Skip to main content

Full text of "Modern short stories : a book for high schools"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 






Digitized by Gto^gl^ j 






I Trr ^^'^°^' LENOX , 




They all stood round and laughed at him 

. Digitized by VjOOQ IC 





Lecturer in English in New York UniTersity, and Head of 

the Department of Bng^sh in the Stnyvesant 

High School, Ne< Yotk Gty 



Digitized by LjOOQ IC 

" THE NEW >(■■ ;■: i 

R 1919 L 

Copyright, 1918, by 
The Centubt Co. 




For many years high school teachers have wished for books 
of short stories edited for high school use. They have known 
that most novels, however interesting, are too long to hold 
attention, and that too few novels can be read to give proper 
appreciation of form in narration. The essay, as seen in The 
Sir Roger de Coverley Papers, and in Irving 's Sketch Book, 
has been a poor substitute for the short story. High school 
students have longed for action, for quickness, for life, for 
climax, for something new and modem. Instead, they have 
had hundreds of pages, long expositions, descriptions, leisurely 
treatment, and material drawn from the past They have 
read such material because they must, and have turned, for 
relief, to short stories in the cheaper magazines. 

The short story is to-day our most common literary product. 
It is read by everyone. Not every boy or girl will read novels 
after leaving school, but every boy or girl is certain to read 
short stories. It is important in the high school to guide 
taste and appreciation in short story reading, so that the 
reading of days when school life is over will be healthful 
and upbuilding. This imi)ortant duty has been recognized 
in all the most recent suggestions for high school reading. 
The short story is just beginning to take its important place 
in the high school course. To make use of a book of short 
stories in high school work is f o fall in line with the most 
modem developments in the teaching of literature in the 
high school. 

Most collections of short stories that have been prepared, 
for school use, up to the present, are more or less alike in 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


drawing much of their material from the past. Authors and 
content alike are dead. Here is a collection that is entirely 
modem, ^he authors represented are among the leading 
authors of the day, the stories are principally stories of 
present-day life, the themes are themes of present-day thought. 
The students who read this book will be more awake to the 
present, and will be better citizens of to-day. 

The great number of stories presented has given oppor- 
tunity to illustrate diflferent types of short story writing. 
What could not be done by the class study of many novels 
may be accomplished by the study of the different stories in 
this book. The student will gain a knowledge of types, of 
ways of construction, of style, that he could not gain other- 
wise except by long-continued study. Class study of the short 
story leads inevitably to keen appreciation of artistic effects in 

The introductory material, biographies, explanations, and 
notes, have been made purely for high school students, in 
order to help those who may have read comparatively little, 
so that, — ^instead of being turned aside forever by a dry-as- 
dust treatment, — they may wish to proceed further in their 

It is always pure delight to teach the short story to high 
school classes, but it is even more delightful when the ma- 
terial is especially fitted for high school work. This book, 
we hope, will aid both teachers and pupils to come upon many 
happy hours in the class room. 

The editor acknowledges, with thanks, the kindly permis- 
sions to use copyright material that have been granted by 
the various authors and publishers. Complete acknowledg- 
ments appear in the table of contents. 




Pbbfagb iii 


I Our National Reading vii 

II The Definition vii 

III The Family Tree of the Short Stoiy ix 

IV A Good Story xi 

V What Shall I Do with This Bookt xiii 

VI Where to Find Some Good Short Stories . . . xv 

VII Some Interesting Short Stories xvi 

yni What to Read about the Short Story xix 

The Adventures of Simon and Su- 
sanna Joel Chandler Harris 3 

From "Daddy Jake and the Runaways." 

The Crow-Child Mary Mapes Dodge 9 

From "The Land of Pluck." 
The Soul op the Great Bell . . Lafcadio Beam 17 

From "Some Chinese Ghosts." 
The Ten Trails Ernest Thompson Seton 22 

From "Woodmyth and Fable." 
Where Love is, There God is Also Count Leo Tolstoi 23 

From "Tales and Parables." 

Wood-Ladies Perceval Gibbon 38 

From "Scribner's Magazine." 

On the Fever Ship Biehard Harding Bonis 53 

From "The lion and the Unicom." 





A Source of Ibritation . • . . Stacy Aumonier 69 

From ^*The Century Magazine/' 

Mon Guj— Mutineer .... Rudyord Kipling 84 

From 'Tlain Tales from the Hills." 

Gulliver the Great WaUer A. Dyer 92 

From "Gulliver the Great and Other Stories." 

Sonny's Schoolin^ . . . . . Buth McEnery Stuart 105 
From "Sonny, a Christmas Guest." 

Her First Horse Show .... David Gray 117 

From "Gallops 2." 

Mr Husband's Book James Matthew Carrie 135 

From "Two of Them.'* 

War Jack London 141 

From *rrhe Night-Bom.*' 

The Battle of the Monsters . . Morgan Bobertson 147 

From "Where Angels Fear to Tread." 

A DiLEMifA ........ iS. Weir Mitchell 160 

From "Little Stories." • 

The Red-EDbaded League , . . . A, Conan Doyle 166 

From "Adventures of Sherlock HohneB." 

One Hundred in the Dark . . . Owen Johnson 192 

From "Murder in Any Degree." 

A Retrieved Reformation ... 0. Henry 2^ 

From "Roads of Destiny." 

Brother Leo Phyllis Bottoms 221 

From "The Derelict and Other Stories." 

A Fight with Death Ian Madaren 288 

From "Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush." 

The Dan-nan-bon ...... Fiona Macleod 248 

Prom "The Dominion of Dreams, Under the Dark Star." 

Notes and Comments * 276 

Suggestive Questions for Class Use 296 






Is there anyone who has not read a short story f Is there 
anyone who has not ^stopped at a news-stand to buy a short- 
story magazine f Is there anyone who has not drawn a volume 
of short stories from the library, or bought one at the book- 
store? Short stories are everywhere. There are bed-time 
stories and fairy stories for little children; athletic stories, 
adventure stories, and cheerful good-time stories for boys and 
girls; humorous stories for those who like to laugh, and 
serious stories for those who like to think. The World and 
his Wife still say, **Tell me a story," just as they did a 
thousand years ago. Our printing presses have fairly roared 
an answer, and, at this moment, are busy printing short 
stories. Even the newspapers, hardly able to find room for 
news and for advertisements, often give space to re-printing 
short stories. Our people are so fond of soda water that 
some one has laughingly called it our national drink. Our 
people of every class, young and old, are so fond of short 
stories that, with an equal degree of truth, we may call the 
short story our national reading. 



The short story and the railroad are about equally old, — 
or, rather, equally new, for both were perfected in distinctly 
recent times. The railroad is the modem development of 
older ways of moving people and goods from one place to an- 
other,— of litters, carts, and wagons. The short story is the 


Digitized by VjOO^K^ 


modem development of older ways of telling what aetually 
had happened, or might happen, or what might be imagined 
to happen, — of tales, fables, anecdotes, and character studies. 
A great nnmber of men led the way to the locomotive, but it 
remained for the nineteenth century, in the person of George 
Stephenson, to perfect it. In like manner, many authors led 
the way to the short story of to-day, but it remained for the 
nineteenth century, and particularly for Edgar Allan Poe, 
to perfect it, and give it definition. 

Before Poe's time the short story had sometimes been 
written well, and sometimes poorly. It had often been of 
too great length, wanderiug, and without point. Poe wrote 
stories that are diflferent from many earlier stories in that they 
are all comparativ^y short. Another difference is that Poe's 
stories do not wander, produciug now one effect, and now an- 
other. Like a Roman road, every one goes straight to the 
poiut that the maker had in mind at the beginning, and 
produces one single effect. In the older stories the writers 
often turned from the principal subject to introduce other 
matter. Poe excluded everything, — ^no matter how inter- 
esting, — ^that did not lead directly to the effect he wished to 
produce. The earlier stories often ended inconclusively. The 
reader felt that more might be said, or that some other end- 
ing might be possible. Poe tried to write so that the story 
should be absolutely complete, and its ending the one neces- 
sary ending, with no other ending even to be thought of. 
With it all, he tried to write so that, — ^no matter how im- 
probable the story really might be, — ^it should, at least, seem 
entirely probable, — ^as real as though it had actually hap- 

In general, Poe's definition of the short story still holds 
true. There are many kinds of stories today, — ^just as there 
are many kinds of engines, — ^but the great fundamental prin- 
ciples hold true in both. We may still define the modem 
short story as: 

1. A narrative that is short enough to be read easily at a 
single sitting; 




2. That is written to produce a single impression on ike 
mind of the reader; 

3. That excludes everything that does not lead to that 
single impression ; 

4. That is complete and final in itself; 

5. That has every indication of reality. 



EvBBYONB knows his father and mother. Very few, except 
those of noble descent, know even the names of their great- 
great grandparents. As if of the noblest, even of royal de- 
scent, the short story knows its family tree. Its ancestry, 
like that of the American people, goes back to Europe ; draws 
strength from many races, and finally loses itself some- 
where in the prehistoric East, — ^in ancient Greece, India, or 

In the royal galleries kings look at pictures of their great 
ancestors, and somewhat realize remote the past. Many of 
the ancestors of the short story still live. They drank of the 
fountain of youth, and are as strong and full of life as ever. 
Such immortal ancestors of the short story of today are The 
Story of Polyphemus (ninth century b. c), The Story of 
Pandora and her Box (ninth century, b. c). The Book of 
Esther (second century, b. c), The City Mouse and the Coun- 
try Mouse (first century, B.C.), and The Fables of ^sop 
(third century, a.d.). There are still existing many Egyp- 
tian short stories, some of which are of the most remote 
antiquity, the Tales of the Magicians going back to 4000 b. o. 

All the stories just named, — and many others equally 
familiar, drawn from every ancient land, — aflfected the short 
story in English. 

In the earliest days in England, in the fifth and in a few 
succeeding centuries, the priests made collections of short 
stories from which they could select illustrative material for 
the instruction of their hearers. They drew many such stories 
from Latin, which, in turn, had drawn them from still more 

Digitized by VjOO^^K:! 


ancient sources. Then, ar a little later, came folk storiei^ 
romantic stories of adventure, and other stories for mere 

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Italians 
became very skilful in telling short stories, or **novelle." 
Their ''new" tales had a lasting effect on short story telling 
in English. 

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in the fourteenth century, 
although in verse, told in a most delightfully realistic way all 
kinds of stories from all kinds of sources, particularly from 
the literatures of Italy and of France. Chaucer told his 
stories so remarkably well, with such humor and reality, that 
he is one of the great forces in the history of the short story 
in English. 

In the sixteenth century stories from France, Spain^ and 
other lands, also gave new incentives to the development of 
the short story in English. 

In the eighteenth century Addison's Spectator published 
very short realistic narratives that often presented closely 
drawn character studies. These are hardly to be called 
short stories, but they influenced the short story form. 

About the beginning of the nineteenth century, partly be- 
cause of German influence, it became the fashion to write 
stories of mystery and horror, such as many of those by Ir- 
ving, Hawthorne, and Poe. Irving softened such stories by 
the touch of realistic humor; Hawthorne gave them artistic 
form and nobility ; Poe developed the full value of the short 
story as a literary type, and pointed out the five principles 
named above. The genius of these men led the way to the 
modern short story. 

Since their time the short story has moved on in its de- 
velopment, including every kind of subject, tending to speak 
more and more realistically of persons and places, but not 
losing its romantic nature. Popular short stories of today 
are closely localized, and are frequently quick, incisive, and 

Today there are all kinds of short stories, — ^folk-lore tales, 
local color stories, animal stories, humorous stories, stories of 

Digitized by V^OO^K:^ 


society, of satire^ of science, of character, of atmosphere, and 
scores of otiier types, all virile, interesting, and profitable. 

However well-dressed the modem short story may be in 
form and style, it is worth little, unless, like its immortal an- 
cestors, it has the soul of goodness, truth, and beauty, and does 
something to reveal nobility in the life of man. 



With houses and stories it is much the same. As any one 
may build a hut, so any one may compose a short story. In 
both cases the materials may be common and cheap, and the 
construction careless. The one may give shelter from the 
storm, and the other may hold attention for a moment. 
Neither may be worth much. Somewhat better are the ordi- 
nary house, and the ordinary story. Both are good, and 
fairly well constructed, but the material is frequently com- 
monplace, and the general characteristics ordinary. To lift 
either a house or a story out of the ordinary there must be fine 
material, artistic worlouanship, close and tender association 
virith life, — something beautiful, or good, or true. For the 
highest beauty there is need of something other than obedi- 
ence to rule in construction. Any architect can tell how to 
build a beautiful house, but there is a fine beauty no mere 
architect can give, a beauty that comes with years, or the 
close touch of human joys and sorrows. It is the same with 
stories. We can not analyze the finer quality, but we can, at 
least, tell some of the characteristics that make short storie^ 
good. J/ 

-^ As Poe said, the best short story is short enough to be read 

_ at a sitting, so that it produces a single effect. It includes 

/nothing that does not lead to that effect, and it produces 

^ the effect as inevitably as an arrow flies to its mark. The 

-'ending is necessary, the one solution to which everything has 

moved from the beginning. In some way the story is close to 

life, and is so realistically told that the reader is drawn into 

its magic, and half believes it real. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


It has a eombination of plot and characters, — ^the nature 
of the characters making the action, and the action affecting 
the persons involved. 

Without action of some sort there would, of course, be no 
story, but the action,— usually built up of two opposing forces, 
— ^must be woven into plot, that is, into a combination of 
events that lead to a definite result, perhaps not known at 
first by^ the reader, but known from the beginning by the 
author. The plot is somewhat simple, for the story is too 
short to allow of much complexity. The action and the 
characters are %tsed on some experience, imaginary or 
otherwise, and are honestly presented. In the best short 
story there is no pronounced artificiality or posing. 

There is always a certain harmony of content, so that plot 
and characters work together naturally, every detail strictly 
in keeping with the nature of the story. 

The best story has an underlying idea, — ^not necessarily a 
moral, — a thought or theme, very often concerned with ideals 
of conduct, that can be expressed in a sentence. 

Closely associated with everything is an indefinable some- 
thing, that rises from the story somewhat as the odor of 
sandalwood rises from an orient^ box, a sort of fragrance, or 
charm, a deeply appealing characteristic that we call '' at- 

Some stories may emphasize one point, and others another, 
— ^the plot, the characters, the setting, the theme, or the 
atmosphere. As they vary thus they reveal new lights, colors, 
and effects. 

«• Still more do they vary in the charm that comes from apt 
choice of words, and originality or beauty of phrasing. 

Altogether, the best short story is truly an artistic product. 
The old violins made in Cremona by Antonius Stradivarius 
have such perfect harmony of material and form, and were 
made with such loving skill, that they are vibrant with ten- 
derly beautiful over-tones. So the best short story is per- 
fectly harmonious in every part, is made from chosen ma- 
terial, is put together with sympathetic care, and is rich 
with the over-tones of love, and laughter, and sorrow. 





Hebe is a book of more than twenty excellent short stories, 
not one of which was written with the slightest thought that 
any one wonld ever wish to study it as part of school work. 
Every story was written (1) because its author had a story 
to telly (2) because he had a definite aim in telling the story, 
(3) because he felt that by certain methods of form and 
style he could interest and delight his readers. The magician 
opens his box, and holds the ring of spectators enthralled. 
Here is no place for study. One must simply stand in the 
K^ircle, and look, and wonder, enjoy to his utmost, and applaud 
tljp entertainer when he makes his final bow. But the spec- 
tator is always privileged to look, not only idly but also as 
sharply as he pleases. So the reader is entitled to notice 
in every case the three reasons for writing the story. 

The best way, then, to study this book is not to ''study" 
it. It is not a geography, nor a book of rules, nor any kind 
of book to be memorized. It is a book to be read with an ap- 
preciative mind and a sympathetic heart. Bead the stories 
one by one in the order in which they are printed. Read 
with the expectation of having a good time, — ^that is what 
every author intended you to have. But keep your eyes 
open. Make sure you really know the story the author is 
telling. One way of testing your understanding is to tell 
the story in a very few words, either orally or in writing, so 
that some friend, who has not read it, may know the bare 
story, and know it clearly. If you find yourself confused, or 
if you lose yourself in details and can not tell the story 
briefly, you have not found the story the author has to tell. 

A second test is to tell in one sentence, or in one very 
short paragraph, exactly what purpose the writer had in 
telling the story. This will be more diflScult but it will need 
little thought if you really have understood and appreciated 
the story. Do not make the mistake of thinking that a pur- 
pose must be a moral. A man who makes a chair, a clown in 

_/ ■' Digitized by VjOOy It! 


a circus, an artist, a violinist, a boy playing a game, — ^all have 
purposes in what thqr do, but the purpose is not primarily 
moral. If you are puzzled in finding the purpose of the 
story you should look the story over until its purpose flashes 
upon you. 

Thirdly, you should see if you can put into four or five 
unconnected sentences, either oral or written, the methods 
of form and style by which the author has interested you, and 
pleased you. These methods will include means of awaken- 
ing interest, means of presenting the action, preparation for 
the climax, way of telling the climax, and way of ending 
the story. They will also include choice of words, use of lan- 
guage dSects, and the means of producing atmosphere in the 

If it happens that there are words that are not familiar, look 
them up in the dictionary. Tou can not hope to understand 
a story until you understand its language. 

A good way to test your appreciation of story telling as an 
art, — ^and to help you to appreciate even more keenly, — ^is to 
write short stories of your own. Try, in every case, to imi- 
tate some method employed in a particular story by a well- 
known author. Do not imitate too much. Be original. 
Be yourself. If some of our best short story writers had done 
nothing but imitate they would never have succeeded. Make 
your short stories different from those by anyone else in 
your class. Write your story in such a way that no one will 
draw pictures, or look out of the window, or whisper to his 
neighbor, when it comes your turn to read. There are three 
ways to bring that about : 

1. Write about something that you, and your class, know 
about, and like to hear about. 

2. Think of a good, emphatic, or surprising climax, and 
then make a plot that will lead to the climax with ab- 
solute certainty. 

3. Tell your story in a way that will be different from the 
way employed by any of your classmates. 




In general, the stories in this book are to be read and en- 
joyed, worked over, and talked about, in a simple manner, as 
one might discuss stories at a reading club. To treat the 
stories in any other way would be to make displeasing work 
out of what should be pure pleasure. 

In the back of the book is a small amount of biographical 
and explanatory material, such as a friendly teacher might 
tell to his class. There are also a few questions that will 
help you to appreciate and enjoy the best effects in every 
story. The notes have been given merely for reference, as if 
they were contained in a sort of handy encyclopedia. They 
are not for hard, systematic study. 

A class studying this book should forget that it is a class 
in school, and resolve itself into a reading club, whose object, 
— ^written in its constitution, in capital letters, — ^is pure en- 
joyment of all that is best in short stories, and in short story 



Baldwin, Charles Sears. . .American Short Stories 

Cody, Sherwin The World's Best Short Stories 

Dawson, W. J. and C. W.. .Great English Short Story Writers 
Esenwein, Joseph Bei^. . .Short Story Masterpieces 

Firkins, I. T. E Index to Short Stories 

Hawthorne, Julian Library of the World's Best Mys- 
tery and Detective Stories 

Jessup, Alexander Little Fraich Masterpieces 

Jessup, A. and Canby, 

H. S. The Book of th6 Short Story 

Matthews, Brander The Short Story 

Patten, William Great Short Stories 

Patten, William Short Story Classics 

Charles Scribner's Sons..Storiesby American Authors 
Charles Scribner's Sons. .Stories by English Authors 
Charles Scribner's Sons. .Stories by Foreign Authors 






E. H. Davis: The Bar Sinister; Washington Irving: The 
Rose of the Alhambra; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Rip Van 
Winkle; The Three Beautiful Princesses; Rudyard Kipling: 
Garm, A Hostage; The Arabian Nights: Aladdin; Ali Baba; 
Annie Trumbull Slosson: Buttemeggs; Ruth McEnery 
Stuart: Sonny's Diploma; Frederick Remington: How Order 
No. 6 Went Through; Mark Twain: The Jumping Frog; 
Henry Van Dyke : The First Christmas Tree. 

H. C. Andersen : The Ugly Duckling ; Grimm Brothers : Lit- 
tle Briar Rose; Rudyard Kipling: Mowgli's Brothers; Toomai 
of the Elephants; Her Majesty's Servants; ^sop: The Coun- 
try Mouse and the City Mouse; Joel Chandler Harris: The 
Wonderful Tar Baby Story; How Black Snake Caught the 
Wolf; Brother Mud Turtle's Trickery; A French Tar Baby; 
George Ade : The Preacher Who Flew His Kite. 

Henry Van Dyke : The Other Wise Man ; Nathaniel Haw- 
thorne: Rapaccini's Daughter; David Swan; The Snow 
Image; The Great Stone Face; Lady Eleanor's Mantle; The 
Minister's Black Veil; The Birth Mark; B. A. Poe: William 
Wilson; Rudyard Kipling: The Ship that Found Herself; 
Henry James : The Madonna of the Future ; R. L. Stevenson : 
Will o' the Mill ; Joseph Addison : The Vision of Mirza. 

Howard Pyle : The Ruby of Kishmore ; Rudyard Kipling : 
The Man Who Would Be King; Drums of the Fore and Aft; 
Tiger, Tiger; Kaa's Hunting; R. H. Davis: Gallegher; Van 
Bibber's Burglar; R. L. Stevenson: The Sire de Maletroit's 
Door; Joseph Conrad: Youth; E. A. Poe: The Pit and the 
Pendulum; F. R. Stockton: My Terminal Moraine; Jesse 
Lynch Williams : The Stolen Story. 

Henry Van Dyke: Messengers at the Window; M. R. S. 
Andrews: A Messefiger; Bulwer Ljrtton: The Haunted and 
the Haunters ; Fitz James O'Brien : The Diamond Lens; What 
Was ItT; M. E. Wilkins Freeman: Shaidows on the Wall; 
B. W. Chambers: The Tree of Heaven; Marion Crawford: 

Digitized by V^OO^K:^ 


The Upper Berth; H. W. Jacobs: The Monkey's Paw; Rud- 
yard Kipling: At the End of the Passage; The Brui^wood 
Boy; They; Prosper Merimee: The Venus of Ule. 

B. A. Poe: The Gold Bug; The Purloined Letter; Conan 
Doyle: The Dancing Men; the Speckled Band; Henry Van 
Dyke : The Night Call ; FitzJames O 'Brien : The Golden Ingot ; 
Anton Chekhoflf: The Safety Match; R. L. Stevenson: The 
Payillion on the Links; Egerton Castle: The Baron's Quarry; 
Wilkie Collins: The Dream Woman; Rudyard Kipling: The 
Sending of Dana Da. 

G. B. McCutcheon : The Day of the Dog; H. C- Bunner : The 
Love Letters of Smith; A Sisterly Scheme; 0. Henry: The 
Ransom of Red Chief; While the Auto Waits; Samuel Min- 
ium Peck: The Trouble at St. James; T. B. Aldrich: Goliath; 
B. M. S. Andrews: A Good Samaritan; The Grandfathers of 
Bob; E. P. Butler: Pigs is Pigs; Josephine Dodge Daskam: 
Edgar, the Choir Boy Uncelestial ; T. A. Janvier : The Passing 
of Thomas; Myra Kelly: A Christmas Present for a Lady; 
Ruth McEnery Stuart: The Woman's Exchange of Simpkins- 

P. Hopkinson Smith: The Veiled Lady of Stamboul; Stuart 
Edward White: The Life of the Winds of Heaven; T. B. 
Aldrich: P&re Antoine's Date Palm; Booth Tarkington: Mon- 
sieur Beaucaire; R. H. Davis: The Princess Aline; Alice 
Brown: A Map of the Country; M. R. S. Andrews: The 
Bishop's Silence ; Honorg de Balzac : A Passion in the Desert; 
Nathaniel Hawthorne :,The White Old Maid. 

Irvin Cobb: Up Clay Street; M. E. WiUdns Freeman: The 
Revolt of Mother; A Humble Romance; Prosper Merimee: 
Mateo Falcone; Alphonse Daudet: The Last Class; G. W. 
Cable : Belles Demoiselles Plantation ; Bret Harte : The Luck 
of Roaring Camp; Ruth McEnery Stuart: The Widder John- 
sing; Owen Wister: Specimen Jones; T. A. Janvier: The Sage 
Brush Hen. 

T. B. Aldrich: Marjory Daw; Mademoiselle Olimpe Za- 
briskie; Miss Mehetabel's Son; 0. Henry: The Gift of the 
Magi; The Cop and the Anthem; The Whirligig of Life; 
Guy de Maupassant: The Diamond Necklace; F. R. Stock- 
Digitized by V^OO^K:^ 


ton: The Lady or the Tiger; John Fox, Jr.: The Purple 
Rhododendron ; R. W. Chambers : A Young Man in a Hurry ; 
E. A. Poe: Three Sundays in a Week; Ambrose Bierce: The 
Man and the Snake; FitzJames O'Brien: The Bohemian; 
Frank Norris : A Deal in Wheat. 

Mark Twain: A Dog's Tale; W. D. Howell's: Editha; E. 
T. Seton: The Biography of a Grizzly; Brander Matthews: 
The Story of a Story; Bjomstjeme Bjomson: The Father; 
Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Ambitious Guest; Jacob A. Riis: 
The Burgomaster's Christmas; Charles Dickens: A Christ- 
mas Carol; Henry Van Dyke: The Mansion; E. E. Hale: The 
Man Without a Country. 

M. R. S. Andrews: The Perfect Tribute; Francois Coppee: 
The Substitute; J. B. Connolly: Sonny Boy's People; S. O. 
Jewett: The Queen's Twin; James Lane Allen: King Solomon 
of Kentucky ; Bret Harte : Tennessee's Partner ; Jack London : 
The God of His Fathers; John Galsworthy: Quality. 

Thomas Nelson Page : Marse Chan ; Meh Lady ; R. L. Steven- 
son: The Merry Men; E. A. Poe: The Masque of the Red 
Death; The Fall of the House of Usher; Irvin Cobb: White 
and Black; F. J. Stimson: Mrs. KnoUys; John Fox, Jr.: 
Christmas Eve on Lonesome; H. G. Dwight: In the Pasha's 
Garden; Honorfe de Balzac: An Episode Under the Terror; 
Jack London: Thanksgiving on Slav Creek; Charles Lamb: 
Dream Children; H. C. Brunner: Our Aromatic Uncle. 

Bret Harte : The Outcasts of Poker Flat ; R. L. Stevenson : 
Markheim; Guy de Maupassant: A Piece of String; A 
Coward; E. A. Poe: The Cask of Amontillado; Edith Whar- 
ton : The Bolted Door ; A Journey ; Henry Van Dyke : A Lover 
of Music; S. R. Crockett: Elsie's Dance for Her Life; Jack 
London : The White Silence, 

Digitized byV^jOOQlC 



Albright, Evelyn May. . . . The Short Story, its Principles and 


Biuxett, Charles R Short Story Writing 

Buck, Gertrude, and Mor- 
ris, Elizabeth Wood- 
bridge A Course in Narrative Writing 

Canby, Henry Seidd The Short Story in English 

Cody, Sherwin Story Writing and JoumalisDi 

Dye> Charity The Story Teller's Art 

£senwein, Joseph Berg. . .Writing the Short Story 

Hamilton, Cla3rton Materials and Methods of Fiction 

Matthews, Brander The Philosophy of the Short Story 

Perry, Bliss A Study of Prose Fiction 

Pitkin, Walter B Short Story Writing 

Wells, Carolyn The Technique of the Mystery 









Digitized by LjOOQ IC 



'^I GOT one tale on my min'/' said UncU Bemos to the 
little boy one night. ''I got one tale on my min' dat I ain't 
ne'er tell you; I dunner how come; I speck it des kaze I git 
mixt up in my idees. Deze is bui^ times, mon, en de mo' you 
does de mo' you hatter do, en w'en dat de ease, it ain't ter be 
'spected dat one ole broke-down nigger kin 'member 'bout 

*'What is the story, Unele Remus t" the little boy asked. 

'^Well, honey," said the old man, wiping his spectacles, 
^'hit sorter run dis away: One time dey wuz a man w'at 
had a mighty likely daughter." 

''Was he a white man or a black mant" the little boy 

"I 'clar' ter gracious, honey!" exclaimed the old man, 
"you er pushin' me mos' too dose. Per all I kin tell you, de 
man mout er bin ez w'ite ez de driven snow, er he mout er bin 
de blackes' Affi'kin er de whole kit en bilin'. I 'm des tellin' 
you de tale, en you kin take en take de man en whitewash 'im, 
or you kin black 'im up des ez you please. Dat 's de way I 
looks at it. 

1 It may be of interest to those who approach Folk-Lore stories from 
the sdentiflc side, to know that this story was told to one of my little 
boys three years ago by a negro named John Holder. I have sinee 
found a variant (or perhaps the original) in Theal's "KaSii Folk-Lore." 

Joel Chandler Harris, 1889. 

Digitized by VjOO*2 l^ 


''Welly one time dey wnz a man, en dish yer man he had 
a mighty likely daughter. She wuz so purty dat she had 
mo' beaus dan w'at yon got fingers en toes. But de gal daddy, 
he got hin spishuns 'bout all nn um, en he won't let um come 
'roun' de house. But dey kep ' on pesterin' 'im so, dat bimeby 
he give word out dat de man w'at kin clear up six acres er 
Ian' en roll up de logs, en pile <ip de bresh in one day, dat man 
kin marry his daughter. 

''In co'se, dis look like it unpossible, en all de beads drap 
off 'ceppin' one, en he wuz a great big strappin' chap w'at 
look like he kin knock a steer down. Dis chap he wuz name 
Simon, en de gal, she wuz name Susanna. Simon, he love 
Susanna, en Susanna, she love Simon, en dar it went. 

"Well, sir, Simon, he went ter de gal daddy, he did, en he 
say dat ef anybody kin clear up dat Ian', he de one kin do it, 
least 'ways he say he gwine try mighty hard. De ole man, 
he grin en rub his ban's terge'er, he did, en tole Simon ter 
start in in de momin'. Susanna, she makes out she wuz fixin' 
sumpin in de cubberd, but she tuck 'n kiss 'er han' at Simon, 
en nod 'er head. Dis all Simon want, en he went out er dar 
des ez happy ez a jay-bird atter he done robbed a sparrer-nes'. 

"Now, den," Uncle Eemus continued, settling himself more 
comfortably in his chair, "dish yer man wuz a witch." 

"Why, I thought a witch was a woman," said the little 

The old man frowned and looked into the fire. 

"Well, sir," he remarked with some emphasis, "ef you er 
gwine ter tu'n de man into a 'oman, den dey won't be no tale, 
kaze dey 's bleege ter be a man right dar whar I put dis un. 
Hit 's des like I tole you 'bout de color er de man. Black 'im 
er whitewash 'im des ez you please, en ef you want ter put a 
frock on 'im ter boot, hit ain't none er my business; but I 'm 
gwine ter low he wuz a man ef it 's de las' ac'." 

The little boy remained silent, and Uncle Bemus went on : 

"Now, den, dish yer man was a witch. He could cunjer 
folks, mo' 'speshually dem folks w'at ain't got no rabbit foot. 
He bin at his cunjerments so long, dat Susanna done learn 
mos' all his tricks. So de nex' momin' w'en Simon come by 

Digitized by VjOO*2 l^ 


de house fer ter borry de ax, Susaiina she ran en got it fer 
'im. She got it, she did, en den she sprinkles some black san' 
on it, en say, 'Ax, cut; cut, ax.' Den she rub 'er ha'r 'cross 
it^ en gi^e it ter Simon. He tuck de ax, he di^t en den 
Susanna say: 

* * * Go down by de branch, git 3ev 'n w 'ite pebbles, put um in 
dis little cloth bag, en wh^ofiue^er you want the ax ter cut, 
shake um up.* ^ • t 

'*Sifaon, he went off in de woods, en started in ter dearin' 
up de six acres. WeU, sir, dem pebbles en dat ax, dey done 
de work— dey did dat. Simon could 'a' bin done by de time 
de dinner-horn blowed, but he hung back kaze he ain't want 
de man fer ter know dat he doin' it by cunjerments. 

*'Wen he shuck de pebbles de ax 'ud cut, en de trees 'ud 
fall, en de lim's 'ud drap off, en de logs 'ud roll up terge'er, 
en de bresh 'ud pile itself up. Hit went on dis away twel 
by de time it wuz two hours b' sun, de whole six acres wuz 
done cleaned up. 

'' 'Bout dat time de man come 'roun', he did, fer ter see 
how de work gittin' on, en, mon! he wuz 'stonish'. He ain't 
know w'at ter do er say. He ain't want ter give up his daugh- 
ter, en yit he ain't know how ter git out 'n it. He walk 'roun' 
en 'roun', en study, en study, en study how he gwine rue de 
bargain. At las' he walk up ter Simon, he did, en he say: 

** 'Look like you sort er forehanded wid your work.' 

** Simon, he low: 'Yasser, w'en I starts in on a job I 'm 
mighty restless twel I gits it done. Some er dis timber is 
rough en tough, but I bin had wuss jobs dan dis in my time. ' 

''De man say ter hisse'f : 'Wat kind er folks is dis chapt' 
Den he say out loud : 'Well, sence you er so spry, dey 's two 
mo' acres 'cross de branch dar. Ef you '11 clear dem up 'fo' 
supper you kin come up ter de house en git de gal.' 

"Simon sorter scratch his head, kaze he dunner whedder 
de pebbles gwine ter hoi' out, yit he put on a bol' front en he 
tell de man dat he 11 go 'cross dar en dean up de two acres 
soon ez he re^' a little. 

"De man be went off home, en soon 's he git out er dght, 
Simon went 'cross de branch en shook de pebbles at de two 

Digitized by VjOO^K^ 



acres er woods, en 't want no time skaeely 'fo' de trees wuz all 
cut down en pile up. 

'^De man, he went home, he did, en call up Susanna, en say : 

** 'Daughter, dat man look like he gwine git you, sho'.' 

''Susanna, she hang 'er head, en look like she fretted, en 
den she say she don't keer nuthin' fer Simon, nohow." 

"Why, I thought she wanted to marry him," said the little 

"Well, honey, w'en you git growed up, en git whiskers on 
yo' chin, en den atter de whiskers git gray like mine, you 11 
fin' out sump'n 'n'er 'bout de wimmin folks. Dey ain't ne'er 
say 'zackly w'at dey mean, none er um, mo' *speshually w'en 
dey er gwine on 'bout gittin' married. 

"Now, dar wuz dat gal Susanna what I 'm artellin' yon 
'bout. She mighty nigh 'stracted 'bout Simon, en yit she 
make 'er daddy blieve dat she 'spize 'im. I ain't blamin' 
Susanna," Uncle Remus went on with a judicial air, "kase she 
know dat 'er daddy wuz a witch en a mighty mean one in de 

"Well, atter Susanna done make 'er daddy blieve dat she 
ain't keerin' nothin' 't all 'bout Simon, he 'gun ter set his 
traps en fix his tricks. He up 'n tell Susanna dat atter 'er en 
Simon git married dey mus' go upsta'rs in de front room, en 
den he tell 'er dat she mus' make Simon go ter bed fus'. Den 
de man went upsta'rs en tuck 'n tuck all de slats out'n de bed- 
stid ceppin one at de head en one at de foot. Atter dat he 
tuck 'n put some foot-valances 'roun' de bottom er de bed — 
des like dem w'at you bin see on yo' gran 'ma bed. Den he 
tuck 'n sawed out de floor und' de bed, en dar wuz de trap all 

"Well, sir, Simon come up ter de house, en de man make like 
he mighty glad fer ter see 'im, but Susanna, she look like she 
mighty shy. No matter 'bout dat; atter supper Simon en 
Susanna got married. Hit ain't in de tale wedder dey sont 
fer a preacher er wedder dey wuz a squire browsin' 'roun' in 
de neighborhoods, but dey had cake wid reezins in it, en some 
er dish yer silly-bug w'at got mo' foam in it dan dey is dram, 
en dey had a mighty happy time. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

Simon shakes the pebbles 






by Google 


''Wen bedtime come, Simon en Susanna went upsta'rs, 
en w'en dey got in de room, Susanna kotch 'im by de ban', en 
belt up ber finger. Den sbe wbisper en tell 'im dat ef dey 
don't run away fum dar dey bofe gwine ter be kilt, Simon ax 
'er bow come, en sbe say dat 'er daddy want ter kill 'im kase 
be secb a nice man. Dis make Simon grin ; yit be wuz sorter 
restless 'bout gittin' 'way fum dar. But Susanna, sbe say 
wait. Sbe say : 

" 'Pick up yo' bat en button up yo* coat. Now, den, take 
dat stick er wood dar en bol' it 'bove yo' bead.' 

"Wiles be stan'in' dar, Susanna got a ben egg out 'n a 
basket, den sbe got a meal-bag, en a skillet. Sbe 'low : 

" 'Now, den, drap de wood on de bed.* 

"Simon done des like sbe say, en time de wood struck de 
bed de tick en de mattruss went a-tumblin' tboo de floor. Den 
Susanna tuck Simon by de ban' en dey run out de back way ez 
bard ez dey kin go. 

"De man, be wuz down dar waitin' fer de bed ter drap. 
He bad a big long knife in be ban', en time debed drapped, 
he lit on it, be did, en stobbed it scanlous. He des natcbully 
ripped de tick up, en w'en be look, blesj gracious, dey ain't 
no Simon dar. I lay dat man wuz mad den. He snorted 
'roun' dar twel blue smoke come out'n bis nose, en bis eye 
look red like varmint eye in de dark. t)en be run upsta'rs 
en dey ain't no Simon dar, en nudder wuz dey any Susanna. 

"Gentermens! den be git madder. He rusb out, be did, 
en look 'roun', en 'way oflF yander be see Simon en Susanna 
des a-runnin', en a-boldin' one nudder 's ban'." 

"Wby, Uncle Remus," said tbe little boy, "I tbought 
you said it was nigbtf " 

"Dat w'at I said, honey, en 1 11 stan' by it. Yit, how 
many times dis blessed night is I got ter tell you dat de man 
wuz a witch? '^ En bein' a witch, co'se he kin see in de dark. 

"Well, dish yer witch-man, he look oflF en he see Simon 
en Susanna runnin' ez bard ez dey kin. He put out atter 
um, he did, wid bis knife in bis bsyi', sCij' bfe kep' on a gainin' 
on um. Bimeby, he got so close d^ Susanna say ter Simon: 

" 'Fling down pro' coat.' 

•^ " Digitized by VjOO<^1(^ 


**Time de coat tech de groun', a big thick woods 3pning 
up whar it f elL But de man, he cut his way thoo it wid de 
knife, en kep' on a-pursuin' atter um. 

''Bimebj, he got so close dat Susanna drap de egg on de 
groun', en time it fell a big fog riz up fum de ground en a 
little mo' en de man would a got los'. But atter so long a 
time fog got blowed away by de win', en de man kep' on 
a-pursuin' atter um. 

''Bimeby, he got so dose dat Susanna drap de meal-sack, 
en a great big pon' er water kivered de groun' whar it fell. 
De man wuz in sech a big hurry dat he tried ter drink it dry, 
but he ain't kin do dis, so he sot on de bank en blow'd on 
de water wid he hot breff, en atter so long a time de water 
made hits disappearance, en den he kep' on atter um. 

''Simon en Susanna wuz des a-runnin', but run ez dey 
would, de man kep' a-gainin' on um, en he got so close dat 
Susanna drapped de skillet. Den a big bank er darkness fell 
down, en de man ain't know which away ter go. But atter 
so long a time de darkness lif ' up, en de man kep' on a-pur- 
suin' atter um. Mon, he made up fer los' time, en he got 
so dose dat Susanna say ter Simon : 

*' 'Drap a pebble.' 

"Time Simon do dis a high hill riz up, but de man dum 
it en kep ' on atter um. Den Susanna say ter Simon : 

" 'Drap nudder pebble.' 

"Time Simon drap de pebble, a high mountaia growed 
up, but de man crawled up it en kep' on atter um. Den 
Susanna say: 

'* 'Drap de bikes' pebble.' 

"No sooner is he drap it dan a big rock wall riz up, en hit 
wuz so high dat de witch-man can't git over. He run up en 
down, but he can't find no end, en den, atter so long a time, he 
turn 'roun' en go home. 

"On de yuther side er dis high wall, Susanna tuck Simon 
hy de han', en say: 

** *Now we kin res'.' 

"En I reckon," said the old man slyly, "dat we all better 




MrowAY between a certain blue lake and a deep forest 
there once stood a cottage, called by its owner **The Rook- 

The forest shut out the sunlight and scowled upon the 
ground, breaking with shadows every ray that fell, until only 
a few little pieces lay scattered about. But the broad lake 
invited all the rays to come and rest upon her, so that some- 
times she shone from shore to shore, and the sun winked and 
blinked above her, as though dazzled by his own reflection. 
The cottage, which was very small, had sunny windows and 
dark windows. Only from the roof could you see the moun- 
tains beyond, where the light crept up in the morning and 
down in the evenii^, turning all the brooks into living silver 
as it passed. 

But something brighter than sunshine used often to look 
from the cottage into the forest, and something even more 
gloomy than shadows often glowered from its windows upon 
the sunny lake. One was the face of little Buky Lynn ; and 
the other was his sister's when she felt angry or ill-tem- 

They were orphans, Cora and Buky, living alone in the 
cottage with an old uncle. Cora — or '*Cor,'* as Buky called 
her — ^was nearly sixteen years old, but her brother had seen 
the forest turn yellow only four times. She was, therefore, 
almost mother and sister in one. The little fellow was her 
companion night and day. Together they ate and slept, and 
— ^when Cora was not at work in the cottage— together they 
rambled in the wood, or floated in their little skiff upon the 

Buky had bright, dark eyes, and the glossy blackness of 


Digitized by VjOOQ l(:^ 


his hair made his cheeks look even rosier than they were. 
He had funny ways for a boy, Cora thought. The quick, 
bird-like jerks of his raven-black head, his stately baby gait, 
and his habit of pecking at his food, as she called it, often made 
his sister laugh. Young as he was, the little fellow had 
learned to mount to the top of a low-branching tree near the 
cottage, though he could not always get down alone. Some- 
times when, perched in the thick foliage, he would scream, 
'*Cor! Cor! Come, help me down!'' his sister would an- 
swer, as she ran out laughing, *'Yes, little Crow! I 'm com- 

Perhaps it was because he reminded her of a crow that 
Cora called him her little bird. This was when she was 
good-natured and willing to let him see how much she loved 
him. But in her cloudy moments, as the uncle called them, 
Cora was another girl. Everything seemed ugly to her, or 
out of tune. Even Ruky was a trial ; and, instead of giving 
him a kind word, she would scold and grumble until he 
would steal from the cottage door, and, jumping lightly from 
the door-step, seek the shelter of his tree. Once safely perched 
among its branches he knew she would finish her work, for- 
get her ill-humor, and be quite ready, when he cried *'Cor! 
Cor!" to come from the cottage with a cheery, **Yes, little 
Crow! I 'm coming! I 'm coming!" 

No one could help loving Euky, with his quick, affection- 
ate ways ; and it seemed that Euky, in turn, could not help 
loving every person and thing around him. He loved his 
silent old uncle, the bright lake, the cool forest, and even 
his little china cup with red berries painted upon it. But 
more than all, Ruky loved his golden-haired sister, and the 
great dog, who would plunge into the lake at the mere point- 
ing of his chubby little finger. In fact, that finger and the 
commanding baby voice were **law" to Nep at any time. 

Nep and Ruky often talked together, and though one 
used barks and the other words, there was a perfect under- 
standing between them. Woe to the straggler that dared 
to rouse Nep 's wrath, and woe to the bird or rabbit that ven- 
tured too near! — ^those great teeth snapped at their prey 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


without even the warning of a growl. But Ruky could 
safely pull Nep's ears or his tail, or climb his great shaggy 
back, or even snatch away the untasted bone. Still, as I 
said before, every one loved the child; so, of course, Nep 
was no exception. 

One day Ruky's *'Cor! Cor!*' had sounded oftener than 
usual. His rosy face had bent saucily to kiss Cora's up- 
turned forehead, as she raised her arms to lift him from the 
tree; but the sparkle in his dark eyes had seemed to kindle 
so much mischief in him that his sister's patience became 
fairly exhausted. 

''Has Cor nothing to do but to wait upon youf she cried, 
''and nothing to listen to but your noise and your racket? 
You shall go to bed early to-day, and then I shall have 
some peace." 

"No, no. Cor. Please let Ruky wait till the stars come. 
Ruky wants to see the stars." 

"Hush I Ruky is bad. He shall have a whipping when 
Uncle comes back from town.'* 

Nep growled. 

"Ha! ha!" laughed Ruky, jerking his head saucily from 
side to side; "Nep says 'No!' " 

Nep was shut out of the cottage for his pains, and poor 
Ruky was undressed, with many a hasty jerk and pull. 

"You hurt. Cor!" he said, plaintively. "I 'm going to 
take off my shoes my own self." 

"No, you 're not," cried Cora, almost shaking him; and 
when he cried she called him naughty, and said if he did 
not stop he should have no supper. This made him cry all 
the more, and Cora, feeling in her angry mood that he 
deserved severe punishment, threw away his supper and 
put him to bed. Then all that could be heard were Ruky's 
low sobs and the snappish clicks of Cora's needles, as she 
sat knitting, with her back to him. 

He could not sleep, for his eyelids were scalded with tears, 
and his plaintive "Cor! Cor!" had reached his sister's ears in 
vain. She never once looked up from those gleaming knitting- 
needles, nor even gave him his good-night kiss. 




It grew late. The uncle did not return. At last Cora, 
sulky and weary, locked the cottage door, blew out her 
candle, and lay down beside her brother. 

The poor little fellow tried to win a forgiving word, but 
she was too ill-natured to grant it. In vain he whispered, 
**Cor, Cor!" He even touched her hand over and over 
again with his lips, hoping she would turn toward him, and, 
with a loving kiss, murmur, as usual, ''Good night, little 

Instead of this, she jerked her arm angrily away, saying: 

*'0h, stop your pecking and go to sleep 1 I wish you 
were a crow in earnest, and then I 'd have some peace." 

After this, Buky was silent. His heart drooped within 
him as he wondered what this ^' peace" was that his sister 
wished for so often, and why he must go away before it 
could come to her. 

Soon, Cora, who had rejoiced in the sudden calm, heard 
a strange fluttering. In an instant she saw by the starlight 
a dark object circle once or twice in the air above her, then 
dart suddenly through the oi)en window. 

Astonished that Buky had not shouted with delight at the 
strange visitor, or else clung to her ne<^ in fear, she turned 
to see if he had fallen asleep. 

No wonder that she started up, horror-stricken, — ^Buky 
was not there ! 

His empty place was still warm; perhaps he had slid 
softly from the bed. With trembling haste she lighted the 
candle, and peered into every comer. The boy was not to 
be found ! 

Then those fearful words rang in her ears: 

"7 wish you were a crow in earnesi!" 

Cora rushed to the door, and, with straining gaze, looked 
out into the still night. 

"Buky! Buky!" she screamed. 

There was a slight stir in the low-growing tree, 

**Buky, darling, come back!" 

"Caw, caw!" answered a harsh voice from the tree. Some- 
thing black seemed to spin out of it, and then, in great sweep- 
Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


ing circles^ sailed upward, until finally it settled upon one 
of the loftiest trees in the forest. 

**Caw, caw!'' it screamed, fiercely. 

The girl shuddered, but, with outstretched arms, cried out: 

*'0h, Euky, if it is ycm, come back to poor Cor!" 

^'Caw, caw!'' mocked hundreds of voices, as a fiiiadow like 
a thunder-cloud rose in the air. It was an immense flock 
of crows. She could distinguish them plainly in the star- 
light, circling higher and higher, then lower and lower, un- 
til, with their harsh "Caw, caw!" they sailed far off into 
the night. 

VOh, Buky, answer me!" she cried. 

Nep growled, the forest trees whispered softly together, 
and the lake, twinkling with stars, sang a lullaby as it lifted 
its weary little waves upon the shore: there was no other 

It seemed that daylight never would come; but at last the 
trees turned gdowly from black to green, and the lake put out 
its stars, one by one, and waited for the new day. 

Cora, who had been wandering restlessly in every direc- 
tion, now went weeping into the cottage. **Poor boy!" she 
sobbed; "he had no supper." Then she scattered bread- 
crumbs near the doorway, hoping that Ruky would come for 
them; but only a few timid little songsters hovered about, 
and, while Cora wept, picked up the food daintily, as though 
it burned their bills. When she reached forth her hand, 
though there were no crows among them, and called "Buky! 
Buky!" they scattered and flew away in an instant. 

Next she went to the steep-roofed bam, and, bringing out 
an apronful of grain, scattered it all around his favorite tree. 
Before long, to her great joy, a flock of crows came by. They 
spied the grain, and soon were busily picking it up with 
thdr short, feathered bills. One even came near the mound 
where she sat. Unable to restrain herself longer, eiie fell upon 
her knees with an imploring cry: 

"Oh, Buky! is this yout" 

Instantly the entire flock set up an angry "caw," and, 
surrounding the crow, who was hopping closer and closer to 

Digitized by V^OO^K:^ 



Cora, hurried him off, until they all looked like mere specks 
against the summer sky. 

Every day, rain or shine, she scattered the grain, tremblin^^ 
with dread lest Nep should leap among the hungry crows, 
and perhaps kill her ''little bird" first But Nep knew 
better; he never stirred when the noisy crowd settled around 
the cottage, excepting once, when one of them pounced upon 
his back. Then he started up, wagging his tail, and barking 
with uproarious delight. The crow flew off in a flutter, and 
did not venture near him again. 

Poor Cora felt sure that this could be no other than Buky. 
Oh, if she only could have caught him then I Perhaps with 
kusses and prayers she might have won him back to Buky's 
shape; but now the chance was lost. 

There was no one to help her ; for the nearest neighbor dwelt 
miles away, and her uncle had not yet returned. 

After awhile she remembered the little cup, and, filling 
it with grain, stood it upon a grassy mound. When the 
crows came, they fought and struggled for its contents with 
many an angry cry. One of them made no effort to seize the 
grain. He was content to peck at the berries painted upon 
its sides, as he hopped joyfully around it again and again. 
Nep lay very quiet. Only the tip of his tail twitched with 
an eager, wistful motion. But Cora sprang joyfully toward 
the bird. 

"It is Ruky!*' she cried, striving to catch it. 

Alas! the cup lay shattered beneath her hand, as, with a 
taunting **caw, caw,*' the crow joined its fellows and flew 

Next, gunners came. They were looking for other birds; 
but they hated the crows, Cora knew, and she trembled 
for Ruky. She heard the sharp crad: of fowling-pieces 
in the forest, and shuddered whenever Nep, pricking up his 
ears, darted with an angry howl in the direction of the 
sound. She knew, too, that her uncle had set traps for the 
crows, and it seemed to her that the whole world was against 
the poor birds, plotting their destruction. 

Time flew by. The leaves seemed to flash into bright colors 

Digitized by VjOOQK:^ 


and fall off almost in a day. Frost and snow cam6. Still the 
uncle had not returned, or, if he had, she did not know it. 
Her brain was bewildered. She knew not whether she ate or 
slept. Only the terrible firing reached her ears, or that living 
black doud came and went with its ceaseless ''caw." 

At last, during a terrible night of wind and storm, Cora 
felt that she must go forth and seek her poor bird. 

** Perhaps he is freezing— dying!" she cried, springing 
frantically from the bed, and casting her long cloak over her 

In a moment, she was trudging barefooted through the 
snow. It was so deep she could hardly walk, and the sleet 
was driving into her face ; still she kept on, though her numbed 
feet seemed hardly to belong to her. All the way she was 
praying in her heart; promising never, never to be passionate 
again, if she only could find her bird — ^not Ruky the boy, 
but whatever he might be. She was willing to accept her 
punishment. Soon a faint cry reached her ear. With eager 
baste, she peered into every fold of the drifted snow. A black 
object caught her eye. It was a poor storm-beaten crow, lying 
there benumbed and stiff. 

For Buky's sake she folded it closely to her bosom, and 
plodded back to the cottage. The fire cast a rosy light on 
its glossy wing as she entered, but the poor thing did not stir. 
Softly stroking and warming it, she wrapped the frozen bird 
in soft flannel and blew into its open mouth. Soon, to her 
great relief, it revived, and even swallowed a few grains of 

Cold and weary, she cast herself upon the bed, still fold- 
ing the bird to her heart. ''It may be Buky] It is all I 
ask," she sobbed. "I dare not ask for more." 

Suddenly she felt a peculiar stirring. The crow seemed 
to grow larger. Then, in the dim light, she felt its feathers 
pressing lightly against her cheek. Next, something soft 
and warm wound itself tenderly about her neck, and she 
heard a sweet voice saying: 

"Don't cry, Cor,— 1 11 be good." 

She started up. It was, indeed, her own darling! The 

Digitized by VjOO^K^ 


starlight shone into the room. Lighting her candle, she 
looked at the clock. 

It was just two hours since she had uttered those cruel 
words! Sobbing, she asked: 

''Have I been asleep, Ruky, dear?" 

*'I don't know, Cor. Do people cry when they 're asleep ?" 

*' Sometimes, Ruky,*' clasping him very close. 

**Then you have been asleep. But Cor, please don't let 
Uncle whip Ruky." 

"No, no, my little bird — ^I mean, my brother. Good night, 

"Goodnight." y 





She hath spoken, and her words still resound in his ears, 

Hao-KhieoU'Tchouan : e. ix. 

The water-clock marks the hour in the Torchung sz\ — ^in 
the Tower of the Great Bell : now the mallet is lifted to smite 
the lips of the metal monster, — ^the vast lips inscribed with 
Buddhist texts from the sacred Fchhwa-King, from the chap- 
ters of the holy Ling^en-King! Hear the great bell re- 
sponding! — ^how mighty her voice, though tonguelessi — 
KO-NOAI! All the little dragons on the high-tilted eaves 
of the green roofs shiver to the tips of their gilded tails under 
that deep wave of sound ; all the porcelain gai^oyles tremble 
on their carven perches; all the hundred little bells of the 
pagodas quiver with desire to speak. KO-NOAI! — ^all the 
green-and-gold tiles of the temple are vibrating; the wooden 
goldfish above them are writhing against the sky; the uplifted 
finger of Fo shakes high over the heads of the worshippers 
through the blue fog of incense ! KO-NOAI! — ^What a thun- 
der tone was thatl All the lacquered goblins on the palace 
cornices wriggle their fire-colored tongues! And after each 
huge shock, how wondrous the multiple echo and the great 
golden moan and, at last, the sudden sibilant sobbing in the 
ears when the immense tone faints away in broken whispers 
of silver, — as though a woman should whisper, ''Him!" 
Even so the great bell hath sounded every day for well-nigh 
five hundred years, — Ko-Ngai: first with stupendous clang, 
then with immeasurable moan of gold, then with silver mur- 
muring of ''Hiai!" And there is not a child in all the many- 

iFrom Some Chinese Ohosts, Copyright, 1887, by Little, Brown ft 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


colored ways of the old Chinese city who does not know the 
story of the great bell, — ^who cannot tell you why the great 
bell says Ko-Ngm and Hiai! 

Now, this is the story of the great bell in the Ta-chung sz', 
as the same is related in the Pe-HiaO'TovrChoue, written by 
the learned Yu-Pao-Tchen, of the City of Kwang-tchau-f u. 

Nearly five hundred years ago the Celestially August, the 
Son of Heaven, Yong-Lo, of the '* Illustrious," or Ming 
dynasty, commanded the worthy ofScial, Kouan-Yu, that he 
should have a bell made of such size that the sound thereof 
might be heard for one hundred U. And he further ordained 
that the voice of the bell should be strengthened with brass, 
and deepened with gold, and sweetened with silver; and that 
the face and the great lips of it should be graven with 
blessed sayings from the sacred books, and that it should 
be suspended in the centre of the imperial capital, to sound 
through all the many-colored ways of the City of Pe-king. 

Therefore the worthy mandarin, Kouan-Yu, assembled the 
master-moulders and the renowned bellsmiths of the empire, 
and all men of great repute and cunning in foundry work; 
and they measured the materials for the alloy, and treated 
them skilfully, and prepared the moulds, the fires, the instru- 
ments, and tiie monstrous melting-pot for fusing the metal. 
And they labored exceedingly, like giants, — ^neglecting only 
rest and sleep and the comforts of life ; toiling both night and 
day in obedience to Kouan-Yu, and striving in all things to 
do the behest of the Son of Heaven. 

But when the metal had been cast, and the earthen mould 
separated from the glowing casting, it was discovered that, 
despite their great labor and ceaseless care, the result was 
void of worth; for the metals had rebelled one against the 
other, — ^the gold had scorned alliance with the brass, the silver 
would not mingle with the molten iron. Therefore the moulds 
had to be once more prepared, and the fires rekindled, and 
the metal remelted, and all the work tediously and toilsomely 
repeated. The Son of Heaven heard, and was angry, but 
spake nothing. 

Digitized by V^OO^K:^ 


A second time the bell was cast, and the result was even 
worse. Still the metals obstinately refused to blend one with 
the other; and there was no uniformity in the bell, and the 
sides of it were cracked and fissured, and the lips of it were 
slagged and split asunder; so that all the labor had to be 
repeated even a third time, to the great dismay of Kouan-Yu. 
And when the Son of Heaven heard these things, he was 
angrier than before ; and sent his messenger to Kouan-Yu with 
a letter, written upon lemon-colored silk, and sealed with the 
seal of the Dragon, containing these words: — 

. /'From the Mighty Tong-Lo, the Sublime TaitSung, the 
Celestial and August, --^hose reign is called 'Ming/^to 
Kouan-Yu the Fuh-yin: Twice thou hast betrayed the trust 
we have deigned graciously to place in thee; if thou fail a 
third time in fulfilling our command, thy head shali be severed 
from thy neck. Tremble, amd obeyl^* 

Now, Kouan-Yu had a daughter of dazzling loveliness, whose 
name — ^Ko-Ngai — ^was ever in the mouths of poets, and whose 
heart was even more beautiful than her face. Ko-Ngai loved 
her father with such love that she had refused a hundred 
worthy suitors rather than make his home desolate by her ab- 
sence; and when she had seen the awful yellow missive, 
sealed with the Dragon-Seal, she fainted away with fear 
for her father's sake. And when her senses and her strength 
returned to her, she could not rest or sleep for thinking of 
her parent's danger, until she had secretly sold some of her 
jewels, and with the money so obtained had hastened to an 
astrologer, and paid him a great price to advise her by what 
means her father might be saved from the peril impending 
over him. So the astrologer made observations of the heavens, 
and marked the aspect of the Silver Stream (which we call 
the Ifilky Way), and examined the signs of the Zodiac, — ^the 
Hwang4ao, or Yellow Boad, — ^and consulted the table of the 
Five Hin, or Principles of the Universe, and the mystical 
books of the alchemists. And after a long silence, he made 
answer to her, saying: ^'Gold and brass will never meet in 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


wedlock, silver and iron never will embrace, until the flesh 
of a maiden be melted in the crucible; until the blood of a 
virgin be mixed with the metals in their fusion." So Ko- 
Ngai returned home sorrowful at heart; but she kept secret all 
that she had heard, and told no one what she had done. 

At last came the awful day when the third and last effort 
to cast the gr^at bell was to be made ; and Ko-Ngai, together 
mth her waiting-woman, accompanied her father to the 
foundry, and they took their places upon a platform over- 
looking the toiling of the moulders and the lava of liquefied 
metal. All the workmen wrought their tasks in silence ; there 
was no sound heard but the muttering of the fires. And the 
mutteripg deepened into a roar like the roar of typhoons ap- 
proaching, and the blood-red lake of metal slowly brightened 
like the vermilion of a sunrise, and the vermilion was trans- 
muted into a radiant glow of gold, and the gold whitened 
blindingly, like the silver face of a full moon. Then the 
worker^ ceased to feed the raving flame, and all fixed their 
eyes upon the eyes of Kouan-Yu ; and Kouan-Yu prepared to 
give the signal to cast. 

But ere ever he lifted his finger, a cry caused him to turn his 
head; and all heard the voice of Ko-Ngai sounding sharply 
sweet as a bird's song above the great thunder of the fires, — 
**For thy sake, O my Father!'' And even as she cried, she 
leaped into the white flood of metal; and the lava of the 
furnace roared to receive her, and spattered monstrous flakes 
of flame to the roof, and burst over the verge of the earthen 
crater, and cast up a whirling fountain of many-colored fires, 
and subside^ quakingly, with lightnings and with thunders 
and with mutterings. 

Then the father of Ko-Ngai, wild with his grief, would have 
leaped in after her, but that strong men held him back and 
kept firm grasp upon him until he had fainted away and they 
could bear him like one dead to his home. And the serving- 
woman of Ko-Ngai, dizzy and speechless for pain, stood before 
the furnace, still holding in her hands a shoe, a tiny, dainty 
shoe, with embroidery of pearls and fiowers, — ^the shoe of her 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


beautiful mistress that was. For she had sought to grasp Eo- 
Ngai by the foot as she leaped, but had only been able to 
clutch the shoe, and the pretty shoe came oflf in her hand; 
and she continued to stare at it like one gone mad. 

But in spite of all these things, the command of the Celes- 
tial and August had to be obeyed, and the work of the 
moulders to be finished, hopeless as the result might be. Yet 
the glow of the metal seemed purer and whiter than before ; 
and there was no sign of the beautiful body that had been 
entombed therein. So the ponderous casting was made; and 
lo! when ihe metal had become cool, it was found that the 
bell was beautiful to look upon, and perfect in form, and 
wonderful in color above all other bells. Nor was there any 
trace found of the body of Ko-Ngai; for it had been totally 
absorbed by the precious alloy, and blended with the well- 
blended brass and gold, with the intermingling of the silver 
and iron. And when they sounded the bell, its tones were 
found to be deeper and mellower and mightier than the tones 
of any other bell, — reaching even beyond the distance of one 
hundred U, like a pealing of summer thunder; and yet also 
like some vast voice uttering a name, a woman's name,— the 
name of Ko-Ngai ! 

And still, between each mighty stroke there is a long low 
moaning heard ; and ever the moaning ends with a sound of 
sobbing and complaining, as though a weeping woman should 
murmur, '^EiaiV^ And still, when the people hear that great 
golden moan they keep silence; but when the sharp, sweet 
shuddering comes in the air, aiid the sobbing of '^Hiail" 
then, indeed, do all the Chinese mothers in all the many- 
colored ways of Pe-king whisper to their little ones : *' Listen! 
that is KO'Ngai crying for her shoe! Thai is Ka-Ngai callr 
ing for her shoe!" 




Onob there were two Indians who went out together to 
hunt. Hapeda was very strong and swift and a wonderful 
bowman. Chatun was much weaker and carried a weaker 
bow ; but he was very patient. 

As they went through the hills they came on the fresh 
track of a small Deer. Chatun said: ''My brother, I shall 
follow that.'' 

But Hapeda said: **You may if you like, but a mighty 
hunter like me wants bigger game." 

So they parted. 

Hapeda went on for an hour or more and found the track 
of ten large Elk going different ways. He took the trail 
of the largest and followed for a long way, but not coming 
up with it, he said: **That one is evidently traveling. I 
should have taken one of the others." 

So he went back to the place where he first found it, and 
took up the trail of another. After a hunt of over an hour 
in which he failed to get a shot, he said: ''I have followed 
another traveler. Ill go back and take up the trail of one 
that is feeding." 

But again, after a short pursuit, he gave up that one to go 
back and try another that seemed more promising! Thus he 
spent a whole day trying each of the trails for a short time, 
and at night came back to camp with nothing, to find that 
Chatun, though his inferior in all other ways, had proved 
wiser. He had stuck doggedly to the trail of the one little 
Deer, and now had its carcass safely in camp. 

MoBAL: The Prize is always at the end of the traU. 

^ Digitized by LjOOQIC 



In a certain town there lived a shoemaker named Martin 
Avdeiteh. He lived in a basement room which possessed but 
one window. This window looked onto the street, and through 
it a glimpse could be caught of the passers-by. It is true that 
only their legs could be seen, but that did not matter, as 
Martin could recognize people by their boots alone. He had 
lived here for a long time, and so had many acquaintances. 
There were very few pairs of boots in the neighbourhood 
which had not passed through his hands at least once, if not 
twice. Some he had resoled, others he had fitted with side- 
pieces, others, again, he had resewn where they were split, 
or provided with new toe-caps. Yes, he often saw his handi- 
work through that window. He was given plenty of custom, 
for his work lasted well, his materials were good, his prices 
moderate, and his word to be depended on. If he could do a 
job by a given time it should be done; but if not, he would 
warn you beforehand rather than disapi>oint you. Every- 
one knew Avdeiteh, and no one ever transferred his custom 
from him. He had always been an upright man, but with 
the approach of old age he had begun more than ever to think 
of his soul, and to draw nearer to God. 

His wife had died while he was still an apprentice, leav- 
ing behind her a little boy of three. This was their only child, 
indeed, for the two elder ones had died previously. At first 
Martin thought of placing the little fellow with a sister of 
his in the country, but changed his mind, thinking: "My 

1 Reprinted from the Everyman Edition pf Tolstoi's Tales and Parables, 
by special permission of the publishers. Copyright by E. P. Dutton A 





Kapitoshka would not like to grow up in a strange family, so 
1 will keep him by me." Then Avdeitch finished his ap- 
prenticeship, and went to live in lodgings with his little boy. 
But Qod had not seen fit to give Avdeitch happiness in his 
children. The little boy was just growing up and beginning 
to help his father and to be a pleasure to him, when he fell ill, 
was put to bed, and died after a week's fever. 

Martin buried the little fellow and was inconsolable. In- 
deed^ he was so inconsolable that he began to murmur against 
Qod. His life seemed so empty that more than once he prayed 
for death and reproached the Almightv for taking away his 
only beloved son instead of himself, the old man. At last he 
ceased altogether to go to church. J 

Then one day there came to see him an ancient peasant- 
pilgrijar— one who was now in the eighth year pf his pil- 
grimage- To him Avdeitch talked, and then wjjHf on to com- 
plain, of his great sorrow. 

*'I no longer wish to be a God-fearing man," he said. ''I 
only wish, to die. That is all I ask of God. I am a lonely, 
hopeless man." 

^'You should not speak like that, Martin," replied the old 
pilgrim. **It is not for us to judge the acts of God. We 
must rely, not upon our own understanding, but upon the 
Divine wisdom. God saw fit that your son should die and 
that you should live. Therefore it must be better so. If you 
despair, it is because you have wished to live too much for 
your own pleasure." 

**P-or wMt, then, should I live?" asked Martin. 

**For Qod alone," replied the old man. '*It is He who 
g^ye. you life, and therefore it is He for whom you should live. 
When you come to live for Him you will cease to grieve, and 
your trials will become easy to bear." 

Martin was silent. Then he spoke again. 

*'But how am I tq live for God?" he asked. 

** Christ has shown us the way," answered the old man. 
**Can you read? If so, buy a T«stamept and study it. You 
will learn there how to live for God. . Yes, it is all shown you 




These words sank into Avdeitch's soul. He went out the 
same day, bought a large-print copy of the New Testament, 
and set himself to read it. 

At the beginning Avdeiteh had meant only to read on 
festival days, but when he once began his reading he found 
it so comforting to the soul that he came never to let a day 
pass without doing so. On the second occasion he became so 
engrossed that all the kerosene was burnt away in the lamp 
before he could tear himself away from the book. 

Thus he came to read it every evening, and, the more he 
read, the more clearly did he understand what (Jod required 
of him, and in what way he could live for God; so that his 
heart grew ever lighter and lighter. Once upon a time, when- 
ever he had lain down to sleep, he had been used to moan and 
sigh as he thought of his little Kapitoshka ; but now he only 
said— ** Glory to Thee, Lord! Glory to Thee! Thy will 
be done !'^ 

From that time onwards Avdeitch's life became completely 
changed. Once he had been used to go out on festival days 
and drink tea in a tavern, and had not denied himself even an 
occasional glass of vodka. This he had done in the company 
of a boon companion, and, although no drunkard, would fre- 
quently leave the tavern in an excited state and talk much non- 
sense as he shouted and disputed with this friend of his. But 
now he had turned his back on all this, and his life had be- 
come quiet and joyous. Early in the morning he would sit 
down to his work, and labor through his appointed hours. 
Then he would take the lamp down from a shelf, light it, and 
sit down to read. And the more he read, the more he under- 
stood, and the clearer and happier he grew at heart. 

It happened once that Martin had been reading late. He 
had been reading those verses in the sixth chapter of the 
Gospel of St. Luke which run : 

'* And. unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer 
also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid 
not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh 
of thee ; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye 
also to them likewise." 

Then, further on, he had read those verses where the Lord 

**And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things 
which I say ? Whosoever cometh to Me and heareth my say- 
ings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like : He is 
like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the 
foundation on a rock : and when the flood arose, the storm beat 
vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it 
was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth and doeth not, 
is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon 
the earth ; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and 
immediately it fell ; and the ruin of that house was great." 

Avdeitch read these words, and felt greatly cheered in 
souL He took off his spectacles, laid them on the book, 
leaned his elbows upon the table, and gave himself up to 
meditation. He set himself to measure his own life by those 
word«|, and thought to himself: 

'*Is my house founded upon a rock or upon sandf It is 
well if it be upon a rock. Yet it seems so easy to me as I 
sit here alone. I may. so easily come to think that I have 
done all that the Lord has commanded me, and grow careless 
and — sin again. Yet I will keep on striving, for it is goodly 
so to do. Help Thou me, Lord." 

