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Title: The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, September, 1913
 - Vol. LXXXVI, No. 5
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, September, 1913
 - Vol. LXXXVI, No. 5" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


                          Transcriber’s Notes

    This e-text is based on ‘The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine,’
    from September, 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. Footnotes have been moved to the end of the
    corresponding article.

    _Underscores_ have been used to indicate italic text in the
    original; ~tilde characters~ have been applied to denote small



  © H. H.    Half-tone plate, engraved for ~The Century~ by H. Davidson



(The leading figure: Mr. Milburn. Second figure: Mr. Whitney, captain.
Figure in background: Mr. Lawrence Waterbury. Figure on the right: Mr.
J. M. Waterbury.)]

                        ~The Century Magazine~

            ~Vol. LXXXVI~      SEPTEMBER, 1913      ~No. 5~

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



  ~Avocats, Les deux.~ From the
    painting by                           _Honoré Daumier_
                                                        Facing page  654

  ~Book of his Heart, The~                _Allan Updegraff_          701
      Picture by Herman Pfeifer.

    The “Elite” Bathing-Dress.            _Reginald Birch_           797
    From Grave to Gay.                    _C. F. Peters_             798

  ~Century, the, The Spirit of~           _Editorial_                789

  ~Choate, Joseph H.~ From a charcoal
    portrait by                           _John S. Sargent_
                                                        Facing page  711

  ~Clown’s Rue.~                          _Hugh Johnson_             730
      Picture, printed in tint, by
        H. C. Dunn.

  ~Country Roads of New England.~
      Drawings by                         _Walter King Stone_        668

  ~Dormer-Window, the, The Country of~    _Henry Dwight Sedgwick_    720
      Pictures by W. T. Benda.

  ~Down-town in New York.~
      Drawings by                         _Herman Webster_           697

  ~Juryman, the, The Mind of~             _Hugo Münsterberg_         711

  ~Life After Death.~                     _Maurice Maeterlinck_      655

  ~Louise.~ Color-Tone, from the
    marble bust by                        _Evelyn Beatrice Longman_
                                                        Facing page  766

  ~Love by Lightning.~                    _Maria Thompson Daviess_   641
      Pictures, printed in tint,
        by F. R. Gruger.

  ~Oregon Muddle,” “The~                  _Victor Rosewater_         764

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

  ~Uncommercial Traveler, An, in London~  _Theodore Dreiser_         736
      Pictures by W. J. Glackens.

  ~Venezuela Dispute, the, The Monroe
    Doctrine in~                          _Charles R. Miller_        750
      Cartoons from “Punch,” and a map.

  ~Wall Street, The News in~              _James L. Ford_            794
      Pictures by Reginald Birch and May
        Wilson Preston.

  ~Whistler, A Visit to~                  _Maria Torrilhon Buel_     694

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

  ~World Reformers--and Dusters.~         _The Senior Wrangler_      792
      Picture by Reginald Birch.


  ~Continued in the Ads.~                 _Sarah Redington_          795

  ~Gentle Reader, The~                    _Arthur Davison Ficke_     692

  ~Lady Clara Vere de Vere: New Style.~   _Anne O’Hagan_             793
      Picture by E. L. Blumenschein.

  ~Last Faun, The~                        _Helen Minturn Seymour_    717
      Picture, printed in tint, by
        Charles A. Winter.

      Text and pictures by Oliver Herford.
    XXXIV.  The Conservative Owl.                                    799
    XXXV.   The Omnivorous Book-worm.                                800

  ~Ritual.~                               _William Rose Benét_       788

      Pictures by Oliver Herford.
    A Rymbel of Rhymers.                  _Carolyn Wells_            796
    The Prudent Lover.                    _L. Frank Tooker_          797
    On a Portrait of Nancy.               _Carolyn Wells_            797

  ~Submarine Mountains.~                  _Cale Young Rice_          693

  ~Wise Saint, The~                       _Herman Da Costa_          798
      Picture by W. T. Benda.



Author of “The Melting of Molly,” “Andrew the Glad,” “Miss Selina Lue,”


Love is the début of a woman’s soul from the darkness under Adam’s left
ribs into the sunshine of the Garden of Eden and his presence. It is
heavenly, but very much like a major operation attended by convulsions,
and I am going to write you the whole truth about it, my dear Evelyn,
and not present to you an unadorned feminine version. It is going to be
hard, for I’ve only been practising concise veracity for a little over
a month, and if I am crude in places, you must forgive me.

What did it?

Aunt Grace, my unfilial virago of a disposition, and the will of God.

Please don’t let it make you uncomfortable to have me speak of Him in
this friendly fashion, for He is in the story, and I can’t help it.
Besides, that is part of what I want to tell you about.

The first of May, mother came home from a visit to Aunt Grace in
Louisville with the most peculiar little man led by a halter for me. He
has a title, genuine brand. Elizabeth Gentry is going to marry him now,
and she’ll write you all about it. Aunt Grace had selected him in Rome
at Easter, and told him the round numbers of the fortune Grandmother
Wickliffe left me. She had instructed mother minutely as to my joyous
and appreciative course of action toward him, and you know how my
maternal parent is about Aunt Grace. I want to record it of father that
he received the duke with a recoil, and went to New Orleans the next
morning for an indefinite stay.

Of course the little man is a human being, but I consider the United
States as fortunate that it is not now in complications with Italy over
the murder of one of her scions by an enraged Tennessee woman. Two
days after his arrival, and only several hours after the first time he
tried to possess his funny little paws of my very garden-burned hand,
I packed a few of my belongings in three trunks and a steamer-bag and
departed to find Dudley. He is such a perfectly satisfactory brother
that, since my earliest youth, I have always felt it best to flee to
him when I feel a tantrum coming on. They don’t disturb the even tenor
of his life in the least.

“Oh, Nell!” was all mother had the courage to say, when so far away
from Aunt Grace, at the announcement of my intention.

“My brother is ill up in the Harpeth Hills, and _I_ must go to him,”
was all I said to the duke.

That was the feminine version of a line in Dudley’s last letter, saying
he had caught a heavy cold sleeping out without his blanket while with
one of his gangs marking lumber on Old Harpeth. But I did take his
grace to call on Elizabeth before I departed. I will say that much for

With it all I had left home in such a whirl of hurry and rage that I
hadn’t had time really to realize myself until I sat in my seat and
watched the train begin to wind around and around the foot-hills that
lead up from the valley. And I must say that realization of myself was
not much in the way of amusement. Why should I have left mother in a
huff just because she is Aunt Grace’s obedient sister? Isn’t she also
my browbeaten parent? And why rudely abandon the little nobleman, who
was my guest, for trying to kiss my hand, which has been used for any
old purpose, from digging worms for Dudley to fish with to supplying a
surface to be pressed by Bobby Gentry’s adolescent bristles, even unto
the mustache he at present flourishes? And others, too! No, I couldn’t
honestly approve of myself, as hard as I tried.

And, to make it worse, the very day itself was a balmy, pliant,
feminine thing, with not a bluster in its disposition to harmonize with
mine. There was a soft bridal veil of spring mist all over the Harpeth
Valley, behind which the orchards were blushing pink and white, while
by noon, as we began to go up the hills, I caught a whiff of that
indescribable, lilting honeysuckle note that comes in the June rhapsody
in the Alleghanies. You remember it, don’t you, deary, even if you do
live in an enchanted Breton garden with a husband who sings? I’m going
to remember it in heaven.

No, I wasn’t very well pleased with myself, and I got more and more
serious on the subject the higher the train crawled up toward the
crown of Old Harpeth. If a naturally conscientious person has such
a bad disposition that she finds it impossible to accept any form of
criticism from other people, then she is ethically obliged to chastise
her own self, which is the refinement of psychical cruelty.

By three o’clock the only way I could drag myself out of the depths was
by remembering how Aunt Grace’s nostrils distend while she insinuates
to mother in my presence what an unsatisfactory daughter I am. I can
always get up a rage with that mental picture. That is, I could; now it
is different, because--but that is what I am going to tell you about.

Of course I knew that Dudley’s letters all went to Crow Point, and the
ticket-man had told me that we got there at five-fifty. That hour was
not dark--quite, I knew, and I decided that I would have plenty of time
to drive across the ridge to his camp at Pigeon Creek.

Isn’t it a good thing for women that they can’t take peeps into what is
going to happen to them next? Men could digest their disclosed futures
complacently, but on account of pure excitement, women never in the
world could even sufficiently masticate theirs to swallow them.

“Is it far from Crow Point to Pigeon Creek?” I asked the conductor, by
way of amusing myself.

“About one horse-pull,” he answered lucidly, as he went to help a woman
and eleven children off at Hitch It.

I’m glad now he was no more explicit.

Crow Point was just a little farther along the road than Hitch It, and
we got there before I had time to ask him any more questions. Purple
dusk was just hovering over the mountain-top, as if uncertain about
settling down upon it for the night, when the train stopped. He called
Crow Point, and I jumped off--the universe.

I stood for a few minutes, with my mind tottering.

“Looking for anybody, little gal?” came a drawl from out the twilight
just in time to keep me from running after the train to try and tell
them that I didn’t want to be left alone in the mountains at dark. A
man sat all hunched up on the tree-trunk that supported one end of
the huge log which represented the station platform of Crow Point,
whittling a small stick.

“Is this Crow Point?” I gasped from the depths of both consternation
and amazement as I looked from him to the three trunks stacked on the
ground by the rustic platform.

“Sure am,” was the answer, as the small red slivers of wood flew.

“Is this--this all of it?” I asked, this time less from consternation
than astonishment.

“Well, they is a few more of us,” he answered. “Was you a-looking for
any of us in particular?”

“Mr. Dudley Gaines,” I answered in a manner that bordered on the
lofty, as if I felt that the status of my family must be much the same
commanding one at Crow Point that it was down in Hillsboro.

“I reckon you’ll have to holler that loud enough to reach about
twenty-five miles acrost to Pigeon Creek, gal, if you want to git him,”
was the unimpressed answer.

“Twenty-five miles!” I spoke less haughtily this time. “Can’t I get
there to-night?”

“You could ef you had started this time last night,” was the practical

Suddenly the fact that I was planted down in the wilderness of gigantic
mountains, alone except for one aborigine of the masculine gender,
overpowered me so that I sank down on the log and became much meeker in
manner and spirit.

“What’ll I do?” I asked, and this time my words were nothing more than
a subdued and respectful peep.

“Wall, I reckon Stivers and missus will have to take you in for the
night,” answered the native, with a condescending drawl. “They might
not, but you mentioned young Gaines’s name. We ’most shot him for a
revenue when he first came, but he’s brought a sight of good work
amongst us, and lives like he was fellow-man with all. Be you his
sister or his woman?”

“Sister,” I answered, taking a grain of courage at thus hearing
Dudley’s name mentioned as that of a prominent citizen of the

“Yes, Stivers had a cross on his gun for Dud, and he mighty nigh got
a bloodstain to smear on it ’fore he found out that he were just a
logger. But Stivers’ll take you in, I reckon, now he knows you belong
to his tribe, though his cabin is so small you couldn’t cuss a cat
without getting hair in your teeth.”

“Where do Mr. and Mrs. Stivers live?” I ventured, with a shudder at the
taste of cat-hair in my mouth.

“Round behind that crag and woodland there,” he answered as he turned
the stick and looked at it critically in the fading light. “You can go
on by yourself, or, if you want to wait until I whittle this little end
slimmer, I can take you along with me. They is going to be a ruckus
kind of a meetin’ of the gang there to-night, but they won’t nothing
but dark draw the boys outen the bushes.”

“I’ll wait,” I answered trustfully, preferring to appear at the
hostelry under the care of a strange man than risk the woods alone.
Necessity is the stepmother of many conventions.

And there I sat on a companionable log beside a perfectly strange
outlaw who had been talking about notches on guns and blood-splotches,
waiting for him to whittle down the end of a stick exactly to satisfy
his artistic tastes before accompanying me through a dark strip of
woodland to the hospitable roof of a moonshiner, in hopes I would be
taken in to spend the night thereunder.

And I must proudly and truthfully record it of myself that I bore the
situation in dignified and complacent terror, sitting humbly still
while the moonshiner slowly peeled tiny pink shavings off the end of
the stick for what seemed like centuries to me. My interior was a small
Vesuvius of disposition, frozen over temporarily, and I even had the
strength to marvel at my own control of it.

Finally he held his work of art close to his eyes to see the point in
the dusk, which had deepened by the moment, tested it on his finger
carefully several times, peered at it again, and then nonchalantly
threw it away in the grass.

“Come on and follow,” he said in commanding and indifferent mien as I
rose to accompany him.

And follow him I did, in true squaw fashion, about ten paces behind.
I was surprised he didn’t ask me to carry his gun, a long, heavy
ante-bellum weapon that rested carelessly in the hollow of his arm.
I’d have done it with the greatest graciousness if he had handed it to
me. A frightened woman easily lapses into savagery, and is willing to
accept impedimenta in the rear of man in times of danger.

And, as we walked, the shadows got blacker and blacker, and the
tree-tops lowered lower and lower in their thick gloom. Every few
minutes something furry, like the hallucination of a gigantic mouse,
would scurry across our path, or a great creaky croak would be hurled
at our heads from the groaning branches above. And, with every fresh
horror, I got closer to the heels of the human animal in front of me,
until I was in danger of having my nose skinned by the barrel of the
gun, or stepping on the protruding heels of his heavy boots, into
which his faded overalls were stuffed. My knees may have trembled, but
I assure you I kept pace with grim determination through what seemed
endless miles of that haunted woodland.

And as we tramped along in silence, my mood of self-depreciation, which
had seized me on the train, again asserted itself, and my alarmed
mentality was saying sternly that it had warned my proud spirit
that such catastrophes would be the result of my headlong course of
wilfulness, when we came out of the darkness into a clearing where a
cabin stood, from which a dim light shone.

“Stivers’,” remarked my guide, fluently. “So long,” he added tersely,
and disappeared again into the woods by another path. At the time I
wondered if he could be troubled by the conventions. I did him an
injustice; I know now it was a horse hitched on the other side of the

For more than a few long minutes I stood and pondered with panicky
indecision over just what to do, the wood with its nightmares on the
one hand, and the unknown on the other. I chose the unknown, and
plunged in as I faltered up to the open door of the small two-room hut.

Suddenly two doors were shut hurriedly in the darkness, and I heard
the scuffling of heavy feet as a man appeared in the flare of the dim
candle in the front room and peered at me cautiously.

“What do you want?” was the hospitable greeting that issued from the
cavern of his huge chest.

“Mr. Dudley Gaines,” I answered, using instinctively the name of
introduction that I had seen succeed a few minutes earlier.

“He ain’t here; but if you are his woman, come in,” was the answer, and
as Dudley’s property I entered the Stivers’s abode.

Even in my tragic situation for an instant my temper rose. Why should
man’s possession justify the existence of a woman in the eyes of the
primitive? However, masculine justification of life is a delicious
feeling to a woman in a dark and fearful wood and--But I’ll tell you
about that later.

With becoming gravity and timidity I entered the living-room of the
moonshiner’s hut, and weakly seated myself in a chair he pointed out to
me in a corner by an open window.

“Brat’s got fits, and the woman is out there tending it,” was my host’s
ample excuse for the non-appearance of my hostess.

At his words my heart jumped and then stood still. I had never been in
the house with a fit before, and the feeling was gruesome, coming so
close on the heels of the woolly, furry things in the woods.

Then as I poised myself on the edge of the chair, holding on tight to
keep myself from running out into the night, an eery wail came from
the back of the house, and I collapsed on the seat, with a queer,
suffocating pain in the place of that jump. I had never noticed a
child’s cry before, and something moved in the region of my solar

“Can’t--can’t something be done?” I ventured in desperation.

“Naw,” came the answer in a drawl. “I reckon it is bound fer kingdom
come this trip sure. Leader will take a look at it when he comes in fer
a round-up of the gang. They’ll all be late to-night, on ’count of some
dirty business over at Hitch It. If you want to go to bed, that’s the
best bed in the lean-to out there we keep for over-nights. Better git
settled and outen the way ’fore the gang gits here. They’re ’most too
rough fer calico like you to stay around, and there’ll be a big fight
on ’fore it’s over. Leader is snorting rough over that knifing at Hitch
It, and somebody’ll be cut down with power by him ’fore he’s done with
it. The woman is too upsot with the kid to see to you; but bedding is
all you need, now dark has come. Better git to cover right away.”

[Illustration: Drawn by F. R. Gruger. Color-Tone, engraved for ~The
Century~ by H. Davidson


As he was speaking, he took the candle and led the way into a
little shed-room, while I followed with trembling knees, and the jelly
of fear quivering all over my body. Every moonshine murder about which
I had ever read in the papers trod in martial array before my mental
eyes, and my breath was just a flutter between my chattering teeth. It
really is a triumph of the survival of the life force in the human body
that I am alive to tell the tale to you to-day.

“They’s light enough from the window for you to roll in,” the man said
as he pointed to a low bed, built of logs and boughs along the wall
next to the front room. “Better git to cover and stay there, a calico
like you, with the boys as rough as they be; you mightn’t like ’em. I
reckon they better not know you’re here, on ’count of the row that’s
coming over that knifing; so lay close.”

And even before he had time to depart with his candle, I made a dive
beneath the patched quilt, only grasping my hat in my hand instead of
keeping it on my head. Then, as still as my trembling limbs would let
me, I lay close to the rough, thin, pine planks that separated me from
what seemed the only other human being in the world. And for hours it
seemed I lay there and panted and groveled in spirit with terror and
helplessness, waiting, waiting, for something dreadful to happen, and
almost wishing it would come and be over.

Across the mountain-tops there began to be distant mutterings of
thunder, and in the flashes of lightning I could see restless, dark
birds wing by the small window. And save for the thunderings, there was
a stillness that must have been on the waters before the first dawn
reigned. I could hear my heart beat like a muffled motor, and only the
uncanny wail broke the silence now and again, while once I thought I
heard a woman’s stifled moan that sent a shudder to the very core of my

And as I lay and cowered in that darkness, the mood of self-realization
came back upon me, and alone in that terror of blackness I turned at
bay and faced myself. Was that coward thing I that lay helpless while a
woman alone moaned away the life of her tortured child, and a plan for
murder was plotted with my full knowledge? Why didn’t I run out into
that dreadful night and warn the victim, stop him from stepping into
the dreadful trap laid for him? And right then I impeached myself. I
had been guarded and fended and had all humanity nurtured out of me,
so that, rather than risk my own pitiful little life, I was willing to
“lie close” and let my brother human be murdered in cold blood.

“But women are weak,” I argued in my own defense, “and terrible,
wolfish things like these they cannot control or prevent. They must let
them take their course.”

“Weak women have steeled themselves to the saving of their brothers and
sisters centuries long,” came the still, small voice that seemed to be
hovering over my breast.

“I can’t risk my own life for that of a rough moonshiner who probably
spends his time whittling a stick to throw away,” I sobbed in answer to

“What more important thing than whittling a stick do you do with your
life?” came the question, relentlessly.

“Nothing,” I sobbed under my breath, as a vision of all the nothings I
had done in my life came before me with a flash of the lightning that
seemed to illumine the inside of the very inner me.

“And that other woman suffering in there, why don’t I go to her?” I
demanded of myself, and failed to find an answer.

“Afraid of the roughness of some mountain man who would scarcely dare
harm your brother’s ‘woman’?” I asked contemptuously from above my own
breast. “You a ‘woman,’ if you let another woman watch her child die

Desperate at this goad, I sat up, and was pushing back the quilt, when
the muffled sound of heavy boots came from across the clearing, and in
another flash I saw a file of men, each one of whom looked ten feet
tall, each with a gun on his arm, come out of the black woods and turn
to the front of the house. I melted back to cover, and lay drawing
breath like a drowning man.

Quietly they came into the room next to that in which I was hiding, and
their drawly voices had a subdued and terrible sound as they exchanged
a few remarks in guarded tones.

“Leader come?” one man asked from so near the pine board against which
I trembled that he couldn’t have been a foot away from me.

“Naw; and Bill is waiting in the woods to ketch him ’fore he gits here,
if he kin,” came the mumble of my host’s big voice.

“It’ll be nip and tuck ’twixt ’em, and lay out the worst man feet due
west,” another voice took up the gruesome chorus.

“That’s Bill now, coming outen the woods,” exclaimed Stivers,
ominously. “I reckon he thinks he missed Leader. Don’t nobody say
nothing when he comes in, but let him set and wait for his knock-out.
Nobody’s business but Leader’s.”

Listening frantically, I heard the doomed man’s hesitating feet shuffle
into the room and the chair groan as he took his seat amid the glum

And there I lay, and with Bill I waited I didn’t know for what, some
nameless horror that would kill the life in me and make me a dishonored
thing all my life--a human too cowardly to cry out the word of warning
to another of God’s creatures. And through it all the little child
wailed and the woman moaned.

Then in the midst of another thick muttering from the head of Old
Harpeth, which was followed by a vivid flash, I heard another pair of
feet step on the threshold of the cabin. I cowered under the quilt,
held my breath, and took the bullet into my own heart--or thought I did.

Then high and clear through the flash of the lightning, over the
mutterings of the thunder and the scuffle of the men’s feet,
accompanied by a glad cry from the moaning woman, there came a voice
of an archangel singing in tones of command that thrilled that whole
mountain until it seemed to shake with its reverberations:

    “Stand up! stand up for Jesus!
      Ye soldiers of the cross;
    Lift high His royal banner,
      It must not suffer loss.”

I lay still, and something poured into my heart that was a peace made
from the glory of the storm, the moan of the woman, and the song of
a dawn-bird. Out of the darkness my soul came like--I think I partly
expressed it in the first sentence of this confession, if you will turn
back and see, Evelyn dear.

After the men had sung the wonderful old hymn through to its very last

    “To him that overcometh
      A crown of life shall be;
    He with the King of Glory
      Shall reign eternally,”

Bill and I kept very still and took our “knock-out.”

Bill had stuck a knife into a gallant over at Hitch It for offering to
exchange snuff-sticks with Malinda Budd, and I could easily detect a
decided vein of sympathy in the voice of Leader while he administered
a rousing reproof to the knife, but extolled the use of fists in such
cases, much to the approval of the rest of the gang.

In fact, that was the greatest sermon ever spoken in the English
language on the theme of justice, courage, feminine protection, manly
dignity, and brotherly love, and it was done in about five minutes, I
should say. Every word of it hit Bill fair and square, and me also, to
say nothing of all the rest of the world. During the last minute and
a half of the discourse the men were indulging in muttered “Ahmens”
and “Glory be’s,” and I could hardly restrain myself from throwing off
the quilt and--well, you know, Evelyn, that Grandmother Wickliffe was
a pillar in the Methodist Church of Hillsboro, and at times of great
emotion, during the visit of the presiding elder, she did--shout. Aunt
Grace never likes to hear it mentioned.

Now, let me see, this is just about the beginning of the real story,
and I am so anxious to tell it all, though I really feel a hesitancy.
However, when I am through with the letter, I can leave out any part of
it that doesn’t sound seemly for me to tell about him--and me, can’t I?

To begin with, I hardly know how to make you understand about that
baby’s stomach, and how near a tragedy it was. Don’t laugh! I tremble
when I think about it, and I don’t ever believe I’ll learn to do it
to them. I hope I won’t have to practise on one of my own first; but,
then, it would be awful to kill another woman’s baby experimenting on
it, wouldn’t it? I’d better not think about that now, or I can’t tell
the rest of the story.

Well, after the doxology had been sung by the strange Gabriel in the
next room, accompanied by some really lovely rough men’s voices, and
he had sent them away so he could see to the sick baby in the other
room, I lay still and had a racking, glorious experience. For the first
time in my life I really prayed to Something that answered in the dark.
I didn’t have much to say for myself, but a great Gentleness reached
down and laid hold of me for always, and I can never be lost from Him
any more, and I knew it. _Now_, I have been taught that it is called
the witness of the spirit, and it’s what Grandmother Wickliffe had.
But I didn’t inherit it; I had to find it myself, and I got it through
tribulation, by the way of Gabriel’s song in the terror of the night,
followed by the sermon to Bill.

And while I was lying there under the quilt, just shouting in my soul
with ancestral ardor, I was called to come forth and attest my new
convictions. And I did. If I hadn’t got that faith in God just a few
minutes before on the wings of a great emotion, I never could have
steeled myself to taking that awful purple, twitching baby and helping
Gabriel do the dreadful things to it he did. I would have taken to the
woods at the first look at it. But I know now that I had got the real
religion that darts right through the emotions, and prods you up to do
things. And I did them.

“It’ll die, and I can’t hold it,” whimpered the poor exhausted mother
when Gabriel told her to hold the baby’s mouth open while he poured in
the hot water. At that time I was still safe and rejoicing over myself
under the quilt.

“You must hold him while I wash him out, or he _will_ die. Come, brace
up and help me!” I heard Gabriel plead to the poor creature, with
positive agony in his voice, while the baby moaned.

“No use, Leader; I’ve done give’ up,” and I heard her fling herself on
the floor and begin to moan in chorus with the baby.

It took me just half a minute to get to my feet, into that other room,
and that baby in my arms, as awful to look at as it was. Of course it
seemed as if God was honoring me by crowding works on my new faith
pretty closely, and how I got through with such credit I don’t see; but
I did.

“You’ll have to show me just what to do; I never touched a baby before,
but I will try to help,” I said to Gabriel, who was looking at me in
an absolute astonishment and devout thankfulness that encouraged my
new-found capableness.

“A woman, thank God!” I heard him mutter before he spoke.

“Tip him on your arm, hold his head close against your breast, with
your finger down his throat, while I pour in this hot water; then turn
him over on your knee quick when it is about to come up. He is full of
fried potatoes, and that is what is making the spasms. I’ll hold his
legs with my left hand, so he can’t kick away from you. We must get
down enough of this water to bring up all of the potatoes.”

Gabriel’s voice was quick and respectful, as if he were speaking to
somebody that had as much intellect and manual training as himself. I
suppose that is what helped me through with those dreadful hours of
time that it took to work up that awful potato--that and the positive
way I said:

“Now, God, help me, please, and quick!”

At last it all came forth, and I don’t suppose it really was hours; but
the baby was apparently done for.

“No use, Leader; his time have come. She’s buried five out thar in the
clearing at jest about his age. Let the little critter go in peace,”
said Stivers, who had come in through the back door. His rough voice
had a note of suffering in it, though he lit his pipe by a coal from
the fire calmly enough.

But at the mention of the five little graves out in that awful night,
the poor woman on the floor groveled up on to her knees and caught at
my skirts.

“God help you!” said Gabriel, gently, to her. “He’s rid of the poison,
but so collapsed that there seems nothing more to do.”

“Yes, and I’m going to help God help her,” I said suddenly, and I rose
from the chair to walk the floor with the limp, white thing that had
been the purple horror in my arms. “I didn’t know how to unpoison him,
but if it’s strength and heat he needs, I can give him that,” and I
held the tiny mountaineer close against my bare breast, from which
his poor little convulsed fingers had torn all the foolish lace and
embroidered linen.

“If a physician were here, he would try transfusion; the child is
anemic, anyway,” said Gabriel, thoughtfully.

“We don’t need any physician but God to get my heat and strength into
him. I only wish I had on a real flannel petticoat, as a decent woman
ought to have for cases of emergency like this, to wrap him in. This
old piece of blanket isn’t real wool.”

“Poor folks can’t buy much but shoddy these days,” said Stivers, with
glum resentfulness.

“Here, my shirt’s the thing,” said Leader, and as quick as one of the
flashes that came in the window with the thunder mutterings, he had
peeled off his own gray flannel blouse, and was wrapping it around the
baby, and tucking it close over my breast.

“Now fight, and I’m with you,” he said as he looked straight into my
eyes in the dim light.

“He isn’t going to die; he’s got a right to live, and he’s going to do
it, God helping,” I answered, as I got a firm grasp of the mite on my
left arm, and put my warm right hand over the poor little collapsed

And then for what seemed hours of eternity I walked and rubbed and
hugged that limp baby, while I prayed inside my own vitals to the tune
of “Stand up.” Stivers stood smoking sullenly by the fire, the mother
lay on the floor, moaning, and Gabriel stood over by the window, with
his bare shoulders gleaming comfortingly with every flash of lightning.
And the knowledge that all three of those strong, useful real people
were depending upon ignorant, foolish me to lead the fight for that
poor little life made the new wings of my spirit raise themselves and
soar out into some wonderful space I had never been in before, but
through which I knew the way and could take the baby with me.

How long I plodded across and across that rickety floor of the cabin I
don’t know, but once I staggered as I came near Gabriel at the window,
and my right shoulder sagged under its burden. Then, as I faltered and
felt that I must stop and sink on the floor, a strong, warm, bare arm
came around me, and under my arm around the baby, while a shoulder
braced itself against mine, as Gabriel swung into step with me.

“Keep fighting,” he said deep in his throat.

And again I soared away with the baby up to where God was there to help

Then suddenly we both were brought back to earth by my feeling him
stir, and huddle closer to my breast, while the limp little knees found
strength to press themselves in against the ribs over my heart.

“Oh!” I sobbed with a quick breath.

The mother moaned, and Gabriel steadied us both closer. He thought the
baby was dead, I knew.

“Want to give him to me?” he asked gently.

“No, I don’t,” I answered jerkily enough to sound like a snap; “but
wipe the perspiration out of my eyes. He’s getting hot now, and I’m
melting, but I don’t dare stop hugging and patting. Make his mother
understand he’s getting all right.”

But nobody has to make a mother understand when her baby is saved. The
poor creature just gave one pitiful gasp, and went to nice, comfortable
crying instead of moaning. It was lovely to hear hearty boohoos, though
she never said a word except to ask Stivers for her snuff-stick, which
he attentively swabbed in the can before he handed it to her.

“You can’t go on walking and joggling forever; sit down and rock and
rest with him,” suggested Gabriel, timidly and respectfully, after he
had passed a nice, cool, linen handkerchief all over my hot face for
me, even with intelligence enough to wipe in the hollow under my chin.

“Not now; he’s squirming deliciously, and I don’t dare. Suppose he
should go limp again,” I answered fearfully.

“He’s due to drop off to sleep now,” announced Leader in such a
positive, though kind, voice that almost immediately young Stivers
obediently turned himself a bit, settled in a nice, soggy way, and I
could feel the little lungs so near mine begin to draw breath in a
regular, good sound sleep.

I waited a minute to be sure, then sank with him into a chair beside
the fire.

“Yes, he’s all right now,” Leader said in a lovely, quiet voice,
with just a husky note of happiness in it as he gently raised into
his own strong hand one tiny paddie that had stolen up on my breast
from out the warm, gray shirt. For a wonderful second we were all
soul-becalmed together, and then he went over into the corner and
slipped on his khaki hunting-coat, which he had hung on a peg in the
wall, and decorously tied his silk handkerchief around his neck, in
true mountaineer fashion. He never did get that shirt again, for I
originated some remarkable bandages for young Stivers out of it next

[Illustration: Color-Tone, engraved for ~The Century~ by H. Davidson



Then he came back to the fire, and while I hovered the kiddie, the
mother came close on her knees and settled beside us, so that together
we took a worse ministerial drubbing than even Bill got for the
knifing episode, delivered in a voice of such heavenly sympathy that
Grandmother Wickliffe’s spirit again rose in me, and if it hadn’t been
for the baby, I believe she would have broken out this time in one good
shout. She hasn’t up to date, but I feel sure she will some day, and I
don’t always intend to restrain her manifestations.

The sermon this time had for its text the sacredness of the use of
the maternal fount for the young instead of promiscuous food, but it
embraced all the advanced feminist questions of the day, and was an
awful glorification and arraignment of human females all in one breath.
Why don’t women begin to know what dreadful and wonderful creatures
they really are earlier in life? The knowledge comes with an awful
shock when it does come, and ought to be experienced while young. I had
taken Bill’s sermon to heart, but that one to Mrs. Stivers I got right
in the center of my soul. It is still there.

And when it was over, the poor mother was kneeling by the fire, with
the baby at her breast, sobbing and crooning softly as she rocked it to
and fro in its deep sleep.

“It’s suffocating in here, now that it is all over. Don’t you want to
come out and watch the storm?” Gabriel asked me in a low voice as he
stood beside me looking down on the comfortable pair on the hearth.
“Don’t be afraid. It is a great one, mostly electrical, and will likely
go on all night this way. It makes the atmosphere almost unendurably
heavy. Do you want to watch it from the bluff there at the end of the
clearing? You can look down and see it at play in the valley.”

“Please,” I answered, catching the word in the middle with a breath
that was a sob in retreat.

Then before I knew it, or how, we were seated together on a big rock
that jutted out from the edge of the world. The cabin, with its one or
two dim lights, loomed with shadowy outlines behind us, and tall trees
hugged us close on both sides; but before us and beneath us was a wild,
black, turbulent night.

“Now look down into the valley when the next flash comes,” Gabriel said
with a note of excitement sounding in his deep voice that matched the
wind through the trees.

Then just as he finished speaking, a slow, steady sheet of light came
and lit up the world below us. The fields in their spring garments,
embroidered by the threads of silver creeks, lay lush and green, dotted
by farm-houses in which dim lights twinkled, bouqueted by glowing pink
orchards, and outlined by blooming hedges. Tall trees were massed along
the edges of the meadows and the river-banks, and among them the white
lines of the old sycamores gleamed in masses of high lights. And in the
wild, soft wind that rushed up the mountain-sides and flung itself upon
us there was mingled the tang of the honeysuckle and rhododendron with
the sweetness of the orchards and pungence of newly plowed earth.

Then as suddenly as the picture had risen before our eyes it sank back
into the purple blackness, and I caught my breath with the glory of it.

“And God made it!” I exclaimed softly, with the last sob that had been
left in my heart caught from my mouth by the wind.

“‘The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and
they that dwell therein,’” he answered, and the wind took his words as
if it had been waiting for them to carry across the mountains.

After that for several long minutes, I don’t know how many, I sat
silent in the windy blackness, with the tree-branches sighing and
crashing over our heads, and wild things rustling in the leaves and
bushes beside us, and wondered what was happening to me.

Of course I have been deadly afraid of a minister all my life, and
the times we have had the bishops and presiding elders and pastors to
dinner with us in honor of the memory of Grandmother Wickliffe have
been times of torture to me. I always thought, of course, they were not
real men, though the way they looked and their hearty appetites for
both viands and jokes kept them from seeming conventional angels; but
this Gabriel materialization that sat close to me on that rock, which
was the end of the universe, was a strong, heart-beating man, who alone
stood between me and the real wilderness of the woods and the awful
wilderness of my ignorant and convicted spirit. It was terrific, but
heavenly sweet.

“I know He made me,--I found that out to-night,--but I don’t see what
for, and I wish I knew why,” I said in the smallest voice I had ever
heard myself use; and this time there was just the echo of that last
sob left to sigh out on the wind.

“He saw I needed you pretty badly a few hours ago,” Gabriel said in
that delicious warm voice he had used to me to encourage me through the
worst baby chokings.

“I’ve always been a dreadful woman, and wanted to be more and more so
until I heard you sing ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ when I was dead and gone
from fear of your gun, and talk to Bill about loving the girl with the
snuff-stick in the right way, and the man, too, just because we are all
God’s children. I was lost, but Something found me in the dark just
before you and the baby did. I never belonged to anything or anybody
before, and even now how do I know that God wants me after the awful
way I have lived?” My words trailed in positive anguish.

“He does want you, woman dear. Take my word for that, or would you like
me to quote you about five hundred passages from His Book to prove it
to you?” He laughed as he said it in a wooing, comforting way that was
both manly and ministerial.

“You don’t know me. I’m a perfect stranger to you,” I answered with
agonizing honesty, because the regard of that man, whom I had never
seen a few hard, long hours before, was becoming very valuable to me,
and I felt afraid that if I didn’t warn him about myself before he took
me for a friend, I might not ever do it, but dishonestly make him like
me, as I have done to so many other men.

“We couldn’t be perfect strangers after the battle with those
potatoes--and after seeing what that flash revealed of the valley
together, could we?” he asked, with the amusement sounding still more
plainly in his voice. “And you know you heard me preach twice. Isn’t
that a kind of left-handed introduction?”

“People that are introduced to me don’t ever know me,” I answered
forlornly; for I felt that the time had come for me to confess my sins
before men, and this was the hardest man to do it to I had ever met,
and also the easiest.

“Then tell me about yourself. I’ve been wondering a bit since I
have had time. You answered a hurry-call I had to send above pretty
quickly,” he said in a beguiling and encouraging tone of voice that
sounded just as other agreeable men’s voices have sounded to me before,
only more so.

Just then a furry thing rustled in the bushes, and I moved an inch
nearer him. I felt him stir, but he sat comfortingly still. I didn’t
want him to move to me.

“The worst thing about me is that I am utterly and entirely worthless,”
I began, dropping the words out slowly in the dark. “If God made me, He
can’t help but be dreadfully disappointed in me, and wishing He hadn’t.
I’m just a wicked white kitten, with a blue ribbon around my neck,
kept in a basket, and fed the warm milk of other people’s work and

“That is not always the kitten’s fault,” said Gabriel, gently.

“It’s this kitten’s. My family would have liked for me to be
strong-minded and go to college and do things in the world. They’ve
tried to persuade me. Dudley, my brother, says I have got so much
brains held in solution that he is afraid some day something will
happen to precipitate them before the world is ready for them; but I
ignore them strenuously. My mother is the president of the Home Mission
Society that Grandmother Wickliffe founded, and Aunt Grace is state
president of the Colonial Daughters, and makes remarkable speeches. I
am just a large, white-skinned, well-fed, red-headed bunch of nothing,
and I don’t know how to get over it.”

“At least you are of the blessed company of the meek,” answered
Gabriel, this time with a real human chuckle that he might have used
if he had found three of a kind in a poker-hand.

“Oh, no, I’m not meek,” I hastened to assure him. “I’m the most
conceited woman on the earth, the vain kind of conceit that looks in
the glass and admires its black lashes and white teeth, and long curves
in good frocks, not the intellectual-attainment kind, that has some
excuse for existence. I know I’m beautiful, and I hugely enjoy it.”

“You sound beautiful by description, and a few flashes of lightning,
added to candle-light, bear you witness. Still, why shouldn’t you
appreciate the gifts God has made you? Beauty can have the most
wonderful influence in the world in the way of enjoyment for us people
at large. Use yours that way when no misguided potatoes call you.”
His voice was enthusiastic and delightful, and what he said about the
flashes of lightning made me blush so there in the dark that I was
sorry one didn’t come that minute and let him see it--the blush. That
thought, coming into my mind, cast me into the depths of humiliation
that I had had it about him.

“That’s the trouble,” I faltered in unhappy mortification at my
instability of character. “I use it to make other people miserable, and
know when I do it--men people and things like that.”

“Sometimes that isn’t fair, is it?” he asked after a minute’s pause.
“And yet women will do it. What makes them?”

“I don’t know,” I almost sobbed, but controlled it. “I never knew how
wrong it was until you talked to Bill about that snuff-stick girl, and
how he ought to feel about her, and influence her not to do other men
that way. I’m like her, only I do worse than snuff-sticks; and I enjoy
it. No, I know God doesn’t want a woman like that.”

“But perhaps you won’t be like that any more. I don’t believe you
could, after tasting to-night’s adventure. You lapped up that situation
pretty enthusiastically,” he said gently. But somehow there was a hint
of amusement in his voice that set my dreadful temper off for a second,
and made me wild to convince him of the depths of my sinfulness. I felt
that the occasion demanded his serious attention and not levity.

All my life my temper has been a whirlwind that rose and carried me to
the limit of things, and then beyond, without any warning. I thought
I was making a confession in a state of religious zeal, but I am
afraid it was just the same old rage. Religious zeal often takes these
peculiar forms of exaggerated temper, and often never finds itself out.
From this you’ll see I’m trying very hard to differentiate myself; but
it is difficult.

Then for minutes and minutes, and perhaps hours, I sat there in the
dark beside that strange man, and told him things that I had never told
anybody living, and some I had never admitted to myself. It came out
in a wailing, sobbing volume, and I trembled so that he had to take my
cold hand in his, I suppose to keep me from sliding off the rock down
into the valley.

I wonder if any woman before ever talked out her whole wild self into
a man’s ears? And I wonder if it shook him as it did this one out
under the lowering clouds and dark trees? When women habitually reveal
themselves to men, it is going to bring social revolution, and they
must go slow.

And I did go slow. I tried to be truly considerate of him. I began on a
few ridiculous misdemeanors that I am surprised I remembered of myself,
such as inconsiderate extraction of money from father by means of
unwarranted tantrums, impositions on my dear mother’s loving credulity
about some of my hunting forays with Bobby, when I left home riding
Lady Gray, side-style, only to fling a leg over Dudley’s Grit two
squares down the street, where Bobby was waiting with him for me.

It surprised me that he only chuckled delightedly, and wanted to know
just exactly who and what Bobby was or is.

But I couldn’t be diverted, and was determined to tell the whole tale.
I felt as if I must get one or two things off my conscience and on to
his. I went the whole length, and succeeded.

When I told him of that mad escapade at Louisville, while I was
visiting Aunt Grace, with Stanley Hughes and the supper party he gave
to that French dancing-girl in “The Bird-Flight,” when I got out of the
taxi and walked home in my satin slippers in the snow for ten blocks
rather than stay and have Stanley take me another block in the state
he was in, though I had done nothing to stop his drinking and laughed
at him, I heard him catch his breath and shudder.

I never told anybody before that it was a paper-knife in my hands that
ripped open Henry Hedrick’s cheek for an inch, down in his library
while Mamie was up-stairs putting their six-months’ old baby to bed,
and I was a guest in their house. In this case I had suspected how he
felt about me before I came, but had contemptuously ignored it because
I liked to be with Mamie. I told the last few minutes of that tale with
dry sobs breaking my words, and while I shook, he folded my cold hand
in both his warm ones, and I heard him mutter between his teeth:

“God love her and keep her!”

Then, after a long stillness, I crept closer to him, so that my head
bowed against his arm, and opened the very depths to him.

“I don’t think any woman ought to say this to any man,” I began from
very far down in my throat, “but you are a preacher, and that makes a
difference, and you won’t mind. I am disrespectful and ungrateful to
Aunt Grace about it when she is trying her level best to do it to me,
but--but I ought to get married. There are lots of wonderful women all
over the world who are doing gloriously without husbands, and living
happily forever after; but I’m not one. Some women have such frivolous
spirits that nothing but a good, firm husband and an enormous family
of children can ever chasten them. I’m one. I’ve always thought that
he’d find me some day long before I was ready for him--or them; but now
I’m afraid he’ll never come. I know he won’t.” I clung to his strong
fingers desperately.

“I think he will,” he answered as he kindly, but firmly, possessed
himself of his own hand and coat-sleeve, but in such a way as not to
hurt my feelings. “I seem to feel that he is well on the road, though
fighting hard,” he added in what sounded like mild exasperation or
desperation, I couldn’t tell which.

“No,” I answered, with pitiful sadness and real conviction--“no; I am
not worthy of him, and he won’t come. It is too late. God and you have
just taught me this dreadful night what a good woman really is, and now
I will have to be so busy trying all the rest of my life to be one
that I won’t have time to look for--that is, he won’t find me. I don’t
want anything but a good one, and if I’m being so good as all that,
how’ll I let him know I want him?”

“Maybe he’ll get a revelation,” answered Gabriel in a low and
controlled voice that seemed to come from the very fastnesses of
something within him.

And as he spoke I felt something warm and sweet and terrible stealing
over me; but I plunged forward in my confession, past the episode of
the duke, my traitorous flight from home, and up to the arrival at
Stivers’s, and the cowardly taking of refuge under the patchwork quilt.

“I misunderstood, and thought from the way the men talked that you were
going to kill Bill, and I was too much of a coward to run out and find
him in the dark and warn him. You see, I lay still and let Bill be
killed, whether you did it or not; and so I murdered him, even if he is
alive,” I deduced miserably.

“Dudley was wise to fear the precipitation of the logical part of
the solution,” Gabriel remarked so quietly that it seemed as if he
preferred that I shouldn’t hear him.

“Yes; and, you see, I am a common murderer as well as all the other
dreadful things. And I let that baby die, too, rather than go and
help the woman wash it outside and in, as you made me do. That is two
murders; and I’m another one for not knowing how to fill it up with hot
water and poke my finger down its throat and press the potatoes and
water up at the same time. I’m a woman, or I ought to be. It’s my life
business to know and perform ably such terrible and simple operations
on babies. That makes me three murderers. And how did I know that Bill
wouldn’t kill you at the same time you killed him, and Mr. Stivers

“Stop!” Gabriel exclaimed suddenly, and he was shaking so hard with
unseemly mirth that he shook me, too; for without being able to help
myself, I had been crowding closer and closer to him, until I was
burrowing right under his arm in the agonies of confession. “The
damages will be endless if you go on at this rate. How many of these
murders did you realize you were doing at the time you did ’em?”

“Only Bill,” I answered, after a few minutes of intense mental
suffering. “I knew I ought to go and sympathize with the mother of the
baby, but I didn’t know about that squeezing a baby’s stomach in the
right place; but, as I say, I ought to have known, and--I did throw
the quilt back to start to Mrs. Stivers when you came in. Please don’t

“Then you stand acquitted of all responsibility of faulty impulse
except about the murder of Bill, which didn’t come off,” Gabriel
answered in a gentle, serious, and respectful voice that soothed me
into a cheerful frame of mind over my crimes even before he had more
than half uttered the words. I felt hope for myself rise in my heart.

“And then--then you came to the door and began to sing ‘Stand up for
Jesus!’ so that eyes in my soul opened suddenly, and I saw Him standing
and looking pitifully down into my awful black heart, and I felt Him
reach out His hand to me in the darkness. I’ve always avoided and been
afraid of God before, but now do you think He feels about me as He did
the man on the other cross who had done awful things, I forget just
what, and as long as Bill and the baby are both alive, and I worked so
hard, He will forgive me and love me? And give me more awful work to
do? Tell me, and what you say I will believe.” I crouched at his knee
as I asked the question breathlessly.

“Oh, you wonderful, foolish woman, you! Don’t you know that the good
God knows and claims His own?” Gabriel answered, as he bent forward and
put his hand on the head that had bowed on his knee. For a heart-still
instant we trembled together, then he said quietly and humbly: “I give
up. All my life I have prayed that my ‘woman’ would be one who had seen
her Master face to face. Stumbling in the darkness, groping, both of
us, we found each other and--clung. Are you mine? God, dare I claim a
miracle such as You sent to Your servants of old? Have we together met
You in the bush, and is it burning? Can we believe that You mean to”--

Then suddenly, in the very midst of his prayer, came a great, white,
steady glare, which rent the black clouds above us and revealed us to
each other, like the sun at high noon. The very mountains seemed to
reel in it, and the forest behind us was stilled from the rack of the

And clasping his knees, I looked and looked into his eyes, down, down
until I found a light more blinding than that without, while I could
feel his searching mine sternly, solemnly, and with a hope so great
that I was tempted to cower, but was prevented by a fierce hunger that
rose in me and demanded. I don’t know how long the light lasted, but
when it went out, and had left us in the night, the ordeal was over,
and I was welded into his arms, and his lips were pouring out love to
me in broken words of blessing and demand.

“Are you real?” he whispered, with my cheek pressed hard against his,
and his arms terrific with tenderness. “Can I believe it is true? Can I
claim a miracle? Can I?”

“Yes,” I answered with triumphant certainty in my mind and voice--“yes.
It’s that revelation you said you--that is, the--the man that was
coming for me would have. I know it’s a miracle, because I am as afraid
of a preacher as of--of that thing rustling out there in the bushes;
but if God let me get into your arms this awful way He means for me to
stay. And it’s _my_ miracle, not yours. I needed one, and you didn’t.
You are it! You don’t think He will take you away from me in the
daylight, do you?”

“Never,” he laughed against my lips, with the coax and woo both in his
throat, under my hand pressed against it. And that was the taming of
the wild me.

A long time after, when I had settled myself comfortably against his
shoulder, and gone permanently to housekeeping in the parsonage of his
arms, softly the clouds above us drifted apart, and a glorious full
moon shone down on us in the warmest congratulatory approval.

“Let me look good at you, love-woman, so I’ll not confuse you with the
other flowers when morning comes,” Gabriel fluted from above my head as
he attempted to turn me on his arm a fraction of an inch away from him.

“You can use the moon, if you need it for identification purposes, but
that lightning was enough for me,” I answered, retiring from his eyes
for a hot-cheeked second under the silk handkerchief around his neck.
“It may take time and moonlight to teach you me, but I knew you in a
flash. I know it’s awful, but most women learn love by lightning, and
it’s agony to have to wait while men slowly arrive at it by the light
of the sun, moon, and stars. Will nothing ever teach them to hurry?”

“I should say,” answered Gabriel, with a delicious laugh, which I got
double benefit of, for I both heard it and felt it, “that I had met you
at least half-way.”

“And I’m a perfect stranger to you,” I was reiterating honestly, when
an amazed answer arrived from the other side of the rock.

“Well, you don’t look it--perfect strangers!” came in Dudley’s
astonished voice, as he rose from beneath the crag and stood beside us.
“You old psalm-singer, you, where did you get that girl?” he demanded
with a great, but, for the circumstances, very calm, interest.

“Just picked her up in the woods, where she has always been waiting
for me, you old log-killer, you. Yes, I guessed the fact that she is
your sister, but I dare you to try to take her away from me,” answered
Gabriel, as he held me closer, when, with sisterly dignity, I tried to
get into a position to squelch Dudley.

“I’ll never try,” answered Dudley, with devout thankfulness sounding in
his voice up from his diaphragm. “Maybe you can hold her down, Gates;
you seem to have got a good grip for a starter. The family never could.”

Yes, my dear Evelyn, Gabriel turned out to be that wonderful Gates
Attwood to whom Chicago has given five million dollars to build his
great Temple of Labor down on the South Side. He has been up here
visiting Dudley at his camp at Pigeon Creek, hiding for a little rest
for three months, and circuit-riding the mountaineers. If I had met him
under the shelter of my own roof-tree, I in evening dress, with the
lights on, I would have taken one insolent look at him, and then talked
to Bobby the rest of the evening, while Aunt Grace raged in pantomime
at mother about me. I realized this the instant Dudley called his name,
and I turned and hid my eyes against his lips as I trembled at such an
escape from losing him.

“I never belonged to anybody but you and--God. That’s what made me bad
to the others before I was found and claimed,” I whispered across his
cheek, while he nestled me still deeper into his breast, ignoring
Dudley, as he deserved.

“God’s good woman, and mine,” was the low answer I felt and heard.

“Well, I’d better go scare Mr. and Mrs. Possum and the Coon Sisters
off your trunks over at Crow Point,” remarked Dudley, with more than
brotherly consideration. “Something familiar about that collection of
baggage yanked me off the down train. I’ll fix you up at Stivers’s when
you want to come in, Nell. Here’s to her permanent change of heart,
Parson!” And he lighted his pipe as he strolled away through the woods.

And as he left, an awful shyness came pressing in between me and the
great man who sat on an Old Harpeth crag and held me so mercifully in
his arms.

“Isn’t there a mistake somewhere?” I asked in fear and trembling. “Or
did I really get born again, with you to help me?”

“Yes, love,” he answered softly. “This is the right way of things. I
needed you; you, me. We were ready, and He let us touch hands in the
storm, to be new created. Don’t you feel--kind of weak and young?”

“No,” I whispered just as softly. “Dreadfully strong. I know now how
Eve felt when she put her hand to Adam’s side, where there wasn’t even
a scar, and didn’t have to ask where she really came from.”


    Hillsboro, Tennessee, May 30.

    My dear Evelyn:

Yes, I know it sounds dreadful for him, that I’m going to marry Gates
Attwood next month; but I am going to be better than you can believe
I will. I tried to write you all about it, but I couldn’t. No, that
isn’t exactly true. I did, but Gates is wearing the letter in his left
breast pocket, and won’t give it up. Everybody will just have to trust
him with me because he does; and he must know what’s best, because God
trusts him. Please come home in time for the wedding. I need you, but
I haven’t made any plans. I can’t think or plan. I’m feeling. Were you
ever born again? If you have been, you will know what I’m talking about
when I tell you; and if you haven’t, you will think I am crazy.



[Illustration: Color-Tone, engraved for ~The Century~ by H. Davidson







Author of “The Life of the Bee,” “Pelléas and Mélisande,” etc.

This calm, judicious review of the results of organized psychical
research cannot fail to be immensely valuable in clearing up the mists
accumulated in twenty-eight years of earnest investigation into “the
debatable phenomena designated by such terms as mesmeric, psychical,
and spiritualistic.” The accumulations of evidence, and of argument
based upon evidence, have been so enormous that few men busy with
life have found time more than to dip into the wonderful subject and
turn dismayed and reluctant away. Nothing has been so much needed by
the Public Concerned with the Greater Things as a careful digestion
of this subject to date, and we are fortunate in having so broad, so
scientific, so many-sided a mind as Maeterlinck’s perform this service
for us.

This paper is the first of many in which ~The Century~ will take
account of civilization’s accomplishments in many fields for the
benefit of busy men and women.--~The Editor.~


I have recently been studying two interesting solutions of the
problem of personal survival--solutions which, although not new, have
at least been lately renewed. I refer to the neotheosophical and
neospiritualistic theories, which are, I think, the only ones that can
be seriously discussed. The first is almost as old as man himself;
but a popular movement of some magnitude in certain countries has
rejuvenated the doctrine of reincarnation, or the transmigration of
souls, and brought it once more into prominence.

The great argument of its adherents--the chief and, when all is said,
the only argument--is only a sentimental one. Their doctrine that the
soul in its successive existences is purified and exalted with more or
less rapidity according to its efforts and deserts is, they maintain,
the only one that satisfies the irresistible instinct of justice which
we bear within us. They are right, and, from this point of view, their
posthumous justice is immeasurably superior to that of the barbaric
heaven and the monstrous hell of the Christians, where rewards and
punishments are forever meted out to virtues and vices which are for
the most part puerile, unavoidable, or accidental. But this, I repeat,
is only a sentimental argument, which has only an infinitesimal value
in the scale of evidence.

We may admit that certain of their theories are rather ingenious; and
what they say of the part played by the “shells,” for instance, or
the “elementals,” in the spiritualistic phenomena, is worth about as
much as our clumsy explanations of fluidic and supersensible bodies.
Perhaps, or even no doubt, they are right when they insist that
everything around us is full of living, sentient forms, of diverse and
innumerous types, “as different from one another as a blade of grass
and a tiger, or a tiger and a man,” which are incessantly brushing
against us and through which we pass unawares. If all the religions
have overpopulated the world with invisible beings, we have perhaps
depopulated it too completely; and it is extremely possible that we
shall find one day that the mistake was not on the side which one
imagined. As Sir William Crookes well puts it in a remarkable passage:

    It is not improbable that other sentient beings have organs of
    sense which do not respond to some or any of the rays to which our
    eyes are sensitive, but are able to appreciate other vibrations
    to which we are blind. Such beings would practically be living in
    a different world to our own. Imagine, for instance, what idea
    we should form of surrounding objects were we endowed with eyes
    not sensitive to the ordinary rays of light but sensitive to the
    vibrations concerned in electric and magnetic phenomena. Glass and
    crystal would be among the most opaque of bodies. Metals would be
    more or less transparent, and a telegraph wire through the air
    would look like a long narrow hole drilled through an impervious
    solid body. A dynamo in active work would resemble a conflagration,
    whilst a permanent magnet would realise the dream of mediæval
    mystics and become an everlasting lamp with no expenditure of
    energy or consumption of fuel.

All this, with so many other things which they assert, would be, if
not admissible, at least worthy of attention, if those suppositions
were offered for what they are, very ancient hypotheses that go back
to the early ages of human theology and metaphysics; but when they are
transformed into categorical and dogmatic assertions, they at once
become untenable. Their exponents promise us, on the other hand, that
by exercising our minds, by refining our senses, by etherealizing our
bodies, we shall be able to live with those whom we call dead and with
the higher beings that surround us. It all seems to lead to nothing
very much and rests on very frail bases, on very vague proofs derived
from hypnotic sleep, presentiments, mediumism, phantasms, and so forth.
We want something more than arbitrary theories about the “immortal
triad,” the “three worlds,” the “astral body,” the “permanent atom,”
or the “Karma-Loka.” As their sensibility is keener, their perception
subtler, their spiritual intuition more penetrating, than ours, why do
they not choose as a field for investigation the phenomena of prenatal
memory, for instance, to take one subject at random from a multitude
of others--phenomena which, although sporadic and open to question, are
still admissible?


