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Copyright, 1916, 










II. DAFFY . . ^ 28 






II. DREGS 120 






II. THE CHERUB . . 197 




VI. Aoiosi ..25} 













II. JACK 346 



V. TWILIGHT , 390 


"To attain knowledge, strength, wisdom, to know life and folly and 
disaster and triumph these are the things, this is youth, this is the food 
for the heart, for the spirit. To attain these all sacrifice is good, is splendid; 
is not sacrifice at all, but a gift rather, a great gift. To do, to be, to grow, 
to put out roots into the world and suck nutriment from the living rock and 
living soil! There is naught else, children of the sea, of the Island, of the 
land encompassed by the Father of Waters!" 

MORLEY ROBERTS, in "Flying Cloud." 



THE Vicar's name was White. In Little Pennington, 
however, everybody spoke of him reverentially as the 
Vicar. He had succeeded a famous man, a poet and a 
prophet to whose grave in Little Pennington churchyard 
pilgrims from overseas still bring themselves and votive 
wreaths. Tertius White was neither poet nor prophet. He 
would have made an admirable man of business, a great 
solicitor or administrator, because essentially he was inter- 
ested in the affairs of others. He never sought preferment, 
reigning quietly over a Hampshire parish bordered on the 
east by breezy, high-lying downs ; on the west and north by 
vast woods. 

He was thirty-five, when he made a romantic marriage, 
running away with the only daughter of an Irish peer, 
an elopement which created something of a scandal at the 
time, for the father was furious and swore that he would 
never acknowledge the runaways. Nor did he. But he sent 
after them a portrait of his daughter painted by Pynsent 
before he achieved fame, a portrait which hung in the 
parson's study above the fireplace, challenging attention 
because it seemed preposterously out of tune with the or- 
dered harmony of that historical workshop. Here his prede- 
cessor had laboured for more than a quarter of a century. 
The pilgrims regarded it as a shrine, because it contained 
the desk, the chair and the bookcases of the poet. Its 



austere simplicity impressed all visitors. There we^e many 
books in plain bindings, a few engravings of sacred sub- 
jects, cocoanut matting upon the floor, three Windsor chairs, 
and a large window through which could be seen a high, 
carefully-trimmed yew hedge and above it, soaring into the 
soft skies, the spire of the village church. The big desk 
faced this window, and the pilgrims always understood 
the significance of the outlook, the symbolism of the high 
fence and the inexorable spire. 

Behind the desk hung Mrs. White's portrait. 

Some of the more sophisticated pilgrims may have won- 
dered whether the parson deliberately worked with his back 
to the picture, now admitted to be a masterpiece. For 
Pynsent had painted more than a portrait. Tim's lovely 
mother, like Lionardo's Gioconda, stood smilingly repre- 
sentative of Woman, the dulce monstrum of the Early 
Fathers, the magnet which might lure men's souls to de- 
struction. The face indicated great possibilities for good 
or evil. Half a dozen strokes of the brush could have 
made of it a saint or a sinner. Herein, of course, lay its 
attractiveness and interest. This radiant creature had 
bloomed delightfully. It was difficult to believe that she 
had died prematurely. One realised that she must still 
live in the person of her child, for life flamed in her eyes, 
the joy of life so fierce a passion to some, which must, one 
is constrained to believe, survive the disintegration of the 
body, an imperishable essence seeking other habitations. 

Mrs. White died shortly after Tim was born; the Vicar 
never spoke of her, not even to Tim. 

The boy respected this silence, although it informed his 
childhood with curiosity and mystery. The room in which 
the portrait hung became an inquisitorial chamber. In it 
Tim was called to account for his outgoings and ingoings 
and shortcomings. To his credit he told no lies, although 
much of the truth was sometimes suppressed. Generally 
his father would send for him after breakfast. His nurse 
would say: 


The Vicar of Little Pennington 

"You are wanted, Master Tim, in your pa's study." 

Invariably, the father would be seated at his desk, piled 
high with papers and pamphlets. Tim would seat himself 
on the hard edge of a Windsor chair, and wait till his sire, 
with exasperating deliberateness, laid down his pen. The 
Vicar, upon such occasions, spoke gently to the urchin in 
a voice singularly sweet but impersonal. As a child Tim 
vaguely realised that this calm, slow utterance was irre- 
sistible. Nobody presumed to argue with the Vicar when 
he adopted this tone, the tone of a wise and merciful judge. 
As a rule certain formalities were observed. 

"Well, Tim, you are in mischief again?" 

Very soon Tim learned that a simple "Yes," or a nod 
of a curly head, embarked him safely along the lines oi 
least resistance. 

"What are we going to do?" 

This "we" was terribly disconcerting. It implied fellow- 
ship, the warming of a small heart's cockles, implying also 
a sense of responsibility. To get into mischief might be 
to a healthy boy a ha'penny matter; to drag a saintly 
father into the mud of petty peccadilloes became an odious 
affair, for the boy knew that the father would insist upon 
doing what the son might elect to leave undone. For ex- 
ample, Tim could remember the morning when he refused 
to apologise to an old woman in the village who had con- 
fiscated a cricket ball wandering too often into her cab- 
bages. Tim avenged himself by catapulting a cucumber 
frame. Three marbles were found amongst the cucum- 
bers, overwhelming proof that the misdemeanant was not 
a village boy, who would have used pebbles. The Vicar 
pointed a finger at the marbles. 

"Ours," he said; for he had bought the marbles and 
given them to Tim. 

"Yes," Tim replied. 

"We must apologise." 

"Sha'n't, daddy." 

"I shall. Come with me." 



Important work was abandoned immediately. Father 
and son marched down the village street, hand in hand, 
till the old woman's cottage was reached. The Vicar tapped 
v at the door 

"May we come in?" 

This was the regular formula, acknowledged by curtseys 
and smiles. The Vicar entered no cottage without permis- 

"I am here to apologise on behalf of this young man. I 
make myself responsible for the damage he has done. I am 
sincerely sorry that he has caused you this annoyance." 

"I'm not sorry," said Tim, boldly. "She bagged my ball." 

"Did you?" asked the parson quietly. 

"Yes, sir. I warned 'un again an' again. Seemin'ly, Mas- 
ter Tim thinks that cricket balls is manure for an old 
woman's cabbages an' cauliflowers." 

"Keep the ball till he grows wiser. Good-day." 


Tim was sent to the village school when he was eight 
years old. The squire of Little Pennington happened 
to be one of the last of England's country gentlemen. He 
had been the friend far more than the patron of Tertius 
White's predecessor, working shoulder to shoulder with 
him in the development of a great estate much impoverished 
by the mortgages which plastered it. Tim loved the old 
Squire, a genial autocrat in a high-collared blue coat, who 
welcomed a schoolboy as courteously as an ambassador. 
Great men came to Pennington Park, because their host was 
a distinguished scholar and Parliamentarian. Many won- 
dered why he had abandoned the great world for Little 
Pennington. The position of Speaker of the House of Com- 
mons had been within his grasp. He refused that and other 
honours because his estate needed him. After his death a 
tenant said of him : "I had often occasion to ask Sir Gilbert 

The Vicar of Little Pennington 

some particular favour. I can never remember his refusing 
me without giving me a perfectly adequate reason." This 
furnishes a glimpse of the man. He was an ardent Church- 
man and Tory. No Nonconformists, for instance, were to 
be found amongst his tenants; no Radicals disturbed the 
village peace. Wisely, or unwisely, this kindly autocrat im- 
posed his convictions upon his own people. He had made 
sacrifices for them, and they knew it. He had swept away 
poverty and vice and ignorance from Little Pennington. 
He was a Tory in the sense of conserving religiously what 
he held to be worth conserving, but he was the first to 
champion the better education of the masses, and to pro- 
vide out of his own pocket first-class teachers in his own 
schools. He encouraged cricket on Sundays; he gave his 
tenants free access to his park. 

Tim was sent to the village school because Sir Gilbert 
Pennington had chosen the schoolmaster. Here again we 
have a significant instance of what example may achieve. 
The village dominie, Arthur Hazel, refused in his turn pre- 
ferment, devoting life and energies to his scholars. The 
village doctor, fired by this altruism, remained staunch at 
his post. It seemed to be understood on all hands that there 
was work to do in Little Pennington worth the doing. The 
fame of the model village helped to sustain the standard 
set by squire and parson, and those under them. Even the 
gentlepeople in and about the village, the retired colonels 
and admirals and Indian commissioners were, so to speak, 
weeded out not so much by the squire or parson as by the 
force of public opinion. Undesirable tenants wandered in 
and out of this charmed circle. The right sort (in the 
Squire's eye) remained whether conscious or unconscious 
of their privilege. Little Pennington became known as "the 
happy village." Outsiders might and did scoff at the ad- 
jective. Insiders smiled complacently. 



It is a curious fact that the unkindness, or indifference, 
or even cruelty, which is the lot of a new boy at genteel 
preparatory schools is almost unknown in our National 
Schools. The children in our villages and towns are, with 
rare exceptions, happy at school, and soon learn to like it. 
Tim enjoyed himself very well, and came to an understand- 
ing of his fellows, boys and girls, which endured when much 
else was forgotten. He had the knack of making friends, 
particularly with those older than himself, and ran in and 
out of half the cottages in the village. Moreover, he would 
call ceremoniously upon Sir Gilbert, and inform him gravely 
that a cottage roof was leaking. The old man listened to 
his prattle with twinkling eyes, and profited by it. For ex- 
ample, the great house was full of beautiful pictures. Tim 
adored beauty. He would stand entranced before a Gains- 
borough or a Reynolds and repeat his intention of becoming 
a painter of lovely women. One morning he found a blank 
space upon the wall of the north drawing-room. 

"Where is the yellow lady ?" he asked of Sir Gilbert. 

The Squire answered him after his own fashion. 

"She is building new cottages." 

"When is she coming back, Sir Gilbert?" 

"She will not come back." 

Tim nodded. 

"You have sold her?" 


"How could you?" 

"Come, come, who told me not so long ago that certain 
persons were thinking of emigrating to Canada, because 
there was not house-room for them ?" 

"Did you sell the yellow lady to keep the Panels here?" 

"To keep them and others." 

Tim weighed this conscientiously. 

The Vicar of Little Pennington 

"It was fuggy for 'em," he admitted, "but villagers don't 
mind fug much. Do they know?" 

"Certainly not; I rely upon your discretion not to tell 

"I'd have kept the yellow lady," said Tim decidedly. 
"Canada is a jolly decent place. The Panels wanted to go, 
but, of course, in Little Pennington nobody does what they 
want, do they?" 

Sir Gilbert smiled grimly. 

"That is your honest opinion, eh?" 

"They do what Father and you tell 'em to do. It's 
rather dull. When I grow up I shall try to please myself." 

"I'm sorry." 


"I'm sorry that I shall not be alive to hear from your 
own lips the results. Do you feel very dull in Little Pen- 
nington ?" 

"Only when I'm very extra good," said Tim, after a 
pause. "And you see, Sir Gilbert, I'm very seldom good." 

"Original Sin !" murmured Sir Gilbert. 

Alone with the Parson, the old man repeated this con- 
versation, adding with a chuckle : "He is a rebel." 

The father winced, sensible that Tim's revelation had 
been vouchsafed to another. The Squire continued geni- 
ally: "I suppose it's the Irish in him. Forninst the Gov- 
ernment. The Sheridan tincture what?" 

"Yes; he puzzles me." After a pause, the Vicar con- 
tinued less calmly : "What a tragedy this inability of 
one generation to understand another!" 

Sir Gilbert laughed; and yet he had taken seriously 
enough the fences between himself and his sons, taken them, 
perhaps, in too big a stride. He pressed his companion's 
arm with his finely shaped fingers. 

"A generation lies between us, White, and I am sure 
that you understand me and that I understand you." 

'We are of the same generation. I believe that I was 
born old. I hardly remember being young. I mean by that 



I cannot recall feeling exuberantly boyish. We were very 
poor; I had to make my way, to plot and plan for myself 
and others. I liked the struggle; I am not complaining; 
but there it is. And my experience discolours my view- 
point of Tim. I never see Tim quite clearly." 

"I do," said the Squire trenchantly. "What an attractive 
little sinner it is!" 

"Too attractive," murmured the Vicar. "He gets what 
he wants too easily particularly love and attention, quick- 
sands both of them, unless a strong hand is on the helm." 

"Our hands are not weak, White." 

"They are growing daily weaker." 

"Will he win this scholarship?" 

"I think so." 

Already, it had been settled that Tim's chance of being 
educated at a great public school depended on his wits. 
But Tertius White, who had won scholarships, knew that 
Tim might be crammed cunningly to pass a given examina- 
tion; he could never develop into a scholar or be satisfied 
with a scholar's ambitions. 

"And afterwards ?" 

The parson shrugged his shoulders. 

"That lies on the lap of the gods, quite beyond my vision." 

"Have you not a glimpse of him as a painter?" 

"A painter? Any form of Art exacts a long apprentice- 
ship. Tim loathes drudgery. He will rush at his future, 
leap into it without looking." 

"We must do the looking." 

"If he will let us." 


Tim was twelve when his future was thus discussed, a 
strong handsome boy, amazingly like his mother, who looked 
down upon him with a faintly derisive smile whenever he 
sat before the parson upon the hard stool of Penitence. 

Tertius White consoled himself with the reflection that 

The Vicar of Little Pennington 

the boy was really penitent intermittently. He could take 
a caning from Arthur Hazel with tearless composure, but 
a deserved reproof from his father might provoke a pas- 
sion of weeping. Then he would plunge into mischief 
again with an uplifted heart. 

His resource confounded his elders. The Vicar read 
prayers before breakfast, and Tim was expected to present 
himself in parade order. If his appearance indicated im- 
perfect ablutions, or undue haste in the putting on of gar- 
ments, he was despatched to his bedroom again. One morn- 
ing, the Vicar's suspicions were aroused, because Tim's 
forgetfulness of a hairbrush or a necktie seemed about to 
become chronic. Tim, moreover, exhibited disappoint- 
ment when his father's critical eye failed to observe the 
deficiencies of his toilet. Tim knelt down with a frown 
upon his face. During Lent, the parson said lightly at 
breakfast : 

"You wanted to cut prayers this morning." 

Tim's face betrayed uneasiness. 

"Last Wednesday you forgot your necktie; to-day you 
didn't brush your hair. Own up ! Did you forget, or did 
you want to cut prayers?" 

"I wanted to cut prayers." 


"I do such a lot of praying." 

"You have a lot to be thankful for. Do you grudge 
thanking me or Sir Gilbert when we give you a good time ?" 

"It doesn't take so long to thank you or Sir Gilbert." 

"We don't do so much for you." 

Tim rallied his wits; then he said triumphantly: 

"You and Sir Gilbert just hate to be thanked too much. 
Sir Gilbert says, 'Tut, tut,' and you say, 'Run along.' I 
should think that God got tired of being thanked again 
and again. I know I should." 

The Vicar said hastily: 

"Well, well, you are hardly old enough to realise what 



sincere prayer means, not to God himself, but to the one 
who prays." 

"If you tell me, I'll try to understand." 

Tim fixed his sparkling eyes upon the parson's face, lean- 
ing his head upon his hands in an attitude of profound at- 
tention. The Vicar accepted the challenge after a moment's 

"Why do we eat three or four times a day? Because 
we are hungry, because the body needs constant nourish- 
ment. It is the same with the soul, Tim. It cannot ex- 
pand without prayer, which means far more than thanks- 
giving. It is very important that you should be grateful 
to God, for He has given much to you, and will require 
much from you. How will you pay Him back?" 

"I don't know." 

"By doing His will, by opening your heart, so that His 
Will may flow through it, and direct your life aright. 
Prayer, apart from thanksgiving, means communion with 
God, it means being with Him, it means walking and talk- 
ing with Him. He comes when you want Him. And 
prayer brings God to earth, and exalts Man to Heaven. It 
is indeed the golden thread between earth and Heaven." 

Tertius White spoke quietly, never taking his eyes from 
the boy's face. He could see that his words had produced 
an effect. Tim understood. He had forgotten his break- 

"Goon! Please go on!" 

"I have said enough, Tim." 

"Of course this just settles it." 

"Settles what, my boy?" 

"I shall become a parson like you, because a parson does 
more praying than anybody else. I always wondered why 
you were so good, and often I've wondered why you looked 
so so " 


"So far away. You were with God. I shall not cut 

The Vicar of Little Pennington 

prayers any more, daddy, and I'll make Ernest Judd pray 
with me." 

"Amen !" said the Vicar. 

Tim hastily finished his breakfast and disappeared. It 
happened to be Saturday, and a whole holiday. At the end 
of the village, hard by the Pound, Ernest Judd was waiting 
for Tim. A great expedition had been planned involving 
excitements, a breaking of the sacred law of trespass, and 
possible injury to life and limb, for the boys believed, or 
pretended to believe, that Lanterton Wood concealed man- 
traps ! There was a real man-trap in the stable yard of 
Pennington House, a monstrous affair, enough to strike 
terror into the heart of the most daring poacher. Sir Gil- 
bert was too humane a man to use man-traps, and his woods 
were open to Tim and Ernest. Really and truly, bird's-nest- 
ing was better in the Pennington woods, because the Squire 
cared little for game-preserving, and would not allow jays 
and kites and hawks to be shot by his keepers. But it 
would be senselessly dull to enter any domain from which 
trespassers were not rigidly excluded. 

Tim walked the length of the village, slightly under- 
studying his father's leisurely stride and general deport- 
ment. He greeted all and sundry with studied courtesy. 
At the grocer's he entered to buy a penn'orth of pear drops. 
The grocer sang in the choir, and grew a silky, apostolic 
beard. Tim admired him enormously. 

"Marnin', Master Tim." 

"Good-morning, Mr. Benner. How is Mrs. Benner?" 

"No better, pore soul! nor likely to be this side o' the 
grave. Where be going, Master Tim?" 

"That's a secret, Mr. Benner." 

"Up to larks, I'll be bound." 

"You are mistaken." 

"What a queer little gentleman to be sure! Now, tell 
us what you be up to, and I'll give 'ee better weight." 

Tim hesitated. 

"You sing in the choir, Mr. Benner?" 



"Ah! That I do, and have done this many a year." 

"You pray?" 

"Most upliftingly." 

Tim said solemnly : quoting Sir Gilbert : 

"I rely upon your discretion, Mr. Benner, not to repeat 
what I tell you. Ernest Judd and I are going to pass the 
day in prayer. Somebody else may join us. Good-day." 

He walked sedately out of the shop, leaving a gaping 
and gasping grocer behind him. 

Passing the Pennington Arms, which happens to be the 
last house in the village, Tim broke into a dog-trot. He 
passed swiftly the meadows where plovers' eggs might be 
found in early April and pulled up pantingly at the Pound. 
On the topmost rail Erny Judd was sitting, smoking a 
brown-paper cigarette. 

"You be late," said Erny. 

"I know, Journey, I've a lot to tell you." 

Journey, a pleasing amalgam of Erny and Judd, nodded. 
He could boast, with rare veracity, that he had taught the 
Vicar's son to read. It happened in this wise. Tim was 
very backward in reading when he joined the village school, 
and Mr. Hazel had been duly prepared for this. He took 
Tim in hand, and became humorously sensible of the ur- 
chin's indifference and inattention. Whereupon, being a 
man of parts, he said curtly: 

"I can't waste my valuable time with you, Tim. Ernest 
Judd will give you a lesson. Come here, Erny." 

Tim's pride was outraged, but Hazel had understood 
what was needful. Tim made up his mind to reveal to 
Erny and his master powers of application hitherto latent. 
Erny's superiority as a reader of two syllable treatises was 
soon rolled in the dust. Nevertheless the boys remained 
friends, partly, perhaps, because Erny's father was recog- 


The Vicar of Little Pennington 

nised and respected by scapegraces as a troublesome and 
incorrigible character. He had been a sailor before the 
mast, returning to the village blind of both eyes. He could 
sing a mellow song, tell many tales of sea and land, and 
carry more ale without showing it than any man in Little 
Pennington. He earned a few shillings a week by playing 
the fiddle; and his wife, a hard-working woman, was head 
laundry-maid at Pennington House. 

"We ain't a going to no Lanterton Wood," began Tim. 
Alone with Journey, he used the village vernacular, aban- 
doning it in serious moments. 

"Why isn't us?" said Journey. 

"Because we be two mis'able sinners. We be going to 
the Cathedral." 

"The Cathedral? There ain't no nestesses in they 

The Cathedral had been so named by the poet and prophet, 
a noble group of lofty beech trees in the heart of Penning- 
ton High Wood. From some such group Bradford and 
Ransam and William of Wykeham may have derived in- 
spiration. The rounded trunks soared upwards till they 
met overhead in Nature's exquisite fan-vaulting. Beneath, 
the moss lay thick and verdant. Aisles, transepts and chan- 
cel were there awaiting the worshippers. 

Tim carried a brown paper parcel tied with string. Jour- 
ney stared at it interrogatively with a hungry expression. 
It might contain cake, apples and roly-poly pudding. His 
face fell when Tim extracted a not too clean nightgown and 
a yard of black riband. 

Tim dropped the vernacular. 

"I shall go into the vestry and put on my surplice. You 
kneel down and pray." 

"I'll be danged if I do." 

"Look here, Journey, something wonderful is going to 
happen, if you behave yourself. I'm expecting Somebody." 

"Who be you expectin'?" 




"You kneel down and pray. Open your sinful heart." 

" 'Tain't more sinful than yours." 

"You kneel down, or I'll have to punch your head." 

Journey dropped upon his knees. Tim retired behind 
a majestic tree. When he reappeared he was wearing his 
nightgown, and the black riband made a passable stole. 
Journey was much impressed, because Tim's face ap- 
peared to have changed. He looked angelic. 

"Pray out loud," commanded Tim. 

Journey shut his eyes and opened his mouth. Prayer 
did not come fluently to his lips, but he repeated a formula 
kept for special use at school-treats, when either Vicar or 
Squire might call suddenly upon any boy or girl to ask 
a blessing. 

"For what we be goin' to receive may the Lard make us 
truly thankful !" 

Tim stood in front of Journey, gazing into the inter- 
secting boughs above. A squirrel caught his eye. Instinc- 
tively he glanced about him for some stick or stone to 
throw at it. Then he closed his eyes, and prayed in his 
turn : 

"Come down, O God, and join us ! You say that, Ernest 

"Come dowrl, O God, and join us." 

Tim was trembling with excitement. Suddenly, he re- 
membered a familiar passage in the Old Testament. 

"Take off your boots," he commanded. "And socks." 

Soon, they stood bare-footed upon the soft moss. Tim 
raised up his voice: 

"Come down, O God, and talk. Our hearts are open." 

They waited, blinking through the branches into the ethe- 
real blue. Tim said impatiently: 

"Ernest, son of Judd, your sinful heart is not open. If 
Evarannie Bunce were here !" 

Evarannie was the model girl of Little Pennington. 

The Vicar of Little Pennington 

Journey, much troubled, conscious of innumerable misdeeds, 
said miserably: 

"It don't feel open, Master Tim." 

"You open it quick!" 

"I'm danged if I can." 

"It's locked," said Tim, with conviction, "and you've lost 
the key. I'm sorry for you, Journey, but you must go and 
hide yourself. Leave me here alone." 

"Ain't you afeard, Master Tim?" 

"No," said Tim valiantly. "Take these pear drops. 
You can eat 'em all. I must fast as well as pray." 

Journey took the pear drops and vanished. Looking 
back, he could see Tim upon his knees, gazing upwards. He 
heard a rustling of wings, and shivered. A glance into 
the tree-tops was reassuring ; some wood pigeons were flying 
through the beeches. He hid himself in a clump of hol- 
lies, and waited with the patience of the Hampshire peasant. 


Tim prayed hard, repeating all the prayers he knew, 
and some that were extemporary. Finally, the conviction 
forced itself upon him that his heart, like Journey's, must 
be hermetically sealed. His thoughts strayed to Lanterton 
Wood, lingering beside a pond where dabchicks nested, 
with a vigorous mental effort he recalled these vagabond 
thoughts, dwelling with concentration upon the sinfulness 
of the Judds, father and son. If only Evarannie were be- 
side him ! 

At this moment temptation beset him. Was it possible 
to tell the truth to Journey? Journey, unhappily, lacked 
discretion. He would tell the other boys, and they would 
laugh riotously. In time the girls might giggle as Tim 
walked through the village street. Desperately he clutched 
at Compromise. 

"Ernest Judd, come forth." 



Journey emerged from the hollies with his mouth full of 
pear drops. Tim was standing up in an attitude which 
recalled the Vicar in the act of pronouncing the benediction. 

"Kneel, thou son of Judd !" 

Journey, quaking with fear, obeyed. 

"I have talked to God," said Tim. This was true, and 
might save a lamentable situation. 

"You seen Him, Master Tim?" 

"Thou fool ! Is He not invisible ? I have talked to Him. 
I have asked Him to open your sinful heart." 

"Thank ye, Master Tim." 

"Tut, tut! Prayer is more than thanksgiving." 

"What happened, Master Tim?" 

"I looked up and saw light. I heard a rustling of many 
wings. . . ." 

"Them was wood pigeons." 

"Shush-h-h ! We are standing on holy ground. All the 
sin has gone out of me. I stand white before the Lord." 

"That be your name, Master Tim." 

Tim was immensely struck by this. 

"It's true; I had never, never thought of that. Jour- 
ney, it's a sign. I shall be a Saint and perhaps a Martyr." 

"Gosh, it sounds fine." 

"You shall follow me into strange lands. We will baptise 
the heathen and " 

"Catch turtles." 

"Shush-h-h! I shall be a bishop, and you " 

"Your man Friday." 

"If you talk silly I shall take Evarannie instead of you. 
I want to get into your thick head that I'm going to save 
your soul, and open it up. I am going to be a good example 
to you, thou son of Judd. Thou shalt be clean even as I 

"Yes, Master Tim." 

"Say Amen." 


"You can rise from your knees. Do you feel holy?" 

The Vicar of Little Pennington 

"I come all over queer when I seen you kneeling." 

"That's holiness. I never felt holy before. Now I'm 
going to take off my surplice." 

He slipped away, to return a minute later swinging a 
brown paper parcel. In silence the boys left the Cathedral, 
walking soberly side by side. Passing from the shade of 
the beeches into a sunny glade, Tim said suddenly: 

"Any pear drops left?" 

"Only two." 

"Let's have 'em." 



TIM did not remain sinless for any appreciable length 
of time, although that time lasted longer than was 
qu,ite agreeable. For the remainder of the Lenten season, 
Journey and he vowed solemnly to give up biting their nails, 
but as Tim remarked : "Didn't we just make up for it on 
Sundays." From Journey's lips dropped highly coloured de- 
tails of what had passed in the Cathedral. A few boys 
scoffed, notably George Chalk, who demanded proof of 
saintship. Tim rose to the occasion. 

"Saints can perform miracles sometimes. Would it be 
a miracle if I licked you?" 

George was of opinion that it might be almost a miracle. 
Tim licked him there and then in the presence of a dozen 
boys and girls, including Evarannie. Afterwards, the con- 
queror held a prayer meeting, and prayed magnanimously 
for the soul of George, who looked uncommonly sheepish. 
He was a head taller than Tim, but measured less round 
the chest. 

Tim's correspondence with the S. P. G, and kindred so- 
cieties must be briefly recorded. He obtained a list of such 
societies from his father, and then wrote boldly demanding 
pamphlets. The Vicar smiled when the pamphlets came. 
Tim read two of them aloud to Journey and Evarannie. 
Incidentally, he slacked at his work. The Vicar was push- 
ing him on in Algebra and Latin Prose. When reproved 
for an exercise full of blunders, Tim said loftily: "The 
disciples were not scholars, but ignorant men. What good 


will Latin and Algebra be to me when I'm a missionary?" 

"Can the blind lead the blind ?" replied his father. "Igno- 
rance never converted ignorance. Write that out a hundred 

Tim was impressed. Next day, he remarked to Ernest, 
son of Judd : "I'm going to work jolly hard, because igno- 
rance never yet converted ignorance, and that, may be, is 
why I don't feel cocksure of having converted you." 

Journey sighed heavily; he was a backslider from Saint- 
ship; and he knew it. 

Two years passed. Mention has been made of the gen- 
try living in and about Little Pennington. At each end of 
the village stood comfortable houses, encompassed by vel- 
vety lawns, whereon much croquet and tennis were played. 
Nearly every man, woman and child who dwelt within a 
two mile radius of Pennington Church was saturated with 
the Pennington tradition. It became a matter of pride that 
Penningtonians thought alike upon matters that counted. 
This Catholic assimilation of a standard set by two strong 
wise men produced agreeable results ; but it had its dis- 
abilities for the young and ardent impatient of discipline 
and restraint. 

About this time, some three months before his examina- 
tion, Tim fell desperately in love. In the house known as 
the Sanctuary lived the widow of an East Indian dignitary 
and her three daughters. The two elder daughters were 
pleasant, unaffected girls, much given to good works and 
constant repetition of phrases taken from the lips of squire 
and parson. The youngest child, Daphne, promised to be 
a beauty with a will of her own. 

Tim and she studied the French language under the tute- 
lage of a French governess. Till now, the Vicar had no 
cause to regret his decision to keep Tim in the village and 
under his own eye. The boy was clever and strong be- 
yond his years. It was reasonably certain that he would 
obtain a scholarship either at Eton or Winchester, prefer- 
ably the former, because Winchester lay too close at hand. 



And he would hold his own, and more than his own, in 
the playing fields as well as the schools. Originality had 
not been rubbed off by attrition with commonplace minds ; 
yet none could call him prig. Had he been sent to a pre- 
paratory school he might have neglected his work, and 
focussed all energies upon games. 

Daphne Carmichael hereafter to be known as Daffy 
was not Tim's first love. Emotional religion, as Salvationists 
are aware, stirs the human heart to joys described as 
"evingly" in an earthly sense. Evarannie, that tow-headed 
model of what little girls should strive to be, captivated 
Tim for a brief season. They promised to marry each 
other and live together in a tree situate somewhere in Poly- 
nesia. Like the excellent wife of the pastor in "Swiss 
Family Robinson," Evarannie promised, also, to provide a 
large bag in which everything necessary for arboreal com- 
fort would be found. Unhappily, Evarannie lacked imagi- 
nation. Tim found her dull company. Journey hazarded 
the conjecture that she was too good for Tim. Leaping 
hot- foot from effect to cause, Tim decided that dullness 
and goodness were twins, a conviction which discoloured 
appreciably his future. He passed, indeed, through many 
vicissitudes of fortune before he discovered for himself 
that really wicked people may be abominably dull, and vice 

Daffy was not dull. Tim had to bestir himself mentally 
to keep up with her in the matter of French irregular verbs. 
Daffy, let it be recorded with regret, purged Tim of all de- 
sire to become a missionary. This was partly the fault of 
Adam Judd, whose extended wanderings included the Can- 
nibal Islands. He had talked with a Cannibal Chief ! Ac- 
cording to Adam Judd, cannibals preferred black meat to 
white, but he was positive that a plump young English 
woman was reckoned gastronomically to command the high- 
est price per pound. Daffy was plump, and when Adam 
Judd in her presence affirmed that the calves of a young 
woman's legs were esteemed the greatest delicacy by Poly- 


nesian gourmets, she declared her intention of marrying 
an M. F. H. instead of a missionary. To become an M. F. 
H. with as little delay as possible engrossed Tim's atten- 
tion, firing him to sustained effort to win his scholarship. 
From Sir Gilbert he learned with dismay that it might be 
easier to become a Master of Arts than a Master of Fox 
Hounds. Sir Gilbert finished on a pessimistic note : 

"I gave up the hounds, Tim, because I couldn't afford the 
expense. Four days a week, my boy, means four thousand 
a year." 

"How sickening!" exclaimed Tim. 

Daffy compromised matters when her lover repeated what 
the Squire had said. A Master of Arts sounded fine ! She 
would bestow her hand and heart upon Tim when he took 
his degree. 

Daffy, let it be noted, proposed marriage to Tim, but he 
kissed her first, in the Dell, a delightful wilderness at the 
back of Mrs. Carmichael's garden. This first kiss was a 
great adventure. Tim had kissed Evarannie, and played 
kissing games on the village green, but Daffy, of course, was 
a lady. Evarannie did not object to kissing, but she was 
too prim to kiss back. Kissing her unresponsive lips be- 
came terribly dreary work, and led, eventually, to a break- 
ing of bonds. Daffy was much more alluring than Evaran- 
nie, and she had a little way with her, peculiarly her own. 
Tim felt in his bones that Daffy dared him to kiss her, and 
he prided himself that no "dare" passed him supinely by. 

One blessed afternoon he saved her life. Daffy always 
affirmed this to be sober truth ; and it may have been so. 
Sir Gilbert was entertaining the children of the gentry in 
his garden, wherein stood a Swiss cottage built of different 
woods grown upon the estate, the playhouse of his chil- 
dren and grandchildren. In the basement might be found 
a kitchen, with a real kitchener in it upon which could be 
cooked a four-course dinner. Cooking in the cottage was 
voted by Tim a bore, because neither Daffy nor he was 


chosen as- cook, that supreme office being ordained by the 
casting of lots. Tim said to his lady-love : 

"Let's slip off to the ponds." 

Daffy hesitated, because the ponds were out of bounds, 
but Tim prevailed. They crawled through the shrubbery, 
and reached the boathouse. It was locked! 

"I can get in," said Tim. "You watch on, and do what 
I do." 

He crawled along the bough of a tree which hung above 
the water. By swinging a bough, he just managed to get 
a leg upon the roof of the boathouse. Sliding down the 
roof, he dropped upon a small platform at the other end. 

"Come on, Daff." 

Daffy essayed the feat, but slipped as she swung upon 
the roof, sliding swiftly not on to the platform but into 
the water. Tim could not swim, but he jumped after her, 
grabbing her skirt. With the other hand he grasped a pro- 
jecting bough. 

Daffy burst into sobs when she found herself on dry land. 

Tim reassured her. The gamekeeper's cottage was hard 
by. The gamekeeper's wife, his particular friend, would 
dry their clothes, and none be the wiser. 

What he predicted came to pass. The truants were not 
missed. The gamekeeper's wife justified Tim's faith in 
her. Daffy, when taking leave of Tim, said solemnly: 

"You saved my life." 

That night Tim lay awake wondering whether he could 
claim a kiss. Next day they met in the Dell. In the Dell 
was a cave, also out of bounds, for the roof was falling in. 

"Come into the cave," said Tim, boldly. 

"Oh, Tim, we mustn't. It's dangerous." 

"That's why we must. Do you think that Bilboa funked 
going into a cave?" 

"Bill who, Tim?" 

Tim spoke with enthusiasm of the discoverer of the Pa- 
cific, and then said : 

"Come on." 


Daffy "came on." They sat down at the farther end of 
the cave. Daffy, lately introduced to Marmion, and want- 
ing perhaps to demonstrate to Tim that her own reading 
was becoming extended, remarked cheerfully: 

"If the roof did fall in, I should be buried alive like 
Constance de Beverley. She was buried alive alone. It 
would be some comfort to have you, Tim." 

The coquette nestled closer; in the dim light her pretty 
eyes sparkled. Tim made up his mind to kiss her, but felt 
ashamed of himself because he funked it. Daffy continued 
in her softest voice: 

"You saved my life yesterday ; and I lay awake thinking 
that you ought to have a medal. I've got my small gold 
locket for you instead." 

"Oh, no, I couldn't." 

"I shall hang it round your neck, and you will wear it 
under your jersey. Nobody will know. Here it is!" 

"Daff, you are a darling!" 

"Please don't be silly. I'm serious." 

"As if any fellow could wear a locket. Look here, if 
the roof did fall in, I should save you somehow. I know 
I should." 


"I should bite a way out. It's real jam saving you. I 
almost wish the roof would fall in. I've half a mind to 
give a loud yell just to see what would happen." 

"And get caught! How silly!" 

"I am rather silly about you." 

He slipped his arm round her waist. As he did so, she 
sighed. Then he kissed her. And she kissed him back, 
shyly but unmistakably. Somewhat to his surprise, she said 
with conviction: 

"Now I'm yours." 

She explained fluently what she meant. A kiss exchanged 
between young persons of opposite sex made marriage com- 
pulsory. Daffy, quoting her unkissed elder sisters, was 



quite positive on this point. She continued with anima- 

"Tim, you can kiss me again, if you want to. Isn't it 
funny to think that I shall be Daphne White one day? 
Really and truly you ought to have proposed before you 
kissed me, but it's all right now." 

Tim blushed, thinking of Evarannie. Possibly, some un- 
written law of the happy village might constrain him to 
lead her, instead of Daffy, to the altar. Later, he put the 
question tentatively to Journey, who somewhat startled him 
by asserting that village girls thought nothing of kissing. 
When Tim replied hotly that real ladies were different, 
Journey sniffed. 


Tim passed his examination triumphantly, and became 
an Etonian. He became also a Tug, of which more will 
be said presently. For the moment he could think and talk 
of nothing except the bicycle which was solemnly presented 
to him by Sir Gilbert as a "diligentiae praemium in colendis 
literis !" 

In those prehistoric days, bicycles were anathema to many 
worthy persons. They had come "to stay," they were about 
to become fashionable, a craze, but at this time it was in- 
conceivable that a woman should ride one. 

The bicycle achieved a notable purpose. It enlarged 
tremendously a healthy boy's activities, trebling at least the 
radius of his peregrinations. Tim discovered Southampton 
and its famous docks, making the acquaintance of master 
mariners, and tasting rum and water for the first time. 
Many delightful hours were passed watching the great ships 
which sailed to and from the Brazils. He presented Daffy 
with a parrot, but she was not allowed to keep the bird, 
because it enjoined Mrs. Carmichael to go to a place never 
mentioned in Little Pennington outside the pulpit! Ulti- 
mately, the parrot found a permanent home with the Judds. 


Adam Judd remarked sentimentally that listening to the 
pretty pet was almost as exhilarating as a voyage round the 

For a season tramp fever consumed Tim, burning off the 
moss of Little Pennington, and sharpening the wits of a 
too home-keeping youth. He told Daffy that if marriage 
were denied him he would become an explorer. Richard 
Burton rose brilliantly above his horizon as a star of the 
first magnitude. Amongst the fusty folios and quartos of 
Sir Gilbert's library Tim unearthed that entrancing work : 
"Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffics and Discoveries 
of the English Nation, by Sea or Overland, to the most Re- 
mote and Distant Quarters of the Earth, at any time within 
the compass of 1500 Years," by Richard Hakluyt, preb- 
endary of Westminster. 

Upon the eve of his departure for Eton, some descrip- 
tion of the boy must be attempted. Physically, he was as 
near perfect as may be, finely proportioned for strength 
and speed. His features were not too regular. Lips and 
nostrils finely modelled indicated sensibility. The chin was 
round rather than square; the forehead broad rather than 
high. Add to this, vivid colouring, eyes, set well apart, of 
a deep grey blue, shaded by short black lashes, sun and 
wind tanned cheeks, white even teeth, ruddy-brown curly 
hair, and the j oiliest grin in the world. Everybody liked 
the boy, because he, in his turn, liked and was interested 
in everybody. The famous statue which Cabral made of 
him afterwards, a Discus Thrower, was bought by an 
American millionaire, and is less accessible than it deserves 
to be. Rodin, alone among sculptors, might have trans- 
ferred to marble the freshness and alertness of the youth, 
his joy in himself, his joy in others, his incomparable 
grace so free from any taint of pose. 

Sir Gilbert and the Vicar discussed together the pro- 
priety of speaking without reserve of what might await 
such a boy at a public school. Both men were Puritans 
in the best sense of that much abused word. Certain evils 



to them were unmentionable. And the modern father, his 
son's pal, had not yet appeared in Little Pennington. Tim 
had been brought up in a model village, amongst clean- 
living, God-fearing people, whether gentle or simple. The 
twig, in fine, had been inclined aright. It was now a stout 
sapling firmly rooted in rich soil, likely to grow into a noble 

Thus Sir Gilbert, wise in his own generation, not so wise, 
perhaps, in dealing with another's. 

The Vicar hesitated and lost his opportunity. 

Afterwards he realised, with poignant regret, that he 
had overestimated the influences of the happy village and 
underestimated Tim's character, chameleon-like in a readi- 
ness to absorb colour from its surroundings. He ought to 
have known that a healthy boy, bubbling with vitality, tre- 
mendously affected by personalities stronger than hislown, 
is likely to turn from good to evil, merely because any 
change is thrillingly exciting. The Vicar had good reason 
to believe that Tim's upbringing justified itself. The urchin 
who slacked at Latin had become a painstaking scholar ; 
the boy too selfish in pursuit of pleasure had developed 
into an affectionate and considerate son. Accordingly the 
Vicar decided to let well enough alone. 


Tim returned from Eton, after his first half, not much 
changed outwardly, but somewhat reserved of speech, re- 
plying curtly to the questions put to him by Sir Gilbert and 
the Vicar. His affirmation that he was "all right" satisfied 
the Squire, who had answered his own father in the same 
words. The Vicar, however, had doubts on the subject. 

To Daffy, under seal of secrecy, Tim unbosomed him- 

"Eton is a beastly place for Tugs. I loathe it. If I were 
an Oppidan it would be all right. It's no use jawing, I've 


got to stick it, and make the best of it, but I tell you this, 
Daffy a lot of fellows who call themselves English gen- 
tlemen are beastly cads. Some of 'em think me a cad be- 
cause I'm a Tug." 

Daffy was much distressed. She kissed him and consoled 
him, exhibiting herself in a new light as ministering angel. 
Her sympathy beguiled from Tim further details: 

"They found out that I had been educated at a National 
School. That was real jam for them!" 

"How perfectly hateful and miserable." 

"It makes me wild with rage, but what's the use of that. 
It's part of our great and glorious public school system. 
We Tugs are jolly well made to understand that we're out- 
siders and we are! We herd together like a flock of 
beastly rooks. We wear a filthy gown. Damn !" 


"I say damn! Why, there are two brothers I know. 
One is a Tug and the other an Oppidan. The Tug is the 
elder, and he's clever as he can stick, and a nailer at games. 
His measly brother is a fat beast who spends his time 
stuffin' down meringues at Barnes's. This putrid little mag- 
got cuts his own brother, because he's a Tug. There! 
Come on round the village. I want to get the taste of 
Eton out of my mouth." 

"If you told the Vicar ?" 

"Never! I can't tell him those sort of things. He is 
miles and miles above them. He went through it, but at 
Winchester, I'm told, it's not so bad. The Collegers put 
on a lot of side. I wish that I'd gone to Winchester, al- 
though they do get jolly well licked at cricket. Father paid 
for his own schooling. Something to be proud of, you'd 
think ? Not a bit of it ! We'll drop in on old Adam Judd. 
I do hope the parrot has not forgotten how to swear." 

Long afterwards, Tim wondered sorrowfully whether 
Daffy's intuition had been right. Suppose he had told his 
father of the miseries that consumed him ? But, then, such 
confidences were rare between sire and son. To-day, so it 



is affirmed, things have changed at Eton. A Tug has a 
better time of it. We are writing of conditions thirty-five 
years ago. And the Vicar's office obscured the man. He 
and the Squire towered above the village, inaccessible peaks. 
There was no funicular railway up the Jungfrau, and no 
short cuts between parents and children, certainly not in 
Little Pennington, where the Olympians had the heights to 

Within a week, Tim recovered his high spirits. The vil- 
lage acclaimed him as the Etonian, pouring balm upon 
lacerated tissues. Mrs. Carmichael asked him to dine, an 
unprecedented honour. He was expected to leave the din- 
ing-room with the ladies, but otherwise he spent a most 
agreeable evening, and heard himself toasted in a glass of 
port wine. Daffy was not present upon this memorable 


It was, perhaps, unfortunate that there were no young 
gentlemen of his own age in Little Pennington, that sanc- 
tuary for the middle-aged. Ferrets, however, proved a 
lively help in trouble. Sir Gilbert promised a twenty-bore 
gun at Christmas. 

The Vicar spoke, with his usual reserves, of Tim's future. 
Tim listened with polite inattention. But he made it plain 
that he loathed musty quadrangles. No scholar's life for 
him. Ultimately, the Indian Civil Service with its high 
emoluments became conspicuous as the right career for a 
clever and penniless young man. Daffy's father had been 
a Commissioner. Mrs. Carmichael was quite sure that Tim 
could pass the stiffest exam. A chorus of ladies shrilled 

Tim submitted, although at the moment his fancy had 

swooped back upon painting as a more agreeable avenue to 

fame and fortune. He had the dangerous gift of caricature, 

and other talents which challenged attention and admira- 



tion. He could pick out any tune upon the piano, vamping 
a passable accompaniment with his left hand. And he could 

Admittedly an amusing young dog ! 

By this time Journey was apprenticed to the village 
saddler and smelled of leather. He told Tim that he hated 
his job, and talked gloomily of becoming a horse-soldier. 
Such talk was rank heresy, because soldiers were discred- 
ited in Little Pennington. Journey said to Tim: 

"This ain't life, Master Tim." 

Tim agreed, uneasily sensible that Journey, poor fel- 
low, had wandered far from the happy village on the wings 
of his (Tim's) too per fervid imagination. 

"What be you a goin' to do, Master Tim, after you've 
ha' done with schoolin'?" 

"India, perhaps." 

"I could come with 'ee." 

"Journey, old cockalorum, I believe you'll have to stick 
it out here." 

"I be ready to take the Queen's shilling first." 

"Jump out of the pan into the fire. I've stuffed ideas 
into your poor old head. We had jolly dreams, Journey, 
but they were only dreams. You talk about life. What 
d'ye mean, hay?" 

Thus apostrophised in Tim's commanding tones, Journey 
blushed. He was older than Tim, and of coarser fibre, 
but the habit of obedience constrained him to answer: 

"Lard love 'ee, Master Tim, you know better than I." 

"I want to know what your notion of life is." 

" Tain't on all fours wi' what Parson preaches." 

"I dare say not. You let yourself rip." 

"A young upstandin' feller wants, seemin'ly, his bit o' 

"What fun?" 

Journey wriggled. 

"It's mothering Sunday here all the time. Made for the 
old folks, this village wur. 'Tain't possible, so vather 



says, for a man to get properly drunk in Little Pennington." 
Tim's gay laugh encouraged the would-be sinner to speak 

more plainly: 

"I be thinking o' the wenches. Dassn't so much as wink 

at 'em in this holy place. Smokin' at street corners is mor- 

tial sin, too. I be fair aching for one jolly time." 

"So am I," said Tim. "And I mean to have it, some 


Three years later, he was hardly recognisable, having 
shot up suddenly into a young man. Eton accomplished 
her easy task. Tim happened to be handsomer and cleverer 
than the average Etonian; in other respects he conformed 
to type. Success at football and cricket brought him popu- 
larity; inevitably his work was neglected; and the Vicar 
frowned when he perused the reports. He said sternly : 

"Do you realise what you owe to Eton?" 

"Yes, I do," said Tim, with a derisive smile. 

Sir Gilbert, however, was more indulgent. Even he, the 
scholar and sometime member for his University, was de- 
lighted at the prospect of Tim's playing at Lords. Tim 
pointed out that his place in the Eleven was by no means 
assured. He added: "Cricket is a tremendous grind." 

"I shall come up, give a luncheon and so forth." 

But Tim, alas, did not get his "Eleven." He explained 
matters frankly to Daffy, who was bitterly disappointed and 

"It was blazing hot towards the end of June. I took 
things too easy. And between ourselves, the Captain, an 
Oppidan, jumped at the chance of keeping a Tug out. I've 
been a bit of a fool over this business. I shall be in right 
enough next year, if nothing happens." 

"What could happen?" 

"I might chuck it." 



"I'm pretty sick of Eton. Mum's the word. It's deadly 
to be a Tug. Eton expects that every Tug all day shall do 
his duty. The Oppidans have a slack time! Nobody ex- 
pects anything of them." 

He laughed scornfully. When Daffy remained silent he 
went on, even more explosively: 

"I'm so fed up with trying to make good. Aren't you?" 


"Being a girl you pretend. Luckily I can unbottle my- 
self to you. I mean to make you see me as I am. Daff 
I'm unregenerate. I hate this cut-and-dried business, this 
shoving of other people into pigeon-holes. I'm to be yanked 
into the Indian Civil, not because I've any aptitudes for 
governing Hindus, but because it means four hundred a 
year as a starter and perks ! There you are. Of course I 
want to steer myself. But I've 'nous' enough to face facts, 
even if I hate 'em. The Indian Civil means a tremendous 
lot. It includes you." 

Daffy was now fifteen, what is to-day called a flapper. 
She had remained Tim's constant friend and sweetheart. 
Many persons scoff at love as interpreted by the very young. 
How serious, what an influence for good or ill, it may really 
be, only the very young know, and powers of adequate 
expression are generally denied to them. Daphne Car- 
michael, not the Vicar, had kept pure Tim's ideas and 
ideals of women. She discovered this, and so did he, long, 
long afterwards. 

"It includes you," he repeated, "and the things you care 
for, the things you are accustomed to, the things I should 
love to give you, but I feel all the same about the whole 
business that I'm tied, hand and foot, soul and body." 

Daffy retorted with spirit : 

"You need not feel tied to me." 

"Can't help that, Daff. I am. For your sake I toe the 
line, but I'm famishing for excitements." 

"Something exciting has happened to us, Tim." 

She had kept her great news for the right moment. 




"Mummie has come into some money. I think it's quite 
a lot. We are going to leave Little Pennington, and live 
in a place of our own." 


"Of course you will come to stay." 

"This is the abomination of desolation." 

"It may mean a -season in London for me." 

"It will be awfully jolly for you; I'm a beast to think 
only of myself, but I can't imagine this dull old hole with- 
out you." 

He spoke calmly, but an inflection in his voice made Daffy 
glance furtively into his eyes. They were dim with tears. 

The long summer holidays passed too swiftly. Tim went 
back to Eton the week before Mrs. Carmichael left the 
Sanctuary. By this time everybody in Little Pennington 
knew that Daffy's mother had become a rich woman. The 
Vicar said to Tim: 

"Those dear girls will be heiresses." 

Tim's face hardened. He was thinking to himself : "I 
shan't be asked too often to stay with heiresses. Daffy 
will marry a swell. What a beastly place this world can be." 

Just two months later, the Vicar walked slowly up the 
gradual slope between the Vicarage and Pennington House. 
His strong face looked pinched and drawn. As he walked 
he muttered to himself, almost senilely. As soon as Sir 
Gilbert saw him, at the moment when the butler was dis- 
creetly closing the door of the library, he exclaimed : 

"My dear White, what has happened?" 

The Vicar sank into a chair, saying brokenly: 

"I have bad news, bad news." 

"I am too old," said Sir Gilbert, "to be kept in suspense." 

The Vicar nodded. 

"Yes ; yes ; that is why I came at once. Tim has been 
expelled from Eton." 

Sir Gilbert stared helplessly at his Grand Vizier, struck 
dumb by consternation and surprise. Tim was dearer to 


the Squire than some of his own grandsons. He became 
fiercely incredulous. 

"I'll swear that the dear lad has done nothing dis- 

"I have no details. He is in confinement. I have been 
sent for to fetch him home." 

The Squire was eighty, and growing infirm, but he said 
with all his customary authority: 

"I shall go with you." 

But each knew that a small heaven had fallen about his 
ears. The Squire's sons had not been safeguarded like this 
boy. He was, indeed, the hope of the village, its brightest 
ornament, a gem cut and polished by two experts. The 
Vicar shivered: 

"How cold it is !" he murmured. 




DURING the dreary journey to London, Sir Gilbert was 
much moved by the Vicar's dejected silence. If it were 
safe to predicate anything 1 concerning a friend of twenty- 
five years' standing, Sir Gilbert would have been prepared 
to wager a round sum that Tertius White was the last man 
to confront adversity save with fortitude and serenity. He 
found himself asking outright whether his old friend 
might be ill, but the Vicar assured him that that was not the 
case. Whereupon the Squire said with emphasis : 

"You are taking this too hard, White. It is true that 
we have each of us sustained a shock, but I refuse to be- 
lieve evil of your son." 

He expected the Vicar to lift his heavy head, to hold 
out his hand, to acknowledge in some fashion a sincere 
tribute, spoken by a man not addicted to flowers of speech. 
To his amazement the Vicar remained silent. 

"Rouse yourself," said the Squire, more sharply. "Pos- 
sibly you may think that some word on your part might 
have prevented this. Your actions, my dear friend, have 
been more eloquent than any words." 

"My mind is not dwelling on that. Don't press me ! Be 
patient ! I would tell you gladly all that is in my heart, but 
I cannot, I cannot. The burden is the heavier on that 

"Very good, but I repeat what I said just now. Your 
son is incapable of a mean or dirty action." 

But the Vicar made no sign. 

In the Happy Village 

At Eton, the head master, austerely gowned, received 
them. He was very gracious and kind, hastening to reassure 
an obviously stricken man : 

"The facts are these : the boy is a fine young fellow, but 
he has broken the law, and gloried in it. Between our- 
selves we can speak of his offence as an escapade. He 
escaped from the College at night, and was caught, slightly 
intoxicated, in a not too reputable tavern." 

"An adventurer!" suggested the Squire, attempting to 
minimise the matter. 

Authority nodded portentously. 

"One cannot make exceptions. I am sincerely sorry, for 
expulsion is a serious matter. I believe that love of ex- 
citement, nothing more, was at the root of this law-break- 
ing. I will see to it, when the time comes, that the heavy 
punishment meted out to him does not imperil his future, 
provided, of course, that he behaves himself in the mean- 

"He will," said the Squire staunchly. 


Tim returned to Little Pennington, and remained there. 
The Vicar spoke to him at length, not unkindly, nor re- 
proachfully ; but once more, with ever-increasing^ curiosity, 
Tim realised that the quiet voice was that of the priest 
rather than the man. Tim sat facing nim, wondering why 
it was so difficult to believe that his own father was speak- 
ing. He glanced upward at the lovely face of his mother. 
She might have wept, or raved. It was inconceivable that 
she could have spoken impersonally. And yet, the Vicar's 
quiet words were intensely moving. 

"Our acts our angels are. No man can escape from 
them. They remain to the end * fateful shadpws." 

He sighed, gazing not at Tim but at the spire soaring 
above the yew hedge. For the first time in his life, a sharp 



doubt assailed the boy, penetrating to his marrow. A man 
may never be a hero to his valet, but he may achieve saint- 
ship in the eyes of his family. Tim had always revered his 
father as a saint, born with a halo growing brighter as the 
years passed. He wondered vaguely whether this quiet 
ascetic priest could have emerged white after scorching fires. 
Once more the name White engrossed his fancy. A smile 
flickered across his face. The Vicar saw it, and asked 
swiftly : 

"Why do you smile at what I say ?" 

"I don't !" exclaimed Tim, really shocked at himself. He 
hastened to explain: 

"I was thinking of our name. It does seem to impose 
itself. You have always been so white. When I am away 
from you I think of you in a surplice. But you are never 
unkind to sinners. Father," his voice shook a little, "I am so 
ashamed of the misery I have caused you; I know how 
you feel. I have been a beast." 

"We will say no more," said the Vicar. "You must make 
a fresh start here." 


"I cannot afford to send you to a crammer's. Fortu- 
nately, I have leisure to prepare you for this examination. 
Sir Gilbert will read some Greek with you. He is a ripe 

"I'll work like a nigger," said Tim ardently. 

"Good !" 

Tim left the study with a very lively gratitude and re- 
lief, albeit uneasily conscious that others in the happy vil- 
lage might treat him less leniently. Alone in his own room, 
he wrote a letter to Daffy, which may be recorded as 
expressing adequately enough his feelings at the moment. 


"I've been sacked from Eton. It's the very devil of a 
business. Father has behaved like a perfect brick. He 
is almost too perfect. I wish that he could have sworn 

In the Happy Village 

at me, or licked me. I slipped out of College at night, 
and was caught. I did it for a lark, because I was feeling 
deadly dull. I had some champagne, too, but I swear I 
wasn't drunk, Daff. You'll believe me, won't you? But 
it looked like it, because I laughed like a fool when they 
copped me. I couldn't help laughing at their solemn 
faces. Of course I had to go, but Sir Gilbert, dear old 
man, has told me that it won't interfere with my future. 
I am to cram for the Indian Civil at home; and I mean 
to work like blazes. There will be nothing else to do. 
"Write and tell me that you are not utterly sick of me. 
"Yours for ever and ever, 


"P. S. I am sick of myself." 

By the ill luck of things, Daphne happened to be away 
from home; and Mrs. Carmichael opened the letter. She 
was a masterful woman, saturated with certain ideas, which 
she held to be cardinal principles guiding aright her own 
life and the lives of others. One hesitates to indict this 
excellent lady. She acted, in what she chose to consider 
a grave emergency, according to her lights. Shall we speak 
of them as the best wax candles? More, she took solemn 
counsel with her elder daughters, dear good girls who had 
never caused a moment's anxiety. She might have reflected 
that Daphne, in character, temperament and appearance, 
was radically different from her sisters ; but Mrs. Carmi- 
chael would have replied, not without heat, had such dif- 
ferences been indicated, that there was one standard of 
conduct for all young ladies to which they must conform. 

A wiser woman, too, would have allowed her daughter 
to see Tim's letter. A sympathetic mother, also, might 
have read between the lines of that letter a genuine remorse, 
and a poignant appeal for forgiveness and tenderness. Mrs. 
Carmichael, however, beheld with affronted eyes a love- 
letter written by an impecunious young scapegrace to a 
child of fifteen, a prospective heiress, enshrined in her heart 
as the likeliest of three darlings to make a really satisfac- 



tory marriage. She decided that such a billet was confirma- 
tion of love-passages kept secret from her. And she had 
boasted, poor woman ! to other mothers that her daughters' 
minds and hearts were as limpid pools into which she gazed 
periodically, finding nothing there except what she had de- 
posited herself. 

"It has come to my knowledge," she said to Daphne, on 
her return home, "that there is an absurd, sentimental at- 
tachment between you and Timothy White. Don't deny it !" 

"I shan't," said Daphne. "I love Tim, and he loves me. 
What of it?" 

Mrs. Carmichael frowned. 

"I beg you not to be pert. Young White has just been 
expelled from Eton." 

"Expelled ?" faltered Daffy, turning startled eyes upon her 
mother's face. 

"Expelled," repeated Mrs. Carmichael grimly. "I need 
hardly point out to you, child though you are, that young 
men of eighteen are not expelled from a great public school 
for any ordinary offence. Young White has disgraced him- 
self and his friends." 

"Oh !" 

Daffy dissolved into tears. 

"It can't be true, mother." 

"Pray don't be silly. It is true. It is equally true that 
the young man has wild blood in his veins. His maternal 
grandfather was a disgraceful person. I can't discuss such 
matters with a young girl, but you may take it from me 
that the dear Vicar made a terrible mistake when he chose 
a wife out of a family that is a byword even in the West of 

Daffy dabbed at her eyes. Mrs. Carmichael continued, 
less trenchantly : 

"I am willing to overlook a very grave deception on 
your part, because of your extreme youth and inexperi- 
ence. I trusted young White, and I trusted you. It is ter- 

In the Happy Village 

rible to me that such trust and affection should have been 
taken advantage of." 

Daffy retorted, not without spirit. 

"I should have told you, but you would have said we were 
silly idiots." 

"Quite true. Any lovemaking between immature young 
persons is very, very silly and wrong, inasmuch as it leads 
to wilful deceit. I admit Tim's charm. He charmed me. 
I have tried to mother that boy. His dear father has my 
sincerest sympathy and affection. More, I do not say that 
this unhappy young man may not live down this terrible 
disgrace, but it will take years of strenuous endeavour. I 
cannot have him here till he has in some measure expiated 
his offence. I shall write to him in the kindest spirit, and 
make that plain. And I ask you, on your word of honour, 
to promise me that you will not write to him." 

"He may write to me." 

"That is extremely unlikely." 

"If he should ?" 

"In that case I ask you to bring his letter to me. I have 
no wish to spy upon my daughter, but at your age I have the 
right to open your letters, and to deal with them as I see fit." 

"I won't write to him unless he writes to me." 

Daffy said this with greater confidence, because she was 
quite sure that Tim would write. 

"Very good. Kiss me, my child, and believe me when I 
add that your welfare is dearer to me than anything else 
in the world. Dry your pretty eyes! This unhappy little 
experience will be fruitful of much good, if it makes you 
more careful in the future." 

"But I still love Tim." 

"Teh! Teh! If he is worthy of your affection and 
friendship, let him prove it. And don't prattle about love, 
which is a very sacred word. A modest little maid should 
speak with more restraint. Now, you can trot away." 




What Tim suffered when Daffy did not reply to him 
may be imagined. His heart already softened began to 
harden again. It became even more indurated when he re- 
ceived Mrs. Carmichael's letter, after some ten days had 


"I take up my pen more in sorrow than in anger to 
reply to a letter which you wrote to Daphne, and which 
I am answering on her behalf. I have had a long talk 
with the dear child. She is, I think, fully aware of her 
wrong-doing and deceit in keeping from her own mother 
a sentimental attachment which you inspired in her. 
Daphne is a romantic little puss; and I have dealt ten- 
derly with her. I desire, my dear boy, to deal as tenderly 
with you. Your saintly father has written to me a very 
sweet letter, which I shall always cherish. I share his 
grief and bitter disappointment. I share also his convic- 
tion that you will live down this disgrace, and rise upon 
it to higher things, justifying the affection we bear you. 
Hard work has sanctified his life, and I pray humbly that 
it may sanctify and ennoble yours. But I cannot alto- 
gether ignore the weakness and frailty of poor human 
nature. I must think of my dear little daughter first. 
And after what has passed between you Daphne was 
quite frank with me I should be lacking in my duty 
as a mother if I allowed you two young people to meet. 
I have Daphne's solemn promise not to write to you un- 
less you write to her, and if you write she has pledged 
herself to bring your letter to me before she answers it. 
My faith in you, sorely tried as it has been, is still strong 
enough to justify my conviction that you will not write 
to my little maid, or attempt to see her against my ex- 
pressed wish. Your father does not know and I shall 
not tell him of your attachment to Daphne. If he did, 
he would, you may be sure, exact some pledge from 
you. I prefer, instead, to leave the matter to your own 

In the Happy Village 

pride and good feeling. I look forward to the day when 
you can come again to us, and reinstate yourself in our 

"Yours affectionately, 


Tim used bad language when he read and reread this 
epistle. Daffy he leapt to this conclusion was like other 
girls, cut to pattern, terrified by a tempest in a tea-pot, docile 
to Authority a dear anaemic little puss ! 

He rushed hatless into Pennington High Wood. 

It was a cheerless afternoon in late November. In the 
air hung an odour of decay ; on the ground lay the rotting 
leaves ; from the bleak branches overhead dripped the tears 
of a dying November. 

Presently, he found himself in the Cathedral upon the 
spot where Journey and he had knelt together invoking Om- 
nipotence to join them. Tim stood still, staring upwards 
with a derisive smile upon his white haggard face. Yes ; 
he had believed that God would come down and talk with 

And now? 

A strange impulse surged within him to call upon the 
Devil ! The Vicar believed in a personal Devil. And Tim, 
ever greedy of new and curious knowledge, had read some- 
thing concerning the Diabolists. 

Controlling the insane desire to invoke the Supreme 
Power of Evil, Tim flung himself upon the wet moss and 
burst into tears, bitter grinding sobs, the expression of all 
that he had suppressed during the past fortnight. Mightily 
relieved by this ebullition, he stood upright again, and con- 
fronted more calmly the situation, glancing to right and 
left in terror lest some passing woodman might have wit- 
nessed his weakness. Then he read Mrs. Carmichael's let- 
ter for the third time. 

Anybody, save a dashing youth, would have questioned 
its cleverness and sincerity. Tim, however, accepted every 



line in the spirit so the writer would have said in which 
it was penned. By his own act, he had cut himself off 
from Daphne and her people. They were very nice people ; 
he knew that; and other really nice people corroding 
thought! would regard him, as the Carmichaels did, with 
slightly averted eyes. Sunday, with the residents of the vil- 
lage streaming out of morning church, had been a bleak 
experience. Nobody had cut him because, of course, he 
was his father's son, but each blameless worshipper had 
blinked, beholding him as the black sheep in a happy fold. 
Sir Gilbert had taken his arm/ and leaned heavily upon 
it, subtly suggesting the appeal of age to youth. Sir Gil- 
bert God bless the old boy! had done his best to white- 
wash his offence. Nevertheless, Tim stood discoloured in 
the eyes of the congregation, lending even a tinge of purple 
to the whiteness of his father's surplice. Adam Judd, who 
attended divine service from eleemosynary motives, chuck- 
led as he passed a fellow sinner. Evarannie blushed, con- 
scious of a too intimate lip-service with a backslider. 

But Tim had brazened it out, carrying a high head, con- 
fident that his Daphne would not fail him, that she would 
know and understand. 

Why, why had she not written to him herself? 

He choked down humiliation together with some freshly 
rising sobs. There must be no more weeping; let him con- 
tent himself with gnashing of teeth. But his dominant 
thought was that of wrath against ladies. He could forgive 
Evarannie for blushing; the demure, downcast glances of 
the gentlewomen infuriated. What humbugs and hypocrites 
they all were ! 

He wondered whether the Vicar had preached at him, 
dismissing such speculation as idle and unworthy. The 
theme of the Sunday morning's sermon happened to be Eter- 
nal Punishment, a doctrine quite irreconcilable with Tim's 
somewhat amorphous conceptions of Divine Love and 
Mercy. The Vicar could handle such themes with dexterity. 
He did not belong to the fire and brimstone school of or- 

In the Happy Village 

atory, but always he dwelt persistently upon the unbridg- 
able gulfs between Heaven and Hell, the ineffable rapture 
of being with God, the everlasting torment of those cast 
out of His Presence. 

As a boy Tim had conceived Heaven to be a sort of 
glorified Little Pennington, embellished by golden crowns 
and a crystal sea. 

Now, struggling with his own conflicting emotions, a 
prey to the civil war which sooner or later devastates so 
many hearts, he attempted to see himself with proper de- 
tachment. Did he incline towards the sheep or the goats? 
Sheep were dull creatures ; and goats smelt abominably. 
Small wonder that the nymphs in the classics fled from the 
satyrs ? 

He came to the conclusion that he was neither sheep nor 
goat, a hybrid, like the Alpaca. Was there an Alpaca in 
the Zoo? If so, he must have a look at it. 


He answered Mrs. Carmichael's letter with restraint, ac- 
cepting the conditions imposed. She had not appealed in 
vain to his pride. Then he plunged into dogged work. 

Somewhat to his dismay, not to mention the Vicar's, Tim 
soon discovered that he knew less from the point of view 
of passing stiff examinations than when he won his schol- 
arship at Eton. The Vicar remarked to Sir Gilbert: "I 
never had a pupil who seemed to know more, and who really 
knew less." Nothing daunted, Tim set to work again at 
principia, which he mastered with gratifying ease and dili- 

Sir Gilbert was very kind to him, mounting him occa- 
sionally for a day with the Little Pennington hounds, and 
giving him many a day's shooting in outlying coverts and 
hedgerows : sport which whetted an appetite instead of sat- 
isfying it. Tim could not help envying the sons of mag- 



nates to whom hunting and shooting were the serious busi- 
ness of life. About this time, his acquaintance with the 
son of a neighbouring parson ripened into friendship. Not 
far from Little Pennington was a hamlet which took its 
tone from the happy village. The parson happened to be a 
friend of Tertius White, and like him a poor man. His 
son, also, had won scholarships, but, unlike Tim, this scholar 
had a love of scholarship for its own sake. He was des- 
tined from early youth to become either pedagogue or 
parson, probably the latter, for much zeal informed him. 
He, too, owned a bicycle, and the young men spent many 
hours together scouring the hills and dales of Hampshire. 
Eustace Pomfret took himself seriously, a source of much 
amusement to Tim, and was almost a genius in devising 
schemes of self-culture upon a monumental scale. His life 
so Tim reckoned was cut-and-dried from the font; and 
he endeavoured not unsuccessfully to impress upon Tim 
the necessity of ordering even the most humdrum existence 
so as to exclude the interference of the Devil. That his 
influence over Tim was entirely for good may be ques- 
tioned. Counsels of perfection wearied our hero. Never- 
theless he liked Eustace, and envied him his powers of con- 
centration, calling him "The Plodder" to his face, and be- 
hind his back "The Sap that never Rises." The Plodder 
was very bashful in the presence of the fair, and seemingly 
quite proof against their allurements. His weakness he 
admitted this to Tim was Gothic architecture. When he 
pursued his hobby too untiringly into dusty transepts, Tim 
would say derisively: 

"I'd sooner look at a pretty girl." 

"You will repeat that till you believe it." 

"Because I'm normal. You're sexless." 

"I'm not. I suppose, when I can afford it, I shall marry, 
as my father did. Till that time comes, the less one thinks 
about pretty girls the better." 

"Girls could teach you a lot." 

* In the Happy Village 

"What have they taught you, Tim?" 

Then Tim would laugh scornfully, and refuse to reply. 

Ash Wednesday ushered in Lent and the godly discipline 
of the Commination Service, attended by all the gentlefolk 
and many humbler parishioners. Tim was greatly impressed 
by the unction with which mild-mannered spinsters an- 
swered "Amen" to the judgments of Omnipotence against 
sinners. One ancient virgin positively barked her response 
with an inflection of impatient finality which tickled the 
boy's humour. He was reminded of a billiard marker in 
one of the Winchester taverns, who, calling the score at 
Pool, would yap out: "Yellow dead!" in a manner that 
made the hope of starring quite forlorn. Tim wondered 
whether these worthy women really gloated over this whole- 
sale cursing, as they appeared to do. Miss Janetta Van- 
burgh, the spinster aforesaid, conveyed to Tim the con- 
viction that she had become so intolerant of sinners that she 
wished them cursed and, so to speak, cast as rubbish to the 
void without any more ado. Her shrill, staccato "Amen," 
invariably an instant ahead of the congregation, weighed 
heavily upon Tim's nerves. Under his breath he cursed 
her, realising with some contrition that he had thereby low- 
ered himself to her level. 

Music, more than anything else, nourished Tim's emo- 
tional sense of religion. His old Dominie, who played the 
organ beautifully, had trained the choir to sing simple hymns 
with feeling and distinction. At Evensong, especially, when 
Tim sat in his pew in the dimly lighted church, gazing at 
the altar which alone was brilliantly illuminated, seeing 
the Vicar's fine head, with its placid and yet austere expres- 
sion, glancing too at the many faces familiar from child- 
hood, there would sweep into his mind a passionate desire to 



achieve saintliness. At such moments John Newman's hymn 
would move him profoundly 

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, 

Lead Thou me on ; 
The night is dark, and I am far from home, 

Lead Thou me on. 

He would say to himself that this church was home to 
many of the worshippers therein. They had found the 
Light. His eyes would rest with envy and affection upon 
the sweet face of the schoolmistress, Mary Nightingale, 
who never complained that the church was ill-lighted, be- 
cause she knew all the psalms by heart. The girls of the 
village owed a deep debt to Mary Nightingale. What a 
beacon she had been! Some of the Penningtonians had 
gained the farther shore, after wading through torrents. 
There was old Whetren, the sexton. The Vicar wrestled 
long for Whetren's soul, and had prevailed. Benner, with 
his apostolic beard, had known a stormy youth. Tim went 
to Benner and asked him if he understood all that the Vicar 
said. Benner shook his head. 

