Page images

horn's short memory, and, after a few height, and well built, but his gait was moments of conversation, sat down be- | indolent and careless. Good features unside Anne, who received him with the lighted by animation, a brown skin, brown same frank predisposition to be pleased eyes ordinarily rather lethargic, thick which she gave to all alike. Heathcote brown hair and mustache, and very heavy was not a talker like Dexter; he seemed eyebrows standing out prominently from to have little to say at any time. He was the face in profile view, were the items one of a small and unimportant class in ordinarily given in a general description. the United States, which would be very He had a low-toned voice and slow manoffensive to citizens at large if it came in ner, in which, however, there was no afcontact with them; but it seldom does. To fectation. What was the use of doing this class there is no city in America save anything with any particular effort? He New York, and New York itself is only had no antipathy for persons of other partially endurable. National reputations habits; the world was large. It was noare nothing, politics nothing. Money is ticed, however (or rather it was not nonecessary, and ought to be provided in ticed), that he generally got away from some way; and generally it is, since with them as soon as he quietly could. He out it this class could not exist in a pure had lived to be thirty-two years old, and ly democratic land. But it is inherited, had on the whole enjoyed life so far, alnot made. It may be said that simply though he was neither especially importhe large landed estates acquired at an tant, handsome, nor rich. The secret of early date in the vicinity of the city, this lay in one fact: women liked him. and immensely increased in value by the What was it that they found to like in growth of the metropolis, have produced him? This was the question asked often in this class, which, however, having no bar- irritation by his brother man. And naturiers, can never be permanent, or make rally. For the women themselves could to itself laws. Heathcote's great-grand- not give a reasonable reason. The correfather was a landed proprietor in West- sponding side of life is not the same, since chester County; he had lived well, and men admire with a reason; the woman died at a good old age, to be succeeded by is plainly beautiful, or brilliant, or fasci

who also lived well, and died not nating around whom they gather. At so well, and poorer than his father. The Caryl's seven or eight men were handgrandson increased the ratio in both cases, somer than Heathcote; a number were leaving to his little boy, Ward, but a small more brilliant; many were richer. Yet portion of the original fortune, and de- almost all of these had discovered, at one parting from the custom of the house in time or another, that the eyes they were that he died early. The boy, without fa- talking to were following Heathcote further, mother, brother, or sister, grew up tively; and they had seen attempts that under the care of guardians, and, upon made them tingle with anger-all the coming of age, took possession of the more so because they were so infinitesiremnant left to him. A good portion of mally delicate and fine, as became the acthis he himself had lost, not so much from tions of well-bred women. One or two, extravagance, however, as carelessness. who had married, had had explained to He had been abroad, of course, and had them elaborately by their wives what it adopted English ways, but not with any was they in their free days, of course) violence. He left that to others. He had liked in Heathcote-elaborately, if passed for good-natured in the main; he not clearly. The husbands gathered genwas not restless. He was quite willing erally that it was only a way he had, a that other men should have more luxuries manner ; the liking was half imaginathan he had-a yacht, for instance, or fine tive, after all. Now Heathcote was not horses; he felt no irritation on the sub- in the least imaginative. But the woject. On the other hand, he would have men were. been much surprised to learn that any one Manly qualities, good hearts, handsome longed to take him out and knock him faces, and greater wealth held their own down, simply as an insufferable object. in fact against him. Marriages took Yet Gregory Dexter had that longing at place in his circle, wedding chimes pealtimes so strongly that his hand fairly ed, and brides were happy under their quivered.

veils in spite of him. Yet, as histories of Heathcote was slightly above middle I lives go, there was a decided balance in

his son,

his favor of feminine regard, and no one companied. Yet Dexter, quick and suscould deny it.