Outside theosophy, investigations of a purely scientific nature have
been made in the baffling regions of survival and reincarnation.
Neospiritualism, or psychicism, or experimental spiritualism, had its
origin in America in 1870. In the following year the first strictly
scientific experiments were organized by Sir William Crookes, the man
of genius who opened up most of the roads at the end of which men were
astounded to discover unknown properties and conditions of matter;
and as early as 1873 or 1874 he obtained, with the aid of the medium
Florence Cook, phenomena of materialization that have hardly been
surpassed. But the real beginning of the new science dates from the
foundation of the Society for Psychical Research, familiarly known
as the S. P. R. This society was formed in London twenty-eight years
ago, under the auspices of the most distinguished men of science
in England, and, as we all know, has made a methodical and strict
study of every case of supernormal psychology and sensibility. This
study or investigation, originally conducted by Edmund Gurney, F. W.
H. Myers, and Frank Podmore, and continued by their successors, is
a masterpiece of scientific patience and conscientiousness. Not an
incident is admitted that is not supported by unimpeachable testimony,
by definite written records and convincing corroboration. Among the
many supernormal manifestations, telepathy, previsions, and so forth,
we will take cognizance only of those which relate to life beyond the
grave. They can be divided into two categories: first, real, objective,
and spontaneous apparitions, or direct manifestations; second,
manifestations obtained by the agency of mediums, whether induced
apparitions, which we will put aside for the moment because of their
frequently questionable character, or communications with the dead by
word of mouth or automatic writing. Those extraordinary communications
have been studied at length by such men as F. W. H. Myers, Richard
Hodgson, Sir Oliver Lodge, and the philosopher William James, the
father of the new pragmatism. They profoundly impressed and almost
convinced these men, and they therefore deserve to arrest our attention.

It appears, therefore, to be as well established as a fact can be
that a spiritual or nervous shape, an image, a belated reflection of
life, is capable of subsisting for some time, of releasing itself
from the body, or surviving it, of traversing enormous distances in
the twinkling of an eye, of manifesting itself to the living and,
sometimes, of communicating with them.

For the rest, we have to recognize that these apparitions are very
brief. They take place only at the precise moment of death, or follow
very shortly after. They do not seem to have the least consciousness of
a new or superterrestrial life, differing from that of the body whence
they issue. On the contrary, their spiritual energy, at a time when it
ought to be absolutely pure, because it is rid of matter, seems greatly
inferior to what it was when matter surrounded it. These more or less
uneasy phantasms, often tormented with trivial cares, although they
come from another world, have never brought us one single revelation
of topical interest concerning that world whose prodigious threshold
they have crossed. Soon they fade away and disappear forever. Are they
the first glimmers of a new existence or the final glimmers of the old?
Do the dead thus use, for want of a better, the last link that binds
them and makes them perceptible to our senses? Do they afterward go on
living around us, without again succeeding, despite their endeavors, to
make themselves known or to give us an idea of their presence, because
we have not the organ that is necessary to perceive them, even as all
our endeavors would not succeed in giving a man who was blind from
birth the least notion of light and color? We do not know at all; nor
can we tell whether it is permissible to draw any conclusion from all
these incontestable phenomena. Meanwhile, it is interesting to observe
that there really are ghosts, specters, and phantoms. Once again,
science steps in to confirm a general belief of mankind, and to teach
us that a belief of this sort, however absurd it may at first seem,
still deserves careful examination.


Now, what are we to think of it all? Must we, with Myers, Newbold,
Hyslop, Hodgson, and many others who have studied this problem at
length, conclude in favor of the incontestable agency of forces and
intelligences returning from the farther bank of the great river
which it was deemed that none might cross? Must we acknowledge with
them that there are cases ever more numerous which make it impossible
for us to hesitate any longer between the telepathic hypothesis
and the spiritualistic hypothesis? I do not think so. I have no
prejudices,--what were the use of having any in these mysteries?--no
reluctance to admit the survival and the intervention of the dead;
but, before leaving the terrestrial plane, it is wise and necessary
to exhaust all the suppositions, all the explanations, there to be
discovered. We have to make our choice between two manifestations of
the unknown, two miracles, if you prefer, whereof one is situated in
the world which we inhabit and the other in a region which, rightly or
wrongly, we believe to be separated from us by nameless spaces which
no human being, alive or dead, has crossed to this day. It is natural,
therefore, that we should stay in our own world as long as it gives
us a foothold, as long as we are not pitilessly expelled from it by a
series of irresistible and irrefutable facts issuing from the adjoining
abyss. The survival of a spirit is no more improbable than the
prodigious faculties which we are obliged to attribute to the mediums
if we deny them to the dead: but the existence of the medium, contrary
to that of the spirit, is unquestionable; and therefore it is for the
spirit, or for those who make use of its name, first to prove that it

Do the extraordinary phenomena of which we have spoken--transmission
of thought from one subconscious mind to another, perception of events
at a distance, subliminal clairvoyance--occur when the dead are not
in evidence, when the experiments are being made exclusively between
living persons? This cannot be honestly contested. Certainly no one
has ever obtained among living people series of communications or
revelations similar to those of the great spiritualistic mediums Mrs.
Piper, Mrs. Thompson, and Stainton Moses, nor anything that can be
compared with these so far as continuity or lucidity is concerned.
But though the quality of the phenomena will not bear comparison,
it cannot be denied that their inner nature is identical. It is
logical to infer from this that the real cause lies not in the source
of inspiration, but in the personal value, the sensitiveness, the
power of the medium. These mediums are pleased, in all good faith and
probably unconsciously, to give to their subliminal faculties, to
their secondary personalities, or to accept, on their behalf, names
which were borne by beings who have crossed to the further side of the
mystery: this is a matter of vocabulary or nomenclature which neither
lessens nor increases the intrinsic significance of the facts.


Well, in examining these facts, however strange and really unparalleled
some of them may be, I never find one which proceeds frankly from
this world or which comes indisputably from the other. They are, if
you wish, phenomenal border incidents; but it cannot be said that the
border has been violated. It is simply a matter of distant perception,
subliminal clairvoyance, and telepathy raised to the highest power;
and these three manifestations of the unexplored depths of man are
to-day recognized and classified by science, which is not saying that
they are explained. That is another question. When, in connection
with electricity, we use such terms as positive, negative, induction,
potential, and resistance, we are also applying conventional words
to facts and phenomena of the inward essence of which we are utterly
ignorant; and we must needs be content with these, pending better.
Between these extraordinary manifestations and those given to us by a
medium who is not speaking in the name of the dead, there is, I insist,
only a difference of the greater and the lesser, a difference of extent
or degree, and in no wise a difference in kind.

For the proof to be more decisive, it would be necessary that neither
the medium nor the witnesses should ever have known of the existence
of him whose past is revealed by the dead man; in other words, that
every living link should be eliminated. I do not believe that this has
ever actually occurred, nor even that it is possible; in any case, it
would be a very difficult experiment to control. Be this as it may,
Dr. Hodgson, who devoted part of his life to the quest of specific
phenomena wherein the boundaries of mediumistic power should be
plainly overstepped, believes that he found them in certain cases, of
which, as the others were of very much the same nature, I will merely
mention one of the most striking. In a course of excellent sittings
with Mrs. Piper, the medium, he communicated with various dead friends
who reminded him of a large number of common memories. The medium,
the spirits, and he himself seemed in a wonderfully accommodating
mood; and the revelations were plentiful, exact, and easy. In this
extremely favorable atmosphere, he was placed in communication with
the soul of one of his best friends, who had died a year before, and
whom he simply called “A.” This A, whom he had known more intimately
than most of the spirits with whom he had communicated previously,
behaved quite differently and, while establishing his identity beyond
dispute, vouchsafed only incoherent replies. Now, A “had been troubled
much, for years before his death, by headaches and occasionally mental
exhaustion, though not amounting to positive mental disturbance.”

The same phenomenon appears to recur whenever similar troubles have
come before death, as in cases of suicide.

“If the telepathic explanation is held to be the only one,” says Dr.
Hodgson (I give the gist of his observations), “if it is claimed that
all the communications of these discarnate minds are only suggestions
from my subconscious self, it is unintelligible that, after having
obtained satisfactory results from others whom I had known far
less intimately than A and with whom I had consequently far fewer
recollections in common, I should get from him, in the same sittings,
nothing but incoherencies. I am thus driven to believe that my
subliminal self is not the only thing in evidence, that it is in the
presence of a real, living personality, whose mental state is the same
as it was at the hour of death, a personality which remains independent
of my subliminal consciousness and absolutely unaffected by it, which
is deaf to its suggestions, and draws from its own resources the
revelations which it makes.”

The argument is not without value, but its full force would be obtained
only if it were certain that none of those present knew of A’s
madness; otherwise it can be contended that, the notion of madness
having penetrated the subconscious intelligence of one of them, it
worked upon it and gave to the replies induced a form in keeping with
the state of mind presupposed in the dead man.


Of a truth, by extending the possibilities of the medium to these
extremes, we furnish ourselves with explanations which forestall
nearly everything, bar every road, and all but deny to the spirits
any power of manifesting themselves in the manner which they appear
to have chosen. But why do they choose that manner? Why do they thus
restrict themselves? Why do they jealously hug the narrow strip of
territory which memory occupies on the confines of both worlds and
from which none but indecisive or questionable evidence can reach
us? Are there, then, no other outlets, no other horizons? Why do
they tarry about us, stagnant in their little pasts, when, in their
freedom from the flesh, they ought to be able to wander at ease over
the virgin stretches of space and time? Do they not yet know that the
sign which will prove to us that they survive is to be found not with
us, but with them, on the other side of the grave? Why do they come
back with empty hands and empty words? Is that what one finds when
one is steeped in infinity? Beyond our last hour is it all bare and
shapeless and dim? If it be so, let them tell us; and the evidence of
the darkness will at least possess a grandeur that is all too absent
from these cross-examining methods. Of what use is it to die, if all
life’s trivialities continue? Is it really worth while to have passed
through the terrifying gorges which open on the eternal fields in order
to remember that we had a great-uncle called Peter and that our Cousin
Paul was afflicted with varicose veins and a gastric complaint? At
that rate, I should choose for those whom I love the august and frozen
solitudes of the everlasting nothing. Though it be difficult for them,
as they complain, to make themselves understood through a strange and
sleep-bound organism, they tell us enough categorical details about the
past to show that they could disclose similar details, if not about
the future, which they perhaps do not yet know, at least about the
lesser mysteries which surround us on every side and which our body
alone prevents us from approaching. There are a thousand things, large
or small, alike unknown to us, which we must perceive when feeble eyes
no longer arrest our vision. It is in those regions from which a shadow
separates us, and not in foolish tittle-tattle of the past, that they
would at last find the clear and genuine proof which they seem to seek
with such enthusiasm. Without demanding a great miracle, one would
nevertheless think that we had the right to expect from a mind which
nothing now enthralls some other discourse than that which it avoided
when it was still subject to matter.

This is where things stood when, of late years, the mediums, the
spiritualists, or, rather, it appears, the spirits themselves, for
one cannot tell exactly with whom we have to do, perhaps dissatisfied
at not being more definitely recognized and understood, invented,
for a more effectual proof of their existence, what has been called
“cross-correspondence.” Here the position is reversed: it is no longer
a question of various and more or less numerous spirits revealing
themselves through the agency of one and the same medium, but of a
single spirit manifesting itself almost simultaneously through several
mediums often at great distances from one another and without any
preliminary understanding among themselves. Each of these messages,
taken alone, is usually unintelligible, and yields a meaning only when
laboriously combined with all the others.

As Sir Oliver Lodge says:

    The object of this ingenious and complicated effort clearly is
    to prove that there is some definite intelligence underlying
    the phenomena, distinct from that of any of the automatists, by
    sending fragments of a message or literary reference which shall be
    unintelligible to each separately--so that no effective telepathy
    is possible between them,--thus eliminating or trying to eliminate
    what had long been recognized by all members of the Society for
    Psychical Research as the most troublesome and indestructible of
    the semi-normal hypotheses. And the further object is evidently
    to prove as far as possible, by the substance and quality of
    the message, that it is characteristic of the one particular
    personality who is ostensibly communicating, and of no other.[2]

The experiments are still in their early stages, and the most recent
volumes of the “Proceedings” are devoted to them. Although the
accumulated mass of evidence is already considerable, no conclusion
can yet be drawn from it. In any case, whatever the spiritualists
may say, the suspicion of telepathy seems to me to be in no way
removed. The experiments form a rather fantastic literary exercise,
one intellectually much superior to the ordinary manifestations of the
mediums; but up to the present there is no reason for placing their
mystery in the other world rather than in this. Men have tried to see
in them a proof that somewhere in time or space, or else beyond both,
there is a sort of immense cosmic reserve of knowledge upon which the
spirits go and draw freely. But if the reserve exist, which is very
possible, nothing tells us that it is not the living rather than the
dead who repair to it. It is very strange that the dead, if they really
have access to the immeasurable treasure, should bring back nothing
from it but a kind of ingenious child’s puzzle, although it ought to
contain myriads of lost or forgotten notions and acquirements, heaped
up during thousands and thousands of years in abysses which our mind,
weighed down by the body, can no longer penetrate, but which nothing
seems to close against the investigations of freer and more subtle
activities. They are evidently surrounded by innumerable mysteries,
by unsuspected and formidable truths that loom large on every side.
The smallest astronomical or biological revelation, the least secret
of olden time, such as that of the temper of copper, an archæological
detail, a poem, a statue, a recovered remedy, a shred of one of those
unknown sciences which flourished in Egypt or Atlantis--any of these
would form a much more decisive argument than hundreds of more or
less literary reminiscences. Why do they speak to us so seldom of the
future? And for what reason, when they do venture upon it, are they
mistaken with such disheartening regularity? One would think that, in
the sight of a being delivered from the trammels of the body and of
time, the years, whether past or future, ought all to lie outspread
on one and the same plane.[3] We may therefore say that the ingenuity
of the proof turns against it. All things considered, as in other
attempts, and notably in those of the famous medium Stainton Moses,
there is the same characteristic inability to bring us the veriest
particle of truth or knowledge of which no vestige can be found in
a living brain or in a book written on this earth. And yet it is
inconceivable that there should not somewhere exist a knowledge that is
not as ours and truths other than those which we possess here below.


The case of Stainton Moses, whose name we have just mentioned, is a
very striking one in this respect. This Stainton Moses was a dogmatic,
hard-working clergyman, whose learning, Myers tells us, in the normal
state did not exceed that of an ordinary schoolmaster. But he was no
sooner “entranced” before certain spirits of antiquity or of the Middle
Ages who are hardly known save to profound scholars--among others,
St. Hippolytus; Plotinus; Athenodorus, the tutor of Augustus; and
more particularly Grocyn, the friend of Erasmus--took possession of
his person and manifested themselves through his agency. Now, Grocyn,
for instance, furnished certain information about Erasmus which was
at first thought to have been gathered in the other world, but which
was subsequently discovered in forgotten, but nevertheless accessible,
books. On the other hand, Stainton Moses’s integrity was never
questioned for an instant by those who knew him, and we may therefore
take his word for it when he declares that he had not read the books
in question. Here again the mystery, inexplicable though it be, seems
really to lie hidden in the midst of ourselves. It is unconscious
reminiscence, if you will, suggestion at a distance, subliminal
reading; but no more than in cross-correspondence is it indispensable
to have recourse to the dead and to drag them by main force into the
riddle, which, seen from our side of the grave, is dark and impassioned
enough as it is. Furthermore, we must not insist unduly on this
cross-correspondence. We must remember that the whole thing is in its
earliest stages, and that the dead appear to have no small difficulty
in grasping the requirements of the living.

In regard to this subject, as to the others, the spiritualists are fond
of saying:

“If you refuse to admit the agency of spirits, the majority of these
phenomena are absolutely inexplicable.”

Agreed; nor do we pretend to explain them, for hardly anything is to be
explained upon this earth. We are content simply to ascribe them to the
incomprehensible power of the mediums, which is no more improbable than
the survival of the dead, and has the advantage of not going outside
the sphere which we occupy and of bearing relation to a large number of
similar facts that occur among living people. Those singular faculties
are baffling only because they are still sporadic, and because only a
very short time has elapsed since they received scientific recognition.
Properly speaking, they are no more marvelous than those which we use
daily without marveling at them; as our memory, for instance, our
understanding, our imagination, and so forth. They form part of the
great miracle that we are; and, having once admitted the miracle, we
should be surprised not so much at its extent as at its limits.

Nevertheless, I am not at all of opinion that we must definitely reject
the spiritualistic theory; that would be both unjust and premature.
Hitherto everything remains in suspense. We may say that things are
still very little removed from the point marked by Sir William Crookes,
in 1874, in an article which he contributed to the “Quarterly Journal
of Science.” He there wrote:

    The difference between the advocates of Psychic Force and the
    Spiritualists consists in this--that we contend that there is
    as yet insufficient proof of any other directing agent than the
    Intelligence of the Medium, and no proof whatever of the agency of
    Spirits of the Dead; while the Spiritualists hold it as a faith,
    not demanding further proof, that Spirits of the Dead are the sole
    agents in the production of all the phenomena. Thus the controversy
    resolves itself into a pure question of _fact_, only to be
    determined by a laborious and long-continued series of experiments
    and an extensive collection of psychological _facts_, which should
    be the first duty of the Psychological Society, the formation of
    which is now in progress.


Meanwhile, it is saying a good deal that rigorous scientific
investigations have not utterly shattered a theory which radically
confounds the idea which we were wont to form of death. We shall see
presently why, in considering our destinies beyond the grave, we need
have no reason to linger too long over these apparitions or these
revelations, even though they should really be incontestable and to
the point. They would seem, all told, to be only the incoherent and
precarious manifestations of a transitory state. They would at best
prove, if we were bound to admit them, that a reflection of ourselves,
an after-vibration of the nerves, a bundle of emotions, a spiritual
silhouette, a grotesque and forlorn image, or, more correctly, a sort
of truncated and uprooted memory, can, after our death, linger and
float in a space where nothing remains to feed it, where it gradually
becomes wan and lifeless, but where a special fluid, emanating from
an exceptional medium, succeeds at moments in galvanizing it. Perhaps
it exists objectively, perhaps it subsists and revives only in the
recollection of certain sympathies. After all, it would be not unlikely
that the memory which represents us during our life should continue to
do so for a few weeks or even a few years after our decease. This would
explain the evasive and deceptive character of those spirits which,
possessing only a mnemonic existence, are naturally able to interest
themselves only in matters within their reach. Hence their irritating
and maniacal energy in clinging to the slightest facts, their sleepy
dullness, their incomprehensible indifference and ignorance, and all
the wretched absurdities which we have noticed more than once.

But, I repeat, it is much simpler to attribute these absurdities to the
special character and the as yet imperfectly recognized difficulties
of telepathic communication. The unconscious suggestions of the most
intelligent among those who take part in the experiment are impaired,
disjointed, and stripped of their main virtues in passing through the
obscure intermediary of the medium. It may be that they go astray and
make their way into certain forgotten corners which the intelligence
no longer visits, and thence bring back more or less surprising
discoveries; but the intellectual quality of the aggregate will always
be inferior to that which a conscious mind would yield. Besides, once
more, it is not yet time to draw conclusions. We must not lose sight
of the fact that we have to do with a science which was born but
yesterday, and which is groping for its implements, its paths, its
methods, and its aim in a darkness denser than the earth’s. The boldest
bridge that men have yet undertaken to throw across the river of death
is not to be built in thirty years. Most sciences have centuries of
thankless efforts and barren uncertainties behind them; and there
are, I imagine, few among the younger of them that can show from the
earliest hour, as this one does, promises of a harvest which may not be
the harvest of their conscious sowing, but which already bids fair to
yield such unknown and wondrous fruit.[4]


So much for survival proper. But certain spiritualists go further, and
attempt the scientific proof of palingenesis and the transmigration
of souls. I pass over their merely moral or scientific arguments,
as well as those which they discover in the prenatal reminiscences
of illustrious men and others. These reminiscences, though often
disturbing, are still too rare, too sporadic, so to speak; and the
supervision has not always been sufficiently close for us to be able
to rely upon them with safety. Nor do I purpose to pay attention to
the proofs based upon the inborn aptitudes of genius or of certain
infant prodigies--aptitudes which are difficult to explain, but which,
nevertheless, may be attributed to unknown laws of heredity. I shall be
content to recall briefly the results of some of Colonel de Rochas’s
experiments, which leave one at a loss for an explanation.

First of all, it is only right to say that Colonel de Rochas is a
savant who seeks nothing but objective truth, and does so with a
scientific strictness and integrity that have never been questioned.
He puts certain exceptional subjects into an hypnotic sleep, and by
means of downward passes makes them trace back the whole course of
their existence. He thus takes them successively to their youth, their
adolescence, and down to the extreme limits of their childhood. At
each of these hypnotic stages the subject reassumes the consciousness,
the character, and the state of mind which he possessed at the
corresponding stage in his life. He goes over the same events, with
their joys and sorrows. If he has been ill, he once more passes through
his illness, his convalescence, and his recovery. If, for instance, the
subject is a woman who has been a mother, she again becomes pregnant
and again suffers the pains of childbirth. Carried back to an age when
she was learning to write, she writes like a child, and her writings
can be placed side by side with the copy-books which she filled at

This in itself is very extraordinary, but, as Colonel de Rochas says:

    Up to the present, we have walked on firm ground; we have been
    observing a physiological phenomenon which is difficult of
    explanation, but which numerous experiments and verifications allow
    us to look upon as certain.

We now enter a region where still more surprising enigmas await us. Let
us, to come to details, take one of the simplest cases. The subject
is a girl of eighteen, called Joséphine. She lives at Voiron, in the
department of the Isère. By means of downward passes, she is brought
back to the condition of a baby at her mother’s breast. The passes
continue, and the wonder-tale runs its course. Joséphine can no longer
speak; and we have the great silence of infancy, which seems to be
followed by a silence more mysterious still. Joséphine no longer
answers except by signs; _she is not yet born_, “she is floating in
darkness.” They persist; the sleep becomes heavier; and suddenly,
from the depths of that sleep, rises the voice of another being--a
voice unexpected and unknown, the voice of a churlish, distrustful,
and discontented old man. They question him. At first he refuses to
answer, saying that “of course he’s there, as he’s speaking”; that “he
sees nothing”; and that “he’s in the dark.” They increase the number
of passes, and gradually gain his confidence. His name is Jean-Claude
Bourdon; he is an old man; he has long been ailing and bedridden. He
tells the story of his life. He was born at Champvent, in the parish of
Polliat, in 1812. He went to school until he was eighteen, and served
his time in the army with the Seventh Artillery at Besançon; and he
describes his gay time there, while the sleeping girl makes the gesture
of twirling an imaginary mustache. When he goes back to his native
place, he does not marry, but he has a mistress. He leads a solitary
life (I omit all but the essential facts), and dies at the age of
seventy, after a long illness.

We now hear the dead man speak, and his posthumous revelations are not
sensational, which, however, is not an adequate reason for doubting
their genuineness. He “feels himself growing out of his body,” but
he remains attached to it for a fairly long time. His fluidic body,
which is at first diffused, takes a more concentrated form. He lives
in darkness, which he finds disagreeable; but he does not suffer. At
last the night in which he is plunged is streaked with a few flashes
of light. The idea comes to him to reincarnate himself, and he draws
near to her who is to be his mother (that is to say, the mother of
Joséphine). He encircles her until the child is born, whereupon he
gradually enters the child’s body. Until about the seventh year this
body was surrounded by a sort of floating mist in which he used to see
many things which he has not seen since.

The next thing to be done is to go back beyond Jean-Claude. A
mesmerization lasting nearly three quarters of an hour, without
lingering at any intermediate stage, brings the old man back to
babyhood, to a fresh silence, a new limbo; and then suddenly another
voice and an unexpected person. This time it is an old woman who has
been very wicked; and so she is in great torment. She is dead at the
actual instant; for, in this inverted world, lives go backward and of
course begin at the end. She is in deep darkness, surrounded by evil
spirits. She speaks in a faint voice, but always gives definite replies
to the questions put to her, instead of caviling at every moment, as
Jean-Claude did. Her name is Philomène Carteron.

I will now quote Colonel de Rochas:

    By intensifying the sleep, I induce the manifestations of a living
    Philomène. She no longer suffers, seems very calm, and always
    answers very coldly and distinctly. She knows that she is unpopular
    in the neighborhood, but no one is a penny the worse, and she
    will be even with them yet. She was born in 1702; her maiden name
    was Philomène Charpigny; her grandfather on the mother’s side was
    called Pierre Machon and lived at Ozan. In 1732 she married, at
    Chevroux, a man named Carteron, by whom she had two children, both
    of whom she lost.

    Before her incarnation, Philomène had been a little girl who died
    in infancy. Previous to that, she was a man who had committed
    murder, and it was to expiate this crime that she endured much
    suffering in the darkness, even after her life as a little girl,
    when she had had no time to do wrong. I did not think it necessary
    to carry the hypnosis further, because the subject appeared
    exhausted and her paroxysms were painful to watch.

    But, on the other hand, I noticed one thing which would tend
    to show that the revelations of these mediums rest on an
    objective reality. At Voiron, one of the regular attendants at my
    demonstrations is a young girl, Louise----. She possesses a very
    sedate and thoughtful cast of mind, not at all open to hypnotic
    suggestion; and she has in a very high degree the capacity, which
    is comparatively common in a lesser degree, of perceiving the
    magnetic effluvia of human beings and, consequently, the fluidic
    body. When Joséphine revives the memory of her past, a luminous
    aura is observed around her, and is perceived by Louise. Now, to
    the eyes of Louise, this aura becomes dark when Joséphine is in
    the phase separating two existences. In every instance there is a
    strong reaction in Joséphine when I touch points where Louise tells
    me that she perceives the aura, whether it be dark or light.

I thought it well to give the report of one of these experiments almost
in extenso, because those who maintain the palingenesic theory find
in these the only appreciable argument which they possess. Colonel
de Rochas renewed them more than once with different subjects. Among
these, I will mention only one, a girl called Marie Mayo, whose
history is more complicated than Joséphine’s, and whose successive
reincarnations take us back to the seventeenth century and carry us
suddenly to Versailles, among the historical personages moving about
Louis XIV.

Let us add that Colonel de Rochas is not the only mesmerizer who has
obtained revelations of this kind, which may henceforth be classed
among the incontestable facts of hypnotism. I have mentioned his alone
because they offer the most substantial guaranties from every point of


What do they prove? We must begin, as in all questions of this kind, by
entertaining a certain distrust of the medium. It goes without saying
that all mediums, by the very nature of their faculties, are inclined
to imposture, to trickery. I know that Colonel de Rochas, like Dr.
Richet and like Professor Lombroso, was occasionally hoaxed. That is
the inherent defect of the machinery which we must perforce employ; and
experiments of this sort will never possess the scientific value of
those made in a physical or chemical laboratory. But this is not an a
priori reason for denying them any sort of interest. As a question of
fact, are imposture and trickery possible here? Obviously, even though
the experiments be conducted under the strictest supervision. However
complicated it may be, the subject can have learned his lesson, and
can cleverly avoid the traps laid for him. The best guaranty, when
all is said, lies in his good faith and his moral sense, which the
experimenters alone are in a position to test and to know; and for that
we must trust to them. Besides, they neglect no precaution necessary to
make imposture extremely difficult. After taking the subject, by means
of transverse passes, up the stream of his life, they make him come
down the same stream; and the same events pass in the reverse order.
Repeated tests and countertests always yield identical results; and the
medium never hesitates or goes astray in the labyrinth of names, dates,
and incidents.[5]

Moreover, it would be requisite for these mediums, who are generally
people of merely average intelligence, suddenly to become great poets
in order thus to create, down to every detail, a series of characters
differing entirely one from the other, in which everything--gestures,
voice, temper, mind, thoughts, feeling--is in keeping, and ever
ready to reply, in harmony with their inmost nature, to the most
unexpected questions. It has been said that every man is a Shakspere
in his dreams; but have we not here to do with dreams which, in their
uniformity, bear a singular resemblance to fact?

I think, therefore, that, until we receive evidence to the contrary, we
may be allowed to leave fraud out of the question. Another objection
that might be raised, as was done with respect to the Myers phantom, is
the insignificance of their revelations from beyond the grave. I would
rather look on this as an argument in behalf of their good faith. Those
whose imagination is rich enough to create the wonderful persons whom
we see living in their sleep would doubtless find no great difficulty
in inventing a few fantastic but plausible details on the subject of
the next world. Not one of them thinks of it. They are Christians, and
therefore carry deep down in themselves the traditional terror of hell,
the fear of purgatory, and the vision of a paradise full of angels and
palms. They never refer to any of it. Although they are most often
ignorant of all the theories of reincarnation, they conform strictly to
the theosophical or neospiritualistic hypothesis, and are unconsciously
faithful to it in their very indefiniteness: they speak vaguely of “the
dark” in which they find themselves. They tell nothing because they
know nothing. It is apparently impossible for them to give any account
of a state that is still illumined. In fact, it is very likely, if we
admit the hypothesis of reincarnation and of evolution after death,
that nature, here as elsewhere, does not proceed by bounds. There is no
special reason why she should take a prodigious and inconceivable leap
between life and death.

We do not find the dramatic change which at first thought we are
rather inclined to expect. The spirit is first of all confused at
losing its body and every one of its familiar ways; it recovers itself
only by degrees. It resumes consciousness slowly. This consciousness
is subsequently purified, exalted, and extended, gradually and
indefinitely, until, reaching other spheres, the principle of life that
animates it ceases to reincarnate itself, and loses all contact with
us. This would explain why we never have any but minor and elementary

All that concerns this first phase of the survival is fairly probable,
even to those who do not admit the theory of reincarnation. For
the rest, we shall see presently that the solutions which man’s
imagination finds there merely change the question and are inadequate
and provisional.


We now come to the most serious objection, that of suggestion. Colonel
de Rochas declares that he and all the other experimenters who have
given themselves up to this study “have not only avoided everything
that could put the subject on a definite tack, but have often tried in
vain to lead him astray by different suggestions.” I am convinced of
it: there can be no question of voluntary suggestion.

But do we not know that in these regions unconscious and involuntary
suggestion is often more powerful and effective than the other? In
the hackneyed and rather childish experiment of table-turning, for
instance, which, after all, is only a crude and elementary form of
telepathy, the replies are nearly always dictated by the unconscious
suggestion of a participant or a mere onlooker.[6] We should therefore
first of all have to make sure that neither the hypnotizer nor
an onlooker, nor yet the subject himself, has ever heard of the
reincarnated persons. It will be enough, I shall be told, to employ
for the countertests another operator and different onlookers who
are ignorant of the previous revelations. Yes, but the subject is
not ignorant of them; and it is possible that the first suggestion
has been so profound that it will remain forever stamped upon the
unconsciousness, and that it will reproduce the same incarnations
indefinitely in the same order.

All this does not mean that the phenomena of suggestion are not
themselves laden with mysteries; but that is another question. For
the moment, as we see, the problem is almost insoluble, and control is
impracticable. Meanwhile, since we have to choose between reincarnation
and suggestion, it is right that we should confine ourselves in the
first instance to the latter, in accordance with the principles which
we have observed in the case of automatic speech and writing. Between
two unknowns, common sense and prudence decree that we should turn
first to the one on whose frontiers lie certain facts more frequently
recorded, the one which shows a few familiar glimmers. Let us exhaust
the mystery of our life before forsaking it for the mystery of our
death. Throughout this vast expanse of treacherous ground, it is
important that, until fresh evidence arrives, we should keep to one
inflexible rule, namely, that thought transference exists as long as
it is not absolutely and physically impossible for the subject or some
person in the room to have cognizance of the incident in question,
whether the cognizance be conscious or not, forgotten or actual. Even
this guaranty is not sufficient, for it is still possible for some one
taking no part in the sitting, and even very far away from it, to be
placed in communication with the medium by some unknown means, and to
influence the medium at a distance and unwittingly. Lastly, to provide
for every contingency before letting death come upon the boards, it
would be necessary to make certain that atavistic memory does not
play an unforeseen part. Cannot a man, for instance, carry hidden in
the depths of his being the recollection of events connected with
the childhood of an ancestor whom he has never seen, and communicate
it to the medium by unconscious suggestion? It is not impossible. We
carry in ourselves all the past, all the experience, of our ancestors.
If by some magic we could illumine the prodigious treasures of the
subconscious memory, why should we not there discover the events and
facts that form the sources of that experience? Before turning toward
yonder unknown, we must utterly exhaust the possibilities of this
terrestrial unknown. It is moreover remarkable, but undeniable, that,
despite the strictness of a law which seems to shut out every other
explanation, despite the almost unlimited and probably excessive scope
allotted to the domain of suggestion, there nevertheless remain some
facts which perhaps call for another interpretation.


But let us return to reincarnation, and recognize, in passing, that
it is very regrettable that the arguments of the theosophists and
neospiritualists are not compelling; for there never was a more
beautiful, a juster, a purer, a more moral, fruitful, and consoling,
or, to a certain point, a more probable creed than theirs. But the
quality of a creed is no evidence of its truth. Even though it is
the religion of six hundred millions of mankind, the nearest to the
mysterious origins, the only one that is not odious, and the least
absurd of all, it will have to do what the others have not done--bring
unimpeachable testimony; and what it has given us hitherto is only the
first shadow of a proof begun.

Indeed, even that would not put an end to the riddle. In principle,
reincarnation sooner or later is inevitable, since nothing can be
lost or remain stationary. What has not been demonstrated in any way,
and will perhaps remain indemonstrable, is the reincarnation of the
whole, identical person, notwithstanding the abolition of memory. But
what matters that reincarnation to him, if he be unaware that he is
still himself? All the problems of the conscious survival of man start
up anew, and we have to begin all over again. Even if scientifically
established, the doctrine of reincarnation, just like that of a
survival, would not set a term to our questions. It replies to neither
the first nor the last, those of the beginning and the end, the only
ones that are essential. It simply shifts them, pushes them a few
hundreds, a few thousands, of years back, in the hope, perhaps, of
losing or forgetting them in silence and space. But they have come from
the depths of the most prodigious infinities, and are not content with
a tardy solution. I am most certainly interested in learning what is in
store for me, what will happen to me immediately after my death. You
tell me:

“Man, in his successive incarnations, will make atonement by suffering,
will be purified, in order that he may ascend from sphere to sphere
until he returns to the divine essence whence he sprang.”

I am willing to believe it, notwithstanding that all this still bears
the somewhat questionable stamp of our little earth and its old
religions; I am willing to believe it; but even then? What matters to
me is not what will be for some time, but for always; and your divine
principle appears to me not at all infinite nor definite. It even
seems to me greatly inferior to that which I conceive without your
help. Now, even if it were based on thousands of facts, a religion
that belittles the God conceived by my loftiest thought could never
dominate my conscience. Your infinity or our God, without being even
more unintelligible than mine, is nevertheless smaller. If I be again
immerged in Him, it means that I emerged from Him; if it be possible
for me to have emerged from Him, then He is not infinite; and, if He
be not infinite, what is He? We must accept one thing or the other:
either He purifies me because I am outside Him and He is not infinite;
or, being infinite, if He purify me, then there was something impure
in Him, because it is a part of Himself which He is purifying in me.
Moreover, how can we admit that this God who has existed for all
time, who has the same infinity of millenaries behind Him as in front
of Him, should not yet have found time to purify Himself and put a
period to His trials? What He was not able to do in the eternity
previous to the moment of my existence He will not be able to do in
the subsequent eternity, for the two are equal. And the same question
presents itself where I am concerned. My principle of life, like His,
exists from all eternity, for my emergence out of nothing would be more
difficult of explanation than my existence without a beginning. I have
necessarily had innumerable opportunities of incarnating myself; and I
have probably done so, seeing that it is hardly likely that the idea
came to me only yesterday. All the chances of reaching my goal have
therefore been offered to me in the past; and all those which I shall
find in the future will add nothing to the number, which was already
infinite. There is not much to say in answer to these interrogations,
which spring up everywhence the moment our thought glances upon them.
Meanwhile, I had rather know that I know nothing than feed myself
on illusory and irreconcilable assertions. I had rather keep to an
infinity the incomprehensibility of which has no bounds than restrict
myself to a God whose incomprehensibility is limited on every side.
Nothing compels you to speak of your God; but, if you take upon
yourself to do so, it is necessary that your explanations should be
superior to the silence which they break.

It is true that the scientific spiritualists do not venture as far
as this God; but, then, tight-pressed between the two riddles of the
beginning and the end, they have almost nothing to tell us. They follow
the tracks of our dead for a few seconds in a world where seconds no
longer count, and then they abandon them in the darkness. I do not
reproach them, because we have here to do with things which, in all
probability, we shall not know in the day when we shall think that we
know everything. I do not ask that they shall reveal to me the secret
of the universe, for I do not believe, like a child, that this secret
can be expressed in three words or that it can enter my brain without
bursting it. I am even persuaded that beings who might be millions of
times more intelligent than the most intelligent among us would not
yet possess it, for this secret must be as infinite, as unfathomable,
as inexhaustible as the universe itself. Nevertheless, the fact
remains that this inability to go even a few years beyond the life
after death detracts greatly from the interest of their experiments
and revelations. At best, it is only a short space gained, and it is
not by this juggling on the threshold that our fate is decided. I am
ready to go through what may befall me in the short interval filled by
those revelations, as I am even now going through what befalls me in my
life here. My destiny does not lie there, nor my home. I do not doubt
that the facts reported are genuine and proved; but what is even much
more certain is that the dead, if they survive, have not a great deal
to teach us, whether because at the moment when they can speak to us
they have nothing to tell us, or because at the moment when they might
have something to reveal to us they are no longer able to do so, but
withdraw forever, and lose sight of us in the immensity which they are

  [1] Translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos and copyright U. S.
      A., 1913, by Eugène Fasquelle.

  [2] “The Survival of Man,” Chap. XXV, p. 325.

  [3] In this connection, however, we find two or three rather
      perturbing facts, a remarkable one being that at a spiritualistic
      meeting held by the late W. T. Stead the prediction of the murder
      of King Alexander and Queen Draga was described with the most
      circumstantial details. A verbatim report was drawn up of this
      prediction and signed by thirty witnesses; and Stead went next
      day to beg the Servian minister in London to warn the king of the
      danger that threatened him. The event took place, as announced, a
      few months later. But “precognition” does not necessarily require
      the intervention of the dead; moreover, every case of this kind,
      before being definitely accepted, would call for prolonged study
      in every particular.

  [4] In order to exhaust this question of survival and of
      communications with the dead, I ought to speak of Dr. Hyslop’s
      recent investigations, made with the assistance of the mediums
      Smead and Chenoweth (communications with William James). I ought
      also to mention Julia’s famous “bureau” and, above all, the
      extraordinary séances of Mrs. Wriedt, the trumpet medium, who not
      only obtains communications in which the dead speak languages of
      which she herself is completely ignorant, but raises apparitions
      said to be extremely disturbing. I ought lastly, to examine the
      facts set forth by Professor Porro, Dr. Venzano, and M. Rozanne,
      and many other things besides, for spiritualistic investigation
      and literature are already piling volume upon volume. But it was
      not my intention or my pretension to make a complete study of
      scientific spiritualism. I wished merely to omit no essential
      point and to give a general but accurate idea of this posthumous
      atmosphere which no really new and decisive fact has come to
      unsettle since the manifestations of which we have spoken.

  [5] In order to hide nothing and to bring all the documents into
      court, we may point out that Colonel de Rochas ascertained upon
      inquiry that the subjects’ revelations concerning their former
      existences were inaccurate in several particulars.

      “Their narratives were also full of anachronisms, which disclosed
      the presence of normal recollections among the suggestions
      that came from an unknown source. Nevertheless, one perfectly
      indubitable fact remains, which is that of the existence of
      certain visions recurring with the same characteristics in the
      case of a considerable number of persons unknown to one another.”

  [6] In this connection, may I be permitted to quote a personal
      experience? One evening at the Abbaye de Saint-Wandrille, where
      I am wont to spend my summers, some newly arrived guests were
      amusing themselves by making a small table spin on its foot. I
      was quietly smoking in a corner of the drawing-room, at some
      distance from the little table, taking no interest in what was
      happening around it and thinking of something quite different.
      After due entreaty, the table replied that it held the spirit of
      a seventeenth-century monk who was buried in the east gallery
      of the cloisters under a flagstone dated 1693. After the
      departure of the monk, who suddenly, for no apparent reason,
      refused to continue the interview, we thought that we would go
      with a lamp and look for the grave. We ended by discovering
      in the far cloister, on the eastern side, a tombstone in very
      bad condition, broken, worn down, trodden into the ground, and
      crumbling, on which, by examining it very closely, we were able
      with great difficulty to decipher the inscription, “A.D. 1693.”
      Now, at the moment of the monk’s reply there was no one in the
      drawing-room except my guests and myself. None of them knew the
      abbey; they had arrived that very evening a few minutes before
      dinner, after which, as it was quite dark, they had put off their
      visit to the cloisters and the ruins until the following day.
      Therefore, short of a belief in the “shells” or the “elementals”
      of the theosophists, the revelation could have come only from
      me. Nevertheless, I believed myself to be absolutely ignorant
      of the existence of that particular tombstone, one of the least
      legible among a score of others, all belonging to the seventeenth
      century, which pave this part of the cloisters.


Country Roads of New England

Four Drawings by Walter King Stone








Author of “Molly Make-Believe,” etc.




    On the day of her graduation from the training-school, the White
    Linen Nurse was overcome by hysteria. For weeks she had been
    working too hard, and two or three cases with which she had been
    connected having gone wrong, she had racked herself with an absurd
    sense of responsibility. Now, in her distracted state, the visible
    sign of her self-contempt was the perfectly controlled expression
    of her trained-nurse face.

    From a scene in her room with her two room-mates, in which
    confidences are exchanged, she rushed to the office of the
    Superintendent of Nurses, and hysterically demanded her own face.
    The Senior Surgeon was sent for, and after tartly telling the girl
    she was a fool, finally took her with him and his little crippled
    daughter for a thirty-mile trip into the country, where he had been
    summoned on a difficult case.

    On their return, the Senior Surgeon lost control of the machine on
    a steep hill, and the three were thrown out.

When the White Linen Nurse found anything again, she found herself
lying perfectly flat on her back in a reasonably comfortable nest of
grass and leaves. Staring inquisitively up into the sky she thought
she noticed a slight black-and-blue discoloration toward the west, but
more than that, much to her relief, the firmament did not seem to be
seriously injured. The earth, she feared, had not escaped so easily.
Even away off somewhere near the tip of her fingers the ground was as
sore, as sore as could be, under her touch. Impulsively to her dizzy
eyes the hot tears started, to think that now, tired as she was, she
would have to jump right up in another minute or two and attend to the
poor earth. Fortunately for any really strenuous emergency that might
arise, there seemed to be nothing about her own body that hurt at all
except a queer, persistent little pain in her cheek.

Not until the Little Crippled Girl’s dirt-smouched face intervened
between her own staring eyes and the sky did she realize that the pain
in her cheek was a pinch.

“Wake up! wake up!” scolded the Little Crippled Girl, shrilly.
“Naughty--pink-and-white Nursie! I wanted to hear the bump! You
screamed so loud I couldn’t hear the bump.”

With excessive caution the White Linen Nurse struggled up at last to a
sitting posture, and gazed perplexedly about her.

It seemed to be a perfectly pleasant field--acres and acres of mild old
grass tottering palsiedly down to watch some skittish young violets
and bluets frolic in and out of a giggling brook. Up the field? Up
the field? Hazily the White Linen Nurse ground her knuckles into her
incredulous eyes. Up the field, just beyond them, the great empty
automobile stood amiably at rest. From the general appearance of the
stone wall at the top of the little grassy slope it was palpably
evident that the car had attempted certain vain acrobatic feats before
its failing momentum had forced it into the humiliating ranks of the

Still grinding her knuckles into her eyes, the White Linen Nurse
turned back to the Little Girl. Under the torn, twisted sable cap
one little eye was hidden completely, but the other eye loomed up as
rakish and bruised as a prize-fighter’s. One sable sleeve was wrenched
disastrously from its armhole, and along the edge of the vivid, purple
little skirt the ill-favored white ruffles seemed to have raveled out
into hopeless yards and yards and yards of Hamburg embroidery.

The Little Girl began to gather herself together a trifle

“We--we seem to have fallen out of something,” she confided with the
air of one who halves a most precious secret.

“Yes, I know,” said the White Linen Nurse; “but _what_ has become
of--your father?”

Worriedly for an instant, the Little Girl sat scanning the remotest
corners of the field, then abruptly, with a gasp of real relief, she
began to explore with cautious fingers the geographical outline of her
black eye.

“Oh, never mind about Father,” she asserted cheerfully. “I guess--I
guess he got mad and went home.”

“Yes, I know,” mused the White Linen Nurse; “but it doesn’t

“Probable?” mocked the Little Girl, most disagreeably; then suddenly
her little hand went shooting out toward the stranded automobile.

“Why, _there_ he is,” she screamed--“under the car! Oh,

Laboriously the White Linen Nurse scrambled to her knees. Desperately
she tried to ram her fingers like a clog into the whirling dizziness
round her temples.

“Oh, my God! oh, my God! what’s the dose for anybody under a car?” she
babbled idiotically.

Then with a really Herculean effort, both mental and physical, she
staggered to her feet, and started for the automobile.

But her knees gave out, and wilting down to the grass, she tried to
crawl along on all fours till straining wrists sent her back to her
feet again.

Whenever she tried to walk, the Little Girl walked; whenever she tried
to crawl, the Little Girl crawled.

“Isn’t it _fun_!” the shrill childish voice piped persistently. “Isn’t
it just like playing shipwreck!”

When they reached the car, both woman and child were too utterly
exhausted with breathlessness to do anything except just sit down on
the ground and stare.

Sure enough, under that monstrous, immovable-looking machine the Senior
Surgeon’s body lay rammed, face down, deep, deep into the grass.

It was the Little Girl who recovered her breath first.

“I think he’s dead,” she volunteered sagely. “His legs look--awfully
dead to me.” Only excitement was in the statement. It took a second or
two for her little mind to make any particularly personal application
of such excitement. “I hadn’t--exactly--planned--on having _him_ dead,”
she began with imperious resentment. A threat of complete emotional
collapse zigzagged suddenly across her face. “I won’t have him dead! I
won’t! I _won’t_!” she screamed out stormily.

In the amazing silence that ensued the White Linen Nurse gathered her
trembling knees up into the circle of her arms and sat there staring at
the Senior Surgeon’s prostrate body, and rocking herself feebly to and
fro in a futile effort to collect her scattered senses.

“Oh, if some one would only tell me what to do, I know I could do it!
Oh, I know I could do it! If some one would only tell me what to do!”
she kept repeating helplessly.

Cautiously the Little Girl crept forward on her hands and knees to the
edge of the car, and peered speculatively through the great yellow
wheel-spokes. “Father!” she faltered in almost inaudible gentleness.
“Father!” she pleaded in perfectly impotent whisper.

Impetuously the White Linen Nurse scrambled to her own hands and knees
and jostled the Little Girl aside.

“Fat Father!” screamed the White Linen Nurse. “Fat Father! Fat Father!
_Fat Father!_” she gibed and taunted with the one call she knew that
had never yet failed to rouse him.

Perceptibly across the Senior Surgeon’s horridly quiet shoulders a
little twitch wrinkled and was gone again.

“Oh, his heart!” gasped the White Linen Nurse. “I must find his heart!”

Throwing herself prone upon the cool, meadowy ground and frantically
reaching under the running-board of the car to her full arm’s-length,
she began to rummage awkwardly hither and yon beneath the heavy weight
of the man in the desperate hope of feeling a heart-beat.

“Ouch! you tickle me!” spluttered the Senior Surgeon, weakly.

Rolling back quickly with fright and relief, the White Linen Nurse
burst forth into one maddening cackle of hysterical laughter. “Ha! ha!
ha!” she giggled. “Hi! hi!”

Perplexedly at first, but with increasing abandon, the Little Girl’s
voice took up the same idiotic refrain. “Ha! ha! ha!” she choked. “Hi!
hi! hi!”

With an agonizing jerk of his neck, the Senior Surgeon rooted his
mud-gagged mouth half an inch farther toward free and spontaneous
speech. Very laboriously, very painstakingly, he spat out one by one
two stones and a wisp of ground-pine and a brackish, prickly tickle of
stale goldenrod.

“Blankety-blank-blank-_blank_!” he announced in due
time--“blankety-blank-blank-blank-_blank_! Maybe when you two
blankety-blank imbeciles have got through your blankety-blank
cackling, you’ll have the blankety-blank decency to save my--my
blankety-blank-blank-blank-_blank-blank life_!”

“Ha! ha! ha!” persisted the poor White Linen Nurse, with the tears
streaming down her cheeks.

“Hi! hi! hi!” snickered the poor Little Girl through her hiccoughs.

Feeling hopelessly imprisoned under the monstrous car, the Senior
Surgeon closed his eyes for death. No man of his weight, he felt sure,
could reasonably expect to survive many minutes longer the apoplectic,
blood-red rage that pounded in his ear-drums. Through his tight-closed
eyelids very, very slowly a red glow seemed to permeate. He thought it
was the fires of hell. Opening his eyes to meet his fate like a man, he
found himself staring impudently close, instead, into the White Linen
Nurse’s furiously flushed face, which lay cuddled on one plump cheek,
staring impudently close at him.

“Why--why--get out!” gasped the Senior Surgeon.

Very modestly the White Linen Nurse’s face retreated a little further
into its blushes.

“Yes, I know,” she protested; “but I’m all through giggling now. I’m

In sheer apprehensiveness the Senior Surgeon’s features crinkled
wincingly from brow to chin as though struggling vainly to retreat from
the appalling proximity of the girl’s face.

“Your--eyelashes--are too long,” he complained querulously.

“Eh?” jerked the White Linen Nurse’s face. “Is it your brain that’s
hurt? Oh, sir, do you think it’s your brain that’s hurt?”

“It’s my stomach,” snapped the Senior Surgeon. “I tell you I’m not
hurt; I’m just--squashed. I’m paralyzed. If I can’t get this car off

“Yes, that’s just it,” beamed the White Linen Nurse’s face--“that’s
just what I crawled in here to find out--how to get the car off you.
That’s just what I want to find out. I could run for help, of course;
only I couldn’t run, ’cause my knees are so wobbly. It would take
hours, and the car might start or burn up or something while I was
gone. But you don’t seem to be caught anywhere on the machinery,” she
added more brightly; “it only seems to be sitting on you. So if I could
only get the car off you! But it’s so heavy. I had no idea it would be
so heavy. Could I take it apart, do you think? Is there any one place
where I could begin at the beginning and take it all apart?”

“Take it apart--hell!” groaned the Senior Surgeon.

A little twitch of defiance flickered across the White Linen Nurse’s

“All the same,” she asserted stubbornly, “if some one would only tell
me what to do, I know I could do it.”

Horridly from some unlocatable quarter of the engine an alarming little
tremor quickened suddenly, and was hushed again.

“Get out of here--quick!” stormed the Senior Surgeon.

“I won’t,” said the White Linen Nurse, “until you tell me what to do.”

Brutally for an instant the ingenuous blue eyes and the cynical gray
eyes battled each other.

“_Can_ you do what you’re told?” faltered the Senior Surgeon.

“Oh, yes,” said the White Linen Nurse.

“I mean, can you do exactly what you’re told?” gasped the Senior
Surgeon. “Can you follow directions, I mean? Can you follow them
explicitly? Or are you one of those people who listens only to her own

“Oh, but I haven’t got any judgment,” protested the White Linen Nurse.

Palpably in the Senior Surgeon’s bloodshot eyes the leisurely seeming
diagnosis leaped to precipitous conclusions.

“Then get out of here quick, for God’s sake, and get to work!” he

Cautiously the White Linen Nurse jerked herself back into freedom
and crawled around and stared at the Senior Surgeon through the
wheel-spokes again. Like one worrying out some intricate mathematical
problem, his mental strain was pulsing visibly through his closed

“Yes, sir?” prodded the White Linen Nurse.

“Keep still!” snapped the Senior Surgeon. “I’ve got to think,” he said.
“I’ve got to work it out. All in a moment you’ve got to learn to run
the car. All in a moment! It’s awful!”

“Oh, I don’t mind, sir,” affirmed the White Linen Nurse, serenely.

Frenziedly the Senior Surgeon rooted one cheek into the mud again.

“You don’t _mind_?” he groaned. “You don’t _mind_? Why, you’ve got to
learn--everything--everything from the very beginning!”

“Oh, that’s all right, sir,” crooned the White Linen Nurse.

Ominously from somewhere a horrid sound creaked again. The Senior
Surgeon did not stop to argue any further.

“Now come here,” he ordered. “I’m going to--I’m going to--”
Startlingly his voice weakened, trailed off into nothingness, and
rallied suddenly with exaggerated bruskness. “Look here, now, for
Heaven’s sake, use your brains! I’m going to dictate to you very
slowly, one thing at a time, just what to do.”

Quite astonishingly the White Linen Nurse sank down on her knees and
began to grin at him.

“Oh, no, sir,” she said; “I couldn’t do it that way--not one thing at a
time. Oh, no, indeed, sir--No.” Absolute finality was in her voice, the
inviolable stubbornness of the perfectly good-natured person.

“You’ll do it the way I tell you to,” roared the Senior Surgeon,
struggling vainly to ease one shoulder or stretch one knee-joint.

“Oh, no, sir,” beamed the White Linen Nurse; “not one thing at a time.
Oh, no; I couldn’t do it that way. Oh, no, sir; I won’t do it that
way--one thing at a time,” she persisted hurriedly. “Why, you might
faint away or something might happen right in the middle of it--right
between one direction and another, and I wouldn’t know at all what to
turn on or off next; and it might take off one of your legs, you know,
or an arm. Oh, no; not one thing at a time.”

“Good-by, then,” croaked the Senior Surgeon. “I’m as good as dead now.”
A single shudder went through him, a last futile effort to stretch

“Good-by,” said the White Linen Nurse. “Good-by. I’d heaps rather have
you die perfectly whole, like that, of your own accord, than have me
run the risk of starting the car full-tilt and chopping you up so, or
dragging you off so, that you didn’t find it convenient to tell me how
to _stop_ the car.”

“You’re a--a--a--” spluttered the Senior Surgeon, incoherently.

“_Crinkle-crackle!_” went that mysterious, horrid sound from somewhere
in the machinery.

“Oh, my God!” surrendered the Senior Surgeon, “do it your own--damned
way! Only--only--” His voice cracked raspingly.

“Steady! Steady there!” said the White Linen Nurse. Except for a sudden
odd pucker at the end of her nose her expression was still perfectly
serene. “Now begin at the beginning,” she begged. “Quick! Tell me
everything just the way I must do it! Quick! quick! quick!”

Twice the Senior Surgeon’s lips opened and shut with a vain effort to
comply with her request.

“But you can’t do it,” he began all over again; “it isn’t possible. You
haven’t got the mind.”

“Maybe I haven’t,” said the White Linen Nurse; “but I’ve got the
memory. _Hurry!_”

“_Creak!_” said the funny little something in the machinery.

“Oh, get in there quick!” surrendered the Senior Surgeon. “Sit down
behind the wheel!” he shouted after her flying footsteps. “Are you
there? For God’s sake, are you there? Do you see those two little
levers where your right hand comes? For God’s sake, don’t you know what
a lever is? Quick now! Do just what I tell you!”

A little jerkily then, but very clearly, very concisely, the Senior
Surgeon called out to the White Linen Nurse just how every lever, every
pedal, should be manipulated to start the car.

Absolutely accurately, absolutely indelibly, the White Linen Nurse
visualized each separate detail in her abnormally retentive mind.

“But you can’t possibly remember it,” groaned the Senior Surgeon. “You
can’t possibly. And probably the damned car’s _bust_ and won’t start,
anyway, and--” Abruptly the speech ended in a guttural snarl of despair.

“Don’t be a--blight!” screamed the White Linen Nurse. “I’ve never
forgotten anything yet, sir!”

Very tensely she straightened up suddenly in her seat. Her expression
was no longer even remotely pleasant. Along her sensitive, fluctuant
nostrils the casual crinkle of distaste and suspicion had deepened
suddenly into sheer dilating terror.

“Left foot--press down--hard--left pedal,” she began to singsong to

“No, _right_ foot--_right_ foot!” corrected the Little Girl,
blunderingly from somewhere close in the grass.

“Inside lever--pull--’way--back!” persisted the White Linen Nurse,
resolutely, as she switched on the current.

“No, _outside_ lever! _Outside! Outside!_” contradicted the Little

“Shut your damned mouth!” screeched the White Linen Nurse, her hand on
the throttle as she tried the self-starter.

Bruised as he was, wretched, desperately endangered there under the
car, the Senior Surgeon could almost have grinned at the girl’s terse,
unconscious mimicry of his own most venomous tones.

Then with all the forty-eight lusty, ebullient years of his life
snatched from his lips like an untasted cup, and one single noxious,
death-flavored second urged, forced, crammed down his choking throat,
he felt the great car quicken and start.

