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Title: Wanderings of French Ed
Author: René, Joseph
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Wanderings of French Ed
by Joseph Adelard René
Published 1899
Wright & Company, New York

The beginning of life is like the morning of a spring day and dreams
are to one's soul what sunshine is to that day--often too brilliant
to last; but human nature needs a stimulant, and that stimulant is
the ideal which takes place in the soul of every human being when
ambition for the future is born.

Who does not remember nursing golden dreams in days gone by? Such is
the human heart; it lives on fiction, and feeds on happy dreams for
the future.

When about twenty years of age, Edward Cottret was at the end of his
schooldays, and the desire to realize an old cherished dream was
uppermost in his soul. That old dream was to go to the United States,
make a fortune, come back home and astonish the natives.

The little village where Edward was living was all excitement when it
was learned that old man Cottret had decided to let his boy Ed go to
the States. Some blamed him, others thought it was proper, but they
all joined in wishing the boy godspeed and good luck.

The day to depart had arrived, and at the little station parents and
friends were assembled to bid him farewell. His mother and sister
were taking turns kissing him, while crying, and his father, sad but
solemn, stood by, waiting for a last chance to give him, his only
son, fatherly advice. The shrill whistle of the locomotive was heard,
and then it was like the last part of a funeral ceremony, and even
Edward, who up to this time had succeeded in hiding his emotion, felt
his heart growing too big for his chest, and when he held the
quivering hand of Marie Louise, his sweetheart, he completely lost
the power of speech, and when she said: "Ed, don't forget me," he
could only stare at her.

The train was now ready to start, and standing at the end of the car,
Edward was holding his father's hand, who also felt tears in his
eyes. The last seconds were painful to all, and it almost seemed a
relief when the train moved and handkerchiefs fluttered in the air
his last farewell. Had it not been for the noise made by the moving
train his sobbing would have been heard by those on the platform.

The last ones to leave the station were his father, his mother, and
his sweetheart. They stood there until the smoke from the locomotive
could be seen no more. Edward saw the last houses of his native
village grow smaller, and long after he could not see them he stood
at the end of the car while tears were coursing down his cheeks. When
he went inside he felt a strange sensation of loneliness which seemed
to increase as the distance grew between him and his village. When
the train stopped at the next small station Edward was tempted to get
out and walk back home; but at this his pride revolted, and the train
as it moved again seemed to mock him.

Try as he might he could not revive in his soul the old dreams for
the future, and when night came, stretched on the hard benches of the
second class coach, he slept just long enough to dream of his mother
and his village. Once he woke up, thinking he held the quivering hand
of his blue-eyed sweetheart.

After a restless night, morning found him aching in every limb in his
body, but glad that he was nearing his destination. Worcester, Mass.,
was the city where he expected to first walk upon American soil, and
after searching in vain upon the yellow time-table to find the exact
time he would arrive, he turned to a fellow-passenger, a big fat
fellow, whom he addressed in French, saying: "A quelle heure
arriverons nous a Wor-ces-ter?"

The big fellow look puzzled at first, then smiling, he said: "Talk
United States."

Edward failed to understand the meaning of "talking United States,"
but answered "thank you," trying to look satisfied with the answer.

About two hours later the conductor came in and said: "Worster!
Worster!" and shortly after the train stopped in a large depot.
Almost everyone stepped out except Edward, who had no idea that
"Worster," as the conductor called it, and "Worcester" were the same
place. "Don't you want to get off here?" asked the conductor.

"No, I am going to Worcester," answered the French lad, but the
conductor picked up some of his things and smilingly informed him
that he was at the end of his trip.

After finding his way out of the station, Edward stopped an instant
to look around and immediately he was surrounded by a lot of cabmen
yelling, gesticulating and wanting to take hold of some of the boy's
parcels. Surprised and almost scared he tried to make them understand
something in French, but failed, and he was getting in a rather
embarrassing situation, when an old gentleman, who had witnessed the
proceedings, stepped up to him and asked him in broken French where
he wanted to go. "God bless you!" thought Edward as he looked up into
the kind old gentleman's face, and told him where he wanted to be
directed to.

The old gentleman walked part way with him, and then gave him
directions to find a hotel kept by a Frenchman, where he said Edward
would be well treated. After a few minutes Edward found himself in
front of a cheap-looking boarding house, bearing the name "Hotel de
Montreal," and he walked in. Every one in the place spoke French, and
he felt at once like a new man. His face brightened up and his
old-time courage came back as he told the proprietor that we wanted to
stop there for a few days.

The remainder of that day was spent in sight-seeing and in gathering
information about addresses given him by his father and friends of
some compatriots in business in that city, from whom Edward expected
to receive employment and get his start in American life.

Early the next day he started to call at each place, sure that he
would have no trouble in finding employment, but his enthusiasm was
somewhat cooled when compatriots in business informed him carelessly
that they could do nothing for him. At each succeeding place he met
with the same fate, until a call had been made at every address.

His modest pocketbook was depleted, and the light of hope that bums
in every man's soul was getting dim, and its rays were like those of
a flickering candle. Golden dreams had left his heart one by one to
make room for the cold and cruel reality. Was that the United States
he had read and heard so much about? Where every one could make
money? True, there was much activity, but it broke his heart to think
he had no part in it. He felt small and lost among these strangers
who passed by him without noticing him; he, who in his native village
was used to be quite an important personage. He would have given ten
years of his life to be back home, but alas! his money was now nearly
all gone.

That night he went to bed earlier than usual, not to sleep, but to
cry in despair. In the stillness of the night he thought he could
hear the sobbing of his old mother, and in the darkness of his little
room he imagined he could see the sad face of his blue-eyed
sweetheart. He had never thought that life could be so bitter, and to
his young soul the weight of his sorrow was indeed great.

The next morning, sitting in what they called "the-waiting room,"
Edward noticed a young man enter, carrying under his arm a large
package of frames. Edward was attracted by the strange and unhappy
light in the young man's eyes, and the hyper-sympathetic nature of
the French lad made him forget his own misfortunes while looking at
the newcomer. There is a certain affinity between
unfortunates--miserables. After placing his package on the floor the
stranger sat down near Edward, and after rolling a cigarette he turned
toward Edward and asked him for a match, which was handed to him, and
this proved to be the beginning of an acquaintanceship which brought
about a friendship of the kind  that endures, and is one of the greatest
gifts to humanity.

Misery accelerates acquaintanceship, and in a very short time they
knew all about each other. Edward's new-made friend was a Russian,
and his limited knowledge of the French language was a great help in
their conversation.

Benjamin Oresky, his new friend, told him his story, and with all the
impulsive generosity of his nature, the French lad felt a great wave
of sympathy in his soul for the young Russian. Poor Ben! After
running away from Russia, on account of some trivial political
trouble, he had learned that the government had arrested his father,
accusing him of helping his son to run away to America, and as a
result of this trouble, his mother had died; and he felt guilty of
her death.

After learning the Russian's sad story Edward felt that his own
misfortune was not near so great as Ben's, and he decided to do all
in his power to help his new friend, at least in a moral way.

Benjamin Oresky was twenty-one years old; indescribable suffering had
caused premature wrinkles in his handsome face, and the streaks of
silver in his black curly hair told of unhappiness, while in his
brown eyes shone a light born of martyrdom.

The brotherly love that had sprung up between these two young men was
the result of a condition of circumstances that brought this mystic
virtue in all its purity. It came to their souls like a soothing
balm, and it gave birth to ambitions that otherwise would never have
been felt.

They were each other's confidant. Their interests were mutual, and in
their friendship they found the nucleus of courage to hold them up in
days of adversity.

Edward's old dreams of fortune came back, and he succeeded in getting
his new friend to share some of them. A partnership was arranged
between the two, and from this time Edward began to peddle frames
from house to house. It was hard and far from the realization of his
old dreams, but it was better than starvation, and the hope of better
days, combined with the example of the Russian, gave him courage to
follow this rather humble trade.

