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^^H I TB
"There waa nothing about him which . . . suggested the Ul-
at-easeness she had anticipated."
DAVID GRAHAM PHILLIPS
A. B. WBNZBLL
GROSSET & DUNLAP
OopnuoBT, 1910, BT
D. AFPLBTON AND OOMPAMY
Oonjright, 1900, 1910, by Tha Curtis PubUihlng Oompaiij
TulAMh^ March, S»1Q
— A Taste for Candy . . . . .
. . 1
—The Painter Gets a Model .
—A Lesson in Woman . . . . ,
. . 51
—An Upset Canoe
. . 68
—An Atteb«pt to Dazzle . . . ,
. . 97
—The Gutle of Innocence . . . .
. . 1«7
—Mr. Richmond Calls
. . 144
-An Infurl^te Father
. . 161
► . 175
—Beatrice in Chains
. . 192
-Peter Visits the Prison . . . ,
, . 209
-Under Cover of Night . . . ,
. . 225
-Peter's Bad Quarter Hour
-The Second Flight
. . 274
-Wade's Lost Fortune
-Peter Calls on Roger . . . ,
. . 294
XV 1 1 .-
-Richmond Tries to Make Peace .
-Mrs. Richmond Rebels . • • ,
-Roger Sore Beset
. . 867
, . 888
A TASTE FOK CANDY
When Roger Wade's Aunt Bella died she left him
forty thousand dollars in five-per-c^it railway bonds
and six hundred and ninety acres of wilderness extend-
ing from the outskirts of Deer Spring village to the
eastern shore of Lake Wauchong, in northern New Jer-
sey. She had contrived to quarrel and break with all
her other relations. This was no easy undertaking, and
in its success was a signal tribute to her force of char-
acter; for, each and everyone of those relatives knew
of her possessions and longed and hoped for them and
stood ready to endure, even to welcome, any outrage she
might see fit to perpetrate. Roger she had not seen in
fourteen years — ^not since he, a youth of eighteen, a
painter bom, long and lean, with a shock of black-
brown hair and dreamy, gray-brown eyes, left his na-
tive Deer Spring to study in Paris. He and she had
not commimicated, either directly or indirectly — a for-
tunate circumstance for him, as several of Arabella
Wade's bitterest quarrels had begim and had pro-
gressed to the irreparable breach altogether by maiL
Besides not knowing him she had but one other reason
for choosing him as her heir: a year before her death
and a week before her last will she happened to read on
the cable page of a New York newspaper an enthusias-
tic note about his pictures and his success in Paris. So
the bonds and the land went to him instead of to a mis-
Much American newspaper puffery of Americans
abroad is sheer invention, designed to give us at home
the pleasing notion that we are capturing the earth.
But this notice of Roger Wade's career had truth in it.
He was doing extraordinarily well for so young a man.
His sense of color and form was lifted toward genius
by imagination and originality. His ability had no
handicap of cheap and petty — and glaring — eccentric-
ity, such as so often enters into the composition of an
original and boldly imaginative temperament to mar its
achievement and to retard the recognition of its merit.
Thus he speedily made a notable place for himself. He
could count on disposing of enough pictures to bring
him in ffiteen to twenty tiiousand francs a year; and
that sum was about as much as he, simple of tastes,
single-hearted in devotion to his work and indifferent to
A TASTE FOR CANDY
pose and pretense, could find time and opportunity to
spend. He knew that in a few years far more money
than he needed would be forced upon him — a prospect
which he had the good sense to view with distrust when
he thought of it at all. About the only thing that had
stood in his way was his personal appearance. As one
of his friends — Berthier, whose panels will be admired
so long as the pale, mysterious glories of their elusive
colors persist — said in a confidential moment : ** Roger,
you look so much like a man of genius that it's hard to
believe you are the real thing.*'
Big is the word most nearly expressing that un-
usual appearance of his. He was tall and broad and
powerful. His features were large, bold, handsome.
The dark coloring of skin and hair and eyes added to
the impression of bigness. It was in part a matter of
real size, but only in part. Not the most casual glance
could have reported a judgment of mere bulk. He
seemed big because his countenance, his whole body,
seemed an effort of Nature adequately to express a big
nature. Herbert Spencer uttered about the most su-
perb compliment one human being ever paid another
^vhen he said of Greorge Eliot that she suggested ** a
large intelligence moving freely." There was in Roger
Wade this quality of the great bird high in the blue
ether above the grime and littleness of conventional life.
His looks had caused him more than a little trouble — of
which he was not in the least aware. For a large part
of his charm lay in his childlike unconsciousness of him-
self — a trait less rare in painters and sculptors than in
any other class of men of genius, probably because
their work compels them to concentrate constantly upon
persons and things external and in no way related to
their own ego. Had Roger been physically vain, be-
yond doubt his good looks would have ruined him. The
envy of men and the infatuation of women would have
made escape impossible. As it was, he did his work,
ignored his enemies, and neither enslaved nor was en-
slaved by such women as drifted into his life — and out
again. It is fortunate for men — especially for men who
are striving for careers — ^that women are bred to fee-
bleness of purpose and much prefer being loved to lov-
ing, being admired to admiring.
His long stay abroad and his success there had
touched his Americanism only to idealize it. The dream
of his life continued to be building a career at home.
He was too able to be given to the fatuities of optimism.
He had no delusions on the subject of the difficulties
that would confront and assail him. He had observed
that those Americans who had the money to buy pic-
tures usually lacked the breadth to appreciate their
own country, considered it ** crude and conunercial,"
A TASTE FOR CANDY
whatever that might mean, and preferred foreign paint-
ers and foreign subjects. But, like many another
American artist of ability, he longed to have a personal
share in bringing about the change toward national
pride and confidence that must come sooner or later.
So, when his aunt left him a competence, he felt free to
engage in the hazardous American adventure. Two
months after he inherited his little fortune he landed in
New York with his Paris career a closed incident ; a few
days later he was installed in the old farmhouse on the
edge of his wilderness estate and within a mile of the
post office and railway station at Deer Spring. On a
hill near the Lake Wauchong end of his estate — a hill
that seemed a knoll in comparison with the steeps en-
compassing it on all sides — ^he got the village carpenter
hastily to build for him a house of one large and lofty
room, admitting light freely by way of big windows in
the walls and an enormous skylight in the roof. Such
small impression as his return made was wholly confined
to his native Deer Spring. There the gossip went that,
having failed to make art pay, he had come back home
to " laze round '' and live off his aunt's money. As he
had the doing sort of man's aversion to discussing his
plans, such of the villagers as succeeded in drawing him
into lengthier parley than polite exchange of greetings
heard nothing that contradicted the gossip.
Toward the end of an April afternoon, not long
after the studio was finished, Roger reached it in the
midst of a tremendous storm of rain and wind. Just
before he gained the shelter of the north wall a swoop-
^g gust blew into his face a heavy cloud of wood
smoke; so when he strode in he was not altogether un-
prepared for the sight that met his eyes as he dashed
the water and smoke out of them. A fire had been built
with generous hands in the fireplace in the south walL
Upon the long, low bench parallel with the outer edge
of the broad hearth lay the intruder who had doubtless
sought the one refuge within a radius of a mile when the
storm came on suddenly about half an hour before.
Roger had assumed he would find a man ; but he was not
much surprised to se^ that it was a woman for whom his
roof was doing this good turn.
As he divested himself of dripping hat and water-
proof he said genially : " I'm glad you made yourself at
home ! "
No answer came and the figure did not move. He
flung his wraps on one of the heavy plain chairs which,
with the bench, were all the furniture he had — or
wanted. He advanced to a comer of the hearth to take
a look at his guest. She was a girl — ^a young girl,
sound asleep. Her head was comfortably pillowed on
one slim, round arm and her folded jacket. Her sweet,
A TASTE FOR CANDY
healthily delicate face was toward the fire, and flushed
from its warmth. She had abundant yellow hair, long
lashes^ somewhat darker, a charming, determined mouth,
a very fair skin. With such a skin a woman far less
well-favored otherwise than she could have felt secure
against any verdict of homeliness. His trained eyes
told him that she was above the medium height and that
her figure was good, arms and legs and body well-
formed and in proper proportion to one another. She
had — ^in texture of skin, in look of the hair, of the hands
— those small but unmistakable indications that she had
been brought up secure from labor and from those fret-
tings and worryings about the fundamental necessities
of life that react so early and so powerfully upon the
bodies of the masses of mankind. Even her dress gave
this indication of elevation above the common lot,
though the felt hat pinned carelessly on her head, the
plain shirtwaist, the blue serge short skirt, the leather
leggings and shoes had all been through hard wear.
There are ways and ways of growing old; the way of
expensive garments is as different from the way of
cheap garments as the way of expensively nourished
bodies is from that of bodies poorly supplied with poor
He stood for several minutes, enjoying the engag-
ing spectacle — enjoying it both as artist and as man.
Then he went to the huge closet in the west wall where
he kepty xinder strong lock, everything of value he had
to have at the studio. He changed his boots for shoes*
He took out and opened a collapsible table. Having
noiselessly set upon it pots and dishes, including an
alcohol stove and two cups and saucers, he proceeded to
make chocolate. When it was nearly ready he opened a
package of biscuit and filled a plate with them. All this
with the expertness of the old, experienced bachelor
housekeeper. He moved the table over to the hearth,
to the comer nearer her f eet» and seated himself. Luck
waa with him. Hardly had he got settled when her eyea
—"gray eyes— opened. She saw the table, the steaming
pot of chocolate* She raised herself on her elbow— saw
him. He met her amazed stare with a smile wholly free
** The chocolate is ready,** said he. ** I have no tea..
You see^ I didn't know you were coming." His voice
carried the humorous suggestion of old and intimate
friendship, of a conversation continued after a brief
She brushed her hand over her eyes, stared at him
again, this time a Httle wildly. His . expression — the
kind eyes^ the mouth with no suggestion of cruelty or
guiley the smile of friendliness without familiarity— ^rer
assured her straightway. A merry snule drifted over;
A TASTE FOR CANDY
her features — charming, pretty features, though not
beautiful. " You know I detest tea,'* said she* " Be-
sides, I'm hungry.'*
" I've made enough for two large cups apiece," he
assured her. ^^ But I had only condensed milk. It's
hard to get the other kind in the country."
She took the cup into which he poured iSrst, tasted
it. ^^ Splendid ! " she ejaculated.
** I've been famous for my chocolate for years," said
" If you weren't so vain ! "
" Everybody's vain. I have the courage to speak
" Pm not vain," replied she. " If I were I should
be embarrassed at your catching me like this." And she
glanced down at her wrinkled and mussy attire.
" Possibly you are so vain that you don't care," re-
joined he. "You said you were hungry, yet you
haven't tried the biscuit."
The storm howled and moaned and clattered about
the house; the enormous iSre poured out its gorgeous
waves of color and heat, flung a mysterious and fantas-
tic glow upon the gray-white canvas covering of the
rough walls, beautified the countenance of the huge
young man with the shock of black-brown hair and of
the slim, fair girl with the golden-yellow crown. And
they laughed and joked, keeping up their pretense of
old acquaintance and drinking all the chocolate and
eating all the biscuit.
^^ Such a strange idea of yours, to live all alone here
in this one room," said she.
Roger did not undeceive her. ^^You must admit
it's comfortable," said he.
" Except — ^I don't see how you sleep."
He waved his cigarette toward the closet. *^ I keep
everything put away in there," he explained. ** As for
my bath — ^the tub's only half a mile away — ^Lake Wau-
She looked thoughtfully at him. " Yes — ^you would
need a good-sized tub," said she. He saw that she was
full of curiosity, but did not wish to break the spell of
their fiction of old friendship. ^^ What are you doing
now? " she asked — the careless inquiry of an old friend
after a brief separation.
** Same thing — always," said he.
^^ That's good," said she, and both laughed. She
looked round carefully, noted the skylight, the canvas
drapery, finally a broken easel flung into a comer.
** How does th© painting go? " inquired she, in her eyes
a demand for admiration of her cleverness.
*^0h, so-so," replied he with a glance at the big
skylight, then at the broken easd, to indicate that he
A TASTE FOR CANDY
did not regard her display of detective talent as over-
** It's a shame you've never painted me.'*
**You know I wouldn't touch portraits," rebuked
he severely. ^^ I leave that to the fellows who want to
** But why not make money? " urged she. " I rather
like money — don't you? "
** I'm married to my art," explained he. ** In mar-
riage the only chance for keeping love alive and warm is
poverty. Show me a rich artist and I'll show you a
poor one." He spoke lightly, but it was evident that
he meant what he said.
The girl was not at all impressed. " You'd better
never fall in love," laughed she, making a charming wry
face. "You'll not find any woman who'd honestly
marry you on those terms."
** What a poor memory you have — for what I say,"
reproached he. " Haven't I always told you I never
"I remember perfectly," replied she. "But I've
always answered that you can't be sure."
" Oh, yes, I can," said he, with irritating, challeng-
ing confidence. " As I said, I'm already in love. And
Vm the most constant person you ever knew."
"That doesn't mean anything," said she, looking
shrewdly at him. And the gray eyes, with all the soft-
ness of sleep driven from them, were now keen rather
than kind. ^^ You are young, for all your serious look;
and you are romantic, I suppose. Artists always are.
You will fall in love.'*
" Not impossible,*' conceded he,
^^ And marry," concluded she, with the air of hav-
ing proved her case.
^* If I loved a woman I wouldn't marry her. If I
didn't love her I couldn't."
'^That sounds like a puzzle — a — a conundrum. I
give it up. What's the answer? "
" I've lived in France several years," said he, ** and
I've learned the sound sense back of their marriage sys-
tem. Love and marriage have nothing to do with each
The gray eyes opened wide.
" Nothing to do with each other," pursued he tran-
quilly. ** Love is all excitement ; marriage ought to be
all calm. Marriage means a home — a family — a place
to bring up children In peace and tranquillity, a safe
harbor. Love is a Bohemian; marriage is a bourgeois.
Love is insanity; marriage is sanity. Love is disease;
marriage is solid, stolid health."
** I think those ideas are just horrid ! " cried she.
He laughed at her with his eyes. In a tone of rail-
A TASTE FOB CANDY
lery he said: " And you — ^who love money, you say — do
you intend to marry for love? — ^just love? — only love? *'
Her eyes shifted. He laughed aloud. Her glance
" Not a thought about his income — ^prospects? " he
She recovered from her confusion, laughed back at
him a confession that she had been fairly caught in a
refined, womanly hypocrisy— woman being the official
high priestess of the sentimentalities. ^^ But I don't
approve of myself — ^not in the least," cried she. "In
my better moments I*m ashamed of myself."
"You needn't be," said he cheerfully. "You're
simply human. And one need never apologize for being
She was gazing earnestly into the fire. ^^ Would
you — ^marry a girl — say, for — for money? " she asked.
And her color was not from the firelight.
" As I've told you," replied he, ** I wouldn't marry
for anything — ^not even for the girL"
"Wouldn't you despise anyone who did such a
thing? '^ Still she was avoiding looking at him.
**I don't despise," replied he. "Everyone of us
seeks that which he most wants. I, who devote my life
to my selfish passion for painting — ^who am I to despise
some one else for devoting himself to his passion for —
what you please — comfort — ^luxury — snobbishness — no
matter what, so long as it harms no one else? "
" You aren't so very old — ^are you? " said she pen-
sively. " You look and talk experienced. And yet — ^I
don't believe you are much older than I am."
" A dozen years — ^at least."
" You aren't thirty-four ! " exclaimed she in genuine
" No, but I'm thirty-two. So you're ten years
younger than I. I guessed you younger than you are."
" Yes, I'm twenty-two. But in our family we hold
our own well — ^that is, mother does."
These discoveries as to age seemed to give both the
liveliest satisfaction. Said he: "You look younger —
and talk younger."
"That's because I don't make pretenses. People
think that anyone who is still frank and simple must be
very young — and very foolish. . . . I've been out four
years. Do I seem ignorant and uninteresting to you? "
" No — ^very frank — ^naive."
She smiled, flushed, glanced shyly at him. " Do you
know, I feel I know you better than I ever knew any
man in my life— even my brothers ! "
" Everyone says I'm easy to get acquainted with,"
said he, practical and unappreciative.
She looked disappointed, but persisted. " I feel
A TASTE FOB CANDY
freer to talk with you. Fd tell you — ajiything — ^the
things I think, but never dare say."
