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Full text of "The house of the weeping woman [microform]"

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A >^PPUEDJM/1GE Inc 



I6U Eot( Moin Strwt 

Wo c h« «t «i. Nca York 14609 USA 

(71«) 402 - 0300 - PhoM 



(716) 



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THE HOUSE OF THE 
WEEPING WOMAN 




' BY THE SAME AUTHOR 



THE WORKER AND 
OTHER POEMS 



THE MACMILLAN CO., NEW YORK 



THE HOUSE OF THE 
WEEPING WOMAN 



■r 



CONINGSBY WILLIAM DAWSON 



TORONTO 

THE WESTMINSTER COMPANY LIMITED 

LONDON: HODDER AND STOUGHTON 



P5 3 5'05' 

Of- a 
not 



Ct^i/rigkt 190! 



880124 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I '*•■ 

AT TBI UOll Of TBI WIIPIIO WOMAI .... 1 

CHAPTER II 

TBI UraiSI OF ABBITIOM jiy 

CHAPTER III 

lAllTT AID TBI BORIIKO 32 

CHAPTER IV 

A FUOBT TO TBI FOBUT 37 

CHAPTER V 

IITH A THUTB-TIIXIB gn 

CHAPTER VI 

TWO 00 11 SIABOB AFTIB BAPPINI88 .... 68 

CHAPTER VII 

BABPAIT UOM LAlfl gg 

CHAPTER VIII 

A IIOBT OF ILLCSIOIf oq 

CHAPTER IX 

THI B0U8I OF TBI DRIAMBR8 OF DREABS ... 86 

CHAPTER X 

WHIN TOUKO BEN SEE VISIONS 9^ 

CHAPTER XI 

SEEING TBI WOBLD A8 WBITI gg 

V 



if 



yi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XII 
TBI MAW in m raADOWI.AirD 109 

CHAPTER XIII 

A HARMOMT AMD MHI DUOORM 131 

CHAPTER XIV 

BOUHD FOB TBI rORMT 0» LMAWWM .189 

CHAPTER XV 

PAVrOBAU ABD A PBAIABT IQQ 

CHAPTER XVI 

FOLLT AOBB FABM ]90 

CHAPTER XVII 

'■^« . 174 

CHAPTER XVIII 

BOW TBB BUB SBOBI OBRUniAB DAT*". .186 

CHAPTER XIX 

WBIM BBABTI ABB TOUKO 2C1 

CHAPTER XX 
A PIBITBBY APOBTLB .213 

CHAPTER XXI 

HB 80U0BT OUT BU 80UL 221 

CHAPTER XXII 

A SOUBD 0» A OOIBO IN THK TOPS OF THE TREKS 238 

CHAPTER XXIII 

WHEB MADAM EMOTION HELD SWAY .251 

CHAPTER XXIV 

LIOHTINO A FIRE 268 

CHAPTER XXV 

THE APPARITION 278 



CONTENTS 


vii 


CHAPTER XXVI 

FUniJiO Bit HAKD TO TBI FLOUOB 


rMa 
. 384 


CHAPTER XXVII 

TBI BBBTUro M ITABJIOW HOLLOW 


. 399 


CHAPTER XXVIII 

JIPBTHAB'l OADOBTIB . 

• • • 


. 312 


CHAPTER XXIX 

TBI TBMOM BT BIOBT 


. 318 


CHAPTER XXX 

TBI OOmiro OF TBB UJIWILiaUTKltD 


. 338 


CHAPTER XXXI 
■BBABIHO THB wohlo . 

• • • . 


. 337 


CHAPTER XXXII 

Losnro TBI baitlb 

• • • . 


. 360 



Men fight and lose the tattle, and the thing that 
they fought fsr conui about in sfite of their 
defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be 
what they meant, and other nun have to fight for 
what they mea$tt under another name, 

WILLIAM MORRIS 
In ♦' A Dream of John Bcdl." 



U 



CHAPTER I 

AT THE SIGN OF THE WEEPING WOMAN 

TuBNPiKE Thobougttfaee is a broad and busy street lying 
just outside the Umits of the City of London— about a 
mile to the north-east of the Mansion House. 

Never having been at any time in history a fiuhionaUe 
quarter, it still retains its plebeian character, and is for 
the most part occupied by decayed working-men's dwell- 
ings, factories, and large wholesale houses. Its attitude 
toward the City proper is that of a poor relation— thrust 
out of sight, never introduced to company, and expected 
to do with humble gratitude the menial task unthanked. 
Yet here and there among the ugly and more modem 
architecture is some of much earlier date, belonging to 
a period when what are now stri^ts were open fields, 
whither the 'prentices and joumt^ymen of the Cheap 
I brought their sweethearts and wives on the long summer 
evenings to watch them at their contasts of bow and ball. 
I As landmarks of this happier age stand many ancient 
Ihostelries bearing quaint signs: ''The Fisher's Folly" 
|«The Tankard,'; "The Friend of Ease." Some of thL 
still pursue their aforetime commeroj; some have been 
'M)nverted into shops. In the number of the latter must 
ranked "The Weeping Woman," which lies to the 
aorthem extremity of The Turnpike, standing back some 
iozen paces from the line of pavement, almost facing the 
Tiediaeval church of St. Lawrence the Just. 
" 1 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



Tlie sign of <*Tbe Weeping Woman,"* bearing the 
weather-beaten semblance of one robed in scarlet, carrying 
a child in her arms with down-bowed head, still swings 
above the doorway ; but the jovial hospitality whidi it 
once betokened for the incoming traveller who arrived 
over-late at the CMty Gate has vanished with departing 
years. The tavern was converted into a mixed book and 
stationery hhop fifty years ago by Giles Lancaster, a strong 
temperance advocate arrived before his time, who had 
hoped to elevate the moral tone of the community in 
wUch he dwelt by the sale of classic bodes at reduced 
prices. 

At this time John, grandson of the pioneer, was in 
pos ses s i on. A man of no fixed creed, certainly c^ no 
temperance bias, he was beset, behind and before, by the 
hoeditary chastener of the Lancasters, an overwhehning 
ami tormenting conscience. He had grown up in the 
belief that family honour forbade the abandonment of 
this quixotic adventure. 

This evening he sat at the open window of his attic 
study, with a large seventeenth-century volume of Ralei{^*s 
Htttory of the World upon his knees. 

The room faced towards the east, and the burning red 
of an August sunset smote firom behind upon the sombre- 
coloured roofs of the leagues of houses opposite with a 
sudden and unaccustomed glory ; drifting across the street, 
it lit up the grey, monotonous sea of slate and chimney- 
pot with flashings of copper and of gold. From below 
came up the unceasing ejaculations of a tirelesti dty, the 
roar of traffic, and cries of costers vending their wares. 

Lancaster was a tall man, six-foot-two at least, but 
narrow of shoulder and chest. His hair was long, lank, 
and black ; his forehead high and wrinkled ; his eyes gr^ 
and somewhat stem; his mouth large and thin of lip, 
inclined to droop at the corners, betokening despmidenqr, 



SIGN OF THE WEEPING WOMAN 8 

^ *T Tl^ to wnUe. and kindly; the chin firm, 
pointed, and clean^ihaven ; the nose delicate and arched^ 
hif age about thirty, though he looked older. Theentiw' 
conation of his face was intellectual, and produced in 
^stranger, by reason of its mingled power and melan- 
dioly, a singular sense of reverence tinged with pity ; for 
It bj»e the inevitable shadow of one Zlas beendi;nS 
by Lircumstance not to succeed. 

A. he sat in the darkening room his long, thin finoers 
toned page after page with the lisUess frequency of^ 
who takes no mterest in that which he reads. Every now 
and again he would pause to listen, half rise fiom hit 
chafr, and then, findmg himself mistaken, remime his 
profitless task. At last there came the jangling of a belL 
With a look of infinite relief he jum^i V-nd^ to 
himself, and left the room. Soon there was thewuS of 
a door opened and closed, and of footsteps ascending the 
stars. When he re-entered he was accompanied by a^man 
who, crossing the dusky attic, approached the window and 
leant fiu- out, so that the reflected light of the world below 
smote up into his face. 

vl^ T- \^^^"« W of not more than twenty-two 
years. His hair, which was worn longer than is customary 
among men of to-day, was of a shining golden col^ 
toudied with bronze. His forehead waT ^ and ex- 
tremely white, traveled by curls which feU away at the 
temples. His nose was straight and prominent ; his eyes 
full, deep-set, and of a shadowy grey. The lips, slightly 
pouting, and of a rich red, seemed to be for ever p«led 
as If eager for speech. His brows were heavy, reJdarlv 
I curved, and of a darker shade than his hair; whilst the 
hds were thickly fnnged with lashes so long that at times 
they almost screened his eyes. He was emphatically one 
bom with a large destiny, which, however, the sensitive 
hnes of the fece half hinted he was too tender to fulfil 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



There wmt a startling parity in his bearing whidb left 
others wondering how any one, who had lived for even so 
shcnrt a space as he, could have kept his body so undefiled, 
and his eyta so truthful. He bore the mariis of one 
bound upon a quest which called forth only the noblest 
dements in his being— one who not only possessed to the 
fbll the capacity to dream, but who could restore the 
power of vision to others, from whom it had departed. 
When he spoke, there was a certain lyric quality in his 
voice which stirred the imagination, bdlding up pictures 
in his hearer''s mind which outdid in splendour the mere 
meaning of his words. 

"London! London!** he exclaimed, unconsciously 
stretdung out his hands. **I can well understand what 
Charles Lamb felt when he said that Fleet Street and the 
Strand are better pla^^3 to live among than Skiddaw ; 
and that though he coi'tj spend contentedly two or three 
years in the mountains, he should mope and pine away 
had he not the prospect of seeing London at the end of 
that time. Think of the men who have lived here, and 
the ways in which they have died.*' 

** Yes," answered Lancaster, going over to the window, 
and standing at his side, " some of their lives are very 
interesting for us to look back upon, but for them they 
were far too actual to be pleasant. Very few of us would 
relive the past, I fancy, had we the chance ; we know too 
well what it caused us to suffer. Why, the things which 
delight us in other men*8 biographies are those whidi 
were dreariest to them — accounts of their griefs and strifes. 
The past is a good picture to gaze back upon, Gabrid ; 
it ought to be — ^it is a curio which was purchased at an 
extravagant price. In the meantime we have our present 
to mould in such fashion that it may grow into a desirable 
past ; which proves for many of us a weariful undertaking.** 

Grabrid turned sharply round, looking keenly into his 



SIGN OF THE WEEPING WOMAN & 

TTiinkrf^ the scope ftw adventure that it ailbrd^ Aw 
man with ten yean of the future to hit credit can to um 
hu pre«nt a. to make himself jurt whatever he like^ 
What wouM not Chri.1^ or Juliu. Ca»ar,or C«»ar Bo»ia, 
«rJohn Keats have accomplished in ten more yeS!? 
They would have re-made the world. I don^ fii the 
ST ""T^L ''^' grand to be alive. ITiere are a 
^on, miUion heroes in the Dead World who would 
^^f their earthly triumphs for only this oppor- 

•Rer-world. They would soon repent of their bannin. 

of this sordid Babylon of ours. We have all the sTS 
the ancients, minus their magnificence." 

opi^s?/'*''' "^^^^"'^ '"P"^» ^^*^' « I remain an 

«rn!*^tLSS^""** "* *"*" ""^"^^^ pessimists who have 
gtoym terrified,'' returned the older mimT^ 

The attic in its remotest cnmnies was now in darkness, 
l^e raj^of smiset, which had burnished the city's squalor 
CZ"T" .'P^*^^""^ "^ '^^' ^ retreaMwii^ 
t>^t^T^ V'^r^ "^'^ eyes; so that to tS? 
™^t-up &ncy the clangour of the streets resolved 
itsdf mto the ring of mail-clad feet upon the roof-tons, 
nashn^ w^^anls. In the ^om itself'Siere w^^o^^ 

I W K t ?"™"^ °^ Lancaster's pipe as he gathered 
lo^ breaths of smoke through its black^ed stem 

Th«e IS truth in what you say," Gabriel answered, 

h«^dowly; «of late I, certainly, have been ^ 
n^afoud. Perhaps, after all, I am merely a terrifi^ 



e THE WEBPING WOMAN 

"And that wm why 7011 oune to me f Tell me about 
it** A tenderer tone crept into Lancaster*! voice ; all his 
UttemesB had left him. 

** Ves,** said Gabriel, turning sharply about so that he 
freed the darkness of the room, ** that was why I came. 
You know how, for myself at least, I hold stem views of 
the purposes of life; I believe that I am in the worid to 
lave nuuikind.** ^ 

** That is what we are all here for.** 

"Yes, but we don't all know it, and those of us who 
know it dont do it; we stickle at the price. I intend 
to be original in this, that, knowing my possibilities, I 
accept my fete.** 

** Unfortunately, any departure from the conventional 
usually meaxk that we impose our fate upon others ; we 
cannot act singly.** 

"I know that; Tve been learning it during the past 
few days — ^that the accomplishment of any individual 
ambition must be bought with other people*s sacrifice. 
Good heavens ! what a scoundrel of a world ours is.** 

** No, say rather what a wayward c^ild. But what has 
happened to make you speak Uke this f "* 

** The thing which I have most dreaded ; I have had to 
make my choice. Tm not at home in the world, and never 
have been — it is all so furious and strange ; I was made to 
fed yet more of an outsider last night. That is alL** 

There followed a long pause, during which the two men 
hindered one another's gaze, lest by look or spoken word 
they should perturb the atmosphere of confession. "I 
dare say you noticed that the telegram which I sent you 
was addressed from Marlow?" Gabriel observed slowly. 
"We've been stopping there with our house-boat, 7%« 
Paruyy drawn up beside that of the Thurms*. Tve given 
my people plenty of opportunity of late for witnessing my 
fondness for Helen. Because of this, my fether spdce to 



SIGN OF THE WEEPING WOMAN 7 

«• l«t night, wh«n the othen had gone to bed, and 
He begw, by |M^ how he counted upon my /bture, and 

•jer I AouM undertake. He had qwed notwU on my 
^"^ Y:^^ "' *** Ham.w^to O^XZ 

Si ZT^ ^li*^ "'"" •* *" ^^' ^« ~»»ide«d it only 
jurt that I AouM pay some attention to hi. wishes He 

SSL^TJTJl^^* ''" *^ alway. been much mom than 
fej^ «id Km to one another, and that, saving nmelf, he 
had had no intimate friend in aU his veaM. S^oJ 

^e to think that this might ^^'j::;, ^l ^^f 
^-m^e man, and had never had an eariy opportunity 
tor cidtom ; whatev^ he had acquired in ^i^^^^ 
been kte at night, after business houw; buthehad «u3v 
detemmed that such should not be the c«e ^A me. M J 
o^rtomties w^ commencing at just about the point 
^ his own, after fifty years of toil, were leaving^- 
what was I gomg to do?"* ^ 

avdd?** " ^^^ ^""^'"^ ""^"^ ^°" ^^^ ^° *0^n*^ to 

V JJ^r*" ^"T"^ ^^^"^ *°^ *»» i"*J«« how vasUy at 
miwoe they "^ from my father's. I haidly know how to 

WeuT J5*K- ^''^^^^ir'^o^^ doing him^ a disrespect 
Z-u • i ™ everything,- Gabriel continued dreamUy, 
™ahzing the scene and recounting it in detail, as if he w^ 

STttT"; "«-'^*^^*^-<i»-dalways'feir;i;n 
^ rt m me to give expression to myself in some great 
2^ literary way, perhaps. At this my father^^ 
^t for a moment, and then said, «! don't object to 
ttat You can wnte aU you wish, and you know that, 
^ould you succeed, no one will be more pleased than I 

eveiy day to business; and business will give you an 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



income, making yoa independent I know that you have 
cratrived to accumulate a valuable art-knowledge on the 
theoietical tide, but in a large house, such at oure, if a 
man is ever to become an expert, it is necessary that he 
shmild come fitce to fkce with practical issues, anid that as 
soon as possible.' What was I to say ? I fed that in the 
mere menticm I am acting disloyally to one who has 
always been goodness itself to me. You understand, from 
what I have said in previous conversations, that I cannot 
approve of all the methods sanctioned in the art-dealer's 
trade.** 

** I understand.** 

"It seems shameftil to me that men should stoop to 
haggle and) cheat one another, to set a money value and 
make a profit upon testaments in canvas, and in sculpture 
to our world's greatest ideals. The men who painted half 
the pictures which pass through my father's hands died in 
garrets of hunger and disgrace ; we are content to make 
gain by their loss. 

**This traffic in rare and beautiful articles, which is 
carried on under the name of art-dealing, is too often a 
body-snatching of a dead man's secret affections — at best 
it is degrading. It thri\ ) on the purchase of fragments 
of the world's most precious hearts at the lowest figure, 
followed by an indiscriminate sale to the world's highest, 
and therefore most vulgar, bidder — ^pricing that which is 
priceless. If my &ther, like Keats' father, had been bom 
a keeper of stables, no matter how menial his employ, 
provided it was honest, I would have stood by him ;' but 
his employment is not honest, and never can be." 

" I hope you did not say all this tc your father ! " 

** No, not so strongly, and I v/ish I hadn't said it to 
you, but I fed that I must speak. He was very generous 
and patient with me. He might have asked me how I 
was content to get an education with money so earned ; 



SIGN OP THE WEEPING WOMAN 

or how I oouM wew dothei bought with inch money ; or 
where did I get the money which I carried in my pocket 
at that veiy moment He didn't Lwtead of this, he 
said that he had never regarded his business as anything 
other than honourable, nor had his clients, if their social 
standing counted for anything. He thought I would 
soon grow out of such notions, and come to see matters 
in a more practical light 

** Then came a worse humiliation ; in the face of my 
shabby treatment of him he confided in me. If he had 
fired up and called me an ungrateful scamp, threatened to 
disinherit, ordered me off his house-boat, it would have 
been so much easier to bear; instead, he listened quite 
patiently— never uttered an angry word ; in foct, showed 
himself by far the greater gentleman. 

** Everything had become vay quiet now, all the lights 
had been extinguished in the other house-boiits ; we two 
were quite alone. He laid his hand upon mine, and drew 
his chair nearer, saying, * Gabriel, I don't think you have 
evCT realized what kind of a life your mother and I have 
hfiil to lead. I should never have told you had not this 
oawred. A young man's agony is that he has too many 
ambitions; an old man's, that he has none left I had 
ahnost forgotten until to-night that I had ever dreamed 
laige and impossible promises ; you have recalled all that 
to me. Once was the time when I would have spoken in 
very much the same way as you have spoken; and, on 
some future day, you will speak in very much the same 
way as I am now going to speak. When I was a very 
young man, it seemed to me more than likely that I 
should soon become the century's greatest painter. I 
knew that I had the pictures in me, if I could but put 
them on canvas. The canvas I couldn't always buy. My 
faAer was a labouring-man. He could not have helped me, 
I had he had the will ; he hadn't, and couldnt comprehend 



W THE WEEPING WOMAN 

tlMMnbition. No doubt he thought me nwd. IniMuiged 
to tnunp it up to London, and there found that I wm 
«»e of a million, all of whom had at aome time miflbrad 
under a rimilar delusion. I starved, worked at odd jobs, 
■hovelled mow, hawked my paintings from door to door— 
lived as best I could. Then one day I drifted down an 
old street off Piccadilly, up a blind turning, known as 
IVejudice Alley. All this time, despite my privations, I 
had Mver lost faith in my own genius. In a owner of 
IVejudioe Alley stood a little shop, stacked with canvases 
of all kinds ; some good, many bad. The man who kept 
the shop was named Justin Redoubt Having stnne of my 
productions, with me, the idea struck me that he might be 
persuaded to buy ; so I entered. 

*** Redoubt was old and dishevelled ; he had onoe been 
a gentleman, but was now far gone in drink. When I 
entered, he was sitting at the far end of the room by an 
iron stove; this, when times were hard, he kept going 
with splinters of frames — ^many of them Froidi and 
Flinrentine ; the kind I sell to-day for hundreds of pounds. 
He had upon his knees an Italian landscape which he was 
frictioning with his fingers to remove the outer crust of 
yellow varnish. At first, he didn't want to have anything 
to do with me ; wouldn't even so much as raise his head, 
but went on with his cleaning. At last, angered because 
I still stopped, he looked up, and seeing me, became 
interested. He examined what I had brought; seemed 
rather impressed, but put them down again, saying that 
he dealt only in antiques. He questional me about 
myself ; what I did, where I lived. After a good deal of 
beating about the bush, he said that he could give me em- 
ployment, provided I was content to livp as he lived. In 
the end, it turned out that this consisted in touching up, or, 
if you prefer the bold truth, feking original copies of die 
admired schools in part or whole. When a damaged 



SIGN OP THE WEEPING WOMAN 11 

jpietiire euM into hit handi he wooU dctn ofT Um dirt, 
I until he got down to the nirface-|Mint ; then hand it oftr 
to one of the various poor artirte whom he Itept in hii 
pay, to have that which had been rubbed or ftded flUed 
fajae near aa ponible in the marter*! style. Then it was 
rstumed to him, toned to a subdued colour, oommcnsoiate 
with iU suppowd age, and floated upon the maricet ae a 
Baebum, Reynolds, or Rembrandt 

"•When a man is destitute and starving, neither of 
which you have ever been, his artistic scruples are apt to 
give way when food is in sight. I took Redoubt^s oifer, 
and agreed to do any woric that he might set before mt. 
I did not commit myself to the profession for ever; I 
considered it only as a means to an end— the ultimate 
•diievement of myself. 

<** As time went on I began to see the possible scope of 
this way of living, and at the same time, being always 
imitating the great schools, grew more expert with my 
brush. Where the pictures stored in IVejudice Alley all 
came from, I have never quite discovered ; that many of 
them were the results of theft, I am now convinced. 

*♦ * Ix>ndon is the clearing-house of the world's ill-gained 
artistic treasures. There are, probably, this night stowed 
away in various baclc-streets and hovels of London more 
great masterpieces than are conUined in the Phuio or 
the Hermitage. If you could follow up the hidden history 
of the master-canvases of Italy and Spain which have dis- 
appeared, and come to lig^t again years later when their 
loss was nearly forgotten, you would ahnost invariably 
find that at some period in their wanderings they have 
come to London. If they have not done so yet, they 
l«oon will. ^ 

"*What Mecca is to the Mohammedan, that London 
18 to the art-treasure; there is an unexplained fatality 
m these matters. Some few broken men, living in the 



It THB WSBPING WOMAN 

■hum o# tht Italian quarter anNind Soho, haw mbtd 
upon this piaoe of informatioo, and watch all cfaanotb of 
•ntiy night and daj. Such an one was Redoubt 

***After a ihort reddence with him, I oommeiMed to 
apprehend the inunenae importance of the knowledge 
which I wae acquiring. I set royielf to wonderii^ in 
what way I might make use of it All this must sound 
▼ery sordid to jour ears, fresh as you are from the dtj of 
romance; yet there has never attached to Oxford one-tenth 
part of the romance which there was packed away in that 
one dusty room, disorderly with frames and tatteied cantae, 
down Ptajudioe Alley. Why, every picture had a legend, 
and many had been purchased with Uood. 

*"At the end of four years I decided to set up ibr 
myself. Your mother was Justin Redoubt's daughter, 
and, having been brought up in the shop, was not only 
a splendid judge of schools, periods, and artists' styles, but 
also one of the most delicate restorers in the profession. 
I determined to keep the entire undertaking in my own 
hands, your mother and I working together. I purchased 
for my«elf, restored for myself, and was ray own runner. 
Then, when I discovered that pki ires bought from me for 
twenty pounds were sold by the dealers for hundreds and 
thousands, I made up my mind to become a West-End 
dealer, and saved up money to that end. By dint of hard 
work and pinched living, I opened a studio in Piccadilly. 
IVom that time I prospered. 

"I During my early struggles, I still retained my first 
ambition, to express myself to the world— to paint But 
when I met so many men of kindred illusion, and saw how 
they had failed, by slow degrees I abandoned myself to 
the fortune which came to me unbidden, and forsook the 
fortune which I had only coveted. 

" * Then you came to us, and aU was changed. I deter- 
mined that no child of mine should ever undergo the 



SIGN OF THE WEEPING WOMAN 18 

MDm of povwtj to which I had bMn Mli^wted. What 
had previoudjr been a neMiih tolK wlely tor my own enda, 
BOW grww into a woric of love for ymxn. 

***I have read in aonie stray book, which I onn chanced 
to pick up, woidf which run Mmething like thia: **Man 
ilght and low the battle, and the thing they fought for 
cornea about in tpita of their defeat, and when it cornea 
tuma out not to be what they meant, and other men have 
to fight for what they meant under another name.** 

** * I am one of thoie who have fought and loat the battle. 
Without being in any way a cynic, that is, I believe, what 
overy man ii doing. No man ever attaint that which he 
■eti out to attain; he attains something, never that 
FHends, who encourage a young man in the belief that he 
will attain, are but false Mends, goading him on to a hell 
of his own making. The unkindest Uiing that a father 
can do for his boy is to shout him forward in the pursuit 
of his early will^^.the-wisps. I believe that every life has 
its own peculiar victory in store— it is never the victory 
which the possessor of that life has most desired. Dis- 
illusion is man*s greatest triumph, aiid conquest in the 
unsou|^t skirmish a greater test of courage than the 
brutal winning of a long and cunningly thouf^t-out 
campaign. Every foremost man has experienced this ; at 
the bade of every peace there is some hidden desolation. 
Tliere is no environed genius of to-day who does not 
regret a visionary and lost battlefield of yesterday. 
Tennyson succeeds as a poet, but is miserable because he 
cannot write a staging play. Some applauded playwri^t 
is wretched because he cannot make his scribbled verses 
scan. 

***I speak to you out of my Book of Life— the only 
trustworthy guide-book to which a father can refer his 
woo. I set out to be a Raphael — I am only a millionaire ; 
and I say to you with idl kindness that, if you persist 



14 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

in your prewnt fkncj, it will be without my aid. I 
believe that you are one of the men who will succeed, and 
that greatl' jut it is not in the way which now you 
most desire. 

While listening to this story of revolt against the things 
that be, Lancaster had been reading it through with the 
etifled yearnings of his own early life. His experience of 
battles bitterly corroborated that of Gabriel's &cher— that 
fights are fought to be lost It had always been so in his 
own case. Nevertheless, to-night, in the presence of this 
incarnation of youth, he crushed down experience, and 
hoped against hope. 

** And then,"* asked Lancaster, " and after that what did 
you say ?** 

*»WI b could I say? I could not tell him that this 
account of his methods had made my partaking in the 
business all the more repellent ; that the very handling of 
money so gained was in itself contamination. So I simply 
said, * Well, father, we shall see. For the present I am 
determined, at every cost, to follow my own bent, and to 
attempt that which I feel myself most capable to attain.' 
*« This sounded very lame and very obstinate, Fm afraid ; 
but I dared not tell him my deeper reason. I don't 
think he had expected me ^:o take matters so seriously. 
His eyes filled, and he said, * My boy, you know best, but 
I had hoped that it might have been otherwise. You are 
my only child ; I and your mother are growing old. You 
will have to come at wisdom in yotur own way, and I pray 
God it may not cost you as much as it has already cost 
me.' 

" He said this with a sob in his voice. The morning was 
breaking when we rose to go. Somehow, in that grey 
light, he looked older than I had ever seen him, and his 
shoulders seemed to have fallen forward. I fwl that I 
behaved badly in speaking as I did, and even though it 



SIGN OP THE WEEPING WOMAN U 

w« the troth, I am half-indined to go back to him and 
give mywlf the lie. 

"To^y we talked over other matte»-Helen amongtt 
othen, and then I said that I should Uke to ran up 
and see you. I think that is all. Now, what have you 
to say?" ^ 

The world outside had been for some time quite dark. 
TTie noise of traffic had subsided ; everything was very 
Mlent, with that intensest quiet which can only be found 
m a great aty, when, for the short hour or two which 

^TJTu?\* ?T"! ^ ™^"'''y °^ ""^^ ^ el>bed away. 
I think, Gabnel, that you have acted in a way which, 
far most m<m, would be reckoned unwise-a way, however, 
which was the only one possible to you. I neither pnuse 
nor condemn the step which you have taken ; but I love 
you because of it While you have been speaking, I have 
beai thinking out how you are to support youwelf for the 
firrt .ew mouths. Your action with regard to your father 
and the stand which he has taken, will, if I know anythimj 
of your resources, place you in a very embarrassing positi^ 
for the n«rt year or so. You are my friend, therefore you 
need not fed sorry to accept from me. I am not rich, but 
I am quite comfortably off, and I want to say that vou 
Me not only welcome to stay with me for a year or two, 
but p«.itively must I have failed myself, you must 
remember, and I do not intend to see you fail. 

"About your literary projects we wiU talk more to- 
morrow; you are fogged out with the excitements of the 
day and must go to bed now. Get off as quickly as you 
can, and try to forget your troubles for a while. So now 
good-night" ' 

Gabriel went softly over to where Lancaster sat At 
this hour, when so many affections threatened to vanish 
out of bfe, he had met with utter comprehension ; a wave 
of tenderness swept over him. Placing his hands upon 



19 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



hit duMiIden, he stood above him, looking down into hii 
hce. ** You are a brave fellow,^ he said, ** and have given 
me courage ; I don^ think that you have really failed.** 

Long after Gabriel had departed, Lancaster stayed on 
fitting by the open window, thinking, thinking. A 
bedraggled rooster, in some neighbouring Turnpike slum, 
lifted up his voice on stilts out of the blackness, heralding 
the approach of light. 

^ Be careful, my fine fellow," Lancaster muttered ; ** even 
thouf^ you are somewhat of a prophet and have dis- 
covered the dawn to ^iiich men as yet are blind, th^ll 
wring your neck for you to-morrow if you make too much 
noise." 

He smiled bitterly, &tic3ring that he found a parallel 
between this and another, no very distant, case. 

The footsteps of new day had commenced to sound 
befcne he rose to go to rest 



? 



1 



CHAPTER n 



f 



1 



THE EXFEN8E OP AMBITION 

Thkt rose late next morning. The bcj who looked 
after the shop had already taken down the shuttere, and 
the woman who came to tidy and arrange the rooms had 
already gone before they sat down to breakfast Gabriel, 
except for a slight pallor, looked fresh and moderately 
happy; but Lancaster's eyes were heavy and ringed. 

After a display of emotion between two men, especially 
if they happen to be Englishmen, there is usually a certain 
awkwardness. Of nothing are we more afraid, either in 
ourselvai or others, than the revelation of that true self 
which lies hidden beneath the actor's guise. 

After a few minutes of embarrassed silence, Gabriel 
nervously, and with a forced hilarity, began, "Fm afiaid 
I was rather overstrung last night, and overmuch m 
earnest I dotf t believe any one is capable of giving an 
accurate judgment on a situation afl»r the sun has gone 
down. With sunset vitality decreases, and men are apt 
to become coward»— to see only dreary probabilities in a 
crisis. I must beg your pardon for upsettuig you in the 
way I did." 

Dmcaster raised his eyes very slowly. « My dear boy, 
I don't see that there is any need for apology or explana- 
tion. You were only loyal to yourself; the cowardice 
consists in being ashamed of having been loyal." 
There was a pause, during which Gabriel flushed, and 
a 17 



18 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



then said impulsively, **What a fellow you are, John! 
You always seem to know what it is that a man really 
wants to say, even though he belies himself in the saying 
of it There's no good in di^^se. My affairs are in a 
very delicate state. I have either to be fidse to ray fatho: 
or to myself; and it seems to me that if a man parleys 
with his environment at twenty-two, by the time he has 
reached forty his environment will be piloting his destiny. 
A man's first duty is at all costs to attain himself. Most 
tragedies arise from an early omission of this step.'' 

** And it is because of this, and more especially when I 
look back into my own past and see the lack of tiiat early 
step, that I am so emphatic in my advice to you to follow 
up your present inclination. No man can serve two 
masters ; he must either submit to his own fate, or inherit 
some one else's. I did the latter at your age in adopting 
my father's business ; my father's business has now adopted 
me. I have been trying to repair the damage ever since. 
I have found that the most expensive thing to repurchase 
is your past. I should be sorry to see you understudying 
for my catastrophe. But there — we don't want to be 
tragic. You are trying a novel experiment, one which 
few men have tried — ^the experiment of being yourself — 
and I believe you'll win in the end. What we've got to 
do is to plan for the clearing of a way. In the first place, 
there's Helen Thurm." 

** I think Fve to!(- you nearly everything about mysdf 
except that. One doesn't like to talk about the woman he 
loves — at least, I dont. It seems a sort of sacril^e. You 
have met both Helen and her brother ; but I have never 
liked to discuss either of them, and you have always 
seemed to understand and respect my reserve. Rupert 
and I have been close friends all through college. I met 
his sister in my first year, when she was up for Eights' 
week, and have been meeting her off and on ever since. 



THE EXPENSE OF AMBITION lo 

"Her aodal sUtiv, as such things an reckoned, is, of 
coum, vastly superior to my own, and at first I thought 
ttat this would stand in my way. I used to fancy that 
Je rather despised our family occupation— not so mudi 
from what she actually said as from the way in whidi she 
kept silent, treating me on and off with a flippant disdain. 
It was not until we took theParuy to iMarlow this summer 
that I had any hope. But after she had got to know my 
father and mother, she seemed to change. You know how 
ample and lovaUe they both are, for all their money, and 
how timid mother stiU is amongst strangers-ahnost as 
though she was always harkiii^ back with longing to the 
struggling days, when no one ^tood between us and herself, 
and she had to work hard and do everything for us with 
her own two hands. I think Helen expected to meet some 
newly-rich and vulgar folk, who had nothing to boast of 
or live for save their wealth. Instead, she found two quiet 
old people who cared nothing about anything or anybody 
except for loving one another and their son." 

**0f course, you must see, Gabriel, that in making 
yourself penniless, it would not be just to handicap the 
fortunes of a brilliant young girl. Literature is a very 
precarious adventure, and, even when it proves successful, 
is not a prosperous financial investment." 

« I see that only too clearly, and intend to let her know, 
before I go any further, the reasons for my step, also that 
I condder her entirely free. Fm afraid shell despise me 
very much; but I can't help that. I would rather be 
despised by the person I love most than live to despise 
myself. I have been thinking the matter out, and have 
decided to run down to Marlow this afternoon and stop 
the night with Rupert, so as to let him know the exact 
n- 3n for what I am doing. I shall also see father, and 
; xsuade him not to take me too seriously. I should be 
miserable if he were to understand my going away as 



to 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



tanUnoaiit to a fkmily rapture. I begin to fed that we 
hare all regarded this small affair as far too epoch-making. 
It ii, after all, onlj a little wanderjakr into a virtuous hx 
ooontiy, whidi is not so distant but what a penny "bos-fiwe 
will bring me back any day. Carlyle has been there, and 
Cderidge, and even the pompous Dr. Johnson ; so I shall 
be fai respectable company, even though there is nothing 
but huriu to feed upon.** 

That evening Gabriel found himself again in Marlow. 
He had thought his way, at least partially, through his 
difficulties, and was now rather inclined to imile upon the 
strained perplexity of mind which had driven him so 
suddenly up to town. 

The long stretch of silver river seemed to reflect his 
mood, recalling him from perfervid effort and speaking of 
the ultimate happiness of quietude. A boatman informed 
him that his father''s house-boat had moved up-stream 
early that mommg, but that that of the Thurms^ was still 
in the old place. After walking a mile or so towards it, 
he cast himself upon the bank in the golden evening light, 
and abandoned himself to dreaming those long, vague 
dreams of which only veiy yoimg men are capable. As 
he lay there he did not notice how a long, slim punt, 
whidi had edged its way out from a back-water upon the 
further side, came drifting towards him, pushing through 
the rushes, keeping close to the shore. His eyes were in a 
more distant land. He was now far enough removed from 
the brutal realities of London to find attainment of any kind 
easy. He pictured himself as a youth who has walked all 
his years across a monotony of prairie, who comes at last 
to a hi^ precipice, and, looking down, descries rivers and 
towers and golden cities, things unheard of and unimagined, 
any one of which may be his for the asking. 

'That's just the trouble with me," he said, speaking 



U' 



THE EXPENSE OF AMBITION SI 



•load "There are so manj of them that I don't know 
which to choocie, they are all so lovely ; but since Pre 
already clambered part way down the cliff, soon I shall 
have to make my decision.** 

" Gabriel f* exclaimed a rich contralto voice. «*I 
thought that it must be you."* 

Turning round suddenly and rising to his feet, he saw a 
tall, handsome girl, hatless, with a mass of chestnut hair 
coiled above a smiling, sunburnt face. She was dressed in 
white, and stood upon the stem of a punt, steadying her- 
self with the pole which was in her hands. ♦* I knew that 
I could not be mistaken ; I thought that it must be you,** 
she said again. 

"Why, Helen, what instinct made you come to meet 
me ? " he replied. « Fve just returned from London, and 
was coming to visit you and Hupert. I had hoped to see 
my fiither at the same time. He went up-stream in the 
Pofury early this morning, so Tm told.** 

"Yes. Mr. Garrod grow tired of Marlow after your 
departure. He didn't know that you intended to come 
back again ; so he took his house-boat up-river. Yester- 
day Rupert was summoned to * The Castles ' to look after 
a sale of land. I am expecting him back by the 6.80 
train. I thought that he would walk fit)m the station 
along the river-bank, so I puntea up to meet him half-way. 
I suppose he must have driven by the road ; for if he had 
walked, he would have been here by now. You had better 
get in the punt and come back with me. He'll be waiting 
dinner for us." 

Gabriel stepped in and took the pole, while she lay 
down upon the cushions, looking towards him. When he 
had pudied out from the bank and they were under way, 
he asked her shyly, turning his face aside, "Have you 
heard anything of what took place between my father and 
myself? Yes? Then that saves a lot of explanation. I 






It THE WEEPING WOMAN 

V 

wwit to do ■omething that wiUwdly avail Father.wben 
he wai young, thou^^t to do aomething of the same kind, 
but he was never given hia chance; ao he has come to 
think that no man ever gets the chance he is in search of, 
and that the cruelest thing that he could do would be to 
encourage me in my quest What it all amounts to is this, 
ttat without having in any way quarrelled, we have decided 
that it is best— at least, for a time— that he should go 
his way and I mine— which means that I am penniless.** 
** You dont look very unhappy about it" 
« No, I am not unhappy. I am uncomfortable, because 
I feel upon my life the pressure of other men's lives. I 
long to remain free. I dread giving hostages to <Atf^.Hi#- 
thegf-are. I don't approve of t1wngs^.they-are, and intend 
to say so to the world— not that I suppose for a minute 
that the careless world will mind. Nevertheless, at the 
outset, I want to be honest, and therefore reftise to be 
gigged. If I obeyed my father's wishes, I should be 
bound and gagged and blinded from now till the end of 
time. I long to be able to fulfil myself in those ways 
which I know to be best Every man has it in himself to 
become a god if he wiU only maintain his soul unfettered. 
To do this, even for the sake of others, means that others 
have to pay a part of the price; for instance, my father 
and my mother. That is my problem. Am I justified in 
imposing the sacrifice ? and, after it has been suffered by 
others, shall I find myself strong enough to do those deeds 
which will make their suffering worth while ? However, 
when you found me just now I had been thinking how 
fooUsh it is to fret and worry over the coming days. 
Every next step and new decision is a step into the dark- 
ness. We shan't make night any less black by groaninir 
and crying about it" 

" That is practically what Epicurus says : * A foolish life 
is resUess and disagreeable; it is whoUy engrossed with 



THB EXPENSE OF AMBITION iS 

tht fbtun. He who b I«art in need of the niorraw wm 
meet the morrow moit pleeaently/** 

**Wh7,thifisadiM»vei7! I never knew that yoa took 
intcteet in auch philoaophiee.** 

"No, I dare aay not Unfortunately, the wiM man is 
for ever inclined \o endow his neighbour with suipassing 
folly. Because few words are uttered, it does not always 
follow that nothing is thought When you discover jome 
one who appears to you to be dumb, first doubt your own 
power of hearing— only after a long lapse of time his 
power of speech."* 

He allowed the punt to drift, and regarded her intently. 
**I have always envied you your assurance in confronting 
the world,'* he said. « You give the impression of possew- 
ing eveiybody and everything with which you come in 
contact Suiely you are not unhappy?** 

She raised herself up from the cushions and answered 
him slowly. « I suppose if you were . .jcussing me with a 
man you would sit down and count up the list of blessings 
wherefore I should be truly thankftd ? < She has plenty 
of money,* you would say ; * She*s rather good-looking* (I 
know tiiat I am not ugly ; Tm quite frank with myself in 
ocmfessing that); ♦She's an orphan, and is not troubled 
with female relatives ;* *She*8 well connected, and owns a 
thousand acres ; * « She can sing a little, paint a little, play 
a little.* And so you would go on. You would never see 
that all these recommenda; ons with which you had been 
crediting me are either borrowed from outside myself or 
mediocre. Do you think that because I am a girll also 
have no impossible fantastic dreams and wild, uncurbed 
desires ? I envy you your freedom of choice, I wonder 
what people would say of me wer? I to pluck the reins of 
my life from out the hands of convention, as you are 
doing, and gaUop away and away in the direction which 
my soul thinks best?** 



•* THE WEEPING WOMAN 

She bent forwwd, mtiiig her hot within her hndi, 
looldng fkr op the windings of the river, ■• if to lee Mine 
image of the thin^i of which the spoke. ** Don^ joo tee, 
Oefariel, how humiliating it if to be a rich, well-eonneeted, 
good-looidng girl ? Peq>le ere no contented with all that 
jroa aie that they never take the trouble to think of the 
gnetneii that you might become. You envy me my 
•Munnoe t That is a part of my inheritance, and not 
of my own begetting. And ymi presuppose that I am 
happy— you, who are so wrapped up in your own emotions 
that sometimes you have not even credited other people 
with ftselings." '^'^ 

Then, perceiving that she had spoken more forcibly than 
she had intended, "Why, Gabriel, a man of your taste 
oug^t to know that it is no longer fashionable to be 
happy. Rossetti altered all that when he painted his 
*BeaU Beatrix* and penned 'Ihe Blessed DamoieL*'* She 
looked up at him sideways, trying to smile ; but a tear, 
which had Uunched forth unawares, had shipwrecked in 
the long lashes of her eyes, bespeaking misery. 

He drew in the pole and sat down in tl^ storn, waiting 
for her to speak again. The sun had set and the knd had 
grown quiet At last he said, "Helen, I think I have 
never known you until this moment We have been 
very mudi together of late, yet you have never uttered 
yoiuvdf.** 

"Have you not heard of the heart's key, Gabriel? 
Men and women Kve together, and love together, and 
grow tired of one another together, yet never recognise 
their essential selves, because they have mislaid the key." 

As at times hearts are broken because few words are 
spoken, so there are seasons when they are desecrated by 
over-speech. In silence they floated down the shadowy 
stream, sitting fiice to face, watching the mystery which 
looked out from one another's eyes. Rounding a braid in 



THB EXPENSE OF AMBITION tS 



tiM rivw, the hoon-biMt omm in tight. Unwillii^j 
QaMd won uid brought the punt alongdde. On 
•tapping out, Helen inquired for her brother, and kamt, 
to her lurpriie, that he had not arrived. Hmtb waa atill 
another train which he might come by, but dnoi it waa 
not due Ibr an hour, thej determined to commence dinner 
without him. 

Following Helen into the cabin, he iislt to the ftill all 
tha comfort which he waa about to fonake. Eveiything 
beipolie luxury and a woman'i presence ; from the old 
Staflbrdahire <^na upon the table to the pinlc-and-white 
curtains at the window, and the careAil array of geraniums 
and ferns upon the silk 

She dismissed the waiter, telling him that he would not 
be required ; and so they two were left quite alone. Tlie 
subtle sense of proprietorship in a woavm bqpui to take 
po ss essi on of him, so that, in the long, nbroken silenoe 
whidi followed, 1m noted her every cha.m ; the delicate 
curve of her wrist when she raised it; eadi Icmg and 
slender finger with its pink climax ; the golden glint in 
her hair, where the sun's rays had gathered and left their 
stain ; the rustle of her dress, and the slow rise and fkll 
oi her breast— all of which were so intensely feminine, and 
yet so ill-appreciated in times past 

£Qie looked up and met his gaae, blushing. ** It isn't 
very often that two people are really quite alone tt^^ethor, 
do you think ? IVe often thought how strange it is that 
I spend hours and hours in Rupert's company, and yet 
never seem to know him any bett^. When we were little 
children and had nothing to say, we told one another 
everything ; now that we are older, and would give years 
of our life to speak out our hearts, the power of speech 
is gone from us. Have you ever felt like that ? " 

** Yes, all this summer. Every time I have been with 
you, except this time."" 



11 

5i 



M THE WEEPING WOMAN 

••Whj thit drntr I think it is hmmm 70a «t in 
traabl^ and hw ■omttliing to tdl mt ; htemm I urn 
nnhiipiij, and fcd tht need of yooT 

** Ym, life hM bem too hmpjpy. I knew that it ooaU 
not htft ; but if thia it unhappinMi, I an oontant** 

••Andt" 

Hm mt of the dinner took place without ipeech at 



A digfat wind had blown ap, ruffling the water, and 
pufflng out the curtaini like laik Except for thii, thera 
wai no eound. Hmj pudied back their chain. 

** I ahall always remember you, when you are gona^" die 
laid softly. 

"When I am gone? Why, I shant be for away, and, 
if you will let me, I shall soon come back to you— when 
I have succeeded.** 

**No» I think not,** she replied. <«This is our laat 
night together. You will find many other interests when 
you are gone out into the great world of your own 
making; and one day, when you are famous, you will 
look back and smile at this night, thinking how foolish it 
was. But I shall always ranemb^.** 
•*I came to tell you something quite different ttom 

that I came to tell you ^** 

She raised her hand. « Yes, dear, I know what you 
came to tell me, but that could never be. In oidinaiy 
men faithfukiess is a virtue; in the artist it is a vice. Tlje 
hij^iest fidelity is to grow with your ideal, and of this 
artists alone are fully capable ; but it is bitterly severe on 
the women they have loved. You will outgrow me, and 
remember only my feults. How I was haughty, and 
reserved, and quick-tempered, and gave myself away quite 
unbecomingly once long ago on a summer's night*' 

" No, Helen, I swear to you that nothing of what yon 
say shall ever come true. I would willingly give up the 



THE EXPENSE OF AMBITION t7 

littb art which now I think that I hafv, mthv thui Iom 
tht bo|M ct winning you.** 

<* Yoa my to now, and I admire and love you for Miying 
it ; bat, ahould I »ld you to the woid which you have 
■poken, the day would come when you wouki raview your 
abandoned career. Then you wodd blame me, and yet 
mora grievoudy younelf, for the Muiriflce of a lifetime ; a 
lacriikse which had been made in an hour of bo^ 
•nthueiann.** 

** But everything is not final I ahaU come back.** 

** No man ever comet back. Women do aometimee ; 
men never. 

Outdde the wind ti^gMA through the traes and tome 
few drope of rain were heard to patter amongst the leaves. 
Ahwady there was a foreboding of autumn abroad. The 
moon tottered a^ rnio alreedy tired; small dissevered 
ckxids were drifting down the sky, as petals which fall in 
a garden whoi flowers begin to fade. 

•* You have told me of your fbture hopes, let me tell 
you of mine which are past You know how it was with 
mother? She was a professional singer, and fether, in 
making her his wife, was supposed to have married beneath 
him. Shortly after the marriage, he tried to make amends 
for his social error by strictly forbidding her ever to sing 
again. He had fallen in love at the first not with her, 
but with her voice— at that time he had not seen her fkce. 
He used to wait at night outside the high-walled gaiden 
of the house in which she lived, in older that he might 
listen to her singing. 

** When at his bidding she ceased to sing, he gave up 
caring for her. You can imagine how pitiful her position 
was! She loved him passionately, and knew that she 
could win him back to her any day, if she should sing 
<mly one of those old songs which he had first heaid her 
dng. But she was too honourably and hated her voice 



\ 



« THE WEEPING WOMAN 

M the agent which had brought about his family disirraoe. 
Sometimes, when I wan a htUe girl, she would sendme to 
deep with snatches of lullabies ; and on nights when 
eveiy one was abed, and papa was away from home, I 
wmdd wake m my cot, and hear her . inging one wailing 
refrain over and over. Once, I crept out of bed and do^ 
to the room, and found her at the piano, crying in the 
dark as she sang. That was just before she died. 

"As a child I always hoped to bo something greater and 
tetter timn the average woman of my class, and, in excess 
of aU other desires, coveted thn power of song. One can 
say so much more, and come so much closer to the hearts 
of others, when one sings the meaning. Words are such 
a clumsy contrivance for expressing thought, they leave so 
much room for misunderstanding; music speaks nothinir 
that IS not true. When I grew older and became a youM 
girl, I would often kneel, praying M'ith an agony rf 
intensity far into the night that I might sing/tiU the 
co^d ate into my bones, and almost paralyzed my lips, 
^e day came when I discovered that I had dreamed true 
Herr Emile, who was at that time the greatest tenor in 
Europe, having heard me sing, promised that, should he 
have the training of me, I should become a great contralta 
llay m «id day out I practised ; going irom Germany io 
^c^from France to Italy, and last of aU to Vienna. 
Whikt there I had diphtheria, and, when I im»vered. 
found Aatorfy a little portion of aU my talent remained 
--ttat I should never be a great singer after aU, only a 
tnfling drawing-room amateur. I made up my mind 
never to sing again, and forbade any one to make mention 
of what I^ gone before. I became embittered and 
cynical, and feU back for comfort upon my social position 
and wealth, although I despised them botii. About this 
time there came to me a certain poet who was old and 
broken m body, though in years he still was young. He 



THE EXPENSE OF AMBITION S9 

also had spent his powers m the search after something 
which he had never realised. He said that he found 
m me that for which he had sought For him it may 
have been true ; but for me he had come too late. He 
had lost aU his beauty and health and idealism along the 
road towards his goal ; when he arrived, I could only be 
sorry for hiuK I broke his heart with my pity. Isn't it 
strange, Gabriel, that a good woman can work as much 
ruin with her pity as a bad woman with her hate ? 

"After these things I met with you. Then I struggled 
against my change of heart, and grew jealous of your 
courage and ambition. I was misc-ably lonely. All that 
is now over ; for this one night I am content to say that 
I love you." 

While she had been speaking, Gabriel had risen from 
his chair and knelt beside her. Now that she was silent, 
he placed his arms around her neck and, drawing her face 
towards his own, kissed her upon the lips. 

Outside the storm had gathered, and the rain drove 
across the countryside like an invading and victorious 
host ; but they were unconscious of the storm. The light 
of the moon was obscured, and the room in darkness. He 
felt a hot tear splash upon his hand, and found that her 
cheeks were wet with crying. 

She rose and sat herself at the piano, saying, « This is the 
■ong which mother used to sing, when I was a little child.** 

In a low, sweet voice, which trembled with emotion, she 
sang— 

"When my love was nigh me. 
Naught had I to say. 
Then I feigned a Mae love, 
And turned my lips away. 

W- m my love lay dying, 

6onovUa I said, 
* Soon ehail I wear scarlet 

Beeanae my love is dead.' 



•0 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

WJen my love had vanished, 

Tnen was nothing said : 
I roi^got the scarlet 

For tears— and bowed my head." 

The wind blowing into the room bore with it a crumpled 
W of geranium which lighted in her bosom. Picking up 
the reddened petal, she tried to smile, whispering, « ScSleL 
see. It IS scarlet!" * ««*ri«, 

. "Darling" said Gabriel, in a choking voice, «I shaU 

~mTbi^k " ""''' "^' '° ^* *^°«« ^- y^^ -d 

« w^l "*" T' "^""^ **^'''" «^« reiterated, sighing. 
We have spoken to one another face to face, aT it is 
pven to few men and women to speak. To-moirow we 
might meet, and, being less noble, repent of that which 
we have done and said to-night. The penalty of all 

^^V\^u' "^ "^ *° '^^ too much of one 
another. Should we meet again in the blatant daylight 
commonplace, we should earnestly search after thoi two 
people who were here to-night, and should search in vain." 
He would not deny her, for he knew too weU that at 
such a time denid would be vain; moreover, he felt 

Sfh.^\r'.*l'* *^'" "'^ '^"^ '- what she said. 
But he took her m his aims, pressing her close, so that at 
^t he could feel the panting of her bosom, and the touch 
of her hair upon his face. 

"You wiU go away and forget me," shf cried. « But I 
want you to be great, and strong, and good. Success is 
^^ unless it helps others tolc^rfshanX; 
remember and pray for you." 

She broke from him suddenly ; ai:d he, running to the 
dcK,r to recapture her, heard the swish of her dL, and 
tte hastening of her retreating footsteps in the palsa^ 
and the clang of a closed door. 

Covering his face with his hands, he stole out from the 









THE EXPENSE OP AMBITION 81 

house-boat 4nd fled into the night Running along the 
river-side, frightened and unnerved, he flung himself down 
in the wet, fragrant grass, whispering brokenly, «« What 
have I done ? Oh, what have I done ? *• 

How long he lay there he never could tell. When he 
came to himself, staggering to his feet, he stumbled his 
way toward the high-road. A farmer's wagon, which was 
thundering on its way to the Saturday market at the 
town of Windsor, halted as he tottered through the hedge. 
The driver flashed his lantern into Gabriel's fiice, audi 
seeing that he was a gentleman in distress, with that 
superior and undiscriminating compassion which those 
who are honourably denominated « the working-dasses " 
invariably show to the wretched of whatsoever walk of 
life, told him whither he was bound, and offered him a 
lift. 

With a scarcely audible « Thank you," Gabriel clambered 
into the wagon, and was soon asleep, snuggled in a bed of 
new-mown hay. The farmer, perceiving that his passenger 
was wet, stripped off" his coat, threw it over him, and went 
whistling on his way. 

When Gabriel awoke, the sun was shining in, and the 
clocks of Windsor were striking six. The driver was 
stooping over him, shaking him by the shoulder, trying to 
arouse him. 

Tumbling out of the wagon, stiff and dizzy, he found 
his way to the railway station, and took a ticket on the 
early train to London. 



CHAPTER III 



SANITY AND THE MOSNINO 

By the time that the train rolled into ftiddington 
Gabriel had recovered his calm of mind. The deep sleep 
of utter weariness which had overtaken him in the wagon 
had restored his sanity, and the brisk, early morning air, 
washed pure by rain, acted like a tonic. 

Irving the station, he walked down Westboume Terrace 
into the Uxbridge Road, and took an outside seat upon a 
'bus go-ng eastward to the Turnpike. 

The panorama of London was abeady in fiiU swing : 
Hyde Park, with its ceaseless processional of tidy and 
slatternly nursemaids, its top-hatted and black-coated 
masquerade of well-groomed men out for an aimless eon- 
atituJonal; Oxford Street, with its arrogant dispky of 
wealth on the pavement and impotent poverty on the 
kerb-stone. Here he caught sight, in passing, of one of 
his father's sumptuous branch establishments, and a 
recently-purchased Turner in the window, which had cost 
sufficient to maintain a family in luxury for a lifetime. 
It filled him with dull anger. At Regent Circus a 
tattered ragamuffin of a news-boy, climbing on to the 'bus, 
flashed before his eyes the announcement, « Garrod pays 
fabulous price for old tapestry." This served to prove to 
him how fa he had drifted from his accustomed bearings. 
He saw the headlines without interest, save for a certain 
sense of shame, and indolently returned his regard to the 
street. 

32 



SANITY AND THE MOANING 88 

• J'^^^ PJ»*» -nd Newgate, whew, he had been 
mt<«To^hy^dTivtr,-Ahlckewuto be W far « 

iTJ^T?^'* '^»«^<'nHoa«w«amdbed.«,d. 
hrt of .U^ thy swung into the Turnpike. Here, whai 
the patient and uncl«uily poor are soomged and crucified 
d~tyu, aU Aeir nobility, he thanked STood that the 
Wert was left beWnd. Here were poems of transition 
to be «ptured, and tragedies of decay to be portrayed; 
out of hw own misfortune the true dignity of poverty was 

symbohc of his hfe ; from rich to poor, from the artificial 
to the real ; and yet he felt happy. 

At tiie far end of the street he saw the old wooden sign, 
which huiy before Lancaster's door, swinging to and fro in 

weather, but still defiantly bearing the effigy of a woman. 

To his stadned fimcy the rude outline resembled Helen. 
He snatched his gaze away convulsively, determined not to 
•Be; and yet was increasingly conscious of its presence. 
Now and tiien, as he approached, he was oonrtrained to 
glance rtealthily from under his drooping lids, and each 
tame thought he caught the woman regarding him with 
Hdra s ey«| ; but, when he turned savagely toward it, he 
found nothing save the crude daub of a woman with a 
mantled head. 

« Nerves,- he said, and, descending from the Ims, alighted 
before ttie door. Lancaster, who had evidently been on the 
watch, hartened to meet him as he crossed the threshold 
with welcommg hands. 

"There is a letter up-stairs for you," he said ; «I fancy 
it*s from your father." ^ 

On ascending to the sitting-room, he eagerly possessed 
himsetf of his letter, which he found to be7brief Jmmnary 



84 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



of what had gone before, stating that hit &ther in no way 
blamed him for his choice, although he might be grieved. 
He had akeady given his reasons as to why he could not 
give his son an allowance during his experiment, but he 
enclosed a cheque for fifty pounds, to cover immediate 
expenses. He Uiought it best for both their sakes that no 
meeting between them should take place for a twelvemonth, 
in order that Gabriel might have opportunity to prove the 
value of his decision. He wished him clearly to under- 
stand that, should he feel inclined to revoke and come 
back to the old mode of life at any time within the year, 
he would be welcomed, and no mention would be made of 
what had occurred. Finally, he wished him God-speed, and 
would pray continually for his happit.ess. 

Enclosed was a little tearful note from his mother, 
brimming over with love, attempting loyally at one and 
the same time to explain away any apparent harshness in 
her husband's conduct, and to make it evident that she in 
no way censured her son. Then foUowed a page of tender 
mother-advice to a son who was supposed to be more 
ignorant than she of the wickedness of the world — a 
pathetic superstition common to most mothers. Then a 
brief reminiscence or two of his childish sayings ; a prayer 
for his speedy return ; and a row of straggUng kisses — the 
last desperate endeavour of bruised and separated hearts 
to make their meaning plain. 

Lancaster, who had been watching Gabriers face while 
he read, now courteously t uned his back and commenced 
to rummage with unnecefary energy among a pile of 
papers. Gabriel raised th two letters to his lips. Then, 
going toward Lancaster, / ^ked him for a matdi, and was 
about to set fire to the cheque. 

"What are you doing?" asked Lancaster, swinging 
sharply around at the soirnd of the ignition. 

" Tm going to bum this," 



SANITY AND THE MORNING 85 



"Whatwit?'' 

** A cheque for fifty pounds from my father." 

** How much money have you got of your own ?" 

"Twenty or so." 

** Then youll make a great mistake if you destroy that." 

"Why?" 

** Because you never know when it may come in handy. 
Suppose you were taken ill ?" 

** There are plenty of free hospitals." 

**Don''t be foolish, Gabriel. Ideals, like everything 
else, must be paid for. There is nothing which has not 
to be purchased in our day. Youth, which is the despiser 
of wealth, can only afford to be young so long as it has 
the run of a fistther^s banking-account." 

** As for my ideaK I paid for them last night. And as 
for my youth, if available capital is the basis of reckoning, 
I must be about a himdred, for I haven't any." 

Lancaster came over to him, took his banc' between his 
own, and looked into his eyes, saying, " You know very 
well that whatever I have is yours, and that you ore free to 
live in my house just so long as you like ; but you never 
know what may happen. You must keep that cheque. 
You may not cash it at present, perhaps, but you must 
keep it. If you bum it, you will insult your father's 
kindness." 

** I was thinking that he had insulted me by sending it," 
Gabriel began weakly ; and then, seeing the look of pain 
on his friend's face, added, "No, you are right, John. 
You always are. I am acting like a petulant, iU-bred, 
little boy. You must forgive me. I feel as though I 
ought to write and beg my father's pardon for what I have 
just said." 

" I wouldn't do that. He wasn't present and wouldn't 
imderstand. I generally find that silence is the best policy, 
the most sincere, and the most acceptable. You must 



36 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

make wnends by doing ■omething. Speech it the I O U 
of the spendthrift; deed, are the bullion of honourable 
men. If you wiA to repay your fkther*. kindnet^ you 
murt approve your choice and get to work. Have you 
got any ftirther with your phuw?" 
"Yes, I want to tell you all about them." 
«I aU have plans which I wirf, to talk over with you. 
-things which I couldn't confide before because they w^ 
not my exclusive property.** 

" Can't you knock off business for to^y, a„d come out 
into the country ? After aU, it is Satuiday." 

." ^®"! ?*"' *** commemorate your new departure and 
mine (which you don't yet know about), I wilL" 



CHAPTER IV 



A FU6HT TO TBI VOKKST 

If it be true that all good Americans go to Paris when 
they die, it is equally certain that the Elysian Fields of 
the pious Londoner stretch Epping-wards. Perhaps there 
is DO one place in England where class distinctions and 
aristocratic snobbery fiule so utterly out of sight, where 
ridi and poor are free to walk and mingle in such good 
comradeship, and, in fact, where all those brotherly and 
unconventional virtues, which we are wont to admire and 
banish to a better world, come so near to earth, as in the 
catholic glades of Epping Forest. It is as though an 
Englishman, on altering the greenwood, recaught the jolly 
echo of the far-off days when Robin Hood (whose sacred 
memory is preserved in the name of many a neighbouring 
roadside inn), surrounded by his bowmen, stole between 
the huge-boled trees, preaching in secret places, in his own 
peculiar way, that fond and never-to-be-foigotten dream 
of down-trodden men, the Equality of Man. Robin Hood, 
and John BaD, and Jack Straw, and Wat Tyler, have long 
since mouldered into nothingness upon the barricades of a 
lost cause, but a whisper of their generous gospel still 
lingers in the royal domain which they once trespassed, 
making glad the heart of the cockn^, whether coster or 
noble, whensoever he enters its preserves. 

Here it was, after the usual elaborate discussion, which 
may be heard in almost any London thoroughfare upon 



•• THE WEEPING WOMAN 

go, and with a bke mult, that they ultimately came- 
to the Forett ^ 

AJight|ng at Chingford, thqr let off at a i»mhUi« 
in the direction of Queen Eli«beth't Hunting U«£ej 
tib«^ turning ^ly to the left, .truck out through ft^k 
Wood toward High Beech. 

A hundred yard, from the roadway mlitude wa. reached. 

wl!^^'^' ^^"^^ ^^ excur«oni.t, cyclirt, the 
Harry and Hamet, whether from fear of the foiert or out 
of preference for that to which they have become mort 
accurtomed, never foruke the macadam track. Within 
twdve mile, of the Man.ion Hou.e the moil and toU of a 
tortured city may be foigotten, and a quiet, a. primal a. 
•ny of that first Garden, is attained. »!'"«"" 

Lancarter wa. the first to .peak. « Whenever I come 
here I feel a. light-hearted a. if I had never known the 
''°"7 of^V^thfogf^ng Uttle one-hor» rfiow in the Turn- 
pike. When the sun i. fining and the bird, are .inirinir. 
It wem. impossible that any man ever believed that Ui^ 
were such things as sorrow and death in the world.'' 

"No man ever does reaUy believe in death until he 
himself rorae. to die; or in wrrow, until he him«lf be- 
com^ a derelict. MercifuUy every man is so much of an 
egoiBt that he can discover nothing in the world around 
him but miniature edition, of hi. own pro.perou. .elf-he 
hemg the Edition de Luxer r r« 

"I don't see where the mercy comes in when that 
piuiwular man happens himself to be a misSrabler 

For him there is a fresh grace prepared-that man i. 
an irrational animal and adapt, his logic to hi. condition, 
inerefore God is good." 

"Not so good as we make Him, yet much better than 
He seems." ^^ 

"How do you make that out?" Gabriel had never 



A FLIGHT TO THE FOREST 80 

cunvenod with LAnawter upon religioiu topics and wm 
therefore intcroited. 