"It's like this, Master Tim, I find his voice upliftin', yes, I 
do, even when I misses the words and meanin'. And then 
I takes a mort o' comfort lookin' at they beautiful glass 

The stained glass in Little Pennington Church was an 
atrocious sample of mid- Victorian taste. Tim chuckled : 

"Well, Benner, I have always wondered why that glass 
was put in. Now I know." 

During Lent there were many services. In his robuster 
moments, after the Sunday luncheon when everybody in 
Little Pennington feasted heavily Tim would be tempted 
to indict this wholesale fasting as an orgy of righteous- 
ness. The women seemed to wallow in self-denial. Really, 
it afforded them pleasure, not pain, to mortify the flesh. 
Why not stick to butter and cream, and give up gossip? 

In the Happy Village 

The Vicar, remarking Tim's too pale face, prescribed a 
change of air and scene after Easter. 

"You have worked finely, Tim. I insist upon a holiday. 
Go abroad for a full month and brush up your French." 

Eustace Pomfret accompanied him. This oddly assorted 
pair crossed the channel to Havre, and thence cycled up 
the Seine, and down the Loire, visiting Rouen, Dreux, 
Evreux, Chartres, and the Touraine chateaux. Tim was in 
the highest health and spirits, ready to ride eighty miles 
a day. Eustace preferred to linger in the cathedrals. Ulti- 
mately they reached Concarneau, famous for its sardine 
fisheries and a small colony of artists. They spent a week 
there; and Tim was once more bitten with the desire to 
become a painter. At Concarneau, he met Cabral, the sculp- 
tor, and Briand, the painter of grey skies and seas. He 
could hardly tear himself from their exciting company. 
Eustace was not favourably impressed by these Bohemians, 
and affected to disdain their conversation, quoting Mathew 
Arnold "Conduct is three-fourths of life." 

In those simple times no railroad brought tourists to 
Concarneau. The artists fared sumptuously, wine and cider 
included, for four francs per diem or one hundred francs 
per mensem. Cabral said : 

"On mene la vie heureuse, mon gargon." 

"Wee, wee," replied Tim, who chattered French fluently, 
but with an atrocious accent. 

"Tu reviendras hein ?" 


On departure, Tim was embraced on both cheeks by the 
patronne of the Hotel des Voyageurs. The bonnes, in the 
coif and collar of the commune, were smilingly ready to 
salute him in the same early Christian fashion, but Eustace 
stood scowlingly by Saint Anthony in knickerbockers. 
Cheers sped the travellers on their way. 

"Heavenly place," said Tim. 

"Smelly," riposted Saint Anthony. 

"Dear, delightful people," sighed Tim. 



"Brazen hussies," murmured the Saint. 

Tim laughed. 

"They didn't offer to embrace you, Old Plodder." 

Eustace remarked solemnly: 

"I thank God that I am not too good-looking." 

"I can thank God that I am not too good." 

Whereupon the Plodder preached a short homily, while 
Tim thought hungrily of the smiling faces which he was 
leaving behind him. 

They took the packet from Saint Malo. Eustace had 
nicely calculated his expenses, arriving at Southampton with 
just enough in his purse he carried a purse to pay for 
breakfast. Tim went aboard penniless, and was obliged to 
offer his bicycle to the purser as security against his fare. 
The purser, however, cheerily consented to trust him, when 
Tim stated that he was the son of the Vicar of Little Pen- 
nington. Eustace asked drily: 

"Why have you not sufficient money?" 

Tim confessed. 

"I nipped into the casino at Dinard, and dropped thirty 
bob at petits chevaux." 


"Oh, dear, no! Votive offerings to the goddess of For- 
tune. She will smile upon me next time." 

"I hope there will be no next time." 

"Rot ! Everybody gambles in some form or another. It 
was jolly good fun." 

"At your father's expense." 

"Pish! Tut! Pooh! I shall pop the gold links Sir Gil- 
bert gave me." 

And he did so. 


The Vicar stared hard at Tim when he reached Little 

"The pleasant land of France has agreed with you, Tim." 
"In all my life I have never been so happy." 

In the Happy Village 

The words slipped from his sniiling mouth. Instantly 
he cursed himself for an ingrate ; but the Vicar nodded ab- 
sently. Tim, very red in the face, stammered out: 

"All the same, it's jolly to be home again." 

He scampered round the village, dashing in and out of 
the cottages with a cheery word for everybody. Journey, 
still smelling of leather, asked many questions. 

"You be brown as a berry, Master Tim." 

"Glorious sunshine, Journey. Blazing on the long white 
roads; blazing on the faces of the people." 

"Yas ; you've a warm look, Master Tim. Comes o' seein' 
the world. Is they French maids as gay as I've heerd on?" 

"Gay of heart, Journey. I fell in love with all of 'em." 

"Lard bless 'ee, Master Tim ! And they fell in love with 
'ee, I'll go bail." 

"Luckily for me, I'd my guardian angel with me. Mr. 
Eustace Pomfret." 

"I think nothing of he. Wonnerful greenish young gen- 
tleman, to be sure ! They French maids had no truck with 
him, I'll wager a pot of ale on that." 

Tim smote his thigh, exclaiming: 

"By Jove! Why didn't I " 

"What, Master Tim ?" 

"Why didn't I egg one of the little dears on to make eyes 
at him ? What larks it would have been !" 

He laughed riotously, beholding Saint Anthony resisting 

"Any news, Journey?" 

"Never is no news here," grumbled Journey. "There be 
a rare pretty maid at the Vicarage, come from Lanterton, 
she do." 

"From Lanterton?" 

Lanterton enjoyed an unsavoury reputation. It was not 
easy for a Lanterton girl to find a respectable place. 

"Yas; my granfer he say that in ancient times Little 
Pennington was even worse than Lanterton. Granfer do 



chuckle to hisself when he talks o' they brave old days. 
Yas ; she be a rare pretty maid, Master Tim." 

Tim said gravely : 

"Journey, you're an old friend, but you mustn't take 
liberties. It's absolutely nothing to me whether there is a 
pretty maid at the Vicarage or not. Do you understand?" 

"No offence, Master Tim. My tongue do run away wi' 
my wits when I be talkin' with J ee." 

Tim laughed, and went his way whistling. Journey picked 
up his awl as he muttered : 

"The pretty maids '11 come to his whistling. Lard 
A'mighty! what a fine upstandin' young feller he do be!" 

Tim returned to the Vicarage in time for luncheon, and 
entered the house, as was his wont, by the back-door. Pass- 
ing the kitchen, he heard a gay laugh, a silvery ripple of 
joyous sound. He hesitated, and then opened the kitchen 
door. Perched upon the dresser sat the maid from Lan- 
terton. When she beheld Tim, .she sprang to the floor, 
stood upright for an instant, and then bobbed down in a 
demure curtsey, but her eyes twinkled roguishly. Tim 
greeted the cook, an old friend. Then he turned to the new 

"And who is this?" he asked. 

"Ivy Jellicoe," replied the cook. 

The name Jellicoe struck Tim as familiar. Then he re- 
membered that there was a bold poacher called Jack Jellicoe 
who had been caught red-handed after a desperate encounter 
with a keeper. Jellicoe had been sent to Winchester gaol. 
The cook, reading his thoughts, and quite regardless of the 
newcomer's feelings, said with unction: 

"She be Jack Jellicoe's daughter, Master Tim." 

"Oh!" said Tim. 

Ivy smiled deprecatingly, displaying an even row of 
very white small teeth. Her eyelids fell. Tim could not 
fail to remark how long and dark lay the lashes upon her 
delicate cheeks, and he perceived also, with an artist's eye, 
that her features were finely modelled. Truly, a rare pretty 

In the Happy Village 

maid, as Journey had said. Instinctively, he held out his 

"How do you do, Ivy? I hope you will be happy here." 
She raised her eyelids, flashing at him a glance com- 
pounded of gratitude and admiration. Then she slipped her 
hand into his, murmuring bashfully : 
"Thank you, sir. I do hope so, sir." 




THE Vicar was agreeably surprised by the ardour with 
which Tim pursued his studies after the holiday in 
France. He had never questioned the boy's brains, doubt- 
ing only sustained powers of application. And now he was 
able to assure Sir Gilbert who, indeed, needed no such 
assurance that the coveted prize was well within their pu- 
pil's grasp. One lovely morning, in late May, when the 
lime trees in the churchyard were bursting into flower, the 
Vicar took Tim's hand in his and congratulated him with 
a warmth of feeling which made Tim gasp. A note of 
personal triumph informed the Vicar's quiet tones : 

"We are in the sunshine again." 

A rare smile flickered about his austere lips. Perhaps 
at that moment Tim apprehended something heretofore ig- 
nored, sounding the depths of another's hopes and ambi- 
tions. He had supposed that the Vicar's work engrossed 
and satisfied him. Now, he had an illuminating glimpse of 
ambitions focussed upon himself. His success lay in the 
womb of another's soul. Travail had brought it forth. 

"Do you care so much ?" he asked wonderingly. 

The Vicar drew a deep breath; and, as he answered, he 
seemed to be gazing through the clay at Tim's spirit. Soul 
met soul upon the heights, above baffling mists and dark 

"I care, I have always cared tremendously." 

For a moment there was silence. The feeling in the 
Vicar's voice made Tim tremble. It happened to be 9 re- 

Ivy Jellicoe 

markable voice, whose beauty imposed itself subtly in spite 
of, perhaps because of, certain disabilities. Not a mag- 
nificent organ such as is possessed by some popular preach- 
ers ; hardly musical in the accepted sense ; certainly lack- 
ing in power and volume, lacking, too, in varied inflection, 
not a voice wherewith to inebriate the multitude, rather the 
still small voice of a pure conscience seeking patiently to 
make itself heard by reason of its quality, invariably low 
and sweet and penetrating. In the pulpit and at the lectern, 
the Vicar stood before his congregation an arresting figure, 
because it seemed to be his deliberate aim to suppress him- 
self. He scrupulously avoided the adventitious tricks of 
gesture and speech so common to many preachers. He never 
presented his thoughts to his dear friends ; he was never col- 
loquial or familiar in the House of God, except, possibly, 
when he was catechising the children in the nave. But his 
greatest attribute as an expounder of dogma or doctrine, 
the attribute which might have secured for him high prefer- 
ment, was the measured conviction with which he spoke 
from the chancel, the burning faith in God's message, the 
absence of doubt in that message. His curate afforded 
a humorous contrast. That worthy and zealous young 
man never missed a suitable opportunity of presenting his 
doubts to the villagers and endeavouring to rout them, 
often with humiliating ill-success. He dug deep pits into 
which he floundered, emerging hot and breathless, with, 
perhaps, the disarming question upon his lips : "Have I 
made my meaning clear to you, my dear brethren?" Tim, 
then, was hardly able to restrain the impulse to leap to his 
feet, and shout out: "No, sir, you have not." 

The Vicar continued : 

"There are reasons into which I cannot go now, which 
explain why I have cared so much, why, in a sense that you 
are not yet old enough to understand, I have made your 
training a matter of supreme importance to myself, a mat- 
ter almost of faith in what I hold to be true and ever- 



His voice died away. Tim knew that he would say no 
more, that any questions would be kindly but inexorably 
vetoed. Curiosity consumed him. He divined vaguely that 
a mystery lay between himself and the Vicar, a mystery 
which included his mother. Of that mother and her family 
he knew just enough to be inordinately greedy for more. 
His maternal grandfather was dead ; the title and what was 
left of a crippled estate had passed to a distant kinsman. 
The Vicar, reading the boy's thoughts, added a few words : 

"Some day, Tim, there may be full confidence between 
us. I pray that such a day may come, or rather that you 
may advance to it, because such confidence on my part 
must be earned by you. When that day does dawn you 
will understand me and yourself." 


Meanwhile, Ivy Jellicoe smiled whenever she met Tim. 
Her voice was soft and beguiling when speaking to su- 
periors ; in the kitchen and pantry it shrilled, and the Hamp- 
shire accent became noticeable. 

Tim talked to her as he talked to everybody. And Ivy 
prattled back to him. Her father was still in gaol; other- 
wise his daughter would have remained at home. She 
spoke of the difficulty of finding a respectable place, and 
of the kindness of the Vicar when this fact came to his no- 
tice. Tim took her measure with all the cocksureness of 
eighteen. She was a dear little thing, hardly treated be- 
cause her sire was a poacher. She continued to smile at 

Let us say frankly, and have done with it, that Ivy was 
a healthy, handsome little animal, with inherited animal pro- 
pensities, and much less intelligent than she appeared. Had 
the Vicar been quite other than what he was he would 
never have taken the baggage into his house. The wife 
of the rector of Lanterton sniffed when she learned that 

Ivy Jellicoe 

he had done so. It is certain, also, that Tim was incapable 
of beginning an intrigue with a maid in his father's serv- 
ice. He was working hard, and overworking, which may 
account partly for what followed. If love be a disease, then 
its more potent ravages are likely to affect disastrously 
those who have strayed from the normal. 

It was unfortunate, also, that during this hot summer 
Tim was cut off from cricket or any other fonn of healthy 
exercise. Riding his bicycle along dusty roads was not suf- 
ficiently alluring, and playing tennis with young ladies was 
almost as boring. Golf had it been possible in those days 
would have adjusted the boy's equilibrium. 

One morning Tim touched Ivy's soft cheek. He did not 
plan this move. A tear upon the damask challenged sym- 
pathy and pity. 

"Anything wrong?" 

"They do throw it up to me that father's in gaol." 

"What a beastly shame! Never mind, Ivy! Cheer up! 
You're a dear little thing." 

And then he had touched her cheek with the tips of his 
fingers, smiling pleasantly. Ivy expressed no surprise and 
no bashfulness. But her uplifted eyes held a note of inter- 
rogation. She said demurely : 

"Oh, thank you, sir." 

She waited an instant; and then flitted away, looking 
back smiling. 

This na'ive smile began to interfere with Tim's work. 
Why did this simple, artless creature smile upon him so 
persistently? Why did her eyes follow him? 

About a week later, he was alone in the dining-room, late 
at night, trying to focus a jaded brain upon the helicoidal 
parabola, when Ivy tapped at the door and came in. 

"Shall I put out the lights, sir? The Vicar has gone to 

Tim looked up from his confused figures and diagrams 
to behold a face not very unlike the Nina of Greuze. For 
a moment he stared at her, hearing her question and hav- 



ing a curt "Yes" upon his lips, but saying nothing, because 
her expression, half beguiling, half derisive, confounded 

"Come here!" 

She drifted towards him, holding herself very upright, 
smilingly self-possessed. 

"Why do you always smile at me?" 

She answered calmly : 

"I suppose, sir, it's because I like you." 


She blushed as he put the question. 

"You are such a dear, and so handsome." 

Tim got up. Ivy looked grave, and oddly impassive. 
Tim discovered that he was trembling, with a choking sen- 
sation in his throat. 

"Good-night," he said hoarsely. "Put out the lights." 

"Yes, sir." 

She walked slowly to the door, turning on the threshold. 
Her face had become piteous. 

"Are you angry, sir?" 

"Good Lord, no! There! Hook it!" 

Ivy vanished. Tim turned to his diagrams which spun 
round before his eyes. Query. How do you compare arcs 
of the same curve which cannot be superposed? Query. 
Did Ivy think him a fool? 

He tackled the second query first. Yes ; in these affairs 
the male is placed in an abominably false position, although 
the shrieking sisterhood deny it. The maid who resists 
importunity is exalted, even by the man whom she vir- 
tuously repulses. But the youth who turns from ripe lips 
is not exalted. Joseph flying from temptation excites ridi- 
cule. Undoubtedly, Ivy thought him a fool. 

He tried to analyse his emotions. He wanted to kiss 

Ivy. With the greatest effort he had refrained. Well, 

ought he not to feel uplifted? But he didn't. He felt a 

fool. He shut up his books and went to bed thoroughly 


Ivy Jellicoe 

disgusted with himself. In the morning, however, he was 
bursting with excellent resolutions. 

"I'll take jolly good care there's no more of that." 


About a week later he dined at Pennington House. Sir 
Gilbert was entertaining a distinguished visitor, an ex- Vice- 
roy of India. Tim felt immensely honoured at being in- 
vited to meet the great man. County magnates were pres- 
ent, and their wives. Tim, as the least important male, found 
himself between Lady Pennington and a sharp-nosed spin- 
ster who wrote novels. Lady Pennington was listening 
attentively to the ex-viceroy ; and the lady novelist gave 
undivided attention to her dinner. He stared affectionately 
at the family portraits. There was one of Sir Gilbert 
painted as a young man. But Tim could never behold the 
Squire as other than what he was, a still vigorous octo- 
genarian, blending consummately the most dignified self- 
respect with unfailing courtesy and suavity. As a young 
man he had been painted in the high stiff black satin stock 
of the period. His coat seemed to be cruelly tight about 
the waist. "He never got away from that stock," thought 
Tim. He glanced at other members of the Pennington 
family. Two sons and two daughters were present. They, 
also, exhibited the Pennington traits and distinctions, an 
easy air of good-breeding, a placid confidence in them- 
selves, their position, and family. They had nothing in 
common with what is known to-day as smart society. Fash- 
ion was too ephemeral for a family so long rooted in the 
soil. The ladies wore simple gowns and little jewellery. 
Their voices were clear but low. 

Tim sipped his champagne and enjoyed it. His sharp 
young ears caught every word that dropped from viceregal 
lips. And then, suddenly, he was included in that august 
conversation, Lady Pennington said in her incisive way; 


"This is Tim White, our Vicar's son. India is marking 
him for her own." 

"We must have a word or two together later," said the 
great man, leaning forward, and looking hard at Tim. 

"Tim can tell you what fritillaries are found in our 

Tim could and did. It appeared that the great man was 
an entomologist, but he had never captured a Purple Em- 
peror. Tim could boast a happier fortune. His eyes 
sparkled as he described the luring of the monarch from 
the oak-tops, the imperial weakness for raw steak, and the 
final swoop of the net. The lady-novelist eyed him with 
kindlier interest, and asked him if he had read her latest 
novel. Tim, replying in the negative, added hastily: 

"I suppose I'm the only person in this room who hasn't." 

Then he heard the great man's too loud whisper to his 
hostess : 

"What a handsome boy! Mercury poised for his first 

Tim blushed with pleasure. 

After dinner, he remained of course with the men, and 
was made to feel by his kind host that he was at last one 
of them. When the decanters were circling, Sir Gilbert 
said genially : 

"Tim, my boy, take a glass of '47 Port. There's not too 
much of it left." 

Tim obeyed, and was further enjoined to sip the noble 
wine which he did. 

Dinner parties began and ended much earlier in those 
days, and the Vicar told Tim to slip back to the Vicarage 
and go to bed. Possibly, he may have remarked the spar- 
kling eyes and too flushed cheeks. Tim was not accustomed 
to mix champagne and port. 

Alone in the fresh night air, walking back to the Vicarage, 
he felt delightfully exhilarated, tempted to burst into song, 
paeans of thanksgiving, because everybody had behaved so 

Ivy Jellicoe 

decently. His offence had been shelved if not forgotten 
pushed out of sight and smell. Yes he was reinstated. 

In this buoyant mood, he returned home to find Ivy 
sitting up to open the front door, for the Vicar carried the 
only latch-key. Tim said boisterously : 

"Oh, Ivy, I've had such a splendiferous time." 

"You look like it, sir." 

"And I feel I feel " He burst out laughing. 

Ivy joined in that infectious laugh. 

"How do you feel, Mr. Tim?" 

She pronounced his name softly, but he was too excited 
to notice that. 

"I'll tell you. I'll confide in you. I feel rather as I did 
the night I was caught out of College. I feel that I hate 
to go to bed. I'd like to gallop over the downs to Win- 
chester, or swim far out to sea. I shouldn't mind a good 
fight with the gloves, or without 'em, by Jove !" 

"You are excited, sir." 

"Yes; I am." 

She smiled at him, letting her lashes fall, a trick often 
practised before the glass. Then she said softly : 

"Shut your eyes, Mr. Tim." 


"Shut them, and see." 

He shut both eyes. Instantly he felt her soft mouth 
barely brushing his and then a low ripple of laughter. He 
seized her and kissed her lips, feeling them quiver beneath 
his own. He heard her murmur : 

"Oh, I do like you, Mr. Tim." 

He said hastily : 

"I say, where's cook?" 

"Fast asleep and snoring." 

"I wanted excitement, and now I've got it." 

"So have I. It's just too heavenly." 

He went quietly into the dining-room. Ivy followed on 
tip-toe. The curtains were drawn and a lamp was burning. 
Tim sat down; Ivy slipped on to his knees, encircled his 



neck with her arms, and laid her cheek against his. He 
pressed her to him, as she whispered: 

"There's no harm in a little kissing, is there?" 

Considering the state of his feelings at that moment, it 
is to his credit that he replied : 

"I am not so sure of that." 

"Haven't you ever kissed a girl before?" 


"Then why shouldn't you kiss me?" 

"Ivy, have you kissed other men?" 

"One or two," she answered carelessly. "They expect it, 
the gert sillies, when you walks out with 'em. I never kissed 
a man unless he asked me." 

"You wanted me to kiss you the other night, didn't you ?" 

"Yes, I did. I never liked any boy as I like you. You're 
handsomer and nicer than anybody else. And I haven't 
walked out with a young man since I came here." 

From her tone Tim guessed that he was the cause of this 
remarkable abstention. He said shyly : 

"Why not, dear?" 

"Because I liked 1 you. There! What's the use of pre- 
tending? I liked you from the first. When you took my 
hand in the kitchen, I could have kissed you there and then. 
Don't you want to go on kissing me?" 

Tim hesitated and plunged. 

"Yes, I do." 


The affair might have gone no further, had it rested 
with Tim. Not long ago, at a notable Church Congress, a 
lady declared with apparent conviction that poor girls were 
at the mercy of any man. It is an amazing fact that nobody 
present protested against this wholesale indictment of im- 
pecunious virtue; and no mother or father made mention 
of the innumerable boys at the mercy of women who delib- 
erately ruin them body and soul. Those who have this mat- 

Ivy Jellicoe 

ter most keenly at heart will advance their own cause very 
measurably when they face both sides of the Social Evil. 

Tim felt uncommonly cheap the next morning, and he 
seized an early opportunity of coming to what he deemed 
to be a right understanding with Ivy Jellicoe. 

"We let ourselves go a bit last night, Ivy." 

"It was rare fun, Mr. Tim." 

Tim, crimson with nervousness, went on hurriedly : 

"You know, dear, I couldn't marry you." 

"Why, Mr. Tim, I know that. Whatever put such an 
idea into your head. Marry the likes of me? Well, I 
declare !" 

She laughed artlessly, with an air of such innocence that 
a wiser than Tim might have been pardoned for believing 
her to be guileless. He experienced a lively relief, as he 
went on, not so nervously : 

"It's all right, if we both agree that it is just fun, and 
nothing more. Your kisses are sweet, Ivy, but " 


"There mustn't be too many of them." 
She glanced at him roguishly, displaying a brace of dim- 

"You can help yourself, Mr. Tim, when you feel like it." 

"I am afraid of getting too fond of you, dear." 

She laughed. 

"I'll risk that. Any girl would." 

Tim went back to his Sanskrit and Calculus feeling 
chastened and at the same time triumphant. At all costs to 
his emotions he must protect this pretty, naive creature 
against herself. She thought nothing of kissing! Why 
should he? Girls in her class were accustomed to it. And 
she had kept her lips for him. That thrilled. 

In a sense, too, he realised that he could now attack his 
work with renewed absorption. Kissing Ivy had cleared his 
brain of certain clogging and insistent fancies winged and 
barbed by Eros. 



But he had no doubt as to what the Vicar would say 
about it, if he knew. 

The dear saint must never know. 

One shrinks from setting down what followed, but the 
facts must be told in justice to Tim. He succumbed, like 
many a gallant youth, to overwhelming temptation. Occa- 
sionally, the Vicar passed a night or two away from home, 
attending some Diocesan Conference, or preaching to neigh- 
bouring congregations. No man was more ready to relieve 
a fellow-priest in distress. 

He was away from home, when Tim, long after midnight, 
heard a soft tap at his bedroom door. He opened it to find 
Ivy, shaking with fear. Whether or not that fear was as- 
sumed may be left to those with a full understanding of the 
female heart. Let us charitably assume that it was genuine. 

"What's up?" asked Tim. 

"There's a burglar getting into the house." 

"What rot ! We've nothing to burgle." 

"I heard him, Mr. Tim. I didn't wake Cook because she'd 
scream the roof in, but I had to come to you." 

"Right," said Tim. "By Jove, I rather hope the beggar 
is there. What a lark it would be to nail him !" 

"You won't run no risks ?" 

"I'll stalk him. Go back to your room." 

"Oh ! I couldn't. I'll wait and see what happens." 

Tim grasped the poker, and crept along the passage, and 
downstairs, excitement gripping at his vitals. After an 
exhaustive examination of the premises he came back to 
find Ivy sitting upon his bed, dangling a pair of bare feet. 
A dark coat covered her nightgown. 

"Nothing doing," growled Tim. "You pop back into 
bed !" 

"Mayn't I stay one minute? I'm ever so frightened." 

Ivy Jellicoe 

Tim saw that she was trembling, and put his arms round 
her to kiss away her fears. She clung to him with an aban- 
don which swept him off his feet, caressing his hair with 
her right hand, murmuring again and again her favourite 
sentence : 

"Oh, I do like you. It is heavenly to be with you." 

Tim's virtue oozed from every pore in his skin. He 
swore beneath his breath; he tried to push her from him, 
but she clung to him desperately. 

"Let me go," he said fiercely. 

"Why should I ? You love me, and I love you." 

"Let me go, I say. I want to lock the door." 

She let him go, laughing softly. 

Next morning he was the unhappiest youth in Hampshire. 
Some six months before he had witnessed a performance 
of Faust in the company of a retired colonel, who had 
taken one of Sir Gilbert's houses. The house stood upon a 
hill; and Tim often thought that although of the village 
it was in a sense out of it, being less permeated with Pen- 
nington traditions. The Colonel gave Tim some rough 
shooting ; and the Colonel's wife, who belonged to a Sketch- 
ing Club, taught him to draw in water-colour and to play 
chess. Tim loved them both because they were so kind to 
him, and because he could chatter more freely to them 
than to other Olympians. He regarded the Colonel as a 
man of the world, and not without reason. 

After the play, sitting at supper with his host, Tim crit- 
icised drastically the protagonists because there had been 
no struggle. He demanded evidence of a dramatic fight 
between good and evil. Marguerite, he contended, had 
yielded too easily. Whereupon the Colonel said tentatively : 

"Well, Tim, I am not so sure of that. There is a deal 
of cant, my boy, about what is called seduction. I feel sure 
that the Vicar has never discussed such a subject with you." 

"Never!" said Tim. 

"But you are old enough not to misunderstand what I'm 
about to say." He paused, glancing at Tim's handsome 



face; then he continued slowly: "I do not believe that 
virtue is easily seduced. I do not believe that there are 
many men going about deliberately trying to ruin girls." 

"I hope not," said Tim. 

"It is my experience that these unhappy affairs come 
about without design, and, as a rule, swiftly and unexpect- 
edly. Nine times out of ten the maid meets the man half 
way. Each is carried away by irresistible emotion. Mar- 
guerite, in my opinion, fell a victim to herself. Had she 
been really virtuous, had she been capable of a tremendous 
struggle, she would have resisted Faust. The cynical smile 
with which Mephistopheles looks on indicates that. The 
poor girl was ripe for the plucking. Virtuous maids, Tim, 
have not much difficulty in resisting men, and men, with 
rare exceptions, respect their virtue. Remember this, my 
boy, if the time should ever come when fierce temptation 
attacks you. It is almost certain that the temptation will be 
nearly as overmastering to the woman, and then you must be 
doubly strong for her and yourself." 

"Thanks," said Tim soberly, much impressed by the 
Colonel's manner. 

"You have a lot to learn about women, Tim, and from 

Now, Tim asked himself miserably whether his education 
was beginning or ending. Ivy's attitude, when he first met 
her alone, astounded and confounded him. He expected 
tears and reproaches. He found smiles. He gasped out : 

"Aren't you furious with me?" 

"Mercy ! Why should I be ?" 

"Heavens! I feel an unutterable beast!" 

"Do you think me a bad girl?" 

"No, no. We have been whirled into this, dear. I ought 
to have mastered myself. I ought to have thought of a 
thousand things." 

"What things?" 

He stared at her blankly. Had she not considered conse- 
quences? Was she incredibly innocent, or immeasurably 

Ivy Jellicoe 

stupid? He told himself that she was neither one nor the 
other. Yet he must make her see what he saw. 

"Ivy, my poor little girl, don't you know that we are 
standing upon the edge of a volcano? Aren't you fright- 

She laughed, not brazenly, but with genuine mirth. He 
repeated his question. She answered it simply: 

"I was never so happy in my life." 

"And I was never so miserable." 

Between them yawned the ocean of differences which 
separated Little Pennington from Lanterton, or, let us say, 
the Vicar from Jack Jellicoe. 

"Kiss me, and don't look cross," said Ivy. 

During unhappy days that followed, Tim tried again 
and again to peer into the girl's mind. She had given her- 
self so gladly, so joyously, that he realised with poignant 
remorse how wholly she was his ; and yet her mind remained 
a blank. To some questions she presented an impenetrable 
mask of silence. He decided that she must lack imagina- 
tion, and was constrained to enjoy the present, being unable 
to visualise the future. 

"If there should be trouble, I could never forgive my- 

She replied confidently : 

"Of course I know that I'm safe with you, because you're 
a gentleman." 

He answered grimly : 

"I don't feel like one." 

This ingenuous confidence appealed tremendously. Tim 
began to plan for her happiness. He bought her a trinket 
or two which she accepted with childlike delight. Again 
and again she whispered to him: 

"This is the time of my life." 

He met her on Sunday afternoons in the deep woods ; he 
tried to correct her grammar ; he controlled a too exuberant 
taste in hats; he wondered whether it would be possible to 
marry her. It happened that a notorious lawsuit, in which 



a pretty actress had been awarded immense damages after 
a breach of promise suit, was reported in the daily papers. 
The defendant, a young nobleman, had refused to marry 
the girl because, so he affirmed, the great ladies of his 
family would be "nasty" to a daughter of the people. Critics 
had raised scornful voices, accusing the noble earl of snob- 
bishness, and throwing mud at the great ladies. Tim dis- 
cussed the affair with the Vicar. Of late their talks had 
become of a more intimate character. The Vicar rather 
invited a free discussion of themes of social interest. In 
his impersonal way, he presented fairly enough the view- 
point of the great ladies. 

"Why," he asked, "should they be expected to welcome 
a girl between whom and them bristles what Stevenson 
calls 'the barrier of associations that cannot be imparted'? 
I should be nasty, I fear, to any village girl who aspired to 
marry you, Tim." 

This was said half- jestingly ; and Tim salted the state- 
ment, knowing that it was almost impossible for the Vicar 
to be "nasty" to any human being. Nevertheless, he knew 
in his heart that this quiet, refined scholar would never 
love or cherish Ivy Jellicoe, although he might receive her. 
And such a marriage meant the end of a promising career. 

If the Vicar should find out ? 

The thought drove sleep from his pillow. With some 
relief he perceived that Ivy was cautious as he in keeping 
discovery at bay. The intrigue made him miserable; it 
acted like champagne on her. She declared that she adored 
the romance of it, the secret meetings in the woods, the 
mask worn in public, the stolen kisses. 

Tim began to realise that he was desperately attached to 
her; and he knew also what he hid from Ivy that his 
work was being undermined. 


Ivy Jellicoe 


He went up to London for the Eton and Harrow match. 
When he returned home after a three days' absence a 
strange maid opened the front door. Tim stammered out : 

"Hullo ! Where's Ivy Jellicoe ?" 

The new maid answered primly: "Her pore mother's 
dyin'. They sent for Ivy yesterday." 

The Vicar came out of the study, and greeted Tim affec- 
tionately. Tim controlled himself, whilst he answered the 
Vicar's questions. He was impatient to go to his room, for 
surely Ivy had left a note behind her. Presently, he 
searched diligently, finding nothing. He learned afterwards 
that Ivy had departed in hot haste. 

At dinner the new maid waited indifferently. Tim said : 

"I hope Ivy is coming back." 

"It is not very probable," replied the Vicar. 

Next day, Tim wrote a letter which anybody might have 
read. He enclosed a stamped and addressed envelope, ask- 
ing Ivy to let him hear from her by return of post, but she 
did not do so, which hurt and perplexed him. Was it 
possible that she failed to realise his cruel anxiety? 

Her letter, when it did arrive three days afterwards, 
corroborated what the Vicar had said. Ivy was likely to 
remain at home indefinitely. The letter, nicely written, 
simply worded, but ill spelt, was full of love. At the end 
was an artless postscript : "I send you all myself." 

By this time Tim was aware that he loved her to distrac- 
tion. He hardly dared to admit another truth as naked 
to his perception. He was angry, because her woman's 
wit could devise no plan for a meeting, no hint of future 

After a sleepless night, he determined to be bold, re- 
joicing at the necessity for action. He cycled to Lanterton, 
arriving at three in the afternoon, when the children were 
at school. Ivy opened the cottage door, giving a gasp of 
distress when her brown eyes identified the visitor. 



"How is your mother?" asked Tim. "May I come in 
for a minute?" 

He spoke clearly, for a neighbour was listening. 

"Mother's bad," said Ivy. "Please come in, sir." 

Tim was ushered into the tiny parlour. He noticed with 
satisfaction that Ivy was wearing a clean print gown which 
suited her admirably. As soon as they were alone, she flew 
into his arms, exclaiming: 

"You are a darling to come. I've been pining for you. 
I've cried myself to sleep every night." 

"I've not slept at all," said Tim. "Now, Ivy, is it safe to 
write to you?" 

Ivy nodded. 

"I take the letters from the postman." 

"Good! Here are some more stamped and addressed 
envelopes. Can you meet me?" 

"I'll try." 

"Good again. I have thought of a safe place, a snug 
little nook." 

"Aren't you clever?" 

"Haven't you thought of our meeting?" 

"I've thought of nothing, except our parting." 

He described the trysting-place, adding : 

"We must talk over the future." 

"Oh ! I can't abear the thought of losing you." 

"You are not going to lose me." 

Just then the querulous voice of the mother was heard, 
calling for her daughter. 

"Coming," cried Ivy. She clung to Tim, choking down 
her tears, murmuring inarticulate phrases. She concluded : 

"All the happiness I've ever had I owe to you." 

The mother called again, her weak voice rising in a pitiful 
crescendo of petulance and distress. Tim said hoarsely : 

"Tell your mother that I called to enquire. Arrange a, 
meeting as soon as possible." 

"Indeed, I will," she replied, 


Ivy Jellicoc 


A demoralising fortnight followed. Twice, during that 
time, Ivy made appointments which she failed to keep. Tim 
waited for her in a copse near Lanterton, tormented by 
suspense, straining eyes and ears to catch the first glimpse 
of her, to Jiear the crackling of dry twigs beneath her feet, 
telling himself that true love surmounted all obstacles, know- 
ing that he would have gone to her through fire and water. 
After waiting three hours he rushed back to the Vicarage 
in a fever of rage and unhappiness. Explanations reached 
him, but not as he felt he had a right to expect by the 
following post. The explanations revealed illuminatingly 
Ivy's lack of resource and imagination, her incapacity to deal 
with infinitesimal difficulties. Upon the first occasion, so 
she wrote, she had actually left the cottage, but was joined 
by a young man, who insisted upon keeping her company. 
She had not been equal to the task of "shaking" him, as she 
put it. Tim clenched his fists, thinking savagely how badly 
shaken the young man would have been had he had his way 
with him! The unexpected arrival of an aunt burked the 
second meeting. Ivy wrote piteously : "I told Auntie I 
wanted to meet somebody, but she laughed at me. What 
could I say?" 

Tim told her, at some length, what she might have said. 

Finally, at the third attempt, they met, passing a couple 
of hours in a sanctuary of wet bracken. It drizzled piti- 
lessly nearly the whole time, and Ivy was more concerned, 
so it seemed to Tim, with her Sunday gown than with her 
heart's feelings. As soon as he began to talk of the future, 
she wriggled uneasily, assuming an expression with which 
he was already too familiar, the impassive mask of the 
peasant, which conceals successfully so much and often so 

He asked her passionately: 

"Ivy, dear, how do you feel?" 



She answered literally: 

"I be getting dreadful wet." 

"Heavens ! What does that matter ?" 

Fortunately, he had brought an umbrella. They sat under 
a thick holly with the umbrella above them. Lovemaking, 
under such conditions, is possible but inconvenient. 

"You will come back to the Vicarage, Ivy?" 

"May be." 

"Why are you so cold, dear?" 

She shivered slightly : 

"I be cold. Tis the wind and the rain." 

Tim waxed desperate. The thought gained strength that 
this might be their last meeting ; for he was approaching the 
conviction that separation was inevitable; and it is fair to 
add that he considered her welfare rather than his own. 
Obviously she was too yourlg and inexperienced to carry 
on an intrigue. Discovery would destroy her. But if this 
were destined to be their last tryst, let it be an imperishable 
memory for each. He would remain her faithful friend 
always. He spoke miserably of his approaching exam and 
India. Ivy pouted. 

"It's so silly to think of what's ahead." 

"But, hang it all ! We must." 

"Not now. Have you brought any chocolates ?" 

He had. She munched them with delight, displaying her 
dimples and smiles, captivating him afresh with her deter- 
mination to enjoy the passing minute, rain or no rain. He 
tried to rise or sink to her simple philosophy. Presently, 
she said softly : 

"We can't help loving each other. It's Nature." 

"Ah ! But we're not living under natural conditions. In 
the South Sea Islands this would be marriage a la mode." 

"Marriage? You ain't bothering your curly head about 
that, surely?" 

"I can't help bothering about lots of things." 

"You are a funny dear ! But I just love every word you 

Ivy Jellicoe 

say ; except when you talk of the silly old future. We may 
be dead and buried come Michaelmas." 

Then he had a revealing glimpse of the rustic mind. 
This, then, was the point of view of girls in Ivy's station 
of life. He grasped the elemental fact that sorrow, disease 
and death encompass the poor from the cradle to the grave ; 
and just because sorrow is more likely to be their portion 
than joy, so therefore do they acclaim joy, when it comes 
to them, as the greatest thing in the world. They know, 
alas! that sorrow will follow anyway. 

Tim registered a vow that he would give an artless crea- 
ture what she wanted, and she assured him that this was 
sufficient unto her. 

Next day he received a letter which pleased him greatly. 
In it she further revealed herself. "I shall be miserable 
till we meet again." 

Surely she was telling the truth. Heretofore he had 
questioned the quality of her love, not its quantity. In 
moments of depression, waiting 'for her in the bracken, he 
had told himself that Ivy had taken this love affair too 
lightly. He did not blame her. Perhaps she was right, 
poor little dearl to dance in the sunlight regardless of 
gathering shadows. She had known from the first that the 
sun would soon decline below her horizon. She had meas- 
ured the distance between Lanterton and Little Pennington. 
And then, shutting both eyes, she had jumped. 

This particular letter made a profound impression. Did 
he dare to marry her secretly ? A vision of Daffy stood by 
his pillow, Daffy, the pure maiden, once the wife and sweet- 
heart of his dreams. But he turned from her impatiently, 
because she had failed him in his hour of bitter need. Ivy 
had given everything, demanding nothing except kisses 
and laughter, and chocolates ! At their next meeting he 
decided to bare his soul, to leave the issues in her keeping. 
She wrote soon afterwards to name another day, but this 
billet ended in a minor key: 

"I simply loathe to tell you," she wrote, "that I was out 



last Sunday with that young chap who prevented our first 
meeting. He hangs about and pounces on me. I go with 
him because, as I told you, I can't shake him, but I keep him 
in proper order. I felt I had to tell you. Thank Goodness ! 
he don't worry me on weekdays." 

Tim felt horribly sick. A revulsion seized him. He 
wrote furiously, telling her that she must choose between 
this "chap" and himself. He tore up the letter when he 
reread it. Ivy had been honest with him. The girl must 
live her normal life, when apart from him, as he lived his. 
Had he not walked with a pretty girl upon that very Sunday, 
one of his own class? And she had shown herself slightly 
flirtatious. But he had not responded. Nor had Ivy. 

The day of the appointed tryst came, a cloudless, sultry 
morning heralding a broiling afternoon. Unhappily, he was 
forced to lie to the Vicar about his plans. This made him 
very dejected and unable to work. He cycled to the tryst- 
ing-place, and waited two hours. 

Ivy did not come. 

He suffered abominably, racking his brain to determine 
what could have prevented her. He knew the hour when 
she had to return home to prepare the evening meal. Upon 
the off chance of getting a glimpse of her, he rode into 
Lanterton, and smoked a pipe at a discreet distance from 
the Jellicoe cottage. Presently Ivy appeared, not alone. 

Ernest Judd was with her. Tim remained in the shade 
of a tree. The pair parted at the gate of the cottage. 
Journey sauntered up the road, whistling. Upon his smug, 
pleasant face lay the expression of one well pleased with 
himself. Obviously, he had passed an agreeable afternoon. 
He did not perceive Tim. 

Tim rode home as swiftly as Jehu drove his horses. He 
told himself that he was a jealous fool and a madman; 
and the mere repetition of the words seemed to make him 
more foolish and more mad. Thus do the fetters of the 
flesh eat into the soul. 

During the reaction that followed, he became hopeful 

Ivy Jellicoe 

again. On the morrow there would be a letter from Ivy, 
explaining everything. The poor child had been pestered by 
this fellow, and was too inexperienced to deal with him. 
Yes, yes; it was insensate folly for him to be jealous of 

That evening the Vicar commented upon his worn ap- 
pearance. Tim had to admit that he was sleeping wretch- 
edly. The Vicar said in his kindest tones : 

"Have you anything on your mind, my dear boy ? If so, 
tell me." 

"The work is going badly. If I should be spun !" 

The Vicar laughed. 

"Tim, you foolish boy, I applaud your modesty, but you 
exercise it at the expense of your wits. Seriously, you are 
not only certain to pass your exam, but to pass high up in 
the list. Come, come, put such idle misgivings from you." 

Tim nodded. Impulse urged him to confess. Never 
had he felt so near and dear to his father. He trembled 
upon the very brink of confession. But he remained silent. 

Next morning there was no letter from Ivy. 

By this time anger and jealousy had passed away. He 
wrote a tender letter, which assuredly the Vicar, saint as 
he was, might have read with compassion and sympathy. 
He beseeched Ivy to trust him, to open her mind and heart. 
He suspected that her courage might have failed her, that 
she dreaded discovery and all it included. He ended as fol- 
lows : "If you are afraid, darling Ivy, and you may well 
be so, tell me, and I will leave you alone." 

He had to wait thirty-six hours for her answer. This is 
what she wrote in reply : 


"I'm afraid you are right. My courage has failed me. 
It do worry me so. And my affections is turning to 
somebody else. I feel as how you will soon get sick of 
me. I don't blame you, dear. Our hands have met, but 

not our hearts. l( ^ r U1 ,-.., 

Your miserable little 




Then Tim saw red. He replied with a violence which 
brought relief to his lacerated tissues: 


"I could almost kill you. May the day come when the 
real love you never felt for me, but which you may live 
to feel for another man, is thrown back at you. Do what 
you like with this letter. Shew it to Ernest Judd, nail 
it to the Church door, so that all the world may see you 
as I see you a wanton !" 

She made no reply. Tim attacked his work with fever- 
ish zeal, but an evil spirit possessed him, and he knew it. 
He prayed fervently that it might be cast out, that he might 
become clean. For a few hours he hugged to his soul the 
fond belief that his prayer had been answered. Then the 
devil within tore him afresh. 

As the days passed, he regretted his too brutal outburst. 
He wrote once more to Ivy 

"I ask you to forgive me. I wrote to you harshly, and 
perhaps unjustly. I take back what I said. I am man 
enough to hope sincerely that the heartlessness with 
which you have treated me may not recoil upon you." 

Ivy answered this letter. 

"Of course I forgive you, dear. I could forgive you 
anything, but the worry is too much. I am still your own 
little IVY." 

Tim accepted this as final. Part of the autumn he spent 
in Scotland, fishing and rock-climbing with Eustace Pomf ret. 
He returned sane in mind and body, able to affirm that the 
unclean spirit had left him. He knew that it was well for 
him and for Ivy that the affair was ended. He swore that 
this bitter experience should colour and not discolour his 


Ivy Jellicoe 

In this chastened mood, he attacked freshly his work. 

Unhappily, as the Vicar had said, the fateful shadows 
which dog our actions do not vanish because we fail to 
see them. One afternoon Tim entered the Vicarage, to find 
Nemesis limping sadly towards him. 

"Your father wishes to see you in the study, Mr. Tim." 

"Right," said Tim. 

The cook, who delivered this message, said nervously : 

"I'm afraid, Mr. Tim, your pore father is ill." 


"I'm sure he looks like death." 

"Heavens! He was well enough this morning. What 
has he been doing?" 

"Nothing, as I knows on, Mr. Tim. That audacious 
Jack Jellicoe was with him for nearly an hour. Just out 
of prison, too. Seems to have upset your father terribly." 

Tim became scarlet. Did this woman guess? Was she 
trying to warn him, to prepare him for some appalling 
shock? With a tremendous effort he pulled himself to- 

"I will go to my father," he said. 



TIM found the Vicar staring at the portrait of Mrs. 
White. He remembered this afterwards, being too 
excited at the time to think of anything except impending 
catastrophe. It was odd, but he had never seen his father 
staring at that beautiful picture, by far the most lovely 
object in a prim, dull house. 

The Vicar turned as Tim entered the room, and instantly 
the boy perceived the ravages of anger and the more subtile 
stigmata of intense pain. The Vicar's fine face was white 
and twisted ; his blue eyes were blazing, the pupils much 
contracted, so that the irides seemed of a larger size and 
deeper in colour. 

"Stand there!" The Vicar raised a minatory forefinger. 

Tim obeyed. 

"The father of Ivy Jellicoe has been here." The Vicar 
spoke in a strange voice to Tim, the voice of a furious 
man. He had never thought of his father as capable of un- 
governable wrath. So the archangel might have appeared, 
the mighty Michael, as he stood at the gate of Eden, bran- 
dishing his flaming sword. 

"He tells me," continued the Vicar, "that Ivy is in trou- 
ble; you know what I mean?" 


"The girl lays her trouble at your door. Is it true ? Yes 

-or no." 

"It is true." 

"My God !" exclaimed the Vicar. 


Tim remained silent. 

"You have defiled this house!" 

Tim opened his lips and closed them. The fatuity of 
speech overwhelmed him. The Vicar paused for an instant. 

"You seduced this child, sir?" 


"What do you mean? How dare you take this line?" 

"It happened," said Tim miserably, "all of a sudden. We 
came together as as the birds do." 

The Vicar laughed scornfully. 

"Indeed? As the birds do. And you compare yourself 
and her, creatures made in God's image, to the birds, who, 
let me remind you, rank next to the reptiles in the scale 
of creation. The birds!" 

He lifted his hand. 

"I am tempted to strike you." 

"Do it," said Tim. 

The Vicar sank into a chair, covering his face with his 
hands. An eternity of silence followed. Finally, when 
the Vicar spoke, he had regained somewhat his normal 

"I will listen patiently to what you have to say." 

Tim wondered what he could say. He stammered out: 

"I am ready to marry Ivy." 

The Vicar sat bolt upright. 

"And do you think that marriage will make an honest 
woman of her, or a clean man of you ?" 

"I don't know," faltered Tim. 

"I do know. I regard Marriage as a sacrament, the 
greatest, perhaps, of all sacraments so far as this world 
is concerned. Did you promise her marriage." 


"In fine, you took what she had to give, giving nothing 
in return?" 

"We wanted each other." 

"And that, in your opinion, justifies what ha r taken 



"I don't say so." 

"Marriage," said the Vicar trenchantly, "will not satisfy 
the exigencies of this case. It could only lead to more 
misery and sin. My mind is clear on that. More, the 
unhappy girl does not demand marriage, nor does her fa- 
ther. He came here to-day to ask for money, hush-money. 
His attitude is that of shameless indifference. I have ar- 
ranged that the girl shall be sent away. I have promised 
to provide for her and her unborn child. But, mark me 
well, such a scandal as this can not be stifled. The truth 
will leak out. Her parents are not the only persons aware 
of her condition. And everybody knows that she was here, 
a servant in my house, under my protection, and presum- 
ably safe in my keeping." 

The mourn fulness of his tone touched the boy pro- 


He held out his hands, trembling, in a white heat of 

The Vicar stood up. 

"Don't call me that !" 

"I have sinned," cried Tim, "but you are my father. 
Nothing can alter that." 

"I am not your father," said the Vicar. 

Tim heard, but did not understand. There was another 
pause, during which Tim's boyhood fled from him. He 
confronted the other as a man. His voice deepened as 
he demanded passionately : 

"What do you mean, sir?" 

The Vicar answered quietly: 

"I would spare you, if I dared. In your interests, not 
mine, the truth must be told. Sit down!" 



Tim sat down upon a hard Windsor chair. 

"I have hoped and prayed," said the Vicar, "that the day 
would come when I could tell you the facts of my mar- 
riage to your mother without inflicting pain upon either 
you or myself. Such a day would have come, if you had 
justified your upbringing, if you had proved yourself strong 
enough to learn the truth, which would have brought us 
nearer together in a communion not of the flesh but of 
the spirit. Before God, I have loved you as a son. I will 
add this : I have staked my happiness and peace upon you : 
I have said to myself that, if I failed with you, I should 
regard my life as a failure. And I so regard it to-day." 

Tim felt himself shrivelling, scorched and consumed by 
the flame in the speaker's eyes. 

"Look at that picture," commanded the Vicar. 

Tim did so. His lovely mother seemed to smile down 
upon them derisively, as if she were a mute witness of 
their common suffering. The Vicar continued in a low 
voice, articulating each phrase slowly and painfully: 

''Your grandfather gave to me my first living. It was a 
parish in the West of Ireland, dominated by a Roman Cath- 
olic priest. My duties were light. I had abundant leisure 
to reflect bitterly upon my own helplessness and loneli- 
ness. I met your mother. She was a lovely, impulsive 
creature, intensely sympathetic, but weak in moral fibre, as 
you are. We became friends. I learned to love her, but I 
was aware from the first that she would never care for 
me, except as a faithful friend. And it seemed to me that 
this was enough. I did help her to bear an unhappy lot. 
Your grandfather was one of the handsomest men of his 
day; he was also a drunkard, a gambler, and an evil-liver. 
Brilliant men came to his house, because he was a wit, 
and entertained lavishly, far beyond his means. Amongst 
his guests was a famous politician, unhappily married to 



an insane wife. He fell desperately in love with your 
mother, and she with him. I looked on, unable to interfere, 
knowing what was at stake her happiness and good name. 
Meanwhile, her father was urging upon her a marriage of 
convenience, from which she revolted. And then the dread- 
ful day came when she told me how it was with her, and 
entreated me to help her." 

The Vicar paused. Tim said thickly : 

"But the other the politician?" 

"Was dead," the Vicar replied sombrely. "His yacht 
went down in a gale of wind in Dublin Bay." 

"And you you married her?" 

"Yes," muttered the Vicar. "I gave her the protection 
of my name. At first she refused to accept it, but she was 
weak, and I was strong. Perhaps I hoped that one day 
she would become mine. That day never came. I took 
her abroad. You were born. Three weeks later she died 
in my arms. Afterwards, my old friend, Sir Gilbert, offered 
me this living. That is all." 

Tim was struck dumb. He stared at his mother's pic- 
ture and then at the man in whose arms she had died; 
and all the time a voice, not his own, seemed to be re- 
peating : 

"He is not your father he is not your father." And in 
answer to this, as if from a great distance, the Vicar's 
voice floated to him: 

"Legally, you are my son. I accept that responsibility 
fully. What I have told you must remain a secret between 
us to the end, not for my sake, nor yours, but for hers." 

Tim nodded, too dazed to speak. But gradually, like a 
heavy mist that lifts, his mental atmosphere cleared. The 
truth was terrible, confounding, but he wondered that some 
instinct had not prepared him for it. The Vicar sat very 
still, leaning his head upon his hand, gazing through the 
window, not at the soaring spire, but at the thick hedge 
which guarded so jealously the shrine of the poet and 


We must think of Tim for the moment as recovering 
from a terrific blow. First of all he saw himself an orphan, 
indeed ; then he perceived more clearly the Vicar, looking 
even as Cook had said sick unto death. The amazing 
virtue which informed his whole kindly presence seemed 
to have gone out of him. Tim, following his mournful 
glance, knew that the saint's high thoughts had descended 
to earth, and lay there in shattered humiliation. At this 
moment he was far sorrier for the Vicar than for him- 
self and well might he be! 

Lastly, with a swallow's flight, he swooped from the 
happy village to Lanterton, beholding Ivy, that joyous 
nymph, in sore trouble. The first tears he shed were for 

"I must go to Ivy," he faltered. 

"No," said the Vicar, holding up his hand. He spoke 
harshly, almost threateningly. "That is part of your pun- 
ishment. You have wrought mischief enough. To the best 
of my poor ability I have tried to make reparation. The 
girl leaves her home this day. I promise you that she shall 
be cared for. When did you see her last ?" 

"Two months ago. We we agreed to part, sir." 

"I gathered as much from the father. You spoke of 
marrying this unhappy girl, but I doubt whether she would 
marry you. I forbid you to see her." 

A dull resentment, hounded by a realisation of his im- 
potence, began to burn in Tim. Once more he told himself 
that his conduct was to be cut and dried by another, that 
he must conform, as before, to the dictates of authority, 
regardless of his own feelings and sensibilities. 

"That's not fair on me." 

"Possibly not. I am considering her, not you." 

"Ivy must want me she must." 

"If her father is to be believed, she does not want you." 

Tim groaned. Yes; he could conceive of Ivy shrinking 
from him, turning reproachful, despairing eyes upon him, 


upbraiding him bitterly, forgetting the happiness which he 
had brought, thinking only of the shame. 

"And now," said the Vicar wearily, "let us speak of 
yourself, your future. You are aware that you are not 
eligible as a candidate for the Indian Civil Service without 
a signed certificate from me testifying to your moral quali- 
fications for a profession which exacts the highest integ- 
rity from the youngest of its servants. I can not sign that 

"I suppose not," said Tim. 

"The fact of your expulsion from Eton " 

"Don't rub it in !" exclaimed Tim. "I know that you 
can't lie about me. Do you think I would ask you to do 

"Then we are agreed that we must consider something 
other than the ordinary professions ?" 


"There remains business. There is no other field for 
your talents. Meanwhile " 

He paused, sighing. 

"Yes ?" 

"I must have time to to readjust, to have a clearer vision 
of you, to " 

His voice died away. Tim said passionately: 

"Of course you loathe the very sight of me!" 

The Vicar blinked at him, almost feebly. His eyes seemed 
to have become dim and dull ; the anger had quite gone out 
of them. He lay back in his chair with the air of an old, 
tired man. He shook his head. 

"I do not see you yet. I must be alone. Leave me !" 

Tim moved to the door. As he reached it, the Vicar said 
incisively : 

"You are not going to her?" 

"I must obey you, sir," said Tim bitterly. "It is all 
that you ask of me, and you have the right to ask it." 

He went out into the passage, closing the door. 




Tim walked to the coach-house, animated by the desire 
to mount his bicycle, and rush away from the Vicarage. 
Then a thought flew into his mind. He ran upstairs to 
his bedroom. In a corner lay the canvas satchel which 
he had carried through France. He crammed into it a 
few things, and then scribbled half a dozen lines upon a 
sheet of notepaper. He told the Vicar that he was going 
away for a couple of days, that he meant to ride off the 
first pangs of remorse, and spare the Vicar the sight of 
his face. He ended : "I swear to you that I am not going 
to Ivy." 

He left the note upon the hall table, and mounted his 
bicycle, riding slowly through the village. It lay placidly 
basking in the amber sunshine of an autumnal afternoon. 
Tim passed the church and the churchyard. At the Lych- 
Gate stood an open fly from which tourists were descend- 
ing, pilgrims to the grave of the poet. Across the road 
stood the forge, the post-office, and the principal tavern. 
East and west wandered the irregular lines of houses and 
cottages. Out of the girls' school children were streaming. 
Their laughter and chatter fell insistently upon Tim's ears. 
Northward was the park, with its herds of fallow deer, 
its splendid trees, its open wind-swept spaces sloping to 
the ponds at the farther end. Everywhere Tim remarked 
ordered simplicity and neatness, as if some beneficent provi- 
dence had taken a huge pair of shears and then clipped 
and pruned too luxuriant growths according to immemorial 
pattern. At the door of a cottage was Lady Pennington's 
phaeton, drawn by a pair of spirited cobs. A groom stood 
at their heads. Tim accelerated his pace, unwilling to risk 
a meeting with an old, kind friend of keenest insight and 
unerring judgment. She would condemn him, when she 
knew. He would be cast' out of Pennington House as un- 
worthy of its unstained traditions. 

He passed the stone wall of the Sanctuary, peering 



through the white gate at the smooth gravel sweep bordered 
by velvety sward. He could remember swinging upon that 
gate with Daffy. In the Dell beyond he had kissed her. A 
voice called him by name. Arthur Hazel, the dominie, 
waved his hand. 

"Whither away?" he asked. 

Tim answered sharply: 

"I don't know." And then he clapped on the brake, and 
leapt to the ground, propping the bicycle against the wall. 
He spoke eagerly to the dominie : 

"Mr. Hazel, I gave you a lot of trouble in the old days, 

"No, no. I loved teaching you." 

"Did you? Well, I've never thanked you; I've never 
told you that you were awfully patient and good to 

Hazel's pale face flushed with pleasure. 

"That is pleasant to hear," he said quietly. "God bless 
you, my boy." 

He held out his hand, which Tim grasped, unable to 
speak. He remounted his bicycle, and sped on, hearing 
Hazel's voice, and above it the cawing of innumerable 
rooks. Afterwards he could never think of the village with- 
out seeing the bent figure of the schoolmaster, and hearing 
the rooks. 

A minute later, by an odd coincidence or was it more 
than that? he encountered Ernest Judd. He wondered 
whether Ernest knew. He slowed up, as Ernest approached, 
trying to read the expression upon a red, bovine face. 
Ernest had grown into a stalwart young man. Torn by 
curiosity, Tim jumped down, and accosted his former friend 
and disciple. 

"Hullo, Journey!" 

"Good-day, Mr. Tim." 

Journey's face seemed to be strangely impassive. Tim 
put a question with startling abruptness : 

"Have you seen Ivy Jellicoe lately?" 


Journey's complexion deepened in tint, as he replied 
defiantly : 

"Yes, I have. Why?" 

"How is she?" 

Their eyes met aggressively. Tim glanced up and down 
the road. Nobody was in sight. Journey said slowly: 

"You know how she is, seemin'ly." 

"How do you know?" 

"Because she told me." As Tim winced, Journey added : 

"Her secret is safe wi' me, Mr. Tim. God A'mighty 
knows that, as safe as 'tis with Him." 

Tim trembled. 

"I saw you with her one day." 

"Did 'ee?" 

"Journey, my fa the Vicar knows." 

"Ah ! I reckoned that Jack Jellicoe 'd go first to t' Par- 
son, pore dear man!" 

"I'm in the most hellish trouble," said Tim. "I feel 
like killing myself." 

"Ivy feels that way, too." 

Tim recovered his self-possession. 

"Journey, how do you feel about it?" 

" Tain't none o' my business, Mr. Tim." 

"But you liked Ivy ; you walked out with her. Oh, damn 
it ! you must know a lot that I'd give the world to know. 
Can't you help me? Say something say something. I'm 
forbidden to go near her." 

"Ah ! That be common sense, to be sure ! She don't 
want 'ee to come nigh her. That's truth, Mr. Tim." 

"It seems so strange, so heartless." 

His white wretched face, his trembling limbs, moved the 
other deeply. Journey began to blubber, great sobs shaking 
him. Tim jumped hotfoot to the wrong conclusion : 

"Oh, Journey, for God's sake, don't tell me that you cared 
for her!" 

"I be tarr'ble sorry for ee, Mr. Tim. Yas, I be. I'd 
like to comfort ee, yas, I would ; I be blubberin', like a fulish 



maid because I be so sorry for ee. I ain't sorry for myself, 
and I ain't too sorry for Ivy, because she's light, Mr. Tim. 
I could ha' told ee that afore ever you met her. They 
Jellicoes is all light. 'Tis in the blood. I walked out wi' 
her for a lark. I wouldn't marry such as she not for 
fifty pound." 

"Heavens 1 She was light with you ?" 

"No. That fair madded me; yas, it did. Because I 
knowed she was willin' enough, only afeared. I make bold 
to swear you was the only one, Mr. Tim. She got after 
ee, I'll wager my life on that. She's light, pore dear soul. 
It was tarr'ble bad luck your takin' up wi' she. And now 
she fair hates ee." 

"Hates me?" 

"Aye. 'Tis well you should know it. Seemin'ly, that 
proves her lightness to my way o' thinkin'. She never loved 
ee, Mr. Tim. She loved the good times you had together. 
And when you got nervous and miserable, why she just 
turned from ee, yas, she did, and laughed at ee to me." 

Tim's cup overflowed. The grim humour of the situa- 
tion appalled him. He saw himself as a puppet, the play- 
thing of Fate and a village girl. Beside him, even poor, 
blubbering Journey loomed colossal. The blow to his pride 
was so overwhelming that he was conscious of nothing ex- 
cept the instinct of the wounded animal to escape, to hide 
himself for ever and ever. He managed to disguise his 
feelings from Journey, grasping him fiercely by the hand, 
so fiercely that Journey winced with pain. 

"Thank you," he said hoarsely. 

"Where be goin, Mr. Tim?" 

Tim answered mechanically as before : 

"I don't know." 


Southampton was reached within an hour. As he passed 
through the Bargate, Tim became conscious of an extraor- 


dinary thirst. His throat was parched ; his tongue swollen ; 
and an evil bitter taste filled his mouth. To quench this 
awful thirst was his immediate object, but he purposely 
avoided the well-known hotels, riding on till he came to 
a tavern near the docks, frequented by the better class 
of seamen, mates of sailing vessels, and the like, with whom 
Tim had often exchanged agreeable and informing talk. 
You may not be surprised to learn that during a brief sixty 
minutes Tim had tackled and resolved the pressing prob- 
lem of his future. As a boy he had been enchanted with 
Ouida's famous "Under Two Flags." He decided, now, 
that he would find his way to Algiers and offer his serv- 
ices to the Foreign Legion ; and he hoped that there would 
be plenty of fighting with Arab sheiks, and the welcome 
possibility of a glorious death. He selected this tavern 
partly because he was not likely to meet any acquaintance 
there, and partly because he wished to discover the quick- 
est and cheapest way of reaching Algiers. 

The bar was cosy, furnished with old mahogany, and 
embellished by cases of stuffed birds and butterflies. There 
were rows of cordials in square cut-glass bottles, a net full 
of lemons, and sundry small, highly varnished kegs, brass- 
bound, with shining brass taps. 

The licensed victualler behind the bar, a thick-set fellow, 
had distinguished himself locally as a boxer. And next to 
the bar was a large room, hung round with portraits of 
Jem Mace, Tom Sayers, and other pets of the Fancy. Any- 
body wanting a round or two with the gloves could sat- 
isfy such a want easily and quickly. 

Tim called for a pint of bitter, and partially slaked his 
thirst by swallowing most of it at one draught. The man 
behind the bar nodded to him. Tim surveyed the com- 

A weather-beaten individual in a thick pilot jacket chal- 
lenged attention. He seemed a cheery sort ; so Tim invited 
him to wet his whistle, an invitation promptly accepted. 
After sparring for an opening, Tim asked for special in- 



formation about Algiers. Much to his disappointment, 
the man in the pilot coat admitted his ignorance of Medi- 
terranean ports. But he hazarded the opinion that Mar- 
seilles was the right place. Thence Algiers could be reached 
either by steam packet or sailing vessel. After more talk, 
Tim learned that his companion was first mate of a four- 
master sailing next day to San Francisco, a three months' 

"Jolly!" said Tim. 

"You wouldn't say so if you was taking in sail in a gale 
o' wind, my lad, off the Horn." 

"Must be awfully exciting." 

"It is, my lad. Ever been to sea?" 


"I thought not. You have a drop with me before you 
go home to lie atween clean sheets." 

Tim said scornfully: 

"I want to get away from clean sheets. That's wh) 
I asked you about Algiers." 

"Ho! Trouble?" 

Tim nodded. 

"Bit o' skirt, I dessay?" 

"Quite right," said Tim. 

The mate eyed him with greater interest, marking hia 
handsome face and strong body. He sighed deeply, growl- 
ing out : 

"I was never much bothered with females. Always sup- 
posed I wasn't to their taste, and grateful I am to Gawd for 
that. Give you the chuck, maybe ?" 

"In a way she did," Tim admitted. He was afire to de- 
liver himself of his burden, for he felt that this cheery 
fellow might be sympathetic. Just then the talk was inter- 
rupted by a stranger,- a heavy-shouldered, sandy-haired 
young man with large dirty hands, hanging nautically at 
his side. 

"Be you Mr. Tull?" he asked. 

"That's my name right enough." 


"First mate of The Cassandra?" 

"You've hit it again? What you want?" 

"To work my way to 'Frisco." 

"Ho ! Want to ship with me hay ?" 

"Don't mind if I do." 

The mate eyed him up and down, very critically, whereat 
the young man said shortly: 

"I can fill the job." 

''I dessay you can. We do happen to want one more." 

Tim jumped up. 

"Take me, sir." 

The "sir" was a master touch; but the mate laughed 
genially, saying: 

"You ? Well, I admire your spunk, but ain't you a gen- 
tleman ?" 

"I'm strong and active. Does anything else matter?" 

The newcomer expectorated his disgust. He stared of- 
fensively at Tim, stroking a chin upon which bristled a 
two days' growth of red stubble. 

"Strong? You? I could lick the likes of you with one 
hand tied behind me back." 

"I don't think so," said Tim modestly. He appealed per- 
suasively to the mate. 

"Do take me, sir." 

"Shut up yer girlie face," said the other applicant. "I 
mean business." 

"So do I." 

The mate scratched his head, staring harder than ever at 

"I like the cut of yer jib," he grunted, "but t'other asked 
first. Got yer discharges, my lad ?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Take me," pleaded Tim. 

"You say one more word," interrupted the heavy- 
shouldered young man, "and I'll knock yer bloomin' 'ead 

"You are at liberty to try," said Tim politely. The mate 



roared with laughter, smiting his vast thigh with a hand 
not much smaller than a leg of mutton. 

"Hold hard !" he shouted, for Heavy Shoulders was put- 
ting his fists up. "We'll settle this yere little difference 
of opinion in the next room, if you two kids is agreeable." 
He turned to Tim, broadly grinning: "I'll take the winner 
to San Francisco." 

"I'm much obliged to you, sir," said Tim. 

The preliminaries of this sparring match were soon ar- 
ranged, the Licensed Victualler gladly taking upon himself 
the duties of timekeeper and referee. Tim stripped to his 
jersey, and so did Heavy Shoulders, whose massive arms, 
bull neck and immense hard hands found favour with the 
onlookers. Nobody was willing to back Tim, except the 
mate, who took six to one in half crowns. A dirty pair 
of gloves were pulled out of a cupboard, somewhat to Heavy 
Shoulders' disgust, for he expressed a preference for bare 

"No fightin' here," said the Licensed Victualler. "J ust 
a leetle friendly set-to. Shake 'ands, both of yer." 

The young men did so. Heavy Shoulders scowled vi- 
ciously. Tim smiled. He was no tyro at the game, and 
eyed with pleasure the somewhat weak underpinning of 
his antagonist. 

" 'Ware clinchin'," said the Timekeeper. 

Heavy Shoulders rushed in, determined to end the fight 
with one blow. Tim side-stepped neatly, so neatly that 
Heavy Shoulders staggered and almost fell. A professional 
fighter would have taken swift advantage of the stumble, 
but Tim waited, still smiling. Heavy Shoulders, cursing 
freely, advanced more cautiously. Tim countered a straight 
left, landing on the jaw lightly. 


"I'll take five to one," said the Mate. 

At the end of the first round, Heavy Shoulders was pant- 
ing. Tim was fresh as paint. The Mate said to him 
earnestly : 

"Keep away from him. Don't mix things up! See?" 

"Right," said Tim. 

In the middle of a more lively second round Tim was 
knocked off his legs, but sprang up quickly with a bleed- 
ing mouth. His pleasant smile vanished as Heavy Shoul- 
ders bored in, swinging both hands. Tim ducked and 

"Good foot-work," said the Mate approvingly. 

Sticking tight to his man, Heavy Shoulders landed an- 
other blow. Tim was hitting twice to the other's once, but 
his blows appeared to lack force. By the end of the round 
Tim showed slight signs of distress. 

"Stick to his ribs," counselled the mate. 

Tim profited by this excellent advice during the third 
round, ducking and side-stepping till Heavy Shoulders 
swore that he was funking. Three times Tim's left struck 
hard and true just above the belt, but he was slow to 
follow up such attacks. 

"I'll take four to one," remarked the Mate. 

Heavy Shoulders was perspiring profusely. Looking at 
his set face and protruding chin, it might be inferred that 
he intended to finish his man if he could. 

"You watch out this time," counselled the mate, "and, 
look ye here, when you hit him in the ribs with yer left, 
follow it up quick with yer right, on 'is 'ead !" 

"Ra ther," said Tim, wiping his mouth. 

The fourth and last round began. Possibly Tim was 
sensitive to outside criticism; possibly, too, he had gained 
confidence. When Heavy Shoulders rushed in, he stood 
still, and let his antagonist close. In defiance of timekeeper 
and referee, Heavy Shoulders clinched, but as he did so 
Tim found once more the spot just above the belt, and his 
body was behind the blow. Heavy Shoulders hung weakly 



for an instant. Tim let go his right, crashing full upon 
the point of the jaw. 

Heavy Shoulders was down and out. 

It may be said of the defeated youth that he took his 
licking with surprising grace, and with it half a sovereign, 
with which Tim could ill afford to part. The mate clapped 
Tim upon the back, and swore that he had the makings 
of an able-bodied seaman. True to his promise, he en- 
gaged Tim there and then. It was settled between them 
that Tim should sell his bicycle, and buy what kit was 
necessary, the mate undertaking to help him. Finally he 
said heartily: 

"And now, my lad, what's yer name ?" 

Tim hesitated. What was his name ? He replied slowly : 

"Timothy Green." 

"Ho! Green, is it? Well, my lad, salt water will wash 
the green out of you before we cross the Line. Green 

"Why not, sir?'' asked Tim. 





TIM fell in love with the sea, being obstreperously 
healthy, but it was not love at first sight. For a time 
he suffered abominably torments of mind and body. Dur- 
ing twenty-four hours he was very sea-sick. The smell of 
the foc'sle made him heave before the ship did. Homesick- 
ness assailed him, with even sharper pangs, as he stood 
upon the main deck of The Cassandra, amid a litter of hen- 
coops, spare gear, and 'longshore truck, and saw the woods 
of Cadland fading out abeam. The great ship followed her 
tug into swashing seas. It was blowing half a gale. The 
Cassandra jerked and jibbed at her hawser, as if she was 
loath to leave smooth water. The black smoke from the 
tug's funnels blew into Tim's eyes, and made them water. 
Was it that, or something else? Sorely was he tempted 
to jump overboard into the yeasty wake and end all mis- 
eries and perplexities. 

