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Title: The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, August, 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, August, 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 August, 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 altered. In some cases, such as in ‘Fresh Light on Washington’
    (p. 635), errors seem to be introduced deliberately; here, the text
    has been retained as printed in the original.

    Special characters have been used to highlight the following font
    styles:

        italic:       _underscores_
        small caps:  ~tilde characters~

  ####################################################################



[Illustration:

    HERMAN
    PFEIFER

Plates in tint, engraved for ~The Century~ by H. C. Merrill and
H. Davidson

“AND ‘INASMUCH,’ HE SAID. JUST THAT--‘INASMUCH.’ SO THAT’S HOW I
HAPPENED TO GO INTO NURSING”

DRAWN BY HERMAN PFEIFER]



                       MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY NUMBER

                        ~The Century Magazine~

                 Vol. LXXXVI    AUGUST, 1913    No. 4

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



CONTENTS

                                                                    PAGE

  ~White Linen Nurse, The~                _Eleanor Hallowell Abbott_ 483
      Pictures, printed in tint, by
        Herman Pfeifer.

  ~Romain Rolland.~                       _Alvan F. Sanborn_         512
      Picture from portrait of Rolland
        from a drawing by Granié.

  ~Balkan Peninsula, Skirting the~        _Robert Hichens_
     VI. Stamboul, the City of Mosques.                              519
        Pictures by Jules Guérin, two
          printed in color.

  ~Trade of the World Papers, The~        _James Davenport Whelpley_
      XVII. If Canada were to Annex the
        United States                                                534
          Pictures from photographs.

  ~Impractical Man, The~                  _Elliott Flower_           549
      Pictures by F. R. Gruger.

  ~British Uncommunicativeness.~          _A. C. Benson_             567

  ~Gutter-Nickel, The~                    _Estelle Loomis_           570
      Picture by J. Montgomery Flagg.

  ~Voyage Over, The First~                _Theodore Dreiser_         586
      Pictures by W. J. Glackens.

  ~Japan, the New, American Makers of~    _William Elliot Griffis_   597
      Pictures from photographs.

  ~Golf, Mind Versus Muscle in~           _Marshall Whitlatch_       606

  ~T. Tembarom.~                          _Frances Hodgson Burnett_  610
      Drawings by Charles S. Chapman.

  ~Going Up.~                             _Frederick Lewis Allen_    632
      Picture by Reginald Birch.

  ~Washington, Fresh Light on~                                       635

  ~Cartoons.~
    A Boy’s Best Friend.                  _May Wilson Preston_       634
    “The Fifth Avenue Girl” and “A Bit
      of Gossip.” Sculpture by            _Ethel Myers_              635
    The Child de Luxe.                    _Boardman Robinson_        636


VERSE

  ~Double Star, A~                        _Leroy Titus Weeks_        511

  ~Message from Italy, A~                 _Margaret Widdemer_        547
      Drawing printed in tint by
        W. T. Benda.

  ~Marvelous Munchausen, The~             _William Rose Benét_       563
      Pictures by Oliver Herford.

  ~Wingèd Victory.~                       _Victor Whitlock_          596
      Photograph and decoration.

  ~Royal Mummy, To a~                     _Anna Glen Stoddard_       631

  ~Triolet, A~                            _Leroy Titus Weeks_        636

  ~Rymbels.~
      Pictures by Oliver Herford.
    The Girl and the Raspberry Ice.       _Oliver Herford_           637
    The Yellow Vase.                      _Charles Hanson Towne_     637
    Tragedy.                              _Theodosia Garrison_       638
    “On Revient toujours à Son Premier
      Amour”.                             _Oliver Herford_           638

  ~Limericks.~
      Text and pictures by Oliver Herford.

      XXXII.  The Eternal Feminine.                                  639
      XXXIII. Tra-la-Larceny.                                        640



THE WHITE LINEN NURSE

HOW RAE MALGREGOR UNDERTOOK GENERAL HEARTWORK FOR A FAMILY OF TWO

BY ELEANOR HALLOWELL ABBOTT

Author of “Molly Make-Believe,” etc.

IN THREE PARTS: PART ONE


The White Linen Nurse was so tired that her noble expression ached.

Incidentally her head ached and her shoulders ached and her lungs
ached, and the ankle-bones of both feet ached excruciatingly; but
nothing of her felt permanently incapacitated except her noble
expression. Like a strip of lip-colored lead suspended from her poor
little nose by two tugging, wire-gray wrinkles, her persistently
conscientious sick-room smile seemed to be whanging aimlessly against
her front teeth. The sensation was very unpleasant.

Looking back thus on the three spine-curving, chest-cramping,
foot-twinging, ether-scented years of her hospital training, it dawned
on the White Linen Nurse very suddenly that nothing of her ever _had_
felt permanently incapacitated except her noble expression.

Impulsively she sprang for the prim white mirror that capped her
prim white bureau, and stood staring up into her own entrancing,
bright-colored Nova Scotian reflection with tense, unwonted interest.

Except for the unmistakable smirk which fatigue had clawed into her
plastic young mouth-lines, there was nothing special the matter with
what she saw.

“Perfectly good face,” she attested judicially, with no more than
common courtesy to her progenitors--“perfectly good and tidy-looking
face, if only--if only--” her breath caught a trifle--“if only it
didn’t look so disgustingly noble and--hygienic--and _dollish_.”

All along the back of her neck little sharp, prickly pains began to
sting and burn.

“Silly--simpering--pink-and-white puppet!” she scolded squintingly,
“I’ll teach you how to look like a real girl!”

Very threateningly she raised herself to her tiptoes and thrust her
glowing, corporeal face right up into the moulten, elusive, quicksilver
face in the mirror. Pink for pink, blue for blue, gold for gold,
dollish smirk for dollish smirk, the mirror mocked her seething inner
fretfulness.

“Why, darn you!” she gasped--“why, darn you--why, you looked more human
than _that_ when you left the Annapolis Valley three years ago! There
were at least tears in your face then, and cinders, and your mother’s
best advice, and the worry about the mortgage, and the blush of Joe
Hazeltine’s kiss.”

Furtively with the tip of her index-finger she started to search her
imperturbable pink cheek for the spot where Joe Hazeltine’s kiss had
formerly flamed.

“My hands are all right, anyway,” she acknowledged with vast relief.
Triumphantly she raised both strong, stub-fingered, exaggeratively
executive hands to the level of her childish blue eyes, and stood
surveying the mirrored effect with ineffable satisfaction. “Why, my
hands are--dandy!” she gloated. “Why, they’re perfectly dandy! Why,
they’re wonderful! Why, they’re--” Then suddenly and fearfully she gave
a shrill little scream. “But they don’t go with my silly doll-face,”
she cried. “Why, they don’t! They don’t! My God! they _don’t_! They go
with the Senior Surgeon’s scowling Heidelberg eyes. They go with the
Senior Surgeon’s grim, gray jaw. They go with the--Oh, what shall I do?
What shall I do?”

Dizzily, with her stubby finger-tips prodded deep into every jaded
facial muscle that she could compass, she staggered toward the air and,
dropping down into the first friendly chair that bumped against her
knees, sat staring blankly out across the monotonous city roofs that
flanked her open window, trying very, very hard, for the first time in
her life, to consider the general phenomenon of being a trained nurse.

All about her, as inexorable as anæsthesia, horrid as the hush of
tomb or public library, lurked the painfully unmistakable sense of
institutional restraint. Mournfully to her ear from some remote
kitcheny region of pots and pans a browsing spoon tinkled forth from
time to time with soft muffled resonance. Up and down every clammy
white corridor innumerable young feet, born to prance and stamp, were
creeping stealthily to and fro in rubber-heeled whispers. Along the
somber fire-escape just below her windowsill, like a covey of snubbed
doves, six or eight of her classmates were cooing and crooning together
with excessive caution concerning the imminent graduation exercises
that were to take place at eight o’clock that very evening. Beyond her
dreariest ken of muffled voices, beyond her dingiest vista of slate and
brick, on a far, faint hillside, a far, faint streak of April green
went roaming jocundly skyward. Altogether sluggishly, as though her
nostrils were plugged with warm velvet, the smell of spring and ether
and scorched mutton-chops filtered in and out, in and out, in and out,
of her abnormally jaded senses.

Taken all in all, it was not a propitious afternoon for any girl as
tired and as pretty as the White Linen Nurse to be considering the
general phenomenon of anything except April.

In the real country, they tell me, where the young spring runs as wild
and bare as a nymph through every dull-brown wood and hay-gray meadow,
the blasé farmer-lad will not even lift his eyes from the plow to watch
the pinkness of her passing. But here in the prudish brick-minded city,
where the young spring at her friskiest is nothing more audacious
than a sweltering, winter-swathed madcap who has impishly essayed
some fine morning to tiptoe down street in her soft, sloozily,
green-silk-stockinged feet, the whole hobnailed population reels
back aghast and agrin before the most innocent flash of the rogue’s
green-veiled toes. And then, suddenly snatching off its own cumbersome
winter foot-habits, goes chasing madly after her in its own prankish,
varicolored socks.

Now, the White Linen Nurse’s socks were black, and cotton at that, a
combination incontestably sedate. And the White Linen Nurse had waded
barefoot through too many posied country pastures to experience any
ordinary city thrill over the sight of a single blade of grass pushing
scarily through a crack in the pavement, or a puny, concrete-strangled
maple-tree flushing wanly to the smoky sky. Indeed, for three hustling,
square-toed, rubber-heeled city years the White Linen Nurse had never
even stopped to notice whether the season was flavored with frost or
thunder. But now, unexplainably, just at the end of it all, sitting
innocently there at her own prim little bedroom window, staring
innocently out across indomitable roof-tops, with the crackle of glory
and diplomas already ringing in her ears, she heard instead, for the
first time in her life, the gaily daredevil voice of the spring, a
hoidenish challenge flung back at her, leaf-green, from the crest of a
winter-scarred hill.

“Hello, White Linen Nurse!” screamed the saucy city Spring. “Hello,
White Linen Nurse! Take off your homely starched collar, or your silly
candy-box cap, or any other thing that feels maddeningly artificial,
and come out! And be _very wild_!”

Like a puppy-dog cocking its head toward some strange, unfamiliar
sound, the White Linen Nurse cocked her head toward the lure of the
green-crested hill. Still wrestling conscientiously with the general
phenomenon of being a trained nurse, she found her collar suddenly
very tight, her tiny cap inexpressibly heavy and vexatious. Timidly
she removed the collar, and found that the removal did not rest her
in the slightest. Equally timidly she removed the cap, and found that
even that removal did not rest her in the slightest. Then very, very
slowly, but very, very permeatingly and completely, it dawned on the
White Linen Nurse that never while eyes were blue, and hair was gold,
and lips were red, would she ever find rest again until she had removed
her noble expression.

With a jerk that started the pulses in her temples throbbing like two
toothaches, she straightened up in her chair. All along the back of her
neck the little blond curls began to crisp very ticklingly at their
roots.

Still staring worriedly out over the old city’s slate-gray head to
that inciting prance of green across the farthest horizon, she felt
her whole being kindle to an indescribable passion of revolt against
all hushed places. Seething with fatigue, smoldering with ennui, she
experienced suddenly a wild, almost incontrollable, impulse to sing,
to shout, to scream from the house-tops, to mock somebody, to defy
everybody, to break laws, dishes, heads--anything, in fact, that would
break with a _crash_.

And then at last, over the hills and far away, with all the outraged
world at her heels, to run, and run, and run, and run, and _run_, and
_laugh_, till her feet raveled out, and her lungs burst, and there was
nothing more left of her at all--ever, ever, any more!

Discordantly into this rapturously pagan vision of pranks and posies
broke one of her room-mates all a-whiff with ether, a-whir with starch.

Instantly with the first creak of the door-handle, the White Linen
Nurse was on her feet, breathless, resentful, grotesquely defiant.

“Get out of here, Zillah Forsyth!” she cried furiously. “Get out of
here quick, and leave me alone! I want to think.”

Perfectly serenely the new-comer advanced into the room. With her pale,
ivory-tinted cheeks, her great limpid, brown eyes, her soft dark hair
parted madonna-like across her beautiful brow, her whole face was like
some exquisite composite picture of all the saints of history. Her
voice also was amazingly tranquil.

“Oh, fudge!” she drawled. “What’s eating you, Rae Malgregor? I won’t
either get out. It’s my room just as much as it is yours. And Helene’s
just as much as it is ours. And, besides,” she added more briskly,
“it’s four o’clock now, and, with graduation at eight and the dance
afterward, if we don’t get our stuff packed up now, when in thunder
shall we get it done?” Quite irrelevantly she began to laugh. Her laugh
was perceptibly shriller than her speaking-voice. “Say, Rae,” she
confided, “that minister I nursed through pneumonia last winter wants
me to pose as ‘Sanctity’ for a stained-glass window in his new church!
Isn’t he the softy?”

“Shall you do it?” quizzed Rae Malgregor, a trifle tensely.

“Shall I do it?” mocked the new-comer. “Well, you just watch me! Four
mornings a week in June at full week’s wages? Fresh Easter lilies
every day? White silk angel-robes? All the high souls and high paints
kowtowing around me? Why, it would be more fun than a box of monkeys.
Sure I’ll do it.”

Expeditiously as she spoke, the new-comer reached up for the framed
motto over her own ample mirror, and yanking it down with one single
tug, began to busy herself adroitly with a snarl in the picture-cord.
Like a withe of willow yearning over a brook, her slender figure
curved to the task. Very scintillatingly the afternoon light seemed to
brighten suddenly across her lap. “You’ll Be A Long Time Dead!” glinted
the motto through its sun-dazzled glass.

Still panting with excitement, still bristling with resentment, Rae
Malgregor stood surveying the intrusion and the intruder. A dozen
impertinent speeches were rioting in her mind. Twice her mouth opened
and shut before she finally achieved the particular opprobrium that
completely satisfied her.

“Bah! you look like a--trained nurse!” she blurted forth at last with
hysterical triumph.

“So do you,” said the new-corner, amiably.

With a little gasp of dismay, Rae Malgregor sprang suddenly forward.
Her eyes were flooded with tears.

“Why, that’s just exactly what’s the matter with me!” she cried. “My
face is all worn out trying to look like a trained nurse! O Zillah,
how do you know you were meant to be a trained nurse? How does anybody
know? O Zillah! save me! Save me!”

Languorously Zillah Forsyth looked up from her work and laughed. Her
laugh was like the accidental tinkle of sleigh-bells in midsummer,
vaguely disquieting, a shiver of frost across the face of a lily.

“Save you from what, you great big overgrown, tow-headed doll-baby?”
she questioned blandly. “For Heaven’s sake, the only thing you need is
to go back to whatever toy-shop you came from and get a new head. What
in creation’s the matter with you lately, anyway Oh, of course you’ve
had rotten luck this past month but what of it? That’s the trouble with
you country girls. You haven’t got any stamina.”

With slow, shuffling-footed astonishment Rae Malgregor stepped out into
the center of the room. “Country girls!” she repeated blankly. “Why,
you’re a country girl yourself.”

“I _am_ not,” snapped Zillah Forsyth. “I’ll have you understand that
there are nine thousand people in the town I come from, and not a rube
among them. Why, I tended soda-fountain in the swellest drug store
there a whole year before I even thought of taking up nursing. And I
wasn’t as green when I was six months old as you are now.”

Slowly, with a soft-snuggling sigh of contentment, she raised her slim
white fingers to coax her dusky hair a little looser, a little farther
down, a little more madonna-like across her sweet, mild forehead,
then, snatching out abruptly at a convenient shirt-waist, began with
extraordinary skill to apply its dangly lace sleeves as a protective
bandage for the delicate glass-faced motto still in her lap, placed
the completed parcel with inordinate scientific precision in the
exact corner of her packing-box, and then went on very diligently,
very zealously, to strip the men’s photographs from the mirror on her
bureau. There were twenty-seven photographs in all, and for each one
she had there already cut and prepared a small square of perfectly
fresh, perfectly immaculate, white tissue wrapping-paper. No one so
transcendently fastidious, so exquisitely neat in all her personal
habits, had ever before been trained in that particular hospital.

Very soberly the doll-faced girl stood watching the men’s pleasant
paper countenances smoothed away one by one into their chaste white
veilings, until at last, quite without warning, she poked an accusing,
inquisitive finger directly across Zillah Forsyth’s shoulder.

“Zillah,” she demanded peremptorily, “all the year I’ve wanted to know,
all the year every other girl in our class has wanted to know--_where_
did you ever get that picture of the Senior Surgeon? He never gave it
to you in the world. He didn’t, he didn’t! He’s not that kind.”

Deeply into Zillah Forsyth’s pale, ascetic cheek dawned a most amazing
dimple.

“Sort of jarred you girls some, didn’t it,” she queried, “to see me
strutting round with a photo of the Senior Surgeon?” The little cleft
in her chin showed suddenly with almost startling distinctness. “Well,
seeing it’s you,” she grinned, “and the year’s all over, and there’s
nobody left that I can worry about it any more, I don’t mind telling
you in the least that I--bought it out of a photographer’s show-case.
There, are you satisfied now?”

With easy nonchalance she picked up the picture in question and
scrutinized it shrewdly.

“Lord! what a face!” she attested. “Nothing but granite. Hack him with
a knife, and he wouldn’t bleed, but just chip off into pebbles.” With
exaggerated contempt she shrugged her supple shoulders. “Bah! how I
hate a man like that! There’s no fun in him.” A little abruptly she
turned and thrust the photograph into Rae Malgregor’s hand. “You can
have it if you want to,” she said. “I’ll trade it to you for that lace
corset-cover of yours.”

Like water dripping through a sieve the photograph slid through Rae
Malgregor’s frightened fingers. With nervous apology she stooped and
picked it up again, and held it gingerly by one remote corner. Her eyes
were quite wide with horror.

“Oh, of course I’d like the--picture well enough,” she stammered,
“but it wouldn’t seem--exactly respectable to--to trade it for a
corset-cover.”

“Oh, very well,” drawled Zillah Forsyth; “tear it up, then.”

Expeditiously, with frank, non-sentimental fingers, Rae Malgregor tore
the tough cardboard across, and again across, and once again across,
and threw the conglomerate fragments into the waste-basket. And her
expression all the time was no more, no less, than the expression of
a person who would vastly rather execute his own pet dog or cat than
risk the possible bungling of an outsider. Then, like a small child
trotting with great relief to its own doll-house, she trotted over to
her bureau, extracted the lace corset-cover, and came back with it in
her hand, to lean across Zillah Forsyth’s shoulder again and watch
the men’s faces go slipping off into oblivion. Once again, abruptly,
without warning, she halted the process with a breathless exclamation.

“Oh, of course this waist is the only one I’ve got with ribbons in it,”
she asserted irrelevantly, “but I’m perfectly willing to trade it for
_that_ picture.” She pointed out with unmistakably explicit finger-tip.

Chucklingly, Zillah Forsyth withdrew the special photograph from its
half-completed wrappings.

“Oh, him?” she said. “Oh, that’s a chap I met on the train last summer.
He’s a brakeman or something. He’s a--”

Perfectly unreluctantly Rae Malgregor dropped the fluff of lace and
ribbons into Zillah’s lap and reached out with cheerful voraciousness
to annex the young man’s picture to her somewhat bleak possessions.
“Oh, I don’t care a rap who he is,” she interrupted briskly; “but he’s
sort of cute-looking, and I’ve got an empty frame at home just that
odd size, and mother’s crazy for a new picture to stick up over the
kitchen mantelpiece. She gets so tired of seeing nothing but the faces
of people she knows all about.”

Sharply Zillah Forsyth turned and stared up into the younger girl’s
face, and found no guile to whet her stare against.

“Well, of all the ridiculous, unmitigated _greenhorns_!” she began.
“Well, is _that_ all you wanted him for? Why, I supposed you wanted to
write to him. Why, I supposed--”

For the first time an expression not altogether dollish darkened across
Rae Malgregor’s garishly juvenile blondness.

“Maybe I’m not quite as green as you think I am,” she flared up
stormily. With this sharp flaring-up every single individual pulse in
her body seemed to jerk itself suddenly into conscious activity again,
like the soft, plushy _pound-pound-pound_ of a whole stocking-footed
regiment of pain descending single file upon her for her hysterical
undoing. “Maybe I’ve had a good deal more experience than you give me
credit for,” she hastened excitedly to explain. “I tell you--I tell
you, _I’ve been engaged_!” she blurted forth with a bitter sort of
triumph.

With a palpable flicker of interest Zillah Forsyth looked back across
her shoulder.

“Engaged? How many times?” she asked bluntly.

As though the whole monogamous groundwork of civilization was
threatened by the question, Rae Malgregor’s hands went clutching at her
breast.

“Why, _once_!” she gasped. “Why, _once_!”

Convulsively Zillah Forsyth began to rock herself to and fro.

“Oh, Lordy!” she chuckled. “Oh, Lordy! Lordy! Why, I’ve been engaged
four times just this past year.” In a sudden passion of fastidiousness,
she bent down over the particular photograph in her hand and, snatching
at a handkerchief, began to rub diligently at a small smutch of dust
in one corner of the cardboard. Something in the effort of rubbing
seemed to jerk her small round chin into almost angular prominence.
“And before I’m through,” she added, at least two notes below her usual
alto tones--“and before I’m through, I’m going to get engaged to every
profession that there is on the surface of the globe.” Quite helplessly
the thin paper skin of the photograph peeled off in company with the
smutch of dust. “And when I marry,” she ejaculated fiercely--“and when
I marry, I’m going to marry a man who will take me to every place that
there is on the surface of the globe. And after that--”

“After _what_?” interrogated a brand-new voice from the doorway.

It was the other room-mate this time. The only real aristocrat in
the whole graduating class, high-browed, high-cheek-boned, eyes like
some far-sighted young prophet, mouth even yet faintly arrogant
with the ineradicable consciousness of caste, a plain, eager,
stripped-for-a-long-journey type of face--this was Helene Churchill.
There was certainly no innocuous bloom of country hills and pastures
in this girl’s face, nor any seething small-town passion pounding
indiscriminately at all the doors of experience. The men and women
who had bred Helene Churchill had been the breeders also of brick and
granite cities since the world was new.

Like one vastly more accustomed to treading on Persian carpets than on
painted floors, she came forward into the room.

“Hello, children!” she said casually, and began at once without further
parleying to take down the motto that graced her own bureau-top.

It was the era when almost everybody in the world had a motto over his
bureau. Helene Churchill’s motto was “Inasmuch As Ye Have Done It Unto
One Of The Least Of These, Ye Have Done It Unto Me.” On a scroll of
almost priceless parchment the text was illuminated with inimitable
Florentine skill and color. A little carelessly, after the manner of
people quite accustomed to priceless things, she proceeded now to
roll the parchment into its smallest possible circumference, humming
exclusively to herself all the while an intricate little air from an
Italian opera.

So the three faces foiled each other, sober city girl, pert town
girl, bucolic country girl, a hundred fundamental differences rampant
between them, yet each fervid, adolescent young mouth tamed to the
same monotonous, drolly exaggerated expression of _complacency_ that
characterizes the faces of all people who, in a distinctive uniform,
for a reasonably satisfactory living wage, make an actual profession of
righteous deeds.

Indeed among all the thirty or more varieties of noble expression which
an indomitable Superintendent had finally succeeded in inculcating
into her graduating class, no other physiognomies had responded more
plastically perhaps than these three to the merciless imprint of the
great hospital machine which, in pursuance of its one repetitive
design, discipline, had coaxed Zillah Forsyth into the semblance of a
lady, snubbed Helene Churchill into the substance of plain womanhood,
and, still uncertain just what to do with Rae Malgregor’s rollicking
rural immaturity, had frozen her face temporarily into the smugly
dimpled likeness of a fancy French doll rigged out as a nurse for some
gilt-edged hospital fair.

With characteristic desire to keep up in every way with her more
mature, better educated classmates, to do everything, in fact, so fast,
so well, that no one would possibly guess that she hadn’t yet figured
out just why she was doing it at all, Rae Malgregor now, with quickly
reconventionalized cap and collar, began to hurl herself into the
task of her own packing. From her open bureau drawer, with a sudden
impish impulse toward worldly wisdom, she extracted first of all the
photograph of the young brakeman.

“See, Helene! My new beau!” she giggled experimentally.

In mild-eyed surprise Helene Churchill glanced up from her work.
“_Your_ beau?” she corrected. “Why, that’s Zillah’s picture.”

“Well, it’s mine now,” snapped Rae Malgregor, with unexpected edginess.
“It’s mine now, all right. Zillah said I could have him. Zillah said I
could--write to him--if I wanted to,” she finished a bit breathlessly.

Wider and wider Helene Churchill’s eyes dilated.

“Write to a man whom you don’t know?” she gasped. “Why, Rae! Why, it
isn’t even very nice to have a picture of a man you don’t know.”

Mockingly to the edge of her strong white teeth Rae Malgregor’s tongue
crept out in pink derision.

“Bah!” she taunted. “What’s _nice_? That’s the whole matter with you,
Helene Churchill. You never stop to consider whether anything’s fun
or not; all you care is whether it’s _nice_.” Excitedly she turned to
meet the cheap little wink from Zillah’s sainted eyes. “Bah! What’s
_nice_?” she persisted, a little lamely. Then suddenly all the pertness
within her crumbled into nothingness. “That’s--the--whole trouble with
_you_, Zillah Forsyth,” she stammered--“you never give a hang whether
anything’s nice or not; all you care is whether it’s fun.” Quite
helplessly she began to wring her hands. “Oh, how do I know which one
of you girls to follow?” she demanded wildly. “How do I know anything?
How does anybody know anything?”

Like a smoldering fuse the rambling query crept back into the inner
recesses of her brain, and fired once more the one great question that
lay dormant there. Impetuously she ran forward and stared into Helene
Churchill’s face.

“How do you know you were meant to be a trained nurse, Helene
Churchill?” she began all over again. “How does anybody know she was
really meant to be one? How can anybody, I mean, be perfectly sure?”
Like a drowning man clutching out at the proverbial straw, she clutched
at the parchment in Helene Churchill’s hand. “I mean--where did you
get your motto, Helene Churchill?” she persisted, with increasing
irritability. “If you don’t tell me, I’ll tear the whole thing to
pieces.”

With a startled frown, Helene Churchill jerked back out of reach.

“What’s the matter with you, Rae?” she quizzed sharply, and then,
turning round casually to her book-case, began to draw from the shelves
one by one her beloved Marcus Aurelius, Wordsworth, Robert Browning.
“Oh, I did so want to go to China,” she confided irrelevantly; “but
my family have just written me that they won’t stand for it. So I
suppose I’ll have to go into tenement work here in the city instead.”
With a visible effort she jerked her mind back again to the feverish
question in Rae Malgregor’s eyes. “Oh, you want to know where I got my
motto?” she asked. A flash of intuition brightened suddenly across her
absent-mindedness. “Oh,” she smiled, “you mean you want to know just
what the incident was that first made me decide to devote my life to
humanity?”

“Yes,” snapped Rae Malgregor.

A little shyly Helene Churchill picked up her copy of Marcus Aurelius
and cuddled her cheek against its tender morocco cover.

“Really?” she questioned with palpable hesitation--“really, you want to
know? Why, why--it’s rather a--sacred little story to me. I shouldn’t
exactly want to have anybody--laugh about it.”

“I’ll laugh if I want to,” attested Zillah Forsyth, forcibly, from the
other side of the room.

Like a pugnacious boy’s, Rae Malgregor’s fluent fingers doubled up into
two firm fists.

“I’ll punch her if she even looks as though she wanted to,” she
signaled surreptitiously to Helene.

Shrewdly for an instant the city girl’s narrowing eyes challenged and
appraised the country girl’s desperate sincerity. Then quite abruptly
she began her little story.

“Why, it was on an Easter Sunday, oh, ages and ages ago,” she faltered.
“Why, I couldn’t have been more than nine years old at the time.” A
trifle self-consciously she turned her face away from Zillah Forsyth’s
supercilious smile. “And I was coming home from a Sunday-school
festival in my best white muslin dress, with a big pot of purple
pansies in my hand,” she hastened somewhat nervously to explain. “And
just at the edge of the gutter there was a dreadful drunken man lying
in the mud, with a great crowd of cruel people teasing and tormenting
him. And because--because I couldn’t think of anything else to do
about it, I--I walked right up to the poor old creature, scared as I
could be, and--and I presented him with my pot of purple pansies. And
everybody of course began to laugh--to scream, I mean--and shout with
amusement. And I, of course, began to cry. And the old drunken man
straightened up very oddly for an instant, with his battered hat in
one hand and the pot of pansies in the other, and he raised the pot
of pansies very high, as though it had been a glass of rarest wine,
and bowed to me as reverently as though he had been toasting me at my
father’s table at some very grand dinner. And ‘Inasmuch,’ he said.
Just that--‘Inasmuch.’ So that’s how I happened to go into nursing,”
she finished as abruptly as she had begun. Like some wonderful
phosphorescent manifestation her whole shining soul seemed to flare
forth suddenly through her plain face.

With honest perplexity Zillah Forsyth looked up from her work.

“So _that’s_ how you happened to go into nursing?” she quizzed
impatiently. Her long straight nose was all puckered tight with
interrogation. Her dove-like eyes were fairly dilated with slow-dawning
astonishment. “You--don’t--mean,” she gasped--“you don’t mean that just
for _that_?” Incredulously she jumped to her feet and stood staring
blankly into the city girl’s strangely illuminated features. “Well, if
I were a swell like you,” she scoffed, “it would take a heap sight more
than a drunken man munching pansies and rum and Bible texts to--to jolt
me out of my limousines and steam-yachts and Adirondack bungalows.”

Quite against all intention, Helene Churchill laughed. She did not
often laugh. Just for an instant her eyes and Zillah Forsyth’s
clashed together in the irremediable antagonism of caste, the
plebeian’s scornful impatience with the aristocrat equaled only by the
aristocrat’s condescending patience with the plebeian.

It was no more than right that the aristocrat should recover her
self-possession first.

“Never mind about your understanding, Zillah dear,” she said softly.
“Your hair is the most beautiful thing I ever saw in my life.”

Along Zillah Forsyth’s ivory cheek an incongruous little flush of red
began to show. With much more nonchalance than was really necessary she
pointed toward her half-packed trunk.

“It wasn’t Sunday-school I was coming home from when I got my motto,”
she remarked dryly, with a wink at no one in particular. “And, so
far as I know,” she proceeded with increasing sarcasm, “the man who
inspired _my_ noble life was not in any way particularly addicted to
the use of alcoholic beverages.” As though her collar was suddenly too
tight, she rammed her finger down between her stiff white neck-band
and her soft white throat. “He was a New York doctor,” she hastened
somewhat airily to explain. “Gee! but he was a swell! And he was
spending his summer holidays up in the same Maine town where I was
tending soda-fountain. And he used to drop into the drug store nights
after cigars and things. And he used to tell me stories about the drugs
and things, sitting up there on the counter, swinging his legs and
pointing out this and that--quinine, ipecac, opium, hashish--all the
silly patent medicines, every sloppy soothing-syrup! Lordy! he knew ’em
as though they were people--where they come from, where they’re going
to, yarns about the tropics that would kink the hair along the nape of
your neck, jokes about your own town’s soup-kettle pharmacology that
would make you yell for joy. Gee! but the things that man had seen
and known! Gee! but the things that man could make you see and know!
And he had an automobile,” she confided proudly. “It was one of those
billion-dollar French cars, and I lived just round the corner from the
drug store; but we used to ride home by way of--New Hampshire.”

Almost imperceptibly her breath began to quicken.

“Gee! those nights!” she muttered. “Rain or shine, moon or thunder,
tearing down those country roads at forty miles an hour, singing,
hollering, whispering! It was him that taught me to do my hair like
this instead of all the cheap rats and pompadours every other kid in
town was wearing,” she asserted quite irrelevantly; then stopped with a
furtive glance of suspicion toward both her listeners and mouthed her
way delicately back to the beginning of her sentence again. “It was
_he_ that taught me to do my hair like this,” she repeated, with the
faintest possible suggestion of hauteur.

For one reason or another along the exquisitely chaste curve of her
cheek a narrow streak of red began to show again.

“And he went away very sudden at the last,” she finished hurriedly. “It
seems he was married all the time.” Blandly she turned her wonderful
face to the caressing light. “And--I hope he goes to hell,” she added.

With a little gasp of astonishment, shock, suspicion, distaste, Helene
Churchill reached out an immediate conscientious hand to her.

“O Zillah,” she began, “O poor Zillah dear! I’m so sorry! I’m so--”

Absolutely serenely, through a mask of insolence and ice, Zillah
Forsyth ignored the proffered hand.

“I don’t know what particular call you’ve got to be sorry for me,
Helene Churchill,” she drawled languidly. “I’ve got my character, same
as you’ve got yours, and just about nine times as many good looks. And
when it comes to nursing--” Like an alto song pierced suddenly by one
shrill treble note, the girl’s immobile face sharpened transiently with
a single jagged flash of emotion. “And when it comes to nursing? Ha!
Helene Churchill, you can lead your class all you want to with your
silk-lined manners and your fuddy-duddy book-talk; but when genteel
people like you are moping round all ready to fold your patients’ hands
on their breasts and murmur, ‘Thy will be done,’ why, that’s the time
that little ‘Yours Truly’ is just beginning to roll up her sleeves and
get to work.”

With real passion her slender fingers went clutching again at her harsh
linen collar. “It isn’t _you_, Helene Churchill,” she taunted, “that’s
ever been to the Superintendent on your bended knees and begged for
the rabies cases and the small-pox! Gee! _you_ like nursing because
you think it’s pious to like it; but I like it _because I like it_!”
From brow to chin, as though fairly stricken with sincerity, her whole
bland face furrowed startlingly with crude expressiveness. “The smell
of ether,” she stammered, “it’s like wine to me. The clang of the
ambulance gong? I’d rather hear it than fire-engines. I’d crawl on my
hands and knees a hundred miles to watch a major operation. I wish
there was a war. I’d give my life to see a cholera epidemic.”

As abruptly as it came, the passion faded from her face, leaving every
feature tranquil again, demure, exaggeratedly innocent. With saccharine
sweetness she turned to Rae Malgregor.

“Now, little one,” she mocked, “tell us the story of _your_ lovely
life. Having heard me coyly confess that I went into nursing because I
had such a crush on this world, and Helene here brazenly affirm that
she went into nursing because she had such a crush on the world to
come, it’s up to you now to confide to us just how you happened to take
up so noble an endeavor. Had you seen some of the young house doctors’
beautiful, smiling faces depicted in the hospital catalogue? Or was it
for the sake of the Senior Surgeon’s grim, gray mug that you jilted
your poor plowboy lover way up in the Annapolis Valley?”

“Why, Zillah,” gasped the country girl--“why, I think you’re perfectly
awful! Why, Zillah Forsyth! Don’t you ever say a thing like that again!
You can joke all you want to about the flirty young internes,--they’re
nothing but fellows,--but it isn’t--it isn’t respectful for you to talk
like that about the Senior Surgeon. He’s too--too terrifying,” she
finished in an utter panic of consternation.

“Oh, now I _know_ it was the Senior Surgeon that made you jilt your
country beau,” taunted Zillah Forsyth, with soft alto sarcasm.

“I didn’t, either, jilt Joe Hazeltine,” stormed Rae Malgregor,
explosively. Backed up against her bureau, eyes flaming, breast
heaving, little candy-box cap all tossed askew over her left ear, she
stood defying her tormentor. “I didn’t, either, jilt Joe Hazeltine,”
she reasserted passionately. “It was Joe Hazeltine that jilted me; and
we’d been going together since we were kids! And now he’s married the
dominie’s daughter, and they’ve got a kid of their own ’most as old as
he and I were when we first began courting each other. And it’s all
because I insisted on being a trained nurse,” she finished shrilly.

With an expression of real shock, Helene Churchill peered up from her
lowly seat on the floor.

“You mean,” she asked a bit breathlessly--“you mean that he didn’t want
you to be a trained nurse? You mean that he wasn’t big enough, wasn’t
fine enough, to appreciate the nobility of the profession?”

“Nobility nothing!” snapped Rae Malgregor. “It was me scrubbing
strange men with alcohol that he couldn’t stand for, and I don’t know
as I exactly blame him,” she added huskily. “It certainly is a good
deal of a liberty when you stop to think about it.”

Quite incongruously her big childish blue eyes narrowed suddenly into
two dark, calculating slits.

“It’s comic,” she mused, “how there isn’t a man in the world who would
stand letting his wife or daughter or sister have a male nurse; but
look at the jobs we girls get sent out on! It’s very confusing.” With
sincere appeal she turned to Zillah Forsyth. “And yet--and yet,” she
stammered, “and yet when everything scary that’s in you has once been
scared out of you, why, there’s nothing left in you to be scared _with_
any more, is there?”

“What? What?” pleaded Helene Churchill. “Say it again! What?”

“That’s what Joe and I quarreled about, my first vacation home,”
persisted Rae Malgregor. “It was a traveling salesman’s thigh. It was
broken bad. Somebody had to take care of it; so I did. Joe thought it
wasn’t modest to be so willing.” With a perplexed sort of defiance
she raised her square little chin. “But, you see, I _was_ willing,”
she said. “I was perfectly willing. Just one single solitary year
of hospital training had made me perfectly willing. And you can’t
_un_-willing a willing even to please your beau, no matter how hard you
try.” With a droll admixture of shyness and disdain, she tossed her
curly blond head a trifle higher. “Shucks!” she attested, “what’s a
traveling salesman’s thigh?”

“Shucks yourself!” scoffed Zillah Forsyth. “What’s a silly beau or two
up in Nova Scotia to a girl with looks like you? You could have married
that typhoid case a dozen times last winter if you’d crooked your
little finger. Why, the fellow was crazy about you. And he was richer
than Crœsus. What queered it?” she demanded bluntly. “Did his mother
hate you?”

Like one fairly cramped with astonishment, Rae Malgregor doubled up
very suddenly at the waist-line, and, thrusting her neck oddly forward
after the manner of a startled crane, stood peering sharply round the
corner of the rocking-chair at Zillah Forsyth.

“Did his mother hate me?” she gasped. “Did--his--mother--hate me? Well,
what do you think? With me, who never even saw plumbing till I came
down here, setting out to explain to her, with twenty tiled bath-rooms,
how to be hygienic though rich? Did his mother hate me? Well, what do
you think? With her who bore him--her who _bore_ him, mind you--kept
waiting down-stairs in the hospital anteroom half an hour every day on
the raw edge of a rattan chair, waiting, worrying, all old and gray and
scared, while little, young, perky, pink-and-white _me_ is up-stairs
brushing her own son’s hair and washing her own son’s face and
altogether getting her own son ready to see his own mother! And then me
obliged to turn her out again in ten minutes, flip as you please, ‘for
fear she’d stayed too long,’ while I stay on the rest of the night?
_Did his mother hate me?_”

As stealthily as an assassin she crept around the corner of the
rocking-chair and grabbed Zillah Forsyth by her astonished linen
shoulder.

“Did his mother hate me?” she persisted mockingly. “Did his mother
hate me? My God! Is there any woman from here to Kamchatka who doesn’t
hate us? Is there any woman from here to Kamchatka who doesn’t look
upon a trained nurse as her natural-born enemy? I don’t blame ’em,”
she added chokingly. “Look at the impudent jobs we get sent out on!
Quarantined up-stairs for weeks at a time with their inflammable,
diphtheretic bridegrooms while they sit down-stairs brooding over their
wedding teaspoons! Hiked off indefinitely to Atlantic City with their
gouty bachelor uncles! Hearing their own innocent little sister’s
blood-curdling death-bed deliriums! Snatching their own new-born babies
away from their breasts and showing them, virgin-handed, how to nurse
them better! The impudence of it, I say, the disgusting, confounded
impudence--doing things perfectly, flippantly, _right_, for twenty-one
dollars a week--and washing--that all the achin’ love in the world
don’t know how to do right just for love!” Furiously she began to jerk
her victim’s shoulder. “I tell you it’s awful, Zillah Forsyth,” she
insisted. “I tell you I just won’t stand it!”

With muscles like steel wire, Zillah Forsyth scrambled to her feet,
and pushed Rae Malgregor back against the bureau.

“For Heaven’s sake, Rae, shut up!” she said. “What in creation’s the
matter with you to-day? I never saw you act so before.” With real
concern she stared into the girl’s turbid eyes. “If you feel like that
about it, what in thunder did you go into nursing for?” she demanded
not unkindly.

Very slowly Helene Churchill rose from her lowly seat by her precious
book-case and came round and looked at Rae Malgregor rather oddly.

“Yes,” she faltered, “what _did_ you go into nursing for?” The faintest
possible taint of asperity was in her voice.

Quite dumbly for an instant Rae Malgregor’s natural timidity stood
battling the almost fanatic professional fervor in Helene Churchill’s
frankly open face, the raw scientific passion, of very different
caliber, but of no less intensity, hidden craftily behind Zillah
Forsyth’s plastic features; then suddenly her own hands went clutching
back at the bureau for support, and all the flaming, raging red went
ebbing out of her cheeks, leaving her lips with hardly blood enough
left to work them.

“I went into nursing,” she mumbled, “and it’s God’s own truth--I went
into nursing because--because I thought the uniforms were so cute.”

Furiously, the instant the words were gone from her mouth, she turned
and snarled at Zillah’s hooting laughter.

“Well, I had to do _something_,” she attested. The defense was like a
flat blade slapping the air.

Desperately she turned to Helene Churchill’s goading, faintly
supercilious smile, and her voice edged suddenly like a twisted sword.

“Well, the uniforms _are_ cute,” she parried. “They are! They are! I
bet you there’s more than one girl standing high in the graduating
class to-day who never would have stuck out her first year’s bossin’
and slops and worry and death if she’d had to stick it out in the
unimportant-looking clothes she came from home in. Even you, Helene
Churchill, with all your pious talk, the day they put your coachman’s
son in as new interne and you got called down from the office for
failing to stand when Mr. Young Coachman came into the room, you
bawled all night. You did, you did, and swore you’d chuck your whole
job and go home the next day if it wasn’t that you’d just had a
life-size photo taken in full nursing costume to send to your brother’s
chum at Vale! So there!”

With a gasp of ineffable satisfaction she turned from Helene Churchill.

“Sure the uniforms are cute,” she slashed back at Zillah Forsyth.
“That’s the whole trouble with ’em. They’re so awfully, masqueradishly
cute! Sure I could have gotten engaged to the typhoid boy. It would
have been as easy as robbing a babe. But lots of girls, I notice, get
engaged in their uniforms, feeding a patient perfectly scientifically
out of his own silver spoon, who don’t seem to stay engaged so
specially long in their own street clothes, bungling just plain
naturally with their own knives and forks. Even you, Zillah Forsyth,”
she hacked--“even you, who trot round like the ‘Lord’s anointed’ in
your pure white togs, you’re just as Dutchy-looking as anybody else
come to put you in a red hat and a tan coat and a blue skirt.”

Mechanically she raised her hands to her head as though with some silly
thought of keeping the horrid pain in her temples from slipping to her
throat, her breast, her feet.

“Sure the uniforms are cute,” she persisted a bit thickly. “Sure the
typhoid boy was crazy about me. He called me his ‘holy chorus girl.’ I
heard him raving in his sleep. Lord save us! What are we to any man but
just that?” she questioned hotly, with renewed venom. “Parson, actor,
young sinner, old saint--I ask you frankly, girls, on your word of
honor, was there ever more than one man in ten went through your hands
who didn’t turn out soft somewhere before you were through with him?
Mawking about your ‘sweet eyes’ while you’re wrecking your optic nerves
trying to decipher the dose on a poison bottle! Mooning over your
wonderful likeness to the lovely young sister they never had! Trying
to kiss your finger-tips when you’re struggling to brush their teeth!
Teasin’ you to smoke cigarettes with ’em when they know it would cost
you your job!”

Impishly, without any warning, she crooked her knee and pointed one
homely, square-toed shoe in a mincing dancing step. Hoidenishly she
threw out her arms and tried to gather Helene and Zillah both into
their compass.

“Oh, you holy chorus girls!” she chuckled, with maniacal delight.
“Everybody all together, now! Kick your little kicks! Smile your little
smiles! Tinkle your little thermometers! Steady, there! One, two,
three! One, two, three!”

Laughingly, Zillah Forsyth slipped from the grasp.

“Don’t you dare ‘holy’ me!” she cried.

In real irritation Helene released herself.

“I’m no chorus girl,” she said coldly.

With a shrill little scream of pain, Rae Malgregor’s hands went flying
back to her temples. Like a person giving orders in a great panic, she
turned authoritatively to her two room-mates, her fingers all the while
boring frenziedly into her temples.

“Now, girls,” she warned, “stand well back! If my head bursts, you
know, it’s going to burst all slivers and splinters, like a boiler.”

“Rae, you’re _crazy_,” hooted Zillah.

“Just plain vulgar--loony,” faltered Helene.

Both girls reached out simultaneously to push her aside.

Somewhere in the dusty, indifferent street a bird’s note rang out in
one wild, delirious ecstasy of untrammeled springtime. To all intents
and purposes the sound might have been the one final signal that Rae
Malgregor’s jangled nerves were waiting for.

“Oh, I _am_ crazy, am I?” she cried, with a new, fierce joy. “Oh, I
_am_ crazy, am I? Well, I’ll go ask the Superintendent and see if I
am. Oh, surely they wouldn’t try and make me graduate if I really was
crazy!”

Madly she bolted for her bureau, and, snatching her own motto down,
crumpled its face securely against her skirt, and started for the
door. Just what the motto was no one but herself knew. Sprawling
in paint-brush hieroglyphics on a great flapping sheet of brown
wrapping-paper, the sentiment, whatever it was, had been nailed face
down to the wall for three tantalizing years.

“No, you don’t!” Zillah cried now, as she saw the mystery threatening
meanly to escape her.

“No, you _don’t_!” cried Helene. “You’ve seen our mottos, and now we’re
going to see yours!”

Almost crazed with new terror, Rae Malgregor went dodging to the
right, to the left, to the right again, cleared the rocking-chair,
a scuffle with padded hands, climbed the trunk, a race with padded
feet, reached the door-handle at last, yanked the door open, and with
lungs and temper fairly bursting with momentum, shot down the hall,
down some stairs, down some more hall, down some more stairs to the
Superintendent’s office, where, with her precious motto still clutched
securely in one hand, she broke upon that dignitary’s startled,
near-sighted vision like a young whirlwind of linen and starch and
flapping brown paper. Breathlessly, without prelude or preamble, she
hurled her grievance into the older woman’s grievance-dulled ears.

“Give me back my own face!” she demanded peremptorily. “Give me back
my own face, I say! And my own hands! I tell you, I want my own hands!
Helene and Zillah say I’m insane! And I want to go home!”

Like a short-necked animal elongated suddenly to the cervical
proportions of a giraffe, the Superintendent of Nurses reared up
from her stoop-shouldered desk-work, and stared forth in speechless
astonishment across the top of her spectacles.

Exuberantly impertinent, ecstatically self-conscious, Rae Malgregor
repeated her demand. To her parched mouth the very taste of her own
babbling impudence refreshed her like the shock and prickle of cracked
ice.

“I tell you, I want my own face again, and my own hands!” she
reiterated glibly. “I mean the face with the mortgage in it, and the
cinders--and the other human expressions,” she explained. “And the
nice, grubby country hands that go with that sort of a face.”

Very accusingly she raised her finger and shook it at the
Superintendent’s perfectly livid countenance.

“Oh, of course I know I wasn’t very much to look at; but at least I
matched. What my hands knew, I mean, my face knew. Pies or plowing or
May-baskets, what my hands knew my face knew. That’s the way hands and
faces ought to work together. But you--_you_ with all your rules and
your bossing, and your everlasting ‘’S-’sh! ’S-’sh!’ you’ve snubbed
all the know-anything out of my face and made my hands nothing but two
disconnected machines for somebody else to run. And I hate you! You’re
a monster! You’re a--Everybody hates you!”

Mutely then she shut her eyes, bowed her head, and waited for the
Superintendent to smite her dead. The smite, she felt sure, would be
a noisy one. First of all, she reasoned, it would fracture her skull.
Naturally then, of course, it would splinter her spine. Later, in all
probability, it would telescope her knee-joints. And never indeed, now
that she came to think of it, had the arches of her feet felt less
capable of resisting so terrible an impact. Quite unconsciously she
groped out a little with one hand to steady herself against the edge of
the desk.

But the blow when it came was nothing but a cool finger tapping her
pulse.

“There! There!” crooned the Superintendent’s voice, with a most amazing
tolerance.

“But I won’t ‘there, there!’” snapped Rae Malgregor. Her eyes were wide
open again now, and extravagantly dilated.

The cool fingers on her pulse seemed to tighten a little.

“’S-’sh! ’S-’sh!” admonished the Superintendent’s mumbling lips.

“But I won’t ‘’S-’sh! ’S-’sh!’” stormed Rae Malgregor. Never before in
her three years’ hospital training had she seen her arch-enemy, the
Superintendent, so utterly disarmed of irascible temper and arrogant
dignity, and the sight perplexed and maddened her at one and the same
moment. “But I won’t ‘’S-’sh! ’S-’sh!’” Desperately she jerked her
curly blond head in the direction of the clock on the wall. “Here it’s
four o’clock now,” she cried, “and in less than four hours you’re
going to try and make me graduate, and go out into the world--God
knows where--and charge innocent people twenty-one dollars a week, and
washing, likelier than not, mind you, for these hands,” she gestured,
“that don’t coördinate _at all_ with this face,” she grimaced, “but
with the face of one of the house doctors or the Senior Surgeon or even
_you_, who may be ’way off in Kamchatka when I need him most!” she
finished, with a confused jumble of accusation and despair.

Still with unexplainable amiability the Superintendent whirled back
into place in her pivot-chair, and with her left hand, which had all
this time been rummaging busily in a lower desk drawer, proffered Rae
Malgregor a small fold of paper.

“Here, my dear,” she said, “here’s a sedative for you. Take it at once.
It will quiet you perfectly. We all know you’ve had very hard luck this
past month, but you mustn’t worry so about the future.” The slightest
possible tinge of purely professional manner crept back into the older
woman’s voice. “Certainly, Miss Malgregor, with your judgment--”

“With my judgment?” cried Rae Malgregor. The phrase was like a red rag
to her. “With my judgment? Great heavens! that’s the whole trouble! I
haven’t got any judgment! I’ve never been allowed to have any judgment!
All I’ve ever been allowed to have is the judgment of some flirty young
medical student or the house doctor or the Senior Surgeon or _you_!”

Her eyes were fairly piteous with terror.

“Don’t you see that my face doesn’t know anything?” she faltered,
“except just to smile and smile and smile and say ‘Yes, sir,’ ‘No,
sir,’ ‘Yes, sir’?” From curly blond head to square-toed, common-sense
shoes her little body began to quiver suddenly like the advent of a
chill. “Oh, what am I going to do,” she begged, “when I’m ’way off
alone--somewhere in the mountains or a tenement or a palace, and
something happens, and there isn’t any judgment round to tell me what I
ought to do?”

Abruptly in the doorway, as though summoned by some purely casual
flicker of the Superintendent’s thin fingers, another nurse appeared.

“Yes, I rang,” said the Superintendent. “Go and ask the Senior Surgeon
if he can come to me here a moment, immediately.”

“The Senior Surgeon?” gasped Rae Malgregor. “The Senior Surgeon?”
With her hands clutching at her throat she reeled back against the
wall for support. Like a shore bereft in one second of its tide,
like a tree stripped in one second of its leafage, she stood there,
utterly stricken of temper or passion or any animating human emotion
whatsoever.

“Oh, now I’m going to be expelled! Oh, now I know I’m going to be
expelled!” she moaned listlessly.

Very vaguely into the farthest radiation of her vision she sensed the
approach of a man. Gray-haired, gray-suited, as grayly dogmatic as a
block of granite, the Senior Surgeon loomed up at last in the doorway.

“I’m in a hurry,” he growled. “What’s the matter?”

Precipitously Rae Malgregor collapsed into the breach.

“Oh, there’s nothing at all the matter, sir,” she stammered. “It’s
only--it’s only that I’ve just decided that I don’t want to be a
trained nurse.”

With a gesture of ill-concealed impatience the Superintendent shrugged
the absurd speech aside.

“Dr. Faber,” she said, “won’t you just please assure Miss Malgregor
once more that the little Italian boy’s death last week was in no
conceivable way her fault--that nobody blames her in the slightest, or
holds her in any possible way responsible?”

“Why, what nonsense!” snapped the Senior Surgeon. “What--”

“And the Portuguese woman the week before that,” interrupted Rae
Malgregor, dully.

“Stuff and nonsense!” said the Senior Surgeon. “It’s nothing but
coincidence, pure coincidence. It might have happened to anybody.”

“And she hasn’t slept for almost a fortnight,” the Superintendent
confided, “nor touched a drop of food or drink, as far as I can make
out, except just black coffee. I’ve been expecting this breakdown for
some days.”

“And--the--young--drug-store--clerk--the--week--before--that,” Rae
Malgregor resumed with singsong monotony.

Bruskly the Senior Surgeon stepped forward and, taking the girl by
her shoulders, jerked her sharply round to the light, and, with firm,
authoritative fingers, rolled one of her eyelids deftly back from its
inordinately dilated pupil. Equally bruskly he turned away again.

“Nothing but moonshine!” he muttered. “Nothing in the world but too
much coffee dope taken on an empty stomach--‘empty brain,’ I’d better
have said. When will you girls ever learn any sense?” With search-light
shrewdness his eyes flashed back for an instant over the haggard, gray
lines that slashed along the corners of her quivering, childish mouth.
A bit temperishly he began to put on his gloves. “Next time you set out
to have a ‘brain-storm,’ Miss Malgregor,” he suggested satirically,
“try to have it about something more sensible than imagining that
anybody is trying to hold you personally responsible for the existence
of death in the world. Bah!” he ejaculated fiercely. “If you are going
to fuss like this over cases hopelessly moribund from the start, what
in thunder are you going to do some fine day when, out of a perfectly
clear and clean sky, security itself turns septic, and you lose the
President of the United States or a mother of nine children--with a
hang-nail?”

“But I wasn’t fussing, sir!” protested Rae Malgregor, with a timid sort
of dignity. “Why, it never had occurred to me for a moment that anybody
blamed me for anything.” Just from sheer astonishment her hands took a
new clutch into the torn, flapping corner of the motto that she still
clung desperately to even at this moment.

“For Heaven’s sake, stop crackling that brown paper!” stormed the
Senior Surgeon.

“But I wasn’t crackling the brown paper, sir! It’s crackling itself,”
persisted Rae Malgregor, very softly. The great blue eyes that lifted
to his were brimming full of misery. “Oh, can’t I make you understand,
sir?” she stammered. Appealingly she turned to the Superintendent. “Oh,
can’t I make anybody understand? All I was trying to say, all I was
trying to explain, was that I don’t want to be a trained nurse--after
all.”

“Why not?” demanded the Senior Surgeon, with a rather noisy click of
his glove fasteners.

“Because--my face is tired,” said the girl, quite simply.

The explosive wrath on the Senior Surgeon’s countenance seemed to be
directed suddenly at the Superintendent.

“Is this an afternoon tea?” he asked tartly. “With six major operations
this morning, and a probable meningitis diagnosis ahead of me this
afternoon, I think I might be spared the babblings of an hysterical
nurse.” Casually over his shoulder he nodded at the girl. “You’re a
fool,” he said, and started for the door.