** When I lay that Grod ii not so good ai we make Him, 
I mean ae the profeMional flatteren of Divhiitj malie Him, 
who stand up every first day to fawn, and cringe, and 
extend their hands, with ftilsome praises, phmned upon the 
oriental pattern, whilst abject fear dominates their entire 
mental attitude, to One whom they are pleased to call the 
All-wise and the All-good. Why, there isn't a single man, 
woman, or child in their audience who would be hood- 
winked by such insincerity, if it were addressed to them I 
The first question they would ask would be, ' What does 
he want?* 

**I often think that God must be very glad of the 
atheists ; they at least are frank in teUiug Him that they 
are not sure as to whether He exists. Personally, I know 
that, if I were Grod, I should get very tired of attending 
public worship. For the sake of my own self-respect, I 
should try to forget that there was a Sabbath."* 

**But what do you mean when you say that God is 
better than He seems ? ** 

** When I say that He is much better than He seems, I 
mean that when you come down to men as they are, and 
look for God in tiie lowest haunts of a great city, you are 
astonished at how splendid He can be.** 

**I didn*t know that you took much interest in the 
gone-Wider."^ 

** No one can live for so long as I have in the East End 
of London without either submerging his soul in a degrad- 
ing apathy, or trying to do something positive, so fieur as in 
him lies, to relieve the suffering.** 

" Have you done anything ? ** 

** Much less than I ought, but yet a little.** 

** In what direction ?** 

**That is the subject I want to speak to you about. 



40 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



uuaugn uw pen. tIm litavy amUtion k. 1 &>». i-iv! 

""^^ «» * WW octave, for of all my trilk and tnm.»l^w^ 
" How things feU out with me at mv father** ri«.f k ^ 

"d foU.«»g my direct cJl. I j»t Stled LTt S 



A FLIGHT TO THE FOREST 41 

Ttinipikt, and have basn there ever linoe. At flr»t I 
jpmtmdtd mjwdl that thaie dtiirM were only poftponed, 
that I ihoakl be able to gratify them of eveningi; like 
iiiM>tenthe of Bfaii*i oapittSatiom with his mniI, the tnioe 
baeane a treaty, and the treaty a peace. I grew embittered 
and tadtnm ; linoe that time you are the only man who 
ha* been given the latdi-key to my mind. 

** During the laet year, however, a change hai come, which 
you may lutve noticed ?** 

**Yea, I have often wondered what may have been its 
cauie. You were alwap generous to me, but now you are 
kinder to everybody, and ^together more gentle.** 

** WeU, Gabriel, it was like this. When I had realiied 
that I should probably be cooped up within the narrow 
Umiti of my occupation all my life, I not only grew sullen, 
but began to regard my mother ami sistoi as agents in 
my misfortune. I was always prompt in sending them 
their moneys ; sometimes, when things were slack, I stinted 
mjfself that I might do so, but I was conscious of a growing 
refnignanoe towards them. Last Christmas I refused to 
visit them, and determined to spend the day alone in 
my snuggery, with plenty of books and a roaring fire. 
All day I grumped, and grixsled, and felt uncomfortable, 
trying iK»t to own what a brute Fd been, and how unjust. 
Yet I could not keep myself from picturing all the happy 
Christmases which had gone before, when my father and 
mother schemed to make us happy. They always made 
the same excuse for their efforts, saying that no one could 
ever foresee what the future held in store. That on some 
distant Christmas, when we were scattered and lonely, and 
some of us dead, the memory of the childish dayn might 
help to make us better men and women. AU this came 
back to me as I sat by myself brooding. I thought of 
how good and patient my fiither had been; of what a 
quantity of gladness he managed to pack into a short 



« 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



memories. ^ ™* "Kht wu replete with 

plinth of the ponA -^t Vf. ^""^ "P "W"™! the 

""^ea It to tumble inwanb. I kiAtA ittiT^i^ 
OMk, and, in so doine, felt mv f~^ . •, . ** *° P™*" '* 
"lid. Bendiiurdo^T*^ .3^''' '«»'"'* "»»«*« 
bUck h«P of?woZ' if ^7°^ *•" """^ fi«» «nd toS 

but b««r«1 JS'T tl''1"ir2:'*'" '^"^ 
delay of my plan, , took her inl^™? ""."^ "* *^ 

her. I had not looked J I f "'^ '°°'' ^vived 

di^usted. Sh^i«„otthe\l^/'=^'=''«t''-"*" 
make mention to thefr »Uto ^.TT °'.'''""" ■»" 
ve^ low, for dthouit^dol^* S^ '"^»% «»k 

-»«..edplnmn^-----^-t^^.^. 



A FLIGHT TO THE FOREST 48 

shoes, with crumpled buckles attached, which had once 
contained some sort of flashy imitation gems. 

***A nice Christmas gift," you will say, and so I 
thought. 

**When she raised her head, the face seemed dimly 
fiuniliar to me ; but more especially the eyes. There is 
something very strange about the eyes of a woman. The 
memory of them remains long after you have lost every 
record of the fisux. All her character, and affection, and 
pity, have looked out from them ; in fact, whatever she 
has possessed of what we, for want of a better word, caU' a 
soul. Gaboriau has noted this same thing. He makes 
Gevrors great claim to distinction centre around his 
masterly faculty for recognizing eyes. That which he 
remembered, to aid him in tracing criminals, was the 
peculiarities of the shape, size, colour, and expression of 
their eyes ; at these alone he looked, to the exclusion of 
every other feature. 

" So it was with me : I remembered the eyes, but could not 
recall the face to which they had belonged. It had become 
such a terrible face, so lined and drawn ; like a piece of 
old paper one finds in a cupboard after many years, brittle 
as tinder, yellowed at the edges, fly-blown and covered 
with cobwebs. 

"I don't think she saw me at first, for she was 
blinded by the firelight and giddy from exposure. She 
leered round the room and uttered a vile gutter word, 
saying, * Here's luck.'" 

** After a while she caught sight of mc and looked 
intently imtil, becoming accustomed to the light, she saw 
my face. Then, with a shrill cry, she laid her hands 
before her eyes and tried to rise to go, but was too weak, 
and sttunbled headlong across the rug, sobbing. 

**The man who can look upon a woman crying, and 
remain unmoved, has never had a mother. In a moment 



44 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



i Z^^.X Its J^^ -- t^ in. 

She w« . ^ns^z„Tti:'"'','T«'* " "-^ 

girl I had ever Io,ri A ™ '^ <J«yi the fi«t 

thing, hi. «». hirc:^^ Z'.z'cS\T^' 

-ever g„.w. „y bigger tl^JhiXtX^" 1 ^* "^ 
never know, the inteMity of lovriunL^ "^T 
IX."^ no ™„ aL. unlArhetiLTv?; 

-S; t^l^^^„*t "- P^^ to ^ 

S'x'^ss^arrt;::^,^^^^"'^ 

Pi«e.«^ Hety.rdo^Z'tSj^-^^^'-e.and 

he^^rte'^^tTtrjlr ' '«•- ™ to .peak „ 
PitiftL It u .^n^ " .™ "-y "»*<i but very 

even in her hevdav A^T^,^ *° '"^ "ej that. 
<>own .t time, S tte 1^t^T*°"'.1 *" **« 
>t«nd .boot before mv hou» • "^ ™«''t*^ ««' 

Ae told meZ, I «memS X^ *' """^ ^» 

»t«Kling,t.tio™;.y wSSd^o^n **" ' '"»""' 
more e.peciaUy when the »t^ j f ** '"'"*' »PP«ite, 

".d how iCrto ^^ r ^r^ ^^ ""-^ 

One i, .pt to g„,w Z^wJt' .r"*"", """^^ »«'• 

h<»«ofLioJ^„tZr*',°^''^f ne '» - °W 

f ". X uaa Degun to associate her 



A FLIGHT TO THE FOREST 45 

diadow with the sign which hangs before my door, and to 
think of her as a reincarnation of the Weeping Woman 
who first gave her name to the tavern. 

** Now that I discovered to whom that shadow belonged, 
the accident seemed more than a coincidence, and I was 
troubled. I thought of how selfish I had been, living 
here all those years with that poor woman, whom I mig^t 
have saved, slinking down the sodden road to shame, 
watching nightly within a stone's throw of my door, 
whilst I had not even had the curiosity to inquire her 
name 

" Well, I let her run on with her half-truths and bitter 
accusations against persons and things in general — &te, 
circumstance, and all the other noma-de-phime of God. 
At last, when she had spent her anger, I sent her to bed, 
and sat down to think. 

*♦ The upshot of the whole matter is this : I sent her into 
the country to get her moral and physical strength restored, 
and now die is coming back to my house to help me in 
the business. It will not be safe to leave a woman of her 
excitable nature to her own devices for a long time to 
come ; she's got no one who will take her in, so I must. 
I thought I ought to teU you this, seeing that you are 
going to join me ; but you must not pretend that you 
know anything of her past. Her name is Kate.'' 

They had abready passed by High Beech on the right, and 
now, breaking out from the woods, came upon a side-track 
which they followed until, at a bend in the road, the 
Quiver Inn was reached — a decayed hostelry of old coach- 
ing days. In the garden, at the back of the house, were 
arbours, white with convolvulus, and a row of straw- 
thatched hives with the bees at work, pollen-smirched and 
humming. Far out below their feet the long, undulating 
stretch of mysterious woodland lay. 

Choosing the arbour farthest from the road, they ordered 



*» 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



J^ w„ the iim to «„„e the inte^pM «„. 

*."t^r Th!^: ^JT »v"^f " '™'>™ «P-« to 
tW women. SZZ do^'if bTto^*" 7^ "«> 
airt. Dec.,,n„tu™.i,t^Se.X,^ftt?^^'^y 
time it i. umurtunJ ««1 „h«Uv ' r ^ ^ " "rP"**- 

zr.rj"^ pii. T, . Jot:, i-?r x'.s^ 
»d nothing ^""«ti'isr',riL?L'f-'"'^ 

An unimproved Tirtne i. m^ j7. o' 'osmg his purity. 

•»t.m«t of usC^tLfS uZ:^^"\-^*y' 
f«aye M the erove I m.!j ~ P^"^«> that virtue ia 
happened .t my'd^r til 1^A""»**^^ ""tU Kate 
whiAI had not "mSS "If* *° ""y^^fo' the an, 
honou»bIem«n^^ TZ'f ^„ K ~*°"""^ "■?«» « 
you, Gabriel, to I ZiiSTf'J^'" ^'"" P*"" ""y >«> 
I ».y, that ni m«, Xtlnnl '', °'^ ^P^«»« »i»n 
You yo„„eIf acknoXt^^"^.^' «&mrgoo4 
have the reason I i„f3 . j \ ■ "*«"«e<l-now you 

helping j^^ ^Xt ^'Z t ' ^ °'L"'^ "^ to 
chance." '^^ "*^ ""itogivingthemanew 

"d people, wh JVra^de^^^ ^f ?, «'• ^^ 
•^Houseofthe Weeping ^ZT"',^^,:^^ 



A FLIGHT TO THE FOREST 47 

the name of your order ready to hand — *Tbie Brother- 
hood of the Weeping Woman/ It sounds fine. But I 
wish I was more like you, and could feel life more 
seriously.^ 

** Yes, it is life, Gabriel ; the great, tragic sum total of 
insignificant sufiering,that we ought to feel more seriously. 
Not our own lives, Grod forbid; we take them seriously 
enough already ; with most of us one degree more would 
spell madness.^ 

" But, John, I must confess that I have rather shunned 
philanthropy ; it has always seemed to me to be yo»e-fellow 
to old age and decrepitude. The final, frenzied effort of 
the bankrupt to balance his ledger.'" 

**The morels the shame. Youth is like the sea; it 
sucks in all the rivers, but makes no new ones.^ 

** And what is old age ? ^ 

"The rivers — always contributing to the sea." 

"And death?'' 

" The river-bed — run dry." 

"That is very hard on Youth. Yet it is in some ways 
true. Nevertheless, you cannot accoimt for Christ by such 
reasonings. He died at thirty-three." 

"Ah, with Christ it was different. He was like the 
rain, and came from above." 

" Now I know why He is eternal ; because, being neither 
young nor old. He must have been divine. I have always 
been conscious of the timelessness in His life, even when 
reading of His childhood." 

" Good men never grow old ; they are all divine." 

" Then," said Gabriel, « I will become good." 

" Are you so easily persuaded, Gabriel, by the pretty 
manying of a few phrases in the presence of a happy 
illustettion?" 

" No, I am not so light as that ; but laat night some one 
used similar words to me. They should be prophetic" 



48 



'-^ WEEPING WOMAN 



aent that he wmetime,^^ Ju- ^ ^ «■»*«»>- 

]. the u„,„g.^ «,^«TL"t'^rx" *^ 

love scenes of life are pn«/^^ • ^emity. n^ great 
«»Kth.i«, ..rf cdl it Life. We^K^^"^' 

Ite 2^" r "^-^^ « ^.^^! 

"■S-r ^,«^'^^* "*'' -- 

Havi,^ finished their meal, they turned tlwU, ^ 
toward Loughton, on the homUjj^f. *^ "^^ 

like to tell you, aCwtS yo^l^^Lt"* "°~ ' f*^™^^ 
know myself." ^ ^^ '™°'^ ™« newty •» I 

"And what is that?" 

« In undertaking any work of *his kind amon«.f .^ 

you had you wLr^tir„"'z;™''u'r ' '' 

woman for the task Om^ «« o *• t " ^ <»»« 

S'r;:^^^r:iJ^„tr'^,4o»e:^' 

r "^«u M, ai.se wiuun me as to the expediency 



A PLIGHT TO THE FOREST 49 

of OTudn. marrying. I went into the question at ftiUer 
tejgth, ai^ found that the more I invertigated, the more 
certain did I become that in such unions the physical and 
mentel health of the children is mortgaged for the selfish 
gratification of the parents. I tried to parley with my 
ooMcience, and, at last, went to Hilda, and told her my 
doubts— by agreement we parted 

"After the incident of Christmas night I saw that, if I 
was to rescue Kate, it must be through the help and 
example of a pure woman. I thought matters out, and 
wrote to^ Hilda, asking her to come. She has consented, 
and may arrive at any time. In tiiis way, altiiough we 
«n never marry, we shaU at least be near one anoUier. 
So for as I can judge, tiiis arrangement between us wiU be 
pamanent. Hilda has no fatiier or mother; she is 
absolutely alone in the world, so that, although I dare not 
be her husband, it is quite plain to me tiiat I ought to be 
her guardian."" ^ 

"Won't her very nearness be a danger, making you 
unresigned?" asked Gabriel. *^ 

** No ; I think I would rather have it this way. When 
you are married to a woman the binding tie of love 
becomes unnecessary, the handcufls of law take its place. 
There 18 littie occasion for love where two people are so 
«»cure of one anotiier. With us it wiU be different; we 
must be lovers throughout life, which is far better." 

3ut Gabriel was thinking of Helen, and of tiie song 
which ^e had sung, and only replied, « Life is a long road 
wfe^h has many turnings. You wiU need to love her 



CHAPTER V 

«Wn« A TBDTH-TXLLXft 

o(^ tJrZt^"^ *r I««ht<» they did «rt 

^^^r ^t" '•^ «» "gain W J*" "^ 
PabriT """^ "'•'«»»»» your oou«.?- ^rf 

<S:SSIS\S?^ f cover up thei, t^u to 

be ""u^SclS,^ «- action, he, <Hendd.i« .™t 

"I tlunlt not We Jl know » „„d. about ound™^ 

one.mdAeU. few fa^ 1^ »<* been . h^ 
P;;^.e -e ftightenJottr ^on'^' .""^T;;^ 

it exirt, fort^^o^'^-S^-- '^'^.- 
1w.y. goes n-other-naked. JTi^'t^ »' ""^ 

-t^^:^sr^tbiL„«tS."S:j.-- 



ENTER A TRUTH-TELLER 51 

the niMwa; for that very rcMon truthftil fiction is 
frequently m lie.** 
« Uiually, or what ii worw, it boret.** 

•'ITiat iwi't very kind of you, Gabriel, if you apply it 
to my cousin.** '^'^ ^ 

** Oh, I don*t ; but, for all that, I should hate to have 
any one tell me the appalling truth about myself just at 
present** 

"If that is so, I shall have to warn Hilda.** 
It was past eight o'clock, and the shop was already 
doeed, when they arrived. Lancaster had his key in the 
latch when the door was opened from within by a young 
woman. She was of delicate proportions, being very small 
•nd slightly built; so much so, that at first sight she 
■eemed not more than eighteen, though a closer inspection 
made her out to be anywhere between twenty and thirty. 
Her hair was dark and luxuriant ; her fisu« pale ; her lips 
rose red ; her eyes large and luminous. The impression 
she created was that of a healthy, open-hearted boy, or 
of one who had ceased to grow at the age when others 
were getting their first lessons in worldly wisdom. Her 
innocence was conspicuous and spontaneous ; it had never 
hardened into habit There was a quiet contentment 
about her person which made it impossible to believe that 
her knowledge could encompass such distresses as those 
which had been discussed that day. It was manifest that 
any over-emphasis of truthfulness which she might make, 
arose not out of cruelty, but from the innate veracity of 
her nature. This was Lancaster's cousin. 

On going up-stairs, they found that something had 
already been done to rectify the slovenliness of a bachelor's 
housekeeping. The evidences of a woman's hands were 
bespoken in the recently-acquired transparency of the 
windows, the brightness of the grate, and the orderly little 
meal which had been prepared. 



« THE WEEPING WOMAN 

by way of expUm.tion. " I arrived jurt •fter^^^St 
to ri^U. what with dgar-ad^ and old pipe^^ 

1^ sweetnem and comfort of a woman*, pnwnoe ai« 

KEve had be«, more remote at the out^t, Adam would 
have appreaated her better in the end. He would halS 
been more chivalrou. about the theft of the apple, and 
would have covoied up her indi««tion with wme tender 
«• ; which, I think, God would have «niled at in «^ 
and have openly pardoned. ^^ 

The cagtingKiut began in Man. when he deserted hi. 
We ; not m Eve, when die rtretched up her hand for the 
fruit which was forbidden. « ««> 

Man lovM too little. Woman too much; and thu. we 
lo«. our Eden.. ITii. i. the begimiing and the endTf 
every human garden. 

Something of this pa«ed through Lancarter'. mind a. 
S^Kr^tf^u" cousin predding over hi. table a. if l« 
nght. AU these years he had been wretched and morbid^ 
now he knew the reason; he had shut him^lf off from 
communion with his Eve tiU life h«l grown onfsid^ 
l«5king m sympathy, incomplete. The woids of i*e 
pleaj^re^king Greek, often read, never quite appre- 
hended, returned to him reproachfully: «We ouirht to 
look round for peojJe with whom to eat and drinl^fore 
Tf "^J*' something to eat and drink. To feed with- 
out a friend is the hfe of a lion and a wolf." This he had 

^ hfa Ife"^ ^" **"^ ** ""^"^"^ *° oversight had arisen 

Bitterness is not indigenous to Woman; it is the 



ENTER A TRUTH-TELLER 58 



horrible perquiaite of Man. No woman htm eirer been 
■ucctwftil M • cyrdc, only ridiculou»— like a ooduey 
touiiit among the pjnramids. If he had aModated leai with 
men and more with womoi (this woman in particularX 
the past ten yean mi^t have been kinder. 

Gabriel was possessed by similar thoughts, but they 
brou^t him no happiness; he was still sorry fcnr that 
which he had lost, a loss which the present occasion only 
served to em[duwiie. 

At first there was little conversation. For these two 
men, made lonely by choice and fate, pleasure was com* 
plete in the sense of a woman^s nearness, and the quiet 
attentiiHiB of her serving hands. Like the arrogant English 
in a foreign land, she had walked in unexpectedly and 
po sse ss e d herself of all that was best in both Uieir natures. 

She was too wise to speak at once. For all her boyish 
frankness, she was sufficiently conventional to appreciate 
the rarefiuTtion of atmosphere whidi her advent had ooca* 
sicmed ; also she was so much a woman as to be flattered 
and amused thereby. Keeping her eyes on the level, she 
watdied them unabashed, and steadily encountered each 
ftirtive glance of theirs. She was pleased by their sudden 
shyness, thou^^ a trifle anxious because of it, and smiled 
quaintly to herself while she waited for one of them to 
break the silence. At last, because the muteness of their 
homage threatened to make them permanently dumb, she 
had compassion on them. There was an expression so 
odd in the solemnity of tf'eir faces that she could not 
refrain from laughing outright. **You haven''t mudi to 
say to me,^ she said, by way of apology ; ** yet just now, 
when r saw you coming up the street, you looked as if all 
the roar of London could not hush the torrent of your 
words.** 

** I was taken up with thinking how pleasant it was to 
have you with us,** John explained, with laconic sincerity. 



«4 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



behind our h^lT^rt^ '"''^ •^ mcoungin. 

holdi of il-ir ,1,^ "W nomst in the opinion which it 
•bout .poiling "mell lU-""" J™" ""d b.v, m, fe,„ 

.bo™Xthi4.t Ir^^rji";'.:! ' -t 

found the t«* diJIcult You^M„ ^™"*' 

"«» tin». relieve younelveTbTrt.!?^? »« "f rt the 

"That i. one of ^^^ 1 '"'""« ''°^' 
-hid, Hild. T. Ir^oZn!' «1B««ted hJf.t™th. 
«iom which gC^jT^'T-^^''^ rfp««rt«l 

down into the di«rfnfL\^* '^*''*^^ '«^«^ «» aU 

we m.y .pproxiWte i . ^t^^S t™"^^* 
when «y one i. We enough to wZ.h^ J^^; 



ENTER A TRUTH-TELLER 55 



pwpk know not onlj their good qualiticiH but alio thdr 
h^oimf In the Utter OMe, to He b to be kind.** 

**That may very well be; but the Uct remain* tha* 
what find made Galilee a name to be lovtd waa the briel 
Mjoum there of One who never deceived. Thii is what I 
mean— that nearly all our wretchednew takes its genesb 
from the craving after ungratified affection. Our moet 
■ofdid vioea result from desperate attempts on the part 
of men and women to steal, borrow, or beg the loves 
which they cannot command. That was how Kate came 
to sin. Wickedness grows out of hardening of heart, 
whidi oomea of enftmrced isolation. If people would only 
^Mak the gentle truth, most of our miseries would vanish. 
Our modem economic system is based upon competition, 
whidi reserves no place for diarity. Love is treated as a 
luxury of the well-to-do, with which they are at liberty, 
if so they condescend, to occupy their leisure time : it is 
no longer a ncc^owity of life. If it were, in twelve months 
it would revolutionize society. We know that ; therefore 
we are afraid. The trouble with us is that we are all 
liars, mere triflers with words. Over-civiliiation has made 
OB so rotten with artificiality that, should a man meet his 
own soul walking through a fashionaUe street, he would 
cut it dead, lest it should be recognized as his. The 
tendency of all this shrouding and hedging in of our 
hearts is seen in the case of St Augustine, when he says, 
* And what was there wherein I took delight, save to love 
and be loved.' That is the explanation which he gives for 
all his squalid sinnings. In his utter loneliness he did not 
care how far he wandered or how low he sank, provided 
only he might attain love. When he had discovered the 
mystic lover proffia«d him by the Roman Church, he 
abandoned his lovers of the highways; his heart was 
satisfied, and his journeys were at an end. The desire 
of the men and women of to-day is to love and be loved. 



M 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



•nd at my price. You cm «« in- n. • 

'«*^' g».trt »ed *f JT*''''! '° "» Wind to on. 

when we might be friend.— .nVi*^,*! "^® " »trangBr» 

indifference to emod^^t^.*? ^''^ '''^^' ^ 
wicked." wasteful ; it m outrageous and 

-elves clever feUows, wWli all f £ « **""^'°« «"■ 

who, g»dng fato our C^^ ° I °~ ?"»" <«•*<«• 

d«»ve.I«.^&i;f "°" often. I &n<7. tb. 
«ther UuSuTpiX «?• "»««»icrte thenueln. 

-It would mT™ C- «pS7HaiT^- 
"like . »vel in . p5>IirSl^'S'^»'^' "'** 
"y one, for our leeve^ tTte toSL? ^^^ *"* ^ 

the-orH-^td?^"^' ■»»»'y-tobelo«dl>y.U 

-7«^^^t.t-:srrt.rran ^ 

"gbt, and vanidiei ** *"^ good- 

I h-dly Icn..,- „pBrf e.^„.^ "e^Tlt I h.,. 



ENTER A TRUTH-TELLER 57 



been convicted of being an habitual liar, and feel very 
ashamed of myself.** 

**That*s the way most people feel when Hilda has done 
with them.** 

** I suppose so. The fimny thing is that I have always 
held that woman is less trutiiful than man— except when 
she is angry. Now, here have I been convicted of my own 
untruth by Ibe voice of the defendant.** 

**That is the dire penalty which may overtake any man 
who sets himself up as a judge; he is always liable to 
correction from the dock,** answered Lancaster, lau^^ng. 
And then they also betook themselves to bed. 



CHAPTER VI 

TWO oo IS .IAMB AFTM HAPniIlM 

and vaniT«iT'^- ^*^**^ *^*'' tabernacles of deliiAt 

M»y thing, whieh OMde the Turapike whrt it wa.. »th 
■t. reclcle™ poverty «,d .trenuou. toil" h«l Zrtrf^ ^ 
Street was unlike ihuAf a^«..l j - , "^^P"^*"* Ine 

w.ythebTofsfwTll'''''^ ^■=™"»» 
"me. Sat^^ 1^"""« """PP™ "•» «v.r 

^d he^teiU .0, iUday of,e,,,^h'l^^- 

Sunday in W. ^°« «•». «d q«.t the bulk of 

I-ncter had battled de^tely for . while again* thi. 



IN SBLARCH AFTER HAPPINESS 59 

decadoit practice of the land wherein he dwelt ; latterly he 
had succumbed like the rest. This morning, however, was 
an exception, or rather the beginning of many such. With 
the coming of his cousin, he abandoned bachelor vices. 
After an early breakfast it was decided that Gabriel should 
spend the morning in the study, formulating his plans, for 
he said, **To laugh in the fSaoe of the world is easy; 
so much as to smile in the face of one's family requires 
thought^ Therefore he was going to think. After so 
long an absence, Lancaster was eager to be alone with 
his cousin, and proposed to her a walk through the city. 

When two people love very dearly it is difficult to speak, 
and, moreover, language is imnecessary. On through the 
Turnpike they went, past the Mansion House, along Victoria 
Street, and so to the Embankment. Something of his old 
youthful buoyancy came back to him as he strolled through 
the deserted gullies of the great metropolis, heanng naught 
save the gliding of her feet at his side, and the swish of her 
woman's dress, remindful, even amid the cobblestones of 
Ixmdon, of tall grasses and country lanes. From Monday 
to Saturday his life seemed insignificant and of no account, 
because of the giant turmoil of millions. What was he 
among so many ? Who would note his absence, were he to 
die? How few would mourn? But on Simday, when 
bruised hands find ease from toil, and men have occasion to 
forget that they have ever laboured, his existence became 
an important factor. The echo of his tread, which for the 
past six days had been drowned by travelling wheels, to- 
day reverberated and startled the silence, filling the street 
with warnings of his approach. To-day he was an 
individual ; yesterday, the mere thread in the tiny screw of 
a vast machine. 

The Embankment was deserted. On on«j side of the way 
flowers were blowing, recalling meadow memories with their 
fragrance. On the other lay the river, grey and slightly 



M 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



to the right . b^ZXjT^ •"* "^ *•« 
^"""^ only by yhmZ^^. S^ •"*«■ ""^I «» 

^« UU^ ™thlg Z:^ ^ ^ «- it jou™^ 
rtnfe. ' """^ '^M tnere any sound of 

" Y* "*" *»'■»»> to hare urt-i i„ ,i 

"""Ljncarter: then after. LSr^w H"*"^ ^*<«.- 
""■^de, ^ don't you mT ^^ "^ --le good 
m^jj^j,, 7"u ininn, although we are not 

"low ia better than _ 

''^^^'"ther he i. an.^^° " *~ """"ted to «„ 

""^tlT'in'w^ "* "^ <'i»Ppointed, and not 

"DiMppointment is love', heirt «» •» . 
■nen love better. We AmUtT ? ' '^ ""^ ^«Vaid 

« SurelT ; but it fa A^ u . , '"'"™ that" *^ 
when the'h;^ -."b;:*?!^* *" ^- »ything ^^^w, 

"v^tJrui'TL'^r-PPythen?-. 
out A"S^,ir,^«'J. J^ '"t yon h«, gnn. 

w1^n.Lh'f/'rr'hi''Slr,'- ""•O 
now I hesitate at mv «^fi-r • ^^ ^°^' Even 

the penalties of n,;^^«*"-J^ with y^ 

juusucoess. Meagre environments have 



<»^ 



IN SEABCH AFTER HAPPINESS 61 

iMcted upon my mind. I have grown bitter and entice], 
10 that it is difficult for me to love manldnd. I era 
always see &ults long before I become aware of virtues ; 
fay the time I have finished reviewing folk^s ikilings, I fear, 
too often I have tired my eyes. You see, I am discon- 
tented, and want to be other than I am. I am su£Bciently 
conceited to believe that I could once have been a genius, 
had I been given my dianoe. That chance will never 
come now, and, if it does, it will arrive too late ; for my 
impulse is gone. However I regard myself, I am forced^ 
to admit myself a feilure, one who has disi^pointed both 
himself and his Maker." 

<* Disappointment is love*s best gift; you yourself have 
said it Our defeats should make us strong. If life was 
not a battle, it wouldn''t be worth the living. I can see 
already what the struggle has done for you in making you 
true and brave.'" 

** Ihen you doa^ know me, for that is what it ou^t to 
have done for me — ^what I wish it had done — not what 
I am." 

** Whatever a man desires with all his heart to become, 
that he is. Grod judges us by that which we want to be, 
not l^ what we are. That is what makes Him so much 
kinder than men. When e woman loves, she judges as 
Grod judges — ^which make .a love divine." 

** But you judge me as you would have me to be-— which 
is a very different question." 

** Where is the good of talking? You are a poor man, 
and yet you have offered Grabriel a home witiiout ever 
letting him know how you will have to pinch fm his 
support You are going to take Kate in, and she won^ 
be one atmn of use to you in your business, and will 
probably cause you a lot of worry. You have very little 
to ipaie, but have kept your mother and sisters ever since 
yata firther's death. You have sacrificed your career for 



62 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



^^r nkea, and an> ««— 

•nly "eejoundf u .™^ ^^ motiw* If you oouU 

" I were to «gue ^ vou I T ?5 *" K""" -Hnen. 
JJou couldn't At 1«.., ^ ,0^ ^„ ^^^^^ 

fbundance of money, and for tW ^ *^''*^ ^ « 
hiB own true worth^' He W n^* 1^" °^°* «rti»ate 
why he finds the^vinf un!ff nfr. ^ ^'> "^ ««* i» 
" m of faulJ TnTfu P?^*" *^* he has 8o easy. He 

through sorrow someSTo ^* ,^*^ ^" '^'~^' ««« 
Wn«elf, the^fo^t^l*:,^'^^^ «« »-«eves in 
than faulty, so I «haU uCm^ a " "°'* ^°^»"« 
to ask?** -""Ui nice him. Any more questions 

"No, not about Gabriel t fk: i 
who thinks that he uLl ZL ^""f""^ Uttle boy 

^tr.;lt ^hf rr-^'«^--- ' - 



IN SEARCH AFTER HAPPINESS 68 

will grow into a stitmg man ; Imt those other people will 
Mvcr grow at all ; they will be dead. He has nothing 
worth laying at present, but, wl^n he has grown older, he 
will talk very beautifully of the griefs which he has shared 
and inflicted ; and people will come to listen, and may be 
hdped. How do you like that ? I cant tell you what is 
fiJse.** 

**I d(m\ see that it is much better than what you 
have already said. You speak of him as fickle and 
slight"* 

** No. DonM; I say that he is very lovable P To make 
other people love you is next best to loving other people — 
which is best of all. Up to the present he has been loved. 
When he has sufiered, he will learn to love ; then he will 
be magnificent.^ 

** That is all very well, but you make him out to be so 
selfish, and he really isn't."* 

'*In every martyrdom there are two crucifixions: the 
first appears to be selfish — when the man abandons his 
mother, his &ther, his brethren, and his friends for his 
dream's sake ; the second is magnanimous and justifies the 
first — ^when he himself hangs upon a cross. Many dreamers 
accomplish only the first I have confidence to believe 
that Gabriel wUl complete the second. To-day I see him 
in his rose garden while his mother and father stand with- 
out weeping, and I say that he is selfish. He has left 
them and gone where they can never follow. The time 
will come when, with all the long line of visionaries, he 
will enter his Grethsemanc. When that happens, I, for 
one, shall be prepared to worship. Now do you under- 
stand?"* 

** You speak like an oracle. I hope that the shadow 
wiU not bring the presence to pass.** 

" If it does not, Gktbriel Garrod wiU have failed.** 

** We all fo'l,** he sighed, thinking of his own life. 



64 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



<Bg«ity of th. wdpta,^^ "»t^ •»! the terriHc 
** I am the fMi»^: j !rT •"*<*"« distant columm. 

« JT^"" «kJ the life : he th.t de^^M. LS 
turned and fled. Once out«f1« t -» -I ^^ ™^ *^ 



IN SEARCH AFTER HAPPINESS W 

\mtk M tenor or bui-«tm hm wbetlier it wffl ntain its 
ringiiigquiajty; the hoy himwlf lout of aU,"* Alt to the 
fbll the tragedy '^ hii random speech. 

*<Do you believe it ?^ Hilda asked eagerly. 

"What?" ' 

** Why* the words they sang ?"* 

<|Thae is only one thing which I have ever been aUe to 
believe without reserve— my unbelief,'' he replied sadly. 
•* Doubt is my only creed.'' 

•♦Every man is greater than his creed, thank Ood, uA 
you are more faithful than your doubt." 

"I wish that I might think so. It is the nii«wiy of 
intellectual bickering that has driven me to the task which 
I now purpose— that of going to the gone-under. If I 
cannot believe in Christ, I can at least tiy to do what He 
did." 

** Nothing else matters much, I think. The orthodoxy 
(tf to-day is the soiled linen of a bygone heresy. Belief 
varies from age to age ; doing is always the same. Doubts 
are imposed from without, deeds arise from within. If the 
heart is rif^t, we shall live ; perhaps, we shall see God. 
What are rewards, in any case, if we only do well ?" 



CHAPTER VII 

lAMPAMT UOV LANK 

^^Decanbo- , . touch of winter w« fa the «r, plomt nt 
P~»t. hut pHyhe.jri„g h«a,««. to c^ome. aS» rt 
th.'IWnpikeh«it«»eUldn4„dly. JCtehndteTSJ. 

"»*fe her redemption. She wm irtuble«d™lte for 

*^9»^t^ fi»t «m1 loo« of hor former life „ envidJe 
Jh»P-nev« for .moment exhibiting «««t for her 
t^M. f ^•' ^ •'"*"^ w« that rf . coqoetto, 
ma«nce o«r her, «rf even that w« not of .^3^ 

2»n >">port.ng mto her pre«nt «l.tionrfup. Herentii. 
lack «f «moBK ,«. oriy to be ™t»««I by her SSf 

^;^««l»d I«r lip. , they we,* dl talcen „ . ^t„ ^ 

OM p«nted. the raOued &ct was that of a stmy doe. 
o«ungnoaUeg«»», ""kinguoeofastmngerVdielt^fZ 
•rtonn.p«p.rrtorytotaJu.|the«»d.^„. fc^JS^ 



RAMPANT LION LANE 



m 



•ma^pomkU for her reception, LencMter had been em- 

phetk that ihe ihould be made to feel a« f»w of theuMlvee, 
and ihouU be treated ae though nothing diacraditable had 
happened. She was to help in the running of the houn 
and aieiet in the shop, aerving cuitomen and typing hie 
oorreipondenoe. Everything had been done upon her advent 
to make her at home. Lancarter held the theoiy that, in 
traatiqg her record ae non-eziatent, she would be enabled 
to foiget ; and that, in using her as a pure woman, she 
would become one. 

His welcome was misunderstood from the firrt. CourtesieB 
were taken for compliments ; for being other than she 
was she had no desire. To foi|^t appeared to be the bst 
thingin her thoughts. Her altered social status and new- 
found comfort had in noway duuiged the essential woman. 
Her manners were an insult, and her presence a pain. 

When Lancaster informed her that she was to work in 
his business she pouted, and subsequently proved herself 
worn than useless, turning away customers on many 
occasions either by her over-familiarity, or her studied 
rudeness. In the house itself she was willing to see any 
one work but herself. In the innumerable petty duties ot 
housekeeping she never raised a finger unless after repeated 
requests had been made, and then, with a surly Hi>fiMtMiy^ 
wUch hindered rather than helped. 

Wherever she came she brought discord either by her 
excess or lack of affection. 

In spite of disappointment Lancaster persevered, keeping 
his b^viour uniformly kind, never losing his temper, 
always respectful and diivalrouB. 

Hilda, who sulTered most from the tyranny of her de- 
portment, was loyal in her seconding of Lancaster's efforts. 
She never retorted, never appeared grieved, and strove by 
her cheerfulness to make up for the deficiencies of this 
eztnordinary guest How much abuse she suffered at 



• THB WKBPING WOMAN 

^th. Mdml epung. to «««, out duma, mS tS 

2iX*s:t':il'*'"'^^'«"~' "-"-^ 
.isr^ ta "^ >»-.. that ,^:s:;.r„^,: 

todtog -BrthlBg outdd. th, did. of hi. ^ ,«t 
W*»J»uj»ofh«M«nent In .hmdoning «„fcrt 
far MnhMon, b. lud forM« prf^tion throuA ,^ZS 
h«5_but not thi. kind of ««, WUtion.^^ "^ 
During the tort ftw wmIu of hi, erifc h, lad h— , 

fcnqr Md ala^gri hi. emotion* Now th.t hi.Tntom 
*«»» or d»rity h«l n>.teriali«d into . d^SsSTjS^ 
of den, »am«K» egdnrt . dwirikd «rf^«S^iritod 

•Wy «pidanted bjr bed. hi. h«irt dckened «>d ge«»X 
g»ve wsy before diigurt. generoiiqr 

« nrt to be «fom,ed by: lcind„««, but by cruelty. IZ 

^tl^TT" T,** f" »« » to ffing hi out hooel«; 
on the rtreet, «Hl let her redi« who d» i* IVn, who 



RAMPANT LION LANE 



■he omwls hmk. If ever At dots, yoa nwy bt ablt to nakt 
■omething of her — but not till tlitti.'* 

But Hilda and John would ihake their heads wiwly 
making allowances and manufiicturing cxcumm fbr a crooked 
temperament, mying that they ntill hoped that the change 
would come. 

Then he would grow angry, and go away to brood, 
llieir conduct iieemed to him quite unnaeonable, and, 
moreover, aelfiah towards himwlf. How oould a man 
adiieve genuine greatnem when Mirrounded by nidi M|ualid 
contentions ? Tliey should think m<ne of him and less of 
the woman. They were sacrificing the intellectual repose, 
whidi was essential to his trium[^ to the battling 
jealousies of a woman off the streets. The next twdve 
months, he told himself, would be the moftt crucial in his 
eareer ; in them he muvt i4>prove himself, and from them 
take the measure of his actual height 

If this sort of tense misery were to drag on for mudi 
longer his aspirations and ideals would cease to thriTe, 
and dwindle away into a listless, lackadaisical desire to 
write. 

He would fain have deserted the Weeping Woman, and 
have gone elsewhere, had it not been for his scarcity of 
ftmds. At the Turnpike, with the little money he had, 
he mi^t manage to survive, but nowhere else. Here he 
was entertained ; anywhere else he would have to pay for 
his lodging. So fiur he had earned nothing; tberefcnre 
removal was impossible. 

Mingled with his resentment was a sense of injured 
purity. The sight of this wonuui was contaminating. 
The cousins interpreted his thoughts from his conduct, 
and did their best to make matters less difficult, smooth- 
ing over differences and taking laborious journeys to 
hedge in his peace. Kate perceived his meaning at an 
eariy stage, and, strange to say, did not seem to resrat it. 




W THE WEEPING WOMAN 

2't!^Ts* trd.'t"; 'J!!-*-'"' ••• «» "«• 

it was OAkn'Ai - Au« »»nen it wac not Lancaaft«r 

'or him to «hieve tjT ' "^ "°* """^"y W 

!»• piwnt existence. He S ™H . '' *^ "^ 
•nd dction, but never hud !nIT- ""**• P^*- «"». 

of the perfect. Thj^w '"^f • * "^""T gli»l»e 
eve.y nCtSther'^™ ttS^V" '"■'™^^ 

thought, rtood Kate the ™i ;^ j ^'' °' •" W" 
bet^yed „d '^^^Jtie^'^'f^J^. T'T"*- *" 
•• ahe oudit to have h-T/ ' ' "f™"? •>• «nd womanly 

of . «ething. lepnJZS'*,^i" nr"*. ^ 'Won 
hou,'a ple«ra« and a moiMnt'. • .u . ',"" ""ke of «, 
power to live wdl "^T"*" j"'' ^ n>bbed her ofher 

day Ae touched hirwiftT^ "1.,°""^ "^t- By 
walked with him uluTh ,"T"'''" ■»»*■ ""d di 
gettaiJe ho^rtoTT^i^J^Pby night, -^e „„&,. 

"■ "*"" '■<»• !«» wa. that die alone 



RAMPANT LION LANE 71 

nemed unaware of it Ab completion to his anguidi, waa 
his own remorse that, though he pitied her utterly in the 
abstract as a type, he was cruelly impatient of her as an 
individual, in realiied form. 

Since this was the atmosphere which pervaded all his 
work, there is little room for surprise that nothing of his 
creation was bou^^t. The world, like the individual, 
prefers flattery to scorn, and does not often reward its 
harsh-tongued prophets for pointing out its faults. 

He attributed his failure, not unjustly, to his environ- 
ment. He tended more and more to seek his relaxations 
out of doors, and to keep them to himself. In doing this 
he was conscious of a sneaking sense of shame; it looked 
as though he were making a mere use of Lancaster's 
hospitality, as indeed he was. When he returned from a 
happy oasis of pleasure to the dreary drab of the Turn- 
pike, and the flagrant odour of fried fish and pickled 
mussels which prevail along this mile of poverty, and, 
climbing the grimy staircase to the study, discovered 
Lancaster still hard at work, his self-reproach became 
bitter. Latterly Lancaster had risen earlier and retired 
later, often toiling for twelve and fourteen hours a day, in 
order to keep the household running. Gabriel was unaware 
of the reason ; if he had been, he might have been more 
accommodating. 

Unfortunately, we usually discover our saints long after 
their sacrifice has forgotten its pain, when gratitude is 
purposeless, and has lost its power to console. 

Hilda he could not imderstand. She was so quiet, 
thorough, and painstaking. She was one of those women 
who speak most bitterly when they say least. When he 
had lost his temper and had said something particularly 
foolish, she would simply raise her eyes and look at him 
once with a neutral gaze ; her silence was more reproving 
than many words. 



7!i 



™« WEEPING WOMAN 



♦«»y «• .bout the right rf Z!; . ™™ "- «omething 

i^-ter often n^^^ IT"^**^ "^ t-t 

Jith h« rfbetion, d,e i. ,»t ^^^.,'"' **«'« <My 
oauwhenelf. """P^™" •» to how d» 

•*"""« <we|i-noted in hi. n,f_j ""™"- ^loe ides 
?»?» ««lue U»n ftittT ".*"' ^""^ «»t work. we« „f 

Wie«d in «Iigio„Zrtt^,eTj"'"*"' ""»««- 

^^to'^Te^t-^ --^e^-e^ioroj-hnr 

^^^ ^'.X'Zrj-^ '"^ He 

"» dutrict. «rf hi, 4ble " TJ •»««"« « by-worf in 
>»«»t»n.te of the «cW Zi. "^ "*"^«' ^ «»» 
."»«• "imply c«„e toTZf^ "^^ "*"* ■"•P^to^ 

"^d"™- ftequentlv sunh ^ . ^'^' ""U" ^ mifcrm 
««ht; they 7e« "^a'' T^" »«^ to ,tay Z 
dwover and bring home A^'»i *5""'' ^ "ouU 
when the hou«wiJ'Sytri? T** "'S^t-"*"™? 



RAMPANT LION LANE 



78 



his iWkrknUyf and, as is usual under radi cireninstaBoes, 
resented the duvitj of oth«M m magnifying his own lack 
ci the same, it efid not seem to him expedient that he 
should lose his nigkCs rest at this juncture ; he required 
to conserve his feneti for brain work, and did. There was 
notfaiiig unreasonable in his attittide, bat it made him 
Ibd awkward when others were so spendthrift in their 
giving. 

He discovered a refiige from this constraint in an 
uaezpected quarter. 

In his rambles it had been his habit, in more prosperous 
d«fi, to seek out the less known by-ways of London, and 
to haunt the various old curio-shops which they contain. 
Amongst these is one called Runpant Lion Lane, an 
andcnt place, with overhanging gaUed houses of early 
Tudor period, lying at the back of New Oxford Street. 
In it stood a seocHid^iand book shop, kept by one, Louis 
Lanier. Unlike most men of his cUm, he was possessed 
of a genuine culture, valuing money not at all, but book 
knowledge to excess. Often, when a customer inclined to 
purchase some old volume, he would state his price, and 
then implore him not to buy, because he loved that book 
too welL Lanier was a man of about sixty years, ill-kempt 
and shabby in appearance, but unmistakably a gentleman. 
He was one of those evident failures of London life, the 
more pathetic because he was so contented to &il. 

Hie lane in which he lived was poor and of unsavoury 
reputation. Barred at either aid to prevent wheel-traffic, 
paved in sudiwise that it encouraged the accumulation of 
puddles, it harboured a goodly portion of the back-wash 
of the city^s refuse. His trade was of no exalted character, 
but consisted, for the most part, in quick sales and small 
returns on auction remainders. These he displayed on a 
stall outside his dingy door, and guarded so slackly that 
as many were stolen as paid fcHr. 



74 



THE tVEEPING WOMAN 



^™««, ««, to rtudy whatever of intewt rtiolled ««», 

Y^ "rf "topped .t the &n,aii» ^ „ "miiwit 

h« nodded curtly, md mo«^ wjl^ ^^ ^*'^ 
O-bM tarried, 'dirinffl^L"'* •"■ "^ 
n4»U,diminidungbe«, H^i^-.?^. P*e of the 
Ii«ly ftuitle- that ^ ^t^^ h«l l«n pw- 
«w»o«cetoX XhW,.^. """^^rf hi. tired rtep. 

W found him foot«,r«Kl b^^, It T'*"* *5 
his (bnner prosperity. '»™«« upon the aeene tt 

All thL tatterj ZlZ^ZT^ 5 "IT ' ""'• 
in «thusi«m, ; .J^^^i^ P^*^ ""I P»W«>.d 
• »i« fiom a riSriTl^ • ■"'"«»-to be MiU for 

o'-the-wiM, in the miW !!Z^ .ambition was a wifl- 

Loodon driftS rL ^1n- '"^ "' «'»' - 
•tandi-g; women wlSfj^: ^Z^J^ *^r "" "" 

hood had sped. A cnwm^Ur • l. ^ ***** **^ *»«- 
.trife. ^ *° ** «""^ "Mt Mow, ftwn 



RAMPANT LION LANE 



75 



A nuui of moods, he pictured himadf at one of than 
olF-aoouringB of civilisation, and shuddered. It was the 
darkest hour of his despair ; the flashing flame of his Yiape 
had sunk very low. 

FVcmi these moumM meditations he was aroused hy 
Lanier, who, unbeknown to him, had been siloitly regard- 
ii^ him for some minutes. 

** If you have nothing else to do, jrou are welcome to 
step insidf,** he said. 

With the medumical tread of one only half-awakened« 
he accepted the ofler. 

The interior of the shop was similar in appearance to a 
hundred others of its kind ; the ceiling low and smoke- 
faqprimed, the floor littered with books, the shelves dusty 
and laden with leather-bound editions, one, two, and three 
hundred years <Ad, 

Hare indeed was ihe metropolis of all literary endeavoiv, 
and the inferno. Hobbes and Hawthorne, Smollet and 
Mrs. Browning, Swinburne and Isaac Watts, stretched side 
l^ side, every diflb(<roee of ideal, or lack of it, utterly 
figiiptten in the soiry calamky wlMcii had overtaken them 
1^ Hoe also was verified that old warning of every 
qnest, that many nhall be called but few A ai e n. Presenta- 
tion cf^ies of meritorious, thm^ mdcnown, works strewed 
^ counter, bulged over into ^e doorway, and soaked in 
^ rain. Here were pages containing words of amvictitm 
wUdi had not convicted, and optimums of life uttered by 
^ps which should know distress. In some of them were 
insrrihrrl messages of aflection frmn the autiior to his 
iiend ; but the pages were uncut, proving the receiver''8 
aaMuong indtffierMice. It is a Intter trial for the {nY>phet 
whoa be is not honoured in his own country, how much 
more so when he is rejected in every otho- ! — such had been 
their fiite. All this came home to Gabriel as he halted in 
the entrance, surveying the dreary scene. 



■-'■' — '"^^ ..,-^... 



n 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



C" of »„,« ™„', 7^* !.". ^ ™^"« hod occupW . 
th. l«rth, wJ^iioZl, i^"^.""' »' the "on. ftdng 

ui»n Thich tH^ LTe. z::'\'';:r i' ^"^ *«» 

gold «.d P<«rl.X .uX o/Tm^.'^u "■"■ '«»7 "d 
«»«d to few. PferhaM. Hv~l k T j ""d long Bnoe 

"evertoretara. YeUow'Lked.'trV"? "" *« 
moiutttic handiwork mdBT- "^"""'"und volume, of 

•'U' "Hie windomCJ ''"P "*«-« o' the 

I«ier.fterw«r:^J.:^..~»X'°^«« •* " 
thing. ouWde.- It ^„ed to rtT- i !>. .'"""°'7 °' the 
b«k to Spe„.eri«, dl!^ 1 lu!^ ""* ^ ^ drifted 
•omindedj™ of fe';:.^^^""^^.^''^^"'^ 
•mpme he gazed around, onlTW^belfc^^ .w ?' "^ 

22- »^^ite .a. u ;o «t*:;Xit;:,S'^s: 
srsutt^t"„t "an'^ rr^ r""« ■"^''^« 

-^whatXartrd^-r;^.-t-^ 



RAMPANT LION LANE 



77 



Hare, then, was one who had created his own Eldorado 
in defiwee of circunutance ; having sought, he had not 
utterly fkiled. 

** But it is so luilike anything that I had expected,** said 
OabrieL 

•• Of course it is," Lanier replied ; ** its oppositeness con- 
stitutes its charm. How do you suppose that I could 
contrive to exist, if it were not unlike?** 

Gabriel sat hinraelf down by the fire, and with lazy 
satisfiMstion watched Lanier preparing their meal. Supper 
consisted of vin ordinaire^ cheese and brown bread ; a simple 
substitute for the more elaborate article. 

**So you have adopted the lost cause as a profession ?** 
queried Lanier, glaoring at the bunch of manuscript which 
Gabriel carried. 

•• Yes— «nd joined the holy army of martyn, I fear," 
answered Gabriel, with a laugh. 

Gradually his tongue unloosed. Here, at any rate, was 
a man who had gone upon a kincked quest, with a like 
ranilt. The desire for confessimi came upon him, and he 
poured out to the dealer in second-hand books his 
troubles. 

The little man heard him patiently to an end, and then 
said briefly — 

" Show me what you have done." 

Nervously fumbling with the knots, Gabriel untied his 
creations, and handed them over. The man accepted them 
in the casual nuuiner of one who expects disappointment, 
merely remarking — 

** Oh, verses ! They never seH." 

As he read on more interest was made manifest in 
his face, until at last he paused, in turning a sheet, 
exclaiming — 

"Why, this is great I'' 

When he had finkhed, he returned them and was silent 



n 



"« WBBWNO WOMAN 



"*. but tut fa Jl V^ "*" •**«« iMw Hid. 

He had riaen while anmli.. 
t»»«rd the rtreetdoor ^TT*.'™' """ W the ... 



RAMPANT LION LANE 



T» 



bf tlw itall, M yoQ did this tvening. If I mj nothing, 
jpa am go away agidn, and Ibrget all about it If 
I nod to you, jou muit &1U0W me in. lliatitaU. Good- 
B%bt" 

Tlie door dattend to, and tbe bolt ihot into place. 
Gabriel was left, itanding alone in the deierted lane. 



CHAPTER VIII 
A won OF luuuoir 

d^ — «p«iit UaoLmwutoo roddm , 

o'hfe »«. Uottod out V—?^^'* *^ EvwTiim 

•«5 — eh«ig«l ^™^**' *»'«•• few d»S^' 
rrt, for J, u^ lo^i^ 

wtb the pnlation of wiio.. ,w!T '*• •"" »" mm 
"vend to-night?-'^' *^° I™"" but the w«M 

ao 



A NIGHT OF ILLUSION 



"And wfafttifit-ioMf^heMkadakNid. «I,feroM, 
ihftll not mind. Life ia too myrterioui; it hM wiwiad 
mt. We are aU Uied. God gnuit that the world nay 
end to-ni^t** 

Emy barrier '^f the reaMmaUe brake down befen this 
eataetnqihie p. .nomenon of Nature ; an Maa wai no 
■ooner conceived than hie imagination mw it materialiaed. 
The world would end that night! Thew were the hut 
few houn of hit life. What did the convuUive ihatterii^ 
of hie poor fortunes matter when the hope of the world Uy 
a^ying! 

He grew out of himself with the thought ; he became 
the last thing living, the pcnmnification of Life. Griefe, 
and fears, and doubts, which had well-nigh subroeiged 
him when ho had struggled to keep hiN head on high, now 
beat didtantly about his feet, so toll wbk he grown. 

He laughed aloud in thew last hours of his giant 
activity: he had surely gathered up into himself the 
vitality of nations, and stood next in order unto God. 
" Who knows but the world may end to-night ? It must 
end I It is going to end.^ 

He stretched out his arms in his imagined might, strain- 
ing up through the fog towards the clouds ; but trembled 
as he did so, feeling his hand upon a cold, damp face. 

The face passed on, and be heard the report of three 
sharp raps with the naked knuckles upon wood, followed 
by the rattle of the handle of a door. A fagot of light 
flared up into the night. The face went in. The door 
swung to. All was dark again. Ten separate times he 
saw this operation repeated— the three raps, the handle 
turned, and the streak of light The house was Lanier's ; 
Gabriel instinctively knew that these proceedings stood in 
some way related to himself. Who were they ? Where 
did they come from ? 

"They are my old sins," he told himself, "who are 
6 



MKXOCOrY IBOUITION TBT CHAIT 

(ANSI and ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




A -APPLIED IN/MGE 

^r^ 16S3 Eost Main SIrwt 

B'.g noch«t«r. Ntw York 14609 USA 

^B (716) 482 - 0300 - Phon. 

^S (716) 288 - S9B9 - Fa> 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 

X^ti^*r. r^ ""^ •* *^^ ^''"^ -»»>«h I have 
orly^ wntten, and have not wrought into the fabric of mj 

opS!' * ^"""^ ''"' **' "^"^^ *^"* *^« d°o' <«d not ns 

He tmtied and groped his passage to the top of the 
iane, and so out into the main street. 

back ^L^^?. ^^^^ *^T ^°"" *° «*"«»«« his way 
oack to the Turnpike; when, after many mistalces. »,« 

at^ Ij^reached I^easter's house, he foLTt^^I 
Throughout his journey his fanciful illusion had nursued 

to find the Weeping Woman stiU standiiT^IrTZ^^ 
as his search irrew tedionQ o«,i ;* i • - Proportion 

Doned ftnW-f • i • ^ ^^ conclusion further post- 

poned, an hystenc desine rose up within him to see ^n 

received from him so little thanks 
knowing tiiat he was^e '^ ^''^^^^ '«*^°' 



A NIGHT OF ILLUSION 



88 



The house was very quiet. With terrible foreboding, 
be leapt up the stairs, and flung himself into the room 
where they were used to sit together. 

As he did so, a woman rose from a kneeling posture 
beside the window, leaving the panes clear of mist where 
I her face had been pressed. 

She ran toward him with arms outstretched, crying, 
«*0h, it is you at last ! I was so afiwid." • 

For a moment Gabriel said nothing, but stood still, 
clasping her close to himself, kissing the face which he 
could not see. His heart was racked with the craving 
for love ; nothing mattered much, if only that were grati- 
fied. He could not see the face, nor did he desire. Here 
was a human creature famished for love, like himself; that 
knowledge sufficed. 

Bending lower, he kissed the lips, and whispered, " Who 
knows, the world may end to-night."" 

When he spoke, a tremor travelled through her body, 
and she slipped from his embrace, still holding his hands. 
"Oh, Gabriel, Gabriel, what mistake is this ?"" 
The voice was Hilda's; but the longing for love was 
upon him, vague and directionless. There was no space 
for reasoning; he kissed her hands many times and she 
did not resist. 

Content with the comfort of the present, her lips ceased 
from complaining, and she lay very still. 

Sitting down by her side, he rested her head upon his 
shoulder gently, as she had been a tired child in need of 
sleep. He recognized from their touch how hard the 
fragQe hands had worked. He reproached himself with 
bitter words for his past carelessness of her needs ; but she 
said nothing. 

Her silence brought to him calm, till he also, exhausted 
with contentions which he could not explain, refrained 
from speech. All remembrance of yesterday and to- 



W THE WEEPING WOMAN 

morrow vaniahed ; for the mere pleasure of repo«j he was 
happy to rest. As mariners escaped from a sunken vessel 
who, having attained the shore, stretch their length upon 
^sand wjthm sound of the waves, pleased ^ S" 
scant security which they have won, foi^etful of aU else 
"n k""/"" ""T^ """^ ^" thTdarkened room!* 
kJLL"l'Pr?u*^'y. '""""«* ^^ ^»»^n « second 

Gabnel and Hilda, without moving, awaited their 
approach recognizing the trailing tread of the weary 
leet as that of Lancaster. ^ 

He came to the open doorway, halted, and seemed to 
ga« m. If he saw anything, he did not speak ; but, after 
a momen^ of suspense, renewed his journey ; with the closing 
of his bedroom door, quiet returned. ^ 

Then with a stifled sob Hilda stood up, and laying her 

wX^h'^f '^""' "^^^^P^"^' " Gabriel, leVus 
forget that this has occurred. I don't know how it 

^pened. I had been waiting for John, and did not 
^gnize you at first I was very frightened, and hardty 
knew what I was doing-^d, I had bin very lonelyT^^ 
" And I am still lonely," he said. ^ 

The fog had now lifted, and the interrupted energy of 
life was heard to swirl and eddy down the street afresf 



CHAPTER IX 



THE HOUSE OF THE DREAMEK8 OF DBEAM8 

With the passage of that night the old order was 
resumed. None of the occupants of the Weeping Woman 
manifested by word or sign that anything out of the 
ordinary had happened. Lancaster was gentle and self- 
effacing as ever. Hilda, sedate and tender, with just a 
strange, protecting touch of the maternal in her attitude 
toward Gabriel. Gabriel himself was hilarious and moody 
by turns. Despite this outer covering of harmony, he 
oidured the exquisite torments of self-acknowledged and 
convicted hypocrisy. When Lancaster was sociable he 
was unhappy, recalling his disloyalty of an hour. When 
Lancaster was silent, he was haunted by the fear of a 
further knowledge, which his friend did not choose to 
make plain. Beyond all else, there was the humiliating 
shame that he should be beholden to one whom he had 
secretly betrayed. 

By nature Gabriel was spontaneous and frank, even to 
the point of recklessness ; to be compelled to deceive was 
for him the worst penalty that could have befallen. If he 
had only had himself to consider, he would willingly have 
gone to Lancaster and clean-breasted the whole matter 
like a man ; as it was, he had Hilda to safeguard, and was 
forced to keep silent. When he walked in the open, amid 
the good-humoured rattle of the streets, he would smile 
»d »y. "A mUtake on a^dark night-what does it 



86 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



Amount to ? " WkAit k A 

.pp«J«d in v«a He «H,n^vrf ^t t^T "i*™"'"'' 
nnce he wu debwr..) A-,-. ""*"."* ">« conclmior that. 

left to him ^TJ^ZT^^ ""« — "othixg 
lock«l heart. Si ty.MeT^T^ "'KhV *" ''" """ • 

'™.t^Xd'^d°"!fxtT *° "? '" ■"■' '«™'*°"«J. 

«»»hoId,/he woJS have C.C'"" i "'?«* "1»» *' 
"d Gabriel lay cnuhri ^a ^P*!^; "f ""^ "<* come. 

dung to th« last trestle ofT^KT'^'^'' '"*" "«'« I* 
i»g how he had b^ Ll.f ' ^^ •"'^ge. «n.ember- 

•cquaintance. contemolatin,, l,"^. ,*' """^^ »' •"'» 

eonvenient. LxleT Ti • . " "'"'y "» »"= of thoK 

^ » k.n^trt^dlZtrldT""'"'" ^'■'"» ««« 
Aort month, are „„t «,« 'L?. .?" '"^~- '^ fe" 

p-io™, ^u ie::h:^"thrL"d:t/r r""« •■"- 

•» young and the impressions rtl i /? '"?'*"' *=> 
eherished a mild discffZ r *^f'"*'''^ ^^- He sliU 

"Ok for help fe,„ „^;°;^. -» /"^J-e "uld 
for despising ; he despised hiW^; **P'*^ """"elf 

whom he u^ghteoX des; n^"^ '^J "^P"^ ««» one 
hiking back to Se TT^ ' ."!?• "** " «ri»tocmtic 

hirn^lf for acce;ting »vt1^rf ^?' '"^^ ^P^^^ 
So the interv^i *d^f rg/"»' I^ier at all. 

«g»in found hirasd7sS;„! ^'*7 l-^S^ V, until he 
The barren poverty omtX^:.'^; ^»''*"'''^ "Wl. 
do™ shop.'^S.e wUngiTufrP'*' *"■"'''- 
P»^ge«, and abused re W 1 f ""i, '."if '"^'^ «»*- 
" forloraly presMc that he w^ mTfJr^ ^^"^ '°°''«' 
"»^e his escap. ^Tr^ZlXt^^^^ 



THE HOUSE OF THE DREAMERS 87 

minds, Lanier came out and nodded; beckoning at the 
same time with his hand, he disappeared into the darkness 
within. Gabriel followed with a beating heart. 

"You have been elected,"" exclaimed Lanier excitedly. 
" I knew you would be. I was certain of it directly I saw 
your writings." 

" Been elected to what ? " asked Gabriel, enthusing at 
his fervour. 

"Why, to «The Dreamers of Dreams.' Ah, but I 
foii^t, you don't know who they are; I shall have to 
explain. Walk into the Sanctiiaiy, and wait there a 
minute. Fll go and close up the shop." 

Gabriel entered the quaint old room which had so 
fascinated him on the last occasion, and sat himself 
down by the fire, where he was soon joined by Lanier. 

"And now, who are *The Dreamers of Dree-ms'?" 
asked Gabriel. 

"You must give me time to explain," replied Lanier, 
" and you must listen closely, if you wish to understand 
the honour which they have conferred upon you. * The 
Dreamers of Dreams' form an anonymous club which 
meets in this house iwice every week. It is secret in 
natiu%. Its existence is unknown to any, save its own 
members. The members themselves are not supposed to 
be known to one another by their real names, nor are they 
allowed to recognize one another should they meet outside 
these walls, unless the introduction be obtained from 
without. They are also supposed to be quite unaware of 
all save one another's emotional past and present, so that 
they may be lefl unconstrained to utter their dreams 
without fear of misunderstanding or contradiction by 
reason of that past. To this general rule one exception is 
allowed, when we find ourselves capable of being helpful 
to one of our members in the brutal world outside. 

" In this way the few hoiurs we spend together week by 



88 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



-op" and live i^!^air7 lu*' *" *"'* "« —y 
i*«l. which other Sr^' ""^ ''*"°"'' -^""y 

■n^ « two wl™ „,°tS "?' r*"'8 •« of o„e«I? 

«en«,ou, gratification iSti^! "*'«"«' "l^rewithj. f,i 
'h. world, .nd finding U^ ^n^ ^f T"""^ '"' ^"^"^ 
Pl«»ure in them«lve, -n^Tl ^ """• » ™«"ent 
•«^"d the poo^ „*:;. ,,^ «^^ •«>«- wedth ; of the 
Here we have establishnrTli, * i 

•elve. ««I ignoS^ce of Sthatr .T'"^ "^ •"" own 
f« "ot 1.^ enough toiler r^^'' '" °*''^ ^' 
mcesMnt fcult,, nor to dSlL^ iIT'" "^ °">"-'" 
"e only .nibition,, and tS 'w K ^"T" "'*'"' "«* 

"You ™.y thin'k it rc-^firti*^''""^"- 

fome together for such « „™5f J^?' *** ""n *ouId 
I«m, to undcBtand '^^^' '"'* ^'^ ""'" 8>a<ii»lly 

"For some men their secn-f j. : » 
fi"mo« lofty th«, thdr^L '^'^ "'^ l»rf«rtion are 
'Poken profeiio^ l^ihTZJ'f'^T'' '^^ »»'» 
normal pi^^ice than ^"1;"^^ fi"^'*,' ""'t "■«■'» 
closest friends To *1, «*'^te held of them by their 

bitter griefT;„J;''^.X''™'*^' ""''*<'"''' Cs. 

that, ^t of sh«r"S\'rrr-" *«i»"tly hap^, 
"fundings and theSves ,h •' ■"'P°^«'«ity ofTeir 
foss in P^portion rfcSl"''"?"' ^"^ "o" 

the;"r^l::Her;^tit: ?'-r^'>'»™ng „n 

»C brother-men a. Z. ^SUleT^ "^l^Its'l^' 



THE HOUSE OF THE DREAMERS 80 



problem is often solved by relegating the hi^er self to a 
phantom world, populated by dream-people, fashioned 
from the best of Heart's Desire; while, in the world of 
standards and facts, only their baser self is realized. Such 
men are very unhappy ; from this cause many a prophet 
has died profligate. 