Then he heard the voice of Tull, the first mate, heart- 
ening him up at the moment when he was wondering dis- 
mally how long it took to drown. Tull clapped the boy 
on the back, bawling out: 

"How goes it, my cock o' wax ?" 

What a nerve-shattering voice ! Tim scraped up a feeble 
smile. The mate grasped his arm, and went on bawling : 



"Get some salt pork into you, my lad. Nothing like that 
to stick to the ribs. The bo'sun has my orders to go easy 
with you for a spell, but ain't this grand hay ?" 

Tim responded feebly. The vitality of the mate was 

"Dips her nose into it, the pretty glutton !" 

Tim's eyes gazed ahead instead of abeam. Pale amber 
shafts of wintry sunlight pierced the flying wracks of cloud ; 
they whitened the foam on the crest of the waves and deep- 
ened the brilliant emerald of their hollows. As the ship 
bent before the blast, the water boiled and bubbled through 
the scuppers. 

"Ain't it good to be alive?" asked the mate. 

Something in Tim made him answer "Yes." 

"Go below ! These slippery decks ain't safe for a green- 
horn. Lie snug! You'll be right as a trivet before we're 
out of the Channel." 

Tim went below, where one of the crew for'ard gave him 
a tin full of boiling coffee and a biscuit. Tim had shipped 
as a foremast hand (whatever that might mean; he didn't 
know or care at the time), and, although The Cassandra 
was pitching and yawing, he was not yet so sea-sick as to 
be quite incapable of taking a squint at his shipmates. They 
were, indeed, a fairly good lot, for The Casandra had an 
honest character; and her skipper was neither bully nor 
beast; but what a ruffianly crew they appeared to the 
Etonian! What Gadarene swine! Bearded, salted veter- 
ans, pallid, greasy foreigners Turks, heretics, infidels, 
Jumpers and Jews. That line out of the dear old "Ingoldsby 
Legends" came into his mind as he stared, hollow-eyed, 
at the companions with whom he would have to talk 
and eat and sleep and work during three long months! 
Most of them were half drunk, smelling evilly of beer 
and bad spirits, cursing sadly because work had yet to 
purge them of 'longshore appetites and lusts. Heavens! 
what a rabble, surely the scum of the earth and the high 


Buf fetings 

The Cassandra began to pitch more heavily. 
Tim crawled into his bunk and wished that he was 


The sickness and homesickness passed. And with it much 
of his remorse. A boy of nineteen can easily forgive his 
enemy, if that enemy happens to be himself. The sorrow 
and disappointment caused to the Vicar gnawed sharply 
at Tim's conscience ; but he could view with detachment 
his own emotions. He tried to think of himself as a great 
sinner, but failed, remaining desperately sorry for the Vicar, 
desperately sorry for Ivy, but unrepentant of the actual 

The crass exactitudes of our social system, its shib- 
boleths and hypocrisies, fermented windily. Perhaps he 
had always been a rebel, questioning in his heart of hearts 
the dicta and injunctions of priests and teachers? Why 
were young people given appetites quite as strong and as 
importunate as hunger and thirst if, in some reasonable 
way, they were not intended to satisfy them? 

Subdue the flesh! 


Intemperance in any gross form was, of course, beastly. 
Tim detested gluttons and winebibbers. But this terrible, 
unspeakable sin of his and Ivy's. Why was it terrible, 
why unmentionable in polite circles? 

He was not old enough or wise enough to answer such 
questions. Accordingly, he laid them aside, sadly puz- 
zled and distressed because life was so difficult and mys- 

The coarse talk in the foc'sle, while it offended his ears,, 
soothed his conscience. Everybody knew that he was a 
gentleman's son, who had bolted from a too tempestuous 
petticoat. Tim would have been a fool had he not per- 
ceived that he was regarded by his fellows as a lively young 



spark. What he had done found favour in their sight. 
They demanded details, and were sulky when Tim refused 
to gratify salacious curiosities. 

The food, like the talk, tvirned his stomach at first, but 
soon he learned to wolf it with the rest, just as he learned 
to smoke pungent, acrid tobacco. 

He won respect with his fists, although pounded to a 
jelly by a man bigger and stronger than Heavy Shoulders. 
This fellow was continually sneering at the "gentleman" and 
playing dirty tricks on him, unmentionable pranks. His 
name was Nazro, and he came from Massachusetts, a gaunt, 
big-boned Yankee, a bull of a man, with raucous, bellowing 
voice, and a huge foot ever ready to kick a man less pow- 
erful than himself, and a fist as ready to fall upon heads 
thicker than his own. A bully, and yet brave, brave as 
Nelson when a hurricane howled, and Death grinned up 
aloft at the end of a yard ! 

Tim stood it as long as he could ; then he fought like 
a wildcat; and was half killed. When he recovered con- 
sciousness, Nazro jeered at him : 

"That gal you was stuck on thought you the h 11 of a fine 
feller! Pity she can't see you now." 

Tim staggered up; his eyes were battered, but the fire 
had not gone out of them. He limped towards his con- 

"I've one more word to say to you." 

"Thunder! You want another lickin'?" 

"No; that's why I'm talking now. I fought you fairly 
and was thrashed. I sha'n't fight fairly next time." 

The men present pricked up their ears. Nazro grinned. 

"You've a nerve, you sucker, you !" 

Tim spoke distinctly: 

"If you play any more beastly tricks on me, I shall wait 
till your back is turned, and then I'll split your bull's head 
open with anything that is handy." 

"I kin see you doin' it." 

"No, you won't. You'll see ten thousand stars." 


Nazro perceived that the boy meant it. Once again qual- 
ity confronted quantity, and quality prevailed. Nazro let 
Tim alone; after a time they became friends. 

Thus Tim lived and learned. 

The circle of his sympathies grew larger. The hands 
for'ard talked nauseatingly of women, and in particular 
of those forlorn creatures whom Tim had been brought 
up to consider as utterly lost, and quite beyond the pale 
of respect or real esteem. Nevertheless, these rough, bru- 
tally outspoken men made Tim realise that the Mollies and 
Dollies of the waterfront possessed fine qualities : charity 
which covereth many sins pluck, and even fidelity. Tim 
held his peace, marvelling at human nature, and conscious 
of a strange expanding. He was not yet weaned from Pen- 
nington pap as he sucked in this strong drink from the hairy 
breasts of strong men. 

Their strength appealed to him enormously. When he 
staggered on deck, after his bout of sea-sickness, he was 
amazed at the change. Everything was shipshape and clean. 
The litter and lumber had been stowed away; the decks 
and gear had been miraculously cleansed by the great 

And it seemed to be so with the men. A gale of wind, 
not yet passed, had cleansed them. Eyes were less bleary ; 
skins grew cleaner. At the bo'sun's pipe, the hands sprang 
up, alert and eager, ready for any task that might be im- 
posed, but it takes nearly three weeks to wash the beer out 
of most of them. 

He learned another lesson, the rule of thumb, so to speak, 
which constitutes the code of ethics of the poor, a code 
jealously guarded, for the simple who are not so simple 
as they seem repeat like parrots what the gentle expect 
them to say, what the gentle have dinned into their patient 
ears during countless generations. Tim discovered the 
truth when he became of the poor, poorer than they, inas- 
much as he was ignorant of their crafts so laboriously 
acquired. His ignorance of knowledge vital to them seemed 



at first immeasurable, infinitely greater than their ignorance 
of Latin and Greek and mathematics. 

This was the rule of thumb: 

Fortitude is reckoned by those who go down to the sea 
in ships to be a greater virtue than chastity ; generosity soars 
high above justice ; courage, that king virtue, is greater 
than truth or even love. Tim salted down this new text: 
"And now abideth three things, Health and Luck and Pluck, 
and the greatest of these is Pluck !" 


The Cassandra struck a hurricane on the lower edge of 
the Bay, a genuine Biscayer, when the tempest ruled su- 
preme, and even the huge waves were flattened by its vio- 
lence, unable to raise their angry crests, crouching like sullen 
hounds. The great ship became the plaything of the gale, 
a broken-winged bird upon the waters, hove-to under close- 
reefed topsails, drifting ever to leeward, while the Skipper 
cursed and the men for'ard swapped stories as dirty as 
the weather. 

But Tim was not frightened, and this conviction forti- 
fied him. Every gallant youth wonders how he will feel 
and what he will do in moments of deadly peril. As a 
rule circumstances constrain him to do nothing, which chafes 
to madness his sensibilities. Tommy Atkins, on his tummy, 
fingering the trigger of his rifle, but sternly commanded 
not to pull it, whilst the shrapnel is screaming overhead, 
knows what the deadly sickness of inaction is. Jack, snug in 
the foc'sle, when the green seas are awash from stem to 
stern, and the wind howls a "Thanatopsis," may and often 
does cut his joke, but his heart shrivels within him. 

Tim's heart did not shrivel when the green seas were 

awash from stem to stern. If the bo'sun's pipe sounded. 

he donned his oilskins and seaboots, and rushed riotously 

into action. At that moment he regretted nothing except 


Buf fetings 

his ignorance, but he did his best to learn, and he learned 

Fine weather followed ; and The Cassandra moved majes- 
tically upon an even keel, carrying every stitch of canvas, 
even her skysails. She was steel-built, of the early eighties, 
a miracle of speed and symmetry, handled by a master, 
with the right men under him. 

Tim expected to be bored, but his hands and mind were 
everlastingly busy ; at night he slept soundly and dream- 
lessly, falling dog-tired into his hard bunk, but awaking 
fresh and invigorated, keen as a hound for a fresh trail, 
eager to beat his mates at their own game. His neck thick- 
ened ; his chest expanded ; his muscles became hard as 

The past had faded, like the distant woods upon the 
Solent. He gazed joyously into the future. His ambitions, 
for the moment, fluttered like petrels upon the high seas. 
To command such a ship as The Cassandra, to be lord of 
his own life and the lives of others, to sail on and on 
through cloud and sunshine this surely was worth the 
doing, a nobler task than administering justice to half- 
famished Hindus, and cramming Western ideas down East- 
ern throats, with a liver twice its normal size, and a com- 
plexion the colour of dirty skilly! 

Nazro and he talked together. 

The New Englander was first and last a seaman, who had 
served his apprenticeship cod-fishing upon the banks of 
Newfoundland. He feared neither man nor devil, was 
a liar of the first magnitude, and something of a humour- 
ist. Tim loved his lies, because they indicated a per fervid 
imagination and a quality as yet strange to him, essentially 
transpontine, a desire to shine before other men as your 
true salt of the world, your pickled, pickling swashbuckler, 
the irrepressible buccaneer ! 

A Captain Kidd of a fellow! 

"You mark me, you sucker, you ! Geysers and Gizzards ! 
Ain't you green ?" 



"It's coming out in the wash," said Tim modestly. 

"You bet! Wai, sonny, I was greener than you onct. 
I was the greenest boy on the Banks. That's a dead cold 
fact, and somethin' to cheer ye up. But I was always 
full o' ginger, as you air. That's why I waste my time 
talkin' to ye. Handsome, too. The girls couldn't keep 
their hands off me. I was merried a dozen times before 
I was thirty! Yes, sir, a bigamist! I blazed my trail 
through the wimmenfolk from Maine to Californy." 

"From the North Pole to the South ?" 

"You grin at me, and I'll wager no girl'll ever grin at 
you agen. Now, I've done with the petticoats. Fed up 
with 'em. Drink has mastered me. I can drink more bad 
liquor than any man on earth, and never shew it. I was 
a champion eater onct. Yes, I was. Consumed eighteen 
eggs, three Porterhouse steaks and a leg o' mutton at one 
sittin', and as a starter I hed to down a dozen sugared 
oysters. Ever eat a sugared oyster ?" 


"One 'd make ye bring up yer liver and lights! Yes, 
sir, I've bin cock o' many walks. What I don't know ain't 
wuth knowin'. And I'll learn ye some of it, because yer 
full o' snap. Yer ignerunce fatigues me awful." 

"You are very kind." 

"I ain't. I'm the h 11 of a feller, a rag'lar devil. I seen 
the devil in you when you swore to cut my head open. I 
cottoned to ye then and there. Say, what you mean to 
do when we fetch 'Frisco?" 

"I don't know." 

"Course ye don't. Likely as not ye'll be shanghaied the 
first night, and wake up to find yerself in blue water agen, 
in a ship compared to which this yere is a young ladies' 

"Perhaps you will steer me a bit." 

"I will. Any hankerin' after gold dust? It's a mug's 
game, minin', but some of 'em strike it. I found one o* 
the biggest nuggets in Australia, bigger'n my head. I blew 



that nugget in three days, and was King o' Melbourne for 
precisely that length o' time." 

"Isn't mining played out in California?" 

"Wai, it is and it isn't. Californy is the Golden State, 
but the gold don't come out o' the placers as it did, and 
t'other sort o' mining comes high. Kin you ride?" 

"A little." 

"I kin ride anything with hair on. I was a broncho- 
buster once. I mind me of a bucking pinto that threw 
every cowboy that climbed on to its back inside o' two 
minutes by the clock. I rode that devil round and round 
a corral f er twelve hours without stoppin' ! The boys sat 
on the rail, and slung cup-custards at us, which I scraped 
off and swallered to keep my strength up. Ever hear the 
like o' that?" 


"The trouble with me, sonny, is this. I was born to the 
sea, and I can't live off it. The sea keeps me straight, 
keeps me out o' the Penitentiary. No women at sea, and 
mighty little drink." 

"But you said you'd given up women?" 

Nazro rolled a melancholy eye. 

"That's truth. But they won't give me up. They help 
themselves see? It's a crool combination, women an' 
drink ! You put that into the barrel f er keeps ! Druv me 
into terrible crimes. I've robbed stages ; held up trains. 
That's why I'm here, sonny, far from sheriffs and their 
cursed depities, a-talkin' to you and tryin' to work the green- 
ness outer yer !" 

"I'm ever so much obliged," said Tim. 


Tull, the first mate, threw crumbs of talk to our hero, 
which he ate and digested at his leisure. First mates, by 
the nature of sea things, cannot engage in conversation with 
foremast hands. Tull, however, kept an eye on the boy, 


and chuckled to himself when he perceived that Tim did 
his duty with alacrity, and showed far greater aptitude than 
any of the apprentices, whom Tull condemned in words 
not to be repeated. 

Tull was the antithesis of Nazro, an honest sea-dog, not 
a sea-wolf with fangs sharpened to slash. Tull had a 
reverence for the great waters and all therein and thereon 
which Nazro would have scoffed at. He had begun life, 
like Nazro, as a fisherman, and then had served a long 
apprenticeship before the mast. He knew a ship as some 
skippers never learn to know her, regarding her not as 
a vehicle for Traffics and Discoveries, but as a sentient 
being answering to the voice and hand of Man. Often re- 
bellious and intractable, but obedient to her master in the 
end. Tull, perhaps, was the only man of The Cassandra 
who recognised Tim as a gentleman, and took him seri- 
ously as such. Probably the good fellow had been born 
in some village not unlike Little Pennington. 

"Coming on fine, you are," he would say, in the middle 
watch, when Tim was at the wheel. This praise filled Tim 
with pleasure. 

"Thank you, sir." 

"Nice perlite boy ! Stick to that the perliteness, I mean. 
It pays even in the foc'sle. So Nazro licked you, hay?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"He's rotten bad, is Nazro, but not so black as he paints 
himself, my lad. A very gifted liar! And a fine example 
of what not to be. Been homesick, hay?" 

"It has passed, sir." 


He would walk away after such meetings, grunting to 
himself and grinning. Then, perhaps, he would turn, and 
raise a warning finger : 

"Don't you go and forget, my lad, all that they taught 
you over there," indicating the right and tight little island 
with a wave of his vast hand. 

Tim wondered whether he was forgetting. Little Pen- 

Buf fetings 

nington remained as a soft blur upon his horizon growing 
more and more indistinct. Anything would divert his 
thoughts from it, a school of flying fish or porpoises, an 
albatross, the sight of another ship, unless it happened 
to be homeward bound. 

When he hinted slyly to Tull that he thought of adopt- 
ing the sea as a profession, the old shell-back eyed him 
up and down somewhat derisively : 

"Ho! I dessay you'd like to command a clipper?" 

"By Jove, I should!" 

" Tain't everybody's job, my lad ; and a hard life, too." 

"You like it, sir?" 

"I lump it, boy. Take it as it comes, rough and smooth, 
and more rough than smooth. Be in no hurry! The 
right job comes to the right man, or he goes to it. Never 
knowed an exception to that rule." 

"I'm keen about it, sir." 

"Aye! Keen and green. The two sail together. You'll 
be less keen when the greenness goes." 

Tim candidly admitted that he was green. He was oddly 
pleased with himself for taking the name temporarily ! When 
would he change it for another? 

"I shall never be White again," he thought. 

Had he been born white? What truth was there in 
this seemingly monstrous doctrine of Original Sin? Must 
the child of sinners be born a sinner? Obviously, the 
Vicar, dear saint, was cocksure of it. Because of this con- 
viction had he not strained himself to breaking point in 
his efforts to conquer heredity with environment? 

Was he a very grievous sinner? Why did Nazro ac- 
claim the devil in him? 

Such thoughts do not pester healthy, active young men. 
Tim dismissed them lightly, but they returned like homing 
doves. They swooped upon him in calm weather, when 
the canvas flapped idly from the yards, and the sea became 
a blue carpet, and the work to be done exacted muscle, not 


He had written to the Vicar upon the morning he sailed 
from Southampton, telling him that he had assumed the 
name of Green. The answer to that letter, and other let- 
ters, would await him at San Francisco. He wondered 
whether the scandal had leaked out. Did Sir Gilbert know ? 
What would he say ? By Jove ! Wasn't a fellow well out 
of this horrid mess? 

And Ivy, who hated him? 

Journey was right; the fact that she hated him proved 
her light and heartless, an animal. But he thought of her 
often, contrasting and comparing her with the Jills be- 
longing to the Jacks in the f oc'sle. Heavens ! She did not 
shine out above such odorous comparisons! 

Had he really loved her? 

This was a knotty question, hard to be unravelled. For 
a season he had been mad about her, willing to make any 
sacrifices. He could think of her tenderly still, and of 
her burden. 

But, try as he would, he could not visualise himself as 
a father. 

The Cassandra made her southing gallantly, crossing the 
Line thirty days out from Southampton, and heading swiftly 
for the Calms of Capricorn. Father Neptune did not come 
aboard, so Tim was spared some man-handling and buf- 
foonery. But he was by now active enough to go aloft by 
the chain runners of the topsail halliards, hand over hand ; 
and he knew nearly as much about running gear as the 
youngest apprentice, which is feeble praise. 

Tim began to long for another storm. Nazro smiled 
complacently : 

"I know the feelin', you young sucker. It claws at one ; 
it ain't to be denied. You'll hev it worse ashore." 

"What do you mean?" 

"You wait, Mister Green ! Wait till yer foot strikes the 


water front o' 'Frisco, and you feel money in yer pocket, 
and Tiger Town is up yonder, and the big saloons. Won't 
you sail bang into the storm then? I wonder!" 

"I think not," said Tim. 

"You wait, my young chick! Storm? Gizzards and 
Corsets! The wind from places I know'll blow the sticks 
bang outer ye." 

And he laughed again more riotously than before. 

Tim edged away from him, hating his evil face and his 
leering eyes. 

"None of that for me," thought Tim. Nazro pursued 

"Scared, eh ? Wai, sonny, I'll tell ye this. Don't you be 
a baby, whinin' afore .yer hurt." 

"I have been hurt." 

"Pshaw! Scratched that's all. Waitin' fer a blow, air 
ye? Right! Let yerself rip when it does blow. Clap 
on all sail and scoot! That's life; that's suthin' wuth 
waitin' fer. Calms is for old women and children. Ain't 
yer tumbled to that yet?" 

"Not yet," said Tim. 

The bo'sun piped. 

Nazro sprang to attention, listening. The wind was drum- 
ming hard upon the great mainsail, and above that deep 
diapason booming rose the shrilling of stays and backstays, 
high notes of distress, no more to be mistaken than the 
swift fall of the glass. 

"We're in fer a reg'lar out-'n-outer," said Nazro. "I've 
smelled it comin' fer an hour past." 


"All hands aloft ! Up you go ! Be lively !" 
The Skipper had a fault which all stout seamen will ex- 
cuse. He hated to shorten sail till the last moment, loathed 
it as a man may loathe the clipping of an eagle's wings. 



Beside Tim was a young man, named Preble, the son 
of a petty tradesman in Southampton, a long, lank youth, 
better equipped to put sand in sugar than into his own 
heart. He muttered to Tim nervously : 

"Ain't this awful? I'm all of a tremble." 

Tim cursed him. 

"Get the topsails off her!" shouted the Skipper. 

"Oh, Lord !" squeaked Preble. 

The bo'sun bawled his orders, blowing his whistle lustily. 
Soon Tim sprang up the fore-rigging, followed gingerly 
by Preble. The wind was terrific. The men crawled out 
upon the yard-arm, tugging at the canvas till their fingers 
bled. The great sail came in slowly, reluctantly, defying 
the strong, gripping hands. 

"I can't stand it much longer," groaned Preble. 

"You must, you fool !" shouted Tim. The boy was drunk 
with excitement, but he, too, knew that his muscles were 
being strained beyond endurance, that either he or the 
ship must conquer, and the sail's victory might mean death 
to such as Preble. A violent squall shook The Cassandra, 
as a terrier shakes a rat. Tim heard a ghastly scream, loud 
above the infernal din of the gale. Preble had disap- 
peared. He might have fallen overboard, or crashed on to 
the deck below. Nazro, furling at the bunt, with the sec- 
ond greaser, yelled savagely: "Claw her in, you lubbers!" 
Tim felt deadly sick. He remembered that he had cursed 1 

Yet they went on with that cruel fight against the roaring 
wind till they ceased to be men and became machines, auto- 
matic hawlers and grabbers, obeying orders and knowing 
that disobedience or slackness stood for destruction. They 
got the sail in and made it fast with the gaskets. 

When, at long last, they got down on deck, there was 
Preble, dead. They carried him into the foc'sle. The thin 
body was crushed to a pulp. He had fallen upon his feet ; 
and his head remained uninjured. Tim could hardly be~ 
lieve that he had died a violent death. 


Next day, the gale was over. The Skipper read the 
burial service, and his mates slid the shattered corpse into 
the deep. They sold Preble's duds at the mainmast and 
forgot him! 

Oh ! It was good to be alive after that, to feel the spray 
and wind upon one's cheek, and the red blood pulsing 
through one's veins! 




IN due time The Cassandra dropped anchor in Golden 
Gate Bay, and Tim saw Mount Tamalpais and Diablo 
rising out of a soft mist which obscured the crudities and 
ugliness of the water-front. 

The voyage was over. Soon he would go ashore, a 
free man, with the new world holding out enticing arms 
and the old world far away! The run from the Horn 
to the Farallon Islands had been barren of incident. They 
had sailed smoothly and swiftly upon summer seas, be- 
speaking few vessels, alone upon the vast Pacific. Towards 
the end Tim felt bored. And when he smelt the land he 
told himself that his ambition to command a clipper lay 
dead in the deep, like poor Preble. 

When they were berthed alongside the wharf, Tull took 
him aside. 

"Look ye here, my lad. Cut loose from Nazro at once. 
Here's the address of a decent boarding-house uptown. You 
keep away from the water-front and its saloons, unless you 
want to be drugged and crimped." 

"I don't, sir." 

"Then you mind what I say. I reckon there'll be letters 
for you at the post-office." 

"I hope so." 

"You read 'em afore you do anything else. Freeze tight 
on to your bit o' cash. Earn more, my lad. Work'll keep 
you out of mischief." 

"I can't thank you enough, sir, for all your kindness. I 
wouldn't have missed this experience for anything." 


"It's made a man of you." 

It had in every sense. When Tim put on his shore 
togs, he realised how much he had grown. They might 
have belonged to a younger brother. He felt as if he would 
burst out of them if he sneezed. And putting them on was 
an amazing adventure, whirling him out of one world into 
another. Through a white collar much too tight he beheld 
Little Pennington clearly, with sharpest definition. The 
evil-smelling foc'sle grew dim. As his fingers fumbled at 
his necktie, he thought of Daffy, who was particular about 
such gear. The shortness of his trousers annoyed him. 
He became the Etonian as he stared at his scarred, tar- 
engrained hands. 

Everybody in the foc'sle knew what Nazro was going 
to do with his time and money. He said complacently : 

"Yes, boys, I'm hell bent fer a snorter. I shall paint this 
yere little burg my own partic'lar purple. I'm pinin' fer a 
game o' faro. I'm jest achin' fer a partic'lar brand o' 
whiskey punch which a barkeep I know has the secret o' 
makin'. I shall down a dozen of 'em straight, jest to see 
if I've lost the gift of holdin' liquor. Gizzards! won't I 
make things sit up and howl to-night !" 

Tim parted soberly from his mates, wondering perhaps 
when and where he might meet them again. Some of them 
would herd together till the last cent was "blued." Then 
they would take up their life again, find themselves home- 
ward bound, ready to be cleansed afresh. Never would 
they or could they escape from the old seaways, the paths 
which they must tread till the end. 

Tim gripped their horny hands and bade them "good- 
bye" and "good luck." 


He found a packet of letters at the post-office, which he 
read alone in his room at the boarding-house uptown. The 



Vicar's letter was read first. It had been written a month 
previously, two months after Tim's departure. 


"I am trying to picture you as you read this letter 
after the great experiences through which you have 
passed. I know that bitterness must have been washed 
out of you as it has out of me. And now you are alone 
and in a great city. May God be with you ! 

"I send you fifty pounds. It will suffice to bring you 
home, Tim, if you wish to return home. That is as you 
decide. My house is yours. Remember that! 

"You will be grieved to hear that we have lost our old 
friend, Sir Gilbert. He passed away quietly at Christ- 
mas, after a sharp attack of pneumonia. It must be well 
with him, for his whole life was a preparation for death. 
His son reigns in his stead. 

"There are no other changes. The scandal which drove 
you to sea leaked out, as I feared it would. Like all other 
scandals, it will fade away. Ivy Jellicoe is being cared 
for. The unhappy girl is hardened and indifferent, like 
her father. I blame myself bitterly for bringing her to 
this house. 

"And now, my dear boy, what shall I say to you? I 
ask myself if I did ill in telling you the truth. I must 
assume the responsibility, which is a burden to me. And 
yet, apart from any cloying sentiment, I realise that 
something stronger than personal feeling made me tell 
you that truth, which I might have withheld had I fore- 
seen the possibility of your tearing yourself adrift from 
me and the influences of this village. It is too late, now, 
to dwell upon that. 

"Tim, as your father in spirit, as one who has your 
welfare nearer to his heart than anything else, I entreat 
you to let that truth strengthen you. You have inherited 
great qualities, the qualities which may carry you to the 
heights. You have inherited, alas ! great disabilities, 
which may drag you down to the depths. Because you 
are stronger and handsomer and cleverer than your fel- 
lows, the fight ahead will be the more strenuous. But I 


should be false to every clause in my creed if I did not 
believe steadfastly that good, ultimately, triumphs over 
evil. Nourish the good within you, and it will drive out 
the evil! Start afresh! At this moment I seem to see 
you at your best, clean and strong and free, out of the 
bondage of men spiritually and mentally your inferiors, 
gazing unblinkingly into the sunshine of California, 
ready to fly, eager to fly fast and far! Let that flight 
be upward ! 

"Write to me as soon as possible. 

"Your loving father, 


Tim sat still upon the edge of a narrow bed staring at 
the scholar's fine script. He, also, could see the Vicar at 
his desk, writing slowly, casting and re-casting each sen- 
tence in his mind before he transferred it to paper. Now 
and again he would pause to glance at the spire. 

Tim fingered the cheque for fifty pounds. The Vicar was 
a poor man. Fifty pounds meant self-denial, a more 
rigorous cheese-paring in a household kept simply and 

He decided to return the fifty pounds at once. 

Should he take it back ? That meant working his passage 
round the Horn again. And then? 

The scandal had leaked out. Could he face the blameless 
village? Not yet. 

He glanced at his other letters. There was one from 
Eustace Pomfret. He guessed accurately enough what that 
good fellow would say. There were two or three small 
Christmas bills. The Vicar had paid them. At the bottom 
of the small pile lay a square envelope. With a gasp of 
astonishment, Tim recognised Daffy's writing. He tore it 
open and glanced at the date. It had been written about 
a week after he left England 


"I have just made a perfectly hateful discovery. You 
wrote to me and I never saw the letter. I am wild with 



rage about it. Annie" (Daffy's eldest sister) "said some- 
thing which roused my suspicions. I rushed to mother 
and just wormed the truth out of her, but your letter had 
been burnt. Mother took it upon herself to answer for 
me. I can easily guess what she said. Oh, Tim, what 
must you have thought of me ! I am so miserable ! And 
I'm writing this against mother's wish, secretly. Tim, 
darling, I am true to you, and I know you are true to me. 
Perhaps you aren't. You must think me such a rotter. 
Please write at once, and put me out of my misery. 
Everything is perfectly hateful and miserable. I think 
nothing of your being sacked from Eton, nothing at all. 
It was beastly hard luck your getting caught ! I'm quite 
sure you weren't drunk, as Mother hints. 
"Please write by return! 

"Your own, 


Tim re-read the letter with throbbing pulses. Then he 
glanced again at the square envelope. It was inscribed 
Private. Upon the back the Vicar had written something 
in pencil. Obviously, he had not opened the envelope, for 
a big red seal was intact, but he knew Daffy's handwriting. 
This was his comment: "Mrs. Carmichael knows about 
Ivy Jellicoe." 


Some of the language acquired at the foc'sle dropped 
from Tim's quivering lips. He felt flattened out by the 
bludgeonings of Fate. 

Such a small thing had queered his pitch. Let us try 
to reproduce his thoughts, as they bubbled out of his 
mind through a much enlarged vocabulary. If Daffy had 
received his letter and answered it, he would have resisted 
the beguilements of Ivy. He knew that. Daffy had stood 
between him and other temptations. Why didn't he guess ? 
Why didn't he give the darling credit for a fidelity and 


pluck which he knew to be hers? She was barely sixteen, 
but what of that? 

Let dogs defile the grave of Mrs. Carmichael! 

And now it was too late. Daffy knew the disgusting 
truth. He could hear the mother discreetly telling the 
story, bowdlerising parts of it, the essential parts, but ob- 
literating for ever and ever the image of Tim as it lay 
enshrined in a maiden's bosom. 

"This is the worst," said Tim, pacing up and down his 
tiny room, wild with misery and rage. 

He was tempted to dash his head against the wall till 
he fell senseless. He had seen a Sicilian do this in the 
foc'sle of The Cassandra. How he despised the silly idiot! 

What a sickening business life was ! 

He flung open a window, and looked out over San Fran- 
cisco. He could see that vast caravanserai, the Palace 
Hotel, and the Chronicle skyscraper beside it, overtopping 
all other buildings. Cable cars, quite new to him, were 
speeding up a steep hill. The traffic of Market Street 
boomed in his ears. His first impression was that of pace. 
Even the foot-passengers, men and women, pushed along 
swiftly, as if keen to reach their destinations. 

He must join them, push on with them, and find a way 
out of his miseries. 

Within a minute he was striding up Market Street, head- 
ing west, towards the declining sun. 

Great cities, like great rivers, have their unmistakable 
characteristics. Some appear to be eternally old; a few 
remain eternally young. Each has its individual smell, its 
atmosphere, its definite sounds. If you approach London 
by river, you get the taste of it in your mouth, before you 
recognise St. Paul's. But, possibly, of great cities, San 
Francisco is or used to be the most amazing amalgam, 
whilst remaining essentially itself. When Tim first looked 
upon Mount Tamalpais hardly thirty-five years had elapsed 
since the discovery of gold in California. The city he be- 
held had been built during that period of time, built by 



and for all sorts and conditions of men. Spaniards, Ital- 
ians, Frenchmen and Chinese lived in their own quarters, 
pursuing their avocations regardless of the ever-encroach- 
ing Anglo-Saxon. It was a city, in a sense, of reconcilable 
differences. Next to a plutocrat's palace might be seen a 
board-and-batten shanty. The men occupying such con- 
trasted habitations might have come West together. One 
had risen; the other had not. Evidences of really sordid 
poverty were hard to find; but the rich and the poor, gen- 
erally speaking, had not yet drifted apart. It was Cosmop- 
olis, with a sharp pleasant flavour of Bohemia. Amongst 
other cities, it stood out as being shamelessly wicked, be- 
cause Vice had not yet slunk out of sight. Vice, indeed, 
lived out of doors, and was the less pestilent and dangerous 
on that account. Values, in a word, those nice adjustments 
which an advanced civilisation imposes, were being com- 
puted slowly. The old-timers, who had become prosperous, 
hated to wipe out old landmarks. They loved the colour 
of the different quarters. Guides took curious strangers 
into opium dens and the like. Call it a "live and let live" 
city, and have done with it! Men were too busy minding 
their own affairs to bother greatly about the affairs of 

Tim found his way to Golden Gate Park, not the ordered 
pleasance then that it is to-day. He sat down upon a 

Spring comes early to California and lingers long in its 
favoured spots. Spring was abroad this afternoon touch- 
ing all things with her magical fingers. The Park, how- 
ever, seemed to be deserted. Along the main roadway sped 
men in sulkies or light buggies driving fast trotters. Tim 
saw no women or children. He gave himself up to his 

Perhaps it was the first time in his life that he had felt 
absolutely alone. 




His love for Daffy was tearing at his mind and his senses. 
Critics of life as they would desire it to be rather than 
the welter of haphazard variations and permutations which 
it is may contend that Tim was only nineteen, and in- 
capable at that age of intense feelings which do, unques- 
tionably, spare the great majority of striplings. It may be 
said in reply that he was old beyond his years, and blessed 
or cursed with ardent inherited imaginations. Daffy had 
ceased to be the jolly little sweetheart. In her artless letter 
he had a glimpse, no more, of the woman latent in every 
female child. She stood to him as The Woman, the in- 
visible, indescribable She, who has inspired poets and paint- 
ers for all time. Daffy, he told himself, possessed the 
mysterious power of whirling him outside himself, of ex- 
alting him to heights, of firing him to supreme endeavour. 

And he had lost her, because a mother, acting within 
accorded rights, had suppressed a letter. 

It never occurred to him till long afterwards that Daffy 
might forgive him. In that regard Little Pennington had 
accomplished its task only too well. Daffy, poor darling, 
would accept the verdict of the only world she knew. She 
would be revolted, beholding her hero metamorphosed by 
Circe into a swine. 

The fog rolled in from the ocean. Tim returned to 
his boarding-house and tried to choke down some food. 
Then he wandered again into the streets full of well- 
dressed, cheery persons on their way to theatres and other 
places of entertainment. San Francisco by night was nearly 
as gay as Paris, but not so brightly illuminated. A seedy 
individual approached him, trying to conceal a furtive, hang- 
dog air. 



"Like to see the sights, sir?" 

"What sights?" 


"Beastly place, I've heard." 

"Take you round for a dollar. Here's my badge. I'm 
O.K., an authorised guide. You'll be quite safe with me. 
I'll shew you Hell." 

"Thank you, Mr. O. Kay, I've been there this afternoon. 
Good-night !" 

He pushed on, leaving the man staring after him. Across 
the road was a famous saloon, embellished by many pic- 
tures. Tim went in and called for a cocktail. Opposite the 
bar was a free-lunch counter piled high with food. Men 
of the better class drank and nibbled and chattered. Their 
talk, to which Tim listened, concerned itself mainly with 
business, with proposition. Every man had a "proposition" 
of sorts. Obviously, California bristled with opportunities. 
Things seemed to be humming. 

"Biggest bonanza I ever struck," he heard one silk- 
hatted but short-coated individual remark. "Finest land in 
the State. And the water handy to make it bloom like the 
rose ! Put you in on the ground floor." 

"I'm up against a bigger thing," replied his companion. 
"You read this." 

He thrust a pamphlet into the other's hand, and assumed 
an expectant attitude, with his cigar cocked at an angle 
of 45 degrees. 

Upon a red velvet lounge sat three young men, tourists 
and Englishmen. They were talking of sport, of the fish- 
ing to be found in British Columbia. Tim began to listen 
to them, to find pleasure and envy in their familiar phrases. 
One of them turned presently, and stared hard. 

"Hullo!"' he said, rising. "Surely you're Tim White?" 

When he spoke Tim recognised an Etonian, an Oppidan 
and a distinguished cricketer. 

"I'm Tim Green." 


"Tim Green? Same old joker! What are you doing 

"Landed this morning." 

"It's jolly to see you again. Going round the world, as 
I am?" 

Tim smiled derisively. 

"Not quite as you are, Wynne. I've worked my way 
round the Horn, before the mast!" 

"Suffering Moses ! I say, you fellows, come over here. 
Let me introduce an old Eton pal. Mr. Keppel Sir Harry 
Jocelyn Mr. Timothy White." 

"Green," said Tim gravely. 

The others laughed, not taking Tim seriously. Wynne 
recited the astounding fact that Tim had worked his way 
to San Francisco before the mast. He ended up: 

"What a bird ! He got sacked for nipping out of College 
at night. We were awfully sick about it. Round the 
Horn I I say, that takes a bit of doin'." 

Tim's face relaxed. Wynne continued genially: 

"You look as fit as a fiddle, and hard as nails. Jove! 
I'd sooner drink with you than fight. Round the Horn! 
Phew-w-w !" 

"Any adventures?" asked Keppel. 


"I'll bet you held your own," said Wynne. "Look here, 
old chap, you've got to spend the evening with us. We'll 
whoop things up a bit, and listen to your yarns. We've a 
box at the Tivoli, and they're doing The Mikado. I saw it 
nineteen times in London. Come on!" 

Tim hesitated, glancing at his clothes. Wynne laughed 
gaily : 

"You have grown out of 'em, Tim, but we don't care a 
rush about your duds, if we can have the man inside 

"You can have what's left of him," said Tim. 

"There seems to be quite a lot left," said Keppel, with 
his eyes upon Tim's bulging muscles. He was frail of 



build, not likely to make old bones, the senior by some years 
of the others and evidently in command. He added courte- 
ously: "I am glad you can join us." 


They spent a joyous evening. Tim had never seen the 
famous opera. It whirled him temporarily to Japan, and 
thence to London, as he reflected bitterly that his compan- 
ions had means and leisure for such enjoyments and what 
they stood for. Later the four supped at the Poodle Dog. 
Wynne said: 

"We must drink White's health in something fizzy. Hi, 
you! a bottle of wine." 

Out West a bottle of wine means champagne. 

Jocelyn spoke of his own country, Dorset. Tim remem- 
bered that the Carmichaels lived not far from Dorchester. 
He said carelessly: 

"Do you know the Carmichaels?" 

"Quite well. Charming people. The little girl, Daphne, 
is a fizzer, likely to be a beauty, and as jolly and clever 
as they make 'em. She hunts with the Cattistock and goes 
like a bird. Men are buzzing about her already." 

"Are they?" said Tim, gulping down his champagne. 

"Do you know them, White ?" 

"Oh, yes; they Jived in our village, Little Pennington." 

Wynne added: 

"White's father is the Vicar of Little Pennington." He 
glanced at Tim. "I can remember your telling us about the 
happy village, and all the saints." 

Tim's collar felt at least three sizes too small for him, 
as the desire gripped him to deny Wynne's statement. He 
wanted to say: "Look here, the Vicar of Little Penning- 
ton is the best friend I have in the world, but he's not my 
father." He became very red, as he controlled a twitching 



"What can we do now?" asked Wynne. 

The head waiter, a lively Frenchman, shrugged his shoul- 

"Ces Messieurs desirent un plongeon?" 

"Un plongeon?" 

"Sapristi ! You can plonge into ze dives." 

''Let's dive," said Wynne. 

They did so, plunging from the cool breezes of Kearney 
Street into an atmosphere reeking of tobacco smoke and 
humanity. A large hall was full of men, sitting on benches 
and at small tables. 

"Like a box, genelmen? Hall's kinder crowded." 

"A box, by all means," said Wynne. 

They were ushered into a large box, meretriciously up- 
holstered with red velvet and practicable curtains. It was 
above the stage upon which some girls were dancing. They 
looked up and smiled as the young men entered. 

"What will you take to drink?" asked the waitress. 

"Beer," replied Keppel. 

Wynne looked about him, laughing: 

"I say, you fellows, this is the best of the dives. What's 
the worst like, eh?" 

"We won't try to find out," said Keppel. 

Tim looked at the four girls on the stage. They were 
young arid fairly pretty, raddled with powder and paint. 
They glanced and danced at him audaciously. 

"Hullo, Tim," exclaimed the vivacious Wynne. "You've 
mashed the quartette, by Jove !" 

"They'll be up here in a jiffy," said Keppel. "We'll give 
'em a drink and let 'em go. They get a percentage on the 
drinks," he explained. 

"Poor little devils," said Wynne. 

As soon as the "turn" was over, the quartette appeared, 
taking for granted that they were welcome. But they 
looked slightly contemptuous when they were invited to 
drink beer. The prettiest and sauciest said to Tim : 

"We took you for wine-drinking sports." 


At this Keppel, who had paid dearly for his experience, 
said politely: 

"What do you make on a couple of bottles of champagne ?" 

"Quit that!" 

"I'm dead serious. Come, how much?" 

One of the girls laughed and named the amount. Keppel 
gave her some money, saying pleasantly : 

"There you are! Sit down and talk. Business before 

The prettiest girl said to Tim : 

"I like you, boytie sure!" 

Tim thought of Ivy, and then of Daffy. He had been 
warmed to the core by good food and sparkling wine ; and 
he had not spoken to a girl for three months. But he felt 
in an instant sick and sore. He replied hoarsely : 

"Don't waste your time on me." 

She pinched his arm. 

"My! what a muscle. Say, girls, just feel his arm! 
What a shoulder-striker!" 

The quartette fell riotously upon Tim, who defended 
himself as best he could. A voice from the hall yelled 

"No scrappin' allowed, except on the stage." 

Everybody applauded this, and stared at the stage box. 
Keppel said incisively : 

"You girls behave, or we shall hook it." 

Order was restored. Tim pulled a pencil from his pocket 
and made caricatures of the girls upon the programme at 
which they screamed with laughter. Keppel said : 

"By Jove, you have a talent. Can't you turn it to ac- 

One of the girls answered : 

"Say you see our boss. There's money in it. Make 
drawin's like that of fellers in the audience. My ! I forgot 
you was a toff." 

"I am not," said Tim, but it never occurred to him then 
that either Keppel or the girl spoke seriously. 


Presently duty summoned the young ladies back to the 
stage, whereupon Keppel observed meaningly: 

"Let's skedaddle before they come back. It will make 
things easier for them and us." 

Jocelyn wished to stay, spoke of "making a night of it," 
but wiser counsels prevailed. Tim kept silence, but he was 
thinking of what Nazro had said. Something within him 
urged him to fling dull care to the winds, to sail into a gale 
of excitement, to drink, to make love, to forget. 

The young men walked back to the Palace Hotel. On 
parting, Wynne whispered to Tim: 

"Where are your diggings? I'll look you up to-morrow 
morning. I want a yarn alone with you." 

Tim named his boarding-house. 

"Ask for Green." 

"Why, wasn't that a joke?" 

"Not much." 


Tim pondered many things in his heart as he turned 
from the magnificent hotel to seek his own drab lodgings. 
He had laughed and jested with the others, paid in full his 
shot for a cheery evening, and now it was over. His 
friends of a night were flitting across the Pacific to China 
and Japan. Did he wish that he was going with them? 
He tried to answer the question which included so much. 

If he could be as they ? Keppel had the air of one not 

too well pleased with himself. Jocelyn and Wynne were 
jolly boys, evidently young men of great possessions, fling- 
ing money about right and left. Tim had a splendid vision 
of a promising servant of the Indian Civil Service, persona 
grata to Mother Carmichael, on his way to the Orient, 
where preferment and lakhs of rupees awaited him, a Tom 
Tiddler's ground strewn with gold and silver! 

"I'm green indeed," he groaned. 

He was. At that moment, quite unconsciously, he ex- 



hibited the colour to two loafers. Lost in his thoughts he 
lost his way, taking the wrong turning out of Market 
Street, sauntering head down, into an ill-lighted side alley. 
The loafers pursued noiselessly. Tim's gloomy thoughts 
were put to flight by a stunning blow on the head. 
He had been sandbagged! 




HE returned to consciousness to find a policeman bend- 
ing over him. Tim's head felt larger than the dome 
of St. Paul's, and his body seemed to have vanished. But 
soon he realised that nothing was missing except a watch, all 
his money, and the gold links which Sir Gilbert had given 
to him. The policeman supported him to the boarding- 
house, and put him to bed, but held out no hopes of cap- 
turing the sandbaggers or recovering the loot. A ray of 
light illumined the darkness ; the Vicar's cheque still lay 
in the Vicar's letter at the bottom of the drawer into which 
Tim had thrust it before he took the road to the Golden 
Gate Park. The policeman made reasonably sure that Tim 
was not much the worse for a blow with a stocking filled 
with sand, and then took his leave, promising to return on 
the morrow. 

"Yer derby hat saved you from concussion see?" 


That was a bit of luck. Before rushing out of the Vicar- 
age, Tim had looked for a cap and not found it. He re- 
membered jamming on his billy-cock. 

Next morning, he lay in bed with a severe headache, the 
object of solicitude on the part of his landlady, when she 
learned what had befallen her handsome lodger. Tim told 
her about the cheque, which may have warmed the cockles 
of a heart beating hard to earn a living. 

He was still in bed when Wynne came in, almost envious 
when he heard of the misadventure. Wynne wanted to 



fetch a doctor, but Tim assured the kind fellow that he 
was right as rain, an apt simile in a land of dry seasons. 
Wynne sat down, glancing nervously at his old school- 

"I say," he began awkwardly, "I wish you'd confide in 
me. A nailing good sort like you doesn't ship before the 
mast for nothing." 

Tim said evasively : 

"You're a nailing good sort, Wynne, and the others, 
your pals, are like you." 

"How queerly you say that!" 

"Do I?" He looked keenly at Wynne. "What do you 
call a nailing good sort?" 

Wynne laughed. 

"I'm serious. Try to answer the question. I've a rea- 
son for asking. What, in your opinion, is a nailing good 

"I'm dashed if I ever thought about it." 

"Think about it now." 

The mental effort was almost too much for Wynne. He 
murmured tentatively: 

"He ought to be keen at games and sport, and and 

"What do you mean by straight?" 

"Ypu know. Decently clean and er all the rest of 

"Would you call a man decently clean who got a servant 
in his father's house into trouble and then bolted?" 

"Oh, Lord ! Did you do that?" 

Tim nodded. 

"Fouled your own nest?" 

The familiar expression, often heard at Eton, thawed 
some secrecies and reserves of youth. Tim said hotly: 

"We always called it that, didn't we? But do you sup- 
pose that I did it deliberately?" 


Tim continued: 

Poppies and Mandragora 

"And yet, if I had sneaked up to town and taken the 
usual broad and easy way, that would have been deliberate 
sin ; and then Little Pennington would have asked no ques- 
tions. My greatest offence was disturbing their holy peace. 
I feel it in all my bones." 

Then he told his story, got it "off his chest," as he put 
it, a mighty relief. From your knowledge of the boy, you 
ought to divine that he used no special plea, attempted no 
extenuations. Perhaps Wynne supplied these. Tim spoke, 
too, of the Vicar's misery and horror, suppressing, of 
course, the truth about the saint's marriage. He concluded 
mournfully : 

"I am wretched, because I made him wretched; I grow 
hot with shame when I think of Ivy's shame, which I cannot 
take away or lessen, but, thank Heaven, I feel about the 
accursed affair as I did about being sacked from Eton. I 
have not been worse than thousands of other fellows, only 
more unlucky. Now you have it." 

"What a beastly mess!" groaned Wynne. "Knocked 
bang out of the India Civil! Oh, damn it!" 

"Yes damn it ! There doesn't seem much else to say." 

The policeman interrupted this confidential talk. He 
made a few notes in a greasy pocketbook. 

"Accordin' to Hoyle," he said, apologetically, "we shan't 
never cop 'em. You was mighty green to go a-saunterin' 
down that thar alley alone after midnight." 

"I'm one of the green things of this earth," said Tim; 
"and I can bless and magnify the Lord that you found 
me and looked after me. Wynne, the Labourer is worthy 
of more than his hire." 

He winked at Wynne, who responded. The policeman 
vanished, smiling blandly. Wynne said hastily: 

"Look here, let me help you with with money. I've 
lots. And you're cleaned out, aren't you?" 

"I have a cheque, but I'd like to send it back. No, no, 
I can't take money from you." 



"I simply insist. What rot!" 

Tim shut his eyes and considered. Wynne murmured 
persuasively : 

"Please !" 

"What did you give that policeman?" 

"Five dollars!" 

"No wonder he smiled ! Wynne, old man, you're a trump, 
and I'll take twenty pounds off you, if you can spare it, 
and return it, too. That I swear." Tim sat up in bed, 
speaking more excitedly. "I've not much left but pride. 
And this will drive me to work; work is what I want." 

"You can have more than that, Tim. I can spare it 

"No ; ten might do, but I don't want the horror of being 
penniless hanging over me. Odd thing your turning up in 
the nick of time! Often I think that we're just leaves 
tossed about by the winds, and then an affair like this 
forces me to dream again of guardian angels and all that. 
Don't tell him, but Keppel was a sort of guardian angel 
last night. Say good-bye to 'em for me." 

"But you'll dine with us to-night?" 

"Don't tempt me! Being with you fellows and hearing 
the old talk tries me too high. Leave your address with 
the money." 

"Right. I advise you to lie snug in bed. Sleep off that 

"Not much." 

'He sprang out of bed, and stood upright, squaring his 
great shoulders, expanding his chest. He was wearing a 
skin-tight jersey. Wynne opened wide his eyes. 

"You are a corker. Built from the ground up, the 
perfect man, what?" 

Tim laughed scornfully. Presently Wynne went away. 
Years passed before they met again. But, after the young 
men had sailed for Japan, a portmanteau arrived at Tim's 
lodgings with a note 

Poppies and Mandragora 


"Don't be too proud to accept what we send. You 
bolted without clothes, and we have too many. Our 
excess charges would make you fairly sit up ! 
"Carry a stiff tail, Tim. The luck will turn. 

"Yours ever, 


The portmanteau contained a complete kit. Tim dropped 
some tears, as he unpacked these sweet-smelling oblations 
with the scent of heather upon the homespun. And the 
kindly gift imposed more than mere acceptance. The tag, 
noblesse oblige, is pinned, sometimes, to an old dress coat. 
Excess charges had not been altogether wasted upon the 
garments which Wynne and Co. left behind in California. 

That afternoon, Tim slipped on his foc'sle duds, and 
went down to the water-front to hunt work. He was not 
long in finding it, for muscle was at a premium in those 
days. He engaged himself to help unload a timber schooner 
from Mendocino County. The boss who hired him for the 
next day said curtly : 

"Buy a pair of leather gloves." 

Tim held out his hands. 

"Do I need 'em?" 

"You bet." 

After that, he hung about the wharves, eyeing critically 
the various craft, queer-looking schooners from the South 
Sea Islands, smelling villainously, coast tramps, fishing 
smacks, and half a dozen yachts of small tonnage. His 
headache passed ; he wished that he was at work, earning 
big fat dollars wherewith to pay back Wynne. Then he 
sauntered past the saloons, watching some of the men who 
reeled in and out of them. One big fellow staggered across 



the road, singing at the top of his voice. Tim recognised 
Nazro, who, in his turn, hailed Tim boisterously : 

"Have one with me, sonny?" He jerked his thumb in 
the direction of a saloon. Tim declined. Nazro swore 
prodigiously, ending up: 

"You'll drink with me, you young swine, or fight." 

"Then I'll fight, old man." 

Nazro changed the tune : 

"That all's hunky, Tim; I was pullin' yer leg, see? I'm 
drunk and proud of it ! The rest o' the boys are lyin' par- 
alysed in Shaughnessy's back parlour. I've drunk 'em stiff, 
by thunder ! I'm the King, I am." 

"No monarch, I hope, was ever so tight as you are, 

He passed on, pursued by a volley of bad language. 


Tim never forgot the three days that followed. Every 
muscle in his magnificent young body was strained terribly, 
handling the big six-by-fours. Two men in the gang 
chucked work at mid-day. Tim blessed the boss for his 
timely advice. Even with gloves his hands were torn and 
bruised. And yet, as he sweated and toiled, his soul sang 
within him, for he was driving out the devils who counselled 
him to spend Wynne's money and the Vicar's cheque in one 
tremendous spree. Let those who have passed through 
this ordeal testify to the temptation! Lest he might yield 
to it on the morrow, when his limbs would be stiff and 
tormented, he wrote that night to the Vicar, sending back 
the cheque. When it was posted, he felt almost happy. 

"I shall come home," he wrote, "when I have made good. 
Meanwhile, I shall work at anything that turns up. I want 
to find myself, and your letter has helped me to set about 
the job. I was never so well in all my life, although I 
was sandbagged last night. They talk of knocking sense 

Poppies and Mandragora 

into a man's head. The sandbaggers knocked sense into 
mine. Your loving son, Tim." 

After three days' labour, he rested, wandering about the 
city, absorbing items of interest to himself. In Montgomery 
Street he found a real-estate office, with a show window 
filled with gigantic vegetables : enormous pumpkins, colossal 
cabbages and onions. These astounding products of the 
Golden State came, so he was informed, from a valley in 
San Lorenzo county, which lies some two hundred and 
fifty miles to the south of the metropolis, and may be 
reached by rail now, by water then. Tim, after flattening 
his nose against the big plate glass window, walked into 
the office, and listened eagerly to a voluble, red-faced agent, 
who talked as if his mouth were filled with too ripe fruit. 
His patter amused and edified Tim. 

"You're a Britisher. Well, sir, I'm glad to make your 
acquaintance. You've struck us at the psychological mo- 
ment. Things are booming, and real estate up and down the 
coast is advancing by leaps and bounds. Any information 
or service required will be promptly extended to you. 
Ain't them pumpkins immense ? Never struck a better 
'ad.' Yes, sir, I'm glad of this opportunity of clasping 
you by the hand. I'd love to make you acquainted with 
the romance of our history, the salubrity of our climate, the 
vastness of our resources, and the beauty and grandeur 
of our scenery. . . ." 

He paused to recover his breath. Tim said soberly: 

"Yes; California seems to be a nice little place. If it is 
all you crack it up to be, I shall buy it." 

The red- faced agent laughed, expressing a willingness to 
"set 'em up." But he went on talking. 

Tim escaped after half an hour, saturated with informa- 
tion, and pockets stuffed with "printed matter." In his 
room at the boarding-house he read the pamphlets. For- 
tunes were to be made anywhere and everywhere. Poultry- 
keeping, bee-keeping, horticulture, viticulture, agriculture, 



horse-, cattle-, and hog-raising were indicated as so many 
broad avenues to Fortune. 

Tim's vivid imagination dealt faithfully with the "facts," 
facts culled from prominent citizens, male and female. One 
white Aylesbury duck, the property of Mrs. Caroline P. 
Biitzberger, had laid one hundred eggs in one season, which 
had duly matured into ninety-seven ducklings, sold when 
six weeks old for ninety-seven dollars, less freight, in the 
San Francisco market ! Michael McMurphy, from one acre 
of land, for which he had paid five dollars, harvested a net 
profit of one hundred dollars, raising Early Rose potatoes. 
Miss Lauretta Gump had made a small fortune out of roses. 

Tim sucked it all in, a baby at the breasts of teeming 


Green he was ; and the verdancy within sought verdancies 
without: green grass, green trees, green wheat and corn. 
The captious may ask why this young man preferred to 
work with his hands instead of putting to service brains 
deemed bright enough to satisfy the Civil Service Commis- 
sioners. But, at the moment, muscle commanded a better 
wage. Tim could earn three dollars a day with his hands. 
A reporter in the boarding-house, a clever young man, 
with a knowledge of a special business, earned ten dollars 
a week. A clerk in a bank or a counting-house, if he were 
competent, might draw a salary of a hundred dollars a 
month, and could save nothing out of it. Tim had the 
salt of the high seas still in his blood ; he wanted sunshine 
and rain, roaring winds and soft zephyrs, the pulsing life 
out of doors, with its adventures and misadventures. 

For a month he worked hard on and about the water- 
front, saving money, living simply, finding sufficient enter- 
tainment and instruction in studying men with whom he 
came in contact. At night, he would don Jocelyn's blue 
serge suit, and go to the big saloon where he got a drink for 

Poppies and Mandragora 

twenty-five cents, and a capital supper for nothing. One 
of the bar-tenders was an Englishman, a some-time gentle- 
man, late of the Broken Brigade, who knew the slope from 
San Diego to Seattle. Tim asked him: 

"Ought I to sponge a meal here regularly?" 

The mixer of many drinks replied promptly : 

"The chuck is there, good stuff, too. Ground bait, of 
course, for thirsty fish. You take your whack at it." 

He talked with his landlady, the widow of a "rustler" and 
a "rustler" herself. She kept a motherly eye on Tim with- 
out his suspecting it, preaching the gospel of work. From 
her lips he heard the ancient wheeze : "The gentlemen of 
leisure out here are called tramps." 

Tim grinned. He had a kindly feeling for tramps. He 
could understand a man slipping his fetters, escaping from 
the bondage of labour into the vagabondage of the road, 
wandering on and on, obedient only to Fancy. 

Finally, he worked his way south to San Lorenzo by 
sea. The old mission town was still distinctively Spanish 
in appearance, but the Spanish-Californians, that pleasure- 
loving race, were being driven from the big ranches. Tim 
wandered into the local real-estate office, where a burly 
agent mistook him for a man of means, with capital to 
invest. When he learned the truth, he counselled Tim to 
visit a fellow-countryman who was clearing a, tract of land 
with a view to planting out vines and fruit trees. Tim de- 
cided to take this advice. 

April had come to California. The Spring in Tim leapt 
up joyously to meet the Spring of the year. During these 
early days, Daffy ruled his thoughts concerning women. 
He looked up to her once more as his star, now immensely 
remote, shining upon him with clear cold beam. "I must 
win up to Daffy," he told himself, "but how how?" 

The mercury within him rose and fell intermittently. 



He passed several months working for the Englishman 
who was clearing cheap land. This middle-aged tenderfoot 
had a wife and two sons. They were a cheery family, and 
Tim soon loved them, entering with ardour into their am- 
bitions, which included a return to England within the near 
future. The father, Harvey Cooke, was an impassioned op- 
timist with weak lungs. He had come to Southern Califor- 
nia for the climate, bringing with him what he could scrape 
together, a few thousand pounds. He was clever, worldly- 
wise, and full of resource, but helplessly ignorant of farm- 
ing, at the mercy of neighbours and foreman, who robbed 
him mercilessly. Nevertheless, like everybody else, he was 
prospering. His land had trebled in value; his health had 
been restored. He planted the wrong trees in the wrong 
soil, "botched" everything he touched; and then laughed 
gaily at his blunders. 

"God made the land, but the Devil sent the Cookes." 

"And others," said Tim. 

He enjoyed himself vastly well, becoming a Jack-of-all- 
trades, carpenter, painter, paper-hanger, plough-boy, cow- 
boy, and horticulturist. 

Holidays were frequent as the feasts in the Roman Cath- 
olic calendar. Quail swarmed in the brush hills ; the 
marshes by the sea held snipe and duck innumerable; in 
the sand, at low tide, clams could be dug, and transformed 
into toothsome chowder. 

Why not become a market-hunter on a colossal scale? 
Harvey Cooke proved himself a true prophet. 

"Market-hunting will be knocked on the head, or else 
the game will be wiped out." 

Tim wrote to the Vicar, and received letters from him. 
In due time he learned that Ivy was a mother. Tim lay 
awake thinking of the baby, unable to measure his half- 
interest in the atom, unable to assume paternal responsibili- 

Poppies and Mandragora 

ties, and yet queerly sensible of tiny hands clutching at his 
heart and eyes were they brown or blue mutely gazing 
into his eyes, full of helpless interrogation. Ought he to 
write to Ivy? And if he did, what could he say? 

In many ways you must think of him as older than his 
years. He looked a man, and stroked a small silky mous- 
tache. He spoke as a man, having an inherited gift of the 
gab. He felt as a man, when he talked with women; and 
the daughters of the Golden West made it plain that they 
liked to talk with him. 


He returned Wynne's loan, joyously uplifted at doing so. 

Suddenly, he found himself once more foot-loose, with 
the wide world before him. Cooke sold his ranch and left 
San Lorenzo county. He spoke to Tim of buying or 
building a hotel, to be run upon solidly English lines. 

Then he and his vanished, as people do in a new coun- 
try, to pop up again with startling unexpectedness. 

Tim wandered on to the bunch-grass ranges, and became 
a cow-boy. With the chappareros, he assumed the manners 
and speech of the young vaquero, turning up his pantaloons 
over high heeled boots, wearing a white silk neckerchief, and 
a vast sombrero, a bit of a buck as all broncho-busters 
should be. 

The life was hard, tough as the hondo of Tim's lariat, the 
rawhide rope which hung at the horn of his big, deep- 
seated saddle. He learned to make a lariat out of a steer's 
hide, and to throw it accurately. Each morning he rode 
into the brown foothills. 

At mid-day he returned to the ranch house, to devour as 
swiftly as possible beans and bacon, and a big chunk of 
apple or pumpkin pie, with a lump of cheese on the same 
plate as the pie, and three cups of coarse tea diluted with 
tinned milk and sweetened with cheap sugar. After smok- 
ing a couple of cigarettes he would fare forth again upon 



a fresh horse. He was on a big unfenced range ; and certain 
cattle were his peculiar care. He came to know them and 
their habits intimately. And he learned in time to sit a 
bucking horse, and brand a wild steer single-handed. Such 
arts interested him for a season, but the life was deadly 
dull. Twice a year the spring and fall rodeos (round-ups) 
varied the monotony. Cattlemen and cattle dealers as- 
sembled together, outvying each other at a bargain. The 
fat steers were cut out ; the calves branded, and the festival 
ended with a big barbecue and feats of horsemanship. 

Every two months, regularly, the "boys" would "strike" 
town, and a "bust" followed. Few cowboys save money. 
The real right thing, so Tim discovered, was to hand over 
your "wad" to the bar-keeper of a saloon, with the injunc- 
tion: "Say, you keep that, and lemme know when it's 
gone." It went very soon. Strangers were invited to step 
up to the bar and drink ; a good deal of glass was broken, 
and, occasionally, a head or two. Now and again there 
might be some shooting, and the comment, if such an affair 
ended seriously, was : 

"It don't pay to fool with Pete," or words to that effect. 
Pete, in such cases, escaped scot free, if he could shew that 
his antagonist was "heeled." 

Upon one of these occasions, Tim furnished an object 
lesson in personal violence, which established his reputation 
on the ranges as a strong man. Two cowboys, stout healthy 
fellows, were hammering each other in a saloon. Tim was 
called upon to separate them. He took each man by the 
collar, wrenched them apart, brought their two heads to- 
gether with a crash, and whirled them asunder again. Each 
man reeled back against the nearest wall, and fell stunned. 
They admitted cheerfully, when they recovered conscious- 
ness, that the drinks were "on them." Nobody was more 
surprised than Tim himself. 

As a rule, like most very powerful men, he kept out of 
these fights, but he still cherished the conviction that it 
was his duty, as an Englishman, to strike any man, drunk 

Poppies and Mandragora 

or sober, who called him names. The foreman of the ranch 
let fall a word of advice which Tim ignored or forgot 

"It's like this, Tim. If a drunken galoot calls you a 
liar it don't make you one, does it?" 

"I allow no man to call me a liar." 

"Go easy, you tenderfoot, you ! Do you want to kill the 
man as calls you names?" 


"Wai, you mark this. If you strike a feller in this 
yere country, and he's heeled or carries a knife, he'll try to 
kill you, and, by Gum! you may have to choose between 
killing him, or being killed. That's all." 

It was sound advice, kindly offered. About a year after- 
wards Tim was imbibing bad whiskey with some cowboys 
from a Spanish grant ; two of them were greasers. One of 
the latter addressed Tim savagely, using a term never men- 
tioned by the men of the West without, as Owen Wister 
says, an accompanying smile. The greaser did not smile. 
Tim knocked him down. The man got up, approached Tim, 
and slipped a knife into him. 

Tim was carried to the County Hospital, which served, 
also, as a poor-house, where he came within an ace of giv- 
ing up the ghost. Loss of blood had made him unconscious. 
He drifted back to consciousness to find himself in a cool, 
white-washed room, containing half a dozen beds. A 
woman was bending over him, saying: 

"Now, you keep quiet. You've been badly hurt. Lie 
still. Let me do the talking." 

She told him where he was, and that he might reckon 
upon being carefully tended. Tim's eyes wandered round 
the room. One of the beds just opposite to his was 
screened. He asked dazedly : 

"Why don't I have a nice cute little screen?" 

The nurse said indiscreetly : 

"You're not bad enough for that." 

Tom's wits quickened. 

"I see. We're allowed to die in private?" 



The nurse nodded, with a finger on her lip, enjoining 
silence. Tim moved. And then the room became dim, and 
the face of the nurse melted into the shadows. When he 
returned to earth again, screens were round his bed! 

The fact smote him. So he was condemned, was he? 
Toes tucked up ! Golden slippers all ready ! Not much ! 
He'd fool the whole silly crowd and live. 

Possibly this tremendous determination not to leave a 
jolly world kept him in it after two doctors had declared 
emphatically that he must go. He mended slowly from 
that hour. 

During convalescence, he made the acquaintance of a man 
past middle life whom we will call the Sage, a name Tim 
found for him. The boy thought of him as the Sage, or 
the Ancient. He was incurably ill, but able to talk. Tim 
was amazed at the quality of his talk, till it leaked out that 
the Sage had been a fellow of his College. Why had he 
gone under, this man of many and brilliant parts? Why 
was he lying derelict in the county hospital of San Lorenzo. 
Tim never knew. 

We record some of the Sage's babblings. They were 
hardly more than that. He was old and very tired. Tim 
told him part of his story. 

"Yes ; yes ; made a fool of yourself with a rag and a 
bone and a hank of hair. Who wrote that? I read it 
somewhere lately, the words of a boy who was born a 

"Never heard 'em," said Tim, for Kipling had not yet 
swum into his ken. 

"I forget names. I lie here thinking of abstractions, my 
own experiences mostly, whether good or evil. Made a fool 
of yourself, did you?" 

"Foolishness?" asked Tim grimly. "Little Pennington 
called it by another name." 

"I daresay. Vice is often folly, although folly is not 
often vice. Good and evil," he sighed drearily; "they are 
so relative, aren't they? So dependent upon time and 

Poppies and Mandragora 

place and temperament. I am at the end of my tether, 
boy, and it has been a long one. I'm ready for the last 

He closed his eyes and fell asleep. 

Later, Tim spoke of San Francisco. Perhaps he ought 
to have sought work there, brain-work. The Sage shook 
his head: 

"All great cities are sad, boy. Pleasure sparkles on the 
surface, spume of the deep sea ! and catches the eyes of 
fools. For joy you must go to the country, to the wild 
places, the mountains and forests. I trapped in the woods 
of the north; I was quite alone during a blessed winter. 
I was happy; I loved it." 

And again : 

"Suffer and grow strong." 

But if suffering imposed weakness? Tim thought of 
Preble relaxing his grip ! 

The Sage was thinking when he spoke to Tim of death : 

"It generally is, and ought to be easy, if a man has lived 
his life. I was present once at the deathbed of a friend 
who was esteemed a shining example. He remained all 
his years in a tiny circle, a celibate from choice. He drew 
down the blinds between himself and everything that of- 
fended a curiously fastidious and refined mind. His end 
was unhappy. He told me, towards the last, that he re- 
garded himself as a vegetable, a weed upon Lethe's wharf. 
It really worried him that his life had been so admirably 
correct. He went reluctantly. Somehow peace at the 
end fled from him." 

Next day, the Sage died. 

But he had lived. Tim knew that, and became rilled 
with a curiosity that was never slaked. 

"Et propter vitam vivendi perdere causas !" 

Juvenal's tag came into his mind. To remain all one's 
life in cotton wool, in a snug partition, like a blown Great 
Auk's egg with never a crack in it, to be looked at, per- 
haps, as a rare specimen of virtue never put to the proof, 



to be labelled, classified, reduced to a common order, to be 
spoken of with hushed, reverential whispers as a "museum 
specimen," was this life? 

On leaving the hospital, he found himself weak as an 
anaemic girl and almost penniless. Incidentally, his place 
on the range had been filled up. 

"I shall tramp it a bit," thought Tim. Before leaving 
San Lorenzo, he overhauled his portmanteau, shelved in a 
small hotel kept by a Frenchman. The moth had ravaged 
Jocelyn's blue serge suit, cut by a famous snip. Tim 
pondered the obvious moral : 

"Has the moth got into me?" 

He bought a light pair of blankets, and made them up 
into a loop, through which he put his head ; the upper part 
rested upon his left shoulder, and the lower reached to 
his right hip. Carrying a small valise, he took the road. 



WANDERING south through Santa Barbara and Los 
Angeles counties, Tim supported himself fairly well 
by doing odd jobs splitting stovewood, haying and har- 
vesting, night-watching in a big hotel, that dreariest of 
vigils, working on a "gravel train" (ballasting a railroad 
track), picking up few dollars but much experience. His 
heels became abnormally sore, so bad at last that he had 
to lie up in a small country inn. Being invited to inscribe 
his name in the hotel register, he wrote: 

"W. W. Green." 

The young lady in charge of the office smiled. The 
stranger limped, but he was very handsome. 

"Are you ashamed," she asked, "of your first names 
that you don't write them down?" 

"Oh, dear, no!" 

"What are your first names?" 

"William Weary. What are yours?" 

She laughed, tossing a coquettish head. 

"My name is Gladys A dele Fitch, but my intimate friends 
call me Dellie." She added pleasantly: "You do limp 
some, but you don't look very weary, Mr. Green." 

"Looks are deceptive," replied Tim. "You don't look 
very, very good, Miss Fitch, but I'm sure you are." 

Obviously she was flirtatious, but Tim failed to respond 
after a promising opening. He hated to be pursued, re- 
membering Ivy and her beguiling: "Oh, I do like you!" 
Many women had looked boldly or bashfully into his eyes ; 


and always he was sensible of a queer revulsion, partly of 
the flesh and partly of the spirit. Ivy had rolled him in 
the dust. There were many Ivys in the world. He en- 
countered them everywhere. Journey predicted that they 
would come to his whistling; but they came without it. 

At this inn he spent what was left of his money, and, 
finally, had to take the road again before his heels were 
fit for tramping. Hard times followed. He became for 
a season a hobo, and owed much to the kindness and 
charity of a professional called Ginger. Ginger was what 
is known as a "poke out." He belonged to the great ma- 
jority of hoboes who accept, neither humbly nor grate- 
fully, cold food handed out at the back door. The toffs 
of the profession are termed "set-downers." To be a set- 
downer exacts great gifts. A set-down earns by his wits 
three solid hot meals a day. 

