for the old nickel.--That
makes _me_. Then the line can move up one. That's the thing about New
York. Say, man, len' me a cigarette.--But that's the thing about
Broadway. When you make, you make _big_. I know a guy turned out a
powder-puff looked like a lor'nette--a quarter of a dollar. You know how
the Janes'll fall for a thing like that--"

It was completely preposterous, almost uncomfortable. It made a man look
around him. On the schooner's port side spread the empty blue of the
South Pacific; the tenuous snowdrift of the reef, far out, and the
horizon. On the starboard hand, beyond the little space of the
anchorage, curved the beach, a pink-white scimitar laid flat. Then the
scattering of thatched and stilted huts, the red, corrugated-iron store,
residence and godowns of the Dutch trader, the endless Indian-file of
coco palms, the abrupt green wall of the mountain.--A twelve-year-old
girl, naked as Eve and, I've no doubt, thrice as handsome, stood
watching us from the mid-decks in a perfection of immobility, an empty
milk tin propped between her brown palms resting on her breast. Twenty
fathoms off a shark fin, blue as lapis in the shadow, cut the water
soundlessly. The hush of ten thousand miles was disturbed by nothing but
that grotesque, microscopic babbling:

"Say you play in bad luck. Well, you can't play in bad luck _f'rever_.
Not if you're wise. One time I get five good wheezes. Good ones! Sure
fire! One of 'em was the old one about the mother-'n-law and the doctor,
only it had a perfectly novel turn to it. Did I make? I did not. Why?
Well, a good friend o' mine lifts them five wheezes, writes a vaudeville
turn around 'em, and makes big. Big! What does that learn me? Learns me
to go bear on friendship. So next time I get an idea--"

The girl had put the milk tin down between her toes on deck and turned
her head.

"Digger!" I called to the mate. "Clear the vessel! Shove them all
overboard! Here comes the Dutchman!"

Before the advance of the trader's canoe, painted vermillion like his
establishment and flying over the water under the paddle strokes of his
six men, Signet took himself hastily overboard with the rest. There was
no question of protest or false pride. Over he went. Rising and treading
water under the taffrail, and seeing the trader still some fathoms off,
he shook the wet from the rag of a beard with which long want of a razor
had blurred his peaked chin and gathered up the ends of the

"No, Dole, you can't play in bad luck _f'rever_. One sure-fire hunch,
that's all. That makes _me_. When I get back to Broadway--"

A paddle blade narrowly missed his head. He dived.

The Dutchman told me more about him that evening. I dined at the
trader's house. He was a big-bodied tow-haired man who spoke English
with the accent of a east-coast Scot, drank like a Swede, and viewed
life through the eyes of a Spaniard--that is, he could be diabolical
without getting red in the face.

"No, my dear sir, that Signet shall not 'get back to Broadway.' Too many
have I seen. He is too tired. Quite too tired."

"But how in the world did he ever come here, Mynheer?"

"That is simple. This Signet got drunk in Papeete. He was on his way to
Australia with a pugilist. How should he be in a pugilist's company,
this crab? Because he plays a good game of pinochle--to keep the
pugilist's mind bright. At any event, the steamship stops at Tahiti.
This Signet gets drunk. 'Soused!' And the steamship is gone without him.
No more pinochle for the pugilist, what?--From then, my dear sir, it is
what it shall always be; one island throws him to another island. Here
he shall stay for a while--"

"Till you decide to 'throw' him to another island, eh, Mynheer?"

"No, but I am alone. Sometimes to amuse myself I will invite him to dine
with me. I put on him a suit of the evening clothes which belong to my
nephew who is dead. But I will not allow him the razor, since his absurd
beard is amusing to me. Afterward, however, I take away the evening
clothes and I will kick him out. But he is talking continuously."

"I believe you, Mynheer."

"But at last I will say: 'My dear sir, suppose that you should have the
most brilliant idea; that "hunch" of yours. "Sure-fire." What advantage
will it do you here in the island of Taai? You are not here on Broadway.
You are too many thousand miles. You cannot come here. You are too
tired. It takes money. Now, my dear sir, I am putting a trench about
the godowns. If you wish, I will let you work for me.'"

"What does he say to that, Mynheer?"

"He says, 'Do you take me for an _I_talian?'

"Then I will say: 'No; you see you are too tired. Also you are too soft.
You are a criminal. That's natural to you. But you think of police. You
have a wish, say. Well my dear sir, but would you kill a man--three--ten
men--to have that wish? No, you are too tired, and you must have the
police. But here there are no police. _I_ am the police. Why do you not
kill _me_? Ha-ha-ha! Then you could take my property. Then you would
"make big," as you say. My dear sir, that is a "hunch!" That is "sure
fire!" Ha-ha-ha!'--Then I will kick him out in his coolie cotton pants."

After coffee the trader said: "One gallon of the Hollands which you sent
me ashore has disappeared. The kitchen boys are 'careless.' Also I wink
one eye when a schooner arrives. Of course they will dance tonight,
however. You would care to go up, my dear sir?"

Of course we went. There's no other amusement in an islet like Taai but
the interminable native dance. The Dutchman led the way up a narrow,
bushy ravine, guiding me by sound rather than by sight.

"Up this same very path," I heard him, "has gone one uncle of mine. They
pulled him to the advance with one rope around his arms. Then they cut
him up and ate him. But that was many years ago, my dear sir. Now I am
the law. Maybe there shall come, now and then, a Dutch gunboat to have a
look-in. I raise up that flag. The captain shall dine with me. All is
good. But, my dear sir, I am the law."

The "music" began to be heard, a measured monotone of drums, a breath of
voices in a recitative chant, slightly impassioned by that vanished
gallon. The same old thing, indeed; one of the more than fifty-seven
varieties of the island _hula_. Then that had died away.

The light from the "place" grew among the higher leaves. And the trader,
becoming visible, halted. I saw him standing, listening.

"No, my dear sir, but that is a new thing."

He started forward. He stopped again. I heard it now. Out of the
familiar, hollow tautophony of drumbeats there began to emerge a thread
of actual melody--an untraditional rise and fall of notes--a tentative
attack as it were, on the chromatic scale of the west. No he-goat's skin
stretched on bamboo would do that.

We pushed on, curious. We came out into the "place." The scene under the
candlenut torches was as familiar to us as the Ohio River of Uncle Tom
to the small-town schoolboy; the meager rows of three-quarter naked
Kanakas, yellow with saffron and blue with tattooer's ink; the old women
in the background of sultry lights and enormous shadows compounding
endless balls of _popoi_ for the feast; the local and desceptered
chieftain squatting on his hams and guarding the vanished gallon between
his knees; this was all as it should have been. This was the
convention.--But what was really happening on that sylvan, torchlit
stage that night was something as new as anything can be under the sun,
because it was something that had not happened for ten thousand years.--

We who are worn with novelty can never reconquer for ourselves the
thrill of an unmitigated wonder. We have sold the birthright. But
imagine the toppling of a hundred centuries! You could have seen it in
the eyes of those watchers, in their rapt, rapacious attention, in the
conflict that went on within them visibly; traitorous applause pent and
pitted against all the instinctive protest of an established art.--

"Yes, but this isn't _dancing_!"

Yet their bodies, one here, one there, would begin to sway--

Three Kanaka men, strangers to the island, sat cross-legged on the turf.
One had taken over a drum from a local musician. The other two had
instruments fashioned of dried gourds with fingering pieces of bamboo
and strings of gut--barbaric cousins to the mandolin. So, on this one
night in history, the music of another tribe had come to Taai. It just
escaped being an authentic "tune." How it escaped was indefinable. The
sophisticated ear would almost have it, and abruptly it had got away in
some provoking lapse, some sudden and bizarre disintegration of tone.
And the drumbeat, bringing it back, ran like a fever pulse in a man's

In the center of the sward, her back to the musicians, a solitary female
danced; a Kanaka woman, clothed in a single shift of the sheerest
crimson cotton, tied at one shoulder and falling to mid-thigh. Not from
Taai did this woman come; one saw that; not from any near island or
group. Her beauty was extraordinary, like that of the Marquesans, with
that peculiar straightness of all the lines, at once Grecian, austere,
and incalculably voluptuous.--

The dance, as I saw it for the first time that night, I will not speak
of. I have traded to many islands in many groups--even the Low
Archipelago--but the island where that dance was indigenous I am sure
I've never touched. Compared with any of the _hulas_, set and fixed in
each locality as the rites of Rome, it was sophisticated; it gave an
illusion of continuous invention and spontaneity; it was flesh swept by
a wind and shattered; it ravished the eyes.

I don't know how long I watched; how long all the immortal flame in me
lent itself to the histrionic purposes of that woman. But I shall never
forget it. Never! Never!

I looked away. I saw two faces. One of them hung over my shoulder. It
was the trader's. It was the face of a man who has lived a very long
while wielding power of life and death over unsatisfying satisfactions.
A man awakened! The toppling of a hundred centuries, indeed.

The other was Signet's. Scarred by leaf shadows, thrust like a swimmer's
from the meager sea of heads and naked shoulders, it held as still as a
death mask, minute by minute, except that, in the penumbra cast by the
veil of goat tuft on his chin, the Adam's apple was convulsed at
intervals, as if he were swallowing, as if the man were _drinking_!

The night grew. The torches were consumed, the "place" deserted.
Somewhere the amazing voyagers had taken themselves to rest. A half moon
mutilated the island--long stripes of palms, shadow scars of defiles,
mottles of bushes. It was like a sleeping animal, a tiger of deep blue
and blue-white, an enormous leopard.

We sat on the veranda at the Residence, the trader and I. By and by,
soft-footed, Signet was there, occupying the lowermost step.

The Dutchman talked. Like the able administrator he was, he had already
all the data to be procured. Into his ears had poured the whispered
trickles of a score of informants.

"You are right, my dear sir. Marquesan. You have been there?"


"She is called in Polynesian, 'Queen Daughter.' My people, who know
nothing as a rule, of course--but they tell me the woman is in actuality
the daughter of a queen. But what is a Kanaka queen? After all, Signet,
my dear sir, down there, what is one queen, out here?"

The trader was obviously in a good humor. He had not been excited for
years. The man was alive. I've said he was like a Spaniard in that he
could be diabolical without getting red in the face. Diabolically
devious and strategic! Before he resumed he blew three mouthfuls of
cigar smoke out into the moonlight, where they burst from the shadow
under the roof like mute cannon shots, round and silvery. Beneath them,
from the step, Signet's eyes were fixed upon the trader's face, dry,
rapt, glazed with some imperious preoccupation.

"But they tell me this woman has danced in a great many islands. She
will go from here to another island to dance. The three men are her
husbands. But she is no wife. A maid, that woman! They have the
hardihood to tell me that. Ha-ha-ha! But, then, she is daughter to a
queen. With those 'husbands' she crosses a hundred leagues of sea in her
sailing canoe. That royal canoe! To dance at another island.--"

As the Dutchman talked, blowing his smoke bursts into the moonlight, the
vision of that Marquesan woman came again before me. I perceived her,
under the heavy procession of his words, a figure of astounding romance,
an adventuress incomparable, a Polynesian bacchante. No, I saw her as
the missionary of a strange thing, crossing oceans, daring thirst and
gale and teeth of sharks, harrying deeper and deeper into the outseas
of mystery that small, devoted, polyandrous company of husbands, at once
her paddlers, cooks, flunkies, watchdogs, music makers. "Queen
Daughter!" Royal and self-anointed priestess of that unheard-of dance,
the tribal dance, no doubt, of some tiny principality rearing a cone in
the empty hugeness of the sea.--I couldn't get away from my time and
race. I found myself wondering what she got out of it--in some
jungle-bowered, torch-lit "high place," to feel again the toppling of
ten thousand years? Was it something to feel the voluptuous and
abominable beauty of that rhythm going out of her flesh, beat by beat,
and entering into the flesh of those astounded and half-hostile
watchers? Perhaps.--

"They tell me that she has also danced at Papeete--before the white men
of the steamships," the Dutchman was informing us.

At that, from the step, from the moon-blue huddle of the castaway, there
came a sound. With a singular clarity of divination I built up the
thought, the doubt, the bitter perturbation in the fellow's mind. The
woman had danced then at Papeete, the cross roads, the little Paris of
mid-seas. And before the white men from steamers--the white men that go

Moved by projects deeper and more devious than ours, the Dutchman made
haste to cover up what seemed to have been an overshot. Frankly, he
turned his attention to the outcast.

"By the God, then, my dear Signet, have you considered?"

He knew well enough that Signet had "considered." He could see as well
as I that Signet was a changed man. But he must "pile it on."

"There, my dear sir, you have it. That 'hunch!' That 'sure fire!' Do you
think I do not know that New York of yours? Such a dance as that! You
must believe me. If you were but a man of energy, now--" With the utmost
deliberation he launched upon a tirade of abuse. "But, no, you are not a
man of energy, not a man to take things in your hands. The obstacles are
too big. Those three husbands! You might even take that woman, that
lovely, royal dancing woman--you, my dear sir, a common street snipe.
What would a woman like that, with that novel, impassioned, barbaric,
foreign dance, be worth to a man on your Broadway? Eh? But obstacles!
Obstacles! You have her not on Broadway. It is too many thousand miles,
and you have no money. But see, if you were a man to grasp things, a man
to 'hit the nail in the head,' to 'boost,' to 'go big'--then would not a
man like me, who turns everything to gold--would he not say to you
quickly enough, 'See here, my dear sir, but let me put so much money
into the undertaking myself?'"

Under the explosions of cigar smoke, Signet continued to hold the trader
with his eyes; seemed to consume him with the fixed, dry fire of his
gaze. Not fathoming, as with a singular intuition I had fathomed, the
profound purposes of the Dutchman, Signet saw only the implied promise
in his words.--The trader broke out once more with a sardonic and
calculated spleen:

"But, no! Obstacles! A sniveling little animal sees only obstacles. The
obstacle not to be mounted over--those three husbands. There they lie
tonight on Nakokai's platform--this beautiful, incredible 'Queen
Daughter'--this gold goddess of the 'Shame Dance'--and about her those
three husbands. Ah, my dear sir, but their big, lithe muscles! That is
too much! To imagine them leaping up at the alarm in the moonlight, the
overpowering and faithful husbands. No, he cannot put out his hand to
take the gift. _Pah!_ He is a criminal in nature, but he is afraid of
the police, even here. He is not a man for the big life in these
islands. He will never do anything. Those faithful, strong watch-dogs of
husbands! Those strong, destructive muscles! Dear, good God, that is too
much to think of--Look, my dear sir!"

He was speaking to me, as if Signet were less than the very pebbles at
the step. He got up, striking the floor heavily with his boots, and I
followed him into the house, where he took a lighted candle from a
stand. Buried in our shadows, silent footed, Signet pursued us as the
trader had meant him to do. I persist in saying that I perceived the
thing as a whole. From the first I had divined the maneuver of the

"Look!" he repeated, flinging open a door and thrusting in the candle to
cast its light over ranks and ranges of metal. It was the gun room of
the Residence. Here dwelt the law. Shotguns, repeating rifles, old-style
revolvers, new, blue automatics. An arsenal!

"Big brown muscles!" he cried, with a ponderous disdain. "What are they?
What is the strongest brown man? _Puff!_ To a man of purpose and
indomitable will like me! Obstacles? Three husbands? _Puff-puff-puff!_
Like that!--But all that will never be of use to _him_. That Signet! No,
he is a street snipe who will steal a pocketbook and call it a crime. He
is afraid to grasp.--But it is close in here, is it not?"

It was too bald. He stepped across the floor, unlatched and threw open
the blind of the window, letting the candlelight stream forth upon a
mass of bougainvillaea vine without.

"I keep this door locked; you can imagine that," he laughed, returning
and shutting us out of the gun room. He twisted the key; put it in his
pocket. And there, at the back, that window blind stood open.

He stared at Signet, as if the beach comber were just discovered.

"You are hopeless, my dear sir."

"Let us have a drink," he shifted.

For Signet he poured out a tumblerful of raw gin. The fellow took it
like a man in a daze--the daze of a slowly and fiercely solidifying
resolution. It shivered in his hand. A habit of greed sucked his lips.
Into his mouth he took a gulp of the spirits. He held it there. His eyes
searched our faces with a kind of malignant defiance. Of a sudden he
spat the stuff out, right on the floor. He said nothing. It was as if he
said: "By God! if you think I need _that_! _No!_ You don't know me!"

He stalked out of the door. When we followed as far as the veranda we
saw him making off into the striped light to the left.--

"Why did you call it the 'Shame Dance,' Mynheer?" We were seated again.

"Of course, my dear sir, it is not that, but it has a sound so when the
Kanakas speak it. The woman spoke the name. If it is a Polynesian word
I have not heard it before. 'Shemdance.' Like that."

"A good name, though. By jingo! a darn good name. Eh, Mynheer?"

But the trader's head was turned in an attitude of listening. Triumphant
listening--at the keyhole of the striped, moonlit night. I heard it,
too--a faint disturbance of bougainvillaea foliage around two sides of
the house, near the window standing open to the gun room.

Of course the amazing thing was that the man fooled us. In the
Dutchman's heart, I believe, there was nothing but astonishment at his
own success. Signet, on the face of it, was the typical big talker and
little doer; a flaw in character which one tends to think imperishable.
He fitted so precisely into a certain pigeonhole of human kind.--What we
had not counted on was the fierceness of the stimulus--like the taste of
blood to a carnivore or, to the true knight, a glimpse of the veritable

All the following day I spent on board, overseeing the hundred minor
patchings and calkings a South Sea trader will want in port. When I went
ashore that evening, after sundown, I found the Dutchman sitting in the
same chair on the veranda, blowing smoke out into the afterglow. There
was the illusion of perfect continuity with the past. Yesterday, today,
tomorrow. Life flowed like a sleeping river, it would seem.

But this was the status of affairs. The three brown music makers,
sons-in-law to an island queen, lay on a platform somewhere within the
edge of the bush, heavier by ounces with thirty-two caliber slugs,
awaiting burial. And Signet, guttersnipe, beach comber, and midnight
assassin, was lodged in the "calaboose," built stoutly in a corner of
the biggest and reddest of the Dutchman's godowns. As for the royal
dancing woman, I was presently in the trader's phrase, to "have a look
at her."

At his solicitation I followed around the house, past the gun-room
window (locked fast enough now, you may be sure), and up steeply through
a hedged, immaculate garden, which witnessed to the ordered quality of
the owner's mind. At the upper end, under a wall of volcanic tufa, we
came to a summerhouse done in the native style, stilts below, palmite
thatch above, and walled on three sides only with hanging screens of
bamboo. Striking through this screen from the west, the rose and green
of the afterglow showed the woman as in a semi-luminous cavern, seated
cross-legged in the center of the platform, her hands drooped between
her knees, and her large, dark eyes fixed upon the sea beyond the roof
of the Residence below.

Was it the perfect immobility of defiance and disdain? Not once did her
transfixed gaze take us in. Was it the quiescence of defeat and
despair--that level brooding over the ocean which had been to her, first
and last, a cradle and roadway for her far, adventurious pilgrimages?
She sat there before our peering eyes, the sudden widow, the daughter of
potentates brought low, the goddess of an exuberant and passionate
vitality struck with quietude; mute, astounded by catastrophe, yet
unbowed. The beauty of that golden-skinned woman abashed me.

It did not abash the Dutchman. His was another and more indomitable
fiber. It is fine to succeed, beyond expectation, detail by detail of
strategy. His hands were clean. He remained the perfect administrator.
Had there been no other way, he would not have flinched at any necessary
lengths of wholesale or retail butchery. Still, it was nice to think
that his hands were spotless. For instance, if that gunboat, with its
purple-whiskered Amsterdammer of a captain, should just now happen in.

His face glowed in the dusk. His eyes shone with frank calculations.
Fists on hips, head thrust out, one saw him casting up the sum of his
treasure-trove.--But he was an epicure. He could wait. It was even
delightful to wait. When I turned away he came down with me, his hands
still on his hips and his eyes on the gently emerging stars.

The man was extraordinary. Sitting on the veranda, bombarding the
direction of the foreshore with that huge deliberate fusillade of cigar
smoke, he talked of home, of his boyhood on the dike at Volendam, and of
his mother, who, bless her! was still alive to send him cheeses at

It was midnight and the moon was rising when I got away and moved down
toward the beach where the dinghy waited. The horizontal ray struck
through the grating of the "calaboose" at the corner of the godown I was
skirting. I saw the prisoner. The upright shadow of an iron bar cut his
face in two, separating the high, soiled cheeks, each with an eye.

"You mustn't leave him get at her!"

I tell you it was not the same man that had come swimming and sniveling
out to the schooner less than forty hours before. Here was a fierce one,
a zealot, a flame, the very thin blade of a fine sword.

"Listen, Dole, if you leave that devil get at her--"

His eyes burned through me. He failed completely to accept the fact that
he was done. His mind, ignoring the present, ran months ahead. With a
flair of understanding, thinking of those three travesties of husbands
and the wife who was no wife, I perceived what he meant.

I left him. He was a wild man, but the quality of his wildness showed
itself in the fact that he squandered none of it in shaking the bars,
shouting, or flinging about. His voice to the last, trailing me around
the next corner, held to the same key, almost subdued.

"By God! if that--gets at her, I'll--I'll--"

"You'll what?" I mused. You see, even now I couldn't get rid of him as
the drifter, the gutter Hamlet, the congenital howler against fate.
"You'll what?" I repeated under my breath, and I had to laugh.

I got the vessel under way as soon as I came aboard. The Dutchman's
shipment of copra was arranged for--a week, two, three weeks (as the
wind allowed)--and I was to return from the lower islands, where my
present cargo was assigned, and take it on.

As we stood offshore under the waxing moonlight, as I watched the
island, gathering itself in from either extremity, grow small and
smaller on the measureless glass of the sea, the whole episode seemed to
swell up in my mind, explode, and vanish. It was too preposterous.
Thirty-eight hours chosen at random out of ten thousand empty Polynesian
years--that in that wink of eternity five human lives should have gone
to pot simultaneously--a man wasn't to be taken in by that sort of

Through twelve days it remained at that. Discharging cargo in the
furnace of Coco Inlet, if my thoughts went back to Taai, it was almost
with the deprecating amusement a man will feel who has been had by a
hoax. If those minstrel husbands were murdered and buried; if that
Broadway imp sweated under the red-hot roof of the godown; if that
incomparable, golden-skinned heiress of cannibal emperors sat staring
seaward from the gilded cage of the Dutchman, awaiting (or no longer
waiting) the whim of the epicure--if indeed any one of them all had ever
so much as set foot upon that microscopic strand lost under the blue
equator--then it was simply because some one had made it up in his head
to while me away an empty hour. I give you my word, when at noon of the
thirteenth day the mountain of Taai stood up once more beyond the bows,
I was weary of the fantasy. I should have been amazed, really, to find a
fellow named Signet housed in the Dutchman's private jail.

As a matter of fact, Signet was not in the jail.

When I went ashore in mid afternoon, wondering a little why no naked
biscuit-beggars or gin swallowers had swum out to bother me that day, I
found the trader of Taai sitting on his veranda, blowing puffs of smoke
from those fine Manila Club perfectos out into the sunshine. Beside him
leaned a shiny, twelve-gauge pump gun which he jostled with an elbow as
he bade me by word and gesture to make myself at home.

I'm quite certain I looked the fool. My eyes must have stuck out. Half a
dozen times I started to speak. With some vacant, fatuous syllable I
tried to break the ice. Strange as it sounds, I was never so embarrassed
in my life.--For the trader of Taai, the blatantly obvious proprietor of
the island's industry and overlord of its destinies--sitting there
before me now with a pump gun touching his elbow--was this fellow

Till now I don't know precisely what had happened; that is to say, none
of the details of the act, horrid or heroic as they may have been. All I
seemed to have was a memory of the Dutchman's voice: "Why do you not
kill _me_? Ha-ha-ha! Then you could take my property." And again an echo
of his disdainful laughter at that fool, "Ha-ha-ha!" as, on some
midnight, he had kicked his dinner guest and his "coolie cotton pants"
out into the rain.--Why not, indeed? But who now was the "fool?"

Signet, in the course of the afternoon, brought forth gravely a bill of
sale, making over in an orderly fashion to B.R. Signet, New York,
U.S.A., the real and personal property of the trading station at Taai,
and "signed" in the identical, upright, Fourteenth Street grammar-school
script, by "the Dutchman."--I understood Signet. Signet understood me.
The thing was not even an attempt at forgery. It was something solely
formal--as much as to say: "This is understood to be the basis of our
mutual dealings. You will see I am owner of this place."

As for the Dutchman:

"Oh, the Dutchman? Well, he decided to go away. Go home."

Before the incalculable sang-froid of this rail bird, movie usher, alley
dodger, and hanger-on at dancing academies, I could not so much as
summon up the cheek to ask what he had done with the body. You'll say I
ought to have acted; that I ought at least to have got up and left him.
That shows two things--first, that you've never been a trader in the
islands; second, that you cannot at all comprehend how--well, how
_stunning_ he was. Sitting there, a single fortnight removed from cotton
pants and the beach, crime-stained, imperturbable, magnificent! Spawn of
the White Lights! Emperor of an island! How's that?

"It's a rich island," he impressed upon me with an intention I was yet
to plumb. "Dole," he exclaimed, "it's a gold mine!"

"Is--is _she_ here?" I ventured to demand at last.

"_Is_ she? Say! Come and have a look."

I was between laughing and wincing at that "have a look."

Going up the garden, Signet let me know that the woman was in love with
him. I might believe it or not. She would do anything for him.

"_Anything!_" he exclaimed, standing squarely still in the path. And in
his eyes I was somehow relieved to find a trace of wonder.

Obstacles! All his life had been a turning back from small,
insurmountable obstacles. Of a sudden he beheld really vast obstacles
tumbling down, verily at a touch. Here was just one more of them. By a
lucky chance this "Queen Daughter" did not know by whose hand she had
been made thrice a widow; it was the simplest thing to suppose it the
trader, the same big, blond, European man who had presently removed her
"for safety" to the summer house behind the Residence.--And from the
trader, by a gesture of melodramatic violence, the other and slighter
man had set her free.--Perhaps even that would not have intrigued her
essentially barbaric interest as much as it did had it not been for his
amazing attitude of, well, let's say, "refrainment." His almost absurdly
fastidious concern for what the West would call "the sanctity of her
person." You can imagine--to a Marquesan woman! That! She was not ugly!

As her gaze, from the platform, dwelt upon the shrewd, blade-sharp
features of the man beside me, the elementary problem in her eyes seemed
to redouble the peculiar, golden, Aryan beauty of her face. Let me tell
you I am human. Perhaps Signet was human, too. Standing there,
encompassed by the light of that royal and lovely woman's eyes, there
was surely about him a glow--and a glow not altogether, it seemed to me,
of "Smith's nickel and Jones's dime." I could have laughed. I could have
kicked him. The impostor! Even yet I had failed to measure the man.

Back on the veranda again, dinner eaten, and dusk come down, Signet
brought out an old guitar from among the Dutchman's effects (it had
belonged probably to that defunct nephew of the dress clothes), and as
he talked he picked at the thing with idle fingers. Not altogether idle,
though, I began to think. Something began to emerge by and by from the
random fingerings--a rhythm, a tonal theme.--Then I had it, and there
seemed to stand before me again the swarded "high place," with torches
flaring over upturned faces and mounting walls of green. Almost I sensed
again the beat in my blood, the eye-ravishing vision of that gold-brown
flame of motion, that voluptuous priestess.

"Oh, yes. That!" I murmured. "It's got something--something--that
tune.--But how can you remember it?"

"_She_ helps me out. I'm trying to put it in shape."

Indeed, when I left that night and before my oarsmen had got me a
cable's length from the beach I heard the strumming resumed, very
faintly, up in the dark behind the Residence; still tentatively, with,
now and then through the flawless hush of the night, the guiding note of
a woman's voice. (A woman profoundly mystified.)

A rehearsal? For what? For that almost mythical Broadway half around the
bulge of the world? Had the fool, then, not got beyond _that_? Yet?

Here he was, lord of the daughter of a queen, proprietor of a "gold
mine." For Signet was not to be hoodwinked about the commercial value of
Taai. All afternoon and evening, as through the two days following,
while my promised cargo was getting ferried out under the shining
authority of the pump gun, he scarcely let a minute go by without some
word or figure to impress upon me the extent of his "possessions." To
what end?

Well, it all came out in a burst on the third evening, my last there. He
even followed me to the beach; actually, regardless of the Dutchman's
nephew's boots and trouser legs, he pursued me out into the shadows.

"A gold mine! Don't be a damned boob, Dole. You can see for yourself, a
big proposition for a guy like you, with a ship and everything--"

Upon me he would heap all those priceless "possessions." Me! And in
exchange he would ask only cabin passage for two from Taai beach to the
Golden Gate. Only deck passage! Only anything!

"Set us down there, me and her, that's all. I'll give you a bill of
sale. Why, from where you look at it, it's a _find_! It's a lead-pipe
cinch! It's taking candy away from a baby, man!"

"Why don't you keep it, then?"

The soul of his city showed through. I saw him again as I had seen him
swimming in his cotton pants, with that low-comedy whisker and that
consuming little greedy nickel hope of paradise. Even the gestures.

"No, but can't you see, Dole? I got a bigger thing up my sleeve.
God'l'mighty, d'you think I'm a _farmer_? You could go big here; _I_
don't go at all. I ain't that kind. But put me down in New York with
that woman there and that there dance--and that tune--Say! You don't
understand. You can't imagine. Money? Say! And not only money. Say! I
could take that up to Glauber's Academy, and I could say to Glauber,
'Glauber,' I could say--"

I had to leave him standing there, up to his knees in the inky water,
heaping me frankly with curses. I shall not repeat the curses. At the
end of them he bawled after me:

"But I'll get there! You watch me all the same, all the same, you

The reason I didn't up-anchor and get out that night was that, when I
came aboard I discovered not far from my berth the unobtrusive loom of
that Dutch gunboat, arrived for a "look-in" at last.

The only thing for me to do was to sit tight. If, when the state of the
island's affairs had been discovered, there should be want of
explanation or corroboration, it would be altogether best for me to give
it. I wasn't yet through trading in those waters, you understand.

But Signet was no fool. He, too, must have seen the discreet shade of
the visitor. When the morning dawned, neither he nor the royal dancer
from the Marquesas was to be found. Some time in that night, from the
windward beach, ill-manned and desperate, the royal sailing canoe must
have set forth tumultuously upon its pilgrimage again.

I sat in a place in Honolulu. Soft drinks were served, and somewhere
beyond a tidy screen of palm fronds a band of strings was playing. Even
with soft drinks, the old instinct of wanderers and lone men to herd
together had put four of us down at the same table. Two remain vague--a
fattish, holiday-making banker and a consumptive from Barre, Vermont.
For reasons to appear, I recall the third more in detail.

He let me know somewhere in the give-and-take of talk that he was a
railway telegraph operator, and that, given his first long vacation, an
old impulse, come down from the days of the Hawaiian _hula_ phonograph
records, had brought him to the isle of delight. He was disappointed in
it. One could see in his candid eyes that he felt himself done out of an
illusion, an illusion of continuous dancing by girls in rope skirts on
moonlit beaches. It was an intolerable waste of money. Here, come so far
and so expensively to the romantic goal, he was disturbed to find his
imagination fleeing back to the incredible adventure of a Rock Island
station, an iron-red dot on the bald, high plain of eastern Colorado--to
the blind sun flare of the desert--to the immensity of loneliness--to
the thundering nightly crisis of the "Eleven-ten," sweeping monstrous
and one-eyed out of the cavern of the West, grating, halting,
glittering, gossiping, yawning, drinking with a rush and gurgle from the
red tank--and on again with an abrupt and always startling clangor into
the remote night of the East.

He shifted impatiently in his chair and made a dreary face at the
screening fronds.

"For the love o' Mike! Even the rags they play here are old."

The consumptive was telling the banker about the new coöperative scheme
in Barre, Vermont.

"For the love o' Mike!" my friend repeated. "That ain't a band; it's a
historical s'ciety. Dead and buried! Next they'll strike up that latest
novelty rage, 'In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree!'--Now will you listen
to that. Robbin' the cemetery!"

He needn't have asked me to listen. As a matter of fact I had been
listening for perhaps a hundred seconds; listening, not as if with the
ears, but with the deeper sensatory nerves. And without consciously
grasping what the air was I had suffered an abrupt voyage through space.
I saw a torch-lit sward, ringed with blue and saffron faces and high
forest walls; I saw the half-nude, golden loveliness of a Polynesian
woman shaken like a windy leaf. And the beat of a goat-hide drum was the
beat of my blood. I felt my shoulders swaying.

I looked at the young man. His face expressed a facetious weariness, but
his shoulders, too, were swaying.

"What tune is that?" I asked, in a level tone.

His contemptuous amazement was unfeigned.

"Holy Moses! man. Where you been?"

He squinted at me. After all, I might be "stringing him."

"That," he said, "is as old as Adam. It was run to death so long ago I
can't remember. That? That's 'Paragon Park.' That is the old original
first 'Shimmie' dance--with whiskers two foot long--"

"The original what?"

"Shimmie! _Shimmie!_ Say, honest to God, don't you know--?" And with his
shoulders he made a wriggling gesture in appeal to my wits, the crudest
burlesque, it seemed, of a divinely abominable gesture in my
memory.--"That?" he queried. "Eh?"

"Shimmie," I echoed, and, my mind skipping back: "_Shemdance! Shame
Dance!_--I see!"

"Why?" he demanded, intrigued by my preoccupation.

"Nothing. It just reminded me of something."

Then he lifted a hand and smote himself on the thigh. "Me, too! By
jinks! Say, I'd almost forgot that."

He hitched his chair upon me; held me down with a forefinger.

"Listen. That was funny. It was one night--last fall. It was just after
Number Seventeen had pulled out, westbound, about one-forty in the
morning. There wasn't anything else till six-one. Them are always the
hardest hours. A fellow's got to stay awake, see, and nothin' to keep
him--unless maybe a coyote howlin' a mile off, or maybe a bum knockin'
around among the box cars on the sidin', or, if it's cold, the stove to
tend. That's all. Unless you put a record on the old phonograph and hit
'er up a few minutes now and then. Dead? Say, boy!"

"Well, this night it was a bum. I'm sittin' there in the coop, countin'
my fingers and listenin' to Limon calling off car numbers to
Denver--just like that I'm sittin'--when I hear somethin' out in the
waitin' room. Not very loud.--Well, I go out there, and there's the bum.
Come right into the waitin' room.

"Bum! If he wasn't the father and mother and brother and sister of the
original bum, I'll eat my hat. Almost a Jew-lookin' guy, and he'd saw
hard service. But he's got a kind o' crazy glitter in his eye.

"'Well,' says I, just like that, 'Well, what do you want?'

"He don't whine; he don't handle the pan. He's got that look in his eye.

"'My woman is out in them box cars,' says he. 'I'm goin' to bring her in
here where it's warm.' That's what he says. Not '_can_ I bring her in?'
but '_goin_' to bring her in!' From a _hobo_!

"Can you imagine? It makes me think. It comes to me the guy is really
off his trolley. To keep him calm I says, 'Well--'

"He goes out. 'I'm shed o' _him_,' I says to myself. Not a bit. About
three minutes and here he comes trottin' back, sure enough, bringin' a
woman with him. Now Mister--What's-y'r-name--prepare to laugh. That
there woman--listen--make up your face--she's a _nigger_!

"He says she ain't a nigger.

"'Mexican?' says I.

"'No,' says he.

"I give her another look, but I can't make much out of her, except she's
some kind of a nigger, anyhow. She's sittin' on the bench far away from
the light, and she's dressed in a second-hand horse blanket, a feed
sack, and a bran' new pair of ar'tics. And she don't say a word.

"'Well,' says I, 'if she ain't some kind of nigger, I'll eat my--'

"But there he is, all of a sudden, squarin' off in front o' me, his mug
stuck up and his eyes like a couple o' headlights. Imagine! The guy
ain't got enough meat on his bones for a rest'rant chicken. Honest to
God, he looked like he'd been through a mile o' sausage mill. But crazy
as a bedbug. And there's somethin' about a crazy man--

"'Hold y'r gab!' says he. To _me_! That gets my goat.

"'Just for that,' says I, 'you can get out o' this station. And don't
forget to take your _woman_ along with you. Get out!'

"'Get out--_hell!_' says he. He sticks his mug right in my face.

"'That woman you speak so light of,' says he, 'is a queen. A Canuck
queen,' say he.

"I had to laugh. 'Since when was there queens in Canada?' says I. 'And
since when has the Canuck queens been usin' stove polish for talcum

"The guys grabs me by the coat. Listen. He was strong as a wire. He was
deceivin'. A wire with ten thousand volts into it.

"'Look at me!' says he, breathin' hard between his teeth. 'And take
care!' says he. 'I'm a man no man can monkey with. I'm a man that'll go
through. I'm stained with crime. I've waded through seas o' blood.
Nothin' in heaven or earth or hell can stop me. A month from now rubes
like you'll be glad to crawl at my feet--an' wipe their dirty mugs on
the hem o' that there woman's skirt.--Now listen,' says he. 'Get the
hell into that there box o' yourn over there and be quiet.'

"Crazy as a loon. I hope to die! the guy was _dangerous_. I see that. It
come to me it's best to humor him, and I go into the coop again. I sit
there countin' my fingers and listenin' to Denver tellin' back them car
numbers to Limon again. By and by I'm jumpy as a cat. I get up and stick
a record in the old machine.--That's what brings the whole thing back to
mind. That record is this 'Paragon Park.'

"First thing I know I'm out in the waitin' room again. And what you
think I see? I give you a hundred guesses."

"I'll take one," I said to him. "What you saw was the finest exhibition
of the 'Shimmie' you ever clapped an eye upon. Am I right?"

The young fellow's mouth hung open. He stared at me.

"Half undressed! Honest! That nigger woman! Horse blanket, feed sack,
ar'tics--where was they? Shimmie? Say! Can you imagine, in that there
prairie depot at three in the mornin', and a wind howlin' under the
floor? Say! Well, I can't tell you, but talk about _Shimmie_! Say, she's
like a dead one come to life."

"Yes," I agreed, "yes.--But what about the man?"

"Well, that man, now. The record's comin' to the end and I go back in to
start it over. And, here's this hobo, come in behind me.

"'What's that?' says he, pointin' to the record I got in my hand.

"Then he grabs it and looks it over. He keeps turnin' it round and round
and round, starin' at it.

"'I hope you'll know it again,' says I, with a laugh.

"My laugh seems to set him off into a shiver. Then down he throws that
record o' mine onto the floor and stamps on it; busts it into a million
pieces under his boots. I been tellin' you he's crazy.

"'Here there!' I yell at him.

"He looks at me. Looks right through me, it seems and beyond, with them
there red-rimmed eyes.

"'Seas o' blood,' says he. That's all. 'Seas o' blood!'

"Then he turns around, walks out into the waitin' room, and sits down in
a heap in the farthest corner. Never another peep. There he sits till
daylight, and the nigger woman, with the horse blanket on again, she
sits there beside him, holdin' his hand.

"'What's up with him?' I ask her.

"She says somethin' in Mexican--or some language, anyway. But I see she
don't know any more 'n me.--It's just like this. The current's gone out
o' the wire.--Last I ever see of 'em, she's leadin' him off in the
sunrise toward the box cars--leadin' him by the hand.--Now did you ever
hear a funnier experience than that to happen to a man?"

"No," I said, "I never did."

"You had to pity him," he added.

"Yes," I agreed.--And I could think of her leading him by the hand.

I saw Signet again. It was on my first and last voyage to the Marquesas.
Under the shadow of a mountain, on a stone platform facing the sea, sat
Signet, quite nude save for a loin cloth, and with an unequivocal black
beard falling down on his breast. There was a calmness about him.

"How did you come here?" I asked, at length.

"She wanted it," he said.

"She's a wonderful woman," he said to me, "a wonderful woman. She would
do anything for me, Dole. _Anything!_ We've got a kid."

I made shift to get in a question I had carried long in mind. "Somebody
beat you out at Papeete, then, after all?"

He turned upon me a faintly quizzical look.

"I mean, somebody saw her--some tourist--that time she danced at
Papeete--Remember?--and got away with it?"

The thing seemed already so remote that he had to grope back. Then he

"Lord, no. Look here, Dole. It was her herself seen the thing at
Papeete. On board a tourist boat. I found out about it since I learned
her language good. Her and some others went aboard to dance the
_hula_--same as always, you know. Then some of _them_, the tourists,
understand--Well, they had to spring the latest thing from Broadway. And
then this woman of mine--Well, you can imagine. Like a woman with a new
hat. Got to run right off and show it to the whole damn length and
breadth of the South Seas. That's all.--And once upon a time I thought I
was bright.--"

Out of the half house at the rear of the platform came the daughter of a
queen, bearing under one arm a prince of this island valley, and in the
other hand a bowl of coconut wine for the visitor. And for her lord. For
you will see that at last, despite the malignant thrusts and obstacles
of destiny, this gutter snipe of Gotham had come to a certain estate.

When I left, he accompanied me slowly to the beach.

"You ought to like it here," I said. "After all, the city could never
have given you so much."

"No," he said. Wide-eyed, he took in the azure immensity of the sea.
"No. Here a guy has got time to think, think, without any hurry or
worry.--I been thinking, Dole, a lot. I ain't going to say nothing about
it, but Dole, I b'lieve I got an idea coming along. No flivver this
time. A real, sure-fire hunch. Something that'll go big in the city.

And so I left him there in the shadow of the mountain, staring at the
impassable sea.



