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Title: The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, July, 1913 - Vol. LXXXVI. New Series: Vol. LXIV. May to October, 1913
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, July, 1913 - Vol. LXXXVI. New Series: Vol. LXIV. May to October, 1913" ***

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                          Transcriber’s Notes

This e-text is based on ‘The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine,’
from July, 1913. The table of contents, based on the index from the May
issue, has been added by the transcriber.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation have been retained, but
punctuation and typographical errors have been corrected. Passages
in English dialect and in languages other than English have not been

Special characters have been used to highlight the following font

    italic:       _underscores_
    small caps:  ~tilde characters~


                            FICTION NUMBER

                        ~The Century Magazine~

             ~Vol. LXXXVI~        JULY, 1913        No. 3



  ~Beelzebub Came to the Convent, How~    _Ethel Watts Mumford_      323
      Picture by N. C. Wyeth.

  ~Millet’s Return to his Old Home.~      _Truman H. Bartlett_       332
      Pictures from pastels
        by Millet.

  ~Man who did not Go to Heaven on        _Ellis Parker Butler_      340
    Tuesday, The~

  ~Borrowed Lover, The~                   _L. Frank Tooker_          348

  ~Remington, Frederic, Recollections
    of~                                   _Augustus Thomas_          354
      Pictures by Frederic Remington,
        and portrait.

  ~Spinster, American, The~               _Agnes Repplier_           363

  ~Coming Sneeze, The~                    _Harry Stillwell Edwards_  368
      Picture by F. R. Gruger.

  ~Balkan Peninsula, Skirting the~        _Robert Hichens_
      V. In Constantinople.                                          374
        Pictures by Jules Guérin and
          from photographs.

  ~Noteworthy Stories of the Last
      The New Minister’s Great            _C. H. White_              390
      With portrait of the author,
        and new picture by Harry

  ~Camilla’s First Affair.~               _Gertrude Hall_            400
      Pictures by Emil

  ~T. Tembarom.~                          _Frances Hodgson Burnett_  413
      Drawings by Charles S. Chapman.

  ~Mannering’s Men.~                      _Marjorie L. C. Pickthall_ 427

  ~Verita’s Stratagem.~                   _Anne Warner_              430

  ~St. Elizabeth of Hungary.~ By          _Timothy Cole_             437
    Francisco Zubarán. Engraved
    on wood by

  ~Hard Money, The Return to~             _Charles A. Conant_        439
      Portraits, and cartoons by
        Thomas Nast.

  ~Morgan’s, Mr., Personality~            _Joseph B. Gilder_         459
      Picture from photograph.

  ~Socialism in the Colleges.~            _Editorial_                468

  ~Money behind the Gun, The~             _Editorial_                470

  ~One Way to make Things Better.~        _Editorial_                471

  ~“Schedule K,” Comments on~             _Editorial_                472

  ~Christmas, On Allowing the Editor      _Leonard Hatch_            473
    to Shop Early for~

  ~Business in the Orient.~               _Harry A. Franck_          475

    Foreign Labor.                        _Oliver Herford_           477
    Ninety Degrees in the Shade.          _J. R. Shaver_             477


  ~My Conscience.~                        _James Whitcomb Riley_     331
      Decoration by Oliver Herford.

  ~House-without-Roof.~                   _Edith M. Thomas_          339

  ~Sierra Madre.~                         _Henry Van Dyke_           347

  ~Prayers for the Living.~               _Mary W. Plummer_          367

  ~Little People, The~                    _Amelia Josephine Burr_    387

  ~Belle Dame Sans Merci, La~             _John Keats_               388
      Republished with pictures by
        Stanley M. Arthurs.

  ~Eden, Beauty in.~                      _Alfred Noyes_             399

  ~Gettysburg, High Tide at, The.~        _Will H. Thompson_         410

  ~Blank Page, For a~                     _Austin Dobson_            458

  ~Maeterlinck, Maurice~                  _Stephen Phillips_         467

  ~Brother Mingo Millenyum’s Ordination.~ _Ruth McEnery Stuart_      475

  ~Ballade of Protest, A~                 _Carolyn Wells_            476

  ~Same Old Lure, The~                    _Berton Braley_            478

      Text and pictures by Oliver Herford.
          XXX.    The Gnat and the Gnu.                              479
          XXXI.   The Sole-Hungering Camel.                          480



Author of “The Eyes of the Heart,” “Whitewash,” etc.


Copyright 1913, by ~The Century Co.~ All rights reserved.

Sister Eulalia rose from the bench by the door in answer to Sister
Teresa’s call. The broken pavement in the outer patio of the Convent of
La Merced echoed the tapping of her stick as she slowly made her way
to the arch leading to the interior of the building. Sister Eulalia
was blind, but as nearly the whole seventy years of her life had been
passed within these same gray walls familiarity supplied the defect
of vision. Her daily tasks never had been interrupted since, a full
half-century before, a wind-driven cactus-thorn had robbed her of
sight. She wore with simple dignity the white woolen garb of the order,
with its band of blue ribbon from which depended a silver cross, the
snowy coif framing her saintly face with smooth bands that contrasted
with the wrinkled surface of her skin. To the eye of an artist, her
frail figure in its quaint surroundings of Spanish architecture, dating
from the early years of the seventeenth century, would have made an
irresistible appeal. But no artist ever sought that remote, almost
forgotten city, and for the few Indians and half-breeds who have
inherited the fallen glories of Antigua de Guatemala, the moribund
convent held no interest. Occasionally one of the older “Indigenes”
whose conscience troubled him would leave an offering of food at the
twisted iron gate and mumble a request for prayers of intercession; or
the dark-eyed half-Spanish children would stare with something of both
fascination and fear at the five white-clad ancient women who, morning
and evening, crossed the patio to the chapel: Sister Eulalia on the arm
of Sister Teresa, Sister Rose de Lima and Sister Catalina, one on each
side of the Mother Superior. To these two younger sisters--their years
were but sixty-six and sixty-nine--had fallen, by common consent, the
care of the Mother Superior, whose age no one knew, so great it was,
and whose infirmities the nuns loyally concealed. By them her wandering
sentences were received as divine revelations, and indeed her strange,
thin voice, as it repeated Latin texts with level insistence, conveyed
a weird, Delphic impression.

The Mother Superior had been a woman of learning, of beauty, and of
high birth, but all that had been long ago. Now she was but a pale
shade repeating vaguely the words learned in a former life. Her
features remained fine and fair, as if preserved in some crystalline
substance. Her skin was unlined, for care and sorrow could reach her no

Unless she were being conducted to and from the chapel by her devoted
handmaidens, or lay at rest in the state bed of the visitors’ room,
she sat in the high carved seat at the end of the refectory table, her
thin hands folded, her eyes fixed on the symbolic cross on her breast,
unconscious of those who came and went about her, or of the echoing
aisles and lofty pillared porticos that surrounded her abstracted

As the blind nun crossed the court and entered the refectory, she
became conscious of an unusual stir. She divined the presence of
each of the sisters, divined them strangely intent and not a little
agitated. The voice of Sister Rose de Lima reached her in a whisper of

“The reverend Mother has spoken--in Spanish!”

A pause followed the announcement. There was a slight sound from the
white prophetess. Sister Teresa and Sister Catalina, who stood beside
her, drew insensibly closer. Their hands were joined, finger-tip to
finger-tip, in the prayerful pose of medieval funereal statues; their
withered faces were drawn with expectation. At the opposite end of
the table stood Sister Rose, leaning forward breathlessly. Sister
Eulalia remained at the entrance, rigid, as if turned into stone. The
moments lengthened. The sunlight danced in golden motes through the
long windows, innocent now of their olden glories of painted glass,
and showed the worn carving of memorial stones emblazoned with coats
of arms, half erased by the passing of many sandaled feet. The stone
walls betrayed by protruding nails the absence of their wood-carvings
and panels. The badly repaired rifts in the earthquake-torn walls
showed garishly. The white figures, as in a tableau, remained still
and unmoving, and the seated form of the Mother Superior appeared as
lifeless as the waxen figure of Jesus under its shade of glass on the
little altar.

She opened her eyes, if such a slow unclosing of the lids could be so
called, revealing two wells of opaque blackness. A quick sigh escaped
the lips of the three nuns. Sister Eulalia heard, and slowly knelt,
ready to receive the word should such be sent.

The reverend Mother’s colorless lips moved. At first no sound issued
from them. Then, with strange forceful vibration, her voice broke the
waiting stillness.

“Woe!” she cried. “Woe! ‘The Fiend, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour!’”

Four withered hands hastily made the sign of the cross.

Heavily as they had lifted, the waxen lids closed over the opaque black
eyes. The rigid body relaxed slightly, and the Mother Superior relapsed
into her wonted insensibility.

“We are surely to be tempted!” said Sister Eulalia. “Sisters, we must
be strong to resist the Fiend.” Sister Teresa nodded. “We are warned,”
she added.

Sister Rose crossed herself again.

Very gently Sister Catalina assured herself of the comfort of the
reverend Mother, and the four aged nuns turned to their tasks again,
but with beating hearts. The Fiend would beset them soon, and in
some dreadful guise. Sister Rose breathed a prayer for strength, as
she filled the tiny red lamp burning ever before the waxen image.
Sister Teresa hurriedly began “Aves,” as she peeled an onion; Sister
Catalina’s “paternosters” preceded her into the garden; and Sister
Eulalia’s beads slipped hastily through her knotted fingers as she
returned to the mechanical perfection of her work at the loom.

“As a roaring lion!”--Sister Eulalia’s blind eyes could conjure more
dreadful sights than the faded vision of her less afflicted companions
would ever see. Now she brought them before her in endless array of
horror. She would know him only by his roar, she thought, and he might
creep up close noiselessly. Her ear was alert to the lightest sound.
But the day wore on and no roaring beast came with hellish clamor to
affright the gentle recluse.

[Illustration: Drawn by N. C. Wyeth. Half-tone plate engraved by H.


Sister Catalina entered the patio from the garden-close, a yellow
hill-rose in her hand to pleasure her afflicted companion with its
subtle peppery scent; an act not sanctioned by the drastic rules of the
convent. But years upon years had rolled by, bringing a gentle sagging
of discipline. Occasionally one of the few priests who still clung to
the wrecked cathedrals came to hear confessions of puerile and trifling
misdemeanors, and a severer penance than a dozen “Aves” was unknown and
unmerited. Sister Eulalia inhaled the rose’s fragrance gratefully. Her
blunt, weaving-calloused fingers sought and found the soft petals of
the flower with loving touch.

It was thus that the Rev. Dr. Joel McBean saw them. He paused,
delighted. What a characteristic picture! How well composed; how
symbolical of a decaying faith! His kodak was instantly leveled, and
with a snap the sisters were immortalized. For Dr. McBean was known far
and wide on the west coast for his lectures on the benighted people of
other lands. His present visit to Central America combined his vacation
with a search for new material for his winter tour.

The click of the camera caused Eulalia, the sightless, to turn sharply.
Catalina, who was slightly deaf, seeing her companion’s movement,
looked about and stood still in open-mouthed amazement. Then she made
the gesture common to all women in all lands, and emitted the sound
that accompanies it when the invading hen must be incited to flight.

“Shoo!” she cried. “Shiss--shiss!” and waved her garden apron at the

Sister Eulalia grasped the hem of Catalina’s flowing sleeve.

“What is it? Oh, what is it?” she gasped.

“A man! A strange man!” came the answer in a frightened whisper.

The gentleman in question realized that he was distinctly de trop, but
he strongly desired to gather more lecture material from this promising
source. Setting down the camera, he took out his well-thumbed volume
of “Handy Spanish” and sought for a suitable phrase of explanation and
introduction. There were headings about “The Hotel,” “The Laundry,”
“The Eating and Procuring of Meals,” “At the Railway Station,” “The
Diligence,” “The Physician”; but among the thousand useful phrases,
not one seemed to offer itself aptly. At last he found the heading he
sought: “Cameras--Films--Developing, etc.” “Have you any cyanide?” did
not fit. “Have you a darkroom in this hotel?” seemed ambiguous. “Direct
me to the photographer” would not do. Ah! Eureka! “May I take your
picture?” He bowed politely, approached the now thoroughly frightened
nuns, and with carefully spaced utterance made his request. “May I take
your picture?” he repeated, with a graceful sweep of his white hand.

Sister Rose appeared in the doorway, followed by Teresa. His gesture
included them also, and the ancient gateway, the columned portico, and
the quaint façade of the little chapel.

“Beautiful!” he cried. “Multo bueno! Hermosa, hermosa--muy hermosa!”

He wanted to take their picture! The nuns were completely at sea. Why
should this stranger, this man with queer apparel and strange speech,
want their picture? They possessed only one--the portrait of Our
Lady of Mercy above the little altar of the chapel--and why should
any one want a thing that so obviously it was impossible for them to
give? Bewildered, they looked from one to another. Sister Rose, being
the youngest and most mentally alert, became aware of the sacerdotal
character of their visitor: the gold cross at the end of his chain, the
wide-bordered felt hat which he waved so gracefully, the neat black
clothes, the breviary that bulged from his pocket; but, more than all,
the expression of his smiling face and gentle, near-sighted eyes.

“He is a priest--see you not?” she said excitedly. “His dress, his
manner, bespeak it. He comes from some foreign land. Alas! that the
reverend Mother cannot speak with him in Latin!”

“It is true,” said Catalina. “Pardon, reverend Father,” she quavered,
“I did not know! Our picture--you shall see it.”

She turned toward the chapel, but the visitor waved her back. The group
before him was irresistible, just as they were. Catalina instinctively
obeyed his gesture, marveling.

“Are--are there any more of you?” he inquired in his halting Spanish.

Now at last they understood. The reverend Father was making the rounds
of the clerical houses in order to make his report to the bishop. That
had happened once before. Sister Rose launched into explanations.

“No. We are all that are left, except the Mother Superior,” she told
him. “We are allowed here on sufferance only, for as, of course, the
reverend Father knows, the churches have all been taken by the state,
and but for the reverend Mother, who was kinswoman to some one great
in the land, we should have been sent forth. Alas! our numbers have
dwindled--grave upon grave we have made, each nun for herself, and now
all are filled save five. We have not, it is quite true, turned the
holy sod of our last sleeping-places as often as is the rule; but we
have grown old, and the work is hard--”

It was the lecturer’s turn to be utterly confused and routed; the
sudden change of manner, the deference shown to him all at once;
above all the avalanche of Spanish was too much for him, but he still
retained his amateur photographer’s zeal. With a hand raised to draw
their attention, but which the nuns mistook for pastoral blessing, he
steadied the camera against his narrow chest, and snapped a second
picture. With a polite “Thank you” and a sigh of satisfaction, he wound
the reel, heartily regretting the while that the limits of the camera’s
focus must necessarily leave out the perfection of the setting--the
towering, smoking peak of the Volcan de Fuego on the right, stained
red and yellow by its sulphurous outpourings, and the menacing green
inactivity of Agua’s deadly summit; all the gloom and glow of those
earthquake-seamed walls, and tottering, carved gateways.

“Mil gracias!” He thanked them awkwardly. “I--well--goodness! how
_does_ one say it?” He seized upon the “Handy Spanish Phrases”
again, and ran his finger down the line of camera sentences. “Please
make me six prints.” “This is over-exposed.” “You have fogged the
plate.”--“Tut, tut!” he exclaimed impatiently, “how in the world do you
say ‘I’ll give you a blue-print’?--blue-print--blue-print--Ah! this
will do. ‘An excellent portrait’--presented--for you,” he explained,
and supplemented the statement with an elaborate pantomime. The nuns
watched his gesticulations with breathless interest. He pointed to each
in turn, made a circle around his own face, smiling blandly and nodding

The sisters conferred.

“It clears!” said Sister Rose. “He asks us have we broken the rules
and looked at ourselves in a looking-glass.” She advanced toward Dr.
McBean and spoke for the sisterhood with deep earnestness. “Oh, no,
reverend Father, we have not seen our own reflections for fifty years,
and more--oh, never! There never has been a mirror on the walls of La
Merced. Vanity is not our sin. Thanks be to Our Lady, not even in the
convent well have we looked to see our faces reflected. Oh, no!”

Dr. McBean caught a word here and there, and felt that he was being
vehemently reassured about something, probably that the nuns would
be grateful for his kindness; that the elderly virgins knew nothing
whatever of such a thing as a camera, and had no idea of the use to
which he put his black box, would have seemed so ridiculous that the
possibility of it never occurred to him. With more bows, and renewed
and halting thanks, he took his departure.

“To-morrow,” he called. “_Mañana_--I will bring the
blue-prints--_mañana_. Adios! Gracias!”

The nuns watched his departure in silence, but as the sound of his
tripping footsteps died away, they turned to one another excitedly.

“Tell me, you who have eyes--what was he like?” begged Eulalia.

The others turned to her pityingly.

“Thou shalt hear. We had forgotten thine affliction, poor sister. He is
thin of the leg and round above. He wears glasses on a small nose. His
eyes are blue, and his hands are beautiful and white, like the hands
of Father Ignatius--the saints rest his soul! He wore black, with a
cassock very short indeed; and a round white collar, and a gold cross
hung at his waist. He bore a small black box, that doubtless contained
a holy relic, for ofttimes he clasped it to his bosom and cared for it
most lovingly.”

“How strange,” mused Eulalia, “that the reverend Fathers should send
one to question us thus unannounced, and one who also speaks so
strangely! His words were confusing, and I caught not often the sense,
though I listened with all my ears. Had it not been for Sister Rose, I
never should have guessed his mission.”

“Had’st thou seen him, thou would’st have known,” said Sister Teresa.
“His calling was not to be mistaken; moreover, with the reliquary he
blessed us.”

They had great food for speculation. Such excitement had not come into
their lives in unnumbered years. The dreadful prophecy of the Mother
Superior was forgotten. For the first time in a decade Eulalia was
heard to lament her loss of sight. Try as she would, she could not
make a satisfactory mental picture from her companions’ descriptions
of their visitor. These were vivid and detailed enough, but somehow
she could not bring them to take definite shape. Over and over again
they discussed the form and face, the manners and raiment of Dr. Joel
McBean. Not a gesture they did not speculate upon and imitate, not a
sentence of his incoherent Spanish that was not dissected, analyzed,
and wondered about. In particular, why did he want their picture, and
then leave without it?

But “to-morrow” he had said, to-morrow he would come; then perhaps they
would understand.

The sunlight turned copper-red, warning them of the lateness of the
hour and putting a sudden end to their excited converse. Suddenly
sobered and recalled to its own world, the flustered dove-cote
subsided. With stately tread they sought the reverend Mother. She
suffered herself to be lifted from her chair, and with eyes downcast
took her slow way to the chapel, with the help and guidance of her two
faithful attendants.

       *       *       *       *       *

The perspiration stood in great beads upon the brow of Joel McBean as
he emerged from a black, unventilated closet in the Posada del Rey, a
tray of chemicals in his hand. He held the developed films up to the
light and nodded with satisfaction. The pictures were excellent, clear
and sharp, well composed, excellently suited to the enlargement of
the stereopticon. He examined each with minute care, but found none
requiring the intensifier. There at last they were fixed forever,
the replicas of this strange land of contradictions--pictures that
should make his audiences realize how fortunate they were to be able
to stay at home in comfort while an intrepid and intelligent explorer
braved the trials of arduous travel in order to bring the simulacrum of
these other lands to their very doors, together with enlightening and
well-turned elucidations of the manners and customs of these benighted
dwellers in lands forgotten. Already he felt glowing sentences
stirring in his brain, sonorous and uplifting words, at once pitying
and broad-minded. “Tolerance”--that was the motto of his discourses;
tolerance always, but coupled with the well-directed searchlight
of comparison. What a point he would make of these aged, recluse
women--their ignorance, their useless lives, their abasement before the
Juggernaut of outworn rules! He flattered himself that his presence,
momentary as it was, had brought new impetus, and a realization of
other and more intelligent peoples, to these remnants of obsolete
conditions. “Obsolete conditions”--ah, a good expression!

He slipped the sensitized paper under the films in their wooden cases,
and set them for a moment on the rim of his balcony overlooking the
cobbled pavement of the unfrequented King’s Highway, upon which the
tropic sun beat with white fury. A moment only sufficed, and he
withdrew the prints. They proved marvelously good; as portraits they
could not have been excelled. He smiled with satisfaction. How pleased
these benighted little sisters would be, he thought, for he was a
kindly man. He slipped the photographs between the leaves of his “Handy
Spanish Phrases,” and, walking along the red-tiled gallery, made his
way across the blue-and-white-walled patio, and while parrots shrieked
at him and capuchin monkeys chattered, he passed from their cages
toward the great, sweating water-jars, and emerged into the glare of
the street.

Everywhere the remains of huge triumphal arches met his eye; enormous
buildings of state and vast churches, seamed and cracked by the
volcano’s upheavals, now flowered with creepers and plumed with growing
trees. The silence indicated complete desertion, except where one
caught, from time to time, in some shattered palace, a glimpse of an
Indian family at their squalid tasks, or the bray of a burro echoing
from some stately ruin.

At last the twisted wrought-iron gate and the flanking spiral columns
of the gateway of the convent came in sight. Dr. McBean quickened his

He had been eagerly awaited within those solemn walls. After matins
the excited sisters had gossiped and chatted over the events of the
previous day, and then proceeded--each quietly, in her own cell, and
unknown to her fellows--to make an elaborate toilet. The least faded
blue ribbons were put on, a fresh coif was found, spots and stains
were removed from worn white garments, while the little silver crosses
received an unaccustomed furbishing.

Somewhat shamefaced they met, and laughed like children as each
realized the worldliness of the others, till again Sister Eulalia’s
complaint turned them to consolatory condolences. A frown of petulance
had settled between Sister Eulalia’s brows. To be sure, it was lost
in a maze of wrinkles, but it was there. In her old heart was revolt
against the sorrow accepted so bravely fifty years before. She did not
realize her sin, absorbed as she was in the Great Interest.

When Dr. McBean entered the patio he was met by the four nuns, who
advanced smiling, with murmured hopes of a happy sleep of the night
before and perfect health to-day.

“I kept my promise, you see,” he beamed, handing the prints to Sister
Teresa, and speaking in his native tongue. “The pictures are really
very good, and I hope you will enjoy having them. Thank you so
much--and good-by. I start on my journey again to-day; so I must be
off. Good-by, again. Adios--buanos dais!”

The nuns curtsied and bowed. He paused a moment in order to jot in
his note-book: “Ignorant peoples invariably gratefully receive and
appreciate--all evidences superior civilization”--bowed again and

It was not till any further glimpse of him was denied by the corner
wall that they turned to the photographs. They looked in astonishment,
which increased to puzzled wonder; then a look of fear crossed Sister
Teresa’s face. Sister Eulalia, with tears in her eyeless lids, had
disconsolately sought her seat on the weaving-bench. These marvels
were not for her. For a moment she hated her companions--they were no
longer companions. She was alone in her misery.

From the depths of self-pity she was rushed to sudden astounded
attention by sounds of wrath, of venomous speech, of resentment and
anger. Sister Eulalia could not believe her ears, and the angry
conversation gave her no hint of its cause. It seemed the babblings of
sheer madness.

Sister Teresa had been the first to exclaim.

“See!” she cried, “I cannot understand! This is thy portrait to the
life, Sister Catalina, and thine, Sister Rose, also this likeness of
Sister Eulalia. But where am I? Who is this strange nun?”

Sister Catalina gazed at the picture in deep perturbation. “But I see
thee well,” she affirmed. “It is thy very self upon the paper, but it
is I who am not there, and this is the strange nun!” She pointed to her
own portrait.

Sister Rose intervened. “Foolish! It is thy very self, and Sister
Eulalia, and Sister Teresa, yes; but I am not there, and in my place is
a stranger!” She pointed to her own semblance. “Who is this?”

Both Sister Teresa and Sister Catalina looked at her scornfully. “It is
thyself,” they said in one breath.

Sister Rose colored till she symbolized her name, but it was the red of
anger that mantled her cheeks.

“Indeed, it is not!” she answered hotly. “I have not a withered face, a
jaw like a knife, and such eyes!”

“I tell thee, _that_”--Sister Catalina pointed, that there be no
further mistake--“_that_ is _thou_! _This_ is the stranger.”

“Stranger?” laughed Rose; “then we know thee not!”

It was Sister Catalina’s turn to flame with anger. “It is not true!”
she cried, stamping her foot with a grotesque parody of infantile rage.
“_I_ look like _that_! I know better! I remember as if it were to-day
how I looked in the great mirror in my father’s house!”

“_I_ tell thee naught but the truth,” exclaimed Sister Teresa, now
quite beside herself. “Give _me_ the picture!” She snatched at the
print. A tussle ensued, punctuated by the sharp sound of a slap as they
fought for the apple of discord.

Sister Catalina being the youngest, and, owing to her daily labors in
the garden, the most active of the trio, obtained possession of the
photograph, but not till, with a desperate push, she had thrust Sister
Teresa so sharply forward that she fell panting against the iron gate.
The force of the impact made the rusty iron clang, and Sister Teresa
sank to the ground with a faint cry.

Not till then could Sister Eulalia master her fright and nervousness
sufficiently to enter the arena. With outstretched hands, forgetful of
her crutch, she advanced to the center of the patio. Her first words
were sufficiently arresting to bring a sudden cessation of hostilities.

“Oh, my sisters!” she cried, “oh, my sisters--the Fiend! The Fiend!”

Involuntarily three pairs of terror-stricken eyes looked about. The
sun-flooded courtyard held no unfamiliar shape; the sky was undarkened
by any dreadful wing. No fateful roar broke the morning hush. But
Sister Eulalia had sunk to her knees, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“We were warned,” she shrilled, “but we were not proof against him.
How should we know him in the guise of a holy man?” The listeners
gasped. “Look, oh, my sisters, what has happened. I--even I, whom God
had blessed with blindness that I might not see--_I_ complained aloud.
Envy and hatred were in my heart that ye saw marvels while I lay in
darkness. I am ashamed--I am ashamed!”

She rocked backward and forward, a prey to remorse.

With a cry of sudden terror, Sister Catalina flung the crumpled
photograph from her. It fluttered like a blown leaf, was caught by a
vagrant breeze and wafted toward Sister Teresa, crouching by the gate.
As if the white-hot fires of the dreaded volcano had suddenly poured
toward her in searing streams, she screamed aloud, dragged herself to
her feet with surprising alacrity, and rushed for protection to her
former assailant, throwing her arms about Sister Catalina in a paroxysm
of fear.

“Ay, cry aloud your terror, sisters,” continued Sister Eulalia. “What
was this thing of mystery the Fiend brought among ye? In the winking of
an eye it brought strife and anger. How wise were they who forbade us
looking-glasses. For ye forgot your own images till ye knew them no
more. Behold, this thing that showed ye yourselves, as in a glass that
was not glass, let in the very spirit of the devil. All the years of
our happiness together in God were as nothing before the magic of the
Evil One, whom we welcomed. Though we were warned, though we knew him
the ‘Prince of Disguise’! Pray for pardon--pray quickly, that our souls
be not lost forever!”

They knelt in prayer, signing themselves with the cross, surprised,
indeed, that their hands did not refuse their mission in punishment for
their sin. The noonday sun beat mercilessly upon the veiled heads as
they bent in petition. At last Sister Catalina interrupted the droning

“Sister whom God hath blessed with blindness, I will lead thee to this
evil thing. Thine eyes are closed against its wiles. Take it, thou, to
the chapel, and there, with a taper lit at the altar, we will burn it,
that it may return to the Father of Lies, who sent it.”

Sister Eulalia winced with fear, but realizing her peculiar mission she
suffered herself to be led by the trembling nun till her fingers closed
on the cursed paper. Painfully, on their knees, as one mounts the holy
stairs in penance, they crawled to the chapel and prostrated themselves
at the rail. With tears of remorse, the sisters embraced. A taper, one
of the precious few in the tin box under the altar-lace, was lighted
at the flame of the tiny red lamp. The print as it flared up seemed to
show the pictured faces in twisted grimace; then it blackened, withered
to ash, and dispersed in gray filaments.

For a moment the penitents remained in silent contemplation, then with
one accord they crossed the patio to the refectory. Though the reverend
Mother hear them not, yet they must make confession.

As they entered they stopped short, spellbound. The opaque black eyes
were open wide, staring at them from the crystalline whiteness of the
Mother Superior’s face. To the culprits that gaze was as accusing as
any clarion voice of Judgment. They bowed their heads.

The reverend Mother’s lips moved.

“Vanitas vanitatum!” she cried, and again--“Vanitas vanitatum!”

The echoes took up the sound as a bell that will not be




    Sometimes my Conscience says, says he,
    “Don’t you know me?”
    And I, says I, skeered through and through,
    “Of course I do.
    You air a nice chap ever’ way,
    I’m here to say!
    You make me cry--you make me pray,
    And all them good things thataway--
    That is, at _night_. Where do you stay
    Durin’ the day?”

    And then my Conscience says, onc’t more,
    “You know me--shore?”
    “Oh, yes,” says I, a-trimblin’ faint,
    “You’re jes’ a saint!
    Your ways is all so holy-right,
    I love you better ever’ night
    You come around,--’tel plum daylight,
    When you air out o’ sight!”

    And then my Conscience sort o’ grits
    His teeth, and spits
    On his two hands and grabs, of course,
    Some old remorse,
    And beats me with the big butt-end
    O’ _that_ thing--‘tel my clostest friend
    ’Ud hardly know me. “Now,” says he,
    “Be keerful as you’d orto be
    And _allus_ think o’ me!”






When Jean François Millet, with his wife and nine children, went
to Cherbourg in August, 1870, soon after the breaking out of the
Franco-German War, he carried with him some of his own pictures and
several belonging to Théodore Rousseau that had been left in his care,
which were owned by a Mr. Hartmann, a friend of both artists. Once in
that city, there was no certainty that Millet could sell a picture or
get means to live upon from any one. To be sure, Barye and his family
were already there, but he had a large family to look after, and was
helping Armand Sylvestre, the writer, who lived there.

Detrimont, the picture-dealer, had advanced eight hundred francs on
a painting he had previously ordered of Millet; but when this money
should be gone Millet was sure to be in very embarrassing straits.
Sensier’s business relations with Millet had long since ceased, and he
had gone with the government to Tours. What was the poor painter to do,
and what did he think? Behind him were twenty-one years of incessant
labor and harsh experiences, a procession of great works of art sent
into the world, out of which he had got a bare living. He was tired
and health-broken, and had a large family to care for; he was worried
over the dark days of his country, while possessing hardly a dollar and
living in a city always indifferent to his genius.

But fortune had not quite forsaken poor Millet. Durand Ruel had managed
to get out of Paris and reach London with some pictures. He, too, was
in no prosperous condition, and in his anxiety he determined to give
an exhibition in that city and take his chances as to the result.
Trusting in the merits of the “Norman Peasant,” which he believed would
be recognized in London, even in war-time, he wrote to Millet asking
for some pictures and promising to send him some money--a small sum at
once, if he were in need. Ruel added as a further encouragement that
if he had any luck he would continue to order pictures and forward
money for them as fast as he could.

The London scheme worked so well that Millet was enabled to stay in
Cherbourg and its vicinity for sixteen months; and yet there was
trouble in it. Nothing ever seemed to come to him in bright colors that
was not shaded or involved in some train of unpleasant circumstance;
and what made it still more fateful was the fact that he could not
extricate himself by his own efforts. Never was a leaf more powerless
before the wind than was Millet in the worldly entanglements that
pursued him to his latest breath.

“I will begin a picture for you at once with the greatest ardor,”
he wrote to Ruel. When he had finished it, it was taken by his son
François to the wharf, where the little steamer lay that was to carry
it to Southampton, while the father went to the custom-house to get a
permit. The collector of customs, although knowing perfectly well who
the artist was, refused to accept his declaration of authorship--all
that ever was required--unless the artist would swear to it on the
Bible. This extra demand, and the arrogant manner of the collector, was
interpreted by Millet as an insult, and he left the official’s presence
in anger and despair. He could not forward this or any other picture
without the oath, and how was he to live if he did not? To his surprise
and joy, he found on going to the wharf where the picture was to leave
for Southampton that it had been taken on board the steamer. A seaman
who had charge of embarking freight had seen the name of Millet on the
box, and had asked young François about it, and whether that was the
Millet who came from Greville. Learning that it was, he said, “Oh, all
right! Never mind the permit; bring it aboard, and I will see that no
one disturbs it.”

[Illustration: From the collection of the late Quincy A. Shaw.
Half-tone plate engraved by R. C. Collins



There seemed to be an undying enmity against Millet on the part of the
representative authorities of Cherbourg, beginning when they gave him a
niggardly allowance to pursue his first studies in Paris, accentuated
when they refused to continue it, and brutally intensified when he
returned for refuge in 1870. Nor did it cease; for not long after his
death some resident artists were discovered counterfeiting Millet’s
works and selling them to those who were supposed to have been familiar
with what he had done for more than thirty years. The punishment meted
out to these rascally imitators was only two months in prison, and even
then there were those who regarded the penalty as too severe for the

There were still more troubles to come, for Millet tried to do some
sketching out of doors, but the authorities prevented him. Writing to
Sensier in September, 1870, he says: “It is utterly impossible for me
to make a single mark of the pencil outside of the house. I should be
immediately cut down or shot. I have been arrested twice and brought
before the military authorities, and was released only after they
had inquired about me at the mayor’s office, though they advised me
strongly not even to show an indication of holding a pencil.”

The following extracts from other letters to Sensier will illustrate
the precious patriotism of these military authorities when their own
comfort was in question, as well as let a little light upon their
ardent efforts to sustain their struggling country in its darkest days
of 1870-71. He says:

“What a chance those miserable Prussians have for devastating the
country! I fear that, though touching Paris lightly at present, they
will still hold it so that they may continue their work in other
places. I fear that they will make believe to attack Paris, and under
the shadow of that pretense devastate the country of everything it has
that they need. During this time Paris will exhaust its provisions,
and, famine once there, they will do with it as they please. In
supporting the Prussians the country will eventually exhaust itself;
then will come universal famine. What do they think of all this at
Tours? There is one thing I wish to tell you: for a long time they have
sent from here to England sheep, pigs, potatoes, and every kind of
provisions, but since the war these exports have increased. A good deal
of complaint has been made, and for my part I ask myself how they can
send these things to strangers abroad--and probably by indirect ways to
the enemy--when we have so great a need for them. How can they rob a
country now given to misery, as ours is?--for a large part of France is
not only devastated but is prevented from planting crops for the coming

“Naturally, you know of Gambetta’s circular for preventing the
exporting of provisions. That circular did not give details of
everything that should not be exported. The authorities here have
slyly dodged that and have permitted things to be sent away that were
not mentioned in the circular. This has almost made a revolution.
The people tried to prevent the embarking of these articles, but the
national guard surrounded the dock and the shipment was made. I think
these authorities are horrible. They let eggs, butter, and fowls be
sent away. The mayor and the prefect should be whipped. If you can only
tell Gambetta this! It appears that a great quantity of cannon is in
the arsenal here, of which no use is made. They say that the chassepôts
that came from England were left out of doors in the rain and mud. The
maritime authorities do nothing, and the people cry out against them.
It is said that there are eight thousand sailors here who wish to go
into action, but not one is permitted to leave.

“Neither will the authorities send the cannon to Lille--those that were
ordered to be sent long ago--and Lille begs for them. Eleven hundred
cannon here, and not one used or sent away to the places where they are
needed! There are also several gunboats which the officers say could
be employed on the rivers, but they, too, are idle, although certain
officers are doing their best to have something done with them. Why not
tell Gambetta all this, so that he could give rigid orders? Durand
Ruel has sent me a thousand francs. It was time! Oh, it was time! It
will be quickly spent; and so I must work to get more when I need it.”

Before Millet returned to Barbizon he went with his family to look for
the last time upon the scenes of his youth, to walk over the fields
that his forefathers had tilled for generations, to visit the church
where his dead had worshiped, and to sit beside their graves. It was a
pilgrimage that deeply touched every chord of his nature as it never
had been touched before.

He was conscious that he had lived an unusual life, that he had
contributed his share to his country’s glory, and that, too, when
rarely released from the awful chain of untoward circumstances. Yet
no word of bitter complaint ever escaped his lips, nor did he fully
confide his thoughts to any one. He knew that some tidings of him
had reached his native hamlet and had given pleasure to its humble
dwellers. “He longed,” says his son François, “to see whether he
could again feel his youth. I think he did, for he never seemed to be
present, not even when he told us children of the wondrous legends of
the priory of Greville.”

The following is a part of François’ story of their journey to Gruchy.

“When we all went to Gruchy we stopped on the way at Vauville, and
as we came to the little inn we were met by a large and fine-looking
old woman who approached us as if we were princes, and after saluting
us she said very humbly: ‘Gentlemen, we haven’t much for the table.’
‘Haven’t you soup?’ asked Father. ‘Oh, yes!’ she replied, ‘but do you
care for that?’ ‘Certainly, we like soup,’ was the answer. ‘Very well,
then, you shall have some soup.’ ‘Have you any butter?’ ‘Yes, we have
butter.’ ‘Very well, we like butter.’ ‘Then, gentlemen, you shall have
butter, and you can eat as we do.’ ‘But I am very hungry,’ said one of
my brothers. ‘Then,’ said the woman, ‘we will kill a rabbit for the

“While we were waiting for our food we sat around a fireplace in which
was burned a kind of dry brush, thrown into it with a pitchfork. It
made a tremendous blaze, giving Father much pleasure, and he said that
that was the way they had fire when he was a boy in the old home.

[Illustration: From the collection of the late Quincy A. Shaw.
Half-tone plate engraved by C. W. Chadwick



“After we had eaten we went out to make some sketches of the church and
priory. Soon after our arrival, a peasant, eighty-seven years old, who
had known my grandfather, came to the hotel to find us and to renew his
acquaintance with Father. He invited us to come to the priory and take
breakfast with his son, who lived there and had charge of the property.
We accepted the invitation, and just before it was time to go the old
man came with two carts, a large one with rude board sides for Father,
Mother, and the older children, and a small one for the younger ones
and the servant. In this way we were trundled off to the priory, where
we were very warmly welcomed by the old man’s son.

“The dining-room was very large, with an enormous fireplace, and great
iron locks were on the doors. Our breakfast consisted of little beans
and butter. While we were eating, a half-crazy uncle of our host sat
in the fireplace, watching, as he said, for a headless prior who
continually visited the convent, entering it through the chimney. ‘I
must not let him come down,’ he said, ‘so I watch him; but he must not
know that I see him.’

“The priory is very rich in legends concerning every phase of the life
that has been lived in it for many generations. This man had cared
for it since it had been used as one of the buildings of a farm; and,
in cultivating the ground, had lived so secluded a life, and dwelt so
constantly upon the history of the priory, that he had become insane,
his head turned in faithfulness to duty.

“The priory is on a hill, while the village of Vauville is below, near
the sea, and hidden from the building.

“On entering the church at Vauville we encountered the curé, who
appeared very curious and desirous to talk with strangers, as they very
seldom come there. While Father was looking at the picture over the
altar, he said, ‘It is not bad; it has good color’; whereupon the curé,
who had come up hurriedly, remarked, ‘You are looking at the picture,
I see. It seems to interest you.’ ‘Yes,’ said Father. ‘Ah, well, I can
tell you who painted it--one Mouchel, a child of Cherbourg. I don’t
know how much he is known away from us, but he had a pupil who was
helped by the city of Cherbourg and has now become known as a man of
great talent.’

“The curé was very polite, and he conducted us to the door without
dreaming that he had seen the pupil of Mouchel, though Father was that

“One day when we were in the café of the inn, a little old man with
large blue eyes came to the door and looked at Father, and said in
the patois of the locality, which consists more of movements of
the head, peculiar accents of words, and of pauses, than of a full
language, ‘Ah! do you know? Yes.’ Then Father’s chin moved upward in
deep emotion. ‘Ah! I knew _you_ when you were a little toad. We are
old now. Ah, changes have come! You know it.’ ‘Come in,’ said Father,
still more affected, pointing to a chair and table. Then turning to
me, with his head close to my ear, he whispered, ‘It is Peter, our old
servant. He took care of my father when he died, as well as all the
rest of the family.’ After Father had become somewhat composed, he said
to the innkeeper, ‘Give Peter all he wants.’ ‘Oh, I want nothing now,
but to see you. To go back into the years. Ah, we are old now!’ This
was too much for Father, and, rising to go out, he said quietly to the
innkeeper, ‘He is now a drunkard, but give him everything.’

“One night at the little inn, the wind blew a real tempest; it was
fearfully dark and the roar of the sea was something terrific, so the
proprietor said to his servant, who was putting thorns on the fire to
make a great blaze, as if to calm the elements outside, ‘How would you
like to go on such a night as this to the priory?’ ‘Oh, I don’t know,’
he replied, ‘there are things you cannot reason about, and happenings
you had better keep away from. Perhaps it would be better to stay at
home on a night like this. The old boy up there is not a good sleeper.
He is out and around nights like this, watching his stacks of grain,
for he, as you know, though very learned, is in league with the devil
in some way. At any rate, the devil has something to do with him. He
always looks at me suspiciously, as if I had stolen his wheat, though
he knows well enough that it was the devil that did it. For, even in
the daytime, when he counts his sheaves, there are always some lacking,
and in the night still more are missing. He can’t even drink his own
cider without the devil hiding his pitcher and playing all sorts of
tricks with him. No, it’s better to stay indoors when things outside
are so uncertain.’

[Illustration: From the collection of the late Quincy A. Shaw.
Half-tone plate engraved by H. Davidson



“The proprietor of the inn had been a cook in Paris, but had returned
to his native hamlet to live the rest of his days. He soon began to
talk, perhaps to please us, as we said nothing. ‘They are strange men,
those of this country,’ he began; ‘I myself have been in Paris, and I
have seen many things; but I could not stay away from here, and so I
came back. You see, sir, we people of these parts cannot live away.
I don’t know why, but there is no place like our own land. So I came
back from Paris to spend the time still left to me. But there was one
who did not come back. Nor is this country without its interest. Many
years ago a young fellow named Millet lived near here, and he had the
strange fancy to be a painter, making pictures on cloth, sir, and,
almost incredible as it may seem, he went to Paris. Going to Paris
nowadays is nothing, but then it was a very serious matter. They do say
that though he had much trouble he had courage also, and has succeeded,
so that he is on the road to celebrity and has become a great honor
to his country. A man of much talent, of whom we are all very proud.’
Father said nothing, but I saw he was smiling broadly. When we left
the inn for good, the proprietor looked at Father very carefully, as
if he suspected that he had not entertained an ordinary traveler; and
finally, his suspicions evidently growing, he said, ‘I remember the
physiognomy of the Millets, who were well known along this coast as
fine-looking men.’ We could see that he was ready to ask whether Father
was not the young fellow who went to Paris. His curiosity was gratified

[Illustration: From the collection of the late Quincy A. Shaw.
Half-tone plate engraved by G. M. Lewis



“When we visited the graveyard at Greville, where our ancestors were
buried, and found their graves, which had no headstones and the wooden
crosses of which had long ago gone to dust, we saw that they were
covered thickly with weeds nearly as high as our heads. I said nothing,
but pointed to them as if asking which member of the family each grave
contained; and Father, also pointing, simply said, ‘Father, Mother,
Grandmother,’ and so on through the family category. Waiting awhile,
much affected, he repeated, as only he could, the words, ‘Oh, the high
weeds where sleep the dead!’

“In a few days we went there again and found a man cutting the weeds.
Father asked him why he was doing so. ‘To sell them,’ he replied.
‘Sell!’ exclaimed Father. ‘Do you say that you are selling the weeds
from the graves?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Does the curé know of it?’ ‘Know of it? Of
course he does. He consents to it and thinks it a good thing to do.’
Then, as if speaking to himself, Father said, ‘Ah! the heart has left
this place. You are men no more. And the curé--!’

“It was in November, 1870, that Father made the sketch of the superb
marine, which he painted in the spring of the next year and sent to
Ruel.[1] He made also a great number of sketches and drawings of places
near Greville and Vauville, as well as of the priory. Father loved
every inch of the earth of his native hamlet. It is a wonderful land.

“We lived in M. Feuardent’s house in Cherbourg, Father doing his work
in an ordinary room with no special light facilities. He desired very
much to make some pictures of the country and sea around Cherbourg,
but the authorities told him that he must not even carry a pencil or
a note-book. It was in Cherbourg that he made the drawings of ‘The
Milk-maid,’ from sketches taken in Greville.”

[1] Owned by the estate of the late Quincy A. Shaw, of Boston,




    House-without-roof my house I called,
    Whether in palaces I dwelt
    Or lowly cot, clay-paved and walled;
    And, if at wayside cross I knelt,
    Or if at shrine, for me the place
    Dissolved into hypæthral space.

    Beside the fire on mine own hearth,
    While household hours slipped softly by,
    With those most dearly loved on earth,
    Still would the ceiling fade on high;
    And, as the sparks my fire up-sent,
    My soul escaped above, unpent.

    The lightnings oftentimes she drew,
    And crossed the wingèd migrants’ flight;
    She sought her roof in midday blue,
    Where tender cloud-weft fails from sight--
    In evening-red’s ethereal bars--
    Or vault of night with brede of stars.

    She sought--but higher yet must rise
    The courses of her mansionry;
    Beyond these skies to Other Skies,
    Its walls cut through so sheer, so free;
    Beyond the brede of stars, aloof,
    I look--but nowhere find a Roof!



Author of “Pigs is Pigs,” “Long Sam ‘Takes Out,’” etc.

Uncle Noah Prutt, sitting in the front row of seats, leaned forward and
put his hand behind his ear, vainly seeking to hear what his wife was
saying to Judge Murphy. From time to time he stood up, trying to hear
the better, but each time the lanky policeman pushed him back into his

“Judge, yer Honor,” said the policeman, after the fifth time, “this man
here has nawthin’ t’ do with th’ case, an’ he’s disthurbin’ th’ coort.
Shall I thrun him out?”

“Let him be, Flaherty, let him be!” said the justice, carelessly, and
at the words Uncle Noah arose and came forward to the black walnut bar
that separated the raised platform of the justice from the rest of the

“Ah pleads not guilty, Judge!” said Uncle Noah, laying one trembling
hand on the rail and pushing forward his ear with the other. He was
a coal black Negro, with close-kinked white hair that looked like a
white wig. His nose was large and flattened against his face, and his
eyeballs were streaked with brown veins that gave him a dissipated
look. He was the type of Negro that, at fifty, claims eighty years of
age, and, so judged, Uncle Noah Prutt might have been anywhere between
sixty and one hundred and ten. As he stood at the bar his black face
bore a look of the most deeply pained resentment, and his thick lower
lip protruded loosely as a sign of woe.

“Sit down!” shouted both the justice of the peace and the policeman,
and, with his lip hanging still lower, Uncle Noah backed into his seat.
He sat as far forward as he could, and leaned his head still farther

“Who is that man?” asked the justice of no one in particular.

“Him? He’s mah husban’,” said the young colored woman, with a slight
up-tilt of her nose. “Yo’ don’ need to pay no ’tention to him at all,
Jedge. Ah ain’ ask him to come yere. He ain’ yere in no capacity but
audjeence, he ain’.”

“He has no connection with this case?” asked the justice.

“No, sah!” said the young woman, decidedly.

“If he makes any more trouble, Flaherty,” said the justice, “put him
out of the court. Now, what is this trouble, Sally?”

The young woman standing against the bar was fit to be classed as
a beauty. Well-formed, with a rich yellow skin through which the
blood glowed in her cheeks, with masses of black hair and her head
carried high, she was superb, even in her cheap print wrapper. Even
the fact that her feet were hideous in a pair of broken and run-down
shoes of the sort worn by men did not impair her general appearance
of an injured brown Venus seeking justice, and when she glanced at
the prisoner her bosom heaved with anger and her brown eyes glowed

The prisoner sat humped down in a chair in an attitude of the most
profound dejection. He was of a darker brown than the woman, and so
loose of joint that when he moved he flopped. His feet were so large
as to be almost grotesque, and he was so thin that the bones of his
shoulders were outlined by his light coat. But as he sat in the
prisoner’s seat his face was the most noticeable feature. It was thin
and long for a Negro, but with such high and prominent cheek-bones that
his eyes seemed hidden in deep caves, and the eyes were like those of a
dog that knows he is to be beaten. His wide mouth hung far down at the
corners. He was a picture of the utterly crushed, the utterly helpless,
the utterly hopeless. He was the shiftless Negro, with the last ray of
hope extinguished. He had but one thing to look forward to, and that
was the worst. As the justice asked Sally the question the prisoner’s
mouth sagged a bit farther at the ends, and his eyes took a still
sadder dullness.

“Yo’ ain’ miss it none when yo’ asks whut am dis trouble, Jedge,” said
Sally, angrily. “Dis yere ain’ nuttin’ but trouble, an’ I gwine ask yo’
to send dis yere Silas to jail forebber an’ ebber. Yassah! An’ den he
ain’ gwine be in jail long enough to suit me. An’ Ah gwine ask yo’ to
declare damages ag’inst him, fo’ huhtin’ mah feelin’s, an’ fo’ tryin’
to drown me, an’ fo’ abductin’ me away from dat poor ol’ no-’count
Noah whut am mah husban’, an’ fo’ alieamatin’ mah affections, on’y he
couldn’t. When Ah whack him awn de head wid dat bed-slat--”

“Now, one minute,” said the justice, raising his hand. “Flaherty, what
do you know about this case?”

“Well, yer Honor,” said the policeman, in the confidential tone an
officer of the law assumes when he feels that he, and he only, can
explain matters, “th’ way ut was was this way: I was walkin’ me beat up
there awn Twilf’ Strate this mawrnin’, like I always does, whin I heard
a yellin’ an’ a shoutin’. So I run into th’ lot--”

“What lot?” asked Justice Murphy.

“’Twas betwane Olive an’ Beech Strates, yer Honor. This here deff man,
Noah Prutt, lives in a shack-like there, facin’ awn th’ strate. Th’
vacant lot is full iv thim hazel-brushes an’ what all I dunno.”

“You said there was a shanty on the lot. How could it be a vacant lot
if there was a shanty on it?” asked the justice.

“Now, yer Honor,” said Flaherty, with an ingratiating smile, “there’s
moore than wan lot in th’ wurrld, ain’t there? Th’ lot this Noah Prutt
lives awn is wan iv thim. And th’ nixt wan is another iv thim. An’ th’
nixt wan t’ that is th’ third iv thim, an’ th’ ould Darky owns all iv
thim, and iv th’ three iv thim but wan is vacant, and that’s th’ middle
wan. There’s a shanty awn th’ furrst wan, and there’s a shanty awn
th’ thurrd wan, an’ as I was sayin’, there’s nawthin’ awn th’ vacant
wan excipt brush-like, an’ mebby a few trees, an’ some tin cans, an’

“Very good!” said his honor. “Go ahead.”

“Well, sor,” said Flaherty, “this Prutt an’ this wife iv his lives
in th’ furrst shanty, but th’ other wan is vacant excipt whin ’t is
occupied. Th’ ould man rints ut now an’ again, an’ a dang lonely
habitation ut is, set ’way back fr’m th’ strate, like ut is. So here I
was, comin’ along, whin I hear th’ racket in th’ vacant lot, an’ whin I
got there amidst th’ hazel-brush here was this Sally a-hammerin’ this
Silas over th’ head wid a bed-slat, an’ him yellin’ bloody-murdther. So
I tuck thim up, th’ bot’ iv thim, yer Honor.”

“And that’s all you know of the case?” asked the judge.

“Excipt what she tould me,” said Flaherty.

“And what was that?” asked Judge Murphy.

“Ut was what previnted me from arristin’ her for assault an’ batthery,”
said Flaherty, “for if iver a man was assaulted an’ batthered, this
same Silas was. She can wield a bed-slat like a warryor.”

“Ah’d ’a’ killed him! Ah’d ’a’ killed him shore!” said Sally.

“She w’u’d!” said Flaherty, briefly. “Thim Naygurs have th’ harrd
heads, but wan more whack an’ he’d iv had a crack in th’ cranyum. So
I wrested th’ bed-slat from her. Th’ place looked like there’d been a
war, yer Honor. Plinty iv thim hazel-brushes she’d mowed down wid th’
bed-slat thryin’ t’ murdther him. An’ whin I heard th’ sthory, I did
not blame her.”

“I have been waiting patiently to hear it myself,” said the justice.

“Accordin’ t’ th’ lady,” said Flaherty, “she’s a respictable married
woman, yer Honor, bound in th’ clamps iv wedlock to this Noah Prutt,
an’ niver stheppin’ t’ wan side iv th’ path iv wifely duty or to th’
other. ’Tis nawthin’ t’ us why a foine-lookin’ gurrl like her sh’u’d
marry an’ ould felly like him. Maybe him havin’ two houses atthracted
her. I dunno. But, annyway, she’s had t’ wash th’ wolf from th’ doore.”

“Had to do what?” asked the justice.

“Go out doin’ week’s wash t’ kape food in th’ house,” explained
Flaherty. “For th’ ould man will not wurrk much. He’s got that used t’
livin’ awn th’ rint iv th’ exthra shanty, ye see. An’ there’s been no
rint comin’ in this long whiles, for th’ prisoner at th’ bar has been
th’ tinint iv th’ shanty, an’ he ped no rint at all.”

“Why not?” asked the justice.

“Well, sor,” said Flaherty, rubbing the hair at the back of his neck
and grinning, “th’ lady here says he’s been that busy coortin’ her
he’s had no time t’ wurrk. ’Twas nawthin’ fr’m wan ind iv th’ week till
th’ other but, ‘Will ye elope wid me, darlint?’ an’, ‘Come now, l’ave
th’ ould man an’ be me own turtle-dove!’”