Ginger was a tall, thin, lantern- jawed fellow, with a 
merry eye. When he felt in good spirits, he would say to 
Tim : "Gosh ! pard, I kin taste meself this morning." He 
was sockless, but particular about his appearance. He 
carried a razor and a clothes brush, which served also as a 
hair brush, and he wore a double change, two coats, two 
flannel shirts and two pairs of trousers. 

He did most of the battering (begging), saying genially: 
"Now, pard, what would you fancy this morning? Chicken 
a la Maryland ? Waffles with maple syrup ? A cut o' salm- 
on?" Then he would shamble off to return presently 
with some cold potatoes and broken meat. Tea would be 
boiled up in an old tomato can, and the knights of the 
road would fall to. 

Ginger taught Tim how to beat his way by train with- 
out being beaten. They crawled under the cars and lay 
snug upon the "bumpers," the trucks which carry the 
wheels. Tim would hang on desperately with both hands, 
not daring to let go whilst the gravel and dirt pounded his 
face. The dust was awful, suffocating, but long distances 
were covered. 

Agua Caliente 

Tim, of course, was never of the hobo fraternity. He 
preferred to work for a meal instead of battering it, much 
to Ginger's disgust. Unhappily, Tim couldn't work for 
nearly three months. His health had failed. If he at- 
tempted manual labour he would break at once into a 
profuse perspiration, followed by violent sickness and a 
racking headache. 

He was "on his uppers." 

Gradually his health came back. Ginger said solemnly; 
"If you mean to work, pard, we must part." 

So they parted. 

Was this sad experience wasted? Tim had learned the 
adjustment of ways to means and means to ends, the 
patter of the road fell fluently from his lips, and the songs 
of the sockless. 

Had he sunk or risen? Answer that question, if ye 
can, ye fledglings in cosy nests to whom grumbling comes 
easier than song. 

Kindly remember that he had not yet recovered his 
strength. The greaser's knife had bled him white, but not 
to the whiteness of the happy village. His ambitions re- 
mained in abeyance. 

Presently, he drifted across roughish water into the 
placid, pellucid bay of Avalon. He became for a summer's 
season, a beachcomber, living on and by the beach in a 
small tent, teaching trippers from the hot valleys beyond 
the Coast Range how to swim, and fish, and pull an oar. 

In Avalon strength and high health became his again. 
And, also, the desire to win up to his star, to snatch her 
from the skies. In an illustrated weekly, he saw a picture, 
and beneath it: "One of this season's fairest debutantes" 
No tears came to his eyes, as he stared yearningly at Daffy's 
beautiful laughing face, at the deliciously curved lips that 
he had kissed. But blood seemed to be dripping out of his 
heart. The greaser's blade inflicted pangs less poignant> 
for the sublime and ridiculous meet and mingle in a young 



man's heart, and tragedy underlies the fact that youth can- 
not distinguish between them. 

There are wild goats in the island of Catalina. Tim put 
up a sign outside his tent: 

"Tim Green is an expert goat-hunter, and a dead shot; 
but it's always your goat." 

Tourists from the East returned home with trophies 
when they engaged Tim. 

After a time he grew bored with summer seas and 
glass-bottomed boats, through which folks peered at the 
wonders of the deep. He thought to himself: "A good 
gale would shake them and me up. I must get out of 

When the trippers returned at the end of September 
to their malarious valleys, Tim left Avalon, and wandered 
back to Santa Barbara county. He had saved a little 
money, about as much as a son of Dives may spend on an 
evening's entertainment. Tim carried his cash in a canvas 
belt snug upon his skin insurance against starvation. 

During that winter if you call the pleasantest season of 
the Southern California year by so harsh a name he 
worked for a Spaniard, Don Clodomiro Maria Arellanes, 
who did little manual work himself, being content to sit 
beneath a fig tree and meditate upon the past, when he and 
his lived patriarchally to the sound of guitar and mando- 
lin, lords of the earth and the fullness thereof, owners 
of countless horses and cattle, of leagues of land now cut 
up and mutilated by barb-wire. Arellanes and his daugh- 
ter occupied an adobe, the last of many possessions. With 
the adobe went a few acres of rich valley, and a creek 
gushing generously in the dryest years. There was also 
an orchard, and a sulphur spring. The place was called 
Agua Caliente. At the back of this small paradise stretched 
a wilderness of chaparral and manzanita to which Don 
Clodomiro owned no title save that of possession, a title 
never disputed as yet. But, at the time when Tim engaged 
himself, a hungry horde of squatters was invading the 

Agua Caliente 

wilderness, lured on by the reading of just such pamphlets 
as had captivated Tim. The squatters, poor souls! be- 
lieved that these brush hills, hitherto the sanctuary of the 
coyote and rattlesnake, could be transformed into vine- 
yards and orchards. 

They came in thousands, driving horses as thin and hun- 
gry as themselves, with bedraggled, prolific wives sitting 
beside them, men from bleeding Kansas and the mid-West, 
blown out of the cornland by cyclone and blizzard, soured 
fellows, maimed and frost-bitten, with a tiny flame alight 
in their chilled souls, the hope that somewhere, anywhere, 
they might find a homestead. To all of them, Southern 
California had been pictured as Canaan. 

Don Clodomiro swore softly in Spanish when the pil- 
grims began to take up claims upon the rough hills which 
he regarded inalienably as his. Argument was wasted upon 
this quiet, courteous gentleman. The hills were his long 
before Uncle Sam had pinned a patent to them. Had not 
his grandfather obtained a grant from the illustrious 
Gobernador Alvarado, the boundaries to be defined by a 
horseman galloping helter-skelter from one peak to an- 
other? And a title to this wilderness might have been 
confirmed by Uncle Sam, had the "diseno" been submitted 
to the Commissioners appointed to confirm such vague 

Tim developed an affection for both father and daugh- 
ter. They were dear, simple gentlepeople, in spite of 
poverty, some dirt, and an amazing ignorance. Magdalena 
had been educated in a convent; returning home to wash 
and cook and sweep. She was engaging and graceful rather 
than beautiful ; but her eyes were lovely, limpid brown 
pools with golden flecks in them, as if tiny sunbeams had 
found their way into cool shadows and there remained. 
Don Clodomiro adored her. She was small, delicately 
fashioned, with exquisite hands and feet, and only sixteen, 
when Tim came to Agua Caliente. 

Tim treated her as if she were a jolly little sister; and 



he praised her cooking, as well he might, for she concocted 
wonderful Spanish dishes, savoury guisados, chiles relle- 
nos (stuffed chiles), tomales and enchiladas. A great pot 
of beans always stood on the table, and in an outhouse 
hung strings of sun-dried venison, a sort of jerky, and 
onions and red peppers. Magdalena, also, without any 
special knowledge, seemed to have a gift for poultry-breed- 
ing. She looked charming when she was feeding her 
ducklings and chickens and turkey poults. 

Tim became very Spanish. He learned to chatter in 
that language as fluently as Magdalena, and she taught him 
how to play the guitar, and to sing pathetic love songs. 
There was one in particular with a haunting refrain : 

"Adios, adios, para siempre adios !" 

Tim never heard this line without reflecting that it was 
the swan-song of the Spanish-Calif ornians, a farewell to 
the wonderful land of sunshine, which had once belonged 
to them, for such pleasure-loving folk were vanishing, even 
as the Indians had vanished, slowly fading out of a land- 
scape which became duller and more drab for their passing. 

He learned much from these Latins, contrasting their 
patience, good-humour, and happiness in simple things 
with the nervous, forceful, overworked Anglo-Saxons, never 
satisfied with existing conditions, bowing down and wor- 
shipping the Moloch of Progress, doffing their hats to the 
snorting, smoke-belching locomotive as the symbol of a 
triumphant civilisation. From the porch of his adobe, 
which crowned a hill, Don Clodomiro could behold the 
splendid Jesus Maria rancho, which had once belonged to 
him and his fathers. Now, the sweeping, parklike pastures 
were dotted with hideous frame houses and huge barns ly- 
ing like blots upon the softly-tinted foothills upon which 
his cattle and horses had grazed. 

No complaints leaked from Don Clodomiro's lips, when 
he spoke of the times "before the Gringo came," but Tim 
divined that in his heart smouldered a passionate protest 

Agua Caliente 

and resentment, the stronger because an iron pride sup- 
pressed it. 


A year passed swiftly and happily. Tim's wages were 
not paid regularly nor in full, but he did not care, for he 
had found a home, and everything sensuous and artistic 
in him leapt up joyously to acclaim peace and beauty and 

During this year some of the brush hills at the back of 
Agua Caliente were taken up by squatters, but these claims 
were far from the adobe, and it seemed probable that the 
squatters would desert them and move on. Don Clodomiro 
cursed them magnificently as he rolled his cigarettes, and 
remained under his fig tree. Tim urged upon him a mas- 
terly inactivity, knowing that the squatters could be evicted 
not by law nor by force, but by Nature herself. 

And then, the inevitable happened. 

A prairie-schooner rolled up to Agua Caliente containing 
the Bannons. Bannon was a rough and tough Missourian, 
a Piker of aggressive type. He selected a claim within 
Don Clodomiro's fence, and staked it out. 

"Teem," said Don Clodomiro, "you come with me. I 
must talk to this dog. Virgen Santisima! I shall say, 
Teem, what I think, and you will be my weetness." 

"Bully for you," said Tim. "We'll scare the liver out of 

They went together to the barn, and saddled up two 
horses. In the distance Magdalena was flitting about, 
feeding her chickens. The father gazed at her fondly; 
then he said to Tim : 

"My Magdalena ! what a darling ! So good, so pretty, so 
loving, Teem?" 

"All that and more," replied Tim. 

Don Clodomiro pulled at his beard. He was not fifty but 
his beard had grizzled. 



"Eef there should be trouble ?" 


"Eef, Teem, this son of a gun, this Bannon, should get 
the drop on me ?" 

"Not he." 

"My boy, I speak soberly. I have seen ! Ay de mi! 

I have seen, I say, good men of my race shot down by 
the Gringos, who are quick, ohe! how quick they are to 
kill! My brother Sebastian, he die like that in Monterey, 
and my cousin, Estrada." 

"If he kills you, I'll kill him." 

"Teem, you are a good Teem. I no think of that. I 
think of my Magdalena, mi querida. Look you, this is be- 
tween ourselves. One day my Magdalena will be reech." 

"Rich?" echoed Tim. 

"The Agua Caliente and the sulphur spring are mine. I 
have United States patent. In that hill is bitumen, mi 
amigo, and somewhere is oil. Always I have known that. 
And so I have held tight to the old homestead, because one 
day the Gringos will build a monster hotel here. Oh, yes ! 
and the oil will flow, my Teem, and then Magdalena will be 
reech reech !" 

"By Jingo ! I hope so." 

"Now, Teem, if anything happen to me, it is for you to 
watch out for my darling. You are strong and clever. 
Yes, I know. You will watch out for Magdalena, eef this 
Bannon is too mooch for me? Is it not so?" 

Tim grasped his hand. 

"By God!" he said solemnly, "I will." 

"That is all right. And now for the Sefior Bannon. 
Dios! May he feed the turkey buzzards!" 

"They wouldn't touch his filthy carcase," said Tim. 

They rode down the hill, following a small creek, till 
they came to the prairie-schooner and a dirty tent. Upon 
the tent ropes were hanging frayed garments which flut- 
tered in the breeze. A woman was washing out other gar- 

Agua Caliente 

ments in the creek. Don Clodomiro raised his sombrero 
and saluted her courteously. 

"The Seiior Bannon? Where is he, senora?" 

The senora stared defiantly at the horsemen. 

"If you mean Tom; he's asleep in the wagon. Call 
again !" 

"No. I regret moch that I disturb the senor. Have the 
kindness, to inform the senor that Don Clodomiro Arellanes 
desires to speak with heem." 

The woman rose sullenly, walked to the tent and said 
shriljy: "Tom, here's a couple o' Dagos. I tole 'em you 
was asleep. Git up, and handle 'em yerself." 

Arellanes pulled his beard. He murmured silkily to 

"He, he! We are Dagos, Teem. You hear that?" 

Tim was brown as any Spaniard. He replied quickly : 

"If you're a Dago, Don Clodomiro, I'm proud to be one, 

The Senor Bannon lurched out of the tent, a big, raw- 
boned ruffian, half full of whiskey. 

"You are the Senor Bannon?" 

"I'm Tom Bannon. What you fellers want?" 

He eyed them both with savage contempt. Don Clodo- 
miro answered mildly: 

"You have cut my fence, and staked out a claim upon 
my land." 

Bannon laughed harshly. 

"Yer land? That's good. That's a tale ter pitch ter 
suckers. It's Uncle Sam's land and you know it. If ye 
don't know it, the county surveyor'll post ye. I ain't no 
tenderfoot, old whiskers, see? You own the spring, the 
adobe, and jest three hundred an' twenty acres o' land, the 
pick o' the township, too. I'm helpin' myself to my own. 
If ye've nothin' else ter say git !" 

"You have cut my fence, senor." 

"I hev. I mean to cut more of it. Quit foolin', onless 
yer huntin' trouble." 



"I say this. This senor here is my weetness." 

"An' my wife is mine. Come right here, Mame." 

Mrs. Bannon abandoned her washing reluctantly, stand- 
ing with arms akimbo, staring at the horsemen, listening 
attentively with a sour smile upon her weather-beaten face. 
Half a dozen children, playing about the wagon, made up 
Don Clodomiro's audience. He spoke very quietly : 

"You cut my fence again, Senor Bannon, and I shoot 
you, in my own way, and at my own time. I build my 
fence myself, with my own hands. It ees mine. I warn 
you fair and square." 

"You go to hell!" 

"Hasta luego," said the Don, raising his sombrero. "I 
waste no more words with you, senor." 

He rode on, followed by Tim. 


Nothing happened for several days. Afterwards, when 
Tim came to a better understanding of his fellow-men, he 
wondered why he had blundered so horribly in his esti- 
mate of Don Clodomiro's character and temperament. At 
the time he believed the quiet, gentle Spaniard to be bluff- 
ing; and he believed, also, that the bluff would not be 
called by such a stupid, blustering clown as Tom Bannon 
appeared to be. 

At the end of the week, Magdalena left home to spend a 
few days in Santa Barbara. An old Indita took her place 
in the kitchen and corrals. The day before Magdalena left 
home the wire fence was cut in another place, but Tim 
did not connect the two incidents. 

Upon the afternoon of Magdalena's departure, Tim was 
working in the orchard, when he heard a rifle shot. He 
went into the house, and perceived that Don Clodomiro's 
rifle, a heavy-barrelled Sharp of ancient pattern was miss- 
ing. Tim became uneasy. His uneasiness increased when 

Agua Caliente 

the Spaniard appeared shortly afterwards carrying the rifle. 

"Any luck?" asked Tim, lightly. 

"I shoot a coyote, Teem." 

He spoke so naturally that Tim's fears vanished. The 
Spaniard propped the rifle against an apple tree, and be- 
gan to roll a cigarette. Tim saw that his thin brown fingers 
were trembling. Presently he went into the house, carry- 
ing the rifle with him. Tim worked on for about half an 
hour ; then he slipped quietly into the adobe, and examined 
the rifle. An empty case still lay in the breech. Tim 
glanced about him furtively. Don Clodomiro was in his 
bedroom. Tim slipped the empty cartridge into his pocket, 
and then cleaned the rifle. He went back to his work as 
quietly as he came from it, but he was conscious of a mad 
excitement. He made certain that Don Clodomiro had sent 
Magdalena away, and had then despatched his enemy. 

The two men met at supper, which was eaten in silence. 
Towards the end, Arellanes said abruptly: 

"Teem, you like Magdalena?" 

"Like her? You bet." 

"It ees good." 

The men smoked, whilst the Indita cleared away. It 
might have been eight o'clock, or thereabouts, when heavy 
steps were heard on the wooden porch, followed by a loud 
knocking on the door, which Don Clodomiro opened. 

"Hands up quick!" 

Tim obeyed the familiar injunction. Arellanes never 
moved, smiling derisively at his visitors. All were masked, 
wearing masks made out of gunny-sacking. 

"He's not heeled," gasped Tim. "Don't shoot!" 

"What you men want?" asked Don Clodomiro. His 
voice was as gentle and suave as ever. 

"We want you." 

"Dios! And why?" 

"Tie their hands, boys." 

Arellanes offered no resistance, submitting quietly. Tim 



submitted also. About a dozen men were in the room. 
The spokesman said curtly : 

"This afternoon, along about five, Tom Bannon was shot 
dead in his tracks, shot jest inside yer fence," he turned 
his masked head toward Arellanes. "You murdered him, 
you damned Dago ! In the presence of his pore wife, and 
this young man, who's a party to the crime, or I'm a liar, 
you threatened ter shoot him on sight, ef he cut yer fence." 

"Oh, yes ; I tell him that." 

"He did cut yer fence ter git to his own land, an' to-day 
you shot him." 

"It ees to be proved in a court of justice." 

"It's going to be proved right here and now. Search 
him, boys." 

They did so, finding nothing. The leader picked up the 
rifle and opened the breech, glancing down the barrel. 

"It's clean," he said. Involuntarily, Arellanes glanced at 
Tim, and that glance was a confession. Yes; Arellanes 
had shot Bannon. 

"Search the young feller!" 

Tim was searched. One of the searchers held up the 
empty cartridge. 

"Give it here," commanded the leader. 

He slipped the discharged cartridge into the rifle. Then 
he smelt the end of the barrel, and ran the tip of his little 
finger round the inside edge of it. 

"Boys, that rifle was fired within a few hours ; the powder 
ain't dry. He turned savagely to Tim: "Now, look ye 
here, you answer straight! What was this yere empty 
shell doin' in yer pocket?" 

Tim lied recklessly: 

"I had a shot at a coyote this this morning. Then I 
cleaned the rifle, and I suppose I slipped that shell into my 

"You hit the coyote." 

"I I missed it." 

"Thought so. If you could ha' shown us the scalp we 

Agua Caliente 

might hev believed ye. Boys, this yere is a reg'lar put-up 
job o' murder, cold-blooded murder. The old man hadn't 
the nerve ter do it, so this young feller does it fer him. 
Those in favour of hangin' the two of 'em, here an' now, 
hold up their hands." 

Some men held up two hands. 

"One hand'll do, boys. Good! You air in favour of 
lynchin' 'em. You all know, fer a cold fact, that in this 
yere cow-country any man with a pull kin git off a charge 
of murder in the first degree. You all know that the sheriff 
ain't hed to hang a man since he's held office. This Arel- 
lanes has a pull. If we let the law o' the land deal with 
him, he'll escape. If ye feel jest as I do, hold up yer hands" 

Arellanes remained silent. Tim said excitedly : 

"I'm a British subject. I've never taken out my naturali- 
sation papers. You boys had better be careful." 

"A Britisher? Ye look like a Dago. A Britisher?" He 
laughed savagely. "That makes it easier. We don't want 
no Dagoes nor no Britishers either in Gawd's country." 

Don Clodomiro spoke slowly : 

"Teem is innocent. He works for me." 

"Innocent? About as innocent as you air! March 'em 
out, boys. The nearest live-oak'll do." 

"You damned curs and cowards," said Tim. 


They were marched out, and down the hill till a suitable 
place of execution was found. Arellanes said nothing ; his 
face was pale but impassive. Perhaps he was reserving his 
powers, concentrating all energies upon the last supreme 
appeal. Two hair ropes were produced and prepared. 
Tim began to tremble; and then he swore to himself that 
he would die like a man. The luck had gone dead against 
him from the first. It struck him as almost absurd that 



he might be dead in five minutes. Where would he be in 
ten? A scene from his early childhood flashed into his 
mind with startling vividness. His nurse had reported him 
to the Vicar for some mischievous act. The Vicar lifted 
him on to his knee, and said : "You know, Tim, you and I 
are the only two men in this house. Aren't you giving more 
than your fair share of the trouble?" He had swelled 
into a man then, and now he was a child for a brief in- 
stant. His thoughts swooped from the past into the fu- 
ture. He saw the Vicar's face whiten and wither, as the 
brutal blow struck him. He might well believe that murder 
had been done and expiated. Daffy might see a para- 
graph in the morning paper : "Young Englishman lynched 
in California." He thought of Preble, who had screamed 
horribly. He would not scream. Already he felt suffocat- 
ing; his tongue swelled; his mouth was parched; a bitter 
taste filled it. Why the devil didn't they hurry up and do 
the trick? He had a glimpse, no more, of his mother's 
picture. She had borne him for this. 

The voice of the leader seemed to float from immeasur- 
able distances. 

"Anything to say ?" 

"Yes, senor," replied Arellanes. He spoke with extraor- 
dinary dignity and solemnity, weighing his words. "You 
mean to kill me, and I Clodomiro Maria Arellanes am 
ready. I am a good Catholic, seiiors, and I am prepared to 
die. I knew that Bannon would kill me, eef I didn't kill 
him. And I killed him this afternoon. But Teem, he know 
nothing. But when I come back, he suspect. Yes; I see 
that he suspect me. I go to my room, to I am not ashamed 
of that to pray. Te^m, he look at the rifle, he clean it, 
and he slip the shell into his pocket. Is it possible, I ask 
you, that a guilty man should do a thing so foolish, so 
senseless? and Teem, he have plenty of sense. Kill me, 
but let Teem go." 

There was silence. Tim knew that his life hung upon a 

Agua Caliente 

word, a nod. The sweat broke out upon his skin. Arel- 
lanes continued, as clearly and composedly as before: 

"Senors, I have a daughter. She is away from home. 
Perhaps I send her from Agua Caliente because I know 
trouble is coming to my house. Let Teem go to her. She 
will need a man. Some of you are fathers, no? Then you 
will understand. I have spoken." 

The leader stood silent; some of the others whispered. 
Tim could guess what might be said. Dead men tell no 
tales. How often he had read that line in some boy's story 
of adventure! And now he applied it to himself, recog- 
nising the inexorable truth of it. Suddenly, the leader 
spoke : 

"The old man has confessed, and he must hang, as a 
warning to others. We squatters have no dollars to waste 
in lawsuits. The boy may or may not be a party, but fer 
me I believe he ain't. But he may make trouble fer us. 
I'm willin' ter risk that." 

"Same here," said a voice. 

"Those in favour of hangin' the boy hold up their 
hands !" 

Two hands shot up ; then three ; then a fourth. Tim felt 
that the others were wavering. Possibly, the leader real- 
ised his tremendous responsibility. 

"Cut him loose," he said. 

Tim was released. 

"Come you here," said the leader, in his muffled voice. 
Tim approached. 

"You skin outer this quick. Go to the girl ; she'll need 
ye. Saddle yer plug and scoot! And be mighty keerful 
how you talk o' this yere act o' justice. Ye don't know 
us, but, by God ! we know you. Git !" 

"Good-bye, Teem," said Arellanes. 

Tim went up to him with the tears raining down his face. 
He was utterly unstrung, trembling, hardly able to speak. 
The moon had risen; and he could see clearly the face of 



Magdalena's father, the impassive, finely cut features, the 
strange quiet eyes, deep pools without sun-flecks in them. 

"Embrace me, my son," he spoke in Spanish. 

Tim kissed his cold cheek and remembered afterwards 
how cold it was. 

"Embrace my Magdalena for me. May the Blessed 
Virgin protect you and her ! Adios 1" 




MAGDALENA was crooning a love song when Tim gal- 
loped into Santa Barbara. During that long ride 
from Agua Caliente he had wondered how he should break 
the appalling news. Being little more than a boy, he ig- 
nored the instinct of women, their amazing divination. 
Long afterwards Magdalena told him that she was expect- 
ing trouble. It hung in the air at the adobe; it accom- 
panied her to Santa Barbara; it haunted waking hours 
and dreams. Before Tim spoke ever a word, at the first 
glance into his drawn and stricken face, she wailed out : 

"Ay de mi ! My father is dead dead !" 

Tim answered hoarsely: 


"Bannon kill him ! I know I know." 

Tim took her small hand, holding it firmly : 

"Magdalena, your father killed Bannon; and now he is 

At the moment he could say no more. Magdalena rushed 
into the house, wailing. Tim attended to his horse, which 
was nearly spent. There were other Spanish women in the 
house. Tim heard them wailing with Magdalena, a long 
wild note of anguish. 

Magdalena's host, a kinsman of Don Clodomiro, came 
out to greet Tim. When he heard the facts, he opened 
his hands, held them for an instant palm upwards, and 



then turned them palm downwards. The gesture was an 
epitaph on the old order. Tim said: 

"We must bring these hounds to justice." 

The Spaniard shook his head mournfully. Tim said pas- 
sionately : 

"They murdered Don Clodomiro, and they nearly mur- 
dered me." 

"Huy !" 

"If there is law in California !" 

"You will see, senor. Nothing will be done, nothing." 

And again that deprecating gesture. 

They drove to Agua Caliente, to cut down the poor 
body, and take it back to the adobe. Magdalena remained 
with the women. Tim never saw her alone till after the 


An inquest followed, of course. 

Tim was called as a witness. On the faces of coroner 
and jury he beheld a half-sullen, half-derisive expression. 
Justice, in their opinion, had been vindicated. Judge Lynch 
had done his duty. The sacred rights of the poor squat- 
ter were proclaimed in vile English with copious expec- 
toration of tobacco- juice ! 

A juryman said solemnly to Tim: 

"Young sir, you're hed a mighty close call. Be more 
keerful after this." 

"I shall pick my company, you may be sure," replied 
Tim, and the interlocutor lay awake that night for at least 
half an hour wondering what the derned Britisher meant. 

Uncle Sam took no further action. The writer hap- 
pened to be at the inquest. He prefers to record the facts 
without comment. Had Tim died, when the greaser slipped 
a knife into him, the verdict would have been Justifiable 

Don Clodomiro was laid to rest in the Catholic ceme- 


tery, and soon forgotten. Tom Bannon was buried, also. 
One of the squatters observed to the widow on the day 
of the funeral : 

"Cheer up, Marm. We give Tom a fine send-off !" 


Magdalena and Tim met alone in the sitting-room of the 
adobe. It contained some fine pieces of mahogany brought 
round the Horn in early days, and paid for with hides and 
tallow, or with slugs of gold which lay in a basket in the 
tapanco, or garret. Don Clodomiro, as a young man, would 
remove a tile from the roof, and drop a lump of tallow 
at the end of a cord into the basket, and so secure extra 
pocket-money. His father winked at such petty larceny. 
Had he not done the same in his youth? 

Magdalena looked pitifully small and forlorn in her 
black garments, but she assumed a certain dignity as be- 
came her father's daughter. Tim sat beside her upon a 
horse-hair sofa. 

"What are you going to do, Magdalena?" 

"Teem, I do not know." 

"You have this ranch and a little money in the bank 
not much." 

"You will stay with me, Teem?" 

"You want to stay on here?" 

She caught a note of protest, of surprise in his voice. 

"It is my home, Teem. I cannot go to my cousins, be- 
cause they are poor. Shall I sell Agua Caliente, no?" 

"Not yet, dear." 

He spoke of the bituminous rock, of the oil, of the hot 
sulphur spring. She listened attentively, nodding her head. 
She might be ignorant of many things, but here was no 
empty-pated girl. A woman looked into Tim's blue eyes. 

"You no want to stay, Teem ?" 

"J want to do what is best for you." 



Her eyes brightened ; a few sunny flecks danced in them, 
as she sighed: 

"You are a good, kind Teem." 

He said excitedly: 

"I am so sorry for you, Magdalena. You will never 
know, dear, how sorry I am!" 

"Ohe ! I know." She pressed his hand softly. 

"I am racking my brains to decide what is best for you. 
Your poor father asked me to watch out for you: and I 
promised him that I would." 

"Yes ; you are a good Teem." She continued quietly, as 
if she had pondered her words. "I wish you to stay here 
with me." 

"But, Magdalena " 

She just touched his lips with her finger, silencing him. 

"You have been happy here, no?" 

"Most awfully happy." 

"But sometimes, at night, you have thought of your 
own country, of England, of some pretty girls, perhaps, 
who is waiting for you, Teem." 

The bitterness in his voice brought a flush to her cheeks, 
as he replied : 

"There is no girl waiting for me, Magdalena." 

He fell into a reverie; she watched him, playing with 
the crepe upon her gown. Then she said falteringly : 

"Teem, at the last, when you take leave of my father 
did he send no message to me?" 

"He called upon the Virgin to bless you." 

Magdalena crossed herself. 

"Nothing else?" 

Tim whispered bashfully: 

"He told me to embrace you for him." 

It sounded oddly in English ; he wished that he was 
talking Spanish. Magdalena turned her cheek : 

"I will take his last kiss from you, Teem." 

He kissed her solemnly. Her head drooped till it rested 
upon his shoulder. She began to cry. 


"I am so lonely, mi amigo." 

Tim's heart thumped against his ribs. She was clinging 
to him, sobbing unrestrainedly. A tempest of emotion shook 
him and her. He, too, felt unbearably lonely and forlorn. 
She wanted him. She was a sweet, good girl, and a lady. 

He kissed the tears from her eyes. She allowed him 
to do so. He kissed her pretty hair, her forehead, and 
lastly her lips. Then doubt fled. He loved her; and she 
loved him. 



"Will you be my little wife?" 

She answered in Spanish : 

"God of my soul! I have loved you from the first. I 
adore you. I love you with all my heart and spirit and 

Her passion whirled him to heights and depths. Mag- 
dalena was a pure maiden. Must he tell her his sordid 
story, blacken the whiteness of her love? He told himself 
sorrowfully that no other course was open. If she wanted 
him and he wanted her let her take him as he was, or 
let him go. But he trembled with fear that she might let 
him go. 


He told the tale for the third time, sensible that it lost 
in the telling, that it exhaled a stale odour, which must 
offend the nostrils of the girl who listened so attentively, 
with her great eyes gazing into his. As he recited the crude 
facts, he could see his image reflected in those liquid pools, 
a shrunken presentment. He felt abnormally small. 

When he had finished, when he stood naked and ashamed 
before her, she burst again into tears. But they were shed 
for him, not for herself. She said brokenly : 

"Oh! you have suffered you have suffered. But it is 
nothing nothing. I shall make you forget, ohe! My love 


will make you forget, Teem. Don't stare at me so, you fool- 
ish boy! I am not angry. Ah! Dios! but I could strike 
Ivy. I hate her, because she hated you. You no under- 
stand me ! And you have given her a child ! And still she 
hate you ! God of my soul ! is it possible ?" 

"You are a wonder," said Tim. He added in a whis- 
per: "And not yet eighteen." 

"Eighteen!" She laughed scornfully; her bosom rose 
and fell. "I have seen girls of fourteen who would un- 
derstand and weep for you. We are not cold, we Spanish ! 
But she she must be of ice. To have you, my beautiful 
Teem, and then to throw you away ! Ay ! Ay !" 

She pressed his head to her bosom with a superbly ma- 
ternal passion. He could hear the throbbing of her heart, 
beating for him alone. 

"Heavens !" he exclaimed. "How I'll work for you !" 

She laughed happily. 

"I shall work too, my Teem. We will work together." 

Then she frowned; and Tim kissed away the frown. 

"What is it, you angel ?" 

"It will pass, but I am jealous of the boy. Is it wicked 

of me to grudge her that? Yes; yes. But if she hates 
uj | 

"No, no, Magdalena. The child is well cared for. He 
is strong and healthy." 

"Ah! Could your child be anything else? Mi querido, 
this has drawn you closer to me. How right and wise you 
were to tell me. A man can tell anything, anything to the 
woman who loves him." 

She spoke of herself as a woman ; and he had wit enough 
not to contradict her. 

They were married. 

Tim did not tell the Vicar of his marriage. Remember 
that he was living in the land of Mariana, with a daughter 


of a procrastinating race. Day by day, he postponed the 
task which involved explanations and exculpations; day by 
day it became increasingly difficult to write with entire 
frankness. He had married a Roman Catholic. To please 
Magdalena he had been received into Holy Mother Church. 
The Vicar would be terribly pained; and surely another 
man's child had caused him pain enough. No apologies 
need be offered for Tim's defection from the Church of 
England. Before and just after the Gringo came, it used to 
be a saying in Southern California that the Englishmen 
and Americans who married the senoritas and espoused 
also their religion left their consciences at Cape Horn. Tim 
wanted to please a wife who adored him. 

Magdalena made him very happy. 

One must try to behold them as Daphnis and Chloe 
in Arcadia. They were too young and too healthy to 
analyse happiness that fatal blunder! They accepted it 
joyously. Sometimes Tim would say to himself: "What- 
ever happens now, I have had an inning." 

He went about his work. As a rule, Magdalena accom- 
panied him. When he ploughed, she would drive the 
horses; when he chopped wood, she piled it into neat 
cords. He fed the horses, but she watered them. He helped 
her in the kitchen, and learned the mysterious processes of 
Spanish cooking. 

He was obliged to tell her many times a day that he 
loved her. She would laugh and hold up her finger : 

"Sure, Teem?" 

"Quite sure !" 

"Ohe, what a nice Teem you are!" 

After supper, she would curl up in a chair, and look 
at Tim, while he read aloud. Sometimes he would pause 
and say: 

"Do you understand that, Brownie?" 

And she would reply : 

"No; but I love to hear your voice. Go on, Teem." 

Then he would lay down the book or the paper, and try 



to make things clear. She had plenty of intelligence, but 
it was not prudent to lead her far from her own circle. 
She always frowned a little when he spoke of England. 
They saw few neighbours, because Magdalena held in hor- 
ror the squatters, regarding them as murderers; but the 
invasion continued. Some newcomers, not those who took 
up claims, were pleasant enough people. They bought land, 
planted out orchards, and built fairly comfortable houses. 
Many possessed independent means, and these, as a rule, 
were seeking health and climate. The fame of the sulphur 
spring spread abroad. Don Clodomiro had built a small 
shanty, holding a couple of bath-tubs, made of redwood, 
stained black by the sulphur. Tim saw possibilities of 
adding to a small income. He built some cheap bath- 
houses; and bought many towels, charging a dollar for 
a bain complet. Within six months, to the immense surprise 
of our Arcadians, they were making a hundred dollars a 
month, clear, out of the bathing establishment, with a happy 
prospect of even handsomer dividends. 

In Don Clodomiro's time there had been no garden, in 
the, English sense of .the word. In the orchard, all vege- 
tables grew like Jack's beanstalk, and over the old adobe 
clambered a few roses, blooming perpetually. Tim was 
not satisfied till he had a small lawn enclosed with a cypress 
fence, and many flowers. Watering the lawn was an easy 
job, for he bought a couple of sprinklers, which Magda- 
lena kept for ever on the move. Water never failed them. 

He noticed that Magdalena never spoke of the future 
and very rarely of the past. She lived joyously in an 
enchanting present. One day Tim said casually: 

"Your father married after he was thirty." 

"Oh, no! He married young. He was twenty; my 
mother was sixteen." 

"And you were the only child." 

"I was the youngest. There was," she checked them off 
upon her fingers, "Ramon, and Luis, and Juan, and Narciso, 
and poor Dolores." 


"Heavens ! But where are they ?" 

"They are dead, Teem." 

"Dead?" He stared at her hungrily. "But how? Why?" 

She shrugged her shoulders. 

"The consumption! Ay de mi! So many of our race 
die of the consumption. It is strange, Teem. The Indians 
die like that, too, so my father say. And now it is our 
turn. Perhaps the Gringos will die, too, no?" 


He kissed her fiercely, straining her small body to his 
mighty chest. He told himself that she enjoyed superb 
health, which was true, and henceforward he would watch 
her jealously, keep her in cotton wool, his blessed little 

"Teem, how you squeeze me! How I love to be squeezed 
by you, mi querido !" 

His fear passed, but the shadow of it lay black across 
the future. 


Once a month he wrote to and received a letter from 
the Vicar. He heard thus of his old friends, and wondered 
whether they had forgotten him. What fun it would be 
to crack a long yarn with the dear old Colonel, and to run 
round the village, chaffing the cottagers ! Perhaps he would 
never see any of them again. At such moments an odd 
yearning twisted him, not homesickness, something more 
subtile, a racial feeling, the call of mother-country which 
most exiles, however happy, must experience. 

Two years after Tim's marriage, the Vicar reported 
the news of Daffy's engagement to the eldest son of a 
rich peer, a well-known ironmaster, exalted by Gladstone 
to the Upper House, and now so the Vicar wrote a con- 
firmed Tory. "It's a big marriage, but she is a beautiful, 
clever woman. I hope she will be happy. The young man 
is in the Guards. Mrs. Carmichael told me that she was 



ready to sing her 'Nunc Dimittis/ but I accepted this with 

Tim did not show this letter to Magdalena. He rode, 
instead, into the back-pasture, tied his horse to a live-oak, 
and gave himself up to introspection. 

Daffy had become an attenuated shade haunting misty 
corners of his memory. He thought of her tenderly, but 
he might have shewn such thoughts to Magdalena. Wisely, 
he did not do so. He tried to behold Daffy as a great lady, 
a woman of high fashion. She would adorn any station. 
Her future husband, no doubt, would leave the Army and 
enter Parliament. Daffy would push him on. Her beauty 
and cleverness would be incalculable assets. 

He might have married Daffy. 

No regrets tore him. He had taken the colour of his 
surroundings. He was brown as any Spaniard, brown as 
the foothills in summer, brown and hard, physically as 
near perfection as a man can be. To love and be loved, 
to work not too strenuously at congenial tasks, to behold 
the concrete results of such labour, to make much out of 
little wasn't this sufficient for any man ? 

He could not answer the insistent question quite hon- 
estly. There were ever-recurring moments when something 
within him clamoured for greater triumphs than a small 
ranch could furnish. The Vicar sent him papers, the Spec- 
tator, then under Hutton's admirable editorship, and The 
Illustrated London News. Now and again he would see 
the picture or read news of some school-fellow who had 
achieved distinction. More often than not he could vividly 
recall the fellow as one whom he had reckoned his intel- 
lectual inferior. He was not of a jealous temperament, 
but pangs assailed him when he tried to measure the tri- 
umphs of his contemporaries. 

Magdalena wanted children, but none came to them. 

He thought of the unknown child to whom he, the fa- 
ther, was unknown. According to the Vicar, the urchin was 
thriving, a jolly little chap nearly six years old! What 


would become of him? Sometimes he wondered whether 
it might be possible to take the boy from Ivy, if Magda- 
lena bore him no others. Magdalena would mother his 
child ; he was quite sure of that. Ivy, heartless little ani- 
mal, might be glad to let him go. 

Presently, he tore up the Vicar's letter, and watched the 
summer's breeze play with the bits of paper. One bit was 
caught by a higher current and whirled out of sight. So 
it had been with him! 

In his leisure hours, he made many pencil drawings, 
much admired by Magdalena. He abandoned caricature, 
and tried to reproduce what he saw as faithfully as possi- 
ble. Continual practice brought about aptitude. Then he 
began to paint in oil, attempting many portraits of Mag- 
dalena, who declared that she loved to pose. A wandering 
artist from San Francisco saw some of his sketches. 

"These are very good," he said. "Where did you learn 
to draw?" 

Tim confessed that he was self-taught. He had always 
drawn, spoiling reams of paper. The artist nodded. 

"That's the only way. It's a pity " 

"A pity?" 

"That you can't take this up seriously. You have an ex- 
traordinary sense of colour. That is a gift. I shall never 
have it. You need two years hard work in Paris." 

"Anything else?" asked Tim. 

The artist remained a month, and was kind enough to 
overhaul Tim's colour-box, and to give him many hints. 
When he left the neighbouring village, he said to Tim: 

"Stick to your drawing. Draw everything and every- 
body. I'll send you a text-book or two on perspective 
and anatomy." 

Another year glided by. 

California was prospering ; the boom in land approached 
its zenith. One day, Tim opened a letter addressed to the 
owner of Agua Caliente Rancho; the handwriting seemed 
familiar. To his immense surprise and pleasure, the let- 



ter was written by his old friend, Harvey Cooke, written 
on business paper and typewritten. Harvey Cooke, appar- 
ently, was a real-estate agent in Santa Barbara. He wrote 
to ask if Agua Caliente was for sale, and, if so, at what 
price. Obviously, he had not the smallest idea that he was 
writing to Tim. 

In much excitement Tim shewed the letter to Magdalena, 
who advised him to answer it in person. Let him ride into 
Santa Barbara, and renew his friendship with Senor Cooke. 
That would be a fine pasear ! 

"But you do not want to sell Agua Caliente, no?'' 

"That's your affair, Brownie. If we were offered a 
thumping price, what ?" 

He looked at her curiously, wondering how she would 

"Dios! I should like my Teem to be rich. He is so 
clever, cleverer than the Gringos. It takes money ta 
make money. Father say that. I suppose we are almost 
paisanos." She sighed, adding sweetly : "I am ambeetious, 
Teem, not for myself, but for you. Ohe ! I would sell 
Agua Caliente to make you rich." 


Next day, he rode into Santa Barbara, leaving Magda- 
lena behind, although he asked her to accompany him. 

"No; you will want to talk and talk with Senor Cooke. 
I shall prepare a fiesta. Ojala! You will see!" 

Since Don Clodomiro's death, the old Indian woman had 
remained with them. Magdalena would be quite happy 
making tamales with her. 

Cooke greeted him very cordially, amazed to hear of 
Tim's marriage, and eager to recite his own adventures. 
He had bought and managed a small hotel in Santa Cruz, 
selling it eventually at a handsome profit. Then he had 
drifted into the real-estate business, the subdivision of 
I 7 8 


town plots, fire and life insurance, and so forth. He con- 
cluded on a jubilant note: 

"I am going to make a pile, Tim. It's a dead cert. I've 
caught on, cut my wisdom teeth." 

"So have I," said Tim. 

"You look fine. Lord ! how green we were in the old 
days! You must dine with us to-night. The Missus will 
hug you." 

"And the boys?" 

"Both doing well, but they've cut loose from me. One 
in the Railroad fine service! T'other is specialising in 
prunes in the Santa Clara Valley." 

Tim dined with them. Cooke cracked a bottle of cham- 
pagne. After dinner the men smoked two big cigars. Cooke 
said that he would return with Tim and inspect the sulphur 

"It's like this," he had become slightly American in his 
modes of speech, "you may have a bonanza. And bitu- 
minous rock indicates oil. You let me nose about a bit." 

"Bring Mrs. Cooke. I want her to meet my wife. We 
can put you up, if you don't mind roughing it." 

"Done !" 

"Have you any children, Tim?" asked Mrs. Cooke. 


"It is funny to think of you as a Benedict." 

Tim rode back early to prepare Magdalena. She was 
delighted at the prospect of entertaining her husband's 
friends. Nothing she possessed was too good for them. 
The old Indita and she retired to the kitchen. 

The Cookes drove over in a buggy, and stayed for two 
days. Harvey Cooke's energy fired Tim. The elder man 
seemed to be vastly impressed by the sulphur spring, al- 
though he made a grimace when he tasted the water, but 
he remarked hopefully : 

"The worse it tastes, the better. Cheap medicine !" 

Mrs. Cooke talked to Magdalena : 



"You have the dearest little place, but isn't Tim rather 
wasted on a small ranch?" 

"Ohe, I know." 

"My husband has the highest opinion of him. And you ? 
Wouldn't you be happier in Santa Barbara? Forgive an 
old woman's frankness, but you are quite charming. Tim 
is a lucky fellow. Society in Santa Barbara would wel- 
come such a nice pair." 

Magdalena said proudly: 

"I am of kin to the Estradas, and Bandinis and De la 

"Your position, then, will be assured." 


This visit brought about immense changes. Cooke's op- 
timism, combined with his natural shrewdness and worldly 
wisdom, infected Tim and Magdalena. Any suspicion that 
his old friends had paid a visit to Agua Caliente for "busi- 
ness" purposes vanished utterly, when Cooke took Tim 
aside and said : 

"Look here, my boy, I want you." 

"What for?" 

"I must have a partner. I see the finger of Providence 
in this. By George! I do. I want you, Tim, to come in 
with me right here and now. And between us we'll make 
the fur fly. I know you, and you know me. It's the chance 
of a lifetime." 

"But I've no capital." 

"I don't care. You've a good head on stout shoulders. 
And you've had an immense and invaluable experience of 
men. You can handle 'em. My notion is to run my real- 
estate business as I ran my hotel on strictly honest lines. 
Men with land to sell will hunt us, because we shall treat 
them squarely; men who want to buy land will hunt us 
for just the same reason. I tell you, it's a cinch." 


"And the ranch?" 

"Do nothing hastily about that. We must boom the 
sulphur-spring business. I suggest putting in a manager 
pro tern. We'll find some enterprising cove with coin 
who'll bore for oil on shares. The income from the spring 
and what you'll make with me will keep you going nicely 
in Santa Barbara. And, dash it! you ought to think of 
your wife. Do you propose to bury that charming creature 
in these brush hills?" 

"This is most awfully good of you." 

"As to that, I repeat I want you. I'd sooner have you 
than either of my own boys. That's a cold fact. You 
look somebody, and personality is worth big money in a 
new country." 

Tim began hesitatingly: 

"If Magdalena " 

"My dear fellow, you ask her. She won't hang back. 
She has fine blood in her ; so have you ; are you going 
to chuck all ambitions and sink into a clod?" 

"Damn it, no!" 

Magdalena and he slept little that night. Before morn- 
ing the matter was settled more or less upon the lines 
indicated by Cooke. Within a week a deed of partnership 
had been drawn up by a local attorney, and the signing 
of it furnished an occasion for more champagne. By this 
time both Tim and Magdalena were quite intoxicated by 
the possibilities panoramically displayed by Cooke. He 
prattled of private cars, steam yachts, and other toys. 

Why not? 

Nevertheless, the actual signing of the deed of partner- 
ship introduced a complication. Cooke knew Tim's name 
to be White, although, boylike, he had chosen to leave Eng- 
land under the name of Green. Cooke objected to Green. 

"Your salad days are over, Tim." 

"I hope so." 

"Some of these big land-owners might not care to en- 
trust their interests to a Britisher called Green." 



"Good! I'll chuck Green." 

"And revert to White?" 


"But why not?" 

"I have reasons. Do I look white?" 

"You look brown." 

That will do nicely. Cooke and Brown. Tim Brown." 

"It's a good, simple English name," said Cooke. 

"Floreat Brown!" cried Tim. 





IT is easy to make money in boom times, because it flows 
to Man in a percolating, ever-widening stream. When 
the slump follows, arid channels remain, and Man wonders 
where the precious fluid has gone. Moreover, to those 
who have not witnessed a big boom, the most restrained 
account must appear gross exaggeration. At the height 
of the land excitement in Southern California, greedy buy- 
ers stood in line outside the real-estate offices waiting their 
turn to gobble up town-lots which they had never seen. 
To beguile the lagging hours they read pamphlets and 
studied maps upon which were laid out cities nearly as 
large as San Francisco. 

Tim plunged into this vortex of excitement. Cooke and 
he were busy from morning till night, and far into the 
night. You might have ransacked the Golden State to 
find a team better equipped to pull together. Tim sup- 
plied youth and enthusiasm: Cooke furnished wisdom 
and tact. Cooke sat in the office, accessible to all-comers, 
invariably cheery, suave, and counselling moderation. Tim 
did the "outside" work, driving clients to ranches near and 
far, entertaining them en route with a knowledge of the 
country and its resources gleaned at first hand. The al 
fresco luncheons of the firm became famous. Tim could 
barbecue beef on willow spits and serve it piping hot to 



hungry pilgrims. He slaked their thirst with lager beer. 
He provided the best cigars. The grimmest face relaxed 
when Tim told his stories, personal experiences racy of 
the soil. Dust and heat never conquered his high spirits: 
rain failed to dampen them. 

Cooke said : "Give 'em a hog-killing time. Leave busi- 
ness to me. Yours is the harder job, my boy. You must 
play the pioneer, open up their hearts. I'll step in after- 
wards, and do the rest. Never answer any question unless 
you are sure of the right reply. Refer what you don't know 
to me. Avoid exaggeration. Our competitors are mostly 
liars, and they will be found out." 

At first the firm worked on commission, gleaning small 
but certain profits. Then a big opportunity presented 
itself. A tract of land just outside Santa Barbara was 
offered to Cooke and Brown at what seemed a large price 
even for boom times. But Cooke contended that the de- 
mand for suburban lots had hardly begun, and predicted 
that supply would not keep pace with demand when it 
did come. He so impressed James Mackinnon, the presi- 
dent of a local bank, with his views that the firm borrowed 
a sum of money sufficient to make a first payment. Mackin- 
non was reckoned to be a "hard nut," possessing an ex- 
traordinary knowledge of character, gleaned during forty 
years' strenuous business life, and the ability to use brains 
other than his own, an essential faculty of business men. 
In Cooke he recognised the pioneer, for Cooke's methods 
(since adopted by rivals and successors) were at that time 
original. The firm's scheme was this: the other payments 
due to the owner of the suburban tract were secured by 
a first mortgage on the undivided property. Mackinnon, 
therefore, had no security except the promissory note of 
Cooke and Brown, plus the conviction that the firm's "prop- 
osition" was sound. Cooke promised that all moneys from 
sales should be paid in full into the bank. A certain 
percentage of every dollar so paid was credited on the 

Santa Barbara 

firm's note of hand : the rest remained as a sinking fund 
wherewith to meet the further payments due to the owner 
of the tract. 

To-day no bank would do business upon such lines. 
Within a week the tract was surveyed and subdivided. 
Cooke sold the lots upon terms approved by Mackinnon, 
taking a one-third cash payment, and a note secured by 
mortgage for the balance. The bank discounted the notes. 
Actual facts are given, because the hypercritical might 
question the result. 

Within three months Cooke and Brown had sold every 
lot, and cleared up the deal. The firm netted sixty thousand 
dollars : everybody was satisfied : and the bank, through its 
President, hinted discreetly that it was prepared to finance 
another similar enterprise. 

Tim had a quarter share in all profits. 


Magdalena and he were living in a pretty cottage not 
far from the Arlington Hotel, the Mecca in those days (and 
no doubt still) of rich health-seekers. But after the big 
deal, Tim suggested to his wife the expediency of living 
in the hotel, more completely in touch with the health- 
seekers and idle rich. Magdalena made no objections. 

Tim said : "It won't be so dull for you, Brownie." 

"I have never been dull, Teem." 

At this time he wrote to the Vicar, telling him everything : 
his marriage, his unexpected prosperity, his intention of 
bringing his wife to Little Pennington. He enclosed a 
photograph. The Vicar wrote in reply : 

"I am rejoiced. Your little wife looks charming. I am 
sure that I shall love her dearly for her own sake. Come 
to me as reasonably soon as possible. I am not growing 
younger, my dear boy, and I have so much to say to you." 



Of course the junior partner could not be spared. 

The first fruits of the move to the Arlington were laid 
at Magdalena's tiny feet. A syndicate bought Agua Caliente 
for fifty thousand dollars. Tim and Magdalena jumped hot- 
foot to accept such a splendid offer, but Cooke remained 
calm. The syndicate proposed to build an immense hotel, 
lay out a small town, pave the streets with bituminous 
rock, and probably bore for oil. 

"Stick out for a one-tenth interest," he advised. Finally 
this was accorded also. Tim brought the money in one 
certified cheque to Magdalena. She said smilingly: 

"It is yours, Teem." 

"You sweet thing! Do you think I would touch your 
money ?" 

He spoke eloquently upon the expediency of having 
a nest egg. Magdalena became almost cross. 

"Teem, you must do what you please." 

"I shall invest it in gilt-edged stuff, city bonds or some- 
thing sound. Cooke will know." 

"Ohe! Senor Cooke will know." 

This had become a mild family joke. Cooke, in those 
days, did seem to be omniscient, but Magdalena smiled 
with faint derision when she repeated the familiar phrase. 

It never occurred to Tim that Cooke did not quite know 
all that was passing in a fond woman's heart, a woman 
constrained by circumstance to stand idle, looking on smil- 
ingly at the feverish activities of her Anglo-Saxon husband. 

The money was not invested in city bonds. Cooke took 
Tim aside out of the crowded office when his advice 
was asked. He spoke tentatively: 

"You have this fifty and almost another twenty of your 
own, eh ?" 

"As near as no matter." 

"Call it an even seventy thousand dollars. If I put up 
the same amount of money, and give you an undivided 
half interest instead of a quarter, we should control a trd 
mendous working capital." 

Santa Barbara 

Tim nodded, taking the words literally. 

"Yes, just one hundred and forty thousand dollars." 

Cooke laughed jovially: 

"My dear Tim, you are rather dense. I purposely used 
the word 'control.' Our working capital would be some- 
thing over a million." 

Tim gasped, accustomed as he had grown to big figures. 

Cooke said slowly: 

"You ignore our credit." 

"Yours, you mean." 

"The credit of the firm with the banks. With this joint 
capital in hard cash, we can control a cool million." 

"By Jove ! it makes me warm to think of it." 

"Well, think it well over. I leave it to you and Magda- 

Magdalena was told. Tim told her everything: emptied 
his mind each night for her inspection, a process known 
as delivering the budget. He believed, poor fellow, that 
she was deeply interested in his schemes, whereas, in truth, 
she was interested only in having his confidence. 

"Teem, you must do what the Sefior Cooke says." 

"But it's your money, Brownie, and I hate fooling about 
with it." 

"You want to be ver' rich, no?" 

"You bet!" 

"Then follow the advice of Sefior Cooke. He knows." 

Next week a new deed of partnership was signed. 


At this time the Santa Barbara Investment and Devel- 
opment Company was organized by Cooke, and Tim became 
Honorary Secretary. Most of the well-known business 
men in the town subscribed so much a month to this ad- 
vertising scheme, for it was nothing else. The sole object 
being to publish printed matter about Santa Barbara, and 



scatter the same broadcast over the wide earth. Cooke 
wrote articles which were inserted in the leading newspa- 
pers. Cooke spoke of these as ground-bait. The money so 
collected and spent brought fish to the net, but the time 
came when such expenditure was deemed by the Board no 
longer necessary. And then occurred an incident which 
must be recorded, because it brought unlooked-for prestige 
to Tim, as Honorary Secretary. One of the monthly sub- 
scribers happened to be a rich storekeeper, absent in Eu- 
rope when the Company was doing its best work. He 
returned to Santa Barbara about the time when the I. and 
D. was wound up. Of all subscribers, this man, Flynt, 
alone stood in arrears to the tune of some two hundred 
dollars. Tim tried to collect the money, but failed. He 
reported such failure to the Board. James Mackinnon, 
President of the Board, shrugged his shoulders. Flynt was 
a notorious pincher, so it appeared, and Tim was ignorant 
of this. 

Mackinnon said to Tim : 

"Why didn't you collect this subscription each month 
when it became due?" 

"I tried to," said Tim. "Flynt's cashier had no authority 
to pay, and asked me to wait till his chief returned. I 
thought it would be all right." 

"And it isn't," said Mackinnon drily. 

Tim flushed, conscious of implied censure. Cooke 

"We must settle the matter amongst ourselves." 

"Obviously," replied Mackinnon in the same dry tone. 

At this moment inspiration descended upon Tim. He 
said excitedly: 

"Gentlemen, I feel sure that I can screw this sub. out 
of the old fellow." 

"Not you," replied Mackinnon. 

Tim said, more quietly : 

"I feel sure of it, if the Board will give me a free hand." 

Mackinnon said curtly : 

Santa Barbara 

"In my opinion we have wasted valuable^ time over a 
small matter. It is notorious that this man repudiates such 
responsibilities. We can't go to law." 

"I can get the money," said Tim doggedly. 

Mackinnon's grim face relaxed. He liked Tim, and he 
was not averse to making a small bet when the odds were 
in his favour. 

"A box of cigars you can't!" 

"Done!" said Tim. He looked round the table. "Any 
gentleman here want to bet?" 

Three responded to the challenge. Two more boxes of 
cigars and a dinner to the Board were wagered. Tim took 
his receipt book, and tore out a page. Cooke was honorary 
Treasurer. Tim filled in the receipt and asked for Cooke's 

"After you've got the cash," said Cooke. 

"No, before. That's part of my scheme." 

Cooke signed the receipt. 

"I shall be back before the Board breaks up," said Tim. 

He sped down the street till he came to Flynt's big store. 
It was past mid-day, and Tim happened to know that at 
this particular hour Flynt held a small court. He had his 
hands in a hundred pies, pulling out plums, and amongst 
his parasites some pressman was sure to be found. 

Tim pushed his way into Flynt's office. Yes, the great 
man was enthroned in his chair, expounding his ideas to the 
crowd. Tim recognised with joy a reporter of the Santa 
Barbara Banner. 

"Good-morning, Mr. Flynt." 

"Glad to see ye, young man. Sit down!" 

"Can't," said Tim. "I've come on a little matter of 
business connected with our Investment and Development 

Flynt frowned. 

"If it's about that two hundred dollars " 

"It is," Tim raised his voice, speaking slowly and dis- 
tinctly. "The Board is in session, Mr. Flynt ; I am empow- 



ered by the President to say that we regret having pressed 
you for the payment of this small amount of two hundred 
dollars. I am happy to bring you a full receipt for the 
subscription in arrears, and to add with the Board's com- 
pliments that had we known or even suspected that you 
were financially embarrassed " 

"What, what, what ?" 

Flynt jumped up purple with rage. The reporter pricked 
up his ears : his nostrils twitched as he scented a "scoop." 

"Had we known that the meeting of so small an obliga- 
tion would have inconvenienced you " 

"Inconvenienced me? What the h 11 are you talking 

He snatched the receipt from Tim's outstretched hands, 
glancing at it with congested eyes. 

"I call this insolence. You tell old Mackinnon that with 
my compliments. As if I wanted your dirty money." 

He pulled open a drawer, grabbed a cheque-book, and 
wrote out a cheque. 

"Take that back to the Board, and mind you deliver my 

Tim smiled sweetly: 

"I shall not fail to do so. Thank you." 

Tim hurried back to the Board, and waved the cheque. 

When he explained his methods of drawing blood from 
a flint, there was rib-shattering laughter. 

A first triumph, a score off his own bat! Mackinnon 
never forgot this little incident. From that moment he 
treated Tim with distinguished consideration. 


What makes for success and popularity in a new coun-> 

try is always interesting, so no apology need be offered for 

recording another of Tim's triumphs. His energies were 

not exhausted by business, and soon he told Magdalena 


that he must find some form of physical exercise to keep 
him fit. He bought a punching bag, and punched it dili- 
gently. And he boxed with a retired exponent of the manly 
art, a veteran of fifty fights. This retired champion per- 
suaded Jim Ball, the New Zealand middle-weight, to give 
an exhibition in Santa Barbara. Jim, let it be said, had 
just landed in San Francisco and was about to go into train- 
ing to meet Tarkey, the famous slugger. The men of Santa 
Barbara assembled to see Ball spar, but, at the last mo- 
ment, Ball's manager had to announce regretfully that Jim's 
sparring partner was indisposed, having eaten, so it was 
whispered, too freely of baked clams. The manager hoped 
that some gentleman present would take his place, and he 
ventured to name one Mr. Brown. 

Loud cheers for Mr. Brown. 

Tim jumped up laughing. He was quite ready to do 
his best. This prompt acceptance of a challenge delighted 
his fellow townsmen. Tim stripped in a dressing-room, and 
faced the mighty man, who certainly weighed two stone 
more than his fighting weight. To the surprised delight of 
every man in the hall Tim held his own. It will never be 
known whether Ball was quite sober, but suddenly he at- 
tacked Tim savagely, with the obvious intention of knocking 
him out. Tim defended himself, quite aware of his antago- 
nist's loss of temper, and taking gamely a lot of punish- 
ment. But his jaw set, and his blue eyes sparkled. Ball 
began to blow heavily. Somebody at the back of the Hall 
yelled out: 

"Now's your chance, Tim !" 

Tim feinted with his left and landed hard with his right 
upon the solar plexus. Ball dropped his guard. Tim swung 
his left and hooked Ball upon the point of the jaw. With 
the same blow he had stunned Heavy Shoulders long ago. 
Ball went to the floor and remained there. 

It was nothing, a victory over a man physically unfit: 
but Santa Barbara acclaimed it as a triumph. Tim became 
the most popular citizen of the town : and it was esteemed 



a privilege to buy town lots from him. Cooke said after- 
wards : 

"As an 'ad.' that lucky punch was worth five thousand 
dollars to the firm." 

And the Senor Cooke knew! 

Meanwhile Magdalena dissembled. Tim marked no 
change in her, but a wiser than he might have been un- 

She was left alone for many hours each day with nothing 
to engross her energies but Spanish needle-work. 

She missed her poultry yard, her pots and pans, all the 
simple occupations which make for the happiness of a 
daughter of the Latin race. Her beloved Tim was dearer 
than ever, but he seemed to be striding from her. Upon 
the ranch he had worked hard : and so had she. In Santa 
Barbara he worked harder: and she was constrained to 
look on, a passive eye-witness of energies which seemed to 
exalt him to heights leaving her in the depths, for pros- 
perity frightened her. 

She spent some happy hours with her kinswomen, helping 
them in their household tasks, and she took a wholesome 
joy in putting on the pretty gowns which Tim made her 
buy and wear. Often she would walk to the picturesque 
Mission, and enter the cool, grey Church wherein she had 
been married and baptised. On her knees she would pray 
that Tim might not wander too far from her, that she might 
have once more a home of her own and a child. She knew 
that Tim wanted a child, although he never said so. But 
again and again she would mark a question in his eyes 
which was never put into words. 

A new "proposition" was stirring Tim to his centre, a 
really tremendous affair. One of the vast Spanish grants, 
still the undivided property of its owner, was offered to 

Santa Barbara 

Cooke and Brown for eight hundred thousand dollars. The 
partners rode together through park-like lands, through 
rich alluvial valleys, through brush hills, along bubbling 
creeks, past gushing springs. Experts predicted that ar- 
tesian wells might be had for the boring. The rancho 
seemed to be the natural home of the olive and, in sheltered 
spots above the frost line, the orange and lemon. 

After a week of agonising indecision and suspense, for 
other buyers were in the market, Cooke said to Tim: 

"Go and see Mac." 

"You must do that, old man." 

"No, it's your turn. He likes you and believes in you. 
Cut along!" 

Tim entered the bank parlour in fear and trembling. 
Mackinnon supposed that the junior partner had come upon 
a matter of small importance. 

"What can I do for you, Tim?" 

"I want to borrow six hundred thousand dollars!" 

"Ah! I understand. The Santa Margarita, eh?" 

"Just so." 

"Doesn't it scare you?" 

"Not a bit. I've been over every section. As you know, 
the owner wants cash." 

"Wise man." 

"Why do you say that, sir ? It seems to me that he ought 
to be satisfied with a fourth in cash, and a note and mort- 
gage for the balance." 

"He is thinking of dry years." 

"Years ? There have never been two really dry years in 

"I fear, Tim, that precedent in this case is no guarantee. 
Mr. Cooke and you mean business?" 

"We do. You will have a first mortgage on the property 
and we'll turn over all proceeds from sales as before." 

"Um! Six hundred thousand is too large a sum for 
us, but I'll see what can be done in San Francisco. You 
are prepared to pay down two hundred thousand?" 




"Call again the day after to-morrow." Tim left the 
Bank much exhilarated. Contact with customers had added 
cubits to his mental stature. Most of them were artlessly 
simple, asking the same questions and receiving cut-and- 
dried answers. If the answers happened to be unsatisfac- 
tory, they blinked and pulled out fat pocket books. They 
meant to buy: they had joined the great procession: they 
dared not lag behind. One enthusiast, who proposed to sup- 
ply the world with honey, took a fancy to a tract of land 
conspicuous for the absence of bee-food. When Tim men- 
tioned this, his client said grandiloquently : 

"Sir, it's my opinion that the very air here is full of sac- 
charine matter." 

It may have been so, doing business became very sweet 
under such auspicious conditions. 

After some exasperating delays, including a visit to San 
Francisco, the great rancho became the property of Cooke 
and Brown. Tim told Magdalena that a fortune was in 
sight. The Sefior Cooke and he expected to make a million 
within the year. Magdalena, so he thought, listened to him 
somewhat perfunctorily : but about a week later she threw 
her arms round his neck and whispered : 

"I have news for you, Teem." 

"What is it?" 

"You can't guess, no ?" 

He held her at arm's length, staring into her eyes, noting 
the happy sparks of sunlight in them, noting, too, the deeper 
flush upon her brown cheeks. 

"You don't mean ?" 

She laughed joyously, nodding her head. 

"Yes it is true. Oh, Teem, what do you say?" 

"Say? By the sun, and the moon, and all the stars, I'm 
the happiest man in the universe!" 

"And I am the happiest woman." 




AFTER this, Tim's life seemed to gain sequence and con- 
nexion. It ceased to be fortuitous. He was climbing 
steadily a mountain, and testing each foothold, never look- 
ing down, and, for the moment, not looking up, engrossed 
with the step just ahead. 

The Santa Margarita had been subdivided, and was sell- 
ing, but shewing the land to intending buyers necessitated 
organisation and attention to a thousand details. The sur- 
veyor had plotted a small town in the centre of the ranch, 
which lay some twenty miles to the north east of Santa 
Barbara : and the firm had built a fairly comfortable hotel. 
Magdalena gripped opportunity. 

"Mi querido, you are always on the road now?" 

"I have to be." 

"No, listen," she spoke very coaxingly, "listen to my plan. 
What time would be saved if you lived on the Santa Mar- 
garita !" 

"But, dash it ! I couldn't leave you." 

"I will live there with you in the old ranch-house. I shall 
be ever so happy. Teem, it will be another honeymoon for 

"It means roughing it," said Tim, "and just now " 

Magdalena, thinking how dense he was in reading her 
thoughts, cuddled up closer: 

"You foolish Teem, that is what I love. I want some- 
thing to do when you are busy away from me. I shall be 
ever so happy in a home of my own." 



Tim stared at her. She was wearing one of her dainti- 
est frocks, and she looked what indeed she was a crea- 
ture of refinement, sweetly fragrant of lavender and orris- 
root. Her pretty hands had become white and soft. She 
seemed created to adorn a charming drawing-room, to play 
the part of hostess and mistress, issuing her orders and 
seeing that they were carried out. 

He exclaimed sharply : 

"I loathe the idea of your messing about a kitchen, and 
all that." 

A gesture implied a casting to the void of manual work. 

"But you did not loathe it at Agua Caliente, no ?" 

"Of course not." For the instant he was cornered, but 
he went on lucidly enough : 

"We had to do it : and we made the best of it. Grin and 
bear it was rubbed into me in the foc'sle of The Cassandra. 
. . . And when I tramped the road too, by George ! I take 
it that we should make the best of things if we were poor 
again, but we're not poor. We've money to burn. A home 
of your own! Do you suppose that I'm not thinking of 

that, and longing for it ! And what sort of a home do 

I see you in? One of these beastly frame houses with a 
couple of cheeky servants? Not much! My thoughts, 
Brownie, dwell permanently somewhere in Hampshire, in 
or near the New Forest. I mean to buy a place that will 
be a proper setting for you, a dream of a place, a lovely 
old manor house, in lovely old gardens, where you will reign 
as queen over a decent establishment." 

She kissed him softly. 

"Yes, I know you think of that, but " She sighed 

and remained silent, gazing at him wistfully. 

"But what?" 

"Somehow, my Teem, I do not see myself over there." 

"Not likely, considering that you've never been out of 
Santa Barbara county." 

She resumed her coaxing tone. 

The Cherub 

"Ohe ! It will be nice to be queen, of your big house, but 
now, Teem, I want to go to Santa Margarita." 

"Because you are an unselfish darling : because you think 
it would help me." 

"Santisima Virgen ! I want it for myself. I swear !" 

"All right. I'll think it over." 

The Senor Cooke furthered Magdalena's schemes, and, 
possibly, Mrs. Cooke divined something of what was ran- 
kling in the little woman's mind. Ultimately Tim and his 
wife took up their quarters in the Santa Margarita ranch 

Money poured in. 


Business was conducted upon simple lines. Tim would 
show land to intending purchasers, and talk fluently of 
what had been done elsewhere under similar conditions of 
soil and climate, adumbrating what could be done upon the 
Santa Margarita. He had the patter of his calling. His 
experiences before the mast and tramping the roads were 
priceless. He knew what the intending settler wanted be- 
fore the man opened his mouth. He could size him up. 
Cooke had drawn a form of contract which the most igno- 
rant could understand. Upon signing this buyers would 
pay down a small sum, sufficient to bind the bargain. Cooke 
did the rest. As a rule the buyer was impatient for a deed, 
delivered when a one-third payment was made. A note of 
hand for the balance, secured by mortgage, together with 
the one-third payment, was duly deposited with Mackin- 
non: whereupon the particular lot sold was released from 
the original first mortgage held as security by the two 
banks, local and metropolitan, who had made the loan of 
six hundred thousand dollars. By this time more than 
half of this immense sum had been paid. Cooke and Brown> 
in fine, stood on a variegated carpet of their own weaving, 
and were accorded honorable mention in Bradstreet. 



In this selling of land Tim achieved eloquence. He 
beheld men of all sorts and conditions dominated by his 
enthusiasm, held spell-bound by his words. It would be 
futile to record these speeches, which varied infinitely. 

Relevant to this narrative was the effect on Tim him- 
self. He became a man permeated with the conviction that 
he might accomplish greater and more enduring triumphs 
than those which now engrossed mind and body. 

He became, too, impatient, of the limitations and disabili- 
ties of others. One day he happened to be strolling down 
the main street of Santa Barbara, when a Cheap Jack stand- 
ing on a hand cart was selling, or rather attempting to sell, 
notions to an indifferent and derisive crowd. Tim listened. 
Probably the poor fellow was tired or ill. He mumbled 
on till Tim felt angry with him. 

"You don't know how to sell your stuff," he remarked. 

The Cheap Jack glared at Tim. 

"Don't I? Mebbe you think that you could do it, Mis- 

"I'd get more ginger into my patter than you do. Here ! 
Come off it! I'll have a shot." 

To the delight of the crowd, who remembered Tim's 
victory over Ball, the Cheap Jack was seized by Tim, and 
deposited upon the ground. Tim leapt upon the hand-cart. 

"You're a lot of blooming fools," he shouted, as the 
crowd cheered lustily. "And half blind, too, and cold- 
blooded pagans in a Christian land. Can't you see that this 
poor devil is sick? But his stuff is all hunky, just what 
you want. Now come on! Step up and bid! Be lively 1 
there ! Take aholt !" He snatched up a coffee-pot. "What 
am I offered for this patent coffee-pot? Brews the most 
delicious coffee out of beans while the bacon is frizzling. 
Automatic, everlasting, and just the notion which you, 
ma'am, have been hunting ever since you led that lucky 
man, your husband, to the altar. Fifty cents ! Thank you, 
Ma'am. Go the seventy-five five five! Thank you, Sir, 
the men are more generous than the ladies. Hi, you, my 

The Cherub 

old friend at the back, with a big wad in your pocket which 
I saw yesterday. Go the dollar! I'm bid one dollar for 
an article which will pay for itself in a fortnight. One- 
twenty-five ! This is a Christian land after all. . . ." 

Everybody cheered, chaffing Tim, who chaffed back. 
When he descended from the cart it was empty. 

He liked the Americans, and they liked him. He dressed 
and spoke like a Son of the Golden West: and there is 
more joy in California over one Britisher who "catches on" 
to Western ways and manners than over ninety and nine 
blameless tourists who carry England with them wherever 
they go. 

Cooke and Brown employed Americans to work for them. 
There were half a dozen "live" clerks in the office, and 
two individuals outside, known as "Fatty" and "Skinny." 