Thus he kept on meditating, though conscious that it was 
time for bed; yet kv^was loathe to tear himself away from 
the book. He began tp read the seventh chapter of St. Luke, 
and read on about the centurion, the widow's son, and the 
answer given to John's disciples ; until in time he came to the 
passage where the rich Pharisee invited Jesus to his house, and 
the woman washed the Lord's feet with her tears and He 
justified her. So he came to the forty-fourth verse and read: 

"And He turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, 
Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, and thou 
gavest Me no water for My feet: but she hath washed My 
feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 
Thou gavest Me no kiss: but this woman since the time I 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


came in hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with 
oil thou didst not anoint : but this woman hath anointed My 
feet with ointment." 

He read these verses and thought: 

" *Thou gavest Me no water for My feet' . . . *Thou gavest 
Me no kiss' . . . *My head with oil thou didst not anoint' 
, . ." — and once again he took oflE his spectacles, laid them on 
the book, an^ became lost in meditation. 

''I am even as that Pharisee," he thought to himself. '*I 
drink tea and think only of my own needs. Yes, I think 
only of having plenty to eat and drink, of being warm and 
clean — ^but never of entertaining a guest. And Simon too 
was mindful only of himself, although the guest who had come 
to visit him was—who? Why, even the Lord Himself! If, 
then. He should come to visit me, should I receive Him any 
better?"— and, leaning forward upon his elbows, he was 
asleep almost before he was aware of it. 

** Martin!" someone seemed to breathe in his ear. 

He started from his sleep. 

"Who is there?" he said. He turned and looked towards 
the door, but could see no one. Again he bent forward over 
the table. Then suddenly he heard the words: 

''Martin, Martin! Look thou into the street to-morrow, 
for I am coming to visit thee." 

Martin roused himself, got up from the chair, and rubbed 
his eyes. He did not know whether it was dreaming or 
awake that he had heard these words, but he turned out the 
lamp and went to bed. 

The next morning Avdeitch rose before daylight and said 
his prayers. Then he made up the stove, got ready some 
cabbage soup and porridge, lighted the samovar, slung his 
leather apron about him, and sat down to his work in the 
window. He sat and worked hard, yet all the time his 
thoughts were centred upon last night. He was in two 
ideas about the vision. At one moment he would think that 
it must have been his fancy, while the next moment he would 
find himself convinced that he had really heard the voice. 
**Yes, it must have been so," he concluded. 




As Martin sat thus by the window he kept looking out of 
it as much as working. Whenever a pair of boots passed with 
which he was acquainted he would bend down to glance up- 
wards through the window and see their owner's face as well. 
The doorkeeper passed in new felt boots, and then a water- 
carrier. Next, an old soldier, a veteran of Nicholas' army, in 
old, patched boots, and carrying a shovel in his hands, halted 
close by the window. Avdeitch knew him by his boots. JBEis 
name was Stepanitch, and he was kept by a neighboring 
tradesman out of charity, his duties being to help the door- 
keeper. He began to clear away the snow from in front of 
Avdeitch 's window, while the shoemaker looked at him and 
then resumed his work. 

**I think I must be getting into my dotage," thought 
Avdeitch with a smile. ^^Just because Stepanitch begins 
clearing away the snow I at once jump to the conclusion that 
Christ is about to visit me. Yes, I am growing foolish now, 
old greybeard that I am." 

Yet he had hardly made a dozen stitches before he was 
craning his neck again to look out of the window. He could 
see that Stepanitch had placed his shovel against the wall, 
and was resting and trying to warm himself a little. 

'*He is evidently an old man now and broken," thought 
Avdeitch to himself. ''He is not strong enough to clear 
away snow. Would he like some tea, I wonder? That re- 
minds me that the samovar must be ready now." 

He made fast his awl in his work and got up. Placing the 
samovar on the table, he brewed the tea, and then tapped with 
his finger on the window-pane. Stepanitch turned round and 
approached. Avdeitch beckoned to him, and then went to 
open the door. 

''Come in and warm yourself," he said. "You must be 

"Christ requite you!" answered Stepanitch. "Yes, my 
bones are almost cracking." 

He came in, shook the snow off himself, and, though tot- 
tering on his feet, took pains to wipe them carefully, that he 
might not dirty the floor. 




**Nay, do not trouble about that," said Avdeitch. '*I will 
wipe your boots myself. It is part of my business in this 
trade. Come you here and sit down, and we will empty 
this tea-pot together." 

He poured put two tumblerfuls, and offered one to his 
guest; after which he emptied his own into the saucer, and 
blew upon it to cool it. Stepanitch drank his tumblerful, 
turned the glass upside down, placed his crust upon it, and 
thanked his host kindly. But it was plain that he wauted 
another one. 

"You must drink some more," said Avdeitch, and refilled 
his guest's tumbler and his own. Yet, in spite of himself, he 
had no sooner drunk his tea than he found himself looking out 
into the street again. 

**Are you expecting anyone?" asked his guest. 

'*Am — am I expecting anyone? Well, to tell the truth, 
yes. That is to say, I am, and I am not. The fact is that 
some words have got fixed in my memory. Whether it was 
a vision or not I cannot tell, but at all events, my old friend, 
I was reading in the Gospels last night about Our Little 
Father Christ, and how He walked this earth and suffered. 
You have heard of Him, have you not?" 

"Yes, yes, I have heard of Him," answered Stepanitch^, 
"but we are ignorant folk and do not know our letters." 

"Well, I was reading of how He walked this earth, and 
how He went to visit a Pharisee, and yet received no wel- 
come from him at the door. All this I read last night, my 
friend, and then fell to thinking about it — to thinking how 
some day I too might fail to pay Our Little Father Christ due 
honor. 'Suppose,' I thought to myself, 'He came to me or 
to anyone like me? Should we, like the great lord Simon, not 
know how to receive Him and not go out to meet Him?' Thus 
I thought, and fell asleep where I sat. Then as I sat sleep- 
ing there I heard someone call my name ; and as I raised my- 
self the voice went on (as though it were the voice of some- 
one whispering in my ear) : 'Watch thou for me to-morrow, 
for I am coming to visit thee.' It said that twice. And 
so those words have got into my head, and, foolish though I 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


know it to be, I keep expecting Him — ^the Little Father — 
every moment/' 

Stepaniteh nodded and said nothing, but emptied his glass 
and laid it aside. Nevertheless Avdeitch took and refilled it. 

*'Drink it up; it will do you good," he said. "Do you 
know," he went on, **I often call to mind how when Our 
Little Father walked this earth, there was never a man, how- 
ever humble, whom He despised, and how it was chiefly among 
the common people that He dwelt. It was always with thetn 
that He walked; it was from among them — from among ^eh 
men as you and I — from among sinners and working folk — 
that He chose His disciples. 'Whosoever,' He said, 'shall 
exalt himself^ the same shall be abased; and whosoever shall 
abase himself, the same shall be exalted.' 'You,' He said 
again, 'call me Lord; yet will I wash your feet.' * Whoso- 
ever,' He said, 'would be chief among you, let him be the 
servant of alL Because,' He said, 'blessed are the lowly, the 
peacemakers, the merciful, and the charitable.' " 

Stepaniteh had forgotten all about his tea. He was an old 
man, and his tears came easily. He sat and listened, with 
the tears rolling down his cheeks. 

"Oh, but you must drink your tea," said Avdeitch; yet 
Stepaniteh only crossed himself and said the thanksgiving, 
after which he pushed his glass away and rose. 

"I thank you, Martin Avdeitch," he said. "You have 
taken me in, and fed both soul and body." 

"Nay, but I beg of you to come again," replied Avdeitch. 
"I am only too glad of a guest." 

So Stepaniteh departed, while Martin poured out the last 
of the tea and drank it. Then he cleaned the crockery, and 
sat down again to his work by the window — to the stitching 
of a back-piece. He stitched away, yet kept on looking 
through the window — ^looking for Christ, as it were — and ever 
thinking of Christ and His works. Indeed, Christ's many 
sayings were never absent from Avdeitch 's mind. 

Two soldiers passed the window, the one in military boots, 
and the other in civilian. Next, there came a neighboring 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


householder, in polished goloshes; then a baker with a basket. 
All of them passed on. Presently a woman in woollen stock- 
ings and rough country shoes approached the window, and 
halted near the buttress outdide it. Avdeitch peered up at 
her from under the lintel of his window, and could see that 
she was a plain-looking, poorly-dressed woman and had a 
child in her arms. It was in order to muffle the child up 
more closely — ^little though she had to do it with! — ^that she 
had stopped near the buttress and was now standing there 
with her back to the wiad. Her clothing was ragged and 
fit only for sunmier, and even from behind his window-panes 
Avdeitch could hear the child crying miserably and its mother 
vainly trying to soothe it. Avdeitch rose, went to the door, 
climbed the steps, and cried out: **My good woman, my 
good woman!" 

She heard him and turned round. 

"Why need you stand there in the cold with your baby?" 
he went on. **Come into my room, where it is warm, and 
where you will be able to wrap the baby up more comfortably 
than you can do here. Yes, come in with you." 

The woman was surprised to see an old man in a leather 
apron and with spectacles upon his nose calling out to her, yet 
she followed him down the steps, and they entered his room. 
The old man led her to the bedstead. 

* ' Sit you down here, my good woman, ' ' he said. * * You will 
be near the stove, and can warm yourself and feed your baby. ' * 

**Ah," she replied. '*I have had nothing to eat this morn- 
ing." Nevertheless she put the child to her breast. 

Avdeitch nodded his head approvingly, went to the table 
for some bread and a basin, and opened the stove door. From 
the stove he took and poured some soup into the basin, and 
drew out also a bowl of porridge. The latter, however, was 
not yet boiling, so he set out only the soup, after first laying 
the table with a cloth. 

*'Sit down and eat, my good woman," he said, ** while I 
hold your baby. I have had little ones of my own, and know 
how to nurse them." 

The woman crossed herself and sat down, while Avdeitch 

Digitized by VjOO^ It! 


seated himself upon the bedstead with the baby. He smacked 
his lips at it once or twice, but made a poor show of it, for he 
had no teeth left. Consequently the baby went on crying. 
Then he bethought him of his finger, which he wriggled to 
and fro towards the baby's mouth and back again — without, 
however, actually touching the little one's lips, since the finger 
was blackened with work and sticky with shoemaker's wax. 
The baby contemplated the finger and grew quiet — then actu- 
ally smiled. Avdeitch was delighted. Meanwhile the woman 
had been eating her meal, and now she told him, unasked, who 
she was and whither she was going. 

'^I am a soldier's wife," she said, '*but my husband was 
sent to a distant station eight months ago, and I have heard 
nothing of him since. At first I got a place as cook, but when 
the baby came they said they could not do with it and dis- 
missed me. That was three months ago, and I have got noth- 
ing since, and have spent all my savings. I tried to get taken 
as a nurse, but no one would have me, for they said I was 
too thin. I have just been to see a tradesman's wife where 
our grandmother is in service. She had promised to take 
me on, and I quite thought that she would, but when I arrived 
to-day she told me to come again next week. She lives a long 
way from here, and I am quite worn out and have tired my 
baby for nothing. Thank Heaven, however, my landlady is 
good to me, and gives me shelter for Christ's sake. Other- 
wise I should not have known how to bear it all." 

Avdeitch sighed and said : * *But have you nothing warm to 

"Ah, sir," replied the woman, ** although it is the time for* 
warm clothes I had to pawn my last shawl yesterday for two 

Then the woman returned to the bedstead to take her baby, 
while Avdeitch rose and went to a cupboard. There he rum- 
maged about, and presently returned with an old jacket. 

*'Here," he said. **It is a poor old thing, but it will serve 
to cover you." 

The woman looked at the jacket, and then at the old man. 
1 The grivenka = 10 copecks = about five cents. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Then she took the jacket and burst into tears. Avdeitch 
turned away, and went creeping under the bedstead, whence 
he extracted a box and pretended to rummage about in it 
for a few mom^^t ; after which he sat down again before the 
woman. J^^ 

Then threwoman said to him: **I thank you in Christ's 
name, good grandfather. Surely it was He Himself who sent 
me to your window. Otherwise I should have seen my baby 
perish with the cold. When I first came out the day was 
warm, but now it has begun to freeze. But He, Our Little 
Father, had placed you in your window, that you might see 
me in my bitter plight and have compassion upon me." 

Avdeitch smiled and said : * * He did indeed place me there : 
yet, my poor woman, it was for a special purpose that I was 
looking out." 

Then he told his guest, the soldier's wife, of his vision, and 
how he had heard a voice foretelling that to-day the Lord Him- 
self would come to visit him. 

**That may very well be," said the woman as she rose, took 
the jacket, and wrapped her baby in it. Then she saluted him 
once more and thanked him. 

'*Also, take this in Christ's name," said Avdeitch, and gave 
her a two-^nvenA;a piece with which to buy herself a shawl. 
The woman crossed herself, and he likewise. Then he led her 
to the door and dismissed her. , 

When she had gone Avdeitch ate a little soup, washed up the 
crockery again, and resumed his work. All the time, though, 
he kept his eye upon the window, and as soon as ever a shadow 
fell across it he would look up to see who was passing. Ac- 
quaintances of his came past, and people whom he did not 
know, yet never anyone very particular. 

Then suddenly he saw something. Opposite his window 
there had stopped an old pedlar-woman, with a basket of 
apples. Only a few of the apples, however, remained, so that 
it was clear that she was almost sold out. Over her shoulder 
was slung a sack of shavings, which she must have gathered 
near some new building as she was going home. Apparently, 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


her sl^Milder had begun to ache under their weight, and she 
therefffUki wished to shift them to the other one. To do this, 
she balanced her basket of apples on the top of a post, lowered 
the sack to the pavement, and began shaking up its contents. 
As she was doing this, a boy in a ragged cap appeared from 
somewhere, seized an apple from the basket, and tried to make 
off. But the old woman, who had been on her guard, managed 
to turn and seize the boy by the sleeve, and although he 
struggled and tried to break away, she clung to him with both 
hands, snatched his cap off, and finally grasped him by the 
hair. Thereupon the youngster began to shout and abuse his 
captor. Avdeitch did not stop to make fast his awl, but threw 
his work down upon the floor, ran to the door, and went stum- 
bling up the steps — Closing his spectacles as he did so. Out 
into the street he ran, where the old woman was still clutching 
the boy by the hair and threatening to take him to the police, 
while the boy, for his part, was struggling in the endeavor 
to free himself. 

*'I never took it,'* he was saying. ''What are you beating 
me for? Let me go." 

Avdeitch tried to part them as he took the boy by the 
hand and said: 

**Let him go, my good woman. Pardon him for Christ's 

**Yes, I will pardon him," she retorted, *'but not until he 
has tasted a new birch-rod. I mean to take the young rascal 
to the police." 

But Avdeitch still interceded for him. 

* * Let him go, my good woman, ' ' he said. ' * He will never do 
it again. Let him go for Christ's sake." 

The old woman released the boy, who was for making off 
at once had not Avdeitch stopped him. 

**You must beg the old woman's pardon," he said, 
''and never do such a thing again. I saw you take the 
apple. '^ 

The boy burst out crying, and begged the old woman's 
pardon as Avdeitch commanded. 

"There, there," said Avdeitch. "Now I will give you 

Digitizedby VjOO^K:^ 


one. Here you are/' — ^and he took an apple from the basket 
and handed it to the boy. '^I will pay you for it, my good 
woman," he added. 

*'Yes, but you spoil the young rascal by doing that," she 
objected. '^He ought to have received a reward that would 
have made him glad to stand for a week." 

^'Ah, my good dame, my good dame," exclaimed Avdeitch. 
''That may be our way of rewarding, but it is not God's. If 
this boy ought to have been whipped for taking the apple, 
ought not we also to receive something for our sins?" 

The old woman was silent. Then Avdeitch related to her 
the parable of the master who absolved his servant from the 
great debt which he owed him, whereupon the servant de- 
parted and took his own debtor by the throat. The old woman 
listened, and also the boy. 

''God has commanded us to pardon one another," went on 
Avdeitch, " or ff e will not pardon us. We ought to pardon all 
men, and especially the thoughtless." 

The old woman shook her head and sighed. 

"Yes, that may be so," she said, "but these young rascals 
are so spoilt already!" 

"Then it is for us, their elders, to teach them better," he 

"That is what I say myself at times," rejoined the old 
woman. "I had seven of them once at home, but have only 
one daughter now." And she went on to tell Avdeitch where 
she and her daughter lived, and how they lived, and how many 
grandchildren she had. 

"I have only such strength as you see," she said, "yet I 
work hard, for my heart goes out to my grandchildren — ^the 
bonny little things that they are ! No children could run to 
meet me as they do. Aksintka, for instance, will go to no one 
else. 'Grandmother,' she cries, 'dear grandmother, you are 
tired' " — and the old woman became thoroughly softened. 
"Everyone knows what boys are," she added presently, 
referring to the culprit. ' ' May God go with him ! ' ' 

She was raising the sack to her shoulders again when the 
boy darted forward and said : 




**Nay, let me carry it, grandmother. It will be all on my 
way home." 

The old woman nodded assent, gave up the sack to the 
boy, and went away with him down the street. She had quite 
foi^otten to ask Avdeitch for the money for the apple. He 
stood looking after them, and observing how they were talk- 
ing together as they went. 

Having seen them go, he returned to his room, finding his 
spectacles — ^unbroken — on the steps as he descended them. 
Once more he took up his awl and fell to work, but had done 
little before he found it diflScult to distinguish the stitches, and 
the lamplighter had passed on his rounds. ''I too must light 
up," he thought to himself. So he trimmed the lamp, huhig 
it up, and resumed his work. He finished one boot completely, 
and then turned it over to look at it. It was all good work. 
Then he laid aside his tools, swept up the cuttings, rounded off 
the stitches and loose ends, and cleaned his awl. Next he 
lifted the lamp down, placed it on the table, and took his 
Testament from the shelf. He had intended opening the book 
at the place which he had marked last night with a strip of 
leather, but it opened itself at another instead. The instant it 
did so, his vision of last night came back to his memory, and, as 
instantly, he thought he heard a movement behind him as of 
someone moving towards him. He looked round and saw in 
the shadow of a dark corner what appeared to be figures — 
figures of persons standing there, yet could not distinguish 
them clearly. Then the voice whispered in his ear : 

''Martin, Martin, dost thou not know me?" 

''Who art Thou?" said Avdeitch. 

"Even I!" whispered the voice again. "Lo, it is I!" — 
and there stepped from the dark comer Stepanitch. He 
smiled, and then, like the fading of a little cloud, was gone. 

"It is I!" whispered the voice again — and there stepped 
from the same comer the woman with her baby. She smiled, 
and the baby smiled, and they were gone. 

"And it is I!" whispered the voice again — ^and there 
stepped forth the old wonuHi- itnd the boy with the apple. 
They smiled, and were gone. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Joy filled the soul of Martin Avdeiteh as he crossed himself, 
put on his spectacles, and set himself to read the Testament at 
the place where it had opened. At the top of the page he 

''For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat: I was 
thirsty, and ye gave Me drink : I was a stranger, and ye took 
Me in." 

And further down the page he read : 

''Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these 
my brethren ye have done it unto Me." 

Then Avdeiteh understood that the vision had come true, 
and that his Saviour had in very truth visited him that day, 
and that he had received Him. 





The pine-trees of the wood joined their branches into a 
dome of intricate groinings over the floor of ferns where the 
children sat, sunk to the neck in a foam of tender green. The 
sunbeams that slanted in made shivering patches of gold about 
them. Joyce, the elder of the pair, was trying to explain why 
she had wished to come here from the glooms of the lesser wood 

**I wasn't 'zactly frightened," she said. '*I knew there 
was n 't any lions or robbers, or anything like that. But ' ' 

* * Tramps ? ' ' suggested Joan. 

**No! You know I don't mind tramps, Joan. But as we 
was going along under all those dark bushes where it was so 
quiet, I kept feeling as if there was — something — ^behind me. 
I looked round and there wasn't anything, but — ^well, it felt 
as if there was." 

Joyce's small face was knit and intent with the efforts to 
convey her meaning. She was a slim erect child, as near seven 
years of age as makes no matter, with eyes that were going to 
be gray, but had not yet ceased to be blue. Joan, who was a 
bare five, a mere huge baby, was trying to root up a fern that 
grew between her feet. 

**I know," she said, tugging mightily. The fern gave sud- 
denly, and Joan fell over on her back, with her stout legs 
sticking up stiflBy. In this posture she continued the conver- 
sation undisturbed. * * I know, Joy. It was wood-ladies ! ' ' 

'* Wood-ladies I" Joyce frowned in faint perplexity as Joan 
rolled right side up again. Wood-ladies were dim inhabitaiits 
of the woods, being of the order of fairies and angels and even 

1 By permiBsion of the atttkor. Copyright by Charles Scribner's Sons. 


Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


vaguer, for there was nothing about them in the story-books. 
Joyce, who felt that she was getting on in years, was willing 
to be sceptical about them, but could not always manage it. 
In. the nursery, with the hard clean linoleum underfoot and 
the barred window looking out on the lawn and the road, it 
was easy; she occasionally shocked Joan, and sometimes her- 
self, by the license of her speech on such matters ; but it was 
a different affair when one came to the gate at the end of the 
garden, and passed as through a dream portal from the sun- 
shine and frank sky to the cathedral shadows and great whis- 
pering aisles of the wood. There the dimness was like the 
shadow of a presence; as babies they had been aware of it, 
and answered their own questions by inventing wood-ladies 
to float among the trunks and people the still green chambers. 
Now, neither of them could remember how they had first 
learned of wood-ladies. 

''Wood-ladies," repeated Joyce, and turned with a little 
shiver to look across the ferns to where the pines ended and 
the lesser wood, dense with undergrowth, broke at their edge 
like a wave on a steep beach. It was there, in a tunnel of a 
path that writhed beneath overarching bushes, that she had 
been troubled with the sense of unseen companions. Joan, 
her fat hands struggling with another fern, followed her 

*'That 's where they are,'' she said casually. **They like 
being in the dark." 

**Joan!" Joyce spoke earnestly. **Say truly — ^truly, 
mind! — do you think there is wood-ladies at all?" 

*' 'Course there is," replied Joan cheerfully. ** Fairies in 
fields and angels in heaven and dragons in caves and wood- 
ladies in woods." 

*'But;" objected Joyce, ** nobody ever sees them." 

Joan lifted her round baby face, plump, serene, bright with 
innocence, and gazed across at the tangled trees beyond the 
ferns. She wore the countenance with which she was wont 
to win games, and Joyce thrilled nervously at her certainty. 
Her eyes, which were brown, seemed to seek expertly; then she 




** There 's one now/' she said, and fell to work with her 
fern again. 

Joyce, crouching among the broad green leaves, looked 
tensely, dread and curiosity — ^the child's avid curiosity.for the 
supernatural — alight in her face. In the wood a breath of 
wind stirred the leaves; the shadows and the fretted lights 
shifted and swung ; all was vague movement and change. Was 
it a bough that bent and sprang back or a flicker of draperies, 
dim and green, shrouding a tenuous form that passed like a 
smoke-wreath? She stared with wide eyes, and it seemed to 
her that for an instant she saw the figure turn and the pallor 
of a face, with a mist of hair about it, sway toward her. 
There was an impression of eyes, large and tender, of an 
infinite grace and fragility, of a coloring that merged intb the 
greens and browns of the wood ; and as she drew her breath 
it was all no more. The trees, the lights and shades, the stir 
of branches were as before, but something was gone from 

**Joan,'' she cried, hesitating. 

* * Yes, ' ' said Joan, without looking up. ' ' What t ' ' 

The sound of words had broken a spell. Joyce was no 
longer sure that she had seen anything. 

*'I thought, just now, I could see something,'* she said. 

** I did," remarked J(oan. 

Joyce crawled through the crisp ferns till she wad close 
to Joan, sitting solid and untroubled and busy upon the 
ground, with broken stems and leaves all round her. 

*'Joan,'' she begged. **Be nice. Toti 're trying to 
frighten me, aren't you?" 

''I 'm not," protested Joan. "I did see a wood-lady. 
Wood-ladies does n't hurt you; wood-ladies are nice. You 're 
a coward, Joyce." 

*'I can't help it," said Joyce, sighing. *'But I won't go 
into the dark parts of the wood any more." 

''Coward," repeated Joan absently, but with a certain 




**Ypu wouldn't like to go there by yourself," cried Joyce. 
**If I wasn't with you, you 'd be a coward too. You know 
^'you would." 

' : She stopped, for Joan had swept her lap free of debris and 

was rising to her feet. Joan, for all her plumpness and in- 

' f anl^le softness, had a certain deliberate dignity when she was 

put upon her mettle. She eyed her sister with a oklm and 

'very galling superiority. 

**I 'm going there now," she answered; ''all by mineself." 

* ' Go, then, ' ' retorted Joyce angrily. /" 

Without a further word, Joan turned her back and began 
to plough her way across the fem^ toward the dark wood. 
Joyce, watching her, saw her go, at first with wrath, for she 
had been stung, and then ^ith compunction. The plump 
baby was so small ii^ the brooding solemnity of the pines, 
thrusting indefatigably along, buried to the waist in ferns. 
Her sleek brown head had a devoted look; the whole of her 
seemed to go with so sturdy an innocence toward those 
peopled and uncanny glooms. Joyce rose to her knees to call 
her back. 

**JoanI" she cried. The baby turned. *'Joan! Come 
back; come back an' be friends!^' 

Joan, maintaining her offing, replied only with a gesture. 
It was a gesture they had learned from the boot-and-knif e 
boy, and they had once been spanked for practising it on the 
piano-tuner. The boot-and-knife boy called it ** cocking a 
snook," and it consisted in raising a thumb to one's nose and 
spreading the fingers out. It was defiance and insult in 
tabloid form. Then she turned and plodded on. The opaque 
wall of the wood was before her and over her, but she knew 
its breach. She ducked her head under a droop of branches, 
squirmed through, was visible still for some seconds as a gleam 
of blue frock, and then the ghostly shadows received her and 
she was gone. The wood closed behind her like a lid. 

Joyce, squatting in her place, blinked a little breathlessly to 
shift from her senses an oppression of alarm, and settled down 
to wait for her. At least it was true that nothing ever hap- 




pened to Joan ; even when she fell into a water-butt she suf- 
fered no damage; and the wood was a place to which they 
came every day. 

''Besides," she considered, enumerating her resources of 
comfort; ''besides, there can't be such things as wood-ladies 
really.'' - - 

But Joan was a long time gone. The dome of pines took on 
an uncanny stillness; the moving patches of sun seemed 
furtive and unnatural; the ferns swayed without noise. In 
the midst of it, patient and nervous, sat Joyce, watching al- 
ways that spot in the bushes where a blue overall and a 
brown head had disappeared. The undernote of alarm which 
stirred her senses died down; a child finds it hard to spin 
out a mood; she simply sat, half -dreaming in the peace of 
the morning, half -watching the wood. Time slipped by her 
and presently there came mother, smiling and seeking through 
the trees for her babies. 

"Isn't there a clock\inside^you that tells you when it 's 
lunch-time ? ' ' asked mother.. / ' 'You 're ever so late. Where 's 

Joyce rose among the ferns, delicate and elfin, with a shy 
perplexity on her face. It was diflScult to speak even to 
mother about wood-ladies without a pretence of scepticism. 

"I forgot about lunch," she said, taking the slim cool hand 
which mother held out to her. "Joan 's in there." She 
nodded at the bushes. 

"Is she?" said mother, and called aloud in her singing- 
voice, that was so clear to hear in the spaces of the wood. 
"Joan! Joan!" 

A cheeky bird answered with a whistle and mother called 

"She saidy'' explained Joyce — ^"she scM she saw a wood- 
lady and then she went in there to show me she wasn't 

"What 's a wood-lady, chick?" asked mother. "The 
rascal!" she said, smiling, when Joyce had explained as best 
she could. "We '11 have to go and look for her." 

They went hand in hand, and mother showed herself 

Digitized by VjOO*^l(:^ 


clever in parting a path among the bushes. She managed 
so that no bough sprang back to strike Joyce and without 
tearing or soiling her own soft white dress; one could guess 
that when she had been a little girl she, too, had had a wood 
to play in* They cut* down by the Secret Pond, where the 
old rhododendrons were, and out to the edge of the fields; 
and when they paused mother would lift her head and call 
again^ and her voice rang in the wood like a bell. By the 
pond, which was a black water with steep banks, she paused 
fitnd showed a serious face ; but there were no marks of shoes 
on its clay slopes, and she shook her head and went on. But 
to all the calling there was no answer, no distant cheery 
bellow to guide them to Joan. 

**I wish she wouldn't play these tricks," said mother. 
*'I don't Uke them a bit." 

**I expect she's hiding," said Joyce. ** There aren't 
wood-ladies really, are there, mother?" 

** There 's nothing worse in these woods than a rather 
naughty baby," mother replied. **We 'U go back by the 
path and call her again." 

Joyce knew that the hand which held hers tightened as 
they went and there was still no answer to mother's calling. 
She could not have told what it was that made her suddenly 
breathless; the wood about her turned desolate; an oppres- 
sion of distress and bewilderment burdened them both. 
**Joan, Joan!" called mother in her strong beautiful con- 
tralto, swelling the word forth in powerful music, and when 
she ceased the silence was like a taunt. It was not as if 
Joan were there and failed to answer; it was as if there were 
no longer any Joan anywhere. They came at last to the 
space of sparse trees which bordered their garden. 

**We mustn't be silly about this," said mother, speaking 
as much to herself as to Joyce. ** Nothing can have happened 
to her. And you must have lunch, chick." 

** Without waiting for Joan?" asked Joyce. 

* * Yes. The gardener and the boot-boy must look for Joan, ' ' 
said mother, opening the gate. 

The dining-room looked very secure and home-like, with its 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


big window and its cheerful table spread for luflcli. Jo^ee-'s;^ 
place faced the window, so that she could see the lawn and 
the hedge bounding the kitchen garden; and when mother 
had served her with food,* she was Jef t alone to eat it. Pres- 
ently the gardener and the boot-boy passed the window, each 
carrying a hedge-stake and looking warlike. There reached 
her a murmur of voices; the gardener was mumbling some- 
thing about tramps. 

**0h, I don't think so,'' replied mother's voice. 

Mother came in presently and sat down, but did not eat 
anything. Joyce asked her why. 

'*0h, I shall have some lunch when Joan comes," answered 
mother. *'I sha'n't be hungry till then. Will you have 
some more, my pett" 

When Joyce had finished, they went out again to the wood to 
meet Joan when she was brought back in custody. Mother 
walked quite slowly, looking all the time as if she would like 
to run. Joyce held her hand and sometimes glanced up at 
her face, so full of wonder and a sort of resentful doubt, as 
though circumstances^ were playing an unmannerly trick on 
her. At the gate;fehey came across the boot-boy. 

**I bin all aci|Gj^t that way," said the boot-boy, pointing with 
his stumpy black forefinger, ''and then acrost tkijkt way, an' 
Mister Jenks" — Jenks was the gardener — ** 'e've gone about 
in rings, 'e 'ave. And there ain't sign nor token, mum — 
not a sign there ain't." 

From beyond him sounded the voice of the gardener, 
thrashing among the trees. ''Miss Joan!" he roared. "Hi! 
Miss Jo-an! You 're a-frightin' your ma proper. Where 
are ye, thent" 

"She must be hiding," said mother. "You must go on 
looking, Walter. You must go on looking till you find her," 

"Yes, 'm," said Walter. "If she 's in there, us '11 find 
her, soon or late." 

He ran off, and presently his voice was joined to Jenks 's, 
calling Joan — calling, calling, and getting no answer. 

Mother took Joyce's hand again. 

"Come," she said. "We 11 walk round by the path, and 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


ytfu must tell me again how it all happened. Did you really 
see something when Joan told you to look?" 

' * I expect I did n *t, ' ' replied Joyce dolefully. * * But Joan 's 
always saying there *s a fairy or something in the shadows 
and I always think I see them for a moment." 

**It could n't have been a live woman — or a man — that you 

**0h, no!" Joyce was positive of that. Mother's hand 
tightened on hers understandingly and they went on in silence 
till they met Jenks. 

Jenks was an oldish man with bushy gray whiskers, who 
never wore a coat, and now he was wet to the loins with mud 
and water. 

**That there oV pond," he explained. "I Ve been an' 
took a look at her. Tromped through her proper, I did, an' 
I 11 go bail there ain't so much as a dead cat in all the mud 
of her. Thish yer *s a mistry, mum, an* no mistake." 

Mother stared at him. **I can't bear this," she said 
suddenly. *'You must go on searching, Jenks, and Walter 
must go on his bicycle to the police-station at once. Call 
him, please!" 

*' Walter!" roared Jenks obediently. 

"Co Jng!" answered the boot-boy and burst forth from 
the bushes. In swift, clear words, which no stupidity could 
mistake or forget, mother gave him his orders, spoken in a 
tone that meant urgency. Walter went flying to execute them. 

'*0h, mother, where do you think Joan can bet" begged 
Joyce when Jenks had gone off to resume his search. 

**I don't know," said mother. **It 's all so absurd." 

**If there was wood-ladies, they would n't hurt a baby like 
Joan," suggested Joyce. 

'*bh, who could hurt her!" cried mother, and fell to call- 
ing again. Her voice, of which each accent was music, al- 
ternated with the harsh roars of Jenks. 

Walter on his bicycle must have hurried, in spite of his 
permanently punctured front tire, for it was a very short 
time before bells rang in the steep lane from the road and 
Superintendent Farrow himself wheeled his machine in at 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


the gate, massive and self-possessed, a blue-dad minister of 
comfort. He heard mother's tale, which embodied that of 
Joyce, with a half -smile lurking in his mustache and his big 
chin creased back against his collar. Then he nodded, exactly 
as if he saw through the whole business and could find Joan 
in a minute or two, and propped his bicycle against the 

**I understand then,'' he said, "that the little girl's been 
missing for rather more than an hour. In that case, she can't 
have got far. I sent a couple o' constables round the roads 
be'ind the wood before I started, an' now I '11 just 'ave a 
look through the wood myself." 

** Thank you," said mother. *'I don't know why I 'm so 
nervous, but " 

''Very natural, ma'am," said the big superintendent com- 
fortingly, and went with them to the wood. 

It was rather thrilling to go with him and watch him. 
Joyce and mother had to show him the place from which Joan 
had started and the spot at which she had disappeared. He 
looked at them hard, frowning a little and nodding to himself, 
and went stalking mightily among the ferns. **It was 
'ere she wentt" he inquired, as he reached the dark path, and 
being assured that it was, he thrust in and commenced his 
search. The pond seemed to give him ideas, which old Jenks 
disposed of, and he marched on till he came out to the edge 
of the fields, where the hay was yet uncut. Joan could not 
have crossed them without leaving a track in the tall grass as 
clear as a cart-rut. 

**We 'ave to consider the possibilities of the matter," said 
the superintendent. ''Assumin' that the wood 'as been thor- 
oughly searched, where did she get out of it?" 

''Searched!" growled old Jenks. "There ain't a inch as 
I 'ave n't searched an' seen — ^not a inch." 

"The kidnappin' the'ry," went on the superintendent, ig- 
noring him and turning to mother, "I don't incline to. 
'Owever, we must go to work in order, an' I H *ave my men 
up 'ere and make sure of the wood. All gypsies an' tramps 
will be stopped and interrogated. I don't 

Digitized by V^OO*^l(:^ 


cause for you to fed anxious, ma'am. I 'ope to 'ave some 
news for you in the course of the afternoon." 

They watched him free-wheel down the lane and shoot 
round the comer. 

**0h, dear,'* said mother then; *'why doesn't the baby 
comet I wish daddy weren't away." 

Now that the police had entered the affair, Joyce felt that 
there remained nothing to be done. Uniformed authority was 
in charge of events; it could not fail to find Joan. She had a 
vision of the police at work, stopping straggling families of 
tramps on distant by-roads, looking into the contents of their 
dreadful bundles, flashing the official bull's-eye lantern into 
the mysterious interior of gypsy caravans, and making ragged 
men and slatternly women give an account of their wander- 
ings. No limits to which they would not go; how could 
they failt She wished their success seemed as inevitable 
to her mother as it did to her. 

*'They 're sure to bring her back, mother," she repeated. 

**0h, chick," said mother, **I keep telling myself so. 
But I wish— I wish " 

**What, mother!" 

''I wish," said mother, in a sudden burst of speech, as if 
she were confessing something that troubled her — ^^'I wish 
you hadn't seen that wood-lady." 

The tall young constables and the plump fatherly sergeant 
annoyed old Jenks by searching the wood as though he had 
done nothing. It was a real search this time. Each of 
them took a part of the ground and went over it as though 
he were looking for a needle which had been lost, and no less 
than three of them trod every inch of the bottom of the 
Secret Pond. They took shovels and opened up an old fox's 
earth ; and a sad-looking man in shabby plain clothes arrived 
and walked about smoking a pipe — a detective! Up from 
the village, too, came the big young curate and the squire's 
two sons, civil and sympathetic and eager to be helpful ; they 
all thought it natural that mother should be anxious, but 
refused to credit for an instant that anything could have 
happened to Joan.. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


**That baby!" urged the curate. **Why, my dear lady, 
Joan is better known hereabouts than King George himself. 
No one could take her a mile without having to answer ques- 
tions. I don't know what 's keeping her, but you may be sure 
she 's all right/' 

*' 'Course she is," chorused the others, swinging their sticks 
light-heartedly. ** 'Course she 's all right." 

**Get her for me, then," said mother. ''I don't want to 
be silly and you 're awfully good. But I must have her; 
I must have her. I — I want her." 

The squire's sons turned as if on an order and went toward 
the wood. The curate lingered a moment. He was a huge 
youth, an athlete and a gentleman, and his hard, clean- 
shaven face could be kind and serious. 

**We 're sure to get her," he said, in lower tones. **And 
you must help us with your faith and courage. Can you?" 

Mother's hand tightened on that of Joyce. 

*'We are doing our best," she said, and smiled — she smiled! 
The curate nodded and went his way to the wood. 

A little later in the afternoon came Colonel Warden, the 
lord and master of all the police in the county, a gay, trim sol- 
dier whom the children knew and liked. With him, in his big 
automobile, were more policemen and a pair of queer liver- 
colored dogs, all baggy skin and bleary eyes — ^blood-hounds! 
Joyce felt that this really must settle it. Actual living blood- 
hounds would be more than a match for Joan. Colonel War- 
den was sure of it too. 

''Saves time," he was telling mother, in his high snappy 
voice. ** Shows us which way she 's gone, you know. Best 
hounds in the country, these two; never known 'em fail yet." 

The dogs were limp and quiet as he led them through the 
wood, strange ungainly mechanisms which a whiff of a scent 
could set in motion. A pinafore which Joan had worn at 
breakfast was served to them for an indication of the work 
they had to do ; they snuffed at it languidly for some seconds. 
Then the colonel unleashed them. 

They smelled round and about like any other dogs for a 
while, till one of them lifted his great head and uttered a long 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


moaning cry. Then, noses down, the men running behind 
them, they set off across the ferns. Mother, still holding 
Joyce's hand, followed. The hounds made a straight line for 
the wood at the point at which Joan had entered it, slid in like 
frogs into water, while the men dodged and crashed after 
them. Joyce and mother came up with them at a place where 
»the bushes stood back, enclosing a little quiet space of turf 
that lay open to the sky. The hounds were here, one lying 
down and scratching himself, the other nosing casually and 
clearly without interest about him. 

"Dash it all," the colonel was saying; *'she can't — she 
simply can't have been kidnapped in a balloon." 

They tried the hounds again and again, always with the 
same result. They ran their line to the same spot unhesitat- 
ingly, and then gave up as though the scent went no further. 
Nothing could induce them to hunt beyond it. 

"I can't understand this," said Colonel Warden, dragging 
at his mustaehe. ' * This is queer. ' ' He stood glancing around 
him as though the shrubs and trees had suddenly become 

The search was still going on when the time came for Joyce 
to go to bed. It had spread from the wood across the fields; 
reinforced by scores of sturdy volunteers, and automobiles 
had puffed away to thread the mesh of little lanes that cov- 
ered the country-side. Joyce found it all terribly exciting. 
Fear for Joan die felt not at all. 

*'I know inside myself," she told mother, "right down 
deep in the middle of me, that Joan 's all right." 

** Bless you, my chick," said poor mother. "I wish I 
could feel like that. Go to bed now, like a good girl." 

There was discomfort in the sight of Joan's railed cot 
standing empty in the night nursery, but Joyce was tired and 
had scarcely begun to be touched by it before she was asleep. 
She had a notion that during the night mother came in 
more than once, and she had a vague dream, too, all about 
Joan and wood-ladies, of which she could not remember 
much when she woke up. Joan was always dressed fifist in 
the morning, being the younger of the pair, but now there Was 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


no Joan and nurse was very gentle with Joyce and looked 
tired and as if she had been crying. 

Mother was not to be seen that morning; she had been up 
all night, **till she broke down, poor thing," said nurse, and 
Joyce was bidden to amuse herself quietly in the nursery. 
But mother was about again at lunch-time when Joyce went 
down to the dining-room. She was very pale and her eyes 
looked black and deep, and somehow ^e seemed suddenly 
smaller and younger, more nearly Joyce's age, than ever be- 
fore. They kissed each other and the child would have tried 
to comfort. 

*'No," said mother, shaking her head. *'No, dear.-" Don't 
let 's be sorry for each other yet. *It would be like giying 
up hope. And we haven't done that, have wef 

''/ haven't," said Joyce. ''I know it 's all right." 

After lunch — again mother said she wouldn't be hungry till 
Joan came home — ^they went' out together. /There were no 
searches now in the wood and the garden was empty ; the police 
had left no inch unscanned and they were away, combing 
the country-side and spreading terror .among Ihe tramps. 
The sun was strong upon the lawn and the smell pf the roses 
was heavy on the air; across the hedge the land rolled away 
to clear perspectives of peace and beauty. 

"Let 's walk up and down," suggested mother. *' Any- 
thing 's better than sitting still. And don't talk, chick — ^not 
just now." 

They paced the length of the lawn, from the cedar to the 
gate which led to the wood, perhaps a dozen times," hand in 
hand and in silence. It was while their backs were turned 
to the wood that they heard the gate click, and faced about to 
see who was coming. A blue-sleeved arm thrust the gate 
open and there advanced into the sunlight, coming forth from 
the shadow as from a doorway — Joan ! Her round baby face, 
with the sleek, brown hair over it, the massive infantile body, 
the sturdy bare legs, confronted them serenely. Mother lit- 
tered a deep sigh — it sounded like that — and in a moment 
she was kneeling on the ground with her arms round the 




''Joan, Joan," she said, over and over again. '*My little, 
little baby!'' 

Joan struggled in her embrace till she got an arm free and 
then rubbed her eyes drowsily. 

*'HaUo!'' she said. 

''But where have you been!'' cried mother. "Baby-girl, 
where have you been all this timet" 

Joan made a motion of her head and her free arm toward 
the wood, the wood which had been searched a dozen times 
over like a pocket. "In there," she answered carelessly. 
"Wiv the wood-ladies. I 'm hungry!" 

"My darling!" said mother, and picked her up and car- 
ried her into the house. 

In the dining-room, with mother at her side and Joyce 
opposite to her, Joan fell to her food in her customary work- 
man-like fashion, and between helpings answered questions 
in a fashion which only served to darken the mystery of her 

"But there aren't any wood-ladies really, darling," re- 
monstrated mother. 

."^There is," said Joan. "There 's lots. They wanted to 
ke^ me but I wouldn't stay. So I comed home, 'cause I 
was hungry." 

">But,** began mother, "where did they take you to!" she 

"I don't know," said Joan. "The one what I went to 
speak to gave me her hand and tooked me to where there 
was more of them. It was a place in the wood wiv grass to 
sit on and bushes all round, and they gave me dead flowers to 
play wiv. Howwid old dead flowers!" 

"Yes!" said mother. "What else!" 

"There was anuwer little girl there," went on Joan. 
"Not a wood-lady, but a girl like me, what they 'd tooked 
from somewhere. She was wearing a greeny sort of dress like 
they was, and they wanted me to put one on too. But I 

"Why wouldn't you!" asked Joyce. 

" 'Cause I didn't want to be a wood-lady," replied Joan. 

Digitized by VjOO^K:! 


''I^istea to me, darling, '* said mother. **Didn*t these 
people whom you call wood-ladies take you away out of the 
wood! We searched, the whole wood, you know, and you 
weren't there at all.'^ 

•*- „ 

I was," said Joan. ^^I was there all the time an' I 
heard Walter an' Jenks calling. I cocked a snook at them 
an' the wood-ladies laughed like leaves rustling." 

**But where did you sleep last night?" 

**I didn't sleep," said Joan, grasping her spoon anew. 
**I 'se very sleepy now." ^ 

She was asleep as soon as th^ laid her in bed, and motiiier 
and Joyce looked at each other across her cot, above her rosy 
and unconscious face. ^ 

"God help us," said mothelv in a whisper. "What is the 
truth of this?" Os 

There was never any answer, any^^hii^i^ a solution, save 
Joan's. And she, as soon as>^e discoveral t^at her experi- 
ences amounted to an adventure, began to^^broider them, 
and now she does not even know herself. She has reached 
the age of seven, and it is long since she^lias believed in any 
thing so childish as wood-ladies.^ X 




These were four rails around the ship's sides, the three 
lower ones of iron and the one on top of wood, and as he 
looked between them from the canvas cot he recognized them 
as the^ prison-bars which held him in. Outside his prison lay 
a stretch of blinding blue water which ended in a line of 
breakers and a yellow coast with ragged pakns. Beyond that 
again rose a range of mountain-peaks, and, stuck upon the 
loftiest peak of all, a tiny Uock-house. It rested on the brow 
of the mountain against the naked sky as impudentlv as a 
crackei:;][)ox set upon the dome of a great cathedral.^'i^ 

As the transport rode on her anchor-chains, the iron bars 
arounZPher sides rose and sank and divided the landscape 
with palhajlel iines. From his cot the officer followed this 
phenomencm with severe, painstaking interest. Sometimes the 
wooden rail sWept up to the very block-house itself, and for 
a second of time blotted it from sight. And again it salik to 
the level, of the line of breakers, and wiped them out of the 
picture as though they were a line of chalkM^ 

The soldier on the cot promised himself that the next swell 
of the sea would send the lowest rail climbing to the very top 
of the palm-trees or, even higher, to the base of the moun- 
tains ; and when it failed to reach even the palm-trees he felt 
a distinct sense of ill use, of having been wronged by some 
one. There was no other reason for submitting to this ex- 
istence save these tricks upon the wearisome, glaring land- 
scape; and now, whoever it was who was working them did 
not seem to be making this eflfort to entertain him with any 

1 l*rom the Lion and the UiUeorn. Copyright, 1899, by Cliarlefl Scrib- 
ner^f Sons. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


It was most craeL Indeed, he decided hotly, it was not to 
be endured; he would bear it no longer, he would make liis 
escape. But he knew that this move, which could be con- 
ceived in a moment's desperation, could only be carried to 
success with great strategy, secrecy, and careful cunning. 
So he fell back upon his pillow and closed his eyes, as though 
he were asleep, and then opening them again, turned cau- 
tiously, and spied upon his keeper. As usual, his keeper sat 
at the foot of the cot turning the pages of a huge paper filled 
with pictures of the war printed in daubs of tawdry colors. 
His keeper was a hard-faced boy without human pity or 
consideration, a very devil of obstinacy and fiendish cruelty. 
To make it worse, the fiend was a person without a collar, in a 
suit of soiled khaki, with a curious red cross bound by a 
safety-pin to his left arm. He was intent upon the paper in 
his hands ; he was holding it between his eyes and his prisoner. 
His vigilance had relaxed, and the moment seemed propitious. 
With a sudden plunge of arms and legs, the prisoner swept 
the bed-sheet from him, and sprang at the wooden rail and 
grasped the iron stanchion beside it. He had his knee pressed 
against the top bar and his bare toes on the iron rail beneath 
it. Below him the blue water waited for him. It was cool 
and darj^ and gentle and deep. It would certainly put out 
the fire in his bones, ^^he thought; it might even shut out the 
glare of the sun which scorched his eyehaJJsJfm, 

But as he balanced for the leap, a sWift weakness and 
natisea swept over him, a weight seized upon his body and 
timbs. He could not lift the lower foot from the iron rail, 
and he swayed dizzily and trembled. He trembled. He who 
had raced his men and beaten them up the hot hill to the 
trenches of San Juan. But now he was a baby in the hands 
of a giant, who caught him by the wrist and with an iron arm 
clasped him around his waist and pulled him down, and 
shouted, brutally, ''Help, some of youse, quick! he 'g at it 
again. I can 't hold him. " 

More giants grasped him by the arms and by the legs. 
One of them took the hand that clung to the stanchion in 




both of his, and pulled back the fingers one by one, saying, 
**Easy now, Lieutenant — easy.'* 

The ragged palms and the sea and block-house were swal- 
lowed up in a black fog, and his body touched the canvas cot 
again with a sense of home-coming and relief and rest. He 
wondered how he could have cared to escape from it. T^e 
found it so good to be back again that for a long time he 
wept quite happily, until the fiery pillow was moist and 

The world outside of the iron bars was like a scene in a 
theater set for some great event, but the actors were never 
ready. He remembered confusedly a play he had once wit- 
nessed before that same scene. Indeed, he believed he had 
played some small part in it; but he remembered it dimly, and 
ItU trace of the men who had appeared with him in it was 
gone. He had reasoned it out that they were up there be- 
hind the range of mountains, because great heavy wagons and 
ambulances and cannon were emptied from the ships at the 
wharf above and were drawn away in long lines behind the 
ragged palms, moving always toward the passes between the 
peaks. At times he was disturbed by the thought that he 
should be up and after them, that some tradition of duty 
made his presence with them imperative. There was much 
to be done back of the mountains. Some event of momentous 
import was being carried forward there, in which he held a 
part ; but the doubt soon passed from him, and he was content 
to lie and watch the iron bars rising and falling between the 
block-house and the white surf. 

If they had been only humanely kind, his lot would have 
been bearable, but they starved him and held him down when 
he wished to rise ; and they would not put out the fire in the 
pillow, which they might easily have done by the simple ex- 
pedient of throwing it over the ship's side into the sea. He 
himself had done this twice, but the keeper had immediately 
brought a fresh pillow already heated for the torture and 
forced it under his head. 

His pleasures were very simple, and so few he could not 

Digitized by VjOO^K^ 


understaad why they robbed him of them so jealously. One 
was to watch a g^^^en cluster of bananas that hung above him 
from the awning, twirling on a string. He could count as 
m^ny of them as five before the bunch turned ^d swung 
lazily back again, when he could count as high as twelve; 
sometimes when the ship rolled heavily he could cou^t to 
twenty. It was a most fascinating game, and contented Iiim 
for many hours. But when they found this out they si&at 
for the cook to come and cut them down, and the cook carried 
them away to his galley. 

Then, one day, a mdn came out fr(»n the shore, swimming 
through the blue water wit)i^eat splashes. ~ He was a most 
charming man, who spluttered a^d dove and twisted and l^y 
on his back and kicked his ft)gs in an excess of content and 
delight. It was a real pleasure^o watch him ; not fop days 
had anything so amusing appearbdN)n the other side of the 
prison-bars. But as soon as the keepecusaw th^t the n^aii in 
the water was amusing his prisoner, he leaned over the ship's 
side and shouted, ''Sa-ay, you, don't you know there 's ^^ik& 
in there t" 

And the swimming man raced back to the shore like a 
porpoise with great lashing of the water, and ran up the 
beach half-way to the palms before he was satisfied to stop. 
Then the prisoner wept again. It was so disappointing. 
Life was robbed of everything now. He remembered that 
in a previous existence soldiers who cried were laughed at 
and mocked. But that was so far away and it was sucib an 
absurd superstition that he had jxo patience with it. For 
what could be more comforting to a man when he is treated 
cruelly than to cry. It was so obvioi^s an exercise, and when 
one is so feeble th^t one cannot vault a four-railed bonier 
it is something to feel that at least one is strong enough to 

He escaped occasionally, traversing space with marveUous 
rapidity and to great disti^nces, but never to any successful 
purpose; and his flight inevitably ended in ignominious re- 
capture and a sudden awakening in bed. At these moments 
the familiar and hated palms, the peaks, and the block-house 

— Digitized by VjOO<^1(:^ 


were more hideous in their reality than the most terrifying 
of his nightmares. 

These excursions afield were always predatory; he went 
forth always to seek food. With all the beautiful world from 
which to elect and choose, he sought out only thpse places 
where eating was studied and elevated to an art. These 
visits were much more vivid in their detail than any he had 
ever before made to these same resorts. They invariably be- 
gan in a carriage, which carried him swiftly over smooth 
asphalt. One route brought him across a great and beautiful 
square, radiating with rows and rows of flickering lights; 
two fountains splashed in the center. of the square, and six 
women t>t stofie guarded its approaches. One of the wopaen 
was hung with wreatKTof mourning. - Ahead of him the late 
twilight darkened behind a great arch, which seemed to rise 
on the horizon of the world, a great window into the heavens 
beyond. At either side strings of white and colored globes 
hung .among the trees, and the sound of music came joyfully 
from liieaters in the^open ak*. He knew the restaurant under 
the trees 1;o which he was^now hastening, and the fQuntain 
beside it, and_4jie^very spalrrows balancing on the fountain's 
edge; he knew every waiter at each of the tables, he felt 
again the gravel c?fc,chiiig under his feet, he saw the maitre 
d'hotel coming ^ward su^iiixig^o receive his command, and 
the waiter in the greeriUprdn bowing at his elbow, deferential 
and important, presenting thrlist of wmes. But his advea- 
ture never passed that point, for he was captured again and 
once more bound to his cot with a close burning sheet. 

Or else, he drove more sedately through the London streets 
in the late evening twilight, leaning expectantly across the 
doors of the hansom and pulling carefully at his white gloves. 
Other hansoms flashed past him, the occupant of each with 
his mind fixed on one idea — dinner. He was one of a million 
of people who were about to dine, or who had dined, or who 
were deep in dining. He was so famished, so weak for food 
of any quality, that the galloping horse in the hansom seemed 
to crawl. The lights of the Embankment passed like the 
lamps of a railroad station as seen from the window of an 

Digitized by VjOO^ It! 


express ; and whfle his mind was still torn between the choice 
of a thin or thick soup or an immediate attack upon cold 
beef, he was at the door, and the chasseur touched his cap, and 
the little chasseur put the wicker guard over the hansom's 
wheel. As he jumped out he said, **Give him half-a-crown, " 
and the driver called after him, ** Thank you, sir." 

It was a beautiful world, this world outside of the iron 
bars. Everyone in it contributed to his pleasure and to 
his comfort. In this world he was not starved nor man- 
handled. He thought of this joyfully as he leaped up the 
stairs, where young men with grave faces and with thein hands 
held negligently behind their backs bowed to him in polite 
surprise at his speed. But they had norbeen starved on 
condensed milk. He threw his coat and hat at one of them, 
and came down the hall fearfully and quite weak with dread 
lest it should not be real. His voice was shaking when he 
asked Ellis if he had reserved a table. The place was all so 
real, it must be true this time. The way Ellis turned and 
ran his finger down the list showed it was i:eal, because^ Ellis 
always did that, even when he knew there would not be an 
empty table for^an hour. The room was crowded with,beau- 
tiful women; under the light of the red shades they looked 
kind and approachable, and there was food on every, table, 
and iced drinks in silver buckets.- It was with the joy of 
great relief that he heard Ellis say to his uuderliffg, ^^Num^ro 
cinq, sur la terrace, un convert/^ ' It was real at last. ' Out- 
side, the Thames lay a great gray shadow. - The lights of the 
Embankment flashed and twinkled across it, the tower of the 
House of Commons rose against the sky, and here, inside, the 
waiter was hurrying toward him carrying a smoking plate of 
rich soup with a pungent, intoxicating odor. 

And then the ragged palms, the glarings sun, the immovable 
peaks, and the white surf stood again before himjJpThe iron 
rails swept up and sank again, the fever sucked at his bones, 
and the pillow scorched his cheek. 

One morning for a brief moment he came back to real life 
again and lay quite still, seeing everything about him with 
clear eyes and for the first time, as though he had but just 




that instant been lifted over the ship's side. His keeper, 
glancing up, found the prisoner's eyes considering him curi- 
ously, and recognized the change. The instinct of discipline 
brought him to his feet with his fingers at his sides. 

*'Is the Lieutenant feeling better}" 

The Lieutenant surveyed him gravely. 

*'You are one of our hospital stewards." 

"Yes, Lieutenant." 

"Why aren't you with the regiment?" 

"I was wounded, too, sir. I got it same time you did, 

"Am I wounded! Of course, I remember. Is this a hospi- 
tal ship?" 

The steward shrugged his shoulders. "She 's one of the 
transpprts. They have turned her over to the fever cases." 

The Lieutenant opened his lips to ask another question; 
' but his own body answered that one, and for a moment he lay 
silent. ' 

"Do they know up North 6iat I— that I 'm all right?" 

"Oh, yes, the papers had it in — ^there were pictures of the 
Lieutenant in some of them." 

*"Then I 've been- ill some time?" 

"Oh, about eight days." 

7he soldier moved uneasily, and the nurse in him became 

"I guess the Lieutenant hadn't better talk any more," he 
said. It was his voice now which held authority. 

I'he Lieutenant looked out at the palms and the silent 
gloomy mountains and the empty coastline, where the same 
wave was rising and falling with weary persistence. 

"Eight days," he said. His eyes shut quickly, as though 
with a sudden touch of pain. He tumeld his head and 
sought for the figure at the foot of the cot. Already the 
figure had grown faint and was receding and swaying. 

"Has anyone written or cabled?" the Lieutenant spoke, 
hurriedly. He was fearful lest the figure should disappear 
altogether before he could obtain his answer. "Has anyone 


by Google — 


'*yfhjf they couldn't get here, Lieutenant, not yet." 

The voice came very faintly. **You go to sleep now, and 
I II nm and fetch some letters and telegrams. When you 
wake upj maybe I 'H have a lot for you." 

But the Lieutenant caught the nurse by the wrist, and 
crushed his hand in his own thin fingers. . They were hot, and 
left the steward's ridn wet with perspiration. The Lieuten- 
ant laughed gayly. 

'*You see, Doctor,^' he said, briskly, **that you can't kill 
me. I can't die. I 've got to live, you understand. Because, 
sir, she said she would come. She said if I was wounded, or 
if I was ill, she would come to me. She didn't care what 
people thought. She would come anyway and nurse me — 
well, she will come." 

*'So, Doctor — old man — '* He plucked at the steward's 
sleeve, and stroked his hand eagerly, **old man — " he began 
again, beseechingly, **you '11 not let me die until she comes, 
will youf What? No, I know I won't die. Nothing made 
by man can kill me. No, not until she comes. Then, after 
that — eight days, she '11 be here soon, any moment! Whatt 
You think so, toot Don't you? Surely, yes, any moment. 
Yes, I '11 go to sleep now, and when you see her rowing out 
from shore you wake me. You '11 know her; you can't make 
a mistake. She is like — ^no, there is no one like her — but you 
can't make a mistake." 

That day strange figures began to mount the sides of the 
ship, and to occupy its every turn and angle of space. Some 
of them fell on their knees and slapped the bare deck with 
their hands, and laughed and cried out, ** Thank God, I '11 see 
God's country again!" Some of them were regulars, bound 
in bandages; some were volunteers, dirty and hollow-eyed, 
with long beards on boys' faces. Some came on crutches; 
others with their arms around the shoulders of their comrades, 
staring ahead of them with a &xed smile, their lips drawn 
b^i and their teeth protruding. At every second step they 
stumbled, and the face of each was swept by swift ripples of 

They lay on cots so close together that the nurses cotdd 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


not walk between them. They lay on the wet decks, m 1^ 
scuppers and along the transoms and hatches. They were 
like shipwrecked mariners clinging to a raft, and they asked 
nothing more than that the ship's bow be turned toward 
home. Once satisfied as to that, they relaxed into a state of 
self-pity and miserable oblivion to their environment, from 
which hunger nor nausea nor aching bones could shake them. 

The hospital steward touched the Lieutenant lightly on the 

**We are going North, sir,'^ he said. **The transport 's 
ordered North to New York, with these volunteers and the 
sick and the wounded. Do you hear me, sir!" 

The Lieutenant opened his eyes. *'Has she eome?" he 

^^Oee!" exclaimed the hospital steward. He glanced im- 
patiently at the blue mountains and the yellow coast, from 
which the transport was rapidly drawing away. 

'*Well, I can't see her coming just now," hd said. **But 
she will," he added. ^ 

'*You let me know at once when she comes." 

**Why, cert'nly, of course," said the steward. 

Three trained nurses came over the side just before the 
transport started North. One was a large, motherly looking 
woman, with a German accent. She had been a trained nurse, 
first in Berlin, and later in the London Hospital in White- 
chapel, and at Bellevue. The nurse was dressed in white, 
and wore a little silver medal at her throat; and she was 
strong enough to lift a volunteer out of his cot and hold him 
easily in her arms, while one of the convalescents pulled his 
cot out of the rain. Some of the men called her ** nurse"; 
others, who wore scapulars around their necks, called her 
''Sister"; and the ofScers of the medical staff addressed her 
as Miss Bergen. 

Miss Bergen halted beside the cot of the Lieutenant and 
asked, **Is this the fever case you spoke about. Doctor— the 
one you want moved to the officers' ward!" She slipped her 
hand up under his sleeve and felt his wrist. 

'*His pulse is very high," she said to the steward. **When 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


did you take his temperature T' She drew a little morocco 
case from her pocket and from that took a clinical thermome- 
ter, which she shook up and down, eying the patient mean- 
while with a calm, impersonal scrutiny. The Lieutenant 
raised his head and stared up at the white figure beside his 
cot. His eyes opened and then shut quickly, with a startled 
look, in which doubt struggled with wonderful happiness. 
His hand stole out fearfully and warily until it touched her 
apron, and then, finding it was real, he clutched it desper- 
ately, and twisting his face and body toward her, pulled her 
down, clasping her hands in both of his, and pressing them 
close to his face and eyes and lips. He put them from him 
for an instant, and looked at her through his tears. 

''Sweetheart,'' he whispered, ''sweetheart, I knew you 'd 

As the nurse knelt on the deck beside him, her thermometer 
slipped from her fingers and broke, and she gave an exclama- 
tion of annoyance. The young Doctor picked up the pieces 
and tossed them overboard. Neither of them spoke, but they 
smiled appreciatively. The Lieutenant was looking at the 
nurse with the wonder and hope and hunger of soul in his 
eyes with which a dying man looks at the cross the priest 
holds up before him. What he saw where the German nurse 
was kneeling was a tall, fair girl with great bands and masses 
of hair, with a head rising like a lily from a firm, white 
throat, set on broad shoulders above a straight back and 
sloping breast — a tall, beautiful creature, half-giri, half- 
woman, who looked back at him shyly, but steadily. 

"Listen," he said. 

The voice of the sick man was so sure and so sane that the 
young Doctor started, and moved nearer to the head of the 
cot. "Listen, dearest," the Lieutenant whispered. "I 
wanted to tell you before I came South. But I did not dare; 
and then I was afraid something might happen to me, and I 
could never tell you, and you would never know. So I wrote 
it to you in the will I made at Baiquiri, the night before the 
landing. If you hadn't come now, you would have learned 
it in that way. You would have read there that there never 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


was anyone but you; the rest were all dream people, foolish, 
silly — mad. There is no one else in the world but you ; you 
have been the only thing in life that has counted. I thought 
I might do something down here that would make you care. 
But I got shot going up a hill, and after that I wasn't able 
to do anything. It was very hot, and the hills were on fire; 
and they took me prisoner, and kept me tied down here, 
burning on these coals. I can't live much longer, but now 
that I Ve told you I can have peace. They tried to kill me 
before you came; but they didn't know I loved you, they 
didn't know that men- who love you can't die. They tried 
to starve my love for you, to burn it out of me ; they tried to 
reach it with their knives. But my love for you is my soul, 
and they can't kill a man's soul. Dear heart, I have lived 
because you lived. Now that you know— now that you under- 
stand—what does it matter?" 

Miss Bergen shook her head with great vigor. * * Nonsense, ' ' 
she said, cheerfully. **You are not going to die. As soon 
as we move you out of this rain, and some food cook " 

"Good God!" cried the young Doctor, savagely. ''Do you 
want to Mil him!" 

When she spoke, the patient had thrown his arms heavily 
across his face, and had fallen back, lying rigid on the pillow. 

The Doctor led the way across the prostrate bodies, apolo- 
gizing as he went. '*I am sorry I spdke so quickly," he said, 
''but he thought you were real. I mean he thought you were 
some one he really knew " 

"He was just delirious," said the German nurse, calmly. 

The Doctor mixed himself a Scotch and soda and drank it 
with a single gesture. 

"Ugh!" he said to the ward-room. "I feel as though I 'd 
been opening another man's letters." 

The transport drove through the empty seas with heavy, 
clumsy upheavals, rolling like a buoy. Having been originally 
intended for the freight-carrying trade, she had no sympathy 
with hearts that beat for a sight of their native land, or for 
lives that counted their remaining minutes by the throbbing 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


of her enginegqfcbccasionallyy without apparent reason, she 
was thrown violently from her course; but it was invariably 
the ease that when her stem went to starboard, something 
splashed in the water on her port side and drifted past her, 
until, when it had cleared the blades of her propeller, a 
voice cried out, and she was swung back on her home-bound 
track again. 

The Lieutenant missed the familiar palms and the tiny 
block-house; and seeing nothing beyond the iron rails but 
great wastes of gray water, he decided he was on board a 
prison-ship, or that he had been strapped to a raft and cast 
adrift. People came for hours at a time and stood at the 
foot of his cot, and talked with him and he to them — ^people 
he had loved and people he had long forgotten, some of whom 
he had thought were dead. One of them he could have sworn 
he had seen buried in a deep trench, and covered with 
branches of palmetto. He had heard the bugler, with tears 
choking him, sound **taps"; and with his own hand he had 
placed the dead man's campaign hat on the mound of fresh 
earth above the grave. Yet here he was still alive, and he 
came with other men of his troop to speak to him ; but when 
he reached out to them they were gone — ^the real and the un- 
real, the dead and the living — and even She disappeared 
whenever he tried to take her hand, and sometimes the hospi- 
tal steward drove her away. 

**Did that young lady say when she was coming back 
again f" he asked the steward. 

' ' The young lady ! What young lady ? ' ' asked the steward, 

yThe one who has been sitting there," he answered. He 
pointed with his gaunt hand at the man in the next cot. 

''Oh, that young lady. Yes, she 's coming back. She 's 
just gone below to fetch you some hard-tack." 

The young volunteer in the next cot whined grievously. 

* * That crazy man gives me the creeps, ' ' he groaned. " He 's 
always waking me up, and looking at me as though he was 
going to eat me." 

''Shut your head," said the steward. "He 's a better man 

Digitized by V^OO^K:^ 


cra^ than you 'U ever be with the little sense you We got. 
And he has two Mauser holes in him. Crazy, eh! It 's a 
good thing for you that there was about four thousand of us 
regulars just as crazy as him, or you 'd never seen the top of 
the hill." 

One morning there was a great commotion on deck, and 
all the convalescents balanced themselves on the rail, shiver- 
ing in their pajamas, and pointed one way. The transport 
was moving swiftly and smoothly through water as flat as a 
lake, and making a great noise with her steam-whistle. The - 
noise was echoed by many more steam-whistles; and the 
ghosts of out-bound ships and tugs and excursion steamers 
ran past her out of the mist and disappeared, saluting joy- 
ously. All of the excursion steamers had a heavy list to the 
side nearest the transport, and the ghosts on them crowded 
to that rail and waved handkerchiefs and cheered. The fog 
lifted suddenly, and between the iron rails the Lieutenant 
saw high green hills on either side of a great harbor. Houses 
and trees and thousands of masts swept past like a panorama ; 
and beyond was a mirage of three cities, with curling smoke- 
wreathis, and sky-reaching buildings, and a great swinging 
bridge, and a giant statue of woman waving a welcome home. X 

The Lieutenant surveyed the spectacle with cynical dis- 
belief. He was far too wise and far too cunning to be be- 
witched by it. In his heart he pitied the men about him, 
who laughed wildly, and shouted, and climbed recklessly to 
the rails and ratlines. He had been deceived too often not 
to know that it was not real. He knew from cruel experience 
that in a few moments the tall buildings would crumble away, 
the thousands of columns of white smoke that flashed like 
snow in the sun, the busy, shrieking tug-boats, and the great 
statue would vanish into the sea, leaving it gray and bare. 
He closed his eyes and shut the vision out. It was so beau- 
tiful that it tempted him; but he would not be mocked, and 
he buried his face in his hands. They were carrying the 
faree too far, he thought. It was really too absurd; for now 
thi^ were at a wharf which was so real that, had he not known 
by previous suffering, he would have been utterly deceived by 

Digitized by VjOO*2 1^ 


it. And there were great crowds of smiling, cheering people, 
and a waiting guard of honor in fresh uniforms, and rows of 
police pushing the people this way and that; and these men 
about him were taking it all quite seriously and making ready 
to disembark, carrying their blanket-rolls and rifles with 

A band was playing joyously, and the man* in the next 
cot, who was being lifted to a stretcher, said, *' There 's the 
Governor and his staff; that 's him in the high hat.' v It was 
really very well done. The Custom-house and the Elevated 
Railroad and Castle Garden were as like to life as a photo- 
graph, and the crowd was as well handled as a mob in a 
play. His heart ached for it so that he could not bear the 
pain, and he turned his back on it. It was cVuel to keep it 
up so long. His keeper lifted him iu his arms, and pulled 
him into a dirty uniform which had belonged, apparently, 
to a much larger man — a man who had been killed probably, 
for there were dark-brown marks of blood on the tunic and 
breeches. When he tried to stand on his feet, Castle Garden 
and the Battery disappeared in a black cloud of night, just 
as he knew they would; but when he opened his eyes from 
the stretcher, they had returned again. It was a most re- 
markably vivid vision. They kept it up so well. Now the 
young Doctor and the hospital steward were pretending to 
carry him down a gangplank and into an open space; and 
he saw quite close to him a long line of policemen, and be- 
hind them thousands of faces, some of them women's faces — 
women who pointed at him and then shook their heads and 
cried, and pressed their hands to their cheeks, still looking at 
him. He wondered why they cried. He did not know them, 
nor did they know him. No one knew him; these people 
were only ghosts. 