Just on the threshold he turned abruptly and looked back. His forehead
was furrowed like a corduroy road, and the one rampant question in his
mind at the moment seemed to be mired hopelessly between his bushy
eyebrows.

“Lord!” he exclaimed a bit flounderingly, “are _you_ the nurse that
helped me last week on that fractured skull?”

“Yes, sir,” said Rae Malgregor.

Jerkily the Senior Surgeon retraced his footsteps into the office and
stood facing her as though with some really terrible accusation.

“And the freak abdominal?” he quizzed sharply. “Was it _you_ who
threaded that needle for me so blamed slowly and calmly and _surely_,
while all the rest of us were jumping up and down and cursing you for
no brighter reason than that we couldn’t have threaded it ourselves if
we’d had all eternity before us and all hell bleeding to death?”

“Y-e-s,” said Rae Malgregor.

Quite bluntly the Senior Surgeon reached out and lifted one of her
hands to his scowling professional scrutiny.

“God!” he attested, “what a hand! You’re a wonder. Under proper
direction you’re a wonder. It was like myself working with twenty
fingers and no thumbs. I never saw anything like it.”

Almost boyishly the embarrassed flush mounted to his cheeks as he
jerked away again. “Excuse me for not recognizing you,” he apologized
gruffly, “but you girls all look so much alike!”

As though the eloquence of Heaven itself had suddenly descended upon a
person hitherto hopelessly tongue-tied, Rae Malgregor lifted an utterly
transfigured face to the Senior Surgeon’s grimly astonished gaze.

“Yes, yes, sir!” she cried joyously; “that’s just exactly what the
trouble is; that’s just exactly what I was trying to express, sir:
my face is all worn out trying to ‘look alike.’ My cheeks are almost
sprung with artificial smiles. My eyes are fairly bulging with unshed
tears. My nose aches like a toothache trying never to turn up at
anything. I’m smothered with the discipline of it. I’m choked with the
affectation. I tell you, I just can’t breathe through a trained nurse’s
face any more. I tell you, sir, I’m sick to death of being nothing but
a type. I want to look like _myself_. I want to see what life could
do to a silly face like mine if it ever got a chance. When other women
are crying, I want the fun of crying. When other women look scared to
death, I want the fun of looking scared to death.” Hysterically again,
with shrewish emphasis, she began to repeat: “I won’t be a nurse! I
tell you I won’t! I _won’t_!”

“Pray what brought you so suddenly to this remarkable decision?”
scoffed the Senior Surgeon.

“A letter from my father, sir,” she confided more quietly--“a letter
about some dogs.”

“_Dogs?_” hooted the Senior Surgeon.

“Yes, sir,” said the White Linen Nurse. A trifle speculatively for an
instant she glanced at the Superintendent’s face and then back again
to the Senior Surgeon’s. “Yes, sir,” she repeated with increasing
confidence, “up in Nova Scotia my father raises hunting-dogs. Oh, no
special fancy kind, sir,” she hastened in all honesty to explain,
“just dogs, you know; just mixed dogs, pointers with curly tails, and
shaggy-coated hounds, and brindled spaniels, and all that sort of
thing; just mongrels, you know, but very clever. And people, sir, come
all the way from Boston to buy dogs of him, and once a man came way
from London to learn the secret of his training.”

“Well, what is the secret of his training?” quizzed the Senior Surgeon
with the sudden eager interest of a sportsman. “I should think it would
be pretty hard,” he acknowledged, “in a mixed gang like that to decide
just what particular game was suited to which particular dog.”

“Yes, that’s just it, sir,” beamed the White Linen Nurse. “A dog, of
course, will chase anything that runs,--that’s just dog,--but when a
dog really begins to _care_ for what he’s chasing, he--wags! That’s
hunting. Father doesn’t calculate, he says, on training a dog on
anything he doesn’t wag on.”

“Yes, but what’s that got to do with you?” asked the Senior Surgeon, a
bit impatiently.

With ill-concealed dismay the White Linen Nurse stood staring blankly
at the Senior Surgeon’s gross stupidity.

“Why, don’t you see?” she faltered. “I’ve been chasing this nursing job
three whole years now, and there’s no wag to it.”

“Oh, hell!” said the Senior Surgeon. If he hadn’t said “Oh, hell!” he
would have grinned. And it hadn’t been a grinny day, and he certainly
didn’t intend to begin grinning at any such late hour as that in the
afternoon. With his dignity once reassured, he then relaxed a trifle.
“For Heaven’s sake, what _do_ you want to be?” he asked not unkindly.

With an abrupt effort at self-control Rae Malgregor jerked her head
into at least the outer semblance of a person lost in almost fathomless
thought.

“Why, I’m sure I don’t know, sir,” she acknowledged worriedly. “But
it would be a great pity, I suppose, to waste all the grand training
that’s gone into my hands.” With sudden conviction her limp shoulders
stiffened a trifle. “My oldest sister,” she stammered, “bosses the
laundry in one of the big hotels in Halifax, and my youngest sister
teaches school in Moncton. But I’m so strong, you know, and I like to
move things round so, and everything, maybe I could get a position
somewhere as general housework girl.”

With a roar of amusement as astonishing to himself as to his listeners,
the Senior Surgeon’s chin jerked suddenly upward.

“You’re crazy as a loon!” he confided cordially. “Great Scott! If
you can work up a condition like this on coffee, what would you do
on malted milk?” As unheralded as his amusement, gross irritability
overtook him again. “Will--you--stop--rattling that brown paper?” he
thundered at her.

As innocently as a child she rebuffed the accusation and ignored the
temper.

“But I’m not rattling it, sir!” she protested. “I’m simply trying to
hide what’s on the other side of it.”

“What _is_ on the other side of it?” demanded the Senior Surgeon,
bluntly.

With unquestioning docility the girl turned the paper around.

From behind her desk the austere Superintendent twisted her neck most
informally to decipher the scrawling hieroglyphics. “Don’t Ever Be
Bumptious!” she read forth jerkily with a questioning, incredulous sort
of emphasis.

“Don’t ever be _bumptious_!” squinted the Senior Surgeon perplexedly
through his glass.

“Yes,” said Rae Malgregor, very timidly. “It’s my motto.”

“Your motto?” sniffed the Superintendent.

“Your motto?” chuckled the Senior Surgeon.

“Yes, my motto,” repeated Rae Malgregor, with the slightest perceptible
tinge of resentment. “And it’s a perfectly good motto, too. Only, of
course, it hasn’t got any style to it. That’s why I didn’t want the
girls to see it,” she confided a bit drearily. Then palpably before
their eyes they saw her spirit leap into ineffable pride. “My father
gave it to me,” she announced briskly, “and my father said that, when
I came home in June, if I could honestly say that I’d never once been
bumptious all my three years here, he’d give me a heifer. And--”

“Well, I guess you’ve lost your heifer,” said the Senior Surgeon,
bluntly.

“Lost my heifer?” gasped the girl. Big-eyed and incredulous, she stood
for an instant staring back and forth from the Superintendent’s face to
the Senior Surgeon’s. “You mean,” she stammered--“you mean that I’ve
been bumptious _just now_? You mean that, after all these years of
meachin’ meekness, I’ve lost?”

Plainly even to the Senior Surgeon and the Superintendent the bones in
her knees weakened suddenly like knots of tissue-paper. No power on
earth could have made her break discipline by taking a chair while the
Senior Surgeon stood, so she sank limply down to the floor instead,
with two great solemn tears welling slowly through the fingers with
which she tried to cover her face.

“And the heifer was brown, with one white ear; it was awful’ cunning,”
she confided mumblingly. “And it ate from my hand, all warm and sticky,
like loving sand-paper.” There was no protest in her voice, or any
whine of complaint, but merely the abject submission to fate of one
who from earliest infancy had seen other crops blighted by other
frosts. Then tremulously, with the air of one who just as a matter
of spiritual tidiness would purge her soul of all sad secrets, she
lifted her entrancing, tear-flushed face from her strong, sturdy,
utterly unemotional fingers and stared with amazing blueness, amazing
blandness, into the Senior Surgeon’s scowling scrutiny.


[Illustration: HERMAN

PFEIFER

Plates in tint, engraved for ~The Century~ by H. C. Merrill and
H. Davidson

“‘DON’T EVER BE _BUMPTIOUS_!’ SQUINTED THE SENIOR SURGEON PERPLEXEDLY
THROUGH HIS GLASS”

DRAWN BY HERMAN PFEIFER]

“And I’d named her for you,” she said--“I’d named her Patience, for
_you_!”

Instantly then she scrambled to her knees to try and assuage by some
miraculous apology the horrible shock which she read in the Senior
Surgeon’s face.

“Oh, of course, sir, I know it isn’t scientific,” she pleaded
desperately. “Oh, of course, sir, I know it isn’t scientific at all;
but up where I live, you know, instead of praying for anybody, we--we
name a young animal for the virtue that that person seems to need the
most. And if you tend the young animal carefully, and train it right,
why--it’s just a superstition, of course, but--Oh, sir,” she floundered
hopelessly, “the virtue you needed most in your business was what I
meant! Oh, really, sir, I never thought of criticizing your character!”

Gruffly the Senior Surgeon laughed. Embarrassment was in the laugh,
and anger, and a fierce, fiery sort of resentment against both the
embarrassment and the anger, but no possible trace of amusement.
Impatiently he glanced up at the fast-speeding clock.

“Good Lord!” he exclaimed, “I’m an hour late now!” Scowling like
a pirate, he clicked the cover of his watch open and shut for an
uncertain instant. Then suddenly he laughed again, and there was
nothing whatsoever in his laugh this time except just amusement.

“See here, Miss--Bossy Tamer,” he said, “if the Superintendent is
willing, go get your hat and coat, and I’ll take you out on that
meningitis case with me. It’s a thirty-mile run, if it’s a block, and I
guess if you sit on the front seat it will blow the cobwebs out of your
brain--if anything will,” he finished not unkindly.

Like a white hen sensing the approach of some utterly unseen danger,
the Superintendent seemed to bristle suddenly in every direction.

“It’s a bit irregular,” she protested in her most even tone.

“Bah! So are some of the most useful of the French verbs,” snapped
the Senior Surgeon. In the midst of authority his voice could be
inestimably soft and reassuring; but sometimes on the brink of
asserting said authority he had a tone that was distinctly unpleasant.

“Oh, very well,” conceded the Superintendent, with some waspishness.

Hazily for an instant Rae Malgregor stood staring into the
Superintendent’s uncordial face. “I’d--I’d apologize,” she faltered,
“but I don’t even know what I said. It just blew up.”

Perfectly coldly and perfectly civilly the Superintendent received the
overture.

“It was quite evident, Miss Malgregor, that you were not altogether
responsible at the moment,” she conceded in common justice.

Heavily then, like a person walking in her sleep, the girl trailed out
of the room to get her coat and hat.

Slamming one desk-drawer after another, the Superintendent drowned the
sluggish sound of her retreating footsteps.

“There goes my best nurse,” she said grimly, “my very best nurse. Oh,
no, not the most brilliant one,--I didn’t mean that,--but the most
reliable, the most nearly perfect human machine that it has ever been
my privilege to see turned out, the one girl that, week in, week out,
month after month and year after year, has always done what she’s told,
when she was told, and the exact way she was told, without questioning
anything, without protesting anything, without supplementing anything
with some disastrous original conviction of her own. And look at her
now!” Tragically the Superintendent rubbed her hand across her worried
brow. “Coffee you said it was?” she asked skeptically. “Are there any
special antidotes for coffee?”

With a queer little quirk to his mouth, the gruff Senior Surgeon
jerked his glance back from the open window where, like the gleam of
a slim tomboyish ankle, a flicker of green went scurrying through the
tree-tops.

“What’s that you asked?” he quizzed sharply. “Any antidotes for coffee?
Yes, dozens of them; but none for spring.”

“Spring?” sniffed the Superintendent. A little shiveringly she reached
out and gathered a white knitted shawl about her shoulders. “Spring?
I don’t see what spring’s got to do with Rae Malgregor or any other
young outlaw in my graduating class. If graduation came in November, it
would be just the same. They’re a set of ingrates, every one of them.”
Vehemently she turned aside to her card-index of names, and slapped
the cards through one by one without finding one single soothing
exception. “Yes, sir, a set of ingrates,” she repeated accusingly.
“Spend your life trying to teach them what to do and how to do it, cram
ideas into those that haven’t got any, and yank ideas out of those
who have got too many; refine them, toughen them, scold them, coax
them, everlastingly drill and discipline them: and then just as you
get them to a place where they move like clockwork, and you actually
believe you can trust them, then graduation day comes round, and they
think they’re all safe, and every single individual member of the
class breaks out and runs amuck with the one daredevil deed she’s been
itching to do every day the last three years! Why, this very morning I
caught the president of the senior class with a breakfast tray in her
hands stealing the cherry out of her patient’s grape-fruit, and three
of the girls reported for duty as bold as brass with their hair frizzed
tight as a nigger doll’s. And the girl who’s going into a convent next
week was trying on the laundryman’s derby hat as I came up from lunch.
And now, now--” the Superintendent’s voice became suddenly a little
hoarse--“and now here’s Miss Malgregor intriguing to get an automobile
ride with _you_!”

“Eh?” cried the Senior Surgeon, with a jump. “My God! is this an insane
asylum? Is it a nervine?” Madly he started for the door. “Order a ton
of bromides,” he called back over his shoulder. “Order a car-load of
them, fumigate the whole place with them, fumigate the whole damned
place!”

Half-way down the lower hall, all his nerves on edge, all his unwonted
boyish impulsiveness quenched nauseously like a candle-flame, he met
and passed Rae Malgregor without a sign of recognition.

“God! How I hate women!” he kept mumbling to himself as he struggled
clumsily all alone into the torn sleeve lining of his thousand-dollar
mink coat.

Like a train-traveler coming out of a long, smoky, smothery tunnel into
the clean-tasting light, the White Linen Nurse came out of the prudish,
smelling hospital into the riotous mud-and-posie promise of the young
April afternoon.

The god of hysteria had certainly not deserted her. In all the full
effervescent reaction of her brain-storm, fairly bubbling with
dimples, fairly foaming with curls, light-footed, light-hearted, most
ecstatically light-headed, she tripped down into the sunshine as though
the great harsh granite steps that marked her descent were nothing more
nor less than a gigantic old horny-fingered hand passing her blithely
out to some deliciously unknown Lilliputian adventure.

As she pranced across the soggy April sidewalk to what she supposed
was the Senior Surgeon’s perfectly empty automobile, she became aware
suddenly that the rear seat of the car was already occupied.

Out from an unseasonable snuggle of sable furs and flaming red hair a
small peevish face peered forth at her with frank curiosity.

“Why, hello!” beamed the White Linen Nurse. “Who are you?”

With unmistakable hostility the haughty little face retreated into its
furs and its red hair.

“Hush!” commanded a shrill childish voice. “Hush, I say! I’m a cripple
and very bad-tempered. Don’t speak to me!”

“Oh, my glory!” gasped the White Linen Nurse. “Oh, my glory, glory,
glory!” Without any warning whatsoever, she felt suddenly like
nothing at all, rigged out in an exceedingly shabby old ulster and
an excessively homely black slouch-hat. In a desperate attempt at
tangible tomboyish nonchalance, she tossed her head, and thrust her
hands down deep into her big ulster pockets. That the black hat
reflected no decent featherish consciousness of being tossed, that
the big threadbare pockets had no bottoms to them, merely completed
her startled sense of having been in some way blotted right out of
existence.

Behind her back the Senior Surgeon’s huge fur-coated approach dawned
blissfully like the thud of a rescue-party.

But if the Senior Surgeon’s blunt, wholesome invitation to ride
had been perfectly sweet when he prescribed it for her in the
Superintendent’s office, the invitation had certainly soured most
amazingly in the succeeding ten minutes. Abruptly now, without any
greeting, he reached out and opened the rear door of the car, and
nodded curtly for her to enter.

Instantly across the face of the Little Crippled Girl already ensconced
in the tonneau a single flash of light went zigzagging crookedly from
brow to chin, and was gone again.

“Hello, fat Father!” piped the shrill little voice. “Hello, fat
Father!” So subtly was the phrase mouthed, to save your soul you could
not have proved just where the greeting ended and the taunt began.

There was nothing subtle, however, about the way in which the Senior
Surgeon’s hand shot out and slammed the tonneau door _bang-bang_ again
on its original passenger. His face was crimson with anger. Bruskly he
pointed to the front seat.

“You may sit in there with me, Miss Malgregor,” he thundered.

“Yes, sir,” crooned the White Linen Nurse.

As meek as an oiled machine she scuttled to her appointed place. Once
more in smothered giggle and unprotesting acquiescence she sensed the
resumption of eternal discipline. Already in just this trice of time
she felt her rampant young mouth resettle tamely into lines of smug,
determinate serenity. Already across her idle lap she felt her clasped
fingers begin to frost and tingle again like a cheerfully non-concerned
bunch of live wires waiting the one authoritative signal to connect
somebody, anybody, with this world or the next. Already the facile tip
of her tongue seemed fairly loaded and cocked like a revolver with
all the approximate “Yes, sirs,” and “No, sirs,” that she thought she
should probably need.

But the only immediate remarks that the Senior Surgeon addressed to any
one were addressed distinctly to the crank of his automobile.

“Damn a chauffeur who gets drunk the one day of the year when you need
him most!” he muttered under his breath, as with the same exquisitely
sensitive fingers that could have dissected like a caress the nervous
system of a humming-bird, or reset unbruisingly the broken wing of a
butterfly, he hurled his hundred and eighty pounds of infuriate brute
strength against the calm, chronic, mechanical stubbornness of that
auto crank. “Damn!” he swore on the upward pull, “Damn!” he gasped on
the downward push, “Damn!” he cursed and sputtered and spluttered.
Purple with effort, bulging-eyed with strain, reeking with sweat, his
frenzied outburst would have terrorized the entire hospital staff.

With an odd little twinge of homesickness, the White Linen Nurse
slid cautiously out to the edge of her seat so that she might watch
the struggle better. For thus, with dripping foreheads and knotted
neck-muscles and breaking backs and rankly tempestuous language, did
the untutored men-folk of her own beloved home-land hurl their great
strength against bulls and boulders and refractory forest trees. Very
startlingly, as she watched, a brand-new thought went zigzagging
through her consciousness.

Was it possible, was it even so much as remotely possible, that the
great Senior Surgeon, the great, wonderful, altogether formidable,
altogether unapproachable Senior Surgeon, was just a--was just a--

Stripped ruthlessly of all his social superiority, of all his
professional halo, of all his scientific achievement, the Senior
Surgeon stood suddenly forth before her a mere man, just like other
men. Just exactly like other men? Like the sick drug clerk? Like the
new-born millionaire baby? Like the doddering old Dutch gaffer? The
very delicacy of such a thought drove the blood panic-stricken from
her face. It was the indelicacy of the thought that brought the blood
surging back again to brow, to cheeks, to lips, even to the tips of her
ears.

Glancing up casually from the roar and rumble of his abruptly
repentant engine, the Senior Surgeon swore once more under his breath
to think that any woman sitting perfectly idle and non-concerned in
a nine-thousand-dollar car should have the nerve to flaunt such a
furiously strenuous color.

Bristling with resentment and mink furs, he strode around the fender
and stumbled with increasing irritation across the White Linen Nurse’s
knees to his seat. Just for an instant his famous fingers seemed to
flash with apparent inconsequence toward one bit of mechanism and
another. Then, like a huge portentous pill floated on smoothest syrup,
the car slid down the yawning street into the congested city.

Altogether monotonously in terms of pain and dirt and drug and
disease the city wafted itself in and out of the White Linen Nurse’s
well-grooved consciousness. From every filthy street corner sodden
age or starved babyhood reached out its fluttering pulse to her.
Then as suddenly sweet as a draft through a fever-tainted room, the
squalid city freshened into jocund, luxurious suburbs, with rollicking
tennis-courts, and flaming yellow Forsythia blossoms, and green-velvet
lawns prematurely posied with pale exotic hyacinths and great scarlet
splotches of lusty tulips.

Beyond this hectic horticultural outburst the leisurely spring faded
out again into April’s naturally sallow colors.

As glossy and black as an endless type-writer ribbon, the narrow, tense
state road seemed to wind itself everlastingly in and in and in on some
hidden spool of the car’s mysterious mechanism. _Clickety-click, click,
clack_, faster than any human mind could think, faster than any human
hand could finger, hurtling up hazardous hills of thought, sliding
down facile valleys of fancy, roaring with emphasis, shrieking with
punctuation, the great car yielded itself perforce to fate’s dictation.

Robbed successively of the city’s humanitarian pang, of the suburb’s
esthetic pleasure, the White Linen Nurse found herself precipitated
suddenly into a mere blur of sight, a mere chaos of sound. In whizzing
speed and crashing breeze, houses, fences, meadows, people, slapped
across her eyeballs like pictures on a fan. On and on and on through
kaleidoscopic yellows and rushing grays the great car sped, a purely
mechanical factor in a purely mechanical landscape.

Rigid with concentration, the Senior Surgeon stared like a dead man
into the intrepid, on-coming road.

Intermittently from her green plushy lap-robes the Little Crippled Girl
struggled to her feet, and, sprawling clumsily across whosever shoulder
suited her best, raised a brazenly innocent voice, deliberately
flatted, in a shrill and maddeningly repetitive chant of her own
making, to the effect that

    “All the birds were there,
    With yellow feathers instead of hair,
    And bumblebees crocheted in the trees--
    And bumblebees crocheted in the trees.
    And all the birds were there,
    And--and--”

Intermittently from the front seat the Senior Surgeon’s wooden face
relaxed to the extent of a grim mouth twisting distractedly sidewise in
one furious bellow:

“Will--you--stop--your--_noise_--and--go--back--to--your--seat!”

Nothing else happened at all until at last, out of unbroken stretches
of winter-staled stubble, a high, formal hemlock hedge and a neat,
pebbled driveway proclaimed the Senior Surgeon’s ultimate destination.

Cautiously now, with an almost tender skill, the big car circled
a tiny, venturesome clump of highway violets and crept through a
prancing, leaping fluff of yellow collie dogs to the door of the
big stone house. Instantly from inestimable resources a liveried
serving-man appeared to help the surgeon from his car, another to take
his coat, another to carry his bag.

Lingering for an instant to stretch his muscles and shake his great
shoulders, the Senior Surgeon breathed into his cramped lungs a
friendly impulse as well as a scent of budding cherry-trees.

“You may come in with me if you want to, Miss Malgregor,” he conceded.
“It’s an extraordinary case. You will hardly see another one like it.”
Palpably he lowered his already almost indistinguishable voice. “The
boy is young,” he confided; “about your age, I should guess, a college
foot-ball hero, the most superbly perfect specimen of young manhood
it has ever been my privilege to behold. It will be a long case. They
have two nurses already, but would like another. The work ought not
to be hard. Now, if they should happen to--fancy you!” In speechless
expressiveness his eyes swept estimatingly over sun-parlors, stables,
garages, Italian garden, rapturous, blue-shadowed mountain view, every
last intimate detail of the mansion’s wonderful equipment.

Like a drowning man feeling his last floating spar wrenched away from
him, the White Linen Nurse dug her fingernails frantically into every
reachable wrinkle and crevice of the heavily upholstered seat.

“Oh, but, sir, I don’t want to go in!” she protested passionately. “I
tell you, sir, I’m quite done with all that sort of thing. It would
break my heart. It would--oh, sir, this worrying about people for whom
you’ve got no affection, it’s like sledding without any snow! It grits
right down on your naked nerves. It--”

Before the Senior Surgeon’s glowering, incredulous stare her heart
began to plunge and pound again, but it plunged and pounded no harder,
she realized suddenly, than when in the calm, white hospital precincts
she was obliged to pass his terrifying presence in the corridor and
murmur an inaudible “Good morning” or “Good evening.” “After all, he’s
nothing but a man, nothing but a man, nothing but a mere, ordinary,
two-legged man,” she reasoned over and over to herself. With a really
desperate effort she smoothed her frightened face into an expression of
utter guilelessness and peace, and smiled unflinchingly right into the
Senior Surgeon’s rousing anger as she had once seen an animal trainer
smile into the snarl of a crouching tiger.

“Th--ank you very much,” she said: “but I think I won’t go in, sir,
thank you! My--my face is still pretty tired.”

“Idiot!” snapped the Senior Surgeon as he turned on his heel and
started up the steps.

From the green plushy robes on the back seat the White Linen Nurse
could have sworn that she heard a sharply ejaculated, maliciously
joyful “Ha!” piped out. But when both she and the Senior Surgeon turned
sharply round to make sure, the Little Crippled Girl, in apparently
complete absorption, sat amiably extracting tuft after tuft of fur from
the thumb of one big sable glove, to the rumbling, singsong monotone of
“He loves me, loves me not, loves me, loves me not.”

Bristling with unutterable contempt for all femininity, the Senior
Surgeon proceeded on up the steps between two solemn-faced lackeys.

“Father!” wailed a feeble little voice. “Father!” There was no
shrillness in the tone now, or malice, or any mischievous thing; just
desolation, the impulsive, panic-stricken desolation of a little child
left suddenly alone with a stranger. “Father!” the frightened voice
ventured forth a tiny bit louder. But the unheeding Senior Surgeon had
already reached the piazza. “_Fat_ Father!” screamed the little voice.
Barbed now like a shark-hook, the phrase ripped through the Senior
Surgeon’s dormant sensibilities. As one fairly yanked out of his
thoughts, he whirled around in his tracks.

“What do you want?” he thundered.

Helplessly the Little Girl sat staring from a lackey’s ill-concealed
grin to her father’s smoldering fury. Quite palpably she began to
swallow with considerable difficulty. Then as quick as a flash a
diminutively crafty smile crooked across one corner of her mouth.

“Father,” she improvised dulcetly--“Father, may--may I sit in the White
Linen Nurse’s lap?”

Just for an instant the Senior Surgeon’s narrowing eyes probed
mercilessly into the reekingly false little smile. Then altogether
brutally he shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t care where in thunder you sit,” he muttered, and went on into
the house.

With an air of unalterable finality the massive oak door closed after
him. In the resonant click of its latch the great wrought-iron lock
seemed to smack its lips with ineffable satisfaction.

Wringing suddenly round with a whish of starched skirts, the White
Linen Nurse knelt up in her seat and grinned at the Little Crippled
Girl.

“Ha, _yourself_!” she said.

Against all possible expectancy, the Little Crippled Girl burst out
laughing. The laugh was wild, ecstatic, extravagantly boisterous, yet
awkward withal, and indescribably bumpy, like the first flight of a
cage-cramped bird.

Quite abruptly the White Linen Nurse sat down again, and began
nervously with the wrist of her chamois glove to polish the slightly
tarnished brass lamp at her elbow. Equally abruptly after a minute she
stopped polishing and looked back at the Little Crippled Girl.

“Would--you--like--to sit in my lap?” she queried conscientiously.

Insolent with astonishment, the Little Crippled Girl parried the
question.

“Why in thunder should I want to sit in your lap?” she quizzed harshly.
Every accent of her voice, every remotest intonation, was like the
Senior Surgeon’s at his worst. The suddenly forked eyebrow, the
snarling twitch of the upper lip, turned the whole delicate little
face into a grotesque but desperately unconscious caricature of the
grim-jawed father.

As though the father himself had snubbed her for some unimaginable
familiarity, the White Linen Nurse winced back in hopeless confusion.
Just for sheer shock, short-circuited with fatigue, a big tear rolled
slowly down one pink cheek.

Instantly to the edge of her seat the Little Girl jerked herself
forward.

“_Don’t_ cry, Pretty!” she whispered. “_Don’t_ cry! It’s my legs. I’ve
got fat iron braces on my legs, and people don’t like to hold me.”

Half the professional smile came flashing back to the White Linen
Nurse’s mouth.

“Oh, I just adore holding people with iron braces on their legs,”
she affirmed, and, leaning over the back of the seat, proceeded
with absolutely perfect mechanical tenderness to gather the poor,
puny, surprised little body into her own strong, shapely arms. Then
dutifully snuggling her shoulder to meet the stubborn little shoulder
that refused to snuggle to it, and dutifully easing her knees to suit
the stubborn little knees that refused to be eased, she settled down
resignedly in her seat again to await the return of the Senior Surgeon.
“There! there! there!” she began quite instinctively to croon and pat.

“_Don’t_ say ‘There! there!’” wailed the Little Girl, peevishly. Her
body was suddenly stiff as a ramrod. “_Don’t_ say ‘There! there!’ If
you’ve got to make any noise at all, say ‘Here! here!’”

“Here! here!” droned the White Linen Nurse. “Here! here! here! here!”
On and on and interminably on, “Here! here! here! here!”

At the end of about the three hundred and forty-seventh “Here!” the
Little Girl’s body relaxed, and she reached up two fragile fingers to
close the White Linen Nurse’s mouth. “There, that will do,” she sighed
contentedly. “I feel better now. Father does tire me so.”

“Father tires _you_?” gasped the White Linen Nurse. The giggle that
followed the gasp was not in the remotest degree professional. “Father
tires you?” she repeated accusingly. “Why, you silly Little Girl, can’t
you see it’s you that makes father so everlastingly tired?” Impulsively
with her one free hand she turned the Little Girl’s listless face to
the light. “What makes you call your nice father ‘fat father’?” she
asked with real curiosity. “What makes you? He isn’t fat at all. He’s
just big. Why, whatever possesses you to call him ‘fat father,’ I say?
Can’t you see how mad it makes him?”

“Why, of course it makes him mad,” said the Little Girl, with
plainly reviving interest. Thrilled with astonishment at the White
Linen Nurse’s apparent stupidity, she straightened up perkily, with
inordinately sparkling eyes. “Why, of course it makes him mad,” she
explained briskly. “That’s why I do it. Why, my parpa never even looks
at me unless I make him mad.”

“’S-’sh!” said the White Linen Nurse. “Why, you mustn’t ever say a
thing like that! Why, your marma wouldn’t like you to say a thing like
that.”

Jerking bumpily back against the White Linen Nurse’s unprepared
shoulder, the Little Girl prodded a pallid finger-tip into the White
Linen Nurse’s vivid cheek. “Silly pink-and-white nursie!” she chuckled,
“don’t you know there _isn’t_ any marma?” Cackling with delight over
her own superior knowledge, she folded her little arms and began to
rock herself convulsively to and fro.

“Why, _stop_!” cried the White Linen Nurse, “now you stop! Why, you
wicked little creature, laughing like that about your poor dead mother!
Why, just think how bad it would make your poor parpa feel!”

With instant sobriety the Little Girl stopped rocking, and stared
perplexedly into the White Linen Nurse’s shocked eyes. Her own little
face was all wrinkled up with earnestness.

“But the parpa didn’t like the marma,” she explained painstakingly.
“The parpa never liked the marma. That’s why he doesn’t like me, I
heard cook telling the iceman once, when I wasn’t more than ten minutes
old.”

Desperately, with one straining hand, the White Linen Nurse stretched
her fingers across the Little Girl’s babbling mouth. Equally
desperately, with the other hand, she sought to divert the Little
Girl’s mind by pushing the fur cap back from her frizzy red hair,
and loosening her sumptuous coat, and jerking down vainly across two
painfully obtrusive white ruffles the awkwardly short, hideously bright
little purple dress.

“I think your cap is too hot,” she began casually, and then proceeded
with increasing vivacity and conviction to the objects that worried
her most. “And those--those ruffles,” she protested; “they don’t look a
bit nice being so long.” Resentfully she rubbed an edge of the purple
dress between her fingers. “And a little girl like you, with such
bright-red hair, ought not to wear purple,” she admonished with real
concern. “Now, whites and blues, and little soft pussy-cat grays--”

Mumblingly through her finger-muzzled mouth, the Little Girl burst into
explanations again.

“Oh, but when I wear gray,” she persisted, “the parpa never sees me;
but when I wear purple he cares, he cares most awfully,” she boasted
with a bitter sort of triumph. “Why, when I wear purple, and frizz my
hair hard enough, no matter who’s there, or anything, he’ll stop right
off short in the middle of whatever he’s doing, and rear right up so
perfectly beautiful and mad and glorious, and holler right out, ‘For
Heaven’s sake, take that colored Sunday supplement away!’”

“Your father’s nervous,” suggested the White Linen Nurse.

Almost tenderly the Little Girl reached up and drew the White Linen
Nurse’s ear close down to her own snuggling lips.

“Damned nervous,” she confided laconically.

Quite against all intention, the White Linen Nurse giggled. Floundering
to recover her dignity, she plunged into a new error. “Poor little
dev--” she began.

“Yes,” sighed the Little Girl, complacently, “that’s just what the parpa
calls me.” Fervidly she clasped her little hands together. “Yes, if I
can only make him mad enough daytimes,” she asserted, “then at night,
when he thinks I’m asleep, he comes and stands by my cribbyhouse like a
great black shadow-bear, and shakes and shakes his most beautiful head
and says, ‘Poor little devil! poor little devil!’ Oh, if I can only
make him mad enough daytimes!” she cried out ecstatically.

“Why, you naughty little thing!” scolded the White Linen Nurse, with
an unmistakable catch in her voice. “Why, you naughty, naughty little
thing!”

Like the brush of a butterfly’s wing, the child’s hand grazed the White
Linen Nurse’s cheek.

“I’m a lonely little thing,” she confided wistfully. “Oh, I’m an
awfully lonely little thing!” With really shocking abruptness the
old malicious smile came twittering back to her mouth. “But I’ll get
even with the parpa yet,” she threatened joyously, reaching out with
pliant fingers to count the buttons on the White Linen Nurse’s dress.
“Oh, I’ll get even with the parpa yet!” In the midst of the passionate
assertion her rigid little mouth relaxed in a most mild and innocent
yawn.

“Oh, of course,” she yawned, “on wash-days and ironing-days and every
other workday in the week he has to be away cutting up people, ’cause
that’s his lawful business; but Sundays, when he doesn’t really need to
at all, he goes off to some kind of a green, grassy club all day long
and plays golf.” Very palpably her eyelids began to droop. “Where was
I?” she asked sharply. “Oh, yes, ‘the green, grassy club.’ Well, when
I die,” she faltered, “I’m going to die specially on some Sunday when
there’s a big golf game, so he’ll just naturally have to give it up
and stay home and amuse me--and help arrange the flowers. The parpa’s
crazy about flowers. So am I,” she added broodingly. “I raised almost a
geranium once. But the parpa threw it out. It was a good geranium, too.
All it did was just to drip the tiniest-teeniest bit over a book and a
writing and somebody’s brains in a dish. He threw it at a cat. It was a
good cat, too. All it did was to--”

A little jerkily her drooping head bobbed forward and then back
again. Her heavy eyes were almost tight shut by this time, and after
a moment’s silence her lips began moving dumbly like one at silent
devotions. “I’m making a little poem now,” she confided at last. “It’s
about--you and me. It’s a sort of a little prayer.” Very, very softly
she began to repeat:

    “Now I sit me down to nap,
    All curled up in a nursie’s lap.
    If she should die before I wake--”

Abruptly she stopped and stared up suspiciously into the White Linen
Nurse’s eyes. “Ha!” she mocked, “you thought I was going to say, ‘If I
should die before I wake,’ didn’t you? Well, I’m not.”

“It would have been more generous,” acknowledged the White Linen Nurse.

Very stiffly the Little Girl pursed her lips. “It’s plenty generous
enough when it’s all done!” she said severely. “And I’ll thank
you, Miss Malgregor, not to interrupt me again!” With excessive
deliberateness she went back to the first line of her poem and began
all over again:

    “Now I sit me down to nap,
    All curled up in a nursie’s lap.
    If she should die before I wake,
    Give her--give her ten cents, for anybody’s sake!”

“Why, that’s a--a cunning little prayer,” yawned the White Linen Nurse.
Most certainly of course she would have smiled if the yawn hadn’t
caught her first. But now in the middle of the yawn it was a great
deal easier to repeat the “very cunning” than to force her lips into
any new expression. “Very cunning, very cunning,” she kept crooning
conscientiously.

Modestly, like some other successful authors, the Little Girl flapped
her eyelids languidly open and shut for three or four times before she
acknowledged the compliment. “Oh, cunning as any of ’em,” she admitted
offhandishly. Only once again did she open either mouth or eyes, and
this time it was merely one eye and half a mouth. “Do my fat iron
braces hurt you?” she mumbled drowsily.

“Yes, a little,” conceded the White Linen Nurse.

“Ha! they hurt _me_ all the time!” gibed the Little Girl.

Five minutes later, the child who didn’t particularly care about being
held, and the girl who didn’t particularly care about holding her, were
fast asleep in each other’s arms, a naughty, nagging, restive little
hornet all hushed up and a-dream in the heart of a pink wild-rose!

Stalking out of the house in his own due time the Senior Surgeon reared
back aghast at the sight.

“Well, I’ll be hanged!” he muttered. “Most everlastingly hanged! Wonder
what they think this is? A somnolent kindergarten show? Talk about
fiddling while Rome burns!”

Awkwardly, on the top step, he struggled alone into his cumbersome
coat. Every tingling nerve in his body, every shuddering sensibility,
was racked to its utmost capacity over the distressing scenes he had
left behind him in the big house. Back in that luxuriant sick-room,
youth incarnate lay stripped root, branch, leaf, bud, blossom, fruit,
of all its manhood’s promise. Back in that erudite library, culture
personified, robbed of all its fine philosophy, sat babbling illiterate
street-curses into its quivering hands. Back in that exquisite
pink-and-gold boudoir, blonded fashion, ravished for once of all its
artistry, ran stumbling round and round in interminable circles like
a disheveled hag. In shrill crescendos and discordant basses, with
heart-piercing jaggedness, with blood-curdling raspishness, each one,
boy, father, mother, meddlesome relative, competent or incompetent
assistant, indiscriminate servant, filing his separate sorrow into the
Senior Surgeon’s tortured ears.

With one of those sudden revulsions to materialism which is liable
to overwhelm any man who delves too long at a time in the brutally
unconventional issues of life and death, the Senior Surgeon stepped
down into the subtle, hyacinth-scented sunshine with every latent human
greed in his body clamoring for expression before it, too, should be
hurtled into oblivion. “Eat, damn you, and drink, damn you, and be
merry, damn you, for tomorrow even _you_, Lendicott R. Faber, may
have to die!” brawled and rebrawled through his mind like a ribald
phonograph tune.

At the edge of the bottom step a precipitous lilac branch that must
have budded and bloomed in a single hour smote him stingingly across
his cheek. “Laggard!” taunted the lilac branch.

With the first crunching grit of gravel under his feet, something
transcendently naked and unashamed that was neither brazen sorrow
nor brazen pain thrilled across his startled consciousness. Over
the rolling, marshy meadow, beyond the succulent willow-hedge that
hid the winding river, up from some fluent, slim canoe, out from a
chorus of virile young tenor voices, a little passionate love-song,
divinely tender, most incomparably innocent, came stealing palpitantly
forth into that inflammable spring world without a single vestige of
accompaniment on it!

    “Kiss me, Sweet, the Spring is here,
      And Love is Lord of you and me.
    There’s no bird in brake or brere,
      But to his little mate sings he,
    ‘Kiss me, Sweet, the Spring is here,
      And Love is Lord of you and me!’”

Wrenched like a sob out of his own lost youth, the Senior Surgeon’s
faltering college memories took up the old refrain:

    “As I go singing, to my dear,
    ‘Kiss me, Sweet, the Spring is here,
    And Love is Lord of you--and me!’”

Just for an instant a dozen long-forgotten pictures lanced
themselves poignantly into his brain: dingy, incontrovertible old
recitation-rooms where young ideas flashed as bright and futile as
parade swords; elm-shaded slopes where lithe young bodies lolled on
green velvet grasses to expound their harshest cynicisms; book-history,
book-science, book-economics, book-love,--all the paper passion of all
the paper poets swaggering imperiously on boyish lips that would have
died a thousand bashful deaths before the threatening imminence of a
real girl’s kiss! Magic days, with youth the one glittering, positive
treasure on the tree of life, and woman still a mystery!

“Woman a mystery?” Harshly the phrase ripped through the Senior
Surgeon’s brain. Croakingly in that instant all the grim, gray
scientific years re-overtook him, swamped him, strangled him. “Woman a
_mystery_? O ye gods! And youth? Bah! Youth! A mere tinsel tinkle on a
rotting Christmas-tree!”

Furiously with renewed venom he turned and threw his weight again upon
the stubbornly resistant crank of his automobile.

Vaguely disturbed by the noise and vibration, the White Linen Nurse
opened her big drowsy blue eyes upon him.

“Don’t--jerk it so!” she admonished hazily; “you’ll wake the Little
Girl!”

“Well, what about _my_ convenience, I’d like to know?” snapped the
Senior Surgeon, in some astonishment.

Heavily the White Linen Nurse’s lashes shadowed down again across her
sleep-flushed cheeks.

“Oh, never mind about that,” she mumbled non-concernedly.

“Oh, for Heaven’s sake, wake up there!” bellowed the Senior Surgeon
above the sudden roar of his engine.

Adroitly for a man of his bulk he ran around the radiator and jumped
into his seat. Joggled unmercifully into wakefulness, the Little
Girl greeted his return with a generous, if distinctly non-tactful,
demonstration of affection. Grabbing the unwitting fingers of his
momentarily free hand, she tapped them proudly against the White Linen
Nurse’s plump pink cheek.

“See, I call her ‘Peach’!” she boasted joyously, with all the
triumphant air of one who felt assured that mental discrimination such
as this could not possibly fail to impress even a person as naturally
obtuse as a father.

“Don’t be foolish!” snarled the Senior Surgeon.

“Who? _Me?_” gasped the White Linen Nurse, in a perfect agony of
confusion.

“Yes, _you_,” snapped the Senior Surgeon, explosively, half an hour
later, after interminable miles of absolute silence and dingy yellow
field-stubble and bare, brown alder-bushes.

Truly out of the ascetic habit of his daily life, “where no rain
was,” as the Bible would put it, it did seem to him distinctly
foolish, not to say careless, not to say out and out incendiary, for
any girl to go blushing her way like a fire-brand through a world so
palpably populated by young men whose heads were tow, and whose hearts
indisputably tinder rather than tender.

“Yes, _you_!” he reasserted vehemently, at the end of another silent
mile.

Then plainly begrudging this second inexcusable interruption of his
most vital musings concerning spinal meningitis, he scowled his way
savagely back again into his own grimly established trend of thought.

Excited by so much perfectly good silence that nobody seemed to be
using, the Little Crippled Girl ventured gallantly forth once more into
the hazardous conversational land of grown-ups.

“Father,” she experimented cautiously with most commendable discretion.

Fathoms deep in abstraction, the Senior Surgeon stared unheeding into
the whizzing black road. Pulses and temperatures and blood-pressures
were seething in his mind; and sharp sticks and jagged stones and
the general possibilities of a puncture; and murmurs of the heart and
râles of the lungs; and a most unaccountable _knock-knock-knocking_
in the engine; and the probable relation of middle-ear disease; and
the perfectly positive symptoms of optic neuritis; and a damned funny
squeak in the steering-gear.

“Father,” the Little Girl persisted valiantly.

To add to his original concentration, the Senior Surgeon’s linen collar
began to chafe him maddeningly under his chin. The annoyance added two
scowls to his already blackly furrowed face, and at least ten miles an
hour to his running time, but nothing whatsoever to his conversational
ability.

“Father,” the Little Girl whimpered with faltering courage. Then
panic-stricken, as wiser people have been before her, over the
dreadful spookish remoteness of a perfectly normal human being who
refuses either to answer or even to notice your wildest efforts at
communication, she raised her waspish voice in its shrillest, harshest
war-cry.

“Fat Father! _Fat Father!_ F-A-T F-A-T-H-E-R!” she screeched out
frenziedly at the top of her lungs.

The gun-shot agony of a wounded rabbit was in the cry, the last
gurgling gasp of strangulation under a murderer’s reeking fingers,
catastrophe unspeakable, disaster now irrevocable.

Clamping down his brakes with a wrench that almost tore the insides out
of his engine, the Senior Surgeon brought the great car to a staggering
standstill.

“What is it?” he cried in real terror. “For God’s sake, what is it?”

Limply the Little Girl stretched down from the White Linen Nurse’s lap
till she could nick her toe against the shiniest woodwork in sight.
Altogether aimlessly her small chin began to burrow deeper and deeper
into her big fur collar.

“For God’s sake, what do you want?” demanded the Senior Surgeon.
Even yet along his spine the little nerves crinkled with shock and
apprehension. “For God’s sake, what do you want?”

Helplessly the child lifted her turbid eyes to his. With unmistakable
appeal, her tiny hand went clutching out at one of the big buttons on
his coat. Desperately for an instant she rummaged through her brain
for some remotely adequate answer to this most thunderous question,
and then retreated precipitously as usual to the sacristy of her own
imagination.

“All the birds _were_ there, Father!” she confided guilelessly.

    “All the birds _were_ there,
    With yellow feathers instead of hair.
    And bumblebees crocheted in the trees.
    And--”

Short of complete annihilation, there was no satisfying vengeance
whatsoever that the Senior Surgeon’s exploding passion could wreak upon
his offspring. Complete annihilation being unfeasible at the moment,
he merely climbed laboriously out of the car, re-cranked the engine,
climbed laboriously back into his place, and started on his way once
more. All the red, blustering rage was stripped completely from him.
Startlingly rigid, startlingly white, his face was like the death-mask
of a pirate.

Pleasantly excited by she didn’t know exactly what, the Little Girl
resumed her beloved falsetto chant, rhythmically all the while with her
puny iron-braced legs beating the tune into the White Linen Nurse’s
tender flesh.

    “All the birds were there,
    With yellow feathers instead of hair.
    And bumblebees crocheted in the trees,
    And--and--all the birds were there,
    With yellow feathers instead of hair.
    And--”

Frenziedly as a runaway horse trying to escape from its own pursuing
harness and carriage, the Senior Surgeon poured increasing speed
into both his own pace and the pace of his tormentor. Up hill, down
dale, screeching through rocky echoes, swishing through blue-green
spruce-lands, dodging indomitable boulders, grazing lax, treacherous
embankments, the great car scuttled homeward. Huddled behind his
steering-wheel like a warrior behind his shield, every body muscle taut
with strain, every facial muscle diabolically calm, the Senior Surgeon
met and parried successively every fresh onslaught of yard, rod, mile.

Then suddenly in the first precipitous descent of a mighty hill, the
whole earth seemed to drop out from under the car. Down, down, down,
with incredible swiftness and smoothness, the great machine went diving
toward abysmal space! Up, up, up, with incredible bumps and bouncings,
trees, bushes, stone walls went rushing to the sky!

Gasping surprisedly toward the Senior Surgeon the White Linen Nurse
saw his grim mouth yank round abruptly in her direction as it yanked
sometimes in the operating-room with some sharp, incisive order of life
or death. Instinctively she leaned forward for the message.

Not over-loud, but strangely distinct, the words slapped back into her
straining ears:

“If it will rest your face any to look scared, by all means do so. I’ve
lost control of the machine,” called the Senior Surgeon, sardonically,
across the roar of the wind.

The phrase excited the White Linen Nurse, but it did not remotely
frighten her. She was not in the habit of seeing the Senior Surgeon
lose control of any situation. Merely intoxicated with speed, delirious
with ozone, she snatched up the Little Girl close, close to her breast.

“We’re _flying_!” she cried. “We’re dropping from a parachute! We’re--”

Swoopingly, like a sled striking glare, level ice, the great car
swerved from the bottom of the hill into a soft rolling meadow.
Instantly from every conceivable direction, like foes in ambush, trees,
stumps, rocks reared up in threatening defiance.

Tighter and tighter the White Linen Nurse crushed the Little Girl to
her breast. Louder and louder she called in the Little Girl’s ear.

“Scream!” she shouted. “There might be a bump! Scream louder than a
bump! Scream! _Scream! S-c-r-e-a-m!_”

In that first overwhelming, nerve-numbing, heart-crunching terror of
his whole life as the great car tilted up against a stone, plowed
down into the mushy edge of a marsh, and skidded completely round,
_crash-bang_ into a tree, it was the last sound that the Senior Surgeon
heard--the sound of a woman and child screeching their lungs out in
diabolical exultancy!

(The second instalment of this three-part serial story will be
published in the September ~Century~.)

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



A DOUBLE STAR

BY LEROY TITUS WEEKS


    Give me Love’s password--fearless I’ll face God.
          Love spoke the word when bloomed the primal soul;
          It freed the Son of Man from Death’s control.
          All paths of life its happy feet have trod:
    Love dons the wooden shoe to moil and plod,
          It crowns Madonna with the aureole,
          By every hovel takes its golden toll,
          And walks the royal court in velvet shod.

    Two lovers be who drank pain to the lees
          Yet o’er all lovers else exalted are;
          Twin luminaries in the heaven, these,
    In Love’s bright galaxy a double star:
          And when Love whispers softly--“Héloïse!”
          The firmament will echo--“Abélard!”



ROMAIN ROLLAND

AUTHOR OF “JEAN-CHRISTOPHE”

BY ALVAN F. SANBORN

“Everything that is unjust is my enemy.... Wherever liberty is
violated, there is my country.”--_Rolland._


  ~Romain Rolland~ is to-day a world celebrity. On June 5 he was
  awarded the “Grand Prix” of the French Academy.

  _Jean-Christophe_, the dominant figure of the enormous work which
  Rolland was a score of years in writing, and nearly half a score
  in publishing, is gradually becoming a household name upon two
  continents.

  “Jean-Christophe” is the detailed life of a man from the cradle to
  the grave, a prose epic of suffering, a narrative of the evolution
  of musical genius, a pæan to music, and a critique of composers,
  the history of an epoch, a comparative study of the civilizations
  of France and Germany, an arraignment of society, a discussion of
  vexed problems, a treatise on ethics, a “barrel” of sermons, a
  storehouse of dissertations, and a blaze of aspirations. It is also,
  the protestations of the author to the contrary notwithstanding, a
  novel, but a novel at once so earnest and so austere that it has
  performed the miracle of imparting to Anglo-Saxons a belief in
  French seriousness. Edmund Gosse pronounces it “the noblest work
  of fiction of the twentieth century,” and George Moore, “one of
  the most remarkable novels France ever produced.” It has also been
  characterized by American critics as “an epoch-making departure in
  fiction,” “the greatest literary work that has come out of France
  since Zola.”

“From behind the house mounts the murmuring of the river,” is the
opening phrase of the first volume of “Jean-Christophe.” The last
chapter of the last volume represents St. Christopher crossing the
river, with “the Child, the day that is to be,” upon his shoulder;
and beneath all the intervening pages the river flows, emerging ever
and anon with whisperings, babblings, and gurglings, with purlings,
trillings, and trumpetings, with roarings, swishings, and swashings,
with plashings, splashings, and crashings. “There are human lives,”
says Romain Rolland, “that are placid lakes; others are great, open
skies wherein the clouds sail; others, fertile plains; others, jagged
peaks. _Jean-Christophe_ has always seemed to me to be a river.”

This preoccupation with the river, amounting almost to an obsession,
is probably due to the prominence of water in the landscape in which
Romain Rolland’s early years were passed. Clamecy, the little town
of the Morvan in which he was born (January 29, 1866), is situated
on the Nivernais Canal, in the angle formed by the junction of the
rivers Beuvron and Yonne. The volume entitled “Antoinette” is replete
with memories of the scenes of his childhood. In it he has described
lovingly and charmingly not Clamecy itself, but a representative
community of the same province, which is one of the most heavily
wooded, as well as one of the most picturesque, of France, and little
infested by tourists; and he has portrayed a family which, despite
deliberate and ingenious disguises, bears a close resemblance to his
own.

Furthermore, the refined and altogether lovable _Olivier Jeannin_ is
more like Romain Rolland than is his hero, the often insupportable
_Jean-Christophe Krafft_, whom his creator, unwittingly perhaps, made
something of a cad and a good deal of a boor, a “fresh,” bumptious
fellow, always going about with a chip on his shoulder, looking for
trouble.

[Illustration: Plate in tint, engraved for ~The Century~ by H.
Davidson

ROMAIN ROLLAND, AUTHOR OF “JEAN-CHRISTOPHE.”

FROM A PORTRAIT DRAWING BY GRANIÉ]

In the Morvan, the physical type of the Gauls remains exceptionally
pure, and of this type Romain Rolland is an almost perfect specimen.
He is tall, he is spare; he is very blond, and his eyes are very blue.
Despite a tendency to pallor and a slight stoop, he appears to be of
the wiry breed that is capable of doing a great deal of hard work
without excessive fatigue; but those who should know affirm that
his “fine faculties were imprisoned by nature in a feeble and ailing
body,” and that he has always been a close approach to an invalid in
consequence. His demeanor is austere, and he is prone to long silences;
but when he breaks his silences, he breaks them with a vengeance,
like a pent-up torrent sweeping away a dam, and one sees that his
austerity is only a cloak for sensitiveness, for passion, and for a
mighty kindliness. He is an ideal comrade, a loyal friend, and a sort
of patron saint or father confessor of young or struggling writers
who have “the root of the matter” in them. For instance, Alphonse de
Châteaubriant, having fallen under the spell of Dostoyevsky, was so
oppressed by the pessimism of the great Russian that he was made nearly
ill and was tempted to renounce all endeavor. Rolland, by tactful
and tender encouragement, rescued him from this slough of despond,
restoring to him his lost interest in life and art. The result was
the beautiful sylvan novel, “Monsieur des Lourdines,” one of the
sweetest and purest works of the last few years, which, without this
intervention, probably never would have been written.

Rolland’s father was a notary, descended from notaries, and his mother
was the daughter of a magistrate, descended from magistrates, who were
related to Guillaume and Guillaume-Henri de Lamoignon, first President
of the Parliament of Paris (seventeenth century) and Chancellor of
France (eighteenth century), respectively. At a very early age the
boy studied music with his mother, who was an accomplished musician,
and as soon as he dreamed of the future at all, he dreamed of a
musical future. When he had exhausted the educational possibilities of
Clamecy, whose communal college corresponds roughly with the average
American high school, his parents, fearing to allow him to shift for
himself, probably because of his delicate constitution, broke up their
Nivernais establishment, and went with him to Paris, the father, with a
self-sacrifice verging on heroism, exchanging the prestige of being one
of the first citizens of a town to which he was devotedly attached for
the effacement of a modest clerkship in the capital. In Paris, Romain
entered, first, the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and, later, at twenty,
the Ecole Normale Supérieure, matriculating at the latter not in the
department of letters, to which his tastes inclined him, but in that of
history and geography, a concession, no doubt, to the father, who would
have liked to see his son in the Ecole Polytechnique.

The choice was fortunate, since it put him under the tutelage of the
historian Gabriel Monod, who possessed a fine personality and was a
stimulating teacher, exerting a salutary moral as well as intellectual
influence upon his pupils, in whom he inspired a sort of filial
affection.

While at the Ecole Normale, Rolland was profoundly impressed by
Wagner and by Tolstoy. In October, 1887, he was the happy and proud
recipient of a letter from Tolstoy, saluting him as “Dear Brother,”
which he published later, preceded by a fervid introduction, in “Les
cahiers de la quinzaine.” “I loved Tolstoy profoundly,” he says in
this introduction, “and I have never ceased to love him. For two or
three years I lived enveloped in the atmosphere of his thought. I was
certainly more familiar with his creations, with ‘War and Peace,’ ‘Anna
Karénina,’ and ‘The Death of Ivan Ilyitch,’ than with the works of
any of the great French writers. The goodness, the intelligence, the
absolute truthfulness, of this great man, were for me the surest of
guides in the midst of the moral anarchy of the time.”

