Lem C. Brown
OTHER BOOKS BY
DAVID GEAHAM PHILLIPS
The Great God Success, Her Serene Highness
A Woman Ventures
The three descended the grand stairway rapidly
The American Adventures of a
Fortune Hunting Earl
David Graham Phillips
Illustrations by Harrison Fisher
McClure, Phillips $ Co.
COPTRIGHT, 1903, BY
McCLURE, PHILLIPS & CO.
COPTRIGHT, 1903, BY CURTIS PUBLISHING Co.
Published, April, 1903, R
The three descended the grand stairway rapidly
A strongly-built, fairish young man of perhaps six
and thirty 4
"My name is Longview " 16
Barney half a dozen chairs away glowering at Long-
He liked the very first glimpse of her .... 46
" As if we were a pair of new chimpanzees in a zoo " 70
"Just my rotten luck/' he muttered 90
"Then you're not a Buddhist or a Spiritualist?" . 130
"Forgive me it was all my fault yet not mine
good-bye " 164
Cosimo, Prince di Rontivogli 200
" I can imagine many extenuating circumstances " . 224
" I'll give the guinea one more chance " . 230
Found Nelly alone in the front parlour . . . .258
" You may ask, sir, but I'll not answer . . . .284
As soon as her father and mother were out of the
way . . .296
"I take to it like a duck to water" 314
TWO hours after Surrey's letter came his sister
Gwen rode over to Beauvais House eager to
tell Evelyn the news of his luck in America. It
was almost five o'clock in the beautiful autumn after
noon, and she found Evelyn at tea on the porch that
looks out upon the Italian garden.
" It's settled," she said. " They're to be married
on the 5th of November only two months ! And
George says she is sweet and lovely not at all like the
Americans we know. And her dot is a million and a
half he calls it seven and a half, but he means in their
money, which sounds bigger, but counts smaller, than
ours. She'll get twice that when her father dies
and he's nearly seventy and not strong. And I'm so
glad and so sorry that I don't know whether to laugh
" What's her name? You told me, but I forget."
Evelyn's hand was trembling just a little as she gave
Gwendoline a cup of tea. She spoke slowly, in the
clear, monotonous, but agreeable, English tone. Her
voice, always calm, seemed stagnant.
" Dowie Helen Dowie. He sent me a proof of a
photograph they had taken together." Gwendoline
took a letter from the bosom of her shirtwaist, drew
from it the proof, and handed it to Evelyn. She took
it, lowered her head so that Gwen could not see her
face. She looked long and intently, and, if Gwen
had seen, she would have wondered how eyes could
be so full of tears without shedding a single one.
" Quite aristocratic," she said at last, giving it
back. " How much style those American girls
" But don't you think her rather pert-looking? >;
asked Gwen discontentedly. " She looks ill-tempered,
too. I'm sure we shan't get on. Mother and I are
making ready to go to Houghton Abbey at once.
We'd have a jolly uncomfortable time of it, I wager,
if she were to catch us at the Hall."
Evelyn was gazing into her tea and stirring it ab
" It seems a shame to have an American nobody
come in," continued Gwen, " and throw us out neck
and crop from a house where we've always lived. Now,
if it were an English girl of our own class, you,
Evelyn, we shouldn't mind at least, not so much,
or in the same way."
Evelyn paled, and her lips contracted slightly.
" But it's of no use to think of that. We need her
money everything is in tatters at the Hall, and poor
George is down to the last seventy pounds." Gwen
laughed. " Do you remember what a time there was
getting the five hundred for his expenses out of Aunt
Betty? We've got to cable him another five hundred
he can't begin on her money the very minute he's
married, can he now? "
" Arthur must go over," said Evelyn suddenly, with
conviction. " We're worse off than you are. Old
Bagley was down yesterday. He and Arthur were
shut in for two hours, and Arthur's been off his feed
horribly ever since."
Gwen, two years younger than Evelyn, could not
conceal her feelings so well. She winced, and a look of
terror came into her big blue eyes.
" We can't hold on another year," continued Eve
lyn. " And it's quite impossible for Arthur to take
Miss Cadbrough. She's too hideous, and too hide
ously, hopelessly middle-class. She could never, never
learn not to speak to ladies and gentlemen as if she
were a servant."
Evelyn pretended not to notice Gwen's unhappi-
ness. She glanced in at the great drawing room, with
splendid furniture, and ceiling wonderfully carved by
a seventeenth-century Italian. Then her eyes wan
dered away to the left, to the majestic wing showing
there, then on to the brilliant gardens, the fountains
and statuary. Her expression became bitter. " And
we've been undisturbed for nine centuries ! " she ex
Gwen, in spite of her inward tumult, remembered
that this boast was rather " tall," that the Beauvais
family had, in fact, been changed radically several
times, and only the name had been undisturbed. Her
mind paused with a certain satisfaction on these little
genealogical discrepancies, because, though she was
the sister and the daughter of a duke, she was the
granddaughter of a brewer, who had begun life as an
" George wishes Arthur to go over to the wedding,"
she said reluctantly, after a silence.
A servant appeared his gaudy livery was almost
shabby, but his manners were most dignified, and his
hair was impressively or ridiculously, if you please
plastered and streaked with powder. " His Lord
ship says he will have tea in his study, Your Lady
" Please tell him that Lady Gwendoline Ridley is
here," said Evelyn.
A few minutes later, a strongly built, fairish young
man of perhaps six and thirty came lounging out upon
the porch. He had pleasing, but far from handsome,
features a chin that was too long, and hung weakly,
instead of strongly, forward ; uncertain blue eyes, with
a network of the wrinkles of dissipation at the corners.
A large, frameless, stringless monocle was wedged, ap
parently permanently, into the angle of his right eye-
socket. He was dressed in shabby light grey flannels,
and he looked as seedy as his clothes. He shook hands
with Gwen. " Thanks. No tea. I'm taking whis
key," he said to Evelyn. And he seated himself
sprawlingly. The servant brought his whiskey and a
note for his sister.
" Is the man waiting for an answer? " she asked,
when she had read it.
" Yes, your ladyship." She left her brother and
George is marrying the heiress," Gwen began.
So he wrote me," replied Frothingham sullenly.
" Evelyn says you must go and do likewise."
He scowled. " But I'd rather stay here and marry
" Don't be silly," said Gwen, with a shrug of her
athletic young shoulders. " You've got nothing. I've
got nothing. So you must do your duty."
" Duty go hang ! " said Frothingham fretfully.
;< Sometimes, do you know, Gwen, I come jolly near
envying those beggars that live in cottages, and keep
shops, and all that."
" Now, you're slopping, Arthur. You know you
don't envy them ; no more do I."
" Did Eve tell you old Bagley was down? "
" Yes. Ghastly wasn't it? "
Frothingham sighed. " I shouldn't be so cut up if
I'd had the fun of spending it."
" You did spend a lot of it." She was thinking
what a great figure the young Earl had cut in her
girlhood days ; she had always listened greedily when
her brother, with admiring envy, or Evelyn, with sis
terly pride, talked of his exploits on the turf, and let
us say elsewhere, to shorten a long story.
" Only a few thousands that weren't worth the keep
ing," said Frothingham, a faint gleam of satisfaction
appearing in the eye that was shielded by the monocle
he liked to remember his " career," and he liked the
women to remind him of it in this flattering way.
" All I really got was the bill for the governor's larks,
and his governor's, and his governor's governor's.
It's what I call rotten unfair jolly rotten unfair.
The fiddling for them the bill for me."
" Buck up, Artie," said Gwen, stroking him gently
with her riding whip. " See how Georgie has faced it.
And perhaps you won't draw such a bad one, either.
She couldn't be worse than Cadbrough."
" But I want you, Gwen. I'm used to you, you
know and that's everything in a wife. I hate sur
prises, and these American beggars are full of
Evelyn came back. " Go away somewhere, both of
you," she said. " Charley Sidney's just driving up.
I wish to talk with him about the States."
Gwen paled and flushed ; Frothingham grunted and
scowled. They rose, made a short cut across the gar
den, and were hidden by the left wing of the house.
Almost immediately the servant announced " Mr. Sid-
ney," and stood deferentially aside for a tall, thin
American, elaborately Anglicised in look and dress,
and, as it soon appeared, in accent. He had a narrow,
vain face, browned and wrinkled by hard riding in
hard weather in those early morning hours that should
be spent in bed if one has lingered in the billiard-room
with the drinks and smokes until past midnight.
" Ah, Lady Evelyn ! " He shook hands with her,
and bowed and smirked. " I'm positively perishing
" You mean whiskey ? "
" Ah, yes to be sure. I see there is whiskey."
Evelyn's manner, which had been frank and equal
before her friend and her brother, had frozen for Sid
ney into a shy stiffness not without a faint suggestion
of superior addressing inferior. She had known Sid
ney for the ten years he had lived within two miles
of Beauvais House, but well, he wasn't " one of
us " exactly ; he had a way of bowing and of pro
nouncing titles that discouraged equality. The con
versation dragged in dreary, rural fashion through
gossip of people, dogs, and horses, until she said:
" Have you heard the news of Surrey ? "
" No is His Grace coming home ? ' :
" He's marrying a Miss Dowie, of New York. Do
you know her? ' :
" I've heard of her. You know, I've not been there
longer than a week at a time for fifteen years." Sid
ney put on his extreme imitation-English air. " I
loathe the place. They don't know how to treat a
gentleman. And the lower classes ! " He lifted his
eyebrows and shook his head. He was at his most en
ergetic when, in running down his native land to his
English acquaintances, he reached the American
" lower classes."
Evelyn concealed the satire which longed to express
itself in her face. She despised Sidney and all the
Anglicised Americans; and, behind their backs, she
and her friends derided them perhaps to repay them
selves for the humiliation of accepting hospitalities
and even more concrete favours from " those Amer
ican bounders." The story among Sidney's upper-
class English tolerators was that his father had kept
a low public house in New York or San Francisco, or
" somewhere over there " they were as ignorant of
the geography of the United States as they were of
the geography of Patagonia.
" So he's to marry Dowie's daughter ? " continued
Sidney. " He was brakeman on a railway thirty years
"How you Americans do jump about!" said
Evelyn, forgetting that Sidney prided himself on no
longer being an American. " He must be clever."
" A clever rascal, probably," replied Sidney spite
fully. " Over here he'd have been put into jail for
what they honour him for over there."
" We've many of the same sort, no doubt," said
Evelyn, thinking it tactful to hold aloof when a son
was abusing his mother.
" Yes, but usually they're gentlemen and do things
in a gentlemanly way."
"Mr. Dowie is rich?"
" Just now he is they say." Sidney had the rich
man's weakness for denying, or at least casting
doubt upon, the riches of other rich men. He knew
that his was the finest and most valuable wealth in the
world, and he would have liked to believe that it was
the only wealth in the world. " I trust the Duke has
looked sharp to the settlements."
' Why ? " asked Evelyn, preparing to make mental
" He may never get anything but what's settled on
him and her now. Dowie is more or less of a specu
lator and may go broke. But that's not the only dan
ger in marrying an American heiress. You see, Lady
Evelyn, over there they have the vulgarest possible
notions of rank and titles. And often, if there isn't
a cash settlement when they ' buy the title,' as they
describe it, they refuse to give up anything. Many of
their rich men have the craze for founding colleges
and asylums and libraries. They reason that they've
got the title in the family, therefore it isn't necessary
to pay for it; and so they leave all their money to
build themselves a monument. Dishonourable, isn't
it ? But they stop at nothing."
" Then," said Evelyn, " an American heiress isn't
an heiress so long as her father is alive ? "
" Exactly. It's misleading to call her an heiress.
She simply has hopes."
" I hope Surrey knows this."
" If he doesn't it's his own fault. I cautioned His
Grace before he sailed."
" That reminds me, Mr. Sidney. Arthur may be
going over to the wedding. Could you "
" I'd be delighted," interrupted Sidney. " Any
thing I could do for Lord Frothingham it would be
a pleasure to do. I can give him some useful letters,
I think. Will he travel? "
" Possibly I don't know. He has no plans as
" I shall give him if he will do me the honour of
accepting them only a few letters. The wisest plan
is a proper introduction to the very best people. Then
all doors will be open to him."
" The Americans are hospitable to everyone, are
they not? "
" Not to younger sons any more. And not to un
accredited foreigners. They've had their fingers jolly
well burned. I knew of one case a girl quite a
ladylike person, though of a new family from the in
terior. She married a French valet masquerading as
" Poor creature," said Evelyn, smiling with amused
" Yes, and another girl married or thought she
married a German royal prince. And when she got
to Germany she found that she'd bought a place as
mere morganatic wife, with no standing at all."
" Fancy ! What a facer ! "
" And she never got her money back not a
penny," continued Sidney. " But, like you, I don't
sympathise with these upstart people who try to
thrust themselves out of their proper station. The
old families over there and there are a few gentle
folk, Lady Evelyn, though they're almost lost in the
crowd of noisy upstarts never have such humiliating
experiences in their international marriages."
" Naturally not," said Evelyn.
" But, as I was about to say, a foreigner with a
genuine title, the head of a house of gentle people, is
received with open arms. Lord Frothingham would
be overwhelmed with hospitalities. My friends would
see to that."
After a few minutes, without any impoliteness on
Evelyn's part, Sidney began to feel that it was time
for him to go. As he disappeared Gwen and Arthur
came strolling back.
" What a noisome creature Sidney is ! " said Evelyn.
" But he'll be of use to you, Arthur."
" Did he talk about the old families of America and
the gentle birth? " asked Gwen. Her eyes were curi
ously bright, and her manner and tone were agi
" All that again."
" He's an ass a regular tomtit," growled Froth-
" I should think he'd learn," said Evelyn, " that
we don't take him and his countrymen up because
they're well born we know they aren't."
" If those that are sensible enough to fly from that
beastly country are like Sidney," said Gwen, " what
a rowdy lot there must be at home." She spoke so
nervously that Evelyn, abstracted though she was,
glanced at her and noticed how pale and peaked she
was. When she had ridden away Evelyn looked at
her brother severely she was only three and twenty,
but she managed him, taking the place of both their
parents, who were long dead.
" You've been making love to Gwen," she exclaimed
reproachfully. " You should be ashamed of your
Frothingham removed his monocle, wiped it care
fully in a brilliant plaid silk handkerchief, and slowly
fitted it in place. Then he sent a mocking, cynical
gleam through it at his sister. " You forget," he
drawled, " that I caught you and Georgie kissing
each other and crying over each other the day he
went off to the States."
Evelyn flushed. " How does that excuse you ? "
she demanded, undismayed.
He was silent for a moment, then with tears in his
eyes and a break in his habitual cynical drawl, " I
can't go, Eve. I can't give her up."
Evelyn's heart ached, but she did not show it. She
simply asked in her usual tone of almost icy calm,
" Where's the cash to come from ? "
He collapsed helplessly into a chair. There was no
alternative he must go ; he must marry money. He
owed it to his family and position ; also, he wanted it
himself what is a " gentleman " without money ?
And why, if he did not bestir himself he might actu
ally have to go to work ! And " what the devil could
I work at? I might go out to service I'd shine as a
gentleman's gentleman or I might do something as
a billiard marker "
With such dangers and degradations imminent, to
think of love was sheer madness. Frothingham
sighed and stared miserably through his monocle at
the peacocks squawking their nerve- jarring predic
tions of rain.
ON the second day out, in the morning, Froth-
ingham was at the rail, his back to the sea,
his glassed gaze roaming aimlessly up and
down the row of passengers stretched at full length
in steamer chairs. He became conscious of the ma-
noeuvrings of a little man in a little grey cap and little
grey suit, with little grey side-whiskers that stood out
like fins on either side of his little grey face. Each
time this little person passed it was with a nervous
smile at Frothingham, and a nervous wiping of the
lips with the tip of his tongue. When he saw that
Frothingham, or, rather, Frothingham's monocle, was
noting him, he halted in front of him. He was too
painfully self-conscious to see that the Englishman's
look was about as cordial as that of a bald-headed man
watching the circlings of a bluebottle fly.
" The Earl of Frothingham, is it not? " said he in
a thin, small voice, his American overlaid with the
most un-English of English accents.
name is Longview*
Frothingham moved his head without relaxing from
his stolid, vacant look.
" My name is Longview. I had the honour of meet
ing you at the hunt at Market Harboro two years ago
my daughter and I."
Frothingham stared vaguely into space, little
Longview looking up at him with an expression of
ludicrously alarmed anxiety. " Oh, yes," he drawled
finally. And he extended his hand with condescend
ing graciousness. " I remember."
Longview expelled a big breath of relief. He was
used to being forgotten, was not unused to remaining
forgotten. " You may recall," he hastened on, eager
to clinch himself in an earl's memory, " we had your
cousin, Lord Ramsay's place, Cedric Hall, that
Frothingham remembered perfectly the rich,
Anglicised American who fed his neighbours well, was
generous in lending mounts and traps, and was, alto
gether, a useful and not unamusing nuisance. Rich,
but how rich?
" And your daughter ? " said Frothingham he re
called her indistinctly as young, hoydenish, and a dar
" She is with me," said Longview, delighted to be
convinced that he was remembered, and remembered
distinctly and by a Gordon-Beauvais ! " It would
give me great pleasure to present you."
As they went down the deck the little man peered
at everyone with a nervous little smile " as if he
were saying, ' Don't kick me, please. I mean well,' '
thought Frothingham. In fact, back of the peering
and the smile was the desire that all should see that he
had captured the Earl. They entered the library and
advanced toward a young woman swathed in a huge
blue cape, her eyes idly upon a book.
" Honoria, my dear," said Longview, as uneasy as
if he were speaking to the young woman without hav
ing been introduced to her, " you remember Lord
Frothingham ? "
Honoria slowly raised her eyelids from a pair of
melancholy, indifferent grey eyes, and slightly in
clined her head. The men seated themselves on either
side of her ; Longview rattled on in his almost hyster
ical way for a few minutes, then fluttered away.
Honoria and Frothingham sat silent, she looking at
her book, he looking at her.
" You are going home ? " he said when he saw that
she would not " lead," no matter how long the silence
" No," she replied. " We are English at least,
my father is."
She just moved her shoulders, and there was the
faintest sneer at the corner of her decidedly pretty
mouth. " I don't know what does it matter about
a woman? I've lived in England and France since I
was five, except a year and a half in America. Father
detests the country and the people. He was natural
ised in England last year. I believe he decided that
his social position, won through his being an Amer
ican, was sufficiently established to make it safe for
him to change."
Frothingham smiled. As he was used to the freest
and frankest criticisms of parents and other near rel
atives by fellow-countrymen of his own class, it did
not impress him as unfilial that a daughter should thus
deride a father. Honoria became silent, and appar
ently oblivious of his presence.
" I've never been to America," he said, hoping to
resurrect the dead conversation. " I'm looking for
ward to it with much pleasure. We have many
Americans in our neighbourhood such jolly
" I know few Americans." Honoria looked disdain
ful. " And they are like us, the most of them ex
patriated. They say their country is a good place to
make money in, but a horrible place to live crude
and ill-mannered, full of vulgar people that push in
everywhere, and the servants fancying they're ladies
" I hope it's no worse to live in than England,"
said Frothingham. "You know we're always flying
to the Continent to escape the climate and the dul-
ness. And our middle classes are very uppish nowa
days, don't you think? "
" I detest England." Honoria put the first em
phasis into her voice, but it was slight.
" Beastly hole, except for a few weeks in the spring,
ain't it? If it wasn't for the hunting it would be
He saw her cold, regular features light up. " I
love hunting," she said. " It's the one thing that
can make me forget myself, and everything except
just being alive and well." Then her face shadowed
and chilled, and she looked at her book so signifi-
cantly that Frothingham was forced to rise and
At luncheon the man in the chair next him Bar
ney, who had told him in the first half -hour of their
acquaintance all about his big dry-goods shop in
Chicago said : " I saw you talking to Longview on
deck. Is he a friend of yours? "
" An acquaintance," replied Frothingham. He
rather liked Barney because he was shrewd and hu
mourous, and treated him in an offhand fashion
that was amusing in a " tradesman " from Amer
" He's a low-down snob," said Barney, encouraged
by Frothingham's disclaimer. " One of those fellows
that think their own country ain't good enough for
them. I was glad when he got himself naturalised
over in your country. You're welcome to him. What
kind of people does he herd with in England ? '
" We like him very well, I believe. He seems to be
an agreeable chap."
" I suppose he kowtows and blows himself, and so
they let him hang onto the tailboard he ain't heavy
and don't take up much room. His grandfather stole
with both hands, and put it in real estate. Then his
father made quite a bunch in the early railroad days.
And now this fellow's posing as an aristocrat. If he
wasn't rich who'd notice him? ' :
" Then he's rich? " inquired Frothingham.
" Yes and no," replied Barney, his rich man's jeal
ousy visibly roused. " There was a big family of
them. He's got maybe a couple of millions or three.
That ain't much in these days. You heard about his
knockout? ' :
" Has he lost part of his money ? "
" I thought everybody knew that story it was in
all the papers. No, it wasn't money worse than
that, from his point of view. His daughter she's
with him on the ship fell in love with the second son
of some marquis or other. But he didn't have any
thing, and I believe you titled people ain't allowed to
work. Longview was red-headed wouldn't give his
daughter a cent unless she married a big title. And
then the young man's older brother died."
" Was it the Marquis of Dullingf ord ? ' :
" Yes, that was it. And right on top of it his elder
brother's two sons were drowned, and he came into the
title and estates. And what does he do but up and
marry an English girl that he'd been struck on all the
time, but couldn't marry because he was so poor.
Longview nearly went crazy at missing the chance.
And his daughter it must have made her mighty
sour to find out that the fellow had been only pretend
ing to be in love with her, and was really out for her
cash, and didn't care a rap about her. A low pup,
wasn't he? "
Frothingham began to detest Barney " an im
pudent, malicious beggar," he thought. He gave him
his monocle's coldest stare.
" No," went on Barney, unchilled, " Longview's not
so rich. I could buy him twice over, and not take a
cent of it out of my business. But I want to see any
scamp, foreign or domestic, hanging round my
daughter for her money. She'll get nary a red till I
shuffle off. And she'll get mighty little then if she
don't marry to suit me. That's our way."
Frothingham changed his mind about dropping
Barney. He had begun to modify the low view of him
as soon as he heard that he had a daughter, and
" could buy Longview twice over," and leave the big
business " seventy stores under one roof " intact.
" Miss Barney may be worth looking at," he reflected.
"And her papa might relent about settlements. I
suspect he isn't above loving a lord he's too good an
American for that."
What Barney had told gave him the key to Hon-
oria. He felt genuine sympathy for her their sor
rows were similar. " Poor creature," he thought.
" No wonder she's so down in the mouth." After
luncheon he met her father on deck, and did not re
pel his advances. " But," he said to himself, " it
don't do to be too friendly with these beggars. It's
like shaking hands with your tailor. He don't think
you've pulled him up, but that you've let yourself
To the " beggar " he said :
" I looked all round the dining room, but I didn't
see you and your daughter."
Longview smiled proudly. " We have our meals in
our sitting room," he replied. " We dislike being
stared at, and mixed in with a crowd of eating people.
We like privacy. We'd be glad to have you join us."
Frothingham's first impulse was to accept. It
would cost him nothing probably he'd get his wine
and mineral water and cigars free. And he'd have a
rare chance at Honoria. But her face came before his
mind. He decided that he would do well to wait until
he could learn whether she was really part of the in
viting " we."
Although he was not welcomed, but merely toler
ated, he seated himself on the extension of a vacant
chair beside her and talked hunting, which, as she
had shown him, was her weakness. She was soon inter
ested, and she unbent toward him so far that, when
her father came and renewed his invitation, she joined
in it. Just as Frothingham accepted he saw Barney
half a dozen chairs away glowering at Longview.
" I'll offend Barney, no doubt," he said to himself.
" But I'll risk it. I must play the cards I have in my
Barney came into the smoke-room late in the even
ing as he was sitting there, having a final whiskey
and water before going to bed. " Won't you have a
high ball or something? " he asked, making room for
Barney's broad form.
" No, I never touch liquor. Don't allow it in my
house. It's no good no business man ought to touch
" I suppose not," replied Frothingham, feeling that
here was new evidence of the essentially degrading na
ture of business.
" I missed you at dinner," Barney went on.
" The Longviews invited me to feed with them,"
replied Frothingham carelessly. " They eat in their
sitting room. Sorry to leave you, but the service is
Barney's maxillary muscles expanded and con
tracted with anger. He half snorted, half laughed.
" You might know," he said, " that that shark-faced
snob would invent a new way of making himself ridic
ulous. So, the general dining room ain't good enough
for him, eh? He is a swell, ain't he? I should think
he and his no, leave the young lady out of it I
should think he'd be ashamed to fish for you so
openly." Barney's tone softened apologetically,
greatly to Frothingham's surprise, as he added : " I
don't blame you, Mr. Frothingham. I understand
how it is with you titled people in your country. I
don't blame anybody for walking round on human
necks if their owners '11 allow it. But we feel differ
ently about all those kind of things."
Frothingham smiled conciliatingly. " Oh, I say,
now ! I don't see anything to make a row over. The
beggar's a right to eat where he pleases, hasn't he? "
" Of course he has, and to stick his tongue out at
Barney half a dozen chairs away glowering at
all the rest of us, as he does it. You don't understand.
It ain't what he does. It's why he does it. We Amer
icans can't stand those kind of airs."
" It seems very mysterious to me," confessed Froth-
ingham. " I admit I don't understand your country."
" Oh, you're all right," reassured Barney, slapping
Frothingham's leg cordially. " I never thought I'd
like one of you titled fellows. I despised you all for a
useless set of nobodies and nincompoops. And when
ever my womenfolks got to talking about that kind of
thing I always sat on 'em, and sat hard I'm a
hard sitter when I want to be. But I like you,
young man. You're more an American than an
Englishman, just as Longview's more English than
American he ain't American at all. You talk like
an American. You behave like an American. And
when you've been in America long enougK to wear
your clothes out, and get some that fit you, you'll look
like an American."
" Thanks," said Frothingham drily.
" You don't like it ? " Barney laughed good-hu-
mouredly. " Well, I don't blame you. You're judg
ing America by Longview and me. That ain't fair.
I'm a rough one never had a chance first thing I
remember is carrying the swill buckets out to feed the
hogs before sun-up when I still wore slips. But I mean
right. And I've got a son and a daughter that are a
real gentleman and a real lady, and don't you forget
" Oh, you're all right," said Frothingham, slap
ping Barney on the leg Frothingham was a senti
mental dog where his pocket and his pleasure were not
concerned, and he liked Barney's look as he spoke of
himself and the hogs, and his children.
" You don't want to go back to that little old island
of yours," continued Barnay, " without seeing Chi
cago. There 9 s a town ! And I'll give you the time of
your life. I want you to meet my family."
" I hope I shall," said Frothingham. He was smil
ing to himself evidently Barney wasn't above a
weakness for a lord. " It was a good stroke any way
you look at it, my going with the Longviews," he re
flected. " It's made Barney jealous, and he thinks
more of me than ever."
He divided his time unevenly between the Long-
views and Barney. He wished to introduce Barney to
them, but Longview hysterically refused. " It's all
right for you, Frothingham," he explained. " But we
can't afford to do it. How'd you like to be introduced
to middle-class English ? "
" Oh, I shouldn't mind. I'd just forget 'em the
next time we met. The beggars 'd expect it and
wouldn't think of annoying me. "
" Precisely precisely," said Longview. " But
our that is the American middle-classes are differ
ent. They don't understand differences of social posi
tion, or pretend not to. If this Barney person were
presented to us, he probably wouldn't take the cut
when we met again, but would come straight up to us.
You've no idea how impudent they are."
" But why do you call him middle-class ? Ain't he
rich? " asked Frothingham.
Longview looked at him tragically. " Birth and
breeding count with us just as I mean count in
America just as in England."
" Gad, they don't count in England any more, ex
cept against one. But we can't get it out of our
heads that you Americans go in for equality and all
that sort of thing."
" Not at all. Not at all," Longview protested.
" The lines are the more closely drawn because there
are no official lines."
" But what's the matter with Barney ? He seems
right enough. I've got uncles that are worse. Gad,
there's one of 'em I could get rich on if I could cage
him and show him at a shilling a look."
" My dear Frothingham, this Barney keeps a retail
shop. Even in New York they draw the line at retail
" It's very mysterious." Frothingham shook his
head. " I fear I shall never learn. Why don't they
put it all in a book, as we do? Then we could take it
at the university instead of Greek."
He looked at Honoria. She was giving her plate
a scornful smile. Her father looked at her also, and
reddened as he noted her expression, and shifted the
conversation abruptly to the day's run. Frothingham
was becoming interested in Honoria, now that he had
assured himself of her eligibility. She was not beau
tiful, not especially distinguished-looking. But she
had as little interest in him as in the rest of her
surroundings, and that piqued him. Then, too,
her figure was graceful and strong; and when her
face did light up it showed strength of character, and
either what she said or the way she said it created a
vivid impression of personality. He soon felt that
she liked him. Her manner toward him was friendlier
far than her manner toward her father, her lack of
respect for whom was scantily concealed.
The night before they landed she and Frothing-
ham sat on deck late, her father dozing in a chair at
a discreet distance. Both were depressed the sense
that they were once more about to plunge into the
whirlpool of life made each sad. Honoria was re
membering the past; Frothingham was brooding over
the future. If he had dared he would have proposed
to her. " She'd make a satisfactory wife," he said to
himself. " She's just enough English to understand
me and to make my people like her. She wouldn't get
on their nerves. And she doesn't talk through her
nose except when she's excited. She's a little too clever
but a steady goer, once the harness is on. If I
could get her it would be good business, good swift
" You're a queer sort," he said to her suddenly.
" Most girls are full of getting married. But I don't
believe you give it a thought."
" I sha'n't ever marry," she replied.
He laughed. " Oh, I say, that's nonsense. Every
girl must marry. You may as well make up your
mind to it, close your eyes, shut your teeth, and
" You might not think it," she said after a pause,
" but I am like you English I'm horribly, incurably
sentimental. I know it's foreign to my bringing up,
but " Her jaw set, and her eyes fixed upon some
thing visible only to her in the blackness beyond the
rail. " My bringing up was all wrong and rotten,"
she went on presently. " I don't know just how or
where, but I know it's so. I began to feel it dimly
when I visited my aunt in America four years ago.
My mother died when I was a baby, and I was trained
by my father and governesses governesses that
suited him. My father But I needn't tell you,
and you probably don't sympathise with me. His
one idea in life is social position. It seems to me a
contemptible ambition for a man. With women
there's some excuse for it. We're naturally petty, f
And, so far as I can see it, as the world is made up,
if we haven't got that we haven't got anything. We
can't have any other ambition it's the only one open
to us. Well, I haven't got even ambition. I want
that is, I wanted "
She paused again, resisting the mood that was urg-
ing her on to confidence. " By Jove," thought Froth-
ingham, " it wouldn't be hard for a man to like her."
" No matter what it was I wanted," she went on,
" I didn't get it and sha'n't, ever." She turned her
face toward him. " You may misunderstand me
may think I am in love and hopelessly disappointed
there's a story of that kind going round. But I'm not
in love. I was but I'm not now."
" Do you think one ever gets over it? " he asked ab
She did not answer.
" I'm afraid not at least, not thoroughly," he an
swered himself. There were two faces out there in
the blackness into which they were staring, but each
was seeing only one.
" One ought to get over it one must" she said
slowly, " when one finds that the person one cared for
is a bad lot. But " she sighed under her breath
" I might marry, yes, would, if I needed a home or
money. But I don't. So I shall be much better con-
' tented alone. I'll never believe deeply in any human
" You mustn't take life so seriously," he said
gently. " You'll change before "
"So my father thinks." She looked at Froth-
ingham with a mischievous, audacious smile. " He
thinks I shall change immediately and marry
you ! "
" How funny and fishlike you look," she said,
laughing at him. " You are in no danger. Do you
suppose I'd have said that if I'd had you on my list?
No, I like you, but but! '
" You may change your mind," he recovered him
self sufficiently to say.
" No you're safe. I spoke out because I wish to
be friends with you. I don't especially admire your
purpose in going to America. But at least you're
frank about it."
" I? Why, Miss Longview I " Frothing
ham began to protest, pushing at his dislodging eye
" Don't prevaricate. You wouldn't do it well. As
I was about to say, I wish to be friends with you.
And it's impossible for a woman and a man to be
friends when either is harbouring matrimonial de
signs against the other, or fancies the other is har
" I certainly have to marry somebody," said Froth-
" Yes I know. Father explained about you. He's
up on every titled family in England above the baron
ets. And he's determined that I shall be a countess
at the very least. He says he has the money to buy it
and possibly he has. But " she was intent upon
the blackness again " I shall never go back to
England. I shall stay in America with a visit to
Paris and the Riviera now and then."
" That '11 cheer your father when he hears it,"
drawled Frothingham. He coughed and stammered,
and added in an embarrassed, apologetic tone, " And
I don't like to hear a girl as young and attractive as
you are talk in that ghastly way."
She looked at him with a teasing smile.
" You'll make some woman a good husband," she
said. " Selfish and flighty, perhaps, but on the whole
good. I'll be glad to help you with some other girl.
In fact, I've one in mind an acquaintance in New
York we call each the other friend, and I'm fond of
i her, as that sort of thing goes with women."
He began to stammer again, and she saw that he
was still hanging hopefully over her father's plan.
" If I were a marrying woman and ambitious," she
went on, " I'd think seriously of having a cast at you.
But I'm neither, so I can appreciate your assets quite
" I've got nothing," he said, " nothing but debts."
" Debts are an asset if contracted in a way that
would seem romantic to a girl. Then, there's your
title. That's a big asset either in England or Amer
ica. And you've got a fairly good disposition and nice
manners, and you pretend indifference charmingly,
assisted by your eyeglass. And your character is not
too bad. Not too good, either. I've heard one or
two rather thick stories of you. If I were your wife
I'd keep an eye on the money you will gamble. But
your character is well up to the average for our kind
" I've been rather bad, I'm afraid," he said, in the
shallowly penitent tone in which human beings glory
in the sins they are proud of. " I've been as bad as
I knew how to be."
" All of us are that, I fancy," replied Honoria,
rising. " I sha'n't trouble you to confess to me. Save
it for her. Good-night." She put out her hand
friendlily. " I think we shall be friends."
Frothingham looked after her as she went with her
father down the deck toward the main companion-
way. " She is a queer lot," he muttered. " I sup
pose that's American. Well, if it's a fair specimen, I
certainly sha'n't be bored in America. 3
NEW YORK, 6 November.
My Dear Eve :
I'M just sending you off the newspapers with the
accounts of George's wedding. Don't show them
about, please, as he's frightfully cut up over them.
He swears he'll never set foot in this country again,
or let his Duchess come. You'll be tremendously
amused as you read. You'll never have seen anything
so frank and personal. And the illustrations ! We've
done nothing but dodge cameras when we weren't
dodging reporters. I don't agree with George I
think it's great fun.
They let me off easy, as you'll see, and some of the
pictures of me are not half bad. But I don't wonder
that George is furious. Just read the descriptions of
his looks and really he's looking horribly seedy.
And don't neglect the accounts of the new Duchess'
papa, and how he came by his cash. He must be a
gory old vulture though really he doesn't look it,
and except when he gets to going it hard his English
is fairly good, of the nosey, Yankee kind.
George came down to the dock to meet me. He
was in a blue fury. It seems the newspapers had
been making a fearful row over him from the moment
he left the other side. And then by illustrated ac
counts of his houses, his property, his family, and him
self, not to speak of what they printed about the
Dowies' past and present, they set the crowds to col
lecting at his hotel, and to following him round the
streets. They published even what he ate and drank,
and the size of the tips he gave the servants. And
after the engagement was announced the excitement
became something incredible. He couldn't poke his
nose out of his rooms that somebody didn't collect the
crowd by shouting, " There's his Booklets, there's the
little fellow " and you know Georgie is a bit sensi
tive about his size.
Well, the newspapers published everything his
height and weight, the tooth he has out on the left
side, every rag in his boxes, pictures of them, every
thing in Miss Dowie's trousseau columns and col
umns. And how he did hop round when he found that
the Dowies had actually hired a fellow and a woman
to give out facts to the press ! What do you think
of that for a Yankee notion?
You can't imagine the presents. You'd have
thought the crown princess was marrying. The news
papers say they alone were worth a million and a half,
American money. I and Cleggett went over them, and
we decided they'd fetch more. You know, Cleggett
he's Georgie's solicitor is over here looking after
the settlements. He simply had to put the screws
onto old Dowie. I got a good many hints from him on
how to deal with these beggars in money matters.
Dowie's a shrewd chap. He and Cleggett did all the
money talk. Georgie was supposed to know nothing
about it. But maybe he wasn't in a funk when it be
gan to look as if the whole business were off at the
last minute. I had to work hard to keep him up to the
mark. Clegget won out, though got a hundred
thousand pounds more than Georgie expected.
To go back to the presents, her uncle one of the
ha'penny rags here said he's been in the penitentiary,
but I hear it's not true he gave her a yacht, a regular
ocean steamer. You'll admire the necklace her aunt
sent her it can't have cost less than fifty thousand,
our money. It makes me ill to see these beggars wad-
ing and wallowing in money. By the way, I notice
that while they talk of spending money, they talk of
making it as much as they talk of spending it, if not
Wallingford, a fellow I've met here, said to me at
dinner the other night, a few minutes after the women
had gone : " Shall we stay here with the men and dis
cuss making money, or shall we go up to the women
and discuss spending it? r
But to go back to Georgie and his coming down to
meet me. I saw him on the pier, his face like a sunset
and his arms going like mad. He was haranguing a
crowd in which there were several cameras. I shouted
to him I and Miss Longview and her father were at
the rail together. As I shouted the crowd looked, and
the cameras were pointed at us. Miss Longview darted
away, and her father pulled at me.