At times, when they met at night, after a lucky day and counted their
receipts, they were elated, while other times, not being so
fortunate, they felt discouraged.  More than once, Edward decided to
write home for money, but at the last minute his pride stopped him.

"No, never! I will not let them know that I am poor, humiliated, a
failure!"

It had been decided that they would go west as soon as they would
have saved the necessary capital, and at last, after three months of
hard work and close economy, they found that they had enough money to
abandon the frame business and start for the West.

Edward was all excitement. His golden dreams had all come back. After
buying a new suit, he went and had his picture taken, sent one home,
another to Marie Louise, and told them of the wonderful things he was
to accomplish out West. Preparations were made and tickets bought for
St. Paul, Minnesota, and as he stepped aboard the train to leave
Worcester he could not help but think of the difference between his
departure from home and his leaving Worcester now. His heart was
overflowing with gladness, and there was nothing but happy tidings in
his soul. There was no sad parting at the station. No, his only
friend was going along with him, and he felt a keen pleasure in
leaving a city which had been so ungrateful to him. The luxurious
palace car was a revelation to him, who had never seen anything like
it, and he felt like a man who is traveling toward success. He could
hardly refrain himself from singing when the train started, but his
friend Benjamin was indifferent, and when Edward began to speak about
the wonderful things they were to do out West, Benjamin simply
smiled.

"Won't we be happy, Ben, when we have lots of money?" asked Edward.

"I may find distraction in making money, and pleasure in seeing you
happy, Ed, but there cannot be any happiness for me," answered the
Russian, with sadness. Then he spoke of his dead mother feelingly. As
to his father, it was a queer anomaly, but the Russian had none of
that filial love of which Edward's heart was so full. No; there was
some mysterious cloud between Benjamin and his father, and Edward
pitied his friend from the bottom of his heart.

The rumbling noise of the fast train, as it moved toward the West,
was music to Edward's ears, and he enjoyed it too much to be able to
read, and while Benjamin was reading one of Tolstoi's novels, Edward
rested his head on the back of his seat and closed his eyes, letting
his mind wander in dreamland.

When night came they decided not to buy tickets for the sleeper, in
order to economize, and both slept well, stretched upon the benches
of the palace car. Morning found them both quite fresh, and the
Russian went back to his novel, while Edward studied the faces around
him.

There were all sorts of faces. Some told of happiness and health,
others spoke plainly of sadness and misfortune; others still were
enigmas--they told of nothing, and if they had known of stormy days,
and drank of some of life's bitter cup, there were no traces left. A
few seats ahead of him Edward noticed a tall chap with his arms
around the waist of a woman with golden hair. Her face told of new
matrimonial bliss and he seemed to be so happy that he was satisfied
to look at his bride without speaking. Edward thought how he would
like to have Marie Louise as his bride and going West also, when he
heard something falling and turning around in the direction where the
noise came from he saw a beautiful young girl who was vainly trying
to pull off part of her sleeve from under the window-shade, which had
just fallen, causing the noise. Edward hesitatingly got up, and
succeeded in releasing the young lady from her awkward position. She
thanked him, and when he looked into her large brown eyes he felt
that they were the most beautiful he had seen in all his life. He
went back to his seat, and felt sorry at once for not having spoken
to her. The more he thought, the more he wanted to speak to her,
until at last, he got up and boldly walked up to her seat, but
imagine his surprise there--he found himself unable to say a word.
She looked up, and seeing his embarrassment, said something that he
failed to understand, but her kind smile brought back his courage and
his power of speech. Picking up her things, she made room on her seat
and he sat down and began the conversation in broken English.

A woman of twenty, with a mass of auburn hair-that color that is
three in one, golden in the sun, brown in the shade, and dark in the
evening. Her eyes were large and soft, shaded by long eyelashes. It
was difficult to tell their color, but they possessed a magnetic
power that Edward felt at once, and every time he looked in her eyes
he felt dazed. His whole being seemed to become involved in a spell
of strange happiness, and listening to her, he felt that she could
make him her slave. When he told her of his going to St. Paul,
Minnesota, she said that she had often been in that city, and had
many friends living there. Her conversation was easy and fascinating,
and Edward did not dare to make any comparison between her and Marie
Louise, whose name came to his mind more than once. After an hour or
so of conversation she told him that she could speak French, and
immediately proceeded to talk that language, to his astonishment, and
he mildly reproached her for not having spoken that language before.

"I just love to hear any one speak English the way you do," she said.

While talking French she held Edward spellbound. She spoke of Daudet,
Zola, George Ohnet, Chartrand, and many other modern novelists of the
French school, and it developed that her favorite authors were also
his.

"Why don't you stop in Chicago and see the city?" she asked him, at
the same time inviting him to call at her home, and giving him a
dainty, engraved card upon which he read her name: "Nellie King,"
with her address written with a lead pencil.

Edward could hardly believe his ears, and said that he would be
delighted to stop in Chicago, but he was not alone, and his friend
might not want to.

"I am sure that you can induce your friend to stop a day or two, if
you care to, and I would be very glad to entertain you while in the
city," she said with her most winsome smile.

"If you really care to have me stop, I will, even if my friend does
not want to," said Edward, entirely decided to do so.

He went over to his friend Ben, who was just awakening from a doze,
and mentioned the idea of stopping in Chicago.

The Russian was surprised and said: "Why, Edward, we know no one in
Chicago; what's the use to stop there and, spend time and money!"

"Yes, I do know some one there," answered Edward, blushing like a
maiden. "I know a lovely girl who would like very much to have me
stop."

The Russian looked surprised, and asked Edward where he had met that
girl.

"Right in this car," answered Edward.

Ben smiled pitifully, and said: "Poor boy, you must not let your
heart run away with your common sense; we cannot stop in Chicago."

Edward was thoughtful for a minute, and then said:  "I will stop
anyway, Ben--I have made up my mind to.

"Well, if you have, I will also stop; but Edward, look out, it is
dangerous to get acquainted too quick with a girl, especially a
Chicago girl," he added.

This last remark made Edward angry, and he was tempted to take
offense, but he knew that his friend had no intention but to give him
good advice, and then they were to stop in Chicago--that was what he
wanted.

When they arrived at the great metropolis of the West, Edward offered
to see Miss King to her home, while the Russian was to wait at the
station until his return.

When Edward came back, his friend asked him: "Did she cry when you
left her?"

"Ben, I don't like to hear you speak this way about her. No; I won't
permit any joking about it."

"All right, Ed, but what do you know about her?"

"I know that she is a good girl, and that she is not making sport of
me."

"How do you know it?"

"She told me so."

"Oh! la! la! la! She told you so, eh? Don't you know that women can
say anything?"

"Never mind, Ben, you are not my keeper. This is a personal matter."

Edward knew that his friend was an enemy of womankind, and therefore
he saw fit to close the discussion as soon as possible.

They left their baggage in the check-room and went to a cheap hotel
where they had lunch, and afterward the Russian asked Edward about
the program for the afternoon.

"My program is already made," said Edward. "I shall call on Miss
King."  They walked together in the direction of her home, where they
parted, after having agreed to meet later at the hotel.

When Edward rang the doorbell his heart was beating so hard that he
could bear it, and when the colored servant came to take his card, he
felt as if walking in a dream. The servant led him into a beautiful
boudoir, where he sat waiting for Miss King, ho soon came in.

"I am so happy you came," she said as she entered.

Edward murmured something about being very happy himself, as he held
her hand in his. Everything in the room was exceedingly rich and
artistic. In one corner a Venus de Milo seemed to be smiling at him,
while from another corner a Cupid was apparently ready to shoot at
him. It was more luxury than Edward had ever thought of, and the
whole thing was like a dream.