Shortly after being graduated from the Ecole Normale, Rolland was
admitted to the French School of Archæology and History at Rome.
Although prejudiced against Italy from his boyhood, he surrendered
promptly and unconditionally not only to the splendor of the art
enshrined in its monuments and museums, but to the ineffable charm of
its landscape and its sky. “He took his revenge for the asceticism of
the gray visions to which he had hitherto been condemned.... He was as
a new man beginning life over.”

During his stay in Rome, he became a great favorite of the aged
Fräulein Malwida von Meysenbug, an extraordinary woman, who had known
intimately and shared the hopes of all the European revolutionary
movements from 1848 to 1870. Fräulein von Meysenbug’s “Memoirs,”
wherein she gives her impressions of her illustrious friends, Kossuth,
Mazzini, Hertzen, Ogareff, Garibaldi, Louis Blanc, Ledru-Rollin,
Wagner, Lenbach, Liszt, Nietzsche, and Ibsen, contains this reference
to the protégé of her declining years: “I find in this young Frenchman
Rolland the same idealism, the same lofty aspiration, the same profound
understanding of all the great intellectual issues that I have found in
the superior men of other nationalities.”

To this period of Rolland’s life belong a number of historical
plays,--“Les Baglioni,” “Le siège de Mantoue,” “Niobé,” “Caligula,”
“Jeanne de Piennes,” “Orsino,”--which Fräulein von Meysenbug, not an
entirely impartial judge, pronounced admirable, but which thus far
their author has not seen fit to give to the world. They were inspired
in a certain degree by Shakspere. “Despite Tolstoy, Wagner, etc.,”
Rolland wrote to a friend, “Shakspere is the one artist I have most
constantly preferred from my childhood. And if the Shakspere of the
historical dramas is not the only Shakspere I love, he is at least the
Shakspere who has influenced me most directly by opening up to me the
horizons of this new artistic world and providing me with incomparable
models.”

When Rolland returned to France, he had become not only an
archæological and historical pundit, but under the influence of
the ardent humanitarian Von Meysenbug and of the advanced artists,
agitators, and reformers who gravitated about her, an insurgent and
just a bit of a fanatic. He was consumed with generous ardor to edify
and elevate his compatriots, who seemed to him crushed and degraded by
subserviency to convention and tradition.

Thenceforth his every act was to be combative, was to possess an
unequivocal social significance, was to count, if not for revolution,
at least for radical reform. His thesis for the doctorate, “The Origin
of the Modern Lyrical Drama,” sustained before the faculty of the
Sorbonne, June 19, 1895, was the first dissertation on music ever
presented to that conservative body. It was intended as a protest
against the disdain with which music, in contradistinction to painting,
sculpture, and architecture, had always been treated by the university,
and was a move to secure for music the consideration it deserves.

Rolland’s next moves were the organization (1898) at the Ecole des
Hautes Etudes Sociales of a department of music, in opening which
he delivered a pithy and brilliant address on the place of music in
general history; the unobtrusive but bold transformation (1903) of the
course on the history of art, with which he had been intrusted by the
Ecole Normale (in 1897), into a course on the history of music; and
the stubborn maintenance of this iconoclastic orientation after the
absorption of the Ecole Normale by the Sorbonne.

Rolland was also the leading spirit of a movement, so impassioned
that it amounted to a veritable crusade, for the democratization
of the drama, “for the creation,” to employ his rather ambitious
phraseology, “of a new art for a new world.” He aspired to replace the
contemporaneous stage by a stage more human and fraternal, that should
edify and improve the masses on one hand, and emancipate and develop
art on the other, and to found “a theater of, by, and for the people,”
that should “share the bread of the people, their restlessness and
anxieties, their battles and their hopes,” and that should be for them
“a fountain-head of joy and of life.” In March, 1899, he signed, with
Lucien Besnard, Maurice Pottecher, Louis Lumet, and Gabriel Trarieux,
a somewhat turgid manifesto which ended thus: “Make no mistake. It
is no mere literary experiment we are proposing. It is a question of
life or death for art and for the people. For, if art is not opened
to the people, it is doomed to disappear; and if the people do not
discover the pathway of art, humanity abdicates its destinies.” To
this propaganda, Rolland contributed a volume entitled “Le théâtre du
peuple,” which contained both eloquent and grandiloquent passages, and
a virile and highly colored, if slightly declamatory, tetralogy of the
Revolution,--“Le quatorze juillet,” “Danton,” “Les loups,” “Le triomphe
de la raison,”--designed to “resuscitate the forces of the past,
reanimate its capacities for action, and rekindle the national faith
and heroism with the flames of the republican epoch, in order that the
work interrupted in 1794 may be resumed and completed by a people more
mature and more fully aware of its destiny.” “Danton,” “Les loups,”
and “Le triomphe de la raison” were given two or three performances
each by dramatic societies of one sort or another; and “Le quatorze
juillet” was finally produced by a regular theater (La Renaissance),
but its run was short.

Rolland was a vehement Dreyfusard, with a special enthusiasm for
Lieutenant-Colonel Picquart. “He who can see injustice without
trying to combat it is neither entirely an artist,” he observed, in
this connection, “nor entirely a man”; and he protested vigorously
against the British invasion of the Transvaal with a play, dedicated
to “Civilization” and entitled “Le temps viendra,” in which he makes
one of the characters say: “Everything that is unjust is my enemy....
Wherever liberty is violated, there is my country.”

Sadly disillusioned by the triumph of might over right in South Africa,
by the altogether shameless manner in which the righteous indignation
of the sincere Dreyfusards was exploited by the professional
politicians, and by the failure of his efforts to regenerate the stage,
Rolland found fresh force and new courage in a study of the lives
of heroes, the men who were great of heart in the face of seemingly
insuperable obstacles, the noble souls who suffered for the sake of
right; and always a propagandist, he straightway endeavored to found
a cult of heroism, to persuade his fellows “to read in the eyes” of
those sanctified by suffering, and in the histories of their careers,
that “life is never greater, more fruitful, and more blessed than in
affliction.” To this end he wrote a series of biographies of heroes
(“Beethoven,” “Michelangelo,” “Tolstoy,” “Millet,” “Handel,” “Hugo
Wolf,” etc.), which he presented to the French public and to the rest
of the world with these ringing words: “The air is heavy about us. Old
Europe is waxing torpid in an oppressive and vitiated atmosphere. A
materialism devoid of grandeur cumbers thought and fetters the action
of governments and of individuals. The world is dying of asphyxia in
its prudent and vile egoism. The world is stifling. Fling the windows
wide open! Let the free air rush in! Let us inhale the vivifying breath
of the heroes!”

“Jean-Christophe,” which is a ten-volume biography of an imaginary
hero, synthesizes and supplements the “Théâtre du peuple” and the
heroic biographies. It is, like them, an act of propaganda, conceived
in a similar spirit of revolt, and animated by a similar desire to help
people “to live, to correct their errors, to conquer their prejudices,
and to enlarge from day to day their thoughts and their hearts.” “I
was isolated,” writes Rolland, regarding the origin of this now famous
work; “I was stifling, like so many others in France, in a hostile
moral atmosphere; I wanted to breathe, I wanted to react against a
sickly civilization, against a thought corrupted by a false élite.

“I wanted to say to this élite: ‘You are liars! You do not represent
France!’ And for that I needed a hero of pure eyes and of pure heart,
with a soul sufficiently unblemished to have the right to speak, and
with a voice strong enough to make itself heard.”

The veritable drubbing the fourth volume of “Jean-Christophe” gives
Germany was inspired by sympathy, not by antipathy; it was the rod,
so to speak, indispensable to the salvation of the child. “I am not
in the least an enemy of Germany,” Rolland wrote in a personal letter
bearing the date of September 12, 1907, “and the best proof is that I
have chosen a German for my hero. The absolute sincerity, the creative
energy, and the moral rigidity of _Christophe_ offset his rather severe
criticisms of his countrymen. No German can love more than I the
Germany of Goethe and of Beethoven. But I believe that the Germany of
to-day is sick; and, in her interest, some one must have the courage to
say so. You may be sure that _Christophe_, at present in Paris, will be
as hard upon my compatriots as he has been upon his own.”

This prediction was amply verified, as we know, by Volume V, “La foire
sur la place,” which, in its turn, proceeded not from malevolence, but
from a deep-rooted determination to “battle for the life and the honor
of the race”; not from anti-patriotism, but from the high and pure form
of patriotism that wishes its country to be blameless. “Whosoever has
divined the soul that animates the body of this people, which does not
want to perish, can and must boldly lay bare its vices and its follies,
in order to combat them--in order to combat especially those who
exploit them and who live off them. To struggle is even to inflict pain
that good may come.”

The entire ten volumes preach that all things work together for good to
the persons or the peoples who hitch their wagons to the stars.

Incidentally, Rolland seems also to teach in “Jean-Christophe” that
the Gallic ideal and the Germanic ideal, “the vast culture and the
combative reason of France” and “the inner music and the feeling for
nature of Germany,” have everything to gain by joining forces.

Romain Rolland has not solved the riddle of existence. His works are
less a revelation than an inspiration; he is a well-nigh peerless
kindler of ambition of the higher order. He has not done much toward
making life comprehensible, but he has done a good deal, and possibly
this is better, toward making it livable, at least for those who have
renounced trying to comprehend it. He aids and encourages the downcast
or despairing not with tenets of philosophy or religion,--dogmas are
his _bête noire_,--but with stories of heroic souls whose example
arouses them to a consciousness of their own capacity for virtue,
inspires them with faith in themselves and in the future, and shows
them how blessedness may be wrought out of wretchedness. It is the old,
old, but always new, message of joy through sanctified suffering.

“Seek not happiness, seek blessedness. This is the Everlasting Yea,
wherein whoso walks and works it is well with him!” thundered the
British worshiper and biographer of heroes, Carlyle.

The French biographer and worshiper of heroes expresses essentially the
same thought in slightly different terms:

  And the little fifteen-year-old Puritan heard the voice of his God.

  “Go on, on and on, never stopping to rest.”

  “But where shall I go, Lord? Whatever I do, wherever I go, is not the
  result always the same, is not the end always there?”

  “Go die, you who are doomed to die! Go suffer, you who are doomed to
  suffer! You do not live to be happy. You live to accomplish my Law.
  Suffer! Die! But be what you should be--a Man!”

Romain Rolland, at forty-seven, has proved himself a man of great
heart and of pure conscience, one of the heroic beings “forged upon
the anvil of physical and moral suffering,” who dares “to look anguish
in the face and venerate it”; one of the choice spirits who, seeing
the world as it is, still loves it. Intoxicated with proselyting zeal,
he has not thus far deigned--more’s the pity!--to become the supreme
literary artist such a well-nigh flawless gem as his “Beethoven,” the
best pages of “Jean-Christophe,” and his less known works, show that
he can be if he will. But signs are not wanting of a growing sympathy
with the sanity, the symmetry, and the harmony of classic art. His
latest volume, “La nouvelle journée,” is instinct with a yearning for
serenity that may lift him ultimately to a place beside the undisputed
masters. It does not yet appear what he will be. He himself affirms
that his work has only just begun. The time may not be far distant
when, like _Christophe_ toward the end of his career, he will blush at
his former lack of orderliness and measure; when, imposing upon himself
a rigid discipline, he will resolve “to be the king” of his tumultuous
temperament; when his literary creations will take on, as did the
mature musical creations of his hero, calmer, cooler, purer, serener
forms. The torrent gradually loses its boisterousness as it approaches
the sea.

In any event, Rolland’s splendid sincerity guarantees that he will not
be the slave of his record. “As for me,” he declares in the farewell
to _Christophe_ with which he prefaces “La nouvelle journée,” “I bid
adieu to my past soul; I cast it away like an empty husk. Life is a
succession of deaths and resurrections. Let us die, _Christophe_, to be
born again!”



SKIRTING THE BALKAN PENINSULA

FROM TRIEST TO CONSTANTINOPLE

SIXTH PAPER: STAMBOUL, THE CITY OF MOSQUES

BY ROBERT HICHENS

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

WITH PICTURES BY JULES GUÉRIN


Stamboul is wonderfully various. Compressed between two seas, it
contains sharp, even brutal, contrasts of beauty and ugliness, grandeur
and squalor, purity and filth, silence and uproar, the most delicate
fascination and a fierceness that is barbaric. It can give you peace
or a sword. The sword is sharp and cruel; the peace is profound and
exquisite.

Every day early I escaped from the uproar of Pera and sought in
Stamboul a place of forgetfulness. There are many such places in the
city and on its outskirts: the mosques, the little courts and gardens
of historic tombs; the strange and forgotten Byzantine churches, lost
in the maze of wooden houses; the cemeteries, vast and melancholy,
where the dead sleep in the midst of dust and confusion, guarded by
giant cypresses; the lonely and shadowed ways by the walls and the
towers; the poetic glades and the sun-kissed terraces of Seraglio Point.

Santa Sophia stands apart from all other buildings, unique in beauty,
with the faint face of the Christ still visible on its wall, Christian
in soul, though now for long dedicated to the glory of Allah and of
his prophet. I shall not easily forget my disappointment when I stood
for the first time in its shadow. I had been on Seraglio Point, and,
strolling by the famous royal gate to look at the lovely fountain of
Sultan Achmet, I saw an enormous and ugly building, decorated with huge
stripes of red paint, towering above me as if fain to obscure the sun.
The immensity of it was startling. I asked its name.

“Santa Sophia.”

I looked away to the fountain, letting my eyes dwell on its projecting
roof and its fretwork of gold, its lustrous blue and green tiles,
splendid ironwork, and plaques of gray and brown marble.

It was delicate and enticing. Its mighty neighbor was almost repellent.
But at length--not without reluctance, for I feared perhaps a deeper
disappointment--I went into the mosque by the Porta Basilica, and found
myself in the midst of a vast harmony, so wonderful, so penetrating, so
calm, that I was aware at once of a perfect satisfaction.

At first this happy sense of being completely satisfied seemed shed
upon me by shaped space. In no other building have I had this exact
feeling, that space had surely taken an inevitable form and was
announcing itself to me. I stood beneath the great dome, one hundred
and seventy-nine feet in height, and as I gazed upward I felt both
possessed and released.

For a long time I was fully aware of nothing but the vast harmony of
Santa Sophia, descending upon me, wrapping me round. I saw moving
figures, tiny, yet full of meaning, passing in luminous distances,
pausing, bending, kneeling; a ray of light falling upon a white turban;
an Arab in a long pink robe leaning against a column of dusky-red
porphyry; a dove circling under the dome as though under the sky. But
I could not be strongly aware of any detail, or be enchanted by any
separate beauty. I was in the grasp of the perfect whole.

The voice of a child disturbed me.

Somewhere far off in the mosque a child began to sing a great tune,
powerfully, fervently, but boyishly. The voice was not a treble voice;
it was deeper, yet unmistakably the voice of a boy. And the melody sung
was bold, indeed, almost angry, and yet definitely religious. It echoed
along the walls of marble, which seemed to multiply it mysteriously,
adding to it wide murmurs which were carried through all the building
into the dimmest, remotest recesses. It became in my ears as the
deep-toned and fanatical thunder of Islam, proclaiming possession of
the church of Divine Wisdom which had been dedicated to Christ. It put
me for a time definitely outside of the vast harmony. I was able at
last to notice details both architectural and human.

Santa Sophia has nine gates leading to it from a great corridor or
outer hall, lined with marble and roofed with old-gold mosaic. As you
enter from the Porta Basilica, you have an impression of pale yellow,
gold, and gray; of a pervading silvery glimmer; of a pervading gleam
of delicate primrose, brightly pure and warm. You hear a sound of the
falling of water from the two fountains of ablution, great vases of
gray marble which are just within the mosque.

Gray and gold prevail in the color scheme, a beautiful combination of
which the eyes are never tired. But many hues are mingled with them:
yellow and black, deep plum-color and red, green, brown, and very dark
blue. The windows, which are heavily grated, have no painted glass, so
the mosque is not dark. It has a sort of lovely and delicate dimness,
as touching as the dimness of twilight. It is divinely calm, almost as
nature can be when she would bring her healing to the unquiet human
spirit. We know that during the recent war Santa Sophia was crowded
with suffering fugitives, with dying soldiers and cholera patients.
I feel that even upon them in their agony it must have shed rays of
comfort, into their hearts a belief in a far-off compassion waiting the
appointed time to make itself fully manifest.

The great dome is of gold and of either black or very deep blue.
Myriads of chandeliers, holding tiny glass cups, hang from the roof.
Pale-yellow matting covers the plain of the floor. The silvery glimmer
comes from the thousands of cups, the primrose gleam from the matting.
The walls are lined with slabs of exquisite marble of many patterns
and colors. Gold mosaic decorates the roof and the domes. Galleries,
supported by marble arcades, and leaning on roofs of dim gold, run
round a great part of the mosque, which is subtly broken up and made
mysterious, enticing, and various by curved recesses of marble, by
innumerable arches, some large and heavy, some fragile and delicate,
by screens, and by forests of columns. Two-storied aisles flank the
vast nave, through which men wander, looking almost like little dolls.
So huge is the mosque that the eyes are deceived within it, and can no
longer measure heights or breadths with accuracy. When I first stood in
the nave I thought the chandeliers were hanging so near to the ground
that it must be dangerous for a tall man to try to pass underneath
them. They are, of course, really far higher than the head of a giant.

In Santa Sophia intricacy, by some magical process of genius, results
in simplicity. Everything seems gently but irresistibly compelled to
become a minister to the beauty and the calmness of the whole: the
arcades of gray marble and gold; the sacred mosaics of holy Mary and
the six-winged seraphim, which still testify to another age and another
religion; the red columns of porphyry from Baalbec’s Temple of the Sun;
the Ephesus columns of verd-antique; the carved capitals and the bases
of shining brass; the gold and gray pulpit, with its long staircase of
marble closed by a gold and green curtain, and its two miraculously
beautiful flags of pearly green and faint gold, by age made more
wonderful than when they first flew on the battle-field or were carried
in sacred processions; the ancient prayer-rugs fixed to the walls;
the sultan’s box, a sort of long gallery ending in a kiosk with a
gilded grille, and raised upon marble pillars; the great doors and the
curtains of dull-red wool; the piled carpets, which are ready against
the winter, when the cool yellow matting is covered up; the great green
shields in the pendentives, bearing their golden names of God and His
prophet, of Ali, Osman, Omar, and Abu-Bekr. Everything slips into the
heart of the great harmony, however precious, however simple, even
however crude. There are a few ugly things in Santa Sophia--whitewash
covering mosaics, stains of fierce yellow, blotches of plaster--which
should be removed. They do not really matter; one cannot heed them when
one is immersed in such almost mysterious beauty.

[Illustration: IN THE CEMETERY OF EYUB, ON THE GOLDEN HORN

PAINTED FOR THE CENTURY BY JULES GUÉRIN]

Men and birds are at ease in Santa Sophia. Doves have made their home
in the holy place. They fly under the long arcades, they circle
above the galleries, they rest against blocks of cool marble the color
of which their plumage resembles. And all day long men pass in through
the gateways, and become at once little, yet strangely significant in
the vastness which incloses and liberates them. They take off their
shoes and carry them, or lay them down in the wooden trays at the
edges of those wide, railed-in platforms covered with matting, called
_masbata_, which are characteristic of mosques, and which are supposed
to be for the use of readers of the Koran, and then they are free of
the mosque. Some of them wander from place to place, silently gazing;
others kneel and pray in some quiet corner; others study or sing or
gossip or sink into reverie or slumber. Many go up to the masbata,
take off their outer garments, and hang them over the rails, hang
their handkerchiefs beside them, tuck their legs under their bodies,
and remain thus for hours, staring straight before them with solemn
eyes, as if hypnotized. Children, too, go to the masbata, settle cozily
down, and read the Koran aloud, interspersing their study with gay
conversation. On one of them I found my singing boy. Small, fanatical,
with head thrown back and the fez upon it, he defiantly poured forth
his tune, while an older companion, opposite to him and looking not
unlike an idol in its shrine, stared impassively, as if at the voice.

Santa Sophia is mystical in its twilight beauty. Its vastness, its
shape, its arrangement, its beautifully blended colors, the effects
of light and of sound within it, unite in creating an atmosphere that
disposes the mind to reverie and inclines the soul to prayer. Along
the exquisite marble walls, in the mellow dimness, while Stamboul just
outside is buying and selling, is giving itself to love and to crime,
the murmur of Islam’s devotion steals almost perpetually, as mysterious
as some faint and wide-spread sound of nature. The great mosque seems
to be breathing out its message to the Almighty, and another message
to man. The echoes are not clear, but as dim as the twilight under the
arches of marble and beneath the ceilings of gold. They mingle without
confusion in a touching harmony, as all things mingle in this mosque of
the great repose.

And yet not all things.

One day I saw standing alone in the emperor’s doorway a child in
blood-colored rags. The muezzin had called from the minaret the summons
to the midday prayer, and far off before the mihrab, and the sacred
carpet on which the prophet is said to have knelt, the faithful were
ranged in long lines: pilgrims on the way to Mecca; Turks in quilted
coats and in European dress; two dervishes with small, supple limbs and
pale faces smoldering with reverie; and some hard-bitten, sun-scorched
soldiers, perhaps bound for the battle-fields of the Balkan War. Moving
almost as one man, they bent, they kneeled, they touched the floor
with their foreheads, leaned back, and again bowed down. Their deep
and monotonous voices were very persistent in prayer. And the echoes,
like secret messengers, bore the sound along the arcades, carried it
up into the vast space of the dome, under the transverse arches and
the vaulted openings of the aisles, past the faint Christ on the wall,
and the “Hand of the Conqueror,” with horrible outspread fingers, the
Sweating Column, and the Cradle of Jesus, to the child in the blood-red
rags. He stood there where Theophilus entered, under the hidden
words, “I am the Light of the World,” gazing, listening, unaware of
the marvelous effect his little figure was making, the one absolutely
detached thing in the mosque. The doves flew over his head, vanishing
down the marble vistas, becoming black against golden distances. The
murmur of worship increased in power, as more and more of the faithful
stole in, shoeless, to join the ranks before the mihrab. Like incense
from a thurible, mysticism floated through every part of the mosque,
seeming to make the vast harmony softer, to involve in it all that
was motionless there and all that was moving except the child in the
emperor’s doorway, who was unconsciously defiant, like a patch of
fresh blood on a pure-white garment. The prayers at last died away,
the echoes withdrew into silence; but the child remained where he was,
crude, almost sinister in his wonderful colored rags.

Close to Santa Sophia in the Seraglio grounds is the old Byzantine
church of Saint Irene, now painted an ugly pink, and used by the
Turks as an armory and museum. It contains many spoils taken by the
Turks in battle, which are carefully arranged upon tables and walls.
Nothing is disdained, nothing is considered too paltry for exhibition.
I saw there flags riddled with bullets, but I saw also odd boots
taken from Italian soldiers in Tripoli, caps, belts, water-bottles,
blood-stained tunics and cloaks, saddles, weapons, and buttons. Among
relics from Yildiz Kiosk was a set of furniture which once belonged to
Abdul-Hamid, and which he is said to have set much store by. It shows
a very distinctive, indeed, a somewhat original taste, being made of
red plush and weapons. The legs of the tables and chairs are guns
and revolvers. As I looked at the chairs, I could not help wondering
whether ambassadors were invited to sit in them, after they had been
loaded to their muzzles or whether they were reserved for subjects
whom the ex-sultan suspected of treachery. Near them were several of
Abdul-Hamid’s favorite walking-sticks containing revolvers, a cane with
an electric light let into the knob, his inkstand, the mother-of-pearl
revolver which was found in his pocket, and the handkerchief which fell
from his hand when he was taken prisoner by the Young Turks, who have
since brought their country to ruin.

In a series of galleries, under arches and ceilings of yellow and
white, stands, sits, reclines, and squats, in Eastern fashion, a
strange population of puppets, dressed in the costumes of the bygone
centuries during which Turkey has ruled in Europe. Those fearful
ex-Christians, the Janizaries, who were scourges of Christianity,
look very mild now as they stand fatuously together, no longer either
Christian or Mussulman but fatally Madame Tussaud. Once they tucked up
their coats to fight for the “Father” who had ravished them away from
their fathers in blood. Now, even the wicked man, who flees when no one
pursueth, could scarcely fear them. Near them the chief eunuch, a plump
and piteous gentleman, reclines absurdly upon his divan, holding his
large black pipe, and obsequiously attended by a bearded dwarf in red
and by a thin aide-de-camp in green. The Sheik ul Islam bends beneath
the coiled dignity of his monstrous turban; a really lifelike old man,
with a curved gray beard and a green-and-white turban, reads the Koran
perpetually; and soldiers with faces made of some substance that looks
like plaster return blankly the gaze of the many real soldiers who
visit this curious show.

One day, when I was strolling among the puppets of Saint Irene, some
soldiers followed me round. They were deeply interested in all that
they saw, and at last became interested in me. Two or three of them
addressed me in Turkish, which, alas! I could not understand. I
gathered, however, that they were seriously explaining the puppets to
me, and were giving me information about the Janizaries, and Orkhan,
who was the founder of that famous corps. I responded as well as I
could with gestures, which seemed to satisfy them, for they kept close
beside me, and one, a gigantic fellow with pugnacious mustaches,
frequently touched my arm, and once even took me by the hand to draw my
attention to a group which he specially admired. All this was done with
gravity and dignity, and with a childlike lack of self-consciousness.
We parted excellent friends. I distributed cigarettes, which were
received with smiling gratitude, and went on my way to Seraglio Point,
realizing that there is truth in the saying that every Turk is a
gentleman.

[Illustration: Tint plates made for ~The Century~ by H. Davidson
and H. C. Merrill

THE ROYAL GATE LEADING TO THE OLD SERAGLIO

FROM THE PAINTING MADE FOR THE CENTURY BY JULES GUÉRIN]

Upon Seraglio Point I found many more soldiers resting in groups by
the edge of the sea, upon the waste ground that lies at the foot of
the walls, beyond the delightful abandoned glades that are left to run
wild and to shelter the birds. If you wish to understand something
of the curious indifference that hangs, like moss, about the Turk,
visit Seraglio Point. There, virtually in Stamboul, is one of the most
beautifully situated bits of land in the world. Though really part of a
great city, much of it has not been built upon. Among the trees on the
ridge, looking to Marmora and Asia, to the Bosporus and the palaces, to
the Golden Horn, Galata, and Pera, lie the many buildings and courts
of the Old Seraglio, fairy-like in their wood. The snowy cupolas,
the minaret, and towers look ideally Eastern. They suggest romantic
and careless lives, cradled in luxury and ease. In that white vision
one might dream away the days, watching from afar the pageant of the
city and the seas, hearing from afar the faint voices of the nations,
listening to strange and monotonous music, toying with coffee and
rose-leaf jam in the jewel-like kiosk of Bagdad, and dreaming, always
dreaming. There once the sultan dwelt in the Eski-Serai, which exists
no longer, and, there was built the great Summer Palace, which was
inhabited by Suleiman I and by his successors. Hidden in the Old
Seraglio there are many treasures, among them the magnificent Persian
throne, which is covered with gold and jewels. Beyond this neglected
wonder-world the woods extend toward the waters--hanging woods by the
sea; and the Turks care nothing about them. One may not wander through
them; one may not sit in them; one may only look at them, and long to
lose oneself in their darkness and silence, to vanish in their secret
recesses. The Turk leaves them alone, to rot or to flourish, as Allah
and nature will it.

On the third of Stamboul’s seven hills stands the Mosque of Suleiman
the Magnificent, all glorious without, as Santa Sophia is not, but
disappointing within, despite its beautiful windows of jeweled glass
from Persia, and the plaques of wonderful tiles which cover the wall
on each side of the mihrab. Somber and dark, earth-colored and gray,
dark green and gold, it has a poorly painted cupola and much plastered
stone, which is ugly; but there is fascination in its old dimness, in
its silence and desertion. More than once I was quite alone with it,
and was able, undisturbed, to notice its chief internal beauty--the
exquisite proportions which trick you at first into believing it to be
much smaller than it is.

When seen from without, it looks colossal. It is splendid and
imposing, but it is much more, for it has a curiously fantastic and,
indeed, almost whimsical charm, as if its builder, Sinan, had been
a playful genius, full of gaiety and exuberance of spirit, who made
this great mosque with joy and with lightness of heart, but who never
forgot for a moment his science, and who could not be vulgar even in
his most animated moments of invention. Massiveness and grace are
blended together in this beautiful exterior. Round the central dome
multitudes of small domes--airy bubbles thrown up on the surface of the
mosque--are grouped with delightful fantasy. Four minarets, the two
farthest from the mosque smaller than their brethren, soar above the
trees. They are gray, and the walls of the mosque are gray and white.
In the forecourt there is a fine fountain covered with a cupola; the
roof of the cloisters which surround it is broken up into twenty-four
little domes. A garden lies behind the mosque, and the great outer
court is planted with trees.

In the garden are the _turbehs_, or tombs, of Suleiman the Magnificent
and of Roxalana, “the joyous one,” that strange captive from Russia,
who by her charm and the power of her temperament subdued a nation’s
ruler, who shared the throne of the sultan, who guided his feet in the
ways of crime, and who to the day of her death was adored by him. For
Roxalana’s sake, Suleiman murdered his eldest son by another wife,
and crept out from behind a curtain to look upon him dead; and for
Roxalana’s sake that son’s son was stabbed to death in his mother’s
arms. Now the fatal woman sleeps in a great octagonal marble tomb near
the tomb of her lord and slave.

An atmosphere of peace and of hoary age broods over these tombs and the
humble graves that crowd close about them. Mulberry-trees, fig-trees,
and cypresses throw patches of shade on the rough gray pavement, in
which is a small oval pool, full of water lest the little birds should
go thirsty. A vine straggles over a wall near by; weeds and masses of
bright yellow flowers combine their humble efforts to be decorative;
and the call to prayer drops down from the mighty minarets to this
strange garden of stones, yellow flowers, and weeds, where the lovers
rest in the midst of Stamboul, which once feared and adored them.
They were two criminals, but there was strength in their wickedness,
strength in their pride and their passion. Romance attended their
footsteps, and romance still lingers near them.

One morning, as I sat beneath the noble fig-tree which guards
Roxalana’s tomb, and listened to the voice of the muezzin floating
over old Stamboul, and watched the birds happily drinking at the edge
of their little basin in the pavement, I thought of the influence of
cities. Does not Stamboul forever incite to intrigue, to lawlessness,
to bloodshed? The muezzin calls to prayer, but from old Stamboul arises
another voice, sending forth an opposing summons. Suleiman heard it
echoed by Roxalana and slew his son; Roxalana heard and obeyed it;
and how many others have listened and been fatally moved by it! It
has sounded even across the waters of the sea and over the forests of
Yildiz, and Armenians have been slain by thousands while Europe looked
on. And perhaps in our day, and after we are gone, old Stamboul will
command from its seven hills, and will be horribly obeyed.

I shall always remember, among many less famous buildings, the small
mosque of Rustem Pasha near the Egyptian bazaar, with its beautiful
arcade and its strangely confused interior, full of loveliness and bad
taste, of atrocious modern painting and oleographic horrors, mingled
with exquisite marble and perfect tiles. The wall of the arcade gleams
with lustrous faience, purple and red, azure and milk-white, and with
patterns of great flowers with green centers and turquoise leaves. I
recall, too, the Mosaic Mosque, once the church of the monastery of
the Chora, which stands on a hill from which Stamboul looks like a
beautiful village embowered in green, cheerful and gaily fascinating.
The church is ugly outside, yellow and lead-colored, with a white
plaster minaret, and it is surrounded by wooden shanties like booths;
but its mosaics are very interesting and beautiful, and its chief
muezzin, Mustafa Effendi, is a delight in his long golden robe and his
yellow turban.

Mustafa Effendi was born near Brusa in Asia Minor, but for forty-two
years he has held the office of chief muezzin at the Mosaic Mosque, on
which all his thoughts seem centered. He speaks English a little, and
has an almost inordinate sense of humor. As he pointed out the mosaics
to me with his wrinkled hand, he abounded in comment, and more than
once his thin voice was almost overwhelmed by ill-suppressed laughter.
He seemed specially entertained as he drew my attention to two birds on
the wall--“Monsieur Peacock and Madame Peahen,” and he was obliged to
abandon all dignity and to laugh outright when we came to a company of
saints and angels.

The most sacred mosque in Turkey lies outside of Stamboul, at Eyub,
far up the Golden Horn and not very distant from the “sweet waters of
Europe.” In it, on their accession, the sultans are solemnly girded
with Osman’s sword instead of being crowned. Eyub is a place of
tombs. Chief eunuchs and grand vizirs sleep near the sea in great
mausoleums inclosed within gilded railings, and some of them surrounded
by gardens; on the hillside above them thousands of the faithful rest
under cypresses in graves marked by dusty headstones leaning awry.

The center, or heart, of Eyub is a pleasant village, which gathers
closely about the mosque, and is full of a quietly cheerful life. Just
beyond the court of the mosque is a Turkish bath, where masseurs,
with shaven heads and the usual tuft, lounge in the sunshine while
waiting for customers. Near by are many small shops and cafés. In one
of the latter I ate an excellent meal of rice and fat mutton, cooked
on a spit which revolved in the street. If you stray from the center
of the village toward the outskirts, you find yourself in a deserted
rummage of tombs, of white columns, white cupolas, cloisters, rooms for
theological students, mausoleums of white and pink marble. No footsteps
resound on the pavement of the road, no voices are heard in the little
gardens, no eyes look out through the railings. As I wandered through
the sunshine to the small stone platform where the sultan descends from
his horse when he comes to be girded with the sword, I saw no sign
of life; and the only noise that I heard was the persistent tap of a
hammer near the sea, where his Majesty is building an imperial mosque
of white stone from Trebizond.

Presently, growing weary of the white and silent streets of the
tombs, I turned into a narrow alley that ran by a grated wall, above
which great trees towered, climbing toward heaven with the minaret
of the Mosque of Eyub, but failing in their journey a little below
the muezzin’s balcony. They were cypresses, and creepers climbed
affectionately with them. Just beyond them I came into the court of the
mosque, and found myself in the midst of a crowd of pilgrims before the
tomb of Abu Eyub, which is covered with gilding and faience. Near it is
a fountain protected by magnificent plane-trees which are surrounded by
iron railings decorated with dervish caps.

[Illustration: THE MOSQUE OF SULEIMAN AT CONSTANTINOPLE

PAINTED FOR THE CENTURY BY JULES GUÉRIN]

I had been told more than once that the Christian dog is unwelcome in
Eyub, and I was soon made aware of it. In the façade of the tomb
there is a hole through which one can look into the interior. Taking my
turn among the pilgrims, I presently stood in front of this aperture,
and was about to peep in discreetly when a curtain was sharply drawn
across it by some one inside. I waited for a moment, but in vain; the
curtain was not drawn back, so at last I meekly went on my way, feeling
rather humiliated. A Greek friend afterward told me that an imam was
stationed within the tomb, and that no doubt he had drawn the curtain
against me because I was an unbeliever.

Duly chastened by this rebuff, I nevertheless went on to the mosque,
and was allowed to go in for a moment on making a payment. The
attendant was very rough and suspicious in manner, and watched me as if
I were a criminal; and the pilgrims who thronged the interior stared
at me with open hostility. I thought it wiser, therefore, to make only
a cursory examination of the handsome marble interior, with its domes
and semi-domes, and afterward, with a sense of relief, took my way up
the hillside, to spend an hour among the leaning gravestones in the
shade of the cypresses. Each stone above the grave of a man was carved
with a fez, each woman’s stone with a flower; and tiny holes formed
receptacles to collect the rainwater, so that the birds might refresh
themselves above the dust of the departed.

The great field of the dead was very tranquil that day. I saw only two
closely veiled women moving slowly in the distance and an old Turk
sitting with a child, at the edge of the hill before a café.

On the bare hill to my left I saw the white gleam of the stones
in a Jewish cemetery; and, beneath, the pale curve of the Golden
Horn, ending in the peace of the desolate country. Red-roofed Eyub,
shredding out into blanched edges of cupolas and tombs by the sultan’s
landing-place, marked the base of the bill; and, beyond, in the
distance, mighty Stamboul, brown, with red lights here and there where
the sun struck a roof, streamed away to Seraglio Point. The great
prospect was closed by the shadowy mountains of Asia, among which I
divined, rather than actually saw, the crest of Olympus.

In these Turkish cemeteries there is a romantic and poignant melancholy
such as I have found in no other places of tombs. They breathe out an
atmosphere of fatalism, of bloodless resignation to the inevitable.
Their dilapidation suggests rather than mere indifference a sense
of the uselessness of care. Dust unto dust, and there an end. But
far off in Stamboul the minarets contradict the voices that whisper
over the fields of the dead; for the land of the Turk is the home of
contradictions, and among them there are some that are welcome.

To rid myself of the clinging impression of sadness that stole over
me among the cypresses of Eyub, later in the day I took a boat to the
shore of Asia, and visited the English graveyard at Haidar Pasha, where
long ago Florence Nightingale established her hospital for soldiers
wounded in the Crimean War, and where now Germans have built an
elaborate station from which some day we shall be able to set out for
Bagdad. Already smart corridor cars, with white roofs and spotlessly
clean curtains, and with “Bagdad” printed in large letters upon them,
are running from the coast to mysterious places in the interior of
Asia. In the excellent restaurant beer flows freely. If the mystic word
“Verboten” were not absent from the walls, one might fancy himself
in Munich on entering the station at Haidar Pasha. On the hill just
above the station lies the English cemetery, a delightful garden of
rest, full of hope and peace. It is beautifully kept, and contains
the home of the guardian, a British soldier, who lives with his wife
and daughters in a cozy stone bungalow fronted by flower-beds and
trees. Close to his house is a grave with a broken column, raised on
a platform which is approached by three steps and surrounded by a
circular grass-plot. Here I found a serious Montenegrin, one of the
workers in the cemetery, busily employed. He had spread sheets of
paper all over the grass-plot, and up the steps of the grave, and had
scattered above them a great mass of wool which suggested a recent
sheep-shearing. When I came up he was adding more wool to the mass with
a sort of grave ardor. I asked him what the wool was for and why he was
spreading it out. He glanced up solemnly and replied:

“It is for my bed. I live in that shed over there, and am preparing my
mattress for the winter.”

And he continued quietly and dexterously to scatter the wool over the
tomb.

The cemetery, which looks out over the sea and the beautiful shores of
Europe, is full of the graves of soldiers who died of wounds received
in the Crimean War, or of maladies caught in camp and in the trenches.
Among them lie the bodies of many devoted women who worked to allay
their sufferings.

Bent perpetually on escape from the uproar of Pera, in which at night
I was forced to dwell, I made more than one excursion to the walls and
the seven towers of Stamboul. There are three sets of walls, the land,
the sea, and the harbor walls. The Seven Towers, Yedi Kuleh, are very
near to the Sea of Marmora, and are now unused and deserted, the home
no longer of imprisoned ambassadors, of sultans, and vizirs, but of
winds from the islands and from Asia, of grass, yellow wild-flowers,
and the fallen leaves of the autumn. When I went there I was alone
save for one very old man, the peaceful successor of the Janizaries
who long ago garrisoned this marvelous place of terror and crime. With
him at my heels I wandered among the trees of the deserted inclosure,
surrounded by gray and crenelated walls, above which the towers rose
up grimly toward the windy sky; I penetrated through narrow corridors
of stone; I crawled through gaps and clambered over masses of rubble
and fallen masonry; I visited tiny and sinister chambers inclosed
in the thickness of the walls; peered through small openings; came
out unexpectedly on terraces. And the old man muttered and mumbled
in my ears, monotonously and without emotion, the history of crime
connected with the place. Here some one was starved to death; here
another was strangled by night; in this chamber a French ambassador
was held captive; the blood of a sultan dyed these stones red; at the
foot of this bit of wall there was a massacre; just there some great
person was blinded. And, with the voice in my ears, I looked and I
saw white butterflies flitting, with their frivolous purity, among
the leaves of acacia-trees, and snails crawling lethargically over
rough gray stones. Near the Golden Gate, where an earthquake has
shaken down much of the wall, and the Byzantine dove of carved stone
still remains--ironically?--as an emblem of peace, was a fig-tree
giving green figs; Marmora shone from afar; in the waterless moat that
stretches at the feet of the walls the grasses were waving, the ivy
grew thick, here and there big patches of vegetables gave token of the
forethought and industry of men. And beyond, stretching away as far
as eye could see, the cemeteries without the city disappeared into
distances, everywhere shadowed by those tremendous, almost terrible,
cypresses that watch over the dead in the land of the Turk.

Beauty and sadness, crime and terror, wonderful romance, and a ghastly
desolation, seemed brooding over this strange region beyond the reach
of the voices of the city. Even the ancient man was silent at last. He
had recited all the horrors his old memory contained, and at my side he
stood gazing with bleary eyes across the moat and the massy cypresses,
and with me, he turned to capture the shining of Marmora.

On the farther verge of the moat three dogs, which had somehow escaped
the far-flung nets, wandered slowly seeking for offal; some women
hovered darkly among the graves; a thin, piercing cry, that was not
without a wild sweetness, rose to me from somewhere below. I looked
down, and there, among the rankly growing grasses of the moat, I saw a
young girl, very thin, her black hair hanging, and bound with bright
handkerchiefs, sketching vaguely a _danse du ventre_. As I looked she
became more precise in her movements, and her cries grew more fierce
and imperative. From some hovel, hidden among the walls, other children
streamed out, with cries and contortions, to join her. For here among
the ruins the Turkish Gipsies have made their home. I threw down some
coins and turned away. And as I went, returning through the old places
of assassination, I was pursued by a whining of pipes and a thrumming
of distant guitars. The Gipsies of old Stamboul were trying to lure me
down from my fastness to make merry with them among the tombs.

    (Conclusion.)

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

MOSQUE OF SANTA SOPHIA, CONSTANTINOPLE

FROM THE PAINTING MADE FOR THE CENTURY BY JULES GUÉRIN]



[Illustration: OXEN BREAKING HOMESTEAD LAND IN CANADA]



IF CANADA WERE TO ANNEX THE UNITED STATES

HER TRADE DEPENDENCE AND HER POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE

(“THE TRADE OF THE WORLD” PAPERS)

BY JAMES DAVENPORT WHELPLEY

Author of “The Commercial Strength of Great Britain,” “Germany’s
Foreign Trade,” etc.

WITH PHOTOGRAPHS


In the year 1899 a Canadian election agent, who had long been
identified with the fortunes of the Liberal party, was a visitor in
Washington. He expressed a wish to meet the late President McKinley,
whose pleasing personality then pervaded the White House. “Nothing
easier,” said his American friend, and an appointment was made
forthwith. The President greeted the Canadian visitor with that
charming air of particular interest and personal pleasure for which he
was famed, and the conversation quite naturally drifted into political
channels. The Canadian was soon put at ease, and in the course of the
interview said: “This is a very great occasion for me, Mr. President. I
had looked forward to it as a remote possibility, but one which would
mark a red-letter day in my life. I have felt that I wanted above
all things during my visit here to shake hands with a man in whom
the American people had so much trust that they placed fifty million
dollars in his hands, and told him to go ahead and spend it as he
thought would best serve the country in the controversy with Spain.
It was a wonderful evidence of trust and confidence, Mr. President;
and I am proud to meet the man who was deemed worthy of it by a great,
intelligent, and modern nation.”

The President’s face glowed with pleasure as the compliment passed,
and he made modest and fitting reply. The Canadian then added: “But I
want to say, Mr. President, that I consider it a most terrible waste of
money. What do you get for it? Porto Rico, the Philippines, and a few
other odds and ends, to say nothing of the loss to the American nation
of many lives, the disturbance to business, and a thousand other evils
that follow a war. I can tell you of a much better plan for increasing
the wealth, size, population, and strength of this country. Give me
two million dollars to spend in the next Canadian election, and I will
guarantee the peaceful annexation of Canada to the United States. And
look what you get!”

President McKinley was apparently much amused, and accepted the
statement in the spirit in which it was made; that is to say, the
suggestion was so far removed from the domain of the real as to
prevent it from being seriously discussed. If it is possible in these
days, however, for influences of various kinds emanating from the
United States to turn the scale in a Canadian election against freer
commercial relations between Canada and the United States, it is not
impossible that this practical Canadian politician spoke with greater
knowledge and greater seriousness than he received credit for. It must
be remembered that at that time there were avowed “annexationists” in
Canada, and a party in favor of closer commercial relations with the
United States was strongly intrenched in power with the Canadian voters.

When the Canadian Parliament, representing as it does, in the
degree in which such bodies do represent, the Canadian people, votes
$35,000,000 as a contribution to England’s navy, the consideration of
Canada as a nation is forced upon the world. It is not that Canada has
need of the British navy any more than she needs a chain of forts along
her southern border. It is because of the spirit of independence of
natural laws of transportation, economics, and all other things that
flow along the line of least resistance, shown by this act of fealty
to an idea which might naturally have lost its vividness in crossing
three thousand miles of water. England never did much to strengthen
the tie between herself and Canada, and even now does little but talk.
This talk is inspired by an awakening sense of the absolute necessity
of oversea dominions to maintain the greatness of “little England” in
the face of rivals becoming more formidable at an amazing rate. There
is more human nature in the revival of Canadian loyalty to England,
England’s greater appreciation of Canada, and a joint cold shoulder
to the United States, than there is statesmanship or economic wisdom.
The natural routes of trade and commerce in Canada lead to the south;
the character and social conditions of the people are North American,
not English. The temperate zone of the North American continent, along
the northern fringe of which lies Canada, is all one country in its
aspirations and material progress.

[Illustration: GRAIN-ELEVATORS IN PRINCE ALBERT, CANADA]

[Illustration: NEW GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC ELEVATOR AT FORT WILLIAM,
ONTARIO]

I remember sitting in a London club one day at the time of the jubilee
of the late Queen Victoria. Near me sat two Canadian army officers who
were with the contingent of troops sent to the celebration in England.
They were tall, raw-boned, leathery-skinned youths of the type now
known to Europe as American. Seated in the club window, quietly and
observantly watching the passing crowd, one of them suddenly blurted
out to the other, “Well, there’s one thing I’ve learned on this trip,
if nothing else.”

“What’s that?” inquired the other.

“Well I’ve learned that I am not an Englishman, as I’ve always supposed
myself to be. I’m a Canadian. We don’t know them, and they don’t know
us; and what is more, while we are interested enough to try to know
them, they just don’t care one way or another. Our point of view is
different; and I’m going back home more of a Canadian than I ever was.”

When the Hon. William S. Fielding, formerly Canadian Minister of
Finance, introduced his now famous budget to the Canadian Parliament
several years ago, in which Canada virtually declared a tariff war
upon Germany, he said quite frankly that the important feature of
this action was not the apparent hostility to Germany, but that such
hostility might serve as a warning to the United States and to England.
In brief, it was notice to the mother country that Canada was quite
able and ready to act for what she might consider her best interests in
fiscal matters, regardless of the wishes, feelings, or dictation of her
august parent.

Canada has given to English goods preferential duties a third less than
those assessed against the goods of other countries; in times of recent
trouble she has given men and money; and now comes a contribution to
the expense of British armament amounting to nearly five dollars per
capita for every man, woman, and child in the dominion. In return,
England has talked of preferential customs duties, but cannot give
them; she has talked of changing the law under which a Canadian citizen
is not necessarily a citizen of England, but has not done so; she has
talked of an armed defense, which is not needed and never will be,
for, unlike Australia, the Canadians are protected from all possible
enemies by the mere facts of geographical isolation and the presence
to the south of a great and powerful nation which would in her own
interest, if for no other reason (and there are others), permit no
foreigner to alienate a square yard of Canadian soil. England must have
the products of Canadian soil, and English emigrants would go to Canada
in no greater or lesser numbers if the political tie between the two
countries were sundered. As a matter of fact, English immigrants are
accorded the same treatment by Canada as those from other lands, and
are not as welcome, because of the kind that England has sent.

The ties between five sevenths of the people of Canada and the people
of England are those of tradition, sentiment, and blood, while the like
ties of the other two sevenths are to France and the United States.
It may be true that such ties constitute a tangible force, but that
is a matter open to debate, and not to be settled until it comes to
a question of international disputes. The ties between Canada and
the United States are those compelling bonds of geographical and
economic likeness, reciprocity of needs and markets, natural routes for
trade and transportation, sympathetic financial exchanges, individual
investments one within the confines of the other, to say nothing of
the fact that more than a million Canadian-born--a number equaling
one seventh of the present population of Canada--have found homes
and profitable occupation in the United States, within easy hailing
distance of their native land; and in that land are perhaps half a
million or more people who were born in the United States.

At the general election in 1912, nearly half of the Canadian people
voted in favor of closer trade relations with the United States. A
newly elected Democratic Congress in the United States has signified
its intention of not repealing the Canadian Reciprocity Act, and there
are Canadians who believe the day will come, and at no very distant
date, when Canada will yet enter the door thus left ajar, and absorb
to herself a share of the forces for expansion and growth of industry
which are urging her neighbor to the tremendous pace of the present day.

[Illustration: DISKING AND HARROWING BY STEAM IN CANADA

Contractors take outfits of this sort into the newer districts, and for
a small charge “break” the homesteaders’ virgin land.]

[Illustration: From a photograph by Notman, Montreal

ASBESTOS-MINE IN THEDFORD, CANADA]

Notwithstanding the inability of England to give, and her readiness
to take, the people of Canada have heroically set themselves to the
task of directing their national growth along the lines of strongest
resistance. They will not succeed in the end; but this conclusion
does not detract from world-wide interest in the struggle, or from
the significance and interest of the results of this Canadian policy,
which, as stated, originates more in the qualities of human nature than
from the observance of economic laws and an attempt to take advantage
thereof. The logical course of events, following the coöperation of
human endeavor and natural laws, would be the unification of the North
American continent, politically, industrially, commercially, and
financially. That this will come sooner or later is inevitable. In the
meantime, to maintain a political sympathy with an Old World and a
more or less indifferent parent community, to confine transportation,
industry, and social existence to lines laid east and west, and at the
same time to maintain the somewhat strained pose of an independent
nation, is the task the majority of the Canadian people have set for
themselves.

This self-styled nation is making a brave show at an ambitious
task. A splendid national and independent spirit has arisen, and
natural resources are being developed and farmed to the utmost.
It has probably surprised the Canadians themselves to realize the
present power of their word in affairs of the British Empire, a
result not due so much to the weight of Canadian counsels as to the
development of international affairs in Europe, but none the less
gratifying to Canadian pride. For the first time in history the
Canadian Government now finds itself in a position where its demands
upon the mother country are not only listened to with respectful
consideration, but are granted without much ado. Had it not been for
Canadian insistence, backed up by the coöperation of other British
possessions, the protest of the British Government over the action of
Congress in the matter of the Panama Canal tolls would not have been
so insistent; notwithstanding the alarm felt in England over the
proposed reciprocity between Canada and the United States, the British
Government was forced to leave the matter entirely in the hands of
Canada, breathing a sigh of intense relief when it was found that the
event was at least postponed. In many other cases where a few years ago
all negotiations concerning Canadian affairs would have been conducted
as between the United States and England, the latter country more
recently has remained a passive and subservient listener, standing
ready to carry out the wishes of Canada when the negotiations came to
an end.

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

VIEW ON THE NEW WELLAND SHIP CANAL, WHICH CONNECTS LAKE ONTARIO WITH
LAKE ERIE]

Politically, therefore, Canada has finally won for herself the position
of a virtually independent nation, self-governed and self-contained
except for the form of obtaining the now ever-ready acquiescence of the
mother country in her final dealings with foreign nations.

This was made possible by the very reasons which will forever bar
Canada from a like industrial, commercial, financial, or social
independence. The geographical and economic dependence of Canada upon
the United States forced England to proceed carefully in dealing with
Canadian affairs, to prevent alienation and possible final separation
by the wish and necessities of the Canadian people. This attitude is
an acknowledgment in itself of the independence of Canada from Great
Britain and her tendencies in other directions. However, to say that
Canada never can achieve the full measure of her material greatness
as an independent nation takes nothing from her present power or her
splendid progress. In fact, the greater the latter, the more evident
will be the need to extend her southern boundaries.

If the position were reversed from what it is to-day, and the
proposition were to be submitted to the Canadian people whether or
not they would annex the United States, the vote would be virtually
unanimous in favor of such annexation. The economic results would be
the same as if the United States annexed Canada; the people of the
whole continent would move forward at the same pace now observed in the
expanding industry and internal power of the United States.

The reasons of Canada’s handicap lie in a lack of geographical and
economic balance. From a material point of view, the country is not
self-contained. An artificial barrier extends across its southern
boundary, forcing transportation to follow unnatural lines and rolling
back the tide of Canadian productive industry upon itself. Rivers,
lakes, and valleys flow north and south. Eastern and western Canada
are separated by twelve hundred miles, more or less, of almost totally
infertile country. The snow and ice of winter point to the southern
route as the natural outlet for traffic during certain seasons of
the year. The population is not sufficient to absorb the products of
huge mills, big enough to manufacture at a price which makes possible
competition with Europe and countries elsewhere. The greatest and
highest-priced marts of the world are across that theoretical line
drawn upon the map and existing only as an idea in the minds of the
people, a stimulus to local patriotism, and a hindrance to development
in most directions. Her people are barred from the best in material
prosperity, the best in the arts, in music, and literature, because
these things come only where human beings congregate in sufficient
numbers to make it possible to support them; and the cities of Canada
never can reach that point of development where such will be possible
so long as the pass to the south is blocked by even an idea.

With the aid of foreign capital, seven eighths of which, by the way,
is Scottish, not English, Canada has built her railways, her mills,
and established her banks; with the aid of subsidies she has made
possible her manufactures and even her news agencies. Her per capita
national debt is the largest in the world, a token in this case of
amazing energy, courage, and enterprise, and not of fruitless wars or
unproductive extravagance. The units of Canadian population are highly
prosperous and intelligent, and possess a purchasing power superior
to nearly every other community in the world. The profit of to-day,
however, has come, first, from the rapidly increasing land values, and,
second, from the fatness of virgin lands. There will be an end to this
in its earliest and simplest forms. The profits upon the land have been
largely taken; and while the virgin land is still yielding to the plow
and numberless thousands of acres are still untouched, the nuggets
lying on the ground have been closely gleaned, and more scientific,
systematic, and expensive effort is necessary to reap the harvest yet
available.

Land values in the Canadian towns and cities have reached the
danger-point, and in some cases have exceeded it. There is an old and
long-established law that land is worth only what it will produce, be
it cash or produce for cash, and that in the end all values flow to
this level. The material development of Canada will proceed upon sure
lines, for it is based upon that measure of all values, the products
of the earth; but the rate of development cannot be hurried beyond a
certain point, and this, while satisfactory enough in itself, will not
be at the pace the enthusiasts would have us believe. The same story
has been written of the western United States, and as the conditions
are virtually the same, history will repeat itself. Canada has this
advantage, and that is the increasing population of the world and its
increasing need or absorptive power, which is far greater to-day than
in the decades when the western frontier of America was being pushed
toward the Pacific coast.