“God!” said the Senior Surgeon, just “God!” The God of mud, he meant;
the God of brackish grass; the God of a man lying still hopeful under
more than two and a half ton’s weight of unaccountable mechanism, with
a novice in full command.

Up in her crimson leather cushions, free-lunged, free-limbed, the White
Linen Nurse heard the smothered cry. Clear above the whir of wheels,
the whizz of clogs, the one word sizzled like a red-hot poker across
her chattering consciousness. Tingling through the grasp of her fingers
on the vibrating wheel, stinging through the sole of her foot that
hovered over the throbbing clutch, she sensed the agonized appeal.
“Short lever, spark; long lever, gas,” she persisted resolutely. “It
must be right; it must!”

Jerkily then, and blatantly unskilfully, with riotous puffs, and
spinning of wheels, the great car started, faltered, balked a bit, then
dragged crushingly across the Senior Surgeon’s flattened body, and with
a great wanton burst of speed tore down the sloping meadow into the
brook rods away. Clamping down the brakes with a wrench and a racket
like the smash of a machine-shop, the White Linen Nurse jumped out into
the brook, and with one wild, terrified glance behind her, staggered
back up the long, grassy slope to the Senior Surgeon.

Mechanically through her wooden-feeling lips she forced the greeting
that sounded most cheerful to her.

“It’s not much fun, sir, running an auto,” she gasped. “I don’t believe
I’d like it.”

Half propped up on one elbow, still dizzy with mental chaos, still
paralyzed with physical inertia, the Senior Surgeon lay staring blankly
about him. Indifferently for an instant his stare included the White
Linen Nurse. Then glowering suddenly at something beyond her, his face
went perfectly livid.

“Good God! the--the car’s on fire!” he mumbled.

“Yes, sir,” said the White Linen Nurse. “Why, didn’t you know it, sir?”

Headlong the Senior Surgeon pitched over on the grass, his last vestige
of self-control stripped from him, horror unspeakable racking him
sobbingly from head to toe.

Whimperingly the Little Girl came crawling to him, and, settling down
close at his feet, began with her tiny lace handkerchief to make futile
dabs at the mud-stains on his gray silk stockings.

“Never mind, Father,” she coaxed; “we’ll get you clean sometime.”

Nervously the White Linen Nurse bethought her of the brook. “Oh, wait a
minute, sir, and I’ll get you a drink of water,” she pleaded.

Bruskly the Senior Surgeon’s hand jerked out and grabbed at her skirt.

“Don’t leave me!” he begged. “For God’s sake, don’t leave me!”

Weakly he struggled up again and sat staring piteously at the blazing
car. His unrelinquished clutch on the White Linen Nurse’s skirt brought
her sinking softly down beside him like a collapsed balloon. Together
they sat and watched the gaseous yellow flames shoot up into the sky.

“It’s pretty, isn’t it?” piped the Little Girl.

“Eh?” groaned the Senior Surgeon.

“Father,” persisted the shrill little voice--“Father, do people ever
burn up?”

“Eh?” gasped the Senior Surgeon. Brutally the harsh, shuddering sobs
began to rack and tear again through his great chest.

“There! there!” crooned the White Linen Nurse, struggling desperately
to her knees. “Let me get--everybody a drink of water.”

Again the Senior Surgeon’s unrelinquished clutch on her skirt jerked
her back to the place beside him.

“I said _not to leave me_!” he snapped out as roughly as he jerked.

Before the affrighted look in the White Linen Nurse’s face a sheepish,
mirthless grin flickered across one corner of his mouth.

“Lord! but I’m shaken!” he apologized. “Me, of all people!” Painfully
the red blood mounted to his cheeks. “Me, of all people!” Bluntly he
forced the White Linen Nurse’s reluctant gaze to meet his own. “Only
yesterday,” he persisted, “I did a laparotomy on a man who had only one
chance in a hundred of pulling through, and I--I laughed at him for
fighting off his ether cone--laughed at him, I tell you!”

“Yes, I know,” soothed the White Linen Nurse; “but--”

“But nothing!” growled the Senior Surgeon. “The fear of death? Bah! All
my life I’ve scoffed at it. Die? Yes, of course, when you _have_ to,
but with no kick coming. Why, I’ve been wrecked in a hurricane in the
Gulf of Mexico, and I didn’t care; and I’ve lain for nine days more
dead than alive in an Asiatic cholera camp, and I didn’t care; and
I’ve been locked into my office three hours with a raving maniac and
a dynamite bomb, and I didn’t care; and twice in a Pennsylvania mine
disaster I’ve been the first man down the shaft, and I didn’t care; and
I’ve been shot, I tell you, and I’ve been horse-trampled, and I’ve been
wolf-bitten, and I’ve _never_ cared. But to-day--to-day--” Piteously
all the pride and vigor wilted from his great shoulders, leaving him
all huddled up, like a woman, with his head on his knees--“but to-day
I’ve got mine,” he acknowledged brokenly.

Once again the White Linen Nurse tried to rise.

“Oh, please, sir, let me get you a--drink of water,” she suggested

“I said not to leave me!” jerked the Senior Surgeon.

Perplexedly, with big staring eyes, the Little Crippled Girl glanced
up at this strange fatherish person who sounded so suddenly small
and scared like herself. Jealous instantly of her own prerogatives,
she dropped her futile labors on the mud-stained silk stockings and
scrambled precipitously for the White Linen Nurse’s lap, where she
nestled down finally after many gyrations, and sat glowering forth at
all possible interlopers.

“Don’t leave _any_ of us!” she ordered with a peremptoriness not
unmixed with supplication.

“Surely some one will see the fire and come and get us,” conceded the
Senior Surgeon.

“Yes, surely,” mused the White Linen Nurse. Just at that moment she
was mostly concerned with adjusting the curve of her shoulder to the
curve of the Little Girl’s head. “I could sit more comfortably,” she
suggested to the Senior Surgeon, “if you’d let go my skirt.”

“Let go of your skirt? Who’s touching your skirt?” gasped the Senior
Surgeon, incredulously. Once again the blood mounted darkly to his
face. “I think I’ll get up--and walk around a bit,” he confided coldly.

“Do, sir,” said the White Linen Nurse.

With a tweak of pain through his sprained back, the Senior Surgeon
suddenly sat down again. “I _sha’n’t_ get up till I’m good and ready,”
he declared.

“I wouldn’t, sir,” said the White Linen Nurse. Very slowly, very
complacently, all the while she kept right on renovating the Little
Girl’s personal appearance, smoothing a wrinkled stocking, tucking up
obstreperous white ruffles, tugging down parsimonious purple hems,
loosening a pinchy hook, tightening a wobbly button. Very slowly, very
complacently, the Little Girl drowsed off to sleep, with her weazen,
iron-cased little legs stretched stiffly out before her. “Poor little
legs! Poor little legs! Poor little legs!” crooned the White Linen

“I don’t know that you need to make a _song_ about it,” winced the
Senior Surgeon. “It’s just about the cruellest case of complete
muscular atrophy that I’ve ever seen.”

Blandly the White Linen Nurse lifted her big blue eyes to his.

“It wasn’t her ‘complete muscular atrophy’ that I was thinking about,”
she said. “It’s her panties that are so unbecoming.”

“Eh?” exclaimed the Senior Surgeon.

“Poor little legs! Poor little legs! Poor little legs!” resumed the
White Linen Nurse, droningly.

Very slowly, very complacently, all around them April kept right on
being April. Very slowly, very complacently, all around them the grass
kept right on growing, and the trees kept right on budding. Very
slowly, very complacently, all around them the blue sky kept right on
fading into its early evening dove-colors.

Nothing brisk, nothing breathless, nothing even remotely hurried, was
there in all the landscape except just the brook, and the flash of a
bird, and the blaze of the crackling automobile.

The White Linen Nurse’s nostrils were smooth and calm with the
lovely sappy scent of rabbit-nibbled maple-bark and mud-wet arbutus
buds. The White Linen Nurse’s mind was full of sumptuous, succulent
marsh-marigolds and fluffy-white shad-bush blossoms.

The Senior Surgeon’s nostrils were all puckered up with the stench
of burning varnish. The Senior Surgeon’s mind was full of the horrid
thought that he’d forgotten to renew his automobile fire-insurance,
and that he had a sprained back, and that his rival colleague had told
him he didn’t know how to run an auto, anyway, and that the cook had
given notice that morning, and that he had a sprained back, and that
the moths had gnawed the knees out of his new dress-suit, and that the
Superintendent of Nurses had had the audacity to send him a bunch of
pink roses for his birthday, and that the boiler in the kitchen leaked,
and that he had to go to Philadelphia the next day to read a paper on
“Surgical Methods at the Battle of Waterloo” and he hadn’t even begun
the paper yet, and that he had a sprained back, and that the wall-paper
on his library hung in shreds and tatters, waiting for him to decide
between a French fresco effect and an early English paneling, and that
his little daughter was growing up in wanton ugliness under the care of
coarse, indifferent hirelings, and that the laundry robbed him weekly
of at least five socks, and that it would cost him fully seven thousand
dollars to replace this car, and that he had a sprained back.

“It’s restful, isn’t it?” cooed the White Linen Nurse.

“Isn’t _what_ restful?” glowered the Senior Surgeon.

“Sitting down,” said the White Linen Nurse.

Contemptuously the Senior Surgeon’s mind ignored the interruption and
reverted precipitously to its own immediate problem concerning the
gloomy, black-walnut-shadowed entrance-hall of his great house, and
how many yards of imported linoleum at $3.45 a yard it would take
to recarpet the “confounded hole”; and how it would have seemed,
anyway, if--if he hadn’t gone home as usual to the horrid black-walnut
shadows that night, but been carried home instead, feet first and quite
dead--dead, mind you, with a _red_ necktie on, and even the cook was
out! And they wouldn’t even know where to lay him, but might put him by
mistake in that--in that--in his dead wife’s dead bed!

Altogether unconsciously a little fluttering sigh of ineffable
contentment escaped the White Linen Nurse.

“I don’t care how long we have to sit here and wait for help,” she
announced cheerfully, “because to-morrow, of course, I’ll have to get
up and begin all over again--and go to Nova Scotia.”

“Go _where_?” lurched the Senior Surgeon.

“I’d thank you kindly, sir, not to jerk my skirt quite so hard,” said
the White Linen Nurse, just a trifle stiffly.

Incredulously once more the Senior Surgeon withdrew his detaining hand.

“I’m not even touching your skirt,” he denied desperately. Nothing
but denial and reiterated denial seemed to ease his self-esteem for
an instant. “Why, for Heaven’s sake, should I want to hold on to
your skirt?” he demanded peremptorily. “What the deuce,” he began
blusteringly--“why in--”

Then abruptly he stopped and shot an odd, puzzled glance at the White
Linen Nurse, and right there before her startled eyes she saw every
vestige of human expression fade out of his face as it faded out
sometimes in the operating-room when, in the midst of some ghastly,
unforeseen emergency that left all his assistants blinking helplessly
about them, his whole wonderful, scientific mind seemed to break up
like some chemical compound into all its meek component parts, only
to reorganize itself suddenly with some amazing explosive action that
fairly knocked the breath out of all on-lookers, but was pretty apt to
knock the breath _into_ the body of the person most concerned.

When the Senior Surgeon’s scientific mind had reorganized itself to
meet _this_ emergency, he found himself vastly more surprised at the
particular type of explosion that had taken place than any other person
could possibly have been.

“Miss Malgregor,” he gasped, “speaking of preferring ‘domestic
service,’ as you call it--speaking of preferring domestic service
to--nursing, how would you like to consider--to consider a position
of--of--well, call it a--a position of general--heartwork--for a
family of two? Myself and the Little Girl here being the two, as you
understand,” he added briskly.

“Why, I think it would be grand!” beamed the White Linen Nurse.

A trifle mockingly the Senior Surgeon bowed his appreciation.

“Your frank and immediate--enthusiasm,” he murmured, “is more, perhaps,
than I had dared to expect.”

“But it _would_ be grand,” said the White Linen Nurse. Before the odd
little smile in the Senior Surgeon’s eyes her white forehead puckered
all up with perplexity. Then with her mind still thoroughly unawakened,
her heart began suddenly to pitch and lurch like a frightened horse
whose rider has not even remotely sensed as yet the approach of an
unwonted footfall. “What did you say?” she repeated worriedly. “Just
exactly what was it that you said? I guess, maybe, I didn’t understand
just exactly what it was that you said.”

The smile in the Senior Surgeon’s eyes deepened a little.

“I asked you,” he said, “how you would like to consider a position of
‘general heartwork’ in a family of two, myself and the Little Girl
here being the two. ‘Heartwork’ was what I said. Yes, ‘heartwork,’ not

“_Heartwork?_” faltered the White Linen Nurse. “Heartwork? I don’t know
what you mean, sir.” Like two falling rose-petals her eyelids fluttered
down across her affrighted eyes. “Oh, when I shut my eyes, sir, and
just hear your voice, I know of course, sir, that it’s some sort of a
joke; but when I look right at you, I--I--don’t know--what it is.”

“Open your eyes and keep them open, then, till you do find out,”
suggested the Senior Surgeon, bluntly.

Defiantly once again the blue eyes and the gray eyes challenged each

“‘Heartwork’ was what I said,” persisted the Senior Surgeon. Palpably
his narrowing eyes shut out all meaning but one definite one.

The White Linen Nurse’s face became almost as blanched as her dress.

“You’re--you’re not asking me to--_marry_ you, sir?” she stammered.

“I suppose I am,” acknowledged the Senior Surgeon.

“Not _marry_ you!” cried the White Linen Nurse. Distress was in her
voice, distaste, unmitigable shock, as though the high gods themselves
had fallen at her feet and splintered off into mere candy fragments.
“Oh, not _marry_ you, sir?” she kept right on protesting. “Not
be--_engaged_, you mean? Oh, not be _engaged_--and everything?”

“Well, why not?” snapped the Senior Surgeon.

Like a smitten flower the girl’s whole body seemed to wilt down into
incalculable weariness.

“Oh, no, no! I couldn’t!” she protested. “Oh, no, really!” Appealingly
she lifted her great blue eyes to his, and the blueness was all blurred
with tears. “I’ve--I’ve been engaged once, you know,” she explained
falteringly. “Why--I was engaged, sir--almost as soon as I was born,
and I stayed engaged till two years ago. That’s almost twenty years.
That’s a long time, sir. You don’t get over it--easy.” Very, very
gravely she began to shake her head. “Oh, no, sir! No! Thank you--very
much, but I--I just simply _couldn’t_ begin at the beginning and go all
through it again. I haven’t got the heart for it. I haven’t got the
spirit. Carving your initials on trees and--and gadding round to all
the Sunday-school picnics--”

Brutally, like a boy, the Senior Surgeon threw back his head in one
wild hoot of joy. Much more cautiously, as the agonizing pang in his
shoulder lulled down again, he proceeded to argue the matter, but the
grin in his face was even yet faintly traceable.

“Frankly, Miss Malgregor,” he affirmed, “I’m much more addicted
to carving people than to carving trees; and as to Sunday-school
picnics--well, really now, I hardly believe that you’d find my demands
in that direction excessive.”

Perplexedly the White Linen Nurse tried to stare her way through his
bantering smile to his real meaning. Furiously, as she stared, the red
blood came flushing back into her face.

“You don’t mean for a second that you--that you love me?” she asked

“No, I don’t suppose I do,” acknowledged the Senior Surgeon with equal
bluntness; “but my little kiddie here loves you,” he hastened somewhat
nervously to affirm. “Oh, I’m almost sure that my little kiddie
here--loves you. She needs you, anyway. Let it go at that. Call it that
we both--need you.”

“What you mean is,” corrected the White Linen Nurse, “that needing
_somebody_ very badly, you’ve just suddenly decided that that somebody
might as well be me?”

“Well, if you choose to put it like that,” said the Senior Surgeon, a
bit sulkily.

“And if there hadn’t been an auto accident,” argued the White Linen
Nurse just out of sheer inquisitiveness, “if there hadn’t been just
this particular kind of an auto accident at this particular hour
of this particular day of this particular month, with marigolds
and--everything, you probably never would have realized that you _did_
need anybody?”

“Maybe not,” admitted the Senior Surgeon.

“U-m-m,” said the White Linen Nurse. “And if you’d happened to take
one of the other girls to-day instead of me, why, then I suppose you’d
have felt that _she_ was the one you really needed? And if you’d taken
the Superintendent of Nurses instead of any of us girls, you might even
have felt that _she_ was the one you most needed?”

“Oh, hell!” said the Senior Surgeon.

With surprising agility for a man with a sprained back he wrenched
himself around until he faced her quite squarely.

“Now see here, Miss Malgregor,” he growled, “for Heaven’s sake, listen
to sense, even if you can’t talk it! Here am I, a plain professional
man, making you a plain professional offer. Why in thunder should
you try and fuss me all up because my offer isn’t couched in all the
foolish, romantic, lace-paper sort of flub-dubbery that you think such
an offer ought to be couched in, eh?”

“Fuss you all up, sir?” protested the White Linen Nurse, with real

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



“Yes, fuss me all up,” snarled the Senior Surgeon, with increasing
venom. “I’m no story-writer; I’m not trying to make up what might
have happened a year from next February in a Chinese junk off the
coast of--Nova Zembla to a Methodist preacher and a--and a militant
suffragette. What I’m trying to size up is just what’s happened to you
and me to-day. For the fact remains that it is to-day. And it is you
and I. And there _has_ been an accident, and out of that accident--and
everything that’s gone with it--I _have_ come out thinking of something
that I never thought of before. And there _were_ marigolds,” he
added with unexpected whimsicality. “You see, I don’t deny even the

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

“Yes, _what_?” jerked the Senior Surgeon.

Softly the White Linen Nurse’s chin burrowed down a little closer
against the sleeping child’s tangled hair.

“Why--yes, thank you very much; but I never shall love again,” she said

“Love?” gasped the Senior Surgeon. “Why, I’m not asking you to love
me!” His face was suddenly crimson. “Why, I’d _hate_ it, if you--loved
me! Why, I’d--”

“O-h-h,” mumbled the White Linen Nurse in new embarrassment. Then
suddenly and surprisingly her chin came tilting bravely up again. “What
_do_ you want?” she asked.

Helplessly the Senior Surgeon threw out his hands.

“My God!” he said, “what do you suppose I want? I want some one to take
care of us.”

Gently the White Linen Nurse shifted her shoulder to accommodate the
shifting little sleepy-head on her breast.

“You can _hire_ some one for that,” she suggested with real relief.

“I was trying to hire--_you_!” said the Senior Surgeon, tersely.

“Hire _me_?” gasped the White Linen Nurse. “Why! Why!”

Adroitly she slipped both hands under the sleeping child and delivered
the little frail-fleshed, heavily ironed body into the Senior Surgeon’s
astonished arms.

“I--I don’t want to hold her,” he protested.

“She--isn’t mine,” argued the White Linen Nurse.

“But I can’t talk while I’m holding her,” insisted the Senior Surgeon.

“I can’t listen while I’m holding her,” persisted the White Linen Nurse.

Freely now, though cross-legged like a Turk, she jerked herself forward
on the grass and sat probing up into the Senior Surgeon’s face like an
excited puppy trying to solve whether the gift in your upraised hand is
a lump of sugar or a live coal.

“You’re trying to hire _me_?” she prompted him nudgingly with her
voice. “Hire me for money?”

“Oh, my Lord, no!” said the Senior Surgeon. “There are plenty of
people I can hire for money; but they won’t _stay_,” he explained
ruefully. “Hang it all!--they won’t _stay_!” Above his little girl’s
white, pinched face his own ruddy countenance furrowed suddenly with
unspeakable anxiety. “Why, just this last year,” he complained, “we’ve
had nine different housekeepers and thirteen nursery governesses.”
Skilfully as a surgeon, but awkwardly as a father, he bent to readjust
the weight of the little iron leg-braces. “But, I tell you, no one will
stay with us,” he finished hotly. “There’s something the matter with
us. I don’t seem to have money enough in the world to make anybody
_stay_ with us.” Very wryly, very reluctantly, at one corner of his
mouth his sense of humor ignited in a feeble grin. “So, you see, what
I’m trying to do to you, Miss Malgregor, is to--hire you with something
that will just naturally _compel_ you to stay.” If the grin round his
mouth strengthened a trifle, so also did the anxiety in his eyes. “For
Heaven’s sake, Miss Malgregor,” he pleaded, “here’s a man and a house
and a child all going to--hell! If you’re really and truly tired of
nursing, and are looking for a new job, what’s the matter with tackling

“It _would_ be a job,” admitted the White Linen Nurse, demurely.

“Why, it would be a horrible job,” confided the Senior Surgeon, with no
demureness whatsoever.

Very soberly, very thoughtfully, then, across the tangled, snuggling
head of his own and another woman’s child, he urged the torments and
the comforts of his home upon this second woman.

“What is there about my offer that you don’t like?” he demanded
earnestly. “Is it the whole idea that offends you? Or just the way I
put it? ‘General heartwork for a family of two’--what is the matter
with _that_? Seems a bit cold to you, does it, for a real marriage
proposal? Or is it that it’s just a bit too ardent, perhaps, for a mere
plain business proposition?”

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

“Yes, what?” insisted the Senior Surgeon.

“Yes--_sir_,” flushed the White Linen Nurse.

Very meditatively the Senior Surgeon reconsidered his phrasing.
“‘General heartwork for a family of two’? U-m-m.” Quite abruptly
even the tenseness of his manner faded from him, leaving his face
astonishingly quiet, astonishingly gentle. “But how else, Miss
Malgregor,” he queried--“how else should a widower with a child proffer
marriage to a--to a young girl like yourself? Even under conditions
directly antipodal to ours, such a proposition can never be a purely
romantic one. Yet even under conditions as cold and businesslike as
ours, there’s got to be some vestige of affection in it, some vestige
at least of the _intelligence_ of affection, else what gain is there
for my little girl and me over the purely mercenary domestic service
that has racked us up to this time with its garish faithlessness?”

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

“But even if I had loved you, Miss Malgregor,” explained the Senior
Surgeon, gravely, “my offer of marriage to you would not, I fear, have
been a very great oratorical success. Materialist as I am, cynic,
scientist, any harsh thing you choose to call me, marriage in some
freak, boyish corner of my mind still defines itself as being the
mutual sharing of a--mutually original experience. Certainly, whether
a first marriage be instigated in love or worldliness, whether it
eventually proves itself bliss, tragedy, or mere sickening ennui, to
two people coming mutually virgin to the consummation of that marriage,
the thrill of establishing publicly a man-and-woman home together is an
emotion that cannot be reduplicated while life lasts.”

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

Bleakly across the Senior Surgeon’s face something gray that was not
years shadowed suddenly, and was gone again.

“Even so, Miss Malgregor,” he argued--“even so, without any glittering
romance whatsoever, no woman, I believe, is very grossly unhappy in any
affectional place that she knows distinctly to be her _own_ place. It’s
pretty much up to a man, then, I think, though it tear him brain from
heart, to explain to a second wife quite definitely just exactly what
place it is that he is offering her in his love or his friendship or
his mere desperate need. No woman can even hope to step successfully
into a second-hand home who does not know from her man’s own lips the
measure of her predecessor. The respect we owe the dead is a selfish
thing compared with the mercy we owe the living. In my own case--”

Unconsciously the White Linen Nurse’s lax shoulders quickened, and the
sudden upward tilt of her chin was as frankly interrogative as a French
inflection. “Yes, sir,” she said.

“In my own case,” said the Senior Surgeon, bluntly--“in my own case,
Miss Malgregor, it is no more than fair to tell you that I--did not
love my wife. And my wife did not love me.” Only the muscular twitch
in his throat betrayed the torture that the confession cost him. “The
details of that marriage are unnecessary,” he continued with equal
bluntness. “It is enough, perhaps, to say that she was the daughter of
an eminent surgeon with whom I was exceedingly anxious at that time to
be allied, and that our mating, urged along on both sides, as it was,
by strong personal ambitions, was one of those so-called ‘marriages of
convenience’ which almost invariably turn out to be marriages of such
dire inconvenience to the two people most concerned. For one year we
lived together in a chaos of experimental acquaintanceship; for two
years we lived together in increasing uncongeniality and distaste; for
three years we lived together in open and acknowledged enmity; at the
last, I am thankful to remember, we had one year together again that
was at least an--armed truce.”

Darkly the gray shadow and the red flush chased each other once more
across the man’s haggard face.

“I had a theory,” he said, “that possibly a child might bridge the
chasm between us. My wife refuted the theory, but submitted herself
reluctantly to the fact. And when she died in giving birth to--my
theory, the shock, the remorse, the regret, the merciless self-analysis
that I underwent at that time almost convinced me that the whole
miserable failure of our marriage lay entirely on my own shoulders.”
Like the stress of mid-summer, the tears of sweat started suddenly on
his forehead. “But I am a fair man, I hope, even to myself, and the
cooler, less-tortured judgment of the subsequent years has virtually
assured me that for types as diametrically opposed as ours such a thing
as mutual happiness never could have existed.”

Mechanically he bent down and smoothed a tickly lock of hair away from
the little girl’s eyelids.

“And the child is the living physical image of her,” he stammered--“the
violent hair, the ghost-white skin, the facile mouth, the arrogant
eyes, staring, staring, maddeningly reproachful, persistently accusing.
My own stubborn will, my own hideous temper, all my own ill-favored
mannerisms, mock back at me eternally in her mother’s unloved
features.” As mirthless as the grin of a skull, the Senior Surgeon’s
mouth twisted up a little at one corner. “Maybe I could have borne
it better if she’d been a boy,” he acknowledged grimly; “but to see
all your virile--masculine vices come back at you, so sissified, in

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

With an unmistakable gasp of relief, the Senior Surgeon expanded his
great chest.

“There, that’s done,” he said tersely. “So much for the past; now for
the present! Look at us pretty keenly and judge for yourself. A man
and a very little girl, not guaranteed, not even recommended, offered
merely ‘as is,’ in the honest trade-phrase of the day, offered frankly
in an open package, accepted frankly, if at all, ‘at your own risk.’
Not for an instant would I try to deceive you about us. Look at us
closely, I ask, and decide for yourself. I am forty-eight years old; I
am inexcusably bad-tempered, very quick to anger, and not, I fear, of
great mercy. I am moody, I am selfish, I am most distinctly unsocial;
but I am not, I believe, stingy, or ever intentionally unfair. My
child is a cripple, and equally bad-tempered as myself. No one but a
mercenary has ever coped with her, and she shows it. We have lived
alone for six years. All of our clothes, and most of our ways, need
mending. I am not one to mince matters, Miss Malgregor, nor has your
training, I trust, made you one from whom truths must be veiled. I am
a man, with all a man’s needs, mental, moral, physical. My child is a
child with all a child’s needs, mental, moral, physical. Our house of
life is full of cobwebs. The rooms of affection have long been closed.
There will be a great deal of work to do, and it is not my intention,
you see, that you should misunderstand in any conceivable way either
the exact nature or the exact amount of work and worry involved. I
should not want you to come to me afterward with a whine, as other
workers do, and say: ‘Oh, but I didn’t know you would expect me to do
_this_! Oh, but I hadn’t any idea you would want me to do _that_! And
I certainly don’t see why you should expect me to give up my Thursday
afternoon just because you yourself happened to fall down-stairs in the
morning and break your back!’”

Across the Senior Surgeon’s face a real smile lightened suddenly.

“Really, Miss Malgregor,” he affirmed, “I’m afraid there isn’t much of
anything that you _won’t_ be expected to do. And as to your ‘Thursdays
out’? Ha! if you have ever yet found a way to temper the wind of your
obligations to the shorn lamb of your pleasures, you have discovered
something that I myself have never yet succeeded in discovering. And as
to ‘wages’? Yes, I want to talk everything quite frankly. In addition
to my average yearly earnings, which are by no means small, I have a
reasonably large private fortune. Within normal limits there is no
luxury, I think, that you cannot hope to have. Also, exclusive of the
independent income which I should like to settle upon you, I should be
very glad to finance for you any reasonable dreams that you may cherish
concerning your family in Nova Scotia. Also, though the offer looks
small and unimportant to you now, it is liable to loom pretty large
to you later; also, I will personally guarantee to you, at some time
every year, an unfettered, perfectly independent two-months’ holiday.
So the offer stands--my ‘name and fame,’ if those mean anything to you,
financial independence, an assured ‘breathing spell’ for at least two
months out of twelve, and at last, but not least, my eternal gratitude.
‘General heartwork for a family of two!’ There, have I made the task
perfectly clear to you? Not everything to be done all at once, you
know; but immediately where necessity urges it, gradually as confidence
inspires it, ultimately if affection justifies it, every womanish thing
that needs to be done in a man’s and a child’s neglected lives? Do you

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

“Oh, and there’s one thing more,” confided the Senior Surgeon. “It’s
something, of course, that I ought to have told you the very first
thing of all.” Nervously he glanced down at the sleeping child, and
lowered his voice to a mumbling monotone. “As regards my actual morals,
you have naturally a right to know that I’ve led a pretty decentish
sort of life, though I probably don’t deserve any special credit for
that. A man who knows enough to be a doctor isn’t particularly apt to
lead any other kind. Frankly, as women rate vices, I believe I have
only one. What--what--I’m trying to tell you now is about that one.” A
little defiantly as to chin, a little appealingly as to eye, he emptied
his heart of its last tragic secret. “Through all the male line of my
family, Miss Malgregor, dipsomania runs rampant. Two of my brothers,
my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather before him, have
all gone down, as the temperance people would say, into ‘drunkards’
graves.’ In my own case, I have chosen to compromise with the evil.
Such a choice, believe me, has not been made carelessly or impulsively,
but out of the agony and humiliation of several less successful
methods.” As hard as a rock, his face grooved into its granite-like
furrows again. “Naturally, under these existing conditions,” he warned
her almost threateningly, “I am not peculiarly susceptible to the
mawkishly ignorant and sentimental protests of people whose strongest
passions are an appetite for chocolate candy. For eleven months of the
year,” he hurried on a bit huskily--“for eleven months of the year,
eleven months, each day reeking from dawn to dark with the driving,
nerve-wracking, heart-wringing work that falls to my profession, I lead
an absolutely abstemious life, touching neither wine nor liquor nor
even, indeed, tea or coffee. In the twelfth month--June always--I go
’way up into Canada,--’way, ’way off in the woods to a little log camp
I own there,--with an Indian who has guided me thus for eighteen years,
and live like a--wild man for four gorgeous, care-free, trail-tramping,
salmon-fighting, whisky-guzzling weeks. It is what your temperance
friends would call a ‘spree.’ To be quite frank, I suppose it is what
anybody would call a ‘spree.’ Then the first of July,--three or four
days past the first of July, perhaps,--I come out of the woods quite
tame again, a little emotionally nervous, perhaps, a little temperishly
irritable, a little unduly sensitive about being greeted as a returned
jail-bird, but most miraculously purged of all morbid craving for
liquor, and with every digital muscle as coolly steady as yours, and
every conscious mental process clamoring cleanly for its own work

Furtively under his glowering brows he stopped and searched the White
Linen Nurse’s imperturbable face. “It’s an--established habit, you
understand,” he re-warned her. “I’m not advocating it, you understand,
I’m not defending it; I’m simply calling your attention to the fact
that it _is_ an established habit. If you decide to come to us, I--I
couldn’t, you know, at forty-eight, begin all over again to--to have
some one waiting for me on the top step the first of July to tell me
what a low beast I am till I go down the steps again the following

“No, of course not,” conceded the White Linen Nurse. Blandly she
lifted her lovely eyes to his. “Father’s like that,” she confided
amiably. “Once a year--just Easter Sunday only--he always buys him a
brand-new suit of clothes and goes to church. And it does something to
him, I don’t know exactly what, but Easter afternoon he always gets
drunk,--oh, mad, fighting drunk is what I mean,--and goes out and tries
to shoot up the whole county.” Worriedly, two black thoughts puckered
between her eyebrows. “And always,” she said, “he makes mother and me
go up to Halifax beforehand to pick out the suit for him. It’s pretty
hard sometimes,” she said, “to find anything dressy enough for the
morning that’s serviceable enough for the afternoon.”

“Eh?” jerked the Senior Surgeon. Then suddenly he began to smile again
like a stormy sky from which the last cloud has just been cleared.
“Well, it’s all right, then, is it? You’ll take us?” he asked brightly.

“Oh, _no_!” said the White Linen Nurse. “Oh, _no_, sir! Oh, no, indeed,
sir!” Quite perceptibly she jerked her way backward a little on the
grass. “Thank you _very much_,” she persisted courteously. “It’s been
_very interesting_. I thank you _very much_ for telling me, but--”

“But what?” snapped the Senior Surgeon.

“But it’s too quick,” said the White Linen Nurse. “No man could tell
like that, just between one eye-wink and another, what he wanted about
_anything_, let alone marrying a perfect stranger.”

Instantly the Senior Surgeon bridled.

“I assure you, my dear young lady,” he retorted, “that I am entirely
and completely accustomed to deciding between ‘one wink and another’
just exactly what it is that I want. Indeed, I assure you that there
are a good many people living to-day who wouldn’t be living if it had
taken me even as long as a wink and three quarters to make up my mind.”

“Yes, I know, sir,” acknowledged the White Linen Nurse. “Yes, of
course, sir,” she acquiesced, with most commendable humility; “but
all the same, sir, I couldn’t do it,” she persisted with inflexible
positiveness. “Why, I haven’t enough education,” she confessed quite

“You had enough, I notice, to get into the hospital with,” drawled
the Senior Surgeon, a bit grumpily, “and that’s quite as much as
most people have, I assure you. ‘A high-school education or its
equivalent,’--that is the hospital requirement, I believe?” he
questioned tartly.

“‘A high-school education or its--equivocation’ is what we girls call
it,” confessed the White Linen Nurse, demurely. “But even so, sir,” she
pleaded, “it isn’t just my lack of education. It’s my brains. I tell
you, sir, I haven’t got enough brains to do what you suggest.”

“I don’t mean at all to belittle your brains,” grinned the Senior
Surgeon despite himself,--“oh, not at all, Miss Malgregor,--but, you
see, it isn’t especially brains that I’m looking for. Really, what I
need most,” he acknowledged frankly, “is an extra pair of hands to go
with the--brains I already possess.”

“Yes, I know, sir,” persisted the White Linen Nurse. “Yes, of course,
sir,” she conceded. “Yes, of course, sir, my hands work awfully
well--with your face. But all the same,” she kindled suddenly--“all the
same, sir, I can’t. I won’t! I tell you, sir, I _won’t_! Why, I’m not
in your world, sir. Why, I’m not in your class. Why, my folks aren’t
like your folks. Oh, we’re just as _good_ as you, of course, but we
aren’t as _nice_. Oh, we’re not _nice_ at all. Really and truly we’re
not.” Desperately through her mind she rummaged up and down for some
one conclusive fact that would close this torturing argument for all
time. “Why, my father eats with his knife!” she asserted triumphantly.

“Would he be apt to eat with mine?” asked the Senior Surgeon, with
extravagant gravity.

Precipitously the White Linen Nurse jumped to the defense of her
father’s intrinsic honor.

“Oh, no,” she denied with some vehemence; “Father’s never cheeky like
that! Father’s simple sometimes--plain, I mean. Or he might be a bit
sharp. But, oh, I’m sure he’d never be--cheeky. Oh, no, sir. No.”

“Oh, very well, then,” grinned the Senior Surgeon. “We can consider
everything all comfortably settled, then, I suppose?”

“No, we can’t,” screamed the White Linen Nurse. A little awkwardly,
with cramped limbs, she struggled partly upward from the grass and
knelt there, defying the Senior Surgeon from her temporarily superior
height. “No, we can’t,” she reiterated wildly. “I tell you I can’t,
sir. I won’t! I _won’t_! I’ve been engaged once, and it’s enough. I
tell you, sir, I’m all engaged _out_!”

“What’s become of the man you were engaged to?” quizzed the Senior
Surgeon, sharply.

“Why, he’s married,” said the White Linen Nurse. “And they’ve got a
kid!” she added tempestuously.

“Good! I’m glad of it,” smiled the Senior Surgeon, quite amazingly.
“Now he surely won’t bother us any more.”

“But I was engaged so long,” protested the White Linen Nurse--“almost
ever since I was born, I said. It’s too long. You don’t get over it.”

“He got over it,” remarked the Senior Surgeon, laconically.

“Y-e-s,” admitted the White Linen Nurse; “but, I tell you, it doesn’t
seem decent, not after being engaged--twenty years.” With a little
helpless gesture of appeal she threw out her hands. “Oh, can’t I make
you understand, sir?”

“Why, of course I understand,” said the Senior Surgeon, briskly. “You
mean that you and John--”

“His name was Joe,” corrected the White Linen Nurse.

With astonishing amiability the Senior Surgeon acknowledged the

“You mean,” he said--“you mean that you and--Joe have been cradled
together so familiarly all your babyhood that on your wedding-night
you could most naturally have said: ‘Let me see, Joe, it’s two pillows
that you always have, isn’t it? And a double-fold of blanket at the
foot?’ You mean that you and Joe have been washed and scrubbed together
so familiarly all your young childhood that you could identify Joe’s
headless body twenty years hence by the kerosene-lamp scar across
his back? You mean that you and Joe have played house together so
familiarly all your young tin-dish days that even your rag dolls called
Joe father? You mean that since your earliest memory, until a year or
so ago, life has never once been just you and life, but always you and
life and Joe? You and spring and Joe, you and summer and Joe, you and
autumn and Joe, you and winter and Joe, till every conscious nerve in
your body has been so everlastingly Joed with Joe’s Joeness that you
don’t believe there’s any experience left in life powerful enough to
eradicate that original impression? Eh?”

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

“Good! I’m glad of it,” snapped the Senior Surgeon. “It doesn’t make
you seem quite so alarmingly innocent and remote for a widower to offer
marriage to. Good, I say! I’m glad of it.”

“Even so, I don’t want to,” said the White Linen Nurse. “Thank you very
much, sir; but even so, I don’t want to.”

“Would you marry Joe now if he were suddenly free and wanted you?”
asked the Senior Surgeon, bluntly.

“Oh, my Lord, no!” said the White Linen Nurse.

“Other men are pretty sure to want you,” admonished the Senior Surgeon.
“Have you made up your mind definitely that you’ll never marry anybody?”

“N-o, not exactly,” confessed the White Linen Nurse.

An odd flicker twitched across the Senior Surgeon’s face like a sob in
the brain.

“What’s your first name, Miss Malgregor?” he asked a bit huskily.

“Rae,” she told him, with some surprise.

The Senior Surgeon’s eyes narrowed suddenly again.

“Damn it all, Rae,” he said, “I--want you!”

Precipitously the White Linen Nurse scrambled to her feet.

“If you don’t mind, sir,” she cried, “I’ll run down to the brook and
get _myself_ a drink of water.”

Impishly like a child, muscularly like a man, the Senior Surgeon
clutched out at the flapping corner of her coat.

“No, you don’t,” he laughed, “till you’ve given me my definite answer,
yes or no.”

Breathlessly the White Linen Nurse spun round in her tracks. Her breast
was heaving with ill-suppressed sobs, her eyes were blurred with tears.

“You’ve no business to hurry me so,” she protested passionately. “It
isn’t fair; it isn’t kind.”

Sluggishly in the Senior Surgeon’s jolted arms the Little Girl woke
from her feverish nap and peered up perplexedly through the gray dusk
into her father’s face.

“Where’s my kitty?” she asked hazily.

“Eh?” jerked the Senior Surgeon.

Harshly the little iron leg-braces clanked together. In an instant the
White Linen Nurse was on her knees in the grass.

“You don’t hold her right, sir,” she expostulated. Deftly, with soft,
darting little touches, interrupted only by rubbing her knuckles into
her own tears, she reached out and eased successively the bruise of a
buckle or the dragging weight on a cramped little hip.

Still drowsily, still hazily, with little smacking gasps and gulping
swallows, the child worried her way back again into consciousness.

“All the birds _were_ there, Father,” she droned forth feebly from her
sweltering mink-fur nest.

    “All the birds _were_ there
    With yellow feathers instead of hair,
    And bumblebees--and bumblebees--
    And bumblebees--and bumblebees--”

Frenziedly she began to burrow the back of her head into her father’s
shoulder. “And bumblebees--and bumblebees--”

“Oh, for Heaven’s sake--‘buzzed in the trees!’” interpolated the Senior

Rigidly from head to foot the little body in his arms stiffened
suddenly. As one who saw the supreme achievement of a life-time swept
away by some one careless joggle of an infinitesimal part, the Little
Girl stared up agonizingly into her father’s face.

“Oh, I don’t think ‘buzzed’ was the word!” she began convulsively. “Oh,
I don’t think--”

Startlingly through the twilight the Senior Surgeon felt the White
Linen Nurse’s rose-red lips come smack against his ear.

“Darn you! Can’t you say ‘crocheted in the trees’?” sobbed the White
Linen Nurse.

Grotesquely for an instant the Senior Surgeon’s eyes and the White
Linen Nurse’s eyes glared at each other in rank antagonism. Then
suddenly the Senior Surgeon burst out laughing.

“Oh, very well,” he surrendered--“‘crocheted in the trees!’”

The White Linen Nurse sank back on her heels and began to clap her

“Oh, now I will! Now I will!” she cried exultantly.

“Will _what_?” frowned the Senior Surgeon.

The White Linen Nurse stopped clapping her hands and began to wring
them nervously in her lap instead.

“Why, will--_will_,” she confessed demurely.

“Oh!” exclaimed the Senior Surgeon. “Oh!” Then jerkily he began to
pucker his eyebrows. “But, for Heaven’s sake, what’s the ‘crocheted in
the trees’ got to do with it?” he asked perplexedly.

“Nothing _much_,” mused the White Linen Nurse, very softly. With sudden
alertness she turned her curly blonde head toward the road. “There’s
somebody coming,” she said. “I hear a team.”

Overcome by a bashfulness that tried to escape in jocosity, the Senior
Surgeon gave an odd, choking little chuckle.

“Well, I never thought I should marry a--trained nurse!” he
acknowledged with somewhat hectic blitheness.

Impulsively the White Linen Nurse reached for her watch and lifted it
close to her twilight-blinded eyes. A sense of ineffable peace crept
suddenly over her.

“You won’t, sir,” she said amiably. “It’s twenty minutes of nine now,
and the graduation was at _eight_.”

       *       *       *       *       *

For any real adventure except dying, June is certainly a most
auspicious month.

Indeed, it was on the very first rain-green, rose-red morning of June
that the White Linen Nurse sallied forth upon her extremely hazardous
adventure of marrying the Senior Surgeon and his naughty little
crippled daughter.

The wedding was at noon in some kind of gray-granite church. The Senior
Surgeon was there, of course, and the necessary witnesses; but the
Little Crippled Girl never turned up at all, owing, it proved later,
to a more than usually violent wrangle with whomever dressed her,
concerning the general advisability of sporting turquoise-colored
stockings with her brightest little purple dress.

The Senior Surgeon’s stockings, if you really care to know, were gray,
and the Senior Surgeon’s suit was gray, and he looked altogether
very huge and distinguished, and no more strikingly unhappy than any
bridegroom looks in a gray-granite church.

And the White Linen Nurse, no longer now truly a White Linen Nurse,
but just an ordinary, every-day silk-and-cloth lady of any color she
chose, wore something rather coaty and grand and bluish, and was
distractingly pretty, of course, but most essentially unfamiliar, and
just a tiny bit awkward and bony-wristed-looking, as even an admiral is
apt to be on his first day out of uniform.

Then as soon as the wedding ceremony was over, the bride and groom went
to a wonderful green-and-gold café, all built of marble and lined with
music, and had a little lunch. What I really mean, of course, is that
they had a very large lunch, but didn’t eat any of it.

Then in a taxi-cab, just exactly like any other taxi-cab, the
White Linen Nurse drove home alone to the Senior Surgeon’s great,
gloomy house, to find her brand-new stepdaughter still screaming
over the turquoise-colored stockings. And the Senior Surgeon, in a
Canadian-bound train, just exactly like any other Canadian-bound train,
started off alone, as usual, on his annual June “spree.”

Please don’t think for a moment that it was the Senior Surgeon who was
responsible for the general eccentricities of this amazing wedding-day.
No, indeed. The Senior Surgeon didn’t _want_ to be married the first
day of June. He said he didn’t, he growled he didn’t, he snarled he
didn’t, he swore he didn’t; and when he finished saying and growling
and snarling and swearing, and looked up at the White Linen Nurse for
a confirmation of his opinion, the White Linen Nurse smiled perfectly
amiably and said, “Yes, sir.” Then the Senior Surgeon gave a great gasp
of relief and announced resonantly: “Well, it’s all settled, then?
We’ll be married some time in July, after I get home from Canada?” And
when the White Linen Nurse kept right on smiling perfectly amiably and
said, “Oh, no, sir, oh, no, thank you, sir; it wouldn’t seem exactly
legal to me to be married any other month but June,” the Senior Surgeon
went absolutely dumb with rage that this mere chit of a girl, and a
trained nurse, too, should dare to thwart his personal and professional
convenience. But the White Linen Nurse just drooped her pretty blonde
head and blushed and blushed and blushed and said: “I was only marrying
you, sir, to--accommodate you, sir, and if June doesn’t accommodate
you, I’d rather go to Japan with that monoideic somnambulism case.
It’s very interesting, and it sails June 2.” Then, “Oh, hell with the
‘monoideic somnambulism case’!” the Senior Surgeon would protest.

Really it took the Senior Surgeon quite a long while to work out the
three special arguments that would best protect him, he thought, from
the horridly embarrassing idea of being married in June.

“But you can’t get ready so soon,” he suggested at last with real
triumph. “You’ve no idea how long it takes a girl to get ready to be
married. There are so many people she has to tell--and everything.”

“There’s never but two that she’s got to tell, or bust,” conceded the
White Linen Nurse with perfect candor--“just the woman she loves the
most and the woman she hates the worst. I’ll write my mother to-morrow,
but I told the Superintendent of Nurses yesterday.”

“The deuce you did!” snapped the Senior Surgeon.

Almost caressingly the White Linen Nurse lifted her big blue eyes to

“Yes, sir,” she said. “And she looked as sick as a young undertaker. I
can’t imagine what ailed her.”

“Eh?” choked the Senior Surgeon. “But the house, now,” he hastened to
contend--“the house, now, needs a lot of fixing over; it’s all run
down. It’s all--everything. We never in the world could get it into
shape by the first of June. For Heaven’s sake, now that we’ve got money
enough to make it right, let’s go slow and make it perfectly right.”

A little nervously the White Linen Nurse began to fumble through the
pages of her memorandum-book.

“I’ve _always_ had money enough to ‘go slow and make things perfectly
right,’” she confided a bit wistfully. “Never in all my life have I
had a pair of boots that weren’t guaranteed or a dress that wouldn’t
wash or a hat that wasn’t worth at least three re-pressings. What I
was hoping for now, sir, was that I was going to have enough money
so that I could go fast and make things wrong if I wanted to--so
that I could afford to take chances, I mean. Here’s this wall-paper,
now,”--tragically she pointed to some figuring in her note-book,--“it’s
got peacocks on it, life-size, in a queen’s garden, and I wanted it
for the dining-room. Maybe it would fade, maybe we’d get tired of it,
maybe it would poison us: slam it on one week, and slash it off the
next. I wanted it just because I wanted it, sir. I thought maybe, while
you were ’way off in Canada--”

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



Eagerly the Senior Surgeon jerked his chair a little nearer to his

“Now, my dear girl,” he said, “that’s just what I want to
explain--that’s just what I want to explain--just what I want to
explain--to--er--explain,” he continued a bit falteringly.

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

Very deliberately the Senior Surgeon removed a fleck of dust from one
of his cuffs.

“All this talk of yours about wanting to be married the same day I
start off on my--Canadian trip,” he contended, “why, it’s all damned

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

Very conscientiously the Senior Surgeon began to search for a fleck of
dust on his other cuff.

“Why, my--my dear girl,” he persisted, “it’s absurd, it’s outrageous!
Why, people would--would hoot at us! Why, they’d think--”

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

“Why, my dear girl,” sweated the Senior Surgeon, “even though you and
I understand perfectly well the purely formal, businesslike conditions
of our marriage, we must at least, for sheer decency’s sake, keep up
a certain semblance of marital conventionality before the world. Why,
if we were married at noon the first day of June as you suggest, and I
should go right off alone as usual on my Canadian trip, and you should
come back alone to the house, why, people would think--would think that
I didn’t care anything about you.”

“But you don’t,” said the White Linen Nurse, serenely.

“Why, they’d think,” choked the Senior Surgeon--“they’d think you were
trying your--darndest to get rid of me.”

“I am,” said the White Linen Nurse, complacently.

With a muttered ejaculation the Senior Surgeon jumped to his feet and
stood glaring down at her.

Quite ingenuously the White Linen Nurse met and parried the glare.

“A gentleman, and a red-haired kiddie, and a great walloping house
all at _once_, it’s too much,” she confided genially. “Thank you just
the same, but I’d rather take them gradually. First of all, sir, you
see, I’ve got to teach the little kiddie to like me. And then there’s a
green-tiled paper with floppity sea-gulls on it that I want to try for
the bath-room. And--and--” Ecstatically she clapped her hands together.
“Oh, sir, there are such loads and loads of experiments I want to try
while you are off on your spree!”

“’S-h-h!” cried the Senior Surgeon. His face was suddenly blanched,
his mouth twitching like the mouth of one stricken with almost
insupportable pain. “For God’s sake, Miss Malgregor,” he pleaded,
“can’t you call it my Canadian trip?”

Wider and wider the White Linen Nurse opened her big blue eyes at him.

“But it _is_ a spree, sir!” she protested resolutely. “And my father
says--” Still resolutely her young mouth curved to its original
assertion, but from under her heavy-shadowing eyelashes a little smile
crept softly out--“when my father’s got a lame trotting-horse, sir,
that he’s trying to shuck off his hands,” she faltered, “he doesn’t
ever go round mournful-like, with his head hanging, telling folks about
his wonderful trotter that’s just ‘the littlest, teeniest, tiniest
bit lame.’ Oh, no. What father does is to call up every one he knows
within twenty miles and tell ’em: ‘Say, Tom, Bill, Harry, or whatever
your name is, what in the deuce do you suppose I’ve got over here in
my barn? A lame horse that wants to trot! _Lamer than the deuce_,
you know, but can do a mile in two forty.’” Faintly the little smile
quickened again in the White Linen Nurse’s eyes. “And the barn will be
full of men in half an hour,” she said. “Somehow nobody wants a trotter
that’s lame, but almost anybody seems willing to risk a lame horse
that’s plucky enough to trot.”

“What’s the ‘lame trotting-horse’ got to do with _me_?” snarled the
Senior Surgeon, incisively.

Darkly the White Linen Nurse’s lashes fringed down across her cheeks.

“Nothing much,” she said; “only--”

“Only what?” demanded the Senior Surgeon. A little more roughly than
he realized he stooped down and took the White Linen Nurse by her
shoulders, and jerked her sharply round to the light. “Only _what_?”
he insisted peremptorily.

Almost plaintively she lifted her eyes to his.

“Only my father says,” she confided obediently--“my father says, ‘if
you’ve got a worse foot, for Heaven’s sake, put it forward, and get it
over with!’

“So I’ve _got_ to call it a spree,” smiled the White Linen Nurse;
“’cause when I think of marrying a surgeon that goes off and gets
drunk every June, it--it scares me almost to death; but--” Abruptly
the red smile faded from her lips, the blue smile from her eyes--“but
when I think of marrying a--June drunk that’s got the grit to pull up
absolutely straight as a die and be a surgeon all the other ’leven
months in the year?” Dartingly she bent down and kissed the Senior
Surgeon’s astonished wrist. “Oh, then I think you’re perfectly grand!”
she sobbed.

Awkwardly the Senior Surgeon pulled away and began to pace the floor.

“You’re a good little girl, Rae Malgregor,” he mumbled huskily--“a good
little girl. I truly believe you’re the kind that will see me through.”
Poignantly in his eyes humiliation overwhelmed the mist. Perversely in
its turn resentment overtook the humiliation. “But I won’t be married
in June,” he reasserted bombastically. “I won’t, I won’t, I won’t. I
tell you I positively refuse to have a lot of damned fools speculating
about my private affairs, wondering why I didn’t take you, wondering
why I didn’t stay home with you. I tell you I won’t. I surely _won’t_.”

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

With a real gasp of relief the Senior Surgeon stopped his eternal
pacing of the floor.

“Bully for you!” he said. “You mean then we’ll be married some time in
July after I get back from my--trip?”

“Oh, no, sir,” whimpered the White Linen Nurse.

“But, great Heavens!” shouted the Senior Surgeon.

“Yes, sir,” the White Linen Nurse began all over again. Dreamily
planning out her wedding-gown, her lips without the slightest conscious
effort on her part were already curving into shape for her alternate
“No, sir.”

“You’re an idiot!” snapped the Senior Surgeon.

A little reproachfully the White Linen Nurse came frowning out of her

“Would it do just as well for traveling, do you think?” she asked, with
real concern.

“Eh? What?” said the Senior Surgeon.

“I mean, does Japan _spot_?” queried the White Linen Nurse. “Would it
spot a serge, I mean?”

“Oh, hell with Japan!” jerked out the Senior Surgeon.

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

Now, perhaps you will understand just exactly how it happened that the
Senior Surgeon and the White Linen Nurse _were_ married on the first
day of June, and just exactly how it happened that the Senior Surgeon
went off alone as usual on his Canadian trip, and just exactly how
it happened that the White Linen Nurse came home alone to the Senior
Surgeon’s great, gloomy house, to find her brand-new stepdaughter still
screaming over the turquoise-colored stockings. Everything now is
perfectly comfortably explained except the turquoise-colored stockings.
Nobody could explain the turquoise-colored stockings.

But even a little child could explain the ensuing June. Oh, June
was perfectly wonderful that year! Bud, blossom, birdsong, breeze,
rioting headlong through the land; warm days as sweet and lush as a
greenhouse vapor; crisp nights faintly metallic, like the scent of
stars; hurdy-gurdies romping tunefully on every street corner; even the
ash-man flushing frankly pink across his dusty cheek-bones.

Like two fairies who had sublet a giant’s cave, the White Linen Nurse
and the Little Crippled Girl turned themselves loose upon the Senior
Surgeon’s gloomy old house.

It certainly was a gloomy old house, but handsome withal, square and
brown and substantial, and most generously gardened within high brick
walls. Except for dusting the lilac-bushes with the hose, and weeding
a few rusty leaves out of the privet hedge, and tacking up three
or four scraggly sprays of English ivy, and re-greening one or two
bay-tree boxes, there was really nothing much to do to the garden. But
the house? O ye gods! All day long from morning till night, but most
particularly from the back door to the barn, sweating workmen scuttled
back and forth till nary a guilty piece of black-walnut furniture had
escaped. All day long from morning till night, but most particularly
from ceilings to floors, sweltering workmen scurried up and down
step-ladders, stripping dingy papers from dingier plasterings.

When the White Linen Nurse wasn’t busy renovating the big house or the
little stepdaughter, she was writing to the Senior Surgeon. She wrote

“Dear Dr. Faber,” the first letter said--

    Dear Dr. Faber:

    How do you do? Thank you very much for saying you didn’t care what
    in thunder I did to the house. It looks _sweet_. I’ve put white,
    fluttery muslin curtains ’most everywhere. And you’ve got a new
    solid-gold-looking bed in your room. And the Kiddie and I have
    fixed up the most scrumptious light blue suite for ourselves in
    the ell. Pink _was_ wrong for the front hall, but it cost me only
    $29.00 to find out, and now that’s settled for all time.

    I am very, very, very, very busy. Something strange and new happens
    every day. Yesterday it was three ladies and a plumber. One of the
    ladies was just selling soap, but I didn’t buy any. It was horrid
    soap. The other two were calling ladies, a silk one and a velvet
    one. The silk one tried to be nasty to me. Right to my face she
    told me I was more of a lady than she had dared to hope. And I told
    her I was sorry for that, as you’d had one “lady,” and it didn’t
    work. Was that all right? But the other lady was nice, and I took
    her out in the kitchen with me while I was painting the woodwork,
    and right there in her white kid gloves she laughed and showed
    me how to mix the paint pearl gray. _She_ was nice. It was your

    I like being married, Dr. Faber. I like it lots better than I
    thought I would. It’s fun being the biggest person in the house.

    Respectfully yours,
    ~Rae Malgregor, as was~.

    P.S. Oh, I hope it wasn’t wrong, but in your ulster pocket, when I
    went to put it away, I found a bottle of something that smelled as
    though it had been forgotten. I threw it out.

It was this letter that drew the only definite message from the
itinerant bridegroom.

“Kindly refrain from rummaging in my ulster pockets,” wrote the Senior
Surgeon, briefly. “The ‘thing’ you threw out happened to be the
cerebellum and medulla of an extremely eminent English theologian.”