"Where are her father and mother?" he asked himself, and she seemed
to guess his thoughts, and said: "I am Chez-moi, not Chez-nous; my
family lives in Montreal, and I must tell you I am an actress."

"An actress!" he repeated, stupefied.

"Yes, an actress, and my name is not Nellie King; but I will tell you
all about this later."

"How can you be an actress and live like this?" asked Edward, in his
simplicity, looking around.

"Oh--I make lots of money--I have been successful," and then she told
him her life.

Stage-struck, she had left her home three years before, and her
parents knew not where she went. Her voice bad won great success for
her from the beginning, but when the excitement of the first success
had passed, she found herself lonesome, unhappy, craving for some one
to love, some one who would care for her, and not for her success.
She spoke of the men who sent her baskets of flowers and begged to be
her slave; these men she despised, she said, "because they care for
me only on account of my success--let my voice fail and they will
stop sending flowers. It flatters them to be seen with me, because I
am a success; but when I have grown old, and my voice will be gone,
what will they care for me then?" and tears came to her eyes when she
said these last words.

"Why don't you go back to your home in Canada?" asked Edward,
feelingly.

"My mother has died since I left, and how I have cried! I have felt
that I was the cause of her death, and I know that my father would
never forgive me."

"Poor Nellie," Edward said, holding her hand, tempted to kiss it.

"Oh! Edward, motherless, and without any real true friends, don't you
pity me? The only time I am happy is when I look back to the days of
my childhood; then I smile as one must when dreaming a happy dream in
the quiet of the night."

During all this time Edward had listened with tears in his eyes. His
sympathetic nature had thrown open the doors of his heart and soul;
he was enraptured, and it was all he could do not to fall at her feet
and tell her of his love. He wanted to live his life with hers; he
felt drawn toward that strange nature, and loved her intensely, as he
sat there holding and pressing her hand. There seemed to be an
established current of a mysterious magnetic fluid that drew his
whole life to her.

"Have you ever loved any one, Edward?" she asked him, looking him in
the eyes.

For an instant the name of Marie Louise fluttered in his mind, and
then he said: "I don't believe I have until now."

She did not appear to take any notice of his last words, but a
satisfied look came over her face. She changed the subject and asked
him if he was going to St. Paul on the morrow.

"I will have to--my friend will not want to wait any longer."

"Let him go alone," she suggested.

"But what will I do here?"

"What will you do in St. Paul?"

"Well, I do not know--but we will likely go into some kind of
business, my friend and I, and then I can come back and see you."

She looked at Edward for an instant, and a queer light came in her
eyes, as she said: "You will not go; you can do just as well here as
in St. Paul. As to your friend, let him go; or, if he will remain
here, I will help him to find something to do."

Not go! It was a new turn of things, and Edward did not know what to
say.

"Tell me that you are willing to remain in Chicago, Edward, and I
will arrange the rest with your friend," pleaded Nellie.

"All right," said Edward, "if only you can induce him to stay, I will
be glad."

It was decided that they should both walk to the hotel where Ben was
waiting, and talk the matter over. Nellie went into the next room,
and coming back in her street costume, they started at once to meet
the Russian.

Edward was dubious. He feared that his friend would think him crazy,
and he felt keenly the injustice of compelling him to remain in
Chicago on his account, but love was in his heart, and he would have
done anything rather than displease Nellie; in fact, he was no longer
his own master--she held full sway over his mind.

When they arrived at the hotel, the Russian was much surprised to see
Edward with a lady, and he was really embarrassed when Edward
presented him to Miss King. Nellie sat in front of the Russian, and
after a few moments of conventional talk the main subject was touched.
At first the Russian could hardly grasp the idea. Why should
they stop in Chicago, when they had taken their tickets for St. Paul?

"You can sell your tickets at a broker's office, at a small loss,"
said Nellie, "and the chances of finding employment are just as good
here as in St. Paul, in fact, better, because I can help you here."

"You can help us? How?" asked the Russian.

"If you tell me what you expected to do in St. Paul, I will answer
your question," said Nellie, while Edward followed the debate between
the two without saying a word.

"Well, so far as I am concerned I am willing to do anything honorable
and earn good wages," said Benjamin.

"All right; remain here, and I will see that you get an offer of a
position before to-morrow night. Will you stay?" and she looked him
straight in the eyes, until the Russian said "Yes."

Edward walked back to Nellie's home leaving his friend wondering what
in the world was to happen next. In the evening when Edward came back
he hardly dared to look his friend in the face. He felt guilty in
compelling Ben to stay in Chicago, and felt that if misfortune was to
result, he would be responsible; but to his surprise his friend
seemed perfectly pleased and said that if things did not go well in
Chicago it would always be time to go further West.

The next day when the two friends were coming out of the dining room,
a letter was handed to them addressed:

"Benjamin Oresky, Esq.,
1620 Twenty-third Street,
City."

Benjamin tore the envelope open and read:

"I am in need of a secretary, and I would like a young man who could
do my work and study medicine. If you are willing to accept such a
position, and feel inclined to the study of medicine; call at my
office at eleven o'clock A. M to-day. Yours,
Dr. P. J. McNaughton,
Professor Chemistry.
No. -- -- Street."

"What is it?" asked Edward when he saw Benjamin turn pale.

"My God, Edward, just what I have always been wishing for! A chance
to study medicine is offered me. That Miss King must be an angel."

At the proper time the Russian called on the author of the letter,
and was told what would be expected of him. The doctor was a
professor in a medical college, and he wanted some one to attend to
his correspondence, help prepare his lectures, etc., and would pay
for the course of lectures to be attended by his secretary as well as
pay him a sum of money every month.

Everything was satisfactory, and all the arrangements were made.
During their talk the doctor stated that his friend, Miss King, had
strongly recommended him, and for that reason he was given the
preference over many other applicants.

That day, when the two friends met the Russian was happier than
Edward had ever seen him. To study medicine had always been his
greatest ambition, and all at once his wish was to be gratified.

"We will go to the theater to-night," suggested Edward, who produced
two complimentary admission cards.

"All right, old boy, I'll go anywhere you say," said Ben, in better
spirits than Edward had ever seen him before.

At the theater they were led by the usher to a sumptuous box, where
they could enjoy a full view of the whole audience, as well as of the
stage. As they sat watching gorgeously dressed women pass by,
accompanied by men in full dress, they felt somewhat out of place,
and it would not have been necessary to be a close observer to see
that it was their first taste of high life.

The play was a modern one, in which the tragic and the comic sides of
life are brought out, and from the first, the two friends were
entirely taken up with the action on the stage, forgetful of
everything else. Now they laughed so loud that the people around them
were surprised at them; then during some sad scene, they both wiped
tears from their eyes, to the extreme amusement of many.

All at once the music from the orchestra became soft and sweet, as if
brought from far away, then, a woman whom Edward recognized at once,
appeared on the stage, and the whole audience seemed to go wild.
Nellie King, the star of the play, and the wonderful singer, was used
to such ovation, and after smiling and gracefully bowing to the
audience, she sang a love-ballad. Her voice, sweet as melody itself,
carried to the audience the loving words of the song, each word pure
and distinct. At times her voice was low and plaintive as if
pleading, emanating sadness to the listeners, then it rose until its
volume filled the whole building; it was violently passionate for an
instant, and then again the words came with so much sadness that they
seemed to come from the shadow of death. It spoke of unsatisfied love
and despair, and the singer's voice was so true and fascinating, that
when the last words had been sung, many in the audience were
surprised to feel tears upon their face.

Edward was so affected that he could not speak, while the Russian was
saying, "Jerusalem! What a voice!"

The whole audience seemed mad, and flowers were thrown upon the
stage, hats in the air, and they were calling for Nellie's
reappearance.