" Come, come ! " he said, all in a flurry and a sweat.
" They'll take your picture if you stay."
" Who? " said I. " And why should they take my
" The reporters," he answered, dragging at me.
" You don't understand about American newspapers."
I let him drag me away, and then he explained.
" They know you are coming to the wedding," he said>
" and they'll photograph you and interview you and
print everything about you insulting, impudent
things. There's no such thing as privacy in this hor
rible country. Didn't I tell you they haven't the
faintest notion what a gentleman is, or what is due
a gentleman ? ' :
Barney, I'm sure I told you about him in the let
ter I wrote you on the way over, Barney was sitting
near us. He burst in with, " I think your friend is
unduly alarmed, Earl." (He always calls me Earl.
He says he'll be blanked if he'll call any man lord.)
* You haven't committed a crime, or done what you'd
be ashamed to see in print. No honest man objects to
having his face published, or anything else about him
that's true." And he glared at Longview, who sniffed
and walked away. Barney sent a jeering laugh after
him, and said, " The scrawny little chipmunk ! "
" What's a chipmunk? " said I.
" A kind of squirrel," said he, " only littler, and
even easier to scare."
We went to the rail, and there was George, with
his crowd pushing and jostling him. As soon as the
gangway was let down he rushed aboard, the crowd
with the cameras on his heels. At the top he turned
like Marius, or whoever it was, at the bridge. And he
shouted to the officers, in a funny, shrill voice, " Drive
those ruffians back ! " But the officers were smiling at
him, and only pretended to restrain the reporters and
photographers. On they came, reaching us about as
soon as George did. They poured round and between
us, and began to ask me questions. I must admit they
were polite, in the Yankee way, and friendly, and
I said to one of 'em : " I say, my good fellow, can't
you give me time to get my breath ? "
" No, I can't, Lord Frothingham," he said, laugh
ing. " What would you do if you were I, and your
paper were going to press in ten minutes and you were
five minutes from a telephone ? "
I got on famously with them. I didn't in the least
mind. They must have liked me, as you'll read. But
Georgie ! How they have been dishing him !
It wasn't until we got into the carriage that I and
he had chance at each other. " Did you ever see or
hear of anything like it? " he said. His hands were
shaking, and the sweat was rolh'ng down his cheeks.
" They act like a lot of South Sea savages when a
whale comes ashore. They are savages. I had heard
it was a beastly country, but " And he actually
ground his teeth.
You know George is very touchy on his dignity,
and has old-fashioned ideas of what's due a Duke from
his inferiors. It seems he got into a huff when he first
came because they treated him in offhand fashion, as
they treat everybody. And he tried to snub them.
And when they snubbed back, only they had illustrated
newspapers to do it in, he went wild, and has been
making matters worse and worse for himself. Some
of the papers have had leaders pitying Miss Dowie,
and predicting that she'll have him in the divorce court
for brutality shortly think of it Georgie, quiet
Georgie! Everyone is hating him, for he assumed
that even Miss Dowie's friends were like the news
papers that had slated him, and he snubbed right and
He took me to his hotel. He had an apartment that
costs him fifteen pounds a day ain't that cruel ? But
he said he didn't propose that these savages should
sneer at his poverty they're doing it, anyhow, and
they hint that the Dowies are paying his hotel bill,
or will have to pay it. However, I think he did well
to spread himself. There's something about this
country that makes you ashamed to seem poor. You
spend money and pretend you've got plenty of it.
They call it " throwing a bluff," or " making a front."
George had taken an apartment for me at a tall
price, but I wouldn't have it, as I wouldn't saddle him
with the expense he hadn't her money in hand then.
Besides, I knew that as soon as he was gone I'd have to
come down, and that would have looked bad. After I
was installed in a very comfortable little apartment
thirteen floors up think of that ! at three pounds a
day, we drove to Dowie's. A crowd saw us off at the
hotel, people pointed and stared at us all the way up
the street, and there was a crowd waiting for us at
Dowie's. They live in a huge greystone castle,
there is no end of smart houses here, but a queer jum
ble samples of everything. I hadn't known old
Dowie an hour before he told me the house and ground
and all cost him six hundred thousand, our money.
The girl but you'll judge her for yourself. I
rather fancied her. Affected, of course, and trying
to act a duchess out of one of Ouida's novels. Rather
fat, too, and her hair is thin, and a mussy shade of
yellow. I think she'll waddle in about five years.
Still, she's sensible and quick, and dresses well. All
the women here do that. But the money ! It's heart
rending to see it parade by. And they seem to be
throwing it away, but they don't. Everything is hor
ribly dear here. I must look sharp or I sha'n't last
The newspapers will give you all you want to know
about the wedding it was quite a show perhaps vul
gar and overdone, but really gorgeous. I like Amer
ica, and I like the people. They're jolly good-natured,
and the nice ones here are much the same as nice people
anywhere else. The Longviews have taken a big
furnished house, and I'm staying with them. Next
week a friend of Miss Longview a Miss Hollister,
who lives here, but her people are still in the country
is coming to visit her. Her (Miss Hollister's)
father owns a lot of railways and mines, and is no end
of a financial swell. I'm too sleepy to write another
How is Gwen? Be good to me, Evelyn with
He liked the very first glimpse of her
HONORIA took Frothingham to the . Grand
Central Station to meet Catherine, and he liked
the very first glimpse of her as she came strid
ing down the platform. She was tall and narrow, and
she wore dresses and wraps that emphasised both these
characteristics. She had a long, thin neck and a small,
delicately coloured face, which she knew how to frame
most fascinatingly in her hair, with or without the aid
of her hat. She had dreamy young eyes, long and
narrow, and her red lips and her slender, nervous fin
gers made it clear that she lived in her senses rather
than in her intellect that she would neither say nor
think anything brilliant, but would feel intensely, and
could be powerfully appealed to through her imagina
tion. She was wearing a light brown, brightly lined
coat that trailed to her heels ; and she was holding up
from the dust and close about her many folds of soft,
fine materials, cloth and silk and linen and lace. In
her wake came a maid and a porter, each laden with
her belongings, an attractive array of comforts and
luxuries of travel.
" I'm glad you brought a closed carriage," she said,
with a shiver, as they started for home. " It's raw,
and the sky seems to weigh upon one's shoulders and
head. This is a day to hide in the house, close by an
Frothingham was surprised by this fairy-princess
delicateness in so robust a creature. He thought the
day mild, and as for the sky, why bother about any
thing that far away, so long as it sent nothing down
to bother one?
" You forget we are English," said Honoria. " We
call this good weather. I must confess the closed car
riage was a happy accident."
" So like you, Honoria ! Isn't it, Lord Frothing
ham ? " Catherine gave him a sweet smile. " She
never permits one to keep agreeable illusions. Now,
I was loving her for being so thoughtful for me."
As Frothingham only stared, shy and stolid,
through his eyeglass, the two girls began to talk each
to the other they had not met in two years, not since
Catherine and her mother visited Honoria at Long-
view's place in Bucks.
" What a beautiful place it was ! " said Catherine.
" I often dream of it. But then, I love England. It
is of such a wonderful, vivid shade of green, and every
thing is so cultivated, and refined, and and like a
fairy garden. Don't you find the contrast very great,
Lord Frothingham ? We are very new and wild."
" I've seen only people since I've been here. I must
say the people at least, those I've met remind me
of home, except that they speak the language differ
ently. As for the city, it's not at all as I fancied. It's
much like Paris more attractive than London, not so
" Paris ! " Catherine smiled, with gently reproach
ful satire. " Oh, you flatter us."
" I like it better," insisted Frothingham. " It's
Paris with English in the streets I hate Frenchmen."
" No, they're not nice to look at the men," admit
ted Catherine. " But I adore what they've done.
What would the world be without France? '" ,
" Oh, I don't know," said Frothingham, with his
cynical, enthusiasm-discouraging drawl. " They're
hysterical beggars, always exploding for no reason.
It makes me nervous. I like quiet and comfort."
" Lord Frothingham isn't so sensible as he pre-
tends," put in Honoria. " He's really almost as sen
timental and emotional as you are, Catherine."
" Oh, but I'm neither," replied Catherine. " I don't
dare to be. If I find myself the least bit enthusiastic
I catch myself up and look round, frightened lest
somebody may have noticed. I'm such a liar we all
are over here. Don't you like sincerity, Lord Froth-
ingham ? "
" I I suppose so." Frothingham looked vague.
" What do you mean ? " Catherine's " intensity " con
" I mean being true to one's self, and not ashamed
to show one's self as one is, and never afraid to tell the
" But all of us do that, don't we ? " said Frothing
ham. There was a twinkle in his eye or was it only
the reflection of light from his glass?
Honoria gave him her " candid friend " look. " No
body does," said she. " That is, nobody who has tem
perament enough to lead any sort of life above an
" But I can see at a glance that Lord Frothingham
has temperament." Catherine looked at him with in
tensely sympathetic appreciation. " Yes, men can be
sincere and truthful. But women must always repress
their real selves."
Frothingham looked stolid and hopeless. When
ever conversation turned on abstractions he felt like a
man fumbling and stumbling about in a London fog.
" Really ? " he said. " Really, now? "
" I don't know why women fancy they must be
liars," said Honoria. " Do you mind dining at Sher
ry's to-night? ' ; Catherine in her psychological
moods bored her. She sometimes ventured on aerial
flights, but had no fancy for aerial flounderings.
" Sherry's? That will be delightful! I like din
ing at restaurants I'm very American in that re
" But so do I," said Frothingham. " That is, in
your restaurants here. The people are interesting,
and they talk a lot, and loud enough so that one hears
every word and isn't annoyed by missing the sense.
And how they do waste the food ! "
" Food ! " Catherine repeated the word with a
smile that was half-humourous, half pleading.
" Please don't use that word, Lord Frothingham. It
always makes me shiver. It sounds so so animal ! 5!
Frothingham put on the blank look behind which he
habitually sheltered himself when he did not know
what to say, or to do, or to think. Honoria was dis
gusted with him and with Catherine. " They're not
going to like each other, not even enough to marry,"
she said to herself. " And it's a pity, as they're
exactly suited. If Catherine only wouldn't
pose ! "
She was, therefore, somewhat surprised when, im
mediately she and Catherine were alone, Catherine
burst into rhapsody on Frothingham. " What a fine,
strong face! So much character! What a sincere,
sensitive, pure nature. He's a splendid type of true
gentleman, isn't he, Nora? How well he contrasts
with our men! Doesn't he?"
Honoria smiled to herself. " She wants to marry
him," she thought, " and she's building a fire under
her imagination. I might have known it. She's the
very person to weave romance over a title and imagine
it all gospel. What a poser ! " To Catherine she
said : " He's a decent enough chap, Caterina. And
you'll admire him more than ever when you've read
him up in Burke's Peerage and looked at the pictures
he's given me of Beauvais House."
"How do you spell it? B-e-v-i-s?"
" No, that's the way you pronounce it. You spell
"Isn't that interesting? It's so commonplace to
pronounce a word the way it's spelt, don't you
" I never thought of it, my dear. Why not marry
" You are so abrupt and and practical, Honoria,"
said Catherine plaintively. " But you are a dear. I
should never marry a man unless I loved him."
Honoria looked faintly cynical. " Certainly not.
But surely you can love any man you make up your
mind to marry. What is your imagination for ? "
At Sherry's that night, besides Honoria, Catherine,
Longview, and Frothingham, there were at Longview's
table Mrs. Carnarvon, of the hunting set, and Joe
Wallingford he hunts and writes verse, both badly,
and looks and talks, both extremely well. Honoria de
voted herself to Wallingford and so released Catherine
and Frothingham each upon the other she listened
for a few seconds now and then to note their progress.
" It's a go," she said to herself with the match
maker's thrill of triumph, as the cold dessert was
served. She saw that Frothingham had ceased to
listen, and so had ceased to puzzle; his eyeglass was
trained steadily and sympathetically upon Cather
ine's fascinating beauty why weary the brain when
it might rest and enjoy itself through the eyes?
Catherine was talking on and on, quoting poetry, tell
ing Frothingham of her emotions, telling him of his
emotions he did not have them, but she was so earnest
that he was half convinced.
" When you said this afternoon that you liked
things quiet and comfortable," she said, " I felt that
it was splendidly in keeping with your character. I
saw that you hated all this noise and display, that
you like to get away in your own corner of your beau
tiful England and live grandly and quietly near
If Catherine had not been beautiful and rich he
would have said to himself, " What rubbish ! " But,
as it was, he thought her profound and spiritual. And
he said, trying to touch bottom and get a firm stand
upon firm earth, " I think you'd like Beauvais."
" I'm sure I should," replied Catherine with en
thusiasm. " Honoria was showing me the photo
graphs of it. I admire the great, stately old house.
But I liked best of all the picture of the woods and
the brook. It reminded me of those lines of Cole
ridge's they are so beautiful where he speaks of
" ( In the leafy month of June
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.'
Don't you think those lines fine? Do I quote them
" Yes I think so that is," stammered Frothing-
ham, " it's a jolly brook, but we call it a river." Then
to himself : " What an ass she'll think me ! " But the
starting sweat stayed, for she asked him no more ques
tions; and he, freed from the anxiety of having to
try to soar with her, was able to sit quietly and en
joy her beauty, and the murmurous rush of her low,
musical voice " It's like the brook that brute she
quoted wrote about," he thought.
He did not drive home with his party, but accepted
Wallingford's invitation to walk in the fresh night
air to his club. " Your American women are tre
mendously clever," he said, as they were strolling
along. He was feeling dazed and dizzy from the
whirl of his emotions, the whirls and shocks Catherine
Hollister had given his brain.
"Yes, they're clever," replied Wallingford, "but
not in the way they think they are. Take Kitty Hoi-
lister, for example. She's all right when she wants to
be. She thinks sense. But what a raft of fuzzy trash
she does float out when she gets a-going. I pitied you
this evening. She laid herself out to impress you.
You're staying in the house with her, aren't you? I
suppose she whoops it up whenever you're round? "
" I find her very clever and interesting," said
Frothingham somewhat stiffly.
" Of course she is. I've known her for seventeen. of
the nineteen years she's gladdened the earth and I
ought to know her pretty well. But she's like a lot of
the women in this town. They haven't any emotions
to speak of nothing emotional happens. But they
think they ought to have emotions such as they read
about, and so they fake 'em. Then, they've got the
craze for culture. They haven't the time to get the
real thing they're too busy showing off. Besides,
they're too lazy. So they fake culture, too. Oh, yes,
they're clever. And they look so well that you like
the fake as they parade it better than the real thing."
" We have that sort in London," said Frothingham.
" So I've observed. But it's done rather better
there they're older hands at it. If you weren't an
Englishman, I'd say it fitted in better among the
other shams. I suppose you've noticed that many
people here are imitation English or French? You've
seen the tags ' Made in England,' ' Made in France,'
* Made in England, finished in France ' ? ' :
" I've noticed similarities," replied Frothingham
" It's all imitation stuff the labels are frauds.
We over here don't know how to be gracefully idle and
inane, as your upper classes do. It's not in us any
where. We haven't the tradition our tradition is all
against it. Whenever we do produce a thoroughly
idle and inane person, he or she goes abroad to live,
or else loses all his money to some sharp, pushing fel
low, and drops out of sight. All this aristocracy you
see is pure pose. Underneath, they're Americans."
" What is an American ? " asked Frothingham.
" Every time I think I've seen one, along comes some
native and tells me I'm wrong. Are you an Amer-
" Underneath yes. On the surface no. I used
to be, but now I'm posing with the rest of 'em. You'll
have to get out of New York to see Americans. There
are droves of 'em here, but they're so scattered in
places you'll never go to that you couldn't find them.
You'd better go West if you wish to be sure of seeing
the real thing."
" It's very confusing. How shall I know this Amer
ican when I see him ? "
" When you see a man or a woman who looks as if
he or she would do something honest and valuable,
who looks you straight in the eyes, and makes you feel
proud that you're a human being and ashamed that
you are not a broader, better, honester one that's an
American." And then he smiled with his eyes so
queerly that Frothingham could not decide whether or
not he was jesting.
At the club Wallingford introduced him into a
large circle of young men, seated round two tables
pushed together, and covered with " high balls," and
bottles of carbonated water, and silver bowls of
cracked ice. He said little, drank his whiskey and
water, and listened. " It's the talk of stock brokers
and tradesmen," he said to himself. " Yet these fel
lows are certainly gentlemen, and they don't talk
business in the least like our middle-class people. It's
After he left the others were most friendly, and even
admiring, in their comments upon him.
" He's monotonous, and poor, and will never have
anything unless he marries it," said Wallingford.
" If he were a plain, poor, incapable, rather dull
American, is there one of us that would waste five
minutes on him? "
There was silence, then a laugh.
WALLINGFORD and Frothingham devel
oped a warm friendship. Wallingford was
extremely suspicious of himself in it, but
after a searching self-analysis decided that his liking
for the Earl was to a certain extent genuine. " He
doesn't know much at least, he acts as if he didn't.
But he's clever in a curious way, and a good listener,
and not a bit of a fakir. No doubt he's on the look
out for a girl with cash, but English ideas on that sub- \
ject are different from ours that is, from what ours
are supposed to be. He's a type of English gentle
man, and not a bad type of gentleman without any
When he expressed some such ideas to Catherine
Hollister, at a dance given for her by Mrs. Carnar
von, she went so much further in praise of Frothing
ham that he laughed. " So that's the way the wind
blows, eh ? " he said, grinning at her satirically.
She coloured, and put on the look of an offended
" Countess of Frothingham," he went on, undis
turbed. " That would sound romantic, wouldn't it?
Catherine, Countess of Frothingham ! "
" How can you be so coarse-fibred in some ways,
Joe, and so fine in others? " she said reproachfully.
" I don't know, dear lady. I suppose because I'm
human just like you."
" Let us dance," was her only reply. She had
known Joe so long that she couldn't help liking him,
but he certainly was trying.
Later in the evening, remembering Joe's cruelty
and sordidness, she said to Frothingham : " You don't
know what a pleasure it is to the finer women over here
to meet foreign men. They are so much more subtle
and sympathetic. They are not coarsened by busi
ness. They are not mercenary."
She raised her dreamy eyes to his as she spoke the
word " mercenary." He reddened and stumbled
they were dancing the two-step. " I wish you wouldn't
look at me like that," he said, with an ingenuousness
wholly unconscious. " It reminds me of my sins, and
and all that."
She trembled slightly, as he could plainly feel in
his encircling arm. He looked down at her she al-
ways was ethereally beautiful in evening dress. In his
admiration he almost forgot how rich she was ; he quite
forgot how oppressively intellectual she was. " Do
you do you " he began. Then he stopped danc
ing and led her into the hall, through the hall to the
library. Two other couples were there, but far enough
from the corner to which he took her.
" May I smoke? " he asked.
" I love the odour of a cigarette," she replied, in a
voice that encouraged him to resume where he had ab
ruptly left off.
" Perhaps you will smoke? "
" No," she said, in a tone that was subtly modu
lated to mean apology or reproach, according as he
liked or disliked women smoking.
"Do you really like England?" he began nerv
ously, seeing to it that his glass was firmly ad
" I adore it ! " Usually she would have gone on
into poetical prose unlimited. But this, she felt, was
a time for short answers.
" Would you mind England with with "
He halted altogether, and she slowly raised her
heavy lids until her eyes met his.
" Catherine ! " He seized her hand, and the thrill
of her touch went through him. " You are so lovely.
I I'm horribly fond of you."
She sighed. " Isn't it beautiful? " she said. "This
lovely dance these fascinating surroundings the
music the dim lights and and " She lifted
her eyes to his again.
He murmured her name, threw away his cigarette,
looked round to see where the other eyes in that room
were, then clasped her round the waist for an instant.
" Will you ? Will you ? " he exclaimed.
" Yes," she replied, in a tone so faint that he barely
" You have made me happy." And he meant it.
" How satisfactory she is in every way," he was say
ing to himself. " Looks, money, everything. I'm a
lucky dog." And she was saying to herself, " Count
ess of Frothingham ! How strong and fine and simple
he is. I love him ! " But when he suggested speaking
to her father at once she would not have it. " No I
want it to be just our secret for a little while," she
pleaded. " Don't you? ' He did not see any reason
for it, but he said " Yes " with a surface reflection of
" It's a pity the world ever should know anything
about it, don't you think so? " she went on.
" I'm very impatient to claim my countess," he an
She liked the " countess," but the " my " jarred
slightly in her sensitive ear she was " acquiring " an
earl, not he a countess.
" Not too long," he remonstrated. It was all very
well for her to be romantic he wouldn't have liked it
if he had not inspired some romance. But why should
either of them wish to delay ratifying the bargain that
was the real purpose in view ? Certainly he wished no
delay. And there was much to be arranged settle
ments, a trousseau, a host of time-consuming prelimi
naries. Not a day should be lost in getting under
way. His creditors, impatiently awaiting the event of
his American adventure, might become ugly. He hated
ugly letters and cablegrams almost as much as he
hated ugly " scenes." No, he felt strongly on the sub
ject of long engagements.
His heart was full of her beauty he had drunk a
good deal at supper half an hour before. His head
was full of her dowry he never drank so much that
he forgot business. " How could I evade if anyone
should congratulate me? " he asked. And then he
wished he had not said it, but had made that the ex
cuse for not obeying her.
" You must deny it, as I shall. You know, we're
not really fully engaged until I'm ready to have it an
nounced. Besides, as Joe Wallingford says, a lie in
self-defence isn't a lie. And self-defence isn't either a
crime or a sin, is it? I think self-defence against pry
ing is a virtue, don't you ? "
A man came to claim her for a dance. She smiled
sweetly at him, plaintively at Frothingham, and went
back to the ballroom. Frothingham stood in the door
way watching her for a few minutes, then went away
from the dance to walk and think and enjoy. But
his mind was depressed. " Too much supper," he
grumbled. " I ought to be tossing my hat. I don't
deserve her and my luck. Her cash will put us right
for the first time since my great-grandfather ruined
us by going the Prince Regent's gait. We shall re
store Beauvais House and take the place in Carlton
Terrace again. Gad! what a relief it will be to feel
free in my mind about cab fares, and not to claim com
missions from my tailor when I send him customers. I
shall be able to live up to the title and the tradi-
tions " He painted vividly, but in vain. He
caught himself looking away from the glowing pic
tures and sighing. " Yes, she's pretty devilish pretty
and a high stepper, but Gwen would be so com
fortable so d n comfortable ! "
Honoria suspected their secret, yet doubted the cor
rectness of her intuitions. " She'd parade it," she
reflected, " if she were really engaged to him. There
must be a hitch somewhere." And her wonder grew as
the report of their engagement spread only to be
strenuously denied by Catherine.
Catherine was almost tearful in lamenting this " im
pertinent gossip " to her. " Isn't it hateful, Honoria,"
she said, " that a young man and a young woman can't
be civil and friendly to each other when they're visit
ing in the same house, without all the busybodies try
ing to embarrass them? Did you see the papers this
morning? How dare they print it ! "
Honoria smiled at this mock indignation. " Where's
the injury to you in crediting you with landing an
earl? " she asked.
Catherine gave her a look of melancholy reproach.
" Do you know," she said dreamily, " I don't think of
him as an earl any longer? His character makes
everything else about him seem of no consequence.
Don't you think he is a remarkable man ? "
" A little less remarkable than a marquis, a little
more remarkable than a viscount and in comparison
with a baronet or a plain esquire, a positive genius ! "
Frothingham was more and more uncomfortable.
Catherine took him everywhere in her train and, with
seeming unconsciousness of what she was doing, fairly
flaunted him as her devoted attendant. Yet only when
they were alone did she ever betray that she had more
than a polite, friendly interest in him. He would have
got angry at her, would have made vigorous protest,
but how was it possible to bring such sordidness as
mere vulgar appearances to the attention of so inno
cent and high-minded a creature ? He restrained him
self, or, rather, was restrained until Horse Show
Those afternoons and evenings of dragging at the
divine Catherine's chariot wheels before the eyes of the
multitude were too much for him. It was one of the
years when the Horse Show was the fashion for the
fashionable. Not only the racing set and the hunting
set, but also the dancing and the dressing and the
literary and artistic sets, and the fadless, but none the
less frivolous, set, flocked there day and evening to
crowd the boxes with a dazzling display of dresses,
wraps, jewels, and free-and-easy manners. At first
Frothingham gaped almost as amazedly as the multi
tude that poured slowly and thickly round the prom
enade, eyes glued upon the occupants of the boxes,
never a glance to spare for the ring from the cyclb-
rama of luxury and fashion. " And at a horse show ! "
he muttered, as he noted the hats and gowns made to
be shown only in houses, or in carriages on the way to
and from houses, but there exhibited amid the dust of
the show ring. " What rotten bad taste ! "
He was astounded to find Catherine outdone by none
in extravagant out-of-placeness of ostentation as he
regarded it. Day after day, night after night, she
showed herself off to her friends and to the craning
throngs of the promenade in a kaleidoscopic series of
wonderful " creations." And she insisted that he
should always be in close attendance. As he sat beside
her he heard the comments of the crowd there was al
ways a crowd in front of Longview's box : " That's the
girl." " Yes, and the fellow beside her, with the eye
glass, he's the Earl." " I don't know how much
some say a million some say two or three." " He
looks dull, but then all Englishmen look that." " I'll
bet he could be a brute. Look what a heavy jaw he's
got." " She'll be sick of him before she's had him
Did Catherine hear? he wondered. Apparently not.
He never surprised in her face or manner a hint of
consciousness of self or of being stared at and com
mented upon. " But she can't avoid hearing," he said
to himself. " These asses are braying right in her
ears. And why should she get herself up in all these
clothes, if it ain't to be stared at? "
And, between performances, the performers in the
Longview box dined in the palm garden at the Wal
dorf, with their acquaintances at the surrounding ta
bles, and gossip of their engagement flying, and curi
ous glances straying toward them over the tops of
wine-glasses, and whispers and smiles and Catherine
soulful and unconscious. On Friday night, as they
drove from the Waldorf to the Garden she had
given him her hand to hold under cover of the
lap-robe she said, with a sigh : " I'm so glad
it's nearly over. Only to-night and to-morrow
" Not to-morrow afternoon? " asked Frothingham.
" Why do we miss a chance to exhibit ? "
" Only the servants and the children go to-morrow
afternoon," replied Catherine sweetly. " I'm worn out
and sick of it all. So many go merely for self -display ;
so few of us, not to speak of those dreadful people in
the promenade, care anything about the dear, beauti
ful, noble horses."
" Why look at horses," said Honoria, " when there's
a human show that's so much more interesting? It
may be vulgar, but it's amusing. I'm afraid my tastes
are not refined."
Frothingham looked at her with the expression of a
thirsty man who is having a glass of cold water.
" That's what I think," said he. " And I'm fond of
horses." A faint sneer in his satirical drawl made
Catherine give him a furtive glance of anxiety was
the worm thinking of turning?
When they were in the box and the others were busy
she said to him, in her tenderest tone : " You're dread
fully bored by all this, aren't you? And I thought it
would give you pleasure for us to be together so
The surliness cleared from his face somewhat. " No,
l As if we were a pair of new chimpanzees in a zoo'
I'm not bored. But I hate to be shown off. And, while
you've been unconscious of it, the fact is that you and
I have been sitting here in this cage five or six hours a
day, gaped at as if we were a pair of new chimpanzees
in a zoo." As he remembered his wrongs, his anger
rose upon the wine he had freely drunk at dinner.
" It's what I call low downright rotten, Catherine,"
he finished energetically.
" I wish you wouldn't use that dreadful word," she
said, tears in her eyes, but a certain sting in her voice.
" I know it's all right in England some of us use it
here. But it every time you or anyone says it I feel
as if someone had thrust a horrid-smelling rag under
my nose. You don't mind my saying so, do you, dear? v
" Beg pardon," he said. " We do use rowdy words
nowadays. I'm so accustomed to it I don't notice."
Just then up to his ears from the promenade and the
crowd gaping at the " new chimpanzees " came a
voice : " They're fighting look ! look ! Hasn't he got
an ugly scowl? And she's almost crying."
He flushed scarlet and sent a glowering glance down
into the crowd. He turned upon Catherine : " Just
hear that! They think I'm rowing you. By beg
pardcn, but well I sha'n't endure it another in-
stant." And he rose, brushed past Catherine's mother
and Longview, Honoria and two men hanging over
her, and stalked along the aisle down into and through
the recognising crowd, and out of the Garden.
The boxes ate greedily of this sensation, and the
crowd in the promenade scrambled frantically for the
crumbs. It was presently noised round that the Eng
lishman had become angered, had struck someone.
Rumour at first said it was Catherine ; but the crowd by
the use of its legs and eyes, and the boxes by the use
of their glasses, learned that this was false. There sat
Catherine, calm, absorbed in the ring, applauding the
jumpers, and turning now and then to her compan
ions with outbursts of ladylike enthusiasm for some
particularly clever performance. However, crowd and
boxes saw that the Englishman was gone, felt that he
must have gone in anger.
The Longview party stopped at the Waldorf for
supper, and Frothingham, calmer and a little embar
rassed, joined them. Catherine received him as if
nothing had taken place, and the next night they ap
peared together at the Garden as usual.
Late in the evening she said to him : " I've told
mother of our engagement. Do you mind, dear? "
His face lighted up.
" She wishes you to come down to the country with
us on Sunday to stay a week or two. It is beautiful
there, and we shall be very quiet. Shall you like
" And I may speak to your father ? " he asked. " In
my country it wouldn't be regarded as honourable for
me to act as I've been acting with you. I can't help
feeling uncomfortable because I've said nothing to
" I'll speak to him first, Arthur. He lets me do as I
please. And he'll be contented with whatever makes
me happy. He's such a dear ! "
Frothingham looked faintly annoyed. It was not
in his plan to include " father " in their romance. Ro
mance with daughter, business with father that was
the proper and discreet distribution of the prelimina
ries to the formal engagement. He had, deep down, a
horrible, nervous fear that he might be drawn into
matrimony without definite settlements the father
might be as difficult to pin down in his way as was the
daughter in her way. " I must take this business in
hand," he said to himself, " or I'll be in a ghastly
Catherine, her mother, and he went down on the one-
o'clock train. The Hollister country' place Lake-
in-the-Wood was a great pile of brick and stone, im
pressive for size rather than for beauty, filled with ex
pensive furnishings and swarming servants in showy
livery, and surrounded by a handsome, well-ordered
park, with winding walks and drives, and romantically
bridged streams flowing to and from a large lake.
They lived with more ceremony than did Surrey at
Heath Hall but there was an air of newness and stiff
ness and prodigal profusion about it all, a suggestion
of a creation of yesterday that might find a grave to
morrow. This impression, which had often come to
him in the palaces of New York, began to form as the
porter opened the huge gates between the park and
the highway. It grew stronger and stronger as he
penetrated into the gaudy, if tasteful, establishment.
Everything was too new, too grand, too fine. The
daughter alone was at her ease; the mother was not
quite at her ease; the father was distinctly, if self-
mockingly, ill at ease.
The two women left Frothingham alone with him,
and the old man soon vented his dissatisfaction. " I
suppose you like this sort of thing," he said, with a
wave of the arm to indicate that he meant the establish
ment. " But I don't. If I had my way we'd be simple
and comfortable no, I don't mean that exactly. I
suppose at bottom I'm as big a fool as the women.
But, all the same, French cooking gives me indigestion.
That infernal frog-eater in the right wing has it in
for me. He's killing me by inches. And I'm so afraid
of him and the butler and all the rest of 'em that I
don't kick the traces more than once a week." He
laughed. " My wife and daughter have got me well
trained. Whenever they tell me to, I sit up on my
hind legs and * speak ' for crackers and snap 'em off
Frothingham liked him at once he was a big,
handsome old fellow, with keen, steel-grey eyes,
and the strong look of the successful man of affairs.
" I fancy he's almost one of those Americans Walling-
ford talked about," he thought.
After a smoke with Hollister he went to his rooms
a suite of vast chambers, like the show rooms of a
palace, with a marble bathroom that had a small
swimming pool sunk in the middle of it. He looked
out upon the drive and the park and the half-hidden
streams glittering in the sunshine. " These people
will beat us out at our own game when they get used
to the cards," he said.
There was the sound of wheels and horses many
wheels and many horses. He looked down the drive
one after another came into view a three-seated buck-
board, a stylish omnibus, a waggon with the seats
taken out to make room for a huge pile of luggage.
In the buckboard and the omnibus he recognised men
and women whom he had met in New York the Leigh-
tons, the Spencers, the Farrells, the Howards, Mrs.
Carnarvon, Wallingford, Gresham, Browne, a man
whose name he could not recall, Miss Lester, Miss Dev-
enant. " I thought Catherine and I were to be * very
quiet,' " he muttered.
There were thirty-two people at dinner that night,
sixteen of whom? including himself, were guests in the
house for stays of three days, a week, ten days. " You
said you were to be alone," he said to Catherine, with
She gave him her pathetic, helpless look. " I did
hope so. But I asked some, and mamma asked others,
and the rest asked themselves."
The days passed, and he had only fleeting glimpses
of her. Everybody was hunting, riding, driving, go-
ing to luncheons, teas, dinners, through a neighbour
hood ten miles square. Every moment from early un
til late was more than occupied it was crowded,
jammed. His idea of country life was the quiet, lazy
ease of England ; a week of this rushing about fagged
him, body and mind. He ceased to try for a moment
alone with her; he saw that it was hopeless to expect
so much in a place where he could not get a moment
alone with himself.
" You never rest in this country ? " he said, address
ing the men in the library at midnight, as they were
having a final nightcap.
" Why should we? " replied Browne. " Why antic
ipate the grave's only pleasure ? "
" You see," explained Wallingford, " on this side
of the water we take our pleasures energetically. When
we work, we work hard ; when we play, we play hard.
If we're having a good time, we crowd our luck, in the
hope of having a better time. If we're bored, we
hurry, to get it over with."
" Do you keep this up the year round ? ''
" Except on ocean steamers. But we'll close that
gap when we get the ' wireless ' installed, with a tele
phone to the head of every berth."
ON a Monday morning Frothingham's eighth
day at Lake-in-the-wood only Wallingford
and the tireless Catherine appeared for the
early ride. " It's cold," said Wallingford. " Shall
we canter? " And they swept through the gates and
on over the frost-spangled meadows for several miles
before they drew their horses in to a walk. Cather
ine's cheeks were glowing, and her eyes were not
dreamy and soulful, but bright with vigorous, wide
" I haven't seen you looking so well in years, Kitty."
Wallingford was examining her with the slightly
mocking, indifferent eyes that had piqued not a few
women into trying to make him like them. ' You look
positively human. And it's becoming most becom-
Catherine began to scramble into her pose. She did
not like to be caught lapsing from her ideals.
" Why do you do it ? " Wallingford dropped his
mockery for an instant. " Your own individuality,
no matter how poor you may think it, is far bet
ter than any you could possibly invent or bor
Catherine looked hurt. " Why do you charge de
ception against everyone who lives above your level? ' !
she asked. " I hope you're not going to be nasty this
morning, Joe. I'm blue."
" What's the matter ? Something real, or "
" Don't tease. This is real."
" What is it? I see you wish to be encouraged to
" No I couldn't tell anyone." Catherine's eyes
were tragic. " It's one of those things that can't be
told, but must be "
" Go on. What is it? '' Wallingford refused to be
impressed by tragedy. " I see you're dying to tell me.
Why not get it over with? "
" You are so sympathetic, Joe. You pretend not to
understand me, but I feel that you always do."
" You mean that I refuse to be misled by your
charming little pretences. But how could I? Why,
don't I remember the day, the very hour, you went in
for the 6 soulful ' ? I must say, I never could see why
you took that up as your facL- Being natural is much
harder to win out at few people are interesting, or
even endurable, when they're natural."
" Joe," she said absently, as if she had not heard
him, " I'm afraid I'm making a a dreadful mis
" Well? " he asked almost gruffly, after a short
" About about Lord Frothingham," she con
fessed, lowering her eyelids until her long lashes shad
owed her cheeks.
" Oh, I think you'll land him all right," said Wal-
lingf ord encouragingly. " He's a bit gone on you ;
and then, too, he needs the cash."
" Please don't speak of him in that way, Joe. He's
not a vulgar fortune-hunter, but a high, sensitive, no
" Who said he was a vulgar fortune-hunter? On
the contrary, he's an honest British merchant, taking
his title to market. And he's been lucky enough to
find a good customer."
Catherine ignored this description of her knight
and her romance. " You know I'm engaged to him ? "
" Ever since the first time I saw your mother look at
" Yes she approves it."
" I should say she would," said Wallingford judi
cially. " She's got the best part of it. She'll have all
the glory of having an earl in the family, and she
won't have to live with him."
" I'm afraid I don't love him as I ought," said
Catherine, with a sigh.
Wallingford laughed. " Now, of what use Is it to
talk this over, Kitty, if you won't be frank? It can't
be a question of loving him that's troubling you. Of
course you don't love him. You love his title, and that
would prevent you from loving him for himself, no
matter how attractive he was. But why bother about
love? He's giving you what you really want."
" What do I want? " She looked at Wallingford
with sincere appeal, slightly humourous, but earnest.
" I once thought that you wanted to be a real
woman. But ever since your mother took you abroad
to fill her own and your head with foreign notions I've
been losing faith. What do you want now? Why,
the trash you're buying."
" Joe, how can you think I'd sell myself? "
" Why not ? It's generally regarded as a reputable
transaction unless one is vulgar enough to sell out
for the mere necessaries of life. Oh, I'm not criticis
ing you, Kitty. Perhaps I'd sell myself if I could get
any sort of price. Never having been tempted, I can't
say what I'd do."
" Please don't talk in that way, even in jest. It
isn't true. I know it isn't true. And it's knowing that
that makes me " She hesitated, then went on
" despise myself ! It's of no use to lie to you, Joe.
I'm glad there's somebody I can't lie to, somebody that
sees into me and forces me to look at myself as I am.