*' It seemed posHible to some ft >v of us to found here in 
the throng of i London a Land of Heart's Desire, where 
dreamers might dream in sympathy, with none to challenge. 
That this might be, every earthly axiom of what is 
plausible, religious, or respectable, had to be left behind. 
The door had to be fast-locked against every straggler of 
things as they exists in order that those within might 
fabricate their visions of things cu they should be. Hence 
the rules which I have communicated to you. 

"No opinion is dealt with unkindly or as impossible. 
With us everything is possible, therefore we can afford to 
be generous. Among our members are some who are 
leaders in the world of art, and music, and literature ; and 
some who never will be, but who share in the Desire — like 
myself. 

" Some of us are quite poor, and some quite rich ; some 
are quite famous, and some utterly unknown. These 
things do not count with us, for we dream in a land where 
money and fame are inexpensive. We have no sooner to 
think, than we have; to mention, than we visualize; to 
visualize, than we discover existent. All this is very 
simple when once the world has been forsaken. Now do 
you tmderstand ? "" 

While Lanier had been speaking, Gabriel had listened 
intently, his eyes sparkling and his cheeks flushed, as one 
who stands accused of hu most hidden secrets. 

" Yes, yes, I see," he panted. " You judge a poet by 
what he says in his supremest utterance ; not by what he 
does in his direst temptation. Me, by what I have 



<i 



I 



90 



THE WISEPING WOMAN 



*titimt not b. ,k,, , . J. 

to I've before y„„ i„ ^yJJ? ""' " y^' !»•»». I u. 
*»l!i««t p«.ii ^7f IT'S? "'•';"":"■'>'' '•°» in "V 
ace. ""pea, but never hoped to 

•W"*! the unattainable w«, .i,^ *« f«4«l out fi,»„ 
rfJW. Thi. wa. the W^^f^ "« "»«»1 W been 

•from henceforwanL" »iU t ,"""^"*' 

"""g"! all I am allowed 1 I '^^.'"^ *« know many 
»ved«l in your .omenta of J^, ''^"« *" "«* i' 
"•«f ». I will Wo yTt ;LS J"-'«''t the club 

Having thrown a W uponT^ i" ™™'»8-" 
>!'- »«»k. C«,dle. wereThM^t Z^-. he «t about 

"Ive. ^luud, of curiou. wortln^"'", '™»8«'' ««" 
long, W table. ""'"nuuWnp placed upon the 

up^ato^;: tr!S'2feSof r ^'".'- •"»^ 
poked up hi. Unfc.„ «Hl weToat , ^'^ ^^ 
Gabnel w«t«l i„ trepidatir '"«*»" ^i. g„ert. 

Ine fint arrival wan » l™„ i 
»P-«rd. Hi, f«« :^' 2' '^ J"" of sixty yea„ „d 
his hair g«y ^d .p,«^^'"'j^'^'«*'' '[-d <-lea„-*aven, 
'y^ bright and HdyWuf H ""' "'«'"'••''"' his 

he-ng warmly clad i„^a rich fi """ '"''"'% ""riving, 
^rupulou. Jd expendvtnttni 1^^ '"'' ''«'«^ -"> « 
Gabnel recognized him «7lS,w ","'''' »Pl«»«d. 
•nd successful man of letted ^ ""'''" "^ «>» day. 



THE HOUSE OF THE DREAMERS 91 



Hftving removed his outer garment, he lat down without 
■peech, on the farther iiiflo of the fire-place, opponite to 
Gabriel, and having lit his pipe, utanxl vaouitly into the 
glowing coaln. 

Following, in rapid RUcceMion upon his ac'-' -t, came 
man after man ; young, and old, and middle-agr- ; pros- 
perous and painfully poor; well-drcsdcd and shabby, 
until at last the room was comfortably filled to the 
number of perhaps a dozen. 

One, beyond all others, interested Gabriel. A man, 
small and slender, with a face half timid, half defiant, but 
of a singular and wistful sweetness. A possible saviour ; 
an only too obvious rake. One of whom many things 
might once have been predicted, no one of which would 
have been entirely fulfilled. His was the coi atenonce of a 
disillusioned man who still clung desperately to his 
illusion ; who had striven to forsake the world, but had 
returned to abuse it ; one who revived his visions only 
to find them utterly vain. He hml the face of a seeker 
who has lost something which he is for ever agonizing to 
regain. He taught others in his silence the ho|K!lessncss of 
all effort ; when he spoke, his enthusiasm revealed the joy 
of the enterprise. You recognized at once in looking 
upon him that he was one to whom laurels do not come in 
a lifetime, though they may come after death. All that 
men hope for, all that they journey after, the unful- 
filment of love, the contrition for misspent years, the 
horror which follows a too accurate knowledge of self, and 
torture of on endless desire, were pencilled there by the 
brutal hand of physical retribution. This was the Poet, 
the lover of Verlaine, who, some few years since, so startled 
the cultured world by the melancholy of the fragmentary 
songs which were published after his death. At this time 
he was far gone upon the downward road. 

Until they were all assembled nothing was said ; but, as 



h 



0t 



THE WEKpi;^G WOMAN 



tli0 |^g| arriva) A « 

^PPy group* "" ' ''*• ^*^y **^« up Into varioui 

•*« went out to the^ «»»«iict«d w,j, th,t hi. 

"^ 'T'J: i:r "ttti-f -""- -^ 

•ven ,h«, mriit,,i„„^\7'. ."»■'''•»»<« *«d to u«, 

fe^"". in th«ir eonvoLtT™, JritL?". T* «'**••"' 
«« or coi.ti„«„y. Th„ ™^r "**"* '"'' of Wtter. 

«»«■> m™ t:.c,; S J :"t"l'' r^'P*"!- Bctwe™ 
"mpclled Jmrmony. "^ "' «ymp«tl,y which 

"^tji.iX'trrtrh''"!^ "^•«- «- 

one mind * ^"'"" "" "»y ^'gned the «,:ort of 

P"'i^^of"tjL'' p:::"'"" '''"'*' ««»<' '"".-If the com- 

^JliL^X'^^fhera^Tj"" :;-«-•"••<>»•■•'> ■n-.W. 
unfortu^ite, « myilTV^;^,"f^ *" «»' "«* 
. Gabriel loolced up wJS. '""^ '" '!"" *" «"«.- 

«Wthaty.„,ho„^;tr«,r^-J/".«J. "I«. 

« ->i^f;;;:h^et±eT;?"?^''»P««''•'"« 
h«ve corrected it in thcmJ^ ' •"*"'^ ' *"'» "-o* "ho 
'» the fitting ™»„ for :^;:J:S°'!' «° ««?» y„„th 

«"Py hope, iV»„ the* u^rl't •"".''""'•'*' *'"' »» 
P°*^ Dn»n, Iongd,^„ "Z"*/';:!"''""' «■« greatest 
you i thither lie, the^ J '''fouragement deter 

fir't, perhap,. will yZ ^ ^T ■» P"".?- Not at 
•"ve e^penen^ ti »rf'orrh7u"^,.t".C 



THE HOUSE OF THE DREAMERS 08 



ThAt is the terrible thing about bdng a poet Aa a boy, 
you itiiig of itgcmivN wliicli you Imvc only iinngiiii<(i ; when 
you an? olil, and have furgtitten your nong, you cntUirc them. 
Poetry l» prophetic ; it aJI comeii true in the end. BleMed 
are they who, having framed the Hong, are content to Ring 
it with their livcN. Thervfon.', there in reaiion to be careAil 
in wluit you HUig. My mngH were mowtly of the wrong 
M>rt ; I am now living them— now that I am old.*" 

This laiit was naid with a regretful itadnetw, which lingered 
rccallingly, like the huit faint throb of the violin. Ijang 
after he had ceased to Mpcak, Gabriel was painfully 
conflciouM of the presence of his words. 

** You s|ieak sadly," ho said. ** I wish I could help you.** 

" No one can help the weak man but himself. I am 
capable of dreaming, but not of doing; of striving, but not 
of achieving ; of accomplishing everything, save only my- 
self. Having told others how to be brave, I am cowanlly ; 
a coward I have lived, and a cowunl I shall die. I have 
mode the fatal mistake of being afraid of life. Tell your- 
self that you are what you are not ; let it be high, and 
that you will surely become. ITiat is the great secret.'' 

" And yet you can dream ?" 

" Yes, a little, but even that is going from me. Under 
the influence of drink I can dream — not without it. If I 
told what I then saw, no one oubide these walls would 
believe me." 

»* What do you sec ? " asked Gabriel. « I, at least, will 
believe you." 

The Poet turned upon him inquiring eyes, already^misty 
with the fumes of drink. 

** I see myself young," he said. 

" Young ! " echoed Gabriel. 

" Yes, young again," he replied. " No one will believe 
that I have ever been young ; yet I have, and shall be so 
again. Death may end many things ; it cannot end life. 



I 



94 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



»ith death i it ends with 1„L j . '" ''"« "»» a>d 

perfect won,» ZSot™, 'r""?5' " '"" '» <»» 

brought her the d«g, of my Me She"" T***'"" ' 
too ooBMiou^ too scrSpulouTi if!; .1 J " *" P"""*- 
?i^ the ««* i, Cht " t^tS""""™*- *■ «"■' 
*«th, and I d»n find her" ' '*' "°* *"<■ "th 

«^^?°" «:«• «en h« ?" asked Gabriel 

^ "^Sr:„^\''^:i:'--/Aiteamtle 
She came to me whenT w^ ^'^\^'>e the .umet. 
with her. When itld IZT^"^ ^^' "^ ^ ?%«» 
unde^tand. How .h^u tte^ 21^'' S'^ u*-* »<" 
to me more ftequentlv- X^l , ^ ""^^ *' <=»"« 
watched the .m«t r frl' K ^ '"" «''»'« ""d had 

tried to detai™e*^blt '±' "T ^^ *™« ^^I 
» leaving me. BuTlXu fiTd T ™"^ '*"'' »»" *e 
:r^shecomel,'^„ttp"""'"'"^»-''ere.- . 

" What doe^ ahe ClS^"*"**"™ ** «»°<*" 

itL"^trer*::rh^ri''"'ri''r«"'™»"«. 

hope it wiU he soon/f^ ft '* ," T'lf ,!'"'' ' *^ **• ^ 
and I dmU find her." *"" '*«'"" ^oung again, 

"HowdojoultnowaUthis?" 

Becauae there is quiet in the grave <?h. 1 
to me when I wa., quiet Latelf? L ^ T^ "^ 
about many things-aLont ZT^ ^™ "^^ disturbed 

•W-k; but^when'nf q"u'rq™f st' "if '^'"«> '"'^ 
and staj." ^ ^^^^ ^he will come to me 



THE HOUSE OF THE DREAMERS 95 

** And afterwards ? " 

** Who knows but that even I may be happy ?" 

** Is this the only way in which to win poetic fame ?" 

"The only way for me. I have sung about her, and 
prayed about her, and still dream of her. When I am 
dead, men will read the words which I have uttered, and 
some will say that she is Virtue, and some will call her the 
Spirit of Life, and some Love ; but they will never know 
her, for she wiU be with me."" 

"And that will suffice?" 

" That wiU be sufficient." 

As he spolia, he rose to go, and Gabriel with him. 

The moon rode high in the heavens, and showed white 
between the slanting chimney-tops, looking down disdainful 
and remote upon these two dreamers. 

When they had reached the top of the lane, the Poet 
held out his hand at parting, repeating, " I shall find her 
sometime — somewhere." 

"God is just, you will certainly find her," whispered 
Gabriel, as he watched the retreating figure die out in the 
level of the long, unlovely street. 



CHAPTER X 

WHEN YOUNG MEN SEE VISIONS 

upon which his window ™^ fetolJ T^ f ""** 
I«nd of white "It i, .„*^ TZ ,•'^"•8. fantastic 

will be well If one 1m T"' ^ *°"8'"' ""«" «" 

of ugliness, ^^y:^Z''ir:^"j'2y'^''^'^ 

Dr^ms exploring only tl^^SVUt' ^"T- °' 
I shall ultimately come to finri fl.of i* . ^ ^ ^''^"^ 

thing is beautifij, and is g<^',^';L ZJ^rl ^"Z," 
yet another secret." '^na^spure. I have learned 

96 



WHEN YOUNG MEN SEE VISIONS 07 

Down-staiw the family was assembled when he arrived 
and in addition an out-of-work clerk and a day-labourer— 
Lancaster's gamerings of the previous night. 

Gabriel was in high spirits, and determined upon 
putting his new philosophy— the moulding of the world- 
without by the imagery-within— to the test. 

He talked much and kindly, addressing himself re- 
peatedly to the two strangers, until their reticence 
melted away, and they laughed, and bared themselves 
as to an old friend. 

When we say that any one is uninteresting, we really 
condemn ourselves, and mean that we have been too 
shallow or unsympathetic to encourage and caU forth the 
essential man who hides behind the mask. Either sorrow 
or sudden happiness can teach us this lesson. In Gabriel's 
instance it was happiness. Every one that morning, under 
his influence, laid aside disguise and became, for the time 
being, genuine. 

The day-labourer told about his old mother in the 
distant village, and described the country festivals. The 
out-of-work clerk spoke of how he had hoped to become 
a merchant prince, and still hoped; also of the wife and 
children whom he had left at a friend's house, together 
with his few poor savings, tiU he should come into earnings 
again ; also of the splendid amends he intended to make 
them when that day should arrive. 

Kate, whose case had seemed so desperate, and whose 
artificiality so dense that every trace of sincerity seemed to 
have vanished, now woke up and astonished her friends by 
the gentleness of her buried life. Her whole manner was 
altered ; she treated these two waifs with such considerate 
pity that at times they seemed to be aware of her alone. 
While they were talking she performed small acts of 
kindness to disembarrass their awkwardness, and make 
them less restrained. 
7 









98 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



««"ou, conveiMtion at tUl. ^™™"«^ "hI not ovo. 

j"'^^teS!;g^t''c:ir' "'■''?'«<•.->'»«-. 

«m.tfor?-.A«lG^ri^ 
,^^ •» you tl»nk„,g „, f„f. ^^^ g^^ 

When **-— ' ' - 
said, **1 

incapable,, _„,^„^^ 

WMt to thank you for it" — o— * 

pn^r^sno^tfBcdWht^^^^^^ ^'^^^ — ^ 
Jiappy." *"•"* "^^^n one w determined to be 

After he had lofl- *.u 

"•d « TOice whispered «K™, Ta ^ "^ "•*" *"•» «nii, 
which you .re S Zfl^ ,K™^ 1«» to u. that 
happened" ^' ""' "*''" thing wouU not haw 

.uSf^wSJt^ ™^^»f "^ t^» .I»ck, he 
what Aeteiir""^"'^" *» rfghed, and he knew 



CHAPTER XI 

SEEING THE WOELD AS WHITE 

It was two o'clock in the afternoon, and a shriU, bleak 
wmdw« Wowing. 8in«thedepartu«.oftheday.labo^r 
•nd the out^f-work clerk, Gabriel had employed his 

nlZllf ir^^^.r^ -tting down in^veTtU 
^t irfulosophy, which the whiteness of the snow had 
»Uffi«ted to bm, concerning the fashioning of the world- 
inttout by the imagery-within-the impressing of his 
wbjertive mood upon the objective world. He w« pleased 
with himsdf, for he knew that he had accomplished^ 

ws^r ?'!? ""^ :°*- «»^°«-~PP«JWnLfinhis 
wam«jt^clothing, he sat off at a brisk pace down the 

to the test, and see whether I have not been mistaken in 
«W<«ng that men are unhappy, and that London is a 
dr^ land of grey. To me they seemed so fonnerly 
b«»use I myself was wretched; now that I am cheerfid 
On'f «^°» otherwise. The world is what we make it" 
On his left hand, drawn up beside the pavement, stood 
cofiteis barrows. Their owners were evidently divided in 
mmd as to whether it were more expedient to vend their 
w«^ or to keep their bodies warm. Some paced up and 

^L!^P'°^v ***"'' ^^^^ ^^"K ^^^ «^en hands, 
ami letting out hoarse cries. " Brices ! Brices ! Gen'lman's 
bnces ! All o one price. Choose where yer likes. Buy 'em, 

V9 



i 



■ mssvr-m. 



100 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



««tiped to the leewAnl ^f *k • x « ^ *®*' ™*^«» had 
«««> home to G.S Ct fotttl^ '1 "^ "•"*«* « 

wj..t„v«yi£:,tBt:„rs"fi't' 

of their voices thev offerer! f Ko J^ j l '^^ "*® *op 

phc*.-, which th/:Sf .s%r" ^^'"-?^ -^ 

modat tone, he offered iZtT 'J^.J^^'X'yi m more 
them. He* were fi^ur^/Snored both bin. ^ 
•cknowledge. « lle^rM i t J""^' ^ ""^ "<* 

-bongimagmaal fi,!^l T^P'""*" "hite required . 

'-i^«veKe™,^'te':^^t7h:^<»<«C':"f 

UtteredLd^.^'^fX^liS'' f ^^l^^y '•»''«» 

«» life redly . defeat Xr .11^ «!.'"* *«•■*■ ^nd 
»d stepped out moTbri^ ^K .^' * "*" "P "» ''«^ 

matter, litUe chapP-X wked ^^5!^ . ™»*'' «"* 
trained in the school »f . ?* *' ""'^ ^ I*™ 

-de. divrftntr'th^'b^^^P" °' -- ' •"« ■» 

"The world i, what we ^,^ "^ ""^^^ 
voice within hia brain "!v .. ^ "hispered a jeerii« 

o^ people don-t'rA told I 'r.^,^:^^^^ 
«luch you wrote this morning. UitZjt P°"" 



SEEING THE WORLD AS WHITE 101 

imagery-within. Impress your glorious subjective mood 
upon the Turnpike. The world is what we make it ; you 
ou^t to know that"* 

** Who can dream dreams in the Turipike ? ** he growled, 
angry because he knew that already, at the first contact 
with facts, he was losing his new-found peace of mind. 
**ni go to LanierV he said, «• where ideals are not 
shattered." When he entered Rampant Lion Lane and 
approached the bookshop, his spirits rose, for he was 
encouraged by memories of the previous night. Lanier 
sat behind his counter, far away in a vanished land, chuck- 
ling over an original copy of Fuller's Worthies qf England. 
When Gabriel halted in the doorway, shutting out the 
scanty light, he looked up. 

« Ah, so it's you !" he said. « I had been hoping that 
I might see you to-day. Perhaps unconsciously I drew 
you to me by my desire.*' Then he told him that the Poet 
had been there, anxiously inquiring for him that morning. 
He had left a message for Gabriel that, should he turn up 
at the Rampant Lion, he should come straight on to his 
house. 

" What does he want with me ?" he asked. 

*< Don't know," Lanier replied; "I should advise you, 
however, to go to him as quickly as you are able. He's a 
valuable friend to have." 

So Gabriel, having no other engagement, agreed to visit 
him that afternoon. He felt a little nervous when he 
looked at the address which Lanier had handed to him. 
It was somewhere near Hyde Park. A short time ago he 
had been at home in all neighbourhoods of wealth and 
fashion; since then he had become a denizen of the 
Turnpike, one who rapped upon the closed doors of 
publishers' houses, and had unconsciously acquired that 
angry attitude of grudged respect toward the well clothed 
and folly fed which is the brand of the man who has 



IM THE WEEPING WOMAN 

in mr »i««^ that I n», «. the Cld ^wht^ "^ 

A young girl, iU-fed uid «„m,c .tLZin. j 
b««J«> ar too he.™ for her3^ rt 'ZT"' "?*" ' 

""v^1eT^'^i;«!^^*e^owT' "■»• 

^:?ng^?^tL''«3.'^ou^,et*S^,^ 
<»n7"««Kh.Wl,Iet™ehei;C- ^'"'" "* 

"It's ^ right,- he said, interpreting her fear • « t i 
want to help vou. T*.ll m*» * *'«'""» ner fear ; « I only 
cip you. ielJ me, for where are vou boiinH ? " 

She mentioned the name of r «.,« «* ^ . 

B«gent Street They^off t^J^T *»^ r^tl^-tnaken. in 
through the fashionlhWK ^^'^ *'^*^^"« ^^^ ^^7 

package, misdoubtr^ ' kTrirrwh^ one ^d upon the 
interest. Gabriel ei.v Jf ^^'^ ^^ "° "^^rior 

with the tnZ^.dl^li.rfirr'^.."^*^ ^''^ ^"^^ ^l«t 
&r; hesoo^^rupt^Pf^^^^^^ 

to the shop, ^e seiLd her r^^ I ^T ** ^ ^^^'^ "^^ 
word of £X ^ , f!?** "^"^ *J«P»rted without a 

what ktdTt iifetr^tl^h^" r*"' *"' "°"^-^ 
obviously over*wo^ed «T^ 1 «^e was so foul and so 

C«>ator,«\e tholf. and ^'1 °? "^"""'"' 
« Poor world." vSr sudden^? ZJ ^<>^-^^ sigh, 
uncomfortaie senSon t^f ^ ^"^^ '°'^°"« °^«»« 
He wheeled ro^ 2!^* ^'""T."^^^""''^ 

alacritylndeeT^f ?^^ ^^"^ ^' ^^^'^ ^«» «uch 
««»cmy, indeed, that he came mto collision with a saunter- 



SEEING THE WORLD AS WHITE 108 

ing dubman, who strai^tway commenced to glare and 
expostulate. But Gabriel had picked out instinctively 
firom the torrait of faces the scrutinising eyes which had 
touched him. A temporary stoppage had occurred 
in the traffic. Directly opposite stood a lnt>ugham, in 
which sat three girls, one of whom was gating at him. 
He instantly recognized the carriage as that of the Thurmu\ 
and the girl as Helen. Even as he espied her she bent 
forward with heightened colour and said something to the 
coachman, who, evidently obeying her command, circled 
his horses to the outside, thus filling up a gap in the halt, 
and hiding her from view. She must have seen his recent 
companion and his shabby load. 

** I suppose she was afraid I would recognise her,^ he 
said bitterly. " She might have spared herself that trouble ; 
I had already learnt my lesson.^ And yet, his heart was 
sore, and, though he would not own it even to himself, the 
agony of an old desire was upon him. The extravagance 
of her furs, the repose of her figure, together with the 
radiant beauty of her face, gave to her an air of remoteness 
which contrasted strangely with his own present condition 
and past memories of that last night, spent in her company, 
by the silent Thames. They seemed so utterly apart, 
these two women who passed for one and the same ; from 
the one whom he had loved, the estrangement seemed so 
forlornly complete. He, the poor pedestrian, companion 
of a dr«»smaker''s employ^ ; she, the symbol of caste, and 
of Parnassian patrician ease. 

"But she does not know life," he muttered; "how 
should she ? She has not suffered."" Better by far to be 
the friend of a seamstress, he thought, if, by so doing, he 
might bring joy into the world, than to be the comrade 
of beautifril women, and live only to admire. How selfish 
he had been, spending his days idly for his pleasures, while 
such weak children as this one, whom he had lately helped, 



ii 



104 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

«» the feMniiTorJ* r^ •" *• Aijr. of hi. life 

Poet', house, the yeUow iJTrf^!^*, *°*^ *°''*^ *h« 
»nto gloiy, like mSg:iJfwhTd,1^ tr r^ST""*^ 
cool evening of the dm>^n «L S ''• ''^^ *" **»« 
that aching^melan4o7wK S^^^ ?* ""- ?^«^ by 
mood.. i.^bert ableTir^^t^^^ 
reali«d that he wa. only oHf 2,1,- 'T^' "« 
unit of which had it. Ti.^?! i""" ""'"^^ ««* 

though th^ iXh^ed'^tr^^^ ^' 
how much had thev ~J1,^ ,Th f"*" "trength, 
what p„^t wodd'ardTyT'S^,:^ "'^ u"' ' 
«vehiind«dye«r.h«l pwid? Of JL ^ '".''"" 
own life, hoTOoever^^rf^ x . "•""* *•»" hii 

rp3";j°rrhe" t" r ""^ ^^^ °" 
.4j.i. p^; r.^^t r^rj::-^^^ 



SEEING THE WORLD AS WHITE lOA 

eztinguinhod all hU itanF Gabriel was oppramd with 
the immeniiity of Creation as compand with the paltiy 
items of which it is made np-^f which he was only one 
item. He was made fretftU by the remembnuice of his 
own insignificance, which London had forced upon him. 
He recogniaed himself as a mere unit, which, so far as he 
knew, would occur but once in the rank and flle of the 
myriad march of Time. London had humiliated him and 
robbed him of his confidence. This was his frame of 
mind when he arrived at the Poet's house. Its windows 
were gloomy and shuttered; it seemed deserted. He 
mounted the steps and rang. 



CHAPTER XII 

™ MAM fK THK tHAlfewLAKO 

•treet lamp, for the HrIIw-^ •*[• *V "»• •id of Ui« 

.building uninUbited imd unftmiXd ?fc «^'"« '" 
rt«rw.y, were unc«pet.d, uTTT; J^' *f" r"^ 
them in hi. pi««ge, were nXl , JT**" "" "*«*«» 
ing. i the «r CrCSeT^ "'.P"*"'*' " of h«,g. 
He bqpn to repe^ rf iT"*^ "" " «» ""rithoX 
the fiS^f hi.^^ t'':;^""* . " he l»d not «„ 

the tepmort .t«r, the bov ta^-TSl .""J"* •^'*' •' 
«kI knocked at a d™., »k; t •""•«» pmed on 

'•-We. The boy toJc^ ^b^„Z^ *T "» 

^ii.r:her:prf£"«"--"-^^ 
o^hothou^ao^-— rttr,:t:nsi 



THE MAN IN THE SHADOWLAND 107 



wtrt lilitt, fomrn, and oarnatiom of every thade and 
kind. Caating hi* vyt* around the room, he aaw that its 
walls were tapestried from floor to ceiling, covering up 
every window, if any there were. The nihject of the 
tapertry was the hopeless loves of the world { that of 
Launcelot for Guinevere, of PIm>1o for Fhuicesca, and of 
Merlin for Vivienne. Its ftumishing had in it nothing of 
the present ; all had been made three hundred years gone 
by, when men wrought not only with their hands but with 
their souls putting immortal pride into their work, no 
that, though they were long since dead, it was still possible 
to witness the finen«M of their every tool mark. Growing 
more accuntomed to the light, he raised his head and saw 
above him the open sky with all its anchored stars, like 
a great harbour wherein the many ships of diverse ports 
have come to rest ; the ceiling was one pane of polished 
glass. His companion, leaving him to his own devices, 
went toward the fire and rearranged the logs. Gafari#(l 
watched him as he stooped above the flames, and again 
wondered at his beauty nnd his silence. As he was stand- 
ing thus, he heard a sound behind him, and turning about 
found the Poet at his side. 

**8o you have come,"* he said, gaiing on him fixedly, as 
be would impress each feature on his mind. 

** Yes, I have come."* 

** I knew that you would come ; I have wished for you 
all day." The Poet still looked upon him intently, neither 
offering him his hand, nor stirring from his place. Some- 
how, to Galniel^B eyes, he appeared changed from the 
decrepid, prematurely aged man of the previous night 
His face was lit up with a new emotion and looked no 
loager apologetic and afraid ; he seemed rather like one 
who was inspired and had been made bold by some 
hidden message. The boy, having completed his task, 
shifted from his stooping position and stood upright 



108 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

This recalled the Poet to himself <j~. l- 

*Iino8t in a whisper as onJ wf ^P^ing eagerly and 

he said, "Do vou^lT^fl? T ~'"°»"n'«»te8 a secret, 

"«"» xjo you recall those lines whiVlt a k^*l j» 
once wrote ? * brother of ours 

'Stand ttm, true poet that yon an! 

Yo^L'"Si^/"i::" ^^ ^ '' -"enX' 
iCnl^' "Mnember one man mw you 
Knew you, and named a star ! * ^ * 

felt tut th«e worf. werew^f .v*"* *"■ ^"^ ^ 
1 looked upon yorfeT V^! • ^°" ""^ """"""t «»' 

p^phet to a.ri,t;e nor:zs^sf» "^ '^ 

hearken. Thev will O0^^^ * «=«rKenea. But they will 
when you h.7«ZtZd'cf?r'' "'" P'^-'W 
««ht \i that tiS'yot JnoT eSThet """ 'r^ 
you hunger for it nowf and bJlteTt .. i^- ■*™* ' •"* 

^ard^td^-HSJTn tri!a^':,'"'«^ 

ohecure grave, M,d you are succelw !„ """ 

voi«. one^*i™g°Sg ei"e;:riM™'"V"*° "^ 
■nent , hi, habituidi-S^Shf '^ '"*'' °' """'^ 
the moment hi, prayS^Z i'^^T «""*• *"<» 

-t«in hin^elf <„„. hysteric ^4^ wL:hf 3 






THE MAN IN THE SHADOWLAND 109 



the meannctw of the troubleH which dogged his daily walk 
in life, and contrasted them with the preposterous genero- 
sity and magnificent sincerity of this sudden recognition of 
that which he himself, in his insaner moments, had fancied 
that he was. He looked down at his shabby clothes, 
and frayed cuffs, and worn shoes, and smiled almost 
incredulously. 

**Ah, but promise me,"^ the Poet insisted. ** Believe 
me that I am not mistaken.^ 

**lt what you prophesy should ever come to pass,^ 
Gabriel answered, "I will forget neither you nor this 
night. And though you should be mistaken, I will always 
remember." 

" But you yourself know that what I say is true." 

" Yes, I know ; but the world does not recognize." 

" Then we must compel the world." 

" And have you found that so easy a task P Even John 
Keats could not compel the world in his own lifetime, 
neither did Shelley." 

** But no one said to them that which I have said to 
you. No one unreservedly owned to them the starlight 
that was in their eyes." 

** Poor Keats ! If you could have spoken these words 
to him, what a difference they might have made ! " 

** And what a difference they stiU may make ! Perhaps 
he did not need them so much as you. Perhaps I was 
bom only for this, that I might tell you that you are one 
of those men for whom the ages halt." 

" If I could only believe that this were true," said Gabriel, 
" I could be brave beneath the rods of any fate." 

" Fate," the Poet said sadly, " is the generic name which 
cowards give to the penalties of their crimes. I myself 
have sought to avoid my conscience by taking refuge in 
that doctrine of fate. I am grown wiser. Now I am 
assured that, whatever went on in the hinder-world, we 



no THE WEEPING WOMAN 

TOte oundveB in thi.. We become the creatures of our 
^oice. Dreams and desires take substance in our flesh, 
l^jiemstent dreamer of nobilities may always dream 

♦k**T!!? *^ "® ^'''' ' °»*y '«»1»» »n »ny«lf that 
thwarted prophecy which you have recognized?'' 

JI can best do that," said the Poet, « by speaking to 
you of my own life." ^ 

As he said this the old bewildered look crept out across 
his &ce ; his figure seemed to shrink and his should^irs to 
Jtoop ; the years, which his eagerness had thrown off, roUed 
back on him i^n. He moved slowly over to the fire- 
place and seated himself, stlretching out his hands to the 
'^. X? «*^^' crouching at his feet, rested his head 
against the Poet's knees. Gabriel sat himself down upon 
tiie opposite side of the hearth, watching them, and w^- 
denng what fantastic bond of sympathy had drawn these 
two together into the shuttered house with the one 
«qmsitely furnished room. Presently his companion 
withdrew his hands, and lying back in his chair, redded 
him curiously. ^~»«« 

"In tWs hidden exotic room," he said, «at the top of 
a deserted house, you have the portrait-pamble of my 

5f f ' ^^'t u °°* "*"** *° ^ ^° ^^ ^»y of f^ and 
dates, for I have spent my years in drifting aimlessly 

Uiroi^h a tanglement of moods. I was bom into a rii 

household, among people whose great ambition was to do 

^•ZJ% ^f^ ^-'^^"^ *" ^ ^*^* "««t the 
^ning of social recogmtion and the holding of offices. 

My ancestors had set me an example in this direction, for 

they had aU b^n soldiers and statesmen-men of energy. 

TJeir hves and ideals were external. To me the m«t 

wtual things, and those of greatest worth, have ever been 

the visions and moods, and exquisite elations of the secret 

heart, which no man can appraise nor money buy. I am 



THE MAN IN THE SHADOWLAND 111 

the last of ray worn-out race; in my dreamy tempera- 
ment I represent an under-eneigized revolt against the 
materialistic, garish projects of our modem age. It would 
■eem that the dynamic ecstasies of the soul, which three 
generations of my kinsfolk had cowed and crushed under 
in themselves, gathering power in captivity, erupted at 
last and found expression in myself. 

"Perhaps that is the process by which most poets are 
created ; they are furious reassertions of the embryo God 
who was strangled in their fathers' lives ; they are songs 
made articulate through exile, which return with chanting 
from Babylon. From the outset my parents' hopes for 
me were of their own making. Living under the same 
roof with them, meeting them continually at all the 
habitual rendezvous of family life, I dwelt apart in spirit, 
and was solitary. Very early in my career I discovered 
that between them and me there was a great gulf fixed, 
across which no one of us could pass. As a child, when 
in my presence they discussed my future, I kept silent. 
They mistook my silence for acquiescence. It was nothing 
of the sort, for in secret I rebelled. When I spoke with 
you the other night, I said that my great error had been 
cowardice— that I had been afraid of life. It was this 
cowardice that made me keep silent. I allowed my people 
to train me up for a career of outward parade because I 
dreaded t'>/i^<leceive them. In proportion as this world 
went wb/ QT^th me, I withdrew yet more distantly into 
my unrrory^d — more real to me. 

" So,p«/,^ my education was over, I was sent out to do 
things; Afi^l was bom to dream things. Being set to a 
task fo"e^J</Aich I was by nature unfitted, I calamitously 
failed. le family honour felt itself tamished, and I was 
disgra<)' f. If a man is too unbrave to make a necessary 
crisis for Jimself, sooner or later that very crisis which he 
has been driving to avoid will be forced upon him from the 



/ 



112 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

Jt^hf-T^ '"J'^*^"^ «fe to the ruling of othSTSh^ 

n^- ^"^'.^T "^ "^"« as to nwke each moment a 

?lX^i^%*^L'" *^" ^^*"""* °' "y *»«^«* soul. Now 
tnat I had failed, no one cared what I did with myself. I 

"^^ w 11 *° '^'^ "^^ ^" whatsoever way I willed. 

Well, as you know, there are commonly supposed to 
be two potential ways in which a man may fulfil wTsoul 
1^7^^ °"! ^l riotously-expending his health, purity, 
and Ideals, and then regretting their loss; the^ther, by 
regMdmg himself with humble reverence as a thing mort 
^ "the mouth of deity, speaking to living men of 

inn*!?*" l*^"- portion Of my life had been spent in this 

^w2 *u u^ ^r '^^''«' In it I had sought 
refuge from the bnital reality of facts. You wiU notice 

I always discovered my consolations in flight. Midmost 
in my hidden land there lived that woman of whom I 
made mention to you last night. She had lived there 
always since I was a child. I cannot remember the day 
when I did not know and love her. Wi^ her are bound 
up aU my earhest memories. I think she only began to 
exist when I began. ^ ^ ^^ 

Jl^^^rZ ^! ' «^ "^^^^^ °^ ™y own'career, I deter- 
w 1 ""^ *" "^ ^""'«^^ to the Cux^iog of my 

I ^^"tr ""* ^"1 T^^l^ '^' ^'^^"^ iniwSted life! 
I felt that, soon or late, she must be in the Vorld, I set 
out m seareh of her. I travelled through C l«il 
both ««t and west, watching for her fac^ K^ 
some day, almost by chance, I should turn a ^Idin tiie 
road and find her waiting there. \ 

"At first I kept myself pure for that day, tha^i might 
be worthy of her. But as the year, wen! by, and my 
search proved vam, in sheer despair I hurled myself 



THE MAN IN THE SHADOWLAND 118 



into vanities and the round of riots which men call 
pleasures. I said, *I will forget her fiM»/ But in the 
midmost frenzy of debauch I would dream and see her 
eyes, and feel mjrself constrained to set out, sullied with 
lust and tortured with remorse, in quest of her again. 

** In ten years of seeking I found no trace of her. I had 
begun to grow old. I had accomplished no useful pur- 
pose; for I postponed all plans of action till I should 
have lured her into the world of flesh and joined her to^ 
myself. So the years went by. 

** One evening towards sunset, I was travelling on foot 
through the Cainic Alps, coming down into the Fruili, 
when, rounding the shoulder of a mountain, I saw spread 
below me the landscape of my imaginary world. I stood 
still, uttering a choking cry. There could be no mistake ; 
it COM my land. There, through the tangled garden of 
the plain, ran the little river of which I had dreamt; 
there was gathered the village, with its red church tower 
thrust up against the sky, and the tall poplars with their 
hooded heads and semblance of folded hands, and beyond 
all, in a distant deft of the hills, the old grey castle, where 
I knew that my lady led her days. All sounds of that 
country (xrere &miliar to me as they drifted up through the 
cool, still air. I recognized the vesper-chimes and the 
pause in the lowing of the kine. The very shapes of 
the clouds and the country's fragrance were known 
utterly. 

** when I came to the village it was night. I felt like 

a man who, long years since, had gone forth into the 

world, and, returning to the homeland, had suddenly 

recaptured his past. I crouched beneath the walls of 

the village street, listening to the peasants' dialect and 

watching their lean, long shadows where they passed. 

Everything that I saw and heard was like the retelling 

of an oft-repeated tale. Very frequently I would halt, 
8 



114 THE W J5PING WOMAN 

J«»Jling tfw -cene, and would «y, 'Ye., and I met Ur 
her^ and here, and .he «ud thiB thing to me/ 

Cwifident that I would see her, though the niffht wa. 
now advanced, I i«t out for the cartle Tthe MliZl 
travelled I planned within myself how I would fulfil the 
glonoj- promi^ of my life-nJ; that she wasfoldfh^ 
I would sing for men those songs which they ought to 

^^ll i:;^' ^-^^ *^ ^'^ ''^''' *^* ' ^ -t 

^i^r^^^V^'f ""u"^^°''^^^«'^°™- A slight 
Id fKW '^". ^'^'^' " ™°""**^" «*««»» "hallow 

were the only sounds of life. When I approached the 
^way, I found that it was crumbled and^bSo^ 

r^^J PT^ "^*^^" *^« ^"^ 1 «^ that they w^ 
deserted. My hope had betrayed me. He«. w7a new 

T^T "^ *¥,««^-l had been permitted to lu^ my 

m^rr t^"*^ "^"^ "^^' ^"* *« ^^^ ^ power to 
make this achievement of worth to me was not th^. 

In the ruined castle, stretched upon the grass beneath 

huS^ ? 1 "^ t^' "'^y ^'^^ ^ ™«ke me more 
hungry for her. Again to escape my sorrow I resorted 
to cowardice-to flight. Heretofore I had beemZdTf 
Man-now I was terrified of God. He seemed tTme a 

ZT f "J?"^ "^^ **"*^^«^ *»»« <^'^ whom His 

that I might forget. Because she was withheld from me 
I strove to ^tisfy my thirst with such loves as mTy l^' 
purdiased; but always, older and more haggard, mr„th 
by month, and year by year, I would retSihe c^t 
m her search. In the north or south, east or west ^d 
way in some sordid vie, I would hear' her voice M^ 
Fruih, caUing. In haste I would travel back, sometimes 



THE MAN IN THE SHADOWLAND 115 

through thouMUids of miles, acroM oontinents and oceans, 
to the castle on the hill. 

<* At last, three years ago, when I had become old and 
broken, I returned and found her there. She was young, 
as I had seen her in my visions — a mere slim girl. When 
I looked upon her white maidenhood and contrasted it 
with my sere old age, then I knew that for me she had 
come too late. Had I kept myself pure for her sake, and 
been more faithful to my soul, God would have sent her 
earlier, while I still had strength and health. Perhaps I 
could, by the sheer passionate force of my unwasted love, 
have willed her into this life the sooner ; but now she had 
come too late. All my life I had been silent for her sake, 
waiting for her coming, that she might give me utterance. 
Because I have played the coward and given rein to my 
baser self, I must go down unuttered to tiie grave. She is 
my creation. I dreamed her into this actual world, and 
now I am not worthy of the thing which I have made. 
Though she should will to accept me now, I dare not go to 
her ; she is the memory of my spotless youth, and of all 
that I have lost. Look at me ! Aye, look closely ! I am 
old— old and defiled.'' 

He rose from his chair, with a tragic gesture, swaying 
upon his feet. Going to a mirror, he struck a match and 
held it above his head. " Ah," he said, pointing derisively 
at his own reflected image, "you are old; knowledge of 
evil is written on your face." Turning to Gabriel, speak- 
ing slowly, he said, " And yet I was young once. There 
was a time when those words which I have spoken to you to- 
night might have been said to me, with equal truth, 'Stand 
still, true poet that you are ! ' That day is passed. This 
room is the parable of my life ; the deserted house with 
its untravers^ stairways, which stretch between me and 
the world of men ; this silent chamber beneath the roof, 
with its hothouse flowers and exotic furnishings ; and the 



n« THE WEEPING WOMAN 

«rfll|«^ whid, i. of gl«.. thHHigh Which I watch 

^^J^^^^^^i^AewBB, He i. rilent only 
bec««e he^jmotyedc for he w«. born dumb and ^ 

defeated ; which courage i., periuip., only another «,rtof 

flight However, It i« my one biaveact^ 
But Gabriel was otherwise impre«ed. What thouah 

the man^« pu,juit of hi. ideal h«l been rtmgglinfe W. 
paUen« and faith in waiting th«,ugh the Xm?i££ 
years for the coming of a woman, of whom he had only 
dreamt, was magnificent Hiat. when at length she cam^ 
he was »uUied imd not aU worthy, was the%m,r ofuS 
long delay. That she should then reject him s^m^ 
mons^u. Hepictu„.lherasavampiklovca%^;b 

Iov^yoTfh!:?y^^"*att^ -^ ^<^ -^ -. 

And when tiie Poet shook his head, he cried, "Ito 
Ae IS cruel and untrue at heart, however fair she may^ 
infece. For her sake you have wasted all your years. aS 
now you are slowly dying of her love." 

"'iL*^l'^ "*" exception," said the Poet "Be- 
memWJohnK«^ ^'^^ "^"^* ^ «ive life in excha^ 

But Gabriel was unconvinced "If you have fiuled'' 
he «ud. «it is not yours but the womanWault ; by SL 
her hfe to yours she could at one stn,ke make yo* 
failures successes and your life complete " 

The Poet broke in upon his words, « No, no," he cried. 
« I am my own creation. My foUies are L owT I 
should not only have loved, but have followed tie highest 
when I had seen it, without halting or turning asSi I 



THE MAN IN THE SHADOWLAND 117 

did not Miflldently reverence either my vision or mywlf. 
gbe if not to blame. Her reftual of me is that lame 
phydcal denial whidi my uncontaminated yoath has given 
to this crippled, misused body which I now possesB."* 

When Gabriel shook his head gloomily, unwilling to be 
persuaded, ** I can prove it to you,"* the Poet said. He 
lit a 1-mp, and beckoning Gabriel to follow, crossed the 
room. Lifting aside the arras, he disclosed a door, which 
he proceeded to unlock. The room which they entered 
was of small dimensions and bare of ftimishings, save for 
the ftill-length portrait of a woman which hung upon the 
wall fiuthest from the door. As they passed over towards 
it the Poet carried his light low along the floor; Gabriel 
noticed how everywhere dust lay thick upon the boards, 
save for the narrow track which led to and from the 
picture. When they had come to where it was hanging 
the Poet turned and said, "Now you will see that what 
I have said of her is true, and that she has chosen 

well" 

He lifted up his lamp. The sudden Ming of the rays 
athwart the canvas created the illusion of a living fiioe, 
whidi sprang out towards them from the darkness. Gabriel 
stepped back with a cry, thrusting out his hands as if to 
keep something off. The portrait was that of a young 
girl standing upon an Italian hillside, gazing quietly down 
into some distant, faintly suggested vista of meadow and 
woodland vallev. He recognized her face. As he looked 
more intently he could not doubt that the original of 
this portrait had been Helen Thurm. 

" Ah, you may well cry out," his companion was saying. 
" Is she not lovely ? Here is the face wuich has haunted 
me through life. There has been much of pleasure in the 
pain which I have borne. Did I not speak truly to you 
in that which I said jf her ? " 

When there was no answer to his questions he turned 



H« THE WEEPING WOBUN 

" You know her," he wUipenA When he h«l rim-J 
AndGebrieloonfewdthetthfawMw. ThenthaPM 

I«i not jeJou. of yo„ hec.u« of th.t which you have 
toU me. I .n. ghd Now I know why I wiTd™^ 

to™« Un. .«„. wonuu,. ve the r«Wn.tirrf^ 
SS^oTSlt youth entering i„u, hf. for . ««J 

llwi be que.tioncd Gabriel concerning hi. immecti 
Xt^wX Whe„e.HHe.n.entleatrS 

"You murt not temun there." he cried exdtedlv «it 
w« tte TWnpike that kiUed poor Chattert,^7£ « J^ 
there to wittin three month, of hi. death. Whv he 
may have .u«e„d in the «me ho«« a»l the y^^^Z 
that you now occupy. 'To die in the Tumoike' wu 
^ymouj, in the writing, of Diyden'. tiT^ i^g 
lAe a pjoftgate. and having hag. to Aroud one'. «o™ 
"d to «Io« one-, eye It ha. alway. been a place w^ 
the de.per.te go to die. It wa. there th^Tk^ 
m«tr«p^ed in her old age of hmH^er. and J!lJ^ 

' JK^'i? ' ^y^^ °^ loathaome scent 
Which camon dogs did much frequent* 

There is a menace in the veiy name. If you would keeo 
you«elf white, and otherwise you may not sJ3 ^a 



THE MAN IN THE SHADOWLAND 119 

poet, you miwt live in the country. When Mw» finned 
UmMlf out of Eden, he entered into dtiee where God b 
w»t. If you would keep your loul imm«culAte you mu»t 
live in the open world, which wm nude by God, wid which 
God itill make»r 

When Gabriel pleaded poverty the Ptoet emiled wdly. 
♦♦ Though you are my former weit come bacli to life, you 
muit not repeat my hirtory," he said. •♦ I made excuMn ; 
that was how I (ailed. With me it wa« conrideration for 
my parents which kept me from being brave ; with you it 
is lack of ftinda. Both plea* are equally mean and ftitile 
a* juutiiicationji for thwarting the splendid purpows of 
God. How modem an argument is that of yours, • That 
you can only afford to live in a town ' ! In any case, if you 
will allow me, I think I can make this possible. You need 
not disrelish anything that I may do for you as done by a 
stranger. We are the same, sharing a common experience 
and a common quest H 'ping you is now my sole re- 
maining way of realising » / own genius— throu^ your^ 
You must not disappoint me. I am an old man, and 
have not long to live.'' 

So Gabriel promised that he would accept his help. 
The room had grown darker, for the fire had burned 
low and its logs were ashy and charred. For some minutes 
they sat in silence. Gabriel gazed through the roof of 
glass to where the stars unhurriedly sailed. How quietly 
they went about their tasks ! They seemed to rebuke his 
over-haste and frensey to grow famous. Clouds drove up 
in fury and shut them out from sight ; but, when clouds 
were passed or dispersed in rain, the stars were still there, 
no whit less calm. They were constant ; the clouds were 
fleeting ; that was the secret of their quiet Thus far he 
had led a cloud's life, now he must lead a star's. After 
all, if he were to sum it up in one phrase, the confession 
which he had just listened to wat jne, not so much of 



ftm 



m THE WEEPING WOMAN 

w«»«n3rtWngthein«tt«r?''he«Jced. "« ""' *• 

** No» no ; I am well Mintiffti,** fk. pl^-a --,.., , , , 

Then, coming to himwlf, he ttood udl ** I «.«» i 

V^'^nce in my eilbrt to escann mv a.^ t ■^' , Z"**' 

pjomiae which now ia vmtM i* : ^ i«ii»iu au um 

... Ak* ^7^ youn. It is not courteotia in bm> m 

»«. I may never we you aimin.'' he aalrl m lu. t 
no .trcmg in health. If tTZS^be^Jt-i i,^ iT 
which I somehow dwad. I want von Z !Z ^*^"7^ 
I havii ..M -«j * ^T^ , y°" *** remember all that 

«nd have no fear. Bevond nil ♦K.-«-l l ^*^ amoM, 

d«e.vri,„ h„ judgment. Ita he bowed iTh^ S^ 
"TiTI™ .^«^tP«t' A great poet ! " he wbbed. 



CHAPTER XIII 



A HAlMOmr AND MMK D1IC0IM 

Niomr b more dwritable than day ; with its beginning 
thoM nir&oe imperfection*, which teued the eye under 
the Mtrdiing gase of the sun, drift out from li^t — only 
the crude nolnUtiee of the inherent rough design remain. 
fifany things that seemed costly, and fashioned for desire, 
dwindle and appear of Uttle worth when evening gathers. 
Nif^t alters values. 

Af !*( the shining of the streets and the mystery of the 
shadows Limdon grew into a new splendour, so to Galmd s 
fimey did the crowded thorou^fares of his own life. 
Digni^ and a sense of peace clothed his imaginings ; a 
lethargic generodty, inclining almost to indifference, made 
his heart more gentle. Standing beneath the narrow strip 
of starlit sky revealed between the chimn^-tops, the surge 
<rf passing traffic in his ears, he questioned whether, after 
all, sc^ struggles and yearnings as his were not in vain. 
Again he wondered what would it all amount to in five 
hundred years ? Who would be the wiser for his labours, 
or the sackler for his crimes ? One reward awaited every 
life. Somewhere or other, in village or in city, his body 
would lie at rest ; whether it had moved famously or 
infamously, it would be equally forgotten. 

The Past is very tender toward lifers fragments ; gather- 
ing them up, he covers them with the same oblivion, 
apportioning an equal measure of forgetfiilness to all. He 



I 



128 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

tiZ '^'^J"^^ "^ b«tow»of hi, „o™« without 
6ta« of taunpel, Md undi«emi„gly. He ia tho friend of 
W m h» phiknthjopie^ for hi, eye, are bhnd , but w^tt 
^^^^^ that he neither help, nor Um..y^,u,^ 

Thi, being «,, Gabriel quegtioned, why Aould he not 
b»e mwmeqaent^y a. do the bulk of m Jkind. ceadl to 
fret and ihme, enj<y hi. little day, and, at the ap^fated 
hour, dip out from right ? Of oie thiig alone S he 
be aire, that he would inevitably die 

ingly the ««er word, of the Poet, and the pledge which 

m^naUon*^; I" annot be good." he cried with deter- 
mination, ' I can at least refrain from evil I mU reiW 
to c«n« pa,n knowingly, i „;„ fc, ,,.^ " ^ 

«I»ct,; and beyond aU el,e,gentle-the worldl<S Z 
be unhappier for me." ^^ 

Charmed and flattered a, he had been by the sudden 

tattle" S^^^M^-'*"^ "^ "■™ ^^ ««•>' t» >"* a» 

™, J Ii 2. ^ *?" «<»gmtion of hi, possible greatness 
rendered by one who had already failed been tC^^ 
hfe. and come too late ? ^ypiau oj 

hadtknt^^*™^ "' *^' ^"^'^ '"P"-!"""! utterance 
scorched holes m his memory. « Keep yourself white-it 
« a.e oriy way to succeed as a poet"'^ "Keep yoTv^a 
;*«^^for ttesake of your ar^' and for the'XVw* 
ntS^T .if "*■" '" -"y '»*'• sdfl murt go down mi- 
uttered to the grave." And he had Ustened ^ sitoceT, 
these assumptions that hi, own «c„rf was bWe» 

IC:^ I't™"-.'^* ? "■" ""»' Kri-ouslytitS: 
Aftei all, the turpitude of any sin does not consist in t),« 
su^le «=t itself, but in its reition to aU t^eX-l o? 



•' 



HARMONY AND SOME DISCORDS 128 

life ; the proper test of its evil should be not of what has 
it deprived the world, but of how much has it robbed the 
criminal. To kiss a woman mistakenly on p. unrk i.ight 
seems little or nothing as a single act ; to do so in tbt. 
house of a friend, who was placed in Lancasi rV situatio!" , 
meant much. It meant the betrayal of loyciltys arid 
Gabriel knew that he was soiled. The most terrible con- 
sequence of sin in oneself is that, sooner or later, it reads 
its way into the actions of others and, mirror-wise, makes 
known its native ugliness. To the jaundiced eye life 
becomes conspiracy, everything unclean, from the ignoblest 
to the highest, nothing escapes the taint ; the eye is fixed 
upon the mirror, and the mirror reflects the eye. Gabriel, 
remembering this, thought that he could now explain his 
failure that day to see the world as white — ^he had seen 
reflected everywhere the disloyalty of himself. 

Yet he had not had the heart to undeceive the Poet ; 
moreover, he knew that to most men such scruples would 
sound childish. Now that he was by himself, and could 
think things over, he felt inclined to refuse his proffered 
help ; the off*er had been made to a blameless man, which 
he was not. To accept would be to lie. Besides, if one 
act of hypocrisy had had power to poison the world for 
him that day, might it not poison his whole life ? Every 
thought and act of the idealist carries him nearer, or farther 
away from, his ideal^s consummation. Some acts and 
thoughts may be so divisive as to place the thing desired 
quite out of sight. Gabriel fearfully wondered whether 
his was such an act. The gift of a poet is so elusive and 
so little under his control, deserting him causelessly for 
months together and returning tyrannically at inopportune 
ti des, that there is always room in its owner's mind for 
terror V st it has really departed forever this time. Gabriel 
smiled bitterly at the fancy. This would indeed be a fine 
conclusion to the prophecy of that day. 



amimmii^^iSsISMifS:. 



1«* THB WEEPING WOMAN 

P«r,^'u^J*" "» ^^ «^i*°»y - to b. 

ftople ,e» flocki^ta in drove., he w« m,„e too 
«»^^a««„gthePhm.e™de.„ bei»g bert ™itedfc^ 
nemng the house, he entend. 

Jllie orchertra w« ««eiiibled, and the prelimiii«r» 
ta«»P m progrew. Having nothing better to 7^ 

t^t^. !r •" "■' ^""^'"'- Vou^ men*°.nt oM 
»«e^e« , «,„e niere boy^ <rthe« wrinkled bjr poverty 

He notrf their foibles and mannerism,, those little 
t^«d dufnotions of p^naUty which ZSe ' "p 
^t, md enaMe even the faint-hearted to seem bn.vf 
md«t.ngmshed gesture of one in combing his Z^ 

T^JZL i^° ?"" *"^ "iwpensive fopperies of drc 
1T» ftequent display of long, lithe finge«. Tie m,n^ 
«^fi«smess over the ammgement ff sco^s. ^^ 
imtabng personal attentions of star performers w^ W 
«produo«l by men who had, for the^ZT^^:^ 
Med. Conceit i, universaUy comlemned sTT^l 

sx^bSoSr^-rCittt-t '"'* '-'^'^ 

«. Hilda had once 3. '"" ""^ ««™8«"" "rtue. 
i^ S.'"^'' ^. "P"" *'^ t™"!* of marionette. 

to^y garrets. Inrtead of repulsion he was fiUed with 

■nier^ upon one canvas, was the game of living writ 
J^its players, men of all ages, nationalities, and dIL 

•de^st^ each holding a card, one or two of ^ich at^^ 
could win. Jfany had lost al«ady, but, with t Ite 



HARMONY AND SOME DISCORDS 126 

intoxiGation of the gamester, had returned to the table 
to witness another throw. A game at which men grow 
old, and whose gr^test prizes go invariably to the young 
and inexperienced; at which, notwithstanding, all ages 

The conductor entered, bowed, tapped with his baton, 
and the dumb strings sighed into soimd. The weariness 
in the musicians' faces, which had at first impressed 
Gabriel as dejection and bafflement, suddenly vanished; 
light leapt into their eyes ; the exhaustion of their limbs ^ 
changed into a rhythmic animation; affectations and 
coquetries departed; the soul of the music surged and 
throbbed through each separate nerve, and combined in 
one melodious compelling voice. This plaintive ecst^asy of 
harmony was the real expression of these men's lives ; an 
hour without the instrument was for them misspent, and 
of no account. To call forth exquisite singing was in 
itself for them to achieve ; to be silent, to fiul. 

The artist within him awoke and was glad. What was 
material happiness or unhappiness, gain or loss, compared 
with this — the joy of creating beautiful sensations whether 
of sound or sight? Of how little real worth was the 
approval of others when contrasted with the momentary 
satisfaction of approving oneself? The wise, sweet words 
of Galilee rang in his ears, with a novel intention : " What 
shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose 
his own soul?" And how greatly was a man profited 
who lost the whole world that he might attain his soul ? 

Attain his soul ! That was what he had been doing. 
For the past three months that little poverty-stricken 
world, which he had prized so highly, had been gradually 
slipping out of his possession ; here was the explanation, it 
was the necessary ordeal which preceded the possession of 
a soul. 

These men, who were torturing and enthralling him 



126 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

caught sight of three faces which he knew Al^^ 
™me<&tely above hi„ „t Hde„, Ru^, »Thi. t'S^ 
^ W already «en him, and we^^mw do™ fe 
«c^.t,o„. Eve.ythi„g had «.„ed » ^ rflate 
that he could h«dly believe hi, eye,. Wa, n^t Sfa 
«lto «.me pageant of deep, ftom wLh he would awSe 

«d floIS".™ t™"* '" "P°" "■« "W ««™tomed prinh 
and (lowered wdl-paper, and arise to take up anewX 
ramihar round of wort „y,A ~__ *• .'^ "" 

ni,._i , . *"" recreation, wonderinir what 

phantoms of form and voice had fashions! ^S S? 

waved his hand and smiled back "i«r presence, 

A, he hrtened, the old rtoiy of how the miracle was 

rtL":^ of zt °' ""^ "° ""' "-• -''-^ 

wic meaning of that composition until one auMt,o«o^ 
^«.ov», and he repliedr-Tnu, Fate rnUst^^"^ 
aoor ot a man^s soul." 

We are all egotists at heart. How should we be other 

To x: T'^ "'^" ""**^^"^ '^ -^" save oSLtr; 

To what else can we refer our emotions unless TbI to 
the sounding-board of self? How shall we ZlurtZ 
men and women whom we perceive and thTT * 

^^ we app^hend exceptTtHe T1^^ Tit 
selves ?_the only realities which we can ever hone To 
understand, and even then but faintly. ^ 



HARMONY AND SOME DISCORDS 127 

If a pleasure so subjective as music is to be fittingly 
enjoyed it must be seMshly, with sole reference to one- 
self. 

So with Grabriel this ni^t, every tone and semitone had 
a direct bearing upon his exclusive experience : as though 
it had been written for him and for him alone. 

Fate ! Fate ! He had mocked at Fate, jeered at it as 
a vulgar dread; and yet how plavisible it seemed, nay, 
how necessary while the rise and fall of those momentous 
wailings were in his ears. 

He could visualize the whole tragedy. A lonely horse- 
man riding over a deserted moorland. The sudden 
appearance upon the dull horizon of a second in pursuit. 
The terrified tightening of the rein ; the mad hurry of 
flight ; the clattering hoofs of the pursuer ; the haggard 
face of the pursued, looking back, bent low over the 
horse^s mane ; a voice, pleading with tremulous apprehen- 
sion, on the far-blown cry of the wind. The space ever 
narrowing ; the arrival at refuge ; the fast-locked door ; 
the thankful prayer for safety. Then again, the horror 
of immediate death ; the tapping at the door ; the threats; 
the arguings; the parleyings for peace; and again the 
tapping. At the end, the hurried havoc ; the crash of 
splintered wood; the last pathetic complaint; and the 
silence. 

" Thus Fate knocks at the door of a man's soul." How 
true it was ! We mock at Fate as a fallacy, deride it as a 
superstition ; and yet it is always there, dogging our steps, 
and forever gaining on us. 

He, for one, would cease to try to understand life, and, for 
that matter, to blame his fellow-men. ** I will take things 
as they come bravely, and will strive to be charitable and 
to do my best,'' he said. 

The concert was at an end. A mist had gathered 
before his eyes, through which he could dimly discern 



»«• THE WEEPING WOMAN 

"we three bctt miiKn. j 

***<»ing of h^""*"* *^ »Pon him. mrf tt. 

.Sleep w« out of the^„Sl~^'«,^'» *" ^^"^ 

::!■»' "-PP.; «d th. ^eSsroristtt 

younotglad?" ^ * '^^^ *'«! to come to you. Aw 

over her ahoulde^'A^^ «^/ ~be of fur, fli^ ,o^ 

till it tnuled in Z s^^aTht f^l"*' ^-^"^ *4 
a ow^^t dress of silver shade, and «.J^' T'^ gowned in 
fiill-blown rose of red. Hpr\ • ^?* ''* ^er breast a 
neck in old Greek ^dl^vt' T ^"^^ ^^^^^ «>« 
off her forehead, bSiw awi^v *1 "" f'^^'^ ^- 
temples into a profusio^of rfL J^'^ '' ^^^ ^ 
tiny flakes of snow had lo^^l!^ '^t ^^ ''' ^hi<* 

There she stood aHis^^ Tr ^^'^^ 
found trespassing and f^'V^X*"^^":*- ^^ 
her beauty was so unexpected th^^hn.?' "^"^ "^^ 
speechless in admimtion andwnn!? !" ^ '^'" «*™<* 

Wken Parnassus, anSTht'S^Tt- f 't^^ 
looked out from her eyes. *^^* ^"««»«» 

" I ouglitn't to have donp if " »!,» ^i 
tion «I ,u,pose it is ^^^^^^ of""'' \«1^ 
you looked so miserable at th. kf^ • "^' ^ut then 
that I cou dn't help i^ ^^^"'""^ °^ «»« evening 

Men ar. the clumsi^t of creatures in fK • i . 
with one another, but, when^JT^ ^^''' ^^^^"^ 
the women whom the; We SZnT'u*" ^^ ^^^ 
emotion they are often^ro^^a^tlaT^ "' 



HARMONY AND SOME DISCORDS 199 

*« But— but, where are Rupert and my father?" he 
itammered. 

She seemed not at all to notice his lack of taste in her 
anxiety to justify her action. « I left them in order that 
I might follow after you. They've gone together to the 
dub. Rupert and I do pretty much as we like, you know ; 
we don't criticize one another very often ; and there's no 
one else to mind. I don't think your father liked my 
running off, though," and here she caught her breath and 
laughed, " but I was too quick for him to stop me." 
Still Gabriel said nothing. 

"If you don't want me, Gabriel, I can go," she 
whispered. 

"But I do want you, Helen. I want you more than 
ever I did, only— I don't want to do anything that might 
be nnkind to you. You know what I mean, compromise 
you in the eyes of others." 

"You needn't be afraid of *!iat," she replied, with a 
toss of the head; "you can never behave half so bar- 
barously to me as I have to myself. I'm always doing 
things which people don't approve. I don't trouble about 
the regard of others; my great anxiety is to regard 
myself." 

" Well, dear, in any case you mustn't stand here much 
longer, or you'll be catching cold." 

He called a hansom, and, not knowing where to drive, 
told the man to go anywhere he pleased. 