" There aren't any such things," said he, hastening
away from the personal. ^^ Anything one really thinks
one can't help saying."
"Oh, that isn't a bit true," cried she. "I think
lots of things I don't dare say, just as I want to do lots
of things I don't dare do."
"You imagme you think them, you imagme you
want to do them," he assured her. " But really, what
you say and do — ^that is your re€j self."
She sighed. " I hate to believe so."
"Yes. It is unpleasant to give up the flattering
notion that our grand dreams are our real selves, and
that our mean little schemes and actions are just acci-
dental — or devil — or somebody else besides self."
She looked at him and he was astonished to see that
there were tears in her eyes. "Don't — ^please!" she
pleaded. " Don't make it harder for me to do what I've
got to do."
"Got to do? Nonsense."
" No, indeed," said she, intensely in earnest. " Re-
member, I'm a woman. And a woman has got to do—
what's expected of her."
" So has a man if he's the weak sort."
He studied her with an expression of sympathy bor-
dering on pity, but without the least condescension ; on
the contrary, with a radiation of equality, of fellow-
feeling that was perhaps his greatest charm. ^^ Don't
mind what I've said," he went on in the kindliest, friend-
liest tone. ^^ I'm not fit to talk with young girls. I've
got my training altogether in a world where there aren't
any young girls, but only experienced women of one
kind and another. You've been brought up to a cer-
tain sort of life, and the only thing for you to do is to
live it. I've been talking the creed of my sort of life,
and that's as different from your sort as wild duck from
He rose, gave a significant glance toward the win-
dows through which clear sky and late afternoon light
could be seen. She felt rather than saw his hint, and
rose also. She looked round, gave a queer little laugh.
**Am I awake — or still asleep?" said she. "I'm not
feeling — or talking— or acting — ^a bit like my usual
self." She laughed again a little cynically. ** My
friends wouldn't recognize me." She looked at him,
laughed again, with not a trace of cynicism. " I don't
recognize my present self," she added. " It's one that
never was until I came here."
But Roger showed no disposition to respond to her
coquetry. He said in matter-of-fact tones: **Do you
live far? Hadn't I better take you home? '*
A TASTE FOB CANDY
No, no ! '' she cried. " We mustn't spoil it.'*
"The romance," laughed she.
He looked amused, like a much older person at a
child's whimsicalities. " Oh, I see ! Once I was in a
train in the Alps bound for Paris, and it halted beside a
train bound for Constantinople. My window happened
to be opposite that of a girl from Syria. We talked for
half an hour. Then — ^we shook hands as the trains
drew away from each other. This is to be like that? A
She was listening and observing with almost excited
interest. "Didn't you ever meet that Syrian girl
again? " inquired she.
He laughed carelessly, shrugged his shoulders.
" Yes — ^unfortunately."
The girl's face became shadowed. "You loved
His frank, boyish eyes twinkled good-humored
mockery at her earnestness. ** As you see, I survived,"
She frowned at him. ** You're very disappointing,"
said she. " You're not a bit romantic — are you? "
" I save it all for my painting."
She laughingly put out her hand. They shook
hands ; he accompanied her to the door. She said: " I'd
like to have a name to remember you by." And she
looked at him with candid and friendly admiration for
his handsome bigness. *^Not your real name. That
wouldn't be a bit romantic — and, as you see, Fm crazy
about romance." She sighed. *^ Probably because I
never get any. Don't laugh at me. You can't under-
stand my taste for candy, because with you — ^it's been
like keeping a confectionery shop."
" Yes — ^that's true," said h<e, looking at her with a
new and more personal friendliness of sympathy.
" So," said she, with a wistful smile, " give me a
He reflected. ^* You might call me Chang. That
was my nickname at school."
"Chang," said she. "Chang." She nodded ap-
provingly. " I like it. . . . They called me Bix before
I came out."
" Then — ^good-by, Rix. Thank you for a charm-
"Good-by, Chang," she said, with a forced little
smile and pain in her eyes. " Thank you for — ^the fire
and the chocolate — and — ^" She hesitated.
" Don't forget the biscuit."
" Oh, yes. And for the biscuit."
As she went reluctantly away he closed the door
and, standing well back from the window, watched her
A TASTE FOR CANDY
gracefully descend the slope of the knoll. Just as she
was about to lose sight of the little house she turned
and looked back. She could not have seen him, so far
back was he; but she waved her hand and smiled pre-
cisely as if he were in plain view, waving at her.
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
Lake Wauchono is the crowning charm of that
whole north New Jersey wilderness, rich though its
variety is — ^watercourses hard to equal in sheer loveli-
ness ; lonely mount€tins from whose steeps look majesty
and awe; stretches of stony desolation and of gloomy,
bittern-haunted swamp that seem the fitting borderland
of an inferno. At the southwestern end of the lake it
receives the waters of a creek by way of a small cata-
ract. In the spring, especially in the early spring,
when there is most water on the cataract and when the
foliage is at its freshest, most exquisite green, the early
morning sunbeams make of that little comer of the lake
a sort of essence and epitome of the lovely childhood of
On the next morning but one after the adventure '
of the studio in the storm, Roger was industriously
sketching in a view of this cataract, his canvas on an
easel before which he was standing — ^he always stood at
his work. Across his range of vision shot a canoe, a
girl kneeling in it and wielding the paddle with expert
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
grace. He instantly recognized her. "Hello!** he
called out f riendlily — ^af ter a curiously agitated moment
of confusion and recovery.
She turned her head, smiled. With a single skillful
dip she rounded the canoe' so that it shot to the shore
within a few feet of where he stood. " Good morning,
Chang,** said she. **Did you miss me at tea — or,
rather, chocolate — ^yesterday?**
** I didn't expect you,** replied he.
"You didn't invite me.**
**That was ill-mannered, wasn*t it? But, no — ^I
forgot. We said good-by forever, didn't we? Well, it
was safer to prepare for the worst in a world as uncer-
tain as this. Aren't you rather early? **
She looked a little confused. ** I'm very energetic
for the first few days after I get to the country," she
explained. " Besides, I'm dreadfully restless of late.
• • • Are you working? **
" I was.**
" Oh — I'm disturbing you.** She made a movement
to push off. He smiled in a noncommittal way, but said
nothing. She did not conceal her discontent with treat-
ment of a kind to which she apparently was not used.
^^ You might at least have the politeness to say no. I*d
not take advantage of it,'* said she — a rebuke for his
rudeness in her raillery.
I was debating something. ... I need you in my
picture. But posing is tiresome work."
She brightened. " Fd be glad to. Will you let me ?
I do so wish to be of some use. How long would it
"Not long — ^that is, not long any one morning,"
was his apologetic assurance.
"You mean — several mornings?" said she, a
mingling of longing and hesitation in her expressive
" I work slowly." The more he considered the mat-
ter the more necessary she seemed to his picture. His
artist's selfishness was aroused. " I'm sure you'd not
mind," said he, deliberately using a tone that would
make refusal difficult, ungracious.
A curious strained expression came into her eyes as
she reflected. " I — I — don't know what to say."
**You think I'm asking heavy pay for my hospi-
" No — ^no, indeed," protested she earnestly. " I
can't tell you what I was thinking."
The more he considered the idea the apparition of
her in that graceful posture in the canoe had suggested
the more it seemed an inspiration. He was regarding
her now with the artist's eye only. She leaned on her
paddle, lost in reverie ; the look of the self-satisfied, over-
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
petted American girl faded from her face; the sun-
beams flimg a golden glamour over her yellow hair and
her delicate skin. He saw alluring possibilities of ideal-
. izing her face into the center and climax of the dreamy
, romance he was going to try to make of his first Amer-
ican picture. His original impulse to get rid of her
as a useless, perhaps disquieting intruder had gone
altogether. He was resolved to have this providential
model. ** I don't want to be disagreeable/' said he,
*^ but I really need you. It'd be a — a service to *' — ^he
smiled — " to art.'*
She seemed not to hear. Presently she compressed
her lips, looked at him defiantly — a strange look that
somehow disquieted him for an instant. "Where do
you want me to put myself? " she asked, stepping into
They spent half an hour in trying various positions
and poses before he got? just what he wanted. His im-
personal way of treating her, his frank comments, some
of them flattering, others the reverse, amused her im-
mensely. But he was as unconscious of her amusement
as of her personality or his own. She obeyed him with-
out a protest, patiently held the pose he asked — held it
full fifteen minutes. He had a way — ^the way of the
man who knows what he is about — that inspired her
with respect and made her feel she was at something
worth while. ** That'll do beautifully," he said at last.
" You must be tired."
** I can stand it a while longer," she assured him.
**Not a second. Fve enough for to-day. And I
don't want to frighten you off. I mustn't tempt you
to leave me in the lurch — disappear — never show up
" I've promised," said she. " I'll keep my word.
Besides " — she flushed, with eyes sparkling ; her smile
was merry, but embarrassed — " I'm not doing this for
"We haven't talked business yet, have we?" said
he, not a bit embarrassed. "You can have anything
you like, within reason."
She laughed at him. " I want more than money. I
want your valuable time. In exchange for my services
as model you must amuse me. I'm lonely and bored —
and full of things I want to forget."
" How much amusement per pose? " said he.
" Oh — ^I shan't be hard. Say — an hour."
" The bargain's closed."
She paddled ashore, seated herself on a log a short
distance before him, and rested while he filled in his
notes. He glanced at her after a few minutes, was
about to speak ; instead he gave a grunt of satisfaction,
fell to sketching her face; for the thoughts that were
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
gilding her reverie gave her features precisely the ex-
pression of exalted, ethereal longing which he wished
to put into the face in his picture. He worked fever-
ishly, hoping she would not move and dissolve the spell
until he had what he needed — enough to fix that ex-
A quarrel between two robins over a worthless twig
which neither wanted startled her, drove the spiritual
look from her features.
" But I got it,'* said he. " Thank you.**
She looked at him questioningly.
** You've given me a second sitting — ^much better,
because you didn't realize it."
**May I see? '*
His sudden alarm revealed the profoundly modest
man, uneasy about the merits of his unfinished work.
"Not yet,'* said he positively. "Wait till there's
something to look at.**
"Very well," she acquiesced.
A certain note in her voice made him laugh. ^^ You
don't' care in the least about the picture — do you? **
** Yes, indeed," protested she. But the attempt to
conceal his having hit upon the truth was far from suc-
cessful. She realized it herself. "I care only about
the pay," confessed she.
** We can talk while I work, now.**
She protested. ^ No, that isn't honest. I gave you
my whole attention. You must pay in the same way.
You must do your best to amuse me."
^^ Come here, and sit on this log.''
He obeyed. ^^You deserve better pay," said he.
^^I never had a professional model who behaved so
^^ Do you know, I never did anything so obediently
in my whole life," declared she. ^^ I don't understand
myself." There was seriousness behind the mirth in
the glance she flung at him. ^^ I'm a little afraid of
you. I half believe you hypnotize me. You — seem to
— to put to sleep my ordinary, every-day self and to
wake up one that's usually asleep — one I've only known
— ^until — ^until recently — as a — a sort of troublesome
ghost that haunts me from time to time."
He, thinking of his picture, was only half attending
to her. " But you'll marry the man with the money,
all right," said he absently.
She startled. " How did you know? " she demand-
ed. " Have you found out who I am? "
" Certainly. You're Rix, model to Chang. . • .
No, I was joking. I know only what you told me yes-
terday — or, rather, what you enabled me to guess."
"And you approve of my marrying — ^that way?"
THE PAINTER GET S A MODEL
" I'd hardly be guilty of the impertinence of either
approving or disapproving.*'
"Frankness wouldn't be impertinence — between
you and me. At least, that's the way I feel about it.
Do you really approve of — of marriage for — ^f or other
reasons than love?"
A long silence. Then she, with an effort: "When
I got back home night before last all that happened up
there seemed unreal — ^absolutely unreal — ^like a dream."
"Even the biscuit and the chocolate?"
"Even you," she replied.
Her tone made his wandering attention concentrate,
made him glance swiftly at her.
She smiled. " Don't be alarmed," said she. " There's
not the slightest cause."
" Sure? " inquired he jestingly, " You see, I'm
not used to young girls — ^American girls. You talk so
freely. If I weren't an American I'd misunderstand."
" What would it matter if you did? " retorted she.
" To be sure — ^it wouldn't matter at all," he ad-
mitted. " Do go on."
" If it weren't that my knowing you — ^this way —
would always seem unreal — ^not a,t all a part of life —
I'd not dare come. Now, don't misunderstand. That
doesn't mean I'm falling in love with you — at least, I
don't think it does." Dreamily — " No, I don't think
Depressing," said he, with an awkward attempt
at humor. He did not like these frank personalities
from his model — ^these alarming skirtings of the sub-
ject he wished to discuss or consider with no woman.
It was interesting, refreshingly interesting, this un-
heard-of, direct way of dealing with a matter invari-
ably ignored by an unmarried, marriageable girl— that
is, so far as his experience went, it was ignored — but,
perhaps, in the America growing up during his ab-
sence — ^yes, this interesting audacity was disquieting.
" No — Pve thought it out carefully, Chang," pur-
sued she. ^^ I'm not afraid of falling in love with you.
It's simply that what you are — ^what you stand for —
appeals to my other self — the self I'm soon going to
wrap in a shroud and lay in a grave — forever, . . .
Coming here is a kind of dissipation for me. But I
shan't lose control of myself." She nodded positively,
and there was a shrewd flash in her eyes.
" I'll back you up," said he. " So you needn't
worry. Falling in love is entirely out of my line."
He saw that she had no more belief in this than the
next woman would have had. For, little though he
knew about women — ^the realities as to women, the in-
tricacies of women — ^he had not failed to learn that
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
^■■■■^l^... ■■■■■■■ Ml ^1 1—1 ■ ■!■■■■■■■ ■ ■■! ■■.^■■■, I ■ ■ ^—M ^
every young or youngish woman regards herself as an
expert at compelling men to love, as a certain victor
whenever she cares to exert herself to win. " You have
your career, I mine/' he went on, " They have noth-
ing in conmion. So we needn't waste time worrying
" That's true," exclaimed she with enthusiasm.
He changed the subject to safer things, acting as
if the whole matter of their relations were settled. But,
in reality, he was profoundly disturbed. If the scheme
of his picture had not taken such firm hold upon him—
the hold that compels an artist, in face of any debt to
consequences, however heavy — ^he would have contrived
to rid himself of her that day for good and all. He
had had too many adventures not to know the dangers
filling the woodland in the springtime for a young man
and a young woman with no one to interrupt. He did
not like his own interest in her; he was little reassured
by her explanations as to her interest in him, though
he told himself he must be careful not to judge Ameri-
can girls by foreign standards. But the picture must
be made, and she was indispensable.
The bright weather held for several days. Every
morning artist and model met near the cascade and
worked and talked alternately until toward lunch time,
She came earlier and earlier, until it was hardly six
when her canoe shot round the bend which divided o£F
that end of the lake into a little bay. He was always
there before her, " Do you spend the night here? ^
" Why, this is late for me,*' he replied. " I have
breakfast before sunrise and go up to the studio for
an hour's work before I come down here. You see,
light — sunlight — is all-important with me. So I go
to bed with the chickens."
"You don't live at the studio?" Then she red-
dened and hastily cried : " No — don't answer. I for-
At her suggestion they had been careful about let-
ting slip things that might betray their identity in the
outside world. This had become a fetich with them, as
if betrayal would break the charm and end their friend-
ship. ^^I never had anything like a romance in my
life before," she had said. "I suppose I seem very
silly to you, but I want to do the best I can with this.
You'll humor me, won't you?" And he agreed, with
a superior smile at her folly — a smile not nearly so sin-
cere as he fancied, for, like all men of his stamp, he was
still the boy and would be all his life.
Though she came earlier she lingered later; once
it was noon before she slowly paddled away in her
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
graceful canoe with its high, curved ends. His un-
easiness about what was going on in her head ended
with her second visit; for she did not again speak of
personal things and treated him in a charming, com-
radelike fashion that would have quieted the suspicious
of a greater egotist than he. She made him do most
of the talking — about painting and sculpture, about
books and plays — the men he had knoi^n in Paris —
about his curious or amusing experiences in out-of-the-
way parts of Europe. It was flattering to have such
a pretty listener, one so tireless, so interested; her
many questions, the changes in her expressive coimte-
nance, the subtle sense of the sympathetic she radiated,
were all proof convincing of her eagerness to hear, of
her delight in what she heard.