(From _The Midland_)

If I had had a less positive sense of revulsion for him, I might have
been able to treat him with more contempt, certainly with more
indifference. It was a part of Con Darton's power that those who knew
him should waver in their judgments of him, should in turn reproach
themselves for their hardness of heart and then grow angry at their own
lack of assuredness. Perhaps it was the disquieted gray eyes in the lean
leathery face, or the thin-lipped mouth that I had seen close so foxly
after some sanctimonious speech, or the voice which, when not savage
with recrimination, could take on a sustained and calculated intonation
of appeal,--perhaps these things aroused my interest as well as my
disgust. Certain it is that other men of a like feather, sly, irascible,
gone to seed in a disorderly Illinois town, I should have avoided. I
made the excuse of Lisbeth, and it was true that her welfare, first as
his daughter and later as the wife of my friend, was very dear to my
heart. Yet that could not explain the hypnotism the man had for me,
befogging, as it sometimes did, an honest estimate.

There were, of course, moments of certainty. I recalled village
anecdotes of bitter wrangles among the Dartons with Con always coming
out best. They were a quarreling pack of sentimentalists. From all
accounts Miss Etta must have been at that time a rugged girl of
twenty-eight, of striking, if ungentle, appearance; and only the
unsteadied sensibilities and the too-ready acrimony could have
foreshadowed the large blatant woman she was to become, a woman who
alternated between a generous flow of emotion on the one hand and an
unimaginative hardness on the other. Only Lin Darton could have given
promise then of the middle-class, semi-prosperous business man who was
to justify the Darton tradition. But from all that I could gather of
those younger days, before Con's marriage to Selma Perkins, he was the
cock of the walk, holding the reins over them all by virtue of his
shrewdness, apparently understanding the robust, over-blooded strains of
their temperament and not unwilling to sound these at his pleasure.

My own experience dates back to the first time that he stood out for me
a vivid picture in that sagging barn-like old farmhouse behind the elms.
I was ten years old then, and I was already beginning to think highly of
my father's profession, which that winter had sent him into a nest of
small asthma-ridden towns. It was my privilege to trot by his side,
carrying his worn black medicine case and endeavoring vainly to keep
pace with his long jerky strides. On this particular occasion he had
been summoned suddenly to the Dartons'; and, being unable to leave
promptly, had sent me ahead postehaste with instructions, and an
envelope of white pills to be taken "only in case of extreme pain."

Arriving at the farmhouse, the peaked façade of which, built to suggest
an unbegotten third story, looked more hideous than ever among the bare
branches, I knocked with reddened knuckles at the door. There was no
response; at last, my half-frozen hand smarting with the contact of the
wood, I pushed open the door and went in.

It was very still inside--a strange unnatural stillness. Even Grega and
Martie, the two little plain-faced girls, were not to be seen; the drab,
rose-patterned carpet muffled my footsteps, which, for some inexplicable
reason, I made as light as possible. The room, faded, and scrubbed to
the point of painfulness, gave only two signs of disorder, a crumpled
book of verse open on the table and a Bible lying face down on the worn,
orange-colored sofa. But there was something vaguely uncanny about the
whole house; the very air seemed thin, like the atmosphere of
approaching death. An unnameable terror took hold of me. I waited,
fearing to call out. A door shut upstairs. There were footsteps, and the
sound of voices,--a man's and a woman's--whispering. Then more
footsteps. This time some one was taking no trouble to walk lightly.

"Quietly now," the woman's voice cautioned.

"Ye said it was a boy?" This was Mr. Darton's voice, unmistakable now.

"I didn't say," the woman's whisper floated down to me as a door creaked
open. "But it _is_--a girl. You must be ver--"

Her words were cut off by the report of a door banging shut. There was
the sibilant sound of a breath being drawn in and, at the same moment,
Mr. Darton's voice again.

"What the hell made ye think I'd want to see another _girl_ for?" he

A pause followed, the emptier for the preceding stridor of his voice.
Then--"You c'n get along now--we ain't got no more call fur neighbors."

With that he came stamping down the stairs and slouched into the front
room, where, upon his catching sight of me, a frightened look crossed
his face, followed, almost instantly, by a queer expression, a mixture
of relief and cunning that gave his face a grotesqueness that I can
recall to this very day.

"Well, boy," he said in that low drawl and wavelike inflection of the
voice that I was to learn to know so well, "yer father sent ye, did he?"

I proffered the note and the pills, and he frowned at them a second
before pocketing them.

"Come--_he-re_." He seemed to pull at the words, giving each a retarded
emphasis. As I approached, he drew me towards him, where he had sunk on
the dingy, orange-fringed sofa. "N-ow, y're a nice young fellow--a bit
scrawny, though. Ye--gotta horse?"

I shook my head.

"N-ow, then--ye aughtta have a h-orse. Yer pappy should see to't."

His gray eyes, then almost blue against the loose brown skin of his
face, held me speechless.

"N-ow I gotta horse--a fine horse fur a boy. Ye might ride her--like
to? Then, if yer pappy wanted, he cou'd buy her fur ye?"

I looked at him in doubt.

"Yes, he could. Yer pappy has more money than anyone hereabouts, and it
ain't right--I tell you, it ain't _right_ to have a little boy like you
and not give him--eve-ry thing he wants!"

His last words ended in that slow climactic inflection that made
whatever he said so indisputable. It was not unlike the minister's
voice, I thought; and, my glance chancing to fall on the opened Bible, I
was about to question him, when the door was pushed back hurriedly,
admitting my father's lank, wiry figure along with a stream of chilling

"G-ood morning, Mr. Breighton--a f-ine morning."

"Morning, Darton," said my father crisply. "Can I go directly upstairs?"

"No hurry n-ow, Doctor. It's all over. Mrs. Carn's been here all morning

It was at this moment that Mrs. Carn, her eyelids red from weeping, an
old bumpy, red worsted shawl over her head, came nervously into the
room; and, without so much as even a nod to any of us, edged quicky out
of the front door.

"Well--" began my father, his clear, scrutinizing eyes fixed on Darton.

"A-nother sign," expostulated Mr. Darton, "of what ye might call the
smallness of human van-ity. We must forgive 'er. Ye see Selma was
gettin' so upset with her rancorous gossipin'--perhaps I should have
been more careful--but it was a question of Selma and--"

"Quite right, Darton," my father nodded to him. "I'm going up for a

I had walked to the front window with its starched, lacy curtain; and
stood still, looking out in a puzzled maze at the strangeness of the
morning's happenings, a certain sense of disconsolateness stealing over
me. Beyond the row of dark, spare trees I could see a gaunt figure in a
black skirt and a bumpy red shawl moving along the road; and the picture
of her, scurrying away, remained, as such apparently unimportant figures
often will, sharply engraven on my mind. As I recall it in late years,
I often wonder how my father could have mistaken the lying, rancorous
woman of Con Darton's description for this stern-lipped creature, who
had gone by wordlessly, shutting the door gently behind her, a door that
she was never to re-open.

I turned to find myself alone in the room. Mr. Darton had disappeared as
unexpectedly but more quietly than he had entered. I could hear my
father's footsteps going softly about upstairs; and his voice, which
though quick and crisp, had a soothing quality, talking in a gentle
monotone to some one. After about ten minutes he came to the head of the
steps and called to me.

"Mrs. Darton says will you come up, Tom?"

Knees quivering with the queerness of it all as well as with the icy
frigidity of the hallway, I mounted the uncarpeted stairs.

Following in the direction of the voices, I came to a dark,
low-ceilinged room with a pine bed, on which lay a withered-looking
woman with sparsely lashed eyelids and fine, straight, straw-colored
hair. Near her was a small oblong bundle, wrapped round with a bright
patch-work quilt; and out of this bundle a cry issued. As I peered into
it, a red weazened face stared back at me, the eyes opening startlingly
round. I looked long in wonder. The woman sighed; and, my gaze reverting
to her, I thought suddenly of what a neighbor had once said to my
father, "Selma Perkins used to be the prettiest girl in school. She was
like the first arbutus flowers." Surely this woman with her pallid skin
and her faded spiritless eyes could not have been the one they meant!

There was some talk between my Father and his patient, the gist of which
I could not get, absorbed as I was with the face inside the patch-work
quilt. We went out silently, after I had taken a last, long look into
the bundle.--Lisbeth had come into my world.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some twenty years were to go by before I was to realize the significance
of the scene that I had witnessed that winter morning at the old frame
farmhouse. It was the year of my return to America with Jim Shepherd,
whose career as a rising young painter had just begun to be heralded,
that I felt impelled to revisit the place of my childhood. Not my least
interest lay in seeing Lisbeth again. I remembered her as a fragile
upstanding girl of twelve with soft hair the color of dead leaves and
gray inquiring eyes. But whatever it was that I was to find I was
conscious that I would see it with new appreciation of values. For if my
eight years of medical work abroad had sharpened my discernment, even
more had my intimacy with Jim Shepherd swept my mind clean of prejudice
and casuistry.

To strangers Jim must often have appeared naive and undevious. The fact
was that his passion for truth-probing and his worship of the
undiscovered loveliness of life had obscured whatever self-consciousness
had been born in him. Meeting him for the first time was like entering
another element. It left you a little flat. That candor and eagerness of
his at first balked you, it made negligible your traditions of thought
and speech. One ended by loving him.

On our arrival at the sparse little village I told him of the Dartons. I
had had no news of them for the past four years, and inquiries among the
neighbors left me only the more at sea. Lisbeth they seldom saw, they
said; she never went to church or meetings; and, especially since her
mother, in an unprecedented flare of rebellion, had gone to live with a
married sister in town, she had grown silent and taciturn. As for old
Con Darton, he was going to seed, in spite of the remnants of an earlier
erudition that still clung to him. That is, though he went about
unshaven and in slovenly frayed clothing, he still quoted fluently from
the Bible and Gray's "Elegy." Among the villagers he had come to have
the reputation of a philosopher and an ill-used man. He was poor, it
seemed, so poor that he had abandoned the white farmhouse and had come
to live in a box-like, unpainted shack at the foot of the hill, the new
boarding of which stood out harshly against the unturfed soil. Built
just across the way from a disused mill, near the creek, it had become
known as the "mill house." In spite of this thriftiness, Con always had
money for a new horse, which he would soon trade off for a better;
although these transactions had, of late, become fewer, as Con was
feared as a "shrewd one." The fact seemed to call forth his neighbors'
admiration, just as the tale that he had been "deserted" called forth
their pity. Lisbeth, they averred, who had stuck to him, was "a hard
piece to get close to."

She was standing at the bottom of the hill where the creek ran between
the deserted mill and the new shack; and, as I came down the hill, I
felt a sharp twinge of pain at the contrast of the fragile line of her
profile against the coarse, dark sweater, at the slender grace of her
body against that dead, barn-sprinkled background. I could observe her
easily without her knowledge, for she was looking up, as we so often
used to at twilight, to the old plank high above the sagging mill, where
the turkeys fly to roost towards evening, so awkwardly and comically,
with a great breathless whirring of wings. I saw her lift her arms to
them with a swift, urging gesture, as though to steady their ungainly
flight, and I could not be certain that she was not talking to them.
Again a pang for the contracting loneliness of those bitter winters that
she had lived through and must still live through, stabbed me.

She turned with a low cry and a momentary flush of gladness. But I
noticed, as I questioned her as an old friend might, that the flush
melted into a level pallor, and her eyes, deeper and more unquiet than I
had remembered them, either wandered up the road or reverted to the last
of the turkeys soaring heavily to rest.

"I used to do all those things, Tom," she said in answer to my question.

"Used to?" I laughed. "Why, it's only five years ago I was hearing that
you were the best little lady on skis and skates at the West-Highlands."

Her eyelids quivered at the word.

"That year--yes," she said and averted her face.

"You mean--" I had to prod, there was no other way about it--"that you
only stayed--one year?"

She nodded.

"My Freshman year prep school."

"And then--?"

"I was needed here."

"Your father--?"

"Yes,--he needed me."

"There was Grega," I insisted. "She was the man of the family."

"She's married, you know."

I recalled having heard of an unsatisfactory marriage. So she had

"And Martie?"

"Working at a store in town."

A dull rage charred at the inner fibres of my being. Here was Lisbeth,
the most delicate and responsible of them all, with, I supposed, much of
her mother's early gentleness and beauty, interred in this--. I did not
like to dwell on it. I switched back to skating.

"Come now. One does not forget these things at twenty or twenty-one."

She smiled at me ever so faintly, a smile that sent the winter chill of
that arid spot scurrying into my veins.

"One grows old fast--in the country," was all she said.

I thought of the flying figures that I had met in Norway and Sweden. It
was a moment before I spoke, and then I said the wrong thing.

"But it's this very sort of air, they say, that makes for vigor--and--"

"Yes," she said thinly, "those who live in cities--say so."

She turned, her meagre dress flapping about her knees like a flag. But
at the foot of the rickety outer steps that ran across the bare front of
the shack crookedly, like a broken arm, I caught her by the wrist.

"You'll be going to Mrs. Carn's funeral tomorrow, Lisbeth?"

She shook her head and I thought she paled.

It was an unheard of thing for the whole population not to turn out for
the funeral of one of the villagers, and Mrs. Carn, I knew, had
befriended Lisbeth, in spite of Old Con's displeasure. She must have
noted my surprise, for she turned on me squarely, facing me with what
seemed at the time an unnecessary display of staunchness.

"Perhaps you didn't know," she said very softly, "that the
Minister--couldn't come--and--"

She paused, while I made some inadequate reply, for I, too, seemed
caught in the sort of mirthless evasion that engulfed her.

"He--" she made a slight backwards motion of the head towards the upper
room of the shack--"is going to--preach."

My startled exclamation must have disclosed all the horror I felt at
this announcement, but, before I could speak again, she had gone swiftly
up the rickety steps and pushed shut the flimsy board door behind her.

The next afternoon was one that I have never been able to erase from my
mind, for even more vividly than my earlier impressions of Con Darton,
it marked the wizardry as well as the fearfulness of his power. A
hundred times during that burial service the sound of a banged door and
a rasped voice sounded in my ears and the sight of a tense, hurrying
figure in a black dress and a bumpy red shawl moved before my eyes. The
thin figure was lying there now and over it, his rusty black coat tails
curving in the wind, like wings bent to trap the air, his gray eyes
misty with emotion, hovered the man whose door she had never entered
since that fateful day of Lisbeth's birth. I could not but feel that the
vision of him standing there told the story of his triumphs more grimly
than any recital.

The service began in a sharp, fine drizzle of rain, through which his
voice sang in shifting cadences, now large and full, now drooping to a
premonitory whisper with an undeniably dramatic quality. In spite of
myself the words stirred within me. As he read and spoke he laid aside
the turns of speech that had become his through years of association
with country folk. Almost he was another man.

"Man that is born of woman--"

The words reached down through the overlying structure of thought and
habit. I felt a giving and a drawing away; saw the crowd sway to his

"In the midst of life we are--in death."

Again the tones woke me to a sharper sense of the scene. Tears stood in
many eyes. The people had melted at his touch. They were his. For a
while I lost myself in watching them, until again a changed intonation
drew me back to the man before us.

"We therefore commit her body to the ground--earth to earth--ashes to
ashes--dust to dust--"

My will was powerless to resist the beautifully delivered lines, to
doubt the integrity of the man who uttered them. The little lumps of wet
earth that he threw against the coffin struck against my heart with a
sense of the futility of all things. And then as suddenly, drawn by
something compellingly alive and pervading, I glanced at Jim, who stood
next to me; and catching the slant of his vision followed it to the edge
of the crowd, where, her thin dress clinging to her knees, her face
almost blue with cold, stood Lisbeth; and there was across her eyes and
mouth an expression of contempt and loathing such as I had never seen in
a girl so young. Jim was watching her intently, noting, with that
certain appraisal of his, the etched profile; and, with all an artist's
sensibility, reading life into the line of head and shoulders. What
if--the idea went through my mind with the intensity of sudden
pain--what if Jim and Lisbeth--? The sound of sobbing broke in upon my
reverie. Con Darton was delivering the funeral oration.

"My friends," I heard him saying through the streams of thought that
encompassed me, "we are here out of respect for a woman all of ye
knew,--and whose life--and whose character--ye all--knew." He paused to
give more weight to what he was about to say. "Margaret Carn was like
the rest of us. She had her qualities--and she had her--failings. I want
to say to you today that there's a time fur knowing these things--and a
time fur--forgettin' them." His voice on the last words dropped abruptly
away. There was the sound of rain spattering among the loosened lumps of
clay. "Such a time is now." His left hand dropped heavily to his side.
"I tell you there is more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who
repenteth than over ninety-and-nine--"

I grabbed Jim's arm to assure myself of something warm and human. But
his eyes were still fixed on Lisbeth, whose gaze was in turn riveted on
her father's face. It occurred to me with a swift sense of helplessness
that she and I were probably the only two who could even vaguely realize
any of the inner motives of Con Darton's mind, as we certainly were the
only persons who knew how great a wrong had been done to Margaret Carn's
memory that day. To the rest she was stamped forever as a lying gossip,
forgiven by the very man she had striven to harm. I shuddered; and Jim,
feeling it, turned to me and drew me towards Lisbeth. Outside of the
scattering crowd she saw us and greeted me gravely; then gave her hand
to Jim with a little quickening gesture of trust.

We went down the road together, taking the longest way to the foot of
the hill, Jim loquacious, eager; Lisbeth silent. The rain had melted
into a soft mist, and through it her face took on a greater remoteness,
a pallid, elfin quality. At the foot of the hill, which had to be
climbed again to reach the old farmhouse, she stopped, glancing up to
the plank where the turkeys were already roosting.

"Not going up the hill, Lisbeth?" I asked.

She shook her head.

"We live here now," she said.


"All the year round.--It's cheaper," she added with that little touch of
staunchness that had become hers.

"But it's too--"

I was cut short by the look of anguish in her eyes, the most poignant
sign of emotion that I had seen her show since my return. There was an
awkward silence, while I stood looking at her, thinking of nothing so
much as how her head would look against a worn, gold Florentine
background, instead of silhouetted against these flat unchanging
stretches of unbending roads and red barns. It seemed that she and Jim
were saying something to each other. Then just as she turned to go, he
stopped her.

"You'll forgive me, because I'm an old friend of Tom's," he was urging,
"if I ask you to drive to town with Tom and myself for supper."

There was an incongruity in the request that could not have escaped
either of them. I could see the color mounting to her temples and then
ebbing away, leaving her whiter than before. Her lips parted to answer,
but closed again sturdily.

"It couldn't--be arranged. If it could, I should have liked to," she
supplemented stiffly.

It was a stiffness that made me want to cry out to the hilltops in

"But suppose it _could_ be arranged?" suggested Jim.

She looked away from us.

"It couldn't be," she replied in that same inflectionless voice.

It was her voice that cut so sharply. I reflected that it was only in
the very old that we could bear that look of dead desire, that absence
of all seeking, that was settling over her face.

"But you'll try," insisted Jim. "You won't say no now?"

With one reddened hand she smoothed the surface of her dress. "I'll
try," she promised faintly.

Dinner over, prompted perhaps by a desire to look the old place over by
myself, perhaps half inclined to pay a visit to Con, I left Jim in the
library to his own devices, and stepped out alone along the road. The
air was clear now, and the sleet had frozen to a thin crystal layer, a
presage of winter, which glistened under the clear stars and sent them
shivering up at me again. As I neared the mill house, I could hear
voices through its scanty boarding, and decided, for the moment, to go
on, following the bed of the creek, when an intonation, oddly familiar,
brought me up like the crack of a whip. It is strange the power that
sounds have to transport us, and again I saw a withered woman with
straw-colored hair and a small, oblong bundle in a patch-work quilt.
But, as I drew nearer, my thoughts were all for Lisbeth.

"Have my girl in town with that young _puppy_!" Old Con was rasping at
her. "I know these artist-fellows, I tell you and--"

He ripped out an oath that took me bounding up the steps. My hand on the
front door knob, however, I paused, catching sight of Lisbeth through
the window. She was standing with her back towards the inner door her
moth-like dress blending oddly with the pallor of her cheeks, the
smudgy glow of the lamp light laying little warm patches on her hair.
But it was her eyes, wide and dark, that stopped me. There was pain in
them, and purport, a certain fierce intention, that made me wonder if I
could not serve her better where I was. And, as I waited, her voice
seeped thinly through the boarding.

"I don't believe it."--Her voice came quietly, almost without
intonation. "Tom Breighton wouldn't be his friend then.--They're both
fine and straight--and--"

"They are, are they?" he jeered. "Ye've learned to tell such things out
here in th' country, I suppose--"

"There are things," she retorted, "I've learned."

He began drawling his words again, as he always did when he had got
himself under control.

"I suppose ye're _insinuatin'_ ye don't like it here--don't like what
ye're pore ol' Father c'n do fur ye?"

Her look of contempt would have cut short another man.

"Ye--wantta--go?" he finished.

She nodded mutely. And at that he flared at her terribly.

"It's like ye," he shouted, "like yere mother, like all the Perkinses.
Word-breakers! cowards! _shirkers!_"

The words seared. The careful articulation of the afternoon was gone.

"Promised--if I sent ye to school, ye'd stay here winters to look after
ye're pore ol' Father--didn't ye?" He looked at her through narrow,
reddish lids, where she had backed against the door. "Didn't ye?" he
repeated. "But soon's he's done fur--soon's his _money's gone_--"

"Stop!" she cried. "_Stop i_--" Her breath caught.

He stared at her, the words shaken from him by the sheer force of her.
She had not moved, but, somehow, as she stood there against the
unvarnished door facing him, fists at her side, eyes brilliant, she
appeared to tower over him.

"I'll stay," she was saying in a queer, fierce monotone, "I'll stay here
this winter anyhow if I freeze for it! I'll scrub and cook and haul wood
for ye till I've paid ye back--_paid ye_," she repeated more softly,
"till no one can say the Perkinses don't keep their word! And then--in
the spring--I'm going--it'll be for good--. _For always_," she added,
and turned limply towards the door.

To my surprise he sank heavily into the rickety chair by the stove.

"Go then," he muttered. "It's all I c'ld expect."

The door closed on her and still he sat there before the fire, head bent
forward, as though he had an audience. I shrank back closer into the
shadows, drawing my coat collar more snugly about my throat. It was
incredible that he should play a part before her--and now alone! His
very posture suggested a martyred, deserted old man. I felt myself in
the presence of something inexplicable.--Then, in a frenzy of suppressed
rancor, such as I had never felt before, I climbed the hill, the lumps
of mud and ice seeming to cling against my footsteps as I went.

       *       *       *       *       *

The winter was a bitter one that year, such as only the winters in that
Northern, prostrate land can be. The countryside appeared to crouch
under a passive, laden-colored sky. Then the snow came settling in
deeper and deeper layers, and, as it packed down, a coating of thin ice
formed on its surface. One could walk on it at times, this crust that
had grown over the land like a new skin.

We smuggled sweaters and coats to Lisbeth, making them old lest Con
suspect us. But, even with all we could do for her, her suffering must
have been without comparison. There was no fire in the shack except that
in the old rusty cook stove which she tended, and the cold made an easy
entrance through the loose carpentry of the walls. With it all there
were the loneliness and the mental agony. At first, when she did not
know how deep was Jim's devotion, there must have been times when life
held out no promise to her except that of escape.

All this time the rest of the Dartons gave no sign. Old Con, I
discovered, made occasional obscure trips to the city where he saw Lin
Darton and Miss Etta, the former established as a second-rate
real-estate dealer, the latter, as buyer for a large department store.
Later it became more apparent that it was after these trips of his that
he was able to purchase another horse. He quoted more and more
frequently from the Bible and the "Elegy." Such feeling as any of the
neighbors may have had for Lisbeth was now completely turned aside by
her tight-lipped reticence and her deft evasion of all references to her
situation. Old Con was thoroughly established as a brilliant fellow,
ruined by his family.

From the first I saw that the winter had to be endured like a famine.
Keep Jim away of course I could not, though I did persuade him, by dint
of much argument, that it would be for Lisbeth's good to meet her away
from the mill house; and what pleading he may have had with her to leave
all and come with him, then and there, I could only imagine. Each time
Lisbeth came back from these encounters a little paler, her lips a
little firmer, her eyes burning with a steadier purpose. But it was the
sort of purpose that robs instead of giving life, that strikes back on
itself while it still clings to a sort of bitter triumph. Knowing her, I
knew that it had to be so, for to despoil her of this high integrity
would be to take from her something as essentially hers as was her
sensitive spirit, her fine sureness of vision.

So we kept silence until, as the first signs of spring came on again,
while the country alternately was flooded or lay under rigid pools of
ice, the line of her mouth seemed to soften and a glow crept into her
eyes and a dreaming. I held my breath and waited. Thin she was, like
something worn to the thread. The fine color had given place to a blue
tint in the cold, and to a colorless gray as she bent over the old stove
within. But the exquisitely moulded line of cheek and chin, the grace of
motion and the deep questing light in her eyes nothing could destroy. I
believe that, to Jim, she grew more lovely as she appeared to fade.

At last the day came when the water ran in yellowed torrents in the
creek or stood in stagnant pools under a new sun, when the blood
bounded, overwarm, in the tired body. That day Old Con caught sight of
them, walking arm in arm at the top of the hill, looking down as though
to find a footing, and talking earnestly. They had never before ventured
so near the mill. Catching sight of them from some distance, I foresaw
the meeting before I could reach them. When I came close enough to see,
Lisbeth was trembling visibly, as though from a chill, and Jim stood
glowering down at Old Con.

Suddenly Lisbeth edged herself sidewise between them, shouldering Jim

"Don't touch him!" she cried. "It's what he's waiting for you to do!
Can't you see the look on his face--that wronged look of a man that's
done nothing but wrong all his life?"

She stopped, the words swelling within her, too big for utterance. Jim
put a quieting arm about her; and just then Old Con made an abrupt
motion towards her wrist.

"I guess," he said, "that a father--"

But she was before him.

"Father! He's not my father, d'ye hear? I've kept my word to him and now
I'm going to keep it to myself! You see that sun over the hills?"--She
turned to Con.--"It's the spring sun--it's summer--summer, d'ye hear?
And it's _mine_--and I'm going to have it, before I'm dead like my
mother died with her body still living! You're no more my father than
that dead tree the sun can't ever warm again!--It's for good--I said it
would be for good--and it is!"

We took her, sobbing dryly, between us, up the road.

That night in our house Lisbeth was married to Jim. A deep serenity
seemed to hang about her as though for the moment the past had been shut
away from her by a mist. As for Jim, there was a wonder in his eyes, not
unlike that I had seen when he came upon an old Lippo Lippi, and a great
comprehending reverence. There were tears at the back of my eyes--then
the beauty of the scene drove all else back before it.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is one more episode in the life of Con Darton and Lisbeth. Knowing
him, it would be incredible that there should not be. It happened some
five years later and I was concerned in it from the moment that I was
summoned unexpectedly to Mr. Lin Darton's office in the city, a dingy
though not unprosperous menage located in the cheaper part of the down
town district. I found him sitting amid an untidy litter of papers at
the table, talking through the telephone to some one who later
developed to be Miss Etta; and I had at once a feeling of suffocation
and closeness, due not alone, I believe, to the barred windows and the
steaming radiator. The family resemblance that Mr. Lin Darton bore to
Old Con threw into relief the former's honesty, and made more bearable
his heavy sentimentalism, upon which Con had played as surely as on a
bagpipe, sounding its narrow range with insistent evenness of response.

"I want to talk to you about Con," he said gravely, as soon as the
receiver had been hung up, "and--Lisbeth." He uttered his niece's name
as though it were a thing of which he could not but be ashamed.

I said nothing to this, and waited.

"As you are still in touch with her; and, as the situation is probably
already partly known to you, I thought you might be able--willing--" He
hesitated, paused; and a grieved look came into his eyes that was quite
genuine. I realized the fact coldly.

"Whatever I can do," I assured him, "I shall be glad to."

"None of us," he continued, "have seen Lisbeth since that terrible night
four years ago, when she turned Con away from her house."

I hesitated for a moment and then said: "It was three o'clock in the
morning, if I remember, and he had written that he was coming to take
her little son into the country, to give him a chance," I added
bitingly, "of some real country air."

"It was a cold night," continued Lin Darton, as though he had not heard
me, "and she has all she needs--while he--"

"To my mind, he had no business there!" I flared.

"He was her father."

He stared at me hard, as though he had uttered the final, indisputable

"He forfeited all right to that title years ago."

"When?" demanded Mr. Darton.

"On the day of her birth," I snapped back at him.

"I do not understand you," he said coldly. And, when I remained silent,
he added: "There is no greater crime than that of a child towards a

"Unless it be, perhaps, that of a father towards a child."

His sadness seemed to weigh him against the desk. I relented.

"To go against one's _own_--_against one's own_," he repeated, "and Con
so sick now--"

"You must forgive me, Mr. Darton, for my views," I said more gently,
"and tell me what I can do."

He pulled himself together at that.

"Con's all gone to pieces, you know--at the old mill house--no money--no
one to care for him. We wanted you to come out with us. Perhaps medical
care might, even now--We thought maybe," he interrupted himself hastily,
"that you could get Lisbeth to help out too--and maybe come herself--"

"Come herself!" I repeated, and my voice must have sounded the sick fear
that struck me.

"Money's not the only thing that counts when it comes to one's own
blood," he said sententiously.

There were no two ways about it, that was his final stand. So, having
assumed them of my services that afternoon, I went straight to Lisbeth.

I found her bending over the youngest baby, and, when I told her, her
body became rigid for an instant, then she stooped lower that I might
not see the shadow that had fallen across her face. Finally she left the
child and came to me with that old look of misery in her face that I had
not seen there for so long, but with far more gentleness.

"Sit down here, Tom," she said, leading me to the window seat, where the
strands of sunlight struck against her head, giving fire to her
dull-brown hair. She had changed but slightly in appearance, I thought,
from the girl that I had known five years before; still there _was_ a
change, a certain assurance was there, and a graciousness that came from
the knowledge that she was loved.

"I think you know," she began, her eyes looking not at me but straight
ahead, "that I've been happy--these five years--though perhaps not how
happy. But in spite of it all--there is always that something--that
_fear_ here--clutching at me--that it may not all be real--that it can't

Again she looked at me and turned away, but not before I had caught a
flash of terror in her eyes.

"Even with them all against me, Tom, I've stuck to it--to what I feel is
my right. This is my home--and it's Jim's home--and the children's as
well as it's mine--and, in a way, it's--inviolate. I've sworn that
nothing ugly shall come into it--nothing shall ruin it--the way our
lives were ruined out there!"

Her voice trembled, but her eyes, as she turned to me at the last, were

"I'll send something, of course," she said; "you will take it to them.
But I'll--not go."

With her message and her money I sought out Lin Darton and Miss Etta,
and together we rambled in their open Ford along those flat, dead
Illinois roads that I had not seen for so long.

It is a doctor's profession to save life, and there was a life to be
saved, if it were possible. But he was nearer to the end than I had
thought. Grega was there in that same barren room of the mill-house,
doing things in a stolid, undeft sort of way. The bed had been pulled
near the stove and the room was stuffier, more untidy than in the days
when Lisbeth had been there. The creaky bed, the unvarnished walls, and
the rusty alarm clock, that ticked insistently, all added to the sense
of flaccidity. The afternoon was late and already dark; sagging clouds
had gathered, shutting out what was left of the daylight. Miss Etta lit
a smudgy lamp, sniffling as she did so.

From under the torn quilt the man stared back at me, with much of his
old penetration, despite the fever that racked him.

"I--want--Lisbeth," were his first words to me.

I shook my head. "She cannot come just now," I told him, hand on his
wrist. "But we are here to do everything for you."

"Tel-e-phone her," he said with his old emphasis on each syllable, "and
tell--her that I'm--dy-ing. Don't answer me. You know that--_I--am
dy-ing and I--want--her_."

Miss Etta, the tears streaming over her large face, went to do his
bidding. I could hear her lumbersome footsteps going down the crazy
outside stairway. He gave me a triumphant look as I lifted his arm, then
abruptly he drew away from me. He had an ingrained fear of drugs of any
sort. There was no gainsaying his fierce refusals, so I made him as
comfortable as I could while we waited. The end was very near. His face,
thin almost to emaciation, was flushed to a deep, feverish red, but his
lips took on a more unbending line than ever and his eyes burned like
bits of phosphorescence in the semidarkness. For an hour he lay there
motionless with only the shadow of a smile touching his lips at

Miss Etta had returned, letting in a gust of damp air, but bringing no
definite answer from Lisbeth. Would she come? I remembered her
unyielding decision, her unflinching sincerity. The rain broke now
suddenly, and came roaring down the hill towards the creek. Outside the
branches of elms dragged, with a snapping of twigs, across the brittle
roof. A rusty stream of water crawled sizzling down the pipe of the
stove. It was hot--hot with the intolerable hotness of steam. The
patchwork quilt looked thick and unsmoothed. I reflected that it never
could look smoothed. And how their personalities bore down upon one with
a swamping sensation! Miss Etta and Grega and Mr. Lin Darton were
gathered into a corner of the room and an occasional whispering escaped
them. The oppression was terrific. I began to want Lisbeth, to long for
her to come, as she would come, like a cool blade cutting through
density. And yet--I was not sure. I found myself staring through the
black, shiny surface of the window, seeking relief in the obscuring
dark. It gave little vision, except its own distorted reflections, but I
could distinguish vaguely the outlines of the old mill with the shadowly
raft in the high branches and the smudgy round spots that I knew to be
the turkeys roosting.

A fiercer current tore at the framework of the mill-house. The water
rapped pitilessly against the pane. The brownish stream thickened, as it
made its way down the stovepipe and fell in flat puddles on the tin
plate beneath it.--_Would she come?_

"If she doesn't come now!" whimpered Miss Etta. "An awful

I began hoping of a sudden that she would not come. Though I craved her
presence in that insufferable room, I was afraid for her. A sort of
nameless terror had seized me that would not be dismissed. Yet what
worse thing than she had already endured could come from that bundle of
loose clothes on the bed? The figure moved uneasily under the covers and
made an indefinite motion. I could only guess at the words addressed to
Miss Etta as she bent over him. She shook her head.

"No," she said audibly, "not yet."

With one brown, fleshless hand, that lay outside the covers, he made a
gesture of resignation, but the gray eyes, turning towards me, burned

I could make out fragmentary bits of conversation that issued from the
corner of the room.

"When it comes to one's own blood--"

The rest was lost in a surge of wind and rain.

"An awful girl--"

"She ought to be--"

A low rumble came down the hill, followed by a more terrific onslaught
of rain. Outside the clap of a door came as a relief. There were steps,
then, just as I had expected, the door was thrust back and she stood
there letting in the fresh air of heaven, a slender sheaf of gray in her
long coat and small fur toque.

A satirical gleam of triumph gleamed across the sick man's face and
vanished, leaving him a wronged and silently passive creature.

"You can shut the door tight, now you've _come_," said Miss Etta. "A
draft won't do him any good."

With this greeting she turned her back. There was a moment's silence,
while Lisbeth pushed shut the flimsy door, and I, to cover her
embarrassment, helped her make it fast. I noticed then that she was
carrying a small leather case.

"Thermos bottles," she explained, as an aroma of comfort escaped them.
But the man on the bed shook his head, as she approached.

"Not now," he said plaintively. His look reproached her. Tears stood
thickly in Miss Etta's eyes. She pulled Lisbeth aside with a series of
jerks at her elbow.

"Too late for that now," I heard her whisper sententiously. And then:
"You had your chance."

I saw the hand, that disengaged Miss Etta's clutch, tremble; and for an
instant I thought the girl would break down under the benumbing
thickness of their emotion. But she merely unfastened her coat, walking
towards the window as though seeking composure, as I had, in the cold
shadows without, in the blurred outlines of the old mill and the
intrepid row of turkeys.

He beckoned to her, but she did not see him. Rapidly failing as he was,
I was certain that he was by no means without power of speech. I touched
her on the arm. His words came finally in monotonous cadences.

"I am dy-ing," he said. "You will--pray?"

I saw her catch her breath. My own hung in my throat and choked me. He
was watching her intently now with overweighted gray eyes, that could
not make one entirely forget the long cunning line of the mouth. What
courage did she have to withstand this? He was dying--of that there
could be little doubt. She had grown white to the roots of her hair.

"I do not pray," she said steadily.

His eyebrows met. "You--_do not pray_? Who--taught--you--_not to

"You did," she said quietly.

He lay back with a sigh.

"Outrageous!" murmured Miss Etta through her tears. "An awful

The man on the bed smiled. He lifted his hand and let it fall back on
the cover.

"It's all right--all right--all--right." The reddish-brown eyelids
closed slowly.

Involuntarily a wave of pity shook me. It was consummate acting. That a
man should play a part upon the very edge of life held in it something
awesome, compelling attention. I drew myself together, feeling his eyes,
sharp for all their floating sadness, upon me. Was he--? Was I--?--A
crackling of thunder shook the ground. When it had passed, the rain came
down straight and hard and windless like rapier thrusts. The room
seemed, if possible, closer, more suffocating. He beckoned to Lisbeth
and she went and stood near him. He was to put her through a still
harder ordeal.

"You have never cared for me," he whispered.

There was no sound except for the steady pour outside and the rustle of
Miss Etta's garments as she made angry motions to Lisbeth. Even at this
moment, I believe, had he shown sign of any honest wish for affection,
she would have given all she had.

"Not for many years," she said, and for the first time her voice shook.

"_Ah--h!_" His breath went inwards.

Suddenly he began to fumble among the bed clothes.

"The picture," he said incoherently, "your mother's picture. Pick it
up," he ordered, his eyelids drooping strangely. "No--no--under the

Before I could stop her she had dropped to her knees and was fumbling
among the rolls of dust under the bed. An overpowering dread had
clutched at me, forcing the air from my lungs. But in that instant he
had raised himself, by what must have been an almost incredible exercise
of will, and grabbed her by the throat.

"_Curse you!_" he cried, shaking her as one would a rat, "you and your

His hands dropped away, limp and brittle like withered leaves. He fell

       *       *       *       *       *

Of course they will always find excuses for the dead, and eulogies. Even
as I helped her into Jim's small curtained car and took my place at the
wheel, I knew that the things that they would say about her would be
more than I could bear. We plunged forward, and a moment later, rounding
a curve, our headlights came full upon the outlines of the old farm with
its hideous false façade. I could not resist glancing at her, though I
said nothing. Her eyes were on her hands, held loosely in her lap. She
did not look at me until, with another lurch, we had swung about again,
and all but the road in front of us was drawn back swiftly into
obscurity. I found that she had turned towards me then, and, as I laid
one hand across her arm, I felt her relax to a relieved trembling.
Before us the night crowded down over the countryside, masking its
ugliness like a film, through which our lights cut a white fissure
towards town.



(From _The Smart Set_)

When I sit down to write of Shelby--Lucien Atterwood Shelby, the author,
whose romantic books you must have read, or at least heard of--I find
myself at some difficulty to know where to begin. I knew him so well at
one time--so little at another; and men, like houses, change with the
years. Today's tenant in some old mansion may not view the garden as you
did long ago; and the friend of a man's later years may not hold the
same opinions the acquaintance of an earlier period once formed.

I think it best to begin with the time I met Shelby on the newspaper
where we both, as cub reporters, worked. That was exactly twenty years

The boys didn't take to Shelby. He was too dapper, too good-looking, and
he always carried a stick, as he called it; we were unregenerate enough
to say cane. And, most loathsome of all, he had an English
accent--though he was born in Illinois, we afterwards learned. You can
imagine how this accent nettled us, for we were all unassuming
lads--chaps, Shelby would have called us--and we detested "side."

But how this new acquisition to the staff could write! It bothered us to
see him hammer out a story in no time, for most of us had to work over
our copy, and we made Hanscher, the old managing editor, raving mad
sometimes with our dilatoriness. I am afraid that in those sadly distant
days we frequented too many bars, and no doubt we wasted some of our
energy and decreased our efficiency. But every young reporter drank more
or less; and when Shelby didn't mix with us, and we discovered that he
took red wine with his dinner at Mouqin's--invariably alone--we hated
him more than ever.

I remember well how Stanton, the biggest-hearted fellow the Lord ever
let live, announced one night in the copy room that he was going to get
Shelby tight or die in the attempt, and how loud a laugh went up at his

"It can't be done," was the verdict.

The man hadn't enough humanity, we figured. He was forever dramatizing
himself, forever attitudinizing. And those various suits of his--how
they agonized us! We were slouches, I know, with rumpled hair and, I
fear not overparticular as to our linen during the greater part of the
week. Some of us had families to support, even in those young days--or
at least a father or a mother up the State to whom we had to send a
monthly cheque out of our meagre wages.

I can't say that we were envious of Shelby because of his
single-blessedness--he was only twenty-two at that time; but it hurt us
to know that he didn't really have to work in Herald Square, and that he
had neat bachelor quarters down in Gramercy Park, and a respectable club
or two, and week-ended almost where he chose. His blond hair was always
beautifully plastered over a fine brow, and he would never soil his
forehead by wearing a green shade when he bent over his typewriter late
at night. That would have robbed him of some of his dignity, made him
look anything but the English gentleman he was so anxious to appear.

I think he looked upon us as just so much dust beneath his feet. He
would say "Good evening" in a way that irritated every one of us--as
though the words had to be got out somehow, and he might as well say
them and get them over with, and as though he dreaded any reply. You
couldn't have slapped him on the back even if you had felt the impulse;
he wasn't the to-be-slapped kind. And of course that means that he
wouldn't have slapped any of us, either. And he was the type you
couldn't call by his first name.

Looking back, I sometimes think of all that he missed in the way of
good-fellowship; for we were the most decent staff in New York, as
honest and generous and warmly human a bunch as anyone could hope to
find. We were ambitious, too, mostly college men, and we had that
passion for good writing, perhaps not in ourselves, but in others, which
is so often the newspaper man's special endowment. We were swift to
recognize a fine passage in one another's copy; and praise from old
Hanscher meant a royal little dinner at Engel's with mugs of cream ale,
and an hour's difference in our arrival at the office next day. Oh,
happy, vanished times! Magic moments that peeped through the grayness of
hard work, and made the whole game so worth while.

Well, Stanton won out. He told us about it afterwards.

On the pretext that he wanted to ask Shelby's advice about some
important personal matter, he urged him to let him give him as good a
meal as Mouqin could provide, with a certain vintage of French wine
which he knew Shelby was fond of. There were cocktails to begin with,
though Shelby had intimated more than once that he abominated the
bourgeois American habit of indulging in such poison. And there was an
onion soup _au gratin_, a casserole, and artichokes, and special coffee,
and I don't know what else.