The cabman, thinking to show his discretion, and so 
earn an extra tip, chose out the Park, now white, and 
silent, and shadowy. All its roadwap were deserted ; it 
wore an air of remoleness, which the throbbing circle of 
the London lights only served to exaggerate. It seemed 
a dream-garden, planted on an island in the midmost 
turbulence of life. Across the stream was the world of 
standards and proprieties, but where he was all things 
9 



IM THE WEEPING WOMAN 

w» "nteno. «Sli fc^"S "" ««h«tnH,nt. «d 
«ptive in the dlentlnSS „f . i!l, . •*«• " ""^ "»* 

•««u«i the jt t"J'„ ^v zrjh'^ •" 

nxwn of the Ptoet'. din»«Ii u '"V''^ "> "» "Mret 
which h«l elic«d «^!1^ °V~- I" the three y«OT 

g~>d idea which hii b^n^a^hT ''""^' * 
"».«H.li» into the iSrto'l,'"' wTth^r?'" '" 

«»» that other w,? ^ tm * ""^ ™"*^ 
nature » uncruel be «l^ .i, "olid die, who wa. by 

=*rtt«"P'-"--- 



•r maid ' 



"I^rd Jesus pltjr your pool 
*or in such wise they Urn me in" 



Gate, of U&TJ^r^ l^'" *' '"t^-^" """"gh the 
'rith her ™^1^' '^"""'^ to aUure and d^ „e„ 
erime.? .SnTthelvi "^^ ™T™ *'' "^th their 
P«s.imr uXlh i- u -^''^ *»' 'hese thoughts were 

whitenr^ Se S^H™"" '" ' "™8 *"''''' ""ith the 
profile. ""trodden ,now a, background to her 




HARMONY AND SOME DISCORDS 181 

At length he laid, "*! met a friend of ycmn lart nij^t, 
and have been with hin to-dny.** 

**1 know hi» name," she answered. •• I iaw upon your 
faee to-night, when you suddenly caught sight of mc, that 
Mune look which his once had. It frightened mo; that 
was why I came to you.^ 

«* What kind of look P "* he asked. 

She pressed her lips tightly together and would not 

answer him. 

"Who was he?'' she asked, leaning forward eagerly, 
nervously clasping and unclasping her hands. 

" I did not ask his name, nor did he offer to tell me. 
But he told me who I was ; he said that I was his former 
self, sent back by God for a second trial, to accomplish 
the work which he had not done. He is a poet who 
should have become great, only "" 

"I know, I know," she broke in. "But what had he 
got to say to you, and how did you discover that he was 

my friend?'" 

Then Gabriel told her of the Poet's house and of how 
the Poet had acclaimed him, and of how he had told him 
of his own life in order that he might save him from the 
same failure and the same mistakes. 

Her face became very tender while he spoke, and tears 
gathered in her eyes. 

"♦He saved others,'" she said, «* Himself He cannot 
save.' How bitterly true that is of all of us ! I wish it 
might ha^'c been true of me in his particular case. But, 
tell me, did he mention me to you by name ?" 

« No ; but he showed me a portrait, hung in an empty 
room, which I recognized." 

"Gabriel," she said, looking him searchingly between 
the eyes, " I wonder what you thought of me when you 
first learnt this. You must have thought me hard and 
cruel Ah, I can see you did. I believe you are even now 



JM THE WEEPING WOMAN 

•ft|W of m^ for j«ur own Mki^ YH tba, u, turn. 

ftul WW not kind. When .t U-t I reBlimd ^hlt hh. 

"He doe. not think «., Helen. When I. not knowina 
who you were «e™ed you, he «Ud emphati^U^ ^^ 
'"Ah l^t "r* "^ J"'"' "•* your port.^t'^^L^. 
y»u h«l hi. look-you were ,fi«d. I do not «p«»eh C 
wiU. It i one poet hM been rained through hi. loreof ™ 
•nd, I agree with you. that one i, enough." ™' 

She tried to turn him «,ide with . forced gwety. 

•Do you know, Gabriel," rf^ ™d "y^ men «, «, 
«mu..ng when you get to .pedcing of yl^ ^ZmJ^ 
You pW u. women on .uch lofty mo Jt«" Su.^ 
never for a moment remember th/t, by our ve^devatT 
we «e emtbled to «e aU the for^her. Ra~rt h^^,^ 
l»»ther, d«. jurt the opposite, *t. me doSTiwn ftt 

-oL"^r r:Ki^;:f "^ *"»• "» -"o «■" ^ 




HARMONY AND SOME DISCORDS 188 

«Idoii*lthinkIihould trouble mjdi about rint of th« 
nind, if I were you ; even the beat of m commit them 
etery <Uy. To control one** hand*, ami lips, and feet, Uiat 
b comparatively ewy ; to nwuiter one's thoughts—well, I 
«ppo«we ought to try, but 1 should never bUme any one 
who failed, becau* I am lo rarely «^^^-^ 

**But that ii to me the mo«t temble side of the itn, 
Helen, that we hardly consider thought as a sin ; •^J^ 
it is the beginning of every wickedness. To think hard 
and cruel things about friends in cold^ blood is far worw 
than to carry them out in hasty action." 

" You really are very perverse, Gabriel. If all that you 
My is correct, I must be very bad. But why need you Ulk 
of this just now ? If, however, you have set your nund on 
teUing me, I suppose it is best to let you get it over 
quickly. But, remember, Fm not going to believe any of 
your morbid libels against yourself." 

»* Sit forward a little, Helen, so that I may see your face 
where the light falls ; and please look straight ahead, it will 
be easier for me so. That's right." 

Very slowly and hesitatingly, jerking out his sentences, 
he began, searching diligently for the kindest words, and 
with his eyes fixed on her— , _^ ^. 

« I did John Lancaster an injury some short time ago 
with reference to a woman he loves, but do not Jcnow even 
now whether he has become aware of it. I did this while 
I was stopping under his roof, and sharing his hospit^ity, 
and he is the best man-friend that I have. \^^^ 
affonies lest he should discover, or had discovered, what I 
had done. I would willingly have told him myself Jbut 
was compelled to keep silent for the woman's sake. Don t 
misunderstand me, the fault was all mine; she was not to 
blame. My own sin led me to suspect the world ; I could 
see in it only bitterness and folly. That was my second 
crime. So, when the Poet told me of the woman who had 



IM THE WEKPING WOMAN 

though I J ^"^Tili^rziirr*^ 

•*«» of tamptotfon Ud n»d. ,oilL»r?«.^' 
"yown w«lu«. which would fo^nTTb. S? 
TiMwfer., wh«i I «w you to-nlBht l«. .«!!jTi . 

roet, which codd not be torn down Fv« .aJT 

" You undOTtand. tha« were my two crimar 
Jh.^d.d not .»w„ .t o„», when d«, did. A. .pok. 

fA™.d of the virtue. wh'iJt iThT Jl^tL' ':^ 

»h«h .n,plyhum,li.t«.«d doe. not nuAe menlZL 

^ 1^ Trt ' '?'"'■• •'»" " «"»•«• ""^ 
women apart. And who of u. all it » Mt,„ j. J^ 

that we are quali(!«l to condemn P^r if wTw^!! 
to o» fHend. our n,o.t hidden ful^ai ZlTw^^S^ 

suence » a virtue; this was one of them T w—* x 

do^ju^ice to you^elf by making mtl plT^^m 

no wiTof s t ?i^^:s>- «»' ^«- -^ »r 



HARMONY AND SOME DISCORDS IM 

SebSng her luimU %'*th a ■udden outbunt of pwiiUncc, 

- ButTnelen, lay to me that thin has made no dlfrer- 
enee to our love. I undcmtand now, and deq)i« mynclf. 
I only told you thU becau-e I felt that I muirt be honent— 
•o that no wiiplcion, even unuttered, might nsd between 
ui. Pterhap. it wa» cowardly in me to have i«id it, but I 
felt that until you knew all I could not begin to do well. 
To^y ii a turning-point in my life; I could not iet out 
upon the new road without you. That la«t night by the 
Thamet made u» one for ever." . ,. . * 

"Gabriel," nhe «aid, her voice trembling, "you muiit 
«,ver mention that night again-it i. p«.t If you -hmdd 
really love me at «>me future time, we -hall have to begin 
all over again. Then it may be right for u. to remember, 
but now it i> only just to you that we Aoidd forget. 

♦* Ah, but tell me that you are not changed. 

She amwered evasively, with a fine pretence at mem- 

"''^Why, you poor boy, how absurd you are to ask sudi 
questions! How should I know ? Of coune I am changed. 
How can two people go on living and yet remain the 
aame? We are changing all the day. From the moment 
we live, we commence to die. Change is our^ great 
eicitement-without it life would grow tir^me. 

« That is all too true," he answered her ; « but does love 

"^^oL and I are now testing that. We shall be able to 
answer your question better a year from now.'' 

Now that the climax had been reached they relapsed 
into silence. As they approached the Marble Arch a 
dock was striking twelve ; they decided that it w^ time 
to get homeward bound. Out from the snow-nteeped Park 
they passed into the garish lamp-lit world. It looked 



IM THE WEEPING WOMAN 

in the haiMom, restimr hi. Tl ^u? .'""* *^ *»»»nl 

"e exdiangeTSd bon^hf Jl',*^ "'°'"™' •»*'«• """idi 
-««SiS^^^'n'l^'''?««'»^»i«l.t It 

more unbeamblynoiVmant .l,!?i^ .'*' ""^ '* •«» 
Mid lips, pale benMuTTi.. """.P"™" ' <«»cemed their 

He «rutmized the men'^^T -^..T"" T **'' '^^^ 
claiming, a» with onT™! .u ^ ""™ ''««'»% Pn>- 

from me I rti^toMti^^' ^"* *' "«" "*«*«« 
«»y be pu«hl^" "'"^ "y th"^ ««• -uch love a. 

, ,^*" ^etWng terrible broke loMe within l,i • 
™t"ng the secret olaces „f K! i " ''""' ""™- 

•^ »>«»!» the re^r of l:r"' = ^r"'''«»«tW„ 
Without movinBTTlCi *"'""°'^. P'*y •««> bunt 
n» down hi. 1^' »d J^JTt'"'**?'' »d the tea» 
unconsciom of hiZif toT f",-^ He was too 
though he was. ™rtL^ '"'""y ''*»™«=d. man 
"Hi bent forw^d ."^i^Tr^K-r '«'*''■»• 
genUy, when she had J^sfill'hi?^™"" *' "^ed 
"he had <»„sed hi, ,2 H^w^'""?'"'' "'""''t, that 
either ride towari tT^ P"'"*^ '^*^ ••« hands on 

by- " Look .rS^m 'Cbw*f fth""^ •^«» ""^i'y 

•nd now they are losI.-Cl^' "^ey were once happy 

I^ten! "onotthinktlSr^Jtpl^'^r *" '''"• 
f»<.; IbeUeve that you are his fe^'^^i^-l-^ 



HARMONY AND SOME DISCORDS 187 

life. God has given him in you a second chance. I recog- 
nised all this when first I met you. That was why I 
avoided you, and that is why I stiU refuse to let you love 
me ; because you are like to him, and I was the unwilling 
ruiii of his life. I want you to go away from me, and to 
do your work ; you must save the world. For the present 
you must forget me, if you are to accomplish this. Should 
you ever come back, you will find me waiting. I shall 
wait in vain, I fear, as he has waited for me. But^ what 
of that, if you can only contrive to save the world ? " 

He would have answered her, but she silenced him with 
her hand. « You are not impure," she said ; « it is your 
purity which has made you imagine all that. But keep 
yourself stainless for the sake of your work, and be kind 
to such men and women as these, whoever and wherever 

they are." 
« Oh, Helen, it is hard to leave you," he said. « What 

will you do when I am gone ? " 

Before she could answer him, the horse drew up with a 
jerk at her door. He helped her to alight, thrilling at 
the contact of her hands and the touch of her dress as she 
went by him. When the door had been opened, she held 
out her hand and drew him gently towards her, saying, 
« I wish you to understand that I will forget the con- 
fession which you have made to me to-night. I want you, 
when you are gone from me, to become more happy, and 
this you can best do by keeping brave and good." 

Without another word of parting she left him. As he 
halted upon the steps, listening attentively that he might 
catch the last sound of her feet ascending the stairs, he 
saw a man creep past in the shadow, who turned his head 
once or twice and watched the house. He descended the 
steps and hurried after him, curious to discover who he 
was. Coming level with him beneath a street-lamp, he 
recognized his friend, the Poet, He was walking slowly, 



188 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



time-romewhere " *'*"»* wwll find her, some- 

on . former oc<».ionX^« 0%^^ ' ^'°°«"'^ " 



CHAPTER XIV 

BOUKD FOE THE FOREST OF LEAVES 

Gabriel's waking thoughts on the morning following 
were of a mixed character ; so much so that they seemed 
to him to necessitate immediate attention. The wild 
gallop of the past twenty-four hours from pinnacle to 
pinnacle of emotion had left him confused, with the 
blurred impressions of a man recovering frt n illness. He 
speedily made up his mind to set aside the ordinary 
routine until the forenoon, in order that he mi§^t reason 
out his position. Having locked the door, he refused to 
go down to breakfast, kindled his pipe, and sat down to 
disentangle the skein. 

He was a man capable of applying a searching scrutiny 
to his perfections and faults as just and impartial as that 
of any outsider. Herein lay at once his strength and his 
great weakness, for while it provided him with the safest 
of all weapons— self-knowledge, it inclined him to dally 
with the debilitating luxury of excessive introspection, 
and made him the sport of his moods. 

In reviewing his recent petulances and temptations, he 
was thoroughly aware of his maltreatment of Lancaster, 
and the folly of his attitude towards Hilda. After several 
hours of reflection he took up his pen and wrote out the 
final verdict which he passed upon himself. This had been 
a secret habit of his from earliest boyhood : the keeping 

of a private log of his soul ; the drafting of charts of his 

139 



»«» THE WEEPING WOMAN 

P*Woa. conduct for hi. fiiture benefit Aft. .. 

tte «,«„ce of event. whi<ri»7S „o .^K-~°^'« 
"tuation. he wrote, « So for I h^, ™lJ L! ^' •"**"' 
men for their wrong^oinft, tM i.^i'*'" T^ »'«' 
learn to teU them hoi th^*,;.7S* rf Jf^ "»•«» ^ »» 

know M vet: I Misneri tlT.* V I ., r'*'*"'I'««<*ly 

-orrt thing that I ^d„ fa ^ T^\.?'^'^ '^ 
-ince that ^11 d«w dZ, mv l!! ,^ "* '**J' "^ "y*"'. 
I mu.t leave theW^Z, W "" '^ '"^ •»*' «lf 

the «Ae of John^PSf^J'Tj """I'' " ^ «»» '" 
memory „f „y „•„ stSt^iZ^^ V,^'*'^ ^ *« 
<J"don,yb^ttofo,getHd™"ort^r^*™- ^ ""»» 
" I remember her I Si i-k i u *' P"**"' ' " W 

I i»ve b^ht n^Ltb^ttlw' S^T r" = "»' 
worthy of her, and ousht t„ i ^ I ''*"' '»'«. «m not 

without «ei„g her «,d withlt^tTr W r^ ?° 7"^ 
I an gone. When I have no™ t^kf? ?* ""^ 

the thme past months fe!! ^"- ^ ""«* "ot out 

instead of in. ^8 may nTll T,°' "^ ""<'•»' 

it wUl be much bettTLlytS"'^ '" "^-^ ••■" 

«« toH that it had^ i""'r,T* ' ""^ "''«'• He 
nor add^ss, and^ ™^tin\ " J^?* ""*'' ''«»*'"« 
It read as foUow^ " * ^'^"te pointed hand. 

"A cottage has been p^^ ,t your disposal in tL« 



BOUND FOR FOREST OF LEAVES Ul 

Wert country, in the Whither VaUey, in the heart of the 
Forert of Leaves ; on the back of this page you will find 
the address. You can stop there so long as it suits your 
purpose. It is already furnished, and will be prepared to 
receive you within three days. If you require money, you 
will find that an account has been opened in your name 
at the Monbridge County Bank. There is a piece of 
advice which you ought to have, which is this: get into 
•our own mind, explore yourself, and write down nothing 
which is not a part of your own sincerest self. When y<m 
have finished, send your manuscript to the below-mentioned 
publisher's address; he will accept it. Remember to 
write slowly; do everything thoroughly ; bleed your own 
experience into that which you write ; let it be your very 

self." 

All that day these words kept ringing in his ears, « Let 
it be your very self." He did not doubt that the Poet 
was his benefactor ; but, because the letter was luisigjied, 
he did not attempt to see him that he might thank him. 
At first he scrupled to accept of his kindness ; then he 
remembered Chatterton's fate and that omin<>»«T«™;"« 
of what it meant to " die in the Turnpike.'' The lilt of 
the old doggerel ballad, which the Poet had quoted to 
him, ran persistently through his mind— 

" Within a ditch of loaOiMme scent, 
Which carrion dogs did much frequent. 

He no longer hesitated, but agreed to welcome his good 
fortune without complaint. With the arrangement for 
the publication of his book, when it should be completed, 

he was much elated. . -i. 

It seemed so strange and impossible that his opportunity 
should have come to him at last. He had pictured this 
occasion to himself so often that he doubted even now 
that he might be dreaming. He went over the events 



^ THE WEEPING WOMAN 

^^th had led up to the hi.n«„ u 

•«u« himaelf that Se« waT^^ll "" "^ ^ °»^ **> 

eonvin^dhi^^lft^hat^wra?:^^^^^^ «-»« 

o' « new fear. Who wa« he to uTt^r M^f P°"*^ 
"«nner ? It seemed such imp^en^ f *^' '" * P"*^^'*^ 
one could be interested fc thl'T ^.*° ""PP«* **»** *»/ 
And then agairTu^inf ^^^^ °^- yo""« « ™an^ 

th»t he had not aUowed hi de^J^". ? '^'^^^ 
eveiy garret of his beinir iT n„T^-i,. '"** *° **?'»« 
one who paid the trifl n! I )^"'"« ^ P«^t any 

hi» desiiw. SuMlv th^ ^ *' *"*"* mmaum of 

•bout the p,Se ?: Zt^T*'"* "' '"^'^ 
«d «1»ke/,irim^i J" r^! ■''»"<*'" "h" moved, 
deity i.t eart.it TZJirr '" """^ *« fi»ctio™rf 
to tang God. for nr^ r? "" "*" " "«"'•• ™» "uM 
danger of the Zo^t ^ "»"»««*•« of men. He 

love, «,d hate. and&U^Sr^ "'"' ""^ «""« *» 
beyond hi. conW on theXS?rbTri,°"7\° ""^ <^ 
be nor «„y other would We i^t^'.^ T*"""" ""*" 

«• » ever the c««, «If inteL^*^.*" '''''y ' ^"^^ 
bin.,elf &«,„„, ^'X^^.'^B" to »peJc. He „» 

dubbed great ThetZ rf 'a.S^"' '"."" P«P«" "d 
for joy. ^^""''^bopedtobe.Midlau^Md 

™«^evenin, of th^e'^^^^^.^OT^^^^^- -^ 

w.ir.to^l.;:^,^^- P-«» ^- departu™ 
of those «.n«=ie„tiZ^r „hl t^lf',1*™"''''' "»«<•» 
eve^^tence^orethey'-u^I^r-il^-^r.J^^r-J 



BOUND FOR FOREST OF LEAVES 148 

that hi» opinion was prejudiced in fevonr of Gabriel's 
staying, he had feared to advise. 

Now that the step seemed irrevocable, everything having 
been accomplished except the actual going away, Lancaster 
trusted himself to speak. Gabriel had just returned from 
laying farewell to the London streets. Now that he had 
to leave them, they took on a glamour hitherto unknown. 
All the shops were decorated for Christmas, all the windows 
Burrounded by excited little children ; somehow every one 
looked pleasant and contented. Time and again that day, 
as he crossed a crowded bridge, or wandered along some 
busy thoroughfare, he had caught the glimpse of a happy 
passing face, so happy that his lips had involuntarily broken 
into a smile, and the stranger face had smiled back. There 
was a spirit of good- will in the air. Everybody and every- 
thing seemed animated by kindness. Every 'bus-driver 
was cracking a joke with a passenger, every policeman 
helping some timid creature across the road ; underneath 
the rattle and roar of the great metropolis, he fancied he 
could hear a subdued, sighing of gladness. Why was it ? 
he asked. What had brought about the change ? Had 
it begun within himself, or had the world changed? 
Yesterday it had all seemed so sad, and now, to-day, there 
was nothing but gladness. Was it that he was looking 
without rather than within, or was it just the old, old story 
of everything seeming better when once it is lost ? 

At the Turnpike, on his return, he found the fire crackling, 
the blinds tight drawn, and the lights unlit. Lancaster 
met him on his entry, saying, " Now, Gabriel, Fve planned 
to make a night of it, just such a one as we used to have 
in the good old days. Hilda has gone out to spend the 
evening, so we shall be alone by our two selves.'' 

Before Gabriel had come to live at the Turnpike, it had 
been one of his great delights to steal down to Lancaster's, 
and to spend the evening in a darkened room by the fire- 



»«• THE WEEPING WOMAN 

I^cartert rooms had Donenfid .f ♦!. * *i 

«h«» for hin, . .Haethinn?:::;^::;.""' *""• ' -">«• 

•* Iwnd « cIoi<rtered haven ^ZT ^ "^•"""■'xwld 
Arabian NighC^ "th aU the adventure of the 

it.lLattti''^'»'r«econt„„t between 

with thifc w vLT T^*" """^ •""« ""d ■»•«* to do 

love of tLe tlotr"" '^' '^^ ""• "" «"« «»"'» 

^. imaginative ^ J«.lSt'7:S:f.'""jr s- 

•Kcanions. Lancaster in *!,. oi otter memorable 

Gabriel'.pla„,?„^'ft'" "'*"":»"'''«=. "^nind into 

cottage inT TOiS^ vSl» r*' """' P'"*""" "' "» 

briS hope,, to™ tte^iiT^rf r*-* •"■" '■» «• 

drew upthdrchaiB dL , ^u* ^^ ***" """""^ tW 
their p,>^ ^^ "^ *°8'^ ly the «>«ide, «.d lit 

".«le them » S hi^pi^""*'' '*«"« ' »'«»" !»« 

in;LTrhr hTj^^TT'i-^. '^^■ 

SSm^,"-- •-» -pp "raiiXri/r^? 

•^rinrthe'^ I.Xe'ti '^S,'"'^'. "»""« 
.uaU^ng a,, m, Jo^ ^^X^o^lj:'^:^ 



BOUND FOR FOREST OF LEAVES 145 

I Mn going to do it no more. Pre oome to the oondndoii 
that men find exactly what they look for, and nothing ebe. 
If you get accustomed to thinking that the world in bad, 
youll soon find that not only the world is bad, but that 
you yourself are also. It come» to this, that a man casts a 
shadow which he calls the world ; he may complain against 
orpraise it, but he rarely remembers that he has had the 
mdcing of the shadow, and can alter it — ^that he is his 

world." 

** You are quaint, Gabriel ; you talk like an old man. Why, 
all the time youVe been here youVe been delightfbL The 
feet that you have such a giant purpose before you has 
acted as a goad and a spur to the ambitions of othem. It*s 
true you^ve played the cynic from time to time ; but Hilda 
and I have understood you well enough to know that 
nothing was meant"" 

**That is because you threw a shadow,** (Gabriel 
responded, ** and your diadow was kindness."" 

Lancaster was silent in thought for some few minutes, 
and then said, " Yes, Gabriel ; I believe that what you say 
of me is growing to be true. These things take place so 
quietly that one is unconscious of their presence. The 
revblution began the first time I met you. You were so 
young and buoyant, and held such charitable views of 
evei|jrthing and everybody in general. You are the man 
of the tropic heart who has set my heart aflame. I owe 
all that is best in mp to your influence. I was crabbed 
and reticent, and you were generous and spontaneous. I 
didn"t care a rap for other people and what th^ suffered, 
but you seemed to feel their calamities as though they had 
been your own. You awakened my sleeping affections ; the 
coming of Kate taught me what to do with them."" 

While Lancaster had been speaking, Gabriel had been 
wrestling with himself. How could he sit still and listen 
to all this torrent of undeserved praise without a word 

lO 



v. 

»*• THE WEEPING WOMAN 

Hjr*--' '^•"- "- I**- hi. hooou, .. 

•»tli fa thought «vijL7/T" ' ■»»• »~nged von 

«»<* knowledge. «&hi?-i,^. '"'«''* """hetokeiMd 
^J-th^a.t.getherrj^J.to"*^'","- "^^ 

«d moment, of We md fatiZl ."'j* '"Pondered, 
h^hcrt g,„„„g e^.tH^'^'^'f-tai Gabriel 
«li our endeavoun. f Wh^liri "** "^""tMe an 

t~ted with frienihipT'i'L*™ Z ■»»'«? "beTcot 
^VPy to be poor JL^J'J'^J co-Id be 
wa. only one man, ««J, u^^ "^ »■? <'«y if there 
«« the uttenaort «rf by "bCl^ ^. * "^t k"- 

Unc«rter went to tte C^**„S"^"^" 
volume, begw, to re«l_! ^*'**' "^ tddng down a 

And then . 

^en a belovM hand u U.M • 
"^eoj Jaded wi+i, ^u . ° "> onw. 



BOUND FOR FOREST OF LEAVES 147 

Whio ear wvtU-imhmA mt 

b br Um toQW of • lortd voict cMrMMd— 

A bolt is shot bock loinowhoro in the brMMt, 

And • lort pulM of feoliiw itin agmin. 

Tho ojo iinki inwM^ mmT tho k«rt Um pUin. 

And what wo moon, wo mj, and what wo would, wo know. 

A man boeomoa awaro of hia liCa'a flow, 

And haara ita windinff murmur : and be aoaa 

Tho maadowB wbora It glidoa, tho sun, the brooio." 

** I wonder bow many men and women are feeling juat 
that deaire noV aaid Lancaster thoughtftdly. **For my 
part, I have experienced the longing all my life."* 

" More than we thinks replied Gabriel " Every one, 
more or leas, at some atage in hia existence, after great 
wrong-doing or the loneliness of sorrow. Perhaps the 
very boy who comes to nin your errands, and the woman 
who comes to do your housework. In the course of a day 
one must meet with very many people who are perishing 
for just that touch of the discerning hand."* 

Lancaster turned aside his head, sajring, "Yes; and 
perhaps Hilda. This was what she meant when she said 
that nearly all our wretdiedness takes its genesis from the 
craving after ungratified affections, and most of our sins 
from desperate attempts to steal, borrow, or beg the loves 
which we cannot command. When a woman speaks so 
hungrily, she translates her heart If it is so difficult to 
live truly with those whom we are constrained to love, how 
shall we accomplish anything with others whom we love 
only with an effort ? "" 

" By increasing the velocity of our love.'* 

« But how is that possible, Gabriel ? The greatest lover 
of his kind cannot but acknowledge that people in the 
mam are intensely vulgar— in cities especially. For me 
almost every sin is endurable, except that of vulgarity. 
It is the worst of all the vices, for it builds impassable 
barriers between man and nan. In the work which I have 
undertaken of late I find this the most diflBcult offence to 



»<• THB WBBPINO WOMAN 

"You-F. right Nemthth-, th. in« who -*« 

of ^IZr^"^" "" ,^^ " U»t lb. prim. .btak. 

no hittKw thm, CM b. litU. chX?^ Whmthwl, 
„, i!^'' •? "J^ng »««y comic .hoot Kata-k m-fcnrf 
IHW «t h«wl Don Qui^ i. J.^^ ^ '",'«' 

Tb««..<»»««» which ^ too xtrix 

it w^ .«i t h^^. ^ ^,|-J »yF«rt „ though 
wh J *^ fi"" 't «•? diflcult to W.W Ufe Iight.h<«tedlT 

^^^ 'it u/s. tr^.'SiS't-^ 

over other people's lives." po«e» 

»:x"totefo.'i.it-^ «^* - ^ lu 

not have it otherwise." "»^d«» I am sure, would 



BOUND FOR FOREST OF LBAVB8 14« 
••Yft I wUh,* mW LMMMtor mSij, "that ywi cooM 

•• Will yoiimi«iiiciov«fy much?* 

••I hudly dan to lay how muofa. Alai, thi burlid 



CHAPTER XV 

rASTOBAU AND A PKASAMT 

into *<!!ini^'*^ *" *^ 7'^"'' "^ -^ '«>«■« out 

and ed(bed the winding river, now swollen bv k««». !5 

'«7^^'""7- '^^""■''"Fo.e.toflL.^rS^' 
«™y on aU «de^ white, somnolent, and DrimevJ « 
ttough never „iled by the f«,t of m.,;. ibTl^J^ 
l.Td^ «f^*«'t-». tjT.i<»lly rurtic inclined VZ 
!S Ck ITTT". "' ™ud».fed nothing, when 
«ve that he had received his oriers from «,other maT^ 

r««hedthe outskirts of a village, known a, wS^i 
Here, hewing dia^jy „«• ,„ t,,^^^ though Z^^ 
•» upU«d path, they had »me to% .mJl,T<^^;,^ 

aTow^ ll"" IT": *»««' ««de» i» front, whid. 
allowed a view, above bnmches, of a lomr anil I™,.!. 

l^ 1 *^. '^'^' "«*'»« ''» »iitl^w:;thS 

woodland valley to the westwaid sea ^ 

160 



PASTORALS AND A PEASANT 151 

Hiig part of the country wm new to him ; he looked 
down and wondered. like a nert, between creeper, of a 
hiflh waU, the cottage hung amid trees, peeping out over 
Sree great counties of the Wert, which loops of the nver 
here divide. In the dim, wintry light, spires and roofi of 
the ancient city of Monbridge could be just discerned. 
Here and there, at frequent intervals along the gorge, a 
flake of gold, ambushed in silver, gUstened where some 
isolated cottager had kindled his lamp. Save for these 
quiet and rare signs of life, no hint of habitetion disturbed 

liC* most town-bred men, Gabriel was unused to 
absolute solitude, finding it at once fw natmg and 
terrific He felt much the same as he haa done as a 
litUe boy, when put to bed in a strange ^^.^-^ o^^^J" 
this case there were no bed-clothes beneath which to hide. 
Every new and again a sigh would pass over the forest, 
and the branches would let fall snow, making a mt^ed 
somid Uke the tread of secret, naked feet. Shadows 
would creep from out the skirts of the clearing, and ghde 
across the valley to the opposite slope, and stealthily 

Garinff down to Monbridge, where companionable lights 
siimalled and blazed, he entertained a sneaking craving 
for pavemente and the roar of wheels. It came to him 
sudd^y, as a forlorn revelation, that m all tiiat many- 
homed city he had no part nor parcel. He pictured 
himself wandering through its gabkd ^^^^g^J^ 
peeping in at a window where the refiected glo-.v of the 
fireUght flared and flickered, watching groups of faces all 

unknown. , . ^ _j u: «««, 

He shrugged his shoulders and went toward his own 
hearth, wl^ one of the logs had tumbled and lay 
smouldering; raising it up, he stirred it into flame 
Nervous, by reason of hU imaginmgs, he returned to the 



»M THB WEEPING WOMAN 

'^'^'^^r^i;^ °"." ''"•''^ >» H!«J for 
What . Jool he W bZ * ""^T^ °' "^ ™'* 

•hcuM be he»r°-2u -""'* ^"'^ " y*" "WS^I 

«.e^::s^rj:,*a^ nrsi^'""7?' -^ 

*cro88 the drawn W,-.T^ * Tt . ® flashing of lights 
He flung wide ui di!,?^"""" ""* ™*^' ^e"" 

"-me be F«m^G.^and ^t^ .f™? '''''^> "y 
like to welcome '^^^J:^^', " ^ «'d 
poor toon^ bei,«il we Cw^^J^ "?« " ""* *" 

- that bainei ,.;isst Z^j^'::^ 



PASTORALS AND A PEASANT 158 

TlMUDM * (pointing to a buriy <mtUiie), « I «yi to Tl«^ 
*let*8 go and ring him aChrirtian hymn ; maybe itll make 

him feel more homelike.' Sowecomefc* 

While this explanation was m progreM, the htUe band 
of minstrels had grown wider apart, man after man fcllmg 
bMk mto the darkness and mysteriously feiUng to occur 

again. . 

« Now, fellers, let's ring the young maister another toon 

to make him cheery-like,*' said Farmer Grew. 

There was a prolonged rilenoe, during whidi no voice 

repUed. Farmer Grew, dowly turning around, discovered 

that all his comrades had fled. Setting down his lantan 

very deUberatdy, and teking ofl' his cap, he rubbed his 

head thoughtfully awhile. 
« Well, rmdanged!" he growled. " What timid- arted 

critturs they be. They wants to come, but they's «fe«wd ; 
and when they comes, they runs away. We hain't used to 
townsfolk," he added apologetically ; « we wood-folk be a 

quiet people." • j • • 

Gabriel pressed him to come in, but he refused, giving 
as excuse that he must go back and look after the truants, 
and give them a word of advice. 

« Howbeit, young maister," he said, "we fellers be right 
glad to see 'ee, and we meaned it kindly." 

Gabriel watched his long shadow and the swinging of 
his light, until they were lost among the trees; then, 
dosing the door, he returned to his fire. 

Somehow this clumsy act of rustic welcome caused hini 
to feel glad ; for one thing, it had brought the thought of 
Christmas home to him. In the rush of these latest days 
he had forgotten the nearness of its approach. How 
would his mother spend the day, he wondered. She had 
always been one of those who had made it a festival of 
memory; a day when she went courting with her nearest 
and best, renewing old tendernesses. He took out her 



1»4 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

ouuien pay a laige pnx for the iiidenenrf«». -» .v^ 
«<»>»• I «m ftee for the fin* timT ^^T "^ *'^ 
I shaU raaUy like it.- ""* """e • • • I wonder whether 

IWe are some Icindt of cmHynt, -i.! v 
5<»i<liW«>.«Hi better than Ube^rT^Z^*? "S* "^ 

incompl,ieJL^jCr ^^TT' "d "Uterine- 

of mud, of modem «nbitio„Ttot' u^ 't^ 
tinctured by thU aame desire 1,^5 .TT j^'"*'' 

p"««»« thkt he might uTlh'^/'T'T*. '^y 

Q^^oiT 1. ?1 *° ^®^®" *n<J the rest" 

to"i^'it^e':ir!.™ "ui"' '^ •*-■•* "^ '««^ 

.V ra " ^""" *'""•'■ •» ""-"gl"- "Come 
letS; fZ, t'L^ -*'-« o- it- ""«- and 

.^.^^o^C:^^u\'"^ '»'—«»«<>-»'-"'.» 

It was a plea«mt musical voice, subdued «uj meny, like 



PASTORALS AND A PEASANT 155 

the tinkling of many iheep-bells upon a mountain lide, 
wben the «un is shining. It had no trace whatsoever of 
peasant dialect. 

Gahriel jumped up and hurried to the threshold, saying, 
«* I am sorry. I heg your pardon. I did not know that 
it was a lady. Won't you come in while I light your 

lamp?" 

** Oh, you needn't be so sorry," she laughed back at him. 
" I am not a lady, only a country girl. Yes, I will come 
in, it's been rather cold waiting out here." 

" Did I keep you long waiting ?" he asked innocently. 

**Two or three minutes," she replied. "I think you 
must have been asleep, or else thinking very hard." 

« I was thinking," he answered. 

Without further ado she stepped into the circle of the 
firelight Her hair was long and loose, jet black in colour 
and glistening with the frost. In contrast, her face was 
pale and delicate, the eyes of a timid grey and very bright. 
Her nose, hands, and mouth fine and slender. Her figure, 
somewhat above the average htight for a woman, was 
sUght Her age about ninetewi. Her general appearance 
wild and beautiful Rusticity struggled with a strange 
sense of hi»' 'y refinement. She was an Undine bom 
out of time and place. 

Gabriel, having stayed behmd to close the door, now 
foUowed her across the room to the hearth, where she 
knelt with her back towards him, warming her hands at 
the blaze. She did not look up as he approached, so he 
drew back his chair into the shadows and sat down to 
watch, with a rare fascination, her easy grace. 

"You are comfortable in here," she said, "but it is 
bitter in the forest to-night. I feel wretched when I 
think of the suffering which the cold is causing to the 
dumb things and birds out there." She shivered as she 
spoke, for all that she herself was so near a fire, as if for 



J«« THB WEEPING WOMAN 

y» LSsirt.*a itsir "•?•" r- ■»• «-' 

onewhodid- ^ "" "*="!*<» <rf «ch • night ky 
nk^ 1 19 ... 



talking .b<«t-r';C rf u^fir" "vi? » •»« !«" 

out to TOtter «,me 3w ^^"^ "^ '*> ~ I "me 
«»Wnt pid, up Z X^r^^^ and to «e if I 

" And h«»e you found any?" 
Only one thi. time ; but I have often »..^ 
<u nz on a aingle night" " "^7 

From the folds of her dm. .1,. j . . 
«d-bre.8ti lookinKacro^hpTt l! ^t" *"* « "»•*> 
Gabriel. He b^S'Ko^tttlt ^^^J' "P " 

"-tol^Tlitt^-^--,^^-^^ 




PASTORALS AND A PEASANT 157 



but ihe did not notioe H. Oftbriel, lest it ■bodd 
get burnt, stooped down and picked it up. When he 
kxJced again at bin visitor, be saw that her gaae was still 
upirn him, and that a puzxled ezpressicni bad come into 
her eyes. 

**What u your name?^ she demanded breathlessly. 
When be bad told her, she looked disappointed and sa^ 
**T1ien you are not Tony, and have never beard of the 
Green Boy, I suppose ?^ 

He shook his head. ** It is very strange that you are 
not Tony," she said. **Were you never in Wildwood 
before, not even once?" 

** No, not even once," he said. 

Gabriel was much amused at her persistency in question- 
ing him. **I come from London, and have only just 
arrived. Why do you ask ? Do you think that you have 
seen me somewhere before ?" 

Purposely ignoring the lost part of his reply, ** From 
London ! " she cried. ** And what made you leave London 
to come to this place which is so mudi less pleasant ?" 

** Because I thought that Wildwood was more beautiful, 
and I wanted to be quiet." 

She opened her eyes with astonishment. ''You came 
here to be quiet ! Why, you must have made a mistake. 
The woods are full of voices; I live in the woods, and 
ought to know." 

"But theyVe much more silent than the streets of a 
great city," retorted Gabriel, bis eyes twinkling as he led 
her on. " Tell me, what kind of a place do you imagine 
London to be?" 

** I hardly know how to put it into words ; I have never 
tried to speak about it. It has been like a dream to me. 
I have seen it as a very large place, where there is so much 
noise that you don^t notice it, not like woods where you 
hear and wait for every sound. And I have thought of it 



^ -•'■ 



IM THB WEEPING WOMAN 

Wntod with "?- And J^ Yr!?^"'' ' "«"- 
who. you're ,«„^ ^ ^r^;? ""^ »«» to be know, 

fore, don^ want to be known ah ™""**» f"«» "»«»- 
unfortunate in ou? ^l^^"^' tolLSl^ft "^° ^^ 
come back; 80 I «ipdoSi^«* ♦r^'***"- ?»^ »«^ 
happine- there.- ^^^ ^* ^^'^^ ""^ ^^« found 

"No, not all of them." 

"Not Jwajn," he uuwend kindly. 

^^y»y^^.tt:,'r..tSa"n."^- « 

of your »ind We hu'Ln^'^k" Z^Zl^ 
have not learnt how to «a)fe „ ri,e„„, • „ Jl^.,^^ 
nnconifiirtable !»<» w. ^^"'*™*',"*«»»queniIout 

"Is it dead?" 
J^Quite de«l rn. .fiaid I hdd it too c.o.eiy in n,y 

She took it b^ him, ruffling it, fe.the„ .<rectio«.tely 



PASTORALS AND A PEASANT 109 

H dn ft her fiwe ; then hid it onoe mora in her bvMwt 8ht 
•looped for her lantern, and, picking a flaming twig from 
the Hearth, rekindled the wide. 1^ was about to go, when 
Gabriel ttopperl her, uying, ** ImH it aomewhat late for 
you to be out alone ? Had I not better aocxmipany you?** 

She ihook her head and smiled whimsically, as if he had 
made a jest. 

** Have you far to go ?** he adced. 

**Oh no, only half-a-mile or so throu^ the woods to 
the back of the hilL I live at Folly Acre, and my name 
b Bfary Devon.^ 

** But your people may be anxious,^ he expostulated. 

**My people won't be anxious. You need not worry 
about that You must remember that I am only a country 
gfarL" 

fflie spoke with a tinge of bitterness ; then, with a low 
curtsey, ran out into the night and vanished as suddenly 
as she had appeared. 

Whoi Galniel followed, he could nee nothing ; she was 
gone. 

** Adventure number one,"* said he. ** I wonder who she 
is. TiM is a strange forest where little princesses go 
gallivanting about done at all hours of the nij^t" 

What had struck him most was the culture of her 
speedi. llien, too, there was the evident narrowness of 
ber upbringing, and consequent naive ignorance of life. 

''She has original notions of cities," he lauf^ied, *'and 
yet, in many ways, they are quite correct" 

So saying, he lit his candle and went up to bed, there 
to sleep and dream of a fiury girl with long, black hair, 
and shadowy, alluring eyes, who carried a dead red-breasted 
bird in her bosom which had perished in the heat of his 
hand. 



CHAPTER XVI 

FOLLY 4C1S FAftM 

For . «„ who l»d »«r k«m„ wh.t it tTtoHlT^ 

mt tnarfbmng it> moodn and heing aniimited br . n«r 
gen-u- I w« like „ ir«.po™ible. lovely^? t^ 

•nd timront were tbe emotion, which wch Kenenr ^ 
*«dmhim. Hel»d«enit«»derjr«Sr^Z 
S^ZL^t,"""^' ■»-'*'»««<> J-^^in^ 
^Mp«t. there „., „vi«e «rf robtle dW E«^ 
whUe .t TOiJed. the «»wl would pounce do,™^ ^Z 

^J" *^*?" ftom tbe nitty AyUnToTuBW 
•nd, yetjigun, before it b«l become «itfael» .ml^' 
"». wouU d»wer down hi. huge- of^S^ZS'S: 

ri^rtSf oT^-nt "^ *° wTwitht:!^ 

For hour, .t . rtretch he wa. content to nt .( I,!, 
window, watching dreamily thi. newly ,Sov^b^„Jf 
weanng away the hou« with™t knowWge JZw^ 



FOLLY ACRE FARM 



161 



(ki the fiur tide of the rtluj a nilroM) iwi for a ihort 
dbUnoe around a bend in the river before again entering 
tiie tunnel, which carried it under the hilk. Thia re- 
minder of oommeroe and indurtiy rather added ti» than 
detTMtod from his pleaMire ; it Icept him in memory of the 
turmoil he had lort, and the peace which he had won. 

** lliere they go,** he would nay to hinmelf, ** nuhing from 
pillar to poet, from London to Birminf^iam, from Birming- 
ham to Bristol, from city to town, and from town to dty, 
at the tail-end of a polluting, panting little piece of steel. 
I verily believe that men bandage their eyes when they 
travel ; or else, once having seen such spots as this, how 
can they ever come to leave them ? They have put all 
their hearts and souls into cash accounts and ledgers, God 
pity them ! I suppose, when the Recording Angel asks 
for a thumb-nail sketch of their earthly life tl^ will 
point him to a row of figures and a manufacturing 
town." 

Hius he would watch day after day, until he caught the 
rumbling of the train in the mountains ; then he would 
laugh quietly, saying, **Here come the hucksters, poor 
devils! I wonder what is the market price of human 
hearts to-day.** 

While he was still looking, he would see a dun-coloured 
boat with a fisherman go idly drifting down the stream, 
slowly and sleepily, with no trace of hurry, anxious to 
disguise the least thought of motion ; and he would say, 
«• There goes my lord the peasant I can respect him." 

In this way he began to build up his philosophy of life, 
a Doctrine of Tranquillity whereby men might arrive at 
rest The whole history of the place tended to merge man*s 
foture into the giant march of the past, making foolish and 
vain too much strenuosity. "To speak a few good words 
and then die,** it seemed to say, " that is life." 

When he looked out through the valley, fit)m the 



let THB WEBPIKG WOMAN 

jHndow wbm he lov«| to work, the flnt amy whidi 
focu««l hi. .yii w«. ihe clturttrad nd. and gny of the 
d^l, rtout old town, with iU crumbled •tronghokL 
hcjne of kings* wo» end bJrthpUm of a klni--m«rof 
valour, whoN namem having lort their ownvn, have baoome 
• i^ ; towen which Uck inhabitants, and era tottering 

The very pathi, which threaded the woods around his 
house, had been marked out and trodtlen two thousand 
y^ before bjr the naked feet of forast Britons, 
fcveiy cottage in the district wa» of great age, bearing 

cWsellings made by hands long since turned to dust The 
■untHwding crests and uplands were studded for mile, with 
«K1««, now in ruins, for whose entirety men had hOMurad 
•nd in whose defence they had died. Such things as the 
JTBOM »ce had cherished had everywhere succumbed to 

Ik!?^!?!*"*"^"*'''^™^ All thU tended to prove 
thefbtility of feverish effort. « What matters it wbether 

♦II t!t ""*» **•" °"® ~^« ^«"^'' ^ «^d; "they 

will aU be equaUy foigotten. Men come and men go, but 
the seasons are the same. I, for one, will be content to 
•pew my few good words, and then to die." 

Several day. had now gone by, and he had seen nothing 
of hjs maiden marauder. In the country, where inta«rts 
are limited, smaU intrusions take on a mighty importance. 
Crabriel waited eagerly to see her come, and at hwt, beinff 
disappointed, set out in her seareh. 

ft was a grey day and ah^y weU on in the afternoon 
when he turned into the forest to follow over the hilL 
He had walked, periiaps, a quarter of a mile, when he saw 
a man approaching through the glade, reading as he came. 
He was a big, gaunt feUow, wide of shoulder, dressed in 
black, ofalmost any age. His countenance was long and 
lean, covered toward the lower extremity with a grinled 
growth of beard. He carried in his right hand a gnarled 



FOLLY ACRE FARM 

rtkk, on wMdi he kuit hMvily, and lUiniiMnd in his 
itafH, htAng piUftiUy Uune at tht knM. Whm OahrM 
draw kvtl with him h» noUosd that half of the kit hand, 
whieh claeped the book, had been ihot away—probablj In 
the tame gun accident which had done the other damage. 
He won a tie of flaming red, and the book which ht 
carried waa Bunyan^i Jiofy War, Hi« goierml appec^ance 
was belligerent, lomewhere between that of a Methodic 
prsacher and a prunperouii poacher. Hi* exproMion, at 
6rrt gknce item and forbidding, beoamu almovt womaniith 
in ita tendemeii*, u \n th« way with utrong men, when the 
blue eyes commenced to itnap and twinkle. It waa the fiux 
of a young man become Huddcniy old ; no that, though be 
would be judged an old man by most, yet in year* he 
might not have paiwed mid-life. 

Irresiatibly, at sight of him, the memory came back to 
Gabriel of Shelton's quaint translation of a passage re- 
faring to Don Quixote : " And the other, beholding such 
an Anticke to hover over him ... ** He felt inclined to 
huighoutri^t 

^^Oood-aftemoon,"* said the stranger, in a soft tenor 
voice of unexpected sweetness, altogether out of keeping 
with his looks. ** I think you are a newcomer to these 
parts.** 

** Yes,** replied Gabriel ; ** that is so. I have been here 
less than a week.*^ 

" I shall hope to see you again. I conjecture that you 
axe stopping at the cottage down there.** 

Galviel nodded, and the stranger made as though he 
would have passed on, again resuming his book. 

** Fkrdon me," said Gabriel, « but could you direct me 
to Folly Acre Farm ? I am not sure of the way." 

At the mention of the fium the stnmger lodced up 
shrewdly, and remained looking for some seconds, deci- 
phering Gabriel*s character from his Csoe ; then, with an 



I; , 



164 THB WEEPING WOMAN 

ingenuow air of doubt which put aU impudence out of the 
quettion by its simplicity— 
** Doyou think that you ought to go there ?* 
** I know of no reason why I should not Do you ?" 
•• No; perhaps not You will find the farm alittle way 
up this path, just under the lee of the hill.** 

Following his directions, Gabriel shortly came to an 
opming in the trees, some twenty acres in extent, in the 
middle of which stood an ancient, grey-stone house. It 
wore about it an air of desertion, all the shutten of the 
windows exposed to his view being closed, the fimnyard 
empty, and the fields apparently uncultivated. It looked 
less of a fkrm than a castle, for it was stoutly constructed 
with an eye to defence and had every opening gmted. 

He walked up the moss-grown path to the front door, 
and found it locked. He knocked and waited; but no 
one answered. He was half-minded to turn away, think- 
ing that he nad made a mistake. Before doing so it 
occurred to him that it might be as weU to visit the back 
parts of the building, since he might unearth some one 
there who could redirect him. Here he found a high 
waU, jutting out from the house itself, and forming a 
rectangle about a well-kept flower and kitchen gaiden. 
One of the rooms on this side was evidentiy in use, the 
windows being hung with curtains, and the door ajar. 
Through the bare brand ^ of the currant bushes, at the 
far end of the enclosure, he espied a stooping figure which 
rose up at sound of his voice, proving to be Maiy Devon 
herself. "" 

" So you live here, after aU ! " he cried. ♦* Pray, what 
are you doing at woric all alone at this hour of the 
day?** 

« If you were a countryman you'd see at a glance," she 
called back. « Vm pulling up parsnips." 
Walking across the damp mould he came to where she 



FOLLY ACRE FARM 



165 



flood, resting on her spade. She had a pair of wooden 
dogs on her feet, and wore a dull green gown of a coarw 
material, Hhaped round the neck and bound with gold 
braid, hanging Ioohc to the ground except for where it waa 
gathered in by a leatlicm girdle at the waist. 

**Have you got no one to help you?*" he asked. 
**Tha,t basket will be pretty heavy to carry by the time 
you*ve done." 

** Whom should I have ? I live alone.** 

** Oh, I see,** he said vaguely. ** In that case Fd better 
help you." 

** You help me ! " she laughed, looking him down with a 
pretty disdain. " What do you know about agriculture ? 
I ^n*t believe you\c ever handled a spade in your 

life." 

" Then it's time I learnt." He took the spade from her, 
and commenced to scatter the earth. 

** Well, if you must," she sighed, with affected reluctance, 
seating herself on the upturned basket ; and then, clapping 
her hands, " Oh, I wish that the Green Boy might see 
how beautifully you do it ! There won't be any garden 
left presently ; it'll all be over in the next field." 

"That's right," he said. "You do the talking. HI 
do the work." 

" What shall I talk about ? I know so few people that 
I haidly know what to say. Ther.i are whole days together 
when I never open my mouth to a living souL" 

" But how is that P Fve seen plenty of cottagers near by 
in the woods. You should have some kind of company." 
And then severely, " It isn't proper for a young giri like 
you to be living alone." 

" That's just it," she replied good-naturedly, smiling at 
his boyish seriousness ; " I expect that's one reason why 
they leave me so much to myself. But I can't expect you 
to understand, because you dcm't know." 






IM THE WEEPmc WOMAN 

y» mind telBn^t r "* ^'"'' •" "'*'• "^"" 

♦-.?i'^\"'''**' '* *"*• »*««t you,- die «nli«L 
toWmng h fa, ^ „,„iferting no d«« to b5„^^ 

"Would you like me to ten nw rtorr? All W^f 

J^A. upoj. whK* w« «ulptu«d the i^to, " S^J; 

.^ *"'? »P/ We part of one dde. The w£L 
were paneUed, imd eUbomtelv carved TK- « x 

•l^ged „.„», the walU, i„te»pe»ed with ^1^.^ 

At the ftr CTd, feeing the entnmee, . ™i„,t«l grffe-, 
ran from ade to «de-forlom reminder of meirier aZ 
fa mje comer of the ™om rtood . bed, mlw "vS 
thrt th„ was the «,le inhabited roomof the I^ 

conwT'T "" '^•"d a «rupulou, tidi„e», in rtriking 
amtoart to the outside unkempt decay. ^ 

preS tT" "•""'°'^''' •- g-t, Ae set aW 

ll:S"iZt:^ re^^kl '"' ""^ ""'* """ome by her ftee 
When aU thinep were re«ly, and she h«l taken her 

S!r 7^:-^^ «••-'" "^-O. " And how diS ^ 
" WeU, that's a part of my story, so if you want to he* 



^IM^SZ' 



FOLLY ACRE FARM 



167 



part joa muit listen to the whole. Fve never told 
evffything to any one, except Mr. Meredith ; but 
I like you, and should care to tell yoo, ^t is if 
you dmi*t mind."" 

**rin only too anxious,** Gabriel replied, **aiid Fm 
secret as the grave.'" 

It was for all the world as though his life had been 
puslMd bade ten years, and he was a little lad again, 
exchanging inviolaUe confidences with a child sweet- 
heart 

♦* Well, then, here is the story." 
** But one minute,'' interrupted Gabriel ** Who is Mr. 
Meredith?'' 

^ He is a gentleman who lives in the viUage, and does a 
great deal of good. He has travelled quite a lot, and 
hved here as a boy. There was some mistake, I don't 
know what ; he left suddenly, but returned five years ago, 
and has been here ever since. He is lame, and has had 
some dreadful accident to his hand, and is the only persrni 
whom I can call my friend." 

** He must be the man I met on my way." 
**Dk[ you speak to him or tell him where you were 
going?" she aidced excitedly. 

" Yes, and he didn't seem to like it" 
^ He's always like that. He doesn't think I ou^^t to 
live alone, and is always trying to persuade me to sdl the 
eld farm and move down into the village to be near to 
iHi»re he is ; but I always refuse. I try to avoid meeting 
peof^ ; they never speak to me, so I don't see why I 
should get any nearer to them. Besides, Fm vary happy 
as I un, and can live my own life." 

" What is your own life ? Living here by yourself from 
year's end to year's end with no companion ? " 

" Something like that. But if you'll only listen Fll tell 
you." 



!«• THE WEEPING WOMAN 

-«J^ '¥**' ^ ** "*"y '^ *!«»«* no^. Iwon*ti«v. 
word, 8o please begin." • * woni lay » 

je«on for tellmgat all You «ee, Tve lived here ever Mnoi 
I ^ remeniWr, ^ ««pt for Mr. Meredith, hlvr.^^ 
met any one from the big, outside world, «> I hardly k^ 

ofS^j!?^ r ^ "y"^*^ »^ *" «!»»*« ignorant of 
otl^ people. Iwanttobeft«Jcwithyou,«,rir^i,« 
to teU you how it was that I haomnorl f «^\.i* */* 
davs ami iu„ 1 X Happened to visit you a few 

oays ago My lantern never went out at aU : I blew it 
out m order that I might have an excuse for ;iingToi 
Are you angry with me?" « '^ seeing you. 

* J*^**' 1 *^"^ ""*• ' ^'^f^* r^« d«ne things laie 
^'J^'f^'r'"''- But what made you ^itt 

- Mr. Meredith had told me that a stomger was comimr 
from London to occupy his cottage ; 7l%„ curZto 
see what you were like, «,d didn't know how toTil^ 
It; so invented that way. Fm sony I did it now It 
seems so mean to commence a friendship witii a lie* " 

Oh, you needn't be sorry about that. I q«ite under- 
^your loneliness a«i then, frieadrfiips are* hZTo 
get sorted anyw^, that it's quite lawful to set them «J 
Me:^i t d<r^t^^^ ^ So my cottage belor^to^T 

"Yes; he lets h out to artists and people who earn. 
lj»e to stop in the su-nmer-time ; and. STS ^^ 
Jlow^ p«^ peopfe to live the,e who haven't got «iywC 

onTX^!"'^'"'' "''^ ^'^ "««^'y- "I »."t be 



FOLI^r ACRE FARM 



im 



<*Not a partide. If 70a hadnt done it I ahouldn^ bt 
hcsre now, and you would have been just as Icmely as ever. 
But what I can''t understand is why you should be left by 
yourself. I wish yuu^d tell me."" 

She folded her hands across ho* knees, and leant back 
dreamily, lodiing into the fire. ** To tell you the truth, 
I don^ quite know. No one has ever tfl4d me. Ever 
since I can remember I have lived in this house in maob 
the same way. Mother used to be with me, hoi die died 
three years ago. She never spoke much about herself, bat 
she would often tell me about our family, and how it was 
one of the oldest in the county, and had lived on this turn 
from generatifm to generation, for hundreds of years. 

** In the winter-time, when we sat together at ni^st, she 
would sometimes go on for hours together with the most 
wonderful stories of how one of our people had fought fbr 
Kii^ Charles and gone into exile with the prinees. And 
of snother who had followed the Duke and had fallen at 
Sedgemoor. And of others who had taken to the sea, and 
sailed peivateers, and been captured and carried off to 
Franee in the taw «f Napoleon. She rarely ever spoke 
dbout her onm father and mother ; and, when she did, it 
was <aif to cry faitteiiy smI say that she had been tbeir 
death. Then she weidd be fvry kind to me, and hold me 
in her anna till I fell asleep ; and next morning, when I 
woke, and reminded her at it, dbe would pretend that she 
bad forgotten all about it Have you got a mother ? ^ 

"Yes." 

** Is she a good motho' ? "" 

"The best in the world.'' 

** I vdah you could have known my mother. She was 
^ sweetest, kindest sort of mother. When we hadn't 
got much food in the hmue she would say that she wasn't 
hungry. When I was a very little girl I believed her; 
but, when I grew older, I knew what that meant, and 



170 THE WEEPING WOBfAN 

kwed her all the mofe. I suppon yoaSe never known 
what it is like to be poor?"* 
** No, Fm afraid I haven't; at leart, not quite lo poor at 

-Of coune we needn't have been, I see that now, if 
we*d only chown to work our fields. But Mother seemed 
to be frightened of having people about her. She never 
left the house, except by night; and towaids the end, not 
even then. Whenever I came back from being away for a 
few hours she would meet me at the door looking qtdte 
worn with worry, and would say in a whisper, « Have you 
■pokentoanyone, Mary? Oh, teU me, have you spoken 
to any one ? ' And even nfhen I toM her that I hadnt, 
she would still be troubled and question me again and 
again. * Are you quite sure?' I soon discovered that the 
easiest way to put her doubts to rest was to run and throw 
my arms about her, and then 4je wouU sob and say, * It's 
aU right; I can see it's aU right ; you are still ay own 
httle girl.' And so in this way I grew up to think that I 
should be doing something very wicked if I spoke to our 
neighbours. I took to walking ii, the woods mther than 
the roads or paths, because I couldn't bear to meet people ; 
they used to look at me so hard. The peasants soon 
took us for granted and left us alone ; so I have never 
known any one except Mother, and Mr. Meredith, and 
you." 

Gabriel felt grateful for this latest inclusion. 
"But why didn't your mother want you to know anr 
one ? " ' 

"I have never been able to find out. She said that 
every one was cruel, and that the world was cruel, and 
that the only way in which to get peace was to live by 
ourselves. I sometimes think that she didn't tell me all." 

"Was she an old woman ?" 

" Mother an old woman ! Oh no. She was the youngest 



FOLLY ACRE FARM 



171 



mid nKMt bMuitiftil penon I have ever Men. She could 
dag and play, and do many thingn that I canH do. I 
think the had travelled too, for she used to wy thinp that 
I ooold not understand in another tongue, anid ring them. 
When I got older, I was always asking her to teach me to 
read and to ring; kit riie never would. And when I 
htggaA her again she would tell me that sudi things were 
only a danger, and that she would be happier without 
tbem. 

<* How did she speak ? Like the rest of the people who 
Uvehere?"* 

** No, not one bit. I can't say what the difference was, 
hot her vdce was softer, and somehow the words smindcd 
not the same when she said them." 

** You say she died three years ago ?^ 

** Yes, she seemed to get weaker and thinner ; and then 
«ie morning I woke up, and she did not speak. I went 
and told Mr. Meredith, and when he came, he said that 
she was dead.** 

**Y(m said just now that you had never spoken to 
anybody. How was it then that you got to know Mr. 
Meredith?'' 

"We didn't know any one imtil he returned to the 
village ; and, at first. Mother was v«ry angry with him for 
ecHning, and would shut the door, and petend she didn't 
know that he was there ; but he used to say, * Very well, 
ni just wait.' Fve known him to sit out in the garden 
for three hours in the cold until at last Mother lost 
patience, and let him in. At first he was always trying 
to persuade her to worii the farm and send me to school 
in Monlmdge; bat when he saw how it grieved her, he 
gave it up." 

"ftit didn't you want to meet people and to learn 
about the world? You can't live here in this solitary 
fitthMMi all your life." 



in THE WEEPING WOMAN 

« When Mr. Memiith Knt nentloMd it to MoilMr I 
used to think that I would, .nd we u«d to ph«d wfth 
her, end he would even offinr to pey ; but now I have nurfe 
friend* of my own in the woodi, emong the biid. end the 
t««. I bqrin to foel i« Ac fclt-frightened of the big 

I^t*^^ J;.~* /•"**** ^^-^S^ I •» quite 
oontwit to «ve and die M I MD. When I wm ft«tfbL M>d 

oon,iJained.jnd «ud thiU I longed to have 1^ to 
■eethinjj, Moth«r uied to point to the family motto up 
thw^ and aay, 'If I had only obeyed that I •hould have 
beoi happio- Uwlay ; aU my migfortunet have come thitmgh 
tiying to change things Learn to be content with wSt 
you've got, and youTl learn ^ live well' 

"I didn't quite believe her then; but now, whenevw I 
feel wretched and a. though I must qwUc to iome one. I 
look up at the word., ag Mother u«!d to do, and «v 
Always deUy/ I feel a. though something terrible wUl 
hap^n to me if I don^ obey them ; and so I sUy on." 

"But that's foolishness. You shouldn't be governed by 
^ur «q,erstitions. If you were to seU up the ikrm S 
rent it out, you would have quite enough to get educated 
on ; and afterwards, if you liked, you could return," 

"But I dont want to be educated. Mother said that 
leanui^ brought sadness, and I believe her. She und to 
sp«Kl hours tryiiy to find out what I thought, and then 
talkiiy with me about it She never laughed at anything 
1 said, and never contradicted me. She said that ^ 
thoughts were in themselves right; and that it waa only 
the way in which we said and. did them, that made them 

tliat If I did that I should never be lonely." 

"So that is how you come to speak so well ? " Afl this 
while Gabriel had been wondering how it was that a iriri 
who had bved so solitarily and was possessed of so little 
learning, could express hereelf in such feduoa. 



FOLLY ACRE FARM 



178 



«*Do joo iwUy think I ipeak w^r A» aakwl d- 
Mj^itedlj. ** I am w gUu) I have pleaaed jou.** 

**Hukl what b that?** he mtemipted, jumping up. 
While ahe had been speaking, he had caught the crunch 
of feotrteps on the path outside. Before she oouU answer, 
the door opened, and Meredith stood upon the thrashokl, 
huge and unnatural, framed in the grey of a winter*s sk j. 






CHAPTER XVII 



riAcs 

The afternoon had worn away quickly aa they talked • 
evening wai ab«ady tumbling down the Jiy, carting lom^ 
■J-dow. a. he fell TUt peculiar nocturnal quiet^ 
proper to a huid of tree-dad hiU*, wai abroad, Lying a 
■ilendng hand on every ao^nd. 

"Pteace be upon thi. hou*," Mid the man in the door- 

answered, - Hiuh, I hear the peace of the Lonl in tli 

tree-top., and the measure of Hi. might among the bilk'' 

Hi. voice thrilled a^ he .poke with the mupidon of a 

^fi^:, *[* "^ ^*^ *»" ^^ ^'^ and bowed.Z 
tmnda before hi« eyeis motionle« ; tiU, to GabrieF. bearimr. 
the vaUey righed with content and the forest echoed at the 
footfall of a majestic presence. 

Having entered the room, he limped over to where she 
•at, and taking her face between his hands, looked into it 

r??i IfS . '*»^««J ^ery tenderly, saying. «»i«ry. 
httle ^Ud, have you yet found Him ? Th^ * no p^ 
until He comes." *^^ 

« No, Dan, not yet Tm afraid I never shall '' 

d-v?"?^'"*- ."^^T^"•'' "^"- He will come some 
day. rhen, seeing Gabriel, " I beg paidon, Mr. Garrod, 

174 



PEACE 



175 



«• Ym, Dm," iIm brokt in Mfwiy, •• ht hM bmn hm all 
tht aftmrnoon. I have bem telling him all aboat myMli; 
and be ha* actuallj bean intentted.** 

M-radith did not nply at onoe, but idectii^ a itool, 
«t hinmlf down bttween tht two of thtm, a little way 
back from th« blaw. 

** 80 youVe been tailing him all about yoiinelfP When- 
""W any one does that it it intemting. How much have 
^ou told her, Mr. Oarrod ? ** turning towaid Gabriel 

«* Nothing at all Fve Npent my time in lirtening and 
giving good advice. I think ihe ought not to go on 
■topping in a big house like thin all by henelf.** 

** Perhaps she ought, and perhaps she ought not ; some- 
times I think one thing and sometimes another. At all 
events, so long as she is here, she is out of mischief and 
keeps good*** 

*« Oh, Dan, are you still at the old tak ? I don*t think 
rm very good, and I don*t expect to be much worse 
wherever I may be. Is the world such a wicked 
place?** 

•* It's pretty bad. What do you say, Mr. Garrod ? ** 

** It isn't so much wicked as stupid. That's what makes 
me love the country ; you can be just as foolish as you like 
here, and there's no one to see you, so it doesn't much 
matter." 