After many days — ^not so very many, either — ^when
their friendship was well into the stage of intimacy,
she began to try to draw him out on the subject of
women. At first she went about it adroitly — ^and an
adroiter cross-examiner never put questions seemingly
more trivial in tones seemingly more careless or lay
in wait behind eyes seemingly more innocent. But she
set her traps in vain. Of the love affairs of other men
he would talk, taking even more than the necessary care
to avoid things a young girl was supposed not to know
or understand. Of his oivn love affairs he would say
nothing — ^not a hint, not so much as a suggestion that
romance had ever gladdened his youth. That chance
allusion to the mysterious Syrian woman was his first
and last indiscretion, if anything so vague could be
; called an indiscretion. So, she abandoned the tactics
of guile and attacked him frankly.
" You certainly are trustworthy,*' said she. " You
have a wonderful sense of honor."
" What's this about? " inquired he, ignorant of her
train of thought.
** About women,** explained she.
" Oh, about women,'* repeated he. " It's time to be-
gin work again."
" Not for twenty minutes. You kept me at it ten
minutes' overtime — ^and you agreed I was to have
double pay for overtime."
He sat doivn again, a little cross.
** As I was saying," pursued she, ** you never talk
about yourself and women— except the Syrian girl.
Were you terribly in love with her? "
" That's been so long ago. I don't recall ^"
" I'm sure she was crazy about you — and that you
got tired of her — ^and broke her heart ^"
He laughed. ^^ She's married to a friend of mine,
and she weighs a ton. They've got a rug shop and how
they do swindle rich Americans! Did I ever tell you
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
about how two men in Paris bought a rug for eleven
thousand francs and sold it to an American for *^
** Why do you always dodge away? Are you really
a woman hater? '*
** Not I. Just the reverse.'*
" And you've been in love? "
" Yes, indeed."
Her smile kept bravely on» but her tone wasn't quite
the same as she said, ^^ Really in love? "
" Madly. Lots of times."
^^I don't mean that. I mean once — the once. I
somehow feel that you've had a great love in your life
— a love that has saddened you — ^has made you put
women out of your life."
He was laughing frankly at her. ^^ What a roman-
cer you are," cried he. " It's very evident that you've
had no experience. If you had, you'd know that isn't
the way of love at all. Anyone who can catch it once
can catch it any number of times. It's a disease, I tell
you. You want to fall in love and you proceed to do it,
taking whoever happens to be convenient."
This seemed to content her. " I see you've never
been in love," said she. " You've simply had experience.
I like that. I hate a man who hasn't had experience.
Not that I ever thought you hadn't — no, indeed. In
the first five minutes I knew you I said to myself »
* Here's a man who has been over the road.' I could
tell by the way you took hold."
"Took hold!'' cried he.
" That's it — ^took hold — ^made me like you — made
me interested in you."
He looked imcomfortable — ^glanced at his watch.
" Oh, so much has happened to you. And nothing
has ever happened to me — nothing but this," she
" But this ! " laughed he. " Don't you call it some-
thing — ^to be clandestinely an artist's model? Think
how horrified your prim, proper, pious people would
be if they knew ! "
" What kind of people do you think I come from? "
she inquired, gazing at him quizzically.
" That's tabooed," he answered. " I've never specu-
lated about it. When your canoe rounds that bend
yonder I never follow. You begin and end at the
" I don't see how you can help wondering,'* mused
she. " I wonder a great deal about you. Not that I
want to know. Fd rather wonder — ^fancy it as I please
— differently every day. You see, I havent mudi to
think about — much that's interesting. Honestly, don't
you wonder — at all — about me? "
** I've always been that way about my friends," re-
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
plied he, and went on to explain sincerely : ^^ They in-
terest me only as they appear to me. Why should I
bother about what they are to other people — people
I don't know and don't care to know? " ,
" Isn't that strange ! " mused she. " Do you really
mean it?" She blushed, hastily added: ^^Of course,
I know you mean it. You mustn't mind my saying
that. You see, the people I know are entirely different.
That's why I feel this is all — unreal — a dream. . . •
You honestly don't care about wealth — and social po-
sition — and all that? Not a bit? "
" Why should I? " said he indifferently. « It isn't
in my game — and one cares only about the things that
are in his game."
** That other game — ^it seems a very poor sort to
you, doesn't it?"
He shrugged his shoulders.
^^ Yes, I know it does. It seems so to me, whenever
Pm — ^here — and even when Fm not here."
^^ Why bother about such things? " said he in the
tone that indicates total lack of interest.
After a pause she said: ^^ You may not believe it,
but I'm a frightful snob — out there."
^^ But not here. There's nothing here to be snob
about— thank God ! "
"Yes — ^I'm as different as possible — out there,'*
she went on. ^^ There are people I detest whom Fm
sweet to because of what they are socially. I'm like
the rest of the girls — crazy about social position and
fond of snubbing people — and **
"Don't tell me about it," he interrupted gently,
but with an expression in his straight, honest eyes that
made her blush and hang her head. ** I'm sorry for
what you are when the black magician who rules be-
yond the bend takes possession of you. But what he
does to you doesn't change what the white magic makes
of you here."
Her eyes, her whole face lighted up. ^^ The white
magic," she repeated softly. After a brief reverie she
came back to the subject and went on, " I told you be-
cause I — ^I'm ashamed to be a fraud with you. ... I
wonder if you're really as big and honest as you seem?
Nobody is — out there. They're mean and petty! —
when you see through what they pretend to be — ^pre-
tend even to themselves. I'm just as big a fraud as the
rest. And I often convince myself I'm sweet and good
and — If I could only — ^" There she stopped, leav-
ing her wish unexpressed but easy to imagine.
"The way to keep the little things out is to fill
one's mind with the big things," said he. " But you're
not to blame for being what your surroundings
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
^^Do you think I could be different?" she asked,
waiting in a sort of breathlessness for his answer.
"Pve not thought about it," was his depressing
answer. "Offhand I should say not. You're at the
age when almost everybody does a little thinking. But
that'll soon stop, and you'U be what you were molded
to be from babyhood."
" I know I don't amoimt to much," said she humbly.
"Out there — ^under the black magic — ^I'm vain and
proud. But here — ^I feel Fm just nothing."
"You're a superb model," said he consolingly.
" Really — superb."
" Please don't mock at me. Honestly, don't you
think I'm commonplace? "
He gave her that fine, gentle smile of his, particu-
larly fine coming from such a big, masculine sort of
man. And he said, " Nothing that the sun shines on
She developed strong curiosity as to the general
aspects of his affairs — as to his hopes and fears for the
future. Her efforts to draw him out on these subjects
amused him. His frank confession that he was un-
known in America threw her quite off the track; it
never occurred to her that he might be known abroad.
" And you have worked many years? " she said.
" AU my life.''
She looked tenderly sympathetic distress. ^^ Doesn't
your not being recognized discourage you? " she said.
" Not a bit," declared he, with every indication of
sincerity. " Everything worth while takes time. Any-
how, I don't much care. My living is secure. You see,
I'm quite rich."
Her eyes opened wide. ** Rich ! " she exclaimed.
"Really? Why, I thought--" There she halted,
" Oh, yes. I've got forty thousand — ^not to speak
of my land."
"Forty — ^thousand — a year! That's very good."
And her face revealed that her brain was busy and what
it was busy about.
He laughed loudly. " Forty thousand a year I " he
cried. " No — two thousand a year."
Her chagrin was pitiful. " Oh ! " she exclaimed
dismally. " I thought you said you were rich."
"And I am. Why, when I think of how I used
to live on less than two thousand francs a year I feel
like a Rothschild." He tried to keep his face and his
tone serious as he added: "What's the matter? Why
do you look so woe-begone?"
" Nothing. Only — You gave me such a shock I
For a minute I thought you were — ^were different."
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
He took advantage of her mournful abstraction to
slip back to his work. So absorbed was she that she
did not observe how he was " cheating " her, though all
his other attempts to do it had been promptly detected
and stopped. From time to time he looked at her and
puzzled over the cause of her deep gloom. Finally he
decided to interrupt. A mischievous look came into
his eyes. He said: ^^You thought of transferring
yourself from that other rich man? "
She was overwhelmed with embarrassment. Then
she met his laughing eyes with a brave attempt at
mockery. "Well — ^I'd rather marry a rich man I
liked than one I didn't."
" Naturally. But forget about me, please. I'm not
a candidate, remember." He was glad of this chance
to remind her of his views as to marriage.
" Never fear," said she, forcing a laugh and a look
of coquettish scorn. ** We're equally safe from each
On the eighth morning it began to drizzle at dawn,
and by the time artist and model should have been at
work a heavy, cold rain was falling. However, Chang
in his waterproofs walked down to the lake shore. He
had to take a walk — ^he always took a walk — ^no matter
what the weather; why not in that direction.^ As he
drew near the cascade he was amazed to see the canoe
beached in the usual place. And there, huddled under
a tree, as doleful as the shivering birds, stood Rix. He
hesitated, started quietly back the way he had come.
" No," said he to himself, " she might catch sight of
me. Then she'd be offended — and what would become
of my picture? '* So he turned abgut — ^in obedience
to these coimsels of calm and imprejudiced good sense*
"What are you doing here?" he demanded with
friendly severity as he came forward. "You'll catch
your death of cold."
At soimd of his voice her drooping form straight-
ened ecstatically. At sight of him, looking more tre-
mendous than ever in the big waterproofs, she gave a
smile like a simburst. " You're f right ftdly late ! " she
" Late! We can't work to-day."
" You didn't tell me not to come if it rained," said
she, with a convincing air of innocence. ** And — ^I
didn't want to lose a day's pay."
He was still frowning. " I came very near not com-
ing at aU," said he. " It was by the merest accident
that I took my walk in this direction."
" But — ^you did," said she slyly.
" Why not? " was his carefully careless reply. " I
walk, rain or shine."
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
" I donH mind rain, either — ^when I'm prepared for
it," said she cheerfully. " You don't know how fasci-
nating canoeing in the rain is."
But he was not convinced. He stood staring gloom-
ily out over the lake, as if he were seeing formidable
enemies approaching imder cover of the thick, blue mist.
**Fve got to go in a few minutes," said he almost
curtly. " I've arranged for a trip to town, as I can't
"To sell a picture?"
" I haven't any. Those from the other side aren't
here yet. Anyhow, I'm going to show only American
A long pause — ^an imcomfortable pause. Then she
said in her artless, impersonal way : " I should think a
wife would be of great assistance to an artist ^"
" As a roper-in, you mean? " he interrupted fiercely.
^^ No real painter would stoop to anything so degrading
to his art and to himself."
** Yet you've told me of all sorts of queer schemes
you've put up to lure in buyers," she said.
" An artist who marries is a fool — ^and worse," said
he sourly. " If he's happily married his imagination is
smothered to death. If he's unhappily married it's
stabbed to death."
She listened sweetly and patiently. " The subject
of marriage Is on my mind to-day/' said she with con-
fiding and childlike innocence.
^^ It usually is on the minds of young girls," said he,
big and frowning.
" But my — ^my affairs are near the crisis,** pro-
ceeded she. ^^ And one reason I came through the rain
was that I wanted your advice.**
He shook his big frame, making the water fly as
from the fur of a great, shaggy dog that has been in
swimming. ^^ I don't give advice,'* said he ungra-
ciously. "When you give advice you make yourself
responsible for the consequences. Besides, I don't know
enough about you to be able to judge."
Her look up at him was the essence of implicit trust.
" You know more about me than anyone in the world —
more than I know myself."
He laughed shortly. " I know nothing about you.
Girls are not in my line."
Her pretty face, the prettier for the dreariness all
round, now took on an expression of hurt feelings.
"What's the matter, Chang?" she asked gently.
** You're not a bit friendly to-day."
His face could not but soften before this sweet ap-
peal. He said in a kindlier tone : " I think you ought
to go home. I'm sure you'U catch cold."
She looked immensely relieved. "Oh, that's why
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
you're cross, is it? *' said she gayly. " Don't worry
about me, Chang. I'm as dry and snug as can be.
Now, do be kind to me. I don't see how I'm going to
marry Pete — ^that is, this man. He's a nice fellow —
good-looking — ^has everything I want — ^but — Ye gods I
He's such a rotter ! "
** It's a man— or woman, for there are lots and lota
of female rotters — ^it's a person who — ^well, you alwaya
know just what they are going to do before they do it^
and just what they're going to say before they say it."'
" That sounds like good marrying material. Yoa
know, you don't want surprises in married life."
** Chang, how can I live through it? " she cried de»
" You say you've got lots of tastes, all expensive..
So — ^marry him."
"He's really very good-looking," pursued Ilix>
watching him out of the comers of her eyes. ^^ And he
dresses beautifully — ^has everything just right. There
isn't a thing against him — except — ^" And there she
halted, as if she were not quite certain whether after
all there was a positive objection to the man.
** Except — ^what? " inquired he, impatient at the
long pause at the most exciting point in the recital.
She secretly delighted in the success of her ruse*
But she said plaintively: ^^Oh, you're not interested.
You're not listening."
*^ I'm sure you're catching a hideous cold. Of all
the absurd, silly performances ^"
** Now, don't lecture on health. I simply can't stand
it. As I was about to say when you Interrupted me ^
** I didn't interrupt you," protested he.
^* Not paying attention is interrupting," said she.
Anyhow, you're interrupting now. What I want to
say is, the only thing against him is that I don't love
This seemed to cheer the big, dark, young man.
With a certain gayety he replied: " But you soon wilL
You've been well brought up, haven't you? Well, that
means you are — ^just girl — ready to be whatever your
husband chooses to make of you."
"That's true of most girls, Chang" — ^he winced
each time she gave him that name — " but it isn't true of
me — at least, not any more. You've put all sorts of
ideas into my head."
He started back in dismay before her accusing, re-
proachful face, so sad, so serious. ** If Put ideas into
your head? Why, you were buzzing and boiling with
*em the first time I saw you."
"But they didn't amount to anything until
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
^^ That's like a woman ! " he exclaimed indignantly*
** Trying to shift responsibility to some one else.''
^^ But you have a tremendous influence over me."
** Rubbish ! Have I ever tried to get influence over
" I don't know how you got it," was her madden-
ingly feminine evasion.
He gave a kind of snort. "Next thing you'U be
accusing me of advising you not to marry this rich man
you're engaged to."
" Not quite engaged," corrected she. ** He wants
me to be. And," she went on with meek obstinacy,
^^ while you didn't advise me against it in so many
" Now, Rix," he almost shouted, pointing his finger
at her, " you stop right there ! "
"Please, Chang— come in out of the rain. And
don't talk so loud; it makes me nervous. I'm almost
hysterical as it is."
He looked at her in terror. All that would be
needed completely to upset him would be for her to have
hysterics. He moved nearer her, went on in a soothing^
persuasive tone: "I advised you to marry him. I
showed you it's the only thing for you to do."
"And such talk was unworthy of you," said she,
like a rebuking angel. " You didn't really mean it.
You know you wouldnH stoop to do such a thing your-
His frank countenance had quite a wild look, so agi-
tated and confused was he by her swift twistings and
turnings, so alarmed was he as he felt the awful danger
approaching. "We're not talking about me. We're
talking about you and your affairs — or, rather, you are
talking about them. Keep me out of this."
" But how can I? '' argued she gently, looking ad-
miringly up at him. " You've become the big influence
in my life. If I had known you earlier I'd have been
very different. Even now I feel as if a great change
were coming over me "
" It's the cold you're catching," interrupted he, in
desperate attempt to be jocose and create a diversion.
** You must go straight home.'*
" Chang," she said, laying her hand on his arm, " if
you were rich, instead of poor, would you talk to me
" Now, Rix — stop that nonsense."
"Don't, Chang," she pleaded. "You realize, just
as well as I do, that we've made a frightful mistake."
He did not venture an answer.
" You knew it as soon as you saw me this morn-
ing — didn't you?" continued she. "Yes, I saw it in
your eyes. I felt it in your —
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
He suddenly seized her by both shoulders, looked
into her eyes searchingly. " This isn't a bit like you,
Rix. What are you up to? "
She simply gazed at him — a gaze he found it hard
to withstand ; yet he could not shift his charmed eyes.
"You're trying to lead me on. Why?" he de-
" Because we love each other, Chang/' she said as
simply and sweetly as a child.
He laughed gently. " What a romancer you are !
Fortunately, I'm a man. I don't take advantage of a
" I'm twenty-two."
^^ And as ignorant of the world as a baby," declared
he, like grandfather to grandchild.