"He got positively human," Stanton put it, later, as we clustered round
him in the copy room. (Shelby hadn't turned up.) "I don't like him, you
know; and at first it was hard to get through the soup; but I acted up,
gave him a song and dance about my mythical business matter--I think he
feared I was going to 'touch him'--and finally got a little tipsy
myself. From then on it was easy. It was like a game."

It seems that afterwards, arm in arm, they walked out into Sixth Avenue
in the soft snow--it was winter, and the Burgundy had done the
trick--and Shelby, his inhibitions completely gone, began to weep.

"Why are you crying?" Stanton asked, his own voice thick.

"Because you fellers don't like me!" Shelby choked out.

The accent and the stick went together into the gutter, Stanton
laughingly told us. An immortal moment! The poseur with his mask off, at
last! Beneath all that grease-paint and charlatanism there was a solid,
suffering, lonely man; and even in his own dazed condition Stanton was
quick to recognize it, and to rejoice in the revelation.

Moreover, he was flattered, as we always are, when our judgments have
proved right. Stanton had deliberately set out to find the real
Shelby--and he had.

"A man who can write as he can has something in him--that I know," he
had said generously more than once. He made us see that he had not been

But it was not the real Shelby that returned to the office. That is
where he missed his great opportunity. Back strutted the pompous,
stained-glass, pitiful imitation of an Englishman, in a louder suit than
ever, and with a big new cane that made the old one look flimsy.

We despised him more than ever. For we would have taken him within our
little circle gladly after Stanton's sure report; and there would have
been chance after chance for him to make good with us. But no; he
preferred the pose of aloofness, and his face betrayed that he was
ashamed of that one night's weakness. He never alluded to his evening
with Stanton; and when Minckle, who was certain the ice had been broken,
put his arm around his shoulder the next day, he looked and drawled,

"I say, old top, I wish you wouldn't."

Of course that finished him with us.

"He can go to the devil," we said.

We wanted him fired, obliterated; but the very next evening there was a
murder in Harlem, and old Hanscher sent Shelby to cover it, and his
first-page story was the talk of the town. We were sports enough to tell
him what a wonderful thing he had done. He only smiled, said "Thanks,"
and went on at his typewriter.


It was shortly after this that Marguerite Davis assailed New York with
her beauty--a young actress with a wealth of hair and the kind of eyes
you dream of. She captured the critics and the public alike. Her name
was on every lip and the Broadway theater where she starred in "The
Great Happiness" was packed to the doors. Such acclaim was never
received by any young woman. We heard that Shelby went every night for a
week to see some part of the play--he couldn't, because of his
assignments, view the entire performance; and it was Minckle who, after
the piece had been running a month in New York, found a photograph of
the star in the top drawer of Shelby's desk. He had gone there for a
match--you know how informal we newspaper men are. Moreover, the picture
had been autographed.

"I wish you wouldn't touch that." It was Shelby's voice. Of course he
had come in at the very moment poor Minckle made his startling

With quiet dignity, and with a flush on his cheeks, Shelby took the
photograph from Minckle's hand, and replaced it in the drawer.

"I always keep matches on top of my desk--when I have any," he said, in
a voice like ice.

There was no denying his justified anger. No man likes to have his heart
secrets disclosed; and Shelby knew that even the Associated Press could
not give more publicity to the discovery than Minckle could. He
dreaded--and justly, I think--the wagging of heads that would be noticed
from now on, the pitiless interest in his amour.

Stanton was the only one of us, except myself, later, who ever was
privileged, if you care to put it that way, to visit Shelby's
apartment--diggings, Shelby always called them. There, on the walls, he
told us, were innumerable photographs of Miss Davis, in every
conceivable pose. They looked out at one from delicate and heavy frames;
and some were stuck informally in the mirror of his dresser, as though
casually placed there to lighten up the beginning of each day, or
perhaps because there was no other space for them.

"You must know her awfully well," Stanton ventured once.

"I have never met the lady," was all Shelby said; and Stanton told me
there was a sigh that followed the remark.

"What!" this full-blooded young American reporter cried, astounded.
"You've never met this girl, and yet you have all these--all these
pictures of her?"

"I don't want to lose my dream, my illusion," was Shelby's answer.

A man who would not meet the toast of Broadway--and Fifth Avenue, for
that matter--if he could, was, to Stanton and the rest of us,

It was at the close of that winter that Shelby left us. Some there were
who said he was suffering from a broken heart. At any rate, he began to
free-lance; and the first of those fascinating romantic short stories
that he did so well appeared in one of the magazines. There was always a
poignant note in them. They dealt with lonely men who brooded in secret
on some unattainable woman of dreams. This sounds precious; but the
tales were saved from utter banality by a certain richness of style, a
flow and fervour that carried the reader on through twenty pages without
his knowing it. They struck a fresh note, they were filled with the fire
of youth, and the scenes were always laid in some far country, which
gave them, oddly enough, a greater reality. Shelby could pile on
adjectives as no other writer of his day, I always thought, and he could
weave a tapestry, or create an embroidery of words that was almost

He made a good deal of money, I believe, during those first few months
after he went away from Herald Square. Apparently he had no friends,
and, as I have said, invariably he seemed to dine alone at Mouqin's, at
a corner table. Afterwards, he would go around to the Café Martin, then
in its glory, where Fifth Avenue and Broadway meet, for his coffee and a
golden liqueur and a cigarette. That flaming room, which we who were
fortunate enough to have our youth come to a glorious fruition in 1902,
attracted us all like a magnet. Here absinthe dripped into tall glasses,
and the seats around the sides, the great mirrors and the golden
curtains, which fluttered in summer and remained austerely in place in
winter, made a little heaven for us all, and life one long cry of joy.
Here women, like strange flowers that bloomed only at night, smiled and
laughed the hours away; and the low whirr of Broadway drifted in, while
the faint thunder of Fifth Avenue lent an added mystery to the place, as
though the troubled world were shut out but could be reached again in an
instant, if you wished to reach it.

Shelby liked to be seen in such places. He said he felt that he was on
the Continent, and he liked to get nervously excited over a liqueur and
a mazagan of coffee, and then flee to his cozy lodgings in Gramercy Park
and produce page after page of closely written manuscript.

The pictures of Marguerite Davis remained a part of the furnishings of
those rooms of his--that we heard; and I knew it directly shortly after
this. For I, too, left the newspaper, and went into the magazine-editing
game. I found a berth on that same popular periodical to which Shelby
was then contributing his matchless stories; and part of my job was to
see him frequently, take him to luncheon or dinner, talk over his future
plans with him, discuss the possibility of his doing a novelette which
later he could expand into a full-sized volume and thereby gain an added

It was during this period that I came to know him so well--came to know
him, that is, as intimately as he wished to be known. Always there was a
cloak of reserve which he put on with me, as with every one. I tried to
broaden his horizon, to have him meet other men--and women. He would go
with me once or twice to some party, for he was clever enough to see
that he must not offend me, just as he knew that I must not offend him.
We were too valuable to each other, and in that odd mixing up of our
affairs in this world here we were, after so brief an interval, in the
relationship of editor and contributor.

He knew, however, that I had always admired his literary gifts; but I
confess that the feet of clay began to creep into view when he told me,
one night at the Martin, that his favorite novelist of all time
was--Marion Crawford! That explained so much to me that I had not
understood before. I smiled tolerantly, for my own taste ran much
higher; and I seemed from then on to sense a certain cheapness in
Shelby's mind, as if I had lifted the cloth over a chair and discovered
cherrywood where I had hoped to find Chippendale. It is through such
marginalia that we come to know people. I could not reconcile Shelby's
delicate style with so forlorn a taste for other literary dishes. I said
then that he would never become a great writer. He would simply mark
time, artistically speaking, after reaching a certain point. Thereafter
everything he produced would be but repetition.

I was right. His virgin novel proved a rank failure. The man could do
nothing sustained. He was essentially a person of brilliant flashes. The
book, called, as you may remember, "The Shadow and the Substance," was a
_tour de force_ in vapid writing, and it almost severed his literary
jugular vein. All the reviewers, delighted with a chance to play upon
his title, said it contained far more shadow than substance.

Shelby had had easy sailing up till that time. His pride was hurt by the
reception of the book; and he told me he was going to flee to
London--which he straightway did. Then I heard of him in his beloved
England; and from there he sent me several short manuscripts filled with
his old grace and charm of style--a sort of challenge to his critics.
But always we waited for the story with a punch; for the story that
would show there was a soul in the fellow. These pale blossoms were all
very well--as magazine bait to capture the young girl reader of our
smart periodical; but too many of them cloyed. It was as though you
served a banquet and made _hors d'oeuvres_ the main dish.

Yet his popularity with our readers was tremendous. Letters, addressed
in feminine handwriting, came to him in our care every day, from all
over the land; and he was no doubt flattered by silly women who were
fascinated even more by his fiction after we printed his romantic
photograph. For he had a profile that captivated many a girl, eyes that
seemed to speak volumes; and no doubt there were numerous boudoirs that
contained his picture, just as his rooms contained so many likenesses of
Marguerite Davis.

I next heard of him in Egypt, where he said he was gathering colour for
a new romance. He stayed away several months, and then blew in one
morning, better-looking than ever, brown and clear-eyed. He had been all
over the Orient, and he said his note-book was full of material. Now he
could sit down quietly and write. He had so much to put on paper, he
told me.

But he hadn't. He dreamed adventure, he craved adventure; but nothing
ever happened to him. His trips were invariably on glassy seas. He
traveled by himself--he hadn't even one chum whom he cared to have share
his joys; and though he penetrated the jungles of Africa at one time,
the lions remained mysteriously in hiding, and the jaguars didn't even

I remember that this came out one night at a dinner party he and I went
to at the home of a friend of mine. A Captain Diehart was there--a most
delightful man of fifty or so, who had just returned from a trip around
the world; and he fascinated us all by his lively recounting of certain
dramatic happenings in the Far East. Zulus had captured him once, and he
had come perilously close to death on so many occasions that it was a
miracle that he should be sitting here now, sipping his champagne and
smoking his cigarette.

On the way home--I had a habit of seeing Shelby to his doorstep during
this period--he turned to me and said:

"Isn't it strange, Allison, that nothing of that kind has ever happened
to me? I move about all the while, I look eagerly for excitement, I hope
always for the supreme adventure--and I never find it. Yet I love
romance. Why does it never come to me?"

I was silent for a few paces. I felt so sorry for him. For once he had
told me what was in his heart.

"You're in love with love," I said finally. "That's what's the matter
with your work, Shelby, if you'll let me say so. I wonder if you have
really loved a woman--or a friend, even? If the great thing should come
into your life, wouldn't it illuminate your whole literary expression?
Wouldn't you write eighty per cent better. Wouldn't everything you do be
sharpened splendidly alive? Why don't you meet--Miss Davis?"

"My God, man!" he let out. "Won't you allow me to keep at least one

He tried to be tragic right there in the street; but I read him like a

"Don't be an ass, old fellow. You're not a poet, you know--you're a
happy dabbler in prose; but you've got to wake up--you've got to have
some vital experience before you can hope to reach the top. This
vicarious loving isn't worth a tin whistle. You're like a soldier in the
barracks compared to one who's in the thick of the fight. Wake up, shake
yourself, get out of your shell, and see how much greater you'll be!"

He didn't like that. He never liked the truth. How few of us do!

The next thing I knew he was off for Japan, and he sent me pretty
post-cards of geisha-girls, and tried to indicate that he was having the
time of his life, at last. But there was something false--I cannot quite
express it--about his messages. They didn't ring true at all. He knew
it, and he knew that I knew it.


When he came back, after a year or so, there was a vast change in him.
He was more sure of himself; and in the Martin one night he told me how
various other periodicals were now after him. His rate would have to go
up, and all that sort of thing. He liked me, and _The Athenian_, but one
must grow, and there were wider fields for him to penetrate; and it was
all right that we had made him what he was, but in the final summing up
a man must think of himself, and one's career was one's career, you
know. He brought in several fashionable names, I remember--I don't
recall just how he did it, but he tried to appear casual when he spoke
of Mrs. Thus-and-So, who had a mansion on Fifth Avenue; and he indicated
that he often dined there now. They had met in the Orient, and Reggie
was a corker, too, and he might summer at Newport, and what did I think
of an offer of five thousand dollars from a great weekly for a serial
dealing with high life?

He sickened me that evening. Yes, he was a prig, a snob, and I don't
know what else. Frankly and coldly I told him to go to the dickens. Our
magazine had existed without him once upon a time, and it could go on
existing without him. I was sorry to see him make such a fool of

His whole attitude changed.

"Oh, don't think I mean all I say, Allison!" he pleaded. "I'll continue
to give you something now and again. After all, I've got a wide audience
with you people, and I don't quite wish to lose it."

That irritated me more than ever--his stupid patronage, his abominable
self-assurance. I remember paying the check very grandiloquently, and
leaving him alone--as he was so fond of being, at one time--in the
center of the room.

When we met thereafter of course we were exceedingly chilly to each
other. Once I saw him with Mrs. Thus-and-So, and he cut me dead. I
suppose I looked painfully inadequate, utterly unimportant to him that
afternoon. He had moved to higher circles; and after all I was only a
struggling young editor, who dressed rather badly--; all right for
certain occasions, but hardly one to be seen bowing to at a moment like
this! I read his mind, you see; and again he knew that I knew; and of
course he hated me from that time forth.

It was at this time that the phrase, "See America First," came into such
wide circulation. It was considered the thing to look over the Grand
Canyon or the Yellowstone Park, or to run down to Florida, rather than
cross the ocean; and I next heard of Shelby in the West, diligently
writing--for other magazines. He had brought out one more novel, "The
Orange Sunset," and it had gone far better than the first, which must
have heartened him and given him a fresh impetus. He changed book
publishers, too--went to a smarter firm who did much for him in the way
of publicity. And special editions, in limp covers, helped his sales.
Even his short stories were brought out, and as little brochures, in
gorgeous binding with colored illustrations, a single tale would attract
the romantic maiden. It was a chocolate-cream appeal; but cream-drops
have their uses in this weary world.

The San Francisco earthquake--I believe they always allude to it out
there as "the fire"--occurred--that next year; and Stanton, who had
succeeded old Hanscher in Herald Square--the latter had died in harness
at his desk--heard, in that mysterious way that newspaper men hear
everything, that Shelby was in the ill-fated city when the earth rocked
on that disastrous night. Immediately he telegraphed him, "Write two
thousand words of your experiences, your sensations in calamity. Wire
them immediately. Big check awaits you."

Silence followed. Stanton and I talked it over, and we concluded that
Shelby must have been killed.

"If he isn't dead, here at last is the great adventure he has been
longing for," I couldn't help saying.

No word ever came from him; but two weeks later he blew into town, and
again Stanton found out that he had arrived.

"Why didn't you answer my wire?" he telephoned him.

"I couldn't," Shelby rather whimpered over the line. "You see, Stanton,
old top, the thing got me too deeply. I just couldn't--I hope you'll
understand--write one word of it."

But it was not the grief of the man who feels so deeply that he cannot
shed a tear. It was the craven in Shelby that had shocked the
meretricious Shelby into insensibility, into utter inarticulateness in
one of the crowning disasters of the ages.

In the face of something so real, so terribly real, he was but a puny
worm, with no vocabulary to express his emotions--for he had none, save
the emotion of fear. That we knew from people who had been at the same
hotel where he was stopping when the great shock came. He ran through
the corridors like a frightened doe, in pajamas of silk, with wonderful
tassels of green. He wrung his hands, and babbled like a lunatic. "Oh,
my manuscripts! My manuscripts!" were the only intelligible words that
came from his white lips.

Think of it! He thought of those piffling stories--those stories of
unreality, when he was experiencing the biggest thing that ever came
into his little life! Do you wonder that we cared even less for him
after that? That I refused to see him at all, and that even wise,
understanding Bill Stanton couldn't touch his syndicate stuff?


There is, of necessity, a hiatus here. One cannot write of what one does
not know. I lost all trace of Shelby during the intervening years,
except that I saw spasmodic productions of his in various periodicals,
and guessed that he must be working in those same bachelor quarters
probably still surrounded with the pictures of Miss Davis. There were
rumors, also, that he went frequently to the opera with very grand
people, and dined and supped on Lower as well as Upper Fifth Avenue. It
was whispered in editorial circles that he had come to care more as to
where he could dine next week than how he could write next week. You
see, he was most personable, and he could flatter ladies, and drink like
a gentleman, and wear his evening clothes to perfection--he still had
them made in London--and that sort of unmarried man is always in demand
in New York. Add to these social graces the piquancy of a little
literary reputation, and you have the perfect male butterfly.

Shelby fluttered his way through the corridors and drawing rooms of the
rich, and his later work, if you will notice, always touches upon what
is called smart society. We heard that he never mentioned his newspaper
days--that he was not a little ashamed of having spent so many months
bending over a typewriter in a dingy, cluttered office. Yet it was there
he had learned to write; and had he been true to the best traditions of
those days of exciting assignments, how far he might have gone on the
long literary road!

The war came. Of course Shelby was beyond the draft age--quite far
beyond it; but he had no ties, was in perfect physical condition, and he
might have found in the trenches another contact that would have made a
thorough man of him. Again, he had always loved England and the English
so dearly that it would not have been surprising had he offered his
services in some way to that country when she and her allies so needed
assistance. But the lists of those who offered their lives then may be
searched in vain for Shelby's name.

I heard vaguely that he had gone to Borneo in September, 1914; and there
he remained, "to avoid such a nasty mess as the world had come to." You
see, his was a process of evasion. He loved romance when it was sweet
and beautiful; but he had not the vision to understand that there is
also a hard, stern, iron romance--the romance of men's companionships in
difficult places.

How he did it, I never knew; but he returned from Borneo a year later,
and handed to his publishers a novel called "The Blowing Rose," which
dealt, as its title would indicate, with anything but the War--a
sentimental tale of the old South, full of lattices and siestas through
long, slow afternoons, and whispered words of love, and light
conversations at dusk, and all that sort of rot. And all the while,
outside his door the guns were booming; at the gates of the world a
perilous storm had broken. The earth was on fire; but while Rome burned,
he, like Nero, played a fiddle--and was content.

Then he wrote a comedy of British manners, and nothing would do but that
he must himself journey to London in war-time to see about its
production there.

Stanton and I happened to see him the day before he sailed. We met him
face to face on Fifth Avenue, and he bowed to us. We returned the
salute, little dreaming that never again would we see him.

For Shelby sailed on the _Lusitania_.

There must be a hiatus here, too; for no one saw him die. The story runs
that he must have been in his cabin when the awful moment came--that he
was drowned like a rat in a trap. I wonder. And I wonder if he knew in
that agonizing instant that he was doomed? But was it not better to die
than to emerge again from so great a calamity--so historical an
episode--as he had once before emerged, and find himself again
inarticulate? At least there can be some glory for him now; for one
likes to think that, after all, he might have told us how he felt in so
supreme a moment, and linked it, through his delicate art, with his San
Francisco sensations. Could those have been revived, and put upon paper?
Could Shelby ever have made a fine gesture, know himself as we knew him,
and told the truth.

I doubt it. For, looking over his published works tonight, I find only
one or two epigrams worthy of a brief existence. And one of those I am
sure he filched from an English wit, and redressed it for his purposes.
That was the only time he cared for American tailoring.

But poor Shelby! Vicarious, indeed, were all the experiences, save two,
of his shallow days. But in the face of each, he was speechless. There
is a law of averages, a law of compensation, you know. The balance wheel
turns; the tides change; the sands of occasion shift. Fate gave this man
one overwhelmingly glorious chance to say something. He was mute. The
second time she sealed his lips forever.



(From _Harper's Magazine_)

After twenty years I saw Deolda Costa again, Deolda who, when I was a
girl, had meant to me beauty and romance. There she sat before me,
large, mountainous, her lithe gypsy body clothed in fat. Her dark eyes,
beautiful as ever, still with a hint of wildness, met mine proudly. And
as she looked at me the old doubts rose again in my mind, a cold chill
crawled up my back as I thought what was locked in Deolda's heart. My
mind went back to that night twenty years ago, with the rain beating its
devil's tattoo against the window, when all night long I sat holding
Deolda's hand while she never spoke or stirred the hours through, but
stared with her crazy, smut-rimmed eyes out into the storm where Johnny
Deutra was. I heard again the shuttle of her feet weaving up and down
the room through the long hours.

It was a strange thing to see Deolda after having known her as I did.
There she was, with her delight of life all changed into youngsters and
fat. There she was, heavy as a monument, and the devil in her divided
among her children--though Deolda had plenty of devil to divide.

My first thought was: "Here's the end of romance. To think that you once
were love, passion, and maybe even carried death in your hand--and when
I look at you now!"

Then the thought came to me, "After all, it is a greater romance that
she should have triumphed completely, that the weakness of remorse has
never set its fangs in her heart." She had seized the one loophole that
life had given her and had infused her relentless courage into another's

I was at the bottom of Deolda Costa's coming to live with my aunt
Josephine Kingsbury, for I had been what my mother called "peaked," and
was sent down to the seashore to visit her. And suddenly I, an inland
child, found myself in a world of romance whose very colors were
changed. I had lived in a world of swimming green with faint blue
distance; hills ringed us mildly; wide, green fields lapped up to our
houses; islands of shade trees dotted the fields.

My world of romance was blue and gray, with the savage dunes glittering
gold in the sun. Here life was intense. Danger lurked always under the
horizon. Lights, like warning eyes, flashed at night, and through the
drenching fog, bells on reefs talked to invisible ships. Old men who
told tales of storm and strange, savage islands, of great catches of
fish, of smuggling, visited my aunt.

Then, as if this were merely the background of a drama, Deolda Costa
came to live with us in a prosaic enough fashion, as a "girl to help

If you ask me how my aunt, a decent, law-abiding woman--a sick woman at
that--took a firebrand like Deolda into her home, all I would be able to
answer is: If you had seen her stand there, as I did, on the porch that
morning, you wouldn't ask the question. The doorbell rang and my aunt
opened it, I tagging behind. There was a girl there who looked as though
she were daring all mankind, a strange girl with skin tawny, like sand
on a hot day, and dark, brooding eyes. My aunt said:

"You want to see me?"

The girl glanced up slowly under her dark brows that looked as if they
had been drawn with a pencil.

"I've come to work for you," she said in a shy, friendly fashion. "I'm a
real strong girl."

No one could have turned her away, not unless he were deaf and blind,
not unless he were ready to murder happiness. I was fifteen and
romantic, and I was bedazzled just as the others were. She made me think
of dancing women I have heard of, and music, and of soft, starlit
nights, velvet black. She was more foreign than anything I had ever seen
and she meant to me what she did to plenty of others--romance. She must
have meant it to my aunt, sick as she was and needing a hired girl. So
when Deolda asked, in that soft way of hers:

"Shall I stay?"

"Yes," answered my aunt, reluctantly, her eyes on the girl's lovely

While she stood there, her shoulders drooping, her eyes searching my
aunt's face, she still found time to shoot a glance like a flaming
signal to Johnny Deutra, staring at her agape. I surprised the glance,
and so did my aunt Josephine, who must have known she was in for nothing
but trouble. And so was Johnny Deutra, for from that first glance of
Deolda's that dared him, love laid its heavy hand on his young

"What's your name, dear?" my aunt asked.

"Deolda Costa," said she.

"Oh, you're one-armed Manel's girl. I don't remember seeing you about

"I been working to New Bedford. My father an' mother both died. I came
up for the funeral. I--don't want to go back to the mills--" Then sudden
fury flamed in her. "I hate the men there!" she cried. "I'd drown before
I'd go back!"

"There, there, dear," my aunt soothed her. "You ain't going back--you're
going to work for Auntie Kingsbury."

That was the way Deolda had. She never gave one any chance for an
illusion about her, for there was handsome Johnny Deutra still hanging
round the gate watching Deolda, and she already held my aunt's heart in
her slender hand.

My aunt went around muttering, "One-armed Manel's girl!" She appealed to
me: "She's got to live somewhere, hasn't she?"

I imagine that my aunt excused herself for deliberately, running into
foul weather by telling herself that Deolda Was her "lot," something the
Lord had sent her to take care of.

"Who was one-armed Manel?" I asked, tagging after my aunt.

"Oh, he was a queer old one-armed Portygee who lived down along," said
my aunt, "clear down along under the sand dunes in a green-painted house
with a garden in front of it with as many colors as Joseph's coat. Those
Costas lived 'most any way." Then my aunt added, over her shoulder:
"They say the old woman was a gypsy and got married to one-armed Manel
jumping over a broomstick. And I wouldn't wonder a mite if 'twas true.
She was a queer looking old hag with black, piercing eyes and a proud
way of walking. The boys are a wild crew. Why, I remember this girl
Deolda, like a little leopard cat with blue-black shadows in her hair
and eyes like saucers, selling berries at the back door!"

My uncle Ariel, Aunt Josephine's brother, came in after a while. As he
took a look at Deolda going out of the room, he said:

"P--hew! What's that?"

"I told you I was sick and had to get a girl to help out--what with
Susie visiting and all," said my aunt, very short.

"Help out? Help out! My lord! _help out!_ What's her name--Beth Sheba?"

Now this wasn't as silly as it sounded. I suppose what Uncle Ariel meant
was that Deolda made him think of Eastern queens and Araby. But my
attention was distracted by the appearance of two wild-looking boys with
a green-blue sea chest which served Deolda as a trunk. I followed it to
her room and started making friends with Deolda, who opened the trunk,
and I glimpsed something embroidered in red flowers.

"Oh, Deolda, let me see. Oh, let me see!" I cried.

It was a saffron shawl all embroidered with splotchy red flowers as big
as my hand. It made me tingle as it lay there in its crinkly folds,
telling of another civilization and other lands than our somber shores.
The shawl and its crawling, venomous, alluring flowers marked Deolda off
from us. She seemed to belong to the shawl and its scarlet insinuations.

"That was my mother's," she said. Then she added this astounding thing:
"My mother was a great dancer. All Lisbon went wild about her. When she
danced the whole town went crazy. The bullfighters and the princes would

"But how--?" I started, and stopped, for Deolda had dropped beside the
chest and pressed her face in the shawl, and I remembered that her
mother was dead only a few days ago, and I couldn't ask her how the
great dancer came to be in Dennisport in the cabin under the dunes. I
tiptoed out, my heart thrilled with romance for the gypsy dancer's

When my aunt was ready for bed there was no Deolda. Later came the sound
of footsteps and my aunt's voice in the hall outside my room.

"That you, Deolda?"


"Where were you all evening?"

"Oh, just out under the lilacs."

"For pity's sake! Out under the lilacs! What were you doing out there?"

Deolda's voice came clear and tranquil. "Making love with Johnny

I held my breath. What can you do when a girl tells the truth unabashed.

"I've known Johnny Deutra ever since he came from the Islands, Deolda,"
my aunt said, sternly. "He'll mean it when he falls in love."

"I know it," said Deolda, with a little breathless catch in her voice.

"He's only a kid. He's barely twenty," my aunt went on, inexorably.
"He's got to help his mother. He's not got enough to marry; any girl who
married him would have to live with the old folks. Look where you're
going, Deolda."

There was silence, and I heard their footsteps going to their rooms.

The next day Deolda went to walk, and back she came, old Conboy driving
her in his motor. Old Conboy was rich; he had one of the first motors on
the Cape, when cars were still a wonder. After that Deolda went off in
Conboy's motor as soon as her dishes were done and after supper there
would be handsome Johnny Deutra. We were profoundly shocked. You may be
sure village tongues were already busy after a few days of these goings

"Deolda," my aunt said, sternly, "what are you going out with that old
Conboy for?"

"I'm going to marry him," Deolda answered.

"You're _what_?"

"Going to marry him," Deolda repeated in her cool, truthful way that
always took my breath.

"Has he asked you?" my aunt inquired, sarcastically.

"No, but he will," said Deolda. She looked out under her long, slanting
eyes that looked as if they had little red flames dancing in the depths
of them.

"But you love Johnny," my aunt went on.

She nodded three times with the gesture of a little girl.

"Do you know what you're headed for, Deolda?" said my aunt. "Do you know
what you're doing when you talk about marrying old Conboy and loving
that handsome, no-account kid, Johnny?"

We were all three sitting on the bulkheads after supper. It was one of
those soft nights with great lazy yellow clouds with pink edges sailing
down over the rim of the sea, fleet after fleet of them. I was terribly
interested in it all, but horribly shocked, and from my vantage of
fifteen years I said.

"Deolda, I think you ought to marry Johnny."

"Fiddledeedee!" said my aunt. "If she had sense she wouldn't marry
either one of 'em--one's too old, one's too young."

"She ought to marry Johnny and make a man of him," I persisted, for it
seemed ridiculous to me to call Johnny Deutra a boy when he was twenty
and handsome as a picture in a book.

My prim words touched some sore place in Deolda. She gave a brief
gesture with her hands and pushed the idea from her.

"I can't," she said, "I can't do it over again. Oh, I can't--I can't.
I'm afraid of emptiness--empty purses, empty bellies. The last words my
mother spoke were to me. She said, '_Deolda, fear nothing but
emptiness--empty bellies, empty hearts._' She left me something, too."

She went into the house and came back with the saffron shawl, its long
fringe trailing on the floor, its red flowers venomous and lovely in the
evening light.

"You've seen my mother," she said, "but you've seen her a poor old
woman. She had everything in the world once. She gave it up for love.
I've seen what love comes to. I've seen my mother with her hands callous
with work and her temper sharp as a razor edge nagging my father, and my
father cursing out us children. She had a whole city in love with her
and she gave up everything to run away with my father. He was jealous
and wanted her for himself. He got her to marry him. Then he lost his
arm and they were poor and her voice went. I've seen where love goes. If
I married Johnny I'd go and live at Deutra's and I'd have kids, and old
Ma Deutra would hate me and scream at me just like my mother used to. It
would be going back, right back in the trap I've just come out of."

What she said gave me an entirely new vision of life and love. "They
were married and lived happy ever afterward" was what I had read in
books. Now I saw all at once the other side of the medal. It was my
first contact, too, with a nature strong enough to attempt to subdue
life to will. I had seen only the subservient ones who had accepted

Deolda was a fierce and passionate reaction against destiny. It's a
queer thing, when you think of it, for a girl to be brought up face to
face with the wreck of a tragic passion, to grow up in the house with
love's ashes and to see what were lovers turned into an old hag and a
cantankerous, one-armed man nagging each other.

My aunt made one more argument. "What makes you get married to any of
'em, Deolda?"

Now Deolda looked at her with a queer look; then she gave a queer laugh
like a short bark.

"I can't stay here forever. I'm not going back to the mill."

Then my aunt surprised me by throwing her arms around Deolda and kissing
her and calling her "my poor lamb," while Deolda leaned up against my
aunt as if she were her own little girl and snuggled up in a way that
would break your heart.

One afternoon soon after old Conboy brought Deolda home before tea time,
and as she jumped out:

"Oh, all right!" he called after her. "Have your own way; I'll marry you
if you want me to!"

She made him pay for this. "You see," she said to my aunt, "I told you I
was going to marry him."

"Well, then come out motoring tonight when you've got your dishes done,"
called old Conboy.

"I'm going to the breakwater with Johnny Deutra tonight," said Deolda,
in that awful truthful way of hers.

"You see what you get," said my aunt, "if you marry that girl."

"I'll get worse not marrying her," said Conboy. "I may die any minute;
I've a high blood pressure, and maybe a stroke will carry me off any
day. But I've never wanted anything in many years as I want to hold
Deolda in my arms."

"Shame on you!" cried my aunt. "An old man like you!"

So things went on. Johnny kept right on coming. My aunt would fume about
it, but she did nothing. We were all under Deolda's enchantment. As for
me, I adored her; she had a look that always disarmed me. She would sit
brooding with a look I had come to know as the "Deolda look." Tears
would come to her eyes and slide down her face.

"Deolda," I would plead, "what are you crying about?"

"Life," she answered.

But I knew that she was crying because Johnny Deutra was only a boy.
Then she would change into a mood of wild gayety, whip the shawl around
her, and dance for me, looking a thousand times more beautiful than
anyone I had ever seen. And then she would shove me out of the room,
leaving me feeling as though I had witnessed some strange rite at once
beautiful and unholy.

She'd sit mocking Conboy, but he'd only smile. She'd go off with her
other love and my aunt powerless to stop her. As for Johnny Deutra, he
was so in love that all he saw was Deolda. I don't believe he ever
thought that she was in earnest about old Conboy.

So things stood when one day Capt. Mark Hammar came driving up with
Conboy to take Deolda out. Mark was his real name, but Nick was what
they called him, after the "Old Nick," for he was a devil if there ever
was one, a big, rollicking devil--that is, outwardly. But gossips said
no crueller man ever drove a crew for the third summer into the Northern
Seas. I didn't like the way he looked at Deolda from the first, with his
narrowed eyes and his smiling mouth. My aunt didn't like the way she
signaled back to him. We watched them go, my aunt saying

"No good'll come of that!" And no good did.

All three of them came back excited and laughing. Old Conboy, tall as
Mark Hammar, wide-shouldered, shambling like a bear, but a fine figure
of an old fellow for all that; Mark Hammar, heavy and splendid in his
sinister fashion; and between them Deolda with her big, red mouth and
her sallow skin and her eyes burning as they did when she was excited.

"I'm saying to Deolda here," said Captain Hammar, coming up to my aunt,
"that I'll make a better runnin' mate than Conboy." He drew her up to
him. There was something alike about them; the same devil flamed out of
the eyes of both of them. Their glances met like forked lightning. "I've
got a lot more money than him, too," said Hammar, jerking his thumb
toward Conboy. He roused the devil in Deolda.

"You may have more money," said she, "but you'll live longer! And I want
to be a rich widow!"

"Stop your joking," my aunt said, sharply. "It don't sound nice."

"Joking?" says Captain Hammar, letting his big head lunge forward. "I
ain't joking; I'm goin' to marry that girl."

My aunt said no more while they were there. She sat like a ramrod in her
chair. That was one of the worst things about Deolda. We cover our
bodies decently with clothes, and we ought to cover up our thoughts
decently with words. But Deolda had no shame, and people with her
didn't, either. They'd say just what they were thinking about.

After they left Deolda came to Aunt Josephine and put her arms around
her like a good, sweet child.

"What's the matter, Auntie?" she asked.

"You--that's what. I can't stand it to hear you go on."

Deolda looked at her with a sort of wonder. "We were only saying out
loud what every girl's thinking about when she marries a man of
forty-five, or when she marries a man who's sixty-five. It's a
trade--the world's like that."

"Let me tell you one thing," said my aunt. "You can't fool with Capt.
Mark Hammar. It means that you give up your other sweetheart."

"That's to be seen," said Deolda in her dark, sultry way. Then she said,
as if she was talking to herself: "Life--with him--would be interesting.
He thinks he could crush me like a fly.--He can't, though--" And then
all of a sudden she burst into tears and threw herself in my aunt's lap,
sobbing: "Oh, oh! Why's life like this? Why isn't my Johnny grown up?
Why--don't he--take me away--from them all?"

After that Captain Hammar kept coming to the house. He showed well
enough he was serious.

"That black devil's hypnotized her," my aunt put it.

Deolda seemed to have some awful kinship to Mark Hammar, and Johnny
Deutra, who never paid much attention to old Conboy, paid attention to
him. Black looks passed between them, and I would catch "Nick" Hammar's
eyes resting on Johnny with a smiling venom that struck fear into me.
Johnny Deutra seldom came daytimes, but he came in late one afternoon
and sat there looking moodily at Deolda, who flung past him with the air
she had when she wore the saffron shawl. I could almost see its long
fringes trailing behind her as she stood before him, one hand on her
tilted hip, her head on one side.

It was a queer sort of day, a day with storm in the air, a day when all
our nerves got on edge, when the possibility of danger whips the blood.
I had an uncomfortable sense of knowing that I ought to leave Deolda and
Johnny and that Johnny was waiting for me to go to talk. And yet I was
fascinated, as little girls are; and just as I was about to leave the
room I ran into old Conboy hurrying in, his reddish hair standing on

"Well, Deolda," said he, "Captain Hammar's gone down the Cape all of a
sudden. He told me to tell you good-by for him. Deolda, for God's sake,
marry me before he comes back! He'll kill you, that's what he'll do.
It's not for my sake I'm asking you--it's for your sake!"

She looked at him with her big black eyes. "I believe you mean that,
Conboy. I believe I'll do it. But I'll be fair and square with you as
you are with me. You'd better let me be; you know what I'm like. I won't
make you happy; I never pretended I would. And as for him killing me,
how do you know, Conboy, I mightn't lose my temper first?"

"He'll break you," said Conboy. "God! but he's a man without pity! Don't
you know how he drives his men? Don't you know the stories about his
first wife? He's put some of his magic on you. You're nothing but a poor
little lamb, Deolda, playing with a wolf, for all your spirit. There's
nothing he'd stop at. Nothing," he repeated, staring at Johnny. "I
wouldn't give a cent for that Johnny Deutra's life until I'm married to
you, Deolda. I've seen the way Mark Hammar looks at him--you have, too.
I tell you, Mark Hammar don't value the life of any man who stands in
his way!" And the way the old man spoke lifted the hair on my head.

Then all of us were quiet, for there stood Captain Hammar himself.

"Why, Mark, I thought you'd gone down the Cape!" said Conboy.

"I lost the train," he answered.

"Well, what about that vessel you was going to buy in Gloucester?"

"I got to sail over," said Captain Hammar.

Conboy glanced out of the window. The bay was ringed around with heavy
clouds; weather was making. Storm signals were flying up on Town Hill,
and down the harbor a fleet of scared vessels were making for port.

"You can't go out in that, Mark," says Conboy.

"I've got the money," says Mark Hammar, "and I'm going to go. If I don't
get down there that crazy Portygee'll have sold that vessel to some one
else. It ain't every day you can buy a vessel like that for the price.
He let me know about it first, but he won't wait long, and he's got to
have the cash in his hands. He's up to some crooked work or he wouldn't
'a' sent the boy down with the letter; he'd 'a' sent it by post, or
telegraphed even. He's let me know about it first, but he won't wait. It
was getting the money strapped up that made me late. I had to wait for
the old cashier to get back from his dinner."

"You and your money'll be in the bottom of the bay, that's where you'll
be," said Conboy.

"If I'd taken in sail for every little bit o' wind I'd encountered in my
life," said Mark Hammar, "I'd not be where I am now. So I just thought
I'd come and run in on Deolda before I left, seeing as I'm going to
marry her when I get back."

Johnny Deutra undid his long length from the chair. He was a tall, heavy
boy, making up in looks for what he lacked in head. He came and stood
over Mark Hammar. He said:

"I've had enough of this. I've had just enough of you two hanging around
Deolda. She's my woman--I'm going to marry Deolda myself. Nobody else is
going to touch her; so just as soon as you two want to clear out you

There was silence so that you could hear a pin drop. And then the wind
that had been making hit the house like the blow of a fist and went
screaming down the road. Deolda didn't see or hear; she was just looking
at Johnny. He went to her.

"Don't you listen to 'em, Deolda. I'll make money for you; I'll make
more than any of 'em. It's right you should want it. Tell 'em that
you're going to marry me, Deolda. Clear 'em out."

That was where he made his mistake. _He_ should have cleared them out.
Now Captain Hammar spoke:

"You're quite a little man, ain't you, Johnny? Here's where you got a
chance to prove it. You can make a hundred dollars tonight by taking the
_Anita_ across to Gloucester with me. We'll start right off."

Everyone was quiet. Then old Conboy cried out:

"Don't go, Mark. Don't go! Why, it's _murder_ to tempt that boy out

At the word "murder" Deolda drew her breath in and clapped her hand over
her mouth, her eyes staring at Johnny Deutra. "Nick" Hammar pretended he
hadn't noticed. He sat smiling at Johnny.

"We-ll," he drawled. "How about it, Johnny? Goin'?"

Johnny had been studying, his eyes on the floor.

"I'll go with you," he said.

Then again for a half minute nobody spoke. Captain Hammar glared,
letting us see what was in his dark mind. Old Conboy shrunk into himself
and Deolda sat with her wild eyes going from one to the other, but not
moving. We were all thinking of what old Conboy had said just before
Captain Hammar had flung open the door. A sudden impulse seized me; I
wanted to cry out: "Don't go, Johnny. He'll shove you overboard." For I
knew that was what was in "Nick" Hammar's mind as well as if he had told
me. A terrible excitement went through me. I wanted to fling myself at
"Nick" Hammar and beat him with my fists and say, "He sha'n't go--he
sha'n't, he sha'n't!" But I sat there unable to move or speak. Then
suddenly into the frozen silence came the voice of "Nick" Hammar. This
is what he said in his easy and tranquil way:

"Well, I'm goin' along. Are you coming, Conboy?" He spoke as though
nothing had happened. "I'll meet you down at the wharf, Johnny, in a
half hour. I'll leave you to say good-by to Deolda." They went out, the
wind blowing the door shut behind them.

Deolda got up and so did Johnny. They stood facing each other in the
queer yellow light of the coming storm. They didn't notice my aunt or

"_You going?_" asked Deolda.

They looked into each other's eyes, and he answered so I could barely


"_You know what he's thinking about?_" said Deolda.

Again Johnny waited before he answered in a voice hardly above a

"I can guess."

Deolda went up slowly to him and put one of her long hands on each of
his shoulders. She looked deep into his eyes. She didn't speak; she just
looked. And he looked back, as though trying to find out what she had in
her heart, and as he looked a little flicker of horror went over his
face. Then he smiled a slow smile, as though he had understood something
and consented to it--and it was a queer smile to see on the face of a
young fellow. It was as if the youth of Johnny Deutra had passed away
forever. Then Deolda said to him:

"Good for you, Johnny Deutra!" and put out her hand, and he laid his in
hers and they shook on it, though no word had passed between them. And
all this time my aunt and I sat motionless on the haircloth sofa next to
the wall. And I tell you as I watched them my blood ran cold, though I
didn't understand what it was about. But later I understood well enough.