There was a quick parting in the crowd. A man he had 
once known shoved two of the policemen to one side, and he 
heard a girl's voice speaking his name, like a sob; and She 
came running out across the open space and fell on her knees 
beside the stretcher, and bent down over him, and he was 
clasped in two young, firm arms. 




"Of course it is not real, of course it is not She," he as- 
sured himself. ^'Because She would not do such a thing. 
Before all these people She would not do it" 

But he trembled and his heart throbbed so cruelly that he 
could not bear the pain. 

She was pretending to cry. 

*'They wired us you had started for Tampa on the hospital 
ship," She was saying, **and Aunt and I went all the way 
there before we heard you had been sent North. We have 
>been on the^^cars a week. That is why I missed you. Do you 
.cmderstand? It was not my fault. I tried to come. In- 
deed, ^ tried to come." 

-^lie^ turned her tead and looked up fearfully at the young 

''Tell me, why does he look at me like that!" she asked. 
**He doesn't know me. Is he very ill? Tell me the truth." 
She drew in her breath quickly. '*0f course you wiQ tell me 
the truth." 

When she asked the question he felt her arms draw tight 
about his shoulders. It was as though she was holding him 
to herself, and from someone who had reached out for him. 
In his trouble he turned to his old friend and keeper. His 
voice was hoarse and very low. 

*'Is this the same young lady who was on the transport — 
the one you used to drive awayT^' 

In his embarrassment, the hospital steward blushed under 
his tan, and stammered. 

*'0f course it 's the same young lady," the Doctor an- 
swered, briskly. ''And I won't let them drive her away." 
He turned to her, smiling gravely. "I think his condition 
has ceased to be dangerous, Madam," he said. 

People who, in a former existence, had been his friends, and 
Her brother^ gathered about his stretcher and bore !him 
through the crowd and lifted him into a carriage filled with 
cushions, among which he sank lower and lower. Then She 
sat beside him, and he heard Her brother say to the coach- 
man, "Home, and drive slowly and keep on the asphalt." 

The carriage moved forward, and She put her arm about 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


him, and his head fell on her shoulder, and neither of them 
spoke. The vision had lasted so long now that he was torn 
with the joy that after all it might be real. But he could 
not bear the awakening if it were not, so he raised his head 
fearfully and looked up into the beautiful eyes above him. 
His brows were knit, and he stj*uggled with a great doubt 
and an awful joy. 

^'Dearest,'' he said, **is it real?" 

**Is it real!" she repeated. 

Even as a dream, it was so wonderfully beautiful that he 
was satisfied if it could only continue so, if but for a little 

'^Do you think," he htgged again, trembling, ''that it is 
going to last much longer?" 

She smiled, and bending her head slowly, kissed him. 

^^It is going to last — always," she said. 





Tq look at old Sam Gates you would never suspect him of 
having nerves. His sixty-nine years of close application to 
the needs of the soil had given him a certain earthy stolidity. 
To observe him hoeing, or thinning out a broad field of tur- 
nips, hardly attracted one's attention, he seemed so much part 
and parcel of the whole scheme. He blended into the soil 
like a glorified swede. Nevertheless, the half-dozen people 
who claimed his acquaintance knew him to be a man who 
suffered from little moods of irritability. 

And on this glorious morning a little incident annoyed him 
unreasonably. It concerned his niece, Aggie. She was a 
plump girl with clear, blue eyes, and a face as round and 
inexpressive as the dumplings for which the county was 
famous. She came slowly across the long sweep of the down- 
land and, putting down the bundle wrapped in a red hand- 
kerchief which contained his breakfast and dinner, she said: 

**Well, Uncle, is there any noosf" 

Now, this may not appear to the casual reader to be a 
remark likely to cause irritation, but it affected old Sam Gates 
as a very silly and unnecessary question. It was, moreover, 
the constant repetition of it which was beginning to anger him. 
He met his niece twice a day. In the morning she brought 
his bundle of food at seven, and when he passed his sister's 
cottage on the way home to tea at five she was invariably hang- 
ing about the gate, and she always said in the same voice: 

*'Well, Uncle, is there any noost" 

Noos! What noos should there be! For sixty-nine years 
he had never lived farther than five miles from Halvesham. 
For nearly sixty of those years he had bent his back above 
the soil. There were, indeed, historic occasions. Once, for 


Digitized by VjOO*^1(^ 


instance^ when he had married Annie Haehet. And there was 
the birth of his daughter. There was also a famous occasion 
when he had visited London. Once he had been to a flower- 
show at Market Boughborough. He either went or didn't 
go to church on Sundays. He had had many interesting chats 
with Mr. James at the Cowman, and three years ago had sold a 
pig to Mrs. Way. But he couldn't always have interesting 
noos of this sort up his sleeve. Didn't the silly zany know 
that for the last three weeks he had been hoeing and thinning 
out turnips for Mr. Hodge on this very same field! What 
noos could there be! 

He blinked at his niece, and did n't answer. She undid the 
parcel and said : 

Mrs. Goping's fowl got out again last night" 

^^Ah," he replied in a non-committal manner and began to 
munch his bread and bacon. His niece picked up the hand- 
kerchief and, humming to herself, walked back across the field. 

It was a glorious morning, and a white sea mist added to 
the promise of a hot day. He sat there munching, thinking of 
nothing in particular, but gradually subsiding into a mood of 
placid content. He noticed the back of Aggie disappear in 
the distanec^l^t was a mile to the cottage and a mile and a 
half to Halvesham. Silly things, girls. They were all alike. 
One had to make allowances. He dismissed her from his 
thoughts, and took a long swig of tea out of a bottle. Insects 
buzzed lazily. He tapped his pocket to assure himself that 
his pouch of shag was there, and then he continued munching. 
When he had finished, he lighted his pipe and stretched him- 
self comfortably. He looked along the line of turnips he had 
thinned and then across the adjoining field of swedes. Silver 
streaks appeared on the sea below the mist. In some dim way 
he felt happy in his solitude amidst this sweeping immensity 
of earth and sea and sky. 

And then something else came to irritate him: it was one of 
''these dratted airyplanes." ''Airyplanes" were his pet 
aversion. He could find nothing to be said in their favor. 
Nasty, noisy, disfiguring things that seared the heavens and 
made the earth dangerous. And every day there seemed to be 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^. 


more and more of fhem. Of course ^'this old war" was re- 
sponsible for a lot of them, he knew. The war was a ** plaguy 
noosance.'' They were short-handed on the farm, beer and 
tobaeco were dear, and Mrs. Steven's nephew had been and 
got wounded in the foot. 

He turned his attention once more to the turnips ; but an 
**airyplane" has an annoying genius for gripping one's atten- 
tion. When it appears on the scene, however much we dislike 
it, it has a way of taking the stage-center. We cannot help 
constantly looking at it. And so it was with old Sam Gates. 
He spat on his hands and blinked up at the sky. And sud- 
denly the aeroplane behaved in a very extraordinary manner. 
It was wdl over the sea when it seemed to lurch drunkenly 
and skimmed the water. Then it shot up at a dangerous angle 
and zigzagged. It started to go farther out, and then turned 
and made for the land. The engines were making a curious 
grating noise. It rose once more, and then suddenly dived 
downward, and came plump down right in the middle of Mr. 
Hodge's field of swedes. 

And then, as if not content with this desecration, it ran 
along the ground, ripping and tearing up twenty-five yards 
of good swedes, and then came to a stop. 

Old Sam Gates was in a terrible state. The aeroplane 'was 
more than a hundred yards away, but he waved his arms and 
called out: 

*'Hi, you there, you mustn't land in they swedes! 
They 're Mister Hodge's." 

The instant the aeroplane stopped, a man leaped out and 
gazed quickly round. He glanced at Sam Gates, and seemed 
uncertain whether to address him or whether to concentrate 
his attention on the flying-machine. The latter arrangement 
appeared to be his ultimate decision. He dived under the 
engine and became frantically busy. Sam had never seen any 
one work with such furious energy; but all the same it was 
not to be tolerated. It was disgraceful. Sam started out 
across the field, almost hurrying in his indignation. When 
he appeared within earshot of the aviator he cried out again : 

'*Hi! you mustn't rest your old airyplane here! You 've 

Digitized by VjOO^ It! 


kicked up all Mr. Hodge's swedes. A noice thing you 've 

He was within five yards when suddenly the aviator turned 
and covered him with a revolver ! And speaking in a sharp, 
staccato voice, he said : 

**01d Grandfather, you must sit down. I am very much 
occupied. If you interfere or attempt to go away, I shoot 
you. So!" 

Sam gazed at the horrid, glittering little barrel and gasped. 
Well, he never! To be threatened with murder when you 're 
doing your duty in your employer's private property ! But, 
still, perhaps the man was mad. A man must be more or less 
mad to go up in one of those erazy things. And life was very 
sweet on that summer morning despite sixty-nine years. He 
sat down among the swedes. 

The aviator was so busy with his cranks and machinery that 
he hardly deigned to pay him any attention except to keep tiie 
revolver handy. He worked feverishly, and Sam sat wateh- 
ing him. At the end of ten minutes he appeared to havel 
solved his troubles with the machine, but he still seemed very 
scared. He kept on glancing round and out to sea. When his 
repairs were complete he straightened his back and wiped the 
perspiration from his brow. He was apparently on the point 
of springing back into the maehine and going off when a 
sudden mood of f acetiousness, caused by relief from the strain 
he had endured, came to him. He turned to old Sam and 
smiled, at the same time remarking: 

''Well, old Grandfather, and now we shall be all right, 
isn't it?" 

He came close up to Sam, and then suddenly started haek. 

*'Oottr' he cried, ''Paul Jouperts!" 

Bewildered, Sam gazed at him, and the m ad m a n started 
talking to him in some foreign tongue. Sam shook his head. 

"You no roight," he remarked, "to come bargin' through 
they swedes of Mr. Hodge's." 

And then the aviator behaved in a most peculiar manner. 
He came up and examined Sam's face very closely, and gave a 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


sudden tug at his beard and hair, as if to see whether they were 
real or false. 
''What is your name, old manf " he said. 
''Sam Gates." 

The aviator muttered some words that sounded something 
like "mare vudish/' and then turned to his machine. He 
appeared to be dazed and in a great state of doubt He 
fumbled with some cranks, but kept glancing at old Sam. At 
last he got into the car and strapped himself in. Then he 
stopped, and sat there deep in thought. At last he suddenly 
unstrapped himself and sprang out again and, approaching 
Sam, said very deliberately : 
"Old Grandfather, I shall require you to accompany me." 
Sam gasped. 

" Eh ? " he said. ' ' What be talkin ' about » 'Company J I 
got these 'ere loines o' turnips — I be already behoind — " 

The disgusting little revolver once more flashed before his 

"There must be no discussion," came the voice. "It is 
necessary that you mount the seat of the car without delay. 
Otherwise I shoot you like the dog you are. So!" 

Old Sam was hale and hearty. He had no desire to die so 
ignominiously. The pleasant smell of the Norfolk downland 
was in his nostrils f his foot was on his native heath. He 
mounted the seat of the car, contenting himself with a 

"Well, that be a noice thing, I must say ! Plyin' about the 
country with all they turnips on'y half thinned !" 

He found himself strapped in. The aviator was in a fever 
of anxiety to get away. The engines made a ghastly splutter 
and noise. The thing started running along the ground. 
Suddenly it shot upward, giving the swedes a last contemptu- 
ous kick. At twenty minutes to eight that morning old Sam 
found himself being borne right up above his fields and out to 
sea ! His breath came quickly. He was a little frightened. 
"God forgive me!" he murmured. 
The thing was so fantastic and sudden that his mind could 

Digitized by V^OOyi(^ 


not grasp it. He only felt in some vagae way that he was 
going to die, and he struggled to attune his mind to the change. 
He offered up a mild prayer to Qod, Who, he felt, must be 
very near, somewhere up in these clouds. Automatically he 
thought of the vicar at Halvesham, and a certain sense of com- 
fort came to him at the reflection that on the previous day he 
had taken a '^cooking of runner beans" to God's representa- 
tive in that village. He felt calmer after that, but the horrid 
machine seemed to go higher and higher. He could not turn 
in his seat and he could see nothing but sea and sky. Of 
course the man was mad, mad as a March hare. Of what 
earthly use could he be to any one! Besides, he had talked 
pure gibberish, and called him Paul something, when he had 
already told him that his name was Sam. The thing would 
fall down into the sea soon, and they would both be drowned. 
Well, well, he had almost reached three-score years and ten. 
He was protected by a screen, but it seemed very cold. What 
on earth would Mr. Hodge say? There was no one left to 
work the land but a fool of a boy named Billy Whitehead at 
Dene's Cross. On, on, on they went at a furious pace. His 
thoughts danced disconnectedly from incidents of his youth, 
conversations with the vicar, hearty meals in the open, a frock 
his sister wore on the day of the postman's wedding, the 
drone of a psalm, the illness of some ewes belonging to Mr. 
Hodge. Everything seemed to be moving very rapidly, up- 
setting his sense of time. He felt outraged, and yet at mo- 
ments there was something entrancing in the wild experience. 
He seemed to be living at an incredible pace. Perhaps he was 
reaUy dead and on his way to the kingdom of God. Per- 
haps this was the way they took people. 

After some indefinite period he suddenly caught sight of a 
long strip of land. Was this a foreign country, or were 
they returning? He had by this time lost all feeling of fear. 
He became interested and almost disappointed. The "airy- 
plane" was not such a fool as it looked. It was very wonder- 
ful to be right up in the sky like this. His dreams were sud- 
denly disturbed by a fearful noise. He thought the machine 
was blown to pieces. It dived and ducked through the air, 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:! 


and thin^ were bursting all round it and making an awful 
din, and then it went up higher and higher. After a while 
these noises ceased, and he felt the machine gliding down- 
ward. They were really right above solid land — ^trees, fields, 
streams, and white villages, Down, down, down they glided. 
This was a foreign country. There were straight avenues of 
poplars and canals. This was not Halvesham. He felt the 
thing glide gently and bump into a field. Some men ran for- 
ward and approached them, and the mad aviator called out 
to them. They were mostly fat men in gray uniforms, and 
they all spoke this foreign gibberish. Some one came and un- 
strapped him. He was very stiflf and could hardly move. An 
gKceptionally gross-looking man punched him in the ribs and 
n|ired with laughter. They all stood round and laughed at 
him, while the mad aviator talked to them and kept pointing 
at him. Then he said: 

''Old Grandfather, you must come with me." 

He was led to an iron-roofed building and shut in a little 
room. There were guards outside with fixed bayonets. After 
a while the mad aviator appeared again, accompanied by two 
soldiers. He beckoned him to follow. They marched through 
a quadrangle and entered another building. They went 
straight into an office Where a very important-looking man, 
covered with medals, sat in an easy-chair. There was a lot of 
saluting and clicking of heels. The aviator pointed at Sam 
and said something, and the man with the medals started at 
sight of him, and then came up and sx>oke to him in English. 

**What is your name! Where do you come from! Your 
age? The name and birthplace of your parents!" 

He seemed intensely interested, and also pulled his hair 
and beard to see if they came off. So well and naturally did 
he and the aviator speak English that after a voluble examina- 
tion they drew apart, and continued the conversation in that 
language. And the extraordinary conversation was of this 
nature : 

''It is a most remarkable resemblance," said the man with 
medals. ^'Unglauhlich! But what do you want me to do 
with him, Hausemannf" 




''The idea eame to me suddenly, Excellency/' replied the 
aviator, ''and you may consider it worthless. It is just this. 
The resemblance is so amazing. Paul Jouperts has given us 
more valuable information than any one at pres^it in our 
service, and the English know that. There is an award of 
five thousand francs on his head. Twice they have captured 
him, and each time he escaped. All the company commanders 
and their staff have his photograph. He is a serious thorn in 
their flesh.'* 

'*Welir' replied the man with the medals. 

The aviator whispered confidentially: 

''Suppose, your Excellency, that they found the dead body 
of Paul Jouperts?" 

' * Well f ' ' replied the big man. 

**My suggestion is this. To-morrow, as you know, the Eng- 
lish are attacking Hill 701, which for tactical reasons we 
have decided to evacuate. If after the attack they find the 
dead body of Paul Jouperts in, say, the second lines, they will 
take no further trouble in the matter. You know their lack 
of thoroughnete. Pardon me, I was two years at Oxford 
University. And consequently Paul Jouperts will be able to 
prosecute his labors undisturbed.'* 

The man with the medals twirled his mustache and looked 
thoughtfully at his colleague. 

'* Where is Paul at the momenta he asked. 

*'He is acting as a gardener at the Convent of St. Eloise, 
at Mailleton-en-haut, which, as you know, is one hundred 
meters from the headquarters of the British central army 

The man with the medals took two or three rapid turns up 
and down the room, then he said : 

"Your plan is excellent, Hausemann. The only point of 
difficulty is that the attack started this morning." 

"This morning?" exclaimed the other. 

"Yes; the English attacked unexpectedly at dawn. We 
have already evacuated the first lihe. We shall evacuate the 
second line at eleven-fifty. It is now ten-fifteen. There may 
be just time." 




He looked suddenly at old Sam in the way that a butcher 
might look at a prize heifer at an agricultural show and re- 
marked casually: 

'^Tes, it is a remarkable resemblance. It seems a pity not 
to — do something with it." 

Then, speaking in German, he added : 

**It is worth trying. And if it succeeds, the higher author- 
ities shall hear of your lucky accident and inspiration, Herr 
Hausemann. Instruct Ober-lieutenarU Sohultz to send the 
old fool by two orderlies to the east extremity of Trench 38. 
Keep him there till the order of evacuation is given, then 
shoot him, but don't disfigure him, and lay him out face up- 

The aviator saluted and withdrew, accompanied by his 
victim. Old Sam had not understood the latter part of the 
conversation, and he did not catch quite all that was said in 
English ; but he felt that somehow things were not becoming 
too promising, and it was time to assert himself. So he 
remarked when they got outside : 

^'Now, look 'ee 'ere. Mister, when am I goin^to get back to 
my turnips!" 

And the aviator replied, with a pleasant smile : 

^'Do not be disturbed, old Grandfather. You shall get 
back to the soil quite soon." 

In a few moments he found himself in a large gray car, 
accompanied by four soldiers. The aviator left him. The 
country was barren and horrible, full of great pits and rents, 
and he could hear the roar of artillery and the shriek of 
shells. Overhead, aeroplanes were buzzing angrily. He 
seemed to be suddenly transported from the kingdom of God 
to the pit of darkness. He wondered whether the vicar had 
enjoyed the runner beans. He could not imagine runner 
beans growing here; runner beans, aye, or anything else. 
If this was a foreign country, give him dear old England ! 

Or-r-r! hamg! Something exploded just at the rear of the 
car. The soldiers ducked, and one of them pushed him in the 
stomach and swore. 

"An ugly-looking lout," he thought. "If I wor twenty 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


years younger, I 'd give him a punch in the eye that 'u'd 
make him sit up." 

The car came to a halt by a broken wall. The party hurried 
out and dived behind a mound. He was pulled down a kind 
of shaft, and found himself in a room buried right under- 
ground, where three oflSeers were drinking and smoking. The 
soldiers saluted and handed them a type-written dispatch. 
The officers looked at him drunkenly, and one came up and 
pulled his beard and spat in his face and called him ''an old 
English swine.'* He then shouted out some instructions to 
the soldiers, and they led him out into the narrow trench. 
One walked behind him, and occasionally prodded him with 
the butt-end of a gun. The trenches were half full of water 
and reeked of gases, powder, and decaying matter. Shells 
were constantly bursting overhead, and in places the trenches 
had crumbled and were nearly blocked up. They stumbled on, 
sometimes falling, sometimes dodging moving masses, and 
occasionally crawling over the dead bodies of men. At last 
they reached a deserted-looking trench, and one of the soldiers 
pushed him into the corner of it and growled something, and 
then disappeared round the angle. Old Sam was exhausted. 
He leaned panting against the mud wall, expecting every 
minute to be blown to pieces by one of those infernal things 
that seemed to be getting more and more insistent. The din 
went on for nearly twenty minutes, and he was alone in the 
trench. He fancied he heard a whistle amidst the din. Sud- 
denly one of the soldiers who had accompanied him came 
stealthily round the corner, and there was a look in his eye 
old Sam did not like. When he was within five yards the 
soldier raised his rifle and pointed it at Sam's body. Some 
instinct impelled the old man at that instant to throw himself 
forward on his face. As he did so he was aware of a terrible^ 
explosion, and he had just time to observe the soldier falling in 
a heap near him, and then he lost consciousness. 

His consciousness appeared to return to him with a snap. 
He was lying on a plank in a building, and he heard some one 

''I believe the old boy 's English." 




He looked round. There were a lot of men lying there, and 
others in khaki and white overalls were busy among them. He 
sat up, rubbed his head, and said : 

**Hi, Mister, where be I now?" 

Some one laughed, and a young man came up and said : 

**Well, old man, you were very nearly in hell. Who are 

Some one came up, and two of them were discussing him. 
One of them said : 

**He 's quite all right. He was only knocked out. Better 
take him in to the colonel. He may be a spy." 

The other came up, touched his shoulder, and remarked: 

*'Can you walk, Uncle!" 

He replied: 

**Aye, I can walk all roight." 

*'That 's an old sport!" 

The young man took his arm and helped him out of the room 
into a courtyard. They entered another room, where an 
elderly, kind-faced officer was seated at a desk. The officer 
looked up and exclaimed : 

*'6ood God! Bradshaw, do you know who you've got 

The younger one said: 

**No. Who, sir?" 

**It 's Paul Jouperts!" exclaimed liie colonel. 

' ' Paul Jouperts ! Great Scott ! ' ' 

The older officer addressed himself to Sam. He said: 

** Well, we Ve got you once more, Paul. We shall have to 
be a little more careful this time." 

The young officer said : 

** Shall I detail a squad, sir?" 

**We can't shoot him without a court-martial," replied the 
kind-faced senior. 

Then Sam interpolated: 

^^Look 'ee 'ere, sir, I 'm fair' sick of all this. My name 
bean 't Paul. My name 's Sam. I was a-thinnin' a loine o' 
turnips — " 

Both officers burst out laughing, and the younger one said : 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


**Qood! Good! Isn't it amazing, sir, the way they not 
only learn the language, but even take the trouble to learn 
a dialect!" 

The older man busied himself with some papers. 

**Well, Sam," he remarked, **you shall be given a chance to 
prove your identity. Our methods are less drastic than those 
of your Bocike masters. What part of England are you sup- 
posed to come from? Let 's see how much you can bluff us 
with your topographical knowledge." 

**I was a-thinnin' a loine o' turnips this momin' at 'alf- 
past seven on Mr. Hodge's farm at Halvesham when one o' 
these 'ere airyplanes come down among the swedes. I tells 'e 
to get clear o' that, when thie feller what gets out o' the car 
'e drahs a revowlver and 'e says, 'You must 'company I — ' " 

'*Yes, yes," interrupted the senior officer; *'that 's all very 
good. Now tell me — where is Halvesham t What is the name 
of the local vicar ? I 'm sure you 'd know that. ' ' 

Old Sam rubbed his chin. 

**I sits under the Reverend David Pryce, Mister, and a good, 
God-fearin' man he be. I took him a cookin' o' runner beans 
on'y yesterday. I works for Mr. Hodge, what owns Greenway 
Manor and* 'as a stud-farm at Newmarket, they say." 

''Charles Hodge?" asked the young officer. 

"Aye, Charlie Hodge. You write and ask un if he knows 
old Sam Gates." 

The two officers looked at each other, and the older one 
looked at Sam more closely. 

"It 's very extraordinary," he remarked. 

"Everybody knows Charlie Hodge," added the young 

It was at that moment that a wave of genius swept over old 
Sam. He put his hand to his head and suddenly jerked out : 

"What *s more, I can tell 'ee where this yere Paul is. He 's 
actin' a gardener in a convent at — " He puckered up his 
browB, fumbled with his hat, and then got out, "Mighteno." 

The older officer gasped. ^ 

"Mailleton-en-haut! Good God! what makes you say tbit, 
old man?" 




Sam tried to give an account of bis experience and the 
tilings he had heard said by the Qerman officers; but he was 
getting tired, and he broke off in the middle to say : 

'^Ye haven't a bite o' somethin' to eat, I suppose, Mister; 
or a glass o' beer? I usually 'as my dinner at twelve 

Both the officers laughed, and the older said: 

''Get him some food, Bradshaw, and a bottle of beer from 
the mess. We '11 keep this old man here. He interests me." 

While the younger man was doing this, the chief pressed a 
button and summoned another junior officer. 

** Gateshead," he remarked, **ring up the G. H. Q. and 
instruct them to arrest the gardener in that convent at the 
top of the hill and then to report." 

The officer saluted and went out, and in a few minutes a 
tray of hot food and a large bottle of beer were brought to the 
old man, and he was left alone in the corner of the room to 
negotiate this welcome compensation. And in the execution 
he did himself and his county credit. In the meanwhile the 
officers were very busy. People were coming and going and 
examining maps, and telephone bells were ringing furiously. 
They did not disturb old Sam's gastric operations. He 
cleaned up the mess tins and finished the last drop of beer. 
The senior officer found time to offer him a cigarette, but he 
replied : 

*' Thank 'ee kindly, sir, but I 'd rather smoke my pipe." 

The colonel smiled and said: 

* * Oh, all right ; smoke away. ' ' 

He lighted up, and the fumes of the shag permeated the 
room. Some one opened another window, and the young 
officer who had addressed him at first suddenly looked at him 
and exclaimed : 

** Innocent! You couldn't get shag like that anywhere 
but in Norfolk." 

It must have been an hour later when another officer entered 
and saluted. 

** Message from the G. H. Q., sir," he said. 





**They have arrested the gardener at the convent of St 
Eloise, and they have every reason to believe that he is the 
notorious Paul Jouperts." 

The colonel stood up, and his eyes beamed. He came over to 
old Sam and shook his hand. 

*'Mr. Gates,'* he said, *'you are an old brick. You will 
probably hear more of this. You have probably been the 
means of delivering something very useful into our hands. 
Your own honor is vindicated. A loving Government will 
probably award you five shillings or a Victoria Cross or some- 
thing of that sort. In the meantime, what can I do for you f ' ' 

Old Sam scratched his chin. 

"I want to get back 'ome," he said. 

"Well, even that might be arranged." 

**I want to get back 'ome in toime for tea." 

"What time do you have tea!" 

"Poive o'clock or thereabouts." 

"I see." 

A kindly smile came into the eyes of the colonel. He turned 
to another officer standing by the table and said : 

"Baikes, is any one going across this afternoon with 

"Yes, sir," replied the other officer. "Conunander Jen- 
nings is leaving at three o'clock." 

"You might ask him if he could see me." 

Within ten minutes a young man in a flight-commander's 
uniform entered. 

"Ah, Jennings," said the colonel, "here is a little affair 
which concerns the honor of the British army. My friend 
here, Sam Gates, has come over from Halvesham, in Norfolk, 
in order to give us valuable information. I have {promised 
him that he shall get home to tea at five o'clock. Can you 
take a passenger ? ' ' 

The young man threw back his head and laughed. 

"Lord!" he exclaimed, "what an old sport! Yes, I expect 
I can manage it. Where is the forsaken place!" 

A large ordnance-map of Norfolk (which had been captured 




from a German officer) was produced, and the young man 
studied it closely. 

At three o'clock precisely old Sam, finding himself some- 
thing of a hero and quite glad to escape from the embarrass- 
ment which this position entailed upon him, once more sped 
skyward in a *' dratted airyplane." 

At twenty minutes to five he landed once more among Mr. 
Hodge's swedes. The breezy young airman shook hands with 
him and departed inland. Old Sam sat down and surveyed 
the familiar field of turnips. 

^'A noice thing, I must say!" he muttered to himself as he 
looked along the lines of unthinned turnips. He still had 
twenty minutes, and so he went slowly along and completed 
a line which he had begun in the morning. He then deliber- 
ately packed up his dinner-things and his tools and started 
out for home. 

As he came round the comer of Stillway's meadow and the 
cottage came in view, his niece stepped out of the copse with 
a basket on her arm. 

"Well, Uncle," she said, **is there any noosf " 

It was then that old Sam really lost his temper. 

**Noos!" he said. **Noos! Drat the girl! What noos 
should there bet Sixty-nine year' I live in these 'ere parts, 
hoein' and weedin' and thinnin', and mindin' Charlie Hodge's 
sheep. Am I one o' these 'ere story-book folk havin' noos 
'appen to me all the time? Ain't it enough, ye silly, dab- 
faced zany, to earn enough to buy a bite o' some 'at to eat 
and a glass o' beer and a place to rest a's head o 'night without 
always wantin' noos, noos, noos ! I tell 'ee it 's this that leads 
'ee to 'alf the troubles in the world. Devil take the noos!" 

And turning his back on her, he went fuming up the hill. 




Once upon a time there was a coffee-planter in India who 
wished to clear some forest land for coffee-planting. When he 
had cut down all the trees and burned the underwood ,the 
stumps still remained. Dynamite is expensive and slow fire 
slow. The happy medium for stump-clearing is the lord of all 
beasts, who is the elephant. He will either push the stump out 
of the ground with his tusks, if he has any, or drag it out 
with ropes. The planter, therefore, hired elephants by ones 
and twos and threes, and fell to work. The very best of all the 
elephants belonged to the very worst of all the drivers or 
mahouts; and the superior beast's name was Moti Guj. He 
was the absolute property of his mahout, which would never 
have been the case under native rule: for Moti Guj was a 
creature to be desired by kings; and his name, being trans- 
lated, meant the Pearl Elephant. Because the British gov- 
ernment was in the land, Deesa, the mahout, enjoyed his prop- 
erty undisturbed. He was dissipated. When he had made 
much money through the strength of his elephant, he would 
get extremely drunk and give Moti Guj a beating with a tent- 
peg over the tender nails of the forefeet. Moti Guj never 
trampled the life out of Deesa on these occasions, for he knew 
that after the beating was over, Deesa would embrace his trunk 
and weep and call him his love and his life and the liver of his 
soul, and give him some liquor. Moti Guj was very fond of 
liquor — arrack for choice, though he would drink palm-tree 
toddy if nothing better offered. Then Deesa would go to sleep 
between Moti Guj's forefeet, and as Deesa generally chose 
the middle of the public road, and as Moti Guj mounted guard 


Digitized by V^OO^K:^ 


over him and would not permit horse, foot, or cart to pass by, 
traflSc was congested till Deesa saw fit to wake up. 

There was no sleeping in the daytime on the planter's clear- 
ing: the wages were too high to risk. Deesa sat on Moti 
6uj 's neck and gave him orders, while Moti Guj rooted up the 
stumps — ^f or he owned a magnificent pair of tusks ; or pulled 
at the end of a rope — ^f or he had a magnificent pair of shoul- 
ders, while Deesa kicked him behind the ears and said he was 
the king of elephants. • At evening time Moti Quj would wash 
down his three hundred pounds' weight of green food with a 
quart of arrack, and Deesa would take a share and sing songs 
between Moti Guj 's legs till it was time to go to bed. Once 
a week Deesa led Moti Guj down to the river, and Moti Guj 
lay on his side luxuriously in the shallows, while Deesa went 
over him with a coir swab and a brick. Moti Guj never 
mistook the pounding blow of the latter for the smack of the 
former that warned him to get up and turn over on the other 
side. Then Deesa would look at his feet, examine his eyes, 
and turn up the fringes of his mighty ears in case of sores or 
budding ophthalmia. After inspection, the two would ^'come 
up with a song from the sea," Moti Guj all black and shining, 
waving a torn tree branch twelve feet long in his trunk, and 
Deesa knotting up his own long wet hair. 

It was a peaceful, well-paid life till Deesa felt the return of 
the desire to drink deep. He wished for an orgy. The little 
draughts that led nowhere were taking the manhood out of 

He went to the planter, and **My mother's dead," said he, 

^'She died on the last plantation two months ago, and she 
died once before that when you were working for me last 
year," said the planter, who knew something of the ways of 

''Then it 's my aunt, and she was just the same as a mother 
to me," said Deesa, weeping more than ever. *'She has left 
eighteen small children entirely without bread, and it is I 
who must fill their little stomachs," said Deesa, beating his 
head on the floor. 




^^Who brought you the newsf " said the planter. 

** The post," said Deesa. 

''There hasn't been a post here for the past week. Get 
back to your linesl" 

''A devastating sickness has fallen on my village, and aU 
my wives are dying/' yelled Deesa, really in tears this time. 

''Call Chihun, who eomes from Deesa's village/' said the 
planter. ''Chihun, has this man got a wifef " 

''He!" said Ghihun. "No. Not a woman of our village 
would look at him. They 'd sooner marry the elephant." 

Chihun snorted. Deesa wept and bellowed. 

"You will get into a difficulty in a minute/' said the 
planter. ' ' Go back to your work ! ' ' 

"Now I will speak Heaven's truth/* gulped Deesa, with an 
inspiration. "I haven't been drunk for two months. I de- 
sire to depart in order to get properly drunk afar off and dis- 
tant from this heavenly plantation. Thus I shall cause no 

A flickering smile crossed the planter's face. "Deesa," 
said he, "you 've spoken the truth, and I 'd give you leave on 
the spot if anything could be done with Moti Quj while you 're 
away. You know that he will only obey your order&" 

"May the light of the heavens live forty thousand years. I 
shall be absent but ten little days. After that, upon my faith 
and honor and soul, I return. As to the inconsiderable inter- 
val, have I the gracious permission of the heaven-bom to call 
up Moti Gujf" 

Permission was granted, and in answer to Deesa's shrill yell, 
the mighty tusker swung out of the shade of a dump of trees 
where he had been squirtmg dust over himself till Us mastei 
should return. 

"Light of my heart, protector of the drunken, mountun of 
might, give ear!" said Deesa, standing in front of him. 

Moti Guj gave ear, and saluted with his trunk. "I am 
going away," said Deesa. 

Moti Guj's eyes twinkled. He liked jaunts as well as his 
master. One could snatch all manner of nice things from the 
roadside then. ^ 




**Bnt you, yon fussy old pig, must stay behind and work." 

The twinkle died out as Moti Guj tried to look delighted. 
He hated stump-hauling on the plantation. It hurt his teeth. 

*'I shall be gone for ten days, O delectable one. Hold up 
your near forefoot and I '11 impress the fact upon it, warly 
toad of a dried mud-puddle." Deesa took a tent-peg and 
banged Moti Guj ten times on the nails. Moti Guj grunted 
and shufiSed from foot to foot. 

*'Ten days,'' said Deesa, ''you will work and haul and root 
the trees as Chihun here shall order you. Take up Chihun 
and set him on your neck!" Moti Guj curled the tip of his 
trunk, Chihun put his foot there and was swung on to the 
neck. Deesa handed Chihun the heavy ankus — ^the iron ele- 
phant goad. 

Chihun thumped Moti Guj 's bald head as a paver thumps 
a curbstone. 

Moti Guj trumpeted. 

"Be still, hog of the backwoods! Chihun *s your mahout 
for ten days. And now bid me good-by, beast after mine own 
heart. Oh, my lord, my king ! Jewel of all created elephants, 
lily of the herd, preserve your honored health; be virtuous. 

Moti Guj lapped his trunk round Deesa and swung him into 
the air twice. This was his way of bidding him good-by. 

**He Tl work now," said Deesa to the planter. "Have I 
leave to got" 

The planter nodded, and Deesa dived into the woods. Moti 
Ouj went back to haul stumps. 

Chihun was very kind to him, but he felt unhappy and 
forlorn for all that. Chihun gave him a ball of spices, and 
tickled him under the chin, and Chihun 's little baby cooed to 
him after work was over, and Chihun 's wife called him a 
darling; but Moti Guj was a bachelor by instinct, as Deesa 
was. He did not understand the domestic emotions. He 
wanted the light of his universe back again — ^the drink and 
the drunken slumber, the savage beatings and the savage 

None the less he worked well, and the planter wondered. 

Digitized by VjOO*2 1^ 


Deesa had wandered along the roads till he met a marriage 
procession of his own caste and, drinking, dancing, and tip- 
pling, had drifted with it past all knowledge of the lapse of 

The morning of the eleventh day dawned, and there re- 
turned no Deesa. Moti Guj was loosed from his ropes for the 
daily stint. He swung clear, looked round, shrugged his 
shoulders, and began to walk away, as one having business 

* * Hi ! ho ! Come back, you, ' ' shouted Chihun. * * Come back 
and put me on your neck, misbom mountain ! Betum, splen- 
dor of the hillsides! Adornment of all India, heave to, or 
I '11 bang every toe oflf your fat forefoot !" 

Moti Guj gurgled gently, but did not obey. Chihun ran 
after him with a rope and caught him up. Moti Guj put 
his ears forward, and Chihun knew what that meant, though 
he tried to carry it oflf with high words. 

**None of your nonsense with me,'' said he. **To your 
pickets, devil-son." 

**Hrrump !" said Moti Guj, and that was all — ^that and the 
forebent ears. 

Moti Guj put his hands in his pockets, chewed a branch for 
a toothpick, and strolled about the clearing, making fun of the 
other elephants, who had just set to work. 

Chihun reported the state of affairs to the planter, who 
came out with a dog-whip and cracked it furiously. Moti 
Guj paid the white man the compliment of charging him 
nearly a quarter of a mile across the clearing and **Hrrump- 
ing" him into his veranda. Then he stood outside the house 
chuckling to himself, and shaking all over with the fun of it, 
as an elephant will. 

' * We '11 thrash him, ' ' said the planter. ' ' He shall have the 
finest thrashing ever elephant received. Give Kala Nag and 
Nazim twelve foot of chain apiece, and tell them to lay on 
twenty blows." 

Eala Nag — ^which means Black Snake — and Nazim were two 
of the biggest elephants in the lines, and one of their duties 




was to administer the graver punishments, since no man can 
beat an elephant properly. 

They took the whipping-chains and rattled them in their 
tronks aa they sidled up to Moti Ouj, meaning to hustle him 
between them. Moti 6uj had never, in all his life of thirty- 
nine years, been whipped, and he did not intend to begin a new 
experience. So he waited, waving his head from right to left, 
and measuring the precise spot in E'ala Nag's fat hide where 
a blunt tusk would sink deepest. Kala Nag had no tusks ; the 
chain was the badge of his authority; but for all that, he 
swung wide of Moti Guj at the last minute, and tried to appear 
as if he had brought the chain out for amusement. Nazim 
turned round and went home early. He did not feel fighting 
fit that morning, and so Moti Guj was left standing alone with 
his ears cocked. 

That decided the planter to argue no more, and Moti Guj 
roUed back to his inspection of the clearing. An elephant who 
will not work, and is not tied up, is about as manageable as 
an eighty-one-ton gun loose in a heavy seaway. He slapped 
old friends on the back and asked them if the stumps were 
coming away easily; he talked nonsense concerning labor and 
the inalienable rights of elephants to a long ''nooning"; and, 
wandering to and fro, he thoroughly demoralized the garden 
till sundown, when he returned to his pickets for food. 

*'If you won't work, you shan't eat," said Chihun angrily. 
''You 're a wild elephant, and no educated animal at all. Go 
back to your jungle." 

Chihun 's little brown baby was rolling on the floor of the 
hut, and stretching out its fat arms to the huge shadow in 
the doorway. Moti Guj knew well that it was the dearest 
thing on earth to Chihun. He swung out his trunk with a fas- 
cinating crook at the end, and the brown baby threw itself 
shouting upon it. Moti Guj made fast and pulled up till the 
brown baby was crowing in the air twelve feet above his 
father's head. 

"Great Lord!" said Chihun. "Flour cakes of the best, 
twelve in number, two feet across, and soaked in rum, shall be 




yours on the instant, and two hundred pounds' weight of 
fresh-cut young sugar-cane therewith. Deign only to put 
down safely that insignificant brat who is my heart and my 
life to me." 

Moti Guj tucked the brown baby comfortably between his 
forefeet, that could have knocked into toothpicks all Ghihun's 
hut, and waited for his food. He ate it, and the brown baby 
crawled away. Moti Guj dozed, and thought of Deesa. One 
of many mysteries connected with the elephant is that his huge 
body needs less sleep than anything else that lives. Four or 
five hours in the night suffice — ^two just before midnight, 
lying down on one side ; two just after one o'clock, lying down 
on the other. The rest of the silent hours are filled with 
eating and fidgeting and long grumbling soliloquies. 

At midnight, therefore, Moti Guj strode out of his pickets, 
for a thought had come to him that Deesa might be lying 
drunk somewhere in the dark forest with none to look after 
him. So all that night he chased through the undergrowth, 
blowing and trumpeting and shaking his ears. He went down 
to the river and blared across the shallows where Deesa used j^ 
to wash him, and there was no answer. He could not find*^*^ 
Deesa, but he disturbed all the other elephants in the lines, 
and nearly frightened to death some gypsies in the woods. 

At dawn Deesa returned to the plantation. He had been 
very drunk indeed, and he Expected to get into trouble for 
outstaying his leave. He drew a long breath when he saw 
that the bungalow and the plantation were still uninjured, for 
he knew something of Moti Guj^s temper, and reported himself ^^ 
with many lies and salaams. Moti Guj had gone to his pickets 
for breakfast. The night exercise had made him hungry. 

''Call up your beast," said the planter, and Deesa shouted 
in the mysterious elephant language, that some mahouts 
believe came from China at the birth of the world, when ele- 
phants and not men were masters. Moti Guj heard and came. 
Elephants do not gallop. They move from places at varying 
rates of speed. If an elephant wished to catch an express 
train he could not gallop, but he could catch the train. So 
Moti Guj was at the planter's door almost before Chihun 

Digitized by VjOO^ It! 


noticed that he had left his pickets. He fell into Deesa's 
arms trumpeting with joy, and the man and beast wept and 
slobbered over each other, and handled each other from head to 
heel to see that no harm had befallen. 

*'Now we will get to work," said Deesa. *'Lift me up, 
my son and my joy.*' 

Moti 6uj swung him up and the two went to the coffee- 
clearing to look for difficult stumps. 

The planter was too astonished to be very angry. 






It was a mild evening in early spring, and the magnolias 
were in bloom. We motored around the park, turned up 
a side street, and finally came to a throbbing standstill be- 
fore the Churchwarden Club. 

There was nothing about its exterior to indicate that it 
was a clubhouse at all, but within there was an indefinable 
atmosphere of early Victorian comfort. There was some- 
thing about it that suggested Mr. Pickwick. Old prints of 
horses and ships and battles hung upon the walls, and the 
oak was dark and old. There seemed to be no decorative 
scheme or keynote, and yet the atmosphere was utterly dis- 
tinctive. It was my first visit to the Churchwarden Club, 
of which my quaint, old-fashioned Uncle Ford had long been 
a member, and I was charmed. 

We dined in the rathskeller, the walls of which were com- 
pletely covered with long churchwarden pipes, arranged in 
the most intricate and marvelous patterns; and after our 
mutton-chop and ale and plum pudding, we filled with the 
choicest of tobaccos the pipes which the old major-domo 
brought us. 

Then came Jacob R. Enderby to smoke with us. 

Tall and spare he was, with long, straight, black hair, large, 
aquiline nose, and piercing eyes. I disgraced myself by star- 
ing at him. I didn't know that such a man existed in New 
York, and yet I couldn't decide whether his habitat should 
be Arizona or Cape Cod. 

Enderby and Uncle Ford were deep in a discussion of the 
statesmanship of James G. Blaine, when a waiter summoned 
my uncle to the telephone. 

I neglected to state that my uncle, in his prosaic hours, 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


is a physician ; and «thi^ was a call. I knew it the moment I 

saw the waiter approaching. I was disappointed and dis- 

Uncle Ford saw this and laughed. 

** Cheer up!" said he. **You needn't come with me to 
visit the sick. I '11 be back in an hour, and meanwhile Mr. 
Enderby will take care of you; won't you, Jake?" 

For answer Enderby arose, and refilling his pipe took me 
by the arm, while my uncle got into his overcoat. As he 
passed us on the way out he whispered in my ear: 

''Talk about dogs." 

I heard and nodded. 

Enderby led me to the lounge or loafing-room, an oak- 
paneled apartment in the rear of the floor above, with huge 
leather chairs and a seat in the bay window. Save for a 
gray-haired old chap dozing over a copy of Simplicissimus, 
the room was deserted. 

But no sooner had Enderby seated himself on the window- 
seat than there was a rush and a commotion, and a short, glad 
bark, and Nubbins, the steward's bull-terrier, bounded in and 
landed at Enderby 's side with canine expressions of great 

I reached forward to pat him, but he paid absolutely no at- 
tention to me. 

At last his wriggling subsided, and he settled down with 
his head on Enderby 's knee, the picture of content. Then I 
recalled my uncle's parting injunction. 

** Friend of yours?" I suggested. 

Enderby smiled. **Yes," he said, **we 're friends, I guess. 
And the funny part of it is that he doesn't pay any atten- 
tion to any one else except his master. They all act that way 
with me, dogs do." And he pulled Nubbins 's stubby ears. 

** Natural attraction, I suppose," said 1. 

**Yes, it is," he answered, with the modest frankness of a 
big man. **It 's a thing hard to explain, though there 's a 
sort of reason for it in my case. ' ' 

I pushed toward him a little tobacco-laden teak-wood stand 
hopefully. He refilled and lighted. 




"It 's an extraordinary thing, even so," he said, puffing. 
''Every dog nowadays seems to look upon me as his long- 
lost master, but it wasn't always so. I hated dogs ajid they 
hated me." 

Not wishing to say "Keally" or ''Indeed" to this big, out- 
door man, I simply grunted my surprise. 

"Yes, we were bom enemies. More than that, I was afraid 
of dogs. A little fuzzy toy dog, ambling up to me in a room 
full of company, with his tail wagging, gave me the shudders. 
I couldn't touch the beast. And as for big dogs outdoors, I 
feared them like the plague. I would go blocks out of my 
way to avoid one. 

"I don't remember being particularly cowardly about other 
things, but I just could n't help this. It was in try blood, for 
some reason or other. It was the bane of my existence. I 
couldn't see what the brutes were put into the world for, or 
how any one could have anything to do with them. 

"And the dogs reciprocated. They disliked and distrusted 
me. The most docile old Brunos would growl and show their 
teeth when I came near." 

"Did the change come suddenly t" I asked. 

"Quite. It was in 1901. I accepted a commission from an 
importing and trading company to go to the Philippines to 
do a little quiet exploring, and spent four months in the 
sickly place. Then I got the fever, and when I recovered 
I could n't get out of there too soon. 

"I reached Manila just in time to see the mail steamer 
disappearing around the point, and I was mad. There would 
be another in six d^, but I could n't wait. I was just crazy 
to get back home. ^ 

"I made inquiries and learned of an old tramp steamer, 
named the Old Squaw, making ready to leave for Honolulu 
on the following day with a cargo of hemp and stuff, and a 
bunch of Moros for some show in the States, and I booked 
passage on that. 

"She was the worst old tub you ever saw. I did n't learn 
much about her, but I verily believe her to have been a con- 




demned excursion boat. She wouldn't have been allowed to 
run to Coney Island. 

''She was battered and unpainted, and she wallowed hor- 
ribly. I don'jt believe she could have reached Honolulu much 
before the next regular boat, but I couldn't wait^ and I took 

^'I made myself as comfortable as possible, bribed the cook 
to insure myself against starvation, and swung a hammock 
on the forward deck as far as possiBle from the worst of the 
vile smells. 

^'But we had n't lost sight of Manila Bay when I discovered 
that there was a dog aboard — and such a dog ! I had never 
seen one that sent me into such a panic as this one, and he had 
free range of the ship. A Great Dane he was, named Gulliver, 
and he was the pride of the captain's rum-soaked heart. 

^'With all my fear, I realized he was a magnificent animal, 
but I looked oh him as a gigantic devil. Without exception, 
he was the biggest dog I ever saw, and as muscular as a lion. 
He lacked some points that show judges set store by, but he 
had the size and the build. 

"I have seen Vohl's Vulcan and the Wurtemburg breed, but 
they were fox-terriers compared with Gulliver. His tail was 
as big around as my arm, and the cook lived in terror of his 
getting into the galley and wagging it; and he had a mouth 
that looked to me like the crater of Mauna Loa, and a voice 
that shook the planking when he spoke. 

**I first caught sight of him appearing from behind a huge 
coil of cordage in the stem. He stretched and yawned, and 
I nearly died of fright. 

''I caught up a belaying-pin, though little good that would 
have done me. I think he saw me do it, and doubtless he 
set me down for an enemy then and there. 

**We were well out of the harbor, and there was no turn- 
ing back, but I would have given my right hand to be off that 
boat. I fully expected him to eat me up, and I slept with that 
belaying-pin sticking into my ribs in the hammock, and with 
my revolver loaded and handy. 




** Fortunately, Gulliver's dislike for me took the form of 
sublime contempt. He knew I was afraid of him, and he 
despised me for it. He was a great pet with the eaptain and 
crew, and even the Moros treated him with admiring respect 
when they were, allowed on deck. I couldn't understand it. 
I would as soon have made a pet of a hungry boa-constrictor. 

**0n the third day out the poor old boiler burst and the 
Old Squaw caught fire. She was dry and rotten inside and 
she burned like tinder. No attempt was made to extinguish 
the flames, which got into the hemp in the hold in short order. 

**The smoke was stifling, and in a jiffy all hands were 
struggling with the boats. The Moros came tumbling up 
from below and added to the confusion with their terrified 

*'The davits were old and rusty, and the men were soon 
fighting among themselves. One boat dropped stern fore- 
most, filled, and sank immediately, and the Old Squaw her- 
self was visibly settling. 

''I saw there was no chance of getting away in the boats, 
and I recalled a life-raft on the deck forward near my ham- 
mock. It was a sort of catamaran — a double platform on a 
pair of hollow, water-tight, cylindrical buoys. It wasn't 
twenty feet long and about half as broad, but it would have 
to do. I fancy it was a forgotten relic of the old excursion- 
boat days. 

''There was no time to lose, for the Old Squaw was bound 
to sink presently. Besides, I was aft with the rest, and the 
flames were licking up the deck and running-gear in the waist 
of the boat. 

**The galley, which was amidships near the engine-room, 
had received the full force of the explosion, and the cook lay 
moaning in the lee scuppers with a small water-cask thump- 
ing against his chest. I could n't stop to help the man, but I 
did kick the cask away. 

''It seemed to be nearly full, and it occurred to me that 
I should need it. I glanced quickly around, and luckily 
found a tin of biscuits that had also been blown out of the 
galley. I picked this up, and rolling the cask of water ahead 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


of me as rapidly as I could, I made my way through the hot, 
stifling smoke to the bow of the boat. 

**I kicked at the life-raft; it seemed to be sound, and I 
lashed the biscuits and water to it. I also threw on a coil of 
rope and a piece of sail-cloth. I saw nothing else about 
that could possibly be of any value to me. I abandoned my 
trunk for fear it would only prove troublesome. 

*'Then I hacked the raft loose with my knife and shoved 
it over to the bulwark. Apparently no one had seen me, for 
there was no one else forward of the sheet of flame that now 
cut the boat in two. 

''The raft was a mighty heavy affair, but I managed to 
raise one end to the rail. I don't believe I would ever have 
been able to heave it over under any circumstances, but I 
didn't have to. 

''I felt a great upheaval, and the prow of the Old Squaw 
went up into the air. I grabbed the ropes that I had lashed 
the food on with and clung to the raft. The deck became al- 
most perpendicular, and it was a miracle that the raft did n't 
slide down with me into the flames. Somehow it stuck where 
it was. 

''Then the boat sank with a great roar, and for about a 
thousand years, it seemed to me, I was under water. I did n't 
do anything. I couldn't think. 

"I was only conscious of a tremendous weight of water and 
a feeling that I would burst open. Instinct alone made me 
cling to the raft. 

"When it finally brought me to the surface I was as nearly 
dead as I care to be. I lay there on the thing in a half -con- 
scious condition for an endless time. If my life had depended 
on my doing something, I would have been lost. 

"Then gradually I came to, and began to spit out salt 
water and gasp for breath. I gathered my wits together and 
sat up. My hands were absolutely numb, and I had to loosen 
the grip of my fingers with the help of my toes. Odd sensa- 

"Then I looked about me. My biscuits and water and 
rope were safe, but the sail-cloth had vanished. I remember 

Digitized by VjOO^^lt! 


that this annoyed me hugely at the time^ though I don't know 
what earthly good it would have been. 

*'The sea was fairly calm, and I could see all about. Not 
a hmuan being was visible, only a few floating bits of wreck- 
age. Every man on board must have gone down with the 
ship and drowned, except myself. 

''Then I caught sight of something that made my heart 
stand still. The huge head of Gulliver was coming rapidly 
toward me through the water! 

''The dog was swimming strongly, and must have leaped 
from the Old Squaw before she sank. My raft was the 
only thing afloat large enough to hold him, and he knew 

"I drew my revolver, but it was soaking wet and useless. 
Then I sat down on the cracker tin and gritted my teeth 
and waited. I had been alarmed, I must admit, when the 
boiler blew up and the panic began, but that was nothing 
to the terror that seized me now. 

**Here I was all alone on the top of the Pacific Ocean with 
a horrible demon making for me as fast as he could swim. 
My mind was benumbed, and I could think of nothing to do. 
I trembled and my teeth rattled. I prayed for a shark, but 
no shark came. 

"Soon Gulliver reached the raft and placed one of his fore- 
paws on it and then the other. The top of it stood six or 
eight inches above the water, and it took a great effort for 
the dog to raise himself. I wanted to kick him back, but I 
didn't dare to move. 

"Gulliver struggled mightily. Again and again he reared 
his great shoulders above the sea, only^ to be cast back, scratch- 
ing and kicking, at a lurch of the raft.^ 

"Finally a wave favored him, and he caught the edge of 
the under platform with one of his hind feet. With a stu- 
pendous effort he heaved his huge bulk over the edge and lay 
sprawling at my feet, panting and trembling." 

Enderby paused and gazed out of the window with a big 
sigh, as tiiough the recital of his story had brought back 
some of the horror of his remarkable experience 




Nubbins looked up inquiringly, and then snuggled closer 
to his f riendy while Enderby smoothed the white head. 

"]Well, ' ' he continued, * * there we were. You can 't possibly 
imagine how I felt unless you, too, have been afflicted with 
dog-fear. It was awful. And I hated the brujbe so. I could 
have torn him limb from limb if I had had the strength. 
But he was vastly more powerful than I. I could only fear 

^'By and by he got up and shook himself. I cowered on 
my cracker-tin, but he only looked at me contemptuously, went 
to the other end of the raft, and lay down to wait patiently 
for deliverance. 

''We remained this way until nightfalL The sea was 
comparatively calm, and we seemed to be drifting but slowly. 
We were in the path of ships likely to be passing one way or 
the other, and I would have been hopeful of the outcome if it 
had not been for my feared and hated companion. 

''I began to feel faint, and opened the cracker-tin. The 
biscuits were wet with salt water, but I ate a couple, and 
left the cover of the tin open to dry them. Qulliver looked 
around, and I shut the tin hastily. But the dog never moved. 
He was not disposed to ask any favors. By kicking the sides 
of the cask and prying with my knife, I managed to get the 
bimg out and took a drink. Then I settled myself on the raft 
with my hack against the cask, and longed for a smoke. 

**The gentle motion of the raft produced a lulling effect on 
my exhausted nerves, and I began to nod, only to awake with 
a start, with fear gripping at my heart. I dared not sleep. I 
don't know what I thought Gulliver would do to me, for I 
did not understand dogs, but I felt that I must watch him con- 
stantly. In the starlight I could see that his eyes were open. 
Gulliver was watchful too.^ 

''All night long I kept up a running fight with drowsiness. 
I dozed at intervals, but never for long at a time. It was a 
horrible night, and I cannot tell you how I longed for day and 
welcomed it when it came. 

"I must have slept toward dawn, for I suddenly became 
conscious of broad daylight. I roused myself, stood up, and 

Digitized by VjOO^ It! 



swung my anns and legs to stir up circulation, for the night 
had been chilly. Gulliver arose, too, and stood silently watch- 
ing me until I ceased for fear. When he had settled down 
again I got my breakfast out of the crac&er-tin. Gulliver was 
restless, and was evidently interested. 

*' 'He must be hungry,' I thought, and then a new fear 
caught me. I had only to wait until he became very hungry 
and then he would surely attack me. I concluded that it 
would be wiser to feed him, and I tossed him a biscuit. 

**I expected to see him grab it ravenously, and wondered 
as soon as I had thrown it if the taste of food would only 
serve to make him more ferocious. But at first he would 
not touch it. He only lay there with his great head on his 
paws and glowered at me. Distrust was plainly visible in his 
face. I had never realized before that a dog's face could ex- 
press the subtler emotions. 

*'His gaze fascinated me, and I could not take my eyes 
from his. The bulk of him was tremendous as he lay there, 
and I noticed the big, swelling muscles of his jaw. At last he 
arose, sniffed suspiciously at the biscuit, and looked up at 
me again. 

'* 'It 's all right; eat it!' I cried. 

**The sound of my own voice frightened me. I had not in- 
tended to speak to him. But/in spite of my strained tone he 
seemed somewhat reassured. JKl 

''He took a little nibble, and then swallowed the biscuit 
after one or two crunches, and looked up expectantly. I threw 
him another and he ate that. 

" 'That 's all,' said I. 'We must be sparing of them.' 

"I was amazed to discover how perfectly he understood. 
He lay down again and licked his chops. 

"Late in the forenoon I saw a line of smoke on the horizon, 
and soon a steamer hove into view. I stood up and waved my 
coat frantically, but to no purpose. Gulliver stood up and 
looked from me to the steamer, apparently much interested. 

" 'Too far off,' I said to Gulliver. 'I hope the next one 
will come nearer.' 

"At midday I dined, and fed Gulliver. This time he took 

Digitized by VjOO^^K:^ 


the two biscuits quite without reserve and whacked his great 
tail against the raft. It seemed to me that his attitude was 
less hostile, and I wondered at it. 

**When I took my drink from the cask, Gulliver showed 
signs of interest. 

*' *I suppose dogs get thirsty, too/ I said aloud. 

*' Gulliver rapped with his tail. I looked about for some 
sort of receptacle, and finally pulled off my shoe, filled it with 
water, and shoved it toward him with my foot. He drank 

** During the afternoon I sighted another ship, but it was 
too distant to notice me. However, the sea remained calm and 
I did not despair. 

** After we had had supper, I settled back against my cask, 
resolved to keep awake, for still I did not trust Gulliver. The 
sun set suddenly and the stars came out, and I found myself 
strangely lonesome. It seemed as though I had been alone out 
there on the Pacific for weeks. The miles and miles of heav- 
ing waters, almost on a level with my eye, were beginning to 
get on my nerves. I longed for some one to talk to, and 
wished I had dragged the half-breed cook along with me for 
company. I sighed loudly, and Gulliver raised his head. 

** * Lonesome out here, isn't it T I said, simply to hear the 
sound of my own voice. 

**Then for the first time Gulliver spoke. He made a deep 
sound in his throat, but it wasn't a growl, and with all my 
ignorance of dog language I knew it. 

**Then I began to talk. I talked about eversrthing — ^the 
people back home and all that — ^and Gulliver listened. I know 
more about dogs now, and I know that the best way to make 
friends with a dog is to talk to him. He can't talk back, but 
he can understand a heap more than you think he can. 

''Finally Gulliver, who had kept his distance all this time, 
arose and came toward me. My words died in my throat. 
What was he going to do f To my immense relief he did noth- 
ing but sink down at my feet with a grunt and curl his huge 
body into a semicircle. He had dignity, Gulliver had. He 
wanted to be friendly, but he would not presume. However, 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


I had lost interest in conversation, and sat watching him and 

*'In spite of my firm resolution, I fell asleep at length from 
sheer exhaustion, and never woke until daybreak. The sky 
was clouded and our craft was pitching. Gulliver was stand- 
ing in the middle of the raft, looking at me in evident alarm. 
I glanced over my shoulder, and the blackness of the horizon 
told me that a storm was coming, and coming soon. 

*'I made fast our slender provender, tied the end of a line 
about my own waist for safety, and waited. 

''In a short time the storm struck us in all its tropical fury. 
The raft pitched and tossed, now high up at one end, and now 
at the other, and sometimes almost engulfed in the waves. 

* * Gulliver was having a desperate time to keep aboard. His 
blunt claws slipped on the wet deck of the raft, and he fell 
and slid about dangerously. The thought flashed across my 
mind that the storm might prove to be a blessing in disguise, 
and that I might soon be rid of the brute. 

''As I clung there to the lashings, I saw him slip down to 
the further end of the raft, his hind quarters actually over 
the edge. A wave swept over him, but still he clung, panting 
madly. Then the raft righted itself for a moment, and as 
he hung there he gave me a look I shall never forget — a look 
of fear, of pleading, of reproach, and yet of silent courage. 
And with all my stupidity I read that look. Somehow it 
told me that I was the master, after all, and he the dog. I 
could not resist it. Cautiously I raised myself and loosened 
the spare rope I had saved. As the raft tipped the other 
way Gulliver regained his footing and came sliding toward 

"Quickly I passed the rope around his body, and as the 
raft dived again I hung on to the rope with one hand, retain- 
ing my own hold with the other. Gulliver's great weight 
nearly pulled my arm from its socket, but he helped mightily, 
and during the next moment of equilibrium I took another 
turn about his body and made the end of the rope fast. 

"The storm passed as swiftly as it had come, and though 
it left us drenched and exhausted, we were both safe. 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


Again and again Gulliver gave voice, deep, full, powerful 











'^That evening Oulliver crept dose to me as I talked, and 
I let him. Loneliness will make a man do strange things. 

''On the fifth day, when our provisions were nearly gone, 
and I had began to feel the sinking dullness of despair, I 
sighted a steamer apparently coming directly toward us. In- 
stantly I felt new life in my limbs and around my heart, and 
while the boat was yet miles away I began to shout and to 
wave my coat. 

** *I believe she 's coming, old man!' I cried to Gulliver; 
'I believe she *s coming!' 

''I soon wearied of this foolishness and sat down to wait. 
Gulliver came close and sat beside me, and for the first 
time I put my hand on him. He looked up at me and rapped 
furiously with his tail. I patted his head — a little gingerly, 
I must confess. 

''It was a big, smooth head, and it felt solid and strong. I 
passed my hand down his neck, his back, his flanks. He 
seemed to quiver with joy. He leaned his huge body against 
me. Then he bowed his head and licked my shoe. 

"A feeling of intense shame and unworthiness came over 
me, with the realization of how completely I had misunder- 
stood him. Why should this great, powerful creature lick 
my shoe? It was incredible. 

''Then, somehow, everything changed. Fear and distrust 
left me, and a feeling of comradeship and understanding 
took their place. We two had been through so much together. 
A dog was no longer a frightful beast to me; he was a dog! 
I cannot think of a nobler word. And Gulliver had licked 
my shoe ! Doubtless it was only the fineness of his perception 
that had prevented him from licking my hand. I might have 
resented that. I put my arms suddenly around Gulliver's 
neck and hugged him. I loved that dog! 

"Slowly, slowly, the steamer crawled along, but still she 
kept to her course. When she was about a mile away, how- 
ever, I saw that she would not pass as near to us as I had 
hoped; so I began once more my waving and yelling. She 
came nearer, nearer, but still showed no sign of observing us. 

"She was abreast of us, and passing. I was in a frenzy! 

Digitized by VjOO^K:! 


''She was so near that I could make out the figure of the 
captain on the bridge, and other figures on the deck below. It 
seemed as though they must see us, though I realized how low 
in the water we stood, and how pitifully weak and hoarse my 
voice was. I had been a fool to waste it. Then an idea struck 

'* 'Speak!' I cried to Gulliver, who stood watching beside 
me. 'Speak, old man!" 

"Gulliver needed no second bidding. A roar like that of 
all the bulls of Bashan rolled out over the blue Pacific. Again 
and again Gulliver gave voice, deep, full, powerful. His 
great sides heaved with the mighty effort, his red, cavernous 
mouth open, and his head raised high. 

"'Good, old man!' I cried. *Good!' And again that 
magnificent voice boomed forth. 

"Then something happened on board the steamer. The 
figures came to the side. I waved my coat and danced. Then 
they saw us. 

"I was pretty well done up when they took us aboard, and 
I slept for twenty-four hours straight. When I awoke there 
sat Gulliver by my bunk, and when I turned to look at him 
he lifted a great paw and put it on my arm." 

Enderby ceased, and there was silence in the room save for 
the light snoring of Nubbins. 

"You took him home with you, I suppose!" I asked. 

Enderby nodded. 

"And you have him still f" I certainly wanted to have a 
look at that dog. 

But he did not answer. I saw an expression of great sad- 
ness come into his eyes as he gazed out of the window, and I 
knew that Jacob Enderby had finished his story. 






Well, sir, we 're tryin' to edjercate him — good ez we can. 
Th' ain't never been a edjereational advantage come in reach 
of us but we 've give it to him. Of co'se he 's all we 've got, 
that one boy is, an' wife an' me, why, we feel the same way 
about it. 

They 's three schools in the county, an' we send him to all 

Sir? Oh, yas, sir; he b 'longs to all three schools — ^to fo% 
for that matter, countin' the home school. 

Tou see, Sonny he 's purty ticklish to handle, an' a person 
has to know thess how to tackle him. Even wife an' me, 
thet 's been knowin' him f 'om the beginnin', not only knowin' 
his traits, but how he come by 'em, — ^though some is hard 
to trace to their so'ces, — ^why, sir, even we have to study some- 
times to keep in with him, an' of co'se a teacher — ^why, it 's 
thess hit an' miss whether he '11 take the right tack with him 
or not ; an' sometimes one teacher '11 strike it one day, an' an- 
other nex' day; so by payin' schoolin' for him right along in 
all three, why, of co'se, ef he don't feel like goin' to one, 
why, he 'U go to another. 

Once-t in a while he '11 git out with the whole of 'em, an' 
that was how wife come to open the home school for him. 
She was determined his edjercation shouldn't be interrupted 
ef she could help it. She don't encour'ge him much to go to 
her school, though, 'cause it interrupts her in her house- 
keepin' consider 'ble, an' she 's had extry quilt-patchin' on 
hand ever since he come. She 's patchin' him a set 'ginst the 
time he '11 marry. 

An' then I reckon he frets her a good deal in school. Some- 

Digitized by V^OO^K:! 

100 SONNY'S 8CH00LIN' 

how, seems like he thess picks up enough in the other schools 
to be able to conterdie' her ways o' teachin*. 

P' instance, in addin' up a colume o' figgers, ef she comes 
to a aught — ^which some calls 'em naughts — she 11 say, 
** Aught 's a aught," an' Sonny ain't been learned to say it 
that a-way ; an' so maybe when she says, ** Aught 's a aught," 
he 'U say, **Who said it wasn't!" an' that puts her out in 

He 's been learned to thess pass over aughts an' not call 
their names; and once-t or twice-t, when wife called 'em out 
that a-way, why, he got so fretted he thess gethered up his 
things an' went to another school. But seem like she 's added 
aughts that a-way so long she can't think to add 'em no other 

I notice nights after she 's kept school for Sonny all day 
she talks consider 'ble in her sleep, an' she says, ''Aught 's 
a aught" about ez often ez she says anything else. 

Oh, yas, sir; he 's had consider 'ble fusses with his teachers, 
one way an' another, but they ever' one declare they think a 
heap of 'im. 

Sir? Oh, yas, sir; of co'se they all draw their reglar 
pay whether he 's a day in school du'in' the month or not. 
That 's right enough, 'cause you see they don't know what 
day he 's li'ble to drop in on 'em, an' it 's worth the money 
thess a-keepin' their nerves strung for 'im. 

Well, yas, sir; 't is toler'ble expensive, lookin' at it one 
way, but lookin' at it another, it don't cost no mo' 'n what 
it would to edjercate three child 'en, which many poor families 
have to do-nm' more — ^which in our united mind Sonny's 
worth 'em alL 

Yas, sir; 't is confusin' to him in some ways, goin' to all 
three schools at once-t. 

F' instance. Miss Alviry Sawyer, which she 's a single- 
handed maiden lady 'bout wife's age, why, of co'se, she 
teaches accordin' to the old rules; an' in learnin' the child 'en 
subtraction, f ' instance, she 11 tell 'em, ef they run short to 
borry one f 'om the nex' lef ' han' top figur', an' pay it back 
to the feller underneath him. 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


Well, this didn't suit Sonny's sense o' jestice no way, 
borryin' from one an' payin' back to somebody else; so he 
thess up an' argued about it^iftold her thet fellers thet bor- 
ried nickels f'om one anothei^ouldn't pay back that a-way; 
an' of co'se she told him they was heap o' difference 'twix' 
money and 'rithmetic — ^which I wish't they was more in my 
experience; an' so they had it hot and heavy for a while, till 
at last abB explained to him thet that way of doin' subtraction 
fetched the answer, which, of co'se, ought to satisfy any 
school-boy; an' I reckon Sonny would soon 'a' settled into 
that way 'ceptin' thet he got out o' patience with that school 
in sev'al ways, an' he left an' went out to Sandy Crik school, 
and it thess happened that he struck a subtraction class there 
the day he got in, an' they was workin' it the other way — 
borry one from the top figur' an' never pay it back at all, 
thess count it off (that 's the way I 've worked my lifelong 
subtraction, though wife does hers payin' back), an' of co'se 
Sonny was ready to dispute this way, an' he didn't have 
no mo' tac' than to th'ow up Miss Alviry's way to the teacher, 
which of co'se he would n't stand, particular ez Miss Alviry 's 
got the biggest school. So they broke up in a row, immejate, 
and Sonny went right along to Miss Kellog's school down 
here at the cross-roads.-^ 

She 's a sort o' reformed teacher, I take it; an' she gets at 
her subtraction by a new route altogether — ^like ez ef the 
first feller thet had any surplus went sort o' security for them 
thet was short, an' passed the loan down the line. But I no- 
ticed he never got his money back, for when they come to him, 
why, they docked him. I reckon goin' security is purty much 
the same in an out o' books. She passes the borryin' along 
some way till it gits to headguarters, an' writes a new row o' 
figur 's over the heads o' the* others. Well, my old brain got 
so addled watchin' Sonny work it thet I did n't seem to know 
one figur' f'om another 'fo' he got thoo; but when I see the 
answer come, why, I was satisfied. Ef a man can thess git his 
answers right all his life, why nobody ain't a-goin' to pester 
him about how he worked his figur 's. 