** Fve not done much studying of late, sir, and I can't 
say that I catch your meaning. If you mean that sin is 
sin in one place, and that it is something else in another, 
I don't agree with you. I came back to Wildwood, after 
many years of wandering, in order that I might do some- 
thing to patch up just one of those follies which you call 
stupidities." 

** Where did you go to all those years, you've never told 
me anything about them ?" asked Mary. 

« That's a long story, girlie, and I don't feel that I want 



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176 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

to tell it to-night, rd rather hear what brought Mr. 
Garrod among us.'' 

"That's soon explained. I came because I wanted to 
wnte ; and, by the way, I believe you're the owner of the 
cottage I'm staying at. Can you tell me the name of the 
man who engaged it ? " 

" Fm afraid I can't. It isn't my secret. I received my 
orders from London, and did as I was bid. First of all, I 
had a telegram inquiring if the cottage was vacant, and, 
afterwards, a letter and cheque to cover a six months' rental. 
I^was requested to tell you nothing, should you question 

" Hm ! " said Gabriel. « I wish I knew his name ; a 
name does so much to clothe a personality." 

« If I were you, Mr. Garrod, I shouldn't worry myself 
to try and find out. What does it matter? It's just 
one more step in the dark. I am never so happy as when 
I can't see where I'm going ; it makes me more certain of 
the Guiding Hand." 

" Yes, yes," exclaimed Gabriel irritably, « I dare say you 
are. I suppose that's just how you would feel. You 
appear to have gained some sort of a belief. I have not • 
that's why I'm here-to procure one, and there's the 
dmerence." 

"I'm an old man, sir, in age, if not in years. All my 
days I've travelled in search of peace. From the Atlantic 
to the Pacific I've journeyed. I've been rich and Fve been 
poor. Through it aU, I was never at peace until I got 
just that sort of a belief— the belief in the Guiding Hand." 

" I can understand and sympathize with you in all that 
you have said, Mr. Meredith. Nevertheless the one thing 
which stands distinct in my own mind is that every man 
comes at his own peace in his own way : you by religion 
another through power, this man by reading books, that 
man by wnting them." 



PEACE lyy 

own, but they M have to meet «t one point liforeZv 
can run on together as one." ^ 

"You remind me," said Gabriel hastily, "of an old 
woman who, having by «,me quaelt remedy *.no«drf™. 
«.n.plai„t, thinks that it willlure eve^ ifnZ^r 
I d.dnt mean to offend, I assure you, Mr Gamrf 

been at the last minute saved, if he's anything of a man 

way Zt-/" """"' ""^ 'I" "•"• '» »"«•«="■« in « "«.il^ 
yoL- ^ •^' ""■ ' *'''"^ «"> •»»»" « partly 

hu"^"^!;^; ""'"' """ «'"'™' '-'* -'»">«' of his 
"Look here, Mr. Meredith, I'm sorry. Tm sure you 

Aye, laddie, your appreciation may be very well for 
me, but jt can't do much for you. When I wlTa younJ 
d.ap I did a lot of appreciating, but it wasn't u^Tl 
believed something thTt I found pe^- "' ™*'' ' 

tellTlf";^'' "'"m'^ '*"'™ "^'"« '»»* yo" "^ to 
tdUt, If you could guarantee that it would bring men 

" And that I can, to any mn, who chooses to listen As 
.young chap I did too much searehing and noTLu^h 
listening ; now I Usten aU my days - ^ 

i-^^IZhL'^t T.!""*" »"derst«,d what you are say- 
3 f..^.,- f, *' "^ "^ have been looking tot 
just this thing. Go into any town or city, and yo^^U 
^ men and women hurrying up and do™ the ™reS, 
looking for this peace of which you sneak ^„ * 

i^^Sk'' t rr-' *° '^^^ "'- "^t '" 



12 



going to buy peace. Every 



3^1 



4 

1 -L.- 



i>i i 



r.i 



6 

i. 






178 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

boy and girl who fall in love think theyVe got it 
Every suicide believes that he is going to secure it. What 
do you suppose men live in towns for ? It isn't because 
they like them ; it is in order that they may scrape up 
enough money to purchase peace. What makes men so 
hard and unscrupulous in basiness? It's because they 
know that there's only a certain amount of money in the 
world, and they think that money means peace. This is 
what makes scholars grow old at poring over books ; they 
want to discover the secret. And this is what leads fellows 
like myself to torture themselves into writing a book — 
they think that by getting their thoughts outside them- 
selves they may arrive at peace. Most of our follies grow 
out of this one desire. People steal and go to gaol for it. 
Merchants work night and day, and die at fifty for it. If 
a man can't get peace by fair means, he tries to by foul. 
If he can't buy, he plans to steal. If he isn't strong 
enough to take it from a live man, he kills him, and takes 
it from a dead. Every misfortune results from this end- 
less pursuing of peace. I wonder that we have the courage 
to go on searching, where generations have failed." 

" What you have said I believe to be true," answered 
Meredith ; " yet it still remains that where one poor 
fellow like myself has succeeded there is room for others to 
do the same." 

" We all have our stars which we are bom and bound to 
follow," said Gabriel, " but where to, we never can tell. 
So far I have followed myself." 

While lliey had been speaking, instinctively they had 
drawn nearer together around the hearth, and now remained 
silent, no one looking at another. Mary spoke, her face 
cushioned in her hands, her eyes fixed on the flame. 
" And so your star led you from London to Wildwood ; 
and Dan's led him all over the world, and brought him 
back to the place from which he had started ; and mine 



PEACE 



179 



■tands rtationaiy all my life, over Folly Acre. Now they 
have brought us all three together— I wonder what for ! 
It is very wonderful. How ci i Huch things be explained ? ^ 
"I don't try to explain them; I simply follow," said 
Gabriel. 

" And I couldn't explain them if I tried ; so I delay," 
said Mary, looking up at the motto. 

" And I know that it is the Lord," said Meredith. 

"It must be grand to think that you know," said 
Gabriel. « I wish that I had that sensation of certainty ; 
it does away with all feverishness." 

" It does. It took me many years to gain it ; but it 
was all worth while, every step of the way." 

" And what are you doing here in Wildwood ? if you 
don't mind my asking," said Gabriel. 

« Living quietly, sir, and preaching the Word." 

"That's only a half-answer, Dan," interrupted Maiy, 
and, turning to Gabriel— "I'll tell you what he does; he 
goes round to all the markets and fairs and villages, and 
preaches. Sometimes he's listened to, and sometimes he 
isn't. He spends a good deal of his time on the main- 
road between Monbridge and Siluria, because that's where 
most of the tramps and out-of-work farm-hands go by. 
When he sees one coming whom he thinks he can help he 
gets into talk with him, and takes him home, and keeps 
him liiere for a day or two, trying to do him good. No, 
Dan, it's not a bit of use you're signalling to me to stop, 
for Fm not going to until Tve said my say. He's so 
tender-hearted that he gives everything he has away. 
Last year, in the depth of winter, he hadn't an overcoat 
left to his back. When he came to Wildwood, five years 
ago, the viUagers made fun of him ; but now they worship 
him, and there isn't one of them who wouldn't gladly 
starve that he might eat." 
"There, there, maidie, that's enough," said the old man 



180 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

kindly, taking her hand in his. «* BccauHe you love me you 
mustn't think that everything I do is good. Tm really a 
veiy Melfiuh fellow. I do these things to other people 
because it malces me happy — which isn't much to my 
credit." 

"I wish I had as much to mine," said Gabriel with 
conviction. "It's a terrible thing to think how much 
power to make or mar one another each one of us han. 
Even when you're most anxious to make the best of your- 
self for the sake of others, and have come to a decision, 
and begun to walk along a way, you can never be sure, 
until the end has been reached and it's too late, whether 
it was the right road after all. If you do as Mai^ here, 
sit down and delay, the chances are that youll gro , into 
a habit and die where you sit. And if you do as I'm 
doing, strike out boldly for yourself, the world's so 
crowded that you're almost certain .o cnish some one in 
forcing a passtige. I get very por])lexe(l when I think 
oyer these things. To live is to bear a terrible res|jonsi- 
bility; I don't wonder that there are some who prefer 
to die." 

« Yes," said Meredith, « and the sad thing is that the 
ones who give up are often among the best. Your 
brutish, selfish man is content to fill his belly and 
have a fat time at anybody's and everybody's expense. 
He hangs on as long as there's anything to eat and 
drink, and any money to be earned or stolen. It's 
your fine, tender-souled fellow who goes imder and loses 
courage, becaiise he's too kind-minded to trample his way 
into either downright villainy or thorough-paced virtue. 
Most of the men on the roads are good men ; that's why 
they're there, and that's why I love them and take them 
into my house. Somehow or other I can't get it out of 
my mind that Christ was once upon the road, and one can 
never be siure that He won't be there again. It's come to 



PEACE 



181 



me over and over that the beat men in thw life aro not the 
men who win out ; the men who do that are only the 
second, the third best, and the worst. The really irood 
man usually goes to the wall, because he is so good. To 
my way of thinking it's right and proper that he should, 
and m accordance with Scripture usage ; for such treat- 
ments are the despisings and persecutions our Lord spoke 
of on the mountain. ITie only fault I have to find is that 
most folk aren't careful enough that they are persecuted 
for His sake. *^ 

"I remember coming across such a man years aco, 
when I was working in a lumber camp out in The 
Canadian Rockies. He was a small, slim chap, with fair 
hair and eyes ; we called him *The Child,' because he had 
such tmy hands and feet. Not that he was so very younif. 
either; he must have been somewhere around forty. I 
took a hking to him at first sight. By and by he opened 
out and told me a few things about himself, nfwas 
just one of those men who set out too well, and then 
haven t the strength of purpose to carry them through. 
It appeared that his father had been a rich mill-owner, 
somev/here up Lancashire way, who had died early, leavin- 
him the entire property. The Child was about twenty-two 
at that time, and engaged to be married to a pretty giri. 
Unfortunately for him, he suffered from a painful sen^ of 
his obligations, and was always worrying over the good 
and harm which he had it in his power to exercise Wr 
his work-people. He was one of those big-hearted, small- 
brained men, whose mind and affections are for ever 
getting mto a tangle. The more he thought, the faster 
his emotions unwound ; the faster his emotions unwound, 
the more he thought-his heart and mind were one 
gigantic muddle. His father had never known that there 
were such things as obligations, and had accordingly run 
the mills at a profit both to himself and his people. 



i:: I 



'•:• 



JU 



183 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

**The upshot of it was that the Child went about every 
day thinking ; and couldn't nleep of nights for thinking 
over again what he had already thought by day. 

** At last he came to the conclusion that it wasn't right 
for one man to own the whole concern, while the work- 
people got nothing but wage8. He called them together, 
and offered them an interettt in the mills. They, seeing 
the kind of man he was, with his pale eyes and tiny feet 
and hands, listened, and agreed to whatever he chose to 
say. What this was I never quite made out, but I expect 
it consisted largely of how he loved them, and how all 
men ought to be brothers, and how he was going to hand 
the entire business over to them, and trust them, as a 
brother should, to give him his proper share. It worked 
out quite differently. The mill-hands collared all the profits 
and got drunk, and, when the Child came before them in 
his nervous, tearful way to ask for his share, they kicked 
him out. Then the father of the girl he was going to 
marry got to hear of it, and asked him what all this 
nonsense meant. When the Child explained that it meant 
that he had lost all his money the father told him a few 
straight truths about his business qualifications, and also 
kicked him out. 

**The Child was always a delicate-minded chap, and, 
when this happened, blamed himself because he made 
sure that the pretty little girl would break her heart 
because of him, and never recover ^m the blow. So what 
must he do but go and book his passage to Canada, and, 
just before sailing, write her a letter saying how he was 
going to make his fortune, and return in a few years and 
marry her, all the same. It wasn't until he'd got well out 
to sea that it occurred to him that before those few years 
were up she might get another chance to many, and 
might be prevented from doing so by the pledge he'd 
given her in that letter. Then he began to tangle up his 



PEACE 



188 



conacience wone and wone, all the way aatMw the Atlantic, 
thinking and loving all the way. By the time he'd got 
to the mouth of the St. Lawrence he'd made up his poor 
mind that it was his duty to write her a ttecond letter, 
making out that the first one was sent in play, and that 
he'd never intended to come back. For quite a long while, 
for several years in fact, he remained liappy in the belief 
that he had acted quite honourably. 

" One day, when he'd almost ceaMKl to worry, he joined a 
railroad gang, and fowid amongnt them a waster from the 
Old Country who'd known hin family in Lancashire. The 
Child began to talk with him, and found that the girl was 
still unmarried, and was said to be eating her heart out for 
love of him. Then he began to think what a brute he'd 
been, and how he'd done wrong in sending her that last 
letter ; and thereupon set to work to conjure up all the 
agony she must have suffered, and to wonder how he could 
put things right As I said before, he was one of those 
small-brained, big-hearted fellows, whose brains and affec- 
tions are for ever rolling up into a tangle. What must he 
do, but sit down and write her a third letter. This time 
he says to himself, * She's very lonely and miserable; I 
must do something to make her hopeful and happy.' So 
he told her how he was getting on splendidly, and growing 
richer and richer every day ; and still loved her, and, if she 
was willing, wanted to come back and marry her in a year 
or two. 

« Now the Child wasn't the sort of man who is ever going 
to make money ; he wasn't enough of a fox to steal, or 
sufficient of a squirrel to keep what he'd got. However, 
he went on year after year, drifting from one job to 
another, never making anything to speak of, getting 
more and more despondent, but always writing back to 
his pretty little giri, who was getting a pretty old girl by 
this time, that he'd be coming home soon, when he'd 






184 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

made one Uut big pile. If ever thera wm a man who 
bated a lie it was the Child, and yet, becaiue yean 
ago, out of sheer goodness of '.cart, he'd told his one 
untruth, be was oondemned to go on lying every day 

** When I found him in the lumber camp this bad been 
going on for twenty years. He didn't tell me his story all 
at once : it slipped out in pieces when we were alone. At 
last the poor old maid got sick and tired of his promises, 
and spoke out her mind to him very bitterly, saying how 
he'd devasUted her life, and stolen her love, and left her 
nothing to live for. He was emptied right out, like a sail 
when the wind stops blowing. He came to me, and, before 
showing me her letter, put me on my oath to tell him 
whether it was true. What was I to do ? I let him down 
just as lightly as I could. •As for devasteting her life,' 
I said, • I dare say from her point of view that is true ; and 
as for stealing her love, she gave it to you in the first 
instance, and, although perhaps f^ might have been more 
honourable to have given her it back, yet to keep what 
has been given can hardly be called theft. As for having 
left her nothing in the world to live for, Fm not in a 
position to give an opinion, for I don't know the lady.' 
• I think I see what you're trying to hide,' said the Child, 
clasping and unclasping his nervous, smallish hands. 
•Thank you for teUing me the truth. I wish some one 
had done it earlier. Good-bye; thank you so much.' I 
tried to stop him, and asked him where he was going. He 
looked pale and tired, quite unfit for a journey. Tm 
not going very far,' he answered, and walked away into 
his shack. I waited outside for a minute or two, not 
knowing what was best to do. Just as I was about to 
turn away there was a report, and a thin wisp of sn-oke." 
"And what had happened?" asked Mary, breathless 
with expectation. 



PEACE 



185 



*'I>nd~by hk own haiid,** Meradith repUwl; "^with 
her iMt letter beddc him."* 

** And yet be Metned to be a good manr iihe wbiitpered. 

**Yea; and he wai, too,"* answered Meredith almost 
fiercely. "He was one of the kindest, gentlest little 
fellows I ever knew.** 

** He was afraid of his responsibilities,** said Gabriel ; 
**the obligations of living were too much for him.** 

"That was just it,** replied Meredith. "And yet it 
seems to me better to be ho aware of life*s responsibilitiet 
that you*re afraid of them, tlion never to be aware of them 
at all** 

" But which man does the least harm, I wonder ? ** asked 
Gabriel, for in truth he could refer much of what had 
been narrated to his own life. 

" I'he man who has most love,** answered Mary. " And 
I should say that, in spite of all, he has most peace.** 

They were words lightly spoken, which Gabriel was to 
remember with comfort on a future day. 



ii 



L'l! 



HI 

■'111 



CHAPTER XVIII 

HOW THK UUW SHONK CHKIITMAI DAY 

It was ChriKtmaM morning. The windows were heavily 
frosted with quaint and curious {wttems, and the sun was 
gwdng in when Gabriel awoke. Down below in the valley 
the matin bells of 8t. Dubricious were ringing a peal of 
thanksgiving and happiness : wve for this there was no 
■oumi nor stir. He lay very still, enjoying one of those 
rare psychological moments of perfect tranquillity which 
sometimes come unbidden and unaccounted for, a gift 
from the gods or the fairies, when son»e of the quietness 
of sleep laps over and distributes through the conscious 
life of new day. ♦• I am young, I am young, I am young, 
and this is the country, the country," the bells seemed to 
say over and over, till his heart was fulfilled with gladness. 
*♦ What shall I do, what shall I do, what shall I do ? Let 
me worship, worship, worship." The chimes died away 
and gave place to the toll : " Worship, worship, worship." 

Now Gabriel had never worshipped, at least not in 
words, since he hod won himself free from his mother's 
control. Of course he had gone to church to please her, 
and had pretended to listen, and had bowed his head 
when the other people bowed ; but that is another matter. 
He didn't much believe in prayer, and couldn't see any 
use in it. He'd studied philosophy pretty thoroughly, 
and, being a boy, had mistaken it for religion. He wanted 
to do well for himself, and for the world at large. He 

186 



HOW THE SUN SHONE 187 

WM filled with a geiMroja dwire to make grievoua people 
glad, and to leave thiiigH better than he had found them ; 
hut why he wat . <d to do all thin he could not nay, except 
that ho admired Chriiit very much, and felt that it would 
be grand to be like Him. When the belln commenced to 
■peak it came to him a« a nurpriae. •• I don't know what 
to nay," he muttered. 

** Wornhip, womhip, wonhip,** answered the village bell 
peniHtently. 

He turned over on hin side, Rmiling at the hallucination, 
and, stealing another wink of nlecp, had the most curiouM 
of drcamit. He thought tliat he wtui ittanding all alone 
upon a imow-covurud moor, and yet not he, for when he 
looked down in search of his hands and feet there was 
nothing there; he waM only a pair of eyes, which he 
couldn't see, for they were looking and looking. Then, as 
he watched, he saw a man clamber over the edge of the 
skyline. He was dressed in a long robe of purple, with a 
shirtlet of crimson. His feet were bare ; his face was 
strangely familiar ; in his arms he carried a little, naked 
child, which he held to his naked breast to warm it against 
the cold. The eyes, which were all that there were left of 
Gabriel, kept quite still, always gazing upon the traveller, 
who came very swiftly on toward a hut from which smoke 
was slowly rising, which the eyes had just perceived at the 
opposite end of the moor. The stranger came to the door 
and tapped ; a woman answered his call. She held out her 
arms, and, taking the child, kissed and snuggled it close to 
her bosom. She looked up to thank the stranger, but 
saw him a long way off', walking back toward the skyline ; 
and the eyes noticed that every time he placed his foot 
into an old print it was blotted out and became pure white, 
like the rest of the snow. Soon the man came again to 
the horizon, but this time he baited reluctantly, looking 
back over the way which he had come. The woman at the 



^: 



■ i" 4 

■3, fe 



i i 




188 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

door rtood looking alw. Suddenly he spread out hi. arms 
on either side, casting a long, black shadow across the snow, 
which, reaching the place where the woman stood, touched 
with its uttermost length the child in her arms, who, 
waking up, began to waiL 

When the eyes looked again, the shadow and hut, 
and woman and child, had aU vanished— there was 
nothing but the lonely moor; whereupon Gabriel 
awoke. 

" Why, that was Mother," he said to himself as he 
opened his eyes, "and I must have been the child! I 
wonder whether dreams have ever any meaning, and 
whether that one had?'' 

The village beU was still ringing, « Worship, wor^ip, 
worship.'' He jumped out of bed, and stepping to the 
window, opened it wide. As he did so, the distant sweU 
of the Monbridge chimes floated merrily up to him, sing- 
ing, "Christmas Day, Christmas Day, Christmas Day," 
upon which the village bell brf,kc in with a sullen bass, 
" Worship, worship, worship." 

" Well, if a man can't pray on Christmas Day he isn't 
good for much," thought Gabriel; whereupon he went 
upon his knees, and, folding his hands said, « Thank you," 
very devoutly. 

He dressed quickly, whistling as he did so, wondering 
what they were doing at the Turnpike, and how they 
would keep the festival. 

On coming down-stairs he saw at once that he must 
have overslept ; breakfast was laid and the dishes were set 
by the fireside to keep warm. 

Another thing which he immediately noticed was that 
some one had been busy decorating his room since last 
night. There were bunches of holly and greenery every- 
where, and, on the table at the place where he sat, a small 
brown paper parcel— a book of some kind. 



HOW THE SUN SHONE 189 

« Hulloa, who's been here so early in the morning, giving 
me presents ? " thought Gabriel, much amused. 

Ripping the paper off he found it to be a cheap edition 
of A ChikTa First Spelling Book, such as can be bought 
in a village store. There was no name or message to say 
from whom it came. 

»* They showed sound literary judgment, anyhow," he 
laughed, and sat down to his meal. 

Presently a passing cottager brought him his Christmas 
mail, which consisted of two letters, one in Hilda's, and the 
other in Lancaster's handwriting. 

Hilda's was a kindly little note, telling him how much 
he was missed, and how glad they would be of his return. 
Then followed some sisterly advice, as to the running of 
his house and the necessity of keeping a strict eye over 
whoever looked after him. There were also inquiries about 
his work, and plenty of encouragement and optimism ; but 
there was something lacking. It seemed to Gabriel that 
she was straining after the conventional, because she feared 
either him or herself. All the way through he could feel 
that she was playing a game of hide and seek, one in which 
he never could contrive to catch her. There were occasional 
glimpses of a hand round the comer or a sparkle of eyes, 
but never the complete woman. 

Lancaster's was like the man : frank, intense, lovable. 

" I have not dared to write to you before," he wrote, 
" because, feeling the pain of our parting as I do, I feared 
lest my affections might betray me into what might read 
like foolishness when set down on paper. You know how 
it is, Gabriel, love-words without the voice are only words. 
And yet I do want to tell you once again, even at the 
risk of becoming tedious, how very much I love you. 
While you were near me the whole world seemed glad. I 
don't know how to explain these sensations, but you are 
to me as a young knight who has attacked my Castle of 



il 



190 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

Deipair, and set at liberty, and brought out into the day 
all the prisoners who had lain hidden and bound these many 
years. Truth to tell, this is just what you have done, so 
how should I fail to love you ? ** A little lower down he 
continued, " I wonder whether it is really true that all 
affection, even the purest, is ultimately selfish ! It is a 
ridiculous confession for one man to make to the other, and 
yet I feel I must tell you— do you know, I am positively 
jealous of any new friends that you may make; I am 
frightened lest they should steal your heart from me. You, 
young as you are, have been my great deliverer ; and what 
should I do if you were to be carried away bound ? Every 
time you return to me after an absence I am fiUed with a 
morbid dread lest you may have changed with time, as all 
things change. For the first few hours together I watch 
your every action, lest in any way you should betray the 
secret that you do not love me as you did. Oh, these 
friendships ! how they blend the bitter with the sweet, 
giving now the fulfilment of all desire, and now an agony 
of longing ! How we shall look back to them in the years 
which are to come ! with what strange regrets, with what 
sorrow of faces ! Well, well, to have loved as you and I 
have loved is sufficient. Let us enjoy the perfect hour while it 
remains with us, gazing forward with blinded eyes."" Later 
on, after recalling many joyous adventures which they had 
shared, he went on to say, " I dare say you will wonder, 
dear Gabriel, how it is that I now write all this, when I 
might have said it to your face. It is because of the 
buried life. I am like a big iceberg, and take a long while 
to unfreeze. My affections had stayed up at the North 
Pole so long that they were quite solid when you, my 
arctic explorer, came by and took me in tow for the South. 
Many an evening as we have sat together during the last 
few months, I have been willing, to the point of anguish, 
to open up to you my heart, but somehow my lips refused 



HOW THE SUN SHONE 191 

to «peak. I wonder whether this in a difficulty peculiar 
to me alone, or whether it i, common to aU mankind. 
Perhaps this was the great distinction between other men 
and J«ni8, the one which the crowds who went to hear Him 
noticed, when they said, « He spake as never man spake.* 
and which so startled the Samaritan woman whenAe 
reported, * He told me all things that ever I did/ I 
should rather like to think that this was the case. If it 
were so, I think even I might learn to pray. Do you 
know, I have Utely taken to doing one of those obvious 
things which so often turn out to be such a surprise • I 
have taken to reading my Bible, etc.'' So the letter went 
on until it came to the point where he spoke of his work. 
You will remember what I told you about Hilda and my 
plans, when we went for that walk in Epping Forest ? I 
am now more certain than ever that I have done the right 
thing. I did not worry you by telling you all that I 
was proposing, when you were with us, because I did not 
want to interrupt your work. There's no harm in doing 
so now, however. The numbers of the unemployed are 
greater than ever this winter, and the distress is something 
appaUmg. Down at the Turnpike we are in the heart of 
It, Mid s^ every day aU the awful terror of their condition. 
Hilda and I feel that it is almost criminal to eat our own 
food, and to sleep in our own beds, when there are so many 
w*o are starving and homeless. How different a man I am 
from the one I was last year, when I was only too wiUing 
to bar and double-lock my doors that I might remember 
self only, and aesthetics! For this great moral change I 
have you to thank, and your love. Oh, how I despise that 
old self, with his little meannesses and his pride in his 
granite heart! How he would plume himself and strut, 
boasting that he had banished emotion, and was brave for 
any fate ! yet, all the while, his heart was breaking. I was 
like a man who builds a tower in a market-place, and, 



19-i THE WEEPING WOMAN 

having made the walk so thick that no sound of moaning 
can escape, looks down from his high-up window, between 
the spasms in his pain, upon the busy crowd below, with a 
wizened, smiling face, calling upon the populace to witness 
how he does not suffer. I named myself a Stoic, poor fool 
that I was. That one word has wasted for me ten years 
of life. 

** * This is a queer kind of Christmas letter,' you will say, 
and so it is. I have learnt what compassion means, and 
now can do nothing but talk about it. Hilda and I spend 
our days amongst fallen men and women. We eat our 
meals with them ; we handle them ; we give them the run 
of our house ; and at night, when the shop is closed, we 
go out to finci others. So fiill is the house, that I have 
had to vacate my bed. I sleep better on the floor, with a 
gladder heart, than ever I did in my bed, when my heart 
was full of sores. I love these p ■• ?le. I shall never try 
to be respectable any more. Give -. j the bottom of the 
ladder ; I have no desire to climb into precipitous isolation. 
All my ambitions are gone, save this one, to love and 
cherish my unfortunate kind. I am even overcoming my 
loathing for vulgarity, and this, by doing what you did 
that morning with the clerk and the labourer — refusing to 
see their frailties. Hilda is with me heart and soul in all 
my work. She is more tender and lovable than I. 
When we are alone, I call her Christ's little mother, 
because she has taken His poor into her breast." Then, 
after some talk about Hilda and his love for her, the letter 
concluded : " This work is not for you ; at least, not yet. 
I r^ard it in the light of a penance for all my thirsty years ; 
nevertheless I find in the penance my greatest joy. You 
have nothing to acone for, so to you it is allowed to pass 
upon your way. Make great songs, Gabriel, for we poor 
outcasts need them. We want something good to whisper 
as we go about our tasks. Weave all that is true and noble. 



HOW THE SUN SHONE 108 

however sad, into your singing; for men must be made 
to weep before they can become ripe for laughter. If you 
have learnt to pray, offer up a petition for poor old John. 
If not, then speak a kind word now and then when the 
wind is blowing this way, and perhaps he may catch the 
refrain.*** 

Gabriel laid the letter down and brushed his hand 
across his eyes. "How good people are getting," he 
stammered ; « Pm afraid I shall never be like that. And 
he will persist that it is all due to me. I, who tried to 
steal Hilda's love. It is now my turn to pattern myself 
by John." 

A footstep came behind him, and a merry voice piped 
up, « Good-morning to you : a happy Christmas. How 
did you like my decorations ? " Then, « Why, you've been 
aying ! " In a trice, Mary was down on her knees at his 
side, holding his two wet hands in her own, her eyes filled 
with tears. « Oh, do tell me," she pleaded ; « is it anything 
that I have done ? Didn't you like the book ? " 

She was so evidently distressed, her whole face quivering, 
and her body trembling with pity, that Gabriel was at a 
loss to know what to make of her. 

" No, no, little sister," he said, putting his arm around 
her. ** There is nothing really the matter. I was crying 
because I was so happy." 

" That is the best sort of crying," she said. « I have 
sometimes felt it, when I have been by myself in the woods, 
and a bird was singing." 

"It is because a friend, away in the city of London, 
whom I love very dearly, has been singing that I am crying," 
Grabriel replied. 

She drew back, and looked at him incredulously. 

« But you— you couldn't hear any one singing all that 
way off, could you ? " 

He smiled at her with his eyes. « I couldn't hear their 
»3 




IW THE WEEPING WOMAN 

voice. They wrote their «mg lUl down on paper wKl lent 
It to me. 

« I wish I could do that," she sighed. 

« So it was you," he questioned, changing the subject, 

wiI^hSS^%"'"^^**^"'"**™^'«*"^"^«*^*'~'»bri^ 

She nodded. « And it was I who brought you the book. 
You see, I can^ read, and I didn't know what to get you. 
I heard you say that you were fond of books, so I sl'^ed 

yo^^ike lu^^ '''^' ""^ ^"«*** y°" **^*- ^ 

Its just the book I was wanting. I never have been able 
to learn one tenth part of what it contains, but now that 
rm ,n the country, I shall have time to tiy aU over again." 

"I am glad that you like it," she said. « It's so difficult 
to know what people like. I must have read your thought, 
somehow. If you really like it, I'll tcU you what you can 
do—read It all aloud to me." / «« 

At this proposal, his countenance feU. He didn't want 
his deception to be found out. "Do you know, I don't 
toi LS" understand aU that's said in th^ ft', 

" Oh, that doesn't matter," she implied gaily. « You're 
clever, andJU be able to make it^impC L ^^ 
Shall we begin to-day?" ^ 

Gabriel looked puzzled, rummaging his bmins for a..y 
rr^ "rilteUyouwhatrildo. FU give you a pre^^ 
instead. Til be your brother while Fm here " 

«J^^:i*^«^A^^t"^' ^^«*l^*y« longed for a brother," 

X^^rr *'"^' °' """' ^" '^''''^^^ ' ^ ^ 

sister^^TT'^ ^^ ^"^t\ " ' '^"^y^ "'"^ - little 
sister, and have never had one. You shaU be mv 

Chnstmas present." ^ 



HOW THE SUN SHONE 195 

A radden thought ttruck her, and she looked sad. 

•• What's the matter now ? " he asked « Do you want 
to take back your gift ? "* 

•« I was wondering how long it would be befoi« you went 
away. YouTl be here a long while, won't you ? " 

" Oh, ever so long," he cried ; « for at least five months, 
and after that— we'll see." 

She clasped her hands resignedly. « Then I shall forget 
to remember for the next five months. I shall tell myself 
that you have come to stop for always." Then, iUogicaUy, 
"but, when you do go, I don't know whatever I shaU 
do." 

"Don't let us think of that," he said cheerily. "This 
is Christmas morning, and we've got to be happy. Come, 
now, what shall we do ? Do you want to go to church ? " 

" Fve never been in my life," she said. « I don't know 
the people, and Td rather not, unless you'd like." 

** Tm not particular," he replied. 

" WeU, then, the first thing to do, seeing we've become 
a fiunily, is to have a meal together," she said ; " and, seeing 
that Fm your sister, it's right that I should cook it. 
You'd better run over and teU Mrs. Crump that she's not 
wanted to-day." 

"But how do I know that my sister can cook?" he 
asked. 

"If you're going to ask questions like that, youll very 
soon find that you haven't got a new sister at all," she 
answered with a laugh. « Now go and tell her." 

Mrs. Crump had gone to church, but Mr. Crump, who 
had lost most of his right leg in a poaching affray, was at 
home. He said that he would tell his wife. He was very 
anxious to detain Gabriel, and to engage him in conversa- 
tion ; also very anxious to know what had made him so 
eager to do without his dinner, in both of which objects 
he was foiled. 



1 



IW THE WEEPING WOMAN 

n J!I?*T- ®'^'* ««t back to the cottage, he found gi«it 
prepaimtion. ,n progr««. The break fiu,t had been cl«««i 
the room »wept and durted. and on the Ubie the «umt 
anatomy of one of Mn. Crump'« turkeys to whomlnw* 
rtuffing wa« bemg given at h» death than he had ever 
received in his lifetime. 

the unfortunate bird, and Uying his hand dirtLLly 
upon Its haggard features, "we serve you as we seni 
ourselves. It has been left for strangem to discover your 
''''*"?^™ to appreciate your part»-so little admiml in 
your l,fet,me-now that your dead. Alas, my featherles. 
brother, our prajse falls upon deaf ears, and y^ur eyes can 
no longer see ! How sad it is to reflect that we could not 
allow you to be present at your only triumph-while you 
were yet Imng-by eating you in your lifetime. It is 
too late now, hke most kind thoughts-ah, vain regret! 
A^uld that we had thought of it earlier, for yo^ 

WhUe Gabriel had been meandering on with his non- 
sense, Mary had paused in her kneading to listen. When 
he concluded, she said, "I suspect that you^re only making 
fiin; but, quite senously, I always feel like tlit about 
dead animals. It seems so terrible ^ destroy a thinir 
which you can never make again.' 

"I don't see how wishing that you'd eaten them in their 
lifetime can do them much good," said Gabriel, laughinir 
at her simplicity. "»*"*« 

" I ^f«j't t*l>ing about that part of what you said," 

r lmP ' ^'^ *'*'* ^°"« ^'•' "b"* »^«t the cruelty 
of killing animals at all. Gabriel," she went on, looking 
up at him very earnestly, «I do hope youTl try and be 
senous with me. I know Fm a very odd girl, and very 
Ignorant, and perhaps : don't appear to you to be verv 
good, but that's on account of my loneliness and my 



HOW THE SUN SHONE 197 

bringing up. I ouiH behave m a siiter should, if you 
do nothing but play with me.^ 

** You little stupid, how do you know how a sister ought 
to behave, when youVe never had a brother?** 

** I know very well, becauiie Tve thought it all out many 
times— when Tve wished that I had one. Besides, when 
I was a little girl I used to pretend all kinds of things, 
and one of them was that I had a brother in the woods 
whom I went to visit all alone. Sometimes I would tell 
Mother the things that he said to me : and at first she 
would laugh; but afterwards she would cry." 

" Why, what kind of things did you say that he told 
you?" 

"All kinds of things. I remember his face, and all 
that he said, so distinctly, that I sometimes think he was 
really there after all. Whenever I go out alone after 
dark, I half expect to meet him. He had a* name, and 
eveiything that a real live person ought to have.'' 

** WTiat was his name ?" asked Gabriel, abandoning his 
bantering tone, and becoming interested. 

" I used to call him Tony, and he called me Madge. 
He was ever so much taller than I am, and wore green 
clothes and long yellow hair. The first time we met was 
when I was a baby of about four, and had crawled away 
through the bracken over the hill at the back of the 
house, when Mother was out picking fruit in the garden. 
I was very happy at first, and watched the rabbits playing, 
and butterflies sailing to and fro, like painted ships. 
Then I grew tired of watching, and tried to run home ; 
but I only got more and more lost in a green, strange 
land. I suppose I must have sat down to cry, for the 
next thing I remember is a boy dressed in green, with 
yellow hair and a smiling face, picking me up and kissing 
me, and telling me that I was his little sister. I didn't 
believe him at first, I fancy, until he began to teU me 






/^ 



IM THE VITEEPING WOMAN 

;;;«^ rtoriai .boot Wid. ttd b««ti; and ^ 

•topp«l wilh him for .Tcr io long, for it wm W p^t 

U^Ume when he juried me « fcr - the g«ti«..^C 
^ L w'^* "^"^ *^* ^^" ~"« '^w Tony ^ mi^ 
r*.o .tt ::::? th.t he wouW come i^ai'n. Mo^ 

d«,rway, that rf,e foyot to «old. But when Ae caUed 

ZJV. ~T*!^ ^'^ "^d -*id that my namfw- 
Madge, becauae the boy had told me «,. Tl^ the J^ 
ojme out Mother thought that I wa- m.^^^^Jll 
•nd laughed, and. when I pemisted. told me Uiat it w^ 

time after that I kept my iecret more to my»elf and 

with him agam and again; sometime, all day.^met^ 
twice a day until I grew older and «w him lei';L Z 

tree-. The l^t time he came was the night MotW died. 

Ifelt jomeone looking at me in through the opS door. 

what he wanted. I «w quite dirtinctly the face of To^ 

^hTJ'ir "^V" ^^ **« ^ been^oTing, bufwh^ ^i 
^"^J: ^-' "^^ «-i- wa. emptyXf 'the« w!L no 

"But that could only have been your imagination, and 
came of hvmg so much alone." 

f W^* ^^^ "^ ^^^^^^ ""^ ^^y ? You said just now 
that they made your mother cry"* ^ 

"Mostly about myself, and good advice besides. He 



HOW THE SUN SHONE 100 

uaed to tcU me that when I grew up he would have to go 
•WSJ ; but that I murt always remember what he had aaid 
to me, when we played together. One of the tbingii which 
he wai always aaying wais • The world ii not good, Madge, 
you murt be very careftil ; the world in not good.* Then 
one day I asked what made him aay that no often ; and he 
replied that most people, especially women, died when 
they were quite young, although they kept on walking 
about after their death, just like live people, and it 
was all because they had believed that the world was 
good. It was when I told Mother this, that she cried 
mosf 

"But the world is good, Mary. It itt because I had 
found it to be so much better than I had supposed that 
you found me as you did this morning.'' 

♦♦ Never mind, Gabriel, we shall both find out some day. 
Perhaps Tony was only a fairy tale; at all events, I'm 
going to believe in you." 

« But you said that you knew all about brothers. What 
do you know?" 

♦* If they are anything like Tony, they should be good, 
and strong, and unselfish. He was always this to me; 
although I was sometimes very cross, I never heard him 
speak an angry word." 

*« He sets me a high example. I'm afraid I shan't be 
able to live op to it." 

**0h yes, you will," she said ; "your hands are just like 
Tony's, they are not the hands of a cruel man." 

"You little minx," cried Gabriel, thinking he saw 
daylight, " I believe you've been making it all up ! Come, 
now, confess, there never was a boy in green, with yellow 
hair." 

" Hush ! " she said, with very evident consternation ; " if 
you talk like that, we may see him. Fm half afraid of 
you; you're so like him." 



«» THE WSBPINO WOMAN 

Md I M, only , poor cMuihy ^A- ^™^ 



CHAPTER XIX 

WHIM HBABTt AlK YOITMO 

Tmk lonainder of the ChriatnuM Dkiy paiMd happily 
•way In tkis Hune innocent game of make-believe. If you 
pretend that a thing i» m with lufficient penistenoe, you 
will awake lome fine morning to diacover that it has oome 
to be. So with these two play-fellowa, what had been 
eommenced, by at least one of them, in a spirit of tender 
jest, soon came to be considered in the light of a reality. 
When the weather has been cold and the journey weari- 
some, the fint fire one comes to does to warm the hands 
by. Mary and Gabriel had each felt life to be a little 
■ad ; here, by the merest accident, they had stumbled 
across the desolate Moorland of Circumstance by separate 
paths, up to the same lonely shelter, to find a fira alnady 
kindled, and comfort within. 

What blame to them if they were loath to depart ? 
** Pull down the Winds," they seemed to say the one to 
the other ; ** love is the unearned increment, and there are 
few who attain. Let us spend freely, while it is ours to 
enjoy. Love is a gift from the gods ; to-morrow it may 
be gone. It is like to the wind— blowing where it listeth, 
and we hear the sound of its voice ; but whence it cometh, 
and whither it goeth, we never can tell. This fire must 
tome day perish and our comfort forsake us ; let us be 
merry while we may." So, day in day out, they met and 
talked— when the weather was wet and dreary, at Follv 

201 ^ ^ 



«» THE WEEPING WOMAN 

thqr^.n:>e««l to perc«ve, or, if they did, to 'H=rf ,K,t 

Dm Mereditli wa. the only one who h«J en nu.ce to 
their mtimacy. At fl«t, ev4 he w„ dUti^T »,!? 

^^ "H""' '"""""' "^ child-likett^S ^. 
hon, he ««ed to grieve, «k1, .t time^ fo„.,d occSo^ 

S f^ TIT* "•"" *^'''« • *•"» "" through^h^ 
tor«t, he would come upon them by surprise ZikbZ 

reace be unto you, my chUdren." At other time. iJ 
would jhjcover them plunging deeper into the^CS^ 
G.hnel holding back the b«nchrthat Ae m^»to 

^rf^":ii^tm!^*^*°'^"'*^""'-'- ^ 

«.d m„*^r "J! P«"'r *•"" 'h'y ""dd -^e him finrt, 
«nd run toward him, and carrr him away caotiye to mpm 

«tate the mptenes they had witnessed in the fo.4 • the 

^v'h^d" "* JS'^ ^ ™'*^ -^ "■' buriJtoul 
they h«J discovered. To the buds they would take nre- 

».wers. For the latter action Mary would explain the 
r<««.n by saying, " Poor dead people, ttey have iZ h5 

ZZ^^ k" *'™- "^'y' - Britons, ^Tl^ 
been dead for-how many years did you »ay, Gabriel ? " 
'^m inquinnggh„«*_«fo, „„„ than ^^ „, 
years, Dan, and we thought that they must be verv lo^ 
so we brought them flowers - "»i « very lonely , 



WHEN HEARTS ARE YOUNG 205 

''Hieir souls are with the Lord,*" Meredith would 
^postulate. 

** We are neither of us sure of that ; and besides, the 
Lord was not bom when they fell fighting, Gabriel says. 
So we bring them flowers.'" 

After which Meredith would be silent, the world having 
b^^ at Bethlehem for him. 

** I wonder whether any one will give us flowers, when 
we have been dead so long P "" she would question shyly. 

** We, at least, shall be with the Lord,*" Meredith would 
reply exultantly. 

" Yes, but what about these poor people ? If they are 
not there, I should not be happy,"" she would say. 

Then the old man would shake his head uncomprehend- 
ingly, and kiss her hand, saying, **The Lord is good."" 
Rising, they would go away. 

Even to his dull eyes, they were both changed. By 
some mystic aldiemy of the soul they had both become 
etheiealized. All of the peasant had disappeared from Mary; 
the sweet rusticity of her nature alone remained. Gabriel 
also was difierent ; he had become purged of the cynic and 
contentious townsman — had riien above the world of strife. 

When Meredith was perplexed by a phenomenon which 
he could not explain, it was his habit to read deliberately 
through the Gospels from Matthew to John, and continue 
so doing, until some passage of Scriptiue gave him the 
solution. This expedient he reverted to at the present 
juncture. He had not read far before he stumbled on the 
words, " Verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted, 
and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the 
kingdom of Heaven."" 

" Little children ! "" he thought. " Most certainly that 
is what they have become. They have been converted 
into little children ; but have they been converted into 
Christ?" 



«0* THE WEEPING WOMAN 

of the ehaSsTh: w^d-«J^' "a??'h*f ^"'-Hf 
come. They have entered tK,- «i ■»* " y«t to 
to meet the^tt" "^^ ' *^ ""^ 7** 

«»t the^^-Lr iX^Jt Ze to in,'" '^' T 

wheth. M, x:: t^'y^ci:^'-'- ^^ 

secure in the assurance th«f fK *^* reflecting; 

P<Me of her living-to brin^ foUl, \: • ^ """^ P"'" 

woos her child, he^ brothrif^i ^/!"r*« ^- She 

with a like sul:::^;:^'^^,^^^^^ -^ ^^^^^^ 

bolH^andlS^htlnt If Tn^ '"^"^^* °"* 
bom. * " ""*^ ""^ expression, and be 

With a man it is otherwi»> w« i 
to him«Uf, pe^ „„ Zw".^* mZr*^' ^ 
heart quivera within ), J t ^°" P"""/ « woman', 
or loJ ^ ''"• *' " » *»««'• of salvation 

Me?^7;trrfr f ?" """*'"« '^^ *° P-*'™- 
««ijr watcn tHeir emotions at work unl#^ +1, u 

«unts or time-^ers. A woman nevlr-^e^b ^ 
wa. no one of sniHoient wi«,om near hylt:^^Z 



WHEN HEARTS ARE YOUNG 205 

that Launoelot and Guinevere is a true stoiy. So they 
drifted on, unaware of their danger. 

IVagedies come stealthily and in the night ; the episodes 
of young love openly and in broad day. For Mary and 
Gabriel it was as yet early morning, and neither realized 
their risk. Their eyes were for the time blind to the 
accusing faces of the village ; their ears deaf to the world- 
wise tauntings of spite. The purity of their own intentions 
made the whole earth clean and native to them. 

looking back upon their doings years after, had it been 
possible, they might truthfully Imve saW— 

"'^^ ,*. ^y •"** • "^^* ^^« ■»°« *o o»> played with as. 
Folded OS round from the dark and the light; 
And our hearts were fulfilled with the music he made with us. 
Made with our hearts and our lips while he stayed with us. 
Stayed in mid-passage his pinions from flight 
For a day and a night." 

Only, as so often happens, when the season for such 
singing came, there were no two voices left to sing. For 
the one that remained, the desire for song was over-past. 

The single excuse that can be made is that their love 
was innocent, and that they did not know. All this while, 
Gabriers book was galloping on apace. The Poet's fore- 
cast, that peace and the country would produce in him 
song, had been verified in this unexpected way. Every 
ramble and intimate conversation hastened its completion ; 
for the inspiration which it contained owned a dual author- 
ship. Like gusts of wind on an untroubled sea, each breath 
left its impress and was duly recorded in some little or 
large commotion of sound. The results attained far sur- 
passed his most sanguine hope. He instinctively grew into 
a quiet confidence of his purpose. The distresses and 
regrets, registered at the Turnpike, gradually working 
toward this abundant calm, gave to his cycle of singing a 
strength which could not fail to comfort such chance 



306 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

daneUcU u should venture upon hii page-* comfort 
which, he told himself, would easily atone for the vicarious 
suffering which the book's production had imposed. 

Never did poet labour amid kinder surroundings than 
he. Every most trivial incident of the day contributed to 
his creations. Mary, with her naive and pertinent re- 
marics, was for ever throwing his mind back to a lost 
simplicity, and kindling his imagination to fonwtten 
purities of twilight days. 

While yet retaining the maturity of his genius, he had 
become as one of earth's earliest children, not distinguish- 
ing between good and evil— this, for the reason that he 
remembered only the good. 

For the time, he was as one who sleeps and dreams in 
his sleep, haunted by phantom's of the things that were— 
memories which traversed his dream-Mfe discordantly, 
causing him to rouse and, opening his eyes, to gaze round 
upon the well-known room, but not for long, and then, 
having found the familiar unsubstantial, only to hurry 
back with quickened feet to the delicate land of his 
acclaiming shadows. 

The villagers, on account of the distant intangibility of 
his look, nicknamed him « The Man in the Mist.'' Straight 
ahead he walked, gazing neither to left nor right ; a dream- 
man in a dream-world, and she following. 

How far she really followed, and how much he attributed 
to her by the glamour of his presence, it is unsafe to say. 
Yet, remembering the mystery of her childhood, its solitude^ 
together with her c n early imaginative wanderings with 
the green boy of the flaxen hair, it is only just to suppose 
that they walked with an equal strength, side by side. 

The waking moments of this strange life came to him 
with the advent of letters from his old companions, telling 
him of doings at the Turnpike. « Life is a crusade, life is 
a crusade," Lancaster would continually insist. To which 



WHEN HEARTS ARE YOUNG 207 

Gabriel would reply, ** And for me it is one long dream."* 
Having rend their messages and dispatched his answers, he 
would lapse with a happy sigh into the interrupted vision, 
and, reassuming his pen, scramble off fresh verses, explore 
new emotions, and wander along the familiar by-ways, 
accompanied by the same dear companion. 

Their method of daily living was irregular and impulsive 
in the extreme. Early in the morning they would come 
together, clinging the one to the other with that tenacity 
of trust which a young child displays for its mother — the 
probable outcome of fear of sudden bereavement. The 
path between the taU trees which connected his cottage 
with Folly Acre was well "om by their willing feet. They 
seemed to outvie in devotion as to who should be first to 
annomice the sunrise, so that at times they would happen 
half-way in the shadow of the dawn. Each day was too 
short for their pleasures ; they were passionate to exhaust 
every hour of its last cup of joy. The good-bye at evening 
was of lengthy process, undertaken gradually, with many 
journeys and frequent repetitions. There were waitings 
outside in the dusk, on GabriePs part, till her light 
had been extinguished, and the farm was utterly dark. 
Counter watchings before sunrise, on Mary's, for the 
opening of his window, which heralded for her the breaking 
of new day. Second by second the spring was drawing 
nearer, the magic of his breath was in the air. Birds were 
returning by twos and twos back to the last year's nests. 
Buds were bursting in the tree-tops. Life was exulting in 
rapid strength throughout the greenwood. Their hearts 
were possessed by the madness of his laughter. Theirs 
was a pagan world ; too full of merriment to be Christian ; 
with too little of grief to last for long. No thought of 
parting marred the pageant of their day ; only at evening 
did the melancholy of boding foreshadow, when hands were 
parted and they had said *' Good-night.'' 



lOS THE WEEPING WOMAN 



Happy M childttn in the first jnder of craated things, 
they Uunched forward in search of newer discoveries, with 
no sadness of whence and whither. 

Cdumbus, in sight of the New World, was not man 
glad than they. Thein was a new world, as indeed is that 
of every babe who turns his new eyes upon our timewom 
lands. The world has been here all the while ; it is the 
new eyei which make it new. 

For all his delight, there was no trace of sex in Gabriel's 
love. She was a heart and a soul to him ; nothing less. 
The inspirer of his ideals ; sharer in his thoughts ; inter- 
preter and awakener of his better nature. He cherished 
her without regud to her womanhood, as he might have 
done a religion, a philosophy, or another m-n ; as 3»e thing 
which had made known himself to himself, loid called forth 
his god-head. 

For a woman, such refinements of psychologic pro- 
cesses are impossible. Unaware of it herself, at the back 
of all display, she loved him only as a man, and panted for 
his coming. It required the crisis to reveal to her this 
truth. So far, she mimicked his attitudes, as do all lovers 
the preferences and willings of those they love. The crisis 
was not yet. 

Meekness had become the paramount quality in her 
nature. While he was writing, she was content to sit 
quietly sewing in a room hushed and silent, save for the 
dick of her needle and the peck of his rapid pen. The 
task complete, she would listen attentively to the reading 
of his production, often startling him by the aptness of her 
criticisms and su^^tions. 

" Where did you get your knowledge ? " he would ask 
in amaze, remembering her ignorance of books, and in- 
ability to read or write. 

"Is that knowledge?" she would ask surprisedly. 
« Mamma was very clever and used to talk with me, which 



\ 



gn» roe «mg, to ^ ""f. there w«. no one to 

"^^inpe^ u!5hTnL7l^'^'' '^ <•« »J«If. 
„ Any mention of tt. ^ • 

»<dd not unde«t«rf. ""^ "" «o»»U.ing which he 

■Hie whole dan'M «r n 
«» know till n.^jh" h ita*"™^* '■' «<• k"-, «nd 

P^on of tut knowledge. G.b^ ^°°^ "'«• « -tolen 

He would re.»n wfthW "1T ""' "'""■««'. 
ation.- ■«•• That w„ .11 „ hj,^._^ 

«"«V°^;Ltt^t'f r*" -'■"«'" *' 

"V» broke down. ^"^ *° "•"<>"■. ond hi. rea««,. 

.y ""**"' "^Sht,- heloold 

^^^/^r:;:rot- rc--- k"" — H 

^'egan with you." *^ ^^® ™e, but not me. I 

"And what if I -hnnW 
then P« he would ask ^ *^*^ ^ ^^o would you be 

" I should cease to ho « u 
»"e into existence wh^yj^.^^ »-«■ '"H.!. «If 

Such Mying, fii,^ him °^^ * "" y°"-" 
he would «x,n dispel by „ri^ tZ°'"™*«0' f^, "hich 
"d tun, .gain bomtij^^' ^^^ «« ""ty wo,d. ; " 
'4 "'"" to hi, present fehcity. 






•W THE WEEPING WOMAN 

««•* t«nd -wumt S B "^ Cu^taott, in hi. W 

Whither at this point • ih^l^^ ^* ^^ ««««d the 
P«««?ge of the fo^ ' ^""^^Pwent had guarfed tte 

inate^It^^^^ *h- two to «,„e for ulti- 

vaUe^ glebing l^C";^'!: "^TV""' ^IT"^*^ *^"^ 
fires from the riverKlepS? tjT ^'" ^^^' beckomW 
beneath taU t«e« ; ^Sn^&r! ^'"^'^ «~^ ^ 
hi« molten image spuS^^' *• *".^r'^ '^«^^*«J» till 
in the distant «i ^"^^ ^~^"« *°d drenched, dit,,;,^ 
■^nere was liff 1a *j 

The .pp^ ,„ u,, ^ *^t^ t»»ent «rf i,eeti,«. 
P<«t<i«, on thn,u«h a n,im«, ^ *imagb « doping 

dead moorI««i, «IL\^^ "^J °"t on to . ninlf 
«i«li"8 ".d l-iteri^Sir^ '?' ""^k. dH>t Oft 

The fortificaUon ttXSi, 5~*" *^ 
»«lb, it. el.bo«te »f hill*" """y 8««" "hJ outer 
vanidied foe, bore ^ "'»"?'» preparation. »ainrt , 

'™;«e«nerof r.£ ^„:;«Se*""*,*"'™™^«'" 

-the noi*le» hort. oAw! """^''^ of aU enemie. 

"And they have all nas.ll« .1. 
"»wer to a .p„ken thought """^ "'' " i' i» 



"And thus wm «!.» -u n 

«»«>» l.-.Mcki„g. lie ° ™, .'"»<'''». Gabriel l«,k«, („ 
•» open book before h," el w.^ ^^ '" ^^ ««« 

--.^«»»„„pt„a^";jr;ri^ri:,- 

U-;St" "'•^•" -•" «••>"•«.. "he WU, not w«.t „ 

Tbey turned to co A. n, j.j 
•»""t a pot 0/ /^ ^^T'J' *•' «». her foot eaaght 
J^ ""'^th .r,^^b;«T«"^e the door. ,£ 

"f"^"**' them into hi. ^m^* «"«d to them to .top, 
toj«k.,„dthen4„ti3*^f;,. »« ""ted for them 

^•^^^^"t mtr V- --"- 

Gabriel aodied .mgrily ""^"S "'^ "hat w« ,J^ 

" You «hall not hrar what h. 
*««8ed, hjf-cwried jer totLS T'^ *^ "^ '«^ h.If. 

Meredith hobbled ^tu ' ''°°''- 

•ouldpe^it ''Oh,IWep^Lt *"* •" i'" la^ene^ 
be^^a^ mth me," he pleX^^'™*" "'**"• ^'i 
»ai<i«i'"ou^kve1'"^^7,,!:i»'" Gabriel cried. ".^ 



•» THE WMPINo wroMAK 

■"Mil nU. *™*« '*' "«»• wound lUdd 

*• w«i lotth to W»» T-^ A 



CHAPTER XX 

■*« they too ihort for <!.. ■ ■ 
"■"owl PetuUntlv AlZi u J*^*^ of lore? - h. 

convinced of thi^i a.J'J. ^f^ d.y I g«, „<« 
by religion. Anger i. » l!n ~"y *"»* »» mew, 
-•' die. with d^" «•"»"• P«i.» for you «Z^ 
"l-««g,7f„y^,^ 

2)3 



«W THB WEEPING WOMAN 

** Wi» Um^ 4-. ^ . P^ "*• •" «• other dav- • 

a flu M ^ to-morrow in which to forp.^ *• j^ JT^ 

--"l^^«.*'" *^" •- "-«i But it - .^ 

At the bwlc of hb mind the old JmJ -rf ki , . 
unCoigiv^ »" lert hi. «Jw»,y j„^ ^ 

"I*t not the lun on >lnn. .. 

mother hri „p..ud to^li^X^"?" ^S" ."»*^" "« 
P«^on. He could rnoli .u v " °" «"«> wy to 

for the morning to d.!^. ir^^':"^.^' «»«•. '««gi«« 

. child: thelS q^t^^ :^-,^ ■«<«» -gi^" 

hour was ali4ly late LnlJ^^fu ^^* "^'"« **»* the 
good, ButKo^dTaw^^ 

be too late." came the DrLnT^ • "'**™'"« ^ " 't may 
^ ^ ^ . came the prompting voice ; « why don't yZ 

Fooli^ as the position might be, Gabriel was not so 



A PBmTENT APOSTLE „« 

for thinking .bout it, \o I iT»f '. ""*'"' •H» 

•"S "^ ™^ - ^^ •«»<• to ,.« ^-? 

Iti.Iwh„«„«^ *"-•"«■» to «y,Ut I did 

t-^.oyoa""-ss-.iTr':i:'rt -'J"' 

y<w. I w«t to tell you rty ' ' ""-judged 

'^t'S^,^^ta''i;^"' • ir- •»- 

"-•tMiend. ^ "^ "* • «re bUiing. All enmity 
wSS" iSfwt SS;er *° ™ t """ '"• -tun, to ■ 

•'"'I'w. md began. f"""" *" O" ««» into the 

"I»poke«»ldid|)ecBiueI„.„, „. u 
through tn«ting ov^.m^h in^^^"*^'* y»" -««. 

r::.^rho'^fen^s-£Vr'"™- 



«« THE WEEPING WOMAN 

G^^ '"'"'• ^«^ that ^^ ^. ..^^ 

ftJne- of „y rt«„gtt into tli^ i*'>™ *»« '» *»«• 

»vcd ««t" "y '" •omething-ha, W hi. o^ 

Ga'S "'" ■"" •'"•^ "'»' you .„„<.,,, ^^ 
"Far from it." 
"TeUme,''hesaio. 

-n^^t^^g tr j^^^^^^ CO.. 

long night before him k^^'m^ K ?*" 1**^ ^*»° ^ « 
gmndparents, the Devi. ^""1 *?• l^^'^' "J^^- 
Acre, and many other c^d m^t"^Z\''^ ** ^^ 
dead or gone now. ^'^ ''''^ ^ho are either 

" My father was omp r»f ♦!,-. i 
ride, the «,„ „f . MoTbrid^ h^'^]? »'«■« «»»t7- 
«^y on tho wert co«t of AftTr "^ *"«* » «» 

to^rd. Mother «,d u, ^°^'' ^'"^ t»der-he«trf 
«"ly exploiu Mother JTT" • . '"''*' mentioned his 

mors than . boy, and joLS^ 2' ??"' ''°""' "•»» little 
family would We n<S lo^T'^i'^ ""eh hi. 

«»' he had <%™eed Ke r^:;!'.'""'' «»«"<'^-8 
«me to their notice that thrT .. * ^'y- y«« ""ter, it 
•eekles. daring he WbL^S T""^ «*» "f the oi^rt 
•reived his «pt«i^ n^ *°"! "^ ""■" "^ had 
AiHca, and a Slia^^lT'T.™''*'^ *'«' hin, to 
h«=ame hi. g.eat^t' ^^tuL^ ^'^ l^^- It n«, 

reium to England and meet his 



i 



nd 

ins 
khe 
len 

vn 



A PENITENT APOSTLE «r 

fctal. A native ri,m« tTk ,1 ^- w^,^ ?"»'«» 
out that he mu fel-; °™ «> » <«* on the coMt, giviiw 

be better te«I for Le ,^1^" ^"* *" ''"''' ■"■"*" *<• 
or because ^Z^^T^ "^ "" S'""* "f onJer,, 

/ colony, n«nei C^^Z "2,°""? J"?' *""» »' the 
' the defence. He3^tv T,!. """"^ ,'"'" *° ™'»"^e 

out sr hiraenttriTc^^' «rT «•»'"« 

authority, and therefor, ^^^u '^'^^*- of usurping 

home to the FoSrVlffi """^ "P ""y «»*■>« 

advising Cart^^f „^!^ ;,"»' •'""S^g letter! 
a dangerous man 111^.1 . ^ '*™'* " heing 
to «.ve him "Ss .7 hi *"""' " " » 1^» handi 

and the^fo^ t^eaJlg "hn^P^ ^-^ »*««■« fi-ts, 
single-handed with ^! ™ ■ncompetence to cope 

rj." '""' "" e">«8ency_„hich me«,t iS 

'up^rior. tookhlT? *»PPo'»t«I in himself and his 

and^i-.^igiof Mot IriV^." .'™*" "P *» driok 
children." "'""'' '^ " had influence over u, 

"I-uldanowaman.ho.ouldfeguUtyofone.ud. 



«8 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

Srr ''""''*' "' '^ "^ ' «»»^>>«J." Gabriel 

more or IcM wild_l esDecialW sw. , Vf.*" P** up 
t-ems 1 took to g^STgl^k ^i„f ^ ""^ " 
therefore rather «b„i,^ thZ„^^ ^ hjnd«,me, «h1 

m-Kiving, to rest I .jIST J ^^ ^^ "^ 
".other-snonvictbt .Lt^t^if JVe™ !"' "■^, 

"turi/Meth^l":?^™^""^'*™'*'^:. ^'y^™ 
tion. who held me f„ a »„ rft^**^'""" » P"^**"- 
that I wa, fore-orfainrft hlu ^""^T"'^*'""?''* 
forbade our match. We wereil!: ,^" "f^K "' *^ 
the woods and dells wW „. ,^ *°*' °"*"°e» '» 
"-observed. Se^l^A "! ^"''l."""* one another 

twigs and rus&a WeltX a^',! " """^ "'»" "^ 
summer days. ^ '^^ "^ ""^ "« »P«>t our 



A PENITENT APOSTLE 219 

of.rimd,pirita. What I aftenrmd. „j]^ , 

tion, at which so many have dIavpH «k« «nipta- 

beautiYul, but her pLciplef'T:^' o'^^ Z^^'l!^, 

Droke down When I argued with her she fonjot her 
moral standards. Of these she was alreadv Z^ 
account of their severity ^ *"^ °" 

mo,^ penlous kind, and tampeml with^CSy All 
th 8 came about because no God stood betw^ nf F 
this reason I said to you, « Love with3 S;!; • ^"' 
God made us frail ' * '^^'^^^ ''^ ""^^^ ^ 

Meredith pau^d, his fece «hy ^y. Leanir^^arf 
and lowenng his voice, he said "I Z„'t ."""« '""'»"'. 

of S: ^^^"^^ 1 7 '''*^'' hatiog-id the/X^ 
And if^ .""* "^ ^'*^"'' l^t^d «n ■» ray veZ 

but^^- *"*"''**"'"''»'«• I found a truce, 



MO THE WEEPING WOMAN 

f^^'f^^zizi^^'sr^^^. Not 

"n now fighting for the 1^1 - i ,!• "*?* »'«-i«te. I 
-rith « effort. h*e conUn^'^ft f^„"f "^r^ *'*^ 
We neither of us n,ejr.„, I ?* "> Uw u«uj way. 

■"•y God spar, you the d^ „f • T °''> «••»*«". 

