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Full text of "The conquest of Canaan"

I See page 1 60 



HE COULD ON'LY STARE AT HER 



THE 

CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

a * 



BY 

BOOTH TARKING 



*T!ON8 BY 

f. W. HITCHCOCK 







NEW YORK AND LONDON 

HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 
J905 




HE COl'J-D OM.V 






THE 

CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

& flovel 



BY 

BOOTH TARKINGTON 



AUTHOR OF 

"CHEERY ' "MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRB " ETC 



ILLUSTRATIONS BY 

LUCIUS W. HITCHCOCK 




NEW YORK AND LONDON 

HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 
1905 





Copyright, 1905, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 

All rights reserved. 
Published October, 1905. 



TO 
L. F. T. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. ENTER CHORUS i 

II. A RESCUE 28 

III. OLD HOPES 43 

IV. THE DISASTER 59 

V. BEAVER BEACH 77 

VI. "YE'LL TAK' THE HIGH ROAD AND I'LL TAK' 

THE Low ROAD" 88 

VII. "GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME" 100 

VIII. A BAD PENNY TURNS UP no 

IX. "OUTER DARKNESS" 125 

X. THE TRYST 143 

XI. WHEN HALF-GODS Go 157 

XII. To REMAIN ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE is NOT 

ALWAYS A VICTORY 175 

XIII. THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 187 

XIV. WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 212 

XV. HAPPY FEAR GIVES HIMSELF UP 235 

XVI. THE Two CANAANS 251 

XVII. MR. SHEEHAN'S HINTS 259 

XVIII. IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY 273 

XIX. ESK.EW ARP 291 

v 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XX. THREE ARE ENLISTED 299 

XXI. NORBERT WAITS FOR JOE 312 

XXII. MR. SHEEHAN SPEAKS 320 

XXIII. JOE WALKS ACROSS THE COURT-HOUSE YARD . 330 

XXIV. MARTIN PIKE KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT . . . 348 

XXV. THE JURY COMES IN 364 

XXVI. "ANCIENT OF DAYS" 378 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

"HE COULD ONLY STARE AT HER 1 ' Frontispiece 

"'THEY'RE ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL,' SHE SAID, SOFTLY'" Facing p. 46 

"'JOE, HAVE YOU GOT TO RUN AWAY?'" .... " 92 

" 'POSITIVELY NO FREE SEATS T " " 102 

"'I'VE SEEN HIM THERE MYSELF*" " 196 

"'QUIET!'" .... " 246 

"'THINK! WHAT'S HAPPENED LATELY TO MAKE 

HIM BITE SO HARD?'" " 268 

'"YOU WANT ALL THAT CHANGED, YOU MEAN?'" . " 370 



THE 
CONQUEST OF CANAAN 



THE 
CONQUEST OF CANAAN 




ENTER CHORUS 

DRY snow had fallen steadily 
throughout the still night, so that 
when a cold, upper wind cleared the 
sky gloriously in the morning the 
incongruous Indiana town shone in a 
white harmony roof, ledge, and earth as evenly 
covered as by moonlight. There was no thaw; 
only where the line of factories followed the big 
bend of the frozen river, their distant chimneys like 
exclamation points on a blank page, was there a 
first threat against the supreme whiteness. The 
wind passed quickly and on high; the shouting of 
the school- children had ceased at nine o'clock with 
pitiful suddenness; no sleigh-bells laughed out on 
the air; and the muffling of the thoroughfares 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

wrought an unaccustomed peace like that of Sun- 
day. This was the phenomenon which afforded the 
opening of the morning debate of the sages in the 
wide windows of the "National House." 

Only such unfortunates as have so far failed 
to visit Canaan do not know that the "National 
House " is on the Main Street side of the Court- 
house Square, and has the advantage of being 
within two minutes' walk of the railroad station, 
which is in plain sight of the windows an ines- 
timable benefit to the conversation of the aged 
men who occupied these windows on this white 
morning, even as they were wont in summer to hold 
against all comers the cane-seated chairs on the 
pavement outside. Thence, as trains came and 
went, they commanded the city gates, and, seeking 
motives and adding to the stock of history, narrow- 
ly observed and examined into all who entered or 
departed. Their habit was not singular. He who 
would foolishly tax the sages of Canaan with a 
bucolic light-mindedness must first walk in Picca- 
dilly in early June, stroll down the Corso in Rome 
before Ash Wednesday, or regard those windows of 
Fifth Avenue whose curtains are withdrawn of a 
winter Sunday; for in each of these great streets, 
wherever the windows, not of trade, are widest, his 
eyes must behold wise men, like to those of Canaan, 
executing always their same purpose, 

2 



ENTER CHORUS 

The difference is in favor of Canaan; the "Na- 
tional House " was the club, but the perusal of 
traveller or passer by was here only the spume 
blown before a stately ship of thought; and you 
might hear the sages comparing the Koran with the 
speeches of Robert J. Ingersoll. 

In the days of board sidewalks, "mail-time" had 
meant a precise moment for Canaan, and even now, 
many years after the first postman, it remained 
somewhat definite to the aged men; for, out of 
deference to a pleasant, olden custom, and perhaps 
partly for an excuse to "get down to the hotel" 
(which was not altogether in favor with the elderly 
ladies), most of them retained their antique boxes 
in the post-office, happily in the next building. 

In this connection it may be written that a 
subscription clerk in the office of the Chicago 
Daily Standard, having noted a single subscriber 
from Canaan, was, a fortnight later, pleased to 
receive, by one mail, nine subscriptions from that 
promising town. If one brought nine others in a 
fortnight, thought he, what would nine bring in a 
month? Amazingly, they brought nothing, and 
the rest was silence. Here was a matter of intricate 
diplomacy never to come within that youth his 
ken. The morning voyage to the post - office, 
long mocked as a fable and screen by the families 
of the sages, had grown so difficult to accomplish 

3 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

for one of them, Colonel Flitcroft (Colonel in the 
war with Mexico), that he had been put to it, in- 
deed, to foot the firing-line against his wife (a lady 
of celebrated determination and hale -voiced at 
seventy), and to defend the rental of a box which 
had sheltered but three missives in four years. 
Desperation is often inspiration; the Colonel brill- 
iantly subscribed for the Standard, forgetting to 
give his house address, and it took the others just 
thirteen days to wring his secret from him. Then 
the Standard served for all. 

Mail-time had come to mean that bright hour 
when they all got their feet on the brass rod which 
protected the sills of the two big windows, with the 
steam - radiators sizzling like kettles against the 
side wall. Mr. Jonas Tabor, who had sold his 
hardware business magnificently ( not magnificently 
for his nephew, the purchaser) some ten years be- 
fore, was usually, in spite of the fact that he re- 
mained a bachelor at seventy-nine, the last to settle 
down with the others, though often the first to reach 
the hotel, which he always entered by a side door, 
because he did not believe in the treating system. 
And it was Mr. Eskew Arp, only seventy-five, but 
already a thoroughly capable cynic, who, almost 
invariably "opened the argument," and it was he 
who discovered the sinister intention behind the 
weather of this particular morning. Mr. Arp had 

4 



ENTER CHORUS 

not begun life so sourly: as a youth he had been 
proud of his given name, which had come to him 
through his mother's family, who had made it 
honorable, but many years of explanations that 
Eskew did not indicate his initials had lowered his 
opinion of the intelligence and morality of the race. 

The malevolence of his voice and manner this 
morning, therefore, when he shook his finger at 
the town beyond the windows, and exclaimed, 
with a bitter laugh, "Look at it!" was no surprise 
to his companions. "Jest look at it! I tell you 
the devil is mighty smart. Ha, ha! Mighty 
smart!" 

Through custom it was the duty of Squire 
Buckalew (Justice of the Peace in '59) to be the 
first to take up Mr. Arp. The others looked to 
him for it. Therefore, he asked, sharply: 

"What's the devil got to do with snow?" 

"Everything to do with it, sir," Mr. Arp re- 
torted. "It's plain as day to anybody with eyes 
and sense." 

"Then I wish you'd p'int it out," said Buckalew, 
"if you've got either." 

" By the Almighty, Squire " Mr. Arp turned in 
his chair with sudden heat "if I'd lived as long 
as you 

"You have," interrupted the other, stung. 
"Twelve years ago!" 

S 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"If I'd lived as long as you," Mr. Arp repeated, 
unwincingly, in a louder voice, "and had follered 
Satan's trail as long as you have, and yet couldn't 
recognize it when I see it, I'd git converted and 
vote Prohibitionist." 

"/ don't see it," interjected Uncle Joe Davey, 
in his querulous voice. (He was the patriarch of 
them all.) "/ can't find no cloven-hoof-prints in 
the snow." 

"All over it, sir!" cried the cynic. "All over it! 
Old Satan loves tricks like this. Here's a town 
that's jest one squirmin' mass of lies and envy and 
vice and wickedness and corruption " 

" Hold on !" exclaimed Colonel Flitcroft. " That's 
a slander upon our hearths and our government. 
Why, when I was in the Council " 

"It wasn't a bit worse then," Mr. Arp returned, 
unreasonably. " Jest you look how the devil fools us. 
He drops down this here virgin mantle on Canaan 
and makes it look as good as you pretend you 
think it is : as good as the Sunday-school room of a 
country church though that' 1 he went off on a 
tangent, venomously "is generally only another 
whited sepulchre, and the superintendent's mighty 
apt to have a bottle of whiskey hid behind the 
organ, and " 

"Look here, Eskew," said Jonas Tabor, "that's 
got nothin' to do with " 

6 



ENTER CHORUS 

"Why ain't it? Answer me!" cried Mr. Arp, 
continuing, without pause : " Why ain't it ? Can't 
you wait till I git through ? You listen to me, and 
when I'm ready I'll listen to " 

"See here," began the Colonel, making himself 
heard over three others, "I want to ask you " 

"No, sir!" Mr. Arp pounded the floor irascibly 
with his hickory stick. "Don't you ask me any- 
thing! How can you tell that I'm not going to 
answer your question without your asking it, till 
I've got through? You listen first. I say, here's 
a town of nearly thirty thousand inhabitants, 
every last one of 'em men, women, and children 
selfish and cowardly and sinful, if you could see 
their innermost natures ; a town of the ugliest and 
worst built houses in the world, and governed by a 
lot of saloon-keepers though I hope it '11 never 
git down to where the ministers can run it. And 
the devil comes along, and in one night why, all 
you got to do is look at it! You'd think we needn't 
ever trouble to make it better. That's what the 
devil wants us to do wants us to rest easy about 
it, and paints it up to look like a heaven of peace 
and purity and sanctified spirits. Snowfall like 
this would of made Lot turn the angel out-of-doors 
and say that the old home was good enough for 
him. Gomorrah would of looked like a Puritan 
village though I'll bet my last dollar that there 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

was a lot, and a whole lot, that's never been told 
about Puritan villages. A lot that 

" What never was?" interrupted Mr. Peter Brad- 
bury, whose granddaughter had lately announced 
her discovery that the Bradburys were descended 
from Miles Standish. "What wasn't told about 
Puritan villages?" 

" Can't you wait ?" Mr. Arp's accents were those 
of pain. " Haven't I got any right to present my 
side of the case? Ain't we restrained enough to 
allow of free speech here? How can we ever git 
anywhere in an argument like this, unless we let 
one man talk at a time ? How " 

"Go on with your statement," said Uncle Joe 
Davey, impatiently. 

Mr. Arp's grievance was increased. " Now listen 
to you ! How many more interruptions are cornin' ? 
I'll listen to the other side, but I've got to state 
mine first, haven't I? If I don't make my point 
clear, what's the use of the argument? Argu- 
mentation is only the comparison of two sides of a 
question, and you have to see what the first side 
is before you can compare it with the other one, 
don't you? Are you all agreed to that?" 

" Yes, yes," said the Colonel. " Go ahead. We 
won't interrupt until you're through." 

"Very well," resumed Mr. Arp, with a fleeting 
expression of satisfaction, "as I said before, I 

8 



ENTER CHORUS 

wish to as I said " He paused, in some con- 
fusion. "As I said, argumentation is that is, I 
say " He stopped again, utterly at sea, having 
talked himself so far out of his course that he was 
unable to recall either his sailing port or his desti- 
nation. Finally he said, feebly, to save the con- 
fession, "Well, go on with your side of it." 

This generosity was for a moment disconcerting ; 
however, the quietest of the party took up the 
opposition Roger Tabor, a very thin, old man 
with a clean-shaven face, almost as white as his 
hair, and melancholy, gentle, gray eyes, very un- 
like those of his brother Jonas, which were dark 
and sharp and button-bright. (It was to Roger's 
son that Jonas had so magnificently sold the hard- 
ware business.) Roger was known in Canaan as 
"the artist"; there had never been another of his 
profession in the place, and the town knew not the 
word "painter," except in application to the use- 
ful artisan who is subject to lead-poisoning. There 
was no indication of his profession in the attire of 
Mr. Tabor, unless the too apparent age of his 
black felt hat and a neat patch at the elbow of his 
shiny, old brown overcoat might have been taken 
as symbols of the sacrifice to his muse which his 
life had been. He was not a constant attendant 
of the conclave, and when he came it was usually 
to listen; indeed, he spoke so seldom that at the 

9 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

sound of his voice they all turned to him with 
some surprise. 

"I suppose," he began, "that Eskew means the 
devil is behind all beautiful things." 

"Ugly ones, too," said Mr. Arp, with a start of 
recollection. "And I wish to state " 

"Not now!" Colonel Flitcroft turned upon him 
violently. "You've already stated it." 

"Then, if he is behind the ugly things, too," said 
Roger, " we must take him either way, so let us be 
glad of the beauty for its own sake. Eskew says 
this is a wicked town. It may be I don't know. 
He says it's badly built ; perhaps it is ; but it doesn't 
seem to me that it's ugly in itself. I don't know 
what its real self is, because it wears so many as- 
pects. God keeps painting it all the time, and 
never shows me twice the same picture; not even 
two snowfalls are just alike, nor the days that fol- 
low them; no more than two misty sunsets are 
alike for the color and even the form of the 
town you call ugly are a matter of the season of 
the year and of the time of day and of the light 
and air. The ugly town is like an endless gallery 
which you can walk through, from year-end to 
year-end, never seeing the same canvas twice, no 
matter how much you may want to and there's 
the pathos of it. Isn't it the same with people 
with the characters of all of us, just as it is with 

10 



ENTER CHORUS 

our faces ? No face remains the same for two suc- 
cessive days " 

"It don't?" Colonel Flitcroft interrupted, with 
an explosive and rueful incredulity. "Well, I'd 
like to " Second thoughts came to him almost 
immediately, and, as much out of gallantry as 
through discretion, fearing that he might be taken 
as thinking of one at home, he relapsed into 
silence. 

Not so with the others. It was as if a fire- 
cracker had been dropped into a sleeping poultry- 
yard. Least of all could Mr. Arp contain himself. 
At the top of his voice, necessarily, he agreed 
with Roger that faces changed, not only from day 
to day, and not only because of light and air and 
such things, but from hour to hour, and from 
minute to minute, through the hideous stimulus 
of hypocrisy. 

The "argument" grew heated; half a dozen tidy 
quarrels arose; all the sages went at it fiercely, 
except Roger Tabor, who stole quietly away. 
The aged men were enjoying themselves thoroughly, 
especially those who quarrelled. Naturally, the 
frail bark of the topic which had been launched 
was whirled about by too many side-currents to 
remain long in sight, and soon became derelict, 
while the intellectual dolphins dove and tumbled 
in the depths. At the end of twenty minutes 

ii 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Mr. Arp emerged upon the surface, and in his 
mouth was this: 

" Tell me, why ain't the Church why ain't the 
Church and the rest of the believers in a future life 
lookin' for immortality at the other end of life, 
too? If we're immortal, we always have been; 
then why don't they ever speculate on what we 
were before we were born? It's because they're 
too blame selfish don't care a flapdoodle about 
what was, all they want is to go on livin' forever." 

Mr. Arp's voice had risen to an acrid trium- 
phancy, when it suddenly faltered, relapsed to a 
murmur, and then to a stricken silence, as a tall, fat 
man of overpowering aspect threw open the outer 
door near by and crossed the lobby to the clerk's 
desk. An awe fell upon the sages with this advent. 
They were hushed, and after a movement in their 
chairs, with a strange effect of huddling, sat dis- 
concerted and attentive, like school-boys at the 
entrance of the master. 

The personage had a big, fat, pink face and a 
heavily undershot jaw, what whitish beard he wore 
following his double chin somewhat after the man- 
ner displayed in the portraits of Henry the Eighth. 
His eyes, very bright under puffed upper lids, were 
intolerant and insultingly penetrating despite 
their small size. Their irritability held a kind of 
hotness, and yet the personage exuded frost, not 

12 



ENTER CHORUS 

of the weather, all about him. You could not 
imagine man or angel daring to greet this being 
genially sooner throw a kiss to Mount Pilatus! 

"Mr. Brown," he said, with ponderous hostility, 
in a bull bass, to the clerk the kind of voice 
which would have made an express train leave the 
track and go round the other way " do you hear 
me?" 

"Oh yes, Judge," the clerk replied, swiftly, in 
tones as unlike those which he used for strange 
transients as a collector's voice in his ladylove's 
ear is unlike that which he propels at delinquents. 

"Do you see that snow?" asked the personage, 
threateningly. 

"Yes, Judge." Mr. Brown essayed a placating 
smile. "Yes, indeed, Judge Pike." 

" Has your employer, the manager of this hotel, 
seen that snow?" pursued the personage, with a 
gesture of unspeakable solemn menace. 

"Yes, sir. I think so. Yes, sir." 

"Do you think he fully understands that I am 
the proprietor of this building?" 

"Certainly, Judge, cer " 

"You will inform him that I do not intend to 
be discommoded by his negligence as I pass to 
my offices. Tell him from me that unless he keeps 
the sidewalks in front of this hotel clear of snow I 
will cancel his lease. Their present condition is 

13 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

outrageous. Do you understand me ? Outrageous 1 
Do you hear?" 

"Yes, Judge, I do so," answered the clerk, 
hoarse with respect. " I'll see to it this minute, 
Judge Pike." 

"You had better." The personage turned him- 
self about and began a grim progress towards the 
door by which he had entered, his eyes fixing 
themselves angrily upon the conclave at the win- 
dows. 

Colonel Flitcroft essayed a smile, a faltering one. 

"Fine weather, Judge Pike," he said, hopefully. 

There was no response of any kind ; the under- 
shot jaw became more intolerant. The personage 
made his opinion of the group disconcertingly 
plain, and the old boys understood that he knew 
them for a worthless lot of senile loafers, as great a 
nuisance in his building as was the snow without; 
and much too evident was his unspoken threat 
to see that the manager cleared them out of there 
before long. 

He nodded curtly to the only man of substance 
among them, Jonas Tabor, and shut the door be- 
hind him with majestic insult. He was Canaan's 
millionaire. 

He was one of those dynamic creatures who 
leave the haunting impression of their wills be- 
hind them, like the tails of Bo-Peep's sheep, like 

14 



ENTER CHORUS 

the evil dead men have done ; he left his intolerant 
image in the ether for a long time after he had 
gone, to confront and confound the aged men and 
hold them in deferential and humiliated silence. 
Each of them was mysteriously lowered in his own 
estimation, and knew that he had been made to 
seem futile and foolish in the eyes of his fellows. 
They were all conscious, too, that the clerk had 
been acutely receptive of Judge Pike's reading of 
them ; that he was reviving from his own squelch- 
edness through the later snubbing of the colonel; 
also that he might further seek to recover his 
poise by an attack on them for cluttering up the 
office. 

Naturally, Jonas Tabor was the first to speak. 
"Judge Pike's lookin' mighty well," he said, ad- 
miringly. 

"Yes, he is," ventured Squire Buckalew, with 
deference; "mighty well." 

"Yes, sir," echoed Peter Bradbury; "mighty 
well." 

"He's a great man," wheezed Uncle Joe Davey; 
"a great man, Judge Martin Pike; a great man!" 

"I expect he has considerable on his mind," 
said the Colonel, who had grown very red. "I 
noticed that he hardly seemed to see us." 

"Yes, sir," Mr. Bradbury corroborated, with an 
attempt at an amused laugh. " I noticed it, too. 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Of course a man with all his cares and interests 
must git absent-minded now and then." 

"Of course he does," said the colonel. "A 
man with all his responsibilities." 

"Yes, that's so," came a chorus of the brethren, 
finding comfort and reassurance as their voices and 
spirits began to recover from the blight. 

"There's a party at the Judge's to-night," said 
Mr. Bradbury " kind of a ball Mamie Pike's givin* 
for the young folks. Quite a doin's, I hear." 

"That's another thing that's ruining Canaan," 
Mr. Arp declared, morosely. "These entertain- 
ments they have nowadays. Spend all the money 
out of town band from Indianapolis, chicken 
salad and darkey waiters from Chicago! And 
what I want to know is, What's this town goin' to 
do about the nigger question?" 

"What about it?" asked Mr. Davey, belliger- 
ently. 

"What about it?" Mr. Arp mocked, fiercely. 
"You better say, 'What about it?'" 

"Well, what?" maintained Mr. Davey, stead- 
fastly. 

" I'll bet there ain't any less than four thousand 
niggers in Canaan to-day!" Mr. Arp hammered 
the floor with his stick. "Every last one of 'em 
criminals, and more comin' on every train." 

"No such a thing," said Squire Buckalew, living 
16 



ENTER CHORUS 

up to his bounden duty. "You look down the 
street. There's the ten-forty-five comin' in now. 
I'll bet you a straight five-cent Peek-a-Boo cigar 
there ain't ary nigger on the whole train, except 
the sleepin'- car porters." 

"What kind of a way to argue is that?" de- 
manded Mr. Arp, hotly. "Bettin' ain't proof, is 
it? Besides, that's the through express from the 
East. I meant trains from the South. ' ' 

"You didn't say so," retorted Buckalew, tri- 
umphantly. "Stick to your bet, Eskew, stick to 
your bet." 

"My bet!" cried the outraged Eskew. "Who 
offered to bet?" 

"You did," replied the Squire, with perfect 
assurance and sincerity. The others supported 
him in the heartiest spirit of on-with-the-dance, 
and war and joy were unconfined. 

A decrepit hack or two, a couple of old-fashion- 
ed surreys, and a few "cut-unders" drove by, bear- 
ing the newly arrived and their valises, the hotel 
omnibus depositing several commercial travellers 
at the door. A solitary figure came from the 
station on foot, and when it appeared within fair 
range of the window, Uncle Joe Davey, who had 
but hovered on the flanks of the combat, first re- 
moved his spectacles and wiped them, as though 
distrusting the vision they offered him, then, re- 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

placing them, scanned anew the approaching figure 
and uttered a smothered cry. 

"My Lord A'mighty!" he gasped. "What's 
this? Look there!" 

They looked. A truce came involuntarily, and 
they sat in paralytic silence as the figure made its 
stately and sensational progress along Main Street. 

Not only the aged men were smitten. Men 
shovelling snow from the pavements stopped sud- 
denly in their labors; two women, talking busily 
on a doorstep, were stilled and remained in frozen 
attitudes as it passed; a grocer's clerk, crossing 
the pavement, carrying a heavily laden basket to 
his delivery wagon, halted half-way as the figure 
came near, and then, making a pivot of his heels 
as it went by, behaved towards it as does the 
magnetic needle to the pole. 

It was that of a tali gentleman, cheerfully, though 
somewhat with ennui, enduring his nineteenth 
winter. His long and slender face he wore smiling, 
beneath an accurately cut plaster of dark hair 
cornicing his forehead, a fashion followed by many 
youths of that year. This perfect bang was shown 
under a round black hat whose rim was so small as 
almost not to be there at all; and the head was 
supported by a waxy -white sea-wall of collar, 
rising three inches above the blue billows of a puffed 
cravat, upon which floated a large, hollow pearl. 

18 



ENTER CHORUS 

His ulster, sporting a big cape at the shoulders, 
and a tasselled hood over the cape, was of a rough 
Scotch cloth, patterned in faint, gray-and-white 
squares the size of baggage-checks, and it was so 
long that the skirts trailed in the snow. His legs 
were lost in the accurately creased, voluminous 
garments that were the tailors' canny reaction 
from the tight trousers with which the 'Eighties had 
begun : they were, in color, a palish russet, broadly 
striped with gray, and, in size, surpassed the milder 
spirit of fashion so far as they permitted a liberal 
knee action to take place almost without super- 
ficial effect. Upon his feet glistened long shoes, 
shaped, save for the heels, like sharp racing-shells; 
these were partially protected by tan-colored low 
gaiters with flat, shiny, brown buttons. In one 
hand the youth swung a. bone-handled walking- 
stick, perhaps an inch and a half in diameter, the 
other carried a yellow leather banjo-case, upon the 
outer side of which glittered the embossed- silver 
initials, "E. B." He was smoking, but walked 
with his head up, making use, however, of a gait at 
that time new to Canaan, a seeming superbly 
irresponsible lounge, engendering much motion 
of the shoulders, producing an effect of carelessness 
combined with independence an effect which the 
innocent have been known to hail as an uncon- 
scious one. 

19 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

He looked about him as he came, smilingly, with 
an expression of princely amusement as an elder- 
ly cabinet minister, say, strolling about a village 
where he had spent some months in his youth, a 
hamlet which he had then thought large and im- 
posing, but which, being revisited after years of 
cosmopolitan glory, appeals to his whimsy and his 
pity. The youth's glance at the court-house un- 
mistakably said: "Ah, I recall that odd little box. 
I thought it quite large in the days before I be- 
came what I am now, and I dare say the good 
townsfolk still think it an imposing structure!" 
With everything in sight he deigned to be amused, 
especially with the old faces in the "National 
House " windows. To these he waved his stick 
with airy graciousness. 

"My soul!" said Mr. Davey. "It seems to 
know some of us!" 

"Yes," agreed Mr. Arp, his voice recovered, 
" and 7 know it." 

"You do?" exclaimed the Colonel. 

" I do, and so do you. It's Fanny Louden's boy, 
'Gene, come home for his Christmas holidays." 

"By George! you're right," cried Flitcroft; "I 
recognize him now." 

"But what's the matter with him?" asked Mr. 
Bradbury, eagerly. " Has he joined some patent- 
medicine troupe?" 

20 



ENTER CHORUS 

"Not a bit," replied Eskew. "He went East 
to college last fall." 

"Do they make the boys wear them clothes?" 
persisted Bradbury. " Is it some kind of uniform ? ' ' 

" I don't care what it is," said Jonas Tabor. " If 
I was Henry Louden I wouldn't let him wear 'em 
around here." 

"Oh, you wouldn't, wouldn't you, Jonas?" Mr. 
Arp employed the accents of sarcasm. "I'd like to 
see Henry Louden try to interfere with 'Gene 
Bantry. Fanny'd lock the old fool up in the 
cellar." 

The lofty vision lurched out of view. 

"I reckon," said the Colonel, leaning forward to 
see the last of it " I reckon Henry Louden 's about 
the saddest case of abused step- father I ever saw." 

"It's his own fault," said Mr. Arp "twice not 
havin' sense enough not to marry. Him with a 
son of his own, too!" 

"Yes," assented the Colonel, "marryin* a widow 
with a son of her own, and that widow Fanny!" 

" Wasn't it just the same with her first husband 
Bantry?" Mr. Davey asked, not for information, 
as he immediately answered himself. "You bet 
it was! Didn't she always rule the roost? Yes, 
she did. She made a god of 'Gene from the day 
he was born. Bantry's house was run for him, like 
Louden's is now." 

21 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"And look," exclaimed Mr. Arp, with satisfac- 
tion, "at the way he's turned out!" 

" He ain't turned out at all yet; he's too young," 
said Buckalew. " Besides, clothes don't make the 
man." 

"Wasn't he smokin' a cigareet!" cried Eskew, 
triumphantly. This was final. 

"It's a pity Henry Louden can't do something 
for his own son," said Mr. Bradbury. " Why don't 
he send him away to college?" 

"Fanny won't let him," chuckled Mr. Arp, 
malevolently. "Takes all their spare change to 
keep 'Gene there in style. I don't blame her. 
'Gene certainly acts the fool, but that Joe Louden 
is the orneriest boy I ever saw in an ornery world- 
full." 

" He always was kind of misc/^vous," admitted 
Buckalew. " I don't think he's mean, though, and 
it does seem kind of not just right that Joe's father's 
money Bantry didn't leave anything to speak 
of has to go to keepin' 'Gene on the fat of the 
land, with Joe gittin' up at half -past four to carry 
papers, and him goin' on nineteen years old." 

" It's all he's fit for!" exclaimed Eskew. " He's 
low down, I tell ye. Ain't it only last week Judge 
Pike caught him shootin' craps with Pike's nigger 
driver and some other nigger hired -men in the 
alley back of Pike's barn." 

22 



ENTER CHORUS 

Mr. Schindlinger, the retired grocer, one of the 
silent members, corroborated Eskew's information. 
"I heert dot, too," he gave forth, in his fat voice. 
" He blays dominoes pooty often in der room back 
off Louie Farbach's tsaloon. I see him myself. 
Pooty often. Blayin' fer a leedle money mit 
loafers! Loafers!" 

"Pretty outlook for the Loudens!" said Eskew 
Arp, much pleased. "One boy a plum fool and 
dressed like it, the other gone to the dogs already!" 

"What could you expect Joe to be?" retorted 
Squire Buckalew. "What chance has he ever 
had? Long as I can remember Fanny's made 
him fetch and carry for 'Gene. 'Gene's had every- 
thing all the fancy clothes, all the pocket-money, 
and now college!" 

"You ever hear that boy Joe talk politics?" 
asked Uncle Joe Davey, crossing a cough with a 
chuckle. "His head's so full of schemes fer run- 
ning this town, and state, too, it's a wonder it don't 
bust. Henry Louden told me he's see Joe set 
around and study by the hour how to save three 
million dollars for the state in two years." 

"And the best he can do for himself," added 
Eskew, " is deliverin' the Daily Tocsin on a second- 
hand Star bicycle and gamblin' with niggers and 
riff-raff! None of the nice young folks invite him 
to their doin's any more." 
3 23 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"That's because he's got so shabby he's quit 
goin' with em," said Buckalew. 

"No, it ain't," snapped Mr. Arp. "It's be- 
cause he's so low down. He's no more 'n a town 
outcast. There ain't ary one of the girls '11 have 
a thing to do with him, except that rip-rarin' tom- 
boy next door to Louden's; and the others don't 
have much to do with her, neither, I can tell ye. 
That Arie Tabor" 

Colonel Flitcroft caught him surreptitiously by 
the arm. "Sh, Eskew!" he whispered. "Look 
out what you're sayin'!" 

"You needn't mind me," Jonas Tabor spoke up, 
crisply. " I washed my hands of all responsibility 
for Roger's branch of the family long ago. Never 
was one of 'em had the energy or brains to make 
a decent livin', beginning with Roger; not one 
worth his salt! I set Roger's son up in business, 
and all the return he ever made me was to go into 
bankruptcy and take to drink, till he died a sot, 
like his wife did of shame. I done all I could 
when I handed him over my store, and I never 
expect to lift a finger for 'em again. Ariel Tabor's 
my grandniece, but she didn't act like it, and you 
can say anything you like about her, for what I 
care. The last time I spoke to her was a year 
and a half ago, and I don't reckon I'll ever trouble 
to again." 

24 



ENTER CHORUS 

"How was that, Jonas?" quickly inquired Mr. 
Davey, who, being the eldest of the party, was the 
most curious. "What happened?" 

"She was out in the street, up on that high 
bicycle of Joe Louden's. He was teachin' her to 
ride, and she was sittin' on it like a man does. I 
stopped and told her she wasn't respectable. 
Sixteen years old, goin' on seventeen!" 

"What did she say?" 

"Laughed," said Jonas, his voice becoming 
louder as the recital of his wrongs renewed their 
sting in his soul. "Laughed!" 

"What did you do?" 

"I went up to her and told her she wasn't a 
decent girl, and shook the wheel." Mr. Tabor 
illustrated by seizing the lapels of Joe Davey and 
shaking him. " I told her if her grandfather had 
any spunk she'd git an old-fashioned hidin' for be- 
havin' that way. And I shook the wheel again." 
Here Mr. Tabor, forgetting in the wrath incited 
by the recollection that he had not to do with an 
inanimate object, swung the gasping and helpless 
Mr. Davey rapidly back and forth in his chair. 
"I shook it good and hard!" 

"What did she do then?" asked Peter Brad- 
bury. 

"Fell off on me," replied Jonas, violently. "On 
purpose!" 

25 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"I wisht she'd killed ye," said Mr. Davey, in a 
choking voice, as, released, he sank back in his 
chair. 

"On purpose!" repeated Jonas. "And smashed 
a straw hat I hadn't had three months! All to 
pieces! So it couldn't be fixed!" 

"And what then?" pursued Bradbury. 

"She ran," replied Jonas, bitterly "ran! And 
Joe Louden Joe Louden " He paused and 
gulped. 

"What did he do?" Peter leaned forward in 
his chair eagerly. 

The narrator of the outrage gulped again, and 
opened and shut his mouth before responding. 

"He said if I didn't pay for a broken spoke on 
his wheel he'd have to sue me!" 

No one inquired if Jonas had paid, and Jonas 
said no more. The recollection of his wrongs, 
together with the illustrative violence offered to 
Mr. Davey, had been too much for him. He sank 
back, panting, in his chair, his hands fluttering 
nervously over his heart, and closed his eyes. 

"I wonder why," ruminated Mr. Bradbury "I 
wonder why 'Gene Bantry walked up from the 
deepo. Don't seem much like his style. Should 
think he'd of rode up in a hack. 

"Sho!" said Uncle Joe Davey, his breath re- 
covered. "He wanted to walk up past Judge 

26 



ENTER CHORUS 

Pike's, to see if there wasn't a show of Mamie's 
bein' at the window, and give her a chance to look 
at that college uniform and banjo-box and new 
walk of his." 

Mr. Arp began to show signs of uneasiness. 

"I'd like mighty well to know," he said, shift- 
ing round in his chair, "if there's anybody here 
that's been able to answer the question I put, 
yesterday, just before we went home. You all 
tried to, but I didn't hear anything I could con- 
sider anyways near even a fair argument." 

"Who tried to?" asked Buckalew, sharply, sit- 
ting up straight. "What question?" 

"What proof can you bring me," began Mr. 
Arp, deliberately, "that we folks, modernly, ain't 
more degenerate than the ancient Romans?" 




II 

A RESCUE 

IAIN STREET, already muffled by 
the snow, added to its quietude a 
frozen hush where the wonder-bear- 
ing youth pursued his course along 
its white, straight way. None was 
there in whom impertinence overmastered aston- 
ishment, or who recovered from the sight in time 
to jeer with effect; no "Trab's boy" gathered 
courage to enact in the thoroughfare a scene of 
mockery and of joy. Leaving business at a tem- 
porary stand- still behind him, Mr. Bantry swept 
his long coat steadily over the snow and soon 
emerged upon that part of the street where the 
mart gave way to the home. The comfortable 
houses stood pleasantly back from the street, with 
plenty of lawn and shrubbery about them; and 
often, along the picket-fences, the laden branches 
of small cedars, bending low with their burden, 
showered the young man's swinging shoulders 
glitteringly as he brushed by. 

28 



A RESCUE 

And now that expression he wore the indulgent 
amusement of a man of the world began to dis- 
integrate and show signs of change. It became 
finely grave, as of a high conventionality, lofty, 
assured, and mannered, as he approached the Pike 
mansion. (The remotest stranger must at once 
perceive that the Canaan papers could not have 
called it otherwise without pain.) 

It was a big, smooth-stone-faced house, prod- 
uct of the 'Seventies, frowning under an outra- 
geously insistent mansard, capped by a cupola, 
and staring out of long windows overtopped with 
"ornamental" slabs. Two cast-iron deer, painted 
death-gray, twins of the same mould, stood on 
opposite sides of the front walk, their backs towards 
it and each other, their bodies in profile to the 
street, their necks bent, however, so that they 
gazed upon the passer-by yet gazed without 
emotion. Two large, calm dogs guarded the top 
of the steps leading to the front-door; they also 
were twins and of the same interesting metal, 
though honored beyond the deer by coats of black 
paint and shellac. It was to be remarked that 
these dogs were of no distinguishable species or 
breed, yet they were unmistakably dogs; the 
dullest must have recognized them as such at a 
glance, which was, perhaps, enough. It was a 
hideous house, important-looking, cold, yet harsh- 

29 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

ly aggressive, a house whose exterior provoked a 
shuddering guess of the brass lambrequins and 
plush fringes within; a solid house, obviously 
nay, blatantly the residence of the principal citi- 
zen, whom it had grown to resemble, as is the 
impish habit of houses; and it sat in the middle 
of its flat acre of snowy lawn like a rich, fat man 
enraged and sitting straight up in bed to swear. 

And yet there was one charming thing about this 
ugly house. Some workmen were enclosing a large 
side porch with heavy canvas, evidently for festal 
purposes. Looking out from between two strips 
of the canvas was the rosy and delicate face of a 
pretty girl, smiling upon Eugene Bantry as he 
passed. It was an obviously pretty face, all the 
youth and prettiness there for your very first 
glance; elaborately pretty, like the splendid pro- 
fusion of hair about and above it amber-colored 
hair, upon which so much time had been spent that 
a circle of large, round curls rose above the mass of 
it like golden bubbles tipping a coronet. 

The girl's fingers were pressed thoughtfully 
against her chin as Eugene strode into view; im- 
mediately her eyes widened and brightened. He 
swung along the fence with the handsomest ap- 
pearance of unconsciousness, until he reached a 
point nearly opposite her. Then he turned his 
head, as if haphazardly, and met her eyes. At once 

30 



A RESCUE 

she threw out her hand towards him, waving him 
a greeting a gesture which, as her fingers had been 
near her lips, was a little like throwing a kiss. He 
crooked an elbow and with a one-two-three military 
movement removed his small - brimmed hat, ex- 
tended it to full arm's-length at the shoulder-level, 
returned it to his head with Life-Guard precision. 
This was also new to Canaan. He was letting 
Mamie Pike have it all at once. 

The impression was as large as he could have 
desired. She remained at the opening in the can- 
vas and watched him until he wagged his shoulders 
round the next corner and disappeared into a cross 
street. As for Eugene, he was calm with a great 
calm, and very red. 

He had not covered a great distance, however, 
before his gravity was replaced by his former smil- 
ing look of the landed gentleman amused by the 
innocent pastimes of the peasants, though there 
was no one in sight except a woman sweeping some 
snow from the front steps of a cottage, and she, 
not perceiving him, retired in-doors without know- 
ing her loss. He had come to a thinly built part 
of the town, the perfect quiet of which made the 
sound he heard as he opened the picket gate of 
his own home all the more startling. It was a 
scream loud, frantic, and terror-stricken. 

Eugene stopped, with the gate half open. 
3 1 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Out of the winter skeleton of a grape-arbor at 
one side of the four-square brick house a brown- 
faced girl of seventeen precipitated herself through 
the air in the midst of a shower of torn card-board 
which she threw before her as she leaped. She lit 
upon her toes and headed for the gate at top speed, 
pursued by a pale young man whose thin arms 
strove spasmodically to reach her. Scattering 
snow behind them, hair flying, the pair sped on 
like two tattered branches before a high wind ; for, 
as they came nearer Eugene (of whom, in the 
tensity of their flight, they took no note), it was 
to be seen that both were so shabbily dressed as 
to be almost ragged. There was a brown patch 
upon the girl's faded skirt at the knee; the short- 
ness of the garment indicating its age to be some- 
thing over three years, as well as permitting the 
knowledge to become more general than befitting 
that her cotton stockings had been clumsily darned 
in several places. Her pursuer was in as evil case ; 
his trousers displayed a tendency to fringedness at 
pocket and heel; his coat, blowing open as he ran, 
threw pennants of torn lining to the breeze, and 
made it too plain that there were but three buttons 
on his waistcoat. 

The girl ran beautifully, but a fleeter foot was 
behind her, and though she dodged and evaded 
like a creature of the woods, the reaching hand 

32 



A RESCUE 

fell upon the loose sleeve of her red blouse, nor fell 
lightly. She gave a wrench of frenzy ; the antique 
fabric refused the strain; parted at the shoulder 
seam so thoroughly that the whole sleeve came 
away but not to its owner's release, for she had 
been brought round by the jerk, so that, agile as 
she had shown herself, the pursuer threw an arm 
about her neck, before she could twist away, and 
held her. 

There was a sharp struggle, as short as it was 
fierce. Neither of these extraordinary wrestlers 
spoke. They fought. Victory hung in the bal- 
ance for perhaps four seconds; then the girl was 
thrown heavily upon her back, in such a turmoil 
of snow that she seemed to be the mere nucleus of a 
white comet. She struggled to get up, plying knee 
and elbow with a very anguish of determination; 
but her opponent held her, pinioned both her 
wrists with one hand, and with the other rubbed 
great handfuls of snow into her face, sparing 
neither mouth nor eyes. 

"You will!" he cried. "You will tear up my 
pictures! A dirty trick, and you get washed for 
it!" 

Half suffocated, choking, gasping, she still 
fought on, squirming and kicking with such spirit 
that the pair of them appeared to the beholder 
like figures of mist writhing in a fountain of snow. 

33 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

More violence was to mar the peace of morning. 
Unexpectedly attacked from the rear, the con- 
queror was seized by the nape of the neck and one 
wrist, and jerked to his feet, simultaneously re- 
ceiving a succession of kicks from his assailant. 
Prompted by an entirely natural curiosity, he es- 
sayed to turn his head to see who this might be, 
but a twist of his forearm and the pressure of strong 
fingers under his ear constrained him to remain 
as he was; therefore, abandoning resistance, and, 
oddly enough, accepting without comment the 
indication that his captor desired to remain for 
the moment incognito, he resorted calmly to ex- 
planations. 

"She tore up a picture of mine," he said, re- 
ceiving the punishment without apparent emotion. 
"She seemed to think because she'd drawn it her- 
self she had a right to." 

There was a slight whimsical droop at the corner 
of his mouth as he spoke, which might have been 
thought characteristic of him. He was an odd- 
looking boy, not ill-made, though very thin and 
not tall. His pallor was clear and even, as though 
constitutional; the features were delicate, almost 
childlike, but they were very slightly distorted, 
through nervous habit, to an expression at once 
wistful and humorous; one eyebrow was a shade 
higher than the other, one side of the mouth slightly 

34 



A RESCUE 

drawn down; the eyelids twitched a little, habitu- 
ally; the fine, blue eyes themselves were almost 
comically reproachful the look of a puppy who 
thinks you would not have beaten him if you had 
known what was in his heart. All of this was in 
the quality of his voice, too, as he said to his in- 
visible captor, with an air of detachment from any 
personal feeling: 

"What peculiar shoes you wear! I don't think 
I ever felt any so pointed before." 

The rescuing knight took no thought of offering to 
help the persecuted damsel to arise; instead, he 
tightened his grip upon the prisoner's neck until, 
perforce, water not tears started from the lat- 
ter's eyes. 

"You miserable little muff," said the conqueror, 
"what the devil do you mean, making this scene 
on our front lawn?" 

"Why, it's Eugene!" exclaimed the helpless one. 
"They didn't expect you till to-night. When did 
you get in?" 

"Just in time to give you a lesson, my buck," 
replied Bantry, grimly. "In good time for that, 
my playful step-brother." 

He began to twist the other's wrist a treatment 
of bone and ligament in the application of which 
school -boys and even freshmen are often adept. 
Eugene made the torture acute, and was apparently 

35 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

enjoying the work, when suddenly without any 
manner of warning he received an astounding 
blow upon the left ear, which half stunned him 
for the moment, and sent his hat flying and himself 
reeling, so great was the surprise and shock of it. 
It was not a slap, not an open-handed push, noth- 
ing like it, but a fierce, well-delivered blow from a 
clinched fist with the shoulder behind it, and it 
was the girl who had given it. 

"Don't you dare to touch Joe!" she cried, pas- 
sionately. " Don't you lay a finger on him." 

Furious and red, he staggered round to look at 
her. 

11 You wretched little wild-cat, what do you mean 
by that?" he broke out. 

"Don't you touch Joe!" she panted. "Don't 
you Her breath caught and there was a break 
in her voice as she faced him. She could not finish 
the repetition of that cry, "Don't you touch Joe!" 

But there was no break in the spirit, that passion 
of protection which had dealt the blow. Both boys 
looked at her, something aghast. 

She stood before them, trembling with rage and 
shivering with cold in the sudden wind which had 
come up. Her hair had fallen and blew across 
her streaming face in brown witch-wisps; one of 
the ill-darned stockings had come down and hung 
about her shoe in folds full of snow ; the arm which 

36 



A RESCUE 

had lost its sleeve was bare and wet; thin as the 
arm of a growing boy, it shook convulsively, and 
was red from shoulder to clinched fist. She was 
covered with snow. Mists of white drift blew 
across her, mercifully half veiling her. 

Eugene recovered himself. He swung round 
upon his heel, restored his hat to his head with 
precision, picked up his stick and touched his 
banjo-case with it. 

"Carry that into the house," he said, indiffer- 
ently, to his step-brother. 

"Don't you do it!" said the girl, hotly, between 
her chattering teeth. 

Eugene turned towards her, wearing the sharp 
edge of a smile. Not removing his eyes from her 
face, he produced with deliberation a flat silver 
box from a pocket, took therefrom a cigarette, re- 
placed the box, extracted a smaller silver box from 
another pocket, shook out of it a fusee, slowly lit 
the cigarette this in a splendid silence, which he 
finally broke to say, languidly, but with particular 
distinctness : 

"Ariel Tabor, go home!" 

The girl's teeth stopped chattering, her lips re- 
maining parted ; she shook the hair out of her eyes 
and stared at him as if she did not understand, but 
Joe Louden, who had picked up the banjo-case obe- 
diently, burst into cheerful laughter. 

37 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

" That's it, 'Gene, " he cried, gayly. " That's the 
way to talk to her!" 

"Stow it, you young cub," replied Eugene, not 
turning to him. "Do you think I'm trying to be 
amusing?" 

" I don't know what you mean by ' stow it,'" Joe 
began, "but if " 

"I mean," interrupted the other, not relaxing 
his faintly smiling stare at the girl " I mean that 
Ariel Tabor is to go home. Really, we can't have 
this kind of thing occurring upon our front lawn!" 

The flush upon her wet cheeks deepened and be- 
came dark ; even her arm grew redder as she gazed 
back at him. In his eyes was patent his complete 
realization of the figure she cut, of this bare arm, 
of the strewn hair, of the fallen stocking, of the 
ragged shoulder of her blouse, of her patched short 
skirt, of the whole dishevelled little figure. He 
was the master of the house, and he was sending 
her home as ill-behaved children are sent home by 
neighbors. 

The immobile, amused superiority of this pro- 
prietor of silver boxes, this wearer of strange and 
brilliant garments, became slightly intensified as 
he pointed to the fallen sleeve, a rag of red and 
snow, lying near her feet. 

"You might take that with you?" he said, in- 
terrogatively, 

38 



A RESCUE 

Her gaze had not wavered in meeting his, but 
at this her eyelashes began to wink uncontrollably, 
her chin to tremble. She bent over the sleeve and 
picked it up, before Joe Louden, who had started 
towards her, could do it for her. Then turning, 
her head still bent so that her face was hidden 
from both of them, she ran out of the gate. 

" Do go ! " Joe called after her, vehemently. " Go I 
Just to show what a fool you are to think 'Gene's 
in earnest." 

He would have followed, but his step -brother 
caught him by the arm. "Don't stop her," said 
Eugene. "Can't you tell when I am in earnest, 
you bally muff.'" 

"I know you are," returned the other, in a low 
voice. "I didn't want her to think so for your 
sake." 

"Thousands of thanks," said Eugene, airily. 
" You are a wise young judge. She couldn't stay 
in that state, could she? I sent her for her own 
good." 

"She could have gone in the house and your 
mother might have loaned her a jacket, " returned 
Joe, swallowing. "You had no business to make 
her go out in the street like that." 

Eugene laughed. "There isn't a soul in sight 
and there, she's all right now. She's home." 

Ariel had run along the fence until she came to 
* 39 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the next gate, which opened upon a walk leading 
to a shabby, meandering old house of one story, 
with a very long, low porch, once painted white, 
running the full length of the front. Ariel sprang 
upon the porch and disappeared within the house. 

Joe stood looking after her, his eyelashes wink- 
ing as had hers. "You oughtn't to have treated 
her that way," he said, huskily. 

Eugene laughed again. "How were you treat- 
ing her when I came up? You bully her all you 
want to yourself, but nobody else must say even 
a fatherly word to her!" 

"That wasn't bullying," explained Joe. "We 
fight all the time." 

"Mais oui!" assented Eugene. "I fancy!" 

"What?" said the other, blankly. 

"Pick up that banjo-case again and come on," 
commanded Mr. Bantry, tartly. "Where's the 
mater?" 

Joe stared at him. "Where's what?" 

"The mater!" was the frowning reply. 

"Oh yes, I know!" said Joe, looking at his step- 
brother curiously. " I've seen it in stories. She's 
up-stairs. You'll be a surprise. You're wearing 
lots of clothes, 'Gene." 

"I suppose it will seem so to Canaan," returned 
the other, weariedly. "Governor feeling fit?" 

"I never saw him," Joe replied; then caught 
40 



A RESCUE 

himself. "Oh, I see what you mean! Yes, he's 
all right." 

They had come into the hall, and Eugene was 
removing the long coat, while his step-brother look- 
ed at him thoughtfully. 

'"Gene," asked the latter, in a softened voice, 
"have you seen Mamie Pike yet?" 

"You will find, my young friend," responded 
Mr. Bantry, "if you ever go about much outside 
of Canaan, that ladies' names are not supposed 
to be mentioned indiscriminately." 

" It's only," said Joe, "that I wanted to say that 
there's a dance at their house to-night. I suppose 
you'll be going?" 

"Certainly. Are you?" 

Both knew that the question was needless; but 
Joe answered, gently: 

"Oh no, of course not." He leaned over and 
fumbled with one foot as if to fasten a loose shoe- 
string. "She wouldn't be very likely to ask me." 

"Well, what about it?" 

"Only that that Arie Tabor's going." 

"Indeed!" Eugene paused on the stairs, which 
he had begun to ascend. "Very interesting." 

"I thought," continued Joe, hopefully, straight- 
ening up to look at him, " that maybe you'd dance 
with her. I don't believe many will ask h^r I'm 
afraid they won't and if you would, even only 

41 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

once, it would kind of make up for" he faltered 
"for out there," he finished, nodding his head 
in the direction of the gate. 

If Eugene vouchsafed any reply, it was lost in 
a loud, shrill cry from above, as a small, intensely 
nervous-looking woman in blue silk ran half-way 
down the stairs to meet him and caught him tear- 
fully in her arms. 

"Dear old mater!" said Eugene. 

Joe went out of the front- door quickly. 




Ill 

OLD HOPES 

|HE door which Ariel had entered 
opened upon a narrow hall, and 
down this she ran to her own room, 
passing, with face averted, the en- 
trance to the broad, low - ceilinged 
chamber that had served Roger Tabor as a studio 
for almost fifty years. He was sitting there now, 
in a hopeless and disconsolate attitude, with his 
back towards the double doors, which were open, 
and had been open since their hinges had begun 
to give way, when Ariel was a child. Hearing her 
step, he called her name, but did not turn; and, 
receiving no answer, sighed faintly as he heard her 
own door close upon her. 

Then, as his eyes wandered about the many 
canvases which leaned against the dingy walls, he 
sighed again. Usually they showed their brown 
backs, but to-day he had turned them all to face 
outward. Twilight, sunset, moonlight (the Court- 
house in moonlight), dawn, morning, noon (Main 

43 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Street at noon), high summer, first spring, red 
autumn, midwinter, all were there inimitably de- 
tailed, worked to a smoothness like a glaze, and 
all lovingly done with unthinkable labor. 

And there were "Italian Flower-Sellers," dam- 
sels with careful hair, two figures together, one 
blonde, the other as brunette as lampblack, the 
blonde in pink satin and blue slippers leaning 
against a pillar and smiling over the golden coins 
for which she had exchanged her posies; the bru- 
nette seated at her feet, weeping upon an unsold 
bouquet. There were red -sashed "Fisher Lads" 
wading with butterfly-nets on their shoulders; 
there was a "Tying the Ribbon on Pussy's Neck"; 
there were portraits in oil and petrifactions in 
crayon, as hard and tight as the purses of those 
who had refused to accept them, leaving them 
upon their maker's hands because the likeness had 
failed. 

After a time the old man got up, went to his 
easel near a window, and, sighing again, began 
patiently to work upon one of these failures a 
portrait, in oil, of a savage old lady, which he was 
doing from a photograph. The expression of the 
mouth and the shape of the nose had not pleased 
her descendants and the beneficiaries under the 
will, and it was upon the images of these features 
that Roger labored. He leaned far forward, with 

44 



OLD HOPES 

his face close to the canvas, holding his brushes 
after the Spencerian fashion, working steadily 
through the afternoon, and, when the light grew 
dimmer, leaning closer to his canvas to see. When 
it had become almost dark in the room, he lit a 
student-lamp with a green-glass shade, and, plac- 
ing it upon a table beside him, continued to paint. 
Ariel's voice interrupted him at last. 

"It's quitting - time, grandfather," she called, 
gently, from the doorway behind him. 

He sank back in his chair, conscious, for the 
first time, of how tired he had grown. "I sup- 
pose so," he said, "though it seemed to me that 
I was just getting my hand in." His eyes bright- 
ened for a moment. "I declare, I believe I've 
caught it a great deal better. Come and look, 
Ariel. Doesn't it seem to you that I'm getting 
it? Those pearly shadows in the flesh " 

" I'm sure of it. Those people ought to be very 
proud to have it." She came to him quietly, took 
the palette and brushes from his hands and began 
to clean them, standing in the shadow behind him. 
"It's too good for them." 

"I wonder if it is," he said, slowly, leaning for- 
ward and curving his hands about his eyes so as 
to shut off everything from his view except the 
canvas. "I wonder if it is!" he repeated. Then 
his hands dropped sadly in his lap, and he sank 

45 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

back again with a patient kind of revulsion. " No, 
no, it isn't! I always think they're good when 
I've just finished them. I've been fooled that 
way all my life. They don't look the same after- 
wards." 

"They're always beautiful," she said, softly. 

"Ah, ah!" he sighed. 

"Now, Roger!" she cried, with cheerful sharp- 
ness, continuing her work. 

"I know," he said, with a plaintive laugh, "I 
know. Sometimes I think that all my reward 
has been in the few minutes I've had just after 
finishing them. During those few minutes I seem 
to see in them all that I wanted to put in them; 
I see it because what I've been trying to express 
is still so warm in my own eyes that I seem to have 
got it on the canvas where I wanted it." 

" But you do," she said. " You do get it there." 

"No," he murmured, in return. "I never did. 
I got out some of the old ones when I came in this 
morning, some that I hadn't looked at for years, and 
it's the same with them. You can do it much 
better yourself your sketches show it." 