I did try to get Sonny to stick to one school for each rule 

Digitized by VjOO*^i(:! 


in 'rithmetic, an' havin' thess fo' schools, why he could learn 
each o' the fo' rules by one settled plan. But he won't 
promise nothin'. He '11 quit for lessons one week, and maybe 
next week somethin' else 11 decide him. (He 's quit ever' 
one of 'em in turn when they come to long division.) He 
went thoo a whole week o' disagreeable lessons once-t at one 
school 'cause he was watchin' a bird-nest on the way to that 
school. He was determined them young birds was to be al- 
lowed to leave that nest without bein' pestered, an' they stayed 
so long they purty nigh run him into long division 'fo' they 
did fly. Ef he 'd 'a' missed school one day he knowed two 
sneaky chaps thet would 'a' robbed that nest, either goin' or 

Of co'se Sonny goes to the exhibitions an' picnics of all the 
schools. Last summer we had a time of it when it come pic- 
nic season. Two schools set the same day for theirs, which of 
co'se wasn't no ways fair to Sonny. He payin' right along 
in all the schools, of co'se he was entitled to all the picnics; 
so I put on my Sunday clo'es, an' I went down an' had it 
fixed right. They all wanted Sonny, too, come down to the 
truth, 'cause . besides bein' fond of him, they knowed thet 
Sonny always fetched a big basket. 

Trouble with Sonny is thet he don't take nothin' on no- 
body's say-so, don't keer who it is. He even commenced to 
dispute Moses one Sunday when wife was readin' the Holy 
Scriptures to him, tell of co'se she made him underst^d thet 
that wouldn't do. Moses didn't intend to he co™g:dicfedL 

An' ez to secular lessons, he ain't got no respee' for 'em 
whatsoever. F' instance, when the teacher learned him thet 
the world was round, why he up an' told him 'f warn't so, 
less'n we was on the inside an' it was blue-lined, which of 
co'se teacher he insisted thet we was on the outside, waUdn' 
over it, all feet todes the center — a thing I 've always thought 
myself was mo' easy said than proved. ^^ 

Well, sir. Sonny didn't hesitate to c^y it, an' of eo'se 
teacher he commenced by givin' him a check — ^which is a bad 
mark — for conterdictin'^ An' then Sonny he 'lowed thet he 
didn't conterdic' to be a-conterdictin', hut 'he knowed 't 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


war n't so. He had walked the whole len'th o' the road 
*twix' the farm an' the sehool-honse, an' they war n't no 
bulge in it; an' besides, he hadn't never saw over the edges 
of it. 

An' with that teacher he give him another check for speakin' 
out o' turn. An' then Sonny, says he, **Ef a man was tall 
enough he could see around the edges, could n't he?" **No," 
says the teacher; ''a man couldn't grow that tall," says he; 
''he 'd be deformed." 

An' Sonny, why, he spoke up again, an' says he, **But I 'm 
thess a-sayin' e/,'' says he. '*An' teacher," says he, **we 
ain't a-studyin' efs; we 're studyin' geoger'phy." And then 
Sonny they say he kep' still a minute, an' then he says, says 
he, **0h, maybe he couldn't see over the edges, teacher, 
'cause ef he was tall enough his head might reach up into 
the flo' o' heaven." And with that teacher he give him an- 
other check, an' told him not to dare to mix up geoger'phy 
an' religion, which was a sackprlege to both studies; an' witii 
that Sonny gethered up his books an' set out to another school. 

I think myself it 'u'd be thess ez well ef Sonny wasn't 
quite so quick to conterdic'; but it 's thess his way of holdin' 
his p'int. 

"Why, one day he faced one o' the teachers down thet two 
an' two did n't haf to make fo', wh'er or no. 

This seemed to tickle the teacher mightily, an' so he laughed 
an' told him he was goin' to give him rope enough to hang 
hisself now, an' then he dared him to show him any two an' 
two thet didn't make fo', and Sonny says, says he, **Heap o' 
two an' twos don't make four, 'cause they 're kep' sep'rate," 
says he. 

''An' then," says he, "I don't want my two billy-goats 
harnessed up with nobody else's two billys to make fo' billys." 

"But," says the teacher, "suppose I wds to harness up yo' 
two goats with Tom Deems 's two, there 'd be fo' goats, I 
reckon, whether you wanted 'em there or not." 

"No they wouldn't," says Sonny. "They wouldn't be 
but two. 'T wouldn't take my team more 'n half a minute 
to butt the life out o' Tom's teamJ*^ 




An' with that little Tommy Deems, why, he commenced 
to cry, an' 'stid o' punishin' him for bein' sech a cry-baby, 
what did the teacher do but give Sonny another check, for 
castin' slurs on Tommy's animals, an' gettin' Tommy's feelin's 
hurtedl Which I ain't a-sayin' it on account o' Sonny bein' 
my boy, but it seems to me was a mighty unfair advantage. 

No boy's feelin's ain't got no right to be that tender — 
an' a goat is the last thing on earth thet could be injured by 
a word of mouth. 

Sonny's pets an' beasts has made a heap o' commotion in 
school one way an' another, somehow. Ef 't ain't his goats 
it 's somethin' else. 

Sir! Sonny's petst Oh, they 're all sorts. He ain't no 
ways partic'lar thess so a thing is po' an' miser 'ble enough. 
That 's about all he seems to require of anything. 

He don't never go to school hardly 'thout a garter-snake or 
two or a lizard or a toad-frog somewheres about him. He 's 
got some o' the little girls at school that nervous thet if he 
the& shakes his little sleeve at 'em they 11 squeal, not knowin' 
what sort o' live critter 11 jump out of it. 

Most of his pets is things he 's got by their bein' hurted 
some way. 

One of his toad-frogs is blind of a eye. Sonny rescued him 
from the old red rooster one day after he had nearly pecked 
him to death, an' he had him hoppin' round the kitchen for 
about a week with one eye bandaged up. 

When a hurted critter gits good an' strong he gen 'ally turns 
it loose ag'in; but ef it stays puny, why he reg'lar 'dopts 
it an' names it Jones. That 's thess a little notion o' his, 
namin' his pets the family name. 

The most outlandish thing he ever 'dopted, to my mind, is 
that old yaller cat. That was a miser 'ble low-down stray cat 
thet hung round the place a whole season, an' Sonny used to 
vow he was goin' to kill it, 'cause it kep' a-ketchin' the birds. 

Well, one day he happened to see him thess runnin' off with 
a young mockin'-bird in his mouth, an' he took a brickbat 
an' he let him have it, an' of co'se he dropped the bird an' 
tumbled over — stunted. The bird it got well, and Sonny 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


turned him loose after a few days; but that cat was hurted 
fatal. He could n't never no mo' 'n drag hisself around from 
that day to this; an' I reckon ef Sonny was called on to give 
up every pet he 's got, that cat would be 'bout the last thing 
he 'd surrender. He named him Tommy Jones, an' he never 
goes to school of a mornin', rain or shine, till Tommy Jones is 
fed f 'om his own plate with somethin' he 's left for him 

Of co'se Sonny he 's got his faults, which anybody 11 tell 
you ; but th' ain't a dumb brute on the farm but '11 foUer him 
around — an' Dicey, why, she thinks they never was such an- 
other boy bom into the world — ^that is, not no human child. 

An' wife an' me — 

But of co'se he 'a ours. 

I don't doubt thet he ain't constructed thess exacly ez the 
school-teachers would have him, ef they had their way. Some- 
times I have thought I 'd like his disposition eased up a little, 
myself, when he taken a stand ag'in my jedgment or wife's. 

Takin' 'em all round, though, the teachers has been mighty 
patient with him. 

At one school the teacher did take him out behind the school- 
house one day to whup him; an' although teacher is a big 
strong man, Sonny's mighty wiry an' quick, an' some way he 
slipped his holt, an' 'fo' teacher could ketch him ag'in he 
had dumb up the lightnin'-rod on to the roof thess like a cat. 
An' teacher he felt purty shore of him then, 'cause he 'lowed 
they wasn't no other way to git down (which they wasn't, 
the school bein' a steep-sided buildin'), an' he 'd wait for 

So teacher he set down close-t to the lightnin'-rod to wait. 
He wouldn't go back in school without him, cause he didn't 
want the child 'en to know he 'd got away. So down he set; 
but he had n't no mo' 'n took his seat sca'cely when he heerd 
the child 'en in school roa'in' out loud, laughin' fit to kill 

He lowed at first thet like ez not the monitor was cuttin' 
up some sort o' didoes, the way monitors does gen 'ally, so he 
waited a-while; but it kep' a-gittin' worse^ so d'rectly he got^" 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


up, an* he went in to see what the excitement was about ; an' 
lo and beholt! Sonny had slipped down the open chimbly 
right in amongst 'em — come out a-grinnin', with his face all 
sooted over, an', says he, *'Say, fellers," says he, **I ran up 
the lightnin'-rod, an' he 's a-waitin' for me to come down." 
An' with that he went an' gethered up his books, deliberate, 
an' fetched his hat, an' picked up a nest o' little chimbly- 
swallows he had dislodged in comin' down (all this here it hap- 
pened thess las' June), an' he went out an' harnessed up his 
goat-wagon, an' got in. An' thess ez he driv' out the school- 
yard into the road the teacher come in, an' he see how things 

Of co'se sech conduct ez that is worrisome, but I don't see 
no, to say, bad principle in it. Sonny ain't got a bad habit on 
earth, not a-one. They '11 ever' one o* the teachers tell you 
that. He ain't never been knowed to lie, an' ez for improper 
language, why he wouldn't know how to select it. An' ez 
to tattlin' at home about what goes on in school, why, he 
never has did it. The only way we knowed about him comin' 
down the school-house chimbly was wife went to fetch his 
dinner to him, an' she found it out. 

She knowed he had went to that school in the momin', an' 
when she got there at twelve o'clock, why he was n't there, an' 
of co'se she questioned the teacher, an' he thess told her 
thet Sonny had been present at the momin' session, but thet 
he was now absent. An' the rest of it she picked out o' the 
child 'en. 

Oh, no, sir; she don't take his dinner to him reglar — only 
some days when she happens to have somethin' extry good, or 
maybe when she 'magines he didn't eat hearty at breakfast. 
The school-child 'en they always likes to see her come, because 
she gen 'ally takes a extry lot o' fried chicken thess for him 
to give away. He don't keer much for nothin' but livers an' 
gizzards, so we have to kill a good many to get enough for him; 
an' of co'se the fryin' o' the rest of it is mighty little trouble. 

Sonny is a bothersome child one way: he don't never want 
to take his dinner to school with him. Of co'se thess after 




eatin' breakfas' he don't feel hungry^ an' when wife does 
coax him to take it, he '11 seem to git up a appetite walkin' to 
school, an' he 'U eat it up 'fo' he gits there. 

Sonny 's got a mighty noble disposition, though, take him 
all round. 

Now, the day he slipped down that ehimbly an' run away 
he wasn't a bit flustered, an' he didn't play hookey the 
balance of the day neither. He thess went down to the erik, 
an' washed the soot aS his face, though they say he didn't 
no more 'n smear it round, an' then he went down to Miss 
Phoebe's school, an' stayed there till it was out. An' she took 
him out to the well, an' washed his face good for him. But 
nex' day he up an' went back to Mr. Clark's school — walked in 
thess ez pleasant an' kind, an' taken his seat an' said his 
lessons — ^never th'owed it up to teacher at all. Now, some 
child 'en, after playin' off on a teacher that a-way would a' 
took advantage, but he never It was a fair fight, an' Sonny 
whupped, an' that 's all there was to it; an' he never put on 
no air about it. 

Wife did threaten to go herself an' make the teacher apolo- 
gize for gittin' the little feller all sooted up an' sp'ilin' his 
do'es; but she thought it over, an' she decided thet she 
wouldn't disturb things ez long ez they was peaceful. An', 
after all, he did n't exac'ly send him down the ehimbly nohow, 
though he provoked him to it. 

Ef Sonny had 'a' fell an' hurted hisself, though, in that 
ehimbly, I 'd 'a' helt that teacher responsible, shore. 

Sonny says hisself thet the only thing he feeLs^ bad about 
in that ehimbly business is thet one o' the little swallers' wings 
was broke by the fall. Sonny 's got him yet, an' he 's li'ble 
to keep him, cause he 11 never fly. Named him Swally Jones, 
an' reg'lar 'dopted him soon ez he see how his wing was. 

Sonny 's the only child I ever see in my life thet could take 
young chimbly-swallers after their fall an' make 'em live. 
But he does it reg'lar. They ain't a week passes sca'cely 
but he fetches in some hurted critter an' works with it. Dicey 
says thet half the time she 's af eered to step around her eook- 




stove less'n she 11 step on some critter thet 's crawled back 
to life where he 's put it under the stove to hatch or thaw out, 
which she bein' bare-feeted, I don't wonder at. 

An' he has did the same way at school purty much. It 
got so for a-while at one school thet not a child in school could 
be hired to put his hand in the wood-box, not knowin' ef any 
piece o' bark or old wood in it would turn out to be a young 
alligator or toad-frog thawin' out. Teacher hisself picked up 
a chip, reckless, one day, an' it hopped up, and knocked off his 
spectacles. Of co'se it wasn't no chip. Hopper-toad frog 
an' wood-bark chips, why, they favors consider 'ble — ^lay 'em 
same side up. 

It was on account o' her takin' a interest in all his little 
beasts an' varmints thet he first took sech a notion to Miss 
Phoebe Kellog's school. Where any other teacher would scold 
about sech things ez he 'd fetch in, why, she 'd encourage him 
to bring 'em to her; an' she 'd fix a place for 'em, an' maybe 
git out some book tellin' all about 'em, an' showin' pictures 
of 'em. 

She 's had squir'l-books, an' bird-books, an' books on nearly 
every sort o' wild critter you 'd think too mean to put into a 
book, at that school, an' give the child 'en readin '-lessons on 
'em an' drawin'rlessons an' clay-moldin' lessons. 

Why, Sonny has did his alligator so nachl in clay thet 
you 'd most expec' to see it creep away. An' you 'd think 
mo' of alligators forever afterward, too. An' ez to readin', he 
never did take no interest in learnin' how to read out 'n them 
school-readers, which he declares don't no more 'n git a person 
interested in one thing befo' they start on another, an' maybe 
start that in the middle. 

The other teachers, they makes a heap o' fun o' Miss 
Phoebe's way o' school-teachin', 'cause she lets the child 'en 
ask all sorts of outlandish questions, an' make pictures in 
school hours, an' she don't requi' 'em to fold their arms in 
school, neither. 

Maybe she is foolin' their time away. I can't say ez I 
exac'ly see how she 's a workin' it to edjercate 'em that a-way. 
I had to set with my arms folded eight hours a day in school 
when I was a boy, to learn the little I know, an' wife she got 

Digitized by VjOO^ l^ 


her edjereation the same way. An* we went clean thoo f 'om 
the o-b dbs an' e-b ebs clair to the end o' the blue-back speller. 
An' we learned to pumounce a heap mo' words than either 
one of ns has ever needed to know, though there has been 
times, sech ez when my wife's mother took the phthisic an' I 
bad the asthma, thet I was obligated to write to the doctor 
about it, thet I was thankful for my experience in the blue- 
back speller. Them was our brag-words, phthisic and asthma 
was. They 's a few other words I 've always hoped to have a 
chance to spell in the reg'lar co'se of life, sech ez y-a-c-h-t, 
yacht, but I suppose, livin' in a little inland town, which a 
yacht is a boat, a person could n't be expected to need sech a 
word — ^less'n he went travelin'. 

I 've often thought thet ef at the Jedgment the good Lord 
would only examine me an' all them thet went to school in my 
day, in the old blue-back speller 'stid o' tacHin' us on the 
wet^ p'ints of our pore mortal lives, why, we 'd stand about 
ez good a chance o* gettin' to heaven ez anybody else. An' 
maybe He will— who knows! 

But ez for book-readin', wife an' me ain't never felt called 
on to read no book save an' exceptin' the Holy Scriptures — 
an', of co'se, the seed catalogues. 

An' here Sonny, not quite twelve year old, has read five 
books thoo, an' some of 'em twice-t an' three times over. His 
Robinson Crusoe shows mo' wear 'n tear 'n what my Testa- 
ment does, I 'm ashamed to say. I 've done give Miss Phoebe 
free license to buy him any book she wants him to have, an' 
he 's got 'em all 'ranged in a row on the end o' the mantel- 
Quick ez he 'd git thoo readin' a b6ok, of co'se wife she 'd 
be for dustin' it off and puttin' up' on the top closet shelf 
where a book nach'ally belongs ; but sefem like Sonny he wants 
to keep 'em in sight. So wife she 's worked a little lace shelf- 
cover to lay under 'em, an' we 've hung our framed marriage- 
c'tificate above 'em, an' the comer looks right purty, come 
to see it fixed up. i 

Sirt Oh, no; we ain't took Ijim from none o' the other 
schools yet. He 's been goin' to "Miss Phoebe's reg'lar now — 

Digitized by VjOO^ It! 



all but the exhibition an' picnic days in the other schools — ^f or 
nearly five months, not countin' oflf-an'-on days he went to her 
brfo' he settled down to it stiddy. 

He says he 's a-goin' there reg'lar from this time on, an' I 
b'lieve he will; but wife an' me we talked it over, an' we de- 
cided we 'd let things stand, an' keep his name down on all the 
books till sech a time ez he come to long division with Miss 

An' ef he stays thoo that, we '11 feel free to notify the other 
schools thet he 's quit. 





She folded the program carefully for preservation in her 
memory-book, and devoured the scene with her eyes. It was 
hard to believe, but unquestionably Angelica Stanton, in the 
flesh, was in Madison Square Garden at the horse show. The 
great arena was crowded ; the band was playing, and a four-in- 
hand was swinging around the tan-bark ring. 

What had been her dream since she put away her dolls and 
the flea-bitten pony was realized. The pony had been suc- 
ceeded by Lady Washington, and with Lady Washington 
opened the epoch when she began to hunt with the grown-up 
I>eople and to reflect upon the outside world. From what she 
had gathered from the men in the hunting-field, the outside 
world seemed to center in the great horse show, and most of 
what was interesting and delightful in life took place there. 

Besides the obvious profit of witnessing this institution, 
there had arisen, later on, more serious considerations which 
led Angelica to take an interest in it. Since the disappear- 
ance of Lady Washington and the failure to trace her, Angel- 
ica's hope was in the show. 

One of the judges who had visited Jim had unwittingly laid 
the bases of this hope. ''AH the best performers in America 
are exhibited there," he had said in the course of an intermin- 
able discussion upon the great subject. And was not Lady 
Washington probably thelbestt Clearly, therefore, soon or 
late Lady Washington would be found winning blue ribbons 
at Madison Square Garden. 

To this cheering conclusion the doubting Thomas within her 
replied that so desirable a miracle could never be; and she 
cherished the doubt, though rather to provoke contrary fate 
into refuting it than because it embodied her convictions. She 
knew that some day Lady Washington must come back. 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


After Jim had sold Lady Washington, he had been informed 
by Chloe, the parlor-maid, how Angelica felt, Mid he repented 
his act. He had tried to buy the mare back; but the man to 
whom he had sold her had sold her to a dealer, and he had sold 
her to somebody who had gone abroad, and no one knew what 
this person had done with her. So Lady Washington had dis- 
appeared, and Angelica mourned for her. Two years passed, 
two years that were filled with doubt and disappointment. 
Each autumn Jim went North with his horses, but never sug- 
gested taking Angelica, As for Angelica, the subject was too 
near her heart for her to broach it. Thus it seemed that life 
was slipping away, harshly withholding opportunity. 

That November, for reasons of his own, Jim decided to take 
Angelica along with him. When he told her of his intention, 
she gasped, but made no demonstration. On- the threshold 
of fulfilling her hope she was afraid to exultt she knew how 
things* are snati^hed away the moqient one begins to count 
upon them ; but inwardly she was happy to the point of appre- 
hension. On the trip North she ''knocked wood*' scrupu- 
lously every time she was lured into a day-dream which pic- 
tured the finding of Lady Washington, and thus she gave the 
evil forces of destiny no opening. 

The first hour of the show overwhelmed her. It was too 
splendid and mystifying to be comprehended immediately, or 
to permit a divided attention. Even Lady Washington 
dropped out of her thoughts, but only until the jumping 
classes began. The first hunter that trotted across the tan- 
bark brought her back to her quest. 

But after two days the mystery was no more a mystery, and 
the splendor had faded out. The joy of it had faded dut, too. 
For two days she had pored over the entry-lists and had 
studied every horse that entered the ring; but the search for 
Lady Washington had been a vain one. Furthermore, all the 
best horses by this time had appeared in some class,' and the 
chances of Lady Washington's turning up seemed infinitesi- 
mal. Beluctantly she gave up hope. She explained it to her- 
self that probably there had been a moment of vainglorious 
pride when she had neglected to ''knock wood.'* She would 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


have liked to discuss it with somebody; but Chloe and her 
colored mammy , who understood such matters, were at the 
"Pines" in Virginia, and Jim would probably laugh at 
her; so she maintained silence and kept her despair to her- 

It was the evening of the third day, and she was at the show 
again, dressed in her habit, becatise. she was going to ride. 
Her brother was at the other end of the Garden, hidden by a 
row of horses. He was waiting to show in a class of park 
hacks. There was nothing in it that looked like Lady Wash- 
ington, and she turned her eyes away from the ring with a 
heavy heart. The band had stopped playing, and there was no 
one to talk to but her aunt's maid, and this maid was not com- 
panionable. She fell to watching the people in the boxes ; she 
wished that she knew some of them. There was a box just 
below her which looked attractive. There were two pretty 
women in it, and some men who looked as if they were nice ; 
they were laughing and seemed to be having a good time. She 
wished she was with them, or home, or anywhere else than 
where she was. 

Presently the music struck up again; the hum of the innu- 
merable voices took a higher pitch. The ceaseless current of 
promenaders staring and bowing at the boxes went slowly 
around and around. Nobody paid any attention to the horses, 
but all jostled and chattered and craned their necks to see the 
people. When her brother's Eedgauntlet took the blue rib- 
bon in the heavy-weight green-hunter class, not a person in 
the whole Garden applauded except herself. She heard a man 
ask, ''What took the bluet" And she heard his friend 
answer, ** Southern horse, I believe; don't know the owner." 
They didn't even know Jim ! She would have left the place 
and gone back to her aunt's for a comfortable cry, but she was 
going to ride Hilda in the ladies' saddle class, which came 
toward the end of the evening; 

The next thing on the progtam were some qualified hunters 
which might be expected to show some good jumping. This 
was something to be thankful for, and she turned her atten- 
tion to the ring. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


''I think 1 11 go down on the floor," she said to the maid. 
'^ 'm tired of sitting stiU." 

In theory Miss Angelica Stanton was at the horse show 
escorted by her brother ; but in fact she was in the custody of 
Caroline, the maid of her aunt Henrietta Gushing, who lived 
in Washington Square. Miss Gushing was elderly, and ^e 
disapproved of the horse show because her father had been a 
charter member of the Society for the Prevention of Gruelty 
to Animals, and because to go to it in the afternoon inter- 
fered with her drive and with her tea, while to go to it in 
the evening interfered with her whist, and that was not to 
be thought ot Gonsequently, when Angelica arrived, the 
horse show devolved upon Garoline, who accepted the 
situation not altogether with resignation. She had done 
Miss Gushing 's curls for twenty years, and had absorbed her 

Angelica would have preferred stopping at the hotel with 
Jim ; but that, he said, was out of the question. Jim admitted 
that Aunt Henrietta was never intentionally entertaining, 
but he said that Angelica needed her womanly influence. Jim 
had brought up Angelica, and the problem sometimes seemed 
a serious one. She was now sixteen, and he was satisfied that 
she was going to be a horsewoman, but at times he doubted 
whether his training was adequate in other respects, and that 
was why he had brought her to the horse show and had 
incarcerated her at Aunt Henrietta 'si. 

The girl led Garoline through the crowd, and took a position 
at the end, between the first and last jumps. As the horses 
were shown, they went round the ring, came back, and finished 
in front of them. It was the best place from which to watch, 
if one wished to see the jumping. 

Angelica admitted to herself that some of the men rode 
pretty well, but not as well as some of the men rode at their 
out-of-door shows at home ; and the tan-bark was not as good 
as turf. It was a large class, and after eight or ten had been 
shown, a striking-looking black mare came out of the line and 
started plunging and rearing toward the first jump. Her 
rider faced her at the bars, and she minced reluctantly, for- 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


ward. Just before they reached the wings the man struck her. 
She stopped short and whirled back into the ring. 

From the time the black mare appeared Angelica's heart 
almost stopped beating. ''I 'msure of it, I 'm sure of it!" 
she gasped. ''Three white feet and the star. Caroline," she 
said, ''that 's Lady Washington. He oughtn't to strike her. 
He mustn't!" 

"Hush, miss," said Caroline. "We 'U be conspicuous." 

The man was bringing the mare back toward the jump. As 
before, he used his whip, intending to-drive her into the wings, 
and, as before, she stopped, reared angrily, wheeled about, 
and came back plunging. The man quieted her after a little, 
and turned her again toward the hurdle. It was his last 
chance. She came up sulkily, tossing her head and edging 
away from the bars. As he got near the wings he raised his 
whip again. Then the people in that part of the Garden 
heard a girl's shrill, excited voice cry out: "You mustn't 
hit her! Steady, Lady Washington! Drop your curb!" 

The black mare's ears went forward at the sound of the 
voice. The yoxmg man on her back put down his uplifted 
whip and loosened the rein on the bit. He glanced around 
with an embarrassed smile, and the next instant he was over 
the jump, and the mare was galloping for the hurdle beyond. 

Suddenly Angelica became conscious that several thousand 
people were staring at her with looks of wonder and amuse- 
ment. Caroline clutched her arm and dragged her away trom 
the rail. The girl colored, and shook herself free. 

"I don't care," she said. "He shouldn't have hit her. 
She can jump anything if she 's ridden right. I knew we 'd 
find her," she muttered excitedly. » "I knew it!" 

Caroline struggled desperately through the crowd with her 

"Whatever will Miss Cushing say!" she gasped. 

Angelica forgot the crowd. "I don't care," she said. "If 
Aunt Henrietta had ever otvned Lady Washington she 'd have 
done the same thing. And if you tell her I '11 pay you back. 
She '11 know that you let me leave my seat, and she told you 
not to." This silenced Caroline. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


''There! He's fussed her mouth again,*' she went on. 
The black mare had refused, and was rearing at the jump next 
the last. The girl stood on tiptoe and watched impatiently 
for a moment. 

''There she goes," she murmured, with a sigh. The judges 
had ordered the horse out. 

Angelica tagged along disconsolately through the crowd till 
a conversation between two men who were leaning against the 
rail. caught her ear. 

"I wonder who that little girl was," said one. "The mare 
seemed to know her voice, but Beggie doesn't call her Lady 

"No — Hermione," said the other. "He may have changed 
it, though," he added. "He gives them all names beginning 

"You '11 have an easy time beating him in the five-foot-six 
jumps," said the first man. "It 's a good mare, but he can't 
ride her." 

Angelica wondered who they were, but they turned around 
just then, aad she dropped her eyes and hurried after Caro- 

As they made their way through the crowd, a nudge from 
the maid took her thoughts from Lady Washington. She had 
been wondering how she would find the young man who had 
ridden her. She looked up and saw that a man- was bowing 
to her. It was Mr. "Billy" Livingstone. Mr. Livingstone 
was nearly sixty, but he had certain qualities of permanent 
youth which made him "Billy" to three generations. 

"Hello, Angelica!" he exclaimed. "Wheh did you turn 
upt How you 've grown!" 

"I came up North with Jim," she replied. 

"You should have let me know," he said. "You know Jim 
never writes any one. This is the first time I 've been here. 
I 'm just back from the country. Where 's your box — ^that is, 
who are you with?" 

"I 'm here with my maid," said Angelica, with a somewhat 
conscious dignity. "Jim is with the horses. " 




Livingstone looked from the slender girl to the substantial 
Caroline, and the comers of his mouth twitched. 

**I prefer to be alone this way," she explained. "It's 
more independent." 

Mr. Livingstone thought a moment. * * Of course that 's so, " 
he said. **But I think I 've got a better plan; let 's hunt up 
Mrs. Dicky Everett." 

"Is she an old woman?" asked Angelica. 

"Not so terribly old," said Mr. Livingstone. "I suppose 
you 'd call her middle-aged." 

"Thirty?" asked Angelica. 

"Near it, I 'm afraid," he answered. 

"Well, I don't know," said Angelica. "That 's pretty old. 
She won't have anything to say to me." 

"She knows something about a horse," said Livingstone, 
"though, of course, she can't ride the way you do. If you 
find her stupid, I 'U take you, away; but I want you to come 
because she will be very nice to me for bringing you." 

He turned to Caroline. "I 'm a friend of Miss Stanton's 
brother. Go to your seat, and I '11 bring Miss Stanton back 
to you." 

Then he led the way up the stairs, and Angelica followed, 
wondering what sort of person Mrs. "Dicky" Everett might 

She cheered herself with the thought that she could not be 
any older or more depressing than Aunt Henrietta, and if she 
was fond of horses she might know who owned Lady Wash- 

Livingstone consulted his program. "It 's down on this 
side," he said. She followed him mechanically, with her eyes 
wandering toward the ring, till presently they stopped. 

"Hello!" she heard them feall to Livingstone, as he stepped 
in ahead of her, and the next moment she realized that she 
was in the very box which she had watched from her seat 
among the chairs. 

"I want to present you to my friend Miss Stanton," Liv- 
ingstone said. He repeated the names, but they made no 




impression upon her, because there, standing in front of her, 
was the young man who had ridden Lady Washington. 

*'You seem to know each other/' said Livingstone. **Aiii I 
wasting my'breatht Is this a jokef 

He looked at Angelica. She was speechless with mixed joy 
and embarrassment. 

**Come here, my dear," said one of the two pretty women, 
''and sit down beside me. Miss Stanton," she went on to 
Livingstone, '*very kindly tried to teach Beggie how to ride 
Hermione, and we are glad to have the chance to thank her. " 

' ' I don 't understand at all, " said Livingstone. ' * But there 
are so many things that I shall never understand that one 
more makes no difference.'' 

Angelica's self-confidence began to come back. 

**Why, he was riding Lady Washington with a whip," she 
explained. ''And I just called out to him. not to. You 
remember Lady Washington, — she was a four-year-old when 
you were at the Pines, — and you know you never could touch 
her with a whip." 

"I remember very well," said Livingstone. '*You flat- 
tered me by offering to let me ride her, an offer which, I 
think, I declined. When did you sell her t" 

'*Two years ago," said Angelica. 

Then the other young woman spoke. **But how did you 
recognize the horse!" she asked. "You haven't seen it for 
two years." 

' ' Recognize her ! ' ' exclaimed Angelica. ' * I guess if you had 
ever owned Lady Washington you wotdd have recognized her. 
I broke her as a two-year-old, and schooled her myself. Jim 
says she 's the best mare we ever had." Angelica looked at 
the woman pityingly. She was sweet-looking and had beauti- 
ful clothes, but she was evidently a goose. 

"Miss Stanton won the high jump with the mare," Liv- 
ingstone remarked, "at their hunt show down in Virginia." 

"It was only six feet," said the girl, "but she can do better 
than that. Jim wouldn't let me ride her at anyiMng big- 

"I should hope not," said the lady by whose side she was 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


sitting. Then she asked suddenly, ' 'You are not Jimmie Stan- 
ton's sister f 

**Yes," said Angelica. 

''I 'd like to know why he hasn't brought you to see me!" 

'*He 's awfully busy with llie horses," tiie girl replied. 
''He has to stop at the Waldorf and see about the show with 
the men, and he makes me stay with Aunt Henrietta Gush- 
ing." She stopped abruptly. She was afraid that what she 
had said might sound disloyal. *'I like to stop with Aunt 
Henrietta," she added solemnly. ^'Besides, I 've been busy 
looking for Lady Washington." 

The young man whom they called Beggie, together with 
Mr. Livingstone and the lady beside Angelica, laughed openly 
at this allusion to Miss Gushing. 

"Do you know herf " asked Angelica. 

**0h, everybody knows yoixr Aunt Henrietta," said the 

''And loves her," added Livingstone, solemnly. 

The lady laughed a little. **Tou see, she 's connected with 
nearly everybody. She 's a sort of connection of Reggie's 
and mine, so I suppose we 're sort of cousins of years. I hope 
you will like us." 

''I don't know much about my relations on my mother's 
side," Angelica observed. The distinction between connec- 
tions and relatives had never been impressed upon her. She 
was about to add that Jim said that his New York relatives 
tired him, but caught herself. She paused uneasily. 

"Please excuse me," she said, **but I did n't hear Mr. Liv- 
ingstone introduce me to you." 

"Why," said Livingstone, who overheard, "this is Mrs, 
Everett I told yoii we were coming into her box." 

"I thought she must have stepped out," said Angelica. 
"You told me she was middle-aged." 

A peal of laughter followed. 

"Angelica! Angelica!" Livingstone exclaimed. 

* * But' you did, ' ' said Angelica. * * I asked you if she was an 
old lady, and you said, *Not so terribly old— middle-aged.* 
And she 's not; she 's young." 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


** Things can never be as they were before," said living- 
stone, mournfully, as the laughter died away. 

• ' No, " said Mrs. Everett. 

There was a pause, and one of the men turned to Reggie. 
• 'What are you going to do about the five-foot-six jumps ? ' ' 

*'Let it go," said Beggie. 

* ' It 's a pity, ' ' said the other. * * If you had met Miss Stan- 
ton earlier in the evening, I think she could have taught you 
to ride that mare. I wanted to see you win your bet." 

**Betf" said Livingstone. 

''Reggie 's such an idiot," said Mrs. Everett. "He bet 
Tommy Post that Hermione would beat his chestnut in the 
five-foot-six jumps, and Reggie can't make Hermione jump at 
all, so h©.'s lost." 

"Not yet; I Ve got a chance," said Reggie, good-naturedly. 
"Perhaps I '11 go in, after all." The other laen laughed. 

"I should think you had made monkey enough of yourself 
for one evening," observed Palfrey, who was his best friend 
and could say such things. 

"Five feet six would be easy for Lady Washington," said 
Angelica. "I can't get used to calling her by that new 
name." She hesitated a moment with embarrassment, and 
then she stammered: "Why don't you let me ride herT' 

The people in the box looked aghast. 

"I'm afraid it wouldn't do," said Reggie, seriously. 
"It 's awfully good of you, but, you see, it would n't look well 
to put a lady on that horse. Suppose something should hap- 

' ' Good of me I " the girl exclaimed. " I 'd love it ! I want 
to ride her again so much ! " 

"Well," said Reggie, "I '11 have her at the park for you to- 
morrow morning. You can ride her whenever you like. ' ' 

A low cry of alarm ran through the Garden; and the conver- 
sation in ^e box hushed. A tandem cart had tipped over, 
and the wheeler was kicking it to pieces. ' 

"I don't like that sort of thing," said Mrs. Everett, with a 

They finally righted the trap, and the driver limx>ed oflf to 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


show that he was not hurt. The great crowd seemed to draw 
a long breath of relief, and the even hum of voices went on 
again. The judges began to award the ribbons, and Angelica 
looked down at her program. 

^'Dear me!" she exclaimed. ^'The saddle class I 'm going 
to ride in is next. I 'm afraid I *11 be late. Good-by." 

*'Good-by," they all replied. 

'^Don't you come," she said to Livingstone. ''It 's just a 

*'I must keep my word with Caroline," he answered, and he 
took her to her seat. 

''She 's immense, isn't shet" he said, as he came back. 
"I 'm glad Reggie did n't let her ride that brute. She wiU be 
killed one of these days." 

"She 's going to be a great beauty," said Mrs. Everett. 

"She looks like her blessed mother," said Livingstone. "I 
was very fond of her mother. I think that if it had n't been 
for Stanton—" 

' ' Stop ! ' ' interrupted Mrs. Everett. ' ' Your heart-tragedies 
are too numerous. Besides, if you had married her you 
wouldn't be here trying to tell us why you didn't." And 
they all laughed, and cheerfully condemned the judging of the 
tandem class. 

The negro groom who had come up with the Stanton horses 
met Angelica as she was going down-stairs into the b^ement 
where the stalls were. Jim had not appeared, so Angelica 
and Caroline had started off alone. 

"Hilda 's went lame behind, Miss Angie," the man said. 
"She must have cast huhself. They ain't no use to show 

Ordinarily this calamity would have disturbed Angelica, but 
the discovery of Lady Washington was a joy which could not 
be dimmed. 

"Have you told my brother?" she asked. 

"Yes, Miss Angie," said the man. "He was gwine to tell 

"I want to see her," said Angelica, and they went on 

Digitized by VjOO*2 1^ 


toward the stall. But what Angelica most wanted was to get 
among the horses and look for a certain black mare. 

Hilda was very lame, and there was fev^r in the hock 
Angelica patted her neck, and turned away with a side glance 
at Caroline, who, she feared, would rebel at being ted through 
the horses' quarters. She walked down tbe^ row of stalls till 
she came to the corner, then up through, another passage till 
she stopped at a big box-stall over the side of which stretched 
a black head set on a long, thoroughbred-looking neck. 

The small, fine ears, the width between the eyes, the square 
little muzzle, were familiar ; and there was a white star on the 
forehead. But Angelica did not enumerat)e these things.* 
Horses to her had personalities and faces, ^ust as people had 
them. She recognized Lady Washington as she had recog- 
nized Mr. Livingstone. She made a little exclamation, and, 
standing on tiptoe, put her arms about the mare's neck, and 
kissed it again and again. 

* * The dear ! She remembers me ! " the girl said, wiping her 
eyes. *'It 's Lady Washington," she explained to Caroline. 
She reached up to fondle the little muzzle, and the mare 
nipped playfully. 

**Look out, miss,'^ called the stable-boy, who was sitting on 
a soap-box ; ' ' she 's mean. ' ' 

*'She 's no such thing," said the girl. 

*'0h, ain't shet" said the boy. 

**Well, if she is, you made her so," retorted Angelica. 

The boy grinned. **I ain't only been in the stable two 
weeks," he said. *'She caught me on the second day and nigh 
broke me leg. You see her act in the ring? Mr. Haughton 
says he won't ride her no more, and she 's entered in the five- 
foot-six jumps." 

The girl looked thoughtfully at the boy and then at the 
horse. An idea had come to her. She was reflecting upon 
the last words Mr. Haughton had spoken before she left the 
box: "You can ride her whenever you Uke,'' 

"I know," she said aloud. ''I 'm going to ride her in that 
class. I 'm Miss Stanton. I used to own her, you know. My 





saddle is down there with Mr. Stanton's horses, and I want 
you to go and get it." 

**0h, never, Miss Angelica!" exclaimed Caroline. *'Dear 
me, not that!" 

**You hush," said Angelica. 

The stable-boy looked at her incredulously. **I ain't had 
no orders, miss," he said. **I '11 have to see William. Did 
Mr. Haughton say you might?" 

"Of course he said I might," she replied. 

The boy said no more and went off after William. 

*'0f course he said I might," she repeated half aloud. 
' "Didn't he say I might ride her * whenever I wanted to't 
'Whenever' is any time, and I want to now." She fortified 
herself behind this sophistry, but she was all in a flutter lest 
Jim or Mr. Haughton should appear. - The thought, however, 
of being on Lady Washington's back, and showing people 
that she wasn't sulky and bad-tempered, was a temptation 
too strong to be resisted. 

The boy came back with the head groom, to whom he had 
explained the matter. 

"Why, miss," said William, "she 'd kill you. I would n't 
want to show her myself. Mr. Haughton, miss, must have 
been joking. Honest, miss, you couldn't ride Hermione." 
The man was respectful but firm. 

"Think what Miss Gushing would say," said Caroline. 

"But I tell you I can," retorted Angelica. She paid no 
attention to Caroline; her temper flashed up. "You don't 
seem to understand. I owned that mare when she was Lady 
Washington, and broke her all myself, and schooled her, too. 
Mr. Haughton hasn't any * hands,' and he ou^t to know 
better than to raise a whip on her.'^ 

William grinned at the unvarnished statement about his 
master's "hands." 

"Are you the young lady what called out to him in the 
ringt" he asked. 

"Yes, I am," said Angelica. "And if he 'd done-wlntt I 
told him to she would have won. Here 's our Emanuel," slue 




went on. ^'He 11 tell you I can ride her. Emanuel," she 
demanded, as the negro approached, ''haven't I ridden Lady 

''You jest have, Miss Angie," said Emanuel. "Why," 
said he, turning to William, "this heah young lady have rode 
that maah ovah six feet. She done won the high jump at 
ouah hunt show. That 's Lady Washington all right," he 
went on, looking at the head poked out over the stall. **I 
got huh maahk on mah ahm foh to remembah huh." 

The stable-boy grinned. 

"Well, she never bit me," said Angelica. 

"The young lady," said William, doubtfully, "wants to 
ride her in the five-foot-six class. She says Mr. Haughton 
said she might." 

' ' Oh, Miss Angelica, ' ' interposed Caroline, "you '11 be kilt ! ' ' 

"You 're a goose," said Angelica. "I 've ridden her hun- 
dreds of times." 

"I don't know how Mistah Jim would like it," said 
Emanuel; "but she could ride that maah all right, you jest 

William was getting interested. He was not so concerned 
about Mr. Stanton's likes as he was that his stable should take 
some ribbons. 

"Mr. Haughton said you might ride hert" he repeated. 

"Of course he did," said Angelica; "I just left him in Mrs. 
Everett's box, and I 've got my own saddle and everything." 

"AU right, miss," said William. "Get the saddle, Tim." 

William did not believe that Mr. Haughton had given any 
such orders, but he had gotten into trouble not long before by 
refusing to give a mount to a friend of Haughton 's whom he 
did not know and who came armed only with verbal authority. 
He knew that if any harm was done he could hide behind that 

"I want a double-reined snaffle," said Angelica. "Eman- 
uel," she added, "you have the bit I used to ride her with. 
Bring my own bridle. ' ' 

"I 'm afraid you won't be able to hold her, miss," muttered 
William ; "but it 's as you say. Hurry up with that saddle," 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


he called to the stable-boy. *'We ain't got no time to lose. 
They 're callin' the class now. You 're number two, miss; 
1 11 get your number for you." 

''Tou '11 be kilt ! You 'U be kilt I" said Caroline, dolefuUy. 
**Think what Miss Gushing will say I" 

** Caroline," said Angelica, *'you don't know anything 
about horses, so you hush." And then she added under her 
breath, *'If I can only get started before Jim sees mel" 

In the Everett box they were waiting for the five-foot-six 
class to begin. They called it the five-foot-six class because 
there were four jumps that were five feet six inches high ; the 
others were an even five feet. It was the '* sensational event" 
of the evening. Thus far the show had been dull. 

** Those saddle-horses were an ordinary lot," observed 

"This isn't opening very well, either," said Palfrey. The 
first horse had started out by refusing. Then he floundered 
into the jump and fell. 

**Let 's not wait," said Mrs. Everett. But the words were 
hardly spoken when, with a quick movement, she turned her 
glasses on the ring. Something Unusual was going on at the 
farther end. A ripple of applause came down the sides of 
the Garden, and then she saw a black horse, ridden by a girl, 
come cantering toward the starting-place. 

**It 'fi that child on Hermione ! You must stop it, Eeggie !" 
she exclaimed excitedly. 

Before any one could move, Angelica had turned the horse 
toward the first jump. It looked terribly high to Mrs. 
Everett. It was almost- even with the head of the man Who 
was standing on the farther side ready to replace the bars if 
they should be knocked down. 

Tossing her head playfully, the black mare galloped steadily 
for the wings, took oflP in her stride, and swept over the jump 
in a long curve. She landed noiselessly on the tan-bark, and 
was on again. Around the great ring went the horse and the 
girl, steadily, not too fast, and taking each jump without a 
mistake. The great crowd remained breathless and expect- 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


ant. Horse and rider finished in front of the Everett box, and 
pulled np to a trot, the mare breathing hard with excitement, 
but well-mannered. 

Then a storm of cheers and hand-clapping burst, the like of 
which was never heard at a New York horse show before. 

As the applause died away, Beggie rose and hurried out. 
''Let 's all go," said Mrs. Everett. 

Before they got through the crowd the judges had awarded 
the ribbons. There were only three other horses that went 
over all the jumps, and none of them made a clean score. 
There was no question about which was first. The judges ran 
their hands down the mare's legs in a vain search for lumps. 
She was short-coupled, with a beautiful shoulder and pow- 
erful quarters. She had four crosses of thoroughbred, and 
showed it. 

''She 's a picture mare," said one of the judges, and he 
tied the blue rosette to her bridle himself. Then iJie great 
crowd cheered and clapped again, and An^gelica rode down to 
the entrance as calmly as if she were in the habit of taking 
blue ribbons daily. But inside she was not calm. 

"I Ve got to cry or something," she thought. 

At the gate some one came out of the crowd and took the 
mare by the head. Angelica looked dbwn, and there were 
her brother and Beggie and Mrs. Everett's party. The Gar- 
den began to swim. 

"Oh, Jim!" she murmured, "help me down. It's Lady 
Washington." Then she threw her arms around his neck and 

They were at supper in the old Waldorf Palm Boom before 
Angelica was quite certain whether actual facts had been 
taking place or whether she had been dreaming. It seemed 
rather too extraordinary and too pleasant to be true. Still, 
she was sure that she was there, because the people stared at 
her when she came in dressed in her habit, and whispered to 
each other about her. Furthermore, a party of judges came 
over and asked Mrs. Everett to present them. 




There never before was quite such an evening. It was after 
twelve, at least, and nobody had suggested that she ought to 
be in bed. One pleasant thing followed another in quick suc- 
cession, and there seemed no end to them. She was absorbed 
in an edible rapture which Mrs. Everett called a *'cafe par- 
fait" when she became aware that Reggie's friend, Mir. Pal- 
frey, had started to address the party. She only half listened, 
because she was wondering why every one eifcept Mrs. Everett 
and herself had denied himseU this delightful sweet. 
Orown-up people had strange tastes. 

Mr. Palfrey began by saying that he thought it was time to 
propose a toast in honor of Miss Stanton, which might also 
rechristen Beggie's mare by her first and true name, ^'Lady 
Washington." He said that it was plain to him that the mare 
had resented a strange name out of Greek mythology, and in 
future would go kindly, particularly if Be^e never tried to 
ride her again. 

He went on with his remarks, and from time to time the 
people interrupted with laughter; but it was only a meaning- 
less sound in Angelica's ears. The words '* Beggie's mare" 
had come like a blow in the face. She had forgotten about 
that. Her knees grew wieak and a lump swelled in her throat. 
It was true, of course, but for the time being it had passed out 
of her mind. And now that Lady Washington had won the 
five-foot-six class and was so much admired, probably Jim 
could not afford to buy her back. It was doubtful if Mr. 
Haughton would sell her at any price. 

Presently she was aroused by a remark addressed directly 
to her. 

'*I think that *s a good idea," said Beggie. '* Don't 

She nodded ; but she did not know what the idea was, and 
she did not trust her voice to ask. 

**Only," he continued, turning to Palfrey, *'it isn't my 
mare any more; it 's Miss Stanton's. Put that in. Palfrey." 

Angelica's mouth opened in wonderment and her heart 
stood still. She looked about the table blankly. 




"It 's so/' said Reggie ; "she 's yours.'' 

**Biit I can't take her," she said falteringly. *'She 's too 
valuable. Can I, Jim t " 

''But Jim 's bought her," said Reggie, hurriedly. 

Angelica's eyes settled on her brother's face; he said noth- 
ing, but began to smile; Beggie was kicking him under the 

**Tes," said Beggie; **when I saw you ride Lady Washing- 
ton, that settled it with me. I 'm too proud to stand being 
beaten by a girl ; so I made Jim buy her back and {Promise to 
give her to you." 

''Do you mean itf " said Angelica. ''Is Lady Washington 
really mine?" 

"Yes," he said. 

She dropped her hands in her lap and sighed wearily. "It 
doesn't seem possible," she murmured. She paused and 
seemed to be running over the situation in her mind. Pres- 
ently she spoke as if unaware that the others were listening. 
"I knew it would happen, though," she said. "I knew it. 
I reckon I prayed enough." She smiled as a great thrill of 
happiness ran through her, and glancing up, saw that all the 
rest were smiling, too. 

"I 'm so happy," she said apologetically. Then she be- 
thought herself, and furtively reached down and tapped the 
frame of her chair with her knuckles. 

"WeU, here 's the toast," said Mr. Palfrey, rising. "To 
the lady and Lady Washington." And they all rose and 
drank it standing. 





Long before I married George I knew that he was dread- 
fully ambitions. We were not yet engaged when he took me 
into his confidence about his forthcoming great book, which 
was to take the form of an inquiry into the Metaphysics of 
Ethics. "I have not begun it yet,'* he always said, **but I 
shall be at it every night once the winter sets in/' In the 
daytime George is only a clerk, though a much-valued one, 
so that he has to give the best hours of his life to a ledger. 

**If you only had more time at your disposal,'' I used to say, 
when he told me of the book that was to make his name. 

**I don't complain," he said, heartily, like the true hero he 
always is, except when he has to take medicine. '^ Indeed, 
you will find that the great books have nearly always been 
written by busy men. I am firmly of opinion that if a man 
has original stuff in him it will come out." 

He glowed with enthusiasm while he spoke in this inspiriting 
strain, and some of his ardor passed into me. When we met 
we talked of nothing but his future ; at least he talked while I 
listened with clasped hands. It was thus that we became en- 
gaged. George was no ordinary lover. He did not waste his 
time telling me that I was beautiful, or saying ''Beloved!" at 
short intervals. No, when we were alone he gave me his hand 
to hold, and spoke fervently of the Metaphysics of Ethics. 

Our engagement was not of a very long duration, for George 
coaxed me into marriage thus — ''I cannot settle down to my 
book," he said, ''until we are married." 

His heart was so set on that book that I yielded. We wan- 
dered all over London together buying the furniture. There 

1 From 71170 of Them, Copyright, 1893, by the United States Book Co. 


Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


was a settee that I particularly wanted, but George, with his 
usual thoughtf ulness, said : 

*'Let us rather buy a study table. It will help me at my 
work, and once the book is out we shall be able to afford half a 
dozen settees." 

Another time he went alone to buy some pictures for the 

'*I got a study chair instead,'' he told me in the evening. 
<'I knew you would not mind, my darling, for the chair is the 
very thing for writing a big book in." 

He even gave thought to the ink-bottle. 

*'In my room," he said, *'I am constantly discovering that 
my ink-bottle is empty, and it puts me out of temper to write 
with water and soot. I therefore think we ought to buy one of 
those large ink-stands with two bottles." 

''We shall," I replied, with the rapture of youth, **and 
mine will be the pleasant task of seeing that the bottles are 
kept full.J|f 

*' Dearest!" he said, fondly, for this was the sort of re- 
mark that touched him most. 

** Every evening," I continued, encouraged by his caress- 
ing tones, **you will find your manuscripts lying on the table 
waiting for you, and a pen with a new nib in it." 

*'What a wife you will make!" he exclaimed. 

*'But you mustn't write too much," I said. **You must 
have fixed hours, and at a certain time, say at ten o'clock, I 
shall insist on your ceasing to write for the night." 

**That seems a wise arrangement. But sometimes I shall 
be too entranced in the work, I fancy, to leave it without an 

''Ah," I said, "I shall come behind you, and snatch the pen 
from your hand !" 

"Every Saturday night," he said, "I shall read to you 
what I have written during the week." 

No wonder I loved him. 

We were married on a September day, and the honeymoon 
passed delightfully in talk about the book. Nothing proved 
to me the depth of George's affection so much as his not begin- 

Digitized by VjOO*2 l^ 


ning the great work before the honeymoon was over. So I 
often told him, and he smiled fondly in reply. The more, 
indeed, I praised him the better pleased he seemed to be. 
The name for this is sympathy. 

Conceive us at home in our dear little house in Clapham. 

''Will you begin the book at oneet" I asked Greorge the 
day after we arrived. 

''I have been thinking that over/' he said. *'I needn't 
tell you that there is nothing I should like so much, but, on 
the whole, it might be better to wait a week.'' 

''Don't make the sacrifice for my sake," I said, anxiously. 

"Of course it is for your sake," he replied. 

"But it is such a pity to waste any more time," I said. 

"There is no such hurry," he answered, rather testily. 

I looked at him in surprise. 

"What I mean," he said, "is that I can be thinking the 
arrangement of the book over." 

We had, of course, a good many callers at this time, and 
I told most of them about the book. For reasons to be seen 
by and by I regret this now. 

When the week had become a fortnight, I insisted on leav- 
ing George alone in the study after dinner. He looked rather 
gloomy, but I filled the ink-bottles, and put the paper on the 
desk, and handed him his new pen. He took it, but did not 
say "thank you." 

An hour afterward I took him a cup of tea. He was still 
sitting by the fire, but the pen had fallen from his hands. 

"You are not sleeping, George?" I asked. 

"Sleeping!" he cried, as indignantly as if I had charged 
him with crime. "No, I 'm thinking." 

"You haven't written any yet?" 

"I was just going to begin when you came in. I H be- 
gin as soon as I 've drunk this tea." 

"Then 1 11 leave you to your work, dear." 

I returned to the study at nine o'clock. He was still in 
the same attitude. 

"I wish you would bring me a cup of tea," he said. 

"I brought you one hours ago." 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


''Eh! Why didn't you teUmef' 

''Oh, George! I ta^ed with you about it. !Why, here 
it is on the table, untouched." 

"I declare you never mentioned it to me. I must have 
been thinking so deeply that I never noticed you. You should 
have spoken to me." 
"But I did speak, and you answered." 
"My dear, I assure you I did nothing of the sort This is 
very vexing, for it has spoiled my evening's work." 

The next evening George said that he did not feel in the 
mood for writing, and I suppose I looked disappointed, for 
he flared up. 
"I can't be eternally writing," he growled. 
"But you haven't done anything at all yet." 
"That is a rather ungenerous way of expressing it." 
"But you spoke as if the work would be a pleasure." 
"Have I said that it is not a pleasure! If you knew any- 
thing of literary history, you would be aware that there are 
occasions when the most industrious writers cannot pen a 
"They must make a beginning some time^ though!" 
"Well, I shall make a be^nning to-morrow." 
Next evening he seemed in no hurry to go into the study. 
"I 'U hang the bedroom pictures," he said. 
"No, no, you must get begone to your book." 
"You are in a desperate hurry to see me at that book." 
"You spoke as if you were so anxious to begin -it." 
"So I am. Did I say I wasn't!" 

He marched off to the study^ banging the drawing-room 
door. An hour or so afterward I took him his tea. He had 
left his study door open so that I could see him on the couch 
before I entered the room. When he heard the rattle of the 
tea-things he jumped up and strode to the study table, where, 
when I entered, he pretended to be busy writing. 

"How are you getting on, dear!" I asked, with a sinking 
at the heart. 
"Excellently, my love, excellently." 
I looked at him so reproachfully that he blushed. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


'^I think/' said he^ when he had drunk the tea, ''that I 
have done enough for one night. I must n't overdo it." 

** Won't you let me hear what you have written?" 

He blushed again. 

''Wait till Saturday," he said. 

"Then let me put your papers away," I said, for I was 
anxious to see whether he had written anything at all. 

"I couldn't think of it," he replied, covering the paper 
with his elbows. 

Next morning I counted the clean sheets of paper. They 
were just as I had put them on the table. So it went on for 
a fortnight or more, with this difference. He either sus- 
pected that I counted the sheets, or thought that I might take 
it into my head to do so. To ailay my suspicions, therefore, 
he put away what he called his manuscript in a drawer, which 
he took care to lock. I discovered that one of my own keys 
opened this drawer, and one day I examined the manuscripts. 
They consisted of twenty-four pages of paper, without a word 
written on them. Every evening he added two more clean 
pages to the contents of the drawer. This discovery made 
me so scornful that I taxed him with the deceit. At first 
he tried to brazen it out, but I was merciless, and then he said : 

"The fact is that I can't write by gas-light. I fear I shall 
have to defer beginning the work until spring." 

"But you used to say that the winter was the best season for 

"I thought so at the time, but I find I was wroi^. It will 
be a great blow to me to give up the work for the present, 
but there is no help for it." 

When spring came I reminded him that now was his op- 
portunity to begin the book. 

"You are eternally talking about that book," he snarled. 

"I haven't mentioned it for a month." 

"Well, you are always looking at me as if I should be at 

"Because you used to speak so enthusiastically about it." 

"I am as enthusiastic as ever, but I can't be forever writ- 
ing at the book." 




*' We have now been married seven months, and you have n't 
written a line yet." 

He banged the doors again, and a week afterward he said 
that spring was a bad time for writing a book. 

*'One likes to be out-of-doors,'* he said, *4n spring, watch- 
ing the trees become green again. Wait till July, when one 
is glad to be indoors. Then I '11 give four hours to the work 
every evening." 

Summer came, and then he said : 

'*It is too hot to write books. Get me another bottle of iced 
soda-water. I '11 tackle the book in the autumn." 

We have now been married more than five years, but the 
book is not begun yet. As a rule, we now shun the subject, 
but there are times when he still talks hopefully of begin- 
ning. I wonder if there are any other husbands like mine. 





He was a young man, not more than twenty-four or five, 
and he might have sat his horse with the careless grace of his 
youth had he not been so catlike and tense. His black eyes 
roved everywhere, catching the movements of twigs and 
branches where small birds hopped, questing ever onward 
through the changing vistas of trees and brush, and returning 
always to the clumps of undergrowth on either side* And 
as he watched, so did he listen, though he rode on in silence, 
save for the boom of heavy guns from far to the west This 
had been sounding monotonously in his ears for hours, and 
only its cessation would have aroused his notice. For he had 
business closer to hand. Across his saddle-bow was balanced 
a carbine. 

So tensely was he strung, that a bunch of quail, exploding 
into flight from under his horse's nose, startled him to such 
an extent that automatically, instantly, he had reined in and 
fetched the carbine halfway to his shoulder. He grinned 
sheepishly, recovered himself, and rode on. So tense was 
he, so bent upon the work he had to do, that the sweat stung 
his eyes unwiped, and unheeded rolled down his nose abd 
spattered his saddle pommel. The band of his cavalryman's 
hat was fresh-stained with sweat. The roan horse under him 
was likewise wet. It was high noon of a breathless day of 
heat. Even the birds and squirrels did not dare the sun, but 
sheltered in shady hiding places among the trees. 

Man and horse were littered with leaves and dusted with 
yellow pollen, for the open was ventured no more than was 
compulsory. They kept to the brush and trees, and invariably 
the man halted and peered out before crossing a dry glade or 
naked stretch of upland pasturage. He worked always to 
the north, though his way was devious, and it was from the 


Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 

142 WAR 

north that he seemed most to apprehend that for which he 
was looking. He was no coward, but his courage was only 
that of the average civilized man, and he was looking to live, 
not die. 

Up a small hillside he followed a cowpath through such 
dense scrub that he was forced to dismount and lead his 
horse. But when the path swung around to the west, he 
abandoned it and headed to the north again along the oak- 
covered top of the ridge. 

The ridge ended in a steep descent— so steep that he zig- 
zagged back and forth across the face of the slope, sliding and 
stumbling among the dead leaves and matted vines and keep- 
ing a watchful eye on the horse above that threatened to 
fall down upon him. The sweat ran from him, and the pollen- 
dust, settling pungently in mouth and nostrils, increased his 
thirst. Try as he would, nevertheless the descent was noisy, 
and frequently he stopped, panting in the dry heat and listen- 
ing for any warning from beneath. 

At the bottom he came out on a flat, so densely forested that 
he could not make out its extent. Here the character of the 
woods changed, and he was able to remount. Instead of the 
twisted hillside oaks, tall straight trees, big-trunked and pros- 
perous, rose from the damp fat soil. Only here and there 
were thickets, easily avoided, while he encountered winding, 
park-like glades where the cattle had pastured in the days 
before war had run them off. 

His progress was more rapid now, as he came down into 
the valley, and at the end of half an hour he halted at an 
ancient rail fence on the edge of a clearing. He did not like 
the openness of it, yet his path lay across to the fringe of 
trees that marked the banks of the stream. It was a mere 
quarter of a mile across that open, but the thought of ven- 
turing out in it was repugnant. A rifle, a score of them, 
a thousand, might lurk in that fringe by the stream. 

Twice he essayed to start, and twice he paused. He was 
appalled by his own loneliness. The pulse of war that beat 
from the west suggested the compani(^hip of battling thou- 
sands; here was naught but silence, and himself, and possible 

Digitized by VjOO*2 l^ 


death-dealing ballets from a myriad ambushes. And yet 
his task was to find what he feared to find. He must go on, 
and on, till somewhere, some time, he encountered another 
man, or other men, from the other side, scouting, as he was 
scouting, to make report, as he must make report, of having 
eome in touch. 

Changing his mind, he skirted inside the woods for a dis- 
tance, and again peeped forth. This time, in the middle 
of the clearing, he saw a small f armhouseij^There were no 
signs of life. No smoke curled from the chimney, not a 
barnyard fowl clucked and strutted. The kitchen door stood 
open, and he gazed so long and hard into the black aperture 
that it seemed almost that a farmer's wife must emerge at 
any moment. 

He licked the pollen and dust from his dry lips, stiffened 
himself 9 mind and body, and rode out into the blazing sun- 
shine. Nothing stirred. He went on past the house, and 
approached the wall of trees and bushes by the river's bank. 
One thought persisted maddeningly. It was of the crash 
into his body of a high-velocity bullet. It made him feel very 
triple and defenseless, and he crouched lower in the saddle. 

Tethering his horse in the edge of the wood, he continued 
a hundred yards on foot till he came to the stream. Twenty 
feet wide it was, without perceptible current, cool and invit- 
ing, and he was very thirsty. But he waited inside his screen 
of leafage, his eyes fixed on the screen on the opposite side. 
To make the wait endurable, he sat down, his carbine resting 
on his knees. The minutes passed, and slowly his tenseness 
relaxed. At last he decided there was no danger; but just as 
he prepared to part the bushes and bend down to the water, 
a movement among the opposite bushes caught his eye. 

It might be a bird. But he waited. Again there was an 
agitation of the bushes, and then, so suddenly that it almost 
startled a cry from him, the bushes parted and a face peered 
out It was a face coveredl with several weeks' growth of 
ginger-colored beard. The ^es were blue and wide apart, 
with laughter-wrinkles in the comers that showed despite 
the tired and anxious expression -of the whole face. 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 

144 WAR 

All this he could see with microscopic clearness, for the 
distance was no more than twenty feet. And all this he saw 
in such brief time, that he saw it as he lifted his carbine to his 
shoulder. He glanced along the sights, and knew that he 
was gazing upon a man who was as good as dead. It was 
impossible to miss at such point blank range. 

But he did not shoot. Slowly he lowered the carbine and 
watched. A hand, clutching a water-bottle, became visible 
and the ginger beard bent downward to fill the bottle. He 
could hear the gurgle of the water. Then arm and bottle 
and ginger beard disappeared behind the closing bushes. A 
long time he waited, when, with thirst unslaked, he crept back 
to his horse, rode slowly across the sun-washed clearing, and 
passed into the shelter of the woods beyond. 


Another day, hot and breathless. A deserted farmhouse, 
large, with many outbuildings and an orchard, standing in 
a clearing. From the woods, on a roan horse, carbine across 
pommel, rode the young man with the quick black eyes. He 
breathed with relief as he gained the house. That a fight 
had taken place here earlier in the season was evident. Clips 
and empty cartridges, tarnished with verdigris, lay on the 
ground, which, while wet, had been torn up by the hoofs of 
horses. Hard by the kitchen garden were graves, tagged and 
numbered. From the oak tree by the kitchen door, in tat- 
tered, weather-beaten garments, hung the bodies of two men. 
The faces, shriveled and defaced, bore no likeness to the faces 
of men. The roan horse snorted beneath them, and the rider 
caressed and soothed it and tied it farther away. 

Entering the house, he found the interior a wreck. He 
trod on empty cartridges as he walked from room to room 
to reconnoiter from the windows. Men had camped and 
slept everywhere, and on the floor of one room he came upon 
stains unmistakable where the wounded hsd been laid down. 

Again outside, he led the horse around behind the bam 
and invaded the orchard. A dozen trees were burdened with 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


ripe apples. He filled his pockets, eating while he picked. 
Then a thought came to him, and he glanced at the sun, cal- 
culating the time of his return to camp. He pulled off his 
shirt, tying the sleeves and making a bag. This he pro- 
ceeded to fill with apples. 

As he was about to mount his horse, the animal suddenly 
pricked up its ears. The man, too, listened, and heard, 
faintly, the thud of hoofs on soft earth. He crept to the 
corner of the bam and peered out. A dozen mounted men, 
strung out loosely, approaching from the opposite side of 
the clearing, were only a matter of a hundred yards or so 
away. They rode on to the house. Some dismounted, while 
others remained in the saddle as an earnest that their stay 
would be short. They seemed to be holding a council, for he 
could hear them talking excitedly in the detested tongue of 
the alien invader. The time passed, but they seemed unable 
to reach a decision. He put the carbine away jp. its boot, 
mounted, and waited impatiently, balancing the shirt of 
apples on the pommel. , 

He heard footsteps approaching, and drove his spurs so 
fiercely into the roan as to force a surprised groan from the 
animal as it leaped forward. At the comer of the barn he 
saw the intruder, a mere boy of nineteen or twenty for all 
of his uniform, jump back to escape being run down. At the 
same moment the roan swerved, and its rider caught a glimpse 
of the aroused men by the house. Some were springing from 
their horses, and he could see the rifles going to their shoul- 
ders. He passed the kitchen door and the dried corpses 
swinging in the shade, compelling his foes to run around the 
front of the house. A rifle cracked, and a second, but he was 
going fast, leaning forward, low in the saddle, one hand 
clutching the shirt of apples, the other guiding the horse. 

The top bar of the fence was four feet high, but he knew 
his roan and leaped it at full career to the accompaniment of 
several scattered shots. Eight hundred yards straight away 
were the woods, and the roan was covering the distance with 
mighty strides. Every man was now firing. They were 
pumping their guns so rapidly that he no longer heard in- 

Digitized by V^OOQ IC 


146 yvK^ WAR 

dividual shots. A bullet went through his hat, but he was 
unaware, though he did know when another tore through 
the apples on the pommel. And he winced and ducked even 
lower when a third bullet, fired low, struck a stone between 
his horse's legs and ricochetted off through the air, buzzing 
and humming like some incredible insect. 

The shots died down as the magazines were emptied, until, 
quickly, there was no more shooting. The young man was 
elated. Through that astonishing fusillade he had come un- 
scathed. He glanced back. Yes, they had emptied their 
magazines. He could see several reloading. Others were 
running back behind the house for their horses. As he looked, 
two already mounted, came back into view around the corner, 
riding hard. And at the same moment, he saw the man 
with the unmistakable ginger beard kneel down on the ground, 
level his gun, and coolly take his time for the long shot. 

The young man threw his spurs into the horse, crouched 
very low, and swerved in his flight in order to distract the 
other's aim. And still the shot did not come. With each 
jump of the horse, the woods sprang nearer. They were 
only two hundred yards away, and still the shot was delayed. 

And then he heard it, the last thing he was to hear, for he 
was dead ere he hit the ground in the long crashing fall from 
the saddle. And they, watching at the house, saw him fall, 
saw his body bounce when it struck the earth, and saw the 
burst of red-cheeked apples that rolled about him. They 
laughed at the unexpected eruption of apples, and clapped 
their hands in applause of the long shot by the man with the 
ginger beard. 





Extract from hospital record of the case of John Ander- 
son, patient of Dr. Brown, Ward 3, Boom 6 : 

August 3. Arrived at hospital in extreme mental distress, having 
been bitten on the wrist three honrs previously by dog known to 
have been rabid. Large, strong man, full-blooded and well nour- 
ished. Sanguine temperament. Pulse and temperature higher than 
normal, due to excitement. Cauterized wound at once (2 P. M.) and 
inoculated with antitoxin. 

As patient admits having recently escaped, by swimming ashore, 
from lately arrived cholera ship, now at quarantine, he has been 
isolated and clothing disinfected. Watch for symptoms of cholera. 

August 3, 6 p. M. Microscopic examination of blood corrobora- 
tive of Metschnikoff's theoiy of fighting leucocytes. White cor- 
puscles gorged with bacteria. 