And sometimes I hate you for it. Yes, I hate you for
it now! "' She was sitting very erect upon her horse,
her head thrown back, tears of anger in her eyes.
" Hate? " He shook his head teasingly at her. " I
envy you. I've tried every other emotion, and I'd like
to try that. But I can't. I can't hate even Frothing-
ham. On the contrary, I like him. If you must have
a title, you've got to take a husband with it. And I
must say, I think you'll be able to harness Frothing-
ham down to a fairly reliable family horse."
" How can you jest so coarsely about such a serious
matter? " she exclaimed indignantly.
" But is it? What does it matter whom you marry,
so long as you have no purpose in life other than to
make a show and to induce shallow people to admire
you and envy you for the things you've got that can
be bought and sold? It's better, on the whole, isn't
it, my friend, that you should carry out these pur
poses through a foreigner, and in a foreign country,
than that you should spoil some promising American
and be a bad influence here? ' !
" You are cruel, Joe. And I thought you'd sympa
thise with me, and help me ! "
There was a pause, then he demanded abruptly:
" What does your father say? 5i
She flushed partly at the memory of the interview
with her father, partly through shame in recollecting
that she had led Frothingham to believe she had not
told him. " He said but why should I tell you? "
" I don't know, I'm sure, unless because you wish
" Well I will tell you. He said " (she imitated his
nasal drawl) : " * If your ma and you want to make the
deal I'll sign the papers. I reckon you know what
you're about. And all our money's for is to make us
happy. Buy what you please I'll settle for it.' "
"Was that all?"
Catherine lowered her eyes. " Yes, that was all he
said. But he looked Joe, it was his look that upset
" I understand." Wallingford's voice was gentle
and sympathetic now. " And what answer are you go
ing to make to that look ? "
" I'd rather not say," she replied, giving him a
brilliant smile. " Let's canter again. We must get
As soon as she reached the house she went to her
mother's rooms. Mrs. Hollister was finishing her
morning's work with her secretary. Catherine waited,
impatiently playing with her riding whip. When the
secretary left she said : " Mother, I'm going to throw
Mrs. Hollister paused for an instant in putting
away some of her especially private papers, then went
on. Presently she said tranquilly : " You will do noth
ing of the sort."
Catherine quailed before that tone she had been
ruled by her mother all her life, had never been inter
fered with in any matter which her mother regarded as
unimportant, had never been permitted to decide any
matter which her mother regarded as important. And
her mother's rule was the most formidable of all tyr
annies the tyranny of kindness.
" But, mother, I should be wretched with him."
On the basis of their method of thought and speech
each with the other, it was impossible for her to erect
" Because I don't love him " into a plausible objection.
So she said : " We have nothing in common. His lazi
ness and cynicism irritate me. He makes me nervous.
He bores me."
" All men are objectionable in one way or another,"
replied her mother. " If you married the ordinary
man you would have nothing after you had grown
tired. But marrying him, you'll have, first, last, and
all the time, the solid advantages of your position and
your title. And you'll like him better when you're
used to him he has admirable qualities for a hus
" I can't marry him," said Catherine dog
gedly. She knew it was useless to argue with her
" You can't refuse to marry him. It would be dis
honourable. Your word is pledged. It would be im-
possible for a child of mine to be guilty of a dishon
" When I tell him how I feel he will release me."
" You mean he would refuse to marry a woman who,
after treating a man as you have treated him, would
show herself so light and so lacking in honour. No,
my daughter will not disgrace herself and her family."
Mrs. Hollister seated herself beside Catherine and put
an arm round her. " She has had her every whim
gratified, and that has made her careless of responsi
bilities. But she will not show herself in serious mat
ters light and untrustworthy."
Catherine stiffened herself against the gentle yet
masterful force that seemed to be stealing in upon her
from her mother's embrace and tone.
" You've come to one of those rough places in life,"
Mrs. Hollister went on, " where young people need the
help of some older, more experienced person. And
some day soon you'll be glad I was here to see you
safely over it."
" I can't marry him, mother."
Mrs. Hollister frowned for a second, then her face
cleared, and she said quietly : " Your father and I have
put you in a position to establish yourself well in life.
You have engaged yourself to an honourable man,
who has something to offer you, who can assure you a
position that will be a satisfaction to you all your life
and to your children after you. I know I have not
brought you up so badly that you would throw away
your career, would disregard the interests of those you
may bring into the world, all for a mere whim."
Catherine was silent.
" Even if you cared for someone else - "
" But I do," interrupted Catherine impetuously.
Mrs. Hollister winced and reflected before she went
on : " It cannot be a serious attachment, Catherine, or
I should have noticed it. Is it Joseph Wallingford? "
Catherine did not answer.
" Even if you had been attracted for a moment by a
man who had something to offer besides a little senti
ment, that would be gone a few brief months after
marriage, still it would be your duty to yourself and to
your family to make the sensible marriage. You arc
not a foolish girl. You are not a child. You know
what the substantial things in life are."
" I can't marry him," repeated Catherine stub
Has Wallingford been making love to you ? "
The anger was close to the surface in Mrs. Hollister's
Catherine smiled bitterly. " No," she answered,
" he has not. He cares nothing for me. But I can't
marry Lord Frothingham and I won't."
" You must not say that, Catherine," said her
mother sternly. " It is a great shock to me to find that
you cannot be trusted. If you refused to marry the
man you have voluntarily engaged yourself to, I
should never forgive you."
Catherine's eyes sank before her mother's. " The
engagement must be announced at once," her mother
went on. " You will change your mind when you have
thought it over, and when you realise what my feelings
" I can't " began Catherine monotonously.
" I wish to hear no more about it, child," inter
rupted her mother, her eyes glittering a forewarning
of the hate she would have for a daughter who dis
obeyed her. " To-morrow we will talk of it
Catherine and her mother arose, and each faced the
other for a moment two inflexible wills. For Mrs.
Hollister had made one error, and that fatal, in train-
ing her daughter. She had not broken her will in
childhood, when the stiffest inherited will can be made
to yield; she had only subdued it, driven it to cover.
She had left her her individuality. But she did not
know this; so, she saw her daughter's looks, saw her
daughter leave the room with resolution in every curve
of her figure, and was not in the least disturbed as to
the event. The idea that she, Maria Hollister, could
be defied by anyone in her family or out of it could
not form in her mind. " It is fortunate," she said to
herself, " that Wallingford is leaving early in the
morning. I'll announce the engagement at dinner to
Catherine went to change her dress, and then
searched for Frothingham. He was alone in the
billiard room, half asleep, on one of the wall lounges.
At sight of him she saw him before he saw her
her courage wavered. Yes, he was a decent sort of
chap; and she was treating him badly, despicably
had bargained fairly with him, had used the contract
publicly to aggrandise herself at his expense, was
about to break her contract and humiliate him, injure
him, through no fault of his. He had been fair with
her, she had been false with him, was about to be base.
" I can't," she said to herself. " At least, not in cold
He saw her, and his face lighted up. She smiled,
nodded, hurried through the billiard room, and disap
peared into the hall beyond. As she turned its angle
her knees became shaky and her face white. Then
Wallingford suddenly appeared at the conservatory
door. He came toward her as if he were going to pass
without stopping. But he halted.
"Well? "he said.
She leaned against the wall. Her throat was dry
and her eyelids were trembling.
" What is it? " he asked gently.
She hung her head.
"Don't be afraid to say it to me" he urged.
" There isn't anything you couldn't say to me."
" Do you do you do you care for me ? " she said,
in a queer little choked, squeaky voice.
He laughed slightly, and came close to her and
looked down at her. " You're the only thing in all
this world I do care for," he said. " Why ? "
" Oh, nothing don't follow me," and she darted
back toward the billiard room.
Frothingham was still there, seated now at the open
'Just my rotten luck," he muttered
fire. " Ah you ! I'm glad you've come back," he
" I want you to release me from my engagement,"
His jaw dropped, and he stared stupidly at her. He
could hardly believe that this impetuous, energetic
creature was the languorous, affected, dreamy Cath
" I mean it," she sped on. " I've no excuse to make
for myself. But I can't marry you. And you ought
to be glad you're rid of me."
Her tone instantly convinced him that he was done
for. He turned a sickly yellow, and put his head be
tween his hands and stared into the fire. His brain
was in a whirl. " Just my rotten luck," he muttered.
" I don't hope that you'll forgive me," she was say
ing. " You couldn't have any respect for me. I'm
only saving a few little shreds of self-respect.
" You mustn't do it, Catherine. You mustn't,
you " he interrupted, rising and facing her.
" I must be free. I care for someone else. Don't
discuss it, please. Just say you let me go."
" It ain't right." Cupidity and vanity were lashing
his anger into a storm. " You can't go back you've
gone too far. Why, we're as good as married."
" Don't make me any more ashamed than I am/'
she pleaded humbly.
No, I can't release you," he said with cold fury.
I can't permit myself to be trifled with." He knew
that he was taking the wrong tack, that he ought to
play the wounded lover. But his feeling for her was
so small, and his anger so great, that he could not.
She was almost hysterical. She felt as though she
were struggling desperately against some awful force
that was imprisoning her. " Let me go. Please, let
me go," she gasped.
" No ! " he said, arrogance in his voice the arro
gance of a man used to women who let men rule them.
Her eyes flashed. " Then I release myself ! " she
exclaimed haughtily, with a change of front so swift
that it startled him. " And don't you dare ever speak
of it to me again ! "
She slowly left the room, her head high. But her
haughtiness subsided as rapidly as it had risen, and by
the time she reached her own apartment she was ready
to fling herself down for a miserable cry and she did.
" If I could only get him out of the house," she wailed.
Frothingham debated his situation. " The thing to
do," he concluded, " is to go straight off to her
father." He had not yet become convinced that in
America man occupies a position in the family radi
cally different from his position in England. He
found Hollister writing in his study.
" Mr. Hollister," he began.
Hollister raised his head until it was tilted so far
back that he could see Frothingham through the
glasses that were pinching in the extreme end of his
long nose. " Oh Lord Frothingham yes ! " He
laid down his pen. " What can I do for you? ' :
Frothingham seated himself in a solemn dignity
that hid his nervousness. " For several weeks your
daughter and I have been engaged. We we "
Hollister smiled good-humouredly. " Before you
go any further, my boy," he interrupted kindly, " I
warn you that you're barking up the wrong tree."
" I beg your pardon," said Frothingham stiffly.
" The person you want to see is the girl's mother.
She attends to all that end of the business. I've got
enough trouble to look after at my own end."
" What I have to say can be said properly only to
her father as the head of the family."
" But I'm not the head of the family. I'm not sure
that I know who is. Sometimes I think it's my wife,
again I suspect Catherine."
" Your daughter now refuses to abide by her en
gagement," said Frothingham, in desperation at this
Hollister took off his glasses and examined them on
both sides with great care. " Well," he said at last,
" I suppose that settles it."
Frothingham stared. " I beg pardon, but it does
not settle it."
Hollister gave him a look of fatherly sympathy.
" I guess it does. You can't marry her if she won't
have you. And if she won't have you why, she
" You treat the matter lightly." Frothingham had
a bright red spot in either cheek. " You do not seem
to be conscious of the painful position in which she
" Good Heavens, Frothingham ! What have I got
to do with it? You ain't engaged to me. She's
got the right to say what she'll do with her
Frothingham rose. " I was under the impression,
sir, that I was dealing with a gentleman who would
appreciate the due of a gentleman."
Hollister's eyebrows came down, and a cruel line
suddenly appeared at each corner of his mouth. Just
then Mrs. Hollister entered. Intuitively she leaped to
the right conclusion. " The idiot ! " she said to her
self. " Why didn't he come to me? " Then she said
smoothly, almost playfully, to " the idiot '* : " Has
Catherine been troubling you with her mood this morn
Frothingham's face brightened her mood ! Then
there was hope.
" You ought not to pay any attention to her
moods," Mrs. Hollister went on with a smile. " She's
very nervous at times. But it passes."
" She told me flat that our engagement was off,"
said Frothingham. " I came to her father, naturally.
She seemed to be in earnest."
Mrs. Hollister continued to smile. " Don't concern
yourself about the matter, Lord Frothingham," she
replied in her kindliest voice. " Catherine will be all
right again to-morrow at the latest. She has been do
ing too much lately for a young girl under the ex
citement of an engagement."
Hollister, who had been looking hesitatingly
from his wife to Frothingham, went to the wall and
pressed an electric button. When the servant ap
peared he said : " Please ask Miss Catherine to come
Mrs. Hollister turned on him, her eyes flashing.
" Catherine is in no state to bear "
Hollister returned her look calmly, then repeated his
order. The servant looked uneasily from the husband
to the wife, saw that Mrs. Hollister was not going to
speak, made a deprecating bow, and withdrew. In a
few minutes it seemed a long time to the three, wait
ing in silence Catherine appeared. Her eyes were
swollen slightly, but that was the only sign of pertur
bation. Mrs. Hollister said to Frothingham : "I think
it would be best that her father and I talk with her
Frothingham instantly rose. With eyes pleadingly
upon Catherine he was nearing the door when Hollis
ter spoke it was in a voice neither Frothingham nor
even Catherine had heard from him or suspected him
of having at his command. " Please be seated, Lord
Frothingham. The best way to settle this business is
to settle it."
Frothingham could not have disobeyed that voice,
and he saw with a sinking heart that at the sound of
it Mrs. Hollister looked helpless despair.
" Catherine," said her father, " do you, or do you
not, wish to marry Lord Frothingham ? "
" I won't marry him," replied Catherine. She gave
Frothingham a contemptuous look. " I told him so a
Mrs. Hollister's eyes blazed. " Have you forgotten
what I said to you? " she demanded of her daughter,
her voice shrill with fury.
" No, mother," Catherine answered slowly ; " but
I cannot change my mind. I cannot marry Lord
An oppressive silence fell. After a moment Froth
ingham bowed coldly, and left the room. Mrs. Hol
lister started up to follow him. " One word, Maria,"
said her husband. " I wish you to understand that
this matter is settled. Nothing more is to be said
about it either to Catherine or to that young man
not another word."
Mrs. Hollister was white to the lips. " I under
stand," she replied, with a blasting look at her daugh
ter. And she followed Frothingham to try to pacify
him she knew her husband too well not to know that
her dream of a titled son-in-law was over.
When she was gone Catherine sank limp into a
chair. " She'll never forgive me," she exclaimed de
Hollister nodded in silent assent. After a few min
utes he said : " It's been fifteen years since she made
me cross her in a matter I sha'n't speak of. And she
remembers it against me to-day as if it had happened
an hour ago. The sooner you find your man, Katie,
and marry him, the better off you'll be that's my ad
vice." He smiled with grim humour as he added,
" And I ought to know." Then he patted her en
couragingly on the shoulder with a hand that looked
as if it could hold the helm steady through any tem
FROTHINGHAM had gone direct to his apart
ment. " Get my traps together at once," he
said to his man Hutt, whose father had been
his father's man. He threw himself into a chair in his
sitting-room, and tried to think, to plan. But he was
still dazed from the long fall and the sudden stop.
Presently Hutt touched him.
" Well well what is it ? " he asked, looking stu
pidly up at the round, stupid face.
" Beg pardon, my lord," replied the servant, " but
Hi've spoke to you twice. Mrs. Hollister wishes to
know hif you'll kindly come to 'er in 'er sitting-room."
Frothingham found Mrs. Hollister's maid waiting
for him in the hall. He followed her to the heavily
perfumed surroundings of pale blue silk, both plain
and brocaded, in which Mrs. Hollister lived. He lis
tened to her without hearing what she said thinking
of it afterward he decided that she had been incoherent
and not very tactful, and that her chief anxiety had
been lest he might do something to cause scandal. He
remembered that when he had said he would go at once
she had tried to persuade him to stay as if leaving
were not the only possible course. He gradually re
covered his self-command, and through weakness,
through good nature, through contempt of his hosts,
and through policy, he acted upon the first principle
of the code for fortune-hunters of every degree and
kind : " Be near-sighted to insults, and far-sighted to
Surveying the wreck from his original lodgings at
the Waldorf, he found three mitigations first, that
the engagement had not been announced ; second, that
he had not written Evelyn anything about it; third,
that it was impossible for " middle-class people " such
as the Hollisters to insult him " if I wallow with
that sort, I can't expect anything else, can I ? >: To
cheer himself he had several drinks and took an account
of stock. He found he was ninety-three pounds
richer than when he landed he played " bridge "
well, and had been in several heavy games at Lake-in-
the-Wood, and had been adroit in noting the stupid
players, and so arranging partners that he could bene
fit by them ; also he had been lucky in a small way at
picking the numbers at Canfield's the few times he had
trusted himself to go there. " Not so bad," he said.
" It's a long game, and that was only the first hand."
He hesitated at the indicator, then instead of ordering
another drink went to the telephone and called up
Longview's house. It gave him courage, and a sense
that he was not altogether friendless and forlorn, to
hear Honoria's voice again. " Shall you be in late
this afternoon ? " he asked.
" Why ! I didn't know you were in town or are
you calling me from Catherine's ? "
" Yes I'm in town," he replied, and he felt that
she must notice the strain in his voice.
" Oh ! "
" I'm up to stay," he went on, his voice improving.
" Oh yes come at half -past five."
" Thank you good-by." He held the receiver to
his ear until he heard her ring off. " Good girl, Hon-
oria," he muttered. " Not like those beastly cads."
He went to the club, lunched with Browne, whom he
found there, was beaten by him at billiards, losing ten
dollars, and returned to the hotel to dress.
At a quarter-past five he started up the avenue
afoot a striking figure in clothes made in the
extreme of the English fashion; but he would have
been striking in almost any sort of dress, so distin
guished was its pale, rather supercilious face, with
one of his keen eyes ambushed behind that eye
glass, expressive in its expressionlessness. The occu
pants of every fifth or sixth carriage in the fashion
able parade bowed to him with a friendliness that gave
him an internal self-possession as calm as the external
immobility which his control of his features enabled
him always to present to the world.
He told Honoria his story in outline " the surest
way to win a woman's friendship is to show her that
you trust her," he reflected. She was sympathetic in
a way that soothed, not hurt, his vanity ; but she sided
with Catherine. " I half suspected her of being in
love with Joe," she said, " but I thought he was a con
firmed bachelor. He played all round you that's the
truth. I'm going to say something rather disagree
able but I think it's necessary."
" I want I need your advice," he replied.
" You've been relying entirely too much on your
title. You've let yourself be misled by what the news
papers say about that sort of thing. You don't un
derstand I didn't understand until I'd been here a
while, and had got my point of view straight. They're
not so excited about titles now as they used to be when
they had no fashionable society of their own, and had
to look abroad to gratify their instinct for social posi
tion. If you'd come five years ago "
" Just my rotten luck," he muttered.
" Your title is a good thing properly worked. It
will catch a woman, especially if she's not well forward
* in the push,' as they say. But it won't hold her.
She's likely to use you to strengthen her social posi
tion, and then to drop you, unless she has lived in
England, and has had her head turned, and has be
come like your middle classes."
" But my family is away better than Surrey's."
" Your family counts for nothing here. New York
knows nothing and cares nothing about birth. En
glishmen count by title only."
" Then they ran after Surrey because he was a
" Perhaps to a certain extent," replied Honoria.
" But I fancy the principal reason was that they
wished to see what it was Helen had paid such a tall
price for. If he had come here quietly to marry a
poor girl there'd have been no stir."
" Money money nothing but money always
money," sneered Frothingham. He saw the twinkle
in Honoria's eyes. " But, I say," he protested, " you
know that we over there do care for other things,
" So do they here, but what do they care for, first
and most, in both countries? "
" It's money first there and here, and the world
over," she went on with bitterness under her raillery.
" And among our kind of people everything else
sentiment, art, good taste even is far behind it. How
could it be otherwise? We've got to have money
lots of money or we can't have the things we most
crave luxury, deference, show. But where are you
dining to-night ? "
" Probably at the club."
" Excuse me a minute. I'll just see if Mrs. Galloway
will let me bring you. We're going to the opera
afterward." She looked at him quizzically. " I
think I'll arrange to ship you off to Boston. A little
vacation just now will do you no harm. And Boston
might interest you."
When she returned from the telephone it was with
a cordial invitation for him from Mrs. Galloway. He
said : " I've a letter to a Mrs. Saalfield in Boston. Do
you know her? ' :
" Yes she's here now, I think. But you would
better keep away from her. She wouldn't do you the
" Is she out of ' the push '? "
" Oh, no she leads it there, I believe. But she
wouldn't let you look at a girl or a widow, or any
woman but herself. She's about forty years old it
used to be the woman of thirty, but it's the woman of
forty now. Everywhere she goes she trails a train of
young men. They're afraid to look away from her.
They watch her like a pack of hungry collies, and
she watches them like a hen-hawk."
There was more than the spirit of friendly helpful
ness in Honoria's plan to send him away to Boston.
The bottom fact hidden even from herself was that
she was tired of him. He seemed to her helpless and
incapable, worse in that respect than any but the very
poorest specimens of men she had met in New York.
She felt that he was looking to her to see him through
an adventure of which she disapproved rather than
approved. She had no intention of accepting such a
burden, yet she was too good-natured and liked him
too well to turn him abruptly adrift.
Mrs. Galloway took him in to dinner, and it was not
until the second act of the opera that he had a chance
to talk with the Boston woman in the party Mrs.
Staunton. Then he slipped into the chair behind her ;
but she would not talk while the curtain was up.
Grand opera bored him, so he passed the time in gaz
ing round the grand-tier boxes the Galloway box
was to the left of the centre. The twilight was not
dark enough to hide the part of the show that inter
ested him. He knew New York fashionable society
well now, and as he looked he noted each woman and
recalled how many millions she represented. " Gad,
how rich they are these beggars," he thought envi
ously. And he was seized by a mild attack of what an
eminent New York lawyer describes as " the fury of
the parasite " that hate which succeeds contempt in
the parasite as its intended victim eludes it.
When the curtain went down on the last of seven
uproarious calls the opera was " Carmen," and Calve
was singing it Mrs. Staunton's disdainful expres
sion gave him the courage to say : " Ghastly row they
make, eh? J!
Mrs. Staunton was perhaps fifty years old, long and
thin, with a severe profile and a sweet and intelligent,
if somewhat too complacent, front face. " Calve
sings rather well in spots," she said. " But I doubt
if Boston would have given her seven calls."
The mirthful shine of Frothingham's right eye
might have been a reflection from his glass ; again, it
might have been really in his eye where it seemed to be
Mrs. Staunton was so seated that she could not see
him as he talked over her shoulder into her ear.
" Really," was all he said.
" You've not been at Boston? " asked Mrs. Staun
" Not yet. I thought it would be well to get ac
climated, as it were, before I ventured away from New
" You will have it to do over again," said Mrs.
Staunton. " We are very different. Here money is
king and god, and " Mrs. Staunton cast a super
cilious glance round the brilliant and beautiful, and
even dazzling, grand tier. " You see the result.
Really, New York is becoming intolerably vulgar. I
come here rarely, and leave as soon as I decently can.
But one can't stay here even for a few days without
being corrupted. The very language is corrupt here,
and among those who call themselves the best people."
" Really ! Really, now ! " said Frothingham.
" Indeed, yes. In Boston even the lower classes
" You don't say." Frothingham's drawl was calm ;
he put upon his eyeglass the burden of looking
" It must fret your nerves to listen to the speech
here," continued Mrs. Staunton. " It's a dialect as
harsh and vulgar as most of the voices."
" It will be a great pleasure to hear the language
spoken as it is at home though I can't say that I
mind it here. Yes I shall be glad to see Boston."
Mrs. Staunton lifted her eyebrows and looked
politely amused. " But we don't speak as you speak
in England. I didn't say that."
" Oh I thought you were by way of saying they
spoke English at Boston."
" So I did. I meant that we speak correctly. You
English speak very incorrectly. Your upper class is
even more slovenly in that respect than your middle
Frothingham looked interest and inquiry. " Ah
yes quite so," he said. " I believe we do let our
middle class look after all that sort of thing. It saves
us a lot of bother."
" I'm glad you admit the truth." Mrs. Staunton
looked gracious and triumphant. " Last winter we
had the president of one of the colleges at Oxford
with us a very narrow man."
" Frightful persons, all that sort, / think," said
" I'm not astonished that you think so," replied
Mrs. Staunton. " He it was Mr. Stebbins scoffed
at the idea that Boston spoke English. He insisted
that whatever your upper class speaks is English,
that they have the right to determine the lan
That was Frothingham's own notion, but he gave
no sign. " Stebbins is a hideous old jabberwock," he
said, glad that the orchestra was beginning.
He had accidently, but naturally, stumbled into the
road to Mrs. Staunton's good graces. She wanted ac
quiescent listeners only; he disliked talking and ab
horred argument. She was living at the Waldorf
also, and this gave him his opportunity. She found
him most agreeable. He had the great advantage of
being free all day, while her New York men friends
were at work then and she did not like women. She
insisted it was only the New York woman " so
trivial, so childish in her tastes for show and for far
cical amusements " that she did not like ; but the fact
was that she did not like any women anywhere. Nom
inally, she was in New York to visit her sister, Mrs.
Findlay, but she rarely saw her. " I can't endure
staying in Henrietta's house," she explained to Froth-
ingham. " She has fallen from grace. If anything,
she out-Herods the New York women always the way
with renegades. And she lets her housekeeper and her
butler run her household dust everywhere, things go
ing to ruin, the servants often drunk. If I were in
the house I could not be silent; so I stay at a hotel
when I make my annual visit to her."
She invited Frothingham to come to her at Boston
in the second week in January and he accepted. She
had said never a word to him about her niece, Cecilia
Allerton, and for that very reason he knew that she
was revolving some plan for bringing them together.
He also knew that Cecilia Allerton's father, head of
the great Boston banking house of Allerton Brothers
& Monson, was rich enough to give his daughter the
dower necessary to admission into the Gordon-Beau-
In the two weeks between Mrs. Staunton's departure
and his engagement to follow her he did not neglect
his business. But his assiduity was wasted. He saw
chances to marry, and marry well but no dowers
worth his while. Many mothers beamed on him, and
their daughters brightened at his approach; but not
one of the families that might have had him for the
faintest hinting showed any matrimonial interest in
him. One mother, Mrs. Brandon, actually snubbed
him as if he were a mere vulgar, poor, and untitled
fortune-hunter and the snub was unprovoked, as he
was only courteous to Miss Brandon. When Froth-
ingham laughed over this incident to Honoria she said :
" Mrs. Brandon purposes to marry Estelle to Walter
" That chuckle-head? Why, I found him in the
cloak-room at the Merivale dance the other night sit
ting with his big damp hands in his lap, and his mouth
hanging open. And he wasn't screwed, either."
" But Estelle isn't marrying him. She's marrying
his forty millions. With what she'll inherit from her
father and her uncle that will make her the third rich-
est woman in New York. The fact that Walter is
slightly imbecile is rather in his favour she'll have a
free hand, and that's everything where a woman's am
bitious. If you Englishmen hadn't the reputation of
being masterful in your own households you'd have
less difficulty in marrying here. It was a bad day for
English marriages when the American woman learned
that England is a man's country. A girl brought up
as are the girls here nowadays hates to abdicate and
she don't have to if she marries an American."
" I've heard that all women like a master," sug
" So do men. Everyone likes to bow to real supe
riority and serve it, when he or she finds it. But the
difficulty comes in trying to convince a man or a wo
man that he or she has met a superior."
" Well, then perhaps women are more easily con
vinced than men."
Honoria smiled satirically. " They seem to be,"
she replied, " because they are prudent. But if some
husbands only knew what their wives really thought,
they might be less easy in their vanity than they are."
" That ain't true of our English women," said
" No and why ? Because, milord, they don't
" Well my wife can do as she jolly well pleases if
she'll only let me alone."
" If she's an American you may be sure she will do
as she jolly well pleases and you may also be sure
that it won't please you to be jolly as she does it."
Just then a servant came in to say that Catherine
was at the door in her carriage, and wished to know
whether Honoria was at home. Honoria looked at
" As you please," said Frothingham, settling his
eyeglass firmly, and clearing his face of expression.
Honoria left him in the large drawing room, and
waited for Catherine in the adjoining smaller room.
" Lord Frothingham is here," she said in an under
tone, after they had kissed each the other.
Catherine paled and her eyes shifted. " Does he
know I'm here ? " she asked.
" Yes," replied Honoria, " but you needn't see him
if you don't wish."
Catherine reflected. " I'm certain to meet him
again some time, ain't I, dear ? " she said. " And it
might be more awkward than this."
She advanced boldly with Honoria and put out her
hand to him, her face flushing, and a delightful plead
ing look in her eyes. " I'm so glad to see you again.
Lord Frothingham," she said.
" Ah thank you a great pleasure to me also, I'm
sure," he answered in his most expressionless tone.
" Are you staying in town ? ' :
" We came up yesterday to stay. Won't you
come to see us? Are you at the Waldorf? I do hope
we can get you for a dinner mamma's arranging for
the latter part of next week."
" Very good of you. But I'm just off to Boston."
He shook hands with her, then with Honoria. At
the door he turned, and a faint smile showed in his eye
glass and at the corners of his mouth. " Oh, I almost
forgot give my regards to Wallingford when you
see him won't you? "
Catherine looked gratefully at him. " Thank you
thank you," she said. " I know he'll be glad of a
friendly message from you. He's very fond of you."
" Really ? " drawled Frothingham. " That's charm
ing ! " He smiled with good-natured raillery. " He
had such a quaint way of showing it that I wasn't
When he had bowed and dropped the heavy portiere
behind him Catherine went to the window. She stood
there until she had seen him enter his hansom and
" How beautifully he dresses," she said absently to
Honoria. " And what distinguished manners he has
as if he'd been used to being a gentleman for ages
She seated herself near the fire the tea-table was
between her and Honoria. " You didn't know that we
were engaged, did you ? " she went on, looking dream
ily into the fire.
" Were you ? " said Honoria she never betrayed
" Yes. But I broke it off."
" I think," Catherine answered slowly, " I think
perhaps it was because I didn't feel at home with him
and I do with Joe. He knows how to manage me."
" Joe? Why, you used to act as if you disliked
" So did I think so." Catherine sighed. " I
wish," she said after a moment, " that Joe had Beau-
vais House and the title."
A' half-past four o'clock in a raw January
afternoon Frothingham descended from a
Pullman fiery furnace to adventure upon Bos
ton. As he drove to Mrs. Staunton's the rain sifted
through the cracks round the windows and doors of
the musty cab, and was deposited upon his face in a
greasy coating by currents of the iciest air he had felt
since he was last in Scotland. It was air that seemed
to mangle as it bit, that sent the chilled blood cower
ing to the depths of the body instead of bringing it
to the surface in healthful reaction.
" Loathsome ! " he muttered as he looked out on
either side. " Looks something like London no,
Liverpool. The people look English, too." A big,
dingy street car with bell wildly clanging darted from
a narrow side street into the narrow main street which
the cab was following. There was a bare escape from
a disastrous collision. " It's America, right enough,
The rain was whirling in the savage wind, umbrel
las were tossing and twisting, impeding without in the
least sheltering the sullen throngs on the sidewalks.
Everything looked wet, and sticky, and chilly, and
forbidding. " They certainly are English," he said as
he noted the passing faces ; and he did not like it. In
New York he had been amused by the variety speci
mens of all nationalities, often several nationalities
struggling for expression in the same face. Here the
sameness was tiresome to him, and he missed the alert
look of New Yorkers of all kinds.
He began to feel somewhat better, however, when
he reached the wide front hall of Mrs. Staunton's big,
old-fashioned, comfortable house on the water side of
Beacon Street. And he felt still better when the but
ler showed him to the room he was to occupy the
furniture and hangings, the woodwork and wall paper,
sombre yet homelike in the light and warmth of an
open fire. At half-past five he entered the drawing
room in fairly good humour now that he and Hutt
were established arid safe from the weather. He joined
Mrs. Staunton and her daughter-in-law at the fire,
where they were cosily ensconced with a tea-table be
" You must have a cheerful impression of Boston,"
said young Mrs. Staunton, called Mrs. Ridgie her
husband's name was Ridgeway.
" That wind was a bit nasty," admitted Frothing-
ham. " But I've forgiven and forgotten it. I always
spill my troubles as soon as ever I can."
" You'll detest Boston after New York," continued
Mrs. Ridgie. " I've lived here ten years. It's it's
Her mother-in-law's expression was not pleasant,
and Frothingham saw at a glance that they disliked
each the other. " Virginia is from New York," she
said to him apologetically. " She determined in ad
vance not to like us, and she does not change her mind
" Us." Virginia smiled mockingly. " Mother
here," she said to Frothingham, " was born at a place
a few miles away Salem, where they burned
" Hanged witches none was burned," interrupted
" Thank you, dear hanged witches. At any rate
she was born at Salem. And her people removed to
this very house more than forty years ago. The other
day I was talking to old Judge Arkwright, and spoke
of my mother-in-law as a Bostonian. ' But,' said he,
* she's not a Bostonian. She's of Salem town.' Think
of it, Lord Frothingham ! She's lived here nearly
half a century, and she married a man whose family
has lived here two hundred years. And they still speak
and think of her as a stranger. That's Boston."
" It reminds me of home," said Frothingham.
" Very different, from New York, isn't it ? I asked
the woman I took in to dinner the other night where
her parents came from. ' Good Lord, don't ask me! '
she said. * All I know about it is that they came in a
hurry and never went back.' ;
" How sensible ! " said Mrs. Ridgie, the more en
thusiastically for her mother-in-law's look of disgust.
" You'll notice that people on this side never talk of
their ancestors unless there's something wrong some
where with themselves."
Mrs. Staunton restrained herself. " You'll give
Lord Frothingham a very false idea of this country,
Virgie," she said with softness in her voice and irrita
tion in her eyes.
" Oh, he's certain to get that anyhow. He'll only
see one kind of people while he's here, and though they
think they're the whole show they don't amount to
that." At " that " she snapped her fingers so loudly
and suddenly that both Mrs. Staunton and Frothing-
ham started. " If you came really to know this coun
try," she went on, " you'd find out that just as soon as-
people here begin to pose as 6 our best people,' ' our
best society,' and all that rot, they begin to amount to
nothing. They're has-beens, or on the way to it. We
don't stand still here not even in Boston. We're al
ways going up or coming down."
After a silence Mrs. Staunton ventured to say, " I
think you'll find, Lord Frothingham, that the tone of
Boston is, as I told you, far higher than New York's."
" Really ! " Frothingham looked slightly alarmed.
" That's bad news," he said. " I don't go in for a
very high tone, you know. I'm keyed rather low, I
" You needn't be frightened," said Mrs. Ridgie.
" They beat the air a good deal here. But, if you'll
be patient and not encourage 'em, they'll soon get
down to the good old business of ravelling reputations.
At that they're far superior to New York."
Mrs. Staunton looked vigorous dissent, but said
nothing. They listened for a few minutes to the
drowsy crackling of the wood fire, and to the futile
beat of the storm against the windows. Then Mrs.
Ridgie rose. " I'll see you at dinner," she said to
Frothingham. " I'll forgive you for being so cross to
me, belle-mere," she said to Mrs. Staunton, patting
her on the cheek. Then her pretty little figure and
pretty, pert face vanished. Mrs. Staunton frowned at
the place where she had been she disliked Virgie's
hoydenish movements almost as much as her demon-
strativeness ; in her opinion, " no thoroughly respect
able woman laughs loudly, uses slang, or indulges in
public kissing and embracing."
They were ten at dinner that night, and Frothing
ham, seated between Mrs. Staunton and a middle-aged,
stiff, and homely Mrs. Sullivan, fought off depression
by drinking the champagne steadily " vile stuff," he
said to himself, " and bad cooking, and a dull old
woman on either side. And what's this rot they're
The conversation was of a Buddhist priest who was
making converts among " the very best people." Mrs.
Sullivan was contending that he was a fraud, and that
his teachings were immoral. Mrs. Staunton was de
fending him, assisted by a sallow, black-whiskered,
long-haired young man on the opposite side of the
table a Mr. Gilson.
Frothingham would not even pretend to listen. His
look and his thoughts wandered down the table to Ce
Her slender paleness was foiled by two stout red and
brown men Ridgeway Staunton and Frank Morti
mer. They were eating steadily, with the slow, linger
ing movements of the jaw which proclaim the man or
the beast that wishes to get food into the mouth rather
than into the stomach. Between forkfuls they drank
champagne, holding it in the mouth and swallowing
deliberately. Cecilia was evidently oblivious of them
and of the rest of her surroundings. " She looks
sickly," thought Frothingham, " and an iceberg."
She had a small head, a high, narrow forehead, a
long, narrow face pale, almost gaunt. The expres
sion of her mouth was prim to severity. But her eyes,
large and brilliant brown, and full of imagination,
contradicted the coldness of the rest of her face, and
gave her a look that was certainly distinction, if not
beauty. " I wonder what she's thinking about? " said
Frothingham to himself. " Buddhism, I wager. How
English she looks. But they all do, for that matter,
except this long-haired beast opposite. He looks a
Spaniard, or something else Southern and dirty."
" Did you find that the New York women swore
much, Lord Frothingham ? "
He started. It was the Puritanic-looking Mrs. Sul
livan. " I beg pardon," he said, turning his head so
that his entrenched eye was trained upon her.
" The New York women," replied Mrs. Sullivan.
" Were they very profane? ' :
" Ah well that is Now, what would you
call profane? " asked Frothingham in his driest drawl.
" Damn, and devil, and that sort? ' ;
" I should call them profane in a woman, and worse.
I should call them vulgar."
" Really ! "
" Ah, I don't know. I don't call things. What's
the use? ' :
" But you must have opinions."
" Lots of 'em lots of 'em a new set every day.