" I know what I want when I see it, just as well as
you do, Chang," she replied steadily. " Better — ^be-
cause you're making me do all the talking — ^which isn't
gentlemanly of you." Her eyes filled with tears — and
very lovely they looked — ^like dew-drenched violets. " If
it wasn't that you're holding back simply because you're
poor I'd not forgive you so easily."
He dropped his hands from her shoulders, turned
away abruptly. He strode to the edge of the lake and
debated with himself. When he came back to her he
was serene though grave. At sight of his expression,
which she had eagerly awaited, she shivered. ^^Rix/'
he said — and all the fine frankness and simplicity of his
nature were in his eyes and his voice — ** it's lucky for
you that I've lived a little, or we might be dragging
each other into a fearful mess. You think you've fallen
in love — don't you? "
^^ I know it, Chang," she answered, undaunted.
** Well, I know you haven't fallen in love with me.
You've simply fallen in love with love. Your imagina-
tion has been giddied by this little adventure that seems
so romantic to you. And the da^ll come when you'll
thank me for having had the sense to imderstand you
and to understand that my own strong liking for you
isn't love, either."
^^ It's what / call love," said she, a solemn, wistful
look in the eyes she fixed on him. ** Don't you miss me
and think of me all the time when we aren't together —
just as I do? Don't you come earlier and earlier — just
as I do? Didn't you fight against coming in the rain
to-day, just as I did? Weren't you dreadfully afraid
you'd be disappointed, just as I was? And didn't you
simply have to come ^"
He suddenly lost his temper. ** This is too exasper-
ating!" he cried. "I've done wrong to let you come
here. I was innocent enough in it ^"
" You couldn't have kept me away," she interrupted
THE PAINTER GETS A MODEL
with a kind of childish glee. ^^ The mischief was done
the first day — over the chocolate. Wasn't it, Chang? —
honestly, wasn't it? "
" You're a nice little girl, but "
She cut him off again : " If you knew how I fought
that evening and night and all the next day and night —
and how early I started out to find you. Had you be-
gun to hunt for me? "
" No," said he, more curt than convincing.
" Then what were you thinking about — ^that first
morning down by the waterfall? "
He flushed guiltily. Very poor, indeed, at all kinds
of deception was Chang — except, possibly, self-decep-
" I watched you for half an hour. You were sketch-
ing a face, Chang — ^instead of the waterfall. YtThose
face was it?"
" Yours," he admitted, as if the matter were of no
consequence. With a smile of patient indulgence he
went on: "Oh, if you'd had experience! But you
haven't. That's why you're carrying on like this.
Now, listen to me, child ^"
** I like Rix better," she interposed.
" No matter," he said, with a gesture of impatient
brushing away. "I don't love you. I won't marry
you. And you've got to stop proposing to me. I never
heard of such vanity! What would people think of
" You've taught me not to mind what people think.
You said you despised ^^
" No matter what I said ! What will you think of
yourself? What will / think of you? "
" Why, that I love you," said she sweetly.
He looked hopelessly at her, threw out his arms in a
gesture of despair. " A baby — ^just a baby. Gro home
and grow up ! " he cried, and strode swiftly away with
a great swashing of the skirts of his long coat and a
great swishing of the disturbed undergrowth of the
A LESSON IN WOMAN
TowASD four the next afternoon Wade, at the
studio, heard a knock on the door. He recognized it so
promptly that one might ahnost have suspected he had
been expecting it — or, would hoping for it be a more
exactly accurate phrase? By way of answer he tiptoed
across the floor, rested his full weight against the door,
as there was no bolt, indeed no fastening of any kind
but the unused outside bar and padlock. If that assault
was to be repelled he must rely wholly upon his own un-
aided strength. He was not content with resting his
weight; he braced himself and pushed.
The knock came again — ^right between his shoulder-
blades with only the inch plank between.
It was as if those pretty knuckles of hers were tap-
ping him on the back, on the spinal cord, which, as
everyone knows, immediately radiates sensation to all
parts of even such a huge body as was Chang's. He
grew quite pale, then an absurdly boyish red. He mut-
tered something that sounded like ^^ damn fool " — ^and
it certainly must have been addressed to himself.
The knock came the third time, quickly — a triumph-
ant knock, seeming to say, " So you're in there, are
you ? Well, surrender at once ! "
He wondered how she had found out, for he cer-
tainly had made no sound she could have heard. With
the fourth and most vigorous knock he discovered the
secret. He noted that his body against the door made
the knock sound differently. He hastily lifted himself
away, put his hands against the door high up above
-where she, merely a person of medium height, and wom-
an's medium height at that, could reach. YtThen she
knocked again he felt absurd. For the sound, hollow
once more, must reveal to her that there was indeed
some change of conditions within, proving beyond
doubt the presence of some intelligent— or, at least,
His poor opinion of himself and his fear of her
sagacity were forthwith justified. " It's only I," she
called. " So you can open."
The impudence! As if he were eager to see her,
would instantly open for her ! Why, she was positively
brazen, this sweet, innocent young girl. No— that was
unjust. Just because she was innocent she did these
outlandish, outrageous things. Yet how could a girl of
twenty-two, out four years, extremely intelligent — ^how
could she be thus unaware of what was proper and mod-
A LESSON IN WOMAN
est for a young woman dealing with a bachelor? How
could she venture upon — ^no, not merely venture upon,
but boldly tackle, grapple with — ^the subject which the
maiden should never so much as hint until the man has
forced it upon her? " I don't understand it," he mut-
tered. ^^ She's some queer mixture of craft and inno-
cence. And where the one begins and the other ends I'm
blessed if I know. There's some mystery in this. She's
got some notion — some false notion— or something —
Heaven knows what. All I know is, she's got to stop
hounding me — ^and she's not going to get in."
As if she had heard these angry but cautious under-
tones she said: ** Now, Chang, don't be a silly. I know
you're against the other side of the door. I could tell
by the way the knocks sounded. Besides, I've just
peeped through the crack imdemeath and I saw your
Then he did feel like an ass! Caught holding a
door, like a ten-year-old boy — ^he, a great, huge, grown
man, no less than thirty-two years old! Still, of the
two absurd courses open to him — ^to let her in and to
continue to bar her out — ^the less absurd was the latter.
To face her with a red and sheepish countenance — ^to
face her mocking smile — ^that was not to be thought of.
" Don't be afraid, Chang," she scoffed. " I haven't
got a clergyman with me."
^* Run along home, you foolish child," he cried.
** I'm busy and mustn't be interrupted."
** I must see you — for just a minute," she pleaded —
the kind of pleading that is conmiand. ** Dont be so
vain. Don't take yourself so seriously."
That voice of hers — ^it sounded sanely humorous.
And he certainly was putting himself in the position of
having egotisticaUy believed to the uttermost her re-
marks of yesterday, which were probably nothing but a
fantastic mood. But he simply could not open that
door and face her plump off. He made three or four
steps away from it on tiptoe, then walked heavily, call-
ing out in a tone of gruff indifference : ^^ Come on ! But
don't forget I'm busy." Luckily he happened to glance
at the picture ; he had just time hastily to fling a drape
over it. He went to the fireplace and busied himself
with the fire — ^for the day after the heavy rain was of an
almost winter coolness. He heard the door open and
" Your manners are simply shocking," came in her
He turned round to face her. No, she was not in
the least abashed, as one would have expected her to be
on seeing him for the first time after her proposal.
What did it mean? What was in that industrious, agile
mind? She was much better dressed than she had been
A LESSON IN WOMAN
as his model. She was wearing a most becoming gray
gown with a small, gray walking hat to match. Yes,
she looked prettier, more ladylike, but —
** How do you Uke my new suit? " asked she.
** Very good," replied he. " But while you've gained
something, you've lost more."
** I know it," admitted she. " I saw it the instant I
looked at myself in the glass, and I've felt it all the way
here. I've lost what you like best in me. That is, I've
not exactly lost it, but covered it up. But it's still
here." This last in a tone gay with enjoyment in teas-
He stood with his back to the fire, and waited. She
came slowly toward him, halting at every second step.
Her smile was mysterious — and disquieting. It was a
mocking smile, yet behind it there lurked — ^what?
What was the mystery of that proposal?
** Well, I suppose you'll be satisfied now," said she.
** I'm engaged."
" I don't care anything about it," declared he.
" Let's talk of something else."
They were facing each other now, not many steps
apart ; and the sight of her, in such high good humor,
made it simply impossible for him to remain grumpy, or
to pretend that he was. She went on: "I did it this
morning — ^instead of coming to pose for you. I hope I
didn't put you out too much. I couldn't think of any
way to send you word."
*' I wasn't there," said he, " I can finish the pic-
ture up here."
** Then you don't need me any more? " inquired she.
And the little hands she was stretching out to the blaze
dropped pathetically to her side and up went her face
to gaze into his mournfully.
** I've done with models in America ! " said he,
laughing — ^not in very mirthful fashion, however.
Her eyes — ^they were innocent to-day — ^remained
serious. " I don't see why you were upset by what I
said," observed she reflectively, warming her palms.
" You can't have had much experience with women or
you'd not have been."
It was a notable proof of Chang's fimdamental sim«
plicity of character that this usually sure thrust at
masculine vanity did not reach him, though he was
only thirty-two. "You're not a woman," replied he.
^ You're a girl — a child — a stray from the nursery."
She shook her head. " No, I'm a woman. You've
made me a woman."
" There you go again ! " cried he. " Blaming me ! "
** Thanking you ! " corrected she gently. " But
please don't get excited about — ^yesterday. How can
we be friends if you begin to fuss and fume every time
A LESSON IN WOMAN
you think of it? Really, I didn't do anything out of
He dropped into a chair and laughed heartily.
" I simply proposed to you," said she.
** So you think it is ordinary for a girl to propose
to a man — ^and to insist on it, in spite of his protests?
Well — ^maybe it is — ^in America."
" I don't know," scud she reflectively. ** I never did
"No," she answered him unsmilingly. "But I'm
sure I'll do it again — ^if I fed like it."
" I wouldn't — if I were you. The next man might
" Tou didn't? " The gray eyes were not interroga-
tive, but affirmative.
" Certainly not. I'm not so vain ; and, besides, I
" That had a great deal to do with it — I mean, the
fact that we knew each other so well. I shouldn't, of
course, do such a thing to a perfect stranger." There
was no suggestion of irony, of any kind of humor, in
her voice. But he felt uneasy. She proceeded tran-
quilly: "I suppose any girl would — ^in the same cir-
cumstances — any sensible girl."
" Pve never heard of it," confessed he. What did
she mean by "in the same circumstances"? There
seemed a chance to penetrate into the mystery, but he
would venture no questions. He contented himself with
repeating : " No, I never heard of it."
" Naturally," observed she. ** A girl wouldn't tell
it afterwards — and the man couldn't — if he were a gen-
tleman. I'm sure if anyone ever asks me whether I ever
proposed to a man I'll say no. .And, in a way, it is true.
Really, you were the one that proposed to me." She
nodded slowly. " Really, it was you."
" I? " he exclaimed in derision.
" Yes, you," she affirmed, meeting his gaze gravely.
His eyes wavered; he confusedly sought and lit a
" Of course," pursued she, ** I never could have
done such a thing if I hadn't known it would be — ^agree-
That word agreeable struck him as being a pecul*
iarly happy choice. He chuckled. Her smile showed
that she herself regarded it as a rhetorical triumph.
*' You'll have a chocolate — ^won't you? " said he.
" Thank you," she accepted, with eager gratitud&i
" Won't you let me make it? "
He was already busy. " I can't have you mussing
in my closet," he laughed. " Though, Heaven knows, I
feel as if you were at home here." It slipped out, be-
:i LESSON IN WOMAN
fore he realized what he was saying. He hoped she had
But she had. " That's it ! '' cried she. " Don't we
fed at home and at ease with each other ! I never felt
that way with anybody in my life before. And I've an
instinct that you never did, either — ^never so much so.
. . . What's the matter? "
He had turned in the closet doorway, was gazing
gloomily at her, and, being so big and so dark, his
gloom was indeed somber — suggested the darkness of
an enchanted forest. "After all my resolutions!" he
exclaimed, with bitterness of self-reproach. He shut the
closet. " No chocolate," he said firmly. " You must
go home and let me work."
"Why, what are you afraid of?" cried she, an
angry light in her eyes. ** You told me yesterday you
wouldn't have me. And now I'm engaged."
** You must go."
She stamped her foot, and in poise of head, in curve
of brow and lip showed for the first time the imperious- .
ness she had told him about. " If I didn't like you so |
well ! " she cried. " Do be sensible. You're always
calling me a baby. It's you that are the baby."
" I think so, myself," said he, the more quietly but
also the more strongly for her threatening outburst of
temper. *^ Listen to me, Rix. This nonsense has got to
stop. We're going to keep away from each other.
We're not in love — ^and we're not going to put our-
selves in the way of temptation." He looked reproach-
fully at her. " Why in thunder did you have to go and
spoil everything with that chatter of yours yesterday?
We were getting along beautifully, and the idea of you
as a girl in the ordinary sense never had entered my
"You didn't understand yourself," said she.
'* Women are wiser about those things than men — ^the
most foolish women than the wisest men. Besides, if
you knew the circiunstances as I know them, you'd not
attach so much importance to what was perfectly nat-
He puzzled for an instant with this second mysteri-
ous reference to the " circumstance," dismissed it.
" Anyhow, the milk's spilled," said he with determina-
tion. " And you must go and not come back."
" But now that I'm engaged "
" Engaged be hanged ! " exclaimed he violently.
^ I'm not as stupid as you think. Can't I see that
you're up to the same tricks as yesterday? VSThat do
you mean by it? What's going on in the back of your
head? No — ^never mind. I don't want to know. I
want you to go."
She sat on the long, low bench and began to cry.
A LESSON IN WOMAN
** You're brutal to me," she sobbed. " Here I went and
got engaged just to oblige you and so that we could be
friends. And now you won't be friends ! "
He fretted about, glancing angrily at her from time
to time until he could endure her unhappiness no longer.
He rushed for the closet and began rattling the pots
and dishes. ^^ You are making an ass of me ! " he cried.
^ I never heard of such a woman ! No matter what I
say or do, you put me in the wrong. . . • Dry those
tears and I'll give you chocolate. But, mind you, this
is the last time.'*
I She removed the traces of grief with celerity and
cheerfulness. She beamed on him. ^^ I simply won't
let us not be friends," said she. ^^ I never had a friend
before. I couldn't get along without you. You teach
me so much, and give me such good advice."
** Which you take," said he, grumpily ironical.
"All of it that's good," replied she. "You
wouldn't want me to take the bad advice, would you,
Chang? No, certainly you wouldn't."
In the end he let her help him make the chocolate,
guided her as she investigated the secrets of the closet —
the easels and paints, the canvases and drawing paper.
And she laughed at his pair of big, old slippers, and in-
sisted on trying on a working coat full of holes and
smelling fiercely of stale tobacco. Before he realized
what was going on he was submitling jotohsIt while
she combed his hair in a new way — ^ one that^l bring
out the artist in you.** And then they had a picnic be-
fore the fire, and neither said a single word that would
not haTe sounded foolish from the lips of twdre years
old — foolish, mind tou, not siUr : there^s a world of dif-
forence betweai foolish and siUr, between follr and flat-
ness. They had a hilariously good time, like the two
attractiTe grown-up children that they were — both
brimming with the joy of life, both eager for laughter
as only intdligent, imaginaliTe people with no blight of
sc Juim a as fake dignity upon them are. And how
thoTOugfaly congenial they were! He did not awaken
until she cried :^ Good gracious! What time is it? Six
c'dock? I most go tins minute.^
"'Ddn^ ImnT. FH take you home/* said he.
TIkb, widi igidilm Tirhie, *^ You know, thb is to be the
She diook her head, laughing. ^(Mv no. m be
down at the lake, as usual, to-morrow morning.'*
T9 not be ihere."
*TleB m come on here.**
* Xow, Bix, that isnH square.^
'Sqoaie? To whom?"
•To IK — to yourself — to that chap yoo^
A LESSON IN WOMAN
** Are you afraiid of falling in love with me? "
" No — not in the least," replied he, hasty and vig-
orous. " I don't think of you at all in that way."
**You think you'll hurt my vanity and make me ,
** Nothing of the kind ! " protested he crossly,
"You simply can't get it through your head that I
don't love you — ^that my life is settled along other
"Then why shouldn't I come?"