"No, no!" she protested, quickly. 

"Yes, they do; and I wondered if it was only 
because you were young. But those I did when 
I was young are almost the same as the ones I 
paint now, I haven't learned much. There hasn't 

4* 




"'THEY'RE ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL,' SHE SAID. SOFTLY" 



OLD HOPES 

been any one to show me! And you can't learn 
from print, never! Yet I've grown in what I see 
grown so that the world is full of beauty to me 
that I never dreamed of seeing when I began. 
But I can't paint it I can't get it on the canvas. 
Ah, I think I might have known how to, if I 
hadn't had to teach myself, if I could only have 
seen how some of the other fellows did their work. 
If I'd ever saved money to get away from Canaan 
if I could have gone away from it and come 
back knowing how to paint it if I could have got 
to Paris for just one month! Paris for just one 
month!" 

" Perhaps we will ; you can't tell what may hap- 
pen." It was always her reply to this cry of his. 

"Paris for just one month!" he repeated, with 
infinite wistfulness, and then realizing what an 
old, old cry it was with him, he shook his head, 
impatiently sniffing out a laugh at himself, rose 
and went pottering about among the canvases, 
returning their faces to the wall, and railing at 
them mutteringly. 

"Whatever took me into it, I don't know. I 
might have done something useful. But I couldn't 
bring myself ever to consider doing anything else 
I couldn't bear even to think of it! Lord forgive 
me, I even tried to encourage your father to paint. 
Perhaps he might as well, poor boy, as to have put 

47 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

all he'd made into buying Jonas out. Ah me! 
There you go, 'Flower-Girls'! Turn your silly 
faces to the wall and smile and cry there till I'm 
gone and somebody throws you on a bonfire. TIL 
never look at you again." He paused, with the 
canvas half turned. "And yet," he went on, 
reflectively, "a man promised me thirty-five dol- 
lars for that picture once. I painted it to order, 
but he went away before I finished it, and never 
answered the letters I wrote him about it. I wish 
I had the money now perhaps we could have 
more than two meals a day." 

"We don't need more," said Ariel, scraping the 
palette attentively. "It's healthier with only 
breakfast and supper. I think I'd rather have a 
new dress than dinner." 

"I dare say you would," the old man mused. 
"You're young you're young. What were you 
doing all this afternoon, child?" 

" In my room, trying to make over mamma's 
wedding-dress for to-night." 

"To-night?" 

"Mamie Pike invited me to a dance at their 
house." 

"Very well; I'm glad you're going to be gay," 
he said, not seeing the faintly bitter smile that 
came to her face. 

"I don't think I'll be very gay," she answered. 
48 



OLD HOPES 

" I don't know why I go nobody ever asks me to 
dance." 

"Why not?" he asked, with an old man's as- 
tonishment. 

"I don't know. Perhaps it's because I don't 
dress very well." Then, as he made a sorrowful 
gesture, she cut him off before he could speak. 
"Oh, it isn't altogether because we're poor; it's 
more I don't know how to wear what I've got, the 
way some girls do. I never cared much and 
well, I'm not worrying, Roger! And I think I've 
done a good deal with mamma's dress. It's a very 
grand dress. I wonder I never thought of wearing it 
until to-day. I may be ' ' she laughed and blushed 
" I may be the belle of the ball who knows!" 

"You'll want me to walk over with you and 
come for you afterwards, I expect." 

"Only to take me. It may be late when I 
come away if a good many should ask me to 
dance, for once! Of course I could come home 
alone. But Joe Louden is going to sort of hang 
around outside, and he'll meet me at the gate and 
see me safe home." 

"Oh!" he exclaimed, blankly. 

"Isn't it all right?" she asked. 

"I think I'd better come for you," he answered, 
gently. " The truth is, I I think you'd better not 
be with Joe Louden a great deal." 

49 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Why?" 

"Well, he doesn't seem a vicious boy to me, but 
I'm afraid he's getting rather a bad name, my 
dear." 

" He's not getting one," she said, gravely. " He's 
already got one. He's had a bad name in Canaan 
for a long while. It grew in the first place out of 
shabbiness and mischief, but it did grow; and if 
people keep on giving him a bad name the time 
will come when he'll live up to it. He's not any 
worse than I am, and I guess my own name isn't 
too good for a girl. And yet, so far, there's noth- 
ing against him except his bad name." 

"I'm afraid there is," said Roger. "It doesn't 
look very well for a young man of his age to be 
doing no better than delivering papers." 

" It gives him time to study law," she answered, 
quickly. "If he clerked all day in a store, he 
couldn't." 

" I didn't know he was studying now. I thought 
I'd heard that he was in a lawyer's office for a few 
weeks last year, and was turned out for setting fire 
to it with a pipe 

"It was an accident," she interposed. 

" But some pretty important papers were burned, 
and after that none of the other lawyers would 
have him." 

" He's not in an office," she admitted. " I didn't 
So 



OLD HOPES 

mean that. But he studies a great deal. He 
goes to the courts all the time they're in session, 
and he's bought some books of his own." 

"Well perhaps," he assented; "but they say 
he gambles and drinks, and that last week Judge 
Pike threatened to have him arrested for throwing 
dice with some negroes behind the Judge's stable." 

" What of it ? I'm about the only nice person in 
town that will have anything to do with him 
and nobody except you thinks Pm very nice!" 

"Ariel! Ariel!" 

"I know all about his gambling with darkies," 
she continued, excitedly, her voice rising, " and I. 
know that he goes to saloons, and that he's an in- 
timate friend of half the riffraff in town ; and I know 
the reason for it, too, because he's told me. He 
wants to know them, to understand them ; and he 
says some day they'll make him a power, and then 
he can help them!" 

The old man laughed helplessly. " But I can't 
let him bring you home, my dear." 

She came to him slowly and laid her hands upon 
his shoulders. Grandfather and granddaughter 
were nearly of the same height, and she looked 
squarely into his eyes. " Then you must say it is 
because you want to come for me, not because I 
mustn't come with Joe." 

"But I think it is a little because you mustn't 

S 1 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

come with Joe," he answered, "especially from 
the Pikes'. Don't you see that it mightn't be 
well for Joe himself, if the Judge should happen to 
see him ? I understand he warned the boy to keep 
away from the neighborhood entirely or he would 
have him locked up for dice-throwing. The Judge 
is a very influential man, you know, and as de- 
termined in matters like this as he is irritable." 

"Oh, if you put it on that ground," the girl 
replied, her eyes softening, " I think you'd better 
come for me yourself." 

"Very well, I put it on that ground," he re- 
turned, smiling upon her 

"Then I'll send Joe word and get supper," she 
said, kissing him. 

It was the supper-hour not only for them but 
everywhere in Canaan, and the cold air of the 
streets bore up and down and around corners the 
smell of things frying. The dining-room windows 
of all the houses threw bright patches on the snow 
of the side-yards; the windows of other rooms, 
except those of the kitchens, were dark, for the 
rule of the place was Puritanical in thrift, as in all 
things ; and the good housekeepers disputed every 
record of the meters with unhappy gas-collectors. 

There was no better housekeeper in town than 
Mrs. Louden, nor a thriftier, but hers was one of 
the few houses in Canaan, that evening, which 

52 



OLD HOPES 

showed bright lights in the front rooms while the 
family were at supper. It was proof of the agita- 
tion caused by the arrival of Eugene that she for- 
got to turn out the gas in her parlor, and in the 
chamber she called a library, on her way to the 
evening meal. 

That might not have been thought a cheerful 
feast for Joe Louden. The fatted calf was upon the 
board, but it had not been provided for the prodigal, 
who, in this case, was the brother that stayed at 
home : the fe'te rewarded the good brother, who had 
been in strange lands, and the good one had found 
much honor in his wanderings, as he carelessly let 
it appear. Mrs. Louden brightened inexpressibly 
whenever Eugene spoke of himself, and consequent- 
ly she glowed most of the time. Her husband 
a heavy, melancholy, silent man with a grizzled 
beard and no mustache lowered at Joe through- 
out the meal, but appeared to take a strange com- 
fort in his step-son's elegance and polish. Eugene 
wore new evening clothes and was lustrous to eye 
and ear. 

Joe escaped as soon as he could, though not be- 
fore the count of his later sins had been set before 
Eugene in detail, in mass, and in all of their depth, 
breadth, and thickness. His father spoke but 
once, after nodding heavily to confirm all points of 
Mrs. Louden 's recital. 

S3 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"You better use any influence you've got with 
your brother," he said to Eugene, "to make him 
come to time. I can't do anything with him. If 
he gets in trouble, he needn't come to me! I'll 
never help him again. I'm tired of it!" 

Eugene glanced twinklingly at the outcast. " I 
didn't know he was such a roarer as all that!" he 
said, lightly, not taking Joe as of enough conse- 
quence to be treated as a sinner. 

This encouraged Mrs. Louden to pathos upon 
the subject of her shame before other women 
when Joe happened to be mentioned, and the sup- 
per was finished with the topic. Joe slipped away 
through the kitchen, sneakingly, and climbed the 
back fence. In the alley he lit a cheap cigarette, 
and thrusting his hands into his pockets and shiv- 
ering violently for he had no overcoat, walked 
away singing to himself, "A Spanish cavalier 
stood in his retreat," his teeth affording an ap- 
propriate though involuntary castanet accompani- 
ment. 

His movements throughout the earlier part of 
that evening are of uncertain report. It is known 
that he made a partial payment of forty-five cents 
at a second-hand book-store for a number of vol- 
umes Grindstaff on Torts and some others which 
he had negotiated on the instalment system; it is 
also believed that he won twenty-eight cents play- 

54 



OLD HOPES 

ing seven-up in the little room behind Louie Far- 
bach's bar; but these things are of little import 
compared to the established fact that at eleven 
o'clock he was one of the ball guests at the Pike 
Mansion. He took no active part in the festivities, 
nor was he one of the dancers : his was, on the con- 
trary, the role of a quiet observer. He lay stretch- 
ed at full length upon the floor of the enclosed 
porch (one of the strips of canvas was later found 
to have been loosened), wedged between the outer 
railing and a row of palms in green tubs. The 
position he occupied was somewhat too draughty 
to have been recommended by a physician, but he 
commanded, between the leaves of the screening 
palms, an excellent view of the room nearest the 
porch. A long window, open, afforded communi- 
cation between this room, one of those used for 
dancing, and the dim bower which had been made 
of the veranda, whither flirtatious couples made 
their way between the dances. 

It was not to play eavesdropper upon any of 
these that the uninvited Joe had come. He was 
not there to listen, and it is possible that, had the 
curtains of other windows afforded him the chance 
to behold the dance, he might not have risked the 
dangers of his present position. He had not the 
slightest interest in the whispered coquetries that 
he heard ; he watched only to catch now and then, 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

over the shoulders of the dancers, a fitful glimpse 
of a pretty head that flitted across the window 
the amber hair of Mamie Pike. He shivered in the 
draughts; and the floor of the porch was cement, 
painful to elbow and knee, the space where he lay 
cramped and narrow; but the golden bubbles of 
her hair, the shimmer of her dainty pink dress, 
and the fluffy wave of her lace scarf as she crossed 
and recrossed in a waltz, left him, apparently, in 
no discontent. He watched with parted lips, his 
pale cheeks reddening whenever those fair glimpses 
were his. At last she came out to the veranda with 
Eugene and sat upon a little divan, so close to Joe 
that, daring wildly in the shadow, he reached out 
a trembling hand and let his fingers rest upon the 
end of her scarf, which had fallen from her shoul- 
ders and touched the floor. She sat with her back 
to him, as did Eugene. 

"You have changed, I think, since last summer," 
he heard her say, reflectively. 

"For the worse, ma chtrie?" Joe's expression 
might have been worth seeing when Eugene said 
" ma cherie" for it was known in the louden house- 
hold that Mr. Bantry had failed to pass his exami- 
nation in the French language. 

"No," she answered. "But you have seen so 
much and accomplished so much since then. You 
have become so polished and so " She paused, 

56 



OLD HOPES 

and then continued, "But perhaps I'd better not 
say it; you might be offended." 

"No. I want you to say it," he returned, con- 
fidently, and his confidence was fully justified, for 
she said: 

"Well, then, I mean that you have become so 
thoroughly a man of the world. Now I've said it! 
You are offended aren't you?" 

"Not at all, not at all," replied Mr. Bantry, pre- 
venting by a masterful effort his pleasure from 
showing in his face. " Though I suppose you mean 
to imply that I'm rather wicked." 

" Oh no," said Mamie, with profound admiration, 
"not exactly wicked." 

"University life is fast nowadays," Eugene ad- 
mitted. " It's difficult not to be drawn into it!" 

"And I suppose you look down on poor little 
Canaan now, and everybody in it!" 

" Oh no," he laughed, indulgently. " Not at all, 
not at all! I find it very amusing." 

"All of it?" 

"Not you," he answered, becoming very grave. 

' ' Honestly don't you ? ' ' Her young voice trem- 
bled a little. 

"Honestly indeed truly " Eugene leaned 
very close to her and the words were barely audible. 
"You know I don't!" 

"Then I'm glad," she whispered, and Joe saw 
57 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

his step-brother touch her hand, but she rose quick- 
ly. "There's the music," she cried, happily. " It's 
a waltz, and it's yours /" 

Joe heard her little high heels tapping gayly 
towards the window, followed by the heavier tread 
of Eugene, but he did not watch them go. 

He lay on his back, with the hand that had 
touched Mamie's scarf pressed across his closed 
eyes. 

The music of that waltz was of the old-fashioned 
swingingly sorrowful sort, and it would be hard to 
say how long it was after that before the boy could 
hear the air played without a recurrence of the 
bitterness of that moment. The rhythmical pathos 
of the violins was in such accord with a faint sound 
of weeping which he heard near him, presently, 
that for a little while he believed this sound to be 
part of the music and part of himself. Then it be- 
came more distinct, and he raised himself on one 
elbow to look about. 

Very close to him, sitting upon the divan in the 
shadow, was a girl wearing a dress of beautiful silk. 
She was crying softly, her face in her hands. 




IV 

THE DISASTER 

) 

(RIEL had worked all the afternoon 
over her mother's wedding - gown, 
and two hours were required by her 
toilet for the dance. She curled her 
hair frizzily, burning it here and 
there, with a slate-pencil heated over a lamp- 
chimney, and she placed above one ear three or 
four large artificial roses, taken from an old hat 
of her mother's, which she had found in a trunk 
in the store-room. Possessing no slippers, she care- 
fully blacked and polished her shoes, which had 
been clumsily resoled, and fastened into the strings 
of each small rosettes of red ribbon; after which 
she practised swinging the train of her skirt until 
she was proud of her manipulation of it. She 
had no powder, but found in her grandfather's 
room a lump of magnesia, that he was in the habit 
of taking for heart-burn, and passed it over and 
over her brown face and hands. Then a lingering 
gaze into her small mirror gave her joy at last : she 

59 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

yearned so hard to see herself charming that she 
did see herself so. Admiration came and she told 
herself that she was more attractive to look at 
than she had ever been in her life, and that, per- 
haps, at last she might begin to be sought for like 
other girls. The little glass showed a sort of pretti- 
ness in her thin, unmatured young face; tripping 
dance-tunes ran through her head, her feet keep- 
ing the time, ah, she did so hope to dance often 
that night! Perhaps perhaps she might be asked 
for every number. And so, wrapping an old water- 
proof cloak about her, she took her grandfather's 
arm and salKed forth, high hopes in her beating 
heart. 

It was in the dressing-room that tne change be- 
gan to come. Alone, at home in her own ugly lit- 
tle room, she had thought herself almost beautiful, 
but here in the brightly lighted chamber crowded 
with the other girls it was different. There was 
a big cheval-glass at one end of the room, and she 
faced it, when her turn came for the mirror was 
popular with a sinking spirit. There was the 
contrast, like a picture painted and framed. The 
other girls all wore their hair after the fashion in- 
troduced to Canaan by Mamie Pike the week be- 
fore, on her return from a visit to Chicago. None 
of them had "crimped" and none had bedecked 
their tresses with artificial flowers. Her alterations 

60 



THE DISASTER 

of the wedding-dress had not been successful; the 
skirt was too short in front and higher on one 
side than on the other, showing too plainly the 
heavy -soled shoes, which had lost most of their 
polish in the walk through the snow. The ribbon 
rosettes were fully revealed, and as she glanced at 
their reflection she heard the words, "Look at that 
train and those rosettes!" whispered behind her, and 
saw in the mirror two pretty young women turn 
away with their handkerchiefs over their mouths 
and retreat hurriedly to an alcove. All the feet 
in the room except Ariel's were in dainty kid or 
satin slippers of the color of the dresses from which 
they glimmered out, and only Ariel wore a train. 

She went away from the mirror and pretended 
to be busy with a hanging thread in her sleeve. 

She was singularly an alien in the chattering 
room, although she had been born and lived all 
her life in the town. Perhaps her position among 
the young ladies may be best defined by the re- 
mark, generally current among them, that even- 
ing, to the effect that it was "very sweet of Mamie 
to invite her." Ariel was not like the others; she 
was not of them, and never had been. Indeed, she 
did not know them very well. Some of them 
nodded to her and gave her a word of greeting 
pleasantly; all of them whispered about her with 
wonder and suppressed amusement; but none 

61 



talked to her. They were not unkindly, but they 
were young and eager and excited over their own 
interests, which were then in the "gentlemen's 
dressing-room." 

Each of the other girls had been escorted by a 
youth of the place, and, one by one, joining these 
escorts in the hall outside the door, they descended 
the stairs, until only Ariel was left. She came 
down alone after the first dance had begun, and 
greeted her young hostess's mother timidly. Mrs. 
Pike a small, frightened-looking woman with a 
prominent ruby necklace answered her absently, 
and hurried away to see that the imported waiters 
did not steal anything. 

Ariel sat in one of the chairs against the wall 
and watched the dancers with a smile of eager and 
benevolent interest. In Canaan no parents, no 
guardians nor aunts, were haled forth o' nights to 
duenna the junketings of youth ; Mrs. Pike did not 
reappear, and Ariel sat conspicuously alone; there 
was nothing else for her to do. It was not an 
easy matter. 

When the first dance reached an end, Mamie 
Pike came to her for a moment with a cheery wel- 
come, and was immediately surrounded by a circle 
of young men and women, flushed with dancing, 
shouting as was their wont, laughing inexplicably 
over words and phrases and unintelligible mono- 

62 



THE DISASTER 

syllables, as if they all belonged to a secret society 
and these cries were symbols of things exquisite- 
ly humorous, which only they understood. Ariel 
laughed with them more heartily than any other, 
so that she might seem to be of them and as mer- 
ry as they were, but almost immediately she found 
herself outside of the circle, and presently they all 
whirled away into another dance, and she was left 
alone again. 

So she sat, no one coming near her, through 
several dances, trying to maintain the smile of 
delighted interest upon her face, though she felt 
the muscles of her face beginning to ache with their 
fixedness, her eyes growing hot and glazed. All the 
other girls were provided with partners for every 
dance, with several young men left over, these lat- 
ter lounging hilariously together in the doorways. 
Ariel was careful not to glance towards them, but 
she could not help hating them. Once or twice 
between the dances she saw Miss Pike speak ap- 
pealingly to one of the superfluous, glancing, at the 
same time, in her own direction, and Ariel could 
see, too, that the appeal proved unsuccessful, until 
at last Mamie approached her, leading Norbert 
Flitcroft, partly by the hand, partly by will-power. 
Norbert was an excessively fat boy, and at the 
present moment looked as patient as the blind. 
But he asked Ariel if she was " engaged for the next 

63 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

dance," and, Mamie having flitted away, stood 
disconsolately beside her, waiting for the music to 
begin. Ariel was grateful for him. 

"I think you must be very good-natured, Mr. 
Flitcroft," she said, with an air of raillery. 

" No, I'm not," he replied, plaintively. " Every- 
body thinks I am because I'm fat, and they ex- 
pect me to do things they never dream of asking 
anybody else to do. I'd like to see 'em even ask 
'Gene Bantry to go and do some of the things they 
get me to do! A person isn't good-natured just 
because he's fat," he concluded, morbidly, "but 
he might as well be!" 

"Oh, I meant good-natured," she returned, with 
a sprightly laugh, "because you're willing to waltz 
with me." 

"Oh, well," he returned, sighing, "that's all 
right." 

The orchestra flourished into "La Paloma"; he, 
put his arm mournfully about her, and taking her 
right hand with his left, carried her arm out to a 
rigid right angle, beginning to pump and balance 
for time. They made three false starts and then 
got away. Ariel danced badly; she hopped and 
lost the step, but they persevered, bumping against 
other couples continually. Circling breathlessly 
into the next room, they passed close to a long 
mirror, in which Ariel saw herself, although in a 

64 



THE DISASTER 

flash, more bitterly contrasted to the others than 
in the cheval-glass of the dressing-room. The 
clump of roses was flopping about her neck, her 
crimped hair looked frowzy, and there was some- 
thing terribly wrong about her dress. Suddenly 
she felt her train to be ominously grotesque, as a 
thing following her in a nightmare. 

A moment later she caught her partner making a 
burlesque face of suffering over her shoulder, and, 
turning her head quickly, saw for whose benefit 
he had constructed it. Eugene Bantry, flying ex- 
pertly by with Mamie, was bestowing upon Mr. 
Flitcroft a condescendingly commiserative wink. 
The next instant she tripped in her train and fell to 
the floor at Eugene's feet, carrying her partner 
with her. 

There was a shout of laughter. The young 
hostess stopped Eugene, who would have gone on, 
and he had no choice but to stoop to Ariel's as- 
sistance. 

"It seems to be a habit of mine," she said, 
laughing loudly. 

She did not appear to see the hand he offered, 
but got to her feet without help and walked quickly 
away with Norbert, who proceeded to live up to the 
character he had given himself. 

''Perhaps we had better not try it again," she 
laughed. 

65 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

" Well, I should think not," he returned, with the 
frankest gloom. With the air of conducting her 
home he took her to the chair against the wall 
whence he had brought her. There his responsi- 
bility for her seemed to cease. "Will you excuse 
me?" he asked, and there was no doubt that he 
felt that he had been given more than his share 
that evening, even though he was fat. 

"Yes, indeed." Her laughter was continuous. 
" I should think you would be glad to get rid of me 
after that. Ha, ha, ha! Poor Mr. Flitcroft, you 
know you are!" 

It was the deadly truth, and the fat one, saying, 
"Well, if you'll just excuse me now," hurried 
away with a step which grew lighter as the distance 
from her increased. Arrived at the haven of a far 
doorway, he mopped his brow and shook his head 
grimly in response to frequent rallyings. 

Ariel sat through more dances, interminable 
dances and intermissions, in that same chair, in 
which, it began to seem, she was to live out the rest 
of her life. Now and then, if she thought people 
were looking at her as they passed, she broke into a 
laugh and nodded slightly, as if still amused over 
her mishap. 

After a long time she rose, and laughing cheer- 
fully to Mr. Flitcroft, who was standing in the 
doorway and replied with a wan smile, stepped 

66 



THE DISASTER 

out quickly into the hall, where she almost ran 
into her great-uncle, Jonas Tabor. He was going 
towards the big front doors with Judge Pike, hav- 
ing just come out of the latter's library, down the 
hall. 

Jonas was breathing heavily and was shockingly 
pale, though his eyes were very bright. He turned 
his back upon his grandniece sharply and went out 
of the door. Ariel turned from him quite as abrupt- 
ly and re-entered the room whence she had come. 
She laughed again to her fat friend as she passed 
him, and, still laughing, went towards the fatal 
chair, when her eyes caught sight of Eugene Bantry 
and Mamie coming in through the window from 
the porch. Still laughing, she went to the window 
and looked out; the porch seemed deserted and 
was faintly illuminated by a few Japanese lanterns. 
She sprang out, dropped upon the divan, and bury- 
ing her face in her hands, cried heart-brokenly. 
Presently she felt something alive touch her foot, 
and, her breath catching with alarm, she started 
to rise. A thin hand, issuing from a shabby sleeve, 
had stolen out between two of the green tubs and 
was pressing upon one of her shoes. 

" 'Sh!" said Joe. " Don't make a noise!" 
His warning was not needed ; she had recognized 
the hand and sleeve instantly. She dropped back 
with a low sound which would have been hysterical 

67 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

if it had been louder, while he raised himself on 
his arm until she could see his face dimly, as he 
peered at her between the palms. 

"What were you going on about?" he asked, 
angrily. 

"Nothing," she answered. "I wasn't. You 
must go away, and quick. It's too dangerous. If 
the Judge found you " 

"He won't!" 

"Ah, you'd risk anything to see Mamie Pike " 

"What were you crying about?" he interrupted. 

"Nothing, I tell you!" she repeated, the tears 
not ceasing to gather in her eyes. "I wasn't." 

"I want to know what it was," he insisted. 
"Didn't the fools ask you to dance? Ah! You 
needn't tell me. That's it. I've been here for 
the last three dances and you weren't in sight till 
you came to the window. Well, what do you care 
about that for?" 

"I don't!" she answered. "I don't!" Then 
suddenly, without being able to prevent it, she 
sobbed. 

"No," he said, gently, "I see you don't. And 
you let yourself be a fool because there are a lot 
of fools in there." 

She gave way, all at once, to a gust of sorrow 
and bitterness; she bent far over and caught his 
hand and laid it against her wet cheek. "Oh, 

68 



THE DISASTER 

Joe," she whispered, brokenly, "I think we have 
such hard lives, you and I ! It doesn't seem right 
while we're so young! Why can't we be like 
the others ? Why can't we have some of the fun ?" 

He withdrew his hand, with the embarrassment 
and shame he would have felt had she been a boy. 
"Get out!" he said, feebly. 

She did not seem to notice, but, still stooping, 
rested her elbows on her knees and her face in her 
hands. " I try so hard to have fun, to be like the 
rest, and it's always a mistake, always, always, 
always!" She rocked herself, slightly, from side 
to side. " I am a fool, it's the truth, or I wouldn't 
have come to-night. I want to be attractive I 
want to be in things. I want to laugh like they 
do" 

"To laugh just to laugh, and not because there's 
something funny?" 

"Yes, I do, I do! And to know how to dress 
and to wear my hair there must be some place 
where you can learn those things. I've never had 
any one to show me! Ah! Grandfather said 
something like that this afternoon poor man! 
We're in the same case. If we only had some one 
to show us! It all seems so blind, here in Canaan, 
for him and me! I don't say it's not my own 
fault as much as being poor. I've been a hoyden; 
I don't feel as if I'd learned how to be a girl yet, 

69 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Joe. It's only lately I've cared, but I'm seven- 
teen, Joe, and and to-day to-day I was sent 
home and to-night She faltered, came to a 
stop, and her whole body was shaken with sobs. 
"I hate myself so for crying for everything!" 

"I'll tell you something," he whispered, chuck- 
ling desperately. " 'Gene made me unpack his trunk, 
and I don't believe he's as great a man at college as 
he is here. I opened one of his books, and some 
one had written in it, ' Prigamaloo Bantry, the Class 
Try-To-Be'! He'd never noticed, and you ought 
to have heard him go on! You'd have just died, 
Ariel I almost bust wide open! It was a mean 
trick in me, but I couldn't help showing it to him." 

Joe's object was obtained. She stopped crying, 
and, wiping her eyes, smiled faintly. Then she 
became grave. "You're jealous of Eugene," she 
said. 

He considered this for a moment. "Yes," he 
answered, thoughtfully, " I am. But I wouldn't 
think about him differently on that account. And 
I wouldn't talk about him to any one but you." 

"Not even to She left the question un- 
finished. 

"No," he said, quietly. "Of course not." 

"No? Because it wouldn't be any use?" 

" I don't know. I never have a chance to talk 
to her, anyway." 

7o 



THE DISASTER 

"Of course you don't!" Her voice had grown 
steady. "You say I'm a fool. What are you?" 

"You needn't worry about me," he began. "I 
can take care " 

'"Sh!" she whispered, warningly. The music 
had stopped, a loud clatter of voices and laughter 
succeeding it. 

"What need to be careful," Joe assured her, 
"with all that noise going on?" 

" You must go away, ' ' she said, anxiously. " Oh, 
please, Joe!" 

"Not yet; I want" 

She coughed loudly. Eugene and Mamie Pike 
had come to the window, with the evident intention 
of occupying the veranda, but perceiving Ariel en- 
gaged with threads in her sleeve, they turned away 
and disappeared. Other couples looked out from 
time to time, and finding the solitary figure in pos- 
session, retreated abruptly to seek stairways and 
remote corners for the things they were impelled 
to say. 

And so Ariel held the porch for three dances and 
three intermissions, occupying a great part of the 
time with entreaties that her obdurate and reck- 
less companion should go. When, for the fourth 
time, the music sounded, her agitation had so 
increased that she was visibly trembling. "I 
can't stand it, Joe," she said, bending over him. 
6 71 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"I don't know what would happen if they found 
you. You've got to go!" 

"No, I haven't," he chuckled. "They haven't 
even distributed the supper yet!" 

"And you take all the chances," she said, slowly, 
"just to see her pass that window a few times." 

"What chances?" 

"Of what the Judge will do if any one sees 
you." 

" Nothing; because if any one saw me I'd leave." 

"Please go." 

"Not till" 

M 'Sh!" 

A colored waiter, smiling graciously, came out 
upon the porch bearing a tray of salad, hot oysters, 
and coffee. Ariel shook her head. 

"I don't want any," she murmured. 

The waiter turned away in pity and was re- 
entering the window, when a passionate whisper 
fell upon his ear as well as upon Ariel's. 

"Take it!" 

"Ma'am?" said the waiter. 

"I've changed my mind," she replied, quickly. 
The waiter, his elation restored, gave of his viands 
with the superfluous bounty loved by his race when 
distributing the product of the wealthy. 

When he had gone, " Give me everything that's 
hot," said Joe. "You can keep the salad." 

72 



THE DISASTER 

"I couldn't eat it or anything else," she an- 
swered, thrusting the plate between the palms. 

For a time there was silence. From within the 
house came the continuous babble of voices and 
laughter, the clink of cutlery on china. The young 
people spent a long time over their supper. By- 
and-by the waiter returned to the veranda, de- 
posited a plate of colored ices upon Ariel's knees 
with a noble gesture, and departed. 

"No ice for me," said Joe. 

"Won't you please go now?" she entreated. 

"It wouldn't be good manners," he responded. 
"They might think I only came for supper," 

" Hand me back the things. The waiter might 
come for them any minute." 

" Not yet. I haven't quite finished. I eat with 
contemplation, Ariel, because there's more than 
the mere food and the warmth of it to consider. 
There's the pleasure of being entertained by the 
great Martin Pike. Think what a real kindness 
I'm doing him, too. I increase his good deeds and 
his hospitality without his knowing it or being 
able to help it. Don't you see how I boost his 
standing with the Recording Angel? If Lazarus 
had behaved the way I do, Dives needn't have 
had those worries that came to him in the after- 
life." 

"Give me the dish and coffee-cup," she whis- 
73 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

pered, impatiently. "Suppose the waiter came 
and had to look for them? Quick!" 

"Take them, then. You'll see that jealousy 
hasn't spoiled my appetite " 

A bottle-shaped figure appeared in the window 
and she had no time to take the plate and cup 
which were being pushed through the palm-leaves. 
She whispered a syllable of warning, and the dishes 
were hurriedly withdrawn as Norbert Flitcroft, 
wearing a solemn expression of injury, came out 
upon the veranda. 

He halted suddenly. " What's that ?" he asked, 
with suspicion. 

"Nothing," answered Ariel, sharply. "Where?" 

"Behind those palms." 

"Probably your own shadow," she laughed; "or 
it might have been a draught moving the leaves." 

He did not seem satisfied, but stared hard at 
the spot where the dishes had disappeared, mean- 
time edging back cautiously nearer the window. 

" They want you," he said, after a pause. " Some 
one's come for you." 

"Oh, is grandfather waiting?" She rose, at 
the same time letting her handkerchief fall. She 
stooped to pick it up, with her face away from 
Norbert and toward the palms, whispering trem- 
ulously, but with passionate urgency, " Please go!" 

"It isn't your grandfather that has come for 
74 



THE DISASTER 

you," said the fat one, slowly. "It is old Eskew 
Arp. Something's happened." 

She looked at him for a moment, beginning to 
tremble violently, her eyes growing wide with 
fright. 

"Is my grandfather is he sick?" 

"You better go and see. Old Eskew's waiting 
in the hall. He'll tell you." 

She was by him and through the window in- 
stantly. Norbert did not follow her; he remained 
for several moments looking earnestly at the palms ; 
then he stepped through the window and beckoned 
to a youth who was lounging in the doorway across 
the room. 

"There's somebody hiding behind those plants," 
he whispered, when his friend reached him. " Go 
and tell Judge Pike to send some of the niggers 
to watch outside the porch, so that he doesn't get 
away. Then tell him to get his revolver and come 
here." 

Meanwhile Ariel had found Mr. Arp waiting in 
the hall, talking in a low voice to Mrs. Pike. 

"Your grandfather's all right," he told the 
frightened girl, quickly. "He sent me for you, 
that's all. Just hurry and get your things." 

She was with him again in a moment, and seizing 
the old man's arm, hurried him down the steps and 
toward the street almost at a run. 

75 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"You're not telling me the truth," she said. 
"You're not telling me the truth!" 

"Nothing has happened to Roger," panted Mr. 
Arp. " Nothing to mind, I mean. Here! We're 
going this way, not that." They had come to the 
gate, and as she turned to the right he pulled her 
round sharply to the left. " We're not going to 
your house." 

"Where are we going?" 

"We're going to your uncle Jonas's." 

"Why?" she cried, in supreme astonishment. 
"What do you want to take me there for? Don't 
you know that he's stopped speaking to me?" 

" Yes," said the old man, grimly, with something 
of the look he wore when delivering a clincher at 
the " National House," " he's stopped speaking to 
everybody." 




V 

BEAVER BEACH 

[HE Canaan Daily Tocsin of the fol- 
lowing morning "ventured the as- 
sertion" upon its front page that 
"the scene at the Pike Mansion was 
one of unalloyed festivity, music, 
and mirth; a fairy bower of airy figures wafting 
here and there to the throb of waltz-strains; a 
veritable Temple of Terpsichore, shining forth with 
a myriad of lights, which, together with the gener- 
ous profusion of floral decorations and the mingled 
delights afforded by Minds 's orchestra of Indian- 
apolis and Caterer Jones of Chicago, was in all 
likelihood never heretofore surpassed in elegance 
in our city. . . . Only one incident," the Tocsin re- 
marked, "marred an otherwise perfect occasion, 
and out of regard for the culprit's family connec- 
tions, which are prominent in our social world, we 
withhold his name. Suffice it to say that through 
the vigilance of Mr. Norbert Flitcroft, grandson of 
Colonel A. A. Flitcroft, who proved himself a thor- 

77 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

ough Lecoq (the celebrated French detective), the 
rascal was seized and recognized. Mr. Flitcroft, 
having discovered him in hiding, had a cordon of 
waiters drawn up around his hiding-place, which 
was the charmingly decorated side piazza of the 
Pike Mansion, and sent for Judge Pike, who came 
upon the intruder by surprise. He evaded the 
Judge's indignant grasp, but received a well- 
merited blow over the head from a poker which 
the Judge had concealed about his person while 
pretending to approach the hiding-place casually. 
Attracted to the scene by the cries of Mr. Flitcroft, 
who, standing behind Judge Pike, accidentally re- 
ceived a blow from the same weapon, all the guests 
of the evening sprang to view the scene, only to 
behold the culprit leap through a crevice between 
the strips of canvas which enclosed the piazza. 
He was seized by the colored coachman of the Man- 
sion, Sam Warden, and immediately pounced upon 
by the cordon of Caterer Jones's dusky assistants 
from Chicago, who were in ambush outside. Un- 
fortunately, after a brief struggle he managed to 
trip Warden, and, the others stumbling upon the 
prostrate body of the latter, to make his escape 
in the darkness. 

" It is not believed by many that his intention 
was burglary, though what his designs were can 
only be left to conjecture, as he is far beyond the 

78 



BEAVER BEACH 

age when boys perform such actions out of a sense 
of mischief. He had evidently occupied his hid- 
ing-place some time, and an idea of his coolness 
may be obtained from his having procured and 
eaten a full meal through an unknown source. 
Judge Pike is justly incensed, and swears that he 
will prosecute him on this and other charges as soon 
as he can be found. Much sympathy is felt for 
the culprit's family, who feel his shame most 
keenly, but who, though sorrowing over the occur- 
rence, declare that they have put up with his 
derelictions long enough, and will do nothing to 
step between him and the Judge's righteous in- 
dignation." 

The Pike Mansion, "scene of festivity, music, 
and mirth" (not quite so unalloyed, after all, the 
stricken Flitcroft keeping his room for a week under 
medical supervision), had not been the only bower 
of the dance in Canaan that evening: another 
Temple of Terpsichore had shone forth with lights, 
though of these there were not quite a myriad. 
The festivities they illumined obtained no mention 
in the paper, nor did they who trod the measures 
in this second temple exhibit any sense of injury 
because of the Tocsin's omission. Nay, they were 
of that class, shy without being bashful, exclusive 
yet not proud, which shuns publicity with a single- 
heartedness almost unique in our republic, courting 

79 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

observation neither in the prosecution of their pro- 
fessions nor in the pursuit of happiness. 

Not quite a mile above the northernmost of the 
factories on the water-front, there projected into 
the river, near the end of the crescent bend above 
the town, a long pier, relic of steamboat days, 
rotting now, and many years fallen from its mari- 
time uses. About midway of its length stood a 
huge, crazy shed, long ago utilized as a freight store- 
room. This had been patched and propped, and 
a dangerous-looking veranda attached to it, over- 
hanging the water. Above the doorway was 
placed a sign whereon might be read the words, 
"Beaver Beach, Mike's Place." The shore end 
of the pier was so ruinous that passage was offered 
by a single row of planks, which presented an 
appearance so temporary, as well as insecure, that 
one might have guessed their office to be something 
in the nature of a drawbridge. From these a 
narrow path ran through a marsh, left by the re- 
ceding river, to a country road of desolate appear- 
ance. Here there was a rough enclosure, or cor- 
ral, with some tumble-down sheds which afforded 
shelter, on the night of Joseph Louden's disgrace, 
for a number of shaggy teams attached to those 
decrepit and musty vehicles known picturesquely 
and accurately as Night-Hawks. The presence of 
such questionable shapes in the corral indicated 

80 



BEAVER BEACH 

that the dance was on at Beaver Beach, Mike's 
Place, as surely as the short line of cabs and family 
carriages on upper Main Street made it known 
that gayety was the order of the night at the Pike 
Mansion. But among other differences was this, 
that at the hour when the guests of the latter were 
leaving, those seeking the hospitalities of Beaver 
Beach had just begun to arrive. 

By three o'clock, however, joy at Mike's Place 
had become beyond question unconfined, and the 
tokens of it were audible for a long distance in all 
directions. If, however, there is no sound where 
no ear hears, silence rested upon the country-side 
until an hour later. Then a lonely figure came 
shivering from the direction of the town, not by 
the road, but slinking through the snow upon the 
frozen river. It came slowly, as though very 
tired, and cautiously, too, often turning its head 
to look behind. Finally it reached the pier, and 
stopped as if to listen. 

Within the house above, a piano of evil life was 
being beaten to death for its sins and clamoring 
its last cries horribly. The old shed rattled in every 
part with the thud of many heavy feet, and trem- 
bled with the shock of noise an incessant roar of 
men's voices, punctuated with women's screams. 
Then the riot quieted somewhat; there was a 
clapping of hands, and a violin began to squeak 

81 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

measures intended to be Oriental. The next 
moment the listener scrambled up one of the 
rotting piles and stood upon the veranda. A shaft 
of red light through a broken shutter struck across 
the figure above the shoulders, revealing a bloody 
handkerchief clumsily knotted about the head, 
and, beneath it, the face of Joe Louden. 

He went to the broken shutter and looked in. 
Around the blackened walls of the room stood a 
bleared mob, applausively watching, through a fog 
of smoke, the contortions of an old woman in a 
red calico wrapper, who was dancing in the centre 
of the floor. The fiddler a rubicund person 
evidently not suffering from any great depression 
of spirit through the circumstance of being "out 
on bail," as he was, to Joe's intimate knowledge 
sat astride a barrel, resting his instrument upon the 
foamy tap thereof, and playing somewhat after 
the manner of a 'cellist; in no wise incommoded 
by the fact that a tall man (known to a few friends 
as an expert in the porch-climbing line) was sleep- 
ing on his shoulder, while another gentleman (who 
had prevented many cases of typhoid by removing 
old plumbing from houses) lay on the floor at the 
musician's feet and endeavored to assist him by 
plucking the strings of the fiddle. 

Joe opened the door and went in. All of the 
merry company (who were able) turned sharply 

82 



BEAVER BEACH 

toward the door as it opened; then, recognizing 
the new-comer, turned again to watch the old 
woman. One or two nearest the door asked the 
boy, without great curiosity, what had happened 
to his head. He merely shook it faintly in reply, 
and crossed the room to an open hallway beyond. 
At the end of this he came to a frowzy bedroom, 
the door of which stood ajar. Seated at a deal 
table, and working by a dim lamp with a broken 
chimney, a close -cropped, red-bearded, red-haired 
man in his shirt -sleeves was jabbing gloom- 
ily at a column of figures scrawled in a dirty 
ledger. He looked up as Joe appeared in the 
doorway, and his eyes showed a slight sur- 
prise. 

" I never thought ye had the temper to git some- 
body to split yer head," said he. "Where'd ye 
collect it?" 

"Nowhere," Joe answered, dropping weakly on 
the bed. "It doesn't amount to anything." 

"Well, I'll take just a look fer myself," said the 

red -bearded man, rising. "And I've no objection 

.to not knowin' how ye come by it. Ye've always 

been the great one fer keepin' yer mysteries to 

yerself." 

He unwound the handkerchief and removed it 
from Joe's head gently. "Whee!" he cried, as a 
long gash was exposed over the forehead. "I 

83 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

hope ye left a mark somewhere to pay a little on 
the score o' this!" 

Joe chuckled and dropped dizzily back upon the 
pillow. "There was another who got something 
like it," he gasped, feebly; "and, oh, Mike, I wish 
you could have heard him going on! Perhaps 
you did it was only three miles from here." 

"Nothing I'd liked better!" said the other, 
bringing a basin of clear water from a stand in 
the corner. " It's a beautiful thing to hear a man 
holler when he gits a grand one like ye 're wearing 
to-night." 

He bathed the wound gently, and hurrying from 
the room, returned immediately with a small jug 
of vinegar. Wetting a rag with this tender fluid, 
he applied it to Joe's head, speaking soothingly 
the while. 

"Nothing in the world like a bit o' good cider 
vinegar to keep off the festerin'. It may seem a 
trifle scratchy fer the moment, but it assassinates 
the blood-p'ison. There ye go! It's the fine thing 
fer ye, Joe what are ye squirmin' about?" 

" I'm only enjoying it," the boy answered, writh- 
ing as the vinegar worked into the gash. "Don't 
you mind my laughing to myself." 

"Ye're a good one r Joe!" said the other, con- 
tinuing his ministrations. " I wisht, after all, ye 
felt like makin' me known to what's the trouble. 

84 



BEAVER BEACH 

There's some of us would be glad to take it up fer 
ye, and 

"No, no; it's all right. I was somewhere I had 
no business to be, and I got caught." 

"Who caught ye?" 

"First, some nice white people" Joe smiled 
his distorted smile "and then a low-down black 
man helped me to get away as soon as he saw who 
it was. He's a friend of mine, and he fell down 
and tripped up the pursuit." 

" I always knew ye'd git into large trouble some 
day." The red -bearded man tore a strip from 
an old towel and began to bandage the boy's head 
with an accustomed hand. " Yer taste fer excite- 
ment has been growin' on ye every minute of the 
four years I've known ye." 

"Excitement!" echoed Joe, painfully blinking 
at his friend. "Do you think I'm hunting excite- 
ment?" 

"Be hanged to ye!" said the red-bearded man. 
"Can't I say a teasing word without gittin' called 
to order fer it? I know ye, my boy, as well as ye 
know yerself. Ye 're a queer one. Ye 're one of 
the few that must know all sides of the world 
and can't content themselves with bein' respect- 
able! Ye haven't sunk to 'low life' because ye're 
low yourself, but ye'll -never git a damned one o' 
the respectable to believe it. There's a few others 

85 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

like ye in the wide world, and I've seen one or 
two of 'em. I've been all over, steeple -chasin', 
sailorman, soldier, pedler, and in the po-lice', I've 
pulled the Grand National in Paris, and I've been 
handcuffed in Hong-Kong; I've seen all the few 
kinds of women there is on earth and the many 
kinds of men. Yer own kind is the one I've seen 
the fewest of, but I knew ye belonged to it the 
first time I laid eyes on ye!" He paused, then 
continued with conviction: "Ye'll come to no 
good, either, fer yerself, yet no one can say ye 
haven't the talents. Ye've helped many of the 
boys out of a bad hole with a word of advice 
around the courts and the jail. Who knows but 
ye'd be a great lawyer if ye kept on?" 

Young people usually like to discuss themselves 
under any conditions hence the rewards of palm- 
istry, but Joe's comment on this harangue was 
not so responsive as might have been expected. 
"I've got seven dollars," he said, "and I'll leave 
the clothes I've got on. Can you fix me up with 
something different?" 

"Aha!" cried the red-bearded man. "Then ye 
are in trouble! I thought it 'd come to ye some 
day! Have ye been dinnymitin' Martin Pike?" 

"See what you can do," said Joe. "I want to 
wait here until daybreak." 

"Lie down, then," interrupted the other. "And 
86 



BEAVER BEACH 

fergit the hullabaloo in the throne - room be- 
yond." 

"I can easily do that " Joe stretched himself 
upon the bed, " I've got so many other things 
to remember." 

"I'll have the things fer ye, and I'll let ye know 
I have no use fer seven dollars," returned the red- 
bearded man, crossly. " What are ye sniffin' fer?" 

"I'm thinking of the poor fellow that got the 
mate to this," said Joe, touching the bandage. 
" I can't help crying when I think they may have 
used vinegar on his head, too." 

" Git to sleep if ye can!" exclaimed the Samaritan, 
as a hideous burst of noise came from the dance- 
room, where some one seemed to be breaking a 
chair upon an acquaintance. "I'll go out and 
regulate the boys a bit." He turned down the 
lamp, fumbled in his hip-pocket, and went to the 
door. 

"Don't forget," Joe called after him. 

"Go to sleep," said the red-bearded man, his 
hand on the door-knob. "That is, go to thinkin', 
fer ye won't sleep; ye're not the kind. But think 
easy; I'll have the things fer ye. It's a matter of 
pride with me that I always knew ye'd come to 
trouble." 



VI 

"YE'LL TAK' THE HIGH ROAD AND I'LL TAK' THE 
LOW ROAD " 




day broke with a scream of wind 
lout of the prairies and such cloud- 
bursts of snow that Joe could see 
neither bank of the river as he made 
>his way down the big bend of ice. 
The wind struck so bitterly that now and then 
he stopped and, panting and gasping, leaned his 
weight against it. The snow on the ground was 
caught up and flew like sea spume in a hurricane; 
it swirled about him, joining the flakes in the air, 
so that it seemed to be snowing from the ground 
upward as much as from the sky downward. 
Fierce as it was, hard as it was to fight through, 
snow from the earth, snow from the sky, Joe was 
grateful for it, feeling that it veiled him, making 
him safer, though he trusted somewhat the change 
of costume he had effected at Beaver Beach. A 
rough, workman's cap was pulled down over his 
ears and eyebrows ; a knitted comforter was wound 

88 



"YE'LL TAK* THE HIGH ROAD" 

about the lower part of his face; under a ragged 
overcoat he wore blue overalls and rubber boots ; 
and in one of his red-mittened hands he swung a 
tin dinner-bucket. 

When he reached the nearest of the factories he 
heard the exhaust of its engines long before he 
could see the building, so blinding was the drift. 
Here he struck inland from the river, and, skirting 
the edges of the town, made his way by unfre- 
quented streets and alleys, bearing in the general 
direction of upper Main Street, to find himself at 
last, almost exhausted, in the alley behind the 
Pike Mansion. There he paused, leaning heavily 
against a board fence and gazing at the vaguely 
outlined gray plane which was all that could be 
made of the house through the blizzard. He had 
often, very often, stood in this same place at night, 
and there was one window (Mrs. Pike's) which he 
had guessed to be Mamie's. 

The storm was so thick that he could not see 
this window now, but he looked a long time through 
the thickness at that part of the gray plane where 
he knew it was. Then his lips parted. 

"Good-bye, Mamie," he said, softly. "Good- 
bye, Mamie." 

He bent his body against the wind and went on, 
still keeping to the back ways, until he came to 
the alley which passed behind his own home, 

89 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

where, however, he paused only for a moment to 
make a quick survey of the premises. A glance 
satisfied him; he ran to the next fence, hoisted 
himself wearily over it, and dropped into Roger 
Tabor's back yard. 

He took shelter from the wind for a moment or 
two, leaning against the fence, breathing heavily; 
then he stumbled on across the obliterated paths 
of a vegetable-garden until he reached the house, 
and beginning with the kitchen, began to make 
the circuit of the windows, peering cautiously into 
each as he went, ready to tap on the pane should 
he catch a glimpse of Ariel, and prepared to run if 
he stumbled upon her grandfather. But the place 
seemed empty: he had made his reconnaisance 
apparently in vain, and was on the point of going 
away, when he heard the click of the front gate 
and saw Ariel coming towards him, her old water- 
proof cloak about her head and shoulders, the 
patched, scant, faded skirt, which he knew so 
well, blowing about her tumultuously. At the 
sound of the gate he had crouched close against 
the side of the house, but she saw him at once. 

She stopped abruptly, and throwing the water- 
proof back from her head, looked at him through 
the driven fog of snow. One of her hands was 
stretched towards him involuntarily, and it was 
in that attitude that he long remembered her: 

90 



"YE'LL TAK' THE HIGH ROAD" 

standing in the drift which had piled up against 
the gate almost knee-deep, the shabby skirt and 
the black water- proof flapping like torn sails, one 
hand out-stretched like that of a figure in a tab- 
leau, her brown face with its thin features mottled 
with cold and unlovely, her startled eyes fixed 
on him with a strange, wild tenderness that held 
something of the laughter of whole companion- 
ship in it mingling with a loyalty and championship 
that was almost ferocious she looked an Undine 
of the snow. 

Suddenly she ran to him, still keeping her hand 
out-stretched until it touched his own. 

"How did you know me?" he said. 

"Know you!" was all the answer she made to 
that question. "Come into the house. I've got 
some coffee on the stove for you. I've been up 
and down the street waiting for you ever since it 
began to get light." 

"Your grandfather won't " 

"He's at Uncle Jonas's; he won't be back till 
noon. There's no one here." 

She led him to the front-door, where he stamped 
and shook himself ; he was snow from head to foot. 

"I'm running away from the good Gomorrah," 
he said, "but I've stopped to look back, and I'm a 
pretty white pillar." 

"I know where you stopped to look back," she 
91 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

answered, brushing him heartily with her red 
hands. "You came in the alley way. It was 
Mamie's window." 

He did not reply, and the only visible token 
that he had any consciousness of this clairvoyance 
of hers was a slight lift of his higher eyebrow. 
She wasted no time in getting him to the kitchen, 
where, when she had removed his overcoat, she 
placed him in a chair, unwound the comforter, and, 
as carefully as a nurse, lifted the cap from his in- 
jured head. When the strip of towel was disclosed 
she stood quite still for a moment with the cap in 
her hand ; then with a broken little cry she stooped 
and kissed a lock of his hair, which escaped, discol- 
ored, beneath the bandage. 

"Stop that!" he commanded, horribly embar- 
rassed. 

"Oh, Joe," she cried, "I knew! I knew it was 
there but to see it! And it's my fault for leaving 
you I had to go or I wouldn't have I 

" Where'd you hear about it?" he asked, shortly. 

" I haven't been to bed, " she answered. " Grand- 
father and I were up all night at Uncle Jonas's, and 
Colonel Flitcroft came about two o'clock, and he 
told us." 

"Did he tell you about Norbert?" 

"Yes a great deal." She poured coffee into a 
cup from a pot on the stove, brought it to him, 

92 




JOE, HAVE YOU 



TO RL'X AWAY 



"YE'LL TAK' THE HIGH ROAD" 

then placing some thin slices of bread upon a grid- 
iron, began to toast them over the hot coals. " The 
Colonel said that Norbert thought he wouldn't get 
well," she concluded; "and Mr. Arp said Norbert 
was the kind that never die, and they had quite 
an argument." 

" What were you doing at Jonas Tabor's ?" asked 
Joe, drinking his coffee with a brightening eye. 

"We were sent for," she answered. 

"What for?" 

She toasted the bread attentively without re- 
plying, and when she decided that it was brown 
enough, piled it on a warm plate. This she brought 
to him, and kneeling in front of him, her elbow on 
his knee, offered for his consideration, looking 
steadfastly up at his eyes. He began to eat raven- 
ously 

"What for?" he repeated. "I didn't suppose 
Jonas would let you come in his house. Was he 
sick?" 

"Joe," she said, quietly, disregarding his ques- 
tions "Joe, have you got to run away ?" 

"Yes, I've got to," he answered. 

" Would you have to go to prison if you stayed ?" 
She asked this with a breathless tensity. 

"I'm not going to beg father to help me out," 
he said, determinedly. "He said he wouldn't, 
and he'll be spared the chance. He won't mind 

93 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

that ; nobody will care ! Nobody ! What does any- 
body care what I do!" 

"Now you're thinking of Mamie!" she cried. 
" I can always tell. Whenever you don't talk 
naturally you're thinking of her!" 

He poured down the last of the coffee, growing 
red to the tips of his ears. "Ariel," he said, "if I 
ever come back " 

"Wait," she interrupted. "Would you have to 
go to prison right away if they caught you?" 

"Oh, it isn't that," he laughed, sadly. "But 
I'm going to clear out. I'm not going to take any 
chances. I want to see other parts of the world, 
other kinds of people. I might have gone, anyhow, 
soon, even if it hadn't been for last night. Don't 
you ever feel that way?" 

"You know I do," she said. "I've told you 
how often ! But, Joe, Joe, you haven't any 
money! You've got to have money to live!" 

"You needn't worry about that," returned the 
master of seven dollars, genially. "I've saved 
enough to take care of me for a long time." 

"Joe, please! I know it isn't so. If you could 
wait just a little while only a few weeks, only a 
few, Joe 

"What for?" 

" I could let you have all you want. It would 
be such a beautiful thing for me, Joe. Oh, I know 

94 



"YE'LL TAK' THE HIGH ROAD" 

how you'd feel; you wouldn't even let me give you 
that dollar I found in the street last year ; but this 
would be only lending it to you, and you could pay 
me back som etim e ' ' 

"Ariel!" he exclaimed, and, setting his empty 
cup upon the floor, took her by the shoulders and 
shook her till the empty plate which had held the 
toast dropped from her hand and broke into frag- 
ments. " You've been reading the Arabian Nights I" 

11 No, no," she cried, vehemently. " Grandfather 
would give me anything. He'll give me all the 
money I ask for!" 

"Money!" said Joe. "Which of us is wander- 
ing? Money? Roger Tabor give you money?" 