“Ah tol’ him Ah gwine murder him ef he gwine keep up dat-a-way of
proceedin’!” cried Sally, shrilly. “Ah tol’ him! Ah say, ‘Go on away,
you wuthless deadbeat Nigger! Wha’ don’ you pay yo’ rent like a man,
befo’ yo’ come talkin’ ’bout supportin’ a lady?’ Dass whut Ah tol’
him, Jedge. An’ whut he say? He say, ‘Sally gal! Ah gwine nab yo’ an’
hab yo’. Ah gwine steal yo’ an’ lock yo’ up, an’ nail yo’ up, an’ keep
yo’!’ Dass whut he say. An’ he done hit!”

“Stole you, and locked you up?” asked the judge.

“Yassah!” cried Sally, glaring at the trembling Silas. “He lock me up,
an’ he nail me up, an’ he try to drown me, ef Ah ain’ say whut he want
me to say. Dat low-down, hypocritical Nigger! Yassah! Ah tole him,
‘Silas, ef yo’ don’ go way an’ leave me alone Ah gwine tek mah hands
an’ Ah gwine yank all de wool right offen yo’ haid!’ Dass whut Ah say,
Jedge. An’ Ah say, ‘Ef yo’ don’ shet up Ah gwine tear yo’ eyes out!’
An’ Ah means it. Talkin’ up to me like dat! An’ den whut he do?”

She held out her hand toward the dejected Silas and shook her finger at

“Den whut he do? He see Ah ain’ to be coax’ dat-a-way, ’cause he a
no-’count Nigger, an’ he let on he purtind he get religion an’ wuk on
mah feelin’s. Yassah! ’Cause he know Ah’s religious mahsilf an’ he
cogitate how he come lak a snake in de grass an’ cotch me whin Ah ain’
thinkin’ no meanness of him. So long come dish yere prophet-man, whut
call hisself Obediah, whut get all de Niggers wuk up an’ a-shoutin’
over yonder on de ol’ camp groun’s. Ah am’ tek no stock in dat Obediah
prophet-man, Jedge, ’cause Ah a good Baptis’, lak mah husban’ yonder;
but plinty of de black folks dey run to him, an’ dey hear him perorate
an’ carry on, an’ dey get sot in dere minds dat dey gwine to hebben
las’ Tuesday night whin de sun set. Yassah, dass whut dey think, ’cause
de prophet-man he pretch dat-a-way. An’ dis yere Silas he let on he
gwine to hebben along wid de rest of de folks.”

She let her lip curl scornfully.

“Him a-gwine to hebben!” she scoffed. “But Ah ain’ but half believe he
got religion lak he say. Ah say, ‘Luk out, Sally! Ef he gwine to hebben
nex’ Tuesday let him go; an’ if he ain’ gwine, let him alone.’ But yo’
look at him, Jedge! Jes look at him! He ain’ look so dangeroos, is he?
An’ whin he come to me an’ say, ‘Sally, Ah done got quit of de ol’ Nick
whut was in me, an’ Ah gwine be lak dat no mo’,’ Ah jes got to believe
him. Yassah! He dat pernicious meek an’ lowly an’ sorrumful-like dat Ah
ain’ suspict no divilment at all. ‘Ah feel troubled in mah conscience,’
he say, ‘’cause Ah been tryin’ to lead yo’ on de wrong paff, an’ Ah
can’t go to hebben nex’ Tuesday les’ yo’ forgib me,’ he say, an’ he
look so downheart’ an’ seem lak he so set on gwine to hebben wid de
rest ob de folks, dat Ah say, ‘All right, Silas, Ah don’ hold no hard
feelin’s. Ef yo’ don’ bodder me no more, Ah forgib yo’ whut is pas’ an’
done for, but ef yo’ gwine to hebben yo’ better clean up yo’ house an’
put hit in order, lak de Book say, before yo’ start, ’cause ef yo’ don’
yo’ gwine get sint back, shore!’ So he let on lak dat how he think,
too. He purtind to thank me kinely fo’ dat recommindation, an’ he ask’
c’u’d Ah lind him a scrub pail an’ a mop an’ a broom, twell he clean up
he house. An’ I so done.

“Dass all right! He scrub, an’ he wash, an’ he clean, an’ he move all
he furniture out in de lot, an’ he clean, an’ he wash, an’ he scrub!
He ain’ wuk lak dat fo’ months, Jedge. So den Ah think shore he got
religion, lak he let on. So, come Monday, Ah got a job down to Mis’
Gilbert’s scrubbin’ her house, an’ Ah jes got to hab dat pail an’ dat
mop an’ dat broom. So Ah tell Noah whut job Ah got, an’ Ah say, ‘Noah,
Ah gwine down to Mis’ Gilbert’s house, fo’ to help clean house, an’ ef
she want me, Ah gwine stay right dah twell de house all clean’ up.’
Cause dat a long perambulation down to Mis’ Gilbert’s house, Jedge, an’
ef she ask me to stay a couple o’ days, Ah gwine save mah breakfas’
an’ mah suppah whilst Ah stay down yonder. So Ah go outen de house an’
Ah walk down de street twell Ah come to de gate whut lead up to Silas’
house, an’ Ah walk up de paff, an’ Ah knock on de do’. Nobody say
nuffin’! Ah knock ag’in. Nobody say nuffin’! Ah open de do’ gintly, an’
Ah peek in. Ain’ nobody in de shack at all. So Ah steps in, fo’ to get
mah pail an’ mah mop an’ mah broom.

“Dab dey set, right by de do’, an’ excipt fo’ dem, dey ain’ nuffin’
in de shack at all but de straw outen Silas he’s bed, an’ dat all
scatter aroun’ lak to dry an’ air out. Excipt dey one bed-slat whut
Ah calculate Silas he keep handy fo’ to whack at de rats, which am
mighty pestiferous about dat shack. So whin Ah seen he done clean
up yeverything as neat as a pin, my heart soften unto him. Ah jes
gwine feel sorry fo’ him, de leas’ little bit. So Ah gwine look in de
cupboard to see ef he got plenty to eat--an’ he ain’ got nuffin’ in
de cupboard but a box of matches, an’ dat all! So Ah feel right smart
sorry I been scold him lak I do, an’ Ah gwine pick up mah pail an’ mah
mop an’ mah broom whin--bang!--de do’ go shut an’ Ah all in de dark.”

“Some one shut the door?” asked the justice.

“_He_ shet de do’!” shouted Sally, shrilly, pointing her finger at the
trembling Silas. “He shet de do’, an’ he lock de do’, an’ he start to
nail de do’, lak he say he would! Yassah! Ah bang mahsilf ag’inst de
do’ an’ Ah yell an’ shout, an’ de do’ don’t budge, ’cause hit locked.
An’ all de while--bam! bam! bam!--he nailin’ de do’ from de outside. Ah
poun’ wif mah fists an’ Ah peck up mah pail an’ slam at de do’ twell de
pail all bus’ to pieces, an’ Ah bang mah mop to pieces, but--bam! bam!
bam!--he go on nailin’.”

She paused for breath, and Silas opened his mouth, as if to speak, but
closed it again.

“Yassah!” she shrilled, glaring at Silas, “he nail up de do’ so Ah
can’t budge hit, an’ whin Ah try de windows, dey nailed up too.”

“There’s two iv thim doors,” explained Flaherty, “an’ both iv thim open
outward. He’d nailed sthrips acrost thim. Th’ two windys has wooden
shutters, and he’d nailed thim fast.”

“What!” exclaimed Justice Murphy. “He nailed the woman in?”

“He did, sor!”

“But--but this is outrageous!” exclaimed the justice.

All three glared at the dejected Silas, and did not see Noah Prutt as
he arose from his chair.

“Make him pay, Jedge! Make him pay!” cried Noah, eagerly.

“Sit ye down!” cried Flaherty, in a voice of thunder, and Noah
subsided. On the edge of his chair he nodded like a toy mandarin. He
understood that things were going badly for Silas, and that was enough
to please him. Sally turned to him and shouted in his ear.

“Shet up an’ stay shet!” she cried. “This is none of yo’ business,
Noah. Ah gwine manage this mahsilf!”

The old man smiled and nodded his willingness. As she turned away he
touched her on the arm.

“Thutty dollahs,” he said, and nodded and smiled again.

“Thutty nuffin’s!” she muttered. “Ah guess yo’ Honor will know whut Ah
ought to get from dat Silas, an’ whut he ought to get from yo’. ’Cause
Ah suffer a heap o’ distress of min’ an’ body whilst Ah been shet up in
dat shanty dem three days.”

“Three days!” exclaimed the justice.

“Yassah! Ah been nail up in dat shanty three days an’ three nights,”
said Sally, “an’ all dat time Ah been pestered an’ annoyed. Ah been
sploshed on mah feet an’ Ah been hungry an’ col’, an’ Ah been insulted.
Dat Silas he jus’ hong roun’ dat shanty to make me mizzable, but Ah
ain’ give in one bit. No, sah! Ah’d a-died fus’. Fus’ off Ah bang on de
do’ an’ Ah bang on de windows, an’ Ah keep wahm, an’ whin Ah get col’
Ah pile some straw in de fireplace an’ Ah get dem matches an’ Ah mek me
a straw fire. An’ prisintly Ah hear Silas scramble-scramble on de roof.
‘Whut he up to now?’ Ah say; ‘He gwine try climb down de chimbly? Ef
he do Ah whack him wid de bed-slat twell he mighty sorry he try dat.’
But he ain’ try hit. No, sah! Splosh! come a pail of wahtah down de
chimbly, an’ out go mah fire, an’ mah feet suttinly get sopped. An’
Silas he say, down de chimbly, lak he voice all clog up wif laughin’,
‘Ain’ gone to hebben yit! Ain’ gone to hebben yit!’ an’ splosh! yere
come anudder pail of wahtah.”

“Why, this is no case for me,” said the justice. “This man should be
bound over to the Grand Jury!”

“Ah don’ care whut yo’ bind him to, so as yo’ bind him good an’
strong,” said Sally, vindictively. “Yevery time Ah try to get wahm by
makin’ a fire, down come dat pail of wahtah an’ splosh mah feet, twell
Ah think he try to drown me. ‘Ain’ gone to hebben yit!’ he shout’.
Hit right col’ in dat shanty, Jedge. Hit pernicious col’. Dat wahtah
freeze on de flo’, an’ hit freeze on mah shoes, an’ Ah get hungrier an’
hungrier, an’ Ah shout an’ Ah rage, an’ all he say is, ‘Ain’ gone to
hebben yit! Ain’ gone to hebben yit!’ Ah bet he ain’! Whin de time come
he gwine somewheres ilse!”

“How did you get out, finally?” asked the justice.

“Ah keep maulin’ at de do’ wif dat bed-slat all de whiles,” said Sally.
“Dat a mahty fine piece of bed-slat, dat is. An’ prisintly, whin Ah
about to drap wid hunger an’ col’ an’ die where Ah drap, Ah beat a
hol’ in de do’. ‘Ain’ gone to hebben yit!’ he ’low, an’ whack at de
bed-slat wif a club, but Ah right smart mad, an’ Ah pry an’ Ah wuk, an’
prisintly Ah pry off one board. An’ when he see Ah gwine win out he
scoot. Yassah! He scoot. Ah ’low he run away ’cause he afraid, but dass
not hit. No, suh! He gwine fotch an ax, fo’ to nail up dat do’ ag’in.
So prisintly Ah wuk dat do’ open an’ Ah step out, an’ whut Ah see? Ah
see dat Silas a-standin’ yere in de paff, wid he ax in he hand an’ he
mouf wide open, lak Ah been a ghos’. ‘Ain’ gone to hebben yit, her?’ Ah
say; ‘Well, if yo’ ain’ gone yit, yo’ gwine mighty soon!’ an’ I wint
fo’ him wif de bed-slat, an’ he yell lak blazes whilst Ah gwine murder
him. An’ dat how-come de pleeceman heah him an’ save he life.”

The justice folded his hands, his fingers working nervously, as if they
longed to take hold of the throat of the dispirited prisoner.

“In all my experience,” he said, “this is the most outrageous case I
have ever met! I am only sorry I am not the proper official to try
this case. I hope this man gets the full penalty of the law. I can’t

He shook his head.

“Whatever possessed you?” he asked the shrinking Silas.

“His Honor is speakin’ t’ ye!” cried Flaherty, poking Silas with his
baton. “Spake up whin he addrisses ye! Why did ye do ut?”

“Ah--” began Silas, in a thin, scared voice.

“Sthand up whin ye addriss th’ coort!” said Flaherty, and Silas stood.

As he stood there was nothing about him that suggested the fiery lover.
His drooping shoulders and general air of long-permanent shiftlessness
almost gave the lie to the idea that he could have taken the trouble to
carry a pail of water to a roof. He looked as if to walk at a shambling
gait was about the extreme of any exertion of which he was possible.

“Ah didn’ do hit,” he said weakly, and sat down again.

“Now! now!” said Justice Murphy, sharply. “None of that!”

“Sthand up whin his Honor addrisses ye!” said Flaherty.

“Ah don’ know nuffin’ about hit, Jedge,” said Silas, in a squeaky voice
as he half lifted himself out of the chair. “Ah’ll tell yo’ all whut
Ah know. Ah wint away from mah shanty Monday, ’cause Ah got to yearn
a dollar fo’ to buy a white robe fo’ to go to hebben in Tuesday, an’
Ah chop a cord ob wood an’ yearn mah dollar an’ buy mah white robe.
An’ dat night all de prophet’s folks spind de night on de hilltop,
a-waitin’ fo’ de dawn ob de great day, an’ a-prayin’ an’ a-singin’ an’
a-fastin’. An’ Tuesday Ah spint awn de hilltop like dat, a-prayin’ an’
a-singin’ an’ a-fastin’ twell de sun sh’u’d set. An’ whin de sun set
nuffin’ happen. No, sah. Nobody go nowheres, an’ dey ain’ no prophet
no mo’, fo’ he wint away wid whut he done collicted up endurin’ de
revival. So whin dat come about Ah quite pertickler hungry, an’ Ah go
fo’th t’ yearn some money fo’ to get mah food an’ to pay whut Ah owe
Noah, ’cause he been pesterin’ me about he rint. So Ah get some wood
to chop, an’ I chop hit. An’ bime-by, whin Ah chop all dat wood, Ah
guess Ah’ll go home, an’ Ah go home. An’ whin Ah retch mah shanty, Ah
see de do’ bruk, an’ somebody a-yammerin’ on hit, an’ whilst Ah look,
out sprong dis Sally Prutt an’ whack me on de haid wid a bed-slat, an’
holler, ‘Ain’ gone to hebben yit! Ain’ gone to hebben yit!’ lak she
done gwine crazy, an’ ebbery time she whack she holler, an’ ebbery time
she holler she whack. So I gwine get away from dere quick, an’ whin Ah
run, she run, an’ she shore gwine murder me, ef dish yere pleeceman am’
come an’ stop her.”

“Just so!” said Justice Murphy, sarcastically. “And you were not near
the shanty at all? And you did not nail this woman in it? And you did
not pour water down the chimney?”

“No, sah,” said Silas, in a frightened voice.

“Oh, you brack liah!” said Sally, angrily.

“And I suppose you never said, ‘Ain’t gone to heaven yet!’ did you?”
said the judge. “You never heard those words, did you?”

Silas looked from side to side, and his lower lip trembled. His
back took a more disconsolate droop. There are no words in the
English language to describe how utterly downcast and hopeless and
woe-saturated he looked. Milton came near it when he said something
about “Below the lowest depths still lower depths--” In woe Silas was
in depths a couple of stories lower than that.

“Well?” said the justice, sharply.

“Answer his Honor whin he addrisses ye!” shouted Flaherty, and Silas
moistened his lips and gulped.

“No, sah! Ah--Ah ain’ hear them wuds perzackly, nevah befo’. Ah ain’
heah, ‘Ain’ _gone_ to hebben.’ Ah jes heah ‘Ain’ _gwine_ to hebben.’”

“Oh, you did hear that, did you?” said the justice. “Who said that?”

Silas stared at his boot. He blinked a couple of times, and then spoke.

“Ol’ Noah, he say thim wuds,” he said. The judge turned to the old
Negro on the chair in the front row, and pointed at him.

“That Noah?” he asked. “Is that the man?”

“Yassah,” said Silas, sadly. “Dass de man. He say hit.”

Old Noah, seeing that the conversation was veering his way, arose and
came forward, his hand behind his ear and expectation in his face.

“Thutty dollahs, Jedge!” he said eagerly. “Dass de right amount. Thutty

“You go set down!” yelled his wife in his ear, but the old man shook
his head.

“Ain’ he gwine pay hit?” he asked resentfully. “Ain’ de jedge gwine
_mek_ him pay hit? Whaffo’ Ah nail up de shack ef he ain’ gwine pay

“Whut yo’ palaver about? Nail up de shack! _You_ ain’ nail up no shack.
Dat no-’count Silas _he_ nail up de shack,” shouted Sally.

The old man nodded his head and grinned.

“Yas, dasso! Dasso! Ah nail up de shack, Jedge,” he chuckled. “Ah nail
him in. Yassah, Ah done jes so.”

“_Him?_” shouted the justice, “you mean _her_?”

“Yassah, Ah nail _him_ in,” said Noah.

“_You_ did?” shouted the justice.

“Ah--Ah beg pawdon, Jedge,” said the old man. “Ah cawn’t heah as--as
well as Ah used to heah. Ah cawn’t hear whisperin’ tones no moah.
Ah--Ah got to beg yo’ to speak jes a leetle mite louder.”

“WHY DID YOU NAIL HIM IN THE SHACK?” shouted Justice Murphy at the top
of his voice.

“Why, ’cause he won’ pay me de rint,” said Noah, as if it was a thing
every one should have known. “Ain’ Sally been jes tol’ yo’? Ah surmise
she done confabulate about that all de whiles she talkin’. Yo’ mus’
scuse her, Jedge. Whin de womens staht talkin’, nobuddy know _whut_ dey
talk about. Dey jes talk fo’ de exumcise. Mah secon’ wife, which am de
las’ but one befo’ Ah tuck Sally--”

“Look here!” shouted Justice Murphy. “Why did you nail him in the

“Zack?” said the old man, doubtfully. “No, sah, he name Silas. Dass
him yondah. I arsk him fo’ de rint, an’ I _beg_ him fo’ de rint, an’ I
argyfy about dat rint twell Ah jes wohn out, an’ Ah don’ git no rint
at all. So bime-by erlong come dish yere prophet whut you heah about,
maybe. Ah ain’ tek no stock in dat prophet-man at all! No, sah! Ah ’s
a good Baptis’ an’ Ah don’ truckle to none o’ dem come-easy, go-easy,
folks like dat. Ah stay ’way from him, an’ Ah tell Sally she stay way
likewise. But dis yere Silas he get de prophet-man’s religion bad.
Yassah. He ’low he gwine to hebben las’ Tuesday whin all de res’ ob de
gang go. Ah reckon he ain’ gwine go, ’cause Ah feel dey ain’ none ob
dem gwine go, but Ah can’t be shore. Mos’ anything li’ble to happen
whin times so bad like dey is. So Ah projeck up to Silas an’ Ah say to
him, ‘Ef yo’ gwine to hebben nex’ Tuesday, yo’ bettah pay me de rint
befo’ yo’ go.’ Dass whut Ah say, Jedge. An’--an’--an’ dass reason-able.
’Cause ef he gwine to hebben Tuesday, Ah ain’ gwine hab no chance _to_
collict dat rint come Winsday. No, sah.”

“Then what?” shouted the justice.

“Nuffin’!” said Noah. “Nuffin’ _at_ all. He say, ‘Scuse me, Noah, but
Ah so full ob preparations fo’ de great evint Ah ain’ got time to yearn
no money to pay de rint.’ An’ Ah say, ‘Silas, Ah want mah rint!’ So,
bime-by, whin Monday mawrnin’ come erlong, Sally she gwine away to do
a job o’ work, an’ Ah meyander ober to Silas’ shack, an’ Ah got mah
hatchit an’ mah nails, whut Ah gwine mind de fince. An’ whin Ah come to
de shack All hear de squawk ob a board in de flo’ an’ Ah know Silas he
in de shack, an’ Ah slam de do’ an’ Ah nail up de do’ an’ he carrye on
scandalous, but he can’t git yout. An’ Ah don’ care whut he say, ’cause
Ah can’t heah ef he cuss or ef he palaver.

“’Cause Ah ain’ gwine hab no tinint go to hebben like dat whin he owe
me rint _twell_ he pay de rint. So Ah reckon Ah leave him dere twell
de gwine is all gone, an’ Ah ain’ worried erbout Silas gwine alone by
hisse’f. He ain’ got de get-up to do nuffin’ alone by hisse’f. So Ah
leab him dah twell he natchully bus’ out.”

“You tried to starve him,” shouted the justice. “You threw water down
the chimney.”

“Dass jes a _pre_-caution, Jedge, dass jes a _pre_-caution,” said the
old Negro. “Ah got mah doubts erbout dat ol’ Obediah prophet-man whut
come from nowhares. Whin Ah see de smoke a-risin’ from de chimbly, Ah
speculate ef et hebben whar de prophet-man gwine tek they-all, or ef he
gwine tek dem ilsewhars, an’ Ah cogitate how maybe Silas gwine _es_cape
in de flame ob de fiah. Dey yain’t nuffin’ like good ol’ Baptis’ water
fo’ to fight debbil’s fiah, so Ah fotch a couple o’ pail’ ob wahtah,
an’ Ah po’ hit down de chimbly, an’ Ah say, ‘Yo’ ain’ gwine to hebben
yit! Yo’ ain’ gwine to hebben yit!’ Yassah. An’ he ain’!”

He chuckled with glee, but at the same moment he caught a glimpse of
Sally’s face, and his grin gave way to a look of blank surprise. Slowly
and carefully Sally was rolling up her sleeves, and her eyes glittered
menacingly. Flaherty tapped her on the shoulder.

“None iv that here!” he said sternly.

The justice looked from one to the other of the parties before him,
closed an impressive-looking law book with a bang, and stood up,
feeling for his tobacco-pipe in his hip pocket.

“Flaherty,” he said slowly, “this is not a case for this court. It
seems in the nature of a domestic misunderstanding. Under ordinary
circumstances,” he added, pressing tobacco into the pipe with his
thumb, “I should undertake to explain to all parties just what happened
and how it happened and why it happened but--” he looked at old Noah
and shook his head--“there is nothing in the statutes of the State of
Iowa compelling a justice of the peace of the County of Riverbank, City
of Riverbank and Township of Riverbank, to shout that loud and that
long. Case dismissed!”

Flaherty herded the three parties out of the room and the justice
lighted his pipe.

“Whaffo’ Ah ain’ git mah thutty dollahs?” he heard Uncle Noah ask in
the hall. “Wha’ we gwine?”

“Ah tell yo’ wha’ yo’ ain’ gwine!” he heard Sally shout. “You ain’
gwine to hebben yit! But yo’ gwine to wish yo’ was gwine ’fo’ Ah git
froo wif yo’!”

“Flaherty,” said his Honor, tilting back comfortably and blowing a
cloud of blue smoke toward the ceiling, “go out and warn that woman to
keep the peace.”

“I will,” said Flaherty, “but can ye ixpict ut iv her, Murphy?”





    O mother mountains! billowing far to the snow-lands,
      Robed in aërial amethyst, silver, and blue,
    Why do ye look so proudly down on the lowlands?
      What have their gardens and groves to do with you?

    Theirs is the languorous charm of the orange and myrtle,
      Theirs are the fruitage and fragrance of Eden of old,--
    Broad-boughed oaks in the meadows fair and fertile,
      Dark-leaved orchards gleaming with globes of gold.

    You, in your solitude standing, lofty and lonely,
      Bear neither garden nor grove on your barren breasts;
    Rough is the rock-loving growth of your cañons, and only
      Storm-battered pines and fir-trees cling to your crests.

    Why are ye throned so high and arrayed in splendor
      Richer than all the fields at your feet can claim?
    What is your right, ye rugged peaks, to the tender
      Queenly promise and pride of the mother-name?

    Answered the mountains, dim in the distance dreaming:
      “Ours are the forests that treasure the riches of rain;
    Ours are the secret springs and the rivulets streaming
      Softly down through the manifold bloom of the plain.

    “Vain were the toiling of men in the dust of the dry land,
      Vain were the plowing and planting in waterless fields,
    Save for the life-giving currents we send from the sky-land,
      Save for the fruit our embrace with the storm-cloud yields.”

    O mother mountains, Madre Sierra, I love you!
      Rightly you reign o’er the vale that your bounty fills,--
    Kissed by the sun, or with big, bright stars above you,--
      I murmur your holy name and lift up mine eyes to the hills.



Author of “Kerrigan’s Christmas Sermon,” “Under Rocking Skies,” etc.

“’Tis this way with women,” declared Kerrigan: “some of thim will
desave ye, and some will not, but ye will niver know which till ut ’s
done; for they’re all alike in the use of their eyes and tongues, and
the proof of the puddin’ ’s in the ’atun’. Mind thot, laad.”

It was Sunday morning, and Kerrigan was leaning over the rail, looking
dreamily off across the waste of piled lumber to the spires and roofs
of the city. The sun shone brightly; the yellow flood of the river
lipped softly the barnacled piles of the wharf; the hush of the Sabbath
lay over all. Nicolao had just gone over the side of the vessel for an
all-day outing; but he turned at Kerrigan’s warning. He waved his hand

“Tha’ ’s alla right,” he replied. “Eet ees the gamble, yas--what yo’
expec’. So-long! Adios!”

“Staay where ye arre,” commanded Kerrigan, sternly. “I’m goun’ wid ye.
’Tis a guardeen ye waant, ye light-mind child of misfortune. Wait till
I change me clothes.”

Twenty minutes later they crossed the wharf and passed cityward,
something of Kerrigan’s grandfatherly air of protection dropping away
at every step.

“’Tis good to be young,” he said; “I mind I was young wance mesilf.
Where are ye goun’, laad?”

“I hava the friend,” Nicolao replied; “his name is
Porfirio--Portuguese, weeth the nice shop, nice fam’ly, nice daughter,
yo’ know.”

“I do,” said Kerrigan, significantly; “ye’d niver go ilse. I’ll attind
ye for yer own safety. ’Tis on me mind.”

At the crossing they boarded a trolley, for the sun was hot and Nicolao
in haste; and going well forward, they seated themselves in the car. As
Kerrigan glanced down to return the change of his fare to his pocket,
he saw two hands meekly folded in the lap of the woman who sat at his
left. The hands held a breviary and a handkerchief. He glanced up at
the face of the holder--the fresh Irish face of a young woman.

He sighed and looked away; he knew not why, but for an instant it gave
him a desolate feeling of homesickness. Then Nicolao began to talk, and
Kerrigan forgot the girl.

But presently she left the car, and as she rose to her feet, he saw
a handkerchief flutter to the floor. He leaned forward quickly, and,
picking it up, hurried after his neighbor; but others had risen between
them, and she had reached the street and was stepping up to the curb
when he touched her arm.

“Ye dropped it, _acushla_,” he said, and turning quickly, she glanced
at his outstretched hand.

“Then ’twas a miracle,” she said, “and belongs to the church, not to
me.” She held up her own hand, in which safely reposed the breviary and
the handkerchief. Kerrigan stared.

“Wid me two eyes I saw it drop as ye got up,” he declared.

“I had but one,” replied the girl. “Are your two eyes strong enough to
see that I’ve got it still? And you’ve lost your car.”

“I’ve lost more--me good name,” Kerrigan said. “I’ve stolen the

“Then you’d better pray for repentance,” she advised. “I’ll give you a
hint: the church is before you. Good-by, and thank you--for nothing.”
Laughing, she hurried away up the steps of the church.

Kerrigan hesitatingly watched her go, then walked to a side porch and
sat down.

“I’ll tak’ the hint to this extint,” he muttered, and patiently waited
through the hour of service; but as the audience streamed forth at the
close he returned to the main door and stood watching.

But suddenly he felt a touch on his arm and heard a voice say:

“I’ll be going home now.”

Startled, he looked down into the face of the girl. It was very demure,
though flushed.

“Ah, ’tis ye thot’s repinted--of yer haard heart,” he said. “Ye’ve come
back to tell me so.”

“I’ve repented of naught but my sins,” she replied, “and a hard heart
is not one of them. But I’d borrow you for a little, if you have
nothing better to do.”

“I’ll have nothing better to do all through purgatory, which will be
hiven to me if ye’re wid me,” he replied. “And there’s another miracle.”

She laughed.

“I’d not care to keep you so long.”

“Thin I’ll get me hell first, which is wrong,” he answered sadly. “I
tho’t ye were orthodox.”

“I’m--” She pressed his arm in warning as a man passed them rapidly,
turning to look back into their faces. He was weazen, middle-aged, with
a wry face.

“That’s the reason for borrowing you,” she explained in a low voice.

“Thot’s not a reason; ut’s an apology,” Kerrigan said tartly. “Ut’s a
monkey, not a mon.”

“He’s always hanging about,” she replied. “My father and mother favor
him; he’s got money.”

“Ut’s a curse,” Kerrigan declared solemnly.

“So the rich tell me,” said the girl with a laugh.

“I’m rich mesilf while I have ye,” he said.

“You’re only borrowed,” she warned him. “Are you a masterful man?”

“I’m meek as Moses,” he assured her. “A child could lade me.”

“Oh, then you won’t do at all!” she cried. “I thought you were
masterful by your looks. My father and mother are meek, but set in
their ways, and I’m tired of it. Now, a man who’d knock me about and

“Ye waant me to knock thim about--yer father and mither?”

“I want them to think you would,” she corrected him. “’T would be good
for them. But of course you’d not do it; you’d only be soft-spoken and

“I’m as gintle as a cow by nature,” he assured her; “but I’d sell me
birthright to plaze ye. Now tak’ me home wid ye and prove ut.”

“’T is worth trying,” she replied. “You’ll stay to dinner? I’ve taken
to you, you know.”

“I accipt both the dinner and the compliment,” he answered, “and thank
ye kindly for both.”

In the porch of their small house near the wall of the cemetery of the
city her father and mother sat waiting as they entered the gate.

“My friend, Mr.----” The girl hesitated.

“Kerrigan--Thomas Kerrigan,” that gentleman said promptly.

“My father and mother,” continued the girl. “Reilly’s their name. The
gentleman was very kind. He lost his car to return my handkerchief.”

Her father, a weather-beaten little man, looked Kerrigan over coolly as
he nodded.

“Faith!” he said at last, “I’m thinkin’ he’s likely to lose his supper
before he returns it; he’s got it in his hand yet.”

The girl laughed.

“It was not mine, you know,” she explained.

“I don’t see the joke,” her father said irritably. “What’s all the
stir, Kate?”

“Ye’ll see ut in time,” Kerrigan replied with composure. “’T is like
this: she liked me betther nor the bit of white rag, so she took me

“She was always greedy,” replied Reilly; “she’d take the biggest lump
iv’ry time, not countin’ the quality.” He turned to his wife. “Do ye
mind thot, Mary?”

“I don’t understand a’ the nonsince,” replied his wife, a meek little
wisp of a woman. She rose and went into the house, followed by Kate.

Kerrigan was looking complacently about him, and now said:

“Ye have the cimetery handy, Reilly.”

“I need to,” the old man replied. “I worrk in it.”

“’T is the fine job,” declared Kerrigan. “Ye can feel all the time how
much betther off ye are than yer neighbors. I doubt not ut makes ye

“There’s thim that are livin’ that make me feel the same,” Reilly said
significantly. He glared at Kerrigan, who nodded.

“’T is a habit and grows on ye, like drinkun’,” Kerrigan declared.
“What do ye do to cure ut?”

“I choose me own fri’nds mostly,” Reilly said tartly. “Belikes ye will
take the hint.”

“I do,” replied Kerrigan. “’T is the raison ye worrk in the cimetery,
I tak’ ut; the talk’s wan-sided. Ye’d like thot.”

Kate came out and, seeing her father glowering, sat down by Kerrigan,
carelessly placing her hand on the back of his chair.

“My father has taken to you,” she said with a coquettish glance. “He’ll
monopolize you. I’ll not see you at all. I’m fair green with the

“Good Lord!” sputtered the old man, and glared at her, but she seemed
not to hear or see.

“We’ll go for a walk after dinner,” she went on--“in the cemetery. It’s
the only place I can get you away from him; for he works there in the
week, and he’d not like to spoil his holiday by seeing the place.”

“’T will be a sore thing to part from him,” answered Kerrigan, “for
we’re like brithers alriddy, barrun’ the size of us and the looks; but
I’d not like to remind him of worrk, so we’ll go, as ye say.”

“’T is the nice, quiet place for young people,” Kate said and laughed.
“You’ll find them all about, walking arm and arm, and sitting on the
benches in the shade, hand in hand. They’ll not notice us at all.”

“Thin we’ll not notice thim,” answered Kerrigan, with good-natured
generosity; but Reilly rose up and stormed into the house, slamming the

He ate his dinner rapidly and in silence, and left the table long
before the others, and when, ready for their walk, Kate and Kerrigan
appeared in the porch, he sat there grim and silent, wearing his coat
and hat.

Kate showed her surprise.

“Why, Father, have you the chill?” she asked anxiously. “Are you cold?”

“Wan worrd more, me girl, and I’ll fetch ye a clip on the side of the
head, old as ye are,” Reilly said savagely.

“You’d never do the like of such a queer thing,” she exclaimed--“never.
And you know me Tom would not stand for that at all. Would you?” She
looked trustingly up into Kerrigan’s face.

“’T would hurt me more nor him to tak’ a little, small mon across me
knee,” Kerrigan replied, “but ’t would be both me duty and right. But
he’s only jokun’, me dear. He’s laughun’ in his sleeve this minut’.”

Reilly eyed him with a look of ferocity.

“Tin years younger, ye lump,” he said, “and small as I am, I’d fetch ye
the mate of it over the jaw, big as ye are.”

“Hiven be thanked for the tin years, thin!” exclaimed Kerrigan, piously.

“Yes, Heaven be thanked!” echoed Kate. “’T would be a sore thing for a
loving girl to see her old father in the hands of a strong man. You’ll
always be tender to him, won’t you?”

“Always,” promised Kerrigan--“tender, but firm.”

“Thank you,” she said softly. “I knew you would. But good-by, Father.”

“Ye can’t go,” snapped Reilly. “Into the house wid yez!”

“What!” she cried. “And me of age, and earning me living these five
years!” She threw back her head and walked toward the gate, with her
father following after.

“Thin I’ll go wid yez, ye ungrateful girl,” Reilly declared.

“Thin take me ither arm,” said Kerrigan, with a solicitous air; but
Reilly stepped back, waving him off.

“Go on, ye lump!” he commanded.

“Aye, ye know best,” Kerrigan agreed. “’T is more like a marriage
procission yer way.”

Kate laughed.

“For shame,” she cried, “to talk of marriage so soon! I’ve known you
but four hours.”

“What’s time to the lovun’ hearrt thot knows uts own mate?” asked

“True,” she replied; “it’s nothing at all.”

“If ye’ve no respict for yer owld father, ye hussy,” Reilly hissed
close at her ear, “think shame to yersilf for the bowldniss of yez.”

“To think you’d put the black name of boldness on your own daughter!”
Kate cried, turning angrily. “I’ll not listen to you.” She flounced up
the road.

Reilly followed. He passed into the cemetery behind them and stubbornly
kept near; but as they turned into an avenue of live-oaks, he caught
sight of a slender young man who stood in a path and watched Kate
and Kerrigan go by. Reilly beckoned to him, and the young man came
hesitatingly forward.

“And how are ye the day?” Reilly said genially, and extended his hand.
In manifest surprise the young man shook hands and said:

“Well, Mr. Reilly, as the world goes. And how are you?”

“Fine, Michael,” Reilly replied, “though troubled a small bit.” He
glanced ahead at the pair, who had not looked back. The young man’s
eyes also followed them.

“Aye, it’s the world’s way,” he agreed with a somber air. “It’s up and
down with us all.”

“It is, Michael Cassidy,” replied Reilly. “But I’ve not seen ye for the
long time.”

As Michael had been forbidden to come to the house, he deemed it
politic to make no reply. His silence left Reilly at a loss, and
presently he said with a melancholy shake of the head:

“It’s God’s truth, as they say, that a mon niver knows what’s good for

Michael looked at him inquiringly.

“Are you speaking of yourself, Mr. Reilly?” he asked.

“I am,” Reilly confessed. “Here was I keepin’ a fine lad like yersilf
from me house, and who should me daughter bring into it but thot big
lump yon! Bedad! he fills the whole place!”

“Lord keep us all!” exclaimed Michael.

“’T is well said, Michael Cassidy,” replied Reilly. “’T is the bitter,
true worrd.”

“But not past mending, Mr. Reilly,” Michael said with a sly glance. “’T
is only to let me come back and send the lump flying.”

“Flyin’ is it?” exclaimed Reilly, wrathfully. “Faith! he flies like a

“’T is your own house,” Michael replied. “You have only to say the word
go. I know how it sounds myself.”

“Have I? ’T is all ye know. I give him a couple or three hints of the
same, and he was for takin’ me over his knee--me, the father of me own
daughter. And what did she do but egg him on!”

“Aye, that’s bad.”

“It is so.”

“If you could manage to let him do it,” Michael said thoughtfully, “and
then call the police for assault, you’d have him fine. ’T would shame
Kate. ’T would be bad for him.”

“Would it?” Reilly said with scorn. “And how would it be for me in me
owld age to be taken across a mon’s knee? Tell me thot.”

Michael snickered, but quickly changed his snicker to a cough under
Reilly’s wrathful look.

“You’re right, Mr. Reilly,” he said soberly; “’t would make angels

“I’d not distress the howly wans to thot extint,” Reilly declared. He
was silent a moment, then said with a brightening face: “If you’d pass
a scrappy worrd wid him yersilf, Michael, and take a clip or two of his
fist, belikes Kate would take pity on ye and--”

“The pity of a woman is a poor tale,” Michael replied hastily. “Has
Kate taken a liking to him?”

“A liking to him, is it!” exclaimed Reilly. “She makes me fair blush
for her bowldniss.”

“Then she’s given me up, and it’s no use at all,” Michael said with a

“Well, if she’s given ye up, ye’ve nothing to lose by me plan,” argued
Reilly. “She might take ye back.”

“And be where I was before,” objected Michael, “and that was nowhere at
all, with you against me. That’s the plain word between friends, Mr.
Reilly, and no harm meant.”

“But all that’s done and gone, as I told ye,” Reilly irritably replied.
“I’m for ye now, Michael. ’T is her pity that’s the only way to win her

“Faith! I think I’d get it,” answered Michael, dolefully; “the man’s as
broad as a house.”

“Well, if it comes to the blows bechune ye,” Reilly said, “just grapple
wid him, and I’ll give him a little small clip on the back of the head
wid me stick.” He gripped his cane hard as he added grimly: “Bedad!
I’ll put me heart in it, and that’s no lie. Now come on and try me

But Michael still held back.

“What’s changed you all at once?” he asked. “You never liked me.”

“That lump,” said Reilly. “He’ll marry her out of hand before their
walk’s over if ye do not stop him.”

“And if I do stop him, will I have her myself?” Michael asked.

“Ye will,” Reilly promised. “I’ve passed me worrd.”

“Then God be with us all, and here goes!” said Michael.

They quickened their pace and caught up with the pair, and Kate,
looking back, stopped.

“I thought you’d forgotten us, Father,” she said with a laugh. “And
is it Mr. Cassidy with you, the great stranger!” She introduced him
to Kerrigan as a “friend of the family,” and they walked on together,
Reilly straggling on ahead, leading the way toward his tool-house, in a
lonely part of the cemetery.

“It’s the long time since you’ve been to see us, Mr. Cassidy,” Kate
said at last.

“It is,” Michael replied. “The place is fairly overrun. It’s the queer
lot you have hanging about.”

“Overrun, do you say!” exclaimed Kate. “There’s not been a soul there
in weeks.”

Michael laughed disagreeably.

“It’s not an hour since I saw this wind-bag come out of the door,” he
replied in a loud voice. Then he put his hand to his mouth, saying
softly: “When you strike, strike quick and hard, Mr. Kerrigan. I’d
like to have it over. And look out for the old man’s stick.” Kerrigan

Kate, on Kerrigan’s left, had not heard the aside, and she grew pale.
She leaned forward now to say sweetly:

“And how are your father and mother--Michael? Are they well?”

“They are,” Michael answered; “but a bit low in spirit. I’d take it
kindly if you’d parade the big monkey you’ve got with you before their
gate. Belikes it would hearten them up; they’re fond of a show.”

They heard Reilly chuckle.

“Aye, Michael’s the b’y,” he muttered, and gripped his stick hard.

Kerrigan stopped short.

“We’ll go now,” he said stiffly.

“With all my heart,” retorted Michael, and turned back. But Kate caught
Kerrigan’s arm, pulling him forward.

“Would you leave a girl in the middle of a walk to go following after a
joker like Michael?” she cried. “Sure, he was always up to his tricks.
It’s some little, small joke on his father, the poor old man. I’ll have
naught to do with it.”

The two men stood glaring at each other, the grimness of Kerrigan’s
face being lighted, however, as he stood with his back to Kate, by a
sly wink.

“Is ut a joke?” he demanded.

“Would you call the lady a liar?” Michael asked hotly. “She says it’s
a joke; and if she says it’s one, it is, even if it isn’t. Are your
manners as awry as your face?”

“I niver quarrel before ladies, but we’ll take a walk soon and try to
match faces,” Kerrigan said significantly.

“You couldn’t please me more if you asked me to your wake,” Michael
airily replied.

“Oh, Father, there’s your little workhouse,” nervously called Kate. “I
left something in it when I brought you your dinner-pail Thursday. I’ll
get it now, if you have your key, though I’m thinking you’ve forgotten
it, as usual.”

“I niver forget it,” retorted Reilly; and to prove his contention, led
the way to the tool-house.

It was a stout little stone house with a strong door, and as Reilly
opened it, he stepped in, looking back at the others with a sour smile.

“Forget it, did I?” he snapped. “Now, where did ye l’ave what ye left?”

“I hid it on top of that shelf--a little, small box,” Kate said. “Will
you reach it down, Mr. Kerrigan? You’re as tall as the house yourself,
and ’t will not trouble you, like these small men.”

Kerrigan stepped into the room, and in a flash she closed the door and
locked it.

“Now, Michael, run, if you love me!” she exclaimed. “Do you think I
want to see you murdered before my eyes? Your courage is two sizes too
big for your body.”

But Michael did not move.

“Better be murdered than see you making love to that brute,” he said
doggedly. “I’ll see it out now.”

She caught him by the shoulders and tried to push him away.

“But it’s not making love, Michael dear,” she replied. “It was just to
stir father.” She explained in a word, with Michael’s face gradually
relaxing in a grin.

“Well, you’ve stirred him all right,” he said; “he wants you to marry
me now. We’ll do it at once before he changes his mind.”

“In a hurry like this!” she cried. “Oh, I couldn’t.”

“All right,” he replied, and seated himself on the door-step. “Then
I’ll stay and be murdered.”

For a moment Kate stood irresolute, wringing her hands.

“Oh, what shall I do!” she murmured.

“I told you--marry me now,” he replied. He went to her, and, taking her
hands, said quickly: “I’ve the license; I’ve had it for weeks. It would
be the fine thing, wouldn’t it, to have it found like that on my dead

“I think I should die of shame,” she confessed. “It would hardly seem

“It’s the true word you say, Katie dear. You see, there’s nothing left
but to use it.”

“Sure, it would make me feel like a widow, and me not yet a wife,” she
said. “I’ll go, Michael. It’s all that’s left for us now. Hurry.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Inside the barred window Kerrigan and her father saw them hasten away.
Her father chuckled.

“She fooled ye,” he said, for Kerrigan had not found the box.

“She did,” Kerrigan agreed. He seated himself on a stool and looked
about him complacently. “Ye’ve the nice little shop for wet weather,”
he went on.

“For anny weather,” Reilly replied. He had suddenly become genial, and
he began to talk of his work. “Thirty years I’ve worked here,” he said
at the close, “and I’ve put by a little against me owld age. And now
Kate will marry, and there’s wan trouble liss off me mind. Michael’s a
good b’y.”

“He is,” Kerrigan agreed with great heartiness. “Did ye hear him
blackguarrdun’ me to me face as bowld as ye plaze? Me hearrt warrmed to
the laad.”

“Aye, and he fooled ye well; they both did,” said Reilly, and chuckled.

“They did,” answered Kerrigan. “And now I’m like a hin in a coop; but
I’m not alone.”

For a moment Reilly looked at him, and then a shadow crossed his face.

“Ye take it aisy,” he said suspiciously.

“Ut’s me way,” replied Kerrigan. “I’m a sedenthary mon by nature,
though I’m slightly out of practice, though ut all comes back. I’ll
shmoke now.” He took his pipe from his pocket and leisurely began to
fill it.

“But ye lost the girl,” Reilly told him.

“Can I lose what I niver had or waanted?” Kerrigan asked. “I don’t

“It was not an hour since ye were all but marryin’ her before me eyes,”
snapped Reilly. “What of that?”

“I was borrowed only,” exclaimed Kerrigan.

“And what do ye mane?” demanded Reilly.

“’T was what Katie said,” answered Kerrigan. “We were standun’ before
the church whin up edged a red-headed little old mon, and says she to
me, ‘May I borrow ye for a bit?’ ‘Sure,’ says I. And she borrowed me to
get rid of the mon, and now she’s borrowed anither to get rid of you
and me. Sure, she’s the bright wan.”

Reilly was staring straight ahead, piecing the broken patches of truth
together. Suddenly he looked up.

“And nayther of ye meant nothing at all by all the love-talk?”

“Nothing at all,” answered Kerrigan.

“Thin she’s a desateful hussy,” cried Reilly, angrily. “She’s made me
ate me own worrds through fear of ye. I said young Cassidy should niver
have her, and now she’s made me fair’ throw him at her, as if he was
the last mon on God’s earth! Ye can’t trust a woman at all.”

“Sometimes ye can and sometimes ye cannot,” amended Kerrigan, “but ye
niver know which ut is till ut’s too late.”

“It’s the true worrd,” agreed Reilly. He sighed, then added not without
a touch of pardonable pride: “Well, she’s no fool, and she’s me own
daughter. There’s something in that.”




Author of “Arizona,” “The Witching Hour,” etc.


Frederic Remington had a large mind in a big body. The mind had great
natural capacity in many directions, and in one of those directions
was remarkably self-taught. The body had been splendidly cultivated
and came to be unwisely overtaxed. His young manhood was spent in the
far West, at work with the cow-boys and near the soldiers and Indians
whose picture historian he was destined to become. The life of those
men was rude and exciting. Much that would be considered dissipation in
civilized surroundings was logical reaction to their environment--man’s
answer to nature’s challenge. Remington adopted the cow-boy habit
and point of view, and finally assimilated the cow-boy standard
and philosophy. It is necessary to consider that fact if one would
accurately estimate his character, his work, his achievement, and his
untimely end. His very intimacy with the men and the material he drew
was purchased at what others may call that cost. Future generations
who profit by the facts he recorded must not quarrel with the method
of their unconscious acquisition; and the wisest of those who loved
him would be less wise if they wished any of his steps retraced.
That education reinforced the independence of his nature, made him
indifferent to the “cards and custards” of society, and, to speak after
his own fashion, kept him “with the bark on.” He worked unhampered by
rule, example, or opinion, a veritable child of nature, and he died
untamed. Nature and second nature kept him at high pressure. He lived,
thought, spoke, and worked by a series of explosions insulated under
deep sympathy and great good humor.

Remington was primitive and partizan. Sensitive as an Indian, he liked
instinctively and enduringly, he hated intuitively and long. He adored
the memory of his father, who had been a soldier, and he remembered
him in his uniform. Besides, in the West, in Frederic’s day, the local
advent of the troopers meant sudden and inflexible order. The military
acted promptly and without debate.

Remington loved the soldiers; he loathed all politicians because they

One of Remington’s distinctions between orators and officers is worth
recording. He had been recently visiting General Chaffee and more
recently listening to Mr. Bourke Cockran and Mr. William J. Bryan.
Indian fashion, he was half acting the manner of all three and feeling
inwardly for his answer. “This is it,” he said; “Chaffee tells you to
do a thing like this; he looks out from under his eyebrows with his
head down; the orator throws his head up and looks out from under his
eyelids. The soldier menaces--the orator hypnotizes.”

Remington kept near the ground in all his thinking. The superstructure
of things, the embellishment of ideas, the amplification of systems,
had small attraction for him. He had a passion for the roots, for the
explanations, for the causes. His speech was laconic. If his friends
had known the sign language he would generally have used it. His own
vocabulary was small, vital, and picturesque, singularly free from
slang, but strongly colored with military terms and phrases. He was a
good listener and a good laugher. Like the disappearing Carson River,
an adequate joke flowing through his system would rise again with
recurrent and unexpected irruptions of reflected sunshine. He had also
the quality of being humorous himself, and the flavor of his humor was
Western, fresh, and wholesome.

One evening he strolled, astonished and abashed, into our half-lighted
dining-room, where, unknown to him, a dinner party was in progress.
After his own dinner he had come “across lots” for a cigar and our
usual argumentative salvation of mankind. The introductions being
over, a lady purring at the great man in knickerbockers and herculean
stockings asked:

“Did you ride your bicycle, Mr. Remington?”

“Ride it? Ha-ha! Why the blankety-blanked thing wouldn’t let me walk
with it.”

[Illustration: From a photograph by Sarony, owned by E. W. Kemble


Mrs. Remington had a liking and a capacity for philosophic study. Some
of the modern phases had her attention, and one of them which she felt
would be useful she pressed upon Remington’s notice. His hospitality to
the idea was more tolerant than acquisitive, and at times he may have
really doubted its potency; but if he had any criticism it was never
spoken, and perhaps never implied. One morning during that period,
however, his man Tim brought me a brief note, which read as follows:

    Dear Tommy:

    I was in town last night at The Players and I got so out of tune
    with the Infinite that you could notice it for two blocks.

[Illustration: Copyright by Mrs. Frederic Remington



The value of mere anecdotes of any man is that each reader draws
from them that side of the personality which he would have seen and
drawn from the man himself, not merely the element open to the proper
vision of the reporter; and that must be the excuse for anecdotes.
E. W. Kemble, or, as his friends know him, Ed Kemble, introduced the
writer to Remington in 1890. The two illustrators were friends, but
the most beautiful side of their friendship needed a third friend for
its precipitation. Kemble is universally amusing when he cares to
be. Few men are his equal in putting the spirit of caricature into
ordinary verbal report or comment; even his famous drawings do not
show such sure fun. Remington responded promptly to Kemble’s comedy,
however expressed. Most men who know it do the same, but Remington went
further. When Kemble had left him after any interview, all of Kemble’s
woes of which Remington had been the repository were suddenly dwarfed
in the larger horizon of Remington’s experiences and transmuted into
side-splitting jokes. In his mind, Kemble was never “grown up”; and
Kemble reciprocated. Remington’s throes, viewed through Kemble’s prism,
were just as amusing. They took even each other’s art as playfellows
take each other’s games. There were years when much of their leisure
was passed in company; in the winter, skating and long walks over the
hills of Westchester; in the summer, swimming baths in the Sound,
bicycling, and tennis. Their understanding was mutual and immediate.
One night after the theater, on the train home from New York, sitting
together, Remington was by the car window, Kemble next to the aisle.
An obstreperous commuter was disturbing the passengers, men and women.
The busy conductor’s admonition had been ineffective, the brakeman’s
repeated expostulations useless. The men passengers seemed cowed; the
rowdy was gaining confidence. On his third blatant parade through
the car, and as he passed Kemble’s side, Remington’s two hundred and
fifty pounds of bone and muscle reached out into the aisle, and, with
the precision of a snapping-turtle, lifted him from his feet like a
naughty boy and laid him face downward over Kemble’s interposing lap.
With the spirit of perfect team-work, as Remington held the ruffian,
Kemble spanked him, while the legs in the aisle wriggled frantically
for a foothold. The correction, prolonged and ample, was accompanied by
roars of laughter from fifty other passengers. Being done, Remington
stood the offender on his feet. The man began a threatening tirade.
Before half a sentence was uttered Remington had him again exposed to
Kemble’s rhythmic tattoo. This was enough; and when again released the
fellow rapidly left the car for the relative seclusion of the smoker.

Mrs. Remington used to tell of her husband’s return to her one night
when they had transiently taken rooms at a New York hotel. Remington,
after escorting her back from the theater, had her consent to a little
romp at the club. It had come to be two o’clock in the morning; Mrs.
Remington had gone to bed, but was as yet only in the border-land of
sleep when she was aroused by the repeated slamming of hallway doors.
At the proper moment in the crescendo her own door was opened, and in
the frame of light stood her husband, quickly joined by a protesting

“It’s all right,” said Remington; “this one’s my wife--good-night!”

One early morning in February, 1898, James Waterbury, the agent of the
Western Union Company at New Rochelle, telephoned me that the _Maine_
had been blown up and had sunk in the harbor of Havana. Knowing the
interest the report would have for Remington, I immediately called
him on the telephone and repeated the information. His only thanks or
comment was to shout “Ring off!” In the process of doing so I could
hear him calling the private telephone number of his publishers in New
York. In his mind, his own campaign was already actively under way.

One incident of that campaign illustrates the primitive man in
Remington. He and Richard Harding Davis were engaged to go into Cuba
by the back way and send material to an evening newspaper. The two men
were to cross in the night from Key West to Cuba on a mackerel-shaped
speed boat of sheet-iron and shallow draft. Three times the boat put
out from Key West and three times turned back, unable to stand the
weather. The last time even the crew lost hope of regaining port. Davis
and Remington were lying in the scuppers and clinging to the shallow
rail to keep from being washed overboard. The Chinaman cook between
lurches was lashing together a door and some boxes to serve as a raft.
Davis suggested to Remington the advisability of trying something of
the kind for themselves.