Fatty was a bean-fed product of the county, a huge, 
smiling red-faced fellow, full of humour, and a shrewd 
judge of human nature. Skinny had lately come from the 
mid-west. He drove one of the firm's many buckboards, 
and suffered from dyspepsia and melancholia. Tim used 
the pair as object lessons, illustrating the salubrity of the 
Southern California climate. Some of his customers came 
from the ague-stricken interior. To them Tim would say : 

"Gentlemen, kindly look at those men. They are known 
in Santa Barbara as "Before" and "After." The stout pink 
complexioned champion has lived in this town for forty 
years. The invalid, who can't be seen when he's standing 
behind a telegraph post, has just left bleeding Kansas. But 
he's putting on weight." 

Such talk soaped the ways whereon some sulky, obsti- 
nate pilgrim would slide to the signing of a contract. 


It was great fun while it lasted. 
Magdalena's baby was born on the Santa Margarita. Tim 
wished her to move back to the Arlington, but she refused. 



Fortunately, a doctor had bought land not far from the 
ranch-house: and he proved most faithful in his ministra- 
tions. A Spanish woman came as nurse. In the chicken 
corral thirty tender chickens were penned and fattened in 
accordance with Spanish custom. Magdalena, like her 
Mother and Grandmother before her, intended to lie in bed 
for exactly one calendar month and eat a broiler each day. 
"Toujours perdrix" is a story that has no moral for the 

To Tim's immense relief, the confinement was not severe, 
testing the husband's fortitude more than the wife's. The 
Doctor heartened him up before the event by saying that 
women of the Latin race had a comparatively easy time. 

"Why?" asked Tim. 

"Compensation, perhaps." 

The baby was a big fat boy, blue-eyed, like Tim. Magda- 
lena lay in bed perfectly happy. Her cup was full and brim- 
ming over. She whispered to Tim: 

"Now I am no longer jealous." 


"Ojala ! How jealous I have been thinking of the other." 

"What other?" 

Was she delirious ? 

"Ivy's boy in England." 

Tim grew hot and uncomfortable. He had forgotten 
the other. But it was his his! And he had never seen it, 
this waif who had crept into life by a back-alley. He 
kissed Magdalena, and held her hand which lay soft and 
limp in his own. He was transported to Lanterton. He 
tried to envisage Ivy and the urchin brought up as a Jel- 

"Fancy being jealous of that poor little stray!" 

"It has passed." 

"I am ashamed to say, Brownie, that I had forgotten him. 
Now that I am prospering I ought to do something, if any- 
thing can be done." 

"Do you want him, Teem?" 

The Cherub 

He frowned, considering the question, seeking to answer 
it honestly. At Agua Caliente, when he had taken for 
granted that Magdalena would bear him no sons, he had 
speculated often and long upon the possibility of getting 
Ivy's child. But he had dismissed the idea as impracti- 

Did he want the other? 

No. His ripening intelligence co-ordinated swiftly the 
many complications. Tongues would wag maliciously. He 
said with decision: 

"I do not want him." 

"Sure, Teem?" 

"Ab solutely." 

Magdalena, however, perceived with bitter-sweet emotion 
that Tim wanted her child. He hung over it as it lay asleep 
in its basinette: he helped to bathe it; he talked to it ab- 
surdly, when he might have been talking to her. 

She asked herself if she were jealous of her own baby, 
dismissing the idea as ridiculous. Suppose this fat boy 
came between her and her husband ? She was too sensible 
to encourage such alarms and excursions into the future, but 
they flitted into her mind like bats, nasty hybrid creatures 
which must be driven out of all well-ordered rooms. 

Within a week, an appalling thing happened. The nurse 
was summoned away to the bed of a dying mother. It was 
impossible to replace her. Tim took charge of the baby. 
Not during the day, for neighbours were kind, but at night. 
And the little wretch slept peacefully most of the day, and 
remained wide awake and very cross most of the night. The 
Doctor, much to Magdalena' s rage, said that the child must 
be weaned. Tim bought a book, entitled "How to feed 
our Baby," and pored over it : he had to prepare the artificial 
food at night: he dared reckless man! to experiment. 
The experiments disagreed with the Cherub, for so Tim had 
named him. He howled horribly, twisting up his tiny legs 
when colic seized him. He began to lose his nice rolls of 
fat : a faint blue tinge crept about his eyes and mouth. Tim 



was in despair. Laborious days and sleepless nights affected 
even his iron constitution. 

Finally, Mrs. Cooke arrived and dealt drastically with 
the abominable situation. 

"There is nothing wrong but this. The food is far too 
rich. A tablespoonful of cream in each bottle! Good 
Heavens! We'll dilute the present mixture with an equal 
amount of lime-water." 

Within two days the Cherub was restored to high health : 
and Tim slept as peacefully as his son. 

But it had been an experience emphasising the tremen- 
dous appeal of weakness to strength. Tim loved the baby 
the more, because for ten awful nights he had exhausted 
himself in tending it. And again, through his experiments, 
he had nearly killed the atom. That reflection was humili- 
ating. Certainly, he had a lot to learn about babies. 


When the Cherub was five months old, his father and 
mother returned to Santa Barbara. The big rancho was 
practically sold out, and a settlement followed with the 

Cooke and Brown found themselves with a huge sheaf of 
Bills Receivable, the promissory notes, secured by mortgage. 
When these were paid in full there would be, as Cooke had 
foreseen, nearly a million dollars to divide. Meanwhile 
the firm was short of cash although rich in what is termed 
collateral security. The ordinary commission business went 
on as usual, but competitors had secured much of that, be- 
cause Cooke refused business unless he was able to give it 
personal attention. Tim and he were planning a bigger 

At Magdalena's entreaty, Tim rented a house standing 
in a pretty garden. Two Chinamen were engaged. Tim 
wished to entertain, and Magdalena raised no objections. 

The Cherub 

Many distinguished travellers sat at the round table in the 
pretty dining-room, admiring Magdalena but talking to 

He was now five and twenty, and able so he put it to 
whip his weight, some twelve stone, in wild cats. Magdalena 
had become slightly matronly. 

That winter placed Southern California upon what is 
known in revivalist circles as "the anxious, seat." Light 
rains fell in November, and a few showers in December, 
but January ushered in a terrible series of cloudless days. 

Rain was prayed for in the churches, but it did not come. 
A rain-maker arrived from Texas, and burnt much powder. 
The clouds gathered and passed on withholding the precious 
moisture. The miseries of a dry year became inscribed 
upon the faces of the people. All were affected by the 
drought except the rich health-seekers, who rejoiced too 
exuberantly in the soft sunshine. Cooke, however, re- 
mained invincibly optimistic. 

"This," said he to his partner, "is our Heaven-sent chance. 
There is a slump in prices. People are scared." 

"Don't blame 'em," growled Tim. 

"Buy on the slumps," quoted Cooke, "We must get hold 
of every acre we can." 

There were three vast tracts of land to the south of 
Santa Barbara upon which the firm held an option. But 
a high price was demanded. 

"The price is steep," admitted Cooke. 

"So is some of the land," said Tim. 

More, the tracts in question lay in a zone much drier 
than that of the Santa Margarita, but nearer to the rail- 
road. Cooke observed thoughtfully : 

"A definite offer, say twenty per cent, less than what is 
asked would be accepted." 

"Yes," said Tim. 

It was, in fine, an immense speculation, sufficient to give 
pause to the most daring. Adequate rains meant a steady 



rise in land values : drought spelt disaster. Tim and Cooke 
talked till their tongues ached. Then Tim said curtly: 

"Damn it all, let's pitch up half a dollar. If the eagle 
bird is on top, we'll sail in." 


Tim produced the coin and spun it, letting it fall to the 
ground. It struck on its edge and rolled beneath an immense 

"More suspense," said Tim. 

The desk was moved : and the eagle bird met two pairs 
of excited eyes. It seemed to be flapping its wings. 

"Bueno!" said Tim. 

"I believe in prayer," murmured Cooke, "but these slack- 
ers don't pray hard enough." 

The offer o.f the firm was accepted: and gangs of sur- 
veyors and chainmen went to work. 

And then the rain poured down copiously : and the foot- 
hills became translucently green and ablaze with wild flow- 
ers. A great syndicate, operating in San Francisco, des- 
patched a silver-tongued representative to Santa Barbara. 
He wasted no words at first 

"What will you gentlemen take for your bargain ?" 

"It is a bargain," said Cooke. 

"We do not dispute that. The rain fell in the nick of 
time. I admit that we were suffering up north from cold 
feet. I am empowered to offer you a very substantial ad- 
vance on the price paid by you." 


"Twenty per cent." 

"We must think that over," said Cooke. 

Their visitor withdrew. 

"Well?" said Cooke. "Cash talks, Tim, and we haven't 
too much of it." 

"I have that half 4ollar. I'm keeping it as a relic." 

"Spin it! If the eagle bird turns up again we'll take 
the cash, and a holiday, too. England, my boy, for both 
of us." 


The Cherub 

But the eagle bird did not turn up. The silver-tongued 
orator exhausted a copious vocabulary. Cooke and Brown 
refused to deal. 

One day a tall, well set-up Englishman dressed in grey 
flannels strolled into the office. The office boy grappled 
with a name not too clearly articulated, and said to Tim: 

"There's an English lord enquiring for you." 

"An English lord," repeated Tim, "what lord?" 

"I missed his name." 

"Shew him in." 

The tall Englishman sauntered in, gazing about with that 
air of condescending detachment so exasperating to Ameri- 
cans. He sat dov/n and began to fill a briar pipe. Tim 
took a dislike to the man before he had spoken a word, 
recognising and resenting his easy, patronising manner. 
Tim said quickly: 

"I am sorry, but the boy missed your name." 

"I am Lord Rokeby." 

Tim looked puzzled. The name seemed extraordinarily 
familiar. Then he remembered that Daffy had married 
Lord Rokeby's son. But here was a young man not much 
older than himself, perhaps thirty. Could it be possible that 
this was Daffy's husband? His visitor continued in rather 
a bored voice: 

"We my wife and I are at the Arlington. I heard that 
you were an Englishman. And so I er dropped in." 

"I am glad to see you," said Tim, but he wasn't. Yes, 
this was Daffy's husband. Why did she marry him ? What 
a commonplace type! And she, Daffy, was with him, not 
a quarter of a mile away. The blood rushed into his face. 
Rokeby, who was leisurely filling his pipe, continued : 

"Rather disappointed in Santa Barbara. Disappointed in 
California generally. Transition period, what? People 
very aggressive. Furious if you don't crack 'em up." 



"I like them," said Tim crisply. 

"They tell me you've been successful, made a pot, and 
all that." 

"I have been lucky," Tim admitted modestly. 

Rokeby surveyed him with an approbation which he might 
have shewn to a likely hunter, or a promising retriever. 
Evidently a dog and horse fellow, this husband of Daffy's. 
He said curtly: 

"You look a bit of a thruster." 


"I might invest a few hundreds here if I saw a profit 
in sight. Can you shew me any town property?" 



"Now if you like." 

Again his leisurely lordship favoured Tim with an ap- 
proving nod. 

"Right! Come on." 

Outside the office Tim pulled himself together. He must 
be careful not to shew his dislike to Daffy's husband. As 
a member of the firm it behooved him to treat possible buy- 
ers with courtesy. Also, he desired to meet Daffy. His 
pulses throbbed at thought of her. Had she changed abomi- 
nably, become a mannequin, a society puppet? Would she 
recognise him? And if she didn't, should he reveal himself? 

"I'll drive you round the town," said Tim. 

The horse in the light buggy pleased Rokeby, and he 
said so when that gallant trotter struck a three minute gait 
upon a level stretch of road. He asked the question pat to 
any Englishman's lips when he meets a fellow-countryman. 
How long had Tim been in California? Was there any 
trout fishing handy? Any bears abroad in the hills? Tim, 
answering these adequately, aroused further interest, cul- 
minating in the inevitable: 

"Are you a public school man?" 



The Cherub 


"You don't say so. Same here. What house?" 

"I was a Tug." 

Rokeby nodded. Since leaving Eton he had amended 
a youthful dislike of Tugs. He became quite friendly and 
lost his condescending manner, ending up effusively: 

"I say, can't you dine with us? I'd like you to meet 
Lady Rokeby. She takes what she's pleased to call an 
intelligent interest in local conditions. If you don't mind 
being bored stiff by questions about these damned Missions 
and olive oil and Yankee politics, join us to-night." 

"With pleasure." 

Soon afterwards the talk drifted into business channels : 
and it was forced upon Tim's attention that this ex-Guards- 
man was the son of a famous ironmaster. Rokeby, evi- 
dently, had inherited some of his sire's executive ability. 
His manner became offensive again after he had inspected 
some "eligible" town property. 

"The boom is over," he said sharply. "These prices will 
come down with a tumble. They go stark mad over here. 
Lord ! what a slump there'll be presently. And it's a damned 
ticklish climate. And the settlers know nothing about farm- 
ing. They starve the soil with repeated wheat and barley 
crops. You take my tip: it's a good 'un: and you seem a 
good chap. You've made a pot. Pick it up quick, and go 
home. There's no place like England, and never will be." 

"I can't go home yet," said Tim. 

He was impressed but unwilling to admit it. Cooke and 
he were agreed upon the expediency of getting out on the 
top of the boom. To wait for the slump which must fol- 
low would be idiotic. The wisest men in the state, the big 
bankers, the publicists, the men of science, predicted seven 
fat years of ever increasing prosperity. 

Rokeby went on abusing American methods, while Tim 
interpolated a "yes" or "no" when such monosyllables be- 
came necessary. He was thinking of Daffy. Ought he to 
startle her as he might? It would be awkward indeed 



if she cut him, refused to sit at meat with him. Finally he 
dismissed such speculation as childish. She was now a 
woman of the world, able to confront any emergency with 
a cool smile. 

Rokeby and he returned to the office. 

"Half-past seven," said Rokeby. "We're at the Arlington. 
I'll promise you a decent cigar, not one of those beastly 
green weeds." 

Tim watched him striding towards the hotel. 

Daffy's husband ! 


He had to tell Magdalena that he was dining out. She 
expressed no surprise, assuming the dinner to be a matter 
of business. Some capital deals had been consummated in 
the Arlington dining-room. Then he added that he was ex- 
pecting to meet an old friend, Lord Rokeby 's wife. Magda- 
lena's suspicions, or shall we say instincts, were quickened 
not by his words but by his voice, which had an inflection 
of tenderness when he pronounced Daffy's name. She had 
never heard of Daffy, but she swooped straight to the con- 
viction that Tim must have liked her long ago. In her 
soft beguiling tones she asked: 

"She was a great friend, no?" 

"Daffy Carmichael was a little girl of sixteen, with her 
hair in a pigtail. We were pals. I pulled her out of a pond 
once. She may be cold as Greenland's icy mountains, for 
she heard all about the storm which blew me out of Little 

"Ohe! Was she very pretty?" 

"Yes. And now a haughty beauty." 

"She won't be haughty with you, Teem." 

"It's like this, I've half a mind to hide under the name 
of Brown. She simply can't recognise me." 

"She will, if she liked you. Oh, yes." 

"I'll bet you she doesn't." 

The Cherub 

"I'll bet with you, Teem." 

"Six pairs of white silk stockings against a pair of waders. 
Mine are worn out." 

"Bueno !" 

"By George! If she doesn't know me, I'll say nothing. 
I'd hate to have any gossip started here." 

"Dios! she would not start gossip." 

"Why not?" 

"Because she liked you, I know. You will see." 

Tim arrived punctually, and was shewn into the hotel 
drawing-room. Several people were present, but he recog- 
nised Daffy instantly. She stood by herself, for Rokeby 
was not in the room. He beheld a tall, slender woman in 
green, a soft pale sea-green which suited admirably her fair 
hair and delicately tinted skin. Her eyes he would have 
recognised anywhere, because of the fearless look, but he 
noted a change. The candid, direct glance had become more 
pervasive, as if it swept wider horizons. It was almost 
panoramic. He divined instantly that this once dear crea- 
ture, so familiar and so strange, searched for what was 
big in life, ignoring perhaps the little things which count 
tremendously with most women. He noted, also, in that 
first, all-embracing, hungry stare, that her face revealed pa- 
thos. He knew that she was not happy. 

He came forward slowly, having dismissed the servant 
upon the threshold of the room. He felt reasonably cer- 
tain that she would fail to recognise his voice, because it 
had deepened. 

As he approached she saw him, and the pupils of her eyes 

"I am Mr. Brown," he said quietly. 

"Heavens !" she exclaimed. "You are Tim !" 

She held out both her hands, with a radiant smile upon 
her lips. 




ROKEBY sauntered in some three minutes later, but 
much can be said by two eager souls in a short space 
of time. Daffy and Tim met after eight years, met as man 
and woman, and yet, for the moment, there was no re- 
straint. The old friendship renewed itself spontaneously. 
Tim became instantly conscious that Daffy understood, that 
she wanted him to remain her friend. He expected re- 
serves, a certain coldness which might be thawed, or might 
not. But her gracious welcome re-established intimacy upon 
the former firm basis. The strength of that intimacy 
was something above and beyond sexual attraction. Always 
he had been able to talk to Daffy with entire frankness, to 
be himself. Even with Magdalena, except perhaps during 
the months just after their marriage, he was sensible of 
reserves on both sides. His affairs, the growth of an im- 
mense business, for example, with its roots wandering in 
many directions, inspired no interest or excitement in her 
beyond the fact that it interested and excited him. When 
he spoke of other men's achievements her attention wan- 
dered. And, often, he had to admit that he did not quite 
know what Magdalena wished. She dissembled sweetly in 
her desire to please him. He was well aware by this time 
that she had detested the life at the Arlington : and it vexed 
him terribly that she had undergone months of distress quite 

Let us hasten to add that an increasing knowledge of 
essential difference between a dear little wife and himself 

Sunshine and Shadow 

had not undermined love. He counted himself, as well 
he might, to be one of the luckiest of men, and, tempera- 
mentally he fixed his eyes upon the bright side of things. 

With Magdalena, too, especially of late, he had, almost 
unconsciously, striven to appear slightly other than he was, 
straining upwards towards her idealised conception of him. 
She believed him to be the strongest and cleverest of men. 
Insensibly, a certain pose was forced upon him. 

To pose before Daffy would be ridiculous. 

Daffy said at once: 

"You got my letter?" 

"Months after it was written." 

"Yes, yes : when Mother told me why you had left Little 
Pennington I knew that you would not answer it." 

"I couldn't. It was too late." 

"My poor Tim, what an experience for both of us! I 
suffered horribly, and so, of course, did you." 

"Yes, it has passed. I suppose you loathed me." 

She smiled faintly, and the smile was maternal. He won- 
dered whether she had children. 

"If you think that, Tim, you never really knew me." 

"I am married," said Tim. "I must bring my wife to 
see you. She is a dear and a sweet. I began badly, Daffy, 
the luck was against me : but Fortune has been kind." 

"Here is Rokeby," said Daffy. 

Rokeby slowly approached. He was in evening dress, 
which became him better than loose grey flannel. He had 
assumed again his air of aloofness. An American woman, 
standing not far from Tim, said to her companion: 

"Say he's IT, isn't he?" 

Tim caught the whisper, and had to stifle a laugh. In- 
disputably Rokeby was IT, exasperatingly IT! The fact 
that his assumption of superiority was quite unconscious, 
absolutely free from any taint of pose, and also ludicrously 
independent of mental or moral or physical supremacy 
tickled Tim's humour. It was funny to reflect that there 
were thousands of Rokebys sauntering about the world, 



imposing their mediocre personalities upon others whom 
they were pleased to designate as foreigners : condescend- 
ingly bland, and impassive, and self-confident. 

"Hullo, Brown!" 

Daffy's eyebrows went up. Brown? She was expecting 
a Mr. Brown to dine with Rokeby and herself. Tim had 
announced himself as Mr. Brown. But she had held out 
both hands to Tim. 

"Ought to have been down. Sorry!" 

Tim explained matters fluently : 

"Lady Rokeby and I are old 'friends. She knew me long 
ago as Tim White. I ran away to sea. I was very green 
in those days. I took the name of Green. When the green- 
ness was burnt out of me I selected Brown. This is be- 
tween ourselves." 

Rokeby nodded imperturbably. This fellow was an origi- 
nal, parti-coloured dog. Worth a dinner, anyhow, 

"Come on into the dining-room." 

The dinner was very pleasant. Rokeby ceased to be 
superior when talking with an old Etonian. He exhibited 
no surprise when his wife said incisively: 

"You mustn't call me Lady Rokeby, my dear Mr. Brown, 
I shall be Daffy to you, I hope, and you will be Tim to 
me to the end of the chapter." 

Tim laughed gaily. 

When he reached home Magdalena was waiting for him 
with the familiar smile which always greeted him. 

"I've had a very jolly evening," said Tim. 

"And I have won my bet, Teem, no?" 

"You have, you little witch. Lady Rokeby recognised me 
at once." 

"Ohe I knew that." 


The Rokebys spent a week in Santa Barbara. Tim and 
Magdalena passed many hours with them. Rokeby, it ap- 

Sunshine and Shadow 

peared, had come into his kingdom shortly after marriage. 
He had left the Army and was giving more or less atten- 
tion to his late father's business. There were no children. 
After a long afternoon upon the beach, during the course 
of which Rokeby paid rather marked attention to Tim's 
wife, Magdalena said with a wise smile : 

"Lady Rokeby did not marry for love." 

Tim betrayed a slight resentment, as he answered quickly : 

"Daffy is incapable of selling herself." 

"Dios ! I do not say that. But we poor women 

She paused, pursing up her lips, seeking the right phrase 
in a foreign tongue. Tim and she had ceased to talk Spanish 
when alone. 


"We are so different from you big, strong men. We 
marry for many reasons which seem good to us. If it is for 
love alone bueno! That is the best reason. If it is not 
for love, we think, perhaps, that love will come. We are 
so curious, too, my Teem. We lie awake and wonder what 
it is like to be married. And if we cannot love, we love 
to be loved. Ay! Ay! And often it is so dull at home. 
My poor cousins say that. They would marry to escape 
from Tia Maria Luisa if any nice man ask them. You call 
that selling yourself?" 

"No: I don't, but " 

"Some of us want babies, Teem. I think Lady Rokeby 
is like that. When she was alone with me, and I shew her 
Baby, she kneel down by the cot and cuddle him. And 
then she cry a little. Mebbe she was fond of Baby because 
she likes you so much : mebbe she wants one of her own. 
I do not know." 

"Of course she wants a son. So does Rokeby. So does 
every man worth his salt." 

"Ay di mi ! I am sorry for them both. She is bored with 
him : and he is bored with her. It is sad." 

"It is," said Tim shortly. 

Was he annoyed because Magdalena had guessed the 


truth? Not a complaint leaked from Daffy's lips. Alone 
with Tim, she talked with surprising sympathy of his life, 
not her own. She entered with zest and intelligence into 
his schemes, pored over maps and pamphlets, criticised his 
methods, rejoiced over triumphs, and predicted more to 
come. And yet, great and swift as his success had been, she 
seemed not quite satisfied with it. Her manner and expres- 
sion betrayed her. 

He perceived that she was leading him on, an old trick! 
She wanted to escape from California upon the wings of 
his imagination. 

"And afterwards?" 

He sketched for her, as he had sketched for his wife, a 
home in England, a sanctuary in Arcadia. Daffy laughed, 
shaking her head. 

"She is charming, your wife, but a solitude a deux !" 

"We were quite alone on the ranch, and as happy as 

"But, then, you had not tasted blood. Frankly, does this 
big business suffice ? Do you want to go on and on till you 
own and subdivide the earth?" 

"We shall get out, of course, before the slump comes." 

"If you can." 

"If we can. And then Cooke and Brown will make a bee 
line for England." 

"I follow you. Hunting, shooting, fishing, mild politics, 
a seat on the bench what else?" 

"Old Daff, you worm things out of a fellow." 

"There is something: I knew it." 

"I have an ambition : I think I have always had it It's 
bedrock, cropping out continually. I had it as a kiddy, as 
a boy, as a tramp. It is stronger than ever now because 
it is buried beneath all this land : but it's there, Daffy, and 
it will crop out again." 

"You want to write." 

"Write? Perhaps I could write. But I should have to 
set down life as it is, the beastly parts. And I hate all that. 

Sunshine and Shadow 

Zola, for instance, makes me sick. Daffy, I want to paint." 

"To paint !" she repeated softly. 

"Don't laugh. Colour appeals to me tremendously. I 
have never spoken of it, not even to Magdalena. She knows 
that I am always drawing: and I painted a lot on the ranch, 
but to her it is a pastime. There are a few fine pictures 
in private houses here. They say nothing to her, but to 
me . . ." 

She regarded him curiously, for he was revealing a new 

"Try to tell me how you feel . . ." 

"It is a sort of religion." He went on, with less restraint. 
"What is religion, Daffy? We had rather a dose of what 
they call religion in Little Pennington. Cut and dried, eh? 
Cut and come again describes it better. It was the real, 
right thing for most of 'em. I've come to see that. The 
mistake they made, at least so it seems to me . . . was 
their inability to realise that religion should not be standard- 
ised. You can't impose the same formulas upon everybody, 
regardless of immense differences. What nourished dear 
Mary Nightingale disagreed violently with me. But it 
would be impossible to make her see that." 

"Tim: I have been through this." 

"As if I didn't know! There's Magdalena. She's a 
dyed-in-the-wool Roman, accepts everything, questions noth- 
ing. I wouldn't shake her faith in doctrine and dogma 
for a clear deed to this State. I'll tell you another secret. 
Lord ! how this does bring back our heart-to-heart talks in 
the old Dell. I joined the Roman Church because I was 
terrified of upsetting Magdalena's artless faith. I haven't 
had the pluck to tell the Vicar. Magdalena would stew 
herself into a fever if she thought of me as a heretic. And 
to me the Roman Church is no better and no worse than 
the English Church. Each is cocksure of itself. The Non- 
conformists are nearly as bad. There are plenty of Calvins 
still alive. Religion ought to be something bigger than cram- 
ming dogmas down unwilling throats. Well, there it is." 



Daffy said quietly : 

"But this religion of yours?" 

"I am clearing the way, burning the brush. I left doc- 
trine and dogma behind in Little Pennington. The Pen- 
nington code was behind my misdoings. I didn't know 
it then. It's coming to me clearly now. I've talked with 
Cooke. He's taught me a lot. I was pitchforked into Eton 
without a word of warning. When I slipped out of Col- 
lege for a lark I didn't know what interpretation might 
be placed upon such an adventure. If I had known, I should 
not have been expelled. Now we come to the unspeakable 
offence. I swear to you that Ivy Jellicoe and I never con- 
sidered consequences until it was too late. The unstained 
code again. I'm not a fool. Had I been taught a little 
physiology, I should be in India instead of here. Thank 
the Lord I am here! Then I found myself in the fo'csle 
of a sailing ship, and I began to get my bearings. I came 
aboard compassless, wild with rage and misery. Sun, 
and wind, and work blew all that bang out of me. And 
ever since, bit by bit, day by day, I've been reconstructing 
some order out of my little chaos. I haven't found what 
I want yet, but I'm hunting hard." 

"Poor old Tim!" 

"Don't pity me, Daffy, I am glad that I've been through 
all this. I feel, by George, as some of our old timers feel, 
when they listen to the tourists that cross the Rockies in a 
Pullman sleeper. California can never be to the tourist 
what it is to the pioneer. Well we get at last to my paint- 
ing. I had to have some sort of religion. I went aloft and 
looked at the sky and sea. I tramped the roads half-starv- 
ing and broken in health, and I looked at the eternal hills. 
And something something came to me. How am I to de- 
scribe it? Shall I call it a sense of beauty? Or a con- 
viction that all ugliness passes away. I have seen great 
forests swept by fire. The beauty blotted out, nothing but 
blackened stumps of trees, and smouldering ashes. And 
then, a year or two afterwards, a miracle! A resurrection! 

Sunshine and Shadow 

Or a heavenly calm after a terrifying storm. Daffy, dear, 
these experiences made me see the colour of life, its infinite 
shades and gradations of tint. I think of myself sometimes 
as a chameleon. I've tried to adapt myself to my surround- 
ings, to absorb the colour in them. I could never be white 
again, or green. I am passing now through the brown phase. 
There will be others. And this colour which I have ab- 
sorbed must come out, find expression, but not in words: 
they are such feeble things. I realised that when I tried 
to explain to Magdalena what I felt about a great picture. 
But if I could paint " 

"Tim, will you show me some of your drawings and 
paintings ?" 

He groaned : "They're awful !" 

"Let me see them, please!" 

"All right. I seem to have jawed a lot." 

"It interested me enormously. I think as you do about 
the Little Pennington code. It did not adapt itself to in- 
dividuals, only to certain types. There was no elasticity, 
no resiliency. I I have been rolled in the dust, too." 

"Tell me, Daffy." 

"I can't. Some day perhaps, when we are older. I have 
been through the mill." 

"It has ground you fine." 

"Don't say that, Tim! I have listened to you talking 
about yourself, but don't ask me about myself. That seems 
unfair, but even in the old days I used to keep things back. 
I wonder if there has ever been perfect confidence between 
a man and a woman ?" 

"I wonder," murmured Tim. 

Next day he was engrossed by business, but before Daffy 
left he managed to find time to show her some of his draw- 
ings, and a small landscape painted in late autumn, an 
effect of atmosphere, the brown foothills seen through opa- 
lescent mists. Daphne said slowly: 

"You can paint, Tim, it is in you to paint a fine picture. 



I say it with little technical knowledge, but with all the 
conviction of a woman's instinct." 


The Rokebys went on to Japan, leaving a gap which was 
filled with hard work. The suitable subdividing of the new 
ranches exacted meticulous attention, because they included 
much rough land. Jam had to be nicely apportioned to 
bread. Advertising, moreover, became a problem difficult 
to resolve. The old methods were inadequate. The coun- 
try was glutted with printed matter: and settlers were be- 
ginning to discover that even sworn statements may prove 
sadly misleading. In the fall, when the pilgrims from 
East and mid- West filled the trains, Tim organised vast 
barbecues. A brass band was engaged for these festive 
occasions. Upon the eve of the first barbecue a somewhat 
seedy but plausible gentleman sought a private interview 
with Cooke and Brown. He revealed himself as an advance 
agent connected with a certain unscrupulous journal. He 
told Cooke jauntily that a bright "send-off" could be se- 
cured for a thousand dollars. Cooke listened blandly. 

"You propose to boom us?" 

"Sky-high, Mr. Cooke." 

"For a thousand dollars?" 

"Yes, Sir. A refusal would hostilise strong interests." 

"Tim," said Cooke, in the same bland tone, "kindly tell 
this gentleman what we think of him." 

Tim could be trusted to rise to such occasions. He shewed 
his teeth in a wide grin, as he said : 

"You are very kind. We think that this is a blackmail- 
ing scheme. Take your choice of the door or the window." 

"You'll be mighty sorry for this." 

"You prefer the window?" 

"We'll make you two Britishers squeal." 

Tim rose swiftly : the seeker after "graft" fled. 

Sunshine and Shadow 

Cooke laughed, but he said gravely enough : 

"We're up against an unscrupulous gang. It was bound 
to come sooner or later." 

"What can they do?" 

"You'll see. The country is getting rotten with this sort 
of thing. Shooting used to keep it down, but shooting 
seems to be going out of fashion, more's the pity." 

"If he is going to hurt us, I wish I'd hurt him." 

"He would have squealed before he was hurt." 

Soon afterwards a series of articles began to appear, 
cleverly attacking the firm's methods. Cooke consulted a 
famous solicitor who was also a barrister, and an expert 
upon libel law. He counselled inaction. Action, he pointed 
out, would be very expensive, and the issue doubtful. On 
his advice the barbecues were abandoned. 

And then trouble began with some of the men who held 
land under contract, men who had paid a small sum to bind 
a bargain, and then broken the spirit of that bargain by 
doing nothing, holding unimproved land for a rise in price. 

"Things are not quite so rosy," said Cooke. "Somebody 
is behind these malcontents." 

Nevertheless the sales continued. 

By this time the business had become exceedingly com- 
plicated. Lack of ready money is at the root of most mun- 
dane evils, and although we may assume as an axiom that 
credit is the life-blood of a new country, still even credit 
must have gold behind it, as the enthusiastic supporters of 
Mr. Bryan discovered. The banks throughout the State 
were getting nervous. They had financed this immense land 
boom, accepting as security innumerable mortgages. The 
more conservative pointed out to their respective boards 
that banking was not quite on all fours with the real-estate 
business. Mortgages had, occasionally, to be foreclosed. 
Bankers found themselves metamorphosed in a night into 
farmers and horticulturists. Probably pressure was brought 
to bear from the East and from Europe. The fact remains, 
when we survey the history of this period, that money be- 



came dear long before the dry seasons came. Cooke and 
Brown held sheafs of notes which represented gold, but the 
banks wanted more collateral security and offered in return 
less gold. 
And the running expenses of our firm were enormous. 


The Cherub was now a two-year-old, and frisky for his 
yeajs. Tim adored him. This may surprise some of the 
readers of this chronicle, for Tim has been presented so far, 
as intensely preoccupied with his own development, a healthy 
victim of ambitions which preyed upon every able-bodied 
man in the community. As a father we do not envisage 
him clearly. It is even doubtful whether Magdalena quite 
realised what Tim felt about his small son, or how large 
he bulked in Tim's future. The normal father hardly ever 
talks of his children, if he is much engrossed in working 
for them. But Tim regarded his boy as part of himself, 
clay to the hand of a potter. The Cherub was to be an 
Etonian and an Oppidan, making none of his sire's blun- 
ders. He was to develop along natural lines, no "cribbing 
and confining/' no labelling, no cotton wool, a son of the 
West who would profit by the wisdom of the East. 

The child's beauty appealed to Tim immensely. The 
little fellow seemed to have taken from his parents what 
was most admirable in each. He had Tim's strength, and 
Magdalena's sweetness of disposition. 

But he had inherited something else, that dreadful taint 
which has been such a scourge to the children of Anglo- 
Saxon and Latin countries. The discovery of this crept 
stealthily upon Tim: it came as the fog comes from the 
Pacific, stealing across the landscape in filmy mists, height- 
ening its beauty for a time, and then slowly blotting out 
all colour and form, a dense cloud of impenetrable gloom. 

A cold in the head drifted to the chest. The Cherub 

Sunshine and Shadow 

began to cough. Treatment stopped the cough. The child's 
beauty was strangely enhanced for a few months. His 
eyes sparkled with ethereal light, upon his round cheeks 
glowed a deeper rose, his lips were, a vivid carmine. The 
health-seekers would stop to speak of him to Magdalena 
when mother and child took the air together. 

"What a cherub!" they would remark. 

Magdalena, beaming with pride, would reply: 

"Ohe we call him that." 

That summer was particularly dry. The ocean fogs lay 
far out at sea, kept at bay by the land breeze which blew 
hot and dry from the torrid valleys beyond the Santa 
Lucia mountains. The fine white dust settled everywhere, 
inflaming sensitive membranes, driving housewives to de- 
spair and thirsty men to drink. 

The Cherub began to cough again. Tim was anxious, 
but a doctor, who was ignorant of Magdalena's family, 
reassured him. Tim's own throat was sore and inflamed. 

"After the rains the cough will go." 

Magdalena hugged this comfort to her bosom. But, sud- 
denly, out of some pigeonhole of memory, fluttered a hide- 
ous apprehension. 

"Teem," she said, clutching him, "I am frightened." 


"I remember Dolores, my sister. She die when I was 
eight years old. I see her. Ay de mi ! And to-day I hear 

"You heard her?" 

"Baby cough just like Dolores." 

Tim kissed her wet eyes, quoting the doctor, reassuring 
her that coughs were all alike, but Magdalena shook her 

"Baby will go, like Dolores. Yes, I know." 

"Never!" said Tim vehemently. 




EARLY the next morning on his way to the office, Tim 
called upon the Doctor, who happened to be the per- 
sonal friend rather than the medical attendant of a family 
that seldom needed his services. Tim and he often fished 
and shot quail in company, and probably there is nothing 
in this world which brings a couple of men so intimately 
together as camp life in a new country. 

Wason was a bachelor, on the wrong side of fifty. In- 
variably, Tim's intimate friends had been men older than 
himself. They were attracted by youth and high spirits. 
He, in his turn, had a hankering for knowledge and ex- 
perience. Wason was a thin tall fellow, very active physi- 
cally and mentally, and a New Englander who had been 
in Santa Barbara about two years. He possessed independ- 
ent means, interfering but little with the old practitioners, 
devoting time and money to bacteriology. 

Tim's face alarmed him. 

"Anything wrong?" 

"My wife is terrified, Wason. She believes that the 
Cherub has consumption. I never told you, but Magda- 
lena's brothers and sister died of consumption." 

Wason looked as grave as Tim. 

"What on earth made you hide that from me?" 

"I had forgotten it, so had she. Do you mean to say 
that it makes much difference?" 

"Yes," said Wason curtly. "What we call a predisposi- 


tion to the disease counts enormously. Do you mean to say 
that they all went that way ?" 


Wason groaned. 

"What a damnable scourge it is! However, let us hope 
that this is a false alarm. You two are such healthy people 
that I never suspected any taint. Has the boy lost weight ?" 

"A little." 

"Any night sweats?" 

"No, but the cough keeps him awake." 

"I'll see the child at once, and let you know." 


Tim went on to the office, where he found Cooke, to whom 
he communicated his fears. The senior partner cheered 
him up. 

"Look at me. I left England because the apex of both 
lungs was affected. And, to-day, I'm as sound as a bell. 
I don't believe the boy has it, but if there is a little trouble 
it will yield to treatment in this climate." 

Tim tried, not very effectively, to concentrate his mind 
upon business. Two hours later Wason telephoned to him 
to call at his house. One glance at Wason's face was suf- 
ficient. Tim gasped out: 

"Magdalena was right?" 

"There is some inflammatory consolidation of the right 
lung. It would be criminal on my part to make light of 
it to you, although I have calmed the poor little mother. 
But I am afraid the case may prove acute. There has 
been a change since I last saw the child." 

Tim sank into a chair, haggard and trembling. Wason 
spoke incisively, but with great sympathy. 

"I must explain what I mean by acute. The progress of 
phthisis, as a general rule, is slow and chronic, particularly 
with adults, but with children, where there is predisposi- 
tion and exciting inflammatory causes, the ravages are 

"Galloping consumption." 



"It has been well named. We are confronted with that 

"Oh, my God!" 

"Tim, I shall fight for this child as if he were my own !" 

"I know that." 

"And now I want to speak to you about something else. 
Mrs. Brown will insist upon nursing her child." 

"Of course." 

"I hold tuberculosis to be infectious when there is any 
latent taint in the system. Opinion is divided it is still 
raging but Koch's experiments have convinced me, apart 
from my own researches. I do not think that a perfectly 
healthy person would be quite safe if constantly exposed." 

"You are not suggesting that Magdalena should be sep- 
arated from the Cherub?" 

Wason remained silent. Tim continued: 

"She will refuse." 

"I fear so." 

"I know it." 

"I had to tell you. For the rest, you must do what you 
can. I'll watch her as closely as the boy." 

"I'll take them anywhere anywhere." 

"No : the climate here is equable. Special symptoms must 
be dealt with. Tim, you must trust me." 

"I do I do, but you have scared the very life out of me." 

"I had to make you realise the gravity of the situation. 
Co-operate with me, fight with me against little stupidities 
and negligences. We must guard against changes of tem- 
perature, fatigue, exposure, dietetical indiscretions." 

Wason continued, explaining his method of treatment, 
avoiding, as far as possible, the pathology of the case. 

Tim listened, sucking hope from Wason's authoritative 
tones, but alone, with the impending horror of meeting 
Magdalena, his fortitude deserted him. He went for a walk, 
grappling with his fears, conquering them by force of will. 
But as he strode back to his own house, he met a rich 
health-seeker, taking air and sunshine in a nurse's com- 


pany. One of the doomed, he accosted Tim cheerily, and 
spoke of the improvement in his condition. Emaciated, 
racked by cough, a victim of other complications, he was 
crawling along, leaning heavily upon his nurse's arm. And 
yet the strange buoyancy which characterises his malady, 
the spes phthisica, sustained him. 

"I'm getting along fine, ain't I, Nurse?" 

"That you are." 

Tim felt sick. He reached home to find the Cherub play- 
ing with Magdalena in the garden. He looked the picture 
of health as he ran towards his father. Tim picked him up, 
kissed him, and turned to face a smiling mother. 

"Dr. Wason has been here. He was so kind. And very 
angry with me for being frightened." 

"So am I," said Tim: and the laugh with which he fur- 
ther reassured her was not, perhaps, the least of many 


Six months later the boy was dead. 

All the premonitory symptoms became intensely aggra- 
vated. In the end the child died of exhaustion and emacia- 
tion. A tiny skeleton was laid to rest in the cemetery. 
Husband and wife were affected differently: Tim choked 
down his emotion with grim despair; Magdalena gave it 
expression in prolonged fits of passionate weeping. 

Finally Tim took her away to Honolulu. The sea voy- 
age, going and returning, restored something of her former 
equanimity, but she looked ten years older and much 

Tim went back to the office. 

Cooke talked in his usual optimistic vein, but Tim per- 
ceived clearly enough that his partner had become anxious. 
The contract-holders were giving more and more trouble. 
Men who held land and refused to improve it were in 
arrears with their payments. To evict them meant the ad- 



vertising of an abominable situation : not to evict them was 
a tacit confession of weakness, the encouragement of other 
malcontents, and an acceptance of a slap in the face from 
their enemies, who insidiously instigated the worst offenders. 
Cooke concluded cheerfully: 

"It will be O. K. if we have plenty of rain." 

Everybody made this remark several times a day. All 
members of the community were affected. Store-keepers 
who financed the small farmers stared helplessly at the blue 
skies: bankers stared as helplessly at their ledgers, and 
wished, too late, that they had conducted their business 
upon more conservative lines. The cattlemen, sheepmen, 
and big wheat farmers faced disaster with blanching lips. 
Nevertheless public opinion decided that Southern Califor- 
nia could weather one dry season, long overdue according to 
the statisticians. Cooke said: 

"We shall just scrape through." 

The dry year came. 

Perhaps the hardest thing to bear was the jubilant croak- 
ing of the Silurians and mossbacks, the fortunate few who 
had remained passive during years of feverish activity, who 
had risked nothing, sitting indolently upon what they pos- 
sessed, predicting disaster to their enterprising brethren. 

This was their hour of triumph, and they made the 
most of it. 

The banks behaved admirably, standing shoulder to shoul- 
der in solid phalanx, but all were strained to breaking point. 
The political situation aggravated their difficulty in carry- 
ing the dead weight of impecunious customers. The Popo- 
crats and Silverites brayed their plausible doctrines from 
every street corner. To be a "gold-bug" in those unhappy 
days was to invite personal assault. 


During these arid months, the work in the office dwin- 
dled to the perfunctory keeping of accounts. One clerk 


sufficed: Fatty and Skinny were dismissed: outside ex- 
penses were pared to the irreducible minimum. 

Cooke and Tim talked together, for there was nothing 
else to do. Insensibly Tim absorbed Cooke's philosophy. 
Sometimes Wason would join them. Cooke was saturated 
with the agnosticism of Huxley and Ingersoll, and too busy 
to work out problems other than the conduct of concrete 
affairs, such as the sale and subdivision of land, the tactful 
handling of customers, and the adjustment of conflicting 

Abstractions bored him. He was temperamentally a 
hedonist albeit a stickler for law and order if his own pleas- 
ures were threatened. He lived joyously in the present, 
liked a sound glass of wine and a good cigar, and could 
thoroughly enjoy both whether it rained or not. 

He hated poverty and vice because anything disagree- 
able affected his own comfort. He was scornfully derisive 
of crooked dealing, because he was profoundly of opinion 
that it paid to be honest. Wason's New England conscience 
he was the son of a Presbyterian minister constrained 
him to defend doctrines which Cooke pronounced obsolete 
and untenable. 

"One must have a standard, Cooke." 

"Let the law of the land provide it." 

"That law is built upon the solid rock of a higher law, 
God's law, the Ten Commandments." 

"Oh, Moses ! There's an amusing story of Ingersoll 

and Moses. Have you heard it ?" 

"More than once from you. I hate argument bolstered 
up by anecdote. It comes to this, if there is no God, and 
no hereafter, and no Law higher than what I suppose you 
call the coagulated wisdom of centuries, what is to restrain 
a man from committing, let us say, murder, provided he is 
clever enough not to be found out? I know enough to 
kill you, if I wanted to do it, without running the slightest 
risk of detection. I could inoculate you with cholera 
morbus, attend you as your physician, sign your death cer- 



tificate and collect my fees from your estate. What pre- 
vents me? My conscience. My conviction that I should 
be arraigned and judged guilty hereafter." 

"Do you affirm that Huxley was conscienceless?" 

"Certainly not. But the fact that Huxley and Tyndall and 
Bradlaugh were men who lived useful and blameless lives 
proves nothing. They obeyed the standard which each 
adopted for himself." 

"Of course." 

"But if each man is to be a law unto himself, for that is 
what it comes to ultimately, each man will interpret that 
law to suit himself. I have known many loose livers, but 
I swear to you that I have never known one who did not 
attempt to justify his sexual wanderings, not one!" 

Tim found himself uncomfortably warm. Wason con- 
tinued : 

"Take away the higher law, and the lower law must be 
undermined. There must be stern and governing truths be- 
hind human conduct." 

Cooke never lost his temper in an argument. He said 
affably : 

"Good old Wason ! You don't infect us with cholera 
morbus in order to achieve a tremendous reputation by wip- 
ing out the epidemic because you're scared of eternal pun- 
ishment You Christians are all alike." 

"Are we?" said Wason grimly. "Shall I retort that 
you agnostics are all alike in accusing us of doing good in 
the hope of a heavenly reward and shunning evil for fear 
of future punishment? Doing good, for good's sake, is, I 
suppose, the monopoly of atheists. I have no stomach 
for these arguments : they lead no whither." 

"Perhaps, but Tim and I are interested in knowing where 
you stand." 

"I'll tell you. My belief in God goes deeper than what 

you call revealed religion : and is independent of it. God 

reveals Himself to me personally. I believe in Him because 

I cannot explain what I know to be the good in me if He 



is non-existent. When I follow and obey that instinct I 
am happy. That I know. When I ignore it and wander 
from it I am unhappy, and a radiating source of unhap- 
piness to others. Tim, what about a day's quail-shooting?" 


When they were alone over a camp-fire, Wason said to 

"I don't like Cooke." 

Tim replied warmly. 

"He's one of the best. Cheery, kind, clever, and abso- 
lutely straight." 

"Is he straight ? Would he stand a big test ?" 

"I'd stake my life on it." 

Wason said very drily: 

"You would be very foolish." 

The test came some months afterwards. Up till now the 
firm had been able to meet their obligations, raising money, 
when it became due, by hypothecating their collateral securi- 
ties. Of these securities there remained some one hundred 
and twenty thousand dollars in Bills Receivable, promis- 
sory notes, for the most part, representing what was left 
of the profits on the Santa Margarita after a settlement 
had been effected with the banks. 

In fine, these particular securities were gilt-edged because 
they covered highly improved property, and, allowing amply 
for the depreciation in land values, were secured by first 
mortgages which had been half paid. Everything else was 
in the hands of the banks as security against the payment 
of the three tracts lying to the south of Santa Barbara. 
And now another big cash payment upon those tracts was 
due. Cooke and Mrs. Cooke went to San Francisco, leav- 
ing Tim in sole control of the business. Cooke took with 
him the nest egg to convert into gold. Three days later 
Tim received the following letter : , 




"I send you a draft on the local bank for sixty thou- 
sand dollars. It is yours : and you can do what you like 
with it. I have taken my half, and booked a passage to 
Buenos Ayres. When you read this Mrs. Cooke and I 
shall be at sea. If you are wise you will leave Southern 
California and start elsewhere with this capital. Join 
me, if you like, and we'll retrieve our fortunes in a coun- 
try which is just beginning to go ahead, the Argentine. 
I could write reams explaining and excusing my bolting. 
A few lines will suffice. To stay on, fighting hopelessly, 
against circumstances we cannot control, means bank- 
ruptcy and ruin. The dry year has crippled us terribly. 
Another short season and the shutters would have to go 
up. I have spent hours over our accounts. Rain might 
save us, but I doubt it, because, rain or no rain, Califor- 
nia cannot recover in less than five years. We should 
starve slowly. Frankly, I am too old to begin again. So 
I have cut the Gordian knot in my own way. 

"Good luck to you and forgive me. I have to think 
of my wife, and you must think of dear little Magdalena. 
This money is really hers. Cut loose, Tim, as I have 
done, and let the banks take over our business, which, in 
every sense of the word, is theirs already." 

"Your sincere friend, 


This unexpected blow fell with shattering violence. Tim 
told Magdalena, but she could not appreciate the issues in- 
volved. She kissed and consoled her husband, affirming her 
belief in his judgment and ability, insisting that he should 
use this money according to the dictates of his conscience, 
not hers, but she added mournfully : 

"Teem, our baby is here, you will not go away, no?" 

"I must talk to Wason," said Tim. 

Wason read Cooke's letter and shrugged his shoulders. 
His silence exasperated the young man. 

"Damn it! Say something, Wason." 

"Cooke is a coward. He has imposed an intolerable 


burden on your shoulders. If this is the result of his philos- 
ophy, it stands gravely indicted. Another instance of self- 
justification by a man who is a law unto himself." 
"I am nearly crazy," said Tim. 

The temptation to follow Cooke gripped him unmerci- 
fully. What restrained him ? Dare we answer such a ques- 
tion? He could not answer it himself at the time, but long 
afterwards he came slowly to the conclusion that something 
inculcated by the Vicar, something transcending cut-and- 
dried teaching, something which may be termed influence 
or example, rose up to confront this great moral exigency. 

Let the other fellow worry! 

That was a jest often on Cooke's lips. He had passed on 
his "worry" to the junior partner, counselling him to trans- 
fer it swiftly to the banks. Tim asked himself what the 
Vicar of Little Pennington would do in such an emergency. 
That question was easily answered. During a long labori- 
ous life the Vicar had shouldered the worries of others. 

"I shall fight it out alone," said Tim to Magdalena. 

She clung to him. 

"You are my brave Teem. How I love you!" 

"But if this goes, your little dowry, we should be pen- 

"Ohe! I have my one-tenth interest in Agua Caliente." 

Tim nodded. He had forgotten that. And it was worth 
remembering, for Agua Caliente was developing into a fa- 
mous health resort. The one-tenth interest, ever increasing, 
represented a small income of not less than one hundred dol- 
lars a month. 

"Yes, you have that," he muttered. 

"We have that, mi querido," 



Tim went to see James Mackinnon, laying the facts be- 
fore him as succinctly as possible. In silence Mackinnon 
listened : then he held out his hand : 

"I am proud to be your friend, Tim. I will help you. But 
I am sadly in need of help myself." 

These two, the man old in affairs, the young fellow stimu- 
lated to supreme endeavour, gazed at each other across a 
table piled high with papers. They met upon the common 
ground of unmerited misfortune. It was a great moment 
for Tim. 

"We must go to the city together," said Mackinnon. 

They did so. 

Mackinnon interviewed the cashier of the metropolitan 
bank which virtually controlled Tim's fortunes. 

To the last Cooke's genius for administration manifested 
itself. Tim received from a city attorney an instrument 
which conveyed to him, his heirs and assigns, all of Cooke's 
interest in the firm, in consideration, so the instrument ran, 
of sixty thousand dollars, gold coin of the United States. 
For an hour Tim waited while his fate was determined. 
Would they scrap him ? It was in their power to do so. He 
was young, and a Britisher. He could sell land when pil- 
grims were eager to buy: but Cooke was known, far and 
wide, as the manipulator, the schemer, the creator of a 
complex business. Tim repeated to himself axioms cur- 
rent on the Pacific Slope. "Corporations have no bowels"': 
and "Friendship cuts no ice in business." 

Without reservations, he had placed the sixty thousand 
dollars in James Mackinnon's hands. He could keep every 
cent of it. A payment of nearly double that amount was 

Tim decided that he would be scrapped. In a moment of 
pardonable suspense and weakness, he found himself re- 
flecting that a scrapping would make a free man of him. 
Magdalena and he could begin again, at the bottom of the 

Three men received him courteously : the fourth was Mac- 

kinnon. Tim could glean nothing from his impassive face, 
except the instinctive conviction that an ordeal was to come. 
Everything depended upon how Mr. Timothy Brown would 
acquit himself. 

It was another fight to a finish. 


The cashier spoke first. Tim had met him before. He 
was a small desiccated man, very grey, one who had grown 
old in the service of a great institution, one who had weath- 
ered storms. His manner was delusively mild and depre- 

"Please sit down, Mr. Brown." 

Tim was strangely reminded of the Vicar and the hard 
Windsor chair upon which he had wriggled uneasily scores 
of times. 

"How old are you?" 

"Eight and twenty." 

"And married?" 

Tim bowed. The cashier fiddled with a pen, but he held 
Tim's eyes throughout the interview. 

"On the part of my colleagues and myself, I wish to ex- 
press our approval of what you have done in placing the 
conduct of this unhappy affair unreservedly in our hands. 
Of Mr. Cooke I prefer to say nothing. He has bolted, tak- 
ing with him money, which, in the strictest legal sense is 
his, and in no other. Had your firm been forced into liqui- 
dation to-day, this money would have been absorbed." 

"I know that," said Tim. 

"Good! An understanding of that sort clears the air. 
You seem to enjoy remarkable health and strength." 

"I'm all right, sir." 

"Good again. I come to the point. Are we justified at 
this particular crisis in entrusting so young a man with 
the sole management of a complex business? What have 



you to say to us? Speak quite frankly. Submit your 
claims. I can promise you this : they will be carefully con- 

Tim said simply: 

"Mr. Cooke is entitled to all the credit for thinking out 
the general scheme upon which we worked, but I can claim, 
I think," he glanced at Mackinnon, who nodded solemnly, "a 
personal knowledge of the men to whom we sold land. I 
shewed them the land, and, ever since, while Mr. Cooke 
remained in the office, I have been on the ranches getting 
to know our customers intimately. It would be impossible 
now, even if it were advisable, to alter or even to modify 
the plan upon which we have worked. In that sense Mr. 
Cooke's work has been done and well done, gentlemen." 

The cashier assented. 

"What remains is to collect money due, to wind up the 
business gradually, and to evict contract-holders who are 
making trouble." 


From the cashier's tone it was impossible to guess whether 
or not he approved of eviction. 

"Mr. Cooke was against eviction. I deferred to his riper 
judgment. All the same " 

"Yes, let us have your opinion." 

"If I had a free hand I should evict certain men. They 
have been stirred up to make trouble." 

"Stirred up, what do you mean?" 

Tim told the story of the attempted black-mailing. The 
cashier listened with impassive features, but when Tim 
finished, he said quietly: 

"A thousand dollars would have secured the good-will of 
these journals." 

"Yes, but at the sacrifice of an essential principle. And 
we should have opened the door to other black-mailers." 

"Are we to understand, Mr. Brown, that you propose to 
begin an active campaign against these contract-holders ? It 
will stir up a lot of trouble." 


"I know that, gentlemen. But it's like this. A hundred 
at least of these contract-holders have the money to make 
a one-third payment and receive a deed secured by mort- 
gage. The dry year has not affected them. They want the 
land, but they're waiting to see what the next season is like, 
gambling, in short, with our money. If I evict half a dozen 
of the most recalcitrant the others will march into line." 

"I follow you." 

"I suggest, gentlemen, that you owe it to me to give me 
a trial. I ask for nothing more. I will do my best, and I 
do know the country, the conditions and the people. I have 
our sales book here. I can go into every case with you, if 
you wish it." 

The cashier glanced at his colleagues. 

"I am empowered, Mr. Brown, to speak for the Bank. 
We accept your proposition. Deal with these contract-hold- 
ers as you think fit. Times are tight and money is dear, 
but we will pay the amount overdue to the owners of the 
three ranches. In other words, we will advance you sixty 
thousand dollars, the amount er lifted by your late part- 
ner. This leaves you short of working capital." 

"It does." 

"We are willing to finance you within reasonable limits. 
You must regard yourself as our general manager, re- 
sponsible to us. Cut expenses." 

"They are cut." 

"Well, it is up to you to make good. You have our hearti- 
est good wishes and congratulations. We are, unhappily, 
at the mercy of the elements, but I believe that you will do 
all that can be done." 

The interview was at an end. Tim lunched with Mackin- 
non. They walked together to the Palace Hotel. Mackin- 
non said curtly: 

"Tim, my boy, that was a personal triumph." 

"I owed it to you, sir. I cannot thank you enough." 

"You are mistaken. They would have turned down my 



own son if he had failed to satisfy them. The odds were 
against you, but you won the confidence of the shrewdest 
banker in this city in five minutes. I am very pleased." 

"If we have rains," said Tim, "I shall make good." 

"That is my opinion also." 




TIM returned to Santa Barbara conscious of an uplifting 
which he had not known since the Cherub's death. 
The autumn was at hand, the autumn which would bring 
rains and prosperity to this parched land. He gazed at the 
brown foot-hills as he sped through them, identifying him- 
self with them, believing that the colour would flow back 
into his life, the soft tender shades of heliotrope and pink 
which stole upon the landscape as the sun declined. 

James Mackinnon and he talked cheerfully of the les- 
sons gleaned from a harvestless year, the necessity of hus- 
banding water, of boring artesian wells, of keeping sufficient 
hay and straw to tide cattle over a drought. 

Such topics were on the lips and in the minds of all 
men. Recuperating influences were at work. The terrible 
dry year was over. Southern California would wake up 
from her long sleep, re-invigorated and refreshed to bring 
forth more abundantly. 

But everywhere, except upon the irrigated areas, lay the 
signs of catastrophe. By the springs and dried-up water 
courses the bones of cattle whitened in the sun, the women 
and children looked gaunt and parched: the men hanging 
about the stores waiting for work stared sullenly at the 
passengers who were flitting past them, able to leave and 
glad to leave a stricken country. 

The news that Tim was captain of a gallant ship, par- 
tially crippled, but still seaworthy, became known. 

A few guessed the truth, and the majority of these it is 



to be feared commended the prudence of the Senor Cooke. 

Within a week the trouble with the contract-holders be- 
came acute. Tim served notices of eviction upon half a 
dozen men, which caused an indignation meeting of the 
others. Amongst them was a fellow called Ginty, an ill- 
conditioned, powerful ruffian, with a reputation for being 
a "bad-man." He had, indeed, shot down a fellow citizen 
in a drunken brawl, escaping punishment upon the thread- 
bare plea of self-defence. The men who had paid for 
their ranches were against the contract-holders, whose un- 
improved patches remained an eye-sore, and a menace to 

Many of these ranchers proved staunch friends to Tim, 
keeping him "posted," as the phrase runs. Through them 
Tim learned of the indignation meeting and the resolu- 
tions carried thereat. Ginty, it appeared, had constituted 
himself the ring-leader, proclaiming his intention of settling 
with the Britisher at a pistol's point. 

Tim received a letter 


"This is to tell you that youve bitten off more'n you kin 
chew, and must climb down pronto. We means bizness. 
That ther is a cold fact. The land is ourn and we mean 
ter freeze onter it till the cows come home. If yer 
huntin trouble were the boys to make it for ye. 

"Quit foolin with 


Tim handed this epistle to the Sheriff who could be 
trusted to do whatever was required. Ginty and his friends 
became inflamed by bad language and worse drink. Finally 
Tim learned from a sure source that Ginty was ripe for 
trouble and coming into town to make it. Tim consulted 
with his only clerk, a stout fellow, loyal to Tim, who had 
been with the firm since its inception. The two held coun- 
cil. A door opened between the outer and inner office. 
Tim moved his desk so that it faced this. He placed a 

When Troubles Come 

six-shooter in the centre drawer. George, the clerk, carried 
a smaller pistol in his coat pocket. Tim instructed George 
to receive Ginty politely, and to ask him to sit down in the 
outer office. When Tim was ready to receive the fire-eater, 
George would show him into the inner office. He would 
be invited to sit down opposite him, facing the window, 
with his back to the door. Tim concluded: 

"You will be near the door, George. If he tries to draw 
his gun, shoot! I shall shoot too." 

They rehearsed the business, moving the chair to one 
side, so as to preclude the possibility of shooting through 
Ginty at each other. When Tim was satisfied with these 
preliminary arrangements, he said to George: 

"I don't want to kill this blackguard, but I'd sooner kill 
than be killed. He thinks that I'm lying awake at night 
scared to death. We must disabuse his mind of that." 


"Cool him down for one thing. When he blusters in, 
you say that I'm busy. Come to my room and stand on 
the threshold. Announce the fellow in a loud voice. I'll 
do the rest. It's up to us, George, to turn a possible tragedy 
into a comedy. See?" 

"You bet !" 

Tim and George did a little pistol practice. 

Ginty appeared some three days later. George asked him 
to sit down. Then he opened the communicating door, and 

"Mr. Ginty wants to see you." 

Tim said clearly : 

"What Mr. Ginty?" 

"Mr. Thomas Ginty from the San Julian." 

"I'm very busy. I'll see Mr. Ginty in three minutes. 
Look up his case. Bring me the sales book. Give Mr. 
Ginty the paper." 

Ginty so George reported afterwards listened to this 
easy talk with some surprise. Like all ignorant persons 
he expected, being defiant, to meet defiance. This courteous 



reception, this strange indifference to the presence of a 
"bad man," disconcerted him. He sat down, open-mouthed 
and open-eyed, and waited. 

Tim thought it prudent to allow him five minutes. A 
longer time might have been impolitic. Policy was a word 
often upon Cooke's lips. If Ginty could be handled dis- 
creetly, the banks would approve. We must admit that 
it was a delicate situation for a young, hot-blooded man. 

Tim placed an arm-chair for his visitor. It is not easy to 
shoot from an arm-chair; and if Ginty leapt to his feet, 
as was probable before "pulling his gun," why then, so 
Tim reasoned, he would be covered by George before his 
hand dashed to his pocket. Tim was delighted with George : 
he exhibited no nervousness : a pleasant smile flickered 
about lips which indicated plenty of pluck and determina- 

When the five minutes had passed, Tim went to the 
door, marched into the office, and greeted Ginty affably: 

"Good morning, Mr. Ginty. Glad to see you." 

He held out his hand. Ginty rose awkwardly, met Tim's 
careless glance, and, after a moment's hesitation, extended 
his hand. Tim gripped it hard. Ginty, although vinously 
exalted, had no doubt of Tim's muscular strength. 

"Come into my room, and let's have a talk. George, you 
can come too, and tell me what I have forgotten about this 
particular case." 

Forgotten I 

Ginty, as fencers say, was touched. He followed Tim 
into the inner room, and sat down in the arm chair. Tim 
sat down also, telling George to place the sales book and 
other papers before him. 

"Page 119," said George. 

"Thank you, now let's see. Oh, yes. You selected lot 
23 on the San Julian more than two years ago. You paid 
down twenty-five dollars, and received our usual contract. 
A further payment was due of two hundred and fifty dol- 
lars six months after date. Am I correct?" 

When Troubles Come 

"I guess so," growled Ginty. He was completely non- 
plussed, upset at discovering that his case required looking 

"It appears," said Tim, "that you have made no further 
payment since the first twenty-five dollars. Mr. Cooke, 
as perhaps you know, attended to the business end. Did 
he press you at all for these overdue payments ?" 

"Yes, he did." 

"Times were good then. Tell me frankly why you didn't 
meet them? George, you can go. I'll call you if I want 
you. Now, as between man and man, Mr. Ginty, why did 
you not make these payments ? I take it that you had some 
money, or you wouldn't have wanted this land." 

"That's my business." 

"But it's mine, as well. Perhaps you regarded this first 
small payment as what we call option money. You may 
have hoped, not unreasonably, to sell your land at a higher 
figure before the second payment fell due?" 

Ginty squirmed. This, indeed, had been his idea. He 
was an ignorant fool, but fools according to Harvey Cooke 
might forget what was due to others whilst preserving 
a lively sense of what was due to themselves. 

Cooke would say : "I never yet engaged a fool who for- 
got to draw his salary.'' Ginty maintained a sullen silence. 
Tim went on cheerfully: 

"We are having a little trouble with some of our con- 
tract-holders, and I received a letter a few days ago which 
was unsigned. I turned it over to the Sheriff. I dare say 
you had nothing to do with it; but it was worth money to 
me, for it furnished conclusive evidence that some of our 
contract-holders deliberately mean to repudiate their obliga- 

Ginty wrestled with these long words, as Tim expected 
and desired. 

"Mr. Cooke," continued Tim, "treated our contract- 
holders with astounding leniency and consideration. Some 
of you, I mention no names, have been playing our game. 



We secured these three big ranches on option. But when 
the time came to pay up, we paid. Some properties we 
let go, forfeiting the option money. You gentlemen seem 
to want it both ways. You pay down a small sum to secure 
an option upon valuable property, and when the time comes 
to make good, you decline to do so, but you hold on to the 
land. Is that your idea of doing square business?" 

Ginty expectorated. 

"Do you want something for nothing? I am anxious 
to look at the matter from your point of view. Are you, in 
short, asking me for charity? Would you like me to give 
you this land?" 

"Charity? Who's talking o' charity?" 

"I am. The long and short of it is that some of you 
are behaving like beggars in the street. I am beginning 
to remember you, sir. I shewed you that land. You told 
me you proposed to fence it, put in a crop, and build a 
house and barn. I gathered that you were a hustler, a gen- 
uine settler, not a gambler. Was I wrong?" 

"I waited to see how the season would pan out." 

"That season was a good one." 

"Mebbe I got cold feet. The land out thar ain't what 
you fellers cracked it up ter be. Not by a damn sight!" 

Tim smiled genially. If he could lure this savage on 
to talk, sooner or later he would trip himself up. 

"I see. You think that you were imposed upon ?" 

"I ain't the only one as thinks so." 

"Good ! We are getting to bedrock. It's a pleasure to 
talk with you, Mr. Ginty. I may assume you consider you 
have been imposed upon inasmuch as you paid down twenty- 
five dollars to secure 200 acres of land, valued rightly or 
wrongly, at twenty-five dollars an acre ; and you have kept 
this land unimproved in the hope of selling it for more 
than twenty-five dollars an acre; and you have failed to 
carry out your promise to fence and plough and build; 
and you have held this property two years, and you want 

When Troubles Come 

to go on holding it although you have suffered such gross 
imposition ?" 

Ginty said nothing. Tim continued in the same suave 
tone, never raising his voice, and never taking his eyes 
from the other's congested face. 

"Let us figure a bit. You are out twenty-five dollars. I 
am out the interest on five thousand dollars, at 8 per cent 
for two years, say eight hundred dollars. Which of us 
has had the best of it, eh?" 

"I dunno or keer overly much." 

"But I do know, and I do care. Now let me impress 
this upon you, and you will be doing your friends on the 
San Julian a kindness if you repeat to them what I say. 
I'll deal with your case alone. We have offered to cancel 
your contract, which, as a matter of fact, was automatically 
cancelled long ago, when the first payment was not met. 
We have faced a big loss presuming that you would face 
a little loss, but " 

He paused smiling. 

"But what?" 

"If you persist upon holding your contract, you become 
liable for arrears of interest. You have, so I presume, a 
home of sorts, horses, cows, and so forth. / can attach 
the lot. Let me finish. I am glad you have come in, for I 
propose to settle with you here and now. This is the 
original contract, of which you hold a duplicate. I make 
you this offer. Cancel it, and go your way. Or, renew it, 
and pay up arrears of interest. One more word. You may 
think that I am the sole owner of the San Julian?" 

Ginty perceived an opportunity for being insolent and 
malicious : it never occurred to him that Tim presented it. 

"No! I know damn well that the banks hev ye that's 
why Cooke vamoosed." 

"Perhaps you would prefer to deal with the banks?" 

"I'm here to deal with you, young man." 

"Good! We understand each other. If I vamoosed 
to-day, you would have to deal with the banks, and I warn 



you that they would shew you no consideration whatever. 
They would attach every stick you possess to-morrow. 
Now I'm sure your time is valuable, and so is mine. I give 
you two minutes to decide" Tim laid his watch upon the 
desk "whether you will deal with me or the Sheriff. You 
will have to settle with somebody. Two minutes, Mr. Ginty. 
Can I offer you a mild cigar?" 

Ginty scowled. 

"You ain't a-goin' to flim-flam me." 

Tim said civilly: 

"I have no intention of flim-flamming or being flim- 
flammed. With your kind permission I'll go on with my 

He bent over some papers. Behind Ginty, at short range, 
stood George, with his hand in his pocket. The centre 
drawer lay just open. Tim took a paper from it. Ginty 
stood up. 

"I'll cancel my contrack." 

This was done in due form. Ginty walked to the door, 
whence he flung a Parthian shaft: 

"You've bested me, damn yer soul! But the dry years'll 
bust you, higher'n a kite !" 


This was another fluid triumph, percolating to the minds 
of the contract-holders and eventually to the knowledge of 
the cashier of the metropolitan bank. Peace followed war. 
Many met their obligations : a few cancelled contracts and 
left the ranches. 

But the rain did not come. 

Tim might have stood the misery of those awful days 
had he apprehended bankruptcy alone. His greatest trial 
descended upon him when he was least able to bear it. 

Magdalena became strangely listless. 

But she told Tim that she suffered no pain, and there 
was no cough. Profuse perspiration at night and a rising 

When Troubles Come 

temperature indicated deep-seated trouble, but Wason was 
unable to locate it, till abdominal pains and ascytes set in. 

Wason took Tim aside. 

"It is tubercular peritonitis. If the swelling cannot be 
reduced an operation will be necessary." 

Tim listened, grimly despairing. 

"She will go as the boy went," he said slowly. "The luck 
is dead against me : it has always been so, always, always." 

Wason counselled a move to San Francisco. Let experts 
decide! Tim agreed. Wason tried to be hopeful, citing 
clinical cases by the dozen. The operation would be capital, 
but fortunately there was no cardiac weakness, and no in- 
dication whatever that the lungs were affected. 

"You must prepare her," said Wason. 

Tim did so. To his immense surprise Magdalena ac- 
cepted the truth calmly and hopefully. Afterwards, Tim 
wondered whether this optimism was merely a symptom of 
her malady, or whether she dissembled for love of him. 

Magdalena ended by laughing at his solemn face. 

"Look at Tia Maria Luisa! She has had the consump- 
tion for thirty years. It comes : it goes. Children die quick, 
quick ! But I am an old married woman. Ohe ! you won't 
get rid of me easily, my Teem." 

Her gaiety was too severe a strain upon his self-control. 
He had nerved himself to bear anything except that. She 
was sitting in a chair, looking up at him, as she spoke. 
He fell upon his knees, burying his head upon her lap. 
Great sobs shook him, the expression of all that he had 
suppressed at the child's death and afterwards, when the 
work of seven years crumbled into fine white dust. She 
made no attempt to restrain this passionate outburst. Her 
thin hand played with his hair. Perhaps she was praying 
for him rather than for herself. When the paroxysm 
passed, she kissed his eyes, and then lay 'in his arms with 
a faint smile upon her lips. Not a word was spoken on 
either side. Tim noted a serene expression upon her face, 
an unmistakable happiness. He realised that his passion 



of emotion had soothed and satisfied her. She had always 
been avid for the manifestation of tenderness, never weary 
of his assurance that he loved her, but of late, engrossed 
and harassed by business cares, he had neglected these 
sweet repetitions. Presently she said softly: 

"Teem, you have made me ever so happy. Whatever 
happens, remember that. The Virgin has blessed me! I 
think of poor Dolores and the others who died so young. 
They never knew what I have known." 