"Not for a while. A great many things have 
to be settled first." 

"What things?" 

"Joe," she asked, earnestly, "do you think it's 
bad of me not to feel things I ought to feel?" 

"No." 

"Then I'm glad," she said, and something in 
the way she spoke made him start with pain, re- 
membering the same words, spoken in the same 
tone, by another voice, the night before on the 
veranda. " I'm glad, Joe, because I seemed all 
wrong to myself. Uncle Jonas died last night, 
and I haven't been able to get sorry. Perhaps 
it's because I've been so frightened about you, 

95 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

but I think not, for I wasn't sorry even before 
Colonel Flitcroft told me about you." 

"Jonas Tabor dead!" said Joe. "Why, I saw 
him on the street yesterday!" 

" Yes, and I saw him just before I came out on 
the porch where you were. He was there in the 
hall; he and Judge Pike had been having a long 
talk; they'd been in some speculations together, 
and it had all turned out. well. It's very strange, 
but they say now that Uncle Jonas's heart was 
weak he was an old man, you know, almost 
eighty, and he'd been very anxious about his 
money. The Judge had persuaded him to risk it ; 
and the shock of finding that he'd made a great 
deal suddenly 

"I've heard he'd had that same shock before," 
said Joe, "when he sold out to your father." 

"Yes, but this was different, grandfather says. 
He told me it was in one of those big risky busi- 
nesses that Judge Pike likes to go into. And last 
night it was all finished, the strain was over, and 
Uncle Jonas started home. His house is only a 
little way from the Pikes', you know; but he 
dropped down in the snow at his own gate, and 
some people who were going by saw him fall. He 
was dead before grandfather got there." 

" I can't be sorry," said Joe, slowly. 

"Neither can I. That's the dreadful part of it! 
96 



"YE'LL TAK' THE HIGH ROAD" 

They say he hadn't made a will, that though he 
was sharper than anybody else in the whole world 
about any other matter of business, that was the 
one thing he put off. And we're all the kin he had 
in the world, grandfather and I. And they say"- 
her voice sank to a whisper of excitement "they 
say he was richer than anybody knew, and that 
this last business with Judge Pike, the very thing 
that killed him something about grain made 
him five times richer than before!" 

She put her hand on the boy's arm, and he let 
it remain there. Her eyes still sought his with 
a tremulous appeal. 

"God bless you, Ariel!" he said. "It's going 
to be a great thing for you." 

"Yes. Yes, it is." The tears came suddenly 
to her eyes. "I was foolish last night, but there 
had been such a long time of wanting things ; and 
now and now grandfather and I can go ' 

"You're going, too!" Joe chuckled. 

"It's heartless, I suppose, but I've settled it! 
We're going ' 

"7 know," he cried. "You've told me a thou- 
sand times what he's said ten times a thousand. 
You're going to Paris!" 

"Paris! Yes, that's it. To Paris, where he 
can see at last how the great ones have painted, 
where the others can show him! To Paris, where 

97 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

we can study together, where he can learn how to 
put the pictures he sees upon canvas, and where 
I" 

"Go on," Joe encouraged her. "I want to hear 
you say it. You don't mean that you're going to 
study painting; you mean that you're going to 
learn how to make such fellows as Eugene ask you 
to dance. Go ahead and say it!" 

"Yes to learn how to dress!" she said. 

Joe was silent for a moment. Then he rose and 
took the ragged overcoat from the back of his 
chair. "Where's that muffler?" he asked. 

She brought it from where she had placed it to 
dry, behind the stove. 

"Joe," she said, huskily, "can't you wait till 

"Till the estate is settled and you can coax your 
grandfather to 

"No, no! But you could go with us." 

"To Paris?" 

"He would take you as his secretary." 

"Aha!" Joe's voice rang out gayly as he rose, 
refreshed by the coffee, toast, and warmth she had 
given him. "You've been story - reading, Ariel, 
like Eugene ! ' Secretary ' !" 

"Please, Joe!" 

"Where's my tin dinner-pail?" He found it 
himself upon the table where he had set it down. 
"I'm going to earn a dishonest living," he went 

98 



"YE'LL TAK' THE HIGH ROAD'' 

on. "I have an engagement to take a freight at 
a water-tank that's a friend of mine, half a mile 
south of the yards. Thank God, I'm going to get 
away from Canaan!" 

"Wait, Joe!" She caught at his sleeve. "I 
want you to " 

He had swung out of the room and was already 
at the front -door. She followed him closely. 
"Good-bye, Ariel!" 

"No, no! Watt, Joe!" 

He took her right hand in his own, and gave it 
a manly shake. "It's all right," he said. 

He threw open the door and stepped out, but 
she sought to detain him. "Oh, have you got to 
go?" she cried. 

"Don't you ever worry about me." He bent 
his head to the storm as he sprang down the steps, 
and snow-wreaths swirled between them. 

He disappeared in a white whirlwind. 

She stood for several minutes shivering in the 
doorway. Then it came to her that she would not 
know where to write to him. She ran down to 
the gate and through it. Already the blizzard 
had covered his footprints. 




VII 

'GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME" 

JHE passing of Joseph from Canaan 
was complete. It was an evanish- 
ment for which there was neither 
sackcloth nor surprise; and though 
there came no news of him it can- 
not be said that Canaan did not hear of him, for 
surely it could hear itself talk. The death of 
Jonas Tabor and young Louden 's crime and flight 
incited high doings in the "National House" win- 
dows; many days the sages lingered with the 
broken meats of morals left over from the banquet 
of gossip. But, after all, it is with the ladies of a 
community that reputations finally rest, and the 
matrons of Canaan had long ago made Joe's ex- 
ceedingly uncertain. Now they made it certain. 
They did not fail of assistance. The most pow- 
erful influence in the town was ponderously cor- 
roborative: Martin Pike, who stood for all that 
was respectable and financial, who passed the plate 
o' Sundays, who held the fortunes of the town in 

100 



"GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME" 

his left hand, who was trustee for the widow and 
orphan, Martin Pike, patron of all worthy chari- 
ties, courted by ministers, feared by the wicked 
and idle, revered by the good, Judge Martin Pike 
never referred to the runaway save in the accents 
of an august doomster. His testimony settled it. 

In time the precise nature of the fugitive's sins 
was distorted in report and grew vague ; it was re- 
called that he had done dread things; he became 
a tradition, a legend, and a warning to the young; 
a Richard in the bush to frighten colts. He was 
preached at boys caught playing marbles "for 
keeps": "Do you want to grow up like Joe Lou- 
den?" The very name became a darkling threat, 
and children of the town would have run had one 
called suddenly, "Here comes Joe Louden!" Thus 
does the evil men do live after them, and the ill- 
fame of the unrighteous increase when they are 
sped! 

Very little of Joseph's adventures and occupa- 
tions during the time of his wandering is revealed 
to us ; he always had an unwilling memory for pain 
and was not afterwards wont to speak of those 
years which cut the hard lines in his face. The 
first account of him to reach Canaan came as 
directly to the windows of the "National House" 
as Mr. Arp, hastening thither from the station, 
satchel in hand, could bring it. 

IOI 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

This was on a September morning, two years 
after the flight, and Eskew, it appears, had been 
to the State Fair and had beheld many things 
strangely affirming his constant testimony that 
this unhappy world increaseth in sin; strangest of 
all, his meeting with our vagrant scalawag of 
Canaan. "Not a blamebit of doubt about it," de- 
clared Eskew to the incredulous conclave. " There 
was that Joe, and nobody else, stuck up in a little 
box outside a tent at the Fair Grounds, and sellin' 
tickets to see the Spotted Wild Boy!" Yes, it was 
Joe Louden! Think you, Mr. Arp could forget 
that face, those crooked eyebrows? Had Eskew 
tested the recognition? Had he spoken with the 
outcast? Had he not! Ay, but with such pe- 
culiar result that the battle of words among the 
sages began with a true onset of the regulars; for, 
according to Eskew 's narrative, when he had de- 
livered grimly at the boy this charge, " I know you 
you're Joe Louden!" the extraordinary reply had 
been made promptly and without change of coun- 
tenance: ''Positively no free seats!" 

On this, the house divided, one party main- 
taining that Joe had thus endeavored to evade 
recognition, the other (to the embitterment of Mr. 
Arp) that the reply was a distinct admission of 
identity and at the same time a refusal to grant 
any favors on the score of past acquaintanceship. 

102 




' POSITIVKLY NO FRKK SEATS?' " 



"GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME" 

Goaded by inquiries, Mr. Arp, who had little desire 
to recall such waste of silver, admitted more than 
he had intended: that he had purchased a ticket 
and gone in to see the Spotted Wild Boy, halting 
in his description of this marvel with the unsatis- 
factory and acrid statement that the Wild Boy was 
"simply spotted," and the stung query, "I suppose 
you know what a spot is, Squire ?" When he came 
out of the tent he had narrowly examined the 
ticket-seller, who seemed unaware of his scrutiny, 
and, when not engaged with his tickets, applied 
himself to a dirty law - looking book. It was 
Joseph Louden, reasserted Eskew, a little taller, a 
little paler, incredibly shabby and miraculously 
thin. If there were any doubt left, his forehead 
was somewhat disfigured by the scar of an old 
wound such as might have been caused by a 
blunt instrument in the nature of a poker. 

"What's the matter with you?" Mr. Arp 
whirled upon Uncle Joe Davey, who was enjoying 
himself by repeating at intervals the unreasonable 
words, "Couldn't of be'n Joe," without any ex- 
planation. "Why couldn't it?" shouted Eskew. 
"It was! Do you think my eyes are as fur gone 
as yours ? I saw him, I tell you! The same ornery 
Joe Louden, run away and sellin' tickets for a side- 
show. He wasn't even the boss of it ; the manager 
was about the meanest-lookin' human I ever saw 
s 103 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

and most humans look mighty mean, accordin' 
to my way of thinkin'! Riffraff of the riff raff are 
his friends now, same as they were here. Weeds! 
and he's a weed, always was and always will be! 
Him and his kind ain't any more than jimpsons; 
overrun everything if you give 'em a chance. 
Devil-flowers! They have to be hoed out and 
scattered even then, like as not, they'll come 
back next year and ruin your plantin' once more. 
That boy Joe '11 turn up here again some day; 
you'll see if he don't. He's a seed of trouble and 
iniquity, and anything of that kind is sure to come 
back to Canaan!" 

Mr. Arp stuck to his prediction for several 
months; then he began to waver and evade. By 
the end of the second year following its first utter- 
ance, he had formed the habit of denying that he 
had ever made it at all, and, finally having come 
to believe with all his heart that the prophecy had 
been deliberately foisted upon him and put in his 
mouth by Squire Buckalew, became so sore upon 
the subject that even the hardiest dared not refer 
to it in his presence. 

Eskew's story of the ticket-seller was the only 
news of Joe Louden that came to Canaan during 
seven years. Another citizen of the town encoun- 
tered the wanderer, however, but under circum- 
stances so susceptible to misconception that, in a 

104 



"GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME" 

moment of illumination, he decided to let the matter 
rest in a golden silence. This was Mr. Bantry. 

Having elected an elaborate course in the Arts, 
at the University which was of his possessions, 
what more natural than that Eugene should seek 
the Metropolis for the short Easter vacation of 
his Senior year, in order that his perusal of the 
Masters should be uninterrupted? But it was his 
misfortune to find the Metropolitan Museum less 
interesting than some intricate phases of the gayety 
of New York phases very difficult to understand 
without elaborate study and a series of experiments 
which the discreetly selfish permit others to make 
for them. Briefly, Eugene found himself dancing, 
one night, with a young person in a big hat, at the 
"Straw-Cellar," a crowded hall, down very deep 
in the town and not at all the place for Eugene. 

Acute crises are to be expected at the " Straw- 
Cellar," and Eugene was the only one present who 
was thoroughly surprised when that of this night 
arrived, though all of the merrymakers were 
frightened when they perceived its extent. There 
is no need to detail the catastrophe. It came sud- 
denly, and the knife did not flash. Sick and think- 
ing of himself, Eugene stood staring at the figure 
lying before him upon the reddening floor. A rab- 
ble fought with the quick policemen at the doors, 
and then the lights went out, extinguished by the 

105 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

proprietor, living up to his reputation for always 
being thoughtful of his patrons. The place had 
been a nightmare ; it became a black impossibility. 
Eugene staggered to one of the open windows, from 
the sill of which a man had just leaped. 

"Don't jump," said a voice close to his ear. 
"That fellow broke his leg, I think, and they 
caught him, anyway, as soon as he struck the 
pavement. It's a big raid. Come this way." 

A light hand fell upon his arm and he followed 
its leading, blindly, to find himself pushed through 
a narrow doorway and down a flight of tricky, 
wooden steps, at the foot of which, silhouetted 
against a street light, a tall policeman was on guard. 
He laid masterful hands on Eugene. 

' 'Sh, Mack!" whispered a cautious voice from 
the stairway. "That's a friend of mine and not 
one of those you need. He's only a student and 
scared to death." 

"Hurry," said the policeman, under his breath, 
twisting Eugene sharply by him into the street; 
after which he stormed vehemently : " On yer way, 
both of ye! Move on up the street! Don't be 
tryin' to poke yer heads in here! Ye'd be more 
anxious to git out, once ye got in, I tell ye!" 

A sob of relief came from Bantry as he gained 
the next corner, the slight figure of his conductor 
at his side. "You'd better not go to places like 

106 



"GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME" 

the ' Straw-Cellar,' " said the latter, gravely. " I'd 
been watching you for an hour. You were dancing 
with the girl who did the cutting." 

Eugene leaned against a wall, faint, one arm 
across his face. He was too ill to see, or care, who 
it was that had saved him. " I never saw her be- 
fore," he babbled, incoherently, "never, never, 
never! I thought she looked handsome, and 
asked her if she'd dance with me. Then I saw 
she seemed queer and wild, and she kept guiding 
and pushing as we danced until we were near that 
man and then she then it was all done be- 
fore" 

"Yes," said the other; "she's been threatening 
to do it for a long time. Jealous. Mighty good 
sort of a girl, though, in lots of ways. Only yester- 
day I talked with her and almost thought I'd 
calmed her out of it. But you can't tell with some 
women. They'll brighten up and talk straight 
and seem sensible, one minute, and promise to be- 
have, and mean it too, and the next, there they go, 
making a scene, cutting somebody or killing them- 
selves! You can't count on them. But that's 
not to the point, exactly, I expect. You'd better 
keep away from the 'Straw -Cellar.' If you'd been 
caught with the rest you'd have had a hard time, 
and they'd have found out your real name, too, 
because it's pretty serious on account of your 

107 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

dancing with her when she did it, and the Ca- 
naan papers would have got hold of it and you 
wouldn't be invited to Judge Pike's any more, 
Eugene." 

Eugene dropped his arm from his eyes and stared 
into the face of his step-brother. 

"Joe Louden!" he gasped. 

"I'll never tell," said Joe. "You'd better keep 
out of all this sort. You don't understand it, and 
you don't you don't do it because you care." 
He smiled wanly, his odd distorted smile of friend- 
liness. " When you go back you might tell father 
I'm all right. I'm working through a law-school 
here and remember me to Norbert Flitcroft," he 
finished, with a chuckle. 

Eugene covered his eyes again and groaned. 

"It's all right," Joe assured him. "You're as 
safe as if it had never happened. And I expect" 
he went on, thoughtfully "I expect, maybe, 
you'd prefer not to say you'd seen me, when you go 
back to Canaan. Well, that's all right. I don't 
suppose father will be asking after me exactly." 

"No, he doesn't," said Eugene, still white and 
shaking. "Don't stand talking. I'm sick." 

"Of course," returned Joe. "But there's one 
thing I would like to ask you " 

"Your father's health is perfect, I believe." 

"It it it was something else," Joe stammered, 
108 



"GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME" 

pitifully. " Are they all are they all all right at 
at Judge Pike's?" 

" Quite I" Eugene replied, sharply. " Are you going 
to get me away from here? I'm sick, I tell you!" 

" This street,"said Joe, and cheerfully led the way. 

Five minutes later the two had parted, and Joe 
leaned against a cheap restaurant sign-board, 
drearily staring after the lamps of the gypsy night- 
cab he had found for his step-brother. Eugene 
had not offered to share the vehicle with him, had 
not even replied to his good-night. 

And Joe himself had neglected to do something 
he might well have done: he had not asked Eugene 
for news of Ariel Tabor. It will not justify him 
entirely to suppose that he assumed that her 
grandfather and she had left Canaan never to 
return, and therefore Eugene knew nothing of her ; 
no such explanation serves Joe for his neglect, for 
the fair truth is that he had not thought of her. 
She had been a sort of playmate, before his flight, 
a friend taken for granted, about whom he had 
consciously thought little more than he thought 
about himself and easily forgotten. Not for- 
gotten in the sense that she had passed out of his 
memory, but forgotten none the less; she had 
never had a place in his imaginings, and so it be- 
fell that when he no longer saw her from day to 
day, she had gone from his thoughts altogether. 

109 




VIII 

A BAD PENNY TURNS UP 

EUGENE did not inform Canaan, nor 
any inhabitant, of his adventure of 
the "Straw -Cellar," nor did any hear 
of his meeting with his step-brother; 
and after Mr. Arp's* adventure, five 
years passed into the imperishable before the town 
heard of the wanderer again, and then it heard at 
first hand; Mr. Arp's prophecy fell true, and he 
took it back to his bosom again, claimed it as his 
own the morning of its fulfilment. Joe Louden 
had come back to Canaan. 

The elder Louden was the first to know of his 
prodigal's return. He was alone in the office of 
the wooden-butter-dish factory, of which he was 
the superintendent, when the young man came in 
unannounced. He was still pale and thin; his 
eyebrows had the same crook, one corner of his 
mouth the same droop; he was only an inch or so 
taller, not enough to be thought a tall man; and 
yet, for a few moments the father did not recognize 

no 



A BAD PENNY TURNS UP 

his son, but stared at him, inquiring his business. 
During those few seconds of unrecognition, Mr. 
Louden was somewhat favorably impressed with 
the stranger's appearance. 

"You don't know me," said Joe, smiling cheer- 
fully. "Perhaps I've changed in seven years." 
And he held out his hand. 

Then Mr. Louden knew; he tilted back in his 
desk-chair, his mouth falling open. "Good God!" 
he said, not noticing the out-stretched hand. " Have 
you come back?" 

Joe's hand fell. 

"Yes, I've come back to Canaan." 

Mr. Louden looked at him a long time without 
replying; finally he remarked: 

" I see you've still got a scar on your forehead." 

"Oh, I've forgotten all about that," said the 
other, twisting his hat in his hands. " Seven years 
wipes out a good many grievances and wrongs." 

"You think so?" Mr. Louden grunted. "I sup- 
pose it might wipe out a good deal with some peo- 
ple. How'd you happen to stop off at Canaan? 
On your way somewhere, I suppose." 

"No, I've come back to stay." 

Mr. Louden plainly received this as no pleasant 
surprise. "What for?" he asked, slowly. 

"To practise law, father." 

"What!" 

in 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Yes," said the young man. "There ought to 
be an opening here for me. I'm a graduate of as 
good a law-school as there is in the country " 

"You are!" 

"Certainly," said Joe, quietly. "I've put my- 
self through, working in the summer " 

"Working!" Mr. Louden snorted. "Side- 
shows?" 

"Oh, worse than that, sometimes," returned his 
son, laughing. "Anything I could get. But I've 
always wanted to come back home and work here." 

Mr. Louden leaned forward, a hand on each 
knee, his brow deeply corrugated. " Do you think 
you'll get much practice in Canaan?" 

"Why not? I've had a year in a good office in 
New York since I left the school, and I think I 
ought to get along all right." 

"Oh," said Mr. Louden, briefly. "You do?" 

"Yes. Don't you?" 

" Who do you think in Canaan would put a case 
in your hands?" 

"Oh, I don't expect to get anything important 
at the start. But after a while " 

"With your reputation?" 

The smile which had faded from Joe's lips re- 
turned to them. "Oh, I know they thought I 
was a harum-scarum sort of boy," he answered, 
lightly, "and that it was a foolish thing to run 



A BAD PENNY TURNS UP 

away for nothing ; but you had said I mustn't come 
to you for help 

"I meant it," said Mr. Louden. 

"But that's seven years ago, and I suppose the 
town's forgotten all about it, and forgotten me, 
too. So, you see, I can make a fresh start. That's 
what I came back for." 

" You've made up your mind to stay here, then ?" 

"Yes." 

" I don't believe," said Mr. Louden, with marked 
uneasiness, " that Mrs. Louden would be willing to 
let you live with us." 

"No," said Joe, gently. "I didn't expect it." 
He turned to the window and looked out, averting 
his face, yet scoring himself with the contempt 
he had learned to feel for those who pity them- 
selves. His father had not even asked him to 
sit down. There was a long silence, disturbed only 
by Mr. Louden's breathing, which could be heard, 
heavy and troubled. 

At last Joe turned again, smiling as before. 
" Well, I won't keep you from your work," he said. 
" I suppose you're pretty busy 

"Yes, I am," responded his father, promptly. 
" But I'll see you again before you go. I want to 
give you some advice." 

"I'm not going," said Joe. "Not going to 
leave Canaan, I mean. Where will I find Eugene ?" 

"3 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"At the Tocsin office; he's the assistant editor. 
Judge Pike bought the Tocsin last year, and he 
thinks a good deal of Eugene. Don't forget I said 
to come to see me again before you go." 

Joe came over to the older man and held out 
his hand. "Shake hands, father," he said. Mr. 
Louden looked at him out of small implacable 
eyes, the steady hostility of which only his wife 
or the imperious Martin Pike, his employer, could 
quell. He shook his head. 

"I don't see any use in it," he answered. "It 
wouldn't mean anything. All my life I've been 
a hard-working man and an abiding man. Before 
you got in trouble you never did anything you 
ought to; you ran with the lowest people in town, 
and I and all your folks were ashamed of you. I 
don't see that we've got a call to be any different 
now." He swung round to his desk emphatically, 
on the last word, and Joe turned away and went 
out quietly. 

But it was a bright morning to which he emerged 
from the outer doors of the factory, and he made 
his way towards Main Street at a lively gait. As he 
turned the corner opposite the " National House," 
he walked into Mr. Eskew Arp. The old man 
drew back angrily 

"Lord 'a' mercy!" cried Joe, heartily. "It's 
Mr. Arp! I almost ran you down!" Then, as 

114 



A BAD PENNY TURNS UP 

Mr. Arp made no response, but stood stock-still in 
the way, staring at him fiercely, " Don't you know 
me, Mr. Arp?" the young man asked. "I'm Joe 
Louden." 

Eskew abruptly thrust his face close to the 
other's. " No free seats!" he hissed, savagely; and 
swept across to the hotel to set his world afire. 

Joe looked after the irate, receding figure, and 
watched it disappear into the Main Street door of 
the " National House." As the door closed, he be- 
came aware of a mighty shadow upon the pave- 
ment, and turning, beheld a fat young man, wear- 
ing upon his forehead a scar similar to his own, 
waddling by with eyes fixed upon him. 

"How are you, Norbert?" Joe began. "Don't 
you remember me ? I " He came to a full stop, 
as the fat one, thrusting out an under lip as his 
only token of recognition, passed balefully on. 

Joe proceeded slowly until he came to the Tocsin 
building. At the foot of the stairway leading up 
to the offices he hesitated for a few moments ; then 
he turned away and walked towards the quieter 
part of Main Street. Most of the people he met 
took no notice of him, only two or three giving him 
second glances of half-cognizance, as though he 
reminded them of some one they could not place, 
and it was not until he had come near the Pike 
Mansion that he saw a full recognition in the eyes 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

of one of the many whom he knew, and who had 
known htm in his boyhood in the town. A lady, 
turning a corner, looked up carelessly, and then 
half -stopped within a few feet of him, as if startled. 
Joe's cheeks went a sudden crimson ; for it was the 
lady of his old dreams. 

Seven years had made Mamie Pike only prettier. 
She had grown into her young womanhood with 
an ampleness that had nothing of oversufficiency 
in it, nor anywhere a threat that some day there 
might be too much of her. Not quite seventeen 
when he had last seen her, now, at twenty-four, her 
amber hair elaborately becoming a plump and 
regular face, all of her old charm came over him 
once more, and it immediately seemed to him that 
he saw clearly his real reason for coming back to 
Canaan. She had been the Rich-Little-Girl of his 
child days, the golden princess playing in the 
Palace - Grounds, and in his early boyhood (until 
he had grown wicked and shabby) he had been 
sometimes invited to the Pike Mansion for the 
games and ice-cream of the daughter of the house, 
before her dancing days began. He had gone 
timidly, not daring ever to "call "her in "Quaker 
Meeting" or "Post-office," but watching her rev- 
erently and surreptitiously and continually. She 
had always seemed to him the one thing of all the 
world most rare, most mysterious, most unap- 

116 



A BAD PENNY TURNS UP 

proachable. She had not offered an apparition 
less so in those days when he began to come under 
the suspicion of Canaan, when the old people be- 
gan to look upon him hotly, the young people 
coldly. His very exclusion wove for him a glamour 
about her, and she was more than ever his moon, 
far, lovely, unattainable, and brilliant, never to be 
reached by his lifted arms, but only by his lifted 
eyes. Nor had his long absence obliterated that 
light; somewhere in his dreams it always had 
place, shining, perhaps, with a fainter lustre as the 
years grew to seven, but never gone altogether. 
Now, at last, that he stood in her very presence 
again, it sprang to the full flood of its old brilliance 
and more! 

As she came to her half -stop of surprise, startled, 
he took his courage in two hands, and, lifting his 
hat, stepped to her side. 

"You you remember me?" he stammered. 

"Yes," vshe answered, a little breathlessly. 

"Ah, that's kind of you!" he cried, and began 
to walk on with her, unconsciously. " I feel like a 
returned ghost wandering about invisible and un- 
recognized. So few people seem to remember me!" 

"I think you are wrong. I think you'll find 
everybody remembers you," she responded, un- 
easily. 

"No, I'm afraid not," he began. "I" 
117 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"I'm afraid they do!" 

Joe laughed a little. "My father was saying 
something like that to me a while ago. He meant 
that they used to think me a great scapegrace here. 
Do you mean that?" 

" I'd scarcely like to say," she answered, her face 
growing more troubled ; for they were close on the 
imperial domain. 

" But it's long ago and I really didn't do any- 
thing so outrageous, it seems to me." He laughed 
again. "I know your father was angry with me 
once or twice, especially the night I hid on your 
porch to watch you to watch you dance, I mean. 
But, you see, I've come back to rehabilitate my- 
self, to" 

She interrupted him. They were not far from 
her gate, and she saw her father standing in the 
yard, directing a painter who was at work on one 
of the cast-iron deer. The Judge was apparently 
in good spirits, laughing with the workman over 
some jest between them, but that did not lessen 
Mamie's nervousness. 

"Mr. Louden," she said, in as kindly a tone as 
she could, "I shall have to ask you not to walk 
with me. My father would not like it." 

Joe stopped with a jerk. 

"Why, I I thought I'd go in and shake hands 
with him, and tell him I " 

118 



A BAD PENNY TURNS UP 

Astonishment that partook of terror and of awe 
spread itself instantly upon her face. 
"Good gracious!" she cried. ''No!" 
"Very well," said Joe, humbly. "Good-bye." 
He was too late to get away with any good grace. 
Judge Pike had seen them, and, even as Joe turned 
to go, rushed down to the gate, flung it open, and 
motioned his daughter to enter. This he did with 
one wide sweep of his arm, and, with another 
sweep, forbade Joe to look upon either moon or 
sun. It was a magnificent gesture : it excluded the 
young man from the street, Judge Pike's street, 
and from the town, Judge Pike's town. It swept 
hirn from the earth, abolished him, denied him 
the right to breathe the common air, to be seen of 
men; and, at once a headsman's stroke and an 
excommunication, destroyed him, soul and body, 
thus rebuking the silly Providence that had created 
him, and repairing Its mistake by annihilating 
him. This hurling Olympian gesture smote the 
street; the rails of the car-track sprang and quiv- 
ered with the shock; it thundered, and, amid the 
dumfounding uproar of the wrath of a god, the 
Will of the Canaanite Jove wrote the words in 
fiery letters upon the ether: 
"CEASE TO BE!" 

Joe did not go in to shake hands with Judge 
Pike. 

9 119 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

He turned the next corner a moment later, and 
went down the quiet street which led to the house 
which had been his home. He did not glance at 
that somewhat grim edifice, but passed it, his eyes 
averted, and stopped in front of the long, ram- 
shackle cottage next door. The windows were 
boarded; the picket-fence dropped even to the 
ground in some sections; the chimneys sagged 
and curved ; the roof of the long porch sprinkled 
shingles over the unkempt yard with every wind, 
and seemed about to fall. The place was desolate 
with long emptiness and decay: it looked like a 
Haunted House ; and nailed to the padlocked gate 
was a sign, half obliterated with the winters it 
had fronted, "For Sale or Rent." 

Joe gat him meditatively back to Main Street 
and to the Tocsin building. This time he did not 
hesitate, but mounted the stairs and knocked upon 
the door of the assistant editor. 

"Oh," said Eugene. "You've turned up, have 
you?" 

Mr. Bantry of the Tocsin was not at all the Eu- 
gene rescued from the "Straw-Cellar." The pres- 
ent gentleman was more the electric Freshman than 
the frightened adventurer whom Joe had encoun- 
tered in New York. It was to be seen immediately 
that the assistant editor had nothing undaintily 
business-like about him, nor was there the litter 

I2O 



A BAD PENNY TURNS UP 

on his desk which one might have expected. He 
had the air of a gentleman dilettante who amused 
himself slightly by spending an hour or two in the 
room now and then. It was the evolution to the 
perfect of his Freshman manner, and his lively ap- 
parel, though somewhat chastened by an older 
taste, might have been foretold from that which 
had smitten Canaan seven years before. He sat 
not at the orderly and handsome desk, but lay 
stretched upon a divan of green leather, smoking a 
cigar of purest ray and reading sleepily a small 
verse-looking book in morocco. His occupation, 
his general air, the furniture of the room, and his 
title (doubtless equipped with a corresponding 
salary) might have inspired in an observant cynic 
the idea that here lay a pet of Fortune, whose 
position had been the fruit of nepotism, or, 
mayhap, a successful wooing of some daughter, 
wife, or widow. Eugene looked competent for 
that. 

"I've come back to stay, 'Gene," said Joe. 

Bantry had dropped his book and raised himself 
on an elbow. "Exceedingly interesting," he said. 
" I suppose you'll try to find something to do. I 
don't think you could get a place here ; Judge Pike 
owns the Tocsin, and I greatly fear he has a preju- 
dice against you." 

"I expect he has," Joe chuckled, somewhat 

121 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

sadly. " But I don't want newspaper work. I'm 
going to practice law." 

" By Jove ! you have courage, my festive prodigal. 
V raiment!" 

Joe cocked his head to one side with his old look 
of the friendly puppy. "You always did like to 
talk that noveletty way, 'Gene, didn't you?" he 
said, impersonally. 

Eugene's color rose. "Have you saved up any- 
thing to starve on?" he asked, crisply. 

"Oh, I'm not so badly off. I've had a salary in 
an office for a year, and I had one pretty good day 
at the races ' 

"You'd better go back and have another," said 
his step-brother. " You don't seem to comprehend 
your standing in Canaan." 

"I'm beginning to." Joe turned to the door. 
"It's funny, too in a way. Well I won't keep 
you any longer. I just stopped in to say good- 
day " He paused, faltering. 

"All right, all right," Eugene said, briskly. 
" And, by-the-way, I haven't mentioned that I saw 
you in New York." 

"Oh, I didn't suppose that you would." 

"And you needn't say anything about it, I 
fancy." 

"I don't think," said Joe, " I don't think that 
you need be afraid I'll do that. Good-bye." 

122 



A BAD PENNY TURNS UP 

"Be sure to shut the door, please; it's rather 
noisy with it open. Good-bye." Eugene waved 
his hand and sank back upon the divan. 

Joe went across the street to the " National 
House." The sages fell as silent as if he had been 
Martin Pike. They had just had the pleasure of 
hearing a telephone monologue by Mr. Brown, the 
clerk, to which they listened intently : " Yes. This 
is Brown. Oh oh, it's Judge Pike? Yes indeed, 
Judge, yes indeed, I hear you ha, ha! Of course, 
I understand. Yes, Judge, I heard he was in 
town. No, he. hasn't been here. Not yet, that 
is, Judge. Yes, I hear. No, I won't, of course. 
Certainly not. I will, I will. I hear perfectly, I 
understand. Yes, sir. Good-bye, Judge." 

Joe had begun to write his name in the register. 
"My trunk is still at the station," he said. "I'll 
give you my check to send down for it." 

"Excuse me," said the clerk. "We have no 
rooms." 

"What!" cried Joe, innocently. "Why, I never 
knew more than eight people to stay here at the 
same time in my life." 

" We have no rooms," repeated the clerk, curtly. 

"Is there a convention here?" 

"We have no rooms, I say!" 

Joe looked up into the condensed eyes of Mr. 
Brown. "Oh," he said, "I see." 

123 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Deathly silence followed him to the door, but, 
as it closed behind him, he heard the outbreak of 
the sages like a tidal wave striking a dump-heap 
of tin cans. 

Two hours later he descended from an evil ark 
of a cab at the corral attached to Beaver Beach, 
and followed the path through the marsh to the 
crumbling pier. A red -bearded man was seated 
on a plank by the water edge, fishing. 

"Mike," said Joe, "have you got room for me? 
Can you take me in for a few days until I find a 
place in town where they'll let me stay?" 

The red-bearded man rose slowly, pushed back 
his hat, and stared hard at the wanderer; then he 
uttered a howl of joy and seized the other's hands 
in his and shook them wildly. 

"Glory be on high!" he shouted. "It's Joe 
Louden come back! We never knew how we 
missed ye till ye'd gone! Place fer ye! Can I 
find it? There ain't a imp o' perdition in town, 
includin' myself, that wouldn't kill me if I couldn't! 
Ye'll have old Maggie's room, my own aunt's; ye 
remember how she used to dance! Ha, ha! She's 
been burnin' below these four years! And we'll 
have the celebration of yer return this night. 
There'll be many of 'em will come when they hear 
ye're back in Canaan! Praise God, we'll all hope 
ye're goin' to stay a while!" 

124 




IX 

"OUTER DARKNESS'* 

[F any echo of doubt concerning his 
undesirable conspicuousness sounded 
faintly in Joe's mind, it was silenced 
eftsoons. Canaan had not forgotten 
him far from it! so far that it be- 
gan pointing him out to strangers on the street 
the very day of his return. His course of action, 
likewise that of his friends, permitted him little 
obscurity, and when the rumors of his finally ob- 
taining lodging at Beaver Beach, and of the cele- 
bration of his installation there, were presently 
confirmed, he stood in the lime-light indeed, as a 
Mephistopheles upsprung through the trap-door. 

The welcoming festivities had not been so dis- 
creetly conducted as to accord with the general 
policy of Beaver Beach. An unfortunate incident 
caused the arrest of one of the celebrators and the 
ambulancing to the hospital of another on the 
homeward way, the ensuing proceedings in court 
bringing to the whole affair a publicity devoutly 

125 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

unsought for. Mr. Happy Fear (such was the 
habitual name of the imprisoned gentleman) had 
to bear a great amount of harsh criticism for in- 
juring a companion within the city limits after 
daylight, and for failing to observe that three 
policemen were not too distant from the scene of 
operations to engage therein. 

"Happy, if ye had it in mind to harm him," 
said the red-bearded man to Mr. Fear, upon the 
latter's return to society, "why didn't ye do it 
out here at the Beach?" 

"Because," returned the indiscreet, "he didn't 
say what he was goin' to say till we got in town." 

Extraordinary probing on the part of the prose- 
cutor had developed at the trial that the obnoxious 
speech had referred to the guest of the evening. 
The assaulted party, one " Nashville " Cory, was 
not of Canaan, but a bit of drift-wood haply touch- 
ing shore for the moment at Beaver Beach ; and 
strange is this world he had been introduced to 
the coterie of Mike's Place by Happy Fear himself, 
who had enjoyed a brief acquaintance with him on 
a day when both had chanced to travel incognito 
by the same freight. Naturally, Happy had felt 
responsible for the proper behavior of his prote'ge 
was, in fact, bound to enforce it; additionally, 
Happy had once been saved from a term of im- 
prisonment (at a time when it would have been 

126 



"OUTER DARKNESS" 

more than ordinarily inconvenient) by help and 
advice from Joe, and he was not one to forget. 
Therefore he was grieved to observe that his 
own guest seemed to be somewhat jealous of the 
hero of the occasion and disposed to look cold- 
ly upon him. The stranger, however, contented 
himself with innuendo (mere expressions of the 
face and other manner of things for which one 
could not squarely lay hands upon him) until 
such time as he and his sponsor had come to Main 
Street in the clear dawn on their way to Happy's 
apartment a variable abode. It may be that 
the stranger perceived what Happy did not; the 
three bluecoats in the perspective; at all events, 
he now put into words of simple strength the un- 
favorable conception he had formed of Joe. The 
result was mediaevally immediate, and the period 
of Mr. Cory's convalescence in the hospital was 
almost half that of his sponsor's detention in the 
county jail. 

It needed nothing to finish Joe with the good 
people of Canaan; had it needed anything, the 
trial of Happy Fear would have overspilled the 
necessity. An item of the testimony was that 
Joseph Louden had helped to carry one of the 
ladies present a Miss Le Roy, who had fainted 
to the open air, and had jostled the stranger in 
passing. After this, the oldest woman in Canaan 

127 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

would not have dared to speak to Joe on the street 
(even if she wanted to), unless she happened to 
be very poor or very wicked. The Tocsin printed 
an adequate account (for there was " a large pub- 
lic interest"), recording in conclusion that Mr. 
Louden paid the culprit's fine which was the 
largest in the power of the presiding judge in his 
mercy to bestow. Editorially, the Tocsin leaned to 
the facetious: "Mr. Louden has but recently 're- 
turned to our midst.' We fervently hope that 
the distinguished Happy Fear will appreciate his 
patron's superb generosity. We say 'his patron,' 
but perhaps we err in this. Were it not better to 
figure Mr. Louden as the lady in distress, Mr. Fear 
as the champion in the lists ? In the present case, 
however, contrary to the rules of romance, the 
champion falls in duress and passes to the dungeon. 
We merely suggest, en passant, that some of our 
best citizens might deem it a wonderful and beau- 
teous thing if, in addition to paying the fine, Mr. 
Louden could serve for the loyal Happy his six 
months in the Bastile!" 

" En passant," if nothing else, would have re- 
vealed to Joe, in this imitation of a better trick, the 
hand of Eugene. And, little doubt, he would have 
agreed with Squire Buckalew in the Squire's answer 
to the easily expected comment of Mr. Arp. 

"Sometimes," said Eskew, "I think that 'Gene 
128 



"OUTER DARKNESS" 

Bantry is jest a leetle bit spiderier than he is lazy. 
That's the first thing he's written in the Tocsin this 
month one of the boys over there told me. He 
wrote it out of spite against Joe; but he'd ought 
to of done better. If his spite hadn't run away 
with what mind he's got, he'd of said that both 
Joe Louden and that tramp Fear ought to of had 
ten years!" 

'"Gene Bantry didn't write that out of spite," 
answered Buckalew. "He only thought he saw 
a chance to be kind of funny and please Judge Pike. 
The Judge has always thought Joe was a no-ac- 
count " 

"Ain't he right?" cried Mr. Arp. 

"/ don't say he ain't." Squire Buckalew cast a 
glance at Mr. Brown, the clerk, and, perceiving that 
he was listening, added, "The Judge always is 
right!" 

"Yes, sir!" said Colonel Flitcroft. 

" I can't stand up for Joe Louden to any extent, 
but I don't think he done wrong," Buckalew went 
on, recovering, "when he paid this man Fear's 
fine." 

"You don't!" exclaimed Mr. Arp. "Why, 
haven't you got gumption enough to see 

"Look here, Eskew," interposed his antagonist. 
" How many friends have you got that hate to hear 
folks talk bad about you?" 

129 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Not a one!" For once Eskew's guard was 
down, and his consistency led him to destruction. 
"Not a one! It ain't in human nature. They're 
bound to enjoy it!" 

"Got any friends that would fight for you?" 

Eskew walked straight into this hideous trap. 
"No! There ain't a dozen men ever lived that 
had! Caesar was a popular man, but he didn't 
have a soul to help him when the crowd lit on him, 
and I'll bet old Mark Antony was mighty glad 
they got him out in the yard before it happened, 
he wouldn't have lifted a finger without a gang 
behind him! Why, all Peter himself could do was 
to cut off an ear that wasn't no use to anybody. 
What are you tryin' to get at ?" 

The Squire had him ; and paused, and stroked his 
chin, to make the ruin complete. " Then I reckon 
you'll have to admit," he murmured, "that, while 
I ain't defendin' Joe Louden 's character, it was 
kind of proper for him to stand by a feller that 
wouldn't hear nothin' against him, and fought for 
him as soon as he did hear it!" 

Eskew Arp rose from his chair and left the hotel. 
It was the only morning in all the days of the con- 
clave when he was the first to leave. 

Squire Buckalew looked after the retreating 
figure, total triumph shining brazenly from his 
spectacles. "I expect," he explained, modestly, 



"OUTER DARKNESS" 

to the others, "I expect I don't think anymore 
of Joe Louden than he does, and I'll be glad when 
Canaan sees the last of him for good; but some- 
times the temptation to argue with Eskew does 
lead me on to kind of git the better of him." 

When Happy Fear had suffered with a give- 
and-take simplicity of patience his allotment of 
months in durance, and was released and sent into 
the streets and sunshine once more, he knew that 
his first duty lay in the direction of a general apol- 
ogy to Joe. But the young man was no longer at 
Beaver Beach ; the red - bearded proprietor dwelt 
alone there, and, receiving Happy with scorn and 
pity, directed him to retrace his footsteps to the 
town. 

"Ye must have been in the black hole of in- 
carceration indeed, if ye haven't heard that Mr. 
Louden has his law-office on the Square, and his 
livin'-room behind the office. It's in that little 
brick buildin' straight acrost from the sheriff's 
door o' the jail ye've been neighbors this long 
time! A hard time the boy had, persuadin' any 
one to rent to him, but by payin' double the price 
he got a place at last. He's a practisin' lawyer 
now, praise the Lord! And all the boys and girls 
of our acquaintance go to him with their troubles. 
Ye '11 see him with a murder case to try before 
long, as sure as ye're not worth yer salt! But I 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

expect ye can still call him by his name of Joe, all 
the same!" 

It was a bleak and meagre little office into 
which Mr. Fear ushered himself to offer his amends. 
The cracked plaster of the walls was bare (save 
for dust); there were no shelves; the fat brown 
volumes, most of them fairly new, were piled in 
regular columns upon a cheap pine table; there 
was but one window, small- paned and shadeless ; an 
inner door of this sad chamber stood half ajar, per- 
mitting the visitor unreserved acquaintance with 
the domestic economy of the tenant ; for it disclosed 
a second room, smaller than the office, and de- 
pendent upon the window of the latter for air and 
light. Behind a canvas camp-cot, dimly visible 
in the obscurity of the inner apartment, stood a 
small gas-stove, surmounted by a stew-pan, from 
which projected the handle of a big tin spoon, so 
that it needed no ghost from the dead to whisper 
that Joseph Louden, attorney-at-law, did his own 
cooking. Indeed, he looked it! 

Upon the threshold of the second room reposed a 
small, worn, light-brown scrub-brush of a dog, so 
cosmopolitan in ancestry that his species was al- 
most as undeterminable as the cast-iron dogs of 
the Pike Mansion. He greeted Mr. Fear hospi- 
tably, having been so lately an offcast of the streets 
himself that his adoption had taught him to lose 

132 



"OUTER DARKNESSS" 

only his old tremors, not his hopefulness. At 
the same time Joe rose quickly from the deal 
table, where he had been working with one hand 
in his hair, the other splattering ink from a bad 
pen. 

"Good for you, Happy!" he cried, cheerfully. 
" I hoped you'd come to see me to-day. I've been 
thinking about a job for you." 

"What kind of a job?" asked the visitor, as they 
shook hands. " I need one bad enough, but you 
know there ain't nobody in Canaan would gimme 
one, Joe." 

Joe pushed him into one of the two chairs which 
completed the furniture of his office. " Yes, there 
is. I've got an idea " 

"First," broke in Mr. Fear, fingering his shape- 
less hat and fixing his eyes upon it with embarrass- 
ment, " first lemme say what I come here to say. 
I well " His embarrassment increased and he 
paused, rubbing the hat between his hands. 

"About this job," Joe began. "We can fix it 
so" 

"No," said Happy. "You lemme go on. I 
didn't mean fer to cause you no trouble when I lit 
on that loud-mouth, ' Nashville ' ; I never thought 
they'd git me, or you'd be dragged in. But I jest 
couldn't stand him no longer. He had me all wore 
out all evening long a-hintin' and sniffin' and 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

wearin' that kind of a high-smile 'cause they made 
so much fuss over you. And then when we got 
clear in town he come out with it! Said you was 
too quiet to suit him said he couldn't see nothin' 
to you! 'Well,' I says to myself, 'jest let him go 
on, jest one more,' I says, 'then he gits it.' And 
he did. Said you tromped on his foot on purpose, 
said he knowed it, when the Lord-a 'mightiest fool 
on earth knows you never tromped on no one! 
Said you was one of the po'rest young sports he 
ever see around a place like the Beach. You see, 
he thought you was jest one of them fool ' Bloods ' 
that come around raisin' a rumpus, and didn't know 
you was our friend and belonged out there, the same 
as me or Mike hisself. 'Go on,' I says to myself, 
'jest one more!' 'He better go home to his mam- 
ma,' he says ; ' he'll git in trouble if he don't. Some- 
body '11 soak him if he hangs around in my com- 
pany. I don't like his ways. 1 Then I had to do 
it. There jest wasn't nothin' left but I wouldn't 
of done you no harm by it " 

"You didn't do me any harm, Happy." 

"I mean your repitation." 

" I didn't have one so nothing in the world could 
harm it. About your getting some work, now 

"I'll listen," said Happy, rather suspiciously. 

"You see," Joe went on, growing red, "I need 
a sort of janitor here " 



"OUTER DARKNESS" 

"What fer?" Mr. Fear interrupted, with some 
shortness. 

"To look after the place." 

"You mean these two rooms?" 

"There's a stairway, too," Joe put forth, quickly. 
" It wouldn't be any sinecure, Happy. You'd 
earn your money, don't be afraid of that!" 

Mr. Fear straightened up, his burden of em- 
barrassment gone from him, transferred to the 
other's shoulders. 

"There always was a yellow streak in you, Joe," 
he said, firmly. " You're no good as a liar except 
when you're jokin'. A lot you need a janitor! 
You had no business to pay my fine; you'd ort of 
let me worked it out. Do you think my eyes ain't 
good enough to see how much you needed the 
money, most of all right now when you're tryin' to 
git started ? If I ever take a cent from you, I hope 
the hand I hold out fer it '11 rot off." 

"Now don't say that, Happy." 

"I don't want a job, nohow!" said Mr. Fear, 
going to the door; " I don't want to work. There's 
plenty ways fer me to git along without that. But 
I've said what I come here to say, and I'll say one 
thing more. Don't you worry about gittin' law 
practice. Mike says you're goin' to git all you 
want and if there ain't no other way, why, a few 
of us '11 go out and make some fer ye!" 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

These prophecies and promises, over which Joe 
chuckled at first, with his head cocked to one 
side, grew very soon, to his amazement, to wear a 
supernatural similarity to actual fulfilment. His 
friends brought him their own friends, such as 
had sinned against the laws of Canaan, those under 
the ban of the sheriff, those who had struck in 
anger, those who had stolen at night, those who 
owed and could not pay, those who lived by the 
dice, and to his other titles to notoriety was added 
that of defender of the poor and wicked. He found 
his hands full, especially after winning his first im- 
portant case on which occasion Canaan thought 
the jury mad, and was indignant with the puzzled 
Judge, who could not see just how it had happened. 

Joe did not stop at that. He kept on winning 
cases, clearing the innocent and lightening the bur- 
dens of the guilty; he became the most dangerous 
attorney for the defence in Canaan; his honorable 
brethren, accepting the popular view of him, held 
him in personal contempt but feared him pro- 
fessionally; for he proved that he knew more law 
than they thought existed ; nor could any trick him 
failing which, many tempers were lost, but never 
Joe's. His practice was not all criminal, as shown 
by the peevish outburst of the eminent Buckalew 
(the Squire's nephew, esteemed the foremost law- 
yer in Canaan), "Before long, there won't be any 

136 



"OUTER DARKNESS" 

use trying to foreclose a mortgage or collect a note 
unless this shyster gets himself in jail!" 

The wrath of Judge Martin Pike was august 
there was a kind of sublimity in its immenseness 
on a day when it befell that the shyster stood 
betwixt him and money. 

That was a monstrous task to stand between 
these two and separate them, to hold back the 
hand of Martin Pike from what it had reached out 
to grasp. It was in the matter of some tax -titles 
which the magnate had acquired, and, in court, 
Joe treated the case with such horrifying sim- 
plicity that it seemed almost credible that the 
great man had counted upon the ignorance and 
besottedness of Joe's client a hard-drinking, dis- 
reputable old farmer to get his land away from 
him without paying for it. Now, as every one 
knew such a thing to be ludicrously impossible, 
it was at once noised abroad in Canaan that Joe 
had helped to swindle Judge Pike out of a large 
sum of money it was notorious that the shyster 
could bamboozle court and jury with his tricks; 
and it was felt that Joe Louden was getting into 
very deep waters indeed. This was serious: if 
the young man did not look out, he might find him- 
self in the penitentiary. 

The Tocsin paragraphed him with a fine regular- 
ity after this, usually opening with a Walrus-and- 

i37 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the-Carpenter gravity : " The time has come when 
we must speak of a certain matter frankly," or, " At 
last the time has arrived when the demoralization 
of the bar caused by a certain criminal lawyer must 
be dealt with as it is and without gloves." Once 
when Joe had saved a half-witted negro from " the 
extreme penalty" for murder, the Tocsin had de- 
clared, with great originality: "This is just the 
kind of thing that causes mobs and justifies them. 
If we are to continue to permit the worst class 
of malefactors to escape the consequences of their 
crimes through the unwholesome dexterities and the 
shifty manipulations and technicalities of a cer- 
tain criminal lawyer, the time will come when an 
outraged citizenry may take the enforcement of 
the law in its own hands. Let us call a spade a 
spade. If Canaan's streets ever echo with the 
tread of a mob, the fault lies upon the head of 
Joseph Louden, who has once more brought about 
a miscarriage of justice. ..." 

Joe did not move into a larger office ; he remained 
in the little room with its one window and its fine 
view of the jail ; his clients were nearly all poor, and 
many of his fees quite literally nominal. Tatters 
and rags came up the narrow stairway to his door 
tatters and rags and pitiful fineries: the bleared, 
the sodden, the flaunting and rouged, the furtive 
and wary, some in rags, some in tags, and some 

138 



"OUTER DARKNESS" 

the sorriest in velvet gowns. With these, the 
distressed, the wrong - doers, the drunken, the 
dirty, and the very poor, his work lay and his days 
and nights were spent. 

Ariel had told Roger Tabor that in time Joe 
might come to be what the town thought him, if 
it gave him no other chance. Only its dinginess 
and evil surrounded him ; no respectable house was 
open to him; the barrooms except that of the 
"National House" welcomed him gratefully and 
admiringly. Once he went to church, on a pleas- 
ant morning when nice girls wear pretty spring 
dresses ; it gave him a thrill of delight to see them, 
to be near clean, good people once more. Inad- 
vertently, he took a seat by his step-mother, who 
rose with a slight rustle of silk and moved to an- 
other pew; and it happened, additionally, that 
this was the morning that the minister, fired by 
the Tocsin's warnings, had chosen to preach on 
the subject of Joe himself. 

The outcast returned to his own kind. No lady 
spoke to him upon the street. Mamie Pike had 
passed him with averted eyes since her first meet- 
ing with him, but the shunning and snubbing of a 
young man by a pretty girl have never yet, if 
done in a certain way, prevented him from con- 
tinuing to be in love with her. Mamie did it in 
the certain way. Joe did not wince, therefore it 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

hurt all the more, for blows from which one cringes 
lose much of their force. 

The town dog had been given a bad name, 
painted solid black from head to heel. He was a 
storm centre of scandal ; the entrance to his dingy- 
stairway was in square view of the " National 
House," and the result is imaginable. How many 
of Joe's clients, especially those sorriest of the velvet 
gowns, were conjectured to ascend his stairs for rea- 
sons more convivial than legal! Yes, he lived with 
his own kind, and, so far as the rest of Canaan was 
concerned, might as well have worn the scarlet 
letter on his breast or branded on his forehead. 

When he went about the streets he was made to 
feel his condition by the elaborate avoidance, yet 
furtive attention, of every respectable person he 
met; and when he came home to his small rooms 
and shut the door behind him, he was as one who 
has been hissed and shamed in public and runs 
to bury his hot face in his pillow. He petted 
his mongrel extravagantly (well he might!), and 
would sit with him in his rooms at night, holding 
long converse with him, the two alone together. 
The dog was not his only confidant. There came 
to be another, a more and more frequent partner 
to their conversations, at last a familiar spirit. 
This third came from a brown jug which Joe kept 
on a shelf in his bedroom, a vessel too frequently 

140 



"OUTER DARKNESS" 

replenished. When the day's work was done he 
shut himself up, drank alone and drank hard. 
Sometimes when the jug ran low and the night was 
late he would go out for a walk with his dog, and 
would awake in his room the next morning not 
remembering where he had gone or how he had 
come home. Once, after such a lapse of memory, 
he woke amazed to find himself at Beaver Beach, 
whither, he learned from the red - bearded man, 
Happy Fear had brought him, having found him 
wandering dazedly in a field near by. These lapses 
grew more frequent, until there occurred that which 
was one of the strange things of his life. 

It was a June night, a little more than two years 
after his return to Canaan, and the Tocsin had that 
day announced the approaching marriage of Eugene 
Bantry and his employer's daughter. Joe ate 
nothing during the day, and went through his work 
clumsily, visiting the bedroom shelf at intervals. 
At ten in the evening he went out to have the jug 
refilled, but from the moment he left his door and 
the fresh air struck his face, he had no clear knowl- 
edge of what he did or of what went on about him 
until he woke in his bed the next morning. 