When she came again, her face was pale, and her eyes wandered until
they seemed to rest for an instant upon the box where Edward was
sitting; then as a smile passed over her face, she sang in French one
of Albani's favorite songs. It is the song of an exile. It is full of
pathos, and tells of the longings of the exile for his far-away home.
Once Edward bad heard the same song in Canada, sung by Albani
herself, but he had failed to be fully impressed by these lines:

  "Rendez-moi ma patrie
  Ou laissez-moi mourrir.
  Rendez-moi mon pays,
  Ou laissez-moi mourrir."

After the play Edward was in such a state of mind that his friend was
actually unable to get a sensible answer from him, and, arrived at
their room, he wanted the Russian to stay up and speak of the woman
whom he now fairly adored; but Ben, while full of enthusiasm and
admiration for the same woman, was doing some hard thinking, and he
could not bring himself to believe that such a talented person could
be so taken up with Edward, to be in real earnest in her actions
toward him. When Edward gave him a chance to speak, he said: "Edward,
my boy, you have that woman on the brain, and I am fearful of the
results. In you she has found a source of diversion, and her actions
now, I am afraid, are the result of a fancy which might pass away at
any moment, and I advise you strongly not to let your enthusiasm run
away with your heart and  common sense."

"What? Do you mean to say that you believe that Nellie is not
sincere?" asked Edward, turning pale.

"I do not say that; but, Edward, she may be misleading herself. She
is impulsive by nature, and you came in her life at the proper moment
to allow her erratic imagination to create a romance with you as the
hero; but you know that there is something else in life besides
romances and illusions."

"True," answered Edward; "but this illusion, if illusion it is, is
worth the reality to me, and every hour that it will last is worth a
year of the life I have lived heretofore."

When they retired later, Edward could not sleep. He was in that
nervous state that increases the activity of the mind too much. As
his excitement about Nellie began to subside, a faint picture of his
first sweetheart came to his mind. First, it was only like a passing
glimpse; but it persisted in coming back, and after a while Edward's
mind was impressed with a vivid image of Marie Louise. Every detail
was perfect. Her large blue eyes, so true and so innocent, were full
of a reproachful expression which brought sorrow to his soul, and
then the sad face would vanish and make place for Nellie's picture,
whose large brown eyes never failed to set his brain on fire. His
sleep was only a continuation of these emotions, and in the morning
he was tired and nervous.

After breakfast the Russian went to Dr. McNaughton's office, to make
final arrangements about his position, while Edward sat in their
room, trying to fathom the mysteries of the future. Getting tired of
this inactivity, and knowing not what to do until the afternoon, when
he was to call on Nellie, he decided to take a stroll and see
something of the great western metropolis, that immense agglomeration
of all nationalities, where men of all colors can be seen, but where
every one seems to be in a hurry. People in Chicago seem to be always
on the run; they rush along, knocking each other, sometimes they get
jammed, and then they swear, but push their way, and on again they
rush. The millionaire and the gamin who blackens shoes rub elbows.
The fakir who is always on the lookout for a victim, and stock
brokers go through the crowd side by side; the African, the Chinese,
the Jap--in fact, representatives of almost every nation under the
sun are seen in the great flood of humanity.

Edward drifted aimlessly with the moving mass. No one paid the
slightest attention to him, and he felt lost in that human sea. He
was overcome by a sense of smallness which he had never felt before.
The atmosphere was loaded with a dense fog, and his clothes were soon
saturated with a moisture that made him feel heavy. Once he got
caught in a jam, and when he succeeded in extricating himself, he was
considerably bruised and scared, besides having lost his bearings: in
fact, he had to ask a policeman to direct him which way to go to find
his hotel, where, disgusted, he decided to go, feeling that he could
never find any pleasure in living in Chicago.

Arriving at the hotel he was handed two notes. One, from his friend
Ben, telling him that he was at work, and would not come to the hotel
for lunch; the other was from Nellie, asking him to come and have
lunch with her. This invitation was to him like a ray of sunshine
through a clouded sky. He went to his room and carefully made his
toilet, his linen being all soiled from his morning's excursion.

When he met Nellie at her home she was radiant and made him feel at
once that he was most welcome. The minute he looked into her eyes he
felt the same charm overcome his whole system, and all at once life
again was nothing but happiness.

She spoke of the play and asked him if he had enjoyed the French
song, "Rendez-moi ma patrie," and Edward told her that never in his
life had he enjoyed anything so much. Their lunch was a dainty one,
served by a colored maid, and after drinking a small glass of fine
wine, Edward felt the most happy sensations tingling through his
whole nervous system. All the poetry of which his nature was capable
came to the surface, and he was surprised himself at the way he could
speak to Nellie. He spoke of his dreams when he left home, and she
told him that she would help him to realize them, and he believed
every word she said. The whole afternoon was spent in the most
delightful tête-à-tête, and when darkness came, Edward was surprised
that it was so late. Upon leaving her it was agreed that on the
morrow they were to take up the question of his future life in
Chicago.

After holding her hand in a caressing way, he bade her good-by, and
the next instant he knew that the charm had left him. He was seized
with a chill, caused by the Michigan Lake breeze, and the delightful
intoxication of a moment ago gave way to the feeling of morose
unhappiness. He felt a great shame come over his soul when he
remembered that he had sworn to Nellie that never in his life had he
loved any one but her; again Marie Louise's image came to him, and he
walked to his hotel, carrying a great load of unhappiness and misery.
At the hotel Benjamin was waiting for him, waiting with a satisfied
smile upon his face, the very picture of contentment.

"Well, Ed, everything is fixed. My work is not much, and I am given a
free course in medicine. I attended the first lecture to-day, and I
can't tell how glad I am, my boy! How about you?" he asked.

"Oh! I don't know yet--I may not remain in Chicago, Ben," answered
Edward, trying not to appear too discouraged.

"Why? Can't she help you to get some employment, Ed?"

"Will see to-morrow," answered Edward, going to his room, where he
threw himself upon the bed, and felt much like sobbing. His head upon
his hands, he remained in that position for a long while, thinking
over the situation. He did not have the fascinating presence of that
wonderful woman, Nellie, to brace him up, and the future seemed very
dark indeed. Suppose she could not find him a position? What would he
do? His money was nearly all gone. He would not allow her to support
him. His manhood revolted at that thought.

If she did find him employment, he hated Chicago; he could certainly
not be satisfied in that city. His friend, the Russian, had a
position, but his salary was so small, that he knew he could not
depend on him for much help. He knew now that the happiness he so
keenly enjoyed when in the presence of Nellie was only momentary, and
always gave place to excessive depression afterward. His exalted idea
of honor compelled him to realize that his conduct was dishonorable
toward Marie Louise, to whom he had promised to remain faithful. And
what would his good and religious mother say if she knew that he was
in love with an actress? These thoughts were not conducive to
happiness or peace of mind, and Edward did not know what to do.

The next morning Ben went to the clerk of the hotel and settled their
bill. Then he told Edward that he had found a good and cheap
boarding-place, where they could both stop for less than one-half
what they were paying at the hotel. This change pleased Edward and
kept him busy part of the forenoon, because he had to see to the
moving of their baggage to the boarding-house, Ben being obliged to
go to his duties.


This new place was one of those many cheap boarding-houses patronized
mostly by poor students and clerks, and as it was in a back street,
it was comparatively quiet, a fact that Edward noticed with
satisfaction. It was kept by an old, motherly Irishwoman, who seemed
to take a special liking to Edward from the first, which was greatly
increased when she learned that he was a Catholic. She asked him many
questions, and finally wanted to know what was the nationality of his
roommate.

"Russian," said Edward.

"Roosian? Faith, that's a Jew!"

"No, just a Russian," said Edward again, laughing.

"What's his name?" she asked.

"Benjamin Oresky."

"What's that?--say it again."

Edward repeated his friend's name, but the good Irish lady could not
grasp it, and she said: "Sure, that's a Jew, your friend is, and look
out for him; he may be an exception, but people that killed Christ
are not good people. It's me that do tell you this, and kape it to
yourself."