Her artless philosophy, her childish wisdom, her ability 
to measure love and to proclaim that she had been blessed 
no matter what the future might hold, produced a pro- 
found effect upon her husband. He remembered what he 
had said to Wason about the luck being against him. Had 
it? Already, before he was thirty, he had run the gamut of 
intense emotions. He had suffered horribly: he had tri- 
umphed, the bitter and the sweet of life had been his por- 
tion. He said humbly: 

"You make me ashamed of myself." 

The operation was performed by a specialist in San Fran- 
cisco, at the California Women's Hospital. Tim was 
offered quarters there by the House Surgeon, an exception 
to a necessary rule being made in his case, for Wason told 
the surgeon that Tim's presence might mean life or death 
to the patient. Tim held Magdalena's hand, as she lay in 
bed, when the anaesthetist came in. They carried her to 
the operating theatre; and Tim was left alone with his 
thoughts. Magdalena's fortitude sustained him. She ex- 
hibited no fear, obeying the directions of the anaesthetist 
intelligently. As she passed into unconsciousness, she 
gripped Tim's hand with a strength which surprised him; 
and she called him by name hoarsely, in a voice he hardly 

He paced up and down the road opposite to the hospital, 

staring at the windows upon the second floor. As soon as 

the operation was over, and Magdalena back in bed, her 

day-nurse promised to hang a towel out of the window. 


When Troubles Come 

An hour passed before the signal was given. Tim rushed 
into the Hospital, to meet the surgeon in the hall. The 
matron was with him. He said curtly to Tim : 

"She is doing well ; the operation was not so severe as I 
had feared." 

Tim stammered out a few words of thanks. 

Within a month Magdalena was back in Santa Barbara, 
convalescent, and so far as could be predicted likely to 
recover her former strength and health. 


One shrinks from recording the months that followed. 

Hope died out of the hearts of the people as they stared 
day after day into the pitiless skies. In the remoter foot- 
hills squatters were starving. Public charity relieved them. 
Train after train left San Francisco loaded with flour and 
beans and bacon. Upon the ranges the cattle and horses 
perished. The young orchards, which represented so much 
money and labour and solicitude, became dusty deserts, ex- 
hibiting lines of leafless trees, scarecrows warning all be- 
holders that horticulture without water is as the weaving 
of ropes out of sand. But Tim told himself that Mag- 
dalena had been spared. 

While she lay senseless in the operating theatre Tim 
prayed to the God of his childhood, the beneficent Provi- 
dence watching over Little Pennington. He had entreated 
a Personal Deity to stretch forth His hand and save! 
Reverting unconsciously to the teaching of his youth, be- 
lieving for the moment that the God of Israel exacted 
sacrifice, he had laid upon the altar of his prayers a renun- 
ciation of mundane ambitions. He had bargained with Om- 
nipotence, as millions have done in moments of agony and 

"Make me bankrupt, O God ! but give me back my wife !" 

Because that prayer had been answered, he confronted 



valiantly the future. The banks could not help him, for 
they too were tottering to their fall. His ready money was 
exhausted. Magdalena and he moved into a cottage and 
discharged the two servants. The one-tenth interest from 
Agua Caliente became their sole source of income. 

Alone in his deserted office, staring at ledgers and cash- 
books, ever reminded of former triumphs by the maps upon 
the walls, Tim had to chew the cud of this reflection. 

If a coin, spun at hazard, had fallen with the eagle upper- 
most, he would have been in England with a fortune of at 
least one hundred thousand pounds. 




IN the following May Tim was obliged to make a settle- 
ment with the metropolitan bank, which treated him 
not ungenerously. The change, in one sense, was for the 
better. Tim abandoned all interests, past, present, and fu- 
ture, as a principal in the big business which Cooke and he 
had organised upon lines which nobody criticised or con- 
demned, upon lines, indeed, which were adopted by others 
when prosperity returned to California. Two dry years 
in succession ruined Tim. The bank appointed him their 
general manager at a salary of two hundred dollars a 
month. Tim regained something of his former buoyancy, 
for a fixed salary meant increased comfort for Magda- 
lena. The cashier added some pleasant words : 

"We are well aware, Mr. Brown, that this must be a 
bitter pill for you to swallow, but it will clear your system. 
I can make no promises, but I am empowered to say this 
if times mend, as they must, opportunities will be offered 
to you by us. This state needs youth and enthusiasm com- 
bined with integrity. We welcome new blood. Work for 
us, as you have worked for yourself, and the result may 
surprise you." 

"Thank you, sir," said Tim. 

George was retained also by the bank. Manager and 
man had little to do beyond the preparing of elaborate 
monthly reports, the collection of what money could be col- 
lected, and the financing of farmers who deserved such 



It was, of course, Tim's duty to be at the office between 
the hours of nine and five. As a rule, the morning sufficed 
to write letters, answer them, and adjust accounts. The 
afternoons hung heavy upon active hands and wits. Wason 
suggested reading as a resource. Why not rub up one's 
Latin and Greek ? Why should any knowledge, laboriously 
acquired, be suffered to atrophy from neglect? Tim, fired 
by this sound advice, plunged into the Classics. During 
six months he read through the Iliad, the comedies of 
Aristophanes, Terence's plays, Plautus, and Juvenal. Then, 
suddenly, he grew sick of them. He said to Wason : 

"It's like looking on at cricket." 

"Looking on? Yes. Well, why not play? You can't 
paint. The Bank would bar that. You've talked a lot to 
me about the colour of life. Try to set some of it forth 
in pen and ink. Write ! I believe you can do it. You've 
done a lot of pamphleteering. You've a knack of vivid de- 
scription. And you've had astonishing experiences. I say 
write !" 

Tim tackled this new job with ardour, fortified not only 
by Wason, but by another friend, the editor of the Santa 
Barbara Banner, essentially a man of letters, condemned by 
necessity to sling printer's ink because he lacked the creative 
gift. His name was Hoyt, and he happened to be of kin 
to Emerson and Lowell. A fine humanity informed Hoyt 
and an attractive Bohemianism. He afforded an amusing 
contrast to Wason, accusing him to his face of being hide- 
bound by New England sanctions and objurgations. Hoyt 
was essentially imaginative, beholding life as it might be 
under happier conditions and with a wider scope for indi- 
vidual tendencies. 

This had driven him to the West, but he had brought 
with him and retained the fastidiousness and refinements of 
the East. He wrote good commercial stuff salted and pep- 
pered for the California palate, but he abhorred, like Wason, 
anything which smacked of slipshod accomplishment. With 


abundant leisure, which was denied to him, he might have 
become a critic del primisimo valore. 

Tim wrote his first short story, and read it aloud to Mag- 
dalena, Wason, and Hoyt Wason, poor fellow, tired after 
a long day's work, fell asleep: Magdalena was so furious 
with Wason that she was quite unable to give attention to 
the story. Before she heard the opening lines, she had 
decided that her clever Tim could write better short stories 
than Rudyard Kipling, if he chose to try. Hoyt suspended 
judgment, taking the manuscript home with him, asking 
Tim to drop in at the Banner office next day, after five. 

Wason woke up, apologised abjectly, was forgiven, except 
by Magdalena, and played his part gallantly at the chafing- 
dish supper which followed. 

Next day, Tim saw Hoyt alone. Rather to Tim's amuse- 
ment, Hoyt had assumed a judicial air. He wore a pair of 
gold-rimmed spectacles : he sat upright in the editorial 
chair : he waved a minatory hand. 

"It's rotten bad," began Hoyt, touching the manuscript 
gingerly, flicking at it with nicotine-stained finger-tips. 

"I suppose so," said Tim. 

Hoyt continued solemnly: 

"Do you think I would tell you that if there was noth- 
ing else to be said? I can get this printed, Tim. I'll print 
it myself and pay current rates. It's what my readers want. 
It's full of false sentiment, false psychology and the tech- 
nique ! Oh, God !" 

"Take another shot," said Tim, as Hoyt paused to roll 
another cigarette. 

"All the same, I'm surprised and delighted." 

He lay back, laughing genially, surveying Tim above his 
spectacles, taking some tobacco from a delicately engraved 
silver snuff-box, which he always carried, and which indi- 
cated subtly the man's taste and love of craftsmanship. 
Tim laughed, too. 

"You have it in you," declared Hoyt. 




"Ah ! what ? The thing I mean is invisible at present and 
indescribable. It's a sense of the dramatic in life, and some- 
thing more, a sympathy, a kindliness, an invincible opti- 

"Go on firing," said Tim. "I wallow in this." 

"May I do what I like with your script?" 

"Of course." 

Hoyt picked it up. 

"Have you a rough draft ?** 


Hoyt tore up the manuscript and dropped it into the 
waste-paper basket. 

"Now, listen to me. Is it possible, I wonder, to teach 
the young idea how to write? Yes, if the young idea is 
intelligent. Go on writing! I'll teach you punctuation 
and grammar by sending across galley slips for you to 
correct. It's easier to correct the mistakes of others, and 
much more fun. You can do some reviewing for me for 
nothing. Slate 'em! Most of 'em deserve it. Write an- 
other yarn and submit it. Stick to what you know. De- 
scribe real people, real happenings! Construct a simple 
story in your mind. Don't wander from your theme; let 
it develop cumulatively. Be natural ! Be yourself ! Don't 
strain after effect, or bore people stiff by analysing too 
closely causes. I'll red-pencil what you write. I'll godfather 
you, because well, because I believe that you are worth 
while. Have you sucked it all in?" 

"Like mother's milk." 

"Then, go and spoil more paper." 


Tim obeyed. But he worked under constant disabilities. 

Afterwards, when he heard writers demanding inviolate 

silence, a room set apart for their use, and a faithful wife 

to keep distracting visitors at bay, he would think of his 



literary apprenticeship and the disturbing elements which 
had to be ignored : the everlasting click of George's Rem- 
ington, the street sounds, the men and women dropping in 
at all hours, asking, for the most part, idiotic questions 
which had to be answered patiently and courteously. 

In time he achieved detachment. He learned to stop 
in the middle of a sentence, to pigeon-hole his fancy, to 
tie a string to some kite-like thought, and to concentrate 
attention upon his theme regardless of outside sounds. 

It was invaluable discipline. 

He had a facility in writing as in speech, which Hoyt 
deplored, contending that the best work was done with 
infinite labour and hesitation. He quoted Stevenson. "Play 
the sedulous ape 1" He was unmerciful in his condemnation 
of cliche, and colloquial expressions used in narrative. Tim, 
not too thin-skinned after many bludgeonings, writhed and 
grimaced when Hoyt's tongue bit deep into a bit of sugary 
sentiment or pathos. But he came to prize his mentor's 
praise, cutting and revising copy with the best temper in 
the world. One day Hoyt said emphatically : 

"This is jolly : there's mirth in it. You have a light touch, 
Tim: you must cultivate that." 

Tim began a novel dealing with the more humorous side 
of ranch life, setting forth his blunders and the blun- 
ders of other men who embarked upon viticulture and 
horticulture with no knowledge other than what they had 
gleaned planting corn and raising hogs in the mid-west. 
Hoyt chuckled : 

"This is the right stuff," he declared. 

And then, when colour and mirth were creeping once 
more into Tim's life, even as they informed his writing, 
Magdalena began to cough! 


Wason did not disguise his alarm from the distraught 
husband. The cough grew harder and more frequent. 



Shortness of breath and a rise of temperature at night 
confirmed the diagnosis. Wason prescribed open-air treat- 
ment, cod-liver oil, tonics, everything known to the science 
of the nineties. Magdalena, who had grown plump again 
after the operation, lost flesh rapidly. 

It was acute phthisis. 

Happily she suffered little pain beyond what was caused 
by the difficulty in breathing. To the last, till the moment 
when coma preceded death, she remained hopeful and cheer- 
ful. Tim's hardest trial, an ordeal from which he would 
emerge broken and listless, was sitting beside her during 
long hours while she prattled of the holiday to be taken 
when her health was reestablished, of the fun they would 
have together when Tim achieved fame and fortune as a 

Forty-eight hours before she passed away, he had an 
illuminating glimpse into her mind. And he knew then that 
this artless gaiety had been assumed for his sake. He sat 
alone with her in the shelter which had been built in the 
garden, where she lived and slept. 

"If I should go, Teem " 

He pressed her wasted hand, unable to speak. 

"You will not grieve too much, no ?" 

"There will be nothing left nothing." 

"Mi querido, do not make it too hard for me. I always 
knew that the home in England was a dream, a heavenly 
dream. I loved to dream of that, just as- 1 loved to think 
of the dream children, which we wanted so badly." 

"I have only wanted you." 

"How happy we have been ! Teem, I shall tell my father 
that you watched out for me. But he knows, he knows. 
And if I must go, it is well. It is God's will. I am glad to 
think that I shall not grow old and fat and ugly and cross 
like poor Tia Maria Luisa. Is it unkind to say that ? Teem, 
you have been so good to me. Will you be good to your- 
self if I go? Because," her voice sank to a whisper, "I 


shall be so unhappy over there if you are miserable and 
wretched here. I am afraid of that." 

Could he lie at such a moment? He remained silent. 

"You will have your work. It will be fine work, no? 
Ohe ! I am so sure of that " she sighed contentedly. 

Tim stared at her, stupefied by grief and despair. He 
tried to envisage himself a week hence alone. He prayed 
for her sustaining faith, but with a derisive sense of the 
futility of such prayers. 

A struggle for breath followed. When the paroxysm 
passed, she asked quietly that her Confessor might be 

That night the last solemn rites were administered. Tim 
knelt beside her, thankful at least that such solace was a 
true and blessed comfort to her. 

Then she fell asleep. 


Magdalena flits through and out of this chronicle, leav- 
ing behind an epitaph cut deep in the heart of her husband. 
She belonged to a generation of wives whom the shrieking 
sisterhood of to-day denounce scornfully as chattels. 

Sweetly and honestly she disavowed interest in politics, 
in high society, in business affairs. Art and literature 
touched her to mild enthusiasms. 

A clever Englishwoman, as a rule, exercises her clever- 
ness in being disagreeable to clever men. Magdalena's 
greatest virtue may be described as an incapacity to be 
disagreeable to anybody. She radiated warmth, being in 
the best sense of a much abused word, an amoureuse. Tim 
was never tempted to be unfaithful to his wife in thought 
or act, because she was proud of the passion which she felt 
for him. He knew her to be jealous, jealous of women 
with whom he talked upon subjects beyond her ken, jealous 
of men, also, who might beguile him from the home which 
she had created. 



Her love became a beacon, keeping Tim from the reefs 
so long as she lived. Had it not been for her, he might 
have turned, as so many did during the dry years, to drink 
and kindred dissipations. He met other women afterwards, 
who affirmed themselves to be beacons, light-houses, indeed 
they were: but their light seemed to be turned inwards, 
not outwards, revealing the machinery which produced it, 
making the darkness without more dark. 

Magdalena's light was as a lamp set in a window, the 
small, steady light gleaming over moorland and fen and 
sea which guides the weary traveller home, which makes 
him think of logs crackling in an open hearth, of a table 
simply spread, of the laughter of children, of tender 
encircling arms and sweet caresses. 

Wason took him away after the funeral. They spent 
a month together in Monterey County amongst the sigh- 
ing, singing pines and redwoods. For Wason's sake, not 
his own, Tim hid his misery. They tramped the hills to- 
gether, returning to camp so tired that kind sleep came to 

Over smouldering logs Wason would talk of the future, 
but Tim listened brooding upon the past. 

He returned to Santa Barbara, to find a letter from the 
Vicar, written upon receipt of the telegram which con- 
tained the news of Magdalena's death. Tim hesitated be- 
fore he opened the envelope. He shrank with loathing from 
stereotyped condolence. 


"Can you come home to me ? I do not urge it. You 
must decide. I cannot write what is in my heart: al- 
though I can guess what is in yours. You are standing 
alone at the Gate of Sorrows. Would that I could stand 
beside you in this bitter hour, but that cannot be. I have 


seen Daphne. She spoke much to me of Magdalena. 
Probably she will write to you. I understood from her 
that your business was of less importance to you than I 
had fancied. And between the lines of your more recent 
letters I have discerned an increasing interest in litera- 
ture. If this be so, wouldn't this quiet village serve your 


'I have not seen you, my boy, for more than ten years. 
My health at best is good, but life is uncertain. I have 
much to say, things which cannot be written. 
"Come if you can, and soon. 

"Your loving father, 


As he read this letter Tim could hear the cawing of the 
rooks in the tall elms behind the Vicarage: he could see, 
clustering about the church, the placid village dominated 
by tower and spire. What a cradle to lie down in and 
rest! Merely to think of Little Pennington furnished a 
soporific to a sleepless man. He beheld the Vicar growing 
old alone : he recalled the many friends who would greet 
him kindly, Arthur Hazel, Mary Nightingale, the Colonel 
and his wife, the cottagers who, from time to time, sent 
through the Vicar artless messages of peace and good- 
will. His thoughts concerning all these dear people were 
clear and symmetrical as crystals. 

And yet 

To return to Little Pennington a failure, broken in for- 
tune and heart, and health for health, too, had yielded 
to a strain terribly prolonged to return as a pensioner 
upon the Vicar's bounty, to be constrained to play a part 
in the genteel comedy of rural life, to render due obeisance 
to Caesar, to submit, for decency's sake, to social laws, so 
irritating to men who have lived in new countries, to do 
and say the real right thing according to Little Pennington 
tradition ! 

He told himself very sorrowfully that it was impossible. 
A week later Daffy's letter arrived. Again he hesitated be- 



fore he broke the seal. He had feared that the Vicar might 
say too much: a greater fear possessed him that Daffy 
might say too little. 


"The Vicar has told me of your crushing sorrow. To 
you alone I can whisper that I, too, have suffered mis- 
erably, and because of that I can share your suffering. 
The distance between us is so dreadful. Time and space 
seem to divide us inexorably. Hopelessness and misery 
must be eating your heart and mind away. I can think 
of nothing to comfort you but this : Magdalena told me 
what you had been to her: she let me have a glimpse 
of what your inner life was, of the devotion and tender- 
ness which she inspired in you, and which you inspired 
in her. That, Tim, is an imperishable happiness, a happi- 
ness which is given to few. Upon it I entreat you to 
build up your future, whatever that future may be. 

"The Vicar says that he has asked you to come back 
to Little Pennington : but something tells me the time is 
not yet for that. It is impossible for him to realise 
what your life in California has been. I have dared to 
tell him to be prepared for disappointment. I have 
paved the way for a refusal which otherwise might have 
wounded him. 

"I will write again. 

"Your old friend 


Tim put these letter:: away in a despatch box. 


He went back to the office, to work which had become 
jejune and exasperating. His novel remained in a drawer. 

In any case, he would have found it difficult to write, 
because abundant rains were quickening all activities in 
the state. He became once more the slave of business 


no longer his, with a vision of golden profits which had 
slipped through his fingers. One day he said to Wason : 

"I can't stick it any longer." 

"I understand. But more is needed than change of 
skies. Tim, you must try to get out of yourself and 
stay out." 

"What a counsel of perfection ! Toss grief to the winds, 

"No. Stand upon it! Don't let it stand upon you." 

"I rise above it at moments, Wason, only to sink again 
fathoms deep below it into starless night." 

Wason was a man of few words : Hoyt a master of many. 
Tim could speak with less reserves to Hoyt, although Wason 
had been, indeed, a tower of strength and silence. Hoyt 
spoke hopefully: 

"You are like me, Tim. We have laboured abundantly, 
but the harvest will be gleaned by others. Riches would 
smother me. I should perish in the effort to spend my 
dollars before I died. We are two Bohemians. Let's admit 
it, and have done with it. You are right : you, being you, 
can't stick it. Then cut loose ! Follow your instinct. This 
is a very big state, but it may be too small for you. Tell 
me, if you can, what is in your mind ?" 

"I am thinking of France." 

He spoke at length of Brittany, of its curious intimate 
charm, of its grey skies and seas, of its twisted oaks, its 
legends : and the strange alluring effect of these upon him- 
self when he was a boy at Concarneau. Hoyt nodded : 

"Yes, yes. I can see you there. Lord! how I shall 
miss you : but if Brittany calls persistently go ! I came 
West in the same restless, hungry spirit. I chucked good 
prospects. Well, well, I have never looked back. I found, 
more or less, what I wanted, what suited me. I believe 
that, ultimately, you will do the same." 

Tim's old friend, Mackinnon, presented tersely enough 
the general sense of the community 

"I think this is suicidal. You have established yourself 



here. A big opportunity lurks round the corner. You 
propose to abandon substance for shadow. I suppose this 
is Hoyt's doing?" 

"Oh, no!" 

"I am much distressed. You have caught on. And now 
you talk to me of letting go ! I have no patience with such 

The old man's persistence kept Tim awake throughout 
a couple of restless, miserable nights. He was tempted to 
decide his fate with a spin of the coin, but he did not do so. 
He struck, instead, a careful balance, setting down all 
assets and liabilities. Fetters of any sort would, he knew, 
consume him, eat into his very bones. 

"I shall cut loose," he decided. 

Finally he arranged with a local attorney to forward 
his only source of income, the one-tenth interest in Agua 
Caliente. He took leave of his friends with genuine regret, 
but a more poignant emotion was lacking. Feeling seemed 
to be dead within him, buried with Magdalena. His mind, 
for the moment, became obsessed by trifles which hitherto 
he had contemptuously disregarded. He was suffering from 
dyspepsia and insomnia. To win back health, to find some- 
where anywhere! a renewed interest in life, the incli- 
nation for one honest laugh, for one stimulating, pleas- 
urable sensation these were worth while, everything else 
he dismissed as negligible. 

He travelled from San Francisco to New York upon a 
pass which the cashier of the metropolitan bank obtained 
for him. He accepted also from the same friendly hands a 
substantial cheque, perhaps a thousandth part of the for- 
tune which might have been his. 

Alone upon the platform at Oakland, he watched his 
fellow-travellers taking leave of their friends. One hap- 
pened to be the son of a millionaire, a polo-player and 
pleasure-seeker, whose cheery laugh lacerated poor Tim's 
nerves. He had seen this young fellow at the Arlington : 
and he feared that recognition impended. He would be in- 


vited to join a jolly crowd. However, he had changed 
greatly: and he had only met this boisterous youth once. 
So he took his seat in the sleeper, and picked up a book. 
Presently, what he dreaded came to pass. The young fel- 
low caught sight of Tim, whispered to a friend, and ap- 
proached. From his expression it was reasonably certain 
that a doubt concerning Tim's identity was assailing him. 
He said tentatively : 

"You are Mr. Brown? We met at Santa Barbara two 
years ago ? You had a big business ?" 

Tim said quietly : 

"You are mistaken. I have no business in Santa Bar- 
bara. My name is White." 

"I beg your pardon." 

"Not at all." 

Tim spoke in self-defence. He had not thought of aban- 
doning Brown. But he smiled derisively, as he sat re- 
flecting how pat the old name had become to his lips. Yet 
he wore black : he felt black : he was Black. 





MEANWHILE, war had broken out in South Africa. 
After leaving the steamer at Liverpool, Tim trav- 
elled direct to London, and tried to enlist in a cavalry regi- 
ment, offering himself to a spurred and dashing sergeant 
whom he met opposite St. Martin's Church. But, as might 
be expected, he failed to satisfy the Army doctors. His 
physique, when he stripped for inspection, provoked many 
questions. Nevertheless the verdict was unanimous: 

"You are not fit for active service." 

Dyspepsia and insomnia had taken flesh and muscle from 
his magnificent frame. He looked a wreck and felt 

Upon the evening of the day when he was inspected, he 
left England for France, travelling straight from Saint Malo 
to Concarneau. He could not face his many friends in 
Little Pennington ; he was too miserably ill to meet Daffy. 
Brittany appealed irresistibly as a place wherein he had 
been happy as a boy, a place free from disagreeable asso- 
ciations, where he could do what he pleased without kind 
or unkind interference. 

Twelve years had sped by since Tim's first visit to the 
ancient fishing port; and he marked changes in the town 
and in the people. The new and the old towns lie side 
by side, linked by a common causeway; and, may be, in 



the hearts of the Concarnois new ideas and old lie thus, 
linked by a common interest, love and fear of the sea which 
puts food into their stomachs and exacts ruthless toll of 
their lives. 

Tim beheld smug villas upon the once wild sand dunes 
to the north of the new town, and a miniature railroad 
which in summer-time brought many tourists. But for 
nine months in the year Concarneau remained much as he 
remembered it; a big village of fisherfolk and peasants 
with a sprinkling of artists who fled precipitately when 
their peace became imperilled by the ubiquitous tripper. 

The railroad he soon perceived had affected the peo- 
ple in many subtle ways, bringing them into closer touch 
with a civilisation regarded blinkingly as destructive of 
cherished traditions and superstitions. The old simple faith 
in things unseen was crumbling away. The language 
and costume remained. Tim thought of the Bretons as 
children sadly watching an incoming tide which must sweep 
away their castles built of sand. 

He became a pensionnaire in the Hotel des Voyageurs, an 
old granite-built inn facing the quay and market-place, 
an inn much beloved of artists. He rented, also, a large 
garret in a house hard by which would serve as a sanctuary. 

The mere sight of the sea made him feel better. 

He watched the men and women at work, inhaling the 
strong fresh air blowing straight from the Atlantic; he 
talked to them, and they chattered back shyly at first, but 
afterwards frankly and joyously. His days became more 
tolerable; his nights remained bad. He lay awake, hour 
after hour, thinking of his wife, ravaged by futile rage and 
misery, cursing the traps and treacheries, the multiform 
ambiguities of life, and the final overwhelming mystery 
of death. 

When he tried to work, he became strangely giddy. 
Twice he fainted, struggling back to consciousness against 
his will, wondering why some malignant fate ordained that 
he must live. 


Ultimately, he abandoned all idea of writing till his health 


For a time he shunned the artists, who kindly let him 
alone, but gradually he became intimate with some of them. 
Cabral, the sculptor, was still the great man in Concarneau, 
but Cabral was away in Paris and not likely to return till 
March or April. Briand, the painter of grey skies and seas, 
lived. in Paris with Cabral; they would return together 
so the good landlady said. 

There was an Englishman, a poet, with a dark melan- 
choly face, who talked much with Tim, but always of ab- 
stractions. He, too, had suffered bludgeonings which ab- 
sinthe helped him to forget. Another absintheur, named 
Vilard, a painter of much talent, exercised a certain attrac- 
tion, because life had dealt unkindly with him. Vilard and 
Lasher, the poet, knew Gaugin, the Impressionist, who was 
ending his life in a tiny hamlet some five and twenty miles 
to the south of Concarneau. Add to these a burly, black- 
bearded Frenchman from the Midi, the antithesis of Vilard, 
and you have a first glimpse of Tim's companions and fel- 
low-pensionnaires. The landlady spoke of the three as 
"mes anciens." They lunched and dined together, drank 
coffee together, met at the same hour for the evening 
aperitif, and talked everlastingly till it was time to go to 
bed. Art to each was not one-fourth of life, but, seem- 
ingly, all of it! 

Vilard persuaded Tim to begin painting again. Vilard 
happened to be an admirable draughtsman and anatomist; 
and in his day had been massier of one of the big French 
ateliers. His sense of colour had slowly degenerated into 
nonsense under the sinister influence of Gauguin and ab- 
sinthe, but his skill with charcoal remained. He took Tim 
in hand, accepting after much protest a small salary. The 
big fellow from the Midi, Jerome Mercier, told Tim that he 



ought to draw diligently for at least a year before he began 
to paint. Mercier affected the costume and the manners of 
a fisherman. He owned a boat in which he went sailing 
with Tim in all weathers, and he was reputed to be the 
strongest man in Concarneau. Morning and evening he 
exercised himself with huge dumbbells, and above his bed 
hung a small revolver, tied to the wall with blue riband. 
He shewed this to Tim, remarking solemnly : 

"It is loaded." 

"For what?" Tim asked. 

Mercier rolled his great brown eyes. Tim inferred 
that the pistol might be used against Mercier's enemies, 
if they raised against him a weapon which he abhorred 
ridicule. This great, rough, blustering giant worked in 
pastel most delightfully, although Vilard spoke contemptu- 
ously of his work as shik ! 

In February, Otis arrived from Paris, an American 
painter of marines, a tall, thin enthusiast to whom Tim took 
an instant and lasting affection. Otis knew California; as 
a young man he "taught school" in some obscure foothill 
town. For many years he had lived in France. 

By this time Tim's health was mending, although any 
mental or imaginative work brought back the attacks of 
giddiness. He drew in the open, took long walks with 
Otis, and sailed with Mercier. None of these Bohemians 
asked questions. Probably they suffered from curiosity, 
but hid its ravages like Spartans and gentlemen. Traffic 
with the outside world concerned them not at all. They 
accepted calmly the presence of English troops in the 
Transvaal at a time when France was gnashing her teeth 

Vilard said magnificently : 

"Such talk, look you, smells of the footlights. Now I 
detest the theatre!" 

Then he would continue, waving the pipe which was al- 
ways being relighted : "For me, I abominate this bourgeois 
France, these swaggering fools of politicians seeking to line 


their own nests at the expense of my country. I spit on 
them, canaille ! I despise the crowd. Avec ma pipe et ma 
palette je suis content." 

A little bonne happened to be passing the small marble- 
topped table at which Vilard and Tim were sitting. She 
smiled, knowingly, murmuring to Vilard: 

"Avec votre petit verre d'absinthe aussi." 

Vilard laughed, and ordered another. 

Herbert Lasher read his poems to Tim. They were 
mostly concerned with dear dead women, thin wraiths of 
Lasher's imagination, fluttering wanly amongst poppies, 
with the odour of death about them. Lasher quoted Ver- 
laine, whom he had met, with Bibi la Puree at the Cafe 
Harcourt in Paris. He was making a metrical translation of 
Baudelaire, which he hoped might appear in "The Yellow 
Book." The little man was singularly gentle, although, like 
Vilard, he would burst into passionate and withering con- 
demnation of facile success achieved by commonplace talent. 
Both Vilard and he suffered from what Parisians call la 
nostalgic de la boue. Under the influence of absinthe they 
seemed to prefer the gutter to a four-post bed! 

But they remained, drunk or sober, consistently kind to 
Tim, who, indeed, inspired a notable copy of verses to 
which "The Yellow Book" offered belated hospitality. Vil- 
ard, too, made an astounding portrait of our hero in black 
and white which hangs for all eyes to see in one of the 
Concarneau cafes. 

Nobody, as yet, had identified the thin, haggard man of 
thirty with the merry boy of eighteen, except the barber 
near the hotel, a round-bodied, round-faced Breton, who 
would shave Tim for a couple of sous and then sprinkle 
his face with toilet vinegar, saying gaily : 

"Qa pique, mais c,a fait du bien." 

He said at once: "I have seen Monsieur before, long 

"I came here for ten days when I was a boy." 



"Ah, yes ! One returns to the province. There is a 
charm. But it's passing. That accursed railroad!" 

Then the little man would declaim superbly, a la Vilard, 
abusing jerry-builders and les gens de commerce and all 
and sundry who were tampering with ancient customs, tap- 
ping his chest and saying: 

"I, too, am an artist and the friend of artists what !" 

"You are," Tim would reply soothingly. 

"I am, Monsieur. They owe me money. I may not get 
paid, but I care nothing, nothing, you understand, nothing." 

"I do understand," said Tim. 

This, he decided, was part of the charm of a place which, 
admittedly, smelt abominably when the tide was out. The 
fishermen, the sardine girls, the peasants, exhibited, often 
quite unconsciously, a curious sympathy with artists. And 
the climate seemed to touch even the gerry-built villas with 
magical ringers, transmuting crude green and red and blue 
into delicate pink and grey and lavender. 

Tim absorbed it all, as a man absorbs moisture when 
he is parched with thirst, as a field absorbs dew. The 
strong winds from the Atlantic, the soft land breezes, the 
cool grey skies, the wet sands, the ever-changing seas, the 
quiet landscape, wrought subtly with his tired tissues of 
mind and body. 


Cabral and Briand arrived in April, when patches of 
red clover were beginning to encarmine the fields. Tim 
felt nervous about meeting the great men, but they had 
quite forgotten him. Cabral stared hard, but, as he ex- 
plained afterwards, he was immensely struck by Tim's 
physical symmetry, and contemplating, at first sight, the 
possibility of persuading a stranger to pose. With this 
latent in his mind, he made himself vastly agreeable to Tim, 
and looked over his many studies, repeating: "Yes, yes, 
you have talent," with an air which suggested that much 


more was necessary. He and Briand, however, were singu- 
larly free from the affectations of genius. Each met the 
younger man on equal terms, and rather gloried in it. 

"I am a good comrade," said Cabral. 

"That is perfectly true, mon vieux," Briand would reply. 

Cabral took the head of the table at which the artists 
dined, and dominated all by a rough eloquence and rude 
vitality. He had peasant's blood in his veins, and a peasant's 
thrift. It was good to hear him exclaim : "Now, you will 
have a chopine with me," proffering the cider of the coun- 
try (supplied free) as if it were a bottle of vin de cachet. 
Tim offered, in return, cigars, accepted as tributes to 

Briand worked in the open air, making endless studies 
of sky and sea, forever chasing the elusive curves of waves 
rippling over wet sands. Otis said that Briand had "cor- 
nered" this particular subject. He added: 

"That's the game nowadays. One must go bald-headed 
for a trade-mark. Briand signs his pictures, but it's a 
waste of time. I'd like to steal some of his little tricks, but 
he won't let anyone except Cabral watch him at work. He 
cleans his palette every day. It's a fact. And locks up his 
colour-box. A very downy bird." 

Something in Tim, some smouldering cinder all that 
was left of Californian flames 'made him scheme to find 
out Briand's tricks. He said, in the presence of Cabral: 

"If I could see Monsieur Briand at work ?" 

Briand replied hastily: 


"Pif-f-f !" exclaimed Cabral. "I shall make it my affair 
that you do. It's understood." 

Briand protested, quite in vain, for Cabral's chaff was 
irresistible. But his vanity was flattered by Tim's insistence 
and enthusiasm. Ultimately, Tim became an unattached 
disciple. Briand acclaimed in him a sense of colour, and 
prepared a palette for his use. Tim, remembering Hoyt's 
injunction, played the sedulous ape. Indeed, so clever was 



he in stealing Briand's methods that he actually deceived 
the clever Otis, showing the American a small study, which 
provoked the remark : 

"Say did old Briand make you a present of that?" 

"It's mine." 

"By Jove ! So it is ! Well, you'd better be careful ! 
Copying is the devil. Yours? I'm a liar if it didn't take 
me in. But, no fooling, the old man touched it up for 

"Not a touch." 

"I'm simply damned." 

During the summer holidays, Otis and Tim and Vilard 
retired to a small hamlet beyond the ken of tourists. They 
returned to Concarneau in October. Cabral, after a search- 
ing survey of Tim, said brusquely : 

"Now, I am ready for you. You look fine, my boy. 
Yes; I propose to immortalise you as a Discus Thrower. 
You have the body and the head. The head above all ! I 
have been searching Paris for that. You see, my friend, I 
want the expression, the look of the athlete who is striv- 
ing to do something beyond his powers. A tense look, an 
anxious, eager look. You have that. But it is going. 
Soon you will lose it. Shall I call it the last look of youth? 
When can you pose for me?" 

"Name of a name !" exclaimed Tim. 

"What? You refuse? And I have done you favours. 
I have been a comrade I " 

Tim cut him short. 

"I'll pose, cher maitre." 

Cabral embraced him on both cheeks. 


The results of this posing had far-reaching effects, which 
will be set forth when the time comes. For the moment 
it brought Tim into intimate contact with a man of charac- 


ter and influence. Cabral could no more help imposing 
his views upon others than the sun can withhold light 
and heat. Rodin and he stood for primitive, elemental 
forces, which they expressed in clay and marble. They 
developed in others that thrusting power which impels men 
to do anything rather than stand still. Vilard and Lasher 
were dreamers, and in his heart Tim was aware of this. 
He had sunk to a low level through sheer ill health when 
he met these degenerates, and their philosophy so far as 
it went exercised no evil effect, because he needed com- 
plete rest after years of strenuous endeavour. He might 
have cast himself with them at the feet of la reine verte, 
and probably would have done so, thereby ruining his 
health, had not that health become to him the object of his 
solicitude. Vilard and Lasher, poor devils! had never 
known the robustious joy of perfect health. The memory 
of that, and all it included, sustained Tim in hours of deep 
dejection. The doctor whom he consulted shortly after he 
reached Concarneau told him that he was sound organically, 
and, when prescribing a rigorous diet, particularly warned 
his patient against alcohol as a stimulant to jaded and sensi- 
tive nerves. He said almost brutally: 

"It means suicide, Monsieur." 

Cabral became excited when he saw his model stripped, 
running his short spatulate fingers over Tim's muscles, and 
taking accurate measures, which he noted down upon an 
anthropometric chart. Tim's interest in these proceedings 
quickened, when Cabral said: 

"You are perfectly proportioned. I have never had such 
a model, but, all the same, look you, your muscles can be 
further developed. Talk to Mercier! Exercise with him! 
I insist. I see in you my masterpiece. You will not refuse 
to help me?" 

Tim made a grimace, but he said with a faint stirring 
of vanity: 

"If you could have seen me five years ago !" 

Cabral swooped upon this. 


T i m o t Ji y 

"Good! What has been, may be again at your age. I 
shall begin with the head, but the body is not quite worthy 
of me. You must add inches to the pectorals, the triceps, 
the abdominal muscles and the thighs and calf. An all- 
round development what? Mercier is our man." 

"Why not get Mercier for the body?" 

"Hercules never appealed to me. These big, over-muscled 
men are lazy. I want the speed and symmetry of an 
Apollo. You will do what I ask? On my knees I ask it." 

Fired by this Gallic enthusiasm, Tim went to Mercier, 
and presented himself as a pupil. Mercier insisted upon an 
exhaustive examination, and became nearly as enthusiastic 
as Cabral. He added majestically : 

"For the rest if the Master commands, it is for us to 
obey. I shall feel honoured in carrying out his orders. 
With you, my son, I can perform miracles." 

Accordingly Tim submitted to the daily discipline of clubs 
and dumbbells under the tutelage of an expert who under- 
stood exactly what was needed. 

The result surprised nobody more than Tim himself. 
Sleep came back to him, and an immense appetite. Cabral 
rubbed his hands, chuckling as he recorded the increased 

"Ca va bien! Continuez!" 

Tim had to encounter volleys of chaff at the dinner table 
and in the cafes, but he was cheered on by the women. 

"Monsieur s'embellit enormement," was the flattering 
verdict of his landlady and the bevy of hand-maidens. 

In fine, as before, youth and health and strength came 
back to him. His body below the throat shone like white 
satin. But the mind remained black. 

Cabral, however, having finished Tim's head to his satis- 
faction, or rather as approximately to his satisfaction as any 
genius can attain, said curtly: 

"I have the look I wanted. In return I must take that 
look from your face, for it indicates an uneasy mind, my 
friend. It is impossible to deceive me. You are suffering. 


I ask myself why? You are still a young man. Yet I 
perceive that you look back instead of ahead. That is 
rank blasphemy." 

Bit by bit Cabral's sympathy extracted details. 

"Yes, yes, all is explained, but life remains. You have 
work to do. Good! Do it." 

Tim nodded, not very hopefully. He had reached the 
"sticking" stage. Also, he was well aware that painting 
exacted a long and patient apprenticeship. Otis told him 
cheerfully that three years at the Beaux Arts would give 
him the necessary technique. Three years, the irreducible 
minimum! It seemed an eternity. Should he abandon 
painting and turn finally to writing? 

The nerve force to make a decision so vital was still 
lacking. He temporised, which, perhaps, was wise. And he 
remembered the Vicar's words : 

"Sooner or later you will find out what you can do, 
and then you will do it." 

Cabral finished The Discus Thrower and returned with 
Briand to Paris. 

A year had passed. 

The Discus Thrower, exhibited at the May Salon, added 
lustre to Cabral's reputation. Incidentally its success as the 
statue of the year lured Tim to Paris, where he passed a 
somewhat riotous month. Pleasure beckoned to him with 
a beguilement only to be measured by those who have drunk 
to the dregs the cup of Pain. In Paris, at a small hotel, 
he met two Englishmen of his own age, public-school men, 
who had remained in the conventional groove. Their 
prejudices, their absorption in games and sport, their con- 
tempt for "outsiders," their utter lack of any sense of pro- 
portion amazed Tim. He had not the smallest notion, till 
then, of how far he had travelled from them. They were 
"doing" Paris, with an uneasy conviction that Paris was 



"doing" them. And yet they appealed to Tim enormously, 
because they looked so clean, so well-groomed, and were, 
on their own ground, such artlessly good fellows. They 
reminded him of Jocelyn and Wynne. Time seemed to 
stand still for men of that type. They remained eternally 
young and almost childish, particularly when they affected 
the wisdom to which in the nature of things they could 
never attain. Brief intimacy with them justified Tim in 
keeping away from Little Pennington. His absence from 
the happy village lay upon his conscience, but he left it 
there with a lighter heart after meeting these compatriots, 
because he learned from them something of vital im- 
portance, which brought back vividly that last terrible scene 
between the Vicar and himself. 

They had been talking politics. Tim's new acquaintances 
were Unionists and presumably Churchmen, although their 
behaviour in Paris did not warrant the latter assumption. 
Tim listened, rather bored, to opinions culled, for the most 
part, from the Tory press, and then, with an unexpectedness 
which made his heart throb, one young man remarked : 

"My governor says that if Carteret had not been drowned 
we should have had a Tory Democracy with Carteret him- 
self as Prime Minister. He was certainly our most bril- 
liant man at the time. And it's a humiliating fact that we've 
no one like him." 

"Who was Carteret?" asked Tim. 

He guessed that they were speaking of his father. Of 
that father, as we know, he knew nothing except that he 
had been a brilliant politician who went down in his yacht 
in Dublin Bay. Tim left the matter at that, not even 
seeking to find out his father's name, although curious in 
regard to what it was. Such information is not to be picked 
up in the foc'sle of a sailing ship. By the time Tim reached 
San Francisco, where such curiosity might have been satis- 
fied, he decided that he hated his father, because he had 
brought such terrible trouble to his mother. And then, after 
reading the Vicar's letter, he accepted finally his guardian 


as sire, casting the other to the limbo of forgetfulness. 
The Vicar was as he had pointed out Tim's legal father. 
The other lay dead beneath the sea. Let him remain 
there ! 

And now, suddenly, he had risen from the dead, and 
stood facing his son, a pale ghost. 

"Who was Carteret?" repeated the young man. "By 
Jove! White, you must have forgotten your English his- 

* "I have," said Tim. He could remember Carteret's name, 
nothing more. "Tell me what you know." 

"That isn't much," said' the other modestly. 

"Carteret was a cousin of sorts to the present duke. He 
had the ability and the unscrupulousness of the family. 
He began his political life as a Radical, but came over to 
us. Just before his death he started a party of his own." 

"When did he die?" asked Tim, wishing to make sure. 

"Some time in the sixties. Before I was born. Went 
down in Dublin Bay. There's a nailing good life of him. 
'Rupert Carteret and His Times.' " 

"Thank you," said Tim. 




AT Galignani's Tim bought his father's biography and 
carried it back to the hotel to read, devouring it at 
one sitting, turning the last page long after midnight. Sleep 
was impossible, so he wandered into the streets till he 
came to the Place de la Concorde, where he sat down upon 
a bench, giving himself up to thoughts racing through his 
brain. Never since the death of Magdalena had he felt 
so alive, so tingling with the craving to be and to do which 
he recognised as an inheritance all in fact that a father 
of like temperament had bequeathed to an unknown son. 

The biography of Rupert Carteret had been admirably 
done by a kinsman who knew him well, an intimate friend 
and yet a sagacious critic. In fine, Tim beheld his father 
for the first time as portrayed by a master hand ; he knew 
that the picture must be true to life, for life informed it. 
There were several illustrations; Carteret as child, as boy, 
as youth, as man. In each Tim recognised himself. He 
resembled his father rather than his mother. L'enfant de 
1'amour resemble toujours au pere! 

His father ! 

Why had he been so incredibly foolish as to keep knowl- 
edge of such a sire at bay? Heavens! Here was a docu- 
ment by which he could interpret himself. The father 
lived again in his son. He, too, had suffered abominably, 
linked for many years to an insane wife, whom he had mar- 
ried for love. He had seen the mind of his beloved die 
by inches, while the body changed also from a thing of 


beauty into something worse than death. He had lost a 
fair fortune and made another. He had been desperately 
ill, and had regained his health. He had tried half a dozen 
avenues, to Fame before he found the one leading to West- 
minster. He had distinguished himself at Oxford, at the 
Bar, as a writer, as an amateur actor. For the first half 
of the book, it seemed to Tim that he was reading about 
himself, of successive phases through which he had passed, 
although Rupert Carteret had been always in and of the 
great world. One phrase was illuminating 

"Behold a chameleon!" 

And again 

"Like so many cadets of his illustrious family a rebel." 

Yes ; he had set even ducal authority at defiance, allying 
himself with Bright and Cobden, espousing the cause of 
Labour, and then turning again, towards the last, to the 
Tories, inciting them in vain to justify their position and 
opportunities as protectors of the poor. Admittedly Rupert 
Carteret had struggled desperately in his own interests, 
fired by an ambition half-noble, half-ignoble, seeking to 
impose his personality upon all with whom he came in con- 
tact, unscrupulous politically, not too scrupulous morally, 
for after his wife's incarceration in a private asylum he 
seemed to have had endless affairs with other women ; and 
yet, from first to last, a light now flickering faintly, now 
burning with steady beam shone about him, a divine spark 
of sympathy in and for others, which revealed the man's 
essential humanity and greatness. 

Of Tim's mother not a word. 

The absence of any mention of her touched Tim pro- 
foundly. He could not doubt that this secret love had been 
guarded jealously, hidden even from the keen eyes of 
Carteret's Boswell. And he could understand the tre- 
mendous attraction which such a man, so charming, so 
versatile, so impulsive and enthusiastic, must have exer- 
cised over a lovely Irish woman, young and ardent, a pris- 
oner in the house of an evil liver and spendthrift. He 



could understand how inevitable had been her fall, and 
how sweet her surrender to such a conqueror. 

Every hard thought and there were many which he 
had entertained concerning this hapless pair was melted by 
pity and sympathy. His tears fell drenchingly upon their 
misfortunes. He forgot his own. 


He returned to Concarneau to attack his art with a zest 
and determination which excited derisive comments in 
Lasher and Vilard and high commendation from Otis. 
Cabral remained in Paris. Briand and he came back to 
Brittany in October. Cabral was immensely struck by the 
progress made. Tim had essayed portraiture ; his studies of 
the sardineres were excellent from the point of view of 
likeness; but Cabral grumbled at too facile modelling and 
brush-work. Briand turned from them impatiently. He 
loathed dirt and ignorance. 

"La bete humaine!" he said scornfully. "Je ne cherche 
pas ca." 

And then Cabral would reply furiously: 
"C'est un vrai malheur pour toi, vieux imbecile !" 
That was the unbridgable difference between the two 
men, which, possibly, inasmuch as each was artist to his 
finger-tips, accounted for their comradeship. The work of 
both ran upon parallel lines, there was no possibility of 
rivalry or comparison. To Cabral nothing mattered ex- 
cept men and women and children; Briand sought and 
found his inspiration upon unfrequented stretches of gleam- 
ing sands, reflecting tenderly soft little clouds with edges 
of foaming light. 

However, Briand said seriously: 
"You have talent; and you see beneath the surface." 
Otis, too, admitted originality in Tim's backgrounds. 
He used vivid colour daringly, in defiance of academic 


standards. Otis had been a pupil of Bonnard and also of 
Bougereau ; he had worked much at Barbizon, treading in 
the steps of Jean Frangois Millet and Bastien Lepage. But 
he had abandoned ugly peasants and beautiful nymphs for 
seascape, which he was beginning to handle masterfully 
upon lines exactly opposite to Briand's, after the manner 
of Stanhope Forbes. But at the back of his mind re- 
mained the old conventions. Backgrounds, he contended, 
should be merely indicated. Velasquez understood that! 
Why try to improve upon him? 

"Colour is my fancy," said Tim. 

"Well, I can't deny that you are grappling with the mod- 
ern principle. Hit 'em in the eye. That's what the bloom- 
ing public demands." 

"Why not? I've been hit in the eye myself." 

During these years, Tim lived upon the one-tenth inter- 
est from Agua Caliente which was remitted from Santa 
Barbara every six months. What he had saved out of this 
remittance was spent during his riotous month in Paris. 
The attorney, who attended to this affair, wrote hopefully 
of a renewed prosperity in the Golden State, with a sub- 
acid flavour of regret and disgust because Tim had "let 
go" too soon. He announced the discovery of oil, and the 
intention of the Agua Caliente Syndicate to begin boring 
upon a large scale. He concluded : "Oil may make you a 
rich man yet." 

Tim was much elated, but premature thanksgiving oozed 
out of him when his Christmas dividend arrived at Con- 
carneau split exactly in half. His attorney recited the 
facts, which were cold indeed. The syndicate had sunk two 
deep wells without finding the lubricating fluid. Tim was 
entitled to one-tenth of the net profits; and the profits for 
the year had been subject to this damnable drain. 

"I must try to sell some stuff," said Tim to Otis. "If 
they go on boring, which they talk of doing, there may be 
no profits at all." 

"Quite," replied Otis. "This will buck you up, Tim. I 



never knew a remittance man who was not more or less 
the worse for being dependent on it." 

"It has saved me." 

"Up to a point. But there's nothing like getting into the 
open market." 

Tim looked at him doubtfully. 

"Have I the cheek to sell portraits?" 

"That's exactly what you have, old man. The cheek 
to sell 'em is a bigger asset than the ability to paint 'em. 
I'll find you customers." 



The humiliating sense that he was a remittance man 
produced a healthy inflammation. He perceived that his 
friends regarded him as an amateur, burdened by this re- 
mittance, above or below the necessity of straining every 
nerve to save himself from starvation. And behind this 
lay the grim determination to keep away from the Vicar 
and Little Pennington till he could go back in mild triumph, 
a successful man. He wanted to say to his guardian : 

"What you did for me has not been wasted. I have 
made good. I am something more than a servant of the 
India Civil Service." 

Rupert Carteret had returned to a ducal establishment 
in much the same spirit, extorting a belated welcome from 
the head of his family and a triumphal arch across the 
main drive to the castle. 

And there was Daffy. 

He longed to meet Daffy again. They corresponded at 
rare intervals. Necessarily she spoke of her husband, now 
a pillar of the House of Lords, and an M.F.H. Daffy had 
wanted to marry an M.F.H. To invite contrast between 
a county magnate and an impecunious painter was unthink- 
able to Rupert Carteret's son. 

You will understand, therefor^, how easily our hero fell 


into the trap which Fate laid for him. Love of his work 
became merged in the ambition to "make good," the same 
ambition which had constrained him to devote all energies 
to the sale of land. 

He believed that he was himself again, that he had found 
his Ego, that he knew exactly what he wanted, fortune and 
fame. He put fame before fortune. Let Timothy White 
ring in the mouths of men. Cabral said to him: 

"Mon enfant, thou art rejuvenated. It is very good!" 
It was true. The black humours passed. The irony of 
the change amused and perplexed Tim. He fell to wonder- 
ing about the immeasurable possibilities latent in Man, his 
adaptability, his powers of recuperation. That, he decided, 
was the true significance of the New Testament. Christ 
must remain for all time the Supreme Type of humanity, 
the Universal Exemplar. Of what trivial consequence re- 
mained the harmony or the discrepancy of the gospel nar- 
ratives. The great illuminating fact, whether you accepted 
it symbolically or literally, was the victory of life over 
death, the resurrection of the dead. 


Between Christmas and Midsummer's Day, Tim painted 
two or three portraits which he sold at a price which his 
clients swore faithfully not to reveal, and which they com- 
municated at once to their friends. This success for so 
Otis regarded it came opportunely, for the half yearly 
dividend failed altogether in June, and Tim's agent in- 
formed him that the syndicate had staked their profits on 
striking oil, and had not struck it. 

Tim, he added, must not expect any money from Agua 
Caliente unless the property were sold. It was very valu- 
able, worth nearly half a million dollars, quite exclusive of 
the oil rights, and sooner or later the syndicate would find 
a purchaser. It was being offered for sale. 



Tim accepted this in the true Bohemian spirit, giving a 
small, select supper to celebrate his emancipation. 

"I am now on my own," he stated. 

"Root, hog, or die!" quoted Otis. 

Lasher and Vilard took a less rosy view. The habit 
of impetrating small loans had become chronic. Perhaps 
Tim was sorrier for them than for himself. He said to 
Vilard : 

"We must economise." 

"All true artists," replied that great man bitterly, "should 
be supported by the State." 

Lasher agreed with him. 

When the time came for fleeing from the trippers, Tim 
talked of Rochefort en Terre, where there was a delightful 
inn up in the hills, kept by two charming sisters. Otis, 
however, protested vehemently : 

"Are you mad, Tim? You must stay in Concarneau and 
paint the haute bourgeoisie." 


"I'll stay with you. We'll bleed 'em white. And look 
here, a mighty rich little widow is coming, a cousin of mine, 
Mrs. Boal. Ever heard of Boat's Axle Grease?" 

"The brand sounds familiar." 

"I'll bet it greased your wheels in California. And it 
must grease 'em again here. I shall make her commission 
a full length. You see!" 

After much argument, Otis prevailed. The others scoffed. 
Even Cabral said: 

"Ca pue le commerce!" 

Tim and Otis laughed with the scoffers, regarding the 
whole affair as a joke to be perpetrated by two martyrs at 
the expense of Philistines. Their landlady was delighted. 
She stated her views with perspicacity : 

"People come here and ask, 'Where, Madame, are your 
dear artists?' and then I reply, 'They must have their lit- 
tle holiday, too'; but it is stupid to leave the town when 
the fools come, who know nothing of pictures. Always 


that has enraged me. Now God be praised ! I shall be 
able to help sell your machines, and you, my dear chil- 
dren, will not grudge me a small commission what?" 

"Ten per cent.," said Otis, rubbing his hands. 

The landlady, a Bretonne bretonnante, kissed them on 
both cheeks, adding complacently : 

"We must use tact\ hein? Never, but never, my chil- 
dren, must you speak of your pictures. That will be my 
affair. After dinner, when I bring the old cognac, I shall 
say : 'It is a pity that you cannot see the masterpieces of 
Monsieur Otis and Monsieur White. Ah! what talent, 
what genius is there !' And then they will be furious. And 
to calm them I shall promise to do my little possible. I 

shall make the arrangements, what? With a difficulty ! 

As a supreme favour to me. Ah! la bonne farce! C'est 
de la comedie, c,a!" 

Then Mercier thumped his enormous chest, and declared 
his intention of joining the martyrs. Tim was delighted; 
he had learned to love the black-a-vized giant. Otis said 
dejectedly: "Le Colosse will spoil our market. His choco- 
late-boxey pastels will sell like hot cakes." 

Vilard cheered up Lasher by whispering: 

"When we return, cher poete, there will be pickings. 
What a blessed privilege to be able to assist genius !" 

Mercier said loudly, with the intention of appeasing 
Cabral : 

"These good bourgeois have pretty wives. We must be 
civil to them. Yes, yes ; it is strange that we never thought 
of this campaign before." He continued talking of his 
bonnes fortunes while Tim chalked on his broad back : 


About the middle of July, the tourists invaded Concar- 
neau, a terrible crowd. The three martyrs were appalled. 
Even Mercier quailed, saying querulously: 



"I never saw such women. It is a penance to behold 
them in bathing costume." 

With the crowd came Mrs. Boal. She was a little, faded 
woman with kind, anxious eyes which rested pleasantly 
upon Tim. Her chin and nose, faintly encarmined, were 
rather sharp. She suffered from dyspepsia and had passed 
her thirty- fourth birthday. Her Christian name was 
Alethea. Tim was much relieved, because he had ex- 
pected an over-dressed, bediamonded parvenu from the 
mid-west, a type that he had met and abominated in Santa 
Barbara. Mrs. Boal joined the martyrs at a small round 
table, saying little and eating less, but obviously impressed 
by the artists. Otis furnished Tim with additional details 

"Gideon T. Boal was a beast, a big money-making brute. 
He used to ask me why I didn't come back to God's coun- 
try. I told him that I intended to return there when 
sixty millions of my compatriots had visited Europe to 
learn manners. There was a coolness between us after 
that. I used to wonder why Omnipotence permitted him 
to accumulate his vast pile. Not a soul was the better for 
it while he lived; and his death emphasised the eternal 
fitness of things. Alethea has all his cash, and doesn't 
know what to do with it, poor dear. Now, Tim, I've fixed 
you up. You're to paint her full length, and I've named 
the price. Five thousand francs. Hit the trail, my son." 

"Otis, it's too much." 

"It isn't. If I'd asked less, she would have been scared. 
And she's taken an uncommon fancy to you, Tim. She 
saw Cabral's Discobulus in Paris. And I believe she'd have 
bought it, only some hog-slaying magnate from Chicago 
snapped it up." 

"I'll do my best," said Tim. 




MR. BOAL," observed Alethea to Tim, "considered 
me a fool." 

She stood upon the dais in Tim's studio, with the light 
from the north window slanting upon her face. She 
wore a frock, created by Pingat for the portrait, a soft, 
shimmering brocade, exquisitely cut upon simple, flowing 
lines. Tim admired the frock enormously, and had said 
so in his usual hearty manner, which established friendship 
upon an easy footing. He liked Alethea, and felt sorry 
for her. Obviously, she had borne much from her late 
husband, everything, in point of fact, except children. Otis 
was thankful for this, and possibly Alethea joined in 
silent thanksgiving. When a woman tells a man that an- 
other man has accounted her a fool, it is not easy to reply. 
Tim, however, murmured politely: 

"It doesn't much matter now what Mr. Boal thought, 
does it?" 

"N-n-no," replied Alethea. She gazed wistfully at Tim, 
hoping that he would be complimentary, but our hero 
frowned, trying to seize the fugitive expression. 

"By Jove !" he exclaimed. "I've got it ?" 


"That little look. It has escaped me till now. What 
a bit of luck!" 

"May I take a tiny peep?" 

She descended from the dais and approached the portrait 
now nearing completion. As a work of art it was sub- 



jected later to much well-deserved and drastic criticism, 
but the likeness was undeniable and flattering. Otis had 
bargained that it should be flattering. He said earnestly 
to Tim: 

"The poor little woman has been biffed with a fence- 
rail. You must play the good Samaritan. Make her pleased 
with herself." 

Tim had succeeded beyond expectation. 

Alethea peeped ; then she said shyly : 

"Do I look as young as that?" 

"You look younger every day." 

"Do I? Well, I don't feel young. Nobody feels young 
who takes Lacto-Peptine. I take fifteen grains; ten used 
to be enough, but I had to increase the dose." 

"Oblige me by going back to ten." 

"Really? I suppose you're joking." 

"Try ten." 

"Fried sardines are so indigestible, Mr. White." 

"But they're delicious. I'm sure you think too much 
and too seriously about yourself." 

"I have to," she admitted naively. 

Tim inferred from her tone all that she intended him 
to infer. The look which he had just caught indicated 
a sense of loneliness, and the incapacity to get away 
from it. 

"I sha'n't touch that canvas again to-day. Do you want 
to go back to the hotel, or do you feel like sitting here 
with me and having a talk?" 

She smiled primly and sat down. 

"What shall we talk about?" asked Tim briskly. "Pres- 
ent or future?" 

"The present, please." 

"Good! Do you think you're making the most of it? 
Oughtn't you to be sitting to Carolus Duran, for example, 
instead of to me?" 

"I have liked sitting to you. I should be terrified of 
those big, conceited men. I hated to sit to you at first." 


"You have sat like Patience on a monument." 

"It has been so pleasant," she sighed. "I shall be so 
sorry to leave Concarneau." 

"Aren't you wandering into the future?" 

She nodded, and remained silent, watching Tim as he 
began to clean his brushes. Whenever he happened to 
turn his back, her face softened, growing prim again 
when he looked at her. In her heart she was piqued be- 
cause Tim remained so genially aloof. Many men had 
made love to his widow since the death of Gideon T. Boal. 
A select few refrained. She hated the many and liked 
the few, which shows that she was not the fool which her 
late husband had considered her. Now, after a month's 
intimate acquaintance, she began to wonder if she would 
like Tim to make love to her. From Otis she learned 
something of Tim's past.. Otis said tersely: 

"Poor Tim has had some nasty knocks. He lost his 
wife, his money and his health in one rattle out of the 
box. He looked half dead when he came here." 

"He looks splendid now, Tom." 

"That's because his work has got hold of him. Nothing 
like work. I predict that Tim will become a fashionable 
portrait painter. He has a little way with him. You'll find 

She had. Tim's little way challenged attention from 
most women. Alethea said at the end of the first week to 
her cousin: 

"You know, Tom, your friend, Mr. White, reminds me 
of that sign at the end of the sand dunes." 

"What sign?" 

She laughed softly: 

"Defence de chasser sur ce terrain!" 

Otis laughed. 

"Great Scot ! Alethea, you were wasted on Gideon. May 
I repeat that to Tim?" 

"If you do, I'll never speak to you again." 

Otis told Tim the same evening, adding: 



"The Discobulus did the trick. There's a big heap of 
dollars, old man, why not sail in?" 

"You go to blazes!" replied Tim irritably. 

When he had finished cleaning his brushes, Tim sat down 
not too near Mrs. Boal. 

"We seem to have exhausted the present rather quickly. 
After all, the future appeals more to the imagination. 
What are you going to do when you leave here ?" 

"I don't know. That's, the trouble with me. Probably 
I shall go back to my apartment in Paris." 

"You like Paris?" 

"Not particularly. It's an improvement upon Minneapo- 
lis. I have been asked to two places in Scotland." 

"Scotland ! Do you shoot, or play golf ?" 

"I don't do anything of that sort. I'm a looker-on." 

"At other people's games. Why not start some of 
your own ?" 

She regarded him intently, and then gazed reflectively 
at her hands, which were small and soft and white, the 
hands of a looker-on. After a pause she said simply: 

"I don't know how to begin games." 

Tim displayed impatience. 

"But, dash it all ! you have money to burn. Why not 
burn some of it." 


"You are interested in the theatre. Produce a play ! Get 
hold of a budding genius! Make things buzz a bit!" 

"I don't know any budding geniuses. If you had writ- 
ten a play, Mr. White, I would produce it with pleas- 

"Thanks," said Tim. "I really believe you would." 

"I'd love to help people, but " 

"You hate 'em when they try to help themselves out of 
Mr. Boal's pile. Of course, you're pestered by the wrong 

"Yes ; I am. It is hateful. I was reading the other day 
about the lady whom Lord Beaconsfield married. She 


helped him, didn't she? That must have been a real joy 
to her." 

"Advertise for a rising but impecunious politician. The 
House is full of them." 

"You laugh at nearly everything I say. I don't know any 
politicians. I was not impressed by them in America." 

"Nor I. Anyway, I detest party politics. If you really 
want to help people " 

He paused, looking at her, faintly smiling. 

"I do. Indeed, I do." 

"Then you need not leave Concarneau. The sardines 
have failed this summer. There will be a lot of misery in 
the fall and winter. Children and women will starve." 

"Of course, I will help. Why didn't you mention this 

"I wondered whether you would find it out for your- 
self. But how could you? These Bretons are naturally 
reserved, and the fisherfolk are extraordinarily proud and 
plucky. Already there is a lot of hardship. And in bad 
times the men drink. It used to be cider; now it's bad 
brandy, la goutte." He went on, speaking with feeling and 
excitement, in a tone she had never heard from him be- 
fore : "Life is a damnable affair when you have to face it 
with an empty stomach." 

"Have you ever done that?" 

"Yes; I have." 

"Oh! Tell me, please! I am so interested." 

"I've been down on my uppers, Mrs. Boal. I've begged 
a crust of bread and a plate full of cold potatoes. You 
see I know how these poor devils suffer. Yes; I've been 
there, but I escaped one misery cold." 

She shivered; her face became forlorn. 

"I don't want to make you feel cold," Tim murmured. 

"You have warmed me. I will help these poor women 
gladly, if you will show me the way." 

"Come on," said Tim. 



She followed him into many houses during the next week, 
watching him intently, beholding a side of the man quite 
unfamiliar to her. Talking with his poorer friends, Tim 
dropped a slightly ironic, reckless tone. With them he be- 
came of them, simple, ingenuous, very plain-spoken when 
he encountered whining fraud. The Breton is a singu- 
lar mixture of simplicity and shrewdness. Recognise him 
as a Celt, not a Frenchman, and you begin to understand 
him. Alethea tasted the fish soup, la cotrillade, and lis- 
tened to some of Botrel's songs crooned by mothers to 
their children. Tim was saturated with the traditions of 
Finistere. The quaint customs, the legends, the supersti- 
tions flowed from his lips. Such knowledge was new to 
Alethea, and stimulated an imagination somewhat atro- 
phied by disuse. Tim whirled her out of herself centrifu- 
gally. He made her giddy. She became intensely conscious 
of him and dependent upon him for excitement which 
seemed to exercise a pleasingly rejuvenating effect. He 
filled her prim mind with curiosities concerning his past 
life, which he persistently and exasperatingly refused to 
gratify, whetting them to a sharper edge. In one of the 
small, granite-built cottages a little boy was slowly dying 
of arthritis. Tim's rage at this confounded Alethea, who 
had been brought up a Presbyterian of the straightest sect, 
knowing the Westminster Confession by heart. The child 
happened to be illegitimate. Alethea was very sorry for 
him, but rooted in her mind lay the conviction that the 
deformed hands and feet were God's judgment upon a 
child of sin. Tim's wrath confounded her: 

"He has never had a chance. It's too horrible. There's 
an old woman next door dying of cancer, but she's had her 
innings; she's lived. This poor little kid has had nothing 
but pain. It makes my gorge rise." 

Alethea murmured shyly : 


"The way of the transgressor is hard." 

"What do you mean?" 

She blushed. 

"He was er born out of wedlock." 

"Heavens ! Do you hold the child responsible for that ? 
Do you think that illegitimate children are a whit worse than 
any others?" 

"I don't know," she faltered. "The sins of the fa- 
thers " 

"Nothing in that at all," said Tim vehemently. "Rather 
the contrary. Love children, as a rule, are stronger and 
better looking than the lawful pledges. And a jolly good 
thing, too. The Doctrine of Compensation comes in." 

Alethea pursed up her pale-pink lips, but she was think- 
ing that Tim looked extraordinarily handsome when he 
was excited. 

"Would you think less of me if I were illegitimate?" 

"Of course not, but you aren't." 

Tim burst out laughing. 


Jerome Mercier made love to Alethea, but his methods 
reminded Alethea of the late Gideon T. Boal, who said 
brutally that if he wanted a soft thing he asked for it, and 
generally got it. One afternoon Otis, Mercier, Tim and 
Alethea were drinking coffee upon the terrasse in front 
of the hotel. It was market day, and most of the peasants, 
men and women, were cidralises. Upon the quay, not forty 
yards distant, an altercation arose between a peasant and 
his wife, ending in a vicious blow from the man's clenched 
fist. The couple were separated, but Mercier, much to 
Tim's amusement, gobbled an opportunity of impressing 
the rich widow. He had spent a fortnight in England, 
and liked to air his English. 

"What a 'orror!" he growled to Alethea. "He strike 
his wife wiz hees feest, so!" 



Mercier crashed a huge fist into the open palm of his 
left hand. Alethea winced, Mercier went on dramatically: 

"Do you think that I, Jerome Mercier, would strike my 
wife wiz my feest?" 

"No, no," said Alethea, thinking that the fortnight spent 
by the fiery Gaul in England had not been altogether wasted. 
"Of course not." 

Mercier went on, delighted to observe that Alethea's 
eyes were fixed upon his bulging muscles : 

"Eef I was married, hein? And eef my wife should say 
somesing to me zat I did not like, do you think that I 
would use my feest?" 

"What would you do?" enquired Tim. 

"Sapristi! I should give 'er a good keeck be'ind." 

Later, Alethea said to Tim : 

"I don't like Monsieur Mercier." 

By this time our hero was uncomfortably aware that 
Alethea liked somebody else whom he was too modest 
to name. Otis said with conviction: 

"She's heels over head, Tim. And not a bad little sort. 
The clinging ivy, what? And you, the sturdy oak!" 

"Don't be a fool !" 

"That is my constant endeavour. It's a cinch, old man. 
If you don't mind ladling out Lacto-Peptine, three times 
a day, till death do you part, why mop up what the gods 
are handing to you in a spoon." 

"Shut up!" 

"It's there to take or leave. You'll be a sucker if you 
don't open your mouth wide." 

"I say drop it!" 

Otis shrugged his shoulders. In his heart the good fel- 
low was more concerned with his cousin's happiness than 
Tim's. He felt sure that Tim would make an admirable 

Some Frenchman has said : "A man chooses his friends, 
but love imposes itself." Perhaps the exact contrary may 
be affirmed of American women. Friendship is imposed 


upon them, but they choose their mates. Alethea made up 
her mind that she wanted Tim, and set to work to capture 
him. She employed ordinary methods, throwing herself 
whole-heartedly into the manufacture of nets. 

There are three rules which might appropriately be 
framed and hung up in young ladies' seminaries : 

(1) Inspire a passion. 

(2) Let it be discreetly seen that passion has been in- 
spired in you, for most men are terrified of marrying a 
cold woman. 

(3) Sink, temporarily, your own identity, tastes, and 
predilections in those of your quarry. 

If these rules be observed, the result is certain. 

Alethea, let it be premised, spread her nets at the right 
moment. Tim was approaching another crisis in his va- 
riegated life, With a return of health and exuberant vi- 
tality, he had grown restless, dissatisfied with himself and 
his present ambitions. The portrait of Alethea stood out 
as a commercial success and an artistic failure. That was 
the unspoken verdict of every man who knew. Nobody 
knew it better than Tim himself. He could become, if 
he chose, a painter of fair women; and, with constant 
practice, his technique would improve. Such portraits, 
if he struggled towards such an end, would be hung in 
the Salon and on the walls of the Royal Academy. A com- 
fortable income, so Otis predicted, was assured. 

"You have the knack," said Otis. 

A success so facile bored Tim. He possessed a tal- 
ent ! That, invariably, was Cabral's word. An eter- 
nity of portrait painting, of tactful concessions to pretty 
clients, of jejune small-talk, appeared to Tim about as 
alluring as the future of sweet Hosannas promised to the 
faithful of Little Pennington. To paint a great landscape 
was another matter. That, indeed, would be worth while. 
But Briand was doubtful whether such a consummation 
could ever be reached. 

And meanwhile he must live, pay his way, root vigor- 



ously, or sink into abysmal zones of degeneration like 
Vilard and poor Lasher. 

Happily, he was able to pay his way. The haute 
bourgeoisie had bought many studies. Mercier and Otis 
were talking of a three-man show at Nantes and Brest. If 
Tim chose to take up writing again, he had money enough 
to support himself in tolerable comfort for at least a year. 




CABRAL returned to Concarneau upon the I5th of 
September, and nodded portentously when he saw 
Alethea's portrait. He told Tim that the price paid (Tim 
showed him the cheque) was not excessive. Then he 
added : 

"Tu as trouve ton chemin, mon enfant." 