There never was so long an evening. The squall blew over and a heavy
blow set in. I could hear the pounding of the waves on the outside
shore. Deolda sat outside the circle of the lamp in a horrible tense
quiet. My aunt tried to make talk, and made a failure of it. It was
awful to hear the clatter of her voice trying to sound natural in the
face of the whistle of the storm, and out wallowing in it the gasoline
dory with its freight of hatred. I hated to go to bed, for my room gave
on the sea, and it seemed as if the night and the tragedy which I had
glimpsed would come peering in at me with ghastly eyes.

I had just got under the blanket when the door opened quietly.

"Who is that?" I asked.

"It's me--Deolda."

She went to the window and peered out into the storm, as though she were
trying to penetrate its mystery. I couldn't bear her standing there; it
was as if I could hear her heart bleed. It was as if for a while I had
become fused with her and her love for Johnny Deutra and with all the
dark things that had happened in our house this afternoon. I got out of
bed and went to her and put my hand in hers. If she'd only cried, or if
she'd only spoken I could have stood it; if she'd said in words what was
going on inside her mind. But she sat there with her hand cold in mine,
staring into the storm through all the long hours of the night.

Toward the end I was so tired that my mind went to sleep in that way
your mind can when your body stays awake and everything seems far off
and like things happening in a nightmare except that you know they're
real. At last daylight broke, very pale, threatening, and slate colored.
Deolda got up and began padding up and down the floor, back and forth,
like a soul in torment.

About ten o'clock old Conboy came in.

"I got the license, Deolda," he said.

"All right," said Deolda, "all right--go away." And she kept on padding
up and down the room like a leopard in a cage.

Conboy beckoned my aunt out into the entry. I followed.

"What ails her?" he asked.

"I guess she thinks she sent Johnny Deutra to his grave," said my aunt.

Conboy peered in the door at Deolda. Her face looked like a yellow mask
of death with her black hair hanging around her.

"God!" he said, in a whisper. "_She cares!_" I don't believe it had
dawned on him before that she was anything but a wild devil.

All that day the _Anita_ wasn't heard from. That night I was tired out
and went to bed. But I couldn't sleep; Deolda sat staring out into the
dark as she had the night before.

Next morning I was standing outside the house when one of Deolda's
brothers came tearing along. It was Joe, the youngest of one-armed
Manel's brood, a boy of sixteen who worked in the fish factory.

"Deolda!" he yelled. "Deolda, Johnny's all right!"

She caught him by the wrist. "Tell me what's happened!"

"The other feller--he's lost."

"_Lost?_" said Deolda, her breath drawn in sharply. "Lost--how?"

"Washed overboard," said Joe. "See--looka here. When Johnny got ashore
this is what he says." He read aloud from the newspaper he had brought,
a word at a time, like a grammar-school kid:

"With a lame propeller and driven out of her course, the _Anita_ made
Plymouth this morning without her Captain, Mark Hammar. John Deutra, who
brought her in, made the following statement:

"'I was lying in my bunk unable to sleep, for we were being combed by
waves again and again. Suddenly I noticed we were wallowing in the
trough of the sea, and went on deck to see what was wrong. I groped my
way to the wheel. It swung empty. Captain Hammar was gone, washed
overboard in the storm. How I made port myself I don't know--'"

Here his reading was interrupted by an awful noise--Deolda laughing,
Deolda laughing and sobbing, her hands above her head, a wild thing,

"Go on," my aunt told the boy. "Go home!" And she and Deolda went into
the house, her laughter filling it with awful sound.

After a time she quieted down. She stood staring out of the window,
hands clenched.

"Well?" she said, defiantly. "Well?" She looked at us, and what was in
her eyes made chills go down me. Triumph was what was in her eyes. Then
suddenly she flung her arms around my aunt and kissed her. "Oh," she
cried, "kiss me, Auntie, kiss me! He's not dead, my Johnny--not dead!"

"Go up to your room, Deolda," said my aunt, "and rest." She patted her
shoulder just as though she were a little girl, for all the thoughts
that were crawling around our hearts.

When later in the day Conboy came, "Where's Deolda?" he asked.

"I'll call her," I said. But Deolda wasn't anywhere; not a sign of her.
She'd vanished. Conboy and Aunt Josephine looked at each other.

"She's gone to him," said Conboy.

My aunt leaned toward him and whispered, "_What do you think?_"

"Hush!" said Conboy, sternly. "_Don't think_, Josephine! _Don't speak.
Don't even dream!_ Don't let your mind stray. You know that crew
couldn't have made port in fair weather together. The strongest man
won--that's all!"

"Then you believe--" my aunt began.

"Hush!" he said, and put his hand over her mouth. Then he laughed
suddenly and slapped his thigh. "God!" he said. "Deolda--Can you beat
her? She's got luck--by gorry, she's got luck! You got a pen and ink?"

"What for?" said my aunt.

"I want to write out a weddin' present for Deolda," he said. "Wouldn't
do to have her without a penny."

So he wrote out a check for her. And then in two months old Conboy died
and left every other cent to Deolda. You might have imagined him
sardonic and grinning over it, looking across at Deolda's luck from the
other side of the grave.

But what had happened wasn't luck. I knew that she had sent her Johnny
out informed with her own terrible courage. A weaker woman could have
kept him back. A weaker woman would have had remorse. But Deolda had the
courage to hold what she had taken, and maybe this courage of hers is
the very heart of romance.

I looked at her, stately, monumental, and I wondered if she ever thinks
of that night when the wallow of the sea claimed Mark Hammar instead of
Johnny Deutra. But there's one thing I'm sure of, and that is, if she
does think of it the old look of triumph comes over her face.


[Footnote 1: The order in which the stories in this volume are printed
is not intended as an indication of their comparative excellence; the
arrangement is alphabetical by authors.]

[Footnote 2: Copyright, 1921, by George H. Doran Company. Copyright,
1921, by B.W. Huebsch. From "The Triumph of the Egg and other Stories."]

[Footnote 3: Copyright, 1921, by The Dial Publishing Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1921, by Boni and Liveright, Inc. From "Ghitza,
and Other Tales of Gypsy Blood."]

[Footnote 4: Copyright, 1921, by The Pictorial Review Company.
Copyright, 1921, by Charles Scribner's Sons. From "Chance

[Footnote 5: Copyright, 1921, by The Curtis Publishing Company.
Copyright, 1921, by Irvin S. Cobb. From a forthcoming volume
to be published by George H. Doran Co.]

[Footnote 6: Copyright, 1921, by The Crowell Publishing Company.
Copyright, 1922, by Lincoln Colcord.]

[Footnote 7: Copyright, 1920, by Charles J. Finger.]

[Footnote 8: Copyright, 1920, by The Dial Publishing Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1922, by Waldo Frank.]

[Footnote 9: Copyright, 1920, by Charles Scribner's Sons.
Copyright, 1922, by Katharine Fullerton Gerould.]

[Footnote 10: Copyright, 1920, by the International Magazine Co.
Copyright, 1922, by Doubleday, Page & Co.]

[Footnote 11: Copyright, 1921, by The Pictorial Review Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1922, by Susan Glaspell Cook.]

[Footnote 12: Copyright, 1921, by Harper & Brothers.
Copyright, 1922, by Richard Matthews Hallet.]

[Footnote 13: Copyright, 1921, by Charles Scribner's Sons.
Copyright, 1922, by Prances Noyes Hart.]

[Footnote 14: Copyright, 1921, by The International Magazine Company.
Copyright, 1922, by Fannie Hurst.]

[Footnote 15: Copyright, 1921, by The Dial Publishing Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1922, by Manuel Komroff.]

[Footnote 16: Copyright, 1920, by John T. Frederick.
Copyright, 1922, by Frank Luther Mott.]

[Footnote 17: Copyright, 1921, by Smart Set Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1922, by Vincent O'Sullivan.]

[Footnote 18: Copyright, 1920, by Harper & Brothers.
Copyright, 1922, by Wilbur Daniel Steele.]

[Footnote 19: Copyright, 1921, by John T. Frederick.
Copyright, 1922, by Harriet Maxon Thayer.]

[Footnote 20: Copyright, 1920, by Smart Set Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1922, by Charles Hanson Towne.]

[Footnote 21: Copyright, 1921, by Harper & Brothers.
Copyright, 1922, by Mary Heaton Minor.]




NOTE. _This address list does not aim to be complete, but is
based simply on the magazines which I have consulted for this volume._

  Adventure, Spring and Macdougal Streets, New York City.
  Ainslee's Magazine, 79 Seventh Avenue, New York City.
  All's Well, Gayeta Lodge, Fayetteville, Arkansas.
  American Boy, 142 Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan.
  American Magazine, 381 Fourth Avenue, New York City.
  Argosy All-Story Weekly, 280 Broadway, New York City.
  Asia, 627 Lexington Avenue, New York City.
  Atlantic Monthly, 8 Arlington Street, Boston, Mass.
  Bookman, 244 Madison Avenue, New York City.
  Brief Stories, 714 Drexel Building, Philadelphia, Pa.
  Broom, 3 East 9th Street, New York City.
  Catholic World, 120 West 60th Street, New York City.
  Century, 353 Fourth Avenue, New York City.
  Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois.
  Christian Herald, Bible House, New York City.
  Collier's Weekly, 416 West 13th Street, New York City.
  Cosmopolitan Magazine, 119 West 40th Street, New York City.
  Delineator, Spring and Macdougal Streets, New York City.
  Dial, 152 West 13th Street, New York City.
  Everybody's Magazine, Spring and Macdougal Streets, New York City.
  Follies, 25 West 45th Street, New York City.
  Good Housekeeping, 119 West 40th Street, New York City.
  Harper's Bazar, 119 West 40th Street, New York City.
  Harper's Magazine, Franklin Square, New York City.
  Hearst's International Magazine, 119 West 40th Street, New York City.
  Holland's Magazine, Dallas, Texas.
  Ladies' Home Journal, Independence Square, Philadelphia, Pa.
  Liberator, 34 Union Square East, New York City.
  Little Review, 24 West 16th Street, New York City.
  Live Stories, 35 West 39th Street, New York City.
  McCall's Magazine, 236 West 37th Street, New York City.
  McClure's Magazine, 76 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
  Magnificat, Manchester, N.H.
  Metropolitan, 432 Fourth Avenue, New York City.
  Midland, Box 110, Iowa City, Iowa.
  Munsey's Magazine, 280 Broadway, New York City.
  Open Road, 248 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass.
  Outlook, 381 Fourth Avenue, New York City.
  Pagan, 23 West 8th Street, New York City.
  People's Favorite Magazine, 79 Seventh Avenue, New York City.
  Pictorial Review, 216 West 39th Street, New York City.
  Popular Magazine, 79 Seventh Avenue, New York City.
  Queen's Work, 626 North Vandeventer Avenue, St. Louis, Mo.
  Red Book Magazine, North American Building, Chicago, Ill.
  Saturday Evening Post, Independence Square, Philadelphia, Pa.
  Scribner's Magazine, 597 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
  Short Stories, Garden City, Long Island, N.Y.
  Smart Set, 25 West 45th Street, New York City.
  Snappy Stories, 35 West 39th Street, New York City.
  Sunset, 460 Fourth Street, San Francisco, Cal.
  Telling Tales, 799 Broadway, New York City.
  To-day's Housewife, Cooperstown, N.Y.
  Top-Notch Magazine, 79 Seventh Avenue, New York City.
  Wayside Tales, 6 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill.
  Western Story Magazine, 79 Seventh Avenue, New York City.
  Woman's Home Companion, 381 Fourth Avenue, New York City.
  Woman's World, 107 South Clinton Street, Chicago, Ill.


  Apple of Discord, 53, Victoria Street, London, S.W.1.
  Blackwood's Magazine, 37, Paternoster Row, London, E.C.4.
  Blue Magazine, 115, Fleet Street, London, E.C.4.
  Bystander, Graphic Buildings, Whitefriars, London, E.C.4.
  Cassell's Magazine, La Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill, London, E.C.4.
  Chamber's Journal, 38, Soho Square, London, W.C.1.
  Colour Magazine, 53, Victoria Street, London, S.W.1.
  Cornhill Magazine, 50A Albemarle Street, London, W.1.
  Country Life, 20, Tavistock Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.
  English Review, 18, Bedford Square, London, W.C.1.
  Eve, Great New Street. London, E.C.4.
  Fanfare, 31, Percy Street, London, W.1.
  Form, Morland Press, Ltd., 190, Ebury Street, London, S.W.1.
  Grand Magazine, 8-11, Southampton Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.
  Graphic, Graphic Buildings, Whitefriars, London, E.C.4.
  Home Magazine, 8-11 Southampton Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.
  Hutchinson's Magazine, 34 Paternoster Row, London, E.C.4.
  John O'London's Weekly, 8-11 Southampton Street, London, W.C.2.
  Lady, 39 Bedford Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.
  Lady's World, 6, Essex Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.
  Lloyd's Story Magazine, 12, Salisbury Square, London, E.C.4.
  London, Fleetway House, Farringdon Street, London, E.C.4.
  London Mercury, Windsor House, Bream's Buildings, London, E.C.4.
  Looking Forward, Windsor House, Bream's Buildings, London, E.C.4.
  Manchester Guardian, 3, Cross Street, Manchester.
  Nash's and Pall Mall Magazine, 1, Amen Corner, Paternoster Row,
      London. E.C.4.
  Nation and Athenæum, 10, Adelphi Terrace, London, W.C.2.
  New Age, 38, Cursitor Street, Chancery Lane, London, E.C.4.
  New Magazine, La Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill, London, E.C.4.
  New Statesman, 10, Great Queen Street, Kingsway, London, W.C.2.
  Novel Magazine, Henrietta Street, London, W.C.2.
  Outward Bound, Edinburgh House, 2, Eaton Gate, London, S.W.1.
  Pan, Long Acre, London, W.C.2.
  Pearson's Magazine, 17-18 Henrietta Street, London, W.C.2.
  Premier, The Fleetway House, Farringdon Street, London, E.C.4.
  Queen, Bream's Buildings, London, E.C.4.
  Quest, 21, Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C.2.
  Quiver, La Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill, London, E.C.4.
  Red Magazine, The Fleetway House, Farringdon Street, London, E.C.4.
  Royal Magazine, 17-18 Henrietta Street, London, W.C.2.
  Saturday Westminster Gazette, Tudor House, Tudor Street, London, E.C.4.
  Sketch, 172, Strand, London, W.C.2.
  Sovereign Magazine, 34, Paternoster Row, London, E.C.4.
  Sphere, Great New Street, London, E.C.4.
  Story-Teller, La Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill, London, E.C.4.
  Strand Magazine, 8-11, Southampton Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.
  Times Literary Supplement, Printing House Square, London, E.C.4.
  Truth, Bolt Court, Fleet Street, London, E.C.4.
  Vanity Fair, 1, Amen Corner, Paternoster Row, London, E.C.4.
  Vineyard, Care of Allen & Unwin, Ltd., Ruskin House, 40, Museum Street,
      London, W.C.1.
  Voices, Care of Chapman & Hall, Ltd., 11, Henrietta Street,
      London, W.C.2.
  Wide World Magazine, 8-11, Southampton Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.
  Windsor Magazine, Warwick House, Salisbury Square, London, E.C.4.
  Yellow Magazine, The Fleetway House, Farringdon Street, London, E.C.4.



NOTE. _Only stories by American authors are listed. The best
stories are indicated by an asterisk before the title of the story. The
index figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 prefixed to the name of the author
indicate that his work has been included in the Rolls of Honor for 1914,
1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, and 1920 respectively. The list excludes
reprints. "Oscar" by Djuna Barnes should be added to the Roll of Honor
in "The Best Short Stories of 1920."_

(567) ABDULLAH, ACHMED (_for biography, see 1918_).

     Dutiful Grief.
     Lute of Jade.

ALLEN, JAMES LANE. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1849. Educated
at Transylvania University. Taught in the secondary schools and at
Kentucky University and Bethany College. Author of "Flute and Violin,"
1891; "Blue Grass Region," 1892; "John Gray," 1893; "Kentucky Cardinal,"
1895; "Aftermath," 1896; "Summer in Arcady," 1896; "Choir Invisible,"
1897; "Reign of Law"; "Mettle of the Pasture;" "Bride of the Mistletoe,"
1909; "Doctor's Christmas Eve," 1910; "Heroine in Bronze," 1912; "Last
Christmas Tree," 1914; "Sword of Youth," 1915; "Cathedral Singer," 1916;
"Kentucky Warbler," 1918. Lives in New York City.


(34567) ANDERSON, SHERWOOD (_for biography, see 1917_).

     *New Englander.
     *Unlighted Lamps.

(7) BERCOVICI, KONRAD (_for biography, see 1920_).


(14567) BURT, MAXWELL STRUTHERS (_for biography, see 1917_).

     Buchanan Hears the Wind.

(567) CABELL, JAMES BRANCH (_for biography, see 1918_).

     *Image of Sesphra.

(23) CHILD, RICHARD WASHBURN. Born at Worcester, Massachusetts,
August 5, 1881. Graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.
Admitted to the Bar in 1906. Appointed United States Ambassador to
Italy, 1921. Author of "Jim Hands," 1910; "Man In The Shadow," 1911;
"Blue Wall" 1912; "Potential Russia," 1916; "Bodbank," 1916; "Velvet
Black," 1921. Lives in Rome, Italy.


(2345) COBB, IRVIN S. (_for biography, see 1917_).

     Short Natural History.

(2) COLCORD, LINCOLN. Born at sea, off Cape Horn, August 14,
1883. Educated at Searsport, Maine, High School and University of Maine.
Spent first fourteen years of his life at sea on the China coast. Civil
Engineer 1906-9. Author of "The Drifting Diamond," 1912; "Game of Life
and Death," 1914; "Vision of War," 1915. Washington correspondent of
Philadelphia Ledger, 1917 to 1919. Lives at Searsport, Maine.

     *Instrument of the Gods.

(456) CRABBE, BERTHA HELEN (_for biography, see 1917_).

     On Riverside Drive.

(7) FINGER, CHARLES J. (_for biography, see 1920_).

     Derailment of Train No. 16.
     *Lizard God.

(4) FRANK, WALDO (_for biography, see 1917_).

     *Under the Dome.

(123457) GEROULD, KATHARINE FULLERTON (_for biography, see

     *French Eva.

(4) GLASGOW, ELLEN (_for biography, see 1917_).


biography, see 1917_).

     *His Smile.

(346) HALLET, RICHARD MATTHEWS (_for biography, see 1917_).

     *Harbor Master.

HART, FRANCES NOYES. Born at Silver Spring, Maryland, August
10, 1890. Educated at Chicago Latin School, privately in Connecticut and
abroad, and at the Sorbonne in the Collège de France. Interested in
anything from baseball to Bach. First short story, "Contact," published
in the Pictorial Review, December, 1920, and awarded second prize by O.
Henry Memorial Committee Society of Arts and Sciences. Published "Mark"
1913, and "My A.E.F.," 1920, under name of Frances Newbold Noyes. Lives
in New York City.

     *Green Gardens.

(256) HECHT, BEN (_for biography, see 1918_).


(23456) HURST, FANNIE (_for biography, see 1917_).

     *She Walks in Beauty.

(6) IMRIE, WALTER MCLAREN (_for biography, see 1919_).


(7) KOMROFF, MANUEL. Born in New York City. Educated in New
York public schools, and special courses at Yale University. Journalist.
First short story published in Reedy's Mirror two years ago. Lives in
New York City.

     *Little Master of the Sky.


     *Man With the Good Face.

(457) O'HIGGINS, HARVEY J. (_for biography, see 1917_).

     *Peter Quayle.

(3457) O'SULLIVAN, VINCENT (_for biography, see 1917_).

     *Master of Fallen Years.



(1237) POST, MELVILLE DAVISSON (_for biography, see 1920_).

     Unknown Disciple.

(5) Rhodes, Harrison (Garfield) (_for biography, see 1918_).

     Miss Sunshine.

ROBBINS, TOD. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., June 25, 1888. Educated
at Polytechnic Preparatory School, Mercersburg Academy, and Washington
and Lee University. Well-known amateur athlete. First short story
"Married," published in The Parisienne, February, 1917. Author of "The
Unholy Three," 1917; "Red of Surley," 1919; "Silent, White and
Beautiful," 1920. Lives in New York City.

     Toys of Fate.

SCOBEE, BARRY. Born at Pollock, Missouri, May 2, 1885. Educated
at Missouri State Normal School. Journalist and printer. Chief interests
metaphysics and mountains. Was in regular army 1907-10, including
Philippine campaign. First story "The Whip In the Thatch," Young's
Magazine, March. 1915. Lives in Bellingham, Washington.

     *The Wind.

(3457) SPRINGER, FLETA CAMPBELL (_for biography, see 1917_).

     *Role of Madame Ravelles.

(234567) STEELE, WILBUR DANIEL (_for biography, see 1917_).

     *Shame Dance.
     'Toinette of Maisonnoir.

Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, 1889. Attended University of Wisconsin and School
of Journalism, Columbia University. Fairy tales in Philadelphia North
American and in the Guide, Milwaukee, 1921. Married Gilbert Thayer,
September 5, 1921. Served in France with American Red Cross Canteen,
1918 and 1919.


TOWNE, CHARLES HANSON. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, February
2, 1877. Educated in New York public schools and College of the City of
New York. Author of "Quiet Singer"; "Manhattan"; "Youth"; "Beyond the
Stars"; "To-day and To-morrow"; "The Tumble Man"; and "Autumn
Loiterers." Has been editor of The Designer, Smart Set, and McClure's
Magazine. Lives in New York City.


(56) VENABLE, EDWARD C. Born at Petersburg, Virginia, July 4,
1884. Graduate of Princeton University, 1906. Served in France in Field
Ambulance Service and Flying Corps, 1917-19. Author of "Pierre Vinton,"
1914; "Short Stories," 1915; "Wife of the Junior Partner," 1915;
"Lasca," 1916; "Ali Babette," 1917; and "At Isham's," 1918. Lives in
Baltimore, Maryland.

     *Madame Tichepin.

(34567) VORSE, MARY HEATON (_for biography, see 1917_).

     *Wallow of the Sea.

(567) WILLIAMS, BEN AMES (_for biography, see 1918_).

     *Man Who Looked Like Edison.

(6) WORMSER, G. RANGER. Born in New York City, February 24,
1893. Educated privately. First short story "Tragedy's Fool," published
in English edition of the Smart Set, 1910. Author of "The Scarecrow,"
1918. Lives in New York City.


(67) YEZIERSKA, ANZIA (_for biography, see 1919_).

     My Own People.



NOTE. _Stories of special excellence are indicated, by an
asterisk. The index figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 prefixed to the name
of the author indicate that his work has been included in the Rolls of
Honor for 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, and 1920 respectively. The
list excludes reprints._


(1234567) AUMONIER, STACY.

     Beautiful Merciless One.
     *Little White Frock.


     *How Great is the Glory of Kwannon!


     *T. Fenning Dodworth.
     *William and Mary.












     Southern Women.


     *Tillotson Banquet.


     Knights and Turcopoliers.


     Silver Pool.


     *Lena Wrace.


     *In the Beechwood.


     *Bombastes Furioso.
     *Strange Case of Mr. Nix.
     *Lucy Moon.
     *Lizzie Rand.
     *Peter Westcott's Nursery.


(35) "GORKI, MAXIM." (_Russian._)


MANN, THOMAS. (_German._)


REMIZOV, ALEKSEI. (_Russian._)

     *White Heart.

(7) SCHNITZLER, ARTHUR. (_German._)

     *Greek Dancer.





  1. ANDERSON. The Triumph of the Egg. Huebsch.
  2. BERCOVICI. GHITZA. Boni and Liveright.
  3. BURT. Chance Encounters. Scribner.
  4. CABELL. The Line of Love. McBride.
  5. SOCIETY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES. O. Henry Prize Stories, 1920.
       Doubleday, Page.


  1. AUMONIER. Golden Windmill. Macmillan.
  2. CHOLMONDELEY. The Romance of His Life. Dodd, Mead.
  3. COPPARD. Adam and Eve and Pinch Me. Knopf.
  4. HUDSON. Dead Man's Plack. Dutton.
  5. MANSFIELD. Bliss. Knopf.
  6. MERRICK. A Chair on the Boulevard. Dutton.
  7. NEVINSON. Original Sinners. Huebsch.
  8. STEPHENS. Irish Fairy Tales. Macmillan.
  9. WALPOLE. The Thirteen Travellers. Doran.


  1. BYNG, _editor_. Roumanian Stories. Lane.
  2. CHEKHOV. The Horse-Stealers. Macmillan.
  3. CHEKHOV. The Schoolmaster. Macmillan.
  4. CHEKHOV. The Schoolmistress. Macmillan.
  5. FRANCE. Seven Wives of Bluebeard. Lane.
  6. HAMP. People. Harcourt and Brace.
  7. JACOBSEN. Mögens. Brown.
  8. JAMMES. Romance of the Rabbit. Brown.
  9. POPOVIC, _editor_. Jugo-Slav Stories. Duffield.
  10. SCHNITZLER. The Shepherd's Pipe. Brown.
  11. TURGENEV. Knock, Knock, Knock. Macmillan.
  12. TURGENEV. The Two Friends. Macmillan.


  1. BERESFORD. Signs and Wonders. Golden Cockerel Press.
  2. CORKERY. Hounds of Banba. Talbot Press.
  3. FISHER. Romantic Man. Secker.
  4. LYONS. MARKET BUNDLE. Butterworth.
  5. MCCALLIN. Ulster Fireside Tales. Heath Cranton.
  6. MACKLIN, _translator_. 29 Short Stories. Philpot.
  7. MOORMAN. Tales of the Ridings. Mathews.
  8. MOORMAN. More Tales of the Ridings. Mathews.
  9. STEIN. Three Lives. Lane.
  10. WOOLF. Monday or Tuesday. Hogarth Press.

OCTOBER 1, 1920 AND SEPTEMBER 30, 1921.


(Boni & Liveright). This is the best volume of short stories published
by an American author this year. It consists of nine epic fragments
which are studies in passionate color of Roumanian gypsy life. Mr.
Bercovici's work bears no trace of special literary influences, and he
has moulded a new form for these stories which disobeys successfully all
the codes of story writing. Whether we are to regard him as an American
or a European artist seems of little importance. The essential point is
that he and Sherwood Anderson are the most significant new short story
writers who have emerged in America within the past five years.

HOMESPUN AND GOLD, by _Alice Brown_ (The Macmillan Company).
Miss Brown's new collection of fifteen short stories, which she has
written during the past thirteen years, is not one of her best books,
but it is of considerable importance as one more contribution to the
literature of New England regionalism. Its qualities of homely fidelity
and quiet humor make it distinctly worth reading, and one story, "White
Pebbles" ranks with Miss Brown's best work.

THE VELVET BLACK, by _Richard Washburn Child_ (E.P. Dutton &
Company). I do not regard this as more than a piece of extremely
competent craftsmanship, and its interest to the man of letters is
largely technical, but it contains one excellent story full of dramatic
suspense and a certain literary honesty. I think "Identified" might be
commended to a short story anthologist.

Dunbar_ (E.P. Dutton & Company). This collection of fifteen Irish fairy
and hero tales, told by a gardener to a little boy, show considerable
deftness of fancy, and although the idiom Mr. Dunbar uses is borrowed
and not quite convincing, his book seems to me almost as good as those
of Seumas MacManus, which probably suggested it.

(Doubleday, Page & Co.), edited by _Joseph Lewis French_. These
anthologies, which are somewhat casually edited, are worthy of
purchase by students of the short story who do not possess many
anthologies, for they contain a number of standard texts. But I do
not think highly of the selections, which are of a thoroughly
conventional nature.

(Harper & Brothers). This is an unimportant book containing one superb
story, "The Stick-In-the-Muds," which I had the pleasure of printing
last year in this series. It is one of the stories which Mr. Hughes has
written for his own pleasure and not for the preconceived pleasure of
his large and critical public. I consider that it ranks with the
excellent series of Irish-American studies which Mr. Hughes published a
few years ago.

MASTER EUSTACE, by _Henry James_ (Thomas Seltzer). This volume,
which is a companion to "A Landscape Painter," reprints five more early
stories of Henry James, not included in any American edition now in
print. They have all the qualities of "Roderick Hudson" and "The
American," and should be invaluable to the students of Henry James's
technique. It would have been a matter of regret had these stories not
been rendered accessible to the general public.

edited by _J. Walker McSpadden_ (Thomas Y. Crowell Company). These two
anthologies have been edited on more or less conventional lines, but
they contain several important stories which are not readily accessible,
and I can commend them as texts for students of the short story.

TALES FROM A ROLLTOP DESK by _Christopher Morley_ (Doubleday,
Page & Company). I record this volume for the sake of one admirable
story, "Referred to the Author," which almost any contemporary of Mr.
Morley would have been glad to sign. Apart from this, the volume is

THE SLEUTH OF ST. JAMES'S SQUARE by _Melville Davisson Post_.
(D. Appleton & Company). This volume contains the best of Mr. Post's
well-known mystery stories, and I take special pleasure in calling
attention to "The Wrong Sign," "The Hole in the Mahogany Panel," and
"The Yellow Flower." These stories show all the resourceful virtuosity
of Poe, and are models of their kind. While they seem to me to possess
no special literary value, they have solved some important new technical
problems, and I believe they will repay attentive study.

DEVIL STORIES, edited by _Maximilian J. Rudwin_ (Alfred A.
Knopf). This is an excellent anthology revealing a wide range of reading
and introducing a number of good stories which are likely to prove new
to most readers. The editor has added to the value of the volume by
elaborate annotation. He wears his learning lightly however, and it only
serves to adorn his subject.

(Houghton Mifflin Company). This admirable series of nine studies
dealing with the finer shades of character are subdued in manner. Mrs.
de Sélincourt has voluntarily restricted her range, but she has simply
"curtailed her circumference to enlarge her liberty," and I believe this
volume is likely to outlast many books which are more widely talked

CAPE BRETON TALES, by _Harry James Smith_ (The Atlantic Monthly
Press). This little volume of short stories and studies deals with the
Arcadian life of Cape Breton and the Gaspé coast. I am speaking from
personal knowledge when I state that, this is the first time the
Acadian has been understood by an English speaking writer, and if Mr.
Smith's art works within narrow limits, it is quite faultless in its
rendering. This volume suggests what a loss American letters has
sustained in the author's death.


(The Macmillan Company). For some years Mr. Aumonier has been quietly
winning an important place for himself in English letters by his
admirable short stories, and this place has been fittingly recognized by
Mr. Galsworthy, among others, during the past year. Eight of the nine
stories in the present volume seem to me as good as stories written in
the traditional technique can be, and I regard this book as only second
in excellence to the volumes of A.E. Coppard and Katherine Mansfield of
which I shall speak presently.

MORE LIMEHOUSE NIGHTS, by _Thomas Burke_ (George H. Doran
Company). It is a wise counsel of perfection which says that sequels are
barred, and I do not believe that Mr. Burke has chosen wisely in
endeavoring to repeat the artistic success of "Limehouse Nights." Apart
from "The Scarlet Shoes" and "Miss Plum-Blossom," this volume seems to
me to be second-rate, and I feel that Mr. Burke has already exhausted
his Limehouse field.

ADAM AND EVE AND PINCH ME, by _A.E. Coppard_ (Alfred A. Knopf).
I have endeavored elsewhere to express my opinion of "Adam and Eve and
Pinch Me" by dedicating this year's annual volume to Mr. Coppard. I
believe that he ranks as an artist among the best continental writers.
He sees life as a pattern which he simplifies, and weaves a closely
wrought fabric which is a symbol of human life as seen by a
disinterested but happy observer. His range is wide, and if he presents
the uncommon instance of a man who has absorbed all that two men as
different as Chekhov and Henry James have to teach, he brings to this
fusion a personal view which transmutes the values of his masters into a
new set of values. To do this successfully is the sign of a fine artist.

Dutton & Company). Mr. Hudson's devoted readers have long known of the
existence of these two stories, and have regretted that the author did
not see fit to issue them in book form. The first story is a short study
in historical reconstruction equal to the best of Jacobsen's work, while
"The Old Thorn" ranks with "El Ombu" as one of Mr. Hudson's best two
short stories. The volume is, of course, a permanent addition to English

TOP O' THE MORNIN', by _Seumas MacManus_ (Frederick A. Stokes
Company). Mr. MacManus's new collection of Irish tales has ups and downs
like a Galway road, but his ups are very good indeed and show that he
has by no means lost the folk imagination which made his early books
rank among the very best of their kind. I can specially commend to the
reader "The Widow Meehan's Cassimeer Shawl," "The Bellman of Carrick,"
and "The Heart-Break of Norah O'Hara."

BLISS AND OTHER STORIES, by _Katherine Mansfield_ (Alfred A.
Knopf). I have no hesitation in stating after careful thought that Miss
Mansfield's first book of short stories at once places her in the great
European tradition on a par with Chekhov and De Maupassant. This is
certainly the most important book of short stories which has come to my
notice since I began to edit this series of books. I say this with the
more emphasis because, although her technique is the same as that of
Chekhov, she is one of the few writers to whom a close study of Chekhov
has done no harm. Most American short story writers are bad because they
copy "O. Henry," and most English short story writers are bad because
they copy Chekhov. Chekhov and "O. Henry" were both great writers
because they copied nobody. I hope that the success of Miss Mansfield's
book will not have the effect of substituting a new model instead of
these two. Mr. Knopf is to be complimented for his taste in publishing
the best two volumes of short stories of the year. It is a disinterested
service to literature.

A CHAIR ON THE BOULEVARD, by _Leonard Merrick_ (E.P. Dutton &
Company). It is unnecessary at this date to point out the special
excellences of Leonard Merrick. They are such as to ensure him a
tolerably secure position in the history of the English short story. But
it may be well to point out that the vice of his excellence is his
proneness to sentimentality. This is more evident in Mr. Merrick's other
volumes than in the present collection, which is really a reissue of his
best stories, including that masterpiece, "The Tragedy of a Comic Song."
If one were to compile an anthology of the world's best twenty stories,
this story would be among them.

by _H.S.M._ (Oxford University Press). This volume has the merit of
containing in very short compass twenty-eight stories by English and
American authors, not too conventionally selected, which would form
admirable texts for a short story course. It includes stories by Mark
Rutherford and Richard Garnett which are likely to be unfamiliar to most
readers, and if taken in conjunction with the previous volume in the
same series, provides a tolerably complete conspectus of the development
of the short story in England and America since 1800.

ORIGINAL SINNERS, by _Henry W. Nevinson_ (B.W. Huebsch, Inc.).
It has always been a mystery to me why Mr. Nevinson's short stories are
so little known to American readers. His earlier volumes "The Plea of
Pan" and "Between the Acts," are eagerly sought by collectors, but they
have been permitted to go out of print, I believe, and the general
public knows very little about them. To nine out of ten people, Mr.
Nevinson is known as a publicist and war correspondent, but it is by his
short stories that he will live longest, and the present volume is one
more illustration of the place which has always been occupied in English
literature by the gifted amateur. The stories in the present volume all
lead back by implication to the golden age, and if Mr. Nevinson's mood
is elegiac, he never refuses to face reality.

IRISH FAIRY TALES, by _James Stephens_ (The Macmillan Company).
We think of Mr. Stephens primarily as a poet and an ironic moralist, but
in the present volume a new side of his genius is revealed. It might
seem that too many writers have attempted with more or less success to
reproduce the spirit of the gray Irish Sagas by retelling them, and we
think of Standish O'Grady, Lady Gregory, "A.E.," and others. But Mr.
Stephens has seen them in the fresh light of an unconquerable youth, and
I am more than half inclined to think that this is the best book he has
given us.

SAVITRI, AND OTHER WOMEN, by _Marjorie Strachey_ (G.P. Putnam's
Sons). Marjorie Strachey has presented the feminist point of view in
eleven short stories drawn from the folklore of many nations. Her object
in telling these stories is a sophisticated one, and I suspect that her
success has been only partial, but she has considerable resources of
style to assist her, and I think that the volume is worthy of some

THE THIRTEEN TRAVELLERS, by _Hugh Walpole_ (George H. Doran
Company). Mr. Walpole has collected in this volume twelve studies of
English life in the present transition stage between war and peace. He
has studied with considerable care those modifications of the English
character which are noticeable to the patient observer, and his volume
has some value as an historical document apart from its undoubted
literary charm. While it will not rank among the best of Mr. Walpole's
books, it is full of excellent _genre_ pieces rendered with subtlety and


OTHER STORIES, by _Anton Chekhov_ translated from the Russian by
_Constance Garnett_ (The Macmillan Company). Mrs. Garnett's
excellent edition of Chekhov is rapidly drawing to a conclusion. In
the two volumes now under consideration we find the greater part of
Chekhov's very short sketches, notably many of the humorous pieces
which he wrote in early life. These are most often brief renderings
of a mood, or quiet ironic contrasts which set forth facts without
drawing any moral or pointing to any intellectual conclusion.

_Anatole France_; edited by _Frederic Chapman_, _James Lewis May_, and
_Bernard Miall_. (John Lane). The first of these volumes presents
another instalment of the author's autobiography in the form of a series
of delicately rendered pictures portrayed with quiet deftness and a
laughing irony which is half sad. In "The Seven Wives of Bluebeard" he
has retold four legends and endowed them with a philosophic content of
smiling ironic doubt which accepts life as we find it and preaches a
gentle disillusioned epicureanism. Both volumes are faultlessly

PEOPLE, by _Pierre Hamp_; translated by _James Whitall_
(Harcourt, Brace, and Company). Among the poets and prose writers who
have emerged in France during the past ten years and formulated a new
social and artistic philosophy, Pierre Hamp is by no means the least
important figure. He has already published about a dozen volumes of
mingled fiction and economic comment which form a somewhat detailed
history of the French workingman in his social and industrial relations,
but "People" is the first volume which has yet been translated into
English. His attitude as revealed in these stories is full of indignant
pity, and he gives us a series of sharply etched portraits, many of
which will not be forgotten readily. He does not conceal his
propagandist tendencies, but they limit him as an artist less in these
stories than in his other books. Mr. Whitall's translation is excellent,
and conveys the author's rugged style convincingly.

LITTLE RUSSIAN MASTERPIECES in Four Volumes, chosen and
translated from the Russian by _Zénaïde A. Ragozin_ (G.P. Putnam's
Sons). This collection is valuable as a supplement to existing
anthologies because it wisely leaves for other editors the most familiar
stories and concentrates on introducing less known writers to the
English-speaking public. The editor has broadened her scheme in order to
include Polish authors. Among the less familiar figures who are here
introduced, I may mention Lesskof, Mamin-Sibiriàk, and Slutchefsky. I
can cordially recommend this admirable series.

translated from the Russian by _Constance Garnett_ (The Macmillan
Company). Mrs. Garnett, to whom we are ever grateful, has surprised us
delightfully by offering us some hitherto untranslated novelettes by
Turgenev which seem to me to rank among his masterpieces. In each of
them he has compressed a whole life cycle into a brief series of
significant incidents and made them the microcosm of a larger human
world. This is one of the most important volumes of the year.



NOTE. _An asterisk before a title indicates distinction. This
list includes single short stories, and collections of short stories.
Volumes announced for publication in the autumn of 1921 are listed here,
although in some cases they had not yet appeared at the time this book
went to press._


  Peace on Earth, Good Will to Dogs. Dutton.

  *Triumph of the Egg. Huebsch.

  Enchanted Bugle. F.A. Owen Pub. Co.

  Gay Cockade. Penn Pub. Co.

  Castiron Culver. C.W. Bardeen.

  Tales from the X-bar Horse Camp. Breeders' Gazette.

  Woodstock Stories, Poems and Essays. Author.

  *Ghitza. Boni and Liveright.

  Faith of a Child. Rose Printing Co.

  Reel of Rainbow. Abingdon Press.

BRADDY, NELLA, _editor_.
  Masterpieces of Adventure, 4 vol. Doubleday, Page.

  Night in Greenwich Village. Author.
  Sentimental Studies. Author.

  *Chance Encounters. Scribner.

  *Line of Love. McBride.

  Pigs to Market. Bobbs-Merrill.

  Velvet Black. Dutton.

  Wound Stripes. Lippincott.

  *Children of Odin. Macmillan.

  *Tide Rips. Scribner.

  Sheila and Others. Dutton.

  Everyday Stories. Jacobs.

  Old Chester Secret. Harper.

  Rosa Mundi. Putnam.

  Joyful Herald of the King of Kings. Herder.

  *Sons o' Cormac. Dutton.

  Bald Face. Knopf.

  Inez and Trilby May. Harper.
  Meet 'em with Shorty McCabe. Clode.

FRECK, LAURA F., _editor_.
  Short Stories of Various Types. Merrill.

  *Great Sea Stories. Brentano's.

  Missy. Doubleday, Page.

  Street of a Thousand Delights. McBride.

  Merchants of Precious Goods. Roxburgh.

  Raggedy Andy Stories. Volland.

  Meet Mr. Stegg. Holt.

  Light and Shade 'round Gulf and Bayou. Roxburgh.

  Tales Out of Court. Stokes.

  Babel. Putnam.

  Scattergood Baines. Harper.

  Mind Adrift. Seattle: S.F. Shorey.

  Joy in Work. Holt.

  Tales of Aegean Intrigue. Dutton.

  Playmates in Egypt. Jewish Pub. Soc. of America.

  "Old Home House." Appleton.

  *Brown Wolf. Macmillan.

  Carter, and Other People. Appleton.

  Further E.K. Means. Putnam.

  Tales from a Rolltop Desk. Doubleday, Page.

  Folks. Macmillan.

  Peh-el-peh (Face to Face). Pagan Pub. Co.

  Shadows. Lane.

  Best Short Stories of 1920. Small, Maynard.

  Where the Young Child Was. Century.

  Cross of Ares. Brentano's.

  Tenderfoot Bride. Revell.

  Truce of God. Doran.

  *Devil Stories. Knopf.

  Old Plantation Days. Stokes.