“Lie still,” Remington commanded; “you and I don’t know how to do that.
Let him make his raft. If we capsize, I’ll throttle him and take it
from him.”

Some months later, on learning of the incident, I tried to discuss the
moral phase of it with him; but he brushed my hypocrisy aside with the
remark: “Why, Davis alone was worth a dozen sea-cooks. I don’t have to
talk of myself.”

His experiences in Cuba were scarcely more supportable than this
unpropitious start. The heat was terrible, the transportation bad, and
his physical condition poor. He suffered. Growling over it all, long
afterward he said to me:

“From now on I mean to paint fruits and flowers. Then if I’m ordered to
the scene of action I can go fearlessly.”

Until his increasing weight made it hard to find a mount, he liked
to ride. He had no fear of any horse, and among men he had a man’s
courage; but he had an unreasonable fear of dogs. Once, on the occasion
of a men’s dinner in the early days of the bicycle’s popularity, Kemble
had made a souvenir caricature for each guest. The card at Remington’s
plate represented Frederic in the costume of a bronco buster, with
chaps, sombrero, and guns, riding a bicycle--a look of terror on his
face. The bicycle was bucking half-way over the road, frightened at a
little cotton dog on four wooden wheels. Nobody laughed more heartily
over the card than Remington, and for years it had a place of honor in
his studio.

The waning of his great strength was a more sensitive subject with him
than his increasing weight, which produced the condition. Gradually in
our Sunday walks, the hills grew steeper for him. His favorite ruse for
disguising the strain on him was to stop occasionally and survey the

“Look there, Tommy, how that land lies. I could put a company of men
back of that stone wall and hold it against a thousand until they
flanked me.”

As with the Southern gentleman who used to look out of the window
after passing the decanter to his guest, it was the part of friendship
on these occasions to multiply details of the supposititious
fortifications until the commander regained his wind.

One Sunday morning in those later days I went with him to the office
of an osteopathic physician who was treating him. The osteopath was
a slight man and not tall. Remington, lying face downward on the
operating-table, presented a skyline so much higher than that of the
average patient that the doctor standing on the floor lacked the angle
of pressure necessary to his treatment. The doctor therefore mounted a
chair, from which he stepped to the table, and finally sat astride of
Remington, applying his full weight to the manipulation which he was
giving to the spinal column.

[Illustration: Copyright by Mrs. Frederic Remington. From a photograph
by Davis and Sanford.



“I hope I’m not hurting you, Mr. Remington?” said the doctor. Remington

“It’s all right, Doctor--so long as--you don’t--use your spurs.”

Early in his occupancy of the New Rochelle home--perhaps in 1895--he
added to his house a studio. This room was twenty by forty feet on the
floor, and twenty feet to the roof-tree. A big skylight was in one
pitch of the roof; windows with the sills breast-high were on one end,
and one side wall. The second end had a double door big enough to
admit a horse, or to be opened wide as he painted the horse in the open
air outside. All four walls of the studio were covered, above doors
and windows and in their dead spaces, with military and Indian and
Mexican trappings of all descriptions from spurs to war-bonnets; there
were guns of every kind ever carried by an American soldier; all kinds
of swords and bridles, saddles, belts, canteens, and cartridge-boxes,
powder-horns, bayonets, and knives; there were war clubs, tomahawks,
bows, arrows, spears, tom-toms, pipes, scalps, and the wands of
medicine-men; moccasins, blankets, beaded deerskins, and the skulls of
buffalo, mountain goats, and American carnivora; sombreros, quirts,
horsehair lassos, chaps, serapes, ollas, mats, pots, and baskets; in
short, not prints or catalogues, but, for all that he might need for
any Western picture, the veritable thing itself. He knew the troop
and tribe and time and latitude of each. Accuracy in their use was
his religion. In his chosen field he abhorred anachronisms. There was
considerable éclat over the exhibition of a painting by a new-comer.
The subject showed in an Indian fight the rescue of one trooper by
another. Remington took one look at it and turned away in disgust.
Bits of arms, uniforms, and harness that had never met outside of a
museum were assembled in the picture. To the ordinary observer their
association was harmonious; but to his expert eye it was falsehood and

In the four arts which he essayed--letters, illustration, painting, and
sculpture--Remington was self-taught. His writing was soon abandoned
because it was not easy to him, and was not so remunerative as was
drawing done in the same time. He had something to say, however, when
he did write, and he had an attractive and a graphic style. Great
good nature and wholesomeness showed through his lines, and he wrote
always from the inside of his subject. It is not the province of this
rambling anecdotal recollection of him to attempt an appreciation or a
criticism of his art, but one may with propriety note the rapidity with
which he overcame the initial difficulties of his tasks and outgrew the
unavoidable mistakes of the beginner. Thumbing the older numbers of
the magazines in which his earliest illustrations appear,[2] notably
those of the Roosevelt articles, one sees that the salient marks of the
novice, the small hands and feet of his figures, soon disappear, and in
their stead the vigorous members of a master are employed.

[Illustration: Drawn by Frederic Remington


Remington’s first work was in black-and-white India-ink washes. He
was skilled with the pen, but to achieve values by multiplied strokes
was foreign to both temperament and training. As those technically
informed are aware, but as not all readers know, his illustrations,
like all printed pictures, since the direct drawing upon boxwood and
lithographic stone was superseded, were made on a large scale and
reduced by photographic processes to the size needed for the printed
page. He usually worked on a cardboard twenty-four by thirty inches,
or thereabout, in size. From black-and-white washes he advanced to
black-and-white in oils, and again from these to canvases of such
color in flat fields as lent themselves to the earlier reproductions
for magazine covers and double pages. During all of this time he
was acquiring a technic that grew through the various stages of his
contemporaries’ estimate from rebuke to admiration.

[Illustration: Half-tone plate engraved by H. C. Merrill



It was an exhibition of Charles Rolla Peters’s moonlights, about 1894,
that gave Remington his most serious wish to paint. The mystery of
these efforts and their largeness were keyed to the mute though not
inglorious poet in him. He came to see and to master the nuances of
the moon’s witchery in all her moods. It was interesting to follow his
awakened and developing sense of color. Nature on that side made more
and more appeal to him, until in our Sunday-morning and weekday-evening
tramps the tints of sky and field and road almost totally dislodged the
phantom soldiery from the hillsides.

About 1896 Ruckstuhl, the sculptor, set up a tent on a vacant lot
back of our place at New Rochelle, New York, and began in clay the
construction of the half-size model for the heroic equestrian statue of
General Hartranft that now stands in bronze in front of the State-house
at Harrisburg. It was Remington’s first intimate view of sculpture in
the making. The horse especially interested him. During the two months
that the sculptor labored, Remington made daily visits to the Ruckstuhl
tent. The following winter I was sitting one day in his studio watching
him at an illustration for some story of Owen Wister’s. He was working
“chic,” that is to say, without models, and was making his first marks
in charcoal. His outline began to show a cow-boy in the foreground of a
bar-room shooting toward the back of the picture, into the perspective
of which ran the bar and its stampeding clientele. As it occurred to
him that the bulking figure of the local egotist obscured too much
of other interesting detail, he quickly dusted off the drawing and
reversed his characters, thereby making the aggressor stand in the
background and putting the victims to the front. With equal ease he
could have put his cow-boy to either side of the room. I said to him:

“Frederic, you’re not an illustrator so much as you’re a sculptor. You
don’t mentally see your figures on one side of them. Your mind goes all
around them.”

Not long after that he bought a set of tools. Ruckstuhl sent him a
supply of modeler’s wax, and he began his “Bronco Buster.” It was
characteristic of the man that his first attempt should be a subject
difficult enough as a technical problem to have daunted a sculptor of
experience and a master of technic. His love of the work when he got
at it, his marvelous aptitude for an art in which he had never had a
single lesson, are some evidence that it was possibly his _métier_.
His few bronze groups and figures that rapidly followed “The Bronco
Buster,” and his heroic equestrian monument of “The Pioneer” in
Fairmont Park, are the work of one who surely would have excelled in
sculpture if he had lived to follow it.

Remington thought he believed in “art for art’s sake,” but I know
of nothing that he ever did in any of its departments that did not
primarily attempt a story. His wish to tell something that had touched
him, and tell it at first hand, was as primitive as the instinct of a

The boy in the nursery wants something that will go. There is a kinship
in Remington’s frequently expressed choice of an epitaph:

“He Knew the Horse.”

His death occurred December 26, 1909. On January 1, 1912, the present
Democratic administration of New Rochelle was formally installed. It
transacted no business that day except to pass a resolution requesting
the New Haven Railroad, which was constructing a new station near
Remington’s old home, to call that stop “Remington Place.” The railroad
graciously complied. Remington’s fellow sculptor, Robert Aitken, has
under way a portrait bust of him and four pedestal bas-reliefs. This
monument is to be set up fronting the station, and perhaps it, too,
will carry that commemorating phrase.

[2] See ~The Century~ for January, April, July, and August, 1889, June,
1896, and February, 1902.

[Illustration: Half-tone plate engraved by H. Davidson





Author of “The Fireside Sphinx,” etc.

That this is the Golden Age of spinsters no one will deny, and that
America furnishes the soil in which these hardy plants put forth their
finest bloom is equally indisputable. How many years have passed since
the “antient maydes” of Boston--which term included all unmarried
women older than twenty-five--were pronounced by John Dunton to be a
“dismal spectacle”?[3] How many years since a few “acute and ingenious
gentlewomen” in colonial Virginia had the temerity to remain single and
cultivate their own tobacco plantations, for which unnatural behavior
they were subjected to repeated “admonishments”? _Now_ the “antient
mayde” flaunts her freedom in the faces of those who are patiently
doing their duty to the world. _Now_ if a woman runs a successful
apple-orchard or dairy-farm, her exploits are heralded far and wide,
and other women write exultant papers about her, intimating that the
day of the male agriculturist is virtually over. I am not sure that the
attitude of our great-great-grandfathers, who jealously and somewhat
fearfully guarded their prerogatives, was not more flattering to my sex
than this enthusiasm evoked by achievements which in a man would not be
found worthy of notice.

As for age--well, who in these years of grace is frankly and
confessedly old? We no longer say, “On a l’âge de son cœur,” but
“On a l’âge de sa volonté.” Jane Austen settled down to caps and
spinsterhood before she was thirty. Dr. Johnson alluded to Miss Lucy
Porter’s “hoary virginity” when that lady was fifty-two. The Ettrick
Shepherd stubbornly protested that “to ca’ a woman saxty, and then
mainteen that ye didna ca’ her auld, is naething short o’ a sophism.”
But now no one gets beyond middle age, or “the prime of life.” I have
heard a Boston spinster of eighty-two (a remarkable woman, I admit)
casually spoken of as middle-aged; and when, in a desperate resolve to
push matters to an issue, I said: “Miss D--is not middle-aged; she is
old. If you are not old when you are eighty-two, when _are_ you old?”
the remark was taken in ill part. “I should not dream of calling Miss
D--old,” said one gallant Bostonian, and all his hearers agreed with

The French spinster is a negligible factor. The English spinster has
conquered her territory and become a force to be reckoned with. But the
American spinster is the standard-bearer of the tribe. Her incessant
activities and her radiant self-satisfaction have made her appear
more dominant than she is, and have caused her critics much needless
apprehension. When Mrs. Van Vorst wrote, in 1903, “Our factories are
full of old maids, our colleges are full of old maids, our ball-rooms
in the worldly centers are full of old maids,” Americans read these
words with placid unconcern. They had given too many wedding presents
in their day to have any doubts anent the permanent popularity of
marriage. But English readers, who are ever prone to be literal,
appear to have accepted Mrs. Van Vorst’s statements _au pied de la
lettre_. Mr. Marriott Watson, chilled to the heart--as well he might
be--by the vision of a ballroom destitute alike of girls and matrons,
wrote for the “Nineteenth Century” a severe and agitated protest.
He asserted that a woman’s “functions” “alone excuse or explain her
existence,”--which is one way of looking at the matter; and he pointed
out that American women are the most remote the world can show from the
primitive and savage type which represents the dynamic force of a race.

The mere fact that the American spinster is so often and so sharply
censured marks the strength of her position. No one dreams of censuring
the French _vieille fille_ or the German _jungfrau_. These victims of
fate meet with scorn or sympathy, according to the taste and breeding
of commentators. In either case, their lives are registered as
failures. Nothing can rob the German woman of those vital sensibilities
which center in the home and family. “Every great movement of the
Teutonic soul,” says Mr. Havelock Ellis, “has been rooted in emotion.”
If the women of Germany are demanding “rights,” and demanding them
with no uncertain voice, it is because they seek to meet their
responsibilities with authority. The sphere of home and child-rearing
is their sphere, and they purpose to rule in it.

It is not possible for the Frenchwoman, who understands the structure
of society, to welcome spinsterhood. “All her instincts of expansion,”
says that acute observer Mr. William Crary Brownell, “are hostile to
it. There is no more provision in the French social constitution than
in the order of nature itself for the old maid.” Therefore, as the twin
passions of the French heart are to be in rational accord with nature
and in rational accord with social life, the unmarried woman has no
alternative but to feel herself doubly incomplete. She is unstirred
by the American woman’s vaulting ambition to be man’s rival, or by
an uneasy envy of man’s estate. Perhaps it is because a French girl
never regrets her sex that France has produced more eminent women than
any other nation in the world. Certainly the only man who ever had
the courage to say he would like to be a woman (a beautiful woman, he
stipulated) was that distinguished Frenchman M. Jules Lemaître.

No one since De Quincey has spoken so generously of the English
spinster as has Mr. John B. Atkins in the pages of ~The Century~. He
does not, like so many of his contemporaries, accuse her of gross
selfishness. He does not deny her the right to control her own life. He
goes so far as to say that she may use it to good purpose, and extract
from it some measure of content. He points out the philanthropic paths
which it should be her duty and her pleasure to tread. He draws a
pleasing picture of the maiden aunt giving to nieces and nephews--to
nephews especially--her sympathy and comradeship. Sir Leslie Stephen
says that “Woman to a boy is simply an incumbrance upon reasonable
modes of life,” and it is to be feared that many women--aunts
and others--have the same doubtful regard for boys. But British
sentimentality demands of the old maid, if she be a good old maid, that
yearning attitude toward other people’s children which marks her as
“womanly” and earns for her the tolerance of the world.

The American spinster is seldom sentimental, which is in her favor, and
she is seldom emotional, which is both gain and loss. Her attenuation
of feeling lessens her charm and influence, but serves to keep her
in accord with the orderly conventions of society. She is keenly
competitive, and eager for new fields of activity; but she can read
Ellen Key’s “Love and Marriage” with intelligent detachment. She
cries occasionally for the moon, but she is in no immediate danger of
scorching her fingers by trying to play with the sun.

The flexibility of American social life gives to the unmarried woman an
assured position which has no counterpart in the older civilizations.
She may be an anomaly in nature, but she is in perfect accord with her
more or less agreeable surroundings. She has no background to give
repute and distinction to her rôle; but she infuses into it her own
persuasive personality. She stands free from the common obligations
of her sex, but she does work which is well worth doing, and she not
infrequently adds to the gaiety of life. “Of how many homes,” says Mr.
Brownell, “is she not the decorously decorative ornament! She may have
courted or have drifted into her position of dignified singleness; it
is in either case equally sure that she has not considered her estate
incomplete in itself, or disengaged from the structure of society.”

As a matter of fact, she is wont to feel herself--birth and fortune
permitting--a pillar of society. It is no question with her of
wasted force or blighted vitality. It is a question of directing her
superabundant energy into those channels where she can accomplish
measurable results. She seeks and finds a constructive human existence
remote from marriage and maternity. The French or German woman remains
unmarried because the unkindly fates have so decreed. The English
woman occasionally assists fate from sheer love of independence. “The
most ordinarie cause of a single life,” says Bacon, “is liberty,
especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous minds.” But it is
surely reserved for the American woman to remain unmarried because she
feels herself too good for matrimony, too valuable to be intrusted to
a husband’s keeping. Her attitude bears some resemblance to that of
Mademoiselle de Montpensier, who wrote with praiseworthy conviction: “I
may say without vanity that just Heaven would not bestow such a woman
as myself upon a man who was unworthy of her.”

This is not idle jesting. Would it be possible in any country save our
own for a lady to write to a periodical, explaining, “Why I am an Old
Maid,” and be paid coin of the realm for the explanation? Would it be
possible in any other country to hear such a question as “Should the
Gifted Woman Marry?” seriously asked, and seriously answered? Would it
be possible for any sane and thoughtful woman who was not an American
to consider even the remote possibility of our spinsters becoming a
detached class, who shall form “the intellectual and economic élite
of the sex, and leave marriage and maternity for the less developed
woman”? What has become of the belief, as old as humanity, that
marriage and maternity are highly developing processes, forcing into
flower a woman’s latent potentialities; and that the less developed
woman is inevitably the woman who has escaped this keen and powerful
stimulus. “Never,” says Edmond de Goncourt, “has a virgin, young or
old, produced a work of art.” One makes allowance for the Latin point
of view. And it is probable that M. de Goncourt never read “Emma.”

Signor Ferrero, contemplating the unmarried women of England, those
amazing creatures who “devote themselves to sterility, not from
religious motives, but from sheer calculation” (which is also a Latin
point of view), has recorded his conviction that they will make
themselves felt as a force, and has expressed his genuine dismay as to
the possible results of their activity. He has even confessed to some
whimsical misgivings lest Italian and Sicilian women should acquire
this Saxon taste for spinsterhood. Yet England is emphatically a man’s
country--which France has never been--and its attitude toward marriage
is a robustly masculine attitude, as unacceptable to the French as to
the American woman. There is no attempt anywhere to gloss over this
rude fact. The Englishman believes with Mr. Kipling:

    “He travels the fastest who travels alone.”

He echoes the verdict of Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson, “Marriage narrows
and damps the spirits of generous men.” “The position of a single
man,” says a stout-hearted writer in the “Contemporary Review,” “is in
itself envied and applauded; that of a single woman certainly is not.
To every woman marriage is still accounted a promotion. There may be
counterbalancing circumstances, but to be married is, in itself, an
object of desire and a subject for congratulation.”

In the good old days when English spinsters softened the reproach of
spinsterhood by borrowing the prefix “Mrs.,” as did those excellent
ladies, Mrs. Hannah More and Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, the position of a
single man was neither envied nor applauded. He was held to be (if of
decent life,--much allowance was made for rakes) only a little less
contemptible than a single woman. “The pain and the opprobrium o’
defunckin an auld bachelor,” writes the Ettrick Shepherd, expressing
after his hardy fashion the sentiment of his time. Dr. Johnson firmly
maintained that marriage was more necessary for a man than for a woman,
because a woman could make herself comfortable and a man could not.
The responsibility for the more modern and more supercilious masculine
attitude must be placed where it belongs,--on the shoulders of the
Englishwoman, who has accepted the creed that for her marriage is a
promotion, and that “counterbalancing circumstances” should not be held
to weigh too heavily in the scale. As Dean Hole’s friend said to him,
when congratulated on her daughter’s engagement: “To be sure, Jenny
hates the man, but then there’s always something.”

Miss Austen was the most veracious of chroniclers, one who with careful
self-control refused to wander beyond the area of her own observation;
but there is nothing in American fiction, and very little, I fancy,
in the fiction of any land, which is comparable to the marriage of
_Charlotte Lucas_ and _Mr. Collins_. Many novelists have made easy copy
of husband-hunting. It is a favorite theme with Trollope, who treats
it with ruthless cynicism, and it is a not uncommon element in modern
story-telling. But _Charlotte Lucas_ staggers us. Miss Austen calls her
“sensible and intelligent.” She is also well-bred, clear-headed, and
kind. She is _Elizabeth Bennet’s_ chosen friend. And she marries _Mr.
Collins_! Marries him with alacrity, and with permanent satisfaction.
If there be any one episode in life and letters which is calculated
to reconcile us to the rapid increase of spinsterhood in England and
America, it is the amazing fact that Jane Austen not only married
_Charlotte Lucas_ to _Mr. Collins_, but plainly considered it a not
unnatural thing for her to do.

Ten years ago, when a rage for compiling useless statistics swept over
Europe and the United States, it occurred to some active minds that
children should be made to bear their part in the guidance of the
human race. Accordingly a series of questions--some sensible and some
foolish--were put to English, German, and American school children,
and their enlightening answers were given to the world. One of these
questions read: “Would you rather be a man or a woman, and why?”
Naturally this query was of concern only to little girls. No sane
educator would ask it of a boy. Even Jules Lemaître at twelve must have
shared the convictions of his fellows. German pedagogues, be it noted,
struck the question off the list. They said that to ask a child, “Would
you rather be something you must be, or something you cannot possibly
be?” was both foolish and useless. Interrogations concerning choice
were of value only when the will was a determining factor.

In this country no such logical inference chilled the examiner’s zeal.
The question was asked and was answered, and we discovered as a result
that a great many little American girls (a minority, to be sure, but a
respectable minority,) were well content with their sex; not because it
had its duties and dignities, its pleasures and exemptions; but because
they plainly considered that they were superior to little American
boys, and were destined, when grown up, to be superior to American men.
One small New England maiden wrote that she would rather be a woman
because “Women are always better than men in morals.” Another, because
“Women are more use in the world.” A third, because “Women learn things
quicker than men, and have more intelligence.” And so on through
varying degrees of self-sufficiency. “Lord, gie us a gude conceit o’
ourselves!” prayed the Scotchman, who knew the value of assurance.

Now certainly these little girls were old maids in the making. They had
stamped upon them in their tender infancy the hall-mark of the American
spinster. In a few more years they will be writing papers on “The Place
of Unmarried Women in the World’s Work,” and reading addresses on “The
Woman of Intellect: her Duty to Herself and to the State.” There is
a formidable lack of humor in this easy confidence, in the somewhat
contemptuous attitude of women whose capacities have not yet been
tested, toward men who stand responsible for the failures of the world.
It denotes, at home or abroad, a density not far removed from dullness.
In that dreary little Irish drama, “Mixed Marriages,” which the Dublin
actors played in New York two years ago, an old woman, presumed to
be witty and wise, said to her son’s betrothed: “Sure, I believe the
Lord made Eve when He saw that Adam could not take care of himself”;
and the remark, while received with applause, reflected painfully upon
the absence of that humorous sense which we used to think was the
birthright of Irishmen. The too obvious retort which nobody uttered,
but which everybody must have thought, was that if Eve had been
designed as a care-taker, she had made a shining failure of her job.

It is conceded, theoretically at least, that woman’s sphere is an
elastic term, comprising any work she is able to do well. Therefore,
it may be that American spinsters, keen, college-bred, ambitious, and,
above all, free, are destined to compete vigorously and permanently
with men. They are, we are told, the only women who can give themselves
unreservedly to work, and from them alone enduring results are to
be expected. Yet it is at least worthy of notice that most of the
successful business women of France,--Mme. Clicquot-Ponsardin, Mme.
Pommery, Mme. Dumas, Mme. Bernet, Mme. Boucicault,--have been either
married women who were their husbands’ partners, or widows who took
upon their capable shoulders the burden of their dead husbands’ cares.
They were also mothers who, with the definite aims and practical
instincts of their race, projected themselves into the future, and wove
out of their own pursuits the fabric of their children’s lives.

At present the American spinster is in a transition stage, a stage
so replete with advantages that we may be permitted to hope it will
last long. She has escaped from the chimney-corner, and is not yet
shut up in banks and offices. She does a reasonable amount of work,
and embraces every reasonable opportunity of enjoyment. She gratifies
her own tastes, and cherishes her natural affinities. She sometimes
cultivates her mind, and she never breaks her heart. She is the best
of friends, and she has leisure for companionship. She is equally
free from _l’esprit gaulois_ and from “_les mœurs de vestales
pétrifiées_,” which are the Scylla and Charybdis of the French _vieille
fille_. She is content with a contentment which the German _jungfrau_
neither understands nor envies. She is assured with an assurance
unknown to the experienced English old maid. She is, as I have said,
the standard-bearer of her tribe, and the pibroch to which she marches
blithely through life has the ring of the old Covenanting song:

    “That a’ the world may see
    There’s nane in the right but we.”

All this is far removed, as Mr. Marriott Watson warns us, from the
savage and primitive woman, who represents the dynamic force of a
race. But who shall ring the bells backward? And who shall reconcile
the primitive woman to the exigencies and formalities of civilization?
Some years ago in South Carolina I came to know and love an old Negro
“mammy,” a wise, fat, kind, mysterious old mammy, whose heart was soft,
whose touch was healing, whose voice was like a lullaby, and whose
experiences would have colored half a dozen ordinary lives. Her sister,
the laundress, was one day under discussion, and I asked, with more
than my customary ineptitude: “Aunt Cordelia, is Caroline an old maid?”

Aunt Cordelia turned upon me a look in which contempt for my ignorance
blended with a deep acceptance and understanding of life as she had
known it, unfiltered, unsheltered, unevasive. “Laws, honey,” she said,
“we’s no ole maids. Some’s married, and some isn’t; but we’s no ole


[3] “Life and Errors of John Dunton,” 1705.



    O soul of all souls whitest, what need’st thou
    Of solemn masses who with angel choirs
      Dost chant enraptured thy most pure desires,
    And to the heavenly will, as erst on earth, dost bow?
    What can I ask for thee, in halting prayer,
      Heavy with grief, that could increase thy bliss?
      What in thy perfectness can be amiss
    Who grewest to angelhood all unaware?
    Rather, pray thou for me. And when ye stand,
    Making petition, folding wing on wing,
      Drooping your eyes before the glory-light,
    Think, if thou may’st, on him who, wandering
    Along the lower way, hath lost thy hand,
      Yet seeketh for thy footprints day and night!



Author of “Sons and Fathers,” “Two Runaways,” etc.

What it really was that twisted Aunt Tildy’s features into the anxious
expression which inevitably waits on an approaching sneeze, no one, it
is likely, will ever discover, though several plausible explanations
have been offered; but twisted they were, early in life, and for all
time Aunt Tildy was condemned to face the world with wrinkles on her
forehead, lifted brows, a ruffled nose, half-closed eyes, and a drawn
mouth. The theory of an arrested sneeze was advanced many years ago by
Tim Broggins, who still sits around the cotton warehouse and, while
he whittles white pine splinters and chews tobacco, is wont to settle
all questions as they arise. Tim knows everything worth knowing and
probably some things that are not; and of course he knew what was the
trouble with Aunt Tildy’s face.

“Hit’s er comin’ sneeze, that’s what!” said he once, when Aunt Tildy,
passing in her little country buggy, drew comment after her. “Hit’s
er comin’ sneeze! Hit’s er sollum fac’, gentle_men_, that Aunt Tildy
ain’t been known ter sneeze in her whole life. She started oncet erlong
back in th’ sixties; got her face twisted jes right, looked at th’ sun
an’ was er-strainin’ of her corsits when somebody hollered ‘Cyclone!’
She’d been in one cyclone that like ter drug her hair out by th’ roots,
an’ when she heard th’ name ag’in, she jes natchully hunted cover an’
forgot to pull ’er face together. When th’ cyclone passed, hit were too
late. She ain’t never sneeze’ sence that day. Thought I’d try her some
time with snuff or red pepper an’ see if hit wouldn’t tech ’er off an’
straighten out things; but hit’s done growed that erway now. The thing
is sot an’ fixed!”

Aunt Tildy, however, did not let the tangled condition of her features
interfere with business. From the profits of her little farm and
country store she managed to sustain herself admirably; to educate and
marry off her niece and lay up a competency for old age. It mattered
not how hard the times, how poor the crops, and how bad were general
collections, there was seldom a day when she did not have money in
bank to loan at legal interest on exceptional collateral. With her
bonnet pushed back, her fat umbrella grasped by its middle, and her
little worn bag, she was a familiar figure in town on most Saturdays.

It was on a Saturday that Aunt Tildy and handsome Jack Cromby met for
the first time, and Jack heard from Tim Broggins the old legend of the
coming sneeze. Jack was the wide-awake and pushing representative of
an up-State snuff factory, and was flooding the county with little red
labeled tin boxes that contained samples of its product.

“Tell yer what, Jack,” said Tim, as he passed his knife-blade under
a delicate curl of pine to the end of his splinter, “ef you was ter
git th’ ole lady’s face on your boxes an’ call it ‘The Comin’ Sneeze’
brand, hit would ketch th’ town. Say, Jack! why ’n’t you try er little
of the stuff on her, anyhow? Seems ter me ef you could jes git her
up-town on the Court-House Square whar folks could see it all, an’ git
her to turn loose that sneeze that’s been er hangin’ fire forty years,
you’d sell er million! I ain’t er-sayin’ yo’ ole stuff could reach
it, but it mout. My private opinion is that when that sneeze do come,
hit’ll have ter be broke up with dynamite firs’ an’ then took out of
her system piece by piece. Still, as I said, yo’ pertickerlar brand of
tickler mout tech it off!”

Jack laughed heartily at the drollery of the wag; and then, the spirit
of commercial enterprise taking possession of him, he suddenly grew

“Not a bad idea, Tim--that about the picture. Think of the big ones
to hang in the window--three colors--‘The coming sneeze’! And what a
trade-mark! By George! I wonder whether I can get a photograph of her.”

“Dunno ’bout _that_. But I did hear John Belton who runs the gallery
up-town say as how las’ week he took some to sen’ to her niece out in
Texas. Maybe you mout git hold o’ one ef you go ’bout it right. But
looker here, Jack!--don’t you git me mixed up in this thing! Lord! She
run down that sneeze joke o’ mine ten years ago an’ sech er tongue
lashin’!--Keep me out o’ hit er I’ll call you er liar, sho’!”

“I’ll keep you out, Tim. Belton, did you say?”

“Yes--John Belton. He’ll let you have one of the pictur’s, mebbe,
ef you don’t tell what you want with hit. Ef you tell him _that_,
he wouldn’t sell you one fer no price--’cause Belton wants ter live
erwhile yet.”

Jack Cromby finessed. He had his own picture taken, being now
thoroughly carried away with the advertising scheme, and voluntarily
paid cash in advance. He then begged of the well-pleased artist one of
Aunt Tildy’s,--to “send away to some friends.” In after days--though
it is a shameful thing to print--he very generously assisted the
unfortunate Belton to erect a barricade of fiction between himself and
his outraged patron.

Jack’s one great error in discretion, after embarking on this perilous
enterprise, was committed when he confided his plans to a young belle
of the community. Handsome, dashing, well-dressed, and generous, Jack
was a favorite, and numbered his sweethearts by dozens up and down the
road. Among these was Miss Pinkie Appleby, selected by him in an evil
moment to become the joint custodian of his mature plans touching Aunt
Tildy’s likeness. Of course, Miss Pinkie laughed. What girl would not,
in the circumstances? How could the innocent joke, as Jack described
it, in any way injure Aunt Tildy? And what girl would not have promptly
confided the secret to several intimates whom Jack had not honored,
with strict injunctions as to secrecy?

The little group of idlers around the warehouse were holding their
usual morning conversation when Aunt Tildy’s vehicle turned the corner
at a pace that caused all four wheels to slide sidewise and give forth
a harsh warning. Tim Broggins suspended his whittling a moment, looked
at the broad scar left in the dust, and suffered his contemplative gaze
to follow the receding figure in the buggy.

“What ails Tildy?” The question came from Judge Oglesby, whose two
hundred and fifty pounds were waiting upright in a broad chair while
his justice court threatened to convene. “Sorter flustered, ’pears
to me.” He crossed his fat hands on his hickory cane and rested them
against his zone of greatest circumference, blinking, as the dust began
to float in.

“I wonder!--I wonder!” said Tim, reflectively, as he resumed his
interrupted occupation. “Now, gentle_men_, I’m goin’ ter give er guess;
an’ watch me hit the nail on the head! Jedge, you know how ol’ Squire
Jones laugh’ erbout that sneeze picture las’ night, an’ how drunk he

“Squire was putty drunk, Tim. Worse ’n usual.”

“Well, now, I bet squire stop’ an’ tole Aunt Tildy all erbout hit!
Right on his way home, her store is, an’ most gener’ly he begins
to ricollec’ things he was to bring back ’bout time he gits there!
Aunt Tildy gits er big trade o’ that sort. Hit’s a good soberin’-up
stan’ for fellows goin’ thet erway an’ totin’ too much of the brand
o’ O-be-joyful they buy eroun’ town. Yes, sir, squire tole ’er
cert’in--dad blast his ol’ skin, he had oughter be lynched! Where’d she
pull up, Jedge?”

“Lawyer Thomas’s office!”

“Thar now! She ain’t got no common business on ’er mind ter-day! This
ain’t no mortgage, gentlemen, ner no jumpin’ account case. This is
_fight_. She’s done cross the line an’ got on the criminal side o’ th’
docket, Jedge. Let’s go an’ stan’ eroun’ an’ see what’s up!”

But if the idlers sought excitement, they failed to get it. Aunt Tildy,
after half an hour spent in consultation with her lawyer, issued from
his office and, with one withering glance at the group, climbed into
her buggy. When she turned it about, it slid as before, only this time
the sound that came back seemed a defiance. Tim surveyed the little
drama with intense interest.

“See ’er cut the horse, Jedge--three times ’twixt crossings! Mad? Dad
blast my skin, she’s jes natchully er hornet now! Hit’s squire’s work.”

The pictures arrived a week or two later. They set the town wild with
laughter. Merchants, clerks, and customers came out on the sidewalks
up and down the single business street and exchanged criticisms after
an ancient fashion of town people. There was Aunt Tildy, sure enough,
in the act of holding a box of snuff; and there was the old, familiar,
coming, but long delayed, sneeze! The supply of pictures was exhausted
in thirty minutes. At ten o’clock they brought fifty cents each; at
eleven, a dollar; and at noon Tim Broggins sold his copy to the town
bank for one dollar and a half. The cashier was Aunt Tildy’s agent.

The laughter, which began down-town, spread over the dinner-hour
up-town and rippled over the county for a week. No more striking
advertisement had ever been put forth in that region. No other snuff
could touch the trade. “The Coming Sneeze” brand had won and held the

Then one day Lawyer Thomas took the train for Macon and filed suit for
$10,000, as damages direct and punitive, against the snuff company for
infringement of copyright. For, on the day Aunt Tildy had come to town
so angry, she had bought the negative of Belton and applied through him
for a copyright on her own face as portrayed in that photograph. “The
Coming Sneeze” was her own personal property.

After this fact became known, the idlers took their hats off and
cheered Aunt Tildy whenever she passed. Her sole recognition of their
friendliness was an abortive smile that flickered for an instant
against the background of the coming sneeze.

Tim became oracular.

“Tell you what, boys!--Jedge--that’s er new p’int in law, on me! Don’t
er man or er woman own his own face? Fer an instance, has er man got
ter put his face on er record like er guano contrac’ or mule mortgidge
befo’ he can pertec’ hisself? Dad blast my skin, _nobody_ ain’t safe!
I’m er goin’ right up-town an’ git my pictur’ struck off an’ patented
now! Some o’ these smarties like Jack Cromby’ll be comin’ erlong here
bime-by an’ er gittin’ me onter er Christmas cyard, an’ you on er
valentine!” Tim laughed silently. “Po’ Jack!” he said. “Always did lack
jedg_ment_ an’ allus will, I reck’n!”

Jack Cromby’s experience with the managers of his snuff company is
not a matter of public record. He may have suffered criticism or he
may have convinced them that their product was getting, throughout
the rural districts for which it was manufactured, an advertisement
worth all it might cost. If the airing of Aunt Tildy’s complaint was
not confined to a city office and its spectacular values lost in the
multiplicity of graver legal causes, the snuff company would not suffer
much, if any. A local hearing would give him a chance to fill a column
of the town’s weekly paper with a carefully prepared report of the
trial, which report would be quoted in full in all the rural weeklies
of the State. The advertisement department of his company would see to

The transference of Aunt Tildy’s case to her home county was easily
effected. Lawyer Thomas was after a verdict in her favor, and perhaps
was not unmindful of the advertising feature as concerned himself, and
greatly preferred the home atmosphere.

The reappearance of Jack on the scene, therefore, betrayed no evidence
of chagrin. On the contrary, his step was a little more elastic, his
head held a bit higher, his movements were quicker, and his salutes
and greetings full of cheer. Resiliency was written all over him; the
sunrise was on his face.

“Now ding blast his imperdunce!” said Broggins one day when Jack,
passing on the opposite side of the street, had waved a hand to them
joyously and shouted a greeting: “Hello, Tim! Hello, Judge! Major, how
are you? See you boys later!”--“ding blast his imperdunce! What’s he
got up his sleeve now? Jack! Oh, Jack!” he called lazily.

“What’s the matter, Tim?”

“Got you going some--ain’t they?”

“Not--on--your--life, Tim! Watch _me_!”

Aunt Tildy’s case, by consent, came up in her own town before a special
master appointed by the court.

Long before the hour set for the hearing arrived, people began to
appear on the scene. Every wagon-yard, every vacant lot was crowded
with vehicles; every horse-rack and hitching-post was in use. There
had been great days in town before; Robinson’s old one-ring circus
had occasionally depopulated the rural district in its favor, and at
another time the political contest between Democrats and Populists
and Tom Watson’s impassioned speeches had made it the storm-center
of excitement. But no such crowd ever had assembled within the
incorporated limits as that which gathered to see Aunt Tildy through
in her brave assault on the enemy. The special master had elected to
hear the issue in a private office, but indignant public opinion drove
him into the court-house and to the bench, where he was soon surrounded
by an eager crowd so dense that breathing became difficult despite the
fact that all the court-room windows were open.


  Drawn by F. R. Gruger    Half-tone plate engraved by R. C. Collins


Not half the visitors secured entrance. The majority gathered around
the building in the public square, men, women, and children, and took,
second-hand, from those who struggled exhausted out of the doors, such
reports of the proceedings as were not borne to their ears direct on
the vibrant air. Buggies, wagons, carryalls, and the grass afforded
seats, and the good-natured crowd settled down to enjoy the day.

Within the building the master and the lawyers soon arranged
preliminaries and the case was opened, Aunt Tildy sitting serenely
scornful beside her lawyer and facing the curious spectators with
perfect indifference. It was a long trial, stubbornly contested at
every point. The defense protested against “imperfect service” and
“surprise.” Both sides amended and contested each other’s amendments.
Both sides “demurred” and fought each other’s demurrers. Both sides
offered documentary evidence, and both sides moved to “strike out.” And
there were arguments at every crisis. So the day wore along, and the
people outside proceeded to dine from their baskets. They were having
the best of it by far.

Finally a buzz of excitement came from within. Persons visible through
the windows were observed to straighten up and face one way. The crowd
on the outside were now having the worst of it.

About this time Tim Broggins, who had heretofore been in evidence
chiefly around the grocery down the street, where he had all day
elaborately explained between “treats” the features of Aunt Tildy’s
remarkable case, as well as the Federal law governing copyrights,
appeared on the scene bearing a long scaling-ladder. Tim’s approach to
the building with his burden was one of the features of the case not
soon forgotten. The unsteadiness of his gait, the weight and length
of the ladder, and his attempts to face every one who asked him
questions--there were dozens of them--produced a set of gymnastics on
his part that cleared the whole north side of the square. People fled
from him as from a plague, the women with babies leaving first.

Reaching the court-house, Tim made heroic efforts to place the ladder
upright against the wall--a performance that convulsed his audience,
then at a safe distance. The final result was, Tim went over on his
back with the ladder on top of him, escaping miraculously without
broken bones. Friendly hands stood up both Tim and the ladder, and
presently he climbed unsteadily to the second-story window, where,
after a brief survey of the court-room scene and swaying dangerously,
he began to laugh.

“Jedge,” he called eagerly to Oglesby below, “come up! Come up!” The
judge was about as happy as Tim, but more discreet. He shook his head
and shifted his quid.

“Tell us erbout it, Tim!”

“Ol’ lady on th’ stan’, Jedge, hammerin’ away with her umberella!--Go
it, Aunt Tildy!” he shouted. The master’s gavel was heard, and those
within the room near the window turned and shook their heads at Tim.

“What’s she sayin’, Tim?”

“She’s jes p’intedly er-skinnin’ of Jack Cromby! ‘Oudacionest’ is the
shortes’ word I’ve ketched. Go it, Aunt Tildy, I’m er bettin’ on yer!

“Silence in court!” The master’s angry voice could be heard by the
outsiders; and again the people at the window, gesticulating, turned on
Tim, whose expostulations descended.

“Thass all right, gentle_men_,--all right! I ain’t in the court ner
on th’ earth ner in th’ heavens, ner in the waters unner th’--earth!”
Tim made a dangerous lurch as he concluded, but swayed back into
the perpendicular, while the crowd below held their breath. Then he
straightened up and craned his neck over his neighbors’ heads, his
sides shaking while he hammered on the ladder with his fist. The people
below him were burning with curiosity and the judge grew impatient.

“How goes it, Tim?”

“Fine, Jedge! Come up!--Come up! Room at the top! Allus room at the

“More room down here! What’s she sayin’ now?”

“Oh, gee! Oh, gee!--” Tim laid his head against the wall and joined
loudly in the subdued laugh which rippled through the window. “This
here is er circus right, Jedge! She says anybody says she ever took
er pinch o’ snuff er wet er snuff-stick in her born days is er lower
down houn’ th’n Jack Cromby, an’ Jack is th’ lowes’ she met in thirty
years’ tradin’ with Niggers an’ po’ white trash! Jedge,--oh, Jedge!--”
Tim held on with both hands for safety and let his laughter come. He
finally ended it with a wild “Whoop-ee-ee!” which was followed by
furious strokes of the master’s gavel and the usual pantomime in the
window. These did not trouble Tim. “Jedge, you had oughter see Jack’s
face _now_! _Gem_iny _crim_iny! He better keep outer the way of the
‘befo’ takin’’ man or git er patent on it quick! Hello, Jack!” He had
thrust his head in the window. Somebody shook him and pushed it out.
“All right, _all-l-l_ right, gentlemen. Wouldn’t ’sturb nobody fer

Then the vibrant voice of Lawyer Thomas rang out clear and loud, and
the attentive people in the square below needed no interpreter. His
arraignment of the foreign firm which had slandered and humiliated
one of the noble women of the county, his scathing denunciation of
Jack Cromby, were things to talk about for years. Despite the gavel,
applause followed his every rounded period, and to this applause Tim
contributed each time a wild whoop that fairly split the air. When
Lawyer Thomas closed with a flight of eloquence that caused the older
people to mention Toombs and Linton Stevens, the applause from within
was answered by cheers from without. At this climax Tim Broggins’s feet
slipped, the outer cheers subsided suddenly into something like a gasp
of horror, and Oglesby beat a hasty retreat. Fortunately, however, Tim
lodged among the upper rounds of the ladder from which he disengaged
himself only after five minutes of hard work. During his struggles to
get back on the upper side of his ladder he was good-naturedly assisted
by advice from the sympathetic crowd who knew a “Roman holiday”
sacrifice by sight if not in terms.

But all good things as well as bad must have an end. There came a few
moments of silence with evidence of close attention above.

“What’s up now, Tim?” The judge drew nearer the ladder to avoid

“Hush! The boss is talkin’!” The silence was short; presently the
people in the court-room began to move excitedly and to clap hands,
and once more Tim, who had regained his lost ground, uttered his

“One thousan’, Jedge, one thousan’! That’s what she gits! Oh, gee!--oh,
gee!” he cried, cupping one hand toward Oglesby, who had ventured back
into the danger zone below.

Then a queer sound issued from within, a single sound, a shrill,
high-pitched, prolonged note, so totally divorced from the masculine
hubbub there that it attracted the attention of everybody. And this
time the people within the court-room cheered wildly, joyously, and
hilariously, shaking one another by the shoulders and slapping backs.
But almost instantly there began to mingle with the cheers certain
vocal explosions up and down the whole chromatic scale which, swelling
in volume, finally swallowed up all other sounds, and frantic hands
were seen through the windows clutching at elusive coat-tail pockets.
Tim was holding to the window-sill desperately and swaying violently as
he gasped for breath to answer the excited questions hurled up to him.
He found it at last.

“Aunt Tildy has snee--snee--_sneezed_! And scattered er box
over ev’ybody! The comin’ sneeze has done come! An’--an’--by
gosh!--hit’s--got me--too,--Currasha-h-h-o! Kitty!” The ladder went out
from under him, and he hung, sneezing, to the window-sill, while below
the women shrieked.

However, no tragedy marred the day. Judge Oglesby galloped out from
under the falling ladder, and responsive to the frantic appeals of
women, and greatly to the relief of all, the men at the window reeled
Tim in by his hair and coat-collar and trousers’ seat, despite his

“Hurrah for Tim Broggins!” yelled the delighted Oglesby from a safe
distance, waving his hat. A ringing shout went up.

“Currasha-h-h-o!” faintly replied the invisible Tim.





Author of “The Spell of Egypt,” “The Holy Land,” “The Garden of Allah,”


Constantinople is beautiful and hateful. It fascinates and it repels.
And it bewilders--how it bewilders! No other city that I have seen
has so confused and distressed me. For days I could not release
myself from the obsession of its angry tumult. Much of it seems
to be in a perpetual rage, pushing, struggling, fighting, full of
ugly determination to do--what? One does not know, one cannot even
surmise what it desires, what is its aim, if, indeed, it has any aim.
These masses of dark-eyed, suspicious, glittering people thronging
its streets, rushing down its alleys, darting out of its houses,
calling from its windows, muttering in its dark and noisome corners,
gathering in compact, astonishing crowds in its great squares before
its mosques, blackening even its waters, amid fierce noises of sirens
from its innumerable steamers and yells from its violent boatmen, what
is it that they want? Whither are they going in this brutal haste,
these Greeks, Corsicans, Corfiotes, Montenegrins, Armenians, Jews,
Albanians, Syrians, Egyptians, Arabs, Turks? They have no time or
desire to be courteous, to heed any one but themselves. They push you
from the pavement. They elbow you in the road. Upon the two bridges
they crush past you, careless if they tread upon you or force you
into the mud. If you are in a caique, traveling over the waters of
the Golden Horn, they run into you. Caique bangs into caique. The
boatmen howl at one another, and somehow pull their craft free. If
you are in a carriage, the horses slither round the sharp corners,
and you come abruptly face to face with another carriage, dashing on
as yours is dashing, carelessly, scornfully, reckless apparently of
traffic and of human lives. There seems to be no plan in the tumult, no
conception of anything wanted quietly, toward which any one is moving
with a definite, simple purpose. The noise is beyond all description.
London, even New York, seems to me almost peaceful in comparison with
Constantinople. There is no sound of dogs. They are all dead. But even
their sickly howling, of which one has heard much, must surely have
been overpowered by the uproar one hears to-day, except perhaps in the
dead of night.

Soldiers seem to be everywhere. To live in Constantinople is like
living in some vast camp. When I was there, Turkey was preparing
feverishly for war. The streets were blocked with trains of artillery.
The steamers in the harbor were vomiting forth regiments of infantry.
Patrols of horsemen paraded the city. On my first night in Pera,
when, weary with my efforts to obtain some general conception of what
the spectacular monster really was, what it wanted, what it meant,
what it was about to do, I had at length fallen asleep toward dawn,
I was wakened by a prolonged, clattering roar beneath my windows. I
got up, opened the shutters, and looked out. And below me, in the
semi-darkness, I saw interminable lines of soldiers passing: officers
on horseback, men tramping with knapsacks on their backs and rifles
over their shoulders; then artillery, gun-carriages, with soldiers
sitting loosely on them holding one another’s hands; guns, horses, more
horses, with officers riding them; then trains of loaded mules. On and
on they went, and always more were coming behind. I watched them till
I was tired, descending to the darkness of Galata, to the blackness of
old Stamboul.

Gradually, as the days passed by, I began to understand something of
the city, to realize never what it wanted or what it really meant,
but something of what it was. It seemed to me then like a person with
two natures uneasily housed in one perturbed body. These two natures
were startlingly different. One was to me hateful--Pera, with Galata
touching it. The other was not to be understood by me, but it held
me with an indifferent grasp, and from it there flowed a strange and
almost rustic melancholy that I cared for--Stamboul. And between these
two natures a gulf was fixed--the gulf of the Golden Horn.

[Illustration: From a photograph, copyright by Underwood & Underwood


Pera is a mongrel city, set on a height and streaming blatantly to
Galata; a city of discolored houses not unlike the houses of Naples;
of embassies and churches; of glaring shops and cafés glittering with
plate-glass, through which crafty, impudent eyes are forever staring;
of noisy, unattractive hotels and wizen gardens, where bands play at
stated hours, and pretentious, painted women from second-rate European
music-halls posture and squall under the electric lamps. There is no
rest, no peace in Pera. There seems to be no discipline. Motor-cars
make noises there even in the dead of night, and when standing still,
such as I never before heard or imagined. They have a special breed
of cars in Pera. Bicyclists are allowed to use motor sirens to clear
the way before them. One Sunday when, owing to a merciful strike of the
coachmen, there was comparative calm, I saw a boy on horseback going at
full gallop over the pavement of the Grande Rue. He passed and repassed
me five times, lashing his horse till it was all in a lather. Nobody
stopped him. You may do anything, it seems, in Pera, if it is noisy,
brutal, objectionable. Pera has all that is odious of the Levant:
impudence, ostentation, slyness, indelicacy, uproar, a glittering
commonness. It is like a blazing ring of imitation diamonds squeezing a
fat and dirty finger. But it is wonderfully interesting simply because
of the variety of human types one sees there. The strange thing is
that this multitude of types from all over the East and from all the
nations of Europe is reduced, as it were, by Pera to a common, a very
common, denominator. The influence of place seems fatal there.

[Illustration: From a photograph, copyright by Underwood & Underwood


Stamboul is a city of wood and of marble, of dusty, frail houses that
look as if they had been run up in a night and might tumble to pieces
at any moment, and of magnificent mosques, centuries old, solid, huge,
superb, great monuments of the sultans. The fire-tower of Galata
looks toward the fire-tower of Stamboul across a forest of masts;
but no watchfulness, no swiftness of action, can prevent flames from
continually sweeping through Stamboul, leaving waste places behind
them, but dying at the feet of the mosques. As one looks at Stamboul
from the heights of Pera, it rises on its hills across the water,
beyond the sea of the Golden Horn, like a wonderful garden city, warm,
almost ruddy, full of autumnal beauty, with its red-brown roofs and its
trees. And out of its rich-toned rusticity the mosques heave themselves
up like leviathans that have nothing in common with it; the Mosque of
Santa Sophia, of the Sultan Achmet, with its six exquisite minarets,
of Mohammed the Conqueror, of Suleiman the Magnificent, and how many

[Illustration: From a photograph, copyright by Underwood & Underwood


There is no harmony between the mosques of Stamboul and the houses of
Stamboul. The former are enduring and grand; the latter, almost like
houses of cards. And yet Stamboul is harmonious, is very beautiful.
Romance seems brooding over it, trailing lights and shadows to clothe
it with flame and with darkness. It holds you, it entices you. It sheds
upon you a sense of mystery. What it has seen, Stamboul! What it has
known! What a core of red violence that heart has and always has
had! When the sunset dies away among the autumnal houses and between
the minarets that rise above the city like prayers; when the many
cypresses that echo the minarets in notes of dark green become black,
and the thousands of houses seem to be subtly run together into a huge
streak of umber above the lights at the waterside; when Seraglio Point
stretches like a shadowy spear toward the Bosporus and the Black Sea,
and the coasts of Asia fade away in the night, old Stamboul murmurs to
you with a voice that seems to hold all secrets, to call you away from
the world of Pera to the world of Aladdin’s lamp. Pera glitters in the
night and cries out to heaven. Old Stamboul wraps itself in a black
veil and withdraws where you may not follow.



When I think of Constantinople as a whole, as seen, say, from the top
of the Galata tower, set up by the Genoese, I think of it as the most
wonderful, the most beautiful, and the most superbly situated city I
ever have seen.

It is an Eastern city of the sea, pierced by water at its heart, giving
itself to the winds from Marmora, from the Golden Horn, from the
Bosporus, from the Black Sea. The snows of Asia look upon it across
the blue waters of Marmora, where the Iles des Princes sleep in a
flickering haze of gold. Stamboul climbs, like Rome, to the summits of
seven hills, and gazes over the great harbor, crowded with a forest
of masts, echoing with sounds of the sea, to Galata, and to Pera on
the height. And the Golden Horn narrows to the sweet waters of Europe,
but broadens toward Seraglio Point into the Bosporus, that glorious
highway of water between Europe and Asia, lined with the palaces and
the villas of sultans and pashas, of Eastern potentates and of the
European Powers: Yildiz, and Dolma bagtché, Beylerbey, and Cheragan,
the great palace of the Khedive of Egypt’s mother, with its quay upon
the water, facing the villa of her son, which stands on the Asian
shore, lifted high amid its woods, the palace of the “sweet waters
of Asia,” the gigantic red-roofed palace where Ismail died in exile.
Farther on toward Therapia, where stand the summer embassies of the
Powers, Robert College, dignified, looking from afar almost like a
great gray castle, rises on its height above its sloping gardens. Gaze
from any summit upon Constantinople, and you are amazed by the wonder
of it, by the wonder of its setting. There is a vastness, a glory of
men, of ships, of seas, of mountains, in this grand view which sets
it apart from all other views of the world. Two seas send it their
message. Two continents give of their beauty to make it beautiful. Two
religions have striven to sanctify it with glorious buildings. In the
midst of its hidden squalor and crime rises what many consider the most
beautiful church--now a mosque--in the world. Perhaps no harbor in
Europe can compare with its harbor. For human and historical interest
it can scarcely be equaled. In the shadow of its marvelous walls,
guarded by innumerable towers and girdled by forests of cypresses, it
lies like some great magician, glittering, mysterious, crafty, praying,
singing, intriguing, assassinating, looking to East and West, watchful,
and full of fanaticism.