picious as he was, would never have disHe had now but a small income, and covered that glance unaided. He had had been obliged to come down to a very learned it from another, and that other, simple manner of life. What he should of course, a woman. For once in a do when he came down to nothing, he while it happens that a woman, when had not considered. Those who disliked roused to fury, will pour out the whole him said that of course he would marry story of her wrongs to some man who money. As yet, however, he had shown happens to be near. No man does this. no signs of fulfilling his destiny in this He has not the same need of expression; respect. He seldom took the trouble to and, besides, he will never show himself express his opinions, and therefore passed at such a disadvantage voluntarily, even as having none; but those who were clear- for the sake of comfort. He would rathsighted knew better. Dexter was one of er remain uncomforted. But women of these, and this entire absence of self-as- strong feelings often, when excited, cast sertion in Ward Heathcote stung him. wisdom to the winds, and even seem to For Dexter always asserted himself; he find a desperate satisfaction in the most could not help it. He came in at this hazardous imprudences, which can injure moment, and noted Heathcote's position only themselves. In a mood of this kind, near Anne. Obeying an impulse, he some one had poured out to Gregory Dexcrossed the room immediately, and began ter bitter testimony against Heathcote, a counter-conversation with Miss Van- one-sided, perhaps, but photographically horn, the chaperon.

accurate in all the details, which are so "Trying to interest that child,” he much to women. Dexter had listened thought, as he listened to the grandaunt with inward anger and contempt; but he with the air of deferential attention she had listened. And he had recognized, liked so well. With eyes that apparent- besides, the accent of truth in every word. ly never once glanced in their direction, The narrator was now in Austria with a he kept close watch of the two beyond. new and foreign husband, apparently as “She is no match for him,” he thought, happy as the day is long. But the listwith indignation; "she has had no experiener had never forgotten or forgiven her ence. It ought not to be allowed.” account of Heathcote's method and man

But Dexter always mistook Heathcote; ner. He said to himself that he despised he gave him credit for plans and theories it, and he did despise it. Still, in some of which Heathcote never dreamed. In occult way, one may be jealous of results fact, he judged him by himself. Heath- attained even by ways and means for cote was merely talking to Anne now in which one feels a righteous contempt; the absence of other entertainment, hav- and the more so when one has a firm coning felt some slight curiosity about her fidence in his own abilities, which have because she had looked so bright and not yet, however, been openly recognized contented on the mud-bank under the in that field. In all other ways Gregory bridge. He tried to recall his impres- Dexter was a marked type of American sion of her on New-Year's Day, and de- success. termined to refresh his memory by Blum ; As the days moved slowly on, he kept but, in the mean time, outwardly his man- watch of Heathcote. It was more a dener was as though, silently, of course, but termination to foil him than interest in none the less deeply, he had dwelt upon Anne which made him add himself as a her image ever since. It was this impal- third whenever he could unobtrusively; pable manner which made Dexter indig- which was not often, since Miss Vanhorn nant. He knew it so well! He said to liked to talk to him herself, and Anne himself that it was a lie. And, generally knew no more how to aid him than a speaking, it was. But possibly in this nun. After a while Heathcote became case (as in others) it was not so much the conscious of this watchfulness, and it falsity of the manner as its success which amused him. His idea of Dexter was annoyed the other man.

“a clever sort of fellow, who has made He could not hear what was said; and money, and is ambitious. Goes in for the words, in truth, were not many or politics, and that sort of thing. Talks brilliant. But he knew the sort of quiet well, but too much. Tiresome.” He beglance with which they were being ac- gan to devote himself to Anne now in a


. twSometimey had been edheber Steparted frombiming the the olhant

different way; hitherto he had been only | American) invented for the occasion, at entertaining himself (and rather languid- the same time, by the motion, screening ly) by a study of her fresh naïve truth- her face completely from observation on fulness. He had drawn out her history; the other side. But Anne could not check he, too, knew of the island, the fort, and herself; the very shelter brought thicker the dog trains. Poor Anne was always drops. He could not hold his hat in that eloquent on these subjects. Her color position forever, even to look at Brazilian rose, her words came quickly.