"ponyou fton. tJe windoroftrT'lh^?!,'-"'' •»' 
her people; they would have sto^I^l. *''* *»^ "<* teU 
W" wiUing to help her, die L, H 1? '• J^" ">«• -h" 
."•rtue whieh I hJnoTsut^tA™ '"^''^- ^ «"« 
■n the imminence of her *^ '"g^ "^T ^ «•« 'W.nt 
"Oman, better than the oAe^„ I i, j f "^""^ '''*« • 
and fending for henelf. "" ' "^ '""»™. thinking 

w d?:;j3 "^Tu:":^ °^'' "-»>»t7 that d« 

ta«eofh'nrfo^;j'^* »d ^ «»» »i«d. but no 

the night the «, Xto'^Lt jfd it"" "^'«'' 
London. owuna, and taken train for 

the' XILX ^"l" -^ ^"^ «»t I ea^l, 
""tred of the Lord lr?„!*"°'* *" *"» temble. The 

nnagining a™e to me by Z,t L'T*" , ^""^ horrible 
dead. I „w her eves «t J ""^ *'y- ^ "»■ her 

Stn.^.---^'^"^rs!^'5^- 

-Pring had »h«X ttl Sv^"^ N-ertheless. the 
- y». X heard ^T'^Zl^l^^f^J^ 



A PENITENT APOSTLE 221 

^"P^^ I had killed them. I knew th** T K i^ 
do any good by stopping near bv^! i '^^^^ "*^«' 
done the deetL «, I fl«f !T^ \^^ ^^^ ^*»ere I had 
the hat«d^ l! Ujf^^ ^^^r^- I we:? 
nothing. ^^ '^""^^^ *ne? I pronpered at 

•ooimuUte. only new Wee.. ' ' ""'"K "tone which 

d"pi"ed i «nk lower »2 l„iZ ^ ^"."^ '''"P"'""S ""d 
h«*r, awaj, with thetortul' "'""' '^'' "«> 

abroad had been to make ^ffiiT* ^ ''°P° '" f^'V 
i*tam Mrf find o^t iTrlTn J"' T^^ *° "»'>'« ™e ti 

»- m, „« /4^1^; -- I «»en,l3^. the 

iHe LTwi^eTL-'^P't^-truir 7 ^T^ 

"hen n.y 1„4' Zat^ w^i: °' "^ «-^ One day, 
•h.,n I had known, ca^e t metd Jf°HT^ "r"" 
«o you want to earn Ave dolLr. . .?. ^' y*" •»">. 
"He w„„ldntT,ed^»" •»<»■«' honestly?- 

hut the lowest dC B^ I^ "^ ""* ""^y *» "7 
o^ri-g were anl^t. Tw«%r""\r? ^ ^^ ^ 
•omething cheap. I crin,^ T 7™"",""* he wanted 

West ^nter «.„i„g „„. , tid'TmlSri^ ' *""*■ 

month?' he aakei r- *"'" 8^ my farm for a six 
r ne asked. I answered that Pd try 
Can you handle a gun and keen fL «.*• • r , 
•way ? ' he went on ^ ""^ ^^'^^^g ^ndiant 



«8 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

mjTi""*" '* "'• "** -■'' '^t rd l«„ . n,.Am^ ^ 

«^' "^r*' ""'^ '^. 'y™ "" "t^ »•»» to-<nomnr.' 
, i?T* 7* • ""» »"<* "i"!* me long to chdkeUm 
l«.k.„g b«k over hi. Aoulder « he pJ!!;, thtJ.'X 

« A J ^°5 ' •"P'**' y°" ™ got much to p«k.' - 
"And did you gof-«ied Gabriel. "^ 

for.^^eiolr"'"'*''- ""-t''>«J'»a*dt., 

" What kind of a place was it ? " 

m^LtZhr ^"'"^' rj °"* °" *^^ P^"^» ^»*h "ever • 
w2? I ^^''^^^'^""^"^^^"^"^'ng and had 
become a railroad contractor; but he still kept hrrt«k 

«W^ through the winter, so he put me in to take care of 

nn" ^t?^"" ' *^''^' **** '"°^ ^»ne down and blanketed 
up everything. Never before nor since havT I wT ^ 

d^fr-.''^^^"'"**^^ -^*^ the monotony ;^hen" 

While the dnnk which I had brought with m^ 1-^-^ 
I^ Jlong toWabty .d,_„^d gettTklTK 
men I di«»vered that this w«, giving out, .nd ,S 

It out , but It was no good. When I looked out fiomtte 

.e:;tirTr.r2tt:w4=i--e 

night tried to sleep, d«adi„g the com^Tnew ^^ 
I Aould have shouted with joy had the I«li.^ Li J 
lifters eome; but not one came nigh nor by At^ 
only one bottle of whisky „n.ai„ed. *VVhisky ^a, my ^ 



A PENITENT APOSTLE m 

70a underatand ; it stood betwdpn «« j 

"Day in, day out, surrounded by the irreat whitp .«« 
this stnunrle went nn «,.**k • ^ *^^ wnite snow, 
and fe^f ™e LZl r^l'*" temptation^ «™^' 
dwkini every Li?, ;t^ '?*"■''* •'°"'- '^"' « "uzarf 
arouK^.l":'*''""""' "" '"'^■"« ■'"'<»^ hoof' 

wt,!? 't'*';^"^" "y^'f "»' the cattle had b«>ken 

beJ^°«Sr'^ i ''T ~ """ '^^ PO""*"* gallop 
oegan again. Round and round .c went fill t r j / 

look out. d^ading what 1 might :e:'' "^ ' '^ ^ 

Jhere w a belief on the prairie that the De.fl, H„ 
comes at de«l of night, in the depthT^teTTfa S^~ 
wh^e one of the i-^ate, i, to di^. IZt^",^ 

« Tn o L ^ ^ footpnnts of no living animal 

«ni*Vit'^iir:;t'aX" "^ ■" ^^ 
^e b^rrr/str^ht ::!^; 'tt^ri 

saw that aU the whisky was «,„! i\!, ^', ' *''«» ' 
Nothing now stood hetleTrnf I!^ L^ <" "^ "^'^ 

pnZ Z blew ±f evil r "" """" "'"'" '"'^^ 
r na mew, grey, evil figures sprang up «nd dowly 



»« THE WEEPING WOMAN 

S:::^' *~ *™«' •»* "-king n., „,. tt» 

--««»neU.ing,-munn™.dG.I,ridL '^*'«»- 

lUrough thiee more davs I w.t-4uJ » A . 
glimmering of d«vli<At. .^ u 7*T^ fw the lart 
coming of dark pXT ^.T*^ "* •■""' ^ the 

fa on every ride, 1^^"%^,^^. "f t'™'. hemmed 
«« up before mv ^JZJ^f !f **P^ "^ old am 

At a loM what to dTf JL7. J^ ^ "mprepared to die 
the end. *"' *° ''°' ' *"*«» ■» « maddening sUero fur 

Jtir, co„,d„V.p^", t.ffZZZ a hC J f r 

thi. once that I ^y^^fy"!^^ „"» -.f- ™ ^or j„.t 
to «. .n.tant the .^amotion cea^d, g™.t .Uence ftU 



A PENITEMT APOSTLE au 

<»« up • ni«.- ^^ "^ l««n-l«8e ««m^ to 

"i* tut ni^ I M ;C«;^1.^i'-^-» 

a clean man.'' ** " "'^•*" *° Him, and become 

live to do Hi. work Th— • .j!?" ^S™*- 1^' » "iglit 

"ot alone. EvenrthinTwiU^!"" """^"'»'"<lw„ 
l««rth«I begun ^ '"""""''•• <*«««1, the new 

the' bum ' whom he had^t o^h ° "*" '" 1«««^°» 
"Nevin wu . IZiL "\''"* * «"Meei«ted mm. 

me, he wanted to know wh.t T^J u ' , ^"»" ■" «"' 

the right bJofAa^'^'^.fr'^ if *at w.».t 
you.' • *™ ni be Hi8 left hand to 

«-^; ii'aTig-Ln^iri. r "'^. """* »- - 

forat that time e™rS,e Cl^^ ™ko«i tmnsaction., 
worked under him ZrT f P™"« '"™«Uy Wert, r 
I l»d hand?^ Iyrmyte"1l, ZV" T ™™« «»» 
8Bt back to Wildwo^ i wlftS t!'T ™ ''^"8 *» 
the village where Td done T^ *°^o my g«rf j^ .^ 
•5 ^ "^ "evin wanted me to 



«• THE WEEPING WOMAN 

«» Into putnmhip with Mm unl nflu.^ 

-■^X'^iZ^^ IT":"- »f -I pu«. r 

Him d«wh.; ?- ^ ''""'»'•*»» ">'«l' brtter for 
P^tti^t^ ot;.-"^ «» «ng.r „, «» i^ 
t«"-.^ Xtte'te *° '^''"« "^ Wpi-* th. 

inyouiwlf. God m«lem Cl^?^ ^"^ "'"-""«* 
to throw .u«W^ aC wi^ " "If* '■"' '<•««> 

now ".M ittir^"" "*• °"' ^ '•« Him 
^ J- Not «,me day, but now,- ..id Me«dith. «^i„g out hi. 

the g«e.%rthreo::s:.t 'i::tti ™"'^ 



A PENITENT APOSTLE w 



CHAPTER XXI 



i 



^l\ 



HK lOUOHT OUT HIH MVL 

They never referred to that evening again. Gabriel, 
becaiu» he wm aiihamed of hii. nhare in it ; Maiy. becauw 
«he was wilhng to forget; Memhth. because there were 
-ome questions concerning his narration which he was 
anxious to postpone. The incident had accomplished two 
thm^t the one good, the other in some ways bad. It 
tiad drawn Gabriel nearer to Meredith, and shown him 
that he was a man to be loved and trusted. He tended, 
with ever-increasing frequency, to slip down through the 
woods to thecotte-^ by the high-road to convert with 
this unsalaried e .^list, sometimes on religion, some- 
times on books, and at times to ask his advice. Meredith 
was a good influence over Gabriel. He was wholesome 
and sincere, and, best of all, a ship which had found it. 
nidder; a man who had manfuUy sought out his soul, and 
discovered it not aU evil. Tie quality which had been 
m«rt conspicuously lacking in Gabriel's earlier companions 
had been a sturdy sincerity based on belief. Meredith 
was the first man, whom he had met at close nuige, who 
possessed a thought so profound that it was worth dyinir 
for. Not that Lancaster and Hilda were not sincere, but 
theirs was a desperate expedient for doubt rather than 
the tenng offspnng of a loyalty. At O^otd he had 
numbered among his friends and acquaintance a score of 
men who had investigated more deeply, in a scholastic 

228 



m JoooHT OUT HIS sont m 

"•Pt under , b^Ui"'T^ """^ J^J I J«M 

What «. g^ iSZh'?™ r*" '>» ''»•'' the P— ge. 

On theJwT^^Sl Tk' 8°^ ™'»«'' '^' 

grt .t thege„S„w^r.f ^™' "^ "PP"""™" *» 

di«ppoi„t5. Unknot to w"T't:^'"'"'"°"« 

to «et up a comD<i.it» ij i °""f " ■» n»d commenced 

i-n-te^ fo"hr4^r'':tj t *'"^* "«• 

fi-ture ; .t p^t h' 3"« """ » undertaking for the 
l-d.theS^LoLTth'nr^To'^S °"*^""'" 



2«0 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

spective, conacioiu of his love for Mary, and sensitive of 
misconstruction. Until that occasion all their inteichange 
had iNMsessed the sweet indiscretion of children and was 
unconsidered ; now he was careful to review the likelihoods 
of his endearments before putting them to the act Maiy 
was quick to notice this, and, though she said nothing, 
regarded it as the beginning of the end. The first hint of 
finality was to her affection as a spark among faggots, 
causing at first only a little local flame which was soon 
stamped out, but which, smouldering its passage unseen, 
threatened, should a gale spring up, to leap into open 
conflagration. 

Many kindly deeds^ which Gabriel had done previously 

on the spur of the inclination^ he now omitted; not 

because he was unwilling, but because they were unsafe. 

Mary, noticing this secretly, construed his attitude as 

alienation, and redoubled her efforts that she might win 

him back to the old footing ; the doing of it revealed to 

her the real nature of her love. Everywhere she would 

follow him with a passion of devotion, exercising foresight 

for his comfort in a way which she had never thought 

necessary, when she had felt assured of his response. He, 

reading her intent, was wounded to the quick, not daring 

to thank her over-much, always remembering Meredith^s 

warning woid; reviling himself for not showing more 

gratitude ; adding the poignant pain of pity as a stimulus 

to his love. 

Face to face, she appeared happy as ever, docile and 
tender; but when by chance he caught her unaware, he 
saw her sorrow, for at times her eyes were weeping. 

" I am a better man than ever I was," he told himself; 
"yet I seem fated to rise, not on stepping-stones of my 
dead selves, but of my dead friends, to higher things. 
How is it, I wonder?" 

Going to Meredith for an explanation, the answer was 



HE SOUGHT OUT HIS SOUL 281 

duld ,. cniaficd for the mother, the mother for the chHd 

are here that we may learn to endure our crucifixions 
graaoualy and with joy.'' ^tinxions 

Such solution left him none the wiser, they only re- 
Jtated what he had already found to be unsatlfZnTy 

Months drifted noiselessly by; spring came and gave 
S^ «"";r'^,«*"^ he li„ge«d. "^The book had W 

n, despite the publisher's frequent mjuests, for he knew 
that such an act would hemld the climax 

ui^ll^^' ^i^V**" ^r^^^ ^e« in the field, and the 
«r fiUed with, flower ftagrance, a letter arrived from 
Lancaster which forced him to a decision. 

« Oh, Gabriel," it ran, « it is terrible, so many peoole to 
save and so few to do the work. I fe^l nowThaTowS 

«ud. The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are 
few: pmy ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that H^ 
^d forth kbourers into His harvest.' I have^„^ 
pra^ng, and you know that I have never prayed for 
«iythmg before that the Lord Jesus may send yW Hilda 
and I have talked about it, and we think that this may 

^^tl 'I.y°^^^« «™*«J that book, do at W 
return to the Turnpike to see what we are doing, if it be 
on^y for a day When once you have seen Hilda with 
her arms aromid a faUen woman, I cannot believe that you 
wiU ever have the heart to stey away. What are bciks 
when compared to the saving of human souls ? I know 
^w you will shudder at my saying it. / did not always 
take this view. You will possibly set me down as a fanati^c, 
and accuse me of loss of all sense of proportion. But 
think, Gabriel, if there is a God, He wifgive us aU 



1 



282 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

eternity for the writing down of our emotions; to far m 
we know, the dumoe to reclaim these poor people oome» 
but once— for them perhaps, for us for certain. I need 
you ; Hilda needs you ; these poor waifs need you— why 
don't you come ? Perhaps, when we are together, we may 
be able to teach one another to believe in Christ The 
impression is daily growing stronger upon me, that without 
Christ we can do nothing." 

Down in the meadows the sound of the haymakers 
burred and buzzed, but Gabriel sat and thought Had 
not he, in his own blind way, been gathering toward this 
same conclusion ? Had not this been the trend of all his 
wanderings, that without Christ he could do nothing? 
He had tried to love without Christ, and had failed. 
Helen had not written to him ; she had been disgusted 
with what he had told her on that last night He could 
read through her pretence at bravery now. He had tried 
to be good without Christ ; he had only succeeded in 
acting the apostate to his best friend. He had escaped 
to the country that he might start all over again, and was 
now planning to forsake and break the heart of one of the 
best and simplest women he had ever known. Who could 
say what Mary would do if he were to leave her at this 
present juncture, when her heart was already raw? 

If he returned to London, that he might make somtf 
Amends to his friend by joining him in his work of re- 
clamation, he would do an incalculable harm to a weak, 
defenceless girl, who depended solely for happiness upon 
his love. If he remained in Wildwood he would wrong 
both her and his friend. How to act he could not see, 
unless he married Mary— a thing which was abhorrent to 
him, for he loved her as a sister; his mightier love was 
with Helen. 

Peering over the comlands, the meadows, and the 
windings of the Whither, all the sweet hillside story 



HE SOLGHT OUT HIS SOUL m 

*o«ld it not have ut."^hr"?j^'* "Why 

the parable, of Jesiu-VheotS ~'°'»hi8 eye. were 

dotted with d,eep fl^TT,^ '"■•"«" !»-*■««. 

Aow me how to be i J t„ «.,• ''^ "^ ' ^ouM th.1 
J«««ter'. letter .i7«^Vr*'.«'"'" He opened 
ftn-iiiar worf.. .Life ^Tt^^^ T" "^ "■" 
*»m, a. you have wid. ^T^ ' ""'' ' '* " "'t a 
"inute. j^ „odd ag«e witf r- "*" '"" '" "^ 
Unwade means fJamrhter " K-. *k x^ 

"n««fer of Helen, he fo^w T! T^? "eceaitate the 
rendered him. Bui woo^n. ' ? *' ^ "^^y «»- 
" he now „w thTt d,X p ^vi^ ""'*»"*' '»"■« ^m 
o^ the long, icy „u of the Lf^ 1°" '^."^ ^^"^ ^'^ 
would grow iL virile „nSk?r"""'""'™'«»« 
Simple a. Mary .^ Z^f «-«» --Jd «pent. 
"oon divine the .ituaion^^S? "T"' '^ """dd 
^ • qnality of aflec^^; ^ h^whS"!! '''^ "^ 
»pn. or break her h«rt by t:^"^ tf E 

?H4o5*heT,^IS Stth-^rif 't«ightforw.,dly, 
it were otherwiJ^^I!„„f ""^ -nust act « though 

--d him^eif. ..X wiu^rc rtte'tf sti^!: 



284 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

Meredith is right I believe that there is sudi a tiling 
as His hate.'" 

The picture of the stale squalor of city streets, with 
their harpy multitudes, alternated with that of Christ 
walking through the cornfields, healing and comforting, 
till he was replete with a love of mankind. " Oh, to do 
something positive to save them!^ he sighed — "to give 
nuf life as a ransom for many.^ 

The evening shadows had been creeping down from the 
tree-tops as he sat in thought ; the sun hung suspended in 
a giant oak across the vale. The work-people were 
gathering together their tools for departure when hia 
notice was attracted 'by a little crowd which had assembled 
imder a distant hedgerow. As they took their places, 
standing still, he saw that in their midst was a man with 
his hands raised, evidently in prayer. The figure was that 
of Meredith, and the people were already kneeling at his 
coming. 

** Christ among the cornfields,^ Gabriel muttered. 
**0h, that I might some day be like him!^ 

Perhaps for the first time in his career a true sense of the 
security of a Christ-dedicated life stole upon him. The 
startling tranquillity of Meredith^s inward existence had 
often brought to him wonder and amazement, especially 
when he remembered its tempestuous beginnings ; so that, 
when the long journey from some sparsely-attended meet- 
ing was ended, he had frequently sat up late into the night, 
puzzling at the door of, and fumbling for the key to, this 
man^s calm. Here was one who by his own confessing had 
once been a prodigious blackguard, walking through the 
a)imtryside, which had witnessed his sinning, to find 
peasants who knelt at his coming. What was the mean- 
ing? His eyes revisited the valley. The prayer had 
drawn to a close, but the worshippers still knelt till 
Meredith should withhold his hands. 



HE SOUGHT OUT HIS SOUL m 

ftom Me«di,S^7ert to th^* evangel,*, c.a«d to .p,«d 

w;- !•* ^«ereauii had found in the snow u w« _ 

protecting d«dow of a cT^ "* '" "*'*" 'h« 

«wl fonaken. ' "" *'''' ""• '«« empty 

"^"^I'cZotrM f r"™^.-"" -ething like a 

•ttached to the personal Hfc^Tj , ""i*"**"' "'^ 

on for the individST^cjt,'^, ""^'^ ?'^ t«ke 
indication. """^raed the semblance of a Divine 

•f^t Meredith hS'^le^!.^<>^P— 

"iebate were decided C ill T"""^ continuous 

Wildwood n, JhSmie^ f ^ Tu ^ '*°* °«' '* <""»• 
tedious life 7r^?,! ' •? "« "' *•"" P^> »"'J the old, 
better pu^ X^J^ ^"It'^tt T "1 
■«. teanung together, nught Z ^^Ttht 



'trm 



ssssssgsBSM 



sasa 






iSO THE WEEPING WOMAN 

brother-poor P Might not they organiw ami in^iife othei 
in such ft way that poverty and sin, in their moet repellen 
formi, might vanish in their own lifetime ? 

Vain and generous dreams of self-sacrifice haunted hi 
mind. All the extremes of martyr-absurdities crowde 
into the one compartment of his brain, jostling arms an 
appearing commonplace as a sun at full day. A disdplf 
■hip should be banded together — must be formed at ono 
Prisons and slums visited. The conscience of citie 
aroused. Wealth wrenched from the han'Li of the toe 
ridi and distributed equitably among the over-pooi 
Capital pimishmei^t abolished. Prostitution blotted oul 
The saints^ vision come true. 

He pictiued himself as speaking volubly to Englam 
America — to all the world, of Christ and His love. Con 
pelling men to tears; constraining them to laughter 
extending over the heads of the multitude healin 
hands, blasphemously similar to those of his Master- 
yet pathetically unlike, had he only known. 

All the fervour of Peter, first called from his nets, wi 
his. His cheeks burned with the passion of his desin 
He was prepared to foUow everywhere, anywhere, t 
crucifixion and to death, now tluit he had once see 
the light. 

**Life is a crusade.^ If it were not, he would rendc 
it so— a crusade in which all the world should tak 
part 

Poor Gabriel' Had he but foreseen in how brief 
while all the nobility of his promises was to be given t 
the test, how much more tardily would they have bee 
made! 

Thank Grod there are times when the hardest hearted c 
us all can go divinely mad ; when, glancing through tb 
scarlet gates of sacrifice, we have caught an authenti 
glimpse uf the Christ in His Kingdom. If God woul 



HE SOUGHT OUT HIS SOUL 987 

He would Mve I ^ "^ """* "> army of «»,£ 

feting '" "***"«• «°^^« W-woumJ, t^ ^ 

wl.«e p4d Up. IS "^.^heS:^ ItL^* P"-^ 
tho laiy taunting of . »^„ j , '*^'" *™« <>' 



CHAPTER XXn 



A SOmn) OF A OOIKO IN THE TOPS OF THE TBXEt 

Next morning he devoted to the fiurewell revisimi of 1 
book. So deeply was he engrossed in his task that he d 
not become aware of Mary^s presence until she had tipto 
in front of him, and thus contrived to cast her shad( 
across his page. He looked up shamefacedly, maintaini 
silence like a school-boy caught cheating, and at last la 
" Well, you see it is done." 

She made no reply. 

Manlike, in his hurried work h had been careless of] 
completed manuscript, flinging it abroad, when reread, : 
and wide. A breeze blowing in at the open door a 
window had wrought havoc, distributing it piecemi 
throughout the room. Mary, with her typical constn 
tion of love into service, also to hide her emotion, bendi 
down, commenced to gather the litter page by page, wl 
the splashing of big tears punctuated the pauses in 1 
labour. 

Gabriel, not from unkindness, but because he dared i 
trust himself, feigned at continuing his revision, chewj 
his pen the while. 

A little sob, which refused to be stifled, broke forth i 
roused him from his speculation. Jumping up, he crosi 
over to her, and, since she held her face sedulously aw 
laid his hands from behind upon her eyes to find them v 
The interruption proved too much for her ; sinkiug u| 

288 



A SOUND OP A GOING «„ 

•"".he Mt down bv tlT ^!!i ^. ''•"'W q»iet«d 
"Come, little giJ- h, _m k • 

^pp^,^ «d I, don-tis^« isi.rsj^'^ 

?^j: ":fir ^^7^ttT ".^ -« 

W. Nor would it be riirht TJf u ??* '* ~"^*^ "^ 
todo.'' P***P** ■** '^^^^ there i8 much for ua 

:-f.»«a.de. rtLt7:or,?:,3f --^ 

,Whflehewi„ZealJ' .*L^t I' ^"t"'' letter. 

'the niu«Je. oontaS™? k '"'' ""' '''*° l*' ««». 

When he hadl^r^ '^'^•' »""'''««» ■■» thou^J 

™a nnuhed d» WM redumt TiJung botthi. 



MO THE WEEPING WOMAN 

handi in hw own sht ezdMrned, ** Gabriel, whj nofc 
then togethei and help thoae poor people ?'' Seeing t 
ht had not taken her maaning, she added, **0h, I oo 
baoome to very good t Do let me come.** 

**But — but you d«m*t undentand — no oiie can who 
not lived there. To you, fresh from the country, the pU 
where I ihould live might bring death.** 

** I should not mind that,** she said gravely, ** if I n 
(Hily near to you.** Then, more passionately, **6abi 
you can never undentand what you mean to me. 1 1 
been so lonely, and had never had any one to love, ezoc 
ing Mamma, unt|l you came. Yet, my love for yot 
different ; it is as though my hands and eyes went a 
you, and my feet longed to follow. While you are % 
me I am glad ; without you I should die.** 

Making allowance for her untamed mind, he thou 
to discover in her vehemence of speedi a mere ezaggeral 
of words. 

** No, not die,** he said ; ♦* we all think that when 
trouble of parting comes. You will live through it 
every one else has done ; and I can always come and i 
you again.** 

She became very solemn, her face wooden, the colon 
day, all sign of emotion wiped out. 

** Very well,** she said, " if that is how you feel, thei 
nothing left to say. I knew that this must come ; I Y 
seen it for many days.** 

She rose to go, and had reached the door, when 
imwilling that she should thus depart, not knowing wh 
fore he should detain her, fearing lest he might lose con 
of himself, called after her — 

" But, Mary, tell me, what made you know ? Hai 
been unkind to you ? Come and kiss me before you g 

She came back slowly, and pressed her lips to his foreh 
not at i41 in the old impassioned way. 



A SOUND OP A GOING ui 

rfMmSth. ~* • •"" "I"* he ««t off in ««ch 

«. trouble byrlrSj^ *?!?•• '~'' J"*''* *^ 
hi. ride. "^ ""'"*•'«''«'• Wting till he aune to 

•hlL^"* "^ "P "y "'nd to mamr Mmt, - 1^ j 

Me«ditrd«ed hi. Lk ,^^T^'"P~*''«'»>»'I'«- 
••""ved his .pect«le* '"«' « ">«P. and anrfUly 

*»^"^2lr7::';.;° '^ ""^ »- ont V.„ 
J^But I will,, cried Gabriel , « the»-. „o „„e «, ^op 

- Jr,Xtt rnl^-^'* ""• ' " *- - thing. 

-then, he h«i S for .^^ T *° "'«'"' "•»'« •« 
to di«ppre. Xf "^'"^'T '««'"«" the fi«t 
l«ger world? ' ™' ~^'' '"^ «P«* fiom the 

" You cannot do it,- Meredith reite~t«I » v j , 
love her that way. and I la«,w it." '^^ ^°" ^' 

if. ti.e th.7r*;;ciflL"™;!e;?"' '■««'<-f orucifyingotL^, 

'■ - ptolTi^x^r-" "™^ '^-''"•" ' ^^ ^""^ 

16 



t4t THB WEEPING WOMAN 

« rra lick of yoo Mid your Loid JMia,** Im nUm 
hotly. ** You ChriitUuw make Him mi vxcum Ibr 3 
•vtiy bilurt. Mm omi cHoom ewrything in this 
•sotpt the day of thtlr death — MNne of them even i 
WitneM the Child of whom you told me. If life wer 
eaiily ezpUincd upon your principle, donH you rap] 
that we should have found it out long agoP** 

•• Some of ui have^ said Meredith quietly. 

A swallow ilew acroM the garden, poJMd over a sunllo 

dwindled out in space. 

A wain in its passage to Monbridge rumbled down 
road, paused on ,the brow of the hill to apply the skid, 
disappeared round the bend to the river. 

A milkmaid, cknging her pails and singing sh 
something about — 

"Her love and the moon, 
Which perished too mhui, 
When hedgerows were promidng Msy,** 

entered a field across the ribbon of white road, 
vanished, knee-deep, in meadow-sweet. Behind foUoiN 
village lad, who came to the gate and stood still, lea 
over the bars, till he had watched her out of sight : 
love for whom she had been singing. Having ftirt; 
Mown her a kiss, he also went upon his way. After 
nothing broke the stillnesn, save for the monotc 
drumming of a captive bee against the window-pan 

Finally Meredith spoke. 

«* Yes, there are things which you ought to know b 
taking such a step."" 

"What things ?*• asked Gabriel despondently. 

** When I confessed to you some weeks ago, I did no 
you aU.** 

** You told me everything except your real moti^ 
remaining in Wildwood, aiid as to whether you 



A SOUND OF A GOING u» 

Oftbnel half nw with an oath. tiJ^f ii u. . 
<^»«H*ing the arm. of hu^hiSP *^ '«"»*«* -ff^n. 
" She waa Maiy'g mother f " 

'^''^' "^ "•~«"'' «"i*i'W the «,l«c 
1*>" MM know of thb?" o.i_j.i lj J^"" 

f-t^n^ of . „,„„t. bJ^L ^^ -*•*•«««» 

** We never told her." ^ 

not teUWhecu- her mother wid^ir;;^ W.drf 

herob,«t? Voa «tu™d over tl3. oTIh. .rr 

penmtjwj to leoogiiBe your child." 
M»edith. &oe w« covered in hi, hand* 

r-™=«iooear. Ew nnoe my return ihe hw been n-, 
K "d «ver once have I been .We to claimW^,T^ 
"- «««<rf">y bone. Bed. of „, fled.. wSSt?;:; 



I 

*** THE Weeping woman 

"Dow would no«~ Ti^ *T ■* "•"« ■^wn. 
God W it h« i^ bJ!'^ * ''*«"«' it ! bS, 

- ™: of X '^ ™* '»''•« «-*«>•. ««o. „. 

7- old dIS^'^mX'' h'r ^ "'-* ^-4 

the other'. nuu„,rfL,d sT^Ln t'f* ? "y»8. rt~k4 
PUymate mJcing ^^ ^^^gh he hjd been . chflT 

•he »M yonr dairhter .» tT^ ' '*°''™ toy- " And 
,. '• V«r W, a!!! *e^J^^^ f -I never'knewt^ 

»«. it w« th« ,n^ Whe^"^"^ "•" »•»* you. you 
*• W to live i^ehow^"^" ~I '""y »» I«H^«^ 

happened. If youVe prfl^' ""'"««' "ttle to hi wh^ 
th«. allied it, l the ?^^ ^n:^r ^ P™'y "<« 
to fling what fiaement. »!,''^- I^ '""^ J""'"' tempted 
toidn.. in deKrh^T"^ "■■"«* »»«>n^ 
y«. which foUowed, bat f„t T t^"' ^'^'^ the two 
»« eaw to know i^\- "" •""»» «he let dron it 
,-he an r* on« ,:;,i^'^"»; :^ the birth of oj^* 
ae little one'8 fot^ *^^/ *« ""'tm^d in her ^^ 
Somewhere or otherTln'^Xw " «■"«" « her oj^ 
"ght of a picture of U,e Vh^„ *^ "^ *« «««ht 
b«~t, it. tiny h«Ki foM^ i w f "^-J i" h« 

-■•-nthepicture'-'r'.h'e-l^i-Ci?'^ 



A SOUND OF A GOING 845 

■"•fc op her mind then and them »„ . 

««• Mary'. lake. ST Z^ *°*" *" *™' «««• a new I«rf 

'•■Merited oT^^ "^ ■«"' -"d that d« h«l 
fa»w. whaT^-;^' I" «»" °»ly child. At 6^ 

»iH«ge,whe«So?h«X"*' '^,'*t»™«' »» thi. 
W for her chilS,lJr ^1S "" """"^ "^ «'"«' 
fluenceof locelivimj^'^M Ji'^"" <»»««minating in- 

wa. not kindly «ceiveX ?" ^Jk jTLi'T* "^ »■» 
recJIrf how the .,d foIkC^ed le V""? ""' 
kenelf, and kept more and „™. 1 ''* "'™"'' ""to 

what was vud, it becLT '^ °' "' ■■»t««Iii« 
•houldhearw.^ii.n^.'^' ""^^t *^' "«" «he 
l«n. .0 loathe wSf^' "^ ■"•>"-. -""l ^ould 

>et«^°ctt*'5rts:t'"r'''^'«'-->^.-er 

neighboure alike Sl.r«, "f -Aanmng rtranoera and 
the'^world «».':»» lteSrrL'V"'°„''^' ^ «»' 
the only „y „ ^^Z ^tl^ ' .^^ ''' "^ «»t 
t«ch her niaing t^t mlT^^ «"■'> '"''°~"« » *» 

taught to read or write <5K. ^^^^r sent to a school, nor 
W mother, who ™**i„ ^y^T Z" ""^ "^ 
"P«k out her mind; to cZLT^.i, T' '"""»• *° 
paniondiip in her»I> "^ ^ """ ""^ '» «»d com- 

"""i^-to keep W Z7^^ ',.'**"°"' " '«°««« • 
knowledge of thl w^rldJi^ ?'".' '""« <*«* 'rithout 
M "Xhad don? "d^,"** ""'«"' "'» -^ «v« 
lie in her n.oth«W td''ir°"';^„rf >» too old to 

-th-', cheek, be^Te ^ W I^ t"" "^^n"- 
»ondered many time, .r.^ ^°" '»"«t have 

upbringing.- ' " ^ °"« «' M«y-, «,lit.q, 



•*• THE WEEPING WOMAN 

** I have." 

•?Jw I returned to WU*w^i u ?* "*"*■ °f life 
r^!• • -right brfo« iw'J '»d »ot b«„ in u^ 

t^ door .t my comiZ s^'"'*' "d therefor h^ 

p^ rf s.t« to hi str:"^^:' ""^ I played ti: 

««tttence lad «pped . ' JJ'S"- ^ ""«T "^ her own 

httle,rf,eb<^ to «e that ^^intn?'"^ ^"'e >» 
Uttt, If die had .offered m,^L , "°'" "*■» genuine s 
P«TK« of my 1.,^ ^to ir^ '• -"d that t^ ,h"e 

"•rr educated. But Ae^SJ^' ^ °*«l ^ ha" 
done before. "^ '^^ everything, „ d« ^* 

"o-^u^S te^r r -r- "•"«■• -eeing 
our djiM. my early ZerfC ^oH^fK-''^ -^■«« '" 

^t- " • boy, I c.u«, loverw^;!*^^""* '»^- «»t 
M ■>>«de the acceptance of eJT ""'y '"'""gi now that I 
to her, the red maiT^L*™" "^.'*^ '"« impoMhIe 
^^ Wthin^TT^'"^ My-WuK 
««; but, for the «ke of ^"^ ^ '<>:* g«w up f„. 



A SOUND OP A GOING 947 

IW k««n. tut thi. murt comeX «d have g«d in 

m.i^k~!I^ ?**" ' •"« ••»>* long niiiht. in 

h«a» b««tKieep in tlie rivraf tUt I m'St'J^ 
Wy »d hring it into .ubje^io^to ^k^^^' 

"Dora pledged me before she died never t^ l«f itr 
^w our histories. My lips have b^fn^^^i^^ 
^ I only teU you this now, becamTthe^^ 

J^v:ir int-ii^s ;r::i$':nirsidrS 

wo«e than adulteiy; it would work vL b^^ ill*'* 

«h«ne. Two hves have been thrnwl ^ • ? ^*"« 
«ik1 T ..1 J -x. ^^ tnrown away in her makinir 

•^I ple«J «th you tl«t .t thi. time you wilHS' 

«rth«. h.»e d««ly m«Je. If y„„ ,„,^ hT^U . ™r 
™ge love, it would be diife^t, j^Zt^Z' 
pity her. Tien there is Mi«, Tluim - °° ' ' y°" ""V 

Po«rty^d.en pretence .t offended dignity, hT^ed 
"rm not free to say; but I know enough to be certain 

« That 18 for me to decide," h- cried 
WW to take any pleasure out of your life; but for yow 



*« THE WEEPING WOMAN 

There wag a wistful loot it. k.- 
"hore. Let., j t„ ^ . ™""ty "pon . d«,I,te id„rf 

Weeping Worn™, *U,„lr,'"".°"»««l &„!*, .^'^ 
lost love of Helen. **"« ""*^ ""« ?««> «nd of ^ 

the worn™ to .h«Hlo„ y„„ liltlf J?T- ^ ■'• ■»* 
tl»t *e no l„„g„ ^f^^ "ShUy. What proof have you 

or«t„l7no";^^'«^,^««. U.t .«e«.V.„ 
jeetured that the«^ been t^. '^ ""^ »« oon- 
\ !>». which heZ^t ^ rK""Vr«^«''«» 
"hom, and of what a nature W„^j "''' ' "*" "^wen 

, " What ,„„. p^nn- ^^^r^ g^ 

«l«ce folWi^ upon such a^T -^ " "* ""»«»• 
■"ght ? Any w„m,i^ ^h^T^ ""(«"on a. „i„e of that 

™uM have acted al *e J^^^'^.T'^ ''T^K 
tayed my loyjj^ t^ her brZl- ^ ""'yWl be- 
wo^j, 4, J *?_ by ». j.rjg We to another 

*ould have prompted Z t^ ,ZL! t °"' "^ •'«»«y 
service, but I da«d to distaJ2)?K° J^. """^ "« -""-t 

>— of my ^ .-^put^rhr j!L::^,»jhe 



A SOUND OP A GOING ,40 

■be mart Ute «Hi de.p,V l!^ " ^e I- «teA How 

"t»y i we We turned e^ o^tTh "^^ '"™ «"■« 

w««d. alway, do me good ^C . I ""^ '"'^- """« 
the «me. Vhich m^', eS^ ^ T* «»* « « JI 
gi»oi. When you .ool. T '?.^K"e "id to be for. 

even admire yo„, f„ ' TT^T?" a^ow«„»^ peri„p, 
~Uy think that her oE'C yo! C^™"*- *> y°" 
« rm confident of it,- aTwe^^r^h^r'V^ ' " 

^H^would that heipp. ..krf M^^ „^^ ^ 

«PP«e that ev^ the b^Sy mL t- k"""'*'"" 
have for her w. neri,h ? r„ u ^ """"^ y™ "o" 
both you^elf «Kl hHt woL'tu;"^' "^ "^ "o 

-.■"th:'^«h\X'rdJJe? r^*^^"'*- « 

'«<«»i«d that in youHnethl ^T*"*^" '"'*' 

Tbe Lord ha. a bi« wSoTT I .*" ""'^ '™'' 't- 
tbe «ke of . pre^tZ^.1 ^ ^ *? ''" "■"'"here, f„ 
« P««nt petulance don't thrust Hin, aade 



Ht- ;,^i.» , 



MO THE WEEPING WOMAN 

.pair ^^^ "»*««. «o that It became difficult to 

leav«L M Wkiif* ? "'•^^^es and wh rliM of fidkn 
«-t the door, aSent^TS.'""^ ^'"*"* 



CHAPTER XXIII 

WHEN MADAM EMOTION HELD SWAY 

to crouch tnm hia hidinir to rt! • I ^"^ "gilfuice 
"-"Hue hi. C^Z^^Z'^'"^^^'^ 

vWonMy, who had been «!„w T""™* ""» 

When he h«l «T.,ed .t MeredithTT XTh^TL. 
••th the m«tyr.glow of con«ou. JfiWfllt^ "^ 

•• 1. often the cue with aatho»_^i ^K P<w»i™- 
^bUined fcn,e. he n,ort certaiS^^^ Se":^ '"f 

two men', bool* Vv^,>^,t^- ™' •?■"• ""^ "» 

A««n. in »te,J?^r'w.S".:S?„^rnl'^»- 
••tantly construes aII tli«f k u • ™'™^» * ««» con- 

» verified, that the rteUT^ . ""* ■""™* "» 

wHJ.Not^ehat^.^X^^-^^T'^r'S^ 



«« THK WEEPING WOMAN 

Tfco**"* thb day hai) h>» _i j . _ 

knew tut he l»d^ ^^'"^ ,*" O"**!, lb. 

I'bnuy rf imm«taU ^^ *°''™' *» t^ •" 

On the other hand, the d»v h«J I— 
»»«on«ah««dvi,t.ted. in! • ' TT ""^ ""7 •«>, 

"""•. for the pleZn, J .Si™* '" •««* hi. «„ 
^ '■"""'ogTWe the true nature of hi. „^^' 

^X-^^:!^J^^ " •« *^ hi. „ 
•h^ ever write." ' ^ "» "« g««te.t booit that 

m-tmd hi. mind, dririnTeviv W?.". 1.P"*"" »" 
•on; the picture of Meredftr^.-i'!' *""' "« >"* 

«q«I to the virion h^i^lttL 1 ^* "^^ '""»"«»• 
of M«7, mJ,i . Ce^l^ "P''*.P»"'etic figu, 

which he had learnt » m^,T . j • '^'" "■*™»' 
into«caH„g d«^Un^bG thl^^i!^ '^ *"~ 
*»t«y, i.rfi.creetly^To,^'' "^ "^7 «"« t. 
Her apped h«I bW forS' ™l P°~^ »•«'•• 
not to bTdiwbejT P^Ph'tic indi,puUbIe, 

Meredith', attitude had i.r»-i 
horrible that thi, xL^JT^u^T ''™- « «« 
for him the true ^ZlJ^f ^^^1^^ P^W 
everything h«i been fought oSJ^'^":^"'. "'"'' "hen 
pIe«Bng, of the-deviT^l^te °±iTK'!*r**^ 
"«pon«ble for the duujow of^ ^^ ^ heen 

with «, great a p™,^ rf L^ ^^t^.""^ '^" 
Perver.ely enough^ he wa. fi^,^ ^" '"'»^= y«*. 
»then«.t, ^^^^Z^^^ZZ^T 



^'^MiN EMOTION HELD SWAY «, 

rf on. whom he M^v™J«??: T"« *«" «*• !■> 
Now that he h«l » »« "ith i»ge. 

WhiUt he h«l beent 7^ """^ P«»ntiW>. 
««rtMn reccen of hi. boot ~-/T'.. "" event of the 

«dhi.ftth«c„„,5rtm.t).eX'"; r ."^T •"■"«'' 

would toon have pwrffieA m^.?u, ^*^' °"** «««. 

-x^ «SJr'.t.,S^t„'*-j«-'',e .o„», Hi. 
«»«o«l in birth, or Zmlil "^ '?^''« "«<»- 

>«» that, AouM he n«ttrTu^7;, .""'"'*«'• «« 
r» «»bridg«ible gul£^r^>* f'?™' con<h•tio»^ 

i»»iUl>ly%.ult. ^^ •"" "^ W, home wooM 

«t«..io„ with hi jhe Ln:r j?; *■»«'« ^ 

<*f«* of mating mich ^,ni ^ t^*' there wm «, 
'oh«neo,,e«. T^Ze^^^uT^r "' ' ""^ 
•»d <Mltu«d trainine iZw i! 7'^"' ""i. tradition. 

•'-ttooenti^.^i^.t^H^^^^^^.^ 



«* THB WttPiNo WOMAN 

M««tl> W dZiiSrf *°" "»» •* tut, „rf 

«»«»ing.«. to. the hmTof'S^w^af "? ""^ •*« 
to fco. with tb. obi«t rf W. i£j ^S"' '-«»•*" 

b* BO tonring bwrlc. T^^ ***"" *'^ «»« 

•t u ««ol^o™pLi2r.i^^ ■» I«t«» 

<Wh.d.dre. '*'™« "" l»"l*>. Neithtr of thiw 

Jntelhct never hu. nor cm h. tu 
^ King Rea«m ha. Z^ «^'"'!^'" ^ "^^ 
**'»^»«»*«J • war. «!hiC^ ' ^ wimiiionad that, 

•tep-S bundle, hia iZ;.*^^ "*? ''*™' "P «»e 

^ bu«„e« ;f li^^aU ovt^n*^ tl ~""^ 
handed way. * ^ "*** "> her own high- 

At the turn in the path her l^A^u; u ^ 
*«npertuous, tornado-wisTtoo i'irrt P.**^ "^^ 
ingdicUto«hipa.her^^t ^^ fo' »»t«e, date. 

The walk by the river wa. thkklv tr««,l i • 
beneath overhanging bough, to ^^^J^^S^ 



'™»' UfOnON HILD JWAY u> 

*r »• ipMt of ft mile ^^ trwulooi 

rf th. fo«t to." W ^T "' "'Kfc'"***. in th. d«rf. 

. 'l-cioLT^tlrl^^.*:" "f ,«- *fd«. into 

■* • moaent TOpniiur t™,.,j uT '"*««•— only 
••wt hi, iwk. with SI^u^^- '"'"• P"*^"* "» "»" 

i"A«ild.taj7. '"''''*'">°'«n»nd«l? What 

"Mwyyon?" *«"y«»7- What if I rfKrald «Uj .nd 



i 

«• THB WEBnNG WOMAN 

W^ win W oar door..g,Un.t Um,ujaot ftmfclhm 
»«« Cophctu* ud hi> bnsw-mdit im. .m^ ■_ j j 

ti-nt^, wut o.wd iSSLHTpSri^*^ 

J^r«^!Srrj^f '^- ^— "- 

thing, of which d« h«l «Jn^ rf .^l!r°Ti 

m^rt ^^ *~ ™"^ *°8«*»»«' through tSlLt 

A A«?^ / ^ °' *****' ®^ t'^o hearts. 

aarKness stole out around them, and found them rtiU 






I "^HKf ■MOnoW HILD SWAY MT 

*Vwt, M he turned to wL w ji i"*^"^*^ *^ 

;»5rw.* he echoed her. 

«•« tlirough the woodi he n«„n>i tr ^ 

;W. ^^ And n«« hedtatlngly. a. he «yi uleep. «^ 



«7 



CHAPTER XXIV 

U6RTIN0 A nmx 

Am hour had elapsed since Gabriel's footstep had echoed 
along the ojbble-tmck which led down fro7FoUy A^ 
when a shadow stole out from a neighbouring dumprf 

^hJ^^ " **""! ^'' tf ^' "°^~ of Mary from within, 
where she was ^afe in bed. ^^ 

« It is I, Dan. Let me in ; I must speak with you.'' 

.Ko !•!? ii* "^^ y°" ^y y^"' '*°«*- Wait a minute." 
Ae replied. There was a sound of the striking of matl« • 

ml^\Z Slf I:.*"' ^"^ '«»' unktched'^m ;^' 
Mar^ stood before h,m on the threshold in night attire, 
her hair long and loose, a shawl gathered tightly ai^ 
her shoulders andsecured by one h^d across W b^^ 

whpnrV"* u^* " '* ***** y°" ^t?" «te asked, 
when^tiie door had been s. ut, and the candle placed upon 

Wf :f t ^r.^* "^"' ^^"« ^-^^^ -«^t the 
^^^wouldn't have come," he said softly, « but there was 

»h!lLl' k"*'?^^ *' forejudged what was coming. Shaking 
a^^her hair with a hint of defiance, she asked, « MVUt 

258 



LIGHTING A FIRE 



S59 

i^^^t^S^^-^"^ U. MU„ hi. «^ 

Before he could aiuwcr. "Dnwi i* ««« ^ ^ . , 

she asked. '*«"'«'» i^oes it concern Gabriel?" 

He nodded assent. 

hel^i^''^""T''^.^''' He has asked me to 
n^mlJT ^^L"^^^ •" ^"""^^ *he mere exchange of 
pronMs« concluded everythi„g-barriered retreat *^ 

" But you camiot," he blurted out 
^ why notr she questioned in the same low, even 

«mXr!^'^ ^' ^"" °°* ^*»"* y^"* J^«-" 

hi..r^ft^;:V"^ * ^"" ' *° ^^^y-'^^-^ or 

« But it cannot be," he repeated, « it cannot be Gabriel 
^love you ; not in that way-not to^the extl!;":} 

JKdr^^^^^*^-^^'- "He has just told 

M^"* ^^^^ '" "*""*> ^ ™« this afternoon" 
Meredith answered ; but his heart was fiUed wi^^Jt 
the sight of her tense white face. ^ ^ 

** Then I do not believe you " she renli*v1 «k« i 

It IS true," he cried. "If you do nnf \^v 
"»•«" that he w« M.r, though mknown, to hi. 



wo THE WEEPING WOMAN 

oJRjring, and could call forth her love. Now that ^ 
•mthing word, had been .poken, aU confidence betww. 
them miut be for ever at an end. unles^-unleig ho brake 
hi. promise to the dead woman, and enlightened hu child 
as to ho- origin. TTiis Jone would excuse to her W. 
persistent interest in her intimate affaiw. For an instant 
he wavered ; the temptation po^ed 

ini^^T^'^^T^r'^^' P~-ed out mto the 
Sf iLit "'"'« ^"» *^««* ^ ^«>' -»d extinguidied 

. J^r^T*^'" ***^ "* concerned, even the gentlest 
are capable of wo« cruelty than the most brutal rf»«. 
Marriage love is for them the fol«»ent of aU desire. 
wh«ea. with n^ it is but one of a multitude of intZte; 
b ^it. defence they strike to kiU, where men would only 

TTie ruthless blow, which had been dealt so easily, had 
steuck home^ Rajching a field of clover which «n be«de 
the house, Meredith fiung himself, sobbing, into the tamrfed 
growth of grass. * 

So rtiU did he lie, that a vixen, on a mound near by, 
led forth W cubs to play. Gambolling with them a^ 
making swift femts at attack, she wouW stamp her foot 
«iddenly, signaUi^ danger. At that sign, LT^ 
imjin quickly disappeared. Once one Tthem, S 

felled to obey Quick as lightning she flashed upon him, 
the white teeth gaping; a smothe«d oqueal, ^ Z 
truant itrtumed precipitately to his motl^r's contrci. 
The game waj. repe..ted-the leading forth, the signal, 
the flight-tiU all had learnt the lesson. Then, snugE 
them wound and under her, with tenderness th^Jw 

!ZLt rT' *\«f"^ **»«*» «»P' ¥ng red and silent 
agwnst the long white furrow of the moon. 

The spectacle of family cravings, so naturaUy gratified 



UGHl'ING A FniE 



S61 

««*i. Urn. Buiying hi. fiM» in the ,w«t 

«iy ponirtaieiit M greater than I can bear. ForChnvS 
«^pare m^ «Hl «y that it i, not true, ojr.^" 

Win. M »v . V P"yer answered. 

""« «lv»t of MereditS hiS^' tat" Z"" "^^ *^*- 
fcrgotten. departed, the .ubstance it«lf wu 

»««« though in the dre«.y oommonplace of a well- 
k«wn .toeet many gate, had .uddenly opened lettinrfn 
^ of «ent, and «ght, and ^undf-nS^Th^^^fv" 

of urT^v "*"""" *° •>«•. by nmm of the tedium 

m» «lenee„f the night, which .he had » often feS] 

W^<fe L ■""•^ »'" 'ke tear, came, to think 

W~k d« h-l «ppp^ it to b^ The p..t became dear 



t 

«M THE WEEPING WOMAN 

^'^,' ."» '^"» • suturing «„y rf gju^ j^ 

«n«.L. f ■"",«▼€ for the occasional ffiXMuiinin and 
««!» of «»„» jofau -ae white Aeet. SThXSd 

A« ♦}»«-♦--„ **™i leemed very beautiful and untraffie. 

th« might be th« brtter accomplid«i he ^ to -ori, to 

»h.pe of <Jd k«^^ r™ d«-tr»«tion in the 

™pe Of old letten, dimes, and other fi«l ««. ^ 

„S ^7L f- ^ ^■''"i"»««l all note, ^ traw-d 

uKnwaves. These con«i.ted of dance-pro<mMme. nnJ 

whjch her „«ne w., ™tte„, »erap» of flZTr^hT 

had w„™, vanou. trifle, e„de««i by her .oZ,'Z<lt 

.Kfl"-!* and tender men-ories ,«.„ uXd. ifti 

•«■ "uy tove, but Ik crmhed them down a. out < i ~u„n 
«d unworthy. Eve^ ktte, fi«„ ather. or 1;^^ 



UGHTING A FIRE 



«2J which oootainid a m«ti«i of her nMne he •«.* 

/"" io« »«n to come. He had adaKt^ u: .i . 
"-at to foUow it Uke > m.» .11 ■ ^^ ""• P«th ; he 
■liwiTiiur H. 1. • T"' """""S »» opportunity for 

-Kr.^fti^L T «■""« her tl« b«t tut m« 

;^J«J- be „ „phi„ figbt, ,^ ,^^T„T^^ 

J^ l^te into tl» .ftejnooB he p,o««W with ««. 

»e hS bT «^ i"""* "T P°'^'™ "^ *»«T <««y- 

MK^TtwTr^T^ T" «™""' "hen, looking up fa,m 
t-der fc.„ fi, the w^"fVhK'"\5V '"'» ' 

-ight cxpUin. "^ "' *"■" »»•'' P"*-P" I- 

J:lT'S tL'^± ""^ ^ "» "-"-y -be 
"""^ "n "Pe°«W tbe *KH., mud) to her 



IM THE WEEPING WOMAN 

•nayMwthediMovwedthathewMiiotfttlioiiit. AlUr 

wwidaring through the garden, calling hit nana, ihe waa 

•Bthe pdnt of leaving, when a small bt^— one of thow 

«*oin Meredith had befriended— came trotting m, bawlins 

oott^t old Dan h«l driven away. AtdJ^ofMaryS 

WMted back, and would have made good his escape had 

•he not pounced upon him, telling him not to bedWd, 

•wi demanding a fuller explanation. The boy's one idea 

being to get free, he quickly told as much as he knew— 

ttat Mr. Meredith had hired a horse and gig from the 

Silver Horn at about six o'clock that moniiiig, and. 

tnthout «^ng where he was going, had started off along 

the Monbndge ipad. Maiy was puaded at this. dS 

alw^ walked, however hx the distance. Somethins 

h3f*"* ""^ ^""^ happened-perhap. concerning 

%Htified and sad she returned to Folly Acre, whence. 
^^"fl throughout the day, she made excunaons by 
stealth to Gabriel's cottage to discover what was keepini 
him and openly to Meredith's, i the hope that he might 
be home^ Meanwhile, Gabriel proceeded steadily with his 
He had sorted out his papers, and was about to 
cany the dan^us ones out into the guden to bum, 
when he noticed his Oxford gown and hood, which he had 
pur^ased with so much foolish pride in the first flush 
of h'» academic honours. Over these he paused; then, 
muttering « What earthly good are they toa^ wh^ 
gomg to be a farmer?" hurried them into the same motley 

Whistling lightheartedly, as if engaged in a diurnal 
tosk, he gathered into the folds of the gown these frail 
historians of his life, and walked out into the evening 

Sauntering through the hazy distance he saw what 
appeared to be two horsemen appromrhmg, bet to these 



LIGHTING A FIRE 



M5 

H l«ame neoe-^y for him to fbd out . quS^ 

fa«d»d d.«. ^^Jdafag «ri ™u^ Going 'up^ 
•nd m dUing hi. eye. with .moke. i— "Kxucgww 

»gun»S but, being temporarily Winded by the .moke, 
fiuled to recogniie their identity. 

-.^looking ov« the h«Jg. , <• my «„ refW. to^light." 
•J^ M^.'**" "'"^ ■» «<«" h«ve pemrfved the 

JS'^iim^il^^r'' ""^'* ''°*"*' "-"^ »- 

..Sn^-*°^''''"^'*'"''^''y°"'I"»»'"'---Wnyou 

l»per laroiw under the wood, won hul the whole 
ma*. fUnng .w.y hke a fifth of November fe,ti»d. 
h.A Cl"* ,* ""'""'^ *■" •»» "'"■'•'• he held in hi. 

upon him tut It w«. one whieh he hira«lf had given a 
P«i of hughter greeted him. "»" gi^cn, a 



«M THE WBBPIIfG WOMAN 

"And mnr, if jroa han aaUfi with nir -.♦J— _, 
B^ «ot upon hi, ftrt. «d gMing o«r rt th. 

It WM« thMgh, out of th. dertrurtion of th. S-T 

ft^ta i? "^^-rt into th. p.th .nd j«rf„«l thai 
U-pte aU pugi of eonnam hi> *»! wu vl^ »J-r 

ii'sfrr? "fr?'.''-^ Hi. ^ dwT^^sSi 

«th . fiaty of delight i hi. throat Mwned to £». ««™ 
up »ttoh. could not .p«l. ShawTlLir/w 

g~^^;**"- «>««*«■«. n»bodii^"4r5 

tt. ned^aihd ,n with . femininity of Uce. Het^fr 
^jrnjAri fa tb. dining «„light. L .Zi«ZJ^ 
templ^nng a broad expan« of brow wrmounted bfl 
G«»hj,r«^hat from which a feather d«op«J W .^ 
ttebnm The left hand w.. g.untl.wX ^t^ 

»^y lU. the long man. of the high .orrel wUd, Ae 
"do. Knowing that he wa. exp«ted to m^ k! 

S^donTw"" T'" «"'■"« ^^ ^»«^ 
^Hopert let out a hearty Uugh at thi. «fi„en«,t of 

curiou, way of nw, vmg company, Gabriel. I, it y„ur own 
invention, or jmt the custom of the country ? - ^ 

" ^!"f''°8 »f >»«>.- he an,we«d quieUy, «k1 then to 
hu.^- h«>d^ «:t to work un»ddlin^ and'Ueri^'tll: 

" YouVe come a pretty long way ? - he ulud of Rupert, 



LIGHTING A PIRB 



Mr 

tvitdag hi. hud ant the hona' U^ ._. ^.. . 
««»y««,durtymd d.^ ^*' "^ "^ '»«W«Bthrt 

M«^.~"' "^^ •-'y -I" »il- th. oU« dd. of 

t*^ «hc« Hden .tood waitingThel ""•-"■»""« 

you do it always? Wh^f K- i- t • , ^ ^^- ^^3^<Jont 
eveiything." oeiore. HesguoNd. 

J,H« h« ? Tien he ™urt be ole»e«r th™ 1 took him 

rid J^ «»d honey, «k1 home-made b^ad -^e^ 
-l^d hlo. to do ,t .lone, jurt to «e whether he r^l 

couU »T?^ • ;, """" ""^ » Puden-what more 

<=«dd am dearer" aooned Bupert, half to h.«i«l£ 



•W THE WEEPING WOMAN 

S^hhLr dininpout; now ifb a ootUg, .nd 

«Ufw«y. He*i very much improved." 

Cy^ ♦"^ '^"P^* to widt on you. If yTLd h« 
quite a good dedfor her^ Helen pu^ued; fa . „oitag 

" YouVe got no. «,timent about you at aU, Helen. 
What do you «ippo« a man marrie. a woman for STt 
ittit to do everything for her ?" ' 

vJ!7^. "^iTu *^* y""^^*^ »»d no pmctice. All theee 
y^ you might have been experimenting on me-thinTrf 
the opportunitien youVe wanted." ™«— uiinic or 

re^l^Z^ !*°'^ ^""^ ^~^'' °' education," her brother 

rf ^ I T' ?™^*»»»~^ "^ to «/, how the »3 
SJnTwLT ^'^'^r*^* *''''"P"1-. and of dormantT 

S mn*Z Jtr*'"*^ ^!"^'-^'' to unmvel th. 
f«^i J^Ti depending upon the crisi. of matrJaat 

to^offaU my un.u.pected virtue. Fm eon«drZ 

rV^Tt T''**'*^*"^ philosophy." hummed F J^,. 
Gabnd had now fini«hcd hi* tank of laying Hk ubie » 
they 8at down to a belated tea. ^ ^ * " 

r l;?'r*J*"* ^"^^^ y°" *>^*^ »« unexpectedly?" asked 
Rupert looked acro^ at Helen, waiting for her to i^v 

3L^\^r^)" ^'^^ ^^ '^ ^' didnt, at LTl 
didn t, know how hr Wildwood wa« away. We. of ^ 



LIGHTING A PIRX 



"W to «. Hd« - '^ •" • «T)r ««. fcUow. d««, „p ^ 
t^^J^^ IntefTupUoo, In .hid, H^wt h- 

to l^til, ■* •"!'*'»*«> »ith Hekn. ot .UM 

««ri^ "iZ'toTi^lS'" ,"•'"■ •«*• '» • «'«• 

■iMjniy . I got to know Dtm four ynn aim. whim i — 
P-Jt'tag. Md Sir Duiver iwd «»,»«»«. to lo SthWoT 
<«d to go «d «„g for h.m on occ«o». jurt to bdp C 



B«o^ L^ -ud. „ «U ^n^,. «po.tul.t«i 

"YZL!r!f ''"P "^ bfotber'. thought. occumVA 

•h«. they w«, yoc,^ „en out in W»t Afric tC^ 
•vejT bmve d«i together ; I wt ,«.1| „Ut IZ^ 
the Govenior grew jej„„. of ftuiver CrtwriKhl »7ta^' 

tam, ««J th.t oni, .t the expend of hi. own repuUUW 



MICROCOFV RBOUITION TBT CHART 

(ANSI and ISO TEST CHAUT No. 2) 





1^2 |Z8 



Itt 

U 
lit 

IB 
U 



|3j6 



■ 2.C 



1.8 




jS* /APPLIED IN/HGE 



inc 



165J East Main Straat 

Rochester. N*. York 14609 USA 

(716) 482 -0300- Phon. 

(716) 288- 5989 -rox 



«ro THE WEEPING WOMAN 

promotion, .„d »„ y^pTZ^J^"^ «"* inii™di.te 
"d mother for m«,/yZ^„"^ S?-"™" "^ "« colony 
tention, when he retui^cjT 'e„"{ '*. :" «''«'y» h" in- 
out the man who had^ne Id "*^''u-" Sood, to «a«h 

«««d fe.ni the service, he bo,,;.^ JT '«°' "''«»' h* 
««»» to «ve; partlyte^^ f^* H„Uyw«rf, .„d came 
beauty of the ciun^i^, ^Tj^ ^f ''^^''^ by the 
the Meredith family ^VL"^ "^P*"* ""e knew that 

"On inquirThf fZ^*^"" "?™d *«« f^ 
living Jvl Zyt S, Z\^, ^Tr t,r -^ 
•eattered. He tried to foUow «!. ^'' **''<'«» "«« 

t»ce of them beyond ttrS^ttrthTl^^""'*''*'^ « 

•fr*" «"« -«"t,had ^tnrSuo wfld'^lr'J^ *" 
"bwed a cottage. He wenf ^T x "".Idwood and pur- 

«>me bn-Wown^rS^t^^^i'!,™"*' "P^'"* *» ^d 
best for him. ' ''=''™"»«I » any ca« to do hi. 

tba" "^^fi^Sr-f^:,-"^^",* « viiiager toM h."™ 
woman named ZiUy SlipperL,^, .r"", "*'"« * ^<^ 
9- <Ji»Wct Sir Danv^'tC^ t^ l«-«t people in 
■n a wretched hovd, pmy,„ ' J^!? J™ "P- ""d fonnd him 
for her need* No one ete in th. n """"^ »°'' ""-g 
•«««» of her bad ^Zl ""T "''"''' ^^ ""-^ 
apposed to be a witdb*^ ' ^ "^"""^ *" "a. 



LIGHTING A FIRE 271 

to help him was by giving him his friendship and private 
•ympathy. Sir Danver encouraged us girls to go about 
with him. He said that Dan and his father were the two 
Urgest-h^ men that he had ever known. Since then, 
Dan and I have become firm friends." 
"Meredith told me something of thiV said Gabriel, 
but not the last pari; about Sir Danver Cartwright. 
Inat is new to me." 

"Now let me get along with my tale," said Rupert, 
suddenly remembering that he had been interrupteT 

u w n"''' "f ^ ^**'"^^ ' **"* "^^^" ^"^^^ uncomfortable. 
Well, as I was saying, just as we were sitting down to 
breakfast, up drives Meredith-he'd evidently been driving 
veiy fast-and asks for Helen. I don't know what he 
said to her, but the upshot of the affair is that Helen's 
been fidgeting to get to you all day. We had an engage- 
m^nt to lunch out, which kept us from coming ewher. 
Helen wanted to put it off, but Sybil wouldn't hear of it 
so we came this afternoon instead." * 

During the last few minutes, Gabriel had been seeking 
to catch Helen's eyes, for a thought had come to him 
which he waiited to put to the test. Her averted face and 
fevensh anxiety to avoid his gaze were sufficient answer 

It was Helen then, who had engaged the cottage for 
him ! During that night drive in the Park he hS put 
her in possession of all his secrets, and she, early the 
following morning, must have gone to see the Poet, that 
she might make her offer through his agency, and herself 
remain unsuspected. He remembered now how non- 
committal the wording of the Poet's letter had been 
commencing abruptly, without preliminary address or 
dating, « A cottage has been placed at your disposal," etc., 
ending without signature. She had recognized that his 
confession to her of the previous night had made it 
impossible for him to accept any semblance of help from 



272 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

^U^^r' ■»<! ""W™! thi. ddicte m<«n. o 
assMting him, thus avo dine the min nf ~.a...i i. 

Uining with her „,d .over i* U. ^1 1"^„^^ 

the man whom he believed to be hi, nobler «lf. 

Her^, again, was an explanation for her lone silence- 

dfa^ril He IJ "" '" •"' "«"nt«nance migh? be 
oiscovered. He had once more been IpH mf« - 

fr^l • ^ u^ ' oppositions were correct, this must 

^^ ZT" T^"""'"- ■•» h" -l.tionshi,« ^ 
romd— in the case of Mary most of all. 

What was the meanine of Meredith'. ™ i 

dwZrtlief ««'»''/-««^^-T"Sf ^ 

^rab together a little more disci;tion before y„„^l^ J 
P% your wife. Didn't you know that I nZZZk^l 

;^harXuldnT" ""' »" «'"^'' -«* '^" ^^ 

yoi'r^x t:t'Sfs:;ZrYr "^"«' ""■"" - 

Lid left .„j ">• uiscretion !• »ou give me away rieht 
^ K. J ^ 'P^ "' "" *° "-y friends «s if I Vere a 
Yoo^ of long standing , and Tm hardly as yet enZd 

rouul V*^"'* "'"' '*'"« Pe""»l»l«ted ZZ 

,„itTl"" Z*"^ f*" *" "^'^ »'«' open landing as a 
smtable place whereon to embrace his Sybil lalf nilt 
^n^be knew that eve„ one was just ^ming^do^"",^ 



LIGHTING A FIRE 



278 



"Because he is very susceptible, and, when he sees a 
pretty pair of hps to kis.> , he cant help kissing them." 