I crossed the new bridge. The famous old timber bridge, which rocks
under your feet, has been moved up the Golden Horn, and now spans the
sea by the marine barracks. Evening was falling; a wind had brought
clouds from the Black Sea. The waters were colorless, and were licked
into fretful wavelets, on which the delicate-pointed caiques swayed
like leaves on a tide. Opposite to me, at the edge of Stamboul, the
huge Mosque of Yeni-Validé-Jamissi rose, with its crowd of cupolas
large and small and its prodigious minarets. Although built by two
women, it looked stern and male, seemed to be guarding the bridge, to
be proclaiming to all the mongrels from Galata and Pera, who hurried
from shore to shore, that Stamboul will make no compromise with the
infidel, that in the great space before this mosque the true East in
Europe begins.

Russia was in the wind, I thought. The breath of the steppes was
wandering afar to seek--what? The breath of the desert? The great
mosque confronted it, Islam erect, and now dark, forbidding under the
darkening sky. Even the minarets had lost their delicate purity, had
become fierce, prayers calling down destruction on unbelievers. And all
the cries of Stamboul seemed to gather themselves together in my ears,
keening over the sea above which I stood--voices of many nations; of
Turks, Arabs, Circassians, Persians, of men from the wilds of Asia and
the plains of India; voices of bashi-bazouks and of slaves; even, thin
high voices of eunuchs. From the quays to right and left of the bridge
crowds of people rose to my sight and hurried away; to them crowds
of people descended, sinking out of my sight. Soldiers and hamals
passed, upright and armed, bending beneath the weight of incredible
loads. Calls of Albanian boatmen came up from the sea. From the city of
closely packed fishermen’s vessels rose here and there little trails
of smoke. On their decks dim figures crouched about wavering fires. A
gnarled beggar pushed me, muttering, then whining uncouth words. Along
the curving shore, toward the cypress-crowned height of Eyub, lights
were strung out, marking the waterside. Behind me tall Pera began
to glitter meretriciously. The Greek barbers, I knew, were standing
impudently before the doors of their little saloons, watching the
evening pageant as it surged slowly through the Grande Rue and toward
the Taxim Garden. Diplomats were driving home from the Sublime Porte
in victorias. The “cinemas” were gathering in their mobs. Tokatlian’s
was thronged with Levantines whispering from mouth to mouth the current
lies of the day. Below, near the ships, the business men of Galata were
rushing out of their banks, past the large round-browed Montenegrins
who stand on the steps, out of their offices and shops, like a mighty
swarm of disturbed bees. The long shriek of a siren from a steamer
near Seraglio Point tore the gloom. I went on, despite menacing Validé
Sultan, I lost myself in the wonderful maze of Stamboul.

Stamboul near the waterside is full of contrasts so sharp, so strange
that they bewilder and charm, and sometimes render uneasy even one
who has wandered alone through many towns of the East. Sordid and
filthy, there is yet something grandiose in it, something hostile and
threatening in the watchful crowds that are forever passing by. Between
the houses the sea-wind blows up, and you catch glimpses of water, of
masts, of the funnels of steamers. Above the cries of the nations rise
the long-drawn wails and the hootings of sirens. The traffic of the
streets is made more confusing by your constant consciousness of the
traffic of the sea, embraced by it, almost mingling with it. Water and
wind, mud and dust, cries of coachmen and seamen, of motor-cars and
steamers, and soldiers, soldiers, soldiers passing, always passing.
Through a window-pane you catch a glitter of jewels and a glitter of
Armenian eyes gazing stealthily out. You pass by some marble tombs
sheltered by weary trees, under the giant shadow of a mosque, and a
few steps farther on you look through an arched doorway and see on the
marble floor of a dimly lighted hall half-naked men, with tufts of
black hair drooping from partly shaved heads and striped towels girt
round their loins, going softly to and fro, or bending about a fountain
from which water gushes with a silvery noise. This is a Turkish bath.
Throughout Stamboul there are bath-houses with little cupolas on their
roofs, and throughout Stamboul there are tombs; but the uneasy and
watchful crowds throng the quarters near the waterside and the great
bazaars and the spaces before the principal mosques. They are not
spread throughout the city. Many parts of Stamboul are as the waste
places of the earth, abandoned by men.

By night they are silent and black; by day they look like the ways of
a great wooden village from which the inhabitants have fled. In their
open spaces, patches of waste ground, perhaps a few goats are trying to
browse among rubbish and stones, a few little children are loitering,
two or three silent men may be sitting under a vine by a shed, which
is a Turkish café. There is no sound of steps or of voices. One has no
feeling of being in a great city, of being in a city at all. Little
there is of romance, little of that mysterious and exquisite melancholy
which imaginative writers have described. Dullness and shabbiness brood
over everything. Yet an enormous population lives in the apparently
empty houses. Women are watching from the windows behind the grilles.
Life is fermenting in the midst of the dust, the discomfort, the almost
ghastly silence.

The great bazaar of Stamboul is a city within a city. As you stand
before its entrance you think of a fortress full of immured treasures.
And there are treasures of price under the heavy arches, in the long
roofed-over lanes. The bazaars of Tunis seem minute, of Damascus
ephemeral, of Cairo dressed up, of Jerusalem crushed together and
stifling, when compared with the vast bazaars of Stamboul, which have
a solidity, a massiveness, unshared by their rivals. I saw there many
cheap goods such as I have seen on certain booths in the East End of
London, but they were surrounded with a certain pomp and dignity, with
a curious atmosphere of age. Some parts of the bazaars are narrow.
Others are broad and huge, with great cupolas above them, and, far
up, wooden galleries running round them. Now and then you come upon
an old fountain of stained marble and dim faience about which men are
squatting on their haunches to wash their faces and hands and their
carefully bared arms. The lanes are paved and are often slippery.
Just under the lofty roof there are windows of white glass, and about
them, and on arches and walls, there are crude decorations in strong
blues and purples, yellows and greens. The serious merchants from many
lands do not beset you with importunities as you pass; but sometimes a
lustrous pair of eyes invites you to pause, or a dark and long-fingered
hand gently beckons you toward a jewel, a prayer-carpet, a weapon, or
something strange in silver or gold or ivory.

One day a man from Bagdad invited me to buy a picture as I drew near
to him. It was the portrait of a dervish’s cap worked in silk. The
cap, orange-colored and silver, was perched upon a small table (in
the picture) above which hung curtains in two shades of green. A heavy
gilt frame surrounded this “old master” of the East. We bargained. The
merchant’s languages were broken, but at length I understood him to say
that the cap was a perfect likeness. I retorted that all the dervishes’
caps I had seen upon living heads were the color of earth. The
merchant, I believe, pitied my ignorance. His eyes, hands, arms, and
even his shoulders were eloquent of compassion. He lowered the price of
the picture by about half a farthing in Turkish money, but I resisted
the blandishment and escaped into the jewel bazaar, half regretting a
lost opportunity.

[Illustration: From a photograph, copyright by Underwood & Underwood


Many Turkish women come to the bazaars only to meet their lovers.
They cover a secret desire by a pretense of making purchases. From the
upper floor of the yellow-blue-and-red kiosk, in which Turkish sweets
are sold, and you can eat the breasts of chickens cooked deliciously
in cream and served with milk and starch, I have watched these subtle
truants passing in their pretty disguises suggestive of a masked ball.
They look delicate and graceful in their thin and shining robes, like
dominoes, of black or sometimes of prune-color, with crape dropping
over their faces and letting you see not enough; for many Turkish women
are pretty.

One day I was in the upper room of a photographer’s shop when two
Turkish women came in and removed their veils, standing with their
backs to the English infidel. One was obviously much younger than the
other, and seemed to have a beautiful figure. I was gazing at it,
perhaps rather steadily, when, evidently aware of my glance, she turned
slowly and deliberately round. For two or three minutes she faced me,
looking to right and left of me, above me, even on the floor near my
feet, with her large and beautiful blue-gray eyes. She was lovely.
Young, perhaps eighteen, she was slightly painted, and her eyebrows
and long curling lashes were blackened. Her features were perfect, her
complexion was smooth and brilliant, and her expression was really
adorable. It seemed to say to me quietly:

“Yes, you are right. It is foolish ever to conceal such a face as this
with a veil when really there is not too much beauty in the world.
Mais que voulez-vous? Les Turcs!” And the little hanum surely moved
her thin shoulders contemptuously. But her elderly companion pulled at
her robe, and slowly she moved away. As the two women left the room,
the photographer, a Greek, looked after them, smiling. Then he turned
to me, spread out his thin hands, and said, with a shrug, “Encore des

I thought of the disenchanted one day as I sat among the letter-writers
in the large and roughly paved court of the “Pigeon’s Mosque,” or
Mosque of Bajazet II. For hours I had been wandering on foot through
the upper quarters of old Stamboul, and I could not release my mind
from the dull pressure of its influence. All those wooden houses,
silent, apparently abandoned, shuttered--streets and streets of them,
myriads of them! Now and then above the carved wood of a lattice I had
seen a striped curtain, cheap, dusty, hanging, I guessed, above a cheap
and dusty divan. The doors of the houses were large and solid, like
prison doors. Before one, as I slowly passed by, I had seen an old Turk
in a long quilted coat of green, with a huge key in his hand, about to
enter. He glanced to right and left, then thrust the key into the door.
I had felt inclined to stop and say to him:

“That house has been abandoned for years. Every one has migrated long
ago from this quarter of Stamboul. If you stay here, you will be quite
alone.” But the old Turk knew very well that all the houses were full
of people, of imprisoned women. What a fate to be one of the prisoners!

That was my thought as I looked at the sacred pigeons, circling
in happy freedom over the garden where Bajazet slumbers under his
catafalque, fluttering round the cupolas of their mosque, and
beneath the gray-pink-and-white arcade, with its dull-green and
plum-colored columns, or crowding together upon the thin branches of
their plane-tree. A pure wind blew through the court and about the
marble fountain. The music made by the iridescent wings of the birds
never ceased, and their perpetual cooing was like the sweet voice of
content. The sunshine streamed over the pavement and penetrated under
the arches, making the coral beads of a rosary glow and its gold
beads glitter, giving to the amber liquid carried on a tray by a boy
to a barber beneath his awning a vivacity almost of flame. Beside me
a lover was dictating a letter to a scribe, who squatted before his
table, on which were arranged a bright-blue inkstand and cup, a pile of
white paper, and a stand with red pens and blue pencils. Farther on,
men were being shaved, and were drinking coffee as they lounged upon
bright-yellow sofas. Near me a very old Turk, with fanatical, half-shut
eyes, was sitting on the ground and gazing at the pink feet of the
pigeons as they tripped over the pavement, upon which a pilgrim to the
mosque had just flung some grain. As he gazed, he mechanically fingered
his rosary, swiftly shifting the beads on and on, beads after beads,
always two at a time. Some incense smoldered in a three-legged brazier,
giving out its peculiar and drowsy smell. On the other side of the
court a fruit-seller slept by a pile of yellow melons. The grain thrown
by the pilgrim was all eaten now, and for a moment the sunshine was
dimmed by the cloud of rising and dispersing birds, gray and green,
with soft gleams like jewels entangled in their plumage. Some flew far
to the tall white-and-gray minaret of their mosque, others settled on
the cupola above the fountain. A few, venturous truants, disappeared in
the direction of the seraskierat wall, not far off. The greater number
returned to their plane-tree on the right of the lover and the scribe.
And as the lover suggested, and the scribe wrote from right to left,
the pigeons puffed out their breasts and cooed, calling other pilgrims
to remember that even the sacred have their carnal appetites, and to
honor the poor widow’s memory before going up to the mosque to pray.



One day I went up the hill toward Yildiz to see the Selamlik. That
morning the sultan was going to pray in the mosque of wood which Abdul
Hamid built close to the mysterious, walled-in quarter of palaces,
harems, kiosks, gardens, barracks, and parks which he made his prison.
From the Bosporus you can see it extending from the hilltop almost
to the sea, a great property, outside the city, yet dominating it,
with dense groves of trees in which wild animals were kept, with open
spaces, with solitary buildings and lines of roofs, and the cupola of
the mosque of the soldiers. All about it are the high walls which a
coward raised up to protect him and his fear. The mosque is below the
great entrance-gates on a steep hillside beyond the walls. A large
modern house, white, with green shutters, in which Abdul Hamid used to
grant audiences and, I believe, to give banquets, looks down on it.
From the upper windows of this dwelling the Turks say the ex-sultan
often stared at his city through powerful glasses.

The mosque is not large. It is yellow and white, with a minaret of
plaster on the side next the sea, and a graveled courtyard surrounded
by green iron railings and planted with a few trees. On the side next
to Yildiz is a steep bank. A road runs up the hill to the left of
the mosque as you face Yildiz, and another hidden road descends from
the gates and gives access to the courtyard behind the mosque. The
sultan has therefore a choice of two routes, and nobody seems to know
beforehand which way he will come. There were very few tourists in
Constantinople when I was there. People were afraid of war, and before
I left the Orient express had ceased to run. But I found awaiting the
padishah many Indian pilgrims, a large troop of pilgrims from Trebizond
who were on their way to Mecca, several Persians wearing black toques,
and a good many Turks. These were in the courtyard close to the mosque,
where I was allowed to stand by the aristocratic young chief of police,
who wore a woolly, gray, fez-shaped cap. Outside the railings stood a
dense crowd of veiled women.

Soon after I arrived a squadron of the body-guard rode up from the
city, carrying red-and-green pennons on long staffs, and halted before
the gates of the palace. And almost at the same moment the palace
musicians, in dark-blue, red, and gold, wearing short swords, and
carrying shining brass instruments, marched into the inclosure. They
stood still, then dropped their instruments on the ground, moved away,
and sat down on the bank, lolling in easy attitudes. Time slipped
by, and important people strolled in, officers, court officials,
attendants. Eunuchs shambled loosely past in wonderfully fitting, long
frock-coats, wearing turquoise rings on their large weak hands, and
looking half-piteously impudent. Men hurried into the mosque carrying
brown Gladstone bags. Nazim Pasha, weary and grave, the weight of war
already on his shoulders, talked with the master of the ceremonies
beside steps before which lay a bright-yellow carpet.

This is the sultan’s entrance to the mosque. It is not imposing. The
two flights of steps curve on right and left to a trivial glass porch
which reminded me of that bulbous addition to certain pretentious
houses which is dignified by the name “winter garden.” Some smart, very
strong Turkish sailors lined up opposite me. Not far from the porch
stood a group of military doctors in somber uniforms. A second yellow
carpet was unrolled to cover the flight of steps on the left of the
porch, more eunuchs went by, more Gladstone bags were carried past me.
Then came soldiers in yellowish brown, and palace officials in white
and blue, with red collars. Two riding-horses were led by two grooms
toward the back of the mosque. The musicians rose languidly from the
bank, took up their instruments, turned round, and faced toward Yildiz.
Through the crowd, like a wind, went that curious stir which always
precedes an important event for which many people are waiting. Nazim
Pasha spoke to the chief of police, slowly moving his white-gloved
hands, and then from the hilltop came a rhythmical, booming noise of
men’s voices, very deep, very male: the soldiers before the gates were
acclaiming their sovereign. I saw a fluttering movement of pennons; the
sultan had emerged from the palace and was descending by the hidden
road to perform his devotions.

In perhaps five minutes an outrider appeared from behind the mosque,
advancing slowly parallel with the bank, followed by a magnificent
victoria, covered with gold and lined, I think, with satin, drawn by
two enormous brown horses the harness of which was plated with gold.
They were driven from the box by a gorgeous coachman, who was standing.
The musicians, turning once more, struck up the “Sultan’s Hymn,” the
soldiers presented arms; the brown horses wheeled slowly round, and
I saw within a few paces of me, sitting alone in the victoria in a
curious, spread-out attitude, a bulky and weary old man in a blue
uniform, wearing white kid gloves and the fez. He was staring straight
before him, and on his unusually large fair face there was no more
expression than there is on a white envelop. Women twittered. Men
saluted. The victoria stopped beside the bright-yellow carpet. After
a moment’s pause, as if emerging from a sort of trance, the Calif of
Islam got up and stepped slowly and heavily out, raising one hand to
his fez. Then, as if with an abrupt effort to show alertness, he walked
almost quickly up the steps to the glass porch, turned just before
entering it, stood for an instant looking absolutely blank, again
saluted, swung round awkwardly and disappeared. Almost immediately
afterward one of his sons, a rather short and fair young man with a
flushed face, attended by an officer, hurried past me and into the
mosque by another entrance.

A few persons went away while his Majesty was praying; but all the
pilgrims stayed, and I stayed with them. Several of the officials
walked about on the gravel, talked, smoked, and drank orangeade, which
a servant brought to them on a silver tray. Now and then from within
the mosque came to us the loud murmur of praying voices. The soldiers
of the body-guard descended the hill from the gates of Yildiz on
foot, leading their horses, and assembled outside the courtyard. They
were followed by a brilliant squadron of cavalry in dark-blue-and-red
uniforms, with green-and-red saddle-cloths; their blood-red flag was
borne before them, and their own music accompanied them. The soldiers
in yellowish brown had piled arms and were standing at ease, smoking
and talking. Twenty minutes perhaps went by, then a Gladstone bag was
carried out of the mosque. We all gazed at it with reverence. What was
in it? Or, if there was nothing, what had been recently taken out of
it? I never shall know. As the bag vanished, a loud sound of singing
came from within, and a troop of palace guards in vivid-red uniforms,
with white-and-red toques trimmed with black astrakhan, marched into
the court led by an officer. Some gendarmes followed them. Then the
chief of police tripped forward with nervous agility, and made us all
cross over and stand with our backs to the bank in a long line. An
outrider, dressed in green and gold, and holding a big whip, rode in on
a huge strawberry-roan horse. Behind him came a green-and-red brougham
with satin cushions, drawn by a pair of strawberry roans. A smart
coachman and footman sat on the box, and on each side rode two officers
on white horses.

Now the singing ceased in the mosque. People began to come out. The
sultan’s son, less flushed, passed by on foot, answering swiftly
the salutes of the people. The brougham was drawn up before the
bright-yellow carpet. Nazim Pasha once more stood there talking with
several officials. The soldiers had picked up their arms, the sailors
were standing at attention.

Then there was a very long wait.

“The sultan is taking coffee.”

Another five minutes passed.

“The sultan is sleeping.”

On this announcement being made to me, I thought seriously of departing
in peace; but a Greek friend, who had spoken to an official, murmured
in my ear:

“The sultan is awake and is changing his clothes.”

This sounded promising, and I decided to wait.

It seemed to me that his Majesty was a very long time at his toilet;
but at last we were rewarded. Abruptly from the glass porch he appeared
in European dress, with very baggy trousers much too long in the leg
and a voluminous black frock-coat. He stood for a moment holding the
frock-coat with both hands, as if wishing to wrap himself up in it.
Then, still grasping it, he walked quickly down the steps, his legs
seeming almost to ripple beneath the weight of his body, and stepped
heavily into the brougham, which swung upon its springs. The horses
moved, the carriage passed close to me, and again I gazed at this
mighty sovereign, while the Eastern pilgrims salaamed to the ground.
Mechanically he saluted. His large face was still unnaturally blank,
and yet somehow it looked kind. And I felt that this old man was weary
and sad, that his long years of imprisonment had robbed him of all
vitality, of all power to enjoy; that he was unable to appreciate the
pageant of life in which now, by the irony of fate, he was called to
play the central part. All alone he sat in the bright-colored brougham,
carrying a flaccid hand to his fez and gazing blankly before him. The
carriage passed out of the courtyard, but it did not go up the hill to
the palace.

“The sultan,” said a voice, “is going out into the country to rest and
to divert himself.”

To rest, perhaps; but to divert himself!

After that day I often saw before me a large white envelop, and the
most expressive people in the world were salaaming before it.

(To be continued)




    Because I left the hearthstone to watch the stars at night,
      Because I loved the forest and wandered there alone,
    The little fairy people who mock at human might
      They set a spell upon me and chose me for their own.

    The Little People called me--and oh, their word was sweet!
      Fair as the towers of sunset I saw their kingdom rise--
    But I knew my mother listened for the coming of my feet.
      In tears the vision darkened and vanished from mine eyes.

    The Little People called me to cast with them my lot
      Or nevermore to see them, for mine own kindred’s sake.
    The heart cried out within me, and yet I faltered not.
      My people were my people--what choice was mine to make?

    My people are my people, and dear they are to me,
      Yet sometimes comes a longing--till I hardly dare to pray--
    For that far land of wonder that I shall never see,
      And for the Little People from whom I turned away.





    Oh, what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
      Alone and palely loitering?
    The sedge has withered from the lake,
      And no birds sing.

    Oh, what can ail thee, knight-at-arms
      So haggard and so woebegone?
    The squirrel’s granary is full,
      And the harvest’s done.

    I see a lily on thy brow
      With anguish moist and fever-dew,
    And on thy cheeks a fading rose
      Fast withereth too.

    I met a lady in the mead,
      Full beautiful--a fairy’s child,
    Her hair was long, her foot was light,
      And her eyes were wild.

    I made a garland for her head,
      And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
    She looked at me as she did love,
      And made sweet moan.

    I set her on my pacing steed
      And nothing else saw all day long,
    For sidelong would she bend, and sing
      A fairy song.

    She found me roots of relish sweet,
      And honey wild and manna-dew,
    And sure in language strange she said,
      “I love thee true.”

    She took me to her elfin grot,
      And there she wept and sighed full sore;
    And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
      With kisses four.

    And there she lullèd me asleep,
      And there I dreamed--ah! woe betide!
    The latest dream I ever dreamed
      On the cold hill’s side.

    I saw pale kings and princes too,
      Pale warriors, death-pale were they all:
    They cried, “La belle dame sans merci
      Hath thee in thrall!”

    I saw their starved lips in the gloam
      With horrid warning gapèd wide,
    And I awoke and found me here
      On the cold hill’s side.

    And this is why I sojourn here
      Alone and palely loitering,
    Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
      And no birds sing.


[Illustration: Drawn by Paul Meylan. Half-tone plate engraved by C. W.


    “_I set her on my pacing steed
    And nothing else saw all day long._”--~Keats.~




Author of “The Village Convict,” “Eli,” etc.



“The minister’s got a job,” said Mr. Snell.

Mr. Snell had been driven in by a shower from the painting of a barn,
and was now sitting, with one bedaubed overall leg crossed over the
other, in Mr. Hamblin’s shop.

Half a dozen other men who had likewise found in the rain a call to
leisure looked up at him inquiringly.

“How do you mean?” said Mr. Noyes, who sat beside him, girt with a
nail-pocket. “‘The minister’s got a job?’ How do you mean?” And Mr.
Noyes assumed a listener’s air, and stroked his thin, yellow beard.

Mr. Snell smiled with half-shut, knowing eyes, but made no answer.

“How do you mean?” repeated Mr. Noyes. “‘The minister’s got a job?’ Of
course he has--got a stiddy job. We knew that before.”

“Very well,” said Mr. Snell, with a placid face; “seeing’s you know so
much about it, enough said. Let it rest there.”

“But,” said Mr. Noyes, nervously blowing his nose, “you lay down this
proposition: ‘The minister’s got a job.’ Now I ask, what is it?”

Mr. Snell uncrossed his legs, and stooped to pick up a last, which he
proceeded to scan with a shrewd, critical eye.

“Narrer foot,” he said to Mr. Hamblin.

“Private last--Doctor Hunter’s,” said Mr. Hamblin, laying down a
boot upon which he was stitching an outer sole, and rising to make a
ponderous, elephantine excursion across the quaking shop to the earthen
water-pitcher, from which he took a generous draft.

“Well, Brother Snell,” said Mr. Noyes,--they were members together of a
secret organization, of which Mr. Snell was P. G. W. T. F., “ain’t you
going to tell us? What is this job? That is to say, what--is it?”

Brother Snell set his thumbs firmly in the armholes of his waistcoat,
surveyed the smoke-stained pictures pasted on the wall, looked keen,
and softly whistled. At last he condescended to explain.

“Preaching Uncle Capen’s funeral sermon.”

There was a subdued general laugh. Even Mr. Hamblin’s leathern apron

Mr. Noyes, however, painfully looking down upon his beard to draw out a
white hair, maintained his serious expression.

“I don’t see much ‘job’ in that,” he said. “A minister’s supposed to
preach a hundred and four sermons in each and every year, and there’s
plenty more where they come from. What’s one sermon more or less when
stock costs nothing? It’s like wheeling gravel from the pit.”

[Illustration: HEMAN W. CHAPLIN (“C. H. WHITE”)

Author of “The New Minister’s Great Opportunity”]

“O. K.,” said Mr. Snell; “if ’tain’t no trouble, then ’tain’t.
But seeing’s you know, suppose you specify the materials for this
particular discourse.”

Mr. Noyes looked a little disconcerted.

“Well,” he said, “of course I can’t set here and compose a funereal
discourse offhand without no writing-desk; but there’s stock enough to
make a sermon of any time.”

“Oh, come,” said Mr. Snell, “don’t sneak out; particularize.”

“Why,” said Mr. Noyes, “you’ve only to open the leds of your Bible, and
choose a text, and then: When did this happen? Why did this happen? To
who did this happen? and so forth and so on; and there’s your sermon.
I’ve heard ’em so a hunderd times.”

“All right,” said Mr. Snell; “I don’t doubt, you know: but as for me,
I for one never happened to hear of anything that Uncle Capen did but
whitewash and saw wood. Now, what sort of an autobiographical sermon
could you make out of sawing wood?”

Whereat Leander Buffum proceeded, by that harsh, guttural noise well
known to country boys, to imitate the sound of sawing through a log.

His sally was warmly greeted.

“The minister might narrate,” said Mr. Blood, “what Uncle Capen said to
Issachar, when Issachar told him that he charged high for sawing wood.
‘See here,’ says Uncle Capen, ‘s’pos’n’ I do. My arms are shorter ’n
other folks’s, and it takes me just so much longer to do it.’”

“Well,” said Mr. Noyes, “I’m a fair man; always do exactly right is
the rule I go by; and I will frankly admit now and here that if it’s a
biographical discourse they want, they’ll have to cut corners.”

“Pre-cisely,” said Mr. Snell; “and that’s just what they do want.”

“Well, well,” said Mr. Hamblin, laboriously rising and putting his
spectacles into their silver case, for it was suppertime, “joking one
side, if Uncle Capen never did set the pond afire, we’d all rather take
his chances to-day, I guess, than those of some smarter men.”

At which Mr. Snell turned red; for he was a very smart man, and had
just failed, to everybody’s surprise,--for there was no reason in the
world why he should fail,--and had created more merriment for the
public than joy among his creditors by paying a cent and a half on the

       *       *       *       *       *

“Come in and sit down,” said Dr. Hunter as the young minister appeared
at his office door; and he tipped back in his chair, and put his feet
upon a table. “What’s the news?”

“Doctor,” said Mr. Holt, laughing, as he laid down his hat and took an
arm-chair, “you told me to come to you for any information. Now, I
want materials for a sermon on old Mr. Capen.”

The doctor looked at him with a half-amused expression, and then
sending out a curl of blue smoke, he watched it as it rose melting into
the general air.

“You don’t smoke, I believe?” he said to the minister.

Holt shook his head and smiled.

The doctor put his cigar back into his mouth, clasped one knee in his
hands, and fixed his eyes in meditation on a one-eared Hippocrates
looking down with a dirty face from the top of a bookcase. Perhaps the
doctor was thinking of the two or three hundred complimentary visits he
had been permitted to make upon Uncle Capen within ten years.

Presently a smile broke over his face.

“I must tell you before I forget it,” he said, “how Uncle Capen
nursed one of my patients. Years and years ago I had John Ellis, our
postmaster now, down with a fever. One night Uncle Capen watched; you
know he was spry and active till he was ninety. Every hour he was to
give Ellis a little ice-water, and when the first time came, he took a
table-spoonful--there was only a dim light in the room--and poured the
ice-water down Ellis’s neck. Well, Ellis jumped as much as so sick a
man could, and then lifted his finger to his lips. ‘Here’s my mouth,’
said he. ‘Why, why,’ said Uncle Capen, ‘is that your mouth? I took that
for a wrinkle in your forehead.’”

The minister laughed.

“I have heard a score of such stories to-day,” he said. “There seem to
be enough of them; but I can’t find anything adapted to a sermon, and
yet they seem to expect a detailed biography.”

“Ah, that’s just the trouble,” said the doctor. “But let us go into the
house. My wife remembers everything that ever happens, and she can post
you up on Uncle Capen, if anybody can.”

So they crossed the dooryard into the house.

Mrs. Hunter was sewing; a neighbor, come to tea, was crocheting
wristers for her grandson. They were both talking at once as the doctor
opened the sitting-room door.

“Since neither of you appears to be listening,” he said, as they
started up, “I won’t apologize for interrupting. Mr. Holt is
collecting facts about Uncle Capen for his funeral sermon, and I
thought that my good wife could help him out, if anybody could. So I
will leave him.”

And the doctor, nodding, went into the hall for his coat and
driving-gloves, and, going out, disappeared round the corner of the

“You will really oblige me very much, Mrs. Hunter,” said the
minister--“or Mrs. French, if you can give me any particulars about
old Mr. Capen’s life. His family seem to be rather sensitive, and they
depend on a long, old-fashioned funeral sermon; and here I am utterly
bare of facts.”

“Why, yes,” said Mrs. Hunter. “Of course. Now--”

“Why, yes; everybody knows all about him,” said Mrs. French.

And then they laid their work down and relapsed into meditation.

“Oh!” said Mrs. Hunter in a moment. “No, though--”

“Why, you know,” said Mrs. French--“no, I guess, on the whole--”

“You remember,” said the doctor’s wife to Mrs. French, with a faint
smile, “the time he papered my east chamber, don’t you--how he made the
pattern come?”

And then they both laughed gently for a moment.

“Well, I have always known him,” said Mrs. French; “but really, being
asked so suddenly, it seems to drive everything out of my head.”

“Yes,” said Mrs. Hunter, “and it’s odd that I can’t think of exactly
the thing just at this minute; but if I do, I will run over to the
parsonage this evening.”

“Yes, so will I,” said Mrs. French. “I know that I shall think of
oceans of things just as soon as you have gone.”

“Won’t you stay to tea?” said Mrs. Hunter as Holt rose to go. “The
doctor has gone; but we never count on him.”

“No, I thank you,” said Mr. Holt. “If I am to invent a biography, I may
as well be at it.”

Mrs. Hunter went with him to the door.

“I must just tell you,” she said, “one of Uncle Capen’s sayings. It was
long ago, when I was first married, and came here. I had a young men’s
Bible class in Sunday-school, and Uncle Capen came into it. He always
wore a cap, and sat at meetings with the boys. So one Sunday we had in
the lesson that verse,--you know,--that if all these things should be
written, even the world itself could not contain the books that should
be written; and there Uncle Capen stopped me, and said he, ‘I suppose
that means the world as known to the ancients.’”

       *       *       *       *       *

Holt put on his hat, and with a smile turned and went on his way toward
the parsonage; but he remembered that he had promised to call at what
the local paper termed “the late residence of the deceased,” where, on
the one hundredth birthday of the centenarian, according to the poet’s

    “Friends, neighbors, and visitors he did receive
    From early in the morning till dewy eve.”

So he turned his steps in that direction.

He opened the clicking latch of the gate and rattled the knocker on the
front door of the little cottage, and a tall, motherly woman of the
neighborhood appeared and ushered him in.

Uncle Capen’s unmarried daughter, a woman of sixty, her two brothers
and their wives, and half a dozen neighbors were sitting in the tidy
kitchen, where a crackling wood-fire in the stove was suggesting a
hospitable cup of tea.

The minister’s appearance, breaking the formal gloom, was welcomed.

“Well,” said Miss Maria, “I suppose the sermon is all writ by this
time. I think likely you’ve come down to read it to us.”

“No,” said Holt, “I have left the actual writing of it till I get all
my facts. I thought perhaps you might have thought of something else.”

“No; I told you everything there was about Father yesterday,” she
said. “I’m sure you can’t lack of things to put in; why, Father lived
a hundred years--and longer, too, for he was a hundred years and six
days, you remember.”

“You know,” said Holt, “there are a great many things that are very
interesting to a man’s immediate friends that don’t interest the

And he looked to Mr. Small for confirmation.

“Yes, that’s so,” said Mr. Small, nodding wisely.

“But, you see, Father was a centenarian,” said Maria, “and so that
makes everything about him interesting. It’s a lesson to the young, you

“Oh, yes, that’s so,” said Mr. Small, “if a man lives to be a

“Well, you all knew our good friend,” said Mr. Holt. “If any of you
will suggest anything, I shall be very glad to put it in.”

Nobody spoke for a moment.

“There’s one interesting thing,” said one of the sons, a little old man
much like his father; “that is, that none of his children have ever
gone meandering off. We’ve all remained”--he might almost have said
remained seated--“all our lives right about him.”

“I will allude to that,” said Mr. Holt. “I hope you have something
else, for I am afraid of running short of material: you see, I am a
stranger here.”

“Why, I hope there won’t be any trouble about it,” said Maria, in
sudden consternation. “I was a little afraid to give it out to so young
a man as you, and I thought some of giving the preference to Father
Cobb; but I didn’t quite like to have it go out of the village, nor
to deprive you of the opportunity, and they all assured me that you
was smart. But if you’re feeling nervous, perhaps we’d better have him
still; he’s always ready.”

“Just as you like,” said Holt, modestly; “if he would be willing to
preach the sermon, we might leave it that way, and I will add a few

But Maria’s zeal for Father Cobb was a flash in the pan. He was a
sickly farmer, a licensed preacher, who, when he was called upon
occasionally to meet a sudden exigency, usually preached on the
beheading of John the Baptist.

“I guess you’ve got things enough to write,” said Maria, consolingly;
“you know how awfully a thing does drag out when you come to write it
down on paper. Remember to tell how we’ve all stayed right here.”

       *       *       *       *       *

When Holt went out, he saw Mr. Small beckoning him to come to where his
green wagon stood under a tree.

“I must tell you,” he said, with an awkwardly repressed smile, “about a
trade of Uncle Capen’s. He had a little lot up our way that they wanted
for a schoolhouse, and he agreed to sell it for what it cost him,
and the selectmen, knowing what it cost him,--fifty dollars,--agreed
with him that way. But come to sign the deed, he called for a hundred

“‘How’s that?’ says they. ‘You bought it of Captain Sam Bowen for fifty

“‘Yes, but see here,’ says Uncle Capen, ‘it’s cost me on an average
five dollars a year for the ten year’ I’ve had it for manure and
plowing and seed, and that’s fifty dollars more.’

“‘But you’ve sold the garden stuff off it, and had the money,’ says

“‘Yes,’ says Uncle Capen, ‘but that money’s spent and eat up long ago.’”

The minister smiled, shook hands with Mr. Small, and went home.

       *       *       *       *       *

The church was crowded. Horses filled the sheds, horses were tied to
the fences all up and down the street. Funerals are always popular in
the country, and this one had a double element of attractiveness. The
whole population of the town, having watched for years with a lively
interest Uncle Capen’s progress to his hundredth birthday, expected now
some electrical effect analogous to an apotheosis.

In the front pews were the chief mourners, filled with the sweet
intoxication of preëminence.

The opening exercises were finished, a hymn was sung:

    “Life is a span,”

and Father Cobb arose to make his introductory remarks.

He began with some reminiscences of the first time he saw Uncle Capen,
some thirty years before, and spoke of viewing him even then as an
aged man, and of having remarked to him that he was walking down the
valley of life with one foot in the grave. He called attention to Uncle
Capen’s virtues, and pointed out their connection with his longevity.
He had not smoked for forty years; therefore, if the youth who were
present desired to attain his age, let them not smoke. He had been a
total abstainer, moreover, from his seventieth year; let them, if they
would rival his longevity, follow his example. The good man closed with
a feeling allusion to the relatives, in the front pew, mourning like
the disciples of John the Baptist after his “beheadment.” Another hymn
was sung:

    “A vapor brief and swiftly gone.”

Then there was deep silence as the minister rose and gave out his text:

    “I have been young, and now I am old.”

       *       *       *       *       *

“At the time of the grand review in Washington,” he said, “that mighty
pageant that fittingly closed the drama of the war, I was a spectator,
crippled then by a gunshot wound, and unable to march. From an upper
window I saw that host file by, about to record its greatest triumph by
melting quietly into the general citizenship; a mighty, resistless army
about to fade and leave no trace, except here and there a one-armed
man, or a blue flannel jacket behind a plow. Often now, when I close
my eyes, that picture rises, that gallant host, those tattered flags;
and I hear the shouts that rose when my brigade, with their flaming
scarfs, went trooping by. Little as I may have done as a humble member
of that army, no earthly treasure could buy from me the thought of my
fellowship with it, or even the memory of that great review.

“But that display was mere tinsel show compared with the great pageant
that has moved before those few men who have lived through the whole
length of the last hundred years.

“Before me lies the form of a man who, though he has passed his days
with no distinction but that of an honest man, has lived through some
of the most remarkable events of all the ages. For a hundred years a
mighty pageant has been passing before him. I would rather have lived
that hundred years than any other. I am deeply touched to reflect
that he who lately inhabited this cold tenement of clay connects our
generation with that of Washington. And it is impossible to speak of
one whose great age draws together this assembly without recalling
events through which he lived.

“Our friend was born in this village. This town then included the
adjoining towns to the north and south. The region was then more
sparsely settled, although many houses standing then have disappeared.
While he was sleeping peacefully in the cradle, while he was opening
on the world childhood’s wide, wondering eyes, those great men whose
names are our perpetual benediction were planning for freedom from a
foreign yoke. While he was passing through the happy years of early
childhood, the fierce clash of arms resounded through the little strip
of territory which then made up the United States. I can hardly realize
that, as a child, he heard as a fresh, new, real story of the deeds of
Lexington from the lips of men then young who had been in the fight; or
listened, as one of an eager group gathered about the fireside, or in
the old, now deserted taverns on the turnpike, to the story of Bunker

“And when, the yoke of tyranny thrown off in our country and in France,
Lafayette, the mere mention of whose name brings tears to the eyes of
every true American, came to see the America that he loved and that
loved him, he on whose cold, rigid face I now look down joined in one
of those enthusiastic throngs that made the visit like a Roman triumph.

“But turn to the world of nature, and think of the panoramic scenes
that have passed before those now impassive eyes. In our friend’s
boyhood, there was no practical mode of swift communication of news. In
great emergencies, to be sure, some Paul Revere might flash his beacon
light from a lofty tower; but news crept slowly over our hand-breadth
nation, and it was months after a Presidential election before the
result was generally known. He lived to see the telegraph flashing
swiftly about the globe, annihilating time and space, and bringing the
scattered nations into greater unity.

“And think, my hearers, for one moment of the wonders of electricity.
Here is a power which we name, but do not know, that flashes through
the sky, that shatters great trees, burns buildings, strikes men dead
in the fields; and we have learned to lead it, all unseen, from our
house-tops to the earth; we tame this mighty, secret, unknown power
down into serving us as a daily messenger; and no man sets the limits
now to the servitude that we shall yet bind it down to.

[Illustration: Drawn by Harry Townsend. Half-tone plate engraved by H.
C. Merrill.


“Again, my hearers, when our friend was well advanced in life, there
was still no better mode of travel between distant points than the
slow, rumbling stage-coach; many who are here remember well its delays
and discomforts. He saw the first tentative efforts of that mighty
factor steam to transport more swiftly. He saw the first railroad built
in the country; he lived to see the land covered with the iron network.

“And what a transition is this! Pause for a moment to consider it.
How much does this imply? With the late improvements in agricultural
machinery, with the cheapening of steel rails, the boundless prairie
farms of the West are now brought into competition with the fields
of Great Britain in supplying the Englishman’s table, and seem not
unlikely, within this generation, to break down the aristocratic
holding of land, and so perhaps to undermine aristocracy itself.”

So the preacher continued, speaking of different improvements, and
lastly of the invention of daguerreotypes and photographs. He called
the attention of his hearers to this almost miraculous art of indelibly
fixing the expression of a countenance, and drew a lesson as to the
permanent effect of our daily looks and expression on those among whom
we live. He considered at length the vast amount of happiness which
had been caused by bringing pictures of loved ones within the reach of
all, the increase of family affection and general good feeling which
must have resulted from the invention, and suggested a possible lifting
of the civilization of the older nations through the constant sending
home, by prosperous adopted citizens, of photographs of themselves and
of their homes, and referred to the effect which that must have had in
new immigration.

Finally, he adverted to the fact that the sons of the deceased, who sat
before him, had not yielded to the restless spirit of adventure, but
had found “no place like home.”

“But I fear,” he said at last, “that the interest of my subject has
made me transgress upon your patience; and with a word or two more I
will close.

“When we remember what hard, trying things often arise within a single
day, let us rightly estimate the patient well-doing of a man who has
lived a blameless life for a hundred years. When we remember what harm,
what sin, can be crowded into a single moment, let us rightly estimate
the principle that kept him so close to the golden rule not for a day,
not for a decade or a generation, but for a hundred years.

“And now, as we are about to lay his deserted body in the earth, let
not our perceptions be dulled by the constant repetition in this
world of death and burial. At this hour our friend is no longer aged;
wrinkles and furrows, trembling limbs and snowy locks, he has left
behind him, and he knows, we believe, to-day more than the wisest
philosopher on earth. We may study and argue all our lives to discover
the nature of life or the form it takes beyond the grave; but in one
moment of swift transition the righteous man may learn it all. We
differ widely one from another here in mental power. A slight hardening
of some tissue of the brain might have left a Shakspere an attorney’s
clerk. But in the brighter world no such impediments prevent, I
believe, clear vision and clear expression; and differences of mind
that seem world-wide here may vanish there. When the spirit breaks its
earthly prison and flies away, who can tell how bright and free the
humblest of us may come to be? There may be a more varied truth than we
commonly think in the words, ‘The last shall be first.’

“Let this day be remembered. Let us think of the vast display of
nature’s forces which was made within the long period of our old
neighbor’s life; but let us also reflect upon the bright pageant that
is now unrolling itself before him in a better world.”

       *       *       *       *       *

That evening Miss Maria and her brothers, sitting in state in the
little old house, received many a caller, and the conversation was
chiefly upon one theme: not the funeral sermon, although that was
commended as a frank and simple biographical discourse, but the great
events which had accompanied Uncle Capen’s progress through this world,
almost like those which Horace records in his ode to Augustus.

“That’s trew, every word,” said Apollos Carver. “When Uncle Capen was a
boy there wasn’t one railroad in the hull breadth of the United States,
and, just think, why, now you can go in a Pullerman car clear acrost to
San Francisco. My daughter lives in Oakland, just across a ferry from

“Well, then, there’s photographing,” said Captain Abel. “It doos seem
amazing, as the minister said: you set down, and square yourself, and
slick your hair, and stare stiddy into a funnel, and a man ducks his
head under a covering, and, _pop!_ there you be as natural as life, if
not more so. And when Uncle Capen was a young man there wasn’t nothing
but portraits and mini’tures, and these black-paper-and-scissors
portraits--what do they call ’em? Yes, sir, all that come in under his

“Yes,” said one of the sons, “it’s wonderful. My wife and me was took
setting on a settee in the Garden of Eden, lions and tigers and other
scriptural objects in the background.”

“And don’t forget the telegraph,” said Maria; “don’t forget that.”

“Trew,” said Apollos, “that’s another thing. I hed a message come oncet
from my son that lives to Taunton. We was all so sca’t and faint when
we see it that we didn’t none of us dast to open it, and finally the
feller that druv over with it hed to open it fer us.”

“What was there in it?” said Mr. Small. “Sickness, death?”

“No; he wanted his thick coat expressed up. But my wife didn’t get over
the shock for some time. Wonderful thing that telegraph. Here’s a man
standing a hundred miles off, like enough, and harpooning an idea chock
right into your mind.”

“Then that was a beautiful truth,” said Maria, “that Father and
Shakspere would probably be changed round in heaven. I always said
Father wasn’t appreciated here.”

“Well,” said Apollos, “’tis always so; we don’t begin to realize the
value of a thing tell we lose it. Now that we sort o’ stand and gaze at
Uncle Capen at a fair distance, as it were, he looms. If he only hedn’t
kep’ so quiet always about these ’ere wonders; a man really ought, in
justice to himself, to blow his own horn jest a little. But that was a
grand discourse, wasn’t it, now?”

“Oh, yes,” said Maria, “though I felt nervous for the young man; but
when you come to think what materials he had to make a sermon out of,
why, how could he help it? And yet I doubt not he takes all the credit
to himself.”

“I should really have liked to have heard Father Cobb treat the
subject,” said Mrs. Small, rising to go, and nodding to her husband.
“’Twas a grand theme. But it was a real chance for the new minister.
Such an opportunity doesn’t happen not once in a lifetime.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The next morning, after breakfast, on his way home from the
post-office, the minister stopped in at Dr. Hunter’s office.

The doctor was reading a newspaper.

Holt took a chair in silence.

The doctor laid down the paper and eyed him quizzically, and then
slowly shook his head.

“I don’t know about you ministers,” he said. “I attended the funeral;
I heard the biographical discourse; I understand it gave great
satisfaction. I have reflected on it over night, and now, what I want
to know is, what on earth there was in it about Uncle Capen?”

The minister smiled.

“I think,” he replied, “that all that I said about Uncle Capen was
strictly true.”


[4] Reprinted from ~The Century~ for August, 1883, and included in the
author’s volume of short stories “Five Hundred Dollars,” published by
Little, Brown & Company, Boston.




    When Beauty, white
    As lilies in Eden night,
    Woke for the deepening heavens’ delight,

    Her rosy looks
    Taught laughter to the brooks,
    And were the world’s first gospel-books.

    And wild things came,
    By loveliness made tame,
    And fawned on her pure feet with eyes of flame.

    Yet, though her splendor
    Made the fierce earth surrender,
    And drew those burning panthers to attend her;

    Though in her bowers,
    She ruled harmonious hours,
    And rode her lions with a leash of flowers;

    They did not lose
    The suppleness of their thews,
    Nor that fierce might, loved by the warrior Muse.

    Music hath fire,
    Passion and deep desire,
    That now plumb hell, and now to heaven aspire.

    Yet, to be strong,
    Must that tumultuous throng
    Never escape the reins that guide the song.

    So, gloriously,
    She ruled earth, sky, and sea,
    Being herself the law of harmony.

    Strong charioteer,
    The steeds are thine to steer!
    Rule our weak souls! Bring back the Golden Year.




Author of “What Camilla did with Her Money,” etc.


Never did there live a pretty woman so poor in faith as Camilla, where
the protestations of her adorers were concerned.[5] It was certainly
not when they professed to find her charming that she was incredulous,
nor yet when they declared themselves _épris_. It was when they
asserted for their sentiments, durability; for themselves, the same
conspicuous constancy as distinguishes the north star.

Particularly during the period when she was known as Princess Elaguine,
and lived in Paris, was comment made--in those circles where it
is thought no shame to talk over lovely ladies--upon the ultimate
inaccessibility of the princess, who was yet so ready to be courted.
She liked the society of men, delighted in the atmosphere of their
lively admiration, accepted their compliments as animals in the Zoo
will swallow buns. But she no more reposed confidence in them than she
would have reached with her hand through the bars of the wild-beast

A singular case. For she was Italian, and though her eyes were cool
and green, there lurked in her face somewhere--her lips, perhaps, or
her eyelids, or her cheeks or chin--what physiognomist could tell?--a
promise of warmth and richness that drew foolish fellows to press on
and on--till they came to a barrier, beyond which she looked at them
with ironical eyes which told them that, sorry for them though she was,
she did not believe in them one little bit. Not one of her critics had
the intelligence, probably, to guess what was at bottom of it. (Yet how
common it is, when you find a person afraid of dogs, to discover that
he was bitten when a child!) And far from Camilla would it have been to
set them on the right scent.

The truth was, in her mind there lived the memory--quite fresh still
when she chose to recall it, so deep a mark had it made--of a passage
in her youth to which was referable the line of a whole life with
regard to the tender passion. It was the memory, as you have guessed,
of her first affair.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was in Florence, where she was born and brought up. They were
tarradiddles which she told later about her origin: that her mother
was a Roman marchesa and her father court physician to Victor Emmanuel
II, and that her name was Cordez. Her name, as a matter of truth, was
Bugiani. Her mother had at one time waited on customers in a village
_osteria_, at another had been a house-servant. The man who called her
daughter was something or other at the railway-station. Her aunt was
a cook. Her sister Bianca worked in a little shop on Porta Rossa at
making straw-braid into hats, with other gossiping little women who ate
their simple lunch out of a piece of newspaper. Her brother Olindo was
apprenticed to a gardener.

When the truth about Camilla comes out, anybody may know how it
happened that she received an education so immeasurably above that
enjoyed by the rest of her family--as fine an education for a woman as
Florence could afford. The elegant boarding-school where she lived ten
months of the year, the Institut Heller, had a reputation to maintain.

Her two-months’ vacation Camilla spent at home, perforce, with her
plebeian family, in the hot city.

The house stood in a wide, pleasant street, and had a handsome
entrance. The main door, open all day, let you under a high arched way.
The door to the ground floor gave on this, and the staircase climbed
from it to the upper stories, each occupied by a different family. This
passage ended in a court, with a plot of earth and an oleander or two;
on this opened the modest quarters of the Bugiani, who in consideration
of certain favors performed certain duties.

From all such Camilla was exempt. Antenore--Babbo, she called
him--never suggested that she should work in the summer like Bianca,
at straw-braiding or some such thing. It went against the grain, but
what would you? Being reserved for a different destiny, she must not be
creating for herself a past she might blush for, nor yet hardening her
hands with labor. So she never answered the night ring at the big front
door, never touched the huge pump-handle in the court, by which this
house, boasting every modern convenience, was supplied with water in
all its kitchens.

Every morning at nine she appeared in the _portone_ dressed for the
street, a picture of the well-born, well-bred young lady who never
steps out unescorted. But where was her maid, where her duenna? About
this matter there was simply nothing to be done. A bitter necessity
to Antenore that his young daughters should run about Florence
unattended--part of the hardship that drew from him so often the
remark that Poverty is a Pig.

Had he been able, however, to keep a constant eye upon Camilla, he
would have seen nothing to blame. She went quietly and swiftly, looking
neither to right nor left, her well-brought-up eyes slid away from
those of Man, appearing to prefer the paving-stones. She conducted
herself like the young ladies of good family among whom she had lived;
her clothes were such as theirs, their traditions had perfectly become
hers; whether escorted or not, she was not to be taken for any but one
of them.

Down the long street she walked to the Institut Heller, which occupied
the first floor of a characteristic brown Florentine palazzo, at
the corner of a wide sunny piazza with a marble-faced old church.
Camilla went there to practise. As she had no piano at home, it had
been arranged that she should continue during vacation to use the
Pleyel upright in the school music-room, and incidentally redirect
Mademoiselle Heller’s mail. The servant left as caretaker could neither
write nor read.

So at nine daily Camilla would set forth, in a pale yellow batiste and
a black hat with a plume, carrying gloves and a parasol. Her charming
eyebrows were obscured by the “fringe” which had come into fashion--for
this was 1879; a thick braid hung down her neck, where it was turned
back and fastened with a velvet bow.

She was not yet very pretty. The green sepals wrapped the folded
rose-leaves rather straightly, the future rose hardly yet knew itself
to be a rose. Antenore had no such great need to feel uneasiness at the
thought of bees and butterflies.

Her little head, of course, was full of the vague dreams of sixteen,
which does not mean the dreams of a New England maiden of sixteen.
Camilla’s grandmother had been married before that age, one of her
schoolmates, only fifteen, had left school to become affianced; the
Veronese Juliet, it will be remembered, was fourteen. Though Camilla
fulfilled the European ideal of a _jeune fille_, unstained by so much
as an unauthorized breath, and had the pretty, virginal air of such,
she may be described, rather than as a stick of green wood, as a little
bonfire in preparation--dry brush and resinous pine, all duly laid and
for the present cold, but ready to sparkle and flame when the Torch
should come.

Unconscious of this, she could still think of forty things besides
love. Her chief sentiment in reaching the freedom of the streets was
that it would be pleasant to be for several hours away from home,
to have a series of cool, empty, palatial rooms all to herself--to
practise, yes, but also to read and to look out of the window.

That was her chief sentiment on the fifth of July. By the
fifteenth--But it cannot be said that Camilla ever honestly regretted
the relative simplicity which she lost that summer.

With all her air of minding her own distinguished affairs, she yet saw
everything. She knew by sight the tenants of the house, of course, for
whom the Babbo and Olindo, or Aunt Battistina and Bianca, combining
forces, agitated the stiff pump-handle. She was familiar with the
faces she passed daily on her way. And she naturally remarked, the
second time he appeared there, a youth, an idle, slender _damerino_,
who seemed waiting for something, on the opposite side of the street.
The third time she saw him, she wondered whom he was there for. The
breath-catching possibility striking her that he waited to see her come
forth--for that style of thing was done in Florence in those days--she
gave him his share of an abstracted look, taking in the house fronts
and the lamp-post near which he stood. A handsome man, young, the
faintest smear of charcoal-dust on his upper lip--seventeen, perhaps. A
son of family, quite certainly.

No, he was not there for her sake; he remained watching the door, while
pretending not to, after she had passed. For somebody else, then,
living in the same house. She had seen him half a dozen times before
she could determine whom. One evening she recognized him in the shadowy
form hanging about the stairs, once even in the court--her court! She
knew all by that time, and scorned him. It was the French maid on the
second floor. This person took a child out for the air every morning;
she went to the Fortezza, where the little one could play.

And he, a gentleman, could degrade himself to pursue that creature!
Parisian, yes, but ugly, and not a day less than twenty-five.

The rather sweet, hungry, expectant, young-dog look of a boy belonging
to circles where the maidens are so guarded that if there is to be
romance it must be sought where there are greater facilities, mollified
her not at all. It disgusted her. It disgusted her to the point finally
that, running into him unexpectedly under the archway, she drew herself
up and gave him a look in which was expressed all that decent people,
_la gente per bene_, think of such bad taste, a prolonged, punishing,
proud look; then passed on, her heart thumping with the excitement of
the thing.