At noon when Ben came, Edward told him of his conversation with their
landlady, and they both bad much fun about it; and all during their
lunch they could not help but smile at the way she looked at Ben.

After lunch Ben went back to his work, and later Edward was on his
way to Nellie's place. This time he was firmly decided to speak
business and find out if Nellie could help him get a situation at
once. "I can't live on love," he said to himself, as he stood at her
door.

When Nellie came in the boudoir where Edward was waiting, she noticed
the change in his face. He was pale, and the dark rings around his
eyes told of sleepless nights. She greeted him with more cordiality
than ever, if possible, and Edward felt her charm creep upon him like
the sensation which follows drinking old wine.

"Poor boy," she said, holding his right hand in hers, "I am afraid
you don't feel well, or that you have been worrying," and she looked
him straight in the eyes.

A smile of beatitude spread over Edward's face under the influence of
her gaze, and he answered: "To tell the truth, Nellie, I have been a
little anxious about my future, but I guess it will be all right."

"Of course it will be all right," she said, and inviting him to be
seated, she asked him if he would not like to become an actor.

"An actor?" he repeated, "I be an actor? I never thought of it, and
then, how could I become an actor in the States when I can hardly
speak English correctly?"

"That part of it is all right, Ed. I have a friend, who is now
writing a new play, and there will be a Frenchman in it, and you
would be just the man to take that role."

"Well, but I have never done any acting; in fact, I know absolutely
nothing about it," he said.

"There is a beginning to everything. Your voice is good. You are tall
and handsome,'' she added smilingly.

"Oh, bosh!  Nellie, you are making fun of me. I know I was not born
to be an actor, and never will be one."

"Won't you try for my sake?" she asked him pleadingly.

"For your sake, Nellie, I would do anything, but please don't ask me
to make a fool of myself."

"No, no, nothing of the kind, Edward. You can take lessons in
elocution, and later try the role I spoke about."

"Take lessons in elocution? Dear, it takes money and time to do these
things, and while I have the time I lack the other.

"I will loan you the money, Edward, and later, when you make lots of
it, you will pay it back to me. Can I tell my friend, the author,
that I have his man for the role of the Frenchman?"

"I don't know, Nellie; I must have time to think it over," answered
Edward, who was too surprised to grasp the full meaning of this
proposition.

"All right, you will let me know to-morrow, won't you, Ed? and please
take my advice and accept this chance to become an actor. I feel that
you would succeed on the stage--truly, I do, Ed."

After talking over this new scheme, Edward left Nellie, and went to
his boardinghouse, where he wanted to consult with his friend Ben.

The Russian saw no reason why Edward should not follow Nellie's
advice, and he strongly encouraged him to do so; but to Edward, there
were many points to consider. What would his parents say? What would
Marie Louise think of him, if she learned that he wanted to become an
actor? Had she not in her last letters begged of him to be good and
true to his promises? He had not answered that part in which she also
complained of the chilliness of his late letters. Another point that
he felt keenly, was the eventual necessity to accept pecuniary help
from Nellie; of course, he reasoned that it was to be paid back, but
his sensitive nature made him realize that even then it would leave
him under moral obligations to her, and his spirit of independence
revolted strongly. But what was he to do?

"Try it on condition that if you don't like it, you'll go into
something else," suggested the Russian, and Edward made up his mind
to do so.

The next day, Nellie was delighted to learn from Ed ward that he had
decided to follow her advice. She immediately gave him two hundred
dollars, which he accepted after much hesitation. He wanted to give
her his note, but she would not have it. They went to the writer of
the new play, and Edward was introduced to him as the gentleman who
was to fill the role of the Frenchman. The author seemed pleased with
Edward's appearance, and predicted success for him.

The next thing was to find a professor of elocution. Nellie knew
where to find one, so they went to him, and it was agreed that Edward
was to take three lessons a week; and he felt much encouraged
himself.

That night Edward wrote home that he had found employment, but failed
to give any details, and it was with much difficulty that he
succeeded in writing a few pages to Marie Louise and these were
certainly disconnected, and lacked considerable of the old lover's
style which he used in other days. In a postscript he pleaded
nervousness as an excuse for the nature of the letter, and hoped that
she would not mistrust him.

During the following day, he settled down to work with all his
energy, with the result that he had very little time to worry. The
more he studied the play in which he was to take part, and of which
he had been given a copy, the more he liked it.

He called upon the author, with whom he at once became on friendly
terms, and met many actors there, who seemed to be very nice people;
gradually Edward became more and more one of them. Every day he spent
some time with Nellie, who was most pleased with his success, and
once more the world seemed to be right.

The company of which Nellie was the star was billed to in New York
City about a week later, and when Nellie told him that she would be
absent for four weeks, they felt that they would much miss each
other, but agreed to write every day, and then four weeks would soon
pass.

While Nellie was gone, Edward was induced to join an actor's club,
and was given an opportunity to study the life of that class of
society.

Edward spent much of his leisure time in the club rooms, where he
could read many journals published in the interest of stage people.
The membership of this club was composed of actors out of employment
or playing in the city. Edward became acquainted with a great many of
them and was surprised at the number of bright young men who were
wasting their time, apparently waiting for a mere chances of some
engagement.

Some of them were young in years, beardless yet, but they looked old,
and were "old-youngs," showing upon their faces the ravages of fast
life. The walls of the club rooms were covered with lithographs of
modern actors, among which Edward noticed Nellie's. Among the members
of the club he felt a special liking for an old man, who; in turn,
seemed to take much interest in him. This old actor, past sixty, had
been at one time a very famous man; in fact, had enjoyed a national
reputation-but unfortunate speculations and old age had reduced him
to poverty, and he was living on a pension paid him by some
benevolent actors' society.

He offered to help Edward in his work, and was so kind to him that
Edward made a confidant of him. When the old man heard Edward's
story, tears came to his eyes and he said: "Poor boy--my life was
started like yours--and I pray you to abandon the idea of going on
the stage. The life of an actor is the most miserable any one can
live--of course, there are exceptions; men who are born actors, and
find success at each step--but they are not many, and even among them
you will often find unfortunate beings whose life is a drudgery. You
are young, you left good parents who expect much of you; you have a
sweetheart in your little native village, whose love is of the truest
kind. Hers is not the result of a passing fancy and you don't want to
break her heart, do you?"

"No," said Edward, greatly affected by the old man's talk.

"And," continued the old actor, "suppose you should meet with some
success on the stage. That does not mean that you will make money,
no, the salary that you will command for the next ten years, granting
that you will be successful, will not be more than enough to pay your
expenses; and remember, my boy, once an actor, you will never be good
for anything else; unless you are an exceptional man. Of course, you
are starting under good auspices. Miss King is a great singer, and
somewhat of an actress, but she does not know how soon her voice will
fail her. She is of an erratic nature and possesses a golden heart,
but she is a mere slave to her emotions, and the proof is the way she
became interested in you, my boy. I do not want to be harsh on
her--no--she has befriended me more than once; but, Edward, she has a
right to cause her own misfortune, not yours. It was through an
accident of this kind that the doors of the stage were opened to me.
I was young then, young as you are. I loved a woman, and she said she
loved me. I left everything to follow her on the stage, and the only
sunshine of my life was during the first few years of our married
life. But what is a couple of years of happiness when a whole life of
misfortune is to follow? I will not tell you what happened," said the
old man, feelingly, "but she tired of me. Her emotional soul made her
heart beat for another, and we parted! She died a miserable
death--craving my pardon, which I gave her, because she was not to blame.
It was her nature, and her vocation was conducive to such things: I have
never told this story to another, and to-night, when I tell you, it
is because I want to save you-for your sake, for your parents'
sake--for your sweetheart's sake!"

Edward was stunned. He could not speak; he simply stared at the
speaker, who wiped his eyes.

After a moment of silence he said, "My God, what will I do?"

"Young man, what would you have done had you not met that woman?"