With all this, the record of Canadian accomplishments is an amazing
tale of wondrous energy and gigantic results. Put the figures of
Canadian population, immigration, enterprise, and production side by
side with those of the greater nations, and they are not large in
comparison; but take them by themselves, as they stand, and they are
pregnant with promise for the future of this land which stretches
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, is only estopped on the south by an
imaginary line drawn just where a greater prosperity should begin, and
limited at the north solely by the degree of cold and the length of
winter that may control human endeavor in its strivings for material
advance.

In some directions the science of government is more highly developed
in Canada than in any other country in the world. A notable instance
of this is in the administration and disposal of public land.
Notwithstanding the vast area to be given away to settlers, there has
been no prodigality or waste. The home-builder is the man that is
wanted, and he is the only one who can secure title to arable land. The
banking system is held to be superior to that of the United States;
tenure in administrative and judicial office is based largely upon
good behavior; immigration is restricted along protective lines; and
the customs are administered with the least possible inconvenience to
the importer or the traveler. In the endeavor to overcome the natural
tendency of trade to flow north and south, and the limitations of her
industrial present, Canada has been led into the doubtful byways of
subsidy; but as the years progress and the country adjusts itself,
there is a notable tendency to be more chary in creating industries
that must be kept alive by direct gift; and those already enjoying
these special privileges have been warned to prepare for the day when
public opinion will demand that they stand or fall upon their own
merits.

The figures of Canadian progress tell a story of wonderful energy, and
in one particular they are especially interesting and significant. The
population of Canada has not increased as might be expected, in view of
her great industrial expansion. In fact, it has barely doubled in forty
years. In the last four decades the population of the United States has
grown about twenty-five per cent. in each succeeding ten years, while
that of Canada has increased by thirty, eleven, twelve, and seventeen
per cent. in the same periods. That is to say, while the population of
Canada was doubling itself, that of the United States increased to two
and a half times the number in 1871. In that same forty years, however,
the productive and absorptive energies of the Canadian unit have
increased enormously, until in these respects a point has been reached
without parallel in any other country.

While, as stated, the population has about doubled in forty years,
deposits in the post-office savings-banks have risen from $2,500,000 to
$43,000,000; total bank deposits from $67,000,000 to $1,000,000,000;
the national revenue from $20,000,000 to $118,000,000; expenditure for
life-insurance from $1,800,000 to $20,000,000; the amount paid for
mail and steamship subventions from $286,000 to nearly $2,000,000;
the number of letters and post-cards handled by the post-office from
27,000,000 to 550,000,000; passengers on railways from 5,000,000 to
37,000,000; tons of freight hauled on railways from 5,000,000 to
80,000,000, and on canals from 3,000,000 to 43,000,000.

In that same time the national debt has increased from $77,000,000 to
$508,338,592. The total mineral production has grown in value from the
figure of 1886, when it was $10,000,000, to $107,000,000 in 1911. Coal
production has increased in value from $3,000,000 to $30,000,000, and
total foreign trade from $162,000,000 to $771,000,000.

There are in Canada to-day about 1,500,000 families, and only about
75,000 of these are without a dwelling to themselves--a great record of
a home-building nation. There is now nearly a billion dollars invested
in Canadian manufactures. Nearly 400,000 wage-earners have a payroll of
about $150,000,000, and the product of their labor brings nearly the
same amount of revenue to the nation as is invested in the productive
plants. These figures are all the more extraordinary in that the
figures of increase of population bear little relation thereto. It is
the story of a great industrial awakening, following the discovery of
latent natural resources which applied industry and intelligence have
transmuted into wealth and profitable occupation for labor.

In the last ten years the population of Prince Edward Island, the
Northwest Territories, and the Yukon, has decreased by 9, 14, and
69 per cent., respectively. Some of this decrease has been caused
by changes of political boundary-lines. Of the total increase in
population nearly sixty per cent. has taken place in the four western
provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba,
the relative expansion of these provinces in number of inhabitants
being 439 per cent., 413 per cent., 119 per cent., and 73 per cent.,
respectively. The total increase of population in the last decade
was 1,834,000, and it was distributed as follows: 1,117,000 in the
four western or agricultural provinces; 354,000 in Quebec; 340,000 in
Ontario; and 54,000 in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. To the western
provinces have gone the people seeking homes on the new lands, and to
the lively towns and cities, which have become the centers of these
great productive areas, have thronged laborers, purveyors to the
wants of the settlers, those who offer facilities for the exchange of
commodities, and the usual large percentage who, in a new country, live
off the industry of others by taking advantage of the eagerness of
would-be buyers and sellers to make quick bargains.

As in the history of every newly opened reserve of the world, fortunes
have been made from a shoe-string by those shrewd enough to step in
between the seller and the buyer in time to take a part of the profit
to themselves. The man who buys acreage and sells town lots is the
speculator who has made money the world over. The purchaser of the
latter may in turn make profit for himself, but the cream has been
taken by the prophet who can materialize the vision of the paved
street across the plowed field or the prairie sod. All new or rapidly
developing countries pass through this stage of swift encroachment of
town upon country, and up to a certain point it remains legitimate and
normal--that is to say, so long as it fills the measure of need. The
momentum thus gained, however, has seldom failed to carry the movement
beyond the legitimate, and numberless acres have been in turn sold for
taxes, and the farmer’s plow has turned up the stakes which were to
mark the lines of pretentious boulevards.

The time of reaction is one of danger and often of disaster. Western
Canada has already passed through several periods of stress and trial
of this character, and the early story of the now thriving city of
Winnipeg is full of tragedy to those who were caught in the reactionary
period of many years ago. After a certain time, however, these places
find themselves, possibilities and impossibilities are recognized, and
values assume true levels, which in many cases constantly but sanely
keep pace in their rise with the development of tributary territory. It
seems to be a truism that the prices of Broadway or the Strand could
not be legitimately duplicated in Prairieville or Rocky Pass, but men
surely sane and successful elsewhere apparently become intoxicated as
they breathe the stimulating air of the Northwest, and blinded by the
vision of the future, they buy or loan in haste not only their own
money, but that of others, only to lose, and curse their temporary
aberration in the calmness of second thought or the depressing
incident of a “busted boom.” Optimism is the key-note of life in a
new community, and the true story of the poor man who stumbled over a
wheelbarrow-load of gold nuggets is the constant incentive to the weary
prospector who is measuring his daily dole from his last sack of flour.
It is a thankless task to measure real values in the Northwest at the
moment, for no matter how high they may be placed, such measure meets
with the approval of no one, neither of the man who has something to
sell, nor of the man inclined to buy. The spirit of the gambler is in
all human nature, and in none more than the frontiersman; and there
is no check to its development in the high-strung, optimistic, and
get-rich-quick communities living in the electric atmosphere of our
far-flung Northwestern horizons.

Genuine opportunity abounds, and the keen, restless minds of those who
blaze the way for the more conservative are impatient of suggested
limitations. Perhaps it is just as well it is so, for in the end, while
some are trampled under the car, the final adjustment yields no higher
death-rate in hopes than in older communities, and in the younger
aspirant for civic greatness there is real opportunity for all; whereas
in the older settlements there is often opportunity for those alone who
already have the power and the means to create it.

An increase of 354,000 in the population of Quebec during the last
ten years means a large natural increase characteristic of the
French-Canadian inhabitants, and a development of lumbering, mining,
and fishing industries natural to any section of the world so easy of
access and so rich in such resources. The population of Ontario, that
stronghold of the British in Canada, has increased by 340,000. This is
due to the development of manufacturing. Cheap power, raw material,
and favorable natural location, with protection and bounty advantages,
are being made use of by foreign capital. The recent decision of the
United States Steel Corporation to build a $20,000,000 plant in Canada
is no part of a boom; it is only the maturing of plans made long ago
in view of future possibilities, and a realization that the time was
now ripe to move. The building of this plant bears no relation to
the bounty now given on Canadian manufactured iron, for that is too
uncertain, too political, too subject to the popular whim, to base a
great and permanent industrial enterprise upon. It is based entirely
upon an economic situation deemed favorable to the establishment of an
extensive and profitable industry.

The rush to the wheat-fields of the Canadian Northwest is easily
understood. For twenty years Europe poured a great stream of
intelligent, industrious farmers into the United States to take
advantage of the free and arable lands. Not a few from eastern and
central Canada crossed the line to the south for the same purpose.
With the exhaustion of the more easily acquired lands, the tide turned
more northward, and while the movement has not yet attained, and
probably never will reach, the flood-tide witnessed in the agricultural
immigration into the United States, the same forces are at work, and
the same results will be achieved.

In the days when the grain area of the United States filled up with
people, wheat was fifty cents a bushel or less, and “dollar wheat”
was the dream of the grain-farmer. The dream has come true, and this
increase in value has given the movement strength enough to overcome
serious climatic differences and remoteness from markets; or, in
brief, it has equalized the line of greater resistance. In the last
ten years perhaps 750,000 people from the United States have gone to
Canada, most of them seeking homes. On the whole, this immigration has
been of a very desirable class, and it is estimated that these people
have taken with them to their new homes an average of about a thousand
dollars in money or property for every man, woman, and child, or total
assets of about $750,000,000. Many a prosperous farmer, with perhaps
a hundred and forty acres of land in Iowa, Illinois, or other good
farming States, has thought about his family, and realized that at his
death his property would have to be sold in order that each might get
his share. He has found that by selling his valuable but comparatively
small farm at a good figure he would have enough to improve and stock
at least six hundred and forty acres of the Canadian Northwest, thus
giving him ample land at some time in the future to divide among
his children and leave each one with a workable portion. Canada has
welcomed these settlers, as well she might. They have willingly become
Canadians and are good citizens. Their influence will in time add
insensibly to the force at work for the economic unification of the
North American continent, though in the meantime they are as good
Canadians as immigrants in the United States are good Americans, even
in the first generation.

There is possibly about $2,000,000,000 of British and other European
capital invested in Canada, but it takes little active part in
influencing the country politically or otherwise in the direction of
its progress. As a rule, the English send out their money in hopes of
larger earnings than would be had at home--and to escape the income
tax; France, for the income received therefrom; both people investing
in listed securities rather than industrial adventures. It is not quite
the same with $350,000,000 of American money that has found its way
into Canadian investment. Much of this money is engaged in enterprises
based upon Canadian trade, protected by Canadian tariff, benefited by
Canadian bounties, and competitive with American capital at home. The
force of this influence, taken with antagonisms of similar character
originating south of the Canadian boundary, and the active aid of
certain high-tariff enthusiasts in the United States, enabled the
anti-reciprocity party in Canada to score over those in favor of closer
commercial union between the two countries. It might not be comforting
to the pride of Canadians to know or to have it said just how far these
influences went in deciding the political fate of the dominion at the
moment, and it might detract from the quality of the self-gratification
of the English to know how this so-called manifestation of Canadian
loyalty was really brought about. It is equally true that those in the
United States who worked so long and so ardently for greater freedom of
trade with Canada, believing it would result in great good for their
own country as well as for Canada, are not inclined to cheerfulness
when they realize just how much of their defeat they owe to the
antagonistic influence of their own fellow-countrymen, directors of
American industries which have grown into perhaps too great power in
the nation through the willingness on the part of the American consumer
to contribute liberally, so that all branches of human endeavor might
prosper together in the general advance of the nation. Just how far
the reaction in favor of reciprocity has gone in both countries since
the last Canadian election, it is impossible to say. It is reasonable
to assume that none who voted in favor of it has changed his opinion,
and it is a matter of public and private record that a goodly number
of those who voted against it in Canada have changed their opinion
since the smoke of battle cleared away and it has been possible to put
a true value on the injudicious or untrue statements of politicians,
be these of an allegedly humorous character or not. This question of
the economic unification of North America is a living issue which will
disappear from the national life of the two English-speaking countries
only with a fulfilment of a commercial union virtually complete. When
President Taft authorized his secretary of state to offer complete
free trade to the Canadian Reciprocity Commissioners as a basis for
negotiation, he was not suggesting the impossible; he was merely ahead
of the times, for some day one of his successors in the White House
will have the honor of carrying the suggestion into practical effect.

The period of great development in Canada began in the decade from
1891 to 1901, when the foreign trade of the country increased by about
$170,000,000, or, in other words, doubled itself. In the following
decade it increased by nearly $384,000,000, or nearly doubled itself
again. A few figures show most strikingly how during the last twenty
years the new Canada was begun and came into her own, for her foreign
trade progressed as follows:

    Years   Exports       Imports        Total

    1871  $74,173,618   $96,092,971   $170,266,589
    1881   98,299,823   105,380,840   203,621,663
    1891   98,417,296   119,967,638   218,384,934
    1901  196,487,632   190,415,525   386,903,157
    1911  297,196,365   472,247,540   769,443,905

In the last forty years Canada increased the export of the products of
her mines from $3,700,000 to $43,000,000; fisheries from $4,000,000 to
$16,000,000; forests from $23,000,000 to $46,000,000; animal products
from $13,000,000 to $53,000,000; agricultural products from $10,000,000
to $90,000,000, and manufactures from $2,500,000 to $44,000,000. Her
greatest gain in the export of any one item has been in wheat and wheat
flour, for in 1871 the exports were valued at $3,560,000, while in 1911
the value reached about $60,000,000. The wheat production of the United
States is about 620,000,000 bushels, valued at about $555,000,000. That
of Canada is about 216,000,000 bushels, valued at about $140,000,000.
The average yield an acre in Canada is more than twenty-one bushels to
the acre, or more than seven bushels an acre greater than the yield to
the south. In 1912, Canada had 32,500,000 acres planted in field crops,
10,000,000 of which were in wheat, and nearly 10,000,000 in oats.

For the last forty years the foreign trade of Canada has been
distributed among the four principal nations as follows:


UNITED KINGDOM

    Years    Imports       Exports        Total

    1873   $68,522,776   $38,743,848   $107,266,624
    1883    52,052,465    47,145,217     99,197,682
    1893    43,148,413    64,080,493    107,228,906
    1903    58,896,901   131,202,321    190,099,222
    1911   109,936,462   136,965,111    246,901,573


UNITED STATES

    Years    Imports       Exports       Total

    1873   $47,735,678   $42,072,526   $89,808,204
    1883    56,032,333    41,668,723    97,701,056
    1893    58,221,976    43,923,010   102,144,986
    1903   137,605,195    71,783,924   209,389,119
    1911   284,934,739   119,396,801   404,331,540


GERMANY

    Years    Imports    Exports       Total

    1873   $1,099,935     $76,553   $1,176,488
    1883    1,809,154     133,697    1,942,851
    1893    3,825,763     750,461    4,576,224
    1903    8,175,604   1,819,223    9,994,827
    1911   10,047,340   2,663,017   12,710,357


FRANCE

    Years    Imports     Exports      Total

    1873   $2,023,288     $31,907   $2,055,195
    1883    2,316,480     617,730    2,934,210
    1893    2,832,117     264,047    3,096,164
    1903    6,580,029   1,341,618    7,921,647
    1911   11,563,773   2,782,092   14,345,865

The two great traders with Canada are the United States and Great
Britain. More than ten years ago Canada gave to certain classes of
imports from England a special reduction of duties amounting on an
average to about 30 per cent. These special favors are doubtless
responsible for a part of the large and sudden increase of imports
from England in the last decade. What would have happened to British
trade in Canada without these tariff concessions is not a cheerful
subject for discussion among British manufacturers, for even with it
the Canadian exports to England form the large part of such increase
of trade, as has been noted. Trade between England and Canada has
increased as a whole by about 140 per cent.; but while imports from
England have risen in forty years from less than $70,000,000 to about
$110,000,000, exports to England have risen from less than $40,000,000
to about $140,000,000. In the same forty years exports from the United
States to Canada have increased from about $48,000,000 to about
$285,000,000, while imports from Canada have gone from $42,000,000 to
about $120,000,000, or a total gain of about 350 per cent. This has
been accomplished without tariff concessions on either side, in fact in
the face of considerable antagonism.

The reasons for American success in the sale of manufactured goods in
Canada in competition with other nations favored, as in the case of
England, with lower customs duties, are not entirely geographical. Not
only are many of the largest Canadian industrial plants of American
origin, or even branches of American institutions, but American
capital is interested in the success of many others. In a report to
his Government the British trade commissioner for Canada says: “The
geographical advantage of our American rivals is fully realized, but
the lesson pressed home is that they are more aggressive in trade
methods, spend more money in selling their goods, are quicker to make
any suggested change in patterns, smarter in business methods and in
design of goods, and quicker in delivering.”

England’s trade with Canada is based upon the necessities of the
mother country in the matter of food supply and raw materials; hence
the increasing Canadian export of the products of the farm and forest.
In supplying the needs of Canada, the British manufacturer meets
in competition the best equipped of all American industries--those
which deal in building supplies of all descriptions, machinery, and
railway equipment. English trade in Canada will continue to increase,
but any hope on the part of Europe to oust the United States from
the lines chosen is doomed to disappointment. Even with free trade
within the British Empire, the situation might not change materially,
though it might lead to a greater investment of American industrial
capital in Canada, a course of events that would in time militate even
more strongly against British trade supremacy than does the present
situation, for competition would then come from within instead of from
without. The development of Canada is the only measure of the future of
American trade in Canada in nearly every direction, and the only way in
which Canada can share fully in this rising tide of industrial activity
is to make a flank attack upon the “friendly enemy” by permitting a
freer exchange of commodities than is now allowed, to which the United
States stands already committed. This would mean an increase in
Canadian production and population such as has never been recorded.

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

THE ST. LAWRENCE AS SEEN FROM THE CITADEL IN QUEBEC]

It is not within the scope of this article to treat of other than the
material side of Canadian development, and yet such treatment leaves
much unsaid that has a direct bearing upon the present and future of
this old-new country, which is rapidly coming into its own. Commercial
and industrial development have been rapid, and yet there is another
Canada including within itself all the activities of human thought.
Literature, art, and science are making amazing strides, stimulated by
the optimism that pervades the life of this Northern land. Long before
preferential tariffs or reciprocity treaties with Canada were seriously
discussed by foreign nations as being of real advantage to them, Canada
had made her impress upon the life of the world through the genius of
her sons and daughters. In fact, the bygone days of calm contentment
with things as they were, acceptance of a position in the world’s
affairs as that merely of a colony of a far-distant country, gave time
for introspection and the cultivation of the graces of the mind. In
those days were laid the foundations of Canada’s great institutions,
her schools, her libraries, her universities, and her laboratories.
Still further back in history were enacted the heroic deeds of her
soldiers and her pioneers, which have yielded to the Canadian people a
pride of race all their own, and made easy the adoption at a later date
of the so-called new national policy to which the people now pin their
faith.

There is no rivalry between the United States and Canada. The interests
of the two peoples are identical; the needs of both countries can be
filled one by the other. No thought of conquest originates south of
the Canadian boundary, and no thought of surrender from within. The
resources of Canada, developed to their utmost, are only supplementary
to the needs of the people of the whole continent; and to the south lie
the great masses of population which are increasing in density at such
a rate as to invite the prediction that before many years have elapsed
it will require the highest potential energy of both peoples to supply
their actual wants. The extension of American trade in Canada cannot be
checked by laws or restrictions; the expansion of American markets for
Canadian produce will be measured only by the ability to supply.



A MESSAGE FROM ITALY

BY MARGARET WIDDEMER


    _There was a white bird lighted on the sill
      That sang of Italy._
    All day the great bands whirled along the mill
      And pale girls languidly
    Wound the long skeins that do not ever end,
      And nothing saw or heard,
    Only one heart flew back to sun and friend
      And freedom with the bird.

    _Doves by the broken fountain in the square
      Cooed at her small brown feet.
    There was wide sky and love and laughter there,
      And the soft wind was sweet;
    The long days ran, like little children, free
      In that blue, sunny air,
    Life did not labor hushed and measuredly,
      There was not gold or care._

    The close heat pulsed, unsweetened by the sun,
      And the blind walls again
    Penned her to tasks unending, unbegun,
      Monotony and pain;
    But all that day her feet paced with gay will,
      Her child-heart circled free.
    _There was a white dove lighted on the sill
      That cooed of Italy._

[Illustration: Plates in tint, engraved for ~The Century~ by C.
W. Chadwick and H. Davidson

DRAWN BY W. T. BENDA]



THE IMPRACTICAL MAN

BY ELLIOTT FLOWER

Author of “Policeman Flynn,” etc.

WITH PICTURES BY F. R. GRUGER


“I am sorry to inform you,” said Shackelford, the lawyer, “that you
have been to some trouble and expense to secure a bit of worthless
paper. This--” and he held up the document he had been examining--“is
about as valuable as a copy of a last week’s newspaper.”

It is possible that Shackelford really regretted the necessity of
conveying this unpleasant information to Peter J. Connorton, Cyrus
Talbot, and Samuel D. Peyton; but, if so, his looks belied him, for he
smiled very much as if he found something gratifying in the situation.

Connorton was the first to recover from the shock.

“Then it’s a swindle!” he declared hotly. “We’ll get that fellow
Hartley! He’s a crook! We’ll make him--”

“Oh, no,” interrupted Shackelford, quietly, “it’s no swindle. According
to your own story, you prepared the paper yourself and paid him for his
signature to it.”

“We paid him twenty-five thousand dollars for his patent,” asserted
Connorton.

“But you didn’t get the patent,” returned Shackelford. “He has assigned
to you, for a consideration of twenty-five thousand dollars, all his
rights, title, and interest in something or other; but the assignment
doesn’t clearly show what. There are a thousand things that it might
be, but nothing that it definitely and positively is. Very likely he
doesn’t know this, but very likely somebody will tell him. Anyhow,
you’ve got to get clear and unquestioned title before you can do
anything with the patent without danger of unpleasant consequences.”

Deeper gloom settled upon the faces of the three, and especially upon
the face of Connorton, who was primarily responsible for their present
predicament.

“What would you advise?” asked Connorton at last.

“Well,” returned the lawyer, after a moment of thought, “you’d better
find him. As near as I can make out, he had no thought of tricking you.”

“Oh, no, I don’t believe he had,” confessed Connorton. “I spoke hastily
when I charged that. He’s too impractical for anything of the sort.”

“Much too impractical, I should say,” added Talbot, and Peyton nodded
approval.

“In that case,” pursued the lawyer, “you can still clinch the deal
easily and quickly--if you get to him first. I see nothing particularly
disturbing in the situation, except the possibility that somebody who
_is_ practical may get hold of him before you do, or that he may learn
in some other way of the value of his invention. Do you know where he
is?”

“No,” answered Connorton. “That’s the trouble.”

“Not so troublesome as it might be,” returned the lawyer. “He is
not trying to hide, if we are correct in our surmise, and his
eccentricities of dress and deportment would attract attention to him
anywhere. I have a young man here in the office who will get track of
him in no time, if you have nothing better to suggest.”

They had nothing better to suggest, so Myron Paulson was called in,
given a description of Ira Hartley, together with such information as
to his associates and haunts as it was possible to give, and sent in
quest of news of him.

“Meanwhile,” observed the lawyer, “I’ll prepare something for his
signature, when we find him, that will have no loopholes in it.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Ira Hartley, as the lawyer had said, was not a hard man to trace. He
was tall and slim, wore a flaring bow tie, a wide-brimmed slouch hat,
clothes that hung loosely upon his spare frame, and smoked cigarettes
in a long reed holder. Add to that some eccentricities of speech and
manner, and it will be readily apparent that he was not likely to be
forgotten by those he encountered.

Paulson learned in brief time that he had gone to Detroit. No one knew
for what purpose, whether he intended to remain there or go elsewhere,
or, in fact, anything about it, except the bare fact that he had left
for Detroit. Certain of his acquaintances understood that it was in
connection with some great and long-cherished plan that was suddenly
made financially possible; but they had no idea of the nature of the
plan.

Paulson, of course, would follow at once, and Connorton regretfully
decided to go with him. Connorton, being large and slow, fond of ease
and of good things to eat, disliked to have the routine of his life
disturbed; but he blamed himself for their very unpleasant predicament,
and, aside from his own financial interest in the affair, he was
desirous to do everything possible to protect his associates and secure
to them the promised profit. Besides, he knew Hartley, and Paulson did
not; so it might easily happen that his presence would be helpful, if
not absolutely necessary, when the inventor should be overtaken.

The lawyer prepared the necessary papers, as far as he could with the
information at hand; but he was not altogether satisfied. The inventor
alone could supply some minor points that he would like to incorporate
in them; so he suggested that they bring Hartley back, if possible.

“If you can’t do that,” he instructed, “get his signature, properly
witnessed and acknowledged, to the assignment of patent, and let it go
at that. I could clinch it a little tighter if I could have a talk with
him, but it isn’t really necessary.”

“Suppose something should happen to him before we get it?” suggested
Connorton.

“You’d lose the patent,” returned the lawyer, calmly. “Title to that
still rests in him, and it would naturally go to his heirs if anything
should happen to him before it is legally transferred to you.”

“Guardian to a lost lunatic!” grumbled Connorton. “A nice job!”

Still grumbling, he left with Paulson for Detroit. He had no idea of
acting in any other than an advisory capacity during the search, of
course. He was on hand to take charge of the negotiations at the
proper time; but until that time should arrive he purposed remaining
in some convenient hotel while Paulson did the scouting. Fortunately,
owing to the inventor’s striking personality, Paulson’s task was not
difficult.

“Gone to Toronto,” was the report he made to Connorton, a few hours
after their arrival in Detroit. “Stopped at the Cadillac, but left
there yesterday.”

“Sure it was Hartley?” queried Connorton.

“No doubt about it,” replied Paulson. “Everybody remembers him, for he
hired a cab, put the cabby inside, and did the driving himself--said he
wanted to see something of the town.”

“That was Hartley, all right,” Connorton admitted, dislodging himself
regretfully from the comfortable lobby chair he was occupying, “and I
suppose we’ll have to hustle along after him. I don’t see why he has to
be so infernally restless, though.”

Again, at Toronto, Connorton had reason to complain of Hartley’s
restlessness. His name was on the register of the King Edward Hotel
when they arrived there; but he had lingered no longer than in Detroit,
and they were still a day behind him.

“Sure it was our Hartley?” asked Connorton.

“No doubt about it,” Paulson replied. “He showed up here with a dunnage
bag instead of a trunk, and they took him for an immigrant and were
going to throw him out.”

“Must be our man,” agreed Connorton. “That’s just the kind of fool
thing he’d do.”

“Made some trouble at the bar,” added Paulson, “by insisting that they
should put the seltzer and lemon-peel in his highball glass first
and add the whisky afterward--said it improved the flavor to have a
highball made that way.”

“That’s Hartley,” asserted Connorton, positively. “Where did he go from
here?”

“North Bay.”

“Where’s that?”

“About two hundred and fifty miles due north.”

Connorton became suddenly perturbed, not to say excited. “Great Scott!”
he exclaimed, “he’s heading for the wilderness!”

Connorton was sufficiently troubled now to forget temporarily his love
of ease. He could imagine nothing that would take Hartley to that
region except some crazy hunting or mining scheme, both of which had
elements of danger. Wherefore they must follow quickly, no matter how
unpleasant the outlook.

But Hartley was not at North Bay, and had not stopped there. That was
easily settled, for it was not so large a place that a man of his
personality could possibly escape observation.

“More uncertain than a flea!” grumbled Connorton. “Probably dropped off
somewhere down the line.”

“Or went on up the line,” suggested Paulson. “Perhaps the ticket-man
will know.”

The ticket-man did. They would have saved time if they had asked him in
the first place instead of making their inquiries at the hotel.

“Sure I saw that sombrero-covered toothpick,” said the ticket-man. “He
asked me if this was the open season for Indians and moose.”

“That’s Hartley,” sighed Connorton. “He’s as likely to shoot one as the
other. What did he do then?”

“Bought a mackinaw that would dazzle your eyes and a ticket to Temagami
and went on with the train--said the Indians were too tame for real
sport here. I couldn’t see what he wanted of a mackinaw in summer, but
he said he liked the color scheme.”

“What’s Temagami?” asked Connorton.

“Temagami Forest Reserve.”

“I knew it,” groaned Connorton. “Headed for the wilderness!”

       *       *       *       *       *

Ira Hartley lay stretched in front of a camp-fire on the shore of Lake
Wausauksinagami. It had been necessary to cover two portages and three
lakes to reach this spot; but it certainly gave him the seclusion that
he sought. No human habitation marred the shore-line of the lake,
although another camp-fire, seen faintly between two of the many
islands, showed that he was not in sole possession. The other camp,
however, was several miles away, so he was quite alone, except for Joe
Lightfoot, his Indian guide; and supreme content was reflected in face
and pose.

True, he had not caught many fish, owing to his own inexpertness with
rod and line rather than to any lack of fish to be caught; but this was
a matter of indifference to him. He had promised himself this outing
long before. He had no particular reason for wanting it, except that he
had heard so much of the joys of life in the open that he had resolved
to try it as soon as opportunity offered; but that was enough for one
of his whimsically impulsive nature, and an increasing desire to try
it had influenced him to some extent in closing with Connorton in the
matter of his invention. He liked to be alone; and surely one could ask
for nothing better in such circumstances than an Indian guide who spoke
tersely when he spoke at all.

The Indian, having cleaned up after supper, squatted with his pipe a
little distance from the fire. Back of him was the shelter-tent under
which Hartley slept, and back of that lay the forest. On the other side
of the fire, the lake shimmered in the moonlight and the water rippled
soothingly on the shore. So restfully beautiful was the scene that it
affected the spirits of both white man and red, and they smoked in
silence for some time.

“Joe,” remarked Hartley at last, “this fosters a tranquillity that
makes me think I’d like to live here all the time. I’ve never seen or
felt anything just like it.”

A part of this comment was beyond Joe, but he caught the main idea.
“Spoil quick,” he suggested.

“Yes, that’s true, too,” admitted Hartley. “The white man certainly
does spoil nature wherever he settles. I suppose I’d build a cabin
first, which wouldn’t be so bad; then I’d think I had to have a
bungalow, which would be crowding things a little; next I’d want
a two-story house and a steam-launch, and after that I’d put in a
telephone and move back to the city. Yes, you’re right, Joe: no white
man could settle here without spoiling it. But it just suits my humor
now. If anybody comes to disturb us, Joe, do me the favor of throwing
him into the lake.”

Joe, being a man of few words, merely grinned, but a moment later he
held up his hand for silence.

“Canoe coming,” he announced.

“Nonsense!” returned Hartley, after vainly trying to catch some sound
other than that of the rippling water and the rustling leaves.

“Canoe coming,” repeated Joe, positively.

A few minutes later even Hartley’s ears caught the swish of a paddle;
and far out on the lake a black spot could be seen in the silvery path
of the moonlight on the water.

“You’re right, Joe, as usual,” he conceded; “but,” he added
whimsically, “don’t forget your duty--into the water he goes! I will
not be disturbed!”

In brief time a canoe, containing three men and a larger stock of
supplies than Connorton had thought it possible to get into so small
a space, shot plainly into view. Connorton himself, anxious and
uncomfortable, occupied a position on some boxes and bags amidships;
Paulson was in the bow, and the guide, Jim Redfeather, was in the stern.

A shelving rock, which ended abruptly in deep water a few feet from
shore, offered the best landing-place for a heavily laden canoe, and
the Indian brought it alongside that point.

Hartley sauntered wearily down to meet his unexpected and unwelcome
guests.

“My goodness, Hartley!” exclaimed Connorton, the moment he saw the
inventor, “I’m glad we’ve found you at last! We’ve had a devil of a
time doing it.”

“If it was so difficult,” murmured Hartley, “why didn’t you give it up?”

“Too important,” replied Connorton. “Help me out, and I’ll tell you
about it. I’m pretty near done up.”

With some difficulty, the large man was transferred from the canoe to
the rock, and, to one who knew him in the city, he was certainly an
extraordinary spectacle. He was dirty, disheveled, and badly sunburned,
having acquired dirt on the portages and blisters on the water.
Moreover, the khaki suit that he wore was too small, the derby hat
seemed sadly out of place, and his position in the canoe had so cramped
him that he walked like a cripple.

“Had to sleep under the stars last night,” he complained, after
introducing Paulson. “Thought we’d locate you the first day, but you’d
gone farther than we expected. Never had such an experience! But that
fire looks good to me,” he added. “Let’s get next to it and come down
to business.”

Hartley laid a detaining hand on his arm. “I’m not in the humor for
business to-night,” he objected. “Let us look out over the moonlit
lake--”

“Damn the lake!” exploded Connorton. “I’ve had enough of it. Let’s get
down to business. It will take but a few minutes to explain--”

“To-morrow,” insisted Hartley. “I may be in the humor for business
to-morrow; but to-night I must insist--”

Now, whether Joe had taken Hartley’s whimsical instructions to “throw
him into the lake” seriously or not never will be known, for the Indian
is not loquacious; but it is a fact that, assisting in unloading the
canoe, he bumped into Connorton at this moment, and Connorton, being
close to the outer edge of the shelving rock, went backward into the
water with a loud splash.

He came up spluttering and floundering like an animated bag of meal,
and Hartley and Paulson quickly pulled him back on the rock. Then they
rushed him to the fire.

“Got a change of clothing, Mr. Connorton?” asked Hartley, solicitously.

“Change of clothing!” sputtered Connorton. “Change of clothing _here_!
Why don’t you ask me if I’ve got a dress suit?”

“Too bad!” commented Hartley. “I haven’t anything extra either, and
it wouldn’t fit you if I had. But you’ll be all right in a blanket, I
guess. Just get those wet clothes off now.”

Connorton objected. His undraped figure was something to cause laughter
rather than command respect, and he had no desire to make any more of
a spectacle of himself than he was already. But Hartley was insistent,
Paulson urged, and the combination of wet clothing and chill night air
made him shiver. So he presently found himself posing under protest as
a large and rather flabby cherub.

It was not dignified. Even when Hartley draped a blanket over him, it
was not dignified. He was quite sure the apparently stolid Indians
were chuckling inwardly, and he distinctly heard Joe refer to him as
Big Splash. If he had only known it, Joe had thus christened him and
always thereafter thus referred to him. He did not know it, but, even
so, it would have delighted his soul to take an ax to Joe. Never before
had he had so murderous an impulse.

There could now be no serious discussion of business before morning, of
course. A large, fleshy man, attired in nothing but a blanket, is not
exactly in a situation to talk business to advantage. He is too much
of a joke. Hartley frankly treated him as a joke, although Paulson was
respectful and sympathetic.

“I am sure,” said Hartley, “that you will feel better to-morrow for your
bath to-night. Just stick your little pink tootsies up to the fire--”

“Shut up!” exploded Connorton.

“Oh, that’s no way to talk to your host,” complained Hartley. “It has a
tendency to make a man peevish; and you don’t want me to be peevish, do
you?”

Connorton did not; and he realized that it would be the part of wisdom
to hold his temper in check. “I beg your pardon, Hartley,” he said.
“It’s not your fault, of course, but I’ve endured such unspeakable
horrors during the last few days that my nerves are all on edge.”

“That’s better,” commended Hartley. “You shall have a nice highball for
that; and then we’ll tuck you in your little bed and sing you to sleep.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Big Splash, as Joe called him, was awakened in the morning by the sound
of a big splash, and he shuddered. It made him think of the great
splash of the night before. Looking out from under the canvas, however,
he discovered that this splash was made by Hartley, who was enjoying an
early swim.

Connorton’s clothes, still damp, hung from the branch of a tree near
at hand, but he did not wait to put them on. He recalled the fact that
he had a very deep and special interest in the life of Hartley, and
Hartley was recklessly splashing about beyond the end of the shelving
rock, where the water was deep. Wherefore, wrapping his blanket about
him, Connorton hurried down to the rock and pleaded with the inventor
to come out.

“What for?” asked Hartley.

“You might drown,” replied Connorton. “I can’t swim, so I couldn’t help
you.”

“Bosh!” returned Hartley. “This is fine! Better come in yourself and
get freshened up for the day.”

But Connorton would not, and neither would he abandon his station on
the rock, even to dress, until Hartley came out. He could at least
summon the guides to the rescue if the foolhardy man should be in
danger. So he stood there, looking more like a distressed Indian squaw
than a white man, until Hartley left the water.

“He needs me,” reflected Hartley; “he needs me very, very much! Else
why this anxiety for my safety? And,” he added whimsically, “I can see
much sport ahead, whatever his purpose may be.”

Connorton did not lose much time in throwing light--at least some
light--upon this purpose.

“I want you to go back with me at once--to-day,” he said, when they
were at breakfast.

“Oh, you want me to go back with you,” repeated Hartley. “Why?”

“Well, there’s a little something wrong with the assignment of patent,”
explained Connorton, “and I want to get it fixed up.”

“Couldn’t that wait until I returned?” asked Hartley.

“Why, yes, it could,” admitted Connorton, “but there was a risk. If
anything happened to you, you know, it might be serious.”

“Yes,” agreed Hartley, “it would be serious.”

“To us, I mean,” explained Connorton.

“Oh, to you!” commented Hartley. “Why not to me?”

“Why, it would naturally be serious to you, of course,” returned
Connorton; “but that’s your own lookout.”

“True, quite true,” rejoined Hartley. “But this is business, you know,”
he added, “and I never discuss business in the morning. It makes me
nervous.”

“Oh, thunder!” expostulated Connorton.

“Really quite nervous, I assure you,” insisted Hartley. “I’m hardly
responsible for what I do when I’m annoyed that way.”

“Now, look here,” urged Connorton in desperation, “I want to go back
now--just as soon as we can get ready--and I’ll give you five hundred
to go with me.”

“But this is morning,” objected Hartley, “and I never discuss business
in the morning.”

“A thousand,” added Connorton.

“Makes me nervous--quite irresponsible,” murmured Hartley, rising.

Very deliberately he walked down to the shelving rock, across it, and
stepped, clothes and all, into ten feet of water.

“Help! Help!” screamed Connorton, rushing to the rock. “Save him!”

The two guides and Paulson came down and tried to pull the inventor
out, but he objected.

“Take him away!” he gurgled, as his head bobbed up out of the water and
almost immediately disappeared again.

“Save him! Save him!” cried Connorton, frantically jumping up and down
on the rock.

“Big Splash make crazy man!” commented Joe.

“Better this than him!” gurgled Hartley, again coming up. “Take him
away!”

Joe unemotionally prodded Connorton in the stomach, whereupon that
gentleman grunted, doubled over, and backed away. Joe prodded him again
and again, thus driving him back to the tent. Then Hartley permitted
himself to be pulled out of the water; but it was some time before he
would let Connorton come near him.

“You see what you’ve done!” he said reproachfully, when he finally did
consent to resume intercourse with his visitor. “I warned you, too. Now
we can’t talk business before to-morrow.”

“Oh, come!” expostulated Connorton.

“Not until to-morrow,” insisted Hartley. “You’ve got me all upset for
to-day.”

Connorton hesitated; but he was desperate now, so at last he drew from
his pocket the assignment of patent, somewhat blurred by contact with
the water. Even if the notarial seal were lacking, it would make things
a little safer if he could get that signed.

“Just put your name to that,” he urged, “and I won’t say another word
about business until to-morrow.”

Hartley’s only reply was to start again for the lake.

“Come back! Come back!” cried Connorton. “I won’t mention business
again to-day.”

Hartley returned and stretched himself out in the sun to let his
clothes dry.

“We’ll stay in camp to-day?” suggested Connorton, hopefully.

“Wouldn’t do at all!” replied Hartley. “We must fish, if only as an
excuse for coming.”

Pursuant to this idea, Hartley presently set out with Joe. Connorton,
after a little hesitation, followed with the other guide, leaving
Paulson in camp. Connorton felt that he could not rest easy unless he
had this reckless man directly under his observation all the time; and
the reckless man was not unmindful of this espionage.

“Joe,” said the reckless man, when he saw that Connorton was following,
“we won’t do much fishing to-day, but we’ll have some sport, just
the same. The fish are here all the time, but Connorton isn’t. And
Connorton, Joe, is afraid something is going to happen to me. That
being the case, let us enjoy ourselves! Let us lead him afar on land
and sea, and tramp him over portages, and make him miss his dinner, and
give him a real good time generally. Of course, Joe, it is downright
cruel to make a man like Connorton miss a meal, but let us be downright
cruel! Proceed, Joe!”

Joe proceeded, and that he acted up to his instructions was proved
by the many and bitter things that Connorton said about “that crazy
inventor” in the course of the day--the hardest day of his life, he
afterward asserted.

But Hartley was not satisfied. “I think, Joe,” he complained, as
they were returning to camp in the late afternoon, “that this is
beginning to pall a little on Big Splash. Too much work and too little
excitement. He needs a thrill, Joe, to revive his interest in the
proceedings. Let us give him the thrill. Let us alarm him. Let us make
him think that he is going to lose little Willie, the human prize! I
have several thrills in mind, Joe, but let us begin mildly. Will you
oblige me by rocking the boat, so to speak. Not too much, you know,
for I have no wish to go into the drink again, and that’s what would
probably happen if I tried to do it myself.”

Joe replied with a grunt, as usual; but presently the canoe began
to take a most erratic course and to betray alarming symptoms of
crankiness. The Indian seemed to be doing his utmost to steady it, and
several times prevented an upset by throwing his weight in just the
right direction; but the more he strove the worse it rocked.

Connorton was frantic. He lost his head completely as he saw the
apparent danger of Hartley, and screamed and shouted and swore as his
own guide paddled up, to be on hand in case they capsized.

“Make him go splash once more?” suggested Joe, as the other canoe came
near.

“No,” returned Hartley, magnanimously. “He has had his bath, and we
will not be so cruel as to insist upon another just now.”

“Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” screamed Connorton. He had already
suffered so much that he felt that he could watch Hartley drown with
actual joy; but he could not lose half a million dollars in that spirit.

“Yes, stop it, Joe,” instructed Hartley. “It is time to give him
another diversion. Don’t you suppose we could get lost, Joe? He is a
rather stout person, and he impresses me as a man who needs exercise.
I think he rides in an automobile too much when at home. A nice, long
walk through the forest, where it is not too easy going, would do him
a world of good; and it might take his mind off business matters if we
happened to get lost. Try it, Joe. He’ll follow, for he’s fearful that
something may happen to little Willie.”

The Indian made for a portage, and, arriving there, left the canoe on
the shore and plunged into the forest.

Connorton and his guide followed, of course. Connorton had great
difficulty in following, for a stout man with flabby muscles is at a
disadvantage in the forest; but he followed. A man will follow half a
million dollars a long, long way and over all sorts of obstructions.
And there was plenty to tax temper, muscle, and wind. Joe saw to that.
Joe was glad to see to it; he would willingly have seen to it without
pay, and might even have paid for the privilege of seeing to it, if
that were necessary.

“Better get lost now, Joe,” Hartley finally suggested.

Joe immediately began to show signs of bewilderment. He stopped and
looked about him anxiously. He started in one direction, retraced his
steps, and tried another. He came back a second time and made another
new start.

Connorton’s guide, Jim, interpreted this correctly without half trying.
He knew that he was not lost, that he could not possibly be lost in
that locality, but that he was going through all the motions of being
lost. There was, therefore, some reason for it. Jim may or may not have
guessed the reason, but he played up to Joe’s lead.

“What’s the matter?” asked Connorton, anxiously, as he noticed these
strange actions.

“Him lost,” replied Jim.

“Lost!” exclaimed Connorton. “A guide lost! Well, that’s a good joke!
How about you?”

“Me lost too,” replied the Indian, imperturbably. “Sit down and let Joe
find way out.” And he seated himself placidly on a log.

“You lost, too!” cried Connorton in consternation. “Good Lord! Lost in
an impenetrable forest, with two fool Indians and a crazy man! Oh, if
I ever get out of here alive there isn’t money enough in the world to
bring me back! Here!” he thundered at the placid Jim, “what you loafing
there for? Get up and help Joe find a way out! Hustle, too! I’ll bet we
starve to death,” he added gloomily to himself. “I’m starving already.”

Late that evening two stolid Indian guides and two very weary white men
got back to the camp, where Paulson was anxiously waiting for them. One
of the white men, although weary, seemed to be quite happy, even going
so far as to release an occasional chuckle. The other was exhausted
almost to the point of collapse, and nothing but groans were heard from
him.

“Do you know, Connorton,” remarked the first white man, as they left
their respective canoes and walked slowly toward the camp-fire, “I
don’t believe you think any more of money than I do of my life--really,
I don’t.”

Connorton had not the spirit to reply.

       *       *       *       *       *

Supper, although lacking the viands that would have appealed to
Connorton in more favorable circumstances, tasted unusually good to
him that evening; and he was disposed to give thanks that he was still
alive rather than complain of what he had suffered. But he had acquired
a great fear of Hartley’s impulsive vagaries.

“May I speak briefly of business?” he asked, as they sat by the fire.

“To-morrow,” returned Hartley.

“If you would permit me,” urged Connorton, “I think I could make the
matter clear to you in a very few minutes.”

“It is really quite important, Mr. Hartley,” put in Paulson, “and I
would suggest that you let Mr. Connorton explain.”

The inventor frowned, and looked down at the shelving rock.

“No, no,” expostulated Connorton, hastily; “don’t do that again,
Hartley! Keep away from the lake! I won’t say a word without your
permission.”

“Oh, very well,” agreed Hartley. “I’ve been pretty badly upset to-day.
You have annoyed me persistently--ruffled my artistic temperament.
Indeed, I have been strongly tempted, Mr. Connorton, to let Joe
take you out and drown you, as he wished to do. Joe doesn’t like to
be disturbed any more than I do; and it is so easy for a man to be
accidentally drowned up here, especially a man who can’t swim.”

Connorton’s eyes reflected a sudden great fear, and his face became
white.

“However,” pursued Hartley, calmly, “you don’t know any better,
so I shall try to forgive you. I shall even permit you to speak
briefly--very briefly--of business, for we might as well get that out
of the way, I suppose. But don’t let Joe hear you.”

Connorton assured himself that Joe was beyond earshot, and then
produced the assignment of patent. “It’s a trifle,” he explained, “a
mere formality.”

“Ah, yes,” returned Hartley; “you followed me into the wilderness for a
trifle.”

“Well, it’s rather important, of course,” admitted Connorton.

“An important trifle!” commented Hartley, whereat Connorton became
somewhat flustered.

“If you will permit me,” put in Paulson, coming to his principal’s
relief, “I think I can make the whole thing clear in a few words.”

“Go ahead!” said Hartley; “but be careful. Joe has his eye on you,
too.”

Paulson was not so disturbed as Connorton had been; but his smile was
not that of a man who was wholly at his ease.

“The assignment that you gave Mr. Connorton,” he explained, “is not
valid; that is, it does not clearly and certainly transfer the rights
that both you and he thought it did. Now, all he wants is to have those
rights definitely and surely transferred to him, and he has brought
along a paper for you to sign that will make the purpose clear. It
should be acknowledged before a notary, but it will put the matter in a
little better shape if you sign it anyhow. Then we can have an entirely
new assignment properly executed when we get back.”

“That’s the whole story, is it?” queried Hartley, reaching for the
paper.

“Yes.”

“It merely clinches a sale already made,” urged Paulson.

Hartley took a fountain-pen from his pocket, uncapped it, shook it to
get it flowing freely, and then laid it down.

“Isn’t that moonlight beautiful?” he asked.

“Yes, yes,” returned Connorton, impatiently, “it’s fine, very fine,
indeed.” He waited then for Hartley’s wandering attention to return to
the pen and paper; but Hartley continued to gaze dreamily over the lake
until Connorton, in desperation, finally reminded him that they were
neglecting the business in hand.

“Of course,” admitted Hartley. “Business and moonlight don’t mix, and
the moonlight effect, Connorton, is never twice alike. I suppose you
never noticed that, but it’s so. A moonlight effect once gone is lost
forever, whereas it’s my experience that you can’t lose business at
all. It is for us, therefore, to make the most of moonlight.”

“Look here!” exclaimed the exasperated Connorton. “Cut out this
foolishness, and I’ll make the bonus two thousand.”

“Foolishness?” repeated Hartley.

“Yes, foolishness,” insisted Connorton.

“How absurd and unreasonable you are!” complained Hartley. “Why, you’re
the one that’s foolish--bringing business up here into the woods where
a man ought never even to think of it. I’m strictly in harmony with the
surroundings--dreamy, impractical, erratic--but you are not. You’re a
prosaic mortal, Connorton, and you’re very, very foolish to be here.”

Connorton was surprised and troubled.

“However,” resumed Hartley, again picking up the pen, “I believe you
said two thousand.”

“I did,” returned Connorton, encouraged. “I’ll add two thousand to what
I’ve already paid you for your patent if you’ll sign that paper now,
and go back with me to-morrow and put the whole matter in legal and
binding shape.”

“Two thousand!” mused Hartley, idly toying with the pen. “That’s a good
deal of money, Connorton.”

“It is,” agreed Connorton, hopeful but anxious.

“It is so much,” said Hartley, capping the pen and putting it away,
“that I don’t believe I’ll sign.”

“What!” cried Connorton, in dismay.

“Let’s enjoy the moonlight!” suggested Hartley.

“But--but--”

“If you exasperate me, Connorton,” threatened Hartley, “I shall do
something desperate!”

Connorton, discouraged, decided to let him alone until morning, when
he would make one last attempt to induce him to listen to reason. He
turned in with that idea in mind, dreamed of it, and had it still in
mind when he was roughly awakened at daylight.

“Get up!” ordered Hartley. “We’ll be starting in half an hour.”

“Starting!” exclaimed Connorton. “Where to?”

“Temagami--Toronto--home. Hustle, now!”

       *       *       *       *       *

Connorton found the situation extremely bewildering. So did Paulson.
They had understood Hartley to have rejected emphatically their
proposition the night before; and now that incomprehensible person was
doing precisely what they most wanted him to do.

For some time neither dared ask any questions, lest the least
suggestion of surprise should lead him to change his mind: but
curiosity finally overcame Connorton’s caution.

“What’s the reason for this?” he queried.

“For what?” returned Hartley.

“This change of plan.”

“There’s been no change of plan,” asserted Hartley. “I refused to sign
the paper you showed me, but I didn’t say I wouldn’t go back with you.
Might as well go back as to have you bothering around up here anyway.
You’re too great a responsibility, Connorton; I feel that I must get
you out of Joe’s reach. Any other proposition to make this morning?”

“No-o,” replied Connorton, doubtfully, “I think not.”

“Oh, very well,” acquiesced Hartley, cheerfully. “I guess I’ll let you
go with Joe to-day.”

“No, no, no!” objected Connorton, in alarm; “I won’t go with that
bloodthirsty savage.”

“Oh, he won’t hurt you,” urged Hartley, reassuringly; “I’ve told him he
mustn’t.”

“I won’t go with him,” insisted Connorton. “He tried to murder me the
first night I was here.”

“Oh, very well,” agreed Hartley, resignedly. “I’ll take Joe’s canoe and
paddle you myself.”

Let me draw a veil over the return trip to Temagami Inn, lifting the
edge of it slightly to give a general idea of what happened.

Connorton, with many misgivings, set out in Joe’s canoe with Hartley,
simply because he was afraid to raise a second objection to any
arrangement that whimsical gentleman might make.

Hartley knew no more about managing a canoe than he did about managing
an aëroplane, and the best that he could do was to propel it in erratic
circles, occasionally placing himself, his freight, and his passenger
in jeopardy when he shifted his paddle from one side to the other.
Connorton was helpless because he was compelled to assume a reclining
position on top of the camp equipment, and he was angered because the
Indians so far departed from their usual imperturbability as to respond
to his screams for help with grins and grunts that plainly indicated
amusement. Afraid to sit up, and expecting every minute to be rolled
into the water, he could only plead with Hartley to return to shore,
which Hartley was quite unable to do, and with the Indians to come and
get them, which the Indians finally did.

A fresh start was then made, Paulson being put in the canoe with Joe,
and Hartley and Connorton going with Jim, the other guide. Paulson
was not altogether pleased with this arrangement; but he presently
discovered that he was far better off than Connorton. For Hartley
developed the most astonishing vagaries and a clumsiness that was
equal to that of a bear cub. Three times during that memorable trip
he tipped Connorton into the water. That he also went in did not help
matters in any particular, so far as Connorton was concerned, for that
close-figuring business man had but slightly less interest in the
inventor’s life than he had in his own.

Moreover, on the portages Hartley loaded Connorton up with pots and
pans until he resembled an itinerant tinsmith, and on one occasion he
tripped him up--quite accidentally, of course--at the highest point
of the divide between two lakes, and then added insult to injury by
apologizing profusely as he jangled down the incline. He wandered away
at noon, when they stopped for lunch, and it was only after an hour’s
search that he was found in deep thought in a deep thicket. He was
devising a harness, he said, that would enable a man to carry a larger
camp equipment than was now possible; and he insisted upon harnessing
Connorton up with a rope by way of experiment.

But Temagami Inn was reached at last. Connorton never was so
utterly weary in his life. The physical strain of that day had been
considerable, but the mental strain had been far greater. He had
several times thought his chance of life slim and his chance for that
half-million even slimmer. But Temagami Inn revived his hopes. Much of
the camp impedimenta with which they had set out had been lost during
the thrilling adventures of that day, but their “civilized clothes,” as
Hartley designated them, had been left at Temagami Inn. So Connorton,
feeling properly dressed once more, regained much of his confidence and
composure.

Hartley, too, was more quiescent now. In fact, he seemed rather
depressed by the return to conventional surroundings, and answered
only in monosyllables when any one spoke to him. Just before retiring,
however, he drew Connorton to one side.

“Any new proposition to make this evening, Connorton?” he asked.

“No-o, I think not,” replied Connorton, feeling that the game was more
nearly in his own hands now than at any time since he had set forth in
pursuit of the inventor.

“Oh, very well,” returned Hartley, who then went immediately to his
room.

Connorton was a bit uneasy, fearing that some new vagary might
send Hartley away in the night; but he joined them at breakfast in
the morning. Moreover, he still seemed unaccountably depressed and
spiritless. He was as tractable now as he had been intractable before,
acquiescing indifferently in all suggestions made. On the steamer he
sat gloomily apart from the others; at Temagami Station he let Paulson
make all the arrangements.

“Tamed at last,” reflected Connorton; “but he’ll bear watching, just
the same.”

Still, only twice on the way to Toronto did he occasion his companions
any uneasiness. Once was at North Bay, where he betrayed a desire to
take the through train west--said he would rather like to see what
Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver looked like. However, Connorton and
Paulson, each clinging affectionately to an arm, managed to get him
back into the car.

The other time was when, just as they were leaving a station, they
suddenly discovered that he was missing. Connorton was for pulling the
bell-cord and stopping the train; but Paulson feared that might get
them into trouble and advised an appeal to the conductor first.

“That elongated bottle of gloom!” exclaimed the conductor. “Why, he
swung upon the engine just as we were leaving the last station. I’m
thinking of having him arrested at the next stop.”

That would not do, of course. They did not want him on the engine,
which they regarded as a dangerous place, but neither did they want
him arrested. Connorton squared it with the conductor, explaining that
the man was slightly demented, and promising to get him back in the
coach and tie him down at the first opportunity. Then, at the next
stop, he argued and pleaded with Hartley, but only when the conductor
and engineer both ordered him back into the coach did that erratic
gentleman consent to return to it. He was resentful then, said
everybody was in a conspiracy to make his life miserable, and it was
some time before he would even speak to Connorton. But he caused them
no further trouble during the trip.

[Illustration: Drawn by F. R. Gruger

“A MAN WILL FOLLOW HALF A MILLION DOLLARS A LONG, LONG WAY, AND OVER
ALL SORTS OF OBSTRUCTIONS”]

At Toronto, however, he began again to take some interest in life and
insisted upon staying there a day, saying that he couldn’t stand so
much continuous traveling. On their first morning there, he again asked
Connorton whether he had any new proposition to make.