On the day following, glancing from the tail of her eye to see whether
he were at his usual post, she did not find him. Before she had reached
the end of the street he passed her, then lingered and allowed her
to pass. She did it in a hurry, with downcast eyes and rising color.
Reaching Miss Heller’s, she rang with all her might. Never, it seemed
to her, never had old Italia in her distant kitchen been so slow in
pulling the wire that released the catch and allowed the little door
cut in the large one to swing inward.

When at midday she was obliged to come out again, the gallant was
standing sentry across the way. She was aware of him following her at a
just respectful distance.

To be followed by a man is frightening, for Man is a Hunter. There is
a difference, though, in the degree of disagreeableness of the fright,
if the Hunter is so desirable-looking as to be himself an imaginable
object of hunt.

Next day it was the same thing. At a just respectful distance he
followed her to school and back. On the day after that, the same.
When this proceeding had been kept up for three days, it took rightly
the aspect of romance, filling the thoughts of sixteen with surmises,
tremors, a sense of initiation, and the excitement of a great secret.

On the fourth morning, as she was reaching the school, he passed ahead
of her, and pushed a letter under the door.

It was inscribed, “To the First who shall enter.” It ran thus:


    I write to crave your pardon, and to explain my apparent
    impertinence in following you on the street. But how could a man
    of any sensibility endure the thought of so much _grazia_ and
    _gentilezza_ walking unprotected in a city with whose iniquities
    he is but too well acquainted? I cannot conceive of the false
    security or the remissness that so exposes a dove to falcons. Fear
    not that I shall myself presume to offer the offense which it is
    my determination to prevent others from offering. Regard me solely
    as a _cavaliere_ whose courage and strength are dedicated to your

    Suo devotissimo,
    ~Giulio Forti~.

How delicate! How knightly! Her climbing of the stairs was
sleep-walking. She adjusted the slats of the blind so that, unseen, she
could look at him where he loitered in the doorway across the street.
He must have very little to do, really, to afford all that time. But
of course it was vacation for him as for her. And he had the resource
of cigarettes. Now he was talking with the porter, of whom he had
just begged a light. He took off his straw hat to fan himself with
it, for even on the shady side of the freshly watered street it was
hot weather. He was a pretty boy--her words for him were “a handsome
man”--with a covering of close black astrakhan to his small round
head, a speaking eye, dainty features, and a warm-toned skin agreeably
sprinkled with freckles. He wore the carefully fitted clothes of a
good class, new, but not too new, and a light silk cravat chosen with

Camilla that day omitted scales and exercises. Her piano could be heard
in the street. She played her show pieces, “Les Cloches du Monastère,”
“Les Soupirs,” “La Caressante,” various Chopin waltzes.

When she came forth at noon, and her body-guard sprang from his door to
fall into the relation of a dog at her heels, he first begged wistfully
with his eyes to know by a look from her that he was understood and
forgiven. She gave him the look he wanted. A moment later he hustled
off the sidewalk a man who, he considered, had passed her too closely.
There was a high word or two, then the workman grumblingly fell away
from the irate young gentleman shaking his slender cane.

They were new heavens and new earth between which Camilla now moved
forth at morning, with an oleander at her breast, token that she was
a woman and adorned herself to be the more loved. For there was no
supposing that the vague fever in her veins, glowing by day and filling
the night with dreams, had not been caught, by a contagion as strange
as subtle, from the fever in his brown eyes.

At the end of a week his face, when upon reaching the school he hurried
forward without a word to pull the bell-handle for her, was pale with
anguish, and his eyes catching hers expressed urgent reproach. On the
morning following he unexpectedly pressed inside the door after her,
and pushed it to. They stood alone in the great stone hallway. He was
obviously agitated, and her heart had stopped.

“Signorina,” he burst forth, hoarse with the sincerity of his emotion,
“what have I done? I wish to know what you have against me. Never do
you give me a look, never a smile. You regard me with horror, it is
evident. And why? Why? I must find out before I live another day. If I
am repulsive to you I had best go and drown myself. Why, tell me, do
you act toward me as if I were either invisible or else a little dust
in the street? Am I a toad, a reptile, in your eyes?”

Camilla had clenched one hand and pressed it over her heart; she lifted
the other to her throat. Giulio was not surprised that a young girl
should be terrified in the circumstances to the point of fainting.
In this great moment the exhibition of her timidity must not make
him timid. Trembling at his own courage, he took her hands, in part
to reassure and if necessary support, in part to conquer further. He
pressed them with all his strength, and commanded, imploringly, “Look
at me in the face, and see whether I am such a monster! See whether you
find in my eyes anything but love and by loyalty! Look, I beg, look!
Look!” He waited, straining her hands.

Camilla, thus masterfully summoned, slowly lifted her face and looked.
Both of them looked volumes.

The next thing, he was gently grasping her head. She averted her lips
with unaffected shrinking. He very respectfully kissed her hair. He
hoped he knew how a well-brought-up man behaves with a well-brought-up
young girl.

A hard parrot voice, coming from above, out of sight, made them both
jump. “Who is there?” It was Italia, who, when she had pulled the wire
that governed the street-door, was wont to come down from her kitchen
and let the visitor in at the door of the first floor. Seeing no one,
she was making inquiry.

“It’s Camilla,” was called to her from below. “I am coming. I am
resting a minute. Leave the door open.”

The stone-floored echoing hallway where they stood was vast as a royal
ballroom. At the farther end, broad, low stairs vanishing upward; on
the right, the long wall, unbroken save by one door--the ground floor
was reserved by the owner, always absent; at the left, three open
arches letting into a court, the bottom of a wide shaft with windows,
over which a square of burning blue sky. The pavement of this court was
green with the damp of centuries; a stone coping, projecting from the
wall, hemmed in enough earth to support a spindling rose-tree.

“I am forced to go away to-morrow,” Giulio, still short-breathed with
emotion, whispered spasmodically; “and how can I go without learning
my fate from you? I am compelled to visit my married sister and be
absent for two eternal weeks. My family is obliged to stay in town
through the summer, you know, by my grandmother’s serious illness; but
my parents insist that I shall go for the change. I vow I will not! I
will disobey, and incur I know not what from their displeasure, unless
you promise to answer the letters I shall write you. Do you promise?
Viareggio. Poste Restante. I will not compromise you by remaining
longer. On the way home make me happy by a glance now and then, when it
will not be observed. Farewell, my soul! I am your slave!”

Among the letters to be redirected to Mademoiselle Heller she found
his first letter. She answered it there at the school, when she ought
to have been practising. In the two weeks of his absence she received
about twenty letters, for in the ardor of his passion he sometimes
wrote twice a day. The same did she.

As life was far from monotonous at the Mediterranean watering-place,
where in beautiful striped tights of white and blue he took glorious
swims twice a day, one might suppose that bits of news, information,
anecdote, a little fun, would have found their way into his letters.
Not at all. They were love-letters neat. He would write:

    How, O my adored _fidanzata_, can I live through the days and
    months and years that must pass before the blessing of the
    sacerdote will have given me the right to call you mine, wholly,
    wholly, and forever, mine! When I think that at the end of summer
    I must, as my parents have decided, go to Zurich to complete my
    studies, and be divided from you by mountains as well as months, I
    feel that, in view of the anguish of that distance and waiting, it
    had almost been better had I never met the beam of your beauteous
    eye. But courage! Let us take courage, thinking of our future

She would write:

    In the night, in dreams, you are always with me. I cannot sleep
    but you are there; and so I find myself, when I am not ardently
    wishing for a letter, sighing for the night and dreams. _Caro mio
    bene_, should you ever love me less, how could I endure it? If ever
    your heart should change toward me, if ever another should have
    the place with you which it is my joy and honor to hold, keep it a
    secret from me, I conjure you! I might kill myself, or perhaps you!

A day earlier than she had expected, he stood at the Heller entrance,
in time to slip in with her. He folded her to his breast, both of them
breathless and throbbing. But again with a brusk instinctive movement
she got her lips out of the way, and he controlled his impulse. A man
who respects himself respects his own affianced. He pressed a long,
silent kiss upon her brow.

Raising a warning finger, she listened a second, then sang out to
Italia, “I am going to rest a minute before doing the stairs. Let the
door stand open for me.”

They seated themselves on the bottom steps for a good long scene in

Never were there such facilities, for Italia would not again think of
the door, save to suppose that Camilla had come in by it and shut it
behind her. Any one descending could be heard long before seen. Giulio
had time to tiptoe out, Camilla would appear to be just arriving. When
the danger was past, she could let Giulio in again.

The facilities were, in fact, too great! These young things had leisure
to say everything a thousand times over.

Both of them knew a great deal about lovers, from general rumor and
private confidence, from drama, book, and song. Their wide-awake Latin
minds had early incorporated all that lore, and they acted now in as
grown-up a manner as they knew. Camilla developed an umbrageous mood
one day, during which she questioned him about his past. Oh, nothing of
the smallest consequence, he said, with regard to a certain _francese_.
He had had the opportunity to render her a service, once, when she
was caught in the rain with her little charge. He had chanced to be
carrying an umbrella, that was all. After that, he had continued the
acquaintance, just a little, from courtesy.


Novices, they played their parts according to romantic conventions
known to both, beneath which the unconventional heart did in the case
of each after its nature.

It appeared, as gradually as a flower fades on its stalk, that even
he, even in vacation, had duties occasionally, engagements, pressing
engagements sometimes, things that must be attended to for his father,
or mother, or grandmother. He would have to consult his watch.
Sometimes he could stay only a minute.

She asked him one day why he was in such a heavy humor, so silent.
He asked sadly in reply how he could be different, living in a house
where all were so deeply concerned over the condition of his poor
grandmother. Added to this, his aunt was arriving to see her mother,
and was bringing his cousins. They would take up his whole time for the
next few days.

Camilla looked at him attentively. Murmuring, “My idol!” he drew her
cheek down to his shoulder and imprisoned her hands in those pretty,
dry, brown hands of his, which had the gift of pleasing her so much.

“La Caressante,” as it rang forth from her window on certain of those
soft, summer mornings, might have been mistaken for a musical imitation
of artillery sputtering amid the varied sounds of battle, “Les Soupirs”
for the note-portrayal of a wreck tossed in a stormy swell.

One morning, with the affected briskness of a man who does his best
to put a good face on a tiresome business, he said, “Expect me not,
my Camilla, to-morrow. I am sent off to visit my married sister up at
Vicchio. A sudden decision. My family, saying that I have grown thin,
as I have, indeed, with the cruel anxiety of our secret, believe I need
the change. A dreadful bore, but what can I do?”

“Another married sister? How many more married sisters, _caro mio_,
have you in your pocket?”

“There is still another--three in all. I was born long after them, the
only man-child, which gives an excuse to old friends of the family for
saying that my parents spoil me. And I am sorry to tell you, Camilla,
that you must not write to me there, for there is no such thing as
_poste restante_. The letters are brought to the villa by a peasant and
my sister distributes them. Nor shall I find it possible to write you,
for I could not post a letter unknown.”

Bianca that night was roused from the deadness of sleep by
unaccustomed signs of life in her bedfellow, Camilla, who, she realized
with horror, was struggling in the effort to keep her sobbing inside
and unheard.

“What is it? Oh, what is the matter?” she asked, feeling in the dark
for her sister’s shoulder.

“_Non mi seccare!_” Camilla answered, with a furious dash of her heel.
“Bother me not!” but without concealment after that she relieved her
need to weep.

Giulio at Vicchio, far among the hills! Giulio thinking of her, while
from the high loggia he looked Florenceward. Giulio sending his wishes
as he gazed at Venus--_stella confidente!_--brightening in the fading

The pain of absence, of this black and total silence, was such that on
the fourth day, after reading over all his letters, she broke the rule
and stole out to go for just a minute to his street and satisfy her
yearning to see the windows of his vacant room.

She did not go far, for on the way she saw him, or--for a moment she
thought herself the victim, possibly, of an hallucination. It was his
exact image, anyhow. He walked along lightly, his straw hat far back
on his head, his pretty nose and white teeth to the wind, talking with
a boy of his own age and type. He was laughing, as he drew something
on the air with his half-burned cigarette; she caught the glint in the
sunshine of the signet-ring on his little finger. She turned and ran.

That day she asked Bianca whether she would help her, and then she told
her everything.

At evening--Antenore was kept late at the station on certain nights of
the week--they slipped out together while Aunt Battistina’s back was
turned, and hurrying like guilty creatures went to the Cornelio gardens.

Almost invariably, when Camilla had asked how he had spent the evening,
Giulio had said, “At Cornelio’s, with my father.”

They posted themselves in an unlighted doorway whence they could
watch the entrance of the fashionable open-air café. Over the laurel
wall inside the iron railing floated golden haze. Between pieces of
band-music were intervals of clattering china and voices. Figures
passed in and out.

It was not so simple as they had thought, this waiting. Wishing to be
as unnoticed as mice, they felt more conspicuous than camels. Bianca’s
little yellow dog, Pallina, who had refused absolutely to stay behind,
had the vile habit of yapping at passers; cracks and cuffs would not
subdue her. The persons barked at naturally turned to look.

Half a dozen times footsteps were heard, or imagined, on the stairs
farther within. The girls each time hurried out of the way, and,
against their habit, afraid of everybody, walked along the house fronts
the length of the gardens, then back, to ensconce themselves again,
very uneasy as to what the guard of public safety had thought, half
expecting him to darken the doorway suddenly and question them. Oh, it
was an evening to remember like some painful nightmare! Camilla, in
spite of all, never lost sight of their reason for being there.

Now she seized Bianca’s arm. Giulio was coming out, with a party--the
boy of earlier in the day, and two young girls dressed exactly alike,
the cousins, very likely; behind them came a middle-aged gentleman and

“The grandmother must be getting well,” said Camilla through her teeth,
“seeing that they can laugh like that!”

“We will say,” she arranged with Bianca on the way home, “that while we
stood at the door taking the air, Maria Nutini and her mother passed,
and we joined them for a turn. They left us at the corner.”

Every time Bianca was wakened that night, she saw Camilla writing.
Once tears were falling upon the paper. Ordered to keep still, Bianca
sorrowfully relapsed into her healthy young sleep.

In the morning Camilla posted her letter. If it fell into his mother’s
hands, so much the worse for him.

To live on, days, months, years, with that burden of love turned back
upon the heart, like a dammed-in torrent, how could it be endured?
What, what did one do to destroy the spell by which another got this
dreadful power to fill one’s every thought, made himself master over
the motions of one’s blood? For Camilla, in her outraged pride, desired
not to love Giulio any more.

The hours of suspense were so intolerable that more than once she
wished she never had been born. She had calculated the earliest at
which she might expect an answer. She allowed not an hour more before
writing him again. And then she waited with confidence, knowing
positively that she should see him.

In this second waiting she had the first glimmering notion that she
might feel better by and by, that the burning sense of ignominy
attached to feeling oneself trampled and disdained might be turned to
victorious gladness by making the other, the dear enemy, feel himself
more trampled, more disdained.

She was not wishing that she never had been born, while, gathering
suggestion from Spanish ballad and Sicilian tale, she plotted a
development of the story in every point worthy of herself. Her scene
firmly imagined and finished off with the right artistic touches, she
could actually hum that afternoon. When Bianca, helping Battistina
to hunt for the vegetable-knife needed to prepare supper, asked her
whether she had seen anything of it, she could answer by a careless
snatch of song.

At ten precisely, without the necessity to ring, the little door cut in
the large one yielded to Giulio’s hand. He was fortified to meet his
lady just inside, but the great hallway was empty. Surprised, he took
a few doubtful steps, made up his mind, and fell to pacing the floor.
After a while, he stopped under the middle arch, sent an absent glance
from window to window up the white shaft to the square of blue, and
composed himself to wait where he stood, arms crossed, feet well apart.
He was a trifle pale, and with his troubled air appeared more grown-up
than when, six or seven weeks ago, with the desert ahead of the long
empty season in town, he had wondered what resources of distraction the
streets, his only hope, might afford.

Half an hour passed. The shutter inside the window above and opposite
moved; Camilla’s hand appeared, beckoning him to mount the stairs.

She met him at the door of the _primo piano_, but when he would have
taken her hand she hurried before him, into Mademoiselle Heller’s own
sacred sitting-room, where the chairs were in ghostly covers and the
chandelier was muffled in a gauze bag. The closed windows kept out the
heat and noise, kept in the faint musty smell. She turned, they looked
at each other, and she smiled, as it struck him, a singular smile.

“You wished to see me,” he said.

“I did. But I have seen you already. For twenty minutes I watched you
from behind the shutter when you did not know I was there; you were
standing under the arch. And--I believe it saved your life. See what I
had brought.” She showed him a little knife, bright and pointed, with
a handle of horn. (It must be said that her dagger looked rather like
a vegetable-knife.) He gave a just perceptible start. His heart had
naturally jumped. But he knew, deep down, that the dagger was part of
play-acting. With a gesture intended insolently to reassure, she threw
it on the table, and smiled the singular smile which twisted her lips
to an expression of such excessive irony. “Be not afraid. I had never
seen your face when you were trying to cover your fear and inventing
lies to tell me. After that spectacle, I decided you were not worthy of
my powder. No, you need fear nothing from that silly stiletto, either
for yourself or for me. I am not sure which I meant it for. Both,

“Come, Camilla,” he began, in the low, soft, ultra-reasonable tone
which any man knows is the one to adopt with excited, unreasonable
women. “Come! This is hardly the speech to hold to me. You are too
agitated to know what you are saying. It seems to me that after such a
letter as you wrote, threatening me--_nientedimeno!_--with a blow on
the cheek wherever you met me, before everybody, it is I rather than
you who have the right to call myself offended. If I am here, it is
because I love you in spite of your bad treatment of me, and I wish to

This gentle and well-intentioned speech was interrupted by a sort of
human feminine rendering of a leonine roar from Camilla. “Zurigo!
Zurigo! Ha!” she exclaimed, “those are your tactics, are they? What you
are thinking is that in a few days more you will depart for Zurigo.
You need only keep up this comedy for a few days and then you can drop
me without fear. All you will have to do is not to write.” Her eyes
flared up intense and green; she took a pantherine step nearer. “But
I--” she smacked the varnished table startlingly with the flat of her
palm--“I do not admit that I am a person who can be dropped. And you
are here in order that I may drop you first, and in such a manner as
you cannot mistake or forget. You shall know yourself quite certainly,
my fine sir, to have been discarded. But I wish you to remember for
another time.” Another pantherine step nearer. His manhood, of which
he was at the moment intensely conscious, forbade his receding by an
inch. “I wish you to remember, for another time, that one does not
so lightly take up and throw over persons like me. A man of nothing,
like yourself, takes a puny wax doll to make love to and then neglect,
knowing that it is safe.” She was under his very nose. “I wish you
to learn the danger there is in making love to--to tigresses! Will
you remember hereafter--” his head was suddenly clutched, he felt
claws through his hair--“to keep to your own kind and let alone such
creatures as could eat you at a bite? A man should be the stronger,
while you--I could dare, fight, love, ten to your one. I saw it while
you stood down there. Will you remember?”

The pain of her iron finger-nails in his scalp was fairly unendurable,
but he stood it with boyish dignity, like a little Spartan; for one
thing, certain that if he tried to free himself he would come forth all
the more sorrily scratched; for another, not finding this maltreatment
by passionate feminine fingers altogether disagreeable. His eyes were
half closed, an enigmatic smile played over his lips. At the same
time, he was intensely on the alert, ready to prevent her making him
ridiculous beyond a certain limit.

“Will you remember,” she said, “what happens when one amuses oneself
with persons who have blood in their veins? Will you? There, go! I do
not believe you will forget.”

She released him with a push. With ceremonious deliberation he took out
his pocket-handkerchief, to wipe a goutlet of blood from the edge of
his hair.

“These are scarcely parliamentary methods!” he said, and managed a
laugh. “But a man--” an enormous increase in his sense of masculine
importance appeared in his bearing--“a man, you know, cannot resent
such fairy touches from the hand of a lady. He is bound to consider
such attentions a compliment. I have been flattered beyond my
deserts. But I cannot be mistaken in thinking that I have brought
love and caresses this morning to the wrong market, and so, with your
permission, I will withdraw. Until another day, Camilla, when you feel
more kindly disposed. No, my Camilla, I shall not forget you. I think I
can promise in all sincerity not to forget.”

He got to the door a little hurriedly, but with the hope that he had
not come off so very badly after all.

Once out of the house, the little future man of the world took a deep
lungful of the free air. The thumb he presently slipped through his
armhole, while with the other hand he swung his cane, expressed as far
as it could the enrichment he felt in the knowledge of women gained
that morning. Hero of a scene of jealousy! But who would have dreamed
that a well-brought-up girl...? He delicately touched his temple to
see whether it still bled.

[Illustration: Drawn by Emil Pollak-Ottendorff “EVERY TIME BIANCA WAS

Camilla had thrown herself into one of the shrouded arm-chairs.
The scene had not been what she intended. One thing after the
other--finally that ferocious need to get her fingers among his
hair--had interfered. But she regretted nothing, though not unaware of
having, to produce her grand effect, torn off a part of herself and
thrown it to the crows. She would bleed, and she would miss it; still,
for the moment she regretted nothing.

       *       *       *       *       *

She never saw Giulio again, to speak to him. As she did not even pass
him on the street for a year or two (and pretend not to know him!)
she supposed him in Zurich. Often, in the night, for ever so long
after their parting, her heart would be caught as if in a screw by the
remembrance of the past. Shame would burn her for her lapses from a
becoming rigor. There had been a kiss or two, after all. Unpractical
longing for everything to have been different, or else for everything
by some wonderful twist of fortune still to turn out well, and she and
Giulio be together again, would wring tears from her. But in her saner
moments she understood that there was no hope of that, and simply cried
into her pillow because she could not get Giulio out of her blood.

But time passed. Many things happened. She grew up. When finally one
day she did run into Giulio on the street (and pretend not to know
him!) nothing stirred in her heart at sight of the old love. She smiled
with pity for her honest ardor of the old days, and its innocent avowal.

Her dream of the future had changed. In the present dream, which
naturally contained love along with riches and glory, it was always
love that she received, love lavished in Arabian Nights’ baskets of
jewels at her feet. All her part was condescension. This was the work
of Giulio--the inconstant. Never again should a man hold her in his
hand, to feel and suffer in dependence upon him. She would have all the
power herself.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was the school-boy Giulio still at work when, as Princess Elaguine,
in Paris, she showed herself so willing to be amused by men, and so
resolved not to give any man the chance to make her miserable.

[5] The writer is speaking of that Camilla, once obscure companion and
secretary to Mrs. Northmere, the author, and later her heir, some of
whose adventures have been told in these pages. See “Mrs. Northmere’s
Treasure,” in ~The Century~ for August, 1910, and “What Camilla did
with Her Money,” in ~The Century~ for January, 1911.




(Of the Fourth Georgia, Doles’s Brigade, Rodes’s Division, Ewell’s

    A cloud possessed the hollow field,
    The gathering battle’s smoky shield.
    Athwart the gloom the lightning flashed,
    And through the cloud some horsemen dashed,
    And from the heights the thunder pealed.

    Then at the brief command of Lee
    Moved out that matchless infantry,
    With Pickett leading grandly down,
    To rush against the roaring crown
    Of those dread heights of destiny.

    Far heard above the angry guns
    A cry across the tumult runs,--
    The voice that rang through Shiloh’s woods
    And Chickamauga’s solitudes,
    The fierce South cheering on her sons!

    Ah, how the withering tempest blew
    Against the front of Pettigrew!
    A khamsin wind that scorched and singed
    Like that infernal flame that fringed
    The British squares at Waterloo!

    A thousand fell where Kemper led;
    A thousand died where Garnett bled:
    In blinding flame and strangling smoke
    The remnant through the batteries broke
    And crossed the works with Armistead.

    “Once more in Glory’s van with me!”
    Virginia cried to Tennessee:
    “We two together, come what may,
    Shall stand upon these works to-day!”
    (The reddest day in history.)

[Illustration: Drawn by Stanley M. Arthurs. Half-tone plate engraved by
H. C. Merrill


    Brave Tennessee! In reckless way
    Virginia heard her comrade say:
    “Close round this rent and riddled rag!”
    What time she set her battle-flag
    Amid the guns of Doubleday.

    But who shall break the guards that wait
    Before the awful face of Fate?
    The tattered standards of the South
    Were shriveled at the cannon’s mouth,
    And all her hopes were desolate.

    In vain the Tennesseean set
    His breast against the bayonet!
    In vain Virginia charged and raged,
    A tigress in her wrath uncaged,
    Till all the hill was red and wet!

    Above the bayonets, mixed and crossed,
    Men saw a gray, gigantic ghost
    Receding through the battle-cloud,
    And heard across the tempest loud
    The death-cry of a nation lost!

    The brave went down! Without disgrace
    They leaped to Ruin’s red embrace.
    They only heard Fame’s thunders wake,
    And saw the dazzling sunburst break
    In smiles on Glory’s bloody face!

    They fell, who lifted up a hand
    And bade the sun in heaven to stand!
    They smote and fell, who set the bars
    Against the progress of the stars,
    And stayed the march of Motherland!

    They stood, who saw the future come
    On through the fight’s delirium!
    They smote and stood, who held the hope
    Of nations on that slippery slope
    Amid the cheers of Christendom!

    God lives! He forged the iron will
    That clutched and held that trembling hill.
    God lives and reigns! He built and lent
    The heights for Freedom’s battlement
    Where floats her flag in triumph still!

    Fold up the banners! Smelt the guns!
    Love rules. Her gentler purpose runs.
    A mighty mother turns in tears
    The pages of her battle years,
    Lamenting all her fallen sons!


[6] First printed in ~The Century~ for July, 1888.




Author of “That Lass o’ Lowrie’s,” “The Shuttle,” etc.



The county was discreetly conservative in its social attitude. The gulf
between it and the new owner of Temple Barholm was too wide and deep
to be crossed without effort combined with immense mental agility. It
was, on the whole, much easier not to begin a thing at all than to
begin it and find one must hastily search about for not too noticeable
methods of ending it. A few unimportant, tentative calls were made, and
several ladies who had remained unaware of Miss Alicia during her first
benefactor’s time drove over to see what she was like and perhaps by
chance hear something of interest. One or two of them who saw Tembarom
went away puzzled and amazed. He did not drop his h’s, which they had
of course expected, and he was well dressed and not bad-looking; but
it was frequently impossible to understand what he was talking about,
he used such odd phrases. He seemed good natured enough, and his way
with little old Miss Temple Barholm was really quite nice, queer as it
was. It was queer because he was attentive to her in a manner in which
young men were not usually attentive to totally insignificant, elderly

Tembarom derived an extremely diluted pleasure from the visits. The few
persons he saw reminded him in varying degrees of Mr. Palford. They had
not before seen anything like his species, and they did not know what
to do with him. He also did not know what to do with them. A certain
inelasticity frustrated him at the outset. When, in obedience to Miss
Alicia’s instructions, he had returned the visits, he felt he had not
gone far.

Serious application enabled him to find his way through the church
service, and he accompanied Miss Alicia to church with great
regularity. He began to take down the books from the library shelves
and look them over gravely. The days gradually ceased to appear so
long, but he had a great deal of time on his hands, and he tried to
find ways of filling it. He wondered if Ann would be pleased if he
learned things out of books.

When he tentatively approached the subject of literature with Miss
Alicia, she glowed at the delightful prospect of his reading aloud to
her in the evenings--“reading improving things like history and the

“Let’s take a hack at it some night,” he said pleasantly.

The more a fellow knew, the better it was for him, he supposed; but he
wondered, if anything happened and he went back to New York, how much
“improving things” and poetry would help a man in doing business.

The first evening they began with Gray’s “Elegy,” and Miss Alicia felt
that it did not exhilarate him; she was also obliged to admit that
he did not read it very well. But she felt sure he would improve.
Personally she was touchingly happy. The sweetly domestic picture
of the situation, she sitting by the fire with her knitting and he
reading aloud, moved and delighted her. The next evening she suggested
Tennyson’s “Maud.” He was not as much stirred by it as she had hoped.
He took a somewhat humorous view of it.

“He had it pretty bad, hadn’t he?” he said of the desperate lover.

“Oh, if only you could once have heard Sims Reeves sing ‘Come into the
Garden, Maud’!” she sighed. “A kind friend once took me to hear him,
and I have never, never forgotten it.”

But Mr. Temple Barholm notably did not belong to the atmosphere of
impassioned tenors.

On still another evening they tried Shakspere. Miss Alicia felt that a
foundation of Shakspere would be “improving” indeed. They began with

He found play-reading difficult and Shaksperian language baffling, but
he made his way with determination until he reached a point where he
suddenly grew quite red and stopped.

“Say, have you read this?” he inquired after his hesitation.

“The plays of Shakspere are a part of every young lady’s education,”
she answered; “but I am afraid I am not at all a Shaksperian scholar.”

“A young lady’s education?” he repeated. “Gee whizz!” he added softly
after a pause.

He glanced over a page or so hastily, and then laid the book down.

“Say,” he suggested, with an evasive air, “let’s go over that ‘Maud’
one again. It’s--well, it’s easier to read aloud.”

The crude awkwardness of his manner suddenly made Miss Alicia herself
flush and drop a stitch in her knitting. How dreadful of her not to
have thought of that!

“The Elizabethan age was, I fear, a rather coarse one in some respects.
Even history acknowledges that. Queen Elizabeth herself used profane
language.” She faltered and coughed a little apologetic cough as she
picked up her stitch again.

“I bet Ann’s never seen inside Shakspere,” said Tembarom. Before
reading aloud in the future he gave some previous personal attention to
the poem or subject decided upon. It may be at once frankly admitted
that when he read aloud it was more for Miss Alicia’s delectation than
for his own. He saw how much she enjoyed the situation.

His effect of frankness and constant boyish talk was so inseparable
from her idea of him that she found it a puzzling thing to realize that
she gradually began to feel aware of a certain remote reserve in him,
or what might perhaps be better described as a habit of silence upon
certain subjects. She felt it marked in the case of Strangeways. She
surmised that he saw Strangeways often and spent a good deal of time
with him, but he spoke of him rarely, and she never knew exactly what
hours were given to him. Sometimes she imagined he found him a greater
responsibility than he had expected. Several times when she believed
that he had spent part of a morning or afternoon in his room, he was
more silent than usual and looked puzzled and thoughtful. She observed,
as Mr. Palford had, that the picture-gallery, with its portraits of
his ancestors, had an attraction. A certain rainy day he asked her, to
go with him and look them over. It was inevitable that she should soon
wander to the portrait of Miles Hugo and remain standing before it.
Tembarom followed, and stood by her side in silence until her sadness
broke its bounds with a pathetic sigh.

“Was he very like him?” he asked.

She made an unconscious, startled movement. For the moment she had
forgotten his presence, and she had not really expected him to

“I mean Jem,” he answered her surprised look. “How was he like him? Was
there--” he hesitated and looked really interested--“was he like him in
any particular thing?”

“Yes,” she said, turning to the portrait of Miles Hugo again. “They
both had those handsome, drooping eyes, with the lashes coming together
at the corners. There is something very fascinating about them, isn’t
there? I used to notice it so much in dear little Jem. You see how
marked they are in Miles Hugo.”

“Yes,” Tembarom answered. “A fellow who looked that way at a girl when
he made love to her would get a stranglehold. She wouldn’t forget him

“It strikes you in that way, too?” said Miss Alicia, shyly. “I used to
wonder if it was--not quite nice of me to think of it. But it did seem
that if any one did look at one like that--” Maidenly shyness overcame
her. “Poor Lady Joan!” she sighed.

“There’s a sort of cleft in his chin, though it’s a good, square chin,”
he suggested. “And that smile of his--Were Jem’s--”

“Yes, they were. The likeness was quite odd sometimes--quite.”

“Those are things that wouldn’t be likely to change much when he grew
up,” Tembarom said, drawing a little closer to the picture. “Poor Jem!
He was up against it hard and plenty. He had it hardest. This chap only

There was no mistaking his sympathy. He asked so many questions that
they sat down and talked instead of going through the gallery. He was
interested in the detail of all that had occurred after the ghastly
moment when Jem had risen from the card-table and stood looking round,
like some baited dying animal, at the circle of cruel faces drawing in
about him. How soon had he left London? Where had he gone first? How
had he been killed? He had been buried with others beneath a fall of
earth and stones. Having heard this much, Tembarom saw he could not ask
more questions. Miss Alicia became pale, and her hands trembled. She
could not bear to discuss details so harrowing.

“Say, I oughtn’t to let you talk about that,” he broke out, and he
patted her hand and made her get up and finish their walk about the
gallery. He held her elbow in his own odd, nice way as he guided her,
and the things he said, and the things he pretended to think or not
to understand, were so amusing that in a short time he had made her
laugh. She knew him well enough by this time to be aware that he was
intentionally obliging her to forget what it only did her harm to
remember. That was his practical way of looking at it.

“Getting a grouch on or being sorry for what you can’t help cuts no
ice,” he sometimes said. “When it does, me for getting up at daybreak
and keeping at it! But it doesn’t; you bet your life on that.”

She could see that he had really wanted to hear about Jem, but he knew
it was bad for her to recall things, and he would not allow her to
dwell on them, just as she knew he would not allow himself to dwell on
little Miss Hutchinson, remotely placed among the joys of his beloved
New York.

Two other incidents besides the visit to Miles Hugo afterward
marked that day when Miss Alicia looked back on it. The first was
his unfolding to her his plans for the house-party, which was
characteristic of his habit of thinking things over and deciding them
before he talked about them.

“If I’m going to try the thing out, as Ann says I must,” he began when
they had gone back to the library after lunch, “I’ve got to get going.
I’m not seeing any of those Pictorial girls, and I guess I’ve got to
see some.”

“You will be invited to dine at places,” said Miss
Alicia,--“presently,” she added bravely, in fact, with an air of
greater conviction than she felt.

“If it’s not the law that they’ve got to invite me or go to jail,” said
Tembarom, “I don’t blame ’em for not doing it if they’re not stuck on
me. And they’re not; and it’s natural. But I’ve got to get in my fine
work, or my year’ll be over before I’ve ‘found out for myself,’ as Ann
called it. There’s where I’m at, Miss Alicia--and I’ve been thinking
of Lady Joan and her mother. You said you thought they’d come and stay
here if they were properly asked.”

“I think they would,” answered Miss Alicia with her usual delicacy. “I
thought I gathered from Lady Mallowe that, as she was to be in the
neighborhood, she would like to see you and Temple Barholm, which she
greatly admires.”

“If you’ll tell me what to do, I’ll get her here to stay awhile,” he
said, “and Lady Joan with her. You’d have to show me how to write to
ask them; but perhaps you’d write yourself.”

“They will be at Asshawe Holt next week,” said Miss Alicia, “and we
could go and call on them together. We might write to them in London
before they leave.”

“We’ll do it,” answered Tembarom. His manner was that of a practical
young man attacking matter-of-fact detail. “From what I hear, Lady Joan
would satisfy even Ann. They say she’s the best-looker on the slate.
If I see her every day I shall have seen the blue-ribbon winner. Then
if she’s here, perhaps others of her sort’ll come, too; and they’ll
have to see me whether they like it or not--and I shall see them. Good
Lord!” he added seriously, “I’d let ’em swarm all over me and bite me
all summer if it would fix Ann.”

He stood up, with his hands thrust deep in his pockets, and looked down
at the floor. “I wish she knew T. T. like T. T. knows himself,” he
said. It was all quite wistful.

It was so wistful and so boyish that Miss Alicia was thrilled as he
often thrilled her.

“She ought to be a very happy girl,” she exclaimed.

“She’s going to be,” he answered, “sure as you’re alive. But whatever
she does, is right, and this is as right as everything else. So it just

They wrote their letters at once, and sent them off by the afternoon
post. The letter Miss Alicia composed, and which Tembarom copied, he
read and reread, with visions of Jim Bowles and Julius looking over his
shoulder. If they picked it up on Broadway, with his name signed to it,
and read it, they’d throw a fit over it, laughing. But he supposed she
knew what you ought to write.

It had not, indeed, the masculine touch. When Lady Mallowe read it, she
laughed several times. She knew quite well that he had not known what
to say, and, allowing Miss Alicia to instruct him, had followed her
instructions to the letter. But she did not show the letter to Joan,
who was difficult enough to manage without being given such material to
comment upon.

The letters had just been sent to the post when a visitor was
announced--Captain Palliser. Tembarom remembered the name, and recalled
also certain points connected with him. He was the one who was a
promoter of schemes--“One of the smooth, clever ones that get up
companies,” Little Ann had said.

That in a well-bred and not too pronounced way he looked smooth and
clever might be admitted. His effect was that of height, finished
slenderness of build, and extremely well-cut garments. He was no longer
young, and he had smooth, thin hair and a languidly observant gray eye.

“I have been staying at Detchworth Grange,” he explained when he had
shaken hands with the new Temple Barholm and Miss Alicia. “It gave me
an excellent opportunity to come and pay my respects.”

There was a hint of uncertainty in the observant gray eye. The fact
was that he realized in the space of five minutes that he knew his
ground even less than he had supposed he did. He had not spent his
week at Detchworth Grange without making many quiet investigations,
but he had found out nothing whatever. The new man was an ignoramus,
but no one had yet seemed to think him exactly a fool. He was not
excited by the new grandeurs of his position and he was not ashamed
of himself. Captain Palliser wondered if he was perhaps sharp--one of
those New Yorkers shrewd even to light-fingeredness in clever scheming.
Stories of a newly created method of business dealing involving an air
of candor and almost primitive good nature--an American method--had
attracted Captain Palliser’s attention for some time. A certain
Yankee rawness of manner played a part as a factor, a crudity which
would throw a man off guard if he did not recognize it. The person
who employed the method was of philosophical non-combativeness. The
New York phrase was that “He jollied a man along.” Immense schemes
had been carried through in that way. Men in London, in England, were
not sufficiently light of touch in their jocularity. He wondered
if perhaps this young fellow, with his ready laugh and rather
loose-jointed, casual way of carrying himself, was of this dangerous
new school.

What, however, could he scheme for, being the owner of Temple Barholm’s
money? It may be mentioned at once that Captain Palliser’s past had
been such as had fixed him in the belief that every one was scheming
for something. People with money wanted more or were privately
arranging schemes to prevent other schemers from getting any shade the
better of them. Débutantes with shy eyes and slim figures had their
little plans to engineer delicately. Sometimes they were larger plans
than the uninitiated would have suspected as existing in the brains of
creatures in their ’teens, sometimes they were mere fantastic little
ideas connected with dashing young men or innocent dances which must be
secured or lovely young rivals who must be evaded. Young men had also
deft things to do--people to see or not to see, reasons for themselves
being seen or avoiding observation. As years increased, reasons for
schemes became more numerous and amazingly more varied. Women with
daughters, with sons, with husbands, found in each relationship a
necessity for active, if quiet, manœuvering. Women like Lady
Mallowe--good heaven! by what schemes did not that woman live and have
her being--and her daughter’s--from day to day! Without money, without
a friend who was an atom more to be relied on than she would have been
herself if an acquaintance had needed her aid, her outwardly well-to-do
and fashionable existence was a hand-to-hand fight. No wonder she had
turned a still rather brilliant eye upon Sir Moses Monaldini, the great
Israelite financier. All of these types passed rapidly before his
mental vision as he talked to the American Temple Barholm. What could
he want, by chance? He must want something, and it would be discreet to
find out what it chanced to be.

If it was social success, he would be better off in London, where in
these days you could get a good run for your money and could swing
yourself up from one rung of the ladder to another if you paid some
one to show you how. He himself could show him how. A youngster who
had lived the beastly hard life he had lived would be likely to find
exhilaration in many things not difficult to purchase. It was an odd
thing, by the way, the fancy he had taken to the little early-Victorian
spinster. It was not quite natural. It perhaps denoted tendencies--or
lack of tendencies--it would also be well to consider. Palliser was
a sufficiently finished product himself to be struck greatly by the
artistic perfection of Miss Alicia, and to wonder how much the new man
understood it.

He did not talk to him about schemes. He talked to him of New York,
which he had never seen and hoped sometime shortly to visit. The
information he gained was not of the kind he most desired, but it
edified him. Tembarom’s knowledge of high finance was a street lad’s
knowledge of it, and he himself knew its limitations and probable
unreliability. Such of his facts as rested upon the foundation of
experience did not include multimillionaires and their resources.

Captain Palliser passed lightly to Temple Barholm and its neighborhood.
He knew places and names, and had been to Detchworth more than once.
He had never visited Temple Barholm, and his interest suggested that
he would like to walk through the gardens. Tembarom took him out, and
they strolled about for some time. Even an alert observer would not
have suspected the fact that as they strolled, Tembarom slouching a
trifle and with his hands in his pockets, Captain Palliser bearing
himself with languid distinction, each man was summing up the other and
considering seriously how far and in what manner he could be counted as
an asset.

“You haven’t been to Detchworth yet?” Palliser inquired.

“No, not yet,” answered Tembarom. The Granthams were of those who had
not yet called.

“It’s an agreeable house. The Granthams are agreeable people.”

“Are there any young people in the family?” Tembarom asked.

“Young people? Male or female?” Palliser smilingly put it. Suddenly it
occurred to him that this might give him a sort of lead.

“Girls,” said Tembarom, crudely--“just plain girls.”

Palliser laughed. Here it was, perhaps.

“They are not exactly ‘plain’ girls, though they are not beauties.
There are four Misses Grantham. Lucy is the prettiest. Amabel is quite
tremendous at tennis.”

“Are they ladies?” inquired Tembarom.

Captain Palliser turned and involuntarily stared at him. What was the
fellow getting at?

“I’m afraid I don’t quite understand,” he said.

The new Temple Barholm looked quite serious. He did not, amazing to
relate, look like a fool even when he gave forth his extraordinary
question. It was his almost business-like seriousness which saved him.

“I mean, do you call them Lady Lucy and Lady Amabel?” he answered.

If he had been younger, less hardened, or less finished, Captain
Palliser would have laughed outright. But he answered without

“Oh, I see. You were asking whether the family is a titled one. No;
it is a good old name, quite old, in fact, but no title goes with the

“Who are the titled people about here?” Tembarom asked, quite unabashed.

“The Earl of Pevensy at Pevensy Park, the Duke of Stone at Stone Hover,
Lord Hambrough at Doone. Doone is in the next county, but just over the

“Have they all got daughters?”

Captain Palliser found it expedient to clear his throat before speaking.

“Lord Pevensy has daughters, so has the duke. Lord Hambrough has three

“How many daughters are there--in a bunch?” Mr. Temple Barholm
suggested liberally.

There Captain Palliser felt it safe to allow himself to smile, as
though taking it with a sense of humor.

“‘In a bunch’ is an awfully good way of putting it,” he said. “It
happens to apply perhaps rather unfortunately well; both families are
much poorer than they should be, and daughters must be provided for.
Each has four. ‘In a bunch’ there are eight: Lady Alice, Lady Edith,
Lady Ethel, and Lady Celia at Stone Hover; Lady Beatrice, Lady Gwynedd,
Lady Honora, and Lady Gwendolen at Pevensy Park. And not a fortune
among them, poor girls!”

“It’s not the money that matters so much,” said the astounding
foreigner, “it’s the titles.”

Captain Palliser stopped short in the garden path for a moment. He
could scarcely believe his ears. The crude grotesqueness of it so far
got the better of him that if he had not coughed he would have betrayed

“I’ve had a confounded cold lately,” he said. “Excuse me; I must get it

He turned a little aside and coughed energetically.

After watching him a few seconds, Tembarom slipped two fingers into his
waistcoat pocket and produced a small tube of tablets.

“Take two of these,” he said as soon as the cough stopped. “I always
carry it about with me. It’s a New York thing called ‘G. Destroyer.’ G
stands for grippe.”

Palliser took it.

“Thanks. With water? No? Just dissolve in the mouth. Thanks awfully.”
And he took two, with tears still standing in his eyes.

“Don’t taste bad, do they?” Mr. Temple Barholm remarked encouragingly.

“Not at all. I think I shall be all right now. I just needed the
relief. I have been trying to restrain it.”

“That’s a mistake,” said Tembarom. They strolled on a pace or so,
and he began again, as though he did not mean to let the subject
drop. “It’s the titles,” he said, “and the kind. How many of them are

Palliser reflected a moment, as though making mental choice.

“Lady Alice and Lady Celia are rather plain,” he said, “and both of
them are invalidish. Lady Ethel is tall and has handsome eyes, but Lady
Edith is really the beauty of the family. She rides and dances well and
has a charming color.”

“And the other ones,” Tembarom suggested as he paused--“Lady Beatrice
and Lady Gwynedd and Lady Honora and Lady Gwendolen.”

“You remember their names well,” Palliser remarked with a half-laugh.

“Oh, I shall remember them all right,” Tembarom answered. “I earned
twenty-five per in New York by getting names down fine.”

“The Talchesters are really all rather taking. Talchester is Lord
Pevensy’s family name,” Palliser explained. “They are girls who have
pretty little noses and bright complexions and eyes. Lady Gwynedd and
Lady Honora both have quite fascinating dimples.”

“Dimples!” exclaimed his companion. “Good business.”

“Do you like dimples particularly?” Palliser inquired with an impartial

“I’d always make a bee-line for a dimple,” replied Mr. Temple Barholm.
“Clear the way when I start.”

This was New York phrasing, and was plainly humorous; but there was
something more than humor in his eye and smile--something hinting
distantly at recollection.

“You’ll find them at Pevensy Park,” said Palliser.

“What about Lady Joan Fayre?” was the next inquiry.

Palliser’s side glance at him was observant indeed. He asked himself
how much the man could know. Taking the past into consideration, Lady
Joan might turn out to be a subject requiring delicate handling. It
was not the easiest thing in the world to talk at all freely to a
person with whom one desired to keep on good terms, about a young woman
supposed still to cherish a tragic passion for the dead man who ought
to stand at the present moment in the person’s, figuratively speaking,
extremely ill-fitting shoes.

“Lady Joan has been from her first season an undeniable beauty,” he

“She and the old lady are going to stay at a place called Asshawe Holt.
I think they’re going next week,” Tembarom said.

“The old lady?” repeated Captain Palliser.

“I mean her mother. The one that’s the Countess of Mallowe.”

“Have you met Lady Mallowe?” Palliser inquired with a not wholly
repressed smile. A vision of Lady Mallowe overhearing their
conversation arose before him.

“No, I haven’t. What’s she like?”

“She is not the early-or mid-Victorian old lady,” was Palliser’s reply.
“She wears Gainsborough hats, and looks a quite possible eight and
thirty. She is a handsome person herself.”

He was not aware that the term “old lady” was, among Americans of the
class of Mrs. Bowse’s boarders, a sort of generic term signifying
almost anything maternal which had passed thirty.

Tembarom proceeded.

“After they get through at the Asshawe Holt place, I’ve asked them to
come here.”

“Indeed,” said Palliser, with an inward start. The man evidently did
not know what other people did. After all, why should he? He had been
selling something or other in the streets of New York when the thing
happened, and he knew nothing of London.

“The countess called on Miss Alicia when we were in London,” he heard
next. “She said we were relations.”

“You are--as we are. The connection is rather distant, but it is near
enough to form a sort of link.”

“I’ve wanted to see Lady Joan,” explained Tembarom. “From what I’ve
heard, I should say she was one of the ‘Lady’s Pictorial’ kind.”

“I am afraid--” Palliser’s voice was slightly unsteady for the
moment--“I have not studied the type sufficiently to know. The
‘Pictorial’ is so exclusively a women’s periodical.”

His companion laughed.

“Well, I’ve only looked through it once myself just to find out. Some
way I always think of Lady Joan as if she was like one of those Beaut’s
from Beautsville, with trains as long as parlor-cars and feathers
in their heads--dressed to go to see the queen. I guess she’s been
presented at court,” he added even a trifle more unsteadily.

“Yes, she has been presented.”

“Do they let ’em go more than once?” he asked with casual curiosity.

“Confound this cough!” exclaimed Captain Palliser, and he broke forth

“Take another G,” said Tembarom, producing his tube. “Say, just take
the bottle and keep it in your pocket.”

When the brief paroxysm was over and they moved on again. Palliser was
looking an odd thing or so in the face. “I always think of Lady Joan”
was one of them. “Always” seemed to go rather far. How often and why
had he “always thought”? The fellow was incredible. Did his sharp,
boyish face and his slouch conceal a colossal, vulgar, young ambition?
There was not much concealment about it, Heaven knew. And as he so
evidently was not aware of the facts, how would they affect him when
he discovered them? And though Lady Mallowe was a woman not in the
least distressed or hampered by shades of delicacy and scruple, she
surely was astute enough to realize that even this bounder’s dullness
might be awakened to realize that there was more than a touch of
obvious indecency in bringing the girl to the house of the man she had
tragically loved, and manœuvering to work her into it as the wife of
the man who, monstrously unfit as he was, had taken his place. Captain
Palliser knew well that the pressing of the relationship had meant only
one thing. And how, in the name of the Furies! had she dragged Lady
Joan into the scheme with her?

It was as unbelievable as was the new Temple Barholm himself. And how
unconcerned the fellow looked! Perhaps the man he had supplanted was no
more to him than a scarcely remembered name, if he was as much as that.
Then Tembarom, pacing slowly by his side, hands in pockets, eyes on the
walk, spoke:

“Did you ever see Jem Temple Barholm?” he asked.

It was like a thunderbolt. He said it as though he were merely carrying
his previous remarks on to their natural conclusion; but Palliser felt
himself so suddenly unadjusted, so to speak, that he palpably hesitated.

“Did you?” his companion repeated.

“I knew him well,” was the answer made as soon as readjustment was

“Remember just how he looked?”

“Perfectly. He was a striking fellow. Women always said he had
fascinating eyes.”

“Sort of slant downward on the outside corners--and black eyelashes
sort o’ sweeping together?”

Palliser turned with a movement of surprise.

“How did you know? It was just that odd sort of thing.”

“Miss Alicia told me. And there’s a picture in the gallery that’s like

Captain Palliser felt as embarrassed as Miss Alicia had felt, but it
was for a different reason. She had felt awkward because she had
feared she had touched on a delicate subject. Palliser was embarrassed
because he was entirely thrown out of all his calculations. He felt
for the moment that there was no calculating at all, no security in
preparing paths. You never know where they would lead. Here had he been
actually alarmed in secret! And the oaf stood before him undisturbedly
opening up the subject himself.

“For a fellow like that to lose a girl as he lost Lady Joan was pretty
tough,” the oaf said. “By gee! it was tough!”

He knew it all--the whole thing, scandal, tragically broken marriage,
everything. And knowing it, he was laying his Yankee plans for getting
the girl to Temple Barholm to look her over. It was of a grossness
one sometimes heard of in men of his kind, and yet it seemed in its
casualness to outleap any little scheme of the sort he had so far
looked on at.

“Lady Joan felt it immensely,” he said.

A footman was to be seen moving toward them, evidently bearing a
message. Tea was served in the drawing-room, and he had come to
announce the fact.

They went back to the house, and Miss Alicia filled cups for them and
presided over the splendid tray with a persuasive suggestion in the
matter of hot or cold things which made it easy to lead up to any
subject. She was the best of unobtrusive hostesses.

Palliser talked of his visit at Detchworth, which had been shortened
because he had gone to fit in and remain until a large but uncertain
party turned up. It had turned up earlier than had been anticipated,
and of course he could only delicately slip away.

“I am sorry it has happened, however,” he said, “not only because
one does not wish to leave Detchworth, but because I shall miss Lady
Mallowe and Lady Joan, who are to be at Asshawe Holt next week. I
particularly wanted to see them.”

Miss Alicia glanced at Tembarom to see what he would do. He spoke
before he could catch her glance.

“Say,” he suggested, “why don’t you bring your grip over here and stay?
I wish you would.”

“A grip means a Gladstone bag,” Miss Alicia murmured in a rapid

Palliser replied with appreciative courtesy. Things were going
extremely well.

“That’s awfully kind of you,” he answered. “I should like it
tremendously. Nothing better. You are giving me a delightful
opportunity. Thank you, thank you. If I may turn up on Thursday I shall
be delighted.”

There was satisfaction in this at least in the observant gray eye when
he went away.


Dinner at Detchworth Grange was most amusing that evening. One of the
chief reasons--in fact, it would not be too venturesome to say _the_
chief reason--for Captain Palliser’s frequent presence in very good
country houses was that he had a way of making things amusing. His
relation of anecdotes, of people and things, was distinguished by a
manner which subtly declined to range itself on the side of vulgar
gossip. Quietly and with a fine casualness he conveyed the whole
picture of the new order at Temple Barholm. He did it with wonderfully
light touches, and yet the whole thing was to be seen--the little old
maid in her exquisite clothes, her unmistakable stamp of timid good
breeding, her protecting adoration combined with bewilderment; the
long, lean, not altogether ill-looking New York bounder, with his
slight slouch, his dangerously unsophisticated-looking face, and his
American jocularity of slang phrase.

“He’s of a class I know nothing about. I own he puzzled me a trifle at
first,” Palliser said with his cool smile. “I’m not sure that I’ve ‘got
on to him’ altogether yet. That’s an expressive New York phrase of his
own. But when we were strolling about together, he made revelations
apparently without being in the least aware that they were revelations.
He was unbelievable. My fear was that he would not go on.”

“But he did go on?” asked Amabel. “One must hear something of the

Then was given in the best possible form the little drama of the talk
in the garden. No shade of Mr. Temple Barholm’s characteristics was
lost. Palliser gave occasionally an English attempt at the reproduction
of his nasal twang, but it was only a touch and not sufficiently
persisted in to become undignified.

“I can’t do it,” he said. “None of us can really do it. When English
actors try it on the stage, it is not in the least the real thing. They
only drawl through their noses, and it is more than that.”