"I would have gone West," he answered.

"Well--go West now. Go, before she comes back and has you under her
influence. Go, and you will feel all the better in time."

"But it would be dishonorable to go in this way, with her money,"
said Edward.

"Ah! would it not be much more dishonorable to use her money to bring
unhappiness to her and to yourself? And you can repay that money
later--in fact, you will repay her much sooner if you go away than if
you stay and go on the stage."

In his heart Edward felt that his adviser was right, and he thought
he could bear the voice of Marie Louise saying, "He is right."

"I'll follow your advice," said Edward, shaking the old man's hand
tenderly.

"God bless you, my boy! I feel that I have done a good act in my late
days of life, and I know that you will thank the day you met me when
later you think of this. Where will you go?"

"I don't know," answered Edward; trying to smile.

"I have a friend out in Montana who owns a big ranch. He is an old
classmate of mine and I often go and spend the summer months with
him. I will write a letter which you will take to him. He will give
you something to do; it may not be very fine work, but I will
guarantee that it will be healthy and conducive to happiness. Do you
like horses?"

"Do I?" spoke up Edward, brightening considerably; "I should say I
do."

"Good! Meet me here to-night at eight o'clock," and the old man
walked out.

Edward lingered at the club for a short time, then went to his
boarding-house, where he found his friend Ben waiting for him.

"Ben, I am going to leave the city," he said, after sitting down.

"Going to New York, I suppose," answered the Russian, smiling, and
thinking that Edward had decided to follow Nellie.

"No, sir, I am going West. I have decided to quit the idea of going
on the stage."

"What! Going West? What's the matter; Ed, are you crazy?"

"No, I don't think I am crazy, but I may have been," and then he
explained the whole thing to his astonished friend, who finally
agreed with him, but was sorry to part with Edward, and told him so.

"Never mind, old boy, we will meet again, when we have settled in
life," said Edward, beginning to arrange his trunk for his early
departure.

After supper he and the Russian walked to the Actors' Club, where the
old man was waiting, with a letter addressed to

Mr. Frank Goodnow,
Grass Village,
Montana.

The three sat and talked until late. The Russian took a great fancy
to the old actor, who in turn was favorably impressed by Ben. This
meeting was the beginning of their friendship, and they visited each
other, finding much pleasure in their relations.

It was decided that Edward would leave the next morning, and the old
actor agreed to be at the station to bid him good-by.

When they returned to their room, Ben went to bed, but Edward sat
down writing letters until late in the night. Among these letters,
one was difficult to write satisfactorily, and he wrote many before
he was satisfied with the one he was to send to Nellie. He bad
decided not to let her know his whereabouts; this, at the suggestion
of his friend, the old actor. The letter he decided to mail to
Nellie, read as follows:

"DEAR AND KIND FRIEND NELLIE: After much thinking, I have come to the
conclusion that I was not born to be an actor, and furthermore, that
it would not be right for you and me to carry on our little romance.
Life is not a dream, and while I have greatly enjoyed our little trip
in dreamland, I foresee the day when we would both have to face life
in its reality, and I feel that bright as life has been with you thus
far, the day is not far distant when we both would see the clouds of
unhappiness accumulate over our heads--and I know it is better to
part in sunshine than in the shadow of unhappiness. I cannot find
words to express how grateful I feel toward you for your extreme
kindness to me. I leave it to your kind heart to imagine the
greatness of my gratitude, and the immensity of the sacrifice I now
make. The moments spent in your presence were the happiest of my
life, and my soul never knew how much a human being could enjoy the
happy dreams of life until I came under your influence. I will always
remember you as the brightest star in the firmament of my life, and I
will pray that you may never know the bitterness of misfortune. With
a last loving kiss, good-by, and forgive me!  My friend, Ben Oresky,
will some day pay you back the loans you made me.
"Yours, with best wishes for your future happiness, EDWARD."

He could not help but shed tears as he sealed this letter, but at the
same time he felt satisfied. He felt like a man after accomplishing a
hard duty; but it was done and he was almost proud of the fact.

The next morning, at the station where Ben accompanied him, they met
the old actor who, true to his word, was there to bid him good-by.

Once more Edward was carried to an unknown country, but this time he
felt easy. He was strong with the feeling of having sacrificed much
for the sake of his duty, and already there seemed to be much more
room in his heart for Marie Louise, of whom he could not think
without blushing. After a day and a half of fast traveling he arrived
at Grass Village where he was met by Mr. Goodnow, to whom he had
written. This gentleman was a real western type, and Edward was
pleased with the cordial manner in which he was received.  After
being taken to the house, Edward gave Mr. Goodnow his letter of
recommendation from his old friend, and went upstairs to a room to
wash himself. When he came down, he met the whole family, and felt at
home from the first.

While Edward was getting acquainted with his new duties, his letter
to Nellie had reached her, and as she read it, she felt hot tears
come to her eyes, and for an instant her heart felt as if pierced by
an arrow. She had never realized until then how much she really loved
that young man. As she eat holding his letter in her hands, she saw
her dream of anticipated happiness crumbled to pieces, and such a
despair as had never before entered her soul came to her. "My God! My
God!" she said, and then closed her eyes.

The heart of a woman is a strange thing, and Nellie's heart was one
of the strangest. Having never before known what love was, she had
all at once felt her whole being infected by a mighty passion, a
passion such as no human being can feel twice, and now the object of
her love had vanished. He was gone without even saying where. Her
sorrow was almost as great as her love, and from this time Nellie
King was a different woman. She broke her engagement in New York and
came back to Chicago, where she tried in vain to learn where Edward
had gone. The Russian had promised Edward not to reveal where he was,
and he was true to his promise, hard as it was to refuse Nellie, to
whom he owed his situation.

For twelve months Edward had lived on Mr. Goodnow's ranch, and his
reputation as the best and most fearless rider on the ranch, as well
as the most graceful, was a recognized fact, and that was enough to
make him popular. His little mare, a perfect type of that class of
horses, called "bronchos;" was the prettiest and swiftest on the
ranch, and he had named her "Nellie," and indeed, any woman would
have been proud to give her name to such a beauty. There were twelve
cowboys on Goodnow's ranch, and every week, one of them had a day
off, which was spent at his own discretion.

Cowboys as a class are a queer lot of men. They are fearless and
brave to excess, and being isolated from society so much, they are
often eccentric; but their eccentricity has its charms.

The fraternal feeling which exists among these men is of the genuine
kind, and they are exceedingly generous in helping each other in case
of misfortune. They practice all sorts of manly sports, and the feats
they can accomplish on horseback are wonderful. It is an easy matter
for some of them to lean on one side of their saddle while going at a
great rate of speed, and pick up a small object on the ground. They
are skillful shots in many ways, and one way that never fails to
impress the "tenderfoot," is the shooting of a clay pipe at a
distance of twenty-five feet, while held in the mouth of one of them,
who apparently does not see much excitement in the act. It is great
fun for them to "break in" a "tenderfoot," by which name they call
any aspirant to the vocation of cowboy.

The meanest bucking bronco is brought to him to ride and behold! if
the poor candidate cannot hold on to the saddle while the kicking
brute is playing circus, the cowboys add to the excitement by their
yells, often throwing small stones at the bucking cayuse.

Edward went through all their initiatory proceedings, and came out
with the respect of the lookers-on; his popularity counted from that
time.

Since his departure from Chicago, Edward had received many letters
from his Russian friend, but very little had been said about Nellie.
He was now a different man, not only in his general appearance, which
was much improved by the open air life, but also morally. He had sent
two hundred dollars to Ben, who paid it over to Nellie, and while he
still felt more than a kindly feeling toward her, it was nothing like
the old passion. On their "day off" cowboys usually go to some
saloon, where they drink and play cards, and generally have as
exciting a time as they can to make up for the monotony of their life
in the field; but Edward preferred spending these days at the home of
his employer, whose daughter Grace showed much partiality for the
French lad, or French Ed, as he was now called by every one on the
ranch.