And yet, whatever little part of the soul of him 
remained, that night, still undulled, not numbed, 
but alive, was in some strange manner lifted out of 
its pain towards a strange delight. His body was 

141 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

an automaton, his mind in bondage, yet there was 
a still, small consciousness in him which knew that 
in his wandering something incredible and unex- 
pected was happening. What this was he did not 
know, could not see, though his eyes were open, 
could not have told himself any more than a baby 
could tell why it laughs, but it seemed something 
so beautiful and wonderful that the night became 
a night of perfume, its breezes bearing the music 
of harps and violins, while nightingales sang from 
the maples that bordered the streets of Canaan. 




THE TRYST 

\E woke to the light of morning amazed 
and full of a strange wonder because 
he did not know what had amazed 
him. For a little while after his eyes 
i opened, he lay quite motionless ; then 
he lifted his head slightly and shook it with some 
caution. This had come to be custom. The op- 
eration assured him of the worst ; the room swam 
round him, and, with a faint groan, he let his head 
fall back upon the pillow. But he could not sleep 
again; pain stung its way through his heart as 
memory began to come back to him, not of the 
preceding night that was all blank, but realiza- 
tion that the girl of whom he had dreamed so long 
was to be married. That his dreams had been quite 
hopeless was no balm to his hurt. 

A chime of bells sounded from a church steeple 
across the Square, ringing out in assured righteous- 
ness, summoning the good people who maintained 
them to come and sit beneath them or be taken to 

M3 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

task ; and they fell so dismally upon Joe's ear that 
he bestirred himself and rose, to the delight of his 
mongrel, who leaped upon him joyfully. An hour 
later, or thereabout, the pair emerged from the nar- 
row stairway and stood tor a moment, blinking in 
the fair sunshine, apparently undecided which way 
to go. The church bells were silent ; there was no 
breeze; the air trembled a little with the deep 
pipings of the organ across the Square, and, save for 
that, the town was very quiet. The paths which 
crossed the Court-house yard were flecked with 
steady shadow, the strong young foliage of the 
maples not moving, having the air of observing the 
Sabbath with propriety. There were benches here 
and there along the walks, and to one of these Joe 
crossed, and sat down. The mongrel, at his master's 
feet, rolled on his back in morning ecstasy, ceased 
abruptly to roll and began to scratch his ear with 
a hind foot intently. A tiny hand stretched to pat 
his head, and the dog licked it appreciatively. It 
belonged to a hard-washed young lady of six (in 
starchy, white frills and new, pink ribbons), who 
had run ahead of her mother, a belated church-goer ; 
and the mongrel charmed her. 

"Will you give me this dog?" she asked, without 
any tedious formalities. 

Involuntarily, she departed before receiving a 
reply. The mother, a red-faced matron whom Joe 

144 



THE TRYST 

recognized as a sister of Mrs. Louden's, consequent- 
ly his step-aunt, swooped at the child with a rush 
and rustle of silk, and bore her on violently to her 
duty. When they had gone a little way the 
matron's voice was heard in sharp reproof ; the child, 
held by one wrist and hurried along on tiptoe, 
staring back over one shoulder at Joe, her eyes 
wide, and her mouth the shape of the " O " she was 
ejaculating. 

The dog looked up with wistful inquiry at his 
master, who cocked an eyebrow at him in return, 
wearing much the same expression. The mother 
and child disappeared within the church doors and 
left the Square to the two. Even the hotel showed 
no signs of life, for the wise men were not allowed to 
foregather on Sundays. The organ had ceased to 
stir the air and all was in quiet, yet a quiet which, 
for Louden, was not peace. He looked at his watch 
and, without intending it, spoke the hour aloud: 
"A quarter past eleven." The sound of his own 
voice gave him a little shock ; he rose without know- 
ing why, and, as he did so, it seemed to him that he 
heard close to his ear another voice, a woman's, 
troubled and insistent, but clear and sweet, saying: 
" Remember ! A cross Main Street bridge at noon /' ' 
It was so distinct that he started and looked 
round. Then he laughed. "I'll be seeing circus 
parades next!" His laughter fled, for, louder than 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the ringing in his ears, unmistakably came the 
strains of a far-away brass band which had no 
existence on land or sea or in the waters under the 
earth. 

"Here!" he said to the mongrel. "We need a 
walk, I think. Let's you and me move on before 
the camels turn the corner!" 

The music followed him to the street, where he 
turned westward toward the river, and presently, 
as he walked on, fanning himself with his straw hat, 
it faded and was gone. But the voice he had heard 
returned. 

' ' Remember ! A cross Main Street bridge at noon /' ' 
it said again, close to his ear. 

This time he did not start. "All right," he an- 
swered, wiping his forehead ; " if you'll let me alone, 
I'll be there." 

At a dingy saloon corner, near the river, a shabby 
little man greeted him heartily and petted the 
mongrel. "I'm mighty glad you didn't go, after 
all, Joe," he added, with a brightening face. 

"Go where, Happy?" 

Mr. Fear looked grave. "Don't you rec'lect 
meetin' me last night?" 

Louden shook his head. "No. Did I?" 

The other's jaw fell and his brow corrugated with 
self-reproach. "Well, if that don't show what a 
thick-head I am! I thought ye was all right er I'd 

146 



THE TRYST 

gone on with ye. Nobody c'd 'a' walked straighter 
ner talked straighter. Said ye was goin' to leave 
Canaan fer good and didn't want nobody to know it. 
Said ye was goin' to take the 'leven-o 'clock through 
train fer the West, and told me I couldn't come 
to the deepo with ye. Said ye'd had enough o' 
Canaan, and of everything! I follered ye part way 
to the deepo, but ye turned and made a motion fer 
me to go back, and I done it, because ye seemed to 
be kind of in trouble, and I thought ye'd ruther be 
by yerself. Well, sir, it's one on me!" 
" Not at all," said Joe. " I was all right." 
" Was ye ?" returned the other. " Do remember, 
do ye?" 

"Almost," Joe smiled, faintly. 
"Almost" echoed Happy, shaking his head se- 
riously. " I tell ye, Joe, ef I was you" he began 
slowly, then paused and shook his head again. He 
seemed on the point of delivering some advice, 
but evidently perceiving the snobbishness of such 
a proceeding, or else convinced by his own ex- 
perience of the futility of it, he swerved to cheer- 
fulness : 

" I hear the boys is all goin' to work hard fer the 
primaries. Mike says ye got some chances ye 
don't know about; he swears ye'll be the next 
Mayor of Canaan." 

" Nonsense ! Folly and nonsense, Happy ! That's 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the kind of thing I used to think when I was a boy. 
But now pshaw!" Joe broke off with a tired 
laugh. " Tell them not to waste their time ! Are 
you going out to the Beach this afternoon?" 

The little man lowered his eyes moodily. "I'll 
be near there," he said, scraping his patched shoe 
up and down the curbstone. "That feller's in 
town agin." 

"What fellow?" 

"'Nashville' they call him; Ed's the name he 
give the hospital: Cory him that I soaked the 
night you come back to Canaan. He's after 
Claudine to git his evens with me. He's made a 
raise somewheres, and plays the spender. And 
her well, I reckon she's tired waitin' table at the 
'National House'; tired o' me, too. I got a hint 
that they're goin' out to the Beach together this 
afternoon." 

Joe passed his hand wearily over his aching fore- 
head. " I understand," he said, " and you'd better 
try to. Cory's laying for you, of course. You say 
he's after your wife? He must have set about it 
pretty openly if they're going to the Beach to-day, 
for there is always a crowd there on Sundays. Is 
it hard for you to see why he's doing it ? It's be- 
cause he wants to make you jealous. What for? 
So that you'll tackle him again. And why does he 
want that? Because he's ready for you!" 

148 



THE TRYST 

The other's eyes suddenly became bloodshot, his 
nostrils expanding incredibly. " Ready, is he ? He 
better be ready. I " 

"That's enough!" Joe interrupted, swiftly. 
"We'll have no talk like that. I'll settle this for 
you, myself. You send word to Claudine that I 
want to see her at my office to-morrow morning, 
and you you stay away from the Beach to-day. 
Give me your word." 

Mr. Fear's expression softened. " All right, Joe," 
he said. " I'll do whatever you tell me to. Any 
of us '11 do that; we sure know who's our friend." 

"Keep out of trouble, Happy." Joe turned to 
go and they shook hands. " Good day, and keep 
out of trouble!" 

When he had gone, Mr. Fear's countenance 
again gloomed ominously, and, shaking his head, 
he ruminatively entered an adjacent bar through 
the alley door. 

The Main Street bridge was an old-fashioned, 
wooden, covered one, dust-colored and very nar- 
row, squarely framing the fair, open country be- 
yond; for the town had never crossed the river. 
Joe found the cool shadow in the bridge gracious 
to his hot brow, and through the slender chinks of 
the worn flooring he caught bright glimpses of 
running water. When he came out of the other 
end he felt enough refreshed to light a cigar. 

149 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Well, here I am," he said. "Across Main 
Street bridge and it must be getting on toward 
noon!" He spoke almost with the aspect of dar- 
ing, and immediately stood still, listening. " ' Re- 
member,'" he ventured to repeat, again daring, 
" ' Remember ! Across Main Street bridge at noon !' ' 
And again he listened. Then he chuckled faintly 
with relief, for the voice did not return. "Thank 
God, I've got rid of that!" he whispered. "And 
of the circus band too!" 

A dust road turned to the right, following the 
river and shaded by big sycamores on the bank; 
the mongrel, intensely preoccupied with this road, 
scampered away, his nose to the ground. "Good 
enough," said the master. "Lead on and I'll 
come after you." 

But he had not far to follow. The chase led 
him to a half-hollow log which lay on a low, grass- 
grown levee above the stream, where the dog's 
interest in the pursuit became vivid ; temporarily, 
however, for after a few minutes of agitated in- 
vestigation, he was seized with indifference to the 
whole world; panted briefly; slept. Joe sat upon 
the log, which was in the shade, and smoked. 

' ' Remember /" He tried it once more . " ' A cross 
Main Street bridge at noon!" Safety still; the 
voice came not. But the sound of his own repeti- 
tion of the words brought him an eerie tremor; 

150 



THE TRYST 

for the mist of a memory came with it; nothing 
tangible, nothing definite, but something very far 
away and shadowy, yet just poignant enough to 
give him a queer feeling that he was really keep- 
ing an appointment here. Was it with some water- 
sprite that would rise from the river? Was it 
with a dryad of the sycamores ? He knew too well 
that he might expect strange fancies to get hold of 
him this morning, and, as this one grew uncannily 
stronger, he moved his head briskly as if to shake 
it off. The result surprised him; the fancy re- 
mained, but his headache and dizziness had left 
him. 

A breeze wandered up the river and touched the 
leaves and grass to life. Sparrows hopped and 
chirped in the branches, absurdly surprised; with- 
out doubt having concluded in the Sunday still- 
ness that the world would drowse forever ; and the 
mongrel lifted his head, blinked at them, hopeless- 
ly wishing they would alight near him, scratched 
his ear with the manner of one who has neglected 
such matters overlong ; reversed his position ; slept 
again. The young corn, deep green in the bottom- 
land, moved with a staccato flurry, and the dust 
ghost of a mad whirling dervish sped up the main 
road to vanish at the bridge in a climax of lunacy. 
The stirring air brought a smell of blossoms; the 
distance took on faint lavender hazes which blend- 
ii 151 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

ed the outlines of the fields, lying like square 
coverlets upon the long slope of rising ground be- 
yond the bottom-land, and empurpled the blue 
woodland shadows of the groves. 

For the first time, it struck Joe that it was a 
beautiful day, and it came to him that a beautiful 
day was a thing which nothing except death, sick- 
ness, or imprisonment could take from him not 
even the ban of Canaan! Unf ore warned, music 
sounded in his ears again; but he did not shrink 
from it now; this was not the circus band he had 
heard as he left the Square, but a melody like a 
far-away serenade at night, as of "the horns of 
elf -land faintly blowing"; and he closed his eyes 
with the sweetness of it. 

"Go ahead!" he whispered. "Do that all you 
want to. If you'll keep it up like this awhile, I'll 
follow with 'Little Brown Jug, How I Love Thee!' 
It seems to pay, after all!" 

The welcome strains, however, were but the 
prelude to a harsher sound which interrupted and 
annihilated them: the Court-house bell clanging 
out twelve. "All right," said Joe. "It's noon 
and I'm 'across Main Street bridge." 

He opened his eyes and looked about him 
whimsically. Then he shook his head again. 

A lady had just emerged from the bridge and 
was coming toward him. 

152 



THE TRYST 

It would be hard to get at Joe's first impressions 
of her. We can find conveyance for only the 
broadest and heaviest. Ancient and modern in- 
stances multiply the case of the sleeper who dreams 
out a long story in accurate color and fine detail, 
a tale of years, in the opening and shutting of a 
door. So with Joseph, in the brief space of the 
lady's approach. And with him, as with the sleep- 
er, it must have been in fact it was, in his recol- 
lections, later a blur of emotion. 

At first sight of her, perhaps it was pre-eminently 
the shock of seeing anything so exquisite where 
he had expected to see nothing at all. For she 
was exquisite horrid as have been the uses of the 
word, its best and truest belong to her; she was 
that and much more, from the ivory ferrule of the 
parasol she carried, to the light and slender foot- 
print she left in the dust of the road. Joe knew at 
once that nothing like her had ever before been 
seen in Canaan. 

He had little knowledge of the millinery arts, 
and he needed none to see the harmony harmony 
like that of the day he had discovered a little 
while ago. Her dress and hat and gloves and 
parasol showed a pale lavender overtint like that 
which he had seen overspreading the western 
slope. (Afterward, he discovered that the gloves 
she wore that day were gray, and that her hat was 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

for the most part white.) The charm of fabric 
and tint belonging to what she wore was no shame 
to her, not being of primal importance beyond her- 
self ; it was but the expression of her daintiness and 
the adjunct of it. She was tall, but if Joe could 
have spoken or thought of her as "slender," he 
would have been capable of calling her lips "red," 
in which case he would not have been Joe, and 
would have been as far from the truth as her lips 
were from red, or as her supreme delicateness was 
from mere slenderness. 

Under the summer hat her very dark hair swept 
back over her temples with something near trim- 
ness in the extent to which it was withheld from 
being fluffy. It may be that this approach to 
trimness, which was, after all, only a sort of co- 
quetry with trimness, is the true key to the mys- 
tery of the vision of the lady who appeared to Joe. 
Let us say that she suppressed everything that 
went beyond grace ; that the hint of floridity was 
abhorrent to her. "Trim" is as clumsy as "slen- 
der"; she had escaped from the trimness of girl- 
hood as wholly as she had gone through its colt- 
ishness. "Exquisite." Let us go back to Joe's 
own blurred first thought of her and be content 
with that! 

She was to pass him so he thought and as 
she drew nearer, his breath came faster. 



THE TRYST 

" Remember I A cross Mam Street bridge at noo n!" 

Was this the fay of whom the voice had warned 
him? With that, there befell him the mystery 
of last night. He did not remember, but it was 
as if he lived again, dimly, the highest hour of 
happiness in a life a thousand years ago; perfume 
and music, roses, nightingales and plucked harp- 
strings. Yes; something wonderful was happen- 
ing to him. 

She had stopped directly in front of him; stop- 
ped and stood looking at him with her clear eyes. 
He did not lift his own to hers; he had long ex- 
perience of the averted gaze of women ; but it was 
not only that; a great shyness beset him. He 
had risen and removed his hat, trying (ineffectual- 
ly) not to clear his throat ; his every-day sense urg- 
ing upon him that she was a stranger in Canaan 
who had lost her way the preposterousness of any 
one's losing the way in Canaan not just now ap- 
pealing to his every-day sense. 

"Can I can I " he stammered, blushing mis- 
erably, meaning to finish with "direct you," or 
"show you the way." 

Then he looked at her again and saw what 
seemed to him the strangest sight of his life. The 
lady's eyes had filled with tears filled and over- 
filled. 

" I'll sit here on the log with you," she said. And 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

her voice was the voice which he had heard saying, 
"Remember! Across Main Street bridge at noon!" 

"What!" he gasped. 

"You don't need to dust it!" she went on, 
tremulously. And even then he did not know who 
she was. 




XI 

WHEN HALF-GODS GO 

JHERE was a silence, for if the dazzled 
young man could have spoken at all, 
he could have found nothing to say; 
and, perhaps, the lady would not 

i trust her own voice just then. His 
eyes had fallen again; he was too dazed, and, in 
truth, too panic-stricken, now, to look at her, 
though if he had been quite sure that she was part 
of a wonderful dream he might have dared. She 
was seated beside him, and had handed him her 
parasol in a little way which seemed to imply that 
of course he had reached for it, so that it was to 
be seen how used she was to have all tiny things 
done for her, though this was not then of his trem- 
ulous observing. He did perceive, however, that 
he was to furl the dainty thing; he pressed the 
catch, and let down the top timidly, as if fearing to 
break or tear it ; and, as it closed, held near his face, 
he caught a very faint, sweet, spicy emanation 
from it like wild roses and cinnamon. 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

He did not know her; but his timidity and a 
strange little choke in his throat, the sudden fright 
which had seized upon him, were not caused by 
embarrassment. He had no thought that she 
was one he had known but could not, for the mo- 
ment, recall ; there was nothing of the awkwardness 
of that ; no, he was overpowered by the miracle of 
this meeting. And yet, white with marvelling, 
he felt it to be so much more touchingly a great 
happiness than he had ever known that at first it 
was inexpressibly sad. 

At last he heard her voice again, shaking a little, 
as she said: 

" I am glad you remembered." 

"Remembered what?" he faltered. 

"Then you don't?" she cried. "And yet you 
came." 

"Came here, do you mean?" 

"Yes now, at noon." 

"Ah!" he half whispered, unable to speak aloud. 
"Was it you who said who said, 'Remember! 
Across across 

"'Across Main Street bridge at noon!'" she 
finished for him, gently. "Yes." 

He took a deep breath in the wonder of it. 
"Where was it you said that?" he asked, slowly. 
"Was it last night?" 

" Don'tyou even know that you came to meet me ?" 
158 



WHEN HALF-GODS GO 

"/ came to to meet you!" 

She gave a little pitying cry, very near a sob, 
seeing his utter bewilderment. 

" It was like the strangest dream in the world," 
she said. " You were at the station when I came, 
last night. You don't remember at all ?" 

His eyes downcast, his face burning hotly, he 
could only shake his head. 

"Yes," she continued. "I thought no one 
would be there, for I had not written to say what 
train I should take, but when I stepped down 
from the platform, you were standing there; 
though you didn't see me at first, not until I had. 
called your name and ran to you. You said, ' I've 
come to meet you,' but you said it queerly, I 
thought. And then you called a carriage for me; 
but you seemed so strange you couldn't tell how 
you knew that I was coming, and and then I I 
understood you weren't yourself. You were very 
quiet, but I knew, I knew! So I made you get 
into the carriage and and 

She faltered to a stop, and with that, shame 
itself brought him courage; he turned and faced 
her. She had lifted her handkerchief to her eyes, 
but at his movement she dropped it, and it was not 
so much the delicate loveliness of her face that he 
saw then as the tears upon her cheeks. 

" Ah, poor boy!" she cried. " I knew! I knew!" 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"You you took me home?" 

"You told me where you lived," she answered. 
"Yes, I took you home." 

"I don't understand," he stammered, huskily. 
"I don't understand!" 

She leaned toward him slightly, looking at him 
with great intentness. 

" You didn't know me last night," she said. " Do 
you know me now?" 

For answer he could only stare at her, dum- 
founded. He lifted an unsteady hand toward 
her appealingly. But the manner of the lady, as 
she saw the truth, underwent an April change. 
She drew back lightly; he was favored with the 
most delicious, low laugh he had ever heard, and, 
by some magic whisk which she accomplished, 
there was no sign of tears about her. 

"Ah! I'm glad you're the same, Joe!" she said. 
"You never would or could pretend very well. 
I'm glad you're the same, and I'm glad I've 
changed, though that isn't why you have for- 
gotten me. You've forgotten me because you 
never thought of me. Perhaps I should not have 
known you if you had changed a great deal as I 
have!" 

He started, leaning back from her. 

"Ah!" she laughed. "That's it! That funny 
little twist of the head you always had, like a 

1 60 



WHEN HALF-GODS GO 

like a well, you know I must have told you a 
thousand times that it was like a nice friendly 
puppy; so why shouldn't I say so now ? And your 
eyebrows! When you look like that, nobody could 
ever forget you, Joe!" 

He rose from the log, and the mongrel leaped 
upon him uproariously, thinking they were to go 
home, belike to food. 

The lady laughed again. "Don't let him spoil 
my parasol. And I must warn you now: Never, 
never tread on my skirt! I'm very irritable about 
such things!" 

He had taken three or four uncertain backward 
steps from her. She sat before him, radiant with 
laughter, the loveliest creature he had ever seen; 
but between him and this charming vision there 
swept, through the warm, scented June air, a veil 
of snow like a driven fog, and, half obscured in the 
heart of it, a young girl stood, knee-deep in a drift 
piled against an old picket gate, her black water- 
proof and shabby skirt flapping in the blizzard 
like torn sails, one of her hands out-stretched tow- 
ard him, her startled eyes fixed on his. 

"And, oh, how like you," said the lady; "how 
like you and nobody else in the world, Joe, to have 
a yellow dog!" 

"Ariel Tabor!" 

His lips formed the words without sound. 
161 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Isn't it about time?" she said. "Are strange 
ladies in the habit of descending from trains to 
take you home?" 

Once, upon a white morning long ago, the sensa- 
tional progress of a certain youth up Main Street 
had stirred Canaan. But that day was as nothing 
to this. Mr. Bantry had left temporary paralysis 
in his wake ; but in the case of the two young peo- 
ple who passed slowly along the street to-day it 
was petrifaction, which seemingly threatened in 
several instances (most notably that of Mr. Arp) 
to become permanent. 

The lower portion of the street, lined with three 
and four story buildings of brick and stone, rather 
grim and hot facades under the mid-day sun, 
afforded little shade to the church-comers, who 
were working homeward in processional little 
groups and clumps, none walking fast, though 
none with the appearance of great leisure, since 
neither rate of progress would have been esteemed 
befitting the day. The growth of Canaan, steady, 
though never startling, had left almost all of the 
churches down-town, and Main Street the principal 
avenue of communication between them and the 
"residence section." So, to-day, the intermittent 
procession stretched along the new cement side- 
walks from a little below the Square to Upper 

162 



WHEN HALF-GODS GO 

Main Street, where maples lined the thoroughfare 
and the mansions of the affluent stood among 
pleasant lawns and shrubberies. It was late; for 
this had been a communion Sunday, and those 
far in advance, who had already reached the pretty 
and shady part of the street, were members of the 
churches where services had been shortest ; though 
few in the long parade looked as if they had been 
attending anything very short, and many heads of 
families were crisp in their replies to the theological 
inquiries of their offspring. The men imparted 
largely a gloom to the itinerant concourse, most 
of them wearing hot, long black coats and having 
wilted their collars; the ladies relieving this gloom 
somewhat by the lighter tints of their garments; 
the spick-and-span little girls relieving it greatly 
by their white dresses and their faces, the latter 
bright with the hope of Sunday ice-cream; while 
the boys, experiencing some solace in that they 
were finally out where a person could at least 
scratch himself if he had to, yet oppressed by the 
decorous necessities of the day, marched along, 
furtively planning, behind imperturbably secretive 
countenances, various means for the later dispersal 
of an odious monotony. 

Usually the conversation of this long string of the 
homeward-bound was not too frivolous or worldly; 
nay, it properly inclined to discussion of the sermon ; 

163 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

that is, praise of the sermon, with here and there a 
mild " I-didn't-like-his-saying" or so ; and its lighter 
aspects were apt to concern the next "Social," or 
various pleasurable schemes for the raising of funds 
to help the heathen, the quite worthy poor, or the 
church. 

This was the serious and seemly parade, the 
propriety of whose behavior was to-day almost 
disintegrated when the lady of the bridge walked 
up the street in the shadow of a lacy, lavender 
parasol carried by Joseph Louden. The congrega- 
tion of the church across the Square, that to which 
Joe's step-aunt had been late, was just debouching, 
almost in mass, upon Main Street, when these two 
went by. It is not quite the truth to say that all 
except the children came to a dead halt, but it is not 
very far from it. The air was thick with subdued 
exclamations and whisperings. 

Here is no mystery. Joe was probably the only 
person of respectable derivation in Canaan who had 
not known for weeks that Ariel Tabor was on her 
way home. And the news that she had arrived the 
night before had been widely disseminated on the 
way to church, entering church, in church (even so !), 
and coming out of church. An account of her house 
in the Avenue Henri Martin, and of her portrait in 
the Salon a mysterious business to many, and not 
lacking in grandeur for that! had occupied two 

164 



WHEN HALF-GODS GO 

columns in the Tocsin, on a day, some months be- 
fore, when Joe had found himself inimically head- 
lined on the first page, and had dropped the paper 
without reading further. Ariel's name had been 
in the mouth of Canaan for a long time; unfort- 
unately for Joe, however, not in the mouth of that 
Canaan which held converse with him. 

Joe had not known her. The women recognized 
her, infallibly, at first glance; even those who had 
quite forgotten her. And the women told their 
men. Hence the un-Sunday-like demeanor of the 
procession, for few towns hold it more unseemly to 
stand and stare at passers-by, especially on the 
Sabbath. But Ariel Tabor returned and walking 
with with Joe Louden / . . . 

A low but increasing murmur followed the two 
as they proceeded. It ran up the street ahead of 
them; people turned to look back and paused, so 
that they had to walk round one or two groups. 
They had, also, to walk round Norbert Flitcroft, 
which was very like walking round a group. He 
was one of the few (he was waddling home alone) 
who did not identify Miss Tabor, and her effect upon 
him was extraordinary. His mouth opened and he 
gazed stodgiry, his widening eyes like sun-dogs 
corning out of a fog. He did not recognize her es- 
cort ; did not see him at all until they had passed, 
after which Mr. Flitcroft experienced a few mo- 

165 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

ments of trance ; came out of it stricken through and 
through ; felt nervously of his tie ; resolutely fell in 
behind the heeling mongrel and followed, at a 
distance of some forty paces, determined to learn 
what household this heavenly visitor honored, and 
thrilling with the intention to please that same 
household with his own presence as soon and as 
often as possible. 

Ariel flushed a little when she perceived the ex- 
tent of their conspicuousness ; but it was not the 
blush that Joe remembered had reddened the 
tanned skin of old; for her brownness had gone 
long ago, though it had not left her merely pink and 
white. This was a delicate rosiness rising from her 
cheeks to her temples as the earliest dawn rises. If 
there had been many words left in Joe, he would 
have called it a divine blush ; it fascinated him, and 
if anything could have deepened the glamour about 
her, it would have been this blush. He did not 
understand it, but when he saw it he stumbled. 

Those who gaped and stared were for him only 
blurs in the background; truly, he saw "men as 
trees walking"; and when it became necessary to 
step out to the curb in passing some clump of peo- 
ple, it was to him as if Ariel and he, enchantedly 
alone, were working their way through underbrush 
in the woods. 

He kept trying to realize that this lady of wonder 
1 66 



WHEN HALF-GODS GO 

was Ariel Tabor, but he could not; he could not 
connect the shabby Ariel, whom he had treated as 
one boy treats another, with this young woman of 
the world. He had always been embarrassed, him- 
self, and ashamed of her, when anything she did 
made him remember that, after all, she was a girl; 
as, on the day he ran away, when she kissed a lock 
of his hair escaping from the bandage. With that 
recollection, even his ears grew red : it did not seem 
probable that it would ever happen again! The 
next instant he heard himself calling her "Miss 
Tabor." 

At this she seemed amused. " You ought to have 
called me that, years ago," she said, "for all you 
knew me!" 

"I did know her you, I mean!" he answered. 
" I used to know nearly everything you were going 
to say before you said it. It seems strange now 

"Yes," she interrupted. "It does seem strange 
now!" 

"Somehow," he went on, "I doubt if now I'd 
know." 

"Somehow," she echoed, with fine gravity, "I 
doubt it, too." 

Although he had so dim a perception of the star- 
ing and whispering which greeted and followed them, 
Ariel, of course, was thoroughly aware of it, though 
the only sign she gave was the slight blush, which 
ia 167 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

very soon disappeared. That people turned to 
look at her may have been not altogether a novelty : 
a girl who had learned to appear unconscious of the 
Continental stare, the following gaze of the boule- 
vards, the frank glasses of the Costanza in Rome, 
was not ill equipped to face Main Street, Canaan, 
even as it was to-day. 

Under the sycamores, before they started, they 
had not talked a great deal; there had been long 
silences: almost all her questions concerning the 
period of his runaway absence; she appeared to 
know and to understand everything which had hap- 
pened since his return to the town. He had not, 
in his turn, reached the point where he would begin 
to question her; he was too breathless in his con- 
sciousness of the marvellous present hour. She 
had told him of the death of Roger Tabor, the year 
before. " Poor man," she said, gently, " he lived to 
see ' how the other fellows did it ' at last, and every- 
body liked him. He was very happy over there." 

After a little while she had said that it was grow- 
ing close upon lunch-time ; she must be going back. 

"Then then good-bye," he replied, ruefully. 

"Why?" 

" I'm afraid you don't understand. It wouldn't 
do for you to be seen with me. Perhaps, though, 
you do understand. Wasn't that why you asked me 
to meet you out here beyond the bridge?" 

168 



WHEN HALF-GODS GO 

In answer she looked at him full and straight for 
three seconds, then threw back her head and closed 
her eyes tight with laughter. Without a word she 
took the parasol from him, opened it herself, placed 
the smooth white coral handle of it in his hand, and 
lightly took his arm. There was no further demur 
on the part of the young man. He did not know 
where she was going; he did not ask. 

Soon after Norbert turned to follow them, they 
came to the shady part of the street, where the town 
in summer was like a grove. Detachments from 
the procession had already, here and there, turned 
in at the various gates. Nobody, however, ap- 
peared to have gone in-doors, except for fans, armed 
with which immediately to return to rockers upon 
the shaded verandas. As Miss Tabor and Joe 
went by, the rocking - chairs stopped ; the fans 
poised, motionless ; and perpsiring old gentle- 
men, wiping their necks, paused in arrested atti- 
tudes. 

Once Ariel smiled politely, not at Mr. Louden, 
and inclined her head twice, with the result that the 
latter, after thinking for a time of how gracefully 
she did it and how pretty the top of her hat was, 
became gradually conscious of a meaning in her 
action : that she had bowed to some one across the 
street. He lifted his hat, about four minutes late, 
and discovered Mamie Pike and Eugene, upon the 

169 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

opposite pavement, walking home from church 
together. Joe changed color. 

There, just over the way, was she who had been, 
in his first youth, the fairy child, the little princess 
playing in the palace yard, and always afterward 
his lady of dreams, his fair unreachable moon ! And 
Joe, seeing her to-day, changed color; that was all! 
He had passed Mamie in the street only a week 
before, and she had seemed all that she had always 
seemed; to-day an incomprehensible and subtle 
change had befallen her a change so mystifying to 
him that for a moment he almost doubted that she 
was Mamie Pike. It came to him with a breath- 
taking shock that her face lacked a certain vivacity 
of meaning; that its sweetness was perhaps too 
placid ; that there would have been a deeper good- 
ness in it had there been any hint of daring. As- 
tonishing questions assailed him, startled him: 
could it be true that, after all, there might be some 
day too much of her ? Was her amber hair a little 
too fluffy ? Was something the matter with her 
dress ? Everything she wore had always seemed so 
beautiful. Where had the exquisiteness of it gone ? 
For there was surely no exquisiteness about it now ! 
It was incredible that any one could so greatly alter 
in the few days elapsed since he had seen her. 

Strange matters ! Mamie had never looked 
prettier. 

170 



WHEN HALF-GODS GO 

At the sound of Ariel's voice he emerged from 
the profundities of his psychic enigma with a leap. 

"She is lovelier than ever, isn't she?" 

"Yes, indeed," he answered, blankly. 

" Would you still risk ' she began, smiling, 
but, apparently thinking better of it, changed her 
question: "What is the name of your dog, Mr. 
Louden? You haven't told me." 

"Oh, he's just a yellow dog," he evaded, un- 
skilfully. 

"Young man!" she said, sharply. 

"Well," he admitted, reluctantly, "I call him 
Speck for short." 

"And what for long? I want to know his real 
name." 

"It's mighty inappropriate, because we're fond 
of each other," said Joe, "but when I picked him 
up he was so yellow, and so thin, and so creeping, 
and so scared that I christened him ' Respectabil- 
ity.'" 

She broke into light laughter, stopped short in 
the midst of it, and became grave. "Ah, you've 
grown bitter," she said, gently. 

"No, no," he protested. "I told you I liked 
him." 

She did not answer. 

They were now opposite the Pike Mansion, and 
to his surprise she turned, indicating the way by 

171 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

a touch upon his sleeve, and crossed the street tow- 
ard the gate, which Mamie and Eugene had en- 
tered. Mamie, after exchanging a word with Eu- 
gene upon the steps, was already hurrying into the 
house. 

Ariel paused at the gate, as if waiting for Joe 
to open it. 

He cocked his head, his higher eyebrow rose, 
and the distorted smile appeared. "I don't be- 
lieve we'd better stop here," he said. "The last 
time I tried it I was expunged from the face of 
the universe." 

"Don't you know?" she cried. "I'm staying 
here. Judge Pike has charge of all my property; 
he was the administrator, or something." Then 
seeing him chopfallen and aghast, she went on: 
"Of course you don't know! You don't know 
anything about me. You haven't even asked!" 

"You're going to live here?" he gasped. 

"Will you come to see me?" she laughed. "Will 
you come this afternoon?" 

He grew white. "You know I can't," he said. 

"You came here once. You risked a good deal 
then, just to see Mamie dance by a window. Don't 
you dare a little for an old friend?" 

"All right," he gulped. "I'll try." 

Mr. Bantry had come down to the gate and was 
holding it open, his eyes fixed upon Ariel, within 

172 



WHEN HALF-GODS GO 

them a rising glow. An impression came to Joe 
afterward that his step-brother had looked very 
handsome. 

"Possibly you remember me, Miss Tabor?" said 
Eugene, in a deep and impressive voice, lifting his 
hat. "We were neighbors, I believe, in the old 
days." 

She gave him her hand in a fashion somewhat 
mannerly, favoring him with a bright, negligent 
smile. "Oh, quite," she answered, turning again 
to Joe as she entered the gate. "Then I shall ex- 
pect you?" 

"I'll try," said Joe. "I'll try." 

He stumbled away; Respectability and he, to- 
gether, interfering alarmingly with the comfort of 
Mr. Flitcroft, who had stopped in the middle of the 
pavement to stare glassily at Ariel. Eugene ac- 
companied the latter into the house, and Joe, look- 
ing back, understood: Mamie had sent his step- 
brother to bring Ariel in and to keep him from 
following. 

"This afternoon!" The thought took away his 
breath, and he became paler. 

The Pike brougham rolled by him, and Sam 
Warden, from the box, favored his old friend upon 
the pavement with a liberal display of the whites 
of his eyes. The Judge, evidently, had been de- 
tained after services without doubt a meeting f 

173 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the church officials. Mrs. Pike, blinking and 
frightened, sat at her husband's side, agreeing 
feebly with the bull-bass which rumbled out of 
the open window of the brougham: "I want 
orthodox preaching in my church, and, by God, 
madam, I'll have it! That fellow has got to go!" 
Joe took off his hat and wiped his brow. 




XII 

TO REMAIN ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE IS NOT 
ALWAYS A VICTORY 

JAMIE, waiting just inside the door 
as Ariel and Eugene entered, gave 
the visitor a pale greeting, and, a 
moment later, hearing the wheels of 
the brougham crunch the gravel of 
the carriage- drive, hurried away, down the broad 
hall, and disappeared. Ariel dropped her parasol 
upon a marble-topped table near the door, and, 
removing her gloves, drifted into a room at the 
left, where a grand piano found shelter beneath 
crimson plush. After a moment of contemplation, 
she pushed back the coverlet, and, seating herself 
upon the plush-covered piano-stool (to match), 
let her fingers run up and down the key-board once 
and fall listlessly in her lap, as she gazed with deep 
interest at three life-sized colored photographs (in 
carved gilt frames) upon the wall she was facing: 
Judge Pike, Mamie, and Mrs. Pike with her rubies. 
"Please don't stop playing, Miss Tabor," said a 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

voice behind her. She had not observed that 
Eugene had followed her into the room. 

"Very well, if you like," she answered, looking 
up to smile absently at him. And she began to 
play a rakish little air which, composed by some 
rattle-brain at a cafe" table, had lately skipped out 
of the Moulin Rouge to disport itself over Paris. 
She played it slowly, in the minor, with elfish 
pathos; while he leaned upon the piano, his eyes 
fixed upon her fingers, which bore few rings, none, 
he observed with an unreasonable pleasure, upon 
the third finger of the left hand. 

"It's one of those simpler Grieg things, isn't 
it?" he said, sighing gently. "I care for Grieg." 

"Would you mind its being Chaminade?" she 
returned, dropping her eyes to cloak the sin. 

"Ah no; I recognize it now," replied Eugene. 
"He appeals to me even more than Grieg." 

At this she glanced quickly up at him, but more 
quickly down again, and hastened the time em- 
phatically, swinging the little air into the major. 

"Do you play the 'Pilgrim's Chorus'?" 

She shook her head. 

"Vous name pas Wagner?" inquired Eugene, 
leaning toward her. 

"Oh yes," she answered, bending her head far 
over, so that her face was concealed from him, 
except the chin, which, he saw with a thrill of in- 

176 



ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE 

explicable emotion, was trembling slightly. There 
were some small white flowers upon her hat, and 
these shook too. 

She stopped playing abruptly, rose from the 
stool and crossed the room to a large mahogany 
chair, upholstered in red velvet and of hybrid con- 
struction, possessing both rockers and legs. She 
had moved in a way which prevented him from 
seeing her face, but he was certain of her agitation, 
and strangely glad, while curious, tremulous half- 
thoughts, edged with prophecy, bubbled to the 
surface of his consciousness. 

When she turned to him, he was surprised to 
see that she looked astonishingly happy, almost 
as if she had been struggling with joy, instead of 
pain. 

"This chair," she said, sinking into it, "makes 
me feel at home." 

Naturally he could not understand. 

"Because," she explained, "I once thought I 
was going to live in it. It has been reupholstered, 
but I should know it if I met in anywhere in the 
world!" 

"How very odd!" exclaimed Eugene, staring. 

"I settled here in pioneer days," she went on, 
tapping the arms lightly with her finger-tips. "It 
was the last dance I went to in Canaan." 

"I fear the town was very provincial at that 
177 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

time," he returned, having completely forgotten 
the occasion she mentioned, therefore wishing to 
shift the subject. "I fear you may still find it 
so. There is not much here that one is in sym- 
pathy with, intellectually few people really of 
the world." 

"Few people, I suppose you mean," she said, 
softly, with a look that went deep enough into his 
eyes, "few people who really understand one?" 

Eugene had seated himself on the sill of an open 
window close by. " There has been," he answered, 
with the ghost of a sigh, " no one." 

She turned her head slightly away from him, ap- 
parently occupied with a loose thread in her sleeve. 
There were no loose threads ; it was an old habit of 
hers which she retained. "I suppose," she mur- 
mured, in a voice as low as his had been, " that a 
man of your sort might find Canaan rather lonely 
and sad." 

"It has been!" Whereupon she made him a 
laughing little bow. 

"You are sure you complain of Canaan?" 
"Yes!" he exclaimed. "You don't know what 
it is to live here 

" I think I do. I lived here seventeen years." 
" Oh yes," he began to object, " as a child, but 
"Have you any recollection," she interrupted, 
"of the day before your brother ran away? Of 

178 



ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE 

coming home for vacation I think it was your first 
year in college and intervening between your 
brother and me in a snow -fight?" 

For a moment he was genuinely perplexed ; then 
his face cleared. "Certainly," he said: "I found 
him bullying you and gave him a good punishing 
for it." 

"Is that all you remember?" 

"Yes," he replied, honestly. "Wasn't that 
all?" 

"Quite!" she smiled, her eyes half closed. "Ex- 
cept that I went home immediately afterward." 

"Naturally," said Eugene. "My step -brother 
wasn't very much chevalier sans peur et sans re- 
proche! Ah, I should like to polish up my French a 
little. Would you mind my asking you to read a 
bit with me, some little thing of Daudet's if you 
care for him, in the original? An hour, now and 
then, perhaps " 

Mamie appeared in the doorway and Eugene rose 
swiftly. " I have been trying to persuade Miss 
Tabor," he explained, with something too much of 
laughter, "to play again. You heard that little 
thing of Chaminade's 

Mamie did not appear to hear him; she entered 
breathlessly, and there was no color in her cheeks. 
" Ariel," she exclaimed, " I don't want you to think 
I'm a tale-bearer " 

179 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Oh, my dear!" Ariel said, with a gesture of 
deprecation. 

" No," Miss Pike went on, all in one breath, " but 
I'm afraid you will think it, because papa knows and 
he wants to see you." 

"What is it that he knows?" 

"That you were walking with Joseph Louden!" 
(This was as if she had said, "That you poisoned 
your mother.") "I didn't tell him, but when we 
saw you with him I was troubled, and asked 
Eugene what I'd better do, because Eugene always 
knows what is best." (Mr. Bantry's expression, 
despite this tribute, was not happy.) "And he 
advised me to tell mamma about it and leave it 
in her hands. But she always tells papa every- 
thing" 

" Certainly; that is understood," said Ariel, slow- 
ly, turning to smile at Eugene. 

"And she told him this right away," Mamie 
finished. 

"Why shouldn't she, if it is of the slightest in- 
terest to him?" 

The daughter of the house exhibited signs of con- 
sternation. "He wants to see you," she repeated, 
falteringly. " He's in the library." 

Having thus discharged her errand, she hastened 
to the front-door, which had been left open, and out 
to the steps, evidently with the intention of re- 

180 



ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE 

moving herself as soon and as far as possible from 
the vicinity of the library. 

Eugene, visibly perturbed, followed her to the 
doorway of the room, and paused. 

"Do you know the way?" he inquired, with a 
note of solemnity. 

"Where?" Ariel had not risen. 

"To the library." 

"Of course," she said, beaming upon him. "I 
was about to ask you if you wouldn't speak to 
the Judge for me. This is such a comfortable old 
friend, this chair." 

"Speak to him for you?" repeated the non- 
plussed Eugene. 

She nodded cheerfully. " If I may trouble you. 
Tell him, certainly, I shall be glad to see him." 

He threw a piteous glance after Mamie, who was 
now, as he saw through the open door, out upon the 
lawn and beyond easy hailing distance. When he 
turned again to look at Ariel he discovered that she 
had shifted the position of her chair slightly, and 
was gazing out of the window with every appearance 
of cheerful meditation. She assumed so unmis- 
takably that he had of course gone on her mission 
that, dismayed and his soul quaking, he could find 
neither an alternative nor words to explain to this 
dazzling lady that not he nor any other could bear 
such a message to Martin Pike. 

181 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Eugene went. There was nothing else to do ; and 
he wished with every step that the distance to the 
portals of the library might have been greater. 

In whatever guise he delivered the summons, it 
was perfectly efficacious. A door slammed, a heavy 
and rapid tread was heard in the hall, and Ariel, 
without otherwise moving, turned her head and 
offered a brilliant smile of greeting. 

"It was good of you," she said, as the doorway 
filled with red, imperial wrath, " to wish to have a 
little chat with me. I'm anxious, of course, to go 
over my affairs with you, and last night, after my 
journey, I was too tired. But now we might begin ; 
not in detail, of course, just yet. That will do for 
later, when I've learned more about business." 

The great one had stopped on the threshold. 

"Madam," he began, coldly, "when I say my 
library, I mean my 

"Oh yes," she interrupted, with amiable weari- 
ness. " I know. You mean you keep all the 
papers and books of the estate in there, but I think 
we'd better put them off for a few days 

" I'm not talking about the estate!" he exclaimed. 
"What I want to talk to you about is being seen 
with Joseph Louden!" 

" Yes," she nodded, brightly. " That's along the 
line we must take up first." 

"Yes, it is!" He hurled his bull-bass at her. 
182 



ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE 

" You knew everything about him and his standing 
in this community! I know you did, because Mrs. 
Pike told me you asked all about him from Mamie 
after you came last night, and, see here, don't 
you" 

" Oh, but I knew before that," she laughed. " I 
had a correspondent in Canaan, one who has always 
taken a great interest in Mr. Louden. I asked Miss 
Pike only to get her own point of view." 

"I want to tell you, madam," he shouted, com- 
ing toward her, "that no member of my house- 
hold" 

"That's another point we must take up to-day. 
I'm glad you remind me of it," she said, thought- 
fully, yet with so magically compelling an intona- 
tion that he stopped his shouting in the middle of 
.a word ; stopped with an apoplectic splutter. " We 
must arrange to put the old house in order at once." 

"We'll arrange nothing of the sort," he respond- 
ed, after a moment of angry silence. "You're 
going to stay right here." 

"Ah, I know your hospitality," she bowed, 
graciously. " But of course I must not tax it too 
far. And about Mr. Louden? As I said, I want 
to speak to you about him." 

"Yes," he intervened, harshly. "So do I, and 
I'm going to do it quick! You'll find 

Again she mysteriously baffled him. "He's a 
13 183 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

dear old friend of mine, you know, and I have made 
up my mind that we both need his help, you and I." 

"What!" 

" Yes," she continued, calmly, " in a business way 
I mean. I know you have great interests in a hun- 
dred directions, all more important than mine; it 
isn't fair that you should bear the whole burden of 
my affairs, and I think it will be best to retain Mr. 
Louden as my man of business. He could take all 
the cares of the estate off your shoulders." 

Martin Pike spoke no word, but he looked at her 
strangely ; and she watched him with sudden keen- 
ness, leaning forward in her chair, her gaze alert but 
quiet, fixed on the dilating pupils of his eyes. He 
seemed to become dizzy, and the choleric scarlet 
which had overspread his broad face and big neck 
faded splotchily. 

Still keeping her eyes upon him, she went on: 
" I haven't asked him yet, and so I don't know 
w'hether or not he'll consent, but I think it possible 
that he may come to see me this afternoon, and if 
he does we can propose it to him together and go 
over things a little." 

Judge Pike recovered his voice. " He'll get a 
warm welcome," he promised, huskily, "if he sets 
foot on my premises!" 

"You mean you prefer I shouldn't receive him 
here?" She nodded pleasantly. "Then certainly 

184 



ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE 

I shall not. Such things are much better for offices ; 
you are quite right." 

"You'll not see him at all!" 

"Ah, Judge Pike," she lifted her hand with gen- 
tle deprecation, "don't you understand that we 
can't quite arrange that ? You see, Mr. Louden is 
even an older friend of mine than you are, and so I 
must trust his advice about such things more than 
yours. Of course, if he too should think it better 
for me not to see him 

The Judge advanced toward her. " I'm tired of 
this," he began, in a loud voice. "I'm " 

She moved as if to rise, but he had come very 
close, leaning above her, one arm out-stretched and 
at the end of it a heavy forefinger which he was 
shaking at her, so that it was difficult to get out of 
her chair without pushing him away a feat ap- 
parently impossible. Ariel Tabor, in rising, placed 
her hand upon his out-stretched arm, quite as if 
he had offered it to assist her ; he fell back a step in 
complete astonishment; she rose quickly, and re- 
leased his arm. 

"Thank you," she said, beamingly. "It's quite 
all my fault that you're tired. I've been thought- 
less to keep you so long, and you have been stand- 
ing, too!" She swept lightly and quickly to the 
door, where she paused, gathering her skirts. " I 
shall not detain you another instant! And if Mr. 

185 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Louden comes, this afternoon, I'll remember. I'll 
not let him come in, of course. It will be perhaps 
pleasanter to talk over my proposition as we walk!" 
There was a very faint, spicy odor like wild roses 
and cinnamon left in the room where Martin Pike 
stood alone, staring whitely at the open doorway. 



XIII 




HERE was a custom of Canaan, 
time-worn and seldom honored in 
the breach, which put Ariel, that 
afternoon, in easy possession of a 
coign of vantage commanding the 
front gate. The heavy Sunday dinner was finished 
in silence (on the part of Judge Pike, deafening) 
about three o'clock, and, soon after, Mamie tossed 
a number of cushions out upon the stoop between 
the cast-iron dogs, Sam Warden having previously 
covered the steps with a rug and placed several 
garden chairs near by on the grass. These simple 
preparations concluded, Eugene sprawled com- 
fortably upon the rug, and Mamie seated herself 
near him, while Ariel wandered with apparent 
aimlessness about the lawn, followed by the gaze 
of Mr. Bantry, until Miss Pike begged her, a little 
petulantly, to join them. 

She came, looking about her dreamily, and 
touching to her lips, now and then, with an absent 

187 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

air, a clover blossom she had found in the longer 
grass against the fence. She stopped to pat the 
neck of one of the cast-iron deer, and with grave 
eyes proffered the clover-top first for inspection, 
then as food. There were those in the world 
who, seeing her, might have wondered that the 
deer did not play Galatea and come to life. 

"No?" she said, aloud, to the steadfast head. 
" You won't ? What a mistake to be made of cast- 
iron!" She smiled and nodded to a clump of lilac- 
bushes near a cedar- tree, and to nothing else so 
far as Eugene and Mamie could see, then walked 
thoughtfully to the steps. 

" Who in the world were you speaking to ?" asked 
Mamie, curiously. 

"That deer." 

" But you bowed to some one." 

"Oh, that," Ariel lifted her eyebrows, " that 
was your father. Didn't you see him?" 

"No." 

"I believe you can't from here, after all," said 
Ariel, slowly. "He is sitting upon a rustic bench 
between the bushes and the cedar-tree, quite near 
the gate. No, you couldn't see him from here; 
you'd have to go as far as the deer, at least, and 
even then you might not notice him, unless you 
looked for him. He has a book a Bible, I think 
but I don't think he is reading." 

1 88 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

" He usually takes a nap on Sunday afternoons," 
said Mamie. 

" I don't think he will, to-day." Ariel looked at 
Eugene, who avoided her clear gaze. " He has the 
air of having settled himself to stay for a long time, 
perhaps until evening." 

She had put on her hat after dinner, and Mamie 
now inquired if she would not prefer to remove it, 
offering to carry it in-doors for her, to Ariel's 
room, to insure its safety. "You look so sort of 
temporary, wearing it," she urged, "as if you were 
only here for a little while. It's the loveliest hat I 
ever saw, and so fragile, too, but I'll take care- 
Ariel laughed, leaned over, and touched the 
other's hand lightly. "It isn't that, dear." 

"What is it, then?" Mamie beamed out into a 
joyful smile. She had felt sure that she could not 
understand Ariel; was, indeed, afraid of her; and 
she found herself astonishingly pleased to be called 
"dear," and delighted with the little familiarity 
of the hand -tap. Her feeling toward the visitor 
(who was, so her father had announced, to become 
a permanent member of the household) had been, 
until now, undefined. She had been on her guard, 
watching for some sign of conscious "superiority" 
in this lady who had been so long over-seas, not 
knowing what to make of her; though thrown, 
by the contents of her trunks, into a wistfulness 

189 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

which would have had something of rapture in it 
had she been sure that she was going to like Ariel. 
She had gone to the latter 's room before church, 
and had perceived uneasily that it had become, 
even by the process of unpacking, the prettiest 
room she had ever seen. Mrs. Warden, wife of 
Sam, and handmaiden of the mansion, was assist- 
ing, alternately faint and vociferous with mar- 
velling. Mamie feared that Ariel might be a little 
overpowering. 

With the word " dear " (that is, of course, with the 
way it was spoken), and with the touch upon the 
hand, it was all suddenly settled; she would not 
understand Ariel always that was clear but they 
would like each other. 

"I am wearing my hat," answered Ariel, "be- 
cause at any moment I may decide to go for a long 
walk!" 

" Oh, I hope not," said Mamie. " There are sure 
to be people: a few still come, even though I'm an 
engaged girl. I expect that's just to console me, 
though," she added, smiling over this worn quip 
of the betrothed, and shaking her head at Eugene, 
who grew red and coughed. "There'll be plenty 
to-day, but they won't be here to see me. It's you, 
Ariel, and they'd be terribly disappointed if you 
weren't here. I shouldn't wonder if the whole 
town came; it's curious enough about you!" 

190 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

Canaan (at least that part of it which Mamie 
meant when she said "the whole town") already 
offered testimony to her truthfulness. Two gen- 
tlemen, aged nine and eleven, and clad in white 
"sailor suits," were at that moment grooving their 
cheeks between the round pickets of the gate. 
They had come from the house across the street, 
evidently stimulated by the conversation at their 
own recent dinner-table (they wore a few deposits 
such as are left by chocolate-cake), and the motive 
of their conduct became obvious when, upon being 
joined by a person from next door (a starched and 
frilled person of the opposite sex but sympathetic 
age) , one of them waggled a forefinger through the 
gate at Ariel, and a voice was heard in explanation : 

"That's her." 

There was a rustle in the lilac-bushes near the 
cedar-tree; the three small heads turned simulta- 
neously in that direction; something terrific was 
evidently seen, and with a horrified "Oooh!" the 
trio skedaddled headlong. 

They were but the gay vanguard of the life 
which the street, quite dead through the Sunday 
dinner -hour, presently took on. Young couples 
with their progeny began to appear, returning 
from the weekly reunion Sunday dinner with rela- 
tives ; young people meditative (until they reached 
the Pike Mansion), the wives fanning themselves 

191 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

or shooing the tots-able-to-walk ahead of them, 
while the husbands, wearing long coats, satin ties, 
and showing dust upon their blazing shoes, in- 
variably pushed the perambulators. Most of these 
passers-by exchanged greetings with Mamie and 
Eugene, and all of them looked hard at Ariel as 
long as it was possible. 

And now the young men of the town, laboriously 
arranged as to apparel, began to appear on the 
street in small squads, making their Sunday rounds ; 
the youngest working in phalanxes of threes and 
fours, those somewhat older inclining to move in 
pairs; the eldest, such as were now beginning to 
be considered middle-aged beaux, or (by the ex- 
tremely youthful) "old bachelors," evidently con- 
sidered it advantageous to travel alone. Of all 
these, there were few who did not, before evening 
fell, turn in at the gate of the Pike Mansion. Con- 
sciously, shyly or confidently, according to the 
condition of their souls, they made their way be- 
tween the cast-iron deer to be presented to the 
visitor. 

Ariel sat at the top of the steps, and, looking 
amiably over their heads, talked with such as 
could get near her. There were many who could 
not, and Mamie, occupying the bench below, was 
surrounded by the overflow. The difficulty of 
reaching and maintaining a position near Miss 

192 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

Tabor was increased by the attitude and behavior 
of Mr. Flitcroft, who that day cooled the feeling 
of friendship which several of his fellow-townsmen 
had hitherto entertained for him. He had been 
the first to arrive, coming alone, though that was 
not his custom, and he established himself at 
Ariel's right, upon the step just below her, so dis- 
posing the great body and the ponderous arms and 
legs the gods had given him, that no one could 
mount above him to sit beside her, or approach 
her from that direction within conversational 
distance. Once established, he was not to be 
dislodged, and the only satisfaction for those in 
this manner debarred from the society of the beau- 
tiful stranger was obtained when they were pre- 
sented to her and when they took their departure. 
On these occasions it was necessary by custom for 
them to shake her hand, a ceremony they accom- 
plished by leaning across Mr. Flitcroft, which was a 
long way to lean, and the fat back and shoulders 
were sore that night because of what had been 
surreptitiously done to them by revengeful elbows 
and knees. 