"There— I condemn you out of your own mouth ; you 
call him susceptible, I call him indiscreet. The first is the 
preface to the whole book. ' 

"What's all this about P'' asked Gabriel, waking up out 
of his trance. 

" A little dialogue on the timidity of love, of which 
Helen is the happy illustration,'' answered Rupert. « She 
couldn't endure to be absent from you any longer, ytt, for 
some obscure reason, didn't want to call upon you oix'nly ; 
so split the difference by coming to the Cartwrights', whci-e 
she could be near you without being seen by you. All 
this, under the false pretence that she sympathized with 
Sybil and myself. Now will you please excuse my asking, 
since you don't invite me, but I'd like a fourth cup of 
tea." 

"Love appears to be a very greedy little boy," said 
Helen, rising from the table, and going over to the window 
to hide her blashes. 

" No, not greedy ; don't say that. Say that he is hungiy, 
and has a child's appetite." 

"And therefore should be left by his elders to feed by 
himself," she concluded. "Come out with me into the 
garden "—turning toward Gabriel—" I want to see whether 
you have really been living the simple life, or only 
shamming." 

Fearing what was coming, yet with a pitiful display of 
alacrity, he obeyed her summons, following her down 
between the rose-trees to the bottom of the walk, where 
an arbour had been constructet'. From here a view of the 
neighbouring valley could be obtained, together with the 
opening up of the plain where the blazoned turrets of the 
distant city hung golden and fragmentary in the waning 
light. 
i8 



. :* 



• ■ '1 



274 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



It i. not T^^ ta t ,°" ' u""""" «»<' our dr«.ni 

be"th?Z«":;t„''S 1" " '°"i ^'T -■«• " - "h""' 
our liv«." *° ''°"'' «"" "'"' «l>»ni. we a»oci.l 

•' ?r r ""It^*** '^'' ^" *e asked 
_^ »es i I despatched it yestc day." 

" &tto -*°*^ " ^°" "P*"*^ it to be ? - 

h.p™ ^'•" ""^ '"^^ » eveiything, and a« 
" In almost everjrthing." 
" Where have you failed ? ' 

"w^ttl^r, *"»'^^'"" ' '"™ '<"* «•">» things- 
lost ?^ ^ ' '^""' ''''''"'^> ''I "e whaf have you 

" Helen, I think you know " 

•'But W things ^ be found," she answo«d s«Uy. 
othe^^ ''"' *°" °""' ""y "t ""•• «P«- of g,L to 

At once she became serious, intenselv «« K u j 
daspiug and „„elasping in the 'oU SnT'yet shtl^ 
not speak. Huperf, voice was heard caUing.'^d ^Lel' 



LIGHTING A FIRE 275 

glad of an ease to his suspense, stepped out from amons 
the roses and answered. 

As he came towards them he shouted— 

"Oh, Gabriel, some one's just been here asking for you. 
Such a pretty girl; I don't wonder that you like the 
countiy. I told her that you were down the garden. She 
must have gone down and peeped in at you, for I saw 
her come scampering back again with her cheeks all 
aflame, lookmg as though she hadn't been made very 
welcome. •' 

" Did she say what her name was ? " asked Helen, coming 
out from the arbour. 

"Mary something or other; I didn't catch quite what. 
bhe was very good-looking." 

« Her name was Mary Devon, I think," said Gabriel, 
turning aside and plucking a flower. 

"Any relation to old Meredith ? " asked Rupert casually. 
S»he seemed to me to have his mouth and eyes." 

It was a lazy shot, sent out with no particular destination 
in view; nevertheless, it hit the mark. 
^^ Gabriel swung quickly round to find Helen's eyes upon 

"All people are more or less related in these parts," he 
said, with the violence of a man flinging down a challenge. 
I suppose so," drawled Rupert, quite unconscious of 
his transgression. "That's the great advantage of living 
m a c^y ; you have no relations-all yoiu- aunts and uncles 
die oft. We had quite an epidemic of relations, until 
we removed to London. Hadn't we, Helen ? Then we 
invited them slowly, and with great caution, so as not to 
scare them, to come and stay with us. One by one they 
went back to the land and gradually departed this life. 
Some of them took an unreasonably long time about it ; 
but now they're all gone— all except Aunt Agatha. She 
was too stingy to pay the railway fare to come and visit us. 



276 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

I wonder whether we could be hanged for it. They couldn't 
bring It in a» manMlaughter ; it was premediteted." 

" What noniKjnHe yoii talk, Rupert. You need a tonic 
of Home 8ort, probably Sybil. You're not well without 
her. For all her apparent desire to depart she lingered, 
loath to ga * o > 

"Come on, Gabriel," tried Ruperi, setting off up the 
path ; " let's get the horses saddled. I suppose it will be 
pretty late by the time we get back." 

Having strapped and buckled as hurriedly as they could 
Rupert volunteered to stand by the horses' heads while 
Gabriel went to fetch Helen. 

The garden was growing dusk, so that it was difficult to 
see. Search as he would, no Helen could he find. He 
looked into the arbour, but it was empty. He peered in 
at the door of the cottage and whispered her name, but 
received no answer. When he was on the point of return- 
ing to Rnpert, thinking that she must have joined him of 
her own accord, his nostrils caught the smell of burning. 
Quick as thought, he ran toward the comer of the hedge 
where the bonfire had been lit. As he went, there came 
drifting down the path toward him a fragment of white 
He stooped and picked it up. It was the torn, crumpled 
page of a love-lettci, written to him by Helen in the 
June of the previous summer. Indistinct in the half-light 
he could just decipher the words— quite well enough to 
recover the sudden pang of a pleasure past. As he neared 
the spot where he knew that she must be, he called her 
name more softly, lest an unheralded approach should make 
him seem too much like a spy. She did not answer. There, 
in the gloaming, he could discern her standing, erect and 
statuesque, beside the still unconsumed records of his love 
for her. The detective wind, which had so spitefully 
prevented the first kindling by extinguishing the match, 
had treated Helen in like manner to Gabriel, by carrying 



LIGHTING A FIRE 



277 



I'": 



the charred fragment of a letter to her feet am 8hc OMccnded 
the path. In her hand »he held the other half to the la»*t 
yoar'n letter. 

" Your brother is waiting for you." he whispered. 

She seemed not to notice what he had snid, but, stirring 
the smouldering heap with her foot, siiid in a dreary 
voice — 

" It is a pity it would not light." 

Then, turning slowly round, they walked side by side 
toward the gate. Rupert, being now a lover himself, hatl 
learnt the ways of love, and, thinking that he read the 
situation, parsed no remark on their prolonged absence. 

Gabriel helped her to mount, and hail already biide 
them a conventional " good-night," when Helen reined in 
her horse, thus falling several paces behind her brother. 
Leaning over, she caught Gabriel by the shoulder, and, 
bending so close that her lips touched his ear, whispered — 

"Look in the rose-bush nearest the arbour — the one 
with the red roses. Do not forget." 

With this they vanished in the on-coming night. 



CHAPTER XXV 



THK APPAimON 



When the Iiut ring of the hones' hoofe had died out 
upon the wlence, and the last length of swaying shadow 
h^ been bst in the surrounding gloom, Gabriel returned 
to the garden and hbried down to the temioe of ro.«, 

IhfZ 'H^^^T'^ "f^* ^^^ arbour-the one with 
the red ros^- she had said. What was it that made it so 

imperative for him to look there, he wondeml. Was it^ 
rtatoment of the withdrawal on her part of all further 
love ? Oddly enough, the mere suggestion filled him with 

toV^T.°. •n*"^^'- H^'^howasalmulybetrothed 
to a girl of the village, was agonized at so smaU a hint of 

losmg the mantaJ affection of one whom he could no longer 

hope to wm The heart must be forever libertine Td 

pagan, over-nding the Uws of men and worshipping stnmge 

god. Where the head has painstakingly ^a^Jtcd^ 

W notously chooses. Singly they a« the most respect- 

able of citissens, but together they can never agree. T^is 

Galmel discovered.as he searched for the token of his fate- 

the discordant mhabitants of the tenement of his soul had 

fallen out again ; the battle was waging ; no woid of his 

could stop the fight. « Look in the rose-bush nearest the 

arbour-the one with the red roses.'' There were two 

clumps of blossom near the arbour, either of which miirht 

answer to the description. The flowen of the one were 

diS^red '"*^ ^""""^ "" "^ ^^^ ' ""^ ^^ °*^^' * ^^' 

278 



THE APPARITION 



i79 



Piwled, he halted between the two, not knowing which 
to March first, anxious for the climax, yet willing to post- 
pMie. Prompting him to dcciition, Ntiatchcs of the line* 
which Helen had sung that night by the lliameti stole 
back upon him — 

"Soon Hhall I wear acarlet. 
Because my love is dead." 

He looked at the two blooms and instantly chose the 
one of the lighter and more violent shade. Prom the 
heart of a fUll-blown rose he drew forth a narrow slio of 
paper, folded many times. Smoothing it out he read: 
" Meet me to-morrow evening in Sparrow Hollow at 7.80. 
—Helen." Nothing more. The end was not yet. His 
heart gave a sigh of relief. " Another day of illusion, 
thank God. Twenty-four hourN in which to imagine and 
to live." 

A sound of singing came down the glade ; the tripping 
step of two persons approaching ; a whispered good-bye ; 
and the approaching footfall of one. There was a knock- 
ing at the cottage door. Thrusting the note into his 
pocket, he began to ascend the path. The visitor had 
caught the soimd of his movement, and came to meet him. 
There was a flashing of white, a scattering of perfume, and 
he recognized Mary. She was still singing, breaking off 
now and then in the midst of a phrase to talk and laugh 
secretly with herself. 

In her long, loose hair were wild-flowers, and flowers in 
her hands. When she had come up to where he had halted 
awaiting her, he stretched out his hand to touch her ; but 
she eluded him, crjdng out words which seemed half a 
song, " No kiss for errant lovers, but wild-flowers for me." 

There was something so strange and unaccustomed in 
her appearance that Gabriel strove to draw nearer, that he 
mi^t look into her eyes ; at every fresh advance she ran 
£uther away, laughing quietly. 



; / 



MO THE WEEPING WOMAN 

«*«• h«ro «hI tell m, ,h«l thi> ni«u».- »""»~. 

thi«,li„g her ny betwm. th. bud.^ pluckrf (te* 
C»mmg down J«^ th, t»ck whid, G.bri.l'hK 
di.wn forth the note i Ae.trelehed out her hmdto»a« 

l-hij^ve Gj^briel w opportunity to con» up with her. 

" Tlmt nm:r «^e gaMpctl . « Jt ha. hurt me." 
Ittking her hand in his he exannned it and found th. 
J«n«, jagged wound of a thorn. « I don't think ii^^ * 
muchr he Ha,d. « Come into the hot wi^' te ^.^^^jj 
dPBHs ar.<l bind it up for ycu." 

All the niadne«N of her roming had departed : na^iv 

"In that better?" ho Mked. 

loIT^Jl"""'' T' "'" "P""' ' y" *™ »" the d«»d 
Tl . .T' 'J" of^ one not fully awakened. 

Thmkjng that a re»t might do her good, he earned her 

over to the eoueh and stretched her upon it Her ej« 

eh«ed ^her b^athing beeame „.ore evenra..d d,e ZJS 

Gabriel knew not what to make of the rftuation; that 
ttere wa. something unhealthy about it he wa. ^ 
Moreove^ who wa, it who h«l aceompani«l herTX 
^f D|mng the past month, of constant intim«y ^ 
h«l seen Maiy under many moods , but never one S « 



THE APPARITION 



S81 



thi*. ** It is the Huddcn excitement^ lie told hiimielf. 
** When she ha* »lept it ofT iihe will be wtU ngain.*" Yet 
the comfort did not HAtiitfy. Hour ntivr hour n\w ulept, 
her head ncNtlcd cIonc HgainNt hiit NhuuliK>r, her hniith 
fanning hin chcckii. The moon iumI Ntam Mailed out actom 
the narrow Mea of window-pane, like nn old-tinic galleon 
with her attendant fleet Still Nhe Nlcpt. 

Somewhere between dreaming and waking, in the utter 
quiet of the night, he began to realize the recent courM! of 
event*, hiit brain beating, beattiig. He had been living 
upon HcWn charity, and had not known it. She had 
been loving him all the while, and once again he hod 
betrayed her. Dan nuutt have known a gixxl deal of 
Helcn^M affain from the beginning — at all eventu, had 
guetutcd at her love, if he hwl not been told of it in m 
many wortk He muiit have been keeping Helen informed 
during the pant monthH of silence concerning doingx at 
Wildwood— all nave thone which concerned Mary. Helen, 
having learnt through hw agency that the book drew near 
completion, had come down from London, m Rupert had 
Haid, that nhe might be near him, and afterwards with him 
upon the earlicHt occasion. 

HiiH accounted for Dan^H hoNtility to the engagement 
with Mary. He had known from the fint tliat there could 
be no love ; he aloo knew on whom the true love waM centred. 
Seeing that he could not check the march of misfortune, 
he had taken the desperate step of ap|)ealing to Helen. 
And how much did Helen know? Well, that wculd be 
discovered to-morrow. " But how should I act ?" Gabriel 
asked himself. 

Looking down on the face of the girl sleeping in his 
arms, remembering her trust in him and her manifold 
handicaps, he felt that to retract was impossible. ** What 
I have begun, I must finish,^ he said. Then came the ever- 
present question, ** But what of Helen P ^ To one or other 



' 1 



888 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

C^ZV^ he ™»t beUve bnitaU, ; which c«Ud 
He thought of Helen a8 he had seen hpr fJ,-* a 

the rest. '^ ^ ^**^ y**"' wealth would do 

young daj,; a„d,S^S w^orti ""'".f ■■" 

frieHhe'tlLX-l^ttlT "^"'■•' •*"■»»■» 
live. di«ppoi„taent rcaZrty f» ^^1°' °'" "•"• ""'- 
and ability to suffer ohw^^ meekness was there, 

«.e heart' T^'Z^^^^T^'^ Z ZT^ " 

l-PP«.ings,shShea^rH '^""*'«'T''«» of foture 
to the red state of hfa a^^ ^ ''™ *''""«''»' l"" " 

h» p««nos«e^:LX "t^^ *::?* sf"" ''^ "^ »' 

te^r and deoay-fflZg Cn ':^.hl:^«^ '"^ "' 

Contrasting the countenances of tibie't.-. 
was passionately aware which of oJtT **VT'"' ^ 

a vampire of remorse-!^ • '"'^^°* ^°' ^^"^^I^ 

i' oi remorse-an omnipresent evil to dog his 



THE APPARITION 



288 



darkest houw ; to drag him down ; to exhaust his soul. 
Thus determined, yet struggling with regret, he drowsed 
off into an unhappy sleep, to be awakened by a movement 
at his side. Opening his beclouded eyes, he »aw indistinctly 
the figure of Mary, just risen, standing beside him, bend- 
ing over his body to kiss his foreheatl, a forlorn despair 
around her lips. While in mid act she halted, and turned 
toward the window, her face relaxing and breaking into 
an unmeaning smile. There in the wan light, gazing 
through the lattice with beckoning hand, Gabriel discerned 
a likeness to himself, but wilder and more elfin. The long 
hair which himg about the apparition^s shoulders was of 
any shade, from flaxen to bronze, as it shifted and fell. 
The dress worn was of a vivid forest colour. There he 
recognized the mysterious boy in green, the Tony whom 
Mary had so frequently and realistically described. Gabriel 
reached up his arms to draw her back to him, but was 
too late. She had slipped to the door and gone outside. 
He rose and followed, rushed into the garden, where a 
grey dawn was breaking; looked around and listened. 
Far away among the vanishing tree-trunks, he caught the 
echo of a subdued singing, the tripping step of two people 
growing less and less, and the secret laughter of two 
voices. 

Wildly he essayed to follow, running abroad in the 
forest ; listening, pursuing, stealing stealthily from tree to 
tree ; until at last, in the abandonment of his sorrow, he 
cried her name aloud. Nothing answered, no leaf stirred. 

Utterly wearied, he flimg himself down beneath the 
shadow of a giant fir, for the while submerging his pains, 
with those of all the woodland world, in the oblivion of 
sleep. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

VVmm HI8 HAND TO THE PLOUGH 

between it and the river A £ f ^^f' '=°"«8». 
alone. ^ ''^"'^ P""*^^ *° «"*^h as sought to be 

ae»«ling to ^Xt^'^X^tZ '^■'^ 

f«Slo» .nd ^faS; t CavIe^T" n = t ""^""^ "^ 
espeeiaUy after ni^htfoiT S! u !? "^^^ "" "''•° P"**^ <»y 



HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH 285 

day, talking, dreaming, reading, or writing as the spirit 
urged. Falling back upon the most primitive of all 
pleasures, they had whiled away hour after hour, telling 
impromptu tales, fearsome, tender, terrible, or ghostly as 
the case might be, according to their mood, with a noble 
disregard to time or probability. Mary, in her narrations, 
had manifested a baffling proneness to the occult. So 
dramatic at times were her recitals that they thrilled with 
a sincerity which seemed nothing short of self-revelation. 
In her stories, trees, flowers, brooks, every created thing, 
spoke with a living voice ; nature was vocal with unseen 
presences of good and evil. In the number of these 
inventions Gabriel had been wont to reckon the Green 
Boy fiction; the first story which Mary had ever told 
him. 

Nevertheless, whensoever he had questioned her, she had 
manifested a shyness and care to avoid the topic, which 
seemed to denote something more actual than romance. 

When he awakened next morning, under the fir-tree 
beneath which he had cast himself down on the previoas 
night, and recollected recent happenings, all these other 
memories took on a new proportion. He tried to tell 
himself that the face at the window had been nothing but 
an evil dream, and that he had wandered from the cottage 
in his sleep. Despite all that he might say, there was 
still the odd attitude of Mary's arrival, and the fact that 
he had undoubtedly heard two people approach the gate, 
to be accounted for. « I can soon decide it," he told him- 
self, "by going down to the cottage and seeing if Mary is 
still there. I shall probably find her awaiting me with 
breakfast already pi-epared." 

Picking himself up, he set off at a trot through the 
fern and bush, until he came in view of the house. The 
smoke of a newly-lighted fire was curling against the sky. 
As he came nearer, he saw a white-clad figure moving up 



«M THE WEEPING WOMAN 

«d ^own the currant-badw, gathering their fruit Till 
now he h«J not realized the Wgh.,trung ^p«l .f^ 

r^J ni^r^f* "i! r *"" helugh^.tdt 

!»« kT^T^ !? hi. arms, gazing »teadf..tly into her 
^to ™ke «» that there could be no mirtakl It ,^ 
Wtaly right enough, but ,he looked tired md fiwaed 3 

ing. He noticed that her dress w«» torn, sb with nmM 
"WeU, Mary, have you nothing to say?" he asked 

^1 w"^: "^ '■""'■* '" - •' -^ >S 

gSi I P^',°'?t«'>'' »^*"« in a low voice, "Y^ 
"You little stupid,- he cried, drawimr her to hi™ 
dThX^.**' ^"■'"'""-^ He had fixed on the 

r^ of i«^;cr„i'..ri''ir:^rdie^ 

WetenlfM^^L^t.X^'n.l-k " ""'^''• 
Gabriel,Tth his u^TabilitJ t^.„^d ?'™"- • 

tithe ^i"^' up his „iX tt sSr' ^^: 

01 seeing Helen, his resolution might irive wav .^ 
that there was no valid reason for ^tpo^m^^-wht 



HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH 287 

it simply meant misery for Mary and anxiety for 
himself. 

For immediate expenses he had the fifty-pound cheque 
which his father had sent him at the Weeping Woman, 
and which Lancaster had prevented him from destroying. 
He had kept it lest any emergency should arise— the 
emergency had now arisen. He smiled whimsically, re- 
calling the dangerous vicissitudes through which it had 
passed, picturing his pai-ent's horror could he but witness 
the expenditure in which his bounty was destined to be 
consumed— the bringing into the family of an unwelcome 
daughter-in-law. 

This tangible assurance of his affection seemed to set 
all Mary's doubts at rest. Whatever forebodings the 
plain language of Meredith, the coming of the Thurms, 
and that which she had seen or guessed to have transpired 
in the arbour, had caused to arise in her mind were now 
most remotely banished. She laughed and sang about her 
tasks in quite the old way, till Gabriel wondered whether 
he had imputed to her an intensity of sorrow which had 
never for a moment existed. 

At breakfast all her talk was of the future and the 
golden days. Herself once joined to him she seemed to 
fancy every trouble at an end. 

" But, Mary dear," he reminded her, « we shall have to 
work hard, and may not have much to eat." 

"What does that matter if we are only happy?" she 
cried. « I will work in the fields every day, witli my back 
bent, and never feel it, if I only know that I am workinc 
for you." 

He captured her hands and examined them ; wonderfully 
small hands for a farmer's daughter, altogether too small 
for a farmer's wife. 

"Why, what can such little hands as these do?" he 
asked, folding and unfolding the fingers the while. 



288 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

''They can ww for you, and cook for you, and dig youi 
garden for you. They can work till they are broken and 
raw for you." 

He looked into her face, all aglow with generoua 
emotion, and felt himself to be a very mean animal. 
Remembering bin abHence from her of the day before, he 
unthinkingly asked, "Where did you get to yesterday, 
Mary?" 

Immediately her eyes became misty, and her smilee 
clouded. 

" Don't speak of yesterday," she said ; " I cannot recall 
what happened. I thought you did not love me." 

** And what made you think that ? " he questioned. 

" Oh, don't ask. I can't bear to think of it. I want tc 
forget all the yesterdays and to remember only the to-dayt 
and to-morrows." 

This was the last mention made of what had occurred, 
Gabriel, seeing how much any reference to it pained her, 
refrained from pursuing the subject. 

After the breakfast had been clc ^-d away she craved 
permission to run over to Folly Acre and dr^ Gabriel 
in the meanwhile, went down to the Silver Horn and 
hired a trap, the selfsame trap which Meredith had used 
on his destructive errand of the day previous. 

Having harnessed, he drove up to the farm to save hei 
the passage down. 

He called her name, and soon she appeared looking ver} 
simple and rustic She was dressed in muslin, a beflowered 
lavender, her long black hair caught loosely up and 
gathered under a broad straw hat of village make and 
fashion. 

He could not help contrasting her with ^the picture oi 
Helen, habited and mounted, bearing in her every appoint 
ment the opulence of luxury. Nevertheless, he did hi: 
best to stifle the memory. 



HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH 289 



Noticing that her hand was still bound up he asked her 
about it. ♦* Is your hand no better ? " 

"No; I thought that it was, and went to remove the 
bandage, but it began to bleed, so I had to tie it up 
again.** 

** Helen's rose and Mary's hand," he thought. " I hope 
there is no omen there.** 

Rattling down into the high-road they swept past 
Meredith's cottage, and found him standing at his gate. 
If he guessed their purpose, he said nothing, simply 
returning their salutation and at once buying himself 
about the care of his flowers. 

This was Gabriel's first visit to Monbridge since his 
coming to Wildwood; he had been so wrapt up in his 
work that he had never ventured farther than a few miles' 
distance from his place of residence. The idea of entering 
a town filled him with a vague delight, causing his spirits 
to rise. 

Down the long and winding road they swung, till, reach- 
ing the valley, the track ran almost parallel with the 
Whither; the towers and spires of the ancient city 
drawing ever nearer. 

On reaching Monbridge they went to the registrar's and 
made application for a licence allowing them to be married 
on the following day. After this they went to the Crown 
and Heart for lunch. Gabriel was much amused at 
witnessing Mary's futile efforts to disguise her surprise and 
embarrassment on this her first visit to any town; for 
although Monbridge was only four miles distant from 
Folly Acre, so closely had she been guarded, that she had 
never traveUed thither before. 

The gouty waiter at the tavern awed her so much 
that she persisted in calling him " Sir," despite Gabriel's 
repeated correction. 

'I know it's silly of me," she explained, "but when 
19 



M 



wo THE WEEPING WOMAN 

he handf me anything in that loidly way I can't pratei 
myself." '^ 

Jiwt an they were on the point of leaving for home i 
occurred to Gabriel that it might be as weU to purchai 
the nng. Turning the horse's head, he drove back agaii 
and alighted at the county's most important silversmith'i 
Moneymalce and Poundworthy. Ha^iding the reins to 
boy, he helped Mary out, and entered. 

The shopman stared when the request for a rinj 
was made, conjecturing its purpose and wondering a 
the dissimiknty in social appearance of the brida 
pair. 

Gabriel noticed this, and was irriteted. The attitud( 

of this insignificant employee was for him the first judir 

ment which the world had passed upon his undertdciiS 

Living m the forest he had lost for the time many of W, 

caste prejudices; the return to a town had revived and 

re^tabhshed these, so that he also began involuntarih 

to judge himself with other eyes. Once again he stifled 

the remembrance of his doubts and became engrossed in 

selecting the token of his nev bondage. While so doing 

he heard two people entei and draw near, about to pass 

him. At this time he was occupied in fitting a ring upon 

Mary 8 hand. With an uneasy feeling of being watchedhe 

turned around, and, lifting his eyes, saw Helen regaitiing 

him, m company with a fashionably dressed giri, whom 

he guessed to be Sybil Cartwright. 

As he turned, Helen deflected her gaze, pretending not 
to have seen, and hurried by to the top of the Ihop, 
brushing him with her dress as she passed. 

For the mo- lent he lost control. « Yes ; I think that 
wiU do, he heard himself saying to the shopman, in a 
surging, far-away voice. 

"But it's too big, Gabriel ; besides, we're in no hurry." 
Mary expostulated. ^ 



HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH Mi 

- 1 teU you that one will do^ be ahouted. no loudly that 
the two newcomeri turned around, startled 

^«I.7*r'*""""'Cu" ^"^ ^y^^ Cartwright niurnmr. 
Sewng the ring without wrapping or box, he deponited 

tue trap, and, lashing the horse, drove off at top succd 
until the town was left well behind. ^ ^^ 

Through the sultry stilUiess of a summer's afternoon 
with smeU of new-mown hay, and the occasional «vIS 
tion of the sharpening of scythes, they jogged along. T^e 
hor«, speijt by the mpidity of his first ^, and^^^!! 
therms slackened, sWed down by degT^^ a 4 t.^"^ 
a rambling wa^k, and, at last, finding himself no longer 
uiged, browsed with hanging head along the highway 
noazlmg the buttercups and daisies. '"gn^ay. 

The occupants of the trap were engrossed in their 
«^prate thoughts, aiding out pr«ble„«, mayhapror 
me.^ly probing dejectedly the tragic mysteries^f^fe 
M««y, her elbows resting on her knees, her face couched 
m her hands, gazed straight ahead~a mournful sibvl 
awaiting the coming of the Word. Gabriel sat emrt, one' 
arm thrown along the back of the seal^ his hand tenadous, 
and eyes downcast ' 

A shouting ^ead roused him from his dreams. A four- 
horse warn, loaded with hay, was coming down the road 
and the wagoner was hailing him to pull to one side! 

nlS^r ITir"'> ^^' ^^° ^^ "^^'^r altered her 
P^ition, deliberately said, "Gabriel, you knew those 
ladies and were ashamed of me.'' 

lJ^**'.f*^^.^''"^ apprehended before it is acknow- 
ledged; the words came to him like the accusing cry of 

nl\!!? ,^^' y^V*"^ '*™''^ *^ expostulate. M^ Lid 
no heed to what he tried to say. « If you are asLTed 



MS THE WEEPING WOMAN 



of me now,** ahe continued in a monotony of voi< 
**whAt will you be when we are married P when y 
have diMovered my faults ami I have begun to gn 
old?" 

He told her that there were reaions why he diould n 
rccognixc the ladies in the Hhop, rcaiwinN thnt nhc could n 
undenttand, though he Nhould tell her them. 

** No, Gabriel, let u» be honest. You and I arc of t^ 
different worlds. God, or whatever is up there, has allow 
us to meet and be happy together for a little while, but 
was only for a little while— that little while is now 
an end.** 

** Never f ** ^claimed Gabriel, with the needless ov< 
emphasis of a man telling a lie. 

** It is useless to deny,** she said. ** You say you d 
not want to recogniase her ; yet, since you talked with li 
yesterday, why not to-day, unless it was on my aocoun 
She is a great lady, and I— only a village girl.** 

** Nevertheless, I am going to marry you,** said he. 

**We have been very glad together,** she continue 
" too glad — it could not last. You have had your sig 
and I have had mine — soon it must end.** 

** What signs ?** he asiced. 

** Your sign came yesterday in the call from the outsi 
world, from which you had fled, and mine ^ 

" Yes, and yours ? ** 

" I think you saw him last night.** 

"Saw what?" 

" The Green Boy. While I thought you loved me 
did not come, and I was glad. When I discovered thai 
had been mistaken he came again — and now I know." 

" But this is a stupidity unworthy >f you,** he burst oi 

" It may be all that,** she responded quietly ; " nev« 
theless il is I, and I am my life.** 

"1*11 convince you that you are mistake to-morro 



-moiTow, 



HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH 908 

which he waa far from feeling. 

"Gabriel, you .Jiall never marry me unlen you awear 
tt^you love me as a htuband ahould." She turned and 
need him. 

5n *!Si!ir''*h J?~*^ ***"*^^ '*^ ^^ ^«~*« fiii-ehood. 

ify Wod and Hi8 winln, and by my hope of nalvaiion. I 
UweyouaaahuBbandshould." ' •" »^ ""'* 

tc^J'f'i;^^ *''•" '**' • ''**"*^ increduloudy, dum- 
founded by hi. unexpected vehemence; wrinkli faded 
out, the face bn^htwied ; holding out her hand lOie aaid, 

li^riuf* ^'^"«°'^«» you wherever you choo*.'^ 
Despite thi. new.pledged promine, the cloud of what 
h^ gone before overshadowed them, ho that they found 
litUe to say for the re«t of the journey. 

On arriving in Wildwood Gabriel pulled up at the 
port^oe to receive hi. mail. Inhere wan a letter and a 
telegram. The letter wa. from hi. publisher, brief and to 
the pomt, acknowledging the receipt of hi. manu«:ript 
and promwng to give it hi. immediate consideration The 
telegram wa. from Hilda, and ran a. follow.— 

"Come at once. John dangerously ill-««k. for you 
repeatedly— not expected to live.— Hilda." 

He handed it to Mary, wying, « Read that" She took 
Jt ftom him, tummg it over and over meaninglessly. Then 
he remembered that she could not read ; «,, taking it from 
ner, spoke out to her its contents. 

"That means that you must go to-night ? " she asked. 
»-*u rr 1 ^^* awhile, and recollecting his engagement 

IrJ?^if "' T""^"^' " ^°- N3t to-night. To-morrow." 
Shall we be married before you go ?" she asked. 

"nierewm scarcely be time," he replied. " John i. my 
inend, and I cannot delay." 



9H THE WEEPING WOMAN 

**'nMn**— butabtpMind. She wm going to hav* « 
**Thcn why notiUrtat onoe P** but the thought ol Imv 
him with her for one more evening prevented her. 

•• Wh^t were you going to My r he Mked. 

** Oh, nothing j it has dipped my menuny.* 

They left the trap at the inn and damberad up the 1 
toward PoUy Aere. It was now four oVloclc. Entering 1 
farm-houee they wt to woric to pulT up the fin and | 
tea ready. This reminded them of their firrt day, havi 
recalled which they rambled off throuf^ a pkaiMuit 
capitulation of the happy houn of the pait months- 
winter, ajn^ng, and summer days. 

Pkesently Maiy, recalling the mention of John in I 
telegram, asked Gabriel about him. The private ooni 
sion which he had written out for his own edificatj 
before leaving the Tumpiice had finiNhod thus, **T1m» wo 
thing that I can do is to think badly of myself, since tl 
will draw down my attention upon my baser self. I mi 
blot out the past few months fpom my memory, and devi 
myself to bringing joy into the world— look out of i 
window instead (if in. This may not be so good for my a 
but it will be much better for my soul'' He had adha 
so rigidly to this resolution that Mary knew next 
nothing of his past, nor had Meredith, until the otl 
afternoon. Now that Mary questioned him concemi 
Lancaster, when his heart was sick with the dread 
losing him, his tongue was unloosed. 

** Lancaster is the kindest and best fellow that I ha 
ever known," he said. " When I was quite homeless a 
deserted last summer he took me in, and houited, and i 
me, mitil I came here. He was at tlmt time the one m 
who believed in my genius, when every one else had faih 
Moreover, he has been good not t me alone but to ma 
poor people off the streets of London. I expect he I 
been working too hard, sleeping too little, eating t 



HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH t05 

f^^***^'^"* tW. I. wh.t hM bwugbt lOKmthl. 



"If you •'ImM him -o much how wu. It lh.1 you tvtr 
•Mne to toRve him P" iha asked. 

Gdbrid found him.jaf .nt^igled-didnH know what 
«««u»tomdce - WeU. you «».- he wpUiwd." London 
dWnH^ with «e,imd I couldn't work thm> 

« V uu *^.* y«« -^ you hi«l no money* 

came forwnnl and provided for me." 

"Oh," the murmured. « I lee." Thii. bolstering up of 
h^ by hi. fH«Kl. made him «»m le« grand in her 
•yw— it flavoured of impotence. 

"And what is going to happen now ?" 

iufflacntly well off to keep my-elf by writing." 

I had idmost forgotten the book," Hhe Mdd. Then. 
JimingtoGaWel,M,fyouandI^ 
mendi are to be my friends?" ^ 

•*Yefc" 

a v"** J °"**** *° ^°^® ****" " ">"<* as you do ? " 

.J^r*''^^ can't I go to London with you to-morrow 
and help to nurse your friend ? " 

In a moment there flashed before his eyes the picture of 
«»^oountiy girl, m her sunburnt dress, wending the paved 
streets of London. How curiously and absurdly out of 
place her flgure seemed! ^ 

"But he has some one nursing him already— a irirl 
cousm— she who sent me the telegram." 

"Couldn't I help her? She can't attend to him both 
day and night I could teke the night. Vm quite a 
good nurse,'' Hhe added in self-defence; "I often looked 
aner Mother when she was sick." 

He akeady has others nursing him besides his cousin." 



u 



»6 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

** Well, but oonldn^ I go up with you, in any omc, jus< 

to be neaf you ? If this had only happened a day oT two 

cer I should have been your wife, and should have had 

go.'* 
« I think you had better stay,** he said. « It may not 
be so serious as we think. I shall come back soon— in a 
week at most" 

It seemed to Gabriel that the whole worid had conspired 
to drag him from his purpose— the noblest, highest, least 
selfish, which he had ever entertained. First the stem 
disapproval of Meredith ; then the coming of the Thurms; 
then the insolent astonishment of the shopman; the 
surprise visit of H/Blen herself; the telegram, and, last of 
all, this persistent appeal of Mary to be taken to a place 
where she would be so manifestly incongruous, albeit the 
phuje where he was most at home. There came the rub. 
If she was out of place to-day, would she be any the less 
so to-morrow ? 

" I don't believe you want to take me, Gabriel. You 
would be shamed by me and my country ways, as you 
have been once already to-day." 

"Why will you persist in saying that, Mary, and 
accusing my love for you ? I tell you I am not ashamed 
of you, and nevt will be. Have I not sworn it before 
God ? " The thought that he should ever be ashamed of 
the woman whom he had married seemed too monstrous ; 
therefore, though he knew it to be true, his honour 
compelled him to deny. 

" Gabriel, dear, we have not spent this day well, nor 
was yesterday any better spent. We have had too much 
of arguing and too little of love. Let us tiy to forget 
that these things have happened, and spend the rest of 
the evening quietly, and trustfully, like those othew which 
liave gone before.'" 

It was now nearly seven o'clock, as Gabriel could see by 



HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH »7 

the downward slant of the sun. Sparrow Hollow waa a 
twenty minutes' walk distant, so there oould be UtUe time 
for delay. 

" I did not tell you, dearest, because I was afraid of 
grieving you, that I have an engagement to keep which I 
cannot postpone."* 

** An engagement on this our last night ? * 

" I did not know when I made it that it was to be our 
last night— the telegram did not come until this after- 
noon, you remember. After all, there is nothing to be so 
tragic about, we have all the other evenings before us to 
be together in, and the days." 

" Is it Dan that you are going to meet ? " 

" I cannot tell you, dear.'' 

" I don't see who else it can be. He is the only man 
that you really know in Wildwood. Be kind to poor old 
Dan, won't you, Gabriel ?" 

"Yes; I will be kind." 

Perhaps it was something in the way in which he 
uttered the words which caused her to guess her mistake. 

" If it is not Dan, who can it be ?" she questioned. 

"Mary, dear, this is the last secret that I shall ever 
keep from you; at present it is not mine to give 
away. Soon we shall be married, and then you shall 
know me all in all, and I you. Now you must be content 
to wait." 

« Her hands fell to her side, her body went limp, a 
haunted look of foreboding came into her eyes— the fixed 
gaze of a thing pursued which knows that its strength is 
exhausted, and that there is no escape— the forlorn despair 
which he had seen on her dream-face of the previous night 
returned to her lips, blanching them white. 

" Very well,'' she murmured. 

" I shall see you again before I go, either to-night or 
to-morrow morning," he said. « Why, don't look so woe- 



SM THE WEEPING WOMAN 

begone! I promiae you 111 oome again to-ni|^t Tliere,, 
are you happy now ? ** 

As he bent down to kiss her face at parting he todc her 
hand in his, but she, flinching painfully, drew it back. 

** Fm Sony ; I foigot that your hand was wounded,** he 
said. 

So he kissed her, wondering at her silence, and wait 
his way. 



CHAPTER XXVII 



THE MEEUMO in 8PARR01V HOLLOW 

Many questions flashed through his mind as he journeyed 
to the place of meeting; for the most part they fled 
unanswered. 

What was it that Helen desired to say ? Had she been 

a smaller woman, the guess would have been easy ^to 

taunt and revile him; that was not Helen's way. He 
recalled his three latest meetings with her ; each at night 
or about nightfall, each displaying some new grandeur in 
her character. 

The night by the Thames, when she had sung to him, 
had revealed her capacity for sacrifice— the martyr nobility 
of her womanhood. 

The night in London, when the music had ceased, had 
shown to him her magnanimity — ^her power to forgive, and 
in the act of forgiving, to plan by stealth rewards for 
the forgiven. 

The evening at his cottage of the yesternight had mani- 
fested her restraint of silence— her fortitude in enduring 
unexplained pain. 

He began to see that most of his lessons of the past 
year had been learnt through her direct or indirect agency ; 
that her care, often imseen, for the most part, unthanked, 
had persistently followed him through all his emotional 
travellings until now, as he thought of it, her love eemed 
to bind and carry him forward as on wings of Fate. 

299 



800 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

He had striven to escape her affection aa mott men 
strive to escape death ; yet what a gift was this that sIm 
had offered him! Well, well, it was now too late to 
speculate on Lovers values; he had chosen another kind of 
love, which consisted not in the fulfilment but the abandon- 
ment of itself. « To be like Christ, to be like Christ," he 
kept whispering to himself as he advanced. Yet, was there 
anything peculiarly inconsistent with Christlikeness in 
cleaving to the woman whom he loved ? ** It is too late 
to ask such questions," he replied sternly. ** There is no 
choice— only to go on." But what of the long and dreary 
years, the days of hand toil, and nights of foot weariness ? 
*< The man who doek what he thinks is right, though it be 
ever so wrong, has gained a sure ground," he encouraged 
himself. What if he suspect that it is wrong before ever 
he imdertakes it ? ** Be silent," he cried, and quickened 
his pace. 

To refight the old battles was his inherent folly — ^it 
wasted strength and gained nothing. He knew this, 
therefore from henceforth he was intent upon conserving 
this strength, taking short views of his future, and going 
steadfastly on. Like the warning toll of a bell, the words 
which his father had spoken rang through and through his 
brain, never halting, never slackening, **Men fight and 
lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes 
about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns 
out not to e what they meant, and other men have to 
fight for what they meant under another name." 

" For God's sake, cease ! " he cried passionately, as to 
some neighbouring presence. " Leave me to do that which 
I think to be Godlike, though it be black as hell." 

Amidst cJl this confusion of tongues he saw the for- 
lorn despair of the lips of her whom he had just left, and 
knew, beyond all argument, that to make her happy, in 
whatsoever way, was a thing worthy in itself. 



MEETING IN SPARROW HOLLOW 801 

laundung out from the path which he had been tread- 
faig, he followed along the river-side for a little way, and, 
coming to a bend where the bank grew less steep, knelt 
down to lave his face in the rush of waters. Refreshed, he 
hurried on till he came to an opening in the trees, through 
which Sparrow Hollow lay. 

Instead of entering by the direct route he bore off a 
little to the right, slowing his steps, and following round 
through the underbrush to see whether Helen had yet 
arrived. 

There, beneath the '•entral beech, with the reins of her 
tall sorrel trailing frou> ner hand, wearing the green habit 
of the previous day, and slashing impatiently with her 
whip, she stood — a dream figure in a hollow of dreams, 
the ghost woman of the Friuli. 

As he watched her he knew that she must ever be for 
him the most adorable of women. The hot blood of youth 
surged through his veins, causing his heart to stagger and 
his head to grow dizzy. The earth of his body joined 
with the sob of the spirit in crying out, " How shall we 
leave her?" The passionate, timeless freedom of an 
immemcNrial forest bade him run toward her and claim her 
for his own— this forest which had seen so many lovers 
mate and die. "Life is short, life is short,"" sang the 
waters of the river; "we have lived long, therefore we 
know. We flow on ; we are gathei-ed up ; we are swept 
away in clouds into distant lands, rarely to return. We 
have seen men love ; we have seen men die ; and this we 
say to you, * Love while you can.' Life is so short ; there 
is nothing but love." 

A blackbird in a neighbouring tree had contrived the 
sel&ame me&>age. " Love, love, love," he piped in a shrill 
imperative; "love while you can; there is nothing but 
love, love, love." 

If Merlin's magic had awakened and thundered down 



809 THE WEEJk^ING WOMAN 



the grove no temptation of his could have been moie ^ 
great High above the roar and rush of a tidal heart, 
penetrating the sensuous infatuations of an unbridled 
emotion, rang out the clarion call of duty, ** To be as 
Christ was ; to die for others ; that is the goal."" 

Slowly, with laggard feet, while the battle was yet 
waging and imdecided, he began to advance. The leaves 
turning under his tread caused Helen to look up — except 
for this she did not move. When he came where she was 
he gripped her steadying hand; after which they seated 
themselves beneath the beedi. 

** Perhaps I should not have ask d you to come,** she 
said ; ** and yet I could hardly help it. I have tried all 
along to be your friend, and it seemed to me that there 
were still a few things left that I might do.^ She paused 
and looked at him. He did not reply. ** You are going 
to be married shortly ; your wife will be very young ; I 
should like to make things easier for her.** 

** Helen, you know this ?** Gabriel was flushed, his e3re8 
were over-lnight ; he had grasped with telepathic instancy 
the import of her words. 

« Why not ? " she asked, with a faint smile. « Meredith 
has told me everything ; he wanted me to dissuade you, 
but I think that you have done well'" 

**rou think so, Helen? Vouy of all people?** He 
searched for sarcasm in her voice, but there was none. 
The only explanation which could fall into line with facts 
was that she had ceased to care for him, and was therefore 
glad to see him settled. The thought that this should be, 
though best for all concerned, stabbed him with the flame- 
pain of a sword. 

"Why should I not think so? Without you she is 
defenceless; without her you would become selfish. If 
this should happen you would lose your power to 
smg.** 



MEETING IN SPARROW HOLLOW a08 

•« My power to ring!'' he cried; "what !■ that? Ido 
not love her, I tell you— at least, not jn that way— not ai 
I love you." 

It was Helen's turn to express surprise. Then, seeing 
the ordeal of agony through which he was passing, and 
guttsing that there was yet some hidden knowledge, she 
said more tenderly — 

"Come, Gabriel, if it wiU help you tell me all. This 
time it is I who invite you to confess."* 

The joy of self^erision came upon him. Beginning 
from the night that he had spent with her on the 
Thames, he told fiercely and scathingly, frankly and 
without omission, all that had happened to him, down 
to the last scene in FoUy Acre. Of what his sin of 
action toward Lpjicaster had really consisted, and how 
It had come about. Of how he had come to Wildwood 
supposing that the Poet was his only benefactor. How 
he had drifted with blinded eyes, all unwittingly, into 
aUowing Mary, Meredith's daughter, to love him. How 
he had discovered her love and her history at one and the 
same time. How, during his stay in the forest, a gradual 
diange and search after a soul had gone on within his 
heart, until he had at last come to see that no life was 
worthy unless it cast the healing shadow of a cross. That 
the first test of his new b^Uef had come to him in the 
person of Mary, making a magnificent appeal to his sense 
of the heroic ; and of how he had responded in order that 
he might atone for the sorrows which he had so heedlessly 
caused to others. 

How, on account of her own silence of those last months, 
he had come to think that she had forgotten to care for 
him, being disgusted, as any woman might well be, at 
^t he had told her on the night drive in the Park. 
That with her coming of yesterday he had found his 
conjecture to be fiilse, and that, moreover, her love had 



8M THE WEEPING WOMAN 

been foUowing him all the waj, providing with the Feet' 
for his wants at Wildwood. He then ezphuned the 
meaning of the bonfire and her charred love-letters, and 
of how he had read her discovery of the same in her fiMe 
before ever she had left to ride away. 

With that sneering barbarity of which men are capable 
only when they practise surgery upon their own souls, he 
opened up to her his temptatimi to withdraw even at this 
last stage in the game ; of the coward shame which he had 
felt that day in Monbridge of Mary and her rusticity, and 
of its sequd. Finally, of the latest development in the 
news of Lancaster"! ilbess and of the consequent postpone- 
ment of his marriage with Mary ; of her disappointment, 
and of his conjectures on the way to the Hollow. 

With a mad outburst of dervish frenzy he completed his 
tirade, hacking long rents in the holy of holies of his 
buried life ; gashing his sensitiveness with the two-edged 
sword of embittered sincerity and sdf-scom. 

** I am a poor, shiftless incompetent," he cried. " When 
I try to do right I succeed in working lasting wrong. 
When I plan to avoid a small injury I inadvertently 
accomplish a greater. I go through the world enlisting 
friends" sympathy, and dragging them down to my own low 
level by my gratitude. I have relied upon myse^ to save 
myself; prayed to God to save me; trusted that others 
might save me, but all to no avail. I am rotten in myself. 
I crucify others, but cannot crucify my own body. I am 
utterly worthless, and utterly untrustworthy." 

In this strain he might have proceeded had not Helen 
laid her hand upon his mouth to stop him. 

" You are wrong, wrong, wrong in what you say. You 
have no right to accuse yourself like this. I, who by your 
own showing, should have most reason to complain, recog- 
,nize that you have done honourably and well. I am 
willing to stand by you and, for all my love of you, to 



MEETING IN SPARROW HOLLOW 805 

Wp JOT in lurilleiiig our love to the bai»in«. nf f ki. 

tlie wniiM ♦!.-,* l ""6»i /uur poin, and so to teach 

ine world that heroes can rtill be brave In wh»fvl« 
iMive done you have done wpII »«.♦♦ *u * ^'^ 

think.** weU— better than you can ever 

^Be^an who™ J^^tn^ ^n^f ^^^ 
•t«>tch out her hand, to pu.h hhn from her while Z^ 
bve^r^ rf e^nfort. that he might have 'thltS^ 

DM Mrly Oxfoid day», when he hod held her to be m mn»h 

l^^him""* ^Z^'„^:t 'T'^'^ """^ 
•ttainable ? She fcl^ ^ 'ntangible and un- 

her" !1^ 1"'" " "rs'y *'»•" "> Gabriel,- he heari 

prmntted, before you go to London." ^ 

no ,^" -™' """' '*'' y™ "^ ™ t- «>« ? Have you 

« So mwiy that I haru,y know how to face to-morrow " 
n.e„ why, after aU, should I do this thing ? Xuld 

P«r « tnfle and «, ca»,ly come by that we »ho.Ud de,pi«.. 
rt f Let us go away quietly together to «,me forei™ C 
^tl" iT "°* ''"°™.'^ «» "™ .t peace C^^ 
htr" wh^'^^o*;^ '^"^^ '» thesZTwo^^ 
^^ Micy wo were left oi.ce again so entirely 



a06 THE WEEPING WOMAN 



together, had diieinbemiied him of hb raeolm; tl 
■oog of the earth throbbed through hie veine— nothin 
counted lave love, love, love. 

** Why do I urge you m?"* she repeated in a irnal 
thrilling voice. ** Becauie it is best for both of us, Oabric 
We love too intensely ; we should bum out our lives — \ 
consumed by our own passion. God never meant a ms 
and a woman to love as we love. He would becon 
jealous ; some disaster would overtake us. If I were 1 

tell you what I feel toward you But we had be 

be silent Such talk could only serve to stifle conscience 

** But why should we not speak of it ? It was given i 
to speak about** 

**No, Gabriel ; it was given to us that we might refit 
it" 

"But why? Why? What is the reason for th 
butchering of that which is best?** 

" That it is not best ; there is something better— to gi 
to others that which is our best You have told me 
that which you have done, and the conclusion at whii 
you have arrived — that life should be a cross 

** Yes, but that was before I had discovered that y( 
still caxed for me,** Gabriel interrupted. 

**Doe8 that make the conclusion any the less truei 
she asked. " No, Gabriel, you were right ; we must li 
the Christ-life. Together, that would be impossible ; y 
should care over-much for one another and become selfia 
To live this life it is necessaiy to leave all.** 

"Then it is a crime to love? You never said tl 
before.** 

" No ; but listen. After you went away, I felt the ne 
of you ; but I dared not jwrite, lest you ^ould guess w] 
it was that was providing for you. I had promised mys< 
that I would go out of your life, lest calamity shou 
befall you as it befell the Poet, through me. Hierefo 



MEETING IN SPARROW HOLLOW 807 

I fell into tb« habit of visiting Mr. Unourttr. who ilumd 
my love of you. WM the one num who knew you mort 
intimatdy, and who wm in coni.t«t oorrenpondence with 

C*»K?T»^ ^' "^ ""^ ^^ of you,«Kl, poor com- 
^^h thiK w.^ yet it WM «m„. comfort wl^ I w«. 
r«7 lonely. By and by he began to unfold to mr, and to 
exdiangeamfidenc»s telling me thing>. about himwlf. I 
had noticed whenever I went there that hi. houM wa. full 
ofditrepuUble people. You aim had told me wmething 
•bout hi- new manner of life. One day. when I qucHtioncJ 
he told me hi. d«.iru-to patch up maimed live. ; to .pend 
him«lf for other.; to live the life which Chri.t would 
have lived, even though he could not believe in Chri.t I 
thought httle of it at the time, but afterwaitlm when 
I returned home and pondered the vanity of my own 
living, It came upon me in a fla.b that he wa. right- 
that Uii. was the one attainable ai jition left for me. I 
went down and helped him with his work-became nearly 
M enthusiastic as he himself. His cousin, Hilda, who i. 
the purest, bravest woman I have met, took me in hand 
and instiiicted me; w, whilst you have been living at 
WUdwood, I have been continually at the Weeping 
Woman with the outcasts, laying my hand, upon them— 
happy at last" 

« We two have become possessed of thi. same idea," 
1* I^ Gabriel— that life is a cro.., and that they live 
life best who live most bravely." 

" And that i. my discovery also. Oh, Helen, why should 
we not live our ideal out together ? " 

"Because you are a poet, and I am a rich girl You 
ran do your best work in other ways, but mine lies among 
the poor. Besides, we have each had our call, and they 
are not the same. You dare not disobey. That which 
you have planned for your own sake, and for the sake of 
that other man who fiiiled, you must carry to a finish. 



•08 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

Do yoa mMmber what I Mid to you at parting that night 
in London f * I want you, when you are gone, to beoooM 
more happy, and the bert way in which you oan do that ii 
by Iteeping good/ Do not go bade upon your promiit, 
Gabrid ; do not disappoint me."* 

** I believe you are right ; but the crow ia heavy— more 
heavy than I oan bear.** 

** I Maw her with you to^y, Gabriel. I am rare the ii 
worthy of the aacrifloe. If you do not love her now, you 
will learn to lome day. Moreover, you owe thii; foi 
however she first learnt to love you, the greater share oi 
responsibility miut always rest with you.** 

** Thank God, Helen, that you arr so good a woman. 
If you had been less noble, I should have gone bade upon 
my better self to-night What is it that you advise mc 
to do? I am in your hands.** 

** You must marry her to-morrow, as you have promised ; 
that is all.** 

** I will do it But when shall I see you again ?** 

** Not for a long time, I fear. It would be unwise to 
meet; we could not trust oiuwlves. You must make it 
the purpose of your life to make yourself faithful in youi 
thouj^ts to her, and, to this end, to forget me. After the 
marriage you will go to London, I suppose, to see pool 
John, and then return again . The twelve months set aside 
by your father will soon be up, and you will be able to 
come to some settlement with him. In the meanwhile, I 
shall leave the Cartwrights, and go away. 

" But shall I never see you again ? Shall I never hear 
from you?** 

" Where would be the good ? feupposing we did meet 
or write, we should be as strangcn. I shotdd have no pari 
in your life.** 

" As you will," he replied sadly. « Yet there is stiU one 
request which I want to make of you.** 



MEETING IN SPARROW HOLLOW a09 

"It «• cnicl of me to Mkit, I know ; j,,t I have • morbid 
feeling that without it all will not go wdl. I want ymi 
to oom« wi^U. » to-night and tell Mary thai you wi^ her 
nappinpiw. 

So fiur tha* had been nothing but genUcne« in her fiicc. 
She had reaMHied with him a* a mother with her boy— a. 
one who, while taking a tender interat in hit aflUri, was 
only Ncondarily concerned. Now that ahe had gained 
her pomt, and the good deed had been accompli«hed. 

about hi. neck and ki».ing hiH lip., "Gabriel, do not 
•^ me, .he cried. " I hate her ! My God, how I hate 

While lOie .poke, he heard a wund, and, looking up. 

peitcived that the .umet had died away and the moon wa. 

riaen. Ail L i hollow wan bathul in light Tliere, not 

twenty yard, away, rtood Mary and thai other, cartimr 

two long Aadow., and gazing towaid the tree. One lona 

look Ae gave, then, without a woid, .tole away. When 

ihe had vani.hed with her companion among>it the forert 

tm», Gabriel yoke. " It i. getting Ute, Helen, and you 
have fiur to go." ^ 

" ^^ * !«"« ^*y to go." -he murmured mechanicaUy. 

He hfted her on to her hon», not trusting himiwlf to 
My more, and set out through the wood, by a Aort route, 
that he might .ee her wfely on the main road. 

When they had traversed a little over a mile, they came 
out on the smooth, white Roman highway, which the 
legions had tramped to Monbridge. 

"Helen, you ought not to travel so far alone by night 
Hadn t you better return with me to Folly Acre ? " 

"That would only leave me the farther to go to- 
morrow," she answered, with a tired smile. " You know 
that that is &r enough ah^ady. I told them that I 



810 THE WEEPING WOMAN 



would spend the night in Monbridge, and Sybil i 
awaiting me there. You need not trouble." 

Nevertheless, he followeil her for the space of two miles 
until they had reached the outskirts of the grey ok 
city. 

" You are a good fellow, Gabriel," she said ; ** you an 
tired out, and had better not come farther." 

" I could go anywhere with you, and never grow tired, 
he sighed. 

A wild look came into her eyes. He saw it as sh< 
towered above him upon her tall horse in the moonlighi 
Her moral endurtoce was spent. 

Who would blame her if, after having striven to turn th 
tide for God, she failed ; and what did blame or prais 
matter in either case ? The world was wide, so wide ; wh; 
shoidd it need saviours ; and who was she, a weak woman 
to try to save it P Old age would soon overtake her ; thei 
would be time and to spare for repentance — why shoul 
she not take her delight now, while ahe was young ? 

The horse pawed the ground and whinnied, a littl 
breeze blew out his mane, speaking of space and a worl 
to wander, bidding them begone together, while the ecstas 
remained. 

Turning her proud, blanched face toward him, sh 
looked down with eyes which bespoke her thoughi 
stretching out a hand to bid him come. 

He read her mind and, remembering how she ha 
saved him from himself that evening, took her hand, an 
kissed it, saying, " No, Helen, it can never be." 

''- Not my hand, Gabriel, my face," she cried, bendin 
toward -him out of the saddle. 

Risaching up and taking her iiace between his hands, li 
looked long into the sweet, sad eyes, which he loved ; thei 
putting his lips to her forehead, whispered her own word 
" I want you, when you are gone, to become mote hap|r 



MEETING IN SPARROW HOLLOW 811 

and the best way in which you can do that is by keeoinff 
good.'' ^ ^ "^ 

The mouth trembled, and tears filled her eyes ; tfc ; first 
of that brave evening. « I will try for your sake, Ga ni. 1," 
she said. "Forgive me the harsh words which I iia»o 
spoken ; they were not meant. You have proved yourself 
a true poet to-night." 

"And who am I, that I should forgive?" he cried, 
pressing his hot face against her dress. 

"Or I?" she said, resting her hand upon his head. 
"We have both done our best." 

" Grod bless you," he said. 

And she, perceiving that other words were vain, and 
only tempted to longer delay, gathering up the reins, 
returned answer, " And may Jesus comfort you." 

Urging her horse to a canter, she disappeared down 
the moonlit road. Gabriel was once more left standing 
alone. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 



JEPHTHAH^S DAUGHTER 

Reluctantly he turned, and commenced the homeward 
journey. The cMmax was over and past, he could now 
view himself and each one of the little group whom he 
had gathered around him, dispassionately. 

This strange fact struck him, that they had all, in their 
own peculiar way, foregone something. Lancaster and 
Hilda at the Weeping Woman, Meredith at Wildwood. 
These, after having fought and lost their battles, when they 
had suffered defeat in that which they most had coveted, 
had seen a new and better sort of victory emerging from 
their own undoing ; with the defeat which was victory, had 
come peace. A thing yet more significant grew clear to 
him : that their first battles had been waged wittingly, for 
themselves and by themselves ; that their defeat had been 
a personal loss, whereas i,he after triumph had come 
unsought, through themselves but for others. 

Mary had been a defeated woman frtim the outset ; she 
had inherited the shame and imdoing of her parents. 
Love seemed to be for her the only possible conquest ; to 
persist in love her one heroism. It behoved him, as the 
stronger of the two, to help in the retrieving of her 
hereditary losses. Helen was right. He must marry Mary 
and ivUl to be loyal, in spite of himself. This he would 
do. They two would live the quiet pastoral life, doing 
their daily task and helping Meredith in his work. 

312 



JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER 818 

He would teach Mary, and would devote his peraeveranoe 
to making up to htx the deficiencies of her childhood. 
When he recoUected what th'jse deficiencies were, his heart 
went out to her in something more than compassion ; he 
was already conscious of the birth within him of a new 
protecting, different quality of love. * 

*;i wiU be faithful to her in thought as weU as in 
action," he said. « It was cowardly of me to wince to-day 
at the opinion of the world. What is the world? An 
old rake, who conceals his sins by accusing those of others." 

Aiieady he was anxious to be near her, to make recom- 
pense for past misdeeds, and to feel the forgiveness of her 
arms about him. 

But what of Helen ? She had fought the bravest fight 
of them all. She had fought from the first in order that 
she might be defeated, for the sake of others. As yet 
there was no recompense for her. He, who alone knew 
of her courage, was not permitted even to think of or to 
pity her in this her darkest hour. 

" We have each won something in the end," he consoled 
himself. « Surely there may yet be some hidden victory 
for her!" In obedience to her desire he banished her 
irom his thoughts. 

During the long and solitary homeward tramp there 
was plenty of time for cogitation. One phenomenon 
worried him, because he could not explain it— Mary's 
hallucination about the Green Boy. He had made 
inquiry of many people, Meredith included, as to whether 
any such person inhabited the neighbourhood, and had in 
all cases, save that of Meredith, been met with a blank stare. 
Meredith, on being asked, had looked up at him half- 
shrewd, half-frightened, answering, " Not that I have ever 
seen." 

Gabriel was convinced that he had seen the mysterious 
Green Boy again this evening in the Hollow, in the 



814 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

company of Mary. Revealed by the moonlight he nad 
not only recognized his shadow, but the face and dress 
which Mary had so often described — the same face, so 
strangely like his own, which had gazed in through the 
window on the previous night. The memory made him 
imcomfortable. It was uncanny. He determined to 
question Meredith again, that very night. 

There was a double reason for his seeing him at that 
late hour. He was Mary's father, and it was only right 
that he should be consulted about his daughter's marriage, 
even though he exercised no authority over her. 

On his first discdvery that Meredith had been meddling 
in his affairs, Gabriel iiad inclined to be angry. Now that 
everything was arranged, all cause for resentment being 
past, Gabriel, understanding the delicacy of his predica- 
ment, was full of sympathy for him, and readily forgave. 

It was past eleven o'clock when he reached Wildwood 
and turned in at Meredith's gate, but the light was still 
burning, so he did not hesitate to knock. 

Pushing open the cottage door he discovered his host 
engaged upon the usual task. He had set a lamp before 
him, in suchwise that, while enabling him to read from his 
heavy family Bible, it would also act as searchlight to any 
homeless traveller along the road 

" Still up, Dan," he said, nodding towards him. ** Tm 
glad of that, for I want a talk with you. What is it that 
you are reading so late at night ? " 

Dan looked up. " The story of Jephthah's daughter." 

" One that I have never liked," said Gabriel. " It's too 
brutal. God isn't like that ; it can't be true." 

"Why not?" 

"Because fathers don't make such vows; daughters 
don't help them to keep them when they are made ; and 
'should the worst come to the worst, God Himself would 
see to it that they were broken." 



JEPHTHAHS DAUGHTER 815 

**8uch stories are true, Gabriel. Men have been doing 
rash deeds and making carelow vows, for which their 
womciifolic have had to suffer, throughout the ages. I am 
a Jephthah ; I should know."" 

"You live too much with John Bunyan, Dan, and, 
like him, take delight in abasing yourself with strained 
BiWe analogies. This time I fail to see the point of 
contact in your comparison.'" 

" I, like Jephthah, fled from my brethren and dwelt in a 
distant land, where I gathered vain men unto me. I, like 
Jephthah, returned after many years to the place of my 
birth to fight a battle for the Lord. I also have won my 
battle — and have an only daughter.** 

« However that may be, there shall be no more tragedies 
in your edition of the story. I told you, Dan, Lhat I 
wanted to marry your daughter ; I still intend to do so. 
I do not blame you for trying to hinder me, for I think I 
can read your motive; you wanted to safeguard Helen. 
I have been with her to-night and she herself has uiged 
me to do this. Now that there is no other hindrance do 
you agree?" 

"Gabriel, dear lad, I interfered not for Helen alone, 
but for your own sake. You know how much this 
marriage has already cost you ; it may ruin your hopes— 
your life." 

" Then I am prepared and glad to be ruined. It is I 
who shall pay ; it is my own affair." 

" Is there nothing that I can say which will dissuade 
you?" 

"Nothing." 

" Gabriel, you are a good man, you know how the secret 
of my early sin has weighed me down, and how much easier 
it will be for me to have one near who will share that 
knowledge. It is not through lack of love for you that I 
have been unwilling, but because I wished to spare you." 



816 THE WEEPING WOMAN 



**AndIamunwiUing to be spared. When I had k»t 
faith, and honour, and relig^!on, you came to me and 
showed me how life might be lived. I am happier to fail 
in your company, through a kindly deed, than to succeed 
in a fashion that would leave me cauHe for r^ret" 

Meredith bent over him and kissed him, saying, "The 
hate of the Loid is removed from me at last. He denied 
me a daughter ; He has given me a son." 

Thereupon Gabriel told him his plans, how he was to be 
married on the morning following, and purposed living at 
Folly Acre. 

"There is one question," said he, "which I have been 
puzzled in answering. I asked you about it once, and, 
although yuu refused to answer, you seemed to me to know." 

"What is that?" 

« It is concerning that tale of Mary's about the Green 
Boy, whoever he may be. She described him to me for 
the first time on Christmas Day, and lately she has made 
reference to him on several occasions." 

Meredith's eyes had become anxious. "Tell me all 
you know," he said, " and I will answer you." 