Mr. Goodnow's only daughter Grace was a splendid young lady of
eighteen, and quite a musician. She was very small and her face was
too baby-like to be called real pretty, but her large blue eyes were
soft and full of melancholy. She was a very interesting talker, and
her horsemanship could not be excelled. She never failed to cause a
smile of satisfaction on her father's face whenever she mounted
Topsy, her spirited little thoroughbred black mare.

Grace always looked ahead to the time when French Ed was to come into
town, because she took much pleasure in his company. It was great fun
for her to ride his mare Nell, while he rode Topsy.  Together, they
would take long rides, sometimes taking their lunch with them, and
stopping by some little running brook, where in the shade of some
tree they would eat and enjoy life.

Grace was very much interested in everything that pertained to
Edward's life. She too questioned him about his past, his schooldays,
his folks, and one day she gave him one of her pictures to send to
his sister. She never seemed to tire of hearing him talk, and he
always found much pleasure in talking to her.

She admired him with that admiration that often leads to love, while
he liked her with that feeling that is more than friendship and still
cannot be called love. At times, Edward thought that he would like to
take her little baby face in his hands and kiss her on the lips; but
he knew what the result would be, and he contented himself in
imagining how good it would be. Once, while Edward was singing a new
song with Grace at the piano, he bent to see the notes, until his
face rubbed against hers, and then he felt a strange dizziness come
to his brain, and was raising his arms to put them around her neck,
when she suddenly stood up and looked him straight in the eyes, and
said, "Ed--"

Had she slapped him with her little hand he would not have felt
nearly so bad as he did facing those large blue eyes, so reproachful
and sad.

"Play 'El Diavolo,'" he asked her trying to hide his embarrassment,
and she did.

Early the next morning Edward was on his way to his work. He had a
distance of about twelve miles to ride, and the morning was so
perfect that life seemed a blessing on such a day. It was one of
those mornings that fill the soul with exhilaration, and makes you
think of the greatness of the Creator of this wonderful world. The
little wild flowers along the road were covered with dewdrops, which
glistened under the first sun rays like millions of diamonds. The air
was full of that sweet fragrance found nowhere but on the vast
Western prairies, and Edward was thinking how good life was. He was
nearing the place where thousands of steers were grazing, and was
humming the air of a French song, when all at once he heard a
rumbling noise. It was distant and much like the noise one hears when
approaching the sea. Edward placed his hand to his ear and stopped
the mare, in order to make out what was the meaning of that noise.
Raising himself on his stirrups, he looked in the direction where the
rumbling sound came from and saw a dark spot which kept growing as
the noise increased, until a moment later the ground was actually
trembling, while a big cloud of dust indicated the coming herd of
crazed steers. It was a stampede--and while Edward had never seen one
before, he knew its dangers. His little mare was now rearing and
snorting with great evidence of fright, and Edward hardly knew what
to do. He knew that to try and stop the maddened steers was an utter
impossibility, but felt that it was his duty to try and do something
to prevent the terrible disaster which is always sure to follow a
stampede, when thousands of valuable animals fall of exhaustion and
are trampled to death by the others, or, as sometimes happens, they
dash themselves to death from some high precipice, where the first
ones to reach are pushed over by the oncoming, until thousands have
been sent to destruction. Edward knew this and he also knew that the
stampede was now heading toward a dangerous marsh where thousands
would perish, unless something was done to prevent them from going in
the direction they were then taking. It is a fact that the best way
to stop a stampede is to get the animals circling round, and this is
often done by the cowboys, who ride with the leaders of the stampede,
and lash them on the head until they gradually keep turning; but it
is one of the most dangerous actions that a cowboy can be called to
do. A stumble of the horse and both rider and horse are sure to be
trampled upon by the frenzied herd, and of course, that means
destruction.

Edward could soon distinguish some of the other cowboys, riding
furiously by the side of the running herd, but apparently unable to
reach the leaders, and in a moment he made up his mind to do it
himself, and immediately starting his mare at a rather slow canter,
he let the stampede come nearer and nearer until he could hear their
hard breathing; then, taking his long lasso in his right band, he
half turned himself on his saddle, and while at a very rapid gait, he
kept striking the furious beasts in the face, until they began to
alter their course, and turn to the right, which was exactly what he
wanted. By this time the other cowboys had joined him, and the great
moving mass was now beginning to circle around; but just then
Edward's mare missed her footing and fell forward, turning a complete
somersault and breaking Edward's right arm above the elbow. It was
almost miraculous that he never let go of the reins, which he held
with his left hand, but was again on the saddle as soon as his mare
was on her feet, his right arm banging limp by his side, and causing
the most excruciating pain as it moved with every motion of the mare.
His face was also badly bruised, blood flowed freely from his mouth
and nose, and when some of the cowboys came to his rescue he was
riding on his saddle like a drunken man. They made a sling with a
piece of lasso, and after bathing his face in the water of a near-by
spring, they decided that two of them would go back to the village
with Edward, while the rest would remain and watch the still excited
herd. They started very slowly, knowing that the motion caused by
cantering or galloping would make Edward's arm pain him much more;
but Edward, after inquiring if his mare was badly hurt, and being
told that except for some blood running from her nose, she seemed to
be all right, they were surprised to hear him say: "Boys, let's go a
little faster or we will never reach home."

The ends of the fractured bone could be heard grinding against each
other at the galloping motion; but had it not been for the cold sweat
that covered his pale face, no one would have known that Edward was
suffering intense pain, except for the gritting of his teeth now and
then.

At last they reached Mr. Goodnow's, and when Edward was helped into
the house, he was so exhausted that he could not speak. The two other
cowboys told Mr. Goodnow of the occurrence and of the heroic action
by which Edward had saved many thousands of dollars.

"To hell with the steers!" said the rancher. "I would rather have
lost the whole damned lot of critters than see this boy crippled and
suffering like this."

When the doctor came, he said that Edward had sustained a compound
fracture of the humerus and that it would take many weeks, in fact,
two or three months before he would be able to use the arm. He also
suggested giving chloroform, to reduce the fracture and set the arm,
but Edward smiled faintly and said, "I guess I can stand a little
more, doctor; go on with the job." After the arm was set, the doctor
mentioned that it might be better if his patient was taken to the
hospital, where he could see him every day.

"No, sir--we'll take care of him here, Doc; and don't spare the
expense. Come every day, and I'll stand the bill myself," said
Goodnow, and Edward noticed an expression of satisfaction upon
Grace's face.

She washed his face carefully, and tenderly, and from this time she
was his nurse, and a more faithful nurse never lived.

When the doctor came the next day, he found that Ed ward had not
slept all night, and that while his arm was not very painful, his
head was a source of great suffering. After taking his temperature,
the doctor anxiously examined his head and ordered ice-packs to be
continually kept on it, and taking Mr. Goodnow aside, the doctor
informed him that Edward was suffering from cerebral fever, and that
he would likely become delirious very soon.

Late in the afternoon, while Grace was placing fresh ice upon his
head, he suddenly raised himself in bed, and grasping her hand he
began to talk excitedly; but as he spoke in French, she could not
understand him. Still, from the strange look in his eyes, she knew
that Ed ward was delirious, and she called her father in.

"Lie down, Ed, lie down, like a good fellow," said Mr. Goodnow.

Edward stared at him an instant, and then fell heavily back in bed,
still speaking French. After a while, he sat up again, and this time
excitedly began to talk in English, asking, "Where is Nellie?"

"She is in the stable; lie down, Ed, lie down, my boy; Nellie is all
right," said Mr. Goodnow, carefully pushing him back.

"I want to talk to her--bring her in here-I want her to sing for
me--please bring her in here!"

"Poor fellow, he is completely out of his head--he wants to hear his
mare sing," said Goodnow, who could not help but smile at the idea of
Edward's mare singing.