The people of Detchworth Grange were not noisy people, but their
laughter was unrestrained before the recital was finished. Nobody had
gone so far as either to fear or to hope for anything as undiluted in
its nature as this was.

“Then he won’t give us a chance, the least chance,” cried Lucy and
Amabel in unison. “We are out of the running.”

“You won’t get even a look in--because you are not ‘ladies,’ said
their brother.

“Poor Jem Temple Barholm! What a different thing it would have been if
we had had him for a neighbor!” Mr. Grantham fretted.

“We should have had Lady Joan Fayre as well,” said his wife.

“At least she’s a gentlewoman as well as a ‘lady,’” Mr. Grantham said.
“She would not have become so bitter if that hideous thing had not

They wondered if the new man knew anything about Jem. Palliser had not
reached that part of his revelation when the laughter had broken into
it. He told it forthwith, and the laughter was overcome by a sort of
dismayed disgust. This did not accord with the rumors of an almost
“nice” good nature.

“There’s a vulgar horridness about it,” said Lucy.

“What price Lady Mallowe!” said the son. “I’ll bet a sovereign she
began it.”

“She did,” remarked Palliser; “but I think one may leave Mr. Temple
Barholm safely to Lady Joan.” Mr. Grantham laughed as one who knew
something of Lady Joan.

“There’s an Americanism which I didn’t learn from him,” Palliser added,
“and I remembered it when he was talking her over. It’s this: when you
dispose of a person finally and forever, you ‘wipe up the earth with
him.’ Lady Joan will ‘wipe up the earth’ with your new neighbor.”

There was a little shout of laughter. “Wipe up the earth” was entirely
new to everybody, though even the country in England was at this time
by no means wholly ignorant of American slang.

This led to so many other things both mirth-provoking and serious, even
sometimes very serious indeed, that the entire evening at Detchworth
was filled with talk of Temple Barholm. Very naturally the talk did
not end by confining itself to one household. In due time Captain
Palliser’s little sketches were known in divers places, and it became
a habit to discuss what had happened, and what might possibly happen
in the future. There were those who went to the length of calling on
the new man because they wanted to see him face to face. People heard
new things every few days, but no one realized that it was vaguely
through Palliser that there developed a general idea that, crude and
self-revealing as he was, there lurked behind the outward candor of the
intruder a hint of over-sharpness of the American kind. There seemed no
necessity for him to lay schemes beyond those he had betrayed in his
inquiries about “ladies,” but somehow it became a fixed idea that he
was capable of doing shady things if at any time the temptation arose.
That was really what his boyish casualness meant. That in truth was
Palliser’s final secret conclusion. And he wanted very much to find out
_why_ exactly little old Miss Temple Barholm had been taken up. If the
man wanted introductions, he could have contrived to pick up a smart
and enterprising unprofessional chaperon in London who would have done
for him what Miss Temple Barholm would never presume to attempt. And
yet he seemed to have chosen her deliberately. He had set her literally
at the head of his house. And Palliser, having heard a vague rumor
that he had actually settled a decent income upon her, had made adroit
inquiries and found it was true.

It was. To arrange the matter had been one of his reasons for going to
see Mr. Palford during their stay in London.

“I wanted to fix you--fix you safe,” he said when he told Miss Alicia
about it. “I guess no one can take it away from you, whatever old thing

“What could happen, dear Mr. Temple Barholm?” said Miss Alicia in the
midst of tears of gratitude and tremulous joy. “You are so young and
strong and--everything! Don’t even speak of such a thing in jest. What
_could_ happen?”

“Anything can happen,” he answered, “just anything. Happening’s the
one thing you can’t bet on. If I was betting, I’d put my money on the
thing I was sure _couldn’t_ happen. Look at this Temple Barholm song
and dance! Look at T. T. as he was half strangling in the blizzard up
at Harlem and thanking his stars little Munsberg didn’t kick him out of
his confectionery store less than a year ago! So long as I’m all right,
you’re all right. But I wanted you _fixed_, anyhow.”

He paused and looked at her questioningly for a moment. He wanted to
say something and he was not sure he ought. His reverence for her
little finenesses and reserves increased instead of wearing away. He
was always finding out new things about her.

“Say,” he broke forth almost impetuously after his hesitation, “I wish
you wouldn’t call me Mr. Temple Barholm.”

“D-do you?” she fluttered. “But what could I call you?”

“Well,” he answered, reddening a shade or so, “I’d give a house and lot
if you could just call me Tem.”

“But it would sound so unbecoming, so familiar,” she protested.

“That’s just what I’m asking for,” he said--“some one to be familiar
with. I’m the familiar kind. That’s what’s the matter with me. I’d be
familiar with Pearson, but he wouldn’t let me. I’d frighten him half to
death. He’d think that he wasn’t doing his duty and earning his wages,
and that somehow he’d get fired some day without a character.”

He drew nearer to her and coaxed.

“Couldn’t you do it?” he asked almost as though he were asking a favor
of a girl. “Just Tem? I believe that would come easier to you than
T. T. I get fonder and fonder of you every day, Miss Alicia, honest
Injun. And I’d be so grateful to you if you’d just be that unbecomingly

He looked honestly in earnest; and if he grew fonder and fonder of her,
she without doubt had, in the face of everything, given her whole heart
to him.

“Might I call you Temple--to begin with?” she asked. “It touches me so
to think of your asking me. I will begin at once. Thank you--Temple,”
with a faint gasp. “I might try the other a little later.”

It was only a few evenings later that he told her about the flats in
Harlem. He had sent to New York for a large bundle of newspapers, and
when he opened them he read aloud an advertisement, and showed her a
picture of a large building given up entirely to “flats.”

He had realized from the first that New York life had a singular
attraction for her. The unrelieved dullness of her life--those few
years of youth in which she had stifled vague longings for the joys
experienced by other girls; the years of middle age spent in the
dreary effort to be “submissive to the will of God,” which, honestly
translated, signified submission to the exactions and domestic
tyrannies of “dear papa” and others like him--had left her with her
capacities for pleasure as freshly sensitive as a child’s. The smallest
change in the routine of existence thrilled her with excitement.
Tembarom’s casual references to his strenuous boyhood caused her eyes
to widen with eagerness to hear more. Having seen this, he found keen
delight in telling her stories of New York life--stories of himself or
of other lads who had been his companions. She would drop her work and
gaze at him almost with bated breath. He was an excellent raconteur
when he talked of the things he knew well. He had an unconscious habit
of springing from his seat and acting his scenes as he depicted them,
laughing and using street-boy phrasing:

“It’s just like a tale,” Miss Alicia would breathe, enraptured as he
jumped from one story to another. “It’s exactly like a wonderful tale.”

She learned to know the New York streets when they blazed with heat,
when they were hard with frozen snow, when they were sloppy with
melting slush or bright with springtime sunshine and spring winds
blowing, with pretty women hurrying about in beflowered spring hats
and dresses and the exhilaration of the world-old springtime joy. She
found herself hurrying with them. She sometimes hung with him and his
companions on the railing outside dazzling restaurants where scores of
gay people ate rich food in the sight of their boyish ravenousness. She
darted in and out among horses and vehicles to find carriages after the
theater or opera, where everybody was dressed dazzlingly and diamonds

“Oh, how rich everybody must have seemed to you--how cruelly rich, poor
little boy!”

“They looked rich, right enough,” he answered when she said it. “And
there seemed a lot of good things to eat all corralled in a few places.
And you wished you could be let loose inside. But I don’t know as it
seemed cruel. That was the way it _was_, you know, and you couldn’t
help it. And there were places where they’d give away some of what was
left. I tell you, we were in luck then.”

There was some spirit in his telling it all--a spirit which had surely
been with him through his hardest days, a spirit of young mirth in
rags--which made her feel subconsciously that the whole experience had,
after all, been somehow of the nature of life’s high adventure. He had
never been ill or heart-sick, and he laughed when he talked of it, as
though the remembrance was not a recalling of disaster.

“Clemmin’ or no clemmin’, I wish I’d lived the loife tha’s lived,”
Tummas Hibblethwaite had said.

Her amazement would indeed have been great if she had been told that
she secretly shared his feeling.

“It seems as if somehow you had _never_ been dull,” was her method of
expressing it.

“Dull! Holy cats! no,” he grinned. “There wasn’t any time for being
anything. You just had to keep going.”

She became in time familiar with Mrs. Bowse’s boarding-house and
boarders. She knew Mrs. Peck and Mr. Jakes and the young lady from the
notion counter (those wonderful shops!). Julius and Jim and the hall
bedroom and the tilted chairs and cloud of smoke she saw so often that
she felt at home with them.

“Poor Mrs. Bowse,” she said, “must have been a most respectable,
motherly, hard-working creature. Really a _nice_ person of her class.”
She could not quite visualize the “parlor,” but it must have been warm
and comfortable. And the pianola--a piano which you could play without
even knowing your notes--What a _clever_ invention! America seemed full
of the most wonderfully clever things.

Tembarom was actually uplifted in soul when he discovered that she laid
transparent little plans for leading him into talk about New York.
She wanted him to talk about it, and the Lord knows he wanted to
talk about himself. He had been afraid at first. She might have hated
it, as Palford did, and it would have hurt him somehow if she hadn’t
understood. But she did. Without quite realizing the fact, she was
beginning to love it, to wish she had seen it. Her Somerset vicarage
imagination did not allow of such leaps as would be implied by the
daring wish that sometime she _might_ see it.

But Tembarom’s imagination was more athletic.

“Jinks! wouldn’t it be fine to _take_ her there! The lark in London
wouldn’t be ace high to it.”

The Hutchinsons were not New Yorkers, but they had been part of the
atmosphere of Mrs. Bowse’s. Mr. Hutchinson would of course be rather
a forward and pushing man to be obliged to meet, but Little Ann! She
did so like Little Ann! And the dear boy did so want, in his heart of
hearts, to talk about her at times. She did not know whether, in the
circumstances, she ought to encourage him; but he was so dear, and
looked so much dearer when he even _said_ “Little Ann,” that she could
not help occasionally leading him gently toward the subject.

When he opened the newspapers and found the advertisements of the
flats, she saw the engaging, half-awkward humorousness come into his

“Here’s one that would do all right,” he said--“four rooms and a bath,
eleventh floor, thirty-five dollars a month.”

He spread the newspaper on the table and rested on his elbow, gazing
at it for a few minutes wholly absorbed. Then he looked up at her and

“There’s a plan of the rooms,” he said. “Would you like to look at it?
Shall I bring your chair up to the table while we go over it together?”

He brought the chair, and side by side they went over it thoroughly.
To Miss Alicia it had all the interest of a new kind of puzzle. He
explained it in every detail. One of his secrets had been that on
several days when Galton’s manner had made him hopeful he had visited
certain flat buildings and gone into their intricacies. He could
therefore describe with color their resources--the janitor; the
elevator; the dumb-waiters to carry up domestic supplies and carry
down ashes and refuse; the refrigerator; the unlimited supply of hot
and cold water, the heating plan; the astonishing little kitchen, with
stationary wash-tubs; the telephone, if you could afford it,--all the
conveniences which to Miss Alicia, accustomed to the habits of Rowcroft
Vicarage, where you lugged cans of water up-stairs and down if you took
a bath or even washed your face, seemed luxuries appertaining only to
the rich and great.

“How convenient! How wonderful! Dear me! Dear me!” she said again and
again, quite flushed with excitement. “It is like a fairy-story. And
it’s not big at all, is it?”

“You could get most of it into this,” he answered, exulting. “You could
get all of it into that big white-and-gold parlor.”

“The white saloon?”

He showed his teeth.

“I guess I ought to remember to call it that,” he said, “but it always
makes me think of Kid MacMurphy’s on Fourth Avenue. He kept what was
called a saloon, and he’d had it painted white.”

“Did you _know_ him?” Miss Alicia asked.

“Know him! Gee! no! I didn’t fly as high as that. He’d have thought me
pretty fresh if I’d acted like I knew him. He thought he was one of the
Four Hundred. He’d been a prize-fighter. He was the fellow that knocked
out Kid Wilkens in four rounds.” He broke off and laughed at himself.
“Hear me talk to you about a tough like that!” he ended, and he gave
her hand the little apologetic, protective pat which always made her
heart beat because it was so “nice.”

He drew her back to the advertisements, and drew such interesting
pictures of what the lives of two people--mother and son or father
and daughter or a young married couple who didn’t want to put on
style--might be in the tiny compartments, that their excitement mounted

This could be a bedroom, that could be a bedroom, that could be the
living-room, and if you put a bit of bright carpet on the little
hallway and hung up a picture or so, it would look first-rate. He even
went into the matter of measurements, which made it more like putting a
puzzle together than ever, and their relief when they found they could
fit a piece of furniture he called “a lounge” into a certain corner was
a thing of flushing delight. The “lounge,” she found, was a sort of cot
with springs. You could buy them for three dollars, and when you put on
a mattress and covered it with a “spread,” you could sit on it in the
daytime and sleep on it at night, if you had to.

From measurements he went into calculations about the cost of things.
He had seen unpainted wooden tables you could put mahogany stain
on, and they’d look all you’d want. He’d seen a splendid little
rocking-chair in Second Avenue for five dollars, one of the padded kind
that ladies like. He had seen an arm-chair for a man that was only
seven; but there mightn’t be room for both, and you’d have to have the
rocking-chair. He had once asked the price of a lot of plates and cups
and saucers with roses on them, and you could get them for six; and you
didn’t need a stove as there was the range.

He had once heard Little Ann talking to Mrs. Bowse about the price
of frying-pans and kettles, and they seemed to cost next to nothing.
He’d looked into store windows and noticed the prices of groceries
and vegetables and things like that--sugar, for instance; two people
wouldn’t use much sugar in a week--and they wouldn’t need a ton of tea
or flour or coffee. If a fellow had a mother or sister or wife who had
a head and knew about things, you could “put it over” on mighty little,
and have a splendid time together, too. You’d even be able to work in a
cheap seat in a theater every now and then. He laughed and flushed as
he thought of it.

Miss Alicia had never had a doll’s house. Rowcroft Vicarage did not run
to dolls and their belongings. Her thwarted longing for a doll’s house
had a sort of parallel in her similarly thwarted longing for “a little

And here was her doll’s house so long, so long unpossessed! It was like
that, this absorbed contriving and fitting of furniture into corners.
She also flushed and laughed. Her eyes were so brightly eager and her
cheeks so pink that she looked quite girlish under her lace cap.

“How pretty and cozy it might be made, how dear!” she exclaimed. “And
one would be so high up on the eleventh floor, that one would feel
like a bird in a nest.”

His face lighted. He seemed to like the idea tremendously.

“Why, that’s so,” he laughed. “That idea suits me down to the ground. A
bird in a nest. But there’d have to be two. One would be lonely. Say,
Miss Alicia, how would you like to live in a place like that?”

“I am sure any one would like it--if they had some dear relative with
them.” He loved her “dear relative,” loved it. He knew how much it
meant of what had lain hidden unacknowledged, even unknown to her,
through a lifetime in her early-Victorian spinster breast.

“Let’s go to New York and rent one and live in it together. Would you
come?” he said, and though he laughed, he was not jocular in the usual
way. “Would you, if we waked up and found this Temple Barholm thing was
a dream?”

Something in his manner, she did not know what, puzzled her a little.

“But if it were a dream, you would be quite poor again,” she said,

“No, I wouldn’t. I’d get Galton to give me back the page. He’d do it
quick--quick,” he said, still with a laugh. “Being poor’s nothing,
anyhow. We’d have the time of our lives. We’d be two birds in a nest.
You can look out those eleventh-story windows ’way over to the Bronx,
and get bits of the river. And perhaps after a while Ann would do--like
she said, and we’d be three birds.”

“Oh!” she sighed ecstatically. “How beautiful it would be! We should be
a little _family_!”

“So we should,” he exulted. “Think of T. T. with a family!” He drew his
paper of calculations toward him again. “Let’s make believe we’re going
to do it, and work out what it would cost--for three. You know about
housekeeping, don’t you? Let’s write down a list.”

If he had warmed to his work before, he warmed still more after this.
Miss Alicia was drawn into it again, and followed his fanciful plans
with a new fervor. They were like two children who had played at
make-believe until they had lost sight of commonplace realities.

Miss Alicia had lived among small economies and could be of great
assistance to him. They made lists and added up lines of figures until
the fine, huge room and its thousands of volumes melted away. In the
great hall, guarded by warriors in armor, the powdered heads of the
waiting footmen drooped and nodded while the prices of pounds of butter
and sugar and the value of potatoes and flour and nutmegs were balanced
with a hectic joy, and the relative significance of dollars and cents
and shillings and half-crowns caused Miss Alicia a mild delirium.

By the time that she had established the facts that a shilling was
something like twenty-five cents, a dollar was four and twopence, and
twenty-five dollars was over five pounds, it was past midnight.

They heard the clock strike the half-hour, and stopped to stare at each

Tembarom got up with yet another laugh.

“Say, I mustn’t keep you up all night,” he said. “But haven’t we had a
fine time? I feel as if I’d _been_ there.”

They had been there so entirely that Miss Alicia brought herself back
with difficulty.

“I can scarcely believe that we have not,” she said. “I feel as if I
didn’t like to leave it. It was so delightful.” She glanced about her.
“The room looks _huge_,” she said--“almost too huge to live in.”

“Doesn’t it?” he answered. “Now you know how I feel.” He gathered his
scraps of paper together with a feeling touch. “I didn’t want to come
back myself. When I get a bit of a grouch I shall jerk these out and go
back there again.”

“Oh, do let me go with you!” she said. “I have so enjoyed it.”

“You shall go whenever you like,” he said. “We’ll keep it up for a sort
of game on rainy days. How much is a dollar, Miss Alicia?”

“Four and twopence. And sugar is six cents a pound.”

“Go to the head,” he answered. “Right again.”

The opened roll of newspapers was lying on the table near her. They
were copies of “The Earth.” The date of one of them by merest chance
caught her eye.

“How odd!” she said. “Those are old papers. Did you notice? Is it a
mistake? This one is dated--” She leaned forward, and her eye caught a
word in a head-line.

“The Klondike,” she read. “There’s something about the Klondike.” He
put his hand out and drew the papers away.

“Don’t you read that,” he said. “I don’t want you to go to bed and
dream about the Klondike. You’ve got to dream about the flat in Harlem.”

“Yes,” she answered. “I mustn’t think about sad things. The flat in
Harlem is quite happy. But it startled me to see that word.”

“I only sent for them--because I happened to want to look something
up,” he explained. “How much is a pound, Miss Alicia?”

“Four dollars and eighty-six cents,” she replied, recovering herself.

“Go up head again. You’re going to stay there.”

When she gave him her hand on their parting for the night, he held
it a moment. A subtle combination of things made him do it. The
calculations, the measurements, the nest from which one could look out
over the Bronx, were prevailing elements in its make-up. Ann had been
in each room of the Harlem flat, and she always vaguely reminded him of

“We are relations, ain’t we?” he asked.

“I am sure we often seem quite near relations--Temple.” She added the
name with very pretty kindness.

“We’re not distant ones any more, anyhow,” he said. “Are we near
enough--would you let me kiss you good night, Miss Alicia?”

An emotional flush ran up to her cap ribbons.

“Indeed, my dear boy--indeed, yes.”

Holding her hand with a chivalric, if slightly awkward, courtesy, he
bent, and kissed her cheek. It was a hearty, affectionately grateful
young kiss, which, while it was for herself, remotely included Ann.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever said good night to any one like that,”
he said. “Thank you for letting me.”

He patted her hand again before releasing it. She went up-stairs
blushing and feeling rather as though she had been proposed to, and
yet, spinster though she was, somehow quite understanding about the
nest and Ann.

    (To be continued)



“In that town,” said Blake to himself, peering cautiously through the
scrub, “is Mannering’s grave, and the wreck of a brave man’s life-work.
Oh, Sergeant, if those two beggarly Nyam-Nyams try to run away; deal
with them straightly. At moonset we will go down.”

“O sons of Eblis,” murmured the Haussa sergeant with a grin, “scum of
the market-place, little frogs of the mud-puddles of Wakonda, in that
town is good soured milk, much grain, and chickens and goats as many as
the prayers of the prophet. At moonset we will go down.”

The command gurgled pleasantly to itself and lay closer. Blake crawled
nearer Macartney, who was raking the silver-patched blackness with a
pair of night-glasses wrapped in dark cloth.

“I can make out a tin roof,” whispered Macartney at last; “that will be
the roof of the residency.”

“Where Mannering was speared on his own door-step,” said Jim Blake,
taking the glasses. “Dead, down and dead, wiped out, an absolute
failure, Mannering. I can’t get over that, you know. He was such a keen
old beggar, so wrapped up in his work. He simply spent himself on this
beastly country. And he cleared out Wakonda, as far as mortal eye can
see, on purpose to make room for seven other devils worse than the late

“Couldn’t be,” put in Macartney.

“It’s not being speared that’s the worst part of it,” persisted Blake;
“we all come to that sooner or later. It’s having absolutely nothing to
show for his life or his death. Nothing even for the next man to build
on. It’s that,” he continued, shivering as the dawn chill blew up the
valley, “which I fancy must worry old Mannering--still.”

“What you need is chlorodyne,” whispered Macartney, indignantly.

They lay silent in the dank, upland grass, and the dew beaded and
dripped on the thorns overhead. The command hunted for prickles in its
feet, tightened belts, and babbled softly of stewed fowl.

From immense spaces, as spun out and thin as a thread, came the
hunting-cry of a lion. The Haussa sergeant crept up and touched Blake’s

“The moon sets, O Effendi, and it is not yet the dawn.”

Blake rose to his feet and looked at the sky. “We be ready,” he said.

The command moved as one man, eyes glinting whitely under the
tarbooshes. The last few days had been hungry ones. Below in the valley
was good food; it was only to fight a little, and all would be full.
“_Ya Illah_, brethren, let us go down.”

They went down. Blake was no tactician, and his plan in such cases was
simple. You took the main gate, held it, and swept the obstructionists
out of the other gates or over the mud walls, broom fashion. He had
worked with his present command for a year, and they followed him like
a foot-ball team. The sergeant at his elbow presently touched his

“There is made ground here.”

“Made ground?”

“Yes. The road built by Mannering Bimbashi.”

Already the road built by Mannering for the grain dealers and spice
merchants was no more than a track in the undergrowth, and the grass
swept to the thigh. Their way dipped sharply, and a river valley
swirling in mist took them like shadows. Blake felt under his feet the
rotten piles of a bridge, and a rifle clanged against rusted iron.

“I think these cattle of Wakonda have the alarm,” said the sergeant as
they grunted up the opposite slope.


“There was a watchman at the bridge end; we should have crossed by the
ford farther down. But these Wakondai cannot fight, and all is as Allah
wills. O Ibrahim, son of Suleiman, keep thy rifle dry and remember to
get under the walls.”

The town was clattering like a frightened hen-roost when a company
of shadows flitted through the fog, and flung themselves under the
walls and against the main gate. Five minutes of noisy, scrambling,
hit-or-miss fighting followed, and they were inside, with their hardest
work before them. Their fire had driven back the defenders, but they
themselves had for the moment no cover. Presently the slugs began to
flop on the walls behind them, and two men fell. Blake felt a stinging
blow on the knee, and went down on all fours. He rose, laughing rather
shakily into Macartney’s scared face.

“A spent bullet,” he cried in the din; “can’t put my foot to the
ground. Clear those houses, old man; I’ll hold the gate.”

Macartney nodded and was gone, his men after him. Blake and his handful
took cover behind a mud buttress and a dead camel, and prepared to hold
the gate. It was only then that Blake saw the sergeant.

“Why art thou here?”

“I stay with thee, O Effendi. Besides,”--he sniffed wistfully,--“in
that house they have been cooking good mutton. I would not go too far.”

The din and turmoil of the narrow ways rose and fell like the froth of
a sea. The roofs were beginning to burn in a dozen places as Macartney,
in rough-and-ready fashion, cleared out the slug-shooters. The red
light of burning thatch danced in the fog and the thinning dark, and
by this light Blake saw a score of white-wrapped figures leap from the
reek and rush for the gate, shouting as they came.

“Steady, men, steady!”

“By the prophet’s beard!” cried the Haussa sergeant, flinging himself
flat behind the camel, “these be no Wakondai, but ghazis of the far
desert. Shoot well, O my children!”

It was all happening with the jerky rapidity of a cinematograph film,
and the noise passed hearing. The command, inspired with visions of
buttered mutton, loaded and fired as one man. Two, three close-range
volleys swept between the walls, and the alley was blotched with
whitish bundles that were the bodies of the desert men. But the others
came on, and suddenly Blake was on his feet in the shadow of the gate,
fighting hand to hand for his life.

“Stand firm, O my children!”

The sergeant’s voice echoed his. He was the center of an indescribable
confusion. Under the gate the smoke of the volleys hung heavily.
Through this broke first one fierce face, then another, the gleam of
arms, the surge and retreat of the attack, the blows and outcries of
men. Ibrahim, the son of Suleiman, fell across Blake’s feet and coughed
his life out in ten seconds. Another of his best men was down, speared
through the heart. And then, as suddenly as they had come, the desert
men retreated to the shelter of the huts, and Blake, looking up, saw
that it was day.

“They are gone,” said the sergeant, looking at the dead, “but they will
come again. O Effendi, this is no good place.”

“I should have kept more men,” Blake was thinking clearly and rapidly.
“If Mac doesn’t come back inside ten minutes, it will be too late for
us, and he’ll have to cut his way out.”

A moment’s dreamlike quiet had succeeded the dreamlike noise. Over his
head the sky was clear and growing gold, barred with the black flocks
of wild-fowl that flew to their feeding-grounds in the valley. The sun
rose with the hard flash of metal, and the blink of metal answered from
the ruined roof of Mannering’s house. Blake’s breath drew cold. Was
he also to die uselessly, wastefully, his work unfinished, under the
spears of Wakonda? “Steady, men, steady, and fire slowly! It is ours to
hold the gate.”

The Haussa sergeant leaped to his feet.

“They come again! O jackals of the sands, we men are ready--”

“Silence--and lie down!”

Again with that dreaming sense of unreality Blake watched the rush of
fluttering figures up the alley. The men were loading and firing as
fast as they could, but the rush was scarcely checked. Someone behind
him began to croon a wild death-song. A thrown spear flickered before
his eyes and struck his head a glancing blow. He looked at it curiously
as it clattered down on his boots, and wondered why his hands felt
so weak, and why the earth reeled under his feet like an out-rolled
ribbon. Then everything was lost in a warm, red mist through which
savage faces seemed to peer and yell. Blinded and dizzy, he braced
himself for the shock of the charge, the while some voice in his head
was buzzing busily, “You will go down as Mannering did, a failure, a

An utter pity for Mannering filled him. He leaned back against the
wall, leveled his revolver as well as he could on his knee, and
waited--as Mannering had waited.

“_Ya Illah!_” shouted the sergeant hoarsely. “Who be these?”

Blake cleared the blood from his eyes and looked. The attack had
wavered and had turned upon itself, for a compact little force of ten
had filed out from behind a house and fallen upon the desert men in
the rear. They were in all degrees of dress and undress. Their leader
was very tall and very thin, with a great bush of hair, upon which he
wore the remains of a tarboosh, and he had an empty bandoleer round
his neck. He and his men were armed variously, ranging from a damaged
Martini to an inlaid jezail from the North. These weapons they were
using variously, but effectively, in disciplined silence. So much Blake
saw in a photographic flash of amazement. Then strength came back to
him, and he and the sergeant flung themselves across the dead camel.

“Come on, you black rascals!” shouted Blake, staggering as he stood.

“Follow me, sons of darkness!” yelled the sergeant.

The men obeyed with howls. Caught between two forces, the enemy,
fighting like wolves, were driven down alleys, cut down in corners,
scattered and broken. In five minutes Blake’s men and their unknown
allies were staring and panting under the gate, their work done.

“Now,” suggested the Haussa, patting Blake all over with his delicate
black hands in a search for fatal injuries--“now I go and picket that
street whence came the good cooking smell.”

“Wait!” commanded Blake. He looked at the gate, at the dead lying in
the light and the black shadow. Even now the gold had scarcely gone
from the faint, hot blue of the sky; scattered bands of birds still
flew across it, and the high air seemed stirred with a multitude of
wings. He looked at the leader of the allies, who was standing on one
leg and grinning anxiously.

“Who art thou?”

The man drew his dusty heels together and carefully saluted.

“We be the men of Mannering Bimbashi.”

“Of Mannering Bimbashi?”

“Yea, master. I was a policeman of the force wherewith he policed
this town. He said to us, ‘Go here,’ or ‘Go there,’ and we went and
punished the evil-doers. Twice and thrice have I fought under Mannering
Bimbashi.” He gazed contemptuously at his command. “These others are
also of his force, or of his house--warriors, as I am, or gardeners and
herders of goats; but all Mannering Bimbashi’s men.”

“Go on,” said Blake, quietly.

“Mannering Bimbashi was slain, and many of his folk; but I was
left. I remembered. I gathered these others together, and bade them
remember also. Mannering Bimbashi was dead, but we were not freed
from our service. We had to live. I was a seller of rock-salt in the
market-place, and these others did work after their kind. Sometimes we
met and spoke together. None knew us for his men, and his name might
not be upon our lips; but we laid our hands upon our mouths--so--and
then we remembered.”

“Go on.”

“There is no more. It is very difficult to remember. But I knew the
English would come in the footsteps of our bimbashi, and I held these
of his together in readiness, as thou hast seen. But our bimbashi--on
whom be peace!--has been dead a long time, and now we would take
service with thee, O master.”

“Thou hast done well.” Blake’s voice shook a little as he thought how
well. “Thou hast done very well. But why?”

The man was very ugly and very black, but all the poetry and sadness of
the Arab were in his face as he answered:

“We were his men. We loved him.”

Blake’s eyes were dim as he looked across at the ruined house. There
Mannering had gone down, and his hope, his work, his deeds--all these
had gone down with him into dust.

“But even here there was love left,” said Blake aloud, with a kind of
wonder; “even here there was love left!”

Then he took his men and Mannering’s and went to join Macartney in the
ordering of Wakonda.



Author of “Susan Clegg,” “Seeing France with Uncle John,” etc.

There were very many people who gave a good deal of time to wondering
whether Lady Verita Veritas would really ever marry Captain Adair.
Many were the opinions on the subject, and some fair-sized bets, one
man even proposing to take out the risk at Lloyd’s that she would
not. The general view was that marrying Captain Adair was about the
only thing that her very original ladyship had _not_ done so far; but
on the heels of this undeniable proposition followed the query as to
whether her very original ladyship would ever do anything that even the
wildest imagination might have accidentally predicted. It was felt that
the chances were all against this possibility, and good society was
preparing to return to its old favorite topic of how very curiously the
young lady treated the young man if she _did_ mean to marry him, and
how much more curious was her course of action if she _didn’t_, when
suddenly, one fair May morning, on every news-stall in England appeared
a well-known magazine, displaying upon its cover list of contributors
the name of our heroine, and upon its pages a terrible tale, entitled,
“The Dowager Marchioness doesn’t Think,” which clearly owed its
inception and development to the quick wit and ready pen of that same
blue-blooded young woman.

Here was a fresh sensation in good earnest, the more pronounced from
the fact that there was a very thoughtless dowager marchioness in the
Veritas family. It was not many hours before all London was buzzing,
and none of the buzzing was louder than that set up by the wheels of
the irate aunt’s car as they hummed round and round, spinning her
rapidly toward her niece. For the earl’s eldest sister lived near
Windsor and was very, very rich, quite rich enough to have a good and
legal right to a thoughtless disposition, the latter combined, be it
added, with a most uncertain temper.

The marchioness had the magazine with her, but the speed she had
commanded was so great and the purchase of her pince-nez so uncertain
that she could only glance casually from time to time at the iniquities
portrayed therein. It was easy to see, however, that it was a frightful
story and calculated to incite to riot and bloodshed, or, at the very
least, to upset all discipline in the servants’ hall. The plot seemed
to hint at some vague system of retribution (here the marchioness
held the page very close), and in one spot there were certain vicious
passages about downing--or was it drowning?--all aristocrats; but just
at that moment the car struck a stone, and the noble lady lost her
place, in fact, both her places. By the time that she had readjusted
herself, the leaf had turned over, and her eye fell on another and
yet more absorbing horror, for an old villager in the story predicted
death to all who had oppressed him, and following immediately upon this
bloodthirsty prophecy came a style of invective that quite shocked one,
and made Verita’s aunt suspect that her dear niece had been slumming in

“I wonder what her father will--” reflected the ancient lady of ten
times more ancient lineage, shutting tight her thin-lipped mouth; but
there the car, making ever more and more violent efforts to save time
at the expense of every other consideration, skidded, and again the
dowager marchioness was forced to give up thinking.

She gave it up for so long a time that the next thing of which she
became aware was the pillared entrance to Veritas House and the
green-and-silver footman who was brother to her own maid. He took her
out with a solicitude that showed that he also was fully aware of the
tragic happening which had just shaken the august family.

“The duchess is up-stairs, your Ladyship,” he whispered respectfully,
as she clung to his arm, “and Captain Adair, too.”

The dowager marchioness nodded with jelly-like faintness. Then she
mounted the staircase in real agitation, and was announced by a second
footman, this one being a son of her own cook.

The countess was “laid up with her head,” so Verita was pouring the
tea; no one else was present except the duchess and the captain.

“Not a copy to be had,” the captain was saying excitedly; “I tried
everywhere. I tried at Paddington and at the club, and then I took a
taxi to Gray’s Inn. There’s a news-stall just across the way, don’t you
know; but not a beastly one could I find.”

“Too bad,” said the author, going to kiss the new arrival; “but it
doesn’t matter so much now, because here’s one.” She took the dowager
marchioness’s magazine as she spoke, and gave it to the duchess, who
opened it eagerly.

“O Vera, how _could_ you?” began her aunt at once. “Or if you wanted
to do it, why did you drag us all in this terrible way? _This_ is
something much more dreadful than walking in processions and being
arrested; this is the _most_ dreadful thing that you’ve done yet.”

“The worst of it is,” said the captain, “that it breaks down all the
sense of _noblesse oblige_ and _entre nous_--all that kind of thing,
you know. If it were anybody else, it wouldn’t so much matter, for we
seem to be baited from every side just now; but I don’t think that
_she_ ought to join in, and what worries me especially is that their
being sold out at Paddington shows that the magazine has gone out on
the afternoon trains in every direction.” He drew a hard breath and
glared. Just to look at him, any casual observer would have declared on
the Bible that here was a man with great force of character.

“The Paddington trains go only as far as Oxford,” said Lady Verita in a
soothing tone, but Captain Adair was clearly in no easily soothed mood.

“They go to Reading, too,” he said with an uncommon air of real
opposition, “and to Banbury.”

“And to Stratford--they go to Stratford, too,” interposed the dowager
marchioness. “Oh, I’m sure, if you looked into the matter, you’d find
that quite a number of places are reached from Paddington. Else why
shouldn’t those trains have gone from some other station?” She paused
at this bit of constructive London logic, and reverted to her usual

“I wish that they did go from some other station,” said Captain Adair,
irately, “it took me so long to get to Paddington. To-day was the first
time in ages that I’d gone there, and I wouldn’t have gone there to-day
only I was right in the neighborhood.”

Lady Verita looked at him in a way that she had, and he ceased
speaking. There was no special quality in her glance, but it was of a
kind that one frequently encounters in the best English circles, and it
always causes some one to cease speaking. Captain Adair would become a
duke some day if one man should die and another should never marry; but
it must be confessed that Lady Verita, whether she did or did not have
his interest at heart, frequently chose that he should cease speaking.

“I wish that you hadn’t put your name to it,” said the dowager
marchioness, suddenly awakened to life and their family grievance by
the duchess’s turning a page with a smart snap; “there’s a place there
where a man shrieks that he will fight until not one drop of blue
blood is left running beside another. That is really very terrible, my
dear, that”--She was stopped abruptly, for the duchess threw the book
violently from her, gathered up her feather boa, and, rising abruptly,
started toward the door.

“What is it?” asked Lady Verita, rising also.

Without a word of explanation or adieu, her grace sailed out of the
room. Captain Adair having jumped to open the door for her.

The dowager marchioness sat open-mouthed.

“She must be mad,” said the man as he returned to his seat; “but you
know that you really shouldn’t have written it, Vera; really you
shouldn’t. People don’t do such things.”

“So revolutionary!” expostulated the dowager marchioness, finding her
tongue. “You ought to consider the times. We might as well have Tolstoy
in the family, or that horrid little man who led the French strike.
Think of your country. Think of her need. Think of our ships.”

“Think of the docks,” the captain added, “or don’t write. That would do
just as well.”

“Or, if you must write,” said the aunt, “why not write about the
cottage industries? We’ve such a nice cottage industry near us.”

“You might as well be a socialist,” continued the captain; “think of
the danger _then_. Think of the taxes.”

“Think of all the men who are continually being killed,” said the
dowager, warming to her argument.

“Think of the condition of your party,” said the captain; and then,
having picked up the magazine and hunted out the offending matter, he
ceased speaking and carefully adjusted his glass.

Lady Verita leaned back in her chair and seemed to resign herself to
the inevitable.

“And if I were not kindness itself,” went on the marchioness, after a
slight somnolent pause, “I should feel outraged over your taking your
title from me. That”--

“Well, by George!” cried the captain.

“_What_ is it?” asked the marchioness.

Lady Verita began to laugh.

“I declare!” The captain began to laugh, too.

“_What_ is it?” cried the marchioness again.

“The whole thing is about the French Revolution!”

“Of course,” said the author, laughing more.

“The French Revolution!” stammered her aunt.

“It doesn’t mean us at all,” said Adair, dropping his glass and staring
at both ladies.

“Naturally not.” Lady Verita began crumbling bread for the poodle. “How
could any of you suppose that I would make a story out of you?”

“The French Revolution!” repeated the dowager.

“I’ll wager that’s why the duchess bolted,” said the captain, suddenly.
“She’d seen through it.”

“_Selbstverständlich_,” said Lady Verita, pouring cold tea over
the crumbs, to the end that the poodle might enjoy some truly kind

“I’m going straight to her!” announced the marchioness, rising with
dignity. “I wish to let her know that _I_ know, too.”

In less than two minutes the lady and the captain were left alone

“I believe you wrote it for a sell,” the man said then. He did
occasionally beam brightly through his own fog, and he was anxious now
to be on good terms again; “you knew how it would be taken.”

“Perhaps,” said Lady Verita, calmly; “but do ring for them to take away
the tea, and then run along yourself. I’m tired.”

“You treat me like a dog,” grumbled the captain, “and I never rebel. Do
kiss me once before I go, anyhow, and say you love me just once. Do!”

She kissed him, and that so sweetly that she was barely through with
it when the men came in for the tea-things. The men going out with the
tea-things were barely on the other side of the door when she said “I
love you,” and that sweetly, too. The captain went away in raptures. If
only--if only--

It was this sort of happenings that kept so much gossip afloat about
the young couple.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are only two short months between the first of May and the first
of July; it follows therefore that there were only two short months
between the publication of “The Dowager Marchioness doesn’t Think” and
that of “The Earl’s Own County.” Every one who had been shocked by the
title of “The Dowager Marchioness doesn’t Think” had become quickly
calmed upon discovering that it concerned nothing nearer home than
the French Revolution, and so could not have meant anything invidious
in relation to either our particular dowager marchioness, or yet her
times, or yet her class. But there was quite another tale to tell about
“The Earl’s Own County,” and both the earl and his county were so well
known and so dreadful, the description of them was so vividly accurate,
and the language so painful and so glowing, that those who knew the
whole truth stood open-mouthed and aghast, wondering what the noble
father would do with his noble daughter _now_.

The noble father was off yachting and thus altogether removed from the
field of immediate retribution. But his noble brother, the bishop, came
trundling up from his bishopric as fast as, first, a pair of cobs,
second, a first-class ticket, and third, a taxi, could be induced to
bring him. Arriving at Veritas House, he found his sister-in-law, the
countess, laid up with her head, as usual; but the youthful culprit
received her uncle with an outstretched hand and a beaming smile. It
was hard to believe her so great a sinner as she had proved, but the
bishop was ready to believe anything of a daughter and an aristocrat
who would write “The Earl’s Own County.”

“Verita,” he said at once and gravely, “_this_ is no light matter.
_This_ cannot be overlooked. Your own ancestral acres! It is really
_most_ dreadful. You have absolutely identified the place by your
detailed description of the thatches and the drains. Thatches
and drains are no longer mere impersonal matters of picturesque
possibility, as in the past. The low-lying politics of the present
government have unduly exalted the drain and all but carried off the
thatch. To write lightly of the matter is the reverse of pardonable.
Indeed, I may say without fear of prevarication that it is a _very_
serious offense. Statements such as yours, put in the peculiarly
unfortunate manner which you have somehow hit upon, stir people up
beyond all reason. You remember that American book about the pigs
in the jungle near Chicago? Do you recollect that it nearly wrecked
the whole slaughtering industry? These things are better left alone.
There is no knowing to what end they may lead. You might bring about a
question in the House. Consider _that_ possibility. Such fearful issues
have arisen out of most trivial matters. In the present state of German
tiles, we must put down with a hand of steel all reference to English
thatches. I trust that you are following me?” The bishop paused, quite
out of breath.

“But I have a purpose,” said Lady Verita. “Have you read my story?”

“In part--only in part; vespers intervened to spare me useless pain.
But that little was enough--too much, in fact. It is pulling the very
foundations from under our civilization to write as you have written.
I cannot in justice deny that your description of life among the poor
is a remarkable piece of work, but no good can come of descriptions of
life among the poor. Indeed, in my estimation, it is a thing that never
should be done. We have our master’s own warrant for the continual
existence of the poor, and we may not question his statement. ‘Always
with you,’ he said. What could be clearer? In my estimation, their
elimination would undermine the whole foundation of that crown of
virtue, Christian charity.”

“But I don’t agree with that view,” said Lady Verita; “I disagree with
it completely. I think that the situation of the poor can be vastly
improved; in fact, it _is_ being improved; which absolutely proves that
it can be. That’s logic.”

“Not at all,” protested the bishop; “on the contrary, it’s altogether
the opposite of logical. I have it on the authority of nearly all who
view the matter as I do, that things are getting continually worse.
And with things getting continually worse, the case is proved in
opposition to all law and all your so-called logic. I must decline to
argue the matter, for the simple reason that the only side to take is
mine. Therefore, do not let us go into it. Nothing can be gained by
discussing. No one denies that the country has fallen on evil days,
but that is a mere trifle compared to the horror of what you have
written--and to think that it should have been written by one in the
lofty station of your father’s daughter!” Again the bishop paused for

“I’m interested in the poor,” said Lady Veritas, meditatively.

“Perhaps we had best leave the poor out of the question,” said the
bishop, who was noted for the firmness with which he adhered to any
ground that he had once taken. “As a churchman of more than ordinary
weight, I may say that I have ever deprecated the wasting of words
as to the economic position of the poor. The poor, in my opinion,
are becoming far too prominent. They occupy at present a position
never intended in that divine order of things to which I have already
referred. It is a position that even the most casual observer must
admit is far beyond their limited capabilities to hold. Much of the
provision which is needed--and I may say even bitterly needed--by the
church is now being diverted to what may well be denominated as the
bottomless pit wherein dwell the poor. The poor are fast becoming
the rich. The rich are rapidly being pauperized for the unreasonable
aggrandizement of the poor. The situation will all too soon become
completely unbearable. Now, I put it to you,”--the bishop warmed
suddenly in his most persuasive pulpit manner,--“why make it worse?
A story like yours is to all intents and purposes a suggestion as
to making everything better, and _what_ could be worse? I may say
without fear of prevarication that this is a serious matter. It is a
very serious matter. Here in your story you have your childhood home
desecrated! Our old ancestral acres stripped for the popular gaze! Why
did you do it? Or, if an unconquerable longing to perpetuate them in
print obsessed you, why did you not perpetuate the beeches or the wild
boar or one of the sweet old stories of dole and dungeon? Why drag
forth into the fierce light of the present unfortunate tendency to look
into matters which, after all”--

“Dear uncle,” said Lady Verita, quite wearied by the length as well as
the breadth of her right reverend relative’s scope, “to say the truth,
the story is about Ireland. Any one who reads it carefully through to
the end sees that. The difficulty is that no one reads anything through
to the end nowadays. They skip all but the love scenes. There isn’t a
word about any of us or our own wretched belongings in the whole thing.
It is all about County Mayo.”

“County Mayo!” cried the bishop.

“Yes,” said his niece, “it is all about County Mayo. Of course it is
written very carefully, just as the other story was, and I had a fancy
that it might lead some readers to think, ‘Whom the cap fits, let him
wear it.’ It has amused me not a little to see how the guilty jump at
conclusions. I drew a picture of the French Revolution, and every one
cried out that I was writing of ourselves. And now I write of a poor
corner in a poor county in Ireland, and your own conscience at once
attaches my silly tale to a poor corner in a poor county in England.
That amuses me.”

A dull red glowed in the bishop’s angry face. He never had liked this
girl, and now he felt that he disliked her intensely. But of course
there was no more to be said. An English bishop must not allow himself
to be interested in Ireland.

“I am afraid that your youthful spirits will cause you to do what you
never can undo,” he said, carefully avoiding her glance of fun as he
rose stiffly.

“They have,” said his niece.

“You admit it. Yes, I should imagine so. I”--

Just here Captain Adair was announced.

“Dear uncle,” said Verita, putting her hand into the captain’s while
she looked toward the bishop, “we are what Fate wills in our weaving,
and I am busy unraveling my skein, that’s all.”

The bishop shook his head in a rather irritated manner and went away.
Left alone together, the captain kissed her ladyship and drew her to a
seat on the divan.

“My uncle has been expostulating about ‘The Earl’s Own County,’” she
said then.

“It’s an awful sell,” said Adair, half angry, half laughing; “down to
the last line, every one thinks it’s your place. Of course _I_ always
read to the last line before I say anything now. I’ve learned your
little way.”

Verita laughed brightly.

“But isn’t it droll that directly I deny it, no one sees the real truth
in the descriptions any more?”

“Y-e-s,” said the captain, looking into her pretty face; “and yet I
wish that you wouldn’t--’pon my soul I do. You might consider _me_ a
little, I think. You know what a hard time I have. I’ve stood such a
lot for you. We have all stood such a lot with you. The trouble is,
you’re so much too clever for a woman. All women are nowadays. They’re
going ahead of all the rules of the game. And you go ahead of all the
rest of them.”

“Somebody must go ahead, or progress would cease,” said Lady Verita.
“We’ve sat around quite a bit waiting for the men to do things lately,
I think.”

“Oh, but we’d be so comfortable if progress ceased, don’t you think?”
protested the captain. “Hang it all! if I don’t think that that
progress cult is at the bottom of every trouble in the world these
days. If everybody’s going to join in for progress, there never will
be any peace any more. And as for women like you, Vera dear, if you
ever do get the vote, you’ll find yourself a thorn in the side of your
party. It’s that way with the clever men always: one has to give the
country over to ’em just to keep ’em quiet.”

“I never shall have any party,” said Lady Verita, thoughtfully. “I
don’t believe in party politics. I’ll believe in any party that will
give even the devil his due. That’s all.”

“That would be the worst party of all,” said the captain; “that would
be the kind that no one ever would know which lobby you’d see ’em in.”
He stopped to shake his head sadly, for there seemed to him so much
of which he should despair, and he, like most well-born Englishmen,
did so long to be hopeful and happy! “I do wish you’d quit all this,”
he continued, “and settle down like other girls. Some day I’ll get on
my feet, and then we’ll tell every one. It really isn’t any of it my
fault, you know.”

Lady Verita looked at him not unkindly,--he was a handsome fellow,--and
was aware of a sincere wish that she were not so very much the cleverer
of the two, or, at least, that he wouldn’t be so ready to admit it.

“I’m aiming to accomplish something,” she said, speaking almost as
sadly as he had spoken. “When I’ve done it, I’ll cease writing; but I
can’t before. You know that I never do anything very long, however, so
I shall soon finish with this.”

But this was cold comfort for the captain.

“You keep me so upset, Vera,” he said after a moment’s painful
reflection. “I never know what you’ll do next.”

She laughed a little.

“But there’s one thing I must say,” he added, “and you must remember
it, too: don’t you ever write anything about me, because that’s
something I won’t stand for. Promise me that.”

Lady Verita did not promise. She kissed him instead, and he did not
notice the alteration in the program.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was only a moon or two later that my lady’s last tale appeared in
print. It was called “If I were only a Duke.” Captain Adair was the
hero, and society, on noting the latter fact, was shaken to its very
center. The captain was in Malta with a special commission of inquiry
into the chance of a night attack from Germany; but he had a sister in
London, who mailed him a copy the day that it appeared.

The framework of the story was remarkable.

“Of course they’re engaged,” people said everywhere; “they _must_ be.”

“We know that it’s true about his being poor,” said the cabinet
minister’s wife to her cousin; “she didn’t need to tell _that_.”

“And that his uncle’s a beast,” rejoined the cousin.

“He’ll rage when he reads this,” continued the cabinet minister’s wife;
“it _is_ rather a give-away, I do think. He might have made them an

“To think of her writing openly that, after all the labor she had
had to get him to offer himself, it is too bad that she must wait
indefinitely to be married!” The cousin sighed deeply. As she had been
waiting twenty-five years for some allowance to be made for her own
marriage, she felt a secret sympathy with Lady Verita.

“A most shocking confession,” said the cabinet minister’s wife, knowing
just what the sigh meant, and being one of those wives who never regard
an allowance as necessary when the maiden ladies of the family marry.
And then she gathered up her wrap and departed.

The old duke, even if he was a beast, had always been a very dignified
beast; but the commotion about his supposedly published parsimony shook
even his conception of noble rights. He went in his big blue car to
call at the house where the dreadful young woman stayed when she was at
home. The countess, her mother, was laid up with her head, as usual.
Lady Verita received his grace exactly as she received most persons in
these trying times.

“I suppose it is the story,” she said as she greeted him. She wasn’t a
bit afraid of him, having learned to regard him as much the same stuff
as the rest of humanity, only more in her way.

“Yes, it is the story,” he said haughtily. He regarded it as most
unfortunate that she herself differed so widely from the rest of
humanity. “It’s really too bad of you, don’t you know. If Clifford
wishes to marry, I’ll give him a little something regular. He ought to
know that. You ought to know that. What’s the good of rowing?”

Lady Verita lowered her eyes. She thought that there had been a deal of
good in rowing, since it had brought his close-fisted grace to this.

“But it’s very shocking to write it out for the _hoi polloi_, don’t
you know,” the duke continued vigorously; “I must beg, if you marry
Clifford, that we have no more of this kind of thing.”

“But it wasn’t meant for any one we know,” protested Lady Verita.

“Yes, it was,” said the duke, putting up his glass and glaring at
her; “everything you’ve written has been straight from the shoulder.
I read the other two, and it was rubbish to suppose you meant the
French Revolution or Ireland. Ireland, indeed! Any one with half an
eye could see what you meant. And I don’t need even half an eye to see
what you mean now. You mean to marry Clifford, and you wish to do it
at once. Dash it all! if putting it off is going to lead to more of
these stories, and putting it forward will stop ’em, I’ll set you up in
housekeeping to stop ’em. We can’t let this kind of thing continue.”

“Thank you so much,” said Lady Verita, casting down her eyes modestly.
“We _are_ betrothed.”

“Yes, I thought so,” said the duke; “I’ve reason to think so, for every
one’s been telling me so for the last two years. But what beats me is
how, with your daring, you haven’t found a way to marry him before

Lady Verita hesitated.

“I have,” she said finally.

       *       *       *       *       *

On receipt of the magazine, Captain Adair flew home as if he had been
a dynamite cartridge. For the first time in his life he was stirred
enough to be really very much worth while.

“What did I tell you?” he cried, rushing in upon the guilty person
without even having stopped to be brushed by his valet. “Now you _have_
done it. We’ll _have_ to tell now.”

Verita wasn’t in the least upset. If he had been plate-glass and she
had been a hammer, she couldn’t have been more aware of where the
advantage lay.

“We’ll have to tell now,” he repeated; “in fact, you have virtually
told already.”

She did not deny it. But she rose and went to him. There was something
about her that always had a calming effect when he was vexed, and
the charm worked this time as always. He took her hands, clasped them
behind his neck, and drew her to him.

“Do let us announce it,” he said in a tone that was muffled by

She returned his kiss, for although she knew all his mental
deficiencies, she loved him dearly.

“I want to tell,” he whispered; “I’ve always wanted to tell, you
know. What if we are poor? We’ll scrape along somehow. We’ll open a
flower-shop or a laundry or something.”

She laid her face against his breast.

“I think we’d better tell, too,” she said. “That was the reason why I
wrote the story. Writing stories is such a simple way of bringing the
truth before the public.”

“But our marriage isn’t on a par with the state of the times nor the
condition of your father’s estate,” he reminded her.

“No, not exactly,” she admitted; “but it was something that I felt
should be known and which required careful leading up to.”

He kissed her again.

“But you’ll let it be known now?” he asked.

She did not say:

“I’ve wanted it known all the time, but you were so beastly afraid of
your uncle.” Instead she murmured, “We’ll send an announcement to the
newspapers to-night.”

Then she looked at him and smiled, and then for an instant her heart
misgave her and she sighed. She knew that she had gained her purpose,
and she knew that she liked him better than any other man; but she was
a _femme d’esprit_, and she knew also that although he would one day
be a duke, he never would be her equal. And, like all clever women who
marry future dukes for love, she could but sigh slightly.


[7] This story was received by ~The Century~ shortly before the death
of the author, which occurred February 4, 1913.

[Illustration: Owned by Sir William Van Horne











Formerly Washington Correspondent of the New York “Journal of Commerce”



When the wrack and waste of war are done, and ceased are the tumults
and the shouting, the harder task lies before the statesman and the
financier of paying the cost. A great war, at least down to very recent
times, has usually carried with it haphazard and wasteful financing,
an oppressive debt, unequal and burdensome taxation, and a depreciated
currency. The aftermath of the Civil War was no exception. At its close
all these evils lay heavy upon the people of the United States.