  Sketches. Author.

  *Famous Modern Ghost Stories. Putnam.
  Humorous Ghost Stories. Putnam.

  Golden Appletree. McCann.

  Heritage. Doran.

  *Cape Breton Tales. Atlantic Monthly Press.

  *Stories from the Old Testament. Luce.

  *O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920. Doubleday, Page.

  Mr. Friend-o'-Man. Interchurch Press.

  Twin Tales. Bobbs-Merrill.

  Riveter's Gang. Revell.

  Buff; a Collie. Doran.

  Festival Stories of Child Life in a Jewish Colony in Palestine. Dutton.
  Stories of Child Life in a Jewish Colony in Palestine. Dutton.

VAN VECHTEN, CARL, _editor_.
  *Lords of the Housetops. Knopf.

  Three Golden Days. Revell.

  Homespun Tales. Houghton, Mifflin.

  Jade. Knopf.

  Scouts of the Desert. Macmillan.

  Leather Pushers. Putnam.


  Romantic Lady. Dodd, Mead.

  Golden Windmill. Macmillan.

  Call Mr. Fortune. Dutton.

  I Have Only Myself to Blame. Doran.

  Path of the King. Doran.

  *More Limehouse Nights. Doran.

  *Romance of His Life. Dodd, Mead.

  *Adam and Eve and Pinch Me. Knopf.

  Love of Long Ago. Doubleday, Page.

  Villa of the Peacock. Doran.

  Admiral's Chair. Oxford University Press.

  Our Kid. Longmans, Green.

  Smith and the Pharaohs. Longmans, Green.

  *Dead Man's Plack, and An Old Thorn. Dutton.

  Life of Gnat. Warne.

M., H.S., _editor_.
  *Selected English Short Stories. 2d series. Oxford University Press.

  Man in Ratcatcher. Doran.

  *Bliss. Knopf.

  *Trembling of a Leaf. Doran.

  *Chair on the Boulevard. Dutton.

  *Original Sinners. Huebsch.

  *Irish Fairy Tales. Macmillan.

  *Savitri and Other Women. Putnam.

  *Thirteen Travellers. Doran.


BALZAC, HONORE DE. (_French._)
  Short Stories. Boni and Liveright.

BYNG, LUCY, _translator_. (_Roumanian._)
  *Roumanian Stories. Lane.

CHEKHOV, ANTON. (_Russian._)
  *Horse-Stealers. Macmillan.
  *Schoolmaster. Macmillan.
  *Schoolmistress. Macmillan.

  *Friend of the Family. Macmillan.

"FRANCE, ANATOLE." (_French._)
  *Little Pierre. Lane.
  *Seven Wives of Bluebeard. Lane.

HAMP, PIERRE. (_French._)
  *People. Harcourt, Brace.

  *Mögens. Brown.

JAMMES, FRANCIS. (_French._)
  *Romance of the Rabbit. Brown.

  *Menace of the Mob. Brown.

"NERVAL, GERARD DE." (_French._)
  *Daughters of Fire. Brown.

POPOVIC, PAVLE, _editor_. (_Jugo-Slav._)
  *Jugo-Slav Stories. Duffield.

  *Shepherd's Pipe. Brown.

TURGENEV, IVAN. (_Russian._)
  *Knock, Knock, Knock. Macmillan.
  *Two Friends. Macmillan.



NOTE. _An asterisk before a title indicates distinction._


  *Three Lives. Lane.


  Winnie O'Wynn and the Wolves. Cassell.

  Love's Last Reward. Hurst and Blackett.

  Countess of Lowndes Square. Cassell.

  *Signs and Wonders. Golden Cockerel Press.

  Home in Kentucky. Stockwell.

  Collection of Ghosts. Morland.

  Lady Bountiful. Christophers.

  Spangles of Existence. Lane.

  Pleasant Husband. Hurst and Blackett.

  Opportunist Sinn Feiners. Heath Cranton.

  Romances in Red. Hodder and Stoughton.

  Free Hand. Ward, Lock.

  *Hounds of Banba. Talbot Press.

  Peony of Pao-Yu. Theosophical Pub. Co.

  Olla Podrida. Morland.

  Green Grass-Widow. Murray.

  *Romantic Man. Seeker.

  Comedy and Tragedy. Holden and Hardingham.

  Miss Smith's Fortune. Skeffington.

  Fringe of the Eternal. Burns, Oates, and Washbourne.

  Decision. Morland.

  *Gods and Their Makers. Allen and Unwin.

  Little Shop in Fore Street. Methuen.

  *Little Ape. Henderson's.

  From Out of the Silence. Books, Ltd.

  In Secret. Odham's.

  Down the Old Road. Heath Cranton.

  *Market Bundle. Butterworth.

  *Ulster Fireside Tales. Heath, Cranton.

  *More Tales of the Ridings. Mathews.
  *Tales of the Ridings. Mathews.

  Noble Madness. Swarthmore Press.

  Prince of the Palais Royal. Cassell.

  Invisible Sword. S. Allen Warner.

  *Candle and Crib. Talbot Press.

QUEER STORIES from "Truth," 22d Series. Cassell.

  Soldier and Death. John G. Wilson.

  Amongst the Aristocracy of the Ghetto. Stanley Paul.

  Haunting of Low Fennel. Pearson.

  Nero. Lane.

  Off the Beaten Track. Chambers.

  Diamonds in the Rough. Stockwell.

  *Pleasure. Grant Richards.

  Heroes in Homespun. Hodder and Stoughton.

  'Twas Ordained. Exeter: W. Pollard and Co.

  Settler's Story of 1820. Stockwell.

  Ghost Gleams. Heath Cranton.

  *Stories of the East. Hogarth Press.

  *Monday or Tuesday. Hogarth Press.


ANDREYEV, LEONID. (_Russian._)
  *And it Came to Pass that the King was Dead. Daniel.
  *His Excellency the Governor. Daniel.

  Holidays. Philpot.

MACKLIN, ALYS EYRE, _translator_ (_French._)
  *29 Short Stories. Philpot.



NOTE. _An asterisk before a title indicates distinction._

  BARBEY D'AUREVILLY, J. *Cachet d'Onyx. La Connaissance.
  BODIN, MARGUERITE. Psaumes d'amour. Figuière.
  BOURGET, PAUL. *Anomalies. Plon.
  BOUTET, FREDERIC. *Adventures Sombres et Pittoresques. Ferenczi.
  DOYON, RENE LOUIS. Proses Mystiques. La Connaissance.
  FARRERE, CLAUDE. Betes et Gens Qui s'Aimérent. Flammarion.
  GEFFROY, GUSTAVE. Nouveaux contes du pays d'Ouest. Crès.
  GIRIEUD, MAXIME. Contes du Temps Jamais. La Sirène.
  GOBIMEAU, COMTE DE. *Mademoiselle Irnois. Nouv. Revue franç.
  HENRIOT, EMILE. *Temps Innocents. Emile Paul.
  LEVEL, MAURICE. Morts Étranges. Ferenczi.
  LICHTENBERGER, ANDRA. Scènes en Famille. Plon.
  MACORLAN, PIERRE. *A Bord de l'Etoile Matutine. Crès.
  MAURICE-VERNE. Milles-et-une Nuits. Albin Michel.
  MELHOUF, DJEBAL. Père Robin. Boet, Constantine.
  MILLE, PIERRE. *Histoires exotiques et merveilleuses. Ferenczi.
  MORAND, PAUL. *Tendres Stocks. Nouv. Revue franç.
  NANDEAU, LUDOVIC. Histoire des Wagon et de la Cabine. Pierre Lafitte.
  NESMY, JEAN. Arc-en-ciel. Grasset.
  PERGAUD, LOUIS. *Rustiques. M. de F.
  PILLON, MARCEL. Contes à ma consine. Figuière.
  REGISMAUSET, CHARLES. Livre de Mes Amis. Sansot.
  RENAUD, J. JOSEPH. Clavecin Hanté. Pierre Lafitte.
  RICHEPIN, JEAN. *Coin des Fous. Flammarion.
  "TAILLEFER." Contes de Grenoble, Audin et Cir.
  TISSERAND, ERNEST. Contes de la popote. Crès.
  TURPIN, FRANCOIS. Contes Inutiles. La Connaissance.
  VERNON, YVONNE. Chine, Japan, Stamboul. Tohner.



Authors of articles are printed in capital letters.

_The following abbreviations are used in this index:_

  _Ain._                  Ainslee's Magazine
  _Ath._                  Athenæum
  _A.W._                  All's Well
  _B.E.T._                Boston Evening Transcript
  _Book._ (_London_)      Bookman (London)
  _Book._ (_N.Y._)        Bookman (New York)
  _Book. J._              Bookman's Journal
  _Cen._                  Century
  _Det. Sun. N._          Detroit Sunday News
  _Dial_                  Dial
  _Eng. R._               English Review
  _Fortn. R._             Fortnightly Review
  _Free._                 Freeman
  _Harp. M._              Harper's Magazine.
  _Liv. A._               Living Age
  _L. Merc._              London Mercury
  _L. St._                Live Stories
  _M. de F._              Mercure de France
  _N.A. Rev._             North American Review
  _Nat._ (_N.Y._)         Nation (New York)
  _Nat._ (_London_)       Nation (London)
  _New S._                New Statesman
  _N. Rep._               New Republic
  _N.R.F._                Nouvelle Revue Française
  _N.Y. Times_            New York Times Review of Books
  _Outl._ (_London_)      Outlook (London)
  _R.D.M._                Revue des Deux Mondes
  _Sat. West._            Saturday Westminster Gazette
  _Scr._                  Scribner's Magazine
  _So. Atl. Q._           South Atlantic Quarterly
  _S.S._                  Smart Set
  _Times Lit. Suppl._     Times Literary Supplement (London)
  _Unp. R._               Unpartisan Review
  _W. Rev._               Weekly Review
  _19th Cent._            Nineteenth Century and after

  Anton Chekhov. Free. April 6. (3:90.)
  Short Story As Poetry. Free. May 11. (3:210.)

  James Joyce. Eng. R. April. (32:333.)

American Short Story.
  By Constance Mayfield Rourke. Free. Oct. 6, '20. (2:91.)

Andreyev, Leonid.
  By Clarendon Ross. N. Rep. May 25. (26:382.)

Artzibashef, Michael.
  By Berenice C. Skidelsky. A.W. Aug. (1:189.) A.W. Sept (1:202.)

  Jean Psichari. M. de F. Dec. 15, '20. (144:797.)
  D. Voutyras. M. de F. April 15. (147:526.)

  Leo Nicolaievitch Tolstoy. Free. Feb. 16. (2:548.)

  Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. Liv. A. Oct. 23, '20. (307:293.)

  M. Franc-Nohain. R.D.M. Sept. 1. (65:217.)

  James Branch Cabell. Times Lit. Suppl. June 16. (20:387.)
  Theodore Dreiser; Willa Sibert Cather. Times Lit. Suppl. June 23.

Beerbohm, Max.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Dec. 23. (19:873.)
  Anonymous. Nat. (London). March 19. (28:883.)
  By Henry D. Davray. M. de F. July 1. (149:245.)
  By Herbert S. Gorman. N.Y. Times. Jan. 2. (9.)
  By Desmond MacCarthy. New S. Dec. 18, '20. (16:339.)
  By Carl Van Doren. Nat. (N.Y.). Dec. 29, '20. (111:785.)
  By S.W. Ath. Dec. 31, '20. (888.)

  Henry James. Free. Dec. 29, '20, (2:381.)

  Chekhov, Maupassant, and James.

Bennett, Arnold.
  By St. John Ervine. N.A. Rev. Sept. (214:371.)

Beresford, J.D.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. June 30. (20:417.) Sat. R. Jul. 2. (132:19.)

  Count Lyof Tolstoi. N.Y. Times. Jan. 9. (3.)

  Paul Bourget. R.D.M. Dec. 15, '20. (60:723.)

Bierce, Ambrose.
  By Walter Jerrold. Book. (London.) June. (60:132.)

  Henry James. Nat. (London). July 16. (29:581.)

  Knut Hamsun. N. Rep. Apr. 13. (26:195.)

  Lord Dunsany. Book. (N.Y.). April. (53:140.)

Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente.
  By Carlos de Sic Batlle. Liv. A. Oct. 23, '20. (307:293.)
  By Jean Gasson. M. de F. Aug. 15. (32:244.)
  By T.R. Ybarra. N.Y. Times. Jan. 23. (16.)

Bloch, Jean Richard.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Oct. 14, '20. (19:662.)

  Léon Kobrin. M. de F. March 15. (146:826.)

Boccaccio, Giovanni.
  Anonymous. New S. Nov. 6, '20. (16:144.)

  Prosper Mérimée. Liv. A. Nov. 6, '20. (307:346.)

Bourget, Paul.
  By Louis Bertrand. R.D.M. Dec. 15, '20. (60:723.)
  By C.F. Ath. Oct. 15, '20. (532.)
  By Louis Martin-Chauffier. N.R.F. Dec. '20. (8:934.).

  Jens Peter Jacobsen. Free. May 25. (3:259.)
  James Stephens. Free. March 9. (2:619.)

  Willa Cather. B.E.T. Feb. 16.

  Thomas Hardy. N.Y. Times. June 5. (12.)

  Fyodor Dostoevski. Nat. (N.Y.). Aug. 10. (113:155.)

Buchan, John.
  By Louise Maunsell Field. N.Y. Times. Jul. 3. (9.)

Bunin, I.A.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Aug. 18. (20:530.)
  By Jean Chuzeville. M. de F. Sept. 15. (32:815.)

  Francis Jammes. Free. May 11. (3:211.)

Burke, Thomas.
  Anonymous. Nat. (London). June 25. (29:476.)
  By Allen Monkhouse. New S. April 30. (17:106.)

  By Blanche Colton Williams. Book. (N.Y.). March. (53:53.)

Burt, Maxwell Struthers.
  Henry W. Nevinson. Book. (N.Y.). May. (53:253.)

Cabell, James Branch.
  By C.E. Bechhofer. Times Lit. Suppl. June 16. (20:387.)
  By Richard Le Gallienne. N.Y. Times. Feb. 13. (3.)
  By Robert Morss Lovett. N. Rep. Apr. 13. (26:187.)

  Willa Sibert Cather. Book. (N.Y.). May. (53:212.)

  Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. M. de F. Aug. 15. (32:244.)
  Ramon Gomez de la Serna. M. de F. Jan. 15. (145:516.)
  Miguel de Unamuno. M. de F. June 15. (148:819.)

Cather, Willa Sibert.
  By C.E. Bechhofer. Times Lit. Suppl. June 23. (20:403.)
  By William Stanley Braithwaite. B.E.T. Feb. 16.
  By Latrobe Carroll. Book. (N.Y.). May. (53:212.)
  By Francis Hackett. N. Rep. Jan. 19. (25:233.)
  By Carl Van Doren. Nat. (N.Y.). Jul. 27. (113:92.)
  By O.W. Ath. Dec. 31, '20. (890.)

  Diary. Free. April 6. (3:79.)
  Notebook. M. de F. Jan. (3:285.) Free. April 13. (3:104).
April 20. (3:127.) April 27. (3:152.) May 4. (3:175.) May 11.
(3:199.) May 18. (3:225.) May 25. (3:247.) June 1. (3:272)
June 8. (3:296.) June 15. (3:320.) June 22. (3:344.) June 29.
(3:368.) July 6. (3:392.) July 13. (3:415.) July 20. (3:440.)

Chekhov, Anton.
  By Conrad Aiken. Free. April 6. (3:90.)
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Nov. 18, '20. (19:756.)
  Anonymous. L. St. Dec. '20. (125.)
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. April 21. (20:257.)
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Sept. 22. (20:609.)
  By Arnold Bennett. L. Merc. Oct., '20. (2:677.)
  By N. Bryllion Fagin. P.L. Autumn. (32:416.)
  By Maxim Gorky. Free. May 25. (3:251.)
  By Maxim Gorky. New S. April 16. (17:52.)
    Free. May 25. (3:251.) June 1. (3:275.) June 8. (3:298.)
  By Alexander Kuprin. Free. Aug. 10. (3:511.) Aug. 17. (3:535.)
      Aug. 24. (3:561.) Aug. 31. (3:583.)
  By Prince D.S. Mirski. Outl. (London.). Jul. 30. (48:90.)
  By J. Middleton Murry. Ath. Jan. 1. (11.)
    Nat. (London). June 4. (29:365.)

  George Meredith. N. Rep. Jan. 26. (25:267.)

Chuzeville, Jean.
  Ivan A. Bunin. M. de F. Sept. 15. (32:815.)

  By Benjamin Crémieux. N.R.F. Dec., '20. (8:939.)

  Federigo Tozzi; Mario Puccini. Nat. (London). July 16. (29:585.)

Colum, Padraic.
  By Constance Mayfield Rourke. N. Rep. May 4. (26:300.)

Conrad, Joseph.
  Anonymous. Nat. (London). March 19. (28:881.)
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. March 3. (20:141.)
  By Louise Maunsell Field. N.Y. Times. May 8. (10.)
  By Robert Lynd. New S. Mar. 12. (16:674.)
  By William McFee. Book. (N.Y.). Apr. (53:102.)

  Five Prefaces. L. Merc. Mar. (3:493.)

Coppard, A.E.
  Anonymous. Nat. (London). Jul. 30. (29:656.)
  By Malcolm Cowley. Dial. Jul. (71:93.)

Corkery, Daniel.
  Anonymous. Nat. (London). Apr. 2. (29:27.)
  By Shane Leslie. Dub. R. Apr. (168:289.)

Coster, Charles D.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Oct. 14, '20. (19:663.)

  Count Lyof Tolstoi. Times Lit. Suppl. Dec. 30, '20. (19:889.)

  A.E. Coppard. Dial. Jul. (71:93.)
  Katharine Mansfield. Dial. Sept. (71:365.)

  Collette. N.R.F. Dec., '20. (8:939.)

D'Annunzio, Gabrielle.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Jan. 6. (20:7.)

  Max Beerbohm. M. de F. Jul. 1. (149:245.)
  Henry James. M. de F. Feb. 15. (146:68.)

De Coster, Charles.
  Anonymous. New S. Jan. 22. (16:482.)

  R.L. Stevenson. M. de F. Jan. 1. (145:55.)

Dostoevsky, Fyodor.
  Anonymous. Ath. Dec. 3, '20. (758.)
  Anonymous. Times. Lit. Suppl. Dec. 9, '20. (19:811.)
  By Dorothy Brewster. Nat. (N.Y.). Aug. 10. (113:155.)
  By Herbert S. Gorman. N.Y. Times. Aug. 7. (6.)
  By Allan Monkhouse. New S. Mar. 5. (16:646.)
  By Clarendon Ross. N. Rep. Jan. 12. (25:205.)
  By Louis Gillet. R.D.M. Dec. 15, '20. (60:851.)

Dreiser, Theodore.
  By C.E. Bechhofer. Times Lit. Suppl. June 23. (20:403.)
  By Edward H. Smith. Book. (N.Y.). Mar. (53:27.)

  Prosper Mérimée. M. de F. Oct. 1, '20. (143:113.)

Dunsany, Lord.
  By John Black. Book. (N.Y.). Apr. (53:140.)
  By C.E. Lawrence. Liv. A. Aug. 27. (310:531.) Book.
  (London). Jul. (60:172.)
  By Odell Shepard. Scr. May. (69:595.)

Easton, Dorothy.
  By H.S.G.N. Rep. Feb. 23. (25:384.)

  W.H. Hudson. B.E.F. Jan. 12. (6.)

  H.G. Wells. Book. (N.Y.). Feb. (52:542.)

  Arnold Bennett. N.A. Rev. Sept. (214:371.)

  Thomas Hardy. 19th Cent. Sept. (90:427.)

  Anton Chekhov. P.L. Autumn. (32:416.)

  John Buchan. N.Y. Times. Jul. 3. (9.)
  Joseph Conrad. N.Y. Times. May 8. (10.)

  R.B. Cunninghame-Graham. A.W. Jul. (1:168.)

Fisher, Hervey.
  By Orlo Williams. Ath. Feb. 11. (157.)

Flaubert, Gustave.
  Anonymous. Nat. (N.Y.) Jul. 13. (113:33.)
  By Georges-A. Le Roy. M. de F. Dec. 15, '20. (144:788.)

Franc-Nohain, M.
  By André Beaunier. R.D.M. Sept. 1. (65:217.)

France, Anatole.
  By Pitts Sanborn. Free. Feb. 9. (2:514.)

G., H.S.
  Aldous Huxley. N. Rep. Oct. 13, '20. (24:172.)
  Dorothy Easton. N. Rep. Feb. 23. (25:384.)

Gálvez, Manuel.
  By Isaac Goldberg. B.E.T. Feb. 16. '21.

  Guy de Maupassant. R.D.M. Oct. 15, '20. (59:746.)

  Fyodor Dostoevski. R.D.M. Dec. 15, '20. (60:851.)
  Lyof Tolstoi. R.D.M. Oct. 1, '20. (59:633.)

Gogol, Nikolas.
  By "Parijanine." Liv. A. Jul. 2. (310:51.)

Goedhart-Becker, J.M.
  By J.L. Walch. M. de F. Dec. 15, '20. (144:794.)

Gogol, Nikolai Vassilievitch.
  By Albert Jay Nock. Free. Jan. 26. (2:464.)

  Manuel Gálvez. B.E.T. Feb. 16, '21.

Gomez de la Serna, Ramon.
  By Jean Casson. M. de F. Jan. 15. (145:516.)

  Count Lyof Tolstoi. N.R.F. Dec., '20. (8:862.)

  Anton Chekhov. New S. Apr. 16. (17:52.) Free. May 25. (3:251.)
      June 1. (3:275.) June 8. (3:298.)

  American Short Story. N.Y. Times. Mar. 6., (10.)
  Max Beerbohm. N.Y. Times. Jan. 2. (9.)
  Fyodor Dostoevski. N.Y. Times. Aug. 7. (6.)

Govoni, Corrado.
  By Mario Praz. L. Merc. Sept. (4:527.)

Graham, R.B. Cunninghame.
  By Charles J. Finger. A.W. Jul. (1:168.)
  By C. Lewis Hind. Free. May 18. (3:237.)
  By Mariano Joachin Lorente. A.W. Jan. (1:6.)

  Guy de Maupassant. M. de F. June 15. (148:597.)

Hamilton, Anthony.
  Anonymous. New S. Apr. 23. (17:83.)
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Apr. 7. (20:225.)

H., R.
  Katharine Mansfield. N. Rep. Mar. 23. (26:114.)

  James Stephens. N. Rep. Dec. 22, '20. (25:111.)
  Lyof Tolstoi. N. Rep. Jan. 5. (25:172.)
  Willa Sibert Cather. N. Rep. Jan. 12. (25:233.)

Hamp, Pierre.
  By Gilbert Thomas. Free. June 29. (3:379.)

Hamsun, Knut.
  Anonymous. N.Y. Times. June 26. (8.)
  Anonymous. New S. Nov. 13, '20. (16:170.)
  By Edwin Bjorkman. N. Rep. Apr. 13. (26:195.)
  By Allen Wilson Porterfield. Nat. (N.Y.) Dec 8, '20. (111:652.)
  By Allen Shoenfield. Det. Sun. N. Dec. 19, '20.
  By W.W. Worster. Fortn. R. Dec., '20. (114:1003.)

Hardy, Thomas.
  By Ernest Brennecke. N.Y. Times. June 5. (12.)
  By Wilfrid Ewart. 19th Cent. Sept. (90:427.)
  By H.M. Tomlinson. N. Rep. Jan. 12. (25:190.)

  Hugh Walpole. Outl. (London). Jul. 23. (48:75.)

Hearn, Lafcadio.
  Anonymous. New S. Sept. 10. (17:628.)
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Aug. 25. (20:545.)
  Anonymous. Sat. R. Sept. 24. (48:380.)

"Henry, O."
  By William Johnston. Book. (N.Y.). Feb. (52:536.)
  By Archibald L. Sessions. Ain. Sept. (48:150.)

Hergesheimer, Joseph.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Dec. 16, '20. (19:854.)
  By Edward Shanks. L. Merc. Jan. (3:337.)

  R.B. Cunninghame Graham. Free. May 18. (3:237.)

  Robert Louis Stevenson. Book. J. Jan. 14. (3:194.)

Hudson, W.H.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Dec. 9, '20. (19:823.)
  Anonymous. Nat. (London). Jan. 22. (28:584.)
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Sept. 29. (20:625.)
  By Edwin Francis Edgett. B.E.T. Jan. 12. (6.)
  By H.J. Massingham. L. Merc. Nov. '20. (3:73.)
  By Forest Reid. Ath. Jan. 14. (39.)

Hurst, Fannie.
  By Inez Haynes Irwin. Book. (N.Y.). June. (53:335.)

Huxley, Aldous.
  By H.S.G. N. Rep. Oct. 13, '20. (24:172.)

Huysmans, Joris Karl.
  By Albert Thibaudet. N.R.F. Dec., '20. (8:93.)
  By Cuthbert Wright. Dial. Dec., '20. (69:655.)

  Fannie Hurst. Book. (N.Y.). June. (53:335.)

Jacobsen, Jens Peter.
  By Ernest Boyd. Free. May 25. (3:259.)

James, Henry.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. May 12. (20:298) June 30.
    (20:417.) Liv. A. Jul. 30. (310:267.)
  By Arnold Bennett. L. Merc. Oct., '20. (2:677.)
  By Lisle Bell. Free. Dec. 29, '20. (2:381.)
  By Augustine Birrell. Nat. (London). Jul. 16. (29:581.)
  By Henry-D. Davray. M. de F. Feb. 15. (146:68.)
  By Desmond MacCarthy. New S. Dec. 18, '20. (16:339.)
  By Brander Matthews. N.Y. Times. June 12. (2.)
  By Wilfrid L. Randell. Fortn. R. Sept. (116:458.)
  By Stanley Went. Unp. Rev. Oct., '20. (14:381.)

Jammes, Francis.
  By Kenneth Burke. Free. May 11. (3:211.)

  Ambrose Bierce. Book. (London). June. (60:132.)

  O. Henry. Book. (N.Y.). Feb. (52:536.)

Joyce, James.
  By Richard Aldington. Eng. R. Apr. (32:333.)
  By Evelyn Scott. Dial. Oct., '20. (69:353.)

Karkavitsas, Andreas.
  By Aristides E. Phoutrides. W. Rev. Dec. 8, '20. (3:566.)

  Fyodor Sologub. Fortn. R. Oct., '20. (114:663.)

Kipling, Rudyard.
  By Arthur Bartlett Maurice. N.Y. Times. May 22. (4.)

Kobrin, Léon.
  By L. Blumenfeld. M. de F. Mar. 15. (146:826.)

  Anton Chekhov. Free. Aug. 10. (3:511.) Aug. 17. (3:535.)
    Aug. 24. (3:561.) Aug. 31. (3:583.)

Kurz, Isolde.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. June 30. (20:415.)

Larbaud, Valery.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Dec. 2, '20. (19:790.)

  Lord Dunsany. Liv. A. Aug. 27. (310:531.) Book. (London).
    Jul. (60:172.)

  James Branch Cabell. N.Y. Times. Feb. 13. (3.)

Le Roy, Georges A.
  Gustave Flaubert. M. de F. Dec. 15, '20. (144:788.)

  Daniel Corkery. Dub. Rev. Apr. (168:289.)

  Giovanni Verga. Dial. Aug. (71:150.)

  Jack London. Cen. Mar. (101:545.) May. (102:105.)
    June. (102:287.) Jul. (102:443.) Aug. (102:599.)

London, Jack.
  By Charmian London. Cen. March. (101:545.) May
    (102:105.) June. (102:287.) Jul. (102:443.) Aug.
    (102: 599.)

  R.B. Cunninghame Graham. A.W. Jan. (1:6.)

  James Branch Cabell. N. Rep. Apr. 13. (26:187.)

  Joseph Conrad. New S. Mar. 12. (16:674.)

  Max Beerbohm. New S. Dec. 18, '20. (16:339.)
  Henry James. New S. Dec. 18, '20. (16:339.)
  Katharine Mansfield. New S. Jan. 15. (16:450.)
  Guy de Maupassant. New S. Sept. 24. (17:677.)
  Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf. New S. Apr. 9. (17:18.)

  Joseph Conrad. Book. (N.Y.). Apr. (53:102.)

  Edgar Allen Poe. Free. Mar. 9. (2:622.)

  Anne Douglas Sedgwick. B.E.T. Jan. 29, '21.

  Gertrude Stein. Ath. Oct. 15, '20. (520.)

Mansfield, Katharine.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Dec. 16, '20. (19:858.) Ath.
    Jan. 21. (67.) Nat. (London). Feb. 5. (28:639.)
  By Malcolm Cowley. Dial. Sept. (71:365.)
  By R.H.N. Rep. Mar. 23. (26:114.)
  By Desmond MacCarthy. New S. Jan. 15. (16:450.)
  By Jasper Pendlethwaite. Sat. West. Jan. 1. (16.)
  By Edward Shanks. L. Merc. Jan. (3:337.)

  Paul Bourget. N.R.F. Dec. '20. (8:934.)

  H.W. Nevinson. Free. Aug. 10. (3:524.)

  W.H. Hudson. L. Merc. Nov. 20. (3:73.)
  Guy de Maupassant. Nat. (London.) Oct. 30, '20. (28:166.)

  Henry James. N.Y. Times. June 12. (2.)
  Edgar Allen Poe. N.Y. Times. Mar. 13. (3.)
  Mark Twain. Harp. M. Oct., '20. (141: 635.)

Maupassant, Guy de.
  By Arnold Bennett. L. Merc. Oct., '20. (2: 677.)
  By A. Guèrinot. M. de F. June 15. (148:597.)
  By Louis Barthou. R.D.M. Oct. 15, '20. (59:746.)
  By Desmond MacCarthy. New S. Sept. 24. (17:677.)
  By H.J.M. Massingham. Nat. (London.) Oct. 30, '20. (28:166.)
  By Albert Thibaudet. N.R.F. Dec., '20. (8:923.)

  Rudyard Kipling. N.Y. Times. May 22. (4.)

  Mark Twain. S.S. Oct., '20. (138.)

Meredith, George.
  By Samuel C. Chew. N. Rep. Jan. 26. (25:267.)
  By E.T. Raymond. Liv. A. Oct. 23, '20. (307:222.)

Mérimée, Prosper.
  By Paul Bourget. Liv. A. Nov. 6, '20. (307:346.)
  By L. Dugas. M. de F. Oct. 1, '20. (143:113.)
  By Camille Pitollet. M. de F. Nov. 15, '20. (144:252.)

  Anton Chekhov. Outl. (London.) Jul. 30. (48:90.)

  Thomas Burke. New S. Apr. 30. (17:106.)
  Fyodor Dostoievsky. New S. Mar. 5. (16:646.)

Moorman, F.W.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Oct. 21, '20. (19:679.)

Morand, M. Paul.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Mar. 3. (20:142.)
  By J. Middleton Murry. Nat. (London). Apr. 23. (29:137.)

  Victor Murdock. N. Rep. Sept. 14. (28:79.)

  Mark Twain. Book. (N.Y.). Apr. (53:143.)

Murdock, Victor.
  By Edith Parsons Morgan. N. Rep. Sept. 14. (28:79.)

  Anton Chekhov. Ath. Jan. 7. (11.) Nat. (London). June 4. (29:365.)
  Paul Morand. Nat. (London.) Apr. 23. (29:137.)
  Hugh Walpole. Nat. (London.) Jul. 16. (29:584.)

Nevinson, Henry W.
  Anonymous. Nat. (London). Jan. 15. (38:554.)
  By Maxwell Struthers Burt. Book. (N.Y.). May. (53:253.)
  By Lawrence Mason. Free. Aug. 10. (3:524.)

  Oscar Wilde. New S. Dec. 11, '20. (16:310.)

  Vassilievitch Nikolai Gogol. Free. Jan. 26. (2:464.)

  James Stephens. B.E.T. Dec. 18.

  Nikolas Gogol. Liv. A. Jul. 2. (310:51.)

  Mark Twain, So. Atl. Q. Oct., '20. (19:332.)

  Katharine Mansfield. Sat. West. Jan. 1. (16.)

Pérez de Ayala, Ramón.
  By J.B. Trend. Nat. (London). Jul. 9. (29:550.)

  Andreas Karkavitsas. W. Rev. Dec. 8, '20. (3:566.)

  Prosper Mérimée. M. de F. Nov. 15, '20. (144:252.)

Poe, Edgar Allen.
  By Brander Matthews. N.Y. Times. Mar. 13. (3.)
  By John Macy. Free. Mar. 9. (2:622.)
  By Merton S. Yewdale. N.A. Rev. Nov., '20. (212:686.)

  Knut Hamsun. Nat. (N.Y.). Dec. 8, '20. (111:596.)

  Corrado Govoni. L. Merc. Sept. (4:527.)
  Federico Tozzi. L. Merc. Jan. (3:321.)

Psichari, Jean.
  By Démétrius Astériotis. M. de F. Dec. 15, '20. (144:797.)

Puccini, Mario.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Aug. 25. (20:546.)
  By Lucy Collis-Morley. Nat. (London.). Jul. 16. (29:585.)

  Henry James. Fortn. R. Sept. (116:458.)

  George Meredith. Liv. A. Oct. 23, '20. (307:222.)

  W.H. Hudson. Ath. Jan. 14. (39.)

Rejmont, Ladislas.
  By Z.-L. Zaleski. M. de F. Oct. 1, '20. (143:35.)

Régnier, Henri de.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Dec. 23, '20. (19:869.)

Robbins, Tod.
  Anonymous. Nat. (N.Y.). Nov. 24, '20. (111:596.)

  Leonid Andreyev. N. Rep. May 25. (26:382.)
  Fyodor Dostoevski. N. Rep. Jan. 12. (25:205.)

"Ross, Martin."
  _See_ "Somerville, E. [OE].," _and_ "Ross, Martin."

  American Short Story. Free. Oct. 6, '20. (2:91.)
  Padraic Colum. N. Rep. May 4. (26:300.)

  Ivan Turgenev. 19th Cent. Aug. (90:230.)

Sainte-Beuve, C.A.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Oct. 28, '20. (19:695.)

  Anatole France. Free. Feb. 9. (2:514.)

Schickele, René.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Jan. 27. (20:58.)

  Knut Hamsun. Det. Sun. N. Dec. 19, '20.

  Anonymous. Nat. (London). Dec. 18, '20. (28:416.)
  Nat. (N.Y.). Dec. 29, '20. (111:769.)

  James Joyce. Dial. Oct., '20. (69:353.)

Sedgwick, Anne Douglas.
  Anonymous. Nat. (London). Oct. 16, '20. (28:84.)
  By Dorothea L. Mann. B.E.T. Jan. 29, 1921
  By Rebecca West. New S. Oct. 9, '20. (16:20.)

Seidel, Ina.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. June 30. (20:415.)

  O. Henry. Ain. Sept. (48:150.)

  Katharine Mansfield. }
  Joseph Hergesheimer. } L. Merc. Jan. (3:337.)

  Lord Dunsany. Scr. May. (69:595.)

Short Story As Poetry.
  By Conrad Aiken. Free. May 11. (3:210.)

  Michael Artzibashef. A.W. Aug. (1:189.) A.W. Sept. (1:202.)

  Theodore Dreiser. Book. (N.Y.). Mar. (53:27.)

Söderberg, Hjalmar.
  By Charles Wharton Stork. Book. (N.Y.). Apr. (53:142.)

Sologub, Fyodor.
  By A. Lister Kaye. Fortn. R. Oct., '20. (114:663.)
  "Somerville, E. [OE].," _and_ "Ross, Martin."
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Oct. 23, '20. (19:697.)

  The Short Story. Outl. (London.) Sept. 17. (48:234.)

Stein, Gertrude.
  By Katharine Mansfield. Ath. Oct. 15, '20. (520.)

Stephens, James.
  By Ernest A. Boyd. Free. Mar. 9. (2:619.)
  By Francis Hackett. N. Rep. Dec. 22, '20. (25:111.)
  By Norreys Jephson O'Conor. B.E.T. Dec. 18, '20.

Stevenson, Robert Louis.
  Anonymous. New S. Nov. 27, '20. (16:240.) Times Lit. Suppl.
  Oct. 28, '20. (19:699.) Nat. (London). Jan. 18. (28:554.)
  By Jacques Delebecque. M. de F. Jan. 1. (145:55.)
  By R. Thurston Hopkins. Book. J. Jan. 14. (3:194.)
  By F.R. Ath. Nov. 12, '20. (650.)

  Hjalmar Söderberg. Book. (N.Y.). Apr. (53:142.)

  Emile Zola; Guy de Maupassant; Joris-Karl Huysmans. N.R.F.
  Dec., '20. (8:923.)

  Pierre Hamp. Free. June 29. (3:379.)

Tolstoi, Count Lyof.
  By H. Bagenal. Free. Feb. 16. (2:548.)
  By Herman Bernstein. N.Y. Times. Jan. 9. (3.)
  By John Cournos. Times Lit. Suppl. Dec. 30, '20. (19:888.)
  By Louis Gillet. R.D.M. Oct. 1, '20. (59:633.)
  By Maxim Gorki. N.R.F. Dec., '20. (8:862.)
  By Francis Hackett. N. Rep. Jan. 5. (25:172.)

  Thomas Hardy. N. Rep. Jan. 12. (25:190.)

Tozzi, Federigo.
  By Lucy Collis-Morley. Nat. (London.) Jul. 16. (29:585.)
  By Mario Praz. L. Merc. Jan. (3:321.)

Trancoso, Fernandez.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Aug. 25. (20:546.)

  Ramón Pérez de Ayala. Nat. (London). Jul. 9. (29:550.)

Turgenev, Ivan.
  By Lilian Rowland-Brown. 19th Cent. Aug. (90:230.)

"Twain, Mark."
  Anonymous. Nat. (London). Oct. 23, '20. (28:136.) New S.
  Oct. 2, '20. (15:707.) Liv. A. Nov. 27, '20. (307:555.)
  By Brander Matthews. Harp. M. Oct., '20. (141:635.)
  By H.L. Mencken. S.S. Oct., '20. (138.)
  By Frank R. Morrissey. Book. (N.Y.). Apr. (53:143.)
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  By V.R. Ath. Oct. 8, '20. (470.)

Unamuno, Miguel de.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Jul. 28. (20:483.)
  By Jean Casson. M. de F. June 15. (148:819.)

  Oscar Wilde. Dial. Sept. (71:359.)

  Max Beerbohm. Nat. (N.Y.), Dec. 29, '20. (111:785.)
  Willa Sibert Cather. Nat. (N.Y.). Jul. 27. (113:92.)

Verga, Giovanni.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. May 26. (20:339.)
  By Carlo Linati. Dial. Aug. (71:150.)

Voutyras, D.
  By Démétrius Astériotis. M. de F. Apr. 15. (147:526.)

Walch, J.L.
  J.M. Goedhart-Becker; Karel Wasch. M. de F. Dec. 15, '20.

Walpole, Hugh.
  Anonymous. Sat. R. Jul. 30. (132:150.)
  By H.C. Harwood. Outl. (London). Jul. 23. (48:75.)
  By J. Middleton Murry. Nat. (London.) Jul. 16. (29:584.)

Wasch, Karel.
 By J.L. Walch. M. de F. Dec. 15, '20. (144:794.)

Wells, H.G.
  By John Elliot. Book. (N.Y.). Feb. (52:542.)

Went, Stanley.
  Henry James. Unp. Rev. Oct., '20. (14:381.)

  Anne Douglas Sedgwick. New S. Oct. 9, '20. (16:20.)

Wilde, Oscar.
  Anonymous. Times Lit. Suppl. Nov. 18, '20. (19:754.)
  By Robert Nichols. New S. Dec. 11, '20. (10:310.)
  By Charles Vale. Dial. Sept. (71:359.)

  Maxwell Struthers Burt. Book. (N.Y.). Mar. (53:53.)

  Hervey Fisher. Ath. Feb. 11. (157.)

Woolf, Virginia.
  By Desmond MacCarthy. New S. Apr. 9. (17:18.)

  Knut Hamsun. Fortn. R. Dec., '20. (114:1003.)

Wright, Cuthbert.
  Joris-Karl Huysmans. Dial. Dec., '20. (69:655.)

  Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. N.Y. Times. Jan. 23. (16.)

  Edgar Allen Poe. N.A. Rev. Nov., '20. (212:686.)

  Stefan Zeromski; Ladislas Rejmont. M. de F. Oct. 1, '20. (143:35.)

Zeromski, Stefan.
  By Z.-L. Zaleski. M. de F. Oct. 1. '20. (143:35.)

Zola, Emile.
  By Albert Thibaudet. N.R.F. Dec., '20. (8:923.)



NOTE. _One, two, or three asterisks are prefixed to the titles
of stories to indicate distinction. Three asterisks prefixed to a title
indicate the more or less permanent literary value of the story. Cross
references after an author's name refer to previous volumes of this

_The following abbreviations are used in the index:_

_Aumonier_      Aumonier. Golden Windmill and Other Stories.

_Bercovici_     Bercovici. Ghitza and Other Romances of Gypsy Blood.

_Brown B_       Brown. Homespun and Gold.

_Burke_         Burke. More Limehouse Nights.

_Burt B_        Burt. Chance Encounters.

_Cabell A_      Cabell. Lines of Love.

_Chekhov F_     Chekhov. Schoolmistress and Other Stories.

_Chekhov G_     Chekhov. Horse-Stealers and Other Stories.

_Child_         Child. Velvet Black.

_Cholmondeley_  Cholmondeley. Romance of His Life and Other Romances.

_Coppard_       Coppard. Adam and Eve and Pinch Me.

_Dunbar_        Dunbar. Sons o' Cormac an' Tales of Other Men's Sons.

_France_        France. Seven Wives of Bluebeard.

_French C_      French. Masterpieces of Mystery. Ghost Stories.

_French D_      French. Masterpieces of Mystery. Mystic-Humorous Stories.

_French E_      French. Masterpieces of Mystery. Riddle Stories.