Then Grace came in, and when Edward saw her, he seemed pleased, and
trying to raise himself, he said: "Please, Nellie, sing me that old
song--I mean that French song, you know?"

Grace looked at him, and tears came to her eyes when she noticed that
tender and pleading expression on his face, and she hurried out of
the room.

"She is mad at me, or she would not refuse to sing for me--oh, just
once--let me hear 'Rendez moi ma patrie'."

From this time Edward was delirious and failed to know any one around
him, and the doctor's prognosis was not very encouraging as to his
ultimate mental recovery.

A great part of the time the poor fellow spoke French. It was much as
if the cruel winds of adversity had blown back the pages of his life
already lived, and he was apparently living them over again.

He spoke of his mother, Marie Louise, Benjamin, Nellie, but seldom
mentioned the name of Grace. During many weeks he remained delirious.
His arm had got well enough to permit him to move it without pain,
but the light of intelligence seemed to have left him forever. His
face was emaciated, and his eyes had lost their old-time brightness.
A strange phenomenon was gradually changing the color of his hair
from brown to white, especially on one side, where he had struck the
ground when his mare stumbled, and his appearance was that of a man
at least ten years older than he was. During all this time many
letters bad been received at his address, but when handed to him, he
never displayed the least interest, or tried to read them.

One day, Mr. Goodnow came back to the house with his friend, the old
actor, who had taken so much interest in Edward, and it was really
pitiful to witness the sorrowful expression on the actor's face as he
held the hand of Edward, who failed to show any sign of recognition.
When later, his old friend Ben came, it was the same thing, and the
Russian cried like a child; but Edward showed no sign of any emotion,
and his case was considered entirely hopeless.

He got well enough to roam around, but he never was allowed to go
alone, and Grace was his most constant companion. She led him to the
most beautiful places on the ranch, and once, while sitting in the
shade near a flowing brook, where she read to him, she felt sure that
he had given sign of returning intelligence when he had said, with a
pleased smile, "Beautiful," but alas, it was only a flash, and his
condition remained the same.

A few days later, during the quiet of the night, the horrible word
"fire" was heard in the Goodnow's house, and the next instant the
flames were coming through some of the windows. It seemed evident
that everybody in the house was doomed to destruction, and when a
great crash was heard, Goodnow leaped from a second-story window,
where he expected his wife to follow; but the poor woman, thinking of
the danger of her daughter, walked to the other part of the house,
reaching the girl's room in time to see her escaping through the
window. Then, already suffocating, she only had strength to reach the
same window, but not enough to raise herself and leap over it, and
the next instant the flames had enveloped her and she died a victim
of her motherly love.

Grace, crazed by her  anxiety for her parents, was running around and
calling her mother and father, and when she found her father alone
she knew that her mother was dead, because the part of the house
where she slept was already nothing but a burning mass.

Until then, no one had thought of Edward, as it seemed useless to
think of saving anybody who might still be in the burning house, and
when Grace cried out: "Edward! Edward! where is he?" As his room was
on the ground floor she went near his window, and smashing it, called
him by name, and God knows it was not too soon, as the fire, which
had apparently neglected that part of the house, seemed to come to it
with renewed energy, and a moment later the whole house was wrapped
by the cruel flames. When some of the neighbors, attracted by the
glare, came to offer assistance they saw the most pitiful spectacle
possible.

Grace was crying and running around calling for her mother, while
Goodnow stood by, sobbing like a child. At a little distance from the
house, sitting near a large tree, was Edward, looking strangely at
the burning house, as if fascinated by the sight; and now and then
clapping his hands, he would say, "Good play, is it not, Ben? But why
don't she come back and sing again?"

A most horrible crash was heard, and Goodnow's home was no more. It
was now nothing but a burning pile of cinders and it was with great
difficulty that friends could induce Goodnow and his daughter to come
away from the terrible scene, while Edward himself seemed to want to
linger. At last they all went to the nearest neighbor, two miles from
Goodnow's place. Later, they tried to find something of the remains
of Mrs. Goodnow, but so well bad the fire done its work, that not a
trace of the unfortunate woman could be found, nor anything of the
old actor, who had failed to save himself from the fire.

Goodnow, with the energy which is characteristic of the western
ranchman, decided to rebuild at once, and while doing it, he sent his
daughter to Flatville, the nearest city, where one of his brothers
was living, and Edward to St. Mary's Hospital in the same city.

Edward did not appear to realize that he was in a new place, and
remained the same careless and helpless being, with the difference
that he stayed in bed a great part of his time, while at Goodnow's
home Grace used to make him take long strolls on the ranch. She was
still his faithful friend, and every day she brought him flowers, and
now and then she read to him as she used to.

After he had been in the hospital two or three weeks, a new sister
came, and took charge of Edward, among her other patients. Her name
was Sister Mary, and a sweeter face had never worn a hood. From the
first time she came in Edward's room her voice seemed to have a
peculiar effect upon him, and while she was near him his eyes always
followed her, which fact was rather strange considering that he had,
ever since his illness, paid no attention to any one. The doctor
noticed this fact and jokingly told Sister Mary that she had come in
time to save his patient.

One day, Sister Mary was surprised to hear her patient ask her to
sing, and as she looked at him, he said: "Please, Nellie, sing that
old song, won't you?"

Sister Mary turned pale and would have fallen to the floor, had the
doctor not happened to be coming in.

"Please, Nellie--sing, only once, won't you?" Edward was imploringly
repeating.

"Still wanting his old mare Nellie to sing for him," said the doctor,
before he noticed Sister Mary; then seeing her reeling and ready to
fall, he said:

"What's the matter, sister? Are you sick?" and held her up.

"Please help me out of this room, doctor," was all she said, and to
the doctor's questions later, she answered that her name used to be
Nellie, and that she used to sing, and she added. "I used to know
him."

The doctor saw at once that there was a romance somewhere, and in his
anxiety to experiment, he begged sister Mary to come back to the room
of his patient and sing for him.

"It may be the key that will open his brain to let in the rays of
intelligence," he pleaded, and at last Sister Mary consented to go
back and sing.

"Edward, Nellie will sing for you," said the doctor to his patient,
watching carefully the expression of his face.

"Good!" said Edward, clapping his poor bony hands together, and
showing evidence of great satisfaction upon his face.

At the foot of the bed, facing the invalid, stood Sister Mary. Her
face was pale and her lips were trembling, but by a supreme effort
she sang:

  "Rendez-moi ma patrie,
  Ou laissez-moi mourrir,
  Rendez moi mon pays
  Ou laissez-moi mourrir."

At the first sound of the sweet voice, Edward sat up in bed, and
watching eagerly the face of the singer, his eyes filled with tears.
When the voice ceased he fell back saying, "My God! Nellie!"

"I have killed him," said Sister Mary.

"No, you have saved him!" answered the doctor, bending over his
patient, whose face was covered with cold sweat, and every nerve
twitching.

"Sing again," commanded the doctor, and once more the sweet and
tender voice of Sister Mary was heard, and Edward opened his eyes.
When the song was over, he looked strangely at the doctor, and said,
"Where am I? Where is Nellie?"

"You are all right," said the doctor; and Sister Mary walked out of
the room, going to the little chapel of the hospital, where she
prayed the most fervent prayer of her life. "My God. Give me the
strength to keep away from him," she prayed, and her prayer must have
been heard, because Edward never saw Sister Mary again.

From this time Edward's recovery was gradual and uninterrupted.

From the time he first lost his reason he remembered nothing. A month
later he was in Chicago visiting his friend, the Russian, and from
there he went to his home in Canada, where no one ever expected to
see him again, except Marie Louise, his first love, who said that she
always felt that he would come back.

"Tell me of your life," she asked him.

"It would do you no good," he said, and never told her; but he often
asked her to sing, "Rendez-moi ma patrie."





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