“Even so, it was sour,” telegraphed the White Linen Nurse in a perfect
agony of remorse and humiliation.

The telegram took an Indian with a birch canoe two days to deliver, and
cost the Senior Surgeon twelve dollars. Just impulsively the Senior
Surgeon decided to make no further comments on domestic affairs at that
particular range.

Very fortunately for this impulse, the White Linen Nurse’s second
letter concerned itself almost entirely with matters quite extraneous
to the home.

The second letter ran:

    Dear Dr. Faber:

    Somehow I don’t seem to care so much just now about being the
    biggest person in the house. Something awful has happened: Zillah
    Forsyth is dead. Really dead, I mean. And she died in great
    heroism. You remember Zillah Forsyth, don’t you? She was one of
    my room-mates, not the gooder one, you know, not the swell; that
    was Helene Churchill. But Zillah? Oh, you know, Zillah was the
    one you sent out on that fractured-elbow case. It was a Yale
    student, you remember? And there was some trouble about kissing,
    and she got sent home? And now everybody’s crying because Zillah
    _can’t_ kiss anybody any more. Isn’t everything the limit? Well,
    it wasn’t a fractured Yale student she got sent out on this time.
    If it had been, she might have been living yet. What they sent
    her out on this time was a senile dementia, an old lady more than
    eighty years old. And they were in a sanatorium or something like
    that, and there was a fire in the night. And the old lady just
    up and positively refused to escape, and Zillah had to push her
    and shove her and yank her and carry her out of the window, along
    the gutters, round the chimneys. And the old lady bit Zillah
    right through the hand, but Zillah wouldn’t let go. And the old
    lady tried to drown Zillah under a bursted water tank, but Zillah
    wouldn’t let go. And everybody hollered to Zillah to cut loose
    and save herself, but Zillah wouldn’t let go. And a wall fell, and
    everything, and, oh, it was awful, but Zillah never let go. And the
    old lady that wasn’t any good to any one, not even herself, got
    saved, of course. But Zillah? Oh, Zillah got hurt bad, sir. We saw
    her at the hospital, Helene and I. She sent for us about something.
    Oh, it was awful! Not a thing about her that you’d know except just
    her great solemn eyes mooning out at you through a gob of white
    cotton, and her red mouth lipping sort of twitchy at the edge of a
    bandage. Oh, it was awful! But Zillah didn’t seem to care so much.
    There was a new interne there, a Japanese, and I guess she was sort
    of taken with him. “But, my God, Zillah,” I said, “_your_ life was
    worth more than that old dame’s!”

    “Shut your noise!” says Zillah. “It was my job, and there’s no
    kick coming.” Helene burst right out crying, she did. “Shut _your_
    noise, too!” says Zillah, just as cool as you please. “Bah! There’s
    other lives and other chances.”

    “Oh, you believe that now?” cries Helene. “Oh, you do believe that
    now, what the Bible promises you?” That was when Zillah shrugged
    her shoulders so funny, the little way she had. Gee! but her eyes
    were big! “I don’t pretend to know what your old Bible says,” she
    choked. “It was the Yale feller who was tellin’ me.”

    That’s all, Dr. Faber. It was her shrugging her shoulders so funny
    that brought on the hemorrhage, I guess.

    Oh, we had an awful time, sir, going home in the carriage, Helene
    and I. We both cried, of course, because Zillah was dead, but
    after we got through crying for that, Helene kept right on crying
    because she couldn’t understand why a brave girl like Zillah _had_
    to be dead. Gee! but Helene takes things hard! Ladies do, I guess.

    I hope you’re having a pleasant spree.

    Oh, I forgot to tell you that one of the wall-paperers is living
    here at the house with us just now. We use him so much, it’s truly
    a good deal more convenient. And he’s a real nice young fellow,
    and he plays the piano finely, and he comes from up my way. And it
    seemed more neighborly, anyway. It’s so large in the house at night
    just now, and so creaky in the garden.

    With kindest regards, good-by for now, from


    P.S. Don’t tell your guide or _any one_, but Helene sent Zillah’s
    mother a check for fifteen hundred dollars. I saw it with my own
    eyes. And all Zillah asked for that day was just a little blue
    serge suit. It seems she’d promised her kid sister a little blue
    serge suit for July, and it sort of worried her.

    Helene sent the little blue serge suit, too, and a hat. The hat
    had bluebells on it. Do you think when you come home, if I haven’t
    spent too much money on wall-papers, that I could have a blue hat
    with bluebells on it? Excuse me for bothering you, but you forgot
    to leave me enough money.

It was some indefinite, pleasant time on Thursday, the twenty-fifth
of June, that the Senior Surgeon received the second letter. It was
Friday, the twenty-sixth of June, exactly at dawn, that the Senior
Surgeon started homeward.

    (To be concluded)



    “Why does the poet choose to sing?
      No impulse ever stirred in me
    The wish to make myself a thing
    To which all mocking gibes might cling.”
      _Perhaps he sees more than you see._

    “Why should this fool go crying out
      The secrets of his soul? In steel
    I case myself, nor care to shout
    Those things one does not talk about.”
      _Perhaps he feels more than you feel._

    “If I had wisdom to impart,
      I’d say the thing, and let it go,
    Not trifle with a foolish art
    And make a motley of my heart.”
      _Perhaps he knows more than you know._




    Under the sea, which is their sky, they rise
      To watery altitudes as vast as those
      Of far Himalayan peaks impent in snows,
      And veils of cloud and sacred deep repose.
    Under the sea, their flowing firmament,
      More dark than any ray of sun can pierce,
      The earthquake thrust them up with mighty tierce,
    And left them to be seen but by the eyes
    Of awed imagination inward bent.

    Their vegetation is the viscid ooze,
      Whose mysteries are past belief or thought.
      Creation seems around them devil-wrought,
      Or by some cosmic urgence gone distraught.
    A-down their precipices, chill and dense
      With the dank midnight, creep or crawl or climb
      Such tentacled and eyeless things of slime,
    Such monster shapes as tempt us to accuse
    Life of a miscreative impotence.

    About their peaks the shark, their eagle, floats
      In the thick azure far beneath the air,
      Or downward sweeps upon what prey may dare
      Set forth from any silent, weedy lair.
    But one desire on all their slopes is found,
      Desire of food, the awful hunger strife;
      Yet here, it may be, was begun our life,
    Here all the dreams on which our vision dotes
    In unevolved obscurity were bound.

    Too strange it is, too terrible! And yet
      It matters not how we were wrought, or whence
      Life came to us with all its throb intense,
      If in it is a Godly Immanence.
    It matters not,--if haply we are more
      Than creatures half conceived by a blind force
      That sweeps the universe in a chance course:
    For only in Unmeaning Might is met
    The intolerable thought none can ignore.




In May, 1899, we were two women in Paris for hats, gowns, and the
season’s show of pictures. I was under the wing of a handsome matron
who had a latent desire to see herself transferred to canvas should she
chance upon a painter with an appealing portrait of some other woman.
Through friends, several great studios were opened to us, and we grew
more and more enterprising, until one day my guide and mentor, suddenly
turning to me, said, “Let us visit Whistler!”

It fairly took my breath away, for I recalled much caustic wit of
alleged Whistler origin that I had seen in the public prints, and,
feeling the promptings of caution, I exclaimed, “How dare you?”

“Because he has invited me,” she replied.

It was true, for, a few years before, my friend’s husband, shrewd in
the law, and equally daring in his connoisseurship, had paid a large
price for a Whistler “Nocturne” of a beauty so characteristic that
even amateurs could look at it and wonder what it was all about. This
nocturne began its existence in my friend’s home by perpetrating a
joke. It had been brought to the house by one of Whistler’s pupils,
just from Europe. We two women entered the drawing-room to find it
alone in its glory, which did not seem to be dimmed by the fact that
it was on the carpet with a Louis Quinze chair for an easel. We gazed
in wonderment, from all possible angles, and finally exclaimed that
it was “quite Japanese” in style and coloring. Then the reverent
pupil entered, kneeled before it, wiped it softly with his silk
handkerchief, smiled, and reversed it--for we had been studying the
_chef-d’œuvre_ upside down. He withdrew without taking notice of
our chagrin. Evidently the joke was too good to keep, for the incident
has become one of the stock Whistler anecdotes. Within a year a friend
has regaled me with it, without a suspicion of carrying coals to

That purchase had given the artist much satisfaction, aside from the
lofty price, and he used to write charming letters, asking my friend to
visit him in Paris.

That same day we went to his studio in the Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs.

Arriving at a forbidding area, with a winding staircase, we looked at
each other with feminine indecision. Before we could arrange a retreat,
the concierge, who was somewhere near the top, caught sight of us and
called down to learn whom we wanted. I made a megaphone of my hand and
screamed aloft, “Monsieur Whist-lai-ai-re!”

“_Là bas_, on the fifth,” she answered.

After a slow ascent, we stood at last on the top steps of the winding
staircase. I can still hear the prolonged jingle of the primitive
bell my vigorous pull had roused. Before it was stilled, the door
opened suddenly, and there stood Whistler, the great Whistler--in his

The first impression was of a little, big personage who completely
filled the doorway. He appeared much smaller than any idea of
personality conveyed by the portraits of him that we had seen. On his
left arm he held a large palette, with a bunch of brushes in his hand.
All were moist, as were also to some extent his sleeves and clothing,
for he was without a painting-apron. But the famous monocle was there,
and the whisk of white hair was in the right place. The _signalement_
was complete.

There he stood, silent, obviously waiting for us to explain the
intrusion. In the dim light I imagined that I could see his monocle
bristling, and I felt much like a conscience-stricken child about to
be eaten by an ogre. As my friend remained dumb, in a weak voice I
murmured the name that was to be our talisman, meekly adding my own;
but that was lost in his “Ah!” of recognition.

“You are the bold woman who bought my picture! I have a sitter now; but
come to-morrow at four, and we will have tea.”

We accepted in unison, the door was closed in our faces, and with
a sense of deep satisfaction at having escaped an unknown peril we
tripped lightly down the staircase. While we were standing at his door,
Whistler had so managed that we could not have moved half an inch
farther toward the forbidden sanctuary. It was probably a well-planned,
habitual, and defensive position on his part.

On the following day, punctually at four o’clock, we again stood in
constrained positions on the narrow steps, but without a sense of
awkwardness; again the bell jingled wildly.

Again the great Whistler opened the door, but now dressed in a suit
of black, with the red ribbon of the Legion of Honor in his lapel.
His welcome was graceful and cordial. With easy confidence we walked
into the studio. A bright fire glowed at one end, in front of which
was a round table covered with green rep, on which were tea-things,
and dishes filled with dainty French cakes. A little maid, in neat cap
and apron, was hovering about. All about us, turned to the wall and
unframed, were seemingly hundreds of canvases. What has become of all
those treasures since Whistler’s death?

As we entered, he said, with a wave of the hand toward the hidden
canvases, “See how careful I am!”

As a whole, the studio, though spacious, was simple in its furnishings,
except for the amazing decoration of masterpieces turned to the wall.
He offered us chairs, and seated himself on the edge of a long table.
Reaching out for a copy of “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies,” he began
to read to us his most spicy letters.

He read on and on, until we began to wonder whether all the afternoon
was to be spent in this novel and entertaining way. Meanwhile I glanced
about and noticed a large phonograph, which seemed the only discordant
note in an otherwise harmonious place. It soon became a discord, for
suddenly tiring of his own wit, he turned lovingly to the instrument,
and regaled us with a medley of “coon” songs, orchestral numbers, and
other music. Had we dared, we should have glanced at each other in

At last Whistler reverted to art, and brought a canvas to the easel.
He oiled it slightly, tenderly, and, lo! a handsome Italian boy shone
forth, soul and all. It was magical. We had previously agreed to say
but little, and never to gush over anything we might be shown. We did
not speak, indeed hardly dared to, for he was watching us as a nurse
watches a thermometer in an overheated room.

Again he made search, and brought before us another picture. This time
the oiling and dusting disclosed the portrait of a beautiful American
girl, wearing an evening cloak, the collar of which was very high. Such
breeding and poise in the picture! It was more than a reproduction:
something of the inner woman was there. Over this we allowed ourselves
to exclaim in admiration, which moved the master to say:

“It took a long time to paint this portrait.”

There was a pause, of which my friend took advantage to say that she
would much like to have him paint her portrait.

“How long shall you be in Paris?” he asked.

“Another week.”

“There you are! You Americans are all the same; here to-day, gone
to-morrow; _à Paris aujourd’hui, demain, à Hoboken_. One might as
well try to paint fish jumping out of the water,” he added with his
captivating laugh.

With this laugh, all the ice that had been accumulating melted away. I
found voice to say that I had recognized him immediately the day before
from having seen and greatly admired his portrait by a fellow-artist.
To my complete discomfiture, he shrugged his shoulders and said:

“He _imagines_ that he has painted my portrait.”

At last we were having a glimpse of the real Whistler, or, rather, of
the one we had heard of and read about.

He showed us two more canvases, one by a pupil. Then he drew up to the
tea-table and began to discourse on the “Nocturne” which my friend had
bought. This led to a recital of his hopes of the budding “Académie
Whistler,” which had been formally opened in the autumn of 1898.
However, the academy did not remain open long. Nothing in his training
or natural gifts gave him the endurance and patience required of a
teacher; besides, his health failed, and he went to a milder climate.
We dared ask him how he liked being a teacher, to which he answered:

“You know what the French call _une bête de somme--un cheval de
fiacre--quoi!_” Again he shrugged and sighed.

We had brought with us two copies of Nicholson’s caricature of
Whistler, in which he is standing at full-length, monocled, against
a nocturnal sky. We asked him to sign them, and he was exceedingly
gracious about it.

“These caricatures were my idea,” he explained; “I told Nicholson how
to do them. They are a great success.”

On each he sketched a butterfly in pencil, adding on one, “_Tant pis_”
and on the other, “With all proper regrets.”

He told us that he often became very much attached to his work. Once he
had an order from a man for a portrait; it was duly finished, and amply
paid for. He still held it, although the man wrote periodically to have
it sent to him. “I really feel that it is much too good for him,” he
explained. “The worst of it is that the longer I keep it the more I
like it, and”--after a pause he whispered--“the less likely he is to
get it.”

As the afternoon had waned, we suggested driving him home. He assented,
putting on his famous high hat and a pair of black gloves, and we
clattered down the five flights together, the air seeming fairly
saturated with his presence.

Entering the one-horse victoria which had brought us from the hotel, I
had to sit on the _strapontin_, about which I festooned myself as best
I could. To my astonishment, our appearance did not seem to create much
commotion in the Quartier, though I knew how exotic we must look.

We drove through a round porte-cochère, which was the entrance to a
sort of tunnel; at the end of it we emerged into a courtyard flanked by
the little house Whistler occupied.

On reaching his home, the master insisted on our coming in to see it.
We found it rather gloomy, with a garden in the rear, which was shown
with great pride. There were a few pictures on the walls. The cloth was
spread on the dining-table, and many dishes and plates were stacked in
the middle.

The good-bys were said, with an invitation extended to visit his studio
again on our next trip. We had had a memorable visit with him, and were
taking away with us impressions of the real Whistler--the Whistler
whom the world at large knew not, the kind, genial, courteous, humanly
sorrowful, and sorrowing man of genius.






The portico of the Stock Exchange is at the left, a part of the portico
of the Sub-Treasury is seen at Wall and Nassau Streets, and the crowd
in the street, at the right, is the outdoor exchange known as “The


The Hudson Terminal is seen at the left, and the Investment Building
and Singer Tower at the right.]


The portico of St. Paul’s is in the foreground, and the Singer Tower in
the distance.]




Author of “The Siren of the Air,” etc.


On Monday, April 11, Mr. Francis wrote in the book:

    “She was in again to-day. Dressed quite different from the first
    time. Not expensive, but tasteful and excellent. Took samples of
    blue pongee and _crêpe de chine_. I said I thought that delicate
    new London mist would become her better. She thanked me, and let
    me give her a sample of that. She showed a knowledge of silks that
    was most pleasing, considering the general ignorance among women on
    such subjects. We talked about some things not important enough to
    mention here.

    ‘All are architects of Fate,
    Working in these walls of time.’


His reason for adding this selection was not very clear; but somehow
a little touch of poetry seemed suitable after an entry of that sort.
There was a good deal of poetry in the book, selections copied from
various magazines and volumes that had helped to brighten his prosaic
existence as a silk salesman in McDavitt’s department store.

One would have had to be a good observer to guess that behind the
plain, neat, black-and-white exterior of Mr. Francis there was the
soul of a poet. Judged by the frost-touched blackness of his hair, he
might have been thirty-eight years old. His face, tending to delicacy
of feature in the forehead and nose, and rendered a little wistful by
the worry-lines about his eyes, had the pallor that comes from years
of living in artificial light. He invariably looked as though he had
been smooth-shaven five minutes before, and he invariably was ready to
give his most earnest attention to the desires of a customer. He fitted
in the high-classed old establishment that employed him, and paid him
well for a silk salesman. The consideration shown him he repaid by
immaculateness in dress, scrupulousness in his reports, and the air of
an English butler in dealing with customers.

His inner self was revealed in only two of his daily activities--in
the handling of the silks that had been his familiars from boyhood,
and in the keeping of a large red-morocco diary that he carried in the
breast-pocket of his black frock-coat.

The silks--how he caressed their shimmering textures and colors, how
he made them display all their subtle beauties and allurements! It was
quite without guile on his part: the idea of urging or inveigling any
one into buying would have filled him with horror. He displayed his
wares to their best advantage because he loved them. Therefore he did
it so wonderfully well that many a fine lady, after watching his firm,
white, well-kept hands play among the folds, bought stuffs for which
she had no possible use. This gained him some dislike and trouble, for
McDavitt’s does not exchange dress-goods.

But Mr. Francis’s real self-revelation was reserved for the diary.
Every night he made an entry. During the several hours every day when
the choiceness, and therefore sparseness, of McDavitt’s clientele left
him with nothing to do, he often took out the book, opened it among
the shining silks on the mahogany counter, and made a note or two in
it. It was a rather large book for a diary, and the India-paper leaves
gave its thousand pages the bulk of a far smaller number in ordinary
diaries. The words “Personal Journal” were printed in gold across the
front cover, and there was a bunch of gold forget-me-nots, tied with
a gold true-lover’s knot, in the upper left-hand corner. Beneath the
forget-me-nots, in small, precise roman capitals, Mr. Francis had
printed his name, ROLAND FARWELL FRANCIS.

To one prying into the secrets of Mr. Francis’s life through the medium
of this diary, the number of entries like the one quoted above might
have seemed somewhat appalling.

The pages were full of hints of romance, or, rather, of an almost
indefinite number of romances. The vague beginnings were recorded in
statements like “She was in again to-day.” Later there were conjectures
about “her,” bits of personal description, faint suggestions of
longing, of aspiration; then commiserations of his own unworthiness,
bitter self-analysis leading up to relinquishment, final fits of
despondency, during which he loaded pages with the most mortuary
poetry he could find. But he was an invincible idealist; soon the
process started all over again. From the time when he began work, aged
seventeen years, as a stock clerk in McDavitt’s silk department, he
must have approximated a round hundred of these catalectic romances.

His station in life, his work, his poetic temperament, made the
result inevitable. His silks attracted beauty, he adored beauty, and
beauty considered him in much the same class as the glass-and-ebony
display-fixtures. Like a modern Tantalus, he watched the waters of
life flow by so close that they fairly enveloped him, and yet he was
powerless to lift one drop for the quenching of the thirst of his soul.
A cheaper man might have solaced himself with cheaper beauty, a more
practical man might have sought beauty as true in less inaccessible
places, a luckier man might have stumbled upon it nearer home. Mr.
Francis, lacking cheapness and practicality and luck, had remained a
virtuous bachelor.

On Friday, April 15, Mr. Francis wrote in the book:

    “She has not been in again. Several times I thought I saw her some
    aisles away. Her face is an unusual one. It is strange I seem
    always to be seeing it.

    “I heard a few minutes ago a rumor that I was being considered for
    a great piece of good fortune if Mr. Baldwin’s illness continues to
    prevent him from resuming his duties. I do not know why I am not so
    very much thrilled by the prospect. I suppose I ought to be.

    “She must have decided that McDavitt’s is too expensive. Her dress
    was tasteful, but not at all luxurious. She gave me a feeling of
    great respect.

    ‘Friend, let us cease to vex the Eternal Why:
    ’Tis very good to live; better, perhaps, to die.’

    _Reader Magazine._”

On Monday, April 18, he wrote:

    “To-day, on account of the continued illness of Mr. Baldwin, I was
    promoted to be the assistant buyer and manager of this department.
    Three thousand a year, nearly sixty dollars a week! Once I looked
    forward to thirty per w’k like millions. Now sixty is not so much.
    I must be getting old. It will help me to lay up a competence
    for my declining years. Perhaps I should send one of my nephews
    to college. It has been the regret of my life that I entered on
    an active business career immediately after graduation from high
    school. Doubtless I should have made an effort to work my way
    through Columbia. Yes, I will write to my brother and offer to send
    one of the boys to college.

    “She has not been in again. Doubtless she decided to purchase
    elsewhere. McDavitt’s _is_ expensive. Perhaps I should strive to
    have the margin of profit reduced. She did not dress or act like
    one with much money. Doubtless she was attracted to Mc’s by their
    reputation for handling only the best. I remember she looked
    worried whenever I quoted prices. Still, she wished the best. But
    the state of her purse made her careful, and finally made her
    decide to purchase in a cheaper store. I think I can understand
    her. That London mist would have suited her, trimmed with a little
    old gold. However, of course it is foolish for me to allow myself
    to indulge in such reflections. I shall probably never see her

    “Mrs. Benson congratulated me warmly on my advancement. She has
    been very thoughtful of my comforts for the last seven years, going
    on eight. She mentioned how she had always tried to, and I thanked
    her deeply. She said she hoped I wouldn’t feel impelled to move
    elsewhere, and I assured her I had no such intentions. I despise
    a man who is puffed up by a little success. Vanity of vanities,
    _vanitas vanitatis_. Or _vanitatium_? I wish I remembered more of
    my Latin; my memory is far from what I should like it to be. Mrs.
    B. also said she had two tickets to The Empire Vaudeville given her
    by the new couple in the back parlor. They are in the theatrical
    profession, and are getting a try-out there this week. I could not
    well refuse her invitation to accompany her, although I do not care
    for vaudeville. She says she goes at least once every week. It
    brightens up her dull life. Poor soul! I guess she needs it. Hers
    is not a very gay life.”

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


During the considerable period that Mr. Francis had rented Mrs.
Benson’s most expensive room, the second-floor front, his intimacy with
her had consisted of one heart-to-heart talk in the week following
Mr. Benson’s decease. Mr. Benson, who had been indefinitely “in the
clothing business,” had caught a cold which developed into pneumonia,
with fatal results. When, a few days after the funeral, Mrs. Benson
wept on Mr. Francis’s shoulder, she had said that she wished never to
speak to another man, never even to see one, except in the necessary
course of business. She ran a boarding-house, and she would accept men
as well as women for boarders; other relations with them she could not

Mr. Francis had always respected her wishes. Even when she presided
at the Sunday evening dinner-table, a wide, tight vision of black
silk, and conversation was supposed to be more unrestricted than on
week-days, Mr. Francis had been careful not to trespass on the sacred
confines of her bereavement. Her conversation with the other men at
the table, in which she attempted to include him, he passed off as her
necessary sacrifice to the business that supported her widowhood. He
was even more literal-minded than the average idealist.

On Thursday, April 21, he wrote in the book:

    “I am quite sure she was in again to-day. She was three aisles
    away, looking over that new importation of Chinese mandarins,
    but she departed before I approached. She was dressed altogether
    different from the first two times, but I am sure it was she. I
    would notice her face among a thousand. I noticed those two little
    lines at the top of her nose between her eyebrows. And yet she is
    not old; one would not call her young, either; and not middle-aged,
    either. Before I got over wondering whether I should go over and
    wait on her personally, she had gone. He who hesitates is lost. The
    clerk said she had taken samples of all the new silks. He thought
    she had taken too many, and said she did not act like a buyer.
    I requested him to follow McDavitt’s principle to give all the
    samples asked for and not comment on it.

    “To be much of my time in the office, as my new position forces me
    to be, has some drawbacks. Doubtless, however, even were I back
    in my old place, I should never see her again. And what possible
    good can come if I do see her? I am little more than a servant, a
    lackey. But I forget that I am now an assistant buyer. Perhaps that
    raises me a little in the scale. But how little--not enough to make
    any difference to her.

    “From the library to-day I got a book, ‘Selections from the English
    Poets of the Nineteenth Century.’ It is more complete than the
    ‘Golden Treasury,’ and I anticipate a great deal of pleasure and
    profit from it. It contains Shelley’s ‘Defense of Poetry,’ which I
    can well afford to read again.”

Under the entry of Friday, April 22, he copied entire Shelley’s “Indian
Serenade,” beginning,

    “I arise from dreams of thee
    In the first sweet sleep of night.”

    “Sunday, April 24.

    “This evening has been a most eventful one for me. I am engaged to
    Mrs. Benson. I am still so astonished that I do not know precisely
    how it occurred. I do not know how to describe my feelings. They
    are so mixed. Words fail me.

    “I escorted her to a Sunday-evening concert at the Metropolitan. I
    owed her something, of course, in return for The Empire Vaudeville,
    and when she reminded me of that, I said maybe she would like to
    go to the Metropolitan. The music was beautiful. Homer and Bonci
    sang. I have always gone alone before. Mrs. Benson wept because it
    was so beautiful. Then she said she was partly weeping because the
    boarders had begun to cast insinuations about her and me.

    “Words cannot express how overcome I was. She has, of course,
    nothing but her reputation. How bitterer than a serpent’s tooth
    is a slanderous tongue! I asked her who started it, but she would
    not tell me for fear I would attack him, which would make matters
    worse. I would have done so, too; at least I would have demanded a
    retraction. Before I knew it we were engaged.

    “I am not sorry. How lonely my life has been! Perhaps I have at
    last found happiness where I least expected it. She is a good,
    honest, capable woman, and she says she’s going to begin exercising
    to reduce her weight. I fear I am unworthy. Would that I could
    adore her more! Everything is not just as I imagined love to be;
    but I am not sorry. I should be happy in my good fortune. It is not
    good for man to live alone.

    ‘Duty is an Archangel on the right-hand side of God.’


Nevertheless, it was a much chastened, even saddened, Mr. Francis who
returned to work the following morning. He had lived in his dreams,
his romances had been the deepest and sweetest part of his life, for
so long that such a reality as his engagement to Mrs. Benson hurt him
through and through.

Perhaps any reality in the matter of romance would have hurt him. He
had become a confirmed dreamer, even as he had become a confirmed
bachelor, and he was not fitted to cope with practical details. Even
the preparations, the hundred and one rather sordid arrangements, he
would have had to go through in order to marry his latest ideal would
probably have saddened him a good deal. It was thrice in vain that he
attempted to be practical in the matter of marriage with Mrs. Benson;
he suffered by every necessary preparation that brushed the star-dust
off the butterfly’s wings of his dream ideal of love--suffered agonies
that gave him a feeling of weakness in the diaphragm and in the knees.

Until eleven o’clock he was busy with the morning instalment of
traveling-salesmen who came to offer their wares. This duty disposed
of, he strolled out into the department where he was supposed to
oversee the stock and clerks. Wicked hopes that she, the lady of
his dream romance, would return he suppressed so firmly that he had
a continuous ache in his throat. Gone were his shimmering dreams,
his vistas of poetic reverie. He threw himself desperately into
the business of arranging displays, stationing clerks, verifying
price-tags. He was thoroughly melancholy and businesslike and
stern-faced and miserable.

His evenings at the boarding-house were even more uncomfortable than
his days in the store. Mrs. Benson had lost no time in announcing her
engagement, and Mr. Francis now occupied the place of honor at her
right hand at meals; he had long refused this place through feelings
of delicacy about trespassing on Mrs. Benson’s known reverence for
her late husband, and the honor sat heavily upon him. The smiles
and insinuations of the boarders, the sordid jocularity of it all,
seared his soul. Idealist that he was, his sense of humor was not much
developed; and remarks like, “Can’t you just see Mr. Francis walking
the floor with a bundle of yell in his arms?” sent all the blood from
his heart into his face, and back again, in two frantic leaps.

On one point he was trying to be firm: he would not let Mrs. Benson
read in “The Book of his Heart.” She found it on the second evening of
their prenuptial bliss in the front parlor, and triumphantly drew it
forth. Desperately he reclaimed his property; frantically he argued
that it was sacred to him, that there were some things they wouldn’t
have to share in common. No theory could have been more repugnant to
Mrs. Benson, and none could have so solidified her determination to
read that “Personal Journal” from cover to cover. The issues were
pitched, the armies drawn up, the bugles blown; and struggle as he
would, Mr. Francis realized that he was foredoomed to the woe of the
vanquished. She would read the book, she would despise it, and she
would burn it because of its wicked references to women other than
herself. Realizing this certain outcome, Mr. Francis vacillated between
the wisdom of burning the book himself and the wickedness of hiding it
and telling her that he had burned it. In the meantime he kept his coat
buttoned and his door locked.

On Thursday, April 28, he wrote at one o’clock in the morning:

    “God have mercy on me, a miserable sinner! She was in again to-day,
    and I adore her still.

    “I could not greet Mrs. Benson as usual this evening. I could not.
    She insisted, but I said I had a sore throat and might infect her.
    She said I must have a doctor, but I was firm, I declared I would
    get along all right. She came up with a mustard-plaster while I was
    retiring. I could not let her in. It was terrible. Several of the
    boarders heard her; I could hear them laughing. The knowledge of my
    turpitude debases me like a crawling worm. I have always striven to
    live an upright life, so that I could look all men and women in the
    face. My duty is plain. Shall I be a hypocrite and deceiver? Shall
    I give up my self-respect, which has meant so much to me all these
    years? I am in a terrible dilemma.

    “I will rise at five o’clock and leave the house before any one is
    stirring to-morrow morning. But what shall I do to-morrow evening?
    Heaven help and guide me!

    “And yet my heart is not able to be sorry that she was in again
    to-day. I had given up expecting her, and the sight of her
    confounded me. The blueness of her eyes is like still waters. Her
    brown hair is as soft as brown silk in the skein. Her gentleness
    restoreth my soul. Yes, though I walked through the Valley of
    Death, I would love her. I am a vile man, loathsome to myself. And
    I am a liar. I told Mrs. Benson I was kept at the store while in
    truth I was walking in Central Park. Through the night under the
    stars. Full of the thought of her. Full of poetry no one ever yet
    wrote the like of. Full of wonder and hope and exceeding glory and

    “She is a sampler. I ought to have suspected it ever since that
    clerk spoke about her taking samples of all those new mandarins
    and she never bought anything. She had an idea to do it on a large
    scale. Instead of being in the employ of only one rival store,
    she has eight she supplies samples to. She spends all her time
    supplying samples to the stores that employ her. But she’s afraid
    her idea won’t work. She dresses as different as she can, but the
    department managers get to recognize her, with unfortunate results.

    “I went up to her as soon as I recognized her, and asked to be
    allowed to wait on her. I lost once by my hesitation. She seemed
    much disappointed because I recognized her. I said, ‘I suspect you
    are a sampler, but I will take the responsibility of supplying
    you with all the samples from McDavitt’s silk department that you
    desire.’ Of course I had no right to make such an offer, but I
    did not think of it at the time. She looked all broken up, and
    told me she was deeply obliged, but she thought she’d have to quit
    and go back in Seaton-Baum’s silk department. She said she wished
    she could get into McDavitt’s, if only we didn’t employ only men
    clerks. I said I thought McDavitt’s was behind the times in that as
    well as in many other things, and I had intended to take the matter
    up with the superintendent. This was true. I asked for her name and
    address, so that I might notify her if anything came of it. She
    gave them to me.

    “She said she wondered how I recognized her when she dressed
    differently every time, and I said I should remember her face among
    a million. She said that didn’t prejudice her against me as it
    would if most men had said it. She shook hands with me when she
    said good-by.

    “I will not put her name down here. There are some things I cannot
    put down even here. And yet why shouldn’t I? I have always tried to
    be sincere and frank here. Miss Anna Wright. Anna. But doubtless I
    shall never see her again. Ours is a purely business acquaintance.
    I fear I shall not be able to change the policy about men clerks.
    It is an unprogressive policy. How her face would brighten the
    department! And she knows silks better than most of our men clerks.
    She has a feeling about them that counts a great deal; she really
    understands them. My slight acquaintance with her has filled me
    with the deepest respect. There is a great deal of sincerity about
    her, but she looks as if her life had not been altogether happy. I
    do not feel bashful when I talk to her, as I do with most women.
    This is most strange, considering how I feel toward her. I have a
    sort of feeling that she trusts me. What would I not give if I were
    worthy! Thank Heaven, she does not know how I have treated poor
    Mrs. Benson!”

On Friday, April 29, Mr. Francis wrote in the book:

    “I am inscribing these words in a furnished room that I rented
    shortly after the store closed this evening. I sent an expressman
    to Mrs. Benson’s to get my things. Try as I would, reason with my
    self, all was in vain. I am a coward; I could not go back to Mrs.

    “I thought I would go back and say something against Mr. Benson,
    thus breaking off the engagement in a respectable manner. Mrs.
    Benson has often said that if I ever said anything against Mr.
    Benson, everything between us would be at an end. I thought this
    would be a good way to end matters. God knows I have nothing
    against Mr. Benson, and I know he would have forgiven me if he had
    heard of it in the place wherever the dead are. But I could not do
    it. When within a block of the house I could not force myself to go
    any farther. I could not, as God is my witness. I have tried to do
    right, but I am such a coward I would have succumbed in the street
    if I had gone on.

    “Mrs. Benson refused to allow the expressman to get my things,
    although I had sent the money to pay a week’s rent in advance with
    him. She tried to make him give her my address, but I had warned
    him not to do that, and I gave him a dollar when he returned and
    told me how he had resisted her. I regret that she would not let
    him have my things. I can get a new outfit, of course, but I had
    become accustomed to some of the things I had. Some of them I have
    had since my seventeenth year. Still, I am content. I have deserved
    much worse than has been meted out to me.

    “Later. Mrs. Benson has been here. The expressman deceived me; he
    gave her my address, after all. I will not write down what she said
    while irresponsible through her emotions, and I do not remember
    what I said. At any rate, she is gone. I can hardly write.

    “Later. The landlady of this house has just been in to tell me I
    must move out in the morning. She doesn’t desire men like me in
    her house. She says she knows my kind, and I am worse than the
    white-slavers the papers tell about. Perhaps she is right. I have
    no words to express my misery at my conduct. I will rise at five
    o’clock in the morning and seek a new rooming-house where I am not

    “Saturday, April 30.

    “I have another furnished room. It is not highly desirable. I
    rented it under an assumed name, and I will move when the present
    danger has had time to decrease. I tremble lest Mrs. Benson should
    come to seek me in the store. I spend as much of my time in the
    office as possible, and keep a sharp lookout when I am on the floor.

    ‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
    When first we practise to deceive!’

    I know now something of the feeling of the felon who has escaped
    and whom every man’s hand is raised against. But I have brought it
    on myself. I only hope it will not result in my final expulsion
    from the store. McDavitt’s is very careful about the character of
    their employees.

    “I put the matter about lady clerks in the department up to the
    manager this afternoon. To my surprise, he took to it rather
    kindly, and will refer it up to the proper authorities.

    “A chilly, rainy day. I am tired out, but very happy to be secluded
    in this room. It is pleasant to sit alone and hear the rain

    “But I am not altogether alone. I have a memory, and a name, and I
    have a hope. Anna. But why is my heart lifted up? I am not worthy
    even to think of her.

    ‘For be the day never so long,
    At last the bell ringeth to evensong.’

    _Stephen Hawes._”

    “Tuesday, May 3.

    “The superintendent has refused to entertain my suggestion about
    women clerks in the silk department. It would be against McDavitt’s
    policy. I have written and expressed his decision. So everything
    ends. I shall never see her again. I am a broken reed. One thing I
    can be thankful for: Mrs. Benson has not come to ask for me at the

    “Wednesday, May 4.

    “This evening after dinner I walked over to the address. It is an
    apartment-house, and it is just such a place as I should think she
    would choose to live in. Nothing showy, but very neat and quiet and
    respectable. I walked in front of the house several times before
    returning. Something expanded in me every time I walked before the
    house and thought it was the place where she lives. I wonder whom
    she lives with? Doubtless with her mother and father and perhaps a
    sister or brother. I picked out a window that looked like it might
    be hers on the third floor. There was a soft yellow light like the
    light of a lamp in it.

    “But of course I was mistaken. Probably she was out. She must be
    much sought after, and doubtless goes out a great deal in the
    evenings. Still, I found my heart lifted up just to walk slowly
    by and imagine she was in the room with the yellow lamp. I came
    home with peace and happiness in my heart, and yet with a great
    yearning. I will not conceal that I had that also. How poorly that
    expresses my feeling! The power of verbal expression is not my

The entry of Thursday, May 5, ended:

    “She has not replied to my note telling of the superintendent’s
    decision; but of course no reply was necessary. Walked before her
    house this evening. Had not expected to, but could not resist
    the temptation. Have no right even to think of her. Legally, of
    course, I am still engaged to Mrs. Benson.”

The entries of May 6, 7, and 8 related that he had walked past “her”
house. He avoided mentioning her name, as an ancient Hebrew would have
avoided mentioning the name of Jehovah, or a modern Japanese the name
of his emperor.

On Monday, May 9, Mr. Francis wrote in the book:

    “I have a note from her, thanking me for my efforts in her behalf
    and regretting that McDavitt’s is so unprogressive. She ends: ‘I
    shall apply to you again when your store has got out of the rut of
    ages. I like McDavitt’s for its air of gentility and old-fashioned
    niceness.’ How she can write! I shall treasure her note. She says
    she would have written, thanking me, before, but my note reached
    her just as they were moving to another apartment. She sends me
    the new address unconsciously on the heading of her letter. I am
    glad I know she has moved. Suppose I had continued to walk before
    her former residence, thinking she still lived there? And yet that
    might have served me just as well, as long as I thought she was

    “Now I have to record a very unpleasant matter. Mr. A. I.
    Sugenheim, an attorney-at-law, was in the store to-day to see me,
    and he said Mrs. Benson had decided to start a suit for breach
    of promise against me for $10,000; but if I wished to avoid the
    disgrace of having my name and picture in all the papers, I could
    pay the money, and he would not start the suit. He gave me an
    unpleasant impression. I said I should have to consult a lawyer
    before I decided. I recognized Mrs. Benson had grounds for damages,
    but I didn’t have $10,000. He said I could pay in instalments.

    “I said I would consider the matter. He then said he would
    compromise for $5000 cash. My dealings with traveling-salesmen
    stood me in good stead. I said I would not think of paying a cent
    more than $2000. I had $1200 in the savings-bank, and I would pay
    the rest $100 a month.

    “He begged me to remember that I had committed a very grave
    offense. Both from a legal and moral point of view I was culpable,
    and I had no right to pinch pennies to put myself square with the
    world. I was obliged to admit all this. But I did not like the
    way he said it; his manner did not give me a feeling of frankness
    and sincerity. I answered that $2000 was a great deal of money.
    ‘Make it $2500, for your conscience’ sake, at least,’ he said. I
    saw he was weakening; his nature was exactly like that of many of
    the salesmen I have to deal with. I turned away, saying, ‘I will
    make it $2100 and I cannot in conscience make it a cent more.’ He
    caught me by the arm and told me to believe him I would regret it
    to my dying day if I did not make it $2400, anyway; but I was firm.
    Finally he agreed to accept $2100. Unpleasant as the details were,
    I have a great feeling of relief. To-morrow I shall withdraw all my
    savings from the savings-bank and meet him at his office at 6:30
    ~P.M.~ After that I shall be free.

    “Walked past her new home this evening. It is perhaps not so nice
    as the other place, but eminently respectable. I debated all the
    way whether I would act unwarrantedly if I wrote her another note
    in answer to her last. How she would despise me if she knew the
    unfortunate details of my private life! I bow my head in shame when
    I think of her and of them.”

    “Tuesday, May 10.

    “Mr. Sugenheim said last night Mrs. Benson had refused to accept
    $2100. She had been wounded too deeply, and disgraced forever in
    the eyes of the boarders. I was overcome with grief at this news.
    But she would accept $2400. I at once agreed. I can save nearly two
    hundred dollars a month out of my salary by living carefully, and I
    feel more absolved from my turpitude than if I had paid a smaller
    amount. But it is a base thing to try to feel that I can acquit
    myself by a money payment. This will be a lesson to me never to
    trifle with a woman’s feelings again unless I really love her. I
    think I can say on my honor that I never really loved Mrs. Benson.
    This makes me feel at once more blameworthy and more relieved than
    if I had loved her. It is hard to explain just how.

    “Walked past her new home again this evening. I have chosen
    another window on the third floor, right-hand corner, as the one
    that belongs to her. This is foolish, but why should I not do it
    if it pleases me? I started to write several notes to her this
    evening, but tore them up. I have no excuse to inflict myself upon

The entries of the next few days dealt chiefly with his evening parades
and with the struggles of his conscience as to whether he ought to
write her again. By pressure of the longing in his soul he became
bolder; one evening he even had the courage to go into the front
hall of the apartment-house and search out her name in the long row
of letter-boxes above the electric-bell buttons. The simple “Wright”
printed there held him spellbound for so long that, when he recollected
himself, he fled fearfully from the building, and trembled afterward at
the thought of the risk he had run. But his timidity did not prevent
him from continuing to haunt the vicinity of her home.

Such was his absorption in his romance, such interesting business
filled his evenings, that he was never lonely, as he had often been
even in the company of the other boarders at Mrs. Benson’s. Except for
an occasional visit to his brother and sister-in-law in Brooklyn, he
had no more human associations, and desired none. The place where he
lived was a rooming-house; he took his solitary meals in restaurants,
seeking out the cheapest places, so that he might save every possible
cent toward discharging the financial burden his engagement and
dereliction had put upon him.

But taking it all in all, he was happier than he had ever been in his
life before. Never had one of his ideal romances developed so far;
and never, thanks principally to the affectionate, if brief advances,
of Mrs. Benson, had he had so true an idea of the meaning of love. He
composed many notes to Miss Anna Wright,--I hope he will forgive me for
setting forth her name in cold type,--and he knew that the time was
approaching when he would send one to her.

On Friday, May 13, Mr. Francis wrote in the book:

    “Five o’clock in the morning. I have met her face to face, I have
    spoken to her, and walked with her! We ran into each other,
    almost. I was gawking up at her window,--I mean the one I call
    hers,--and I did not see her until she stopped and spoke to me.

    “What a fool I must have seemed! I could not say anything--not a
    word. She asked me if I lived in the neighborhood, and I said no.
    She said she was just going out for a walk over to Central Park and
    back to get the air. I said it was a pleasant evening for a walk,
    fool that I am! She said several other things; asked me about the
    store. Then she said good evening, and went on. I went on, too, in
    the direction I was going when I met her.

    “But there are times when a man forgets everything but one thing.
    I turned back before I had gone half a block. I followed her.
    I cannot describe how I felt. All the way up Fifth Avenue from
    Thirty-eighth Street I kept her in sight. I do not know how I had
    the courage to go up and speak to her while she was passing St.
    Patrick’s Cathedral. Something outside myself forced me to do it. I
    was not myself. She let me walk with her. She let me walk back to
    her door again with her.

    “Some time I will put down where we went, the bench beside the
    little lagoon with the swans where we sat, and all she said. I
    remember everything perfectly. But I cannot write it down now.

    “After I had told her good-night, I went back and did everything
    we had done together, and recalled everything she had said. I sat
    for over two hours on the bench where we had sat together. She told
    me a great deal about herself, and I was right: she has not had a
    very happy life. And she asked me about myself. I told her all she
    asked. I told her about the book, and she said sometime she’d like
    to read the extracts about her in it, and I said she could.

    “It is beginning to be dawn. I am glad my window faces east. The
    sky is pale golden. There is something about the dawn, something
    sacred. It is like her; I cannot describe how.

    “I cannot write any more. I will go out and take another walk until
    breakfast. Perhaps I will go over to the East River. Yes, I will go
    over to the East River and look at the boats. There is something
    magnificent about boats.”

    “Sunday, May 22.

    “To-day we went out to Pelham Bay Park. We went early in the
    morning and stayed all day. We took a boat-ride over to Closson’s
    Point, and sat under a tree, and I let her read the book--all there
    was in it. She did not reproach me for the many things that I
    regret I ever wrote in it. At times she laughed, and at times I am
    sure that there were tears in her eyes. I could not well understand
    her at all times, even when she explained to me why it made her
    feel as she said it did.

    “Yesterday paid the first instalment of $200. $1000 more, and that
    unfortunate episode in my life will be closed forever.

    “I do not seem to take as much interest in the book as I once did.
    For the first time in many years I have let nearly a week go by
    without a record in it.

    “Shall I tell what happened when I left her at her door at midnight
    less than an hour ago? I have long made it a point to be sincere
    and frank in these pages, but I cannot always write down the most
    important things in my life, especially now. I will only write that
    ineffable joy surrounded me.

    ‘O death, where is thy sting?
    O grave, where is thy victory?’”


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






Author of “American Traits,” “Psychology and Life,” etc.

Every lawyer knows some good stories about some wild juries he has
known, which made him shiver and doubt whether a dozen laymen ever
can see a legal point. But every newspaper reader, too, remembers an
abundance of cases in which the decision of the jury startled him by
its absurdity. Who does not recall sensational acquittals in which
sympathy for the defendant or prejudice against the plaintiff carried
away the feelings of the twelve good men and true? For them are the
unwritten laws, for them the mingling of justice with race hatreds or
with gallantry. And even in the heart of New York a judge recently said
to a chauffeur who had killed a child and had been acquitted, “Now go
and get drunk again; then this jury will allow you to run over as many
children as you like.”

Yet whatever the temperament of the jury and its legal insight, we may
sharply separate its ideas of deserved punishment from that far more
important aspect of its function, the weighing of evidence. The juries
may be whimsical in their decisions, they may be lenient in their
acquittals or over-rigid in their verdicts of guilty, but that is quite
in keeping with the democratic spirit of the institution. The Teutonic
nations do not want the abstract law of the scholarly judges; they want
the pulse-beat of life throbbing in the court decisions, and what may
seem a wilful ignoring of the law of the lawyers may be a heartfelt
expression of the popular sentiment. Better to have some statutes
riddled by illogical verdicts than legal decisions severed from the
sense of justice which is living in the soul of the nation.

But while a rush into prejudice or a hasty overriding of law may draw
attention to some exceptional verdicts, in the overwhelming mass of
jury decisions nothing is aimed at but a real clearing up of the facts.
The evidence is submitted, and while the lawyers may have wrangled
as to what is evidence and what is not, and while they may have tried
by their presentation of the witnesses on their own side and by their
cross-examinations to throw light on some parts of the evidence and
shadows on some others, the jurymen are simply to seek the truth when
all the evidence has been submitted. And mostly they do not forget
that they will live up to their duty best the more they suppress in
their own hearts the question whether they like or dislike the truth
that comes to light. Whoever weighs the social significance of the
jury system ought not to be guided by the few stray cases in which the
emotional response obscures the truth, but all praise and blame and
every scrutiny of the institution ought to be confined essentially to
the ability of the jurymen to live up to their chief responsibility,
the sober finding of the true facts.

It cannot be denied that much criticism has been directed against the
whole jury system in America and Europe by legal scholars, as well as
by laymen, on account of the prevailing doubt whether the traditional
form is really furthering the clearing-up of the hidden truth. Where
the evidence is so perfectly clear that every one by himself alone
feels from the start exactly like all the others, the coöperation of
the twelve men cannot do any harm; but it cannot do any particular
good, either. Such cases do not demand the special interest of the
social reformer. His doubts and fears come up only when difference of
opinion exists, and the discussion and the repeated votes overcome
the divergence of opinion. The skeptics claim that the system as such
may easily be instrumental for suppressing the truth and bringing the
erroneous opinion to victory. In earlier times a frequent objection
was that lack of higher education made men unfit to weigh correctly
the facts in a complicated situation, but for a long while this kind
of arguing has been given up. The famous French lawyer who, whenever
he had a weak case, made use of his right to challenge jurymen by
systematically excluding all persons of higher education, certainly
blundered in this respect, according to the views of to-day. Those best
informed within and without the legal science agree that the verdicts
of straightforward people with public-school education are in the long
run neither better nor worse than those of men with college schooling
or professional training. A jury of artisans and farmers understands
and looks into a mass of neutral material as well as a jury of bankers
and doctors, or at least their final verdict has an equal chance to hit
the truth.

But the critics say that it is not the lack of general or logical
training of the individual person which obstructs the path of justice.
The trouble lies rather in the mutual influence of the twelve men. The
more persons work together, the less, they say, every single man can
reach his highest level. They become a mass, with mass consciousness,
a kind of crowd in which each one becomes oversuggestible. Each one
thinks less reliably, less intelligently, and less impartially than
he would by himself alone. We know how men in a crowd do indeed lose
some of the best features of their individuality. A crowd may be thrown
into a panic, may rush into any foolish, violent action, may lynch
and plunder, or a crowd may be stirred to a pitch of enthusiasm, may
be roused to heroic deeds or to wonderful generosity; but whether
the outcome be wretched or splendid, in any case it is the product
of persons who have been entirely changed. In the midst of the panic
or in the midst of the heroic enthusiasm, no one has kept his own
characteristic mental features. The individual no longer judges
for himself; he is carried away, his own heart reverberates, with
the feelings of the whole crowd. The mass consciousness is not an
adding-up, a mere summation, of the individual minds, but the creation
of something entirely new. Such a crowd may be pushed into any roads;
chance leaders may use or misuse its increased suggestibility for any
ends. No one can foresee whether this heaping up of men will bring
good or bad results. Certainly the individual level of the crowd will
always be below the level of its best members. And is not a jury
necessarily such a group with a mass consciousness of its own? Every
individual member is melted into the total, has lost his independent
power of judging, and has become influenced through his heightened
suggestibility and social feeling by any chance pressure which may push
toward error as often as toward truth.

But if such arguments are brought into play, it is evident that it is
no longer a legal question, but a psychological one. The psychologist
alone deals scientifically with the problem of mutual mental influence
and with the reënforcing or awakening of mental energies by social
coöperation. He should accordingly investigate the question with his
own methods, and deal with it from the point of view of the scientist.
This means he is not simply to form an opinion from general value
impressions and to talk about it as about a question of politics,
where any man may have his personal idea or fancy, but to discover
the facts by definite experiments. The modern student of mental life
is accustomed to the methods of the laboratory. He wants to see exact
figures, by which the essential facts come into sharp relief. But
let us understand clearly what such an experiment means. When the
psychologist goes to work in his laboratory, his aim is to study those
thoughts and emotions and feelings and deeds which move our social
world. But his aim is not simply to imitate or to repeat the social
scenes of the community. He must simplify them and bring them down to
the most elementary situations, in which only the characteristic mental
actions are left.

Is this not the way in which the experimenters proceed in every field?
The physicist or the chemist does not study the great events as they
occur in nature on a large scale and with bewildering complexity of
conditions, but he brings down every special fact which interests him
to a neat, miniature copy on his laboratory table. There he mixes a few
chemical solutions in his retorts and his test-tubes, or produces the
rays or sparks or currents with his subtle laboratory instruments, and
he feels sure that whatever he finds there must hold true everywhere
in the gigantic universe. If the waters move in a certain way in his
little tank on his table, he knows that they must move according
to the same laws in the midst of the ocean. In this spirit the
psychologist arranges his experiments, too. He does not carry them on
in the turmoil of social life, but prepares artificial situations in
which the persons will show the laws of mental behavior. An experiment
on memory or attention or imagination or feeling may bring out in a
few minutes mental facts which the ordinary observer would discover
only if he were to watch the behavior and life attitudes of the man for
years. Everything depends upon the degree with which the characteristic
mental states are brought into play under experimental conditions. The
great advantage of the experimental method here is, as everywhere, that
everything can be varied and changed at will and that the conditions
and the effects can be exactly measured.

If we apply these principles to the question of the jury, the task is
clear. We want to find out whether the coöperation, the discussion,
and the repeated voting of a number of persons is helping or hindering
them in the effort to judge correctly upon a complex situation. We must
therefore artificially create a situation which brings into action the
judgment, the discussion, and the vote; but if we are loyal to the
idea of experimenting, we must keep the experiment free from all those
features of a real jury deliberation that have nothing to do with the
mental action itself. Moreover, it is evident that the situations to
be judged must allow a definite knowledge as to the objective truth.
The experimenter must know which verdict of his voters corresponds to
the real facts. Secondly, the situation must be difficult, in order
that a real doubt may prevail. If all the voters were on one side
from the start, no discussion would be needed. Thirdly, it must be a
rather complex situation, in order that the judgment may be influenced
by a number of motives. Only in this case will it be possible for
the discussion to point out factors which the other party may have
overlooked, thus giving a chance for changes of mind. All these demands
must be fulfilled if the experiment is really to picture the jury
function. But it would be utterly superfluous, and would make the exact
measurement impossible, if the material on which the judgment is to be
based were of the same kind of which the evidence in the court-room is
composed. The trial by jury in an actual criminal case may involve many
picturesque and interesting details, but the mental act of judging is
no different when the most trivial objects are chosen.

I settled on the following simple device. I used sheets of dark-gray
cardboard. On each were pasted white paper dots of different form and
in an irregular order. Each card had between ninety-two and a hundred
and eight such white dots of different sizes. The task was to compare
the number of spots on one card with the number of spots on another.
Perhaps I held up a card with a hundred and four dots, and below it one
with ninety-eight. Then the subjects of the experiment had to decide
whether the upper card had more dots or fewer dots than the lower one.
I made the first set of experiments with eighteen Harvard students. I
took more than the twelve men who form a jury in order to reinforce
the possible effect, but did not wish to exceed the number greatly,
so that the character of the discussion might be similar to that in a
jury. A much larger number would have made the discussion too formal
or too unruly. The eighteen men sat about a long table, and were first
allowed to look for half a minute at the two big cards, each forming
his judgment independently. Then at a signal every one had to write
down whether the number of dots on the upper card was larger, equal, or
smaller. Immediately after that they had to indicate by a show of hands
how many had voted for each of the three possibilities. After that an
excited discussion began, three or four men speaking at the same time.

After five minutes of talking, the vote was repeated, again at first
being written and then being taken by a show of hands. A second
five-minute exchange of opinion followed, with a new effort to convince
the dissenters. After this period the third and last vote was taken.
This experiment was carried out with a variety of cards with smaller or
larger difference of numbers, but always with a difference enough to
allow an uncertainty of judgment. Here, indeed, we had repeated all the
essential conditions of the jury vote and discussion, and the mental
state was characteristically similar to that of the jurymen.

The very full accounts which the participants in the experiment
wrote down the following day indicated clearly that we had a true
imitation of the mental process despite the striking simplicity of our
conditions. One man, for instance, described his inner experience as

    I think the experiment involves factors quite comparable to
    those that determine the verdict of a jury. The cards with their
    spots are the evidence pro and con which each juryman has before
    him to interpret. Each person’s decision on the number is his
    interpretation of the situation. The arguments, too, seem quite
    comparable to the arguments of the jury. Both consist in pointing
    out factors of the situation that have been overlooked, and in
    showing how different interpretations may be possible.

Another man wrote:

    In the experiment it seemed that one man judged by one criterion
    and another by another, such as distribution, size of spots, vacant
    spaces, or counting along one edge. Discussion often brought a
    man’s attention to other criterions than those he used in his first
    judgment, and these often outweighed the original. Similarly,
    different jurymen would base their opinion on different aspects
    of the case, and discussion would tend to draw their attention to
    other aspects. The experiment also illustrated the relative weight
    given to the opinion of different fellow-jurymen. I found that the
    statements of a few of the older men who have had more extensive
    psychological experience weighed more with me than those of the
    others. Suggestion did not seem to be much of a factor. A man is
    rather on his mettle, and ready to defend his original impression
    until he finds that it is hopeless.

Again, another wrote:

    To me the experiment seemed fairly comparable to the real
    situation. As in an actual trial, the full truth was not available,
    but, certain evidence was presented to all for interpretation. As
    to the nature of the discussion itself, I think there was the same
    mingling of suggestion and real argument that is to be found in a
    jury discussion.

Another said:

    The discussion influenced me by suggesting other methods of
    analysis. For instance, comparison of the amount of open space
    in two cards, comparison of the number of dots along the
    edges, estimation in diagonal lines, were methods mentioned
    in the discussion which I used in forming my own judgments.
    It does not seem to me that in my own case direct suggestion
    had any appreciable effect. I was aware of a tendency toward
    contrasuggestibility. There was a half-submerged feeling that
    it would be good sport to stick it out for the losing side. The
    lack of any unusual amount of suggestion and the presence of the
    influences of analysis and detailed comparison seem to me to show
    that the tests were in fact fairly comparable to situations in a

To be sure, there were a few who were strongly impressed by the evident
differences between the rich material of an actual trial and the meager
content of our tests, there the actions of living men, here the space
relations of little spots. But they evidently did not sufficiently
realize that the forming of such number judgments was not at all a
question of mere perception; that, on the contrary, many considerations
were involved. Most men felt the similarity from the start.