He was an amphibian, and, as such, undeniably beautiful ; 
for the sunlight, refracted and diffused in the water, gave his 
translucent, pearl-blue body all the shifting colors of the. 
spectrum. Vigorous and graceful of movement, in shape he 
resembled a comma of three dimensions, twisted, when at rest, 
to a slight spiral curve ; but in traveling he straightened out 
with quick successive jerks, each one sending him ahead a 
couple of lengths. Supplemented by the undulatory move- 
ment of a long continuation of his tail, it was his way of 
swimming, good enough to enable him to escape his enemies; 
this, and riding at anchor in a current by his cable-like ap- 
pendage, constituting his main occupation in life. The pleas- 
ure of eating was denied him; nature had given him a mouth, 
but he used it only for purposes of offense and defense, ab- 
sorbing his food in a most unheard-of manner — ^through the 
soft walls of his body. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Tet he enjoyed a few social pleasures. Though the organs 
of the five senses were missing in his economy, he possessed an 
inner sixth sense which answered for all and also gave him 
power of speech. He would converse, swap news and views, 
with creatures of his own and other species, provided that they 
were of equal size and prowess; but he wasted no time on 
any but his social peers. Smaller creatures he pursued when 
they annoyed him ; larger ones pursued him. 

The sunlight, which made him so beautiful to look at, was 
distasteful to him; it also made him too visible. He pre- 
ferred a half -darkness and less fervor to life's battle — ^time to 
judge of chances, to figure on an enemy's speed and turning- 
circle, before beginning fiight or pursuit. But his dislike of 
it really came of a stronger animus — a shuddering recollec- 
tion of three hours once passed on dry land in a comatose 
condition, which had followed a particularly long and in- 
tense period of bright sunlight. He had never been able to 
explain the connection, but the awful memory still saddened 
his life. 

And now it seemed, as he swam about, that this experience 
might be repeated. The light was strong and long-continued, 
the water uncomfortably warm, and the crowd about him 
denser — so much so as to prevent him from attending properly 
to a social inferior who had crossed his bow. But just as his 
mind grasped the full imminence of the danger, there came 
a sudden darkness, a crash and vibration of the water, then a 
terrible, rattling roar of sound. The social inferior slipped 
from his mouth, and with his crowding neighbors was washed 
far away, while he felt himself slipping along, bounding and 
rebounding against the projections of a corrugated wall 
which showed white in the gloom. There was an unpleasant 
taste to the water, and he became aware of creatures in his 
vicinity unlike any he had known, — quickly darting little 
monsters about a tenth as large as himself, — ^thousands of 
them, black and horrid to see, each with short, fish-like body 
and square head like that of a dog; with wicked mouth that 
opened and shut nervously ; with hooked flippers on the middle 
part, and a bunch of tentacles on the fore that spread out 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


ahead and around. A dozen of them surrounded him menac- 
ingly; but he was young and strong, much larger than they, 
and a little frightened. A blow of his tail killed two, and 
the rest drew off. 

The current bore them on until the white wall rounded off 
and was lost to sight beyond the mass of darting creatures. 
Here was slack water, and with desperate effort he swam 
back, pushing the small enemies out of his path, meeting 
some resistance and receiving a few bites, until, in a hollow 
in the wall, he found temporary refuge and time to think. 
But he could not solve the problem. He had not the slight- 
est idea where he was or what had happened — ^who and what 
were the strange black creatures, or why they had threatened 

His thoughts were interrupted. Another vibrant roar 
sounded, and there was pitch-black darkness; then he was 
pushed and washed away from his shelter, jostled, bumped, 
and squeezed, until he found himself in a dimly lighted tun- 
nel, which, crowded as it was with swimmers, was narrow 
enough to enable him to see both sides at once. The walls 
were dark brown and blue, broken up everywhere into de- 
pressions or caves, some of them so deep as to be almost like 
blind tunnels. The dog-faced creatures were there — as far as 
he could see ; but besides them^ now, were others, of stranger 
shape — of species unknown to him. 

A slow current carried them on, and soon they entered a 
larger tunnel. He swam to the opposite wall, gripped a pro- 
jection, and watched in wonder and awe the procession glid- 
ing by. He soon noticed the source of the dim light. A small 
creature with barrel-like body and innumerable legs or ten- 
tadeSb^avering and reaching, floated past. Its body swelled 
and shrank alternately, with every swelling giving out a 
phosphorescent glow, with every contraction darkening to a 
faint red color. Then came a group of others; then a second 
living lamp; later another and another: they were evenly 
distributed, and illumined the tunnel. 

There were monstrous shapes, living but inert, barely puls- 
ing with dormant life, as much larger than himself as the 

Digitized by V^OO*^l(:^ 


%^ .. . . 

dog-headed kind were smaller — huge, unwieldy, disk-shayed 
masses of tissue, light gray at the margins, dark red in the 
middle. They were in the majority, and blocked the view. 
Darting and wriggling between and about them were horrible 
forms, some larger than himself , others smaller. There were 
serpents, who swam with a serpent's motion. Some were 
serpents in form, but were curled rigidly into living cork- 
screws, and by sculling with their tails screwed their way 
through the water with surprising rapidity. Others were 
barrel- or globe-shaped, with swarming tentacles. With these 
they pulled themselves along, in and out through the crowd, 
or, bringing their squirming appendages rearward,— each an 
individual snake, — used them as propellers, and swam. 
There were creatures in the form of long cylinders, some 
with tentacles by which they rolled along like a log in a tide- 
way; others, without appendages, were as inert and helpless 
as the huge red-and-gray disks. He saw four ball-shaped 
creatures float by, clinging together; then a group of eight, 
then one of twelve. All these, to the extent of their volition, 
seemed to be in a state of extreme agitation and excitement. 

The cause was apparent. The tunnel from which he had 
come was still discharging the dog-faced animals by the thou- 
sand, and he knew now the business they were on. It was 
war — war to the death. They flung themselves with furious 
energy into the parade, fighting and biting all they could 
reach. A hundred at a time would pounce on one of the 
large red-and-gray creatures, almost hiding it from view; 
then, and before they had passed out of sight, they would fall 
off and disperse, and the once living victim would come with 
them, in parts. The smaller, active swimmers fled, but if 
one was caught, he suffered ; a quick dart, a tangle of tenta- 
cles, an embrace of the wicked flippers, a bite — and a dead 
body floated on. 

And now into the battle came ia ponderous engine of venge- 
ance and defense. A gigantic, lumbering, pulsating creature, 
white and translucent but for the dark, active brain showing 
through its walls, horrible in the slow, implacable delibera- 
tion of its movements, floated down with the current. It was 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


larger than the huge red-and-gray creatures. It was form- 
less, in the full irony of the definition — ^for it assumed all 
forms. It was long — ^barrel-shaped; it shrank to a sphere, 
then broadened laterally, and again extended above and be- 
low. In turn it was a sphere, a disk, a pyramid, a pentahe- 
dron, a polyhedron. It possessed neither legs, flippers, nor 
tentacles ; but out from its heaving, shrinking body it would 
send, now from one spot, now from another, an active arm, 
or feeler, with which it swam, pulled, or pushed. An un- 
lucky invader which one of them touched made few more vol- 
untary movements; for instantly the whole side of the whit- 
ish mass bristled with arms. They seized, crushed, killed it, 
and then pushed it bodily through the living walls to the 
animal's interior to serve for food. And the gaping fissure 
healed at once, like the wounds of Milton's warring angels. 

The first white monster floated down, killing as he went; 
then came another, pushing eagerly into the fray; then came 
two, then three, then dozens. It seemed that the word had 
been passed, and the army of defense was mustering. 

Sick with horror, he watched the grim spectacle from the 
shelter of the projection, until roused to an active sense of 
danger to himself — ^but not from the fighters. He was 
anchored by his tail, swinging easily in the eddy, and now 
felt himself touched from beneath, again from above. A pro- 
jection down-stream was extending outward and toward him. 
The cave in which he had taken refuge was closing on him 
like a great mouth — ^as though directed by an intelligence 
behind the wall. With a terrified flirt of his tail he flung 
himself out, and as he drifted down with the combat the 
walls of the cave crunched together. It was well for him 
that he was not there. 

The current was clogged with fragments of once living crea- 
tures, and everywhere, darting, dodging, and biting, were the 
fierce black invaders. But they paid no present attention 
to him or to the small tentacled animals. They killed the 
large, helpless red-and-gray kind, and were killed by the 
larger white monsters, each moment marking the death and 
rending to fragments of a victim, and the horrid interment 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


of fully half his slayers. The tunnel grew larger, as mouth 
after mouth of tributary tunnels was passed; but as each 
one discharged its quota of swimming and drifting creatures, 
there was no thinning of the crowd. 

As he drifted on with the inharmonious throng, he noticed 
what seemed the objective of the war. This was the caves 
which lined the tunnel. Some were apparently rigid, others 
were mobile. A large red-and-gray animal was pushed into 
the mouth of one of. the latter, and the walls instantly closed; 
then they opened, and the creature drifted out, limp and 
colorless, but alive ; and with him came fragments of the wall, 
broken off by the pressure. This happened again and again, 
but the large creature was never quite killed— merely 
squeezed. The tentacled non-combatants and the large white 
fighters seemed to know the danger of these tunnel mouths, 
possibly from bitter experiences, for they avoided the walls ; 
but the dog-faced invaders sought this death, and only fought 
on their way to the caves. Sometimes two, often four or 
more, would launch themselves together into a hollow, but to 
no avail ; their united strength could not prevent the closing 
in of the mechanical maw, and they were crushed and flung 
out, to drift on with other debris. 

Soon the walls could not be seen for the pushing, jostling 
crowd, but everywhere the terrible, silent war went on until 
there came a time whe& fighting ceased; for each must look 
out for himself. They seemed to be in an immense cave, and 
the tide was broken into cross-currents rushing violently to 
the accompaniment of rhythmical thunder. They were 
shaken, jostled, pushed about and pushed together, hundreds 
of the smaller creatures dying from the pressure. Then 
there was a moment of comparative quiet, during which fight- 
ing was resumed, and there could be seen the swiftly flyinj 
walls of a large tunnel. Next they were rushed through a 
labyrinth of small caves with walls of curious, branching 
formation, sponge-like and intricate. It required energetic 
effort to prevent being caught in the meshes, and the large 
red-and-gray creatures were sadly torn and crushed, while 
the white ones fought their way through by main strength. 

Digitized by VjOO*2 1^ 


Agdin the flying walls of a tunnel, again a mighty cave, and 
the cross-currents, and the rhythmical thunder, and now a 
wild charge down an immense tunnel, the wall of which surged 
outward and inward, in unison with the roaring of the thun- 

The thunder died away in the distance, though the walls 
still surged — even those of a smaller tunnel which divided 
the current and received them. Down-stream the tunnel 
branched again and again, and with the lessening of the 
diameter was a lessening of the current's velocity, until, in 
a maze of small, short passages, the invaders, content to fight 
and kill in the swifter tide, again attacked the caves. 

But to the never-changing result: they were crushed, 
mangled, and cast out, the number of suicides, in this neigh- 
borhood, largely exceeding those killed by the white warriors. 
And yet, in spite of the large mortality among them, the 
attacking force was increasing. Where one died two took his 
place; and the reason was soon made plain — ^they were re- 
producing. A black fighter, longer than his fellows, a little 
sluggish of movement, as though from the restrictive pressure 
of a large, round protuberance in his middle, which made 
him resemble a snake which had swallowed an egg, was caught 
by a white monster and instantly embraced by a multitude of 
feelers. He struggled, bit, and broke in two; then the two 
parts escaped the grip of the astonished captor, and wriggled 
away, the protuberance becoming the head of the rear por- 
tion, which immediately joined the fight, snapping and biting 
with unmistakable jaws. This phenomenon was repeated. 

And on went the battle. Illumined by the living lamps, 
and watched by terrified noncombatants, the horrid carnival 
continued with never-slacking fury and ever-changing back- 
ground — ^past the mouths of tributary tunnels which increased 
the volume and velocity of the current and added to the 
fighting strength, on through widening archways to a repeti- 
tion of the cross-currents, the thunder, and the sponge-like 
maze, down past the heaving walls of larger tunnels to 
branched passages, where, in comparative slack water, the 
siege of the caves was resumed. For hour after hour this 

Digitized by VjOO^K:! 


went on, the invaders dying by hundreds, bnt increasing by 
thousands and ten thousands, as the geometrical progression 
advanced, until, with swimming-spaces nearly choked by their 
bodies, living and dead, there came the inevitable turn in the 
tide of battle. A white monster was killed. 

Glutted with victims, exhausted and sluggish, he was 
pounced upon by hundreds, hidden from view by a living 
envelop of black, which pulsed and throbbed with his death- 
throes. A feeler reached out, to be bitten off; then another, 
to no avail. His strength was gone, and the assailants bit 
and burrowed until they reached a vital part, when the great 
mass assumed a spherical form and throbbed no more. They 
dropped off, and, as the mangled ball floated on, charged on 
the next enemy with renewed fury and courage bom of their 
victory. This one died as quickly. 

And as though it had been foreseen, and a policy arranged 
to meet it, the white army no longer fought in the open, but 
lined up along the walls to defend the immovable eaves. 
They avoided the working jaws of the other kind, which cer- 
tainly needed no garrison, and drifting slowly in the eddies, 
fought as they could, with decreasing strength and increasing 
death-rate. And thus it happened that our conservative non- 
combatant, out in midstream, found himself surrounded by a 
horde of black enemies who had nothing better to do than 
attack him. 

And they did. As many as could crowd about him closed 
their wicked jaws in his flesh. Squirming with pain, ren- 
dered trebly strong by his terror, he killed them by twos 
and threes as he could reach them with his tail. He shook 
them off with nervous contortions, only to make room for 
more. He plunged, rolled, launched himself forward and 
back, up and down, out and in, bending himself nearly double, 
then with lightning rapidity throwing himself far into the 
reverse curve. He was fighting for his life, and knew it. 
When he could, he used his jaws, only once to an enemy. He 
saw. dimly at intervals that the white monsters were watching 
him; but none offered to help, and he had not time to call. 

He thought that he must have become the object of the 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


war; for from all sides they swarmed, crowding about him, 
seeking a place on which to fasten their jaws. Little by little 
the large red-and-gray creatures, the noncombatants, and the 
phosphorescent animids were pushed aside, and he, the center 
of an almost solid black mass, fought, in utter darkness, with 
the fury of extreme fright. He had no appreciation of the 
passing of time, no knowledge of his distance from the wall, or 
the destination of this never-pausing current. But finally, 
after an apparently interminable period, he heard dimly, with 
failing consciousness, the reverberations of the thunder, and 
knew momentary respite as the violent cross-currents tore his 
assailants away. Then, still in darkness, he felt the crashing 
and tearing of flesh against obstructing walls and sharp 
comers, the repetition of thunder and the roar of the cur- 
rent which told him he was once more in a large tunnel. An 
instant of light from a venturesome torch showed him to his 
enemies, and again he fought, like a whale in his last flurry, 
slowly dying from exhaustion and pain, but still potential 
to kill — ^terrible in his agony. There was no counting of 
scalps in that day's work; but perhaps no devouring white 
monster in all the defensive army could have shown a death- 
list equal to this. From the surging black cloud there was a 
steady outflow of the dead, pushed back by the living. 

Weaker and weaker, while they mangled his flesh, and 
still in darkness, he fought them down through branching 
passages to another network of small tunnels, where he caught 
a momentary view of the walls and the stolid white guard, 
thence on to what he knew was open space. And here he 
felt that he could fight no more. They had covered him 
completely, and, try as he might with his failing strength, 
he could not dislodge them. So he ceased his struggles ; and 
numb with pain, dazed with despair, he awaited the end. 

But it did not come. He was too exhausted to feel sur- 
prise or joy when they suddenly dropped away from him; 
but the instinct of self-preservation was still in force, and he 
swam toward the wall. The small creatures paid him no at- 
tention; they scurried this way and that, busy with troubles 
of their own, while he crept stupidly and painfully between 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


two white sentries floating in the eddies, — one of whom con- 
siderately made room for him, — and anchored to a projec- 
tion, luckily choosing a harbor that was not hostile. 

**Any port in a storm, eh, neighbor?" said the one who had 
given him room, and who seemed to notice his dazed condi- 
tion. **Yoii 11 feel better soon. My, but you put up a good 
fight, that 's what you did!'' 

He could not answer, and the friendly guard resumed his 
vigil. In a few moments, however, he could take cognizance 
of what was going on in the stream. There was a new army 
in the fight, and reinforcements were still coming. A short 
distance above him was a huge rent in the wall, and the caves 
around it, crushed and distorted, were grinding fiercely. 
Protruding through the rent and extending half-way across 
the tunnel was a huge mass of some strange substance, roughly 
shaped to a cylindrical form. It was hollow, and out of it, 
by thousands and hundred thousands, was pouring the auxili- 
ary army, from which the black fighters were now fleeing for 
dear life. 

The newcomers, though resembling in general form the 
creatures they pursued, were much larger and of two dis- 
tinct types. Both were light brown in color; but while one 
showed huge development of head and jaw, with small flip- 
pers, the other kind reversed these attributes, their heads 
being small, but their flippers long and powerful. They 
ran their quarry down in the open, and seized them with out- 
reaching tentacles. No mistakes were made — ^no feints or 
false motions; and there was no resistance by the victims. 
Where one was noticed he was doomed. The tentacles gath- 
ered him in — to a murderous bite or a murderous embrace. 

At last, when the inflow had ceased, — ^when there must have 
been millions of the brown killers in the tunnel, — ^the great 
hollow cylinder turned slowly on its axis and backed out 
through the rent in the wall, which immediately closed, with 
a crushing and scattering of fragments. Though the allies 
were far down-stream now, the war was practically ended; 
for the white defenders remained near the walls, and the 
black invaders were in wildest panic, each one, as the resist- 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


less current rushed him past, swimming against the stream, 
to put distance between himself and the destroyer below. 
But before long an advance-guard of the brown enemy shot 
out from the tributaries above, and the tide of retreat swung 
backward. Then came thousands of them, and the massacre 
was resumed. 

**Hot stuff, eh?" said his friendly neighbor to him. 

**Y-y-y-es — ^I guess so," he answered, rather vacantly; **I 
don't know. I don't know anything about it. I never saw 
such doings. What is it all fort What does it mean?" 

**0h, this is nothing; it 's all in a lifetime. Still, I admit 
it might ha' been serious for us — and you, too — if we had n't 
got help." 

**But who are they, and what? They all seem of a family, 
and are kiUing each other." 

** Immortal shade of Darwin!" exclaimed the other sentry, 
who had not spoken before. ** Where were you brought up? 
Don't you know that variations from type are the deadliest 
enemies of the parent stock? These two brown breeds are the 
hundredth or two-hundredth cousins of the black kind. When 
they 've killed off their common relative, and get to compet- 
ing for grub, they '11 exterminate each other, and we '11 be rid 
of 'em all. Law of nature. Understand?" 

*'0h, y-yes, I understand, of course; but what did the 
black kind attack me for? And what do they want, any- 

"To follow out their destiny, I s'pose. They 're the kind 
of folks who have missions. Reformers, we call 'em — ^who 
want to enforce their peculiar ideas and habits on other peo- 
ple. Sometimes we call them expansionists — ^fond of colon- 
izing territory that does n't belong to them. They wanted to 
get through the cells to the lymph-passages, thence on to the 
brain and spinal marrow. B^ow what that means? Hydro- 

''What 's that?" 

^*0h, say, now! You 're too easy." 

**Come, come," said the other, good-naturedly; ** don't guy 
him. He never had our advantages. You see, neighbor, we 

Digitized by VjOO*^l(:^ 


get these points from the subjective brainy which knows all 
things and gives us our instructions. We 're the white cor- 
puscles, — ^phagocytes, the scientists call us, — and our work is 
to police the blood-vessels, and kill off invaders that make 
trouble. Those red-and-gray chumps can't take care of them- 
selves, and we must protect 'em. Understand? But this in- 
vasion was too much for us, and we had to have help from 
outside. You must have come in with the first crowd — ^think 
I saw you — ^in at the bite. Second crowd came in through an 
inoculation tube, and just in time to pull you through." 

**I don't know," answered our bewildered friend. **In at 
the bite? What bite? I was swimming round comfortable- 
like, and there was a big noise, and then I was alongside of a 
big white wall, and then — " 

''Exactly; the dog's tooth. You got into bad company, 
friend, and you 're well out of it. That first gang is the 
microbe of rabies, not very well known yet, because a little 
too 43mall to be seen by most microscopes. All the scientists 
seem to have learned about 'em is that a colony a few hun- 
dred generations old — ^which they call a culture, or serum — 
is death on the original bird ; and that 's what they sent in 
to help out. Pasteur 's dead, worse luck, but sometime old 
Koch '11 find out what we 've known all along — ^that it 's 
only variation from type." 

"Koch!" he answered eagerly and proudly. "Oh, I know 
Koch; I 've met him. And I know about miscroscopes, too. 
Why, Koch had me under his microscope once. He dis- 
covered my family, and named us — ^the comma bacilli — the 
Spirilli of Asiatic Cholera." 

In silent horror they drew away from him, and then con- 
versed together. Other white warriors drifting along stopped 
and joined the conference, and when a hundred or more were 
massed before him, they spread out to a semi-spherical forma- 
tion and closed in. 

"What 's the matter?" he asked nervously. "What 's 
wrong? What are you going to do? I haven't done any- 
thing, have I?" 

"It 's not what you 've done, stranger," said his quondam 

Digitized by Vj 00*2 1^ 


friend, **or what we 're going to do. It 's what yon 're going 
to do. You 're going to die. Don't see how you got past 
quarantine, anyhow T' 

**What — why — I don't want to die. I Ve done nothing. 
All I want is peace and quiet, and a place to swim where it 
is n 't too light nor too dark. I mind my own affairs. Let me 
alone — ^you hear me — ^let me alone!" 

They answered him not. Slowly and irresistibly the hollow 
formation contracted — ^individuals slipping out when neces- 
sary — ^until he was pushed, still protesting, into the nearest 
movable cave. The walls crashed together and his life went 
out. When he was cast forth he was in five pieces. 

And so our gentle, conservative, non-combative cholera 
microbe, who only wanted to be left alone to mind his own 
affairs, met this violent death, a martyr to prejudice and an 
unsympathetic environment. 

Extract from hospital record of the case of John Anderson : 

August 18. As period of incubation for both cholera and hydro- 
phobia has passed and no initial symptoms of either disease have 
been noticed, patient is this day discharged, cured. 




I WAS gust thirty-seven when my Uncle Philip died. A 
week before that event he sent for me; and here let me say 
that I had never set eyes on him. He hated my mother, but 
I do not know why. She told me long before his last illness 
that I need expect nothing from my father's brother. He was 
an inventor, an able and ingenious mechanical engineer, and 
had made much money by his improvement in turbine-wheels. 
He was a bachelor; lived alone, cooked his own meals, and 
collected precious stones, especially rubies and pearls. Prom 
the time he made his first money he had this mania. As he 
grew richer, the desire to possess rare and costly gems be- 
came stronger. When he bought a new stone, he carried it in 
his pocket for a month and now and then took it out and 
looked at it. Then it was added to the collection in his safe 
at the trust company. 

At the time he sent for me I was a clerk, and poor enough. 
Remembering my mother's words, his message gave me, his 
sole relative, no new hopes ; but I thought it best to go. 

When I siat down by his bedside, he began, with a mali- 
cious grin: 

**I suppose you think me queer. I will explain." What 
he said was certainly queer enough. **I have been living on 
an annuity into which I put my fortune. In other words, I 
have been, as to money, concentric half of my life to enable 
me to be as eccentric as I pleased the rest of it. Now I 
repent of my wickedness to you all, and desire to live in the 
memory of at least one of my family. You think I am poor 
and have only my annuity. You will be profitably surprised. 
I have never parted with my precious stones; tiiey will be 





yours. You are my sole heir. I shall carry with me to the 
other world the fiatisf action of making one man happy. 

**No doubt you have always had expectations, and I desire 
that you should continue to expect. My jewels are in my 
safe. There is nothing else left. ' ' 

When I thanked him he grinned all over his lean face, 
and said: 

** You will have to pay for my funeral." 

I must say that I never looked forward to any expenditure 
with more pleasure than to what it would cost me to put 
him away in the earth. As I rose to go, he said : 

**The rubies are valuable. They are in my safe at the 
trust company. Before you unlock the box, be very careful 
to read a letter which lies on top of it; and be sure not to 
shake the box." I thought this odd. *' Don't come back. 
It won't hasten things." 

He died that day week, and was handsomely buried. The 
day after, his will was found, leaving me his heir. I opened 
his safe and found in it nothing but an iron box, evidently 
of his own making, for he was a skilled workman and very 
mgenious. The box was heavy and strong, about ten inches 
long, eight inches wide and ten inches high. On it lay a 
letter to me. It ran thus: 

'*Deab Tom: This box contains a large number of very 
fine pigeon-blood rubies and a fair lot of diamonds; one is 
blue — a beauty. There are hundreds of pearls — one the fa- 
mous green pearl and a necklace of blue pearls, for which any 
woman would sell her soul — or her affections." I thought of 
Susan. '*! wish you to continue to have expectations and 
continuously to remember your dear uncle. I would have 
left these stones to some charity, but I hate the poor as much 
as I hate your mother's son, — ^yes, rather more. 

**The box contains an interesting mechanism, which will 
act with certainty as you unlock it, and explode ten ounces 
of my improved, supersensitive dynamite — ^no, to be accurate, 
there are only nine and a half ounces. Doubt me, and open 
it, and you will be blown to atoms. Believe me, and you 




will continue to nourish expectations which will never be 
fulfilled. As a considerate man, I counsel extreme care in 
handling the box. Don't forget your affectionate 


I stood appalled^ the key in my hand. Was it true? Was 
it a lie? I had spent all my savings on the funeral, and was 
poorer than ever. 

Bemembering the old man's oddity, his malice, his clever- 
ness in mechanic arts, and the patent explosive which had 
helped to make him rich, I began to feel how very likely it 
was that he had told the truth in this cruel letter. 

I carried the iron box away to my lodgings, set it down 
with care in a closet, laid the key on it, and locked the 

Then I sat down, as yet hopeful, and began to exert my 
ingenuity upon ways of opening the box without being killed. 
There must be a way. 

After a week of vain thinking I bethought me, one day, 
that it would be easy to explode the box by unlocking it at a 
safe distance, and I arranged a plan with wires, which seemed 
as if it would answer. But when I reflected on what would 
happen when the dynamite scattered the rubies, I knew 
that I should be none the richer. For hours at a time I sat 
looking at that box and handling the key. 

At last I hung the key on my watch-guard; but then it 
occurred to me that it might be lost or stolen. Dreading this, 
I hid it, fearful that some one might use it to open the box. 
This state of doubt and fear lasted for weeks, until I became 
nervous and began to dread that some accident might happen 
to that box. A burglar might come and boldly carry it away 
and force it open and find it was a wicked fraud of my uncle's. 
Even the rumble and vibration caused by the heavy vans in 
the street became at last a terror. 

Worst of all, my salary was reduced, and I saw that mar- 
riage was out of the question. 

In my despair I consulted Professor Clinch about my 
dilemma, and as to some safe way of getting at the rubies. 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


He said that, if my uncle had not lied, there was none that 
would not ruin the stones, especially the pearls, but that it 
was a silly tale and altogether incredible. I offered him the 
biggest ruby if he wished to test his opinion. He did not 
desire to do so. 

Dr. Sehaff, my uncle's doctor, believed the old man's letter, 
and added a caution, which was entirely useless, for by this 
time I was afraid to be in the room with that terrible box. 

At last the doctor kindly warned me that I was in danger 
of losing my mind with too much thought about my rubies. 
In fact, I did nothiog else but contrive wild plans to get at 
them safely. I spent all my spare hours at one of the great 
libraries reading about dynamite. Indeed, I talked of it un- 
til the library attendants, believing me a lunatic or a dyna- 
mite fiend, declined to humor me, and spoke to the police. 
I suspect that for a while I was ''shadowed" as a suspicious, 
and possibly criminal, character. I gave up the libraries, 
and, becoming more and more fearful, set my precious box 
on a down pillow, for fear of its being shaken; for at this 
time even the absurd possibility of its being disturbed by an 
earthquake troubled me. I tried to calculate the amount 
of shake needful to explode my box. 

The old doctor, when I saw him again, begged me to give 
up all thought of the matter, and, as I felt how completely 
I was the slave of one despotic idea, I tried to take the good 
advice thus given me. 

Unhappily, I found, soon after, between the leaves of my 
uncle's Bible, a numbered list of the stones with their cost 
and much beside. It was dated two years before my uncle's 
death. Many of the stones were well known, and their 
enormous value amazed me. 

Several of the rubies were described with care, and curious 
histories of them were given in detail. One was said to be 
the famous ''Sunset ruby," which had belonged to the Em- 
press-Queen Maria Theresa. One was called the "Blood 
ruby," not, as was explained, because of the color, but on ac- 
count of the murders it had occasioned. Now, as I read, it 
seemed again to threaten death. 




The pearls were described with care as an unequalled col- 
lection. Cionceming two of them my uncle had written what 
I might call biographies, — for, indeed, they seemed to have 
done much evil and some good. One, a black pearl, was men- 
tioned in an old bill of sale as — She — ^which seemed queer 
to me. 

It was maddening. Here, guarded by a vision of sudden 
death, was wealth *' beyond the dreams of avarice.'* I am 
not a clever or ingenious man ; I know little beyond how to 
keep a ledger, and so I was, and am, no doubt, absurd about 
many of my notions as to how to solve this riddle. 

At one time I thought of finding a man who would take 
the risk of unlocking the box, but what right had I to subject 
any one else to the trial I dared not face? I could easily 
drop the box from a height somewhere, and if it did not ex- 
plode could then safely unlock it ; but ii it did blow up when 
it fell, good-by to my rubies. Mine, indeed ! I was rich, and 
I was not. I grew thin and morbid, and so miserable that, 
being a good Catholic, I at last carried my troubles to my 
father confessor. He thought it simply a cruel jest of my 
uncle's, but was not so eager for another world as to be will- 
ing to open my box. He, too, counselled me to cease thinking 
about it. Good heavens ! I dreamed about it. Not to think 
about it was impossible. Neither my own thought nor science 
nor religion had been able to assist me. 

Two years have gone by, and I am one of the richest men 
in the city, and have no more money than will keep me alive. 

Susan said I was half cracked like Uncle Philip, and broke 
off her engagement. In my despair I have advertised in the 
''Journal of Science," and have had absurd schemes sent me 
by the dozen. At last, as I talked too much about it, the 
thing became so well known that when I put the horror in 
a safe, in bank, I was promptly desired to withdraw it. I 
was in constant fear of buifelars, and my landlady gave me 
notice to leave, because no one would stay in the house with 
that box. I am now advised to print my story and await 
advice from the ingenuity of the American mind. 

I have moved into the suburbs and hidden the box and 

Digitized by V^OO*^l(:^ 


changed my name and my occupation. This I did to escape 
the curiosity of the reporters. I ought to say that when the 
government officials came to hear of my inheritance, they very 
reasonably desired to collect the succession tax on my uncle's 

I was delighted to assist them. I told the collector my story, 
and showed him Uncle Philip's letter. Then I offered him 
the key, and asked for time to get half a mile away. That 
man said he would think it over and come back later. 

This is all I have to say. I have made a will and left my 
rubies and pearls to the Society for the Prevention of Human 
Vivisection. If any man thinks this account a joke or an 
invention, let him coldly imagine the situation: 

Given an iron box, faiown to contain wealth, said to con- 
tain dynamite, arranged to explode when the key is used to 
unlock it — ^what would any sane man do? What would he 





I HAD called upon my friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, one day 
in the autumn of last year, and found him in deep conversa- 
tion with a very stout, florid-faced, elderly gentleman, with 
fiery red hair. With an apology for my intrusion, I was 
about to withdraw when Holmes pulled me abruptly into the 
room and closed the door behind me. 

''You could not possibly have come at a better time, my 
dear Watson," he said, cordially. 

''I was afraid that you were engaged." 

**So I am. Very much so." 

**Then I can wait in the next room." 

''Not at all. This gentleman, Mr. Wilson, has been my 
partner and helper in many of my most successful cases, and 
I have no doubt that he will be of the utmost use to me in 
yours also." 

The stout gentleman half rose from his chair and gave a 
bob of greeting, with a quick, little, questioning glance from 
his small, fat-encircled eyes. 

"Try the settee," said Holmes, relapsing into his arm-chair 
and putting his finger-tips together, as was his custom when 
in judicial moods. "I know, my dear Watson, that you share 
my love of all that is bizarre and outside the conventions and 
humdrum routine of every-day life. You have shown your 
relish for it by the enthusiasm which has prompted you to 
chronicle, and, if you will excuse my saying so, somewhat to 
embellish so many of my own little adventures." 

**Your cases have indeed been of the greatest interest to 
me," I observed. 

"You will remember that I remarked the other day, just 

1 By permission of Harper & Brothers. 





before we went into the very simple problem presented by 
Miss Mary Sutherland, that for strange effects and extraor- 
dinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always 
far more daring than any effort of the imagination." 
* * A proposition which I took the liberty of doubting." 
**You did, doctor, but none the less you must come round 
to my view, for otherwise I shall keep on piling fact ui)on fact 
on you, until your reason breaks down under them and ac- 
knowledges me to be right. Now, Mr. Jabez Wilson here has 
been good enough to call upon me this morning, and to begin 
a narrative which promises to be one of the most singular 
which I have listened to for some time. You have heard me 
remark that the strangest and most unique things are very 
often connected not with the larger but with the smaller 
crimes, and occasionally, indeed, where there is room for 
doubt whether any positive crime has been committed. As 
far as I have heard it is impossible for me to say whether the 
present case is an instance of crime or not, but the course of 
events is certainly among the most singular that I have ever 
listened to. Perhaps, Mr. Wilson, you would have the great 
kindness to recommence your narrative. I ask you, not 
merely because my friend Dr. Watson has not heard the 
opening part, but also because the peculiar nature of the story 
makes me anxious to have every possible detail from your 
lips. As a rule, when I have heard some slight indication of 
the course of events, I am able to guide myself by the thou- 
sands of other similar cases which occur to my memory. In 
the present instance I am forced to admit that the facts are, 
to the best of my belief, unique." 

The portly client puffed out his chest with an appearance of 
some little pride, and pulled a dirty and wrinkled newspaper 
from the inside pocket of his great-coat. As he glanced down 
the advertisement column, with his head thrust forward, and 
the paper flattened out upon his knee, I took a good look at 
the man, and endeavored, after the fashion of my companion, 
to read the indications which might be presented by his dress 
or appearance. 
I did not gain very much, however, by my inspection. Our 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


visitor bore every mark of being an average commonplace 
British tradesman, obese, pompous, and slow. He wore rather 
baggy gray shepherd's check ^ousers, a not over-clean black 
frock-coat, unbuttoned in the front, and a drab waistcoat with 
a heavy brassy Albert chain, and a square pierced bit of metal 
dangling down as an ornament. A frayed top-hat and a faded 
brown overcoat with a wrinkled velvet collar lay upon a chair 
beside him. Altogether, look as I would, there was nothing 
remarkable about the man save his blazing red head, and the 
expression of extreme chagrin and discontent upon his fea- 

Sherlock Holmes's quick eye took in my occupation, and 
he shook his head with a smile as he noticed my questioning 
glances. '* Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time 
done manual labor, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, 
that he has been in China, and that he has done a consid- 
erable amount -of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else." 

Mr. Jabez Wilson started up in his chair, with his forefinger 
upon the paper, but his eyes upon my companion. 

**How, in the name of good-fortune, did you know all that, 
Mr. Holmes?" he asked. ''How did you know, for example, 
that I did manual labor? It 's as true as gospel, for I began 
as a ship's carpenter.'* 

**Your hands, my dear sir. Tour right hand is quite a aze 
larger than your left. You have worked with it, and the 
muscles are more developed." 

''Well, the snuff, then, and the Freemasonry!" 

"I won't insult your intelligence by telling you how I read 
that, especially as, rather against the strict rules of your order, 
you use an arc-and-compass breastpin." 

"Ah, of course, I forgot that. But the writing?" 

"What else can be indicated by that right cuff so very 
shiny for five inches, and the left one with the smooth patch 
near the elbow where you rest it upon the desk?" 

*'WeU, but China?" 

"The fish that you have tattooed immediately above your 
right wrist could only have been done in China. I have made 
a small study of tattoo marks, and have even contributed to 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


the literature of the subject. That trick of staining the fishes' 
scales a delicate pink is quite peculiar to China. When, in 
addition, I see a Chinese coin hanging from your watch-chain, 
the matter becomes even more simple." 

Mr. Jabez Wilson laughed heavily. **Well, I never!" said 
he. ''I thought at first that you had done something clever, 
bat I see that there was nothing in it, after all." 

'*I begin to think, Watson," said Holmes, ''that I make a 
mistake in explaining. 'Omne ignotum pro magnifico,' you 
know, and my poor little reputation, such as it is, will suffer 
shipwreck if I am so candid. Can you not find the advertise- 
ment, Mr. Wilson?" 

*'Yes, I have got it now," he answered, with his thick, red 
finger planted half-way down the column. **Here it is. This 
is what began it all. You just read it for yourself, sir. " 

I took the paper from him, and read as follows : 

'*To THE Rbd-headbd Leagub: On account of the be- 
quest of the late Ezekiah Hopkins, of Lebanon, Pa., U.S.A., 
there is now another vacancy open which entitles a member 
of the League to a salary of £4 a week for purely nominal 
services. All red-headed men who are sound in body and 
mind, and above the age of twenty-one years, are eligible. Ap- 
ply in person on Monday, at eleven o'clock, to Duncan Ross, 
at the offices of the League, 7 Pope's Court, Fleet Street." 

''What on earth does this meant" I ejaculated, after I had 
twice read over the extraordinary announcement. 

Holmes chuckled, and wriggled in his chair, as was his 
habit when in high spirits. ''It is a little off the beaten 
track, isn't it t" said,he. "And now, Mr. Wilson, off you go 
at scratch, and tell us all about yourself, your household, and 
the effect which this advertisement had upon your fortunes. 
You will first make a note, doctor, of the paper and the 

'*It is The Morning Chronicle, of April 27, 1890. Just two 
months ago." 

**Very good. Now, Mr. Wilson?" 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


'*Well, it is just as I have been telling you, Mr. Sherlock 
Holmes/' said Jabez Wilson, mopping his forehead; **I have 
a small pawnbroker's business at Coburg Square, near the 
city. It 's not a very large affair, and of late years it has not 
done more than just give me a living. I used to be able to 
keep two assistants, but now I only keep one; and I would 
have a job to pay him, but that he is willing to come for half 
wages, so as to learn the business." 

*' What is the name of this obliging youth?" asked Sherlock 

* * His name is Vincent Spaulding, and he 's not such a youth, 
either. It 's hard to say his age. I should not wish a smarter 
assistant, Mr. Holmes; and I know very well that he could 
better himself^ and earn twice what I am able to give him. 
But, after all, if he is satisfied, why should I put ideas in his 

**Why, indeed?" You seem most fortunate in having an 
employe who comes under the full market price. It is not a 
common experience among employers in this age. I don't 
know that your assistant is not as remarkable as your adver- 

**0h, he has his faults, too," said Mr. Wilson. ** Never 
was such a fellow for photography. Snapping away with a 
camera when he ought to be improving his mind, and then 
diving down into the cellar like a rabbit into its hole to de- 
velop his pictures. That is his main fault; but, on the 
whole, he 's a good worker. There 's no vice in him." 

**He is still with you, I presume?" 

**Yes, sir. He and a girl of fourteen, who does a bit of 
simple cooking, and keeps the place clean — ^that 's all i. have 
in the house, for I am a widower, and never had any family. 
We live very quietly, sir, the three of us ; and we keep a roof 
over our heads, and pay our debts, if we do nothing more. 

'*The first thing that put us out was that advertisement. 
Spaulding, he came down into the office just this day eight 
weeks, with this very paper in his hand, and he says : 

^' 'I wish to the Lord, Mr. Wilson, that I was a red-headed 




*' *Why thatT'Iasks. 

** 'Why/ says he, 'here 's another vacancy in the League of 
the Red-headed Men. It 's worth quite a little fortune to any 
man who gets it, and I understand that there are more vacan- 
cies than there are men, so that the trustees are at their wits' 
end what to do with the money. If my hair would only 
change color, here 's a nice little crib all ready for me to step 
into. ' 

'* * Why, what is it, thent' I asked. You see, Mr. Holmes, I 
am a very stay-at-home man, and as my business came to me 
instead of my having to go to it, I was often weeks on end 
without putting my foot over the door-mat. In that way I 
didn't know much of what was going on outside, and I was 
always glad of a bit of news. 

'* 'Have you never heard of the League of the Bed-headed 
Men t ' he afiked, with his eyes open. 

" 'Never.' 

" 'Why, I wonder at that, for you are eligible yourself for 
one of the vacancies.' 

" 'And what are they worth?' I asked. 

" 'Oh, merely a couple of hundred a year, but the work is 
slight, and it need not interfere very much with one's other 

"Well, you can easily think that that made me prick up my 
ears, for the business has not been over-good for some years, 
and an extra couple of hundred would have been very handy. 

" 'Tell me all about it,' said I. 

" 'Well,' said he, showing me the advertisement, 'you can 
see for yourself that the League has a vacancy, and there is 
the address where you should apply for particulars. As far fis 
I can make out, the League was founded by an American 
millionaire, Ezekiah Hopkins, who was very peculiar in his 
ways. He was himself red-headed, and he had a great sym- 
pathy for all i:ed-headed men ; so, when he died, it was found 
that he had left his enormous fortune in the hands of trustees, 
with instructions to apply the interest to the providing of easy 
berths to men whose hair is of that color. From all I hear it 
is splendid pay, and very little to do.' 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


** 'But,' said I, * there would be millions of red-headed men 
who would apply/ 

*' 'Not so many as you might think,' he answered. 'You 
see it is really confined to Londoners, and to grown men. 
This American had started from London when he was young, 
and he wanted to do the old town a good turn. Then, again, 
I have heard it is no use your applying if your hair is light 
red, or dark red, or anything but real bright, blazing, fiery red. 
Now, if you cared to apply, Mr. Wilson, you would just walk 
in; but perhaps it would hardly be worth your while to put 
yourself out of the way for the sake of a few hundred pounds. ' 

"Now, it is a fact, gentlemen, as you may see for yourselves, 
that my hair is of a very full and rich tint, so that it seemed 
to me that, if there was to be any competition in the matter, I 
stood as good a chance as any man that I had ever met. 
Vincent Spaulding seemed to know so much about it that I 
thought he might prove useful, so I just ordered him to put 
up the shutters for the day, and to come right away with me. 
He was very willing to have a holiday, so we shut the business 
up, and started off for the address that was given us in the 

'^I never hope to see such a sight as that again, Mr. Holmes. 
From north, south, east, and west every man who had a shade 
of red in his hair had tramped into the city to answer the 
advertisement. Fleet Street was choked with red-headed folk, 
and Pope's Court looked like a coster's orange barrow. I 
should not have thought there were so many in the whole 
country as were brought together by that single advertise- 
ment. Every shade of color they were — straw, lemon, orange, 
brick, Irish-setter, liver, clay; but, as Spaulding said, there 
were not many who had the real vivid flame-colored tint. 
When I saw how many were waiting, I would have given it up 
in despair ; but Spaulding would not hear of it. How he did 
it I could not imagine, but he pushed and pulled and butted 
until he got me through the crowd, -and right up to the steps 
which led to the office. There was a double stream upon the 
stair, some going up in hope, and some coming back dejected ; 




but we wedged in as well as we could, and soon found our- 
selves in the oflSee." 

''Your experience has been a most entertaining one," re- 
marked Holmes, as his client paused and refreshed his mem- 
ory with a huge pinch of snuflf. **Pray continue your very 
interesting statement." 

*' There was nothing in the office but a couple of wooden 
chairs and a deal table, behind which sat a small man, with a 
head that was even redder than mine. He said a few words 
to each candidate as he came up, and then he always managed 
to find some fault in them which would disqualify them. Get- 
ting a vacancy did not seem to be such a very easy matter, 
after all. However, when our turn came, the little man was 
much more favorable to me than to any of the others, and he 
closed the door as we entered, so that he might have a private 
word with us. 

** *This is Mr. Jabez Wilson,' said my assistant, *and he is 
willing to fill a vacancy in the League. ' 

" *And he is admirably suited for it,' the other answered. 
*He has every requirement. I cannot recall when I have seen 
anything so fine. ' He took a step backward, cocked his head 
on one side, and gazed at my hair until I felt quite bashful. 
Then suddenly he plunged forward, wrung my hand, and con- 
gratulated me warmly on my success. 

'* *It would be injustice to hesitate,' said he. 'You will, 
however, I am sure, excuse me for taking an obvious precau- 
tion.' With that he seized my hair in both his hands, and 
tugged until I yelled with the pain. 'There is water in your 
eyes,' said he, as he released me. *I perceive that all is as it 
shoidd be. But we have to be careful, for we have twice been 
deceived by wigs and once by paint. I could tell you tales of 
cobbler's wax which would disgust you with human nature.' 
He stepped over to the window, and shouted through it at the 
top of his voice that the vacancy was filled. A groan of dis- 
appointment came up from below, and the folk all trooped 
away in different directions, until there was not a red head to 
be seen except my own and that of the manager. 




<< <My name/ said he^ 'is Mr. Duncan Boss^ and I am my- 
self one of the pensioners upon the fund left by our noble 
benefactor. Are you a married man, Mr. Wilson f Have you 
a family?' 

''I answered that I had not. 

''His face fell immediately. 

" 'Dear me!' he said, gravely, 'that is very serious indeed! 
I am sorry to hear you say that. The fund was, of course, 
for the propagation and spread of the red-heads as well as for 
their maintenance. It is exceedingly unfortunate that you 
should be a bachelor.' 

"My face lengthened at this, Mr. Holmes, for I thought 
that I was not to have the vacancy after all; but, after 
thinking it over for a few minutes, he said that it would be 
all right 

" 'In the case of another,' said he, 'the objection might be 
fatal, but we must stretch a point in favor of a man with such 
a head of hair as yours. When shall you be able to enter 
upon your new duties!' 

" 'Well, it is a little awkward, for I have a business al- 
ready,' said I. 

" 'Oh, never mind about that, Mr. Wilson!' said Vincent 
Spaulding. 'I shall be able to look after that for you.' 

" 'What would be the hours!' I asked. 

" 'Ten to two.' 

"Now a pawnbroker's business is mostly done of an eve- 
ning, Mr. Holmes, especially Thursday and Friday evening, 
which is just before pay-day; so it would suit me very well 
to earn a little in the mornings. Besides, I knew that my 
assistant was a good man, and that he would see to anything 
that turned up. 

" 'That would suit me very well,' said I. 'And the pay!' 

" 'Is £4 a week.' 

"'And the work!' 

" 'Is purely nominal.' 

" 'What do you call purely nominal!' 

" 'Well, you have to be in the office, or at least in the 
building, the whole time. If you leave, you forfeit your whole 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


position forever. The will is very dear upon that point. 
You don't comply with the conditions if you budge from the 
office during that time.' 

'^ 'It 's only four hours a day, and I shduld not think of 
leaving/ said I. 

** 'No excuse will avail,' said Mr. Duncan Ross; 'neither 
sickness nor business nor anything else. There you must 
stay, or you lose your billet.' 

*' 'And the workJ' 

'* 'Is to copy out the "Encyclopaedia Britannica." There 
is the first volume of it in that press. You must find your 
own ink, pens, and blotting-paper, but we provide this table 
and chair. Will you be ready to-morrow J' 

" 'Certainly,' I answered. 

" 'Then, good-bye, Mr. Jabez Wilson, and let me congratu- 
late you once more on the important position which you 
have been fortunate enough to gain.' He bowed me out of 
the room, and I went home with my assistant, hardly know-* 
ing what to say or do, I was so pleased at my own good 

"Well, I thought over the matter all day, and by evening I 
was in low spirits again; for I had quite persuaded myself 
that the whole affair must be some great hoax or fraud, 
though what its object might be I could not imagine. It 
seemed altogether past belief that any one could make such 
a will, or that they would pay such a sum for doing an3rthing 
so simple as copying out the 'EncyclopaBdia Britannica.' 
Vincent Spaulding did what he could to cheer me up, but by 
bedtime I had reasoned myself out of the whole thing. How- 
ever, in the morning I determined to have a look at it any- 
how, so I bought a penny bottle of ink, and with a quill- 
pen, and seven sheets of foolscap paper, I started off for 
Pope's Court. 

"Well, to my surprise and delight, everything was as right 
as i>ossible. The table was set out ready for me, and Mr. 
Duncan Boss was there to see that I got fairly to work. He 
started me off upon the letter A, and then he left me ; but he 
would drop in from time to time to see that all was right with 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


me. At two o'clock he bade me good-day, complimented me 
upon the amount that I had written, and locked the door of 
the ofBce after me. 

**This went on day after day, Mr. Holmes, and on Saturday 
the manager came in and planked down four golden sov- 
ereigns for my week's work. It was the same next week, and 
the same the week after. Every morning I was there at ten, 
and every afternoon I left at two. By degrees Mr. Duncan 
Ross took to coming in only once of a morning, and then, 
after a time, he did not come in at all. Still, of course, I never 
dared to leave the room for an instant, for I was not 43nre 
when he might come, and the billet was such a good one, 
and suited me so well, that I would not risk the loss 
of it. 

''Eight weeks passed away like this, and I had written 
about Abbots and Archery and Armor and Architecture and 
Attica, and hoped with diligence that I might get on to the 
B 's before very long. It cost me something in foolscap, and I 
had pretty nearly filled a shelf with my writings. And then 
suddenly the whole business came to an end." 


** Yes, sir. And no later than this morning. I went to my 
work as usual at ten o'clock, but the door was shut and 
locked, with a little square of card-board hammered on to the 
middle of the panel with a tack. Here it is, and you can read 
for yourself." 

He held up a piece of white card-board about the size of a 
sheet of note-paper. It read in this fashion: 

''The Red-headed Leaoub 



October 9, 1890." 

Sherlock Holmes and I surveyed this curt announcement 
and the rueful face behind it, until the comical side of the 




aflfair so completely overtopped every other consideration that 
we both burst out into a roar of laughter. 

*'I cannot see that there is anything very funny," cried 
our client, flushing up to the roots of his flaming head. ^'If 
you can do nothing better than laugh at me, I can go else- 

*'No, no/' cried Holmes, shoving him back into the chair 
from which he had half risen. **I really would n't miss your 
case for the world. It is most refreshingly unusual. But 
there is, if you will excuse my saying so, something just a 
little funny about it. Pray what steps did you take when 
you found the card upon the door?'' 

''I was staggered, sir. I did not know what to do. Then 
I called at the offices round, but none of them seemed to 
know anything about it. Finally, I went to the landlord, who 
is an accountimt living on the ground-floor, and I asked him 
if he could tell me what had become of the Bed-headed 
League. He said that he had never heard of any such body. 
Then I asked him who Mr. Duncan Boss was. He answered 
that the name was new to him. 

** *Well,' said I, 'the gentleman at No. 4.' 

** *What, the red-headed man?' 

'* *Yes.' 

'* *0h,' said he, 'his name was William Morris. He was a 
solicitor, and was using my room as a temporary convenience 
until his new premises were ready. He moved out yesterday. ' 

** 'Where could I find him?' 

** *0h, at his new offices. He did tell me the address. Yes, 
17 King Edward Street, near St. Paul's.' 

**I started oflP, Mr. Holmes, but when I got to that address 
it was a manufactory of artificial knee-caps, and no one in it 
had ever heard of either Mr. William Morris or Mr. Duncan 

"And what did you do then?" asked Holmes. 

"I went home to Saxe-Coburg Square, and I took the ad- 
vice of my assistant. But he could not help me in any way. 
He could only say that if I waited I should hear by post. 




But that was not quite good enough, Mr. Holmes. I did not 
wish to lose such a place without a struggle, so, as I had 
heard that you were good enough to give advice to poor folk 
who were in need of it, I came right away to you.'' 

*'And you did very wisely," said Holmes. **Your case is 
an exceedingly remarkable one, and I shall be happy to look 
into it. From what you have told me I think that it is pos- 
sible that graver issues hang from it than might at first sight 

''Grave enough!" said Mr. Jabez Wilson. **Why, I have 
lost four pound a week." 

'*As far as you are personally concerned," remarked 
Holmes, **I do not see that you have any grievance against this 
extraordinary league. On the contrary, you are, as I under- 
stand, richer by some £30, to say nothing of the minute knowl- 
edge which you have gained on every subject which comes 
under the letter A. You have lost nothing by them." 

*'No, sir. But I want to find out about them, and who 
they are, and what their object was in playing this prank — ^if 
it was a prank — ^upon me. It was a pretty expensive joke for 
them, for it cost them two and thirty iwunds." 

''We shall endeavor to clear up these points for you. And; 
first, one or two questions, Mr. Wilson. This assistant of 
yours who first called your attention to the advertisement- 
how long had he been with you!" 

' ' About a month then. ' ' 

"How did he come!" 

"In answer to an advertisement." 

"Was he the only applicant!" 

"No, I had a dozen." 

"Why did you pick him!" 

"Because he was handy, and would come cheap." 

' ' At half -wages, in fact. ' ' 


"What is he like, this Vincent Spaulding!" 

"Small, stout-built, very quick in his ways, no hair on his 
face, though he 's not short of thirty. Has a white splash of 
acid upon his forehead." 




Holmes sat up in his chair in considerable excitement. '^I 
thought as much/' said he. ''Have you ever observed that 
his ears are pierced for earrings?" 

**Yes, sir. He told me that a gypsy had done it for him 
when he was a lad." 

* * Hum ! ' ' said Holmes, sinking back in deep thought. * ' He 
is still with you?" 

* * Oh, yes, sir ; I have only just left him. ' ' 

* * And has your business been attended to in your absence ? ' ' 
'* Nothing to complain of, sir. There 's never very much to 

do of a morning." 

**That will do, Mr. Wilson. I shall be happy to give you 
an opinion upon the subject in the course of a day or two. 
To-day is Saturday, and I hope that by Monday we may 
come to a conclusion." 

**Well, Watson/' said Holmes, when our visitor had left us, 
'*what do you make of it all?" 

**I make nothing of it," I answered, frankly. **It is a 
most mysterious business." 

'*As a rule," said Holmes, ''the more bizarre a thing is the 
less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, 
ieatureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a com- 
monplace face is the most difficult to identify. But I must 
be prompt over this matter." 

"What are you going to do, then?" I asked. 

*'To smoke," he answered. "It is quite a three-pipe 
problem, and I beg that you won't speak to me for fifty min- 
utes." He curled himself up in his chair, with his thin knees 
drawn up to his hawk-like nose, and there he sat with his eyes 
closed and his black clay pipe thrusting out like the bill of 
some strange bird. I had come to the conclusion that he 
had dropped asleep, and indeed was nodding myself, when he 
suddenly sprang out of his chair with the gesture of a man 
who has made up his mind, and put his pipe down upon the 

"Sarasate plays at the St. James's Hall this afternoon," he 
remarked. "What do you think, Watson? Could your pa- 
tients spare you for a few hours?" 

Digitized byLjOOQlC 


**I have nothing to do to-day. My practice is never very 

**Then put on your hat and come. I am going through 
the city first, and we can have some lunch on the way. I 
observe that there is a good deal of German music on the 
program which is rather more to my taste than Italian or 
French. It is introspective, and I want to introspect. Come 

We travelled by the Underground as far as Aldersgate; 
and a short walk took us to Saxe-Coburg Square, the scene 
of the singular story which we had listened to in the moni- 
ing. It was a pokey, little, shabby-genteel place, where four 
lines of dingy two-storied brick houses looked out into a 
small railed-in enclosure, where a lawn of weedy grass and a 
few clumps of faded laurel-bushes made a hard fight against 
a smoke-laden and uncongenial atmosphere. Three gilt balls 
and a brown board with '* Jabez Wilson" in white letters, 
upon a comer house, announced the place where our red- 
headed client carried on his business. Sherlock Holmes 
stopped in front of it with his head on one side, and looked 
it all over, with his eyes shining brightly between puckered 
lids. Then he walked slowly up the street, and then down 
again to the comer, still looking keenly at the houses. Finally 
he returned to the pawnbroker's, and, having thumped vig- 
orously upon the pavement with his stick two or three times, 
he went up to the door and knocked. It was instantly 
opened by a bright-looking, clean-shaven young fellow, who 
asked him to step in. 

''Thank you," said Holmes, **I only wished to ask you 
how you would go from here to the Strand." 

''Third right, fourth left," answered the assistant, 
promptly, closing the door. 

"Smart fellow, that," observed Holmes, as we walked away. 
"He is, in my judgment, the fourth smartest man in London, 
and for daring I am not sure that he has not a claim to be 
third. I have known something of him before." 

"Evidently," said I, "Mr. Wilson's assistant counts for a 
good deal in this mystery of the Eed-headed League. I am 




sure that you inquired your way merely in order that you 
might see him." 


*'"What then!" 

**The knees of his trousers." 

**And what did you see?" 

**What I expected to see." 
-*'Why did you beat the pavement!" 

'^My dear doctor, this is a time for observation, not for 
talk. We are spies in an enemy's country. We know some- 
thing of Saxe-Coburg Square. Let us now explore the parts 
which lie behind it" 

The road in which we found ourselves as we turned round 
the comer from the retired Saxe-Coburg Square presented as 
great a contrast to it as the front of a picture does to the 
back. It was one of the main arteries which convey the 
traffic of the city to the north and west. The roadway was 
blocked with the immense stream of commerce flowing in a 
double tide inward and outward, while the foot-paths were 
black with the hurrying swarm of pedestrians. It was diffi- 
cult to realize as we looked at the line of fine shops and 
stately business premises that they really abutted on the 
other side upon the faded and stagnant square which we had 
just quitted. 

''Let me see," said Holmes, standing at the corner, and 
glancing along the line, **I should like just to remember the 
order of the houses here. It is a hobby of mine to have an 
exact knowledge of London. There is Mortimer's, the tobac- 
conist, the little newspaper shop, the Coburg branch of the 
City and Suburban Bank, the Vegetarian Restaurant, and 
McFarlane's carriage-building depot. That carries us right 
on to the other block. And now, doctor, we 've done our 
work, so it 's time we had some play. A sandwich and a cup 
of coffee, and then off to violin-land, where all is sweetness 
and delicacy and harmony, and there are no red-headed clients 
to vex us with their conundrums." 

My friend was an enthusiastic musician, being himself 
not only a very capable performer, but a composer of no 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


ordinary merit. All the afternoon he sat in the stalls 
wrapped in the most perfect happiness, gently waving his 
long, thin fingers in time to the music, while his gently 
smiling face and his languid, dreamy eyes were as unlike 
those of Holmes, the sleuth-hound, Hohnes the relentless, 
keen-witted, ready-handed criminal agent, as it was possible 
to conceive. In his singular character the dual nature alter- 
nately asserted itself, and his extreme exactness and astute- 
ness represented, as I have often thought, the reaction against 
the poetic and contemplative mood which occasionally pre- 
dominated in him. The swing of his nature took him from 
extreme languor to devouring energy; and, as I knew well, 
he was never so truly formidable as when, for days on end, 
he had been lounging in his arm-chair amid his improvisations 
and his black-letter editions. Then it was that the lust of 
the chase would suddenly come upon him, and that his bril- 
liant reasoning power would rise to the level of intuition, 
until those who v^ere unacquainted with his methods would 
look askance at him as on a man whose knowledge was not 
that of other mortals. When I saw him that afternoon so 
enwrapped in the music at St. James's Hall I felt that an 
evil time might be coming upon those whom he had set him- 
self to hunt down. 

**You want to go home, no doubt, doctor," he remarked, 
as we emerged. 

*'Yes, it would be as welL" 

^^And I have some business to do which will take some 
hours. This business at Goburg Square is serious." 

**Why serious?" 

*'A considerable crime is in contemplation. I have every 
reason to believe that we shall be in time to stop it. But to- 
day being Saturday rather complicates matters. I shall want 
your help to-night." 

'*At what time!" 

**Ten will be early enough." 

**I shall be at Baker Street at ten." 

**Very well. And, I say, doctor, there may be some little 
danger, so kindly put your army revolver in your pocket." 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


He waved his band, turned on his heel, and disappeared in 
an instant among the crowd. 

I trust that I am not more dense than my neighbors, but I 
was always oppressed with a sense of my own stupidity in my 
dealings with Sherlock Holmes. Here I had heard what he 
had heard, I had seen what he had seen, and yet from his 
words it was evident that he saw clearly not only what had 
happened, but what was about to happen, while to me the 
whole business was still confused and grotesque. As I drove 
home to my house in Kensington I thought over it all, from 
the extraordinary story of the red-headed copier of the "En- 
cyclopaedia" down to the visit to Saxe-Coburg Square, and 
the ominous words with which he had parted from me. What 
was this nocturnal expedition, and why should I go armed? 
Where were we going, and what were we to do? I had the 
hint from Holmes that this smooth-faced pawnbroker's as- 
sistant was a formidable man — ^a man who might play a deep 
game. I tried to puzzle it out, but gave it up in despair, 
and set the matter aside until night should bring an ex- 

It was a quarter past nine when I started from home and 
made my way across the Park, and so through Oxford Street 
to Baker Street. Two hansoms were standing at the door, 
and, as I entered the passage, I heard the sound of voices 
from above. On entering his room I found Holmes in an- 
imated conversation with two men, one of whom I recognized 
as Peter Jones, the official police agent, while the other was 
a long, thin, sad-faced man, with a very shiny hat and 
oppressively respectable frock-coat. 

*'Ha! our party is complete,'' said Holmes, buttoning up 
his pea-jacket, and taking his heavy hunting crop from the 
rack. ** Watson, I think you know Mr. Jones, of Scotland 
Yard? Let me introduce you to Mr. Merryweather, who is 
to be our companion in to-night's adventure." 

**We 're hunting in couples again, doctor, you see," said 
Jones, in his consequential way. **Our friend here is a 
wonderful man for starting a chase. All he wants is an old 
dog to help him to do the running down." 




**I hope a wild goose may not prove to be the end of our 
chase,'' observed Mr. Merryweather, gloomily. 

**You may place considerable confidence in Mr. Holmes, 
sir," said the police agent, loftily. **He has his own little 
methods, which are, if he won't mind my saying so, just a 
little too theoretical and fantastic, but he has the makings of 
a detective in him. It is not too much to say that once 
or twice, as in that business of the Sholto murder and the 
Agra treasure, he has been more nearly correct than the 
official force." 

**0h, if you say so, Mr. Jones, it is all right," said the 
stranger, with deference. ** Still, I confess that I miss my 
rubber. It is the first Saturday night for seven-and-twenty 
years that I have not had my rubber." 

*'I think you will find," said Sherlock Holmes, **that you 
will play for a higher st^^e to-night than you have ever done 
yet, and that the play will be more exciting. For you, Mr. 
Merryweather, the stake will be some £30,000, and for you, 
Jones, it will be the man upon whom you wish to lay your 

'*John Clay, the murderer, thief, smasher, and forger. 
He 's a young man, Mr. Merryweather, but he is at the head of 
his profession, and I would rather have my bracelets on him 
than on any criminal in London. He 's a remarkable man, is 
young John Clay. His grandfather was a royal duke, and he 
himself has been to Eton and Oxford. His brain is as 
cunning as his fingers, and though we meet signs of him at 
every turn, we never know where to find the man himself. 
He'U crack a crib in Scotland one week, and be raising money 
to build an orphanage in Cornwall the next. I Ve been on 
his track for years, and have never set eyes on him yet." 

**I hope that I may have the pleasure of introducing you 
to-night. I 've had one or two little turns also with Mr. John 
Clay, and I agree with you that he is at the head of his pro- 
fession. It is past ten, however, and quite time that we 
started. If you two will take the first hansom, Watson and 
I will follow in the second." 

Sherlock Holmes was not very communicative during the 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


long drive, and lay back in the cab humming the tunes which 
he had heard in the afternoon. We rattled through an end- 
less labyrinth of gas-lit streets until we emerged into Farring- 
don Street. 

*'We are close there now," my friend remarked. ''This 
fellow Merryweather is a bank director, and personally inter- 
ested in the matter. I thought it as well to have Jones with 
us also. He is not a bad fellow, though an absolute imbecile 
in his profession. He has one positive virtue. He is as 
brave as a buU-dog, and as tenacious as a lobster if he gets 
his claws upon any one. Here we are, and they are waiting 
for US.'' 

We had reached the same crowded thoroughfare in which 
we had found ourselves in the morning. Our cabs were dis- 
missed, and, following the guidance of Mr. Merryweather, we 
passed down a narrow passage and through a side door, which 
he opened for us. Within there was a small corridor, which 
ended in a very massive iron gate. This also was opened, 
and led down a flight of winding stone steps, which termi- 
nated at another formidable gate. Mr. Merryweather stopped 
to light a lantern, and then conducted us down a dark, earth- 
smelling passage, and so, after opening a third door, into a 
huge vault or cellar, which was piled all round with crates and 
massive boxes. 

**You are not very vulnerable from above,*' Holmes re- 
marked, as he held up the lantern and gazed about him. 

'*Nor from below," said Mr. Merryweather, striking his 
stick upon the flags which lined the floor. **Why, dear me, 
it sounds quite hollow!" he remarked, looking up in surprise. 

**I must really ask you to be a little more quiet," said 
Holmes, severely. ''You have already imperilled the whole 
success of our expedition. Might I beg that you would have 
the goodness to sit down upon one of those boxes, and not 
to interfere?" 

The solemn Mr. Merryweather perched himself upon a 
crate, with a very injured expression upon his face, while 
Holmes fell upon his knees upon the floor, and, with the lan- 
tern and a magnifying lens, began to examine minutely the 

Digitized by VjOO<^1(:^ 


tracks between the stones. A few seconds sufficed to satisfy 
him, for he sprang to his feet again, and put his glass in his 

**We have at least an hour before us," he remarked; *'for 
they can hardly take any steps until the good pawnbroker is 
safely in bed. Then they will not lose a minute, for the 
sooner they do their work the longer time they will have for 
their escape. We are at present, doctor — ^as no doubt you 
have divined — in the cellar of the city branch of one of the 
principal London banks. Mr. Merryweather is the chairman 
of directors, and he will explain to you that there are reasons 
why the more daring criminals of London should take a con- 
siderable interest in this cellar at present." 

**It is our French gold," whispered the director. *'We 
have had several warnings that an attempt might be made 
upon it." 

'*Your French gold?" 

''Yes. We had occasion some months ago to strengthen 
our resources, and borrowed, for that purpose, 30,000 nai>o- 
Icons from the Bank of France. It has become teown that 
we have never had occasion to unpack the money, and that 
it is still lying in Our cellar. The crate upon which I sit 
contains 2000 napoleons packed between layers of lead foil. 
Our reserve of bullion is much larger at present than is usu- 
ally kept in a single branch office, and the directors have had 
misgivings upon the subject." 

' * Which were very well justified, ' ' observed Holmes. * * And 
now it is time that we arranged our little plans. I expect 
that within an hour matters will come to a head. Li the 
mean time, Mr. Merryweather, we muat put the screen over 
that dark lantern." 


''I am afraid so. I had brought a pack of cards in my 
pocket, and I thought that, as we were a partie carree, you 
might have your rubber after all. But I see that the enemy's 
preparations have gone so far that we cannot risk the pres- 
ence of a light. And, first of all, we must choose our posi- 
tions. These are daring men, and though we shall take tiiem 




at a disadvantage, they may do us some harm unless we are 
careful. I shall stand behind this crate, and do you conceal 
yourselves behind those. Then, when I flash a light upon 
them^ dose in swiftly. If they fire, Watson, have no com- 
punction about shooting them down." 

I placed my revolver, cocked, upon the top of the wooden 
case behind which I crouched. Holmes shot the slide across 
the front of his lantern, and left us in pitch darkness — such 
an absolute darkness as I have never before experienced. 
The smell of hot metal remained to assure us that the light 
was still there, ready to flash out at a moment's notice. To 
me, with my nerves worked up to a pitch of expectancy, there 
was something depressing and subduing in the sudden gloom, 
and in the cold, dank air of the vault. 

*'They have but one retreat," whispered Holmes. **That 
is back through the house into Saxe-Coburg Square. I hope 
that you have done what I asked you, Jones?" 

**I have an inspector and two officers waiting at the front 

'*Then we have stopped all the holes. And now we must 
be silent and wait." 

What a time it seemed ! From comparing notes afterwards 
it was but an hour and a quarter, yet it appeared to me that 
the night must have almost gone, and the dawn be breaking 
above us. My limbs were weary and stiff, for I feared to 
change my position; yet my nerves were worked up to the 
highest pitch of tension, and my hearing was so acute that I 
could not only hear the gentle breathing of my companions, 
but I could distinguish the deeper, heavier in-breath of the 
bulky Jones from the thin, sighing note of the bank director. 
From my position I could look over the case in the direction 
of the floor. Suddenly my eyes caught the glint of a light. 
At first it was but a lurid spark upon the stone pavement. 
Then it lengthened out until it became a yellow line, and 
then, without any warning or sound, a gash seemed to open 
and a hand appeared ; a white, almost womanly hand, which 
felt about in the center of the little area of light. For a min- 
ute or more the hand, with its writhing fingers, protruded out 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 

186 *HE RfiD-fiEADED LEAGUfi 

of the floor. Then it was withdrawn as suddenly as it ap- 
peared, and all was dark again save the single lurid spark 
which marked a chink between the stones. 

Its disappearance, however, was but momentary. With a 
rendiQg, tearing sound, one of the broad, white stones turned 
over upon its side, and left a square, gaping hole, through 
which streamed the light of a lantern. Over the edge there 
peeped a clean-cut, boyish face, which looked keenly about it, 
and then, with a hand on either side of the aperture, drew it- 
self shoulder-high and waist-high, unfil one knee rested upon 
the edge. In another instant he stood at the side of the 
hole, and was hauling after him a companion, lithe and small 
like himself, with a pale face and a shock of very red hair. 