Norbert, not ordinarily talkative, had' nothing 
to say; he seemed to find sufficient occupation in 
keeping the place he had gained; and from this 
close vantage he fastened his small eyes immov- 
ably upon Ariel's profile. Eugene, also appar- 

193 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

ently determined not to move, sat throughout the 
afternoon at her left, but as he was thin, others, 
who came and went, were able to approach upon 
that side and hold speech with her. 

She was a stranger to these young people, most 
of whom had grown up together in a nickname in- 
timacy. Few of them had more than a very im- 
perfect recollection of her as she was before Roger 
Tabor and she had departed out of Canaan. She 
had lived her girlhood only upon their border- 
land, with no intimates save her grandfather and 
Joe ; and she returned to her native town " a revela- 
tion and a dream," as young Mr. Bradbury told 
his incredulous grandmother that night. 

The conversation of the gallants consisted, for 
the greater part, of witticisms at one another's ex- 
pense, which, though evoked for Ariel's benefit (all 
eyes furtively reverting to her as each shaft was 
loosed), she found more or less enigmatical. The 
young men, however, laughed at each other loudly, 
and seemed content if now and then she smiled. 
"You must be frightfully ennuied with all this," 
Eugene said to her. "You see how provincial we 
still are." 

She did not answer ; she had not heard him. The 
shadows were stretching themselves over the grass, 
long and attenuated; the sunlight upon the trees 
and houses was like a thin, rosy pigment; black- 

194 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

birds were calling each other home to beech and 
elm ; and Ariel's eyes were fixed upon the western 
distance of the street where gold-dust was begin- 
ning to quiver in the air. She did not hear Eugene, 
but she started, a moment later, when the name 
"Joe Louden" was pronounced by a young man, 
the poetic Bradbury, on the step below Eugene. 
Some one immediately said " 'Sh!" But she leaned 
over and addressed Mr. Bradbury, who, shut out, 
not only from the group about her, but from the 
other centring upon Miss Pike, as well, was holding 
a private conversation with a friend in like mis- 
fortune. 

"What were you saying of Mr. Louden?" she 
asked, smiling down upon the young man. (It 
was this smile which inspired his description of her 
as "a revelation and a dream.") 

"Oh, nothing particular," was his embarrassed 
reply. "I only mentioned I'd heard there was 
some talk among the He paused awkwardly, 
remembering that Ariel had walked with Joseph 
Louden in the face of Canaan that very day. 
"That is, I mean to say, there's some talk of his 
running for Mayor." 

"What?" 

There was a general exclamation, followed by 
an uncomfortable moment or two of silence. No 
one present was unaware of that noon walk, though 

195 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

there was prevalent a pleasing notion that it would 
not happen again, founded on the idea that Ariel, 
having only arrived the previous evening, had 
probably met Joe on the street by accident, and, 
remembering him as a playmate of her childhood 
and uninformed as to his reputation, had, naturally 
enough, permitted him to walk home with her. 

Mr. Flitcroft broke the silence, rushing into words 
with a derisive laugh: "Yes, he's 'talked of for 
Mayor by the saloon people and the niggers! I 
expect the Beaver Beach crowd would be for him, 
and if tramps could vote he might " 

"What is Beaver Beach?" asked Ariel, not turn- 
ing. 

"What is Beaver Beach?" he repeated, and cast 
his eyes to the sky, shaking his head awesomely. 
"It's a Place," he said, with abysmal solemnity, 
"a Place I shouldn't have mentioned in your 
presence, Miss Tabor." 

"What has it to do with Mr. Louden?" 

The predestined Norbert conceived the present 
to be a heaven-sent opportunity to enlighten her 
concerning Joe's character, since the Pikes ap- 
peared to have been derelict in the performance of 
this kindness. 

"He goes there!" he proceeded heavily. "He 
lived there for a while when he first came back 
from running away, and he's a friend of Mike 

196 



Sheehan's that runs it ; he's a friend of all the riff- 
raff that hang around there." 

"How do you know he goes there?" 

" Why, it was in the paper the day after he came 
back!" He appealed for corroboration. "Wasn't 
it, Eugene?" 

"No, no!" she persisted. "Newspapers are 
sometimes mistaken, aren't they?" Laughing a 
little, she swept across the bulbous face beside her 
a swift regard that was like a search-light. " How 
do you know, Mr. Flitcroft," she went on very 
rapidly, raising her voice, " how do you know 
that Mr. Louden is familiar with this place? The 
newspapers may have been falsely informed; you 
must admit that? Then how do you know? 
Have you ever met any one who has seen him 
there?" 

"I've seen him there myself!" The words 
skipped out of Norbert's mouth like so many little 
devils, the instant he opened it. She had spoken 
so quickly and with such vehemence, looking him 
full in the eye, that he had forgotten everything in 
the world except making the point to which her 
insistence had led him. 

Mamie looked horrified; there was a sound of 
smothered laughter, and Norbert, overwhelmed by 
the treachery of his own mouth, sat gasping. 

" It can't be such a terrific place, then, after all," 
197 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

said Ariel, gently, and turning to Eugene, "Have 
you ever been there, Mr. Bantry?" she asked. 

He changed color, but answered with enough 
glibness: "No." 

Several of the young men rose; the wretched 
Flitcroft, however, evading Mamie's eye in which 
there was a distinct hint, sat where he was until 
all of them, except Eugene, had taken a reluctant 
departure, one group after another, leaving in the 
order of their arrival. 

The rosy pigment which had colored the trees 
faded ; the gold-dust of the western distance danced 
itself pale and departed; dusk stalked into the 
town from the east ; and still the watcher upon the 
steps and the warden of the gate (he of the lilac- 
bushes and the Bible) held their places and waited 
waited, alas! in vain. . . . Ah! Joe, is this the 
mettle of your daring ? Did you not say you would 
"try"? Was your courage so frail a vessel that 
it could not carry you even to the gate yonder? 
Surely you knew that if you had striven so far, 
there you would have been met! Perhaps you 
foresaw that not one, but two, would meet you at 
the gate, both the warden and the watcher. What 
of that? What of that, O faint heart? What 
was there to fear? Listen! The gate clicks. Ah, 
have you come at last? 

Ariel started to her feet, but the bent figure, 
198 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

coming up the walk in the darkness, was that of 
Eskew Arp. He bowed gloomily to Mamie, and 
in response to her inquiry if he wished to see her 
father, answered no; he had come to talk with the 
granddaughter of his old friend Roger Tabor. 

"Mr. Arp!" called Ariel. "I am so very glad!" 
She ran down to him and gave him her hand. 
"We'll sit here on the bench, sha'n't we?" 

Mamie had risen, and skirting Norbert frostily, 
touched Eugene upon the shoulder as she went 
up the steps. He understood that he was to fol- 
low her in -doors, and, after a deep look at the 
bench where Ariel had seated herself beside Mr. 
Arp, he obeyed. Norbert was left a lonely ruin 
between the cold, twin dogs. He had wrought 
desolation this afternoon, and that sweet verdure, 
his good name, so long in the planting, so carefully 
tended, was now a dreary waste; yet he contem- 
plated this not so much as his present aspect of 
splendid isolation. Frozen by the daughter of the 
house, forgotten by the visitor, whose conversation 
with Mr. Arp was carried on in tones so low that he 
could not understand it, the fat one, though heart - 
breakingly loath to take himself away, began to 
comprehend that his hour had struck. He rose, de- 
scended the steps to the bench, and seated himself 
unexpectedly upon the cement walk at Ariel's feet. 

" Leg's gone to sleep," he explained, in response 

14 199 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

to her startled exclamation; but, like a great soul, 
ignoring the accident of his position as well as the 
presence of Mr. Arp, he immediately proceeded: 
" Will you go riding with me to-morrow afternoon ?" 

"Aren't you very good-natured, Mr. Flitcroft?" 
she asked, with an odd intonation. 

" I'm imposed on, often enough," he replied, rub- 
bing his leg, "by people who think I am! Why?" 

"It is only that your sitting so abruptly upon 
the ground reminded me of something that hap- 
pened long ago, before I left Canaan, the last time 
I met you." 

" I don't think I knew you before you went 
away. You haven't said if you'll go riding with 
me to-morrow. Please " 

"Get up," interrupted Mr. Arp, acidly. "Some- 
body '11 fall over you if you stay there." 

Such a catastrophe in truth loomed imminent. 
Judge Pike was rapidly approaching on his way to 
the house, Bible in hand far better in hand than 
was his temper, for it is an enraging thing to 
wait five hours in ambush for a man who does not 
come. In the darkness a desecration occurred, 
and Norbert perfected to the last detail whatever 
had been left incomplete of his own destruction. 
He began lumberingly to rise, talking at the same 
time, urging upon Ariel the charms of the road- 
side; wild flowers were in blossom, he said, re- 

200 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

counting the benefits she might derive through 
acceptance of his invitation; and having, thus 
busily, risen to his knees, became aware that some 
one was passing near him. This some one Mr. 
Flitcroft, absorbed in artful persuasions, may have 
been betrayed by the darkness to mistake for 
Eugene. Reaching out for assistance, he mechani- 
cally seized upon the skirts of a coat, which he put 
to the uses of a rope, coming up hand-over-hand 
with such noble weight and energy that he brought 
himself to his feet and the owner of the coat to the 
ground simultaneously. The latter, hideously as- 
tonished, went down with an objurgation so out- 
rageous in venom that Mr. Arp jumped with the 
shock. Judge Pike got to his feet quickly, but not 
so quickly as the piteous Flitcroft betook himself 
into the deep shadows of the street. Only a word, 
hoarse and horror-stricken, was left quivering on the 
night breeze by this accursed, whom the gods, intent 
upon his ruin, had early in the day, at his first sight 
of Ariel, in good truth, made mad: "Murder!" 

" Can I help you brush off, Judge ?" asked Eskew, 
rising painfully. 

Either Martin Pike was beyond words, or the 
courtesy proposed by the feeble old fellow (for 
Eskew was now very far along in years, and looked 
his age) emphasized too bitterly the indignity 
which had been put upon him: whatever the case, 

201 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

he went his way in-doors, leaving the cynic's offer 
unacknowledged. Eskew sank back upon the 
bench, with the little rusty sounds, suggestions of 
creaks and sighs, which accompany the movement 
of antiques. " I've always thought," he said, " that 
the Judge had spells when he was hard of hearing." 

Oblongs of light abruptly dropped from the 
windows confronting them, one, falling across the 
bench, appropriately touching with lemon the 
acrid, withered face and trembling hands of the 
veteran. "You are younger than you were nine 
years ago, Mr. Arp," said Ariel, gayly. " I caught 
a glimpse of you upon the street, to-day, and I 
thought so then. Now I see that I was right." 

" Me younger!" he groaned. " No, ma'am! I'm 
mighty near through with this fool world and I 'd 
be glad of it, if I didn't expect that if there is an- 
other one afterwards, it would be jest as ornery!" 

She laughed, leaning forward, resting her elbows 
on her knee, and her chin in her hand, so that the 
shadow of her hat shielded her eyes from the light. 
" I thought you looked surprised when you saw 
me to-day." 

" I reckon I did!" he exclaimed. " Who wouldn't 
of been?" 

"Why?" 

"Why?" he repeated, confounded by her sim- 
plicity. "Why?" 

202 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

"Yes," she laughed. "That's what I'm anxious 
to know." 

"'Wasn't the whole town the same way?" he 
demanded. "Did you meet anybody that didn't 
look surprised?" 

"But why should they?" 

"Good Lord A'mighty!" he broke out. "Ain't 
you got any lookin' -glasses?" 

" I think almost all I have are still in the customs 
warehouse." 

"Then use Mamie Pike's," responded the old 
man. "The town never dreamed you were goin' 
to turn out pretty at all, let alone the way you've 
turned out pretty! The Tocsin had a good deal 
about your looks and so forth in it once, in a letter 
from Paris, but the folks that remembered you 
kind of set that down to the way papers talk about 
anybody with money, and nobody was prepared 
for it when they saw you. You don't need to drop 
no curtseys to me." He set his mouth grimly, in 
response to the bow she made him. "/ think 
female beauty is like all other human furbelows, 
and as holler as heaven will be if only the good 
people are let in! But yet I did stop to look at 
you when you went past me to-day, and I kept 
on lookin', long as you were in sight. I reckon I 
always will, when I git the chance, too only 
shows what human nature is! But that wasn't 

203 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

all that folks were starin' at to-day. It was your 
walkin' with Joe Louden that really finished 'em, 
and I can say it upset me more than anything I've 
seen for a good many years." 

''Upset you, Mr. Arp?" she cried. "I don't 
quite see." 

The old man shook his head deploringly. " After 
what I'd written you about that boy 

"Ah," she said, softly, touching his sleeve with 
her fingers, "I haven't thanked you for that." 

"You needn't," he returned, sharply. "It was 
a pleasure. Do you remember how easy and 
quick I promised you?" 

"I remember that you were very kind." 

"Kind!" He gave forth an acid and chilling 
laugh. "It was about two months after Louden 
ran away, and before you and Roger left Canaan, 
and you asked me to promise to write to you when- 
ever word of that outcast came 

"I didn't put it so, Mr. Arp." 

"No, but you'd ought of! You asked me to 
write you whatever news of him should come, and 
if he came back to tell you how and when and all 
about it. And I did it, and kept you sharp on his 
record ever since he landed here again. Do you 
know why I've done it? Do you know why I 
promised so quick and easy I would do it?" 

"Out of the kindness of your heart, I think." 
204 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

The acid laugh was repeated. "No, ma'am! 
You couldn't of guessed colder. I promised, and 
I kept my promise, because I knew there would 
never be anything good to tell! And there never 
was!" 

"Nothing at all?" she insisted, gravely. 

"Never! I leave it to you if I've written one 
good word of him." 

"You've written of the treatment he has re- 
ceived here," she began, "and I've been able to 
see what he has borne and bears!" 

" But have I written one word to show that he 
didn't deserve it all? Haven't I told you every- 
thing, of his associates, his " 

"Indeed you have!" 

" Then do you wonder that I was more surprised 
than most when I saw you walking with him to- 
day? Because I knew you did it in cold blood 
and knowledge aforethought! Other folks thought 
it was because you hadn't been here long enough 
to hear his reputation, but I knew!" 

"Tell me," she said, "if you were disappointed 
when you saw me with him." 

"Yes," he snapped. "I was!" 

" I thought so. I saw the consternation in your 
face! You approved, didn't you?" 

"I don't know what you're talking about!" 

"Yes, you do! I know it bothers you to have 
205 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

me read you between the lines, but for this once 
you must let me. You are so consistent that you 
are never disappointed when things turn out badly, 
or people are wicked or foolish, are you?" 

"No, certainly not. I expect it." 

" And you were disappointed in me to - day. 
Therefore, it must be that I was doing something 
you knew was right and good. You see?" She 
leaned a little closer to him, smiling angelically. 
"Ah, Mr. Arp," she cried, "I know your secret: 
you admire me!" 

He rose, confused and incoherent, as full of de- 
nial as a detected pickpocket. "I don't! Me ad- 
mire f What ? It's an ornery world," he protested. 
"I don't admire any human that ever lived!" 

" Yes, you do," she persisted. ," I've just proved 
it! But that is the least of your secret; the great 
thing is this: you admire Mr. Louden/' 1 

"I never heard such nonsense," he continued to 
protest, at the same time moving down the walk 
toward the gate, leaning heavily on his stick. 
"Nothin' of the kind. There ain't any logic to 
that kind of an argument, nor no reason!" 

"You see, I understand you," she called after 
him. "I'm sorry you go away in the bitterness 
of being found out." 

"Found out!" His stick ceased for a moment 
to tap the cement. "Pooh!" he ejaculated, un- 

206 



easily. There was a pause, followed by a malevo- 
lent chuckle. "At any rate," he said, with joy 
in the afterthought, "you'll never go walkin' with 
him again /' ' 

He waited for the answer, which came, after a 
time, sadly. "Perhaps you are right. Perhaps 
I shall not." 

"Ha, I thought so! Good-night." 

"Good-night, Mr. Arp." 

She turned toward the lighted house. Through 
the windows nearest her she could see Mamie, 
seated in the familiar chair, following with happy 
and tender eyes the figure of Eugene, who was 
pacing up and down the room. The town was 
deadly quiet: Ariel could hear the sound of foot- 
steps perhaps a block away. She went to the gate 
and gazed a long time into the empty street, 
watching the yellow grains of light, sieved through 
' the maples from the arc lights on the corner, 
moving to and fro in the deep shadow as the lamp 
swung slightly in the night air. Somewhere, not 
far away, the peace was broken by the screams of 
a "parlor organ," which honked and wailed in 
pious agonies (the intention was hymnal), in- 
terminably protracting each spasm. Presently a 
woman's voice outdid the organ, a voice which 
made vivid the picture of the woman who owned 

207 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

it, and the ploughed forehead of her, above the 
nose-glasses, when the " grace- notes " were proudly 
given birth. "Rescue the Perishing" was the 
startlingly appropriate selection, rendered with 
inconceivable lingering upon each syllable : " Roos- 
cyoo the Poor-oosh-oong!" At unexpected in- 
tervals two male voices, evidently belonging to 
men who had contracted the habit of holding tin in 
their mouths, joined the lady in a thorough search 
for the Lost Chord. 

That was the last of silence in Canaan for an 
hour or so. The organ was merely inaugural: 
across the street a piano sounded ; firm, emphatic, 
determined, vocal competition with the instrument 
here also; "Rock of Ages" the incentive. Another 
piano presently followed suit, in a neighboring 
house: "Precious Jewels." More distant, a second 
organ was heard; other pianos, other organs, took 
up other themes ; and as a wakeful puppy's bark- 
ing will go over a village at night, stirring first the 
nearer dogs to give voice, these in turn stimulat- 
ing those farther away to join, one passing the 
excitement on to another, until hounds in farm- 
yards far beyond the town contribute to the long- 
distance conversation, even so did "Rescue the 
Perishing" enliven the greater part of Canaan. 

It was this that made Ariel realize a thing of 
which hitherto she had not been able to convince 

208 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

herself: that she was actually once more in the 
town where she had spent her long-ago girlhood, 
now grown to seem the girlhood of some other 
person. It was true: her foot was on her native 
heath and her name was Ariel Tabor the very 
name of the girl who had shared the town's dis- 
approval with Joe Louden! "Rescue the Perish- 
ing" brought it all back to her; and she listened to 
these sharply familiar rites of the Canaanite Sab- 
bath evening with a shiver of pain. 

She turned from the gate to go into the house, 
heard Eugene's voice at the door, and paused. He 
was saying good-night to Mamie. 

"And please say 'au revoir' to Miss Tabor for 
me," he added, peering out under his hand. "I 
don't know where she can have gone." 

"Probably she came in and went to her room," 
said Mamie. 

"Don't forget to tell her 'au revoir." 

"I won't, dear. Good-night." 

" Good-night." She lifted her face and he kissed 
her perfunctorily. Then he came down the steps 
and went slowly toward the gate, looking about 
him into the darkness as if searching for something ; 
but Ariel had fled away from the path of light that 
led from the open door. 

She skimmed noiselessly across the lawn and 
paused at the side of the house, leaning against 

209 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the veranda, where, on a night long past, a boy 
had hid and a girl had wept. A small creaking 
sound fell upon her ear, and she made out an un- 
gainly figure approaching, wheeling something of 
curious shape. 

" Is that you, Sam?" she said. 

Mr. Warden stopped, close by. "Yes'm," he 
replied. " I'm a-gittin-' out de hose to lay de dus' 
yonnah." He stretched an arm along the cross- 
bar of the reel, relaxing himself, apparently, for 
conversation. "Y'all done change consid'able, 
Miss Airil," he continued, with the directness of one 
sure of privilege. 

"You think so, Sam?" 

"Yes'm. Ev'ybody think so, I reckon. Be'n 
a tai'ble lot o' talkum 'bout you to-day. Dun'no' 
how all dem oth' young ladies goin' take it!" He 
laughed with immoderate delight, yet, as to the 
volume of mere sound, discreetly, with an eye to 
open windows. "You got 'em all beat, Miss Airil! 
Dey ain' be'n no one 'roun' dis town evah got in a 
thousum mile o' you! Per looks, an' de way you 
walk an' ca'y yo'self ; an' as fer de clo'es name o' 
de good Ian', honey, dey ain' nevah see style befo'! 
My ole woman say you got mo' fixin's in a minute 
dan de whole res' of 'em got in a yeah. She say 
when she helpin' you onpack she must 'a' see mo'n 
a hunerd paihs o' slippahs alone! An' de good 

2IO 



THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN 

Man knows I 'membuh w'en you runnin' roun' de 
back-yods an' up de alley rompin' 'ith Joe Louden, 
same you's a boy!" 

"Do you ever see Mr. Louden, nowadays?" she 
asked. 

His laugh was repeated with the same discreet 
violence. "Ain' I seen him dis ve'y day, fur up 
de street at de gate yonnah, stan'in' 'ith you, w'en 
I drivin' de Judge?" 

"You you didn't happen to see him anywhere 
this this afternoon?" 

"No'm, I ain' see him." Sam's laughter van- 
ished and his lowered voice became serious. "I 
ain' see him, but I hearn about him." 

"What did you hear?" 

" Dey be'n consid'able stir on de aidge o' town, 
I reckon," he answered, gravely, "an' dey be'n 
havin' some trouble out at de Beach ' 

"Beaver Beach, do you mean?" 

"Yes'm. Dey be'n some shootin' goin' on out 
dat way." 

She sprang forward and caught at his arm with- 
out speaking. 

"Joe Louden all right," he said, reassuringly. 
"Ain' nuffum happen to him! Nigh as I kin mek 
out f 'm de talk, dat Happy Fear gone on de ram- 
page ag'in, an' dey hatta sent fer Mist' Louden to 
come in a hurry." 

211 




XIV 

WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

8 upon a world canopied with storm, 
hung with mourning purple and hab- 
ited in black, did Mr. Flitcroft turn 
his morning face at eight o'clock 
'antemeridian Monday, as he hied 
himself to his daily duty at the Washington Na- 
tional Bank. Yet more than the merely funereal 
gloomed out from the hillocky area of his counte- 
nance. Was there not, i'faith, a glow, a Vesuvian 
shimmer, beneath the murk of that darkling eye? 
Was here one, think you, to turn the other cheek ? 
Little has he learned of Norbert Flitcroft who con- 
ceives that this fiery spirit was easily to be quench- 
ed! Look upon the jowl of him, and let him who 
dares maintain that people even the very Pikes 
themselves were to grind beneath their brougham 
wheels a prostrate Norbert and ride on scatheless! 
In this his own metaphor is nearly touched: "I 
guess not ! They don r t run over me f Martin Pike 
better look out how he tries it!" 

212 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

So Mother Nature at her kindly tasks, good 
Norbert, uses for her unguent our own perfect in- 
consistency: and often when we are stabbed deep 
in the breast she distracts us by thin scratches in 
other parts, that in the itch of these we may forget 
the greater hurt till it be healed. Thus, the re- 
membrance of last night, when you undisguisedly 
ran from the wrath of a Pike, with a pretty girl 
looking on (to say nothing of the acrid Arp, who 
will fling the legend on a thousand winds), might 
well agonize you now, as, in less hasty moments 
and at a safe distance, you brood upon the piteous 
figure you cut. On the contrary, behold: you see 
no blood crimsoning the edges of the horrid gash 
in your panoply of self-esteem : you but smart and 
scratch the scratches, forgetting your wound in 
the hot itch for vengeance. It is an itch which 
will last (for in such matters your temper shall be 
steadfast), and let the great Goliath in the mean 
time beware of you! You ran, last night. You 
ran of course you ran. Why not? You ran to 
fight another day ! 

A bank clerk sometimes has opportunities. 

The stricken fat one could not understand how 
it came about that he had blurted out the damning 
confession that he had visited Beaver Beach. 
When he tried to solve the puzzle, his mind refused 
the strain, became foggy and the terrors of his 

213 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

position acute. Was he, like Joe Louden, to endure 
the ban of Canaan, and like him stand excom- 
municate beyond the pale because of Martin Pike's 
displeasure? For Norbert saw with perfect clear- 
ness to-day what the Judge had done for Joe. 
Now that he stood in danger of a fate identical, 
this came home to him. How many others, he 
wondered, would do as Mamie had done and write 
notes such as he had received by the hand of Sam 
Warden, late last night? 

" DEAR SIR." (This from Mamie, who, in the Canaanit- 
ish way, had been wont to address him as "Norb"!) 
' ' My father wishes me to state that after your remark 
yesterday afternoon on the steps which was overheard by 
my mother who happened to be standing in the hall behind 
you and your behavior to himself later on he considers 
it impossible to allow you to call anymore or to speak to 
any member of his household. 

" Your respectfully, 

"MAMIE PIKE." 

Erasures and restorations bore witness to a con- 
siderable doubt in Mamie's mind concerning " Yours 
respectfully," but she had finally let it stand, evi- 
dently convinced that the plain signature, without 
preface, savored of an intimacy denied by the con- 
text. 

"'Dear sir'!" repeated Norbert, between set 
teeth. ' ' Impossible to allow you to call any more ' !" 
These and other terms of his dismissal recurred to 

214 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

him during the morning, and ever and anon he 
looked up from his desk, his lips moving to the tune 
of those horrid phrases, and stared out at the street. 
Basilisk glaring this, with no Christian softness in it, 
not even when it fell upon his own grandfather, sit- 
ting among the sages within easy eye-shot from 
the big window at Norbert's elbow. However, 
Colonel Flitcroft was not disturbed by the gaze 
of his descendant, being, in fact, quite unaware 
of it. The aged men were having a busy morn- 
ing. 

The conclave was not what it had been. [See Arp 
and all his works.] There had come, as the years 
went by, a few recruits; but faces were missing: 
the two Tabors had gone, and Uncle Joe Davey 
could no longer lay claim to the patriarchship ; he 
had laid it down with a half-sigh and gone his way. 
Eskew himself was now the oldest of the conscript 
fathers, the Colonel and Squire Buckalew pressing 
him closely, with Peter Bradbury no great time 
behind. 

To-day they did not plant their feet upon the 
brass rail inside the hotel windows, but courted 
the genial weather out-doors, and, as their summer 
custom was, tilted back their chairs in the shade of 
the western wall of the building. 

"And who could of dreamed," Mr. Bradbury was 
saying, with a side-glance of expectancy at Eskew, 
is 215 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

" that Jonas Tabor would ever turn out to have a 
niece like that!" 

Mr. Arp ceased to fan himself with his wide straw 
hat and said grimly: 

"I don't see as Jonas has 'turned out' not in 
particular! If he's turned at all, lately, I reckon 
it's in his grave, and I'll bet he has if he had any 
way of hearin' how much she must of spent for 
clothes!" 

" I believe," Squire Buckalew began, " that young 
folks' memories are short." 

' ' They 're lucky ! ' ' inter j ected Eskew . The short- 
er your memory the less meanness you know." 

" I meant young folks don't remember as well as 
older people do," continued the Squire. "I don't 
see what's so remarkable in her comin* back and 
walkin' up-street with Joe Louden. She used to go 
kitin' round with him all the time, before she left 
here. And yet everybody talks as if they never 
heard of sech a thing!" 

" It seems to me," said Colonel Flitcroft, hesitat- 
ingly, " that she did right. I know it sounds kind 
of a queer thing to say, and I stirred up a good deal 
of opposition at home, yesterday evening, by sort 
of mentioning something of the kind. Nobody 
seemed to agree with me, except Norbert, and he 
didn't say much, but 

He was interrupted by an uncontrollable cackle 
216 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

which issued from the mouth of Mr. Arp. The 
Colonel turned upon him with a frown, inquiring the 
cause of his mirth. 

"It put me in mind," Mr. Arp began promptly, 
"of something that happened last night." 

"What was it?" 

Eskew's mouth was open to tell, but he remem- 
bered, just in time, that the grandfather of Norbert 
was not the audience properly to be selected for this 
recital, choked a half-born word, coughed loudly, 
realizing that he must withhold the story of the 
felling of Martin Pike until the Colonel had taken 
his departure, and replied: 

"Nothin' to speak of. Go on with your ar- 
gument." 

" I've finished," said the Colonel. " I only want- 
ed to say that it seems to me a good action for a 
young lady like that to come back here and stick 
to her old friend and playmate." 

"Stick to him!" echoed Mr. Arp. "She walked 
up Main Street with him yesterday. Do you call 
that stickin' to him? She's been away a good 
while; she's forgotten what Canaan is. You wait 
till she sees for herself jest what his standing in this 
com 

" I agree with Eskew for once," interrupted Peter 
Bradbury. " I agree because 

"Then you better wait," cried Eskew, allowing 
217 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

him to proceed no farther, " till you hear what you're 
agreein' to ! I say : you take a young lady like that, 
pretty and rich and all cultured up, and it stands 
to reason that she won't 

"No, it don't," exclaimed Buckalew, impatient- 
ly. "Nothing of the sort! I tell you " 

Eskew rose to his feet and pounded the pavement 
with his stick. " It stands to reason that she won't 
stick to a man no other decent woman will speak to, 
a feller that's been the mark for every stone throwed 
in the town, ever since he was a boy, an outcast 
with a reputation as black as a preacher's shoes on 
Sunday! I don't care if he's her oldest friend on 
earth, she won't stick to him! She walked with him 
yesterday, but you can mark my words: his goose 
is cooked!" The old man's voice rose, shrill and 
high. " It ain't in human nature fer her to do it! 
You hear what I say: you'll never see her with Joe 
Louden again in this livin' world, and she as good 
as told me so, herself, last night. You can take 
your oath she's quit him already! Don't 

Eskew paused abruptly, his eyes widening be- 
hind his spectacles ; his jaw fell ; his stick, raised to 
hammer the pavement, remained suspended in the 
air. A sudden color rushed over his face, and he 
dropped speechless in his chair. The others, after 
staring at him in momentary alarm, followed the 
direction of his gaze. 

218 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

Just across Main Street, and in plain view, was the 
entrance to the stairway which led to Joe's office. 
Ariel Tabor, all in cool gray, carrying a big bunch of 
white roses in her white-gloved hands, had just 
crossed the sidewalk from a carriage and was as- 
cending the dark stairway. A moment later she 
came down again, empty-handed, got into the car- 
riage, and drove away. 

"She missed him," said Squire Buckalew. "I 
saw him go out half an hour ago. But," he 
added, and, exercising a self-restraint close upon 
the saintly, did not even glance toward the 
heap which was Mr. Arp, "I notice she left her 
flowers!" 

Ariel was not the only one who climbed the dingy 
stairs that day and read the pencilled script upon 
Joe's door: "Will not return until evening. J. 
Louden." Many others came, all exceedingly un- 
like the first visitor: some were quick and watchful, 
dodging into the narrow entrance furtively; some 
smiled contemptuously as long as they were in view 
of the street, drooping wanly as they reached the 
stairs: some were brazen and amused; and some 
were thin and troubled. Not all of them read the 
message, for not all could read, but all looked 
curiously through the half -opened door at the many 
roses which lifted their heads delicately from a 

219 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

water-pitcher on Joe's desk to scent that dusty 
place with their cool breath. 

Most of these clients, after a grunt of disap- 
pointment, turned and went away; though there 
were a few, either unable to read the message or 
so pressed by anxiety that they disregarded it, 
who entered the room and sat down to wait for 
the absentee. [There were plenty of chairs in the 
office now, bookcases also, and a big steel safe.] 
But when evening came and the final gray of twi- 
light had vanished from the window-panes, all 
had gone except one, a woman who sat patiently, 
her eyes upon the floor, and her hands folded in 
her lap, until the footsteps of the last of the others 
to depart had ceased to sound upon the pavement 
below. Then, with a wordless exclamation, she 
sprang to her feet, pulled the window-shade care- 
fully down to the sill, and, when she had done 
that, struck a match on the heel of her shoe; a 
soiled white canvas shoe, not a small one and 
applied the flame to a gas jet. The yellow light 
flared up; and she began to pace the room hag- 
gardly. 

The court-house bell rang nine, and as the 
tremors following the last stroke pulsed them- 
selves into silence, she heard a footfall on the 
stairs and immediately relapsed into a chair, fold- 
ing her hands again in her lap, her expression com- 

220 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

posing itself to passivity, for the step was very 
much lighter than Joe's. 

A lady beautifully dressed in white dimity ap- 
peared in the doorway. She hesitated at the thresh- 
old, not, apparently, because of any timidity (her 
expression being too thoughtfully assured for that), 
but almost immediately she came in and seated 
herself near the desk, acknowledging the other's 
presence by a slight inclination of the head. 

This grave courtesy caused a strong, deep flush 
to spread itself under the rouge which unevenly 
covered the woman's cheeks, as she bowed elabor- 
ately in return. Then, furtively, during a pro- 
tracted silence, she took stock of the new-comer, 
from the tip of her white suede shoes to the filmy 
lace and pink roses upon her wide white hat ; and 
the sidelong gaze lingered marvellingly upon the 
quiet, delicate hands, slender and finely expres- 
sive, in their white gloves. 

Her own hands, unlike the lady's, began to 
fidget confusedly, and, the silence continuing, she 
coughed several times, to effect the preface required 
by her sense of fitness, before she felt it proper to 
observe, with a polite titter: 

"Mr. Louden seems to be a good while cominV 

"Have you been waiting very long?" asked the 
lady. 

"Ever since six o'clock!" 

221 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Yes," said the other. "That is very long." 

"Yes, ma'am, it cert'nly is." The ice thus 
broken, she felt free to use her eyes more directly, 
and, after a long, frank stare, exclaimed: 

"Why, you must be Miss Ariel Tabor, ain't 
you?" 

"Yes." Ariel touched one of the roses upon 
Joe's desk with her finger - tips. " I am Miss 
Tabor." 

"Well, excuse me fer asking; I'm sure it ain't 
any business of mine," said the other, remember- 
ing the manners due one lady from another. "But 
I thought it must be. I expect," she added, with 
loud, inconsequent laughter, "there's not many 
in Canaan ain't heard you've come back." She 
paused, laughed again, nervously, and again, less 
loudly, to take off the edge of her abruptness: 
gradually tittering herself down to a pause, to 
fill which she put forth: "Right nice weather we 
be'n havin'." 

"Yes," said Ariel. 

" It was rainy, first of last week, though. I don't 
mind rain so much" this with more laughter, 
" I stay in the house when it rains. Some people 
don't know enough to, they say! You've heard 
that saying, ain't you, Miss Tabor?" 

"Yes." 

"Well, I tell you" she exclaimed, noisily, 

222 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

"there's plenty ladies and gen'lemen in this town 
that's like that!" 

Her laughter did not cease ; it became louder and 
shriller. It had been, until now, a mere lubrica- 
tion of the conversation, helping to make her easier 
in Miss Tabor's presence, but as it increased in 
shrillness, she seemed to be losing control of her- 
self, as if her laughter were getting away with her ; 
she was not far from hysteria, when it stopped with 
a gasp, and she sat up straight in her chair, white 
and rigid. 

" There!" she said, listening intently. "Ain't 
that him ?" Steps sounded upon the pavement be- 
low; paused for a second at the foot of the stairs; 
there was the snap of a match; then the steps 
sounded again, retreating. She sank back in her 
chair limply. " It was only some one stoppin' to 
light his cigar in the entry. It wasn't Joe Louden 's 
step, anyway." 

"You know his step?" Ariel's eyes were bent 
upon the woman wonderingly. 

" I'd know it to-night," was the answer, delivered 
with a sharp and painful giggle. "I got plenty 
reason to!" 

Ariel did not respond. She leaned a little closer 
to the roses upon the desk, letting them touch her 
face, and breathing deeply of their fragrance to 
neutralize a perfume which pervaded the room; 

223 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

an odor as heavy and cheap-sweet as the face of 
the woman who had saturated her handkerchief 
with it , a scent which went with her perfectly and 
made her unhappily definite ; suited to her clumsily 
dyed hair, to her soiled white shoes, to the hot red 
hat smothered in plumage, to the restless stub- 
fingered hands, to the fat, plated rings, of which 
she wore a great quantity, though, surprisingly 
enough, the large diamonds in her ears were pure, 
and of a very clear water. 

It was she who broke the silence once more. 
"Well," she drawled, coughing genteelly at the 
same time, "better late than never, as the saying 
is. I wonder who it is gits up all them comical 
sayings?" Apparently she had no genuine desire 
for light upon this mystery, as she continued, im- 
mediately: "I have a gen'leman friend that's al- 
ways gittin' 'em off. 'Well,' he says, 'the best of 
friends must part,' and, 'Thou strikest me to the 
heart' all kinds of cracks like that. He's re;il 
comical. And yet," she went on in an altered 
voice, "I don't like him much. I'd be glad if Id 
never seen him." 

The change of tone was so marked that Arid 
looked at her keenly, to find herself surprised into 
pitying this strange client of Joe's; for tears had 
sprung to the woman's eyes and slid along the lids, 
where she tried vainly to restrain them. Her face 

224 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

had altered too, like her voice, haggard lines sud- 
denly appearing about the eyes and mouth as if 
they had just been pencilled there: the truth issu- 
ing from beneath her pinchbeck simulations, like 
a tragic mask revealed by the displacement of a 
tawdry covering. 

"I expect you think I'm real foolish," she said, 
" but I be'n waitin' so awful long and I got a good 
deal of worry on my mind till I see Mr. Louden." 

" I am sorry," Ariel turned from the roses, and 
faced her and the heavy perfume. "I hope he 
will come soon." 

" I hope so," said the other. " It's something to 
do with me that keeps him away, and the longer he 
is the more it scares me." She shivered and set her 
teeth together. " It's kind of hard, waitin'. I 
cert'nly got my share of troubles." 

" Don't you think that Mr. Louden will be able 
to take care of them for you?" 

"Oh, I hope so, Miss Tabor! If he can't, no- 
body can." She was crying openly now, wiping 
her eyes with her musk-soaked handkerchief. " We 
had to send fer him yesterday afternoon " 

"To come to Beaver Beach, do you mean?" 
asked Ariel, leaning forward. 

"Yes, ma'am. It all begun out there, least- 
ways it begun before that with me. It was all 
my fault. I deserve all that's comin' to me, I 

225 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

guess. I done wrong I done wrong ! I'd oughtn't 
never to of went out there yesterday." 

She checked herself sharply, but, after a mo- 
ment's pause, continued, encouraged by the grave 
kindliness of the delicate face in the shadow of the 
wide white hat. "I'd oughtn't to of went," she 
repeated. "Oh, I reckon I'll never, never learn 
enough to keep out o' trouble, even when I see it 
comin'! But that gen'leman friend of mine Mr. 
Nashville Cory's his name he kind o' coaxed .me 
into it, and he's right comical when he's with ladies, 
and he's good company and he says, 'Claudine, 
we'll dance the light fantastic/ he says, and I kind 
o' wanted something cheerful I'd be'n workin' 
steady quite a spell, and it looked like he wanted 
to show me a good time, so I went, and that's what 
started it." Now that she had begun, she babbled 
on with her story, at times incoherently ; full of ex- 
cuses, made to herself more than to Ariel, pitifully 
endeavoring to convince herself that the responsi- 
bility for the muddle she had made was not hers. 
"Mr. Cory told me my husband was drinkin' and 
wouldn't know about it, and, 'Besides,' he says, 
'what's the odds?' Of course I knowed there was 
trouble between him and Mr. Fear that's my hus- 
band a good while ago, when Mr. Fear up and 
laid him out. That was before me and Mr. Fear 
got married; I hadn't even be'n to Canaan then; 

226 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

I was on the stage. I was on the stage quite a 
while in Chicago before I got acquainted with my 
husband." 

"You were on the stage?" Ariel exclaimed, in- 
voluntarily. 

"Yes, ma'am. Livin' pitchers at Goldberg's 
Rat'skeller, and amunchoor nights I nearly always 
done a sketch with a gen'leman friend. That's the 
way I met Mr. Fear; he seemed to be real struck 
with me right away, and soon as I got through my 
turn he ast me to order whatever I wanted. He's 
always gen'lemanlike when he ain't had too much, 
and even then he vurry, vurry seldom acks rough 
unless he's jealous. That was the trouble yester- 
day. I never would of gone to the Beach if I'd 
dreamed what was comin' ! When we got there I 
saw Mike that's the gen'leman that runs the 
Beach lookin' at my company and me kind of 
anxious, and pretty soon he got me away from Mr. 
Cory and told me what's what. Seems this Cory 
only wanted me to go with him to make my hus- 
band mad, and he'd took good care that Mr. Fear 
heard I'd be there with him! And he'd be'n hang- 
in' around me, every time he struck town, jest to 
make Mr. Fear mad the fresh thing! You see he 
wanted to make my husband start something again, 
this Mr. Cory did, and he was fixed for it." 

" I don't understand," said Ariel. 
227 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"It's this way: if Mr. Fear attacted Mr. Cory, 
why, Mr. Cory could shoot him down and claim self- 
defence. You see, it would be easy for Mr. Cory, 
because Mr. Fear nearly killed him when they had 
their first trouble, and that would give Mr. Cory a 
good excuse to shoot if Mr. Fear jest only pushed 
him. That's the way it is with the law. Mr. Cory 
could wipe out their old score and git off scot-free." 

"Surely not!" 

" Yes, ma'am, that's the way it would be. And 
when Mike told me that Mr. Cory had got me out 
there jest to provoke my husband I went straight 
up to him and begun to give him a piece of my mind. 
I didn't talk loud, because I never was one to make 
a disturbance and start trouble the way some do; 
and right while I was talkin' we both see my hus- 
band pass the window. Mr. Cory give a kind of 
yelling laugh and put his arm round me jest as Mr. 
Fear come in the door. And then it all happened 
so quick that you could hardly tell what was goin' 
on. Mr. Fear, we found afterwards, had promised 
Mr. Louden that he wouldn't come out there, but he 
took too much you could see that by the look of 
him and fergot his promise ; fergot everything but 
me and Cory, I guess. 

" He come right up to us, where I was tryin' to 
git away from Cory's arm it was the left one he 
had around me, and the other behind his back and 

228 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

neither of 'em said a word. Cory kept on laughin' 
loud as he could, and Mr. Fear struck him in the 
mouth. He's little, but he can hit awful hard, and 
Mr. Cory let out a screech, and I see his gun go off- 
right in Mr. Fear's face, I thought, but it wasn't ; it 
only scorched him. Most of the other gen'lemen 
had run, but Mike made a dive and managed to 
knock the gun to one side, jest barely in time. 
Then Mike and three or four others that come out 
from behind things separated 'em both of 'em 
fightin' to git at each other. They locked Mr. Cory 
up in Mike's room, and took Mr. Fear over to where 
they hitch the horses. Then Mike sent fer Mr. 
Louden to come out to talk to my husband and take 
care of him he's the only one can do anything with 
him when he's like that but before Mr. Louden 
could git there, Mr. Fear broke loose and run 
through a corn-field and got away; at least they 
couldn't find him. And Mr. Cory jumped through 
a window and slid down into one of Mike's boats, 
so they'd both gone. When Mr. Louden come, he 
only stayed long enough to hear what had happened 
and started out to find Happy that's my husband. 
He's bound to keep them apart, but he hasn't found 
Mr. Fear yet or he'd be here." 

Ariel had sunk back in her chair. " Why should 
your husband hide?" she asked, in a low voice. 

"Waitin' fer his chance at Cory," the woman 
229 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

answered, huskily. " I expect he's afraid the cops 
are after him, too, on account of the trouble, and he 
doesn't want to git locked up till he's met Cory 
again. They ain't after him, but he may not know 
it. They haven't heard of the trouble, I reckon, or 
they'd of run Cory in. He's around town to-day, 
drinkin' heavy, and I guess he's lookin' fer Mr. Fear 
about as hard as Mr. Louden is." She rose to her 
feet, lifted her coarse hands, and dropped them 
despairingly. "Oh, I'm scared!" she said. "Mr. 
Fear's be'n mighty good to me." 

A slow and tired footstep was heard upon the 
stairs, and Joe's dog ran into the room drooping- 
ly, wagged his tail with no energy, and crept under 
the desk. Mrs. Fear wheeled toward the door and 
stood, rigid, her hands clenched tight, her whole 
body still, except her breast, which rose and 
fell with her tumultuous breathing. She could 
not wait till the laggard step reached the land- 
ing. 

"Mr. Louden!" she called, suddenly. 

Joe's voice came from the stairway. " It's all 
right, Claudine. It's all fixed up. Don't worry." 

Mrs. Fear gave a thick cry of relief and sank back 
in her chair as Joe entered the room. He came in 
shamblingly, with his hand over his eyes as if they 
were very tired and the light hurt them, so that, 
for a moment or two, he did not perceive the second 

230 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

visitor. Then he let his hand fall, revealing a face 
very white and worn. 

" It's all right, Claudine," he repeated. " It's all 
right." 

He was moving to lay his hat on the desk when 
his eye caught first the roses, then fell upon Ariel, 
and he stopped stock-still with one arm outstretch- 
ed, remaining for perhaps ten seconds in that atti- 
tude, while she, her lips parted, her eyes lustrous, 
returned his gaze with a look that was as in- 
scrutable as it was kind. 

" Yes," she said, as if in answer to a question, " I 
have come here twice to-day." She nodded slight- 
ly toward Mrs. Fear. "I can wait. I am very 
glad you bring good news." 

Joe turned dazedly toward the other. "Clau- 
dine," he said, "you've been telling Miss Tabor." 

"I cert'nly have!" Mrs. Fear's expression had 
cleared and her tone was cheerful. " I don't see no 
harm in that ! I'm sure she's a good friend of yours, 
Mr. Louden." 

Joe glanced at Ariel with a faint, troubled smile, 
and turned again to Mrs. Fear. "I've had a long 
talk with Happy." 

"I'm awful glad. Is he ready to listen to reason ? 
she asked, with a titter. 

" He's waiting for you." 

"Where?" She rose quickly. 
16 231 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Stop," said Joe, sharply. "You must be very 
careful with him " 

"Don't you s'pose I'm goin' to be?" she in- 
terrupted, with a catch in her voice. " Don't you 
s'pose I've had trouble enough?" 

"No," said Joe, deliberately and impersonally, 
" I don't. Unless you keep remembering to be 
careful all the time, you'll follow the first impulse 
you have, as you did yesterday, and your excuse 
will be that you never thought any harm would 
come of it. He's in a queer mood ; but he will for- 
give you if you ask him ' 

"Well, ain't that what I want to do!" she ex- 
claimed. 

"I know, I know," he said, dropping into the 
desk-chair and passing his hand over his eyes with 
a gesture of infinite weariness. " But you must be 
very careful. I hunted for him most of the night 
and all day. He was trying to keep out of my way 
because he didn't want me to find him until he had 
met this fellow Nashville. Happy is a hard man 
to come at when he doesn't care to be found, and 
he kept shifting from place to place until I ran him 
down. Then I got him in a corner and told him 
that you hadn't meant any harm which is always 
true of you, poor woman! and I didn't leave him 
till he had promised me to forgive you if you would 
come and ask him. And you must keep him out of 

232 



WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE 

Cory's way until I can arrange to have him Cory, 
I mean sent out of town. Will you ?" 

"Why, cert'nly," she answered, smiling. "That 
Nashville's the vurry last person I ever want to 
see again the fresh thing!" Mrs. Fear's burden 
had fallen; her relief was perfect and she beamed 
vapidly ; but Joe marked her renewed irresponsi- 
bility with an anxious eye. 

"You mustn't make any mistakes," he said, 
rising stiffly with fatigue. 

"Not me! I don't take no more chances," she 
responded, tittering happily. "Not after yester- 
day. My! but it's a load off my shoulders! I do 
hate it to have gen'lemen quarrelling over me, 
especially Mr. Fear. I never did like to start any- 
thing ; I like to see people laugh and be friendly, and 
I'm mighty glad it's all blown over. I kind o' 
thought it would, all along. Psho /" She burst 
into genuine, noisy laughter. " I don't expect 
either of 'em meant no real harm to each other, 
after they got cooled off a little! If they'd met 
to-day, they'd probably both run! Now, Mr. 
Louden, where's Happy?" 

Joe went to the door with her. He waited a 
moment, perplexed, then his brow cleared and he 
said in a low voice : " You know the alley beyond 
Vent Miller's pool-room? Go down the alley till 
you come to the second gate. Go in, and you'll see 

233 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

a basement door opening into a little room undef 
Miller's bar. The door won't be locked, and Hap- 
py's in there waiting for you. But remember 

"Oh, don't you worry," she cut him off, loudly. 
"I know him! Inside of an hour I'll have him 
laughin' over all this. You'll see!" 

When she had gone, he stood upon the landing 
looking thoughtfully after her. "Perhaps, after 
all, that is the best mood to let her meet him in," 
he murmured. 

Then, with a deep breath, he turned. The 
heavy perfume had gone; the air was clear and 
sweet, and Ariel was pressing her face into the 
roses again. As he saw how like them she was, 
he was shaken with a profound and mysterious 
sigh, like that which moves in the breast of one 
who listens in the dark to his dearest music. 




XV 

HAPPY FEAR GIVES HIMSELF UP 

KNOW how tired you are," said Ariel, 
as he came back into the room. " I 
; shall not keep you long." 

"Ah, please do!" he returned, 
I quickly, beginning to fumble with 
the shade of a student-lamp at one end of the 
desk. 

"Let me do that," she said. "Sit down." He 
obeyed at once, and watched her as she lit the lamp, 
and, stretching upon tiptoe, turned out the gas. 
"No," she continued, seated again and looking 
across the desk at him, " I wanted to see you at the 
first possible opportunity, but what I have to say 

"Wait," he interrupted. " Let me tell you why 
I did not come yesterday." 

" You need not tell me. I know." She glanced 
at the chair which had been occupied by Mrs. Fear. 
" I knew last night that they had sent for you." 

"You did?" he exclaimed. "Ah, I understand. 
Sam Warden must have told you." 

235 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Yes," she said. "It was he; and I have been 
wondering ever since how he heard of it. He 
knew last night, but there was nothing in the 
papers this morning; and until I came here I 
heard no one else speak of it; yet Canaan is not 
large." 

Joe laughed. " It wouldn't seem strange if 
you lived with the Canaan that I do. Sam had 
been down-town during the afternoon and had met 
friends; the colored people are a good deal like a 
freemasonry, you know. A great many knew last 
night all about what had happened, and had their 
theories about what might happen to-day in case 
the two men met. Still, you see, those who knew 7 , 
also knew just what people not to tell. The Tocsin 
is the only newspaper worth the name here; but 
even if the Tocsin had known of the trouble, it 
wouldn't have been likely to mention it. That's 
a thing I don't understand." He frowned and 
rubbed the back of his head. " There's something 
underneath it. For more than a year the Tocsin 
hasn't spoken of Beaver Beach. I'd like to know 
why." 

"Joe," she said, slowly, "tell me something 
truly. A man said to me yesterday that he found 
life here insufferable. Do you find it so?" 

"Why, no!" he answered, surprised. 

" Do you hate Canaan ?" 
236 



HAPPY FEAR GIVES HIMSELF UP 

"Certainly not." 

"You don't find it dull, provincial, unsympa- 
thetic?" 

He laughed cheerily. "Well, there's this," he 
explained: " I have an advantage over your friend. 
I see a more interesting side of things probably. 
The people I live among are pretty thorough cos- 
mopolites in a way, and the life I lead " 

" I think I begin to understand a little about the 
life you lead," she interrupted. "Then you don't 
complain of Canaan?" 

"Of course not." 

She threw him a quick, bright, happy look, then 
glanced again at the chair in which Mrs. Fear had 
sat. "Joe," she said, "last night I heard the peo- 
ple singing in the houses, the old Sunday-evening 
way. It ' took me back so ' !" 

"Yes, it would. And something else: there's 
one hymn they sing more than any other; it's Ca- 
naan's favorite. Do you know what it is?" 

"Is it 'Rescue the Perishing'?" 

"That's it. 'Rescue the Perishing'!" he cried, 
and repeating the words again, gave forth a peal 
of laughter so hearty that it brought tears to his 
eyes. ' ' Rescue the Perishing ' /" 

At first she did not understand his laughter, 
but, after a moment, she did, and joined her own 
to it, though with a certain tremulousness. 

237 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"It is funny, isn't it?" said Joe, wiping the 
moisture from his' eyes. Then all trace of mirth 
left him. " Is it really you, sitting here and laugh- 
ing with me, Ariel?" 

"It seems to be," she answered, in a low voice. 
" I'm not at all sure." 

"You didn't think, yesterday afternoon," he 
began, almost in a whisper, " you didn't think that 
I had failed to come because I He grew very 
red, and shifted the sentence awkwardly: "I was 
afraid you might think that I was that I didn't 
come because I might have been the same way 
again that I was when when I met you at the 
station?" 

"Oh no!" she answered, gently. "No. I knew 
better." 

"And do you know," he faltered, "that that is 
all over? That it can never happen again?" 

"Yes, I know it," she returned, quickly. 

"Then you know a little of what I owe you." 

"No, no," she protested. 

"Yes," he said. "You've made that change in 
me already. It wasn't hard it won't be though 
it might have been if if you hadn't come soon." 

"Tell me something," she demanded. " If these 
people had not sent for you yesterday, would you 
have come to Judge Pike's house to see me ? You 
said you would try." She laughed a little, and 

238 



HAPPY FEAR GIVES HIMSELF UP 

looked away from him. "I want to know if you 
would have come." 

There was a silence, and in spite of her averted 
glance she knew that he was looking at her steadily. 
Finally, "Don't you know?" he said. 

She shook her head and blushed faintly. 

"Don't you know?" he repeated. 

She looked up and met his eyes, and thereupon 
both became very grave. "Yes, I do," she an- 
swered. " You would have come. When you left 
me at the gate and went away, you were afraid. 
But you would have come." 

"Yes, I'd have come. You are right; I was 
afraid at first; but I knew," he went on, rapidly, 
"that you would have come to the gate to meet 
me." 

"You understood that?" she cried, her eyes 
sparkling and her face flushing happily. 

"Yes. I knew that you wouldn't have asked 
me to come," he said, with a catch in his voice 
which was half chuckle, half groan, " if you hadn't 
meant to take care of me ! And it came to me that 
you would know how to do it." 

She leaned back in her chair, and again they 
laughed together, but only for a moment, becom- 
ing serious and very quiet almost instantly. 

"I haven't thanked you for the roses," he 
said. 

239 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Oh yes, you did. When you first looked at 
them!" 

"So I did," he whispered. "I'm glad you saw. 
To find them here took my breath away and to 
find you with them 

"I brought them this morning, you know." 

"Would you have come if you had not under- 
stood why I failed yesterday?" 

"Oh yes, I think so," she returned, the fine edge 
of a smile upon her lips. " For a time last evening, 
before I heard what had happened, I thought 
you were too frightened a friend to bother 
about." 