What were the results of this first group of experiments? Our interest
must evidently be centered on the question of how many judgments were
correct at the first vote before any discussion and any show of hands
were influencing the minds of the men, and how many were correct at
the last vote, after the two periods of discussion and after taking
cognizance of the two preceding votes. If I sum up all the results, the
outcome is that fifty-two per cent. of the first votes were correct,
and seventy-eight per cent. of the final votes were correct. The
discussion of the successive votes had therefore led to an improvement
of twenty-six per cent. of all votes. Or, as the correct votes were at
first fifty-two per cent., their number is increased by one half. May
we not say that this demonstration in exact figures proves that the
confidence in the jury system is justified? And may it not be added
that, in view of the wide-spread prejudices, the result is almost
surprising? Here we had men of high intelligence who were completely
able to take account of every possible aspect of the situation. They
had time to do so, they had training to do so, and every foregoing
experiment ought to have stimulated them to do so in the following
ones. Yet their judgment was right in only fifty-two per cent. of
the cases until they heard the opinions of the others and saw how
they voted. The mere seeing of the vote, however, cannot have been
decisive, because forty-eight per cent.,--that is, virtually half of
the votes,--were at first incorrect. The wrong votes might have had as
much suggestive influence on those who voted rightly as the right votes
on those on the wrong side. Nevertheless, if the change was so strongly
in the right direction, the result must clearly have come from the

But I am not at the end of my story. I also made exactly the same
experiments with a class of advanced female university students. When
I started, my aim was not to examine the differences of men and women,
but only to have ampler material, and I confined my work to students in
psychological classes because I was anxious to get the best possible
scientific analysis of the inner experiences. I had no prejudice in
favor of or against women as members of the jury, any more than my
experiments were guided by a desire to defend or to attack the jury
system. I was anxious only to clear up the facts. The women students
had exactly the same opportunities for seeing the cards and the votes
and for exchanging opinions. The discussions, while carried on for
the same length of time, were on the whole less animated. There was
less desire to convince and more restraint; but the record which
was taken in shorthand showed nearly the same variety of arguments
that the men had brought forward. Everything agreed exactly with the
experiments of the men, and the only difference was in the results.
The first vote of all experiments with the women showed a slightly
smaller number of right judgments. The women had forty-five per cent.
correct judgments, as against the fifty-two per cent. of the men. I
should not put any emphasis on this difference. It may be said that
the men had more training in scientific observations, and the task
was therefore slightly easier for them than for most of the women.
I should say that, all taken together, men and women showed an equal
ability in immediate judgment, as with both groups about half of the
first judgments were correct. The fact that with the men two per cent.
more, with the women five per cent. less, than half were right would
not mean much. But the situation is entirely different with the second
figure. We saw that for the men the discussion secured an increase from
fifty-two per cent. to seventy-eight per cent.; with the women the
increase is not a single per cent. The first votes were forty-five per
cent. right, and the last votes were forty-five per cent. right. In
other words, they had not learned anything from discussion.

It would not be quite correct, if we were to draw from that the
conclusion that the women did not change their minds at all. If we
examine the number of cases in which in the course of the first,
second, and third votes some change occurred, we find changes in
forty per cent. of all judgments of the men and nineteen per cent.
of all judgments of the women. This does not mean that a change in
a particular case necessarily made the last vote different from the
first; we not seldom had a case where for instance the first vote was
larger, the second equal, and the third again larger. And, as a matter
of course, where a change between the first and the last occurred, it
was not always a change in the right direction. Moreover, it must not
be forgotten that the votes always covered three possibilities, and not
only two. It was therefore possible for the first vote to be wrong,
and then for a change to occur to another wrong vote. The nineteen per
cent. changes in the decisions of the women accordingly contained as
many cases in which right was turned into wrong as in which wrong was
turned into right, while with the men the changes to the right had
an overweight of twenty-six per cent. The self-analysis of the women
indicated clearly the reason for their mental stubbornness. They heard
the arguments, but they were so fully under the autosuggestion of their
first decision that they fancied that they had known all that before
and that they had discounted the arguments of their opponents in the
first vote. The cobbler has to stick to his last: the psychologist
has to be satisfied with analyzing the mental processes, but it is
not his concern to mingle in politics. He must leave it to others to
decide whether it will really be a gain if the jury-box is filled with
persons whose minds are unable to profit from discussion and who return
to their first idea, however much is argued from the other side. It
is evident that this tendency of the female mind must be advantageous
for many social purposes. The woman remains loyal to her instinctive
opinion. Hence we have no right to say that one type of mind is better
than another. We may say only they differ, and that this difference
makes men fit and women unfit for the task which society requires from

In order to make quite sure that the discussion, and not the seeing
of the vote, is responsible for the marked improvement in the case of
men, I carried on some further experiments in which the voting alone
was involved. To bring this mental process to strongest expression,
I went far beyond the small circle which was needed for the informal
exchange of opinion, and operated, instead, with my large class of
psychological students in Harvard. I have there four hundred and sixty
students, and accordingly had to use much larger cards with large
dots. I showed to them any two cards twice. There was an interval of
twenty seconds between the first and the second exposure, and each
time they looked at the cards for three seconds. In one half of the
experiments that interval was not filled at all, in the other half a
quick show of hands was arranged, so that every one could see how many
on the first impression judged the upper card as having more or an
equal number or fewer dots than the lower. After the second exposure
every one had to write down his final result. The pairs of cards which
were exposed when the show of hands was made were the same as those
which were shown without any one knowing how the other men judged. We
calculated the results on the basis of four hundred reports. They
showed that the total number of right judgments in the cases without
showing hands was sixty per cent. correct, in those with show of hands
about sixty-five per cent. A hundred and twenty men had turned from the
right to the wrong; that is, had more incorrect judgments when they
saw how the other men voted than when they were left to themselves. It
is true that those who turned from worse to better by seeing the vote
of the others were in a slight majority, bringing the total vote five
per cent. upward; but this difference is so small that it could just
as well be explained by the mere fact that this act of public voting
reinforced the attention and improved a little the total vote through
this stimulation of the social consciousness. It is not surprising that
the mere seeing of the votes in such cases has so small an effect,
incomparable with that of a real discussion in which new vistas are
opened, inasmuch as in forty per cent. of the cases the majority was
evidently on the wrong side from the start. Those who are swept away
by the majority would, therefore, in forty per cent. of the cases
be carried to the wrong side. I went still further, and examined by
psychological methods the degree of suggestibility of those four
hundred participants in the experiment, and the results showed that the
fifty most suggestible men profited from the seeing of the vote of the
majority no more than the fifty least suggestible ones. In both cases
there was an increase of about five per cent. correct judgments. I also
drew from this the conclusion that the show of hands was ineffective as
a direct influence toward correctness, and that it had only the slight
indirect value of forcing the men to concentrate their attention better
on those cards. All results, therefore, point in the same direction:
it is really the argument which brings a coöperating group nearer
to the truth, and not the seeing how the other men vote. Hence the
psychologist has every reason to be satisfied with the jury system.

[Illustration: Color-Tone, engraved for ~The Century~ by H. Davidson


    “‘_Since I slept, the boughs have pressed so near
      The narrow path is lost. But I must run
      And chase my fellows out into the sun._’”






    By mead and wood I called them all day through,
      All day I hunted them from dale to dale,
    From height to height, each rift we ever knew,
      At hide-and-seek, and still no answering hail.
        Ah, could they be so cruel in their play
        To make me lose the first delicious day
      Since spring came up the vale?

    I mind me how the northern whirlwind tore
      Our wood. I saw those agèd giants quake.
    Their wreckage lay about my cavern door.
      I shut it close and, deep in withered brake,
        I hugged my icy flanks all shivering,
        And closed mine eyes, and dreamed of spring--of spring
      Whose voice would bid me wake.

    And next I heard the inmost water run
      In the cliff’s heart, and wondered, half asleep,
    If all the snow were melted in the sun,
      And waited for a hamadryad to peep
        Through yonder cleft and mock me for my sloth.
        But, oh! the fern was soft, and I was loth
      From out my bed to creep.

    Slow, slow I drew the rotting bolt away.
      My hoofs sank deep among the drifted leaves.
    But, farther on, a lonely sunbeam lay
      On fading snowdrops, and my granite eaves
        Were overthatched with mosses green and fine;
        And every bud upon the dangling vine
      Showed how the warm sap heaves.

    I marvel how the streamer hangs so low
      About my door, that with the fading year
    Was out of reach--or did I dream it so?
      No. Since I slept, the boughs have pressed so near
        The narrow path is lost. But I must run
        And chase my fellows out into the sun.
      “O playmates, playmates, hear!”

    So went I calling, listening, singling out
      Each voice, each sound, each little stir that woke
    The drowsy shadows. Now it was the rout
      Of vagrant winds, and now a bird that broke
        The trance with song up-brimming through the birch,
        And now the boars disputing in their search
      For mast beneath the oak.

    I ran to find them at the dancing-green.
      The grass had sprung untrampled by their feet.
    Great oaks had fallen, and the copse between
      Changed the smooth lawn. Each knoll and ivied seat
        Was crumbling fast. The forest life had drowned
        In waves of lush young growth our pleasure-ground,
      Whelmed every nymph’s retreat.

    I thought: “The gods have wrought a cruel jest,
      Blasting our wood and those who dwell therein,
    Bidding the coverts break their wonted rest
      To grow and grow and drown the dancing-green;
        And so in dark, numb days, the winter through,
        The charm was wrought, and still the ruin grew,
      Unheard-of and unseen.

    “And they, my comrades, waking even as I,
      Have they, too, seen the change and crept away
    To weep, untroubled by the laughing sky,
      Far in the utmost shadow? Stay, oh, stay!
        O brothers mine, here’s one who weeps with you
        The sunny glade, the dancing in the dew,
      The pipes of yesterday!”

    So went I calling, calling down the glade:
      “Oh, harken, brothers, harken, one and all!”
    Mad Echo jeered me from the hemlock shade,
      But never came there answer to my call.
        Their caves lay overgrown and tenantless,
        Nor by a sound nor footprint might I guess
      What sorrow should befall.

    There came a laughter veering down the breeze,
      Soft, cruel sounds as from a dryad’s throat.
    “Even now they mock you, hid among the trees,
      Shaping their signals to the wood bird’s note,
        With sly, malicious dance and mirth-brimmed eyes.”
        The laughter broke, and, wavering into sighs,
      Failed, wind-like and remote.

    Panting, I swung from stem to jutting stem
      Up the wet crag, and, ever as I clomb,
    I called, ’twixt tears and pain, and offered them
      Bribe of my last year’s harvest, honeycomb,
        Beechnuts, and hazel; yet there came no sign
        Save Echo’s, answering that call of mine,
      “O friends, come home! Come home!”

    Oh, not among the cliffs or on the height!
      “Some glad adventure leads them far astray,
    Surely,” I said; “the coming of the night
      Will bring them back.” And for a while I lay
        And racked my wits with plans of punishment.
        Then up I sprang in doubt and discontent,
      And sought another way.

    And now that dark has fallen, and I lie
      Curled on the leaves and nurse my bleeding sides,
    I wonder, was it Pan who wandered by,
      And lured them down the unfamiliar rides--
        That Pan whose piping has a sweeter note
        Than spring has bred in any woodland throat
      To win the shy-winged brides?

    Or else another, mightier than Pan,
      That Other who has neither form nor speech,
    Who stops the spider ere he weaves his span,
      Or lizard, darting o’er the fallen beech,
        Who draws a film across the doe’s brown eyes,
        And takes the lark, though high and high he flies
      And dreams him out of reach.

    He blows the noiseless reed which none may hear
      Save such as he would draw unto his hand.
    He takes a tribute of the waking year,
      And wanders, piping, through the flowery land.
        And there a locust hears him and is mute;
        And here a rabbit leaves a nibbled root
      To hark and understand.

    O piper in the shadows, pipe once more!
      Send but one call from out the fading west!
    Aye, though I crouch behind my cavern door,
      One note of thine would draw me to the quest,
        To journey past the sunset and the rain,
        Where I may find my people once again,
      And the lost winds find rest.







The way to go to Murray Bay is down the St. Lawrence by boat from
Quebec. There is, indeed, another way, which most people take, but it
should be taken only by impatient travelers who prefer a speedy to a
picturesque arrival.

The “bateau” is one of the three paddle-wheel boats that ply between
Quebec and the Saguenay River. Each bateau has its own character, its
own history, its own aliases. A bateau regards shipwreck as a baptism,
and thereupon takes a new name and a new coat of paint. The dean of
the fleet, at least according to the Murray Bay tradition, is a sort
of Methuselah. The story goes that before our Civil War, in the days
when the Mississippi ran unvexed to the gulf, when young Sam Clemens
was crying out “Mark Twain,” a paddle-wheeler plied between New Orleans
and Vicksburg--but this gossip is beneath the dignity of history. The
bateau, whatever its dubious past may have been, leaves the wharf at
Quebec at eight o’clock in the morning and arrives at Murray Bay at
half-past one. This legend, which I take from the Richelieu and Ontario
time-table, is less trustworthy than the other. Let us come to facts.
At some time or other the bateau leaves Quebec; it passes the Ile
d’Orleans, the Falls of Montmorency, and about sixty miles of beautiful
shore; and after what, if the day be fine, is a most delightful sail,
draws near to Bay St. Paul. This arrival is the prologue to Murray
Bay. The bateau gyrates, heaves, trembles, and sidles toward the
dock. Shouts from the bateau, answering shouts from the dock; the
bateau hesitates, shivers, and like a tired cow comes diffidently up
alongside. The passengers crowd to the landward rail; the population
of Bay St. Paul crowds to the edge of the quay. A small coil of
rope is hurled through the air from the bateau; it is caught by the
population of Bay St. Paul; attached to the rope is the boat’s hawser,
which is made fast to a pile. Friends exchange joyous greetings; the
_charretiers_, whose carriages and carts in long sequence stretch the
length of the causeway from the dock to the shore, wait politely for

The bateau prefers to arrive at the moment when the tide either
lifts it far above or leaves it far below the level of the quay; the
gang-plank is always at a sharp angle, and in consequence the cargo,
put on or off,--barrels, bales, bundles, trunks--slides down or is
rushed up with bumps, bangs, and loud shouts of “Prenez garde! Faites
attention!” or less articulate expressions. For a time all is feverish
excitement, joyous activity, perspiration, and hullabaloo. Then, as the
gang-plank, at a whistle from the quarterdeck, is about to be lifted,
shrieks from the quay indicate the belated arrival of a barrel, a pig,
or some stout passenger waving breathlessly hand-bag and umbrella. At
last the bateau glides on toward Murray Bay. The same bustle which
characterized the arrival at Bay St. Paul, but tempered by a higher
civilization, marks the arrival at Murray Bay. The custom-house is a
mere amiable ceremony, and the traveler is at once confronted with
his first exercise of choice: “Will monsieur have a _calèche_ or a


As soon as the traveler has climbed into the calèche (the luggage is
left for the _charrette_), the charretier gives a warning cry and
swings down the long causeway, and, turning to the right, goes up the
hill that buttresses the Pic. Here you learn your first vehicular
lesson. At a particular point going up the hill--it will not vary six
feet on any hill, for the rule is _de rigueur_, and every native boy is
born with the knowledge--the charretier leaps to the ground and drives
on foot from alongside.

Once free of the dock and over the hill, the traveler drives down the
long village street. Every French-Canadian village properly consists
of one long street. This is partly in order to economize shoveling and
plank-walk during the winter, and partly because Latin sociability
and democracy hold that every house has a right to front on the main
street. Here the traveler sees the most charming touch of art in Murray
Bay architecture, the curve of the gable-roof. In old times all the
native houses, or most of them, had this curving roof; but of late
years desire for space and lack of taste betray themselves in repeating
the ugly roofs familiar to the south of the Canadian border. Nothing in
architecture is more soothing than this curve in the gabled roof; it
contains all the picturesqueness, all the poetry, that the patron saint
of roofs--is it, perchance, St. Rufinus?--allows to them.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. T. Benda. Half-tone plate engraved by R. C.


The traveler who means to put up at a hotel has an ample range of
choice. The Manoir Richelieu, a younger sister to the Château Frontenac
of Quebec, gazes over a glorious expanse of river from the heights
above the quay. It supplies its guests with _confort moderne_ softened
to the native simplicity of Murray Bay, but it can hardly count as a
part of the village; it is too young, it is an interloper. There is
also the Château Murray, on the main street, which looks over the bay,
and presents a comfortable air of seeming to receive, as no doubt it
does, the compliments of departing guests; and, though even younger
than the Manoir Richelieu, it is much more in accord with Murray Bay
habits and traditions. But beyond cavil _the_ hotel of Murray Bay is
the Lorne House, as it calls itself on its letter-paper, which is known
to its familiars, and to all the world, as Chamard’s. Architects,
builders, upholsterers, and tinsmiths can create Manoirs Richelieu
ad libitum; so, with the addition of a French sense of proportion,
they can also create Château Murray; nobody except the late Monsieur
Chamard could have created Chamard’s. It is a personality expressed in
the form of a hotel; it is a spirit embodied in dining-room, parlors,
office, veranda, and partitions. The partitions remind the guest of
Shakspere’s lines, like “cloud-capp’d towers” and “gorgeous palaces”:
he expects them to dissolve, melt into thin air, and “leave not a rack
behind.” Chamard’s is the one hotel, I should suppose, in all the world
that rises triumphantly above material things. The table, no doubt, is
wholesome and exhilarating, but nobody cares; for at Chamard’s, quite
unlike other human abodes, the table is not the center of gravity.
The place is a club, gathered about Monsieur Chamard’s interesting
and attractive personality, and, now that he is gone, prospering upon
his memory and Mademoiselle Chamard’s disposition and character. The
physical structure used to stand about where the Manoir Richelieu now
is; but it flitted away, or, like the phenix, was reborn, on a bold
eminence above the golf-links, where half a dozen cottages, seedlings
from the parent plant, have grown up about it. But Chamard’s is not a
hotel for chance comers; it demands, so one of the guests assures me,
an introduction from some one known to a guest, at least.

The first thing for a new-comer to do is to take a drive; and the first
drive should be up the _rive droite_ of the Murray River as far as the
red bridge and down the _rive gauche_, or, for custom is liberal in
this matter, up the rive gauche and back by the rive droite. This drive
uncovers all that is typical in the scenery of Murray Bay.

Besides introducing the traveler at once to the scenery, the Murray
River drive has another advantage--it takes him past the principal
sights. The road skirts the golf-links, turns sharp at the Village
Mailloux, and then cuts the links in two just before the path
that leads to the famous sixth tee, the _pons dufforum_. Here the
charretier, if he is a good cicerone, points his whip to a house
that stands in a little garden radiant with bright flowers: “Voilà,
monsieur, la maison de Mademoiselle Anger.” One may draw aside the
veil that has been very transparent ever since the French Academy
crowned “L’Oublié,” and say that Mademoiselle Anger is Laure Conan, the
novelist. A few minutes further, to the left, on the edge of the bay,
stands the manor-house of the seigniory.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. T. Benda. Half-tone plate engraved by G. M.


From the manor-house the road runs along the edge of the bay, where
picturesque schooners float or lie on their sides, according to the
tide, and then on to the village of Malbaie, or Murray Bay. Americans
call it the Far Village, but the native resident of Pointe-au-Pic, who
wishes Monsieur Anger, _le notaire_, brother to Laure Conan, to draw
up a legal document, or Monsieur Perron to cut him a suit of homespun,
or Monsieur Shea to sell him a clock or a banjo-string, says, “Je vais
au village” (“I am going to the village”), just as a suburban resident
says, “I am going to town.” At the end of the bay stands the Far
Village church in all her kindly, simple seriousness. Her bells ring
out the angelus over the waters of the bay, along the shores, and back
into the uplands, proclaiming that she is ready, like a hen gathering
her chickens under her wings, to receive and comfort all the faithful.
On the façade, if three doorways and a barn-like front can count as a
façade, there is a statue of the Madonna that has drawn to itself some
of the beauty of the place. Hard by is the residence of Monsieur le
Curé and his assistants. The younger priests officiate in the church
and also teach school. It is pleasant, when driving by during recess,
to see these serious-faced young men, dressed in their long black
cassocks, playing with the children, or, when off duty, refreshing
themselves with a pipe and animated conversation.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. T. Benda. Half-tone plate engraved by G. M.


The Far Village has a little inn of its own, but it is undisturbed by
foreigners; it is sufficient to itself, with its shops, its bank, its
ecclesiastical edifices, its little houses, some of which back on the
river, in fact, lean perilously over the brink, strongly reminding one
of the old Florentine houses along the Arno. The court-house is on the
rive gauche, and somewhat away from the village. To say the truth, its
bald, rather brazen, aspect suggests the less amiable side of the law,
and it seems singularly out of keeping with the general innocence of
Malbaie. There is a story that Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, when at the
bar, long before he became chief-justice of Canada, went there to argue
a case, carrying only one book under his arm. A native remarked this
penury of legal preparation: “C’est fort peu de chose; il ne réussira
pas avec M’sieur le juge” (“That’s too little; he won’t win his
case”). The next time Sir Charles carried several large volumes: “A la
bonne heure; cette fois-ci il est sérieux” (“Good; this time he means

[Illustration: Drawn by W. T. Benda. Half-tone plate engraved by R. C.


Now and then, whether on your first drive up the Murray River, or
on your second up Maltais’s Hill and on the way to St. Agnès to see
mountains rise behind mountains in deepening hues of violet and
blue, you pass a plain, black cross. These crosses stand in little
inclosures, eight feet square, which are filled with monk’s-hood. At
these places the people of the neighborhood gather in the month of May
to say a prayer, and ask _la Sainte Vierge_ to bless the sowing of the
grain. Sometimes you pass one of the old baking-ovens, and, if you are
in luck, a pretty girl examining the condition of the loaves.

The traveler who is used to the more gingerly driven horses of other
places need not fear lest the wiry little horse, which ends his course
downhill at a canter and starts uphill at a gallop, will tire himself
out. The charretier always spares his horse by jumping out himself as
soon as the first uphill gallop is over. This is a comfort to the
tender-hearted traveler, for as soon as he leaves the Far Village he
is, or seems to be, going up or down hill all the time.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. T. Benda. Half-tone plate engraved by C. W.


Chamard’s in the foreground; Cap-à-l’Aigle manor in the middle distance]

Beyond the Murray River, on the high bluffs overlooking the St.
Lawrence, lies the village of Cap-à-l’Aigle. The relations of
Cap-à-l’Aigle to Pointe-au-Pic would require a chapter by themselves;
they seem to present the difference between slap-everlasting and
auction bridge; some like one game and some the other. Even the views
are very different. Nothing can be finer in its way--one feels that
here the player makes a most successful slap--than the view over
the St. Lawrence; and there are notable objects of pilgrimage at
Cap-à-l’Aigle. There is nothing north of the St. Lawrence--one may
hazard the assertion--more charming in its way than the garden of Mount
Murray manor, the seigniory that was allotted to Colonel Fraser at the
time the seigniory on the west side of the Murray River was allotted to
Colonel Nairne. It is hard to say what makes a garden charming, or what
makes a garden old-fashioned, or why we praise old fashions when all
the world is agog for new fashions; but whatever the causes, they are
operative here, and most successfully. There is a glorious prodigality
of color and sweet odor, an inspiriting sense that the flowers are all
animated by as reckless a purpose to enjoy life as is compatible with
floral propriety; and all is hedged in by a gracious seclusion.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. T. Benda. Half-tone plate engraved by R.


Of course there are other things to do at Murray Bay than to drive or
to visit the sights. But do what you will, so long as you stay out
of doors you cannot escape the view. There is golf, pursued with the
regularity that characterizes all kinds of superior machinery, on a
links of much variety and picturesqueness, which is associated with
memories of President Taft and of the late Mr. Justice Harlan; there is
tennis; there is the Sunday afternoon walk. There is canoeing for those
who venture out on the bay or along the shore of the St. Lawrence. And
canoeing, which is not without a spice of danger, might well be worth
a greater risk, for only from the center of the bay can you see the
mountains rise in sequent tiers beyond the Far Village church; only on
the bay can you appreciate the angelus or see all the beauty of the
Murray Bay sunsets, gloriously reflected in the water and coloring
the eastern sky. But the chief pastime is fishing. There are salmon to
be had in the Murray River, and ambitious fishermen spend long, happy
hours, casting, casting, casting. It is hard to say whether catching
enters into this sport or not, stories differ so widely.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. T. Benda. Half-tone plate engraved by H. C.


Trout-fishing is obligatory. A visitor is at liberty to play golf,
canoe, walk, or not, as he pleases; but unless he is willing to pass
for a misanthrope, or, what is worse, a misichthus (or whatever
word will serve to designate some wretch of Doctor Johnson’s way
of thinking), he must go trout-fishing. Let me hasten to say that
what we in our slipshod American fashion call trout are not the true
British-born trout, but char or I know not what else. This, very
properly, is the A B C of a Canadian’s education. The way to go
trout-fishing is to camp on the shore of one of the little lakes in the
back country. There a club or a host provides a tent, and the guest
brings his rod, blankets, and food. The _gardien_ of the lake, and one
or two of his friends, cook, make the fires, and paddle the boats. Some
people--parsons, Englishmen, young ladies--are totally absorbed in
weights and numbers and interminable fish-stories. Others, of soberer
disposition or piscatorial incapacity, enjoy the woods, the birds, the
shy hare, the amiable chipmunk, and all the denizens of the forest. But
the great pleasure of it all is to sit about the fire after supper,
with the stars overhead and a faint breeze just audible over the lake
and in the trees, and listen to the men sing their Canadian songs.

There are no better-mannered people than the _habitants_ who live on
the borders of the woods. In earlier times all the natives used to
have charming manners, but the coming of strangers who set no special
store by manners--Americans who have more important things to think
about, others from different places who hold themselves superior to the
natives--has tended to bring in different standards and values. But
even now the habitants on the borders of the woods have always good
manners--a refinement, a self-effacement, a wealth of consideration for
their guests--that must rank as one of the fine arts. Their manners
are their chief possession; they are poor and not quick-witted. One
gardien, to whom a letter had been sent bidding him be ready to expect
a party of fishermen on Monday, was discovered sitting on his door-step.

_Gardien_: “Bonjour, messieurs.”

_We_: “Bonjour, mon ami, est-ce que tout est prêt?”

_Gardien_: “Que voulez-vous dire, messieurs?”

_We_: “N’avez-vous pas reçu notre lettre?”

_Gardien_: “Ah, oui, j’ai reçu votre lettre.”

_We_: “Eh bien, nous avons dit que nous arriverions aujourd’hui, lundi”
(“We said that we should come to-day, Monday”).

_Gardien_ (after a pause): “J’ai lu _lundi_, mais j’ai compris _jeudi_”
(“I read Monday, but I understood Thursday”).

The great charm of Murray Bay lies even more in the character and
disposition of its people than in its beautiful scenery. To every one
who has been long familiar with Murray Bay its most delicate charm
lies in the memories of the men whose dignity of character and fine
friendliness of manner set a special seal upon the beautiful place.
Among those who will not come again to brighten the summer days by
their presence are Mr. Edward Blake and Mr. Justice Harlan. These
men belong to the history of Canada and of the United States, but in
matters that do not concern the muse of history they belong to Murray
Bay. No golfer can tee his ball on the links without involuntarily
expecting to see Judge Harlan’s noble figure striding joyously from
hole to hole, and to hear his exultant, boyish glee over a good stroke
or his humorous explanation of an unlucky one. No worshiper goes to
the Protestant church, the pretty stone church on the village street,
without a glance at the spot where the justice used to stand on Sunday
mornings, a symbol of large-hearted, Christian hospitality, and greet
the congregation as it straggled in. And if, for instance, in order
to give a visual reality to one of Shakspere’s heroes, one seeks for
an embodiment of dignity, grace, and high character, the image of Mr.
Edward Blake comes instantly up, with his handsome bearing and courtly
simplicity. Indeed, Murray Bay is rich in human memories that outdo
nature in her prodigal attempts to make the place delightful.




Author of “A Man and his Dog,” etc.


The “Incorrigibles” of the Sixteenth Cavalry was an unofficial gild
of bachelors consisting of a major named Merton; of Gallipoli, who is
named as the homeliest man in the army; of Fredericks, who is a born
and joyful celibate; and of Swinnerton.

The round-faced good humor of fat, bandy-legged Swinnerton was
proverbial. He was not a cavalry officer. He was a medico, and the best
surgeon in the service; yet the only place where his mere passing did
not provoke a smile was the operating-pavilion of his own hospital.
His thin tow hair was of the unbrushable variety. Smooth and wet it as
he would, it stuck out at divers angles in every conceivable form of
horn and quirk and curl from a head that was of the contour of a peeled
onion. His blue eyes were round, his lips seemed pursed in a perennial
effort to form the letter o, and his torso was nearly spherical, with
all of which grotesquery no one in the world seemed more pleased
than Swinnerton himself. For with the advantage of having his laugh
well launched before he had uttered a word, he had acquired an easy
reputation as one of the army’s “funny men,” a thing in which he took
no little pride, until between the dawn and the dark of a single day
it became for him a shirt of fire which, strive as he would, he could
not cast away, and which came as near as the breadth of a man’s hand
from being the end of him.

Apart from these the Sixteenth is a “married” regiment, and when orders
dropped from a seemingly placid sky, sending the command to the Mexican
border, fifteen hundred miles away, with two hours’ notice, no one took
thought of how this might affect the officers of the bachelors’ mess,
and least of all Swinnerton.

At the railroad spur, where three long troop-trains lay puffing amid
a debris of ammunition- and ration-cases, forage-bales, saddles, and
equipment; where a regiment of soldiers swarmed, tugging and heaving
supplies upon the train, leading, cajoling, and forcing frightened
troop-horses up the heavy ramps to the crowded stock-cars; where
sergeants swore and fretted, and orderlies ran about with belated
orders for the officers who were devoting the between-times of all this
to saying good-by to more or less numerous families, no one had eyes
for Swinnerton. And eyes that might have seen him would not have been
believed. For, fancying himself hidden behind a pile of canvas-bales of
medical supplies, he was holding the two hands of a gravely beautiful
girl, gazing into her tear-dimmed eyes and telling her in a hoarse and
earnest voice that there was no danger, anyway, that all this could not
possibly mean war, and that if it did, he, as a non-combatant, would
keep well to the rear and safely out of harm’s way; that partings made
no difference, anyway, so long as he loved her and she loved him, et
cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.

The shock to the Sixteenth’s credulity would not have been altogether
that Swinnerton was trying to cut a serious figure; it would have
sprung from the fact that the hands he was holding were those of
Mary Smith--_the_ Mary Smith, the regiment called her, because every
youngster in the three-regiment post of Fort Robertson had vainly
dreamed the dream that absurd little Swinnerton was here actually
living, and which to him was no dream at all.

That night when the lights were on in the officers’ Pullman, the
Incorrigibles were sitting in the smoking-compartment over a last pipe,
and Fredericks said:

“No use talking, war or no war, these sudden trapesings to the
antipodes are bad for family life--blamed bad, and I’m glad I’m not in
it. Go to it, Swinney; but for Heaven’s sake don’t be irreverent. It’s
no time for it.”

Swinnerton had puffed out his cheeks to abnormal rotundity. He did this
near the point of a story or when he was excited. It served to heighten

“I think I ought to tell you, fellows, first of all,” he began bluntly,
“that I--I’m leaving my heart behind, too.”

Gallipoli burst into raucous laughter, and Fredericks chuckled
expectantly. Swinnerton’s face contorted in puzzlement.

“Well,” he said aggressively, “what’s funny about that?”

“_You_ are, Swinney,” said Merton; “that’s all.”

“In the first place,” began Gallipoli, didactically, “you haven’t
any heart in the ordinary romantic acceptation. One of your infernal
explorative incisions would disclose a two-foot layer of healthy
fat, and then”--he patted Swinnerton affectionately on the pudgy
shoulder--“a core of pure gold, perhaps, and you would have to conclude
that it was all heart; but that, unfortunately, is not the sort of
anatomical monstrosity to offer a lady.”

Swinnerton shook him off.

“Be serious, can’t you?” he said. “I am.”

“Manifestly absurd,” grinned Merton. “Get your banjo and sing that
song about the chap they hired to get into the cage with the lion. You
know--the one with the beller in the chorus.”

“That’s better than your fourth-dimension joke,” urged Fredericks. “Go

Swinnerton was experiencing what was rare with him, anger.

“Do you people imagine,” he asked, “that because a man goes about six
days in the seven making a silly ass of himself for the happiness of
humanity that he pines to be placed beyond the pale of all that is
beautiful and wholesome in life? I _ask_ you.”

His round eyes snapped. His quirks of hair fairly trembled. Secretly
the three were wary of Swinnerton. They feared some colossal hoax, some
trap. The suspicion that he was serious did not come.

“Postulate one,” growled Merton, guardedly. “Grind out the logic. We do
_not_ think this thing.”

“If a good woman is blind enough to intrust her heart to me, is there
any reason why I, of all men, shouldn’t accept it?”

“I should say _not_,” chuckled Fredericks, pleased with the
possibilities of his own idea, “not when you can offer her an existence
which is a breathing enactment of all for which the Sunday supplements
are read. ‘My dear, allow me to present my esteemed confrère of the
colored page, _Dippy Dick_, Mrs. Swinnerton. And _this_ is _Little

The anger was leaving Swinnerton’s red face. These men did not believe
him, and only because he was he. His twinkling eyes dulled, his round
mouth straightened. He rose, and something in his drooping attitude
arrested Fredericks.

“I was only going to say,” he began a little sadly, “that to you, of
all the men I love to call my friends, I wished first to tell my great
happiness. I am going to marry Mary Smith.” Indignation tinged his
later words and indignation straightened his shoulders as he turned
and walked with an unintended burlesque of dignity from the room. For
Gallipoli had laughed again.

“What’s he trying to put over?” asked Fredericks, puzzled.

“Well, I don’t know,” confessed Merton, “but I think that even Swinney
shouldn’t inject the names of ladies into his buffooneries.”

In his own berth, Swinnerton, fully dressed, sat rigidly staring at his
hands, his face hard and expressionless. He was considering a new need
that had come to him.

“Only for her,” he was saying, “I’d only ask it for her.” Then he added
reflectively, “Only one person ever took me seriously; but she--” his
face softened in a little smile--“will be my wife.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The regiment, its twelve troops strung along the line like beads on
a string, took station at Agua Caliente, on the Arizona border, and
strove to prevent filibustering. Across the border the old Mexican
city of Angeles lay steeped in the strong desert sunlight, a cascade
of whitewashed cubicles glistening against a yellow hill, with the
bell-shaped domes of the twin-towered cathedral sharply outlined
against the turquoise sky above. The Mexican town was garrisoned by a
battalion of half-starved, shoddily uniformed infantry, who eyed the
big American troopers with envious wonder.

There were _bailes_ and fiestas in the American town, but Swinnerton
did not attend them. Every one admitted the change in him. His room at
headquarters contained a field cot, a table, and two chairs. On the
table were a writing-pad and a framed photograph of the face of Mary
Smith. Here he spent much of his time. He carried on conversations with
the girl in the picture, and his half of them he wrote down in bulky
letters that sometimes had to be rolled because no envelop would hold
them--pleasant fancies of a future in which he built a dream palace and
furnished it from keep to turret with imaginings. He received letters
done in the same spirit, and thus he strove to find refuge from the
self that was daily becoming more and more intolerable to him.

Swinnerton could sing. He had an unusually facile and sympathetic
baritone voice, which he accompanied well on a guitar, and it was part
of his panacea to sing in Spanish, some queer, immemorial folk-lilts,
passionate with the throbbing _tempo di bolero_, that sometimes ended
with a plaintive little wail at the inconstancy of a _caballero_ lover,
and sometimes with an impudent staccato note, like a Sevillan dancer’s
final step in a whirling _jota_. It was perfectly possible to stand in
the corridor and imagine the singer, who was inspired by a remembered
face, to be the most gorgeous _Escamillo_ that ever stepped gracefully
toward an alluring _Carmen_--until the door opened. For there would
stand Swinnerton, his fat face red and wet from exertion, his hair
awry, his round rabbit’s eyes inquiring, and his pudgy little body
partly covered by a Japanese crape kimono, and this would bring a smile.

It was this very sort of smile that Swinnerton had been pleased to see
on the faces of people for thirty years, but that irked him sorely
now. It meant that he was not taken seriously, and he shrank from
offering to the pride of Mary Smith in him a thing so lightly held. He
desired dignity; he yearned for it more passionately than he had ever
longed for anything in his whole life before. It did not come, and
nothing that he could do would bring it nearer. Swinnerton’s own smile
became sad, and a little of this sadness seeped into his letters. Out
of this grew something very like a misunderstanding, for it had been
unconscious, and in far-away Fort Robertson Mary Smith sensed it and
asked about it. It disappeared, but in its place came a strange, false
little note of irrelevancy. There came to Swinnerton one day a vexed
letter, and then for almost a week no letter at all.

The fire of insurrection was lapping up toward the border, and at
Cananea, fifty miles away, Lopez was concentrating his ragamuffin
battalions with ugly menace toward Angeles. Disquieting rumors were
current on the American side, and one day the colonel, with his staff,
was called to Huachuca, which left only Fredericks and Swinnerton to
open the official mail. There were two bills and a wedding-invitation
in Swinnerton’s sack, and only the daily bulletin of conditions
along the border generally for the commanding officer. Fredericks
opened this, and Swinnerton, the bills placed in his pocket, the
wedding-invitation still in his hand, read it over Fredericks’s

[Illustration: Color-Tone, engraved for ~The Century~ by H. Davidson



“Information from reports of secret agents of the State and Treasury
departments indicate a movement of Lopez forces toward Quebrantos
smelter, five miles west of Agua Caliente--”

“Phew!” whistled Fredericks. “Getting warm. We’ll see a scrap yet, eh?
Who’s getting married now, Swinney?”

The telegraph orderly had entered the corridor and stood saluting.
Fredericks motioned him in and took the official despatch he proffered,
while Swinnerton, with a swift insertion of his dexterous fingers, tore
open the creamy envelop.

“Darned if I know. This thing came sandwiched between bills for other
presents. I wish people would stop it.”

Fredericks was reading the loose scrawl of his telegram, and he heard
nothing Swinnerton said. He left his chair with a suddenness that
overturned it, and began yelling orders.

“Orderly, sound _to horse_! Whoop! Hurroo! It’s come, Swinney. Old
Lopez and his pack of thieves have crossed the border. Hurry up,

The trumpeter at the door glued his brass bugle to his lips and sounded
the jumble of staccato notes that is the oldest of alarm-calls. The men
had been forewarned. They were already swarming from their tents to the
lines and saddle-racks. Fredericks turned to Swinnerton.

Poor little Swinnerton, his chubby cheeks had suddenly become flabby,
his mouth hung loosely open. The square envelop had fallen to the
floor; its engraved contents drooped from his fingers. Fredericks
gripped him by the shoulder.

“For Heaven’s sake, what is it, Swinney? Are you sick? What is it, boy?”

Swinnerton turned a pained face, drawn in some spasm of expression that
was intended for a smile.

“Devil of a funny joke, Fredericks. Best one that’s been pulled off on
old fat Swinney yet. Read that, will you?”

Fredericks read:

    “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith
    request the honor of
    your presence
    at the marriage of their daughter
    Mr. Feldmar Brown.”

Outside, the troopers were leading into line, and a trumpeter was
holding Fredericks’s impatient charger. Fredericks had only a moment.
He seized his pistol and field-glasses, threw an affectionate arm
across Swinnerton’s slouching shoulders, and hugged him fiercely. There
was not a word that he could say.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lopez’s raid across the border never occurred, but the false report of
it accomplished its intended purpose. The town of Agua Caliente was
stripped of its combatant garrison, and two hours after Fredericks had
trotted away a lonely vaquero appeared at the crest of the hill back
of Angeles, a Mexican picket fired, and was instantly answered by a
sheet-like volley from the hidden rebel battle-line. It flashed through
the wind-swept streets of Angeles, it knocked great sections from the
adobe buildings, it ricochetted from the flagstones of the street, it
shattered windows by the score; but most significant of all, it crossed
the border-line, and every bullet found a resting-place in American
soil. This was a contingency that no one had foreseen.

An American at the custom-house whirled, threw up his hands, and fell
in an anguished heap. The halyards of the headquarters flag snapped,
and the flag dropped loosely from its pulley to the ground. A bullet
crashed through Swinnerton’s window and thudded in the wall behind him.
He scarcely looked up. He was sitting before the photograph in his
room, and talking to it, as was his custom.

“No, I don’t blame you. No one could, and least of all _I_. It was a
fine thing I offered you. People may laugh at a fool, but to live with
one! Tired--I’m tired of it myself.” After a full minute’s silence, he
added, “Dog-tired--_pitifully_ tired.”

He rose wearily and walked toward the open window, whence he could see
the long, supple slope of the tawny hillside, with the Mexican federal
trenches cutting it diagonally on one flank, and the white smoke-puffs
of the attackers on the other.

The mayor of Caliente came storming into the outer office, roaring at
the abashed headquarters orderly:

“Where’s the commanding officer? Where is he, I say? What are you
soldiers good for, anyway?”

Swinnerton quietly opened the door, to the immense relief of the

“The colonel’s gone to Huachuca,” he said, “and Captain Fredericks has
taken the troop to Quebrantos under competent orders. Is there anything
I can do for you?”

“Do? Do? Why, those damned Greasers are firing _through this town_.”
The mayor’s fingers spread as though dropping from them something not
to be entertained for a moment.

“I have no military function, you know,” drawled Swinnerton; “I’m just
a surgeon. And if I had, the orders are plain. We must not cross that
line, whatever happens.”

“Drat your orders!” bellowed his Excellency, the mayor. A bullet came
and smashed the door-lintel. It covered the mayor with a shower of
dust and plaster. He ducked incontinently, and came up furious at
Swinnerton’s vapid smile.

“I know _you, Doctor_ Swinnerton. You’re the regimental joker, the
official fool. Gad! man, don’t you get sick of yourself? Doesn’t the
sight of suffering humanity”--he waved his hand in an excited gesture
that included a hurrying group of frightened non-combatants who were
rushing a wounded man to shelter--“stir a spark of anger in you? Ain’t
you weary of grinning and being grinned at? Ain’t you tired of it, I

“Yes,” said Swinnerton, with unexpected decision, “I am tired. Get
out of my way.” He walked deliberately through the door and out into
the street, hatless and unarmed. The orderly at the door, a mere boy,
followed him in his journey toward the plaza, to the custom-house door,
and then to the line. Spiteful little dust-spots kicked up here and
there in the open square, and a bullet whined close to the boy’s ear.
Swinnerton turned and ordered him back.

“I ain’t goin’,” the soldier refused stolidly. “I’m a-goin’ to stay by
you--an’ I know what orders is.”

Swinnerton seemed not disposed to argue the point. Perhaps he
thought the hotter fire forward would drive the lad back. He walked
unhesitatingly on. He did not stop at the federal trenches, though men
and officers cheered him as he passed. But once he had clambered over
the glacis, his and the boy’s were the only upright figures in a wide
stretch of sloping, gravelly hillside. There was a sense of awful
loneliness there for a moment; yet he did not hesitate.

His calm decision seemed, without qualification, good to Swinnerton.
He expected to be killed. No one could look out across the
bullet-spattered front and hope for less. The air was filled with
gruesome sounds--the screams and whines and whistles of deflected
rifle-balls. He did not yearn for the shot that would be the end, and
yet he did not shrink from it. The very proximity of death caused
nervous little shivers along his spine and in the pit of his stomach,
but no regret. He was tired of disappointment, and glad to end it.
There was an unavoidable trifle of revengeful school-boy thought,
“They’ll be sorry when I’m gone,” and another that brought real
pleasure, “There can never be any joke about _this_ thing I am doing.”

A gentle breeze was sweeping down the hill with the fire; it ruffled in
his hair and cooled his temples. Yes, it was all pleasant, all good,
all desirable. He had forgotten the boy who had so faithfully followed

Swinnerton was just enough to see the terrible selfishness of what
he had done. A cry came from behind. The lad was down, writhing and
clawing at the gravelly soil, a bullet through his intestines. Calmness
and self-satisfaction left Swinnerton between two pulse-throbs, and
as he knelt beside the soldier and examined the wound, anger came to
him--anger with himself at first, and then a bullet covered them with
trash and another seared Swinnerton’s forehead like a red-hot iron. The
rebels were firing at them both. His blood flowed down into his eyes.
Blinded with this and rage, he rose and ran forward. He was no doubt
absurd, but he was not unterrifying, as with lumbering gait he stumbled
and ran straight on to the very muzzles of the firing-line. If he was
grotesque, it was with the grotesquery of the bizarre and sinister
figures of the first French Empire, and he was standing where vehemence
commanded respect.

“Stop that infernal firing!” he yelled, purple with rage, his arms
pumping in frantic gesture. And then he broke into a perfect tirade of
English and Spanish. “I’ll bring the American troops across and hunt
every hound of you to his hole and shoot him like the dog he is,” he

Your Mexican is not at his best in the psychology of bluff. Half the
rifles were already raised. Swinnerton directed his words at the
evil-faced little firing-director, who had lived a replete life with
the reformed bandits of the _Rurales_, but who had yet to hear or see a
thing like this.

“Do you imagine that you may fire into American territory, kill
American soldiers, and escape the troops?”

The self-commissioned officer blew his firing-whistle.

“Señor,” he said, “igscouse. We do no know our fire offend. We will
make attack from other quarters.”

Swinnerton wasted neither words nor time. He hurried back, and knelt
at the side of the wounded orderly. He threw one of the boy’s arms
about his own neck and lifted him, his voice running on like a mother’s

“Never mind, Felker; it’s not a bad wound. If I’m a surgeon at all,
I’ll mend it. There, is that easy, boy? Then here we go.”

A special train had hurried the general and the colonel and staff back
from Huachuca. Fredericks, good soldier that he was, had marched to
the sound of the guns. From the time he had trotted out at the head of
his troop, an absurd suspicion had been troubling Fredericks, and the
moment of his return he verified it. He found and examined the envelop
in Swinnerton’s room, and he was even ahead of the general in greeting
Swinnerton when the latter came staggering under his heavy burden
toward the custom-house steps. Despite the gravity of the occasion,
the general smiled, the colonel chuckled, and Fredericks laughed aloud.

Swinnerton’s hair was rumpled like the ruffled crest of a cockatoo.
Dust had blackened the caking streaks on his face, which was red from
exertion. He was wheezing and puffing like a donkey-engine, and at
every expiration of breath his cheeks bulged prodigiously. And what
is more than mere words of description can ever convey, he was simply
Swinnerton, at whom and with whom people smiled. He did not smile this
time. He set his burden down and glared murderously at Fredericks.

“Well, Fredericks,” he gasped, with no thought of the deference due to
the general’s stars, “what is there about this so infernally _funny_?”

“This is, Swinney,” said Fredericks, waving the wedding-card. “It isn’t
even postmarked Fort Robertson. The last census found twenty-three
thousand four hundred and five Mary Smiths. This is just one of the
others, my boy.”

Swinnerton made a full confession to Fredericks before the week was
over. He had received three delayed love-letters and a congratulatory
telegram from the President of the United States, though it was
significant that every admiring newspaper sensed the humor of a
single fat surgeon waddling up to a firing-line and bluffing it into

“I reckon,” he smiled a little ruefully, “that it’s written in the
books that I’m to be a silly ass of sorts for all my mortal days. But
I’m cured of minding it, and I’m a most uncommonly happy one, Freddie.”


[Illustration: THE THAMES]



Author of “Sister Carrie,” “Jennie Gerhardt,” etc.


After a few days I went to London for the first time,--I do not
count the night of my arrival, for I saw nothing but the railway
terminus,--and, I confess, I was not greatly impressed. I could not
help thinking on this first morning, as we passed from Paddington,
via Hyde Park, Grosvenor Square, Berkeley Square, Piccadilly, and
other streets to Regent Street and the neighborhood of the Carlton
Hotel, that it was beautiful, spacious, cleanly, dignified, and well
ordered, but not astonishingly imposing. Fortunately, it was a bright
and comfortable morning, and the air was soft. There was a faint,
bluish haze over the city, which I took to be smoke; and certainly it
smelled as though it were smoky. I had a sense of great life, but not
of crowded life, if I manage to make myself clear by that. It seemed
to me at first blush as if the city might be so vast that no part was
important. At every turn, X. was my ever-present monitor. We must have
passed through a long stretch of Piccadilly, for X. pointed out a line
of clubs, naming them the St. James’s Club, the Savile Club, the Lyceum
Club, and then St. James’s Palace.

I was duly impressed. I was seeing things which, after all, I thought,
did not depend so much upon their exterior beauty or vast presence
as upon the distinction of their lineage and connections. They were
beautiful in a low, dark way, and certainly they were tinged with
an atmosphere of age and respectability. After all, since life is a
figment of the brain, such built-up notions of things are in many cases
really far more impressive than the things themselves. London is a
fanfare of great names; it is a clatter of vast reputations; it is a
swirl of memories and celebrated beauties and orders and distinctions.
It is almost impossible any more to disassociate the real from the
fictitious or, better, the spiritual. There is something here which is
not of brick and stone at all, but which is purely a matter of thought.
It is disembodied poetry, noble ideas, delicious memories of great
things; and these, after all, are better than brick and stone. The city
is low, generally not more than five stories high, often not more than
two, but it is beautiful. And it alternates great spaces with narrow
crevices in such a way as to give a splendid variety. You can have
at once a sense of being very crowded and of being very free. I can
understand now Browning’s desire to include “poor old Camberwell” with
Italy in the confines of romance.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. J. Glackens


The thing that struck me most was that the buildings were largely a
golden yellow in color, quite as if they had been white, and time had
stained them. Many other buildings looked as though they had been black
originally and had been daubed white in spots. The truth is that it was
quite the other way about. They had been snow-white and had been sooted
by the smoke until they were now nearly coal-black. Only here and there
had the wind and rain whipped bare white places which looked like scars
or the drippings of lime. At first I thought, “How wretched!” Later,
“This effect is charming.”

We are so used to the new and shiny and tall in America, particularly
in our larger cities, that it is very hard at first to estimate a
city of equal or greater rank, which is old and low and, to a certain
extent, smoky. In places there was more beauty, more surety, more
dignity, more space than most of our cities have to offer. The police
had an air of dignity and intelligence such as I have never seen
anywhere in America, and it was obvious at a glance. The streets were
beautifully swept and clean, and I saw soldiers here and there in fine
uniforms, standing outside palaces and walking in the public ways. That
alone was sufficient to differentiate London from any American city. We
rarely see our soldiers. They are too few. I think what I felt most of
all was that I could not feel anything very definite about so great a
city, and that there was no use trying.

The first thing that took my attention in the stores was the clerks,
but I may say the stores and shops themselves, after New York, seemed
small and old. New York is new; the space given to the more important
shops is considerable. In London it struck me that the space was not
much and that the woodwork and walls were dingy. One can tell by the
feel of a place whether it is exceptional and profitable, and all of
these were that; but they were dingy. The English clerk, too, had an
air of civility, I had almost said servility, which was different. They
looked to me like persons born to a condition and a point of view, and
I think they are. In America any clerk may subsequently be anything he
chooses, ability guaranteed, but I’m not so sure that this is true in
England. Anyhow, the American clerk always looks his possibilities, his
problematic future; the English clerk looks as though he were to be one

X. and I were through with our first impressive round of sight-seeing
by one o’clock, and he explained that we would go to a popular, hotel
grill. All my life, certainly all my literary life, I had been hearing
of this hotel, its distinction, its air; and now I said to myself,
“Here I am, and I shall be able to judge it for myself.” We stopped at
a barber’s for a few minutes to be shaved, and, to my astonishment,
I saw a barber-shop which anywhere in America would be considered
ridiculous. It was not a dirty barber-shop; you could see plainly that
it was clean, well-conditioned, and probably enjoyed a profitable
patronage: but for smallness, meanness, the age of the woodwork and the
chairs, commend me to America of, say, 1865. It was the poorest little
threadbare thing I have yet seen in that line. X. spoke of it as “his

The hotel, after its fashion,--the grill,--was another blow. I had
fancied that I was going to see something on the order of the new,
luxurious hotels in New York; certainly as resplendent, let us say, as
our hotels of the lower first class. Not so. It can be compared, and
I think fairly so, only to our hotels of the second or third class.
There is the same air of age here that there is about our old, but
very excellent, hotels in New York. The woodwork is plain, simple (I
am speaking of the grill); the coat-room commonplace; the carpets are
red and a little worn in spots. Several of the stair-steps squeaked as
we went down. “Just like our old and popular hotels,” I said to myself
over and over in descending; and the cuisine and the general appearance
of the dining-room reminded me of the same type of room in these hotels.

While we were sipping coffee X. told me of a Mrs. W., a friend of his,
whom I was to meet. She was, he said, a lion-hunter. She tried to make
her somewhat interesting personality felt in so large a sea as London
by taking up with promising talent before it was already a commonplace.
I believe it was arranged over the telephone then that I should lunch
there the following day at one, and be introduced to a certain Lady B.,
who was known as a patron of the arts, and to a certain Miss N., an
interesting English type. I was pleased with the idea of going. I had
never seen an English lady lion-hunter. I had never met English ladies
of the types of Miss N. and Lady B. There might be others present, I
was told. I was also informed that Mrs. W. was really not English, but
French, though she and her husband, who was also French and a wealthy
merchant, had resided in London so long that they were to all intents
and purposes English, and besides they were in rather interesting
standing socially.

I recall the next day, Sunday, with as much interest as any date, for
on that day I encountered my first London drawing-room. When I reached
the house of Mrs. W., which was in one of those lovely squares that
constitute a striking feature of the West End, I was ushered up-stairs
to the drawing-room, where I found my host, a rather practical,
shrewd-looking Frenchman, and his less obviously French wife.

“Oh, Mr. Der_riz_er,” exclaimed my hostess on sight, as she came
forward to greet me, a decidedly engaging woman of something over
forty, with bronze hair and ruddy complexion. Her gown of green silk,
cut after the latest mode, stamped her in my mind as of a romantic,
artistic, eager disposition.

“You must come and tell us at once what you think of the picture we are
discussing. It is down-stairs. Lady B. is there, and Miss N. We are
trying to see if we can get a better light on it. Mr. X. has told me of
you. You are from America. You must tell us how you like London, after
you see the Degas.”

I think I liked this lady thoroughly at a glance and felt at home with
her, for I know the type. It is the mobile, artistic type, with not
much practical judgment in great matters, but bubbling with enthusiasm,
temperament, life.

“Certainly; delighted. I know too little of London to talk of it. I
shall be interested in your picture.”

[Illustration: Drawn by W. J. Glackens


We had reached the main floor by this time.

“Mr. Der_riz_er, the Lady B.,” said Mrs. W., as she brought me forward
to meet the ladies.

A modern suggestion of the fair _Jehanne_, tall, astonishingly lissome,
done, as to clothes, after the best manner of the romanticists, such
was the Lady B. A more fascinating type, from the point of view of
stagecraft, I never saw. And the languor and lofty elevation of her
gestures and eyebrows defy description. She could say, “Oh, I am so
weary of all this!” with a slight elevation of her eyebrows a hundred
times more definitely and forcefully than if it had been shouted for
her in stentorian tones through a megaphone.

She gave me the fingers of an archly poised hand.

“It is a pleasure.”

“And Miss N., Mr. Der_riz_er.” Again it was Mrs. W. who spoke.

“I am very pleased.”

A pink, slim lily of a woman of twenty-eight or thirty, seemingly
very fragile, very Dresden-china-like as to color, a dream of light
and Tyrian blue with some white interwoven, very keen as to eye, the
perfection of hauteur as to manner, so well-bred that her voice seemed
subtly suggestive of it all--that was Miss N.

To say that I was interested in this company is putting it mildly.
The three women were distinct, individual, characteristic each in a
different way. The Lady B. was all peace and repose, statuesque, weary,
dark. Miss N. was like a ray of sunshine, pure morning light, delicate,
gay, mobile. Mrs. W. was of thicker texture, redder blood, more human
fire. She had a vigor past the comprehension of either, if not their
subtlety of intellect, which latter is often much better.

“Ah, yes, Degas. You like Degas, no doubt,” interpolated Mrs. W.,
recalling us. “A lovely pigture, don’t you think? Such color, such
depth, such sympathy of treatment! Oh!”

Mrs. W.’s hands were up in a pretty artistic gesture of delight.