It's a good idea to look at everything from all sorts of
directions, don't you think? "
" If one has no sense of responsibility. But I know
you have. One of the characteristics I particularly ad-
mire in the English upper class is their sense of re
sponsibility. I think it splendid, the way they sup
port the Church, and so set an example to the lower
" I don't go in for that yet I stop in bed. It's not
expected of one until he's head of a family. When I
am, of course I'll tuck my book under my arm and
toddle away on Sunday morning to do my duty. I
think it's rather funny, don't you? We do as we jolly
please all week and then on Sunday, when there's
nothing naughty going on, anyhow, we do our duty.
Cleverest thing in the British Constitution, that ! "
" But you believe in your your church, don't
you ? "
" Believe? To be sure. Everyone does, except
ghastly middle-class cranks. Some of 'em go crazy
and are pious every day. Others go crazy and chuck
it all. They run to extremes that's bad form. I
don't like extremes."
Mrs. Sullivan looked at Frothingham suspiciously.
His face was always serious, but the eyeglass and the
drawl and the shadow of a hint of irony in his tone
raised a doubt. She returned to her original question :
" They tell me that the women the fashionable women
swear a great deal in New York now that it's the
" I can't say that they ever swore at me much,"
replied Frothingham. " But then, you know, I'm
rather meek. It's possible they might if I'd baited
A few of our women here those that hang round
horses and stables all the time have taken up swear
ing. It is said that they contracted the habit in New
York and Newport. But I doubted it."
" Perhaps it's the horses that make 'em swear," sug
gested Frothingham. " Horses are such stupid
" And they smoke but that's an old story. All the
women smoke in New York, don't they ? "
" I'm not observant. You see, I don't see well un
less I look sharp."
Mrs. Sullivan smiled amiably. " You're very dis
creet, Lord Frothingham. You don't gossip I de
test it myself."
She talked to the man at her left, but soon turned
to him with : " Doesn't it shock you, the way divorce is
growing nowadays ? It's almost as bad in England, I
understand, as it is with us. We're taking up all the
habits of the common sort of people. Really, I try to
be broad-minded, but I can't keep up with the rising
generation. A young married woman called on me this
afternoon she and her husband are of our best fami
lies. She told me she was engaged to a young married
man in New York. ' But,' said I, ' you're both mar
ried.' ' We're going to get our divorces in the spring,'
she said. She asked me not to say anything about her
engagement * for,' said she, ' we haven't announced
it. I've not told my husband yet that I'm going to
get a divorce, and my fiance hasn't told his wife.'
What do you think of that, Lord Frothingham? "
" Devilish enterprising, isn't it, now ? That's what
we call a Yankee notion. Do you think it '11 be a
" I've no doubt of it. She's extremely energetic
and conscienceless I'd say brazen, if she weren't a
When the women went into the drawing room Ridge-
way Staunton brought to Frothingham a tall, ascetic-
looking man, with the bald, smooth, bulging temples
and the sourly curled lips of habitual bad temper.
" Lord Frothingham, Mr. Allerton." They bowed
stiffly, and looked each at the other uncertainly.
" I've heard much of you from my sister-in-law,
Mrs. Staunton," said Allerton.
" She's been very good to me," replied Frothing-
" She's an admirable woman," said Allerton. " She
has been a mother more than a mother to my little
girl for years."
" Your daughter was most fortunate," replied
Frothingham, in a tone that was for him enthusiastic.
Allerton began to talk English politics ; and Froth
ingham, who, like Englishmen of all classes, knew his
country's politics thoroughly, was astonished at the
minuteness and accuracy of the American's knowledge.
But he was amazed to find that Allerton, though an
aristocrat and a Tory in the politics of his own coun
try, with narrow and bitter class views, was in English
politics a Liberal of the radical type a " little Eng-
lander " and a " Home Ruler." And he presently dis
covered that there were other inconsistencies equally
strange. For example, Allerton was savage in his ha
tred of all social innovations, was fanatical against the
morals and manners of the younger people in the lim
ited Boston set which he evidently regarded as the
pinnacle and pattern of the whole world, yet was al-
most a sensualist in literature, art, and music. He
sneered at superstition, yet believed in ghosts and in
dreams. Intolerant with the acidity of a bad diges
tion and a poor circulation, he would cheerfully have
jailed and hanged all who were intolerant of those
things of which he was tolerant and he thought him
self tolerant to the verge of laxness. Finally, he was a
theoretical democrat, yet had a reverence for his own
ancestry, and for the title and ancestry of Frothing-
ham, that even to Frothingham seemed amusing and
At first Frothingham feared lest he should ex
press some opinion that would rouse the cold and tena
cious dislike of Allerton. But he soon saw that, be
cause of his title and descent, he was regarded by
the banker as privileged and exempt from criticism.
Just as Mrs. Staunton and Mrs. Sullivan thought
Frothingham's slang even when it trenched on pro
fanity not only tolerable but proper in him, so Aller
ton smiled with frosty indulgence upon his light, and
not very reverent, criticisms in politics, religion,
morals, and art.
" What do you think of him? " Mrs. Staunton asked
her brother-in-law, when the men rejoined the women.
" A fine type of English gentleman," replied Aller-
ton ; " manly and dignified, and his mind is keen. I
" I'm going to take him to Cecilia," said she.
" I'm sure Cecilia will like him. I don't think she's
looking well, Martha."
" Poor child ! You can't expect a girl of her depth
of feeling, her spirituality, to recover soon. You must
remember, it's been only a year and three months.
This is the first time she's been out, isn't it ? "
" I should not have believed she could be so disobe
dient as she has been in the past year," said Allerton
sourly. " The night of the opening of the gallery I
ordered her to come down and help me receive. I shall
never forget that she locked herself in her room. It
shows how the poison of the example of the young peo
ple nowadays permeates."
" But that was nearly a year ago, Edward. Be
careful not to be harsh to her. She inherits your im-
periousness." Mrs. Staunton hesitated after " inher
its," because the look in her brother-in-law's eyes re
minded her that his wife her sister after enduring
for eight years the penitentiary he made of his
home, fled from him and refused to return, and
lived by herself in a cottage at Brookline until her
After talking to several of her guests, so that her
action might not seem pointed, Mrs. Staunton took
Frothingham where Cecilia was listening to Gilson's
animated exposition of the true, or Gilson, theory of
portrait painting. A moment after Frothingham was
introduced Mrs. Staunton took the reluctant Gilson
Cecilia looked after him, a quizzical expression in
her eyes. " Do you know Mr. Gilson ? " she asked.
" No ; I've only just met him."
" What do you think of him ? 5!
" I can't say. I've barely seen him."
" But isn't Schopenhauer right where he says,
' Look well at a human being the first time you see
him, for you will never see him again? '
" I should say Gilson was not very clean, then.
Who is he?"
" He came here four years ago from we don't know
where, and exhibited a lot of his own paintings, most
of them portraits of himself in all sorts of strange at
titudes and clothes. Everybody ran after him we
have a new craze here each year, you know. That year
Then you're not a Buddhist or a Spiritualist?'
it was Gilson. A girl, a Miss Manners, married him.
If it hadn't been for that, he'd have been forgotten,
and would have disappeared. As it is, we still have
him with us. That's his wife on the sofa in the cor
Frothingham looked toward the enormously fat
woman disposed there, and gazing round vaguely,
with a sleepy, comfortable, complacent smile. " How
do you know it's a sofa she's sitting on ? " he asked.
" Because I saw it before she sat down," replied Ce
cilia. " Her fad is a diet of raw wheat. If she'd been
where you could see her at the table, you'd have no
ticed that she ate only raw wheat. She's served spe
cially everywhere since she got the idea last autumn.
She brings her wheat with her."
" And what is your fad ? you say everyone has a
" Everyone except me." She smiled pensively.
" I'm too serious for fads, I fear."
" Then you're not a Buddhist or a Spiritualist? "
he said, with a feeling of relief.
The colour flared into her face. " Spiritualism ! "
Her lips compressed, and seemed even thinner. Her
expression vividly suggested her father. " But that
is not a fad ! Only the thoughtless and the ignorant
call it a fad."
Frothingham's face became blank. " This is a
time to sit tight," he said to himself. " She's looking
at me as if I were a witch and she were about to burn
no, hang me."
" It would be a dreary world, it seems to me," she
went on, her voice low, and a queer light in her soften
ing eyes, " if it were not for the friendship and guid
ance of those in the world beyond."
" Really ! " His tone might have meant almost
anything except the wonder and amusement it con
Her father came to take her home. " We should
be glad to see you, Lord Frothingham, at our house,"
he said graciously. " I hope you will let Mrs. Staun-
ton bring you."
" Thank you I'll ask her to."
As he watched Cecilia leave he said to himself,
" She's mad as a hatter or is it just Boston? "
BOUT a week after he met Lord Frothingham
at Mrs. Staunton's, Edward Allerton left his
bank an hour before luncheon time and went
to the Public Library. His look as he entered was un
doubtedly furtive; and as he drifted aimlessly round
the reading-room, declining the offers of assistance
from the polite and willing attendants, his manner
was such that had he been a stranger he would have
been watched as a suspicious character. He took sev
eral reference books from the cases, finally and most
carelessly of all, a Burke's Peerage. Half concealing
it with his overcoat, he bore it to a table and seated
himself. He turned the pages to where " Frothing
ham " appeared in large letters. There he stopped
and read at first nervously, soon with an attention
that shut out his surroundings:
Frothingham George Arthur Granby Delafere Gordon-Beau-
vais, seventh earl of Frothingham, Baron de Beauvais, b. at Beau-
vais House, Surrey, March 9, 1865, s. of Herbert Delafere Gordon-
Beauvais, sixth earl of F., and Maria Barstow, 2nd dau. of the
Marquess of Radbourne. Succeeded on the death of his father,
Aug. 4, 1890.
Allerton studied the coat of arms, which originated,
in part, in the tenth century, so Burke said. He read
on and on through the description of the secondary
titles and other honours of his sister-in-law's guest,
into the two columns of small type which set forth
the history of the Gordon-Beauvais family its far
origin, Godfrey de Beauvais, a great lord in the time
of Charlemagne, so Burke declared; its many and
curious vicissitudes of fortune, its calamities in old
France through the encroachments of the Dukes of
Burgundy, which finally drove it, in poverty, but with
undiminished pride and unabated resolution to live
only by the sword and the tax-gatherer, to England
in the wake of William the Conqueror ; its restoration
there, and long and glorious lordship, so glorious that
it scorned the titles a mere Tudor, or Stuart, or Ger
man nobody could give until 1761, when it conde
scended to receive from George III the Earldom of
Frothingham. There were places in the narrative so
weak that even the adroit and sympathetic Burke
could not wholly cover them. But the Milk Street
banker saw them not. No child ever swallowed a tale
of gnomes and fairies and magic vanishings and ap
paritions with a mind more set upon being fooled.
He read slowly to prolong the pleasing tale. And
when he came to the end he read it through again,
and found it all too short.
He started from his trance, glanced at his watch,
noted that no attendants were in sight, and stole
hastily away from the scene of his orgie. But in his
agitation he was guilty of the stupidity of the novice
he left the book on the reading-desk ; he left it open
at the second page of " Frothingham." An attend
ant was watching afar off; as soon as Allerton had
slipped away he swooped, full of idle yet energetic
When he saw that the book was a Burke's Peerage
he was puzzled ; then he turned back a page, and his
eye caught the name " Frothingham." Like all Bos
ton, he knew that the Earl was in town, was staying
at the Mrs. Staunton's, " on the water side of Beacon
Street." And like all Boston, he had heard the ru
mour that the Earl was trying to marry " Celia "
Allerton, the second heiress of Boston. Thus, the
sight of that name caused a smile of delight to irra
diate his fat, pasty face with its drapery of soft, scant
grey whiskers. He looked round for someone to en
able him to enjoy his discovery of a great man's weak
ness by tattling it. He saw Gilson, industriously
" loading up " for a lecture on " colour in Greek
sculpture and architecture."
He hastened to him and touched him on the
shoulder. " Come with me," he whispered.
Gilson, a natural gossip, had not lived four years
in Boston without becoming adept in the local sign
language of his species. He rose and followed to the
table whereon was spread the damning proof of Aller-
" Look at this," whispered the attendant, pointing
to the name " Frothingham."
Gilson looked, first at the page, then at the attend
ant. His expression was disappointment he cared
not a rap about Frothingham or about Burke's genea
" But who do you think was sitting here ? " whis
pered the attendant, his eyes sparkling. " Sitting
here, reading away at this for more than an hour? r
" Frothingham ? " said Gilson, in the reading-
room undertone. " Those adventurers are always
crazy about themselves."
" No it was Edward Allerton! ' As he hesi
tated on the name the attendant shot his big head for
ward; at the climax he jerked it back, regarding the
artist with delighted eyes.
" You don't say so ! " exclaimed Gilson, and then
they had a fit of silent laughter.
" Don't give me away," cautioned the attendant.
By nine o'clock the next night there was not a mem
ber of the Beacon Street set, whether living in Boston
or in Brookline and the other fashionable suburbs, who
had not heard the news ; and the mails were carrying it
to those at a distance. And wherever it was repeated
there was the same result derision, pretended con
tempt of such vulgar snobbishness, expressions of
wonder that an Allerton had descended to such low
trafficking. Of course none dared tell the Stauntons
and the Allertons or Frothingham. But Frothing-
ham, who saw everything through that monocle of his,
noted the covert smiles that now peeped at him, the
grins and nudgings and cranings when he and Cecilia
Allerton appeared in public together.
One of the many rules which Mr. Allerton had or
dained for the guidance of his household in the lines
he regarded as befitting the establishment of a gentle-
man of family and tradition was that Cecilia must be
at the half -past seven o'clock breakfast with her
father. Usually he did not speak after his brief,
formal salutation a " Good-morning, Cecilia," and a
touch of his dry, thin lips to her forehead. But he
might wish to speak, and it would be a grave matter
if he should wish to speak and no one were there for
him to speak to. Besides, he always gave his orders
at breakfast his comments on the shortcomings in
the servants, or in Cecilia's housekeeping; his criti
cisms of her conduct. These " breakfasts of justice "
were not held often, because Cecilia made few mis
takes, and the maids Allerton kept no men servants
but a coachman had been long in the family service,
and had therefore been long cowed and trimmed and
squeezed to the Edward Allerton mould for menials.
But when a " breakfast of justice " was held it was
Toward the end of the second week of Frothing-
ham's Boston sojourn Mr. Allerton laid aside his paper
at breakfast and looked at Cecilia. Agnes, the second
waitress, who always attended at breakfast, under
stood the signal, and at once left the room, closing the
door behind her. Cecilia gave a nervous little sigh,
dropped her eyes, and put on the pale, calm expres
sion behind which she hid herself from her father.
" You were at Dr. Yarrow's lecture yesterday af
ternoon, I believe? " Allerton began.
Cecilia's nerves visibly relaxed as she noted that
his voice was not the dreaded voice of justice. " Yes,
sir," she replied.
" It was on the evidences of communication with
the spirit world, was it not? ' !
" Yes, sir the fourth in the series."
" Who accompanied you ? "
" Aunt Martha and Lord Frothingham."
There was a pause, then Mr. Allerton coughed
slightly and said : " How do you like the young En
glishman, Cecilia? "
Cecilia lifted her eyes in a frightened glance that
dropped instantly before her father's solemn, rigid
gaze. " He's well-mannered and agreeable," she re
plied. " I like him as much as one can like a for
" I'm surprised at your speaking of him as a for
eigner. He in fact, he seems to me quite like one of
our own young men, except that he lives upon a higher
plane, and shows none of the degeneration, the vul-
garisation, I may say, with which our young men
have become infected through the overindulgence of
their parents and contact with New York."
Another long pause, and when Allerton spoke there
was a suggestion of combating opposition in his
voice. " I have been much impressed with the young
man. Titles are very deceptive. As you know, I
have no regard for them, or for the system which pro
duces and maintains them. But, his title aside, the
young man comes of a family that has the right sort
of blood. You must have noticed the evidences
of it in his face, and in his manners and char
As the statement was put interrogatively, Cecilia
knew her duty too well not to reply. " He has a
strongly featured face," she said. " But it seemed to
me to indicate rather a race that had been great, but
was now small."
Allerton frowned. " I am sure that, properly es
tablished, he would have a distinguished career." He
paused, then went on in a tone Cecelia understood and
paled before : " It would be most satisfactory to me to
have my daughter married to him. I should regard
it as satisfactory in every way. You would be estab-
lished in an honourable and dignified position. You
would exert in society and the wider world the influ
ence to which your birth and breeding entitle you.
You would maintain the traditions of your family
and strengthen his."
Cecilia shivered several times as he was speaking;
but when she spoke her low voice was firm. " But,
father, you know my heart is with Stanley."
Her father looked steadily at her the look she felt
like a withering flame. " I requested you more than
two years ago months before he died never to men
tion his name to me, and never to think of him seri
ously again. I repeat, it would be gratifying to me
if you were to marry Lord Frothingham. When is
he leaving your Aunt Martha's ? "
" Next Monday, I believe. He goes down to Brook-
line to Mrs. Ridgie."
" You are invited for the same time? *
" I shall expect you to go." Mr. Allerton rose. " I
trust, in thinking the matter over, you will appre
ciate that I am more capable to judge what is best for
you than you are, with your limited experience and
the narrow views of life and duty not unnatural in
youth." He left the room, severe and serene, master
of himself and of his household.
The Allertons were traditionally Chinese in their
beliefs in the sacredness of the duty of obedience from
children to parents, and the duty of despotic control
by parents over children.
Theirs was one of the old houses in Mount Vernon
Street a traditional New England home for a sub
stantial citizen. There was no ostentation about them
the carriage in which they drove forth was delib
erately ancient in style and in appointments, looked
modest even among the very modest or, if you choose,
" badly turned out," equipages of the Boston " aris
tocracy." Mr. Allerton's public expenditures on an
art gallery, in partial support of an orchestra and a
hospital, in subscriptions to colleges, lectures, char
ities were greater by thirty thousand a year than his
private expenditures. Cecilia had few clothes, and,
while they were of the very best, and were in good
taste and style, they modestly asserted that in the
Allerton conception of dress for a lady conspicuous-
ness for inconspicuousness was the prime requirement.
Mrs. Ridgie, who often complained that she " hated
to live in a town where the best people didn't wear
their best clothes every day," called Cecilia a "dowd";
but that was unjust, because Cecilia was most careful
in her dress, and adapted it admirably to her peculiar
If Honoria had not forewarned Frothingham he
would have been deceived by the modesty and fru
gality of the Allerton establishment. After New
York, it seemed to him most un-American for people
of great wealth to live thus obscurely. But, having
been pointed by Honoria, he soon discovered that Al
lerton was indeed enormously rich. And he also dis
covered that he was favourably inclined to a titled son-
in-law. But Cecilia
" There's some mystery about her," he reflected.
" She acts as if she were walking in her sleep. But if
I could get her, I'd do even better than if I'd taken a
wife from among those nervous New Yorkers. She's
meek and a stay-at-home. She'd not bother me a bit,
and she and Evelyn would hit it off like twins. She's
not exactly stupid, but she's something just as good.
It doesn't matter whether one's wife is stupid or ab
sent-minded the effect's the same."
But he walked round and round the fence between
her personality and the world in vain. He found no
low place, no place where he could slip under, no knot
hole or crack even. They went down to Brookline to
gether he was more puzzled than ever by her atti
tude toward him that morning. She was less friendly,
but also less forbidding. She seemed to him to be
awaiting something he suspected what. He tried to
muster courage to put his destiny to the touch when a
chance naturally offered; but he could not her ex
pression was too strongly suggestive of a statue.
Instead, he said : " What do you think about
away off there wherever it is ? "
" Think? " She smiled peculiarly. " I don't think
" Feel what? "
She looked mocking. " Ah that's my secret. You
would stay where I do if you could go there and it
made you as happy as it makes me."
" You're mysterious," he drawled. " I'm a block
head at riddles and all that."
But she did not assist him.
Mrs. Ridgie herself was waiting for them in a
two-seated trap with a pair of exceedingly restless
thoroughbreds. Halfway to the house they shied at
an automobile and started to run. She got them
under control after a struggle, and glanced round at
Frothingham for approval he looked calm and seemed
unconscious that anything disturbing had happened.
" Ridgie told me not to take this pair out," she said.
" But I make it a rule never to obey an order from him.
In that way we get on beautifully. He loves to give
orders and I never object. I love to disobey orders
and he never objects."
The Ridgie Stauntons lived in what seemed to
Frothingham little more than an exalted farmhouse,
though it was regarded in that neighbourhood as a
sinful flaunting of luxury, the worst of Mrs. Ridgie's
many sins of ostentation and extravagance. These
were endured because she was married to a Staunton,
and because she was from New York, and therefore
could not be expected to know what was vulgar and
what well bred. But Frothingham was more com
fortable than he had been since the day before he left
Lake-in-the-Wood. Mrs. Ridgie would live in free-
and-easy fashion one could smoke through all the
house; there were drinks and plenty of good cigars
and cigarettes available at all times ; and the talk was
the unpretentious gossip and slang of fast sets every
where intelligent people intelligently frivolous.
Frothingham thought Ridgie Staunton " a harm
less sort, a bit loud and noisy," but well-meaning, and
good enough except when he had his occasional
brief spasmodic fits of remembering his early
training, and feeling that his mode of life was
all wrong. He was, in his wife's opinion, a
perfect husband, except that he hung about so
" What do your English women do with their hus
bands, Lord Frothingham? " she said. " It's a hor
rible nuisance, having a man a husband round all
day long with nothing to do. I try to drive Ridgie
out to work. But he's a lazy dog. He goes a few
steps and then comes slinking back. I'm opposed to
a leisure class of men."
" And you said only yesterday," complained
Ridgie, " that Englishmen make better lovers than
Americans because they have leisure and the sense of
leisure, while Americans are forever looking at watches
" Did I ? But that was yesterday," retorted his
wife. " Besides, I said lovers not husbands. Give
me an English lover, but a hard-working, stay-away-
from-home American husband."
" Do you wonder that I watch a wife who talks like
that? " said Ridgie cheerfully.
Frothingham and Cecilia rode the next morning.
Getting away from the staid old house in Mount Ver-
non Street seemed to have revived and cheered her.
There was colour in her cheeks, life in her eyes, and she
showed by laughing and talking a great deal that she
was interested in the earth for a moment at least.
Ridgie had given Frothingham a difficult horse, but as
he rode well he succeeded in carrying on a reasonably
consecutive conversation with Cecilia. She asked him
many questions about country life in England, and
drew him on to tell her much of his own mode of living.
And he ended with, " Altogether, I'd be quite cheer
ful and happy if I were properly established."
Cecilia became instantly silent and cold and again
he had the feeling that she was expecting something
" What the place needs," he went on boldly, " what
I need, is a woman such a woman as you."
His horse reared, leaped in the air, tried to bolt.
It was full a minute before he got it under control.
" Nasty brute," he said, resettling his eyeglass, and
turning his face toward her again. He thrilled with
hope. " Is there a chance for me ? " he asked. " I
have not spoken to your father that isn't the Amer
ican way, is it? And I sha'n't trouble you with a lot
of of the usual sort of talk until I know whether
it's welcome. You're not the sort of girl a man ven
tures far with unless he's jolly sure he knows where
" Thank you," she said simply. " I shall be frank
with you. My father wishes me to marry you. If his
will were not stronger than mine I shouldn't think of
it. It is only fair to tell you why." She was looking
at him tranquilly. " I loved a man loved him well
enough to have, where he was concerned, a stronger
will than my father. But he died. I love him still.
I shall always love him. When my father told me that
he wished me to marry you, I asked my lover and he
said that I ought to obey. He has been urging me
to marry except occasionally ever since he died."
Frothingham stared at her in utter amazement.
" Do you mind " he began, but again his horse
tried to throw him. When he got it under control he
saw that she was much amused apparently at him.
She rode up close beside him, laid her hand on his
horse's neck and said, " Please, Stanley, don't ! " in a
curiously tender tone. The horse instantly became
" You were saying? " she asked.
" Do you mind if I admit that Really, I'm
not sure that I heard you aright a few minutes
" You mean when I spoke of talking to Stanley
after he was dead? "
" Stanley " Frothingham regarded her quiz
zically. " Is this horse named after him? "
" No I don't know what the horse's name is. The
reason it was so restless was that Stanley was teasing
him to make him a little troublesome for you."
Frothingham paled and glanced round.
" The second night after he died," she went on, a
far-away look in her eyes, " he came to me in a dream.
He assured me that he was happy, and that I must be
so, too, and that he would always be with me, nearer,
in more perfect communion, than if he had remained
alive. It was just when Dr. Yarrow was beginning
his experiments to establish communication with
the other world. Stanley and I had been most inter
ested. And when he appeared to me after his death
he explained that he had been able, through the in-
tensity of his love for me, to pierce the barrier and
bring his soul and my soul face to face."
Frothingham showed that he was profoundly
moved. " When I was a little chap," he said in a low
voice, " I ran bang into the ghost of an ancestor of
mine old Hoel de Beauvais. He has paced a hall in
the east wing of Beauvais House the night before the
head of the family dies, for hundreds of years. They
laughed me out of it, but, by gad, I knew I saw him
and my grandfather was thrown from his horse and
killed the next day. I pretend not to believe in that
sort of thing, but I do all we English do."
" Nothing could be more certain," said Cecilia,
radiant at this prompt acceptance of what she ex
pected him to try to laugh her out of. " I have told
no one I shouldn't have told you if it hadn't seemed
the only course I could honestly take."
" Can you see him now?" asked Frothingham in
an awe-stricken voice.
" No I see him only in dreams and sometimes
when I go to Mrs. Ramsay. But we talk together at
any time. You noticed how he stopped teasing the
The horse was, indeed, perfectly quiet. Frothing-
ham nodded. His habitual look of vacancy and satire
had given place to earnestness and intense interest.
" And does he wish you to marry ? " he asked.
"Yes he has said it, and he has written it in one
of the first letters he sent me through Mrs. Ramsay.
I've only asked him verbally about you, and he con
sents and approves. I'll take you to Mrs. Ramsay,
and we'll get his written permission."
" But why does he consent ? " asked Frothingham.
" Is there no no jealousy there? '
" Jealousy ? Impossible ! Don't you see, he can
look into my soul he knows that I am his. And all
the interest he has in this gross mortal life of mine is
that it shall be honourable and that I shall do my duty
as a daughter and as a woman."
Frothingham said no more. He was overwhelmed
with a sense of the imminence of an unseen world
that world which had been made real to him by his
nurses, bred in the legends and superstitions of Eng
land, and by his similarly trained companions at school,
at the university, and ever since. It was a shock, but
nothing incredible to him, this revelation of a daily
and hourly commerce with that other world of which,
he was certain from his own childhood experience,
everyone had glimpses now and then. From time to
time he looked at Cecilia, now returned to her wonted
expression of abstraction. She seemed the very per
son to have such an experience. He was filled with
awe of her ; he was fascinated by her ; he began to feel
the first faint, vague stirrings of jealousy which he
dared not express, even to himself, lest the spirit eyes
of Cecilia's lover should peer into his soul, and see,
A 1 dinner that night Willie Kennefick, who was
staying in the house, began to tell his experi
ences in New York he had just come from a
little visit there. " The woman I took in to dinner,"
said he, " gave me a solar plexus while I was busy with
the oysters. She said to me, ' I went to see such a
wonderful man to-day. He told me the most aston
ishing things about my past and future, and he sold
me a little wax image that I'm going to burn for my
gout.' ' What ! ' said I. ' For my gout,' said she. ' I
have to burn it slowly, and when it's consumed my
gout will be gone. I got it so cheap ! Only twenty-
five dollars.' '
" And what did you say, Willie? " asked Mrs.
" I said ' Cheap ? It was a shame to cheat the poor
devil in that fashion.' And she said, * Wasn't it a
bargain? He wanted a hundred, but I brought him
" You must have been keeping queer company in
New York," said Henrietta Gillett.
" Not at all. It was at Mrs. Baudeleigh's house,
and the woman well, her husband's one of the biggest
lawyers in New York. But, then, that's no worse
than the astrology some of us here have gone daft
" Oh astrology that's a different matter," ob
jected Mrs. Thayer. " You evidently haven't looked
into it. That is a science not at all the same as
palmistry and spiritualism, and those frauds."
Cecilia smiled the amused, pitying smile of wis
dom in the presence of ludicrous ignorance and
looked at Frothingham. He returned her look
pleased to have a secret, and such an intimate secret,
in common with her. " But don't you think you're a
bit rash, Mrs. Thayer? ' : ' he drawled. " You cer
tainly believe in ghosts, now, don't you ? ' ;
Miss Gillett's handsome, high-bred face expressed
astonishment. " Do you? " she asked, before Mrs.
Thayer could answer him.
" We can't doubt it over on our side. We've too
much evidence of it. And I was listening to an old
chap from Cambridge your Cambridge very clever
old fellow, 7 thought Yarrow, wasn't it? Yes, Yar
" Yarrow ! " Miss Gillett's eyes flashed scorn.
" He's a disgrace to New England. We pride our
selves on having the culture of Emerson and the other
great men of our past. What would they think of us
if they could look in on us with our Yarrows and our
Gonga Sahds and our Mrs. Ramsays. All the sen
sible people in the country must be laughing at us.
Pardon me, Lord Frothingham I'm very indignant
at what I regard as superstitions and impostors. It's
only my view."
" Not at all, not at all," said Frothingham with an
uneasy glance at Cecilia's angry face. " I'm not one
of those who wish all to believe alike. What the devil
should we do if we hadn't each other's opinions to
laugh at? "
" You're such an ardent disciple," continued Miss
Gillett, " you ought to go to Yarrow's Mrs. Ramsay.
She'll put you in communication with spirits, as many
as you like, or rather as many as you care to pay for.
I think she gets ten a ghost twenty for letters."
The discussion was raging hotly round the table,
all but two of the men, and all but four of the women
deriding astrology, palmistry, Buddhism, spiritual
ism; and the respective devotees of these cults derid
ing each the others. " Cut it out," said Mrs. Ridgie
finally. " We'll have * rough house ' here the first
thing you know."
Everyone laughed. They liked slang, and Mrs.
Ridgie's was the boldest and quaintest. When the
men and women were separated, " metaphysics " was
again attempted by both. But the men who did not
believe summarily laughed it down in the smoking
room. " Those fads are all well enough for the women,"
said Kennefick. " They've got to do something to pass
the time, and they won't do anything serious, or, if
they do, they make a joke of it. But our men, Lord
Frothingham " he was addressing himself to the
Earl, whose spiritualistic views he had not heard and
did not suspect " are too busy for such nonsense."
" That's a libel on the woman," said Thayer his
fad was a militant socialism that had a kindly eye for
a red flag. " It's only women of the so-called fash
ionable class who go in for such silliness. The great
mass of American women have something better to
" That's a libel on the women of the better class,"
retorted Kennefick. " Precious few of them are so
" If it isn't that it's something else equally idle,"
said Thayer. Except Frothingham he was the best-
dressed man in the room. " I've no time for idlers."
" Why don't you give your money away and
shoulder a pick? " asked Kennefick teasingly.
" I'm not fit even to wield a pick " Thayer was one
of the ablest lawyers in Massachusetts " and I'd give
my money away if I could without doing more harm
than good. There are two kinds of parasites the
plutocrats and the paupers. I'm ' agin ' 'em both.
And, as for spiritualism, I will admit that I don't
think we know enough about mind or the relations of
mind and matter to dogmatise as you fellows have been
Kennefick winked at Frothingham as if saying:
" Another proof that Thayer's a crank."
When Frothingham was beside Cecilia in the draw
ing room she said : " Would you like to go to Mrs.
Ramsay ? "
" Yes will you take me? " he replied.
" I'll write to-night making an appointment for
He was liking her immensely now, and, while he be
lieved not nearly so vividly as at first in her con
nections with the other world, he felt growing con
fidence that they would rapidly fade before reawaken
ing interest in this world. Meanwhile, he reasoned,
his cue was to ingratiate himself by sympathising with
her and encouraging her to closer and closer confi
dence. " It's only a step from best friend to lover,"
he said to himself. And he made admirable use of
the two days between her tentative acceptance of him
and their visit to Mrs. Ramsay. He was justly proud
of his manner toward her a little of the brother, a
great deal of the best friend, the tenderness and sym
pathy of the lover, yet nothing that could alarm her.
Mrs. Ramsay lived in an old brick cottage in a
quiet street near Louisburg Square. In the two days
Frothingham had become somewhat better acquainted
with Henrietta Gillett and had got a strong respect
for her intelligence. As he and Cecilia entered the
dark little parlour he remembered what Henrietta had
said about Mrs. Ramsay, and was on guard. The first
impression he received was of a perfume, ujfmistak-
ably of the heaviest, most suspicious Oriental kind.
" Gad ! " he said to himself, " that scent don't sug-
gest spirits. It smells tremendously of the world, the
flesh, and the devil, especially the devil.'*
As his eyes became accustomed to the faint light he
discovered the radiating centre of this odour a small
blackish woman of forty or thereabouts, with keen
shifty black eyes and a long face as hard and flesh-
less from the cheekbones down as from the cheekbones
up. The mouth was wide and cold and cruel. She
was dressed in a loose black woollen wrapper, tight at
the wrists, and her scanty black hair was in a careless
oily coil low on the back of her head. Her eyelids
lifted languidly and she gave Cecilia her hand a
pretty hand, slender and sensitive.
" Good-morning, my dear," she said. " This is the
Earl of Frothingham, is it not ? "
At this both Cecilia and Frothingham started
Cecilia because it was another and impressive evidence
of Mrs. Ramsay's power; Frothingham because he
knew that voice so well. His knees weakened and he
looked at Mrs. Ramsay again.
But she was not looking at him. She was saying to
Cecilia : " Dr. Yarrow was here for two hours he
left not twenty minutes ago. I am so exhausted ! "
" Perhaps we would better come to-morrow," said
Cecilia, appeal, apology, and disappointment in her
" No no," replied Mrs. Ramsay wearily. " Dr.
Yarrow tells me he has never known me to be so
thoroughly under control as to-day. And" she
smiled faintly at Cecilia " you know I would do any
thing for you"
" You "have done everything for me," said Cecilia,
and her tone of humble, even deferential, gratitude
filled Frothingham with pity and disgust. He was
staring stolidly at Mrs. Ramsay, but if the room had
been lighter his changed colour and white lips might
have been noted. Cecilia seated herself, and Froth
ingham gladly sat also, where he could see Mrs. Ram
say's face without her seeing him unless she turned her
She rang a small silver bell on the table at her elbow.
A girl answered. " The light, please," said Mrs.
The girl went away and returned in a moment with
a lamp whose strong flame was completely and curi
ously shielded by a metal sphere except at one point
underneath. When it was set upon the table it threw
a powerful light in a flood upon a part of the surface
of the table about six inches in diameter. The girl
went to the windows and drew the heavy curtains across
them. It was now impossible to see anything in the
room except that small disc of intense light. In it
presently appeared the slender, sensitive right hand of
Mrs. Ramsay it seemed to end at the wrist in noth
ingness. It laid upon the brightness a pad of white
scribbling paper and a thick pencil with the heavy
lead slightly rounded at the end; then it vanished.
There was a long silence Frothingham was sure he
could hear Cecilia's faint breathing. His own breath
hardly came at all and his heart was beating crazily.
He stared at those inanimate objects in the circle of
dazzling light until his brain whirled.
A long sigh, apparently from Mrs. Ramsay, as if
she were sinking into a deathlike sleep ; a quick catch
ing of the breath from the direction of Cecilia. He
heard her move her chair to the light and then in it
appeared her hand long and narrow, looking waxen
white, its nails, beautifully rounded, the most delicate
blush of pink. It took the pencil and moved across
the paper. Frothingham bent forward she had
written large, and he could easily read:
Her hand disappeared, and again there was in that
unearthly light, only the pad, the pencil, and the
heart-call into the infinite " Dearest ! "
A long pause, then the weird, severed hand Froth-
ingham could not associate it with Mrs. Ramsay
crawled haltingly into the light, hovered over the pen
cil, took it, began to make its blunt point scrawl along
the paper a loose, shaky handwriting. With the
hair on the back of his head trembling to rise, Froth-
My wife I am glad you have come, though you bring another
with you to profane our holy secret.
In the darkness a sharp exclamation from Cecilia,
then a sound like a sob. The hand ceased to write,
dropped the pencil, vanished instantly. In the light
appeared Cecilia's hand, trembling, its veins standing
up, blue and pulsing Frothingham was amazed that
a hand by itself could express so much ; it was as per
fect a mirror of her feelings as her face would have
been. She wrote eagerly :
But, dearest, you told me only this morning that he might,
should, see all.
Her hand lifted the sheet, now filled with writing,
laid it beside the pad, then disappeared. Again there
was a long silence, and again the mysterious hand
crawled out of the darkness, loosely held the pencil,
and wrote slowly, staggeringly, faintly:
No, I have not spoken to you, seen you, since he came into
your life It has been hard for me to push my way through
to-day There is a barrier between PS You have been deceived
Can it be that you but no, I trust my wife
The hand paused. " Oh ! oh ! " sobbed Cecilia.
The hand was moving again:
My friends here tell me that you are going away across the sea
with an English fortune hunter with him. You have been cruel
enough to bring him here to our bridal chamber Oh, Cecilia
The end of the sheet had been reached, but the hand
wrote on for a few seconds, making vague markings in
space, then vanished, dropping the pencil with a noise
that in the strained silence sounded like a crash and
made both Cecilia and Frothingham leap in their
chairs. After a moment Cecilia's trembling, eager,
pathetic hands lifted off the filled sheet and withdrew.
But the hand did not return. After a long wait her
right hand it seemed bloodless now appeared once
more upon the paper and wrote :
I have been deceived. I love only you. I thought I was obey
ing you. Speak to me, dearest. You see into my heart. Speak
to me. Do not leave me alone.