'*It 's all clear," he whispered. **Have you the chisel and 
the bags! Great Scott ! Jiunp, Archie, jump, and I '11 swing 
for it!'' 

Sherlock Holmes had sprung out and seized the intruder 
by the collar. The other dived down the hole, and I heard 
the sound of rending cloth as Jones clutched at his skirts. 
The light flashed upon the barrel of a revolver, but Holmes's 
hunting crop came down on the man's wrist, and the pistol 
clinked upon the stone floor. 

*'It's no use, John Clay," said Holmes, blandly. **You 
have no chance at all." 

**So I see," the other answered, with the utmost coolness. 
*'I fancy that my pal is all right, though I see you have got 
his coat-tails." 

** There are three men waiting for him at the door," said 

**0h, indeed! You seem to have done the thing very com- 
pletely. I must compliment you." 

''And I you," Holmes answered. **Your red-headed idea 
was very new and eflfective." 

**You '11 see your pal again presently," said Jones. **He 's 
quicker at climbing down holes than I am. Just hold out 
while I fix the derbies." 

*'I beg that you will not touch me with your filthy hands," 
remarked our prisoner, as the handcuffs clattered upon his 

Digitized by VjOO^K:! 


wrists. ^'Yon may not be aware that I have royal blood in 
my veins. Have tiie goodness, also, when you address me al- 
ways to say *sir' and * please.' " 

* ' All right, ' ' said Jones, with a stare and a snigger. * * Well, 
would you please, sir, march up-stairs, where we can get a cab 
to carry your highness to the police-station?'' 

•'That is better," said John Clay, serenely. He made a 
sweeping bow to the three of us, and walked quietly oflf in the 
custody of the detective. 

** Really Mr. Holmes," said Mr. Merryweather, as we fol- 
lowed them from the cellar, ''I do not know how the bank can 
thank you or repay you. There is no doubt that you have 
detected and defeated in the most complete manner one of 
the most determined attempts at bank robbery that have ever 
come within my experience." 

*'I have had one or two little scores of my own to settle 
with Mr. John Clay," said Holmes. ^'I have been at some 
small expense over this matter, which I shall expect the bank 
to refund, but beyond that I am amply repaid by having had 
an experience which is in many ways unique, and by hearing 
the very remarkable narrative of the Red-headed League." 

**You see, Watson," he explained, in the early hours of the 
morning, as we sat over a glass of whiskey-and-soda in Baker 
Street, **it was perfectly obvious from the first that the only 
possible object of this rather fantastic business of the adver- 
tisement of the League, and the copying of the * Encyclo- 
paedia,' must be to get this not over-bright pawnbroker out of 
the way for a number of hours every day. It was a curious 
way of managing it, but, really, it would be difficult to suggest 
a better. The method was no doubt suggested to Clay's in- 
genious mind by the color of his accomplice's hair. The £4 a 
week was a lure which must draw him, and what was it to 
them, who were playing for thousands? They put in the ad- 
vertisement, one rogue has the temporary office, the other 
rogue incites the man to apply for it, and together they man- 
age to secure his absence every morning in the week. From 
the time that I heard of the assistant having come for half 

Digitized by V^OO^ IC 


wages, it was obvious to me that he had some strong motive 
for securing the situation." 

"But how could you guess what the motive was!" 

"Had there been women in the house^ I should have sus- 
pected a mere vulgar intrigue. That, however, was out of the 
question. The man's business was a small one, and there 
was nothing in his house which could account for such elabo- 
rate preparations, and such an expenditure as they were at. 
It must, then, be something out of the house. What could it 
be? I thought of the assistant's fondness for photography, 
and his trick of vanishing into the cellar. The cellar ! There 
was the end of this tangled clue. Then I made inquiries as 
to this mysterious assistant, and found that I had to deal with 
one of the coolest and most daring criminals in London. He 
was doing something in the cellar — something which took 
many hours a day for months on end. What could it be, once 
more f I could think of nothing save that he was running a 
tunnel to some other building. 

"So far I had got when we went to visit the scene of 
action. I surprised you by beating upon the pavement with 
my stick. I was ascertaining whether the cellar stretched out 
in front or behind. It was not in front. Then I rang the beU, 
and, as I hoped, the assistant answered it. We have had 
some skirmishes, but we had never set eyes upon each other 
before. I hardly looked at his face. His knees were what I 
wished to see. You must yourself have remarked how worn, 
wrinkled, and stained they were. They spoke of those hours 
of burrowing. The only remaining point was what they were 
burrowing for. I walked round the corner, saw that the City 
and Suburban Bank abutted on our friend's premises, and felt 
that I had solved my problem. When you drove home after 
the concert I called upon Scotland Yard, and upon the chair- 
man of the bank directors, with the result that you have 

"And how could you tell that they would make their at- 
tempt to-night?" I asked. 

"Well, when they closed their League oflSces that was a 
sign that they cared no longer about Mr. Jabez Wilson's pres- 

Digitized by V^OO^K:^ 


ence — in other words, that they had completed their tunnel. 
But it was essential that they should use it soon, as it might 
be discovered, or the bullion might be removed. Saturday 
would suit them better than any other day, as it would give 
them two days for their escape. For all these reasons I ex- 
pected them to comei;o-night." 

"You reasoned it out beautifully,'' I exclaimed, in un- 
feigned admiration. "It is so long a chain, and yet every 
link rings true/' 

"It saved me from ennui,*' he answered, yawning. "Alas! 
I already feel it closing in upon me. My life is spent in one 
long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. 
These little problems help me to do so." 

"And you are a benefactor of the race," said I. 

He shrugged his shoulders. "Well, perhaps, after all, it is 
of some little use," he remarked. " ^L^homme c^est rien — 
VoRuvre c^est tout/ as Gustave Flaubert wrote to Georges 





They were discussing languidly, as such groups do, seeking 
^' from each topic a peg on which to hang a few epigrams that 
might be retold in the lip currency of the club — Steingall, 
the painter, florid of gesture, and effete, foreign in type, with 
black-rimmed glasses and trailing ribbon of black silk that 
cut across his cropped beard and cavalry mustaches; De 
Gollyer, a critic, who preferred to be known as a man about 
town, short, feverish, incisive, who slew platitudes with one 
adjective and tagged a reputation with three; Rankin, the 
architect, always in a defensive, explanatory attitude, who 
held his elbows on the table, his hands before his long sliding 
nose, and gestured with his fingers; Quinny, the illustrator, 
long and gaunt, with a predatory eloquence that charged 
irresistibly down on any subject, cut it off, surrounded it, 
and raked it with enfilading wit and satire ; and Peters, whose 
methods of existence were a mystery, a young man of fifty, 
who had done nothing and who knew every one by his first 
name, the club postman, who carried the tittle-tattle, the hon. 
mots and the news of the day, who drew up a petition a week 
and pursued the house committee with a daily grievance. 

About the latticed porch, which ran around the sanded 
yard with its feeble fountain and futile evergreens, other 
groux>s were eying one another, or engaging in desultory con- 
versation, oppressed with the heaviness of the night. 

At the round table, Quinny alone, absorbing energy as he 
devoured the conversation, having routed Steingall on the 
Germans and archeology and Rankin on the origins of the 
Lord's Prayer, had seized a chance remark of De Gollyer's to 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


''There are only half a dozen stories in the world. Like 
everything that 's true it isn't true.'' He waved his long, 
gouty fingers in the direction of Steingall, who, having been 
silenced, was regarding him with a look of sleepy indiffer- 
ence. **What is more to the point, is the small number of 
h.Tunan relations that are so simple and yet so fundamental 
that they can be eternally played upon, redressed, and reinter- 
preted in every language, in every age, and yet remain in- 
exhaustible in the possibility of variations." 

*'By George, that is so," said Steingall, waMafgf^up. 
^* Every art dpes go back to three or four notes. In composi- 
tion it is .the same thing. Nothing new — ^nothing new since 
a thousand years. By George, that is true ! We invent noth- 
ing, nothing!" 

**Take the eternal triangle," said Quinny hurriedly, not 
to surrender his advantage, while Bankin and De Gbllyer in 
a bored way continued to gaze dreamily at a vagrant star or 
two. ^^Two men and a woman, or two women and a man. 
Obviously it should be classified as the first of the great 
original parent themes. Its variations extend into the thou- 
sands. By the way, Bankin, excellent opportunity, eh, for 
some of our modern, painstaking, unemployed jackasses to 
analyze and classify." 

** Quite right," said Bankin without perceiving the satirical 
note. **Now there 's De Maupassant's Fort camme la Mort 
— quite the most interesting variation — shows the turn a 
genius can give. There the triangle is the man of middle 
age, the mother he has loved in his youth and the daughter he 
comes to love. It forms, you might say, the head of a whole 
subdivision of modem continental literature." 

** Quite wrong, Bankin, quite wrong," said Quinny, who 
would have stated the other side quite as imperiously. 
**What you cite is a variation of quite another theme, the 
Faust theme--old age longing for youth, the man who has 
loved longing for the love of his youth, which is youth itself. 
The triangle is the theme of jealoiKsy, the most destructive 
and, therefore, the most dramatic of human passions. The 
Faust theme is the most fundamental and inevitable of all 

Digitized by VjOO*2 1^ 


human experiences, the tragedy of life itself. Quite a differ- 
ent thing." 

Rankin, who never agreed with Quinny unless Quinny 
maliciously took advantage of his prior announcement to 
agree with him, continued to combat this idea. 

**Ybu believe then/' said De Gollyer after a certain mo- 
ment had been consumed in hair splitting, ^'that the origin of 
all dramatic themes is simply the expression of some human 
emotion. In other words, there can exist no more parent 
themes than there are human emotions." 

**I thank you, sir, very well put," said Quinny with a gen- 
erous wave of his hand. **Why is the Three Musketeers a 
basic theme? Simply the interpretation of comradeship, the 
emotion one man feels for another, vital because it is the one 
peculiarly masculine emotion. Look at Du Maurier and 
Trilby, Kipling in Soldiers Three — simply the Three Mus- 

''The Vie de BoUmeV suggested SteingalL 

"In the real Vie de Boheme, yes," said Quinny viciously. 
''Not in the concocted sentimentalities that we now have 
served up to us by athletic tenors and consumptive ele- 

Bankin, who had been silently deliberating on what had 
been left behind, now said cunningly and with evident pur- 

"All the same, I don't agree with you men at all. I be- 
lieve there are situations, original situations, that are inde- 
pendent of your human emotions, that exist just because they 
are situations, accidental and nothing else." 

"As for instance!" said Quinny, preparing to attack. 

"Well, 1 11 just cite an ordinary one that happens to come 
to my mind," said Bankin, who had carefully selected his 
test. "In a group of seven or eight, such as we are here, a 
theft takes place ; one man is the thief— which one? I 'd like 
to know what emotion that interprets, and yet it certainly 
is an original theme, at the bottom of a whole literatare." 

This challenge was like a bomb. 

"Not the same thing." 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


"Detective stories, bah!" 

"Oh, I say, Rankin, that 's literary melodrama." 

Bankin, satisfied, smiled and winked victorionsly over to 
Tonuners, who was listening from an adjacent table. 

"Of course your suggestion is out of order, my dear man, 
to this extent," said Quinny, who never surrendered, **in that 
I am talking of fundamentals and you are citing details. 
Nevertheless, I could answer that the situation you give, as 
well as the whole school it belongs to, can be traced back to 
the commonest of human emotions, curiosity; and that the 
story of Bluebeard and The Moonstone are to all purposes 
identically the same." 

At this Steingall, who had waited hopefully, gasped and 
made as though to leave the tabled 

"I shall take up your contention," said Quinny without 
pause for breath, "first, because you have opened up one of 
my pet topics, and, second, because it gives me a chance to 
talk." He gave a sidelong glance at Steingall and winked at 
De GoUyer. "What is the peculiar fascination that the de- 
tective problem exercises over the human mind! You will 
say curiosity. Yes and no. Admit at once that the whole 
art of a detective story consists in the statement of the prob- 
lem. Any one can do it. I can do it. Steingall even can do 
it. The solution doesn't count. It is usually banal; it 
should be prohibited. What interests us is, can we guess it? 
Just as an able-minded man will sit down for hours and 
fiddle over the puzzle column in a Sunday balderdash. Same 
idea. There you have it, the problem — the detective story. 
Now why the fascination? I '11 tell you. It appeals to our 
curiosity, yes — ^but deeper to a sort of intellectual vanity. 
Here are six matches, arrange them to make four squares; 
five men present, a theft takes place — ^who 's the thief? Who 
will guess it first? Whose brain will show its superior clever- 
ness — see? That 's all — ^that 's all there is to it." 

"Out of all of which," said De GoUyer, "the interesting 
thing is that Rankin has supplied the reason why the supply 
of detective fiction is inexhaustible. It does all come down 
to the simplest terms. Seven possibilities, one answer. It 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


is a formula, ludicrously simple, mechanical, and yet we 
will always pursue it to tlie end. The marvel is that writers 
should seek for any other formula when here is one so safe, 
that can never fail. Be George, I could start up a factory 
on it." 

''The reason is," said Bankin, ''that the situation does 
constantly occur. It 's a situation that any of us might get 
into any time. As a matter of fact, now, I personally know 
two such occasions when I was of the party; and very un- 
comfortable it was too." 

"What happened}" said Steingall. 

"Why, there is no story to it particularly. Once a mis- 
take had been made, and the other time the real thief was 
detected by accident a year later. In both cases only one 
or two of us knew what had happened." 

De GroUyer had a similar incident to recall. Steingall, 
after reflection, related another that had happened to a 

"Of course, of course, my dear gentlemen," said Quinny 
impatiently, for he had been silent too long, "you are glorify- 
ing commonplaces. Every crime, I tell you, expresses itself 
in the terms of the picture puzzle that you feed to your six- 
year-old. It 's only the variation that is interesting. Now 
quite the most remarkable turn of the complexities that can 
be developed is, of course, the well-known instance of the 
visitor at a club and the rare coin. Of course every one 
knows that? What?" 

Rankin smiled in a bored, superior way, but the others 
protested their ignorance. 

"Why, it 's very well known," said Quinny lightly. "A 
distinguished visitor is brought into a club — dozen men, say, 
present, at dinner, long table. Conversation finally veers 
around to curiosities and relics. One of the members present 
then takes from his pocket what he announces as one of the 
rarest coins in existence — passes it around the table. Coin 
travels back and forth, every one examining it, and the con- 
versation goes to another topic, say the influence of the auto- 
mobile on domestic infelicity, or some other such asinindy 

Digitized by V^jOOQIC 


intellectual club topic — yon know? All at once the owner 
calls for his coin. 

**The coin is nowhere to be found. Every one looks at 
every one else. First, they suspect a joke. Then it becomes 
serious — ^the coin is immensely valuable. Who has taken it? 

**The owner is a gentleman — does the gentlemanly idiotic 
thing, of course, laughs, says he knows some one is playing a 
practical joke on him and that the coin will be returned to- 
morrow. The others refuse to leave the situation so. One 
man proposes that they all submit to a search. Every one 
gives his assent until it comes to the stranger. He refuses, 
curtly, roughly, without giving any reason. Uncomfortable 
silence — ^the man is a guest. No one knows him particularly 
well — but still he is a guest. One member tries to make him 
understand that no offense is offered, that the suggestion was 
simply to clear the atmosphere, and all that sort of bally rot, 
you Imow. 

** *I refuse to allow my person to be searched,' says the 
stranger, very firm, very proud, very English, you know, 'and 
I refuse to give my reason for my action.' 

"Another silence. The men eye him and then glance at 
one another. What 's to be done? Nothing. There is eti- 
quette — ^that magnificent inflated balloon. The visitor evi- 
dently has the coin — ^but he is their guest and etiquette pro- 
tects him. Nice situation, eh? 

** The table is cleared. A waiter removes a dish of fruit and 
there under the ledge of the plate where it had been pushed 
— ^is the coin. Banal explanation, eh? Of course. Solutions 
always should be. At once every one in prof ouse apologies ! 
Whereupon the visitor rises and says : 

** *Now I can give you the reason for my refusal to be 
searched. There are only two known specimens of the coin 
in existence, and the second happens to be here in my waist- 
coat pocket.' " 

**0f course," said Quinny with a shrug of his shoulders, 
**the story is well invented, but the turn to it is very nice — 
very nice indeed." 

'*I did know the story," said Steingall, to be disagreeable; 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


*'the ending, though, is too obvious to be invented. The visi- 
tor Sbould have had on him not another eoin, but something 
absolutely different, something destructive, say, of a woman's 
reputation, and a great tragedy should have been threatened 
by the casual misplacing of the coin.'* 

''I have heard the same story told in a dozen different 
ways," said Bankin. 

''It has happened a hundred times. It must be continually 
happening," said Steingall. 

**I know one extraordinary instance," said Peters, who up 
to the present, secure in his climax, had waited with a pro- 
fessional smile until the big guns had been silenced. ''In 
fact, the most extraordinary instance of this sort I have ever 

"Peters, you little rascal," said Quinny with a sidelong 
glance, "I perceive you have quietly been letting us dress the 
stage for you." 

"It is not a story that will please every one," said Peters, 
to whet their appetite. 

"Why not?" 

"Because you will want to know what no one can ever 

"It has no conclusion then?" 

"Yes and no. As far as it concerns a woman, quite the 
most remarkable woman I have ever met, the story is com- 
plete. As for the rest, it is what it is, because it is one ex- 
ample where literature can do nothing better than record." 

"Do I know the woman?" asked De Gollyer, who flattered 
himself on passing through every class of society. 

"Possibly, but no more than any one else." 

"An actress?" 

"What she has been in the past I don't know— a promoter 
would better describe her. Undoubtedly she has been behind 
the scenes in many an untold intrigue of the business world. 
A very feminine woman, and yet, as you shall see, with an 
unusual instantaneous masculine power of decision." 

"Peters," said Quinny, waving a warning finger, "you 




are destrojring your story. Your preface will bring an anti- 
climax. ' ' 

^'You shall judge," said Peters, who waited until his audi- 
ence was in strained attention before opening his story. 
''The names are, of course, disgruises." 

Mrs. Bita Eildair inhabited a charming bachelor-girl 
studio, very elegant, of the duplex pattern, in one of the build- 
ings just off Central Park West. She knew pretty nearly 
every one in that indescribable society in New York that is 
drawn from all levels, and that imposes but one condition 
for membership— to be amusing. She knew every one and 
no one knew her. No one knew beyond the vaguest rumors 
her history or her means. No one had ever heard of a Mr. 
Kildair. There was always about her a certain defensive 
reserve the moment the limits of acquaintanceship had been 
reached. She had a certain amount of money, she knew a 
certain number of men in Wall Street affairs, and her studio 
was furnished with taste and even distinction. She was of 
any age. She might have suffered everything or nothing at 
all. In this mingled society her invitations were eagerly 
sought, her dinners were spontaneous, and the discussions, 
though gay and usually daring, were invariably under the 
control of wit and good taste. 

On the Sunday night of this adventure she had, according ^^ 
to her invariable custom, sent away her Japanese butler and 
invited to an informal chafing-dish supper seven of her more 
congenial friends, all of whom, as much as could be said of 
any one, were habitu6s of the studio. 

At seven o'clock, having finished dressing, she put in or- 
der her bedroom, which formed a sort of free passage between 
the studio and a small dining room to the kitchen beyond. 
Then, going into the studio, she lit a wax taper and was in 
the act of touching off the brass candlesticks that lighted the 
room when three knocks sounded on the door and a Mr. 
Flanders, a broker, compact, nervously alive, well groomed, 
entered with the informality of assured acquaintance. 




**You are early," said Mrs. Eildair, in sarprise* 

**0n the contrary, you are late," said the broker, glancing 
at his watch. 

*'Then be a good boy and help me with the candles," she 
said, giving him a smile and a quick pressure of her fingers. 

He obeyed, asking nonchalantly : 

'*I say, dear lady, who 's to be here to-night?" 

**The Enos Jacksons." 

**I thought they were separated." 

''Not yet." 

**Very interesting! Only you, dear lady, would have 
thought of serving us a couple on the verge." 

''It's interesting, isn't it?" 

"Assuredly. Where did you know Jackson?" 

"Through the Warings. Jackson 's a rather doubtful per- 
son, isn't he?" 

"Let 's call him a very sharp lawyer," said Flanders de- 
fensively. "They tell me, though, he is on the wrong side of 
the market — ^in deep." 

"And you?" 

"Oh, I? I 'm a bachelor," he said with a shrug of his 
shoulders, "and if I come a cropper it makes no difference.*' 

"Is that possible?" she said, looking at him quickly. 

'* Probable even. And who else is coming?" 

"Maude Lille — ^you know her?" 

"I think not." 

"You met her here — ^a journalist." 

"Quite so, a strange career." 

**Mr. Harris, a clubman, is coming, and the Stanley 

"The Stanley Cheevers!" said Flanders with some sur- 
prise. ' ' Are we going to gamble ? ' ' 

"You believe in that scandal about bridge?" 

"Certainly not," said Flanders, smiling. "You see I was 
present. The Cheevers play a good game, a well united 
game, and have an unusual system of makes. By-the-way, 
it 's Jackson who is very attentive to Mrs. Cheever, isn't 




''Quite right." 

''What a charming party/' said Flanders flippantly. 
**And where does Maude Lille come inf 

"Don't joke. She is in a desperate way," said Mrs. Kil- 
dair, with a little sadness in her eyes. 

"And Harris?" 

"Oh, he is to make the salad and cream the chicken." 

"Ah, I see the whole party. I, of course, am to add the 
element of respectability." 

"Of what?" 

She looked at him steadily until he turned away, dropping 
his glance. 

"Don't be an ass with me, my dear Flanders." 

"By George, if this were Europe I 'd wager you were in 
the secret service, Mrs. Kildair." 

"Thank you." 

She smiled i^preciatively and moved about the studio, giv- 
ing the finishing touches. The Stanley Cheevers entered, a 
short fat man with a vacant fat face and a slow-moving eye, 
and his wife, voluble, nervous, overdressed and pretty. Mr. 
Harris came with Maude Lille, a woman, straight, dark, In- 
dian, with great masses of somber hair held in a little too 
loosely for neatness, with thick, quids lips and eyes that 
rolled away from the i>erson who was talking to her. The 
Enos Jacksons were late and still agitated as they entered. 
His forehead had not quite banished the scowl, nor her eyes 
the soom. He was of the type that never lost his temper, 
but caused others to lose theirs, immoviJile in his opinions, 
with a prowling walk, a studied antagonism in his manner, 
and an impudent look that fastened itself unerringly on the 
weakness in the person to whom he spoke. Mrs. Jackson, who 
seemed fastened to her husband by an invisible leash, had 
a hunted, resisting quality back of a certain desperate dash, 
which she assumed rather than felt in her attitude toward 
life. One looked at her curiously and wondered what such a 
nature would do in a crisis, with a lurking sense of a woman 
who carried witli her her own impending tragedy. 

As soon as the company had been completed and the in- 




congruity of the selection had been perceived, a smile of 
malicious anticipation ran the rounds, which the hostess cut 
short by saying: 

"Well, now that every one is here, this is the order of the 
night: You can quarrel all you want, you can whisper all 
the gossip you can think of about one another, but every one 
is to be amusing ! Also every one is to help with the dinner 
— ^nothing formal and nothing serious. We may all be bank- 
rupt to-morrow, divorced or dead, but to-night we will be gay 
— that is the invariable rule of the house!" 

Immediately a nervous laughter broke out and the company, 
chattering, began to scatter through the rooms. 

Mrs. Kildair, stopping in her bedroom, donned a Watteau- 
like poking apron, and slipping her rings from her fingers 
fixed the three on her pincushion with a hatpin. 

**Your rings are beautiful, dear, beautiful," said the low 
voice of Maude Lille, who, with Harris and Mrs. Cheever, 
was in the room. 

** There 's only one that is very valuable," said Mrs. Kil- 
dair, touching with her thin fingers the ring that lay upper- 
most, two large diamonds, flanking a magnificent sapphire. 

'*It is beautiful — ^very beautiful," said the journalist, her 
eyes fastened to it with an uncontrollable fascination. * She 
put out her fingers and let them rest caressingly on the sap- 
phire, withdrawing them quickly as though the contact had 
burned them. 

**It must be very valuable," she said, her breath catching 
a little. Mrs. Cheever, moving forward, suddenly looked at 
the ring. 

*'It cost five thousand six years ago," said Mrs. Kildair, 
glancing down at it. *'It has been my talisman ever since. 
For the moment, however, I am cook; Maude Lille, you are 
scullery maid; Harris is the chef, and we are under his orders. 
Mrs. Cheever, did you ever peel onions?" 

**Qood Heavens, no!" said Mrs. Cheever, recoiling. 

"Well, there are no onions to peel," said Mrs. Kildair, 
laughing. '*A11 you 1l have to do is to help set the table. 
On to the kitchen!" 




Under their hostess's gay guidance the seven guests began 
to circulate busily through the rooms, laying the table, group- 
ing the chairs, opening bottles, and preparing the material 
for the chafing dishes. Mrs. Kildair, in the kitchen, ransacked 
the ice box, and with her own hands chopped the /ines herbes, 
shredded the chicken and measured the cream. 

** Flanders, carry this in carefully,'' she said, her hands in 
a towel. '*Cheever, stop watching your wife and put the 
salad bowl on the table. Everything ready, Harris! All 
right. Every one sit down. I lil be right in." 

She went into her bedroom, and divesting herself of her 
apron hung it in the closet. Then going to her dressing table 
she drew the hatpin from the pincushion and carelessly 
slipped the rings on her fingers. All at once she frowned 
and looked quickly at her hand. Only two rings were there, 
the third ring, the one with the sapphire and the two dia- 
monds, was missing. 

'^ Stupid," she said to herself, and returned to her dressing 
table. AU at once she stopped. She remembered quite 
clearly putting the pin through the three rings. 

She made no attempt to search further, but remained with- 
out moving, her fingers drunmiing slowly on the table, her 
head to one side, her lip drawn in a little between her teeth, 
listening with a frown to the babble from the outer room. 
Who had taken the ring! Each of her guests had had a 
dozen opportunities in the course of the time she had been 
busy in the kitchen. 

*'Too much time before the mirror, dear lady," called out 
Flanders gaily, who from where he was seated could see her. 

*'It is not he," she said quickly. Then she reconsidered. 
*'Why not? He is clever — ^who knows f Let me think." 

To gain time she walked back slowly into the kitchen, her 
head bowed, her thumb between her teeth. 

"Who has taken it?" 

She ran over the characters of her guests and their situa- 
tions as she knew them. Strangely enough, at each her mind 
stopped upon some reason that might explain a sudden tempta- 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


''I shall find out nothing this way/' ^e said to herself 
after a moment's deliberation; 'Uhat is not the important 
thing to me just now. The important thing is to get the ring 

And slowly, deliberately, she began to walk back and forth, 
her clenched hand beating the deliberate rhythmic measure of 
her journey. 

Five minutes later, as Harris, installed en maitre over the 
chafing dish, was giving directions, spoon in the air, Mrs. 
Kildair came into the room like a lengthening shadow. Her 
entrance had been made with scarcely a perceptible sound, 
and yet each guest was aware of it at the same moment, with 
a little nervous start, 

** Heavens, dear lady," exclaimed Flanders, **you come in 
on. us like a Greek tragedy! What is it you have for us, a 

As he spoke she turned her swift glance on him, drawing 
her forehead together until the eyebrows ran in a straight 

''I have something to say to you," she said in a sharp, 
businesslike manner, watching the company with penetrating 

There was no mistaking the seriousness of her voice. Mr. 
Harris extinguished the oil lamp, covering the chafing dish 
clumsily with a discordant, disagreeable sound. Mrs. Cheever 
and Mrs. Enos Jackson swung about abruptly, Maude Lille 
rose a little from her seat, while the men imitated these move- 
ments of expectancy with a clumsy shuffling of the feet. 

''Mr. Enos Jackson?" 

''Yes, Mrs. Kildair." 

"Kindly do as I ask you." 


She had spoken his name with a peremptory positiveness 
that was almost an accusation. He rose calmly, raising his 
eyebrows a little in surprise, 

"Go to the door," she continued, shifting her glance from 
him to the others. "Are you there? Lock it. Bring me the 




He executed the order without bungling, and returning 
stood before her, tendering the key. 

'^You 've locked it?" she said, making the words an excuse 
to bury her glance in his. 
** As you wished me to." 

She took from him the key and, shifting slightly, hkewise 
locked the door into her bedroom through which she had 

Then transferring the keys to her left hand, seemingly 
unaware of Jackson, who still awaited her further commands, 
her eyes studied a moment the possibilities of the apart- 

**Mr. Cheever?" she said in a low voice. 
*'Yes, Mrs. Kildair." 

**Blow out all the candles except the candelabrum on the 

*'Put out the lights, Mrs. Kildair?" 
**At once." 

Mr. Cheever, in rising, met the glance of his wife, and 
the look of questioning and wonder that passed did not escape 
the hostess. 

**But, my dear Mrs. Kildair," said Mrs. Jackson with a 
little nervous catch of her breath, **what is it! I 'm getting 
terribly worked up! My nerves — " 
"^Miss Lille!" said the voice of command. 

The journalist, calmer than the rest, had watched the pro- 
ceedings without surprise, as though fore-warned by profes- 
sional instinct that something of importance was about to 
take place. Now she rose quietly with an almost stealthy 

**Put the candelabrum on this table — ^here," said Mrs. Kil- 
dair, indicating a large round table on which a few books 
were grouped. **No, wait. Mr. Jackson, first clear off the 
table. I want nothing on it." 

'*But, Mrs. Kildair — " began Mrs. Jackson's shrill voice 




*'Tliat 's it. Now put down the candelabrum.*' 

In a moment, as Mr. Cheever proceeded methodically on his 
errand, the brilliant crossfire of lights dropped in the studio, 
only a few smoldering wicks winking on the walls, while the 
high room seemed to grow more distant as it came under the 
sole dominion of the three candles bracketed in silver at the 
head of the bare mahogany table. 

''Now listen!" said Mrs. Eildair, and her voice had in it a 
cold note. **My sapphire ring has just been stolen." 

She said it suddenly, hurling the news among them and 
waiting ferret-like for some indications in the chorus that 
broke out. 


"Oh, my dear Mrs. Kildair!" 

"Stolen— by Jove!" 

"You don't mean it!" 

"What! Stolen here— to-night?" 

"The ring has been taken within the last twenty minutes," 
continued Mrs. Kildair in the same determined, chiseled tone. 
"I am not going to mince words. The ring has been taken 
and the thief is among you." 

For a moment nothing was heard but an indescribable gasp 
and a sudden turning and searching, then suddenly Cheever 's 
deep bass broke out : 

"Stolen! But, Mrs. Kildair, is it possible?" 

"Exactly. There is not the slightest doubt," said Mrs. 
Kildair. "Three of you were in my bedroom when I placed 
my rings on the pincushion. Each of you has passed througli 
there a dozen times since. My sapphire ring is gone, and one 
of you has taken it." 

Mrs. Jackson gave a little scream, and reached heavily for a 
glass of water. Mrs. Cheever said something inarticulate in 
the outburst of masculine exclamation. Only Maude Lille's 
calm voice could be heard saying : 

"Quite true. I was in the room when you took them off. 
The sapphire ring was on top." 

"Now listen!" said Mrs. Kildair, her eyes on Maude Lille's 
eyes. "I am not going ^o mince words. I am not going to 




stand on ceremony. I 'm going to have that ring back. Lis- 
ten to me carefully. I 'm going to have that ring back, and 
until I do, not a soul shall leave this room." She tapped on 
the table with her nervous knuckles. **Who has taken it I 
do not care to know. All I want is my ring. Now I 'm go- 
ing to make it possible for whoever took it to restore it without 
possibility of detection. The doors are locked and will stay 
locked. I am going to put out the lights, and I am going to 
connt one hundred slowly. You will be in absolute darkness ; 
no one will know or see what is done. But if at the end of 
that time the ring is not here on this table I shall telephone 
the police and have every one in this room searched. Am I 
quite clear?" 

Suddenly she cut short the nervous outbreak of suggestions 
and in the same firm voice continued : 

** Every one take his place about the table. That's it. 

The women, with the exception of the inscrutable Maude 
LiUe, gazed hysterically from face to face, while the men, 
compressing their fingers, locking them or grasping their 
chins, looked straight ahead fixedly at their hostess. 

Mrs. Kildair, having calmly assured herself that all were 
ranged as she wished, blew out two of the three candles. 

'^I shall count one hundred, no more, no less," she said. 
'^ Either I get back that, ring or every one in this room is to 
be searched, remember." 

Leaning over, she blew out the remaining candle and snuffed 

*'One, two, three, four, five—" 

She began to count with the inexorable regularity of a 
clock's ticking. 

In the room every sound was distinct, the rustle of a dress, 
the grinding of a shoe, the deep, slightly asthmatic breathing 
of a man. 

"Twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three — " 

She. continued to count, while in the methodic unvarying 
note of her voice there was a rasping reiteration that began to 
affect the company. A slight gasping breath, uncontrollable, 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


aLmost on the verge of hysterics, was heard, and a man nerv- 
oualj clearing Hb throat. . 

"Forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven — " 

Still nothing had happened. Mrs. Kildair did not vary 
her measure the slightest, only the sound became more metal- 

*' Sixty-six, sixty-seven, sixty-eight, sixty-nine and sev- 

Some one had sighed. 

** Seventy-three, seventy-four, seventy-five, seventy-six, 
seventy-seven — ' ' 

All at once, clear, unmistakable, on the resounding plane of 
the table was heard a slight metallic note. 

''The ring!" 

It was Maude Lille's quick voice that had spoken. Mrs. 
Eildair continued to count. 

''Eighty-nine, ninety, ninety-one — " 

The tension became unbearable. Two or three voices pro- 
tested against the needless prolonging of the torture. 

"Ninety-six, ninety-seven, ninety-eight, ninety-nine and one 

A match sputtered in Mrs. Kildair 's hand and on the in- 
stant the company craned forward. In the center of the 
table was the sparkling sapphire and diamond ring. Candles 
were lit, flaring up like searchlights on the white accusing 

"Mr. Cheever, you may give it to me," said Mrs. Kildair. 
She held out her hand without trembling, a smile of triumph 
on her face, which had in it for a moment an expression of 
positive cruelty. 

Immediately she changed, contemplating with amusement 
the horror of her guests, staring blindly from one to another, 
seeing the indefinable glance of interrogation that passed 
from Cheever to Mrs. Cheever, from Mrs. Jackson to her hus- 
band, and then without emotion she said: 

"Now that that is over we can have a very gay little sup- 




When Peters had pushed back his chair, satisfied as only a 
trained raconteur can be by the silence of a difficult audience, 
and had busied himself with a cigar, there was an instant 

**I say, Peters, old boy, that is not all!" 

'* Absolutely." 

'*The story ends there?" 

''That ends the story." 

'*But who took the ring?" 

Peters extended his hands in an empty gesture. 

' ' What ! It was never found out ? " 


"No clue?" 


"I don't like the story," said De GoUyer. 

"It 's no story at all," said Steingall. 

"Permit me," said Quinny in a didactic way; "it is a story, 
and it is complete. In fact, I consider it unique because it 
has none of the banalities of a solution and leaves the prob- 
lem even 'more confused than at the start." 

"I don't see — " began Rankin. 

"Of course you don't, my dear man," said Quinny crush- 
ingly. "You do not see that any solution would be common- 
place, whereas no solution leaves an extraordinary intellectual 

"How so?" 

"In the first place," said Quinny, preparing to annex the 
topic, "whether the situation actually happened or not, which 
is in itself a mere triviality, Peters has constructed it in a 
masterly way, the proof of which is that he has made me 
listen. Observe, each person present might have taken the 
ring — Flanders, a broker, just come a cropper ; Maude Lille, a 
woman on the ragged side of life in desperate means; either 
Mr. and Mrs. Cheever, suspected of being card sharps — ^very 
good touch that, Peters, when the husband and wife glanced 
involuntarily at each other at the end — ^Mr. Enos Jackson, a 
sharp lawyer, or his wife about to be divorced ; even Harris, 
concerning whom, very cleverly, Peters has said nothing at 

Digitized by VjOO^ It! 


all to make him quite the most suspicious of all. There are, 
therefore, seven solutions, all possible and all logical. But 
beyond this is left a great intellectual problem. '^ 

''How sor* 

''Was it a feminine or a masculine action to restore the 
ring when threatened with a search, knowing that Mrs. Eil- 
dair's clever expedient of throwing the room into darkness 
made detection impossible! Was it a woman who lacked the 
necessiary courage to continue, or was it a man who repented 
his first impulset Is a man or is a woman the greater natural 

"A woman took it, of course,'' said Bankin. 

"On the contrary, it was a man," said Steingall, "for the 
second action was more difScult than the first." 

"A man, certainly," said De Ctellyer. "The restoration of 
the ring was a logical decision." 

"You see," said Quinny triumphantly, "personally I in- 
cline to a woman for the reason that a weaker feminine nature 
is peculiarly susceptible to the domination of her own sex. 
There you are. We could meet and debate the subject year 
in and year out and never agree." 

"I recognize most of the characters," said De Gollyer with 
a little confidential smile toward Peters. "Mrs. Kildair, of 
course, is all you say of her — an extraordinary woman. The 
story is quite characteristic of her. Flanders, I am not sure 
of, but I think I know him." 

"Did it really happen?" asked Bankin, who always took 
the commonplace point of view. 

"Exactly as I have told it," said Peters. 

"The only one I don't recognize is Harris," said De Oollyer 

"Your humble servant," said Peters, smiling. 

The four looked up suddenly with a little start. 

"What!" said Quinny, abruptly confused. "You— yon 
were there?" 

"I was there." 

The four continued to look at him without speaking, each 
absorbed in his own thoughts, with a sudden ill ease. 

-^i^^- Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


A dub attendant, with a telephone slip on a tray, stopped 
by Peters' side. He excused himself and went along the 
porch, nodding from table to table. 

*' Curious chap," said De Gollyer musingly. 

** Extraordinary.'' 

The word was like a murmur in the group of four, who 
continued watching Peters' trim, disappearing figure in si- 
lence, without looking at one another — ^with a certain ill ease. 





A GUARD came to the prison shoe-shop, where Jimmy Valen- 
tine was assiduously stitching uppers, and escorted him to the 
front office. There the warden handed Jimmy his pardon, 
which had been signed that morning by the governor. Jimmy 
took it in a tired kind of way. He had served nearly ten 
months of a four-year sentence. He had expected to stay 
only about three months, at the longest. When a man with 
as many friends on the outside aa Jimmy Valentine had is 
received in the **stir" it is hardly worth while to cut his hair. 

**Now, Valentine," said the warden, **you 11 go out in the 
^ morning. Brace up, and make a man of yourself. You 're 
not a bad fellow at heart. Stop cracking safes, and live 

^'Mef" said Jimmy, in surprise. **Why, I never cracked 
a safe in my life." 

**0h, no," laughed ^he warden. *'0f course not. Let's 
see, now. How was it you happened to get sent up on that 
Springfield job f Was it because you would n't prove an alibi 
for fear of compromising somebody in extremely high-toned 
society? Or was it simply a case of a mean aid jury that had 
it in for you? It 's always one or the other with you inno- 
cent victims." 

' ' Me ? " said Jimmy, still blankly virtuous. ' ' Why, warden, 
I never was in Springfield in my life!" 

*'Take him back, Cronin," smiled the warden, "and fix 
him. up with outgoing clothes. Unlock him at seven in the 
morning, and let him come to the bull-pen. Better think over 
my advice, Valentine." 

1 From Road8 of Destiny . Published by permission of the publishers. 
Copyright, 1909, by Doubleday, Page & Co. 




0. HENRY 213 

At a quarter past seven on the next morning Jimmy stood 
in the warden's outer office. He had on a suit of the villain- 
ously fitting, ready-made clothes and wA-- pair of the stiff, 
squeaky shoes that the state furnishes to its discharged com- 
pulsory guests. 

The clerk handed him a railroad ticket and the five-dollar 
bill with which the law expected him to rehabilitate himself 
into good citizenship and prosperity. The warden gave him 
a cigar, and shook hands. Valentine, 9762, was chronicled on 
the books ** Pardoned by Governor," and Mr. James Valen- 
tin'e walked out into the sunshine. 

Disregarding the song of the birds, the waving green trees, 
and the^ smell of the fiowers, Jimmy headed straight for a 
restaurant. There he tasted the first sweet joys of liberty in 
the shape of a broiled chicken and a bottle of white wine — 
followed by a cigar a grade better than the one the warden 
had given him. From there he proceeded leisurely to the 
depot. He tossed a quarter into the hat of a blind man sit- 
ting by the door, and boarded his train. Three hours set him 
down in a little town near the state line. He went to the 
caf6 of one Mike Dolan and shook hands with Mike, who 
was alone behind the bar. 

*' Sorry we could n't make it sooner, Jimmy, me boy,*^ said 
Mike. **But we had that protest from Springfield to buck 
against, and the governor nearly balked. Feeling all right Y" 

**Fine,'' said Jimmy. **Got my key?" 

He got his key and went up-stairs, unlocking the door of 
a room at the rear. Everything was just as he had left it. 
There on the floor was still Ben Price's collar-button that had 
been torn from that eminent detective's shirt-band when they 
had overpowered Jimmy to arrest him. 

Pulling out from the wall a folding-bed, Jimmy slid back 
a panel in the wall and dragged out a dust-covered suit-case. 
He opened this and gazed fondly at the finest set of burglar's 
tools in the East. It was a complete set, made of specially 
tempered steel, the latest design in drills, punches, braces 
and bits, jimmies, clamps, and augers, with two or three 
novelties, invented by Jimmy himself, in which he took pride. 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


Over nine hundred dollars ihey had cost him to have made 
at i a place where they mske such things for the profes- 
sion. ' 

In half an hour Jimmy went down stairs and through the 
caf6. He was now dressed in tasteful and well-fitting clothes, 
and carried his dusted and cleaned suit-case in his hand. 

^'Oot anything onT" asked Mike Dolan, genially. 

*'Met^' said Jimmy, in a puzzled tone. '*! don't under- 
stand. I 'm representing the New York Amalgamated Short 
Snap Biscuit Cracker and Frazzled Wheat Company." 

This statement delighted Mike to such an extent Uiat Jimmy 
had to take a seltzer-and-milk on the spot. He never touched 
'*hard'' drinks. 

A week after the release of Valentine, 9762, there was a 
neat job of safe-burglary done in Bichmond, Indiana, with 
no clue to the author. A scant eight hundred dollars was 
all that was secured. Two weeks after that a patented, im- 
proved, burglar-proof safe in Logansport was opened like 
a cheese to the tune of fifteen hundred dollars, currency; se- 
curities and silver untouched. That began to interest the 
rogue-catchers. Then an old-fashioned bank-safe in Jefferson 
City became active and threw out of its crater an eruption 
of bank-notes amounting to five thousand dollars. The losses 
were now high enough to bring the matter up into Ben Price's 
class of work. By comparing notes, a remarkable similarity 
in the methods of the burglaries was noticed. Ben Price in- 
vestigated the scenes of the robberies, and was heard to re- 

''That 's Dandy Jim Valentine's autograph. He 's resumed 
business. Look at that combination knob — ^jerked out as easy 
as pulling up a radish in wet weather. He 's got the only 
clamps that can do it. And look how clean those tumblers 
were punched out! Jimmy never has to drill but one hole. 
Yes, I guess I want Mr. Valentine. He 11 do his bit next 
time without any short-time or clemency foolishness.'' 

Ben Price knew Jimmy's habits. He had learned item 
while working up the Springfield case. Long jumps, quick 
get-aways, no confederates, and a taste for good society- 
Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 

0. HENRY 216 

these ways had helped Mr. Yalentme to become noted as a 
successful dodger of retribution. It was given out that Ben 
Price had taken up the trail of the elusive cracksman, and 
other people with burglar-proof safes felt more at ease. 

One afternoon Jimmy Valentine and his suit-case climbed 
out of the mail-hack in Elmore, a little town five miles off the 
railroad down in the black-jack country of Arkansas. Jimmy, 
looking like an athletic young senior just home from college, 
went down the board side-walk toward the hotel. 

A young lady crossed the street, passed him at the comer 
and entered a door over which was the sign ''The Elmore 
Bank.'* Jimmy Valentine looked into her eyes, forgot what 
he was, and became another man. She lowered her eyes and 
colored slightly. Young men of Jimmy ^s style and looks 
were scarce in Elmore. 

Jimmy collared a boy that was loafing on the steps of the 
bank as if he were one of the stockholders, and began to 
question him about the town, feeding him dimes at intervals. 
By and by the young lady came out, looking royally uneon- 
scious of the young man with the suit-case, and went her 

**Isn*t that young lady Miss Polly Simpson?" asked 
Jimmy, with specious guile. 

**Naw,'' said the boy. **She 's Annabel Adams. Her pa 
owns this bank. What 'd you come to Elmore for? Is that 
a gold watch-chain? I 'm going to get a bulldog. Oot aiiy 
more dimes?'' 

Jiromy went to the Planters' Hotel, registered as Balph 
D. Spencer, and engaged a room. He leaned on the desk and 
declared his platform to the clerk. He said he had come to 
Elmore to look for a location to go into business. How, was 
the shoe business, now, in the town? He had thought of the 
shoe business. Was there an opening? 

The clerk was impressed by the clothes and manner of 
Jimmy. He, himself, was something of a pattern of fashion 
to the thinly gilded youth of Elmore, but he now perceived 
his shortcomings. V^le trying to figure out Jimmy's man- 
ner of tying his four-in-hand he cordially gave information. 

Digitized by VjOO*2 l^ 


Yes, there ought to be a good opening in the shoe line. 
There wasn't an exclusive shoe-store in the place. The dry- 
goods and general stores handled them. Business in all lines 
was fairly good. Hoped Mr. Spencer would decide to locate 
in Elmore. He would find it a pleasant town to live in, and 
the people very sociable. 

Mr. Spencer thought he would stop over in the town a few 
days and look over the situation. No, the clerk needn't call 
the boy. He would carry up his suit-case, himself; it waf 
rather heavy. 

Mr. Ralph Spencer, the phoenix that arose from Jimmy Val- 
entine's ashes — ^ashes left by the flame of a sudden and altera- 
tive attack of love — ^remained in Elmore, and prospered. He 
opened a shoe-store and secured a good run of trade. 

Socially he was also a success, and made many friends. 
And he accomplished the wish of his heart. He met Miss 
Annabel Adams, and became more and more captivated by 
her charms. 

At the end of a year the situation of Mr. Ralph Spencer was 
this : he had won the respect of the community, his shoe-store 
was flourishing, and he and Annabel were engaged to be mar- 
ried in two weeks. Mr. Adams, the typical, plodding, country 
banker, approved of Spencer. Annabel's pride in him almost 
equalled her affection. He was as much at home in the family 
of Mr. Adams and that of Annabel's married sister as if he 
were already a member. 

One day Jimmy sat down in his room and wrote this letter, 
which he mailed to the safe address of one of his old friends 
in St. Louis : 

Deab Om) Pal: 

I want you to be at Sullivan's place, in Little Rock, next Wednes- 
day night, at nine o'clock. I want you to wind up some little mat- 
ters for me. And, also, I want to make you a present of my kit of 
tools. I know you'll be glad to get them — ^you couldn't duplicate 
the lot for a thousand dollars. Say, Billy, I Ve quit the old business 
— a year ago. I Ve got a nice store. I 'm making an honest living, 
and I 'm going to marry the finest girl on earth two weeks from now. 
It 's tbe only life, Billy — the straight one. I would n't touch a dollar 
of another man's money now for a milhon. After I get married 

Digitized by V^jOOQK 

0. HENRY 217 

1 'm going to sell out and go West, where there woa^t be so much 
danger of having old scores brought up against me. I tell you, 
Billy, she's an angeL She believes in me; and I wouldn't do an- 
other crooked thing for the whole world. Be sure to be at Sully's, 
for I must see you. I 'U bring the tools with me. 

Your old friend, 


On the Monday night after Jimmy wrote this letter, Ben 
Price jogged unobtrusively into Elmore in a livery buggy. 
He lounged about town in his quiet way until he found out 
what he wanted to know. From the drug-store across the 
street from Spencer's shoe-store he got a good look at Balph 
D. Spencer. 

** Going to marry the banker's daughter are you, Jimmy?" 
said Ben to himself, softly. ' ' Well, I don 't know ! ' ' 

The next morning Jimmy took breakfast at the Adamses. 
He was going to Little Bock that day to order his wedding- 
suit and buy something nice for Annabel. That would be the 
first time he had left town since he came to Elmore. It had 
been more than a year now since those last professional 
*' jobs," and he thought he could safely venture out. 

After breakfast quite a family party went downtown 
together — ^Mr. Adams, Annabel, Jimmy, and Annabel's mar- 
ried sister with her two little girls, aged five and nine. They 
came by the hotel where Jimmy still boarded, and he ran up 
to his room and brought along his suit-case. Then they went 
on to the bank. There stood Jimmy's horse and buggy and 
Dolph Gibson, who was going to drive him over to the railroad 

All went inside the high, carved oak railings into the 
banMng-room — Jimmy included, for Mr. Adams's future son- 
in-law was welcome anywhere. The clerks were pleased to 
be greeted by the good-looking, agreeable young man who was 
going to marry Miss Annabel. Jimmy set his suit-case down. 
Annabel, whose heart was bubbling with lively youth, put on 
Jimmy's hat, and picked up the suit-case. ** Would n't I make 
a nice drummer?" said Annabel. "My! Ralph, how heavy it 
is? Feels like it was full of gold bricks." 




''Lot of nickel-plated shoe-horns in there/' said Jimmy, 
coolly, **that I 'm going to return. Thought I 'd save ex- 
press charges by taking them up. I 'm getting awfully 

The Elmore Bank had just put in a new safe and vault. 
Mr. Adams was very proud of it, and insisted on an inspection 
by every one. The vault was a small one, but it had a new, 
patented door. It fastened with three solid steel bolts thrown 
simultaneously with a single handle, and had a time-lock. 
Mr. Adams beamingly explained its workings to Mr. Spencer, 
who showed a courteous but not too intelligent interest. The 
two children, May and Agatha, were delighted by the shining 
metal and funny clock and knobs. 

While they were thus engaged Ben Price sauntered in and 
leaned on his elbow, looking casually inside between the rail- 
ings. He told the teller that he did n 't want anything ; he was 
just waiting for a man he knew. 

Suddenly there was a scream or two from the women, and a 
commotion. Unperceived by the elders. May, the nine-year- 
old girl, in a spirit of play, had shut Agatha in the vault. She 
had then shot the bolts and turned the knob of the combination 
as she had seen Mr. Adams do. 

The old banker sprang to the handle and tugged at it for a 
moment. **The door can't be opened,'* he groaned. "The 
clock hasn't been wound nor the combination set" 

Agatha's mother screamed again, hysterically. 

"Hush!" said Mr. Adams, raising his trembling hand. 
"All be quiet for a moment. Agatha !" he called as loudly as 
he could. "Listen to me." During' Vftie following silence 
they could just hear the faint sound of the child wildly 
shrieking in the dark vault in a panic of terror. 

"My precious darling!" wailed the mother. "She will die 
of fright! Open the door I Oh, break it open I Can't you 
men do something?" 

"There isn't a man nearer than Little Bock who can open 
that door," said Mr. Adams, in a shaky voice. "My God! 
Spencer, what shall we dof That child— she can't stand it 



0. HENRY 219 

long in there. There isn't enough air, and, besides, she '11 
go into convulsions from fright/' 

Agatha's mother, frantic now, beat the door of the vault 
with her hands. Somebody wildly suggested dynamite. An- 
nabel turned to Jimmy, her lai^e eyes full of anguish, but not 
yet despairing. To a woman nothing seems quite impossible 
to the powers of the man she worships. 

''Can't you do something, Ralph — try, won't you?" 

He looked at her with a queer, soft smile on his lips and in 
his keen eyes. 

'•Annabel," he said, ''give me that rose you are wearing, 
will you?" 

Hardly believing that she heard him aright, she unpinned 
the bud from the bosom of her dress, and placed it in his 
hand. Jimmy stuffed it into his vest-pocket, threw off his 
coat and pulled up his shirt-sleeves. With that act Ralph 
D. Spencer passed away and Jimmy Valentine took his 

"Get away from the door, all of you," he commanded, 

He set his suit-case on the table, and opened it out flat. 
From that time on he seemed to be unconscious of the pres- 
ence of any one else. He laid out the shining, queer imple- 
ments swiftly and orderly, whistling softly to himself as he 
always did when at work. In a deep silence and immovable, 
the others watched him as if under a spell. 

In a minute Jimmy's pet drill was biting smoothly into the 
steel door. In ten minutes — ^breaking his own burglarious 
record — ^he threw back the bolts and opened the door. 

Agatha, almost collapsed, but safe, was gathered into her 
mother's arms. 

Jimmy Valentine put on his coat, and walked outside the 
railings toward the front door. As he went he thought he 
heard a far-away voice that he once knew call "Ralph!" 
But he never hesitated. 

At the door a big man stood somewhat in his way. 

"Hello, Ben!" said Jimmy, still with his strange smile. 




''Got around at last, have yout Well, let 's go. I don't 
know that it makes much difference, now." 

And then Ben Price acted rather strangely. 

** Guess you ^re mistaken, Mr. Spencer," he said. ''Don't 
believe I recognize you. You 're buggy 's waiting for you, 
ain't it?" 

And Ben Price turned and strolled down the street. 




It was a sunny morning, and I was on my way to Torcello. 
Venice lay behind us a dazzling line, with towers of gold 
against the blue lagoon. All at once a breeze sprang up from 
the sea ; the small, feathery islands seemed to shake and quiver, 
and, like leaves driven before a gale, those flocks of colored 
butterflies, the fishing-boats, Van in before the storm. Far 
away to our left stood the ancient tower of Altinum, with the 
island of Burano a bright pink beneath the towering clouds. 
To our right, and much nearer, was a small cypress-covered 
islet. One large umbrella-pine hung close to the sea, and 
behind it rose the tower of the convent church. The two 
gondoliers consulted together in hoarse cries and decided to 
make for it. 

**It is San Francesco del Deserto," the elder explained to 
me. **It belongs to the little brown brothers, who take no 
money and are very kind. One would hardly believe these 
ones had any religion, they are such a simple people, and they 
live on fish and the vegetables they grow in their garden.*' 

We fought the crooked little waves in silence after that; 
only the high prow rebelled openly against its sudden twistings 
and turnings. The arrowy-shaped gondola is not a structure 
made for the rough jostling of waves, and the gondoliers put 
forth all their strength and skill to reach the tiny haven 
under the convent wall. As we did so, the black bars of 
cloud rushed down upon us in a perfect deluge of rain, and 
we ran speechless and half drowned across the tossed field of 
grass and forget-me-nots to the convent door. A shivering 
beggar sprang up from nowhere and insisted on ringing the 
bell for us. 

The door opened, and I saw before me a young brown 





brother with the merriest eyes I have ever seen. They were 
unshadowed, like a child 's^ dancing and eager, and yet there 
was a strange gentleness and patience about him, too, as if 
there was no hurry even about his eagerness. 

He was very poorly dressed and looked thin. I think he 
was charmed to see us, though a little shy, like a hospitable 
country hostess anxious to give pleasure, but afraid that she 
has not much to offer citizens of a larger world. 

**What a tempest!" he exclaimed. **You have come at a 
good hour. Enter, enter, Signore! And your men, will they 
not come in r* 

We found ourselves in a very small rose-red cloister; in 
the middle of it was an old well under the open sky, but above 
us was a sheltering roof spanned by slender arches. The- 
young monk hesitated for a moment, smiling from me to the 
two gondoliers. I think it occurred to him that we should like 
different entertainment, for he said at last: 

** You men would perhaps like to sit in the porter's lodge for 
a while f Our Brother Lorenzo is there ; he is our chief fisher- 
man, with a great knowledge of the lagoons; and he could 
light a fire for yoti to dry yourselves by — Signori. And you, 
if I mistake not, are English, are you not, Signoret It is 
probable that you would like to see our chapel. It is not 
much. We are very proud of it, but that, you know, is 
because it was founded by our blessM father. Saint Francis. 
He believed in poverty, and we also believe in it, but it does 
not give much for people to see. That is a misfortune, to 
come all this way and to see nothing." Brother Leo looked 
at me a little wistfully. I think he feared that I should be 
disappointed. Then he passed before me with swift, eager 
feet toward the little chapel. 

It was a very little chapel and quite bare; behind the altar 
some monks were chanting an office. It was clean, and there 
were no pictures or images, only, as I knelt there, I felt as if 
the little island in its desert of waters had indeed secreted some 
vast treasure, and as if the chapel, empty as it had seemed at 
first, was full of invisible possessions. As for Brother Leo, he 
had stood beside me nervously for a moment; but on seeing 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


that I was prepared to kneel, he started, like a bird set free, 
toward the altar steps, where his lithe young impetuosity 
sank into sudden peace. He knelt there so still, so rapt, so 
incased in his listening silence, that he might have been part 
of the stone pavement. Yet his earthly senses were alive, for 
the moment I rose he was at my side again, as patient and 
courteous as ever, though I felt as if his inner ear were listen- 
ing still to some unheard melody. 

We stood again in the pink cloister. ''There is little to 
see,*' he repeated. **We are povereUi; it has been like this 
for seven hundred years. '* He smiled as if that age-long, 
simple service of poverty were a light matter, an excuse, 
perhaps, in the eyes of the citizen of a larger world for their 
having nothing to show. Only the citizen, as he looked at 
Brother Leo, had a sudden doubt as to the size of the world 
outside. Was it as large, half as large, even, as the eager 
young heart beside him which had chosen poverty as a bride t 

The r^ fell monotonously against the stones of the tiny 

''What a tempest!" said Brother Leo, smiling contentedly 
at the sky. "You must come in and see our father. I sent 
word by the porter of your arrival, and I am sure he will 
receive you; that will be a pleasure for him, for he is of the 
great world, too. A very leamM man, our father; he knows 
the French and the English tongue. Once he went to Rome ; 
also he has been several times to Venice. He has been a great 

"And you,'* I asked — "have you also traveled?** 

Brother Leo shook his head. 

"I have sometimes looked at Venice," he said, "across the 
water, and once I went to Burano with the marketing brother; 
otherwise, no, I have not traveled. But being a guest-brother, 
you see, I meet often with those who have, like your Excel- 
lency, for instance, and that is a great education." 

We reached the door of the monastery, and I felt sorry 
when another brother opened to us, and Brother Leo, with the 
most cordial of farewell smiles, turned back across the cloister 
to the chapel door. 




**Even if he does not hurry, he will still find prayer there," 
su^ a quiet voice beside me. 

--^^ turned to look at the speaker. He was a tall old ncian 
with white hair and eyes like small blue flowers, very bright 
and innocent, with the same look of almost superb contentment 
in them that I had seen in Brother Leo's eyes. 

**But what will you havef" he added with a twinkle. 
^'The young are always afraid of losing time; it is, perhaps, 
because they have so much. But enter, Signore! If you will 
be so kind as to excuse the refectory, it will give me much 
pleasure to bring you a little refreshment. You will pardon 
that we have not much to offer f 

The father — for I found out afterward that he was the su- 
perior himself — ^brought me bread and wine, made in the con- 
vent, and waited on me with his own hands. Then he sat 
down on a narrow bench opposite to watch me smoke. I 
offered him one of my cigarettes, but he shook his head, 

**I used to smoke once,*' he said. *'I was very particular 
about my tobacco. I think it was similar to yours — at least 
the aroma, which I enjoy very much, reminds me of it. It is 
curious, is it not, the pleasure we derive from remembering 
\frhat we once had? But perhaps it is not altogether a 
pleasure unless one is glad that one has not got it now. Here 
one is free from things. I sometimes fear one may be a little 
indulgent about one's liberty. Space, solitude, and love — 
it is all very intoxicating." 

There was nothing in the refectory except the two narrow 
benches on which we sat, and a long trestled board which 
formed the table; the walls were white-washed and bare, the 
floor was stone. I found out later that the brothers ate and 
drank nothing except bread and wine and their own vegetables 
in season, a little macaroni sometimes in winter, and in sum- 
mer figs out of their own garden. They slept on bare boards, 
with one thin blanket winter and summer alike. The fish they 
caught they sold at Burano or gave to the poor. There was no 
doubt that they enjoyed very great freedom from *' things." 

It was a strange experience to meet a man who never had 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


heard of a flying-machine and who could not understand why 
it was important to save time by using the telephone or the 
wireless-telegraphy system; but despite the fact that the 
father seemed very little impressed by our modern urgencies, 
I never have met a more intelligent listener or one who seized 
more quickly on all that was essential in an explanation. 

** You must not think we do nothing at all, we lazy ones who 
follow old paths," he said in answer to one of my questions. 
** There are only eight of us brothers, and there is the garden, 
fishing, cleaning, and praying. We are sent for, too, from 
Bur^no to go and talk a little with the people there, or from 
some island on the lagoons which perhaps no priest can reach 
in the winter. It is easy for us, with our little boat and no 

**But Brother Leo told me he had been to Burano only 
once, ' ' said the father, and for a moment or two he was silent, 
and I found his blue eyes on mine, as if he were weighing me. 

''Brother Leo," said the superior at last, *'is our youngest. 
He is very young, younger perhaps than his years; but we 
have brought him up altogether, you see. His parents died 
of cholera within a few days of each other. As there were no 
relatives, we took him, and when he was seventeen he decided 
to join our order. He has always been happy with us, but one 
cannot say that he has seen much of the world." He paused 
again, and once more I felt his blue eyes searching mine. 
* ' Who knows ? " he said finally. * ' Perhaps you were sent here 
to help me. I have prayed for two years on the subject, and 
that seems very likely. The storm is increasing, and you 
will not be able to return until to-morrow. This evening, if 
you will allow me, we will speak more on this matter. Mean- 
while I will show you our spare room. Brother Lorenzo will 
see that you are made as comfortable as we can manage. It 
is a great privilege for us to have this opportunity; believe 
me, we are not ungrateful." 

It would have been of no use to try to explain to him that 
it was for us to feel gratitude. It was apparent that none of 
the brothers had ever learned that important lesson of the 
worldly respectable — that duty is what other people ought to 




do. They were so busy thinking of their own obligations as 
to overlook entirely the obligations of others. It was not 
that they did not think of others. I think they thought only 
of one another, but they thought without a shadow of judg- 
menty with that bright, spontaneous love of little children, too 
interested to poiut a moral. Indeed, they seemed to me very 
like a family of happy children listening to a fairy-story and 
knowing that the tale is true. 

After supper the superior took me to his office. The rain 
had ceased, but the wind howled and shrieked across the 
lagoons, and I could hear the waves breaking heavily against 
the island. There was a candle on the desk, and the tiny, 
shadowy cell looked like a picture by Rembrandt. 

^^The rain has ceased now," the father said quietly, ^^and 
to-morrow the waves will have gone down, and you, Signore, 
will have left us. It is in your power to do us all a great 
favor. I have thought mudi whether I shall ask it of you, 
and even now I hesitate ; but Scripture nowhere tells us that 
the kingdom of heaven was taken by precaution, nor do I 
imagine that in this world things come of tenest to those who 
ref raiQ from asking. 

** All of us," he continued, **have come here after seeing 
something of the outside world; some of us even had great 
possessions. Leo alone knows nothing of it, and has x)ossessed 
nothing, nor did he ever wish to; he has been willing that 
nothing should be his own, not a flower in the garden, not any- 
thing but his prayers, and even these I think he has oftenest 
shared. But the visit to Burano put an idea in his head. 
It is, perhaps you know, a factory town where they make 
lace, and the people live there with good wages, many of them, 
but also much poverty. There is a poverty which is a grace, 
but there is also a poverty which is a great misery, and this 
Leo never had seen before. He did not know that poverty 
could be a pain. It filled him with a great horror, and in his 
heart there was a certain rebellion. It seemed to him that in 
a world with so much money no one should suffer for the lack 
of it. 

'^It was useless for me to point out to him that jn a world 




where there is so much health God has permitted sickness; 
where there is so much beauty, ugliness; where there is so 
much holiness, sin. It is not that there is any lack in the gifts 
of Ood; all are there, and in abundance, but He has left their 
distribution to the soul of man. It is easy for me to believe 
this. I have known what money can buy and what it cannot 
buy; but Brother Leo, who never has owned a penny, how 
should he know anything of the ways of pennies? 

^'I saw that he could not be contented with my answer; and 
then this other idea came to him — ^the idea that is, I think, the 
blessM hope of youth : that this thing being wrong, he, Leo, 
must protest against it, must resist it ! Surely, if money can 
do wonders, we who set ourselves to work tiie will of Qod 
should have more control of this wonder-working power? He 
fretted against his rule. He did not permit himself to believe 
that our blessed father. Saint Francis, was wrong, but it was 
a hardship for him to refuse alms from our kindly visitors. 
He thought the beggars' rags would be made whole by gold; 
he wanted to give them more than bread, he wanted, poverinol 
to buy happiness for the whole world. ' ' 

The father paused, and his dark, thought-lined face lighted 
up with a sudden, beautiful smile till every feature seemed as 
young as his eyes. 

**I do not think the human being ever has lived who has not 
thought that he ought to have happiness," he said. **We 
begin at once to get ready for heaven; but heaven is a long 
way off. We make haste slowly. It takes us all our lives, 
and perhaps purgatory, to get to the bottom of our own hearts. 
That is the last place in which we look for heaven, but I think 
it is the first in which we shall find it.*' 

*'But it seems to me extraordinary that, if Brother Leo has 
this thing so much on his mind, he should look so happy,'* I 
exclaimed. **That is the first thing I noticed about him.** 

"Yes, it is not for himself that he is searching,'* said the 
superior. **If it were, I should not wish him to go out into 
the world, because I should not expect him to find anything 
there. His heart is utterly at rest; but though he is person- 
ally happy, this thing troubles him. His prayers are eating 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


into his sonl like flame, and in time this fire of pity and sor- 
row will become a serious menace to his peace. Besides, I see 
in Leo a great power of sympathy and understanding. He has 
in him the gift of rulii^ other souls. He is very young to 
rule his own soul, and yet he rules it. When I die, it is prob- 
able that he will be called to take my place, and for that it 
is necessary he should have seen clearly that our rule is 
right. At present he accepts it in obedience, but he must have 
more than obedience in order to teach it to others; he must 
have a personal light. 

**This, then, is the favor I have to ask of you, Signore. I 
should like to have you take Brother Leo to Venice to-morrow, 
and, if you have the time at your disposal, I should like you to 
show him the towers, the churches, the palaces, and the poor 
who are still so poor. I wish him to see how people spend 
money, both the good and the bad. I wish him to see the 
world. Perhaps then it will come to him as it came to me — 
that money is neither a curse nor a blessing in itself, but only 
one of God's mysteries, like the dust in a sunbeam." 

' ' I will take him very gladly ; but will one day be enough ? ' ' 
I answered. 

The superior arose and smiled again. 

*'Ah, we slow worms of earth," he said, *'are quick about 
some tilings! You have learned to save time by flying- 
machines; we, too, have certain methods of flight. Brother 
Leo learns all his lessons that way. I hardly see him start 
before he arrives. You must not think I am so myself. No, 
no. I am an old man who has lived a long life learning noth- 
ing, but I have seen Leo grow like a flower in a tropic night. I 
thank you, my friend, for this great favor. I think God will 
reward you." 

Brother Lorenzo took me to my bedroom; he was a talk- 
ative old man, very anxious for my comfort. He told me that 
there was an office in the chapel at two o'clock, and one at 
five to begin the day, but he hoped that I should deep through 

''They are all very well for us," he explained, '*but for a 
stranger, what cold, what disturbance, and what a difficulty 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


to arrange the right thoughts in the head during chapel! 
Even for me it is a great temptation. I find my mind run- 
ning on coffee in the morning, a thing we have only on great 
feast-days. I may say that I have fought this thought for 
seven years, but though a small devil, perhaps, it is a very 
strong one. Now, if you should hear our bell in the night, as 
a favor pray that I may not think about coffee. Such an im- 
perfection ! I say to myself, the sin of Esau ! But he, you 
know, had some excuse; he had been hunting. Now, I ask 
you — one has not much chance of that on this little island ; one 
has only one's sins to hunt, and, alas ! they don't run away as 
fast as one could wish ! I am afraid they are tame, these ones. 
May your Excellency sleep like the blessed saints, only a trifle 
longer 1" 

I did sleep a trifle longer; indeed, I was quite unable to 
assist Brother Lorenzo to resist his coffee devil during chapel- 
time. I did not wake till my tiny cell was flooded with sun- 
shine and full of the sound of St. Francis's birds. Through 
my window I could see the fishing-boats pass by. First came 
one with a pair of lemon-yellow sails, like floating primroses ; 
then a boat as scarlet as a dancing flame, and half a dozen 
others painted some with jokes and some with incidents in 
the lives of patron saints, all gliding out over the blue lagoon 
to meet the golden day. 

I rose, and from my window I saw Brother Leo in the gar- 
den. He was standing under St. Francis's tree — the old 
gnarled umbrella-pine which hung over the convent-wall above 
the water by the island's edge. His back was toward me, 
and he was looking out over the blue stretch of lagoon into 
the distance, where Venice lay like a moving cloud at the 
horizon's edge; but a mist hid her from his eyes, and while I 
watched him he turned back to the garden-bed and began pull- 
ing out weeds. The gondoliers were already at the tiny pier 
when I came out. 