He made a little ejaculation, partly joyful, part- 
ly sad. 

"And yet," she went on, "I think that I should 
have come this morning, after all, even if you had 
a poorer excuse for your absence, because, you 
see, I came on business." 

"You did?" 

"That's why I've come again. That makes it 
respectable for me to be here now, doesn't it ? for 
me to have come out alone after dark without their 
knowing it? I'm here as your client, Joe." 

"Why?" he asked. 

She did not answer at once, but picked up a pen 
from beneath her hand on the desk, and turning it, 
meditatively felt its point with her forefinger be- 

240 



FIAB GIVES HIMSELF UP 

fore she said slowly, "Are most men careful of 
other people's well, of other people's money?" 

"You mean Martin Pike?" he asked. 

" Yes. I want you to take charge of everything 
I have for me." 

He bent a frowning regard upon the lamp- 
shade. " You ought to look after your own 
property," he said. "You surely have plenty of 
time." 

"You mean you mean you won't help me?" 
she returned, with intentional pathos. 

"Ariel!" he laughed, shortly, in answer; then 
asked, "What makes you think Judge Pike isn't 
trustworthy?" 

" Nothing very definite perhaps, unless it was 
his look when I told him that I meant to ask you 
to take charge of things for me." 

"He's been rather hard pressed this year, I 
think," said Joe. "You might be right if he 
could have found a way. I hope he hasn't." 

"I'm afraid," she began, gayly, "that I know 
very little of my own affairs. He sent me a draft 
every three months, with receipts and other things 
to sign and return to him. I haven't the faintest 
notion of what I own except the old house and 
some money from the income that I hadn't used 
and brought with me. Judge Pike has all the 
papers everything. " 

241 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Joe looked troubled. "And Roger Tabor, did 
he" 

"The dear man!" She shook her head. "He 
was just the same. To him poor Uncle Jonas's 
money seemed to come from heaven through the 
hands of Judge Pike 

"And there's a handsome roundabout way!" 
said Joe. 

"Wasn't it!" she agreed, cheerfully. "And he 
trusted the Judge absolutely. I don't, you see." 

He gave her a thoughtful look and nodded. 
"No, he isn't a good man," he said, "not even ac- 
cording to his lights ; but I doubt if he could have 
managed to get away with anything of conse- 
quence after he became the administrator. He 
wouldn't have tried it, probably, unless he was 
more desperately pushed than I think he has been. 
It would have been too dangerous. Suppose you 
wait a week or so and think it over." 

" But there's something I want you to do for me 
immediately, Joe." 

"What's that?" 

"I want the old house put in order. I'm going 
to live there." 

"Alone?" 

"I'm almost twenty-seven, and that's being 
enough of an old maid for me to risk Canaan's 
thinking me eccentric, isn't it?" 

242 



HAPPY FEAR GIVES HIMSELF UP 

"It will think anything you do is all right." 

"And once," she cried, "it thought everything 
I did all wrong!" 

"Yes. That's the difference." 

"You mean it will commend me because I'm 
thought rich?" 

"No, no," he said, meditatively, "it isn't that. 
It's because everybody will be in love with 
you." 

"Quite everybody!" she asked. 

"Certainly," he replied. "Anybody who didn't 
would be absurd." 

"Ah, Joe!" she laughed. "You always were the 
nicest boy in the world, my dear!" 

At that he turned toward her with a sudden 
movement and his lips parted, but not to speak. 
She had rested one arm upon the desk, and her 
cheek upon her hand; the pen she had picked up, 
still absently held in her fingers, touching her lips ; 
and it was given to him to know that he would 
always keep that pen, though he would never 
write with it again. The soft lamplight fell across 
the lower part of her face, leaving her eyes, which 
were lowered thoughtfully, in the shadow of her 
hat. The room was blotted out in darkness behind 
her. Like the background of an antique portrait, 
the office, with its dusty corners and shelves and 
hideous safe, had vanished, leaving the charming 

243 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

and thoughtful face revealed against an even, 
spacious brownness. Only Ariel and the roses and 
the lamp were clear; and a strange, small pain 
moved from Joe's heart to his throat, as he thought 
that this ugly office, always before so harsh and 
grim and lonely loneliest for him when it had 
been most crowded, was now transfigured into 
something very, very different from an office; that 
this place where he sat, with a lamp and flowers 
on a desk between him and a woman who called 
him "my dear," must be like like something that 
people called "home." 

And then he leaned across the desk toward her, 
as he said again what he had said a little while 
before, and his voice trembled: 

"Ariel, it is you?" 

She looked at him and smiled. 

"You'll be here always, won't you? You're not 
going away from Canaan again?" 

For a moment it seemed that she had not heard 
him. Then her bright glance at him wavered and 
fell. She rose, turning slightly away from him, 
but not so far that he could not see the sudden 
agitation in her face. 

"Ah!" he cried, rising too, " I don't want you to 
think I don't understand, or that I meant / should 
ever ask you to stay here! I couldn't mean that; 
you know I couldn't, don't you? You know I 

?44 



HAPPY FEAR GIVES HIMSELF UP 

understand that it's all just your beautiful friend- 
liness, don't you?" 

"It isn't beautiful; it's just me, Joe," she said. 
" It couldn't be any other way." 

"It's enough that you should be here now," he 
went on, bravely, his voice steady, though his hand 
shook. "Nothing so wonderful as your staying 
could ever actually happen. It's just a light 
coming into a dark room and out again. One day, 
long ago I never forgot it some apple-blossoms 
blew by me as I passed an orchard; and it's 
like that, too. But, oh, my dear, when you go 
you'll leave a fragrance in my heart that will 
last!" 

She turned toward him, her face suffused with 
a rosy light. " You'd rather have died than have 
said that to me once," she cried. " I'm glad you're 
weak enough now to confess it!" 

He sank down again into his chair and his arms 
fell heavily on the desk. "Confess it!" he cried, 
despairingly. "And you don't deny that you're 
going away again so it's true! I wish I hadn't 
realized it so soon. I think I'd rather have tried 
to fool myself about it a little longer!" 

"Joe," she cried, in a voice of great pain, "you 
mustn't feel like that! How do you know I'm 
going away again? Why should I want the old 
house put in order unless I mean to stay ? And if 

245 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

I went, you know that I could never change; yeu 
know how I've always cared for you " 

" Yes," he said, " I do know how. It was always 
the same and it always will be, won't it?" 

"I've shown that," she returned, quickly. 

"Yes. You say I know how you've cared for 
me and I do. I know how. It's just in one cer- 
tain way Jonathan and David " 

"Isn't that a pretty good way, Joe?" 

"Never fear that I don't understand!" He got 
to his feet again and looked at her steadily. 

"Thank you, Joe." She wiped sudden tears 
from her eyes. 

"Don't you be sorry for me," he said. "Do 
you think that 'passing the love of women' isn't 
enough for me?" 

"No," she answered, humbly. 

"I'll have people at work on the old house to- 
morrow," he began. "And for the " 

"I've kept you so long!" she interrupted, helped 
to a meek sort of gayety by his matter-of-fact tone. 
"Good-night, Joe." She gave him her hand. "I 
don't want you to come with me. It isn't very 
late and this is Canaan." 

"I want to come with you, however," he said, 
picking up his hat. "You can't go alone." 

"But you are so tired, you 

She was interrupted. There were muffled, fly- 
246 




" ' QUIET!' 



HAPPY FEAR GIVES HIMSELF UP 

ing footsteps on the stairs, and a shabby little man 
ran furtively into the room, shut the door behind 
him, and set his back against it. His face was 
mottled like a colored map, thick lines of per- 
spiration shining across the splotches. 

"Joe," he panted, "I've got Nashville good, and 
he's got me good, too; I got to clear out. He's 
fixed me good, damn him! but he won't trouble 
nobody " 

Joe was across the room like a flying shadow. 

"Quiet!" His voice rang like a shot, and on the 
instant his hand fell sharply across the speaker's 
mouth. "In there, Happy!" 

He threw an arm across the little man's shoulders 
and swung him toward the door of the other room. 

Happy Fear looked up from beneath the down- 
bent brim of his black slouch hat ; his eyes followed 
an imperious gesture toward Ariel, gave her a 
brief, ghastly stare, and stumbled into the inner 
chamber. 

"Wait!" Joe said, cavalierly, to Ariel. He went 
in quickly after Mr. Fear and closed the door. 

This was Joseph Louden, Attorney-at-Law ; and 
to Ariel it was like a new face seen in a flash-light 
not at all the face of Joe. The sense of his 
strangeness, his unfamiliarity in this electrical 
aspect,, overcame her. She was possessed by 
astonishment: Did she know him so well, after 
17 247 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

all? The strange client had burst in, shaken be- 
yond belief with some passion unknown to her, 
but Joe, alert, and masterful beyond denial, had 
controlled him instantly; had swept him into the 
other room as with a broom. Could it be that 
Joe sometimes did other things in the same sweep- 
ing fashion? 

She heard a match struck in the next room, and 
the voices of the two men: Joe's, then the other's, 
the latter at first broken and protestive, but soon 
rising shrilly. She could hear only fragments. 
Once she heard the client cry, almost scream: 
" By God ! Joe, I thought Claudine had chased him 
around there to do me!" And, instantly, followed 
Louden's voice: 

"Steady, Happy, steady!" 

The name "Claudine" startled her; and although 
she had had no comprehension of the argot of 
Happy Fear, the sense of a mysterious catastrophe 
oppressed her; she was sure that something hor- 
rible had happened. She went to the window; 
touched the shade, which disappeared upward 
immediately, and lifted the sash. The front of a 
square building in the Court-house Square was 
bright with lights; and figures were passing in and 
out of the Main Street doors. She remembered 
that this was the jail. 

"Claudine!" The voice of the husband of 
248 



HAPPY FEAR GIVES HIMSELF UP 

Claudine was like the voice of one lamenting over 
Jerusalem. 

"Steady, Happy, steady!" 

"But, Joe, if they git me, what '11 she do? She 
can't hold her job no longer not after this. ..." 

The door opened, and the two men came out, 
Joe with his hand on the other's shoulder. The 
splotches had gone from Happy's face, leaving it 
an even, deathly white. He did not glance tow- 
ard Ariel ; he gazed far beyond all that was about 
him; and suddenly she was aware of a great trag- 
edy. The little man's chin trembled and he swal- 
lowed painfully; nevertheless he bore himself up- 
right and dauntlessly as the two walked slowly to 
the door, like men taking part in some fateful 
ceremony. Joe stopped upon the landing at the 
head of the stairs, but Happy Fear went on, clump- 
ing heavily down the steps. 

"It's all right, Happy," said Joe. "It's better 
for you to go alone. Don't you worry. I'll see 
you through. It will be all right." 

"Just as you say, Joe," a breaking voice came 
back from the foot of the steps, " just as you say!" 

The lawyer turned from the landing and went 
rapidly to the window beside Ariel. Together they 
watched the shabby little figure cross the street 
below; and she felt an infinite pathos gathering 
about it as it paused for a moment, hesitating, 

249 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

underneath the arc-lamp at the corner. They saw 
the white face lifted as Happy Fear gave one last 
look about him ; then he set his shoulders sturdily, 
and steadfastly entered the door of the jail. 

Joe took a deep breath. "Now we'll go," he 
said. "I must be quick." 

"What was it?" she asked, tremulously, as they 
reached the street. "Can you tell me?" 

"Nothing just an old story." 

He had not offered her his arm, but walked on 
hurriedly, a pace ahead of her, though she came 
as rapidly as she could. She put her hand rather 
timidly on his sleeve, and without need of more 
words from her he understood her insistence. 

"That was the husband of the woman who told 
you her story," he said. "Perhaps it would shock 
you less if I tell you now than if you heard it to- 
morrow, as you will. He's just shot the other 
man." 

"Killed him!" she gasped. 

" Yes," he answered. " He wanted to run away, 
but I wouldn't let him. He has my word that 
I'll clear him, and I made him give himself up." 



XVI 




THE TWO CANAANS 

[EN Joe left Ariel at Judge Pike's 
Igate she lingered there, her elbows 
[upon the uppermost cross-bar, like 
'a village girl at twilight, watching 
his thin figure vanish into the heavy 
shadow of the maples, then emerge momentarily, 
ghost-gray and rapid, at the lighted crossing down 
the street, to disappear again under the trees be- 
yond, followed a second later by a brownish streak 
as the mongrel heeled after him. When they had 
passed the second corner she could no longer be 
certain of them, although the street was straight, 
with flat, draughtsmanlike Western directness: 
both figures and Joe's quick footsteps merging 
with the night. Still she did not turn to go; did 
not alter her position, nor cease to gaze down the 
dim street. Few lights shone ; almost all the win- 
dows of the houses were darkened, and, save for 
the summer murmurs, the faint creak of upper 
branches, and the infinitesimal voices of insects in 

251 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the grass, there was silence : the pleasant and som- 
nolent hush, swathed in which that part of Canaan 
crosses to the far side of the eleventh hour. 

But Ariel, not soothed by this balm, sought be- 
yond it, to see that unquiet Canaan whither her 
old friend bent his steps and found his labor and 
his dwelling: that other Canaan where peace did 
not fall comfortably with the coming of night; a 
place as alien in habit, in thought, and almost in 
speech as if it had been upon another continent. 
And yet so strange is the duality of towns it lay 
but a few blocks distant. 

Here, about Ariel, as she stood at the gate of the 
Pike Mansion, the houses of the good (secure of 
salvation and daily bread) were closed and quiet, 
as safely shut and sound asleep as the churches; 
but deeper in the town there was light and life 
and merry, evil industry, screened, but strong to 
last until morning; there were haunts of haggard 
merriment in plenty : surreptitious chambers where 
roulette - wheels swam beneath dizzied eyes; ill- 
favored bars, reached by devious ways, where 
quavering voices offered song and were harshly 
checked; and through the burdened air of this 
Canaan wandered heavy smells of musk like that 
upon Happy Fear's wife, who must now be so pale 
beneath her rouge. And above all this, and for 
all this, and because of all this, was that one re- 

252 



THE TWO CANAANS 

sort to which Joe now made his way; that haven 
whose lights burn all night long, whose doors are 
never closed, but are open from dawn until dawn 
the jail. 

There, in that desolate refuge, lay Happy Fear, 
surrendered sturdily by himself at Joe's word. 
The picture of the little man was clear and fresh 
in Ariel's eyes, and though she had seen him when 
he was newly come from a thing so terrible that 
she could not realize it as a fact, she felt only an 
overwhelming pity for him. She was not even 
horror-stricken, though she had shuddered. The 
pathos of the shabby little figure crossing the street 
toward the lighted doors had touched her. Some- 
thing about him had appealed to her, for he had 
not seemed wicked ; his face was not cruel, though 
it was desperate. Perhaps it was partly his very 
desperation which had moved her. She had un- 
derstood Joe, when he told her, that this man was 
his friend; and comprehended his great fear when 
he said: "I've got to clear him! I promised him." 

Over and over Joe had reiterated: "I've got to 
save him ! I've got to !" She had answered 
gently, "Yes, Joe," hurrying to keep up with him. 
"He's a good man," he said. "I've known few 
better, given his chances. And none of this would 
have happened except for his old-time friendship 
for me. It was his loyalty oh, the rarest and 

253 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

absurdest loyalty ! that made the first trouble be- 
tween him and the man he shot. I've got to clear 
him!" 

"Will it be hard?" 

" They may make it so. I can only see part of 
it surely. When his wife left the office, she met 
Cory on the street. You saw what a pitiful kind of 
fool she was, irresponsible and helpless and feather- 
brained. There are thousands of women like that 
everywhere some of them are 'Court Beauties,' 
I dare say and they always mix things up; but 
they are most dangerous when they're like Clau- 
dine, because then they live among men of action 
like Cory and Fear. Cory was artful : he spent the 
day about town telling people that he had always 
liked Happy; that his ill feeling of yesterday was 
all gone ; he wanted to find him and shake his hand, 
bury past troubles and be friends. I think he 
told Claudine the same thing when they met, and 
convinced the tiny brainlet of his sincerity. Cory 
was a man who 'had a way with him,' and I can 
see Claudine flattered at the idea of being peace- 
maker between 'two such nice gen'lemen as Mr. 
Cory and Mr. Fear. ' Her commonest asseveration 
quite genuine, too is that she doesn't like to have 
the gen'lemen making trouble about her! So the 
poor imbecile led him to where her husband was 
waiting. All that Happy knew of this was in her 

254 



THE TWO CANAANS 

cry afterwards. He was sitting alone, when Cory 
threw open the door and said, ' I've got you this 
time, Happy!' His pistol was raised but never 
fired. He waited too long, meaning to establish 
his case of ' self-defence,' and Fear is the quickest 
man I know. Cory fell just inside the door. Clau- 
dine stumbled upon him as she came running after 
him, crying out to her husband that she 'never 
meant no trouble,' that Cory had sworn to her that 
he only wanted to shake hands and 'make up.' 
Other people heard the shot and broke into the 
room, but they did not try to stop Fear ; he warned 
them off and walked out without hindrance, and 
came to me. I've got to clear him." 

Ariel knew what he meant: she realized the 
actual thing as it was, and, though possessed by a 
strange feeling that it must all be medieval and 
not possibly of to-day, understood that he would 
have to fight to keep his friend from being killed ; 
that the unhappy creature who had run into the 
office out of the dark stood in high danger of hav- 
ing his neck broken, unless Joe could help him. 
He made it clear to her that the State would kill 
Happy if it could ; that it would be a point of pride 
with certain deliberate men holding office to take 
the life of the little man ; that if they did secure his 
death it would be set down to their efficiency, and 
was even competent as campaign material. "I 

255 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

wish to point out," Joe had heard a candidate for 
re-election vehemently orate, "that in addition to 
the other successful convictions I have named, I 
and my assistants have achieved the sending of 
three men to the gallows during my term of office!" 

"I can't tell yet," said Joe, at parting. "It 
may be hard. I'm so sorry you saw all this. 
I" 

" Oh no!" she cried. " I want to understand!" 

She was still there, at the gate, her elbows rest- 
ing upon the cross-bar, when, a long time after Joe 
had gone, there came from the alley behind the 
big back yard the minor chordings of a quartette 
of those dark strollers who never seem to go to 
bed, who play by night and playfully pretend to 
work by day: 

"You know my soul is a-full o' them-a-trub-bils. 

Ev-ry tnawn! 
I cain' a-walk withouten I stum-bils! 

Then le'ss go on 

Keep walkin' on! 
These times is sow'owful, an' I am pow'owful 

Sick an* fo'lawn!" 

She heard a step upon the path behind her, and, 
turning, saw a white-wrapped figure coming tow- 
ard her. 

"Mamie?" she called. 

256 



THE TWO CANAANS 

"Hush!" Mamie lifted a warning hand. "The 
windows are open," she whispered. "They might 
hear you!" 

" Why haven't you gone to bed ?" 

"Oh, don't you see?" Mamie answered, in deep 
distress, "I've been sitting up for you. We all 
thought you were writing letters in your room, 
but after papa and mamma had gone to bed I 
went in to tell you good night, and you weren't 
there, nor anywhere else ; so I knew you must have 
gone out. I've been sitting by the front window, 
waiting to let you in, but I went to sleep until a 
little while ago, when the telephone-bell rang and 
he got up and answered it. He kept talking a long 
time; it was something about the Tocsin, and I'm 
afraid there's been a murder down-town. When 
he went back to bed I fell asleep again, and then 
those darkies woke me up. How on earth did 
you expect to get in? Don't you know he always 
locks up the house?" 

"I could have rung," said Ariel. 

"Oh oh!" gasped Miss Pike; and, after she had 
recovered somewhat, asked: "Do you mind telling 
me where you've been? I won't tell him nor 
mamma, either. I think, after all, I was wrong 
yesterday to follow Eugene's advice. He meant 
for the best, but I " 

" Don't think that. You weren't wrong." Ariel 
257 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

put her arm round the other's waist. " I went to 
talk over some things with Mr. Louden." 

"I think," whispered Mamie, trembling, "that 
you are the bravest girl I ever knew and and I 
could almost believe there's some good in him, 
since you like him so. I know there is. And I I 
think he's had a hard time. I want you to know 
I won't even tell Eugene!" 

"You can tell everybody in the world," said 
Ariel, and kissed her. 




XVII 

MR. SHEEHAN'S HINTS 

IEVER," said the Tocsin on the mor- 
row, " has this community been stirred 
to deeper indignation than ( by the 
cold-blooded and unmitigated bru- 
tality of the deliberate murder com- 
mitted almost under the very shadow of the Court- 
house cupola last night. The victim was not a 
man of good repute, it is true, but at the moment 
of his death he was in the act of performing a noble 
and generous action which showed that he might 
have become, if he lived, a good and law-fearing 
citizen. In brief, he went to forgive his enemy 
and was stretching forth the hand of fellowship 
when that enemy shot him down. Not half an 
hour before his death, Cory had repeated within 
the hearing of a dozen men what he had been say- 
ing all day, as many can testify: 'I want to find 
my old friend Fear and shake hands with him. I 
want to tell him that I forgive him and that I am 
ashamed of whatever has been my part in the 

259 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

trouble between us.' He went with that intention 
to his death. The wife of the murderer has con- 
fessed that this was the substance of what he said 
to her, and that she was convinced of his peaceful 
intentions. When they reached the room where 
her husband was waiting for her, Cory entered 
first. The woman claims now that as they neared 
the vicinity he hastened forward at a pace which 
she could not equal. Naturally, her testimony on 
all points favoring her husband is practically worth- 
less. She followed and heard the murdered man 
speak, though what his words were she declares 
she does not know, and of course the murderer, 
after consultation with his lawyer, claims that their 
nature was threatening. Such a statement, in de 
termining the truth, is worse than valueless. It is 
known and readily proved that Fear repeatedly 
threatened the deceased's life yesterday, and there 
is no question in the mind of any man, woman, or 
child, who reads these words, of the cold-blooded 
nature of the crime. The slayer, who had formerly 
made a murderous attack upon his victim, lately 
quarrelled with him and uttered threats, as we 
have stated, upon his life. The dead man came 
to him with protestations of friendship and was 
struck down a corpse. It is understood that the 
defence will in desperation set up the theory of 
self-defence, based on an unsubstantiated claim that 

260 



MR. SHEEHAN'S HINTS 

Cory entered the room with a drawn pistol. No 
pistol was found in the room. The weapon with 
which the deed was accomplished was found upon 
the person of the murderer when he was seized by 
the police, one chamber discharged. Another re- 
volver was discovered upon the person of the 
woman, when she was arrested on the scene of the 
crime. This, upon being strictly interrogated, she 
said she had picked up from the floor in the con- 
fusion, thinking it was her husband's and hoping 
to conceal it. The chambers were full and undis- 
charged, and we have heard it surmised that the 
defence means to claim that it was Cory's. Cory 
doubtless went on his errand of forgiveness un- 
armed, and beyond doubt the second weapon be- 
longed to the woman herself, who has an unenvi- 
able record. 

" The point of it all is plainly this: here is an un- 
questionable murder in the first degree, and the 
people of this city and county are outraged and 
incensed that such a crime should have been com- 
mitted in their law-abiding and respectable com- 
munity. With whom does the fault lie? On 
whose head is this murder? Not with the au- 
thorities, for they do not countenance crime. Has 
it come to the pass that, counting on juggleries of 
the law, criminals believe that they may kill, 
maim, burn, and slay as they list without punish- 

261 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

ment ? Is this to be another instance of the law's 
delays and immunity for a hideous crime, com- 
passed by a cunning and cynical trickster of legal 
technicalities? The people of Canaan cry out for 
a speedy trial, speedy conviction, and speedy pun- 
ishment of this cold-blooded and murderous mon- 
ster. If he is not dealt with quickly according 
to his deserts, the climax is upon us and the limit 
of Canaan's patience has been reached. 

"One last word, and we shall be glad to ha've 
its significance noted: J. Louden, Esq., has been 
retained for the defence! The murderer, before 
being apprehended by the authorities, went straight 
from the scene of his crime to place his retainer 
in his attorney's pocket! How LONG is THIS TO 
LAST?" 

The Tocsin was quoted on street corners that 
morning, in shop and store and office, wherever 
people talked of the Cory murder; and that was 
everywhere, for the people of Canaan and of the 
country roundabout talked of nothing else. Wom- 
en chattered of it in parlor and kitchen ; men gath- 
ered in small groups on the street and shook their 
heads ominously over it ; farmers, meeting on the 
road, halted their teams and loudly damned the 
little man in the Canaan jail ; milkmen lingered on 
back porches over their cans to agree with cooks 

262 



MR. SHEEHAN'S HINTS 

that it was an awful thing, and that if ever any 
man deserved hanging, that there Fear deserved it 
his lawyer along with him! Tipsy men ham- 
mered bars with fists and beer-glasses, inquiring 
if there was no rope to be had in the town; and 
Joe Louden, returning to his office from the little 
restaurant where he sometimes ate his breakfast, 
heard hisses following him along Main Street. A 
clerk, a fat -shouldered, blue -aproned, pimple- 
cheeked youth, stood in the open doors of a grocery, 
and as he passed, stared him in the face and said 
"Yah!" with supreme disgust. 

Joe stopped. "Why?" he asked, mildly. 

The clerk put two fingers in his mouth and 
whistled shrilly in derision. "You'd ort to be 
run out o' town!" he exclaimed. 

"I believe," said Joe, "that we have never met 
before." 

"Go on, you shyster!" 

Joe looked at him gravely. "My dear sir," he 
returned, "you speak to me with the familiarity 
of an old friend." 

The clerk did not recover so far as to be capable 
of repartee until Joe had entered his own stairway. 
Then, with a bitter sneer, he seized a bad potato 
from an open barrel and threw it at the mongrel, 
who had paused to examine the landscape. The 
missile failed, and Respectability, after bestowing a 
is 263 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

slightly injured look upon the clerk, followed his 
master. 

In the office the red-bearded man sat waiting. 
Not so red-bearded as of yore, however, was Mr. 
Sheehan, but grizzled and gray, and, this morning, 
gray of face, too, as he sat, perspiring and anxious, 
wiping a troubled brow with a black silk handker- 
chief. 

"Here's the devil and all to pay at last, Joe," 
he said, uneasily, on the other's entrance. "This 
is the worst I ever knew ; and I hate to say it, but I 
doubt yer pullin' it off." 

"I've got to, Mike." 

"I hope on my soul there's a chanst of it! I 
like the little man, Joe." 

"So do I." 

" I know ye do, my boy. But here's this Tocsin 
kickin' up the public sentiment; and if there ever 
was a follerin' sheep on earth, it's that same public 
sentiment!" 

"If it weren't for that" Joe flung himself 
heavily in a chair "there'd not be so much 
trouble. It's a clear enough case." 

"But don't ye see," interrupted Sheehan, "the 
Tocsin's tried it and convicted him aforehand? 
And that if things keep goin' the way they've 
started to-day, the gran' jury's bound to indict 
him, and the trial ju?y to convict him? They 

264 



MR. SHEEHAN'S HINTS 

wouldn't dare not to! What's more, they'll want 
to! And they'll rush the trial, summer or no 
summer, and " 

" I know, I know." 

" I'll tell ye one thing," said the other, wiping his 
forehead with the black handkerchief, " and that's 
this, my boy: last night's business has just about 
put the cap on the Beach fer me. I'm sick of it 
and I'm tired of it! I'm ready to quit, sir!" 

Joe looked at him sharply. "Don't you think 
my old notion of what might be done could be 
made to pay?" 

Sheehan laughed. " Whoo! You and yer hints, 
Joe! How long past have ye come around me 
with 'em! 'I b'lieve ye c'd make more money, 
Mike ' that's the way ye'd put it, ' if ye altered 
the Beach a bit. Make a little country-side res- 
taurant of it,' ye'd say, 'and have good cookin', 
and keep the boys and girls from raisin' so much 
hell out there. Soon ye'd have other people 
comin' beside the regular crowd. Make a little 
garden on the shore, and let 'em eat at tables 
under trees an' grape-arbors '" 

"Well, why not?" asked Joe. 

"Haven't I been tellin' ye I'm thinkin' of it? 
It's only yer way of hintin' that's funny to me, yer 
way of sayin' I'd make more money, because ye 're 
afraid of preachin' at any of us: partly because ye 

265 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

know the little good it 'd be, and partly because 
ye have humor. Well, I'm thinkin' ye'll git yer 
way. I'm willin' to go into the missionary busi- 
ness with ye!" 

"Mike!" said Joe, angrily, but he grew very red 
and failed to meet the other's eye, "I'm not " 

"Yes, ye are!" cried Sheehan. "Yes, sir! It's 
a thing ye prob'ly haven't had the nerve to say 
to yerself since a boy, but that's yer notion inside : 
ye 're little better than a missionary! It took me a 
long while to understand what was drivin' ye, but 
I do now. And ye've gone the right way about it, 
because we know ye'll stand fer us when we're in 
trouble and fight fer us till we git a square deal, as 
ye 're goin' to fight for Happy now." 

Joe looked deeply troubled. "Never mind," 
he said, crossly, and with visible embarrassment. 
" You think you couldn't make more at the Beach 
if you ran it on my plan?" 

" I'm game to try," said Sheehan, slowly. " I'm 
too old to hold 'em down out there the way I yoosta 
could, and I'm sick of it sick of it into the very 
bones of me!" He wiped his forehead. "Where's 
Claudine?" 

"Held as a witness." 

"I'm not sorry fer her!" said the red-bearded 
man, emphatically. "Women o' that kind are so 
light-headed it's a wonder they don't float. Think 

266 



MR. SHEEHAN'S HINTS 

of her pickin' up Cory's gun from the floor and 
hidin' it in her clothes! Took it fer granted it was 
Happy's, and thought she'd help him by hidin' it! 
There's a hard point fer ye, Joe: to prove the gun 
belonged to Cory. There's nobody about here 
could swear to it. I couldn't myself, though I 
forced him to stick it back in his pocket yester- 
day. He was a wanderer, too; and ye '11 have 
to send a keen one to trace him, I'm thinkin', 
to find where he got it, so's ye can show it in 
court." 

" I'm going myself. I've found out that he came 
here from Denver." 

"And from where before that?" 

" I don't know, but I'll keep on travelling till I 
get what I want." 

"That's right, my boy," exclaimed the other, 
heartily. " It may be a long trip, but ye're all the 
little man has to depend on. Did ye notice the 
Tocsin didn't even give him the credit fer givin' 
himself up?" 

"Yes," said Joe. "It's part of their game." 

"Did it strike ye now," Mr. Sheehan asked, 
earnestly, leaning forward in his chair, " did it 
strike ye that the Tocsin was aimin' more to do 
Happy harm because of you than himself?" 

"Yes." Joe looked sadly out of the window. 
"I've thought that over, and it seemed possible 

267 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

that I might do Happy more good by giving his 
case to some other lawyer." 

"No, sir!" exclaimed the proprietor of Beaver 
Beach, loudly. "They've begun their attack; 
they're bound to keep it up, and they'd manage to 
turn it to the discredit of both of ye. Besides, 
Happy wouldn't have no other lawyer ; he'd ruther 
be hung with you fightin' fer him than be cleared 
by anybody else. I b'lieve it, on my soul I do! 
But look here," he went on, leaning still farther 
forward ; " I want to know if it struck ye that this 
morning the Tocsin attacked ye in a way that was 
somehow vi'lenter than ever before?" 

"Yes," replied Joe, "because it was aimed to 
strike where it would most count." 

"It ain't only that," said the other, excitedly. 
"It ain't only that! I want ye to listen. Now 
see here : the Tocsin is Pike, and the town is Pike 
I mean the town ye naturally belonged to. Ain't 
it?" 

" In a way, I suppose yes." 

" In a way!" echoed the other, scornfully. "Ye 
know it is! Even as a boy Pike disliked ye and 
hated the kind of a boy ye was. Ye wasn't re- 
spectable and he was! Ye wasn't rich and he was! 
Ye had a grin on yer face when ye'd meet him on 
the street." The red-bearded man broke off at a 
gesture from Joe and exclaimed sharply: "Don't 

268 




' THINK! 



WHAT S HAPPENED LATELY TO MAKE HIM BITE 
SO HARD ?' " 



MR. SHEEHAN'S HINTS 

deny it! / know what ye was like! Ye wasn't 
impudent, but ye looked at him as if ye saw through 
him. Now listen and I'll lead ye somewhere! Ye 
run with riffraff, naggers, and even" Mr. Sheehan 
lifted a forefinger solemnly and shook it at his 
auditor "and even with the Irish! Now I ask 
ye this : ye've had one part of Canaan with ye from 
the start, my part, that is ; but the other's against 
ye; that part's Pike, and it's the rulin' part " 

"Yes, Mike," said Joe, wearily. "In the spirit 
of things. I know." 

" No, sir, ' ' cried the other. " That's the trouble : 
ye don't know. There's more in Canaan than ye've 
understood. Listen to this : Why was the Tocsin's 
attack harder this morning than ever before ? On 
yer soul didn't it sound so bitter that it sounded 
desprit? Now why? It looked to me as if it 
had started to ruin ye, this time fer good and all! 
Why? What have ye had to do with Martin Pike 
lately? Has the old wolf got to injure ye?" Mr. 
Sheehan 's voice rose and his eyes gleamed under 
bushy brows. " Think," he finished. " What's hap- 
pened lately to make him bite so hard ?" 

There were some faded roses on the desk, and as 
Joe's haggard eyes fell upon them the answer 
came. "What makes you think Judge Pike isn't 
trustworthy?" he had asked Ariel, and her reply 
had been: "Nothing very definite, unless it was his 

269 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

look when I told him that I meant to ask you to 
take charge of things for me." 

He got slowly and amazedly to his feet. " You've 
got it!" he said. 

"Ye see?" cried Mike Sheehan, slapping his 
thigh with a big hand. "On my soul I have the 
penetration! Ye don't need to tell me one thing 
except this: I told ye I'd lead ye somewhere; 
haven't I kept me word?" 

"Yes, "said Joe. 

"But I have the penetration!" exclaimed Mr. 
Sheehan. " Should I miss my guess if I said that 
ye think Pike may be scared ye'll stumble on his 
track in some queer performances? Should I 
miss it?" 

"No," said Joe. "You wouldn't miss it." 

"Just one thing more." The red-bearded man 
rose, mopping the inner band of his straw hat. 
" In the matter of yer runnin* fer Mayor, 
now 

Joe, who had begun to pace up and down the 
room, made an impatient gesture. "Pshaw!" he 
interrupted; but his friend stopped him with a 
hand laid on his arm. 

" Don't be treatin' it as clean out of all possibility, 
Joe Louden. If ye do, it shows ye haven't sense 
to know that nobody can say what way the wind's 
blowin' week after next. All the boys want ye; 

270 



MR. SHEEHAN'S HINTS 

Louie Farbach wants ye, and Louie has a big say. 
Who is it that doesn't want ye?" 

"Canaan," said Joe. 

"Hold up! It's Pike's Canaan ye mean. If ye 
git the nomination, ye'd be elected, wouldn't ye?" 

"I couldn't be nominated." 

"I ain't claimin' ye'd git Martin Pike's vote," 
returned Mr. Sheehan, sharply, "though I don't 
say it's impossible. Ye've got to beat him, that's 
all. Ye've got to do to him what he's done to you, 
and what he's tryin' to do now worse than ever 
before. Well there may be ways to do it; and 
if he tempts me enough, I may fergit my troth and 
honor as a noble gentleman and help ye with a 
word ye'd never guess yerself." 

"You've hinted at such mysteries before, Mike," 
Joe smiled. " I'd be glad to know what you mean, 
if there's anything in them." 

"It may come to that," said the other, with 
some embarrassment. " It may come to that some 
day, if the old wolf presses me too hard in the 
matter o' tryin' to git the little man across the 
street hanged by the neck and yerself mobbed fer 
helpin' him! But to-day I'll say no more." 

"Very well, Mike." Joe turned wearily to his 
desk. " I don't want you to break any promises." 

Mr. Sheehan had gone to the door, but he paused 
on the threshold, and wiped his forehead again. 

271 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"And I don't want to break any," he said, "but if 
ever the time should come when I couldn't help 
it" he lowered his voice to a hoarse but piercing 
whisper "that will be the devourin' angel's day 
fer Martin Pike!" 




XVIII 

IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY 

T was a morning of the warmest week 
of mid -July, and Canaan lay inert 
and helpless beneath a broiling sun. 
The few people who moved about 
the streets went languidly, keeping 
close to the wall on the shady side ; the women in 
thin white fabrics ; the men, often coatless, carrying 
palm-leaf fans, and replacing collars with hand- 
kerchiefs. In the Court - house yard the maple 
leaves, gray with blown dust and grown to great 
breadth, drooped heavily, depressing the long, 
motionless branches with their weight, so low that 
the four or five shabby idlers, upon the benches 
beneath, now and then flicked them sleepily with 
whittled sprigs. The doors and windows of the 
stores stood open, displaying limp wares of trade, 
but few tokens of life ; the clerks hanging over dim 
counters as far as possible from the glare in front, 
gossiping fragmentarily, usually about the Cory 
murder, and, anon, upon a subject suggested by 

273 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the sight of an occasional pedestrian passing per- 
spiring by with scrooged eyelids and purpling skin. 
From street and sidewalk, transparent hot waves 
swam up and danced themselves into nothing; 
while from the river bank, a half-mile away, came 
a sound hotter than even the locust's midsummer 
rasp: the drone of a planing -mill. A chance boy, 
lying prone in the grass of the Court-house yard, 
was annoyed by the relentless chant and lifted his 
head to mock it: " Awr-eer-awr-eer! Shut up, 
can't you?" The effort was exhausting: he re- 
lapsed and suffered with increasing malice but in 
silence. 

Abruptly there was a violent outbreak on the 
"National House" corner, as when a quiet farm- 
house is startled by some one's inadvertently bring- 
ing down all the tin from a shelf in the pantry. The 
loafers on the benches turned hopefully, saw what 
it was, then closed their eyes, and slumped back 
into their former positions. The outbreak sub- 
sided as suddenly as it had arisen: Colonel Flitcroft 
pulled Mr. Arp down into his chair again, and it 
was all over. 

Greater heat than that of these blazing days 
could not have kept one of the sages from attend- 
ing the conclave now. For the battle was on in 
Canaan : and here, upon the National House corner, 
under the shadow of the west wall, it waxed even 

274 



IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY 

keener. Perhaps we may find full justification for 
calling what was happening a battle in so far as we 
restrict the figure to apply to this one spot; else- 
where, in the Canaan of the Tocsin, the conflict 
was too one-sided. The Tocsin had indeed tried 
the case of Happy Fear in advance, had convicted 
and condemned, and every day grew more bitter. 
Nor was the urgent vigor of its attack without 
effect. Sleepy as Main Street seemed in the heat, 
the town was incensed and roused to a tensity of 
feeling it had not known since the civil war, when, 
on occasion, it had set out to hang half a dozen 
"Knights of the Golden Circle." Joe had been 
hissed on the street many times since the inimical 
clerk had whistled at him. Probably demonstra- 
tions of that sort would have continued had he 
remained in Canaan; but for almost a month he 
had been absent and his office closed, its threshold 
gray with dust. There were people who believed 
that he had run away again, this time never to re- 
turn ; among those who held to this opinion being 
Mrs. Louden and her sister, Joe's stepaunt. Upon 
only one point was everybody agreed: that twelve 
men could not be found in the county who could 
be so far persuaded and befuddled by Louden 
that they would dare to allow Happy Fear to es- 
cape. The women of Canaan, incensed by the 
terrible circumstance of the case, as the Tocsin 

275 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

colored it a man shot down in the act of begging 
his enemy's forgiveness clamored as loudly as 
the men : there was only the difference that the 
latter vociferated for the hanging of Happy ; their 
good ladies used the word "punishment." 

And yet, while the place rang with condemna- 
tion of the little man in the jail and his attorney, 
there were voices, here and there, uplifted on the 
other side. People existed, it astonishingly ap- 
peared, who liked Happy Fear. These were for the 
greater part obscure and even darkling in their 
lives, yet quite demonstrably human beings, able 
to smile, suffer, leap, run, and to entertain fancies ; 
even to have, according to their degree, a certain 
rudimentary sense of right and wrong, in spite of 
which they strongly favored the prisoner's acquit- 
tal. Precisely on that account, it was argued, an 
acquittal would outrage Canaan and lay it open 
to untold danger : such people needed a lesson. 

The Tocsin interviewed the town's great ones, 
printing their opinions of the heinousness of the 
crime and the character of the defendant's lawyer. 
. . . "The Hon. P. J. Parrott, who so ably repre- 
sented this county in the Legislature some fourteen 
years ago, could scarcely restrain himself when 
approached by a reporter as to his sentiments anent 
the repulsive deed. 'I should like to know how 
long Canaan is going to put up with this sort of 

276 



IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY 

business,' were his words. 'I am a law-abiding 
citizen, and I have served faithfully, and with my 
full endeavor and ability, to enact the laws and 
statutes of my State, but there is a point in my 
patience, I would state, which lawbreakers and 
their lawyers may not safely pass. Of what use 
are our most solemn enactments, I may even ask 
of what use is the Legislature itself, chosen by the 
will of the people, if they are to ruthlessly be set 
aside by criminals and their shifty protectors? 
The blame should be put upon the lawyers who by 
tricks enable such rascals to escape the rigors of 
the carefully enacted laws, the fruits of the Solon's 
labor, more than upon the criminals themselves. 
In this case, if there is any miscarriage of justice, I 
will say here and now that in my opinion the 
people of this county will be sorely tempted; and 
while I do not believe in lynch-law, yet if that 
should be the result it is my unalterable convic- 
tion that the vigilantes may well turn their atten- 
tion to the lawyers or lawyer who bring about 
such miscarriage. I am sick of it. " 

The Tocsin did not print the interview it obtained 
from Louie Farbach the same Louie Farbach who 
long ago had owned a beer-saloon with a little room 
behind the bar, where a shabby boy sometimes 
played dominoes and "seven-up" with loafers: 
not quite the same Louie Farbach, however, in 

277 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

outward circumstance : for he was now the brewer 
of Farbach Beer and making Canaan famous. His 
rise had been Teutonic and sure; and he con- 
tributed one-twentieth of his income to the Ger- 
man Orphan Asylum and one-tenth to his party's 
campaign fund. The twentieth saved the orphans 
from the county, while the tithe gave the county 
to his party. 

He occupied a kitchen chair, enjoying the society 
of some chickens in a wired enclosure behind the 
new Italian villa he had erected in that part of 
Canaan where he would be most uncomfortable, 
and he looked woodenly at the reporter when the 
latter put his question. 

"Hef you any aguaintunce off Mitster Fear?" 
he inquired, in return, with no expression de- 
cipherable either upon his Gargantuan face or in 
his heavily enfolded eyes. 

"No, sir," replied the reporter, grinning. "I 
never ran across him." 

" Dot iss a goot t'ing fer you," said Mr. Farbach, 
stonily. " He iss not a man peobles bedder try to 
run across. It iss what Gory tried. Now Gory iss 
dead." 

The reporter, slightly puzzled, lit a cigarette. 
"See here, Mr. Farbach," he urged, "I only want 
a word or two about this thing; and you might 
give me a brief expression concerning that man 

278 



IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY 

Louden besides: just a hint of what you think of 
his influence here, you know, and of the kind of 
sharp work he practises. Something like that." 

" I see," said the brewer, slowly. " Happy Fear 
I hef knowt for a goot many years. He is. a goot 
frient of mine." 
, "What?" 

"Choe Louten iss a bedder one," continued Mr. 
Farbach, turning again to stare at his chickens. 
"Gitowit." 

"What?" 

"Git owit," repeated the oiner, without passion, 
without anger, without any expression whatsoever. 
"Gitowit." 

The reporter's prejudice against the German 
nation dated from that moment. 

There were others, here and there, who were less 
self-contained than the brewer. A farm-hand 
struck a fellow laborer in the harvest -field for 
speaking ill of Joe ; and the unravelling of a strange 
street fight, one day, disclosed as its cause a like 
resentment, on the part of a blind broom-maker, 
engendered by a like offence. The broom-maker's 
companion, reading the Tocsin as the two walked 
together, had begun the quarrel by remarking that 
Happy Fear ought to be hanged once for his own 
sake and twice more "to show up that shyster 
Louden." Warm words followed, leading to ex- 

19 279 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

tremely material conflict, in which, in spite of 
his blindness, the broom-maker had so much the 
best of it that he was removed from the triumphant 
attitude he had assumed toward the person of 
his adversary, which was an admirable imitation 
of the dismounted St. George and the Dragon, and 
conveyed to the jail. Keenest investigation failed 
to reveal anything oblique in the man's record; to 
the astonishment of Canaan, there was nothing 
against him. He was blind and moderately poor ; 
but a respectable, hard - working artisan, and a 
pride to the church in which he was what has 
been called an "active worker." It was discov- 
ered that his sensitiveness to his companion's 
attack on Joseph Louden arose from the fact that 
Joe had obtained the acquittal of an imbecile sister 
of the blind man, a two-thirds-witted woman who 
had been charged with bigamy. 

The Tocsin made what it could of this, and so 
dexterously that the wrath of Canaan was one 
farther jot increased against the shyster. Ay, the 
town was hot, inside and out. 

Let us consider the Forum. Was there ever 
before such a summer for the " National House " 
corner? How voices first thundered there, then 
cracked and piped, is not to be rendered in all the 
tales of the fathers. One who would make vivid 
the great doings must indeed "dip his brush in 

280 



IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY 

earthquake and eclipse"; even then he could but 
picture the credible, and must despair of this: the 
silence of Eskew Arp. Not that Eskew held his 
tongue, not that he was chary of speech no! 
tempora, mores ! No ! But that he refused the 
subject in hand, that he eschewed expression upon 
it and resolutely drove the argument in other di- 
rections, that he achieved such superbly un-Arplike 
inconsistency; and with such rich material for his 
sardonic humors, not at arm's length, not even so 
far as his finger-tips, but beneath his very palms, 
he rejected it: this was the impossible fact. 

Eskew there is no option but to declare was 
no longer Eskew. It is the truth ; since the morn- 
ing when Ariel Tabor came down from Joe's office, 
leaving her offering of white roses in that dingy, 
dusty, shady place, Eskew had not been himself. 
His comrades observed it somewhat in a physical 
difference, one of those alterations which may 
come upon men of his years suddenly, like a " sea 
change ' ' : his face was whiter, his walk slower, his 
voice filed thinner ; he creaked louder when he rose 
or sat. Old always, from his boyhood, he had, 
in the turn of a hand, become aged. But such 
things come and such things go : after eighty there 
are ups and downs; people fading away one week, 
bloom out pleasantly the next, and resiliency is 
not at all a patent belonging to youth alone. The 

281 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

material change in Mr. Arp might have been 
thought little worth remarking. What caused 
Peter Bradbury, Squire Buckalew, and the Colonel 
to shake their heads secretly to one another and 
wonder if their good old friend's mind had not 
"begun to go" was something very different. To 
come straight down to it: he not only abstained 
from all argument upon the "Cory Murder" and 
the case of Happy Fear, refusing to discuss either 
in any terms or under any circumstances, but he 
also declined to speak of Ariel Tabor or of Joseph 
Louden ; or of their affairs, singular or plural, mas- 
culine, feminine, or neuter, or in any declension. 
Not a word, committal or non-committal. None! 

And his face, when he was silent, fell into sor- 
rowful and troubled lines. 

At first they merely marvelled. Then Squire 
Buckalew dared to tempt him. Eskew's faded 
eyes showed a blue gleam, but he withstood, speak- 
ing of Babylon to the disparagement of Chicago. 
They sought to lead him into what he evidently 
would not, employing many devices; but the old 
man was wily and often carried them far afield by 
secret ways of his own. This hot morning he had 
done that thing: they were close upon him, press- 
ing him hard, when he roused that outburst which 
had stirred the idlers on the benches in the Court- 
house yard. Squire Buckalew (sidelong at the 

382 



IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY 

others but squarely at Eskew) had volunteered 
the information that Cory was a reformed priest. 
Stung by the mystery of Eskew 's silence, the 
Squire's imagination had become magically gym- 
nastic; and if anything under heaven could have 
lifted the veil, this was the thing. Mr. Arp's reply 
may be reverenced. 

"I consider," he said, deliberately, "that James 
G. Elaine's furrin policy was childish, and, what's 
more, I never thought much of him!" 

This outdefied Ajax, and every trace of the mat- 
ter in hand went to the four winds. Eskew, like 
Rome, was saved by a cackle, in which he joined, 
and a few moments later, as the bench loafers saw, 
was pulled down into his seat by the Colonel. 

The voices of the fathers fell to the pitch of 
ordinary discourse; the drowsy town was quiet 
again ; the whine of the planing-mill boring its way 
through the sizzling air to every wakening ear. 
Far away, on a quiet street, it sounded faintly, 
like the hum of a bee across a creek, and was drown- 
ed in the noise of men at work on the old Tabor 
house. It seemed the only busy place in Canaan 
that day: the shade of the big beech-trees which 
surrounded it affording some shelter from the de- 
stroying sun to the dripping laborers who were 
sawing, hammering, painting, plumbing, paper- 
ing, and ripping open old and new packing-boxes. 

283 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

There were many changes in the old house 
pleasantly in keeping with its simple character: 
airy enlargements now almost completed so that 
some of the rooms were already finished, and 
stood, furnished and immaculate, ready for ten- 
ancy. 

In that which had been Roger Tabor's studio 
sat Ariel, alone. She had caused some chests and 
cases, stored there, to be opened, and had taken 
out of them a few of Roger's canvases and set them 
along the wall. Tears filled her eyes as she looked 
at them, seeing the tragedy of labor the old man 
had expended upon them ; but she felt the recom- 
pense : hard, tight, literal as they were, he had had 
his moment of joy in each of them before he saw 
them coldly and knew the truth. And he had 
been given his years of Paris at last : and had seen 
"how the other fellows did it." 

A heavy foot strode through the hall, coming 
abruptly to a halt in the doorway, and turning, she 
discovered Martin Pike, his big Henry-the-Eighth 
face flushed more with anger than with the heat. 
His hat was upon his head, and remained there, 
nor did he offer any token or word of greeting 
whatever, but demanded to know when the work 
upon the house had been begun. 

"The second morning after rny return," she 
answered. 

284 



IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY 

"I want to know," he pursued, "why it was 
kept secret from me, and I want to know quick." 

"Secret?" she echoed, with a wave of her hand 
to indicate the noise which the workmen were 
making. 

"Upon whose authority was it begun?" 

"Mine. Who else could give it?" 

"Look here," he said, advancing toward her, 
"don't you try to fool me! You haven't done all 
this by yourself. Who hired these workmen?" 

Remembering her first interview with him, she 
rose quickly before he could come near her. "Mr. 
Louden made most of the arrangements for me," 
she replied, quietly, "before he went away. He 
will take charge of everything when he returns. 
You haven't forgotten that I told you I intended 
to place my affairs in his hands?" 

He had started forward, but at this he stopped 
and stared at her inarticulately. 

"You remember?" she said, her hands resting 
negligently upon the back of the chair. "Surely 
you remember?" 

She was not in the least afraid of him, but coolly 
watchful of him. This had been her habit with 
him since her return. She had seen little of him, 
except at table, when he was usually grimly la- 
conic, though now and then she would hear him 
joking heavily with Sam Warden in the yard, or, 

285 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

with evidently humorous intent, groaning at Mamie 
over Eugene's health ; but it had not escaped Ariel 
that he was, on his part, watchful of herself, and 
upon his guard with a wariness in which she was 
sometimes surprised to believe that she saw an 
almost haggard apprehension. 

He did not answer her question, and it seemed 
to her, as she continued steadily to meet his hot 
eyes, that he was trying to hold himself under some 
measure of control; and a vain effort it proved. 

"You go back to my house!" he burst out, 
shouting hoarsely. "You get back there! You 
stay there!" 

"No," she said, moving between him and the 
door. "Mamie and I are going for a drive." 

"You go back to my house!" He followed her, 
waving an arm fiercely at her. " Don't you come 
around here trying to run over me! You talk 
about your 'affairs'! All you've got on earth 
is this two-for-a-nickel old shack over your head 
and a bushel-basket of distillery stock that you 
can sell by the pound for old paper!" He threw 
the words in her face, the bull-bass voice seamed 
and cracked with falsetto. "Old paper, old rags, 
old iron, bottles, old clothes! You talk about 
your affairs! Who are you? Rothschild? You 
haven't got any affairs!" 

Not a look, not a word, not a motion of his es- 
286 



IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY 

caped her in all the fury of sound and gesture in 
which he seemed fairly to envelop himself ; least of 
all did that shaking of his the quivering of jaw 
and temple, the tumultuous agitation of his hands 
evade her watchfulness. 

"When did you find this out?" she said, very 
quickly. "After you became administrator?" 

He struck the back of the chair she had vacated 
a vicious blow with his open hand. "No, you 
spendthrift! All there was to your grandfather 
when you buried him was a basket full of distillery 
stock, I tell you! Old paper! Can't you hear me? 
Old paper, old rags " 

"You have sent me the same income," she 
lifted her voice to interrupt ; " you have made the 
same quarterly payments since his death that you 
made before. If you knew, why did you do that ?" 

He had been shouting at her with the frantic and 
incredulous exasperation of an intolerant man ut- 
terly unused to opposition ; his face empurpled, his 
forehead dripping, and his hands ruthlessly pound- 
ing the back of the chair; but this straight ques- 
tion stripped him suddenly of gesture and left him 
standing limp and still before her, pale splotches 
beginning to show on his hot cheeks. 

" If you knew, why did you do it?" she repeated. 
"You wrote me that my income was from divi- 
dends, and I knew and thought nothing about it; 

287 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

but if the stock which came to me was worthless, 
how could it pay dividends?" 

"It did not," he answered, huskily. "That dis- 
tillery stock, I tell you, isn't worth the matches to 
burn it." 

" But there has been no difference in my income," 
she persisted, steadily. " Why ? Can you explain 
that to me?" 

"Yes, I can," he replied, and it seemed to her 
that he spoke with a pallid and bitter desperation, 
like a man driven to the wall. "I can if you 
think you want to know." 

"I do." 

"I sent it." 

" Do you mean from you own " 

" I mean it was my own money." 

She had not taken her eyes from his, which met 
hers straightly and angrily; and at this she leaned 
forward, gazing at him with profound scrutiny. 

"Why did you send it?" she asked. 

"Charity," he answered, after palpable hesita- 
tion. 

Her eyes widened and she leaned back against 
the lintel of the door, staring at him incredulously. 
"Charity!" she echoed, in a whisper. 

Perhaps he mistook her amazement at his per- 
formance for dismay caused by the sense of her 
own position, for, as she seemed to weaken before 

288 



him, the strength of his own habit of dominance 
came back to him. "Charity, madam!" he broke 
out, shouting intolerably. "Charity, d'ye hear? 
I was a friend of the man that made the money you 
and your grandfather squandered; I was a friend 
of Jonas Tabor, I say! That's why I was willing 
to support you for a year and over, rather than let 
a niece of his suffer," 

"'Suffer'!" she cried. "'Support'! You sent 
me a hundred thousand francs!" 