His mouth opened to reply, closed again. His ex-
pression was foolish.
She laughed. " You are vain ! " she cried. " You
think the more I see of you the more I'll love you. Oh,
Chang, Chang — ^what a peacock ! "
** You've got a positive genius for putting me in the
wrong. You ^"
" Now, isn't it sensible," she interrupted, " for you
to let me come — and get cured of my romantic nonsense,
as you call it? "
"I don't need you any more. You only interrupt
my work. And I've got a hard fight, making a career
in this country. I "
"You know you do need me. The picture isn't
" Why do you say that? "
** I saw it in your face when I first came and spoke
about the picture."
She had him there. The picture did indeed need
several days more with the model. He took another
tack. " It's a mean trick for you to play on that — ^that
fellow you're going to marry.*'
^^ He and I understand each other," said she with
" Does he know about — ^about this? "
^^ As much as is good for him. He isn't the kind of
man that can be told the whole truth. A person has to
be careful, you know, and judge the character of the
person she's dealing with."
(. Her manner was so wise and serious that he could
not but laugh. ^^ I'm afraid Rix is — ^just a little de*
"You seem very much interested,'* said she.
** Well, I'll tell you all about it. Perhaps you can ad-
vise me better, if ^"
He put up his hands. " Not a word ! " he cried.
" I don't want to know. I don't care anything about
" Please let me say just one thing. If you'll let me
" But I won't."
" Oh, yes, you will," cried she, looking mockingly at
A LESSON IN WOMAN
him, her head on one side. " You say you are devoted
to your art. Then you've no right to sacrifice your
picture to your vanity."
•*Myvanity! Well, I like that ! "
"Your vanity. Your idea that on acquaintance
you are more and more fascinating, instead of less and
" I can take care of the picture."
"Oughtn't I to pose till it's done? Honestly,
He could not lie when she put it to him that way.
" Well, I will admit," he conceded with much reluctance,
** the picture would be the better for a few more sit-
tings. But they're not absolutely necessary."
"I have my right, too, Chang," continued she,
" We're doing that picture together. I've got a share
He had grown still and thoughtfuL He nodded.
" So I insist that it must be done right. . . . Have
you. noticed I haven't once to*day said anything about
" For Heaven's sake, Rix, don't talk that way. It
gets on my nerves. It makes me feel like a jumping
" But have I said anything? " persisted she.
" Not in so. many words," he admitted. " But ^"
I'm not responsible for what you may have read
into my looks and voice, Chang. You know, you are so
vain ! • . • I haven't said anything, and I'll promise not
to — ^to get on those shaky nerves of yours when I come
"That's a bargain?"
" Shake hands."
And they shook hands. ^* Now, I must go," said
she. When he began to get ready to accompany her she
forbade him in a tone that admitted of no discussion.
'^^ It's an hour from even dusk," said she. " Anyhow,
I'm afraid of nothing."
" I should say ! " laughed he.
" Because I'm not afraid of you? Oh, you are
vain ! "
** And no more nonsense? "
" I thought it all out last night," said she. " I un-
derstand that you haven't got the money to support a
" Stop right there ! " commanded he. " Can't you
ever get it straight? I don't love you — ^and you don't
love me. That's all."
** Is my hat on straight? ... I must hurry. . . .
Well, I've no time to discuss. Only I do admire and
"A LESSON IN WOMAN
^^^^■^^^^■^^■^^■^^^^^™'^'^— — ^^^"^^^ ■■■■■■II ■ I ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■!■■■ ■ III ^
respect you for not wanting to marry a girl when you
couldn't support her properly. Now, don't get red and
cross and begin to bluster at me. I must go. Good-
And, without giving him a chance to collect words
for a reply, she darted lightly and gracefully away.
AN UPSET CANOE
The picture progressed steadily. There were no
interruptions from the weather, and a paid model
would not have been so regular as was Rix. But prog-
ress was slow. Roger blamed himself in part for this ;
he was a slow workman, growing slower always as his
work neared completion. " I never saw anybody so
painstaking," said Rix. " And you're just the oppo-
site in everything else but your painting." The chief
reason, however, for the snail's pace of this particular
work was the model. Rix came early and stayed late;
but, after their plain talk and agreement, her strength
seemed to fail rapidly. She looked just the same; she
had every sign of perfect health ; but after ten or fif-
teen minutes of posing she would insist on a rest — a,
good, long rest. As he had no right to criticise or (
control this voluntary model, he could not protest.
And, it being essential to the picture that the model
keep on till the end, was he not merely doing his simple
duty by his picture in trying to amuse and interest her
during the long pauses? Not that talking with her
AN UPSET CANOE
was a disagreeable task — ^no, indeed, or a task at all.
But his conscience, as a serious man bent upon a career,
needed constant reassurance that he was really not
trifling away the gorgeous lights of those long morn-
ings in dawdling with a foolish, frivolous girl who
cared only for laughter — ^that he was not encouraging
his liking for her and failing in his duty as an honor-
able man, as her friend, to discourage her liking for
^ Don't be cross with me," she said one morning
when he fell into an obviously depressed reverie during
a rest* She had the habit of observing him as a woman
observes only the man of whom she believes that he is
more worth while as a subject for thought than herself.
" Pm not cross with you," replied he.
" Then, with yourself."
^ Can't help it. I work so infernally slow — slower
all the time."
He thought he saw the diaphanous gossamer of a
smile flit swiftly across her face. But he could not be
sure; it might have been an imagining of his own sen-
sitiveness. " I read somewhere," observed she, " that
genius is the capacity for taking infinite pains."
^ Fm hanged if I know whether I'm taking pains,
as I hope, or am just dawdling, as I fear and as you
believe. However, we'll soon be done."
" You say that as if you were glad."
^^ Oh, of course I'm pleased to work in such charm-
ing company/' said he politely. His face took on the
expression that always made her uneasy as he added:
Stilly I never lose sight of my career."
No danger of that," declared she, with a convic-
tion of tone which she could have found it in her heart
to wish insincere. ^^ I never saw anyone so persistent
and so — ^so hard."
He laughed at the absurdity of her calling him
hard. What would she think if she knew what a relent-
less taskmaster he usually was!
" How much longer do you think you'll need me? **
" Not many days. Three or four, perhaps."
It was her turn to drop into depressed abstraction.
She roused herself to say, "Won't you use me in an-
other picture? "
He frowned — ^it was nearly a scowl. " No, indeed,"
said he. ** I've — ^that is, I've imposed on you enough."
" You sounded as if you were going to say I had
imposed on you enough," she reproached, with an air of
aggrieved suspicion that was perhaps a trifle overdone.
" What are you laughing at? "
" I? " cried she with the utmost innocence. " I feel
like anything but laughing."
'AN UPSET CANOE
He subsided. " Well, if you weren't laughing you
ought to have been."
She rather disappointed him by refusing to take
the bait. Instead of asking why, she returned to her
original point. " Don't you think pictures with figures
in them — especially women — are more interesting than
just grass and leaves and things? "
" Then you've got to have some model. Why not
me? Haven't I been giving satisfaction?"
" Indeed, you have. But I'll get a model who isn't
so interesting to talk with — one who doesn't demand
■such high pay. Time is the most valuable thing in the
" Not mine. It's dirt cheap." She sighed. " I
don't know what I'll do with myself when you get
through with me," she said dolefully. " I've always
been restless before. I see now I was right in think-
ing it was because I didn't have something to do —
The subject dropped. While he was as inexpert as
the next strongly masculine man in the ways of women,
he had intuitions that more than replaced analysis.
And there was something in her increasing tendency
to reverie that made him uneasy — that made him won-
der whether this idle child were not plotting some new
device for stealing more of his time from his career.
^^ She'll get lefty if she is," he said to himself. But he
continued to have qualms of nervousness. She was
crafty, this innocent maiden; she was always taking
him by surprise.
There came a stage in his work when it did not
especially matter whether he had a model or not. He
let her continue to come, however — ^while he evolved
how best to effect the separation. He felt certain she
was simply making use of him in whiling away leisure
hours that would otherwise bore her ; still, courtesy de-
manded that, in ridding himself of her, he show con-
sideration for her. After all, she had been most valu-
able to him, had helped him to make what he hoped
would be regarded as far and away the best picture
he had ever produced. " Never again ! " he swore sol-
emnly. ** Never again will I work with anyone I can't
pay off and discharge. Free labor is the most expen-
sive. Something for nothing takes the shirt off your
back when you come to pay.'*
She was posing in her canoe, well out from the
shore. He was laboring at an effect of luminous shad-
ow that would better bring out the poetry he had been
striving to put into the expression of her face.- A
slight sound made him glance at the other shore of the
'AN UPSET CANOE
lake — about two hundred yards away, in that Utile bay.
At a point where his model's back was full toward them,
two young men were standing staring at her. The
expression of their faces, of their bodies, made them a
living tableau of the phrase, ^^ rooted to the spot." At
first glance he was angered by their impertinence ; but
directly came an intuition that something out of the
ordinary was about to happen. Swift upon the intui-
tion followed its realization. One of the young men —
the shorter, much the shorter — shouted in a voice of
That shout acted upon Roger's model like the shot
from a gun it so strongly suggested. She glanced
over her shoulder, lost her balance. Up went her arms
wildly; with a shriek of dismay she rolled most im-
^acefully into the water. Her flying heels gave the
capsized canoe a kick that sent it skimming and bob-
bing a dozen yards away. Roger lost no time in
amazement at the sudden and ridiculous transforma-
tion of the serene tranquillity of the scene. The girl
was head downward ; her agitated heels were more than
merely ludicrous, they were a danger signal. He flung
4]own palette and brush, dashed into the shallow water,
^rode rapidly toward where Rix was struggling to
right herself. He soon arrived, reached imder, seized
her by the shoulder and brought her right side up.
She splashed and spluttered and gasped, clinging to
him, he holding her in his arms. It would have been
impossible to recognize the lovely and charming model
of two minutes before in this bedraggled and streaming
figure. Yet it was obvious that for Roger there was
even more charm than before. He was holding her
tightly and was displaying an agitated joy in her
safety out of all proportion to the danger she had
^^ What a mess ! " she exclaimed, as soon as she
could articulate. "Where are those two?*'
He glanced across the bay, located them running
along the shore, making the wide detour necessary to
getting to where he had stood painting her. " They're
coming,'* said he. He spoke gruflSy and tried to disen-
Still clinging to him she cleared her eyes of water
and looked. " Yes, I see," gasped she. " How cold it
is! The one ahead is my brother. About the only
thing he can do is sprint. So he'll get here first. You
must act as if you knew him — must call him Heck —
that's the short for Hector. I'll prompt him all right."
**Come on. Let's wade ashore." Again he tried
to release himself from her. "The water's not four
'AN UPSET CANOE
^ Don't let go of me," pleaded she. ^^ I'm a little
weak — and oh, horribly cold ! " And she took a firmer
He did not argue or hesitate, but decided for the
most expeditious way ashore. That is, he gathered her
up in his arms as easily as if she had weighed thirty
pounds instead of nearly one hundred and thirty —
making no account of the hundred pounds or so of
water she was carrying in her garments. As she had
predicted, Hector distanced his taller and heavier com-
panion and arrived well in advance of him. When he
came panting to within a himdred yards or so of where
■he was wringing out her skirts Roger sung out,
loudly enough for his voice to reach the ears of the
still distant other youth: *^ Hello, Heck. She's all
^ Heck " stopped short in astonishment. Then he
came on, but at a slower gait. " Who are youf " he
said to Roger.
Rix looked up from her clothes-wringing. " Call
him Chang," she said tranquilly to her brother.
" Hank mustn't know."
What the dev — ^" began Heck.
Shut up, Heck," Beatrice ordered in the tone
members of the same family do not hesitate to use to
0ne another in moments of extreme provocation.
** Don't try to think. You know you can't. You've
certainly got sense enough to see that Hank must be
made to believe that Chang and you are old friends."
She added in a still lower tone : " Drop that hit-on-the-
head look. He's not ten seconds away."
Hector had barely time for an indifferently suc-
cessfrd but passable rearrangement of his expression
when up dashed Hank, puffing, all solicitude. ^^ You're
not hurt very much, dear — are you?" he panted.
** Might know — Heck's such an awful fool."
" Mr. Chang, Mr. Vanderkief ," interrupted
Vanderkief, big and heavy, red and breathless, me-
chanically bowed. The effort of that conventional ges-
ture seemed suddenly to recall to him the state of mind
suspended by the catastrophe. He gave the big artist
a second and longer and impleasantly sharp stare.
Roger returned it with polite affability of eye. " We
must build a fire," said he, " and dry this young lady.
Come on. Heck." The way " Heck " winced seemed to
delight him — and Beatrice and he exchanged one of
those furtive looks of sympathetic enjoyment of a
secret joke that proclaim a high degree of intimacy
and understanding. Said Roger to the stiff and un-
easy "Hank": "Will you help, Mr. Vandersniff?"
"Mr. Vanderkief," corrected Beatrice. "While
AN UPSET CANOE
you three are building the fire Fll retire into the bushes-
and squeeze out all I can of the lake."
Not without making Hank's eyes glint jealously
and her brother's eyes angrily, but without either's
overhearing, she contrived to say to Roger, " You'll
help me out, won't you? "
" Sure," said he. " But my name's Roger Wade —
** And mine's Beatrice Richmond."
** That's plenty to go on. Now, hide in the bushes*
We must hurry up the fire." And he cried to Hank:
** Come on, Vanderkief ! "
Miss Richmond's teeth were chattering ; but she de-
layed long enough to engage her brother aside a mo-
ment. " His name's Wade, not Chang."
"Good Heaven!" muttered Heck. "What's the
meaning of all this? Beatrice, who on earth is the fel-
low? Why, you aren't even sure of his name! "
"Mind your own business," said Beatrice tran^
quilly. ** He's an old friend of yours — of mine — of the
family — an artist we met in Paris. Don't forget that."
Heck clinched his fists and drew his features into a
frown that would have looked dangerous had his chin
been stronger. " I'll not stand for it. I'm going to
take you bang off home."
"And put Hank on to the whole business? — and
end the engagement? — ^and disgrace me? — and your-
self? — and the family? '* Everyone of these cumular
tive reasons why Heck could not refuse to conspire she
emphasized with a little laugh. She ended: ^^Oh, I
guess not. I care less about it than you do. Be care-
ful, or I'll give it away, myself. It would be such
Hector, despite his anger, gave an appreciative
grin, for he had a sense of humor.
** Behave yourself," said Beatrice. ** Go help get
" But what'll mother say — and father ! Holy cat !
How father will scream ! "
"Don't you worry. Do your part!" And Bea-
trice vanished among the bushes and huge glacial rocks.
Roger conducted his part in the deception with sig-
nal distinction. He so busied himself collecting huge
pieces of wood and bearing them to the central pile they
were making in an open space that he Kad no breath
or time for conversation; and as the otiier two men
could not but follow so worthy an example, not a word
was said. Besides, a glance at the face of either big
Hank or little Heck was enough to disclose how in-
dustriously they were thinking. Once Hank, ftiding
himself near the picture, began to edge round for a
look at it. He thought Roger was busy far away. He
'AN UPSET CANOE
literally jumped when Roger's voice — ^autboritative,
anything but friendly — ^hurled at him: ^^I say there,
you! Keep away from that picture! I don't let any-
body look at my unfinished things."
"I — ^I beg your pardon," stammered Vanderkief,
hastily putting himself where no suspicion of even peep-
ing could possibly lie against him.
The fire was a monster, and Roger and Beatrice —
who addressed him alternately as Chang and Mr. Wade
— ^were soon drying out. They talked and laughed in
the highest spirits, not unmindful of the gloominess of
the silent, listening brother and fiance, but positively
enjoying it. Presently Beatrice turned to her brother
and said, ^^ I've persuaded Mr. Wade to accept moth-
Roger smiled agreeably. ^^ Not exactly, Miss Rich-
mond," parried he, as skillfully as if the stroke had not
come without the least warning. ^^ I couldn't be sure,
Beatrice looked at the watchful Vanderkief — a
handsome fellow, almost as big as Roger, but having
the patterned air of a fashionable man instead of Rog-
er's air of unscissored individuality. ^^ Chang is still
the toiling hermit," said she. ^^ Mother's having hard
work to get him even for dinner." She turned to
Roger. ^^ You must come, this once, Chang," pleaded
she. In an undertone she added, " You owe it to me —
to help me out.'*
*^ There's no resisting that," said he, but he did not
conceal his dissatisfaction.