Her hand laid the sheet upon the other filled sheets
and withdrew from that neutral ground of dazzling
light between the two great mystery lands. Imme
diately the other hand darted into the light, caught
the pencil, and scrawled in great, tottering letters :
Yes, yes but I cannot until he has gone far from you Then
come again Good-b
The hand vanished and there was a moan from the
darkness that enveloped the medium a moan that
ended in a suppressed shriek. Frothingham saw
Cecilia's hands hastily snatch the written sheets from
under the light. Then he heard a voice in his ear
he hardly knew it as hers : " Come come quickly ! "
He rose, and with his hand touching her arm fol
lowed her. The door opened the dim hallway
seemed brightly lighted, so great was the contrast.
The maid was seated there. She at once rose, entered
the medium's room, and closed the door behind her.
Cecilia and Frothingham went into the quiet little
street the enormous sunshine, the white snow over
everything, in the distance the rumble of the city.
He gave a huge sigh of relief, and wiped the sweat
from his face his very hair was wet and his collar
was wilted. He was sickly pale.
'''Forgive me it was all my fault yet not mine-
" She always wishes to be left that way," said Ce
cilia, as if she did not know what she was saying.
They walked to the corner together. " I am not
well," she said. He ventured to look at her ; she was
wan and old, and her eyes were deep circled in blue-
black and she was blue-black at the corners of her
mouth, at the edges of her nostrils. " I must go
home they will telephone Mrs. Ridgie. Don't say
where I was taken ill. Forgive me it was all my
fault yet not mine good-bye " She did not
put out her hand to him, but stood off from him with
fear and anguish in her eyes.
" The woman's a fraud a " he began.
She turned upon him with a fury of which he would
not have believed her capable. " Go ! go ! " she ex
claimed, as if she were driving away a dog.
" Already you may have lost me my love. Go ! "
He shrank from her. She walked rapidly away,
and he saw her hail a cab, enter it, saw the cab drive
away. With his head down he went in the opposite
direction. " I think I must be mad," he muttered.
He thrust his hands deep into the outside pockets of
his ulster. He drew out his right hand in it was her
purse, which she had given him to carry because it did
not fit comfortably into her muff. " No," he said,
" she was with me."
He put the purse in the pocket and strode back
the way he had come. He turned into the quiet little
street, went to Mrs. Ramsay's door, lifted and
dropped the knocker several times. The maid opened
the door a few inches and showed a frowning
Frothingham widened the space by thrusting him
self into it. " Tell Mrs. Ramsay that Lord Froth
ingham wishes to speak to her," he said in a tone that
made her servant his servant.
She went into the ghost-chamber and soon reap
peared. " Mrs. Ramsay is too exhausted to see any
" Bah ! " exclaimed Frothingham, and stalked past
the maid and into the ghost-chamber.
The curtains were back and the slats of the shutters
were open. Mrs. Ramsay, in her great chair by the
table, was using a bottle of salts. She did not look in
Frothingham's direction as he closed the door sharply
He went to her and scowled down at her. " What
the devil did you do that for, Lillian ? ' !
Mrs. Ramsay did not change expression and did not
"No one ever treated you decenter than I did.
" No names, please, Slobsy," said Mrs. Ramsay,
shaking her bottle and sniffing it again.
At " Slobsy " he shivered he was not a lunatic on
the subject of his dignity, but he did not fancy this
nickname of his Oxford days, thus inopportunely
flung at him. He felt that at one stroke she had cut
the ground from under his feet.
" I was sorry to do it," she continued. " But I
couldn't have you poaching on my preserves, could I
now, Slobsy ? It cut me to do it " she looked at him
with friendly sympathy " but you could better
afford to lose her than I could. You forgive me,
don't you? You always were sensible."
" I'll expose you," he said he was once more im
perturbable, and was looking at her calmly through
his eyeglass and was speaking in his faintly satirical
" Expose what ? " asked Mrs. Ramsay, sniffing at
He reflected. Suppose he denounced her, put him-
[ 167 ]
self in a position where he could, probably would, be
forced to tell all he knew about her, roused her anger
and her vindictiveness whom would he expose?
Clearly, no one but himself to Cecilia, or Cecilia to the
public. He knew nothing about Mrs. Ramsay that
would prove her a fraud in fifteen years she might
have become the properest person in the world, might
have developed into a medium. He turned and left
the room and the house. Halfway to the corner he
paused ; a faint, dreary smile drifted over his face.
" It's really a new sensation to settle a bill," he
said to himself. " An outlawed bill, too. What luck
just my rotten luck ! "
A Mrs. Ridgie's they guessed that Froth-
ingham had proposed to Cecilia and that she
had been unnerved by the shock to her wid
owed heart. He stayed on until the following Mon
day, neither amused nor amusing, then returned to
Mrs. Staunton's for two days. He found her intensely
curious as to the trouble between Cecilia and him she
brought up the subject again and again, and with
expert ingenuity at prying tried to trap him into
telling her; she all but asked him point-blank. But
he looked vague or vacant, pretended not to under
stand what she wanted, expressed lively interest in
Cecilia's progress toward health, professed keen
regret that he must leave before she would be well
enough to receive him.
As he was about to go Mrs. Staunton became des
perate. " Allerton is a stern man," she said, with an
air that forbade the idea that mere vulgar curiosity
was moving her. " He has the notion that Cecilia
was not polite to you you know, she gives way to
strange moods. And he is so irritated against her
that he is treating her harshly."
Frothingham looked astonished. " Really ! " he
said. " How extraordinary. I can't conceive how he
happened to wander off into that. Nothing could be
farther from the truth."
" I confess," Mrs. Staunton went on, " I'm much
disappointed. I've taken a fancy to you. I had
rather hoped that you and Cecilia would like each
other you understand."
Frothingham reflected. It was possible, yes, prob
able, that Cecilia's father could drive her into marry
ing him, would do it if he should hint to Mrs. Staunton
that he did fancy Cecilia and was " horribly cut up "
because she didn't fancy him. " What the devil do
her feelings matter to me ? " he demanded of himself.
" A month after we were married she'd forget all this
ghost nonsense and would be thanking me for pulling
her out of it."
" And," Mrs. Staunton was saying, " I know her
father would have liked it as well as I."
But Frothingham didn't follow his impulse and her
unconscious leading. " What am I thinking of? "
he said to himself in the sharp struggle that was going
on behind his impassive exterior. " I'm not that sort
of blackguard at least, not yet." Then he drawled
his answer to Mrs. Staunton: " I'm tremendously flat
tered, but really, I fear the young lady and I would
never hit it off. I've no great fancy for marrying
never had. I've always thought it a poor business
one of the sort of things that are good for the women
and children, you know, but not for the men."
Mrs. Staunton looked mild and humourous disap
proval. " What is the world coming to ? A man asked
me the other day why all the nice women were mar
ried and all the nice men single. I hadn't thought of
it until he spoke. But I must say it's true of my
" I hope you'll let Mr. Allerton know he's wrong,"
said Frothingham. " I hate it that the poor girl's
had the screws put on her on my account."
" Certainly I'll tell him. But I'm sorry it's not to
be as we hoped." She was studying him with a puz
zled expression. She had heard from what she
regarded as a thoroughly trustworthy source that he
had come over especially to get him a rich wife. If
that wasn't his object, why was he wandering about
here? Titled foreigners didn't come to America ex
cept for the one thing of interest to them which
America has money. She could not understand his
He couldn't understand it himself. " I always was
an ass," he thought. " Here am I, sinking straight
to the bottom or, what's worse, the bottomless. Yet
I'm squeamish about the kind of line that pulls me
ashore. Yes I'm an ass. Even Lillian, well as I
knew her at Oxford, took me in a bit with her trumpery
tricks to make a living. She completely foozled me
that is " Did she " foozle " him? He couldn't
banish the doubt. And there was the incident of the
horse Lillian had nothing to do with that, yet it
fitted in with her professions as to the spirit world.
But hadn't she as good as owned up by apologising
for breaking it off between him and Cecilia? Per
haps she hadn't meant that; perhaps she had meant
she was sorry to be the medium for such a letter.
" There was a lot of truth in that letter. And there
must be something in witches and ghosts and all that,
or the whole world wouldn't believe in 'em. But what
ghastly luck that Lillian should turn up after fifteen
years no, seventeen, by Jove! Gad, how she has
gone off since she was bar-maid at the Golden Cross
and the prettiest girl that walked the High Street."
He paused in New York a few hours, long enough
to get a disagreeable mail from the other side a
dismal letter from old Bagley, a suspiciously cheerful
note from Evelyn, a few lines from Surrey with a post
script about Gwen " I've shipped her off to Mentone.
She's a bit seedy this winter, poor girl." Frothing-
ham quarrelled at Hutt, drank himself into a state of
glassy-eyed gloom and took the three-o'clock express
for Washington. As he sat in the smoking car a man
dropped into the next chair with a " How d'ye do,
Frothingham? " Frothingham's features slowly col
lected into an expression of recognition, of restrained
pleasure. " Glad to see you, Wallingford. Going
to Washington ? 5:
" Yes I'm in Congress, you know."
" No, I didn't know." And it struck him as uncom
monly modest in Wallingford never to have spoken of
so distinguished an honour.
" My father put me in last year."
" Oh, you've a seat in your family." Frothing
ham nodded under standingly. " That's very nice.
They've almost abolished that sort of luxury with us.
Nowadays, to get into Parliament a fellow has to put
up a good many thousand pounds. Even then he
must take his chances of winning a lot of noisy brutes.
They often shout for him and vote for the other
Wallingford's face had flushed when Frothingham
said " a seat in your family," and the flush had deep
ened as he went on. " You haven't got it quite
straight, Frothingham about us, I mean. No one
can have a Congressional seat in his family in America.
My father has some influence with the party in New
York City. He always puts up a lot of money for
campaigns. And they give him the chance to name a
Congressman if he's willing to pay for it. That's
between us, you understand. It's a bad system. But
it applies only to a few districts in New York and
perhaps one or two other cities."
" It sounds like our system," said Frothingham.
" A devilish good system, I call it. If it weren't for
that the lower classes would be chucking us all out
and putting their own kind in."
" Well, we think it bad. I feel something like a
fellow who knows he wouldn't have won the race if he
hadn't bribed the other fellow's jockey."
" That's your queer American way of looking at
things. You are always pretending that birth and
rank and wealth aren't entitled to consideration. But
that's all on the surface all ' bluff,' as you say.
They get just as much consideration here as among
" You're judging the whole country by the people
in one small class and not by any means all of
" Human nature is human nature," replied Froth-
ingham, with a cynical gleam in his eyeglass.
" If you go out West "
" I'll find what I've found in the East, no doubt
perhaps in a little different form. I'm visiting West
ern people at Washington after I've stopped at the
Embassy a few days some people I'm meeting
through an American acquaintance of ours in Eng
land Charles Sidney."
" Sidney ! " Wallingf ord laughed. " He's my
second cousin. Ain't he a shouting cad? "
" Oh, I think he's a well-meaning chap most
" I should say so to anybody he crawls before.
And who are these Westerners he's sending you to? "
" The Ballantynes. I think Mr. Ballantyne's a
Senator, is he not? "
Wallingford laughed again. " That's one on me,"
he said. " Yes, they're from the West. But for
everything that isn't American they lay it over any
body you've seen in New York. Ballantyne! I
sha'n't say any more. It's of no use to tell you you're
going round and round in a circle that's in America
but not really of it."
" Do you know the Ballantynes? "
" I've met Mrs. Ballantyne and the daughter
that's married to a Spaniard the Duke of Almansa.
They were at Monte Carlo three years ago when I was
there. A handsome woman amusing, too. She
spent most of her time in the gambling rooms used
to come in always dressed in something new and loud
and what tremendous hats she did wear! She'd
throw on the table a big gold purse blazing with dia
monds. Then she'd seat herself and open the purse,
and it would be stuffed with thousand-franc notes.
She'd plunge like a Russian. Every once in a while
she'd go out on the balcony and walk up and down
smoking a cigarette. She forbade her husband the
Casino unless she was with him; even then he wasn't
allowed to stake a single louis. He'd slip away and
play in one of those more private rooms upstairs."
Frothingham smiled reminiscently.
" You know, the play's higher there," continued
Wallingford. " But the crowd of spectators was too
small and indifferent for Her Grace of Almansa.
When she found out what he was up to she made a
scene right before everybody ' How dare you squan
der my money? ' she said, " and she led him off like a
spaniel on its way to a whipping."
" Charming person," said Frothingham. " Must
have been amusing."
" Indeed she was. They'd talk of her all day with
out growing tired and always a new freak. You'll
be amused by her."
"Ah she's here?"
" Yes left the Duke two years ago paid him
off and came home to her father. She's quite quiet
now, they say educating her children."
Frothingham's three days at the British Embassy
were to him days upon an oasis in the desert. It was
literally as well as legally part of the British domain
Britain indeed, as soon as the outside door were passed.
The servants at most of the houses at which he had
been entertained were direct and recent importations
from England, yet they had already lost an essential
something even his faithful Hutt was not the docile,
humble creature he had been. But here in the Em
bassy the servants, like the attaches, like the Ambas
sador's family, like the Ambassador himself, were as
English in look, in manner, in thought, as if they had
never been off the island. The very furniture and the
arrangement of it, the way the beds were made and the
towels were hung in the bathrooms, represented the
English people as thoroughly as did the Ambas
From this miniature Britain Frothingham on the
third day was transferred to the international chaos
beneath the turrets and battlements of the Ballantyne
castle. When the house was finished, twelve years
before Frothingham saw it, the various suites were
furnished each on a definite scheme French or Eng
lish or Italian of different periods, classical, Oriental,
Colonial American. But the Ballantynes had the true
American weariness of things that are completed.
They were not long interested in their house after it
was done. They felt like strangers in it, lived in it
only for the sake of show, were positively uncomf ort-
able. More through carelessness and indifference
than through ignorance, the movable objects in the
suites had become changed about a gradual process,
imperceptible to the inhabitants. There were now
specimens of every style and every period in each
suite; and Frothingham, who knew about interiors,
seeing this interior for the first time, thought it the
work of an eccentric verging on lunacy.
" Awful, isn't it ? " said Madame Almansa, as she
was called. She had noted Frothingham's glance
roaming the concourse of nations and periods that
thronged the walls and floor space of the vast parlour
the Ballantynes used the American term instead of
the British " drawing room."
Frothingham looked at her inquiringly.
" What? " he said, pretending not to understand.
" Do you wonder I refuse to live here? " she went
on, as if he had not spoken. " There's some excuse
for the great houses on the other side. At least the
present tenants didn't build them and can put the
responsibility upon their ignorant semi-barbaric
" That has struck me as a bit queer," replied Froth
ingham. " Over on our side we're cursing our ances-
tors for having burdened us with huge masses of brick
and stone beastly uncomfortable, aren't they? "
" Worse unhealthful," she answered. " And as
dwelling places for human beings, ridiculous."
" Yes and it takes an army to keep 'em clean, and
then it isn't half done. And it does cost such a lot to
keep 'em up. And there's no way of heating them.
We don't build 'em any more except new people that
must show off."
" That's the trouble here," said Madame Almansa.
" The new people who know nothing of the art of
living build palaces as soon as ever they can afford it.
It's supposed to be the badge of superiority. Instead,
it's the badge of ignorance and vulgarity. I refuse
to permit my children to live in the midst of such non
sense. You must come to see us, Lord Frothingham,
in our little house just through this square."
Her sister, Isabella, who called herself Ysobel
because she fancied it more aristocratic, laughed
queerly almost a sneer, though good-natured. And
when Frothingham went away to her father's sitting
room, she laughed again. " It's all very well for you,
" Susan," interrupted Madame Almansa.
" Well, Susan, then though I hate to pronounce
such a common word in addressing anyone above the
rank of servant. It's all very well for you to talk in
that fashion. You've established yourself. You can
afford to affect simplicity, and to insist on being
called Susan, and on dropping your title, and on living
in a plain little house, and on bringing up your chil
dren as if they were tradesmen's sons instead of the
sons of one of the proudest nobles in "
" You know Almansa," interrupted * Susan.'
" How can you speak of him as proud or a
" He is a weazened, oily creature," admitted Ysobel,
delighted to make her sister wince by agreeing with
her and " going her one better." " And I jumped
for joy when you shook him, because I shouldn't have
to let him kiss me any more. But, all the same, he's a
great noble. And you know perfectly well, Madame
Almansa, that if you had it to do all over again you'd
marry him yes, if he were ten times worse "
" Don't, Bella please ! " exclaimed " Susan " in a
large, tragic way. " Mon Dieu ! " She clasped her
hands and in heroic agitation swept magnificently up
and down the small, clear space. " When I think of
the heritage of my boys my Emilio and my Al
" My Prince Rio Blanco and my Marquis Calamar,"
mocked Ysobel. " Cut it out, Sue. I loathe cant ! "
" Instead of filling your head with these false
notions of nobility," said " Sue," sarcastically, " you
would better look to your English, at least. But the
vulgar speech you and your girl friends use nowadays
is in keeping with your vulgar ideas of aristocracy."
" Yes, Madame la Duchesse," said Ysobel, her good
nature unruffled. " And when I've married a title
and then shaken the man I'll talk in the same top-lofty
way that you do."
Madame Almansa raised and lowered her superb
shoulders and changed the subject to dress she
affected an extreme of simplicity, and that required a
great deal more time and thought than her former
easily gratified craze for the startling. Presently
her father came with Frothingham. " You're going
to Senator Pope's to dinner, aren't you ? " he said
absently. Frothingham thought he looked like the
pictures of " Brother Jonathan," except that his white
chin whiskers were rooted in a somewhat larger chin
" Not I," replied Madame Almansa. " You know,
father, I'm to stay here and do the honours at your
" Yes, yes, Susie I remember." Senator Ballan-
tyne seemed pleased, but uneasy. " But you must be
careful very careful. Your grand airs will frighten
Ysobel laughed. " Mamma and I are going to
Mrs. Pope," she said, " and Lord Frothingham, too.
And then we all go to the White House dance after
" No, the White House dance is to-morrow night,"
said Madame Almansa. " I am going."
" Well, well no matter," interposed Senator Bal-
lantyne. " All I want is to be sure that you get out of
the way before my constituents come. Your mother
ought to be ashamed of herself to desert me. But
I suppose they won't mind it so long as Sue is
" What time's your dinner, pa? " asked Ysobel.
" Half-past six," replied the Senator, and he
turned to Frothingham : " At home they have dinner
no, they call it supper at five o'clock."
" That's 'way, 'way out West, Lord Frothingham,"
explained Ysobel, " where papa and mamma come
" And you, too, young lady," said her father teas-
ingly. " You were born there."
" Yes, but I was caught young and taken to
France," retorted Ysobel. " I spoke French before I
Senator Ballantyne frowned, became abstracted, was
presently sighing. His eldest daughter heard it and
gave a theatrical sigh of sympathy. Ballantyne
seemed not to hear, but something had irritated him,
for he frowned heavily.
Mrs. Ballantyne came in from her drive. She was
a fine-looking woman, had all the outward appearance
of the grande dame, and acted the part so well that
not even herself had caught her in a slip for many
years a notable triumph in the art of pose when it is
considered that she was a country-school teacher until
she was twenty-four and had never seen a city or been
east of the Alleghenies until she was past thirty.
Frothingham helped her relieve herself of a great
sable-lined cloak which he handed to a servant. The
servant bent double in a bow Mrs. Ballantyne paid
well for obsequiousness. " When do those people of
yours begin to come, Samuel? " she asked, framing
her sentence and her manner to impress Frothing-
Ballantyne looked annoyed, and, with a furtive
glance at him, said : " Lord Frothingham will carry
away a strange notion of democratic institutions as
represented by Senators, mother."
Mrs. Ballantyne permitted him to call her mother
because it was the only word of address that did not
rasp her aristocratic nature. Her name was Jane
that she could not endure even before the days of her
grandeur. She had made him call her Mrs. Ballan
tyne before people until she discovered that it was
" shocking bad form." She decided upon mother
because the old Austrian Ambassador, whose title was
of the oldest and whose blood was of the thin and
pale bluest, said to her one day, " I like your American
fashion of husbands and wives calling each other
mother and father. It has a grand old patriarchal
ring. My wife and I have adopted it."
" You must get out of the way by six o'clock,"
continued Ballantyne, addressing himself to
" mother." " Several of them said they'd come round
early for half an hour's chat before supper."
" I'm sorry we're to be driven out," said Frothing-
ham. " I fancy I'd like to see your constituents."
" Oh, no, you wouldn't, Lord Frothingham," Mrs.
Ballantyne answered him for his benefit she was
" laying it on with a trowel," as Ysobel would have
said. " They're but you know how it is in politics.
I wish Samuel would leave public life."
" What ! " exclaimed Ballantyne, in mock horror.
" And have all our poor relations that I've got nicely
placed at the public crib bounced in a body, and come
grunting and squealing to me to be supported ! One
of the objects in getting public office in this country,
Lord Frothingham, is to relieve one's self of the sup
port of one's poor relations and friends. The late
President Arthur said to me when he was at the White
House : ' The degradation of it ! That I should
have to lower myself for six hours every day to keep
ing an employment agency ! '
" But we can't dress and drive round the streets
from six o'clock until eight," said Ysobel.
" They'll be in the reception-room by eight," re
plied her mother, " or else they won't be through
dinner. We can get out unseen."
Frothingham maintained his look of blank indiffer-
ence, but underi eath he was vastly amused " And
they're quite unconscious what cads they are," he
thought. As if in answer to this, Senator Ballantyne
said to him, in a tone of humourous apology : " Our
constituents are plain people, Lord Frothingham
honest, simple. They lead quiet, old-fashioned lives.
I always send my family away or make them ' come off
their perch ' when I have to receive anyone from
home that is, any but my regular political lieuten
ants. To tell you the gospel truth, I'm ashamed to
have my old friends see how absurd we've become."
At six o'clock Frothingham was idling in a small
smoking room in the rear of the great parlour it was
on the second floor. Senator Ballantyne came in and
grew red in the cheeks. " Oh, I didn't expect to see
you," he said, with an embarrassed laugh.
Frothingham pretended not to notice, but he
instantly saw the embarrassment, and the cause of it
as well. The Senator was not in evening dress, nor
even in his uniform of " statesman's frock." To com
bat the unfavourable impression his great castle would
make upon the excursionists from his distant State
he had got himself up in an old blue sack suit with
torn pocket and ragged cuff, in trousers bagging at
the knees and springing fantastically where they cov
ered his boot-legs.
He seated himself and talked absently until there
was a ring of the front doorbell. He started up.
" I must go," he said. " That's the first ones." And
he hurried away.
Frothingham waited a few seconds, then went into
the hall and leaned carelessly on the banister where it
commanded a view of the front door. He chuckled.
Not the pompous and liveried butler was opening it,
but Senator Ballantyne himself in his impressive liv
ery of the " plain people." And Frothingham
grinned as his great hearty voice how different, how
much more natural, than his usual voice rolled out a
"Why, hello, boys! Hello, Jim! Hello, Rankin.
How d'ye do, Mrs. Fisher. Glad to see you, Miss
Branigan. The maid wasn't about, so I thought I
wouldn't keep you waitin'. Come right in and take
off your things. Ladies, I'm sorry to say my wife's
run off and left me had to go to a dinner where the
President and his wife are to be. You know, we ain't
allowed to decline. But we won't miss her. My oldest
girl Sue's in the parlour. You remember Sue ? "
They all went into the " parlour " that is, the
little first-floor reception room, which had been partly
refurnished, or rather, dismantled, for the occasion.
The bell rang. Frothingham chuckled again, as he
saw, not butler nor manservant nor Senator, but a
neatly dressed upstairs girl, without a cap, hasten to
open the door. As he heard the rustle of skirts on the
stairway leading to the sleeping rooms, he prudently
strolled into the smoking room.
When he went up to dress Hutt said to him : "Beg
pardon, my lord, but my, it's queer, the dinner party
they're 'avin hin the little back room."
Frothingham went on shaving. Hutt took silence as
permission to gossip.
" They've sent hoff hall the servants, hexceptin' the
maids, my lord. They've got hevery think on the
table at once and they're waitin' on themselves."
" Last night," said Frothingham, " you gave me a
shirt with a spot on the collar. You're getting care
less and impudent, Hutt."
When he reached the parlour Mrs. Ballantyne and
Yscbel were waiting Mrs. Ballantyne ablaze with
rubies and diamonds, Ysobel slim and white and
golden in an expensively plain white dress with golden
spangles. Mrs. Ballantyne rang for a servant.
" See that the doors leading into the hall downstairs
are closed," she said.
The servant returned and announced that the way
was clear. The three descended the grand stairway
rapidly, entered the carriage, and drove away " with
two on the box."
Presently Ysobel laughed. " You should have
seen Susan, Lord Frothingham," she said. " She was
rigged up in a black alpaca made with a basque."
"Alpaca?" asked Frothingham. "What's that?
And what's a basque? "
" Alpaca is well, it's a stuff they wear out West
in the country when they dress up. I suppose they
wear it because the country is so dusty, and black
alpaca catches and shows every bit of dust. And
when you touch it it makes your teeth ache and the
gooseflesh rise all over you. A basque it's a sort of
waist, only it's little and tight and short on the hips and
low in the collar, and it pulls under the arms I can't
describe a basque. It has to be seen. My idea of
future punishment is to dress for a thousand years in
black alpaca made with a basque, and to have to rub
your hands over it every five minutes."
POPE, as Mrs. Ballantyne explained to Froth-
ingham, was an Eastern Senator a multi
millionaire, sent to the Senate because he prac
tically supported, that is, " financed," the machine of
his party in his State, besides making large contribu
tions to its national machine. " So the * Boss,' as they
call the leader of the party in that State," she said,
" sold Mr. Pope one of the Senatorships, keeping the
other for himself. Mr. Ballantyne is the leader, the
master, of his party in his State and, while he's too
modest to tell it, is one of the masters of the party in
the nation. He could be President if it weren't for
the disgusting prejudice among the people against all
who happen to have a little something " " a little
something " being Mrs. Ballantyne's modest way of
speaking of their millions. " But," she went on, " old
Mr. Pope is a nonentity. He sits in his seat and votes
the way they tell him to and is nice to everybody.
Mr. Ballantyne suspects he's getting ready to buy the
" How much does that cost ? " asked Frothingham.
" It '11 cost him half a million if the chances of our
party's carrying the election are good ; if they're not
so good, perhaps he can get it for a quarter of a
million. But they may not dare nominate him.
They may have to take some popular poor man. The
' many-headed monster,' as Shakespeare calls it, has
been grumbling of late. We have a hard task in
our country, Lord Frothingham, to keep the people
with property in control."
" It's the same all over the world nowadays, I
fancy," said Frothingham. " One has to apologise
for being well born or for living in decent style. The
trouble with the lower classes at home is that they
don't have to work hard enough. They used to be
too busy to look about and make themselves and every
body uncomfortable by doing what they call think-
" That's the trouble with our lower classes, too,"
answered Mrs. Ballantyne, in her grandest manner.
" We educate too much."
The carriage rushed into the brilliantly lighted
entrance of Senator Pope's house. Frothingham saw
Ysobel's face, saw that she was having a violent attack
of silent laughter. And he understood why. " The
young 'un has a sense of humour," he said to himself.
" It's ridiculous for these beggars to pose and strut
before they've had time to brush the dirt off their
knees and hands."
As they entered the drawing room Frothingham's
attention riveted upon two gilt armchairs ensconced
in a semicircle of palms and ferns. " For the Presi
dent and his wife," said Ysobel. " They're dining
here to-night, you know. This is the first President
in a long time who has accepted invitations below the
Cabinet circle. He comes to Senator Pope's because
they're old friends. It's quite an innovation and has
caused a great deal of scandal. But I don't blame
him. Where's the use in being President if you can't
do as you please? "
Mrs. Pope, stout and red and obviously " flustered,"
came bustling up. After she had greeted them she
said : " Lord Frothingham, you're to take my
daughter Elsie in to dinner." Then to Mrs. Ballan-
tyne : " Oh, my dear, why didn't you warn me of the
quarrel between the Cabinet women and the Speaker's
family. Whatever shall I do? Mrs. Secretary Man-
don's here, and so are the Speaker and his wife."
" I'd send Grace Mandon in ahead of the Speaker's
wife, if I were you," replied Mrs. Ballantyne. " I've
no patience with the pretensions of the House. It's
distinctly the commonest branch of the Government,
while the Cabinet is next to the President."
" But," objected Mrs. Pope plaintively, " the
Speaker is so influential and really fierce about
precedence, and his wife has such a tongue and
such a temper, and neither he nor she ever for
" Do as you like, of course," said Mrs. Ballantyne
stiffly. Being of the Senate it exasperated her that
the House should be placed ahead of it.
Just then a murmur ran around the room " The
President ! The President ! " Those who were
seated rose, conversation stopped, and the orchestra
began to play. " Bless my soul," muttered Frothing-
ham, " they're playing ' God Save the King ' ! "
And then he remembered that the Americans had, as he
put it, " stolen our tune and set a lot of rot about
themselves to it." The President and his wife entered,
he frowning and red and intent upon the two gilt
chairs. Mrs. Pope curtsied, her husband contracted
his stiff old figure in a comical half -salaam. All bent
their heads and a few of the young people, among
them Ysobel, curtsied.
" See him looking at those chairs ? " said she to
" He's awfully sour at the etiquette here," she went
on. " I suppose he's afraid the country '11 find out
about it and cut up rough. He's smashing right and
left, and everyone's wondering when he'll throw out
the gilt chairs."
But his courage apparently failed him, for he and
his wife advanced to the " thrones " and seated them
selves. No one else sat, the men moving about to get
the partners indicated on the little gilt-edged crested
cards they had found in envelopes addressed to them
and laid upon the tables in the coat-rooms. Frothing
ham examined Elsie Pope and saw that she was small
and slight, square in the shoulders, thin in the neck,
her hair of an uncertain shade of brown, her eyes
commonplace, her features irregular. " She. looks
a good-tempered soul," he said to himself, searching
resolutely for merits. And then he noted that her
hands were red, and that she had flat, rather wide
wrists. " A good, plain soul," he added. He sat
silent, waiting for her to begin to entertain him he
hadn't got used to the American custom of the men
entertaining the women ; and the New York and Bos
ton women, acquainted with the British way, had
humoured him. But he waited in vain. At last he
stole a glance at her, and noted a gleam in the corner
of her eye, the flutter of a humour-curve at the corner
of her mouth. " A shrewd little thing, I suspect," he
thought. And he said to her, " No really, I don't
Her eyes twinkled. " I was beginning to be afraid
you didn't bark, either," she said.
His expression retired behind his eyeglass. " Nor
do I, unless I'm bid."
" I like to be talked to I'd so much rather criti
cise than be criticised."
" What do you like to hear about ? " he asked.
" About the man who's talking. It's the only sub
ject he'll really put his heart into, isn't it? "
Frothingham smiled faintly, as if greeting an old
and not especially admired acquaintance.
" I'm so disappointed," she said presently. " All
winter I've had the same man take me in everywhere
you know, we follow precedence very closely here in
Washington. And, when I found I was to have a new
man, I had such hopes. The other man and I had
got bored to death with each other. And now
you're threatening to be a failure ! "
Frothingham did not like this it was pert for a
woman to speak thus to him; he resented it as a man
and he resented it as Lord Frothingham. " That's a
jest, ain't it?" he drawled. "We English, you
know, have a horribly defective sense of American
" No, it wasn't a jest," she replied. " It was a
rudeness, and I beg your pardon. I thought to say
something smart, and I missed. Let's change the
subject. Do you see that intellectual-looking man
with the beard on the other side of the table next to
"The surly chap?"
" Yes and he's surly because mamma has made a
dreadful mistake. She's put him two below the place
his rank entitles him to. He'll act like a savage all
" Fancy ! What a small matter to fly into a rage
" A small matter for a large man, but a large mat-
ter for a small man. Sometimes I think all men are
small. They're much vainer than women ! "
" Why do you say that? "
" Because of what I've seen in Washington. They
say the women started this craze for precedence. I
don't know whether that's so or not. But I do know
that in the three years I've been out I've found the
men worse than the women. And those things look so
much pettier in a man, too."
" But I thought there wasn't any rank in this
" So I thought I was educated in France. I be
lieve in rank and all that it seems to me absurd to
talk about equality. But I despise this silly squabble
over little places that last only a few years at most.
As Mr. Boughton was saying you know Mr. Bough-
" You mean the Second Secretary at our Em
bassy ? "
" Yes. He said to me only last night : ' America
has an aristocracy just as we have, but gets from it all
the evils and none of the good, all the pettiness, none
of the dignity and sense of responsibility.' '
" But they tell me it's different out West"
61 1 don't know. I can only speak of the East
especially of Washington. There isn't a capital in
Europe or Asia, the diplomats say, with so elaborate
a system of rank and precedence as we have. Why,
do you know, it's so bad that the fifteen-hundred-
dollar-a-year clerks and their families have a society
of their own between the circles of those who get
eighteen hundred and those who get twelve hundred.
And they'd rather die than mix with those who get
less than they do."
"Really! Really, now!"
" And anything like a good time is almost impos
sible. It's precedence, precedence everywhere, always.
You can't entertain informally."
" It must be as if one were laced in a straight
" I'm going abroad next year and am never coming
back, if I can help it. I'm going where at least there's
real rank to get excited about. I'll go with Ysobel
and her mother unless Ysobel decides to marry on
Frothingham was internally agitated, but gave no
sign of it.
" She's marrying either Mr. Boughton or that
handsome Italian sitting next to Mrs. Ballantyne
the Prince di Rontivogli."
" Ah," said Frothingham. And to himself, " Just
my rotten luck ! "
" She makes no secret of it," continued Miss Pope,
" so I'm not violating her confidence. She says she's
determined to marry higher than her sister did. She
likes Mr. Boughton better, though I should think
she'd prefer the Prince his face is ideal, and such
manners! But, while Mr. Boughton is his grand-
uncle's heir and his granduncle is old and a widower
still well, the dukedom might slip away from him.
For instance, he might die before his granduncle."
" That would be ghastly for her, wouldn't it,
now? " said Frothingham.
" It would kill poor Ysobel. She's so proud and
ambitious ! And that's why she has an eye for the
Prince he's of a frightfully old family, you know.
One of his ancestors tried to poison Cesare Borgia
and did succeed in getting himself poisoned or smoth
ered or something thrilling. And they were an old,
old family then. Oh, Ysobel is flying high. If her
father would give her mother and her a free hand, I
think she'd land a prince of some royal family."
Cosimo, Prince di Rontivogli
Behind his mask Frothingham was hastily reform
ing his line of battle. The Ballantyne fortune was
apparently inaccessible to an attack from a mere
Earl; but he could keep it under surveillance while
employing his main force against the Pope citadel,
which seemed to be inviting attack. He did not fancy
Miss Pope she was too patently conscious of her
cleverness and it was of a kind that did not attract him,
was not what he regarded as feminine; nor was she
physically up to his standard for his Countess-to-be.
But she had the essential ; and he had been in Amer
ica nearly five months and had had two, practically
For the rest of his two weeks at the Ballantynes' he
spent as much time as he courteously could with Miss
Pope. And when he joined Joe Wallingford at the
New Willard, sharing his suite and paying less than
a third of the expenses he was with her a large part
of each day, driving with her, riding with her, lunch
ing where she lunched, dining where she dined, danc
ing with her, walking with her, sending her flowers.
In Boston and New York he had been somewhat hin
dered by the chaperon system, careless though it was.
Here chaperoning was the flimsiest of farces, and he
and Elsie were together almost as freely as if she were
In his fourth week in Washington he called one
afternoon to keep an engagement to walk with her at
half -past four. She had not returned from a girl's
luncheon to which she had gone. At ten minutes past
five she came, full of apology for her delay " I
really couldn't leave. The lunch was over before
three o'clock, but the Secretary of State's daughter
was enjoying herself and, though we were all furious
with her, as we had other engagements, she wouldn't
leave; and, of course, none of us could leave until she
left. When she did finally take herself away the Sec
retary of the Treasury's daughter had given up her
engagement and had settled herself for the rest of the
afternoon. She didn't leave until ten minutes ago.
So there we were, penned in and forced to stay."
" Precedence again ? " said Frothingham.
" Precedence. It's outrageous that those two girls
should show so little consideration."
" I've known the same sort of thing to happen at
home," Frothingham assured her. " Once when I'd
gone to a house only for dinner I had to stay until
half -past four in the morning. The Prince of Wales
was there, and he was just then mad about ' bridge. 5
He insisted on playing and playing. Several of us
were asleep in the next room the hostess was nodding
over her cards."
" But he must have seen," said Elsie. " Why
didn't he take the hint? "
" Well, you see, the poor chap led such a deadly
dull life in those days. When he found himself hav
ing a bit of fun he didn't care a rap what it cost
anyone else. It's a mistake to bother with other
people's feelings, don't you think?' 1
" It only makes them supersensitive and hard to get
on with," replied Elsie. " I used to be considerate.
Now I'm considerate only when it's positively rude
not to be. Besides, I must expect to buy my way
through the world. I never had any friends though
I used to think I had, when I was a fool and didn't
know that just the sight of wealth makes human
beings tie up their good instincts and turn loose the
worst there is in them. Even when rich people are
friendly with each other it's usually in the hope of
getting some sordid advantage."
" Do you apply that to yourself or only to
others ? "
" It applies to me it has applied to me ever since
I found what sort of a world I was living in."
" I don't believe it, my dear girl," drawled Froth-
ingham, the more convincingly for the lack of energy
in his tone. And he gave her a quick, queer look
through his eyeglass and was stolid again.
She coloured just a little. " Oh, I suppose I'd be as
big a goose as ever if I should fall in love again."
She laughed. " I've been in love four times in the
last four years, and almost in love three times more.
That's a poor record for a Washington girl there
are so many temptations, with all these fascinating
foreigners streaming through. But I'm not counting
the times I've been made love to in half a dozen modern
languages I and my father's money."
" Possibly you were unjust to some of the men
who've said they admired you. They may not have
attached so much importance to your father's money
as you do."