“No-o, I think not,” replied Connorton; “but, as you have brought up
the subject, I would suggest that we might go ahead along the line
already proposed. We can get a notary here, and if you will execute the
assignment of patent, just as a precaution--”

Hartley, saying nothing, got up and in a very businesslike way walked
out of the lobby, where this conversation had taken place.

“Follow him!” urged Connorton, turning to Paulson. “You’re more active
than I am. Follow the fool, and see what he does.”

Paulson followed, and Connorton spent an unhappy two hours awaiting his
return. The vagaries of the inventor, apparently, were again dominating
his actions, and no one could tell what crazy thing he might do.

He was the more troubled when Paulson returned alone. His report was at
first mystifying, then startling, and finally perplexing.

“He hunted up a cooper and bought a barrel,” said Paulson.

“A barrel!” repeated Connorton.

“A large barrel,” asserted Paulson.

“Crazy as a loon!” declared Connorton.

“I should think so!” returned Paulson. “He ordered the barrel shipped
to Niagara Falls.”

Connorton, large and lethargic as he was, almost jumped out of his
chair. “Head him off! Head him off!” he cried. “Stop him! He’s going
over the falls in a barrel. I knew he’d be up to some crazy thing.”

“Oh, he’s safe enough just now,” said Paulson.

“Where?” asked Connorton.

“At police headquarters.”

Connorton breathed more freely.

“He talked so wildly about what he was going to do,” pursued Paulson,
“that the cooper notified the police.”

“Good thing!” commented Connorton.

“He’s to be examined as to his sanity,” added Paulson.

“He ought to be,” asserted Connorton.

“But if he is pronounced insane,” said Paulson, significantly, “he
can’t transfer any property rights.”

“Great Scott!” exclaimed Connorton, again almost jumping out of his
chair; “we’ve got to get him out, haven’t we?”

“We have,” replied Paulson.

“And if we get him out,” complained Connorton, dismally, “he’ll go over
the falls in a barrel.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Connorton and Paulson had no difficulty in securing permission to talk
with Hartley, and they approached with considerable confidence the cell
in which he was detained. It had occurred to them, upon reflection,
that they were now in a most advantageous position in the matter of
their business relations with the inventor. He was friendless in a
strange city. He was believed to be of unsound mind, and his actions
had been erratic enough to give color to that belief. He could hardly
hope to secure his release without their help, and, if so, they could
impose their own terms before extending that help.

To their surprise, they found him quite cheerful and apparently
indifferent or blind to the seriousness of his predicament.

“Hullo, Connorton!” he cried, when he saw them approaching. “Any other
proposition to make now?”

“Why, no, certainly not,” replied Connorton. “We came to see about you.”

“Awfully good of you,” laughed Hartley. “How you do love me, Connorton!”

Connorton’s face reddened, but he ignored the thrust. “You’ve got
yourself in a nice fix, Hartley,” he remarked.

“Oh, it’s of no consequence,” returned Hartley.

“Of no consequence!” exclaimed Connorton.

“Not to me,” asserted Hartley. “It may be to you, of course.”

[Illustration: Drawn by F. R. Gruger

“HE COULD ONLY PLEAD WITH HARTLEY TO RETURN TO SHORE”]

The impractical man appeared to be able to take a very practical view
of some matters, and Connorton was the more perturbed and uneasy in
consequence.

[Illustration: Drawn by F. R. Gruger

“APOLOGIZING PROFUSELY AS HE JANGLED DOWN THE INCLINE”]

“They say you’re crazy,” suggested Connorton.

“And I guess they can prove it, too,” rejoined Hartley, cheerfully.
“You’ve said the same thing yourself, and I know you wouldn’t lie
about a mere trifle like that. Then the conductor, the engineer, and
the fireman of the train we came down on will swear to it, and so will
the bartender I had words with over my highball on the up trip, not to
mention the cooper, the hotel clerk, a few bell-boys, and the policeman
who arrested me. Yes, I guess I’m crazy, Connorton. Too bad, isn’t it?”

“It’s likely to be bad for you,” said Connorton.

“Oh, no,” returned Hartley, easily. “I’m not violent, you know, just
mentally defective; unable to transact business, as you might say.
They’ll find that out and let me go; but there will be the taint, the
suspicion, the doubt. Very likely a conservator will be appointed when
I get back home--some shrewd, sharp fellow, with a practical mind.”

Such a very impractical man was the inventor, and so very troublesome
in his impracticality! Connorton could only begin at the beginning
again, and go slow.

“Suppose we get you out,” he ventured, “what would you be willing to
do?”

“What would _you_ be willing to do?” retorted Hartley.

“What do you mean by that?” demanded Connorton.

“I’m sure I don’t know,” replied Hartley, with an air of the utmost
frankness. “I seldom mean anything, of course, and it is such a lot of
trouble to find out what I do mean when I mean anything that I usually
give it up. But you are so deeply interested in me--so much more
interested in me than I am in myself--that I thought you might want to
keep me sane; that you might not like to feel that you had driven me
crazy.”

Paulson was about to interrupt, but Connorton motioned to him to
be silent. Connorton was in the habit of handling his own business
matters, and he wanted his lawyer to speak only when a legal
proposition was put directly up to him. It may be admitted that he was
sorely perplexed now; but he found nothing in the inventor’s face but a
bland smile, and he did not think Paulson could help him to interpret
that.

“Hartley,” he said at last, “I’ll get you out of here and add five
thousand to what you’ve already had the moment that patent is properly
transferred to me.”

“Connorton,” returned the inventor, “I believe I’m crazy. When I
think of the events of the last few days--of your more than brotherly
interest in me, which I have pleasurably exploited during our
delightful association--I believe I am crazy enough to say, Come
again!”

Connorton drew a long breath and conceded another point. “Hartley,” he
proposed, “you may keep the money I have already given you--”

“Thank you,” said Hartley; “I shall.”

“--and you may also have a quarter interest in the patent,” concluded
Connorton.

“It’s all mine now,” suggested Hartley.

“If so,” argued Connorton, who well knew that much of the money had
been spent, “you owe me twenty-five thousand dollars.”

“If so,” returned Hartley, the impractical man, “I infer from your
anxiety and extraordinary generosity that I can sell it for enough to
pay you and make a little margin for myself. Besides, you can’t collect
from a crazy man, Connorton; and I’m getting crazier every minute.
Business always goes to my head, Connorton. You must have noticed that
up in the woods. I’m really becoming alarmed about myself. But perhaps
you’d rather do business with a conservator, Connorton.”

“A half interest,” urged Connorton, desperately, as he mentally
reviewed the weakness of his own position in view of the unsuspected
perspicacity of the inventor. “Consider that I have paid you
twenty-five thousand dollars for a half interest, and the other half
is yours. I’ll defray whatever expense is incurred in marketing the
invention, too.”

Hartley reflected, seeming in doubt. “Connorton,” he said at last, “I
think I am still getting the worst of it somewhere, but an impractical
fellow like me deserves to get the worst of it. Go ahead! Have that
agreement put in legal form, and then you may get me out while there is
yet time to save my reason.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Connorton had finished his appeal for the release of Hartley.

“Of course,” he was told, “if you and Mr. Paulson will assume the
responsibility, and will immediately take him away, we shall be glad to
let you have him; but he is undoubtedly demented.”

“Demented!” snorted Connorton. “Say! you try to do business with him,
and you’ll think he’s the sanest man that ever lived!”



[Illustration]



THE MARVELOUS MUNCHAUSEN

BY WILLIAM ROSE BENÉT

WITH PICTURES BY OLIVER HERFORD


    The snug little room with its brazier fire aglow,
    And Piet and Sachs and Vroom--all in the long ago,--
    Oh, the very long ago!--o’er their pipes and hollands seen;
    And on the wall the man-o’-war, and firelight on the screen!

    Their flowered, bulging waistcoats that wrinkle when they chuckle;
    The baron, much-mustachioed, and gay with star and buckle,
    And bristling in a uniform as scarlet as his cheeks,
    With choker lace beneath his chin, and splendid, yellow breeks!

    The smoke drifts blue, and bluer through that window, all abreeze,
    Are glinting sky and glistening sea beyond the Holland quays.
    Blue tiles, red bricks, the bustling wharves, with color’s oriflamme;
    Starched caps and rosy-posy cheeks--the girls of Amsterdam!

    The snug little room with its brazier fire aglow!
    Oh, listen, will he tell them, as he told them long ago,--
    Oh, very long ago, a-laughing in his sleeve!--
    The marvelous Munchausen, with the fables _I_ believe?

           *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration]

    “When I had sown the Turkey beans that reachéd to the moon,
    And lifted all Westminster in the sling from my balloon
                (Swung over the Atlantic,
                They peered from windows, frantic),
    When, eagle-back, I’d scanned the pole in broad, eternal noon,

    “In Queen Mab’s chariot I ventured on the sea.
    ’T was like a mammoth hazelnut, with matchless orrery
                A-sparkle on its ceiling,
                With planet systems wheeling
    And giddy comets sizzling all about the head o’ me.

    “The nine bulls drew it, as stout as those of Crete,
    And all were shod with horrid skulls that clattered on their feet.
                Rich banners waved behind ’em,
                While on their backs, to mind ’em,
    Postilion crickets chirruped them, all chirping loud and sweet.

    “Ghost of the Cape I warn you of, for he is bottle-blue.
    We split his Table Mountain. He gibbered and he flew.
                The bulls straight showed disfeature
                With gazing on the creature,
    Stampeding in their harness when I gave the view-halloo.

[Illustration]

    “Though wrecked on Egypt’s obelisks, disaster I defied,
    And harnessed Sphinx, the emperor’s gift, to tow an ark as wide
                As great Westminster;
                With beau and bell and spinster,
    And cleric, clerk, and coronet all tête-à-tête inside.

    “‘Good folk, we sail for Africa,’ said I to all my train.
    ‘When bold Munchausen leads you forth, what laggard dares remain
                In slippered ease, uncaring
                To share my deeds of daring?’
    Their cheers amazed my modesty, and more had made me vain.

    “‘The sultan’s bees I’ve shepherded. I’ve hornpiped at Marseilles,
    Where gulped me down, well nigh to drown, the liveliest of whales.
                I’m riskiest of riskers,
                But, blow my grizzled whiskers!’
    I cried, ‘May jackals gnaw my bones if now Munchausen fails!’

    “By night the lions roared at us. By day the simoons came
    And swept across our caravan in sandy clouds of flame;
                But naught dismayed our temper, or
                The genial Afric emperor
    Had missed my handsome greeting, to his long-abiding shame.

    “The people of the Mountains of the Moon I wined and dined.
    I reigned at Gristariska when His Majesty declined.
                Reforms I wrought untiring,
                With Gog and Magog squiring,
    And Frosticos, my bosom friend, who lent a legal mind.

    “For last superb achievement,--bright tears may Envy shed!--
    I built a bridge, from Africa to distant England spread.
                No edifice of fable,
                Nay, not the Tower of Babel,
    Surpassed its mammoth glory in the heavens overhead.

[Illustration]

    “So back across its noble arch my retinue and I
    Advanced with blaring trumpets through the regions of the sky.
                Clouds lingered to enwreathe us,
                Earth’s kingdoms far beneath us,
    And martial music cheered our march from all the birds that fly.”

           *       *       *       *       *

    The snug little room with its brazier fire aglow,
    And Piet and Sachs and Vroom all sleeping long ago,--
    Oh, so very long ago!--and, chuckling in his sleeve,
                Still, o’er the slumbering table,
                Drone-droning on his fable,
    The marvelous Munchausen, with the stories _I_ believe!



BRITISH UNCOMMUNICATIVENESS

BY A. C. BENSON

Author of “From a College Window,” “The Upton Letters,” etc.


I attended a public dinner the other day in London, and sat between two
really quite eminent men. One of them, indeed, would be regarded as
being in quite the front rank of eminent Englishmen. I took my place
with a mixture of interest and decorous trepidation, and naturally
waited for one of the two to open conversation. But neither of them
showed any signs of wishing to address either myself or the adjacent
guests on each side; they sipped their soup, they toyed with their
sherry, they looked about them with an air of mingled curiosity and
benevolence. I thereupon selected the least formidable of the two and
began to talk. He listened to me indulgently, as one might listen to
the prattle of a child; he answered direct questions with a half-amused
air; when I had said all I could think of on the subject, the matter
dropped. My neighbor made no further observations on that or any other
head. He was perfectly courteous and amiable, but it did not occur to
him that it was his business to talk. I thereupon conducted a boarding
expedition upon the still more eminent man’s vessel, which bristled,
so to speak, with guns. I met with exactly the same fate. He heard me
with courtesy, and he replied without any show of animation. But I was
more fortunate here; it emerged in the course of the talk that he was
a collector of books, and he gave me an account of a recent purchase
which he had made of a famous and rare book under rather curious
circumstances. I tried to advance a little further upon this line;
but he was not to be drawn, and so that conversation also dropped. I
believe that both my neighbors would have sat quite contentedly in
silence during the whole of dinner; but it happened that the guest
who was sitting on the farther side of the great man opened fire on
a political question in which our hero had taken a prominent part,
accompanying his question with deferential compliments which I should
have thought would have been distasteful, and which certainly seemed
to me to partake of the nature of palpable flattery. To my surprise,
the great man beamed all over, and rose to the fly with a swirl. Not
to be outdone, I went back to the lesser notability on my right with
an effusive compliment, which I can only say I myself would have found
highly embarrassing. The ruse succeeded, and my neighbor began to
expatiate on the point with every appearance of genuine interest.

I thought the experience rather a painful one. No doubt both my
neighbors were men full to the brim of important concerns, they were
possibly tired by their work; but it seemed to me to be a violation of
all the elementary laws of social intercourse that they should come to
a public dinner without any intention of making themselves agreeable to
their humbler neighbors, and casting upon their fellow-guests the onus
of entertaining and amusing them if they could. What was still worse to
my mind was to find that they were accessible to patent adulation, and
that their geniality could be elicited by flattery which was not even
adroit.

I think there is a strong tendency among Englishmen not to realize
their social duties in this respect. An Englishman is inclined to
mistrust and dislike ornamental accomplishments such as conversation,
and to believe that if he has nothing particular to say, he need not
trouble himself to say anything. I was struck the other day by a remark
made to me by an American friend of mine, who was commenting upon the
social usages of England. He said to me: “What is so disconcerting to
many of us Americans in England is the appalling capacity for silence
on social occasions which characterizes so many of your solid men. We
in America think that if we are invited to a festivity of any kind, we
are bound to contribute all we can in the way of geniality, to pay, so
to speak, for the hospitality extended to us; but many Englishmen seem
to think that they are invited to a festivity to be looked at, and that
they have no sort of duty to talk unless they feel disposed.”

I think there is a good deal of truth in this. We in England do not
think of talk as a kind of art which ought to be exercised; we look
upon it as an optional thing. We have a feeling of caution and even of
suspicion toward other people. We have a dislike of giving ourselves
away; we think it safer to be supposed not to have views or ideas, and
it is that which makes our official classes on the whole so dull. We
rather tend to promote to honor and emolument safe men who can hold
their tongues; and if a man, in the gaiety of his heart, flourishes
about airy considerations and conversational _friandises_, we think of
him as rather a light-minded person, who is likely not to be a good man
of business. “A man of business”--hateful phrase! I do not mean that
one undervalues the sound qualities which underlie it; but if business
is a thing which is to overflow into all our waking hours, to preoccupy
and comprise all our rational thoughts and aims, what is to become
of us? It is this intense concentration on material interests, the
dreadful supremacy of property, which hampers not only our intellectual
and social life, but actually our material prospects as well. I have
no sort of doubt that the rapid rise of Germany even as a commercial
rival corresponds to the alertness which comes from having a strong
intellectual and artistic life behind it; or, rather, that the nation
which has fewer interests is simply no match for the nation with wider
and more eager interests, because its national vitality is inferior.

I do not take a pessimistic view of the future of England, nor do I
think that because we cannot talk lightly and brightly at dinner we are
ill-equipped for national greatness; but I do think that our caution,
our stolidity, our stodginess are not things to glory in, but faults
to be amended. It seems to me--and I say this not fancifully, but from
careful observation--that the younger generation of Englishmen have in
childhood a good deal of aptitude for intellectual and artistic things.
They are easily stirred and actively inquisitive. Then comes school
life; and there the dreariness of much of our education, the weary
athletic conventions, the so-called “sticking to business,” begin to
exercise a coercive effect. Little or no attempt is made in our schools
to cultivate the imagination or the emotions, or even to teach boys
how to fill their leisure rationally. Then there is often an awakening
at the university. Ideas are to a certain extent in the air; if life
does not exactly become all fire and music, as Browning found it, at
all events, there are lights on the horizon--there are:

    “Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.”

Even here I have noted with discontent the fact that the school
conventions exercise a certain leveling power, and make themselves felt
more markedly than they did in my own undergraduate days. The papers
are full of sport; and a young man is considered just a little abnormal
who has not a due respect for athletic renown.

Then the young men go out into the world; and there it does seem to me
that the curtain of darkness does too often drop again. A man of strong
individual tastes does no doubt contrive to keep up some touch with
intellectual or artistic interests; but even so, that is often regarded
as a hobby, a private indulgence, not a matter of perfectly healthy
and natural concern. And then too often the dreary specter of business
comes menacingly on the scene; after all, a good income, a definite
occupation, time for golf--those are the “solid joys, and lasting
pleasure” which life can yield; there is nothing vague or fantastic
about _them_. The abusive word “esthetic” cannot be applied to life
lived on these sturdy lines.

Now, I do not wish to discredit the sturdy bourgeois virtues of common
sense and honesty, but I do not really believe that a nation can
advance on those lines. It cannot advance because it ends by being
unsympathetic. It puts personal success and personal comfort above all
ideas and causes. It respects men not for their power of subordinating
their own welfare to that of others, but for their capacity to secure
their own position. A witty Frenchman once said that the two great
vices of Englishmen were cant and bashfulness; by which he meant
that the Englishman professes a standard of virtue which he does
not practise, and that he cannot at the same time be both frank and
amiable. When he is frank, he is censorious; when he is amiable, he
is insincere. And there is no doubt that though we are respected for
our force, we are not a popular nation. It is easier to us to censure
than to praise, however genuinely we admire. Our bashfulness does not
arise from modesty, but from vanity. We are so much concerned with what
other people think of us, so anxious to make an impression of dignity,
that we are hypocritical about our standards, and glum when we might
be frank. We are deeply conventional, and most of us arrange our lives
not on our own lines, but on the lines which we believe are expected of
us. Thus I find it impossible to believe that our common sense is based
upon simplicity. It is really an elaborate ideal, painfully adapted
from what we believe to be the ideals of other people. Our fault is
really an inverted sensitiveness. We are sensitive to what is thought
of us and said of us, and our repression of emotion and extravagance
is dictated not by our sentiment, which is a strong characteristic of
Englishmen, but by our terror of public opinion. This keeps us perhaps
from making fools of ourselves, but it also keeps us from generous and
ardent enterprise. I do believe that we Englishmen shut out from our
perception a great part of life, and perhaps the best part of life.
We limit our experience, we dissemble our emotions. Yet when we get a
great poet, like Shakspere or Browning or Shelley, who said flowingly
what they felt, who were inspired by the vividness, the variety, the
emotion of life, and who cared very little about its standards and
conventions, we are immensely vain of the product, and pigeon-hole it
faithfully among our national assets.

Of course these generalizations are wide and necessarily insecure; but
I do feel that a great treasure of fine feeling, of a noble curiosity
about life and its issues, of great and generous emotion, is somehow
put away under lock and key in the English warehouse. One desires more
frankness, more independence, more freshness to prevail. It would even
have its material consequences.

There is an interesting story of Wordsworth, who went to call on
Miss Harriet Martineau at Ambleside, in the house which she had
built and laid out. There was a gathering of neighbors present, and
Wordsworth stood for a long time at the window contemplating the
beautiful landscape outside. Then he turned to the party and said,
“Miss Martineau, I congratulate you on your beautiful little domain.
The views are wonderful, and it will turn out to be the wisest thing
you ever did in your life.” He paused for a moment, and the guests
expected some comment on the uplifting effect of communion with nature;
but Wordsworth, with a fine gesture, continued, “Your property will
certainly be trebled in value within the next ten years!”

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



THE GUTTER-NICKEL

BY ESTELLE LOOMIS

Author of “Out of Bondage”

WITH A PICTURE BY J. MONTGOMERY FLAGG


I

Success seldom comes as in a lottery--one big prize, and it’s all over,
the winner satisfied.

No; Destiny, like a demonstrator at a pure-food exhibition, stands
back of her counter in the world, and to those who happen to pass the
booth of success she hands a sample. Sometimes the samples are small,
sometimes large; but, whatever the size, let him who receives one never
mistake his sample for a complete package of success.

It was strange that Jean Caspian made this blunder. Surely four years
of theatrical experience were enough to have proved to her that, for
an actor, there is only one real success--a hit in New York. How could
she have forgotten that theatrical judgment-seat, where the sheep are
separated from the goats?

But here, in Milwaukee, with applause still ringing in her ears, with
the local papers full of her praise, her head was fairly turned with
her triumph. Guy Norman’s leading lady! As she had won her way up step
by step in his company, how she had longed for this final moment to
come! Intoxicated with the realization of her ambition, she had already
begun to live in a glorious future.

On the morning of the third day in Milwaukee, as Jean sat on her bed,
reading a joyous letter from her mother, a high-spirited rap sounded on
the door.

“Are you in, old pal?” Clara Coolwood, just from an understudy
rehearsal, entered excitedly.

“Jean, what d’ you think! Company’s going to close! Norman’s ill!”

Jean heard the words, but, instead of seeing Clara’s agitated face, a
vision loomed before her: she had forgotten New York. Broadway was
still unattained.

Clara caught her look of despair, and continued:

“Oh, it may not be for long, Jean. Anyway, you needn’t worry, with the
big start you’ve made.”

“A big start! Yes, two nights as leading woman--in Milwaukee!”

“But with Guy Norman,” Clara insisted.

“Guy Norman,” said Jean deliberately, “is under his own management. If
he doesn’t play again this year, where shall I be? Have any of the big
New York managers ever heard of me--B. B. Littleton, for instance? If
he _should_ happen to hear of my brief career as leading lady, has he
ever seen me act? No. Therefore Jean Caspian does not exist. Why, you
know very well, Clara Coolwood, that until the curtain goes up on you
on Broadway, and they see you in the actual flesh, you might just as
well have been playing on Mars.”

Jean was mechanically pulling on her coat.

Clara nodded thoughtfully.

“I’m afraid you’re right, Jean. Yes, remember poor Julia Wilcox,
drawing crowds every day to that Baltimore stock theater for eight
years? And when she opened in New York the critics said, ‘Unknown
actress makes a sensation.’ Where are you going, Jean?”

“Why, I’m going to find Davey. Stage-managers usually know the truth,
if they’ll only tell.”

Jean put on her hat and set out for the theater. In the stage entrance
she met Guy Norman, calm, smiling, the picture of health. As he lifted
his hat with his customary air of distinction, Jean inquired timidly
for news.

“Why, yes; we’re going to close Saturday night. It’s all so silly, in a
way, but my physician and manager were so importunate about my having
a rest that I decided to humor them. I thought it might be wise to
recuperate for the New York engagement.”

Jean smiled her relief, and was about to leave when he called her back.

“Oh, Miss Caspian, just a minute. I’m going to send a manuscript over
to you to-day; it’s a play we’re expecting to put on in New York.
And, oh--I may want to do some Shakspere, too. You’d better be up on
_Juliet_.” He looked at her piercingly. “I’m not so sure that you re
not the very person I’ve been waiting for.”

Jean flew back delightedly to the hotel, and two days later the still
grumbling theatrical party left for New York in Guy Norman’s private
cars.

In Mrs. Bunting’s boarding-house, where “the meals made up for the
rooms,” Jean Caspian wrote to her chum, “back home” in Wisconsin:

  Dear Clara:

  Spent my first day in New York traveling the streets, trying to get
  some of “the road” worn off. You can’t imagine what a hole it made in
  my salary before I became a real New Yorker again. How I laughed at
  those hats we bought in Davenport when I caught a glimpse of myself
  on Broadway!

  I dropped in to see Dell yesterday. She’s still haunting the
  agencies. Poor Dell! Went with her to Smiley’s, and it certainly
  seemed like old times. I even heard some one ask Smiley, “How’s the
  baby?” Remember how you used to make those tender inquiries in vain
  for six months?

  Oh, those pathetic whipped-cur faces! Two thousand actors out of work
  this season, they say! We _are_ lucky, aren’t we?

    Yours gleefully,

      ~Jean C.~

  P.S. Hear we’re to open in Pittsburgh, the fifteenth. Come on soon
  and take in a few plays. J. C.

  P.P.S. Wait till you see my white satin “Countess” costume! You’ll
  see where four hundred of my good dollars have gone. I’m certainly
  all ready for my new salary. J. C.

Early Saturday morning Jean Caspian sat in her room darning a long
“run” in a silk stocking, to the mental accompaniment of her _Juliet_
cues. Suddenly she dropped her work to listen. Some one was running
up-stairs at a breakneck speed. Then, simultaneously with a loud bang,
her door opened. Clara Coolwood pale and excited, stood panting before
her.

“Oh, Jean, isn’t it _terrible_! I heard it just as soon as I got off
the train! It makes me perfectly sick!”

“What?”

“Why--why, Jean--didn’t you know that Guy Norman is dead?”

Jean Caspian jumped to her feet and stared blankly.

“Why, the papers are full of it; he died in Florida yesterday!”

Jean did not answer; she was trembling violently. Gradually her face
grew inexplicably empty, as if her stricken soul were receding into
some secret refuge, leaving her body to act mechanically. Suddenly she
burst into a paroxysm of laughter, loud and strident, void of mirth.

“Well, it’s back to Grandpa Smiley’s, Clara dear,” she chanted
hysterically, and with a flippant gesture she chucked Clara under the
chin. “Don’t be blue, little girl! Don’t you know that your old friend
Smiley is waiting to hear you ask about the baby? Back to the agencies,
darling; back ‘from ten till four!’ Four chairs for eighty: six hours
to wait. Six hours? Six weeks, six months, six years!”

Her voice ended in a moan, and she fell headlong upon the bed, where
she lay, face down, in crumpled folds of lace and velvet and white
satin, unconscious.

Clara Coolwood had been schooled and poised by her theatrical
experience; she knew every heartbreaking phase of the cruel competition
of her profession; she had seen its inevitable disappointments and
failures. So up to this moment she had thought she felt the full force
of this day’s shock; but it was not until she had drawn the costly
white satin ball-gown from under Jean that she began to lose her
self-control.

It was the first time she had seen the wonderful “Countess” costume.
She held it up and looked at it sadly, almost with reverence; new and
unworn, it was already a relic. Slowly, thoughtfully, caressingly, she
smoothed out the creases; then, sobbing, she hung it in the closet.

An hour later, Jean, left alone, still sat staring, still idly tracing
with her finger the scrollwork pattern on an exquisite silver slipper.
The prolonged ringing of the bell for luncheon aroused her from her
lethargy. She rose mechanically, and walked over to the window. How
foreign everything looked outside in the sunlight! The passers-by, how
queer and busy!

“Dead!” she whispered to herself. Then, drawing a deep breath, she
opened the new, unopened chapter of her life. Jean Caspian had awakened
to the realization that Destiny had handed her only a sample of
success, not a complete package.


II

“Out,” “Gone to Chicago,” “Busy,” “At rehearsal,” “Won’t be back till
next Thursday,” “Got a card?” “Don’t know.” These melancholy refrains,
sing-songed by officious, gum-chewing office-boys in the stuffy
theatrical agencies, soon became as familiar to Jean Caspian as “Annie
Laurie” or “Home, Sweet Home.”

“Mornin’ ’s the best time to catch him,” “He ain’t seein’ any one
to-day,” “Ain’t puttin’ on any shows this spring,” “Gone to lunch. No,
I couldn’t say.”

Sometimes, in desperation, Jean would approach the sleepy,
red-headed type-writer with a brave smile. To all inquiries
this remote, supercilious personage always replied, “Cast is
filled.”--_Click-click-clickety, click, click, click._

During the first week after Norman’s death, Jean gained a momentary
interview with B. B. Littleton’s representative. When she mentioned
that she had been leading lady for Guy Norman, he smiled incredulously.

“Lord!” he said, “I have a dozen a day in here claiming they were with
Norman. It’s a joke, here.”

Jean produced a Milwaukee program bearing her name. The representative,
after inspecting it, somewhat reluctantly consented to take her name
and address.

“I’ll bear you in mind,” he said. “You might drop in in a month or so.”
But never again did Jean succeed in finding him “in.”

Day after day; hot after cold, optimistic mornings and discouraged
afternoons; weary, irritable, hungry; now happy, now sad; standing,
leaning, gossiping, hoping, always hoping, Jean Caspian, her ambition
priming her with bravery to keep up the ordeal, “went the rounds” from
managers to agents, from agents to managers. As regularly as the doors
opened every morning, she blossomed in a theatrical office, as fresh,
lovely, vigorous as a newly opened lily. Yesterday’s weariness was
forgotten in to-day’s enthusiasm.

Two months went by. No engagement. Two months more went by. No prospect
of an engagement. Another month, then the inevitable--_clothes_!

How surely her clothes betrayed her! From boarding-house to Broadway
they blabbed the tale of her futile peregrinations. Worn-out clothes,
shabby-shiny clothes, spots-that-won’t-come-off clothes. Worse than
these, stagy-old “stock” clothes; but, worst of all, out-of-date
clothes. The time came when Jean, gazing lugubriously at her last three
gowns, now dubbed severally “Wreck,” “Goner,” and “Mess,” saw that
further wear was impossible. At last she broke down.

But out of despairing tears came inspiration. It was one of the
articles of Jean’s esthetic creed that the test of genius is
versatility. She should be able to be carpenter, dish-washer, or to
model in wax, as necessity dictated. If she were to portray life, all
aspects of life, this adaptability alone would justify her calling
herself an artist. Now fortune had put her to the test. She must prove
herself adequate to the emergency. With a grim smile of determination,
Jean jerked the three gowns down from their hooks.

Two days later “Pa” Smiley gave her an encouraging smile. “Pretty dress
you got on, little one! Noo, ain’t it? That what they call a ‘pannier’?”

“Oh, no,” said Jean, “this is newer than _that_. The name of this
little frock is the ‘Three-in-one,’ successor to ‘Wreck,’ ‘Goner,’ and
‘Mess.’ Got anything for me to-day, Mr. Smiley?”

It was nearly noon when Della Prance and Clara Coolwood collided with
her on the corner of Forty-second Street.

“Oh, I love your hat, Jean! Where? How much?”

Della Prance added:

“Turn round. It’s awfully Frenchy, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” said Jean; “it’s lucky for me the imported creations are always
shy on trimming. Just one wonderful bow or something,--” she chucked
Clara under the chin,--“_if_ you only know just how to place it.”

The girls took another stare. “You don’t mean to say you made it
_yourself_?”

At a quarter to five a dapper “juvenile” gentleman lifted his hat
airily in the offices of B. B. Littleton. “Beg pardon,” he said, “but
haven’t you stepped on something?”

Jean crossed her feet hastily, blushing. Through the generous aperture
in her left sole she knew he must have read the engraved words, “Mr.
and Mrs. U. R. Sweet announce the marriage,” etc. Experience had taught
her that, of all cardboards, that used for wedding-invitations is the
most durable.

Now, any woman who after dire straits has had her wardrobe unexpectedly
replenished, is apt in her delight to consider her new-found costume
indestructible. So Jean Caspian relied implicitly on good old
“Three-in-one.”

But, alas! three months later what a change had been wrought! Silk and
wool could barely hold together any longer. Her mind, like her costume,
had also become frayed, worn, and out of date. “Chasing” for an
engagement had by this time become a mere habit; and continual contact
with weary, discouraged seekers for work had gradually accomplished its
demoralizing effect.

As Jean sat one morning in the crowded office of B. B. Littleton, her
two-hours’ wait dreamed itself away in the hypnotic fascination of
watching person after person, rouged and powdered, with heroically
assumed expressions of prosperity and cheerfulness, squeeze into the
little room, only to have the dry, suffocating “waiting” atmosphere
gradually desiccate them till, benumbed by discouragement, they seemed
like mummies, swathed in despairing introspection, the juices of their
ambitions long since dried up.

A vivid, fresh young miss entered. Her enthusiastic appearance in that
chamber of dead hopes woke the inert groups to laughter. Her face was
radiant with “dramatic-school” promises, her confidence obviously
reinforced with a “personal” letter.

Blithely she spoke: “Is Mr. Littleton in? His _representative_! No, I
_must_ see Mr. Littleton, himself. Oh, no, I can’t wait; I must see him
at once. Oh, _dear_!”

Jean smiled at her as at a vision of her own first hopeful credulity.
Yet, after all, she thought, wasn’t this ingenuous faith as good a
passport as any to carry one across the frontier of that door marked
“Private”? What did these stage-worn veterans possess that could
compete with this splendid, potent ignorance? Nothing. To-day, at
least, that girl was a leader. She was still uncontaminated with
discouraged, diseased thoughts. How long before some one would tell
her, or she would decide for herself simply to follow the crowd? Jean’s
thoughts drifted to herself. Oh, the “Personal” letters she, too, had
blithely borne to stolid, unsympathetic readers! What was the matter?
She was only a follower. That was it: she was wearily tagging along the
beaten path. Had any one ever accomplished anything really great in
this world by following others along the same old groove? Oh, to get
out of it!

The thought disturbed her. She grew restless; and as she pondered,
instinct seemed to warn her: “Get out of the rut!” “But how?” she asked
herself, with increasing anxiety. An excited hesitancy, shot with fear
and doubt, possessed her. It held her like a prisoner who lacks the
courage to escape.

Suddenly her thoughts were dissipated by the opening of the private
door. “There’s no need of any one waiting; I have nothing to say to any
one to-day.” The private door closed.

To have a three-hours’ wait terminated only by a few casual words from
Littleton’s representative usually left a drowning expression on every
face. A few of the determined-to-survive actors, however, fighting
their way through grumblers, swearers, fighters-for-the-elevator,
snatched desperately at the one last straw--the stenographer. “When is
the best time to catch Mr. Littleton?” “Did you deliver the letter I
left yesterday for Mr. Littleton?” “Will you kindly tell Mr. Littleton
that Miss Fuller--”

Jean listened to this fusillade of questions being answered with a
volley of type-writer clicks that made an occasional interpolated “He’s
uncertain,” and “Don’t know,” scarcely audible. She smiled grimly,
deciding that she would have to use her full third-balcony voice if she
was to impress this cold-blooded, businesslike Annie at the keys. As
Jean looked forward to speak, she accidentally caught sight of herself
in that young lady’s private mirror. She gave a quick second look, and
the sickening revelation held her gaze fixedly. She grew weak, numb.

She did not realize that the clicks had stopped. She was oblivious of
the stenographer’s hand pressing her own. “What’s the matter, honey?
What you crying about? Blue this morning? Want to leave some message
for Mr. Littleton?”

Jean Caspian’s face showed not the faintest knowledge of the
stenographer’s sudden interest in her. But, subconsciously, she
had reached for a bejeweled hand and pressed it into pain with her
gratitude. Her voice came weakly: “I don’t think--thank you so much,
but--well--” She shook her head dully. “I don’t think I’ll have any
more messages for Mr. Littleton.” With a quick release of her hand,
Jean Caspian escaped from the office, moaning to herself: “So _I’ve_
got the look at last! It’s come!”

How jocosely she had once written to Clara Coolwood about those
theatrical-agency faces--those “pathetic, whipped-cur” faces! How she
had mimicked them! Guy Norman’s voice came back: “Give us another
one of those agency faces, Miss Caspian! Do ‘Agony Jane’!” How Guy
Norman’s laughter had delighted her! Now it seemed to slap back at her,
torturing her horribly. She was only one of the rabble now. She, too,
was a mummy. Agony Jane!

The poignancy of the thought sent her wandering on and on till at last
she wearily climbed the steps to her boarding-house. Mechanically she
took out her key, turned the latch, and entered the dimness of the
hallway.

As she started up the stairs, a small boy shot past her. “Mama! mama!”
he called excitedly, “come quick! Open the door! Mama, look! See what I
found in the gutter--five cents! Mama, it was right down there in the
gutter!”

The boy’s outcry caused several doors to open before his mother had
time to appear; but as Jean reached the second flight she heard:
“That’s very nice, dear; but don’t make such a noise. Come in, and
we’ll put it in your bank.”

A chunky, ringleted lady was smiling benevolently upon the scene.
“Well, now,” she said, “Owen has been such a nice boy that I’m going
to give him something else for his bank. Look, Owen, here’s a nice big
quarter for you.”

The little boy was too much absorbed to answer. He was rubbing the
nickel energetically on his trousers.

“Can’t you thank the lady?” exclaimed the embarrassed mother.

“Got a pin, anybody? I want to clean these stars and get the dirt out
of this face.” He bent over the nickel with delighted concentration.

His mother interposed petulantly: “But look at this nice new quarter,
Owen.”

“Don’t bother me with that old quarter!” Instinctively feeling Jean’s
sympathy, he looked up at her and smiled. “Say, won’t the fellows be
s’prised, though, when they know I found this nickel right down in the
gutter?”

Jean, amused, started up the next flight of stairs. At the top she
turned and looked back. Then, hardly knowing why, she sat down. Some
powerful suggestion was working in her, subconsciously. Her eyes were
fixed on the little boy, fascinated.

“That old nickel!” she said to herself. “Why in the world does he
prefer that to the quarter, I’d like to know!”

Then something in his absorption threw her into a reverie of her own.
A little later she found herself in her room. She was sitting by the
window in a far-away mood of exaltation, floating, her intellect freed
in some strange fashion from her environment.

If any one had told Jean Caspian that she would end that day in a
beatified frame of mind, she would have thought it madness. Had she
not given up all hope? But now, suddenly, she found herself asking:
“Why am I so happy? Why does everything seem changed?” Strange! In the
wretchedest hour of her life a mysterious, inspiring power had risen to
support her. It stood beside her now like an invisible husband. What
was it? Perhaps it was what people had called the “genius” in her. She
was aware only of a swift, potent reaction, which made her body quiver
with a new vitality.

“That nickel!” she repeated. Still uncomprehending, she was already
sure. Then, wonderfully, the vague radiance within her soul blazed up
into an idea, clear, compelling, prophetic. She rose with a serene,
confident smile, and pulled down the shade.

“The _gutter_-nickel!” In her face glowed a secret illumination.

On the next Monday morning, when Clara Coolwood, enthusiastic over a
stock company vacancy in Lowell, Massachusetts, rang the doorbell of
Mrs. Bunting’s boarding-house, she was answered with the curt statement
that Miss Caspian was no longer there. She had gone, and had left no
address.


III

“Over in Dell’s room.” How often every day that little phrase answered,
“Where’ve you been?” “Where are you going?” “Where’d you hear that?”
“Over in Dell’s room.”

Della Prance’s room was No. 381, third floor, in a little ramshackle
hotel on upper Broadway. Della Prance and her elder, divorced,
“not-feeling-very-well” sister had grumbled daily at the old
peacock-blue and garnet plush furniture, with its nibbled corners and
threadbare polka dots; at the dilapidated cretonne-covered divan,
with “that caster out again”; and at the dirty, torn, faded old-rose
wall-paper, only to have Della conclude, sighing: “Oh, well, what’s the
use of tearing up and moving? After all, Sis, the old place _has_ got
atmosphere.”

Evidently there were others who shared her opinion. For never was there
such a popular rendezvous as “over in Dell’s room.” And never was there
a girl so popular as Della Prance.

“Over in Dell’s room” they laughed; “over in Dell’s room” they wept.
From the unknown aspirant of Smiley’s to the “featured” celebrity who
could _not_ understand why she got those awful notices on her opening
night, one and all received genuine sympathy “over in Dell’s room.”

“Over in Dell’s room” they damned, “over in Dell’s room” they praised.
“What d’ you think, Dell! Lazette is stranded out in Omaha, and is
working her way back to Smiley’s. Playing a real chambermaid now, for
a change, in the Grand Hotel! It looks like a good, long engagement,
too.” “She got the _lead_ in that play, really? Flora Gordo! That’s
bully! She deserves it. Say, I want to get up and yell when a girl wins
out honestly in this business. It’s impossible, but it _can_ be done.”

Toward five o’clock the room fairly clattered. Dell was like the leader
of an orchestra; she struck high C. And while the sharps and flats
of those excited voices ran upward, through arpeggios of laughter,
to mingle with the chords and discords of the clamorous piano, where
the latest song “hits” were banged and yelled, Dell would feel her
liveliest notes of merriment suddenly change to a nervous tremolo.
The elevator door had banged! Was this grand concerted movement to
culminate in a series of staccato door-whacks by that irate hotel
proprietor?

Not this time. To-day, the grand finale was more musical, with the
long, persistent tinkling of the telephone-bell.

“Let her ring!” “Tell ’em to come over, Dell.” “The more the
merrier--what?”

As Della Prance sent one of her high-spirited, whimsically affected
“hello’s!” over the wire, a fresh explosion of laughter rattled along
with it. An instant later, something ominous in Dell’s voice wrought a
sudden transition in those mirthful faces. While the company wondered,
the receiver clicked, and from the pale, bewildered Dell their answer
came.

“Say, you all--or I guess the most of you, anyway--have heard of Jean
Caspian? Well, that was Clara--Clara Coolwood--on the ’phone. What
d’you think? She’s just run into Jean, down and out, in a little
cheap-joint place. Oh, girls, think of it! Jean Caspian is manicuring
nails down in Fourteenth Street!”

A faint gasp was audible, though no one uttered a word. But their
unspoken thoughts seemed to cry out the inevitable reflex of egoism:
“Oh, the stage! The life of the stage! I wonder where _I’ll_ end up.”

“Poor Clara!” Dell continued. “It’s been about two months now. Jean
just suddenly disappeared out of her life. Clara wrote to Jean’s
mother--to every one who knew her, but she never got an answer. And
here to-day in Smiley’s office some girl Clara got into conversation
with told her about this little place where you get your nails done
for twenty cents. Jean Caspian! Think of it!” Dell shook her head
incredulously. “I tell you, when a genius like that--”

“Good Lord!” From the corner of the room a raucous voice rattled in.
“Genius!” she gibed. “Well, I never saw a so-called genius yet that
didn’t end at the bottom of the ladder. These actresses with a future!
Say, take it from me, you can usually find them--well, like your
wonderful Jean Caspian, in the manicure parlors. But, say, whenever you
hear it whispered, ‘Oh, _she’ll_ never act!’ believe _me_, you can just
watch for Somebody’s Favorite to give you the wink in electric lights.”

With a fling, she donned her hat and coat, and moved toward the door.
“Say, don’t you mind anything I say, Dell. I’m madder than a wet hen
to-day. This hard-luck atmosphere has got on my nerves. Good-by,
everybody! See you at Smiley’s in the morning.”

When the other guests had taken their leave, and Dell was at last
alone, she slipped into a kimono and rang the call-bell. A few minutes
later she heard the sound of footsteps in the hall.

“Ice-water boy!” she muttered thirstily, and flung open the door. “Oh,”
she cried, “it’s Clara!”

Clara burst forth without a preface.

“I never should have known her, Dell! Why, she’s so thin, haggard, sort
of, but _that_ isn’t it. Jean was so different, somehow. Wait till I
get these hat-pins out.”

After she had seated herself she was silent for a moment. Then she
seized Dell’s hand.

“Dell, it’s funny, but really it seemed to me as if Jean were--why, she
was even greater than she was that wonderful night in Milwaukee with
Norman.”

Dell brought her back to realities. “But what did she _say_?”

“Why, I only had time for a word. I said, ‘Why, Jean!’ She had a little
bowl of water, and she said, ‘Oh, Clara, _please_ don’t talk to me now!
I’m awfully busy. Come in some other time, won’t you?’ And before I
knew it, she was gone.”

For another hour the two girls discussed Jean Caspian and a way to
help her. The result of their planning was that the next morning Dell
appeared at Clara’s room with a triumphantly extended hand.

“Eighty-eight dollars! Well, they can say what they choose about
actors, but when it comes to practical generosity, they’re there, right
down to the last little girl in the chorus. Look here! Forty dollars
from English Toppling! And we used to call him a tight-wad.”

An hour later Clara and Dell, half hoping, half fearing to find Jean in
such a place, walked into a little shop bearing the sign: “Lizzie Lord.
Manicuring.” But as Clara was about to reply to the question, “Nails
done, lady?” she suddenly stepped back and whispered to Dell:

“I’ll bet Jean’s here under an assumed name. That’s why she asked me
not to call her name out.” She turned to the desk again. “Is that--that
young lady with the light hair here?”

“Miss Miller, you mean?”

Clara hesitated. Some one, evidently Lizzie Lord, called from behind a
screen: “No, that girl ain’t here no more; she quit us last night.”

At this the two girls started reluctantly to leave, when the
proprietress, a terrible blonde, emerged to add tartly: “Hold on. We
got plenty o’ girls can beat Miss Miller manicuring--she wa’n’t only a
beginner, anyways. Set down; you won’t have to wait but a minute.”

Clara timidly explained that she wanted only her friend’s address.
But “Maggie Miller” had left no address in the shop. The proprietress
didn’t know it. Never had known it. She waddled back behind the screen.

“Maggie Miller!” exclaimed Clara, as the girls left. “Oh, I can’t bear
to think what that must mean! It makes me perfectly sick. How in the
world are we ever going to find her now?”

Days passed, weeks went by, and still no trace of Jean Caspian. It
seemed almost incredible that no one could obtain any news of her even
“over in Dell’s room.”

Over in Dell’s room they said, “What a shame that such a talented girl
should end so disastrously!” Over in Dell’s room they told interesting
anecdotes about her. Ambitious girls, who had hitherto withheld their
secret opinions, at last felt that there was no longer danger of her
rivalry, and came boldly out of the woods. “Yes, Jean Caspian certainly
was a genius.” Time passed, and over in Dell’s room Jean Caspian was
now usually referred to in the past tense. Clara Coolwood began to lose
hope. She read the papers constantly, fearing each morning to hear of
the suicide of Maggie Miller. So the winter drifted by. Newer, more
interesting topics were discussed over in Dell’s room.

“They say the marcel is coming back again,” said Dell, one snowy
afternoon, as she was entertaining the wife of an actor friend. “Your
hair is wonderful, Mrs. Wade. Have you been reckless enough to indulge
in the fifty-dollar permanent wave, or is that the transient curl of a
day?”

Pretty Mrs. Wade laughed.

“I got it this morning, thank you--only thirty-five cents--at
Rosenburg’s, a little place on Thirty-eighth Street. But if you girls
ever go there be sure to ask for that pretty blonde girl they have. By
the way, do you know, she’s the very image of that leading woman Guy
Norman had when I went on to see Harry once. In fact, I told her she
ought to go on the stage. Say, that girl’s got the touch all right; she
gives a _grand_ shampoo.”

“What’s her name?” Clara asked excitedly. “Miller?”

“Oh, no. Now, let me see--seems to me some one _did_ call her--what was
it, now? Hobbs, I think; or was it Cobb?”

Clara Coolwood was already on her feet, and Dell, too. In fifteen
minutes they were out of the house. They would lose no time this time.
They reached the place breathless; and, not seeing Jean, asked at once
for “Miss ’Obb.”

The proprietress gazed at them with a cold professional eye, noting
their straying tresses. “Miss Robb, you mean? Why, she left last
Thursday. No, I don’t expect to get her back; she said she was sick.
But we got other girls just as good; better, in fact. Miss Robb was
smart enough; she took hold pretty well, but she lacked experience. Oh,
Miss Lipstein! Here, please!”

“Oh,” said Clara, “I don’t wish my hair done to-day, thank you. I
wanted to see Miss Casp--Cobb--personally. Could you give me her
address?”

The woman immediately lost interest, shook her head, and turned away.

Clara’s and Dell’s hands met and telegraphed a wordless message they
could not speak. This second futile effort to solve Jean’s mystery left
them too heart-broken for words.

It was late in the spring when Della Prance came upon another clue.
This was at Floy Tulliver’s.

“Say, Dell, whatever became of Jean Caspian?” Floy asked. “We all
expected so much of her after the hit she made with Norman. Too bad she
didn’t strike New York, where some of the big managers like Littleton
could have seen her! Oh, that reminds me--funny thing, too. Say, Dell,
you remember Betty, that blonde maid I had? Well, I had a picture of
Jean on my dresser, right here, and, well--why, Betty used to tell me
about a girl that used to work where she worked. Said it was one of
those gown places, where they sew on bindings and things,--sort of a
sweat-shop, I s’pose,--and Betty always used to say that girl looked so
much like Jean’s picture. Yes, really. She was quite positive of it.
Only this girl wasn’t so pretty, she said, and was thinner, and--oh, I
don’t know. But, anyway, she said the eyes were perfect of her. Yes, it
_was_ queer. Oh, I have no idea where the place was, Dell. Why, let’s
see--Betty left me about two months ago.”

After thinking all this over seriously, and not without tears, Dell
decided not to mention it to Clara Coolwood. It would only break open
the wound that was slowly healing in Clara’s heart.

For Clara was full of excitement now over her new stock engagement as
leading lady in Lowell. Her talk was all of hats and gowns, salaries
and parts and matinées. She smiled now at every one’s jokes and her
whole manner was scented with success.

So, as the weeks lapsed into months, over in Dell’s room the name of
Jean Caspian gradually faded into a memory.


IV

The Herrick theater, Buffalo. A profoundly bored stage-hand was
hammering away on a back-drop, regardless of the rehearsing of the
orchestra.

Prancing along the footlights, up and down, notes in hand, the
stage-manager, intoxicated with his own temporary importance, was
grimacing and gesticulating his injunctions to play the music, oh, so
_much_ softer! Miss Dover’s great love-scene had been ruined by their
confounded fiddling at the matinée this afternoon. Now, where was that
character-man? “_Motzart_”--not “Mozart!”--he was profanely cautioned.
Two supers were discharged; no use discussing it, gentlemen; they’d
walked on the ladies’ trains just once too often. “Be sure to watch
those amber lights now, and for Heaven’s sake keep the entrances clear!”

Sarah Dover opened the stage-door, and with her gracious “good evening”
stilled the bustle. Through a sudden, flattering silence she passed to
her dressing-room.

Here a slight, serious-looking young woman, with light hair braided
into a sedate knot, was spreading a silver-and-chiffon gown over a
chair. She looked up.

“Well, Vinnie,” Sarah Dover asked anxiously, as she emerged from her
sable coat, “what luck did you have with my pet gown?”

The maid modestly displayed her skill on a long mended tear in the lace
of the star’s second-act costume.

“_Vinnie!_” exclaimed Miss Dover, ecstatically. “Why, it’s wonderful!
I can scarcely find the place! Where did you ever learn to sew like
that?” She smiled gratefully, and sank down before her triple mirrors.

“Why, I could always sew fairly well, Miss Dover,” answered Vinnie. She
began deftly to take down her mistress’s hair. “But just before I came
to you, I did work a while in a kind of gown shop, and they had all
kinds of fine mending to do.”

Sarah Dover mumbled as she plastered her face vigorously with
rose-scented cold-cream. “Oh, Vinnie, don’t forget about those two new
switches. I want to lengthen my braids. Some friends of mine have a box
to-night, and I want to look particularly well.”

Vinnie, after attaching the switches, gave one shrewd look, then
carelessly flung a braid round Miss Dover’s head.

“Fine, Vinnie! Leave it that way; it’s just too catchy for anything.
Stick in this rose here. Why, Vinnie, I knew you could do nails
beautifully, but I had no idea you could dress hair like that. You’re
as good as a professional. Lovely!”

Sarah Dover inspected her make-up with smiling satisfaction; then
automatically giving the final dusting with her powder-puff, she rose.
Vinnie hurried her into her costume gown.

As the star held out her hand for Vinnie to button the glove, a sudden
recollection made her say abstractedly:

“I wonder who that was I heard reading those lines last night. Must
have been studying some part. Didn’t sound like any voice in the
company, though. Here, Vinnie, you’re buttoning that glove all wrong!
Don’t be so nervous, my dear; there’s plenty of time. What’s the matter
with you to-night?”

Several days later Miss Dover entered the dressing-room with a puzzled
smile on her face.

“Funny!” she exclaimed. “Vinnie, I declare if I didn’t hear that
strange voice again just now reciting something. It stopped just before
I opened the door. Who in the world--no, not _those_ shoes, Vinnie. I’m
going to wear the gray ones to-night.” She dropped into her chair with
a sigh. “My, but I’m tired! I got so nervous in that cab--oh, that’s
nice, Vinnie! Thank you. It is a treat to have some one who knows what
to do without being told.”

As Vinnie the maid flitted here and there in the dressing-room, handing
Miss Dover this and taking off that, busying herself with hat, gown,
kimono, shoes, and and hunting for the inevitably lost nail-file,
there was a sparkle in her eyes that never had been there before. She
trembled, but evidently not from fear. A pink flush was mounting in her
cheeks.

Miss Dover caught her reflection in the glass. “What in the world are
you thinking of, Vinnie?” She studied her maid in the glass as she went
on rouging her lips.

Pink deepened to red on Vinnie’s face. “Oh, I don’t know that I quite
dare to tell you, Miss Dover.”

Miss Dover turned squarely round and looked at her.

“Why, it was only--” Vinnie was apparently much embarrassed. “Oh, you
do look so lovely, Miss Dover! I couldn’t help thinking--oh, I’d just
_love_ to be an actress!”

Sarah Dover turned back to the rouge-pot to conceal her amusement, but
her shoulders were shaking. In another minute she held up an admonitory
finger.

“Vinnie,” she said, “I did think that you were the one girl who would
never be stage-struck. Oh, dear, nobody’s safe, then!”

“Oh, it _is_ sort of foolish. I know, but--well, sometimes I feel kind
of ambitious.”

“Ambitious! Vinnie, for Heaven’s sake, be contented! You’re an
admirable maid now. Don’t spoil that with ambition. Why, Vinnie, you’re
as much an artist in your line as I am in mine. I give you my word,
I’ve envied you more than once!”

Vinnie’s face was the perfection of blank ignorance; her voice was
a triumph of stupidity as she exclaimed, “Why, Miss Dover, I always
thought actresses had such an awfully good time!”

Miss Dover smiled.

“My poor girl, you have no idea what this theatrical life is. Let me
tell you something, Vinnie: you have to pay for your applause on the
stage--yes, and a hundred times over. Why, you don’t know when you’re
well off. How would you like to stand and wait all day long, month in
and month out, for years, in packed, stuffy agencies?” The star shook
her head reminiscently. “Wait till you’ve starved and nearly frozen
to death in cheap lodging-houses, Miss Vinnie Smith! When I think of
the visits to pawnshops! Heavens, I’ve worn clothes like those on a
scarecrow! You wouldn’t believe Sarah Dover has patched and borrowed
and scrubbed, would you? But, oh, the worst of all was the smiling and
smiling, and trying to look prosperous and happy through everything!”
She turned and patted Vinnie on the hand. “Just you be thankful, Vinnie
Smith, that you’re where you are, and get that stage-struck idea right
out of your head.”

Miss Dover leaned forward to the mirror and daintily adjusted a piece
of court-plaster. At the sound of sobbing, she turned. Vinnie’s face
was hidden in her hands.