Then Gabriel told him of what he himself had seen 
that very night, and the night previous ; also, how Mary 
had said that the Green Boy had told her secrets and 
given her warnings concerning their love. Directly he had 
finished, Meredith began feverishly, hurrying out his words — 

" There are things that are held for true in our forest 
which you people in London would laugh to scorn — things 
which I myself do not like to believe, but which I know 
to have happened. Many of the families which live in our 
villages have been here, and in the same houses, from 
father to son as far back as they can remember, therefore 
much history and legend had gathered aroimd names. 

" The Devons are one of these. Spiritual presences are 
said to have come to such, as warnings of evil in times of 



JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER 817 

crises, before the happening of great events in their 
houses. With some the form of the warning has differed 
at different times, with others it has been always the same. 
" The Devons have lived up there on the hill for hundreds 
of years. To them the manifestation has always been the 
same in form and figure, only the face has changed ; the 
face has been that of the person through whom the danger 
threatened. It has invariably appeared when disaster is 
at hand. The Green Boy was seen before James Devon 
marched away to Naseby to die, and before Nathaniel was 
taken for sheep stealing. Dora saw him before I ruined 
her, and the face which he wore was mine. Maiy has 
seen him off" and on all her life— she is the last of the 
Devons. This was why her mother was so much terrified 
whenever she mentioned having been with him as a 
child. It was this which made me so silent when you 
questioned me, and partly this which made me so averse 
to your marriage." 

"But what does it all mean ?" asked Gabriel, striving 
to keep down his fear. " Last night I saw his face at the 
window distinctly, and to-night I saw him in the Hollow.'' 

" It means," said Meredith slowly, « it means that Mary 
is in danger. Tell me, were you alone when they met you 
this evening ? " 

"No; I was with Helen." 

" Did Miss Thurm see them ? " 

" No ; her face was tinned away." 

"Gabriel, we must go to Folly Acre to-night." 

"To-night?" 

" Yes, and at once." 

" But she will be asleep." 

" Nevertheless, we must go." 

There was so much of horror in Meredith's voice that 
Gabriel found his mood contagious. Turning down the 
lamp they hurried out into the night 



CHAFfER XXIX 



THE TXKBOK BY MIGHT 

A DBKZLiNo rain was falling, through which the moon 
shone blurred. There was the sigh of a rustling unrest in 
the forest, as of, tired trees tossing uneasily in sleep, 
whispering incoherent warnings, though no breeie blew. 
The atmosphere sagged limp and heavy across the valley— 
a damp sheet, hung from the hill-tops, shutting out the 
air — so that one's breath came painfully. 

Striking the main road, Gabriel lent the older man his 
arm. There was comfort on such a night in mere contact 
of flesh with flesh, which made him less afraid. 

"Do you think that this is necessary P*' hazarded 
Gabriel, silence becoming oppressive. 

« Jephthah's daughter, she is Jephthah's daughter,"* was 
the only response. 

Arriving at a point where the by-path broke away 
beneath boughs to Folly Acre, they plunged into the 
blackness whidi imderlay the woods. 

Here it was necessary to go sin » /n account of over- 
hanging branches. 

Despite his infirmity Meredith pushed ahead, hurrying 
the pace, so that it was difficult at times for Gabriel to 
keep up with him. Ever and again dripping foliage would 
tap against his face with the cold touch of a dead hand, 
causing him to start back with an involuntary cry. . 
. Sometimes when Meredith halted to discover the way 

318 



THE TERROR BY NIGHT 810 

Oftbriel wouk) go by him, bruihing him in the fMming, and 
would ahudder, fancying r third pmence. When through 
the treei the solemn castaiations of the old farm loomed 
up ahead they broke into a run, with a sigh of relief that 
it still itood. 

In the gloom and nightmare of the hour everything 
had become poosible, so present had been the ihadow of 
their dread. 

Pushing open the creaking gate they hurried up the weed- 
grown walk, working round toward the back of the house. 

No light burned ; everything was silent. They hesitated, 
peering in through the window, questioning whether they 
should enter and awaken her. The night was too black to 
see anything, and the panes were mist bedrenched. 

Meredith timidly knocked upon the door. Receiving no 
answer he knocked again, louder and louder, till the whole 
house echoed with his violence. 

"Why doesn't she answer?" Gabriel whispered tremu- 
lously. 

Meredith answered nothing, but, forcing the latch, 
entered. 

Groping their way toward the bed they smoothed their 
hands across pillow and counterpane ; they were unruffled 
— she had not slept there. 

Horror giving place to alarm, they searched the room, 
thinking that she might have fainted, or fallen asleep in 
one of the chairs — all were empty. 

Striking matches, and going upon their knees, they crept 
across the pavfd floor, but found no trace of her. 

"Can it be that she has moved into some other part of 
the house ?" Gabriel suggested in desperation. 

Seizing the hope they rushed to examine the door, but 
found it locked on their own side, proving the supposition 
&lse. Meredith, going out into the night, called to 
Gabriel, saying — 



^ t 



890 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

^Comeftway. She b not here. We miut look elMwhere 
tot her. 

He did not follow. Hid eye« had grown more Mcue- 
tomed to the dark ; aomething had riveted hit attention. 
Meredith, hearing that he did not come, re-entered the 
houM to find him standing at the far end of the room, 
gating up. 

Fixing hiR eyes in the same direction to where the 
minstrel gallery ran to and fro from wall to wall, he saw a 
white thing, above the bed, hanging. For a minute he 
too stood, gaxing, paralysed of action, till, in the dark- 
netw, the shadow of white seemed to swing and sway. Then, 
shaking Gabriel fay the arm, he shouted — 

" Come, Gabriel, quickly. It may not be too late." 
Running toward the ladder whidi led up i:c began to 
ascend the steps. Fastened to the balustrade* lie found a 
cord, which he tore at with his fingers to unloose. 

Gabriel, aroused, and apprehending the worst, climbed 
on to the bed, and held up the body in his arms, releasing 
the weight. 

By slow degrees it slipped toward him as Meredith undid 
the knot, till the head fell back across his shoulder, and the 
long black hair travelled his face. 

They laid her down upon the bed, and relieved the 
tension around the throat. She was already chill. 

Discovering the lamp they found that its oil was 
exhausted, the wick chaired ; it also had burned itself out. 
Having searched for materials they lit a fire. Tliis 
Meredith did while Gabriel watched beside the bed. 

When the flames had sprung up and licked the wood 
they revealed that which it was not well for any who 
had loved her to see. She was beyond their aid. Drawing 
the sheet across the face Meredith led Gabriel away, seat- 
ing him beside the hearth. Obedient and dazed he did 
that which he was commanded, sitting quietly, with eyes 



THE TERROR BY NIGHT 811 

«Md and ^pnmkmiem-^nHmt «. «wfi I •• tbo-e of that 
dmA race into which he had glanced 

JTrT A ^ / ^ *^ dUtingui Aed fttm, the patter of 
the rain. Ah the father's heart within him awokT to it* 
grief, speech grew in volume, torrentuoius totterinir, mm- 

11- ^^lT** °^ ^^' ^°^~ "^ '^ '«"» now fun and 

and Md with the secrecy of whispered sibilants. 

In the night he was pleading with his God for her, for 
Gatael, for himself, that He might hold out His father- 
hand to each, to the living as to the dead, and guide their 
foo^ps into Hs way of pea<.. Nothing ^f r.^Z 
marred Uie petition, no idleness of reviling wonls was 
Srr;n {f .' P«>7n fjith of one, who, s«ux» knowing 

«^ f K- w l""^ '*f***'^* *"^ ""•"^'^^ •* finding the 
mind of his Maker unknowable. 

.J?^ ^l ^"* T"^ ^ ^°'''*^ '^^ °«t he arose, 
^1 ^K ?i"»*?,* ^"'^^ ^"^''^^^ ^«^ fr^n* his pocket a 
well-thumbed Bible, from which he commenced to V^ his 
fevounte passages aloud, nmning his finger along the lines 
that he might decipher the words. The embers flickered 
and flared, so that at times he could scarcely see ; stiU he 
read on. 

With him this end had been in a vague way lone 
expected. It fitted in with his theology of life-theolos; 
or reverent superstition. '^^ 

That Jephthah's daughter should die because of the 
victory, that children should inherit the curse of a father's 
sin, were to him the natural concomitants of victory and of 
the commission of sin. 

Religion to him was Life;-^od working through lives 



8M THE WEEPING WOMAN 

to<Uy, 7«Urd«y, and forever, unchanging and unchanged 
hanh as the God of the HebrewH. Religion was ai 
inviolable automatic law, manhaUing and restraining life 
God the great juriit— just, generous, but legal Mereditl 
had so reguUted his record by Old Testament teaching 
that he saw no ii^ustice or cause for resentment in th 
striking down of the fruit of his own sin by the sam 
Divine hand which had similarly bereaved Jephthah, El 
and David. Retribution in one shape or another he ha 
long feared. He bowed resignedly to the ineviUble man 
date of a jealous God, recognizing upon it the handwritin 
of his own past crime. 

With Gabriel) affairs were far otherwise. He saw onl 
the blind, brutal display of an Omnipotence which strun 
arrows at a venture, behind clouds, carelessly, and laiighe* 
All the long train of events, leading up to this one even 
passed before his eyes mockingly, proving either no Go 
at all or a frivolous wanton. 

He saw himself of a year ago, as in some dim ag 
setting out with high hopes and an initial sacrifice upc 
his high road > helpfulness— his one idea to accomplii 
himself at all cobts, for the sake of fame and of others. 

Like the minor undertones of a great Greek traged 
one miserable calamity after another had crept in, M 
guides, promising to hasten him to the goal of his ar 
bitions ; posing as skilful musicians of emotion who woii 
call forth from the harp of his heart the new songs. Thi 
the progression of his downfall sped on, till he, who 
every thought along the way had been kindness, fom 
himself at the end with blood-red hands, plashed wH 
the blood of many, all of them people whom he had love 
standing alone, an outcast in the eyes of the world, 
criminal In his own. 

With vehement petulance he blamed himself for lap 
of kindness, absences of forethought, omissions of gentl 



THE TERROR BY NIGHT 898 

The bitterwt mcmcy of all w*. tl»t .he whom he had 

whom, above every living creature, he had been wUlinir to 
fo^ h Im^jlf the mo.t, had died mi.umlerHtandinK him 
e«jdemnn,g him perhap ; or. what wa. wor., c^ndlniTg 

When he thought of the horror of m^lMoathing which 
mu.t have led to thin la«t act of her denial, he w^ 
P«-«ed .nth a inadne« of remon« ; .till more «, whc^ 
he pctuml how hi- each lea«t re.pon.ible action L" 
c«ntnbuted to the cata.tn,phe. and mu.t unavoidah^ 
in the final 8ummmg. be held re.pon.ible. ^ 

DoubtlcH. he had revealed to her in variou- indi^ 

JZ^ kT^u ^ ^"'*-***** ^' *^""^^» "»' ^^^ the 
fire of love which she gave. 

The coming of the Thurm« had .trengthened her «u«- 
ZZ' ?il Z '"'^"t •* ^«»»>"^«« had lent them 
departure, had combmed them, cau-ing him to appear in 
W eyc« «« a pulmg coward, who. not daring to s^Tout 
the truA to her openly, had contrived thl roSd,^ 
means of exit-a lie She could not read the message fo 

which she had seen in Sparrow Hollow had confirm^ 

Z7er^JllZr'\T'''''^' lent it life, impeding h« 
to her final deed of despemte self-contempt. 
His good and his bad had been alike misconstrued 

ht:tu :jhi/f * 1 f °"l' f'^'^'y througrnonTif 
««^^- -11 T^ *^'"^" ^ *^° ^ched, when, sick 

and disillusioned, she. by whom the world had never sit 

r ;:„Sir ^ " ^ ''^"^-'"'^ '-^ -^ ht 

"What is there left for me to accomplish?'' his soul 
cned out withm him. "Such things L I would not. 



824 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

those I do; the things that I would, I have not the 
capacity to attain. I am a curse and a plague-spot 
wherever I go— « vampire who thrives on the lives ol 
others and cannot himself die.'' He thought of how he 
had pledged himself to be the healing shadow of a crow 
and of all the dreams which had come with the desire 
From such a life he felt himself to be for ever debarred 
how should hands which had slain ever be lifted up tc 

bless ? 

« Oh, Christ, that you were real !" he cried in the sileno 
of his agony; "you, at least, would understand." So 
between his lonely longing for a Saviour, many year 
dead, and his memory of her glazed eyes, he eddied an< 

swayed. i . i . i 

Patiently, through the watches of the night, in Iom 
broken tones, the other man read on until at last he cam 
to the words, " Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror b 
night." Here he paused, having arrived at that for whic 
he had sought. Gabriel, wakening out of his trana 
listened. "Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror h 
night ; nor for the arrow which flieth by day ; nor for tl 
pestilence that walketh in darkness ; nor the destructic 
that wasteth at noonday." 

The reader halted, with his finger on the page, an 
looking up, met the eyes of Gabriel full upon hii 
« That is what we have feared : the terror by night; tl 
pestilence that walketh by darkness. These words we 
written that we might not be afraid." 

In his despair, Gabriel fancied he saw some phantom 
comfort in what had been spoken ; as a drowning mi 
flings out hands above the waters to clutch at the driftii 
semblance of a hope, he snatched the book from Mei 
dith's hands, and, throwing himself down upon his kn< 
by the fire, that he might catch the flickering light, 
near that the heat scorched his face and well-nigh sing 



THE TERRQR BY NIGHT 825 

his hair, he read. "He that dweUeth in the secret place 
of the most High shaU abide under the shadow of the 
Almighty. I will say unto the Lonl, He is my refaire 
and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust. Surely He 
ihaU deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from 
the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His 
r?T^ and under His wings shalt thou trust ; His truth 
«h^ be thy shield and thy buckler. Thou shalt not be 
afraid of the terror by night" 

Like the music of an old song, or the far-away memory 
of a dear friend's voice, the calm of the words stole over 
him. This was the kind of God he had been in seareh of 
aU these years, a Being who mingled boundless strength 
Witt the fimte mother-love-One Who could cover him 
with the feathers of tenderness and shelter him beneath 
the wings of a timeless security, making him unafraid. 

In a dim way he began to contrast the composure of 
Meredith's fortitude with his own resistless surrender to 
misfortune. Here was one who knew himself to be de- 
fended from the power of every advewary; while he, 
i»abnel, had been trusting in the weakling force of his 
own right arm alone. Oh, that he also might feel the 
touch of the feathers, and quietly creep in beneath the 
shadow of the outspread wings ! 

Meredith, with the delicate instinct of the divinely 
consecrated, of one who had gone through the same fieiy 
ordeal himself, looked on without speaking, until Gabriel 
nsmg towards him, returned the book, and laid his hand 
upon the old man's knee, crouching beside him. 
" Has it come at kst, laddie ? " 

Gabriel lifted to him a face radiant and smiling. « It 
has come," he said ; « teU me more about it." 

In a quavering monotone, Meredith, his hands resting 
m the boy's long, tangled curls, repeated, « Now I saw in 
my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go 



826 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

was fenced on either side with a wall, and that the wall 
was called Salvation. Up this, therefore, Christian did 
run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load 
on his back. He ran thus till he came to a place some- 
what ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a 
little below, in the bottom, a sepuldire. So I saw in my 
dream that, just as Christian came up with the cross, his 
burden loosened from off his shoulders, and fell from off 
his back, and began to tumble, and so continued till it 
came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I 
saw it no more.^ 

" I have seen that cross," whispered Gabriel, " and now 
I have come to it. I have also stood within the sepulchre."* 

For a while they remained without speech, each fulfilled 
with his own thoughts. 

« And then ?^ asked Gabriel ; " what did Christian do 
next?" 

" Then," continued Meredith, " then was Christian glad 
and lightsome, and said with a merry heart, * He hath 
given me rest by His sorrow, and life by His death." Tlien 
he stood still a while to look and wonder." 

" Did nothing else happen ? " 

** Yes, as he stood looking, three Shining Ones came to 
him, and saluted him with, * Peace be unto thee." So the 
first one said to him, *Thy sins are forgiven thee;" and 
the second stripped him of his rags ; the third set a marie 
upon his forehead, and gave him a roll, with a seel upon 
it, which he bid him look on as he ran, and that he should 
give it in at the Celestial Gate ; so they went their way." 

" I like what the first one said best." 

" I also loved his words best at the time, I remember ; 
but, afterwards, I came to love them all," said Meredith, 
bending over his face. 

" Dan, I am so tired, I should like to sleep, but I would 
rather kiss her first." 



THE TEIIROR BY NIGHT 827 

Going hand in hand toward the bed, Meredith turned 
back the sheet so £ur as her forehead. 

^Dan, I think she is happy; I am sure she must be 
smih'ng. They will love her better there." 

« Yes ; she has departed and is with Christ, which is far 
better." 

So, when the terror by night had been overcome, these 
two men, folded within each other^s arms, stretched on the 
floor by the dead girl's side, slept tiU the breaking of new 
day. ^ 



CHAPTER XXX 



THE COMING OF THE UMENUOHTENEO 

A NOETH wind swept the countryside, stramming from 
the forest branches a low, sustained music, as from the 
chords of a many-stringed harp ; rousing hoarse cheers as 
it pelted through the valley ; causing flower-faces of the 
field to bow this way and that, like royalty riding through 
a park. The sun, blustering and brimful of glory, was 
splashing his turbulent way through a racing cloud toward 
the zenith of his height — a horse of gold in the surf of an 
azure sea. 

The world was electric with energy. Everything was 
doing; birds flying hither and thither ; wains along distant 
high-roads rumbling citywards ; brooks babbling on to a 
river ; rivers bawling down to a sea ; seas swaying on to an 
ocean. Life was throbbing and travelling. 

Gabriel took a last farewell look at his cottage home, 
and pulled to the door. Withdrawing the key fiwm the 
lock, he placed it on a comer of the window-sill, according 
to agreement with Meredith. 

That morning they had talked matters over, and had 
come to the conclusion that it was Gabriel's bounden duty 
to hasten to London ; the message in the telegram had 
been urgent and allowed of no delay. 

This left Meredith in charge of affairs at FoUy Acre ; 
also to face any trouble that might arise. Gabriel had 
objected to the arrangement, till Meredith had pointed 

328 



THE UNENLIGHTENED 899 

out to him that hia place was at the Turnpike, and that 
there was ao sense in two being involved in an unpleasant- 
ii«8 which was better handled by one. Moreover, his 
absence might avoid a scandal which would drag many 
names into the unsympathetic light of publicity-^Hewi 
for instance. Prom every point of view it seemed expedient 
tnat he should go. 

Meredith relied upon the influence of Sir Danver Cart- 
wnght, and had sent for him early that morning. If an 
mquert should be made compulsory, the name of Gabriel 
was to be omitted, Meredith being alone mentioned as 
the discoverer of the suicide; its motive being left »n- 
jwrtural. His well-known lofty character, together with 
the secret support of one of the count/s highest magnates, 
w.^d prohibit any suspicion of foul pUy attaSig to 

The secluded life which had been led, both at FoUy 
Acre and the cottage, gave no opportimity for the intri 
duction of village witnesses. There was no one who could 
contribute any information over and above what was 
generaUy known, except Meredith. There were powerful 
reasons for expecting that the tragedy could be kept 
pnvate, as is frequently the case in obscure villages ; some 
Ignorant or friendly doctor, of Sir Danver'spiwurimr.beinir 
persuaded to fiU in a certificate of death in thrnormd 
way. 

A ^*^**l!° ***^ *"^^^" '"^"* °^ ^^ changed self, con- 
fo«d by this contradiction in his fortunes, that unexpected 
and overwhelming joy should have come to him out of so 
temble a «,llapse of his happiness, resigned his own prefer- 
en^ for those of the older man, and was content to obey 
He had proceeded so far as the gate, when a tendemi 
crept over him to return once more and look upon the 
garden wherein so many destinies had been wrought out, 
that he might recall it exactly in after years. Dipping 



ft 



bt 



THE WEEPING WOMAN 



his bag by the hedge, he pawed through the alley-way of 
Tfaododendrons down to the terrace of rosea. ^ 

Entering Hm arbour, he gaied at the grey tracery of 
Monfaridge, with the river flowing by, and smiled at remem- 
bering the continentii of moods which he had tr a versed 
since his eyes had first rested on that sight — and sighed. 
Going from rose-tree to rose-tree, he wished them all 
** Good-bye,^ and felt sorry at leaving. 

Just as he was about to ascend, he caught a glimpse of 
the bush which had borne the flower between whose petals 
Helffli had slipped her note. Drawing nearer, he saw that 
the wind had scattered its leaves and withered it away. 
In its destructioq he discerned a sign, as he now saw a 
portmt in the death of that small red-breasted bird which 
Maiy had rescued on his first night in Wildwood, which 
had perished from the heat of his hand. Barbg his 
head before departing, he quoted, "Then saw I not the 
brif^t light which was in the clouds, but now the wind 
passeth and deanseth them. Fair weather omneth out of 
the north ; with Grod is terrible majesty." 

Striking the highway by a short cut throu^ the fields, 
he tramped along, shouldering his bag,i until a farmer, 
trotting townwards, overtook and ofilered him a lift 

** Where be you travelling ?" 

" To London." 

**To London! Heaven help us, that be a mighty 
wicked place, where all oiu: runagates gad. You look to 
be an honest gentleman." 

** More or less," replied Gabriel, after which conversation 
of courtesy tiieir interest in one another flawed. 

Half-way down the hill they saw a lady, leading a 
saddle-horse, in whom Gabriel recognized Helen. He 
asked the frumer to put him down and wait for a minute. 

" What do you want ?" he asked her gently. 

She cast down her eyes and flushed. 



THE UNENLIGHTENED 881 

«L««l night I oould not »leep for thinking over what I 

r^ J!l {°"u '^^ ^^"^ ^^- ' •«» «>"»*«« to do what 
I oo^t to have done lart night-to wiA her happinew.- 
It M too Ute," he answered dowly ; «d,e is did.'' 

whS^^lNofdtr??^"^^'"'"^- "^^''•^ 

colfo^^^ ^ ™^^*' There is yet Meredith for you to 

I. lir^'rP*^" "^^ raoaned, covering her face with her 
fiands. IJen, after a pause, "But you are happy! 
Gabnel,teU me, why are you happy?" Here was W 
reproach in her voice. 

« Because God has come to me, as He has come to her. 
mere is no happmess without Him." 
She gaaed upon her lover in anger and bewilderment 
Tins IS the day, almost the hour, upon which you 
were to have married her," she said. 
" God wiUed it otherwise, and God knew best* 
But I don't understand. She is dead, and you are 
smiling! She is dead ; you said that she was dead" 
you." ^ P~' "*^^ «° to Wildwood ; Meredith will teU 

fflowly she b^ to move up the hifl, and Gabriel, 
havmg watched her out of sight, clambered into the cart 
J^^ceeded on his way to Monbridge, and thence to 

Up the hiU she went until, coming to more level ground, 
she remounted. Think as she would, she could not reaUz^ 
or reconcile this latest freak of fate. That Gabriel should 
wmle and seem content in the presence of such a disaster 
was monstrous to her. Had he reproached her, reviled 
himself, spoken wildly and blasphemed, she could have 
undajtood him-aU this would have been natural and in 
accord with that which she would have expected from one 



sat THE WEEPING WOMAN 

of his tempenuneDt. But that he ihould meet her com- 
poeedly, on mich a morning, when all the world wemed w 
glad to be alive, and on the very road upon which he 
•hould have been travelling to his wedding, and then tell 
her, without a trace of grief, that the bride was dead— 
that was too horrible. She, with her youth and pride 
in her beauty, had learnt to look upon death as the 
worst unhappiness which could befall — the tragedy of 
trigedies, the grief of griefs. Often she hau crept to 
the mirror that she mi^t run her fingers over the soft 
texture of her skin and the glossy fitbric of her hair, 
to make sure that she was still alive, shuddering with 
dread at the thought that all these would one day be as 
nothing, lying forgotten and out of sight in the depth of 
some londy grave. To be alive, for the more sensuous 
delif^t of feeling, moving, loving, admiring, was to her the 
boon of boons— «fter life there was nothing. 

Yet in the presence of death he had looked com- 
placent, smiled, packed his bag, and gone in search of 
new adventures! 

Something like loathing grew up within her, and, with 
it, an admiring fear ; fear of the magnificent callosity of a 
man who, being himself an atom of a moribund creation, 
could bring himself to dispense so lightly with the life of 
another, as though he were immortal ; admiration, because 
she felt herself to be so incapable of such an iron evil. 

Nevertheless, side by side with this sickening sense of 
repulsion, was the hint of a possible misjudgment; a 
reserve opinion. She could not disguise the change in his 
personality of which she had been made conscious; an 
unutterable calm which could not have been generated by 
mere hardness of heart. Toiling with her conjectures, i^e 
rounded the bend which brought within view the ascent 
to Meredith^s house. 

There in the sunlight he sat as of old, the bees hum- 



THE UNENLIGHTENED 888 

• book iprMd open acnM his knees. 

«!i!S'? ^ **u"* "P *^* *»'"» •*« demounted and 
w^ked to where he WM seated. At the nisUe of her dress 
be looked up, and seeing her, arose. 

** Is this true, Dan ? is she really dead ?" 

"She is dead." ^ 

last nflf^ ?V°* *~'* -^d, Dan ; and Gabriel told me 
last night that she was your daughter." 
*• That is true ; but she is dead." 

boL^H^^V'***"'*"^?'**^- I «"«* Gabriel not an 

vTa^nr^ K ''" ""'""«' *"^ 8°»»8 away, and even 
you are not unhappy." o ^, 

^^e has departed, and is with Christ-which is far 

" But you were fond of her, Dan ?" 
"I would willingly have died for her." 
" ITien why are you not sad ?" 

i«h^^^ *^. "^^ "°*^^ ***** ««»« unaltemble, 
"jefinable tianquiUity which she had noticed in Gahrid 

« Helen-for I used to caU you Helen before you grew 
d«tth ,s only the b^„i,^ of a newer and better life^f 

His hand to take her; therefore we are glad" 

" But how, Dan-how ? I have heanl all these phrases 
before; they mean so little and cover up so maJyT 
answerable doubts." ^ ^ 

"AU doubts are answerable for those who believe " 

ab^S'^hi^'^'jJ'f"? ?7J" *° **°^ """b '^' ^"^y knew 
about himself, he told her his life's histoiy and of the 

banning last night of the new heart in Gabriel 
She listened attentively to the end. " It is ve^ wonder- 



884 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

All You mutt give me time to think ; I oumot gnwp it 
It i« too wonderftil,"* she laid. 

Then she told him of henelf and of the haaty wordi 
which 1^ had sfxtken ccmoeming Mary, and of the purpoie 
of her prewnt joamey. 

** I ihould lilce to tee her jmt once,** ahe said. 

At that moment the mmumI of wheels wan heard from 
helow, and Helen perceived the hi^ dog-cart of Sir 
Danver pulling up at the gate. 

** I should like to see her alone if possible, Dan ; I had 
very bitter thoughts about her last night."* 

Meredith, who had been waiting for Sir Danver's coming, 
led her out by the back way, and, having pointed to where 
Folly Acre lay ahd having set her upon the right path, 
returned to meet his new guest. 

Helen, as she walked along between the high trees 
through whidi the sunlight filtered and fell, strove in vain 
to reidiie the meaning of all that which she had Utely 
heard. Here, as she passed, a rabbit ran across her trade 
and a red-breast hopped under cover; squirrels were in 
the tree-tops, and a laric, high up and out of sight, was 
trilling. Had no one any just and angry pity for the 
death of this young girl ? Was there no one to be sorry 
for her ? A gercrous indignation against the merriment 
of the day brought tears to her eyes. " I, at least, will be 
sad for her,"" she said. 

On through the green-wood she travelled, passed up the 
moss-grown path, and stood before the threshold. Two 
rooks, which had been perched upon the gutter of the house, 
rose insolently up and flew leisurely away with a studied 
slowness, as though in protest against her coming — the only 
moiumers dressed in black which she had seen that day. 

The door was on the latch ; but she hesitated to enter, 
recalling the bitterness which she had entertained in her 
life toward the dead. She looked in through the windows, 



THE UNENLIGHTENED 885 

«»d thought of .11 the other fiu» whl«* h«] peemi thnnigh 
them in the long length of jean, i fkc«. whi^hud it»ohS 

loil! «»7|«» d"** T" "****» ''^ "y*- «»"W no 

^lJ^11l**''if"'"^"«" •^ «"•"«■ *^ «««~tioni. of 
i^ *i^''^ her eyei ; the petty detail, which had 
comprbed their pa«iionate life, the marriageiH fea-tingm 
quamaingm love-making., and death., of wSch there wt^ 
jio more record than if they had never heen. Thi. girl, 
the la.t of them aU, Uy dead within. In the reflecUon 
Jhe «w nothmg but finality. To-day World ««med til 

Z^^!'^:^ **"!;^'^"* of ye.teiday\ to which wa. 
appomted a kmdrod end. 

Summoning her courage. Ae pushed open the door. 
Th^ room wm bright and polirfied, marked with the care- 
tul tokens of the toil of tha« dead hand* The aiOie. of 
a fire rtiU glowed, throwing out a .mouldering heat In 
the fiu. conier. beneath the galleiy. .tood a bet^over which 
wa. .pread a sheet ; and wmething under it Down by 
the «ide drooped a delicate arm and hand, the fin«^ 
emp^ and partly doubled, seeking a hand to hold/ 
Crouching bes.de it, Helen dipped her own into that of 

^ teyl" ^""^ ^"^^^ "^ «^" «">P«^ 
« Come back ! ^ .he whispered. « I want you to have 

him. I have come to tell you so." 
She waited for an answer. 

STS"^L 'n'«flng«»««m«ltohoId the tighter, but 
the body did not move. 

"Oh, cannot you hear me? If you will only come 
b«.k I will love you asa sister. I have never had a sister. 
1 feel I could love you now.'" 

In her excitement she had released the hand. When 
ahe had done speaking, she noticed how it swung to and 
fro ; empty a^^n ; bidding her begone. 



886 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

In tht psoM which followed, the braune mwtn of Um 
MMtcritj of the Rilenoe which she had dneenitod. BttMUai 
lower over the bedside she whispered, ** U there nothini 
that I can do for youP** Her answer was the nepii 
iroin sound* 

«* I should like to kiss you before I go,** she said. Tin 
dead hand moved stifRy and reluctantly toward her lip 
as she drew it up. Then she saw the thorn-wound upoi 
it, jagged and red, and wept over it, moaning, ** Foo 
woiuided hand,** and touched it also with her lips. 

** I should like to kiss ycnir face,** she said. 

Um wind blowing in at the open door rippled th 
shroud, making it seem as if the body beneath wer 
strugi^ing to rifee.** 

She pulled back the covering, and for a mmnent gaaei 
upon the face. 

The muscles had relaxed &« the body had chilled, bring 
ing back to the countenance something of its old waywar 
sweetness ; only the agonized apartness of the mouth, an 
the blue, rude circle armmd the throat served to signif 
by what means the fipmt had contrived its departure. 

''And they can look upon you and be glad !"* she groanec 
** And they call that religion ! ^ But the body lay at reel 
quite heedless. 

With a sob she kissed the forehead, put back the sheei 
and passed out into the sunlight 

Walking toward the farm, deep in conversation, si 
saw Meredith and Sir Danver. She slipped behind a tn 
and waited till they were out of sight 

Then, returning to Meredith^s cottage along the trac 
by which she had come, remounting her horse she alt 
rode away. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

■KMAXINO TRK WOILD 

l«t attempt to honour hi. defe/t " ""• 

oneHeScing, ^ii!^ "***"« "^ """««''»« « «"»« 

^htlotw" "i^tJS' .T'"' "'•J'^ °^'"" "-^ 

r.i, • 1 ^^'. °'»»° •'>'', true poet that Tou are"? 
«.^^K ""i:'*'^, ™«"*'y whether «ri, might nrt be 

deliSr^Ae^^tr* °" ""^ ""* "-^ ■-" 
" 837 



888 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

Beyond all elde, thoughtH of Lancaster and the purpow 
of his abiegated life occupied GabriePs mind, making 
tender and enthusing him at every nearer approach to his 
friend*8 presence. Tlie words of that last letter echoed in 
his ears : **I feel now what Christ must have felt (though 
I am still none of His) when he said, *The harvest truly 
is plenteous, but the labourers are few ; pray ye therefore 
the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into 
his harvest* I have been so praying, and you know that 
I have never prayed for anything before, that the Lord 
Jesus may send you.^ 

Gabriel, looking upon this multitude of damorous 
teeming lifie, understood the compassion of those words. 
He felt that he wauld like to stand up there in the heart 
of that dizzy throng and say something which mifi^t 
restrain the huny of their feet, and bring peace into 
their eyes. Peace! He sought eveiywhere for peace 
in the rude sketch of careers which was scrambled across 
these men^s and women^s features. Eneigy was there; 
passion was there; love was there; but no hint of 
peace. 

** For what are they all hurrying r*^ he asked. ** Where 
is the goal of their perfo^id d^re ? ^ 

Now he recognized what Lancaster had laboured and 
was dying for — ^that he mi^^t give these weary ones peace. 

He had arrived within a hundred yards of his old place 
of residence. The Gothic steeple of St. Lawrence toward 
high over all, imsombre for once in the summer li^t ; 
costers* barrows jostled against the kerb-stones, as of old ; 
vendors cried their wares ; and between these contrasts of 
silence and of sound the sign of the Weeping Woman 
hung scarlet against the sky — motionless and battered, 
bearing upon its blistered surface the fiuniliar image. 

The shop was dosed, so he rang the bell, waiting to be 
admitted. Thus occupied he noticed a scattered array 



RKMAKING THE WORLD 889 

w«-*i ^^ envelope gummed above the letter-hoT wifk 

tood brf™,hil "»<>•«— ope«d. .nd Kate 

"Come in, Mr. GabrieL" ahe ..M. «_ i. •. 
«»P«*ing you." ■" "m. "we have been 

find no n«ne. ^'' '"■"^ '"""^ •« "oU 

"Wh.ti,Uienew,?-heMked. 
^Wy^th.thei.rtmUWng. He h.. been waiting for 

^"rttZ**r'*iV't^ «Kl -« nKt by Hilda, 
miiling. ^^ ^ ™'*' "Jy « w» of quiet 



840 THE WEEPING WOMAN 



Entering the room in whidi they had lived ho much 
together, she told him briefly all that had happened since 
his departure. 

Huroughout the winter John and she had followed out 
the plan which they had set before themselves — ^to live 
Christ^s life ; speaking no word of blame ; refusing shelter 
to none; showing compassion to whosoever came their 
way; denying themselves everything; giving everything 
to all ; healing where they could ; r^^ning those who 
had fallen ; expending themselves in every way for the 
gone-tmder. 

This had entailed late nights, early mornings, harder 
work, sleeping where they could in tiie crowded house, 
often on the floo|rs ; less food, because they could not eat 
while others starved under their very roof ; innumerable 
small privations whidi had totalled up to the diminution 
of Lancaster's vitality. It came out in the course of the 
story that it had been their habit to scour the streets at 
midnight, when the entrails of the city lay bare, in search 
of sudi women as Kate had been, and of ijie men who had 
bem their accomplices — ^to gather them all into the diarit-^ 
able waUs of the Weeping Woman. In all iliese doings 
Kate had taken no part, had stood aloof, condemning and 
sullen. The day before Christmas she had disappeared, 
leaving a note which stated that she did not intend to 
return. Night after night they had searched London for 
her, planning out their districts, until one drizzling evening, 
about eleven o'clock, they had discovered her near Wapping, 
starving and penniless. They had brought her home and 
reinstated her in their household without a word of 
accusation. Gradually under their persistent tenderness 
the barren lands of her nature had b^un to unfreeze. 
During her absence anxiety on her behalf had weighed 
heavily upon Lancaster's mind. He had attached an un- 
reasoning blame tc; himself, imagining that her flight had 



I' 

REMAKING THE WORLD 841 

been prompted by wme nncoindou. coldne* of hi. own 

SL W ™; ■"l"^" «" the m«, «cl.°L .f*Z 
iwlth in her «Mch. He h«l .pent entire night. DaciW 
the W quarto, of the city.gllLng intoe^ woS 
&«. hop„« tt.t he might m„gle her. VZe 

"r^i. ..T^ T^^ indemency of the winter weather 

„f^'^ ■"''''* ""^ "*ened, never .pedcingtwL 
rf^ ™«en„g to any one. di.pen«ng hi.^^^^^ 
W«b, when he needed them mort, to who^eveTS^ 
One hrt torrent, coming at the end of a .weltoine Jme 

anaoKofimeamoniahadKtin. 

f-*?? ^ % U'5'^had wen him fcilirg, until findly the 

&W tdegram had been di.patehed to Wildwooi ^ 

. iiS .. ^*^ "'""'« Lancarter, though he had 
talked contmuaUy of Gabriel, had been aver^ Z^^ 
fcr him, not wirfiing to dirturb hi. Uter«y ^oTS 
»d chmce of mcce« with hi, fort b-X^-T^ S 
ftom him to Gabriel had been penned ju^brfore ul 
co^p«. and ported the day dter it had hapS^ 
.He h«l n^t been told of tie tel.««m untiTE had 
b«. «nt Since hi. iU„e« Kate Wbeen beride he«S 
with remorw, weU knowing that die wa. in tL ZT 
«P»»Me for it She wlhipped U nit « S 
wprevioudy die had thwarted him, » that die had w^ 
l>a«af m by refuring both food and deep that ATmTZ 
■erve him night and day. *^* 

whlt"^ "> ^^'^'' ^^ ^^'^ "y™ ""not tell 
what this year h>. meant to me. ^U firrt I wa. frightened 



842 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

and ddc at heart because of tiie privatioiu which our life 
entailed ; I showed you that once in a coward moment hi 
tai« veiy room. It soon passed ; his love outweighed 
everything. We have seen little of one another, John 
and I, and even that only in the company of the poor 
people whom we have entertained ; but the sight of him, 
reclaiming these wretched men and women, compelling 
them with his love, dragging the soul into their eyes, and 
sending them away happy, where before they had been 
miserable, has been to me like a glimpse of Christ" 

"But what will you do when he has gone?" asked 
Gabriel, thinking of the things which he himself had 
learnt, and wondering whether any part of his ezperionoea 
had been shared, i 

She looked up into his fece with a smile. « I shall just 
go on my way, trying to do the things which he has done, 
and getting ready to live with him again." 

"You, too, have leamt it?" he panted, seizing her 
hands. 

" Yes ; I have leamt it too." 

" And what of John ?" he asked. " Has he leamt it ? 
Does he believe ? " 

" There is no need for him to believe— he acts." 

A footM was heard upon the stair. Kate stood at the 
door. 

" He has wakened up, and wants to see Mr. Gabriel at 
once." 

" Is it wise that I should see him to-night ? " he asked 
of Hilda. 

" No wisdom can save him now," she said. " We can 
only hope to keep him with us a few days at most ; you 
had better go ; you will make him happy." 

The room in which he lay was the study, an attic at the 
top of the tall, lean house. A bed had been erected near 
the window, the sa^ <rf which was flung up wide, letting 



REMAKING THE WORLD 848 

^tad entered hi. eye fell upon tien, of Aelves naked 

^ch their philanthropies had reduced them ; also, of the 

^i«|«tic. of sacrifice to which Lancato had been p^^^ 
for to a man of hi. temperament hi. book, had been « 
the puldng blood of life. 

A. Gabrid approached the bedrfde Lancarter tried to 

SlLJr" *"P °" **"* *™' ^* ^^ »»<* weakly. 
Gahnd ran to support him. «0h, it is nothingr he 
~d ; « never mmd, I shaU be .tronger for a h^;hile 
now^that you have come. I have so longed to see 

"If 'its r *^,'^^?' ™« «"««•,« Gabriel cried. 

rf^ f * i^'^ '. r"^** ^"^ ~"«" Now that he 
Jtood &ce to foce with the waning shadow of his fiiend 

b. heart ..teated within him ml it. old frenzy, ^r 
the moment he fo^t the new strength which M come 
^tohi. hfe, and dirank before the threatening billow of 

"But now you have come, and wa are together again, 
notiung matters,- Lancaster sighed. '*«^'^ »ga«» 

aibriel laid Ws cheek upon the piUow, so that his lips 
to^^the sick man's hair, repeating, "No, nothing 

With charac. ^^c self-foigetfulness Lancaster began 

wood,andhi.book. Gabriel checked him, saying, " John 
we have deeper things to talk of in thes^ iThoun. I 

\ '^**' v""°^ ^°' ''^'^ I ^^« not nought, while 
you have been living it.'' ^ 

The large, eager eyes caught a new Bre, "You have 
learnt to pray, Gabriel?" 
" Yes ; I have learnt to pray." 
'n»en, omitting the more harrowing parts of hi. 



Ml 



844 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

«P«rienoe, he namted how, at the end of the fiiiht, 
he had found C!hrirt. *^ 

When the itoiy waa finished I^carter motioned to 
toon to raiae him up on the piUow.; and when they, 
fcanng over^dtement, seemed unwilling, " If I ]ive till 
mwTiing I am content," he said. So they did his bidding. 
There in the dim room, within sound of the hubbub of 
life, amid the reflected lights of an earthly Babylon, they 
loitered through the hoUow lands of their hopes and 
dreams. In the presence of this perishing entity, symbol 
and idtimate of aU futilities, they piled up to^er, he 
and they, the phantom fabric of a new world. 

C^»podte the window knelt Gabriel, holding the wasted 
hand. At the foot of the bed, erect and vigilant, to 
protect the rapidly crumbling house of her love, sat Hilda— 
immobUe, her hands thrown back. In the dusk of the 
doorway, unbrave and inconsolate, crouched the figure of 
Kate, the woman whom he had died to save—a Maoda- 
lene repentant ahnost too late. 

"If you can honestiy pray," whispered Lancaster, "you 
can accomplish anything. I could only once, that time 
for you, Gabriel, though I have tried often. When I 
have gone upon my knees, in the hour of my greatest 
nw^and agoniaed that I might speak out my derire, the 

S^TTf ""^ "»e"ori«» of my lost opportunities have 
drifted before my eyes and Wotted out the fiice of God • 
that the fiioe was stiU there behind aU things, seeing me 
through my losses, though my eyes were bUnd, in my 
heart of hearts I think I have never doubted. When I 
look back upon all that is past I am convinced that God 
did not want me to pray. He sealed my lips that my 
hands might express. With you it is otherwise; He hL 
brushed your lips with His lips, and held your hands in 
His own." 

He paused, panting for breath, and then continued. 



REMAKING THE WORLD 84A 

•You on accomplid, mor. than I-mod, mon. I ha„ 
be«i your John the Baptirt, preparing the wav makW 

your feet 1 have been only a road-mender, makina the 

and teote. Before you have come to the end of vour 
journey children win be rtrewing pahn-bnu.che. VZ 
to nde over, ««1 men will be outing their garment/ to 
the way „ you pa« up to Jeru«lem.^I haveKj," 
jo^mender, yrt I have done God', work amT'am 

"Oh, John, I feel, while you have been qieakinir. that 

I •hall be strong to do wmiething great TeU me l«,f™. 
you die what i. it that I muH d? ,Tw i. uILTi^^ 

'Ilhe eyes were doied; he was exhaurted and sinkinir 
mpid^y^ but the lip. still moved. "IWlaim hbT^ 

bound. Rrodaim the acceptable year of the Lan\ ^ 

Z^'^^^'^iilf*"?"" Ap^intl^^^^t 
mourn ,n Z,on beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourn- 

X'^^'^1^'-'''-'''^^^'^^^^^ give 

The long-yoweUed words droned out in a whispered 
monotone nsmg and falling like the h«t flickering!^ 
burnt-out lamp^ I„ the dusk and dirge of that Zauiet 
city tiiey seemed not a part of the speaker, but far-bC 
oracular, immense. *«r oiown, 

A stifled sob of the woman by the door aroused him 
to consciousness. "Who was that crying?" he askT 
"No one must cry when I am dead'' 

Disentangling his hand from Gabriers grasp he let it 
wand«. over the coverlet till it rested upo^X hea^ of 



346 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

K«t^ who iMd DOW run wildly fbrwud «t hMring hit 

-D«i^ ay, little Udy," he «id tenderly. « Yoa iM 
going to help Gabriel and Hilda to ranake the world; 
yoa are one of xu now.** 

«0h, I will, I wiU," die iobbed. -But I am twt 
wicked, and you are dying becauie of me." 

**Ab you will die because of other*. Who shall «y but 
that in some other age God may send you back to die for 
me, Kate ? I ^want you to remember, whenever you see 
a little starving child, that it may be me. Be kind to 
eveiything for my sake.** 

"And you foigive me?" she cried. 

"When one loves very much there is no room for 
forgiveness ; thdre are no sins when sins are all forgotten.** 

The eyes closed again and breathing came more gently, 
only the twitching of the fingers denoted that the worn 
^irit still lingered in its old habitation. 

Suddenly the silence was profimed by the babel of an 
•ngiy wrangling without; the voices of two women, 
husky with drink, clamoured in vile altereation. Then 
there was the soft "pung" of Uows, followed by a thud. 
More voices, and silence again. 

The lips stirred. "Those are the people whom you have 
got to save when you make a new world." 

" We wiU save them," whispered Hilda; "andyonwiU 
think of us saving them when you are gone, and ask the 
dear Lord to help us." 

Raising himself up with a sudden return of strength his 
gaae groped blindly around the four walls and centred on 
those three watching friends. He smiled tea Wly and, 
strange to say of one so weak, compassionately upon them. 
« I shaU not stay long away. I shaU come again to you 
and be with you when you do not know it, sitting up with 
you late at night and walking with you by day. We 



REMAKING THE WORLD 847 

h^iSy^^"^ P~P^*' *»*«-•«> t-ch them to 
be kinder, uid wjA .way .11 griefc, mndcing the world 

Now I jm veiy tired and Aould like to deep? 
Otae by one he ki«ed and bide them « Oood-night,- m 

otwl""^** K.te; be . good girl, ikI learn to love 
CW-nght, Gebnel; we have been good friend^ we 

m^l fK^ T" ^^' "'**^ you come to talk o^with 
me all that you have done." 

JMW«ight. HOd., it win not b. for long, « AJl 

0« ^ on. thqr approuhed imilingly, etching the 
n^ Wow;, gM c«,«d««,e, ««! ,rt«,id him uf own 

di^"^Tl!r?]S!?i''''.P'"^ «">d Wd him down to 
*^ ne hjjit from the rt«rt Aone ftdl upon hi. ««* 
tatb.drfnot»«ntoh.«iit lWw«rmZnS 

jb«jtUm «ve that m«.e by the low intJce «kI erit rf 

^erettroogh the long night they «t : Grf,riel ,t the 
h^^HUd^t the feet , the penitent wom« douching 
heude the bed, her hair brolten loo<», t»ilin« ««, 1^ 
t^ her I»nd. damped «rf thmwroot NoTZj^ 
thq- were h.t«,ing for the beat of the angel'. Xj^ ' 
JCbt roar of London drow«d, and feU into a troubled 

Now and jgain the quiet wouU be rtartled by the beat 

Mjmad rtar. dnfted out, floated «tos. the dcy ; vaniAed 
mto .p«e. Gabriel, in watching them, thWhTw 

him mWildwood«nong«ich other «ene* Tie wi*^ 
moon c«.t down her cynic gaiCi a, much a. to My, " It ha. 



»4S THE WEEPING WOMAN 

•U hapiMMd befimt it will aU happen agdn. I im 
thouMmb of DMQ and womm die eveiy ni^t in the ooone 
or mj jomaeytogfc It is raJly nothing new. 80 wa^ 
the worU: one growi aoeuctomed to death in a miUioa 
ymn. I have.** 

Before moraing Gabriel doiedi thiiWM the woond of 
hie tdlaome nighte. He wai awaliened by the chiU of 
•nicy hand laid upon his. Opening hiii eyes, he saw Hilda 
•triving to arouse him. •* It is all over for him in this 
worid, I think," she said. 

Gabriel looked, and saw that the bosom no longer 
heated; placing his hand upon the forehead, he found it 
•InadycokL 

" yes,** he said, « it is aU over for him in this worid ; but 
what of the next r ' 

An exultant look gloriaed her ifeatures. « We need not 

fear for him in any other Ufe," she said. *«Hehasremade 
our worid." 

The sheaf of shadows kneeling before the bed stirred; a 
white, despairing lace looked up. "Oh, he b dead," it 
cried, "and I loved him so I I sinned and was cruel, and 
went away because I longed to have him to myself. Now 
I have killed him, and he is dead." 

«*Hush!" whispered Hilda, bending over the weeping 
woman, "we can both love him now without diflerenoe: 
now that he is dead." 

Pitting her arms uround Kate, and supporting her head 
upon her shoulder, she led her out from the room and put 
her to bed, though she herself was very tired. 

Crabriel, when left alone, stood above the dead man*s 
body, gasing down upon the stem, yet gentle, outlines of 
his face. Raising the limp white hand to his lips, he 
kissed it, saying, "I pledge myself, by all that is most 
sacred, to copy you in remaking the world. I will compel 
men to treasure one another by the example of my own 



REMAKING THE HTORLD mq 

al^,^ "T«?°l" '■''***■ «• ««. upm E«th 
uunougb tlM fove of Hk Chriat** 

I^oUng out tlmi^gb the wiwJ^, wh« he hui flnWM^ 

fin»«^h«jd. which bo« wito.. to hi. tow; «d « L 
knew that the dawn had oonie. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

UWMO TRB ■ATllB 

JT? "^^ *»f> gone by "inoe the d«ith of UacMltr. 

•nd Augurt h«^ brought agahi that intetuity of ddkht, 

^culkr to it aloo. of aU the month., whJ the aJS 

Summer he. reeched it. height, end hang. poi*d XIS 

U» Ajjtumn clij. befo« with o«^ ^iill 

•bettered upon the Winter roelc. below. 1* '» "" 

1^0^ WM compemtivefy empty. Every one had 

Jjwaped to Ma or oountiy who could contrive a way; oolr 

t^«wbo w«. dther too poor or too rich to aftrt to go 

GabiW Mt in LanoMter*. old rtudy in the Timnrflce. 
» "l^*"";* behad d«wn up to^the ^^SSm^ 

thonghtftiUy, leading them again. 

m^^ ^u**? ^****'' "«ninding him that the twelve 
month, limit had jurt expired, and rtating that he 
expected to be in to^A that day, and would nwrve the 
evening for their meeting. 

ITie long abwnoe from his only child had woriced a 
«ftemng in the father's heart He had heanl, thitHigh 
the agency of Sir Denver Cartwright, also from tte 
ynpathetic lipsof Meredith, who had seen him perwnaUv 
the stoiy of Gabriel's doingM since the Augurt of the' 
previous year. The letter closed by sayingr**! do not 
Wwne my«in even in the l^t of what haToccurred, for 



LOSING THB BATTLE ui 

pv^-wf. but of Btti. ™d «h, to HirN:nw 

*Wta, it h- becom. of ooi»«,u«« to you «d to u. Jl 
Tk f »f •>"•»«»••«»« in •pit.ofour defi.it, only 

^j;-ta™d«ttob.«*,h.t„«,.t iJ;n 

SSwS^j! ■Und hj, you fa wb.tooew tou „,, 
«*tiiigto be««ld B«, „ AaM W while w m« 

jnwnurtioinetiiiiMUtlMiiMdofine." 

Tlie neaad letter Maned to be of quite uiotber 
t^' 'r Z,°^ -a it be .«Je littleV3 

^I^^ t?™*^ ■» "•««"* *«» WiUwood. 
Ibrmw bfi, had been rtnpped from him MDoe the eomimt of 
«!»» of hu boolc brf wnMied w completely w the 

i-^'"dir' c: ^ If' f ?»«• "»•««• of 

(««" aeugiit. Veiy frequently I have puued in the 
«4j« of «me ..juWte pjige .„d delj: 
a>ro™ .t .«de, e«Wming Wtterty, 'And I is, ooi 



852 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

capable of that!' Your book ha. been to me the vivid 
and aoeitting likened of my flaming youth, thruit by Mme 
<*«ioe irtranger into my pale oM hand* Yes,youareaU 
that I might have been. I wat not mirtaken; you m 
the great poet for whose coming aU men wait, and you are 
rayveryself. I have imparted my aecret to Kveml of the 
Dwswnem of Dreama. They are amaaed at the new 
•trength which you have developed. Some of your 
younger work, which you diowed me last winter, had &r 

too much of the aad note in it ever to be widely read. As 
you are probably aware, the world of to-day has blinded 
Its eyes to sorrow, to the end that it may persuade itself 
that sorrow is no longer in the world. Of course the 
world of to-day is mistaken; bulk opinion always is. 
My own ezperiei|oe should have taught me that Never- 
theless, it is very necessary that you, at the outset, should 
keep the world's preferences in mind ; after all, it is bulk 
opinion which buys your books and makes your reputation. 

** It was the o^ -ervance of the mourner's tendency in your 
genius which prompted me so forcibly to suggest your 
removal to the country. I am glad that the advice has 
had the desired effect A joyous abandon is conspicuous 
In your Uter verses; where grief does occur it is not of 
the g^me of the soul or of cities, but of the mekncholy 
of fields and woodland»-a grief with which most of yoii 
readers are unacquainted, and to which, therefore, they wiU 
not object Don't think that I am trying to be cynical ; 
I am not At the end jf my life, counter to aU my 
prejudices, I am attempting to be practical for your sake. 
Honesty in some professions may be prafitable, but in 
literature it does not pay. 

" In your early poems, to which I have referred, you Uaie 
out men's duty with no uncertein sound. Vou accuse the 
world without mercy, painting for us the agony of the 
down-trampled with an almost evangelical fervour. That 



LOSING THE BATTLE 858 

we do ~t know tW m&enOJ. people «drt i. our one 
ffT ^J^ ^P^"* *>»«»• Pkadooate apostle^ who 
point us where oar duty liei, Me never thanked ; wehuiir 
them upon a eroH between two pe«imJ8t«. On the 
•trength of your new vein I think you wfll achieve a Uige 
weom. Your book ii » imrirtibly happy that it cannot 
•nrid the winning of appUutte. In the other book- which 
you may write "" 

Grf)rid laid down the letter, and throwing back his 
h^ indulged in a quiet kugh. How completely this 
mtiosm. whidi WM meant to be flattering, revealed him- 
■^ to himself! The flight fitw, unhappy reaUty; the 
bolitenng up of exquisite untruth ; the avoidance of the 
▼ital; the search after the non-essential; the dosimr of 

2S;i!?u k'!!?'?^??; ^^ ^* •^""* "^ *° be^t»» 
withheld hand of helpfidness; the preibienoe for dieams 

over uves. 

As fivquently occurs when, by the soroeiy of the camera, 
ft portrait is produced Uke, yet unUke : over-emphasiiing 
oortdn quaUties in a countenance, and uncovering others 
which have from birth lain hid, so that the dead picture 
beoomes more true than the living face, so had this letter, 
Jfnorant of its own skill, sketched in actual proportion the 
features of that dead WiMwood-self. Gariijg upon it 
impartially he could now recogniae how much of tne by- 
gone remained, what had departed, and what had been 
brou^t under the new control to serve a better end. 
♦k*** *T^ l»ughing, and, driving his fiuicy back to 
those abandoned delights, hummed ouf with rappinff 
knuckles— -rir'-n 

"Most dsUcstalv hour by hour 
He euvasMd hnnuui mjntoriei. 
And trod on silk, as if th« winds 



Ww his own prsites in his svas, 
And rtood sloof from other minda 



In 



•3 



impotNMe of fimded power.' 



B54 THE WEEPING WOMAN 

<< Wdl, old ooamde, joa an cUd,** he dgbMl, Kgttdiog 
the fiu» revMlfld in the letter. « rm «lbid yoall nevw 
write nj mor»-«t leart, not like that** \ 

Daring the lart night at Folly Aereacarioui iMjctiogie 
phenomenon had ooeurred. I^om the hour of the cba^^os 
not only had all inclination, but aim all capaeitj, fir 
writing either imaginatiye pran or vem departed fton 
him. It was as though some secret fibre in the brain had 
■napped, releasing other fibres and giving them fuller plif, 
but iirevocaUy destroying itself. 

When, in dispatching his book to the publisher, he had 
said, « Good-bye, books ; you are the greatest book that I 
shall ever write," he had spoken more truly than he had 
known at the time. 

During the kst five weeks which he had spent at the 
Weepmg Woman he had leoome aware of his deprivation 
—that the poetic £une which he had striven so strenuously 
to gain had now become impossible for him— that he oouU 
no longer sing. 

Just as in feudal times the royal foreeter, haviiy caught 
a noUe hound trespassing, was wont to mutilate its right 
foot that it shouM no longer race through the ^een-wood 
hunting the shadowy <ker, so had the invisible ibrestcr, 
life, owning a master pevchance no less royal, cut off 
from Gabriel the feet of his poetic ffight, leaving him 
crippled in the whispering woods of his illusions— makii^ 
it necessary for him, as for the poor maimed brute of 
Norman days, to limp between the tall trees where once 
he ran. 

He was quite resigned. In the year of his power, 
when to think was to express, he had dreaded this as a 
calamity. Now that it had come he only smiled, and was, 
if anything, a little grateful. Talent in song had differ- 
entiated him from the rest of his fellows. Now las most 
earnest wish was to be named as one of them. 



LOSING THE BATTLE B55 

J^!^!T.^ ■*** b«*n«>m lam and his fHendAm^ 

SSil^^^i^ ; >«^ that the gift it^lfw. 
^^wn, aad hf J-d beoome .. one of the common 

n^ r.T"fir ^^ *<> ■■^ It i. wmetime. 

■JTOitmnkthathemayleMfnhow toroleariirht TTii- 
G^el«^; he aW thought that he ^^^^J^ 
BMHtar whom he served. 

JtL^fl^m^ 'r'u^ '^****" the power of 
S^TI^Sl- h*^'^"^ ^ wo«hip with hi. hands, « 

that,twvcUing moi» dowly, he might be the meeker in hb 
psMng by. 

"Sparfis aU very well," he oonmied himself, « but it 
*« not make manyfriends; it is the dow-joun^ing m« 

h^t^^ ^^ "^ ^ '**°"*^ thnH^h which 

Foet s lettavespecia% the mention of the other books 
;:S!? „"^ write, he laughed, for he knew thatTJ 
oth^adf, who had^most ddicately hour by hour can- 

^J^^IL^}^^^ "*** **" *^* **»" was so would be 

look mto the ^ of a foHMdcen self without experiendng 
«me compassiojmte -nsations of longing. TTiat he w« 
^ because of his 1o«s«m1 would not have willed it 
otherwise, was maniftstiy true. 

IJus while he sat ruminating in the mellow afternoon 
the door was pushed open, and a woman entered. 



••• THE WEEPING WOlfAN 

Hewing the aoaad of her fbotiOl he awoke from hk 

iwene and turned in hit efaair. ** Why, H^"* he cried, 

jom^ up, « I w«, wo«kring whrther yoo would come, 
•Pd had ahnort abndoned hope." ^^ 

"HowoouM Idootherwi«?"Aewplied,itaTin«hi. 
advance, and ttandfaig motionle» in the middle of the 
loom. 

*But I wrote you a full sUtement of all that I intend 
to dc— it will not be an ea^ life." 
"Whatofthat? Are ea^ ^le always bert ? ** 
"No; I think they are never ao. But you have been 
brought up dilfcrently— there will be haidihip and di.- 
appointment to endore, and perhaps diMimoe.** 
« I think I can *ear them.^ *" ""»™*- 
**Before you make a deadoa from which there is no 
wtoeat I want you fuUy to understand my motives in 
do^ this. In the first place there is the feeUng that, 
however aflaini may go, I can do no other; I am appointed 
to ^ work In the necond, there is the added incentbe 
of the knowledge that I have dme much harm which 
be atoned for every day of my life; above aa,thei 
which I did to Mary. You are one of ihom iHrnm I narc 
wronged ; I have no ri^t to make aa^ fwther call uaaa 
y ew ge nerosity. In sanw ways I tUnk y«i must Ce 
■mfered most ; it was the knowledge of this tibrt mmik mi 
prem you to take your relaase." 

"I had alw»y. thought tiiat it was one hrff the sweet- 
ness of love to stAr."* 

" Yes ; but voluntarily. You have had no 
" Suffering and love go hand-in-hand. Love 
«W8 18 always imposed— it is too great to be cMsm" 
G^jriel, who had risen and hat! been leaning agaiaat the 
taWe while she spoke, now made a st«^ towaids her, htA 
aiie hdd out a restnuniag hand. « Peihaps if I oonfr • 
•in to you it may help to comfort you, if ever you AM 



LOSIKG THE BATTLE 857 

douhtri me, th«» hM l«n • time wben I haw doubted 

JOQ. 

•*Whe»iWMthat,Hekm?* 
^It was after our lut meeUng on the Monbridge 

••Goon." 

«Idid not undewtind— you looked more d«d than I 
had ever aeen you. Then I went to FoUy A«n alone, 
and looked on her." — «•— 

"And then?* 

"I thought you cruel, and wicked, and inrineere." 

She stood with her head hung down and hands folded. 

And what made you think otherwise?" 
"Dan came up from WiMwood, when he came to see 
JO* fiither, and he told me it all again. Ami Hilda 

wrote to «e fiwn here, and told me what you had been 
doings and of your change." 

** Aad «Ud yon believe them ?" 
"GiAtid!" 

fJ^Z.^^1^ ~" whence, a year ago ahnort to 
wft' I^*?* "^^'^ *^*» "J-*« had led him 
mlLtT!?! ^^^.'^ Heakohadrertforthe 

^^ing in his armi^ with beeiiBg heart, she too found 

•*Helcn, do you remember what you once said about 

^ii!r."° «»« ever come, back-woman sometimes, 
man never? 

r^*^!"*"**"^' *«*yw»««more than a man, you 

^laughed lightly and tohi her how she was mistaken- 
~ he was no longer a poet, and couU never make sonffs* 
again. ^ 



Mi THE WEEPING WOMAN 

mmimtag btkttr, jtnva hmuu* 

<*¥«; IwiiwwoMofGoirseoaBMalMid; omoTiIm 

!5?.^7^^^^^*^ Yttth«l.oi>eiiHWMiig 
whkh I think I era writ*" 

** And whfttb that r 

"My bv. ^ mcn't l|y«i. Oh, H«lm, I h«^ bam 
JB^Wng a bMk itrMt of my heart when it diould ha^ 
been a metropolie. What b art, and what a» boolu, 
oomiMnd with moi's lives ? No one ia angrr tor the 
mn^ of God*i poor, but I wifl make them angiy. 
Hera are we, three women and one man aoainet the wotid • 
yrt I think we ehaU win this fight One wooMn, who has* 
own a dnner; one woman, whoee lover is deed; one 

wooM who has had to wait long for her love ; one man 
who hu suilbed defeat^yet I tbak we dmll win this 

uffkt» 

hi.**,S£:;j!:S.'"'^^ 

IJen he told her egatn how he h*^l ainnged to e«rf 

on the business of the Weeping Woman jnst as it hed been 
in Lanoester's day. How it was to be the hoiM of the 
new start for the down-trodden ; a home for all, wheie 
none was refosed and Christ was Uved. Thm he had 
planned that they shouM Uve, Kate and Hilda, and tiiey 

^settingtheexampleof the love whidi should lemake 
the wofkL 

" The worid is wrong based," he cried. -WeareaUso 
•dfi^ at heart that it is diflBcult to avoid losing audi a 
batUe. Wecanaflbrdnohalfmeasowihcre. We must 
do as John did, hurl our talents, our health, our possessions, 
and ev^ our lives into this new fi^t We must woric 
with a divine rage in our hearts for the wrongs of God's 
outcast people. We must mutilate ourselves for their sake. 



LOSING THE BATTLE 859 

tfflw. facMwte fa tht .od of the worW 

Httai dnw his ISm« down to her own. <«Yoa era lik« 
. jn ath« Id-HH.," A. .mi W ; « the world muTJl' 

^it i. .bo Oirirt'. way. I beUeve that it wiU come 

And eo^ no loooer h^l their old iUudon deputed. th«i 
A^^^ «P to beclcon them forth,^tTbetter. 
wiSTVi tIT* ^ ^^ commenced, in which, in common 
with .U the world, they wouW «irely wife defeat T^ 
^ out rfthdr krt lort hattle hed carried oiT «metW^ 
peeterthantiiat for which they h«l Ibught-lo^-w^f 

iw^iS!* IS" ^*^* ^"^ ''^ Stainlycome 
^d«p.te theur defaat. and thou^ when it cLe, it 

ihouW turn out to be other th«i they meant, yet God 
"^J^ «»th^ ». trong men, when they th^ve. 

JJ^we turned to dart, who would fight for that which they 
h^m«mt^.^^^^^^^^ 



TRx warn 



BlOBARD CtAT * ilOim. LUilTID, 
BUAO ITBIST mtL, 1.0., ATO 

■viNuy, nryyoLK. 




<'• ,. ^yjK