The thrust tickled her vanity nature had given
her an over-measure of vanity to compensate for her
under-measure of charm. She looked pleased, though
she said : " I don't deceive myself as to myself."
" A man might have been attracted to you because
you had money," continued Frothingham dispassion
ately, " and might have stayed on for your own
Elsie lifted her eyebrows. " Perhaps," she said.
" I'll admit it's possible."
" And, honestly now, do you pretend that you'd
marry a man who had nothing but love to offer you?
What has attracted you in the men you thought well
of? You say there have been four or, rather, four
and three halves. Has any one of 'em been a poor
devil of a nobody ? "
Elsie hesitated ; in the twilight he saw from the cor
ner of his eye that her upper lip was trembling.
They were walking near the tall, white, glistening
monument, in the quiet street that skirts the grounds
of the White House. " One," she said, at last, in a
low voice. " I didn't care especially for him. But
sometimes I think he really did care for me he was a
wild, sensitive creature." She looked at Frothingham
and smiled. " And when I get in my black moods I'm
half sorry I sent him away."
"But you did send him away, didn't you?' 5
Frothingham's expression and tone were satirical, yet
sympathetic, too. " And you complain of men for
being precisely as you are ! "
" I hadn't thought of that," she admitted.
" I take it for granted the girl who consents to
marry me will consent because she wishes to be a
Countess." He drew closer to her she looked her
best in twilight hours, and he succeeded in putting as
much tenderness into his voice as was necessary to
enable so drawling and indifferent a person to create
an impression of sentiment. " If I were walking here
with the girl I wished to win, I'd say nothing of sen
timent. I'd simply trust to the only thing I have that
could possibly induce her to listen to me."
She glanced shyly up at him he thought her
" Do you think that would win her? " he asked in a
" I don't know," she replied slowly. Her com
monplace voice had also been touched with the magic
that had transformed her face.
" Won't you think of it? "
" If you wish," she murmured.
They went on in silence a few minutes, then she
spoke in an attempt at her usual voice : " But we
must turn back. I'll have just time to dress for
And he decided that he would say no more on the
principal subject for several days. He thought he
understood how to deal with American girls rather
better now. " I'll give her a chance to walk round the
trap," he thought. And then he reminded himself
that it was hardly a trap wasn't she getting the
better of the bargain ? " She's indulging in a luxury,
while I'm after a desperate necessary. And, by Jove,
it won't be easy not to make a face, if I get it with
SO confident was he and so out of conceit
with his impending success that he took a
day's vacation, going up to New York with
Wallingford to attend a ball for which Longview had
hired half of Sherry's, and otherwise to amuse himself.
The revisiting of the scene of his early failure
depressed him; he lost nearly a thousand dollars at
Canfield's ; he borrowed a thousand from Wallingford ;
he returned to Washington in the depths of the blues.
And he found the posture of his affairs completely
On the very day he gave Elsie the chance to become
a Countess, Prince Rontivogli had discovered that
Ysobel Ballantyne had decided that she was suffi
ciently in love with Boughton to take the risk of his
not succeeding to the title. Rontivogli was not the
man to waste time on impossibilities indeed, he had
no time to waste. He turned away from the beautiful
Miss Ballantyne instantly, and with all the ardour of
his fiery Southern nature laid siege to Elsie Pope.
And, while Elsie was somewhat reserved in her wel
come, he found an ally in her father, who thought it
would sound extremely well to be able to say, " My
daughter, the Princess."
Rontivogli was tall, had a clear, pallid skin, elo
quent black eyes, the brow and nose and chin of an
Italian patrician, the manners and speech of chival
rous adoration for women which disguise profound
contempt for their intelligence.
When Frothingham, just returned from New York,
and still enshrouded in surly gloom, drove up to Pope's
door, he saw Rontivogli's cabriolet standing a few
yards down the drive. Rontivogli was conducting
himself in Washington as if he were rich, so plausibly
that only the foreign element was without doubts as
to the object of his visit to America. At sight of this
trap Frothingham scowled. "What's that Italian
doing here ? " he said to himself, and his fear answered
the question. When they came face to face in the
parlour Elsie greatly enjoyed it. The Italian was
smooth and urbane ; Frothingham, careless of the feel
ings of a man he despised and thoroughly English in
his indifference to the demands of courtesy to Elsie,
was almost uncivil. He and Elsie talked for a few min
utes, then she drew Rontivogli into the conversation.
The Prince answered in French, and French became
the language. Frothingham spoke it far worse than
Rontivogli spoke English, so he was practically ex
cluded. He sat dumb and stolid, wondering why " the
brute hasn't the decency to take himself off when I
But " the brute " drew Elsie into a lively discussion
on a book he had sent her and, because there was no
break in the argument, was seemingly not impolite in
lingering. It was almost an hour before he rose,
kissed her hand, gave her an adoring look, said
" A bientot," and departed. But, although he was
physically gone, he was actually still there if any
thing Frothingham was more acutely conscious of him.
" I don't believe Miss Ballantyne could stand that
fellow," he said, aware of his tactlessness, but too
angry to care. " I think all those Latins unendur
able. They're a snaky lot and their manners suggest
waiters and valets."
Elsie flushed and slightly drew in the corners of her
mouth, a sure sign that her temper had been roused in
the worst way through wounded vanity. " Oh, you
British are so insular," she replied, " and so self-
satisfied. Here in Washington we learn to appreciate
all kinds of foreigners and to make allowances even for
Englishmen " that last with a mere veneer of good
nature. " I think Rontivogli charming. He's so in
telligent, and has so much temperament."
Frothingham recovered his self-control in presence
of obvious danger. He looked calmly at her through
his eyeglass. " Dare say you're right," he drawled.
" Rontivogli's a decent enough chap, so far as I know,
and for an Italian devilish clean-looking."
Elsie had no intention of driving him off; in spite
of the Italian's superiority in title and " tempera
ment," she preferred the Englishman she knew him
better and in a more candid way. She became concili
atory, and they were soon amicable again. But Froth
ingham saw that his vacation had been perilously
costly, that he must work to reinstate himself, that it
was not a wise moment for reopening the matter of
the engagement which only four days ago seemed all
but settled. He found that Elsie was dining at the
Italian Embassy, to go afterwards to a ball at the
Vice-President's to which he was invited. He ar
ranged to see her there and left.
Boughton and he dined together at the Metropol
itan Club. While they were having a before-dinner
cocktail Boughton told him, in confidence, that he was
engaged to Ysobel Ballantyne. " So that's why
I find Rontivogli poaching/' thought Frothing-
ham. And he said presently : " What do you know
about that chap Rontivogli? He looks a queer
" Not a thing," replied Boughton. " I had all our
fellows writing over to the other side, following him
up. The answers thus far show nothing downright
shady. He's down to a box of a house and a few
acres just north of Milan. And that's swamped in
mortgages. No one knows how he raised the wind for
this trip. He seems to have a good bit of cash, doesn't
" I'm particularly interested in knowing about
him," continued Frothingham. " He's developed an
astonishing interest in a girl friend of mine. I'd hate
to see her taken in by a scamp. And I'm sure he's
" Oh," said Boughton. " Miss Pope? "
" Yes," replied Frothingham. " And she thinks
well of him."
" I'll be glad to help you, old man. I sha'n't drop
my inquiry as I'd intended."
" Thanks," said Frothingham. And they talked of
When he looked Elsie up at the Vice-President's
that night for the first of the dances she had prom
ised him, he found her on a rustic bench in the garden,
almost screened from observation, Rontivogli beside
her. The Italian's classic face was aglow, and Froth
ingham saw that he had checked a torrent of enam
oured eloquence. He saw, also, that Elsie was not
pleased by the interruption. However, she left Ronti
vogli and went with him. As they entered the ball
room he said : " I don't care for this music, do you ?
Let's sit it out. Only " he gave her a look of quiet
raillery " you must engage not to go back to your
volcano until my dance is over."
" Volcano ? ' : A smile of pleased vanity strayed
into her eyes and out again.
" Yes your Vesuvius, whose eruption I was brute
enough to interrupt. Beastly of me, wasn't it ? "
" Rontivogli seems to annoy you a great deal."
" He? Not in the least." And his tranquil eye
glass affirmed his falsehood. " But I assure you he'll
spout all the fiercer for the interruption. I know
those Southern chaps. I don't wonder we stand no
show against 'em. I tossed the sponge as soon as I
saw what he was about."
They were sitting on the stairs now and could talk
without being overheard. " Possibly you may remem
ber," he went on, " I said something that was rather
important to me last Thursday, down near the mon
ument at half-past six precisely, to be exact I
heard a clock strike as I finished. Do you recall it? 5!
Elsie was puzzled by his light, satirical tone.
" Yes," she said. " I do vaguely recall that you said
" I didn't mean to be vague. But that doesn't
matter now. I see there's no chance for me at pres
ent. And I wished to say to you that at least I shan't
give up our delightful friendship. No matter what
you do with your Italian, you'll feel that I'm your
friend, won't you ? ' : Frothingham said it as if he
meant it ; and to a considerable extent he did mean it
chagrined though he was, he fancied her so little
in the role he had invited her to play that his prospec
tive defeat found him not utterly despondent. He
had reasoned out his course carefully and had come
to the conclusion that his chance lay in posing as
her disinterested friend. Perhaps she would confide
in him, would give him the opportunity to advise and
criticise an admirable position from which to under
mine and destroy his rival.
As Elsie had not fully made up her mind to Ronti-
vogli, and as she saw nothing but advantage to her in
keeping Frothingham " on the string," she responded
to his frank and manly appeal. And she believed
what he said, as she believed pretty much everything
men told her ; and she liked him better than ever. " If
he were only a prince," she said to herself regretfully,
" and had temperament."
That same night she accepted Rontivogli; when
Frothingham came to lunch the next day she told
him. " Well," he drawled, " I can't say I'm shouting
glad. But I can honestly congratulate him. And
I hope you won't regret."
" We're not announcing the engagement for several
days," she said.
" That's good. You don't mind my saying you
know we've agreed to be friends but I think you
your father ought to make careful inquiry about him.
I'm sure everything's all right, but it's prudent."
Elsie smiled. " Oh, we have made inquiries," she
said. " Besides, anyone can see what sort of man he
is anyone but a prejudiced Englishman."
"I don't deny prejudice. Is it surprising?' 1
And he gave her a long look that might have meant
anything or nothing. " But one can't be too care
ful about foreigners."
" Foreigners ! " Elsie laughed with good-hu
moured mockery. " And what are you? '
" Why, an Englishman. We don't count as for
" No but as as " Elsie had " poor relations "
on the tip of her tactless tongue, but she caught it
and changed it to " step-brothers." And she went
on, " Which is much more suspicious."
Frothingham found encouragement in her willing
ness to discuss her fiance with him it showed plainly
how foreign she felt to Rontivogli, how friendly to
him. A few afternoons later it was the day after
the dinner at which her engagement was formally
announced she went with Frothingham to call on
" Madame Almansa " in her surroundings of Spartan
simplicity. They found Ysobel and Boughton there
also, and when Ysobel took Frothingham and Bough-
ton into the small library adjoining the smaller draw
ing room to look at some old prints " Sue " had
brought with her from Spain, Elsie talked with
"Sue " of the engagement.
Madame Almansa was chary of congratulations,
full of cautionings and doubts. " I don't wish to
cast a shadow on your happiness, dear for you are
happy, aren't you? 5:
" Indeed I am," replied Elsie convincingly Ron-
tivogli was an ideal lover ; he could even sing his mad
passion in a voice that was well-trained and thril
" But you know my sad experience." Madame
Almansa sighed like Medea thinking on the treachery
of Jason. Her glance fell upon the engagement ring.
She took Elsie's hand. " How beautiful ! " she ex
claimed. " I love emeralds and that is a magnificent
one. And only a tiny flaw."
Elsie coloured with annoyance. " I think you are
mistaken," she said. " It's a perfect stone."
" Certainly it is perfect, dear," replied Madame
Almansa in her superior, informative tone. " Perfect
for an emerald. But, you know, there are no emeralds
of size anywhere in the world that haven't flaws. At
least, I never heard of one. Emeralds are valuable in
spite of their flaws."
Elsie coloured again, this time with annoyance at
having exposed her ignorance.
" A superb setting," continued Madame Almansa.
" It must be very, very old. I love that kind of set
ting beautifully engraved, dull gold. The only ob
jection is that it's the best kind for deceiving one as
to genuineness, isn't it? One could not tell whether
that stone was genuine or imitation. You know, they
make such wonderful imitations. When I was going
out in the world I had all my best jewels reproduced
in imitation stuff, and usually I wore the imitation.
One felt so much safer."
Elsie drew her hand away, smiling sweetly. She
was inwardly raging "The cat!" she said to her
self. " Clawing me viciously, and purring as if she
hadn't a claw."
She left in a few minutes, Rontivogli calling for
her. To relieve her feelings, and also because she was
in the habit of saying nearly everything that came
into her head, she told him what Madame Almansa
had said, making vigorous comments as she related.
Rontivogli, half turned toward her as they sat side
by side in her victoria, regarded her with his luminous
smile. " That is the way of the world, ma belle et
bonne" he said in his gentlest manner. " It is diffi
cult to harden one's self to such wickedness. But
there is also much that is beautiful and fine. And we
you and I will shut everything else out of our
lives, will we not? "
He made her feel unworthy, almost " common,"
when he talked in that fashion she realised painfully
that she was sadly lacking in " temperament," and
she dreaded that he might find her out.
" The ring," he went on, " has been in the family
for eight hundred years perhaps longer. It is un
changed. No question of its genuineness has ever
been raised, so far as I know. We are not so suspi
cious as some of you Americans."
" She didn't question it's genuineness," replied
Elsie. " She simply wished to make me uncomfortable
with a malicious insinuation. Or, maybe, she was
just talking. It was silly of me to tell you."
He protested that he was not disturbed. But he
seemed unable long to keep off the subject, returning
to it as the cleverest habitual liar will fatuously return
to his unquestioned lie to weaken it by trying further
to bolster it up. So persistent was he that he at last
made her uneasy not that she suspected him, or was
conscious of having been disturbed by his unnecessary
reassurances. The next morning she went down to a
jeweller's in Pennsylvania Avenue she had other
business there and thought it her sole object in
going, forgetting that she had intended to send her
mother. She discussed several proposed purchases
with the manager, whom she knew well. As she talked
she had her elbows on a show case, and her ungloved
hands clasped so that the ring was in full view
curiously, it was not on the engagement finger. He
noted it, thought she wished him to speak of it, be
cause as she exhibited it she often glanced at it.
" Would you mind letting me look at that beauti
ful ring? " he asked.
" Certainly." She drew it off with some nerv
ousness, gave it to him, and, as he looked, watched
him and it alternately with vague anxiety.
" A very old, a very quaint setting," he said, " and
a fine "
He paused ; her mouth was dry and her skin hot.
" A fine stone a beautiful stone," he continued.
" One of the finest I ever saw. The flaw is slight."
Elsie drew a long breath she felt an unaccount
able sense of relief. The manager took his glass, went
to the window, and studied the stone and the setting.
" I'm glad to hear you say the stone's genuine," said
she, now admitting to herself that Madame Alman-
sa's poison had been lurking far down in her mind.
" Someone doubted it, and as it was important to me
to know, I intended to ask you."
" In that case," said the manager, " I feel it's my
duty to tell you the stone's an imitation."
Elsie grew rigid and cold from amazement and
" A good imitation," continued the manager, intent
upon the stone, " but unquestionably not genuine.
The setting makes it additionally deceptive."
" How much is the ring worth? " she asked, gath
ering herself together heroically.
" Well the stone, of course, is worthless a few
dollars. But the setting is old and quite beautiful.
It might bring a hundred or so from a collector if it
hit his fancy and had an authentic history. If the
stone were genuine, the ring would be worth about
five thousand, I should say, as a rough guess."
" Fortunately, I haven't bought it yet," she said
carelessly. And she took it from him and put it in
her pocketbook. " The stone seems to have been un
disturbed in that setting for a long time," she added,
as she closed the pocketbook.
" Oh, there's no telling as to that. It was manu
factured by the newest process. It has been only
two or three years, I believe, since they learned to
put in the flaws so cleverly. They make them very
well in New York now."
" Thank you so much, Mr. Macready," said Elsie.
" You won't say anything about it, will you? "
" You needn't have asked that, Miss Pope," an
swered Macready with a reproachful smile.
" Thank you again," she said. It was not until she
was driving away, that her cheeks began to burn
fiercely and the hot tears of shame and anger to scald
SHE went straight to her father with the whole
story. He listened sitting at his desk, balancing
a broad ivory paper-cutter on his forefinger. She
felt much better when she had finished; her anger
seemed to have been carried off in her words.
After a long silence her father said : " What do you
wish to do? "
She looked foolish. " I don't know, papa," she
said feebly. " What do you think we ought to do? ' !
" He may have been honestly deceived."
" But Mr. Macready said "
" That was merely his offhand opinion," he inter
rupted. " They've been making imitation jewels of
all kinds for years. I know the Italians have long
been clever at it."
Elsie was silent. She could not help remembering
Rontivogli's stupid, over-crafty reiterations. She
knew that he knew.
" And," continued her father, examining the paper-
cutter critically, " there isn't the slightest doubt as to
the genuineness of Prince Rontivogli himself."
Another long silence during which neither father
nor daughter showed the slightest curiosity as to what
thoughts the other's face might be revealing.
" Even if he did wilfully deceive in this not vitally
important matter," continued the aspirant for a
princess-daughter, " I can imagine many extenuating
circumstances. It isn't the young man's fault that
he's poor. It isn't unnatural that he shouldn't wish
to expose his poverty especially if he " the Sena
tor's face took on a smile of fatherly benevolence
" happened to care for the young lady. * All's fair
in love and war,' you know. And we must not judge
harshly those who have less than we have. Still - "
Rontivogli's " temperament " was vigorously rein
forcing his title in repairing the havoc the false jewel
had played with him in Elsie's mind. He had been
a convincing lover ; Elsie had too much vanity and too
much desire to be loved madly not to be a credulous
young woman. " I don't know what to do, papa,"
she said in the tone that proclaims a decision reached
and a wish for support in it.
Perhaps," replied the Senator slowly, the person-
7 can imagine many extenuating circumstances'
ification of forgiving charity, " it might be best to
let the matter drop."
" But I simply can't wear the ring ! I'd feel
such a fraud, and I'd soon be disliking him, though
this may not be at all his fault. Besides, someone
" That could be easily arranged." Her father's
eyes twinkled he was preparing to treat the discov
ered deception as a little private joke on the prince
between his daughter and himself. " We can get
Tiffany to set an emerald in the ring. No one will
know. And some day you can tease him about it. If
he is innocent it would mortify him to learn the truth
now, wouldn't it ? "
Elsie smiled somewhat cheerfully. She was trying
hard to make herself doubt the prince's guilty knowl
edge. " It must be done right away," she said.
She wore her gloves that afternoon. But Ronti-
vogli, with nerves like a sensitive plant's leaves, felt
a change in her, hard though she tried to seem un
changed. In the clear light of hind-sight he had
been cursing himself for saying so much to her of
Madame Almansa's insinuations ; and at first he feared
that by his blundering he had roused suspicion in her.
But she showed that she was still in the mood to marry
him, and the negotiations for settlements went
smoothly on between Senator Pope's lawyer and the
attorney to the Italian Embassy, whom he had en-
aged to represent him. He dismissed his fear as a
wild imagining of guilt and set himself to remove the
coolness just under Elsie's surface of warmth by lav
ishing his " temperament " upon her. And he was re
warded with swift success. A flaw in such a lover was
as inconsequential as a flaw in an emerald and was
it not as much a matter of course?
Toward the end of the week she went with her father
to New York, and in two days Tiffany changed the
setting for a consideration of four thousand eight
hundred dollars. She returned fully restored but
she kept the false stone, hid it far back in the bottom
of her jewel-safe.
The shock and its after-effects were soon over. She
was a little astonished that she, so used to the quaint
ways of foreigners, should have attached importance
to the quaintness of this foreigner a lover who was
fiery and infatuated, a lover who sang, a lover who was
a Prince of a " house " that ruled and plotted and
patronised the arts when Europe beyond the Alps was
a savage wilderness. Rontivogli had not been study
ing women for twenty years or ever since he was
eighteen aided by a classic face, a classic figure, a
classic name, and classic recklessness, without learn
ing thoroughly the business he was now follow
Frothingham had ceased to hope, and, for lack of
any other opening, was arranging to go to Chicago,
there to visit his steamer friend Barney, whom he had
not permitted to forget him Barney had a marriage
able daughter and was rated at eleven millions; also,
Chicago was reputed to be a promising field for titled
foreigners. He felt that he was neglecting business
in lingering at Washington. He saw no signs, heard
no news, of available rich girls or rich men's daugh
ters. Half a dozen questions about any girl and he
would get an answer that would force him to strike
her from his list the father was opposed to large
settlements ; the family was opposed to international
marriages; the family's social ambitions were of the
new cis- Atlantic kind; the daughter was already
engaged; the mother's aim was for princely or ducal
rank. And he was kept in low spirits by the spectacle
of the triumphant Rontivogli and was exasperated by
Elsie's treating him as an object of pity, a rejected
and inconsolable lover.
As he sat alone in a corner of the club, staring
with grim satire into the ugly face of his affairs, upon
him intruded a man whom he had often described as
the most viciously tiresome person he had ever met
Count Eitel zu Blickenstern. He disliked Blicken-
stern because he was a German ; he avoided him because
he was dull, because he was a chronic and ingenious
borrower of small sums of money, and because every
remark that seemed to him to have been intended hu
mourously was hailed by him with a loud, mirthless
laugh the laugh of those who have no notion of wit
or humour and fear their deformity will be discovered.
Frothingham had first met Blickenstern in the
Riviera, where he was living on the last lees of toler
ance. He would have cut him when he ran across him
in New York had he not found him in high favour
with the women who dominated fashionable society.
They admitted Blickenstern as they admitted almost
any of the few available men with no occupation but
idleness. They needed escorts, attendants, fetch-and-
carry men ; Blickenstern was idle and willing, was big
and always well dressed, was useful to do the hard
work of arranging an entertainment once it had been
planned. And his noisy convulsions flattered those
unaccustomed to having their jokes appreciated.
Frothingham's cold stare did not disturb Blicken-
stern, born insensible to mental temperatures. He
posed for a moment to give Frothingham a chance to
admire his fashionable array of new light grey frock
suit, white spats, orchid in buttonhole, and dark red
tie; then he dropped upon the lounge with the good-
natured, slightly condescending greeting he gave men
when he had money in his pockets. He explained
that he had come the night before in a private car with
a party of distinguished New Yorkers who had to
testify before a Senate committee. " And, do you
know," said he his English was idiomatic American
and almost without accent, " the first person I ran into
was that Italian scalawag, Rontivogli."
Frothingham's eyeglass glistened; otherwise he did
not change expression. " D' you know 'im? ' : he
asked languidly. " What '11 you drink? "
" Brandy and soda," replied Blickenstern. " Know
'im? Rather! I'm responsible for him in this coun
try. He landed without a friend and the people he
had letters to shut the door in his face they don't
fancy Italians in New York. I introduced him round
and got him in everywhere. And, by gad, he not only
refused to pay a note he gave me, but when I met him
here last night he stared at me as if he'd never seen me
"Rough, wasn't it?"
Blickenstern laughed cheerfully, without a trace of
irritation. Insults did not disturb him ; he had killed
one man and had wounded several in duels, but he
fought only because it was the " proper thing for a
gentleman " and respect-inspiring in certain coun
tries and in certain circumstances. " I'm off for home
next week," he said, " never to return to this bounder-
land. I think, just before I go, I'll get the face value
of that note and interest and not in money, either."
Blickenstern had several drinks " on " Fro thing-
ham half a dozen in as rapid succession as Frothing-
ham could induce. But he refused to disclose his pro
posed revenge, only chuckled, " I'll bet the dago '11
leave on the first steamer after I sail."
Frothingham got Boughton to attempt Blicken
stern, and Boughton not only tried it himself, but
also put at work a friend of his in the German Em
bassy. Blickenstern, however, would not go beyond
77Z give the guinea one more chance'
wagging his big blond head and saying, " Wait ! I
don't want to spoil the fun." The military attache at
the German Embassy was with him when he met Ron-
tivogli again. " I'll give the guinea one more chance,"
said he, overflowing with good-nature as always when
he had drunk to excess. It was the office of the Shore-
ham, and Rontivogli was on his way out ; Blickenstern
bore down upon him, caught him by the lapel.
" I'm giving you your last chance, Cosimo," he
said. " You'd better pay up."
" If you don't take your hands off" me," exclaimed
Rontivogli in French, " I'll have you put into the
street." The look in his black eyes suggested the glit
ter of a stiletto.
Blickenstern shook him gently. " If you don't pay
that note," he replied with unruffled good nature, " I'll
publish it and the contract also. I'm leaving the coun
try, and don't care what they think of me here. But
you I hear you're about to marry ? "
Rontivogli grew yellow under the bronze of his
clear, pale skin. " I tell you, I can't pay the note.
You know it. You drove me out of New York with
your dogging and dunning me. In a few weeks I can
pay, and will."
" Yes when you're married." Blickenstern
laughed loudly and not hollowly here was a joke he
could see. " What do you think I am an imbecile ?
Don't I know that as soon as you're married you can
snap your fingers and will ? "
Rontivogli disengaged himself and readjusted his
close-fitting coat. " I'm certain you will not lay your
self liable to arrest for blackmail," he said with calm
contempt, and went on to his carriage.
Blickenstern looked after him, nodding and laugh
ing. " Just wait ! " he said, addressing his fellow-
German, and including the curious loungers in the
Frothingham searched for Blickenstern he had a
vague idea of taking him to call at the Popes'. But he
could not find him. He did see Rontivogli, however
one glance was enough to tell him that Blick-
enstern's threats had devoured his high spirits and
were eating into his courage. He waited impatiently
for the explosion a five-days' wait, for it did not
come until the following Tuesday. That morning,
as Hutt went out of his bedroom after fixing his bath,
Joe Wallingford called from their common sitting
" You're awake, aren't you? ' !
" Almost," answered Frothingham.
" Then just read that." He flung a newspaper
through the crack in Frothingham's door onto his
Frothingham took the paper and instantly caught
the names of Rontivogli and Blickenstern in the larg
est headlines. He began eagerly upon a three-column
article, the most of it under a New York date line.
" Ain't that cruel? " caUed Wallingford. " Ain't
it a soaker ? "
" Um," replied Frothingham, too busy to pause.
It was an account of a suit brought by Blicken
stern against Rontivogli to collect a note for twenty-
five hundred dollars. The " sensation " lay in a docu
ment which Blickenstern had attached to the note and
had filed with the papers in the suit a contract, read
I, Cosimo di Rontivogli, hereby agree to pay Count Eitel zu
Blickenstern twenty-five hundred dollars as soon as he has intro
duced me to the persons whose names are written upon the back
of this contract in my handwriting. And I further agree to pay
him an additional twenty-five hundred dollars within one month
after I become engaged to an American lady, whether or not I
am introduced to her by him. And I further agree to pay him
an additional ten thousand dollars within three months after my
marriage with an American lady, whether or not he introduced
me to her.
(Signed) COSIMO DI RONTIVOGLI.
This contract, the newspaper said, was in Ronti-
vogli's autograph, and was witnessed by two clerks at
the Holland House ; on the back of the contract, and
also in Rontivogli's autograph, were the names of
fifteen fashionable and rich New York women. Froth-
ingham glanced at the names he knew the bearers of
most of them and hastened on into Blickenstern's
interview. " In Europe," he had said to the reporter,
" I should call the fellow out and kill him. Here,
where the duel does not exist, I must take the only re
dress open to me for his betrayal of my friendship.
I asked him to pay only the note. In fact he owes me
five thousand, as he is now engaged to a Washington
heiress. He is a black rascal. If you will send to
Milan you can get a fine tale of how he happened to
come to your country. I owe all my American friends
an apology for introducing him. I confess with
shame that but for me he would have known no one."
The article went on with an account of Rontivogli's
engagement to " Miss Elsie Pope, one of the best
known young women in Washington, Philadelphia,
and New York society, the only daughter of Senator
John C. Pope, reputed to be the third richest man in
the Millionaires' Club, as the Senate is called." Then
followed Rontivogli's sweeping denial, and his denun
ciation of the Prussian as a " blackmailer," a " notori
ous card-sharp," a " thorough scoundrel."
When Frothingham finished he said, " Gad, what
a facer for Miss Pope ! "
" Isn't it, though? " replied Wallingford. " And
for her father. I always blame the fathers."
" But I thought it was the mothers who hankered
after European marriages," said Frothingham.
" That's what is usually said," Wallingford an
swered, " because only the mothers appear in the pub
lic part of the business. But who gives up the money
for the settlements ? The women ain't a nose ahead of
the men in the race of snobbishness. Poor little Elsie
Pope! This ought to be a lesson to our girls
He paused abrubtly and reddened, though Froth
ingham could not see him. " I almost forgot that
Frothingham's one of 'em," he said to himself.
Frothingham was grinning in the seclusion of his
bedroom. " I should say so ! " he exclaimed in his
drawling, satirical voice. " Wonder what the Milan
yarn is ? >!
He learned in a few hours, for the Washington
afternoon papers had a long Associated Press despatch
from Milan. Rontivogli, heavily in debt and ruined,
had been backed by a syndicate of his creditors for an
American tour in search of an heiress. They had
risked in the venture forty thousand lire and, within a
month, an additional twenty thousand. They re
garded it as a by no means desperate investment for
the recovery of the very large sum which Rontivogli
had got out of them before they discovered his finan
cial plight certainly with such a title and so much
personal beauty and charm he could win the daugh
ter of one of the multitude of rich men among those
title-crazy American vulgarians. The Milan despatch
set forth that the correspondent had had no difficulty
in getting the facts, as " everyone here knows the
story. The formation of such syndicates is said to
be common in England, France, Germany, Austria,
and Italy, and many of them have been successful."
" Poor Frothingham ! " Wallingford thought as he
read. " This is bad for his business. I fancy it '11 be
many a day before I see my thousand again." And
then he delicately gave Frothingham a hint that if he
needed another thousand he could have it. But Froth
ingham didn't need it just then and, it should be set
down to his credit, he would have hesitated long before
taking it, had he needed it. Wallingford was not
wrong in thinking there had been since he met
Frothingham a marked decline in his " honour as a
gentleman," and a marked rise in his " honour as
Rontivogli went to the Popes' at eleven o'clock that
morning. The look of the flunky who opened the door
foreshadowed to him his fate. He was shown not
into the drawing room, but into a reception room
a small alcove to the left of the door, intended for
wraps rather than for callers. The servant returned
with a package on his tray. " Miss Pope is not at
'ome," he said haughtily, omitting the customary
" Your 'Ighness," and not even substituting so much
as a " Sir " for it, " and she left this to be given to
Rontivogli ignored the impudences of omitting his
title and of addressing him as " you," and took the
package. The servant held aside the portiere with
the broadest possible hint in his face and manner.
" Tell Senator Pope that the Prince di Rontivogli
wishes to see him," said Rontivogli in a tone which at
once reduced the servant, in spite of himself, from a
human being to a mechanical device for the transmis
sion of messages.
When he hesitatingly withdrew Rontivogli opened
the package his ring with the stone unset and loose
in the box. He solved the puzzle almost as soon as it
was presented to him. He scowled, then gave a short,
sneering laugh, put the lid on the box, and thrust it
into the tail pocket of his frock coat.
Senator Pope received him in his study, rising and
bowing without advancing or extending his hand.
He was serious, but bland he did not know how to be
brusque, or even unkind in manner ; he did know how
to be diplomatic.
" I have come, sir, to repel the lies of that infamous
Prussian," began Rontivogli with suppressed passion.
" You will, I trust, not distress me with the painful
subject," said Pope slowly and gently. " We know
that the Count has maligned you. But you, as a gen
tleman, must appreciate how terrible the notoriety is
to us all. I assume that you have come to relieve the
young lady of the embarrassment of the situation."
Rontivogli lost control of himself, raved, paced the
floor, pleaded, denounced, threatened even. But Pope,
sympathetic and in the proper places tenderly sorrow
ful, pressed in upon the Prince his and Elsie's un
changeable determination. At last Rontivogli gave
up the useless battle and drew the box from his pocket.
" Your daughter," he said, " sent me by a servant
this broken ring. The stone has been removed and
to my astonishment I find that a false emerald has been
substituted." His voice and manner were apologetic,
deprecatory, as if Senator Pope owed him an explana
tion which he was loath to demand.
He opened the box and exhibited its contents to
Pope, who looked with polite interest. " The stone
has become detached," was all he said.
" But why was it not returned to me ? " asked Ron
tivogli. " Why this false emerald in its place? "
" It is the same stone," said Pope. His tone was
absent, as if he were thinking of something else.
" It is not ! " Rontivogli's voice was bold and hard,
a covert threat in it.
They looked each the other straight in the eyes
Pope inquiringly, the Prince defiantly. Then Pope
said : " Ah ! Excuse me one moment."
He left the room, muttering as he reached the hall,
" The miserable swindler ! He knows we won't have
any further scandal, no matter what it costs." When
he returned he had in his hand the emerald he and
Elsie had bought at Tiffany's. He laid it on the cor
ner of the desk nearest the nobleman.
" This is a genuine emerald," he said, his voice
neither hot nor cold. " You may take it if you
" I thank you," replied the nobleman with a slight
bow of acknowledgment, as if a wrong to him had
He put the emerald and the ring in his waistcoat
pocket; he put the box, with the false emerald in it,
on the corner of the desk exactly where Senator Pope
had laid the genuine stone. Then he went on, in a
way that was the perfection of courtesy : " May I pre
sume further on your kindness ? This German cur has
placed me in a distressing position. I wish to leave
America at once, to return where a gentleman can
not be thus attacked without defence. Unfortu
nately " He hesitated with a fine affectation of
Senator Pope's eyes were more disagreeable to look
at than any human being had ever before seen them.
" I shall be glad to give you any reasonable assist
ance," he said with resolute self-control.
" You are most kind ! " Rontivogli was almost ef
fusive. " I shall return any advance you may make
as soon as I am at home."
" How much? " asked Pope with a trace of im
" I have many obligations which must be settled be
fore I leave. I had just cabled for a remittance, but
I wish to go before it can arrive. Might I trouble you
for an advance of, perhaps, five thousand I think
that will be enough."
Senator Pope unlocked and opened a drawer, took
out a flat package of bills. " Here is a thousand dol
lars," he said. " I cannot advance you more. And I
trust you will sail the day after to-morrow." He
looked hard at the Prince. " That will spare me the
necessity of making a private appeal to the Italian
Embassy through our State Department."
" You are most kind, mon cher Senator," replied
He put the package of bills in the inside pocket of
his coat. He reflected a few seconds, then took his top
hat. " Will you do me the honour of presenting my
compliments and regrets to Madame Pope and to
Mademoiselle? " he said with steady eyes and elabo
rate politeness. " I thank you again. I regret that
we part in circumstances so unhappy. I shall send
your little advance within the month."
He bowed profoundly, and Senator Pope inclined
his head. He went to the door, turned there, bowed
again. " Au revoir, my dear Senator," he said cor
dially, and was gone a fascinating patrician figure
of handsome ease and dignity.
FROTHINGHAM let three days pass, and on
the fourth called at Senator Pope's. Elsie was
in Philadelphia was visiting an aunt. It had
not occurred to him that she would run away and hide
herself, so little did he think of the matter in any
other light than that of a game between himself and
Rontivogli. He was much upset, and did not know
what move to make next. Fate helped him the even
ing of the same day the mail brought a note from
MY DEAR FRIEND:
I can't help writing to thank you. You warned me, and you
were good and kind about it, and I was very disagreeable. I
should like to say so to you, but I don't suppose you'll be in
Philadelphia, will you ? And it will be many a day before I see
Washington. Indeed, I hope I shall never see it again. I didn't
deserve your friendship. E. W. P.
Frothingham had not reflected on this letter long
before he was telling Hutt to get his belongings to
gether. The next afternoon found him at the Belle-
vue in Philadelphia, and a few hours later he was din-
ing at the Hopkins' with Elsie and her uncle and
aunt. He liked the Hopkinses stiff and shy, but
kindly. He liked the dark furniture, and walls and
woodwork, suggesting old English; liked the faces in
the family portraits English faces; liked surround
ings where there was nothing new or new-fashioned
except his own and Elsie's dress, where there was so
much that was fine as well as old. And he had never
liked Elsie so well as now that she was chastened into
an appealing gentleness and humility.
He saw that he had been right in thinking her note
an apology, and an attempt to recall him. And when
the Hopkinses left them alone in the parlour after
dinner he soon said : " I've come for an answer to that
question I asked you down by the monument."
She hung her head and flushed deeply. " Oh, I
wish to get away from all this," she said in a low
voice. " I'll be glad to go far away far as as you
care to take me."
He sat beside her and took her hand. But he made
no effort to show " temperament." " I'll go back to
Washington and see your father to-morrow if you
wish," he said, after a silence.
" Yes," she replied.
She wrote a long letter to her father as soon as
Frothingham was gone her maid posted it at mid
night. So it came to pass that Senator Pope was ex
pecting him. He received him with the benign court
esy he gave to the humblest negro. He liked Froth
ingham but, for that matter, it was impossible for
him to dislike any member of the human race, even
Rontivogli, or any well-disposed domestic animal ; ever
since he had " gathered his bunch," his content and
complacence had, with a few brief pauses, been bub
bling over in words and acts of kindness. But when
Frothingham said, " I've come to see you, sir, about
something of which I and your daughter have been
talking," his face clouded with a look of apologetic
distress almost the same look as that with which
he had received Rontivogli for the final inter
Frothingham would not have attributed it to em
barrassment had he known Senator Pope better. It
was the look he wore whenever the exigencies of fate
forced him to do anything unpleasant whether to
refuse a small favour, or to cut a rival's throat, or to
scuttle a financial or political ship. For, being a good
man, and a lover of smoothness, it pained him exceed-
ingly to cause his fellow-beings any other emotion
than happiness. In the present instance the cause of
his distress was the discovery that an alliance with no
bility would destroy his chances for the Vice-Presiden
tial nomination which he was plotting to get. He had
not confided his ambition to his closest political lieu
tenant. But when Rontivogli was exposed and cast
out, his colleague and boss had said to him : " I'm
glad to hear you're not going to take a foreign
nobleman into your family, Senator. Until the en
gagement was announced we were hoping you could
be induced to make the race for the Vice-Presidency.