“Why, Vinnie!” cried Sarah Dover. “What’s the matter? Vinnie!” She laid
her hand tenderly on her maid’s shoulder.

“Oh, I couldn’t bear to think, Miss Dover, that you’d ever had to
suffer like that!” Vinnie began to laugh hysterically through her
sobs. “It was something in your voice; I kind of forgot where I was,
Miss Dover, for a minute, I guess. You made me imagine it all so plain.”

What conversation there was after that dwindled down to cold-cream,
cosmetic-sticks, and pins, until Sarah Dover was about to leave her
dressing-room. “Strange about that voice I heard,” she muttered
thoughtfully. “Vinnie, who has this next room right there? D’you know?”

Vinnie, queerly enough, didn’t know; so there, for a second time, the
subject dropped.

During the third week of the popular star’s New York engagement,
she arrived at the theater one evening earlier than usual in order
to experiment with a new wig. As she stopped to speak to one of the
electricians about the spot-light, a voice was heard coming from the
direction of her dressing-room. Stealthily, Sarah Dover tiptoed to the
door and stopped. For several minutes she leaned against the wall in a
spellbound concentration.

When the voice ceased, Miss Dover’s eyes were damp, her hands were
cold. She was trembling with puzzled excitement.

Suddenly she flung open the dressing-room door.

Her look searched the room as with a hundred eyes, but no one was
there. Only her maid, who, perched on a trunk, smiled as usual and went
on flitting the comb through a long-haired golden wig.

“Vinnie!” came the amazed exclamation. “_You!_ Why, that wasn’t _you_?
It couldn’t have--Vinnie!” The excited actress held the maid at
arm’s-length and scrutinized her as if she never had seen her before.

Vinnie’s expression was a mask of naïve perplexity. But, as she stared,
a nervous, sheepish grin crept into her face. “Oh,” she suddenly
recollected, with an artfully timorous voice, “I guess I know what you
mean, Miss Dover. You heard me talking to myself just now.” Guiltily,
she shied away from the star, and flouncing down on the trunk eyed
her skittishly, while the apologetic strain ran on: “Why, I was only
fooling, Miss Dover. You know you didn’t come as early as you said you
would; so I was just trying to see what it would seem like to be a
great actress.”

Sarah Dover did not appear to be listening. As she moved abstractedly
about the room for a few minutes in silence, she scowled faintly and
frequently bit her lip. Several times she gave Vinnie a quick, sharp
glance. Then, turning abruptly, she pressed a lever on the wall and sat
down at her escritoire, where she began to write hurriedly.

About fifteen minutes later, while Vinnie was telling her mistress how
lovely she looked in the new wig, a series of “beg-pardon” raps came on
the door, to the accompaniment of an obsequious voice. “Messenger, Miss
Dover,” said the stage-manager. “Did you ring?”

Miss Dover hastened to the door and stepped outside. When she returned
to the dressing-room to complete her toilet the atmosphere was subtly
changed. The former freedom with which she had glibly called for this
and that had diminished. The two were outwardly mistress and maid as
much as ever; but the whole relation had subconsciously altered.

It came to a focus when, just before the star left the dressing-room,
Vinnie sprang to brush off a splotch of powder from the black velvet
gown. As Miss Dover thanked her, Vinnie restrained a smile. Something
in the gracious tone seemed different from that which the mistress had
heretofore used to the maid.

After the performance that night, as Vinnie was hanging up clothes,
awaiting Miss Dover’s unusually delayed return, the assistant
stage-manager appeared at the door.

“Miss Dover wants you to come out on the stage right away,” he
announced.

The star was seated by the footlights; her eyes were on a short, stout,
authoritative stranger who was haranguing the stage director about a
door somewhere, damn it! that had banged all through every act. He
turned to Miss Dover with a shaking head and smiled wearily.

“Well, where is the little lady?”

Miss Dover rose and drew Vinnie forward. “I imagine you’ve seen my maid
before,” she said; “but I suppose you’ve never met.” She laughed at the
jest. “Vinnie, this is Mr. Littleton; Mr. B. B. Littleton, one of the
biggest managers in this country.” She smiled at the magnate. “And this
is Miss Vinnie Smith, Mr. Littleton.”

Littleton’s shrewd, critical eyes swept Vinnie from top to toe.

“Well, Miss Vinnie Smith, what can you do?” His voice was gruffly
jocose. “Can you act?”

The two successful personages on the bare stage did not realize that
at that very moment they were watching what Vinnie Smith could really
do--act. They did not dream that the name of B. B. Littleton had
swept through her brain and whirled a past before her--a past that a
histrionic instinct stronger than her will itself was forcing back to
its old place.

They did not notice that she had stiffened defiantly. All they saw was
a singularly good-looking, phlegmatic maid-servant, coolly unafraid,
who seemed quite unimpressed with the possibilities of the situation.

“You’d better go over some of those speeches I heard you doing, Vinnie.
Mr. Littleton will only want--”

“Yes, anything’ll do,” broke in the manager. “Fire away!” He pulled
out his watch impatiently. “By George! it’s quarter-past eleven now,
and I’m due uptown at twelve. Got to meet that Madame--what the
devil’s her name, now?--you know, Sarah, that big French comedienne,
Madame--Madame--” Each “Madame” grew more and more remote as he
stalked up and down the stage, fumbling in his pockets, chewing a
cigar, flipping out letter after letter, grumbling, jamming them back.
“Confound it, if there isn’t that door banging again! _Wilson!_”

As the feet of Wilson’s assistant pattered obediently up the iron
steps, Vinnie was explaining. “Oh, Miss Dover, I only made those scenes
up. I was only--”

“Give her some of those lines in the mob scenes,” thundered Littleton.
“What are some of them, Wilson?”

Wilson repeated a few of the speeches with characteristic stage-manager
delivery, while Littleton’s eyes hurried down the page of a letter.
After a short silence, he looked up to demand, “Well, what are you
waiting for?”

“I’m not going to say those lines, Mr. Littleton.” Vinnie was standing
erect, with a nonchalantly determined smile on her face.

Nonplussed, Littleton glared at her almost as if he were trying to
misunderstand her. The star, already on her feet, tactfully intervened.

“Oh, Vinnie, you don’t realize what a wonderful opportunity this is, my
dear! Why, Mr.--”

“It’s just because I _do_ realize it, Miss Dover, that I’m not--”

“What’s the matter with those lines?” Littleton barked it out.

Vinnie regarded the manager listlessly. Slowly an ironic smile crept
over her face. “Oh, they’re fine,” she finally said, “if all you want
is to show intelligence and a good loud voice. But _I_ happen to want
to show more. And if this _is_ such a wonderful opportunity, as Miss
Dover says, then why should I waste it on such lines as ‘The ropes!
Hand me the ropes!’ and ‘Oh, look at the pretty fool!’ I’m sorry,
Mr. Littleton, but--” Vinnie stopped abruptly. Her face changed to
a delightfully whimsical, far-away expression. “Those lines are too
skimpy. There’s not nearly enough room in them for what I’ve got in me
to show you, Mr. Littleton.”

Fear, eagerness, and anxiety had vanished in this expression of
herself. Littleton! Why, he might have been a scene-shifter, for all
she cared, despite the puzzled wonder and growing interest that now
lurked behind his cold managerial veil. The amazed, questioning face
of Sarah Dover--“Can _this_ be Vinnie?”--caused only a secret smile.
Vinnie Smith boldly flung reason to the winds, and, calling up every
hidden charm she possessed, intuitively scented her way to success.

A grunt and a few curt words from the manager urged her on.

“That’s very true, Mr. Littleton, but you must remember I did n’t ask
you to come and hear me. It was Miss Dover who sent for you, and asked
me to come out here on the stage. I’m perfectly satisfied with my
position, and I guess I can make good as a maid until--well, some day,
somewhere, somebody _is_ going to hear me, Mr. Littleton; but I can
tell one thing: I’m not going to ‘fire away’ until I shoot to kill. And
when that time comes”--she smiled dreamily--“there won’t be any reading
letters or bothering about a banging door somewhere!”

Suddenly Vinnie burst into a victorious laugh. “_There!_” she cried.
“That’s the look I want on your face when I act! See? My own words
were better than the ones you gave me. I’ve had time to create the
‘spell’; and that’s what tells whether you can act or not.”

Littleton was staring at her like a child listening to a fairy-tale.
But what was the subtle influence that began to threaten to mar his
perfect concentration, neutralizing the attractive magnetism between
the sexes? The _woman’s_ atmosphere! For the first time, Vinnie felt a
pang of anxiety for her success. What should she do? lightened through
her brain. An answer flashed back: Sarah Dover’s mind must be charged
somehow to an equal concentration with his. The same intensity of
attention must be compelled. How? Through anger, jealousy, ridicule?
Ah! With a triumphant smile of satisfaction, Vinnie, tingling, ran to
the center of the stage.

“I’m going to do the big speech in Miss Dover’s own love-scene!” she
exclaimed; and she jumped audaciously into the part.

Shooting a wink at the now intensely interested Sarah, Littleton
straddled a chair and, chuckling, rested his arms on the back. The
smile gradually faded from his face. He began to scowl, chewing a cigar
viciously. He muttered gently under his breath, nervously tapping his
foot till the climax came.

Then, jumping up with a dash that sent his chair into the footlights,
he caught the glowing Vinnie by both hands, and shook them mercilessly.

“Sarah Dover,” he shouted, shaking his fist crazily, “this is the
discovery of my life! You’re right, by Jupiter! The girl’s got it!
Think of finding a talent like that in the _gutter_!”

“That’s right; she certainly surprised me!” So spoke the artist in
Sarah Dover. But the woman in her added quickly: “But, Mr. Littleton,
you mustn’t forget Madame--that French comedienne, you know. It’s
almost twelve o’clock.”

“Right out of the gutter! Think of it!” Littleton was repeating. “By
Jove, I believe she’d make a perfect--”

“But, Mr. Littleton,”--Miss Dover’s voice had risen harshly,--“really,
you must n’t miss that appointment! Madame--”

“Madame be damned! Let her wait! Why, confound it, Sarah, you don’t
realize what this thing means! I’ve been waiting for just something
like this. Wait till I tell you something.”

In the excited talk that followed, all Vinnie Smith was really aware of
was the iteration of that magic word “gutter.” She stood in a kind of
trance, clairvoyante, a delicate smile illuminating her.

Before her was a little boy. He was polishing a nickel on his trousers.
How his eyes were dancing with pride in his discovery! Then he
vanished. When she turned to Littleton, there was a look of victory on
her face.

She left the theater that night, feeling as if, after crawling through
a dark, mile-long tunnel, she had miraculously come out into the
sunshine, to greet suddenly the half-forgotten figure of--Jean Caspian!

       *       *       *       *       *

How familiar, yet how strange, the office seemed! She felt like a
grandmother revisiting the scenes of her youth. Annie, the red-headed
typist, had gone, yet the keys of her machine were still playing
the same old tune. A new office-boy, but the same old song: “Mr.
Littleton’s not seeing any folks to-day.”

How natural it sounded! But Vinnie Smith’s card worked a charm. Two
mummies came to life and gaped as she calmly opened the magic door
marked “Private.”

“Good afternoon. Just be seated, please,” said Littleton. He went on
giving orders right and left. A messenger-boy was hurried off. A dozen
letters were glanced at and rubber-stamped. Then he swung round in his
chair.

“Can you keep a secret, young lady?”

Vinnie blushed. “That’s what I’ve been doing for the last eight months.”

“Good! I guess that’s the record for a woman. Well, then, see here.
I’ve had a ‘lemon’ wished on me in this new production of mine. She’s
a great friend of the author; acts like a--well, she’s impossible. The
show’s going to the devil. Now, I’ve always said I’d rather have the
worst professional than the cleverest amateur in any show of mine.
You’ve _got_ to have experience; you simply must know how to handle the
stage. But I’m so sick of author’s friends and influence and all those
gold bricks I’ve stood for, that for just once I’m going to break all
my rules and take a chance on you, young lady!

“Now, see here; Monday morning you take the train for New Bedford, and
travel with the company for two weeks. Rehearse, and watch it from the
front every night. Then we’ll see what you can do. Now, young lady,
you may not know it, but there’s a chance that doesn’t come once in a
stage-lifetime. Excuse me for a moment, please.”

As she waited for him to finish a heated telephone conversation, her
voyaging eyes stopped suddenly at a large framed photograph on the
wall. It was a picture of Guy Norman, and there _she_ herself was, in
the very scene she last played with him in Milwaukee! There she was,
too, in this very office she had so many months tried in vain to enter!
Guy Norman! A choking came in her throat. His cuffs,--the way he jerked
them back; that overcoat, flung over a chair at rehearsal; that fresh,
folded handkerchief, never opened. “_Très bien, Ma’m’selle._” Tears
were gathering in her eyes.

Littleton whirled round to her.

“Now, about your name. You know, this ‘Vinnie Smith’ sounds to me like
a country dressmaker.” He stopped, stared at a tear trickling down her
cheek, and added kindly: “Oh, don’t feel hurt, my dear; they all take
stage names, you know. Why, Sarah Dover’s real name is McGillicuddy.
Now, I’ve been thinking over some names. I’ll tell you--what was that,
now? Sher--”

“My mother’s name was Caspian.”

“Caspian? Bully!”

“Oh, I wish I could take my favorite name. It’s Jean.”

Littleton poked her with his pencil. “Say, you can kiss Vinnie Smith
good-by right now. Jean Caspian, I wish you luck!”

       *       *       *       *       *

In three weeks Littleton received the following telegram from
Springfield:

  Where did you catch her? Great! You would n’t know the show. Come on
  immediately.

    ~Gerrish.~

The result of this telegram, and the hurried trip of Littleton’s that
followed, was that the production was rushed into New York ahead of the
schedule, with the name of Jean Caspian “featured” on the bills.

[Illustration: “THE SMILE GRADUALLY FADED FROM HIS FACE”

DRAWN BY JAMES MONTGOMERY FLAGG]

On the opening night, after the second-act drop fell for the last time,
Littleton, grinning at the curtain-calls, and with a keen, twinkling
eye on the cabal of critics heading for the bar, was suddenly whacked
on the back.

“Great girl!” a tall man behind him exclaimed cordially. He was beaming
as if his own daughter had won.

“Hello, Davey! It’s a knock-out, isn’t it? Isn’t she a wonder?”

“Well, I guess yes. I came all the way over from Elizabeth to see her.”

“And what d’you think, Davey, I picked that girl almost out of the
gutter. Never acted before last month.”

Davey stared. “Say, how many cocktails have you had to-night, old man?”

“Why, that girl was Sarah Dover’s maid!”

“Who? Jean Caspian? _Haw-haw-haw!_” Davey threw back his head and
roared. “Good God! Wasn’t I stage-manager for Guy Norman? I always said
she’d go to the top. Say, Littleton, you ought to keep track of these
outside winners.”

Littleton was transfixed. His eyes grew small. “How many cocktails have
_you_ had, Davey?”

For a moment the two glared at each other in silence. Then Littleton
jerked his thumb toward the stage. “Say, come on behind with me.”

Jean opened her dressing-room door in answer to the emphatic knock.

“Well, Miss Caspian,” said Littleton, “you certainly put it over.” He
wrung her hand enthusiastically. “But what’s all this about your being
with Norman?”

“Oh, yes,” she answered demurely, “I believe I _was_ his leading lady.
Oh, how d’you do, Mr. Davey?” She extended her hand, and the two
exploded in laughter.

Littleton, baffled, bewildered, watched them, utterly at a loss,
pulling his beard savagely.

“Well, I’ll be damned!” he said. Then slowly his face lightened to an
indulgent smile. “See here, Miss Caspian, I always thought you were
a genius, but now I’m sure of it. Yes, you certainly put it over!
_Haw-haw-haw!_”

       *       *       *       *       *

Soon after the performance was over that night, Jean and two excited,
happy girls hastened from the theater and jumped into a taxicab. Over
in Dell’s room they laughed; over in Dell’s room they wept.

“Oh, Jean, it’s awful!” said Clara. “I can’t bear to hear it.”

“Go on! Go on!” said Della Prance. “I want to hear it _all_.”

“It’s not what she’s telling that affects me. It’s awfully funny,
some of it; but it’s something--” Clara slipped down on the floor
beside Jean and took her hand. “It’s your voice, Jean--that’s it! It’s
something it’s _done_ to it.” She gripped Jean hard. “Jean, you’ve won
something more than they ever saw to-night. It’s something that you’ll
always have now. It’s been worth the whole game!”

The clock struck three. The parable of the little boy and the
gutter-nickel was finished. Silence fell in the room; the girls
communed without words. Then Clara rose, yawned, and gave a broken
laugh.

“Think of Smiley’s in the morning, Dell!”

[Illustration]



THE FIRST VOYAGE OVER

OBSERVATIONS AND IMPRESSIONS OF A NAÏVELY SOPHISTICATED TRAVELER AT
FORTY

BY THEODORE DREISER

Author of “Sister Carrie,” “Jennie Gerhardt,” etc.

WITH PICTURES BY W. J. GLACKENS


I have just turned forty. I have seen a little something of life. I
have been a newspaper man, editor, magazine contributor, author, and,
in earlier days, several odd kinds of clerk before I found out what I
could do.

Eleven years ago I wrote my first novel, which was issued by New
York publishers, and suppressed by them. Heaven knows why, for the
same autumn they suppressed my book because of its alleged immoral
tendencies they published Zola’s “Fecundity” and “An Englishwoman’s
Love-Letters.” I fancy now, after eleven years of wonder, that it was
not so much the supposed immorality as the book’s straightforward,
plain-spoken discussion of American life in general. We were not used
then in America to calling a spade a spade, particularly in books.
We had great admiration for Tolstoy and Flaubert and Balzac and De
Maupassant at a distance,--some of us,--and it was an honor to have
handsome sets of these men on our shelves; but mostly we had been
schooled in the literature of Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot, Charles
Lamb, and that refined company of English sentimental realists who told
us something about life, but not everything. I am quite sure that it
never occurred to many of us that there was something really improving
in a plain, straightforward understanding of life. For myself, I now
accept no creeds. I do not know what truth is, what beauty is, what
love is, what hope is. I do not believe any one absolutely and I do
not doubt any one absolutely. I think people have both evil and good
intentions.

While I was opening my mail one morning I encountered a note, now
memorable, which was addressed to me at my apartment. It was from an
old literary friend of mine in England, who expressed himself as
anxious to see me immediately. I have always liked him. I like him
because he strikes me as amusingly English, decidedly literary and
artistic in his point of view, a man with wide wisdom, discriminating
taste, rare selection. He wears a monocle in his right eye, _à la_
Chamberlain, and I like him for that. I like people who take themselves
with a grand air, whether they like me or not, particularly if the
grand air is backed up by a real personality. In this case it is.

Next morning G. took breakfast with me; it was a most interesting
affair. He was late--very. He stalked in, his spats shining, his
monocle glowing with a shrewd, inquisitive eye behind it, his whole
manner genial, self-sufficient, almost dictatorial, and always final.
He takes charge easily, rules sufficiently, does essentially well in
all circumstances where he is interested so to do.

“I have decided,” he observed with that managerial air which always
delights me because my soul is not in the least managerial, “that you
will come back to England with me. I have my passage arranged for the
twenty-second. You will come to my house in England; you will stay
there a few days; then I shall take you to London and put you up at a
very good hotel. You will stay there until January first and then we
shall go to the Continent. Sometime in the spring or summer, when you
have all your notes, you will return to London or New York and write
your impressions, and I will see that they are published.”

“If it can be arranged,” I interpolated.

“It _can_ be arranged,” he replied emphatically. “I will attend to
the financial part, and arrange affairs with both an American and an
English publisher.”

Sometimes life is very generous. It walks in and says, “Here, I want
you to do a certain thing,” and it proceeds to arrange all your
affairs for you. I felt curiously at this time as though I was on the
edge of a great change. When one turns forty and faces one’s first
transatlantic voyage, it is a more portentous event than when it comes
at twenty.

I shall not soon forget reading in a morning paper, on the early ride
downtown the day we sailed, of the suicide of a friend of mine, a
brilliant man. He had fallen on hard lines, his wife had decided to
desert him, he was badly in debt. I knew him well, I had known his
erratic history. Here on this morning when I was sailing for Europe
in the flush of a momentary literary victory, he was lying in death.
It gave me pause. It brought to my mind the Latin phrase, “_Memento
mori_.” I saw again, right in the heart of this hour of brightness, how
grim life really is. Fate is kind or it is not. It puts you ahead or
it does not. If it does not, nothing can save you. I acknowledge the
Furies. I believe in them. I have heard the disastrous beating of their
wings.

When I reached the ship, it was already a perfect morning in full glow.
The sun was up, a host of gulls were on the wing, an air of delicious
adventure enveloped the great liner’s dock at the foot of Thirteenth
Street. Did ever a boy thrill over a ship as I over this monster of the
seas?

In the first place, even at this early hour it was crowded with people.
From the moment I came on board I was delighted by the eager, restless
movement of the throng. The main deck was like the lobby of one of the
great New York hotels at dinner-time. There was much call on the part
of a company of dragooned ship-stewards to “keep moving, please,” and
the enthusiasm of farewells and the inquiries after this person and
that were delightful to hear. I encountered G. finally and exchanged
greetings, and then perforce soon found myself taken in tow by him, for
he obviously wanted to instruct me in all the details of this new world
upon which I was now entering.

Shortly before sailing I had my first glimpse of a Miss B., as discreet
and charming a bit of English femininity as one would care to set
eyes upon. She was an English actress in whose comfortable transit G.
was apparently seriously interested. Shortly afterward a Miss X. was
introduced to him and to Miss B. by a third acquaintance of Miss B.’s,
a Mr. K. I noticed Mr. K. strolling about the deck some time before I
saw him conversing with Miss B., and later, for a moment, with G., K.
interested me as a direct, self-satisfied, and aggressive type of the
Hebrew race. I saw these women only for a moment at first, but they
impressed me at once as rather attractive examples of the stage world.

It was nine o’clock, the hour of the ship’s sailing. I went forward
to the prow. All the morning I had been particularly impressed with
the cloud of gulls fluttering about the ship, but now the harbor, the
magnificent wall of lower New York, set like a jewel in a green ring of
sea-water, took my eye. When should I see it again? How soon should I
be back? I stood there till the _Mauretania_ fronted her prow outward
to the broad Atlantic. Then I started to go below, but G. overtook me.

“Come up here,” he said.

We went to the boat-deck, where the towering red smoke-stacks were
belching forth trailing clouds of smoke. I am quite sure that G., when
he originally made his authoritative command that I come to England
with him, was in no way satisfied that I would. It was a somewhat light
venture on his part; but here I was. And now, having “let himself
in” for this, as he would have phrased it, I could see that he was
intensely interested in what Europe would do to me--and possibly in
what I would do to Europe. Nevertheless, he had very little to say
except to speak of the receding beauty of New York, to speculate as to
my probable impressions of England and France, to congratulate himself
that we were really under way. It was delightful.

Absolutely ignorant of this world of the sea, a great ship like this
interested me from the start. It impressed me no little that all the
servants were English and that they were, shall I say, polite? Well, if
not that, non-aggressive.

Another thing that impressed and irritated me a little was the
stolidity of the English countenance as I encountered it here on
this ship. I didn’t know then whether it was accidental in this case
or national. There is a certain type of Englishman--the robust,
rosy-checked, blue-eyed Saxon--whom I cordially dislike, I think,
speaking temperamentally and artistically. They are too solid, too
rosy, too immobile as to their faces, and altogether too assured and
stary. I don’t like them. They offend me. They thrust a silly race
pride into my face, which isn’t necessary at all, and which I always
resent with a race pride of my own. It has even occurred to me at times
that these temperamental race differences could be quickly adjusted
only by an appeal to arms, which is sillier yet. But so goes life. It’s
foolish on both sides, but I mention it for what it is worth.

I went to my room and began unpacking, but was not there long before I
was called out by G. to meet Miss B. and Miss X.

“Get your cap and coat,” he said in his authoritative way, “and come
out on deck. Miss B. is there. She’s reading your last novel. She likes
it.”

I went out, interested to meet these two, for the actress, the
talented, good-looking representative of that peculiarly feminine world
of art, appeals to me very much. I have always thought, since I have
been able to reason about it, that the stage is almost the only ideal
outlet for the artistic temperament of a talented and beautiful woman.
Men? Well, I don’t care so much for the men of the stage. I acknowledge
the distinction of such a temperament as that of David Garrick or Edwin
Booth. These were great actors, and, by the same token, they were great
artists, wonderful artists; but in the main the men of the stage are
frail shadows of a much more real thing--the active, constructive man
in other lines.

I found that this very able patron of mine was doing everything that
could be done to make the trip comfortable without show or fuss.
Many have this executive or managerial gift. Sometimes I think it is
a natural trait of the English--of their superior classes, anyhow.
They go about colonizing efficiently, industriously. They make fine
governors and patrons.

Not only were all our chairs on deck here in a row, but our chairs at
table had already been arranged for--four seats at the captain’s table.
It seems that from previous voyages on this ship G. knew the captain.
He also knew the chairman of the company in England. No doubt he knew
the chief steward. Anyhow, he knew the man who sold us our tickets.
Wherever he went, I found he was always finding somebody whom he knew.
I like to get in tow of such a man as G. and see him plow the seas.

I covertly observed the personality of Miss X. Here was some one
who, on sight, at a glance, attracted me far more significantly than
ever Miss B. could. I cannot tell you why, exactly. In a way, Miss
B. appeared, at moments and from certain points of view, with her
delicacy, refinement, sweetness of mood, the more attractive of the
two. But Miss X., with her chic face, her dainty little chin, her
narrow, lavender-lidded eyes, drew me quite like a magnet. I liked a
certain snap and vigor which shot from her eyes, and which, I could
feel, represented our raw American force. A foreigner will not, I
am afraid, understand exactly what I mean; but there is something
about the American climate, its soil, rain, winds, race spirit, which
produces a raw, direct incisiveness of soul in its children. They are
strong, erect, elated, enthusiastic. They look you in the eye, cut you
with a glance, say what they mean in ten thousand ways without really
saying anything at all. They come upon you fresh like cold water, and
they have the luster of a hard, bright jewel and the fragrance of a
rich, red, full-blown rose. Americans are wonderful to me--American
men and American women. They are rarely polished or refined. They know
little of the subtleties of life, its order and procedures. But oh,
the glory of their spirit, the hope of them, the dreams of them, the
desires and enthusiasm of them! That is what wins me. They give me the
sense of being intensely, enthusiastically, humanly alive.

After dinner we adjourned to the ship’s drawing-room, and there Miss
X. fell to playing cards with G. at first, afterward with Mr. K.,
who came up and found us, thrusting his company upon us perforce.
The man amused me, so typically aggressive, money-centered was he.
However, not he so much as Miss X. and her mental and social attitude
commanded my attention. Her card-playing and her boastful accounts of
adventures at Ostend, Trouville, Nice, Monte Carlo, and Aix-les-Bains
indicated plainly the trend of her interests. She was all for the
showy life that was to be found in these places, burning with a desire
to glitter, not shine, in that half-world of which she was a smart
atom. Her conversation was at once showy, naïve, sophisticated, and yet
unschooled. I could see by G.’s attentions to her, that, aside from her
crude Americanisms, which ordinarily would have alienated him, he was
interested in her beauty, her taste in dress, her love of a certain
continental café life which encompassed a portion of his own interests.
Both were looking forward to a fresh season of it, G. with me, Miss X.
with some one who was waiting for her in London.

After dinner there was a concert. It was a dreary affair. When it was
over, I started to go to bed, but, it being warm and fresh, I stopped
outside. The night was beautiful. There were no fellow-passengers
on the promenade. All had retired. The sky was magnificent for
stars--Orion, the Pleiades, the Milky Way, the Big Dipper, the Little
Dipper. I saw one star, off to my right, as I stood at the prow,
under the bridge, which, owing the soft, velvety darkness, cast a
faint, silvery glow on the water--just a trace. Think of it! One lone,
silvery star over the great dark sea doing this. I stood at the prow
and watched the boat speed on. I threw back my head and drank in the
salt wind. I looked and listened. England, France, Italy, Switzerland,
Germany--all these were coming to me mile by mile. As I stood there,
a bell over me struck eight times. Another, farther off, sounded the
same number. Then a voice at the prow called, “All’s well,” and another
aloft, in the crow’s-nest, echoed, “All’s well.” The second voice was
weak and quavering.

Something came up in my throat--a quick, unbidden lump of emotion.
Was it an echo of old journeys and old seas when life was not safe?
What about Columbus and Raleigh and the Norsemen? What about the
Phoenicians and the Egyptians and the Greeks? St. Paul writes, “And we
being exceedingly tossed with a tempest.” Quite so--fears and pains
and terrors. And now this vast ship, eight hundred and eighty-two feet
long, eighty-eight feet beam, with huge pits of engines and furnaces
and polite, veneered first-cabin decks and passengers! I love life. It
is strange, dangerous, beautiful, cruel. I love forms and variations,
but I mistrust them utterly. I do not know who I am, or whence I am, or
why I am. Only I am here, and would that I were happy and could live so
always!

The close of the next day occurred in the lounging-or reception-room,
where, after dinner, we all retired to listen to the music, and then
began one of those really interesting conversations between G. and
Miss X. that sometimes illuminate life and make one see things forever
afterward.

It is going to be very hard for me to define just how this could be,
for I might say that I had at the moment considerable intellectual
contempt for the point of view which the conversation represented.
Consider first the American attitude. With us the business of life
is not living, but achieving. Roughly speaking, we are willing to go
hungry, dirty, to wait in the cold, and to fight gamely, if in the end
we can achieve one or more of the seven stars in the human crown of
life. Several of the forms of supremacy may seem the same, but they
are not. Examine them closely. The average American is not born to
place. He does not know what the English sense of order is. We have not
that national esprit de corps which characterizes the English and the
French, perhaps, certainly the Germans. We are loose, uncouth, but, in
our way, wonderful. The spirit of God has once more breathed upon the
waters.

Well, the gentleman who was doing the talking in this instance and
the lady who was coinciding, inciting, aiding, abetting, approving,
and at times leading and demonstrating, represented two different and
yet allied points of view. G. is distinctly a product of the English
conservative school of thought, a gentleman who wishes sincerely he
was not so conservative. His house is in order. You can feel it.
His standards and ideals are fixed. He knows what life ought to be,
how it ought to be lived. You would never catch him associating
with the rag-tag and bobtail of humanity with any keen sense of
human brotherhood or emotional tenderness of feeling. One cannot
be considering the state of the under dog at any particular time.
Government is established to do this sort of thing. The masses! Let
them behave. And let us, above all things, have order and peace. This
is a section of G. Not all, mind you, but a section. I have described
Miss X.

“And oh, the life!” she said at one point. “Americans don’t know how to
live. They are all engaged in doing something. They are such beginners.
They are only interested in money. I see them in Paris now and then.”
She lifted her hand. “Here in Europe people understand life better.
They know how to live. They know before they begin how much it will
take to do the things that they want to do, and they start out to make
that much; not a fortune--just enough to do the things that they want
to do. When they get that, they retire and _live_.”

“And what do they do when they live?” I asked. “What do they call
living?”

“Oh, having a nice country house within a short traveling distance of
London or Paris; and being able to dine at the best restaurants and
visit the best theaters once or twice a week; to go to Paris or Monte
Carlo or Scheveningen or Ostend two or three or four, or as many times
a year as they please; to wear good clothes; and to be thoroughly
comfortable.”

“That is not a bad standard,” I said, and then I added, “And what else
do they do?”

“And what else should they do? Isn’t that enough?”

And there you have the European standard according to Miss X. as
contrasted with the American standard which is, or has been up to this
time, something decidedly different. I am sure. We have not been so
eager to live. Our idea has been to work. No American that I have ever
known has had the idea of laying up just so much, a moderate amount,
and then retiring and living. He has had quite another thought in his
mind. The American, the average American, I am sure loves power, the
ability to do something, far more earnestly than he loves mere living.
He wants to be an officer or a director of something, a poet, anything
you please for the sake of being it, not for the sake of living.

While I was lying in my berth the fifth morning, I heard the room
steward outside my door tell some one that he thought we reached
Fishguard at one-thirty.

I packed my trunks, thinking of this big ship and the fact that my trip
was over and that never again could I cross the Atlantic for the first
time. A queer world this. We can only do any one thing significantly
once. I remember when I first went to Chicago, I remember when I first
went to St. Louis, I remember when I first went to New York. Other
trips there were, but they are lost in vagueness. But the first time
of any important thing sticks and lasts; it comes back at times, and
haunts you with its beauty and its sadness. You know well you cannot do
that any more; and, like a clock, it ticks and tells you that life is
moving on. I shall never come to England any more for the first time.
That is gone and done for, worse luck.

So I packed--will you believe it?--a little sadly. I think most of us
are a little silly at times, only we are cautious enough to conceal
it. There is in me the spirit of a wistful child somewhere, and it
clings pitifully to the hand of its big mama, Life, and cries when
it is frightened. It longs for love and sympathy, and aches, oh,
pathetically; and then there is a coarse, vulgar exterior which fronts
the world defiantly and bids all and sundry to go to the devil. It
sneers and barks and jeers bitterly at times, and guffaws and cackles
and has a joyous time laughing at the follies of others.

Then I went to hunt G. to find out what I should do. How much was I to
give the deck steward, how much to the bath steward, how much to the
room steward, how much to the dining-room steward, how much to “boots,”
and so on.

“Look here,” observed that most efficient of all managerial souls that
I have ever known, “I’ll tell you what you do. No, I’ll write it.” And
he drew forth an ever-ready envelope.

I went forthwith and paid them, relieving my soul of a great weight.
Then I came on deck, and found that I had forgotten to pack my ship
blanket and a steamer rug, which I forthwith went and packed. Then I
discovered that I had no place for my derby hat save on my head, so
I went back and packed my cap. Then I thought I had lost one of my
brushes, which I hadn’t, though I did lose one of my stylo-pencils.
Finally I came on deck and sang coon-songs with Miss X., sitting in
our steamer-chairs. The low shore of Ireland had come into view, with
two faint hills in the distance, and these fascinated me. I thought I
should have some slight emotion on seeing land again, but I didn’t. It
was gray and misty at first, but presently the sun came out beautifully
clear, and the day was as warm as May in New York. I felt a sudden
elation of spirits with the coming of the sun, and I began to think
what a lovely time I was going to have in Europe.

Miss X. was a little more friendly this morning than heretofore. She
is a tricky creature, coy, uncertain, and hard to please. She liked me
intellectually and thought I was able, but her physical and emotional
predilections, as far as men are concerned, did not include me.

We rejoiced together singing coon-songs, and then we fought. There
is a directness between experienced intellects which waves aside all
formalities. She had seen a lot of life; so had I. She said she thought
she would like to walk a little.

We strolled back along the heaving deck to the end of the first-cabin
section and then to the stern. When we reached there the sky was
overcast again, for it was one of those changeable mornings which is
now gray, now bright, now misty. Just now the heavens were black and
lowering with soft, rain-charged clouds, like the wool of a smudgy
sheep. The sea was a rich green in consequence; not a deal green, but a
dark, muddy, oil-green. It rose and sank in its endless unrest, and one
or two boats appeared--a light-ship, anchored out all alone against the
lowering waste, and a small, black, passenger-steamer going somewhere.

“I wish my path in life were as white as that and as straight,”
observed Miss X., pointing to our white, propeller-churned wake, which
extended back for half a mile or more.

“Yes,” I observed, “you do and you don’t. You do, if it wouldn’t cost
you trouble in the future--impose the straight and narrow, as it were.”

“Oh, you don’t know,” she exclaimed irritably, that ugly fighting light
coming into her eyes which I had seen there several times before. “You
don’t know what my life has been. I haven’t been so bad. We all of us
do the best we can. I have done the best I could, considering.”

“Yes, yes,” I observed; “you’re ambitious and alive and you’re
seeking--Heaven knows what. You would be fine with your pretty face and
body if you were not so--so sophisticated. The trouble with you is--”

“Oh, look at that cute little boat out there!” She was talking of the
light-ship. “I always feel sorry for a poor little thing like that, set
aside from the main tide of life and left lonely, with no one to care
for it.”

“The trouble with you is,” I went on, seizing this new remark as an
additional pretext for analysis, “you’re romantic, not sympathetic.
You’re interested in that poor little lonely boat because its state is
romantic, not pathetic. It may be pathetic, but that isn’t the point
with you.”

“Well,” she said, “if you had had all the hard knocks I have had, you
wouldn’t be sympathetic either. I’ve suffered, I have. My illusions
have been killed dead.”

“Yes, love is over with you. You can’t love any more. You can like to
be loved, that’s all. If it were the other way about--”

I paused to think how really lovely she would be with her narrow,
lavender eyelids; her delicate, almost retroussé, little nose; her red
cupid’s-bow mouth.

“Oh,” she exclaimed, with a gesture of almost religious adoration, “I
cannot love any one person any more; but I can love love, and I do--all
the delicate things it stands for.”

“Flowers,” I observed, “jewels, automobiles, hotel bills, fine dresses.”

“Oh, you’re brutal. I hate you. You’ve said the cruelest, meanest
things that have ever been said to me.”

“But they’re so.”

“I don’t care. Why shouldn’t I be hard? Why shouldn’t I love to live
and be loved? Look at my life. See what I’ve had.”

“You like me, in a way.”

“I admire your intellect.”

“Quite so; and others receive the gifts of your personality.”

“I can’t help it. I can’t be mean to the man I’m with. He’s good to me.
I won’t. I’d be sinning against the only conscience I have.”

They were blowing a bugle for lunch when we came back, and down we
went. G. was already at table. The orchestra was playing “Auld Lang
Syne,” “Home, Sweet Home,” “Dixie,” and the “Suwanee River.” It even
played one of those delicious American rags which I love so much--the
“Oceana Roll.” I felt a little lump in my throat at “Auld Lang Syne”
and “Dixie,” and together Miss X. and I hummed the “Oceana Roll” as
it was played. One of the girl passengers came about with a plate to
obtain money for the members of the orchestra, and half-crowns were
generally deposited. Then I started to eat my dessert; but G., who had
hurried off, came back to interfere.

“Come, come,”--he is always most emphatic--“you’re missing it all.
We’re landing.”

I thought we were leaving at once. The eye behind the monocle was
premonitory of some great loss to me. I hurried on deck, to thank his
artistic and managerial instinct instantly I arrived there. Before me
was Fishguard and the Welsh coast, and to my dying day I shall never
forget it. Imagine, if you please, a land-locked harbor, as green as
grass in this semi-cloudy, semi-gold-bathed afternoon, with a half-moon
of granite scarp rising sheer and clear from the green waters to the
low gray clouds overhead. On its top I could see fields laid out in
pretty squares or oblongs, and at the bottom of what to me appeared
to be the east end of the semicircle was a bit of gray scruff, which
was the village, no doubt. On the green water were several other
boats--steamers, much smaller, with red stacks, black sides, white
rails and funnels, bearing a family resemblance to the one we were on.
There was a long pier extending out into the water from what I took to
be the village, and something farther inland that looked like a low
shed.

This black hotel of a ship, so vast, so graceful, now rocking gently
in the enameled bay, was surrounded this hour by wheeling, squeaking
gulls. I always like the squeak of a gull; it reminds me of a rusty
car-wheel, and somehow it accords with a lone, rocky coast. Here they
were, their little feet coral red, their beaks jade gray, their bodies
snowy white or sober gray, wheeling and crying, “My heart remembers
how.” I looked at them, and that old intense sensation of joy came
back--the wish to fly, the wish to be young, the wish to be happy, the
wish to be loved. I think my lips framed verses, and I thought that if
nature, in her vast, sightless chemistry, would only give me something
to feed this intense emotion to the full, I should welcome eternal
sleep.

But my scene, beautiful as it was, was slipping away. One of the pretty
steamers I had noted lying on the water some distance away was drawing
alongside--to get mails, they said. There were hurrying and shuffling
people on all the first-cabin decks.

Then the mail and trunks being off, and that boat having veered away,
another and somewhat smaller one came alongside, and we first- and then
the second-class passengers went aboard, and I watched the great ship
growing less and less as we pulled away from it. It was immense from
alongside, a vast skyscraper of a ship. At a hundred feet it seemed
not so large, but exceedingly more graceful; at a thousand feet all
its exquisite lines were perfect, its bulk not so great, but the
pathos of its departing beauty wonderful; at two thousand feet it was
still beautiful and large against the granite ring of the harbor; but,
alas! it was moving. The captain was an almost indistinguishable spot
upon the bridge. The stacks, in their way gorgeous, took on beautiful
proportions. I thought, as we veered in near the pier and the ship
turned within her length or thereabouts and steamed out, I had never
seen a more beautiful sight. Her convoy of gulls was still about her.
Her smoke-stacks flung back their graceful streamers. The propeller
left a white trail of foam.

Just then the lighter bumped against the dock. I walked under a long,
low train-shed covering four tracks, and then I saw my first English
passenger-train. I didn’t like the looks of the cars. I can prove in
a moment by any traveler that our trains are vastly more luxurious. I
can see where there isn’t heat enough, and where one lavatory for men
and women on any train, let alone a first-class one, is an abomination;
but, still, and notwithstanding, I say the English railway service is
better. Why? Because it’s more human; it’s more considerate. You aren’t
driven and urged to step lively and called at in loud, harsh voices,
and made to feel that you are being tolerated aboard something that
was never made for you at all, but for the employees of the company.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. J. Glackens

“THE MAGNIFICENT WALL OF LOWER NEW YORK, SET LIKE A JEWEL IN A GREEN
RING OF SEA-WATER”]

But finally the train was started, and we were off. The track was not
so wide as ours, if I am not mistaken, and the little freight-cars
were positively ridiculous, mere wheelbarrows by comparison with the
American type. As for the passenger-cars, when I came to examine them,
they reminded me of some of our fine street-cars that run from, say,
Schenectady to Gloversville. They were the first-class cars, too--the
English Pullmans. The train started out briskly and you could feel that
it did not have the powerful weight to it which the American train
has. An American Pullman creaks significantly, just as a great ship
does when it begins to move. An American engine begins to pull slowly
because it has something to pull--like a team with a heavy load. I
didn’t feel that I was in a train half so much as I did that I was in a
string of baby-carriages.

As I think of it now, I can never be sufficiently grateful to G. for
a certain affectionate, thoughtful, sympathetic regard for my every
possible mood on this occasion. This was my first trip to this England
of which of course he was intensely proud. He was so humanly anxious
that I should not miss any of its charms or, if need be, defects. He
wanted me to be able to judge it fairly and humanly and to see, as he
phrased it, “the eventual result sieved through your temperament.”
The soul of attention, the soul of courtesy, patient, long-suffering,
humane, gentle, how I have tried the patience of that man at times!
An iron mood he has on occasion; a stoic one always. Gentle, even,
smiling, living a rule and a standard, every thought of him produces a
grateful smile.

It was three-thirty when the train began to move, and from the lovely,
misty sunshine of the morning the sky had become overcast with low,
gray, almost black, rain-clouds. I looked at the hills and valleys.
They told me we were in Wales. Curiously, as we sped along, first
came Wordsworth into my mind, and then Thomas Hardy. I thought of
Wordsworth first because these smooth, kempt hills, wet with the rain
and static with deep, gray shadows, suggested him. England owes much to
William Wordsworth, I think. So far as I can see, he epitomized in his
verses this sweet, simple hominess that tugs at the heart-strings like
some old call that one has heard before. My father was a German, my
mother of Pennsylvania Dutch extraction, and yet there is a pull here
in this Shaksperian-Wordsworthian-Hardyesque world which is precisely
like the call of a tender mother to a child. I can’t resist it. I love
it. I love it so much that it even hurts me; and I am not English, but
radically American.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. J. Glackens

“I SAW K. CONVERSING WITH MISS B.”]

I understand that Hardy is not so well thought of in England as he
might be; that, somehow, some large conservative class thinks that his
books are immoral or destructive. I should say the English would better
make much of Thomas Hardy while he is alive. He is one of its great
traditions. His works are beautiful. The spirit of all the things he
has done or attempted is lovely. He is a master mind, simple, noble,
dignified, serene. He is as fine as any of the English cathedrals. St.
Paul’s or Canterbury has no more significance to me than Thomas Hardy.
I shall see St. Paul’s. I wish I could see the spirit of Thomas Hardy
indicated in some such definite way. And yet I do not. Monuments do not
indicate great men, but the fields and valleys of a country suggest
them.

At twenty or thirty miles from Fishguard we came to the Bay of Bristol.
Then came more open country, and then the lovely, alternating hues of
this rain-washed world. The water under these dark clouds took on a
peculiar luster. It looked at times like burnished steel, at times like
muddy lead. I thought of our own George Inness and what he would have
done with these scenes and what the English Turner has done, though he
preferred, as a rule, another key.

At four-thirty one of the charming English trainmen came and asked
if we would have tea in the dining-car. We would. We arose and in a
few moments were entering one of those dainty little basket cars. The
tables were covered with white linen and simple, pretty china and a
silver tea-service. It wasn’t as though you were traveling at all. I
felt as though I were stopping at the house of a friend, or as though
I were in the cozy corner of some well-known and friendly inn. Tea was
served. We ate toast and talked cheerfully. G. was most anxious that I
should not miss any of the significance of the landscape, and insisted
that I keep my nose to the window.

Having started so late, it grew nearly dark after tea, and the distant
landscapes were not so easy to descry. We came presently, in the mist,
to a place called Carmarthen, I think, where were great black stacks
and flaming forges and lights burning wistfully in the dark; and then
to another similar place, Swansea; and finally to a third, Cardiff,
great centers of manufacture, for there were flaming lights from
forges; great, golden gleams from open furnaces; and dark blue smoke,
visible even at this hour, from tall stacks overhead; and gleaming
electric lights, like bright, lucent diamonds.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. J. Glackens

“ONE OF THOSE REALLY INTERESTING CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN G. AND MISS X.”]

It has always seemed a great, sad, heroic thing,--plain day labor.
Those common, ignorant men, working before flaming forges, stripped to
the waist in some instances, fascinated my imagination. I have always
marveled at the inequalities of nature--the way it will give one man
a low brow and a narrow mind, a narrow round of thought, and make a
slave or horse of him, and another a light, nimble mind, a quick wit,
and air, and make a gentleman of him. No human being can solve either
the question of ability or utility. Is your gentleman useful? Yes and
no, perhaps. Is your laborer useful? Yes and no, perhaps. I should say
obviously yes. But see the differences in the reward of labor, physical
labor. One eats his hard-earned crust in the sweat of his face; the
other picks at his surfeit of courses, and wonders why this or that
doesn’t taste better. I did not make my mind. I did not make my art.
I cannot choose my taste except by predestined instinct, and yet here
I am sitting in a comfortable English home as I write, commiserating
the poor working-man. I indict nature here and now, as I always do and
always shall do, as being aimless, pointless, unfair, unjust. I see
in the whole thing no scheme but an accidental one, no justice save
accidental justice. Now and then, in a way, some justice is done, but
it is accidental; no individual man seems to will it. He can’t. He
doesn’t know how. He can’t think how. And there’s an end of it.



[Illustration]



WINGÈD VICTORY

BY VICTOR WHITLOCK


    O patient, wounded warrior of the range,
      Braving the might of all the storms that blow,
    Breasting the bandit winds that never change,
      Fighting forever with an unseen foe.
    How your brave spirit breathes of sturdy cheer--
      You that the ranger deems a worthless tree.
    Triumphant Nature, sculptor without peer,
      Has moulded you her Wingèd Victory.



AMERICAN MAKERS OF THE NEW JAPAN

BY WILLIAM ELLIOT GRIFFIS

Author of “The Religions of Japan,” “The Japanese Nation in Evolution,”
etc.


All the world knows that Commodore Matthew C. Perry “opened Japan,”
very much as one opens an exposition. He touched the button that set
in operation the waiting wheels of a century or more of interior,
intellectual preparation. It is not so well known that to President
Millard Fillmore belongs the credit of organizing the expedition sent
out in 1852, although it was William Alexander Graham, Secretary of the
Navy, who brought up the subject in cabinet meeting.

Other American makers of Japan lived before Perry. Our flag, covering
Dutch ships, was mirrored in Nagasaki Bay in 1798. In 1837, S.
Wells Williams, printer and diplomatist, who, in the American ship
_Morrison_, fitted out by Mr. Charles W. King, sailed from Hong-Kong
to return shipwrecked Japanese, was driven away from Uraga with
cannon-fire and balls. From these waifs, by word of mouth, he learned
the spoken language; he then translated the gospels into Japanese, and
in 1852 acted as Perry’s interpreter and proposed “the favored nation”
clause in the treaty.

Mastery of the language was the key with which to open Thornrose
Castle. The futile visits in 1845 and 1846 of Commodores James Biddle
and James Glynn, with battle-ships and brigs, appear smaller in
perspective than the work of Ranald MacDonald, first teacher of English
in Japan. In 1848, this educational zealot had himself put ashore from
an American ship. In shutting out undesirable aliens the bigoted hermit
Japanese of the nineteenth century were quite equal to the glorious
Americans of the twentieth. Though MacDonald was promptly imprisoned
and sent to Nagasaki, about his cage cell eager young men gathered in
classes to learn English and become interpreters. The Yedo Government,
thus enabled to meet Perry openly, had also, concealed in the after
pavilion, Manjiro (“John Munn”), who had been educated at Fairhaven,
Massachusetts, and who likewise had been voluntarily put ashore from
an American vessel which had carried him to Japan. “John,” though
young, was white-haired, the capillary bleaching having resulted from
translating into Japanese, by command of his Yedo superiors, Bowditch’s
“The New American Practical Navigator,” when dictionaries were unknown.

In Perry’s fleet, a marine named Jonathan Goble had enlisted, hoping
to Christianize the natives. Goble began with a waif picked up at sea,
whose Japanese name emerged from the alembic of sailor lingo as “Sam
Patch.” Later, in a land where horse traction was unknown, Goble,
in order to give his sick wife outdoor air, invented the man-power
carriage. By his drawing of a rough design, and showing a native
mechanic the picture of a baby-carriage in Godey’s “Lady’s Book,” the
result in 1871 was the jinrikisha, the wheel that rolled round the
world.

Before 1860, Japanese time was valueless, a drug in the market. There
was no word in common use for anything less than an hour. Railways,
introduced in 1872, made minutes and seconds intelligible quantities.
For the first train scheduled, the prime minister of the empire was
late and was left behind. The simultaneous advent of the cheap American
watch and the Yankee’s jinrikisha made ordinary people realize that
an hour had sixty minutes. Some Japanese have since learned to split
seconds.

[Illustration: FIRST CLASS IN THE IMPERIAL UNIVERSITY OF TOKIO, 1872,
TAUGHT BY DR. GRIFFIS FOR TWO YEARS. MANY OF THESE ARE NOW LEADING MEN
IN JAPAN]

In 1850 no English-speaking person could read correctly a Japanese
book. Eugene Van Reed, an American, made a phrase-book in the katakana
script, beginning the work which was continued by John Liggins, the
two Browns, Samuel and Nathan, and William Imbrie--all Americans.
James Curtis Hepburn, linguistic pioneer and translator of the Bible,
made the initial dictionary, on which all subsequent lexicons are
based. The first series of American books done into Japanese was
Peter Parley’s histories, the style of which for a whole generation
flavored “English as she was written” in Japan. It showed the Japanese
islanders that they were as “frogs in a well, that know not the great
ocean.” More than anything else, the reading of English turned Japan’s
head away from China’s world of thought to that of the Occident. Not
a few masterpieces of American literature done into Japanese have
passed through many editions. The answer of one of our sailors, in
1847, to the question, “Who is the ruler of America?” “The people,”
was then unfathomable. It is now quite plain. Prince Ito, who knew
the Constitution of the United States almost by heart, read “The
Federalist,” finding it more fascinating than a novel. Thus it was by
Alexander Hamilton, quite as much as by Bismarck, that he was confirmed
in his unionist and centralizing theories. On the other hand, none so
well as Americans has mastered the psychology of the Japanese, opened
their hearts, and read their souls. Despite its limitations, Percival
Lowell’s work, “Occult Japan” (1894), is a masterpiece, Sidney L.
Gulick’s “Evolution of the Japanese” (1903) is excellent, and Alice
Bacon’s writings on Japan are superb.

[Illustration: TOWNSEND HARRIS, THE FIRST UNITED STATES MINISTER TO
JAPAN AND FOUNDER OF THE COLLEGE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK]

Except that by Perry’s treaty two doors were set ajar for doling out
food, fuel, and water to sailors, Japan through this alone might still
be a hermit nation. Yet in 1913 we see a world power, wherein trade
and labor are honored, population is doubled, wealth octupled, fifty
millions of people are physically made over, and are actually taller
by a half-inch than their ancestors, armed with the external forces of
civilization, with social life and education, including music and law,
changed and with ideals vastly modified. How did it come about?

[Illustration: WILLIAM ELLIOT GRIFFIS]

Our first consul-general was Townsend Harris, merchant, and President
of the Board of Education in New York City. In accepting President
Pierce’s nomination, he changed his skies, but not his constant mind,
and hardly his chair of instruction. This founder of the institution
that became the College of the City of New York, during twenty-two
months at Shimoda and in Yedo, taught Japan’s leading men the practical
details of modern civilized intercourse. The hermits yielded, and
opened five seaports and two cities to trade, residence, and the work
of teachers, missionaries, and experts who made labor honorable. It was
Harris who lifted the flood-gates of modernism, set the precedents,
and fixed the limits of the later treaties with twenty nations. Even
more, despite diplomatic limits, he discerned in the Japanese character
a frankness and honesty that some of our newspapers have not yet
discovered. Hence in Yedo, with a courage born of faith that fails not
the true discerner, Harris, without a soldier, marine, or sailor, kept
the stars and stripes flying over the American legation--the only one
left in Yedo--when all the foreign envoys, despite big battalions and
artillery, had struck their flags and fled to Yokohama, thus insulting
a proud nation by their absence from its capital for nearly a decade.
The popular Japanese title of Townsend Harris is “the nation’s friend.”

[Illustration: CELEBRATION IN HONOR OF THE OPENING OF THE FIRST PUBLIC
SCHOOL IN JAPAN]

Having committed herself by treaty, Japan then had to make trade and
toil honorable and develop the resources of the country, or else go the
way of India, be prostrate like China, or fall into the maw of Russia.

Where look for wealth? The soil was already worked to its full capacity
as then known. Despite artificial checks to population, which had
stood stationary for a century, the land seemed to cast out its human
occupants. Famines, often carrying off two millions of people a year,
desolated the land with appalling regularity. They were obliged to look
to the mines and the precious metals, despite the double danger of a
social revolution sure to be wrought from honoring men of pick and
tools rather than of swords, and of the wrath of the gods and dragons
that guarded jealously the treasures of the underworld.

It was as Nicodemus by night that high-bred men, shuddering at the
necessity of it, came to Mr. Harris to ask for American mining
engineers to prospect for gold. In 1861, with appalling promptness,
arrived Messrs. William Phipps Blake and Raphael Pumpelly. Then the
frightful problem of etiquette at once upreared itself. Should they
be received as mechanics in overalls or as subalterns in an embassy?
The answer to the question referred to Mr. Harris was startling: “In
America the President of the United States would receive them as his
equals.”