The white splotches which had mottled Martin 
Pike's face disappeared as if they had been sud- 
denly splashed with hot red. "You go back to 
my house," he said. "What I sent you only 
shows the extent of my " 

"Effrontery!" The word rang through the 
whole house, so loudly and clearly did she strike 
it, rang in his ears till it stung like a castigation. 
It was ominous, portentous of justice and of dis- 
aster. There was more than doubt of him in it: 
there was conviction. 

He fell back from this word ; and when he again 
advanced, Ariel had left the house. She had 
turned the next corner before he came out of the 
gate; and as he passed his own home on his way 
down-town, he saw her white dress mingling with 
his daughter's near the horse-block beside the fire, 
where the two, with their arms about each other, 

289 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

stood waiting for Sam Warden and the open 
summer carriage. 

Judge Pike walked on, the white splotches re- 
appearing like a pale rash upon his face. A yellow 
butterfly zigzagged before him, knee-high, across 
the sidewalk. He raised his foot and half kicked 
at it. 




XIX 

BSKBW ARP 

(S the Judge continued his walk down 
Main Street, he wished profoundly 
that the butterfly (which exhibited 
no annoyance) had been of greater 
bulk and more approachable; and it 
was the evil fortune of Joe's mongrel to encounter 
him in the sinister humor of such a wish unfulfilled. 
Respectability dwelt at Beaver Beach under the 
care of Mr. Sheehan until his master should return ; 
and Sheehan was kind ; but the small dog found 
the world lonely and time long without Joe. He 
had grown more and more restless, and at last, this 
hot morning, having managed to evade the eye of 
all concerned in his keeping, made off unobtrusive- 
ly, partly by swimming, and reaching the road, 
cantered into town, his ears erect with anxiety. 
Bent upon reaching the familiar office, he passed 
the grocery from the doorway of which the pimply- 
cheeked clerk had thrown a bad potato at him a 
month before. The same clerk had just laid down 

291 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the Tocsin as Respectability went by, and, in- 
spired to great deeds in behalf of justice and his 
native city, he rushed to the door, lavishly seized, 
this time, a perfectly good potato, and hurled it 
with a result which ecstasized him, for it took the 
mongrel fairly aside the head, which it matched in 
size. 

The luckless Respectability's purpose to reach 
Joe's stairway had been entirely definite, but upon 
this violence he forgot it momentarily. It is not 
easy to keep things in mind when one is violently 
smitten on mouth, nose, cheek, eye, and ear by a 
missile large enough to strike them simultaneous- 
ly. Yelping and half blinded, he deflected to cross 
Main Street. Judge Pike had elected to cross in 
the opposite direction, and the two met in the 
middle of the street. 

The encounter was miraculously fitted to the 
Judge's need: here was no butterfly, but a solid 
body, light withal, a wet, muddy, and dusty yellow 
dog, eminently kickable. The man was heavily 
built about the legs, and the vigor of what he did 
may have been additionally inspired by his recog- 
nition of the mongrel as Joe Louden's. The im- 
pact of his toe upon the little runner's side was 
momentous, and the latter rose into the air. The 
Judge hopped, as one hops who, unshod in the 
night, discovers an unexpected chair. Let us be 

292 



ESKEW ARP 

reconciled to his pain and not reproach the gods 
with it, for two of his unintending adversary's 
ribs were cracked. 

The dog, thus again deflected, retraced his 
tracks, shrieking distractedly, and, by one of those 
ironical twists which Karma reserves for the tails 
of the fated, dived for blind safety into the store 
commanded by the ecstatic and inimical clerk. 
There were shouts ; the sleepy Square beginning to 
wake up: the boy who had mocked the planing-mill 
got to his feet, calling upon his fellows ; the bench 
loafers strolled to the street ; the aged men stirred 
and rose from their chairs; faces appeared in the 
open windows of offices ; sales ladies and gentlemen 
came to the doorways of the trading-places; so 
that when Respectability emerged from the gro- 
cery he had a notable audience for the scene he 
enacted with a brass dinner-bell tied to his tail. 

Another potato, flung by the pimpled, uproar- 
ious, prodigal clerk, added to the impetus of his 
flight. A shower of pebbles from the hands of 
exhilarated boys dented the soft asphalt about 
him; the hideous clamor of the pursuing bell in- 
creased as he turned the next corner, running dis- 
tractedly. The dead town had come to life, and 
its inhabitants gladly risked the dangerous heat in 
the interests of sport, whereby it was a merry 
chase the little dog led around the block. For thus 

293 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

some destructive instinct drove him; he could not 
stop with the unappeasable Terror clanging at his 
heels and the increasing crowd yelling in pursuit; 
but he turned to the left at each corner, and thus 
came back to pass Joe's stairway again, unable to 
pause there or anywhere, unable to do anything 
except to continue his hapless flight, poor meteor. 

Round the block he went once more, and still no 
chance at that empty stairway where, perhaps, he 
thought, there might be succor and safety. Blood 
was upon his side where Martin Pike's boot had 
crashed, foam and blood hung upon his jaws and 
lolling tongue. He ran desperately, keeping to 
the middle of the street, and, not howling, set him- 
self despairingly to outstrip the Terror. The mob, 
disdaining the sun superbly, pursued as closely as 
it could, throwing bricks and rocks at him, strik- 
ing at him with clubs and sticks. Happy Fear, 
playing "tic-tac-toe," right hand against left, in 
his cell, heard the uproar, made out something of 
what was happening, and, though unaware that 
it was a friend whose life was sought, discovered a 
similarity to his own case, and prayed to his dim 
gods that the quarry might get away. 

"Mad dog!" they yelled. "Mad dog!" And 
there were some who cried, "Joe Louden' s dog!" 
that being equally as exciting and explanatory. 

Three times round, and still the little fugitive 
294 



ESKEW ARP 

maintained a lead. A gray-helmeted policeman, 
a big fellow, had joined the pursuit. He had chil- 
dren at home who might be playing in the street, 
and the thought of what might happen to them 
if the mad dog should head that way resolved him 
to be cool and steady. He was falling behind, so 
he stopped on the corner, trusting that Respect- 
ability would come round again. He was right, 
and the flying brownish thing streaked along Main 
Street, passing the beloved stairway for the fourth 
time. The policeman lifted his revolver, fired 
twice, missed once, but caught him with the second 
shot in a forepaw, clipping off a fifth toe, one of 
the small claws that grow above the foot and are 
always in trouble. This did not stop him ; but the 
policeman, afraid to risk another shot because of 
the crowd, waited for him to come again; and 
many others, seeing the hopeless circuit the mon- 
grel followed, did likewise, armed with bricks and 
clubs. Among them was the pimply clerk, who 
had been inspired to commandeer a pitchfork from 
a hardware store. 

When the fifth round came, Respectability's 
race was run. He turned into Main Street at a 
broken speed, limping, parched, voiceless, flecked 
with blood and foam, snapping feebly at the show- 
ering rocks, but still indomitably a little ahead of 
the hunt. There was no yelp left in him he was 
ao 295 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

too thoroughly winded for that, but in his brill- 
iant and despairing eyes shone the agony of a cry 
louder than the tongue of a dog could utter: "O 
master! O all the god I know! Where are you in 
my mortal need?" 

Now indeed he had a gauntlet to run; for the 
street was lined with those who awaited him, while 
the pursuit grew closer behind. A number of the 
hardiest stood squarely in his path, and he hesi- 
tated for a second, which gave the opportunity for 
a surer aim, and many missiles struck him. " Let 
him have it now, officer," said Eugene Bantry, 
standing with Judge Pike at the policeman's elbow. 
"There's your chance." 

But before the revolver could be discharged, 
Respectability had begun to run again, hobbling 
on three legs and dodging feebly. A heavy stone 
struck him on the shoulder and he turned across 
the street, making for the " National House " corner, 
where the joyful clerk brandished his pitchfork. 
Going slowly, he almost touched the pimply one 
as he passed, and the clerk, already rehearsing in 
his mind the honors which should follow the brave 
stroke, raised the tines above the little dog's head 
for the coup de grdce. They did not descend, and 
the daring youth failed of fame as the laurel al- 
most embraced his brows. A hickory walking- 
stick was thrust between his legs; and he, expect- 

296 



ESKEW ARP 

ing to strike, received a blow upon the tefppie 
sufficient for his present undoing and bedazzle- 
ment. He went over backwards, and the pitch- 
fork (not the thing to hold poised on high when 
one is knocked down) fell with the force he 
had intended for Respectability upon his own 
shin. 

A train had pulled into the station, and a tired, 
travel-worn young man, descending from a sleeper, 
walked rapidly up the street to learn the occasion 
of what appeared to be a riot. When he was close 
enough to understand its nature, he dropped his 
bag and came on at top speed, shouting loudly to 
the battered mongrel, who tried with his remaining 
strength to leap toward him through a cordon 
of kicking legs, while Eugene Bantry again called 
to the policeman to fire. 

"If he does, damn you, I'll kill him!" Joe saw 
the revolver raised ; and then, Eugene being in his 
way, he ran full- tilt into his stepbrother with all 
his force, sending him to earth, and went on lit- 
erally over him as he lay prone upon the asphalt, 
that being the shortest way to Respectability. 
The next instant the mongrel was in his master's 
arms and weakly licking his hands. 

But it was Eskew Arp who had saved the little 
dog ; for it was his stick which had tripped the clerk, 
and his hand which had struck him down. All his 

297 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

bodily strength had departed in that effort, but he 
staggered out into the street toward Joe. 

"Joe Louden!" called the veteran, in a loud 
voice. "Joe Louden!" and suddenly reeled. The 
Colonel and Squire Buckalew were making their 
way toward him, but Joe, holding the dog to his 
breast with one arm, threw the other about Eskew. 

" It's a town it's a town" the old fellow flung 
himself free from the supporting arm "it's a 
town you couldn't even trust a yellow dog to!" 

He sank back upon Joe's shoulder, speechless. 
An open carriage had driven through the crowd, 
the colored driver urged by two ladies upon the 
back seat, and Martin Pike saw it stop by the 
group in the middle of the street where Joe stood, 
the wounded dog held to his breast by one arm, the 
old man, white and half fainting, supported by the 
other. Martin Pike saw this and more; he saw 
Ariel Tabor and his own daughter leaning from the 
carriage, the arms of both pityingly extended to 
Joe Louden and his two burdens, while the stunned 
and silly crowd stood round them staring, clouds 
of dust settling down upon them through the hot 
air. 



XX 

THREE ARE ENLISTED 




OW in that blazing noon Canaan look- 
ed upon a strange sight: an open car- 
riage whirling through Main Street 
behind two galloping bays ; upon the 
back seat a ghostly white old man 
with closed eyes, supported by two pale ladies, his 
head upon the shoulder of the taller; while beside 
the driver, a young man whose coat and hands 
were bloody, worked over the hurts of an injured 
dog. Sam Warden's whip sang across the horses; 
lather gathered on their flanks, and Ariel's voice 
steadily urged on the pace: "Quicker, Sam, if 
you can." For there was little breath left in the 
body of Eskew Arp. 

Mamie, almost as white as the old man, was 
silent; but she had not hesitated in her daring, 
now that she had been taught to dare ; she had not 
come to be Ariel's friend and honest follower for 
nothing; and it was Mamie who had cried to Joe 
to lift Eskew into the carriage. "You must come 
too," she said. "We will need you." And so it 

299 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

came to pass that under the eyes of Canaan Joe 
Louden rode in Judge Pike's carriage at the bid- 
ding of Judge Pike's daughter. 

Toward Ariel's own house they sped with the 
stricken octogenarian, for he was "alone in the 
world," and she would not take him to the cottage 
where he had lived for many years by himself, a 
bleak little house, a derelict of the "early days" 
left stranded far down in the town between a 
woollen -mill and the water -works. The work- 
men were beginning their dinners under the big 
trees, but as Sam Warden drew in the fathered 
horses at the gate, they set down their tin buckets 
hastily and ran to help Joe lift the old man out. 
Carefully they bore him into the house and laid 
him upon a bed in one of the finished rooms. He 
did not speak or move and the workmen uncovered 
their heads as they went out, but Joe knew that 
they were mistaken. "It's all right, Mr. Arp," 
he said, as Ariel knelt by the bed with water and 
restoratives. "It's all right. Don't you worry." 

Then the veteran's lips twitched, and though his 
eyes remained closed, Joe saw that Eskew under- 
stood, for he gasped, feebly: " Pos-i-tive-ly no 
free seats!" 

To Mrs. Louden, sewing at an up-stairs window, 
the sight of her stepson descending from Judge 

300 



THREE ARE ENLISTED 

Pike's carriage was sufficiently startling, but when 
she saw Mamie Pike take Respectability from his 
master's arms and carry him tenderly indoors, 
while Joe and Ariel occupied themselves with Mr. 
Arp, the good lady sprang to her feet as if she had 
been stung, regardlessly sending her work-basket 
and its contents scattering over the floor, and ran 
down the stairs three steps at a time. 

At the front door she met her husband, entering 
for his dinner, and she leaped at him. Had he 
seen ? What was it ? What had happened ? 

Mr. Louden rubbed his chin-beard, indulging him- 
self in a pause which was like to prove fatal to his 
companion, finally vouchsafing the information that 
the doctor's buggy was just turning the corner; 
Eskew Arp had suffered a "stroke," it was said, 
and, in Louden's opinion, was a mighty sick man. 
His spouse replied in no uncertain terms that she 
had seen quite that much for herself, urging him 
to continue, which he did with a deliberation that 
caused her to recall their wedding-day with a gust 
of passionate self-reproach. Presently he man- 
aged to interrupt, reminding her that her dining- 
room windows commanded as comprehensive a 
view of the next house as did the front steps, and 
after a time her housewifely duty so far prevailed 
over her indignation at the man's unwholesome 
stolidity that she followed him down the hall to 

301 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

preside over the meal, not, however, to partake 
largely of it herself. 

Mr. Louden had no information of Eugene's 
mishap, nor had Mrs. Louden any suspicion that 
all was not well with the young man, and, hearing 
him enter the front door, she called to him that his 
dinner was waiting. Eugene, however, made no 
reply and went up-stairs to his own apartment 
without coming into the dining-room. 

A small crowd, neighboring children, servants, 
and negroes, had gathered about Ariel's gate, and 
Mrs. Louden watched the working-men disperse 
this assembly, gather up their tools, and depart; 
then Mamie came out of the house, and, bowing 
sadly to three old men who were entering the gate 
as she left it, stepped into her carriage and drove 
away. The new-comers, Colonel Flitcroft, Squire 
Buckalew, and Peter Bradbury, glanced at the 
doctor's buggy, shook their heads at one another, 
and slowly went up to the porch, where Joe met 
them. Mrs. Louden uttered a sharp exclamation, 
for the Colonel shook hands with her stepson. 

Perhaps Flitcroft himself was surprised; he had 
offered his hand almost unconsciously, and the 
greeting was embarrassed and perfunctory; but 
his two companions, each in turn, gravely followed 
his lead, and Joe's set face flushed a little. It 
was the first time in many years that men of 

302 



THREE ARE ENLISTED 

their kind in Canaan had offered him this salu- 
tation. 

"He wouldn't let me send for you," he told 
them. " He said he knew you'd be here soon 
without that." And he led the way to Eskew's 
bedside. 

Joe and the doctor had undressed the old man, 
and had put him into night-gear of Roger Tabor's, 
taken from an antique chest ; it was soft and yellow 
and much more like color than the face above it, 
for the white hair on the pillow was not whiter 
than that. Yet there was a strange youthfulness 
in the eyes of Eskew; an eerie, inexplicable, lumi- 
nous, live look; the thin cheeks seemed fuller than 
they had been for years; and though the heavier 
lines of age and sorrow could be seen, they appeared 
to have been half erased. He lay not in sunshine, 
but in clear light; the windows were open, the 
curtains restrained, for he had asked them not to 
darken the room. 

The doctor was whispering in a doctor's way to 
Ariel at the end of the room opposite the bed, when 
the three old fellows came in. None of them spoke 
immediately, and though all three cleared their 
throats with what they meant for casual cheerful- 
ness, to indicate that the situation was not at all 
extraordinary or depressing, it was to be seen that 
the Colonel's chin trembled under his mustache, 

303 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

and his comrades showed similar small and unwill- 
ing signs of emotion. 

Eskew spoke first. "Well, boys?" he said, and 
smiled. 

That seemed to make it more difficult for the 
others ; the three white heads bent silently over the 
fourth upon the pillow; and Ariel saw waveringly, 
for her eyes suddenly filled, that the Colonel laid 
his unsteady hand upon Eskew's, which was out- 
side the coverlet. 

"It's it's not," said the old soldier, gently 
"it's not on on both sides, is it, Eskew?" 

Mr. Arp moved his hand slightly in answer. " It 
ain't paralysis," he said. "They call it 'shock 
and exhaustion'; but it's more than that. It's 
just my time. I've heard the call. We've all 
been slidin' on thin ice this long time and it's 
broke under me " 

"Eskew, Eskew!" remonstrated Peter Brad- 
bury. "You'd oughtn't to talk that-a-way! You 
only kind of overdone a little heat o' the day, 
too, and " 

"Peter," interrupted the sick man, with feeble 
asperity, " did you ever manage to fool me in your 
life?" " 

"No, Eskew." 

"Well, you're not doin' it now!" 

Two tears suddenly loosed themselves from 
304 



THREE ARE ENLISTED 

Squire Buckalew's eyelids, despite his hard en- 
deavor to wink them away, and he turned from the 
bed too late to conceal what had happened. 
"There ain't any call to feel bad," said Eskew. 
" It might have happened any time in the night, 
maybe at my house and all alone but here's 
Airie Tabor brought me to her own home and 
takin' care of me. I couldn't ask any better way 
to go, could I ?" 

"I don't know what we'll do," stammered the 
Colonel, " if you you talk about goin' away from 
us, Eskew. We we couldn't get along " 

"Well, sir, I'm almost kind of glad to think," 
Mr. Arp murmured, between short struggles for 
breath, " that it '11 be quieter on the "National 
House" corner!" 

A moment later he called the doctor faintly and 
asked for a restorative. "There," he said, in a 
stronger voice and with a gleam of satisfaction in 
the vindication of his belief that he was dying. " I 
was almost gone then, /know!" He lay panting 
for a moment, then spoke the name of Joe Louden. 

Joe came quickly to the bedside. 

" I want you to shake hands with the Colonel 
and Peter and Buckalew. 

"We did," answered the Colonel, infinitely sur- 
prised and troubled. "We shook hands outside 
before we came in." 

305 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Do it again," said Eskew. "I want to see 
you." 

And Joe, making shift to smile, was suddenly 
blinded, so that he could not see the wrinkled hands 
extended to him, and was fain to grope for them. 

"God knows why we didn't all take his hand 
long ago," said Eskew Arp. "I didn't because I 
was stubborn. I hated to admit that the argu- 
ment was against me. I acknowledge it now be- 
fore him and before you and I want the word of 
it carried!" 

" It's all right, Mr. Arp," began Joe, tremulously. 
"You mustn't" 

"Hark to me" the old man's voice lifted 
higher: "If you'd ever whimpered, or give back- 
talk, or broke out the wrong way, it would of been 
different. But you never did. I've watched you 
and I know; and you've just gone your own way 
alone, with the town against you because you got 
a bad name as a boy, and once we'd given you that, 
everything you did or didn't do, we had to give 
you a blacker one. Now it's time some one stood 
by you! Airie Tabor '11 do that with all her soul 
and body. She told me once I thought a good 
deal of you. She knew! But I want these three 
old friends of mine to do it, too. I was boys with 
them and they'll do it, I think. They've even 
stood up fer you against me, sometimes, but mostly 

306 



THREE ARE ENLISTED 

fer the sake of the argument, I reckon; but now 
they must do it when there's more to stand against 
than just my talk. They saw it all to-day the 
meanest thing I ever knew! I could of stood it 
all except that!" Before they could prevent him 
he had struggled half upright in bed, lifting a 
clinched fist at the town beyond the windows. 
"But, by God! when they got so low down they 
tried to kill your dog " 

He fell back, choking, in Joe's arms, and the 
physician bent over him, but Eskew was not gone, 
and Ariel, upon the other side of the room, could 
hear him whispering again for the restorative. 
She brought it, and when he had taken it, went 
quickly out-of-doors to the side yard. 

She sat upon a workman's bench under the big 
trees, hidden from the street shrubbery, and 
breathing deeply of the shaded air, began to cry 
quietly. Through the windows came the quaver- 
ing voice of the old man, lifted again, insistent, a 
little querulous, but determined. Responses sound- 
ed, intermittently, from the Colonel, from Peter, 
and from Buckalew, and now and then a sorrow- 
ful, yet almost humorous, protest from Joe; and 
so she made out that the veteran swore his three 
comrades to friendship with Joseph Louden, to lend 
him their countenance in all matters, to stand by 
him in weal and woe, to speak only good of 

307 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

and defend him in the town of Canaan. Thus did 
Eskew Arp on the verge of parting this life render 
justice. 

The gate clicked, and Ariel saw Eugene ap- 
proaching through the shrubbery. One of his 
hands was bandaged, a thin strip of court-plaster 
crossed his forehead from his left eyebrow to his 
hair, and his thin and agitated face showed several 
light scratches. 

"I saw you come out," he said. "I've been 
waiting to speak to you." 

"The doctor told us to let him have his way in 
whatever he might ask." Ariel wiped her eyes. 
"I'm afraid that means " 

"I didn't come to talk about Eskew Arp," in- 
terrupted Eugene. "I'm not laboring under any 
anxiety about him. You needn't be afraid; he's 
too sour to accept his cong so readily." 

" Please lower your voice," she said, rising quick- 
ly and moving away from him toward the house; 
but, as he followed, insisting sharply that he must 
speak with her, she walked out of ear-shot of the 
windows, and stopping, turned toward him. 
"Very well," she said. "Is it a message from 
Mamie?" 

At this he faltered and hung fire. 

"Have you been to see her?" she continued. 
308 



THREE ARE ENLISTED 

" I am anxious to know if her goodness and bravery 
caused her any any discomfort at home." 

"You may set your mind at rest about that," 
returned Eugene. "I was there when the Judge 
came home to dinner. I suppose you fear he may 
have been rough with her for taking my step- 
brother into the carriage. He was not. On the 
contrary, he spoke very quietly to her, and went 
on out toward the stables. But I haven't come 
to you to talk of Judge Pike, either!" 

"No," said Ariel. "I don't care particularly to 
hear of him, but of Mamie." 

"Nor of her, either 1" he broke out. " I want to 
talk of you!" 

There was not mistaking him; no possibility of 
misunderstanding the real passion that shook him, 
and her startled eyes betrayed her comprehension. 

"Yes, I see you understand," he cried, bitterly. 
"That's because you've seen others the same way. 
God help me," he went on, striking his forehead 
with his open hand, "that young fool of a Brad- 
bury told me you refused him only yesterday ! He 
was proud of even rejection from you! And there's 
Norbert and half a dozen others, perhaps, already, 
since you've been here." He flung out his arms 
in ludicrous, savage despair. "And here am I " 

"Ah yes," she cut him off, "it is of yourself that 
you want to speak, after all not of me!" 

309 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Look here," he vociferated; "are you going to 
marry that Joe Louden ? I want to know whether 
you are or not. He gave me this and this to- 
day!" He touched his bandaged hand and plas- 
tered forehead. "He ran into me over me for 
nothing, when I was not on my guard; struck me 
down stamped on me " 

She turned upon him, cheeks aflame, eyes 
sparkling and dry. 

"Mr. Bantry," she cried, "he did a good thing! 
And now I want you to go home. I want you to 
go home and try if you can discover anything in 
yourself that is worthy of Mamie and of what she 
showed herself to be this morning! If you can, 
you will have found something that I could like!" 

She went rapidly toward the house, and he was 
senseless enough to follow, babbling: "What do 
you think I'm made of? You trample on me as 
he did ! I can't bear everything ; I tell you " 

But she lifted her hand with such imperious will 
that he stopped short. Then, through the window 
of the sick-room came clearly the querulous voice: 

" I tell you it was ; I heard him speak just now 
out there in the yard, that no-account step-brother 
of Joe's! What if he is a hired hand on the Toc- 
sin f He'd better give up his job and quit, than 
do what he's done to help make the town think 
hard of Joe. And what is he? Why, he's worse 

310 



THREE ARE ENLISTED 

than Cory. When that Claudine Fear first came 
here, 'Gene Bantry was hangin' around her him- 
self. Joe knew it and he'd never tell, but I will. 
I saw 'em buggy -ridin' out near Beaver Beach 
and she slapped his face fer him. It ought to be 
told!" 

"I didn't know thfjt Joe knew that!" Eugene 
stammered huskily. " It was it was a long time 
ago" 

"If you understood Joe," she said, in a low 
voice, "you would know that before these men 
leave this house, he will have their promise never 
to tell." 

His eyes fell miserably, then lifted again ; but in 
her clear and unbearable gaze there shone such a 
flame of scorn as he could not endure to look upon. 
For the first time in his life he saw a true light 
upon himself, and though the vision was darkling, 
the revelation was complete. 

"Heaven pity you!" she whispered. 

Eugene found himself alone, and stumbled away, 
his glance not lifted. He passed his own home 
without looking up, and did not see his mother 
beckoning frantically from a window. She ran 
to the door and called him. He did not hear her, 
but went on toward the Tocsin office with his head 
still bent. 

ai 311 




XXI 

NORBERT WAITS FOR JOE 

[HERE was meat for gossip a plenty 
in Canaan that afternoon and even- 
ing; there were rumors that ran 
from kitchen to parlor, and rumors 
that ran from parlor to kitchen ; spec- 
ulations that detained housewives in talk across 
front gates ; wonderings that held cooks in converse 
over shadeless back fences in spite of the heat; 
and canards that brought Main Street clerks run- 
ning to the shop doors to stare up and down the 
sidewalks. Out of the confusion of report, the 
judicious were able by evenfall to extract a fair 
history of this day of revolution. There remained 
no doubt that Joe Louden was in attendance at 
the death-bed of Eskew Arp, and somehow it 
came to be known that Colonel Flitcroft, Squire 
Buckalew, and Peter Bradbury had shaken hands 
with Joe and declared themselves his friends. 
There were those (particularly among the relatives 
of the hoary trio) who expressed the opinion that 

312 



NORBERT WAITS FOR JOE 

the Colonel and his comrades were too old to be 
responsible and a commission ought to sit on them ; 
nevertheless, some echoes of Eskew's last "argu- 
ment" to the conclave had sounded in the town 
and were not wholly without effect. 

Everywhere there was a nipping curiosity to 
learn how Judge Pike had "taken" the strange 
performance of his daughter, and the eager were 
much disappointed when it was truthfully re- 
ported that he had done and said very little. He 
had merely discharged both Sam Warden and 
Sam's wife from his service, the mild manner of 
the dismissal almost unnerving Mr. Warden, al- 
though he was fully prepared for bird-shot; and 
the couple had found immediate employment in 
the service of Ariel Tabor. 

Those who humanly felt the Judge's behavior 
to be a trifle flat and unsensational were recom- 
pensed late in the afternoon when it became known 
that Eugene Bantry had resigned his position on 
the Tocsin. His reason for severing his connection 
was dumfounding; he had written a formal letter 
to the Judge and repeated the gist of it to his 
associates in the office and acquaintances upon the 
street. He declared that he no longer sympathized 
with the attitude of the Tocsin toward his step- 
brother, and regretted that he had previously as- 
sisted in emphasizing the paper's hostility to Joe, 

313 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

particularly in the matter of the approaching mur- 
der trial. This being the case, he felt that his ef- 
fectiveness in the service of the paper had ceased, 
and he must, in justice to the owner, resign. 

"Well, I'm damned!" was the simple comment 
of the elder Louden when his step-son sought him 
out at the factory and repeated this statement to 
him. 

" So am I, I think," said Eugene, wanly. " Good- 
bye. I'm going now to see mother, but I'll be gone 
before you come home." 

"Gone where?" 

"Just away. I don't know where," Eugene an- 
swered from the door. " I couldn't live here any 
longer. I " 

"You've been drinking," said Mr. Louden, in- 
spired. "You'd better not let Mamie Pike see 
you." 

Eugene laughed desolately. "I don't mean to. 
I shall write to her. Good-bye," he said, and was 
gone before Mr. Louden could restore enough 
order out of the chaos in his mind to stop him. 

Thus Mrs. Louden's long wait at the window 
was tragically rewarded, and she became an un- 
happy actor in Canaan's drama of that day. Other 
ladies attended at other windows, or near their 
front doors, throughout the afternoon: the families 
of the three patriarchs awaiting their return, as 



NORBERT WAITS FOR JOE 

the time drew on, with. something akin to frenzy. 
Mrs. Flitcroft (a lady of temper), whose rheuma- 
tism confined her to a chair, had her grandson 
wheel her out upon the porch, and, as the dusk 
fell and she finally saw her husband coming at a 
laggard pace, leaning upon his cane, his chin sunk 
on his breast, she frankly told Norbert that al- 
though she had lived with that man more than 
fifty-seven years, she would never be able to under- 
stand him. She repeated this with genuine symp- 
toms of hysteria when she discovered that the 
Colonel had not come straight from the Tabor 
house, but had stopped two hours at Peter Brad- 
bury's to "talk it over." 

One item of his recital, while sufficiently start- 
ling to his wife, had a remarkable effect upon his 
grandson. This was the information that Ariel 
Tabor's fortune no longer existed. 

"What's that?" cried Norbert, starting to his 
feet. "What are you talking about?" 

" It's true," said the Colonel, deliberately. " She 
told me so herself. Eskew had droppe'd off into 
a sort of doze more like a stupor, perhaps, and 
we all went into Roger's old studio, except Louden 
and the doctor, and while we were there, talkin', 
one of Pike's clerks came with a basket full of tin 
boxes and packages of papers and talked to Miss 
Tabor at the door and went away. Then old Peter 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

blundered out and asked her point-blank what it 
was, and she said it was her estate, almost every- 
thing she had, except the house. Buckalew, tryin' 
to make a joke, said he'd be willin' to swap his 
house and lot for the basket, and she laughed and 
told him she thought he'd be sorry; that all there 
was, to speak of, was a pile of distillery stock " 

"What?" repeated Norbert, incredulously. 

"Yes. It was the truth," said the Colonel, sol- 
emnly. "I saw it myself: blocks and blocks of 
stock in that distillery trust that went up higher'n 
a kite last year. Roger had put all of Jonas 's good 
money " 

"Not into that!" shouted Norbert, uncontrolla- 
bly excited. 

"Yes, he did. I tell you I saw it!" 

" I tell you he didn't. He owned Granger Gas, 
worth more to-day than it ever was! Pike was 
Roger's attorney-in-fact and bought it for him 
before the old man died. The check went through 
my hands. You don't think I'd forget as big a 
check as that, do you, even if it was more than a 
year ago? Or how it was signed and who made 
out to ? It was Martin Pike that got caught with 
distillery stock. He speculated once too often!" 

"No, you're wrong," persisted the Colonel. "I 
tell you I saw it myself." 

"Then you're blind," returned his grandson, 
316 



NORBERT WAITS FOR JOE 

disrespectfully; "you're blind or else or else " 
He paused, open-mouthed, a look of wonder strug- 
gling its way to expression upon him, gradually 
conquering every knobby outpost of his counte- 
nance . He struck his fat hands together. ' ' Where 's 
Joe Louden?" he asked, sharply. "I want to see 
him. Did you leave him at Miss Tabor's?" 

" He's goin' to sit up with Eskew. What do you 
want of him?" 

"I should say you better ask that!" Mrs. Flit- 
croft began, shrilly. " It's enough, I guess, for one 
of this family to go runnin' after him and shakin' 
hands with him and Heaven knows what not ! Nor- 
bert Filter of IT 

But Norbert jumped from the porch, ruthlessly 
crossed his grandmother's geranium-bed, and, mak- 
ing off at as sharp a pace as his architecture per- 
mitted, within ten minutes opened Ariel's gate. 

Sam Warden came forward to meet him. 

"Don't ring, please, suh," said Sam. "Dey sot 
me out heah to tell inquirin' frien's dat po' ole Mist' 
Arp mighty low." 

"I want to see Mr. Louden," returned Norbert. 
"I want to see him immediately." 

"I don' reckon he kin come out yit," Sam said, 
in a low tone. "But I kin go in an' ast 'em." 

He stepped softly within, leaving Norbert wait- 
ing, and went to the door of the sick-room. The 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

door was open, the room brightly lighted, as 
Eskew had commanded when, a little earlier, he 
awoke. 

Joe and Ariel were alone with him, leaning tow- 
ard him with such white anxiety that the colored 
man needed no warning to make him remain silent 
in the hallway. The veteran was speaking and 
his voice was very weak, seeming to come from a 
great distance. 

"It's mighty funny, but I feel like I used to 
when I was a little boy. I reckon I'm kind of 
scared after all. Airie Tabor, are you here?" 

"Yes, Mr. Arp." 

" I thought so but I I don't see very well 
lately. I wanted to know to know " 

"Yes to know?" She knelt close beside him. 

"It's kind of foolish," he whispered. "I just 
wanted to know if you was still here. It don't 
seem so lonesome now that I know." 

She put her arm lightly about him and he smiled 
and was silent for a time. Then he struggled 
to rise upon his elbow, and they lifted him a 
little. 

"It's hard to breathe," gasped the old man. 
"I'm pretty near the big road. Joe Louden " 

"Yes?" 

"You'd have been willing willing to change 
places with me just now when Airie " 

318 



NORBERT WAITS FOR JOE 

Joe laid his hand on his, and Eskew smiled again. 
"I thought so! And, Joe " 

''Yes?" 

" You always always had the the best of that 
joke between us. Do you you suppose they 
charge admission up there?" His eyes were 
lifted. "'Do you suppose you've got to to show 
your good deeds to git in?" The answering 
whisper was almost as faint as the old man's. 

"No," panted Eskew, "nobody knows. But I 
hope I do hope they'll have some free seats. 
It's a mighty poor show we'll all have if 
they don't!" 

He sighed peacefully, his head grew heavier on 
Joe's arm ; and the young man set his hand gently 
upon the unseeing eyes. Ariel did not rise from 
where she knelt, but looked up at him when, a lit- 
tle later, he lifted his hand. 

"Yes," said Joe, "you can cry now." 




XXII 

MR. SHEEHAN SPEAKS 

IOE helped to carry what was mortal 
of Eskew from Ariel's house to its 
final abiding - place. With him, in 
that task, were Buckalew, Bradbury, 
the Colonel, and the grandsons of the 
two latter, and Mrs. Louden drew in her skirts 
grimly as her step-son passed her in the mournful 
procession through the hall. Her eyes were red 
with weeping (not for Eskew), but not so red as 
those of Mamie Pike, who stood beside her. 

On the way to the cemetery, Joe and Ariel were 
together in a carriage with Buckalew and the min- 
ister who had read the service, a dark, pleasant- 
eyed young man ; and the Squire, after being al- 
most overcome during the ceremony, experienced 
a natural reaction, talking cheerfully throughout 
the long drive. He recounted many anecdotes of 
Eskew, chuckling over most of them, though filled 
with wonder by a coincidence which he and Flit- 
croft had discovered ; the Colonel had recently been 

320 



MR. SHEEHAN SPEAKS 

made the custodian of his old friend's will, and it 
had been opened the day before the funeral. Es- 
kew had left everything he possessed with the 
regret that it was so little to Joe. 

" But the queer thing about it," said the Squire, 
addressing himself to Ariel, "was the date of it, 
the seventeenth of June. The Colonel and I got 
to talkin' it over, out on his porch, last night, 
tryin' to rec'lect what was goin' on about then, 
and we figgered it out that it was the Monday 
after you come back, the very day he got so up- 
set when he saw you goin' up to Louden's law- 
office with your roses." 

Joe looked quickly at Ariel. She did not meet 
his glance, but, turning instead to Ladew, the 
clergyman, began, with a barely perceptible blush, 
to talk of something he had said in a sermon two 
weeks ago. The two fell into a thoughtful and 
amiable discussion, during which there stole into 
Joe's heart a strange and unreasonable pain. The 
young minister had lived in Canaan only a few 
months, and Joe had never seen him until that 
morning ; but he liked the short, honest talk he had 
made; liked his cadenceless voice and keen, dark 
face; and, recalling what he had heard Martin 
Pike vociferating in his brougham one Sunday, 
perceived that Ladew was the fellow who had 
"got to go" because his sermons did not please 

321 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

the Judge. Yet Ariel remembered for more than 
a fortnight a passage from one of these sermons. 
And as Joe looked at the manly and intelligent face 
opposite him, it did not seem strange that she 
should. 

He resolutely turned his eyes to the open window 
and saw that they had entered the cemetery, were 
near the green knoll where Eskew was to lie beside 
a brother who had died long ago. He let the min- 
ister help Ariel out, going quickly forward him- 
self with Buckalew; and then after the little 
while that the restoration of dust to dust merci- 
fully needs he returned to the carriage only to 
get his hat. 

Ariel and Ladew and the Squire were already 
seated and waiting. "Aren't you going to ride 
home with us?" she asked, surprised. 

"No," he explained, not looking at her. "I 
have to talk with Norbert Flitcroft. I'm going 
back with him. Good-bye." 

His excuse was the mere truth, his conversation 
with Norbert, in the carriage which they managed 
to secure to themselves, continuing earnestly un- 
til Joe spoke to the driver and alighted at a corner, 
near Mr. Farbach's Italian possessions. "Don't 
forget," he said, as he closed the carriage door, 
"I've got to have both ends of the string in my 
hands." 

322 



MR. SHEEHAN SPEAKS 

"Forget!" Norbert looked at the cupola of 
the Pike Mansion, rising above the maples down 
the street. "It isn't likely I'll forget!" 

When Joe entered the "Louis Quinze room" 
which some decorator, drunk with power, had 
mingled into the brewer's villa, he found the owner 
and Mr. Sheehan, with five other men, engaged in 
a meritorious attempt to tone down the apartment 
with smoke. Two of the five others were pros- 
perous owners of saloons; two were known to the 
public (whose notion of what it meant when it 
used the term was something of the vaguest) as 
politicians; the fifth was Mr. Farbach's closest 
friend, one who (Joe had heard) was to be the next 
chairman of the city committee of the party. 
They were seated about a table, enveloped in blue 
clouds, and hushed to a grave and pertinent silence 
which clarified immediately the circumstance that 
whatever debate had preceded his arrival, it was 
now settled. 

Their greeting of him, however, though exceed- 
ingly quiet, indicated a certain expectancy, as he 
accepted the chair which had been left for him at 
the head of the table. He looked thinner and 
paler than usual, which is saying a great deal ; but 
presently, finding that the fateful hush which his 
entrance had broken was immediately resumed, 

323 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

a twinkle came into his eye, one of his eyebrows 
went up and a corner of his mouth went down. 

"Well, gentlemen?" he said. 

The smokers continued to smoke 4 and to do 
nothing else; the exception being Mr. Sheehan, 
who, though he spoke not, exhibited tokens of 
agitation and excitement which he curbed with 
difficulty; shifting about in his chair, gnawing his 
cigar, crossing and uncrossing his knees, rubbing 
and slapping his hands together, clearing his throat 
with violence, his eyes fixed all the while, as were 
those of his companions, upon Mr. Farbach; so 
that Joe was given to perceive that it had been 
agreed that the brewer should be the spokesman. 
Mr. Farbach was deliberate, that was all, which 
added to the effect of what he finally did say. 

"Choe," he remarked, placidly, "you are der 
next Mayor off Canaan." 

"Why do you say that?" asked the young man, 
sharply. 

" Bickoss us here," he answered, interlocking the 
tips of his fingers over his waistcoat, that being as 
near folding his hands as lay within his power, 
"bickoss us here shall try to fix it so, und so hef 
ditcided." 

Joe took a deep breath. "Why do you want 
me?" 

"Dot," replied the brewer, "iss someding I shall 
324 



MR. SHEEHAN SPEAKS 

tell you." He paused to contemplate his cigar. 
"We want you bickoss you are der best man fer 
dot positsion." 

" Louie, you mustn't make a mistake at the be- 
ginning," Joe said, hurriedly. "I may not be the 
kind of man you're looking for. If I went in " 
He hesitated, stammering. " It seems an ungrate- 
ful thing to say, but but there wouldn't be any 
slackness I couldn't be bound to anybody " 

"Holt up your hosses!" Mr. Farbach, once in 
his life, was so ready to reply that he was able to 
interrupt. "Who hef you heert speak off bound- 
ing ? Hef I speakt off favors ? Dit I say der shoult 
be slackness in der city gofer 'ment ? Litsen to me, 
Choe." He renewed his contemplation of his 
cigar, then proceeded : " I hef been t'inkin' it ofer, 
now a couple years. I hef mate up my mind. If 
some peobles are gombelt to keep der laws and 
oders are not, dot's a great atwantitch to der oders. 
Dot iss what iss ruining der gountry und der peo- 
bles iss commencement to take notice. Efer'veres 
in oder towns der iss housecleaning ; dey are re- 
forming und indieding, und pooty soon dot mofe- 
ment comes here shoo-er ! If we intent to holt 
der pardy in power, we shoult be a leetle ahead off 
dot mofement, so, when it shoult be here, we hef 
a goot 'minadstration to fall beck on. Now, dere 
iss anoder brewery opened und trying to gombete 

325 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

mit me here in Canaan. If dot brewery owns der 
Mayor, all der tsaloons buying my bier must shut 
up at 'leven o'glock und Sundays, but der oders 
keep open. If I own der Mayor, I make der same 
against dot oder brewery. Now I am pooty sick 
off dot ways off bitsness und fighting all times. 
Also," Mr. Farbach added, with magnificent calm- 
ness, "my trade iss larchly owitside off Canaan, 
und it iss bedder dot here der laws shoult be en- 
forced der same fer all. Litsen, Choe; all us here 
beliefs der same way. You are square. Der 
whole tsaloon element knows dot, und knows dot 
all voult be treated der same. Mit you it voult be 
fairness fer each one. Foolish peobles hef sait you 
are a law-tricker, but we know dot you hef only 
mate der laws brotect as well as bunish. Und at 
such times as dey het been broken, you hef made 
dem as mertsiful as you coult. You are no tricker. 
We are willing to help you make it a glean town. 
Odervise der fightin' voult go on until der mofe- 
ment strikes here und all der granks vake up und 
we git a fool reformer fer Mayor und der town goes 
to der dogs. If I try to put in a man dot I own, 
der oder brewery iss goin' to fight like hell, but if 
I work fer you it will not fight so hart." 

" But the other people," Joe objected, " those out- 
side of what is called the saloon element do you 
understand how many of them will be against me ?" 

326 



MR. SHEEHAN SPEAKS 

"It iss der tsaloon element," Mr. Farbach re- 
turned, peacefully, "dot does der fightin'." 

"And you have considered my standing with 
that part of Canaan which considers itself the most 
respectable section?" He rose to his feet, stand- 
ing straight and quiet, facing the table, upon 
which, it chanced, there lay a copy of the Tocsin. 

"Und yet," observed Mr. Farbach, with mild- 
ness, "we got some pooty risbecdable men right 
here." 

"Except me," broke in Mr. Sheehan, grimly, 
"you have." 

"Have you thought of this?" Joe leaned for- 
ward and touched the paper upon the table. 

"We hef," replied Mr. Farbach. "All of us. 
You shall beat it." 

There was a strong chorus of confirmation from 
the others, and Joe's eyes flashed. 

"Have you considered," he continued, rapidly, 
while a warm color began to conquer his pallor, 
" have you considered the powerful influence which 
will be against me, and more against me now, I 
should tell you, than ever before ? That influence, 
I mean, which is striving so hard to discredit me 
that lynch-law has been hinted for poor Fear if I 
should clear him! Have you thought of that? 
Have you thought " 

"Have we thought o' Martin Pike?" exclaimed 
" 327 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Mr. Sheehan, springing to his feet, face aflame and 
beard bristling. "Ay, we've thought o' Martin 
Pike, and our thinkin' of him is where he begins 
to git what's comin' to him! What d'ye stand 
there pickin' straws fer? What's the matter with 
ye?" he demanded, angrily, his violence tenfold 
increased by the long repression he had put upon 
himself during the brewer's deliberate utterances. 
"If Louie Farbach and his crowd says they're fer 
ye, I guess ye've got a chanst, haven't ye?" 

"Wait," said Joe. "I think you underestimate 
Pike's influence " 

"Underestimate the devil!" shouted Mr. Shee- 
han, uncontrollably excited. "You talk about in- 
fluence! He's been the worst influence this town's 
ever had and his tracks covered up in the dark 
wherever he set his ugly foot down. These men 
know it, and you know some, but not the worst of 
it, because none of ye live as deep down in it as I 
do! Ye want to make a clean town of it, ye want 
to make a little heaven of the Beach " 

"And in the eyes of Judge Pike," Joe cut him 
off, " and of all who take their opinions from him, 
I represent Beaver Beach!" 

Mike Sheehan gave a wild shout. "Whooroo! 
It's come ! I knowed it would ! The day I couldn't 
hold my tongue, though I passed my word I would 
when the coward showed the deed he didn't dare 

328 



MR. SHEEHAN SPEAKS 

to git recorded! Waugh!" He shouted again, 
with bitter laughter. "Ye do! In the eyes o' 
them as follow Martin Pike ye stand fer the Beach 
and all its wickedness, do ye? Whooroo! It's 
come! Ye're an offence in the eyes o' Martin Pike 
and all his kind because ye stand fer the Beach, 
are ye?" 

"You know it!" Joe answered, sharply. "If 
they could wipe the Beach off the map and me 
with it" 

"Martin Pike would?" shouted Mr. Sheehan, 
while the others, open-mouthed, stared at him. 
"Martin Pike would?" 

" I don't need to tell you that," said Joe. 

Mr. Sheehan's big fist rose high over the table 
and descended crashing upon it. "It's a damn 
lie!" he roared. "Martin Pike owns Beaver 
Beach!" 




XXIII 

JOE WALKS ACROSS THE COURT-HOUSE YARD 

[ROM within the glossy old walnut 
bar that ran from wall to wall, the 
eyes of the lawyers and reporters 
wandered often to Ariel as she sat in 
the packed court-room watching Lou- 
den's fight for the life and liberty of Happy Fear. 
She had always three escorts, and though she did 
not miss a session, and the same three never failed 
to attend her, no whisper of scandal arose. But 
not upon them did the glances of the members of 
the bar and the journalists with tender frequency 
linger; nor were the younger members of these 
two professions all who gazed that way. Joe had 
fought out the selection of the jury with the 
prosecutor at great length and with infinite pains; 
it was not a young jury, and it stared at her. The 
"Court" wore a gray beard with which a flock 
of sparrows might have villaged a grove, and yet, 
in spite of the vital necessity for watchfulness over 
this fighting case, It once needed to be stirred from 



JOE WALKS ACROSS THE YARD 

a trancelike gaze in Miss Tabor's direction and 
aroused to the realization that It was there to Sit 
and not to dream. 

The August air was warm outside the windows, 
inviting to the open country, to swimmin'-hole, 
to orchard reveries, or shaded pool wherein to 
drop a meditative line ; you would have thought no 
one could willingly coop himself in this hot room 
for three hours, twice a day, while lawyers wrangled, 
often unintelligibly, over the life of a dingy little 
creature like Happy Fear, yet the struggle to 
swelter there was almost like a riot, and the bailiffs 
were busy men. 

It was a fighting case throughout, fought to a 
finish on each tiny point as it came up, dragging, 
in the mere matter of time, interminably, yet the 
people of Canaan (not only those who succeeded 
in penetrating to the court-room, but the others 
who hung about the corridors, or outside the build- 
ing, and the great mass of stay-at-homes who read 
the story in the Tocsin) found each moment of it 
enthralling enough. The State's attorney, fearful of 
losing so notorious a case, and not underestimat- 
ing his opponent, had modestly summoned others 
to his aid ; and the attorney for the defence, single- 
handed, faced "an array of legal talent such as 
seldom indeed had hollered at this bar"; faced it 
good-naturedly, an eyebrow crooked up and hi? 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

head on one side, most of the time, yet faced it 
indomitably. He had a certain careless and dis- 
arming smile when he lost a point, which carried 
off the defeat as of only humorous account and 
not at all part of the serious business in hand ; and 
in his treatment of witnesses, he was plausible, 
kindly, knowing that in this case he had no in- 
tending perjurer to entrap; brought into play the 
rare and delicate art of which he was a master, 
employing in his questions subtle suggestions and 
shadings of tone and manner, and avoiding words 
of debatable and dangerous meanings ; a fine craft, 
often attempted by blunderers to their own un- 
doing, but which, practised by Joseph Louden, 
made inarticulate witnesses articulate to the pre- 
cise effects which he desired. This he accom- 
plished as much by the help of the continuous fire 
of objections from the other side as in spite of 
them. He was infinitely careful, asking never an 
ill-advised question for the other side to use to 
his hurt, and, though exhibiting only a pleasant 
easiness of manner, was electrically alert. 

A hundred things had shown Ariel that the feel- 
ing of the place, influenced by "public sentiment" 
without, was subtly and profoundly hostile to Joe 
and his client; she read this in the spectators, in 
the jury, even in the Judge ; but it seemed to her 
that day by day the inimical spirit gradually failed, 

332 



inside the railing, and also in those spectators who, 
like herself, were enabled by special favor to be 
present throughout the trial, and that now and 
then a kindlier sentiment began to be manifested. 
She was unaware how strongly she contributed to 
effect this herself, not only through the glow of 
visible sympathy which radiated from her, but 
by a particular action. Claudine was called by 
the State, and told as much of her story as the 
law permitted her to tell, interlarding her replies 
with fervent protestations (too quick to be pre- 
vented) that she " never meant to bring no trouble 
to Mr. Fear" and that she " did hate to have gen'le- 
men starting things on her account." When the 
defence took this perturbed witness, her inter- 
polations became less frequent, and she described 
straightforwardly how she had found the pistol on 
the floor near the prostrate figure of Cory, and 
hidden it in her own dress. The attorneys for the 
State listened with a somewhat cynical amusement 
to this portion of her testimony, believing it of no 
account, uncorroborated, and that if necessary the 
State could impeach the witness on the ground 
that it had been indispensable to produce her. 
She came down weeping from the stand; and, the 
next witness not being immediately called, the 
eyes of the jurymen naturally followed her as she 
passed to her seat, and they saw Ariel Tabor bow 

333 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

gravely to her across the railing. Now, a thou- 
sand things not set forth by legislatures, law-men 
and judges affect a jury, and the slight salutation 
caused the members of this one to glance at one 
another ; for it seemed to imply that the exquisite 
lady in white not only knew Claudine, but knew 
that she had spoken the truth. It was after this, 
that a feeling favorable to the defence now and 
then noticeably manifested itself in the court- 
room. Still, when the evidence for the State was 
all in, the life of Happy Fear seemed to rest in a 
balance precarious indeed, and the little man, 
swallowing pitifully, looked at his attorney with 
the eyes of a sick dog. 

Then Joe gave the prosecutors an illuminating 
and stunning surprise, and, having offered in evi- 
dence the revolver found upon Claudine, produced 
as his first witness a pawnbroker of Denver, who 
identified the weapon as one he had sold to Cory, 
whom he had known very well. The second wit- 
ness, also a stranger, had been even more intimately 
acquainted with the dead man, and there began to 
be an uneasy comprehension of what Joe had ac- 
complished during that prolonged absence of his 
which had so nearly cost the life of the little mon- 
grel, who was at present (most blissful Respectabil- 
ity !) a lively convalescent in Ariel's back yard. The 
second witness also identified the revolver, testi- 

334 



JOE WALKS ACROSS THE YARD 

fying that he had borrowed it from Cory in St. 
Louis to settle a question of marksmanship, and 
that on his returning it to the owner, the latter, 
then working his way eastward, had confided to 
him his intention of stopping in Canaan for the pur- 
pose of exercising its melancholy functions upon 
a man who had once "done him good" in that 
city. 

By the time the witness had reached this point, 
the Prosecutor and his assistants were on their 
feet, excitedly shouting objections, which were 
promptly overruled. Taken unawares, they fought 
for time; thunder was loosed, forensic bellow- 
ings ; everybody lost his temper except Joe ; and 
the examination of the witness proceeded. Cory, 
with that singular inspiration to confide in some 
one, which is the characteristic and the undoing 
of his kind, had outlined his plan of operations to 
the witness with perfect clarity. He would first 
attempt, so he had declared, to incite an attack 
upon himself by playing upon the jealousy of his 
victim, having already made a tentative effort in 
that direction. Failing in this, he would fall back 
upon one of a dozen schemes (for he was ready in 
such matters, he bragged), the most likely of which 
would be to play the peacemaker; he would talk 
of his good intentions toward his enemy, speaking 
publicly of him in friendly and gentle ways; then, 

335 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

getting at him secretly, destroy him in such a 
fashion as to leave open for himself the kind gate 
of self-defence. In brief, here was the whole tally 
of what had actually occurred, with the exception 
of the last account in the sequence which had 
proved that demise for which Cory had not ar- 
ranged ; and it fell from the lips of a witness whom 
the prosecution had no means of impeaching. 
When he left the stand, unshaken and undis- 
credited, after a frantic cross - examination, Joe, 
turning to resume his seat, let his hand fall lightly 
for a second upon his client's shoulder. 

That was the occasion of a demonstration which 
indicated a sentiment favorable to the defence (on 
the part of at least three of the spectators) ; and it 
was in the nature of such a hammering of canes 
upon the bare wooden floor as effectually stopped 
all other proceedings instantly. The indignant 
Judge fixed the Colonel, Peter Bradbury, and 
Squire Buckalew with his glittering eye, yet the 
hammering continued unabated; and the offend- 
ers surely would have been conducted forth in 
ignominy, had not gallantry prevailed, even in 
that formal place. The Judge, reluctantly realiz- 
ing that some latitude must be allowed to these 
aged enthusiasts, since they somehow seemed to 
belong to Miss Tabor, made his remarks general, 
with the time - worn threat to clear the room, 

336 



JOE WALKS ACROSS THE YARD 

whereupon the loyal survivors of Eskew relapsed 
into unabashed silence. 

It was now, as Joe had said, a clear-enough case. 
Only the case itself, however, was clear, for, as 
he and his friends feared, the verdict might pos- 
sibly be neither in accordance with the law, the 
facts, nor the convictions of the jury. Eugene's 
defection had not altered the tone of the Tocsin. 

All day long a crowd of men and boys hung 
about the corridors of the Court - house, about 
the Square and the neighboring streets, and from 
these rose sombre murmurs, more and more omi- 
nous. The public sentiment of a community like 
Canaan can make itself felt inside a court-room; 
and it was strongly exerted against Happy Fear'. 
The Tocsin had always been a powerful agent; 
Judge Pike had increased its strength with a 
staff which was thoroughly efficient, alert, and 
always able to strike centre with the paper's 
readers ; and in town and country it had absorbed 
the circulation of the other local journals, which 
resisted feebly at times, but in the matter of the 
Cory murder had not dared to do anything except 
follow the Tocsin's lead. The Tocsin, having lit 
the fire, fed it fed it saltpetre and sulphur for 
now Martin Pike was fighting hard. 