Vanderkief's jealousy would no longer permit him
to be silent. He blurted out : " I don't see why you
annoy Mr. — ^Mr. "
" Wade," assisted Roger easily.
*^I thought it was Chang," said Vanderkief with
u slight sneer.
" So it is," cried Beatrice gayly. " But only for
the favored few whom Mr. Wade admits to friendship.
You know he's not like you £uid Heck, Hanky. He's
A real personage. He can do things."
Hanky looked as if he would like nothing on earth
or in Heaven so much as a chance at this big, impres-
sive-looking mystery, with bare fists and no referee.
** I was about to say," he went on, " it's a shame to
annoy so busy and important a chap with invitations."
Roger looked at him in a large, tolerant way that
visibly delighted Beatrice. " Much obliged, Vander-
kief," said he. ^^ But I'm fond of the Richmonds, and
it's a pleasure to break my rule for them." He beamed
on Heck. ^^ I am glad to see you again ! " he exclaimed.
*^ I didn't realize how much I had missed you till I saw
you once more. Isn't this like old times? "
:an upset canoe
^^Well, I guess," said Heck on the broad grin..
**It M old times!"
** But you'd better take your sister home now —
walk her briskly every inch of the way. Really, she
ought to run." '
" No," said Beatrice. " Fm going back as I came."
** But who's to wade into that icy water for your
canoe? " inquired Roger. " Not I, for one."
" Certainly not," cried she. " I spoke without
thinking. I'll send one of the servants for it in a boat."
" Now, hurry along," said Roger ; " and walk fast.
And if I can arrange to come to dinner I'll send up a
note this afternoon."
Beatrice was eying him reproachfully ; but as Hank
was watching her she did not venture to protest. " I'll
see you to-morrow morning," said she.
** Oh, no — don't bother to come. I'll let you know
when I need you."
** So this is where you've been spending your mom-
ings? " said Vanderkief.
"Some of them," replied Beatrice. "It was to
have been a surprise. Still — You didn't let them see
it, did you, Chang? "
** Not a peep," he assured her.
Vanderkief's tension somewhat relaxed. Roger ad-
mired the innocent Miss Richmond. Really, she had
been dlBplaying a genius for deception — whose art lies
in saying just enough and leaving it to the dupe's own
imagination to do the heavy work of deceit. The part-
ing was accomplished in good order, Vanderkief show-
ing a disposition to be apologetically polite to Roger
now that he had convinced himself he was mistaken in
his first jealous surmises. ^^ If you make a good job
of Miss Richmond," said he graciously, ^^ I'll see that
a lot of things are put in your way."
Roger thanked him with a simple gratitude that
put him in excellent humor with himself. After the
three set out Beatrice came running back. ^^You
saved me," she said. ^^Pm so ashamed for having
dragged you into such a mess. But you must do one
thing more. You must come to dinner."
^^ Can't do it," said Roger. *^ Here's where I step
This seemed to astonish her. She looked at him
doubtfully, was so agitated by his expressicm that she
hastily cried, ^^ Oh, no, you'll not desert me. I admit
it's my fault. But you wouldn't be so unfriendly as to ^
get me into trouble! "
" How would I get you into trouble? It's just the
other way. If I came to your house it'd make a tangle
that even Vanderkief would see."
"No— 'Hio, indeed," protested she. **I can't stop
'AN UPSET CANOE
to explain now. DonH be so suspicious, Chcuig. I'll
be here to-morrow morning — ^no, at the studio. Fete
— ^that is, Hank — might follow me here. And now that
you know who we are, don't you see there's no reason
She laughed coquettishly, and away she sped, be*
fore he could repeat his refusal. To call after her
would be to betray her.
As he was working in the usual place near the cas-
cade the next morning she came upon him from the
direction of the studio. ^^ What a fright you've given
me ! " exclaimed she, dropping to the grass a few yards
away. ^ I went up to the studio as I told you I would."
He had bowed to her with some formality. His
tone was distinctly stiff as he replied: *^ My work com*
pelled me to be here. Anyhow, Miss Richmond, it's
clear to me, and must be to you, that our friendship
^ You don't look at me as you say that," said she,
obviously not seriously impressed.
*^ It isn't pleasant to say that sort of thing to you,"
replied he. ^ But your coming again, when you ought
not, forces me to be frank."
^^Yirhy?" said she, clasping her knees with her
hands. ^^YHiy must our friendship cease?"
" There are many reasons. One is enough. I do
not care to continue it.''
"How nasty you are this morning, Chang!"
He took refuge in silence.
" Surely you're not jealous of Hanky?" said she,
with audacious mischief.
He ignored this.
" Don't look so sour. I was merely joking. Are
you cross because I made you help me tell — ^things that
weren't quite so? '*
" I don't like that sort of business," said he, un-
convincingly industrious with his brush.
" Neither do I," said she. " But what was I to do?
You know, you forced me into engaging myself to
He stopped work, stared at her. The light — or
something — ^that morning was most becoming to her,
the smallish, slim, yellow-haired sprite — ^most disturl;)-
She went on in the same sweet, even way: "And
if it hadn't been for my coming here to act as your
model I'd not have got into trouble. And, having got
in, what was there to do but get out with as little
damage to poor Peter's feelings as possible?" Then
she looked at him with innocent eyes, as if she had
uttered the indisputable.
'AN UPSET CANOE
Roger surveyed her with admiration. " You are —
the limit !'* he exclaimed. "The Umit!''
" But isn't what I said true? " urged she. " What
else could I have done? "
** True? Yes — ^true," said he, making a gesture of
resignation. **I admit everything — anything."
** Now, do be reasonable, Chang ! '* she reproached.
"Where isn't it true?"
" If I let myself argue with you Fd be running wild
through the woods in about fifteen minutes. Tell me,
does anyone in your family — or among your acquaint-
ances — does anyone ever dispute with you? "
She reflected, ignoring the irony in his tone.
^ No,'^ said she, " I don't believe they do. I have my
** I'd have sworn it," cried he.
** lYou are the only one that ever opposes me," said
"I? Dh, no. Never! But in this one thing I
must." He changed to seriousness. " Rix, I'll have
nothing to do with your deceiving that nice young
chap. That's flat and final."
** Isn't he nice, though ! *' exclaimed she. ** I've al-
ways liked him since he was a little boy at dancing
school with such a polite, quiet way of snifDing. He
hates to blow his nose. You know, there are people
like that. I wouldn't hurt his feelings for the world.
You see, everybody can't be harsh and hard like you.
Now, you take a positive delight in saying unpleasant
" Fm nothing of a liar," said he curtly.
"I like that in you/* cried she with enthusiasm.
" It makes me feel such confidence. You're the only
person I ever knew whom I believed in everything they
He gave her a look of frank surprise and suspicion.
"What are you driving at?" he demanded. "Now,
don't look innocent. Out with it!"
" I don't understand," said she, smiling.
"Pardon me, but you do — ^perfectly. What are
you wheedling for? "
** How can we be friends," pleaded she, " if you're
always suspecting me? "
** We're not going to be friends," replied he posi-
tively. ** This — ^here and now — ^is the end."
It was evident that his words had given her a shock
-—a curious shock of surprise, as if she had expected
some very different reception to this proffer of hers.
However, after a brief reflection she seemed to recover.
** How can so clever a man as you be so foolish? " ex-
postulated she. " You know as well as you're sittii^
there that we simply can't help being friends."
AN UPSET CANOE
** Friends — ^yes,*' he conceded. " But we're not
going to see each other."
** And what would I say to Pete? "
^ Something clever and satisfying. By the way,
how did you manage to get away with it when you
reached home? "
She laughed delightedly. She was looking her most
innocent, most youthful. ^^ Oh, such a time ! " cried
she. ** Mother — You don't know mother, so you
can't appreciate. But you will, when you do know
her. It was a three-cornered row — ^Heck and mother
and I. Heck took a shine to you, so he was really
about half on my side. I told just how I met you —
the whole story — except I didn't tell the exact truth
about the picture."
Her look was so queer that he said in alarm:
** What did you say about it? "
** We'll talk of that later," replied she— and his
knowledge of her methods did not allow him to receive
with an eased mind this hasty insistence on delay.
** Mother wanted to know who you were, €uid, of course,
I couldn't tell her — ^not anything that would satisfy a
woman like mother. She forbade me ever to see you
again. I told her that, on the contrary, I'd see you
this morning. She raved — ^my, how she did rave!"
I^d Rix burst into peals of laughter. ^^You ought
to have heard! She's so conventional. She accused
me — but you can imagine."
" Yes, I can," said he dryly. " And she's right —
absolutely right. We'll not see each other again." *
** Oh, but she wants to see you," rejoined Miss j
Richmond. ^^ She can hardly wait to see you, herself.
She's badly frightened lest you'll not come."
Roger let his absolute disbelief show in his face.
There must somewhere be bounds to what this resource-
ful and resolute young person could accomplish. These
assertions of hers were beyond those bounds — ^far be-
"It was this way," pursued Miss Richmond with
innocent but intense satisfaction in her own cleverness.
" I pointed out to her that, if I didn't go to you €uid
keep on with the picture. Hanky — ^that's Peter Van-
derkief — ^would realize I'd been flirting wildly with a
strange man I had picked up in the woods said would
break the engagement. And mother is set on my mar-
rying Peter. So she sent me off herself this morning
and took charge of Peter to keep him safe. Am I not
" I can think of nothing to add to what I have al-
ready said on that point," observed Roger mildly. " I
am actually flabbergasted! "
*^ So was mother," said she with innocent, young
^AN UPSET CANOE
triumph. ^^And she used just that word* Here's a
note from her to you."
Miss Richmond took a letter from the pocket of her
j&cket and held it toward him. He made no move to
advance and take it from her. Instecul he made a ges-
ture that was the beginning of a carrying out of the
boyish impulse to put his hands behind his back.
** Do you want me to get up and bring it to you? '*
** I want nothing to do with it," said he coldly. " I
don't know your mother. I've no doubt she's an esti-
mable woman, but I've no time to enlarge the circle of
Miss Richmond once more seemed astounded by this
unmistakable evidence of an intention on his part to
end their friendship absolutely. She looked at him in-
credulously, then questioningly, then haughtily. She
put the note in her pocket, rose and stood very straight
and dignified. " That is rude," she said.
" Yes, it is rude," admitted he. " But you have left
me no alternative. There is only the one way to avoid
being drawn into deceptions that are most distasteful to
She eyed him as if measuring his wilL She saw no
sign of yielding. ^^ You think I'm contemptible, don't
you? " said she, her tone friendly again.
^* I do not presume to judge you. You have your
own scheme of life, I mine. They are different — ^that is
alL I don't ask you to accept mine. You must not ask
me to accept yours. You must not — shall not^-^entan-
gle me in yours."
She leaned against a tree, gazed thoughtfully at the
rainbow appearing and disappearing on the little wa-
terfall. When she returned to him her face was sweet
and sad. He glanced up from his work, hastily fixed
his gaze on it again. ^^You are right — absolutely
right," she sciid. ^^ I've always done as I pleased. And
everyone round me — ^the family, the servants, the gov-
ernesses — everyone — ^has humored and petted me and
encouraged me to take my own way."
** I understand," said he. ** The wonder is — ^" But
he deemed it wise not to say what the wonder was.
^^ You really can't blame me, Chang, can you, for
having got into the habit of thinking whatever I please
to do is right? "
^^ Certainly I don't blame you, Rix," said he gently.
^ Considering what you've probably been through,
you're amazing. In the same circumstances I'd have
been unfit to live."
^^ You don't despise me? " asked she eagerly.
** Despise you? Why, I couldn't despise anybody.
It's a roomy world — ^room for all kinds."
AN UPSET CANOE
^^ You like me? Not love," she hastened to explain,
** just like. Do you? '*
He smiled his friendliest. ^^ Sure ! You're about
the nicest girl I ever met — ^when you want to be.*'
*^ Thank you," she said, tears in her eyes; and she
dropped back into her reverie, he resuming his work.
There was a long pause between them — ^a pause filled
by the song of birds thronging the foliage above and
around th«n, and by the soft music of the falling wa-
ters. ^* Sometimes I think it's an awful bad thing for
people to have all the money they want — ^to be rich,"
said she pensively. " That's one trouble with our fam-
" Why, you told me you had to marry for money,'*
said Roger, much surprised. He hated liars; he was
loath to believe that she had lied to him.
She looked miserably confused. "You didn't un-
derstand quite," she replied hastily. " And I can't ex-
plain — ^not now. You mustn't ask me."
" Ask you? It's none of my business."
**I didn't mean — ^I didn't mean to deceive you,"
pleaded she. " But — I can't explain now."
" Don't think of it again," said he, with a careless
wave of one of his long brushes. It was no new experi-
ence to find that people supposed to be rich were merely
struggling along on the edge of the precipice of pov-
erty. Poor child, making one of those hideous sacrifices
on the altar of snobbishness! — or, rather, being sacri-
ficed, for she was too young to realize to the full what
she was doing. Still, Peter Vanderkief did not size up
so badly, as husband material went.
Silence for several minutes; she, seated again and
studying his strong, handsome face with its intent, ab-
sorbed expression — concentrated, powerful. She did
not venture to speak until he happened to glance at her
with an absent smile. Then she inquired sweetly:
** May I ask you something? '*
" Go ahead."
"Won't you please come to dinner to-morrow
night? That's what mother's note's about. It would
be a great favor to me. It would straighten everything
out. You won't have to do any further deceiving."
He went on with his work. After a while he asked:
** Does your Peter think you love him? "
The color mounted in her cheeks. But it was In the
accents of truth that she replied: ** He knows I don't."
" And if I came I'd not be helping to deceive him as
to what you think of him? "
" No — on my honor."
He looked at her. " No's quite enough," said he, in
a tone that made her thrill with pride. ^^ I think you
'AN UPSET CANOE
**And I am — ^with you," said she, her expression
at its very best. ^^ I'd be ashamed to lie to you. Not
that Fve always been quite — quite — ^painfully occur
*^I understand. You and I mean the same thing
.when we say truthful."
** Will you come? "
** Yes. Where do you live? "
She laughed. ** Why, we're the Richmonds. Didn't
you guess? " She nodded as if a mystery had been
cleared up for her. " Oh, I understand now why you've
acted so differently from what I thought you would
when you found out."
He smiled faintly. ^^I suppose I ought to know.
But I'm a stranger here. When I was here as a boy the
dty lawyers and merchants hadn't got the habit of
coming up and taking farmhouses for the summer. Are
you boarding or have you a place of your own? "
She had got very red and was hanging her head.
Evidently she was suffering keenly from embarrassment.
** What's the matter, Rix? "
**I — ^I rather thought — ^after yesterday — ^you sort
of — understood about us," she stammered.
He laughed encouragingly. ^^ Good Lord, don't be
a snob," cried he. ** What do I care about where you
live? I don't select my acquaintances by what's in their
pockets, but by what's in their heads. A while ago you
said you were rich — and then you said you weren't —
" Oh, I'm all upset," interrupted she. " Don't
mind the way I act. We Uve on Red Hill. The house
up there belongs to father."
"That big, French country house?" said Roger,
surprised. " I've seen it. I'll be glad to see it closer."
He painted a few minutes. " I suppose you put on a
lot of style up there. Well, I've got evening clothes
somewhere in my traps. I used to wear them occasion-
ally in Paris, but not much. Paris doesn't go in for
f ormaUties — at least, not the Paris I know. • • • What
time's the dinner? "
" Half past eight."
He groaned and laughed. ^^ Just my bedtime. But
I'll brace myself and show up awake. ... I wonder if
I've got an evening shirt." He happened to glance at
her, was struck by a queer gleam in her gray eyes.
" What now? "
"Nothing — ^nothing," she hastened to assure him.
** Just some silliness. Fm full of it."
He went on painting, and presently resumed his
soliloquizing : ^^ May have to come in ordinary clothes.
But that wouldn't be a killing matter — ^would It? • . •
This isnH town — it's backwoods. . . . I've heard some
«orts of Americans have got to be worse than the Eng-
^AN UPSET CANOE
lish for agitation about petty little forms. Are yours
that sort? "
^ Mother's a dreadful snob/' said she weakly.
^^Well, Fll do the best I can," was his careless
reply. ** Perhaps it'll be just as well if I have to hor-
rify her." He laughed absently. .^^
^I hope you'll do the best you can," pleaded she.
^ For my sake."