That settled it. The monetary equilibrium of the world was not
disturbed then or since by Japan’s output of gold. Social and economic
conditions, as well as lack of lodes prevented, but Pumpelly taught
blasting, and incidentally lighted the fuse that blew up feudalism.
Later, Professor Benjamin Lyman, with Harry Smith Monroe and others
from America, explored, surveyed, and mapped Japan’s treasure-lands,
saving the waste of millions in wild delusions.

Pumpelly builded better than he knew, healing an age-long breach
between honor and toil. Without knowing it, he ushered in a new
industrial era. Townsend Harris was the glad sponsor of the
missionaries, who for ten years were in effect the sole teachers of
the nation in science, history, medicine, and statesmanship; for of
Christianity, until 1872, the Japanese, knowing only the Portuguese and
Spanish type, and refusing to jest at their scars, would have none.

[Illustration: A TYPICAL STREET CONVEYANCE IN JAPAN BEFORE THE
INTRODUCTION OF JINRIKISHAS]

Some unseen power must have presided over the choice of the four
American pioneer missionaries--Channing Moore Williams, Samuel Robbins
Brown, James Curtis Hepburn, and Guido Fridolin Verbeck--who arrived on
the soil in 1859, each one to live through forty years of altruistic
toil. They seeded Japan with new thoughts and raised a regiment of
trained men, with faces set toward the Occident. These serve, or have
served, as van-leaders of reform and progress, not a few being in the
high councils of the nation. Of the four pioneers, three, having been
in China, soon got a grip on the native script and literature, which,
like most things Japanese, is based on the Chinese. Dr. Guido Fridolin
Verbeck, master of seven languages, became later chief government
translator, adviser of the emperor, and the star preacher in Japanese.
This “Americanized Dutchman,” educated in technical science at Delft,
had at once the mind of an engineer and of a statesman. At Nagasaki
he took hold of the boys, taught them the New Testament and the
Constitution of the United States, and, to feudal and divided Japan,
Christopher Martin Wieland’s poem, “Where is the German Fatherland?”
Verbeck dictated what should be the languages for medicine (German),
law (French), and education (English). He hewed out the channels of
progress by urging that while students should be sent abroad in large
numbers, foreign experts in all departments should be brought to
Japan; by proposing an imperial embassy to go around the world, and
by elaborating a scheme of national elementary education. Dr. Samuel
Robbins Brown, the schoolmaster, intellectual father of the first
American woman’s college chartered as such, at Elmira, New York, who
had in 1847 brought the first Chinese students to America, introduced
photography and raised a body of intellectuals. To-day a hundred
Japanese lawyers, doctors, editors, ministers, and public men revere
his name.

In December, 1867, the older native statesmen, with long preparation,
and the younger ones, with the new mind “brought from over the sea,”
got possession of the imperial palace and person in Kioto, and began,
in the boy mikado’s name, that series of far-reaching reforms that have
made a new nation. In the new Government possibly half were pupils of
Verbeck. His heart beat faster when in one of the five articles of the
charter oath of the emperor in Kioto, the basis of the Constitution
of 1889, it was sworn that “intellect and learning should be sought
for throughout the world in order to restore the foundations of the
empire.” Leaving Nagasaki and going at once to headquarters, Verbeck
secured the turning of the stream of students to America, where soon
hundreds, mostly at New Brunswick, New Jersey, were, from 1866 onward,
pounding at the gates of knowledge. Verbeck was then called to Tokio
to be president of the Imperial University of Tokio and incidentally
to be factotum of a government then in novelty and isolation. When
the embassy set out to go around the world in 1872, Verbeck, who had
suggested the idea, found that more than one half of its personnel had
been his pupils.

[Illustration: WILLIAM ALEXANDER GRAHAM, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY IN 1831]

From 1868 to 1900, in response to the Mikado’s invitation, about five
thousand experts or assistants in every line of human achievement went
to Japan, from master or ordinary mechanics, boatswains, and corporals
to superintendents and professors. Their salaries ranged from day’s
wages to a salary then exceeding that of the President of the United
States. Of these, about twelve hundred were American teachers. Of all
these foreign helpers (_yatoi_), called out under the charter oath, I
had the honor to be the first appointed and on the ground.

It was my good fortune to arrive in Fukui, Echizen, in 1871. I enjoyed
the unique advantage of living in the far interior, in a daimio’s
castle, of seeing feudalism in operation, and of being present. October
1871, at the solemn and impressive ceremonies at its fall and the
transference of sovereignty to the emperor.

There was as yet no national department of education. Perhaps it is no
accident that, out of the province of Echizen, where public schools
were first organized, was raised the Ninth Division of the army that
took Port Arthur. The chemical laboratory, training-class of teachers,
lecture-and recitation-rooms, equipped with blackboards and modern
furniture, were in the actual “palace” occupied for two centuries
by the Baron of Echizen, one of the seventeen great feudatories of
the empire. As I had been a soldier in the Civil War, I was asked
my opinions as to the value of forts in miniature then being built
with trowel and clay. Almost the first call to apply my knowledge of
chemistry and physics was to show the Japanese how, by the use of
electric wires and fulminates, to blow up ships by submarine wires and
torpedoes. The introduction at that time of chairs in the schools,
and changes in method and habits of sitting, have during a generation
elongated the legs of a nation, adding half an inch to the Japanese
stature.

Seeing the danger in a scheme of education of exclusive devotion to
book-learning, and knowing the value of manual and technical training,
I elaborated the plan of a technological school. The letter reached
Tokio almost on the day that the first minister of education, Oki
Takato, was appointed and the department was organized. Summoned by
return messenger to the capital, I was about to begin with four
professional chairs, but happily, with enlarged ideas, the Government
organized a few months later on a larger scale the superb College of
Engineering, in which such men as Dyer, Milne, Divers, and Ayrton
taught, and such pupils as Takaminé, Shimosé, and Oda were graduated.
Transferred to the Imperial University, I had the honor to serve during
three years. I taught science by contract; but also ethics, philosophy,
and literature voluntarily, in order to know the Japanese mind. Of my
pupils, some entered the cabinet; others to-day occupy places among the
highest in education, diplomacy, or the enterprises of the Government.
One of these was the Marquis Komura, who, after winning laurels in
London, Washington, and Peking, sat opposite Serjius De Witte, the
Russian, at the Portsmouth Conference in 1905. Remembering his daily
work in the classroom, I was not unprepared for his brilliant success.
Against the Russian, he scored all points on the Manchurian question,
which to-day is the pivot of politics in the Far East. Komura and
Takahira, both ambassadors, the latter to Washington in 1905, had been
my pupils, Komura during nearly three years.

The missionaries were the pioneers of every good feature of
civilization. In 1859, Hepburn opened the first dispensary in a
land where there was no public hospital, or chimney, or newspaper,
or milk-wagon, or stationary wash-stand, or any other than medieval
devices of comfort. Public hygiene was scarcely known. The highways
were full of sights of horror: a million outcasts, swarms of
beggars, gamblers, lepers, smallpox patients moving freely abroad;
eye-disorders, blindness, unmentionable diseases, and their victims;
phallic shrines on the road, and phallic emblems freely exposed in the
shops and at temple festivals; pilloried heads, gory execution-grounds,
and blackened remains of judicial incineration. In the prisons, the
apparatus of torture was elaborate and of infernal variety. Rotten
humanity crowded the seats in Hepburn’s chapel, while about him were a
dozen or so of the future physicians and surgeons now famous. To-day
Japan has a thousand hospitals and a faculty of world-wide fame, while
no nation excels her in public hygiene.

[Illustration: WILLIAM H. JAQUES, WHO INTRODUCED STEEL-MAKING PROCESSES
INTO JAPANESE WAR-SHIPS]

Long before the government hospitals or officially trained nurses
were heard of, Dr. John Berry, a medical missionary, now of Worcester,
Massachusetts, the father also of prison reform in Japan, had taught
women nurses and begun the development of a noble army of white-robed
ministering angels. Indeed, the first message of Christendom has been
to womanhood, and gratefully have the Japanese made acknowledgment.
As early as 1861, Mrs. James Curtis Hepburn opened at Yokohama a
school for girls; she was followed by Miss Mary Kidder of Brooklyn.
In 1871 was founded the Woman’s Union American Home, “on the Bluff,”
in which hundreds of girls received the education that has made a
multitude of homes in which the social equality of husband and wife is
a reality. This home has now a hundred missionary duplicates. In 1872
Miss Margaret Clark Griffis began the first government school for
girls, out of which have developed the Peeresses’ School and the Tokio
Normal School, which have educated thousands of female teachers. It was
an American woman missionary, Mrs. James Ballagh, who in 1863 first
demonstrated, with two boys, the capacity of the Japanese voice to sing
our scale. Since that time, besides Mr. Mason’s training of pupils
in the public schools, pianos and brass bands have become common.
Mr. Edward House, with a native orchestra in Tokio, gave an oratorio
beautifully, and now in New York Mrs. Takaori is singing our airs.

[Illustration: A GROUP OF STUDENTS TAUGHT BY DR. GRIFFIS IN THE
IMPERIAL UNIVERSITY OF TOKIO]

How, in a brief article, can one recite what American women have
done in education, from peasant hut to emperor’s palace, or tell of
statesmen and diplomatists like E. Pershine Smith, John W. Foster,
Henry Willard Denison, Durham White Stevens, John Hyde de Forest,
the Rt. Rev. Merriman C. Harris; of Charles P. Bryan, who organized
the national postal system; of men of finance, like George Burchell
Williams; of art experts, like Ernest F. Fenollosa; of archæologists,
like Edward S. Morse; of engineers, like William H. Jaques; of
surgeons, like Duane B. Simmons and Albert Sydney Ashmead; of
translators, like Daniel Crosby Greene or Nathan Brown, the latter by
himself alone, after seven years’ study, making a superb version of
the New Testament, and of a host of others of whose work it shames
the writer not to speak? Lack of space forbids even mention in detail
of the great missionary enterprise, with its university, colleges,
schools, hospitals, dispensaries, and an army of high-souled and
cultivated men and women. It has been possible to name scarcely
any others than the pioneers. Yet without the direct influence of
their foreign Christian teachers, and their practical training
received in the sessions, debates, committee and public meetings of
the church-congregations, the large measure of representative and
self-government, already reached in constitutional Japan, would have
been impossible. Only in this way can we explain the large proportion
of active members of the Christian Church in the Imperial Diet and
local assemblies.

[Illustration: MISS MARGARET GRIFFIS AND HER PUPILS

Miss Griffis was the first American woman teacher in the government
school for Samurai girls in Japan]

It was ours to be servants only, and joyful was the service. After
forty-seven years’ close acquaintance with these people, I am unable to
trace any inferiority in intellect, or any fundamental difference in
human nature, character, or brain power in the Japanese, as compared
with Occidentals. Being a student of history and nations, I believe
in their honesty and morality. All that we did was to show the way.
The capacity was already theirs. Nevertheless, as Verbeck said, “New
Japan came from beyond the sea.” To an Englishman we leave the final
verdict.--“New Japan is the creation of the foreign employé.” Japan’s
true line of advance has really been less in exterior brilliancy than
in interior reconstruction, in coöperation with her foreign helpers;
and these, in overwhelming preponderance, whether of numbers or
personality, have been Americans.

[Illustration: RESIDENCE OF TOWNSEND HARRIS AT SHIMODA (1835-1838)]



MIND VERSUS MUSCLE IN GOLF

BY MARSHALL WHITLATCH


  Mr. Whitlatch was a national figure in golf two or three years ago.
  Now he plays only once or twice a week. But his recent scores in the
  Knickerbocker Cup contest at the Oakland course show the results of
  applying his newly developed theory of play to his own game. His
  gross scores for the four rounds, played a week apart, were 75, 72,
  77, and 73, a triumph, he considers, for his new ideas. His 72, done
  with a ball out of bounds, establishes the new competitive record for
  the course.--~The Editor.~

Golf and brains do not seem to assimilate. That the brains of
the country are at work on this problem is amply proved by the
membership-lists of the various country clubs. The handicap-lists and
scores turned in by these brainy men are further evidence that golf and
brains do not assimilate. The scores seem to indicate that there is a
direct relation between the amount of brains used and the amount of
strokes used in making a round of the course. The more brains, the more
strokes.

When I try to find the cause of this state of affairs, these
intellectual giants with whom I talk modestly inform me that “Golf is
mental,” and they admit that the subtle mystery has thus far eluded
them; but I can tell from what they leave unsaid rather than from
what they voice just how determined they are to master this wonderful
mentality which permeates the game of golf, and I can almost imagine
their speech of dedication as they consecrate themselves to this great
end.

In my own case, I have recently made a very curious discovery and have
imparted the secret to a number of my friends, who have urged me to
pass the word along.

It is that good golf is played through the lower nerve-centers and
motor channels, while poor golf is due to the direct interference of
the brain, or consciousness.

In other words, the more I succeed in eliminating the mental or
thinking part of golf, and the more I depend upon the muscular sense,
the better my golf has become.

Shortly after the account of Maria Montessori’s work in the “children’s
houses” in Rome was published, I obtained a copy of the book, and from
it received a suggestion that led me to apply the idea to golf, with
the result that my game has been revolutionized, and I have tried the
idea upon others with considerable success.

To explain my application of the principle, I must call attention to
the Montessori method of teaching handwriting. The usual method of
schools has been to place before a child a written letter, give the
child a pen, and tell him to copy the letter. Unaccustomed to holding
a pen, and totally unfamiliar with the outlines of the letter he is
directed to copy, the child holds the pen in a vise-like grip, and
with unnecessary muscular exertion moves slowly through a series of
mechanical strokes until at last he has produced a crude representation
of the original. The Montessori method, on the other hand, is to give
to the child a fairly large model of the letter cut out of sandpaper
and pasted on a smooth surface. Over these outlines the child is made
to pass his finger, at first slowly, but gradually with more lightness
and speed until he has become thoroughly familiar with the movements
necessary to reproduce the letter. With a pencil-like stick he is then
taught to touch the outlines in the same manner, until his sense of
touch has become so thoroughly educated to the “feel” of the letter
that spontaneously he discovers that he can reproduce it without the
model.

“Tracing the letter,” explains Dr. Montessori, “in the fashion of
writing begins the muscular education which prepares for writing....
The child who looks, recognizes, and touches the letter in the manner
of writing, prepares himself simultaneously for reading and writing.
Touching the letters, and looking at them at the same time, fixes the
image more quickly through the coöperation of the senses. Later, the
two facts separate; looking becomes reading, and touching becomes
writing.”

This suggested to me that the method most used for playing golf
followed the method of the old-fashioned system of writing, wherein
the child, seeing the letter A, for instance, has a preconceived idea
of the motions necessary to make it, and his mind forces his muscles
step by step in a cramped and painstaking way to go through certain
predetermined movements. This was exactly my scheme in playing golf,
and I know from observation that it is the scheme of many other
golfers. There is neither freedom nor spontaneity, because the mind
controls and dominates each muscular movement necessary in making the
swing.

If I were to describe the reason why the majority of players do this, I
should say that it is due to their placing more reliance in their sense
of vision than on their sense of feeling. One cannot see the correct
timing of a stroke, but he can feel it.

My former method was to figure out how everything should “look” when I
addressed the ball, and my present method is absolutely to ignore what
it looks like, and depend entirely upon what it “feels” like.

If I depend upon what things look like in the address, I “set” some
of my muscles in such and such a way to accommodate this preconceived
notion. If I depend upon how it feels, I have to relax more and more of
my muscles, or I am aware of the resistance one set offers to another.

In the light of my new method, the matter of true balance and poise
will assume the importance it deserves because in the preliminary
“waggle” of the club, which is generally done with the hands and arms
alone, the body being held rigid, the muscles of the body will have to
be relaxed in order that one may feel out the correct positions. This
has been my own experience, and I think that if consideration be given
the fact that the actual stroke is delivered with all the muscles in
action, the nearer the player reproduces the actual conditions in his
preliminary waggle, the better chance he will have to bring off the
shot. If the muscles are “set,” with the idea of “aiming,” so to speak,
with everything in repose in the address, it can hardly be called a
good preliminary of the actual effort.

In order to focus the attention on this phase, I should like to
describe the two different plans used by the professional golfer and
the amateur.

The professional represents good golf, and his scheme of play is
to _feel_ out the correct position _in action_, while the average
amateur represents poor golf, and his scheme is to reason out, in a
preconceived way, the correct position, with most of his muscles in
repose, or set.

To put it more plainly, I should say that the professional, through his
sense of feeling, allows his muscles to talk to his mind; while the
amateur, through his reason, makes his mind talk to his muscles, or
control them. The sense of feeling being the medium the professional
uses to arrive at the correct position to make the stroke, he develops
free and spontaneous muscular reaction, while the amateur makes a
mental plan or picture of what position he should assume for a correct
address, and therefore is without freedom or spontaneity. It is death
to any free and natural movement.

In addressing his ball the amateur stands rigidly facing it with
muscles set, and with careful attention and painstaking deliberation
shown in his entire attitude, concentration written on every feature.
Gradually he begins a carefully guarded movement of his club away from
his ball. Up to the top of his swing he makes this careful, deliberate
movement, consciously controlling every change in position, and then
when he reaches the top of his swing, he makes a wild, vicious attempt
to whack that ball to “kingdom come.” There has not been a single
spontaneous muscular act performed. Every movement or muscular reaction
has been under his _conscious_ control.

Compare this elaborate, complex scheme with the professional method. He
walks up to the ball, and never for an instant is in repose. He takes a
glance at the point where he intends to send the ball; then back goes
his glance to the ball, and away it goes. There is smooth, easy grace
in every movement.

Because the professional has succeeded better is no evidence that he
has a superior mind. If it were mind, or golf were a mental game, the
amateur should succeed better because he has given more thought to his
work.

There is really no mystery in the professional’s success: it is
because he has hit his ball truer with no lost motion.

Now, if those golfers who have trouble will stop and consider for a
moment the number of things they are thinking of in preparing to strike
the ball, they will realize that their effort is decidedly mental; that
is, they run over in their minds the things they deem necessary and the
positions to be assumed in order to make a successful stroke, while
the making of a successful stroke depends upon something they cannot
think out at all. It is something they must _feel_ out, and that is the
delicate balance and timing of the turn of the wrists, etc. It is in
the feel of the correct poise of the body and the correct balance of
the club while in motion that they should look for guidance.

When a player has the feel of the balance, he makes the stroke with
confidence. When he has lost the touch or feel, all the will power in
the world will not give him confidence. His next shot is bound to be
an experiment. He is then likely to shift his grip, change his stance,
alter his club, or make some other kind of experiment. This is going to
focus his attention upon the detail he is trying out, and while he may
and generally does make a very intelligent effort to accomplish what he
at that moment considers the thing of paramount importance, the ball
nevertheless fails to go oft as he desires.

Good golf comes from educating the muscles to the correct feel of the
balance of the body and club while in _motion_. This is essentially
physical because it is developed while the muscles are in free and
spontaneous action. The average amateur spends most of his time
educating himself to a stance with the muscles in _repose_ and the mind
in _action_. His swing is then made without his getting the preliminary
feel cultivated by the professional. This scheme is therefore decidedly
mental.

In devoting the attention first to this detail and then to that, it is
evident that the mind is giving an amount of conscious attention to
the details out of all proportion to their importance, and a player is
thus very apt to neglect the most vital point of all--the feel of the
correct balance in the preliminary waggle.

The professional really generalizes, and leaves all the finer details
of the swing to his subconsciousness to interpret correctly. The young
lad just taking up the game does the same.

It has come home to me that many of the things in golf that I have been
in the habit of accepting as gospel are in reality pure nonsense. From
careful analysis of my own game and by observing other players, I know
that more shots are missed from “stiffening up” than from “looking
up.” Also, those players cannot help looking up who stiffen up, as the
saying is. The stiffening up is an inhibition or restraint by the sense
of feeling. The reason that this inhibition occurs is due to the fact
that the player becomes aware through the sense of feeling, without
reasoning it out, that he is not going to hit his ball. If it were not
so, there would never be any slicing, because players would not pull in
their hands in order to connect with the ball. This is a sense reaction
pure and simple, and although I may not be able to show this clearly to
all at the start, one may be sure that players can plan and calculate
all they desire and stand rigidly facing the ball in their own way, yet
when they get in action and are in the act of delivering the blow, the
sense of feeling, hitherto neglected, is going to reign supreme and
govern the accuracy of the effort.

William James says: “Habit diminishes the conscious attention with
which our acts are performed.... Habit simplifies the movements
required to achieve a given result, makes them more accurate, and
diminishes fatigue.” In another work he says, “The more we exercise
ourselves at anything, the fewer muscles we employ.”

The habits which are formed in golf, as in everything else in life in
which either the mind or muscles are exercised, tend to become fixed,
and therefore are difficult to change. Dr. Carpenter very aptly says,
“We find ourselves automatically prompted to think, feel, or do what
we have been accustomed to think, feel, or do under like circumstances
without any consciously formed purpose or anticipation of results.” The
rigid, fixed address of the average amateur is the hardest thing to
change but it is no benefit, indeed is a decided hindrance, because it
results in the player setting his muscles to accommodate his position
in the address to a preconceived attitude.

In working out this idea on a number of my friends, I have found that
waggling the club and twisting the body in the address are of great
help, because they accomplish one thing of vital importance, and that
is the relaxing of the various muscles of the body, which all golfers
admit is wise. This is one thing, then, which we can readily see is
progress. This, as a habit, is a very desirable one to acquire. The
next thing it accomplishes is to educate a greater number of the
muscles to the feel of the balance and poise of the body while in
_motion_, instead of in _repose_. This is one step in sense education.
The next is that, as the player is bringing more and more of his
muscles into play, he learns to use some of these muscles which have
never before entered properly into the delivery of the blow. The point
where I find those players upon whom I have tried out the idea drift
away from the benefit derived from an address in motion instead of an
address in repose is that they will drift back to setting themselves
when they put the club down behind the ball. It looks to them like a
careless way of playing. It would be a careless way if it were done
without an object. The object is to get the feel. The feel is no
mysterious force or formula which will put a great strain upon the
intellect, and, as a matter of fact, the attention need not be focused
upon it at all. It takes care of itself, without one’s giving thought
to it. It is a simple thing to learn to keep one’s balance while in
motion, with the club making any sort of pendulum motion. The only
thing about it is to do it, and the only thing to think about is to
keep the head still while doing it. The ability to keep the head still
at such times will gradually improve, because the player is acquiring
the habit while in motion. The hardest part of it all is to eradicate
from one’s mind all preconceived ideas of what he has been in the habit
of believing is necessary to bring off the stroke. In my own case, I
think of nothing. I ignore all my former idea of angles, etc., and how
everything should look, and just waggle my club to get things loosened
up. I do not think of the line, I do not think of the distance, but
just look at the ball in an easy, superficial way, and as soon as I
feel all my muscles are free and working, I make the stroke. If I feel
any muscles setting, I make another waggle to “loosen,” and then swing
at the ball.

I have noticed in trying out this idea upon my friends that they
learn to waggle fairly well, but do not seem to grasp the importance
of getting the gentle play of the body into the preliminary waggle.
Through habit they feel they must do the waggling with the club while
the secret of the greatest benefit is to get the preliminary feel as
well distributed over all the muscles of the body as possible. If this
is done successfully, the player will use those muscles which he has
just exercised, and will not have to make so great a conscious effort
with one set of muscles which he has been keeping in action to overcome
another set which he has been keeping in repose.

The point to remember is that skill is acquired gradually by any
method, and the player can confidently hope to make progress every
month through sense education. The majority of players fail to become
as skilful as it is well within their ability to become because they
kill off any chance of learning or make it extremely difficult to learn
by making a mental process of golf instead of a physical exercise. The
brains should be in the finger-tips and muscles.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



T. TEMBAROM

BY FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT

Author of “That Lass o’ Lowrie’s,” “The Shuttle,” etc.

WITH DECORATIVE PICTURES BY CHARLES S. CHAPMAN


CHAPTER XXI

Lady Mallowe and her daughter did not pay their visit to Asshawe Holt,
the absolute, though not openly referred to, fact being that they had
not been invited.

The visit in question had merely floated in the air as a delicate
suggestion made by her ladyship in her letter to Mrs. Asshe Shawe, to
the effect that as she and Joan were going to stay at Temple Barholm,
the visit to Asshawe they had partly arranged might now be fitted in.

The partial arrangement itself, Mrs. Asshe Shawe remarked when she
received the note, was so partial as to require slight consideration,
since it had been made by a woman who would push herself into any
house if a back door were left open. In the civilly phrased letter she
received in answer to her own, Lady Mallowe read between the lines and
writhed secretly, as she had been made to writhe scores of times in the
course of her career. It had happened so often, indeed, that she should
have been used to it; but the woman who acted as maid to herself and
Joan always knew when “she had tried to get in somewhere” and failed.

The note of explanation sent immediately to Miss Alicia was at once
adroit and amiable. They had unfortunately been detained in London a
day or two past the date fixed for their visit to Asshawe, and Lady
Mallowe would not allow Mrs. Asshe Shawe, who had so many guests, to
be inconvenienced by their arriving late and perhaps disarranging
her plans. So if it was quite convenient, they would come to Temple
Barholm a week earlier; but not, of course, if that would be the least
upsetting.

When they arrived, Tembarom himself was in London. He had suddenly
found he was obliged to go. The business which called him was something
which could not be put off. He expected to return at once. It was made
very easy for him when he made his excuses to Palliser, who suggested
that he might even find himself returning by the same train with
his guests, which would give him opportunities. If he was detained,
Miss Alicia could take charge of the situation. They would quite
understand when she explained. Captain Palliser foresaw for himself
some quiet entertainment in his own meeting with the visitors. Lady
Mallowe always provided a certain order of amusement for him, and no
man alive objected to finding interest and even a certain excitement
in the society of Lady Joan. It was her chief characteristic that
she inspired in a man a vague, even if slightly irritated, desire to
please her in some degree. To lead her on to talk in her sometimes
brilliant, always heartlessly unsparing, fashion, perhaps to smile her
shade of a bitter smile, gave a man something to do, especially if he
was bored. The following would have been Palliser’s trenchant summing
up of her: “Flaringly handsome girl, brought up by her mother to one
end. Bad temper to begin with. Girl who might, if she lost her head,
get into some frightful mess. Meets a fascinating devil in her first
season. A regular _Romeo_ and _Juliet_ passion blazes up--all for love
and the world well lost. All London looking on. Lady Mallowe frantic
and furious. Suddenly the fascinating devil ruined for life. Done
for. Bolts. Gets killed. Lady Mallowe triumphant. Girl dragged about
afterward like a beautiful young demon in chains. Refuses all sorts of
things. Behaves infernally. Nobody knows anything else.”

Nobody did know; Lady Mallowe herself did not. From the first year in
which Joan had looked at her with child consciousness she had felt
that there was antagonism in the deeps of her eyes. No mother likes to
recognize such a thing, and Lady Mallowe was a particularly vain woman.
The child was going to be an undeniable beauty, and she ought to adore
the mother who was to arrange her future. Instead of which, she plainly
disliked her.

When the years had become three, the evident antagonism had become
defiance and rebellion. Lady Mallowe could not even indulge herself in
the satisfaction of showing her embryo beauty off, and thus preparing
a reputation for her. She was not cross or tearful, but she had the
temper of a little devil. She would not be shown off. She hated it, and
her bearing dangerously suggested that she hated her handsome young
mother. No effect could be produced with her.

Before she was six, the antagonism was mutual, and it increased
with years. The child was of a passionate nature, and had been born
intensely all her mother was not, and intensely _not_ all her mother
was. A throw-back to some high-spirited and fiercely honest ancestor
created in her a fury at the sight of falsities and dishonors. As she
grew older, she had to admit that nothing palliative could be said
about her temper. It had been violent from the first, and she had
lived in an atmosphere which infuriated it. She once prayed for a week
that she might be made better tempered,--not that she believed in
prayer,--but nothing came of it.

Every year she lived she raged more furiously at the tricks she saw
played by her mother, who would carry off slights and snubs as though
they were actual tributes, if she could gain her end. Since she
definitely disliked her daughter, Lady Mallowe did not mince matters
when they were alone. What her future would be was made unsparingly
clear to the girl. She had no money, she was extremely good-looking,
she had a certain number of years in which to fight for her own hand
among the new debutantes who were presented every season. Beggary
stared them both in the face if she did not make the most of her looks
and waste no time. And Joan knew it was all true, and that worse, far
worse things were true also. She would be obliged to spend a long life
with her mother in cheap lodgings, a faded, penniless, unmarried woman,
railed at, taunted, sneered at, forced to be part of humiliating tricks
played to enable them to get into debt and then to avoid paying what
they owed.

Then that first season! Dear, dear God! that first season when she met
Jem! She was not nineteen, and the facile world pretended to be at
her feet, and the sun shone as though London were in Italy, and the
park was marvelous with flowers, and there were such dances and such
laughter!

And it was all so young--and she met Jem! It was at a garden-party at
a lovely old house on the river, a place with celebrated gardens which
would always come back to her memory as a riot of roses. The frocks of
the people on the lawn looked as though they were made of the petals of
flowers, and a mad little haunting waltz was being played by the band,
and there under a great copper birch on the green velvet turf near her
stood Jem, looking at her with dark, liquid, slanting eyes. They were
only a few feet from each other, and he looked, and she looked, and the
haunting, mad little waltz played on, and it was as though they had
been standing there since the world began, and nothing else was true.

Afterward nothing mattered to either of them. Lady Mallowe herself
ceased to count. Now and then the world stops for two people in this
unearthly fashion. At such times, as far as such a pair are concerned,
causes and effects cease. Her bad temper fled, and she believed she
would never feel its furious lash again.

With Jem looking at her with his glowing, drooping eyes, there would
be no reason for rage and shame. She confessed the temper to him and
told of her terror of it; he confessed to her his fondness for high
play, and they held each other’s hands, not with sentimental, youthful
lightness, but with the strong clasp of sworn comrades, and promised
on honor that they would stand by each other every hour of their lives
against their worst selves.

They would have kept the pact. Neither was a slight or dishonest
creature. The phase of life through which they passed is not a new
one, but it is not often so nearly an omnipotent power as was their
three-months’ dream.

It lasted only that length of time; then came the end of the world.
Joan did not look fresh in her second season, and before it was over,
men were rather afraid of her. Because she was so young, the freshness
returned to her cheek, but it never came back to her eyes.

What exactly had happened, or what she thought of it, was impossible
to know. She had delicate, black brows, and between them appeared two
delicate, fierce lines. Her eyes were of a purplish-gray, “the color of
thunder,” a snubbed admirer had once said. Between their black lashes
they were more deeply thunder-colored. Her life with her mother was a
thing not to be spoken of. To the desperate girl’s agony of rebellion
against the horror of fate, Lady Mallowe’s taunts and beratings were
devilish. There was a certain boudoir in the house in Hill Street where
the two went through scenes which in their cruelty would have done
credit to the Middle Ages.

“We fight,” Joan said with a short, horrible laugh one morning--“we
fight like cats and dogs. No, like two cats. A cat-and-dog fight is
more quickly over.”

The evening after she met Jem, when she went to her room in Hill Street
for the night, she prayed because she suddenly did believe. Since there
was Jem in the world, there must be the Other somewhere.

“I want to be made good,” she said. “I have been bad all my life. I was
a bad child, I have been a bad girl; but now I _must_ be good.”

On the night after the tragic card-party she went to her room and
kneeled down in a new spirit. She knelt with throat strained and her
fierce young face thrown back and upward.

Her hands were clenched to fists, and flung out and shaken at the
ceiling. She said things so awful that her own blood shuddered as
she uttered them. But she could not, in her mad helplessness, make
them awful enough. She flung herself on the carpet at last, her arms
outstretched like a creature crucified face downward.

Several years had passed since that night, and no living being knew
what she carried in her soul. If she had a soul, she said to herself,
it was black--black. But she had none. Neither had Jem had one; when
the earth and stones had fallen upon him it had been the end, as it
would have been if he had been a beetle.

This was the guest who was coming to the house where Miles Hugo smiled
from his frame in the picture-gallery--the house which would to-day
have been Jem’s if T. Tembarom had not inherited it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Tembarom returned some twenty-four hours after Miss Alicia had received
his visitors for him. He had been “going into” absorbing things in
London. His thoughts during his northward journey were puzzled and
discouraged ones.

The price he would have given for a talk with Ann would not have been
easy to compute. Her head, her level little head and her way of seeing
into things and picking out facts without being rattled by what didn’t
really count, would have been worth anything. The day itself was a
discouraging one, with heavy threatenings of rain which did not fall.

He went to his room at once when he reached home. He was late, and
Pearson told him that the ladies were dressing for dinner. Pearson was
in waiting with everything in readiness for the rapid performance of
his duties. Tembarom had learned to allow himself to be waited upon. He
had, in fact, done this for the satisfying of Pearson, whose respectful
unhappiness would otherwise have been manifest despite his efforts
to conceal it. He dressed quickly and asked some questions about
Strangeways. Otherwise Pearson thought he seemed preoccupied.

On his way to the drawing-room he deflected from the direct path,
turning aside for a moment to the picture-gallery because for a reason
of his own he wanted to take a look at Miles Hugo.

The gallery was dim and gloomy enough in the purple-gray twilight. He
walked through it without glancing at the pictures until he came to the
portrait, and looked hard at the handsome face.

“Gee!” he exclaimed under his breath, “it’s queer! Gee!”

Then he turned suddenly round toward one of the big windows. He turned
because he had been startled by a sound, a movement. Some one was
standing before the window. For a second’s space the figure seemed
as though it were almost one with the purple-gray clouds that were
its background. It was a tall young woman, and her dress was of a
thin material of exactly their color--dark-gray and purple at once.
The wearer held her head high and haughtily. She had a beautiful,
stormy face, and the slender, black brows were drawn together in a
frown. Tembarom had never seen a girl so handsome and disdainful. He
had, indeed, never been looked at as she looked at him when she moved
slightly forward.

He knew who it was. It was the Lady Joan girl, and the sudden sight of
her momentarily “rattled” him.

“You quite gave me a jolt,” he said awkwardly. “I didn’t know any one
was in the gallery.”

“What are _you_ doing here?” she asked. She spoke to him as though she
were addressing, an intruding servant. There was emphasis on the word
“you.”

Her intention was so evident that it increased his feeling of being
“rattled.” To find himself confronting deliberate ill nature of a
superior and finished kind was like being spoken to in a foreign
language.

“I--I’m T. Tembarom,” he answered, not able to keep himself from
staring because she was such a “winner” as to looks.

“T. Tembarom?” she repeated slowly, and her tone made him at once see
what a fool he had been to say it.

“I forgot,” he half laughed. “I ought to have said I’m Temple Barholm.”

“Oh!” was her sole comment. She actually stood still and looked him up
and down.

She knew perfectly well who he was, and she knew perfectly well that
no palliative view could possibly be taken by any well-bred person of
her bearing toward him. He was her host. She had come, a guest, to his
house to eat his bread and salt, and the commonest decency demanded
that she should conduct herself with civility. But she cared nothing
for the commonest, or the most uncommon, decency. She was thinking of
other things. As she had stood before the window she had felt that her
soul had never been so black as it was when she turned away from Miles
Hugo’s portrait--never, never. She wanted to hurt people. Perhaps Nero
had felt as she did and was not so hideous as he seemed.

The man’s tailor had put him into proper clothes, and his features were
respectable enough, but nothing on earth could make him anything but
what he so palpably was. She had seen that much across the gallery as
she had watched him staring at Miles Hugo.

“I should think,” she said, dropping the words slowly again, “that you
would often forget that you are Temple Barholm.”

“You’re right there,” he answered. “I can’t nail myself down to it. It
seems like a sort of joke.”

She looked him over again.

“It is a joke,” she said.

[Illustration]

It was as though she had slapped him in the face, though she said it
so quietly. He knew he had received the slap, and that, as it was a
woman, he could not slap back. It was a sort of surprise to her that he
did not giggle nervously and turn red and shuffle his feet in impotent
misery. He kept quite still a moment or so and looked at her, though
not as she had looked at him. She wondered if he was so thick-skinned
that he did not feel anything at all.

“That’s so,” he admitted. “That’s so.” Then he actually smiled at her.
“I don’t know how to behave myself, you see,” he said. “You’re Lady
Joan Fayre, ain’t you? I’m mighty glad to see you. Happy to make your
acquaintance, Lady Joan.”

He took her hand and shook it with friendly vigor before she knew what
he was going to do.

“I’ll bet a dollar dinner’s ready,” he added, “and Burrill’s waiting.
It scares me to death to keep Burrill waiting. He’s got no use for me,
anyhow. Let’s go and pacify him.”

He did not lead the way or drag her by the arm, as it seemed to her
quite probable that he might, as costermongers do on Hampstead Heath.
He knew enough to let her pass first through the door; and when Lady
Mallowe looked up to see her enter the drawing-room, he was behind her.
To her ladyship’s amazement and relief, they came in, so to speak,
together. She had been spared the trying moment of assisting at the
ceremony of their presentation to each other.


CHAPTER XXII

In a certain sense Joan had been dragged to the place by her mother.
But though she had been dragged, she had come with an intention. She
knew what she would find herself being forced to submit to if the
intruder were not disposed of at the outset. Lady Mallowe’s stakes at
this special juncture were seriously high. Joan knew what they were,
and that she was in a mood touched with desperation. The defenselessly
new and ignorant Temple Barholm was to her mother’s mind a direct
intervention of Providence, and it was only Joan herself who could rob
her of the benefits and reliefs he could provide. So she was capable
to-day of inflicting upon her latest victim any hurt which might sweep
him out of her way. She had not been a tender-hearted girl, and in
these years she was absolutely callous.

But though her deliberate intention had been so to conduct herself
that he would be put to absolute flight, she had also come for another
reason. She had never seen Temple Barholm, and she knew that Jem had
loved it with a slighted and lonely child’s romantic longing; he had
dreamed of it as boy and man, knowing that it must some time be his
own, his home, and yet prevented by his uncle’s attitude toward him
from daring to act as though he remembered the fact. Old Mr. Temple
Barholm’s special humor had been that of a man guarding against
presumption.

Jem had not intended to presume, but he had been snubbed with
relentless cruelty even for boyish expressions of admiration. And he
had hid his feeling in his heart until he poured it out to Joan. To-day
it would have been his. Together, together, they would have lived in it
and loved every stone of it, every leaf on every great tree, every wild
daffodil nodding in the green grass. Her brief dream of young joy had
been the one reality in her life.

And the man who stood in the place Jem had longed for, the man who sat
at the head of his table, was this “thing!” That was what she felt him
to be, and every hurt she could do him, every humiliation which should
write large before him his presumption and grotesque unfitness, would
be a blow struck for Jem, who could never strike a blow for himself
again.

She watched Tembarom under her lids at the dinner-table.

He had not wriggled or shuffled when she spoke to him in the gallery;
he did neither now. She addressed no remarks to him herself, and
answered with chill indifference such things as he said to her. If
conversation had flagged between him and Mr. Palford because the
solicitor did not know how to talk to him, it did not even reach
the point of flagging with her, because she would not talk and did
not allow it to begin. Lady Mallowe, sick with annoyance, was quite
brilliant. She drew out Miss Alicia by detailed reminiscences of a
visit paid to Rowcroft Hall years before. The vicar had dined at the
hall while she had been there. She remembered perfectly his “charm
of manner and powerful originality of mind. A really remarkable
personality.”

“His sermons,” faltered Miss Alicia, as a refuge, “were indeed
remarkable. I am sure he must greatly have enjoyed his conversations
with you. I am afraid there were very few clever women in the
neighborhood of Rowcroft.”

Casting a bitter side glance on her silent daughter, Lady Mallowe
lightly seized upon New York as a subject. She knew so much of it from
delightful New Yorkers. London was full of delightful New Yorkers.
She would like beyond everything to spend a winter in New York. She
understood that the season there was in the winter and that it was most
brilliant. Mr. Temple Barholm must tell them about it.

“Yes,” said Lady Joan, looking at him through narrowed lids, “Mr.
Temple Barholm ought to tell us about it.”

She wanted to hear what he would say, to see how he would try to get
out of the difficulty or flounder staggeringly through it. Her mother
knew in an instant that her own speech had been a stupid blunder. She
had put the man into exactly the position Joan would enjoy seeing him
in. But he wasn’t in a position, it appeared.

“What is the season, anyhow?” he said. “You’ve got one on me when you
talk about seasons.”

“In London,” Miss Alicia explained courageously, “it is the time when
her Majesty is at Buckingham Palace, and when the drawing-rooms are
held, and Parliament sits, and people come up to town and give balls.”

“I guess they have it in the winter in New York, then, if that’s it,”
he said. “There’s no Buckingham Palace there, and no drawing-rooms, and
Congress sits in Washington. But New York takes it out in suppers at
Sherry’s and Delmonico’s and theaters and receptions. Miss Alicia knows
how I used to go to them when I was a little fellow, don’t you, Miss
Alicia?” he added, smiling at her across the table.

“You have told me,” she answered.

“I used to stand outside in the snow and look in through the windows
at the people having a good time,” he said. “Us kids that were selling
newspapers used to try to fill ourselves up with choosing whose plate
we’d take if we could get at them. We were so all-fired hungry!”

“How pathetic!” exclaimed Lady Mallowe. “And how interesting, now that
it is all over!”

She knew that her manner was gushing, and Joan’s side glance of subtle
appreciation of the fact exasperated her almost beyond endurance. But
she had been forced to hold her ground before in places she detested
or where she was not wanted, and she must hold it again until she
had found out the worst or the best. And, great Heaven! how Joan was
conducting herself, with that slow, quiet insultingness of tone and
look, the wicked, silent insolence of bearing which no man was able to
stand, however admiringly he began! The Duke of Merthshire had turned
his back upon it even after all the world had known his intentions, and
she herself had been convinced that he could not possibly retreat. She
had worked desperately that season. And never had Joan been so superb;
her beauty at its most brilliant height. The match would have been
magnificent; but he could not stand her, and would not. Why, indeed,
should any man?

And there were no dukes on the horizon. Merthshire had married almost
at once, and all the others were too young or had wives already. If
this man would take her, she might feel herself lucky. Temple Barholm
and seventy thousand a year were not to be trifled with by a girl who
had made herself unpopular and who was twenty-six. And for her own luck
the moment had come just before it was too late--a second marriage,
wealth, the end of the hideous struggle. Joan was the obstacle in
her path, and she must be forced out of it. She glanced quickly at
Tembarom. He was trying to talk to Joan now. He was trying to please
her. She evidently had a fascination for him. It struck her that he
could not take his eyes away. That was because he had never before been
on speaking terms with a woman of beauty and rank.

Joan herself knew that he was trying to please her, and she was asking
herself how long he would have the courage and presumption to keep it
up. He could scarcely be enjoying it.

He was not enjoying it, but he kept it up. He wanted to be friends
with her for more reasons than one. No one had ever remained long at
enmity with him. He had “got over” a good many people in the course
of his career. This had always been accomplished because he presented
no surface at which arrows could be thrown. She was the hardest
proposition he had ever come up against, he was thinking; but if he
didn’t let himself be fool enough to break loose and get mad, she’d not
hate him so much after a while. She would begin to understand that it
wasn’t his fault; then perhaps he could get her to make friends. In
fact, if she had been able to read his thoughts, there is no certainty
as to how far her temper might have carried her. But she could see him
only as a sharp-faced, common American of the shop-boy class, sitting
at the head of Jem Temple Barholm’s table, in his chair.

As they passed through the hall to go to the drawing-room after the
meal was over, she saw a neat, pale young man speaking to Burrill and
heard a few of his rather anxiously uttered words.

“The orders were that he was always to be told when Mr. Strangeways was
like this, under all circumstances. I can’t quiet him, Mr. Burrill. He
says he must see him at once.”

When the message was delivered to him, Tembarom excused himself with
simple lack of ceremony. “I’ll be back directly,” he said to Palliser.
“Those are good cigars.” He left the room at once.

Palliser took one of the good cigars, and in taking it exchanged a
glance with Burrill which distantly conveyed the meaning that perhaps
he had better remain for a moment or so. Captain Palliser’s knowledge
of interesting detail was obtained “by chance here and there,” but
always with a light and casual air.

“I am not sure,” he remarked as he took the light Burrill held for him
and touched the end of his cigar--“I am not quite sure that I know
exactly who Mr. Strangeways is.”

“He’s the gentleman, sir, that Mr. Temple Barholm brought over from New
York,” replied Burrill with a stolidity clearly expressive of distaste.

“Indeed, from New York! Why doesn’t one see him?”

“He’s not in a condition to see people, sir,” said Burrill, and
Palliser’s slightly lifted eyebrow seeming to express a good deal, he
added a sentence, “He’s not all there, sir.”

“From New York, and not all there. What seems to be the matter?”
Palliser asked quietly. “Odd idea to bring a lunatic all the way from
America. There must be asylums there.”

“Us servants have orders to keep out of the way,” Burrill said with
sterner stolidity. “He’s so nervous that the sight of strangers does
him harm. I may say that questions are not encouraged.”

“Then I must not ask any more,” said Captain Palliser. “I did not know
I was edging on to a mystery.”

“I wasn’t aware that I was myself, sir,” Burrill remarked, “until I
asked something quite ordinary of Pearson, who is Mr. Temple Barholm’s
valet, and it was not what he said, but what he didn’t, that showed me
where I stood.”

“A mystery is an interesting thing to have in a house,” said Captain
Palliser without enthusiasm. He smoked his cigar as though he was
enjoying its aroma, and even from his first remark he had managed
not to seem to be really quite addressing himself to Burrill. He was
certainly not talking to him in the ordinary way; his air was rather
that of a gentleman overhearing casual remarks in which he was only
vaguely interested. Before Burrill left the room, however, and he
left it under the impression that he had said no more than civility
demanded, Captain Palliser had reached the point of being able to
deduce a number of things from what he, like Pearson, had not said.


CHAPTER XXIII

The man who in all England was most deeply submerged in deadly boredom
was, the old Duke of Stone said with wearied finality, himself. He had
been a sinful young man of finished taste in the earlier part of the
century; he had cultivated these tastes, which were for literature
and art and divers other things, in the most richly alluring foreign
capitals until finding himself becoming an equally sinful and finished
elderly man, he had decided to marry. After the birth of her four
daughters, his wife had died and left them on his hands. Developing
at that time a tendency to rheumatic gout and a daily increasing
realization of the fact that the resources of a poor dukedom may
be hopelessly depleted by an expensive youth passed brilliantly in
Vienna, Paris, Berlin, and London, when it was endurable, he found it
expedient to give up what he considered the necessities of life and to
face existence in the country in England. It is not imperative that one
should enter into detail. There was much, and it covered years during
which his four daughters grew up and he “grew down,” as he called it.
If his temper had originally been a bad one, it would doubtless have
become unbearable; as he had been born an amiable person, he merely
sank into the boredom which threatens extinction. His girls bored him,
his neighbors bored him, Stone Hover bored him, Lancashire bored him,
England had always bored him except at abnormal moments.

“I read a great deal, I walk when I can,” this he wrote once to a
friend in Rome. “When I am too stiff with rheumatic gout, I drive
myself about in a pony-chaise and feel like an aunt in a Bath chair. I
have so far escaped the actual chair itself. It perpetually rains here,
I may mention, so I don’t get out often. You who gallop on white roads
in the sunshine and hear Italian voices and vowels, figure to yourself
your friend trundling through damp, lead-colored Lancashire lanes
and being addressed in the Lancashire dialect. But so am I driven by
necessity that I listen to it gratefully. I want to hear village news
from villagers. I have become a gossip. It is a wonderful thing to be
a gossip. It assists one to get through one’s declining years. Do not
wait so long as I did before becoming one. Begin in your roseate middle
age.”

An attack of gout more severe than usual had confined him to his room
for some time after the arrival of the new owner of Temple Barholm.
He had, in fact, been so far indisposed that a week or two had passed
before he had heard of him. His favorite nurse had been chosen by him
because she was a comfortable village woman whom he had taught to lay
aside her proper awe and talk to him about her own affairs and her
neighbors when he was in the mood to listen. She spoke the broadest
possible dialect,--he liked dialect, having learned much in his youth
from mellow-eyed Neapolitan and Tuscan girls,--and she had never been
near a hospital, but had been trained by the bedsides of her children
and neighbors.

She had tucked him in luxuriously in his arm-chair by the fire on the
first day of his convalescence, and as she gave him his tray, with his
beef-tea and toast, he saw that she contained anecdotal information of
interest which tactful encouragement would cause to flow.

[Illustration]

“Now that I am well enough to be entertained, Braddle,” he said, “tell
me what has been happening.”

“A graidely lot, yore Grace,” she answered; “but not so much i’ Stone
Hover as i’ Temple Barholm. _He’s_ coom!”

Then the duke vaguely recalled rumors he had heard sometime before his
indisposition.

“The new Mr. Temple Barholm? He’s an American, isn’t he? The lost heir
who had to be sought for high and low--principally low, I understand.”

The beef-tea was excellently savory, the fire was warm, and relief from
two weeks of pain left a sort of Nirvana of peace. Rarely had the duke
passed a more delightfully entertaining morning. There was a richness
in the Temple Barholm situation, as described in detail by Mrs.
Braddle, which filled him with delight.

That the story should be related by Mrs. Braddle gave it extraordinary
flavor. No man or woman of his own class could have given such a
recounting, or revealed so many facets of this jewel of entertainment.
He and those like him could have seen the thing only from their own
amused, outraged, bewildered, or cynically disgusted point of view.
Mrs. Braddle saw it as the villagers saw it--excited, curious, secretly
hopeful of undue lavishness from “a chap as had nivver had brass
before an’ wants to chuck it away for brag’s sake.” She saw it as the
servants saw it--secretly disdainful, outwardly respectful, waiting
to discover whether the sacrifice of professional distinction would
be balanced by liberties permitted and lavishness of remuneration
and largess. She saw it also from her own point of view--that of a
respectable cottage dweller whose great-great-grandfather had been born
in a black-and-white timbered house in a green lane, and who knew what
were “gentry ways” and what nature of being could never even remotely
approach the assumption of them. She had seen Tembarom more than once,
and summed him up by no means ill-naturedly.

“He’s not such a bad-lookin’ chap. He is na short-legged or
turn-up-nosed, an’ that’s summat. He con stride along, an’ he looks
healthy enow for aw he’s thin.”

“I think, perhaps,” amiably remarked the duke, sipping his beef-tea,
“that you had better not call him a ‘chap,’ Braddle. The late Mr.
Temple Barholm was never referred to as a ‘chap’ exactly, was he?”

Mrs. Braddle gave vent to a sort of internal-sounding chuckle. She had
not meant to be impertinent, and she knew her charge was aware that she
had not, and that he was neither being lofty nor severe with her.

“Eh, I’d ’a’ loiked to ha’ heared somebody do it when he was nigh,”
she said. “Happen I’d better be moindin’ ma P’s an’ Q’s a bit more.
But that’s what this un is, yore Grace. He’s a ‘chap’ out an’ out. An’
theer’s some as is sayin’ he’s not a bad sort of a chap either. There’s
lots o’ funny stories about him i’ Temple Barholm village. He goes into
the cottages now an’ then, an’ though a fool could see he does na know
his place, nor other people’s, he’s downreet open-handed. An’ he maks
foak laugh. He took a lot o’ New York papers wi’ big pictures in ’em to
little Tummas Hibblethwaite. An’ wot does tha think he did one rainy
day? He walks into the owd Dibdens’ cottage, an’ sits down betwixt ’em
as they sit one each side o’ the foire, an’ he tells ’em they’ve got
to cheer him up a bit becos he’s got naught to do. An’ he shows ’em
the picter-papers, too, an’ tells ’em about New York, an’ he ends up
wi’ singin’ ’em a comic song. They was frightened out o’ their wits at
first, but somehow he got over ’em, an’ made ’em laugh their owd heads
nigh off.”

Her charge laid his spoon down, and his shrewd, lined face assumed a
new expression of interest.

“Did he! Did he, indeed!” he exclaimed. “Good Lord! what an
exhilarating person! I must go and see him. Perhaps he’d make me laugh
my ‘owd head nigh off.’ What a sensation!”

There was really immense color in the anecdotes and in the side views
accompanying them: the routing out of her obscurity of the isolated,
dependent spinster relative, for instance. Delicious! The man was
either desperate with loneliness or he was one of the rough-diamond
benefactors favored by novelists, in which latter case he would not be
so entertaining. The only man he had ever encountered who had become a
sort of millionaire between one day and another had been an appalling
Yorkshire man, who had had some extraordinary luck with diamond-mines
in South Africa, and he had been simply drunk with exhilaration and
the delight of spending money with both hands, while he figuratively
slapped on the back persons who six weeks before would have kicked him
for doing it.

This man did not appear to be excited. The duke mentally rocked with
gleeful appreciation of certain things Mrs. Braddle detailed. She
gave, of course, Burrill’s version of the brief interview outside the
dining-room door when Miss Alicia’s status in the household had been
made clear to him. But the duke, being a man endowed with a subtle
sense of shades, was wholly enlightened as to the inner meaning of
Burrill’s master.

“Now, that was good,” he said to himself, almost chuckling. “By the
Lord! the man might have been a gentleman.”

When to all this was added the story of the friend or poor relative,
or whatnot, who was supposed to be “not quoite reet i’ the yed,” and
was taken care of like a prince, in complete isolation, attended by
a valet, visited and cheered up by his benefactor, he felt that a
boon had indeed been bestowed upon him. It was a nineteenth-century
“Mysteries of Udolpho” in embryo, though too greatly diluted by the
fact that though the stranger was seen by no one, the new Temple
Barholm made no secret of him.

If he had only made a secret of him, the whole thing would have
been complete. There was of course in the situation a discouraging
suggestion that Temple Barholm _might_ turn out to be merely the
ordinary noble character bestowing boons.

“I will burn a little candle to the Virgin and offer up prayers that
he may _not_. That sort of thing would have no _cachet_ whatever, and
would only depress me,” thought his still sufficiently sinful grace.

“When, Braddle, do you think I shall be able to take a drive again?” he
asked his nurse.

Braddle was not prepared to say upon her own responsibility, but the
doctor would tell him when he came in that afternoon.

“I feel astonishingly well, considering the sharpness of the attack,”
her patient said. “Our little talk has quite stimulated me. When I go
out,”--there was a gleam in the eye he raised to hers,--“I am going to
call at Temple Barholm.”

“I knew tha would,” she commented with maternal familiarity. “I dunnot
believe tha could keep away.”

A few weeks later there were some warm days, and his grace chose to
go out in his pony-carriage. If he was not in some way amused, he
found himself whirling, with rheumatic gout and seventy years, among
recollections of vivid pictures better hung in galleries with closed
doors. It was always possible to stop the pony-chaise by roadsides
where solitary men sat by piles of stone, which they broke at leisure
with hammers as though they were cracking nuts. He had spent many an
agreeable half-hour in talk with a road-mender who could be led into
conversation and was left elated by an extra shilling. As in years long
past he had sat under chestnut-trees in the Apennines and shared the
black bread and sour wine of a peasant, so in these days he frequently
would have been glad to sit under a hedge and eat bread and cheese
with a good fellow who did not know him and whose summing up of the
domestic habits and needs of “the workin’-mon” or the amiabilities or
degeneracies of the gentry would be expressed, figuratively speaking,
in thoughts and words of one syllable. He did not, it might be told,
desire to enter into conversation with his humble fellow-man from
altruistic motives. He did it because there was always a chance more
or less that he would be amused. He might hear of little tragedies or
comedies; he much preferred the comedies. Blest with a neatly cynical
sense of humor, he knew he had always been an entirely selfish man and
that he was entirely selfish still, and was not revoltingly fretful and
domineering only because he was constitutionally unirritable.