The public debt stood at $2,846,000,000, or about $80 per capita;
and of this amount nearly $1,900,000,000 was paying interest at the
rate of six per cent., or higher. The ordinary expenditures of the
Government, including the support of the armies, were running at the
rate of about $3,300,000 a day, while receipts from taxation and other
sources than loans were falling below $1,000,000 a day. The man of
business could not affix his signature to a check, a receipt, or a
bill of exchange, receive a legacy or transfer a piece of real estate,
without paying a tax. Cotton was taxed two cents a pound; salt, six
cents a hundred pounds; sugar, from two to three and a half cents a
pound. Manufacturers were paying licenses for the right to do business,
and also taxes upon the value of their output whether a profit emerged
or not; middlemen were taxed upon the volume of goods dealt in,
irrespective of the fact that such goods had already paid several
times. Among other taxes were those levied on matches, photographs,
lottery tickets, perfumery, theaters, and carriages; and additions
made by repairs to the value of a carriage or a machine paid their
own distinctive tax. Incomes were taxed up to twelve and one half per
cent. There existed, in short, to use the terse language of David A.
Wells, “a system of internal taxation which for its universality and
peculiarities has no parallel in anything which had theretofore been
recorded in civil history.”


The currency consisted of irredeemable paper, a part issued by national
banks, a part by State banks, and a part directly from the government
printing-presses. Its value, which had been as low as $35.09 in gold
for $100 in paper, in July, 1864, was still less than $70 in gold after
the stimulus of Lee’s surrender. Prices of commodities, which had
fluctuated even more wildly than the gold premium, showed an average
for leading articles, in the first quarter of 1865, representing 2.62
times the corresponding average just before the war.

Brave and energetic as had been the policy of Salmon P. Chase as
Secretary of the Treasury in grappling with the problems of the war,
he made two economic errors which greatly added to the difficulties
that confronted his successor. He continued too long the policy of
borrowing instead of taxing, thereby impairing the public credit and
adding to the cost of his borrowings; and he opened the Pandora’s box
of legal-tender paper money, which left its mark upon our political
history for nearly half a century.

[Illustration: From a photograph by W. Kurtz



The problems presented to Hugh McCulloch, when he succeeded to the
headship of the Treasury in Lincoln’s second cabinet, were to reduce
expenditures, to reorganize taxation, to systematize and consolidate
the debt, and to restore stability to the currency. The country was
fortunate in having such a man as Mr. McCulloch to perform these
services. Of long experience as a practical banker, he had been made
Comptroller of the Currency upon the reorganization of the national
banking system, and was familiar with all branches of government
finance. Fortunately, also, he was not a politician. He was a
descendant of that small but prolific colony of Scotch and Scotch-Irish
who settled in northern New England, whose sturdy courage enriched the
blood of all other races with which it was mingled. His views of what
was required to restore sanity to the national finances were not warped
by fear of popular clamor; and if they went further than the condition
of the country warranted in the direction of monetary contraction, they
at least set a standard of national honor and obligation which was like
a beacon set on a hill to the supporters of honest money.

Toward reducing expenditures, rapid progress was made as the million
men who had sprung to arms at the call of the country were mustered
out of the Grand Army and returned to their plows and workshops.
Expenditures for the War Department, which were $1,030,000,000 in
1865, were brought down the next year to $283,000,000, and in 1867 to
$95,000,000. On the side of reducing and simplifying taxation much was
accomplished by the clear-headed young man who had been called into
consultation by President Lincoln a few weeks before his death. This
man, David A. Wells, tall, gaunt, and deadly in earnest, had perhaps a
greater capacity for massing facts than any other American economist.
At his suggestion, the war taxes, which had fettered production and
exchange, began to drop from the limbs of industry. By the act of July
13, 1866, taxes on articles of common consumption were abolished,
the income tax was suspended from and after June 30, 1870, and the
foundations were laid of the existing system of internal revenue,
taxing substantially only spirits and tobacco.

Of the elaborate operations of refunding, which converted obligations
paying six and seven per cent. into five, four, and finally even into
three per cent. securities, and raised American credit to the level
of that of other powerful nations, it is not desirable, here, to
set forth the details. It is enough to say that the funded debt was
reduced within ten years after the war by nearly $500,000,000, and
that interest payments upon it, which in 1867 were $143,700,000, had
fallen in 1877 to $97,100,000. Even more remarkable in figures were the
achievements of later years; but if it is by obstacles overcome that
the greatness of a victory is measured, then the palm of achievement
belongs to those earlier years when, in the language of Secretary
McCulloch, “the industry of one third part of the country, by reason
of the war and the unsettled state of its political affairs, has been
exceedingly depressed, and the other two thirds by no means exerted
their full productive power.”


For America was still only on the threshold of that wonderful
development which was to make her in the beginning of the twentieth
century one of the half-dozen great Powers of the world; with a
homogeneous white population second in numbers only to that of Russia;
with accumulated wealth exceeding in per capita average that of any
other country except perhaps England; and with imperial interests in
Cuba, Porto Rico, Central America, Samoa, the Philippine Islands, and

The population of the United States in 1860 was only 31,443,000, or
less than one third what it was in 1912; and the estimated total wealth
was $16,159,616,000, or about one seventh of the great accumulations
of to-day. Of these amounts, moreover, the South had taken out of
the Union a proportion which may be estimated roughly at two fifths.
Railway mileage, which was 30,626 for the whole Union in 1860, had
increased only to 35,085 in 1865, or less than one seventh the mileage
of to-day. Much of the country west of the Mississippi was still an
untracked wilderness. Senator John Sherman, after the adjournment
of Congress in 1866, made a vacation trip with his brother, General
William T. Sherman, in the general’s official inspection of army
posts. The Central Pacific Railroad ended at Fort Kearney, and thence
the party traveled in light army-wagons drawn by mules, camping at
night, sleeping in the wagons, the horses parked near by, guarded by
sentinels, and with the frequent menace of Indian attack.

Skilful as was the financial leadership required to reduce
expenditures, reform taxation, and refund the debt, these were the
least difficult in a sense of the economic problems of the war, because
they were chiefly problems of legislation. Much more serious were
the questions of escape from the hectic influences of war prices and
conditions and of inflated government-paper issues; and these were to
give their color to the industrial and financial history of the country
for a generation. Dreams of untold fortunes derived from speculation
in the securities of new railways were rendered peculiarly vivid by
the disorganized state of the currency and the fluctuations in its
gold value, stimulated by manipulation in the gold-room of the New
York Stock Exchange, but due fundamentally to uncertainty as to the
quantity of currency in circulation and as to when it would be made
redeemable. Thaddeus Stevens went to the extreme of declaring that one
of the measures proposed, with the approval of the Secretary of the
Treasury, would put under the absolute and uncontrolled discretion
of that official more than sixteen hundred million dollars’ worth
of paper money, and would confer upon him more power “than was ever
before conferred upon any one man in a government claiming to have
a constitution.” It is small wonder that amid such possibilities
speculation became a rankly luxuriant growth of the financial markets.


Typical of these conditions was the famous “Black Friday” of September
24, 1869. It was the result of a daring speculation on the part of
Jay Gould, “Jim” Fisk, and kindred spirits in Wall Street to corner
the gold stock of the country and compel short sellers of the yellow
metal to settle with them at their own price. Plans were carefully
laid early in the summer of 1869 to enlist President Grant’s sympathy
by convincing him that high prices were necessary to the prosperity
of the country, and at the same time to entangle Mrs. Grant, her
brother-in-law, A. R. Corbin (the husband of General Grant’s sister
Virginia), the President’s private secretary, General Horace Porter,
the Collector of the Port of New York, and others close to the
President, in the appearance of a corrupt conspiracy to participate in
the profits of the corner. It was planned to bring to a stop the sales
of gold which were being made from time to time by the Secretary of
the Treasury, and which tended to supply the demand for gold for the
payment of customs and other special purposes, and thereby keep down
its price. The tendency of the yellow metal had been downward during
the spring, and the quotations of early September stood at about 135.

The effort to convince President Grant that he ought not to interfere
by throwing Treasury gold upon the market was begun as early as the
middle of June, when the President was on board one of the Fall River
steamers on his way to Boston. Supper was served at nine o’clock,
and the conversation was deftly turned to the state of the country,
the crops, and the financial outlook. On Gould’s own confession,
President Grant’s favorite rôle of a listener stood him in good
stead. After listening for a long time to the talk, which had been
carefully planned by Gould and in which Corbin and others took part,
the President remarked that he thought there was a certain amount of
fictitiousness about the prosperity of the country, and that the bubble
might as well be tapped in one way as another. This remark, according
to Gould, in his testimony before the Congressional Committee of
investigation, “struck across us like a wet blanket.” They concluded
that the President was a contractionist.

The game was by no means abandoned, however, as a result of this first
rebuff. A prominent English financier who was visiting the country
advocated the theory that business interests required an advance in the
price of gold in order to move the crops and sell them on favorable
terms in foreign markets. Corbin was a willing convert to this theory,
for he was already a party to a pool in which Gould and Fisk were
members. Corbin was put forward to talk to the President whenever he
came in contact with him, and even introduced Gould for the purpose of
presenting his views. The President, according to Corbin, engaged in
these conversations with reluctance, and the moment any allusion was
made to the future policy of the Government he became very reticent.
Fisk also tried his hand on the President, but without much success.
Thus matters dragged along until September, when the President wrote a
letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, George S. Boutwell, suggesting
that it would not be wise to sell gold in large amounts to force down
the price while the crops were moving, as it might embarrass the West.
This was the first ray of light from the Presidential office that had
reached the conspirators. It is not certain that they knew definitely
of this letter; but on the third and fourth of September gold began to
rise rapidly, and on the sixth it touched 137-⅝.

About two weeks later, with President Grant staying at a small country
place in Washington, Pennsylvania (on a visit to William Smith, a
cousin of Mrs. Grant), far from the railway and the telegraph, the
time seemed ripe to push up the price of the yellow metal, drive the
“shorts” to cover, and compel them to settle. The final coup was
played by getting Corbin to write a letter to the President, urging
him not to interfere in the struggle between the two factions in the
gold market by ordering or permitting sales of gold by the Treasury.
A faithful messenger, W. O. Chapin, was selected to take this letter
to Pittsburgh, and from there by carriage to Washington, thirty miles
distant. It was testified by General Horace Porter, secretary to the
President, that they were engaged one morning in playing a game of
croquet when General Porter was told that a gentleman wished to see
him. The messenger was asked to wait until the game was finished, when
he handed Porter a note stating that he had a letter which he desired
to deliver to the President. The letter was shown to the President,
who glanced over it and said to the bearer, “No answer.” General
Porter then called the President’s attention to the peculiarity of the
missive being brought so far by a special messenger, with a letter of
introduction. The President was set to thinking. The letter, which
Corbin and his conspirators were relying upon to prevent interference
by the Secretary of the Treasury, proved their ruin. President Grant
began to see through the plot, and suggested to Mrs. Grant to say in a
letter she was writing to Mrs. Corbin that rumors had reached her that
Mr. Corbin was connected with speculators in New York, and that she
hoped, if this were true, that he would disengage himself from them at
once, adding that the President was very much distressed at such rumors.

Mrs. Grant’s letter caused something approaching a panic in the ranks
of the gold speculators. When Gould called at Corbin’s house on the
evening of Wednesday, September 22, and read the contents of the
letter, it was apparent to him that Corbin had no such influence over
the President as had been expected, and that a blow from the Treasury
might fall at any hour. It was a picturesque spectacle, described by
Gould himself in his testimony, when the two were shut in the library
near midnight, Corbin bending over the table and straining with dim
eyes to decipher the contents of the letter, written in pencil to
his wife, while the gold-room gambler, looking over his shoulder,
caught with his sharper vision every word. Corbin had already prepared
a letter to the President denying that he had any interest in the
movement, direct or indirect, and now told Gould that he must send the
letter by the first mail; but that, if it were sent, its statements
must be true. He proposed, therefore, to Gould that they should settle
his (Corbin’s) account, paying him his accrued profits, which as gold
stood that night would amount to more than $100,000, in addition to
$25,000 which he had already received. Gould put the matter over until
morning and eventually drew a check, which, however, never was paid to

Gould knew better than to divulge the unfortunate news to Fisk. It
appeared to be his plan to let him and their brokers continue to buy
gold and force up its price, while Gould himself was unostentatiously
getting rid of his stock at maximum prices. Fisk entered the gold-room
the next morning and struck terror into the hearts of the “bears”
by offering to bet any part of $50,000 that gold would sell at 200.
Thursday afternoon gold closed at about 144, and the conspirators held
a meeting in the evening to lay plans for the next day’s campaign. They
held calls for more than $100,000,000 in gold, and there were not more
than $15,000,000 of gold and gold certificates in New York, outside of
the Sub-Treasury. They had a full list of those who were short of gold,
including more than two hundred and fifty prominent firms; and it was
proposed to publish this list next morning, and to inform the victims
that if they did not settle at 160 before three o’clock, a higher rate
would be demanded. This detail was abandoned because they were advised
by counsel that under the statutes of New York such a course would
constitute a conspiracy. Fisk was asked the next morning why he feared
any sale the Treasury could make, since the clique held calls for more
gold than both the Treasury and the city could command. His answer was,
“Oh, our phantom gold can’t stand the weight of the real stuff!”

About Friday noon, the blow from the Treasury fell. President Grant had
returned from Pennsylvania to Washington on the previous afternoon,
and in the evening had held a consultation with the Secretary of the
Treasury. Both agreed that if the price of gold should be forced
higher, so as to threaten a general financial panic, it would be their
duty to interfere to protect business interests. Friday morning the
price advanced rapidly, and telegrams poured into Washington from
all parts of the country, urging the Government to interfere and if
possible prevent a financial crash. At a conference, held soon after
eleven o’clock, it was agreed to sell $4,000,000 of Treasury gold. The
message to the assistant treasurer at New York, General Butterfield,
was not sent in cipher, and soon the news was in everybody’s mouth.
In the meantime, James Brown, a Scottish banker of New York, with the
support of leading merchants, offered successively to sell $1,000,000
gold at 162, another $1,000,000 at 161, and $5,000,000 more at 160. The
market began to break; and when ten minutes afterward the news came
that the Treasury would sell, the price fell from 160 to 133.

[Illustration: From a photograph owned by F. H. Meserve


It was with difficulty that Gould and Fisk escaped from the fury of
the ruined victims who had been following their lead, and succeeded
in finding refuge in their up-town stronghold, the office of the Erie
Railroad Company at Twenty-third Street and Eighth Avenue. During
Thursday and Friday they had sold out at high rates a large part of the
gold they had purchased, and had made many private settlements at rates
ruinous to their victims. They now repudiated all the purchases they
had made through Belden, the principal broker who had acted as their
agent. They called on Corbin and overwhelmed him with denunciations.
As Fisk told the story, Corbin “was on one side of the table weeping
and wailing, and I was gnashing my teeth.” In vain they despatched
Corbin to Washington to plead with Grant to suspend the order to sell.
The President cut him short with the remark that that subject was
closed. Corbin returned to New York and did not even see his fellow
conspirators when he got back. As Fisk characterized the situation,
“Matters took such a turn that it was no use; it was each man drag out
his own corpse.” Afterward it was shown that neither Mrs. Grant nor
General Porter was in any way connected with the conspiracy.


“Black Friday” was only a symptom of the deeper disorders of the
body politic. The minority of the committee of the House which
investigated the “Black Friday” episode declared that “no one doubts
that if the constitutional currency of coin had remained to us, such
panics would have been, and would now be, impossible.” The stimulus
to over-expansion afforded by an unstable currency operated also
upon mercantile enterprise and railway development. The demand for
the extension of the railway network over new farm land, and across
the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, became the channel through which
speculative influences converged to bring on the panic of 1873.
Already, in 1862, Congress had granted a charter for the construction
of the Union Pacific line, and in 1864 it granted further aid by
making the United States bonds that were to be issued for construction
purposes a subordinate lien to that of the bonds of the company sold
in the market. Thus, as John Sherman put it, “The constructors of
these roads, who were mainly directors and managers of the company,
practically received as profit a large portion of the bonds of the
United States issued in aid of the work, and almost the entire capital
stock of the company.” At the same time was enacted the Northern
Pacific charter, which, according to the same authority, was an act
“with broad and general powers, carelessly defined, and with scarcely
any safeguards to protect the Government and its lavish grants of land.”

Already, shortly before the war, the ground had been cleared for
extensive railway enterprises by the knitting together of small roads
into trunk lines connecting New York with the Mississippi Valley.
Originally, eleven companies owned and operated the lines making up the
route between Albany and Buffalo. After this anomaly disappeared, it
remained for the genius of Commodore Vanderbilt to acquire the Hudson
River road in 1864 and the New York Central lines in 1867, and to bear
his share in the picturesque battles of the Stock Exchange and the
courts, which gave such fascination to this lawless epoch of American


It was the period of Cornelius Vanderbilt, Daniel Drew, Jay Gould, and
“Jim” Fisk; the period in which were conceived and carried out the
famous “corners” in Harlem, in Hudson River, and in Erie stocks. None
of the leaders in these speculations would have shone in Newport or in
the polished, well-groomed crowd that watches the races at Deauville or
takes the “cures” at Vichy or at Nauheim. Cornelius Vanderbilt, the son
of a farmer in moderate circumstances on Staten Island, was ferrying
passengers over to New York at sixteen years of age, and at the age
of eighteen owned two boats and was captain of a third. He derived
his education from practical experience, his successes from innate
shrewdness. Daniel Drew, beginning as a drover and afterward the keeper
of a tavern, never sought to rise socially above his early environment.
To a reported trick of his in early life is ascribed the familiar
stock-market expression, “watering stock.” According to the legend,
Drew gave his cattle salt in order to create a thirst, which would
cause them to drink freely and make them appear bigger and fatter when
brought to market. He was negligent in his attire, even to the verge of
slovenliness, and never departed from the provincial pronunciation of
his youth. In many a broker’s office where he called for his securities
his loud demand for “them sheers” was long remembered.


“The Commodore,” as Vanderbilt was familiarly called, was seeking to
develop the Hudson River property, when he found it assailed by a large
“bear” element. Immediately taking the situation in hand, he tricked
his opponents into the belief that his position was weak, and lured
them into increasing their output of short stock. Getting virtually
all the real stock in existence into his possession, and accepting
contracts for additional amounts from the short interest, he soon had
the market at his mercy. From 112 the stock rose in a few days to 180.
The shorts, unable to make the deliveries they had contracted for,
begged for mercy, and the stock was sold back to them at a handsome

Much more complicated and daring were the operations of Daniel Drew,
Jay Gould, and Fisk in Erie. The story of their use of the Erie
road is worth outlining, if only to illustrate methods which in the
financial world of to-day would no longer be tolerated, even if they
were possible. In July, 1868, the Erie Railroad became the personal
property of Fisk and Gould. The board of directors held no meetings;
the executive committee never was called together. The Erie offices
were moved to a white marble “palace” on the corner of Eighth Avenue
and Twenty-third Street, which was furnished with vulgar ostentation,
contained an opera-house (still a popular theater), and was connected
with the private apartments of Fisk. Just before this (in 1866), Drew
had operated his famous plan of loaning money to the Erie Railroad on
the security of stock and convertible bonds, and converting the bonds
into stock to meet his short contracts.

It was the acquisition by Commodore Vanderbilt in 1867 of the New
York Central Railroad which brought him into conflict with Drew and
Gould. “The Commodore” desired to acquire Erie. To guard against the
transformation of more “convertible bonds” into stock, he employed
the services of Frank Work to obtain from Judge Barnard an injunction
restraining Drew from the payment of interest on $3,500,000 in bonds,
pending an investigation of his accounts as treasurer of the railway.
But Drew was equal to the emergency. Under a statute authorizing any
railroad to create and issue its own stock in exchange for that of a
leased line, he and his associates issued against an insignificant
property, worth perhaps $250,000, the amount of $2,000,000 in
Erie stock. Deals and counter-deals, and injunctions to restrain
injunctions, did not prevent Fisk from seizing the enjoined stock
certificates by force, nor Drew from aiding him by throwing 50,000
shares on the market and breaking Vanderbilt’s attempted “corner.” It
is said that while new stock was thus being put out, Fisk summed up
the purposes of his clique toward Vanderbilt in the remark, “If this
printing-press don’t break down, I’ll give the old hog all he wants
of Erie.” Vanderbilt was credited with spending $7,000,000 in this
operation, and it was the wonder of his friends that he was not ruined.

To tell fully the story of these battles of the financial giants would
be beyond the scope of a sketch like this. How Gould and Fisk succeeded
Drew in control of the Erie; how they nearly ruined him when he came
back into the speculative field; how Judge Barnard authorized Gould and
Fisk to sell their Erie stock, issued at 40, back to the corporation
at any price less than par, is a story of surpassing interest, but it
represents methods long since discarded in American finance.


During these years of unsettlement and wild speculation, the country
seemed pursued by an evil destiny. About two years after business
credit was so seriously disturbed by the incidents of “Black Friday,” a
destruction of capital amounting to more than $200,000,000 was caused
by the great fire in Chicago, and within another thirteen months came
the great fire in Boston. It was a quiet Sunday on October 8, 1871,
when a small wooden barn on De Koven Street, Chicago, surrounded by
cheaply-built wooden buildings and lumber-yards, burst into flames.
Sweeping ruthlessly through the fire-traps of the western division
of the city, the fire soon got beyond control, wiped out the Union
Depot and the Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne Terminal, and destroyed in
this division alone five hundred buildings. This, however, was only
a beginning. All night Sunday and the following Monday the flames
steadily advanced over the southern division, comprising nearly the
whole of the business district, and then to the northern division,
comprising many private residences. Business blocks of brick and
granite melted like wax before the flames, which swept clear up to the
water-front of Lake Michigan, and spread a pall of smoke and cinders
far across the northern sky. All the wholesale stores, the newspaper
offices, and the principal banks, insurance-and law-offices were
reduced to smoldering heaps of ruins. The court-house, custom-house,
and other public buildings, and nearly all the hotels, suffered the
same fate. Crowds of people, driven from their homes, camped in the
parks and sought refuge in the buildings left standing.

In the southern division, which was the business district, it was
calculated that 3650 buildings were destroyed, including 1600 stores,
twenty-eight hotels, and sixty manufacturing establishments. The
number of people rendered homeless was estimated at 2250 in the
western division, 21,800 in the southern division, and 74,450 in the
northern division. The total money loss in buildings was calculated at
$53,000,000; business stocks and produce, $84,000,000; and personal
effects, $58,000,000. This total of nearly $200,000,000 was swelled
by the depreciation of property which naturally followed such a
destruction of values. The total valuation of the city before the fire
was estimated at $620,000,000, and the population at 334,270. The
insurance in force in the burned district was about $100,000,000; but
fifty-six insurance companies suspended, and only about $40,000,000 in
insurance was collected.

The Boston fire broke out on Saturday, November 9, 1872. The
fire-department was crippled in fighting the fire by a remarkable
epidemic, or distemper, which prevailed among the horses. So
completely were the horses of the city disabled that ordinary local
deliveries of merchandise had almost come to a standstill; some of the
street-railways had ceased running, and teaming by oxen or by gangs
of men was the only means of moving freight. On Saturday, October
26, a meeting was held at the City Hall of the board of engineers
of the fire-department to decide upon a course of action in case of
serious fire during the distemper. It was decided that the strength of
each fire company should be temporarily doubled by the enlistment of
volunteers, and that drag-ropes should be furnished each engine-house
for the purpose of drawing the apparatus by hand. But with these
precautions was taken a step which probably contributed materially to
the delay in attacking the fire of two weeks later. It was provided
that the hose-jumpers should alone be taken out on a first alarm, and
that the engines were to follow only in case of a second alarm, unless
the fire was above the third story.

The neighborhood in which the fire broke out was at the corner of
Kingston and Summer streets. This corner was then on the fringe
of the business district, with the remains of some of the old
aristocratic homes of the city still standing, which had, however,
for the most part, been converted into boarding-houses. It was in a
five-story granite block that the fire began, and the whole building
seemed to leap into flames before there was any response from the
fire-department. Inexplicable delays seemed to attend the arrival of
the engines. The fire was already visible in Charlestown before 7:10,
and the alarm at City Hall was received only at 7:24 ~P.M.~ from
box No. 52. Box No. 52 was known among the city firemen as “a bad box,”
because it was in the heart of the dry-goods district, which was filled
up with costly and inflammable stocks, and the principal water-mains
were of insufficient size, put in years before, when it was a region
of quiet dwellings. Only two engines left their quarters on the first
alarm. Two others soon followed, but it required the third alarm, at
7:34, to bring out the rest of the force. Then, as the fire was gaining
headway, went out the general alarm, and messages were rushed by
telegraph to neighboring towns and cities to come to the aid of Boston.

The fire was already beyond control. Walls were toppling into the
street, great billows of flame surged into the air, and the fire
began pressing through street after street until it destroyed Trinity
Church and threatened the Old South. At this historic spot was wrought
something like the “miracle” that occurred on the field of Waterloo,
when the burning of the chapel at Hougomont stopped when it reached the
crucifix. The Old South was saved, and the fire was checked at Milk
Street on the line between Devonshire and Washington streets.

The out-of-town engines in the meantime had been pouring into the city
at all hours of Saturday night and up to Sunday morning, and rendered
heroic services in raising a wall of water against the flames. Crowds
of citizens gathered on the corners and watched the struggle to stay
the fire. President Eliot of Harvard University mingled with the crowd,
his mind weighed down perhaps by the thought of the injury to Harvard’s
endowments invested in Boston real estate. Phillips Brooks, the young
rector of Trinity, stayed in the church, then on Summer Street, near
Hawley, until lines of flame were creeping along the rafters. Powder
was used in some cases to blow up buildings and thereby destroy the
fuel for the flames.

In Boston as in Chicago, soldiers were called to the aid of the civil
authorities to patrol the smoking heaps of ruins, in which were
buried many safes containing money, jewelry, and valuable documents.
Serious as the fire was, it did not sweep over any such territory as
in Chicago, nor represent half of the Chicago loss. The total loss in
Boston was estimated at $75,291,530, out of a valuation for the entire
city (which did not then include Charlestown and other suburbs) of
$682,724,300. Buildings and property were largely insured, but the
magnitude of the calamity again carried down many insurance companies
and permitted them to pay only a percentage of their losses. Upon the
whole, however, the insurance companies acquitted themselves with
remarkable credit, the Massachusetts mutual companies, of which there
were fourteen, paying losses in full except two. Companies organized in
other States to the number of about 120, which had Boston risks, paid
their losses in full, with the exception of four companies.


The panic of 1873 was the natural result of the destruction of capital
by war, fire, and unwise investment which had been going on during
the previous decade, and of the encouragement given to speculation
by a fluctuating paper currency. The money-markets of the world had
to reckon not only with the enormous destruction of property during
civil war in the United States, but with the similar fruits of two
other recent wars: that between Germany and Austria in 1866, which was
crowned by the victory of Germany at Sadowa, and the great war between
France and Germany in 1870, for which France was compelled to pay to
Germany an indemnity of a thousand millions of dollars. The direct cost
of the American Civil War, exclusive of pensions, has been estimated
at more than $5,500,000,000, and the cost of the Franco-Prussian War
at only $2,700,000,000, owing to its shorter duration. An enormous
amount of capital also was absorbed in the ten years prior to 1873 in
the building of railways. New construction in the United States in 1870
was 5690 miles; in 1871, 7670 miles; in 1872, 6167 miles; and in 1873,
including a part of the period of panic, 3948 miles. In Russia a system
of 12,000 miles of railway had been almost entirely created since 1868,
and in South America nearly $200,000,000 in English capital had been
borrowed, mostly for railway enterprises. It was at about this period
also that the substitution of Bessemer steel for iron began, as the
material for rails, sending thousands of dollars’ worth of old rails to
the scrapheap.

The severity of the panic in the United States, as well as in Austria,
was heightened by the state of the currency. There had been, up to
the climax of the Civil War, an almost uninterrupted decline in the
value of the paper money issued by the United States Government, and a
corresponding rise in paper prices. With the close of the war, these
movements were reversed. A rise in the value of the currency began,
and also a decline in prices. This decline in prices spelled ruin to
many who had bought real estate or merchandise in the expectation
of its rise in value, and it imposed paralysis even upon the more
conservative, who had correctly read the downward tendency of values
expressed in paper money.

The specific cause usually assigned by economic historians for the
panic of 1873 was the failure of the great house of Jay Cooke and
Company, as the result of tying up its resources in the Northern
Pacific Railway. The incident was, however, only typical of the times;
and if Jay Cooke never had lived, the story would have differed chiefly
by the substitution of another name for his. The house of Jay Cooke
and Company had grown to power and prestige by the clever and original
methods employed by Mr. Cooke in borrowing money for the Government
during the Civil War. Cooke was a true child of the new America, the
first or nearly the first male child born, as he was fond of boasting,
in Sandusky, Ohio. Through political and social connections, he entered
a Philadelphia banking-house during the period of hazardous financing
and State banking before the Civil War, and had made enough money by
1859, while still under forty years of age, to contemplate retiring
from active business. But his was not a nature for inactivity. The
close relations established by his father and his brother with Salmon
P. Chase, the new Secretary of the Treasury, obtained Cooke a hearing
in the floating of the early war loans. He was not of the old style
of banker, who sat in his office waiting for a customer to come in;
he quickly realized that if the Government was to obtain the money
necessary to carry on the war, it must be by educating the people to
understand the value of the war bonds, and the necessity of taking them
as a patriotic duty.

It was a wonderful campaign of advertisement, of canvassing the
post-offices, of manipulating the press, and of removing opposition,
which Cooke carried on in floating hundreds of millions of the
five-twenties, the ten-forties, and the seven-thirties. The later
flotations, however, which came after the war, required perhaps as much
skill as the earlier ones, because they involved persuading the people
to retain their public funds while accepting considerable reductions
of interest. Inevitably Cooke’s success drew competitors into the
field. When the question of refunding arose, a committee representing
other New York banking-houses appeared in Washington to demand a share
in the operation. The composition of this committee is of interest
because it was virtually the first appearance on the stage of public
finance of John Pierpont Morgan, then a young man of thirty-five. He,
with Levi P. Morton, who had established the banking-house of Morton,
Bliss and Company, and had enlisted the aid of the Rothschilds,
appeared in Washington in January, 1873, and demanded and obtained
from Secretary Boutwell a share in the new issues. The methods of the
syndicate had little of the “go” of the old Cooke methods, and already
the tightening of the money-market was making itself felt. Where
subscriptions of $600,000,000 had been expected for the new loan, they
amounted after several weeks to less than $50,000,000, and the entire
operation was ultimately suspended by the outbreak of the panic.

The lack of uninvested capital to subscribe for the government loan was
a warning of conditions prevailing in the money-market generally. Jay
Cooke, swept along by the great success of his methods in disposing
of the war loans, believed it possible to perform the same miracle
with the bonds of the Northern Pacific. It was his calculation that he
could sell bonds as fast as he was called upon for money for the work
of construction, and it was distinctly provided in the contract with
the road that the advance in excess of the amounts realized from sales
of bonds by the bankers never should exceed $500,000, which itself was
secured by the deposit of the company’s bonds at fifty cents on the

During the summer of 1872, however, with President Grant’s campaign
for re-election against Horace Greeley at its height, sales of bonds
fell to a few hundred thousand dollars a month, while the drafts of the
treasurer of the railway company were running at about $1,000,000 a
month. Inevitably, the balance of floating indebtedness by the railroad
to the banking house began creeping up, until it stood near the close
of August at $1,583,000. Ex-Secretary McCulloch, who had become head of
the London connection of Jay Cooke and Company, and other associates of
Cooke were quick to realize that the house was getting into deep water,
and that further uncovered advances must be stopped. It was much easier
to lay down this rule, however, than to carry it out. Already there
were complaints along the line of construction that wages were not
being paid promptly and that men were being laid off. Smaller railway
enterprises in hands less strong were going to the wall from similar
causes, and in October, 1872, the coupons were defaulted on the St.
Paul and Pacific road, in which a controlling interest was owned by the
Northern Pacific.

The year 1873 was thick with omens of disaster for the new railway
enterprises. The Boston fire of the previous November, while not so
disastrous as that in Chicago the year before, caused a crash in the
stock market similar to that which followed the San Francisco fire in
1906. Scandalous frauds were disclosed in the management of the Erie
Railroad; General John C. Frémont failed conspicuously in an effort
to raise money for the Southern Pacific system in France; and at
last grave exposures were made in connection with the Union Pacific
Railroad, which resulted in the Crédit Mobilier investigation and its
long train of scandals. A traveler in Germany wrote home in August
that an American railway bond, “even if signed by an angel in heaven,
would not sell.” So desperate was the situation becoming that Henry
Cooke, brother of Jay Cooke, put his chief dependence, in a letter to
his brother, on “an unfailing confidence in the God in Whom we put our
trust.” “I do not believe,” he said, “He will desert us.”

But the Lord did not intervene to prevent the results, which seemed to
the profane to be an inevitable outcome of economic laws. Jay Gould was
still manipulating a powerful gold pool in the late summer and early
autumn, when on September 8, 1873, the first rude blow was given to
the card house of the New York money-market. The New York Warehouse
and Security Company suspended, followed five days later by a firm
with which Daniel Drew was associated. When Jay Cooke reached his
Philadelphia office on September 18, he found a despatch announcing
that the New York office had been closed by his partners in that
city. The news spread like fire on one of the Northern Pacific’s own
dry prairies. Other houses fell the same day or the next day; stocks
dropped from twenty to forty points; money could hardly be had at any
price; and the Stock Exchange Committee closed the exchange, in the
language of the vice-chairman, “to save the entire Street from utter

While ultimately the assets of the failed house proved to be amply
adequate to meet its liabilities, the career of Mr. Cooke as a
financier was ended. Facing cheerfully for a time the prospect of
extreme poverty, he found his fortune partially recouped six years
after the panic by an almost forgotten mining investment. Repurchasing
his old home in the suburbs of Philadelphia, he continued to live
there, content with the society of his children and grandchildren,
his farming and fishing, almost forgotten by the new generation of
Americans, until his death in 1905 at the age of eighty-four. In his
great cape cloak and his wide-brimmed, gray, soft felt hat, set over
a gentle face adorned by a long white beard, his patriarchal figure
was long familiar in the streets of Philadelphia, a very different
type from the shrewd, grasping men who speculated in their country’s
fortunes in the New York gold-room.


The disorder and discouragement caused by the panic did not make easy
the return to a sound monetary system. Already, prior to 1873, the
people had expressed themselves against the policy of acute contraction
so vigorously urged by Secretary McCulloch. The return of the Southern
States to the Union naturally opened a new field for the circulation
of greenbacks and national bank-notes. Influenced by this wider area
of circulation for the employment of money, and by the improvement of
public credit, the greenbacks rose from a gold value of $49.50 in 1865
to $71.20 in 1866, for $100 in paper. There was little further change
in average value until 1870, when there was a gain of about $10 per
$100 and a further advance the next year to $88.70, which remained
substantially the average during the years of depression that followed.
The average value of these years, however, is no measure of the
fluctuations, which arose naturally from differences in the demand for
currency and were made erratic from time to time by speculation.

Up to 1875 no one knew what steps were to be taken, or whether any were
to be taken, to restore specie payments. Half a dozen different schools
argued crudely, with imperfect economic knowledge and narrow horizons,
as to the proper policy to be pursued. For a moment the sturdy
Scotchman, McCulloch, at the head of the Treasury from 1865 to 1869,
carried Congress with him in his policy of sharply contracting the
volume of government notes by an issue of bonds. A resolution passed
the House of Representatives on December 18, 1865, by a vote of 144
to 6, that the House cordially concurred in the view of the Secretary
of the Treasury in relation to the necessity of a contraction of the
currency, with a view to as early a resumption of specie payments as
the interests of the country would permit, and that “We hereby pledge
coöperative action to this end as speedily as practicable.”

The problem was not, however, so simple as it seemed. The greenbacks
formed considerably more than one half of the currency circulation
of the country. Unless gold or some other form of currency could be
brought in, their retirement would mean violent contraction at the
very moment when the new field of the South had been opened to the
national money. While such a contraction would undoubtedly have tended
to bring the greenbacks up with a jerk to their old parity of 100 cents
in gold, such a sudden enhancement in the value of the monetary unit
would have caused a fall in prices which would have spelled wide-spread
ruin. Only vaguely, apparently, was this danger apprehended by advanced
economists; but the danger was real enough to arouse among the masses,
especially in the debtor States, stubborn opposition to immediate
resumption or to the reduction of the volume of paper currency.
Mortgages on farms, running for three, five, or even ten years, which
had been incurred in paper, if required to be paid back in gold would
have absorbed more than the total value of the farms. Other conditions
are thus summed up by Senator Theodore E. Burton of Ohio in his “Life
of John Sherman” (1906):

    Prices were high in 1865; great investments were made in numerous
    enterprises at the existing high prices; agricultural areas of the
    West were rapidly developed, and the production of cereals vastly
    increased. With the returning soldiers of the disbanding armies,
    and increased immigration from abroad, new fields were settled.
    The change of so great a multitude of soldiers from consumers to
    producers, changed the relation between demand and supply in many
    classes of products.


During the thirteen years from July 1, 1865, to July 1, 1878, six
months before the resumption of specie payments, the net monetary
stock of the country in circulation remained practically stationary,
and the per capita average was reduced by the addition of thirteen
millions of population from $20.57 to $15.32. It is not surprising that
under the pressure of such drastic contraction, all manner of financial
heresies sprouted and thrived. The amazing proposition came from
President Johnson himself, in his annual message of 1868, that inasmuch
as the holders of government securities had received upon their bonds
a larger amount than their original investment, as measured by gold,
it would be just that the six per cent. interest then paid them
should be applied to the reduction of the principal of the debt, thus
liquidating it in sixteen years and eight months. Thaddeus Stevens, the
great congressional leader of the Civil War, made violent speeches in
favor of paying the bonds in paper. In the West, the proposition was
so warmly advocated by Senator Thurman of Ohio that it became known as
“the Ohio idea.”

It is a question whether the soundest economic policy would not have
been to take the resolute steps for resumption supported by McCulloch
and the Eastern bankers, and at the same time to adopt a new monetary
unit which recognized the status quo; in other words, to create a new
gold dollar worth 75 or 80 per cent. of the old. This was the principle
adopted by Austria-Hungary in 1892, by Russia in 1895, and by Mexico
in 1905, in bringing to an end the instability of their currency and
planting it upon a permanent basis of gold. The conclusive argument
for such a policy lies in the fact that it recognizes and crystallizes
the existing purchasing power of money, in which prices are expressed,
instead of seeking violently to change it. It thus permits the
transition from the old unstable basis to the new fixed basis without
jar, and without radically changing the relations between the holders
of money and those who are under contracts to pay money.

Monetary science was less advanced, however, in 1865 than it is in
our time. In the United States the problem of the monetary unit was
entangled by both parties with the very different problem--whether the
bonded debt of the Government should be paid in the money in which it
had been promised. While ultimately the country reached the ideal of
the most pronounced hard-money men of pulling the greenback up to 100
cents in gold, it was at the cost of six years of falling prices, which
spread a pall over real estate and industrial development, and ruined
many men who had in good faith bought property at its valuation in
paper when paper was the legal-tender money of the country.

The ink was hardly dry on the resolutions by which the House approved
the proposals of Secretary McCulloch in 1865 before a counter movement
set in. By the following April a bill had been enacted aimed at tying
the secretary’s hands by limiting the retirement of United States notes
to $10,000,000 for the next six months, and thereafter to $4,000,000 a
month. In the face of two succeeding annual reports by the secretary
in favor of contraction, Congress, by the act of February 4, 1868,
suspended entirely his authority to make any reduction of the currency
by retiring or canceling United States notes.


“Lay low!”



Thus matters stood up to the inauguration of President Grant. Early in
his term was passed the “act to strengthen the public credit,” with
its courageous declarations that “the faith of the United States is
solemnly pledged to the payment in coin, or its equivalent, of all
obligations of the United States not bearing interest, known as United
States notes, and of all interest-bearing obligations of the United
States.” The final clause was subject to a few proper exceptions;
but coin was then held to mean gold, and the Government thus stood
committed to establish its monetary system, as well as to discharge
its debts, upon the basis of other advanced nations. General Grant as
President brought to the solution of financial problems much of that
grim, hard sense which served him so well in the field. In his annual
message of 1869 he urged resumption of gold payments, but added:


~Uncle Sam~: “You stupid Money-Bag there is just so much Money
in you; and you can not make it any more by blowing yourself up!”]


Money is _tight_, but let it recover itself naturally, and then it will
stand on a _Sounder Basis_.

Stimulants or _Inflation_ only bring _final collapse_.


“Immediate resumption, if practicable, would not be desirable. It would
compel the debtor class to pay, beyond their contracts, the premium
on gold at the date of their purchase, and would bring bankruptcy and
ruin to thousands.”

[Illustration: RESUMPTION (?)

~Uncle Sam~: “There is no circulation in that leg, and it’s
swelling every day more and more. Mortification will set in, and I am
sure my other leg will be affected. Now Dr. ~Sherman~, something
must be done, and quick, too.”


But Grant, like other Republican Presidents, set his face like a flint
against further inflation. When he received from a Congress controlled
by his own party the so-called “Inflation Bill” of 1874, authorizing
the increase of the volume of greenbacks to $400,000,000, he promptly
returned it with his veto. John Sherman, a leading member of the Senate
Committee on Finance, who had been unwilling to follow McCulloch in
1865, became convinced by 1873 that the time had come for setting a
definite date for specie resumption. His method was not to retire the
greenbacks, but to provide a gold fund for their current redemption.
It was not until the crushing Republican defeat in the Congressional
elections of 1874, however, that the party was ready for action. In the
short session of December a special committee of Republican senators
was appointed, from whose labors emerged the Resumption Act of January
14, 1875. It was a vague and evasive measure, purposely avoiding
questions upon which there were wide differences of opinion; but it
contained the one salient declaration that “on and after the first
day of January, 1879, the Secretary of the Treasury shall redeem in
coin the United States legal-tender notes then outstanding, on their
presentation for redemption at the office of the Assistant Treasurer
of the United States in the City of New York.” It also placed power in
the hands of the Secretary of the Treasury to prepare and provide for


Market conditions did not at once respond to this promise; but after
the election of Hayes, a sound-money President, in 1876, and the
gradual accumulation of gold, under the guiding hand of John Sherman,
as Secretary of the Treasury, the same man who had managed the passage
of the Resumption Act, it began to be understood that specie resumption
was to be actually accomplished. The banks of New York City, which
held about $125,000,000 of the $346,000,000 in legal-tender notes
outstanding, abolished special gold deposits and agreed with the
Treasury to receive and pay balances without discrimination between
gold and notes. The news of these arrangements, completed in November,
1878, removed lingering doubts. In the gold-room of the New York
Stock Exchange--the scene of so much agitation on “Black Friday” nine
years before--a sale of gold was made, on December 17, 1878, at 12:29
~P.M.~, at par. It was the first sale at par in sixteen years,
but so quietly was the transaction accomplished that only three or
four persons who stood near the registrar’s desk were cognizant of
it. When the first of January, 1879, dawned, the banks, which might
have presented millions of notes for gold, did not ask for a dollar;
and the dull corridors of the New York Sub-Treasury hardly afforded
an indication that the United States had reached and passed a crucial
point in her history and on that day had reëntered the circle of
solvent nations. Truly, the experience of that day, carefully prepared
for as it had been, and attained at much cost and suffering, seemed to
verify the contention of those who for many years had insisted that
“The way to resume is to resume.”


~Uncle Sam~: “As long as I keep these outstanding notes on
my mind, which I am well able to pay, I am violating the laws of my
constitution: and how can I expect my body to recover when my mind is
not at ease?”



Twenty-one years were to pass, however, before the country was to be
extricated finally and absolutely from the shadow of an uncertain
monetary standard. Specie resumption had not been accomplished when a
bill was passed over the veto of President Hayes, on February 28, 1878,
providing for the infusion of large masses of silver dollars into the
circulation. This was followed by the so-called Sherman Silver Law of
1890, further increasing the amount of silver to be absorbed by the
Treasury. The underlying motive for an increase in the monetary stock
was the steady contraction which had been going on in the effort to
restore the paper dollar to its old parity with gold; and for a time
the country absorbed without apparent risk the additions made by the
silver to the currency of the country. Gold exports set in, however,
in heavy volume after the law of 1890; the Treasury began to lose
its gold; and soon after the inauguration of President Cleveland, in
1893, the country stood face to face with the destruction of the gold
standard. Panic supervened, and only at a special session of Congress
in the autumn of 1893 was the further purchase of silver suspended by

The country lay prostrate for three years under a variety of ills, from
which a young prophet from the West sought to rescue it by raising
the standard of the free and unlimited coinage of silver “without the
aid or consent of any other nation.” For a moment it seemed that the
majority of the voters would respond to the electric thrill conveyed
by this young leader, William Jennings Bryan, to the Democratic
National Convention of 1896, when he wound up his famous speech with
the declaration, “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this
crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!”


The country decided for the continuance of the gold standard, and
its decision was crystallized into law by the act of March 14, 1900.
This act set aside for the protection of the greenbacks the sum of
$150,000,000 in gold, to be kept inviolate from all other uses, and
declared the bonds and other obligations of the Government to be
redeemable in gold and in gold only. But the causes that were operating
prior to 1892 to cause contraction in the monetary stock were reversed
after that date by the great outpouring of new gold from the mines of
South Africa and the Klondike. New processes of separating gold from
low-grade ores made profitable fields that in earlier years would have
been considered unavailable. The gold production of the world rose from
$113,000,000 in 1890 to $202,251,000 in 1896 and $454,000,000 in 1910.
Gold flowed into the Bank of England in the summer of 1896, even while
Mr. Bryan was making his canvass for free silver, to an amount never
before recorded in monetary history; and the beneficent flood soon
overflowed the coffers of the advanced commercial nations and filled up
the void in metallic money in such developing countries as Argentina,
Brazil, Mexico, and India. In place of the fear of a scarcity of
gold, which hung like a pall over some minds at the close of the last
century, such a redundancy of the yellow metal arose that swollen bank
reserves stimulated loans at low rates, manufacturing plants were
extended, and prices of commodities advanced with a rapidity which
lessened the purchasing power of wages and threatened to reduce the
world to the unfortunate state of Midas, making gold a curse instead of
a blessing.

It is this situation which has reduced the real income of the laborer,
the professional man, and other classes, through the diminished
purchasing power of their money, which is imposing a true cross of
gold on the world to-day, and which presents to a new administration
the problem of finding a way to establish and maintain an equitable
standard of value.


[Illustration: Owned by Ernest W. Longfellow and now in the Boston
Museum of Art. Half-tone plate engraved by H. Davidson








    Life, like a page unpenned,
      Spreads out its whiteness,
    Nothing, from end to end,
      Marring its brightness.

    Surely a field to claim
      Steadfast endeavor?
    Where one might win a name
      Vocal forever?


    Now--to review it all--
      What a prosaic,
    Patched, unmethodical,
      Paltry mosaic!

    Plans that ne’er found a base;
      Wingless up-yearning;
    Speed, that ne’er won the race;
      Fire, without burning;

    Doubt never set at rest,
      Stifle or falter it;
    Good, that was not the best--
      Yet, would you alter it?

    Yet, would you tread again
      All the road over?
    Face the old joy and pain--
      Hemlock and clover?


    Yes: for it still was good,
      Good to be living;
    Buoyant of heart and blood,
      Fighting, forgiving;

    Glad for the earth and sky,
      Glad--for mere gladness;
    Grateful, one knew not why,
      Even for sadness;

    Finding a ray of hope
      Gleam through distresses;
    Building a larger scope
      Out from successes;

    Careless of loss and gain,
      Rendering ever,
    Both for the joy and pain,
      Thanks to the Giver.


    So, though the script is slow,
      Faint though the line is,
    Let the poor record go,
      Onward to _Finis_.

[Illustration: From a photograph by Pach


(Architects, McKim, Mead, and White)]




It was in the panic days of 1907--late October. The Secretary of the
Treasury had hurried from Washington to New York, and was spending his
days (long days they were, too) at the Sub-Treasury and his evenings at
the Manhattan Hotel, where all who needed to could see him. Meanwhile
the bankers conferred daily at Mr. Morgan’s office, across the street
from the Sub-Treasury, and nightly at his library in Thirty-sixth
Street. While they put their heads together and worked out details,
their host spent most of his time in his private room in the library
building, not infrequently playing solitaire. But he was always within
reach when counsel was needed; and his word was law.

To allay popular fears, it was decided to issue a public statement, and
the library conferees prepared one and took it up to show to Secretary
Cortelyou at his hotel. Mr. Morgan went with them. He had not yet seen
the statement, and when one of the party started to read it aloud,
he stopped him at the first sentence. “Is that correct?” he asked.
“It will be by the time the statement is published,” was the reply.
“No, gentlemen, that won’t do. If it isn’t so _now_, we can’t say it.
We’ve got to state the facts exactly as they are. The public must have
the truth and nothing but the truth.” And the statement was modified

Mr. Morgan had had just half a century’s preparation for doing the
public the immense service he rendered it in “composing” the panic
of 1907; for he had been in the banking business since 1857--another
panic year. Ability, experience, character, reputation, and financial
resources were his, and had put him in a position to ride the whirlwind
and direct the storm. He had done wonders to preserve the national
credit before the year 1907, but it had never fallen to his lot to do
anything quite so spectacular (though unintentionally so) as he did at
this time. What he did, no one else, however capable, could have done,
or, at least, have done so well. It needed just the combination of
attributes and qualities he possessed to give the needed authority to
his acts.

His whole character was summed up in the brief sentences addressed to
his fellow bankers in Mr. Cortelyou’s presence. Always his words were
few; but always they were pregnant and unequivocal. What he said he
meant, and what he meant he said.

It is no truer that Wall Street--“the Street” _par excellence_--is the
financial center of the Western world than that Mr. Morgan was the
dominant personality therein. He himself was not the Street, for that
term includes the Stock Exchange, a large part of the activities of
which are purely speculative; and at no time in his life was Mr. Morgan
a speculator. Wall Street signifies, and will increasingly signify, as
time goes on, the abiding-place of bankers rather than of brokers; and
it was in the banking world that Mr. Morgan reigned supreme.

The transactions in which he was the chief factor ran all the way up
to the more than $1,400,000,000 capital of the United States Steel
Corporation. The total amount involved in his organizations and
reorganizations of railways, industrial concerns, and public utilities,
and his flotations of American and English government bonds, was
thousands of millions of dollars. Never has one man exercised such
control over the accumulated wealth and undeveloped resources of a
great country. The power appeared to be despotic, but if it really
was so, the despotism was so tempered by probity and a high sense of
responsibility as to lose all the terrors the term usually connotes.

An old friend, a banker in close touch with many of Mr. Morgan’s most
important operations, was asked the secret of his success. “There was
no secret about it,” said he. “I think his chief asset was integrity.
Of course, being honest doesn’t make a man rich. He must have--as
Mr. Morgan had--immense energy and ability. But a man in the banking
business can’t make a great success with these qualities alone. At
the ‘Money Trust’ inquiry it was shown that the Morgan house had more
than a hundred million dollars on deposit; and this was by no means
high-water mark. Probably these deposits have been twice as great, at
times. Now, no matter how brilliant a man is, people don’t put more
than two hundred million dollars in his hands unless they know him to
be honest to the core, as Mr. Morgan was.” When I quoted this to a
clergyman, he said: “That is the business man’s point of view.” “So
much the better for business,” I replied. The president of a great
commercial bank made this confirmatory comment: “Mr. Morgan’s power lay
in his keen sense of trusteeship.”

An intimate friend of Mr. Morgan’s, speaking of the financier’s
mental attributes, remarked that his mind never appeared to work
deliberately, logically, but to attain its results by intuition, as it
were; in other words, he was a man of genius. What the business man
usually lacks is imagination; but imagination was perhaps the largest
element in Mr. Morgan’s mind. It was this that made his actions great.
It was his constructive imagination that made it possible for Mr.
Claflin, President of the New York Chamber of Commerce and himself
a distinguished man of affairs, to say: “Like the founders of this
nation, Mr. Morgan had prophetic vision; like them, he was an organizer
of scattered possibilities and a builder of mighty structures such as
no man had built before.” It was because of his imaginative force that
Senator Root called him “the greatest master of commerce of the world”;
and that Mr. Choate said that “only once in a generation is such a mind
born in such a body.” And it was this that prompted our English kin to
liken him to Cecil Rhodes, to Bismarck, and to Napoleon.

Mr. Morgan’s great gift to Harvard University was made in a way that
illustrates his habitual promptness of decision. He and Mr. Rockefeller
were among those who were asked to contribute to the habilitation of
the Medical School. The latter caused a thorough investigation to be
made, which lasted for six months. At the end of that time he received
a favorable report and was advised to give $500,000. He bettered the
advice, however, by giving a round million. Mr. Morgan’s course was
equally characteristic. When the needs of the school were explained to
him, he made an appointment to see two or three of the professors at
his office. Entering from his private room with his watch in his hand,
he said: “I am pressed for time and can give you but a moment. Have
you any plans to show me?” The plans were produced and unrolled; and
moving his finger quickly from point to point, “I will build that,” he
said, “and that--and that--and that. Good morning, gentlemen.” The cost
was over a million dollars. Mr. Morgan and Mr. Rockefeller had reached
exactly the same conclusion as to the merits of the case and the amount
of his contribution, but by what different methods!