“Oh, yes,” continued the Lady B., taking up the rapture, “it is saw
human--saw perfect in its harmony! The hair it is divine! And the poor
man! He lives alone now in Paris, quite dreary, not seeing any one. Aw,
the tragedy of it! The tragedy of it!” Her delicately carved vanity-box
of some odd workmanship--blue-and-white enamel, with points of coral in
it--was lifted in one hand as expressing her great distress. I confess
I was not much moved, and I looked quickly at Miss N. Her eyes, it
seemed to me, held a subtle, apprehending twinkle.

“And you?” It was Mrs. W. addressing me.

“It is impressive, I think. I do not know as much of his work as I
might, I am sorry to say.”

“Aw, he is marvelous, wonderful! I am transported by the beauty and
the depth of it all.” It was Mrs. W. talking, and I could not help
rejoicing in the quality of her accent. Nothing is so pleasing to me in
a woman of culture and refinement as that additional tang of remoteness
which a foreign accent lends. If only all the lovely, cultivated women
of the world would speak with a foreign accent in their native tongue
I should like it better. It lends a touch of piquancy not otherwise

Our luncheon party was complete now, and we would probably have gone
immediately into the dining-room except for another picture--by
Picasso. Let me repeat here that before X. called my attention to
Picasso’s cubical uncertainty in the London exhibition, I had never
heard of him. Here in a dark corner of the room was the nude torso of
a consumptive girl, her ribs showing, her cheeks colorless and sunken,
her nose a wasted point, her eyes as hungry and sharp and lustrous as
those of a bird. Her hair was really no hair--strings; and her thin,
bony arms and shoulders were pathetic, decidedly morbid in their
quality. To add to the morgue-like aspect of the composition, the
picture was painted in a pale bluish-green key.

I wish to state here that now, after a little lapse of time, this
conception, the thought and execution of it, is growing upon me. I am
not sure that this work, which has rather haunted me, is not much more
than a protest, the expression and realization of a great temperament;
but at the moment it struck me as dreary, gruesome, decadent, and I
said as much when asked for my impression.

“Gloomy, morbid,” Mrs. W. fired in her lovely accent, “what have they
to do with art?”

“Luncheon is served, Madam.”

The double doors of the dining-room were flung open.

I found myself sitting between Mrs. W. and Miss N.

“Ah was so glad to hear you say you didn’t like it,” Miss N. applauded,
her eyes sparkling, her lip moving with a delicate little smile. “You
know, I abhor those things. They _are_ decadent, like the rest of
France and England. We are going backward instead of forward, I am
quite sure. We have not the force we once had. It is all a race after
pleasure and living and an interest in subjects of that kind. I am sure
it isn’t healthy, normal art. I am sure life is better and brighter
than that.”

“I am inclined to think so at times myself,” I replied.

We talked further, and I learned to my surprise that she suspected
England to be decadent as a whole, falling behind in brain, brawn, and
spirit, and that she thought America was much better.

“Do you know,” she observed, “I really think it would be a very good
thing for us if we were conquered by Germany.”

I had found here, I fancied, some one who was really thinking for
herself and a very charming young lady into the bargain. She was
quick, apprehensive, all for a heartier point of view. I am not sure
now that she was not merely being nice to me, and that, anyhow, she
is not all wrong, and that the heartier point of view is the courage
which can front life unashamed, which sees the divinity of fact and of
beauty in the utmost seeming tragedy. Picasso’s grim presentation of
decay and degradation is beginning to teach me something--the marvelous
perfection of the spirit which is concerned with neither perfection,
nor decay, but with life. It haunts me.

The charming luncheon was quickly over, and I think I gathered a very
clear impression of the status of my host and hostess from their
surroundings. Mr. W. was evidently liberal in his understanding of what
constitutes a satisfactory home. It was not exceptional in that it
differed greatly from the prevailing standard of luxury. But assuredly
it was all in sharp contrast to Picasso’s grim representation of life
and Degas’s revolutionary opposition to conventional standards.

Another man now made his appearance--an artist. I shall not forget him
soon, for you do not often meet people who have the courage to appear
at Sunday afternoons in a shabby, workaday business suit, unpolished
shoes, a green neckerchief in lieu of collar and tie, and cuffless
sleeves. I admired the quality, the workmanship, of the silver-set
scarab which held his green linen neckerchief together, but I was a
little puzzled as to whether he was very poor and his presence insisted
upon, or comfortably progressive and indifferent to conventional dress.
His face and body were quite thin; his hands delicate. He had an
apprehensive eye that rarely met one’s direct gaze.

“Do you think art really needs that?” Miss N. asked me. She was
referring to the green linen neckerchief.

“I admire the courage. It is at least individual.”

“It is after George Bernard Shaw. It has been done before,” replied
Miss N.

“Then it requires almost more courage,” I replied.

Here Mrs. W. moved the sad excerpt from the morgue to the center of the
room that he of the green neckerchief might gaze at it.

“I like it,” he pronounced. “The note is somber, but it is excellent

[Illustration: Drawn by W. J. Glackens


Then he took his departure with interesting abruptness. Almost
immediately the Lady B. was extending her hand in an almost pathetic
farewell. Her voice was lofty, sad, sustained. I wish I could describe
it. There was just a suggestion of _Lady Macbeth_ in the sleep-walking
scene. As she made her slow, graceful exit, I wanted to applaud loudly.

Mrs. W. turned to me as the nearest source of interest, and I realized
with horror that she was going to fling her Picasso at my head again,
and with as much haste as was decent I, too, took my leave.

Another evening I went with an American friend to call on two
professional critics, one working in the field of literature, the
other in art exclusively. I mention these two men and their labors
because they were very interesting to me, representing, as they did,
two fields of artistic livelihood in London, and both making moderate
incomes, not large, but sufficient to live on in a simple way. They
were men of mettle, as I discovered, urgent, thinking types of mind,
quarreling to a certain extent with life and fate, and doing their best
to read this very curious riddle of existence.

These two men lived in charming, though small, quarters not far from
fashionable London, on the fringe of ultra-respectability, if not of
it. Mr. F. was a conservative man, thirty-two or thirty-three years
of age, pale, slender, remote, artistic. Mr. Lewis was in character
not unlike Mr. F., I should have said, though he was the older man,
artistic, remote, ostensibly cultivated, living and doing all the
refined things on principle more than anything else.

It amuses me now when I think of it, for of course neither of these
gentlemen cared for me in the least, beyond my momentary vogue or
repute in their small world. I must have appeared somewhat boorish
and supercilious, but they were exceedingly pleasant. How did I like
London? What did I think of the English? How did London contrast with
New York? What had I seen?

My head was ringing with what I had already seen. London was going
around in a ring for me. Its vast reaches were ever in my mind. I
stated as succinctly as I could that I was puzzled in my mind as to
what I did think, as I am generally by this phantasmagoria called life,
while Mr. Lewis served an opening glass of port, and I toasted my feet
before a delicious grate-fire. Already, as I have indicated in a way,
I had decided that England was deficient in the vitality which America
now possesses, certainly deficient in the raw creative imagination
which is producing many new things in America, but far superior in
what, for want of a better phrase, I must call social organization
as it relates to social and commercial interchange generally.
Something has developed in the English social consciousness a sense of
responsibility. I really think that the English climate has had a great
deal to do with this. It is so uniformly damp and cold and raw that
it has produced a sober-minded race. When subsequently I encountered
the climates of Paris, Rome, and the Riviera, I realized clearly how
impossible it would be to produce the English temperament there. One
can see the dark, moody, passionate temperament of the Italian evolving
to perfection under his brilliant skies. The wine-like atmosphere of
Paris speaks for itself. London is what it is, and the Englishmen
likewise, because of the climate in which they have been reared.

I said as much without much protest, but when I ventured that the
English might possibly be falling behind in the world’s race, and that
other nations, such as the Germans and the Americans, might rapidly be
displacing them, I evoked a storm of opposition. The sedate Mr. F.
rose to this argument. It began at the dinner-table and was continued
in the general living-room later. He sneered at the suggestion that the
Germans could possibly conquer or displace England, and hoped for the
day when the issue might be tried out physically. Mr. Lewis laughed as
he spoke of the long way America had to go before it could achieve any
social importance even within itself. It was a thrashing whirlpool of
foreign elements. He had recently been to the United States, and in
one of the British journals then on the stands was a long estimate by
him of America’s weaknesses and potentialities. He poked fun at the
careless, insulting manners of the people, their love of show, their
love of praise. No Englishman, having tasted the comforts of civilized
life in England, could ever live happily in America. There was no such
thing as a serving class. He objected to American business methods
as he had encountered them, and I could see that he really disliked
America. To a certain extent he disliked me for being an American,
and possibly resented my literary actuality for obtruding itself upon
England. I enjoyed these two men as exceedingly able combatants--men
against whose wits I could sharpen my own.

I mention them because, in a measure, they suggested the literary and
artistic atmosphere of London. They went about, I was informed, to one
London drawing-room and another. Mr. F. was considered an excellent
judge of art; Mr. Lewis an important critic. Their mode of living
constituted a touch of the better Grub Street of to-day. It was not bad.

“London sings in my ears.” I remember writing this somewhere about
the fourth or fifth day of my stay. It was delicious, the sense of
novelty and wonder it gave me. I am one of those who have been raised
on Dickens and Thackeray and Lamb, but I must confess I found little to
corroborate the world of vague impressions I had formed. Novels are a
mere expression of temperament, anyhow.

New York and America are both so new, so lustful of change. Here, in
these streets, when you walk out of a morning or an evening, you feel
a pleasing stability. London is not going to change under your very
eyes. You are not going to turn your back to find, on looking again, a
whole sky-line effaced. The city is restful, naïve, in a way tender and
sweet, like an old song. London is more fatalistic, and therefore less
hopeful than New York.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. J. Glackens


The first thing that impressed me was the grayish tinge of smoke that
was over everything, a faint haze; and the next that, as a city, street
for street and square for square, it was not so strident as New York,
not nearly so harsh. The traffic was less noisy, the people were more
thoughtful and considerate, the so-called rush, which characterizes New
York, was less foolish. There is something rowdyish and ill-mannered
about the street life of New York. This is not true of London. It
struck me as simple, sedate, thoughtful, and I could only conclude that
it sprang from a less-stirring atmosphere of opportunity. I fancy it is
harder to get along in London. People do not change from one thing to
another so much. The world there is more fixed in a pathetic routine,
and people are more aware of their so-called “betters.” I hope not, but
I felt it to be true.

I do not believe that it is given to any writer wholly to suggest a
city. The mind is like a voracious fish: it would like to eat up all
the experiences and characteristics of a city or a nation, but this,
fortunately, is not possible. My own mind was busy pounding at the
gates of fact, but during all the while I was there I got only a little
way. I remember being struck with the nature of St. James’s Park, which
was near my hotel, the great column to the Duke of Marlborough, at the
end of the street, the whirl of life in Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly
Circus, which were both very near. An office I visited in a narrow
street interested me, and the storm of cabs which whirled by all the
corners of this region. It was described to me as the center of London,
and I am quite sure it was, for clubs, theaters, hotels, smart shops,
and the like were all here. The heavy trading section was farther east,
along the banks of the Thames, and between that and Regent Street,
where my little hotel was located, lay the financial section, sprawling
about St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England. One could go out of
this great central world easily enough, but it was only, apparently, to
get into minor centers. It was all decidedly pleasing, because it was
new and strange, and because there was a world of civility prevailing
which does not exist in America.

The amazing metropolitan atmosphere in which I found myself satisfied
me completely for the time being. Life here was so complex and so
extended that during days and days that involved visits--breakfasts,
luncheons, dinners, suppers--with one personage and another, political,
social, artistic, I was still busy snatching glimpses of the great
lake of life that spread on every hand. In so far as I could judge
on so short a notice, London seemed to me to represent a mood--a
uniform, aware, conservative state of being, neither brilliant nor gay
anywhere, though interesting always. About Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar
Square, Leicester Square, Charing Cross, and the Strand I suppose the
average Londoner would insist that London is very gay; but I could
not see it. Certainly it was not gay as similar sections in New York
are gay. It is not in the Londoner himself to be so. He is solid,
hard, phlegmatic, a little dreary, like a certain type of rain-bird or
Northern loon, content to make the best of a rather dreary situation.
On the other hand, I should not say that the city is depressing,--far
from it,--though there are many who have told me they found it so.
You have to represent a certain state of mind to be a Londoner, or a
Britisher, even, a true one, and, on the whole, I think it is a more
pleasant attitude than one finds in America, though not so brilliant.
Creature comforts run high with this type of mind, and, after that, a
certain happy acceptance of the commonplace. Nothing less than that
could possibly explain the mile on mile of drab houses, of streets all
alike, of doorways all alike, of chimneys all alike. That is what you
feel all over England--a drab acceptance of the commonplace; and yet,
when all is said and done, it works out into something so charming in
its commonplaceness that it is almost irresistible. All the while I
was in London I was never tired of looking at these dreary streets and
congratulating myself that they composed so well. I do not wonder that
Whistler found much to admire at Chelsea or that Turner could paint
Thames water-scenes. I could, too, if I were an artist. As it was, I
could see Goldsmith and Lamb and Gray and Dickens and much of Shakspere
in all that I saw here. It must be the genius of the English people to
be homy and simple, and yet charmingly idyllic in their very lack of
imagination. It must be so.

One particular afternoon along the Thames it was raining. I saw the
river in varying moods all the way from Blackfriars Bridge to Chelsea,
and never once was it anything more than black-gray, varying at times
from a pale or almost sunlit yellow to a solid leaden-black hue. It
looked at times as though something remarkable were about to happen,
so weirdly greenish yellow was the sky above the water; and the tall
chimneys of Lambeth over the way, appearing and disappearing in the
mist, were irresistible. There is a certain kind of barge which plies
up and down the Thames with a collapsible mast and sail which looks
for all the world like something off the Nile. They harmonize with the
smoke and the gray, lowery skies. I was never weary of looking at them
in the changing light and mist and rain. Gulls skimmed over the water
here very freely all the way from Blackfriars to Battersea, and along
the Embankment they sat in scores, solemnly cogitating the state of the
weather, perhaps. I was delighted with the picture they made in places,
greedy, wide-winged, artistic things.

I had a novel experience with these same gulls one Sunday afternoon,
which I may as well relate here. I had been out all morning
reconnoitering strange sections of London, and arrived near Blackfriars
Bridge about one o’clock. I was attracted by what seemed to me at first
glance as thousands of gulls, lovely clouds of them, swirling about the
heads of several different men at various points along the wall. It was
too beautiful to miss. It reminded me of the gulls about the steamer at
Fishguard. I drew near. The first man I saw was feeding them minnows
out of a small box he had purchased for a penny, throwing the tiny fish
aloft in the air and letting the gulls dive for them. They ate from his
hand, circled above and about his head, walked on the wall before him,
their jade bills and salmon-pink feet showing delightfully.

I was delighted, and hurried to the second. It was the same. I found
the vender of small minnows near by, a man who sold them for this
purpose, and purchased a few boxes. Instantly I became the center of
another swirling cloud, wheeling and squeaking in hungry anticipation.
It was a great sight. Finally I threw out the last minnows, tossing
them all high in the air, and seeing not one escape, while I meditated
on the speed of these birds, which, while scarcely moving a wing, rise
and fall with incredible swiftness. It is a matter of gliding up and
down with them. I left, my head full of birds, the Thames forever fixed
in mind.

It seems odd to make separate comment on something so thoroughly
involved with everything else in a trip of this kind as the streets of
London; but they contrasted so strangely with those of other cities
I have seen that I am forced to comment on them. For one thing, they
are seldom straight for any distance, and they change their names as
frequently and as unexpectedly as a thief. Bond Street speedily becomes
Old Bond Street or New Bond Street, according to the direction in which
you are going, and I never could see why the Strand should turn into
Fleet Street as it went along, and then into Ludgate Hill, and then
into Cannon Street. Neither could I understand why Whitechapel Road
should change to Mile End Road; but that is neither here nor there.
The thing that interested me about London streets first was that
there were no high buildings, nothing, as a rule, over four or five
stories, though now and then you actually find an eight- or nine-story
building. There are some near Victoria Street in the vicinity of the
Roman Catholic Cathedral of Westminster. For another thing, the vast
majority of these buildings are comparatively old, not new, like those
in New York or Rome or Berlin or Paris or Milan. London is older in
its seeming than almost any of these other cities, and yet this may
be due to the fact that it is smokier than any of the others. I saw
it always in gray weather or through, at best, a sunlit golden haze,
when it looked more like burnished brass than anything else. Then it
was lovely. The buildings in almost all cases were of a vintage which
has passed in America. Outside of some of the old palaces and castles
in London,--St. James’s, Buckingham, the Tower, Windsor,--there are
no fine buildings. The Houses of Parliament and the cathedrals are
excluded, of course.

One evening I went with a friend of mine to visit the House of
Parliament, that noble pile of buildings on the banks of the Thames.
For days I had been skirting about them, interested in other things.
The clock-tower, with its great round clock-face,--twenty-three feet
in diameter, some one told me,--had been staring me in the face over
a stretch of park space and intervening buildings on such evenings as
Parliament was in session, and I frequently debated with myself whether
I should trouble to go or not, even if some one invited me. I grow so
weary of standard, completed things at times! However, I did go. It
came about through the Hon. T. P. O’Connor, M.P., an old admirer of
“Sister Carrie,” who, hearing that I was in London, invited me. He had
just finished reading “Jennie Gerhardt” the night I met him, and I
shall never forget the kindly glow of his face as, on meeting me in the
dining-room of the House of Commons, he exclaimed:

“Ah, the biographer of that poor girl! And how charming she was, too!
Ah me! Ah me!”

I can hear the soft brogue in his voice yet, and see the gay romance of
his Irish eye. Are not the Irish all inborn cavaliers, anyhow?

I had been out in the East End all day, speculating on that shabby mass
that have nothing, know nothing, dream nothing; or do they? I could
have cried as dark fell, and I returned through long, humble streets
alive with a home-hurrying mass of people--clouds of people not knowing
whence they came or why. London always struck me as so vast and so
pathetic, and now I was to return and go to dine where the laws are
made for all England.

I was escorted by another friend, a Mr. M., since dead, who was, when
I reached the hotel, quite disturbed lest we be late. I like the man
who takes society and social forms seriously, though I would not be
that man for all the world. M. was one such. He was, if you please, a
stickler for law and order. The Houses of Parliament and the repute
of the Hon. T. P. O’Connor meant much to him. I can see O’Connor’s
friendly, comprehensive eye understanding it all--understanding in his
deep, literary way why it should be so.

As I hurried through Westminster Hall, the great general entrance, once
itself the ancient Parliament of England, the scene of the deposition
of Edward II, of the condemnation of Charles I, of the trial of
Warren Hastings, and the poling of the exhumed head of Cromwell, I
was thinking, thinking, thinking. What is a place like this, anyhow,
but a fanfare of names? If you know history, the long, strange tangle
of steps or actions by which life ambles crab-wise from nothing to
nothing, you know that it is little more than this. The present places
are the thing, the present forms, salaries, benefices, and that dream
of the mind which makes it all into something. As I walked through into
the Central Hall, where we had to wait until T. P. was found, I studied
the high, groined arches, the Gothic walls, the graven figures of the
general anteroom. It was all rich, gilded, dark, lovely. And about
me was a room full of men all titillating with a sense of their own
importance--commoners, lords possibly, call-boys, ushers, and here and
there persons crying of “Division! Division!” while a bell somewhere
clanged raucously.

“There’s a vote on,” observed Mr. M. “Perhaps they won’t find him
right away. Never mind; he’ll come back.”

He did return finally, with, after his first greetings, a “Well, now
we’ll ate, drink, and be merry,” and then we went in.

At table, being an old member of Parliament, he explained many things
swiftly and interestingly, how the buildings were arranged, the number
of members, the procedure, and the like. He was, he told me, a member
from Liverpool, which, by the way, returns some Irish members, which
struck me as rather strange for an English city.

“Not at all, not at all. The English like the Irish--at times,” he
added softly.

“I have just been out in your East End,” I said, “trying to find
out how tragic London is, and I think my mood has made me a little
color-blind. It’s rather a dreary world, I should say, and I often
wonder whether law-making ever helps these people.”

He smiled that genial, equivocal, sophisticated smile of the Irish that
always bespeaks the bland acceptance of things as they are, and tries
to make the best of a bad mess.

“Yes, it’s bad,”--and nothing could possibly suggest the aroma of a
brogue that went with this,--“but it’s no worse than some of your
American cities--Lawrence, Lowell, Fall River.” (Trust the Irish to
hand you an intellectual “Your another!”) “Conditions in Pittsburgh
are as bad as anywhere, I think; but it’s true the East End is pretty
bad. You want to remember that it’s typical London winter weather
we’re having, and London smoke makes those gray buildings look rather
forlorn, it’s true. But there’s some comfort there, as there is
everywhere. My old Irish father was one for thinking that we all have
our rewards here or hereafter. Perhaps theirs is to be hereafter.” And
he rolled his eyes humorously and sanctimoniously heavenward.

An able man this, full, as I knew, from reading his weekly and his
books, of a deep, kindly understanding of life, but one who, despite
his knowledge of the tragedies of existence, refused to be cast down.

He was going up the Nile shortly in a house-boat with a party of
wealthy friends, and he told me that Lloyd George, the champion of
the poor, was just making off for a winter outing on the Riviera,
but that I might, if I would come some morning, have breakfast with
him. He was sure that the great commoner would be glad to see me. He
wanted me to call at his rooms, his London official offices, as it
were, at 5 Morpeth Mansions, and have a pleasant talk with him, which
latterly I did. He wanted me to meet a Madame N., a French litterateur
of over fifty, then staying at the same country place with him near
Maidenhead, and hear her very tragic history. He brought an ache to my
heart by recounting this same,--a story to which only a Flaubert or a
De Maupassant could do justice. It is much too long and too Gallic to
relate here.

While he was in the midst of it, the call of “Division!” sounded
once more through the halls, and he ran to take his place with
his fellow-parliamentarians on some question of presumably vital
importance. I can see him bustling away in his long frock-coat, his
napkin in his hand, ready to be counted yea or nay, as the case might

Afterward, when he had outlined for me a tour in Ireland which I must
sometime take, he took us up into the members’ gallery of the Commons
in order to see how wonderful it was, and we sat as solemn as owls,
contemplating the rather interesting scene below. I cannot say that I
was seriously impressed. The Hall of Commons, I thought, was small and
stuffy, not so large as the House of Representatives at Washington, by
any means.

In delicious Irish whispers he explained a little concerning the
arrangement of the place. The seat of the speaker was at the north end
of the chamber on a straight line with the sacred wool sack of the
House of Lords in another part of the building, however important that
may be. If I would look under the rather shadowy canopy at the north
end of this extremely square chamber, I would see him, “smothering
under an immense white wig,” he explained. In front of the canopy was
a table, the speaker’s table, with presumably the speaker’s official
mace lying upon it. To the right of the speaker were the recognized
seats of the government party, the ministers occupying the front bench.
And then he pointed out to me Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Bonar Law, and Mr.
Winston Churchill, all men creating a great stir at the time. They were
whispering and smiling in genial concert, while opposite them, on
the left hand of the speaker, where the opposition was gathered, some
droning M.P. from the North, I understood, a noble lord who chose to
sit in the Commons rather than in the House of Lords, was delivering
one of those typically intellectual commentaries which the English are
fond of delivering. I could not see him from where I sat, but I could
see him just the same. I knew that he was standing very straight, in
the most suitable clothes for the occasion, his linen immaculate, one
hand poised gracefully, ready to emphasize some rather obscure point,
while he stated in the best English why this and this must be done.
Every now and then, at a suitable point in his argument, some friendly
and equally intelligent member would give voice to a soothing “Hyah!
hyah!” or “Rathah!” Of the four hundred and seventy-six provided seats,
I fancy something like over four hundred were vacant, their occupants
being out in the dining-rooms, or off in those adjoining chambers where
parliamentarians confer during hours that are not pressing, and where
they are sought at the call for a division. I do not presume, however,
that they were all in any so safe or sane places. I mock-reproachfully
asked Mr. O’Connor why he was not in his seat, and he said in good

“Me boy, there are thricks in every thrade. I’ll be there whin me vote
is wanted.”

We came away finally through long, floreated passages and towering
rooms, where I paused to admire the intricate woodwork, the splendid
gilding, and the tier upon tier of carven kings and queens in their
respective niches. There was for me a flavor of great romance over it
all. I could not help thinking that, pointless as it all might be,
such joys and glories as we have are thus compounded. Out of the dull
blatherings of half-articulate members, the maunderings of dreamers and
schemers, come such laws and such policies as best express the moods of
the time--of the British or any other empire. I have no great faith in
laws, anyhow. They are ill-fitting garments at best, traps and mental
catch-poles for the unwary only. But I thought as I came out into the
swirling city again, “It is a strange world. These clock-towers and
halls will sometime fall into decay. The dome of our own capitol will
be rent and broken, and through its ragged interstices will fall the
pallor of the moon.” But life does not depend upon parliaments or men.
It can get along with windless spaces and such forms and spirits as
have not yet been dreamed of in the mind of man.

The Thames from Blackfriars Bridge to the Tower Bridge, along Upper
and Lower Thames Street, which is on the right bank of the river
going up-stream, was my first excursion, though, in making it, I saw
little of the river. It is a street that runs parallel with it, and
is intersected every fifty or a hundred feet by narrow lanes which
lead down to docks at the water’s-edge. The Thames is a murky little
stream above London Bridge, compared with such vast bodies as the
Hudson and the Mississippi, but utterly delightful. I saw it on several
occasions before and after, once in a driving rain off London Bridge,
where twenty thousand vehicles were passing in the hour, it was said;
once afterward at night when the boats below were faint, wind-driven
lights and the crowd on the bridge black shadows. Once I walked along
the Embankment from Blackfriars Bridge to Battersea Bridge and beyond
to the giant plant of the General Electric Company, a very charming
section of London.

But I was never more impressed than I was this day walking from
Cleopatra’s Needle to the Tower. The section lying between Blackfriars
Bridge and Tower Bridge is very interesting from a human, to say
nothing of a river, point of view; I question whether from some points
of view it is not the most interesting in London, though it gives only
occasional glimpses of the river. London is curious. It is very modern
in spots. It is too much like New York and Chicago and Philadelphia
and Boston; but here between Blackfriars Bridge and the Tower, along
Upper and Lower Thomas Street, I found something that delighted me.
It smacked of Dickens, of Charles II, of Old England, and of a great
many forgotten, far-off things which I felt, but could not readily
call to mind. It was delicious, this narrow, winding street, with high
walls,--high because the street was so narrow,--and alive with people
bobbing along under umbrellas or walking stodgily in the rain. Lights
were burning in all the stores and warehouses, dark recesses running
back to the restless tide of the Thames, and they were full of an
industrious commercial life.

It was interesting to me to think that I was in the center of so much
that was old, but for the exact details I confess I cared little. Here
the Thames was especially delightful. It presented such odd vistas.
I watched the tumbling tide of water, whipped by gusty wind where
moderate-sized tugs and tows were going by in the mist and rain. It
was delicious, artistic, far more significant than quiescence and
sunlight could have made it. I took note of the houses, the doorways,
the quaint, winding passages, but for significance and charm they did
not compare with the nebulous, indescribable mass of working boys and
girls and men and women which moved before my gaze. The mouths of many
of them were weak, their noses snub, their eyes squint, their chins
undershot, their ears stub, their chests flat. Most of them had a waxy,
meaty look, but for interest they were incomparable. American working
crowds may be much more chipper, but not more interesting. I could not
weary of looking at them.

I followed the Thames in the rain to the giant plant of the General
Electric Company, and thought of Sir Thomas More, and Henry VIII,
who married Anne Boleyn at the Old Church near Battersea Bridge, and
wondered what they would think of this modern power-house. What a
change from Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More to vast, whirling electric
dynamos and a London subway system! A little below this, coming once
more into a dreary neighborhood of the cheapest houses,--mud-colored
brick,--I turned into a street called Lots Road, drab and gray, and,
weary of rain and gloom, took a bus to my hotel. What I know of the
Thames I have described. It is beautiful.





Editor of “The New York Times”


    Far from being a subject of importance merely to historians,
    the Monroe Doctrine is likely, in the months and years to come,
    to hold the attention of American statesmen and citizens. Our
    relations to our neighbors in Central and South America, the new
    responsibilities brought upon us by the operation of the Panama
    Canal, are among the most important American problems of to-day
    and to-morrow. It would be impossible to find a writer better
    informed than Mr. Miller on current affairs, nor one who has more
    continuously studied the subject at first hand over a period of so
    many years.--~The Editor.~

Ex-President Harrison was very testy and Sir Richard Webster
unmistakably cross one cool afternoon in September, 1899, when I found
a place among the spectators in the Hall of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs in Paris, where the Commission of Arbitration in the boundary
dispute between Great Britain and Venezuela was in session. General
Benjamin F. Tracy was drawn into the area of unpleasantness.

“That is not a way in which I am going to be addressed, General Tracy,”
said Sir Richard to the ex-Secretary of the Navy.

Sir Richard Webster was the chief counsel of Great Britain before the
Arbitration Commission; ex-President Harrison was the leading counsel
of Venezuela, and General Tracy was his associate. It was about the
forty-fourth day of the proceedings. The ill temper of these great
men arose from no national antagonism, no professional jealousy, for
in that noble strife of minds each had come to hold in high respect
the legal attainments of the others. But they had entered upon the
eighth week of perhaps the most wearisome and uninteresting trial
of an international cause of which the chronicles of diplomacy hold
any record, and court and counsel were tired out and bored beyond

Two years earlier I had sat in the President’s room at the White House
and heard Mr. Cleveland talk of the Venezuela boundary dispute and
of his part in forwarding it to a settlement. It was in the month
of February, 1897, two weeks before the expiration of President
Cleveland’s second term. A few days earlier, on February 2, 1897,
Sir Julian Pauncefote, on behalf of Great Britain, and José Andradé,
representing Venezuela, had signed at Washington a treaty of which this
was the first article:

    An arbitral tribunal shall be immediately appointed to determine
    the boundary line between the colony of British Guiana and the
    United States of Venezuela.

The signing of that treaty, of which ratifications were exchanged
on the following fourteenth of June, was a memorable triumph for
President Cleveland, for the Monroe Doctrine, and for the principle
of arbitration between nations. For it was a message sent to Congress
on December 17, 1895--a message which startled two worlds, that had
brought about this agreement to arbitrate the questions in dispute.

In a two-hours’ talk on that February day Mr. Cleveland had reviewed
some of the chief acts of his administration, and I asked him to tell
me, as far as he felt free to do so, the reasons that had called forth
his Venezuela message. He spoke at length upon the subject, and with
much freedom. Expressing in substance the impression his words made
upon me, I wrote at the time as follows of the message and of Mr.
Cleveland’s part in bringing the dispute to a settlement:

    These words sounded like war, but they insured peace. How can
    anybody who reads them with his eyes fully open fail to understand
    what had happened--or rather was about to happen? No gentle and
    ladylike remonstrance would have changed the course of proximate
    events. The ponderous Executive fist had to come down with a thump
    that made people leap to their feet, and it did. The blow was heard
    and heeded. First there was a British blue book showing a decent
    respect for the opinions of mankind. Then there were negotiations.
    Now Venezuela and her powerful co-disputant have honorably come
    together in a treaty, and the long controversy goes to arbitration.

    “But we were in danger of war, there was a panic, and stock
    exchange values shrank four hundred millions.” Let the Stock
    Exchange think on its mercies. A war averted does not shrink values
    a tenth part as much as a war fought.

It will be well to say in the beginning that the merits of the
boundary dispute and the immediate results of the arbitration are
not particularly under examination in this article. The finding of
the Paris tribunal was a compromise. The extreme contentions of both
disputants were denied, although those of Venezuela were abridged much
more than the claims of Great Britain. But had England obtained at
Paris every square mile of territory to which, in the ultimate stretch
of her audacity, she had asserted right and title, the triumph of
President Cleveland and of the Monroe Doctrine would have been in no
wise dimmed.

The vital essence of that triumph lay in this, that under the
constraint laid upon her by Mr. Cleveland’s message of December 17,
England submitted to a judicial determination of her title to territory
which for more than half a century she had sought to wrest without due
proof of ownership from a country too weak to resist her continuing

“If a European Power by an extension of its boundaries takes possession
of the territory of one of our neighboring republics against its will,
and in derogation of its rights,” said Mr. Cleveland in his message,
“it is difficult to see why, to that extent, such European Power does
not thereby attempt to extend its system of government to that portion
of this continent which is taken,” and this, the message continued, “is
the precise action which President Monroe declared to be ‘dangerous to
our peace and safety.’”

For Great Britain to take territory on this continent before proving
title was an act of which the United States by its President complained
as “a willful aggression upon its rights and interests.” Great Britain
heeded the protest, yielded to our demand for a judicial examination
and finding, and Venezuela had her day in court, and that, not the
actual and precise position of the boundary line as finally traced,
was the whole point of the matter so far as the United States and the
Monroe Doctrine were involved in it. That was our triumph.

Historically, the dispute over the boundary between British Guiana
and Venezuela dates from the discovery of America and the Spanish
occupation. Following in the track of Columbus, who in his third
voyage, in 1498, had sailed along the Orinoco delta, his first sight of
the mainland of America, the Spaniards, early in the sixteenth century,
had explored the country in search of gold. The El Dorado of fable
was supposed to lie somewhere in the region between the upper waters
of the Orinoco and Essequibo. By right of discovery, exploration, and
settlement, for settlements were established later, the Spaniards
gained the right to call Guayana their own, for that name was at first
given to the South American shore of the Caribbean Sea.


On this map the Schomburgk Line is laid down in conformity with the
claims of Great Britain as to its proper position. By the arbitration
Great Britain lost the two strips of land within that line indicated
on the map by shaded sections, one at the mouth of the Orinoco and the
other between Yuruan and Mt. Roraima. Those shaded sections comprise
about 5000 square miles, an area a trifle larger than the State of
Connecticut, and represent what Venezuela gained in territory within
the Schomburgk Line as defined by Great Britain. Venezuela’s political
gain consisted in the complete control of the mouth of the Orinoco,
the natural outlet to nearly all of Venezuela and of a large part of

There was in truth a store of gold in the land; the explorers carried
stories of their new wealth back to Spain, and before the end of
the sixteenth century Sir Walter Raleigh, with a body of English
adventurers and certain Dutchmen, visited Guayana in quest of treasure.
The Dutch West India Company planted a settlement near the mouth of the
Essequibo about the year 1624, and was strong enough to hold it against
the Spaniards, who up to that time had been in undisputed possession.
The title of the Dutch to the territory upon which they had established
themselves was confirmed by the treaty of Münster in 1648, in which
Spain recognized the Netherlands as free and independent states. Early
in the last century England captured from the Dutch their settlements
of Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo, and in the treaty of 1814 these
were formally ceded to her. Thus British Guiana came into being. On the
one hand, therefore, Venezuela, when she revolted from Spain in 1811,
became vested with the title to all the territory which Spain had held
by virtue of discovery and exploration save the districts she had ceded
to the Dutch; while, on the other hand, England held British Guiana by
cession from the Dutch, who had acquired it from Spain by the treaty of

In that treaty Spain and Holland had not been at pains to draw the
boundary line between Guayana, now British Guiana, and the Captaincy
General of Caracas, now Venezuela, and from that act of omission arose
all the trouble. For many years after England entered into lawful
possession of British Guiana by the treaty of 1814 no dispute over
the undefined boundary arose. With the running of what is called the
Schomburgk Line in 1849 begins the unbroken chain of events that led to
the boundary controversy, brought it to a critical stage, called forth
the message of December, 1895, and culminated in the finding and award
of the Paris tribunal.

In 1841 the British engineer Sir Robert Schomburgk was commissioned
by his Government to ascertain and fix by metes and bounds the line
between British Guiana and Venezuela. Then began Venezuela’s protest,
and then, too, began the singular migrations of the Schomburgk Line.
Lord Aberdeen abandoned it in 1844, but in 1886 it was laid down in
British official publications as having made a wide detour to the
west, the British maps presenting to the eyes of the Venezuelans a
startling incursion upon territory they had supposed to be their own
by undisputed title. “The Statesman’s Year Book” of 1885 stated the
area of British Guiana to be 76,000 square miles. In 1887, according
to the “Year Book,” the area of the colony had expanded to 109,000
square miles. Nor was this the limit of the westward sweep of British
pretensions, for in 1890 England obligingly consented to arbitrate
her title to a vast tract of territory embracing thousands of square
miles wholly outside the Schomburgk Line, and, a circumstance that has
oftener explained than excused England’s land hunger, including within
its boundaries some of Venezuela’s richest gold mines.

The protests of Venezuela and her appeals for justice became insistent.
She demanded an arbitration of the British claims, and her demands
meeting with refusal, in 1887 she broke off diplomatic relations.
Our aid was invoked by her, and Secretary Bayard tendered our good
offices to promote a friendly settlement. Great Britain firmly refused
to arbitrate the question except upon the basis of an antecedent
concession to her of a very large part of the territory in dispute,
including the mouth of the Orinoco and all territory within the
extended Schomburgk Line. Meanwhile the Venezuelans grew more and more
uneasy as they observed the behavior of British war-ships in and near
the mouth of the Orinoco, and the acts of British subjects asserting
and exercising rights of occupation and settlement upon territory they
held, and rightly held, to be their own.

This was the situation when Secretary of State Richard Olney addressed
to Ambassador Bayard in London, on July 20, 1895, that letter of
instructions which the British ambassador at Washington described as a
“fiery note.” Another British authority called it “Olney’s hectoring
note.” Lord Salisbury, very much at his ease, and taking his time about
it, replied to this note on November 26. He explained that “it could
not be answered until it had been carefully considered by the law
officers of the Crown.” It may be recalled that Earl Russell, before
making reply to the vigorous protest of our minister, Mr. Charles
Francis Adams, against the fitting out of the _Alabama_ in a British
shipyard, referred the matter to the “law officers of the Crown.” One
of these learned gentlemen having unfortunately lost his mind, there
was a delay of some days, of which the _Alabama_ took advantage to
escape the jurisdiction by putting out to sea. As the decision of
the law officers, when tardily rendered, was that the ship must be
seized, it would appear that England should lay the responsibility for
the _Alabama_ award of $15,500,000 that she paid to us upon the too
deliberate working of her legal machinery.

Secretary Olney in his letter, which of course Mr. Bayard was
instructed to lay before Lord Salisbury, had embodied all the
substantive declarations of the Monroe Doctrine, and in the very words
of Mr. Monroe’s message of 1823. The first fruit of the doctrine, he
pointed out, was the independence of South America, for it was to
the European Powers banded together in the Holy Alliance, and then
preparing to assist Spain in the recapture of her revolted colonies,
that Monroe addressed his warning message. Every administration since
Monroe’s had given its sanction and indorsement to the doctrine. It
had been successfully invoked to put an end to the empire forced upon
the Mexican people by Napoleon III, and now it was upon no general
justification of interposing in a controversy between two other
nations, but specifically upon the Monroe Doctrine, that we based our
remonstrance against Great Britain’s high-handed ways with Venezuela.

Great Britain’s assertion of title to disputed territory, followed by
her refusal to submit her title to investigation, was “a substantial
appropriation of the territory to her own use,” and we should ignore
our established policy if we did not “give warning that the transaction
will be regarded as injurious to the people of the United States,
as well as oppressive in itself.” “While the measures necessary or
appropriate for the vindication of that policy are to be determined by
another branch of the Government,” continued Mr. Olney, “it is clearly
for the Executive to leave nothing undone which may tend to render
such determination unnecessary.” This is the passage, doubtless, which
provoked the epithets “fiery” and “hectoring.” Those who ponder its
meaning may feel that its words were at least ominous.

Lord Salisbury based his reply of November 26 in the main upon the
familiar European contention that while the Monroe Doctrine is
interesting, and may have had a salutary effect when first promulgated,
it has never “been inscribed by competent authority in the code of
international law,” and that Mr. Olney’s principle that “American
questions are for American decision ... cannot be sustained by any
reasoning drawn from the law of nations.” He reviewed the dispute with
Venezuela, defended with many and plausible citations of authority
Great Britain’s procedure in the territory claimed by her, made a tart
reference to “large tracts” of territory once Mexican but now a part of
the United States, and firmly declined “to submit to the arbitration of
another Power or of foreign jurists, however eminent, claims based on
the extravagant pretensions of Spanish officials in the last century,
and involving the transfer of British subjects who have for many years
enjoyed the settled rule of a British colony to a nation of different
race and language, whose political system is subject to frequent
disturbances, and whose institutions as yet offer very inadequate
protection to life and property.”

The substance and meaning of Lord Salisbury’s despatch, and the
attitude which Great Britain assumed, were set forth with conspicuous
moderation and fairness by Mr. Cleveland in his Princeton lectures:

    These dispatches exhibit a refusal to admit such an interest
    in the controversy on our part as entitled us to insist upon
    arbitration for the purpose of having a line between Great Britain
    and Venezuela established; a denial of such force or meaning to the
    Monroe Doctrine as made it worthy of the regard of Great Britain in
    the premises; a fixed and continued determination on the part of
    Her Majesty’s Government to reject arbitration as to any territory
    included within the extended Schomburgk Line. They further indicate
    that the existence of gold within the disputed territory had not
    been overlooked; and, as was to be expected, they put forward the
    colonisation and settlement by English subjects in such territory
    during more than half a century of dispute as creating a claim to
    dominion and sovereignty, if not strong enough to override all
    question of right and title, at least so clear and indisputable as
    to be properly regarded as above and beyond the contingencies of

It was then that President Cleveland, patient, but knowing that
patience has its bounds, loving peace, and willing to make the full
measure of sacrifice to that high end, but with firm conviction that
our interposition in the controversy was necessary and could not
longer be delayed, sent to Congress the special message of December
17, 1895. That message fixed the attention of the civilized world upon
the Venezuela boundary dispute, a matter which had up to that time
held only small place in the thoughts of men other than the immediate
official participants; for President Cleveland’s plain words brought
clearly into view the possibility of war--war between the United States
and Great Britain. Christmas was at hand. At that season nobody was
thinking of war, and war between the English and ourselves had long
been held to be at any and all seasons unthinkable. The civilized world
was startled; it is not too much to say that some men of large affairs
and international dealings were stunned. “The crime of the century,”
was the phrase applied to the message by some whose alarm at the
possibility of war was equaled by their ignorance of the long series of
disturbing events which led Mr. Cleveland to perpetrate that “crime.”

It was no crime; it was a saving act, a step that made for peace, and
removed a source of long-standing irritation that was a menace to
peace. The pen of Richard Olney was the one to set forth the legal
basis of our demand--the pen of a great lawyer, not too much cramped
by the circumstance that it was also the pen of a diplomat. Mr.
Cleveland’s strong hand was the one to write the words that proclaimed
the Nation’s duty. The Monroe Doctrine has never had a sturdier
defender or a sounder defense. Lord Salisbury’s amusingly English and
almost sneering references to the doctrine as one “to be mentioned
with respect on account of the distinguished statesman to whom it is
due,” but having no relation to the affairs of the present day, evoked
that memorable sentence in Mr. Cleveland’s message, in which he said
that the Monroe Doctrine “was intended to apply to every stage of our
National life, and cannot become obsolete while our Republic endures.”

To the Salisbury argument that the doctrine must be ruled out because
it has never been inscribed in the code of international law, and
“cannot be sustained by any reasoning drawn from the law of nations,”
Mr. Cleveland replied that “the Monroe Doctrine finds its recognition
in those principles of international law which are based on the
theory that every nation shall have its rights protected and its just
claims enforced.” When we urged upon Great Britain the resort to
arbitration, we were “without any convictions as to the final merits of
the dispute”; we desired to be informed whether Great Britain sought
under a claim of boundary “to extend her possessions on this continent
without right, or whether she merely sought possession of territory
fairly included within her lines of ownership.”

Having been apprised of Great Britain’s refusal of an impartial
arbitration, “nothing remains,” said the President, “but to accept the
situation, to recognize its plain requirements, and to deal with it

Mr. Cleveland, therefore, suggested to Congress an adequate
appropriation for the expenses of a commission appointed by the
Executive to “make the necessary investigation and report upon the
matter with the least possible delay.” Words of grave import followed
this recommendation:

    When such report is made and accepted, it will, in my opinion,
    be the duty of the United States to resist by every means in its
    power, as a willful aggression upon its rights and interests,
    the appropriation by Great Britain of any lands or the exercise
    of governmental jurisdiction over any territory which after
    investigation we have determined of right belongs to Venezuela.

    In making these recommendations I am fully alive to the
    responsibilities incurred, and keenly realize all the consequences
    that may follow.

    I am nevertheless firm in my conviction that, while it is a
    grievous thing to contemplate the two great English-speaking
    peoples of the world as being otherwise than friendly competitors
    in the onward march of civilization, and strenuous and worthy
    rivals in all the arts of peace, there is no calamity which a
    great nation can invite which equals that which follows a supine
    submission to wrong and injustice, and the consequent loss of
    National self-respect and honor, beneath which are shielded and
    defended a people’s safety and greatness.

The commission of inquiry was appointed. It promptly began and
industriously pursued its investigations for many months, the
governments of Great Britain and Venezuela willingly contributing to
the success of the commission’s labors by placing at its disposal
elaborate statements and all available evidence, while in the archives
of Spain and Holland documents were made accessible that threw much
light upon the remote origins of the controversy. But before the
commission had finished its work, Great Britain and Venezuela, by the
treaty of January 2, 1897, agreed to an arbitration. The labors of the
commission were not in vain, however. It reached the conclusion that
neither the extreme claims of Great Britain nor those of Venezuela were
admissible, being unsupported by proofs of title, and the great mass of
documentary evidence it had collected was of much use and value for the
arbitral tribunal.

By the terms of the Pauncefote-Andradé Treaty, signed at Washington
January 2, 1897, Great Britain and Venezuela agreed to the appointment
of an arbitral tribunal “to determine the boundary line between the
colony of British Guiana and the United States of Venezuela.” The
tribunal was to “ascertain the extent of the territories belonging
to, or that might lawfully be claimed by, the United Netherlands, or
by the Kingdom of Spain, respectively, at the time of the acquisition
of the colony of British Guiana,” in order to establish the chain
of lawful title. Rules of procedure were prescribed in the treaty.
Adverse holding for fifty years, or exclusive political control, as
well as actual settlement of a district was to be considered as making
a good title; recognition and effect were to be given to rights and
claims resting on other grounds valid in international law; and such
effect was to be given to the occupation, at the time of signing the
treaty, of the territory of one of the parties by the citizens or
subjects of the other, as the equities of the case and the principles
of international law should be deemed to require. It was provided in
article II that the tribunal should consist of five jurists. Those
named on the part of Great Britain were Baron Herschel, and Sir Richard
Collins of the Supreme Court of Judicature. Baron Herschel having died
before the convening of the tribunal, Lord Chief-Justice Russell was
named to fill the vacancy. On the part of Venezuela, Chief-Justice
Fuller of the United States Supreme Court, and Associate-Justice David
Brewer of that court, were named. The fifth member of the tribunal
named by these four was Frederic de Martens, the Russian jurist, who
became president of the tribunal.

The tribunal assembled in Paris on January 25, 1899. After various
and necessary adjournments, it began the formal consideration of the
case on June 15. After seven weeks of painstaking toil, in which the
story of Spain’s earliest search for the gold of the West, the terms
of the treaty of Münster, the law and practice of nations in respect
to discovery, occupation, and settlement, and an intolerable mass and
multitude of documentary and legal details pertaining to each and all
of these matters, had been minutely examined and expounded for the
information, but certainly not the edification, of the five learned
jurists sitting in judgment in the case, the evidence of nervous strain
and irritation to which I have referred in the beginning of this
article was apparent. On the forty-seventh day Sir Richard Webster
sarcastically invited the attention of ex-President Harrison to certain
comments of Sir Travers Twiss on the Oregon case. “I had read Twiss on
the Oregon case through long before I had the privilege of seeing you,”
replied Mr. Harrison. “This investigation has been long and wearisome,”
said General Tracy, but he reminded the tribunal that it involved the
“investigation of four hundred years of history.” And on the fiftieth
day Mr. Harrison, in closing his argument, said: “Counsel who addresses
this tribunal comes to his work in a frame of weariness of mind and
body, and he addresses judges who are weary.”

It was on the fifty-sixth day that the tribunal announced its award.
The true divisional line, as determined by the unanimous decision of
the five jurists, gave sanction, as has been said, to the extreme
pretensions of neither party. A large area west of the Essequibo River,
to which Venezuela, without warrant, had laid claim, was held to be
British territory; but, on the other hand, valuable tracts within the
Schomburgk Line were awarded to Venezuela, the most important being the
region of which the coast-line runs from Barima Point, at the mouth
of the Orinoco, to Point Playa. The confirmation of the title to this
territory, as to which Great Britain had firmly refused arbitration,
gave Venezuela exclusive control of the mouth of her great river and
of both its banks. The vast area, including the rich gold-mines, which
Great Britain had belted about by the audacious westward extension of
her claims, went altogether to Venezuela.

[Illustration: From London “Punch” for December 28, 1895


~President Cleveland~: “Waal, Salisbury, sir, whether you like it or
not, we propose to arbitrate on this matter ourselves, and, in that
event, we shall abide by our own decision.”

    “An inquiry [as to the true divisional line between the Republic
    of Venezuela and British Guiana] should, of course, be conducted
    carefully and judicially.... When report is made [by a Commission
    appointed by Congress] and accepted, it will, in my opinion, be
    the duty of the United States to resist by every means in its
    power, as a willful aggression upon its rights and interests, the
    appropriation by Great Britain of any lands, [etc., etc.,] ...
    which after investigation we have determined of right to belong
    to Venezuela.”--_President Cleveland’s message to Congress, vide
    “Time’s,” December 18._

Of the whole territory in dispute, far the larger portion went to
Great Britain, and some few persons who uttered cries of distress
over the message of December 17 counted this as a rebuke and rebuff
for President Cleveland. That was the very hardihood of perversity in
taking a false view. Mr. Cleveland had declared that our Government was
“without any convictions as to the final merits of the dispute.” The
supreme, the vital point is that in the award of the Paris tribunal,
accepted by both parties, law triumphed over force. The boundary line
was traced, and titles with which Great Britain had vested herself by
her own acts, heedless of the protests of Venezuela and rejecting her
and our appeals for adjudication, were passed upon by an impartial
arbitral tribunal according to evidence and the principles of public
law. Whoever gained, whoever lost, that was quite immaterial from
our point of view. The process of territorial expansion by stealthy
encroachment, by unwarranted shifting of boundaries, and the alteration
of maps and statistics, was at an end. The sovereignty of the lawful
owner replaced that of the squatter. Venezuela was delivered from
duress and from peril, no longer was her soil or her destiny under
the menace of foreign control, and the situation created by the
attempt of a power over the sea to extend the European system within
this hemisphere, which Monroe declared to be dangerous to our peace
and safety, and against which Mr. Cleveland had invoked the Monroe
Doctrine, no longer existed. Mr. Cleveland had triumphed, the Monroe
Doctrine had triumphed, peace had triumphed. General Harrison and Sir
Richard Webster parted with expressions of mutual esteem, and the
report of the proceedings of the Paris tribunal, in eleven folio parts,
now on the shelves of the New York Public Library, was presented by the
Marquis of Salisbury, while to Mr. Richard Olney was tendered not long
ago the appointment as Ambassador at the Court of St. James’s.

The consequences of this successful and momentous assertion of the
Monroe Doctrine may now be traced. Three times within the century of
its declaration the doctrine was firmly asserted and maintained by the
United States as the public system of the Western World, for it may
with entire propriety be called our public system, as the concert of
Europe is the public system of that continent. First, when President
Monroe proclaimed it as a warning to the Holy Alliance, plotting the
restoration to Spain of her revolted colonies in Latin America. Second,
when Secretary Seward’s repeated protests against the establishment of
an empire and an emperor, the Austrian Maximilian, in Mexico against
the will of the people by French arms, were ominously reinforced by
the despatch of General Sheridan to the banks of the Rio Grande with
80,000 disciplined and experienced troops, freed from active service
by the ending of the war between the States, the French evacuation
of Mexico speedily following. The absence of any mention of the
Monroe Doctrine in Secretary Seward’s correspondence in respect to
the French adventurer in Mexico is without significance. The spirit
and the principle of Monroe’s declaration were the declared motives
of his action. Third, when President Cleveland, by virtue of the
doctrine, “intended to apply to every stage of our National life,”
constrained England to submit her boundary dispute with Venezuela
to a judicial settlement. The next application of the doctrine, the
fourth in this series, all of primary importance, fell within the
present century, when the substitution of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty
for the Clayton-Bulwer convention of half a century earlier dissolved
our partnership with Great Britain in an agreement to extend a joint
protectorship over any transportation route across the isthmus, and so
cleared the way for the building and exclusive control by ourselves of
the Panama Canal.

The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was never popular in this country. It
was entered into at a time, in 1850, when the discovery of gold
in California, and the consequent tide of travel to the land of
easily acquired riches, brought into view the need for facilities of
transportation across the isthmus; and also, it should be said, when
the responsible statesmen of the Nation were perhaps less mindful than
at any other time since Monroe’s administration of the import and
the saving force of the doctrine that bears his name. Nevertheless,
the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty itself, after a fashion, a most illogical
and inconsistent fashion, was on our part an attempt to apply the
prohibitions of the doctrine against European colonization in this
hemisphere. Great Britain was encroaching upon the territory of Central
American States, and she stood in the way of the building of the canal.
We negotiated the treaty to free ourselves from this embarrassment, and
by that singular bargain, through the waiver of a right, we secured the
recognition of a right; that is, we persuaded Great Britain to assent
to Monroe Doctrine principles in Central America at the price of
taking her as a partner in any undertaking for a transportation route
across the isthmus, which was in itself contrary to the spirit of the

The treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, ending our war with Mexico, was
signed February 2, 1848. By its terms Mexico ceded to us the territory
now included within the borders of the States of California, Nevada,
Utah, Arizona, and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. Great Britain
strenuously opposed the cession to us of any territory on the Pacific
coast. Failing to control the acts of Mexico in that respect, she took
measures in her own way to offset our great territorial gain. Six days
after signing the treaty she despatched her fleet from Vera Cruz to
the coast of Nicaragua, and forcibly took possession of San Juan at
the mouth of the river of that name. She set up a governor, erected
fortifications, and changed the name of the place to Greytown. This
gave her command of the only canal route then under consideration, for
it was at a much later time that the Panama route came to the fore
as more practicable. The seizure of San Juan was a move so plainly
hostile to our interests that our Government at once sent a diplomatic
representative to Nicaragua, and a treaty known as the Hise Treaty was
negotiated in June, 1849, by which Nicaragua granted to the United
States “the exclusive right and privilege” of constructing a canal or
railway between the two oceans across Nicaraguan territory. This treaty
was not sent to the Senate and was never ratified by either country.

The occupation of San Juan, or Greytown, by the British, and their
proceedings upon the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua, where they had set up
a trumpery Indian king, and by virtue of a “treaty” with him assumed
a protectorate over the region, were a cause of growing uneasiness
at Washington. In pursuance of her age-long policy of insuring her
domination of the seas by occupying strategic points giving control of
great routes of navigation, Great Britain had with a cool disregard of
our rights and interests seized upon vantage-ground in Central America
that would make her mistress of interoceanic communication. Holding
Greytown, she was in complete control of any Nicaraguan canal, for the
only practicable route was that which would make Lake Nicaragua and
the San Juan River a part of the canal. Thus, upon the one hand, our
freedom of action in respect to a canal was hampered, and, upon the
other, England, notwithstanding her many excuses and protestations to
the contrary, was manifestly establishing a colony in Central America.

With a view to the removal of these sources of embarrassment and of
difference between the two countries, Mr. Clayton, Secretary of State,
pressed Great Britain to withdraw her pretensions to dominion over the
Mosquito Coast. Her reply was a refusal, but an intimation was given
that the British Government would be willing to enter into a treaty
for a joint protectorate over the proposed canal. This was the germ of
the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, negotiated at Washington between Secretary
of State Clayton and Sir Henry Bulwer, the British minister, and
signed April 19, 1850. Article I of the treaty, here subjoined, is a
declaratory and self-denying ordinance:

    The Governments of the United States and Great Britain hereby
    declare that neither the one nor the other will ever obtain or
    maintain for itself any exclusive control over the said ship
    canal; agreeing that neither will ever erect or maintain any
    fortifications commanding the same or in the vicinity thereof, or
    occupy, or fortify, or colonize, or assume, or exercise any domain
    over Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Mosquito Coast, or any part of
    Central America; nor will either make use of any protection which
    either affords or may afford, or any alliance which either has
    or may have to or with any State or people, for the purpose of
    erecting or maintaining any such fortifications, or of occupying,
    fortifying, or colonizing Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Mosquito
    Coast, or any part of Central America, or of assuming or exercising
    dominion over the same; nor will the United States or Great Britain
    take advantage of any intimacy, or use any alliance, connection,
    or influence that either may possess with any State or Government
    through whose territory the said canal may pass, for the purpose of
    acquiring or holding, directly or indirectly, for the citizens or
    subjects of the one, any rights or advantages in regard to commerce
    or navigation through the said canal which shall not be offered on
    the same terms to the citizens or subjects of the other.