The farmers and people of the less urban parts 
of the country were accustomed to found their 

337 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

opinions upon the Tocsin. They regarded it as 
the single immutable rock of journalistic right- 
eousness and wisdom in the world. Consequently, 
stirred by the outbursts of the paper, they came 
into Canaan in great numbers, and though the 
pressure from the town itself was so strong that 
only a few of them managed to crowd into the 
court-room, the others joined their voices to those 
sombre murmurs outdoors, which increased in 
loudness as the trial went on. 

The Tocsin, however, was not having every- 
thing its own way; the volume of outcry against 
Happy Fear and his lawyer had diminished, it was 
noticed, in "very respectable quarters." The in- 
formation imparted by Mike Sheehan to the poli- 
ticians at Mr. Farbach's had been slowly seeping 
through the various social strata of the town, and 
though at first incredulously rejected, it began to 
find acceptance ; Upper Main Street cooling appre- 
ciably in its acceptance of the Tocsin as the law 
and the prophets. There were even a few who 
dared to wonder in their hearts if there had not 
been a mistake about Joe Louden; and although 
Mrs. Flitcroft weakened not, the relatives of 
Squire Buckalew and of Peter Bradbury began to 
hold up their heads a little, after having made 
home horrible for those gentlemen and reproached 
them with their conversion as the last word of 

338 



JOE WALKS ACROSS THE YARD 

senile shame. In addition, the Colonel's grand- 
son and Mr. Bradbury's grandson had both mys- 
tifyingly lent countenance to Joe, consorting with 
him openly; the former for his own purposes the 
latter because he had cunningly discovered that 
it was a way to Miss Tabor's regard, which, since 
her gentle rejection of him, he had grown to be- 
lieve (good youth !) might be the pleasantest thing 
that could ever come to him. In short, the ques- 
tion had begun to thrive : Was it possible that Es- 
kew Arp had not been insane, after all ? 

The best of those who gathered ominously about 
the Court-house and its purlieus were the young 
farmers and field-hands, artisans and clerks; one 
of the latter being a pimply faced young man 
(lately from the doctor's hands), who limped, and 
would limp for the rest of his life, he who, of all 
men, held the memory of Eskew Arp in least re- 
spect, and was burningly desirous to revenge him- 
self upon the living. 

The worst were of that mystifying, embryonic, 
semi-rowdy type, the American voyou, in the pro- 
duction of which Canaan and her sister towns 
everywhere over the country are prolific; the 
young man, youth, boy perhaps, creature of name- 
less age, whose clothes are like those of a brake- 
man out of work, but who is not a brakeman in 
or out of work; wearing the black, soft hat tilted 

339 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

forward to shelter as a counter does the contempt 
of a clerk that expression which the face does not 
dare wear quite in the open, asserting the posses- 
sion of supreme capacity in wit, strength, dexterity, 
and amours ; the dirty handkerchief under the col- 
lar; the short black coat always double-breasted; 
the eyelids sooty; one cheek always bulged; the 
forehead speckled ; the lips cracked ; horrible teeth ; 
and the affectation of possessing secret informa- 
tion upon all matters of the universe ; above all, 
the instinct of finding the shortest way to any 
scene of official interest to the policeman, fireman, 
or ambulance surgeon ; a singular being, not pro- 
fessionally criminal ; tough histrionically rather than 
really ; full of its own argot of brag ; hysterical when 
crossed, timid through great ignorance, and there- 
fore dangerous. It furnishes not the leaders but 
the mass of mobs; and it springs up at times of 
crisis from Heaven knows where. You might have 
driven through all the streets of Canaan, a week 
before the trial, and have seen four or five such 
fellows; but from the day of its beginning the 
Square was full of them, dingy shuttlecocks batted 
up into view by the Tocsin. 

They kept the air whirring with their noise. 
The news of that sitting which had caused the 
Squire, Flitcroft, and Peter Bradbury to risk the 
Court's displeasure, was greeted outside with loud 



JOE WALKS ACROSS THE YARD 

and vehement disfavor; and when, at noon, the 
jurymen were marshalled out to cross the yard 
to the "National House" for dinner, a large crowd 
followed and surrounded them, until they reached 
the doors of the hotel. " Don't let Lawyer Louden 
bamboozle you ! " " Hang him ! " ' ' Tar and feathers 
fer ye ef ye don't hang him!" These were the 
mildest threats, and Joe Louden, watching from 
an upper window of the Court-house, observed 
with a troubled eye how certain of the jury shrank 
from the pressure of the throng, how the cheeks 
of others showed sudden pallor. Sometimes " pub- 
lic sentiment" has done evil things to those who 
have not shared it ; and Joe knew how rare a thing 
is a jury which dares to stand square against a 
town like Canaan aroused. 

The end of that afternoon's session saw another 
point marked for the defence ; Joe had put the de- 
fendant on the stand, and the little man had proved 
an excellent witness. During his life he had been 
many things many things disreputable; high 
standards were not brightly illumined for him in 
the beginning of the night-march which his life 
had been. He had been a tramp, afterward a 
petty gambler; but his great motive had finally 
come to be the intention to do what Joe told him 
to do : that, and to keep Claudine as straight as he 
could. In a measure, these were the two things 

34i 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

that had brought him to the pass in which he now 
stood, his loyalty to Joe and his resentment of 
whatever tampered with Claudine's straightness. 
He was submissive to the consequences: he was 
still loyal. And now Joe asked him to tell "just 
what happened," and Happy obeyed with crystal 
clearness. Throughout the long, tricky cross- 
examination he continued to tell "just what 
happened" with a plaintive truthfulness not to 
be imitated, and throughout it Joe guarded him 
from pitfalls (for lawyers in their search after 
truth are compelled by the exigencies of their pro- 
fession to make pitfalls even for the honest), and 
gave him, by various devices, time to remember, 
though not to think, and made the words "come 
right" in his mouth. So that before the sitting 
was over, a disquieting rumor ran through the 
waiting crowd in the corridors, across the Square, 
and over the town, that the case was surely going 
" Louden 's way." This was also the opinion of 
a looker-on in Canaan a ferret-faced counsellor 
of corporations who, called to consultation with 
the eminent Buckalew (nephew of the Squire), 
had afterward spent an hour in his company at 
the trial. " It's going that young fellow Louden's 
way," said the stranger. " You say he's a shyster, 
but" 

" Well," admitted Buckalew, with some reluc- 
342 



JOE WALKS ACROSS THE YARD 

tance, "I don't mean that exactly. I've got an 
old uncle who seems lately to think he's a great 
man." 

"I'll take your uncle's word for it," returned 
the other, smiling. "I think he'll go pretty far." 

They had come to the flight of steps which de- 
scended to the yard, and the visitor, looking down 
upon the angry crowd, added, " If they don't kill 
him!" 

Joe himself was anxious concerning no such 
matter. He shook hands with Happy at the end 
of the sitting, bidding him be of good cheer, and, 
when the little man had marched away, under a 
strong guard, began to gather and sort his papers 
at a desk inside the bar. This took him perhaps 
five minutes, and when he had finished there were 
only three people left in the room : a clerk, a negro 
janitor with a broom, and the darky friend who 
always hopefully accompanies a colored man hold- 
ing high public office. These two approvingly 
greeted the young lawyer, the janitor handing him 
a note from Norbert Flitcroft, and the friend me- 
chanically "borrowing" a quarter from him as he 
opened the envelope. 

"I'll be roun' yo' way to git a box o' se-gahs," 

laughed the friend, "soon ez de campaign open up 

good. Dey all goin' vote yo' way, down on the 

levee bank, but dey sho' expecks to git to smoke 

33 343 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

a little 'fo' leckshun-day ! We knows who's ow 
frien'I" 

Norbert's missive was lengthy and absorbing; 
Joe went on his way, perusing it with profound 
attention ; but as he descended the stairway to the 
floor below, a loud burst of angry shouting, out- 
side the building, caused him to hasten toward 
the big front doors which faced Main Street. The 
doors opened upon an imposing vestibule, from 
which a handsome flight of stone steps, protected 
by a marble balustrade, led to the ground. 

Standing at the top of these steps and leaning 
over the balustrade, he had a clear view of half the 
yard. No one was near him; everybody was run- 
ning in the opposite direction, toward that corner 
of the yard occupied by the jail, the crowd cen- 
tring upon an agitated whirlpool of men which 
moved slowly toward a door in the high wall that 
enclosed the building; and Joe saw that Happy 
Fear's guards, conducting the prisoner back to his 
cell, were being jostled and rushed. The distance 
they had made was short, but as they reached the 
door the pressure upon them increased danger- 
ously. Clubs rose in the air, hats flew, the whirl- 
pool heaved tumultuously, and the steel door clanged. 

Happy Fear was safe inside, but the jostlers were 
outside baffled, ugly, and stirred with the passion 
that changes a crowd into a mob. 

344 



JOE WALKS ACROSS THE YARD 

Then some of them caught sight of Joe as he 
stood alone at the top of the steps, and a great 
shout of rage and exultation arose. 

For a moment or two he did not see his danger. 
At the clang of the door, his eyes, caught by the 
gleam of a wide white hat, had turned toward the 
street, and he was somewhat fixedly watching Mr. 
Ladew extricate Ariel (and her aged and indignant 
escorts) from an overflow of the crowd in which 
they had been caught. But a voice warned him: 
the wild piping of a newsboy who had climbed into 
a tree near by. 

" Joe Louden /" he screamed. " Look out /" 

With a muffled roar the crowd surged back from 
the jail and turned toward the steps. "Tar and 
feather him!" "Take him over to the river and 
throw him in!" "Drown him!" "Hang him!" 

Then a thing happened which was dramatic 
enough in its inception, but almost ludicrous in its 
effect. Joe walked quietly down the steps and 
toward the advancing mob with his head cocked 
to one side, one eyebrow lifted, and one corner of 
his mouth drawn down in a faintly distorted smile. 

He went straight toward the yelling forerunners, 
with only a small bundle of papers in his hands, 
and then while the non-partisan spectators held 
their breath, expecting the shock of contact 
straight on through them. 

345 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

A number of the bulge-cheeked formed the scat- 
tering van of these forerunners, charging with 
hoarse and cruel shrieks of triumph. The first, 
apparently about to tear Joseph Louden to pieces, 
changed countenance at arm's - length, swerved 
violently, and with the loud cry, "Head him off!" 
dashed on up the stone steps. The man next be- 
hind him followed his lead, with the same shout, 
strategy, and haste ; then the others of this advance 
attack, finding themselves confronting the quiet 
man, who kept his even pace and showed no in- 
tention of turning aside for them, turned suddenly 
aside for him, and, taking the cue from the first, 
pursued their way, bellowing: "Head him off! 
Head him off!" until there were a dozen and more 
rowdy ish men and youths upon the steps, their 
eyes blazing with fury, menacing Louden's back 
with frightful gestures across the marble balus- 
trade, as they hysterically bleated the chorus, 
"Head him off!" 

Whether or not Joe could have walked through 
the entire mob as he had walked through these is 
a matter for speculation ; it was believed in Canaan 
that he could. Already a gust of mirth began to 
sweep over the sterner spirits as they paused to 
marvel no less at the disconcerting advance of 
the lawyer than at the spectacle presented by the 
intrepid dare-devils upon the steps ; a kind of lane 

346 



JOE WALKS ACROSS THE YARD 

actually opening before the young man as he walked 
steadily on. And when Mr. Sheehan, leading half 
a dozen huge men from the Farbach brewery, un- 
ceremoniously shouldered a way through the mob to 
Joe's side, reaching him where the press was thick- 
est, it is a question if the services of his detachment 
were needed. 

The laughter increased. It became voluminous. 
Homeric salvos shook the air. And never one of 
the fire-eaters upon the steps lived long enough 
to live down the hateful cry of that day, "Head 
him off!" which was to become a catch-word on 
the streets, a taunt more stinging than any devised 
by deliberate invention, an insult bitterer than the 
ancestral doubt, a fighting- word, and the great 
historical joke of Canaan, never omitted in after- 
days when the tale was told how Joe Louden took 
that short walk across the Court-house yard which 
made him Mayor of Canaan. 




XXIV 

MARTIN PIKE KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT 

N hour later, Martin Pike, looking 
forth from the Mansion, saw a man 
open the gate, and, passing between 
the unemotional deer, rapidly ap- 
proach the house. He was a thin 
young fellow, very well dressed in dark gray, his 
hair prematurely somewhat silvered, his face pre- 
maturely somewhat lined, and his hat covered a 
scar such as might have been caused by a blow 
from a blunt instrument in the nature of a poker. 
He did not reach the door, nor was there neces- 
sity for him to ring, for, before he had set foot on 
the lowest step, the Judge had hastened to meet 
him. Not, however, with any fulsomely hospitable 
intent; his hand and arm were raised to execute 
one of his Olympian gestures, of the kind which 
had obliterated the young man upon a certain by- 
gone morning. 

Louden looked up calmly at the big figure tow- 
ering above him. 

348 



MARTIN KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT 

"It won't do, Judge," he said; that was all, but 
there was a significance in his manner and a cer- 
tainty in his voice which caused the uplifted hand 
to drop limply; while the look of apprehension 
which of late had grown more and more to be 
Martin Pike's habitual expression deepened into 
something close upon mortal anxiety. 

"Have you any business to set foot upon my 
property?" he demanded. 

"Yes," answered Joe. "That's why I came." 

"What business have you got with me'"' 

"Enough to satisfy you, I think. But there's 
one thing I don't want to do" Joe glanced at the 
open door " and that is to talk about it here for 
your own sake and because I think Miss Tabor 
should be present. I called to ask you to come 
to her house at eight o'clock to-night." 

"You did!" Martin Pike spoke angrily, but 
not in the bull-bass of yore; and he kept his voice 
down, glancing about him nervously as though 
he feared that his wife or Mamie might hear. 
"My accounts with her estate are closed," he said, 
harshly. "If she wants anything, let her come 
here." 

Joe shook his head. "No. You must be there 
at eight o'clock." 

The Judge's choler got the better of his uneasi- 
ness. "You're a pretty one to come ordering me 

349 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

around!" he broke out. "You slanderer, do you 
suppose I haven't heard how you're going about 
traducing me, undermining my character in this 
community, spreading scandals that I am the real 
owner of Beaver Beach " 

"It can easily be proved, Judge," Joe inter- 
rupted, quietly, "though you're wrong: I haven't 
been telling people. I haven't needed to even 
if I'd wished. Once a thing like that gets out you 
can't stop it ever! That isn't all: to my knowl- 
edge you own other property worse than the Beach ; 
I know that you own half of the worst dens in 
the town: profitable investments, too. You bought 
them very gradually and craftily, only showing 
the deeds to those in charge as you did to Mike 
Sheehan, and not recording them. Sheehan's be- 
trayal of you gave me the key ; I know most of the 
poor creatures who are your tenants, too, you 
see, and that gave me an advantage because they 
have some confidence in me. My investigations 
have been almost as quiet and careful as your pur- 
chases." 

"You damned blackmailer!" The Judge bent 
upon him a fierce, inquiring scrutiny in which, odd- 
ly enough, there was a kind of haggard hopeful- 
ness. "And out of such stories," he sneered, 
"you are going to try to make political capital 
against the Tocsin, are you?" 



MARTIN KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT 

"No," said Joe. "It was necessary in the in- 
terests of my client for me to know pretty thorough- 
ly just what property you own, and I think I do. 
These pieces I've mentioned are about all you 
have not mortgaged. You couldn't do that with- 
out exposure, and you've kept a controlling inter- 
est in the Tocsin clear, too for the sake of its 
influence, I suppose. Now, do you want to hear 
any more, or will you agree to meet me at Miss 
Tabor's this evening?" 

Whatever the look of hopefulness had signified, 
it fled from Pike's face during this speech, but he 
asked with some show of contempt, "Do you 
think it likely?" 

"Very well," said Joe, "if you want me to 
speak here." And he came a little closer to him. 
" You bought a big block of Granger Gas for Roger 
Tabor," he began, in a low voice. "Before his 
death you sold everything he had, except the old 
house, put it all into cash for him, and bought that 
stock ; you signed the check as his attorney-in-fact, 
and it came back to you through the Washington 
National, where Norbert Flitcroft handled it. He 
has a good memory, and when he told me what he 
knew, I had him to do some tracing; did a little 
myself, also. Judge Pike, I must tell you that 
you stand in danger of the law. You were the 
custodian of that stock for Roger Tabor; it was 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

transferred in blank; though I think you meant 
to be ' legal ' at that time, and that was merely for 
convenience in case Roger had wished you to sell 
it for him. But just after his death you found 
yourself saddled with distillery stock, which was 
going bad on your hands. Other speculations of 
yours were failing at the same time; you had to 
have money you filed your report as adminis- 
trator, crediting Miss Tabor with your own stock 
which you knew was going to the wall, and trans- 
ferred hers to yourself. Then you sold it because 
you needed ready money. You used her fortune 
to save yourself but you were horribly afraid! 
No matter how rotten your transactions had been, 
you had always kept inside the law; and now that 
you had gone outside of it, you were frightened. 
You didn't dare come flat out to Miss Tabor with 
the statement that her fortune had gone; it had 
been in your charge all the time and things might 
look ugly. So you put it off, perhaps from day 
to day. You didn't dare tell her until you were 
forced to, and to avoid the confession you sent her 
the income which was rightfully hers. That was 
your great weakness." 

Joe had spoken with great rapidity, though keep- 
ing his voice low, and he lowered it again, as he 
continued: "Judge Pike, what chance have you 
to be believed in court when you swear that you 

352 



MARTIN KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT 

sent her twenty thousand dollars out of the good- 
ness of your heart? Do you think she believed 
you? It was the very proof to her that you had 
robbed her. For she knew you! Do you want 
to hear more now? Do you think this is a good 
place for it ? Do you wish me to go over the de- 
tails of each step I have taken against you, to land 
you at the bar where this poor fellow your paper 
is hounding stands to-day?" 

The Judge essayed to answer, and could not. 
He lifted his hand uncertainly and dropped it, 
while a thick dew gathered on his temples. In- 
articulate sounds came from between his teeth. 

"You will come?" said Joe. 

Martin Pike bent his head dazedly; and at that 
the other turned quickly from him and went away 
without looking back. 

Ariel was in the studio, half an hour later, when 
Joe was announced by the smiling Mr. Warden. 
Ladew was with her, though upon the point of 
taking his leave, and Joe marked (with a sinking 
heart) that the young minister's cheeks were 
flushed and his eyes very bright. 

" It was a magnificent thing you did, Mr. Lou- 
den," he said, offering his hand heartily; "I saw 
it, and it was even finer in one way than it was 
plucky. It somehow straightened things out with 

353 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

such perfect good nature ; it made those people feel 
that what they were doing was ridiculous." 

"So it was," said Joe. 

"Few, under the circumstances, could have 
acted as if they thought so! And I hope you'll 
let me call upon you, Mr. Louden." 

" I hope you will," he answered; and then, when 
the minister had departed, stood looking after him 
with sad eyes, in which there dwelt obscure medita- 
tions. Ladew's word of farewell had covered a 
deep look at Ariel, which was not to be mistaken 
by Joseph Louden for anything other than what 
it was: the clergyman's secret was an open one, 
and Joe saw that he was as frank and manly in 
love as in all other things. "He's a good fellow," 
he said at last, sighing. "A good man." 

Ariel agreed. "And he said more to me than 
he did to you." 

"Yes, I think it probable," Joe smiled sorrow- 
fully. 

"About you, I mean." He had time to fear 
that her look admitted confusion before she pro- 
ceeded: "He said he had never seen anything so 
fine as your coming down those steps. Ah, he 
was right! But it was harder for me to watch 
you, I think, than for you to do it, Joe. I was so 
horribly afraid and the crowd between us if we 
could have got near you but we couldn't we " 

354 



MARTIN KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT 

She faltered, and pressed her hand close upon 
her eyes. 

"We?" asked Joe, slowly. "You mean you 
and Mr. Ladew?" 

"Yes, he was there; but I mean" her voice 
ran into a little laugh with a beatific quaver in it 
"I mean Colonel Flitcroft and Mr. Bradbury 
and Mr. Buckalew, too we were hemmed in to- 
gether when Mr. Ladew found us and, oh, Joe, 
when that cowardly rush started toward you, 
those three I've heard wonderful things in Paris 
and Naples, cabmen quarrelling and disappointed 
beggars but never anything like them to-day " 

"You mean they were profane?" 

"Oh, magnificently and with such inventive- 
ness! All three begged my pardon afterwards. I 
didn't grant it I blessed them!" 

"Did they beg Mr. Ladew's pardon?" 

"Ah, Joe!" she reproached him. "He isn't a 
prig. And he's had to fight some things that you 
of all men ought to understand. He's only been 
here a few months, but he told me that Judge Pike 
has been against him from the start. It seems that 
Mr. Ladew is too liberal in his views. And he told 
me that if it were not for Judge Pike's losing in- 
fluence in the church on account of the Beaver 
Beach story, the Judge would probably have been 
able to force him to resign; but now he will stay." 

355 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"He wishes to stay, doesn't he?" 

" Very much, I think. And, Joe," she continued, 
thoughtfully, " I want you to do something for me. 
I want you to go to church with me next Sun- 
day." 

"To hear Mr. Ladew?" 

"Yes. I wouldn't ask except for that." 

"Very well," he consented, with averted eyes. 
"I'll go." 

Her face was radiant with the smile she gave 
him. "It will make me very happy," she said. 

He bent his head and fumbled over some papers 
he had taken from his pocket. " Will you listen to 
these memoranda? We have a great deal to go 
over before eight o'clock." 

Judge Pike stood for a long while where Joe had 
left him, staring out at the street, apparently. 
Really he saw nothing. Undoubtedly an image 
of blurring foliage, cast - iron, cement, and turf, 
with sunshine smeared over all, flickered upon the 
retinas of his eyes ; but the brain did not accept the 
picture from the optic nerve. Martin Pike was 
busy with other visions. Joe Louden had followed 
him back to his hidden deeds and had read them 
aloud to him as Gabriel would read them on Judg- 
ment-day. Perhaps this was the Judgment-day. 

Pike had taken charge of Roger Tabor's affairs 
356 



MARTIN KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT 

because the commissions as agent were not too 
inconsiderable to be neglected. To make the 
task simpler, he had sold, as time went on, the 
various properties of the estate, gradually con- 
verting all of them into cash. Then, the oppor- 
tunity offering, he bought a stock which paid ex- 
cellent dividends, had it transferred in blank, be- 
cause if it should prove to Roger's advantage to 
sell it, his agent could do so without any formal 
delays between Paris and Canaan. At least, that 
is what the Judge had told himself at the time, 
though it may be that some lurking whisperer in 
his soul had hinted that it might be well to preserve 
the great amount of cash in hand, and Roger's 
stock was practically that. Then came the evil 
days. Laboriously, he had built up a name for 
conservatism which most of the town accepted, 
but secretly he had always been a gambler: Wall 
Street was his goal; to adventure there, as one of 
the great single-eyed Cyclopean man-eaters, his 
fond ambition ; and he had conceived the distillery 
trust as a means to attain it; but the structure 
tumbled about his ears; other edifices of his crum- 
bled at the same time ; he found himself beset, his 
solvency endangered, and there was the Tabor 
stock, quite as good as gold; Roger had just died, 
and it was enough to save him. Save ? That was 
a strange way to be remembering it to-day, when 

357 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

Fate grinned at him out of a dreadful mask con- 
torted like the face of Norbert Flitcroft. 

Martin Pike knew himself for a fool. What 
chance had he, though he destroyed the check a 
thousand times over, to escape the records by 
which the coil of modern trade duplicates and 
quadruplicates each slip of scribbled paper ? What 
chance had he against the memories of men? 
Would the man of whom he had bought, forget 
that the check was signed by Roger's agent ? Had 
the bank-clerk forgotten ? Thrice fool, Martin Pike, 
to dream that in a town like Canaan, Norbert or 
any of his kind could touch an order for so great 
a sum and forget it! But Martin Pike had not 
dreamed that; had dreamed nothing. When fail- 
ure confronted him his mind refused to consider 
anything but his vital need at the time, and he 
had supplied that need. And now he grew busy 
with the future: he saw first the civil suit for resti- 
tution, pressed with the ferocity and cunning of 
one who intended to satisfy a grudge of years; 
then, perhaps, a criminal prosecution. . . . But he 
would fight it! Did they think that such a man 
was to be overthrown by a breath of air? By a 
girl, a bank -clerk, and a shyster lawyer? They 
would find their case difficult to prove in court. 
He did not believe they could prove it. They 
would be discredited for the attempt upon him 

358 



MARTIN KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT 

and he would win clear; these Beaver Beach scan- 
dals would die of inertia presently ; there would be 
a lucky trick in wheat, and Martin Pike would be 
Martin Pike once more; reinstated, dictator of 
church, politics, business; all those things which 
were the breath of his life restored. He would 
show this pitiful pack what manner of man they 
hounded! Norbert Flitcroft. . . . 

The Judge put his big hand up to his eyes and 
rubbed them. Curious mechanisms the eyes. . . . 
That deer in line with the vision not a zebra? 
A zebra after all these years ? And yet . . . curious, 
indeed, the eyes! ... a zebra. . . . Who ever heard 
of a deer with stripes? The big hand rose from 
the eyes and ran through the hair which he had 
always worn rather long. It would seem strange 
to have it cut very short. . . . Did they use clippers, 
perhaps? . . . 

He started suddenly and realized that his next- 
door neighbor had passed along the sidewalk with 
head averted, pretending not to see him. A few 
weeks ago the man would not have missed the 
chance of looking in to bow with proper defer- 
ence, too! Did he know ? He could not know this! 
It must be the Beaver Beach scandal. It must be. 
It could not be this not yet! But it might be. 
How many knew ? Louden, Norbert, Ariel who else ? 
And again the deer took on the strange zebra look. 

34 359 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

The Judge walked slowly down to the gate ; spoke 
to the man he had employed in Sam Warden's 
place, a Scotchman who had begun to refresh the 
lawn with a garden hose ; bowed affably in response 
to the salutation of the elder Louden, who was 
passing, bound homeward from the factory, and 
returned to the house with thoughtful steps. In 
the hall he encountered his wife; stopped to speak 
with her upon various household matters; then 
entered the library, which was his workroom. He 
locked the door; tried it, and shook the handle. 
After satisfying himself of its security, he pulled 
down the window-shades carefully, and, lighting 
a gas drop-lamp upon his desk, began to fumble 
with various documents, which he took from a 
small safe near by. But his hands were not steady ; 
he dropped the papers, scattering them over the 
floor, and had great difficulty in picking them up. 
He perspired heavily : whatever he touched became 
damp, and he continually mopped his forehead 
with his sleeve. After a time he gave up the at- 
tempt to sort the packets of papers; sank into a 
chair despairingly, leaving most of them in disorder. 

A light tap sounded on the door. 

"Martin, it's supper-time." 

With a great effort he made shift to answer: 
"Yes, I know. You and Mamie go ahead. I'm 
too busy to-night. I don't want anything." 

360 



MARTIN KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT 

A moment before, he had been a pitiful figure, 
face distraught, hands incoherent, the whole body 
inco-ordinate, but if eyes might have rested upon 
him as he answered his wife they would have seen 
a strange thing ; he sat, apparently steady and col- 
lected, his expression cool, his body quiet, poised 
exactly to the quality of his reply, for the same 
strange reason that a young girl smiles archly and 
coquettes to a telephone. 

" But, Martin, you oughtn't to work so hard. 
You'll break down " 

" No fear of that," he replied, cheerfully. " You 
can leave something on the sideboard for me." 

After another fluttering remonstrance, she went 
away, and the room was silent again. His arms 
rested upon the desk, and his head slowly sank 
between his elbows. When he lifted it again the 
clock on the mantel -piece had tinkled once. It 
was half-past seven. He took a sheet of note- 
paper from a box before him and began to write, 
but when he had finished the words, "My dear 
wife and Mamie," his fingers shook so violently 
that he could go no further. He placed his left 
hand over the back of his right to steady it, but 
found the device unavailing: the pen left mere 
zigzags on the page, and he dropped it. 

He opened a lower drawer of the desk and took 
out of it a pistol; rose, went to the door, tried it 

361 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

once more, and again was satisfied of his seclusion. 
Then he took the weapon in both hands, the 
handle against his fingers, one thumb against the 
trigger, and, shaking with nausea, lifted it to the 
level of his eyes. His will betrayed him ; he could 
not contract his thumb upon the trigger, and, 
with a convulsive shiver, he dropped the revolver 
upon the desk. 

He locked the door of the room behind him, 
crept down the stairs and out of the front -door. 
He walked shamblingly, when he reached the 
street, keeping close to the fences as he went on, 
now and then touching the pickets with his hand, 
like a feeble old man. 

He had always been prompt; it was one of the 
things of which he had been proud: in all his life 
he had never failed to keep a business engagement 
precisely upon the appointed time, and the Court- 
house bell clanged eight when Sam Warden opened 
the door for his old employer to-night. 

The two young people looked up gravely from 
the script-laden table before them as Martin Pike 
came into the strong lamplight out of the dimness 
of the hall, where only a taper burned. He sham- 
bled a few limp steps into the room and came to 
a halt. Big as he was, his clothes hung upon him 
loosely, like coverlets upon a collapsed bed; and 
he seemed but a distorted image of himself, as if 

362 



MARTIN KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT 

(save for the dull and reddened eyes) he had been 
made of yellowish wax and had been left too long 
in the sun. Abject, hopeless, his attitude a con- 
fession of ruin and shame, he stood before his 
judges in such wretchedness that, in comparison, 
the figure of Happy Fear, facing the court-room 
through his darkest hour, was one to be envied. 

"Well," he said, brokenly, "what are you going 
to do?" 

Joe Louden looked at him with great intentness 
for several moments. Then he rose and came for- 
ward. "Sit down, Judge," he said. "It's all 
right. Don't worry." 




XXV 

THE JURY COMES IN 

JRS. FLITCROFT, at breakfast on 
the following morning, continued a 
disquisition which had ceased, the 
previous night, only because of a 
provoking human incapacity to exist 
without sleep. Her theme was one which had 
exclusively occupied her since the passing of 
Eskew, and, her rheumatism having improved so 
that she could leave her chair, she had become a 
sort of walking serial ; Norbert and his grandfather 
being well assured that, whenever they left the 
house, the same story was to be continued upon 
their reappearance. The Tocsin had been her great 
comfort: she was but one helpless woman against 
two strong men ; therefore she sorely needed assist- 
ance in her attack upon them, and the invaluable 
newspaper gave it in generous measure. 

"Yes, young man," she said, as she lifted her 
first spoonful of oatmeal, "you better read the 
Tocsin!" 

364 



THE JURY COMES IN 

"I am reading it," responded Norbert, who was 
almost concealed by the paper. 

"And your grandfather better read it!" she con- 
tinued, severely. 

"I already have," said the Colonel, promptly. 
"Have you?" 

"No, but you can be sure I will!" The good 
lady gave the effect of tossing her head. "And 
you better take what it says to heart, you and 
some others. It's a wonder to me that you and 
Buckalew and old Peter don't go and hold that 
Happy Fear's hand durin' the trial! And as for 
Joe Louden, his step-mother's own sister, Jane, 
says to me only yesterday afternoon, 'Why, law! 
Mrs. Flitcroft,' she says, 'it's a wonder to me,' 
she says, 'that your husband and those two other 
old fools don't lay down in the gutter and let that 
Joe Louden walk over 'em." 

"Did Jane Quimby say 'those two other old 
fools'?" inquired the Colonel, in a manner which 
indicated that he might see Mr. Quimby in regard 
to the slander. 

"I can't say as I remember just precisely her 
exact words," admitted Mrs. Flitcroft, "but that 
was the sense of 'em! You've made yourselves 
the laughin '-stock of the whole town!" 

"Oh, we have?" 

"And I'd like to know" her voice became shrill 
365 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

and goading "I'd like to know what Judge Pike 
thinks of you and Norbert! I should think you'd 
be ashamed to have him pass you in the street." 

"I've quit speaking to him," said Norbert, cold- 
ly, "ever since I heard he owned Beaver Beach." 

"That story ain't proved yet!" returned his 
grandmother, with much irascibility. 

"Well, it will be; but that's not all." Norbert 
wagged his head. " You may be a little surprised 
within the next few days." 

"I've been surprised for the past few!" she re- 
plied, with a bitterness which overrode her satis- 
faction in the effectiveness of the retort. "Sur- 
prised! I'd like to know who wouldn't be sur- 
prised when half the town acts like it's gone crazy. 
People praisin 1 that fellow, that nobody in their 
sober minds and senses never in their lives had a 
good word for before! Why, there was more talk 
yesterday about his doin's at the Court-house 
you'd of thought he was Phil Sheridan! It's 'Joe 
Louden' here and 'Joe Louden' there, and 'Joe 
Louden' this and 'Joe Louden' that, till I'm sick 
\)f the name!" 

"Then why don't you quit saying it?" asked the 
Colonel, reasonably. 

"Because it'd ought to be said!" she exclaimed, 
with great heat. " Because he'd ought to be held 
up to the community to be despised. You let me 

366 



THE JURY COMES IN 

have that paper a minute," she pursued, vehement- 
ly; "you just let me have the Tocsin and I'll read 
you out some things about him that '11 show him 
in his true light!" 

"All right," said Norbert, suddenly handing her 
the paper. "Go ahead." 

And after the exchange of a single glance the 
two gentlemen composed themselves to listen. 

"Ha!" exclaimed Mrs. Flitcroft. "Here it is in 
head-lines on the first page. 'Defence Scores 
Again and Again. Ridiculous Behavior of a 
Would -Be Mob. Louden's '" She paused, re- 
moved her spectacles, examined them dubiously, 
restored them to place, and continued : " ' Louden's 
Masterly Conduct and Well - Deserved ' : ' she 
paused again, incredulous "'Well-Deserved Tri- 
umph'" 

"Go on," said the Colonel, softly. 

" Indeed I will!" the old lady replied. " Do you 
think I don't know sarcasm when I see it? Ha, 
ha!" She laughed with great heartiness. "I 
reckon I will go on! You listen and try to learn 
something from it!" She resumed the reading: 

" ' It is generally admitted that after yesterday's 
sitting of the court, the prosecution in the Fear- 
Cory murder trial has not a leg to stand on. Lou- 
den's fight for his client has been, it must be con- 
fessed, of a most splendid and talented order, and 

367 



the bottom has fallen out of the case for the State, 
while a verdict of Not Guilty, it is now conceded, 
is the general wish of those who have attended and 
followed the trial. But the most interesting event 
of the day took place after the session, when some 
miscreants undertook to mob the attorney for the 
defence in the Court-house yard. He met the at- 
tack with a coolness and nerve which have won 
him a popularity that "' Mrs. Flitcroft again 
faltered. 

"Go on," repeated the Colonel. "There's a 
great deal more." 

"Look at the editorials," suggested Norbert. 
"There's one on the same subject." 

Mrs. Flitcroft, her theory of the Tocsin's sarcasm 
somewhat shaken, turned the page. " We Confess 
a Mistake" was the rubric above the leader, and 
she uttered a cry of triumph, for she thought the 
mistake was what she had just been reading, and 
that the editorial would apologize for the incom- 
prehensible journalistic error upon the first page. 
"'The best of us make mistakes, and it is well 
to have a change of heart sometimes." 1 (Thus 
Eugene's successor had written, and so Mrs. Flit- 
croft read.) " ' An open confession is good for the 
soul. The Tocsin has changed its mind in regard 
to certain matters, and means to say so freely and 
frankly. After yesterday's events in connection 

368 



THE JURY COMES IN 






with the murder trial before our public, the evi- 
dence being now all presented, for we understand 
that neither side has more to offer, it is generally 
conceded that all good citizens are hopeful of a 
verdict of acquittal; and the Tocsin is a good 
citizen. No good citizen would willingly see an 
innocent man punished, and that our city is not 
to be disgraced by such a miscarriage of justice is 
due to the efforts of the attorney for the defend- 
ant, who has gained credit not only by his masterly 
management of this case, but by his splendid con- 
duct in the face of danger yesterday afternoon. 
He has distinguished himself so greatly that we 
frankly assert that our citizens may point with 
pride to "' Mrs. Flitcroft's voice, at the begin- 
ning pitched to a high exultation, had gradually 
lowered in key and dropped down the scale till 
it disappeared altogether. 

" It's a wonder to me," the Colonel began, "that 
the Tocsin doesn't go and hold Joe Louden's 
hand." 

"I'll read the rest of it for you," said Norbert, 
his heavy face lighting up with cruelty. "Let's 
see where were you ? Oh yes ' point with 
pride' ? ' Our citizens may point with pride to . . ."' 

Let us not linger to observe the unmanly be- 
havior of an aged man and his grandson left alone 
at the breakfast-table by a defenceless woman. 

369 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

The Tocsin's right-about-face undermined others 
besides Mrs. Flitcroft that morning, and rejoiced 
greater (though not better) men than the Colonel. 
Mr. Farbach and his lieutenants smiled, yet stared, 
amazed, wondering what had happened. That 
was a thing which only three people even certainly 
knew ; yet it was very simple. 

The Tocsin was part of the Judge's restitution. 

"The controlling interest in the paper, together 
with the other property I have listed," Joe had 
said, studying his memoranda under the lamp in 
Roger's old studio, while Martin Pike listened with 
his head in his hands, "make up what Miss Tabor 
is willing to accept. As I estimate it, their total 
value is between a third and a half of that of the 
stock which belonged to her." 

" But this boy this Flitcroft," said Pike, feebly; 
" he might " 

"He will do nothing," interrupted Joe. "The 
case is 'settled out of court,' and even if he were 
disposed to harass you, he could hardly hope to 
succeed, since Miss Tabor declines either to sue 
or to prosecute." 

The Judge winced at the last word. " Yes yes, 
I know; but he might he might tell." 

"I think Miss Tabor's influence will prevent. 
If it should not well, you're not in a desperate 
case by any means; you're involved, but far from 

37o 



THE JURY COMES IN 

stripped; in time you may be as sound as ever. 
And if Norbert tells, there's nothing for you to do 
but to live it down." A faint smile played upon 
Joe's lips as he lifted his head and looked at the 
other. "It can be done, I think." 

It was then that Ariel, complaining of the warmth 
of the evening, thought it possible that Joe might 
find her fan upon the porch, and as he departed, 
whispered hurriedly: "Judge Pike, I'm not tech- 
nically in control of the Tocsin, but haven't I the 
right to control its policy?" 

"I understand," he muttered. "You mean 
about Louden about this trial " 

"That is why I have taken the paper." 

"You want all that changed, you mean?" 

She nodded decisively. "From this instant. 
Before morning." 

" Oh, well, I'll go down there and give the word." 
He rubbed his eyes wearily with big thumbs. 
" I'm through fighting. I'm done. Besides, what's 
the use? There's nothing more to fight." 

"Now, Judge," Joe said, as he came in briskly, 
" we'll go over the list of that unencumbered prop- 
erty, if you will." 

This unencumbered property consisted of Beaver 
Beach and those other belongings of the Judge 
which he had not dared to mortgage. Joe had 
somehow explained their nature to Ariel, and 

37i 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

these with the Tocsin she had elected to accept 
in restitution. 

"You told me once that I ought to look after 
my own property, and now I will. Don't you see ?" 
she cried to Joe, eagerly. "It's my work!" She 
resolutely set aside every other proposition; and 
this was the quality of mercy which Martin Pike 
found that night. 

There was a great crowd to hear Joe's summing- 
up at the trial, and those who succeeded in getting 
into the court-room declared that it was worth the 
struggle. He did not orate, he did not "thunder 
at the jury," nor did he slyly natter them; he did 
not overdo the confidential, nor seem so secure 
of understanding beforehand what their verdict 
would be that they felt an instinctive desire to 
fool him. He talked colloquially but clearly, 
without appeal to the pathetic and without gar- 
nitures, not mentioning sunsets, birds, oceans, 
homes, the glorious old State, or the happiness of 
liberty ; but he made everybody in the room quite 
sure that Happy Fear had fired the shot which 
killed Cory to save his own life. And that, as Mr. 
Bradbury remarked to the Colonel, was "what Joe 
was there for!" 

Ariel's escort was increased to four that day: 
Mr. Ladew sat beside her, and there were times 

372 



THE JURY COMES IN 

when Joe kept his mind entirely to the work in 
hand only by an effort, but he always succeeded. 
The sight of the pale and worshipping face of 
Happy Fear from the corner of his eye was enough 
to insure that. And people who could not get 
near the doors, asking those who could, "What's 
he doin' now?" were answered by variations of the 
one formula, "Oh, jest walkin' away with it!" 

Once the court-room was disturbed and set in 
an uproar which even the Judge's customary 
threat failed to subdue. Joe had been talking very 
rapidly, and having turned the point he was mak- 
ing with perfect dexterity, the jury listening eager- 
ly, stopped for a moment to take a swallow of 
water. A voice rose over the low hum of the 
crowd in a delirious chuckle: "Why don't some- 
body 'head him off!' " The room instantly rocked 
with laughter, under cover of which the identity 
of the sacrilegious chuckler was not discovered, 
but the voice was the voice of Buckalew, who was 
incredibly surprised to find that he had spoken 
aloud. 

The jury were "out," after the case had been 
given to them, seventeen minutes and. thirty sec- 
onds by the watch Claudine held in her hand. The 
little man, whose fate was now on the knees of the 
gods, looked pathetically at the foreman and 
then at the face of his lawyer and began to shake 

373 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

within the doors ; and, retreating through the build- 
ing, made good his escape by a basement door. 

He struck off into a long detour, but though he 
managed to evade the crowd, he had to stop and 
shake hands with every third person he met. As 
he came out upon Main Street again, he encoun- 
tered his father. 

"Howdy do, Joe?" said this laconic person, and 
offered his hand. They shook, briefly. "Well," 
he continued, rubbing his beard, "how are ye?" 

"All right, father, I think." 

"Satisfied with the verdict?" 

"I'd be pretty hard to please if I weren't," Joe 
laughed. 

Mr. Louden rubbed his beard again. "I was 
there," he said, without emotion. 

"At the trial, you mean?" 

"Yes." He offered his hand once more, and 
again they shook. "Well, come around and see 
us," he said. 

"Thank you. I will." 

"Well," said Mr. Louden, "good-day, Joe." 

"Good-day, father." 

The young man stood looking after him with a 
curious smile. Then he gave a slight start. Far 
up the street he saw two figures, one a lady's, in 
white, with a wide white hat; the other a man's, 

376 



THE JURY COMES IN 

wearing recognizably clerical black. They seemed 
to be walking very slowly. 

It had been a day of triumph for Joe; but in 
all his life he never slept worse than he did that 
night. 




XXVI 

"ANCIENT OF DAYS" 

woke to the chiming of bells, and, 
as his eyes slowly opened, the sor- 
rowful people of a dream, who seemed 
to be bending over him, weeping, 
iswam back into the darkness of the 
night whence they had come, and returned to the 
imperceptible, leaving their shadows in his heart. 
Slowly he rose, stumbled into the outer room, and 
released the fluttering shade; but the sunshine, 
springing like a golden lover through the open 
window, only dazzled him, and found no answer- 
ing gladness to greet it, nor joy in the royal day it 
heralded. 

And yet, to the newly cleaned boys on their 
way to midsummer morning Sunday-school, the 
breath of that cool August day was as sweet as 
stolen apples. No doubt the stir of far, green 
thickets and the twinkle of silver-slippered creeks 
shimmered in the longing vision of their minds' 
eyes; even so, they were merry. But Joseph 

378 



"ANCIENT OF DAYS" 

Louden, sighing as he descended his narrow stairs, 
with the bitterness still upon his lips of the fright- 
ful coffee he had made, heard the echo of their 
laughter with wonder. 

It would be an hour at least before time to start 
to church, when Ariel expected him ; he stared ab- 
sently up the street, then down, and, after that, 
began slowly to walk in the latter direction, with 
no very active consciousness, or care, of where he 
went. He had fallen into a profound reverie, so 
deep that when he had crossed the bridge and 
turned into a dusty road which ran along the 
river -bank, he stopped mechanically beside the 
trunk of a fallen sycamore, and, lifting his head, 
for the first time since he had set out, looked 
about him with a melancholy perplexity, a little 
surprised to find himself there. 

For this was the spot where he had first seen the 
new Ariel, and on that fallen sycamore they had 
sat together. "Remember, across Main Street 
bridge at noon! 11 And Joe's cheeks burned, as he 
recalled why he had not understood the clear 
voice that had haunted him. But that shame had 
fallen from him; she had changed all that, as she 
had changed so many things. He sank down in 
the long grass, with his back against the log, and 
stared out over the fields of tall corn, shaking in 
a steady wind all the way to the horizon. 

379 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

"Changed so many things?" he said, half aloud. 
"Everything!" Ah, yes, she had changed the 
whole world for Joseph Louden at his first sight 
of her! And now it seemed to him that he was to 
lose her, but not in the way he had thought. 

Almost from the very first, he had the feeling 
that nothing so beautiful as that she should stay 
in Canaan could happen to him. He was sure that 
she was but for the little while, that her coming 
was like the flying petals of which he had told her. 

He had lain upon the earth; and she had lifted 
him up. For a moment he had felt the beatific 
wings enfolding him with gentle protection, and 
then saw them lifted to bear the angel beyond his 
sight. For it was incredible that the gods so 
loved Joe Louden that they would make greater 
gifts to him than this little time with her which 
they had granted him. 

"Changed so many things?" 

The bars that had been between him and half 
of his world were down, shattered, never more to 
be replaced; and the ban of Canaan was lifted. 
Could this have been, save for her? And upon 
that thought he got to his feet, uttering an excla- 
mation of bitter self - reproach, asking himself 
angrily what he was doing. He knew how much 
she gave him, what full measure of her affection! 
Was not that enough? Out upon you, Louden! 

380 



"ANCIENT OF DAYS" 

Are you to sulk in your tent, dour in the gloom, 
or to play a man's part, and if she be happy, turn 
a cheery face upon her joy? 

And thus this pilgrim recrossed the bridge, 
emerging to the street with his head up, smiling, 
and his shoulders thrown back so that none might 
see the burden he carried. 

Ariel was waiting on the porch for him. She 
wore the same dress she had worn that Sunday of 
their tryst; that exquisite dress, with the faint 
lavender overtint, like the tender colors of the 
beautiful day he made his own. She had not worn 
it since, and he was far distant when he caught the 
first flickering glimpse of her through the lower 
branches of the maples, but he remembered. . . . 
And again, as on that day, he heard a far-away, 
ineffable music, the Elf-land horns, sounding the 
mysterious reveille which had wakened his soul to 
her coming. 

She came to the gate to meet him, and gave him 
her hand in greeting, without a word or the need 
of one from either. Then together they set forth 
over the sun-flecked pavement, the maples swish- 
ing above them, heavier branches crooning in the 
strong breeze, under a sky like a Delia Robbia 
background. And up against the glorious blue of 
it, some laughing, invisible god was blowing small, 

38; 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

rounded clouds of pure cotton, as children blow 
thistledown. 

When he opened her parasol, as they came out 
into the broad sunshine beyond Upper Main Street, 
there was the faintest mingling of wild roses and 
cinnamon loosed on the air. 

"Joe," she said, "I'm very happy!" 

"That's right," he returned, heartily. " I think 
you always will be." 

"But, oh! I wish," she went on, "that Mr. Arp 
could have lived to see you come down the Court- 
house steps." 

"God bless him!" said Joe. "I can hear the 
'argument'!" 

"Those dear old men have been so loyal to you, 
Joe." 

"No," he returned; "loyal to Eskew." 

"To you both," she said. "I'm afraid the old 
circle is broken up; they haven't met on the 'Na- 
tional House' corner since he died. The Colonel 
told me he couldn't bear to go there again." 

" I don't believe any of them ever will," he re- 
turned. "And yet I never pass the place that I 
don't see Eskew in his old chair. I went there last 
night to commune with him. I couldn't sleep, 
and I got up, and went over there; they'd left the 
chairs out; the town was asleep, and it was beau- 
tiful moonlight 

382 



"ANCIENT OF DAYS" 

"To commune with him? What about?" 

"You." 

"Why?" she asked, plainly mystified. 

"I stood in need of good counsel," he answered, 
cheerfully, "or a friendly word, perhaps, and as 
I sat there after a while it came." 

"What was it?" 

"To forget that I was sodden with selfishness; 
to pretend not to be as full of meanness as I really 
was! Doesn't that seem to be Eskew's own 
voice?" 

"Weren't you happy last night, Joe?" 

"Oh, it was all right," he said, quickly. " Don't 
you worry." 

And at this old speech of his she broke into a 
little laugh of which he had no comprehension. 

"Mamie came to see me early this morning," 
she said, after they had walked on in silence for 
a time. "Everything is all right with her again; 
that is, I think it will be. Eugene is coming home. 
And," she added, thoughtfully, "it will be best 
for him to have his old place on the Tocsin again. 
She showed me his letter, and I liked it. I think 
he's been through the fire " 

Joe's distorted smile appeared. " And has come 
out gold?" he asked. 

"No," she laughed; "but nearer it! And I 
think he'll try to be more worth her caring for. 

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THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

She has always thought that his leaving the Tocsin 
in the way he did was heroic. That was her word 
for it. And it was the finest thing he ever did." 
"I can't figure Eugene out." Joe shook his 
head. "There's something behind his going away 
that I don't understand." This was altogether 
the truth ; nor was there ever to come a time when 
either he or Mamie would understand what things 
had determined the departure of Eugene Bantry; 
though Mamie never questioned, as Joe did, the 
reasons for it, or doubted those Eugene had given 
her, which were the same he had given her father. 
For she was content with his return. 

Again the bells across the Square rang out their 
chime. The paths were decorously enlivened with 
family and neighborhood groups, bound church- 
ward; and the rumble of the organ, playing the 
people into their pews, shook on the air. And 
Joe knew that he must speak quickly, if he was 
to say what he had planned to say, before he and 
Ariel went into the church. 

"Ariel?" He tried to compel his voice to a 
casual cheerfulness, but it would do nothing for 
him, except betray a desperate embarrassment. 

She looked at him quickly, and as quickly away. 
"Yes?" 

"I wanted to say something to you, and I'd 
384 



"ANCIENT OF DAYS" 

better do it now, I think before I go to church 
for the first time in two years!" He managed to 
laugh, though with some ruefulness, and continued 
stammeringly : "I want to tell you how much I 
like him how much I admire him 

"Admire whom?" she asked, a little coldly, for 
she knew. 

"Mr. Ladew." 

"So do I," she answered, looking straight ahead. 
"That is one reason why I wanted you to come 
with me to-day." 

" It isn't only that. I want to tell you to tell 
you " He broke off for a second. "You re- 
member that night in my office before Fear came 
in?" 

"Yes; I remember." 

"And that I that something I said troubled 
you because it it sounded as if I cared too much 
for you " 

"No; not too much." She still looked straight 
ahead. They were walking very slowly. "You 
didn't understand. You'd been in my mind, you 
see, all those years, so much more than I in yours. 
I hadn't forgotten you. But to you I was really 
a stranger 

"No, no!" he cried. 

"Yes, I was," she said, gently but very quickly. 
" And I I didn't want you to fall in love with me 

385 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

at first sight. And yet perhaps I did! But I 
hadn't thought of things in that way. I had just 
the same feeling for you that I always had al- 
ways! I had never cared so much for any one else, 
and it seemed to me the most necessary thing in 
my life to come back to that old companionship- 
Don 't you remember it used to trouble you so 
when I would take your hand? I think I loved 
your being a little rough with me. And once, 
when I saw how you had been hurt, that day you 
ran away 

"Ariel!" he gasped, helplessly. 

"Have you forgotten?" 

He gathered himself together with all his will. 
"I want to prove to you," he said, resolutely, 
"that the dear kindness of you isn't thrown away 
on me; I want you to know what I began to say: 
that it's all right with me; and I think Ladew " 
He stopped again. "Ah! I've seen how much he 
cares for you 

"Have you?" 

"Ariel," he said, "that isn't fair to me, if you 
trust me. You could not have helped seeing " 

"But I have not seen it," she interrupted, with 
great calmness. After having said this, she fin- 
ished truthfully: " If he did, I would never let him 
tell me. I like him too much." 

"You mean you're not going to " 
386 



"ANCIENT OF DAYS" 

Suddenly she turned to him. "No!" she said, 
with a depth of anger he had not heard in her 
voice since that long-ago winter day when she 
struck Eugene Bantry with her clenched fist. 
She swept over him a blinding look of reproach. 
"How could I?" 

And there, upon the steps of the church, in the 
sudden, dazzling vision of her love, fell the burden 
of him who had made his sorrowful pilgrimage 
across Main Street bridge that morning. 

A manifold rustling followed them as they went 
down the aisle, and the sibilance of many whis- 
perings; but Joe was not conscious of that, as he 
took his place in Ariel's pew beside her. For him 
there was only the presence of divinity ; the church 
was filled with it. 

They rose to sing: 

"Ancient of days, Who sittest, throned in glory, 
To Thee all knees are bent, all voices pray; 
Thy love has blest the wide world's wondrous story, 
With light and life since Eden's dawning day." 

And then, as they knelt to pray, there were the 
white heads of the three old friends of Eskew Arp ; 
and beyond was the silver hair of Martin Pike, 
who knelt beside his daughter. Joe felt that peo- 
ple should be very kind to the Judge. 

387 



THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN 

The sun, so eager without, came temperately 
through the windows, where stood angels and 
saints in gentle colors, and the face of the young 
minister in this quiet light was like the faces in 
the windows. . . . 

"Not only to confront your enemies," he said; 
" that is not enough ; nor is it that I would have you 
bluster at them, nor take arms against them; you 
will not have to do that if, when they come at 
you, you do not turn one inch aside, but with an 
assured heart, with good nature, not noisily, and 
with steadfastness, you keep on your way. If 
you can do that, I say that they will turn aside 
for you, and you shall walk straight through them, 
and only laughter be left of their anger!" 

There was a stir among the people, and many 
faces turned toward Joe. Two years ago he had 
sat in the same church, when his character and 
actions had furnished the underlying theme of a 
sermon, and he had recognized himself without 
difficulty: to-day he had not the shadow of a 
dream that the same thing was happening. He 
thought the people were turning to look at Ariel, 
and he was very far from wondering at that. 

She saw that he did not understand; she was 
glad to have it so. She had taken off her gloves, 
and he was holding them lightly and reverently in 
his hands, looking down upon them, his thin cheeks 

388 



"ANCIENT OF DAYS" 

a little flushed. And at that, and not knowing 
the glory that was in his soul, something forlorn 
in his careful tenderness toward her gloves so 
touched her that she felt the tears coming to her 
eyes with a sudden rush. And to prevent them. 
"Not the empty gloves, Joe," she whispered. 



THE END 



Tarkington, Booth 

2972 The conquest of Canaan 

06 



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