Mr. Morgan’s activities and achievements in the financial field divide
themselves into three main groups: the reorganizing of bankrupt
railways, or railways threatened with bankruptcy; the forming of
great industrial organizations, and the floating of corporate or
government bonds. His chief performance in the last-mentioned line
was the flotation of United States Government bonds in the year 1895,
when, incidentally, Messrs. Morgan and Belmont arranged with President
Cleveland and his Secretary of the Treasury further to protect the
national credit by putting a stop to the menacing outflow of American
gold to Europe.

At the age of seventy, the veteran financier was called upon to render
another great service to the country by organizing and directing the
forces that put an end to the panic of 1907, as noted at the beginning
of this article. His efforts at this trying time won the gratitude and
applause of all right-thinking men. Yet, five years thereafter, in the
spectacular search for a bogy popularly styled the “Money Trust,” he
was put upon the rack by a congressional committee and subjected to a
prolonged quizzing. To a man so proud, so shy and so sensitive, the
ordeal was a dreaded one, but he had made no attempt to evade it. In
the end, it afforded him an opportunity of bearing emphatic witness
that personal integrity is the basis of all credit. The tonic effect
of this testimony was felt from one end of the land to the other, and,
had the witness been a younger man, his gratification would have much
more than outweighed the strain upon his nervous system. As it was, his
friends do not attribute to this ordeal his collapse a few weeks later,
while on his way to the scene of the excavations in Egypt which the
Metropolitan Museum of Art was conducting at his expense.

Nothing has been said oftener of Mr. Morgan than that he was “a
‘bull’ on America.” One of his old friends disclosed, the other day,
the origin of this “bullishness.” As is well known, Mr. Morgan was an
optimist. His father’s temperament was the same, and the older man
impressed upon his son--when he was returning to America more than half
a century ago, to go into business--his own belief in this country and
his faith in its future. “Any man who is a ‘bear’ on America is bound
to fail,” he said. Coming from the lips of his father, whom during his
life the son leaned on and respected, and whose memory he revered and
honored, these words made an indelible impression on the young man’s
mind; the more indelible as they confirmed his personal feeling and
conviction and, in later years, his experience. As it turned out, his
confidence in the country’s future was a potent factor in its material

Current report has it that once, when Mr. Morgan invited into his firm
a young man who had made a name for himself, he said, “I want you
to come down here and ‘do things.’” Less well known--though as well
worth preserving--is his word to another bright young man, in similar
circumstances. Surprised no less than gratified at the invitation, the
fortunate one exclaimed, “But what can _I_ do for J. P. Morgan and
Company?” “I don’t ask you to make money for us,” was the reply; “but
we have a great many duties and responsibilities here, and I want you
to come in and help us bear them.”

It is related that Mr. Morgan’s father once threatened to withdraw his
power of attorney from the son, if the latter persisted in overworking.
If the warning was given, it probably was heeded; but Mr. Morgan was
always a great worker, though in his later years, at least, he realized
the value of holidays, as is shown in the saying ascribed to him: “I
can do a year’s work in nine months, but not in twelve.” Apropos is the
legend that partnership in the Morgan house meant a short life, if not
a merry one. Undoubtedly, all the members of the firm had their work
cut out for them. It could not be otherwise in a house that stood at
the top and meant to maintain its position. There was an immense amount
of work to be done, and they were there to do it. But they were always
men who liked to work; and the fact is that when a partner died or
retired, it was at an age when death or retirement was not unnatural.
There have been few exceptions to this rule. And one, at least, of Mr.
Morgan’s former partners has survived his chief, though several years
his senior.

Mr. Morgan’s own stalwart physique and capacity for work were an
inheritance from his father, whose death, at seventy-seven, was due to
an accident. Some of his indomitable energy must have come to him from
his maternal grandfather and namesake, John Pierpont; for, when the
Civil War began, that poet, patriot, preacher, and ardent reformer,
after seventy-six strenuous years, had the pluck to enlist as a
chaplain (though for a very brief service) and lived to be eighty-one
years old.

It is recalled that at school Mr. Morgan was a writer of verse, but it
does not appear whether this was due to the example of his grandfather,
one of whose poems on the death of a child--“I Cannot Call Him
Dead”--has gone into the anthologies.

An interesting incident relating to the poet is told me by a friend.
During the Civil War, Father Pierpont (as he was called) was a clerk
in the Treasury Department at Washington, and while there was often a
visitor at the house of Paul H. Berkau, well remembered in Washington
as president of the Schillerbund, a club for the study of German
literature. The Berkaus were abolitionists, friends of Sumner and
Julian, and other men of that faith, and this was a bond between them
and their friend the poet. One day, when he came to see them, he found
on the table a copy of his volume, “Airs of Palestine and Other Poems.”
He took it up and wrote on the fly-leaf these lines:

    “Shame! that my book should to my friend be _sold_
      Rather than made a present of, or lent;
    Sold, too, for _paper_, not so good as gold
      By forty-eight or forty-nine per cent.

    Jno. Pierpont.

    Washington, D. C., 3 Dec., 1863.”

In 1902 one of the owner’s family, coming into possession of this
volume, presented it to Mr. Morgan with this inscription:

    This volume, formerly the property of my uncle, Mr. Paul H. Berkau,
    to whom the poet wrote the inscription, is respectfully presented
    by me to Mr. John Pierpont Morgan, who has done so much to keep our
    “paper” as “good as gold.”

Mr. Morgan received the volume with evident delight.

For many years it was Mr. Morgan’s custom to engage a furnished house
in the city in which a general convention of the Episcopal Church was
to be held (he himself being always a lay delegate from New York),
and to entertain therein, as long as the convention lasted, a group
of his particular friends in the episcopate. A private car conveyed
these parties to their destination; and once, when the place of meeting
was San Francisco, a special train was engaged for the long journey.
Mr. Morgan’s guests on these occasions were usually Bishop Potter or
(later) Bishop Greer of New York, Bishop Doane of Albany, the Bishops
of Connecticut and Massachusetts, and the wives or other members of the
families of these gentlemen. The present bishop of New York relates
that once, when some one raised the question of the familiarity of
the members of the party with the services of the church, it proved
that their host was better versed in the collects, the hymns, and the
Shorter Catechism than any of his clerical guests. This only confirms
other anecdotes illustrating the extraordinary retentiveness of his
memory; for, while he was a habitual church-goer, never missing a
Sunday morning service if he was within reach of a church, he could
hardly have attended as many services, in the course of his life,
as the youngest of the bishops present. His similar hospitality and
constant attention to the Archbishop of Canterbury, primate of the
Church of England, during that prelate’s visit to America a few years
ago, caused a wit to speak of His Grace as “Pierpontifex Maximus.”

His devotion to the interests of the church was of long standing. It
showed itself, of course, at Highland Falls, on the Hudson, the village
nearest his summer home; and more conspicuously at St. George’s in
Stuyvesant Square, New York City, where the simple, impressive service
chosen by himself was read at his funeral on the fourteenth of April.
To the activities of this church--a body less distinguished for the
wealth and social prominence of its members than for its work among
the poor--he was for many years a liberal subscriber. The spacious,
well-equipped parish-house commemorated his father-in-law, Mr. Charles
E. Tracy, a former vestryman. And at a time when there was special need
of larger revenues, he made it known that, for a considerable period,
he would duplicate every contribution made by other parishioners. At
the time of his death, he was senior warden of St. George’s, and he
never had missed a meeting of the vestry when he was in New York.

His interest in denominational affairs manifested itself in other
directions. To the building fund of the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral
in Albany he gave handsomely. When subscriptions were first asked for
the building of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York,
he put his name down for half a million dollars; and to this sum
he afterward added $100,000. At a meeting of a committee appointed
to raise money for a synod house, when he learned that $50,000 had
been subscribed but that $250,000 more was needed, he made himself
responsible for the whole amount, requesting that the earlier
subscribers be relieved of their obligations. Finding, however, that
Mr. Bayard Cutting wished to participate on equal terms in this gift
to the General Convention, he contented himself with assuming one
half the entire burden--which in its entirety proved to be $350,000
instead of the estimated $300,000. Thus his gifts in connection with
the new cathedral amounted to nearly $900,000, and his friends in the
church were not surprised that his will made no further provision
for this great undertaking. Not only at home but abroad was he the
cheerful giver the Lord is said to love, as witness the installation of
electricity in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, at a cost approximating

The benevolent institution that ranked next to the church in Mr.
Morgan’s regard was the Lying-In Hospital, near St. George’s Church, in
Stuyvesant Square. Having bought the house and grounds of the late Mr.
Hamilton Fish, skirting Second Avenue from Seventeenth to Eighteenth
Street, and some adjoining houses, he sent Dr. James W. Markoe abroad
to study the hospitals of Europe, and in due time authorized the
preparation of plans for a model building to cost about $750,000. By
the time these plans had been drawn and specifications had been worked
out, the price of materials had greatly increased, and the estimated
cost proved to be about half a million more than was expected. Instead
of abandoning the project, or waiting for prices to decline, or
demanding a drastic revision of the plans, Mr. Morgan’s word was, “Go
ahead--and cut out nothing.” When the hospital was built and thoroughly
equipped, Mr. Morgan made up for the city’s inadequate annual
contribution to this great charity by giving $100,000 a year toward its

Harvard University, especially the Medical School; the Art Museum at
Hartford, founded in memory of his father, Junius Spencer Morgan of
London; the New York Trade School, which he handsomely endowed; the
American Academy in Rome, and the Loomis Sanatorium were the other
chief beneficiaries of his discriminating bounty. But the institutions,
causes, and individuals (many of the latter personally unknown to him)
that were indebted to Mr. Morgan for substantial aid, at one time or
another, were innumerable as the autumnal leaves of Vallombrosa. Many
of his benefactions were not publicly recorded, and if he recollected
them himself, it was only because his memory was incapable of relaxing
its grasp on anything, large or small, that had once entered it. As
the London “Spectator” said, never was there a millionaire so set upon
effacing his name from his deeds of beneficence.

Mr. Morgan’s connection with the Metropolitan Museum of Art dated
from 1871, when the institution was organized. For twenty-five years
he was one of the trustees, and since 1904 he had been president. He
took an intense interest in its upbuilding, contributing thereto not
only of his wealth but of his time and affection. So conspicuous was
his identification with the art museum that it obscured his relations
with the American Museum of Natural History, on the other side of
Central Park. Yet these were equally close and well-nigh as important,
involving forty years’ activity as a trustee and long service, first
as treasurer and again as vice-president. Here, too, his gifts were
lavish. His love of beauty showed itself in the presentation to the
museum of large and choice collections of minerals and precious stones;
but these were only a small part of his contributions, which included
money for endowment, maintenance and research, as well as innumerable
objects for exhibition.

Owing largely to modern facilities for travel and communication, the
personality of the American Mæcenas was probably better known in
foreign countries than that of any private citizen of the past. He was
a very familiar figure in England, where he succeeded years ago to the
headship of his father’s firm, as well as to the ownership and yearly
occupancy of his father’s town house and country-seat; where most of
his collections were kept for many years; and where his gift to St.
Paul’s Cathedral showed his lively interest in the Church of England
and in the City of London. He was equally well known in France, where
he was the head of a banking-house and a benefactor of his favorite
health resort, Aix-les-Bains; in Germany, where his presentation of an
important letter of Luther’s to the Imperial Government was heartily
appreciated; in Italy, where he endeared himself to Pope and people by
the restoration of the cope of Ascoli, and where his last hours were
passed; and finally in Egypt, the antiquities as well as the climate
of which had an attraction for him that grew constantly stronger.
Moreover, his fame as a collector made him an object of intense, if not
altruistic, interest in the various lands in which he sojourned.

Having achieved an international reputation as a maker of money for
his clients and customers, as well as for himself, Mr. Morgan found
no less pleasure, but rather more, in making a new and quite as wide
a reputation as a spender. His collections were made _en prince_. He
never haggled over a bargain, but took a thing on the seller’s terms
or left it. When he declined a book, a manuscript, or an object of
art at the owner’s price, he must have been aware that that price was
exorbitant; for his purchases were made with an open hand, many of
them at figures that somewhat discounted the appreciation in values
when competition should have become even keener than it was when he
entered the field. His activities as a buyer doubtless caused a
general rise in the price of rarities--an inevitable result of the
rather rapid making of a collection that has recently been insured for
$23,000,000 and would probably fetch a much larger sum if disposed of
under favorable conditions. In estimating the commercial value of such
a collection, it must be borne in mind that the number of masterpieces
is virtually fixed, while the number of potential competitors for their
possession continually increases.

When Mr. Morgan bought the house adjoining his father’s former home,
No. 13 Princes Gate, London, joined the two, and filled the addition
with things for which there had been no space before--having a room
especially designed to hold the series of Fragonards; when he left in
the National Gallery the Colonna Raphael, for which he had given a
hundred thousand pounds or so; when he filled case after case in the
South Kensington Museum with priceless treasures, he had no prevision
that by far the greater part of his collections would be coming,
before long, to New York. Their departure did not follow hard upon the
passage of the law exempting from tariff charges works of art more than
twenty years old. But when Mr. Morgan learned, last year, from Mr.
Lloyd-George’s own lips, that if he should die while his collections
remained in England, his estate would have to pay $300,000 or more on
the Raphael alone, he promptly arranged to transfer his treasures to
his own country, where the death duties are less onerous. And now that
they are safely arrived, word comes, through his will, that in due
time they may become permanently accessible to the American people.
Already the literary treasures, safeguarded in the exquisite library
building adjoining his house in Thirty-sixth Street, are accessible to
accredited students and amateurs; hundreds of his art works--paintings,
porcelains, carvings, tapestries, etc.--are on view in the Metropolitan
Museum; and only the erection of a suitable building (presumably in the
form of an addition to the museum itself) delays the revelation of the
full extent of the rich and varied collections the acquisition of which
gave so keen a zest to the financier’s later years.

Of Mr. Morgan’s many activities, he enjoyed none more keenly, and found
none more beneficial, than yachting. As many days and hours as he
could spare, he passed aboard his steam yacht, the _Corsair_, often
spending the summer nights in New York Bay or on Long Island Sound,
early in the week, and running up the Hudson, to his country home, for
the week-end. Longer trips were made to Newport or Bar Harbor--with
the New York Yacht Club, when its annual cruise was on; at other
times with only his personal guests. From 1897 till 1899, he was the
club’s commodore; and his hand went deep into his pocket to build the
_Columbia_, which defended the _America’s_ cup in the last of these
years, and was used as a trial boat in 1901, when _Reliance_ was the
defender. The _Corsair_ of 1891 (a 242-foot boat) was sold to the
Government, as other yachts were, when we were at war with Spain, in
1898. As the _Gloucester_, under Captain Wainwright, she gave a very
good account of herself at Santiago. That year the _Sagamore_ served
as flagship; but on the very day the Commodore sold the _Corsair_ he
had commissioned her designer, Mr. J. Beavor Webb, to build a boat
sixty-two feet longer than the old one; and the next year the new
_Corsair_ was launched.

Mr. Morgan’s private signal was known in Europe as well as in home
waters, though he never crossed the ocean on anything but a great
liner, usually the flagship of the White Star Line. This line--the
chief subsidiary of the International Mercantile Marine Company, one of
his many organizations--was in a sense his pet; and the sinking of the
_Titanic_, in whose construction he had taken the keenest interest, was
probably a heavier blow to him than to any one to whom it did not bring
personal bereavement.

Mr. Morgan’s great liking for collies is known to all lovers of dogs,
and the Cragston kennels are decorated with many a first prize won at
the Madison Square Garden and elsewhere. As a rule, the animals, young
and old, are confined to their own quarters, well away from the house,
and separated from the house grounds by the public road that runs along
the bluff on the west shore of the Hudson at this point. Despite the
comfort, not to say luxuriousness, of their surroundings indoors, they
are always overjoyed to be let out; and one of their owner’s keenest
pleasures was to see them released; to watch them dash, in a pack,
to the gateway, turn sidewise in the air as they sprang through, then
tear like mad down the road in the direction of Highland Falls and West
Point, yelping as if possessed. After running a few hundred yards, they
would turn as suddenly as they had started, and race back, passing the
gate at full speed, and dashing another hundred rods or so, before
turning again.

“Sefton Hero,” or some other great prize-winner, was likely to be seen
about the house in the daytime; but to only one collie was granted
the privilege of permanent occupancy. This was a dog that had been
in the habit of running down the private road to meet his master on
the arrival of the yacht, the private signal of which he had learned
to recognize. One afternoon, in his zealous haste, he failed to see
a railway train that arrived just as he reached the riverside. The
cow-catcher struck him and tossed him many feet, but happily he landed
on a bit of swampy ground with no bones broken. His devotion, with its
almost fatal consequences, won him special privileges for the rest of
his days.

Not long after the completion of Mr. Morgan’s greatest work as an
organizer, he was the chief guest at a dinner of the Gridiron Club, in
Washington--one of those functions where the newspaper “boys” have fun
with the great ones of the earth. It was, of course, impossible to get
him to talk; but leaving the room, late at night, his arm linked in
that of his old friend Mr. George F. Baker, he exclaimed, “If only I
were a speaker, how I should have liked to talk for an hour to-night,
and tell them the story of the organization of the Steel Corporation!”
He may have felt an equally strong impulse to unbosom himself on other
occasions, but if so he repressed it.

An invincible shyness, which seemed hardly consistent with the man’s
dominating forcefulness, made him as sedulous in avoiding publicity as
many are in courting it. On certain occasions it was impossible for
him to escape the spot-light; but when its rays fell full upon him his
discomfort was obvious. Such an occasion was the dedication of the New
Theatre, now the Century. As chairman, it was Mr. Morgan’s duty to
receive the silver key of the building from the architect. For once he
had to take the center of the stage in only too literal a sense. As he
sat there throughout the addresses of Senator Root and Governor Hughes,
alternately glancing at, and crumpling up, the scrap of paper on which
his notes were written, it was an easy guess that the remotest corner
of the attic would have been a preferable place of waiting; and when
his turn came, and he had pronounced his two or three formal sentences,
his relief was evident. Once, when he was called on for a speech, he
said, “No, no, gentlemen; I have never made a speech in my life, and
I’m not going to begin now.”

Now and then a business proposition of minor importance would be
submitted for Mr. Morgan’s approval, which was usually given or
withheld after apparently cursory consideration. If the matter came
up again months afterward, and there was any difference of opinion as
to its details, the recollection of the senior partner, who had given
the thing five minutes’ attention, was invariably found to be more
nearly correct than that of the juniors, who had had the handling of
the business. Once in a way, Mr. Morgan might have occasion to borrow
a small coin. If so, the next time he met the lender, no matter how
many weeks had elapsed, he would recall the occurrence and repay the
loan, as surely as if the amount were a quarter of a million instead of
a quarter of a dollar. A table or a chair not in its accustomed place
attracted his attention; a picture hanging slightly askew disturbed
him. For ten or fifteen years before his death, it was his habit to
play solitaire for a while before going to bed, and he arranged the
cards with the utmost neatness and precision. For his mind was nothing
if not orderly, and disorder in exterior objects disturbed it. When
great affairs occupied it, there was no room for petty details; but
in the absence of matters of moment, its craving for activity had to
satisfy itself with whatever came to hand.

Mr. Morgan’s delicate sense of the fitness of things is illustrated
by an incident related by the young lady who rebound some of the
choicest books in his library. One of these is Geoffrey Tory’s “Book
of Hours” (1525). Into the cover design Miss Lahey wove Tory’s name,
as he himself was in the habit of doing; but Mr. Morgan would not
allow her to reproduce the emblem of a broken jug which the old French
artist had adopted as his sign-manual, using it on every page of his
illuminations. Mr. Morgan’s feeling was that this device was too
personal to the artist himself to be used on any work but that of his
own hands.

The public was surprised at the fervent declaration of religious belief
with which Mr. Morgan’s remarkable document began. It almost appeared
that he regarded his faith as a thing so real, not to say tangible,
as to be transmissible by legal process. Certainly it was fundamental
in his own nature, and as potent a force as any that shaped his
actions. In a noteworthy tribute in the “Outlook,” a former partner
and most intimate friend, Mr. Robert Bacon, late Ambassador to France,
sums up the matter in these few words: “He was a man of faith; not
only religious faith, but faith in the universe, in humanity, in his
country, in his associates, and in the highest standards of honor in
both his public and his private life.”

    A giant frame, an iron will,
      A mind that sped as lightning speeds,
    Cleaving a way for wits less keen--
      A man whose words were deeds.

    Simple, sincere, accessible
      To all that sought; but woe betide
    Him who before those piercing eyes
      Faltered, evaded, lied!

    And yet those eyes, so quick to blaze
      And sear, were no less quick to bless;
    For strength and courage, in great hearts,
      Mate still with tenderness.

    Honest, for honesty’s own sake--
      Loyal, for so his soul was made--
    With one swift glance he chose his ground,
      And held it unafraid.

    Keen to acquire, to spend, to give,
      Ardent in all things, small in none,
    He joyed and sorrowed, lived and loved
      And toiled till his task was done.

    J. B. G.




    In the February number of “The Poetry Review,” M. Maeterlinck
    speaks of the editor of that magazine as “le bon poète, Stephen
    Phillips, dont je suis admirateur, fervent et fidèle.”--~Ed.~

    Master Mystic over Europe
      Whom we did not gladly hear,
    Now a sweet revenge thou takest
      In the stubborn Saxon tear.

    Murmuring of the bees about thee,
      With a flight how like thine own,
    Upward due to utter heavens,
      Happy, be the flight but flown.

    Standing half-way between two worlds,
      All a-dream, yet dreaming true,
    Lord of shadows, yet of shadows
      Passing to a perfect blue.

    All the ghosts that throng thy pages
      Are more real than living wights,
    All our noontides are not brighter
      Than the brightness of thy nights.

    What the dumb moon saith in splendor,
      Or the husky bird at dawn,
    Thou with human note expressest
      Of our murmured fate forlorn.

    What the sea would say to sunrise,
      Memories of a speechless wind,
    This thy muffled muse suggested,
      All we seek yet never find.

    Yet, forsaking lovelier fancies,
      In thy Monna Vanna tale
    Thou couldst grip a sterner story,
      Hold us fast and leave us pale.

    Still the wings we are not ’ware of,
      Voices that we dully hear,
    Spirit-music struggling downward,
      Thou dost bring us dimly near.

    I, detained in this ill island,
      Where her mist the singer bars,
    Hail thee angel of a twilight
      Trembling momently to stars.


[Illustration: TOPICS OF THE TIME]



Simon-pure Socialism is so ugly, so red in tooth and claw, that to
be hated it needs but to be seen and understood. Yet there are so
many dilutions of Socialism on the market, emotional adulterations
and attenuations of the genuine brand, that the inexperienced seeker
is pretty sure to have a mixture far below full strength palmed off
on him, and after tasting he will be likely to say that the stuff is
not so bad, after all. Socialism is offered in the guise of bland and
salutary reforms; it takes the form of ethical standards, of social
justice, of uplift, and of progress and happiness for all; now it is
the shield that guards the poor and the helpless against the shafts
of undeserved ill fortune, and now it stays the hand of the heartless
oppressor. In its assumptions it is the Ten Commandments, it is the
Sermon on the Mount, it is Christianity. Can we wonder that in these
disguises it disarms suspicion and wins a tolerance that is already a
half-way approval?

It is time that the men and women of this country awoke to an
understanding of the true nature of Socialism, of what it is, what
it aims to do, and how it seeks to achieve its ends. Socialism is
revolution, it is blood, it is overthrow, spoliation, and a surrender
of the priceless conquests of civilization, an extinction of the noble
impulses that have raised mankind out of the condition of savagery.

It is time these things were known and understood, we say; it is
time that foolish misconception gave way to clear knowledge, because
Socialism is everywhere sowing its seeds, because it is spreading in
the land, not insidiously, but by an open propaganda; because the
principles of Socialism are taking hold upon the minds of youth through
teaching permitted, or in the name of “academic freedom” actually
encouraged, in our schools, colleges, universities, and even in
theological seminaries. And it is only here and there that from some
chair of instruction a voice is heard proclaiming the truth about
Socialism, examining its foundations, subjecting its system and its
principles to the test of reason and common sense, and picturing forth
in the clear light of experience the consequences of substituting them
for the existing social order. Having permitted this poison to be
instilled into the minds of their students, it is the belief of men
who have observed with growing apprehension the spread of Socialistic
belief, that the country’s institutions of learning will be false to
their duty if they fail to supply the antidote by establishing courses
of instruction in which the fallacies, the falsehoods, and the dangers
of Socialism shall be combatted by competent analysis in the light of
history and economic truth.

No board of trustees, no faculty, can plead an excusable ignorance as
to what Socialists intend. They differ as to plan and method, but they
are agreed upon this foundation article of their faith:

    The Socialist program requires the public or collective ownership
    and operation of the principal instruments and agencies for the
    production and distribution of wealth--the land, mines, railroads,
    steamboats, telegraph and telephone lines, mills, factories, and
    modern machinery.

“This is the main program,” says Morris Hillquit, and it “admits of
no limitation, extension, or variation.” The Socialist program means,
then, the abolition of private property in land and in investments, the
abolition of rent, profits, of the wage system, and of competition.
Some Socialists advocate confiscation by taxing at full value--for of
course Socialism aims at full control of the powers of government;
some, like the Industrial Workers of the World, would have the
wage-earners take forcible possession of the factories and operate
them for their own account; others would make a pretense of payment,
while still others preach direct seizure. All agree that the land
and the instruments of production and exchange must be taken out of
the hands of private owners and transferred to the State, and assent
to that foundation doctrine makes every Socialist a revolutionist.
Obviously, it is a revolution that could succeed only through violence
and bloodshed, but the real Socialists do not shrink from that
extreme. “The safety and the hope of the country,” said Victor Berger,
the Socialist member of the last Congress, “will finally lie in one
direction only--that of violent and bloody revolution.” He advises
Socialists to read and think, and also “have a good rifle.” But the
literature of Socialism supplies proof upon proof that the capture of
the Government and of property is to be effected by violence. Hence
the Socialist’s hatred of the Army, of the Navy, and of the National
Guard; hence his detestation of all manifestations of the sentiment of

Indeed, one of the noblest expressions of that sentiment which our
literature affords may serve as a complete demonstration of the
conflict between the doctrines of Socialism and some of the convictions
that have struck their roots deepest in our common life. The familiar
lines of Fitz-Greene Halleck’s “Marco Bozzaris” admirably serve the

    “Strike, for your altars and your fires;
    Strike, for the green graves of your sires,
    God, and your native land!”

Our “altars” are the symbol of our religion. “No God, no master,” is
the cry of the Socialists, and it was only after a prolonged debate
that a repudiation of religion was kept out of the Socialist platform
of 1908. Our “fires” are our homes and hearthstones. Socialism would
destroy the home. The revolting doctrine of promiscuity was applauded,
and applauded by young women of the faith, at a recent meeting of
Socialists. “The green graves of your sires”--those words should remind
us that the earliest form of title to land was the right to inclose the
graves of parents and kindred. Socialism permits no private ownership
of land. “God, and your native land”--Socialism denies the Creator and
puts the red flag above the Stars and Stripes. Could the grim meaning
of this hideous creed be brought more directly home to the minds and
hearts of American youth than by the evidence that it is a cold-blooded
negation of the fine and lofty patriotism of Halleck’s adjuration?

Yet American youth by thousands are to-day under Socialistic teaching
and conviction. In December, 1912, the Fourth Annual Convention of
the Intercollegiate Socialist Society was held in New York. It was
reported that there were fifty-nine “chapters” of the society in as
many colleges and universities, including all the leading institutions
of the country, and eleven graduate chapters. There were between 900
and 1000 members of the undergraduate chapters, and 700 graduate
members. The list of “enthusiastic disciples of Karl Marx” among
college faculties includes the names of many professors of national
repute. Socialism is at work, too, in the schools, and it has schools
of its own, and in this city its “Sunday-schools.” The doctrines are
put before children and youth not as doctrines of destruction and
confiscation, and of revolution by violence and bloodshed, but as
principles of ethics, of social justice, and the common good, all
leading up to the beautiful dream of the brotherhood of man. College
students are asked to consider the working of some privately managed
undertaking, and then by plausible illustrations it is pointed out
to them that the State could perform the service much better, and
thus the ground principle of Socialism gets a lodgment in minds
insufficiently informed to detect the falsity of the teaching. In the
children’s schools is used “The Socialist Primer,” in which by text
and pictures hatred of the rich and well-to-do is implanted, and the
workingman is presented as the helpless victim of greed and cruel
oppression. The facts of Socialism, the truth about Socialism, are open
to ascertainment by every college and university trustee, by every
president, by every giver of funds whose benefactions are employed in
part to support the teaching of this devil’s creed that is to supplant
our old-time reverence for the altar, the hearth-fire, the family, the
graves of kindred, and the flag. There is no vital difference between
Socialists. The revolutionaries of the Haywood and Debs type and the
evolutionary Socialists of the college faculties have virtually a
common faith, and tend inevitably to the acceptance of one method for
its attainment.

Is this teaching of revolution and confiscation to go on? A sound
course of instruction devoted to the exposure of the fallacies, the
falsehoods, and the destructive purposes of Socialism in every college
where it has gained a foothold, would make the student immune to
its poisonous delusions. Truth is the natural shield against error,
yet only here and there has its protection been extended over the
endangered youth of our colleges. The teaching of false history and
false science would not be tolerated anywhere. Is it less important
that young men should be safeguarded against false teaching in matters
that go to the very groundwork of their morality and their citizenship?
The trustees, presidents, and faculties of the country’s seats of
learning have a duty to perform that they cannot longer neglect without
inviting the sternest censure of public opinion.


In “The Flower of Old Japan,” a poem “for children between six and
sixty,” Mr. Alfred Noyes represents his child seekers for the mirror of
wisdom as encountering, among other personified phenomena of the adult
intelligence, a curiously-inclined people known as the Ghastroi, of
whom he says:

    “Their dens are always ankle-deep
    With twisted knives, and in their sleep
    They often cut themselves; they say
    That if you wish to live in peace
    The surest way is not to cease
    Collecting knives; and never a day
    Can pass, unless they buy a few;
    And as their enemies buy them too,
    They all avert the impending fray,
    And starve their children and their wives
    To buy the necessary knives.”

The children are quite at a loss to know what to make of such a strange
way of life.

Many children of a larger growth have wondered at the phenomenon of
the actual world of which Mr. Noyes’s fancy is an allegory. But in the
cultivation of the fear of war it has been left for the present year
to reveal an aspect of sordidness the like of which has never before
been known.

The world was startled, and all Germans were overwhelmed with
mortification and shame, when in April the facts were made known
concerning the way in which a market for military supplies had been
created at Berlin. One great manufacturer of guns had been guilty of
giving bribes within the very walls of the War Office. Another large
company dealing in arms and ammunition had sent money to France in
order to hire writers of anti-German articles, so that warlike feeling
might appear to be stirred up, and the German Government be induced to
place large orders for rifles and cartridges. All this went far beyond
the ordinary manipulation of a “war scare.” With that we are familiar.
It has frequently been seen in the United States. More than twenty
years ago, when there was foolish talk about a war with Chile, a New
Jersey steel-maker was heard to say, after the flurry was over, “Well,
anyhow, it was a good enough war to secure me an order for $600,000
worth of ship’s plates.”

Such tactics by armor-makers and powder-manufacturers have often been
exposed, but they fall short of the fiendishness of these German
plottings. It is bad enough to work up an artificial excitement in
your own land, to form leagues for a bigger army and navy, to point to
various alleged foreign “perils,” to ply committees of Congress with
fantastic military arguments, and to do it all, and finance it all,
solely in order to get some fat government contracts. But to do what
the German firm did is to pass beyond the mischievous and dishonorable
into the diabolical. Deliberately and by means of money sent abroad to
seek to rouse a hostile spirit and provoke a war for the purpose of
making the weapon business good--this is to be willing to coin money
out of the misery of two nations. It is to take the position that the
blood of the killed and wounded and the tears of widows and orphans
may be ignored if only they are “good for trade.” We have heard much
of the mad competition in armament being a reduction of militarism
to the absurd. These German revelations are a veritable _reductio ad
horribilem_--all the more shocking because the German Emperor is to-day
one of the greatest forces for peace.

Yet, when all is said, is not this thing, which the moral sense of
civilized men pronounces shocking, only a development, one may say
a logical development, of practices which have long been known and
tolerated? There would seem to be only a difference in degree of
turpitude between bribing one’s way to an order for cannon and paying
out money, directly or indirectly, to secure general legislation which
means money in a private citizen’s purse. This latter process has been
not merely winked at in this country; it has been thought the regular
and reputable thing to do. It has almost been honored. At least those
who have profited by it have been honored. For years it was the vicious
custom of corporations to group under “legal expenses” sums paid out
to influence the legislature or Congress. Of one man prominent in his
party, long in public life, and influential there, it was said that his
motto, in politics as in business, was, “If you want anything, go and
buy it.”

Such things were once far too common. They are frowned upon now, and
we may believe that they are passing. It is necessary only to refer to
what was done year after year in the matter of the protective tariff.
The relation between campaign contributions and desired rates in the
tariff bill was so close that it was hardly an exaggeration to say that
the manufacturer put his coin in the party-treasury slot and drew out
the customs duty he wanted. It seems certain that this habit of the
“good old times” is disappearing before the spirit of the better new
time. Yet evil is persistent. It is protean and recurrent. With all the
gains that have been made, it is still true that the pecuniary view of
legislation is too often met with. We laugh at “going in for the old
flag and an appropriation,” but there are ways of corruption subtler
than the blatant patriotic. In connection with too many bills and
projects of law the questions are yet asked, “What is there in it for
me?” “Who is putting up the money for this?”

Cases of outright legislative bribery are rare. In the few that do come
to light or are suspected, proof of guilt is exceedingly difficult--how
difficult, recent events at Albany have shown. But it is not the
coarse methods of the purchaser or huckster in legislation that we
need to guard against so much as the more insidious forms of swaying
public legislation to private advantage. Too often, in connection with
projects of law, a distinct “interest” appears. And frequently it is a
moneyed interest. Movements that are artfully given the appearance of
being spontaneous or voluntary are discovered to be secretly financed
for secret purposes. The press is sometimes approached as well as
legislatures and Congress. Sinister ends are craftily disguised. The
very elect are occasionally deceived.

What is the remedy? It must be mainly moral. Against these anti-social
practices the full power of social condemnation must be massed. The
senses of men need to be sharpened until they can deny the truth of the
cynical saying, “Gold does not smell.” Some gold does. And as against
a private “interest” in legislation, there must be asserted, as the
one standard, a broad State or National interest. Lacking that, no
bill should be exempt from the severest scrutiny to expose a possibly
selfish backing. That general principle established, and the further
truth being insisted upon that no man shall be permitted before a
legislative or congressional committee to be a judge in his own cause,
the motive and the mischief of money-prompted legislation would be
greatly diminished.



At first thought, it seems like mockery to recommend to a world of
social unrest and of shifting ideals, a world that for the most part
is struggling for three meals a day, the efficacy of music, letters,
and art to ameliorate its condition. “Emerson in words of one syllable
for infant minds” will not reach below a certain intellectual stratum.
Beethoven for the people seems a contradiction of terms. There are
times when, despite the crowds at the museums, Michelangelo and the
Greek marbles seem to have as little influence upon the stream of
humanity as rocks upon the current of a river that flows past them.
The cry for the elevation of the race, which is the dominant note--the
Vox Humana--of our time, the hope that we may all move up together,
is a logical development of the Christian idea and the most creditable
aspect of the new century. The whole world is reaching for sun and air.
The ambition of the wage-earner is a counterpart of nature, as Lowell
reads it into his “June”:

    “Every clod feels a stir of might,
    An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
    And, groping blindly above it for light,
    Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers.”

With the impetuosity and the lack of discipline of our day, this
aspiration often overreaches itself. The highly stimulated desire for
advancement is thwarted by unwillingness to take the plodding and the
stony road. The treasures of the humble are forgotten. The quick fire
burns up the substance and leaves but ashes. Meanwhile, it is something
if, with Landor, we have

    “warmed both hands against the fire of life.”

But, with all this impatience to “get culture,” and this rush to take
beauty and intellectual resources to those who have them not, as food
to the famine-stricken, we are in danger of forgetting the chief
value of the best in literature and the arts: that _it awakens the
imagination and gives poise to life_. Now, imagination and poise are
two traits that differentiate man from the brute, and the superior man
from the inferior. The best thinking is done by men of imagination;
the best action is accomplished by men of poise; for, by poise is
meant the faculty of holding one’s course courageously to the compass
among contrary winds and waves. The value of high literary, artistic,
and musical standards is not that they make poise and imagination
universal, but that they affect the world secondarily, through the
leaders in whom these qualities are developed. Who shall compute the
worth to humanity of one great thinker, one great novelist, one great
poet, one great painter, one great sculptor, one great composer? In
debating societies, great material advances through invention and
discovery are weighed in the balance with great achievements in arts
and letters; but account is seldom taken of the intellectual forces
that created the inventors and the discoverers.

It is because America is in need of great men that she stands most in
need of these forces. The twentieth century appears to be a century
of challenge to all the centuries that have gone before, with the
accelerated momentum of them all. Now, more than ever, must we have men
of imagination and men of poise, and every agency that gives promise
of developing these traits deserves encouragement and support. The
uplifting of the people to a high average of happiness is thus closely
though indirectly related to the advance of literature and the arts.


In the paper on the tariff as applied to woolen goods, by Mr. N. I.
Stone in the May ~Century~, it was stated: “The great factor in
the woolen industry to-day is the American Woolen Company, popularly
known as the Woolen Trust, which was said to control sixty per cent. of
the country’s output at the time of its formation in 1899.”

Mr. Winthrop L. Marvin, secretary of the “National Association of Wool
Manufacturers,” in a letter to ~The Century~ says: “The American
Woolen Company makes annual reports. Its capital stock in 1899 was
$49,501,100 and in 1909 it was $60,000,000. The total capital of the
woolen and worsted industry of this country, as stated by the Federal
Census, was, in 1899, $257,000,000 and in 1909 it was $415,000,000.
The output of the American Woolen Company in any given year has been
at a maximum $51,000,000. The total output of the industry in 1899 was
$239,000,000 and in 1909 it was $419,000,000. These figures controvert
the assertion of ‘sixty per cent.’”

Mr. Marvin also states that while the Tariff Board mentioned duties on
certain English cloths as being “from 132 to 260 per cent.,” it also
made plain that those very high rates were not actually effective,
since American competition operated to reduce the tariff cost to
an average of 67 per cent., “embodying the higher cost of American
materials and labor.”

    --~The Editor.~

[Illustration: OPEN LETTERS]


_Counsel to a Literary Aspirant who Wishes to Enrich the Yuletide_

    _Dear Chalmers_:

For years you have made no secret of the fact that you were studying
Editors,--root and branch, genus and specimens. I know that you have
diagnosed and pondered their little infamies, one by one. I know that
you have pored over gossip of their habits and wiles--as chronicled by
Sunday newspaper articles. I think I am not exaggerating when I surmise
that you feel you know the tribe--analytically speaking--through and


And yet--and yet--you confessed to me not more than a month ago, with
chagrin in your voice, that you have never dared attempt a Christmas
story. Frankly, my friend, I was, and still am, surprised. You have
been successful in more difficult things, yet you balk at a mere
Christmas tale. I’ve thought about it so much that I am finally taking
the liberty of sending you this letter, which you may, if you choose,
regard as a monograph on “How to Write a Christmas Story.” As I have
just sold my ninety-eighth tale of Christmas, I think you will allow
that my counsel deserves some consideration.

First of all: be kind to the editor. Don’t put off sending him your
story till the eleventh hour; but give him his chance to shop early. It
is not his fault that his Christmas purchases have to be made before
Labor Day. Therefore be considerate.

Spring is, of course, the best season to begin to think of tuning up
for your December fiction. In any case, between the time the first
dandelion shows its head and the end of July it is essential that you
should tear yourself away from the play you are working on and oil your
typewriter preparatory to the Christmas story. That accomplished, your
task is all but finished. The only thing that remains before mailing
off your tale of the Yuletide is to write it--a mere formality.

Of course you have to choose which Christmas story you will write. But
that is a bagatelle. Fortunately the stereotyped varieties have become
as easily classified as the different sorts of evergreen. A row of
mental pigeonholes will contain the stock formulas. You have only to
reach in and draw one out. Roughly speaking, the tales may be divided
into those of the city and the country.

One favorite is the crusty millionaire story. You should make him
a second Crœsus, dyspeptic, with a heart of flint. He bullyrags
his servants unmercifully, and has no kind word for any one. He gets
no happiness out of life, and will not permit anybody else to get
any. Such carking selfishness is easily worth three thousand words.
Then comes the great transformation scene, with incidental music of
Christmas bells. A little child, a faithful old servant, the woman he
did not marry:--one of these is the agent who sets him to giving away
his money with both hands and--so we are led to believe--cures his

If you have no fancy for this story, why not select the regeneration of
the hardened man about town? He is irreproachably dressed, unspeakably
bored, illimitably cynical, and inexpressibly selfish. The rise of
the curtain finds him kicking some little dog that gets in his way.
It is night. He wanders through the town in melancholy irritation.
Then the story should run thus, to put it like an old-fashioned
playbill of the melodrama: SCENE 1. Night in a great city.--Heartless
Jack Mortimer.--The beggar repulsed.--The snow-storm.--The weeping
newsboy.--“I haven’t any Christmas present for Mother!”--Jack Mortimer
touched. SCENE 2. The slums.--The brutal policeman.--The comic
washerwoman.--The garret.--“Hush, my child, there’s not so much as
a single crust in the house.”--The arrival of Jack Mortimer.--The
Christmas tree.--“God bless you, sir, you’re a real gentleman!”
SCENE 3. On Fifth Avenue.--High Life among the 400.--The funny
butler.--Florence in the conservatory.--The proposal.--“At last,
Jack Mortimer, you have proved yourself _a man_!”--Great chime

A variant on this is the story of the traveler who is stranded on
Christmas eve in a strange city far from his family. Don’t forget to
play up his extreme loneliness for a page or two. Then he either falls
in with another homesick stranger, or helps out the party in distress
who always appears at just the proper instant in this story. And at
the end, his entire family, which has traveled all night, appears to
surprise him.

So much for the city. After all, you were country-bred yourself, and if
you prefer the country or the wilds for your story, they also are rich
in stock devices. What better place than a Christmas story to tell of
the old couple who have never had a child? We hear the ring at their
door-bell, but as we turn the page no one is found at the door. But
wait!--there in a basket is a cooing baby. A scrap of paper pinned to
its dress begs, “Be good to baby!” And so on December 25, 19--, the old
couple at last have their child.

It is also on December 25 that the selectmen of almost any town--_your_
selectmen--have decided that at last poor old Marthy Pettibone--whose
only son disappeared years ago--must be taken to the poor-farm. The
carriage waits at the gate. Dejected Mrs. Pettibone has just gone back
to get her bird-cage. At that instant a tall stranger, bronzed and
bearded, wearing a massive gold watch-chain, strides up the path and
knocks at the door. Need I go on?

Perhaps most reliable is the Christmas tale of the _hinterland_. A gang
of unkempt lumbermen or miners are snowed up by the worst blizzard of
the decade. It looks as if they would have to fall back on bad whisky
as Yuletide recreation. At this point the fearless young girl appears
on the scene, arriving somehow. (If necessary, use a flying-machine.)
The whisky is put out of sight and mind, and clean red shirts are
donned. Follows the scene of the Christmas tree with an improvised
Santa Claus and comic gifts, succeeded by a spelling-match and Virginia
Reel. And what end so appropriate as the picture of the young girl
lifted on to a table while the rough diamonds drink her health in
ginger-pop which the cookee produces at the right moment. That ought to
be enough of a Christmas story for any one; but if more seems needed,
insert at the proper point the defense of the girl--from a half-breed
who _would_ have whisky--by the young civil engineer of Harvard or Yale.

Or if you are not suited with any of these, why not take a shot at
the yarn of Christmas at sea or below the equator? If, however, you
sympathize with those who like an occasional pellet of religion
sugar-coated as fiction, nothing is simpler than to give them the
allegorical Christmas story. And I mustn’t conclude this survey of the
property-room of holiday fiction without reference to the house-party
story. The man must be very tall, very athletic, very handsome, and
“virile.” The girl must have blue eyes and gold hair, be petite,
and pert as a boarding-school miss. Remember to have them talk to
each other as if they--and you--were being paid by the paragraph.
The gatling-gun warfare of love-making must be carried on while they
arrange the Christmas tree for little Tommy. And the hero’s final
successful assault--with force used if necessary--must be made in the
vicinity of the mistletoe.

Such, then, is the range before you,--of allegory, the city, the
country, and that no-man’s land where picture men, seven feet tall,
philander with debutantes.

The choice is yours; or, if you have no preference, it is easy enough
to draw lots to decide. The whole business is almost too simple. At
latest, midsummer should turn the trick. And you will be doing good all

The editor will be spared the pangs of reading Christmas fiction while
making up his Easter number.

As for you, you will have no one but yourself to blame if you do not
utilize holly, mistletoe, and chimes to finance your pleasant summer

    Hopefully yours,

    _Leonard Hatch_.


[Illustration: IN LIGHTER VEIN]




    When I was a little pickanin’,
      Down on Sweet Gum plantation,
    I used to heah de preacher preach,
    An’ screech an’ screech an’ screech,
      Expoundin’ out salvation.

    He’d open up dat Bible-book
      Befo’ de congregation,
    An’, sir, he’d read dem Scriptures out,
    An’ shout an’ shout an’ shout an’ shout,
      Widout no education.

    He nuver knowed ’is A, B, C’s,
      Much less pronunciation;
    But when he’d focus on a page,
    An’ rage an’ rage an’ rage an’ rage,
      Gord sont interpretation.

    He’d show de devil’s forkèd tail
      Out clair, in his noration;
    He’d h’ist dat pitchfork up on high,
    An’ cry an’ cry an’ cry an’ cry,
      An’ p’int insinuation,

    An’ I’d brace up an’ clench de pew
      An’ try to hol’ my station,
    Whilst he’d light up de fumes o’ hell,
    An’ yell an’ yell an’ yell an’ yell,
      ’Tel we could smell damnation!

    One day I swooned off in a tranch,
      F’om brimstone suffocation;
    An’ red-hot sins wid forkèd tails
    Riz up wid wails an’ wails an’ wails
      An’ stopped my circulation!

    I felt jes’ lak a cushion o’ pins
      Big as de whole creation;
    My tongue was swole too thick to speak,
    But de pins dey’d stick, an’ de sins dey’d shriek!
      ’Tel I los’ all sinsation.

           *       *       *       *       *

    I come th’ough on de tranch-room flo’,
      Wid de mou’ners on probation;
    An’ when I heerd ’em screech an’ screech
    ’Bout “a babe an’ sucklin’ called to preach!”--
      _Dat was my ordination._



He is the selfsame fellow still, the Cairene merchant, as in the days
of Harun-al-Rashid. His shop may be the lower story of a great modern
building, his wares the products of monster factories; yet he squats in
cross-legged contentment as of yore, amenable only to the loquacious
system of bargaining dear to the heart of the Oriental. The Western
tourist, foolishly regarding time as of value, will lose all equanimity
long before he has completed the smallest transaction. If his knowledge
of the East and his patience suffice, and he begins negotiations early
enough in the day not to be driven forth as the merchant sets up his
shutters at nightfall, he may obtain the article he seeks at a just
and equitable price. If he gains possession of it in less than the
accustomed time, he will certainly have paid more than its market
value, be his business acumen what it may.

Vagamundo, the Western traveler experienced in the ways of the East,
catches sight, during a stroll through the bazaars, of an Arabic blade
that takes his fancy. It hangs high at the top of the open booth,
on the raised floor of which, close-circled by his tumbled chaos of
wares, serenely squats the proprietor, with folded legs. Vagamundo, as
from the merest curiosity, pauses to run his eye over the countless
articles, suggests with a half-stifled yawn that the simitar looks
like what might be a convincing weapon in the hands of an enemy,
ventures to hope that the merchant is enjoying the fine weather, and
strolls leisurely on. The shopkeeper continues to puff drowsily at his
water-bottle, in his eyes the far-off look of the day-dreamer, until
the Westerner is all but out of earshot. Then he appears suddenly to
awake, and drones out a languid invitation to return. Vagamundo pays no
heed to the summons for some moments, gazes abstractedly upon the wares
displayed in another booth, then wanders slowly back toward the object
that has attracted his attention. The merchant hopes that the traveler
is enjoying the best of health, invites him to squat in the bit of
space not already occupied by himself or his wares, offers a cigarette,
and falls to discussing the latest doings of the mixed courts or the
state of the cotton crop in the delta. By the time the second cigarette
is lighted, he turns the conversation deftly to the simitar, and
remarks that, though it is hung among his wares rather for ornament
than for sale, it is possible he may some day tire of beholding it
and part with it for--perhaps eleven hundred or a thousand piasters.
Vagamundo, puffing reminiscently for a time, recalls having heard a
friend express a desire to obtain such a weapon for, say, seventy-five
piasters or so, and wonders, after all, why that friend should care for
so useless an article. The shopkeeper regrets that the two prices named
do not more nearly coincide, trusts that the inundations will not be so
late this year as last, as, indeed, the Nilometer has prophesied they
will not, and reaches again for the tube of his narghile. Vagamundo
expresses his delight that the khedive has recovered from his recent
attack, thanks the merchant for his disinterested hospitality, and
saunters away.

The shortest instant before he is finally lost from view in the surging
stream of donkeys, pedestrians, camels, runners, and bazaar-loungers he
is called back to learn that the merchant is of the opinion that the
new land tax will work more effectively than the old, that the simitar
is probably worth only seven hundred and eighty piasters, and that some
of the eucalyptus-trees in the Esbekieh Gardens are to be removed. With
all due respect to Cromer Pasha Vagamundo doubts the practicability of
his latest scheme of taxation, and hopes that his friend may somewhere
run across such a simitar at one hundred piasters.

Thus the transaction continues: a third, a fourth, even a fifth time
Vagamundo returns. By the sixth visit he has dropped the fiction of
a friend, and openly offers two hundred and twenty-five piasters for
the blade, and the shopkeeper arouses himself sufficiently from his
lethargy to take the weapon down for inspection, and expresses a
willingness to part with it for two hundred and seventy-five.

Over newly rolled cigarettes the negotiation proceeds, now touching
upon the prevalence of ophthalmia, now debating the success of the
recent installation of sugar factories, anon skirting the matter of
simitars, their manufacture and price. Speaking of simitars, the
merchant suspects that for the one in hand he would be satisfied
perhaps at two hundred and fifty piasters. Vagamundo lays that
sum--which both recognized from the beginning as the just price--on
the mat between them, grasps his newly acquired property, and, amid
protestations of lifelong friendship from the merchant, takes his

Manchester business men and Chicago captains of industry, scorning
such childish methods, have dived into the maelstrom of the bazaars of
Cairo with the avowed intention of “doing business” after the manner
of to-day and the West; but all in vain. The Cairene shopkeeper will
hurry in his transactions for no mortal man. Whether his wares are
purchased or not is, at least to every outward appearance, a matter
to which he is at all times utterly indifferent. Let the pulsating
Westerner, with his strange notions of the relative value of time and
ease, press his mercenary suit too forcibly, and he discovers to his
surprise, and perhaps even to his dismay, that the merchant of the East
displays his wares and squats by day among them merely as a recreation
and amusement, and that the notion of selling anything from the trifles
about him is farthest from his thoughts.



    My Pegasus strains at his curb,
      Although I have him tightly geared.
    Though I protest, with speech acerb;
      I cannot hold him, I’m afeard.
      Oh, never has he so careered!
    He’s like a bee-stung Hippodrome;
      But, though his laws I’ve e’er revered,
    I will _not_ write a Cubist Pome!

    To keep my seat doth me perturb;
      He plunges on, with head upreared,--
    As he had eaten witches’ herb,--
      Raging his maddened way, unsteered.
      He wants my fair word-pictures smeared
    With thought laid on in polychrome!
      Nay, we shall leave one fence uncleared;
    I will _not_ write a Cubist Pome!

    He’d have me shape a lissome verb
      Like a three-sided noun, ensphered!
    He babbles of effects superb,
      Produced by themes with truth veneered.
      No! Till the Joy of Life is biered,
    Till Reason wobbles in her dome,
      Till all Fame’s other eels are speared,
    I will _not_ write a Cubist Pome!


    Pegasus, go and dree thy weird;
      Down Duchamp’s staircase sadly roam;
    I cannot have _my_ laurels queered,--
      I will _not_ write a Cubist Pome!

[Illustration: Drawn by Oliver Herford


Looking over our spring samples.]

[Illustration: Drawn by J. R. Shaver


“Aren’t we having fun, Father?”]




    Sis’ Butterfly aimed to work all right,
    But ’er wings des was heavy, an’ ’er head too light;
    So she riz in de air, caze she see she was made
    Jes’ to fly in de sun in de beauty parade.
      An’ she ain’t by ’erself in dat, in dat--
      An’ she ain’t by ’erself in dat.



    When west winds blow,
      I want to go
        Where mountain-peaks are wrapped in snow,
    And breathe the air
      That thrills you there
        With strength to do and nerve to dare!

    When west winds call,
      I hate it all--
        This life of petty things and small!
    And I have cried
      Again to ride
        Where sun is clear and plains are wide.

    When west winds sigh
      At night, I lie
        And dream of careless days gone by.
    (To hear me blow,
      You’d never know
        I’d not been west of Cleveland, O.)





    “How absurd,” said the gnat to the gnu,
    “To spell your queer name as you do!”
        “For the matter of that,”
        Said the gnu to the gnat,
    “That’s just how I feel about you.”



    A camel, with practical views
    On the nutritive value of shoes,
        To the mosque would repair
        While the folks were at prayer,
    Little dreaming their soles they would lose.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, July, 1913 - Vol. LXXXVI. New Series: Vol. LXIV. May to October, 1913" ***

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