linings. He rose suddenly, and standing You are fond of the island," he said, in front so as to screen her, he cried, “A one evening, as they sat on the piazza in bat! a bat!" at the same time making a the moonlight, Dexter within three feet of pass with his hat as though he saw it in them, but unable to hear their murmured the air. words. For Heathcote had a way of in Every one on the piazza rose, darted terposing his shoulder between listeners aside hither and thither, the ladies coverand the person to whom he was talking, ing their heads with their fans and handwhich made the breadth of woollen cloth kerchiefs, the men making passes with as much barrier as a stone wall; he did their hats, as usual on bat occasions; evthis more frequently now that he had dis- ery one was sure the noxious creature covered Dexter's watchfulness.

flew by. For a number of minutes confuYes,” said Anne, in as low a voice as sion reigned. When it was over, Anne's his own. Then suddenly, plainly visible cheeks were dry, and a little cobweb tie to him in the moonlight, tears welled up had been formed between herself and and dropped upon her cheeks.

Heathcote. It was too slight to be noShe had been homesick all day. Some- ticed, but it was there. times Miss Vanhorn was hard and cold as a bronze statue in winter; sometimes she was as quick and fiery as if charged with


ІНЕ tween the two. To-day had been one of kering for something better. What the veering days, and Anne had worked was amiss? Must it always be amiss ? over the dried plants five hours in a close Had all women this hitch, this jar, with room, now a mark for sarcastic darts of the men they loved? Of course she loved ridicule, now enduring an icy silence, un him. Of course he loved her. Why could til her lot seemed too heavy to bear. She not there be the abandon and joy she had had learned to understand the old wo- always dreamed of in her girlhood when man's moods, but understanding pain she read of love? does not make it lighter. Released at “She” was Ruth Lindsay. You would last, a great wave of homesickness had have called her a queen anywhere. Tall, swept over her, which did not, however, handsome-oh, so handsome !-and still break bounds until Heathcote's words lovely ; young, but strong; grave, but touched the spring; then the gates opened cheerful; joyous, but wise; loved by all and the tears came.

her school companions, half worshipped They had no sooner dropped upon her by half the men. And Ruth had parted cheeks, one, two, three, than she was thus, dissatisfied at heart—though she was overwhelmed with hot shame at having too proud to own this—from Alfred Moallowed them to fall, and with fear lest shier. They had been engaged, now sevany one should notice them. Mr. Heath- en weeks, since they crossed the ocean on cote had seen them, that was hopelessly the Parthia. certain; but if only she could keep them "I will not worry any longer," said from her grandaunt! Yet she did not Ruth, aloud. She girt herself for work. dare to lift her handkerchief lest its white She went down to old Mrs. Royal's and should attract attention.

washed the baby, who needed it badly, But Heathcote knew what to do. aired the bedroom while Mrs. Royal sat

As soon as he saw the tears (to him, of over the fire. She went to the French course, totally unexpected; but girls are reading, and laughed her best and brightso), he raised his straw hat, which lay on est as the professor read “L'Ami Inconhis knee, and, holding it by the crown, nu.” She came home, and looked round began elaborately to explain some pecul- her work-room for something that would iarity in the lining (he called it South | take her out of herself. “I will talk with

[ocr errors]

the newts and moles,” she said. “I will dead bored-say something sweet to me." see what they are saying.”

“Poor old boy! poor darling dear! So she lifted her telephone from the where has he been ?" was the telegraph wall, called Cæsar's boy Pompey, and bade girl's reply. “He has not been with him

carry the heavy plates, and went down his heart's delight, he can tell you that," to her dreaming-place in the garden. She tapped Moshier. And Ruth, or Finesent Pompey away, sank the plates her ears, threw the listening-cup upon the self, with her trowel, in the border, and ground. She was one too many in this began to listen to the endless sounds, tête-à-tête. which came in a strange refrain, as grass Moshier was an observer in the great grows, and dews distill, and crystals take Tamworth Observatory. He was using form in mother earth. She was soothed the time wire in this disgusting intrigue. by the unrhythmed music; more and Ruth had hit upon Mr. Trowbridge's cumore did it rest her, when suddenly, rious discovery, by which you can take,