_French F_      French. Masterpieces of Mystery. Detective Stories

_French G_      French. Great Sea Stories.

_Hamp_          Hamp. People.

_Hudson_        Hudson. Dead Man's Plack and An Old Thorn.

_Hughes B_      Hughes. Momma and Other Unimportant People.

_James B_       James. Master Eustace.

_Jugo-Slav_     Popovic. Jugo-Slav Stories.

_MacManus B_    MacManus. Top o' the Mornin'.

_McSpadden B_   McSpadden. Famous Psychic Stories.

_McSpadden C_   McSpadden. Famous Detective Stories.

_Mansfield_     Mansfield. Bliss and Other Stories.

_Marquis_       Marquis. Carter, and Other People.

_Maugham_       Maugham. Trembling of a Leaf.

_Merrick C_     Merrick. Chair on the Boulevard.

_Morley_        Morley. Tales From a Rolltop Desk.

_Nevinson B_    Nevinson. Original Sinners.

_New Dec. B_    New Decameron. Volume the Second, Containing the Second

_Oxford_        Oxford. Selected English Short Stories. Second Series.
                    (XIX and XX Centuries.)

_Post C_        Post. Sleuth of St. James's Square.

_Ragozin_       Ragozin. Little Russian Masterpieces.

_Roumania_      Roumania. Roumanian Stories.

_Rudwin_        Rudwin. Devil Stories.

_Sedgwick_      Sedgwick. Christmas Roses and Other Stories.

_Smith B_       Smith. Cape Breton Tales.

_Stephens_      Stephens. Irish Fairy Tales.

_Strachey_      Strachey. Savitri and Other Women.

_Turgenev_      Turgenev. Two Friends and Other Stories.

_Van Vechten A_ Van Vechten. Lords of the Housetops.

_Walpole_       Walpole. Thirteen Travellers.


  *Monty's Friend. Van Vechten A.203.

ANDERSON, SHERWOOD. (1876- .) (_See 1920._)
  ***Other Woman. O'Brien D. 3.

  Great Valdez Sapphire. French E. 44.
  Printer's Devil. Rudwin. 136.

  ***Gargoyle. O'Brien D. 12.

  *Queen's Cat Van, Vechten A. 220.

  **Bear-Tamers Daughter. Bercovici. 181.
  ***Fanutza. Bercovici. 135.
  ***Ghitza. Bercovici. 7. O'Brien D. 36.
  ***Hazi, Wife of Tender Surtuck. Bercovici. 159.
  ***Law of the Lawless. Bercovici. 27.
  ***Tinka. Bercovici. 112.
  **Vlad's Son, Bercovici. 54.
  *Yahde, the Proud One. Bercovici. 85
  **Yancu Lantaru. Bercovici. 209.

BIERCE, AMBROSE. (1842-1914.) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  ***Horseman in the Sky. Oxford. 252.
  ***Moxon's Master. McSpadden B. 177.

  *Ghoul, McSpadden B. 245.

  *Merchant's Cup. French G. 203.

  Mystery of the Steel Disk. McSpadden C. 233.

BROWN, ALICE. (1857- .) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  **Ann Eliza. Brown B. 79.
  **Brush of Paint. Brown B. 181.
  **Confessions. Brown B. 259.
  *Deserters. Brown B. 210.
  **Homespun Wizardry. Brown B. 43.
  **House of the Bride. Brown B. 139
  *Mary Felicia. Brown B. 22.
  **Path of Stars. Brown B. 201.
  **Question of Wills. Brown B. 158.
  **Red Poppies. Brown B. 64.
  **Return of Father. Brown B. 101.
  **Up on the Mountain. Brown B. 283
  **Wedding Ring. Brown B. 1.
  ***White Pebbles. Brown B. 239.
  **Widow's Third. Brown B. 222.

  ***Life of Five Points. O'Brien D. 49.

  **"Bally Old" Knott. Burt B. 217.
  ***Blood-Red One. Burt B. 197.
  *Devilled Sweetbreads. Burt B. 117.
  ***"Dream or Two." Burt B. 152.
  ***Each in His Generation, Burt B. 252.
  ***Experiment. Burt B. 39.
  ***Scarlet Hunter. Burt B. 1.
  ***Shining Armor. Burt B. 79.

  **Adhelmar at Puysange. Cabell A. 35.
  ***Castle of Content. Cabell A. 173.
  ***Conspiracy of Arnaye. Cabell A. 145
  ***In Necessity's Mortar. Cabell A. 113
  ***In Ursula's Garden. Cabell A. 203.
  ***Love-Letters of Falstaff. Cabell A. 63.
  **Porcelain Cups. Cabell A. 229.
  ***"Sweet Adelais." Cabell A. 87.
  ***Wedding Jest. Cabell A. 9.

  ***Signal Tower. O'Brien D. 66.

  ***Zut. Van Vechten A. 11.

  *Avenger. Child. 243.
  **Cracking Knee. Child. 114.
  **Experiment in Resource. Child. 217.
  *Fiber. Child. 183.
  Foxed. Child. 352.
  ***Identified. Child. 27.
  *In Dancing Shadows. Child. 307.
  *Nightingale. Child. 53.
  *Pode. Child. 280.
  *Velvet Black. Child. 1.
  *Whiff of Heliotrope. Child. 79.

  **Wreck of the Royal Caroline. French G. 129.

CRAM, RALPH ADAMS. (1863- .)
  *Sister Maddelena. French C. 167.

CREW, HELEN COALE. (1866- .)
  ***Parting Genius. O'Brien D. 83.

  *Conn the Boaster. Dunbar. 200.
  *Constant Green Jerkin. Dunbar. 1.
  *Eiveen Cold-Heart. Dunbar. 41.
  *Ethlenn o' the Mist. Dunbar. 68.
  *Fair Ailinn. Dunbar. 106.
  *Grainne the Haughty. Dunbar. 165.
  *Harvestin' o' Dermond. Dunbar. 21.
  *How Cormac Lost His Kingdom. Dunbar. 134.
  *King Diarmid an' Pol. Dunbar. 94.
  *King o' the Three Winds. Dunbar. 212.
  *Light O' Me Eyes. Dunbar. 181.
  *Questin' o' Cleena. Dunbar. 55.
  *Servin' o' Culain. Dunbar. 120.
  *Wild Apples an' Golden Grain. Dunbar. 80.
  *Wind an' Wave an' Wandherin Flame. Dunbar. 151.

  *Chan Tow the Highrob. French D. 143.

FREEMAN, MARY E. WILKINS. (1862- .) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  ***Cat. Van Vechten A. 1.
  ***Shadows on the Wall. McSpadden. B. 269.

GEROULD, KATHARINE FULLERTON. (1879- .) (_See 1918._)
  ***Habakkuk. O'Brien D. 90.

  Grotto Spectre. McSpadden C. 199.
  Missing: Page Thirteen. French F. 108.

HANSHEW, THOMAS W. (1857-1914.)
  Mystery of the Steel Room. McSpadden C. 293.

  Rope of Fear. French F. 200.

HARLAND, HENRY. (1861-1905.)
  *House of Eulalie. Oxford. 396.

HARTE, FRANCIS BRET. (1839-1902.) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  ***How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar. Oxford. 202.
  ***Outcasts of Poker Flat. Oxford. 190.

  ***Judgment of Vulcan. O'Brien D. 116.

HAWTHORNE, NATHANIEL. (1804-1864.) (_See 1918._)
  ***Birth-Mark. French E. 94.
  ***Grey Champion. Oxford. 32.
  ***Maypole of Merry Mount. Oxford. 19.
  ***Old Esther Dudley. Oxford. 64.
  ***Roger Malvin's Burial. Oxford. 41.
  ***White Old Maid. McSpadden B. 1.

HEARN, LAFCADIO. (1850-1904.) (_See 1920._)
  ***Ghost. French D. 101.

"HENRY, O." (WILLIAM SYDNEY PORTER.) (1867-1910.) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  ***Gift of the Magi. Oxford. 406.
  ***Madame Bo-Peep, of the Ranches. Oxford. 430.
  ***Municipal Report. Oxford. 412.

HUGHES, RUPERT. (1872- .) (_See 1918._)
  Butcher's Daughter. Hughes B. 256.
  College Lorelei. Hughes B. 152.
  *Dauntless Bookkeeper. Hughes B. 317.
  *Father of Waters. Hughes B. 78.
  Innocence. Hughes B. 121.
  *"Momma." Hughes B. 1.
  Quicksilver Window. Hughes B. 289.
  Read It Again. Hughes B. 60.
  Split. Hughes B. 213.
  ***Stick-In-The-Muds. Hughes B. 33; O'Brien D. 148.
  *Story I Can't Write. Hughes B. 237.
  Yellow Cords. Hughes B. 193.
  You Hadn't Ought To. Hughes B. 336.

IRVING, WASHINGTON. (1783-1859.) (_See 1918._)
  **Devil and Tom Walker. Rudwin 28.

JAMES, HENRY. (1843-1916.) (_See 1920._)
  ***Benvolio. James B. 203.
  ***Four Meetings. Oxford. 301.
  ***Light Man. James B. 147.
  ***Longstaff's Marriage. James B. 57.
  ***Master Eustace. James B. 7.
  ***Owen Wingrave. Oxford. 260.
  ***Théodolinde. James B. 111.

  **Madame Jolicoeur's Cat. Van Vechten A. 163.

LONDON, JACK. (1876-1916.)
  *Terrible Solomons. French G. 306.

MACMANUS, SEUMAS. (1870- .) (_See 1920._)
  **All on the Brown Knowe. MacManus B. 242.
  *Barney Brian's Monument. MacManus B. 225.
  ***Bellman of Carrick. MacManus B. 207.
  *Billy Baxter's Holiday. MacManus B. 101.
  **Cadger-Boy's Last Journey. MacManus B. 41.
  *Capture of Nelly Carribin. MacManus B. 192.
  *Case of Kitty Kildea. MacManus B. 77.
  Five Minutes a Millionaire. MacManus B. 156.
  ***Heart-Break of Norah O'Hara. MacManus B. 261.
  **Lord Mayor o' Buffalo. MacManus B. 1.
  *Minister's Racehorse. MacManus B. 59.
  *Mrs. Carney's Sealskin. MacManus B. 176.
  *Wee Paidin. MacManus B. 119.
  **When Barney's Trunk Comes Home. MacManus B. 136.
  ***Widow Meehan's Cassimeer Shawl. MacManus B. 18.

  *Behind the Curtain. Marquis. 263.
  *Bubbles. Marquis. 135.
  *Carter. Marquis. 3.
  *Chances of the Street. Marquis. 169.
  *Kale. Marquis. 107.
  *Locked Box. Marquis. 245.
  *Looney the Mutt. Marquis. 89.
  *McDermott. Marquis. 55.
  *Never Say Die! Marquis. 35.
  *Old Man Murtrie. Marquis. 21.
  *Penitent. Marquis. 223.
  *Professor's Awakening. Marquis. 185.

  ***His Job. O'Brien D. 169.

MATTHEWS, JAMES BRANDER. (1852- .) (_See 1920._)
  **Rival Ghosts. French D. 238.

MELVILLE, HERMAN. (1819-1891.)
  ***Capture of the Great White Whale. French G. 145.

  *Mysterious Card. French E. 3.

  Advice to the Lovelorn. Morley. 27.
  Battle of Manila Envelopes. Morley. 169.
  Climacterie. Morley. 187.
  Commutation Chophouse. Morley. 126.
  Curious Case of Kenelm Digby. Morley. 58.
  Gloria and the Garden of Sweden. Morley. 99.
  Pert Little Hat. Morley. 142.
  Prize Package. Morley. 1.
  Punch and Judy. Morley. 198.
  ***Referred to the Author. Morley. 211.
  *Urn Burial. Morley. 158.

O'BRIEN, FITZ-JAMES. (_See 1918._)
  ***Diamond Lens. French D. 38.
  ***Lost Room. French E. 232.

  ***Rending. O'Brien D. 187.

  **From the Loom of the Dead. McSpadden B. 235.

  Devil-Puzzlers. Rudwin. 179.

POE, EDGAR ALLEN. (1809-1849.) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  ***Black Cat. Van Vechten A. 149.
  **Bon-Bon. Rudwin. 112.
  ***Cask of Amontillado. Oxford. 100.
  ***Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. McSpadden B. 17.
  ***Oblong Box. French E. 76.
  ***Purloined Letter. French F. 3. McSpadden C. 1. Oxford. 78.

POST, MELVILLE DAVISSON. (1871- .) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  American Horses. Post C. 213.
  **Cambered Foot. Post C. 70.
  *End of the Road. Post C. 171.
  **Fortune Teller. Post C. 130.
  ***Hole in the Mahogany Panel. Post C. 150.
  *House by the Loch. Post C. 317.
  *Last Adventure. Post C. 193.
  *Lost Lady. Post C. 46
  *Man in the Green Hat. Post C. 90.
  *Pumpkin Coach. Post C. 260.
  **Reward. Post C. 23.
  **Satire of the Sea. Post C. 301.
  *Spread Rails. Post C. 235.
  *Thing on the Hearth. Post C. 1.
  ***Wrong Sign. Post C. 107.
  ***Yellow Flower. Post C. 282.

  Black Hand. McSpadden C. 167.
  French F. 33.

  ***Joseph: a Story. French C. 70.

  *Derelict Neptune. French G. 282.

  ***Dummy-Chucker. O'Brien D. 198.

  ***Autumn Crocuses. Sedgwick. 279.
  **Carnations. Sedgwick. 168.
  ***Christmas Roses. Sedgwick. 1.
  ***Daffodils. Sedgwick. 92.
  ***Evening Primroses. Sedgwick. 253.
  **Hepaticas. Sedgwick. 63.
  ***Pansies. Sedgwick. 121.
  **Pink Foxgloves. Sedgwick. 147.
  ***Staking a Larkspur. Sedgwick. 208.

SIDNEY, ROSE. (1888- .)
  ***Butterflies. O'Brien D. 214.

  **Bucherons. Smith B. 19.
  ***Fly, My Heart. Smith B. 121.
  **Garland for Pettipaw. Smith B. 101.
  **La Belle Mélanie. Smith B. 32.
  **Privilege. Smith B. 63.
  **Siméon's Son. Smith B. 44.
  ***Their True Love. Smith B. 79.

SPRINGER, FLETA CAMPBELL. (1886- .) (_See 1920._)
  ***Rotter, O'Brien D. 236.

STEELE, WILBUR DANIEL. (1886- .) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  ***Out of Exile. O'Brien D. 266.
  **Yellow Cat. French C. 207.

  ***Three Telegrams. O'Brien D. 293.

  **Gipsy. Van Vechten A. 124.

"TWAIN, MARK." (SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS..) (1835-1910.) (_See 1920._)
  *Dick Baker's Cat. Van Vechten A. 144.
  Mr. Bloke's Item. French D. 96.

  *Calvin. Van Vechten A. 226.

  ***Roman Bath. O'Brien D. 312.

  ***Amazement. O'Brien D. 320.

WILLIAMS, BEN AMES. (1889- .) (_See 1920._)
  ***Sheener. O'Brien D. 348.

  ***Turkey Red. O'Brien D. 359.


ARCHER, WILLIAM. (1856- .)
 **My Fascinating Friend. French E. 207.

AUMONIER, STACY. (_See 1918._)
  ***Bent Tree. Aumonier. 199.
  ***Brothers. Aumonier. 59.
  ***Golden Windmill. 3.
  ***Good Action. Aumonier. 137.
  ***Great Unimpressionable. Aumonier. 213.
  ***Little White Frock. Aumonier. 109.
  *"Old Iron." Aumonier. 79.
  ***Source of Irritation. Aumonier. 35.
  ***Them Others. Aumonier. 169.

BENSON, EDWARD FREDERIC. (1867- .) (_See 1920._)
  ***Man Who Went Too Far. McSpadden B. 143. French D. 109.

BLACKWELL, BASIL. (_See 1920._)
  History of Andrew Niggs. New Dec. B. 31.

BLACKWOOD, ALGERNON. (1869- .) (_See 1920._)
  ***Listener. French C. 3.
  ***May-Day Eve. French D. 3.
  ***Psychical Invasion. Van Vechten A. 29.

BURKE, THOMAS. (1887- .) (_See 1920._)
  *Affair at the Warehouse. Burke. 155.
  *Big Boy Blue. Burke. 171.
  **Bluebell. Burke. 95.
  *Cane. Burke. 259.
  **Dumb Wife. Burke. 77.
  *Family Affair. Burke. 117.
  *Game of Poker. Burke. 33.
  Good Samaritans. Burke. 221.
  *Heart of a Child. Burke. 65.
  *Katie the Kid. Burke. 49.
  **Little Flowers of Frances. Burke. 133.
  *Mazurka. Burke. 185.
  ***Miss Plum-Blossom. Burke. 245.
  *Perfect Girl. Burke. 143.
  ***Scarlet Shoes. Burke. 197.
  *Song of Ho Sing. Burke. 271.
  **Twelve Golden Curls. Burke. 231.
  **Yellow Scarf. Burke. 11.

  **Dark Cottage. Cholmondeley. 55.
  **End of the Dream. Cholmondeley. 216.
  ***Ghost of a Chance. Cholmondeley. 83.
  **Goldfish. Cholmondeley. 109.
  **Her Murderer. Cholmondeley. 173.
  **Romance of His Life. Cholmondeley. 25.
  *Stars In Their Courses. Cholmondeley. 146.
  **Votes for Men. Cholmondeley. 200.

  *Biter Bit. French F. 64.
  **Dream Woman. McSpadden B. 33.
  **Terribly Strange Bed. French E. 122. Oxford. 148.

  ***Adam and Eve and Pinch Me. Coppard. 67.
  ***Angel and the Sweep. Coppard. 123.
  ***Arabesque: The Mouse. Coppard. 133.
  ***Communion. Coppard. 89.
  ***Dusky Ruth. Coppard. 25.
  ***King of the World. Coppard. 57.
  ***Marching to Zion. Coppard. 9.
  ***Piffincap. Coppard. 43.
  ***Princess of Kingdom Gone. Coppard. 81.
  ***Quiet Woman. Coppard. 97.
  ***Trumpeters. Coppard. 115.
  ***Weep Not My Wanton. Coppard. 37.

  *Stowaway. Oxford. 462.

DICKENS, CHARLES. (1812-1870.) (_See 1918._)
  ***Holly Tree. Oxford. 108.

DOYLE, SIR ARTHUR CONAN. (1859- .) (_See 1918._)
  *Scandal in Bohemia. French F. 164. McSpadden C. 57.
  *Secret of Goresthorpe Grange. French D. 203.

GARNETT, RICHARD. (1835-1906.)
  ***Ananda the Miracle Worker. Oxford. 177.
  ***Demon Pope. Rudwin. 228.
  **Madam Lucifer. Rudwin. 242.

GILCHRIST, R. MURRAY. (1867-1917.)
  *Gap in the Wall. Oxford. 452.
  *Witch in the Peak. Oxford. 457.

GISSING, GEORGE. (1857-1903.)
  **Poor Gentleman. Oxford. 380.

GRANT, CHARLES. (1841-1889.)
  **Peppiniello. Oxford. 220.

HARVEY, WILLIAM F. (_See 1920._)
  **Beast With Five Fingers French C. 123. McSpadden B. 193.
  **Toal. New Dec. B. 54.

  *Gentlemen and Players. McSpadden C. 139.

HUDSON, W.H. ( - .) (_See 1920._)
  ***Dead Man's Plack. Hudson. 3.
  *Friendly Rat. Van Vechten A. 198.
  ***Old Thorn. Hudson. 135.

JAMES, MONTAGUE RHODES. (1862- .) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  ***Number 13. French C. 45.
  ***Stalls of Barchester Cathedral. McSpadden B. 121.


KINGSLEY, CHARLES. (1819-1875.)
  ***Spanish Bloodhounds and English Mastiffs. French G. 1.

LAMB, CHARLES. (1775-1834.)
  **First Going to Church. Oxford. 12.

LAMB, MARY ANN. (1764-1847.)
  **Sailor Uncle. Oxford. 1.

  ***Inmost Light. French D. 158.

  **Devil in a Nunnery. Rudwin. 1.

  ***Bliss. Mansfield. 116.
  ***Dill Pickle. Mansfield. 228.
  ***Escape. Mansfield. 272.
  ***Feuille d'Album. Mansfield. 218.
  ***Je Ne Parle Pas Français. Mansfield. 71.
  ***Little Governess. Mansfield. 239.
  ***Man Without a Temperament. Mansfield. 172.
  ***Mr. Reginald Peacock's Day. Mansfield. 194.
  ***Pictures. Mansfield. 157.
  ***Prelude. Mansfield. 1.
  ***Psychology. Mansfield. 145.
  ***Revelations. Mansfield. 262.
  ***Sun and Moon. Mansfield. 208.
  ***Wind Blows. Mansfield. 137.

  Box With the Iron Clamps. French E. 157.

MARRYAT, FREDERICK. (1792-1848.)
  *Club-Hauling of the Diomede. French G. 26.

  ***Devil and the Old Man. Rudwin. 263.
  ***El Dorado. French G. 324.

  *Fall of Edward Barnard. Maugham. 66.
  *Honolulu. Maugham. 205.
  *Mackintosh. Maugham. 15.
  *Pool. Maugham. 148.
  *Rain. Maugham. 241.
  *Red. Maugham. 115.

MERRICK, LEONARD. (1864- .) (_See 1920._)
  **Cafe of the Broken Heart. Merrick C. 83.
  **Conspiracy for Claudine. Merrick C. 140.
  *Danger of Being a Twin. Merrick C. 299.
  **Doll in the Pink Silk Dress. Merrick C. 161.
  **Dress Clothes of Monsieur Pomponnet. Merrick C. 101.
  **Fairy Poodle. Merrick C. 240.
  **Fatal Florozonde. Merrick C. 41.
  *Hercules and Aphrodite. Merrick C. 318.
  **How Tricotrin Saw London. Merrick C. 355.
  **Infidelity of Monsieur Noulens. Merrick C. 373.
  **Invitation to Dinner. Merrick C. 207.
  **Judgment of Paris. Merrick C. 225.
  ***Last Effect. Merrick C. 187.
  ***Little-Flower-of-the-Wood. Merrick C. 261.
  **Miracle in Montmartre. Merrick C. 279.
  **Opportunity of Petitpas. Merrick C. 63.
  **"Pardon, You Are Mademoiselle Girard!" Merrick C. 384.
  **Suicides in the Rue Sombre. Merrick C. 121.
  ***Tragedy of a Comic Song. Merrick C. 1.
  ***Tricotrin Entertains. Merrick C. 19.

NEVINSON, HENRY WOODD. (1852- .) (_See 1920._)
  *"Act of Fear." Nevinson B. 157.
  ***In Diocletian's Day. Nevinson B. 173.
  ***Life on the Ocean Wave. Nevinson B. 55.
  *Pongo's Illusion. Nevinson B. 78.
  **"Qualis Artifex." Nevinson B. 1.
  **"Sitting at a Play." Nevinson B. 103.
  **Sly's Awakening. Nevinson B. 27.
  **Transformation Scene. Nevinson B. 131.

NIGHTINGALE, M.T. (_See 1920._)
  Affair of the Mulhaven Baby. New Dec. B. 82.

  "Once Upon a Time." New Dec. B. 152.

OLIPHANT, MARGARET. (1828-1897.) (_See 1918._)
  **Open Door. McSpadden B. 65.

  ***Blue Dryad. Van Vechten A. 131.

  Adventure of the Toadstools. McSpadden C. 121.

READE, CHARLES. (1814-1884.)
  **Merchantman and the Pirate. French G. 75.

  **Storm and a Rescue. French G. 226.

SADLIER, MICHAEL. (_See 1920, under_ SADLER.)
  Bread Upon the Waters. New Dec. B. 20.

SCOTT, MICHAEL. (1789-1835.)
  **Cruise of the Torch. French G. 36.

  *Salving of the Yan-Shan. French G. 263.

  ***Becuma of the White Skin. Stephens. 219.
  ***Birth of Bran. Stephens. 91.
  ***Boyhood of Fionn. Stephens. 35.
  ***Carl of the Drab Coat. Stephens. 173.
  ***Enchanted Cave of Cesh Corran. Stephens. 201.
  ***Little Brawl at Allen. Stephens. 157.
  ***Morgan's Frenzy. Stephens. 257.
  ***Oisin's Mother. Stephens. 109.
  ***Story of Tuan MacCaivill. Stephens. 4.
  ***Wooing of Becfola. Stephens. 133.

STEVENSON, ROBERT LOUIS. (1850-1894.) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  ***Adventure of the Hansom Cabs. McSpadden C. 93.
  ***Sire de Malétroit's Door. Oxford. 334.
  ***Thrawn Janet. French C. 191.

STORM-JAMESON, M. (_See 1920._)
  *Player Perforce. New Dec. B. 158.

  *Bamboo-Cutter's Story. Strachey. 123.
  *Building of Skadar. Strachey. 143.
  *Courtship of Etain. Strachey. 155.
  *Janet and Tamlin. Strachey. 73.
  *Jonkahainen's Sister. Strachey. 101.
  *Lay of the Ash Tree. Strachey. 23.
  *Libussa the Prophetess. Strachey. 85.
  *Saint Iria. Strachey. 49.
  *Savitri. Strachey. 3.
  *Vassilissa the Wise. Strachey. 57.
  *Yanka and Her Brothers. Strachey. 39.

  *Devil's Wager. Rudwin. 79.
  **Painter's Bargain. Rudwin. 93.

VINES, SHERARD. (_See 1920._)
  **Salvator Street. New Dec. B. 176.

WALPOLE, HUGH SEYMOUR. (1884- .) (_See 1920._)
  ***Absalom Jay. Walpole. 13.
  ***Bombastes Furioso. Walpole. 252.
  ***Fanny Close. Walpole. 34.
  ***Hon. Clive Torby. Walpole. 51.
  ***Lizzie Rand. Walpole. 200.
  ***Lois Drake. Walpole. 151.
  ***Lucy Moon. Walpole. 107.
  ***Miss Morganhurst. Walpole. 69.
  ***Mrs. Porter and Miss Allen. Walpole. 132.
  ***Mr. Nix. Walpole. 175.
  ***Nobody. Walpole. 221.
  ***Peter Westcott. Walpole. 86.

WHITE, WILLIAM HALE. ("Mark Rutherford.") (1831-1913)
  *"Sweetness of a Man's Friend." Oxford. 169.

WILDE, OSCAR. (FINGALL O'FLAHERTIE WILLS.) (1856-1900.) (_See 1920._)
  ***Birthday of the Infanta. Oxford. 358.


BALZAC, HONORE DE. (1799-1850.) (_French._)
  ***Afflictions of an English Cat. Van Vechten A. 103.

BAUDELAIRE, CHARLES PIERRE. (1821-1867.) (_French._)
  ***Generous Gambler. Rudwin. 162.

BEZA, M. (_Roumanian._)
  ***Dead Pool. Roumania. 109.
  ***Gardana. Roumania. 93.
  **Zidra. Roumania. 85.

   ***Bird of Ill Omen. Roumania. 261
   ***Fledgling. Roumania. 167.

  *Devil's Mother-in-Law. Rudwin. 149.

CARAGIALE, I.L. (_Roumanian._) (_See 1920._)
  **At Manjoala's Inn. Roumania. 35.
  ***Easter Torch. Roumania. 11.

CARGO, FRANCIS. (_French._) (_See 1920._)
  Jim of Molock's Bar. New Dec. B. 9.

CHEKHOV, ANTON PAVLOVICH. (1861-1904.) (_Russian._) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  **Actor's End. Chekhov. G. 303.
  ***After the Theatre. Chekhov. F. 79.
  **Avenger. Chekhov G. 245.
  ***Beauties. Chekhov F. 277.
  **Beggar. Chekhov G. 179.
  ***Bet. Chekhov F. 253.
  ***Cattle-Dealers. Chekhov F. 113.
  ***Champagne. Chekhov F. 67.
  **Darkness. Chekhov G. 171.
  ***Dead Body. Chekhov G. 131.
  ***Defenceless Creature. Chekhov G. 265.
  *Enigmatic Nature. Chekhov G. 275.
  ***First-Class Passenger. Chekhov F. 179.
  ***Frost. Chekhov G. 209.
  *Gone Astray. Chekhov G. 237.
  *Happy Ending. Chekhov G. 141.
  **Happy Man. Chekhov G. 281.
  ***Head Gardener's Story. Chekhov F. 267.
  ***Horse-Stealers. Chekhov G. 3.
  ***In Exile. Chekhov F. 97.
  **In the Coach-House. Chekhov F. 229.
  **In Trouble. Chekhov G. 197.
  **Jenne Premier. Chekhov G. 255.
  ***Lady's Story. Chekhov F. 87.
  **Looking-Glass. Chekhov G. 151.
  *Minds in Ferment. Chekhov G. 229.
  ***Misery. Chekhov F. 55.
  ***Nervous Breakdown. Chekhov F. 17.
  ***Old Age. Chekhov G. 161.
  ***On Official Duty. Chekhov F. 153.
  ***Panic Fears. Chekhov F. 241.
  **Petchenyeg. Chekhov G. 113.
  ***Requiem. Chekhov F. 219.
  ***Safety Match. French F. 229.
  ***Schoolmistress. Chekhov F. 1.
  ***Shoemaker and the Devil. Chekhov F. 293.
  *Slander. Chekhov G. 221.
  ***Small Fry. Chekhov F. 213.
  ***Sorrow. Chekhov F. 141.
  *Story Without a Title. Chekhov G. 189.
  ***Tragic Actor. Chekhov F. 193.
  ***Transgression. Chekhov F. 201.
  ***Troublesome Visitor. Chekhov G. 291.
  ***Ward No. 6. Chekhov G. 29.

COROVICH, SVETOZAR. (1875-1918.) (_Jugo-Slav._)
  ***Hodja Saleek. Jugo-Slav. 205

CREANGA, I. (_Roumanian._)
  ***Old Nichifor, the Impostor. Roumania. 115.

DAUDET, ALPHONSE. (1840-1897.) (_French._) (_See 1918._)
  **Three Low Masses. Rudwin. 167.

DELAVRANCEA, B. (_Roumanian._)
  ***Irinel. Roumania. 267.

DEULIN, CHARLES. (_French._)
  *Devil's Round. Rudwin. 203.

  *Legend on the Saturday Sunbeam. Ragozin. 3:165.

DOSTOEVSKY, FYODOR MIKHARLOVICH. (1821-1881.) (_Russian._) (_See 1918
    and 1920._)
  ***Beggar Boy at Christ's Christmas Tree. Ragozin. 3:173.

    (_See 1918._)
  ***Lucifer. Rudwin. 250.
  ***Miracle of the Great St. Nicolas. France. 43.
  ***Seven Wives of Bluebeard. France. 3.
  ***Shirt. France. 119.
  ***Story of the Duchess of Cicogne and of Monsieur de Boulingrin.
    France. 93.

GABORIAU, EMILE. (1835-1873.) (_French._)
  *Interview with M. Lecoq. McSpadden C. 29.

GAUTIER, THEOPHILE. (1811-1872.) (_French._) (_See 1918._)
  ***Mummy's Foot. French D. 77.

GLISICH, MILOVAN. (1827-1908.) (_Jugo-Slav._)
  ***First Furrow. Jugo-Slav. 109.

GOGOL, NIKOLAI VASILIEVICH. (1809-1852.) (_Russian._) (_See 1918 and
  ***St. John's Eve. Rudwin. 56.

    (_Russian._) (_See 1918 and 1920._)
  ***Devil. Rudwin. 257.

HAMP, PIERRE. (_French._)
  ***Mademoiselle Sowrire. Hamp. 61.
  ***Man With a Soft Job. Hamp. 44.
  ***"Miller, You're Asleep." Hamp. 133.
  ***Monsieur Becqueriaux. Hamp. 187.
  ***Monsieur Robled's Throat. Hamp. 29.
  ***Nonnon. Hamp. 11.
  ***Screen. Hamp. 199.
  **Seine Rises. Hamp. 71.
  ***Sweet Smeller. Hamp. 21.
  ***Tight-Wads. Hamp. 37.
  ***At the Chevalier Restaurant. Hamp. 94.
  *At the Express Window. Hamp. 89.
  ***Boxers. Hamp. 146.
  ***Bourbon's Pleasures. Hamp. 157.
  ***Fat-Mouth. Hamp. 104.
  **Fly-Catcher. Hamp. 111.
  ***Fried-Potato Sisters. Hamp. 3.
  ***Gracieuse. Hamp. 54.
  **Joy Boys. Hamp. 170.
  *King's C's. Hamp. 193.

HAUFF, WILHELM. (1802-1827.) (_German._)
  **From the Memoirs of Satan. Rudwin. 46.

HUGO, VICTOR. (1802-1885.)
  **Corvette Claymore. French G. 181.

JOVANOVICH, ZMAJ-JOVAN. (1833-1904.) (_Jugo-Slav._)
  ***Vidosava Brankovich. Jugo-Slav. 79.

KOROLENKO, VLADIMIR GALAKTIONOVICH. (1853- .) (_Russian._) (_See 1920._)
  ***"Slayer." Ragozin. 4:109.
  ***Winter. Ragozin. 4:174.

LAZAROVICH, LAZAR. (1851-1890.) (_Jugo-Slav._)
  ***By the Well. Jugo-Slav. 123.
  ***First Matins with My Father. Jugo-Slav. 19.

LE BLANC, MAURICE. (1864- .) (_French._)
  Sign of the Shadow. McSpadden C. 261.

LERMONTOF, MICHAIL YURIEVICH. (1814-1841.) (_Russian._)
  ***Travelling Episode. Ragozin. 1:171.

LESSKOF, NICOLAS STEPANOVICH. (1831-1895.) (_Russian._)
  **Friends. Ragozin. 3:52.
  ***From an Old Chronicle. Ragozin. 3:99.
  **Pearl Necklace. Ragozin. 3:20.
  ***Simpleton. Ragozin. 3:3.

LJUBISA. STJEPAN MITROR. (1821-1878.) (_Jugo-Slav._)
  ***Kanjosh Macedonovich. Jugo-slav. 51.

"LOTI, PIERRE." (LOUIS-MARIE-JULIEN VIAUD.) (1850- .) (_French._)
  ***Sailor's Wife. French G. 250.

MACHIAVELLI, NICCOLO. (1469-1527.) (_Italian._)
  **Belphagor, or the Marriage of the Devil. Rudwin. 14.

MAMIN-SIBIRIÀK, D.W. (_Russian._)
  ***Father Elect. Ragozin 2:147.
  ***Misgir. Ragozin 2:103.

MATAVULYA, SIMO. (1852-1908.) (_Jugo-Slav._)
  ***Povareta. Jugo-Slav. 187.

MAUPASSANT, HENRI RENE ALBERT GUY DE. (1850-1893.) (_French._) (_See
  ***Horla. French C. 84.
  **Legend of Mont St. Michel. Rudwin. 222.
  ***Man with the Pale Eyes. French D. 230.

NEGRUZZI, C. (_Roumanian._)
  **Alexandru Lapushneanu. Roumania. 51.

  *In May. Ragozin 2:201.

  ***Out in the World. Roumania. 207.

PUSHKIN, ALEXANDER SERGEYEVICH. (1799-1837.) (_Russian._) (_See 1920._)
  ***Good Shot. Ragozin 1:51.
  ***Masquerading. Ragozin 1:5.
  ***Queen of Spades. Ragozin 1:107.
  ***Snowstorm. Ragozin 1:79.

SADOVEANU, M. (_Roumanian._)
  ***Cozma Racoare. Roumania. 141.
  **Fairy of the Lake. Roumania. 1.
  ***Wanderers. Roumania. 157.

SALTYKOF, M.Y. "N. SCHEDRIN." (1826-1889.) (_Russian._)
  ***Christmas Sermon. Ragozin 2:5.
  ***Eagle, Patron of Learning. Ragozin 2:77.
  ***Lost Conscience. Ragozin 2:49.
  **Peasant and the Two Excellencies. Ragozin 2:31.

SLAVICI, I. (_Roumanian._)
  ***Popa Tanda. Roumania. 175.

SLUCHEVSKY, K.Y. (_Russian._)
  **Can the End Justify the Means? Ragozin 2:169.
  **Coward or Hero? Ragozin 2:185.

  *Bobtail. Ragozin 4:6.
  *Convict. Ragozin 4:56.

TOLSTOI, LYOF NIKOLAIEVICH, COUNT. (1828-1910.) (_Russian._) (_See 1918
    and 1920._)
  ***Three Deaths. Ragozin 3:187.

TURGENEV, IVAN SERGIEVICH. (1818-1883.) (_Russian._) (_See 1920._)
  ***Father Alexey's Story. Turgenev. 125.
  ***Quiet Backwater. Turgenev. 217.
  ***Three Meetings. Turgenev. 155.
  ***Two Friends. Turgenev. 1.

USPENSKY, GLIEB IVANOVICH. (1840-1905.) (_Russian._)
  *Inspecting the Bride. Ragozin 2:212.

VESELINOVICH, JANKO. (1862-1905.) (_Jugo-Slav._)
  ***Eternity. Jugo-Slav. 227.
  ***Kum's Curse. Jugo-Slav. 151.

  ***Torture By Hope. French E. 149.

  *Christmas Eve in the Forest. Ragozin 2:235.