But he smiled derisively, shrugging his broad shoulders. 
Tim said: 

"Mon maitre, will you be perfectly honest with me?" 

Cabral's thick eyebrows went up. Tim continued: 

"Shall I arrive?" 

"But where?" 

"I am ambitious. It is not enough to paint portraits for 
the haute bourgeoisie. Of all men you are the one whose 
opinion I hold to be final. Is it in me, do you think, to 
paint a great picture?" 

Cabral hesitated. When he spoke his voice had deep- 
ened in tone; he pulled at his beard, staring keenly into 
Tim's eager eyes. 

"I do not know, my friend. It means work, work, work. 
Ah ! God ! how I have worked ! And ever since I was 
fifteen. And now I am fifty. What a life! Everything 
sacrificed to my Art. Well, I don't complain. For the rest, 
you think, they all think, that I have arrived. But, alas ! I 
never satisfy myself. And then I wonder if it is good 
enough. I might have married. There was a dear girl 

once ! But my work came between us. She has been 



happier with another man. Voila ! You ask for my opin- 
ion, and here it is. I do not think that your soul is in your 
painting. It is not everything to you. And you began 

too late. You have reached a point ! You can support 

yourself. It is no small achievement, but a great pic- 
ture ! Ah ! that will exact sacrifice. It means a road 

other than the one you have taken, a narrow up-hill path; 
it means infinite patience, infinite pains, and at the end, 
perhaps, nothing but disappointment." 

"Thank you," said Tim. "You have done me a service." 

That night he reread his novel with a detachment which 
surprised him. He experienced a craving to finish it. He 
compared the work of his brain with the work of his hands. 
And the one, so he decided, was honestly a part of him- 
self, whereas the other seemed patch-work, odds and ends 
filched from Otis, from Briand, from Mercier. He faced 
the demoralising truth : his painting was fake ! 

Next day he said to Otis : 

"I suppose I'm a faker." 

"So am I," said Otis. "I steal everything I can. We are 
all of us fakers, except Cabral, Briand and Lasher." 


"Lasher, poor devil! is sincere. His output is small, but 
such as it is I call it original stuff. It's Lasher. Nobody 
else could do it. That's the test. He has no market; and 
he's a slacker; but he is himself." 

"You are right." 

"You look solemn, old man." 

"I am thinking of chucking painting." 

"You're quite crazy." 

"I have been crazy." 


Fate furthered Alethea's designs. The Vicar wrote to 
Tim telling him, with infinite regret, that the Pennington 
estates were in the market. Tim had always known that 

According to Lasher 

Sir Gilbert's successor was cruelly crippled, that the pos- 
sibility of such a sale impended above him. And, in Cali- 
fornia, when money was pouring into his pockets, he had 
thought that he would like to "make good" by buying such 
a property. What a triumph that would have been. He 
remembered prattling about it to Magdalena at the time 
when Cooke and he bought the three immense tracts to the 
south of Santa Barbara. 

He said to Alethea : 

"If you want a superb estate in perfect order, with a 
historical house on it, and inviolate traditions, now's your 

He was jesting, but she took him seriously, asking for 
details. He talked to her about Little Pennington. 

"I think I should like to settle in England. You see I had 
no position in America. I should love a beautiful home 
under certain conditions." 

"You ought to marry again." 

"Yes, I suppose so." 

She glanced at him with a shy, pathetic appeal. Tim 
said abruptly: 

"If you married an Englishman, do you think that you 
could settle down, permanently, I mean, in England?" 

"I should just love it." 

She looked almost pretty. Tim's once familiar spirit, 
recklessness, possessed him. Alethea offered a solution to 
the problem of his future. She wanted him. And he knew 
that he could give her a quiet happiness, upon which she 
would set an inordinate value, because till now unhappiness 
had been her portion. 

Almost he jumped. 

They made some pleasant expeditions together to Quim- 
per, to the Pointe du Raz, to Vannes and Brest. Otis, as 
a rule, played gooseberry, but he had a trick of disappearing 
which Tim rather resented, because Otis gaily refused to 
believe that he was really wanted. He carried a sketch 
book, to save his disappearances. Alethea pottered in and 



out of shops, buying things she did not want and paying 
more for them than their value, obviously at the mercy of 
shrewd shop-keepers, unless Tim interposed himself between 
guile and guilelessness. He watched her, thinking how in- 
timate they had become in a few weeks. It was possible 
to be alone with her and keep silence, as if it were the pledge 
and seal of friendship. When such a silence lasted too 
long, a faint blush would steal into the lady's cheeks. He 
noticed that she became easily tired, hiding fatigue for his 
sake; and yet eager to accept a considerate cavalier's min- 
istrations. Indeed, her gratitude for small attentions both 
touched and exasperated Tim. He kept on thinking : "What 
a rotten time she must have had with that brute !" To give 
her now as reasonably good a time as possible seemed to be 
the whole duty of any decently kind man. Evidently the 
brute had trampled savagely upon her opinions and judg- 
ments. Her deprecating manner, her prim "perhaps I am 
wrong" aroused a pity in Tim which she may have mis- 
taken for a kindred sentiment. 

When she smiled at him, he was disagreeably reminded 
of Ivy Jellicoe. 

Moreover, he was sensible that she determined the tone 
of their intercourse. She pitched the key a minor key. 
Her talk began and ended on a monotonously plaintive note. 
She might have feverish moments, but her temperature 
was below normal. 

Very subtly, she dangled her wealth before him. She 
entreated his advice concerning some of her investments. 
Apparently she was spending about one-fourth of her in- 
come. It was impossible to escape from the accretions and 
expansions of her riches. Happily, she was never vulgar 
when she spoke of these ever-accumulating dollars. She 
sat upon her vast pile with an odd and disarming dignity. 
And she managed most astutely to convey a sharp im- 
pression of what her dollars had left undone for her. Up 
to the present moment (the unlamented Gideon had been 
in a marble mausoleum for two years), Boal's Axle Grease 

According to Lasher 

seemed to have lubricated all the wheels in the world except 

She complained of an uninteresting youth. Tim envisaged 
her as young and pretty but isolated. She had been educated 
in Switzerland, at Lausanne. At her first coming-out party, 
the truculent Gideon had captured her. 

Some of her self-revelations alarmed him. She was 
lamentably lacking in taste. She admired the wrong pic- 
tures, the wrong furniture and porcelain, although she 
dressed exquisitely. But her elegance was fictitious, being 
largely due to her Paris corsetiere and milliner. She 
couldn't be trusted alone in a provincial hat-shop. At 
Vannes, for instance, she bought a monstrous affair, which 
she shewed to Tim and Otis in the railway carriage. Otis, 
pressed to pronounce judgment, said frankly: 

"My dear woman, it isn't a hat, it's an awful warning." 

Alethea turned to Tim. 

"You like it, don't you, Mr. White?" 

Tim replied kindly : 

"If I had your face I shouldn't hide it under that hat." 

She remained perfectly amiable and resigned. 

"I shall leave it in the carriage." 

The train stopped at Auray. Tim glanced out of the 
window. Close to the carriage stood a large young woman, 
who had discarded, apparently, the costume of the province. 
Her eyes gloated upon the hat, which Alethea still held in 
her hands. Tim seized the hat, jumped out of the carriage 
and approached the young woman. 

"Mademoiselle," he said politely. "This is yours. We 
bought it for you in Vannes. Pray accept it with our united 

"But, Monsieur !" 

"Not a word, I pray you." 

"But !" 

"You will look ravishing in it. At Mass it will distract 
the attention of everybody. There!" 

He left it in her hands. As the train moved out of the 



station, the large young woman was seen gazing entranced 
at the hat, surrounded by a chattering and astounded- crowd. 
Tim kissed his fingers to her, saying to Alethea : 

"Last Sunday, she prayed for a new hat. From this 
moment her faith is assured." 

"I'm glad she has it," said Otis, "but can she live up 
to it?" 

That evening, after Alethea had retired (her word) to 
bed, Tim said to Otis: 

"What is Mrs. Boal's Paris apartment like?" 

"Like that hat. She doesn't know, poor dear!" 

"But she thinks she does." 

Indeed, beneath her anaemic manner lay a streak of 
obstinacy. She exhibited strong likes and dislikes, and was 
extraordinarily acute at detecting what she held to be 
blemishes, or worse. Poor little Lasher provoked the 
remark : 

"He's shamelessly irreligious." 

"Oh, no," replied Tim. 

"But he is. He scoffs at religious people. He told me 
that he lived abroad because he could not stand the expres- 
sion on the faces of people in England coming out of 

"The smug, self-righteous look. I dare say poets find it 
trying, particularly when they're hungry. Some of his 
relations, perhaps, wanted Lasher to go to church, but did 
not invite him to luncheon afterwards." 

"He's not fit to go to church, or to have luncheon with 
decent people. He is not clean." 

"He isn't. Soap is one of his many economies. But 
he's kind. He's been kind to me." 

"I hate to think that he could be." 

Tim lent her Rupert Carteret and his Times. Here again 
she displayed almost startling acuteness. She read it care- 
fully, not missing a line upon principle. Then she delivered 
her verdict 

According to Lasher 

"I like him because he was so like you. All through the 
book he reminds me of you." 

"In what way?" 

"He was so alive; and he tried many things, before he 
found what exactly suited him. I sometimes wonder " 


"If there isn't some big success coming to you, some- 
thing to make up for all you have suffered." 

"A big success painting?" 

"I wasn't thinking of your painting. Painters have not 
very much of a position in England, have they?" 

"The smallest county magnate cuts 'em out," replied Tim. 

A day or two afterwards he had a long talk with Lasher 
about literature. After what Otis had said, he was fired 
to speak of his novel to Lasher. He found the poet gently 
stimulated by absinthe. As a rule, he rarely uttered a word 
worth listening to before five in the afternoon. By dinner- 
time he became articulate, and towards midnight lucidly 
eloquent. This first important talk took place just before 
dinner. Tim ordered the aperitif. 

"I told Otis," he began, "that I was thinking of chucking 
painting and going back to writing." 

Lasher opened his big sleepy eyes. 

"Why?" he demanded languidly. 

"My painting is fake." 

"Most painting is, and most writing, too. You aren't so 
mad as to hope to support yourself with your pen?" 

"Well; yes." 

"Got any stuff here?" Tim nodded. "You let me look 
at it. I'll tell you in two ticks what I think of it." 

"I'm really most awfully obliged." 

Lasher rolled a cigarette, gazing reflectively at Tim with 
appraising eyes. 

"What are you at?" he grumbled. "Vilard and I come 
back to find you three fellows positively rank with unde- 
served prosperity." 

Tim laughed cheerfully. 



"That's it. Rank is the word. I can smell myself." 

"Quite amazing," murmured Lasher. "Doesn't my awful 
example give you pause? I began with a sort of success. 
I wrote feuilletons for a daily paper, took a cold tub every 
morning and cut my hair. The quest for the right word 
has brought me to this. Encouraging, eh?" 

Tim weighed the question, answering slowly : "There 
is nothing so discouraging as the wrong success." 

"I felt like that once." 

"So you flew the track." 

"Flew the track is quite good. But the result isn't. I 
piled myself up, to borrow an illuminating expression from 
Otis. Same thing happened to Vilard and Gauguin, and 
Verlaine, and a dozen I could name. You'd better stick 
to the lines, Tim, particularly as you've been off 'em, and 
know what it is." 

Tim muttered grimly : "I've been derailed right enough." 

"Yes ; but I derailed myself. That's a mighty difference. 
Now, look here, I'm just beginning to wake up. My mind 
is working. You mayn't catch me in this receptive and 
responsive mood for another month. Tell me what you 
really want?" 

Tim hesitated. Lasher, as he knew, babbled sadly of his 
own misfortunes when drunk, but not of the affairs of 
others. Then he said, using the expression so long upper- 
most in his thoughts : 

"Well, I want to make good. A lot was expected of me 
when I was a boy. I left home under a cloud. I have 
never been back." 

Lasher's fine eyes twinkled. He was now immensely wide 
awake, stimulated by absinthe to an acuteness of perception 
seldom exercised. 

"I understand perfectly. You wish to return to your 
native village trailing clouds of glory which will hide for- 
ever your little cloud of shame. The triumph of Tim!" 

"Something like that." 

"A self-glorification, to be brutally frank ?" 

According to Lasher 

"If you like." 

"Well, I don't like. This is the age of self-advertisement. 
And I loathe it. People, nowadays, gabble more about 
the artist than his work. I don't think the artist matters 
a damn. But his work, if it is the real stuff, matters tre- 
mendously. I admit that artists are vain, particularly poets, 
but I say let the poet perish if only one sonnet may live. 
That isn't your idea, eh?" 

"Not altogether." 

"I thought not. And, mind you, I'm not blaming you. 
I like you, Tim, because you're so human, and so alive. 
Lord ! How I envy you that ! And if I can help you, I will. 
You're one of those lucky devils whom others like to help. 
I know some editors and publishers. I can steer you a bit. 
The right start counts, but I must know exactly what you're 
aiming at." 

"Call it a novel that people want to read." 

"What people ? Are you yearning for the recognition of 
the few or the many?" 

"Thomas Hardy appeals to both." 

"Urn ! So he does ; but he won the few before the many. 
I'll put it like this are you contemplating the writing of 
a big seller ?" 

A derisive, sub-acid intonation provoked Tim to reply 
with some heat: 

"I want, primarily, to work at something which will en- 
gross me. I'm not a beginner, Lasher. I served a fairly 
strenuous apprenticeship in California. And I've lived. I 
know the seamy side. I know what men and women are. 
And I've a sense of the beauty of life, which I can't get 
on to canvas." 

"Soit ! Not another word till I've seen your stuff. Give 
it to me now. I'll tackle it to-night. And, to-morrow, at 
this very hour, I'll tell you honestly what I think about it." 




Next morning Tim went for a walk with Alethea. They 
climbed the hill behind the town, and wandered into the 
much-restored manor house, once the home of a Russian 
princess, now a historical monument and a museum. In it 
a collection of warming-pans challenged Alethea's interest 
and curiosity. These warming-pans had warmed the beds 
of queens, if you could credit the evidence of coats of arms 
engraved upon their shining backs. Tim said idly: 

"I wonder if the Princess's bed was cold ?" 

He had to explain this to Alethea, who deemed the 
remark not quite proper. Tim went on : 

"When a woman collects things, I always have my sus- 
picions. Warming-pans are astoundingly significant. And 
one feels somehow that this one, if it be genuine, may have 
been a comfort to Marie Antoinette. Juliet, if she had 
lived, might have collected warming-pans." 

"Such odd things you say ! This house is very sad. I'm 
sure that you are right. The princess did collect things 
because she was not interested in persons. I have collected 

"So Otis told me." 

"I daresay I was imposed upon." 

"It's dead certain you were." 

She gave a little shudder, drawing a feather boa about 
her thin throat. 

"Let's go and sit in the garden." 

The garden showed signs of neglect, but they found a 
seat overlooking the harbour and the sea. Alethea sighed 
contentedly, but Tim was frowning. He had only to whistle 
and Alethea would flutter to him like a tame canary. Facing 
the sun, her skin looked slightly yellow. She moved rest- 
lessly, expecting him to speak. He sat perfectly still, think- 
ing how warm and pleasant it was. An odd languor pos- 
sessed him, a desire to drift with the tide, to let chance 

According to Lasher 

carry him and his fortunes whither it pleased. And all 
the time he was conscious of something within him which 
fought against this enervating languor. He decided, pres- 
ently, to hear Lasher's verdict, before he spoke to Alethea. 
Lasher might consider his writing with the same kind con- 
tempt which animated Cabral when he stared at Alethea's 

"How silent you are !" murmured Alethea. "But I don't 
mind it; I rather like it." 

There was some quality in her meek-eyed glance which 
seemed to beseech him to speak now, or not at all. 

The ancient manor-house, restored and expanded, filled 
with tapestries and rare old furniture, with armour and 
porcelain and pictures, presented itself as an agreeable ob- 
ject lesson of what a rich woman's money could accomplish. 
A conscience which wriggled uneasily at the thought of a 
marriage of convenience was calmed with subtle sedatives. 
What good work he could do in a charming home of his 
own ! How much could be done for others with Alethea's 
dollars ! What a difference unlimited gold would make to 
hundreds of lives in and about Little Pennington ! 

And then the bleak, ironic reflection: "How easy to be 
generous with another's money! How cheap and tawdry 
a triumph!" 

He glanced at his watch. 

"We shall be late for dejeuner," he said. 


He spent the afternoon alone, wrestling with temptation, 
ravaged by it, swept hither and thither by gusty ambition, 
able to measure alike his strength and his weakness, and 
miserably conscious that his weakness might prevail. 

Remember that he had begged his bread as a tramp, that 
he had lain weak and penniless in a hospital. If his health 
should fail him, would he not sink inevitably to the depths 



which engulfed Lasher and Vilard ? To place oneself high 
above such abominable possibilities, out of reach of For- 
tune's most cruelly barbed arrows, was not this a Heaven- 
sent opportunity which it were folly to pass by? 

He returned to the hotel at six, spent in mind and body. 
As he approached the terrasse, he could see Lasher waiting 
for him, a shrunk, collapsed figure, a wreck of a man! 
The poet, on closer inspection, exhibited signs of impa- 

He drummed on the marble-topped table with fingers to 
which Alethea cannot be blamed for taking exception; an 
empty glass stood at his elbow in a saucer amongst many 
ends of cigarettes. Tim's typescript lay beside the saucer. 
It was a pleasant evening with no chill in the breeze. From 
the masts of the boats in the basin floated the filmy blue 
nets which captured the elusive sardine. Upon the broad 
quay men and women were talking and gesticulating. Be- 
yond rose the grey walls of the Ville Close, the walls de- 
signed by Vauban to keep the English at bay. Tim never 
looked upon those solid ramparts without reflecting humor- 
ously upon the invasion of the province by Britons. 

Lasher said quickly: 

"I've read every line. And, by Jove! you are right to 
chuck painting. Why did you leave this remarkable chroni- 
cle half done?" 

Tim explained that he had been too ill to write. 

"I see," said Lasher. "Now, it's an odd fact that I work 
better when I feel ill. But, of course, my stuff is morbid. 
This stuff of yours is healthy. It's full of vitality. Finish 
it! And let me red-pencil it. Then you must have it re- 
typed, and I'll charge myself with sending it to the right 
publisher. You need a fellow who'll boom you as a new 
and original author. First and last it shows extraordinary 
promise. I think it will catch on, but one never knows. 
You've been well trained." 

Tim mentioned Hoyt. Lasher listened, nodding his head 

According to Lasher 

with its shock of unkempt black hair. Then he said 
abruptly : 

"How old are you, Tim?" 

"Nearly thirty-three." 

"That's the right age. Young writers suffer from their 
appalling ignorance of life. However gifted they may be, 
they turn out unreal stuff, which damns the better stuff 
which follows. You've escaped that. I'll just add this. 
I never believed in you as a painter. Nor has Vilard. It 
helped to tide you over a bad time. And you're clever 
enough and versatile enough to make a living at it, which 
is something. This," he tapped the manuscript, "captivated 
me, and I'm hard to please. It has freshness, humour, and 
it's on the side of the angels. The public love that. Also, 
it's simply written. Now don't get a swelled head. In ten 
years, if you concentrate all energies upon doing the very 
best of which you are capable, you may write a big book. 
I don't want to say another word till you've finished this 
thing according to your present lights. Then we'll go over 
every line together." 

"You're a trump, Lasher." 

"What are you?" asked Lasher. "Shall we say an archi- 
pelago of possibilities. Lord ! How thirsty I am." 

Tim took the hint. Lasher sipped his poison, murmuring : 

"I'm glad you kept away from this." 

Never had Tim felt so sorry for him. He wondered 
whether Lasher could be reclaimed. The poet, reading his 
thoughts, answered them derisively : 

"Absinthe helps me to do my best work. It's what opium 
was to De Quincey. By the way, Tim, can you work at 
writing without arty thought whatever of pot-boiling?" 

"I've enough for a year." 

"And nobody stands between you and your work?" 

His dark eyes glittered feverishly. Tim flushed. 

"No woman ?" 

Tim remained for an instant silent, wondering if Lasher 


could have guessed what was in his mind. He decided that 
Otis must have been indiscreet. He decided, also, that 
Lasher was keyed up to a strange pitch. Then he heard 
the poet's mocking laugh, and his mocking words : 

"You were thinking just now of reclaiming me. That's 
a hopeless job. At the same moment I was thinking of 
reclaiming you. If I could, by God! it might be an asset, 
when the final accounting comes." 

"You're very drunk, my dear old man." 

"In vino veritas. You come with me. I've something 
to say to you, something to tell you. I'll play the scare- 
crow for you. I'll flap naked to the wind for you because 
I'm fond of you, Tim." 

He stood up. Tim stood up also, as if he moved beneath 
a spell. Lasher took his arm, gripping it. Through a thin 
sleeve Tim felt burning fingers. 

"I'm pot-valiant," said Lasher. "Come, my son, while 
the spirit of la reine verte still fortifies me." 

He walked unsteadily across the quay. Tim went with 
him. They passed the causeway, and approached the stone 
digue, now deserted. Lasher pressed on, saying nothing, 
staring at the sea. The tide was out; and Tim could smell 
the varech on the wet rocks. Afterwards, whenever he 
recalled this evening, that pungent odour would assail his 

They stopped at the end of the digue. Lasher sat upon 
the parapet, dangling his feet. Tim stood facing him, filled 
with curiosity. Lasher had a trick of reading his own 
poems in a voice singularly free from inflection, an impres- 
sive monotone, as if he wished to present his wares as 
simply as possible. At such times, Tim was reminded of 
the Vicar, who delivered his message in a similar imper- 
sonal manner. Lasher chose to assume this monotone now. 
His voice seemed to reach Tim from a distance, as if the 
speaker had travelled far back into the past. 

"I told you that I enjoyed once a sort of mild success. 

According to Lasher 

And amazing as it may seem now, I was rather attractive 
as a young man. My people lived in Bayswater. My father 
and my brothers were and are in business up to their 
thick red necks. From the first I was regarded as a bit of 
a, freak. They were furious with me because I preferred 
quill-riding to quill-driving. They were stupid, stolid peo- 
ple ; and they guessed, I suppose, that I should be a burden 
to them, that I should never be what they called 'self-sup- 
porting.' But deep down in their fat commercial souls flut- 
tered the hope that I might marry money. To that desirable 
end they conspired together. I was ear-marked for a ward 
of my father's. I'll say this about her : she was amorphously 
commonplace. The only sign of intelligence that I could 
find was her liking for me. That, of course, appealed to my 
vanity, nothing else. She bored me to tears! But I said 
to myself that with her money she had about two thousand 
a year I could devote myself to writing. And so I mar- 
ried her." 

"You married her," repeated Tim. 

Lasher laughed. 

"It was infamous, empurpled prostitution. I want t to 
rub that in. I left my self-respect at the altar, and it may 
be there still. In the vestry, after the ceremony, my mother, 
in nodding plumes, and still dove-grey silk, kissed me fondly 
and whispered: 'How beautifully, dearest, everything has 
gone !' I replied, I remember, with a humour rather credit- 
able at such a moment : 'Everything has gone !' And she 
never saw the point. Well, as I was saying, my self-respect 
never came back, which accounts for a lot. Perhaps I ought 
to feel sorry for my wife, but she knew jolly well what she 
was doing. She did for me. We had two children." 

"Children," echoed Tim, stupefied at these revelations. 

"Two pulpy kids cut to the Lasher pattern. She was a 
cousin of sorts, I must tell you. She inherited the family 
obstinacy and conceit. The great sell of her life was not 
marrying me, but the discovery shortly afterwards that she 



couldn't make me over to suit her notions. She boasted 
to her people that she would and could remodel me ! Poor 
little fool ! I'm afraid I gave her the deuce of a time. I had 
a typist, a very clever, jolly girl, who understood me. Amy 
my wife's name was Amy; it couldn't be anything else, 
could it? Amy hired a private detective. There was an 
awful row, a poisonous, back-biting scene in my father's 
drawing-room. It had to be repapered afterwards. It was 
agreed solemnly that I must choose between Amy and the 
other. I chose the other. That's all that matters." 

The smell of the varech grew stronger; the sea breeze 
held a sudden chill. Tim stammered out : "And the other?" 

Lasher laughed, spreading out his hands, a trick he had 
caught from Vilard. 

"I bolted from Bayswater for ever and ever, but I hadn't 
the pluck to take the other with me. She wanted to come ! 
I'm glad she didn't. She's all right, happily married. My 
remarkable abstention in regard to her may be acclaimed as 
a solitary virtue. The unpardonable sin against myself, 
mark you ! was marrying Amy." 

Tim said nothing; Lasher could see that he was tremen- 
dously impressed. He dropped his monotone, and spoke 
vehemently : 

"Men make their own particular hells on earth. The 
most abysmal of all is a loveless marriage. I think I could 
do with just one more drink." 

They returned to the hotel. Tim dined with Otis and 
Alethea. After dinner they sat out together, enjoying the 
cool of the evening. Presently, from the shadows of the 
dimly-lighted market-place, two men, arm in arm, lurched 
into view. They passed within a few yards of Alethea; 
and one of them was bawling a chanson d'atelier. 

Mon pere me maria! 

He, piou, piou! Tra-la-la! 
Mon pere me maria 

Au fils d'un avocat ah ah ah ah! 


According to Lasher 

"Mercy!" exclaimed Alethea. "That was your friend, 
Mr. Lasher. Has he lost every shred of self-respect?" 
Tim answered sombrely. 
"He has. He left it on an altar in a Bayswater church." 




TIM bolted from Concarneau the next morning, taking 
his novel with him to Rochefort-en-terre, and leaving 
his colour-box behind. He chalked upon it R.I. P. He left 
behind, also, a letter for Alethea, a composition which ex- 
acted hours of not too agreeable thought. Finally, two 
closely- written sheets were boiled down to a couple of pages. 
He stated the bald fact. He was going away to work at 
his novel amongst the hills, which he hoped might inspire 
him. He ended simply: "I have wrestled with myself. 
I feel as Rupert Carteret did. I must find the work which 
really engrosses me. Perhaps that is all that is left." Then 
he thanked her for many pleasant hours passed in her 
company, and expressed a vague wish that they might 
meet again. He encountered Otis at early breakfast. That 
sophisticated schemer said significantly: 

"I hope this isn't an irrevocable blunder." 

"It's irrevocable," replied Tim curtly. 

"I think you must have eaten the loco weed in California." 

"Perhaps I did." 

A laugh from Otis dispelled the slight coolness between 
them. He said delightfully: 

"Old Tim, you may be sane enough about this novel- 
writing. Last time I was in London town I found Mudie's 
crowded, and the National Gallery almost empty." 

This absence of illusion in the American was not unbe- 
coming in the Man, but left the Artist rather stark. What 
was an Artist without illusions ? A fountain without spray ! 

Fortune Smiles 

Tim loved Otis, and could appreciate his point of view 
while the conviction gathered irresistibly that his friend and 
he looked at life with different eyes. Otis knew what he 
wanted. He had become extremely ingenious and prehen- 
sile in the practice of his art, so much so that, given a pupil 
with technical dexterity, he could almost "dictate" a pic- 
ture. He applied his ingenuity as skilfully in the sale of 
stuff, which might well be termed "machines." Humanly 
speaking, he would arrive at his goal public recognition of 
an ability to paint marines branded as his, although each 
contained much that was pilfered from others. 

Otis dropped a hint that Alethea would find consolation in 
the person of an Italian prince, whom he nicknamed Capo 
di Monte, because he was so decorative. Tim guessed that 
Alethea's interest in the Russian princess might have been 
quickened by a premonition that a coronet glittered for her 
out of a misty future. A "position" counted greatly with 
the little lady. 

Altogether he felt wonderfully exhilarated when he found 
himself alone in the train. 


The door of the ancient inn at Rochefort stood hospitably 
open when Tim descended some hours later from the dili- 
gence. Two smiling spinsters greeted him cordially, and 
assured him that he would not be disturbed by noisy tourists. 

"Tout est calme chez nous," they murmured. 

Tim wandered through the quaint village before dinner, 
noting the grass in the streets, the lichen on the grey walls, 
and the curiously carved doorways. Silence and peace 
soothed him. This was indeed a sanctuary for a man who 
desired to give undivided energies to writing, and at the 
same time to detach himself as far as possible from his 

He was ushered into a scrupulously clean, freshly white- 
washed bedroom, overlooking the valley below. The en- 



compassing hills were rugged and rocky, covered for the 
most part with pines. He could smell the resin, balsamic 
fragrance very different from the odours of a fishing port. 
Flowers bloomed in old-fashioned gardens ; vines wandered 
everywhere. He breathed, in fine, a lighter, brighter, more 
benignant air. A blurred past gave promise of a clearer 
present. In his recovered perception of "values," he saw 
that any triumph worth the winning must be engineered by 
himself alone. And the conviction that he had rounded a 
dangerous corner made him feel almost young again. 

For twenty- four hours he rested on folded wings, know- 
ing that soon he would soar into the blue. 


He remained at Rochef ort-en-terre for three months, 
working hard. At first he experienced enormous difficulty : 
but slowly the ability to write came back, and with it a sense 
of the immense advantage which the quill has over the brush. 
At times he laughed at the notion that he could ever have 
been fatuous enough to think that he could express himself 
in colour. For it came ultimately to that. What he craved 
was self-expression. His half-finished novel engrossed and 
captivated Lasher, because it was so obviously a sincere 
record, a transcript of life as it is lived in a new country by 
men and women untrammelled by the conventions of a too 
complex civilisation. 

A refreshed consciousness of the past, that happy past 
at Agua Caliente, was so clearly envisaged at Rochefort that 
it seemed to become the present. He tasted joys again which 
then had been gobbled too swiftly. Now they lingered upon 
his palate, like the bouquet of a fine wine. He was in no 
hurry, realising that haste had always been his enemy. He 
seemed to be strolling leisurely to an inevitable end, keenly 
observant, afraid only that he might lose the elusive atmos- 

Fortune Smiles 

phere, so distractingly iridescent, which coloured his memo- 
ries and fancies. 

He had never been so happy since Magdalena's death. 
Indeed, it occurred to him that Magdalena hovered near 
him. She glided into his dreams with a tender smile upon 
her dear face, whispering her love. That revealed itself 
more conspicuously than ever as the supreme thing in life, 
a platitude upon every lip, but how seldom assimilated ! 

He returned to Concarneau for Christmas with the com- 
pleted manuscript in his bag. The warmth of his reception 
touched him deeply. His comrades had missed him. He 
felt ashamed to think that he had not missed them ; for his 
work had engrossed him. They told him that there was 
much distress in the town, and later Otis showed him a 
cheque just received from Alethea, a hundred pounds for 
the women and children. 

"We are to distribute it," said Otis. "She named you, 
old man." 

"Is Mrs. Boal in Paris?" 

"No, Florence. The Italian Prince has got her. He's 
not a bad chap; and her money is settled on herself, tight 
as wax. All the same " 

He made a gesture. Tim said emphatically: "She had 
an escape from me." 

"Wasn't it the other way about ? However, the incident, 
as the papers say, is closed." 

"Hermetically sealed," added Tim. 

"Is the great work done?" 

"It is. We'll see what Lasher says." 

Lasher said some encouraging things, and assisted Tim 
in the final revision, deleting adjectives and adverbs with 
ruthless energy. Finally, the book was sent to England 
to be re-typed, with instructions to the typist to send the 
fair copy to Broad, the publisher. Lasher wrote to Broad, 
assuring him that the novel merited special attention; but 
Tim had to wait a weary fortnight before he heard from 
the great man. Broad offered to publish it in the Spring, 



paying twenty-five pounds on account of royalties, and ten 
per cent on every six-shilling copy sold up to two thousand. 
If more copies were sold, the royalty would be increased 
to twelve and a half, and ultimately fifteen if the ten thou- 
sand mark were achieved. Lasher said that the terms were 
just rather than generous. Broad could be trusted to do 
all that was possible ; he had read the novel and liked it. 
No man living could predict how a work by an unknown 
author would be received by the British public. 

"We are justified," said Tim, "in having a celebration." 
A dinner duly took place on Twelfth Night, and is still 
spoken of in Concarneau as the finest gastronomic effort of 
the chef at the Hotel des Voyageurs. 


"My stock is booming," said Tim to Otis, some three 
weeks later. 

He shewed Otis a letter just received from his attorney 
in Santa Barbara. The Syndicate owning Agua Caliente 
had sold the property for four hundred thousand dollars. 
Tim's share, in terms English, amounted to eight thousand 
pounds, which would be remitted by draft within a month. 

"Another celebration," said Otis. 

Never did Fortune dispense a favour more opportunely. 
Tim was waiting for proof, and unable to begin another 
book. A listless reaction had set in ; he lay awake wonder- 
ing whether ideas for a second novel would ever come to 
him. Lasher cheered him up: 

"The ideas will arrive in battalions. Never worry about 
that. For the moment you're played out, an excellent sign. 
It shews that you put all you had into Dust." 

That was the title of Tim's book. It dealt largely with 
the dry years in California, but at the end rain laid the 

He had thoughts of returning to Little Pennington, but 
decided that he couldn't face the Lenten season. However, 

Fortune Smiles 

he wrote to the Vicar that he might be expected after Easter. 
And he wrote also to Daffy, telling her that at last he had 
drifted into snug anchorage. Daffy congratulated him 
warmly. At the end of her letter she told Tim that Rokeby 
had just left England for East Africa, where he hoped to 
slay many lions. She concluded : "A friend and I are 
thinking of spending a few weeks in Brittany. Don't be 
surprised if you see us in Concarneau." He replied by 
return of post urging her to come, saying that it would 
give him enormous pleasure, and singing the praises of 
Finistere in early Spring. 

The thought of seeing Daffy, and the horrid fear that 
he mightn't, brimmed him with excitements. Renewed in- 
tercourse with this old friend would be the keystone of the 
arch which bridged the past and the future. He had never 
lost touch with her. He knew that they would meet with 
no exasperating, unsuspected differences and discrepancies, 
such as marred so many f oregatherings between friends long 

He tried to analyse his feeling for Daffy, but it escaped 
analysis. They had both changed; but such change had 
not affected his conviction that he would be more at home 
with her than anybody else, which constituted a rare felicity, 
a sense of well-being, warming a man to the core. He de- 
cided impatiently that if she didn't come to him soon, he 
must go to her. 

She came a few days later. 

He heard of her arrival from the good landlady. Madame, 
she said, was out ; her friend was lying down, fatigued after 
the journey. Madame did not look fatigued. Much the con- 
trary! What a beauty, that one! And of a distinction! 
Tim listened impatiently. He wanted to meet Daffy alone. 
He felt sure that the same desire animated her. Where 



had she gone ? The landlady apostrophised her patron Saint. 
How could she tell? 

Tim rushed into the market-place. The wind blew from 
the west. Daffy would stroll up-wind. That was certain. 
He would find her gazing across the sea. 

He found her not far from the little grey chapel of Notre 
Dame de Bon Secours, the chapel facing the sea, in which 
the women gather together to pray, when the storms rage, 
and the men they love are in deadly peril. He saw her 
tall, slender figure, and quickened his steps. His heart 
throbbed. In a moment she would turn, holding out both 
her hands, smiling sagaciously. 

And it was so. Although he moved lightly, her quick 
ear caught his step. Swiftly she turned, a glad exclama- 
tion escaping her : 


"Daffy, dear ! This is splendid." 

He was holding her small hands, gazing into her blue 
eyes, unable to speak, thinking of his dead wife and the 
years that the locusts had eaten, reading, too, the writing 
upon her fine face, noting the subtle changes which Time 
had wrought, deciding that she was more beautiful than 
ever, a noble woman, nobly planned. 

She sighed as she withdrew her hands. 

"You heard me coming?" 

"Oh, yes." 

His heart swelled with exultation. That she had heard 
meant so much, a thousand things never to be put into 

"Let us walk to the rocks, Daffy. How clever of you to 
choose this very moment ! How like you !" 

The tide was out. The rocks, covered with varech, 
stretched into the sea. Tiny waves rippled against them. 
Upon the horizon the islets of Glenan lay sofly blue, seen 
through a thin silvery mist. To the right was the Point of 
Penmarch. Brooding over the sea, as if, like Aphrodite, 

Fortune Smiles 

she had just emerged from the deep, hovered the Spirit 
of Spring. 

"How heavenly!" said Daffy. 

They moved slowly across the beach. The gulls were 
mewing overhead ; the brown-sailed boats glided home. It 
was impossible to say anything because there was so much 
to say. Impulse moved Tim to utter wild words, to tell 
his dear friend that this moment had become an imperishable 
experience, that the sight of her held a grace and a bene- 
diction which even she could never understand. In the 
darkness, with the great light of Penmarch flashing inter- 
mittently, he might have spoken. He held his peace, because 
Peace seemed to dominate all things and all men. 

"You are in mourning," he said. 

"My mother is dead." 

She stated the fact calmly. Tim offered no condolence. 
His grudge against Mrs. Carmichael vanished. She became 
to him what the dry years had been, dust of an irrevocable 
past. Daffy murmured almost inaudibly: 

"Poor mother ! She meant well." 

That was her epitaph, spoken by the child of her womb. 
Did she know now, this masterful woman, that meaning 
well she had wrought ill? Had death sealed her hard eyes 
only to open them to the light? What an awakening that 
would be ! Tim hesitated ; then he said quietly : 

"Did your mother arrange your marriage?" 

"Yes," said Daffy. 

Without another word, he understood that Daffy had 
ceased to harbour hard thoughts against her mother. They, 
too, were dust which tears has washed away forever. 

"Tell me about your book," said Daffy. 

"My book is myself, Daffy." 

"I know ; that is why I want to hear all about it." 

"You are exactly the same," he exclaimed. 

"Only in that," she answered. 




Tim, however, did not talk of his book; he proposed to 
read the rough draft aloud to her. He asked for news of 
the Vicar. Had she been to Little Pennington? 

"My mother is buried there." 

She continued tranquilly, her eyes softening when she 
spoke of the Vicar. The dear man was well, unchanged, a 
saint for all sinners to admire and love. 

"I long to see him again." 

"But why haven't you? Was it fair to him?" 

For his mother's sake, he dared not tell the truth. And 
without it explanations and excuses gave out a hollow sound. 

"Don't press me too hard, Daffy. I couldn't. I felt the 
same about meeting you." 

She smiled: "What a pride!" 

"Go on ; tell me about the village." 

She did so with an admirable simplicity. 

"It remains a resting-place. I like to go there. I was 
confirmed in the church." 

"Do you think I had forgotten ?" 

"I can even look with melancholy pleasure at the stained 
glass windows." 

"Like the apostolic Benner. Is he alive ?" 

"Very much so. He is never happier than when talking 
about you. You are not forgotten, Tim." 

"It is pleasant to hear that." 

"I sat in the Dell, but the cave has fallen in. The limes 
in the churchyard have been pollarded." 

"Did my my father talk much to you of me ?" 

"Oh, yes." 

But she did not repeat what the Vicar had said. Tim 
remained silent, thinking that the water of her mind was too 
clear and bright for fishing. He said pensively: 

"We have corresponded regularly ; I have all his letters ; 

and yet " 


Fortune Smiles 

He paused, meeting her glance, wondering why it was 

"And yet ?" 

"Ah, well, you can read them. They are concerned with 
me and others, not enough with himself." 

"I can understand that you don't know him really. That 
is something illuminating to come." 

"Daffy, do you feel that you know him?" 


Her reserves exasperated him, but he accepted them with 
the compensating reflection that if the Vicar still remained 
something of a mystery, she bless her! in her attitude 
towards himself was the same sweet creature not ashamed 
of her loyalty and affection for the lover of childhood. 

"What a friend you are !" he exclaimed. 

She flushed delicately, smiling at his enthusiasm. 

As they returned to the hotel, she told him about Alice 
Peronet, a sage, who from the high tower of a chaste widow- 
hood beheld mankind as mostly fools. 

"Your watch-dog?" 

"That is quite unnecessary. No; a pal. You will like 

"I shall adore her if she leaves us alone." 

"We must leave her alone; she bargained for that." 

He spoke briefly of his friends, whom she met presently 
on the terrasse; and he perceived that she was seeing him 
through them. She was especially kind to Lasher, winning 
him at once by the quotation of a line from one of his 
poems. The men surrounded her, paying homage. She 
accepted it with the air of a great lady accustomed to lip- 
service and able to appraise it. 

Mrs. Peronet joined them. Tim eyed her with interest. 
If Daffy essayed a better knowledge of himself through the 
personalities of his comrades, why should not he achieve a 
surer analysis of her through Mrs. Peronet? 

At first sight the petticoated sage challenged pity. She 



looked frail and insignificant till her eyes flashed. And 
the grasp of an emaciated claw was reassuring, almost de- 
fiantly so, as if it were a warning not to confound physical 
weakness with lack of vitality. When Daffy met her with 
the obligatory question : "I hope, Alice, you aren't too 
tired?" she replied trenchantly: "Tired, my dear! I'm 
never tired in a new place amongst new people." And it 
was she, not Daffy, who insisted upon dining at the long 
table where Cabral presided. She said to Tim : 

"Good food is wasted on me. I eat enough, no more, to 
keep body and soul together. Good talk nourishes me." 

She was so thin, that Tim was tempted to reply: 

"I fear you have not had much of it lately." 

She deftly picked the unspoken thought out of his mind. 

"I hope to gain weight here." 

After dinner, in the cafe, Cabral and Otis captured Daffy. 
Tim found himself alone with Mrs. Peronet, who smoked 
many cigarettes. He discovered that Daffy was her 
favourite theme of conversation. He wondered whether 
Daffy were aware of this. Did she realise, hating, as she 
did, to talk about herself, that Alice Peronet would tell what 
she shrank from telling. It might well be so. 

Mrs. Peronet liked straight going. She said abruptly 
to him: 

"Of course we came here to inspect you." 

"Capital. I'm in parade order." 

"Appearances are a mockery. You look uncommonly 
well. I look ill and spooky, but really I'm one of the 
healthiest and sanest women in the world. I wanted to 
meet you, Mr. White, because I'm Daffy's best woman 
friend, and I know what her affection is for you. I hope 
you're worthy of it." 

"I share that hope," replied Tim gravely. 

"She is quite wonderful ; and I can assure you that I have 
the soundest critical apprehension of her." 

Her sparkling eyes challenged him to ask questions. 

Fortune Smiles 

"I can see," he went on slowly, "that she has suffered." 
"It has strengthened her. Rokeby is an egotist and a 

"Why did she marry him? I met him in California, 
as you know." She nodded ; he continued eagerly : "I saw 
that the marriage was a failure, but I dafred not ask her 
why she had chosen him." 

Mrs. Peronet laughed scornfully. 

"I guessed then what I know to-day, that her mother 
made the match, but Daffy has a strong will of her own." 
"That caused the trouble. Her will clashed with her 
mother's. There were ructions between them at home. 
That is the primary cause of most disastrous marriages. 
Rokeby was a great parti. Mrs. Carmichael played her 
cards cleverly. She gave Rokeby to understand that Daffy 
was in love with him ; she persuaded Daffy that Rokeby 
was in love with her the wicked, silly game which has 
wrecked so many lives. Daffy, poor innocent! fondly be- 
lieved that she would be a helpmeet to Rokeby. Oh, the 
fatuity of it ! That is at once her strength and her weak- 
ness, the desire to help others, which was inspired in her 
by your father." 
"By him?" 

"Surely you knew that?" 
"It has escaped me." 
Mrs. Peronet seemed surprised. 
"He is a saint, sanctified by self-sacrifice." 
"I give you my word that I never saw her by his light." 
"She must be seen in the right light." 
Tim said warmly : "Daffy can brave the sun." 
"I tell you she is best seen by reflected light." 
"Talking with you, I am beginning to believe it." 
"Her early upbringing has been a tremendous influence, 
colouring and discolouring all her actions. I have been to 
the happy village; and I'm not surprised. And often and 
often I've wondered whether Daffy's affection for the Vicar 



of Little Pennington is a radiation of her affection for you, 
or vice versa." 

Tim made no reply. 

He went to bed feeling exuberantly happy. 


Daffy and Alice Peronet listened to the reading aloud of 
Dust. They sat in Timothy's studio, where Alethea's por- 
trait framed rather too gorgeously, stood upon the big easel. 
Tim had promised to send it to the Salon ; and Cabral just 
hinted, no more, that he might pull strings with the jury. At 
any rate, the good fellow promised that the portrait should 
be generously considered. Otis said : 

"It'll be hung all right." 

Neither Daffy nor her friend knew much about painting ; 
and it seemed to them that Tim had achieved a remarkable 
success. So much so that Mrs. Peronet became eager for 
Tim to paint Daffy. This he refused to do, although con- 
sent meant long hours alone with his sitter. 

"If your novel is as good as that !" Mrs. Peronet 

left the sentence unfinished. 

"You shall be the judge." 

From the first chapter, the book gripped them. He could 
see that. And he guessed that his listeners were fairly rep- 
resentative of the better class of readers. But he entreated 
them to withhold criticism till the end. When that end came 
Daffy's eyes were wet, tribute most precious to all authors. 
Mrs. Peronet spoke with authority : 

"It has atmosphere. I've never been to California, but 
I see this ranch. Set me down in the middle of it and I 
should know where I was. Also, you have subordinated 
your effects to your theme, no easy job, that! Your values 
stand out I call it a fine piece of drawing for a beginner. 
And your knowledge of painting, your sense of colour, 
has helped you. As soon as it is published I shall despatch 

Fortune Smiles 

hundreds of postcards to my friends telling them that it is 
a book to buy." 

"You are most awfully kind." 

"Daffy will do more, because her friends are innumera- 

"My acquaintances, Alice." 

This was pleasant and satisfactory, although Tim was 
exacerbated at the time by the fear that success, if it were 
indeed his, might be ephemeral. To soar like a rocket, and 
fall like its stick, had been the unhappy lot of many men, 
one-book men, one-picture men. Into Dust he had put him- 
self, his own experiences and feelings. His next novel must 
perforce be largely imaginary. Alice Peronet pooh-poohed 
such apprehensions. In common with Otis she dwelt upon 
the importance of a fine start. 

Meanwhile, a letter had come from Broad, suggesting a 
pseudonym, because there happened to be a well-known 
novelist of the name of White. Tim discussed this at 
some length with the ladies, who knew that he had been 
both Green and Brown. 

"And I felt Black," he added. 

"But that has passed ?" murmured Daffy. 


She said slowly : 

"Would Grey do?" 

Mrs. Peronet approved of Grey, so did Lasher, although 
he pointed out that to him there was something comic in 
these parti-coloured changes of name. Tim admitted that 
it was an idiosyncrasy, and he was longing to tell Daffy 
that he had no right to the Vicar's patronymic. The secret 
of his parentage had been withheld even from Magdalena. 


He pondered over the name for forty-eight hours, be- 
neath grey skies, looking across grey waters. The conviction 
came to him that this would be the last name, and the most 
fitting for grey, the grey of the Breton landscape, held all 
colours in its sober keeping. Finally he wrote to Broad, 



telling him that he had chosen Grey as a nom-de-plume. 
What more fitting, replied the eminent publisher, than a 
pseudonym which suggested the quill from the grey goose. 
Tim laughed at this mild joke because Lasher contended 
that nearly all scribblers were geese. At the table d'hote 
Timothy Grey was toasted. Tim said derisively : 

"A fitter name for me would be Blanc d'Espagne." 

He had to interpret this quip to Alice Peronet. 

"Blanc d'Espagne means white-wash." 

"Indeed !" Her eyes probed his very heart. "You really 
feel that?" 

He replied grimly: 

"Ever since you arrived." 






DAFFY and Tim did not break new ground till they had 
traversed together the old paths down which they had 
wandered as children. And Tim soon discovered that her 
memory of those joyous days was even more tenacious than 
his own. She recalled the butterfly-hunting expeditions to 
capture some rare fritillary in Pennington High Wood, or 
the brilliant "Chalk-hill blue" to be found on the downs near 
Winchester amongst whins where the stonechats nested. 
They spent an hour talking over a tremendous enterprise, 
the re-levelling of a tennis-court. Eustace Pomfret had 
been impressed into service with a barrow, which he would 
wheel full of earth along a narrow plank, invariably upset- 
ting it. And then Tim and Daffy would laugh at his serious, 
distressed face. Tim asked for news of the old "Plodder." 
It appeared that he took himself more seriously than ever; 
he was in Orders so Tim learned and Vicar of a big 
suburban parish, a celibate. 

"He couldn't change much," affirmed Tim. 

"Do any of us change much?" 


She explained: 

"My sisters are just the same. Annie married a Suffragan 
Bishop ; she has four children. Carrie is an old maid. They 
repeat the same phrases. 'I quite agree' is still Annie's 



cheval de bataille. Carrie is sure that everything is for the 
best in the best of worlds. And you and I, Tim " 

She paused, smiling at him. 

"We have changed." 

"We were mutineers. And we are so to-day." 

"Are we?" 

"Under our skins. One learns, of course, to dissemble. 
Poor Mother ! Towards the close of her life I never argued 
with her ; and I never argue with Rokeby. How inept this 
forcing of one's opinions down other people's throats. They 
then cease to be one's own." 

"So, you keep yours under lock and key." 

"I shew them to a very few friends." 

"Shew them to me." 


He marked her reluctance to talk about herself, but grad- 
ually the routine of her life was unrolled. Hunting and 
shooting engrossed Rokeby from October till March; then 
followed four months in London ; after the season was over 
they went to Scotland. They entertained hosts of friends 
coming and going in a never-ending procession. Tim said 
warmly : 

"Surely you loathe that?" 

"Rokeby likes it," she replied evasively. 

"Sounds to me a tread-mill." 

"It is." 

"Poor Daff !" 

But she frowned slightly when he pitied her, changing the 
subject. He consoled himself with the reflection that she 
looked strong and well. 

"Health," he remarked, "is a tremendous asset. During 
my black phase I could think of nothing else. My mind 
poisoned my body; and exercising my body purged my 

"Hunting works that way with me." 

"Long ago, I met a fellow in San Francisco. Sir Some- 
body Jocelyn " 



"Harry Jocelyn?" 

"Yes ; he said that you went like a bird." 

"Poor Harry! He has come to sad grief, ran off with 
another man's wife. They are living at Dinard, I believe. 
He wanted to marry her, but she couldn't get a divorce." 

"A dog-in-the-manger trick !" 

"Many men are like that. It is rather a pitiful revenge." 

She sighed. Tim tried quite in vain to read her thoughts, 
wondering whether Rokeby was a gentleman of the dog-in- 
the-manger kidney. 

"I should like to hunt again," he observed. 

"One becomes a slave to it," said Daffy. "I can assure 
you that a master's wife has no easy billet." 

"Then this is a real holiday for you, dear." 

"It is indeed." 


He watched her with children, Concarneau's never-failing 
crop. The Spring fishing was slightly better than usual, 
alleviating the general distress brought about by the sardine 
famine, but many went hungry. Alethea had loosened gen- 
erously her purse-strings, tightening those of her heart, 
perhaps, in a not unnatural revulsion against dirt and 
squalor. Daffy so Tim perceived exhibited no such 
shrinkings. Alethea would talk sentimentally about a pretty, 
clean baby, and on such occasions Tim would have a vision 
of her going to some well-appointed orphanage and picking 
out the prettiest boy in it with a view to adopting him, if he 
proved sweet and good and worthy (a favourite word of 
Alethea's). Daffy, on the other hand, sought the most for- 
lorn specimens, protesting vehemently against conditions 
which according to her view should be wiped out of exist- 
ence by the concerted wealth and intelligence of the world. 
She dealt with such conditions sanely and practically, calling 
in the doctor if he were needed, speaking to the local au- 
thorities and the parents, quite undaunted by difficulties 



which frightened Alethea. Tim became gradually sure that 
her most poignant regret was childlessness, a regret ineffec- 
tually hidden from Alice Peronet, who confirmed Tim's 
diagnosis of a secret malady. Daffy, too, betrayed herself 
again and again. 

She said to Tim: 

"The hearth here is everything le foyer Breton. Souv- 
estre fails there lamentably. His stories, charming though 
they are, arouse an expectation which is never satisfied. The 
title is misleading. Nobody has described so admirably the 
manners and customs of the province, but he deals with the 
rind, not the core. Le Braz, too, is more concerned with 
legend and costume and functions than with the heart of 
the people. Bazin might do it. Botrel, in some of his 
simplest verses, has captured exactly what I mean." She 

Les petits sabots des petits Bretons. 

Petites Bretonnes, 
Chantent des chansons en differents tons, 

Jamais monotones Toe, toe! 
Chers petits sabots des petits Bretons 

Trop tot Ton vous quitte: 
Des petits Bretons les petits petons 

Grandissent trop vite! Toe, toe! 

Many talks upon this subject fired Tim with an eager 
desire to begin another novel, dealing with Breton life and 
character. Daffy pointed out that, to her mind, the supreme 
merit of the first book was due to its sincerity. It con- 
vinced the reader because it dealt solely with experiences 
through which the writer had passed. Daffy was sure that 
Tim ought to continue upon the same simple lines. Every 
word she uttered became suggestive, and in speaking of 
women and children she, quite unconsciously, furnished 
him with information and experience which he, as uncon- 
sciously, assimilated and garnered. She was never happier 
or more intelligent than when discussing with him what a 

33 6 


woman would or would not do, given certain conditions. In 
dealing with men, Tim needed no assistance. 

Finally, he selected a theme entirely Breton. The story 
dealt with peasants and fisherfolk, types sharply contrasted, 
for the peasant is slow-witted, cautious and thrifty, whereas 
the fisherman is his antithesis, intelligent, reckless and a 
spendthrift of earnings which may be large "quand la sar- 
dine donne." Together Daffy and Tim wandered into the 
farmyards and homesteads, into the huts of the sabotiers, 
into the grey houses of the fishermen. Out of the mouths of 
little children flowed innumerable answers to their questions, 
for the parents are exasperatingly reserved, eyeing with 
suspicion the strangers who wander through the province. 

''This will be a big book," predicted Daffy. 

And if it were Tim decided that he would owe his in- 
spiration to her, his dear old friend, and that when she 
left him the fountain would be sealed. He began to count 
the days that remained ; he began to envisage himself alone ; 
he began, alas ! to envisage himself and her together, never 
to be parted except by death. 

No woman, he reflected sadly, had appealed to him as 
Daffy did. She seemed to have been created to satisfy every 
side of him, the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. Com- 
parisons between her and Magdalena were impossible. The 
fact that he had loved his wife so tenderly and so faithfully 
enabled him to grasp what love in its supreme fulness might 
mean. He could give to Daffy all that had been given to 
Magdalena and how much more ? And always the thought 
consumed him : From the first she was mine ! 


They made an expedition to the Pointe du Raz, passing 
through the country of the Bigoudens, the wildest part of 
the province, where the women descendants of Phoenicians 
remain oriental to this day. 



When they reached the Pointe, a gale happened to be 
blowing. Huge waves were breaking upon the granite 
rocks ; thundering surges rolled in from the Atlantic. To the 
right lay the terrible Bay des Trepasses. The man who 
serves as guide to tourists warned Tim that the wind upon 
the headland would be furious. Tim, however, knew well 
the narrow track which overhangs the caldron of turbulent 
waters, and Daffy assured him that her nerves were to be 
relied on. She, indeed, urged upon him her desire to stand 
upon the most westerly point of France, and to behold the 
glorious spectacle of wind and waves in wildest conflict. 
And, truly, there is no more awful and sublime phenomenon 
in the world than this duel a outrance which rages but rarely, 
and in its most tremendous fury only when the Spring tides 
are at their height, and running against a sou-westerly gale. 

"You are not afraid?" said Tim. 

"Do I look so?" she asked. 

He gazed at her keenly. Her black serge skirt and jacket, 
closely fitting, accentuated the fine lines of her form and 
the fair colouring of a face glowing beneath the lashing 
wind. Her blue eyes sparkled with excitement. 

"Follow me," said Tim. 

He moved cautiously along the slippery face of the cliff, 
instructing Daffy to tread carefully in his steps. For a 
few minutes they were comparatively sheltered from the 
blast, but the roar of the breakers upon the rocks below was 
punctuated by shrill whistlings and wailings, as if some 
vast monster were in anguish. 

"I have never known it like this," said Tim. 

He had to shout at her. She nodded, smilingly. 

"We're in big luck," Tim added. 

They reached a corner, the last sheltering place. 

"I'll reconnoitre," said Tim. 

He left her in the shelter. By this time there was no 

doubt either in his mind or hers that the warnings of the 

guide had been justified. Their adventure was fraught with 

grave peril. As Tim rounded the corner, the gale seemed 



to strike him. He staggered back with a sharp exclamation. 
Then, securing his foothold, he turned a reassuring glance 
at Daffy, at the moment when she was least prepared to 
meet it. For an instant she thought that Tim would be 
dashed into the gulf below. It had never occurred to her 
that he would look back. 

What he saw drove him mad with exultation. He faced 
the gale, knowing that she loved him. The question, so 
insistent of late, was answered. Her friendship had never 
been in doubt, but had it cooled the old love? Was she 
tormented by the pangs which assailed him, whenever he 
thought of what might have been? 

Her face revealed everything she had suppressed so 
valiantly. It was piteous with anxiety, twisted by misery. 
He divined that had he slipped and fallen she would have 
perished with him, leaping after him. Yes ; she was capa- 
ble of that. 

He crawled on till he reached the vantage point, whence 
the scene below might be watched in all its immense 
splendour and majesty. To stand there with Daffy seemed 
to him to be the greatest moment of his life. If they were 
dashed to destruction, what of it? He recked nothing of 
such a death nor would she. The tumult in their hearts 
matched the tumult of the elements. 

He returned to her. She wondered whether he knew. 
His face was as impassive as hers. He was obliged to put 
his mouth to her ear. 

"It's hardly safe," he whispered. 

"I'll risk it with you," she answered confidently. 

He smiled. The risk which beguiled him presented itself 
as enchantingly to her. To share a common danger can 
love demand a finer test? 

"I'll go first. Grip my coat with both hands. Slowly 
does it." 

She obeyed breathlessly; he heard a sigh of satisfaction 
as she grasped his coat. 



Then step by step, they ascended the cliff, drenched by 
the spray from the waves. 


When they had crawled in safety to the uttermost point, 
Tim placed Daffy between himself and the precipice, so that 
she was sheltered by his body and a great rock. Upon this 
spot, soon afterwards, the divine Sarah stood alone, when 
a tempest was raging, and watched the waters. Nothing 
could be imagined more likely to "expand the spirit and 
appal" than such a scene. The high Alps, inaccessible at 
such a moment, might, as Byron suggested, excite similar 
emotions, but one conceives that a man at the top of the 
Matterhorn when a ninety-mile-an-hour gale is blowing 
would be engrossed by the certainty of immediate death. 
The sun blazed out between inky clouds. The ocean was a 
pale, lurid grey where the sun shone upon it ; the clouds cast 
deep indigo shadows. The line of battle where wind met 
tide was a wall of foam with streamers of spindrift whirling 
upwards. From the hollows of the cliffs below rumbled a 
deep diapason note, dominating the other sounds the 
shrieking of the blast, the crashing of the breakers, and the 
swish of the spray. 

Daffy and Tim gazed in fascination. Nature seemed to be 
groaning and travailing beneath the pangs of some tremen- 
dous birth. Across the northeasterly horizon stretched a 
double rainbow. Every colour and every gfadation of 
colour might be found in either sky or sea. 

Presently Tim's thoughts turned inwards. He beheld with 
clearest vision past storms and tumults which had swept 
him hither and thither like the spindrift upon the ocean, 
or a bird struggling to fly against the wind, and suddenly 
whirled in the opposite direction. Often he had envied 
men who seemed to forget dark and bitter hours, whose 
memories lingered in the sunshine, tasting and retasting 
some small triumph, chewing the cud of it forever and ever. 


What an attribute, making for peace and happiness, this 
complacent, indolent self-glorification! It had never been 
his lucky lot thus to forget pain and to gloat over past 

A revulsion of passion gripped and shook him. He stood 
by his wife's grave, seeing her dear body lowered into the 
earth, soon to be transmuted into corruption and dust. 
What a terrifying, agonising moment that had been. After- 
wards he had loathed the idea so sweet to many of revis- 
iting her grave. He could conceive of her anywhere except 
in that narrow, abominable box ! Amongst his papers in a 
despatch box were instructions that his own body should 
be cremated, and that the ashes should be flung to the cleans- 
ing winds and waters. 

He turned his face and met Daffy's eyes. 

"What is it?" she asked, seeing the torment and misery 
in his heart. 

He did not answer. 

There is no such appeal to women as this, the weakness 
of a strong man, far more irresistible than his strength, 
which evokes that poignant pity which is indeed akin to love. 
Daffy's ministering hands sought his. All the sympathy 
which at such moments can flow from a noble woman 
flowed in fullest measure to this stricken friend. But she, 
also, said not a word, as the tears rolled down her cheeks. 
Tim gripped her hands. 

She trembled, averting her eyes. 

He saw his advantage, but did not press it, wondering 
afterwards what power had restrained him in that wild 
minute when the tempest within and without blew from 
each the last rags of restraint. The crisis passed as the 
wind seemed to increase in volume. Every second spent 
upon this exposed spot endangered Daffy's life. 

"We must go back," he muttered hoarsely. 

She nodded. 

"You go first," he enjoined. "I'll hold you." 

It was impossible to walk upright. They had to crawl to 



safety upon the narrow path, advancing inch by inch. When 
the last perilous corner was turned, Tim asked one question, 
pointing to the gulf below 

"If we had gone over, would you have cared much?" 

"I was not afraid of that," she answered gravely. 

Yet he had seen fear in her eyes, fear of him and of 

"I'm glad we did it," he replied. 

Next day, another excursion was made to an ancient 
manor house, once a small feudal castle, which lies upon 
the banks of a river sheltered by fine trees. The man in 
charge informed Tim that the property, not a large one, 
was for sale and mentioned a modest price. This fact quick- 
ened the interest of the visitors, for the house and grounds 
were charming. Otis began a sketch ; Mrs. Peronet sat near 
him, reading; Tim and Daffy explored the garden, which 
revealed unexpected beauties. Huge rocks covered with 
moss lay amidst hoary oaks now bursting into full leaf. 
The storm of the previous day had exhausted itself. A 
breeze sighed softly in the pines which fringed the higher 
grounds. Wild flowers carpeted the glades. The river could 
be seen below, a silvery riband winding towards the sea. 
The seclusion was absolute. And about the gnarled oaks 
and rocks lingered mystery. One could conceive of Druidi- 
cal rites in such a spot. It was haunted by some elusive 
spirit of the past. Two peasants, a fisherman and a girl, 
passed Tim and Daffy. They walked side by side, with fin- 
jars interlaced, lovers, with a brooding expression upon 
their brown, impassive faces. The girl wore the pretty cos- 
tume of Pont-Aven ; the man was in faded overalls with a 
blue beret jauntily aslant upon his head. Tim watched them 

The shadows swallowed them up. Soon they would 


emerge upon a stretch of down dotted by gorse bushes 
blazing yellow in the sun. Then, perhaps, they would stand 
and talk of what the future might hold, of the house wherein 
their children would be born, of the boat yet to be built, 
of the garden to be planted and tended. 

Tim and Daffy wandered on. The small domain formed 
a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the river which 
separated it from a fishing hamlet upon the farther shore. 

"What a place," said Tim. "I could buy it, if I chose. 
That's a wonderful thought." 

He began to talk of what he could do in such an earthly 
paradise, sheltered even from the winds of the Atlantic. 
There was a terrace, with a stone balustrade, running along 
the fagade which faced the river, and in front a cour d'hon- 
neur, a miniature affair, but the real thing, once thronged 
with cavaliers and gay ladies going a-hawking. In the cen- 
tre was an ancient well with a superb stone top, grotesquely 
carved. And, inside the chateau, were two immense stone- 
vaulted rooms. What a delight to fill them with old Breton 
furniture and faience, to panel the walls with sides of chests 
bought here and -there out of the farmhouses ! Had Daffy 
noticed the immense open hearth? Wouldn't it be jolly to 
sit in front of roaring logs when the winds blew and one 
could hear the roar of the breakers. 

As he talked, his face flushed; his eyes sparkled. Daffy 
beheld again the ingenuous youth of Little Pennington ; she 
heard his mirthful laugh which had so captivated her long 
ago. Suddenly he stopped. 

"But you would be bored ?" 

"No, no. Go on! To listen to you is like hearing a 
-dream transposed into words." 

The years seemed to have fallen from her ; she spoke and 
looked as the Daffy who had sat with him in the Dell, prat- 
tling of a future to be passed with him. Tim said, abruptly : 

"The dream might come true." 

Silently, she shook her head. He burst out with startling 
vehemence : 



"Why not? Nothing is needed but courage." 

She lifted her hands with an imploring gesture. Tim 
seized her, drawing her towards him, gazing into her face, 
trying to interpret the expression of eyes which eluded 

"Courage to flout convention, to seize opportunity, to 
remake our lives to to begin again." 

"Tim ! You hurt me !" 

He released her, but he went on : 

"Ah ! You are afraid. To give up what you have it is 
too much to ask of any woman." 

Nettled by the irony in his voice, she retorted quickly : 

"Rank is nothing to me nothing. And I am rich enough 
in my own right. How dare you misunderstand me ?" 

He smiled; she was angry, the dear creature; therefore 
she loved him. Otherwise she would have laughed. 

"Daffy, what stands between us and the happiness which 
we could give each other?" 

"I cannot answer you, Tim." 

"You mean you won't." 

"The question will be answered, but not by me." 

She spoke with a restraint that imposed itself subtly 
upon his quick intelligence. 

"Can I answer it?" 

"Only you. But not here or now." 

"Then when? And where?" 

She drew herself up, standing erect before him, faintly 
smiling. Her dignity confounded him, for love glowed in 
her eyes. 

He was about to speak, but she entreated silence with a 
gesture, continuing softly: "I have never doubted your 
love for me, not even in that dreary bitter hour when I 
learned from my mother why you had left England." 

"You are wonderful." 

"I think women who love truly are like that. We were 
very young, little more than children, but age has nothing 
to do with love. I shall love you when I am old, Tim." 


"If you feel that, come to me." 

"I am not afraid of the world's censure. I could sacri- 
fice my good name for your sake, but if I came to you now, 
you, not I, would be leaping into the dark, into shadows." 

"But this is mystery." 

"It is indeed, because the mystery lies thick upon you, 
not me. I cannot see you clearly yet. I can see the boy, not 
the man. An ordeal lies before you, an experience through 
which you must pass. When it is over, when your eyes are 
opened, come back to me. I make no pledges, but what is 
best in me, which recognises what is best in you, dares me 
to put you to the proof. If you should fail, if you should 
not rise to your full stature, to the manhood which I have 
prayed might be yours, why then, Tim, I might do what you 
ask, for God knows that your need of me would be tre- 

"What is this ordeal?" 

"I want you to go to Little Pennington, to see your 

"But why?" 

"He will answer that question in his own way and at his 
own time. Will you go ?" 

"Yes, but I shall come back to you." 




TIM left Concarneau some two days later. Upon the 
very eve of his departure arrived the draft from Cali- 
fornia. He shewed it triumphantly to Otis, who entreated 
him to invest it in gilt-edged securities. Tim mentioned the 
ancient chateau, but Otis ridiculed such a bargain. 

"Cost you a small fortune to do it up," he remarked. 

"That's where the fun would come in." 

"But, hang it! you couldn't live there alone.' 

To this Tim vouchsafed no reply. 

Daffy and Mrs. Peronet left Concarneau with Tim, but 
he parted from them at Quimper, where the ladies were 
passing the night. Apart from his promise to Daffy, he 
wished to arrive in London upon the day when Dust was 
published. And he wished, also, to travel through Paris, for 
the portrait of Alethea had passed the jury (thanks to Cab- 
ral's influence) and was already hung. Tim, however, had 
lost interest in it. Nevertheless, such a small triumph 
counted. In Paris, he saw his picture, high above the line, 
and spent a joyous evening with Briand and Cabral. Cer- 
tainly the luck had changed. Cabral said emphatically : 

"Tu as de la veine, toi !" 

He arrived in London upon the 28th of April, refusing to 
wait for the opening of the Salon. He put up at the Cecil 
Hotel, dined well, and went to the play. At eleven, the next 
morning, he called upon Broad, who shewed him his literary 
first-born, swathed in blue, a promising-looking infant. He 


told the publisher that a Breton novel was on the stocks, and 
Broad expressed a wish to publish it. 

Thanks to his influence with the powerful editor of a 
morning paper, a review of the novel appeared upon the 
day of publication. Tim read the following : 

We welcome warmly a sincere piece of work from the 
pen of a new writer, entitled Dust. Most assuredly 
it has penetrating qualities ; and we confess that it af- 
fected eyes which we believed to be dust-proof. Mr. 
Grey is to be congratulated upon a notable achievement. 
He transports us to California, to a foothill ranch upon 
which he must have lived and loved and suffered. It is 
quite impossible to treat this novel as mere fiction. We 
venture to affirm it to be autobiographical, a faithful 
record of life in a land of sunshine during an extended 
period of drought. With practice Mr. Grey may learn 
to write with greater ease and distinction; he may ac- 
quire the tricks and cliches of his trade happily absent 
from the present narrative; he may become we warn 
him of this in all good faith a popular caterer to a 
large public; for we find in this first book possibilities 
adumbrating alike triumph and disaster. We do not 
know Mr. Grey personally, but we see clearly in the 
author of Dust two personalities, the artist, with a de- 
lightful appreciation of the rhythm and colour of life, 
with a trained or innate recognition of "values," and, 
sharply contrasted, the man of business too concerned 
with dramatic incident, too heedless of psychology. If 
Mr. Grey achieves success, which of these two person- 
alities will become the dominant partner? It has been 
said that business * instinct underlies artistic triumphs, 
but we are unconvinced of this. We cling to the belief 
that the best work is accomplished by those who are 
concerned altogether with that work, concentrating un- 
divided energies upon it, with no eye lifted to behold 
the effect on others, with no ear cocked for the applause 
of the groundlings, with no hand open to clutch the 
largesse of Fortune. We advise our readers to buy Dust, 
to read it carefully, and to re-read it. 



"That's rather jolly, isn't it?" said Tim, looking straight 
at Broad, who was lying back in a comfortable chair. He 
liked Broad, because the great man had not kept him cool- 
ing his heels in a fusty waiting-room. Lasher cursed that 
detestable cooling process and the complacent arrogance of 
rich publishers who enthroned themselves high above im- 
poverished poets. Broad, however, belonged to the old- 
fashioned school. He was editor of a literary magazine, 
and agreeably saturated with its traditions ; he wore grace- 
fully the mantle of an illustrious predecessor; his manner 
would have disarmed a nervous school-girl. And the room 
in which he received his authors was historical, a fine, lofty, 
Georgian chamber, thickly carpeted, lined with books in 
glazed mahogany cases. 

"It's handsome," said Broad. He went on comfortably : 

"It will sell many copies. The advance sales, of course, 
have been negligible, but the orders will come in. Oh, yes, 
they will come in. A good slating, a long column of abuse 
would be a capital 'ad.' Prepare yourself for that, Mr. 

"I'm not thin-skinned," said Tim cheerfully. "A portrait 
I have done is hung fairly well in the Salon. The critics 
will slate that. I don't mind." 

He laughed, throwing back his head. Broad laughed with 
him, although he said seriously : 

"You paint as well?" 