*'Per Bacco, Signoret''^ the elder explained. **Let us 
hasten back to Venice and make up for the Lent we have had 
here. The brothers gave us all they had, the holy ones — ^a 
little wine, a little bread, cheese that couldn't fatten one's 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


grandmother^ and no macaroni — ^not so much as would go 
round a baby's tongue! For my part, I shall wait till I get 
to heaven to fast, and pay some attention to my stomach while 
I have one." And he spat on his hands and looked toward 

**And not an image in the chapel!" agreed the younger 
man. ^'Why, there is nothing to pray to but the Signore Dio 
Himself! Veramente, Signore, you are a witness that I 
speak nothing but the truth." 

The father superior and Leo appeared at this moment down 
the path between the cypresses. The father gave me thanks 
and spoke in a friendly way to the gondoliers, who for their 
part expressed a very pretty gratitude in their broad Venetian 
patois, one of them saying that the hospitality of the monks 
had been like paradise itself, and the other hasting to agree 
with him. 

The two monks did not speak to each other, but as the gon- 
dolier turned the huge prow toward Venice, a long look passed 
between them — such a look as a father and son might exchange 
if the son were going out to war, while his father, remember- 
ing old campaigns, was yet bound to stay at home. 

It was a glorious day in early June ; the last traces of the 
storm had vanished from the serene, still waters; a vague 
curtain of heat and mist hung and shimmered between our- 
selves and Venice ; far away lay the little islands in the lagoon, 
growing out of the water like strange sea-flowers. Behind us 
stood San Francesco del Deserto, with long reflections of its 
one pink tower and arrowy, straight cypresses, soft under the 
blue water. 

The father superior walked slowly back to the convent, his 
brown-clad flgure a shining shadow between the two black rows 
of cypresses. Brother Leo waited till he had disappeared, 
then turned his eager eyes toward Venice. 

As we approached the city the milky sea of mist retreated, 
and her towers sprang up to greet us. I saw a look in Brother 
Leo's eyes that was not fear or wholly pleasure; yet there 
was in it a certain awe and a strange, tentative joy, as if 























something in him stretched out to greet the world. He mut- 
tered half to himself : 

**What a great world, and how many children U Signore 

When we reached the piazzetta, and he looked up at the 
amazing splendor of the ducal palace, that building of soft 
yellow, with its pointed arches and double loggias of white 
marble, he spread out both hands in an ecstasy. 

**But what a miracle !^' he cried. ** What a joy to Qod and 
to His angels ! How I wish my brothers could see this ! Do 
you not imagine that some good man was taken to paradise to 
see this great building and brought back here to copy it!" 

^^Chi lo saf" I replied guardedly, and we landed by the 
column of the Lion of St. Mark's. That noble beast, astride 
on his pedestal, with wings outstretched, delighted the young 
monk, who walked round and round him. 

"What a tribute to the saint !'* he exclaimed. *'Look, they 
have his wings, too. Is not that faith!" 

*'Come," I said, **let us go on to Saint Mark's. I think 
yon would like to go there first; it is the right way to begin 
our pilgrimage." 

The piazza was not very full at that hour of the morning, 
and its emptiness increased the feeling of space and size. 
The pigeons wheeled and circled to and fro, a dazzle of soft 
plumage, and the cluster of golden domes and sparkling 
minarets glittered in the sunshine like flames. Every image 
and statue on St. Mark's wavered in great lines of light like 
a living pageant in a sea of gold. 

Brother Leo said nothing as he stood in front of the three 
great doorways that lead into the church. He stood quite 
still for a while, and then his eyes fell on a beggar beside the 
pink and cream of the new campanile, and I saw the wistful- 
ness in his eyes suddenly grow as deep as pain. 

**Have you money, Signore?" he asked me. That seemed 
to him the only question. I gave the man something, but I 
explained to Brother Leo that he was probably not so poor as 
he looked. 




**They live in rags," I explained, ** because they wish to 
arouse pity. Many of them need not beg at all." 

**Is it possible?" asked Brother Leo, gravely; then he fol- 
lowed me under the brilliant doorways of mosaic which lead 
into the richer dimness of St. Mark's. 

When he found himself within that great incrusted jewel, 
he fell on his knees. I think he hardly saw the golden roof, 
the jeweled walls, and the five lifted domes full of sunshine 
and old gold, or the dark altars, with their mysterious, rich 
shimmering. All these seemed to pass away beyond the sense 
of sight; even I felt somehow as if those great walls of St. 
Mark's were not so great as I had fancied. Something 
greater was kneeling there in an old habit and with bare feet, 
half broken-hearted because a beggar had lied. 

I found myself regretting the responsibility laid on my 
shoulders. Why should I have been compelled to take this 
strangely innocent, sheltered boy, with his fantastic third- 
century ideals, out into the shoddy, decorative, unhappy 
world 1 I even felt a kind of anger at the simplicity of his 
soul. I wished he were more like other people; I suppose 
because he had made me wish for a moment that I was less 
like them. 

''What do you think of Saint Mark's!" I asked him as we 
stood once more in the hot sunshine outside, with the strutting 
pigeons at our feet and wheeling over our heads. 

Brother Leo did not answer for a moment, then he said : 

**I think Saint Mark would feel it a little strange. You 
see, I do not think he was a great man in the world, and the 
great in paradise — " He stooped and lifted a pigeon with a 
broken foot nearer to some corn a passer-by was throwing for 
the birds. **I cannot think," he finished gravely, ''that they 
care very much for palaces in paradise ; I should think every 
one had them there or else — ^nobody." 

I was surprised to see the pigeons that wheeled away at 
my approach allow the monk to handle them, but they seemed 
unaware of his touch. 

**Poverino!" he said to the one with the broken foot. 
** Thank God that He has given you wings!" 




Brother Leo spoke to every child he met, and they all 
answered him as if there was a secret freemasonry between 
them; but the grown-up people he passed with troubled eyes. 

**It seems strange to me/' he said at last, *'not to speak to 
these brothers and sisters of ours, and yet I see all about me 
that they do not salute one another." 

''They are many, and they are all strangers," I tried to 

''Yes, they are very many," he said a little sadly. "I had 
not known that there were so many people in the world, and 
I thought that in a Christian country they would not be 

^ I took another gondola by the nearest bridge, and we rowed 
to the Frari. I hardly knew what effect that great church, 
with its famous Titian, would have upon him. A group of 
tourists surrounded the picture. I heard a young lady ex- 

"My! but I 'd like her veil ! Ain't she cute, looking round 
it that way!" 

Brother Leo did not pause; he passed as if by instinct 
toward the chapel on the right which holds the softest, tender- 
est of Bellinis. There, before the Madonna with her four 
saints and two small attendant cherubs, he knelt again, and 
his eyes filled with tears. I do not think he heard the return 
of the tourists, who were rather startled at seeing him there. 
The elder lady remarked that he might have some 'infectious 
disease, and the younger that she did not think much of 
Bellini, anyway. 

He knelt for some time, and I had not the heart to dis- 
turb him; indeed, I had no wish to, either, for Bellini's "Ma- 
donna" is my favorite picture, and that morning I saw in it 
more than I had ever seen before. It seemed to me as if that 
triumphant, mellow glow of the great master was an eternal 
thing, and as if the saints and their gracious Lady, with the 
stalwart, standing Child upon her knee, were more real than 
flesh and blood, and would still be more real when flesh and 
blood had ceased to be. I never have recaptured the feeling; 
perhaps there was something infectious about Brother Leo, 

Digitized by VjOO^K:! 


after all. He made no comment on the Madonna, nor did I 
expect one, for we do not need to assert that we find the 
object of our worship beautiful ; but I was amused at his calm 
refusal to look upon the great Titian as a Madonna at all. 

**No, no," he said firmly. **This one is no doubt some 
good and gracious lady, but the Madonna ! Signore, you jest. 
Or, if the painter thought so, he was deceived by the devil. 
Yes, that is very possible. The father has often told us that 
artists are exposed to great temptations : their eyes see para- 
dise before their souls have reached it, and that is a great 

I said no more, and we passed out into the street again. I 
felt ashamed to say that I wanted my luncheon, but I did say 
so, and it did not seem in the least surprising to Brother Leo ; 
he merely drew out a small wallet and offered me some bread, 
which he said the father had given him for our needs. 

I told him that he must not dream of eating that ; he was 
to come and dine with me at my hotel. He replied that he 
would go wherever I liked, but that really he would prefer 
to eat his bread unless indeed we were so fortunate as to find 
a beggar who would like it. However, we were not so fortu- 
nate, and I was compelled to eat my exceedingly substantial 
five-course luncheon while my companion sat opposite me and 
ate his half -loaf of black bread with what appeared to be appe- 
tite and satisfaction. 

He asked me a great many questions about what everything 
in the room was used for and what everything cost, and ap- 
peared very much surprised at my answers. 

**This, then," he said, **is not like all the other houses in 
Venice? Is it a special house — ^perhaps for the English 

I explained to him that most houses contained tables and 
chairs; that this, being a hotel, was in some ways even less 
furnished than a private house, though doubtless it was larger 
and was arranged with a special eye to foreign requirements. 

"But the poor — they do not live like this!" Leo asked. I 
had to own that the poor did not. **But the people here are 
rich!" Leo persisted. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


**Well, yes, I suppose so, tolerably well off,'' I admitted. 

**How miserable they must be!*' exclaimed Leo, compas- 
sionately. * 'Are they not allowed to give away their money t ' ' 

This seemed hardly the way to approach the question of the 
rich and the poor, and I do not know that I made it any better 
by an after-dinner exposition upon capital and labor. I 
finished, of course, by saying that if the rich gave to the poor 
to-day, there would still be rich and poor to-morrow. It did 
not sound very convincing to me, and it did nothing whatever 
to convince Brother Leo. 

**That is perhaps true," he said at last. **One would not 
wish, however, to give all into unready hands like that poor 
beggar this morning who knew no better than to pretend in 
order to get more money. No, that would be the gift of a 
madman. But could not the rich use their money in trust for 
the poor, and help and teach them little by little till they 
learned how to share their labor and their wealth? But you 
know how ignorant am I who speak to you. It is probable 
that this is what is already being done even here now in Venice 
and all over the world. It would not be left to a little one 
like me to think of it. What an idea for the brothers at home 
to laugh at!" 

**Some people do think these things," I admitted. 

*'But do not all?" asked Brother Leo, incredulously. 

**No, not all," I confessed. 

**AndiamoI'' said Leo, rising resolutely. **Let us pray to 
the Madonna. What a vexation it must be to her and to all 
the blessed saints to watch the earth ! It needs the patience 
of the Blessed One Himself, to bear it." 

In the Palazzo Giovanelli there is one of the loveliest of 
Oiorgiones. It is called "His Family," and it represents a 
beautiful nude woman with her child and her lover. It 
seemed to me an outrage that this young brother should know 
nothing of the world, of life. I was determined that he 
should see this picture. I think I expected Brother Leo to 
be shocked when he saw it. I know I was surprised that he 
looked at it — at the serene content of earth, its exquisite ulti- 
mate satisfaction — a long time. Then he said in an awed voice : 

Digitized by VjOO*2 l^ 


**It is SO beautiful that it is strange any one in all the world 
can doubt the love of God who gave it. ' ' 

'*Have you ever seen anything more beautiful; do you be- 
lieve there is an3rthing more beautiful T' I asked rather 

**Yes," said Brother Leo, very quietly; *Hhe love of God 
is more beautiful, only that cannot be painted/' 

After that I showed him no more pictures, nor did I try 
to make him understand life. I had an idea that he under- 
stood it already rather better than I did. 

When I took him back to the piaziza, it was getting on 
toward sunset, and we sat at one of the little tables at 
Florian's, where I drank coffee. We heard the band and 
watched the slow-moving, good-natured Venetian crowd, and 
the pigeons winging their perpetual flight. 

All the light of the gathered day seemed to fall on the 
great golden church at the end of the piazza. Brother Leo 
did not look at it very much ; his attention was taken up com- 
• pletely in watching the faces of the crowd, and as he watched 
them I thought to read in his face what he had learned in 
that one day in Venice — ^whether my mission had been a suc- 
cess or a failure ; but, though I looked long at that simple and 
childlike face, I learned nothing. 

What is so mysterious as the eyes of a child! 

But I was not destined to part from Brother Leo wholly in 
ignorance. It was as if, in his open kindliness of nature, he 
would not leave me with any unspoken puzzle between us. I 
had been his friend and he told me, because it was the way 
things seemed to him, that I had been his teacher. 

We stood on the piazzetta. I had hired a gondola with two 
men to row him back ; the water was like beaten gold, and the 
horizon the softest shade of pink. 

**This day I shall remember all my life,*' he said, "and you 
in my prayers with all the world — always, always. Only I 
should like to tell you that that little idea of mine, which the 
father told me he had spoken to you about, I see now that it 
is too large for me. I am only a very poor monk. I should 
think I must be the poorest monk God has in all His family of 

Digitized by V^jOOQK 


monks. If He can be patient, surely I can. And it came over 
me while we were looking at all those wonderful things, that 
if money had been the way to save the world, Christ himself 
would have been rich. It was stupid of me. I did not re- 
member that when he wanted to feed the multitude, he did not 
empty the great granaries that were all his, too ; he took only 
five loaves and two small fishes ; but they were enough. 

**We little ones can pray, and God can change His world. 
Speriamo!^^ He smiled as he gave me his hand — a smile 
which seemed to me as beautiful as anything we had seen 
that day in Venice. Then the high-prowed, black gondola 
glided swiftly out over the golden waters with the little brown 
figure seated in the smallest seat. He turned often to wave 
to me, but I noticed that he sat with his face away from 

He had turned back to San Francesco del Deserto, and I 
knew as I looked at his face that he carried no single small 
regret in his eager heart. 





When Dmmsheugh's grieve was brought to the gates of 
death by fever, caught, as was supposed, on an adventurous 
visit to Glasgow, the London doctor at Lord Ealspindie's shoot- 
ing lodge looked in on his way from the moor, and declared it 
impossible for Saunders to live through the night 

**I give him six hours, more or less; it is only a question 
of time," said the oracle, buttoning his gloves and getting 
into the brake. **Tell your parish doctor that I was sorry 
not to have met him." 

Bell heard this verdict from behind the door, and gave way 
utterly, but Drumsheugh declined to accept it as final, and 
devoted himself to consolation. 

**Dinna greet like that, Bell, wumman, sae lang as Saun- 
ders is still livin'; a 11 never give up houp, for ma pairt, till 
oor ain man says the word. 

*'A' the doctors in the land dinna ken as muckle aboot us as 
Weelum MacLure, an' he 's ill tae beat when he 's tryin' tae 
save a man's life." 

MacLure, on his coming, would say nothing, either weal or 
woe, till he had examined Saunders. Suddenly his face 
turned into iron before their eyes, and he looked like one 
encountering a merciless foe. For there was a feud between 
MacLure and a certain mighty power which had lasted 
for forty years in Drumtochty. 

*'The London doctor said that Saunders wud sough awa' 
afore momin', did he? Weel, he 's an' authority on fevers 
an' sic like diseases, an' ought tae ken. 

iFrom BeMe the Bonnie Brier Bush, Copyright, 1804, by Dodd, 
Mead & Company. 

Digitized by V^jOOQK 


*'It 's may be presumptuous o' me tae differ frae him, and it 
wudna be verra respectfu' o' Saunders tae live aifter this 
opeenion. But Saunders wes aye thraun an* ill tae drive, 
an' he 's as like asf no tae gang his ain gait. 

**A 'm no meanin' tae reflect on sae clever a man, but he 
didna ken the seetuation. He can read fevers like a buik, but 
he never cam' across sic a thing as the Drumtochty constitu- 
tion a' his days. 

'* Ye see, when onybody gets as low as puir Saunders here, 
it 's a juist a hand-to-hand wrastle atween the fever and his 
constitution, an' of coorse, if he hed been a shilpit, stuntit, 
feckless effeegy o' a cratur, fed on tea an' made dishes and 
pushioned wi' bad air, Saunders wud hae nae chance; he wes 
boond tae gae oot like the snuff o' a candle. 

*'But Saunders has been fiUin' his lungs for five and thirty 
year wi' strong Drumtochty air, an' eatin' naethin' but kimy 
aitmeal, and drinkin' naethin' but fresh milk frae the coo, an' 
foUowin' the ploo through the new-turned, sweet-smellin' 
earth, an' swingin' the scythe in haytime and harvest, till 
the legs an' airms o' him were iron, an' his chest wes like the 
cuttin' o' an oak tree. 

'*He 's a waesome sicht the nicht, but Saunders wes a 
buirdly man aince, and wull never lat his life be taken lichtly 
frae him. Na, na; he hesna sinned against Nature, and 
Nature 'ill stand by him noo in his oor o' distress. 

**A' dauma say yea. Bell, muckle as a' wud like, for this is 
an evil disease, cunnin' an' treacherous as the deevil himsel', 
but a' winna say nay, sae keep yir hert frae despair. 

**It wull be a sair fecht, but it 'ill be settled one wy or 
anither by six o'clock the morn's morn. Nae man can 
prophecee hoo it 'ill end, but ae thing is certain, a '11 no see 
Deith tak a Drumtochty man afore his time if a' can help it. 

*^Noo, Bell, ma wumman, yir near deid wi' tire, an' nae 
wonder. Ye 've dune a' ye cud for yir man an' ye. 'ill lippen 
(trust) him the nicht tae Drumsheugh an' me; we 'ill no fail 
him or you. 

' *Lie doon an' rest, an' if it be the wull o' the Almichty a '11 
wauken ye in the momin' tae see a livin', conscious man, an' 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


if it be itherwise a Tl come for ye the suner, Bell," and the 
big red hand went out to the anxious wife. **A' gie ye ma 

Bell leant over the bed, and at the sight of Saunders' face 
a superstitious dread seized her. 

*'See, doctor, the shadow of deith is on him that never lifts. 
A Ve seen it afore, on ma father an' mither. A* eanna leave 
him ; a' canna leave him ! ' ' 

**It 's hoverin', Bell, but it hesna fallen; please God it 
never wull. Gang but and get some sleep, for it 's time we 
were at oor wark. 

'^The doctors in the toons hae nurses an' a' kinds o' handy 
apparatus," said MacLure to Drumsheugh when Bell had 
gone, ''but you an' me 'ill need tae be nurse the nicht, an' 
use sic things as we hev. 

*'It 'ill be a lang nicht and anxious wark, but a' wud raither 
hae ye, auld freend, wi' me than ony man in the Glen. Ye 're 
no feared tae gie a hand?" 

*'Me feared? No likely. Man, Saunders cam' tae me a 
haflin, an' hes beien on Drumsheugh for twenty years, an' 
though he be a dour chiel, he 's a faithfu' servant as ever 
lived. It 's waesome tae see him lyin' there moanin' like some 
dumb animal frae momin' to nicht, an' no able tae answer his 
ain wife when she speaks. 

**Div ye think, Weelum, he hes a chance?" 

''That he hes, at ony rate, and it 'ill no be your blame or 
mine if he hesna mair." 

While he- was speaking, MacLure took off his coat and waist- 
coat and hung them on the back of the door. Then he rolled 
up the sleeves of his shirt and laid bare* two arms that were 
nothing but bone and muscle. 

"It gar'd ma very blood rin faster tae the end of ma fingers 
juist tae look at him," Drumsheugh expatiated afterwards to 
Hillocks, "for a' saw noo that there was tae be a stand-up 
fecht atween him an' Deith for Saunders, and when a' 
thocht o' Bell an' her' bairns, a' kent wha wud win. 

" *Aff wi' yir coat, Drumsheugh,' said MacLure; 'ye 'ill 
need tae bend yir ba<i the nicht; gither a' the pails in the 

Digitized by V^OO*2l^ 


hoose and fill them at the spring, an' a 11 come doon tae help 
ye wi' the carryin'.' " 

It was a wonderful ascent up the steep pathway from the 
spring to the cottage on its little knoil, the two men in single 
file, bareheaded, silent, solemn, each with a pail of water in 
either hand, MacLure limping painfully in front, Drumsheugh 
blowing behind; and when they laid down their burden in 
the sick room, where the bits of furniture had been put to a 
side and a large tub held the centre, Drumsheugh looked curi- 
ously at the doctor. 

"No, a 'm no daft; ye needna be feared; but yir tae get yir 
first lesson in medicine the nicht, an' if we win the battle ye 
can set up for yerser in the Glen. 

''There 's twa dangers — ^that Saunders' strength fails, an' 
that the force o' the fever grows; and we have juist twa 

**Yon milk on the drawers' head an' the bottle of whisky 
is tae keep up the strength, and this cool caller water is tae 
keep doon the fever. 

*'We 'ill cast oot the fever by the virtue o-' the earth an' 
the water." 

' ' Div ye mean tae pit Saunders in the tub t ' ' 

**Ye hiv it noo, Drumsheugh, and that 's hoo a' need yir 

''Man, Hillocks," Drumsheugh used to moralise, as often 
as he remembered that critical night, "it wes humblin' tae see 
how low sickness can bring a pooerfu' man, an' ocht tae keep 
us f rae pride. 

"A month syne there wesna a stronger man in the Glen than 
Saunders, an' noo he wes juist a bundle o' skin and bone, that 
naither saw nor heard, nor moved nor felt, that kent naethin' 
that was dune tae him. 

"Hillocks, a' wudna hae wished ony man tae hev seen Saun- 
ders — for it wull never pass frae before ma een as long as a' 
live — ^but a' wish a' the Glen hed stude by MacLure kneelin' 
on the floor wi' his sleeves up tae his oxters and waitin' on 

"Yon big man wes as pitifu' an' gentle as a wumman, and 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


when he laid the puir fallow in his bed again, he happit him 
ower as a mither dis her bairn." 

Thrice it was done, Drumsheugh ever bringing up colder 
water from the spring, and twice MacLure was silent; but 
after the third time there was a gleam in his eye. 

**We *re haudin' oor ain; we're no bein' maistered, at 
ony rate ; mair a' canna say for three oors. 

^'We 'ill no need the water again, Drumsheugh ; gae oot and 
tak a breath o' air; a 'm on gaird masel'." 

It was the hour before daybreak, and Drumsheugh wan- 
dered through the fields he had trodden since childhood. The 
cattle lay sleeping in the pastures; their shadowy forms, 
with a patch of whiteness here and there, having a weird 
suggestion of death. He heard the bum running over the 
stones; fifty years ago he had made a dam that lasted till 
winter. The hooting of an owl made him start; one had 
frightened him as a boy so that he ran home to his mother — 
she died thirty years ago. The smell of ripe com filled the 
air ; it would soon be cut and garnered. He could see the dim 
outlines of his house, all dark and cold; no one he loved was 
beneath the roof. The lighted window in Saunders' cottage 
told where a man hung between life and death, but love was 
in that home. The futility of life arose before this lonely 
man, and overcame his heart with an indescribable sadness. 
What a vanity was all human labor; what a mystery all 
human life ! 

But while he stood, a subtle change came over the night, and 
the air trembled round him as if one had whispered. Drum- 
sheugh lifted his head and looked eastward. A faint gray 
stole over the distant horizon, and suddenly a cloud reddened 
before his eyes. The sun was not in sight, but was rising, 
and sending forerunners before his face. The cattle began to 
stir, a blackbird burst into song, and before Drumsheugh 
crossed the threshold of Saunders' house, the first ray of the 
sun had broken on a peak of the Grampians. 

MacLure left the bedside, and as the light of the candle fell 
on the doctor's face, Drumsheugh could see that it was going 
well with Saunders. 




^^He 's nae waur; an' it 's half six noo; it 's ower sune tae 
say mair, but a 'm houpin' for the best. Sit doon and take a 
sleep, for ye 're needin' % Dnunsheugh, an', man, ye hae 
worked for it." 

As he dozed off, the last thing Dramsheugh saw was the 
doctor sitting erect in his chair, a clenched fist restii^ on 
the bed, and his eyes already bright with the vision of vic- 

He awoke with a start to find the room flooded with the 
morning sunshine, and every trace of last night's work re- 

The doctor was bending over the bed, and speaking to 

**It 's me, Saunders; Doctor MacLure, ye ken; dinna try 
tae speak or move ; juist let this drap milk slip ower — ye 'iU 
be needin' yir breakfast, lad — and gang tae sleep again." 

Five minutes, and Saunders had fallen into a deep, healthy 
sleep, all tossing and moaning come to an end. Then Mac- 
Lure stepped softly across the floor, picked up his coat and 
waistcoat, and went out at the door. 

Drumsheugh arose and followed him without a word. 
They passed through the little garden, sparkling with dew, 
and beside the byre, where Hawkie rattled her chain, im- 
patient for Bell's coming, and by Saunders' little strip of com 
ready for the scythe, till they reached an open field. There 
they came to a halt, and Dr. MacLure for once allowed him- 
self to go. 

His coat he flung east and his waistcoat west, as far as he 
could hurl them, and it was plain he would have shouted had 
he been a complete mile from Saunders' room. Any less dis- 
tance was useless for adequate expression. He struck Drum- 
sheugh a mighty blow that well-nigh levelled that substantial 
man in the dust, and then the doctor of Drumtochty issued his 

''Saunders wesna tae live through the nicht, but he 's livin' 
this meenut, an' like to live. 

**He 's got by the warst clean and fair, and wi' him that 's 
as good as cure. 




**It 'ill be a graund waukenin' for Bell; she 'ill no be a 
weedow yet, nor the bairnies fatherless. 

''There 's nae use glowerin' at me, Drumsheugh, for a 
body 's daft at a time, an' a' canna contain masel\ and a 'm 
no gaein' tae try." 

Then it dawned upon Drumsheugh that the doctor was 
attempting the Highland fling. 

''He 's ill made, tae begin wi'/' Drumsheugh explained in 
the kirlQ^ard next Sabbath, "and ye ken he 's been terrible 
mishannelled by accidents, sae ye may think what like it wes, 
but, as sure as deith, o' a' the Hielan' flings a' ever saw yon 
wes the bonniest. 

"A' hevna shaken ma ain legs for thirty years, but a' con- 
fess tae a turn masel'. Ye may lauch an' ye like, neeburs, 
but the thocht o' Bell an' the news that wes waitin' her got 
the better o' me." 

Drumtochty did not laugh. Drumtochty looked as if it 
could have done quite otherwise for joy. 

"A' wud hae made a third gin a' hed been there," an- 
nounced Hillocks aggressively. 

"Come on, Drumsheugh," said Jamie Soutar, "gie 's the 
end o't; it wes a michty momin'." 

" 'We're twa auld fules,' says MacLure tae me, as he 
gaithers up his claithes. 'It wud set us better tae be tellin' 

"She was sleepin' on the top o' her bed wrapped in a plaid, 
fair worn oot wi' three weeks* nursin' o' Saunders, but at the 
first touch she was oot upon the floor. 

" ' Is Saunders deein', doctor ? ' she cries. ' Ye promised tae 
wauken me; dinna tell me it 's a' ower.' 

"There 's nae deein' aboot him, Bell; ye 're no tae lose yir 
man this time, sae far as a' can see. Come ben an' jidge for 

"Bell lookit at Saunders, and the tears of joy fell on the 
bed like rain. 

'* 'The shadow 's lifted,' she said; 'he 's come back frae 
the mooth o' the tomb. 

" 'A' prayed last nicht that the Lord wud leave Saunders 




till the laddies cud dae for themselves, an' thae words came 
intae ma mind, **Weepin' may endure for a nicht, but joy 
Cometh in the mornin'.'' 

*' 'The Lord heard ma prayer, and joy hes come in the 
momin V an' she gripped the doctor's hand. 

** ' Ye Ve been the instrument, Doctor MacLure. Ye wudna 
gie him up, and ye did what nae ither cud for him, an' a've ma 
man the day, and the bairns hae their father.' 

*'An' afore MacLure kent what she was daein', Bell lifted 
his hand to her lips an' kissed it." _. 

**Did she, though?" cried Jamie. **Wha wud hae thocht 
there wes as muckle spunk in Bellt" 

''MacLure, of coorse, was clean scandalised," continued 
Drumsheugh, '*an' pooed awa' his hand as if it hed been 

*'Nae man can thole that kind o' fraikin', and a' never 
heard o' sic a thing in the parish, but we maun excuse Bell, 
neeburs; it wes an occasion by ordinar," and Drumsheugh 
made Bell's apology to Drumtochty for such an excess of feel* 

**A' see naethin' tae excuse," insisted Jamie, who was in 
great fettle that Sabbath; **the doctor hes never been bur- 
dened wi' fees, and a'm judgin' he coonted a wumman's 
gratitude that he saved frae weedowhood the best he ever 

**A' gaed up tae the Manse last nicht," concluded Drum- 
sheugh, **an' telt the minister hoo the doctor focht aucht oors 
for Saunders' life, an' won, an' ye never saw a man sae car- 
ried. He walkit up an' doon the room a' the time, and every 
other meenut he blew his nose like a trumpet. 

** *I 've a cold in my head to-night, Drumsheugh,' says he; 
* never mind me.' " 

''A've hed the same masel' in sic circumstances; they come 
on sudden," said Jamie. 

**A' wager there 'ill be a new bit in the laist prayer the 
day, an' somethin' worth hearin'." 

And tBe fathers went into kirk in great expectation. 

"We beseech Thee for such as be sick, that Thy hand may 

Digitized by VjOO^K:! 


be on them for good, and that Thou wouldst restore them 
again to health and strength/' was the familiar petition of 
every Sabbath. 

The congregation waited in a silence that might be heard, 
and were not disappointed that morning, for the minister con- 

''Especially we tender Thee hearty thanks that Then 
didst spare Thy servant who was brought down into the dust 
of death, and hast given him back to his wife and children, 
and unto that end didst wonderfully bless the skill of him who 
goes out and in amongst us, the beloved physician of this 
parish and adjacent districts." 

''Didna a' tell ye, neebursf " said Jamie, as ihey stood at 
the kirkyard gate before dispersing, ''there 's no a man in the 
coonty cud hae dune it better. 'Beloved physician,' an' his 
'skill,' tae, an' bringing in 'adjacent districts'; that 's Olen 
Urtach; it wes handsome, and the doctor earned it, ay, every 

^'It 's an awfu' peety he didna hear yon; but dear knows 
whar he is the day, maist likely up " 

Jamie stopped suddenly at the sound of a horse's feet, and 
there, coming down the avenue of beech trees that made a long 
vista from the kirk gate, they saw the doctor and Jess. 

One thought flashed through the minds of the fathers of 
the commonwealth. 

It ought to be done as he passed, and it would be done if 
it were not Sabbath. Of course it was out of the question 
on Sabbath. 

The doctor is now distinctly visible, riding after his fashion. 

There was never such a chance, if it were only Saturday; 
and each man read his own regret in his neighbour's face. 

The doctor is nearing them rapidly ; they can imagine the 
shepherd's tartan. 

Sabbath or no Sabbath, the Olen cannot let him pass with- 
out some tribute of their pride. 

Jess has recognised friends, and the doctor is drawing 

"It hes tae be dune," said Jamie desperately, "say what 

Digitized by VjOO^ It! 


ye like." Then fhey all looked towards him, and Jamie led. 

''Hurrah!" swinging his Sabbath hat in the air, ''hurrah!" 
and onee more, "hurrah!" Whinnie Knowe, Drumsheugh, and 
Hillocks joining lustily, but Tammas Mitchell carrying all 
before him, for he had found at last an expression for his 
feelings that rendered speech unnecessary. 

It was a solitary experience for horse and rider, and Jess 
bolted without delay. But the sound followed and surrounded 
them, and as they passed the comer of the kirkyard, a figure 
waved his college cap over the wall and gave a cheer on his 
own account. 

"God bless you, doctor, and well done!" 

"If it isna the minister," cried Drumsheugh, "in his goon 
an' bans; tae think o' that; but a' respeck him for it." 

Then Drumtochty became self-conscious and went home in 
confusion of face and unbroken silence, except Jamie Soutar, 
who faced his neighbours at the parting of the ways without 

"A' wud dae it a' ower again if a' hed the chance; he got 
naethin' but his due." 

It was two miles before Jess composed her mind, and the 
doctor and she could discuss it quietly together. 

"A' can hardly believe me ears, Jess, an' the Sabbath tae; 
their verra jidgment hes gane frae the fouk o' Drumtochty. 

"They've heard about Saunders, a'm thinkin', wumman, 
and they 're pleased we brocht him roond; he 's fairly on the 
mend, ye ken, noo. 

"A' never expeckit the like o' this, though, and it wes 
juist a wee thingie mair than a' cud hae stude. 

"Ye hev yir share in't tae, lass; we 've hed mony a hard 
nicht and day thegither, an' yon wes oor reward. No mony 
men in this warld 'ill ever get a better, for it cam' from the 
hert o' honest fouk." 





When Anne Gillespie, that was my friend in Eilanmore, 
left the island after the death of her uncle, the old man Bobert 
Achanna, it was to go far west. 

Among the men of the Outer Isles who for three summers 
past had been at the fishing oif Eilanmore there was one 
named Mlinus MaeCodrum. He was a fine lad to see, but 
though most of the fisher-folk of the Lews and North Uist 
are fair, either with reddish hair and grey eyes, or blue- 
eyed and yellow-haired, he was of a brown skin with dark 
hair and dusky brown eyes. He was, however, as unlike 
to the dark Celts of Arran and the Inner Hebrides as to the 
northmen. He came of his people, sure enough. All the 
MacCodrums of North Uist had been brown-skinned and 
brown-haired and brown-eyed : and herein may have lain the 
reason why, in by-gone days, this small clan of Uist was 
known throughout the Western Isles as the Sliochd non Bon, 
the offspring of the Seals. 

Not so tall as most of the men of North Uist and the 
Lews, Miinus MaeCodrum was of a fair height, and supple and 
strong. No man was a better fisherman than he, and he was 
well liked of his fellows, for all the morose gloom that was 
upon him at times. He had a voice as sweet as a woman's 
when he sang, and he sang often, and knew all the old runes of 
the islands, from the Obb of Harris to the Head of Mingulay. 
Often, too, he chanted the beautiful orain spioradaU of the 
Catholic priests and Christian Brothers of South Uist and 
Barra, though where he lived in North Uist he was the sole 
man who adhered to the ancient faith. 

It may have been because Anne was a Catholic too, though, 

1 From The Dominion of Dreams^ Under the Dark Star. By permis- 
gion of Mrs. William Sharp. Copyright, 1010, by Duffield & Company. 


Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


sure, the Achannas were so also, notwithstanding that their 
forebears and kindred in Galloway were Protestant (and this 
because of old Robert Aehanna's love for his wife, who was 
of the old Faith, so it is said) — ^it may have been for this 
reason, though I think her lover's admiring eyes and soft 
speech and sw^t singing had more to do with it, that she 
pledged her troth to Manus. It was a south wind for him 
as the saying is; for with her rippling brown hair and soft, 
grey eyes and cream-white skin, there was no comelier lass 
in the isles. 

So when Achanna was laid to his long rest, and there was 
none left upon Eilanmore save only his three youngest sons, 
Manus MacCodrum sailed north-eastward across the Minch 
to take home his bride. Of the four eldest sons, Alasdair 
had left Eilanmore some months before his father died, and 
sailed westward, though no one knew whither or for what 
end or for how long, and no word had been brought from 
him, nor was he ever seen again in the island which had come 
to be called Eilan-nan-Allmharachain, the Isle of the 
Strangers; Allan and William had been drowned in a wild 
gale in the Minch ; and Bobert had died of the white fever, that 
deadly wasting disease which is the scourge of the isles. 
Marcus was now ** Eilanmore,'' and lived there with Gloom 
and Seumas, all three unmarried, though it was rumoured 
among the neighbouring islanders that each loved Marsail nic 
Ailpean,^ in Eilean-Bona of the Summer Isles hard by the 
coast of Sutherland. 

When Manus asked Anne to go with him she agreed. The 
three brothers were ill-pleased at this, for apart from their not 
wishing their cousin to go so far away, they did not want to 
lose her, as she not only cooked for them and did all that a 
woman does, including spinning and weaving, but was most 
sweet and fair to see, and in the long winter nights sang by 
the hour together, while Gloom played strange wild airs 
upon his feadan, a kind of oaten pipe or flute. 

1 Marsail nic Ailpean is the Gaelic of which an English translation 
would be Marjory tfocAlpine. Nic is a contraction for nighean mhio, 
"daughter of the line of/' 



250 THE DAN-NAN-R5n 

loved him, I know; but there was this reason also 
for her going, that she was afraid of Oloom. Often npon 
the moor or on the hill she turned and hastened home, be- 
cause she heard the lilt and fall of that feadan. It was an 
eerie thing to her, to be going through the twilight when she 
thought the three men were in the house, smoking after their 
supper, and suddenly to hear beyond and coming toward 
her the shrill song of that oaten flute, playing '^The Dance of 
the Dead," or **The Flow and Ebb,'' or *'The Shadow- 

That, sometimes at least, he knew she was there was clear 
to her, because, as she stole rapidly through the tangled fern 
and gale, she would hear a mocking laugh follow her like a 
leaping l^ing. 

M^us was not there on Hie night when she told Marcus and 
his brothers that she was going. He was in the haven on 
board the Luath, with his two mates, he singing in the moon- 
shine as all three sat mending their fishing gear. 

After the supper was done, the three brothers sat smoking 
and talking over an offer that had been made about some 
Shetland sheep. For a time, Anne watched them in silence. 
They were not like brothers, she thought. Marcus, tall, 
broad-shouldered, with yellow hair and strangely dark blue- 
black eyes and black eyebrows; stem, with a weary look on 
his sun-brown face. The light from the peats glinted upon 
the tawny curve of thick hair that trailed from his upper lip, 
for he had the caisean-feiisag of the Northmen. Gloom, 
slighter of build, dark of hue and hair, but with hairless face ; 
with thin, white, long-fingered hands that had ever a nervous 
motion, as though they were tide-wrack. There was always 
a frown on the centre of his forehead, even when he smiled 
with his thin lips and dusky, unbetraying eyes. He looked 
what he was, the brain of the Achannas. Not only did he 
have the English as though native to that tongue, but could 
and did read strange unnecessary books. Moreover, he was 
the only son of Bobert Achanna to whom the old man had 
imparted his store of learning, for Achanna had been a school- 
master in his youth, in Oalloway, and he had intended Gloom 

Digitized by VjOO^^K:^ 


for the priesthood. His voice, too, was low and clear, but 
cold as pale-green water running under ice. As for Seumas, 
he was more like Marcus than Gloom, though not so fair. 
He had the same brown hair and shadowy hazel eyes, the 
same pale and smooth face, with something of the same in- 
tent look which characterised the long-time missing, and prob- 
ably dead, eldest brother, Alasdair. He, too, was tall and 
gaunt. On Seumas^s face there was that indescribable, as 
to some of course imperceptible, look which is indicated by 
the phrase ''the dusk of the shadow," though few there are 
who know what they mean by that, or, knowing, are fain 
to say. 

Suddenly, and without any word or reason for it, Oloom 
turned and spoke to her. 

*'WeU, Anne, and what is itJ" 

**I did not speak. Gloom." 

''True for you, mo eaiUnn. But it 's about to speak you 

"Well, and that is true. Marcus, and you Gloom, and you 
Seumas, I have that to tell which you will not be altogetiier 
glad for the hearing. 'Tis about — about — ^me and — and 

There was no reply at first. The three brothers sat looking 
at her like the kye at a stranger on the moorland. There was 
a deepening of the frown on Gloom's brow, but when Anne 
looked at him his eyes fell and dwelt in the shadow at his feet. 
Then Marcus spoke in a low voice : 

**Is it Minus MacCodrum you will be meaning?" 

*'Ay, sure." 

Again silence. Gloom did not lift his eyes, and Seumas was 
now staring at the peats. Marcus shifted uneasily. 

**And what will Manus MacCodrum be wanting?" 

*'Sure, Marcus, you know well what I mean. Why do you 
make this thing hard for me? There is but one thing he 
would come here wanting. And he has asked me if I will go 
with him; and I have said yes; and if you are not willing 
that he come again with the minister, or that we go across to 
the kirk in Bemeray of Uist in the Sound of Harris, then I 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


will not stay under this roof another night, but will go away 
from Eilanmore at sunrise in the Luath, that is now in the 
haven. And that is for the hearing and knowing, Marcus 
and Gloom and Seumas!" 

Once more, silence followed her speaking. It was broken 
in a strange way. Oloom slipped his f eadan into his hands, 
and so to his mouth. The clear, cold notes of the flute filled 
the flame-lit room. It was as though white polar birds were 
drifting before the coming of snow. 

The notes slid in to a wild, remote air: cold moonlight on 
the dark o' the sea, it was. It was the Ddn-nan-Rdn. 

Anne flushed, trembled, and then abruptly rose. As she 
leaned on her clenched right hand upon the table, the light 
of the peats showed that her eyes were aflame. 

*'Why do you play that, Gloom Achannat" 

The man finished the bar, then blew into the oaten pipe, 
before, just glancing at the girl, he replied: 

*'And what harm will there be in that, Anna-ban f" 

**Do you know why Gloom played the *Din-nan-R6n't" 

**Ay, and what then, Anna-ban!" 

"What then? Are you thinking I don't know what you 
mean by playing the 'Song o' the Seals'?" 

With an abrupt gesture Gloom put the feadan aside. As 
he did so, he rose. 

''See here, Anne," he began roughly, when Marcos inter- 

"That will do just now. Gloom. Anne-d,-ghraidh, do you 
mean that you are going to do this thing}" 

"Ay, sure." 

"Do you know why Gloom played the 'Dftn-nan-R5n't" 

"It was a cruel thing." 

"You know what is said in the isles about — about — ^this 
or that man, who is under gheasan, who is spell-bound and— 
and — ^about the seals — " 

"Yes, Marcus, it is knowing it that I am: 'Tha iad a* 
cantuinn gur h-e daoine fo gheasan a th' anns no roin.* " 

" 'They say that seals,' " he repeated slowly. '' *TKey say 




that seals are men under magic speUs/ And have you ever 
pondered that thing, Anne, my cousin t" 

^'I am knowing well what you mean." 

''Then you will know that the MacCodrums of North Uist 
are called the Sliochd-nan-Bdnt" 

''I have heard.'' 

''And would you be for marrying a man that is of the race 
of the beasts, and himself knowing what that geas means, 
and who may any day go back to his people?" 

"Ah, now, Marcus, sure it is making a mock of me you are. 
Neither you nor any here believe that foolish thing. How 
can a man bom of a woman be a seal, even though his sinnse<ir 
were the offspring of the sea-people, which is not a saying I 
am believing either, though it may be ; and not that it matters 
much, whatever, about the far-back forebears." 

Marcus frowned darkly, and at first made no response. 
At last he answered, speaking sullenly: 

*'Tou may be believing this or you may be believing that, 
Anna-nic-Oilleasbuig, but two things are as well known as 
that the east wind brings the blight and the west wind the 
rain. And one is this: that long ago a Seal-man wedded a 
woman of North Uist, and that he or his son was called Neil 
MacCodrum; and that the sea-fever of the seal was in the 
blood of his line ever after. And this is the other: that twice 
within the memory of living folk, a MacCodrum has taken 
upon himself the form of a seal, and has so met his death, 
once Neil MacCodrum of Ru' Tormaid, and once Anndra 
MacCodrum of Bemeray in the Sound. There 's talk of 
others, but these are known of us all. And you will not be 
forgetting now that Neildonn was the grandfather, and that 
Anndra was the brother of the father of Miinus MacCodrum!" 

"I am not caring what you say, Marcus. It is all foam of 
the sea." 

"There 's no foam without wind or tide, Anne, an' it 's 
a dark tide that will be bearing you away to Uist, and a 
black wind that will be blowing far away behind the East, 
the wind that will be carrying his death-cry to your ears. " 



254 THE d1n-NAN-R6n 

The girl shuddered. The brave spirit in her, however, did 
not quail. 

**Well, so be it. To each his fate. But, seal or no seal, 
I am going to wed M4nus MacCodrum, who is a man as good 
as any here, and a true man at that, and the man I love, and 
that will be my man, God willing, tlie praise be His!" 

Again Oloom took up the f eadan, and sent a few cold, white 
notes floating through the hot room, breaking, suddenly, into 
the wild, fantastic, opening air of the ** Din-nan-Ron." 

With a low cry and passionate gesture Anne sprang for- 
ward, snatched the oat-flute from his grasp, and would have 
thrown it in the fire. Marcus held her in an iron grip, 

** Don't you be minding Gloom, Anne," he said quietly, as 
he took the feadan from her hand and handed it to his 
brother: **sure he 's only telling you in his way what I am 
telling you in mine." 

She ^ook herself free, and moved to the other side of the 
table. On the opposite wall hung the dirk which had belonged 
to old Achanna. This she unfastened. Holding it in her 
right hand, she faced the three men, — 

''On the cross of the dirk I swear I will be the woman of 
Manus MacCodrum." 

The brothers made no response. They looked at her fixedly. 

''And by the cross of the dirk I swear that if any man 
come between me and Minus, this dirk will be for his remem- 
bering in a certain hour of the day of the days." 

As she spoke, she looked meaningly at Gloom, whom she 
feared more than Marcus or Seumas. 

"And by the cross of the dirk I swear that if evil come to 
Manus, this dirk will have another sheath, and that will be 
my milkless breast; and by that token I now throw the old 
sheath in the fire." 

As she finished, she threw the sheath on to the burning 
peats. Gloom quietly lifted it, brushed off the sparks of 
flame as though they were dust, and put it in his pocket. 

"And by the same token, Anne," he said, "your oaths will 
come to nought." 




Rising, he made a sign to his brothers to follow. When 
they were outside he told Seumas to return, and to keep 
Anne within, by peace if possible, by force if not. Briefly 
they discussed their plans, and then separated. While 
Seumas went back^ Marcus and Gloom made their way to the 

Their black figures were visible in the moonlight, but at 
first they were not noticed by the men on board the Luathy for 
Manus was singing. 

When the islesman stopped abruptly, one of his compan- 
ions asked him jokingly if his song had brought a seal along- 
side, and bid him beware lest it was a woman of the sea- 

His face darkened, but he made no reply. When the others 
listened they heard the wild strain of the '' Dan-nan-Bon" 
stealing through the moonshine. Staring against the shore, 
they could discern the two brothers. 

''What wUl be the meaning of that}" asked one of the men, 

''When a man comes instead of a woman," answered M^us, 
slowly, "the young corbies are astir in the nest." 

So, it meant blood. Aulay MacNeil and Donull MacdonuU 
put down their gear, rose, and stood waiting for what Manus 
would do. 

' ' Ho, there ! " he cried. 


"What will you be wanting, Eilanmore?" 

"We are wanting a word of you, Minus MacCodrum. 
Will you come ashore ? " 

"If you want a word of me, you can come to me." 

' ' There is no boat here. ' ' 

"I '11 send the 6d*a.6ea(7.'' 

When he had spoken, Mjinus asked Donull, the younger of 
his mates, a lad of seventeen, to row to the shore. 

"And bring back no more than one man," he added, 
"whether it be Eilanmore himself or Gloom-mhic-Achanna." 

The rope of the small boat was unfastened, and Donull 
rowed it swiftly through the moonshine. The passing of a 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


cloud dusked the shore, but they saw him throw a rope for 
the guiding of the boat alongside the ledge of the landing- 
place; then the sudden darkening obscured the vision. 
Donull must be talking, they thought, for two or three min- 
utes elapsed without sign, but at last the boat put off again, 
and with two figures only. Doubtless the lad had had to 
argue against the coming of both Marcus and Gloom. 

This, in truth, was what Donull had done. But while he 
was speaking Marcus was staring fixedly beyond him. 

**Who is it that is there?" he asked, '* there, in the stern?" 

** There is no one there." 

''I thought I saw the shadow of a man." 

'*Then it was my shadow, Eilanmore." 

Achanna turned to his brother. 

*'I see a man's death there in the boat." 

Oloom quailed for a moment, then laughed low. 

*'I see no death of a man sitting in the boat, Marcus, but 
if I did I am thinking it would dance to the air of the *Din- 
nan-Bon,' which is more tiian the wraith of you or me would 

**It is not a wraith I was seeing, but the death of a man." 

Oloom whispered, and his brother nodded sullenly. Th<» 
next moment a heavy muffler was round DonuU's mouth; and 
before he could resist, or even guess what had happened, he 
was on his face on the shore, bound and gagged. A minute 
later the oars were taken by Oloom, and the boat moved 
swiftly out of the inner haven. 

As it drew near Mjinus stared at it intently. 

'*That is not Donull that is rowing, Aulay!" 

**No: it will be Oloom Achanna, I 'm thinking." 

MacCodrum started. If so, that other figure at the stem 
was too big for Donull. The cloud passed just as the boat 
came alongside. The rope was made secure, and then Marcus 
and Gloom sprang on board. 

"Where is Donull MacDonull?" demanded Minus sharply. 

Marcus made no reply, so Gloom answered for him. 

"He has gone up to the house with a message to Anne-nic- 




'*And what will that message be?" 

"That Manus MacCodrum has sailed away from Eilan- 
more, and will not see her again." 

MacCodrum laughed. It was a low, ugly laugh. 

**Sure, Gloom Achanna, you should be taking that feadan 
of yours and playing the Cod-haU-nan-Pairtean, for I 'm 
thinkin' the crabs are gathering about the rocks down below 
us, an' laughing wi' their claws." 

**Well, and that is a true thing," Gloom replied slowly 
and quietly. '*Yes, for sure I might, as you say, be playing 
the 'Meeting of the Crabs.' Perhaps," he added, as by a 
sudden afterthought, ** perhaps, though it is a calm night, you 
will be hearing the comh-thonn. The 'Slapping of the Waves' 
is a better thing to be hearing than the * Meeting of the 

"If I hear the comh-thonn it is not in the way you will 
be meaning, Gloom-mhic- Achanna. 'T is not the 'Up Sail and 
Good-bye' they will be saying, but 'Home wi' the Bride.' " 

Here Marcus intervened. 

"Let us be having no more words. Minus MacCodrum. 
The girl Anne is not for you. Gloom is to be her man. So 
get you hence. If you will be going quiet, it is quiet we will 
be. If you have your feet on this thing, then you will be 
having that too which I saw in the boat." 

"And what was it you saw in the boat, Achanna?" 

"The death of a man." 

"So — . And now" (this after a prolonged silence, wherein 
the four men stood facing each other, "is it a blood-matter if 
not of peace?" 

"Ay. Go, if you are wise. If not, 'tis your own death 
you will be making." 

There was a flash as of summer lightning. A bluish flame 
seemed to leap through the moonshine. Marcus reeled, with 
a gasping cry; then, leaning back, till his face blenched in 
the moonlight, his knees gave way. As he fell, he turned 
half round. The long knife which Minus had hurled at him 
had not penetrated his breast more than an inch at most, but 
as he fell on the deck it was driven into him up to the hilt. 

Digitized by VjOO^^K:^ 

268 THE DAN-NAN-r6n 

In the blank silence that followed, the three men could 
hear a sound like the ebb-tide in sea-weed. It was the gargling 
of the bloody froth in the lungs of the dead man. 

The first to speak was his brother, and then only when thin 
reddish-white foam-bubbles began to burst from the blue 
lips of Marcus. 

*'It is murder." 

He spoke low, but it was like the surf of breakers in the 
ears of those who heard. 

**You have said one part of a true word^ Gloom Achanna. 
It is murder — ^that you and he came here for!" 

''The death of Marcus Achanna is on you, M&nus Mac- 

''So be it, as between yourself and me, or between all of 
your blood and me ; though Aulay MacNeil, as well as you, can 
witness that though in self-defence I tiirew the knife at 
Achanna, it was his own doing that drove it into him." 

"You can whisper that to the rope when it is round your 

"And what will you be doing now, Gloom-mhie-Achanna?" 

For the first time Gloom shifted uneasily. A swift glance 
revealed to him the awkward fact that the boat trailed behind 
the Luath, so that he could not leap into it, while if he turned 
to haul it dose by the rope he was at the mercy of the two 

"I will go in peace," he said quietly. 

"Ay," was the answer, in an equally quiet tone, "in the 
white peace." 

Upon this menace of death the two men stood facing each 

Achanna broke the silence at last. 

"You 11 hear the 'Din-nan-Kon' the night before you die, 
Mdnus MacCodrum, and lest you doubt it you 11 hear it 
again in your death-hour." 

**Ma tha sin an Ddn — ^if that be ordained." M&nus spoke 
gravely. His very quietude, however, boded ill. There was 
no hope of clemency ; Gloom knew that. 

Suddenly he laughed scornfully. Then, pointing with his 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


right hand as if to some one behind his two adversaries, he 
cried out: ''Put the death-hand on them, Marcus! Give 
them the Grave!" Both men sprang aside, the heart of each 
nigh upon bursting. The death-touch of the newly slain is an 
awful thing to incur, for it means that the wraith can transfer 
all its evil to the person touched. 

The next moment there was a heavy splash. Mdnus real- 
ised that it was no more than a ruse, and that Gloom had 
escaped. With feverish haste he hauled in the small boat, 
leaped into it, and began at once to row so as to intercept 
his enemy. 

Achanna rose once, between him and the Luaih. Mac- 
Codrum crossed the oars in the thole-pins and seized the boat- 

The swimmer kept straight for him. Suddenly he dived. 
In a flash, Manus knew that Gloom was going to rise under 
the boat, seize the keel, and upset him, and thus probably be 
able to grip him from above. There was time and no more 
to leap ; and, indeed, scarce had he plunged into the sea ere 
the boat swung right over, Achanna clambering over it the 
next moment. 

At first Gloom could not see where his foe was. He 
crouched on the upturned craft, and peered eagerly into the 
moonlit water. All at once a black mass shot out of the 
shadow between him and the smack. This black mass laughed 
— the same low, ugly laugh that had preceded the death of 

He who was in turn the swimmer was now dose. "When 
a fathom away he leaned back and began to tread water 
steadily. In his right hand he grasped the boat-hook. The 
man in the boat knew that to stay where he was meant cer- 
tain death. He gathered himself together like a crouching 
cat. Manus kept treading the water slowly, but with the 
hook ready so that the sharp iron spike at the end of it 
should transfix his foe if he came at him with a leap. Now 
and again he laughed. Then in his low sweet voice, but 
brokenly at times between his deep breathings, he began 
jto sing: 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 


The tide was dark, an' heavy with the burden that it bore; 

I heard it talkin', whisperin', upon the weedy shore; 

Each wave that stirred the sea-weed was like a closing* door; 

'Tis closing doors they hear at last who hear no more, no more. 

My Grief, 
No morel 

The tide was in the salt sea-weed, and like a knife it tore; 

The wild sea-wind went moaning, sooing, moaning o'er and o'er; 

The deep sea-heart was brooding deep upon its ancient lore — 

I heard the sob, the sooing sob, the dying sob at its core, 

My Grief, 
Its core! 

The white sea-waves were wan and gray its ashy lips before. 
The yeast within its ravening month was red with streaming gore ; 
red sea-weed, red sea-waves, hollow baffled roar, 
Since one thou hast, dark dim Sea, why callest thou for more. 

My Grief, 
For more ! 

In the quiet moonlight the chant, with its long, slow 
cadences, sung as no other man in the isles could sing it, 
sounded sweet and remote beyond words to tell. The glit- 
tering shine was upon the water of the haven, and moved 
in waving lines of fire along the stone ledges. Sometimes a 
fish rose, and split a ripple of pale gold ; or a sea-nettle swam 
to the surface, and turned its blue or greenish globe of living 
jelly to the moon dazzle. 

The man in the water ma^e a sudden stop in bis treading 
and listened intently. Then once more the phosphorescent 
light gleamed about bis slow-moving shoulders. In a louder 
chanting voice came once again : 

Each wave that stirs the searweed is like a closing door; 

'T is closing doors they hear at last who hear no more — ^no more, 

My Grief, 
No more! 

Yes, his quick ears had caught the inland strain of a voice 
he knew. Soft and white as the moonshine came Anne's 
singing as she passed along the corrie leading to the haven. 




In vain his travelling gaze sought her; she was still in the 
shadow, and, besides, a slow drifting cloud obscured the moon- 
light. When he looked back again a stifled exclamation came 
from his lips. There was not a sign of Gloom Achanna. He 
had slipped noiselessly from the boat, and was now either 
behind it, or had dived beneath it, or was swimming under 
water this way or that. If only the cloud would sail by, 
muttered Manus, as he held himself in readiness for an at- 
tack from beneath or behind. As the dusk lightened, he swam 
slowly toward the boat, and then swiftly round it. There was 
no one there. He climbed on to the keel, and stood, leaning 
forward, as a salmon-leisterer by torchlight, with his spear- 
pointed boat-hook raised. Neither below nor beyond could 
he discern any shape. A whispered call to Aulay MacNeil 
showed that he, too, saw nothing. Gloom must have swooned, 
and sunk deep as he slipped through the water. Perhaps the 
dog-flsh were already darting about him. 

Going behind the boat Mitnus guided it back to the smack. 
It was not long before, with MacNeil 's help, he righted the 
punt. One oar had drifted out of sight, but as there was a 
sculling-hole in the stem that did not matter. 

**What shall we do with it?" he muttered, as he stood at 
last by the corpse of Marcus. • 

''This is a bad night for us, Aulay!'' 

**Bad jt is ; but let us be seeing it is not worse. I 'm think- 
ing we should have left the boat.*' 

''And for why that?" 

"We could say that Marcus Achanna and Gloom Achanna 
left us again, and that we saw no more of them nor of our 

MacCodrum pondered a while. The sound of voices, borne 
faintly across the water, decided him. Probably Anne and 
the lad DonuU were talking. He slipped into the boat, and 
with a sail-knife soon ripped it here and there. It filled, and 
then, heavy with the weight of a great ballast-stone which 
Aulay had first handed to his companion, and surging with 
a foot-thrust from the latter, it sank. 



262 . THE DAK-NAN-RdN 

*'We Tl hide the — ^the man there — ^behind the windlass, 
below the spare sail, till we 're out at sea, Aulay. Quick, 
give me a hand!" 

It did not take the two men long to lift the corpse, and 
do as MJLnus had suggested* They had scarce accomplished 
this, when Anne's voice came hailing silver-sweet across the 

With death-white face and shaking limbs, MacCodmm stood 
holding the mast, while with a loud voice, so firm and strong 
that Aulay MacNeil smiled below his fear, he asked if the 
Achannas were back yet, and if so for DonuU to row out at 
once, and she with him if she would come. 

It was nearly half an hour thereafter that Anne rowed out 
toward the Loath. She had gone at last along the shore to 
a creek where one of Marcus's boats was moored and returned 
with it. Having taken Donull on board, she made way with 
all speed, fearful lest Oloom or Marcus should intercept her. 

It did not take long to explain how she had laughed at 
Seumas's vain efforts to detain her, and had come down to 
the haven« As she approached, she heard Manus singing, and 
so had herself broken into a song she knew he loved. Then, 
by the water-edge she had come upon Donull lying upon his 
back, bound and gagged. After she had released him they 
waited to see what would happen, but as in the moonlight 
they could not see any small boat come in, bound to or from 
the smack, she had hailed to know if M&nus were there. 

On his side he said briefly that the two Achannas had come 
to persuade him to leave without her. On his refusal they 
had departed again, uttering threats against her as well as 
himself. He heard their quarrelling voices as they rowed 
into the gloom, but could not see them at last because of the 
obscured moonlight. ^ 

**And now, Ann-mochree," he added, "is it coming with 
me you are, and just as you aret Sure, you Tl never repent 
it, and you 11 have all you want that I can give. Dear of 
my heart, say that you will be coming away this night of 
the nights ! By the Black Stone on Icolmkill I swear it, and 
by the Sun, and by the Moon, and by Himself I" 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


''I am trusting yon, Mjlnus dear. Sure it is not for me 
to be going back to that house after what has been done and 
said. I go with you, now and always, Ood save us." 

*'Well, dear lass o' my heart, it 's farewell to Eilanmore 
it is, for by the Blood of the Cross I *11 never land on it 

**And that will be no sorrow to me, Minus, my home!" 

And this was the way that my friend, Anne Gillespie, left 
Eilanmore to go to the isles of the west 

It was a fair sailing, in the white moonshine, with a whisper- 
ing breeze astern. Anne leaned against Minus, dreaming her 
dream. The lad Donull sat drowsing at the hdm. Forward, 
Aulay MacNeil, with his face set against the moonshine to the 
west, brooded dark. 

Though no longer was land in sight, and there was peace 
among the deeps of the quiet stars and upon the sea, the 
shadow of fear was upon the face of Minus MacCodrum. 

This might well have been because of the as yet unburied 
dead that lay beneath the spare sail by the windlass. The 
dead man, however, did not affright him. What went moan- 
ing in his heart, and sighing and calling in his brain, was a 
faint falling echo he had heard, as the Luath glided slow out 
of the haven. Whether from the water or from the shore 
he could not tell, but he heard the wild, fantastic air of the 
** Din-nan Rdn," as he had heard it that very night upon the 
feadan of Oloom Achanna. 

It was his hope that his ears had played him false. When 
he glanced about him, and saw the sombre flame in the eyes 
of Aulay MacNeil, staring at him out of the dusk, he knew 
that which Oisin the son of Fionn cried in his pain: ''his 
soul swam in mist" 


For all the evil omens, the marriage of Anne and Minus 
MacCodrum went well. He was more silent than of yore, 
^d men avoided rather than sought him ; but he was happy 
with Anne, and content with bis two mates, who were now 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 

264 THE d1n-NAN.r5n 

Calluin MacCodrum and Ranald MacBanald. The youth 
Donull had bettered himself by joining a Skye skipper who 
was a kinsman, and Anlay MacNeil had surprised every one, 
except Manus, by going away as a seaman on board one of 
the Loch line of ships which sail for Australia from the Clyde. 

Anne never knew what had happened, though it is possible 
she suspected somewhat. All that was known to her was 
that Marcus and Oloom Achanna had disappeared, and were 
supposed to have been drowned. There was now no Achanna 
upon Eilanmore, for Seumas had taken a horror of the place 
and his loneliness. As soon as it was commonly admitted 
that his two brothers must have drifted out to sea, and been 
drowned, or at best picked up by some ocean-going ship, he 
disposed of the island-farm, and left Eilanmore forever. All 
this confirmed the thing said among the islanders of the 
west, that old Robert Achanna had brought a curse with 
him. Blight and disaster had visited Eilanmore over and 
over in the many years he had held it, and death, sometimes 
tragic or mysterious, had overtaken six of his seven sons, 
while the youngest bore upon his brows the **dusk of the 
shadow." True, none knew for certain that three out of the 
six were dead, but few for a moment believed in the possibility 
that Alasdair and Marcus and Gloom were alive. On the 
night when Anne had left the island with Manus MacCodrum, 
he, Seumas, had heard nothing to alarm him. Even when, 
an hour after she had gone down to the haven, neither she 
nor his brothers had returned, and the Luath had put out to 
sea, he was not in fear of any ill. Clearly, Marcus and Gloom 
had gone away in the smack, perhaps determined to see that 
the girl was duly married by priest or minister. 

He would have perturbed himself a little for days to come, 
but for a strange thing that happened that night. He had 
returned to the house because of a chill that was upon him, 
and convinced, too, that all had sailed in the Luath, He was 
sitting brooding by the peat-fire, when he was startled by a 
sound at the window at the back of the room. A- few bars of 
a familiar air struck painfully upon his ear, though played 
so low that they were just audible. What could it be but the 

Digitized by VjOO*2 1^ 


** Dan-nan-Bon/' and who would be playing that but Gloom! 
What did it mean? Perhaps after all, it was fantasy only, 
and there was no f eadan out there in the dark. He was pon- 
dering this when, still low but louder and sharper than be- 
fore, there rose and fell the strain which he hated, and Gloom 
never played before him, that of the Ddvsa-na mairv, the 
** Dance of the Dead." Swiftly and silently he rose and 
crossed the room. In the dark shadows cast by the byre he 
could see nothing, but the music ceased. He went out, and 
searched everywhere, but found no one. So he returned, 
took down the Holy Book, with awed heart, and read slowly 
till peace came upon him, soft and sweet as the warmth of 
the peat-glow. 

But as for Anne, she had never even this hint that one of 
the supposed dead might be alive, or that, being dead, Gloom 
might yet touch a shadowy feadan into a wild remote air of 
the grave. 

When month after month went by^ and no hint of ill came 
to break upon their peace, Minus grew light-hearted again. 
Once more his songs were heard as he came back from the 
fishing, or loitered ashore mending his nets. A new happi- 
ness was nigh to them, for Anne was with child. True, there 
was fear also, for the girl was not well at the time when 
her labor was near, and grew weaker daily. There came 
a day when«M{lnus had to go to Loch Boisdale in South Uist: 
and it was with pain and something of foreboding that he 
sailed away from Berneray in the Sound of Harris, where he 
lived. It was on the third night that he returned. He was 
met by Katreen MacRanald, the wife of his mate, with the 
news that on the morrow after his going Anne had sent for 
the priest who was staying at Loch Maddy, for she had felt 
the coming of death. It was that very evening she died, 
and took the child with her. 

Mllnus heard as one in a dream. It seemed to him that 
the tide was ebbing in his heart, and a cold, sleety rain falling, 
falling through a mist in his brain. 

Sorrow lay heavily upon him. After the earthing of her 
whom he loved, he went to and fro solitary : often crossing the 

Digitized by VjOOQ It! 

266 THE dInNAN-EOI^ 

Narrows and going to the old Pictish Towre tinder the shadow 
of Ban Breac. He would not go upon the sea, but let his 
kinsman Galium do as he liked with the Loath. 

Now and again Father Allan MacNeU sailed northward to 
see him. Each time he departed sadder. ''The man is going 
mad, I fear," he said to Galium, the last time he saw Mjinus. 

The long summer nights brought peace and beauty to the 
isles. It was a great herring-year, and the moon-fishing was 
unusually good. All the Uist men who lived by the sea-har- 
vest were in their boats whenever they could. The pollack, 
the dog-fish, the otters, and the seals, with flocks of sea-fowl 
beyond number, shared in the common joy. M^us Mac- 
Godrum alone paid no heed to herring or mackerel. He was 
often seen striding along the shore, and more than once had 
been heard laughing; sometimes, too, he was come upon at 
low tide by the great Beef of Bemeray, singing wild strange 
runes and songs, or crouching upon a rock and brooding dark. 

The midsummer moon found no man on Bemeray except 
MacGodrum, the Bev. Mr. Black, the minister of the Free 
Kirk, and an old man named Anndra Mclan. On the night 
before the last day of the middle month, Anndra was re- 
proved by the minister for saying that he had seen a man rise 
out of one of the graves in the kirk-yard, and steal down by 
the stone-dykes towards Balnahunnur-sa-mona,^ where Mknus 
MacGodrum lived. 

''The dead do not rise and walk, Anndra.'' 

"That may be, maigstir, but it may have been the Watcher 
of the Dead. Sure it is not three weeks since Padruig Mc- 
Alistair was laid beneath the green mound. He 11 be weary- 
ing for another to take^his place." 

"Hoots, man, that is an old superstition. The dead do not 
rise and walk, I tell you." 

"It is right you may be, maigstir, but I heard of this from 
my father, that was old before you were young, and from his 
father before him. When the last-buried is weary with be- 
ing the Watcher of the Dead he goes about from place to 
place till he sees man, woman, or child with the death- 

1 Baille-'ncHwnar'aa mhonadh, "the eolitary farm on the hill-slope." 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:! 


shadow in the eyes, and then he goes back to his grave and 
lies down in peace, for his vigil it will be over now." 

The minister laughed at the folly, and went into his house 
to make ready for the Sacrament that was to be on the 
morrow. Old Anndra, however, was uneasy. After the 
porridge, he went down through the gloaming to Balnahun- 
nur-sa-mona. He meant to go in and warn Mdnus Mac- 
Godrum. But when he got to the west wall, and stood near 
the open window, he heard Mdnus speaking in a loud voice, 
though he was alone in the room. 

*^B'ionganntack do gkrddk dhomhsa, a^ toirt iarrachd air 
grddh nam 6an/". . .* 

This, Mjinus cried in a voice quivering with pain. Anndra 
stopped still, fearful to intrude, fearful also, perhaps, to see 
some one there beside MacCodrum, whom eyes should not see. 
Then the voice rose into a cry of agony. 

^^Aoram dhuit, ay an dSigh dhomh fds aasdat**^ 

With that, Anndra feared to stay. As he passed the byre 
he started, for he thought he saw the shadow of a man. When 
he looked closer he could see nought, so went his way, trem- 
bling and sore troubled. 

It was dusk when Mdnus came out. He saw that it was to 
be a cloudy night; and perhaps it was this that, after a brief 
while, made him turn in his aimless walk and go back to the 
house. He was sitting before the flaming heart of the peats, 
brooding in his pain, when suddenly he sprang to his feet 

Loud and clear, and close as though played under the very 
window of the room, came the cold, white notes of an oaten 
flute. Ah, too well he knew that wild, fantastic air. Who 
could it be but Oloom Achanna, playing upon his f eadan ; and 
what air of all airs could that be but the "DJLn.nan-R6n"? 

Was it the dead man, standing there unseen in the shadow of 
the Oravef Was Marcus beside him, Marcus with the knife 
still thrust up to the hilt, and the lung-foam upon his lipsY 
Can the sea give up its deadf Can there be strain of any 
feadan that ever was made of man, there in the Silencef 

1 ''Thy love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women/' 

2 "I shall worship thee, ay, even after I have become old." 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 

268 THE d1n-NAN-R6n 

In vain Ml^us MacCodrum tortured himself thus. Too 
well he knew that he had heard the '*Dan-nan-B6n," and that 
no other than Gloom Achanna was the player. 

Suddenly an access of fury wrought him to madness. With 
an abrupt lilt the tune swung into the Davsd-na mairv, and 
thence, after a few seconds, and in a moment, into that mys- 
terious and horrible CodhaU-^an-Pairtean which none but 
Gloom played. 

There could be no mistake now, nor as to what was meant by 
the muttering, jerking air of the ''Gathering of the Crabs." 

With a savage cry Manus snatched up a long dirk from its 
place by the chimney, and rushed out. 