_The following table includes the averages of American periodicals
published from October, 1920, to September, 1921, inclusive. One two,
three asterisks are employed to indicate relative distinction.
"Three-asterisk stories" are of somewhat permanent literary value. The
list excludes reprints._

                         |           |                 |
                         |           |     No. of      |   Percentage
                         |  No. of   |   Distinctive   | of Distinctive
       Periodicals       |  Stories  |     Stories     |    Stories
      (Oct.-Sept.)       | Published |    Published    |   Published
                         |           |_________________|_________________
                         |           |     |     |     |     |     |
                         |           |  *  | **  | *** |  *  | **  | ***
                         |           |     |     |     |     |     |
  All's Well             |    14     |   6 |   3 |   2 |  43 |  21 |  14
  Asia                   |    11     |  10 |   1 |   0 |  90 |   9 |   0
  Atlantic Monthly       |    20     |  13 |   7 |   3 |  65 |  35 |  15
  Century                |    50     |  35 |  15 |   5 |  70 |  30 |  10
  Chicago Tribune        |    52     |  11 |   2 |   1 |  22 |   4 |   2
  Collier's Weekly       |   106     |  12 |   1 |   0 |  12 |   1 |   0
  Cosmopolitan           |    83     |  15 |   6 |   2 |  18 |   7 |   2
  Dial                   |    16     |  16 |  14 |  11 | 100 |  88 |  69
  Everybody's Magazine   |    91     |  16 |   7 |   1 |  18 |   8 |   1
  Good Housekeeping      |    46     |  13 |   4 |   1 |  28 |   9 |   2
  Harper's Bazar         |    32     |  12 |   1 |   0 |  38 |   3 |   0
  Harper's Magazine      |    53     |  39 |  24 |  10 |  74 |  45 |  19
  Hearst's International |    79     |  18 |   3 |   0 |  23 |   4 |   0
  Ladies' Home Journal   |    52     |   8 |   0 |   0 |  15 |   0 |   0
  McCall's Magazine      |    48     |   9 |   3 |   0 |  19 |   6 |   0
  McClure's Magazine     |    46     |   8 |   2 |   1 |  17 |   4 |   2
  Metropolitan           |    74     |  18 |   9 |   3 |  24 |  12 |   4
  Midland                |    15     |  14 |   8 |   3 |  93 |  53 |  20
  New York Tribune       |           |     |     |     |     |     |
  Pictorial Review       |    65     |  46 |  31 |  21 |  71 |  48 |  32
  Red Book Magazine      |   116     |  23 |   0 |   0 |  20 |   0 |   0
  Saturday Evening Post  |   221     |  32 |   7 |   3 |  15 |   3 |   1
  Scribner's Magazine    |    46     |  24 |   8 |   4 |  52 |  17 |   9
  Smart Set              |   115     |  29 |   8 |   4 |  25 |   7 |   4

_The following tables indicate the rank, during the period between
October, 1920, and September, 1921, inclusive, by number and percentage
of distinctive stories published, of the twenty-three periodicals coming
within the scope of my examination which have published an average of 15
per cent in stories of distinction. The lists exclude reprints but not


   1. Dial                  100%
   2. Midland                93%
   3. Asia                   90%
   4. Harper's Magazine      74%
   5. Pictorial Review       71%
   6. Century                70%
   7. Atlantic Monthly       65%
   8. Scribner's Magazine    52%
   9. All's Well             43%
  10. Harper's Bazar         38%
  11. Good Housekeeping      28%
  12. Smart Set              25%
  13. Metropolitan           24%
  14. Hearst's International 23%
  15. Chicago Tribune        22%
  16. Red Book Magazine      20%
  17. McCall's Magazine      19%
  18. Everybody's Magazine   18%
  19. Cosmopolitan           18%
  20. McClure's Magazine     17%
  21. Saturday Evening Post  15%
  22. Ladies' Home Journal   15%
  23. Collier's Weekly       12%


   1. Pictorial Review       46
   2. Harper's Magazine      39
   3. Century                35
   4. Saturday Evening Post  32
   5. Smart Set              29
   6. Scribner's Magazine    24
   7. Red Book Magazine      23
   8. Metropolitan           18
   9. Hearst's International 18
  10. Dial                   16
  11. Everybody's Magazine   16
  12. Cosmopolitan           15
  13. Midland                14
  14. Atlantic Monthly       13
  15. Good Housekeeping      13
  16. Harper's Bazar         12
  17. Collier's Weekly       12
  18. Chicago Tribune        11
  19. Asia                   10
  20. McCall's Magazine       9
  21. McClure's Magazine      8
  22. Ladies' Home Journal    8
  23. All's Well              6

_The following periodicals have published during the same period ten or
more "two-asterisk stories." The list excludes reprints, but not
translations. Periodicals represented in this list during 1915, 1916,
1917, 1918, 1919, and 1920 are represented by the prefixed letters a, b,
c, d, e, and f respectively._

  1.   bcdef    Pictorial Review      31
  2.  abcdef    Harper's Magazine     24
  3.  abcdef    Century               15
  4.       f    Dial                  14

_The following periodicals have published during the same period five or
more "three-asterisk stories." The list excludes reprints, but not
translations. The same signs are used as prefixes as in the previous

  1.   bcdef    Pictorial Review      21
  2.       f    Dial                  11
  3.  abcdef    Harper's Magazine     10
  4.  abcdef    Century                5

_Ties in the above lists have been decided by taking relative rank in
other lists into account._



_All short stories published in the following magazines and newspapers,
October, 1920, to September, 1921 inclusive, are indexed:_

  All's Well
  American Magazine
  Atlantic Monthly
  Catholic World
  Chicago Tribune (Syndicate Service)
  Collier's Weekly
  Everybody's Magazine
  Good Housekeeping
  Harper's Bazar
  Harper's Magazine
  Hearst's International Magazine
  Ladies' Home Journal
  Little Review
  McCall's Magazine
  McClure's Magazine
  New York Tribune
  Pictorial Review
  Red Book Magazine
  Saturday Evening Post
  Scribner's Magazine
  Smart Set
  Sunset Magazine
  Woman's Home Companion

_Short stories of distinction only, published in the following magazines
during the same period, are indexed:_

  Ainslee's Magazine
  Argosy All-Story Weekly
  Holland's Magazine
  Little Story Magazine
  Live Stories
  Munsey's Magazine
  New Parisienne
  Popular Magazine
  Snappy Stories
  Telling Tales
  To-day's Housewife
  Top-Notch Magazine

_Certain stories of distinction published in the following magazines
during this period are indexed, because they have been specially called
to my attention:_

  Current Opinion
  Midwest Bookman
  New York Call Magazine
  Northwestern Miller
  Western Story Magazine

_I have considered several other magazines without finding any stories
of distinction. The present list includes a small number of distinctive
stories published between October, 1919 and September, 1920, which I was
unable to read last year owing to labor and transportation

_One, two, or three asterisks are prefixed to the titles of stories to
indicate distinction. Three asterisks prefixed to a title indicate the
more or less permanent literary value of the story, and entitle it to a
place on the annual "Rolls of Honor." Cross references after an author's
name refer to previous volumes of this series. (H.) after the name of an
author indicates that other stories by this author, published in
American magazines between 1900 and 1914, are to be found indexed in
"The Standard Index of Short Stories," by Francis J. Hannigan, published
by Small, Maynard & Company, 1918. The figures in parentheses after the
title of a story refer to the volume and page number of the magazine. In
cases where successive numbers of a magazine are not paged
consecutively, the page number only is given in this index._

_The following abbreviations are used in the index:_

  _Adv._          Adventure
  _Ain._          Ainslee's Magazine
  _Am._           American Magazine
  _Am. B._        American Boy
  _Apropos._      Apropos
  _Arg._          Argosy All-Story Weekly
  _Asia._         Asia
  _Atl._          Atlantic Monthly
  _A.W._          All's Well
  _Book._         Bookman (N.Y.)
  _Call._         New York Call Magazine
  _Cath. W._      Catholic World
  _Cen._          Century
  _Chic. Trib._   Chicago Tribune (Syndicate Service)
  _Col._          Collier's Weekly
  _Cos._          Cosmopolitan
  _Cur. O._       Current Opinion
  _Del._          Delineator
  _Dial._         Dial
  _Ev._           Everybody's Magazine
  _Fol._          Follies
  _Free._         Freeman
  _G.H._          Good Housekeeping
  _Harp. B._      Harper's Bazar
  _Harp. M._      Harper's Magazine
  _Hear._         Hearst's International Magazine
  _Hol._          Holland's Magazine
  _L.H.J._        Ladies' Home Journal
  _Lib._          Liberator
  _Lit. R._       Little Review
  _Lit. S._       Little Story Magazine
  _L. St._        Live Stories
  _Mag._          Magnificat
  _McC._          McClure's Magazine
  _McCall._       McCall's Magazine
  _Met._          Metropolitan
  _Mid._          Midland
  _Mid. Book._    Midwest Bookman
  _Mun._          Munsey's Magazine
  _N.Y. Trib._    New York Tribune
  _N.M._          Northwestern Miller
  _Pag._          Pagan
  _Par._          New Parisienne
  _Pict. R._      Pictorial Review
  _Pop._          Popular Magazine
  (_R._)          Reprint
  _Red Bk._       Red Book Magazine
  _Rom._          Romance
  _Scr._          Scribner's Magazine
  _S.E.P._        Saturday Evening Post
  _Sn. St._       Snappy Stories
  _S.S._          Smart Set
  _Sun._          Sunset Magazine
  _Tod._          To-day's Housewife
  _Top._          Top-Notch Magazine
  _Touch._        Touchstone
  _T.T._          Telling Tales
  _W.H.C._        Woman's Home Companion
  _W. St._        Western Story Magazine
  (_161_)         Page 161
  (_2:161_)       Volume 2, page 161
  (_See 1915_)    _See_ "Best Short Stories of 1915"



    1918, 1920._) (_H._)
  Blinded Lady. Pict. R. Sept. (12.)
  Book of the Funny Smells--and Everything. L.H.J. Sept. (8.)
  Fairy Prince. Pict. R. Dec., '20. (6.)
  Game of the Bewitchments. G.H. (39.)

  He Couldn't Stand Prosperity. Am. June. (14.)

ABBOTT, KEENE. (_See 1915, 1916._) (_H._)
  *Anchored. L.H.J. Mar., '20. (9.)

  *Unbalanced. Arg. Oct. 23, '20. (126:522.)

    "A.A. Nadir.") (1881- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  *Broadway of It. Mun. Oct., '20 (71:99.)
  ***Dutiful Grief. Pict. R. Aug. (10.)
  ***Lute of Jade. Pict. R. Oct., '20. (8.)
  *Perfect Way. T.T. Sept. (126.)
  *"There's Corn in Egypt." Ain. Jan. (64.)
  *Triumph. T.T. Aug. (36.)

ADAMS, FRANK R. (1883- .) (_See 1915, 1916._)
  Good Little Bathing Girl. Cos. Aug. (59.)
  Man-Handling Ethel. Cos. Jan. (29.)
  Miles Brewster and the Super-Sex. Cos. Jul. (35.)
  Miss Wife o' Mine. Cos. Feb. (53.)
  Near-Lady. Cos. Mar. (33.)
  Rival to the Prince. Cos. Dec., '20. (53.)
  Tarnished Chevrons. Cos. Nov., '20. (43.)
  This Eileen Person. Cos. Oct., '20. (29.)
  What's It All About? Cos. May. (53.)
  You Have to Choose. Cos. June. (44.)

ADAMS, SAMUEL HOPKINS. (1871- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Amateurs and Others. Red Bk. June. (66.)
  Andy Dunne and the Barker. S.E.P. May 7. (5.)
  *Barbran. Col. Dec. 25, '20. (8.)
  Doom River Bed. Red Bk. Oct., '20. (32.)
  *For Mayme, Read Mary. Col. Mar. 19. (5.)
  Salvage. Del. June. (8.)
  Shoal Waters. S.E.P. Aug. 27. (14.)
  Silverwing. L.H.J. Aug. (10.)

ADDISON, THOMAS. (_See 1915, 1916, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Sealed Proposals. Ev. Oct., '20. (54.)


AKINS, ZOE. (1886- .) (_See 1919, 1920._)
  Rings and Chains. Cos. Dec., '20. (25.)

    1920._) (_See 1916 under_ STEVENS, MARGARET DEAN.)
  Father Mason Retires. Am. Oct., '20. (26.)

  Fifty-Two Weeks for Florette, S.E.P. Aug. 13. (10.)

  First Client. W.H.C. Jul. (31.)
  Immovable Kelly. Met. Aug. (34.)
  Robe for Rodney. W.H.C. Apr. (16.)


  Be Sociable! G.H. (60.)

ALEXANDER, SANDRA. (_See 1919, 1920._)
  *His Absolute Safety. Cen. Dec., '20. (101:181.)

ALLEN, JAMES LANE. (1849- .) (_See 1915._) (_H._)
  ***Ash-Can. Cen. Sept. (102:657.)

ALLEN, MARYLAND. (MRS. EDWARD TYSON ALLEN.)   (_See 1915, 1916._) (_H._)
  Urge. Ev. Sept. (135.)

ANDERSON, FREDERICK IRVING. (1877- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Assassins. Pict. R. Feb. (12.)
  Dolores Cay. Chic. Trib. Jan. 23.
  **Phantom Alibi. McC. Nov., '20 (27.)
  Signed Masterpiece. McC. June-Jul. (21.)

ANDERSON. SHERWOOD. (1876- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  ***Brothers. Book. Apr. (53:110.)
  ***New Englander. Dial. Feb. (70:143.)
  ***Unlighted Lamps. S.S. Jul. (45.)

  House That Stood Back. Chic. Trib. Aug. 28.

ANDREWS, MARY RAYMOND SHIPMAN. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  *Reluctantly Diana. Scr. Oct., '20. (68:463.)

  **Cask of Ale for Columban. Cen. Mar. (101:583.)

  John Miles' Stenographer. S.S. Jan. (77.)

APPLE, E. ALBERT. (_See 1915._) (_H._)
  Twenty Miles from Nowhere. Am. June. (46.)

ARBUCKLE, MARY. (_See 1917._)
  Big Rich. McCall. Oct., '20. (14.)
  Wasted. Mid. May. (7:177.)

  Heart-Crusher. Ev. Oct., '20. (74.)

ARMSTRONG, WILLIMINA L. _See_ "Dost, Zamin Ki."

  Tied Down by His Wife. Am. Apr. (47.)

ASPINWALL, MARGUERITE. (_See 1918, 1920._)
  House on the Island. Sun. Dec., '20. (32.) Jan. (30.)

AUSTIN, MARY (HUNTER). (1868- .) (_See 1918._) (_H._)
  Kiss of Nino Dios. Del. Dec., '20. (7.)
  *Souls of Stitt. Harp. M. Dec., '20. (142:71.)

  All About Men. Harp. B. Oct., '20. (78.)
  "Chameleon." Pict. R. June. (10.)
  Mademoiselle Papillon. Pict. R. Mar. (14.)
  "Patchwork." Cen. June. (102:202.)


BABCOCK, EDWINA STANTON. (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  *Lion. Harp. M. Apr. (142:569.)
  **Nourishment, Harp. M. Feb. (142:283.)

BACHELLER, IRVING. (1859- .) (_See 1915, 1918._) (_H._)
  Forks. Am. Jan. (28.)
  Riddles. Ev. May. (28.), June. (44.)

BACHMANN, ROBERT A. (_See 1919._) (_H._)
  Art is Art and Business Business. Met. Dec., '20. (25.)

BACON, JOSEPHINE DASKAM. (1876- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918,
    1919._) (_H._)
  Blind Cupid. Col. Oct. 2, '20. (5.) Oct. 9. (14.)
  *Crossed Wires. L.H.J. Feb. (6.)
  In September. L.H.J. Oct., '20 (7.)

BAILEY, (IRENE) TEMPLE. (_See 1915, 1917, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Burned Toast. S.E.P. Dec. 4, '20. (17.)
  **Hidden Land. Harp. M. Oct., '20. (141:553.) Nov., '20. (141:795.)
  Wait--For Prince Charming. L.H.J. Dec., '20. (8.)
  White Birches. S.E.P. June 18. (8.)

  *Porch-Swing. Cen. Apr. (101:679.)


BALL, WILLIAM DAVID. (_See 1917._)
  Brute. McCall. Apr. (10.)

BALMER, EDWIN. (1883- .) (_See 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Against the World. Del. Nov., '20. (12.)
  Beyond the Alps. Hear. Jul. (10.)
  Daughter of Violence. Cos. Jan. (75.)
  Lost In Mid-Air. Am. May. (29.)
  Queer Reunion of Three Friends. Am. Dec., '20. (28.)
  Settled Down. Ev. Feb. (48.)
  Something Big. Met. Aug. (27.)
  That Man Called Gentleman. Met. Dec., '20. (22.)
  Wide House of the World. Met. Sept. (26.)

  Revival. A.W. Aug. (1:184.)

BARNARD, FLOY TOLBERT. (1879- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919._)
  In the Fields of Boaz. McCall. Feb. (8.)

BARNES, DJUNA. (1892- .) (_See 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  **Katrina Silverstaff. Lit. R. Jan. Mar. (27.)
  ***Oscar. Lit. R. Apr., '20. (7.)
  **Robin's House. Lit. R. Sept.-Dec. (31.)

  "Darling." S.S. Dec., '20. (53.)
  Fool's Paradise. S.S. Sept. (95.)
  Not Without Dust and Heat. S.S. June. (119.)

BARTLETT, FREDERICK ORIN. (1876- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Intangibles. Ev. Nov., '20. (40.)
  Managers. Chic. Trib. Feb. (20.)
  Queer Noises. Ev. Apr. (9.)
  Reserved. Del. Aug. (9.)
  Secret History. S.E.P. Jan. 8. (14.)
  Strangle-Hold. Ev. May. (60.)

BARTLEY, NALBRO. (1888- .) (_See 1917, 1918, 1919._)
  After-Wit. Ev. Jan. (21.)
  Merely Married. Ev. Nov., '20. (23.)
  Poor Men's Orchids. Ev. May. (13.)
  Wise or Otherwise. Ev. June. (23.)

BARTON, BRUCE. (1886- .)
  "It Happened In Orchard Street." W.H.C. May. (29.)
  Steve Carter, Who Won the War. W.H.C. Jul. (21.)

BEACH, REX. (ELLINGWOOD.) (1877- .) (_See 1919._)
  Flowing Gold. Hear. May. (6.)

BEARD, WOLCOTT LE CLEAR. (1867- .) (_See 1915, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  In Honey's House. Scr. June. (69:741.)

  Called On Account of Darkness. Red Bk. Sept. (56.)
  Crab. Red Bk. Aug. (70.)
  His Honor the Umps. S.E.P. Jul. 16. (12.)
  John McArdle, Referee. Red Bk. Jul. (50.)
  Kerrigan's Kid. Red Bk. Apr. (86.)
  Leaves of Friendship. Red Bk. June. (37.)
  Lil' ol' Red Stockings. Ev. Feb. (12.)
  133 at 3. Red Bk. Mar. (61.)
  Rainbow. Red Bk. May. (86.)
  United States Smith. Red Bk. Jan. (30.)

  Problem of Mother. Sun. Dec., '20. (40.)

BEER, THOMAS. (1889- .) (_See 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  *Josh and the Lofty Mountain. S.E.P. Jan. 29. (8.)
  *Lily Pond. S.E.P. Apr. 16. (28.)
  *Little Eva Ascends. S.E.P. Apr. 9. (16.)
  *Mighty Man. S.E.P. Mar. 13, '20. (8.)
  *Mummery. S.E.P. Jul. 30. (14.)
  Yawl. S.E.P. Aug. 6. (16.)

BEHRMAN, S.N. (_See 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  *Wraith. S.S. Nov., '20. (91.)

  Without Surrender. S.S. Feb. (57.)

  Lesson. Chic. Trib. Dec. 26, '20.

  Prosaic Conclusion. S.S. Aug. (101.)


  Starfish and Sea Lavender. Hear. Jan. (21.)

BENSON, RAMSEY. (1866- .) (_See 1917._)
  *Whom the Lord Loveth. Rom. Oct., '20. (8.)

  What Gitton Learned in 1920. Am. Nov., '20. (61.)

BERCOVICI, KONRAD. (1882- .) (_See 1920._)
  **Bear-Tamer's Daughter. Adv. Jul. 3. (49.)
  *Broken Dreams. Rom. Oct., '20. (155.)
  ***Fanutza. Dial. May. (70: 545.)
  *Miracle Machine. McC. Mar. (25.)
  **To Shed Blood. Adv. Aug. 18. (89.)
  **Vlad's Son. Adv. Mar. 18. (147.)

  *Unholy One. Adv. Nov. 3, '20. (67.)

BETTS, THOMAS JEFFRIES. (_See 1916, 1917, 1918._)
  *Recall. Scr. Mar. (69: 289.)

BIGGERS, EARL DERR. (1884- .) (_See 1916, 1917._)
  Girl Who Paid Dividends. S.E.P. Apr. 23. (12.)
  Idle Hands. S.E.P. June 11. (5.)
  John Henry and the Restless Sex. S.E.P. Mar 5. (10.)
  Prisoners in Paradise. Am. Jul. (23.)
  Selling Miss Minerva. S.E.P. Feb. 5. (10.)
  Shining Garments of Success. Pict. R. Oct, '20. (30.)

  *Grandpa Drum. S.S. Mar. (87.)
  *Hired Girl. S.S. Sept. (86.)
  His Book. S.S. Jul. (29.)



BOAS, GEORGE. (_See 1920._)
  Better Recipe. Atl. Mar. (127: 379.)

  Little Lady. G.H. Apr. (24)

BOULTON, AGNES. (MRS. EUGENE G. O'NEILL.) (1893- .) (_See 1920._)
  *Snob. S.S. June. (83.)

  Dollars. Met. Mar. (20.)

  Women. Pag. May. (24.)

BOYD, JAMES. (1866- .)
  *Old Pines. Cen. Mar. (101: 609)
  **Sound of a Voice. Scr. Aug. (70: 214.)

BOYER, WILBUR S. (_See 1917, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  *Lallapaloosa. Ev. Oct., '20. (61.)
  Simps. Col. June 25. (7.)

  Boomerang Bill. Cos. Dec., '20 (65.)
  Child of the Famine. Red Bk. Sept. (52.)
  Claws of the Tong. Red Bk. Apr. (47.)
  Heart of the Lily. Red Bk. Feb. (25.)
  Little Lord of All the Earth. Red Bk. Mar. (33.)
  Mother of the Middle Kingdom Red Bk. June. (71.)
  Painted Child. Cos. Oct., '20 (65.)

BRACE, BLANCHE. (_See 1920._)
  Adventure of a Ready Letter Writer. S.E.P. Nov. 13, '20 (18.)
  Jane Goes In. S.E.P. Jul. 16. (14.)

  Money Matters. S.E.P. Feb. 19. (8.)

BRADLEY, MARY HASTINGS, (_See 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Children of the Street. Met. Mar. (9.)

  Check, Please. McCall. Jan. (13.)

BRALEY, BERTON. (1882- .) (_See 1915, 1917, 1918._) (_H._)
  High Cost of Hot Cakes. W.H.C. Nov., '20. (18.)
  Nemesis Has a Busy Day. Ev. Oct., '20. (37.)

  *Liberator. Lit. S. Dec., '20. (28.)

  Blissful Interlude. S.S. Aug. (53.)

  American Luck. S.S. Aug. (63.)
  Saturday Night Blues. S.S. Oct., '20. (85.)

BROOKS, ALDEN..(_See 1916, 1917, 1918._) (_H._)
  *Barren Soil. S.E.P. Mar. 20, '20, (30.)

BROOKS. JONATHAN. (_See 1920._)
  Galloping Ghosts. Col. Sept. 3. (3.)
  Indiana Pajamas. Col. Jul. 16. (3.)
  Monkey Crouch. Col. May 14. (5.)
  Roll, Jordan, Roll. Col. Oct. 23, '20. (5.)
  Step Lively, Please. Col. Apr. 9. (14.)
  Wedding Bells, C.O.D. Col. Sept. 17. (3.)

BROOKS, PAUL. (_See 1920._)
  Poor Winnie! Poor Towny! S.S. Dec '20. (99.)

BROWN, ALICE. (1857- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  *Judgment from Above. Harp. M. June. (143:86.)
  *Little Elm. L.H.J. Aug. (8.)
  *Shooting-Stars. W.H.C. Nov., '20. (7.)

BROWN, BERNICE. (_See 1917, 1918._)
  Being a Nobody. Col. Sept. 17. (7.)
  Double Barriers. McCall. Mar. (11.)
  Emperor Hadrian. Col. Apr. 23. (3.)
  Fortune Huntress. McCall. Sept. (13.)
  Her Thousand Dollars. Col. June 18. (7.)
  Stranger--My Dog. Col. Feb. 5. (7.)
  Women Are Like That. Col. Jul. 2 (3.)

  Time Clock in the Taj Mahal. Harp. M. Feb. (142:401.)


BROWN, KATHARINE HOLLAND. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  *Argive Helen and the Little Maid of Tyre. Scr. Aug. (70:172.)
  Neighbor. W.H.C. Dec., '20. (26.)

BROWN, ROYAL. (_See 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  As Grandpop said to Grant. Cos. Nov., '20. (27.)
  Dynamite. Cos. Jul. (75.)
  From Four to Eleven--Three! McC. Oct., '20. (19.)
  Kelly of Charles Street. Cos. Aug. (42.)
  Long, Long Shot. McC. Jan. (12.)
  Lyons and Miss Mouse. McC. June-Jul. (18.)
  Mother Takes a Hand in the Game. Am. Dec., '20. (13.)
  Priscilla Bags a Big One. Cos. Apr. (43.)
  This Suspense is Terrible. Cos. Mar. (53.)
  Two Hours to Train Time. Red Bk. Oct., '20. (63.)
  Unfair Sex. Cos. May. (37.)

BROWNE, PORTER EMERSON. (1879- .) (_See 1916, 1918._) (_H._)
  Wild Horses. Col. Jan. 1. (14.)

BROWNELL, AGNES MARY. (---- -1921.) (_See 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  *Doc Greer's Practice. Mid. Jan. (7:26.)

BRUBAKER, HOWARD. (1892- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Ruby Common. Col. Mar. 26. (14.)
  Tight Rope. S.E.P. Aug. 20. (14.)
  *When Knighthood Was In Bud. Harp. M. Apr. (142:642.)
  Writing on the Wall Paper. Col. May 21. (7.)
  *Young-Man-Afraid-of-His-Future. Harp. M. May. (142:761.)

BRYSON, LYMAN LLOYD. (1888- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918._)
  *Shadow. Scr. Jan. (69:99.)

  *Trial of Jonathan Goode. Scr. Dec., '20. (68:711.)

BULGER, BOZEMAN. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920._)
  Class Double A. S.E.P. May 28. (12.)

BULLOCK, WILLIAM. (_See 1915._)
  Hereditary Punch. Ev. Aug. (79.)
  Mama's Boy. Ev. Sept. (39.)

  *Lost Lip. Harp. M. Jan. (142:242.)

BURNETT, FRANCES HODGSON. (_See 1915, 1917._) (_H._)
  *House in the Dismal Swamp. G.H. Apr., '20. (16.)

BURT, MAXWELL STRUTHERS. (1882- .) (_See 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  **Buchanan Hears the Wind. Harp. M. Aug. (143:274.)
  ***Experiment. Pict. R. June. (5.)
  *Full Moon. Chic. Trib. Feb. 13.
  Making of a Patriot. S.E.P. Aug. 13. (14.)
  Sweet Syllables. S.E.P. June 11. (3.)

BUTLER, ELLIS PARKER. (1869- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1817, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  *Man Who Murdered a Fairy. Pict. R. Apr. (12.)
  Once a Penguin Always a Penguin. Harp. M. June. (143:129.)

BUZZELL, FRANCIS. (1882- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917._) (_H._)
  *Troubleman. Pict. R. May. (14.)

"BYRNE, DONN." (BRYAN OSWALD DONN-BYRNE.) (1888- .) (_See 1915, 1916,
    1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Daughter of the Medici. Hear. Sept. (6.)
  *Great Gift. Hear. Jul. (13.)
  *Keeper of the Bridge. McC. Apr. (6.)
  Marriage Has Been Arranged. Hear. May. (10.)
  Reynardine. McC. May. (15.)
  What Became of M. Gilholme? Hear. Jan. (11.)


CABELL, JAMES BRANCH. (1879- .) (_See 1915, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  ***Image of Sesphra. Rom. Oct., '20. (87.)

CAMP, (CHARLES) WADSWORTH. (1879- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Haunted House. Col. Jan. 8. (5.)
  Real People. Col. Jul. 9. (5.)

  After Midnight. Hear. May. (41.)

    1915, 1916, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  **Pamela's Shawl. Cen. Aug. (102:504.)

  Tears that Angels Shed. Sun. Nov., '20. (96.)

  Marie. Met. Aug. (26.)

  Her Own Game. Del. May. (13.)

  Benefactor of Upper Haddock. Harp. M. Mar. (142:537.)

CARY, HAROLD. (_See 1920._)
  Brown Boots. Del. Jul. (15.)

CARY, LUCIAN. (1886- .) (_See 1918, 1919._)
  Art Movement in Real Estate. S.E.P. Oct. 30, '20. (14.)
  Bringing Home the Errant Husband. Red Bk. Mar. (57.)
  Conquering Male. McCall. Jul. (10.)
  Dark Secret. Ev. Feb. (23.)
  Daughter of the Rich. Red Bk. Dec., '20. (67.)
  Just Like Any Married Man. Chic. Trib. June 19.
  Milly of Langmore Street. McCall. Feb. (5.)
  Pirate of Park Avenue. Ev. Dec., '20. (53.)
  Voice of the Old Home Town. Red Bk. Oct., '20. (68.)
  Way Wives Are, L.H.J. Apr. (14.)
  What if the Girl Wouldn't Go Back? Red Bk. Jan. (64.)

CASEY, PATRICK _and_ CASEY, TERENCE. (_See 1915, 1917, 1920._) (_See "H."
    under_ CASEY, PATRICK.)
  *Road Kid. Lib. Jul. (10.)

CAVENDISH, JOHN C. (_See 1919, 1920._)
  Common-Sense Romance. S.S. June. (45.)
  Faut Pas. S.S. Oct., '20. (117.)
  Mother and Daughter. S.S. May. (39.)

CHADWICK, CHARLES. (_See 1920._)
  Man With the Diamond In His Head. Ev. Mar. (43.)
  Once In His Life. Del. Nov., '20 (13.)

CHAMBERLAIN, GEORGE AGNEW. (1879- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917._)
  Thieves' Market. Chic. Trib. May 15.

CHAMBERLAIN, LUCIA. (_See 1917, 1920._) (_H._)
  Corcoran. S.E.P. Mar. 12. (5.)
  *Dreamers. S.E.P. Jul. 23. (15.)
  Telephone Time. S.E.P. Jul. 2. (16.)

  Find the Thief. Am. May. (38.)

  Matter of Medicine. McC. June-Jul. (28.)
  *Throw-Back. McC. Dec., '20 (25.)

CHAMBERS, ROBERT W(ILLIAM). (1865- .) (_See 1915, 1917, 1919._)
  Flaming Jewel. McCall. Aug. (5.)
  Master Passion. McCall. Sept. (6.)

CHAPMAN, EDITH. (_See 1920._)
  *Immune. S.S. Jul. (97.)

  *Annie Kearney. S.S. May. (103)
  **Gossip. S.S. Oct., '20. (93.)

CHASE, MARY ELLEN. (1887- .) (_See 1919, 1920._)
  *Waste of the Ointment. Pict. R. Jul. (6.)

CHILD, RICHARD WASHBURN. (1881- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Eye of Cleopatra. Chic. Trib. Apr. 24.
  *Fanny. Pict. R. Sept. (26.)
  *From Dark to Day. Pict. R. Apr. (10.)
  *Idols. Hear. Aug. (6.)
  *Lure. S.E.P. Oct. 9, '20. (12.)
  *Man and Gentleman. Hear. Nov., '20. (8.)
  Other Volabia. S.E.P. Jul. 2. (12.)
  ***Screen. Pict. R. Mar. (8.)
  V for Viper. S.E.P. Oct. 23, '20. (12.)

CHITTENDEN, GERALD. (_See 1915, 1916._)
  Victim of His Vision. Scr. May. (69:611.)

  Middle-Age. S.S. Jul. (121.)

CHURCHILL. DAVID. (_See 1919, 1920._)
  Solvent. Cen. Mar. (101:638.)
  Trencher. Ev. Dec., '20. (23.)

CHURCHILL, ROY P. (_See 1919._)
  Love Sets the Alarm Clock. Am. Jan. (20.)

  Twins--Three of Them. Met. Mar. (33.)

  Gift. McCall. Apr. (12.)

CLARK, (CHARLES) BADGER. (_See 1920._)
  Deal in Mules. Sun. Dec., '20. (36.)
  Don't Spoil His Aim. Sun. June. (29.)
  Price of Liberty. Sun. Sept. (44.)
  Tuck's Quiet Wedding. Sun. Jul. (34.)
  Wind to Heaven. Sun. May. (38.)
  Young Hero. Sun. Aug. (43.)

CLARK, VALMA. (_See 1920._)
  Silhouettes and Starlight. Hear. Mar. (33.)
  Sneaking Upon Pa. Am. Apr. (21.)
  Uncle Cy--Talented, or Crazy? Am. Sept. (27.)

CLAUSEN, CARL. (_See 1920._)
  Might-Have-Been. Ev. Sept. (23.)
  Sea Love. Ev. Jul. (47.)

COBB, IRWIN S(HREWSBURY). (1876- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  **Cater-Cornered Sex. S.E.P. Sept. 24. (8.)
  ***Darkness. S.E.P. Aug. 20. (3.)
  Greatest Thrill I Ever Had. Am. Dec., '20. (54.)
  **Ravelin' Wolf. S.E.P. Feb. 21, '20. (12.)
  ***Short Natural History. S.E.P. Oct. 9, '20. (3.)


  Americanization Stuff. Sun. Feb. (34.)

COHEN, BELLA. (_See 1920._)
  **Passing of the Stranger. L. St. Mar. (45.)

  Fraudway. Pag. Aug.-Sept. (9.)

COHEN, OCTAVUS ROY. (1891- .) (_See 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Bird of Pray. S.E.P. Nov. 13, '20. (10.)
  End of the Rainbow. Am. Mar. (23.)
  Evil Lie. S.E.P. Sept. 10. (14.)
  H2O Boy! S.E.P. June 4. (14.)
  Less Miserable. Chic. Trib. Sept. 25.
  Midsummer Knight's Dream. Hear. Sept. (45.)
  Oft In the Silly Night. S.E.P. Mar. 12. (10.)

COLCORD, LINCOLN (ROSS). (1883- .) (_See 1915._) (_H._)
  ***Instrument of the Gods. Am. Apr. (10.) May. (47.)
  *Moments of Destiny. Pop. Aug. 20. (126.)

  Honeymoon House. Del. June. (15.)

COMFORT, WILL LEVINGTON. (1878- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_See also in 1920_, COMFORT, WILL LEVINGTON _and_ DOST,
    ZAMIN KI.)
  Plucked One. Red Bk. Jul. (94.)
  *Red Handed. S.E.P. Jan. 1. (8.)
  *Deadly Karait. Asia. Aug. (21:663.)

CONDON, FRANK. (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  By Ten Feet. Col. Jan. 29. (10.)
  Followed by Laughter. Ev. Nov. '20. (47.)
  Punch and Julie. Col. Aug. 6. (6.)
  Red Monahan. Col. May 21. (3.)

  Cage Man. S.E.P. Nov. 6, '20 (18.)
  Gretna Greenhorns. McCall. Aug. (11.)
  Man In the Cape. Met. May. (31.)
  Sin of Monsieur Pettipon. S.E.P. Sept. 24. (12.)
  Suzi Goes Back to the Land. McCall. Apr. (8.)
  Tiger Syrup. Ev. Dec., '20. (71.)
  $25,000 Jaw. S.E.P. Aug. 27. (22.)

CONNOLLY, JAMES BRENDON. (1868- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  *Bill Jackson's Adeline. Col. Nov. 20, '20. (5.)
  *Captain Joe Gurley. Col. Feb. 26. (5.)
  *His Three Fair Wishes. Red Bk. Jul. (35.)
  Not Down in the Log. Col. Jan. 22. (7.)


COOPER COURTNEY RYLEY (1886- .) (_See 1917, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Christmas Eve at Pilot Butte. Red Bk. Jan. (39.)
  Envy. Red Bk. Apr. (42.)
  Fear. Red Bk. Mar. (38.)
  Fiend. Cos. Mar. (59.)
  Love. Red Bk. June. (56.)
  Mother. Chic. Trib. Apr. 10.
  Old Scarface. Pict. R. Apr. (24.)
  Pin-Point Pupil. Red Bk. Nov., '20. (64.)
  *Simp. Pict. R. Nov., '20. (22.)
  To Oblige a Lady. McC. Sept. (27.)

  Martin Garrity Finally Pulls a Bone -- Am. Apr. (29.)
  Martin Garrity Gets Even. Am. Jul. (20.)

  Dude-Puncher Steve. Scr. Mar (69:343)

  *Accompanist. S.S. Oct., '20. (103.)

COWDERY, ALICE. (See 1915, 1917, 1919.) (_H._)
  **Tree. Harp. M. Nov., '20. (141:710.)

"CRABB, ARTHUR." (_See 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Jigger. Met. Mar. (27.)
  Jimmy Evans Comes Back. Ev. Dec., '20. (64.)
  Juror No. 5. Col. June 11. (14.)
  Miss Jeremiah. Ev. Nov., '20. (64.)
  Old Man Ladd. Sun. Sept. (28.)

CRABBE, BERTHA HELEN. (1887- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919._)
  ***On Riverside Drive. Touch. Dec., '20. (8:194.)

CRAM, MILDRED R. (1889- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920._)
  *Anna. McCall. Mar. (5.)
  Bridge. Harp. B. Apr. (46.)
  Chestnuts in the Fire. Harp. B. June. (44.)
  *Gold Woman. Red Bk. Feb. (44.)
  Kitty Passes. Harp. B. May. (60.)
  Mirage. Red Bk. Sept. (85.)
  Oh, La-La. Harp. B. Aug. (44.)
  **Stranger Things. Met. Jan. (15.)
  **Sun. McCall. Aug. (7.)

CRANE, CLARKSON. (_See 1916, 1920._)
  **American. S.S. Nov., '20. (107.)
  *Magnificent Major. S.S. Dec., '20. (89.)
  Morning Walk. S.S. June. (55.)


  "Hold 'em, Harvard!" Met. Jan. (14.)

CRUMP, IRVING R. (_See 1919._) (_H._)
  King-Dog. Red Bk. Jul. (69.)

CURTISS, PHILIP (EVERETT). (1885- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Fancy Skater of Meloumerang. Harp. M. May. (142:737.)
  *"Gum-Shoe." Scr. Feb. (69:169.)
  Left-Handed Piccolo Player. Harp. M. Dec., '20. (142:87.)
  Pentelicus the Younger. Harp. B. Oct., '20. (68.)
  *Postmaster-General of Mindanao. Harp. M. Oct., '20. (141:644.)
  **Waving Palm and the Blue Lagoon. Harp. M. Jan. (142:154.)

CURWOOD, JAMES OLIVER. (1878- .) (_See 1917, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  Country Beyond. Cos. Jul. (29.)
  Honor and the Outlaw. Cos. Sept. (30.)
  Jolly Roger of the Forests. Cos. Aug. (35.)

  Surrender. S.S. May. (89.)

CUTTING, MARY STEWART (DOUBLEDAY.) (1851- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1918._)
  Fairy Godmother. W.H.C. June. (16.)


  *Balances. Cen. Feb. (101:470.)

DALRYMPLE, C. LEONA. (1885- .) (_See 1915, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  His Secrets. Pict. R. Feb. (20.)
  Love's Derelict. Pict. R. Oct., '20. (10.)

  "In Vino." Lib. Jan. (5.)

DAVIS, CHARLES BELMONT. (1866- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1919._) (_H._)
  Small Part People. Met. Aug. (13.)

DAVIS, ELMER (HOLMES). (1890- .)
  Double Indemnity. Ev. Aug. (61.)

DAVIS, MAURICE. (_See 1920._)
  Morning in Spring. S.S. May. (85.)

DAVIS, ROBERT (HOBART.). (1869- .)
  Conjugal Bolshevist. Cen. Apr. (101:725.)

DAY, JR., CLARENCE. (_See 1915, 1916._) (_H._)
  Grand Tour of Horlick. Harp. M. Feb. (142:376.)
  Tragedy of Gustatory Selection. Harp. M. Dec.,'20. (142:111.)

DAY, HOLMAN FRANCIS. (1865- .) (_See 1915, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  Contribution Neggle-ance. S.E.P. Aug. 20. (12.)
  Court Took a Recess. Col. Aug. 20. (7.)
  *That Vanished. Col. Jul. 23. (6.)
  While the Biscuits Baked. Col. June 4. (5.)

  Second Youth of Zachary Howe. L.H.J. Oct., '20. (25.)

  Glass of Fashion. Met. Jan. (25.)
  Mildred, the Head-Hunter. Met. Sept. (36.)

  *Twixt the Cup and Lip. Met. Nov., '20. (13.)

DELANO, EDITH BARNARD. (_See 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920._) _See "H." under_
  Heart That Understands. L.H.J. Feb. (14.)
  *Let the Anchor Hold. McCall. May. (6.)

  Man in the Wheel. Del. May. (19.)

  Brooders. Ev. Jul. (59.)
  In Hell-Hole Swamp. Ev. Aug. (139.)
  Plague o' My Hearth. Ev. May. (54.)

  Nickel's Worth of Greatness. S.S. May. (57.)

DERIEUX, SAMUEL A. (1881- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Bolter. Am. Sept. (50.)
  Figgers Can't Lie. Del. Apr. (7.)
  Old Frank to the Rescue. Am. Mar. (41.)
  Pursuit. Am. Nov., '20. (29.)

DICKENSON, EDWIN C. (_See 1918._)
  Altar Rock. Scr. Apr. (69:433.)

DICKSON, HARRIS. (1868- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Above Suspicion. Col. Dec. 4, '20. (5.)
  Buster, the Catspaw. Cos. May. (81.)
  Crook and the Crazy Man. Cos. June. (87.)
  Ghost and the Gallows Nail. Col. Apr. 2. (5.)
  Legs is Legs. Cos. Sept. (95.)
  Old Reliable on Guard. Cos. Mar. (75.)
  Squeeze In and Freeze Out. S.E.P. Mar. 26. (10.)
  Wedlocked in Bond. Cos. Apr. (79.)

DIVINE, CHARLES. (_See 1917._)
  Silver Box. Ev. June. (5.)

DOBIE, CHARLES CALDWELL. (1881- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  **All or Nothing. Harp. M. Jul. (143:151.)
  *From a Balcony. Harp. B. Sept. (34.)
  **Paying the Piper. Pict. R. Nov. '20. (14.)

DODGE, HENRY IRVING. (1861- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Ladies and Joe O'Brien (Pt. 2.) McC. Oct., '20. (12.)

DODGE, LOUIS. (1870- .) (_See 1917, 1918, 1920._)
  Love Strike. McC. Dec. '20. (16.)
  **Opal Flagon. Scr. Oct., '20. (68:446.)

    _and_ DOST, ZAMIN KI.

DOUGLAS, FORD. (_See 1920._) (_H._)
  Heel of Achilles. S.S. Mar. (29.)

DOWST, HENRY PAYSON. (1876- .) (_See 1915, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Runt. S.E.P. Oct. 9, '20. (30.)
  Sawmiller's Job. S.E.P. Feb. 19. (12.)
  Whip Hand. S.E.P. Dec. 18, '20. (12.)

DREISER, THEODORE. (1871- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  **Chains. L. St. Dec., '20. (3.)
  *Phantom Gold. L. St. Feb. (3.)

  Devils and Four Gold Cups. Cen. June. (102:252.)
  Sieve. Met. June. (16.)

  Golden Gown. Am. May. (50.)

  *Outsider. Mid. Aug. (7:297.)

DUNN, JOSEPH ALLAN. (1872- .) (_See 1915._) (_H._)
  *Smuggler's House. Ev. Feb. (63.)


DUTTON, LOUISE ELIZABETH. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Breaking Up. S.E.P. Sept. 17. (14.)
  Dream Tree. S.E.P. Apr. 9. (10.)
  Three of a Kind. S.E.P. June 11. (14.)

DWYER, JAMES FRANCIS. (1874- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Berries of the Bittersweet. W.H.C. June. (7.)
  "Cath." W.H.C. Mar. (7.)
  *Goliath Gamble and Fate. Ain. Jan. (41.)
  *Herb Woman. Hol. Nov., '20. (7.)
  Miss Thistledown and Mr. Tinker. W.H.C. May. (14.)
  *They Came to Ophir. Col. June 4. (9.)

DYER, WALTER ALDEN. (1878- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920._) (_H._)
  Elijah and the Widow. Del. Jul. (22.)


  Shadow Before. Cath. W. June. (113:366.)

EASTMAN, REBECCA HOOPER. (_See 1915, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Great American Husband. S.E.P. (Oct. 23, '20.) (16.)
  Man Trap. S.S. Dec., '20. (27.)
  Yellow Tree. G.H. Nov., '20. (30.)

EATON, WALTER PRICHARD. (1878- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919._)
  Auction Hounds. Del. Jan. (8.)
  Miss Agatha's Gardener. Del. Aug. (5.)
  Procrastinated Christmas. Chic. Trib. Dec. 19, '20.
  Two in the Town. Del. Feb. (4.)
  Uses of Adversity. Del. Sept. (10.)

  Her Secret and His. Met. Feb. (25.)
  In Place of God. McC. Mar. (32.)

EDGAR, RANDOLPH. (_See 1916, 1917, 1919._)
  Simple Saga. N.M. Feb. 9. (125:635.)

  Green Cord. S.S. Jan. (45.)

"ELDERLY SPINSTER." (MARGARET WILSON.) (1882- .) (_See 1918, 1919._)
  *Speaking of Careers. Asia. Jul. (21:575.)
  *Waste. Atl. Feb. (127:180.)

  Butterfly so Bright. Am. Jan. (38.)
  Order of the Garter. W.H.C. Jul. (22.)

    1915 under_ ESTABROOK, ALMA MARTIN; _1917 under_ ELLERBE, ALMA
    LEE; 1920.) (_See "H." under_ ELLERBE, PAUL LEE.)
  Mrs. Franklin. Col. Jul. 2. (12.)