"Taap, tap, tap-tap-tap, taap—tap, with the telephone, anywhere from the taap, tap-tap-tap, tap, tap-taap-long ground, the "return message, and short, in tones no mole uses nor root electricians call it. She sent her return of grass, sounded the word “Dearest" to message by mail to the faithless Alfred her well-trained sense. “Fine-ear” him as soon as she reached the house. Her self, in the story, never listened more mystery was solved. He did not love absorbed. Dearest, dearest,” the taps her. And she-she had been trying, from

answer-answer now.-Mo mere loyalty, to love him. She wrote SHIER. More faint, but perfectly clear, her proud note of dismissal with absocame, “O. K.

I am here — wire open. lute joy. Your pet.

“My pet and my darling,' She went to the reception at Mrs. Mansaid Moshier, in answer; “oh, I am dell's once more perfectly happy.

as the

went on,

SWEET from his pipe the piper drew

A strain that ravished all men's ears,
And soared in triumph to the blue

Wherein the skylark disappears.
The listening throng, or grave or gay,
Were hushed beneath the music's sway.

When sudden on the silver notes

A harsh resounding clangor fell;
A shout went forth from eager throats-

6. The market bell! the market bell!"

Swift rushed the audience from the place;
The piper piped to empty space.
An old-world story this, antique,

And told in cynic irony:
The keen-edged humor of the Greek,

It bears no sting for thee and me?
The sweet, the clear, the sad, the fain,
Dear Nature wooes us not in vain ?

Her mystic measures round us roll,

We sit in silence at her feet,
And, awed and blessed, we own control

As potent as, alas! 'tis fleet.
For list! for haste! we know it well,
Earth's loud, imperious market bell.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

N the 7th of June, 1879, the stage- manifestly too weak to sight a gun, or

the Adirondack Wilderness drove up to contest with a trout of ordinary size and “Paul" Smith's far-famed hostelry with vigor. So the guides, in rough sympathy, two passengers only. These two were a watched the stranger as he walked feebly young man and his wife. They had pen- into the parlor and sank into a chair, exetrated the great, wilderness of Northern hausted even by that slight effort. And New York for other purposes than plea- yet the young man had not journeyed sure. A glance at the young man would into this remote wilderness to die. He perhaps have set nine persons out of ten had, come in search of larger game than to asking why he should have come to so deer. He had come hunting for health. remote a spot to die. The wonder of the And he found it. tenth might have expended itself over the To-day, eighteen months after his first fact that he had lived long enough to glimpse of the St. Regis Lake, he finds reach that remote spot. He must have himself a comparatively well man. Those presented an unpromising spectacle to the months have been passed uninterruptedly guides gathered on the hotel piazza, for in the wilderness. For a year and a half his colorless face-save where the hectic the wasted lungs have fed upon this pure spots burned redly, like signal-lamps of air, and upon nothing else. Slowlydeath—his wasted body, and his feeble very slowly at times, but none the less strength indicated plainly enough what steadily–Nature has been patching up the manner of disease it was which held him delicate tissues, healing the tubercular in its grim clutches. So wretched a spe- formations, ridding the system of fever, cimen of a “sportsman" made mockery of checking the cough, putting flesh on the a Winchester rifle or the daintiest of fly wasted body, and strengthening the flabby rods. Not even the zeal of the Adiron-muscles. In short, in her own marveldack guide, usually displayed with a hack-lous way, this mightiest of physicians has man's energy in matters of business, could taken by the throat the disease which the blind him to the absurdity of offering his doctors pronounce incurable, and in the services to this latest arrival, who was very hour of its victory throttled it. An

Vol. LXII.-No. 372.-55

« EelmineJätka »