There was not the shadow of a sea-gull even in front ; so he 
sped round by the byre. Neither was anything unusual dis- 
coverable there. 

"Sorrow upon me,'' he cried; ''man or wraith, I will be 
putting it to the dirk!" 

But there was no one ; nothing ; not a sound. 

Then, at last, with a listless droop of his arms, MacCodrum 
turned and went into the house again. He remembered what 
Gloom Achanna had said: 'Tau ^11 hear the ' Ddiv-nan-Rdn' 
the night before you die, Mdniis MacCodrum, and lest you 
doubt it, you *ll hear it in your death-hour.^ ^ 

He did not stir from the fire for three hours ; then he rose, 
and went over to his bed and lay down without undressing. 

He did not sleep, but lay listening and watching. The 
peats burned low, and at last there was scarce a flicker along 
the floor. Outside he could hear the wind moaning upon the 
sea. By a strange rustling sound he knew that the tide was 
ebbing across the great reef that runs out from Bemeray. 
By midnight the clouds had gone. The moon shone clear and 
full. When he heard the clock strike in its worm-eaten, 
rickety case, he sat up, and listened intently. He could hear 
nothing. No shadow stirred. Surely if the wraith of Gloom 
Achanna were waiting for him it would make some sign, now, 
in the dead of night. 

An hour passed. MJlnus rose, crossed the room on tip-toe, 
and soundlessly opened the door. The salt wind blew fresh 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


against his face. The smell of the shore, of wet sea- wrack and 
pungent bog-myrtle, of foam and moving water, came sweet to 
his nostrils. He heard a skua calling from the rocky promon- 
tory. From the slopes behind, the wail of a moon-restless lap- 
wing rose and fell mournfully. 

Crouching, and with slow, stealthy step, he stole round by 
the seaward wall. At the dyke he stopped, and scrutinised 
it on each side. He could see for several hundred yards, and 
there was not even a sheltering sheep. Then, soundlessly as 
ever, he crept close to the byre. He put his ear to chink after 
chink : but not a stir of a shadow even. As a shadow, himself, 
he drifted lightly to the front, past the hay-rick; then, with 
swift glances to right and left, opened the door and entered. 
As he did so, he stood as though frozen. Surely, he thought, 
that was a sound as of a step, out there by the hay-rick. A 
terror was at his heart. In front, the darkness of the byre, 
with God knows what dread thing awaiting him; behind, a 
mysterious walker in the night, swift to take him unawares. 
The trembling that came upon him was nigh overmastering. 
At last, with a great eflfort, he moved towards the ledge, where 
he kept a candle. With shaking hand he struck a light. The 
empty byre looked ghostly and fearsome in the flickering 
gloom. But there was no one, nothing. He was about to 
turn, when a rat ran along a loose-hanging beam, and stared at 
him, or at the yellow shine. He saw its black eyes shining like 
peat-water in moonlight. 

The creature was curious at first, then indifferent. At last, 
it began to squeak, and then made a swift scratching with its 
fore-paws. Once or twice came an answering squeak; a 
faint rustling was audible here and there among the straw. 

With a sudden spring Manus seized the beast. Even in the 
second in which he raised it to his mouth and scrunched its 
back with his strong teeth, it bit him severely. He let his 
hands drop, and groped furtively in the darkness. With 
stooping head he shook the last breath out of the rat, holding 
it with his front teeth, with back-curled lips. The next mo- 
ment he dropped the dead thing, trampled upon it, and burst 
out laughing. There was a scurrying of pattering feet, a 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 

270 THE d1n-NAN.r5n 

rustling of straw. Then silence again. A draught from the 
door had caught the flame and extinguished it. In the silence 
and darkness MacCodrum stood, intent, but no longer afraid. 
He laughed again, because it was so easy to kill with the 
teeth. The noise of his laughter seemed to him to leap hither 
and thither like a shadowy ape. He could see it; a blackness 
within the darkness. Once more he laughed. It amused 
him to see the thing leaping about like that. 

Suddenly he turned, and walked out into the moonlight. 
The lapwing was still circling and wailing. He mocked it, 
with loud shrill pee-weety, pee-weiiy, pee-weet. The bird 
swung waywardly, alarmed: its abrupt cry, and dancing 
flight aroused its fellows. The air was full of the lamentable 
crying of plovers. 

A sough of the sea came inland. M&nus inhaled its breath 
with a sigh of delight. A passion for the running wave 
was upon hioi. He yearned to feel green water break against 
his breast. Thirst and hunger, too, he felt at last, though he 
had known neither all day. How cool and sweet, he thought, 
would be a silver haddock, or even a brown-backed liath, alive 
and gleaming, wet with the sea-water still bubbling in its 
gills. It would writhe, just like the rat; but then how he 
would throw his head back, and toss the glittering thing up 
into the moonlight, catch it on the downwhirl just as it neared 
the wave on whose crest he was, and then devour it with swift 
voracious gulps ! 

With quick, jerky steps he made his way past the landward 
side of the small, thatch-roofed cottage. He was about to 
enter, when he noticed that the door, which he had left ajar,, 
was closed. He stole to the window and glanced in. 

A single, thin, wavering moonbeam flickered in the room. 
But the flame at the heart of the peats had worked its way 
through the ash, and there was now a dull glow, though that 
was within the **smooring,'* and threw scarce more than a 
glimmer into the room. 

There was enough light, however, for M&nus MacCodrum to 
see that a man sat on the three-legged stool before the fire. 
His head was bent; a» though he were listening. The face 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


was away from the window. It was his own wraith, of course ; 
of that, Manus felt convinced. What was it doing there t 
Perhaps it had eaten the Holy Book, so that it was beyond his 
putting a rosad on it ! At the thought he laughed loud. The 
shadow-man leaped to his feet. 

The next moment MacCodrum swung himself on to the 
thatched roof, and clambered from rope to rope, where these 
held down the big stones which acted as dead-weight for the 
thatch, against the fury of tempests. Stone after stone he 
tore from its fastenings and hurled to the ground over beyond 
the door. Then with tearing hands he began to burrow an 
opening in the thatch. All the time he whined like a beast. 

He was glad the moon shone full upon him. When he had 
made a big enough hole, he would see the evil thing out of the 
grave that sat in his room, and would stone it to death. 

Suddenly he became still. A cold sweat broke out upon 
him. The thing, whether his own wraith, or the spirit of his 
dead foe, or Gloom Achanna himself, had begun to play, low 
and slow, a wild air. No piercing, cold music like that of the 
f eadan ! Too well he knew it, and those cool, white notes that 
moved here and there in the darkness like snowflakes. As 
for the air, though he slept till Judgment Day and heard but 
a note of it amidst all the clamor of heaven and hell, sure he 
would scream because of the **D^-nan-R6n.'' 

The '*D^-nan-R6nr' The BoinI the Seals! Ah, what 
was he doing there, on the bitter-weary land ! Out there was 
the sea. Safe would he be in the green waves. 

With a leap he was on the ground. Seizing a huge stone, 
he hurled it through the window. Then, laughing and scream- 
ing, he fled towards the Great Beef, along whose sides the ebb- 
tide gurgled and sobbed, with glistening white foam. 

He ceased screaming or laughing as he heard the ''D^n-nan- 
R6n'' behind him, faint, but following; sure, following. 
Bending low, he raced towards the rock-ledges from which ran 
the reef. 

When at last he reached the extreme ledge he stopped 
abruptly. Out on the reef he saw from ten to twenty seals, 
some swimming to and fro, others clinging to the reef, one or 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 

272 THE d1N-NAN-R5n 

two making a curious barking sound, with round heads lifted 
against the moon. In one place there was a surge and lash- 
ing of water. Two bulls were' fighting to the death. 

With swift, stealthy movements Manus unclothed himself. 
The damp had clotted the leathern thongs of his boots, and 
he snarled with curled lip as he tore at them. He shone white 
in the moonshine, but was sheltered from the sea by the ledge 
behind which he crouched. ** What did Gloom Achanna mean 
by that?" he muttered savagely, as he heard the nearing air 
change into the *' Dance of the Dead." For a moment Manus 
was a man again. He was nigh upon turning to face his foe, 
corpse or wraith or living body ; to spring at this thing which 
followed him, and tear it with hands and teeth. Then, once 
more, the hated *'Song of the Seals" stole mockingly through 
the night. 

With a shiver he slipped into the dark water. Then with 
quick, powerful strokes he was in the moon-flood, and swim- 
ming hard against it out by the leeside of the reef. 

So intent were the seals upon the fight of the two great 
bulls that they did not see the swimmer, or if they did, took 
him for one of their own people. A savage snarling and bark- 
ing and half -human crying came from them. Manus was 
almost within reach of the nearest, when one of the combatants 
sank dead, with torn throat. The victor clambered on the 
reef, and leaned high, swaying its great head and shoulders 
to and fro. In the moonlight its white fangs were like r^d 
coral. Its blinded eyes ran with gore. 

There was a rush, a rapid leaping and swirling, as Manus 
surged in among the seals, which were swimming round the 
place where the slain bull had sunk. 

The laughter of this long, white seal terrified them. 

When his knees struck against a rock, MacCodrum groped 
with his arms, and hauled himself out of the water. 

From rock to rock and ledge to ledge he went, with a fan- 
tastic, dancing motion, his body gleaming foam-white in the 

As he pranced and trampled along the weedy ledges, he sang 
snatches of an old rune — ^the lost rune of the MacCodrums 

Digitized by VjOO*^1(:^ 


of Uist. The seals on the rocks crouched spell-bound; those 
slow-swimming in the water stared with brown unwinking 
eyeSy with their small ears strained against the sound: 

It is I, M^nus MacCodmmy 

I am telling you that, you, Anndra of my blood. 

And you, Neil my grandfather, and you, and you, and you ! 

Ay, ay, Mlinus my name is, M^nus MacManust 

It is I myself, and no other. 

Your brother, Seals of the Sea ! 

Give me blood of the red fish, 

And a bite of the flying sgadan: 

The green wave on my belly. 

And the foam in my eyes ! 

1 am your bull-brother, O Bulls of the Sea, 

Bull — ^better than any of you, snarling bulls I 

Come to me, mate, seal of the soft, furry womb, 

White am I still, though red shall I be, 

Red with the streaming red blood if any dispute me I 

Aoh, aoh, aoh, ar6, arS, ho-r6 ! 

A man was I, a seal am I, 

My fangs chum the yellow foam from my lips: 

Give way to me, give way to me, Seals of the Sea; 

Give way, for I am fey of the sea 

And the sea-maiden I see there, 

And my name, true, is M^nus MacCodrum, 

The bull-seal that was a man, Ar^ ! Aril ! 

By this time he was close upon the great black seal, which 
was still monotonously swaying its gory head, with its sight- 
less eyes rolling this way and that. The sea-folk seemed fas- 
cinated. None moved, even when the dancer in the moonshine 
trampled upon them. 

When he came within arm-reach he stopped, 

*'Are you the Ceann-Oinnidht" he cried. 

*'Are you the head of this clan of the sea-folk?" 

The huge beast ceased its swaying. Its curled lips moved 
from its fangs. 

** Speak, Seal, if there 's no curse upon you! Maybe, now, 
you 11 be Anndra himself, the brother of my father ! Speak ! 
H^st — are you hearing that mime on the shore? 'Tis the 
'DJin-nan-RonM Death o' my soul, it 's the 'DSn-nan-RonM 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Aha, 't is Qloom Achaima out of the Orave. Back, beast, 
and let me move on!'' 

With that, seeing the great bull did not move, he struck it 
full in the face with clenched fist. There was a hoarse, 
strangling roar, and the seal champion was upon him with 
lacerating fangs. 

Minus swayed this way and that. All he could hear now 
was the snarling and growling and choking cries of the mad- 
dened seals. As he fell, they closed in upon him. His 
screams wheeled through the night like mad birds. With 
desperate fury he struggled to free himself. The gfeat bull 
pinned him to the rock; a dozen others tore at his white flesh, 
till his spouting blood made the rocks scarlet in the white 
shine of the moon. 

For a few seconds he still fought savagely, tearing with teeth 
and hands. Once, a red irrecognisable mass, he staggered to 
his knees. A wild cry burst from his lips, when from the 
shore-end of the reef came loud and clear the lilt of the rune 
of his fate. 

The next moment he was dragged down and swept from the 
reef into the sea. As the torn and mangled body disappeared 
from sight, it was amid a seething crowd of leaping and strug- 
gling seals, their eyes wild with affright and fury, their fangs 
red with human gore. 

And Qloom Achanna, turning upon the reef, moved swiftly 
inland, playing low on his f eadan, as he went. 





No one knows when story telling began. It is as old as the human 
race. It goes beyond histoi-y into the unlmown darkness of the 
past. Some of the stones we still read originated far back in primi- 
tive life. Such stones, that have been told for many years, and are 
common to the race, we call "Folk-Lore" stories. 

Every Folk-Lore story probably began in the simplest form. 
Something happened, — and someone tried to tell about the event. 
If the story was interesting enough to repeat, it gradually became 
exaggerated. Thus the germ of The Adventures of Simon and 
Susanna is the common-enough story of a successful elopement in 
which the cleverness of the young people, — of the girl in particular, 
— eluded the pursuing father. Their means of making their escape 
must have been quite ordinary, but when the story was told again 
and again, — if this really is a Folk-Lore story, the cleverness was 
exaggerated and gradually turned into magic. 

In reading this story we come into close touch with the origin of all 
story telling. We see one man, a common, ignorant man, telling a 
story to an interested listener, and undoubtedly "putting in a few 
extra touches'' to make the story more wonderful. The primitive 
stories must always have been presented orally, and at first to few 
listeners. Then came the days of story tellers for the crowd, and 
finally the written story. 

The author of The Adventures of Simon and Susanna, Joel 
Chandler Harris, re-told many folk-lore stories. He was bom in 
Georgia in 1848, and died there in 1908. He devoted all his mature 
life to journalism and literature. His many books about Uncle 
Remus presented that person so clearly that the good-natured negro 
story teller has almost ceased to be merely a book-character, and 
has become a living reality. 

Every story that Mr. Harris wrote has plot interest, but it also has 
pith and wisdom. 


The ordinary "Fairy Story" is a developed form of the "Folk- 
Lore" story. Instead of havmg the roughness, and naive simplicity 

276 Digitized by VjOOgie 


characteristie of primitive ways of stoiy telling it has polish, and 
definite literary or moral purpose. It is not a mere wonder story 
told in the first person hy some definite individual, and made by the 
exaggeration of an actual event. It is a written rather than a 
spoken story, based, in the remote past, on some actual events bat 
now told in the third person, and directed strongly to an artistic, 
literary purpose, — frequently to a moral purpose. In every way 
the b^ type of "Fairy Story" is a distinct advance towards devel- 
oped story telling. 

The Crow Child is not an actual "Fairy Story," but it illus- 
trates remarkably well the way in which "Fairy Stories" developed. 
Every event in The Crow Child is strictly true, but much of the story 
appears to be based on magic. A true story of this sort, told in 
primitive times, and retold again and again, with new emphasis 
placed on the elements of wonder, would have developed into a pure 
story of wonder, — a "Fairy Story." 

The author of this original, and modem, 'fPairy Story," Mary 
Mapes Dodge, was bom in New York in 1838. For many years she 
was the eflRcient editor of St, Nicholas, a young people's magazine of 
the highest type. In addition to her editorial work she wrote many 
books for young people, the most famous being Hams Brinker, or 
the saver Skates. She died in 1905. 


Very often the earliest stories are not crude accounts of ordinary 
events, exaggerated enough to be worthy of note. They are poetic 
narratives founded on matters of deep significance in the life of a 
people. All primitive people are poetic, because they see the world 
through the eyes of emotion rather than of scientific understanding. 
They also have an instinctive recognition of fundamental nobility. 
Therefore we have such stories as the legends of Hiawatha, in which 
an ideal man is presented, bringing benefit to his kind. Any story 
that is handed down from generation to generation, and that pre- 
sents as facts matters that have no other verification, is legendary. 
The highest type of legendary story is one that presents high ideals. 

The Chinese, whose literature is exceedingly ancient, have always 
been an idealistic people. It is not surprising that they should create 
such an appealing legendary tale as The Soul of the Great BeU, 
Although the elements are quite* simple the story has been turned 
from being a simple account of tragic self-sacrifice, and has become 
an explanation of the music of the bell, as well as an example of 
filial devotion. The preservation of such stories shows natural ap- 
preciation of short story values. 




The present rendering of The Saul of the Great BeU undoubtedly 
far surpasses the Chinese version. The story has been appropriately 
introduced, amplified and given added poetic and dramatic effect by 
careful choice of words, descriptive passages, suspense, onomato- 
poeia, and climax. 

Lafcadio Heam was bom in 1850, of Irish and Greek parentage, 
in Leucadia, of the Greek Ionian Islands. At 19 he came to Amer- 
ica and engaged in newspaper work, living at various times in New 
Orleans and in New York. From 1891 until his death in 1904 he 
made his home in Japan, where he became a Buddhist and a natural- 
ized Japanese citizen under the name of Yakumo Koizumi. He 
learned to know the oriental peoples as few others have known them. 
His literary work is marked by poetic treatment, and an atmosphere 
of the Orient. He wrote Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Out of 
the East, Some Chinese Ghosts, and many other books on oriental 

Ta-diTing sz'. Temple of the Bell. A building in Pekin, holding the 
bell that is the subject of the story. The bell was made in the reign 
of Yong-lo, about 1406 a. D. It weighs over 120,000 pounds, and is 
the largest bell known to be in actual use. 

Kwang-ohan-fn. The Broad City. Canton. 


The fable and the proverb are much alike in that both are highly 
condensed, and both are told to instruct. The short, direct, applied 
narratives known as "Fables" are among the oldest ancestors of the 
short story. Even in the most ancient times there were fables, 
those of ^sop having been told perhaps as early as the sixth cen- 
tury, B. 0. Many familiar fables have animals for their characters, 
their known characteristics needing no comment. Thus the fox and 
the wolf appear frequently, their mere names suggesting traits of 
character. The fable, as a type of wisdom literature, is always 
short, simple, and emphatic. It always emphasizes marked human 
characteristics, and usually ends with a "moral" that adds to the 
emphasis. The influence of the fable helped to make the story 
short, condensed, vivid, pointed, and based on character. 

The Ten Trails is a modem imitation of older fables. Its direct- 
ness, simplicity, clear story, and appended moral are characteristic 
of the type. 

Ernest Thompson Seton, bom in England in 1860, has written 
many stories in which he presents animal life with appealing sjrm- 
pathy. He has devoted himself particularly to cultivating a love 
for outdoors life, and for animate nature. Wild Animals I Have 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


Known, The Biography of a Grizzly, and similar books, are foil of 
original interest. 


An allegory is a story that has an underlying meaning or 
moral. It is in some ways an expanded fable, with the mean- 
ing understood rather than presented. The chief difference be- 
tween the "Fable" and the "Allegory" lies in length and complexity 
of treatment, and in the way of presenting the underlying meaning. 
The "Fable" is short and usually appends the moral. The "Alle- 
gory*' is usually long, and tells the story in such a way that the 
reader is sure to grasp the meaning without further comment. The 
purpose, as in the "Fable," is double, — ^to tell a storjr, and to teach 
a truth. All literatures have numerous allegories^ Spenser's 
Faerie Queene, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and Tennyson's IdyUs 
of the King being notable examples in English literature. 

Where Love Is, There God Is Also is an allegorical story of a 
pleasing type that is often found in our present day literature. The 
story has such evident good humor, appreciation of the needs of 
humble life, and such an unselfish spirit of sympathy that it appeals 
to any reader. Its strong realism, effective plan, and dear, em- 
phatic presentation make the story one of the best of its kind. 

Count Leo Tolstoi, bom at Yasnaya Polyana, in Russia, in 1828, 
and dying at Astapovo in 1910, is one of the greatest and most in- 
teresting figures in all modem literature. The story of his career, 
with its surprising changes from the life of a nobleman to that of a 
peasant, from a life given over to pleasure to a life devoted to the 
moral uplift of a whole people, is even more astonishing than any J 
of the stories he told in h» many works of fiction. Student, soldier, \ 
traveler, lover of social life, philosopher, reformer, and self-sacri- 
ficing idealist, he developed a personality unique in the extreme, and 
became a world-wide influence for good. His best known novels are 
War and Peace, and Anna Karenina. In them, as in all that he 
wrote, the notable qualities are realism, dramatic forcei original 
thought, and courageous expression of beliefs. 

Orivenki. A grivenka is 10 copecks, or about five cents. 


There is a strange fascination about the supernatural, for men of 
all races instinctively believe that they are surrounded by a world 

Digitized by VjOO^ It! 


of good and evil that lies just beyond their touch. Some have 
thought the woods and mountains peopled with unseen divinities; 
others have believed in strange gnomes and dwarfs who are thought 
to live in the depths of the earth; some have believed in pale 
ghosts^ specters that move by nighty haunting the scenes of unat- 
toned crime. One of the most pleasing belief is that in fairies, or 
'^Little Folk/' — ^unseen, beautiful, and usually beneficent beings 
who live in woodland places and axe endowed with all powers of 

Stories of the unseen world that may lie about us have appeared 
in all ages. Sometimes such stories have been beautiful and fan- 
ciful, and sometimes filled with the spirit of fear. In the latter 
part of the eighteenth centuYy and the first of the nineteenth it 
became quite the fashion to tell stories of ghosts and strange ter- 
rors. Ernst Hofi^ann and Ludwig Tieck in Germany set an exam- 
ple that was followed by Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 
and Edgar Allan Poe in this country^ as well as by many other 
writers since their time. 

There is another and more healthful attitude of mind. Instead 
of the horror of Gbthic romance it presents the fancy of Celtic 
thought. In stories of this gentler type one does not feel that the 
unseen world is wholly to be feared. 

Such a story is Wood Ladies, in which the spirit of Celtic fancy 
has found fuU play. In this story everything is woodsy, delicate, 
half-seen, as though one were treading the very edges of fairyland 
without knowing it. Mother-love fills the whole story and gives it a 
noble beauty. And yet, in a certain sense, the child, conscious of 
another world, is wiser than the mother. A story of this sort, deal- 
ing with the supernatural, rests the mind like sweet music. 

Perceval Gibbon was bom in Carmarthenshire in South Wales, 
in 1879. He has spent much time in the merchant service on Brit- 
ish, French, and American vessels. He has done unusual work as 
war correspondent. Among his literary works are SouU in Bond- 
age, The Adventures of Miss Gregory, The Second Class Passenger, 
and a collection of Poems. His work is marked by originality, and 
a clever mastery of technique. 


Love is so essential a part of life that it must also be a part 
of literature; therefore romantic love has been a leading liter- 
ary theme for centuries. Some of the world's greatest stories of 
love flash into our minds when we repeat the names of Juliet, 
Rosalind, Portia, Elaine, and Evangeline. Such stories suggest 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^ 


depth of emotion, charm, womanly worth, pure and innocent love, 
or a love that lasts beyond the years. In the days of chivalry 
the knight bore his lady's token, and fought in her honor. To- 
day men love just as deeply, and light for land and hearth and 
sweetheart just as truly as men did in the long ago. 

On the Fever Ship is the story of a modem knight, — a soldier 
who went into his comitry's war, bearing in his heart the memory 
of one he loved* When he is wounded, and lies fever-stricken on 
the deck of a transport, he does not think at all of himself but 
only of the one who is far away. That is the story, an abiding 
love in absence, with dreams at last made true. 

The author makes the story notably strong and tender. With- 
out formal introduction he presents the realistic picture of the 
fever ship, — the inexplicable monotony, the dream-world, tiie child- 
likeness of the wounded man's life. Old scenes and faces come 
before the wounded soldier in tantalizing dreams. Little by little 
the author draws us closer into sympathy with the central figure. 
He makes us share in the man's intensity of feeling. We feel 
the force of the strong episode of the somewhat unfeeling nurse, 
and become indignant in the man's behalf. Finally, lifted by the 
power of the stoiy, we rise with it into full comprehension 
of the depth of the hero's love. Then, quickly and with artistic 
effect, the story comes to an end. Simply, surely, strongly, with 
real sentiment instead of sentimentality, it has made us reaHze the 
all-powerful force of love. 

The story is written with much sympathy and evident tender- 
ness of spirit, and is so touched with real pathos, that it comes 
to us as a transcription of some real story the author had found 
in his work as war correspondent. 

Richard Harding Davis was one of the most romantic figures in 
recent literary life. As war correspondent he saw fighting in the 
Spanish-American War, the Boer War, the Japanese-Hussian War, 
and the Great War. He traveled in all parts of Europe, in Cen- 
tral and in South America, and in the little-visited districts of the 
Congo in Africa. He saw the magnificent coronation ceremonies 
of the King of Spain, the King of England, and the Czar of 
Russia. He attended gorgeous state occasions in various lands. 
He also lived the hard field and camp life of a soldier and an 

He wrote a number of extraordinarily good short stories, several 
stirring novels, — among which are The King's Jackal, Bansom^s 
FoUy, The White Mice, and The Princess Aline, — several plays, and 
a number of works of travel and war correspondence. 

Richard Harding Davis was bom in Philadelphia in 1864, and 
died in New York in 1916. 




San Juan. A fortified hill position in Cuba, near Santiago de Cuba, 

captured in the Spanish-American War by the United States soldiers 

July 1, 1898. 
ICaitre d'hotel. Chief attendant — ^head-waiter. 
Embankment. The Thames Embankment, a noted part of London. 
Chassenr. Footman. 
Hnmero oinq, sur la terrace, un oouvert. Number five, on the terrace, 

one place. 
Baiquiri. A landing place in Cuba near Santiago de Cuba. The United 

States soldiers landed here, June 21-23, 1898. 
Tampa. A seaport in Florida. 


An interesting type of story shows an ordinary person in an ex- 
traordinary situation. In Robinson Crusoe, for example, an ordi- 
nary Englishman is left alone on an uninhabited island; in Stock- 
ton's The Casting Away of Mrs. Leeks and Mrs. Aleshine two good 
old New England women with little worldly experience are wrecked 
on a mysterious island in the Pacific ; in Howard Pyle's The Ruhy of 
Kishmore a peace-loving Philadelphia Quaker is suddenly involved 
in a series of bloody encounters in the West Indies. Such stories 
always arouse interest or develop humor by the astonishing contrast 
between setting and characters, and they always emphasize character 
by showing how it acts in unusual circumstances. Thus Bohinson 
Crusoe at once attracts our interest and awakens admiration for the 

A Source of Irritation is especially clever in every way. There 
could be no greater contrast than that between old Sam Gates' usual 
hum-drum, eventless life, and the sadden transfer to an aeroplane, 
a foreign land, the trenches, battle, and the search for a spy. Very 
rarely, too, is a character presented so emphatically as this 69-year- 
old gardener, with his irritable moods, his insistence on the habits of 
a life-time, his stolidity, and his real manliness. Equally rare is a 
story told so effectively, with just the proper combination of realism 
and romance, with quick touches of comedy and of tragedy, with a 
closeness to Hfe that is indisputable, and a romance that is unusual. 
In its every part the story is a masterpiece of construction. 

Stacy Aumonier is an Englishman of Huguenot descent. 

Swede. A Swedish turnip. 

Shag. A fine-cut tobacco. 

'Ilare vndish. ' Merkwilrdig, remarkable. 

A fearful noise. The English made an attack on the German aeroplane. 

TTglanbllch. Incredible. 

A foreign country. Evidently Flanders. 




Boohe. German 

G. H. Q. General Head Quarters. 

ITorfoUc. One of the eastern counties of England, bordering on the 
North Sea. 


0n6 of the pleasures of life is to travel and see the world. If we 
are unable to travel far in reality we may at least see much of 
strange lands through short stories of distant places and ways of life 
different from the ordinary. 

Moti Guj — Mutineer is a story of life in India, of elephants and 
mahouts and strange events. It has all the atmosphere of India, 
given by half-humorous realistic touches that transport us from the 
land of everyday. It is a story of animal life, told with an intimate 
knowledge that shows close familiarity with **elephanthood." Be- 
yond that, it has what every story must have, — close relation to hu- 
man character as we see it in any land at an^^ time. Even the ele- 
phant is made to act and to think as if he were a human being. The 
humorous style, and the quickness with which the story is told, as 
well as the vivid pictures it gives, are typical of its author's work, 

Rudyard Kipling was bom in Bombay, India, in 1865. After 
education in England he became a sub-editor of a paper published in 
Lahore, India, where he lived for some years, becoming intimate 
with all the life of the land. He has lived at various times in India, 
the United States, South Africa, and England. He has written a 
great number of astonishingly clever stories, poems, and novels, all 
in quick, vigorous style, with freedom from restraint, with rough 
realism, and with genuine humor and pathos. Among his most not- 
able books are : Plain Tales from the Hills, The Jungle Book, Cap- 
tains Courageous, The Day's Work, and Puck of Pool^a HilL 

Arrack. A fermented drink. 

Colr-iwab. A mop made from cocoanut fiber. 


There is a wonderfully close sympathy between man and the 
animal world, — a sympathy that is especially strong in the case 
of either the horse or the dog, animals that are the close associates 
of man. Ancient literature, — The Bible and The Odyssey, — tell of 
the faithfulness of the dog, man's friend and protector. In recent 
times writers have turned to the whole world of nature for subjects, 
— ^the stag, the grizzly bear, the wolf, and other animals, but stories 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


of dogs still awaken interest and sympathy, and will continue to do 
so as long as the faithfulness of dogs endures, — which is forever. 

Gulliver the Great is told in an interestingly suggestive manner, 
every part of the story being rich with hints on which our imagina- 
tions build. The pleasant calm of the setting adds much to the 
effect. The man's character is emphasized from the start, making 
the story he tells have full meaning. The story is dramatic, but 
its power rests far more on sympathy than on events. The art of 
llie story is in the clever way in which the almost human soul of 
the dog is revealed, acting upon the soul of the man. 

Walter A. Dyer was bom in Massachusetts in 1878. Since his 
graduation from Amherst College in 1900 he has been engaged in 
editorial and other literary work. His natural fondness for dogs 
has led to such books as Pierrot: Dog of Belgium, and Gulliver the 

Early Victorian comforts. The comforts characteristic of the first part 
of the reign of Queen Victoria of England, before city life and com- 
mercial life were highly developed. 

Mr. Pickwick. The humorous hero of Charles Dickens' famous novel, 
Pickwick Papers, 

James 0. Blaine. An American statesman, 1830-1893. He held many 
high offices, and was once candidate for the Presidency 

Simplicissimns. A humorous and satirical German periodical. 

Bmnos. From the Latin '*brunus" — ^brown. A name frequently given 
to dogs. 

Koros. The Malay inhabitants of certain islands of the Philippines. 

Great Dane. A type of dog noted for great size and graceful build. 

Vohl's Vulcan. A famous dog. 

Wnrtembnrg breed. A well-known breed of dogs. 

Kanna Loa. A noted Hawaiian volcano nearly 14,000 feet in height. 

Bulls of Bashan. The Bihle makes frequent mention of the bulls of 
Bashan, a section of Palestine east of the valley of the Jordan. 


Laughter is a legitimate part of life, especially when it clarifies 
the mind. The short story has seized upon all the elements of hu- 
mor and made them its own, especially the anecdote. Some writers 
have used whimsical humor to give relief from sombre tales, or 
have told stories lightly and fancifully humorous, like several in 
this book. Others have written with broader effects. Every one 
of the many types of humorous story is good, — ^the unusual situa- 
tion, the surprising climax, the ftwtastic character, the utter absurd- 
ity, — ^but every type must follow the dictates of good taste. Humor 
need never be coarse, or vulgar, or in any way aimed at personal 
satire. It may criticize, but it must do so with friendly good will. 

Digitized by VjOO*2 1^ 


Sonny's Schoolin' is a series of connected anecdotes, told in mono- 
logue. The humor of the anecdotes lies in their absurdity — in the 
presence of Sonny every one is so helpless! Any modem teacher 
would deal with Sonny in a way that he would understand. The 
humor of the narration lies partly in the events, partly in the speak- 
er's naive, unconscious exposition of self, and partly in the amusing 
dialect. Two qualities illuminate the story: one, the gradual pres- 
entation of Sonny's really lovable nature, seen to better advantage 
by the father-and-mother-love behind it; the other, the gradual 
criticism of the older system of education, and the suggestion of a 
type well adapted to quick^ active; original min^ like Sonny's. 

fluth McEnery Stuart, a native of Louisiana, contributed to our 
best periodicals, and wrote many amusing, and wholly sympathetic, 
stories of southern life, such as Holly and Pizen, Napoleon Jackson, 
Sonny, and Sonny's Father. She died in 1917. 


Every side of life contributes short story material, — ^the deeds of 
people in strange surroundings, unusual aces of heroism in war or in 
peace, the lives of the poor, and the lives of the rich. Since men's 
characters are independent of either wealth or poverty, the story of 
society life, when written effectively, may awaken as deep feeUngs 
of sympathy or brotherhood as the story of humble life. Any story 
is worthy if it broadens the understanding of life and preseniB its 
material in artistic form. 

On the surface Her First Horse Show is a story of society life, 
of rich people who delight in the fashionable horse show, and in 
dining at the Waldorf. Fundamentally, it is a story of human 
understanding, cleverness, and daring, in which the charm of a girl, 
and the thoroughbred qualities of a horse, play leading parts. 
Quick, suggestive conversation makes the story vividly interesting, 
and clear arrangement leads effectively to the climax. * 

David Gray was bom in Buffalo, New York, in 1870. He has 
done editorial work on various papers, and has written a large num- 
ber of interesting 'Tiorse stories" collected in such books as Gallops 
I, GciUops II, and Mr. Carteret and Others. In 1899' Mr. Gray 
entered the legal profession. 

Doubting Thomas. A reference to the Bible story of St. Thomas, who 
at first doubted the resurrection of Jesus. See John : 20 : 25. 

''HaaAs." Much of the skill in riding hi|^h spirited horses depends upon 
the use of the hands in holding the reins. ^ 





Someiames the short story is used as an effeetive means of satire 
of a type resembling that employed by Addison in The Spectator 
Papers. Satire can be given in so lew words^ and in the very 
speech and actions of the persons satirized, that it is well adapted 
as material for the short story. It should be the aim of all satirical 
short stories of the milder sort to follow Addison's rule, and point 
out little follies rather than great wickednesses, and to aun at a 
thousand people rather than at one. 

My Kushand's Book is an admirable example of ideal satire of 
the lighter type. The husband is typical— of whom f— of every o^e 
who puts off until tomorrow what he should do today. The wife 
is presented whimsically as altogether adoring, but as somewhat 
persistently and mischievously suspicious- At no time does the 
husband become aware of his real defect of character, nor the wife 
lose all her loving faith. Kindly satire like this is playful in nature, 
the sort to be expected from the author of Peter Pan. We laugh 
good-naturedly at the husband — and see onselves in him! 

Sir James Matthew Barrie was bom in Sdrriemtdr, Scotland, in 
1860. His delightfully romantic Auld Licht Idylls, A Window in 
Thrums, and especially The Little Minister, made him known to all 
the English-speaking world. His remarkably original and fanciful 
plays, Quality Street, Peter Pan, What Every Woman Knows, and 
numerous other dramatic works have added to his already great repu- 
tation. He is one of the leading English writers of tibe present 



The short story often rises beyond the light and the commonplace 
to act as a stem critic of world conditions. With vivid, realistic 
touches it points at reality. By focussing every light upon a single 
human figure who compellingly commands sympathy, it arouses in 
us a sense of kinship with all who suffer. Short stories of this 
type have teaching force that is all powerful. 

War is such a story. Although little more than a vivid sketch it 
presents the bmtality of war in all its horror, — ^not by picturing 
the slaughter of thousands, but by showing a boy, — shrinking, eager 
to perform his full duty, loving life, fearing death, stopping to 
gather apples in a boyish way, — ^a boy whose instinctive and noble 
hesitation to kill rebounds on himself, as if in irony, and causes his 
own death. In a certain sense, the boy with his kindly manhood 

Digitized by VjOO^^lt! 


and generous motives represents the American spirit. The opposite 
type of spirit, the love of war for war's sake, brutality for the sake 
of brutality, is shown in the boy's enemies, — ^harsh foreignei-s who 
hang mea to trees, who shoot at the boy as at a target, and laugh 
at his death. The story individualizes war, and thereby gives 
emphasis to its horror. Such a story demands on the part of the 
author a heartfelt interest in his theme, an intense love of life, and 
the ability to write in realistic style. 

Jack London was deeply ■ mterested in the world of men. Far 
from being a recluse, he lived an active life with his fellows. He 
left his college class in order to go with other adventurers into the 
Klondike ; he went to Japan, and seal hunting in the Behring Sea as 
a sailor before the mast; he tramped about the country; he traveled 
as a war correspondent, and went on an adventurous voyage into the 
South Seas in a 55-foot yacht. He wrote a great number of books, 
all of which show a quick understanding of the needs of humanity. 
Some of his works are thoughtful studies of social conditions. His 
best known boolos are: The Call of the Wild, The Sea Wolf, and 
The Mutiny of the Elsinore. He was bom in San Francisco in 1876, 
and died in 1916. 


In this day when science plays so great a part in life it is only 
natural that many stories should be based on scientific knowledjje. 
Since such stories must almost always more or less distort scientific 
truth in order to make the facts have story-interest they are usually 
called "pseudo-scientific," that is, falsely scientific. 

Edgar Allan Poe, who did so much for the short story, was one 
of the first to write pseudo-scientific stories, his Descent into the 
Maelstrom, and A Tale of the Ragged Mountains being good exam- 
ples of his peculiar power. 

The Battle of the Monsters is a wonderfully clever pseudo-scien- 
tific story. In it we enter the minute world of the miscroscope, 
every character being infinitesimally small. 

The story tells how a microbe of Asiatic cholera enters the veins of 
John Anderson at the same moment when he is bitten by a rabid 
dog. The "white, corrugated wall" is the dog's tooth; the army of 
dog-faced creatures is composed of the microbes of rabies, or hy- 
drophobia. The vibrant roar heard from time to time, is the beat 
of the man's heart. In the veins the cholera microbe finds the 
red corpuscles and other cells and microbes that exist in the blood, 
and also the white corpuscles that, according to Metscbnikoff, act as 
destroyers of the microbes of disease. We go with the cholera 

Digitized by VjOO^K:^^ 


microbe through the series of blood vessels into the heart and thence 
back into the arteries and veins, all the time seeing the struggle 
between the beneficent white corpuscles and the deadly microbes of 
rabies. We see the desperate eftbrts to keep the microbes of rabies 
from entering llie cells and finding their way to the brain. As the 
microbes of rabies reproduce they begin to win the battle. The 
cholera microbe, himself fighting the hosts of rabies, is about to be 
overcome, when the physician's injection of antitoxin brings a new 
army to fight the dog-faced creatures. Now that the danger of 
rabies has been overcome attention is paid to the hero of the story, 
who declares himself to be the microbe of Asiatic cholera. At once 
the police guardians of the blood, the white corpuscles, close on 
him and destroy him. Thus John Anderson escapes all danger 
from rabies and from cholera, to both of which he had been ex- 
posed. The battle, if microscopic, had been real, had been on a 
grand scale, and had been of tremendous importance. 

The pseudo-scientific story could have no better illustration. Ev- 
ery detail is clear, vivid with action, and tense with interest. There 
is no turning aside to give scientific information — nothing tbat is 
dry-as-dust. The microbes and corpuscles, without losing their es- 
sential characteristics, speak and act in ways that we can understand. 
That is why the story is so successful. It is a human story, based 
upon human interest. Familiar language, familiar ways of thought, 
events that we can understand, convey to us information on a learned 
scientific subject — ^the work of the white blood corpuscles. 

Morgan Robertson, 1861-1915, was bom in Oswego, N. Y. From 
1877 to 3886 he lived the life of a sailor at sea. Gifted with natural 
literary ability he turned to writing, and wrote a number of dis- . 
tinctly original stories, most of them about the sea, such as Spun 
Tarn, Masters of Men, Shipmates, and Down to the Sea, 

Hetschnikoir's theory. The great Russian physiologist, Iliya Metschni* 
koff, 1845-101 6» taught that the white blood corpuscles act as de- 
stroyers of disease microbes. 

The wounds of Hilton's warring angels. In Milton's Paradise Lost the 
angels, wounded in the war in heaven, at once recovered. 

Darwin. Charles Darwin. 1800-1882 The great English naturalist, 
founder of the '^Darwinian Theory" of evolution from lower forms. 

Tasteur. Louis Pasteur, 1822-1895. The great French microseopist, 
and student of hydrophobia. He was the first to inoculate for 

Zoch. , Robert Koch, 1843-1910, a great German physician who dis- 
covered the bacilli of tuberculosis and of cholera. 





A popular type of story leaves the reader, at the conclusion, to 
choose one of two endings, either of which is open to objections. 
Such a story sets the reader's mind at work, leads him to review 
every part of the story, and leaves a peculiarly lasting impression 
of construction and emphasis. In stories of this sort there is care- 
ful exclusion of everything that does not tend to lead to, or to 
increase, the difficulty. 

A Dilemma makes complete preparation for the final puzzle by 
giving all the necessary facts, and all the motives for possible action, 
or non-action. When the reader reviews all that has been said, and 
sees how cleverly the stoiy is constructed, he finds that the difficulty 
of solution appears even greater than at first. 

Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, 1829-1914, was bom in Philadelphia, and 
tihere spent most of his life. As a physician he wrote many medical 
books, an^ became one of the most distinguished neurologists in the 
worlds His unusual ability led to his becoming member of many 
learned scientific societies in this country and in Europe. In spite 
of his active medical work he found time for much writing of a 
purely literary nature. Such books as Hugh Wynne, The Adven- 
tures of Francois, and Dr, North and His Friends, are distinctly 
original American contributions, and made their author unusually 

Empress-Queen Xaria Theresa. Maria Theresa, 1717-1780. Arch- 
duchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary, and wife bf Emperor Francis 
I of Austria. One of the most interesting and notable women in 


Edgar Allan Poe was the first author to succeed in the ''detective, 
story." His Murders in the Bue Morque, The Mystery of Mark 
Boget, and The Purloined Letter are among the first stories of their 
type. Since Poe's time there have been all sorts of detective 
stories, — good, bad, and indifferent,^ — from cheap penny-dreadfuls 
to elaborate novels. Poe's method has been followed in nearly 
every one, whether written in this country, or abroad, as by Sir 
Arthur Conan Doyle in England, femile Gaboriau in France, or 
Anton Chekhov in Russia. 

Of all the thousands who have tried their hands in writing 
detective stories Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has won the most pleas- 
ing success. His Sherlock Holmes is a world-known character. 

Digitized by V^jOOQIC 


The Bed Headed League is an admirable example of the author's 
method. The story is told by the hero's friend, Dr. Watson, allow- 
ing opportunity for close appearance of reality, and for unstinted 
praise. The problem is introduced at first himdy apparently with 
every detail. To a certain degree we are allowed to enter the 
series of deductive reasonings pursued by Sherlock Holmes. We 
are given a brilliant series of events, and then the final solution. 
Occasional hints at other work performed by Sherlock Holmes 
tend to awaken further interest. There is such closeness to tife, 
realistic character drawing, good humor, and natural conversation, 
that the story, — ^like all the four books of the Sherlock Holmes 
series, — ^is most attractive. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was bom in Edinburgh in 1859. Both 
his father and grandfather achieved fame as artists. Sir Arthur 
began life as a physician and surgeon, but soon found his real 
work in letters. He has written a number of our best historical 
novels, The White Company, Micah Clarke, The Refuges, Sir 
Nigel, etc., and four books of stories about Sherlock Holmes, as 
well as much other work both in prose and in verse. 

Onme ignotum pro magnifloo. Whatever is unknown is thought to be 

Sarasate. A famous Spanish violinist, 1844~. 
Partie oarr6e. A party of four. 
'Oii'lionune c'est rien — ^I'ocnvrc c'cst tout." The man is nothing— the 

work is everything. 
Oustave Flaubert. 1821-1880. One of the greatest French novelists. 
George Sand. The pseudonym of the Baroness Dudevant, 1804-1876, a 

great French novelist and playwright. 


In One Hundred in the Dark Owen Johnson makes one of the 
characters say that the peculiar fascination of the detective story 
lies more in the statement of the problem than in the solution. 
"The solution doesn't count. It is usually banal; it should be 
prohibited. What interests us is, can we guess itf" 

One Hundred in the Dark illustrates that type of detective story 
that presents a problem but gives no solution. Giving all the 
information that one could be expected to have, it presents a 
problem with several different solutions possible. At the end of 
the story the problem is left unsolved — the reader is "in the dark," 
but, because his mind has been awakened, he is fascinated. The 
author has gone further than usual, for he gives the story as if 
told in a club at the conclusion of a conversation in which several 




persons have taken part. The story is followed by further con- 
versation that suggests a second problem — ^what did the members 
of the club think of the person who told the stoiyt The result 
is that the author has cleverly established a definite setting, has 
aroused interest in the type of story to be told, and has emphasized 
the problem by giving it a new interest in the light of the ques- 
tion : What part did the members of the club think Peters played 
in the story that he himself toldt 

Owen Johnson was bom in New York in 1878. He turned his 
college Ufe at Tale into literary account in his interesting novel, 
Stover at Yale. He is the author of numerous short stories and 

Bon mots. Bright sayings. 

De Xaupaisant Guy de Maupassant, 1850-1893. A celebrated French 
novelist and poet. In Fort ootnme la Mort (Strong as Death) he 
tells of the life of fashionable society. 

The Faust theme. A reference to the great tragedv of Faust by the 
German poet, Goethe, 1749-1832. Faust personines humanity with 
all its longings. 

The Three Xusketeers, etc. The Three Musketeere, by Alexander Dumas, 
pftre, 1803-1870; Trilby, by George du Maurier, 1834-1896, and Sol- 
diers Three, by Rudyard Kipling, 1805-, all tell stories of the close 
comradeship of three men. 

Vie de Boh^me. Schnes de la vie de Boh^me by Henri Murger. The 
opera La Bohhme is based upon this book. 

Bluebeard and The Xoonstone. In the stories of Blueheardy and The 
Moonstone, a famous mystery story by Wilkie Collins, 1824-1889, 
curiosity plays a leading part. 

Watteaulike. A reference to the conventional pictures of shepherd- 
esses by Jean Antoine Watteau, a celebrated French painter, 1684- 

Tines herbes. Vegetable greens. 

En maitre. As master. 

By 0. HENRY 

The story of self-sacrifice has appealed to people in all timesy 
whether it appears in history, — as in the partly legendary story of 
Arnold von Winkelried, who gathered the Austrian spears against 
his breast in order that his comrades might make a way through the 
ranks of the enemy, — or in fiction, as in Dickens* A Tale of Two 
Cities, Such a story is particularly fascinating, when, as in the 
story of Sidney Carton, it combines the idea of self-sacrifice with 
that of fundamental change in character. 

In A Retrieved Reformation 0. Henry has told, in a convincingly 
brilliant way, how a man — always really good at heart, — even when 




set in evil wajrs — was led through love to develop his better self. 
The greatness of Jimmy Valentine's soul is made clear by his instant 
willingness to sacrifice every hope he had, — ^to lay everything! on the 
altar of love and manliness. 

The quick, realistic, kindly-humorous characterizations, the clear, 
logical arrangement of opposing forces, the dramatic situation at 
the climax, and the instant solution, — for which every step has 
inevitably prepared, — ^point alike to a master hand in story telling. 

William Sidney Porter, 1867-1910, — ^better known by the name, 
"0. Henry," which he chose humorously because it is so easy to 
write "0," and because he happened to see "Henry" as a last name 
in a newspaper account, — ^achieved as much popularity as any short 
story writer could desire. He was bom in North Carolina, and 
brought up in Texas, where he gained the little schooling that fell 
to his lot. He became a sort of rolling stone, working on various 
periodicals, living in South America, working in Texas as a drug 
clerk, engaging fully in literary work in New Orleans, and finally 
coming to New York City where he sold stories as fast as he could 
write them — and his powers of production were most astonishing. 
He was only 42 when he died, but, in spite of his wandering life, he 
had made himself, with almost careless ease, the master of the short 
story. He wrote quite untrammeled by convention or custom, using 
slang, coining words, writing in any way he pleased, but always, in 
reality, following the best principles of story telling, making his 
plots clear, convincing, and full of the unexpected humors of life. 
With it all he wrote with a spirit of gentleness and often touched 
real pathos. His favorite method was to surprise the reader by 
bringing him to a most unexpected climax. 


The world is so full of selfishness, and resulting misery, that 
every one more or less often thinks how different life would be if 
every individual -were to be ideal. Somewhere, somehow, we think, 
must be a Utopia where everything is as it should be. 

Brother Leo is not a fantastic dream of some unreal place. It is 
a simply beautiful story of a monk who had known no other life 
than that in his monastic retreat on an island near Venice. There, 
in a sort of heaven on earth, in a life of extreme simplicity, the 
young man, untouched by the world, developed all that ^ould 
characterize us in our daily lives. For one day he goes out into the 
city, comes into touch with its veneer and dishonesty, and goes 
back joyfully, without the slightest regret, into his calm retreat. 

The story, or character sketch, has no startling event. The young 

Digitized by VjOO^ l(:^ 


monk moves in the soft light of kindliness, a beautiful, dream-like 
figure presented to us with sufficient realism to give verisimilitude. 
How much better to show this modem, idealistic figure in modem 
surroundings than to picture some one in the distant past, or in the 
still more distant future! 

Phyllis Bottome was bom in England. Her father was an Ameri- 
can clergyman and her mother an English woman. She has sp^t 
most of her life in England, although ite has lived in America, 
France and Italy. She has written many short stories, some of 
which have been collected in a volume called The Derelict. 

Torcello. An island six miles northeast of Venice. 

Saint Prancis. Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226. The founder of the 
monastic order of Franciscans. 

Poverelli. Poor people. 

Bembrandt. 1607-1669. A great Dutch painter. Some of his pic- 
tures,— especially The Night TFa*cA,— show wonderful light eflfects. 

Poverino. Poor little fellow. 

The sin of Esau. See the Bible story in Genesis 25: 27-34. Esau sold 
his birthright in order to satisfy his hunger. 

St. Prancia' birds. St. Francis loved all animate and inanimate nature, 
and once preached to the birds as if they could understand him. 

Per Bacoo, Signore. By Bacchus, Sir! 

Signore Bio. Lord God. 

Veramente. Truly. 

n Signore Bio. The Lord Qod. . 

Piazzetta. An open square near the landing place in Venice. 

The dnoal palace. The palace of the Doges of Venice, built in the fif- 
teenth century, 

Chi lo saf Who knows? 

The column of the Lion of St. Mark's. A column in the Piazzetta bear- 
ing a winged lion, the emblem of St. Mark. 

Saint Xark's. One of the most famous and beautiful church buildings 
in the world, originally founded in 830. Its attractive Byzantine 
architecture and itis wonderful mosaics have always given delight. 

The Piazza. The chief business and pleasure center of Venice. 

The new Campanile. A new tower that takes the place of the fallen 
Campanile begun in the ninth century. 

I^ari. A great Venetian church built for the Franciscan Friars, 1250- 

Titian. 1477-1576. The most famous of all Venetian painters. One 
of the greatest artists the world has known. 

Bellinls. Pictures by Giovanni Bellini, 1427( ?)-1616, a great Venetian 
painter, and the instructor of Titian. 

Andiamo. Let us go. 

Palazzo Giovanelli. A Venetian palace containii^ a small but beauti- 
ful collection of paintings. 

Giorgriones. Pictures by Giorgione, 1477-1511, a pupil of Bellini, much 
noted for color effects. 

Plorian's. A famous Venetian caf6, some 200 years old. 

Speriamo. We hope. 





Heroism is as great in daily life as in battle. We live beside 
heroic figures perhaps not recognizing their greatness. Plain, sim- 
ple surroundings, daily scenes, everyday people, the accustomed 
language of daily life, may all take on noble proportions. 

A Fight with Death is a local color story, for it gives the dialect, 
the way of life, the character, of certain people in a remote part of 
Scotland. It is a story of noble type, presenting a character 
ideal — ^a country doctor fighting for the life of a humble patient. 

The world will always appreciate any story that finds the ideal 
in the actual; it will appreciate it all the sooner if it is written, as 
in this case, with plenty of action, vivid character drawing, natural, 
everyday language, and touches of pathos and of humor, all so com- 
bined that the story rises to climax, and wakens sympathy. 

A Fight with Death is the third of a series of five simple, ex- 
quisitely pathetic stories of Scotch life, entitled A Doctor of the Old 
School, printed in the collection of stories called Beside the Bonnie 
Brier Bush, by Ian Maclaren, — ^the pseudonym of Rev. John Wat- 
son. The author was bom in Manningtree, Essex, in 1850. He 
gained a large part of his education in Edinburgh University, and 
has spent many years in intimate touch with Scotch life. In addi- 
tion to Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush Dr. Watson has written a num- 
ber of books, the most notable being Days of Auld Lang Syne, The 
Upper Boom, and The Mind of the Master, 

Dmmshengh's grieve. Drumsheugh is tenant of a large farm. The 

''grieve" is his farm manager. 
Greet. Cry. 

A certalB mighty power. Death. 
Soagh. Breathe. 
Thraun. Perverse. 
Shilpit. Weak. 
Feckless. Spiritless. 
Pnshloned. Poisoned. 
Ximy aitmeal. Oatmeal with full kernels. 
Buirdly. Strong. 
Pecht. Fight. 

Haflin. A stripling, — ^half-grown. 
Dour chiel. Stubborn fellow. 
Caller. Fresh. 
Oxters. Armpits. 

Grampians. Moimtains in central Scotland. 
Byre. Cow-bam. 
Thole. Endure, — ^permit. 
VraikiB'. Disgraceful action. 
Olen TTrtach. A valley in the highlands. 





Jeis. The doctor's old horse. 

Qoon and bans. Gown and hands, — clerical robes. 


Are there strange, mystical forces in the world that affect us in 
spite of ourselves? Or do our own actions rebound upon us and 
make life ^^heaven or hell" as the case may bet These questions 
that we ask when we read Macbeth eome to us when we read Fiona 
Maeleod's Ddn-Nan-Bdn, 

The Ddn-Nan-Bdn is not wholly a story of mysticism built on the 
idea that the weird flute-'^song o' the seals" could so thrill one 
who, perhaps, drew his ancestry from the seals, that he would go out 
into the wild waters to live or die with his ancestral folk. The stoxy 
suggests all that. It hints at strange dei^cent, magic melodies, 
wraiths of the dead, and weird powers beyond man. This, no doubt, 
combined with unusual setting, frequent use of the little-understood 
Gaelic, weirdly musical verse, and romantic action, gives the story 
an unusual atmosphere of gloom and shadow. At heart, in plain 
fact, the story is psychological. A man on whose soul hangs the 
memory of a crime, maddened by grief at the death of a fervently 
loved wife, tormented in his evil hour by a deadly human foe who 
subtly, with compelling music, plays upon his superstitions, plunges, 
in the violence of his madness, into the sea. From that point of 
view the man's own soul scourged him to his death. 

The whole combination of weird atmosphere, tragedy, grief, con- 
science, and superstition, is brought together in an artistic form that 
leads to a grimly startling catastrophe — ^the final mad fight with the 
seals. This is no common story of sensational event. It is a great 
human tragedy of grief and conscience, played to the weird music 
of the north as if by a Gaelic minstrel endowed with mystic powers. 

There is something mystic indeed in Fiona Maeleod. William 
Sharp, 1856-1905, the Scottish poet, editor, novelist, biographer, 
and critic, lived a successful life as man of letters. He did more, 
for, beginning in 1894, he used the name, "Fiona Madeod," not as a 
pseudonym but as that of the actual author of the most unusual, 
brilliant, and altogether original series of poems and stories ever 
written. Not until Mr. Sharp's death was it found that Fiona Mae- 
leod and William Sharp were one and the same person. The v^ole 
story is apparently one of dual personality. All this adds to the 
strange fascination of Fiona Maeleod's stories and poems. 

Bilanmore. An island west of Scotland. 

The Outer Isles. The Hebrides, or Western Isles, west of Scotland. 

The Lews and North TTlst. Islands of the Hebrides. 

Digitized by V^OOQK 


Arran. An island west of Ireland. 

Inner Hebrides. Islands of the Hebrides group, not far from the coast 

of Scotland. 
Bones. Mystical songs. 
Prom the Obb of Harris to the Head of Xingnlay. From one end of the 

Hebrides to the other. 
Grain spioradail. Spiritual song. 
Barra. A southern island of the Hebrides. 
Galloway. The extreme southwestern coast of Scotland. 
The Minoh. The strait between the Hebrides and Scotland. 
Caisean-fensag. Moustache. , 
Ho cailinn. My girl. 
Bye* Cattle. 

Bemeray of Uist. A small island north of North Uist in the Hebrides. 
The Sonnd of Harris. The sound between North Uist and Harris in 

the Hebrides. 
Anna-ban. Fair Anna. 
Anne-k-ghraldh. Anna, my dear, 
aheasan. A charm, magic spell. 
Geas. Charm. 
Sinnsear. Ancestors^ 

Anna-nic-Oilleasbnig. Anna, daughter of the line of Gilleasbuig. 
Bn' Tormaid. A place in the Hebrides. 
Corbies. Ravens. 
B&ta-beag. Small boat. 
Corrle. A hollow in the side of a hill. 
Ann-mochree. Ann, my tantalizer. 
The black stone of Icolmkill. A famous stone at Icolmkill in the 

Oisin the son of Fionn. A character named in Gaelic legends. 
Skye. A large island close to the western shore of Scotland. 
The Clyde. The great estuary of the river Clyde, in the southwestern 

part of Scotland, one of the most important shipping centers of 

Great Britain. 
Byre. A cow house. 

Loch Boisdale. An inldt of South Uist in the Hebrides. 
Loch Kaddy. A small inlet in the Hebrides. 
Pictish Towre. An ancient stone construction. 
Ban Breao. The Spotted Hill. 
Kaigstir. Master. 

Skua. A large sea bird something like a gulL 
Liath. A small fish. 
Smooring. The fireplace. 
Bosad. A charm. 
Sgadan. Herrings. 
Fey. Doomed. 
Ceann-Cinnidh. Head of the Clan. 





L What is the advantage of having the two characters^-^Uncle 
Remus and the little boy? ^ « ^ 

2. What makes the introduction effective f 

3. What advantages are gained by the'' little boy's criticisms? 

4. Show how the story maintains its interest. 

5. What chai'acter distinctions are made in the story? 

6. Show how the story is made harmonious in every detail. 

7. Write a story in which you present an ignorant man of some 

familiar type telling to a neighbor an exaggerated story 
founded on a somewhat ordinary event. 


1. Show that the language of The Crow Child is superior to the 

language of The Adventures of Simon and Susanna. 

2. What distinctly literary effects does the author produce! 

3. Make a list of the words by which the author prepares the 

reader for Ruky's transformation. 

4. What is the purpose of the story f 

5. Make an outline that will show the principal divisions of the 


6. Show that every division of the story is necessary. 

7. Write an original story in which you transmute a real experi- 

ence into a wonder story with a moral effect. 


1. How does the story show itself to be a legendary talef 

2. How is the simple story given movraient and force f 

3. Show how the interest is focussed on the bell rather than on 

the girl. 

4. How does the author make the various sounds of the bell 

effective in the story? 

5. Point out the poetic elements in the story. 

6. Write, in poetic form, some legend of America, "The Indian 

Bride of Niagara," for example. 





1. Show in what way the story is highly condensed. 

2. Expand any part of the stoi-y into the full form it might have 

if not told in the form of a fable. 

3. How might the story have been told differently if it had not 

aimed at a moral! 

4. When is it of advantage to write fables? 

5. Write an original fable, no longer than The Ten Trails, about 

high school students. 


1. Make an outline that tnll show the structure of the story. 

2. Why did the author have Avdeitch help more than one person f 

3. Show how the use of realistic detail helps the story. 

4. What characteristics make the story interesting? 

5. Make a list of the epigranmiatic expressions that occur in the 

story. How do they add to the effect? 

6. What is the principal lesson taught by the story? 

7. Compare this story with Eliot's Silas Mamer, Leigh Hunt's 

Ahou Ben Adhem, Lowell's The Vision of Sir Laanfal, 
Longfellow's The Legend Beautiful, and Henry Van Dyke's 
The Other Wise Man. 

8. Write an allegorical story of some length, using realistic char- 

acters from daily life, leading to an effective climax, and 
presenting a high ideal of conduct. 


1. Point out the different steps in the action. 

2. What different persons take up the search? Wliat is the effect 

of the constant additions to the number of searchers? 

3. Why did the author have little children, five and seven years 

old, play principal parts? 

4. Trace the emotions of the mother from the beginning of the 

6. How did the mother, at different times, explain the child's 

6. Why does the author narrate nothing that is impossible? 

7. Point out passages that suggest the supernatural. 

8. Tell the story of the little girl in the "greeny sort of dress." 

9. What is the effect of the setting? What gives occasional relief 

from the setting and thereby emphasizes it all the more? 
10. How does the style of the story add to the effect? 

Digitized by V^jOOQIC 


11. Show in what ways the story expresses delicate fancy. 

12. What is the truth of the story! 

13. Write an original story of supernatural beings, using sngges- 

tion rather than statement, and avoiding harsh and horrify- 
ing events. 


1. Show the steps by which the author makes us realize the 

soldier's mental condition. His physical condition. 

2. By what means does the author present the setting? The prin- 

cipal plot elements? 

3. What previous events are indicated but not told? Why are they 

merely indicated? 

4. Trace the steps by which we are led into full sympathy with 

the love story. 

5. What means does the author take to increase the interest of the 

story as it nears the end? 

6. Characterize the different subordinate characters introduced in 

the story. Tell why every one is introduced. 

7. Show that the ending of the story is entirely appropriate. 

How is it made emphatic? 

8. Write a story in which you show the moving effect of any 

deep love, such as love for parents, brothers, sisters, or chil- 
dr^; or else write a somewhat restrained story of romantic 


1. What effect is given by the question: "Well, uncle, is there 

any noos?" at the beginning and at the ending of the 

2. Show how the character of old S^m Gates is essential in the 


3. Show how every part of the story is possible and probable. 

4. Why did the aviator take Sam Gates with him? 

5. Point out the characteristics of Sam's captors. 

6. Show that Sam's character and actions are consistent. 

7. Show that realism and local color give important contributions 

to the story. 

8. How is Sam unknowingly made an important person? What 

is the value of this importance as a part of the story? 

9. Why should Sam so quietly resume work on his return home? 
10. Write a story in which some person of quiet, secluded life is 

suddenly placed in an unusual setting and in unusual circum- 





1. Point out all that contributes to local color. 

2. Point out all that shows intimate knowledge of elephants. 

3. Show how the author has made the work humorous. 

4. Show that the story has a defmite course of action that leads to 

a climax. 

5. Show in what ways the story is highly original. 

6. Write an original story in which you use local color as a back- 

ground for a story of animal fife. You may write about a 
horse^ or cat, or dog, but in any case you must make your 
story have action and lead to climax. 


1. ViHiat advantage is gained by having the story told in the 


2. How is the dog made the central figure? 

3. What is the cUmax of the story f 

4. Give the steps in the presentation of the dog's character. 

5. Tell how we are made to sympathize with the dog. 

6. What suggestive effect is gained at the end of the story? 

7. Write a story in which you awaken sympathy for some dumb 

animal by suggesting that it has almost human emotions. 


1. What is the advantage of the monologue form? 

2. How is conversation indicated? 

3. Point out the separate incidents that make up the story. 

4. What advantage is gained by the use of dialect? 

5. Point out elements of goodness in Sonny. 

6. What is the character of the father? How is it presented? 

7. Tell why Miss Phoebe Kellog's school was superior to all the 


8. Show in what way the author has produced humorous effects. 

9. Write an original story in which you tell what happened to 

Sonny when he came to your school. 


1. Why does the author introduce us to his characters in the midst 

of the horse show? 

2. How does the author, in the beginning of the story, make the 

situation entirely clear? 




3. What speeches and actions in the early part of the story serve 

to make the action in the latter part of the story seem 

4. How is the girl's daring act emphasized f 

5. In what ways does the author make it seem probable that the 

girl could gain opportunity to ride the high-spirited horse at 
the horse show) 

6. Show in what ways the conclusion is particularly effective. 

7. Write an original story concerning a school athletic meet or 

contest in which one of the students, by unexpected skill and 
courage, wins the day. 


1. What is the character of the husband (a) as seen by himself? 

(b) as seen by the wife! (c) as seen by the reader? 

2. What is the character of the wife? 

3. What produces the humor of the story? 

4. What is the advantage of having the wife so slow to see her 

husband's real weakness? 

5. What is the effect of the last sentence? 

6. At what is the satire directed? 

7. Write an original story in which you satirize, in a kindly 

manner, some common failing in high school boys or girls. 


1. How are we made to sympathize with the young man? 

2. What is the effect of the detailed description? 

3. How is the emotion of the story presented? 

4. How does the author make the story increase in emphasis? 
6. Why is the incident of the apples introduced? 

6. Why is '^he man with the ginger beard" brought into the 


7. What impression does the story leave upon the reader? 

8. Write a story in which you arouse indignation at some great 

world evil by making the reader realize its effect on one in- 


1. What is the purpose of the physician's notes at the beginning 

and at the ending of the story? 

2. Show how the author has given story-interest to scientific ma- 


3. Point out the characteristics of the different characters. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


4. Trace the development of the story to its climax. 

5. By what means does the author liiake his scientific material 


6. How does the author arouse our sympathy! 

7. Point out the ways in which this story differs from most others. 

8. Write an original story in which you turn some scientific in- 

formation into story form by making definite characters per- 
form a series of actions that lead to a climax. You may 
choose something as simple as the pumping of water from a 
welly the action of electricity in lighting a lamp, or the burn- 
ing of a piece of coal. 


1* Point out all the ways in which the author prepares for the 
puzzle at the end of the story. 

2. Show in what way the author niakes the story seem reasonable. 

3. Show in what way character description adds to the interest 

of the story. 

4. How does the author emphasize the puzzle? 

5. Write a sequel to the story, giving a solution for opening the 

box, but leading to a new problem as difficult aa the first. 


1. How does the opening lead one to think the story has unusual 


2. Show how the author manages to keep the mystery to the end. 

3. Outline the parts of the story. 

4. Point out touches of unusual originality. 

5. What are the characteristics of Sherlock Holmes! 

6. What is the author's method in telling the story! 

7. Show how the author uses conversation. 

8. Write an original story involving mystery, leading, with 

sufficient action, to a climax, and depending upon the use of 
deductive reasoning. 


1. Point out the advantages derived from the setting. 

2. How much of the story depends upon character! 

3. What is your opinion of the literary theories presented! 

4. How does this story differ from A Dilemmat 

5. How many separate stories are contained in One Hundred in 

the DarJcf 

6. Give the several possible solutions of the principal story. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


7. What part did Peters play in the principal story f i 

8. Of what value are the hearers' comments on the stoiyf 

9. How does the story differ from most other stories? 

10. Write a story of school life, presenting a problem capable of 

several solutions, but leaving the reader to make the final > 
solution. 1 


1. Show in what way the first few paragraphs give an unusual 

amount of information in small space. 

2. What is our first impression of Jimmy Valentine f j 

3. What are Jimmy Valentine's good characteristics as seen in the ^ 

early part of the story! 

4. What are the characteristics of Ben Price? 

5. By what method does the author give the characteristics of the 

minor characters? 

6. How do you account for Jimmy Valentine's reformation? 

7. How did Ben Price find where Jimmy Valentine lived? 

8. How does the author give the impression of a contest? i 

9. Why did Jimmy Valentine ask for Annabel's rose? 

10. What forces are brought into full play at the end of the story? 

11. Why do we admire both Ben Price and Jimmy Valentine? J 

12. Write an original story in which you show the full establish- 

ment of naturally good characteristics, and the development 
of a spirit of sacrifice. Make your story rise to a surprising 
conclusion. \ 


1. In what way is the style appropriate to the theme? i 

2. Show how Ihe author has gained unity. 

3. What makes the story seem true to life? 

4. How does Brother Leo differ from other men? 

5. What ideals does the story present? , 

6. Why did the author make the events of the story so simple? 

7. Write a character study of some person who has unworldly 

ideals, — an old lady, a sister of charity, a member of the i 

Salvation Army, a missionary, or a devoted scientist. * 


1. What advantage is gained by the use of dialect? i 

2. How is the story made to appeal to our sympathies? -> 

3. How is the country doctor made heroic? 

4. Point out all the ways in which the doctor's character is empha- 


Digitized by LjOOQ IC 



5. How much of the worth of the story is due to local color? 

6. Point out examples of pathos; of hmnor. Why have both been 


7. Write a story of heroism in ordinary life. Use the slang, or 

the dialect of daily life as you have actually heard it, as a 
means of increasing the effect. Be sure to make your story 
tell of action as well as of character. Make it rise to a 


1. Why is personal appearance emphasized in the beginning of the 


2. Point out examples of poetic fancy. 

3. Show how the author's style of writing contributes to the effect 

the story produces. 

4. Show how great a part belief in the supernatural is made to 


5. How much of the stoiy depends upon character? 

6. What is the effect of the verse? 

7. What keeps the story from being merely sensational? 

8. What part does madness play in the story? 

9. What is the author's purpose in using so much Gaelic? 

10. Show in what ways the story is true to ordinary mental action. 

11. How do you account for all the events that take place? 

12. How does the author give the strong atmospheric effects? 

13. In what ways is the story imusual? 

14. What gives the story its great power? 

15. How does the story affect you? 

16. Write an original story in which you make conscience play a 

great part, especially when spun^ on by superstitious fears. 




I » 

Digitized by LjOOQIC ^ \ 


by Google 

Digitized byLjOOQlC 



by Google