He looked amused. ^^ You don't want her to think
you picked up a hooligan— eh?"
" Oh, I don't care what she thinks — not deep down,"
cried the girl. ^^I don't care what anybody thinks
about you — not really. But on the surface — ^Pm — ^Tm
a horrible snob, too."
** An right. I'll try not to disgrace you utterly."
She reflected absently. Presently she interrupted
his painting with ^^Heck and father are both small.
But Hank — ^I might send you down one of Hank's
shirts. He's almost as big as you — ^in the way of size.
And I could get my maid to borrow one from his
His expression — ^amused, intensely, boyishly amused
— ^halted her. She had been blushing. She flamed scar-
let, looked as if she were about to sink with humiliation.
Then she lifted her head proudly and a strange light
came into her eyes — a light that made him quaiL
** Anyway you please/' she said — and the words came
jerkily — ^^ Anything you please." And she fled.
He stared after her until she was lost to view among
the rocks and bushes. He held the brush poised before
I the canvas — ^laid it down again — ^gazed at the radiant
figure he was conjuring in the midst of his picture. He
drew a huge breath. ** Well, to-morrow night will be
the finish/' he muttered. ^^ And it's high time."
AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
At a quarter past eight the following night Roger
drove up to the vast entrance to Red Hill in the buggy
he had hired from Burke, the Deer Spring liveryman.
Five lackeys in gorgeous livery, with powdered hair and
white silk stockings — ^five strapping fellows with the
diunb faces and the stalwart figures the rich select as
menial showpieces — appeared in the huge doorway.
Three of them advanced to assist Roger. A fourth dis-
appeared — ^to telephone the stables about this unex-
pected, hiunble equipage. The fifth stood upon the
threshold, ready to take the hat and coat of the even-
ing's one guest from without. The moon was high, al-
most directly above the towers of the great, gray cha-
teau. By the soft, abundant light Roger surveyed the
splendid, broad terraces that broke the long and steep
descent to Lake Wauchong ; the enormous panorama of
untouched wilderness covering little mountain, big hill
and valley far as the eye could reach — all of it the prop-
erty of Daniel Richmond. Nearer, in the immediate
neighborhood of the house were the elaborations of the
skilled landscape gardener. It was indeed a scene of
beauty — ^beauty as well as magnificence — an interesting
exhibit of the grandiose style of living wherein the rich
sacrifice practically all the joys of life and most of its
comforts for the sake of tickling their own vanity and
stimulating the envy of their fellow beings.
As Roger advanced into the lofty, gloomily paneled
entrance hall— its carvings had cost a fortune— he drew
off his overcoat, disclosmg evening dress that would
have passed muster on a figure far less in need of orna-
mentation than his massive yet admirably proportioned
frame with its climax of godlike head. And the most
impressive feature of that head was the frank simplicity
of the expression of the face — ^that expression which
marks the man who is something and lifts him high
above the flocks and herds of men who are trying — ^not
too successfully — ^to seem to be something. The modem
evening dress for men is one of the few conventions —
perhaps the only one — not designed to bolster up insig-
nificance by reducing all to the same level of smooth ele-
gance. It is one of the curiosities of the history of
manners how such a blunder came to be firmly estab-
lished as a propriety. In evening dress, as in no other
kind of costiune or lack of costume, the personality, the
individuality, of the wearer obtrudes itself to every eye.
At a glance one may classify any number of men by
'AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
their qualities and quantities of head and heart. Bea-
trice Richmond, coming along the corridor leading into
the entrance hall from the east, stopped short at sight
of her artist.
She herself, in an evening gown of pale silver, with
lovely shoulders bare and graceful head looking exqui-
site under its crown of simply arranged, yellow hair,
was quite a different person from the rather hoydenish
elf of wood and stream whom Roger had been pcunting.
But she had lost, instead of gaining, in the transforma-*
tion. She was more beautiful, but much less fascinat-
ing. She had been leveled down toward the conven-
tional. She merely looked what the newspapers call ^' a
beautiful, young, society girl." Roger, on the other
hand, had gained. He was retaining all his charm of
the large, the free, the sincere, the natural; he now had
in addition a certain refinement that yet had nothing of
conventionality's cheapness. It was somewhat like the
difference between a thoroughbred uncurried and cur-
ried. His natural proportions showed to better advan-
tage in this sleekness than they had in the rough.
" What's the matter? " demanded Roger, as he took
her hand. " Am I late, or is it the wrong evening? '*
" Neither,'' she assured him, and it delighted her to
note that he did not dream of taking to himself her pale
and trembling joy in his splendor of manhood. '^ Noth-
ing much. Just — ^I was thinking this is the first time
we've seen each other in civilized dress."
" Oh ! '* Roger evidently thought this not worth
pursuing. " This is a wonderful place you've got here.
It'd be hard to blame anybody for making any sort of ;
sacrifice to keep it." He glanced round with the ex-
pression of a man used to such surroundings. In fact,
there was nothing about him which in the remotest de-
gree suggested the ill-at-easeness she had anticipated
and feared. She felt himibled. He was again — and
where she had least expected it — rebuking her nervous-
ness over trifles and exaggeration of them. As they
stood in the corridor, talking, she could discover not a
trace of the awe she had confidently expected and hoped
for. He treated her precisely as he had in the woods.
But she was not discouraged. She felt that he must be
deeply impressed, that he must be understanding now
why she had taken the proposing upon herself — and
must be appreciating what a fine thing that proposal
was. He was concealing his feelings, reasoned she — was
perhaps unconscious of them ; later on they would show
" Pll take you to mother," said she.
They turned in at one of the several doors, were
facing a roomful of the sort of people one always finds
in houses of that kind — carefully dressed, carefully
AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
patterned people, leading the monotonous life fashion
imposes upon the upper class throughout the world.
Beatrice looked round, then looked proudly up at the
huge, young man whose expression made him seem to
tower and loom, even among those physically his equals.
** Father isn't here," she explained. ** He hates this
sort of thing for himself, though he tolerates it for us."
Roger found himself being welcomed by a youngish,
shrewd-looking woman with a cold, discontented face.
Beatrice's mother was merely a type — one of the kind
the development of great fortimes is turning out by the
score in every city and large town from New York to
San Francisco: an indefatigable and not unintelligent
seeker after the correct aristocratic pose. She was in
simple black velvet. Her graying hair made her too-
sharp face softer and more youthful. Her figure was
as slim and straight as her daughter's, though not
without evidences of toil and corset manipulation to give
it that girlish appearance. Peter Vanderkief — ^Hanky
— ^was beside her.
" So, you are really here? " she said cordially to
Roger, as she gave him a warm hand clasp and the smile
of an old friend. " I can hardly believe my own eyes."
** Impossible to resist," said Roger. " It's indeed a
pleasure to see you again. How d'ye do, Mr. Vander-
Vanderkief forced a smile to his lips and extended a
tardy hand. But his brow remained sullen — not the
sullenness of suspicion now, but of jealousy.
** How is the picture coming on? '* asked Mrs. Rich-
mond of Roger.
" Oh, you know how those things go with me," was
Roger's subtly noncommittal reply.
" I remember," laughed Mrs. Richmond. " You
are the true artist. You're to take in Beatrice. She
tells me you still have your old horror of strangers."
" Not horror — shyness," protested Roger, with no
more shyness or suggestion of it than a well-brought-up
Then a small, slim, dark man — obviously a Conti-
nental foreigner — ^joined the group. In dress and bear-
ing he was a most elegant-looking person — or, rather,
personage. His fine, sensitive face was exceedingly
handsome. " Ah, my dear Wade ! " cried he, pronounc-
ing the name as if it were spelled Vahd.
Roger's face lighted up. " D'Artois ! " exclaimed
he, and they shook hands with enthusiasm.
" How are you in this country without my hearing
of it?" said Count d'Artois. "I'd not have believed
one so famous could move about quietly."
Mrs. Richmond and Beatrice — ^and Hank — ^were in-
tensely interested spectators and listeners. D'Artois
AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
turned to Mrs. Richmond. " Vahd must be extremely
fond of you, that you are able to get him. In Paris
they run after him in vain. He keeps himself hidden."
Mrs. Richmond smiled nervously. Peter stared de-
spondently at the big man thus suddenly disclosed as a
great man. As for Beatrice, her eyes sparkled and her
cheeks flushed proudly. Roger's expression was good-
natured tolerance, perhaps touched with annoyance.
Dinner was announced and Beatrice took his arm. ^^ I
might have known ! " she exclaimed, gazing up at him.
He reddened and frowned. ^^ Known what? " said
** That you were famous.*'
" Trash ! " observed Roger carelessly. " D'Artois
is polite. Also, he is my friend."
** Oh, I know," said the girl. ** At lunch he was
talking about you — ^what a great painter you are — ^how
rapidly you, though an American, were making your-
self famous in Europe. We didn't dream he was talk-
ing of you. He pronounces your name peculiarly."
"I'm enormously hungry," said Roger. "VHiere
do these people come from? I had no idea this was such
a fashionable neighborhood."
" Oh, they're stopping in the house. Most of them
came last night and to-day."
Roger ate and listened to the girl on his left — ^Alicia
Kinnear, the tennis player. Mrs. Richmond had Count
d'Artois on her right, and he talked steadily of
** Vahd.*' She listened sourly and from time to time
shot a glance down the table at him — the glance of the
alarmed and angry mother of a rather unmanageable
heiress. Peter — directly opposite Roger — ^was as silent
as he, but instead of covering his silence with apprecia-
tion of the Richmond chef he stared at the lace inser-
tion of the tablecloth and crumbled and messed his roll.
Beatrice was the happiest of the thirty-two at that
table. She was radiant, ecstatic.
" Aren't you going to say a single word to mef **
she inquired of Roger when he had finished the game
course. " You can't still be ravenously hungry.''
" I've eaten too much," replied he. " Fm stupid."
It really doesn't matter, as I'll see you to-morrow
** I'm not working to-morrow. I've got to go to
"Then the day after?"
** I may stay in town several days."
Her expression was so hurt, so depressed, that he
felt guilty, mean.
" It's terribly hard to be friends with you, isn't it? "
" Because I refuse to spend my time idling about?
'AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
You must choose your friends in your own class. No
good ever comes of going out of it."
^^ I'm surprised at your talking about classes in this
** There are classes everywhere — and always will be.
A class simply means a group of people of similar sym-
pathies, tastes, habits and means."
^^ Means ! " said she. ^^ I was under the impression
you despised money ! "
"I?" He laughed. "No more than I despise
food. Money is a kind of food. I want — and I try to
get — ^all of it I need. My appetite is larger than some,
smaller than others. I take — or try to take — ^in pro-
portion to my appetite."
She nodded thoughtfully. It was in a queer, hesi-
tating voice that she went on to ask : " And you really
don't care to be rich? "
" No more than I want to be fat. And I want to be
poor no more than I want to be emaciated."
Again she reflected. Suddenly she asked : " Do you
like this house?"
** Certainly. It is beautiful of its kind."
" I mean, wouldn't you like to have such a house? "
" Grod forbid ! " said he, and she knew he was speak-
ing sincerely. ^^ I've other things to do in my brief lif •
than take care of property."
But one can hire those things done."
Yes, I suppose so/' said he to close the subject;
but unconsciously his glance traveled round the room,
rested here and there for an instant on the evidences of
slovenly housekeeping which always disfigure any
great house for a critical observer. Her glance* fol-
lowed his. Presently she colored, for she understood*
** You are a terrible man," said she. " You see every-
^^ I wish I did," replied he, not realizing what she
had in mind. ^* Then Pd paint the pict^e I dream
" Do you like these people? " asked she.
"Certainly. They seem very nice. They're most
attractive to look at."
" But you wouldn't be friends with them? "
" Couldn't be," said he. " We have too little in
" Don't you want any friends? " she said wistfully.
^^ I have friends. I shall have more. People of my
own sort — ^people who can give me what I want and
who want what I have to give."
** You despise us — don't you? " cried she.
" Haven't I told you," protested he, " that I don't
despise anybody? Why should I think people des-
picable because they are different? "
"AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
*^ You'd despise my sister Rhoda, who married the
Earl of Broadstairs for his title."
^ Not at all. I approve of her for taking what she
wanted. Why should she have been a hypocrite and
married for love when she didn't want love, but
^ Do you know why I was so anxious to have you
come here? "
** How you do jump about ! " laughed he. " Well —
why? To smooth down ^"
**No," she interrupted, coloring furiously. "I
rniui be truthful with you. I wanted it because I
thought you'd be impressed."
^^And I am," he assured her, a friendly smile of
raillery in his eyes. ^^ I had no idea you were such a
** Don't jeer at me," she pleaded. ** I'm in earnest.
It isn't fair to mock at anyone who's in earnest — ^is it? "
** No. It's contemptible," said he. " But I under-
stand you better than you understand yourself."
In defiance of conventionality she looked at him with
eyes whose meaning no observer could have mistaken.
He glanced hastily round. ^^ Don't do silly, sensational
things," said he. ** You're making us both ridiculous."
** I don't in the least care," she declared.
He said sternly : " Now, my friend, I'm getting
just a. little tired of this. YouVe always had your own
way. You are piqued because you can't make a fool of
me. So, you are willing to go to any lengths. I under-
stand you perfectly."
Her gaze was steady and earnest — not at all proper
for a public place. ** Do you think I'm simply coquet-
ting? Don't you realize that I'm in earnest? "
** Perhaps you think you are," admitted he.
" You're so wrought up by your game of make-believe
that you have partly convinced yourself. Luckily, I
** If I were a poor girl you wouldn't act like this ! "
" How did I act when I thought you were a poor
That silenced her for the moment. He went on:
^^You and I are going to be as good friends as our
separate lots permit. And you are going to marry in
your own class — are going to do your duty. I'll admit
I did think it strange that a girl like you should be de-
Uberately marrying for money. But at that time I
thought you were poor. Now that I have seen what
your life is, I don't blame you. I can see how you sim-
ply couldn't give up all this magnificence that has be-
come necessity to you. It'd be like asking me to give
up my painting."
She looked at him with a puzzled expression. ^^ But
'AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
I'm not marrying to keep it. My father's much richer
than Hank. Hank's not so very rich."
Over his dark features slowly crept a look like the
fall of a winter evening. " Oh," said he coldly. " I
thought — No matter."
"What did you think?"
" Naturally, I assumed — from your saying so much
about your duty — ^I assumed your father had lost, or
was about to lose, his money."
"Mercy, no!" exclaimed she, brightening hope-
fully. " I meant my family — ^my socied — duty."
His expression was quizzical. " To be sure — ^to be
sure. I never thought of that."
" You see, we're newcomers among fashionable peo-
ple, while the Vanderkiefs — ^they're right at the top of
He nodded smilingly. " Of course — of course. A
very sensible marriage."
" But I'm not going to marry him," cried she. " I
never intended to."
He forgot where he was for a moment in his aston-
ishment. " Then why did you engage yourself to
"It isn't that kind of engagement," she explained
sweetly. "I did it because you acted so. But I was
square with Peter. I warned him I didn't love him and
couldn't. Our engagement is simply that he is having
a chance to make me care for him if he can."
" You'll be married within six months,'* said Roger
lightly; and he lifted a glass of champagne to his
" Not to him," replied she. " If to anybody, to the
man I love — ^the man who loves me."
Her words, so direct, and her tone, so simple, dis-
concerted him to such an extent that he choked upon
the champagne. While he was still coughing Mrs.
Richmond rose^ and the men were left alone. Roger
went with the first man who rejoined the women. He
made straight for Mrs. Richmond, bade her good night
and got himself out of the house before Beatrice,
hemmed in by several people, could extricate herself and
He did the homeward drive slowly, preyed upon by
swarms of disagreeable thoughts. His experience of
women had taught him to be more than suspicious of
any feminine show of enthusiasm for a man; women
were too self -centered, too prudent by nature and train-
ing, to give themselves out freely, even when encouraged
— ^unless there were some strong, sordid motive. In this
case sordid motive simply could not be. Nor could he
conceive any practical reason why Beatrice should pre-
tend to care for him — ^any practical reason why she
AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
should wish to marry him. He felt Uke a fool — as a
normal man not swollen with conceit is bound to feel in
circumstances such as Beatrice had made for him. And
what vanity she had! — ^to fancy herself so fascinating
that it simply could not be that he did not love her. '
And how poor an opinion she had of him ! How little
respect for him! — to believe that his reason for hiding
his love was awe of her wealth and social position.