These stipulations applied only to a canal route across Nicaragua in
Central America, not to Panama. But we carried our spirit of complacent
self-denial to a further and extraordinary length in article VIII. The
first clause of that article is here quoted:

    The Governments of the United States and Great Britain having not
    only desired, in entering into this convention, to accomplish a
    particular object, but also to establish a general principle, they
    hereby agree to extend their protection, by treaty stipulations, to
    any other practicable communications, whether by canal or railway,
    across the isthmus which connects North and South America, and
    especially to the interoceanic communications, should the same
    prove to be practicable, whether by canal or railway, which are now
    proposed to be established by the way of Tehuantepec or Panama.

James Buchanan, then our Minister to England, in a memorandum for
Lord Clarendon, written on January 6, 1854, referring to the relation
of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty to the Monroe Doctrine, said that while
that doctrine would be maintained whenever the peace and safety of the
United States made it necessary, “yet to have acted upon it in Central
America might have brought us into collision with Great Britain, an
event always to be deplored, and if possible avoided”; therefore
these “dangerous questions” were settled by a resort to friendly
negotiations. In view of the flimsy nature of Great Britain’s asserted
rights in Central America, and of the manifest unfriendliness of the
motives that had prompted her to plant her flag, her colonies, and her
forts in the pathway of communication between our Atlantic and Pacific
coasts, it must be said that Mr. Buchanan’s memorandum could not easily
have been outdone in politeness. The sounder opinion, the opinion which
the country has held and acted upon, is expressed by Francis Wharton in
that edition of the “Digest of International Law of the United States”
which he edited:

    For Great Britain to assume in whole or in part a protectorate
    of the Isthmus or of an interoceanic canal, viewing the term
    protectorate in the sense in which she viewed it in respect to
    the Belise and the Mosquito country, would be to antagonize the
    Monroe Doctrine; and for the United States to unite with her in
    such a protectorship would be to connive at such antagonism. The
    Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, if it were to be construed so as to put
    the Isthmus under the joint protectorate of Great Britain and the
    United States, would not only conflict with the Monroe Doctrine,
    by introducing a European Power in the management of the affairs
    of this continent, but it would be a gross departure from those
    traditions, consecrated by the highest authorities to which we
    can appeal, by which we are forbidden to enter into “entangling
    alliances” with European Powers. No “alliance” could be more
    “entangling” than one with Great Britain to control not only
    the Isthmus, but the interoceanic trade of this continent. No
    introduction of a foreign Power could be more fatal to the policy
    of Mr. Monroe, by which America was to be prevented from being the
    theatre of new European domination, than that which would give to
    Great Britain a joint control of the continent in one of its most
    vital interests.

The appearance of Ferdinand de Lesseps upon the isthmus and the
public discussion of his canal project brought the possibilities of
foreign control plainly into view, and public opinion in this country
ripened into form and expression. “The policy of this country,” said
President Hayes in his message to Congress on March 8, 1880, “is a
canal under American control. The United States cannot consent to the
surrender of this control to any European Power or to any combination
of European Powers. If existing treaties between the United States
and other nations, or if the rights of sovereignty or property of
other nations stand in the way of this policy--a contingency which is
not apprehended--suitable steps should be taken by just and liberal
negotiations to promote and establish the American policy.” And
Secretary Blaine in 1881 instructed Minister Lowell to let it be known
that in the opinion of the President our treaty of 1846 guaranteeing to
New Granada, afterward the United States of Colombia, the protection
of the projected canal across the Isthmus of Panama, did not require
reinforcement or assent from any other Power; and that any attempt to
supersede it by an agreement between European Powers would “partake
of the nature of an alliance against the United States, and would be
regarded by this Government as an indication of an unfriendly feeling.”

[Illustration: From London “Punch” for October 11, 1899


~Lord Salisbury~ (chuckling): “I like arbitration--in the _proper

In a further instruction to Mr. Lowell, on November 19, 1881, Secretary
Blaine stated at length the reasons for holding that the Clayton-Bulwer
Treaty had become obsolete, or at least inapplicable to the conditions
existing thirty years after its ratification, and he expressed the hope
of the President that Great Britain would consent to such modifications
as would remove every obstacle to our fortification and holding
political control of the canal “in conjunction with the country in
which it is located.”

President Cleveland, in his first administration, did not approve
the policy of exclusive American ownership, control, and guaranty,
favoring rather a neutralized canal “open to all nations and subject
to the ambitions and warlike necessities of none.” But Mr. Gresham,
Secretary of State in Mr. Cleveland’s second term, expressed the “deep
conviction” of our Government that the canal should be constructed
“under distinctively American auspices.” Secretary Olney, who succeeded
Mr. Gresham, in a memorable communication rejected the argument
frequently heard, that the treaty had been abrogated by Great Britain’s
persistent violation of the provision relating to her Mosquito Coast
colony, and recorded the conclusion that if the treaty has now
become inapplicable or injurious, the true remedy was “a direct and
straightforward application to Great Britain for a reconsideration of
the whole matter.”

Thus, in the slow process of time public opinion was prepared and
the way cleared for the ending of a joint protectorate agreement
with Great Britain by the substitution of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty
for the convention negotiated fifty years before between Mr. Clayton
and Sir Henry Bulwer. The time for action had now come. The French
company was bankrupt, the commercial demand for a canal had become
more pressing, and the voyage of the _Oregon_ from the Pacific coast
around Cape Horn to take her place with the blockading squadron that
encircled the harbor entrance at Santiago de Cuba brought vividly
to the minds of the American people the vital need of a canal as a
measure of national defense. Commissions were studying routes and
making estimates of cost. There could no longer be any doubt that the
two oceans were to be connected, and with all possible speed, by a
navigable way. There was an obstacle--the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. If
we built a Nicaragua canal, we must forego “any exclusive control,”
and we must submit to the engagements of article V, that the United
States and Great Britain jointly will “protect it from interruption,
seizure, or unjust confiscation, and that they will guarantee the
neutrality thereof.” We must observe the further stipulation of article
VI, requiring us to join Great Britain in inviting other nations to
enter into the arrangement for the construction, control, and guaranty
of this American canal. If we chose to build at Panama, we were bound
by article VIII to make a new treaty with Great Britain for a joint
protectorate over that route.

Never for a day after President Cleveland’s Venezuela message would the
American people have been in a mood to sanction any canal undertaking
under these vexatious and impossible conditions. We were quite done
with the idea of a joint protectorate over an isthmian canal. The
resolve had been taken to build a canal, and the conclusion reached
that it must be a canal of our own construction and under our exclusive

Most fortunately, we found the Government of Great Britain in an
assenting mood. Indeed, the contrast between the rasping quality
of Lord Salisbury’s notes declining arbitration of the Venezuela
boundary dispute and the candid, placable tone of Lord Lansdowne’s
correspondence in the negotiations that led to the superseding of
the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty by the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty silenced, if
it did not shame, those half-hearted Americans who had denounced Mr.
Cleveland’s memorable message of December 17 as “the crime of the
century” and a menace to the friendly relations between ourselves
and our kinsmen of England. Following President McKinley’s message
of December, 1898, in which he pointed out that the prospective
expansion of American commerce and influence in the Pacific called more
imperatively than ever for the control of the projected canal by the
United States, Lord Pauncefote was instructed to acquaint himself with
our attitude. He was informed that we desired at once to enter upon
the necessary pourparlers, with a view to such modifications of the
Clayton-Bulwer Treaty as would remove all obstacles to our construction
of the canal, which it was evident would not be undertaken by private
capital. To this her Majesty’s Government assented, and a draft of the
proposed convention was handed to Lord Pauncefote by Secretary Hay on
January 11, 1899. This convention her Majesty’s Government, after due
consideration, “accepted unconditionally as a signal proof,” said Lord
Lansdowne, “of their friendly disposition and of their desire not to
impede the execution of a project declared to be of National importance
to the people of the United States.”

This was the first form of the Hay-Pauncefote convention, signed at
Washington in February, 1900. Consideration by the Senate followed, but
it was not ratified until December 20 of that year, and then with three
amendments which proved to be unacceptable to Great Britain. As to the
first of these amendments, declaring the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty to be
“hereby superseded,” Lord Lansdowne, in his memorandum of August 3,
1901, objected that no attempt had been made to ascertain the views of
his Government upon the entire abrogation of the former treaty, which
dealt with several matters for which no provision had been made in the
new instrument; and with rather startling frankness he pointed out that
if the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty were wholly abrogated, “both Powers would,
except in the vicinity of the canal, recover entire freedom of action
in Central America, a change which might be of substantial importance.”
That was enough to make the Senate open its eyes, for it was not
exactly the purpose of our Government to confer upon Great Britain
entire freedom of action in Central America.

The statesmanship and the diplomacy of John Hay found a way to
reconcile these divergences and bring the negotiations to a successful
end. He submitted a new draft of the treaty, providing by a separate
article that the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty should be superseded, a method
of accomplishing that important object more acceptable to Great
Britain than procedure by Senate amendment. Lord Lansdowne’s comment
upon this article of the draft was that “the purpose to abrogate the
Clayton-Bulwer convention is not, I think, inadmissible if it can be
shown that sufficient provision is made in the new treaty for such
portions of the convention as ought, in the interests of this country,
to remain in force.” The victory for American control and for the
Monroe Doctrine was won. From that point the negotiations proceeded
smoothly. Lord Lansdowne suggested the article, accepted by Secretary
Hay, providing that the general principle of the treaty should not be
affected by any change of sovereignty over the territory traversed by
the canal. The question of our right to take measures for the defense
of the canal presented no great difficulty.

To the first of the rules for the neutralization of the canal, as it
appeared in Mr. Hay’s draft, Lord Lansdowne suggested an amendment
which served to bring into the clear light of day both our purpose
to secure exclusively American control over the canal, and Great
Britain’s willingness to consent thereto. After the words “the canal
shall be free and open to the vessels of commerce and of war of all
nations,” his lordship proposed to add, “which shall agree to observe
these rules,” and further on the words “so agreeing” after the clause
declaring that there should be “no discrimination against any nation,”
and so forth. To this, Mr. Hay informed him, there would be opposition
“because of the strong objection to inviting other Powers to become
contract parties to a treaty affecting the canal”; and he suggested as
a substitute for Lord Lansdowne’s amendment “the canal shall be free
and open to the vessels of commerce and of war of all nations observing
these rules,” and instead of “any nations so agreeing” the words “any
such nation.” The difference was vital, for all connotation of inviting
formal agreements with other nations disappeared. Lord Lansdowne at
once accepted this form of the amendment, which he wrote “seemed to us
equally efficacious for the purpose which we had in view, namely, to
insure that Great Britain should not be placed in a less advantageous
position than other Powers, while they stopped short of conferring upon
other nations a contractual right to the use of the canal.”

The minds of the two governments had now met. The amendments proposed
on each site, with the modifications noted, were agreed upon. The
treaty was reduced to final form, engrossed for signature, and on
November 19, 1901, Lord Pauncefote had the honor to inform the Marquis
of Lansdowne that on the preceding day he had visited the State
Department and had “signed the new treaty for the construction of an
interoceanic canal.” The Senate ratified the treaty on December 16

Venezuela had opened the way for Panama. The hand withdrawn from broad
areas east of the Orinoco had relinquished its lawful rights under the
canal partnership, and in both cases at our instance. In the one, Lord
Salisbury’s noble British contempt of our demands and our doctrine
forced us into an unaccustomed attitude of firmness. In the other,
the Marquis of Lansdowne’s open-minded, amicable, and statesmanlike
disposition favored our interest, and left us free to give to the
commerce of the world a channel of communication that had been the
dream of centuries. We had expressly set up the principle of the
Monroe Doctrine as the warrant of our interference for the protection
of Venezuela, and Great Britain gave heed by submitting to impartial
examination titles she had insisted upon enforcing as though they were
beyond dispute. Ill-judged concessions contrary to the spirit of the
Monroe Doctrine, made in the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, we recalled by
a substitute agreement with Great Britain which left us with a free
hand for the construction and control of the canal as an exclusively
American work. The vitality, the continuing and constant applicability,
of the Monroe Doctrine at every stage of our National existence, as Mr.
Cleveland put it, could hardly be more conclusively demonstrated than
by the record of the American Government’s part in bringing about the
agreement to arbitrate the Venezuela boundary dispute, and in replacing
the outworn Clayton-Bulwer convention by the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty.

  [7] ~The Century Magazine~, July, 1901.




Editor of “The Omaha Daily Bee”

I have been intensely interested in the articles appearing in ~The
Century~ for May and June upon the Presidential election of 1876.
While I could have no part in, nor recollection of, that controversy,
acquaintance with two of the prominent figures in it some time ago led
me to look into one phase of the question, and the facts concerning
it brought out by the congressional investigation, which seem to me
to bear vitally upon this discussion, though they have been entirely
ignored. I refer to what was known as “the Oregon muddle,” being the
attempt of the Democrats to secure one of the electoral votes of Oregon
for Tilden, who had plainly no moral right to it.

At the November election the lowest vote polled by a Republican
Presidential elector in Oregon was 15,206, while the highest vote
polled by a Democratic elector was only 14,157. After the returns were
in, and it was discovered that the electoral college was to be so close
that one or two votes might turn it one way or another, the Democrats
ascertained that one of the Republican electors in Oregon was a deputy
postmaster, and they at once set up the claim that he was ineligible,
and that, as a consequence, the Democrat receiving the highest vote was
entitled to serve.

At that time Oregon was under Democratic control, had a Democratic
governor, Democratic state officers, and one of the United States
senators was a Democrat high in the national councils. Before he
realized what was at stake, E. A. Cronin, the high man on the
Democratic ticket, had announced publicly that he admitted his defeat,
and that he would not serve even if he were declared to be elected and
offered a certificate, something to that effect having been rumored as
coming from the Democratic state officials.

It was at this point that the managers of the Tilden campaign in New
York came to the conclusion that something had to be done and done at
once. A telegram was sent to Dr. George L. Miller at Omaha, then a
member of the Democratic national committee and editor of the Omaha
“Herald,” requesting him to proceed at once to Portland and get in
touch with the party representatives there. Dr. Miller, it seemed, had
already acted on his own account, and had despatched in his stead a
close, personal friend, and active Democrat, J. N. H. Patrick, also of
Omaha, who had mining interests in Utah, and who was acquainted in the
far West.

According to the testimony adduced in the congressional investigation,
which embodies as documentary evidence copies of all the telegraphic
messages that passed to and fro in connection with the case, Patrick
reached Portland in the latter part of November, and immediately called
upon C. B. Bellinger, the chairman of the Democratic state committee
for Oregon. According to Bellinger, Patrick informed him who he was and
the object of his visit, and, as a result of the conference, promised
to secure $10,000 to be placed at his disposal to pay the expenses of
the contest. Cronin was sent for, and introduced to Patrick, who told
him how important it was for him to serve, and intimated that if his
vote should make Mr. Tilden President, he would be able to get about
anything he wanted from Mr. Tilden. Three thousand dollars of the money
transmitted to Oregon through Patrick’s agency was used to retain a
firm of Republican lawyers to argue before the governor the question
of issuing the certificate to Cronin, the selection of the particular
firm, however, being guided by the fact that the senior partner was
also the editor of the Portland “Oregonian,” with the hope that it
would be induced “not to be too severe in criticizing” the Democratic

Mr. Patrick evidently communicated with the governor at some time,
because he telegraphed to Mr. Tilden, under date of December 1, a
cipher translation of the following message:

    December 1, 1876.

    To Hon. Sam. J. Tilden,
    15 Gramercy Park, New York City.

    I shall decide every point in the case of post-office elector in
    favor of the highest Democratic elector, and grant certificate
    accordingly on the morning of the sixth inst. Confidential.


In the investigation Governor Grover denied having sent this telegram
or ever having seen it, but the fact stared every one in the face that
just six days later Governor Grover did exactly what the telegram said
he would do. The telegram was in the handwriting of Mr. Patrick.

The other message upon which great stress was laid is reproduced in
facsimile in the official report, and reads as follows:

    Portland, November 28, 1876.

    To W. T. Pelton,
    15 Gramercy Park, New York City.

    By Vizier association innocuous to negligence cunning minutely
    previously readmit doltish to purchase afar act with cunning afar
    sacristy unweighed afar pointer tigress cuttle superannuated
    syllabus dilatoriness misapprehension contraband Kountze bisulcous
    top usher spiniferous answer.

    ~J. N. H. Patrick.~

    I fully endorse this.

    ~James K. Kelly.~

The explanation of this conglomeration of words is perhaps best had by
quoting directly from the congressional report:

    It appears from the testimony of Alfred B. Hinman of Detroit,
    Michigan, that in 1874, he, Hinman, made the acquaintance of J. N.
    H. Patrick at Salt Lake City; that he there entered into business
    relations with him in connection with mining interests in Utah;
    that at the time Mr. Patrick gave him a small dictionary entitled
    “The Household English Dictionary, London. T. Nelson & Sons, Pater
    Noster Row, Edinburgh and New York, 1872,” to be used by them as
    cipher in their business dispatches. That this dictionary, which
    was produced by the witness, Hinman, had two columns of words on
    each page; that the key to this cipher as used by Patrick and the
    witness, Hinman, was as follows: In sending a dispatch the first
    word of which in translation would, for instance be “every,” the
    word directly opposite this in the next column would be taken as
    the cipher; and so on through the whole dispatch.

It was, however, shown that the cipher-despatches in this case could
not be translated from the dictionary by adopting the key of taking the
corresponding word on the opposite column, but in every instance they
could be translated from the dictionary by taking the corresponding
word in the columns eight columns ahead. It further appeared from the
testimony, and no attempt was made to impeach it, or the translation
made in this way, or to contradict the claim that all these
cipher-despatches were sent by this dictionary or its duplicate in
accordance with the key as above stated,--and, besides, Pelton, Kelly,
Bellinger, and Miller all testified that the despatches were made up
from a dictionary cipher,--that the translation of the despatch just
quoted is as follows:

    Portland, November 28, 1876.

    To W. T. Pelton,
    15 Gramercy Park, New York City.

    Certificate will be issued to one democrat. Must purchase a
    republican elector to recognize and act with democrats and secure
    the vote and prevent trouble. Deposit $10,000 to my credit with
    Kountze Brothers, Wall street. Answer.

    ~J. N. H. Patrick.~

    I fully endorse this.

    ~James K. Kelly.~

Mr. Patrick, after having concluded his arrangements with the local
representatives of the party in Oregon, and having provided the money
necessary for them to carry out the agreed plan, seems to have dropped
out of the negotiations.

Governor Grover, as promised, decided the contest against the
Republican elector, and in conjunction with the secretary of state
had the certificate of election made out for the two uncontested
Republicans and Cronin, the Democrat. These certificates were made out
in triplicate, and were all delivered to Cronin, copies being refused
the Republican electors. When the time came for the electoral college
to meet and vote, the three Republicans got together, the contested
member, Watts, having in the interval resigned his post-office
position, and, after declaring the vacancy, reappointed Watts, who
was then eligible to serve as elector, the three casting the vote for
Rutherford B. Hayes.

Cronin and the crowd of Democrats who had assembled simultaneously
moved over to the other end of the room, and under pretense that the
Republicans refused to act with him, Cronin called in another Democrat,
a man named Miller, and went through the form of appointing him to fill
a vacancy, the two together following this up by appointing a third
Democrat, Parker, to fill up the college, although neither of these two
were candidates or were voted for at the election.

The three Democrats thereupon formally organized and proceeded to cast
a ballot giving two votes to Rutherford B. Hayes, and one to Samuel J.
Tilden. They made up the forms certifying to these facts, and appointed
Cronin to carry the documents to Washington.

The disinterestedness of Cronin was further evinced by the fact that,
although he was entitled to draw mileage and expenses as messenger,
he refused to go until he was paid $3000 in gold by the Democratic
campaign managers to reimburse him for his time and expenses, the money
being part of that supplied from the national committee at New York
under the arrangements made by Mr. Patrick.

“The Oregon muddle” furnished one of the disputed points passed upon by
the electoral commission, and the three votes of Oregon were finally
recorded for the Republican candidate who was later installed as

Mr. J. N. H. Patrick died here about eight years ago. Dr. George L.
Miller is still alive, but his now failing mind will prevent him
throwing further light on the subject. The point which, in my judgment,
ought to be emphasized, is that if the Democrats in charge of Mr.
Tilden’s political fortunes at that time believed that he had carried,
and was entitled to, the votes of Florida and Louisiana, they would not
have set so high a value upon, or have gone to so questionable lengths
to obtain, this lone electoral vote in Oregon; nor have they accused
the Republicans of doing anything reprehensible on behalf of Hayes
which by the record was not matched by their performance in Oregon.


[Illustration: Color-Tone, engraved for ~The Century~ by H. Davidson






Author of “That Lass o’ Lowrie’s,” “The Shuttle,” etc.



The neighborhood of Temple Barholm was not, upon the whole, a brilliant
one. Indeed, it had been frankly designated by the casual guest as dull.

Most of the residents took their sober season in London, the men of the
family returning gladly to the pheasants, the women not regretfully
to their gardens and tennis, because their successes in town had not
been particularly delirious. The guests who came to them were generally
as respectable and law-abiding as themselves, and introduced no
iconoclastic diversions. For the greater portion of the year, in fact,
diners out were of the neighborhood and met the neighborhood, and were
reduced to discussing neighborhood topics, which was not, on the whole,
a fevered joy.

In such circumstances it cannot be found amazing that a situation such
as Temple Barholm presented should provide rich food for conversation,
supposition, argument, and humorous comment.

T. Tembarom himself, after the duke had established him, furnished an
unlimited source of interest. His household became a perennial fount of
quiet discussion. Lady Mallowe and her daughter were the members of it
who met with the most attention. They appeared to have become members
of it rather than visitors. Her ladyship had plainly elected to extend
her stay even beyond the period to which a relative might feel entitled
to hospitality. She was not going away, the neighborhood decided, until
she had achieved that which she really had come to accomplish. Lady
Joan would be obliged to stay also, if her mother intended that she
should. But the poor American--What was he going to do in the end? What
was she going to do? What was Lady Mallowe going to do if there was no
end at all? He was not as unhappy-looking a lover as one might have
expected, they said. He kept up his spirits wonderfully. Perhaps she
was not always as icily indifferent to him as she chose to appear in

So they talked it over as they looked on.

“How they gossip! How delightfully they gossip!” said the duke. “But it
is such a perfect subject. They have never been so enthralled before.
Dear young man! how grateful we ought to be for him!”

One of the most discussed features of the case was the duke’s own
cultivation of the central figure. There was an actual oddity about
it. He drove from Stone Hover to Temple Barholm repeatedly. He invited
Tembarom to the castle and had long talks with him--long, comfortable
talks in secluded, delightful rooms or under great trees on the lawn.
He wanted to hear anecdotes of his past, to draw him on to giving his
points of view. When he spoke of him to his daughters, he called him
“T. Tembarom,” but the slight derision of his earlier tone modified

“That delightful young man will shortly become my closest intimate,” he
said. “He not only keeps up my spirits, but he opens up vistas. Vistas
after a man’s seventy-second birthday!”

“I like him first rate,” Tembarom said to Miss Alicia. “I liked him the
minute he got up laughing like an old sport when he fell out of the
pony carriage.”

As he became more intimate with him, he liked him still better.
Obscured though it was by airy, elderly persiflage, he began to come
upon a background of stability and points of view wholly to be relied
on in his new acquaintance. It had evolved itself out of long and
varied experience with the aid of brilliant mentality. The old peer’s
reasons were always logical. He laughed at most things, but at a few he
did not laugh at all. After several of the long conversations Tembarom
began to say to himself that this seemed like a man you need not be
afraid to talk things over with--things you didn’t want to speak of to

“Seems to me,” he said thoughtfully to Miss Alicia, “he’s an old
fellow you could tie to. I’ve got on to one thing when I’ve listened
to him: he talks all he wants to and laughs a lot, but he never gives
himself away. He wouldn’t give another fellow away either if he said he
wouldn’t. He knows how not to.”

There was an afternoon on which, during a drive they took together, the
duke was enlightened as to several points which had given him cause for
reflection, among others the story beloved of Captain Palliser and his

“I guess you’ve known a good many women,” T. Tembarom remarked on this
occasion after a few minutes of thought. “Living all over the world as
you’ve done, you’d be likely to come across a whole raft of them one
time and another.”

“A whole raft of them, one time and another,” agreed the duke. “Yes.”

“You’ve liked them, haven’t you?”

“Immensely. Sometimes a trifle disastrously. Find me a more absolutely
interesting object in the universe than a woman--any woman, and I
will devote the remainder of my declining years to the study of it,”
answered his grace.

He said it with a decision which made T. Tembarom turn to look at him,
and after his look decide to proceed.

“Have you ever known a bit of a slim thing”--he made an odd embracing
gesture with his arm--“the size that you could pick up with one
hand and set on your knee as if she was a child”--the duke remained
still, knowing this was only the beginning, and pricking up his ears
as he took a rapid kaleidoscopic view of all the “Ladies” in the
neighborhood, and as hastily waved them aside--“a bit of a thing that
some way seems to mean it _all_ to you--and _moves_ the world?” The
conclusion was one which brought the incongruous touch of maturity into
his face.

“Not one of the ‘Ladies,’” the duke was mentally summing the matter
up. “Certainly not Lady Joan, after all. Not, I think, even the young
person in the department store.”

He leaned back in his corner the better to inspect his companion

“You have, I see,” he replied quietly. “Once I myself did.” He had
cried out, “Ah! Heloïse!” though he had laughed at himself when he
seemed facing his ridiculous tragedy.

“Yes,” confessed T. Tembarom. “I met her at the boarding-house where I
lived. Her father was a Lancashire man and an inventor. I guess you’ve
heard of him; his name is Joseph Hutchinson.”

The whole country had heard of him; more countries, indeed, than one
had heard. He was the man who was going to make his fortune in America
because T. Tembarom had stood by him in his extremity. He would make a
fortune in America and another in England and possibly several others
on the Continent. He had learned to read in the village school, and the
girl was his daughter.

“Yes,” replied the duke.

“I don’t know whether the one you knew had that quiet little way of
seeing right straight into a thing, and making you see it, too,” said

“She had,” answered the duke, and an odd expression wavered in his
eyes because he was looking backward across forty years which seemed a

“That’s what I meant by moving the world,” T. Tembarom went on. “You
know she’s _right_, and you’ve got to do what she says, if you love

“And you always do,” said the duke--“always and forever. There are very
few. They are the elect.”

T. Tembarom took it gravely.

“I said to her once that there wasn’t more than one of her in the world
because there couldn’t be enough to make two of that kind. I wasn’t
joshing either; I meant it. It’s her quiet little voice and her quiet,
babyfied eyes that get you where you can’t move. And it’s something
else you don’t know anything about. It’s her never doing anything for
herself, but just doing it because it’s the right thing for you.”

The duke’s chin had sunk a little on his breast, and looking back
across the hundred years, he forgot for a moment where he was.

“Ah! Heloïse!” he sighed unconsciously.

“What did you say?” asked T. Tembarom. The duke came back.

“I was thinking of the time when I was nine and twenty,” he answered.
“It was not yesterday nor even the day before. The one I knew died when
she was twenty-four.”

“Died!” said Tembarom. “Good Lord!” He dropped his head and even
changed color. “A fellow can’t get on to a thing like that. It seems as
if it couldn’t happen. Suppose--” he caught his breath hard and then
pulled himself up--“Nothing could happen to her before she knew that
I’ve proved what I said--just proved it, and done every single thing
she told me to do!”

“I am sure you have,” the duke said.

“It’s because of that I began to say this.” Tembarom spoke hurriedly
that he might thrust away the sudden dark thought. “You’re a man, and
I’m a man; far away ahead of me as you are, you’re a man, too. I was
crazy to get her to marry me and come here with me, and she wouldn’t.”

The duke’s eyes lighted anew.

“She had her reasons,” he said.

“She laid ’em out as if she’d been my mother instead of a little
red-headed angel. She didn’t waste a word,--just told me what I was up
against. She’d lived in the village with her grandmother, and she knew.
She said I’d got to come and find out for myself what no one else could
teach me. She told me about the kind of girls I’d see--beauties that
were different from anything I’d ever seen before. And it was up to me
to see all of them--the best of them.”

“Ladies?” interjected the duke, gently.

“Yes. With titles like those in novels, she said, and clothes like the
‘Woman’s Pictorial.’ The kind of girls, she said, that would make her
look like a housemaid. Housemaid be darned!” he exclaimed, suddenly
growing hot. “I’ve seen the whole lot of them, I’ve done my darndest to
get next, and there’s not one--” he stopped short. “Why should any of
them look at me, anyhow?” he added suddenly.

“That was not her point,” remarked the duke. “She wanted you to look at
them, and you have looked.” T. Tembarom’s eagerness was inspiring to

“I have, haven’t I?” he cried. “That was what I wanted to ask you. I’ve
done as she said. I haven’t shirked a thing. I’ve followed them around
when I knew they hadn’t any use on earth for me. Some of them have
handed me the lemon pretty straight. Why shouldn’t they? But I don’t
believe she knew how tough it might be for a fellow sometimes.”

“No, she did not,” the duke said.

To his hearer Palliser’s story became an amusing thing, read in the
light of this most delicious frankness. It was Palliser himself who
had played the fool, and not T. Tembarom, who had simply known what
he wanted, and had, with businesslike directness, applied himself to
finding a method of obtaining it. The young women he gave his time to
must be “Ladies” because Miss Hutchinson had required it from him. The
female flower of the noble houses had been passed in review before
him to practise upon, so to speak. The handsomer they were, the more
dangerously charming, the better Miss Hutchinson would be pleased. And
he had been regarded as a presumptuous aspirant! It was a situation for
a comedy. But the “Ladies” would not enjoy it if they were told. It was
also not the Duke of Stone who would tell them.

In courts he had learned to wear a composed countenance when he was
prompted to smile, and he wore one now. He enjoyed the society of T.
Tembarom increasingly every hour. He provided him with every joy.

Their drive was a long one, and they talked a good deal. They talked
of the Hutchinsons, of the invention, of the business “deals” Tembarom
had entered into at the outset, and of their tremendously encouraging
result. It was not mere rumor that Hutchinson would end by being a
rich man. The girl would be an heiress. How complex her position would
be! And being of the elect who unknowingly bear with them the power
that “moves the world,” how would she affect Temple Barholm and its
surrounding neighborhood?

“I wish to God she was here now!” exclaimed Tembarom, suddenly.
“There’s times when you want a little thing like that just to talk
things over with, just to ask, because you--you’re dead sure she’d
never lose her head and give herself away without knowing she was doing
it. It’s the keeping your mouth shut that’s so hard for most people,
the not saying a darned thing, whatever happens, till just the right

“Women cannot often do it,” said the duke. “Very few men can.”

“You’re right,” Tembarom answered, and there was a trifle of anxiety
in his tone. “There’s women, just the best kind, that you daren’t tell
a big thing to. Not that they’d mean to give it away,--perhaps they
wouldn’t know when they did it,--but they’d feel so anxious they’d
get--they’d get--”

“Rattled,” put in the duke, and knew of whom he was thinking. He saw
Miss Alicia’s delicate, timid face as he spoke.

T. Tembarom laughed.

“That’s just it,” he answered. “They wouldn’t go back on you for
worlds, but--well, you have to be careful with them.”

“He’s got something on his mind,” mentally commented the duke. “He is
wondering if he will tell it to me.”

“And there’s times when you’d give half you’ve got to be able to talk
a thing out and put it up to some one else for a while. I could do it
with her. That’s why I said I wish to God that she was here.”

“You have learned to know how to keep still,” the duke said. “So have
I. We learned it in different schools, but we have both learned.”

As he was saying the words, he thought he was going to hear something
when he had finished saying them; he knew that he would without a
doubt. T. Tembarom made a quick move in his seat; he lost a shade of
color and cleared his throat as he bent forward, casting a glance at
the backs of the coachman and footman on the high seat above them.

“Can these fellows hear me?” he asked.

“No,” the duke answered; “if you speak as you are speaking now.”

“You are the biggest man about here,” the young man went on. “You
stand for everything that English people care for, and you were born
knowing all the things I don’t. I’ve been carrying a big load for quite
a while, and I guess I’m not big enough to handle it alone, perhaps.
Anyhow, I want to be sure I’m not making fool mistakes. The worst of it
is that I’ve got to keep still if I’m right, and I’ve got to keep still
if I’m wrong. I’ve got to keep still, anyhow.”

“I learned to hold my tongue in places where, if I had not held it, I
might have plunged nations into bloodshed,” the duke said. “Tell me all
you choose.”

As a result of which, by the time their drive had ended and they
returned to Stone Hover, he had told him, and the duke sat in his
corner of the carriage with an unusual light in his eyes and a flush of
somewhat excited color on his cheek.

“You’re a queer fellow, T. Tembarom,” he said, when they parted in
the drawing-room after taking tea. “You exhilarate me. You make me
laugh. If I were an emotional person, you would at moments make me
cry. There’s an affecting uprightness about you. You’re rather a fine
fellow too, ’pon my life.” Putting a waxen, gout-knuckled old hand on
his shoulder, and giving him a friendly push which was half a pat, he
added, “You are, by God!”

After his guest had left him, the duke stood for some minutes gazing
into the fire with a complicated smile and the air of a man who finds
himself quaintly enriched.

“I have had ambitions in the course of my existence--several of them,”
he said, “but even in over-vaulting moments never have I aspired to
such an altitude as this--to be, as it were, part of a melodrama. One
feels that one scarcely deserves it.”


“Mr. Temple Barholm seems in better spirits,” Lady Mallowe said to
Captain Palliser as they walked on the terrace in the starlit dusk
after dinner.

Captain Palliser took his cigar from his mouth and looked at the
glowing end of it.

“He mayn’t exactly like all this, but he’s getting something out of it.”

“He is not getting much of what he evidently wants most. I am out of
all patience,” said Lady Mallowe. “Joan treads him in the mire and
sails about professing to be conducting herself flawlessly. She is too
clever for me,” she added with bitterness.

Palliser laughed softly and said:

“She has got something up her sleeve, and so has he.”

“He!” Lady Mallowe quite ejaculated the word. “She always has. That’s
her abominable secretive way. But he! T. Tembarom with something up his
sleeve! One can’t imagine it.”

“Almost everybody has. I found that out long years ago,” said Palliser,
looking at his cigar end again as if consulting it. “Since I arrived
at the conclusion, I always take it for granted, and look out for it.
I’ve become rather clever in following such things up, and I have taken
an unusual interest in T. Tembarom from the first.”

Lady Mallowe turned her handsome face, much softened by an enwreathing
gauze scarf, toward him anxiously.

“Do you think his depression, or whatever it is, means Joan?” she asked.

“If he is depressed by her, you need not be discouraged,” smiled
Palliser. “The time to lose hope would be when, despite her
ingenuities, he became entirely cheerful. But,” he added after a pause,
“I have an idea there is some other little thing.”

“Do you suppose that some young woman he has left behind in New York
is demanding her rights?” said Lady Mallowe, with annoyance. “That is
exactly the kind of thing Joan would like to hear, and so entirely
natural. Some shop-girl or other.”

“Quite natural, as you say; but he would scarcely be running up to
London and consulting Scotland Yard about her,” Palliser answered.

“Scotland Yard!” ejaculated his companion.

“Scotland Yard has also come to him,” he went on. “Did you chance to
see a red-faced person who spent a morning with him last week?”

“He looked like a butcher, and I thought he might be one of his
friends,” Lady Mallowe said.

“I recognized the man. He is an extremely clever detective, much
respected for his resources in the matter of following clues which are
so attenuated as to be scarcely clues at all.”

“Clues have no connection with Joan,” said Lady Mallowe, still more
annoyed. “All London knows her miserable story.”

“Have you--” Captain Palliser’s tone was thoughtful--“has any one ever
seen Strangeways?”

“No. Can you imagine anything more absurdly romantic? A creature
without a memory, shut up in a remote wing of a place like this, as if
he were the Man with the Iron Mask. Romance is not quite compatible
with T. Tembarom.”

“He leaves everything to one’s imagination,” remarked Palliser. “All
one knows is that he isn’t a relative; that he isn’t mad, but only
too nervous to see or be seen. Queer situation. I’ve found there is
always a reason for things; the queerer they are, the more sure it is
that there’s a reason. What is the reason Strangeways is kept here, and
where would a detective come in? Just on general principles I’m rather
going into the situation. There’s a reason, and it would be amusing to
find it out. Don’t you think so?”


He spoke casually, and Lady Mallowe’s answer was casual, though she
knew from experience that he was not as casual as he chose to seem. He
was clever; and Temple Barholm as the estate of a distant relative and
T. Tembarom as its owner were not assets to deal with indifferently.

“It’s quite natural that you should feel an interest,” she answered.
“But the romantic stranger is too romantic, though I will own Scotland
Yard is a little odd.”

“Yes, that is exactly what I thought,” said Palliser.

He had in fact thought a good deal and followed the thing up a good
deal in a quiet amateur way, though with annoyingly little result.
Occasionally he had felt rather a fool for his pains, because he
had been led to so few facts of importance and had found himself
so often confronted by T. Tembarom’s entirely frank grin. His own
mental attitude was not a complex one. Lady Mallowe’s summing up
had been correct enough on the whole. Temple Barholm ought to be
a substantial asset, regarded in its connection with its present
owner. Little dealings in stocks--sometimes rather large ones when
luck was with him--had brought desirable returns to Captain Palliser
throughout a number of years. Just now he was taking an interest in
a somewhat imposing scheme, or what might prove an imposing one if
it were managed properly and presented to the right persons. If T.
Tembarom had been sufficiently lured by the spirit of speculation to
plunge into old Hutchinson’s affair, as he evidently had done, he
was plainly of the temperament attracted by the game of chance. There
had been no reason but that of temperament which could have led him
to invest. He had found himself suddenly a moneyed man and had liked
the game. Never having so much as heard of Little Ann Hutchinson,
Captain Palliser not unnaturally argued after this wise. There seemed
no valid reason why, if a vague invention had allured, a less vague
scheme, managed in a more businesslike manner, should not. This
Mexican silver-and-copper-mine was a dazzling thing to talk about.
He could go into details. He had, in fact, allowed a good deal of
detail to trail through his conversation at times. It had not been
difficult to accomplish this in his talks with Lady Mallowe in his
host’s presence. Lady Mallowe was always ready to talk of mines, gold,
silver, or copper. It happened at times that one could manage to
secure a few shares without the actual payment of money. There were
little hospitalities or social amiabilities now and then which might
be regarded as value received. So she had made it easy for Captain
Palliser to talk.

T. Tembarom had at the outset seemed to present, so to speak, no
surface. Palliser had soon ceased to be at all sure that his social
ambitions were to be relied on as a lever. Besides which, when the old
Duke of Stone took delighted possession of him, dined with him, drove
with him, sat and gossiped with him by the hour, there was not much one
could do for him. Strangeways had at first meant only eccentricity. The
veriest chance had led Palliser to find himself regarding the opening
up of possible vistas.

From a certain window in a certain wing of the house a much-praised
view was to be seen. Nothing was more natural than that on the occasion
of a curious sunset Palliser should, in coming from his room, decide to
take a look at it. As he passed through a corridor Pearson came out of
a room near him.

“How is Mr. Strangeways to-day?” Palliser asked.

“Not quite so well, I am afraid, sir,” was the answer.

“Sorry to hear it,” replied Palliser, and passed on.

When returning, he walked somewhat slowly down the corridor. As he
turned into it he thought he heard the murmur of voices. One was that
of T. Tembarom, and he was evidently using argument. It sounded as if
he were persuading some one to agree with him, and the persuasion was
earnest. He was not arguing with Pearson or a housemaid. Why was he
arguing with his pensioner? His voice was as low as it was eager, and
the other man’s replies were not to be heard. Only just after Palliser
had passed the door there broke out an appeal which was a sort of cry.

“No! My God, no! Don’t send me away! Don’t send me away!”

One could not, even if so inclined, stand and listen near a door while
servants might chance to be wandering about. Palliser went on his way
with a sense of having been slightly startled.

“He wants to get rid of him, and the fellow is giving him trouble,” he
said to himself. “That voice is not American. Not in the least.” It set
him thinking and observing. When Tembarom wore the look which was not a
look of depression, but of something more puzzling, he thought that he
could guess at its reason. By the time he talked with Lady Mallowe he
had gone much further than he chose to let her know.


The popularity of Captain Palliser’s story of the “Ladies” had been
great at the outset, but with the passage of time it had oddly waned.
That the Duke of Stone had immensely taken up Mr. Temple Barholm had of
course resulted in his being accepted in such a manner gave him many
opportunities to encounter one and all. He appeared at dinners, teas,
and garden parties. Miss Alicia, whom he had in some occult manner
impressed upon people until they found themselves actually paying a
sort of court to her, was always his companion.

“One realizes one cannot possibly leave her out of anything,” had
been said. “He has somehow established her as if she were his mother
or his aunt--or his interpreter. And such clothes, my dear, one
doesn’t often behold. Worth and Paquin and Doucet must go sleepless
for weeks to invent them. They are without a flaw in shade or line
or texture.” Which was true, because Mrs. Mellish of the Bond Street
shop had become quite obsessed by her idea and committed extravagances
Miss Alicia offered up contrite prayers to atone for, while Tembarom,
simply chortling in his glee, signed checks to pay for their exquisite
embodiment. That he was not reluctant to avail himself of social
opportunities was made manifest by the fact that he never refused an
invitation. He appeared upon any spot to which hospitality bade him,
and unashamedly placed himself on record as a neophyte upon almost
all occasions. In a brief period of time, however, every young woman
who might have expected to find herself an object of such ambitions
realized that his methods of approach and attack were not marked by the
usual characteristics of aspirants of his class. He evidently desired
to see and be seen. He presented himself, as it were, for inspection
and consideration, but while he was attentive, he did not press
attentions upon any one. He did not make advances in the ordinary sense
of the word. He never essayed flattering or even admiring remarks. He
said queer things at which one often could not help but laugh, but he
somehow wore no air of saying them with the intention of offering them
as witticisms which might be regarded as allurements. He did not ogle,
he did not simper or shuffle about nervously and turn red or pale, as
eager and awkward youths have a habit of doing under the stress of
unrequited admiration. He conducted himself with a detached good nature
which seemed to take but small account of attitudes less unoffending
than his own.

“He is not in the least forward,” Beatrice Talchester said, the time
arriving when she and her sisters occasionally talked him over with
their special friends, the Granthams, “and he is not forever under
one’s feet, as the pushing sort usually is.”


“But he never declines an invitation. There is no doubt that he wants
to see people,” said Lady Honora, with the pretty little nose and the
dimples. She had ceased to turn up the pretty little nose, and she
showed a dimple as she added: “Gwynedd is tremendously taken with him.
She is teaching him to play croquet. They spend hours together.”

“He’s beginning to play a pretty good game,” said Gwynedd. “He’s not
stupid, at all events.”

“I don’t understand him, or I don’t understand Captain Palliser’s
story,” Amabel Grantham argued. “Lucy and I are quite out of the
running, but I honestly believe that he takes as much notice of us as
he does of any of you.”

“He said, however, that the things that mattered were not only titles,
but looks. He asked how many of us were ‘lookers.’ Don’t be modest,
Amabel. Neither you nor Lucy are out of the running,” Beatrice amiably

“There may be a sort of explanation,” Honora put the idea forward
somewhat thoughtfully. “Captain Palliser insists that he is much
shrewder than he seems. Perhaps he is cautious, and is looking us all
over before he commits himself.”

“He is a Temple Barholm, after all,” said Gwynedd, with boldness.
“He’s rather good-looking. He has the nicest white teeth and the most
cheering grin I ever saw, and he’s as ‘rich as grease is,’ as I heard a
housemaid say one day. I’m getting quite resigned to his voice, or it
is improving, I don’t know which.

“But,” added Lady Gwynedd, “he is not going to commit himself to any of
us, incredible as it may seem. The one person he stares at sometimes is
Joan Fayre, and he only looks at her as if he were curious and wouldn’t
object to finding out why she treats him so outrageously. He isn’t
annoyed; he’s only curious.”

“He’s a likable thing,” said Amabel Grantham. “He’s even rather a dear.
I’ve begun to like him myself.”

“I hear you are learning to play croquet,” the Duke of Stone remarked
to him a day or so later. “How do you like it?”

“Lady Gwynedd Talchester is teaching me,” Tembarom answered. “I’d learn
to iron shirt-waists if she would give me lessons. She’s one of the two
that have dimples,” he added, reflection in his tone. “I guess that’ll
count. Shouldn’t you think it would?”

“Miss Hutchinson?” queried the duke.

Tembarom nodded.

“Yes, it’s always her,” he answered without a ray of humor. “I just
want to stack ’em up.”

“You are doing it,” the duke replied with a slightly twisted mouth.
There were, in fact, moments when he might have fallen into fits of
laughter while Tembarom was seriousness itself. “I’m doing my stunt, of
course, but I like them,” said he. “They’re mighty nice to me when you
consider what they’re up against. And these two with the dimples, Lady
Gwynedd and Lady Honora, are just peaches.”

They were having one of their odd long talks under a particularly
splendid copper beech which provided the sheltered out-of-door corner
his grace liked best. When they took their seats together in this
retreat, it was mysteriously understood that they were settling
themselves down to enjoyment of their own, and must not be disturbed.

“What dear papa talks to him about, and what he talks about to dear
papa,” Lady Celia had more than once murmured in her gently remote,
high-nosed way, “I cannot possibly imagine. Sometimes when I have
passed them on my way to the croquet lawn I have really seen them both
look as absorbed as people in a play. Of course it is very good for
papa. It has had quite a marked effect on his digestion. But isn’t it

“I wish,” Lady Edith remarked almost wistfully, “that I could get on
better with him myself conversationally. But I don’t know what to talk
about, and it makes me nervous.”

Their father, on the contrary, found in him unique resources, and this
afternoon it occurred to him that he had never so far heard him express
himself freely on the subject of Palliser. If led to do so, he would
probably reveal that he had views of Captain Palliser of which he might
not have been suspected, and the manner in which they would unfold
themselves would more than probably be illuminating. The duke was, in
fact, serenely sure that he required neither warning nor advice, and he
had no intention of offering either. He wanted to hear the views.

“Do you know,” he said as he stirred his tea, “I’ve been thinking about
Palliser, and it has occurred to me more than once that I should like
to hear just how he strikes you?”

“What I got on to first was how I struck him,” answered Tembarom, with
a reasonable air. “That was dead easy.”

There was no hint of any vaunt of superior shrewdness. His was merely
the level-toned manner of an observer of facts in detail.

“He has given you an opportunity of seeing a good deal of him,” the
duke added. “What do you gather from him--unless he has made up his
mind that you shall not gather anything at all?”

“A fellow like that couldn’t fix it that way, however much he wanted
to,” Tembarom answered again reasonably. “Just his trying to do it
would give him away.”

“You mean you have gathered things?”

“Oh, I’ve gathered enough, though I didn’t go after it. It hung on the
bushes. Anyhow, it seemed to me that way. I guess you run up against
that kind everywhere. There’s stacks of them in New York--different
shapes and sizes.”

“If you met a man of his particular shape and size in New York, how
would you describe him?” the duke asked.

“I should never have met him when I was there. He wouldn’t have come
my way. He’d have been on Wall Street, doing high-class bucket-shop
business, or he’d have had a swell office selling copper-mines--any old
kind of mine that’s going to make ten million a minute, the sort of
deal he’s in now. But I don’t believe you asked me because you thought
I wasn’t on to him.”

“Frankly speaking, no,” answered the duke. “Does he talk to you about
the mammoth mines and the rubber forests?”

“Say, that’s where he wins out with me,” Tembarom replied admiringly.
“He gets in such fine work that I switch him on to it whenever I want
cheering up. It makes me sort o’ forget things that worry me just to
see a man act the part right up to the top notch the way he does it.
The very way his clothes fit, the style he’s got his hair brushed, and
that swell, careless lounge of his, are half of the make-up. You see,
most of us couldn’t mistake him for anything else but just what he
looks like--a gentleman visiting round among his friends and a million
miles from wanting to butt in with business. The thing that first got
me interested was watching how he slid in the sort of guff he wanted
you to get worked up about and think over. Why, if I ’d been what I
look like to him, he’d have had my pile long ago, and he wouldn’t be
loafing round here any more.”

“What do you think you look like to him?” his host inquired.

“I look as if I’d eat out of his hand,” Tembarom answered, quite
unbiased by any touch of wounded vanity. “Why shouldn’t I? And I’m not
trying to wake him up, either. I like to look that way to him and to
his sort. It gives me a chance to watch and get wise to things. He’s a
high-school education in himself. I like to hear him talk. I asked him
to come and stay at the house so that I could hear him talk.”

“Did he introduce the mammoth mines in his first call?” the duke

“Oh, I don’t mean that kind of talk. I didn’t know how much good I was
going to get out of him at first. But he was the kind I hadn’t known,
and it seemed like he was part of the whole thing--like the girls with
title that Ann said I must get next to. And an easy way of getting next
to the man kind was to let him come and stay. He wanted to, all right.
I guess that’s the way he lives when he’s down on his luck, getting
invited to stay at places. Like Lady Mallowe,” he added, quite without

“You do sum them up, don’t you?” smiled the duke.

“Well, I don’t see how I could help it,” he said impartially. “They’re
printed in sixty-four-point black-face, seems to me.”

“What is that?” the duke inquired with interest. He thought it might be
a new and desirable bit of slang. “I don’t know that one.”

“Biggest type there is,” grinned Tembarom. “It’s the kind that’s used
for head-lines. That’s newspaper-office talk.”

“Ah, technical, I see. Well, you are not printed in sixty-four-point
black-face so far as they are concerned. They don’t find themselves
able to sum you up. That fact is one of my recreations.”

“I’ll tell you why,” Tembarom explained with his clearly unprejudiced
air. “There’s nothing much about me to sum up, anyhow. I’m too sort of
plain sailing and ordinary. I’m not making for anywhere they’d think
I’d want to go. I’m not hiding anything they’d be sure I’d want to

“By the Lord! you’re not!” exclaimed the duke.

“When I first came here, every one of them had a fool idea I’d want
to pretend I’d never set eyes on a newsboy or a bootblack, and that I
couldn’t find my way in New York when I got off Fifth Avenue. I used to
see them thinking they’d got to look as if they believed it, if they
wanted to keep next. When I just let out and showed I didn’t care a
darn and hadn’t sense enough to know that it mattered, it nearly made
them throw a fit. They had to turn round and fix their faces all over
again and act like it was ‘interesting.’ That’s what Lady Mallowe calls
it. She says it’s so ‘interesting!’ Now, Palliser--” he paused and
grinned again.

“Yes, Palliser? Don’t let us neglect Palliser,” his host encouraged him.

“He’s in a worse mix-up than the rest because he’s got more to lose. If
he could work this mammoth-mine song and dance with the right people,
there’d be money enough in it to put him on Easy Street. That’s where
he’s aiming for. The company’s just where it has to have a boost. It’s
just _got_ to. If it doesn’t, there’ll be a bust up that may end in
fitting out a high-toned promoter or so in a striped yellow-and-black
Jersey suit and set him to breaking rocks or playing with oakum. I’ll
tell you, poor old Palliser gets the Willies sometimes after he’s read
his mail. He turns the color of écru baby Irish. That’s a kind of lace
I got a dressmaker to tell me about when I wrote up receptions and
dances for the Sunday ‘Earth.’ Écru baby Irish--that’s Palliser’s color
after he read his letters.”

“I dare say the fellow’s in a devil of a mess, if the truth were
known,” the duke said.

“And here’s ‘T. T.,’ hand-made and hand-painted for the part of the
kind of sucker he wants.” T. Tembarom’s manner was almost sympathetic
in its appreciation. “I can tell you I’m having a real good time with
Palliser. It looked like I’d just dropped from heaven when he first saw
me. If he’d been the praying kind, I’d have been just the sort he’d
have prayed for when he said his ‘Now-I-lay-me’s’ before he went to
bed. There wasn’t a chance in a hundred that I wasn’t a fool that had
his head swelled so that he’d swallow any darned thing if you handed
it to him smooth enough. First time he called he asked me a lot of
questions about New York business. That was pretty smart of him. He
wanted to find out, sort of careless, how much I knew--or how little.”

The duke was leaning back luxuriously in his chair and gazing at him as
he might have gazed at the work of an old master of which each line and
shade was of absorbing interest.

“I can see him,” he said. “I see him.”

“He found out I knew nothing,” Tembarom continued. “And what was to
hinder him trying to teach me something, by gee! Nothing on top of the
green earth. I was there, waiting with my mouth open, it seemed like.”

“And he has tried--in his best manner?” said his grace.

“What he hasn’t tried wouldn’t be worth trying,” Tembarom answered
cheerfully. “Sometimes it seems like a shame to waste it. I’ve got so
I know how to start him when he doesn’t know I’m doing it. I tell you,
he’s fine. Gentlemanly--that’s his way, you know. High-toned friend
that just happens to know of a good thing and thinks enough of you in a
sort of reserved way to feel like it’s a pity not to give you a chance
to come in on the ground floor, if you’ve got the sense to see the
favor he’s friendly enough to do you. It’s such a favor that it’d just
disgust a man if you could possibly turn it down. But of course you’re
to take it or leave it. It’s not to his interest to push it. Lord, no!
Whatever you did, his way is that he’d not condescend to say a darned
word. High-toned silence, that’s all.”

The Duke of Stone was chuckling very softly. His chuckles rather broke
his words when he spoke.

“By--by--Jove!” he said. “You--you do see it, don’t you? You do see it.”

“Why,” he said, “it’s what keeps me up. You know a lot more about me
than any one else does, but there’s a whole raft of things I think
about that I couldn’t hang round any man’s neck. If I tried to hang
them round yours, you’d know that I would be having a hell of a time
here, if I’d let myself think too much. If I didn’t see it, as you call
it, if I didn’t see so many things, I might begin to get sorry for
myself.” There was a pause of a second. “Gee!” he said, “gee! this not
hearing a thing about Ann! I’ve got to keep going to stand it. Well,
Strangeways gives me some work to do. And I’ve got Palliser. He’s a
little sunbeam.”

A man-servant approaching to suggest a possible need of hot tea started
at hearing his grace break into a sudden and plainly involuntary crow
of glee. He had not heard that one before, either. Palliser as a little
sunbeam brightening the pathway of T. Tembarom was, in the particular
existing circumstances, all that could be desired of fine humor. It
somewhat recalled the situation of the “Ladies” of the noble houses
of Pevensy, Talchester, and Stone unconsciously passing in review for
the satisfaction of little Miss Hutchinson. Tembarom laughed a little
himself, but he went on with seriousness:

“There’s one thing sure enough. I’ve got on to it by listening and
working out what he would do by what he doesn’t know he says. If he
could put the screws on me in any way, he wouldn’t hold back. It’d be
all quite polite and gentlemanly, but he’d do it all the same. And he’s
dead-sure that everybody’s got something they’d like to hide--or get.
That’s what he works things out from.”

“Does he think you have something to hide--or get?” the duke inquired,

“He’s sure of it. But he doesn’t know yet whether it’s get or hide. He
noses about. Pearson’s seen him. He asks questions and plays he ain’t
doing it and ain’t interested, anyhow.”

“He doesn’t like you, he doesn’t like you,” the duke said rather
thoughtfully. “He has a way of conveying that you are far more subtle
than you choose to look. He says an air of entire frankness is one of
the chief assets of American promoters.”

Tembarom smiled the smile of recognition. “Yes,” he said, “it looks
like that’s a long way round, doesn’t it? But it’s not far to T. T.
when you want to hitch on the connection. Anyhow, that’s the way he
means it to look. If ever I was suspected of being in any mix-up,
everybody would remember he’d said that.”

“It’s very amusin’,” said the duke.

They had become even greater friends and intimates by this time than
the already astonished neighborhood suspected them of being. That they
spent much time together in an amazing degree of familiarity was the
talk of the country, in fact, one of the most frequent resources of
conversation. Everybody endeavored to find reason for the situation,
but none had been presented which seemed of sufficiently logical
convincingness. The duke was eccentric, of course. That was easy to hit
upon. He was amiably perverse and good-humoredly cynical. He was of
course immensely amused by the incongruity of the acquaintance. This
being the case, why exactly he had never before chosen for himself
a companion equally out of the picture it was not easy to explain.
Palliser, it is true, suggested it was Tembarom’s “cheek” which stood
him in good stead, and his being so entirely a bounder that he did
not know he was one, and was ready to make an ass of himself to any
extent. The frankest statement of the situation, if any one had so
chosen to put it, would have been that he was regarded as a sort of
court fool without cap or bells.