He was, however, amiably obstinate, and was accustomed to getting
his own way in most things. On this day of his outing he insisted on
driving himself in the face of arguments to the contrary. He was so
fixed in his intention that his daughters and Mrs. Braddle were obliged
to admit themselves overpowered.

“Nonsense! Nonsense!” he protested when they besought him to allow
himself to be driven by a groom. “The pony does not need driving. He
doesn’t go when he is driven. He frequently lies down and puts his
cheek on his hand and goes to sleep, and I am obliged to wait until he
wakes up.”

“But, Papa dear,” Lady Edith said, “your poor hands are not very
strong. And he might run away and kill you. Please do be reasonable!”

“My dear girl,” he answered, “if he runs, I shall run after him and
kill him when I catch him. George,” he called to the groom holding the
plump pony’s head, “tell her ladyship what this little beast’s name is.”

“The Indolent Apprentice, your Grace,” the groom answered, touching his
hat and suppressing a grin.

“I called him that a month ago,” said the duke. “Hogarth would have
depicted all sorts of evil ends for him. Three weeks since, I could
have outrun him myself. Let George follow me on a horse if you like,
but he must keep out of my sight. Half a mile behind will do.”

He got into the phaëton, concealing his twinges with determination, and
drove down the avenue with a fine air, sitting very erect and smiling.
Indoor existence had become unendurable, and the spring was filling the
woods.

“I love the spring,” he murmured to himself. “I am sentimental about
it. I love sentimentality--in myself, when I am quite alone. If I had
been a writing person, I should have made verses every year in April
and sent them to magazines--and they would have been returned to me.”

The Indolent Apprentice was, it is true, fat, though comely, and he was
also entirely deserving of his name. Like his grace of Stone, however,
he had seen other and livelier days, and now and then he was beset by
recollections. He had once stepped fast, as well as with a spirited
gait. During his master’s indisposition he had stood in his loose box
and professed such harmlessness that he had not been annoyed by being
taken out for exercise as regularly as he might have been. He did not
intend, when he was taken out, to emulate the Industrious Apprentice by
hastening his pace unduly and raising false hopes for the future, but
he sniffed in the air the moist green of leafage and damp moss, massed
with yellow primroses cuddling in it as though for warmth, and he liked
the feel of the road under a pony’s feet.

Therefore, when he found himself out in the world again, he shook his
head now and then and even tossed it.

“You feel it, too, do you?” said the duke. “I won’t remind you of your
years.”

The drive from Stone Hover to the village of Temple Barholm was an easy
one, of many charms of leaf-arched lanes and grass-edged road. The duke
had always had a partiality for it, and he took it this morning.

The groom was a young man of three and twenty, and he felt the spring
also. The horse he rode was a handsome animal, and he himself was not
devoid of a healthy young man’s good looks. He knew his belted livery
was becoming to him, and when on horseback he prided himself on what he
considered an almost military bearing. Sarah Hibson, Farmer Hibson’s
dimple-chinned and saucy-eyed daughter, had been “carryin’ on a good
bit” with a soldier who was a smart, well-set-up, impudent fellow, and
it was the manifest duty of any other young fellow who had considered
himself to be “walking out with her” to look after his charge. His
grace had been most particular about George’s keeping far enough behind
him; and as half a mile had been mentioned as near enough, certainly
one was absolved from the necessity of keeping in sight. Why should not
one turn into the lane which ended at Hibson’s farm-yard, drop into the
dairy, and “have it out wi’ Sarah”?

Dimpled chins and saucy eyes, and bare, dimpled arms, and hands patting
butter while heads are tossed in coquettishly alluring defiance, made
even “having it out” an attractive and memory-obscuring process.
Sarah was a plump and sparkling imp of prettiness, and knew the power
of every sly glance and every dimple and every golden freckle she
possessed. George did not know it so well, and in ten minutes had lost
his head and entirely forgotten even the half-mile behind.

He was lover-like, he was masterful, he brought the spring with him;
he “carried on,” as Sarah put it, until he had actually outdistanced
the soldier, and had her in his arms, kissing her as she laughed and
prettily struggled.

“Shame o’ tha face! Shame o’ tha face, George!” she scolded and dimpled
and blushed. “Wilt tha be done now? Wilt tha be done? I’ll call mother.”

And at that very moment mother came without being called, running, red
of face, heavy-footed, and panting, with her cap all on one side.

“The duke’s run away! The duke’s run away!” she shouted. “Jo seed him.
Pony got freetened at summat--what art doin’ here, George Bind? Get o’
thy horse an’ gallop! If he’s killed, tha ’rt a ruined man.”

       *       *       *       *       *

There was an odd turn of chance in it, the duke thought afterward.
Though friskier than usual, the Indolent Apprentice had behaved
perfectly well until they neared the gates of Temple Barholm, which
chanced to be open because a cart had just passed through. And it was
not the cart’s fault, for the Indolent Apprentice regarded it with
friendly interest. It happened, however, that, perhaps being absorbed
in the cart, which might have been drawn by a friend or even a distant
relative, the Indolent Apprentice was horribly startled by a large
rabbit which leaped out of the hedge almost under his nose, and, worse
still, was followed the next instant by another rabbit even larger and
more sudden and unexpected in its movements. The Indolent Apprentice
snorted, pawed, whirled, dashed through the open gateway,--the duke’s
hands were even less strong than his daughter had thought,--and
galloped, head in air, and bit between teeth, up the avenue, the low
carriage rocking from side to side.

“Damn! Damn!” cried the duke, rocking also. “Oh, damn! I shall be
killed in a runaway perambulator!”

And ridiculous as it was, things surged through his brain, and once,
though he laughed at himself bitterly afterward, he gasped, “Ah,
Heloïse!” as he almost whirled over a jagged tree-stump; gallop and
gallop and gallop, off the road and through trees, and back again on
to the sward, and gallop and gallop and jerk and jolt and jerk, and he
was nearing the house, and a long-legged young man ran down the steps,
pushing aside footmen, and was ahead of the drunken little beast of a
pony, and caught him just as the phaëton overturned and shot his grace
safely, though not comfortably, in a heap upon the grass.

It was of course no trifle of a shock, but its victim’s sensations
gave him strong reason to hope, as he rolled over, that no bones were
broken. The servants were on the spot almost at once, and took the
pony’s head.

The young man helped the duke to his feet and dusted him with masterly
dexterity. He did not know he was dusting a duke, and he would not have
cared if he had.

“Hello,” he said, “you’re not hurt. I can see that. Thank the Lord! I
don’t believe you’ve got a scratch.”

His grace felt a shade shaky, and he was slightly pale, but he smiled
in a way which had been celebrated forty years earlier, and the charm
of which had survived even rheumatic gout.

“Thank you. I’m not hurt in the least. I am the Duke of Stone. This
isn’t really a call. It isn’t my custom to arrive in this way. May I
address you as my preserver, Mr. Temple Barholm?”


[Illustration]


CHAPTER XXIV

Upon the terrace, when he was led up the steps, stood a most perfect
little elderly lady in a state of agitation much greater than his own
or his rescuer’s. It was an agitation as perfect in its femininity as
she herself was. It expressed its kind tremors in the fashion which
belongs to the puce silk dress and fine bits of collar and undersleeve
the belated gracefulness of which caused her to present herself to him
rather as a figure cut neatly from a book of the styles he had admired
in his young manhood. It was of course Miss Alicia, who having, with
Tembarom, seen the galloping pony from a window, had followed him when
he darted from the room.

She came forward, looking pale with charming solicitude.

“I do so hope you are not hurt,” she exclaimed. “It really seemed that
only divine Providence could prevent a terrible accident.”

“I am afraid that it was more grotesque than terrible,” he answered a
shade breathlessly.

“Let me make you acquainted with the Duke of Stone, Miss Alicia,”
Tembarom said in the formula of Mrs. Bowse’s boarders on state
occasions of introduction. “Duke, let me make you acquainted, sir, with
my--relation--Miss Alicia Temple Barholm.”

The duke’s bow had a remote suggestion of almost including a kissed
hand in its gallant courtesy. Not, however, that early-Victorian ladies
had been accustomed to the kissing of hands; but at the period when
he had best known the type he had daily bent over white fingers in
Continental capitals.

“A glass of wine,” Miss Alicia implored--“pray let me give you a glass
of wine. I am sure you need it very much.”

He was taken into the library and made to sit in a most comfortable
easy-chair. Miss Alicia fluttered about him with sympathy still
delicately tinged with alarm. How long, how long, it had been since he
had been fluttered over! Nearly forty years. Ladies did not flutter
now, and he remembered that it was no longer the fashion to call them
“ladies.” Only the lower-middle classes spoke of “ladies.” But he found
himself mentally using the word again as he watched Miss Alicia.

He could scarcely remove his eyes from her as he sipped his wine.
She felt his escape “providential,” and murmured such devout little
phrases concerning it that he was almost consoled for the grotesque
inward vision of himself as an aged peer of the realm tumbling out of a
baby-carriage and rolled over on the grass at the feet of a man on whom
later he had meant to make, in proper state, a formal call. She put
her hand to her side, smiling half apologetically.

“My heart beats quite fast yet,” she said. Whereupon a quaintly novel
thing took place, at the sight of which the duke barely escaped opening
his eyes very wide indeed. The American Temple Barholm placed his arm
about her in the most casual and informally accustomed way, and led her
to a chair, and put her in it, so to speak.

“Say,” he announced with affectionate authority, “you sit down right
away. It’s you that needs a glass of wine, and I’m going to give it to
you.”

The relations between the two were evidently on a basis not common in
England even among people who were attached to one another. There was
a spontaneous, every-day air of natural, protective petting about it,
as though the fellow was fond of her in his crude fashion, and meant
to take care of her. He was fond of her, and the duke perceived it
with elation, and also understood. He might be the ordinary bestower
of boons, but the protective curve of his arm included other things.
In the blank dullness of his unaccustomed splendors he had somehow
encountered this fine, delicately preserved little relic of other days,
and had seized on her and made her his own.

“I have not seen anything as delightful as Miss Temple Barholm for many
a year,” the duke said when Miss Alicia was called from the room and
left them together.

“Ain’t she great?” was Tembarom’s reply. “She’s just great.”

“It’s an exquisite survival of type,” said the duke. “She belongs to my
time, not yours,” he added, realizing that “survival of type” might not
clearly convey itself.

“Well, she belongs to mine now,” answered Tembarom. “I wouldn’t lose
her for a farm.”

“Would you mind my writing that down?” said the duke. “I have a fad for
dialects and new phrases.” He hastily scribbled the words in a tablet
that he took from his pocket. “Do you like living in England?” he asked
in course of time.

“I should like it if I’d been born here,” was the answer.

“I see, I see.”

“If it had not been for finding Miss Alicia, and that I made a promise
I’d stay for a year, anyhow, I’d have broken loose at the end of the
first week and worked my passage back if I hadn’t had enough in my
clothes to pay for it.” He laughed, but it was not real laughter. There
was a thing behind it. The situation was more edifying than one could
have hoped. “I made a promise, and I’m going to stick it out,” he said.

He was going to stick it out because he had promised to endure for a
year Temple Barholm and an income of seventy thousand pounds! The duke
gazed at him as at a fond dream realized.

“I’ve nothing to do,” Tembarom added.

“Neither have I,” replied the Duke of Stone.

“But you’re used to it, and I’m not. I’m used to working ’steen hours a
day, and dropping into bed as tired as a dog, but ready to sleep like
one and get up rested.”

“I used to play twenty hours a day once,” answered the duke; “but I
didn’t get up rested. That’s probably why I have gout and rheumatism
combined. Tell me how you worked, and I will tell you how I played.”

It was worth while taking this tone with him. It had been worth while
taking it with the chestnut-gathering peasants in the Apennines,
sometimes even with a stone-breaker by an English roadside. And this
one was of a type unique and more distinctive than any other--a
fellow who, with the blood of Saxon kings and Norman nobles in his
veins, had known nothing but the street life of the crudest city in
the world, who spoke a sort of argot, who knew no parallels of the
things which surrounded him in the ancient home he had inherited and
in which he stood apart as a sort of semi-sophisticated savage. The
duke applied himself with grace and finished ability to drawing him
out. The questions he asked were all seemingly those of a man of the
world charmingly interested in the superior knowledge of a foreigner
of varied experience. His method was one which engaged the interest
of Tembarom himself. He did not know that he was not only questioned,
but, so to speak, delicately cross-examined, and that before the end
of the interview the Duke of Stone knew more of him, his past existence
and present sentiments, than even Miss Alicia knew after their long and
intimate evening talks. The duke, however, had the advantage of being
a man and of cherishing vivid recollections of the days of his youth,
which, unlike as it had been to that of Tembarom, furnished a degree of
solid foundation upon which to build conjecture.

“A young man of his age,” his grace reflected astutely, “has always
just fallen out of love, is falling into it, or desires vaguely to do
so. Ten years later there would perhaps be blank spaces, lean years
during which he was not in love at all; but at his particular period
there must be a young woman somewhere. I wonder if she is employed in
one of the department stores he speaks of, and how soon he hopes to
present her to us. His conversation has revealed so far, to use his own
rich simile, ‘neither hide nor hair’ of her.”

On his own part, he was as ready to answer questions as to ask them. In
fact, he led Tembarom on to asking.

“I will tell you how I played” had been meant. He made a human document
of the history he enlarged, he brilliantly diverged, he included,
he made pictures, and found Tembarom’s point of view or lack of it
gave spice and humor to relations he had thought himself tired of. To
tell familiar anecdotes of courts and kings to a man who had never
quite believed that such things were realities, who almost found them
humorous when they were casually spoken of, was edification indeed.
The novel charm lay in the fact that his class in his country did not
include them as possibilities. Peasants in other countries, plowmen,
shopkeepers, laborers in England--all these at least they knew of, and
counted them in as factors in the lives of the rich and great; but this
dear young man!

“What’s a crown like? I’d like to see one. How much do you guess such a
thing would cost--in dollars?”

“Did not Miss Temple Barholm take you to see the regalia in the Tower
of London? I am quite shocked,” said the duke. He was, in fact, a
trifle disappointed. With the puce dress and undersleeves and little
fringes, she ought certainly to have rushed with her pupil to that
seat of historical instruction on their first morning in London,
immediately after breakfasting on toast and bacon and marmalade and
eggs.

“She meant me to go, but somehow it was put off. She almost cried on
our journey home when she suddenly remembered that we’d forgotten it,
after all. She’d never been to London before, and you couldn’t make her
believe she could ever get there again, and she said it was ungrateful
to Providence to waste an opportunity. She’s always mighty anxious to
be grateful to Providence, bless her!”

“She regards you as Providence,” remarked the duke, enraptured. With
a touch here and there, the touch of a master, he had gathered the
whole little story of Miss Alicia, and had found it of a whimsical
exquisiteness and humor.

“She’s a lot too good to me,” answered Tembarom. “I guess women as nice
as her are always a lot too good to men. She’s a kind of little old
angel. What makes me mad is to think of the fellows that didn’t get
busy and marry her thirty-five years ago.”

“Were there--er--many of ’em?” the duke inquired.

“Thousands of ’em, though most of ’em never saw her. I suppose you
never saw her then. If you had, you might have done it.”

The duke, sitting with an elbow on each arm of his chair, put the tips
of his fine, gouty fingers together and smiled with a far-reaching
inclusion of possibilities.

“So I might,” he said; “so I might. My loss entirely--my abominable
loss!”

They had reached this point of the argument when the carriage from
Stone Hover arrived. The stately barouche contained Lady Edith and Lady
Celia, both pale, and greatly agitated by the news which had brought
them horrified from Stone Hover without a moment’s delay.

They both descended in haste and swept in such alarmed anxiety up the
terrace steps and through the hall to their father’s side that they had
barely a polite gasp for Miss Alicia and scarcely saw Tembarom at all.

“Dear Papa!” they cried when he revealed himself in his chair in the
library intact and smiling. “How you have frightened us! Where was
George? You must dismiss him at once. Really--really--”

“He was half a mile away, obeying my orders,” said the duke. “A groom
cannot be dismissed for obeying orders. It is the pony who must be
dismissed, to my great regret; or else we must overfeed him until he is
even fatter than he is and cannot run away.”

Were his arms and legs and his ribs and collar-bones and head quite
right? Was he sure that he had not received any internal injury when
he fell out of the pony-carriage? They could scarcely be convinced,
and as they hung over and stroked and patted him, Tembarom stood aside
and watched them with interest. They were the kind of girls he had to
please Ann by “getting next to,” giving himself a chance to fall in
love with them, so that she’d know whether they were his kind or not.
They were nice-looking, and had a way of speaking that sounded rather
swell, but they weren’t ace high to a little slim, red-headed thing
that looked at you like a baby and pulled your heart up into your
throat.

“Don’t poke me any more, dear children. I am quite, quite sound,” he
heard the duke say. “In Mr. Temple Barholm you behold the preserver
of your parent. Filial piety is making you behave with shocking
ingratitude.”

They turned to Tembarom at once with a pretty outburst of apologies
and thanks. They were very polite and made many agreeably grateful
speeches, but in the eyes of both there lurked a shade anxiety which
they hoped to be able to conceal. Their father watched them with a
wicked pleasure. He realized clearly their well-behaved desire to do
and say exactly the right thing and bear themselves in exactly the
right manner, and also their awful uncertainty before an entirely
unknown quantity. Really, if Willocks, the butcher’s boy, had inherited
Temple Barholm, it would have been easier to know where one stood in
the matter of being civil and agreeable to him. First Lady Edith, made
perhaps bold by the suggestion of physical advantage bestowed by the
color, talked to him to the very best of her ability; and when she felt
herself fearfully flagging, Lady Celia took him up and did her very
well-conducted best. Neither she nor her sister were brilliant talkers
at any time, and limited by the absence of any common familiar topic,
effort was necessary. The neighborhood he did not know; London he was
barely aware of; social functions it would be an impertinence to bring
in; games he did not play; sport he had scarcely heard of. You were
confined to America, and if you knew next to nothing of American life,
there you were.

Tembarom saw it all,--he was sharp enough for that,--and his habit
of being jocular and wholly unashamed saved him from the misery of
awkwardness that Willocks would have been sure to have writhed under.
His casual frankness, however, for a moment embarrassed Lady Edith to
the bitterest extremity. When you are trying your utmost to make a
queer person oblivious to the fact that his world is one unknown to
you, it is difficult to know where you stand when he says:

“It’s mighty hard to talk to a man who doesn’t know a thing that
belongs to the kind of world you’ve spent your life in, ain’t it?
But don’t you mind me a minute. I’m glad to be talked to anyhow by
people like you. When I don’t catch on. I’ll just ask. No man was ever
electrocuted for not knowing, and that’s just where I am. I don’t know,
and I’m glad to be told. Now, there’s one thing. Burrill said ‘Your
Ladyship’ to you. I heard him. Ought I to say it, or oughtn’t I?”

“Oh, no,” she answered, but somehow without distaste in the momentary
stare he had startled her into; “Burrill is--”

“He’s a servant,” he aided encouragingly. “Well, I’ve never been a
butler, but this is the first time I’ve been out of a job.”

What a queer, candid, unresentful creature! What a good sort of smile!
And how odd that it was he who was putting her more at her ease by the
mere way in which he was saying this almost alarming thing! By the time
he had ended, it was not alarming at all, and she had caught her breath
again.

She was actually sorry when the door opened and Lady Joan Fayre came
in, followed almost immediately by Lady Mallowe and Captain Palliser,
who appeared to have just returned from a walk and heard the news.

Lady Mallowe was most sympathetic. Why not, indeed? The Duke of Stone
was a delightful, cynical creature, and Stone Hover was, despite its
ducal poverty, a desirable place to be invited to, if you could manage
it. Her ladyship’s method of fluttering was not like Miss Alicia’s,
its character being wholly modern; but she fluttered, nevertheless.
The duke, who knew all about her, received her amiabilities with
appreciative smiles, but it was the splendidly handsome, hungry-eyed
young woman with the line between her black brows who engaged his
attention. On the alert, as he always was, for a situation, he detected
one at once when he saw his American address her. She did not address
him, and scarcely deigned a reply when he spoke to her. When he spoke
to others, she conducted herself as though he were not in the room,
so obviously did she choose to ignore his existence. Such a bearing
toward one’s host had indeed the charm of being an interesting novelty.
And what a beauty she was! Then as in a flash he recalled between
one breath and another the quite fiendish episode of poor Jem Temple
Barholm--and she was the girl!

Then he became almost excited in his interest. He saw it all. As he
had himself argued must be the case, this poor fellow was in love. But
it was not with a lady in the New York department stores; it was with
a young woman who would evidently disdain to wipe her feet upon him.
How thrilling! As Lady Mallowe and Palliser and the others chattered,
he watched him, observing his manner. He stood the handsome creature’s
steadily persistent rudeness very well; he made no effort to push
into the talk when she coolly held him out of it. He waited without
external uneasiness or spasmodic smiles. If he could do that despite
the inevitable fact that he must feel his position uncomfortable, he
was possessed of fiber. That alone would make him worth cultivating.
And if there were persons who were to be made uncomfortable, why not
cut in and circumvent the beauty somewhat and give her a trifle of
unease. It was with the light and adroit touch of accustomedness to
all orders of little situations that his grace took the matter in
hand, with a shade, also, of amiable malice. He drew Tembarom adroitly
into the center of things; he knew how to lead him to make easily
the odd, frank remarks which were sufficiently novel to suggest that
he was actually entertaining. He beautifully edged Lady Joan out of
her position. She could not behave ill to him, he was far too old, he
said to himself, leaving out the fact that a Duke of Stone is a too
respectable personage to be quite waved aside.

Tembarom began to enjoy himself a little more. Lady Celia and Lady
Edith began to enjoy themselves a little more also. Lady Mallowe was
filled with admiring delight. Captain Palliser took in the situation,
and asked himself questions about it. On her part, Miss Alicia was
restored to the happiness any lack of appreciation of her “dear boy”
touchingly disturbed. In circumstances such as these he appeared to the
advantage which in a brief period would surely reveal his wonderful
qualities. And how more than charmingly cordial his grace’s manner was
when he left them!

“To-morrow,” he said, “if my daughters do not discover that I have
injured some more than vital organ, I shall call to proffer my thanks
with the most immense formality. I shall get out of the carriage in the
manner customary in respectable neighborhoods, not roll out at your
feet. Afterward you will, I hope, come and dine with us. I am devoured
by a desire to become more familiar with the ‘New York Earth.’”


CHAPTER XXV

It was Lady Mallowe who perceived the moment when he became the
fashion. The Duke of Stone called with the immense formality he had
described, and his visit was neither brief nor dull. A little later
Tembarom with his guests dined at Stone Hover, and the dinner was
further removed from dullness than any one of numerous past dinners
always noted for being the most agreeable the neighborhood afforded.
The duke managed his guests as an impresario might have managed
his tenor, though this was done with subtly concealed methods. He
had indeed a novelty to offer which had been discussed with much
uncertainty of point of view.

[Illustration]

“Nobody will be likely to see him as he is unless he is pointed out
to them,” was what he said to his daughters. “But being bored to
death,--we are all bored,--once adroitly assisted to suspect him of
being, alluring, most of them will spring upon him and clasp him to
their wearied breasts. I haven’t the least idea what will happen
afterward. I shall in fact await the result with interest.”

Following the dinner party at Stone Hover came many others. All the
well-known carriages began to roll up the avenue to Temple Barholm. The
Temple Barholm carriages also began to roll down the avenue and between
the stone griffins on their way to festive gatherings of varied order.
Burrill and the footmen ventured to reconsider their early plans for
giving warning. It was not so bad if the country was going to take him
up.

“Do you see what is happening?” Lady Mallowe said to Joan. “The man is
becoming actually popular.”

“He is popular as a turn at a music-hall is,” answered Joan. “He will
be dropped as he was taken up.”

“There’s something about him they like, and he represents what
everybody most wants. For God’s sake, Joan, don’t behave like a fool
this time! The case is more desperate. There is nothing else--nothing.”

“There never was,” said Joan, “and I know the desperateness of the
case. How long are you going to stay here?”

“I am going to stay for some time. They are not conventional people. It
can be managed very well. We are relatives.”

“Will you stay,” inquired Joan in a low voice, “until they ask you to
remove yourself?”

Lady Mallowe smiled an agreeably subtle smile. “Not quite that,” she
said. “Miss Alicia would never have the courage to suggest it. It takes
courage and sophistication to do that sort of thing. Mr. Temple Barholm
evidently wants us to remain. He will be willing to make as much of the
relationship as we choose to let him.”

“Do you choose to let him make as much of it as will establish us here
for weeks--or months?” Joan asked, her low voice shaking a little.

“That will depend entirely upon circumstances. It will, in fact, depend
entirely upon you,” said Lady Mallowe, her lips setting themselves into
a straight, thin line.

For an appreciable moment Joan was silent; but after it she lost her
head and whirled about.

“I shall go away,” she cried.

“Where?” asked Lady Mallowe.

“Back to London.”

“How much money have you?” asked her mother. She knew she had none. She
was always sufficiently shrewd to see that she had none.

“How much money have you?” she repeated quietly. This was the way in
which their unbearable scenes began.

Joan looked at her; this time it was for about five seconds. She
turned her back on her and walked out of the room. Shortly afterward
Lady Mallowe saw her walking down the avenue in the rain, which was
beginning to fall.

She had left the house because she dared not stay in it. Once out in
the park, she folded her long purple cloak about her and pulled her
soft purple felt hat down over her brows, walking swiftly under the big
trees without knowing where she intended to go before she returned.

No one could know so well as herself how desperate from her own point
of view the case was. She had long known that her mother would not
hesitate for a moment before any chance of a second marriage which
would totally exclude her daughter from her existence. Why should
she, after all, Joan thought? They had always been antagonists. The
moment of chance had been looming on the horizon for months. Sir Moses
Monaldini had hovered about fitfully and evidently doubtfully at first,
more certainly and frequently of late, but always with a clearly
objecting eye cast askance upon herself. He would have no penniless
daughters hanging about, scowling and sneering. None of that for him.
And the ripest apple upon the topmost bough in the highest wind would
not drop more readily to his feet than her mother would, Joan knew with
sharp and shamed burnings.

It made her sick to think of the perpetual visits they had made where
they were not wanted, of the times when they had been politely bundled
out of places, of the methods which had been used to induce shopkeepers
to let them run up bills. For years her mother and she had been walking
advertisements of smart shops because both were handsome, wore clothes
well, and carried them where they would be seen and talked about. Now
this would be all over, since it had been Lady Mallowe who had managed
all details. Thrown upon her own resources, Joan would have none of
them, even though she must walk in rags. If she had never met Jem! But
Jem had been the beginning and the end.

She bit her lips as she walked, and suddenly tears swept down her
cheeks.

“And he sits in Jem’s place! And every day that common, foolish stare
will follow me!” she said.

He sat, it was true, in the place Jem Temple Barholm would have
occupied if he had been a living man, and he looked at her a good deal.
Perhaps he sometimes unconsciously stared because she made him think
of many things. But if she had been in a state of mind admitting of
judicial fairness, she would have been obliged to own that it was not
quite a foolish stare. Absorbed, abstracted, perhaps, but it was not
foolish. Sometimes, on the contrary, it was searching and keen.

Of course he was doing his best to please her. Of all the “Ladies,” it
seemed evident that he was most attracted by her. He tried to talk to
her despite her unending rebuffs, he followed her about and endeavored
to interest her, he presented a hide-bound unsensitiveness when she did
her worst. Perhaps he did not even know that she was being icily rude.
He was plainly “making up to her” after the manner of his class.

She had reached the village when the rain changed its mind, and without
warning began to pour down as if the black cloud passing overhead had
suddenly opened. She was wondering if she would not turn in somewhere
for shelter until the worst was over, when a door opened and Tembarom
ran out with an umbrella.

“Come in to the Hibblethwaites’ cottage, Lady Joan,” he said. “This
will be over directly.”

He did not affectionately hustle her in by the arm as he would have
hustled in Miss Alicia, but he closely guarded her with the umbrella
until he guided her inside.

“Thank you,” she said.

The first object she became aware of was a thin face with pointed chin
and ferret eyes peering at her round the end of a sofa, then a sharp
voice.

“Tak’ off her cloak an’ shake the rain off it in the wash’us’,” it
said. “Mother an’ Aunt Susan’s out. Let him unbutton it fer thee.”

“I can unbutton it myself, thank you,” said Lady Joan. Tembarom took it
when she had unbuttoned it. He took it from her shoulders before she
had time to stop him. Then he walked into the tiny “wash’us’” and shook
it thoroughly. He came back and hung it on a chair before the fire.

Tummas was leaning back in his pillows and gazing at her.

“I know tha name,” he said. “He towd me,” with a jerk of the head
toward Tembarom.

“Did he?” replied Lady Joan, without interest.

A flaringly illustrated New York paper was spread out upon his sofa. He
pushed it aside and pulled the shabby atlas toward him. It fell open at
a map of North America as if through long habit.

“Sit thee down,” he ordered.

Tembarom had stood watching them both. “I guess you’d better not do
that,” he suggested to Tummas.

“Why not?” said the boy, sharply. “It’s the same as if he’d married
her. If she wur his widder, she’d want to talk about him. Widders allus
wants to talk. Why shouldn’t she? Women’s women. He’d ha’ wanted to
talk about her.”

“Who is ‘he’?” asked Joan, with stiff lips.

“The Temple Barholm as ’u’d be here if he was na.”

Joan turned to Tembarom.

“Do you come here to talk to this boy about _him_?” she said. “How dare
you!”

Tummas’s eyes snapped; his voice snapped also.

“He knew next to nowt about him till I towd him,” he said. “Then he
came to ax me things an’ foind out more. He knows as much as I do now.
Us sits here an’ talks him over.”

Lady Joan still addressed Tembarom.

“What interest can you have in the man who ought to be in your place?”
she asked. “What possible interest?”

“Well,” he answered awkwardly, “because he ought to be, I suppose.
Ain’t that reason enough?”

He had never had to deal with women who hated him and who were angry,
and he did not know exactly what to say. He had known very few women,
and he had always been good natured with them and won their liking in
some measure. Also, there was in his attitude toward this particular
woman a baffled feeling that he could not make her understand him. She
would always think of him as an enemy and believe he meant things he
did not mean. If he had been born and educated in her world, he could
have used her own language; but he could use only his own, and there
were so many things he must not say for a time at least.

“Do you not realize,” she said, “that--that you and this boy are taking
liberties?”

Tummas broke in wholly without compunction.

“I’ve takken liberties aw my loife,” he stated; “an’ I’m goin’ to
tak’ ’em till I dee. They’re the on’y things I con tak’, lyin’ here
crippled, an’ I’m goin’ to tak’ ’em.”

“Stop that, Tummas!” said Tembarom, with friendly authority. “She
doesn’t catch on, and you don’t catch on, either. You’re both of you
’way off. Stop it!”

“I thowt happen she could tell me things I did na know,” protested
Tummas, throwing himself back on his pillows. “If she conna, she conna,
an’ if she wun not, she wun not. Get out wi’ thee!” he said to Joan. “I
dunnot want thee about the place.”

“Say,” said Tembarom, “shut up!”

“I am going,” said Lady Joan, and, seizing her cloak, turned to open
the door.

The rain was descending in torrents, but she passed swiftly out into
its deluge, walking as rapidly as she could. She thought she cared
nothing about the rain, but it dashed in her face and eyes, taking her
breath away, and she had need of breath when her heart was beating with
such fierceness.

Even chance could not let her alone at one of her worst moments. She
walked faster and faster because she was afraid Tembarom would follow
her, and in a few minutes she heard him splashing behind her, and then
he was at her side, holding the umbrella over her head.

“You’re a good walker,” he said, “but I’m a sprinter. I trained running
after street-cars and catching the ‘L’ in New York.”

She had so restrained her miserable hysterical impulse to break down
and utterly humiliate herself under the unexpected blow of the episode
in the cottage that she had had no breath to spare when she left the
room, and her hurried effort to escape had left her so much less that
she did not speak.

“I’ll tell you something,” he went on. “He’s a little freak, but you
can’t blame him much. Don’t be mad at him. He’s never moved from that
corner since he was born, I guess, and he’s got nothing to do or to
think of but just hearing what’s happening outside. He’s sort of crazy
curious, and when he gets hold of a thing that suits him, he just holds
on to it till the last bell rings.”

She said nothing whatever, and he paused a moment because he wanted to
think over the best way to say the next thing.

“Mr. James Temple Barholm”--he ventured it with more delicacy of desire
not to seem to “take liberties” than she would have credited him
with--“saw his mother sitting with him in her arms at the cottage door
a week or so after he was born. He stopped at the gate and talked to
her about him, and he left him a sovereign. He’s got it now. It seems
a fortune to him. He’s made a sort of idol of him. That’s why he talks
like he does. I wouldn’t let it make me mad if I were you.”

He did not know that she could not have answered him if she would, that
she felt that if he did not stop she might fling herself down upon the
wet heather and wail aloud.

“You don’t like me,” he began after they had walked a few steps
farther. “You don’t like me.”

This was actually better. It choked back the sobs rising in her throat.
The stupid shock of it, his tasteless foolishness, helped her by its
very folly to a sort of defense against the disastrous wave of emotion
she might not have been able to control. She gathered herself together.

“It must be an unusual experience,” she answered.

“Well it is--sort of,” he said, but in a manner curiously free from
fatuous swagger. “I’ve had luck that way. I guess it’s been because I’d
_got_ to make friends so as I could earn a living. It seems sort of
queer to know that some one got a grouch against me that--that I can’t
get away with.”

She looked up the avenue to see how much farther they must walk
together, since she was not “a sprinter” and could not get away from
him. She thought she caught a glimpse through the trees of a dog-cart
driven by a groom, and hoped she was not mistaken and that it was
driving in their direction.

“It must, indeed,” she said, “though I am not sure I quite understand
what a grouch is.”

“When you’ve got a grouch against a fellow,” he explained impersonally,
“you want to get at him. You want to make him feel like a mutt; and a
mutt’s the worst kind of a fool. You’ve got one against me.

“I knew there was a lot against me when I came here,” he persisted. “I
should have been a fool if I hadn’t. I knew when you came that I was up
against a pretty hard proposition; but I thought perhaps if I got busy
and _showed_ you--you’ve got to _show_ a person--”

“Showed me what?” she asked contemptuously.

“Showed you--well--_me_,” he tried to explain.

“You!”

“And that I wanted to be friends,” he added candidly.

Was the man mad? Did he realize nothing? Was he too thick of skin even
to see?

“Friends! You and I?” The words ought to have scorched him, pachyderm
though he was.

“I thought you’d give me a chance--a sort of chance.”

She stopped short on the avenue.

“You did?”

She had not been mistaken. The dog-cart had rounded the far-off curve
and was coming toward them. And the man went on talking.

“You’ve felt every minute that I was in a place that didn’t belong to
me. You know that if the man that it did belong to was here, you’d be
here with him. You felt as if I’d robbed him of it--and I’d robbed
you. It was your home--yours. You hated me too much to think of
anything else. Suppose--suppose there was a way I could give it back to
you--make it your home again?”

His voice dropped and was rather unsteady. The fool, the gross, brutal,
vulgar, hopeless fool! He thought this was the way to approach her,
to lead her to listen to his proposal of marriage! Not for a second
did she guess that they were talking at cross-purposes. She did not
know that as he kept himself steady under her contemptuousness he was
thinking that Ann would have to own that he had been up against it hard
and plenty while the thing was going on.

“I’m always up against it when I’m talking to you,” he said. “You get
me rattled. There’s things I want to talk about and ask you. Suppose
you give me a chance, and let us start out by being sort of friends.”

“I am staying in your house,” she answered in a deadly voice, “and
I cannot go away because my mother will not let me. You can force
yourself upon me, if you choose, because I cannot help it but
understand once for all that I will _not_ give you your ridiculous
chance. And I will not utter one word to you when I can avoid it.”

He was silent for a moment and seemed to be thinking rather deeply. She
realized now that he saw the nearing dog-cart.

“You won’t. Then it’s up to me,” he said. Then with a change of tone he
added: “I’ll stop the cart and tell the man to drive you to the house.
I’m not going to force myself on you, as you call it. It ’u’d be no
use. Perhaps it’ll come all right in the end.”

He made a sign to the groom, who hastened his horse’s pace and drew up
when he reached them. Tembarom said:

“Take this lady back to the house.”

The groom, who was a new arrival, began to prepare to get down and give
up his place.

“You needn’t do that,” said Tembarom.

“Won’t you get up and take the reins, sir?” the man asked uncertainly.

“No; I can’t drive. You’ll have to do it. I’ll walk.”

And, to the groom’s amazement, they left him standing under the trees
looking after them.

“It’s up to me,” he was saying. “The whole durned thing’s up to _me_.”

    (To be continued.)



TO A ROYAL MUMMY

BY ANNA GLEN STODDARD


    Thou, Queen who wast,
    Now gruesome shape,
    Linen and dust,
    At whom they gape,--
    The multitude,
    Ogling and rude,--
    What is the message,
    Warning, or presage,
    Thy vast experience,
    Our vast impertinence,
    Bid thee impart to us,
    Baring thy heart to us?

    Blazoned the case
    Of Egypt’s crown-jewel.
    Proud was thy race,
    Haughty and cruel;
    Scribed here their history,
    Glory, and mystery.
    When life was ended,
    Shrouded and splendid,
    How they entombed thee!
    No grave enwombed thee.
    Walled in a pyramid,
    Thy regal beauty hid.

    Aye, thou wert queenly,
    Majestic, inviolate,
    Who now so meanly
    Liest in state.
    A Pharaoh sired thee;
    Kings have desired thee:
    Forgot now, despoiled.
    Thy beauty assoiled,
    What if thy wisdom taught
    That out of all is naught?
    What if thy secret be
    That all is vanity?



[Illustration]



IN LIGHTER VEIN


GOING UP

OR, THE PERIL OF EXPOSURE AFTER BATHING

BY FREDERICK LEWIS ALLEN

A prophet is not without honor save in his bathing-suit. Bathing-suits
harmonize with the ocean, and are worn unblushingly by those who
stand with one foot in sea and one on land; but it is possible for a
bathing-suit to be out of place, as at a garden party or at the opera.
Bathing-suits are specialized goods. If one is inclined to doubt the
truth of these propositions, listen to the tale of Professor Jarvis.

The professor spent his summers on the sea-coast of Maine, where
he occupied his mornings in working on a history of the diplomatic
relations of Uruguay and Paraguay, or perhaps it was Costa Rica and
Honduras. His afternoons were spent in golfing and bathing. His house
stood about a hundred yards from the end of the sandy bathing-beach,
and since he possessed no bath-house, it was his habit, at the end
of his chilling swim, to pick his way gingerly home along a sandy,
root-ribbed, pine-needled path, to enter his house brazenly by the
front door, to flee dripping up the front stairs, and, in the privacy
of his bedroom, to transform himself from Proteus to Beau Brummell.

One cool September afternoon as he was returning from his plunge,
Professor Jarvis paused among the pines at a little distance from the
house. A large black automobile was drawn up before the front steps.
The spacious piazza, on which his wife was in the habit of serving
afternoon tea--a conveniently situated piazza which gave upon the sea,
and not upon Professor Jarvis--was unoccupied. The professor hesitated,
his teeth clashing against one another, and the goose-flesh creeping
out on his dripping arms. The conclusion was obvious: his wife was
receiving guests in the living-room. She had evidently decided that the
piazza would be a trifle too breezy for tea.

Now Professor Jarvis, even in a bathing-suit, was not an unbeautiful
figure. He had fallen into the vale of fifty years with more grace than
the average human being, thanks to golf and to bathing. He did not
display to any alarming extent the inevitable tendencies of age. He
was, in fact, rather proud of the restraint which his waist-line had
exercised. Now he did not hesitate long among the pines, but advanced
daintily over some sharp twigs to the front door. The chauffeur,
sprawling at ease in the black car and reading “Mutt and Jeff” in the
colored comic section of a Sunday supplement, smiled out of the leeward
side of his mouth. But the professor regarded him not, haughtily passed
him by, and boldly entered the house. His gray hair stood on end in
scant wisps, the goose-flesh adorned his limbs, the water dripped from
his Roman nose and trickled from his abbreviated trousers, and he left
several little wet footprints on the ivy-clad front porch.

[Illustration]

Once inside the house, the professor paused timidly in the hallway.
Before him stood two doors. One was the entrance to the dining-room;
the other led into the capacious living-room. The stairs were beyond,
at the extreme back of the hall. Through the open doors of the
living-room issued the sound of voices. Professor Jarvis recognized his
wife’s and Mrs. Heath’s and--no, he was not quite sure about the other
one. The conversation within continued.

The professor realized that it would be impossible to pass the
living-room door without exposing himself to the curious view of the
ladies within.

He could, however, reach and enter the dining-room unobserved. He stood
a while in thought.

“I find a plain brown stain gives the best wear,” said the doubtful
voice in very positive tones. “I find _nothing_ compares with it.”

The professor recognized the voice. It was Mrs. Bannerman’s. He was
afraid of Mrs. Bannerman. She was a very positive person, and it was
her manner to speak with such evident authority that whenever she
held forth the professor began to have his doubts even on Venezuelan
questions.

He shivered as he heard her now.

But his wife’s voice reassured him. “I’ve forgotten what our mixture
is,” she said. “The farmer always does our shellacking. But you’ll be
able to tell if you come out and look at the hall floor. It’s given us
splendid wear.”

There was a rustle of dresses. The professor started. It was impossible
to get up the distant stairs, with their delightful view of the
hall--his own plan. Noiselessly he darted into the dining-room,
leaving a tiny pool of water behind him. Mrs. Jarvis, Mrs. Heath, and
the formidable Mrs. Bannerman came out into the hall, and discussed
varnish, paint, and allied subjects for some minutes.

In the meantime Professor Jarvis considered methods of escape. The
dining-room was a large affair. There were windows on one of the
sides opposite him, but under them was a sheer drop of twelve feet
to a graveled avenue. The sideboard offered no hiding-place. The
center-table was not large enough for a professor of diplomacy to
curl up under in any fitting way. The “mission” chimney was no place
for a man in a bathing-suit. Only one avenue of escape was available,
and that was an open door that led invitingly into the pantry or
china-closet. Behind this door the professor stationed himself, and
prayed that the ladies might depart.

For a moment he had his hopes. There was some mention of good-bys.
Somebody went to get her things. The professor drew a long breath. He
was very, very chilly, and another little pool was rapidly forming
about his white and tender feet.

“Why should I be afraid to face these ladies?” he asked himself. “What
have I to be ashamed of? Is there anything wrong in going about my own
house in my own bathing-suit? I will go out and say, ‘Oh, I was looking
for a towel in the china-closet. I have had such a wonderful swim.’”

Nevertheless, the professor did _not_ move. Nor time nor place did then
adhere, while his bathing-suit did. He heard the voice of the terrible
Mrs. Bannerman, and remained behind the china-closet door, listening.
Suddenly fear smote into his heart.

“Mr. Jarvis planned this house himself,” he heard his wife say
proudly. “We had several ideas which we insisted on. For instance, the
dining-room here is an arrangement of our own.”

The professor moved on, into a recess of the china-closet. The voices
came nearer and uprose in voluble appreciation of the dining-room. Mrs.
Jarvis was holding forth with a proud delight on the architectural
disposition of doors, windows, etc. What was coming next the professor
guessed only too well. He looked about wildly. Cupboards, all too
small. Shelves, impossible. They all had glass fronts. He could hardly
expose himself under glass, like an exhibit in a museum. There was, to
be sure, a dumb-waiter that descended to the kitchen below.

It was a new and wonderful dumb-waiter. Wonderfully balanced, weighted,
and contrived. Professor Jarvis headed for it, and, as he heard the
voices relentlessly approaching the china-closet, climbed nimbly in
and, marveling at the beautiful balance of the thing, cautiously let
himself down a few yards into the black abyss that yawned between him
and the kitchen.

In absolute and overwhelming darkness he gathered himself about the
rope that controlled his wooden cage, and held his breath. Thank
heavens, it was a roomy dumb-waiter! As it was, he had to curl up
like a kitten or a dog, and a very damp one at that. “I should never
have supposed,” he said to himself, “that one could get into a
dumb-waiter.” And he pondered on the uses of adversity, and remembered
the bird in the gilded cage. Above, the voices were faintly audible;
they echoed as if through caverns.

“The dumb-waiter,” his wife explained, “is here.”

There were footsteps. The professor clutched the rope with an iron
grasp, and just in time. Some one was attempting to jerk it out of his
hands.

“It seems to be stuck,” said a voice above.

“Let _me_ try it,” said Mrs. Bannerman.

“Let us all try it,” said a chorus of voices.

The professor’s blood froze. He curled up tighter about the rope in his
damp little puddle. He feared the ladies and particularly he feared the
brawny might of the fearful Mrs. Bannerman.

He held fast, but it was of no use.

He was going up!

“As if I were a veal cutlet going up for supper,” he thought.

Blinking, he ascended into the cruel light of day.

“Good afternoon, Mrs. Bannerman,” he said politely.


[Illustration: Drawn by May Wilson Preston

A BOY’S BEST FRIEND

~The Senior Wrangler~: “Never you mind _what_ she does, or how
she looks. You quit laughin’ at her, and, say, don’t you ever forget
what I’m going to tell you--drunk or sober, that lady is me mother!”]


[Illustration: At the recent exhibition in New York of the work of
American women sculptors no groups attracted more amused attention than
these plasteline groups by Ethel Myers, the wife of Jerome Myers, the
painter. The single figure is called “The Fifth Avenue Girl,” and the
group is entitled “A Bit of Gossip.”]


FRESH LIGHT ON WASHINGTON

  The following is a literal transcript of a bona-fide debate by a boy
  in a public school. As it throws a bright light on two important, and
  apparently misunderstood, historical characters, it has been thought
  worthy of a niche in “Lighter Vein.”

Dear teacher, kind schoolmates, honorable judges and chairman, seeing
that I am the speaker on the affirmative side I say that Washington was
a greater man than Napoleon.

Washington is the man that saved Our Country from the hands of the
British. Did Napoleon, of course not, And Washington never deserted his
wife and family like Napoleon did. No because Washington was more of a
man than to do that.

G. Washington was a man of good sense. He never got a divorce from his
wife like Napoleon did. Of course not because Washington knew better
than to do that.

When the British made their second attempt to conquer New York,
Washington was too sly for them, and by him the English were defeated,
and we won the battle. Did Napoleon do that, of course not.

Napoleon entered Berlin in Triumph October 27, 1806 and established
himself in the kings palace. He did not like the beutiful Queen Louise,
because he felt that she had inspired the soldiers by her presence
and urged her husband to make war. He was very unjust to her in his
bulletins and Josephine reproached him of speaking ill of women. Did
Washington do that of course not he knew better.

Napoleon never liked the festival of a saint, he said it was a day of
idleness. Did Washington like it. Of course becaus he used it right and
Napoleon didnt.

I both say and think there was never and never will be a man to take
the place of Our great American George Washington.


[Illustration: Drawn by Boardman Robinson


THE CHILD DE LUXE

~Old-fashioned Grandmother~: “Why! Muriel, where are your dolls
this morning? Why don’t you take them out in your doll’s carriage,
dear?”

~Muriel~ (slightly bored): “Oh! I leave all _that_ to their
nurse.”]


A TRIOLET

BY LEROY TITUS WEEKS

    I took just a kiss,
      But her lips would repeat.
    What rapture! what bliss!
      I took just a kiss.

    You see, it’s like this:
      “With what measure ye mete--!”
    I took just a kiss,
      But her lips _would_ repeat.


[Illustration]


WHAT IS A RYMBEL?

WITH FOUR REMARKABLE EXAMPLES BY OLIVER HERFORD, CHARLES HANSON TOWNE,
AND THEODOSIA GARRISON

The Rymbel is an interesting and newly discovered verse family. It
consists of either ten, twenty, or thirty lines, and is sometimes
spoken of, not as a rymbel, but as a “tent-twent-thirt.” The first
noteworthy example of it in our literature is Mr. Herford’s interesting
twent which, with its fine flux of cerebral invention, is printed below.

The Rymbel family is descended from many rhyming ancestors. Its father
was a Jingle, its mother a Rondel. The result of this marriage was a
feeble-minded daughter. Symbol by name, and four “wanting” sons, Ramble
(the eldest), Rondeau and Rhyme (the twins), and Jumble, the baby. They
only express themselves in verse, and are usually spoken of as “the
eccentric Rymbels.” Deafness is a Rymbel family characteristic.

Whenever the father (who is invariably the family pioneer in matters
poetical) is seized by an uncontrollable afflatus, he starts out
bravely enough, but usually attenuates at the fifth line of the first
stanza. Owing to the deafness of his wife and little ones he shouts
this last line in a frantic crescendo, at which point his voice and his
intellect give up the unequal contest, and his wife, seizing on the
last word as her cue, pursues the theme spontaneously--and in her own
misguided way.

The poetical relay proceeds in this manner until the tenth, twentieth,
or--in very rare cases--the thirtieth line has been reached. In
Mr. Herford’s splendid example of rymbelican verse, for instance,
the father’s brain ceased to “mote” after the fifth line, but the
crescendoed concept “fall” was bravely but disastrously propulsed into
the second stanza by Mrs. Rymbel, who, in turn, gave up the struggle
and abandoned the entire enterprise to the twins.

    _R. Otway Prendergast._

  Editor of Arch. Vulg. and Obs. Words in Prendergast’s “Rhyming
  Rumbels” (Oxford Press--out of print), author of “Wild Verses I Have
  Met” and “The Stanza in a Savage State.” Brentanos; each, $1.65 net.


THE GIRL AND THE RASPBERRY ICE

(THE FIRST RECORDED RYMBEL IN OUR TIME)

BY OLIVER HERFORD

    One summer day in early spring--
      How well I can recall
    The falling snow--no, come to think,
    It happened at the skating-rink:
      It must have been the fall.

    I never shall forget that fall,
      When, spurning all advice,
    I buckled on a pair of skates,
    And, cutting fancy figure-eights,
      Sat down upon the ice.

    I think it was a lemon ice
      Or some such sparkling fruit,
    She smiled and said she would prefer
    A raspberry cream--the kind you stir--
      I quickly followed suit.

    A simple suit of homespun tweed
      That ended at the knees!
    No wonder that my legs are chill.
    Quick, nurse! another camphor pill!
      I fear I’m going to sneeze.


~Mr. Charles Hanson Towne~, who has been spending a week-end
with the Rymbels, and who is distantly related to them through the
Jumbles (of Spring Street), overheard the following “thirt” and made
careful enough notes of it to preserve it for all time.


THE YELLOW VASE

BY CHARLES HANSON TOWNE

    I gave the man a ten-cent fare
      When I got on the train.
    The sun was shining in the sky,
    A great big drop fell in my eye--
      It had begun to rain.

    Oh, yes! It was a glorious reign,
      The reign of good Queen Bess;
    The people were quite happy then,
    The women, children, and the men,
      Each with a fine address.

    I tried to find your old address,
      But no, it was not there;
    I looked down cellar for it, and
    I thought I had it in my hand
      When I came up the stair.

    Good gracious! how the people stare,
      When I am off my guard;
    They watch my feet when I go out,
    (I always push my feet about)
      All three feet--in the yard.

    I told the clerk I’d take a yard;
      I don’t know what I’ll do,
    As your clock says it’s now half-past,
    And mine, although it’s somewhat fast,
      Says it is half-past, too.

    I walked a mile and then walked two,
      Not knowing where to go;
    Then I came home and ate some fish--
    Some shad upon a shallow dish--
      And went out for a roe.


Rymbels are not all of them necessarily humorous. Jocoseria is, of
course, frequently met with in them, but in the following tragical and
noteworthy rymbel Theodosia Garrison proves that drama, in its most
lean, Greek, intense, and pulsing form, may well find a place in them.
The tragedy, terrible as it is, is one that might befall any woman of
means.


TRAGEDY

OR, THE MISSES AND THE MASSEUSE

BY THEODOSIA GARRISON

    The dame unto her masseuse spake,
      With sad and downcast mien,
    “Woe’s me that I have grown so stout,
    Both up and down and all about:
      I would be long and lean.”

    “Dear Madam, on my guidance lean,
      ’T were mean to do you wrong;
    Rely upon my means and taste,
    And some day you shall have the waist,
      The waist for which you long.”

    She murmured “But it takes so long,
      To get results--I mean.”
    Oh, what a cruel waste is that
    That makes a person short and fat
      Who would be long and lean.


Just as we were going to press with this page we were fortunate enough
to discover another rymbel by Mr. Herford which, though it displays a
note almost of inconstancy in his nature, is gladly published below.


“ON REVIENT TOUJOURS À SON PREMIER AMOUR”

BY OLIVER HERFORD

    O! Seraphine, my Seraphine!
      When first I saw your face
    Flash by me in your limousine,
    Methought there ne’er before was seen
      Such loveliness, such grace.

    Dear Grace! her image glows as bright
      Upon my heart to-day
    As when, a vision of delight,
    She first rejoiced my raptured sight,
      One afternoon in May.

    ’Twas then I took fair May to be
      My bride, and I was true,
    Or nearly so. I fail to see,
    Considering my constancy,
      What grounds May had to sue.

    “And what became of Sue?” you say.
      Alas! I have not seen
    Excepting, in a casual way,
    A sign of Susan since the day
      I first met Seraphine.


~Mr. Ellis Parker Butler~ recently submitted, in a spirit of adventure,
a story to the editors of ~The Century~. The function of an editor
being to criticize and find fault, it was suggested to Mr. Butler, as
tactfully and as humanely as the seriousness of his misdemeanors would
permit, that some changes in the story might possibly improve it.
Breathless, we print his reply--without comment.


E. P. BUTLER LITERATURE FACTORY

        242 State St., Flushing, N. Y.

      _Department of
    Corrections and Repairs._

            April 30, 1913.

    The Century Magazine, New York.

  _Dear Sir_--

  Regarding your memo. of yesterday in regard to the 1913 model story
  recently purchased by you from this company, would say we cannot
  understand why you have found so many repairs necessary.

  While we only guarantee our product for one year from date of
  purchase, all goods are examined before shipment, and should reach
  you in good condition, and stand any ordinary wear and tear for
  twelve months. We cannot understand your complaint. Is it not
  possible you have allowed sand to get in the gear-box of the story?

  However, we are shipping you by this same mail material to replace
  the unsatisfactory parts, Nos. 13 and 14, and trust that, with these
  in place, the purchase will give you good satisfaction. In case of
  any further trouble please address this department.

        Yours very truly,
      E. P. Butler Literature Factory,
          _Per_ E. P. B.

    E. P. B./E. P. B.

    _In answering this communication
    please refer to Correction No. 987564._


LIMERICKS

TEXT AND PICTURES BY OLIVER HERFORD


[Illustration]


THE ETERNAL FEMININE

    Said the spider, in tones of distress:
    “As a spinster I’m not a success.
        Though I toil and I spin
        And I work myself thin,
    I never can have a new dress.”


[Illustration]


TRA-LA-LARCENY

    A heathen named Min, passing by
    A pie-shop, picked up a mince-pie.
        If you think Min a thief,
        Pray dismiss the belief:
    The mince-pie that Min spied was Min’s pie.



                     THE DE VINNE PRESS, NEW YORK





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