  Pound Calico. Sun. Sept. (17.)
  When the Ice Went Out. Sun. May. (28.)

ELLERBE, ROSA L. (_See 1917, 1920._) (_H._)
  Cyclone. Chic. Trib. Aug. 21.

  *Danzy. Asia. Oct., '20. (20:871.)

ENGLAND, GEORGE ALLAN. (1877- .) (_See 1916, 1919._) (_H._)
  Fifty-Fifty. S.E.P. Mar. 19. (20.)
  Girl Across the Way. McCall. June. (10.)

  Play-Acting. Scr. Apr. (69:491.)

EVANS, FRANK E. (1876- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1920._) (_H._)
  Grandstand Player, Red Bk. Nov., '20. (69.)
  Hip! Hip! Red Bk. Oct., '20. (87.)

EVANS, IDA MAY. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Her Place in the Sun. Cos. Jan. (53.)
  Loves Between. Cos. Jul. (93.)
  Valencia Comes a Cropper. G.H. Dec., '20. (26.)

EVARTS, HAL G. (_See 1920._)
  Glutton. S.E.P. June 25. (10.)
  Last Move. Red Bk. Dec., '20. (86.)
  Savagery. Red Bk. Jan. (44.)
  Swamp Colony, S.E.P. May 14. (9.)
  Traveling Otter. S.E.P. Apr. 23 (8.)
  Vanishing Squadron. Red Bk. Aug. (55.)



FARNHAM, MATEEL HOWE. (_See 1920._) (_H._)
  Fat of the Land. Del. Mar. (13)
  Little Matter of Business. W.H.C. Jul. (14.)
  Million-Dollar Invitation. W.H.C. Nov., '20. (9.)

  Celestial Chattel. Pict. R. May (12.)

FERBER, EDNA. (1887- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Not a Day Over Twenty-One. Col. Aug. 13. (3.)

  Passing of the Chief. Cath. W. Apr. (113:83.)

  It Can Be Done. Ev. Feb. (40)

FIELD, FLORA. (_See 1918, 1920._)
  Mister Montague's Premises. Del. May. (15.)

FINGER, CHARLES J. (1871- .) (_See 1919, 1920._)
  ***Derailment of Train No. 16. A.W. Sept. (1:196.)
  *Liar. A.W. Feb. (1:47.)
  ***Lizard God. A.W. Dec., '20. (10.) Cur. O. May. (623.)
  **Some Mischievous Thing. (_R._) A.W. May. (1:118.)
  *Tale of the Far South. A.W. June. (1:145.)


  Rose Dupré's Escape. Del. Jan. (15.)

  His Russet Witch. Met. Feb. (11.)
  Jelly-Bean. Met. Oct., '20. (15.)
  *Lees of Happiness. Chic. Trib. Dec. 12, '20.
  Tarquin of Cheapside. S.S. Feb. (43.)

FITZGERALD, HENRY. (_See 1915._)
  Tale of the Chase. S.S. Sept. (105.)

  A B C's of a Man. Pag. Aug. Sept. (49.)

FLANDRAN, GRACE HODGSON. (_See 1918, 1920._)
  Rubies in Crystal. S.S. June. (65.)
  Terry Sees Red. Harp. M. Dec., '20. (142:18.)

  In Transit and Return. Cen. Oct., '20. (100:801.)

  Fly. Con. Apr. (101:768.)

FOLSOM, ELIZABETH IRONS. (1876- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  **Along the White Road. Hear. Jul. (49.)
  *Masterpiece. Met. Jan. (32.)
  *Mrs. Charles Grimes. Sun. Oct., '20. (33.)
  *Pitch. Met. Dec., '20. (17.)
  What Opened Jerry's Eyes to Bertha. Am. Oct., '20. (39.)

FOOTE, JOHN TAINTOR. (_See 1915, 1916, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Fowl Disaster. Col. Mar. 19. (12.)
  Soft Craws. S.E.P. Jul. 23. (8.)
  Spirit Dope. Am. Oct., '20. (57.)

    MANN; _see_ "_H._" _under_ FORRESTER, IZOLA L.)
  Christmas Highwayman. Del. Dec., '20. (16.)
  Eyes of Angels. Del. Aug. (20.)
  His Own Vineyard. Del. Oct., '20. (20.)
  Leaven of Love. Del. Nov., '20. (14.)

FORSYTH, LOUISE. (_See 1918._)
  *Initiation. Cen. Nov., '20. (101: 81.)

  Yolanda Comes and Goes. Sun. Jul. (42.)

  Bradley's Wife. Met. Aug. (30.)

FOSTER, MARY. (_See 1919._)
  Maragh of the Silent Valley. Cath. W. Mar. (112: 771.)

FOX, PAUL HERVEY. (_See 1917, 1918._)
  Grand Passion. S.S. Feb. (65.)
  Last Picture. S.S. Dec., '20. (63.)

FRANK, WALDO. (1890- .) (_See 1916, 1917._)
  **Under the Dome. Dial. Oct., '20. (69:329.)

FRASER, W(ILLIAM) A(LEXANDER). (1859- .) (_H._)
  Delilah. S.E.P. June 11. (10.)
    Static. S.E.P. Apr. 23. (5.)
    Who Laughs Last. S.E.P. Jul. 9. (16.)

FREDERICK, JUSTUS GEORGE. (1882- .) (_See 1919._) (_H._)
 "I Love You Exclamation Point." Ev. Mar. (53.)

FUESSLE, NEWTON A. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918._)
  Cheaters. S.S. Mar. (61.)

FULLERTON, HUGH STEWART. (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  "Pay to T. Hartley, Good Sport, $10,000." Am. Nov., '20. (40.)
  Triple Cross. Col. Nov. 27, '20. (5.)


  Then Came Sue. W.H.C. Mar. (11.)

GALE, ZONA. (1874- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  "Patches." W.H.C. Mar. (9.)

GARRETT, GARET. (1878- .) (_See 1917, 1920._)
  Luck Lepee's Tale. S.E.P. Mar. 26. (14.)
  Wall Street Baptism. S.E.P. Jan. 15. (23.)


GATLIN, DANA. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  Altar Fires. Cos. Aug. (103.)
  Dark Man in Her Future. Cos. Feb. (27.)
  Martyr's Crown. G.H. Feb. (58.)
  Not a Marrying Man. Cos. Apr. (53.)
  Old Home Town. Cos. Sept. (36.)
  Out of the Forest. McCall. Nov., '20. (9.)
  Royal Unrepentant. Cos. Nov., '20. (61.)

GELZER, JAY. (_See 1920._)
  *Flower of the Flock. Cos. Aug. (73.)

GEROULD, KATHARINE FULLERTON. (1879- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918,
    1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  ***French Eva. Scr. Nov., '20. (68:549.)
  **Keeper of the Gate. Ev. May. (74.)

GERRY, MARGARITA SPALDING. (1870- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1920._) (_H._)
  ***"To Meet His Majesty." Harp. M. Jul. (143:233.)

  Dainty Marie. McCall. Feb. (6.)

GIESY, JOHN ULRICH. (1877- .) (_See 1917._)
  *Beyond the Violet. Arg. Nov. 27, '20. (128:118.)

    (1884- .) (_H._)
  **"New England." Atl. Apr. (127:505.)

GILBERT, GEORGE. (1874- .) (_See 1916, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Devil of the Pool. Sun. Apr. (16.)
  Man Who Was Strangely Tempted. Am. Oct., '20. (21.)
  "Most Wise! Most Subtle!" Sun. Feb. (17.)

  Bitter Moment. S.S. May. (19.)

  **Illumined Moment. Atl. Apr. (127:458.)

GIRARDEAU, CLAUDE M. (_See 1915._)
  Opal Amulet. Harp. B. Oct., '20. (62.)

GLASGOW, ELLEN (ANDERSON GHOLSON). (1874- .) (_See 1916, 1917._)
  ***The Past. G.H. Oct., '20. (64.)

    1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  ***His Smile. Pict. R. Jan. (15.)

GLASS, MONTAGUE MARSDEN. (1877- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1920._) (_H._)
  *Keeping Expenses Down. Hear. Aug. (10.)
  Never Begin with Lions. Hear. June. (13.)
  Sixth McNally. Hear. May. (13.)
  Squaring Mr. Turkeltaub. Cos. Oct., '20. (17.)

GODFREY, WINONA. (1877- .) (_See 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Quintin and the Quince. Am. Feb. 29.
  Tarradiddle. Sun. Nov., '20. (50.)
  Webs. Sun. Oct., '20. (74.)


  Camel-Driver. McCall. May. (13.)

GOODLOE, ABBIE CARTER. (1867- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  *Talisman. Scr. Sept. (70:337.)

  *Faith and Jack London. Book. (N.Y.) Sept. (54:13.)

  Baby Vamp. S.S. Sept. (91.)

  "Doit" Case. A.W. Apr. (1:93.)

GRAEVE, OSCAR. (1884- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  *Change. S.E.P. Jul. 9. (10.)
  Stars. S.E.P. Jan. 22. (33.)


GRAVES, LOUIS. (_See 1915, 1920._) (_H._)
  Menton Marvel. Met. Oct., '20. (28.)

GRAY, DAVID. (1870- .) (_See 1915, 1917, 1919._) (_H._)
  Self-Determination with the Lenoxes. S.E.P. May 14. (5.)

GREIG, ALGERNON. (_See 1920._)
  Isn't it Funny?--But It's True! Met. Nov., '20. (21.)
  Scrambled Eggs. Met. Dec., '20. (20.)

GREY, ZANE. (1875- .) (_H._)
  Great Slave. L.H.J. Dec., '20. (10.)

  Call It What You Please. Ev. Apr. (70.)

  Rose Mary Garland. W.H.C. Feb. (20.)


HAINES, DONAL HAMILTON. (1886- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Three Swallows, Clear! S.S. Jan. (61.)

  Bubble of Bliss. S.S. Feb. (25.)
  Eye of the Beholder. S.S. Mar. (103.)
  Fortunes of Mr. Finn. S.S. Sept. (51.)
  Sunday. S.S. Aprl. (57.)

HALL, HERSCHEL S. (_See 1919 under_ HALL, H.S., _1920._)
  Kick. S.E.P. Oct. 16, '20. (16.)
  Prospectors. S.E.P. Jan. 29. (5.)

"HALL, HOLWORTHY." (HAROLD EVERETT PORTER.) (1887- .) (_See 1915, 1916,
    1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Fog of Orleans. McC. Feb. (16.)
  Freddie the Fifth. Harp. B. Feb. (44.)
  His Dear Cassandra. McC. Nov. '20. (13.)
  Ironies. Chic. Trib. Oct. 17, '20.
  Madam President. Cos. June. (29.)
  Man Who Wouldn't Be Told. Cos. Aug. (89.)
  Miss Nemesis. McC. Sept. (8.)
  Mopus. Pict. R. May. (24.)
  Runner-Up. Col. Mar. 5. (5.)
  Target. L.H.J. Feb. (10.)
  Turtle's Head. McCall. Aug. (8.)

HALL, WILBUR (JAY). (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Americanization of Jonesy. Sun. Aug. (48.)
  Communism in Shadow Valley. Red Bk. Oct., '20. (78.)
  Stringer Blood. S.E.P. June 25. (12.)

HALLET, RICHARD MATTHEWS. (1887- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  **Bluebeard Shadrach. S.E.P. Mar. 20, '20. (20.)
  ***Harbor Master. Harp. M. June. (143:36.) Jul. (143:198.)
  *Mountain and Mahomet. Harp. M. Nov., '20. (141:735.)
  **Whale of a Story. Pict. R. Nov., '20. (20.)

HAMBY, WILLIAM HENRY. (1875- .) (_See 1916, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  Dance of the Clog-Footed. Ev. Oct., '20. (45.)

HAMILTON, GERTRUDE BROOKE. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  *Finette of the Streets. Par. Nov., '20. (43.)
  Thunderstorm. G.H. Sept. (24.)

  Devil à la Mode. Pag. Mar.-Apr. (23.)

HAMPTON, EDGAR LLOYD. (_See 1916, 1920._)
  Rolling Stone. Sun. Nov., '20. (43.)

  *Jimsie of Kilmack. Rom. Oct., '20. (3.)

HARDY, ARTHUR SHERBURNE. (1847- .) (_See 1916, 1920._) (_H._)
  *Comedy at the Prefecture. Harp. M. Feb. (142:339.)
  **Tragedy on the Upper Snake River. Scr. Jul. (70:53.)

  Freud _vs._ William B. Thompkin. S.S. Feb. (109.)

HARRIS, KENNETT. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Birds in Their Little Nests. S.E.P. Jul. 16. (5.)
  Junk. S.E.P. Dec. 25, '20. (16.)
  Peacock-Blue Album. S.E.P. Dec. 18, '20. (15.)
  Pest and the Pie-Dough Cake. S.E.P. Feb. 12. (8.)
  Roland Stoops to Conquer. S.E.P. Apr. 2. (3.)

  **Contact. Pict. R. Dec., '20. (16.)
  ***Green Gardens. Scr. Jul. (70:24.)

HATCH, LEONARD. (_See 1915, 1920._) (_H._)
  Something Desperate. W.H.C. Dec., '20. (15.)
  Sunny Side of Nineteen. Ev. Aug. (23.)

HAWLEY, J.B. (_See 1920._)
  Friendship. S.S. June. (111.)
  Sacred Story. S.S. Jan. (113.)

  Disappearing Statues. S.S. Oct., '20. (27.)

HECHT, BEN. (1896- .) (_See 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919._)
  ***Bomb Thrower. Little Review. Sept.-Dec. (18.)

  World Without End. Atl. Jul. (128:82.)

"HENRY, O." (WILLIAM SYDNEY PORTER.) (1867-1910.) (_H._)
  *Shamrock and the Palm. (_R._) Ain. Sept. (141.)

HERGESHEIMER, JOSEPH. (1880- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  **Beyond the Bridge. S.E.P. Dec. 11, '20. (5.)
  *Early Americans. S.E.P. Aug. 27. (8.)
  *Juju. S.E.P. Jul. 30. (5.)
  **Scarlet Ibis. S.E.P. Nov. 13, '20. (5.)
  *Sprig of Lemon Verbena. S.E.P. Sept. 17. (8.)

  Aspiring Becky Pye. Met. Sept. (56.)

  Buds. Pag. Aug.-Sept. (31.)

  Reform of Leadpipe Neumann. Met. Sept. (31.)
  Stateroom on Deck "A." Met. May. (28.)

  Love Laughs. W.H.C. Feb. (15.)

HINTON, LEONARD. (_See 1915._)
  Teacup. S.S. Apr. (73.)

  *Marie's View of It. Cen. Dec., '20. (101:210.)
  Mollie, The Ideal Nurse. Cen. Jan. (101:326.)

HOLLINGSWORTH, CEYLON. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Blood and Bacon. Col. Mar. 12. (9.)
  I Ain't a Coward, Maw. Col. May 14. (9.)
  Love and Sediment. Col. Feb. 12. (12.)

HOLLOWAY, WILLIAM. (_See 1915, 1916._)
  Follow Through. Cen. Feb. (101:509.)

  Mystic Swab. Met. Sept. (34.)

HOPPER, JAMES (MARIE). (1876- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Flash Molloy. Cos. Aug. (69.)
  **Little Cave-Boy. Ev. Jan. (67.)
  *Sculptor and His Wife. Cos. June. (81.)

  *Miguel Arrieta. Scr. Oct., '20. (68:491.)

  Escape. S.S. Oct., '20. (109.)

HOUSTON, MARGARET BELLE. (_See 1917, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  *Atmosphere. L.H.J. Mar. (3.)

  **Stars in Their Courses. Col. Nov. 6, '20. (5.)

  Chimney. S.E.P. May 7. (21.)


HUGHES, RUPERT. (1872- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Love the Subliculous. Cos. Oct., '20. (71.)
  Wallflower. Col. Sept. 10. (3.)
  *When Crossroads Cross Again. Col. Jan. 29. (5.)

HULL, ALEXANDER. (_See 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  **Gray Valley. Scr. Nov., '20. (68:607.)
  Letty, the Grabber. Am. Jan. (13.)
  Winner. Am. June. (39.)
  Youth and Mr. Forrest. L.H.J. May. (12.)

HULL, HELEN R. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  **Men of Their Race. Touch. Oct., '20. (8:1.)
  *Waiting. Touch. Feb. (8:346.)

    (_See 1915, 1916._)
  Return. Del. Nov., '20. (15.)

HUNT, FRAZIER. (1885- .) (_See 1916._) (_H._)
  Lightning Flashes Around the World. Col. Apr. 2. (12.)
  Nice and White and Innocent. Col. May 7. (9.)
  Tea Stands for Tokyo. Col. Apr. 23 (7.)
  Tell It to the Marines. Col. May 21. (12.)
  Where Lightning Strikes. Col. July 2. (11.)

  Wild Eyes. A.W. Sept. (1:221.)

HURST, FANNIE. (1889- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  **"Guilty." Cos. Feb. (14.)
  **Roulette. Cos. May. (18.)
  ***She Walks in Beauty. Cos. Aug. (28.)

HUSSEY, L.M. (_See 1919, 1920._)
  *Husband of Carmen Maria. Cen. Jan. (101:346.)
  **Lost Art. S.S. Oct., '20. (69.)
  Saint of Valera. S.S. Sept. (109.)
  Twilight of a God. S.S. May (63.)
  *Ugliest Woman on the Boardwalk. S.S. Nov., '20. (63.)


  *Faith. S.S. Jan. (101.)
  ***Remembrance. Mid. Oct., '20. (6:182.)

IRWIN, WALLACE. (1875- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  *Hickory Dickory Dock. McC. May. (8.)
  Old School. Pict. R. Apr. (6.)
  Only One. McC. Oct., '20. (30.)
  Silver Heels. S.E.P. June 18. (5.)
  Sophie Semenoff. S.E.P. Nov. 27, '20. (10.)
  Who's Who. S.E.P. Apr. 9. (14.)

IRWIN, WILL(IAM HENRY). (1873- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Cassidy's Job. S.E.P. Sept. 17. (12.)
  Tom. S.E.P. Jan. 22. (12.)
  Round Turn. S.E.P. Aug. 13. (12.)
  Uses of Calamity. S.E.P. Sept. 3. (14.)
  Woman Inside. S.E.P. Dec., '20 (12.)

  Roofs of Dhoum. S.S. Apr. (95.)


  Chasm. Sun. Feb. (46.)

  Seeing Hearts. W.H.C. Dec., '20. (16.)

JOHN, W.A.P. (_See 1920._)
  Frisky Whisky. S.E.P. Sept. 24. (14.)

  Acknowledgment. Met. Nov., '20. (29.)

JOHNSON, ALVIN SAUNDERS. (1874- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919._)
  *Object Matrimony. S.S. July. (83.)

  De Nation's Bu'ffday. Col. July 9. (9.)
  First Kind Word. Col. Sept. 3. (7.)
  Infatuation. Col. Jan. 22. (5.)
  Insane Truth. Col. Oct. 9, '20. (7.)
  Isn't Nature Wonderful! Col. Feb. 26. (7.)

JOHNSON, OWEN (MCMAHON). (1878- .) (_See 1915, 1916._)
  Bathtub King. Hear. Apr. (17.)
  Girl They Loved. Hear. June. (22.)
  Mosquito-Proof Socks. Hear. Sept. (39.)

JOHNSTON, CALVIN. (_See 1915, 1917, 1919._) (_H._)
  *Mr. Bliven's Day of Fate. Sun. Nov., '20. (22.)
  *Temple Dusk. S.E.P. Oct. 16, '20. (3.)

  **First Sorrowful Mystery. Mid. Jan. (7:1.)

  At the Pool of Bethesda. S.S. Mar. (49.)
  Concerto in A-Flat. S.S. Apr. (99.)
  **Drigsby's Universal Regulator. Mid. Nov., '20. (6:157.)

  Boob's Progress. McC. Dec., '20. (6.)
  Framed for Broadway. McC. Nov., '20. (10.)
  Nanny. Cos. Oct., '20. (37.)
  Vampires Ahoy! McC. May. (24.)

JORDAN, ELIZABETH (GARVER). (1867- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  His Son's Wife. W.H.C. May. (7.)
  Miss Mary Smith. Chic. Trib. July 10.
  Rev. Archie Reconstructs. Chic. Trib. Nov. 28, '20.
  Tears of Dorothea. Chic. Trib. Sept. 4.

JORDAN, KATE (MRS. F.M. VERMILYE). (_See 1915, 1920._)
  On Margin. S.E.P. Dec. 11, '20. (13.)

    HALDEMAN --. (_See 1919, 1920._) (_See 1917, 1918 under_ JULIUS,
  Unworthy Coopers. Atl. May. (127:614.)


KAHLER, HUGH MACNAIR. (_See 1917, 1919, 1920._)
  Allie Rebsoll's Better Self. S.E.P. Mar. 19. (12.)
  Commune, Limited. S.E.P. Apr. 30. (16.)
  *Davy Corbutt's Brother. S.E.P. May 28. (14.)
  East Wind. S.E.P. Oct., 23, '20. (3.)
  Failure. L.H.J. Jan. (5.)
  Fool's First. S.E.P. Nov. 20, '20. (12.)
  Like a Tree. S.E.P. Jan. 22. (5.)
  Number One. S.E.P. Mar. 5. (5.)
  Once a Peddler. S.E.P. Sept. 3. (6.)
  Oppressor. S.E.P. June 25. (14.)
  Pink Sheep. S.E.P. Dec. 4, '20. (14.)
  Playboy. Ev. Mar. (5.)
  Unbowed. S.E.P. Dec. 25, '20. (5.)

  Divorced. Cath. W. Nov., '20. (195.)

KELLAND, CLARENCE BUDINGTON. (1881- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Conflict. Red Bk. Aug. (65.)
  Grandma Cutcheon--Detective. Am. Jan. (30.)
  Scattergood and the Missing Organ Fund. Am. Mar. (31.)
  Scattergood and the Tongue of Gossip. Am. Feb. (21.)
  Scattergood Baits a Hook. Am. Sept. (21.)
  Scattergood Buys a Church. Am. June. (21.)
  With the Help of the Duke. Chic. Trib. Nov. 7, '20.


KENNON, HARRY B. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Amber Door. A.W. Jan. (1:10.)
  Dvorak Op. 101, No. 7. A.W. Mar. (1:63.)
  My Seat on the Aisle. A.W. July. (1:163.)

  Grandmother's Shoes. W.H.C. Apr. (15.)

  Partners. Cath. W. Oct. '20. (74.)

KERR, SOPHIE. (1880- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
    (_See "H." under_ UNDERWOOD, SOPHIE KERR.)
  Beach Comber. L.H.J. Jan. (10.)
  Girl Who Hated Her Mother. Del. Sept. (12.)
  Home Brew. Met. June. (14.)
  Smashed-To-Bits Heart. W.H.C. June. (11.)
  Talker. McC. Aug. (21.)
  Wild Earth. S.E.P. Apr. 2. (10.)

KILBOURNE, FANNIE ("MARY ALEXANDER."). (_See 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920,
    under_ KILBOURNE, FANNIE, _and 1917 under_ ALEXANDER, MARY.)
  Any Other Girl Can Tell. L.H.J. Mar. (8.)
  Cinderella Dyes Them Black. Am. June. (31.)
  Corner on William. L.H.J. Nov., '20. (18.)
  Cupid Takes Up Advertising. S.E.P. Jul. 2. (10.)
  Magic. Del. Nov., '20. (10.)
  May Magic. S.E.P. Jul. 30. (12.)
  Office Beauty. L.H.J. June. (8.)
  Oh, yes--Nora Understood Men! Am. Nov., '20. (54.)
  Phyllis Tills the Soil. L.H.J. Sept. (14.)
  Red-Haired Girl Can Always Get a Man. L.H.J. Oct., '20. (14.)
  Sunny Goes Home. S.E.P. May 7. (10.)
  William Learns All About Women. Am. Aug. (21.)

  Bookman. Atl. Feb. (127:214.)

  Hard-Hearted Wretch. S.E.P. Oct. 16, '20. (20.)

KIRK, R.G. (_See 1917._)
  Malloy Campeador. S.E.P. Sept. 17. (3.)

"KIRKLAND, JEANNE." (_See 1920._)
  Boomerang of Conscience. Pag. Aug.-Sept. (24.)

  *Undiscovered Country. Atl. Nov., '20. (126:646.)

KLINE, BURTON. (1877- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919._)
  Another Football of Fate. Chic. Trib. Nov. 21. '20.
  *Forgotten Goddess. Red Bk. Aug.(45)

  Discretion. Pag. Jan.-Feb. (31.)

KOMROFF, MANUEL. (_See 1919, 1920._)
  ***Little Master of the Sky. Dial. Apr. (70:386.)

  Father and Son. A.W. July, (1:166.)

  Hammid Hassan, Camel-Driver. Asia. Dec., '20. (20:1087.)

  *Hero. Pag. Nov.-Dec., '20. (29.)

KRYSTO, CHRISTINA. (1887- .) (_See 1917, 1918._)
  *Star-Dust. Atl. Mar. (127:315.)

KUMMER, FREDERICK ARNOLD. (1873- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918,
    1919._) (_H._)
  Lantern of Diogenes. L.H.J. Nov., '20. (187.)
  Other Wife. Cos. June. (22.)
  Woman Outside. Cos. Apr. (65.)
  Woman Who Ate Up a Man. Cos. July. (58.)

KYNE, PETER BERNARD. (1880- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917._)
  Evil Genius. Cos. Oct., '20. (53.)


  Not "Seen." Met. June. (36.)

LARDNER, RING W. (1885- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Battle of Long Island. S.E.P. Nov. 27. '20. (12.)
  Comic. S.E.P. May 14. (12.)
  Frame-Up. S.E.P. June 18. (14.)
  Only One. S.E.P. Feb. 12. (5.)

  Beatrice Henderson. Pict. R. July. (24.)

LAUFERTY, LILIAN. (_See 1919._)
  Cherry Ripe. Cos. Feb. (59.)
  Some Men Are Like That. Cos. July. (99.)

LAUGHLIN, CLARA ELIZABETH. (1873- .) (_See 1916._) (_H._)
  Junior and Junior's Mate. Met. May. (14.)

  *At Thirty. Atl. Sept. (128:364.)

LAZAR, MAURICE. (_See 1917, 1920._)
  Legal and Sufficient. S.S. Aug. (123.)

LEA, FANNIE HEASLIP. (MRS. H.P. AGEE.) (1884- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917,
    1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Beach-Comber. G.H. Jul. (20.)
  Friendship at Least. S.E.P. Apr. 30. (5.)
  Gleam. Del. Dec., '20. (15)
  In Every Port. G.H. May. (53.)
  Just the Right People. McC. Oct., '20. (16.)
  Mary Is Here. Chic. Trib. Jan. 30.
  Old Flame. G.H. Oct., '20 (8.)
  One Flesh. Del. Aug. (12.)
  One or Two Women. McC. Feb. (30.)
  Something Afar. G.H. Feb. (15.)
  Unstable. Harp. B. Dec., '20. (54.)
  Wild Ginger. McCall. Sept. (9.)

LEACH, PAUL R. (_See 1920._)
  Taps. Col. May 28. (3.)

LEE, JENNETTE (BARBOUR PERRY). (1860- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918,
    1919, 1920._)
  **Uncle 'Bijah's Ghost. Pict. R. July. (10.)

LEE, MUNA. (_See 1915, 1920._)
  Quarrel. S.S. June. (63.)

  Stopover Privileges. Hear. Aug. (45.)

  *Alone at Tiger Gulch. W. St. June 18. (69.)
  *Chef for the Yellow Bar. W. St. July 9. (76.)
  *Drybones. W. St. Feb. 26. (34.)
  *For Ridin' Like a Fool W. St. May 7. (76.)
  *Hot Grit. W. St. June 4. (28.)
  *In Spite of Himself. W. St. July 30. (77.)
  *Lebaudy Starts for Lonesome Gulch. W. St. Apr. 23. (64.)
  *Old-Timer's Hunch. W. St. Apr. 9. (127.)
  *Rebranded. W. St. Mar. 5. (124.)
  *Schooled in the West. W. St. Mar. 12. (130.)
  *Soaked and Dried. W. St. Feb. 5. (120.)
  *Water Boy. W. St. Apr. 30. (39.)

"LESSING, BRUNO" (RUDOLPH BLOCK). (1870- .) (_See 1916, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Baron's Bridge. Hear. Apr. (50.)
  Business Is Business. McC. Apr. (25.)
  Cave Man Stuff. Hear. Oct.,'20. (48.)
  Echo from Bohemia. Hear. Mar. (50.)
  From Him That Hath Not. McC. Nov. '20. (29.)
  Greatest Man In Kenashee. Hear. May (52.)
  Honor of Poli. Hear. July. (54.) Aug. (56.)
  Lure of Love and Lucre. Hear. Jan. (52.)
  Nine and One. Hear. Sept. (50.)
  One That Lost. Hear. Feb. (52.)
  Peach by Any Other Name. Hear. Dec., '20. (52.)
  Thoroughbred. Chic. Trib. May 8.
  Truth or Nothing. Hear. Nov., '20. (52.)

LEVICK, MILES. (_See 1919, 1920._)
  *Calla Lillies. S.S. Feb. (121.)
  *Gold Dragon. S.S. Dec., '20. (117.)

LEVISON, ERIC. (_See 1917, 1918, 1920._)
   *Coat for Jacob. T.T. Oct., '20. (85.)


LEWIS, ORLANDO FAULKLAND. (1873- .) (_See 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Get-Away. Red Bk. Feb. (78.)
  In the Midst of Life. Red Bk. Dec., '20. (58.)
  It's a Long Lane. Red Bk. Nov., '20. (87.)
  Sparks That Flash in the Night. Red Bk. Oct., '20. (53.)

LEWIS, OSCAR. (_See 1916, 1920._)
  Paula. S.S. Mar. (121.)
  *Yesterday's Leaves. S.S. Aug. (69.)

LEWIS, SINCLAIR. (1885- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  *Citizen of the Mirage. Red Bk. May. (47.)
  Good Sport. S.E.P. Dec. 11, '20. (9.)
  Matter of Business. Harp. M. Mar. (142:419.)
  Number Seven to Sagapoose. Am. May. (20.)
  *Post-Mortem Murder. Cen. May. (102:1.)

LIEBE, HAPSBURG. (_See 1915, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  Pal to Jim Lane. Col. July 23. (11.)
  Trimmed and Burning. Col. Sept. 10. (12.)

LINCOLN, JOSEPH C(ROSBY). (1870- .) (_See 1915, 1919._) (_H._)
  "Injun" Control. Cos. Nov., '20. (57.)

  Courage. S.S. Aug. (87.)

  Christmas Dimes, Limited. McCall. Dec., '20. (14.)
  Keep Your Ego, Jeremiah! McCall. June. (16.)
  Lettie Clears the Decks. McCall. Nov., '20. (16.)
  Lettie on the Firing Line. McCall. Feb. (18.)
  Silk Hangings. McCall. Mar. (16.)

  Unbuilt Houses. McCall. Mar. (8.)

LOCKWOOD, SCAMMON. _(See 1916, 1920.)_
  **One Kiss in Paradise. Ain. Nov. '20. (48.)

  Old Sam and the Dollar Mule. Am. Aug. (46.)

  Box from Nixon's. W.H.C. May. (9.)

LOWE, CORINNE. (_See 1917, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Psycho-Anne. S.E.P. May 21. (10.)

LUDWIG, FRANCES A. (_See 1917, 1918._) (_H._)
  Doing Without Mother. Am. Oct., '20. (50.)
  Girl Who Changed Her Mind. Am. Nov., '20. (21.)

  Lurania Mystery. McCall. Nov., '20. (6.)

LUTHER, MARK LEE. (1872- .) (_H._)
  Something Different. Red Bk. Jan. (73.)


MABIE, LOUISE KENNEDY. (_See 1915, 1917, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Bird of Paradise. L.H.J. Apr. (8.)
  Does Mr. Broderick Fail? L.H.J. Oct., '20. (22.)

  *To Remove Mountains. Mid. Feb. (7:67.)

MCCREA, MARION. (_See 1918, 1920._)
  Advertise For Him! Met. May. (33.)
  Use Crystalsweet. Cos. Dec., '20. (79.)

MCCUTCHEON, GEORGE BARR. (1866- .) (_See 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  Sporting Chance. Chic. Trib. Sept. 18.

  Ennui. S.S. June. (107.)
  Unlucky at Cards. Chic. Trib. Mar. 13.

MACFARLANE, PETER CLARK. (1871- .) (_See 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Bulls and Buckers. Red Bk. July (84.)
  Crossing Up Augustus. Red Bk. Apr. (76.)
  Puss or Bear Cat. Red Bk. Nov., '20. (37.)
  Taste of Revenge. Red Bk. Mar. (66.)

MACGOWAN, ALICE (1858- .) _and_ GRACE MACGOWAN COOKE. (1863- .)
    _See 1915 under_ COOKE, GRACE MACGOWAN; _1916, 1917 under_
    MACGOWAN, ALICE; _"H" under both heads._
  *Runt. Pict. R. Aug. (24.)

  Grandmamma. Cath. W. July (113:524.)

MACHARG, WILLIAM BRIGGS. (1872- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1918._) (_H._)
  Mr. Cord. Red Bk. Oct., '20. (83.)
  Price of a Party. Cos. Feb. (75.)
  Rockhound. Cos. Jan. (58.)
  Wildcatter. Cos. Dec., '20. (30.)

  Happy the Bride. Hear. Dec., '20. (21.)

  "Picture-Picture." W.H.C. Mar. (19.)

MACMANUS, SEUMAS. (1870- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  *Donal o' the Moor. Mag. Nov., '20. (44.)

  Kind Deeds. Met. Sept. (29.)

MACY, J. EDWARD. (_See 1920._)
  *Out of the Hurricane. Scr. Aug. (70:232.)

MAHONEY, JAMES. (_See 1920._)
  Hairs of the Occasion. Cen. May. (102:89.)
  Wilfred Reginald and the Dark Horse. Cen. Aug. (102:553.)

  Man to Man. Red Bk. May. (81.)

MANNING, MARIE (MRS. HERMAN E. GASCH). (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Love the Detective. L.H.J. Aug. (6.)

MARKEY, GENE. (_See 1920._)
  Cynthia of the Sonnets. Harp. B. Apr. (54.)
  Toujours, Priscilla. Harp. B. Aug. (66.)

  Right That Failed. S.E.P. July 23. (12.)

MARQUIS, DON (ROBERT PERRY). (1878- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Healer and the Pentient. Pict. R. Feb. (23.)
  *Looney the Mutt. Ev. Jan. 62.
  Saddest Man. Red Bk. Aug. (79.)

MARRIOTT, CRITTENDEN. (1867- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1920._) (_H._)
  Those Most Concerned. G.H. Oct., '20. (58.)

MARSDEN, GRIFFIS. (_See 1919, 1920._)
  Two Chairs. S.S. Feb. (85.)

MARSH, GEORGE T. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919._) (_H._)
  *High Brotherhood. Red Bk. Jan. (78.)
  Mistake of Mr. Bruette. Red Bk. Mar. (23.)
  *Once at Drowning River, Red Bk. Sept. (70.)

MARSHALL, EDISON. (1894- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920._)
  *Heart of Little Shikara. Ev. Jan. (40.)
  Never Kill a Porcupine. Am. Dec., '20. (23.)

MARTYN, WYNDHAM. (_See 1915, 1916, 1918._)
  Samuel Perkins, Unable Mariner. Ev. Apr. (54.)

  Kick at the End. Met. June. (34.)

MASON, GRACE SARTWELL. (1877- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  Call It a Day! S.E.P. June 18. (12.)
  Connecting Wire. L.H.J. Sept. (12.)
  **Glory. Harp. M. Apr. (142:545.)
  Peachy Walks the Weary. S.E.P. Apr. 16. (14.)

  Engaged. S.S. Jan. (123.)

  ***Kindred. Mid. Jul. (7:260.)

  Revolt. Pag. June-Jul. (17.)

  P.D.Q. Scr. Apr. (69:450.)

MEANS, E(LDRED) K(URTZ). (1878- .) (_See 1918, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  *Head for Business. Mun. Nov., '20. (71:266.)
  *Poisoned Pugilism. Mun. June. (73:181.)
  *Who's Who and Why. Mun. Feb. (72:66.)

MELLETT, BERTHE KNATVOLD. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917._)
  Hi! Hippity! Col. Nov. 13, '20. (5.)
  It is a Wise Daughter. Col. Feb. 19. (8.)
  One Large Picture of Him. Col. Dec. 11, '20. (10.)
  Red Mike. Col. Jan. 8. (8.)
  Secret Sorrow. Col. Apr. 30. (7.)
  Will o' the Wisp. Col. June 4. (14.)

MERWIN, SAMUEL. (1874- .) (_See 1915, 1920._) (_H._)
  Eva on the Ice. S.E.P. Nov. 6, '20. (10.)
  Garage of Enchantment. Red Bk. Apr. (27.)
  Little Matter of Living. S.E.P. Aug. 13. (5.)
  New Platitude. Chic. Trib. Mar. 6.
  Old Lost Stars. L.H.J. May. (14.)
  Saving Sister. S.E.P. Nov., '20. (8.)
  There Are Smiles. McC. Apr. (14.)
  Time Out for Granberry. McC. Feb. (18.)

  After Twenty Years. Ev. Sept. (147.)

MILLER, ALICE DUER. (1874- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Give Matrimony a Chance. Red Bk. Jul. (64.)
  Protecting Instinct. Red Bk. Dec., '20. (48.)
  Woman Who Hated Politics. Red Bk. Jan. (25.)

  Highroad to Freedom. Ev. Mar. (71.)

MILLER, HELEN TOPPING. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920._)
  Fireflies. S.E.P. Feb. 12. (32.)
  Marsh Light. S.E.P. Oct. 9, '20. (16.)
  Signed--"T.F." W.H.C. Oct., '20. (23.)
  *"Two Women ... at a Mill." G.H. May. (18.)

MILLER, HUGH S. (See 1916.)
  Spice of Danger. Scr. Feb. (69:222.)

MILLER, WARREN H. (1876- .) (_See 1919._)
  Ruler the Persistent. Red Bk. Feb. (64.)

  Janet's Face. S.S. Apr. (49.)

MILLS, DOROTHY CULVER. (_See 1918, 1919._)
  James to Anita With Love. Del. Dec., '20. (19.)

MINNIGERODE, MEADE. (_See 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920._)
  Hush Stuff. Col. Feb. 26. (10.)
  "Saddest Tale." Col. May 28. (12.)


    1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Nebber No Mo'. Del. Oct., '20. (15.)
  Ringmaster. W.H.C. Feb. (17.)
  Slip'ry Flies Out, L.H.J. Dec., '20. (20.)
  Trap. Met. Mar. (16.)

MONTAGUE, MARGARET PRESCOTT. (1878- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1919, 1920._)
  'To Will to Go.' Atl. May. (127:650.)

MOONEY, RALPH E. (_See 1919, 1920._)
  Look Like a Million! Am. Jul. (44.)

  *Their Expiation. Touch. Oct., '20. (8:28.)

MORGAN, BYRON. (1889- .) (_See 1918, 1919._)
  Hell Diggers. S.E.P. Oct. 2, '20. (8.)
  Too Much Speed. S.E.P. May 28. (5.)

MORLEY, CHRISTOPHER (DARLINGTON). (1890- .) (_See 1917, 1918, 1919._)
  Curious Case of Kenelm Digby. Book. Mar. (53:10.) Apr. (53:157.)
  Disappearance of Dunraven Bleak. Book. June. (53:312.)

MOROSO, JOHN ANTONIO. (1874- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919,
    1920._) (_H._)
  McCann's Danny. Ev. Aug. (53.)
  Mary Two-Sides. Red Bk. Aug. (94.)
  Old Detective Who Had Retired. Am. Dec., '20. (46.)
  Storm-Cloud. Del. Feb. (8.)

MORRIS, GOUVERNEUR. (1876- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919._) (_H._)
  *End of the Road. Harp. B. Oct., '19. (54.)
  **Open Door. Cos. Apr. (25.)
  *Silver Screen. McC. Aug. (28.)

MORTON, JOHNSON. (_See 1917._) (_H._)
  *Second Day of Spring. Harp. M. Feb. (142:350.)

  Little Girl Named Jennie. Touch. Jan. (8:263.)

MOTT, FRANK LUTHER. (_See 1918._)
  ***Man with the Good Face. Mid. Dec., '20. (6:202.)

  **Aftermath. G.H. Sept. (38.)

  Honour of an Artiste. S.S. May. (33.)

MUILENBURG, WALTER J. (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918._)
  **Peace. Mid. Apr. (7:159.)

MULLETT, MARY B. (_See 1918._) (_H._)
  Rivals. Am. Dec., '20. (39.)

    (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  "Aurore." Pict. R. Feb. (18.)
  *Pupil of Raphael. Ain. Apr. (144.)
  *Red Gulls. Pict. R. Oct., '20. (12.)

MURRAY, ROY IRVING. (1882- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1919, 1920._)
  Fixed Idea. Scr. Apr. (69:481.)

MYGATT, GERALD. (_See 1920._) (_H._)
  Alibi Absolute. Red Bk. May. (32.)
  Strictly Legitimate. S.E.P. Dec. 11, '20. (18.)

  Q.E.D. S.E.P. Mar. 19. (14.)


NEIDIG, WILLIAM JONATHAN. (1870- .) (_See 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Firebug. Ev. Apr. (39.)
  Wire Cutter. S.E.P. Apr. 2. (14.)

NICHOLSON, MEREDITH. (1866- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920._)
  Campbells Are Coming. McC. Aug. (13.)
  Poor Dear Papa. Red Bk. Apr. (62.)
  What Would You Do? McC. Jan. (16.)

NILES, BLAIR. (_See 1920._)
  *Candles of Faith. Scr. Dec., '20. (68:725.)
  Cheating the Jungle. Scr. Mar. (69:360.)

NORRIS, KATHLEEN. (1880- .) (_See 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920._) (_H._)
  Bluebeard's Closet. G.H. Ja