While an Italian wouldn't have been as bad as an
Englishman on account of the Irish vote, I don't think
the party would have stood for even an Italian. The
people don't like that sort of thing."
That settled Senator Pope's aristocratic ambi
" I've come, sir," Frothingham was saying, " to ask
your consent to marrying your daughter."
Senator Pope's eyes swam, so strong was his emo
tion. " I am highly honoured, Lord Frothingham.
But I cannot give you an answer in so important a
matter at once. I must consult with her mother."
Mrs. Pope was a shadowy nonentity, flitting nervously
in the wake of father and daughter.
He detained Frothingham for a long talk on Eng
land and America, and sent him away in an almost
jubilant mood no applicant ever left him downcast.
The next day Frothingham got a telegram from Elsie
asking him to come to her as soon as he could. He
assumed that her father had decided to convey his con
sent through her, and his spirits rose higher. But the
first glimpse of her disturbed him hers was not the
face of a bearer of good news.
" I saw your father," he began.
" Yes," she interrupted. " He has written me."
" Does he consent? "
" Yes and no." She hesitated. " He asked me not
to tell, but I know I can trust you. He has been plan
ning to be nominated for Vice-President. And he has
found that he can't have the nomination if I marry a
titled foreigner especially an Englishman, because
of the Irish. They say it would kill the ticket."
Frothingham retreated behind a vacant look.
" He found it out only a few days ago." She did
not feel equal to telling him that her father had
learned this fatal fact through the exposure of Ron-
tivogli. " So," she ended, " we couldn't marry until
after the election. For he says he's sure of the nom
" And when is this election ? "
" A year from next fall."
Fortunately Frothingham had not the habit of let
ting his face speak for him. After a pause he said:
" But surely you can persuade him."
" It's useless to try. You don't know him as I do.
He seems yielding, and usually he is. But where he's
set he's hard as granite."
" Nearly two years," he repeated. And to himself :
" Impossible ! I might weather six months, but two
years the creditors would laugh at me."
" And I wish to go away at once," she said with a
long sigh, looking at him mournfully.
" I we can't wait two years," he replied.
" We needn't, need we? We might " she be
gan, then halted, blushing vividly.
He pretended not to understand though he did,
for he had already thought of that plan.
" You know I'm of age," she went on, seeing that
he was not going to help her out. " We we needn't
wait for his consent." He did not change expression,
but he was saying to himself, " Here's a mess. She's
so mad to get away that she's ready to do anything."
" I think he'd forgive us," she went on. " But even
if he didn't, I'd never regret."
He knew that he must say something, must say it
quickly, and that it must be appreciative but noncom
mittal. " I couldn't accept such a sacrifice," he said.
" It wouldn't be decent to take advantage of you in
that fashion. I know it sounds unromantic to say it,
but, by Jove, I don't go in for the sort of romance that
makes a fellow a blackguard." And he frankly told
enough of his financial difficulties to make the situation
clear to her. " I believe you can talk your father
round," he ended. " He thinks the world of you."
Elsie smiled melancholy and cynical. " Yes so
long as I don't interfere. But I know how he feels
about the Vice-Presidency. And that that other
affair has made him " She shook her head.
This chilled Frothingham. " He'd never forgive
her if she ran off with me and lost him the office," he
reflected. " Besides, I can't afford to go in without
settlements arranged beforehand. I must chuck it
quick as ever I can."
He urged persuading her father, and she promised
to try. He saw her the next day, and the next, both
afternoons and evenings. On the third day he did not
see her until late in the afternoon her father had
come from Washington, and had spent the morning
with her. And while they were talking Frothingham
was reading a letter from Honoria which had been
languidly pursuing him for a week. Part of it was :
I think you met Cecilia Allerton in Boston. Had you heard
of her bolting with Frank Mortimer ?
" Frank Mortimer ! " he exclaimed, sitting upright
in bed in his astonishment. " That brute with the
big teeth and the empty head ! "
Her father was angry with her for something or other and
Created her cruelly. Everyone was pitying her. Frank fell in
love with her out of sympathy, and she was so miserable that,
when her father wouldn't consent, she ran off with him. Mr.
Allerton has changed his will, they say, leaving everything to
colleges and charities. But Frank has an income and will have
more when his uncle dies, and she has a rich aunt who loathes
her father, and so may leave her something.
Cecilia's quite mad about Frank, now that they're married.
Willie Kennefick was dining with us last night. He says she was
in love with Stanley Huddiford, who died a year or so ago. He
says she believes Stanley's soul has entered into Frank ! She's a
clever girl, they say, but a bit eccentric, like so many of them
down Boston way
Frothingham looked on this news as a direct, provi-
dential warning to him. " I'll take no risks with
Pope," he said. " It would be sheer madness."
And before he left his rooms he wrote to Barney,
fixing the next day but one for his arrival at Chicago.
He felt that there was no hope of winning Pope at
least not at present. " If she by chance succeeds after
I'm gone and I'll leave her in a good humour I can
easily return. But I know there's nothing in it."
Failure was mourning in her eyes when he called at
five o'clock. They went for a walk, and in reluctant
words she told him that her father was immovable, that
their only choice was between disobeying him and
breaking the engagement. She listened coldly while
he explained his position again ; when he had finished
she sneered. " You are unanswerable," she said bit
" No doubt I do lack * temperament,' " he drawled,
an ironic gleam on his eyeglass.
She was humble at once. " Oh I understand," she
But she was too heartsick to talk; and he forgot
that he was walking with her, could only feel ruin's
arm linked firmly in his. It was dusk when they
reached the house.
In the doorway he took her hand and held it.
" I shall see you when I return ? " he asked. " Will
you answer if I write now and then ? "
" Yes," she replied gratefully.
She sent away the servant who came at her ring.
She detained Frothingham, hoping against reason and
instinct that he would tear off that tranquil mask of
his, would forget his responsibilities as the bearer of a
proud and ancient name, would say : " I care for only
you. Come ! " Even after he had left her she lin
gered, holding the door ajar, listening for returning
footsteps. At last she shut the door, and went for
lornly and wearily to her great, lonely, sombre dress
ing room. She stood before the mirror of her dress
ing table, studying her plain, wistful, woeful little
face. " You aren't pretty," she said to it, with that
candour which has its chance in those rare moments
when vanity is quite downcast. " And one can't ex
pect much when men think of nothing but looks in a
woman." She could no longer see herself for tears.
" And I believe he'd have been at least kind to
She rang for her maid, and began listlessly and
mechanically to dress for dinner.
A 1 Chicago Barney came down the platform to
meet Frothingham. " Here you are ! " he ex
claimed. " Six months in the country, but not
a bit changed. And if an American goes over to your
side and stays a week he has to learn the language all
over again when he gets back."
It was still daylight, and Barney told his coachman
to drive home by way of " the store " the great
" Barney and Company Emporium seventy stores
and a bank, three restaurants, a nursery, and an emer
gency hospital, all under one roof." Frothingham
watched the throngs pouring torrent-like through the
canons made by the towering buildings. " Don't it
remind you of New York ? " asked Barney.
" Yes and no," he replied. It seemed to him in
the comparison that New York was a titanic triumph,
Chicago a titanic struggle ; New York a finished or at
least definite creation, Chicago a chaos in convulsion.
There was in the look and the noise of it an indefinable
menace which oppressed him, filled him with vague un
easiness. When Barney told him the site of it was a
swamp a few years before, he thought of a fairy story
his nurse had told him of a magic city that used to
rise from an enchanted morass at dusk, live a single
night, and vanish with the dawn. And as the day
light waned, he wondered whether this inchoate, vol
canic unreality of a city would not soon be again en
gulfed in the bosom of its mother, the swamp. But
he began to note here and there traces of form, civil
ised form, peering from the chaos to indicate the
trend of the convulsion that it was upward, not
" It is tremendous," said Frothingham. " Is it
bigger than New York?"
" No," Barney reluctantly answered. Then he
added with curious, defiant energy : " But it will be !
And it's American, which New York ain't. It's full of
people that think for themselves, and do as they
d n please. We ain't got many apes out here.
We run more to humans."
They were now driving past Barney and Company's
a barrack-like structure, towering story on story
from a huge base bounded by four streets, where
surged a seemingly insane confusion of men, women,
children, horses, vans, automobiles, articulate in the
demoniac voices of boys shrieking extras and drivers
bawling oaths. And the sky blackened suddenly, and
from the direction of the lake came a storm, cruelly
cold, bitter as hate, seizing the struggling, swearing,
shouting mass of men and animals, lashing it with
whips of icy rain, and pelting it with bullets of hail.
" That's my little place," said Barney, pride ooz
ing through his offhand tone.
" It's tremendous," was all Frothingham could say.
The " Emporium " and its surroundings dazed him.
He muttered under his breath, " And it's Hell."
Barney told the story of creation as it read for him.
He had been a drummer for a suspender house
eighteen hundred a year for touring the cities and
towns of northern Indiana and Illinois; four thou
sand dollars put by after twelve years of toil; eyes
ever alert for a chance to go into business on his own
account. One of his towns was Terre Haute he called
it Terry Hut. In it was a dry-goods shop kept by a
man named Meakim. Barney found that of all the re
tailers he visited, Meakim was by far the shrewdest,
the most energetic, and, above all, that he had an
amazing talent for " dressing " his show windows and
show cases. He persuaded Meakim to sell out and ad
venture Chicago with him. They set up in a small
way, and in an obscure corner. But both toiled ; Bar
ney was shrewd and almost sleepless, and Meakim
" dressed " the windows and displayed the goods on
and over the counters. They prospered, spread too
rapidly for their capital, failed, gathered themselves
together, prospered again. " I've built three stores
in fourteen years," said Barney. " This last one was
finished only five years ago the year Meakim died.
And already it's too small we're moving our whole
sale department to another building."
Presently they were in Michigan Avenue and at
Barney's house. It was a mass of Indiana limestone
which he with the assistance of a builder, audaciously
" branched out " as an architect had fashioned into
a fantastic combination of German mediaeval fortress
and Italian renaissance villa. " Here's where I live,"
said Barney as the carriage stopped before the huge
doors studded with enormous bronze nails. " And
don't you dare back up Nelly when she jeers about it.
She says she can't look at it without laughing, or come
into it without blushing. I suppose it is no good, in
the way of art. But it keeps out the rain, and that's
the main point in a house, ain't it? ' !
As he was getting out his keys the door was
opened by a maid in a black dress, a white apron and
cap. " Jessie," said he, in a tone which suggested that
she might be his daughter, " this is the Earl of Froth-
ingham, and I want you to take good care of him,
and of the young man who's coming with his trunks."
Frothingham took off his hat and bowed vaguely
to the maid, who smiled cordially. " I'll show you
your room," she said.
" Never mind, Jessie," interrupted Barney. " You
needn't bother. I'll take him up myself. But I
know everything's all right Nelly looked after that."
Frothingham was impressed by the astonishing dif
ference between the exterior and the interior of the
house. He felt at home at once in this interior hand
some, cheerful, the absurd splendours of the architect-
builder's devising softened into comfort and good
taste. " We thought you'd like your young man
near you," explained Barney, " so we put a bed in the
" Thank you," replied Frothingham. " This is
" Nelly knows her business." Barney's good-
natured face, with its many dignifying scars from his
wars with destiny, beamed paternal enthusiasm. " You
needn't dress for dinner unless you want to," he went
on. " I never do unless we have company or I go out
somewhere to something swell and formal. Wickham
sometimes does and sometimes don't."
" I think I'll dress, if you don't mind," said Froth-
" Suit yourself. This is Liberty Hall. We ain't
got any rules." He looked at his watch. " That
clock on the mantel there is four minutes fast. It's
seven minutes to seven by the right time. We're hav
ing dinner at half -past seven, but you can come down
just as soon as you feel like it."
Frothingham descended at five minutes before the
dinner hour and found Nelly alone in the front par
lour. Superficially she was like the women he had met
in the Eastern cities. Like them she was dressed in a
gown obviously imported from Paris; like them she
wore it as only American and French women wear their
clothes. He saw instantly that she was a well-bred
girl of a most attractive American type. She was
tall and long of limb her arms were almost too long.
Found Nelly alone in the front parlour
She had a great deal of dark brown hair shading
fascinatingly into black here and there. She had
dark eyes not brown, as he at first glance thought,
but dark grey a humour-loving mouth, a serious
brow, a clear, delicate, olive skin. As she and Froth-
ingham were shaking hands, her father and her
brother entered the brother, Wickham, a huge fel
low, topping his father by several inches and having
his father's keen, good-natured dark grey eyes and his
father's features, except that the outline was more
refined without being less strong.
Barney put his arm round his daughter and, with
a foolish-fond expression, said : " Didn't I tell you,
Frothingham? Wasn't I right? "
If Frothingham had been new to " the States " he
would have thought this the strongest kind of a bid
for him to enter the family. But he understood the
American character in its obvious phases now. " The
old chap's mad about her," was all Barney's speech
suggested to him. " And," he admitted to himself,
" I think he has reason to be. She's got the look I
like." He noted the humourous comment on her
father's flattery in Nelly's dark eyes, as he examined
her through his eyeglass with ostentatiously critical
minuteness. " Quite up to the mark, I should say,"
he replied with polite audacity, adding apologetically,
" though I don't pretend to be an expert."
" You see, I did put on my dress suit, after all,"
said Barney, looking down at his old-fashioned, ill-
fitting evening clothes. " The children would have
it. I always feel like a stranded fish in these togs.
You see, I never wore 'em in my life till I was past
Wickham looked a little nervously at Frothingham ;
Nelly was smiling with frank amusement. Then
Wickham looked ashamed of himself but he care
fully observed the peculiar stripes down the legs of
Frothingham's trousers and the curious cut of his
waistcoat and coat " I must find out who's his tailor,"
he thought. " Poole don't send me over the real
thing. I wish I dared wear a monocle. It's a whole
outfit of brains and manners by itself. I don't be
lieve he takes it out, even at night."
A maid announced dinner not " Dinner is served,"
but " Dinner, Mr. Barney." And Barney jumped up
with, " I'm glad to hear it. I'm hungry as a wolf."
The dining room was done in old English fashion
and the dinner, too, though an American would have
called it the American fashion. The feature of its
four courses was a huge roast, set before Barney on
a great platter, with a mighty carving knife like a
cimetar and a fork like a two-pronged spit. Barney
himself carved an energetic performance, lacking
in grace perhaps, but swift and sure. On the table
between him and the platter was a pile of plates. He
put a slice of the roast into the top plate and the
waitress removed it, carried it to Nelly's place and set
it down before her. This was repeated until all were
Frothingham watched Barney's movements atten
tively, surprised that any of the American upper
classes condescended to eat in such simplicity. He
was almost startled when a bottle of wine was brought,
for he had not forgotten Barney's denunciation of
drink and drinkers. He had seen so many concessions
of real or reputed principle for his benefit since he
had been moving about in American " high life " that
he was somewhat cynical as to principle in America.
But he had not expected to find this degree, or even
kind, of weakness in Barney. " He told me he
wouldn't permit the stuff to come into his house," he
thought, laughing to himself. Then he noticed that
none of the family drank it. One taste was enough
for him " No wonder he's opposed to wine," he said
to himself. Then aloud : " If you don't mind, I'll
just take whiskey a little Scotch."
Barney showed amused embarrassment; Nelly and
Wickham laughed. " We don't have anything to
drink," she explained. " Father doesn't approve.
But he told us you'd been brought up differently
that you must have wine. So we've got wine, but
there isn't any whiskey."
Frothingham looked vague he was relieved to find
that his friend Barney was not quite so weak as he had
feared. " It doesn't in the least matter," he replied.
" I shall get on famously with this."
" I'll take you down to the club after a while," said
Wickham, " and you can have all you want. And
to-morrow eh, father? "
" Yes yes of course," answered Barney. " I
never do try to put on style that I don't get
He winked at one of the maids significantly, and
when she drew near and bent her head whispered to
her. She left the dining room ; in about five minutes
she reappeared with a decanter of Scotch whiskey, a
tall glass, a bowl of ice, and a bottle of imported soda
on her tray.
" Why, father ! " exclaimed Nelly, " where did that
come from ? "
Barney beamed, triumphant. " We've got neigh
bours, haven't we? ' :
"But what will they think of you?" she asked,
pretending to be shocked.
" I don't know and I don't care," he answered.
" I never did spend much time in worrying about what
my neighbours thought of me. Probably that's why
we're here, and not in the poorhouse."
After dinner Frothingham stayed with Nelly in the
parlour instead of going to the club with Wickham.
He had found many girls in America who thought
they were natural or who affected naturalness as a
pose: but here was the first girl, it so happened, who
was really natural, without thinking anything about
it. She had all the charm of the girls of his own coun
try for him he liked ingenuousness ; and in addition
she had the charm of knowledge. She knew the world,
but she looked at it with ingenuous eyes and he
would not have believed this a possible combination.
" How do these Americans manage it? " he said to
himself. " Her father comes from well down in the
lower classes, yet he has all the assurance of an aris
tocrat. And as for the girl, she reminds me of Evelyn
" Do you know," he said to her, " you don't suggest
an American girl at all that is, you do and you don't.
You women over here are cleverer than ours, but a
good many of 'em lack a certain something a I
don't know just what to call it. It seems to me that
well, they are ladies, of course. But many of 'em
not all but a great many of those I've chanced to
meet make me feel as if they were not exactly sure
of themselves, as if they were trying to live up to
something they'd read about or seen somewhere. I
don't know that I make myself clear."
" Perfectly," replied Nelly. " You mean that they
act as if they weren't satisfied with being the kind of
lady they were born, and are trying to be some other
kind and don't succeed at it especially well."
" Exactly," said Frothingham. " I feel like say
ing to them, * Oh, come now, chuck it, won't you, and
let's see what you're really like.' But you you re
mind me of our women, except that they're so ghastly
dull the most of 'em. Gad, they sit about in the
country until they're feeble-minded. After a certain
age, about all there is left of 'em is the match-making
instinct. You'd understand if you'd been over there."
" I have been there," answered Nelly. " I spent
more than a year in Europe nearly half of it in your
country. I liked it, but well, one likes one's own
country best, of course."
" I thought you American women preferred the
" Oh, a few of us do those who aren't happy un
less they have somebody bowing and scraping to them
or are bowing and scraping to somebody. You know,
the poor we have always with us the poor in spirit
as well as the other kind of poor."
Before they had talked an hour Frothingham felt
that the outlook for his campaign in the Barney house
was not promising. Nelly was frank and friendly,
and he saw that she liked him. But there was some
thing in her atmosphere which made him know that
she cared little for the things which were everything
to him and which must be everything to the woman he
might hope to win. He feared that she was not for
him. " She ain't in my class or perhaps I'd better
say, I ain't in hers."
When Wickham came, at half -past ten, she left
them. After suppressing yawns for fifteen minutes
he said : " I'm off to bed. I was at a dance last night
and owe myself five hours sleep. You see, father and
I get up at half-past six. We have to be at the store
At the store ! At eight ! " And he hasn't in the
least the look of that sort of chap," thought Froth-
ingham. As for rising at half-past six, one might do
it to hunt or shoot. But to do it morning after morn
ing " merely to set a lot of bounders to selling a lot
of cloth " preposterous !
1 266 ]
ATER a few days of Chicago Frothingham
felt utterly out of place. There were no
idlers, no idling places. To idle meant to sit
in lonely boredom.
Barney and his son were busy all day they
grudged the half-hour of that precious time of theirs
which they spent at luncheon. Nelly, too, had her
work some sort of a school she was running, away off
somewhere in the poorer part of the town. He was
sensitive enough soon to discover, in spite of her cour
tesy, that he was interrupting her routine seriously and
was in the way to becoming a burden. He saw as much
of her as he dared she had for him a charm that be
came the more difficult to resist as his hope of winning
her decreased. He relieved her of himself during her
busy hours so tactfully that she did not suspect him
of penetrating what she honestly tried to conceal.
He betook himself to the club. It was usually de
serted ; if a man did enter, he raced through and away
as if pursued by demons; at luncheon all ate as if
struggling for a prize offered to him who should chew
the least, swallow the fastest, and finish the soonest.
He called on the women he met they were out or just
going out, or just coming in to busy themselves at
In New York, Boston, Washington he had thought
the leisure class a lame imitation of the European
class of industrious, experienced idlers, had found it
small and peculiarly unsatisfactory because its men
were inferior to its women in numbers and especially
in brains. But here there wasn't a pretence of a
leisure class except the loungers in the parks; and
they were threatening, so it was said, to organize and
do all sorts of dreadful things if they weren't given
something to do. " This is a howling wilderness," he
said to himself. " I should be better off in a desert.
These lunatics make my head swim."
Wherever he went, all seemed possessed of and pur
sued by fever-demons. If it was a dinner, the diners
were eager to despatch it. The courses were served
swiftly, the waiters snatching one's plate if he for a
second ceased the machine-like lifting of food; the
conversation was nervous and in the shrill tones of
acute mental excitement. Words were cut short and
slapped together almost incoherently. Sentences were
left unfinished, the speaker leaping on to another sen
tence or submerged by the breaking of the flimsy
speech-dam of the person he was addressing. Often
all were talking at the same time. " Surely you can
listen as you talk," said a woman to whom he com
plained. " Think how much time it saves ! "
If it was a dance, the orchestra detonated the notes
like cartridges from a Maxim gun ; the dancers whirled
or raced furiously. " Why this hurry ? " he gasped
to a handsome, powerful girl, who had dragged him
round a ballroom twice, had flung him into a chair,
and was dashing away with another man to finish the
" I've got to catch the train for the millennium,"
she screamed back over her shoulder and disappeared
in the maelstrom.
Even at the play the audience shuffled uneasily while
the players sped through their lines or the orchestra
rattled off the between-the-acts music ; and afterward
all rushed from the theatre as if it were afire. The
blank expression habitual to Frothingham's face was
now less a disguise than a reflection of his internal
" I must get out of this," he said to himself at the
end of two weeks. " The disease may be catching.
Now I understand that fellow who went from here to
tear London up by the roots and put in his tuppenny
tubes. A Chicagoan should be barred from a country
like any other plague." And he wrote his sister that
he was " beginning to twitch with the Chicago dis
Evelyn had written him regularly a letter by each
Wednesday's steamer. She had put a brave face
upon their affairs, had tried to make him picture life
at Beauvais House as smooth, almost happy. But
he had more than suspected that a far different story
ran between the lines; and when she wrote that she
had engaged herself to Charley Sidney he under
Seven months before he would have grumbled and
cursed, and would have accepted the sacrifice. Now,
it roused in him a fierce protest, a feeling of abhor
rence of which he would not have been capable before
he visited America and the Barneys. " She sha'n't
sell herself to that creeping cad," he said, and on im
pulse he cabled : " Sidney impossible and unnecessary.
You must break it. Answer."
The answer came a few hours later : " Shall do as
Instead of being relieved he repented his impulse,
wondered where it had come from, fell into a profound
depression. Seven months of stalking; nothing to
show for it but three ridiculous, sickening misses.
And here he was with an empty bag; and what little
heart he once had for the game was gone ; in its place
a disgust for it and for himself. " How Nelly Bar
ney would scorn me if she knew what a creature I am,"
he said. He was now thinking a great deal on the
subject of Nelly Barney's standards for men and also
on the subject of Nelly Barney as a standard for
women. In neither direction did he find any encour
agement. He knew her through being in the same
house with her day after day, through seeing her at
all hours and in all moods and she never made the
slightest attempt to conceal her real self. He felt
that such a woman could not be attracted by his title,
would not be likely to be attracted by himself ; he felt
that she was at the same time more worth the winning
than any other woman he knew in America " Yes,
or in England," he confessed at last.
"What a pity, what a beastly, frightful shame,"
he thought. " She's got everything that I must have,
and everything that I want, too."
But he had only twelve hundred dollars left, includ
ing the thousand from Wallingford. " I must be
gone clean mad," he exclaimed whenever he wasn't
with her and was alone with his affairs. Finally he
was able to goad himself into dashing feverishly about
in Chicago society. He sought the set she avoided
it was to him an additional charm in her that she did
avoid it, for he had at bottom the extra-prim ideas
of women which have never lost their hold upon Eng
lishmen. There was, however, no alternative to seek
ing this set. He thought it the only one in which he
was likely to succeed those among the fashionable
young women of the rich families who carried the
" free and easy '" pose in speech and manner to the
point where it looked far worse to a foreigner than it
really was, who laughed and talked noisily in public,
who wore very loud and very clinging dresses, very
big hats and very tight shoes.
The newspapers gave him columns of free advertis
ing and, with the Barneys vouching for him and
" Wick " Barney pushing him, he immediately became
a figure. Some of the young women of the " lively ' !
set pursued him with an ardour which he would have
mistaken when he first landed for evidence of serious
attachment or intentions. But he had learned some
thing of the ways of American flirts, married and
single, and he had had experience of that American
curiosity as to foreigners of rank which he had at first
regarded as the frankest kind of title-worship.
Presently he found a girl he thought he could not
be mistaken in fancying he could get Jane or Jenny
(Jeanne, she wrote it) Hooper, the daughter of that
famous Amzi Hooper whose " Hooper's High-class
Hams " and " Hooper's Excelsior Dressed Beef and
Beef Extract " are trumpeted from newspaper, bill
board, and blank wall throughout the land.
Her older sister had married a Papal duke under
the impression that he was a noble of ancient and
proud family. To her horror, to her family's humil
iation, and to her friends' hilarity, it came out that
the Duke of Valdonomia was the son of a Swiss hog-
packer of as humble origin as Amzi Hooper and of less
than one-fifth his wealth. The family longed to pos
sess a genuine nobleman, and Jane, a devourer of the
English novels which are written by the middle
classes for the middle classes about the upper classes
seemed to be in sympathy with her father's and
mother's ambition and keenly eager to become a " real
lady." It was assumed by her set that Frothingham
had come for her the newspapers hinted as much
several times each week.
But Frothingham, grown extraordinarily sensitive,
shied at the amazing high heels on which she tottered
like a cripple, at the skin-like fit of her clothes, at the
suspicious brilliance of her cheeks and blackness of
her brows and lashes. Whenever she spoke to him
suddenly in her shrill dialect he felt as if a file had
been drawn across his pneumogastric nerve. And
she constantly used a slang expression which seemed
to him in her the essence of vulgarity. She could
not speak ten sentences without saying that she or
somebody or everybody had nearly or quite " thrown
It struck him as a biting irony of fate that the
woman whom of all he knew well in America he least
approved should be the one who was frankly throwing
herself at his head in his hour of desperation. When
he learned that her father was an Englishman born
and bred in the " lower middle class," he felt that he
had solved the problem of the family's over-eager-
ness to get him. " That's why the old beggar almost
cringes as he talks to me," he said to himself.
" D n their impudence ! " And the next time he
met Hooper he treated him not as an American and
an equal, but as an Englishman and an inferior. And
Amzi at once fell into his " place," just as a car horse,
though elevated to be a coach horse, will halt at one
ring of a bell. " It's in the blood," thought Froth-
ingham. " It can't be hid or got out." But he
didn't venture the experiment with the daughter.
The climax came one morning when he met her by
chance in the Lake Park Drive. She was perched
high on a red and black dog-cart in which she was
driving a bay and a gray tandem. Her hat was the
biggest he had seen her wear, and she was swathed
in a silver-grey dust-coat with a red embroidered col
lar. She stopped and invited him to join her.
" I needed you to complete my turnout," she said,
when they were under way. Her dazzling smile took
part of the edge off her unconscious insolence or
was it conscious? He found her a puzzle, with her
flashes of good taste and flashes of good sense, with
her wit that seemed accidental and her folly that
seemed her real self.
He set his teeth and tried to think only of how much
" I need her to complete my turnout," and of how
pretty she was for there was no denying her beauty,
or her style for that matter, in spite of its efflo
rescence. He saw that everyone was looking at them,
but he did not appreciate that his own striking cos
tume and his eyeglass were as magnetic as were her
hat, her bright skin, and her dust-coat with its gaudy
collar. She was supremely happy. The most con
spicuous girl in Chicago, driving with the most con
spicuous man, in the most conspicuous trap and on
the most conspicuous highway what more could a
young woman ask?
" Wonder why everyone stares so ? " she said with
deliberate intent to provide an opening for compli
ment. She wished to hear him say the flattering
things she was thinking about herself.
" I fancy they're staring at what I can't take my
eyes off of," he replied. " You do look swift this
" Swift ! I don't like that." She was frowning.
" You Englishmen come over here and think you can
say what you please."
" I can't see where's the harm in telling a girl
she's pretty and well got up, and looks a stun
" That isn't what ' swift ' means in Chicago."
" Really ! You don't say ! That's what it means
" But you're not in London."
" No." His tone strongly suggested a wish that
"Wouldn't it be jolly if this were Hyde Park!"
He did not show enthusiasm at this but then his
face was made to suppress, not to express, emotion.
" I simply adore London," she went on.
" It ain't bad for a while, now and then."
" There's so much atmosphere about London I
don't mean the fog and soot. Here, they're all crazy
about making money and working and all those kind
of things. Whereas, over there, everybody's for hav
ing a good time and all those kind of things. Some
times I think I'll throw a fit if I don't get away from
He looked gloom, then brightened yes, she was
tremendously pretty, and her mouth was like a red-
ripe cherry ; yes, she might be toned down into a fairly
decent countess. " They're quick to adapt them
selves, these American girls. The minute she sees
Evelyn she'll begin to learn."
" I don't see how you stand it," she continued.
" When are you going away ? Not that I sha'n't be
sorry you've been awfully nice to me, and I like to
see a really well-dressed man once in a while."
" Ah, I don't mind it here." He paused for fully a
minute, then said : " And I'd like it, you know, if I
could take you with me when I go." He followed
this speech with a slow turning of the head until his
eyeglass was full upon her. " By Jove, her colour's
genuine," he said to himself.
She had been happy a few minutes before; now
she was all thrills and palings and flushings of ecstacy.
She glanced at her conquest with sparkling eyes and
laughing lips. . She made him forget what " bad
form " he had been thinking her. " Is that a joke? "
she asked, as if she were assuming that it was.
" We don't go in for joking about that sort of
thing where I come from," he drawled.
" But you oughtn't to have said it here." She
was radiant, but her hands were trembling it seemed
most romantic to her, quite like a chapter out of a
novel. Nobility and titles and genuine aristocracy,
that not only recognised itself, but also was recognised
as aristocracy by everybody, seemed to her as dream
like as fairyland. " And he does so look the part ! "
. she said to herself. " Anyone could see that he is the
" If you'll drive home I'll ask you again there,"
And he did, and she accepted him ; and he was half
way to Barney's before he came from the spell of her
fresh young beauty and her frank admiration of him,
and began to think of Nelly and to see Jeanne from
Nelly's standpoint again. At that moment Jeanne
was busily telephoning her engagement to her inti
mates, her head full of castles and coronets and crests
and peeresses' robes. It seemed to her that she could
not wait to begin her triumph the congratulations of
friends, the receptions, dinners, dances in honour of
her and her fiance, the flare of newspaper brasses, the
big wedding, and the crescendo of her gorgeous entry
into English society as Countess of Frothingham. Cin
derella was no more enraptured when the prince lifted
her from the ashes than was Jenny Hooper with her
ill-fed and exuberant imagination, her ill-directed
and energetic ambition, her ill-informed and earnest
conception of " being somebody."
" And he's coming to see you to-morrow, pa," she
said to Amzi Hooper, after delighting his ears with
the great news. " He says your consent is necessary
before the engagement's announced."
" I guess he and I won't quarrel over it, Jenny," re
plied her father. " If he suits you, I can stand him."
Frothingham came the next afternoon and made
his formal request. Mr. Hooper shook hands with
him cordially. " I guess my girl knows what she's
about," said he. " I'm pleased to have you as a son."
" Thanks," replied Frothingham he could not al
together banish from his manner the instinctive
haughtiness of English upper class toward English
lower class. " When could you receive my representa
tive? Or shall I send him to someone who represents
Mr. Hooper looked embarrassed and rubbed his jaw
bone vigorously with his thumb and forefinger.
" Yes yes certainly any time you say. I'll talk
to him, myself. Can he come to-morrow? I don't
think it '11 take him long to satisfy me you're all
Frothingham stared, thinking " D n his impu
dence ! " He said only, " To-morrow, at eleven,
then," shook hands as warmly as he thought wise,
and went back to the parlour where Jeanne was wait
ing for him.
Frothingham's " representative " was Lawrence,
attorney to the British Consulate at Chicago, a
brother of Gerald Boughton's mother. He had
come to America thirty years before because he
could make a living here and could not make a
living at home. He had renounced allegiance to the
British throne because by doing so his income was
doubled. But at heart he regarded himself as a Brit
ish subject and, while he pretended to be an American,
was so savagely critical of things American that
everyone disliked him. He wore the long, slim side-
whiskers which were the fashion when he left home;
he talked with the lisp then affected as the " hall
mark " of a gentleman. He disliked Americans ; he
despised Anglo-Americans of the Hooper type;
Hooper himself he loathed as an intolerable upstart,
successful where he, of the " upper class," was barely
able to keep chin above water.
When he came into Hooper's study at the hour fixed
by Frothingham he was an accurate representation of
the supercilious, frozen-faced " swell " of the Picca
dilly district a quarter of a century before. Hooper
knew that he was of the " upper class," but had not
the faintest deference for him. Hooper had been
Americanised to the extent of caring nothing for
mere family. It took a title to stir his dormant in
stincts of servility ; the untitled Lawrence was a man
to be judged by American standards, as he understood
them. Lawrence was not a millionaire and not on the
way toward that goal of every rational ambition;
Hooper, therefore, had no more respect for him than
he had for any other " failure."
" You've come to explain about the Earl of Froth
ingham," began Hooper in the arrogant voice he used
at business. " But it's not necessary. I'm well in
formed as to Lord Frothingham's family and am satis
fied he's what he represents himself to be."
Lawrence combed his long lean " Dundrearys " with
his slim white fingers. The joy of battle gleamed
in his eyes. " I can't imagine," he replied he had
a broad accent and drawl, said " cawn't " and
" fawncy " " why you should fancy I came here to
insult Lord Frothingham, whose representative I have
the honour to be."
"Insult? What do you mean, Mr. Lawrence?"
demanded Hooper, his voice courageous, but not his
Lawrence felt he had been right in thinking that
no American would negotiate for the purchase of a
title unless he were at bottom a " grovelling snob."
" There could not be a question of Lord Frothing-
ham's character," he said. " And as for his family,
there's none more illustrious in England."
" Certainly, certainly. I admitted all that. I as
sumed that Lord Frothingham was sending you
through over-anxiety not unnatural when he's so far
" My business with you, Mr. Hooper," continued
Lawrence, " relates to settlements." Hooper's pre
tence " the shallow device of a bargain-hunter "
Hooper waved his hand a broad, thick, stumpy-
fingered hand. " Oh, I've no doubt Lord Frothing
ham will do the right thing by my daughter. And
besides, I intend to do something for her no one ever
accused Amzi Hooper of stinginess."
" That is gratifying," said Lawrence. " We shall
no doubt have not the slightest difficulty in reaching
an understanding. What, may I ask, is the aw
extent of the settlement you purpose to make upon
your daughter and and Lord Frothingham."
Hooper's face grew red. " You may ask, sir, but
I'll not answer. I'm not in the habit of discussing my
private affairs with awe/body."
Lawrence was angry also " the fellow's taking me
for a fool," he thought. But he knew he must control
himself, so he answered smoothly : " This is extraor
dinary most extraordinary, Mr. Hooper. You've
had some experience aw in foreign marriages "
Hooper dropped sullenly before this poisoned shaft.
" And," continued Lawrence, " you must know that
settlements are the matter of course."
" No, sir ! " exclaimed Hooper, pounding the desk,
" I know nothing of the sort. When my oldest daugh
ter married they talked to me about settlements, but I
refused to have anything to do with it."
Lawrence, in fact all Chicago, knew that Hooper,
who was not nearly so rich then, had settled a quarter
of a million upon the Papal nobleman and half a mill
ion on his daughter, and had engaged to settle a
You may ASK, sir, but I'll not answer 9
quarter of a million more upon the first male child of
the marriage. " We should, of course, not be satis
fied with the settlements you made upon the Duke of
Valdonomia," said he, ignoring Hooper's falsehood.
Hooper winced, looked bluster, thought better of it,
said quietly : " You've been misinformed, Mr. Law
rence. I made no settlements. But I gave the young
people enough to set them up comfortably j"
" Lord Frothingham's position forbids him to con
sider any such arrangement as that, Mr. Hooper.
You know how it is with the great families. They
have station, rank, tradition to maintain. They "
" I won't bribe any man to marry my daughter.
That ain't the American way." This was said, not
fiercely, but, on the contrary, in a conciliatory tone
Lawrence sneered inwardly at this " cheap clap
trap," and said : " That's sound and eminently
creditable to you, sir. But you will bear in mind that
Lord Frothingham is an English nobleman, the head
of a distinguished family, and that your daughter is
about to become his Countess, an Englishwoman, the
mother of a line of English noblemen. Do I make my
self clear? "
" Perfectly. Perfectly. And I've not the least ob
jection to doing what's right. I want to make it clear
that I'm giving only out of generosity and affection,
and a desire to see my girl properly established."