No one was aware of the odd confidences which passed between the
weirdly dissimilar pair. No one guessed that the old peer sat and
listened to stories of a red-headed, slim-bodied girl in a dingy New
York boarding-house, that he liked them sufficiently to encourage their
telling, that he had made a mental picture of a certain look in a pair
of maternally yearning and fearfully convincing round young eyes, that
he knew the burnished fullness and glow of the red hair until he could
imagine the feeling of its texture and abundant warmth in the hand.
And this subject was only one of many. And of others they talked with
interest, doubt, argument, speculation, holding a living thrill.

The tap of croquet-mallets sounded hollow and clear from the sunken
lawn below the mass of shrubs between them and the players as the duke

“It’s hugely amusin’,” dropping his “g,” which was not one of his usual

“Confound it!” he said next, wrinkling the thin, fine skin round his
eyes in a speculative smile, “I wish I had had a son of my own just
like you.”

All of Tembarom’s white teeth revealed themselves.

“I’d have liked to be in it,” he replied, “but I shouldn’t have been
like me.”

“Yes, you would.” The duke put the tips of his fingers delicately
together. “You are of the kind which in all circumstances is like
itself.” He looked about him, taking in the turreted, majestic age and
mass of the castle. “You would have been born here. You would have
learned to ride your pony down the avenue. You would have gone to Eton
and to Oxford. I don’t think you would have learned much, but you would
have been decidedly edifying and companionable. You would have had a
sense of humor which would have made you popular in society and at
court. A young fellow who makes those people laugh holds success in his
hand. They want to be made to laugh as much as I do. Good God! how they
are obliged to be bored and behave decently under it! You would have
seen and known more things to be humorous about than you know now.”

“Would I have been Lord Temple Temple Barholm or something of that
sort?” Tembarom asked.

“You would have been the Marquis of Belcarey,” the duke replied,
looking him over thoughtfully, “and your name would probably have been
Hugh Lawrence Gilbert Henry Charles Adelbert, or words to that effect.”

“A regular six-shooter,” grinned Tembarom. “I should have liked it
all right if I hadn’t been born in Brooklyn. But that starts you out
in a different way. Do you think, if I’d been born the Marquis of
Bel--what’s his name--I should have been on to Palliser’s little song
and dance, and had as much fun out of it?”

“On my soul, I believe you would,” the duke answered. “Brooklyn or
Stone Hover Castle, I’m hanged if you wouldn’t have been _you_.”


After this came a pause. Each man sat thinking his own thoughts, which,
while marked with difference in form, were doubtless subtly alike in
the line they followed. During the silence T. Tembarom looked out at
the late afternoon shadows lengthening themselves in darkening velvet
across the lawns.

At last he said:

“I never told you that I’ve been reading some of the ’steen thousand
books in the library. I started it about a month ago. And somehow
they’ve got me going.”

“No, you have not mentioned it,” his grace answered, and laughed a
little. “You frequently fail to mention things. When first we knew each
other I used to wonder if you were naturally a secretive fellow; but
you are not. You always have a reason for your silences.”

“It took about ten years to kick that into me--ten good years, I should

“I have often thought that if books attracted you the library would
help you to get through a good many of the hundred and thirty-six
hours a day you’ve spoken of, and get through them pretty decently,”
commented the duke.


“That’s what’s happened,” Tembarom answered. “There’s not so many now.
I can cut ’em off in chunks.”

“How did it begin?”

He listened with much pleasure while Tembarom told him how it had begun
and how it had gone on.

“I’d been having a pretty bad time one day. Strangeways had been
worse--a darned sight worse--just when I thought he was better. I’d
been trying to help him to think straight; and suddenly I made a break,
somehow, and must have touched exactly the wrong spring. It seemed as
if I set him nearly crazy. I had to leave him to Pearson right away.
Then it poured rain steady for about eight hours, and I couldn’t get
out and ‘take a walk.’ Then I went wandering into the picture-gallery
and found Lady Joan there, looking at Miles Hugo. And she ordered me
out, or blamed near it.”

“You are standing a good deal,” said the duke.

“Yes, I am--but so is she.” He set his hard young jaw, and stared once
more at the velvet shadows.

“I tell you, for a fellow that knows nothing this novel-reading is an
easy way of finding out a lot of things,” he resumed. “You find out
what different kinds of people there are, and what different kinds of
ways. If you’ve lived in one place, and been up against nothing but
earning your living, you think that’s all there is of it--that it’s
the whole thing. But it isn’t, by gee!” His air became thoughtful.
“I’ve begun to kind of get on to what all this means”--glancing about
him--“to you people; and how a fellow like T. T. must look to you. I’ve
always sort of guessed, but reading a few dozen novels has helped me to
see _why_ it’s that way. I’ve yelled right out laughing over it many
a time. That fellow called Thackeray--I can’t read his things right
straight through--but he’s an eye-opener.”

“You have tried nothing _but_ novels?” his enthralled hearer inquired.

“Not yet. I shall come to the others in time. I’m sort of hungry for
these things about _people_. It’s the ways they’re different that gets
me going.

“Reading novels put me wise to things in a new way. Lady Joan’s been
wiping her feet on me _hard_ for a good while, and I sort of made up
my mind I’d got to let her until I was sure where I was. I won’t say
I didn’t mind it, but I could stand it. But once when she caught me
looking at her, the way she looked back at me made me see all of a
sudden that it would be easier for her if I told her straight that she
was mistaken.”

“That she is mistaken in thinking--?”

“What she does think. She wouldn’t have thought it if the old lady
hadn’t been driving her mad by hammering it in. She’d have hated me all
right, and I don’t blame her when I think of how poor Jem was treated;
but she wouldn’t have thought that every time I tried to be decent and
friendly to her I was butting in and making a sick fool of myself.
She’s got to stay where her mother keeps her, and she’s got to listen
to her. Oh, hell! She’s got to be told!”

The duke set the tips of his fingers together. “How would you do it?”
he asked.

“Just straight,” replied T. Tembarom. “There’s no other way.”

From the old worldling broke forth an involuntary low laugh, which was
a sort of cackle. So this was what was coming.

“I cannot think of any devious method,” he said, “which would make it
less than a delicate thing to do. A beautiful young woman, whose host
you are, has flouted you furiously for weeks, under the impression that
you are offensively in love with her. You propose to tell her that
her judgment has betrayed her, and that, as you say, ‘There’s nothing

“Not a darned thing, and never has been,” said T. Tembarom. He looked
quite grave and not at all embarrassed. He plainly did not see it as a
situation to be regarded with humor.

“If she will listen--” the duke began.

“Oh, she’ll listen,” put in Tembarom. “I’ll make her.”

His was a self-contradicting countenance, the duke reflected, as he
took him in with a somewhat long look. One did not usually see a face
built up of boyishness and maturity, simpleness which was baffling, and
a good nature which could be hard. At the moment, it was both of these
last at one and the same time.

“I know something of Lady Joan and I know something of you,” he said,
“but I don’t exactly foresee what will happen. I will not say that I
should not like to be present.”

“There’ll be nobody present but just me and her,” Tembarom answered.


The visits of Lady Mallowe and Captain Palliser had had their features.
Neither of the pair had come to one of the most imposing “places”
in Lancashire to live a life of hermit-like seclusion and dullness.
They had arrived with the intention of availing themselves of all
such opportunities for entertainment as could be guided in their
direction by the deftness of experience. As a result, there had been
hospitalities at Temple Barholm such as it had not beheld during the
last generation at least. T. Tembarom had looked on, an interested
spectator, as these festivities had been adroitly arranged and managed
for him. He had not, however, in the least resented acting as a sort of
figurehead in the position of sponsor and host.

“They think I don’t know I’m not doing it all myself,” was his easy
mental summing-up. “They’ve got the idea that I’m pleased because I
believe I’m It. But that’s all to the merry. It’s what I’ve set my mind
on having going on here, and I couldn’t have started it as well myself.
I shouldn’t have known how. They’re teaching me. All I hope is that
Ann’s grandmother is keeping tab.”

“Do you and Rose happen to know old Mrs. Hutchinson?” he had inquired
of Pearson the night before the talk with the duke.

“Well, not to say exactly _know_ her, sir, but everybody knows _of_
her,” said Pearson. “She is a most remarkable old person, sir--most
remarkable.” Then, after watching his face for a moment or so, he added
tentatively, “Would you perhaps _wish_ us to make her acquaintance
for--for any reason, sir?”

Tembarom thought the matter over speculatively. He had learned that
his first liking for Pearson had been founded upon a rock. He was
always to be trusted to understand, and also to apply a quite unusual
intelligence to such matters as he became aware of without having been
told about them.

“What I’d like would be for her to hear that there’s plenty doing at
Temple Barholm; that people are coming and going all the time; and that
there’s ladies to burn--and most of them lookers, at that,” was his

How Pearson had discovered the exotic subtleties of his master’s
situation and mental attitude toward it, only those of his class and
gifted with his occult powers could explain in detail. The fact exists
that Pearson did know an immense number of things his employer had
not mentioned to him, and held them locked in his bosom in honored
security, like a little gentleman. He made his reply with a polite
conviction which carried weight.


“It would not be necessary for either Rose or me to make old Mrs.
Hutchinson’s acquaintance with a view to informing her of anything
which occurs on the estate or in the village, sir,” he remarked. “Mrs.
Hutchinson knows more of things than any one ever tells her. She sits
in her cottage there, and she just _knows_ things and sees through
people in a way that’d be almost unearthly, if she wasn’t a good old
person, and so respectable that there’s those that touches their hats
to her as if she belonged to the gentry. She’s got a blue eye, sir.”

“Has she?” exclaimed Tembarom.

“Yes, sir. As blue as a baby’s, sir, and as clear, though she’s past
eighty. Oh, sir! you can depend upon old Mrs. Hutchinson as to who’s
been here, and even what they’ve thought about it. The village just
flocks to her to tell her the news and get advice about things. She’d

It was as a result of this that on his return from Stone Hover he
dismissed the carriage at the gates and walked through them to make
a visit in the village. Old Mrs. Hutchinson, sitting knitting in
her chair behind the abnormally flourishing fuchsias, geraniums,
and campanula carpaticas in her cottage-window, looked between the
banked-up flower-pots to see that Mr. Temple Barholm had opened her
wicket-gate and was walking up the clean-brushed path to her front
door. When he knocked she called out in the broad Lancashire she had
always spoken, “Coom in!” When he entered he took off his hat and
looked at her, friendly but hesitant, and with the expression of a
young man who has not quite made up his mind as to what he is about to

“I’m Temple Temple Barholm, Mrs. Hutchinson,” he announced.

“I know that,” she answered. “Not that tha looks loike the Temple
Barholms, but I’ve been watchin’ thee walk an’ drive past here ever
since tha coom to the place.”

She watched him steadily with an astonishingly limpid pair of old eyes.
They were old and young at the same time; old because they held deeps
of wisdom, young because they were so alive and full of question.

“I don’t know whether I ought to have come to see you or not,” he said.

“Well, tha’st coom,” she replied, going on with her knitting. “Sit thee
doun and have a bit of a chat.”

“Say!” he broke out. “Ain’t you going to shake hands with me?” He held
his hand out impetuously. He knew he was all right if she’d shake hands.

“Theer’s nowt agen that, surely,” she answered, with a shrewd bit of
a smile. She gave him her hand. “If I was na stiff in my legs, it’s
my place to get up an’ mak’ thee a curtsey, but th’ rheumatics has no
respect even for th’ lord o’ th’ manor.”

“If you got up and made me a curtsey,” Tembarom said, “I should throw a
fit. Say, Mrs. Hutchinson, I bet you know that as well as I do.”

The shrewd bit of smile lighted her eyes as well as twinkled about her

“Sit thee doun,” she said again.

So he sat down and looked at her as straight as she looked at him.

“Tha’d give a good bit,” she said presently, over her flashing needles,
“to know how much Little Ann’s tow’d me about thee.”

“I’d give a lot to know how much it’d be square to ask you to tell me
about _her_,” he gave back to her, hesitating yet eager.

“What does tha mean by square?” she demanded.

“I mean ‘fair.’ Can I talk to you about her at all? I promised I’d
stick it out here and do as she said. She told me she wasn’t going to
write to me or let her father write. I’ve promised, and I’m not going
to fall down when I’ve said a thing. I’m going to be as good as I know

“So tha coom to see her grandmother?”

He reddened, but held his head up.

“I’m not going to ask her grandmother a thing she doesn’t want me to
be told. But I’ve been up against it pretty hard lately. I read some
things in the New York papers about her father and his invention, and
about her traveling round with him and helping him with his business.”

“In Germany they wur,” she put in, forgetting herself. “They’re havin’
big doin’s over th’ invention. What Joe’d do wi’out th’ lass I canna
tell. She’s doin’ every bit o’ th’ managin’ an’ contrivin’ wi’ them
furriners--but he’ll never know it.”

Her face flushed and she stopped herself sharply.

“I’m talkin’ about her to thee!” she said. “I would na ha’ believed it
o’ mysen.”

He got up from his chair.

“I guess I oughtn’t to have come,” he said restlessly. “But you haven’t
told me more than I got here and there in the papers. That was what
startled me. It was like watching her. I could hear her talking and
see the way she was doing things till it drove me half crazy. All of a
sudden I just got wild and made up my mind I’d come here. I’ve wanted
to do it many a time, but I’ve kept away.”

“Tha showed sense i’ doin’ that,” remarked Mrs. Hutchinson. “She’d not
ha’ thowt well o’ thee if tha’d coom runnin’ to her grandmother every
day or so. What she likes about thee is as she thinks tha’s got a
strong backbone o’ thy own.

“Happen a look at a lass’s grandmother--when tha canna get at th’ lass
hersen--is a bit o’ comfort,” she added. “But don’t tha go walkin’ by
here to look in at th’ window too often. She would na think well o’
that either.”

“Say! There’s one thing I’m going to get off my chest before I go,” he
announced, “just one thing. She can go where she likes and do what she
likes, but I’m going to marry her when she’s done it--unless something
knocks me on the head and finishes me. I’m going to marry her.”

“Tha art, art tha?” laconically.

“I’m keeping up my end here, and it’s no slouch of a job, but I’m not
forgetting what she promised for one minute! And I’m not forgetting
what her promise means,” he said, obstinately.

“Tha’d like me to tell her that?” she said.

“If she doesn’t know it, you telling her wouldn’t cut any ice,” was his
reply. “I’m saying it because I want you to know it, and because it
does me good to say it out loud. I’m going to marry her.”

“That’s for her and thee to settle,” she commented impersonally.

“It _is_ settled,” he answered. “There’s no way out of it. Will you
shake hands with me again before I go?”

“Aye,” she consented, “I will.”

When she took his hand she held it a minute. Her own was warm, and
there was no limpness about it. The secret which had seemed to conceal
itself behind her eyes had some difficulty in keeping itself wholly in
the background.

“She knows aw’ tha does,” she said coolly, as if she were not suddenly
revealing immensities. “She knows who cooms an’ who goes, an’ what they
think o’ thee, an’ how tha gets on wi’ ’em. Now get thee gone, lad, an’
dunnot tha coom back till her or me sends for thee.”

       *       *       *       *       *

~Within~ an hour of this time the afternoon post brought to Lady
Mallowe a letter which she read with an expression in which her
daughter recognized relief. It was in fact a letter for which she had
waited with anxiety, and the invitation it contained was a tribute to
her social skill at its highest water-mark. In her less heroic moments,
she had felt doubts of receiving it, which had caused shudders to run
the entire length of her spine.

“I’m going to Broome Haughton,” she announced to Joan.

“When?” Joan inquired.

“At the end of the week. I am invited for a fortnight.”

“Am I going?” Joan asked.

“No. You will go to London to meet some friends who are coming over
from Paris.”

Joan knew that comment was unnecessary. Both she and her mother were
on intimate terms with these hypothetical friends who so frequently
turned up from Paris or elsewhere when it was necessary that she
should suddenly go back to London and live in squalid seclusion in the
unopened house, with a charwoman to provide her with underdone or burnt
chops, and eggs at eighteen a shilling, while the shutters of the front
rooms were closed, and dusty desolation reigned.

“If you had conducted yourself sensibly you need not have gone,”
continued her mother. “I could have made an excuse and left you here.
You would at least have been sure of good food and decent comforts.”

“After your visit, are we to return here?” was Lady Joan’s sole reply.

“I do not know what will happen when I leave Broome Haughton,” her
mother added, a note of rasped uncertainty in her voice.

In truth, the future was a hideous thing to contemplate if no rescue
at all was in sight. It would be worse for her than for Joan, because
Joan did not care what happened or did not happen, and she cared
desperately. She knew perfectly well that the girl had somehow found
out that Sir Moses Monaldini was to be at Broome Haughton, and that
when he left there he was going abroad. She knew also that she had not
been able to conceal that his indifference had of late given her some
ghastly hours, and that her play for this lagging invitation had been a
frantically bold one. That the most ingenious efforts and devices had
ended in success only after such delay made it all the more necessary
that no straw must remain unseized on.

“I can wear some of your things, with a little alteration,” she said.
“Rose will do it for me. Hats and gloves and ornaments do not require
altering. I shall need things you will not need in London. Where are
your keys?”

Lady Joan rose and got them for her. She even flushed slightly. They
were often obliged to borrow each other’s possessions, but for a moment
she felt herself moved by a sort of hard pity.

“We are like rats in a trap,” she remarked. “I hope you will get out.”

“If I do, you will be left inside. Get out yourself! Get out yourself!”
said Lady Mallowe in a fierce whisper.

Her regrets at the necessity of their leaving Temple Barholm were
expressed with fluent touchingness at the dinner-table. The visit had
been so delightful. Mr. Temple Barholm and Miss Alicia had been so
kind. The loveliness of the whole dear place had so embraced them that
they felt as if they were leaving a home instead of ending a delightful
visit. It was extraordinary what an effect the house had on one. It
was as if one had lived in it always--and always would. So few places
gave one the same feeling. They should both look forward--greedy as it
seemed--to being allowed some time to come again. She had decided from
the first that it was not necessary to go to any extreme of caution
or subtlety with her host and Miss Alicia. Her method of paving the
way for future visits was perhaps more than a shade too elaborate.
She felt, however, that it sufficed. For the most part, Lady Joan sat
with lids dropped over her burning eyes. She tried to force herself
not to listen. This was the kind of thing which made her sick with
humiliation. Howsoever rudimentary these people were, they could not
fail to comprehend that a foothold in the house was being bid for.
They should at least see that she did not join in the bidding. Her own
visit had been filled with feelings at war with one another. In the
long-past three months of happiness, Jem--_her_ Jem--had described the
house to her--the rooms, gardens, pleached walks, pictures, the very
furniture itself. She could enter no room, walk in no spot she did not
seem to know, and passionately love in spite of herself. She loved them
so much that there were times when she yearned to stay in the place at
any cost, and others when she could not endure the misery it woke in
her--the pure misery.

T. Tembarom thought he never had seen Lady Joan look as handsome as
she looked to-night. The color on her cheek burned, her eyes had a
driven loneliness in them. She had a wonderfully beautiful mouth, and
its curve drooped in a new way. He wished Ann could get her in a corner
and sit down and talk sense to her. He remembered what he had said to
the duke. Perhaps this was the time. If she was going away, and her
mother meant to drag her back again when she was ready, it would make
it easier for her to leave the place knowing she need not hate to come
back. But the duke wasn’t making any miss hit when he said it wouldn’t
be easy. She was not like Ann, who would feel some pity for the biggest
fool on earth if she had to throw him down hard. Lady Joan would feel
neither compunctions nor relentings. He knew the way she could look at
a fellow. If he couldn’t make her understand what he was aiming at,
they would both be worse off than they would be if he left things as
they were. But--the hard line showed itself about his mouth--he wasn’t
going to leave things as they were.

As they passed through the hall after dinner, Lady Mallowe glanced at
a side-table on which lay some letters arrived by the late post. An
imposing envelop was on the top of the rest. Joan saw her face light as
she took it up.

“I think this is from Broome Haughton,” she said. “If you will excuse
me, I will go into the library and read it. It may require answering at

She turned hot and cold, poor woman, and went away, so that she might
be free from the disaster of an audience if anything had gone wrong. It
would be better to be alone even if things had gone right. The letter
was from Sir Moses Monaldini.

The men had come into the drawing-room when she returned. As she
entered, Joan did not glance up from the book she was reading, but at
the first sound of her voice she knew what the letter meant.

“I was obliged to dash off a note to Broome Haughton so that it would
be ready for the early post,” Lady Mallowe said. She was at her best.
Palliser saw that some years had slipped from her shoulders. The moment
which relieves or even promises to relieve fears does astonishing
things. Tembarom wondered whether she had had good news. Her brilliant
air of social ease returned to her, and she began to talk fluently
of what was being done in London, and to touch lightly upon the
possibility of taking part in great functions. Persons whose fortunate
names had ceased to fall easily from her lips appeared again upon the
horizon. Miss Alicia was impressed anew with the feeling that she had
known every brilliant or important personage in the big world of social
London; that she had taken part in every dazzling event. Tembarom
somehow realized that she had been afraid of something or other, and
was for some reason not afraid any more. Such a change, whatsoever the
reason for it, ought to have had some effect on her daughter. Surely
she would share her luck, if luck had come to her.

But Lady Joan sat apart and kept her eyes upon her book. This was one
of the things she often chose to do, in spite of her mother’s indignant

“I came here because you brought me,” she would answer. “I did not come
to be entertaining or polite.”

She was not reading this evening. She heard every word of Lady
Mallowe’s agreeable and slightly excited conversation. She did not know
exactly what had happened; but she knew that it was something which had
buoyed her up with a hopefulness which exhilarated her and before her
own future Joan saw the blank wall of stone building itself higher and
higher. If Sir Moses had capitulated, she would be counted out. A cruel
little smile touched her lips, as she reviewed the number of things
she could _not_ do to earn her living. She could not take in sewing or
washing, and there was nothing she could teach. Starvation or marriage.
The wall built itself higher and yet higher. What a hideous thing it
was for a penniless girl to be brought up merely to be a beauty, and
in consequence supposably a great lady. And yet if she was born to a
certain rank and had height and figure, a lovely mouth, a delicate
nose, unusual eyes and lashes, to train her to be a dressmaker or a
housemaid would be a stupid investment of capital. If nothing tragic
interfered and the right man wanted such a girl, she had been trained
to please him. But tragic things had happened, and before her grew the
wall while she pretended to read her book.

T. Tembarom was coming toward her. She had heard Palliser suggest a
game of billiards.

“Will you come and play billiards with us?” Tembarom asked. “Palliser
says you play splendidly.”

“She plays brilliantly,” put in Lady Mallowe. “Come, Joan.”

“No, thank you,” she answered. “Let me stay here and read.”

Lady Mallowe protested. She tried an air of playful maternal reproach
because she was in good spirits. Joan saw Palliser smiling quietly, and
there was that in his smile which suggested to her that he was thinking
her an obstinate fool.

“You had better show Temple Barholm what you can do,” he remarked.
“This will be your last chance, as you leave so soon. Never ought you
let a last chance slip by. I never do.”

Tembarom stood still and looked down at her from his good height. He
did not know what Palliser’s speech meant, but an instinct made him
feel that it somehow held an ugly, quiet taunt.

“What I would like to do,” was the unspoken crudity which passed
through his mind, “would be to swat him on the mouth. He’s getting at
her just when she ought to be let alone.”

“Would you like it better to stay here and read?” he inquired.

“Much better, if you please,” was her reply.

“Then that goes,” he answered, and left her.

He swept the others out of the room with a good-natured promptness
which put an end to argument. When he said of anything “Then that
goes,” it usually did so.


When she was alone Joan sat and gazed not at her wall but at the
pictures that came back to her out of a part of her life which seemed
to have been lived centuries ago. They were the pictures that came
back continually without being called, the clearness of which always
startled her afresh. Sometimes she thought they sprang up to add to
her torment, but sometimes it seemed as if they came to save her from
herself--her mad, wicked self. After all, there were moments when to
know that she _had_ been the girl whose eighteen-year-old heart had
leaped so when she turned and met Jem’s eyes, as he stood gazing at her
under the beech-tree, was something to cling to. She had been that girl
and Jem had been--Jem. Her throat strained itself because sobs rose in
it, and her eyes were hot with the swell of tears.

She could hear voices and laughter and the click of balls from the
billiard-room. Her mother and Palliser laughed the most, but she knew
the sound of her mother’s voice would cease soon, because she would
come back to her. She knew the kind of scene they would pass through
together when she returned. The old things would be said, the old
arguments used, but a new one would be added. It was at once horrible
and ridiculous that she must sit and listen--and stare at the growing
wall. It was as she caught her breath against the choking swell of
tears that she heard Lady Mallowe returning. She came in with an
actual sweep across the room. Her society air had fled, and she was
unadornedly furious when she stopped before Joan’s chair. For a few
seconds she actually glared; then she broke forth in a suppressed

“Come into the billiard-room. I command it!”

Joan lifted her eyes from her book. Her voice was as low as her
mother’s, but steadier.

“No,” she answered.

“Is this conduct to continue? Is it?” Lady Mallowe panted.

“Yes,” said Joan, and laid her book on the table near her. There was
nothing else to say. Words made things worse.

Lady Mallowe had lost her head, but she still spoke in the suppressed

“You _shall_ behave yourself!” she cried, under her breath, and
actually made a passionate half-start toward her.

“Wouldn’t it be wise to remember that you cannot make the kind of scene
here that you can in your own house?” said Joan. “We are a bad-tempered
pair. But when we are guests in other people’s houses--”

“You think you can take advantage of that!” she said. “Don’t trust
yourself too far. Do you imagine that just when all might go well for
me I will allow you to spoil everything?”

“How can I spoil everything?”

“By behaving as you have been behaving since we came here--refusing
to make a home for yourself; by hanging round my neck so that it will
appear that any one who takes me must take you also. I came in here to
tell you,” she went on, “that this is your last chance. I shall never
give you another.”

Joan remained silent, and her silence added to her mother’s helpless
rage. She moved a step nearer to her and flung the javelin which she
always knew would strike deep.

“You have made yourself a laughing-stock for all London for years. You
are mad about a man who disgraced and ruined himself.”

She saw the javelin quiver as it struck; but Joan’s voice as it
answered her had a quality of low and deadly steadiness.

“You have said that a thousand times, and you will say it another
thousand--though you know the story was a lie and was proved to be one.”

Lady Mallowe knew her way thoroughly.

“Who remembers the denials? What the world remembers is that Jem Temple
Barholm was stamped as a cheat and a trickster. No one has time to
remember the other thing. He is dead--_dead_! When a man’s dead it’s
too late.”

She was desperate enough to drive her javelin home deeper than she had
ever chanced to drive it before. The truth--the awful truth she uttered
shook Joan from head to foot. She sprang up and stood before her in
heart-wrung fury.

“Oh! You are a hideously cruel woman!” she cried. “They say even tigers
care for their young! But you--you can say that to _me_. ‘When a man’s
dead, it’s too late.’”

“It _is_ too late--it _is_ too late!” Lady Mallowe persisted. Why
had not she struck this note before? It was breaking Joan’s will: “I
would say anything to bring you to your senses. I came here because
it _is_ your last chance. Palliser knew what he was saying when he
made a joke of it just now. He knew it wasn’t a joke. You might have
been the Duchess of Merthshire; you might have been Lady St. Maur,
with a husband with millions. And here you are. You know what’s before
you--when I am out of the trap.”

Joan laughed. It was a wild little laugh, and she felt there was no
sense in it.

“I might apply for a place in Miss Alicia’s Home for Decayed
Gentlewomen,” she said.

Lady Mallowe nodded her head fiercely.

“Apply, then. There will be no place for you in the home I am going to
live in,” she retorted.

Joan ceased moving about. She was about to hear the one argument that
was new.

“You may as well tell me,” she said wearily.

“I have had a letter from Sir Moses Monaldini. He is to be at Broome
Haughton. He is going there purposely to meet me. What he writes can
mean only one thing. He means to ask me to marry him. I’m your mother,
and I’m nearly twenty years older than you; but you see that I’m out of
the trap first.”

“I knew you would be,” answered Joan.

“He detests you,” Lady Mallowe went on. “He will not hear of your
living with us--or even near us. He says you are old enough to take
care of yourself. Take my advice. I am doing you a good turn in giving
it. This New York newsboy is mad over you. If he hadn’t been we should
have been bundled out of the house before this. He never has spoken
to a lady before in his life, and he feels as if you were a goddess.
Go into the billiard-room this instant, and do all a woman can. Go!”
And she actually stamped her foot on the carpet. “You might live in
the very house you would have lived in with Jem Temple Barholm, on the
income he could have given you.”

She saw the crassness of her blunder the next moment. If she had had an
advantage, she had lost it.

Wickedly, without a touch of mirth, Joan laughed in her face.

“Jem’s house and Jem’s money--and the New York newsboy in his shoes,”
she flung at her. “T. Tembarom to live with until one’s death-bed. T.

Suddenly, something _was_ giving way in her, Lady Mallowe thought
again. Joan slipped into a chair and dropped her head and hidden face
on the table.

“Oh! Mother! Mother!” she ended. “Oh! Jem! Jem!”

Was she sobbing or trying to choke sobbing back? There was no time to
be lost. Her mother had never known a scene to end in this way before.

“Crying!” There was absolute spite in her voice. “That shows you know
what you are in for, at all events. But I’ve said my last word. What
does it matter to me, after all? You’re in the trap. I’m not. Get out
as best you can.”

She turned her back and went out of the room--as she had come into
it--with a sweep Joan would have smiled at as rather vulgar if she
had seen it. As a child in the nursery, she had often seen that her
ladyship was vulgar.

But she did not see the sweep because her face was hidden. Something
in her had broken this time, as her mother had felt. That bitter,
sordid truth, driven home as it had been, had done it. Who had time
to remember denials, or lies proved to be lies? Nobody in the world.
Who had time to give to the defense of a dead man? There was not
time enough to give to living ones. It was true--true! When a man is
dead, it is too late. The wall had built itself until it reached her
sky; but it was not the wall she bent her head and sobbed over. It
was that suddenly she had seen again Jem’s face as he had stood with
slow-growing pallor, and looked round at the ring of eyes which stared
at him; Jem’s face as he strode by her without a glance and went out
of the room. She forgot everything else on earth. She forgot where she
was. She was eighteen again, and she sobbed in her arms as eighteen
sobs when its heart is torn from it.

“Oh, Jem! Jem!” she cried. “If you were only in the same _world_ with
me! If you were just in the same _world_!”

She had forgotten all else, indeed. She forgot too long. She did not
know how long. It seemed that no more than a few minutes had passed
before she was without warning struck with the shock of feeling that
some one was in the room with her, standing near her, looking at her.
She had been mad not to remember that exactly this thing would be
sure to happen, by some abominable chance. Her movement as she rose
was almost violent, she could not hold herself still, and her face
was horribly wet with shameless, unconcealable tears. Shameless she
felt them--indecent--a sort of nudity of the soul. If it had been a
servant who had intruded, or if it had been Palliser it would have been
intolerable enough. But it was T. Tembarom who confronted her with his
common face, moved mysteriously by some feeling she resented even more
than she resented his presence. He was too grossly ignorant to know
that a man of breeding, having entered by chance, would have turned
and gone away, professing not to have seen. He seemed to think--the
dolt!--that he must make some apology.

“Say! Lady Joan!” he began. “I beg your pardon. I didn’t mean to butt

“Then go away,” she commanded. “Instantly--instantly!”

She knew he must see that she spoke almost through her teeth in her
effort to control her sobbing breath. But he made no move toward
leaving her. He even drew nearer, looking at her in a sort of
meditative, obstinate way.

“N-no,” he replied deliberately. “I guess--I won’t.”

“You won’t?” Lady Joan repeated after him. “Then I will.”

He made a stride forward and laid his hand on her arm.

“No. Not on your life. You won’t, either--if I can help it. And you’re
going to _let_ me help it.”

Almost any one but herself--any one, at least, who did not resent his
very existence--would have felt the drop in his voice which suddenly
struck the note of boyish, friendly appeal in the last sentence.
“You’re going to _let_ me,” he repeated.

She stood looking down at the daring, unconscious hand on her arm.

“I suppose,” she said, with cutting slowness, “that you do not even
_know_ that you are insolent. Take your hand away,” in arrogant command.

He removed it with an unabashed half-smile.

“I beg your pardon,” he said. “I didn’t even know I’d put it there. It
was a break--but I wanted to keep you.”

That he not only wanted to keep her, but intended to do so, was
apparent. His air was neither rough nor brutal, but he had ingeniously
placed himself in the outlet between the big table and the way to the
door, He put his hands in his pockets in his vulgar, unconscious way,
and watched her.

“Say, Lady Joan!” he broke forth, in the frank outburst of a man who
wants to get something over. “I should be a fool if I didn’t see that
you’re up against it--hard! What’s the matter?” His voice dropped again.

There was something in the drop this time which--perhaps because of her
recent emotion--sounded to her almost as if he were asking the question
with the protecting sympathy of the tone one would use in speaking to
a child. How dare he! But it came home to her that Jem had once said
“What’s the matter?” to her in the same way.

“Do you think it likely that I should confide in you?” she said, and
inwardly quaked at the memory as she said it.

“No,” he answered, considering the matter gravely. “It’s not
_likely_--the way things look to you now. But if you knew me better
perhaps it would be likely.”

“I once explained to you that I do not _intend_ to know you better,”
she gave answer.

He nodded acquiescently.

“Yes. I got on to that. And it’s because it’s up to me that I came out
here to tell you something I want you to know before you go away. I’m
going to confide in _you_.”

“Cannot even _you_ see that I am not in the mood to accept
confidences?” she exclaimed.

“Yes, I can. But you’re going to accept this one,” steadily. “No,” as
she made a swift movement, “I’m not going to clear the way till I’ve

“I insist!” she cried. “If you were--” He put out his hand, but not to
touch her.

“I know what you’re going to say. If I were a gentleman--Well, I’m not
laying any claims to anything--but I’m a sort of a man, anyhow, though
you mayn’t think it. And you’re going to listen.”

(To be continued)




              Lord God, what may we think of Thee,
              Save that in stars we drink of Thee,
  Save that in the abundance of Thy sunlight we have seen
              Thine excellent intention;
              And Thy marvelous invention
  In great and little living things and all the grades between?

              Lord God, what may we say to Thee
              Who know our hearts give way to Thee
  Surely at last in secret depths, though protest long denies,
              And that to live is wonder
              With worlds above and under
  Unreached of any mortal heart, blurred to all mortal eyes?

              Lord God, the fitting praise to Thee
              Rather would seem to raise to Thee
  Only pure honesty of mind, waiting Thy stalwart will;
              Like as the hills believe Thee,
              Like as the seas receive Thee,
  Like as the trees whose rustlings cease,--who hear Thee and are still!

[Illustration: TOPICS OF THE TIME]


“The magazine needs no other aim than to be worthy of the name it

Thus wrote ~The Century’s~ first editor, Dr. J. G. Holland, in the
first number of this magazine nearly forty-three years ago. He
referred, of course, to the magazine’s original title, which was
“Scribner’s Monthly”; but ~The Century’s~ earnest ambition to realize
the full meaning of its present significant title can find no fitter
expression. It continues to believe that success will be attained
only as it becomes really the representative magazine of this new and
spectacular century of American life.

For the information of many inquiring friends, it seems wise at this
time to say that there will be no “new” ~Century~ in the sense of a
changed ~Century~. There can be none. In remaining the “old” ~Century~,
merely growing with the times, merely holding fast to its historic
place in the front of progress, this magazine, in these richer days of
hard thinking and prompt acting and strenuous living, these tumultuous
days of changing eras, remains by mere definition the organ of what
is noblest and forwardest in American life. The first editor of this
magazine stated editorially that it was conducted in “the free spirit
of modern progress and the broadest literary catholicity.” The fourth
editor joyfully reaffirms this creed. There can be no simpler and more
comprehensive statement of this magazine’s present spirit and purposes.

In the twentieth-anniversary number, Richard Watson Gilder, who, on Dr.
Holland’s death in 1881, succeeded to the editorship, reaffirmed the
creed in these words:

    If there is any one dominant sentiment which an unprejudiced
    reviewer would recognize as pervading these forty half-yearly
    volumes, it is, we think, a sane and earnest Americanism. Along
    with and part of the American spirit has been the earnest endeavor
    to do all that such a publication might do to increase the
    sentiment of union throughout our diverse sisterhood of States--the
    sentiment of American nationality. It has always been the aim of
    ~The Century~ not only to be a force in literature and art, but to
    take a wholesome part in the discussion of great questions; not
    only to promote good literature and art, but good citizenship.

Allowing for different conditions, Mr. Gilder might have written this
for to-day.

In the same editorial utterance Mr. Gilder dwelt strongly upon
“the spirit of experiment” which, he said, had always inspired the
magazine’s policy. This we take to be merely another phrase for Dr.
Holland’s “free spirit of modern progress.”

Five years later, on the occasion of our twenty-fifth anniversary, Mr.
Gilder wrote in these pages:

    During the next ten years there should be in America especially
    a revival of creative literature. If there is, or should be at
    any particular time, a lack of energy, or a lack of quantity
    or quality, in the American literary output, it can be merely
    temporary; for our condition is full of social, political, and
    industrial problems; life in the New World is replete with
    strenuous exertion of every kind, of picturesque contrasts, and of
    innumerable themes fit to inspire literary art. American life is
    rich in feeling and action and meaning.

American life is richer many times over in feeling and action, and
especially in meaning, than when Mr. Gilder penned these words. The
intervening years have brought to the surface a myriad of surging
currents of human desire and necessity and passion, then concealed,
almost unsuspected, below the surface.

It cannot have escaped any reader of ~The Century~ that we are living
in a period of amazing achievement as well as of portentous social
development. Yet any worker in the furrows of life may well be pardoned
for failure to realize the detail and immensity of our achievement.
Could one devote himself wholly to discovering the facts of modern
accomplishment, it would take a busy life to get abreast of the mere
news of it, and to keep there. Ours are times of such variety and
complexity that none can be expected to grasp much more than the
technicalities of his own work-bench.

Like most prophesies, Mr. Gilder’s has been only partly fulfilled. Yet
the eighteen years since he uttered it have proved at least that it
was true, though its realization has been delayed by the extraordinary
activity of these later years. The history of all human progress shows
that the art of any period is, so to speak, the flowering of that
period. The bloom appears only after stem and stalk have shot to their
full growth, and leaves have expanded and darkened to their maturity.
The bubbling sap of Mr. Gilder’s time is showing now in new and
surprising growth, and our problem to-day is not so much to enjoy the
flowering literature which he promised as to study and to measure and
to comprehend as nearly as possible the wealth of scientific and social
and political and industrial achievement which has amazingly developed.

There is no escaping the fact that civilization, like the river
tumbling and swirling between two lakes, is passing turbulently from
the old convention of the last several generations to the unknown,
almost unguessable convention of the not distant future. The feminist
movement, the uprising of labor, the surging of innumerable socialistic
currents, can mean nothing else than the certain readjustment of social
levels. The demand of the people for the heritage of the bosses is not
short of revolution. The rebellious din of frantic impressionistic
groups is nothing if not strenuous protest against a frozen art. The
changed Sabbath and the tempered sermon mark the coldly critical
appraisement of religious creeds. And science, meantime, straining and
sweating under the lash of progress, is passing from wonder unto wonder.

Perhaps Mr. Gilder’s period of literary flowering, though surely
coming, must be postponed another decade. The need of the moment is to
discover where we are, what is accomplishing about us. Where have all
these struggling activities brought us? What have they really done?
What do they mean? Whither do they tend?

It is time we look this question of the present squarely in the eye,
in order, if for no other reason, that we may intelligently face
the future. It is time that, in business phrase, we take account
of stock. It is time that the chemist, for example, trembling
over the revelations of his amazing combinations, know that the
psychologist, too, is excited about the astonishing developments of
his own laboratory; that the elated conquerors of the air realize the
achievement of those who plod in the groaning shops of town; that the
biologist, amazed at his artificial propagation of life, appreciate the
telegraphic annihilation of space.

Thus only may we wisely choose our steps in these uncertain times,
remembering that change is not always degeneration; oftener it is
progress. There are periods when men live literature, not write it,
and consequently literary barrenness may mean merely lying fallow, and
still be progress. Especially must we not be too hasty of judgment, for
while there are times to preach and times to act and times to pronounce
judgment, there are at long intervals also times, between the passings
out and the comings in, when it behooves all men to watch and to wait
and to study the signs. There are abundant reasons to believe that such
a time is at hand, and ~The Century~, now, as in the past, stands by to

During the months, perhaps the years, to come, in Dr. Holland’s “free
spirit of modern progress,” in Mr. Gilder’s “spirit of experiment,” and
in Mr. Johnson’s spirit of public helpfulness, ~The Century~ will offer
to its readers a summing-up of the results of this wonderful period,
and a fair presentation of the changes attendant upon the passing of
our present order and the establishment of the new.

Not as an advocate shall we present these causes, nor again in protest;
but in the fair, free, unbiased spirit of investigation. Facts must
precede opinions. It is poor rowing against the rapids between the
lakes. Let us study these manifestations fairly and sympathetically
before we draw conclusions. It will be ~The Century’s~ pleasure and
public duty to enlist the services of able authorities in every cause,
and to present each justly from its own point of view.

Such a program will, we feel sure, help materially the cause of human
progress, because it will help men and women to comprehend life as it

As for the rest, we shall conserve the best that ~The Century~ has
stood for in the past. We shall offer a larger proportion of fiction
than formerly, and shall bring it as near to truth, and make it
as interpretative of life, as conditions allow. We shall maintain
illustration at the highest point modern method will permit. We shall
cultivate history and poetry and the essay. We shall explore conditions
at home and abroad. We shall make this magazine, fearlessly and in the
white light of to-day, as nearly the magazine of the century as courage
and devotion and eyes that see and minds that shrink not can do.


In Lighter Vein



Though often entranced by that brilliant group of cosmic
problem-solvers--Mr. H. G. Wells, Mr. Shaw, Mr. Chesterton, and
others--I insist on my personal irresponsibility for the state of
Mankind as a whole. These men are always nursing civilization.
They regard it as a sort of potted plant which they fear to find
frost-bitten of a morning. This is especially clear in the latest
writings of Mr. H. G. Wells, who would tidy up the whole world at once.
At one swoop he would remove the shirts from our clothes-lines and the
errors from our minds. The world is too large for his feather duster;
he had thought to find it a smaller planet that he might have kept at
least half-way clean. Now see what he has on his hands--everything in
a mess, Africa backward, China careless, the sex relation by no means
straightened out, socialism, imperialism, industrialism, planless
progressivism littering up things, and nobody caring a rap--at times
it seems to the good housewifely soul almost too much for one person
to manage. And then that infernal human diversity--slow minds, stupid
minds, minds made up too soon, or not at all, closed minds, tough
minds, tender minds--what’s to be done with them? He burns to do
_something_. At least he says he does.

In one of his books he describes himself in fancy as going about the
country and, with the keenest joy, spearing Anglican bishops. Though I
am myself a stranger to the sport, I believe the pleasure of spearing
bishops is exaggerated. For once begun it must lead logically to a
daily drudgery of slaughter among the great crowds of folks who are not
intellectually independent or morally daring--lead, in short, to the
massacre of those who are not particularly exciting, a large task and

I wonder if we commonplace persons are not right after all in a certain
instinct of distrust toward these gifted writers. We believe implicitly
in their fancies and not at all in their facts. We believe in the world
they have invented and not in the world they have observed; and we
distrust them utterly as world-pushers. The signs are plain--terribly
plain sometimes--that it is when they have the smallest notions that
they say their largest things.

    _The Senior Wrangler._





[Illustration: LADY CLARA: _NEW STYLE_]

    Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
      Though, ’neath the Tennysonian frown,
    You’ve ceased to play at hearts, what need
      For throwing _all_ the graces down?
    The quip, the wile, the wingèd smile,
      Must these in truth be quite retired,
    Reformer of a thousand ills,
      O lady with a mission fired?

    Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
      You cause a tumult in my head.
    I do not know how many quarts
      Of coal-tar every year are fed
    In store-made pies, or what dread dyes
      Give that bright emerald to canned peas.
    I do not know the cure for graft,
      Or juvenile delinquencies;
    And, oh, my very soul is sick
      Of these and topics like to these!

    Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
      On suffragism you’ve a view.
    You have one on the cost of war,
      And what the working-girl should do.
    Your uplift crusade comprehends
      The stage, the mart, the funeral bier;
    Your dinner-table talk has grown
      Statistical and very drear.

    Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere,
      By yon blue heavens above us bent,
    The gardener Adam and his wife
      Yawn at your plans for betterment.
    We never see such sad ennui
      Among our hapless human brood
    As when the ladies’ motto runs:
      “’Tis fashionable to do good.”

    *       *       *       *       *

    Clara, Clara Vere de Vere,
      If time hangs heavy on your hands,
    Are there no suitors at your gates,
      No squires of dames about your lands?
    Go, play the game of hearts again,
      Coquette, and sparkle, languish, glow;
    Ask pardon of the folk you’ve bored,
      And let the thousand causes go!


[Illustration: Drawn by Reginald Birch




Author of “The Literary Shop”


~Algy Bond~ is one of the brokers who is doing remarkably well in Wall
Street now. He is widely known as a cotillion leader, as vice-president
of the Westminster Kennel Club, and as a member of the MacDowell
Musical Union. He has lately trained Grassmere Dolly--his intelligent
French poodle--so that the pet has become of material aid to him in his
Wall Street work.

~Money~ has been easier in Wall Street since the sale of many
gilt-edged mining and industrial securities brought a number of
eager home-builders into the market. The new fashion of papering the
walls of country homes with these beautiful and durable specimens of
steel-engraving has created a lively demand for the stocks in question.

~The~ opening of the new station of the Herald Ice Fund at the corner
of Wall and Broad streets created a profound sensation in the financial
district. The Stock-Exchange closed during the distribution of the
ice, and many pitiful scenes were enacted as the members of the great
banking-houses crowded about the wagon and fought for the chilly cubes
that were handed out to them. An office boy generously shared his piece
with a bank president. The magnate burst into tears, and promised that
he would make his benefactor rich by never giving him a tip on the

~Yeggmen~ entered the office of Bilkheimer Brothers, Bankers and
Brokers, last Saturday night, and blew open the safe with dynamite.
When Mr. Abie Bilkheimer, the popular bond specialist, and the head of
the firm, reached his office on Monday morning, he found a ten-dollar
bill and a card on which were inscribed a few words of heartfelt
sympathy from the yeggmen.

~That~ a cat cannot live in a vacuum has been proved by a series of
recent experiments carried on by the Wall Street Class for Scientific
Study to which many of the younger brokers belong. It was found that
the quickest method of killing a cat is to lock it in the vaults of
that trust company which claims the largest capital and surplus.

~Many~ charitable persons have been in the habit of scattering pennies
from the gallery of the Stock-Exchange, but this practice has been
forbidden since Looey Pinchenstein (the organizer of the pool in Rio
and Hernandez copper) fractured his nose in the scramble. Pennies will
hereafter be left with the doorman to distribute at the close of the

~The~ Tribune Fresh Air Fund has received a touching letter from little
Willie Noodle, inclosing thirty-eight cents--which he had saved in a
toy bank from his candy money--and expressing the hope that it would
help to send a poor ticker-tied broker on an outing to the sea-shore.



    Drawn by
    May Wilson Preston

~The~ other day a gentleman of provincial aspect was found wandering
on Wall Street in a dazed and feeble condition. Upon being questioned
as to the nature of his errand there, he announced his intention
of opening an account with a Wall Street brokerage firm.... When
the police finally rescued him from the surging mob of brokers, it
was found that he had suffered severe contusions about the hips and
breasts. He is at present confined in one of the private wards of the
observation pavilion.




(With the usual apologies to Swinburne)

    If I wrote sonnets soulful
      And you wrote ads for beans,
        And I got in your section
        ’Twould cause me deep dejection.
    (My Muse would be so doleful
      In such unwonted scenes.)
    If I wrote sonnets soulful,
      And you wrote ads for beans.

    If you had sung the praises
      Of soap or safety-pin,
        And found some high-brow lyric
        Beside your panegyric,
    You’d be as mad as blazes
      To see bards butting in.
    If you had sung the praises
      Of soap or safety-pin.

    When, on page eight, perusing
      “The Baby and the Cop,”
        Its dénouement I’m bidden
        To seek, ’mid ads half hidden,
    I find it hanged confusing
      And let the Baby drop.
    When, on page eight perusing
      “The Baby and the Cop.”

    When one is just deciding
      To buy a fountain-pen,
        And in the ads one’s seeking
        For “Notablot Non-Leaking,”
    _Who_ wants to be colliding
      With “Wives of Famous Men”?
    When one is just deciding
      To buy a fountain-pen.

    Oh, magazines suggesting
      A boarding-house ragout,
        _Why_ mix your tales and ballads
        With ads of soups and salads?
    It’s hard enough digesting
      The awful stuff we do.
    Oh, magazines suggesting
      A boarding-house ragout.


  (THE BABY)                                             (THE TWINS)



The above portrait is the first authentic likeness of the eccentric
Rymbels. It portrays them rymbling, _chez eux_. It is, in particular, a
speaking, not to say a _shouting_, likeness of Mr. Rymbel.

This interesting, demented, and extremely misunderstood verse family
was first discovered and laid bare to the public by Mr. Herford in the
August issue of ~The Century~. As a result of his happy discovery, and
because of his two remarkable rymbels in that issue, he has lately been
appointed Rymbel Laureate of America. Since their successful début,
public interest in the Rymbels has increased amazingly. In New York the
fever is now at its height. Everybody’s rymbling it. Rude, ridiculous,
and ribald rymbels are arriving by every post.

For those who are not already confirmed rymbelists it may be merciful
to explain that, roughly speaking, a rymbel is any poem of two, four,
or six stanzas, preferably of five lines each, in which the ultimate
word in one verse must inevitably be a miscue for the subject-matter of
the next. This miscue is due to three things: eccentricity, deafness,
and dementia, all of them pronounced Rymbel family characteristics.

Whenever Mr. Rymbel embarks on the first verse, Mrs. Rymbel, because
of her deafness and lightness of mind, seizes on the most unexpected
meaning embodied in the last word of her husband’s verse, and proceeds
properly to mangle it in the second, after which the children take up
the tangled skein, and do a little mangling on their own.

In the masterly canvas at the head of this page, Mr. R. is seen
inflated with an afflatus and embarking on his first verse. Mrs. R.,
with a tight hold on the baby, is feverishly awaiting her all important
cue. Symbol, their beautiful daughter, is the seated lady shown at the
right of Mr. R. The astute reader will already have guessed, because
of the prevalence of flowering hay in her hair, that, mentally, Symbol
is, to put it charitably, only sparking on one cylinder. Ramble, the
eldest son, has, it will be seen, just rebuked Rondeau and Rhyme, the
twins, who, after hearing parts of their father’s verse, have turned to
their mother to mutter: “What’s the matter with his metre-motor, mater?”

Miss Carolyn Wells, who has for years been on the most intimate terms
with the Rymbels, and who might almost be called a member of the
family, has preserved, as souvenirs of a boy-and-girl affair with
Master Ramble, two noteworthy examples of rymbelican verse. In the
first of these the Rymbels have touchingly voiced their preferences for
the nobler and loftier bards of our day. It is entitled:


    Dear Edith Thomas! Oft do I
      Feel in my heart the call of her.
    Swift to my book-shelf then I fly,
    And, hovering ’twixt a laugh and cry,
      I read and re-read all of her.

    Oliver Herford! How can praise
      Add aught to his renown?
    His comic kits, his fetching fays,
    His books and works and healthful plays,
      Are known all over town.

    Charles Hanson Towne! his lyrics flow
      Soft as the dews of Harmon;
    His tastes are musical, and so
    To please them he will often go
      To “Lohengrin” or “Carmen.”

    Bliss Carman all our hearts must win;
      To higher thought he’d urge us;
    Divinely tall, divinely thin,
    Austere of mien, he should have been
      A beadle or a burgess.

    G. Burgess, Super-Sulphide! yet
      Perhaps more saint than sinner.
    His rhymes cavort and pirouette,
    And as for that mad thing, Vivette,
      I almost wish I’d been her.

    Oh, Witter Bynner, oftener sound
      Your note of lyric joys!
    Come, poets, let us gather round,
    Lest our brave pipings yet be drowned
      By some strange foreign Noyes!

       *       *       *       *       *

~Mr. L. Frank Tooker~ of Callao, Peru, insists that the rymbel is
didactic, and that its highest form is found in Spanish South America,
where it is used to inculcate the prudence and self-restraint for which
that region is preëminent. In illustration of this contention, he sends
this from Callao:


    I think when I behold her face,
      It is so varee fair,
    ’Tis best to get acquaint’, you know,
    And so I gaze _simpatico_:
      That’s how you call to stare.

    Ah, she was pausing on that stair
      So timid like the fawn;
    And fawn-like were her eyes, her lips
    Were like the flowers the slow bee sips
      Upon the dewy lawn.

    But, _hola! she_ was not in lawn;
      For as she turned to go,
    I saw the pearls glow at her throat,
    The satin gown about her float,
      Though timid like the doe.

    _Caramba!_ I have not the dough
      For such expensiveness.
    The eyes, the lips, the timid air,
    That’s varee nice; but, oh, beware
      That C. O. D. express!

       *       *       *       *       *

Again the low rymbling sound of Miss Carolyn Wells!! This time ART is
her impassioned theme. She writes from Hansontown, Herfordshire.


    Full winsome was her bonny face,
      And eke her golden hair.
    Her gown was weft of rarest lace;
    And high aloft, with gentle grace,
      A sunshade pink she bare.

    The She Bear from the forest came,
      Just why, I cannot state.
    The creature seemed to be quite tame;
    Methought, would I her favor claim,
      I must ingratiate.

    In gray she ate! The lunch was fair,--
      We had a window-seat.
    Her gray gown meek, yet debonair;--
    Demure,--yet with a regal air,--
      She looked imperial,--sweet.

    “Imperial suite? Yes,--I dare say
      ’T would make our voyage gladder.”
    My wife is mad about display--
    (But when I mentioned what we’d pay,
      It only made Rose madder!)

    Rose madder,--’tis the tint I’d use
      To paint my brain’s fair figment;
    A shape, half goddess and half muse,
    And all in misty, pinkish hues,
      The color scheme,--the pigment.

    The color scheme the pig meant? Ma’am,
      That _was_ a subtle fancy!
    In tints of dawning gooseb’ry jam,
    And those soft pinks of early ham,
      We painted little Nancy!

[Illustration: Drawing by Birch


_Now so much in vogue at Newport_]

We have been distressed to learn, from our great Metropolitan dailies,
that the ladies of assured and ultramundane position at Newport have
recently suffered severely from the unwarrantable intrusion on Bailey’s
Beach of certain Sunday Supplement sketch artists, society editors,
female policemen, independent kodakers, and foreign noblemen. As an
indirect result of these intrusions the “Elite” bathing dress has been
designed to assuage the sensibilities of the more modest and fastidious
among the hostesses of Newport. Our illustration shows Mrs. Reginald
Ochrepoint and Wu, her clever pet, ready for their morning dip.

[Illustration: Drawn by C. F. Peters


    ~The Freshman~: “Oh--er--might I be excused from my lectures for a
    few days? The truth is--er--I want very much to attend the funeral
    of an old and trusted friend.”

    ~The Dean~: “Well, really, Robinson,--I wonder if that is quite
    necessary?--Now, if it were your father or your mother, I should,
    of course, be only _too_ delighted.”






    De debble see St. Peter sneak into heaben’s gate;
    He holler: “What’s yo’ hurry? Wait dar, Peter! Wait!”

    De saint pull in de latch-string, an’ holler: “Now, you go!
    I’ll sic de houn’ dawg on you de fustest t’ing you know.”

    “I speaks you like a ge’man,” de debble up an’ say,
    “And yere you shets me out, sah! Fer shame! to ack dat way!”

    “Don’ argify,” say Peter. “You leads fo’ks into sin.
    Ain’t shettin’ you out, nohow; I’s shettin’ mahse’f in.”





    A Canary, its woe to assuage,
    Once invented a wireless cage.
        The owl shook his head,
        “It’s a Great Thought,” he said,
    “But it’s far in advance of the age.”



    Quoth the book-worm, “I don’t care one bit
    If writers have wisdom or wit;
        A volume must be
        Pretty dull to bore me
    As completely as I can bore it.”

                     THE DE VINNE PRESS, NEW YORK

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, September, 1913
 - Vol. LXXXVI, No. 5" ***

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