"I've chucked painting. That was pot-boiling. This 
isn't, thank the Lord !" 

"I'm glad to hear you say so. A portrait in the Salon ! 
You are a fortunate young man." 

"Young? Oh, no." 

"Not much more than thirty, I take it?" 

"Nearly thirty-six." 

"Well, you don't look it. Can you do as your reviewer 
suggests give undivided energies to literary work?" 

"Yes ; I have independent means, enough for my modest 



"That's quite as it should be. Let me add this without 
prejudice. Dust deals with California, and the book you 
have on the blacks concerns itself, so you say, with Brittany. 
But, if you wish to make a supreme appeal to our public, 
you must write about England and the English. There are 
notable exceptions to this general rule, but my advice you 
will find is sound. Will you dine with me ?" 

"I am leaving London to-morrow morning." 

"Come to-night." 

"You are very kind." 

Broad named a famous club. Tim left his office, con- 
scious of a thrilling sense of elation. The draft from Cali- 
fornia lay snug in his pocket-book ; his picture hung in the 
Salon; his book was on the eve of publication; and Daffy 
loved him. 

But why had she imposed this ordeal, and what was its 
nature? Never had he been so completely mystified. Two 
thoughts obsessed him : the knowledge that she loved him, 
and her conviction that some strange experience through 
which he must pass would keep them apart instead of bring- 
ing them together. Crossing from Saint Malo he had en- 
deavoured to analyse her mind and his own. Did she believe 
that the influences of the happy village would prevail against 
an all-consuming passion? Surely she was too clever, too 
experienced, and too ardent to weave ropes out of such 
sand ? And so far as she was concerned, any reluctance he 
might have felt in tempting her to leave her husband was 
dispelled by the knowledge that her married life had been 
cruelly disappointing and unhappy. Avidly, he swallowed 
details from Alice Peronet. Rokeby was unfaithful, an 
animal, and unkind. Practically, husband and wife lived 
apart. Everybody knew it. Tim could envisage himself 
as Perseus. And he had a notion that the widowed sage so 
regarded him. Certainly she was no stickler for convention, 
no upholder of outworn creeds and frayed formulas. 
Nevertheless, she dwelt too insistently upon Daffy's good- 



ness and nobility of character, and her farewell to Tim had 
been significant. 

"Au revoir, mon preux chevalier." 

Why did she call him a preux chevalier ? Was she ironic ? 
Or, more consoling reflection, did she acclaim him as Per- 

In this befogged condition of mind, he approached Little 
Pennington, walking across the Downs from Winchester, 
sending on his portmanteau in a fly. 


The Vicar was expecting him, but Tim had not men- 
tioned a particular train, having a reasonable fear that he 
might be met at the station. Fancy urged him to walk into 
the Vicarage and hang his cap upon the old peg. The Vicar 
would come out of his study, holding out both hands with 
the familiar smile and gesture which Tim remembered so 
well. Thus the ice would be broken ; and they would slide 
at once into an easy intimacy. 

When Tim came to the point whence the spire of Little 
Pennington church may be first seen he halted, gazing about 
him. He perceived no changes. The yews looked smaller, 
a pond by the road, where some sheep were watering, ap- 
peared to have shrunk. In fine, the landscape, as a whole, 
presented the features of a delicate miniature rather than 
a picture. 

"I am bigger," thought Tim. 

He sat upon a gate, filling his pipe, staring about him with 
a faintly ironical smile. Presently, he made a grimace, 
shrugging his broad shoulders. What effect would the shat- 
tering of the Seventh Commandment exercise upon the 
Vicar? This question worried Tim; but he consoled him- 
self with the reflection that Rokeby would divorce his wife, 
and that marriage would adjust the situation in the kinder 
eyes of age and wisdom. With advancing years, the Vicar, 


surely, had discarded some too rigid and exacting conven- 
tions. But had he? In an odd way, the familiar surround- 
ings raised this question. The neatly trimmed fences, the 
carefully cultivated fields, even the smug appearance of the 
sheep, and, above all, the slender spire, indicated the ab- 
sence of change. He had changed. Little Pennington re- 
mained the same. 

Tim smoked his pipe too fast with scant enjoyment. The 
spirit of his old home entered once more into possession. 

He felt what ? Afraid ? Why did he shrink from taking 
the last few steps which lay between him and the Vicar? 
Why did the desire to turn tail afflict him? 

"I'll fight this out," he thought. 

It was a matter of pride that he could face facts, and 
deal with them masterfully. The moment had come to 
which he had looked forward. He, the outcast, was return- 
ing, as he had wished to return, a self-supporting, independ- 
ent man. After a weary quest, he had found himself. He 
knew rare accomplishment ! what he wanted. Would he 
exchange positions with some magnate of the India Civil 
Service? Did he envy, as he had done, some many-acred 
squire sitting serene in ancestral halls ? Such boyish ambi- 
tions had passed. He could wonder at the fatuity which 
entertained them. What a dire punishment it would be if 
men were constrained by Fate to dwell in the castles built 
by youthful Fancy ! From the consideration and enumera- 
tion of his assets high health, a moderate fortune, a rea- 
sonable anticipation of fame, and the love of a dear woman 
Tim turned to compute his disabilities. What he had 
done would be esteemed by the Vicar of no account, a tale 
of talents wilfully hidden, if he broke a Divine Law. 

This was the ordeal which Daffy had adumbrated so mys- 
teriously. She had foreseen the necessity of his meeting the 
Vicar and accepting his hand in love and friendship, holding 
out in return a hand about to impose a blow. Nevertheless, 
this solution of a perplexing problem was too obvious. There 
must be some factor as yet unperceived. Why had she im- 



posed this meeting? Resentment kindled, as he realised the 
falseness of his position, the hypocrisies that it must 

"Shall I go back ?" he muttered. 

He wriggled uneasily, as he knocked the ashes out of his 
pipe, staring at them, sensible that every action, however 
negligible, had definite meaning upon this eventful day. 
Were his triumphs turning into ashes? 

If he went back without meeting the Vicar, what would 
Daffy say? Would he shrink in her faithful eyes to mean 
proportions ? 

Yes; that was inevitable. Out of pity, she might take 
what was left of a man; and the memory of his cowardice 
would poison happiness. 

He must accomplish the odious task which she had im- 


He passed some children, carrying garlands. A little girl 
shyly offered a nosegay of cowslips. Tim said : 

"Thank you very much. What is your name, my dear?" 

"I be Daisy Judd." 

Two more questions revealed that she was the daughter 
of Journey. To her astonishment, Tim picked up the maid 
and kissed her. When he set her down he slipped half a 
sovereign into her fat little hand. 

"Can you give your father a message ?" 

She nodded. 

"Tell him that his old friend, Mr. Tim, is coming to see 
him. Can you remember that?" 

She replied triumphantly : 

"I can say the names of the kings of Israel." 

"Where do you live, Daisy?" 

She told him. scampering off to join the others. Tim 
thought of the Cherub, as he passed through the Lych-gate, 
and entered the churchyard. His eyes rested upon a new 


white marble cross, conspicuous for its size. He read the 
inscription upon it. This was the grave of Daffy's mother. 
The cross had been erected by Annie, the wife of the suf- 
fragan bishop. He read a text 

Her children shall rise up and call her blessed! 

Tim lingered by the grave, uncovering his head. Then 
he moved on to the grim mausoleum which held the bones 
of the departed Penningtons. Hard by was the tomb of 
the poet and prophet. Upon it lay two wreaths. Tim stood 
beside it listening to the cawing of the rooks, inhaling the 
odours of Spring, ,the mingled fragrance of flowers and 
herbs. From the forge across the village street came the 
sharp clang of hammer upon anvil ; hens were clucking in 
the gardens behind the cottages; blackbirds were chatter- 
ing in the Vicarage shrubbery. 

The door of the church stood open. Tim looked in. An 
old woman was kneeling near the font at which, doubtless, 
she had been baptised. Her pale, withered face seemed ex- 
traordinarily peaceful. With a shock Tim recognised her 
as the wife of one of the lodge-keepers, whom he had left 
a comely woman of fifty. Nothing could have served to 
emphasise more poignantly the flight of years than this 
great change in a person once full of energy and strength, 
now aged and infirm. He glanced at the pew in which 
he had sat Sunday after Sunday listening to the Vicar's 
silvery voice. Against that pillar his old friend, the Colonel, 
would lean his broad back and doze off if the sermon failed 
to keep him awake. Upon the left of the main aisle, where 
the women sat, Tim saw the red hassock which belonged to 
Miss Janetta Vanburgh. Had time chastened the acerbity 
of her "Amen" ? Under the pulpit was Mary Nightingale's 

He left the church profoundly melancholy, quickening his 
steps as he entered the Vicarage garden, knowing that the 
Vicar might see him, if he happened to be sitting at his 
desk. The study windows were wide open. Above the 
path, upon sloping ground to the left of the house, was the 



lawn and a great over-shadowing cedar. The Vicar might 
be there. In fine weather he drank tea just outside the 
dining-room. Tim's heart began to beat, as he saw a figure 
in a chair. But the figure wore grey flannel. Some stranger, 
then, was staying at the Vicarage. What an exasperating 
mischance ! Yes ; the stranger was a young man, who 
seemed to make himself at home. He was reading, with 
his feet at ease upon another chair. In just a position, per- 
haps in the same chair, Tim had struggled with the idioms 
of Aristophanes. By the young man's side stood a small 
table with books upon it, which had the appearance of text- 
books. Tim jumped to the conclusion that the Vicar had a 
pupil. He consigned the youth to perdition, as he rounded 
the corner, and approached the front door. 


"My boy ! My dear, dear boy !" 

"Father !" 

There was no mistaking the Vicar's emotion, as he 
held Tim's hands and gazed eagerly into his eyes. For a 
moment Tim, too, remained speechless, forgetting every- 
thing except the pressure of those hands and the welcome 
in the quiet voice. Then they surveyed each other with 
anxious scrutiny, whilst the Vicar's hands rested upon Tim's 
shoulders. They were alone in the study. Tim perceived 
that his guardian had become an old man, still erect, with 
eyes which had lost neither fire nor penetration, but white- 
haired, wrinkled, too thin, too pale, a sublimated present- 
ment of his former self. He could not doubt that the 
Vicar's time on earth must necessarily be brief ; and he felt 
a pang of anger because Daffy had not prepared him for 
such a grievous change. Then he remembered that Tertius 
White was seventy, and that he went about his work in all 
weathers regardless of personal comfort where the comfort 
of others might be concerned. 


They sat down; the Vicar gently pressed Tim into the 
armchair facing the window, seating himself upon the 
Windsor chair upon which Tim had wriggled so uneasily 
as a boy. 

"I want to look at my son." 

"Am I changed much?" 

"You are a strong man; but I see the boy." He lifted 
his fine head, adding quietly: "I thank God." 

Tim remained silent, ravaged by remorse. He ought to 
have come home before. Vanity, false shame, false pride, 
had prevented him. He realised this intensely, flushing be- 
neath those keen kind eyes. And he said as much with 
a feeling which brought an answering flush into the Vicar's 

"You are here. I understand; I have waited patiently, 
knowing the bitter-sweetness of this meeting. The bitter- 
ness has passed, has it not?" 

"Yes," Tim answered humbly, for any petty feeling of 
triumph seemed to have oozed from him, clearing his vision, 
so that he saw for the first time his true relation to the man 
who had given so much and asked for so little. 

The Vicar began to speak of Tim's work, rejoicing so 
simply and sincerely in his small success that Tim found 
himself answering in choked monosyllables. He wanted to 
escape for a few minutes, to recover his self-control, to 
measure if he could the confounding sense of disinte- 
gration which this meeting had wrought so swiftly and 
unexpectedly. He had pictured himself cool and at ease, 
speaking fluently of the past and the future, making good ! 
Instead, he was writhing beneath an intolerable humilia- 

He stood up. 

"I must go out," he faltered. "This has been too much 
for me." 

"Yes; yes." 

Tim fled into the garden. The Vicar remained for a 



moment staring at the picture of Tim's mother. Then he 
knelt down. 

Tim passed through the dining-room, and on to the 
lawn, oblivious of the stranger whom he had condemned as 
an intruder a few minutes before. The youth heard him 
coming, and jumped up with a smile upon his face. Tim 
stared a,t him, as the boy said pleasantly : 

"You are Mr. White? Are you looking for the Vicar?" 

Tim hesitated. To pass a guest in his father's house 
without a word would be churlish. He said awkwardly : 

"I have just seen him." 

The boy nodded, continuing joyously: 

"How splendid! We have talked of nothing else, ever 
since we heard that you were coming. It wasn't too much 
for him, was it?" 

The sympathy in his voice challenged Tim's attention. 
Obviously, his first guess had been the right one. This nice 
young fellow was a pupil and a friend. The mere tone of 
the "we" established that. Tim replied confusedly : 

"It was too much for me." 

The boy nodded. 

"I should jolly well think so after sixteen years!" 

Tim dropped into a chair. The boy's prattle soothed 
him. Perhaps he dreaded being alone with his thoughts. 

Also, something quite indefinable about the boy, some- 
thing familiar and yet unfamiliar, provoked his curiosity. 
Was he a Pennington? Or some kinsman of the Vicar's? 
But he as,ked no questions, listening half absently to the 
joyous voice rattling on : 

"We got ready your old room. Have you seen it? No. 
We collected your books. I had some of 'em in my room. 
And to-morrow there's to be a sort of feast. The Vicar 
has asked half the village to tea. Mr. Hazel is as excited 
as anybody. And Benner. And Judd. After breakfast this 


morning we went down into the cellar. There are one or 
two bottles of the famous Pennington Madeira left. I say, 
I'm not making myself a nuisance, am I? Of course, you 
don't know me, but I know you, because everybody has 
talked to me about you. I dare say you want to be quiet. 
Shall I hook it?" 

"No. My father and you seem to be friends." 

"Rather. He's been ripping to me." 

"Has he? Suppose you tell me who you are. Introduce 
yourself in form." 

To Tim's astonishment, the boy looked embarrassed. The 
light died out of his eyes. He said hesitatingly: 

"Then he has never written to you about me?" 


"He took me out of an orphanage, Mr. White. If you 
don't mind, I'd sooner you asked him. I I don't know 
very much about myself." 

Tim said hastily: 

"Then you live here?" 

"Yes. This has been my home for ten years." 

Tim was astounded. Why had the Vicar never men- 
tioned this boy in his letters? He examined him more at- 
tentively, with an odd but unmistakable jealousy. Evidently, 
this orphan had taken his place. He frowned, and then 
a more generous emotion banished both frown and jealousy. 
The boy had brought youth and mirth to this empty house. 
He had cheered the Vicar's solitude. 

"What does my father call you?" 


"Shake!" said Tim. 

In silence they gripped hands. The boy was tall and 
fair, singularly alert, a personality. It was strange that 
Daffy had never spoken of him. As he held the boy's hand, 
Tim asked a question: 

"Have you met Lady Rokeby?" 

Jack's eyes sparkled; the joyous smile came back. 

"Oh, yes ; she's a ripper too !" 



Tim thought that he could interpret Daffy's silence in 
regard to this attractive youth. In a sense he had sup- 
planted an absent son, filled a void in an old man's heart. 
The fear of wounding a friend accounted adequately for 
Daffy's reserve. Tim rose out of his chair, feeling cramped. 
He told himself that a walk round the village would restore 
his circulation. 

"Look here, Jack. I want to stretch my legs. Come 

"Are you sure you want me, sir ?" 

"Quite sure. Go on talking about my father." 

His heart was warming towards the young fellow; he 
eyed him with increasing approval, marking an air of dis- 
tinction and a delightful absence of swagger. And he knew 
also that Jack was eager to please him, that he had cap- 
tivated the youth, whose jolly grin would serve as a pass- 
port commending the owner to most strangers. It would 
be easy to elicit information from such an ingenuous source, 
the details which Daffy had withheld for reasons which 
still perplexed him. He took the boy's arm, pressing it 
genially, delighted to feel that he was himself again, that a 
balance badly shaken had regained its normal equilibrium. 
Certainly, the Vicar had exhibited perspicacity in selecting 
this orphan. And how like him to pick a bit of fine clay 
plastic to his hand. His thoughts swooped farther afield. 
This, undoubtedly, was the Vicar's second great experiment. 
Had he yearned for a triumph which might obliterate the 
memory of a failure? And if this boy should prove a 
failure ! 

Whilst these reflections were jostling each other in his 
mind, he asked lightly: 

"And my father's health?" 

The boy answered gravely : 

"Oh, sir, he doesn't take enough care of himself. But 
now he will listen to you. I am sure of that." 

"Why?" He was amused by the confident tone. Jack 
hesitated, saying shyly: 


"You look as if you could get people to do what you 

"Do I ? Well, I shall endeavour to satisfy your expecta- 
tions. He is terribly frail." 

"He is seventy-one, sir." 

"I know I know, but is there anything organically 
wrong? You understand me?" 

"He works too hard ; and he eats too little. That's what 
the doctor says." 

"The doctor? Does he come regularly?" 

"Oh, no. He drops in now and again. He told me to 
keep an eye on him, to spare him as much as possible. But 
it's not easy for me," his voice betrayed anxiety, "because 
he hates being fussed over. Perhaps he would stand seme 
coddling from you." 

"I wonder," murmured Tim. "I noticed your books 
that confounded Liddell and Scott, the same one I used. 
Is he cramming you for any exam?" 

"Yes; f of the India Civil." 

The reply smote Tim. Now he knew, now he under- 
stood, the veil between himself and the Vicar dissolved. 
This jolly, quick-witted boy had indeed stepped into his 
empty shoes, and into the place which had been his in the 
parson's house and heart. It was the boy, not the grown 
man, who was destined to justify Tertius White's creed, his 
fervent belief that good prevailed. Tim said hoarsely, won- 
dering whether he betrayed the emotion surging within him : 

"Are you keen ?" 

"Keen! Oh, yes, I'm frightfully keen, but I'm not half 
as clever as you, sir. I crawl so the Vicar says where 
you pranced along. But he thinks I shall pass. And it's 
such a splendid service, such opportunities !" 

"Opportunities for what, Jack?" 

But he divined that the boy's answer would be quite 
other than what he would have replied. He could hear 
himself saying to Daffy in the Dell : "It means four hun- 
dred a year and perks it means you." The very words 



leapt out of some hiding-place in his memory, as he heard 
the boy's eager tones 

"The Vicar has told me how badly men are wanted, 
of what has been done by the right sort. Lawrence and 
all the others. What a field ! What " 

He broke off, flushing and faltering. Tim found it dis- 
concerting to interpret this embarrassment. The boy knew 
that Tim White had been trained, as he had been, for work 
in this field, and had then forsaken it. 

"I see. You have remembered that I didn't go to India. 
Do you know why?" 

"I don't, sir." 

Jack spoke with that unmistakable sincerity which evokes 
sincerity from others. Without pausing to pick his phrases, 
Tim muttered : 

"I made a mess of things, you understand." And then, 
with a vehemence which surprised his listener, he gripped 
the arm within his own, saying : "I may tell you about that 
when we get better acquainted. It's a nasty story. It 
it jumps out of the past, my boy, and hits me in the eye 
to-day. But you won't make a mess of things. You'll 
pass ?" 

"I hope so." 

They had reached the village forge, where George Chalk 
the blacksmith, was shoeing a great brown mare. 

"It's Mr. Tim!" 

"How are you, George ?" 

"Lard ha' mercy on us ! I'd ha' known 'ee anywheres. 
Parson told me you was expected. 'Tis a joyful day for 
him, dear man!" 

Yes ; the parson had kept his memory green in Little 

"Home-along at last," said George. "Ah ! we missed 'ee 

rarely, yes, we did. Full o' life, you was, Mr. Tim. I be 

married this many a year now. I married Everannie Bunce. 

You ain't forgotten Everannie? Not you! Mother o' 



seven! Come over to the house, Mr. Tim, and taste her 
currant wine." 

Jack nudged Tim's arm. 

"I say, sir, shall I nip back and fetch the Vicar? He 
wouldn't miss this for the world." 

Tim nodded. 

"We'll go back to him together." 





A PLEASANT pilgrimage followed. But when Jack 
JL\ and Tim stood together upon the threshold of the 
study, Tim became aware of a look upon the Vicar's face. 
Wonder informed its quiet serenity and an austere grati- 

"We two have made friends," said Tim. At the mo- 
ment he felt intensely grateful to this boy, beholding him 
as the crutch of declining years, the Benjamin who had 
filled Joseph's place. If bitterness lay beneath such a rec- 
ognition, if belated remorse for an absence too protracted 
cut deep into his sensibilities, if he beheld himself shrunk 
to truer proportions, he could yet rise above such melan- 
choly thoughts and rejoice. 

The three set forth upon a round of visits, whither we 
need not follow them. Jack, the acolyte, remained in the 
background; but Tim was strangely sensible of his pres- 
ence, conscious that in some mysterious fashion the boy 
had to be there, a necessary eyewitness, an inevitable corol- 
lary. Obviously, too, Jack was welcome for himself. 
Watching him, Tim could touch with prehensile, sensitive 
fingers his own youth, and compute the effect of youth upon 
age, its appeal, its allurement. And in Jack he could see 
the Cherub as he might have been, the Cherub grown into 
just such a tall, fair, slender boy. There was a look about 
the eyes, something in the shape of the head, in the model- 
ling of the chin, which seemed to raise his little son from 
the dead. 


And it never occurred to him that there might be more 
than coincidence in this fleeting, elusive resemblance. 


Presently, he found himself alone in his bedroom. He 
sat down upon the bed, staring at the pictures on the wall. 
There were groups taken at Eton, framed photographs by 
Hills and Saunders embellished with the College arms, the 
"twenty-two" cap upon a nail, the school-books; and in a 
cupboard the bat which he had hoped to wield at Lord's. 
Above the mantel-piece grinned the mask of a fox killed 
in the open. Tim had ridden one of Sir Gilbert's horses, 
which carried him stoutly. And beside the mask hung a 
fine steel-engraving of the Squire, taken from the famous 
portrait by Richmond. Just opposite was the still finer 
mezzotint of the poet and prophet. The two friends seemed 
to be smiling at each other. As a boy Tim had never 
appreciated these portraits. How amazing! What reveal- 
ing documents ! 

Time sped by as Tim sat upon his bed. He dressed 
hastily and went down to dinner as if he were in a dream. 
But it is truer to say that he had penetrated through the 
surface of things to zones of his own being hitherto un- 
plumbed. A strange fear of himself gripped him, a curi- 
ous contempt for the outer man warped by circumstance, 
parti-coloured white, green, brown and black. Had some 
essential part remained unchanged and unstained? 

After dinner the famous Madeira produced its effect. 
Tim talked of California. The Vicar listened, lying back 
in his chair, leaning his head upon his hand; Jack sat bolt 
upright, now and again moving restlessly, as the spirit of 
adventure clawed at his vitals. No story-teller could have 
found a better audience than these two, the old man whose 
work was nearly done, the youth with the world stretching 
wide before his eager, shining eyes. Tim warmed into 



speech, talking as he used to talk to the pilgrims when he 
snowed them land upon the Santa Margarita. The Vicar 
remembered Rupert Carteret and his torrens dicendi copia, 
which swept all before it. And yet this stirring recital 
of actions and reactions in a new, wild country obscured 
rather than revealed the speaker. He wanted to see Tim 
clearly, and a flood of words submerged him. Tim's let- 
ters had been like this, a recital of happenings, interest- 
ing because they were true, because they illuminated condi- 
tions so different from those to which a country parson 
was accustomed, but of the effect upon the character of 
the protagonist no soul-satisfying glimpse had been vouch- 

It was late when Tim finished, too late for a talk alone 
with the Vicar, who looked tired, almost exhausted. Tim 
lit a candle, handing it to his father with a remorseful 

"I have worn you out." 

The Vicar smiled, shaking his head. 

"It has been a memorable day. To-morrow after break- 
fast, while Jack is wrestling with his Greek, we two will 
spend an hour together. Good-night, my dear son." 

He ascended the stairs slowly, looking back twice to nod 
affectionately. When the bedroom door closed behind him, 
Tim said : 

"How slowly he went up !" 

"Yes ; he gets breathless very easily. Shall I put out 
the lights, sir?" 

Tim started. The words carried him back seventeen 
years. Some inflection of the boy's voice, a subtle tone, 
brought Ivy Jellicoe out of the mists of the past. Deliber- 
ately he had banished her from his thoughts. For ten 
years there had been no mention of her or her child in 
the Vicar's letters. After Tim's marriage, when there was 
money to spare, he had offered to provide for Ivy and the 
child; but the Vicar had replied rather curtly, saying that 
this was unnecessary. Jack repeated the words: 

"Shall I put out the lights, sir?" 


"Yes, do ! Good-night, my boy." 

"Good-night, sir. It was awfully exciting listening to you. 
I simply loved it." 

They shook hands ; and Jack may have wondered why 
the man so fluent a few minutes before, so gay, so im- 
petuous, had become of a sudden grave and impassive. 
He accounted easily for the change. This big, strong son 
was worried and unhappy about a father's health. He 
said shyly: 

"It will be all right now you've come back. He never 
said much, but he wanted you most awfully." 

Tim went upstairs. 


He sat down by the open window and lit a pipe. Rain 
had fallen during the evening. From the moist earth as- 
cended those vernal odours which stir the memory. Tim 
loved this rich, satisfying fragrance, emanation from a 
grateful, teeming soil. He could recall a night in Cali- 
fornia, when he stood bareheaded in his garden, letting 
the rain soak to his skin, waiting for this revivifying ex- 
perience, this titillating sensation, so significant to dwellers 
in a land of drought. But now he was thinking not of 
California, but of rain-drenched bracken in a copse near 
Lanterton, where a boy stood impatiently expecting a girl. 
He could see her flitting through the trees, glancing to 
right and left, fear upon her pretty face, as she hastened 
to her lover. It all came back vividly, his tormenting 
thoughts about the future; her provoking, careless accept- 
ance of the present, clouded for her by a passing shower, 
and joyously brightened by a box of chocolates. 

Where was Ivy now? Where was her child? 

Then he told himself, wonderingly, that the child must 
be a young man. How astounding! Why had he so 
forgotten the flight of time? 

Ivy had come to this room, at this very hour, so fate- 



ful for her and him, so pregnant, had he known it at the 
time, with incalculable possibilities. The key which he had 
silently turned still lay in the lock. The turning of it had 
cut him off from Daffy. 

"Shall I put out the lights, sir?" 

He stared into the darkness. Heavy clouds impended, 
but a few stars twinkled between them. Ivy faded out 
of his mind. He beheld Jack; he heard Jack's voice with 
that odd inflection, so familiar, so insistent. 

Then everything became dazzlingly clear. 

Jack was Ivy's son his son his flesh and blood! 

"Oh, my God !" he exclaimed. "Oh, my God, my God !" 

He began to pace up and down the room, unable as yet 
to apprehend details, conscious only of this fierce, glaring, 
blinding illumination, as if he were alone a burning atom 
in illimitable space. 

Doubt assailed him for a few minutes. He opened the 
door. Jack's room lay next to his. He listened. The 
boy's breathing could be heard. He must have been 
asleep for nearly an hour. Tim opened Jack's door very 
quietly. If the boy awoke, he had an excuse pat upon 
his tongue. But the boy slept soundly, tired after an ex- 
citing day. Tim fetched a candle, discarding his shoes. He 
stole silently to the bedside, shading the candle with his 

Jack lay upon his side, with a tousled head curled into 
a bare arm. So the Cherub had slept. So Tim had slept 
when a boy. The last doubt vanished. This was indeed 
Ivy's son and his. The boy had inherited Ivy's dark lashes, 
and the delicate modelling of her cheeks. The wide fore- 
head, the thick hair growing forward at the temples, the 
thin, sensitive nostrils came from Tim. The bed-clothes 
were half-flung back, displaying a broad chest. 

"You are mine," said Tim, "my son, my only son." 

He returned to his room. 




Throughout that night he kept vigil with thoughts, for 
the first time, perhaps, focussed upon others. If there be 
any truth in the dictum that if you wish to change a man's 
character you must change his point of view, why, then, 
the character of Tim became changed between midnight 
and dawn upon the second of May. During five hours he 
stood outside himself, or outside his conscious self, for 
many might contend that the soul of the man looked down 
upon body and mind. Here we wade into deep waters, 
and will leave them. 

Whatever faults were his, and they have not been hid- 
den in this narrative, no one had ever charged Tim with 
cowardice. Physical courage may or may not be reck- 
oned a king virtue. Often it degenerates into recklessness ; 
often it soars into the empyrean of purest altruism, as when 
a man deliberately risks his life to save another. Tim, 
we know, was capable of either contingency; he had sunk 
and he had soared. Now he was poised between the two 
poles, confronted by consequence, compelled to pass judg- 
ment upon what he had done and left undone. 

And the arresting figure in his quickened intelligence, the 
man to use an expression of the theatre who "held the 
stage," was the Vicar. From Tim's earliest childhood till 
the present hour that personality revealed itself with ab- 
solute clarity and distinction. Quarrel as you might with 
the Vicar's creed, indict as Tim had often done a code 
of ethics too rigid for most erring mortals, the result shone 
out with a divine radiance. Tertius White had conse- 
crated a long life to the service of others; he had shoul- 
dered their burdens and responsibilities; and he had im- 
posed no conditions. 

Nevertheless, the conditions remained to be self-imposed 
by the man who had most profited by this altruism. For 



thirty-five years the debt had been steadily swelling. To- 
night it must be computed to the uttermost farthing. 

Tim felt as if he were bleeding to death inside, the death 
which precedes the higher life. He knew that the Vicar 
had passed through this disintegration before he, Tim, was 

"Thou fool ! that which thou sowest is not quickened un- 
less it die." 

The text, out of the Burial Service, which he had never 
attempted to understand, came into his mind, a straw for 
a drowning man to clutch at. But he was thinking of the 
Vicar, not of himself, repeating again and again : "He must 
have died. And then he lived for my mother's sake, for 
mine, and for my boy's." 

He had never envied the saint till this moment. How 
gladly now would he change places with him. How small 
and petty were the ends for which he had worked. 

Thus he sat beside the open window, bowed and broken, 
gazing into the darkness, waiting for the dawn. When the 
first silvery shafts quivered faintly in the eastern horizon, 
he took off his clothes, got into bed, and slept. 

At breakfast, Tim displayed outwardly no sign of vigils. 
His skin was too tanned by wind and sun to look pale. 
An outsider might have thought that the Vicar, not he, had 
lain awake for many hours, but the Vicar, it seemed, had 
slept soundly. He read prayers in the same quiet, impres- 
sive voice; he ate his egg and a thin rasher of bacon; he 
drank one cup of tea. When Jack went reluctantly to his 
Greek, the Vicar took Tim's arm and led him into the study. 
By this time Tim had regained self-control; he knew that 
any excitement would react disastrously upon his father; 
he told himself that he must be calm for an old man's sake. 
But, as soon as they were alone, he said quietly : 


"I have guessed who Jack is ; I have spent the night think- 
ing of what you have done for me." 

The Vicar said nervously : 

"And wondering why I kept it secret ?" 

"Yes, I did wonder at that." 

"I'll try to explain, Tim. The boy was born in Lon- 
don. You had my promise that I would look after the 
mother. I did so to the best of my ability." He sighed, 
continuing slowly: "It was not easy. Very soon I dis- 
covered that the child was neglected, not wilfully, but 
through ignorance and carelessness. The mother jumped 
at my suggestion that Jack should be placed in a home. 
Then I got her a respectable place. She left it; I found 
her another. I I did my best, but she drifted on to the 

Tim groaned. 

"I tried again and again," the Vicar continued mourn- 
fully; "others tried, too. She never went near the child. 
Well, I can understand that." 

"Looking at him now, I can't." 

"The maternal instinct seemed to be lacking. When the 
boy was five years old, I heard of your marriage. I began 
to abandon the hope of seeing you. My thoughts dwelt 
persistently upon the child. The scandal in the village 
had died a natural death. When I brought Jack here, under 
the name of John Southwark the orphanage was in South- 
wark nobody suspected that he was yours." 


"Except Daphne Rokeby. She guessed ; she saw a faint 
likeness; I often see it; and then I told her." 

"Does Jack know about his mother?" 

"He knows nothing; when the right time comes, you 
will tell him." 

"Heavens! For ten years you have fathered my son, 
as you fathered me." 

"I did it gladly. I kept it secret from you for two 
reasons : you were far away and I wanted you to see 



the boy first. The other reason was more subtle. I de- 
sired passionately to test my own faith in the ultimate 
triumph of good over evil. There is much good in your 
son, Tim. I speak of what I know." 

"What can I say what can I say ?" 

"Tell me frankly what you think of him?" 

"He is a son that any father might be proud of; and 
he owes everything as I do to you. I can think of noth- 
ing else except that his debt and mine to you." 

"Tim, the boy has paid in full. He is very dear to me, 
not dearer than you ; that would be impossible, but the 
care of him has been no burden, only a pleasure." 

"Where is the mother now?" 

"Alas ! I can't tell you. She slipped through my fingers. 
For a time she prospered, because she was so pretty, and 
she had engaging ways. From what I saw of her, I could 
understand how greatly you must have been tempted. I 
sometimes hope that she is dead." 

Tim covered his face; when he looked up again, the 
Vicar hardly recognised him, so ravaged was he by emotion 
and remorse. He said hoarsely : 

"I came back blown out with conceit. Daffy made me 
come. She warned me that I must pass through an ordeal. 
Father," his voice shook, "I'm not fit to go down on my 
knees and kiss your boots ! I feel like a pricked bladder. 
You must give me time to recover, time to understand 
you, and this boy, and myself." 

"Yes, yes; take all the time you need, Tim." 

They sat on together, in an intimacy which seemed to 
increase as the Vicar talked about the boy. Tim, in his 
turn, spoke of Magdalena and the Cherub. Then he fetched 
his book, watching the Vicar's face when he turned to the 
dedicatory page, hearing the pleased exclamation when he 
read his own name. They went for a stroll in Penning- 
ton Park, passing the great empty house, soon to become 
the home of a stranger. The Vicar began to talk of Sir 


Gilbert, of the long years during which they had worked 
together. At the end he said: 

"He had faith in you, Tim. Just before he died, when 
we may believe that the spirit of prophecy must inform 
such a man, he whispered to me that you would come back ; 
he counselled me to wait patiently." 

As he spoke he leaned upon Tim's arm, an eloquent ap- 
peal of age and infirmity to a strong man. And beneath that 
kindly pressure Tim felt his relaxed moral fibres stiffening 
into ropes of steel binding him closer and closer to this 
generous creditor. He exclaimed derisively: 

"I thought that I had made good." 

"You have, my dear son, you have." 

"Not yet," said Tim. 


The afternoon came, and with it the Vicar's guests, Hazel, 
Benner, Mary Nightingale, the Colonel, the village doctor 
and a round score of cottagers. Journey was there, a stout 
fellow, humorously alive to the fact that he had profited 
"by losing of his prayers." 

"I be quite happy now," he assured Tim. "Little Pen- 
nington is home to me, Mr. Tim, and has been this many 
a year. When I heard how nigh you come to bein' hanged, 
I did think to meself that a live saddler in Hampsheer might 
be better off than a dead gentleman in Californy." 

"You heard the tale of the lynching?" 

Journey said proudly : 

"The Vicar read us bits o' your letters, Mr. Tim. That's 
how we kept in touch with 'ee. He just made up his mind, 
seemingly, that you warn't to be forgotten. Lard A'mighty ! 
I be glad to see 'ee for your own sake, and gladder still 
for his." 

After tea, Tim had a word with the doctor. 

"How is my father?" he asked. 

The doctor tried to evade giving a candid answer. 


"He's getting along in years, Tim. Bless my soul! how 
they do spin by even in Little Pennington." 

Tim was seldom irritable with his friends, although a 
habit of getting exasperated with himself was slowly form- 
ing; he said incisively: 

"Are his arteries thickening? Is there any lesion of 
the heart ? Any degeneration ?" 

This terminology, acquired from Wason, served to re- 
mind the doctor that Tim himself was older. He replied 
in a different tone: 

"It's like this. He is very frail. You can see that ; and 
the sort of man who goes till he drops. He might go at 
any moment, for there is cardiac weakness. But, with care, 
he may live for another ten years. He is singularly free 
from the petty ailments of old age. He doesn't suffer from 
rheumatism or dyspepsia. The machine is wearing out, 
that's all." 

"Thank you," said Tim gravely. 

"I meant to speak to you. Exposure or shock would 
be probably fatal." 

"Yes, I understand." 

"I'm glad you've come home, Tim. You will keep an 
eye on him. He's a rare bit, eh ?" 

"He is, indeed." 

"Do you find him much changed? I'm not speaking 
of his appearance." 

Tim was unable to answer this question. The doctor 
went on : 

"His sermons now. They are more than straws to indi- 
cate the change I hint at. In the old days, if one dared 
to criticize and I'll own that I did I found them rather 
over my head." 

Tim's interest was challenged. 

"So did I." 

"They were too academic, too rigid, seldom parochial. 
He preaches now in a more intimate way, less dogma, you 
know. His themes are very simple. He talks to us in his 


quiet, impressive manner about the things which make for 
happiness or unhappiness in a village. He lays before us 
the effects of slander, lying, obscenity, and all the subtle 
forms of intemperance and unkindness. Next Sunday you 
will hear and understand. I can say to you that he seems 
to have descended from the heights to walk familiarly 
amongst us. His influence here is greater than it has ever 
been. You will judge for yourself of that." 

"Lord love you!" said Tim. "Don't I feel it in my 

The doctor was a reserved man, no sentimentalist, but 
he added a few words which impressed Tim : 

"I would sacrifice much, Tim, to keep your dear father 
with us as long as possible. It is a privilege to do him 
any service." 

Similar testimony was forthcoming from Arthur Hazel 
and Mary Nightingale, unstinted tributes from fellow- 
workers. And when the time came to take leave of their 
host, it was Hazel who expressed what was in the hearts 
of the Vicar's guests. 

"We have met here," he said, "for a very special purpose, 
to welcome home our Vicar's son after long absence. I 
speak for all of you when I say that we have hoped and 
prayed that this happy day might come. For more than 
thirty years our parson has shared our joys and sorrows. 
During that long period of time he has given to us un- 
grudgingly all that such a man could give, never counting 
the cost to himself. To me he looks ten years younger 
this afternoon. And what we all feel about this home- 
coming is hard indeed to put into words, because our affec- 
tion has been inspired by actions, tender ministrations which 
can never be forgotten, a debt never to be paid here. Be- 
cause of this his joy is a real joy to us, the greater because 
it has been so long deferred. On your behalf I bid Mr. 
Tim welcome home; and I ask him to believe that his 
father's happiness is ours, and that we share it whole- 
heartedly and with deepest thanksgiving." 



Those present gazed at Tim and at his father. Every- 
body expected the Vicar to speak, and what he said upon 
such occasions was never stereotyped, a few words simply 
chosen and as simply spoken. 

He took Tim's arm, and advanced a few steps, so that 
they stood together facing a semi-circle of men and women. 
One may hazard the conjecture that none of those pres- 
ent, except Tim, had ever beheld the Vicar not master 
of himself. When his sympathy had flowed most abun- 
dantly towards some stricken soul, he remained calm, al- 
ways a serene example of fortitude and patience, infusing 
his strength into weakness. 

He remained silent. 

Everybody understood that he was too moved to speak. 
He smiled as his dimmed glance travelled from one face 
to another; but his quivering lips refused their office. 
He pressed Tim's arm. Tim spoke for him. 

"My father's silence," he said gravely, "answers Mr. Ha- 
zel as he would, I fancy, wish to be answered, for behind 
it is the assurance that his affection for all of you is too 
deep for words. I thank you for him, and I will add this 
for myself: I have thought over this homecoming a thou- 
sand times, and I have wondered how I should feel when 
I stood once more amongst the friends of my childhood 
with my dear father standing beside me. Well, it has 
been a wonderful experience, a memory which I shall carry 
with me to my grave. I have wandered far from you, and 
I feared that I must have drifted as far from your re- 
membrance of me. I know that my father has kept that 
remembrance alive, and in thanking you for this welcome 
I thank him with all my heart. If there be anything in me 
deserving of your affection I owe it to him. While I live 
I shall regret bitterly that this homecoming was delayed 
so long. It means far more to me than either he or you 
will ever know." 


N 1 



EXT day Tim walked alone through Pennington High 
Wood till he came to the poet's cathedral. The 
beeches were in full leaf. The wonderful freshness and 
translucency of the foliage caught at his fancy and held 
it captive. His last visit had been in November, when days 
were dun and drear. 

He threw himself down upon the soft moss. 

Passing through Pennington High Wood he had gath- 
ered a few primroses and violets to send to Daffy; and 
he had found a woodpecker's nest in the same hole from 
which long ago Journey and he had extracted two milk- 
white eggs with a long spoon. In the glades some brim- 
stone butterflies were flitting here and there in .the sun- 
shine. Tim remembered what keen pleasure the collecting 
of eggs and butterflies had been ; and he wondered whether 
he could renew his youth in the pursuit of pleasures so 
Arcadian and so simple. Jack was a collector, and some- 
thing of a naturalist. 

He had come to the cathedral to purge his mind of a pas- 
sion which could never be gratified. It still gripped him 
unmercifully, so much so that he trembled with excite- 
ment when he recalled the look upon Daffy's face, its sweet 
relaxation, as they stood together upon the Pointe du Raz. 

But he faced the issues honestly. The Vicar stood be- 
tween him and the woman he loved. To gain her he would 
have to trample upon his spiritual father. And that meant 
the loss of his self-respect and hers. Such an act might 



kill the Vicar. Argue how he might, this fact was incon- 
testably established. A man might be a moral idiot accord- 
ing to Christian ethics, but if he were considering nothing 
except his own happiness, would not such happiness be 
imperilled tremendously were it achieved, if but for a brief 
season, at the expense of others? Daffy had known him 
better than he had known himself. To think of her except 
as a faithful friend was an offence against decency and 

Travelling round and round a vicious circle, he returned 
always to this point, the impossibility of inflicting such 
a wound upon a man who had shouldered his burdens, 
and borne them in silence during sixteen years. 

He gazed upward at the over-arching boughs. Upon 
this very spot he had entreated Omnipotence to descend 
from heaven to talk with him. And he had believed fer- 
vently that Omnipotence would come, that Personal God 
whom he had imagined as sitting upon a great golden 
throne, surrounded by angels and archangels, listening eter- 
nally to their glad hosannas. And when nothing happened, 
the first doubt had crept into his mind. 

What did life without Daffy mean? 

He knew that all the myriads who have loved and lost 
must have asked this question and answered it according 
to the lights burning within them. 

What lights burned within him? 

Let him consider, dispassionately if it were possible, the 
claims of the spirit as opposed to the claims of the flesh. 
Where and when they worked harmoniously together, the 
very angels in heaven might envy such a partnership. He 
did not doubt that. Never could he accept the idiotic 
teaching of the Early Fathers, their abasement of Woman, 
their futile counsels of celibacy. To maintain, as St. Paul 
did, that the single life was best meant the negation of 
life itself and its continuance. Tim was as sure of this 
as a man can be. His married life sealed the conviction. 
Nevertheless, considering flesh and spirit apart, each in 


its particular manifestations, could he tabulate results, set 
them down in his own mind, and arrive at some definite con- 
clusion concerning them? He selected two typical cases 
Ivy Jellicoe and the Vicar. Ivy was almost wholly animal ; 
the Vicar might be regarded as a saint. Ivy's nature had 
made her neglect her child and driven her to a life of 
shame. The Vicar's nature had impelled him as irresistibly 
to adopt Ivy's child and to labour unceasingly for the wel- 
fare of others. Apart from creeds and standards, con- 
sidering the benefit to the human race alone, with no thought 
of a hereafter, was it the flesh of Ivy or the spirit of the 
Vicar which had triumphed? A child could answer such 
an absurd question. 

And leaving others alone, concentrating his intelligence 
upon his own experience, had the gratification of fleshly de- 
sires brought him any happiness commensurate with the 
pure joys which are spiritual? 

He wrestled with this eternal problem. The answer 
depends entirely upon the nature of the man who asks it. 
The animal man says "Yes" at once ; the saints and prophets 
thunder out a "No" as positive, while men such as Tim 
stand at the cross roads and gaze down each, straining their 
eyes to behold whither they lead. So it has ever been, 
and so it must be till the end. 

"I must go back a little," thought Tim. 

With his imagination and memory such a journey into 
the past was easy. He saw himself as a boy, with no ob- 
scuring mists, with none of that self-absorbment so natural 
to youth, which dims a vision of themselves as others see 
them. How thanklessly he had accepted all that the Vicar 
had given to him, time long hours after his own work 
was done devoted to teaching Latin and mathematics 
money generous gifts out of a slender purse -and a love 
and tenderness that never failed. 

Was he prepared to do half as much for Jack? 

With what writhings and torment of conscience he com- 
puted these mere beginnings of his debt to another. 



He left the cathedral a very unhappy man, with civil 
war raging in his heart, but conscious that the victory in 
the end would not be to the flesh. Two duties had to be 
accomplished : he must see Daffy, and he must acknowledge 
his son, tell his wretched story once more to the person 
most concerned, the joyous, innocent youth. 

But a duty far more difficult and likely to prove much 
more grievous and harassing imposed itself first. 

He must find out what had become of Ivy. 

That afternoon he walked to Lanterton, passing through 
the pretty coppice where he had met Ivy for the last time. 
It was carpeted with primroses ; the bracken was begin- 
ning to unfold its fronds ; the oaks, later than the beeches, 
exhibited a russet tint of foliage, still shewing their branches 
finely articulated against a blue sky. 

Tim knew that John Jellicoe was alive and living in the 
same cottage. From a tavern-keeper at Lanterton he 
learned also that Jellicoe was likely to be working in his 

He approached the cottage. It presented a somewhat 
dilapidated appearance like all the other cottages in this 
village of unsavoury reputation. A stranger might have 
divined that the landlord was of those who afford object- 
lessons to demagogues striving to set class against class. 
Loafers hung about the three taverns ; the cottage gardens 
were ill-cared for; gates and palings were rotten with age; 
thatched roofs were covered with damp moss and lichen, 
picturesque to the eye of an artist, but eloquent to Tim 
of miserable conditions beneath. 

In the Jellicoe garden an old man was sitting upon a 
stool, smoking his pipe and staring at a row of hives, count- 
ing, possibly, May swarms which might be the equivalent 
of much ale and tobacco. 

"Yes, I be Jack Jellicoe; who be you?" 


This was Ivy's father ; Jack's grandfather, much changed 
from the once stalwart, handsome poacher; still defiant 
in voice and manner, obviously a ne'er-do-well. 

"I am Timothy White." 

The old man stared at him sullenly. For the moment 
the name conveyed nothing. Tim passed through a wicket- 
gate, and stood beside him. The old man remained seated, 
looking up at Tim, blinking and frowning. 

"I got your girl Ivy into trouble." 

"Ah ! I mind that. So 'ee did, so 'ee did." He laughed 
coarsely. "Many a year ago that was, to be sure ! I mind 
me comin' home, comin' out o' gaol, yes, and my old missis 
tellin' me the tale. And bright an' early next day I marches 
over to Little Pennington. They had the law o' me, damn 
'em ! for snarin' a few hares ; and I meant to have the law 
of 'ee for poachin' in my preserves ! Haw ! Haw ! But t' 
parson played the man. Yes; he did. I'll say that for 'un. 
He paid up fair an' square. Now, Mister Timothy White, 
what be you wantin' rakin' up things as was settled years 
and years ago?" 

He stood up, a gaunt, fierce old man, staring derisively 
into Tim's face. 

"Where is Ivy, Mr. Jellicoe?" 

"Haw ! Why should I tell 'ee, if I knawed," he added 
slyly. "The baggage went away from here, takin' her trou- 
ble with her. She never come back. Not likely." 

Tim said quietly : 

"I will make it worth your while to tell me where Ivy 
is now, if you know." 

Jack Jellicoe scratched his head; he licked thirsty lips; 
then he replied grimly : 

"She be gone to hell." 

Tim winced; and the man saw it. 

"Did 'ee hope to hear she was in heaven?" 

"I want to help your daughter if I can." 

"Sit 'ee down, sir. I'll be back afore the sun touches 
yon cloud." 



Without another word, he shambled into the house. Tim 
heard his raucous voice calling: "Mother, mother!" He 
remembered his last visit, when Ivy's mother lay desper- 
ately ill. Evidently she was still alive. Voices were heard, 
the growl of the man, the shrill, querulous tones of the 
woman. Tim was unable to catch the sense of what they 
were saying. He wondered whether the mother's heart 
held any tenderness for the child who had never come back. 

Presently, Jellicoe returned. His face had a smug, sly 
civility harder to endure than his previous defiance and 

"I beg pardon if I was rough to 'ee." 

"That is of no consequence." 

"What be this information worth, sir, if I may make 
so bold?" 

Tim endeavoured to hide his disgust. Jellicoe reminded 
him of Ginty; he could handle such rascals. 

"Tell me where I can find your daughter, and I'll give 
you five pounds, neither more nor less, but I must find 
her first. If you try to bargain with me, I'll deal with 
your wife instead of with you." 

Jellicoe, with a lively recollection of dealings with magis- 
trates, recognised an ultimatum. He said cringingly: 

"A thick 'un on account, sir." 


" 'Arf a thick 'un then ; we be terrible pore folk, sir." 

Tim gave him half a sovereign. 

"She be in London town, sir." 

"Her mother has her address?" 

"She be in a 'orsepital, pore girl. Not for the first time, 

Tim wrote down the name of the hospital, eliciting a 
few more details. Ivy, it seemed, had written to her mother 
from time to time. Tim guessed that she had sent home 
a little money. Mrs. Jellicoe had sent in return new-laid 
eggs. That was all. 

Tim returned to the Vicarage by road. He had no stonv 


ach for primroses and violets. In his nostrils was the 
odour of disinfectants. He remembered the all-pervading 
smell of carbolic acid in the California Woman's Hospital. 


He travelled to London upon the morrow. At Waterloo, 
upon a bookstall, he saw "Dust," with a tag attached to it : 
Absorbing Novel by a New Writer! And, in the train, 
he read in a morning paper another flattering notice of 
his book, and the reviewer's assurance that he had "come 
to stay." 

To stay for what? 

Under ordinary circumstances, London would have chal- 
lenged and engrossed his attention, but for the moment he 
could only think of the world's capital as holding two 
women Daffy and Ivy. Lady Rokeby had returned to 
Rokeby House for the season ; Ivy was lying in a hospital. 

The hospital was in Hammersmith. Tim sent in his card 
to the house-surgeon, a tall, curt, overworked young man, 
who had no time to waste in idle talk. From his lips Tim 
heard the stark truth. The woman Jellicoe lay in the Bertha 
Dawson ward, a ward added to the hospital through the 
generosity of a certain Miss Dawson who had devoted her 
life and fortune to ameliorating the conditions of women 
well-named "unfortunate." Tirn could see her, although it 
was not a visitors' day. Recover? Oh, yes, if you could 
call it that. She would be leaving the hospital in a few 
days, and the young man shrugged his shoulders. 

Tim followed a porter down a long, cool corridor, and 
up a flight of well-scoured stone steps. There the porter 
left him with a nurse. The nurse and he entered the 
ward together. It was lofty, admirably ventilated, with 
narrow beds upon each side, and tables in the middle cov- 
ered with flowers. The nurse said proudly: "You must 


look at our flowers, sir. This is the prettiest ward in the 

Tim looked at the faces upon the pillows. Many of the 
women were young, some were very pretty. Perhaps the 
prevailing characteristic was a look of weakness and fa- 
tigue dominated by a strange contentment. 

"This," said the nurse, "is Jellicoe." 

At first glance, Tim failed to recognise her. She was 
lying quite still, not asleep, but with eyes closed. Her lashes, 
long but not thick, fringed a white, sunken pair of cheeks. 
The lips were fuller and coarser; the hair, which he re- 
membered so bright and lustrous, had become drab-coloured 
from the use of dyes. It seemed artificial dead! Her 
once plump little body was cruelly thin. 

He heard the nurse's pleasant voice : 

"A gentleman to see you, Jellicoe." 

Ivy opened her eyes, staring indifferently at Tim. 

"There's a chair," said the nurse. 

Tim sat down as she bustled away. 

"Who are you?" asked Ivy. It was a shock to find that 
her voice had changed; the life had gone out of it. 

"You don't recognise me?" 

He spoke very gently, almost in a whisper ; but she made 
no sign, evidently searching a memory which must hold 
many indistinguishable shadows of gentlemen. She said 
listlessly : 

"It was nice of you to come. I'm very -comfortable. 
However did you know as I was here? I suppose Daisy 
told you. She's been awfully good, that girl. Was Daisy 
with me when I met you ?" 

"No. You have not seen me for a long time, Ivy. Can't 
you remember now?" 

Her listlessness was astonishing; curiosity informed it, 

"I'm bad at names, dear. And so often you don't give 
the right ones, do you? But I ought to remember your 
face, because it's so handsome. In the Army, are you?" 



"Never mind! I'm pleased you came. Ain't your 
eyes blue? Yes; I've seen them before. And if you 
laughed !" 

"That would be difficult." 

"I remember laughs. I always liked jolly men. I've 
had my good times. Make me laugh now." 

"Ivy, I am Tim White. I have been out of England for 
seventeen years." 

It was horrible, but she laughed, the most mirthless laugh 
that Tim had ever heard; but she put out her hand and 
spoke kindly: 

"I ought to have known you, Mr. Tim. You ain't changed 
so very much. Yes ; I ought to have known you anywheres. 
However did you find me?" 

"I went over to Lanterton." 

"Hateful place." 

Each remained silent. Tim held her hand, pressing it, 
wondering what he could say, trying vainly to read her 
mind. Her look at him was piteously vacant, but he could 
discern no hatred in it, only a childish wonder. Childish ! 
He would have said that she was nearly forty, judging by 
the lines upon her face. 

"Why did you want to see me, Mr. Tim? I ain't much 
to look at now, am I?" 

"You've been very ill. Your colour will come back." He 
intended to withdraw his hand, but she would not let 
it go ; she became more animated 

"You do look fine, so big and strong. Fancy coming 
here to see me !" 

"I came to do what is possible, to help a little, to " 

He was too moved to finish the sentence. Ivy nodded. 

"It's all right," she whispered. "We had some rare fun, 
didn't we? I was happier at the Vicarage than I've ever 
been since. Wasn't I fond of you just! It all comes back. 
Mother told you I was here? Yes. She sends me nice 
country eggs. I let that girl over there have one yester- 



day. She promised me another to-day, but it wasn't fresh. 
Nice trick that, eh ?" 

She glared at a bed across the ward. Dimly, Tim appre- 
hended that any one who interfered with her comfort 
aroused resentment. 

"You shall have plenty of new-laid eggs and fresh cream 
every day till you are well again." 

She smiled at him, thanking him with effusion. He won- 
dered whether she was thinking of their child. Tentatively, 
in a low whisper, he asked a question : 

"My father looked after you after I ran away?" 

"Yes, he did," she answered shortly. "He meant well, 
but I couldn't stick service again. He got the child into 
a home. Best thing for it, too. Don't look so glum, Mr. 
Tim. I was mad with you for getting me into trouble, but 
I was young and silly, and my people was awful to me. 
It's all right now. If it hadn't been you, it'd have been 
somebody else. That's God's truth so cheer up! I was 
born gay. I wanted you more than you wanted me. 
What a nice, jolly boy you was ! Such a dear, till you got to 
worrying about the silly old future. Bad times come along 
soon enough! Tell us a funny story. Make me laugh as 
I used to. Don't pull a long face! What's done can't be 

Tim set himself the task of amusing her. That was what 
she wanted. He told her about his experiences, in the 
foc'sle of The Cassandra, riding a brake-beam, "battering" 
a meal, his knifing by a Greaser, his escape from Judge 
Lynch. She listened, absorbed, smiling and nodding her 

"You had hard times, Mr. Tim. Just like me. That's 
life. The rough and the smooth. Take it as it comes. 
Grin and bear it." 

When he left her, promising to come again, she thanked 
him again and again 

"You've cheered me up; yes, you have. And you was 
the first, Mr. Tim. I liked you best. Daisy tells the same 


tale ancient history with us girls. I wanted a bit o' fun, 
and I had it. No complaints." 


The house-surgeon told him that he could come back 
any afternoon between two and four. Tim said hesi- 
tatingly : 

"When she leaves here I should like to do something. 
Any hint ?" 

The young man raised his eyebrows. 

"That sort is irreclaimable. She can be cockered up 
into a sort of health, not the real thing. I give her ten 
years. They can't exist without excitement." 


"What a word, but it tells the tale." 

Tim walked back to his hotel through Kensington Gar- 
dens and Hyde Park. He decided that he would buy an 
annuity for Ivy, enough to keep her from want; from 
time to time he would see her, whatever her life might 
be. To the end it was humanly certain that she would 
prefer chocolates to jobations, fresh eggs to stale advice. 
To reform her, according to Little Pennington notions, was 
impossible. Was he likely to succeed where his father had 

He could not go straight from Ivy to Daffy, too great 
a distance lay between the two women. But he wrote to 
Daffy, telling her that he was in London, and that he 
would call at ten in the morning upon the day following. 

Rokeby House occupies a corner of Belgrave Square, 
standing austerely by itself, with a garden behind. Time 
was when Tim would have liked to live in a stately man- 
sion. All such ambition had passed from him. The mere 
thought of filling such a house with chattering guests in- 
spired disgust. 

Nevertheless, he was impressed when he mounted a great 



white-marble staircase, with a balustrade which had come 
from a doge's palace in Venice. And at the end of a lovely 
saloon, hung with French tapestries, Daffy stood waiting 
for him with her enigmatical smile upon her lips. Her 
first words, when they found themselves alone, struck him 
as perfectly chosen: 

"We remain faithful friends." 

"Yes," he replied calmly. 

Friendship suffused itself from her, encompassing her 
gracious figure with an aura. Words were unnecessary; 
she understood what he felt, what he had undergone, what 
he must still undergo. She stood before him, ready to 
help, with eyes softened by sympathy and brightened by 
hope. She whispered : 

"You have not shrunk, Tim." 

That was true, at any rate. A larger view of life had 
expanded him. Since he had parted from her he had 
been constrained to think of others. If life was to be 
worth the living, he must tread humbly the narrow path, 
not the broad and easy way. Daffy would walk beside 

The delightful sense of intimacy, which he always experi- 
enced in her company, enabled him to tell her simply what 
had passed. At the end she said: 

"Then the boy doesn't know ?" 

"Not yet." 

"It will be easy to tell him now." 

"He may loathe me." 

"Have no fear of that. You will live to be proud of 
him ; and he will live to be proud of you." 

She spoke tranquilly, with 'comforting conviction. 

"And you, Daffy?"' 

He leaned forward, challenging her glance. Had she 
betrayed a sign of weakness, passion might have swept the 
pair of them to the bottomless pit. She was prepared for 
the question. 

"Alice and I came through Dinard on our way home." 



"I saw Sir Harry Jocelyn, and the lady who shares his 
exile. Did I tell you that I knew her before she went away 
with him? No. Well, I remember telling you that her 
husband refused to divorce her. She calls herself Lady 
Jocelyn. Even in Dinard there are many women who won't 
meet her. Harry is devoted, poor fellow, but he confessed 
to me that golf was their principal distraction and occu- 

"The common round, then, doesn't furnish all they have' 
to ask?" 

"They are miserably unhappy. I would have shut my 
eyes to that, if I could. You and I, Tim, can throw no 
stones at them. And in their particular case, they had 
no one to consider except themselves. Yet it has turned 
out disastrously. Time must make things harder for each 
of them. I have had them in my mind ever since." 

"But you would have come to me, Daffy, if I had in- 
sisted and gone on insisting?" 

"I don't know. Perhaps. Your want of me might have 
overpowered judgment, instinct, everything. Most women 
are like that, and fortunately few men know it. If there 
had been nothing left in all the world for you but me, I 
feel that I might have come to you, and together we should 
have sunk, Tim, to depth beyond depth, because I am I and 
you are you. The Little Pennington influence has been 
too great for each of us. That is why I sent you back to 
your father. Oh, Tim, I must let you see my heart to-day, 
even as I seem to see yours. Happiness may not be for 
us. It is so elusive at best. Those who seek it most un- 
wearyingly are those who never find it. I doubt if it is 
ever found at the expense of others, save, perhaps, by men 
and women who are little higher than the beasts of the 
field. Peace remains, Tim, and a share in the happiness 
which flows from others. You have your son, your fa- 
ther, and your work. I believe that your work will help 
you and others. You will put into it what you have felt, 


the enduring beauty of things ; you will fight on the side 
of the angels, and it will be well with you." 

"I hope so," he said humbly. 

He told her about his visit to the hospital, and repeated 
what the doctor had said. Upon this unhappy subject 
Daffy knew far more than he did ; she had met Miss Daw- 
son, had worked with her and for her. 

Daffy said sadly: "Are you going to tell Jack about his 
mother ?" 

"No ; I'm not. I simply can't." 

"It is for you to decide, but I think you are right." 

"She has forgotten him, poor soul! as I did. With 
greater excuse, too. Her only friend appears to be a girl 
called Daisy. I must see her and arrange something." 

"I may be able to find some sort of retreat, some shelter." 

Presently he went away, feeling terribly bruised and 
tired. Like Apollo, he had pursued Daphne; and she had 
turned herself into a tree. The offer to find shelter brought 
to his mind the old story. He could see himself, hot and 
weary, sitting in the cool shade which she provided. 

That night, at his hotel, he fell a prey to an inevitable 
reaction. Temperamentally, he was the least morbid of men. 
Even in his darkest hours, just after Magdalena's death, 
he had clung to life desperately, furious because Fate 
had dealt cruelly with him, but with fighting instincts 
aroused and clamouring for expression. Once, long ago, 
upon the wet decks of The Cassandra, he had been seized 
with the desire to plunge into the yeasty wake and find ob- 
livion. That, indeed, was the mad impulse of a reckless, 
unhappy boy, which had passed swiftly. 

To-night, the temptation gripped him again, with subtle 
beguilement. He was afraid of himself, not yet able to 
reckon the change within him, the new, amazing sense of 


self-detachment. His passion for Daffy was dead, and 
with it seemed to have died other interests and ambitions. 
The Vicar stood forth as a radiant example of how fine life 
might be without passion. He knew with a conviction that 
nothing could shake hereafter that if Daffy and he had 
elected to ignore consequence, consequence would have 
been less complaisant to them. Life with her, however sweet 
for a brief time, would have degenerated into bitterness 
and remorse; a fine symphony murdered by the perform- 
ers. Passion was incapable of compromise; it blessed or 
it blighted. 

He reflected ironically that he was indulging himself with 
catch-penny platitudes. 

If he died now, if he sought the long sleep, the merciful 
oblivion, what a solution of the problem that would be! 
Such an end could be accomplished without arousing the 
suspicions of others. To die painlessly, to escape from 
woes present and future, to refuse the drinking of dregs 
the disappointments, the futilities, the crass stupidities of ex- 
istence why not ? He could provide adequately for Ivy and 
Jack ; and then he could swim out to sea till some kindly cur- 
rent carried him to eternal rest 




room assigned to Tim in the huge hotel on the 
A. Thames Embankment overlooked the river. Tim sat 
at his open window watching the twinkling lights upon the 
Surrey side. At the moment when he was most tempted 
to escape from himself, he heard the Westminster chimes 
and then the slow, solemn striking of midnight. 

A small thing may change the current of a man's thoughts. 
But this was no small thing. And it happened, oddly 
enough, to be a first experience, for he had never paid at- 
tention to such sounds before, although he was acutely sen- 
sitive to symbolism however it might present itself to his 

A new day was at hand. 

With the realization of this, he undressed and went to 
bed, but he lay awake listening for the next chime, thinking 
of the bells of Little Pennington, which had been rung upon 
the night when he returned home. They, too, echoed in his 
mind, evoking the memories of innumerable Sundays, when 
he had obeyed most reluctantly their insistent summons. 

The dawn of a new day! 

What a miracle it was, this eternal resurrection of the 
hours, this triumph of the present over the past, this renas- 
cence of light and warmth. 

He stretched himself, acutely conscious of physical well- 
being, knowing that he was "fit," in the very prime of man- 
hood. The sharp reflection of the thousands in bodily pain 
who must be listening to the striking of the hours served 


as a tonic ; the faces of the women in the B.D. ward floated 
before him. 

"I must stick it out," he thought. 

With this determination gathering strength in his mind, 
he fell asleep. When he woke, the black humours had van- 
ished, he could wonder why he had entertained them. Some- 
thing new and fresh took their place, as if dew had fallen 
upon him during the night, as if Spring had touched him 
with her rosy fingers. 

During the morning he called 1 upon Broad, who said 
that Tders were coming in from the big booksellers. Tim 
read a somewhat drastic criticism of "Dust" which did him 
no harm, still further quickening his fighting instincts, for 
the reviewer had picked out all the blemishes and crudities 
of the novel. Broad said genially : 

"The poor devil was bilious. As a rule they're kinder to 
beginners. Wait till you sell a first edition of ten thousand ; 
then you'll get it" 

From Broad's publishing house he walked to the Na- 
tional Gallery, and spent a profitable two hours in front of 
a dozen masterpieces. The work accomplished by others 
began to provoke a desire in him to take up his pen again. 
He had been right to lay down a too facile and ineffective 

"Could he work in Little Pennington ?" 

Time and experience would determine that. The attempt 
must be made patiently and sincerely. Surely in that peace- 
ful village something would come to him, some emanation 
from the many lives so interwoven with his own. Hope 
that it might be so evoked the faith necessary to bring about 
such a consummation. Such thoughts, flitting in and out 
of his mind, are recorded because they serve to shew the 
change in Tim's point of view. Hitherto, his intelligences 
had been synthetic, essentially imaginative and creative. A 
tremendous shock had shaken up and disintegrated a too 
selfish philosophy, compelling him, both consciously and sub- 



consciously, to take cognisance of its component parts, to 
analyse them separately, and then, if he could, to piece 
them together so that they would present a different pattern. 
To an impartial student of psychology, the change in the 
man, which was most significant, took the form of a pro- 
found and humble distrust of himself. 


He saw Ivy three times before he went back to Little 
Pennington. During his last visit, he learned that Daffy had 
come to the hospital bringing with her flowers and an offer 
of shelter not only for Ivy but for her friend. 

"It ain't a Home for the Fallen," explained Ivy. "Me 
and Daisy couldn't stand that. It's a cottage in the coun- 
try. We shall just love it for a month. By that time I'll 
be strong again, and fatter, I hope. Dull, yes ; but sweetly 
pretty. She's st good sort, that Lady Rokeby. Dropped 
no tracks. My ! Ain't I fed up with them. Made me laugh, 
too, telling me about a dormouse which you gave her when 
she was a little girl." 

"I paid a shilling for it," said Tim. 

"She told me that she caught it by the tail, and all the 
fur come off in her 'and. And then the dormouse ate up 
what was left of its tail. Ain't that funny?" 

She laughed mirthfully. 

Nothing she could have said would have indicated more 
clearly her amazing irresponsibility, her incapacity to take 
things seriously. She was a child when he parted from 
her ; she would remain childish so long as she lived. 

When he took leave of her she cried a little, repeating 
the old phrase : "Oh, I do like you : you are a dear. It was 
just sweet of you to hunt me up." 

Then, holding her thin hand, he told her that he had 
bought an annuity for her. If he expected fervent thanks, 
he was mistaken. She frowned slightly, as she asked : 


"Does that mean I'm to be good, to go back to Lanter- 

"No; it only means that you will have enough to live 
on, enough to keep you from want." 

She smiled again. Tim said desperately': 

"Look here, Ivy. God knows I'm not fit to preach to 
you; I've been through Hell, dear, and I'm not out of it 
yet. But I believe I shall get out. I'm going home to begin 
again. Can't you do the same?" 

"Go home?" She laughed mockingly. 

"I don't mean Lanterton. This friend of yours, Daisy, 
seems to be fond of you. Couldn't you two start a small 
shop? Is there no escape from a life which must kill you 

She regarded him sourly. 

"That sort of talk gives me the hump. Escape? S'pose 
I don't want to escape ? A small shop ! I know more about 
small shops than you do. Why, it's worse drudgery than 
service. I must have my bit o' fun. There! That's back 
of everything. Most of us ain't honest enough to own up. 
But what's the use of my humbuggin' you? I 2ove my 
freedom see? I lie here thinking of what? I told the 
clergyman who visits here, and he nearly had a fit. He 
expected me to be howling over my sins. I told him my 
mind was wandering in the Empire promynade. And so 
it is. Now you have it. No complaints." 

As he was going, she said artlessly: 

"Mr. Tim, couldn't you get me a dormouse?" 

He promised to provide a dormouse. 


It was impossible to think of this poor creature as a bad 
woman, generic title for all such unfortunates in the happy 
village and even in Lanterton. Bad! That was positive. 
A "bad" man in California signified one who liked to shoot 



first under slight provocation. The Greaser, who slipped 
a knife into Tim was "bad." Tim bore him no grudge when 
he looked reflectively as he did sometimes at the scar. 
The Greaser was a wild animal; little Ivy how small she 
looked! was a tame cat, purring when you offered her 
cream and dormice, shewing her claws when you rubbed her 
fur the wrong way. 

And she was the mother of Jack. 

He had to assimilate this fact as best he might, but the 
results, both in his own case and the boy's, must be deemed 
something of a triumph for environment and personal in- 
fluence over heredity. 

That night he bared his soul to the Vicar, extenuating 
nothing in the past, making no pledges for the future. The 
old man listened with a quiet light in his eyes, saying nothing 
till Tim had finished. 

"I want to stay here with you and Jack. I want to know 
Jack. I want him to know me. And then I shall tell him 
that he is my son." 

"It will not be difficult, my boy." 

They gazed tranquilly at each other. Tim saw that the 
Vicar was counting his sheaves, the corn that had ripened 
after long years. 

"I am well content, Tim." 

It was so; for there is an expression upon some men's 
faces which can never be feigned, a serenity which is the 
seal of a fruitful life, of high faith, of a courage that never 
fails. Beholding this look, Tim tasted for the first time 
a happiness not his own, a cooling, satisfying draught from 
the cup of another. 

The Vicar added slowly: 

"I have prayed that this hour might come. I can go 
now in peace." 




Alone once more, Tim swore to himself that this peace 
should not be imperilled by any word or act of his. He 
was beginning again, with an open mind. Three clauses 
in the Apostles' Creed reestablished themselves in that mind : 
the forgiveness of sins, the communion of Saints, and the 
resurrection of the dead. 

The odd whim that he, a nameless man, must adopt some 
name which fitted him touched again his fancy. He would 
be known henceforward as Timothy White, and it was the 
Vicar's wish that Jack, when he learned the truth, should 
call himself White, but to Tim the pseudonym which he 
had adopted was that he really felt himself to be. He might 
be young as men reckon years ; he might achieve much ; but 
the fires of youth had at last burnt themselves out. 

"Now came still evening on, and twilight grey 
Had in her sober livery all things clad." 

As he came home across Pennington Park, the grey skies 
seemed to meet and fuse in the grey landscape; the ponds 
mirrored a silvery radiance ; in the west the sun was sink- 
ing behind great banks of clouds ; some tall firs were sharply 
defined against a patch of golden light. 

Out of the silence peace descended upon him. Whether 
it would linger with him or not, he could not say. ,