" No one who knows you will doubt that," said
Lawrence so blandly that Hooper could find no
fault, could not understand why he was irritated.
" And now that we're on common ground I hope you'll
give me some aw data so that I may draw up the
" Has Frothingham any debts ? '' asked Hooper
abruptly, after a thoughtful pause.
" There are about fifteen thousand pounds of per
sonal obligations," replied Lawrence carelessly, " and
a matter of perhaps a hundred thousand pounds as a
charge on the entailed estate. I understand the en
tailed part is all that's left ; but the estates can be,
should be, restored to what they were until a hundred
or a hundred and fifty years ago."
" Um ! " muttered Hooper.
" The debt represents, I believe," continued Law
rence, " the wild oats and careless management of
previous generations. The present Earl has been
remarkably steady, they tell me, considering his sta-
tion and opportunities, and the example of his father
Hooper had read with an attention that made his
memory leechlike every word of every sketch of Froth-
in gham and the Gordon-Beauvais family in the Chi
cago papers. Lawrence's aristocratic allusions were,
therefore, full of suggestion and moved him pro
foundly. " Well," said he, " I should say, in round
numbers, that a million would straighten the
young man out and set them housekeeping in good
There was a queer gleam in Lawrence's eyes as he
replied : " Very handsome, Mr. Hooper. Most satis
factory. Your daughter can take the position in Eng
land to which the Earl's rank entitles her." He
looked as if he were reflecting; then, as if thinking
aloud : " Let me see a million pounds five mill
Hooper sprang to his feet. " You misunderstood
me, Mr. Lawrence," he protested angrily, but nerv
ously. " My daughter will have that perhaps more
than that ultimately. But I meant dollars, not
Lawrence put on a expression of amazement. " I
beg your pardon, Mr. Hooper, but really really
you can't mean that. Two hundred thousand pounds
would barely fetch them even. They'd have nothing
to live on."
" Oh, of course I don't mean that I'd not give 'em
anything in addition. We were talking only of set
" Certainly. And you must see, Mr. Hooper, that
it would be impossible for us to accept any settlement
so inadequate. Some misfortune might overtake you
and you would be unable to carry out your present
" A million dollars is a big sum of money. It looks
even bigger in England than here."
" But you are making a great alliance. A million
dollars is a small sum in the circumstances I mean,
in view of the necessity of enabling your daughter to
take all that her position as Countess of Frothingham
entitles her to."
" Permit me to ask," said Hooper with some sar
casm, but not enough to conceal his anxiety, " what
did Lord Frothingham expect in the way of settle
ment ? " The multi-millionaire had developed two
powerful passions with age avarice and social ambi-
tion. These were now rending each the other and both
were rending him.
" Lord Frothingham, of course, did not discuss the
matter with me a gentleman is, naturally, delicate in
matters of money. He simply stated the posture of
his affairs and left me in full charge. When I sug
gested to him that eight hundred thousand pounds
would be adequate, he protested that that was too
much. * I wish Mr. Hooper to appreciate that it is
his daughter I want,' said he. * Make the least pos
sible conditions. I'd be glad to marry her without a
penny if my position permitted. It's hard to have to
consider such things at this time,' he said. * I'm sure
we can pull through with seven hundred thousand.'
I did not and do not agree with him, but I assented be
cause I knew that you would liberally supplement the
Every sentence in that speech exasperated Mr.
Hooper perhaps Lawrence's persistence in express
ing himself in pounds instead of in dollars most of all.
Pounds made the huge sum demanded seem small,
made his resistance seem mean and vulgar. He re
flected for several minutes. " I won't do it ! " he said
in a sudden gust of temper. " Half that is my final
figure. I'll settle the obligations the five hundred
and seventy thousand dollars and I'll entail five hun
dred thousand and give Jenny five hundred thousand
for her lifetime, it to go afterward to the younger
Lawrence combed his whiskers with his fine fingers,
shaking his head slowly as he did so. " But, Mr.
" That's final," interrupted Hooper. " It's bad
enough it's shameful it's un-American, sir, to make
any settlement at all."
At " un-American " Lawrence took advantage of
the fact that Hooper was not looking at him to in
dulge in a glance of contemptuous amusement. " No
body but an American," he said to himself, " could
have dragged ' un-American ' into such a discussion
as this. The cad is dickering over his daughter like an
old-clothes dealer over a bag of rags."
Hooper was talking again talking loudly : " Not
a cent more ! Not a d n cent more ! If they need
more after they're married, let 'em come to me for it.
They'll get it. But I ain't fool enough to make 'em
independent of me. I ain't going to give 'em a chance
to forget the hand that feeds 'em. No, sir ; I want my
daughter to continue to love me and think of
There was no affectation in Lawrence's astonish
ment at this view of affection and the way to keep it.
" Poor devil," he said to himself pityingly, " he's
been so perverted by his wealth that he actually doesn't
see he's taking the very course that '11 make his chil
dren hate him." But he ventured only, " I'm certain,
sir, from what I know of your daughter and Lord
Frothingham that money could have no influence with
them one way or the other."
Hooper smiled cynically. " It's human nature," he
said. " The hand that feeds is the hand that's licked.
I'll give 'em all they need whenever they need it. Do
you suppose I've no pride in my daughter, in seeing
that she makes a good appearance over there? But
a million and a half is my outside figure for settle
" Practically less than a hundred thousand over and
above the debts," replied Lawrence, irritatingly revert
ing to pounds. " That is, about four thousand a year
for them to live on."
" Forty to fifty thousand a year, including Jenny's
income," corrected Hooper, standing up for dollars.
" And while I don't promise, still, if they behave, they
can count on as much more from me."
" Nine thousand a year," said Lawrence, translat
ing into pounds, " would hardly keep up Beauvais
Hall in a pinched fashion. It would leave nothing
for restoring the property; the Hall, for example,
needs fifty thousand pounds at once to restore it."
The reasonableness, the unanswerableness of this
presentation of the case exasperated Hooper.
" They'll have to look to me afterward for that," he
said angrily. " I've said my last word."
But Lawrence didn't believe him. He saw that,
though avarice was uppermost for the moment, the
" cad's craving " was a close second then there was
the daughter's aid. She would have something to say
to her father when she knew of the hitch in the nego
tiations. He rose. " There's nothing further at
present, Mr. Hooper. I shall be compelled strongly
to advise Lord Frothingham against going on and en
gaging himself. I cannot do otherwise, consistently
with my duty as the, as it were, guardian for the mo
ment of his dignity and the dignity of his house. It
may be that he will disregard my advice. But I don't
see how he can, careless in sordid things and impetu-
ous though he is. The prospect for an unhappy mar
riage would be too clear. Good-morning, sir."
Hooper shook hands with him lingeringly. Avarice
forbade him to speak. " The Earl will come to your
terms," it and shrewdness assured him. " If he don't
the deal is still open, anyhow." His parting words
were, " Give my regards to the young man. Tell him
we hope to see him as usual, no matter how this affair
" The coarse brute," muttered Lawrence, as he stood
without the doors of the granite palace. " The soul
of a ham-seller, of a pig-sticker." And he took out
his handkerchief and affectedly wiped the hand which
Hooper had shaken. " Always a nasty business, this,
of American upstarts buying into our nobility. If
they weren't a lot of callous traders and money-grab
bers they couldn't do it. And they usually negotiate
at first hand, so that they can drive a closer bargain.
And their best society, too! Beastly country no
wonder the women want to be traded out of it into
THERE was a family council at the Hoopers'
after luncheon that day Mr. Hooper, his wife,
and Jeanne. The two women followed Hooper
from the dining room into his study, where he was
pulling sullenly at his cigar and awaiting the attack.
It was his wife who began : " Do you know why Lord
Frothingham sent word he couldn't come to lunch,
pa? Jenny here is worried about it."
Mr. Hooper grunted. Finally he said : " I'm will
ing to do anything in reason to please Jenny. I don't
approve of this title business. It ain't American. But
as long as the young fellow has turned her head I was
not disposed to stand in the way." He frowned
fiercely. " But I tell you flat, I won't be held up !
And that fellow he sent here this morning was a plain
Mrs. Hooper and Jeanne looked significantly each
at the other they had had many talks about his grow
ing stinginess, and they suspected him at once.
" What did he want? " inquired Mrs. Hooper.
" I don't propose to talk this thing over before
Jenny. It's disgraceful that she should have gone
into such a business. It ain't right that she should
know about such things."
Jeanne's eyes filled with tears. " And I've told all
the girls ! " she exclaimed. " Everybody knows it. I
can't back out now. The whole town 'd be laughing at
us. I'd be ashamed ever to show my face in the street
again. You don't want to break my heart, do you,
" You've made a sweet mess of it ! " snarled her
father. " You ought to have had better sense than to
have told anybody till the business side of it was set
tled. I warned your ma about that I knew what was
coming. Now, here you two 've gone and given him
the whip hand ! "
" She got at the telephone before she told me," said
Neither she nor her husband suspected that Jeanne
had thought of just this emergency of a wrangle over
settlements and had decided that the best way to over
come her father's avarice was to put him in a posi
tion from which he could not recede. If Frothing-
ham had not insisted on liberal settlements she would
have prompted him to it. She was no more eager than
was he to embark with small supplies in the hold when
it was possible to lay in supplies a plenty. And as her
father had acted all her life upon his principle of pa
ternal affection " The hand that feeds is the hand
that's licked " she saw no harm in guiding her con
duct toward, him by principles from the same prac
tical code. As she was about to engage in business,
wasn't it common sense to get as large a capital as she
could ? " We can't back out now," she repeated tear
fully, watching him shrewdly through her tears.
" A pretty mess ! " growled her father. But he was
not really offended, partly because he was fond of his
daughter and would have forgiven her almost any
thing, partly because he understood and sympathised
with her eagerness to proclaim her triumph, chiefly
because, now that he had thought it over, he was ready
to accept Frothingham's terms. " The hope of get
ting more and the need of it will keep 'em tame," he
reasoned. And he said, addressing the two women:
" When that Lawrence fellow comes again to-mor
row, as I'm dead sure he will, I'll close the matter.
But you two keep your hands off ! "
As soon as her father and mother were out of the
A s soon as }ier father and mother were out
of the way
way Jennie went into the library and called up the
Barneys. " Is Lord Frothingham there? " she asked.
" I'll put you on the switch to his room," was the
reply. And presently a voice she recognised as Hutt's
said : " Who wishes to speak to 'Is Lordship ? "
" Say that Miss Hooper's at the telephone."
There was a pause, a murmur of voices she was
sure one of them was Frothingham's. "Then Hutt an
swered: "'Is Lordship hain't 'ere just now, ma'am.
Hany message, ma'am? "
She was trembling with alarm. " Just tell him that
I called up, and that I'd like to speak to him when he
comes in " this in a rather shaky voice, for a great
fear was gathering in around her, a fear that he had
become offended at her father's stinginess and barter
ing and bargaining, and had decided to withdraw.
She wandered uneasily from room to room. She sat
at the telephone several times once she had the re
ceiver off the hook before she changed her mind about
trying to reach him. She ordered her victoria and got
ready for the street, to drive about in the hope of acci
dentally meeting him. At the door she changed her
mind again. As she was turning back a boy came by,
shouting an extra " All about the Earl of Frothing-
ham ! Big sensation ! " She saw that the boy knew
who she was, knew that she was supposed to be en
gaged to Frothingham, was clamouring in that neigh
bourhood because he thought sales would be briskest
there. She fled into the house but sent a servant out
by the basement way to buy the paper.
The headlines were large and black. Frothingham,
the story ran, had got into debt in England so deeply
that his creditors found he could not pay more than
a few pence in the pound; they had consulted as to
ways and means of recovering, had organised them
selves into a syndicate, had put up five thousand
pounds to " finance " him for a hunt for a rich wife
in America. " And," concluded the account, " this ex
posure comes barely in time to block his attempt to
marry the beautiful daughter of one of the richest
meat packers in Chicago, moving in our smartest
She did not know that this tale was a deliberately
false diversion of the facts about a syndicated German
prince who had visited Chicago several years before
and had almost married there. The truth as to his
enterprise had just come out on the other side through
the collapse of the Rontivogli syndicate ; and the news-
paper, relying for immunity on Frothingham's alone-
ness, and on his well-understood mercenary designs,
had substituted his name for the German's. She read
and believed. She had known from the outset that his
main motive was money. But she had succeeded in
disguising this unsightly truth in the same flowers of
her crudely romantic imagination in which she dis
guised the truth as to her craving for a coronet. Now
it was as if the flowers had been torn away to the last
concealing petal and had left exposed things more
hideous than she thought were there.
She hid her face and cried a little " I despise him.
Besides, if I went on and married him, what would
people say ? "
It would have taken finer scales than those avail
able for weighing human motives to decide which of
the two reasons embodied in those two sentences was
the heavier. She dried her eyes and sat with her elbow
on the table and her chin in her hand.
" That's the best thing to do, every way I look at
it," she said aloud slowly at the end of half an hour's
She went to the telephone, called up the offices of the
Great Western and Southern Railway, asked and got
the General Manager. " Is that you, Mr. Burster?
Is that you, Tom? Meet me in the parlours of the
Auditorium right way." And she rang off and tele
phoned to the stable for her victoria.
Ten minutes later she was driving down the avenue
in her largest, most beplumed black hat and a pale
blue carriage-coat that produced the wonted effect of
her public appearances Burster once said to her:
" Jeanne, you're the only thing on earth than can stop
traffic in the streets of Chicago. You can do in two
seconds more than a blizzard could do in a week."
She returned at half-past five. Her father and
mother were in the front sitting room upstairs, gloomy
as the lake in the dusk of a cloudy day. She entered,
whistling and tilting her big hat first over her right
eye, then over her left. " Don't look so cheerful," she
said, patting her mother on the cheek and pulling her
He tried to scowl, but it was a failure ; and his voice
was not in the least formidable as he said : " A pretty
mess you got yourself into, miss, with your telephon-
" What telephoning? " she asked with a start.
" Tattling your engagement."
" Oh ! " She threw herself into a chair and
" Your father telephoned to Mr. Lawrence after he
left us " began her mother.
" What did you do that for, pa ? " she interrupted.
" He'll think we haven't any pride."
" You ungrateful, thoughtless child ! I did it for
" What did Mr. Lawrence say ? "
Her father hesitated and his face showed how he
hated to inflict upon his daughter the pain he thought
his words would cause. " He said it was useless to con
tinue our discussion, as Lord Frothingham had defi
nitely and finally decided not to renew his proposal."
The old man's voice almost broke as he went on:
" Jenny, here's a note that came a few minutes ago
I think the address is in Frothingham's handwriting."
Neither he nor her mother dared to look at her as
she was hearing these awful disclosures of the downfall
of her hopes and the impending brutalities to her
pride and vanity. She picked up the note, opened it
slowly, read it a few polite formal sentences, setting
forth that he had " yielded to the insuperable ob
stacles interposed by your father."
She dropped the sheet and pirouetted round the
room in and out between the chairs occupied by her
frightened parents they thought her suddenly gone
mad from the shock. " Who says I ain't the luckiest
girl on earth? " she exclaimed.
" What are you talking about, Jenny ? " demanded
her mother sharply.
" Why, I married Tom Burster half an hour ago.
He's putting the notices in all the papers for to-mor
row morning. Everybody '11 think I changed
my mind and shook Frothingham. And I did,
" Jenny ! " exclaimed her father. " Tom Burster ! "
" And he's coming here to dinner, if you don't ob
ject," she continued. " If you do, why I'll join him
and we'll go away and give you a chance to cool off."
She caught her father by the beard. " What do you
say, daddy? Say yes, or I'll pull."
" Yes," replied her father with a huge sigh of re
lief his daughter was contented; her and their van
ity would be spared; Tom Burster would not demand
or want a dower ; he was not only independent, but also
one of the most forward young " self-made " rich men
in Chicago. " You've got more sense than all the rest
of the family put together," he exclaimed proudly,
patting her on the head.
And in an absent, reflective tone she said : " I
always felt I'd have some use for Tom sooner or
[ 303 ]
FROTHINGHAM'S abrupt change of tactics
had been caused by a cablegram from Evelyn
which reached him at the Barneys' even as his
diplomatic agent was in the heat and toil of the nego
tiations with Amzi Hooper. It read :
Break off everything and return. Have written you New
York. Best possible news. Gwen sends love.
" Why didn't she say what it was ? " he wondered.
And he decided that it must be news of too private a
nature to be trusted to the telegraph station at Beau-
vais. Why had she written if he was to go at once?
" I suppose," he concluded, " she was afraid I
mightn't obey orders. ' Gwen sends love ' that
must mean that the news is about me and Gwen."
But he had no uplifting of spirits instead, he felt
a sense of impending misfortune. He called up Law-
ence's office and told one of the clerks that he wished
Lawrence to call him as soon as he came in. In a few
minutes Lawrence was relating over the wire the
favourable progress of the negotiation.
" It's off," said Frothingham. " I want nothing
more to do with it. I'm glad it's in good form for
the break. I can drop it decently."
This so delighted Lawrence that he laughed aloud.
" Hooper's certain to send for me," he said. " I'll
give him the shock of his life."
Frothingham cautioned him against any transgres
sion of the most courteous politeness, then went down
to luncheon with Nelly, alone. While she was talk
ing and he listening and looking, all in a flash he un
derstood why the " best possible news " from home
depressed him, why " Gwen sends love " did not elate
him. He asked Nelly to take him to her school.
" Oh. you wouldn't be interested," she said.
But he insisted, and they set out immediately after
luncheon. As they went in a street car she ex
plained her work:
When her mother lay dying she said to the man
beside whom she had worked for thirty-six years,
mostly cloud and rain : " Henry, I don't want a big,
showy monument over me. If you should do some
thing for me, build a school of some kind, a school
where girls can be taught how to be useful wives
and mothers, instead of spending their whole lives
at learning." And Nelly's father had put by
money, a large sum each year, until his daughter's
education was finished. Then he had said to her, " I
want you to help me carry out your ma's memorial."
And he turned over to her a mass of plans and hints
and schemes which he had been accumulating for seven
years. " Get up a plan," he had said, " on the lines
your ma would have liked. It's a woman's work
it's your natural work. I'll supply the money." And
after two years' labour, one year of it abroad, she had
perfected a scheme for a great school where several
hundred girls could be instructed in all that a woman
as a woman should know housework, sewing, cooking,
shopping, marketing, the elements of business and of
art, the care of babies, the training and education of
children. And she had so planned it that the girls
could and should support themselves while they were
Frothingham did not take his eyes from her face
as she talked. She seemed to him the most wonderful,
the noblest human being in the world. " A fine, a
beautiful idea," he said. " But aren't you afraid of
spoiling those girls for workingmen's wives? You're
educating entirely too much in this country, I should
say, as it is. You're making the lower classes restless
and discontented. They'll pull everything down
about your ears the first thing you know."
Nelly smiled he saw that she was not seeing him
at all, was looking far, far past him. " I'm not
worrying about the consequences," she said. " If we
did that we should never move. You must remember
that we haven't any classes here, but are all of one
class we differ in degree, but not in kind. One
can't look into the future. I only know it was in
tended for the light to shine on the whole human race,
and that it's our duty to help all we can. And knowl
edge is light, and ignorance is darkness, isn't it ? I'm
not afraid of light, anywhere. Whether it's little or
much, it's better than darkness."
He looked at her strangely. " I had never thought
of that," he said in a low voice. Then, after a few
minutes : " How good you are ! I didn't know there
was anybody in the world like you. How generous of
you to give your, life to these people."
" No no ! " she protested. They were walking
now through a maze of homely streets lined with flat-
houses large and small and odourous of strong-smelling
cookery, of decaying food, of stale whiskey and beer
- J a typical tenement district. " When I first began
on this scheme," she went on, " I thought as you do.
But I soon saw how false, how foolishly false, that
was. And if I had continued to think as at first, if
I had gone into the work to patronise and to feed
my vanity, I should have injured myself and all whom
I wished to help. I should have made a snob of my
self and parasites of them."
She paused and into her eyes came a look which
he thought " glorious." She went on : " But fortu
nately, I got the right sort of guidance from the very
start. And I discovered that I had more to learn than
these people. I was actually more ignorant than
they." She turned her face toward him. " Did you
ever think," she asked, " what would become of you
if you had all the props taken from under you, and
were cast upon the world and were forced to make the
fight alone without a penny or a friend or a relative
or any outside help of any kind ? ' :
"Thought of it? Well, rather!" he exclaimed.
"And I know what would happen to me jolly
quick ! "
" That was my first discovery about myself. I
found that I was in the world without any fit equip
ment to live. I found that if the props were taken
from under me I'd be no match for the working people,
that I'd perish or else have to live on the charity of
rich people by doing the sort of pottering work they
give the poor of their own class. And I said to my
self, ' You are a fine human being, aren't you to
pose as the superior of those who are independent and
self-respecting? You call them ignorant, yet they
are conforming to nature's laws and to the conditions
of life infinitely better than you, with your boasted
intelligence and your fancied refinement.' I saw that
I was not a real woman, as my mother had been, but
was only a parasite on the labour and the intelligence
" And what did you do ? "
" I went to school with my girls. And " Her
face lighted up with enthusiasm " oh, you don't
know what a a magnificent sensation it is to be
conscious that one can swim alone on the sea of life
without fear of drowning or of having to call for help.
You spoke as if I were giving these people something.
Why, I owe everything to them ! It is they who gave
and are giving. And I am and always shall be in
He tried to think of some satirical phrase with which
to lessen the impression what she had said was making
upon him. But he could only blink into the flooding
light which seemed to him to surround her and to
blaze upon his pettiness and worthlessness and the
tawdriness of all upon which his life had been based.
In his own country, in his surroundings of alternating
dulness and dissipation, his naturally good mind had
become a drowsy marsh with pale lights gleaming in
it occasionally here and there. Unconsciously, he had
been slowly rousing ever since he landed in New
The people he had met were like enough to those he
had met at home, and also like enough to the people
of the real America from which they were offshoots,
to form for him a mental bridge on which he could
pass from his England of narrow and bigoted caste
to Nelly's America of alert and intelligent and self-
respecting, level-eyed humanity. And he was now
feeling in this restless Chicago the fierce impact of
energies and aspirations of which he had had no con
ception, of which he could never have a clear concep-
tion. Through the eyes of this earnest, unaffected
girl with her lived ideal of self-forgetfulness he had
been getting confused, dazzling glimpses of a new
But he did clearly see and feel that he loved her.
And she now saw in his curiously changed face what
was in his mind. She looked away instantly her
expression was uneasy, almost frightened. " Here
we are at the school," she said nervously as they
turned a corner and came in sight of three great
buildings plain yet attractive which faced three
sides of a broad lawn in the centre of which a large
and artistic fountain was playing.
He never could give a clear account of that school.
He remembered the manager a Mr. Worthington,
with a strong and serious, yet anything but solemn
face, with rather homely features except a pair of ex
traordinary eyes. He remembered many classrooms
where all sorts of feminine enterprises were going for
ward with energetic informality. He remembered
many girls uncommonly clean, bright, well-dressed
girls with agreeable voices and manners. He remem
bered many smiles and other evidences of health and
spirits. He remembered many babies all in one big,
sunny room, chirping and crowing and gurgling, bal
ancing on uncertain little lumps of feet or crawling
toilsomely. " Practice babies," Nelly called them,
and he thought, " If this is the way her girls succeed
with mere ' practice babies,' what won't they make of
their own?' ; Finally, he remembered Nelly. All
his other memories were a hazy background for her
tall, graceful figure and wonderful, luminous face.
Her he never forgot in the smallest detail of look or
When they were once more in the street, walking
toward the car, he began abruptly : " I came over here
to America because I was ruined because we
were going to be sold up and chucked out in the
autumn. I came I'm ashamed to put it into words
I'd rather you'd imagine you can, easy enough.
It's often done and nothing's thought of it at least
on our side of the water. This morning in fact,
just before luncheon I got a cable from my sister.
Our luck has turned, and "
" I'm very glad," she murmured as he paused.
" I don't wish to go back," he went on impetuously,
his drawl gone. " I wish it's you I want. And I
ask you to give me a chance. I don't think I'm such
a frightfully bad sort, as men go. And while I ain't
fit for you to walk on, where's the man that is? And
perhaps if I were less fit I couldn't care for you all
the height from down where I am to up where you
The storm which had burst from deep down within
him, deeper far than he thought his nature extended,
was so sweeping and whirling him that he could not
see her face distinctly.
When she spoke it was in a voice that took away
hope, but gently, soothing the wound it made. " I'm
sorry," she said, " and yet I'm not. No woman could
help being pleased to hear what you've said to me,
and hear it from such a man as you are. Oh, yes ! "
this in answer to his expression " for I've found out
what sort of man lives behind your look of irony and
indifference. A so much better man than he lets him
self know or show. And I understand how differ
ently you've been brought up, how different your sys
tem is from ours. But "
She hesitated, and somehow he felt that he must give
her sympathy instead of asking it.
" You remember, I told you that when I began with
the school I had the right sort of help ? ' J
He looked away from her and it was black before
him for an instant. " That fairish chap with the
eyes Mr. Worthington ? " he asked, cutting his
words off sharp.
She nodded, her cheeks bright. " I simply couldn't
help it," she said. " He was what I longed to be.
And he didn't preach the things I believed in he just
They were silent until they were in the car, then she
went on : "I don't want you to misunderstand. He
has never even looked what I'd like him to look and
say. I don't know whether he cares probably
not. Sometimes I think he cares only for his work,
" He does care I saw it," interrupted Frothing-
ham, and then he was astonished at himself for being
so " ridiculously decent."
" I don't know," she said doubtfully. " Thank
you for saying so." She looked at him shyly. " You'll
think me queer for telling you about it when he has
said nothing to me."
" I understand why you tell me," Frothingham
answered. " It was like you." He smiled faintly,
his frequent, self -satirising smile. " Don't mind me.
7 take to it like a duck to water 9
I'm used to bad luck. I take to it like a duck to
Nelly's instinct told her that she had said enough,
and they rode in silence. When she spoke again
it was of the dance to which they were going that
night. An hour and a half later as they were sepa
rating for dinner he said earnestly : " Thank you for
what you said. And thank you even more for
what you didn't say."
ON the way to Mrs. Graf ton's ball that night
he sent Evelyn a cablegram asking her to cable
him 175 he needed to help him to pay Wal-
lingford and fixing the next day week for his sailing.
He might have sailed three days earlier, but he wished
to get her letter and so not carry an unsatisfied curi
osity on a six-days' voyage.
At the ball everyone was talking of the Frothing-
ham " exposure " and of Jenny Hooper's marriage.
The " exposure " had appeared in but two editions of
the "yellow" that invented it. "Wick" Barney
had seen it and had lost not a moment in forcing its
suppression and a denial and in warning the other
papers. He said nothing to Frothingham, and
Frothingham did not know of it then, or indeed until
several years had passed. But even if it had not been
suppressed and had been everywhere believed, Froth-
ingham's social position would not have suffered. His
title was genuine and his family and his position at
home were of the best more, American fashionable
society never asks about upper class foreigners who
come to it for no apparent, or, rather, no avowed pur
pose. It expects them to be somewhat " queer " in
other respects. It assumes that they will be " queer "
in money matters.
Frothingham did, however, hear of Jenny's mar
riage heard of it from Jenny herself. At the Graf-
tons' the dressing rooms are at opposite ends of the
hall from which the grand stairway ascends to the
drawing room and the ballroom. It chanced that
Jenny and Frothingham came along this hall from the
dressing rooms at the same time and, to the delight
of the few guests and the many servants who wit
nessed, met at the foot of the stairway. As Frothing-
ham's face habitually expressed nothing beyond a sug
gestion that he had nothing to express, he and his
eyeglass withstood the shock admirably. Jenny had
intended to " cut him dead " the next time she saw him.
But as she tottered suddenly into his presence on her
monstrous tall heels she was not prepared for a course
so foreign to her nature as the cut direct. Before she
Joiew what she was doing or saying she had smiled and
nodded. She instantly shifted to a frown ; but it was
too late Frothingham had spoken, had subdued her
with that " perfectly splendid, so aristocratic " mon
ocle of his. " What's the use of throwing a fit over a
thing that's past and done? " she reflected. " He's
all right in his way. And won't it give Tom and
everybody a jolt if we enter the ballroom together? "
Frothingham had called her " Miss Hooper." This
gave her the opening. " Miss Hooper ! " she said with
her jauntiest air. " That's ancient history. I ain't
been called that for ages and ages. Why, I'm an old
married woman for Chicago."
" Really," said he, thinking it " some stupid, silly
sell or other." He was hardly listening. He was more
interested in the rope of pearls and diamonds that
swung from her neck to far below her waist. The
pearls were large and were once perfect ; but each pearl
had been mutilated by having a diamond set in it a
very nightmare of sacrifice of beauty and taste in an
effort to make more expensive the most expensive.
" Yes, indeed truly. I'm Mrs. " She stopped
short and gave him a look of horror.
" Dear me ! " exclaimed Frothingham with satiric
sympathy. " Have you forgotten his name, or did
you forget to ask it? "
" No but I never thought of it before thought
how it sounds. My, but it's awful ! I'd never in the
world have married him if I'd have pronounced it be
forehand. Mrs. Burster! Ain't that horrible? "
Frothingham had lifted " ain't " from the slough of
doubtful grammar to the pinnacle of fashion in fash
" Oh, I don't know," he drawled, still imagining she
was jesting. " It might be worse, mightn't it, now? "
At this seeming impertinence her eyes flashed.
" Yes it might. It might be Bursted or ' Busted '
mightn't it? " Then, seeing that her " shot " at
his financial condition as described in the newspaper
she had read and believed apparently did not touch
him, she relented and was in a good humour again.
" I've been engaged to Tom for a year or so on and
o o /
off," she went on. " When I woke up this morning it
came into my head to marry him. And I did it while
your lawyer and papa were squabbling." She said
this so convincingly that she herself began to feel that
it was " as good as true."
The news that she and Frothingham were advanc
ing together preceded them to the ballroom, but had
not spread far enough from its doors to impair the
sensation made by their entrance with every appear
ance of friendliness. And the much discussed mystery
of that day's doings is here solved for the first
The next afternoon Frothingham and Wickham
drove up to Barney's door as Nelly and Worthington
were arriving on foot. One glance at their faces and
he knew that they understood each the other now.
" All I accomplished," he said to himself mournfully,
" was to force the fellow to play his hand. What rip
ping luck I do bring other people ! " He paused
only long enough to make his passing on seem natural.
Presently she followed him to the library, where he
was standing on the rug before the closed fireplace
with a cigarette drooping dejectedly from the corner
of his mouth. She moved restlessly about the room,
evidently seeking a way to begin telling him some
" I saw it in your face at the door," he said, in
answer to an appealing glance from her.
She put her hand on his arm and her eyes were wist
ful. " I know you did, and I hoped I thought I
saw in your face that you were generous enough to be
glad I'm happy."
" No, I can't say that you did. The most I can do
is to bear it without the grin." He seated himself
on the edge of the big table and smoked and looked
at her reflectively. " I say," he began at last, " do
you see how it's possible to be in love with two at the
same time? 5:
She nodded, smiling a little. " Yes I I think
if I hadn't met someone first I should have been in
love with someone else."
" That's something," he said in his satirical drawl.
But he kept his eyes down and his eyelids were trem
bling. " Do you know," he went on after a pause full
of cigarette smoke, " I've been thinking about car
ing for two people and that sort of thing. I don't
mind saying to you you'll understand, I'm sure
there's a girl over on the other side "
" I'm so glad ! " she exclaimed and then she
" I care for her in a different way, but it's quite a
real way. And when I go back home, it may be you
know what I wish to say. I'm telling you because I
don't wish you to think I'm disloyal to you " his ex
pression was half -satirical, half -mournful " or to her
" I appreciate your telling me," she said. " But
I'd have understood, if you hadn't. I believe I recog
nise a man when I see him, and you know that's what
I think you."
He shrugged his shoulders. " I dare say I'm much
like other people. I show everyone the side that
matches the side they show me."
After a moment he went to her and lifted her hand
and kissed it. She stood and turned her face, sweet
and friendly, up to him. " I'd rather you'd kiss
me," she said.
He winced and paled and let go her hand. " No,
thanks," he replied. " If you don't mind, I'd rather
With this Mr. Barney bustled into the room no
one had ever seen him make a slow movement of any
kind. At sight of them standing thus suspiciously, he
halted and, as they flushed and moved apart, he
laughed in such a way that Nelly felt impelled to ex
" I was talking to Lord Frothingham of my en
gagement, and he was congratulating me."
" Bless my soul ! " ejaculated Barney. " This is
news ! "
" I haven't had a chance to tell you, father. It's
Barney seemed depressed. " Well I guess he's all
right," he said slowly. " I've got nothing against
him. But "
" And," interrupted Nelly, afraid of her father's
frankness, " he was telling me of his engagement."
Barney looked at Frothingham sharply. " Amer
ican? " he asked, showing that he wouldn't like it if
he got an affirmative answer.
" No a neighbour of ours in England," replied
" Delighted to hear it. You ought to have been
married and settled long ago. I still think you'd
have done better to sell your farm over there and settle
down here in Chicago." Barney would have scorned
to apply such words as estate and plantation to a farm
though he did call his shop an " Emporium."
Wickham went to New York with Frothingham the
next day but one; and on the day after they arrived
they had Honoria, chaperoned by Mrs. Galloway, at
dinner and at theatre, and, because Wickham insisted,
at supper. It was almost two o'clock when they put
the two women in their carriage at the Waldorf and
went to bed Frothingham refused to sit up listening
to Wickham on Honoria. He was surprised that
Wickham had invited her for luncheon the next, or,
rather, the same day was astonished when he found
that she had accepted. His last three days in Amer
ica were spent in studying and encouraging an in
The morning of his departure came, and the steamer
which he assumed must be bringing Evelyn's letter,
as it had not arrived on Friday, was just getting in.
He decided that he would not put off his sailing to get
the letter " Why wait merely to satisfy my curiosity ?
Evelyn sent me over here. She knows what she's about
in recalling me." He left Hutt at the hotel to stay
until the last moment on the chance of the mail arriv
ing; he and Wickham went down to the pier Mrs.
Galloway and Honoria and Joe Wallingford and his
wife were already there. He had a few sentences aside
" I'm so glad you introduced Mr. Barney to me,"
she said. He trained his eyeglass upon her mockingly.
" Really ! How extraordinary ! Precisely what he
said on Wednesday."
" Don't be a silly ass," protested Honoria in an
unconvincing voice. " He's only a big, nice boy. I'm
four years older than he. Or, rather, he's four years
younger than I I don't fancy the word old."
" That's as it should be. If a young chap will
marry, he should be several years the younger. She'll
keep him straight and bring him up properly. She'll
be patient with his ignorance and know how to handle
the reins when he frets or frisks. Good business, this
you're planning, Honoria."
" Do you think he likes me ? "
" Likes? He's positively drivelling. Look at 'im!"
Honoria's glance met Wickham's he was at the
rail, pretending to listen to Catherine. His " drivel
ling " expression as he came at the call in her eyes
seemed to please Honoria mightily. With the last go-
ing-ashore gong Hutt came bringing Evelyn's letter.
Frothingham at once read enough of it to interpret
As you doubtless know, Georgia's father-in-law died in New
York a few weeks ago. He left them I don't know how much
something huge. And George is giving Gwen a dot of three
hundred thousand. She was just here with the news she came
to me the instant she heard it. As she was leaving she said :
4 ' Won't you give Arthur my love when you write ? " It's the
first time she's spoken of you to me since you left. And when I
[ 325 ]
said, " I'll cable it to him," she blushed you should have seen
her, Arthur and heard her say, ** Oh, thank you, dear ! "
" Good chap, George," murmured Frothingham.
" The right sort clean through. He wouldn't let Gwen
and me be cheated as he and Evelyn were.
Poor Evelyn ! . . Gwen and me ! " He be
gan a sigh that changed into his faint smile of self-
mockery. " Just my beastly, rotten luck not to be
sure it's good luck when it finally does come."
He went to the rail and his glance sought out and
rested upon the little group of his friends on the
crowded pier across the widening gap between Nelly's
land and him. Wickham took Honoria's blue chiffon
parasol and waved it ; Catherine fluttered her handker
chief. He lifted his hat and bowed. Long after they
were lost to him in the merge of the crowd they could
make out his loud light tweeds and scarlet bow, and
once they caught the flash of a ray of sunlight on his
eyeglass like a characteristic farewell look.
It was five o'clock in a late September afternoon.
As usual, on the low table on the porch viewing the
Italian garden at Beauvais Hall was the big tea tray
with its array of antique silver and old porcelain, the
cake and the toast and the slices of bread and butter.
Round it were Evelyn and Gwen and Frothingham
Gwen in a shirtwaist and riding skirt, Frothingham
in the slovenly, baggy flannels of an English gentle
man in the seclusion of his country-seat. No one was
speaking and the quiet was profound. Presently
Evelyn rose and went through the open French window
into the drawing room. Gwen was watching Froth
ingham ; he was watching the peacocks as they strutted
with tails spread in splendour.
" I'm always wondering that one of those clever,
handsome American women didn't steal your heart
if you've got one," said Gwen.
He slowly withdrew his gaze from the peacocks and
fixed it upon her with his monocled expression that
might mean everything or nothing. She chose to read
everything into it and flushed with pleasure. And
her left hand, moving nervously among the silver and
porcelain, revealed on its third finger a narrow, gold
He drew a long, slow breath of lazy content and
" You're so d n comfortable, Gwen ! "
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A Comedy of the Affections
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Author of " The Barrys," " Irish Pastorals "
MR. BULLOCK takes us into the North of
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"A LAD OF THE O'FRIEL'S"
JL HIS is a story of Donegal ways and customs ;
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Author of " The Banner of Blue," " The Firebrand"
FLOWER O' THE CORN
MR. CROCKETT has made an interesting
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ANNA OF THE FIVE TOWNS
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