'^ What can I have said or done to give her such an im«
pression of me? " He could recall nothing that might
have been twisted by her into a suggestion of that sort.
No, the mystery was without a clew. " Am I crazy,
or is she?" he demanded of the moonUt night. • • •
And when was this thing to stop? Could Fate have
dealt more irritatingly with him? He had come back
home to make the grand effort of his life — ^to concen-
trate his whole being, every power of mind and body,
every thought and feeling, upon the realization of his
lifelong dream. And here was this girl, a nice enough
girl, no doubt, an unusually attractive girl, as girls go,
but still a mere idle, time-wasting woman with no real
seriousness — ^here she was, harassing him, retarding his
work, distracting his thoughts, involving him with a lot
of people who had neither importance nor interest for
him. In spite of himself he was being dragged into her
life, whirled about by her caprices. He felt not only
like a fool, but like a weak fool. " And what the devil
can I do about it? How can I be insulting to a sweet,
friendly girl who doesn't realize what she's doing and
has been so brought up that she can't be made to
The only hopeful course that suggested itself was
£ight. " Yes — if she keeps this up I'll have to take to
my heels." There his sense of humor came to the rescue
and he jeered at himself. ** A delightful person I'm be-
coming! — discussing what to do to escape from a girl
who is madly in love with me !
About the time that Burke, the liveryman, was once
more in possession of his ^' rig," Beatrice, undressing
for bed with the aid of her maid Valentine, received a
peremptory summons from her mother by way of her
mother's maid, Marthe.
Mrs. Richmond was established in splendor in five
big rooms on the second floor of the east wing. She re*
ceived her daughter in her office — a luxurious, library-
/ like room with few signs that it was the seat of the
administration of a household of forty-two servants.
Indeed, Mrs. Richmond was little of an administrator.
She nagged at and criticised Pinney, the superintend-
ent, and Mrs. Lambert, the housekeeper. She picked
flaws in accounts, usually in the wrong places. She
AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
delivered sharp talks on economy and extravagance.
But things were run sloppily, as is bound to happen
where the underlings learn that there is no such thing
as justice, that criticism is as likely to fall upon good
work as upon bad. The stealing and the waste grew
apace; and though Richmond, each year, largely in-
creased his wife's allowance for the maintenance of their
various establishments, she was never able to put by
more than twenty-five thousand or thereabouts for her
own secret, privy purse.
Yet she was a most industrious woman, up early, to
bed late. How did she occupy her time? Chiefly in
taking care of her person. She was not highly intelli-
gent about this. She wasted much of the time and
most of the money she invested in the tragi-comic strug-
gle for youth. Still, she got some results. Perhaps,
however, most of her success in keeping down fat and
wrinkles, and holding in her hair and her teeth in spite
of self-indulgence as to both food and drink, was due to
the superb constitution she had inherited. Mrs. Rich-
mond came originally from Indiana ; and out there they ^
grow — or, in former days grew — ^a variety of the human
species comparable to an oak knot — ^tough of fiber be-
yond belief, capable of resisting both fire and steel, both
food and drink.
There was small resemblance between mother and
daughter save in the matter of figure. Beatrice's sweet
and pretty face was an inheritcuice from the Richmonds,
though not from her father direct. Her shrewdness
and persistence were from her father direct. The older
woman in the pale-blue dressing gown looked up sharply
as the younger, in pink and white, entered. But the
sharp, angry glance wavered at sight of the resolute lit-
tle face wearing an expression of faintly amused indif-
ference. She had long since taken her daughter's
measure — ^and she knew that her daughter had taken
"What did you send for me about?" Beatrice
" You know very welL"
" Chang? "
" Chang ! What does that mean ? ^
** It's my pet name for our dear old frigid Roger —
Roger Wade. He calls me Rix. I call him Chang."
Mrs. Richmond seemed stupefied for the moment by
this cool and candid shamelessness.
" I hate beating round the bush," pursued Beatrice.
'^ So, I might as well tell you at the outset that I intend
to marry him."
"Beatrice!" exclaimed her mother, electrified into
You know me^ mother. You know I always do
'AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
what I say FU do. Didn't I cut off my hair close to my
head when I was eight because you insisted on those
fooKsh curls? Didn't I ^"
^ You have always been obstinate and troublesome,"
interrupted her mother. ^^ I've warned your father you
would make a wreck of your life. But he wouldn't heed
^Father and I understand each other," said Bea-
** You think he will consent to your marrying that
common, poor artist? " demanded her mother excitedly.
^Well, for once you are mistaken. In some ways I
know your father better than you do. And when it
comes to any such insanity as that ^"
^ Don't agitate yourself, mother."
** He'll cut you off if you do it. I shouldn't be sur-
prised if he should turn against you as soon as he hears
you have thought of such a thing."
Beatrice listened calmly. ^^ That remains to be
seen," said she.
** I think you've lost your mind, Beatrice," cried her
mother, between railing and wailing.
**I think so, too," replied Beatrice, dreamy-eyed.
^ Yes, rm sure I have."
« This isn't a bit Hke you."
^ No, not a bit. I thought I was hard as — as you've
brought me up to be. I thought I cared only for the
" What is the matter with you? "
" I want Aim," said the girl, lips compressing reso-
lutely. Presently she added, " And Pm going to get
him — at any cost."
" Trapped by an adventurer ! You ! "
Beatrice laughed. " You ought to hear Chang on
Her mother started up. " You don't mean it's gone
as far as that?"
** You haven't talked about such things to him? "
"Long ago," said the daughter coolly.
Mrs. Richmond, all a-quiver with fright and fury,
moved toward the door. " I shall telephone for your
father at once ! "
" We will have you put away somewhere."
« Pm of age."
Mrs. Richmond could not altogether conceal how
this terse reminder hfiui discomfited her. " Your father
will know how to deal with this," said she, trying to
cover the essential weakness of the remark by a sav-
Ag^ly threatening tone.
" I hope so," said the girl, unmoved. ** You see —
AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
the fact is — Chang has turned me down. I've got to
get father to bring him round — some way."
Her mother^ at the door into the anteroom where
the telephones were, halted and whirled round. " What
are you talking about? " she demanded.
" I asked Mr. Wade to marry me. He refused. He
is still refusing."
Mrs. Richmond, hand on the knob, seemed to give
careful thought to each of these three highly significant
little sentences. Her comment was even more com-
pressed; she laughed harshly.
I saw that he was an unusually clever, experienced
Beatrice looked quickly at her mother with shrewd,
inquiring eyes. " You think he's afraid father will cut
me off? "
" Of course that's it."
" I wonder ? " said the girl thoughtfully. " I hope
so — ^yet I'm afraid."
Mrs. Richmond's mouth dropped open and her eyes
widened with horror. At last she said witheringly:
** You — hope — so ! "
The girl did not answer ; she was deep in thought.
Her mother sat down near the door. " You know
80. I see you are more sensible than I feared. You
know he's simply looking for money."
" You don't underst€uid me at all, mother." Bea-
trice leaned toward her mother across the arm of the
sofa, " Haven't you ever wanted anything — ^wanted it
so intensely, so — so fiercely — ^that you would take it on
any terms — ^would do anything to get it? *'
" Beatrice — ^that is — ^shocking ! " As the word
shocking had lost its force in the general emancipation
from the narrow moralities that is part of fashionable
life, Mrs. Richmond decided to bolster it up with some*
thing having real strength. ^* Also, it is ridiculous,'^
^ Father would understand," said the girl pensively.
"He has that sort of nature. I inherit it from him.
You know, they've almost ruined and jailed him several
times because he got one of those cravings that simply
have to be satisfied."
No loyal wife could have taken a better air and tone
than did Daniel Richmond's wife as she rebuked : " You
are talking of your father, Beatrice ! "
" Yes — and I love him — adore him — ^just because he
does things. He's good — ^good as gold. But he isn't
afraid to be bad. He doesn't hesitate to take what he
wants because he hasn't the nerve."
" Your father has been lied about — ^maligned— en-
viously slandered by his enemies."
"Don't talk rot, mother," interrupted the girl.
AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
**You know him as well as I. You're afraid of him.
I'm not. He knows he can rule you through your love
of luxury — ^just as he makes Rhoda and her earl crawl
and fawn and lick his boots — and the boys — even Con-
ny, who's only fourteen. Oh, I don't blame him for
making people cringe, when he can. I like to do that,
The mother regarded this daughter, so mysterious
to her, with mingled admiration and terror. " You are
frightful— frightful ! "
Beatrice seemed to accept this as a rare, agreeable
compliment. " I've got the courage to say what I
think. And — really, I'm not so frightful. I used to
imagine I was. But" — she paused, laughed softly, a
delightful change sweeping over her face — ^^ just ask
Chang ! "
To Mrs. Richmond the words and the manner of
them were like an impudent defiance. They drove her
almost beside herself with alarm and anger. " Your
father'll soon bring you to terms! You'll see, miss!
) You'll see." And she nodded her head, laughing
viciously, an insane glitter in her bright, brown eyes.
" Yes, you'll find out ! "
Beatrice was not in the least impressed.
" All father can do is to cut me off. I've got five
thousand a year in my own right — enough to keep body
and soul together. So, he knows he's powerless with
" What a fool he was," cried her mother, " to give
you that money.'*
It isn't altogether the money," pursued Beatrice.
You've got nearly half a million put by out of the
household allowances. And your jewels make as much
more. Yet you're afraid of him."
Instead of becoming furious, Mrs. Richmond sank
weakly back in her chair. " He's my husband," she
said appealingly. ^^ You don't understand how much
that means — ^not yet."
Beatrice laughed softly. " No, but I'm beginning
to," said she. However, she did not pursue that branch
of the subject — did not force her mother into the cor-
ner of admission that the real source of Richmond's
power over her was not wifely duty nor yet motherly
feeling, but love of the vast and costly luxury which
being Richmond's indulged wife got for her. All the
girl wished to accomplish was to reduce her mother
to that pliable state of mind in which she would cease
to be the active enemy of her projects. Mrs. Rich-
mond was now down to that meek weakness; through
the rest of their talk her manner toward her daughter
was friendly, sisterly, remonstrant rather than denim-
'AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
"You don't realize what is the matter with you,
Beatrice," said she.
" What w the matter with me? '*
** You wouldn't understand — I couldn't explain —
You have had no experience. If you had, you'd realize
and control yourself,"
** All I know is, I must have him.**
" That's it, exactly," cried her mother. " That's
the way it affects anyone who gets possessed by it. If
you married under a spell of that sort you'd wonder
at yourself afterwards — ^when you had got enough."
** But — ^I wouldn't * get enough,' as you call it."
" Oh, yes, you would. They always do."
" Always? "
Mrs. Richmond shifted ground. **You will never
get your father to consent — ^never ! "
"That's the least of my troubles," said Beatrice
confidently. " The only question is : How could he help
me to bring over Roger? "
** How can you be so silly, child ! " exclaimed the
mother. ** That fellow would jump at you just as
soon as he foimd your father consenting." Mrs, Rich-
mond smiled. " And when he did jump at you — Oh,
I know you so well! You'd laugh at him and turn
your back on him then."
** I wonder," said Beatrice absently. ** I wonder.**
" I'm Bure of it," cried her mother with energy.
" I — don't — ^know," replied the girl. " It isn't a
bit like me to marry out of my own dass. At first I
laughed at myself for even imagining Fd reaUy marry
Chang. I was fascinated by him — everything he said
and did — ^and the way he said or did it — ^the way his
hair grew — the way his clothes fit — ^the way he blew
smoke out of his mouth — ^the way he held his palette —
and his long brushes — You see, mother, I was infatu-
ated with him. Isn't he splendid to look at? "
"He certainly is strikingly handsome," admitted
Mrs. Richmond. " But hardly more so than Peter."
" Oh, mother ! " laughed out Beatrice. " You are
not that undiscriminating. There's all the difference
between them that there is between — between a god and
a mere mortal." Contrasting the two men seemed to fire
the girl afresh. "Yes, I do want Chang," she cried.
^^ I'd be enormously proud to have such a man to exhibit
as my husband."
" But think, my dear ! He's nobody ! "
" You heard d'Artois- ^"
"Yes — but if he were to try to marry d'Artois's
" I know. I understand," said Beatrice impatient-
ly. " I wish he were a reed somebody. Still, he prob-
ably comes of as good a family as we do." She rose
'AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
and faced her mother. "When Fm with him Fm
ashamed of being so— hso cheap. When I see him be-
side Peter Fd laugh at anybody who talked such snob-
bishness. But — Oh, Fve been so rottenly brought
up ! No wonder he won't have me ! If he knew me as
I am he'd spurn me." Her expression softened to lov-
ing tenderness. " No, he wouldn't. He's big and
broad. He'd understand and sympathize — and try to
help me to be worthy of him. And I will be ! "
Her mother looked at her with the uncertain ex-
pression one sees on the faces of the deaf when they
are making pretense of having heard and understood.
•* You're very queer, Beatrice," said she.
" Ain't I, though ! " exclaimed the girl. " I guess
you were right a while ago. I guess I'm crazy."
** Don't you think we'd better go abroad right
away, instead of waiting till Jime? "
** I've thought of that. But the idea of getting out
of reach of him sets me wild. I'd not be able to stand
it to Sandy Hook. I'd spring overboard and swim
back to see what he was about. . . • Were you ever in
love, mother? "
" Of course," replied Mrs. Richmond. " But I
didn't fall in love with a nobody with nothing — at leasts
a man with no prospects."
^ Then you don't know what lave is ! Oh, it was
delicious — caring about him — crazy about him — ^trem-
bling all over if he spoke — shivering if he happened to
look at me in that calm, big way of his — and that when
I felt he might be little more than a tramp, for all I
There was no sympathy in the mother's face, noth-
ing but plain aversion and dismay. Yet she dared not
speak her opinion. She knew Beatrice. ^^Fm afraid
he's very artful, dear," she ventured to say. " He
eeems to understand exactly how to lead you on."
** I don't think so," replied Beatrice. " I may be
wrong. I often doubt. I'm like father — ^very suspi-
cious by nature. Of course, it's possible he is play-
ing with me. If he is, why, it's the most daring, splen-
did game a man ever played, and he deserves to win.
• • • No, mother. He's not playing with me. I tried
to win him when he thought I was a poor nobody. It
didn't go. Then I thought he was holding back be-
cause he was poor; and I tried to win him by showing
him what he would be getting. I'm still trying that.
But it doesn't seem to be working any better than the
^^ Beatrice, I'm amazed. What must he think of
** Now, you know very well, mother, that a girl in
MDj position has to do the courting if the man's poor
'AN ATTEMPT TO DAZZLE
and has any self-respect. In fact, I've got a notion
that the women, in any circumstances, do a lot more
courting than is generally supposed."
**I don't know how it is in this day," said her
mother stiffly. " But in my day "
** You wouldn't own up, mother dear," laughed the
girl. " And your manner is suspiciously like an at-
tempt to hide guilt."
** I'm sure of one thing," said Mrs. Richmond
tartly. "In my day children did not insult their
**Now, don't get cross at my joking, dear," ca-
joled the daughter, kissing her mother's well-arranged,
gray hair so lightly that there could be no danger of
As if it had all suddenly come over her again Mrs*
Richmond cried despairingly, " What wUl your father
say! He'll blame me. He'll say things that will pros-
"If you'll not mention it to him," said Beatrice,
"m guarantee that he'll not blame you. Hank is
going away in the morning. You and Hector can pre-
tend to know nothing. I'll take it up with him."
Her mother looked somewhat reassured, but said
dubiously, " He'll give it to me for not having guarded
you more closely."
^^ I'll fix all that," said Beatrice with infectious
confidence. " Trust me."
Mrs. Richmond gave her a look of gratitude so
deep that it was almost loving. " If you'd only be
sensible and put this foolishness out of your mind,"
she said plaintively.
Rix laughed gayly, then softly. "It isn't in my
mind," said she. " It's in another place — one I didn't
know about until I met him." She looked at herself ad-
miringly in a long mirror that happened to be at hand.
** Don't you see how much better looking I've grown
of late ? You understand why. Oh, I'm so happy ! "
Her mother gave a sigh of helplessness. Rix
laughed again and went away to her own rooms — to
try to write poetry !
THE GUILE OF INNOCENCE
The following morning it was not yet half past
six and Chang had just reached the lake when her
canoe shot round the bend. He stood a few yards from
the water's edge, observing her graceful maneuverings.
She controlled that canoe as perfectly as if it had been
part of her own body. He was too much the artist
to be able to keep a stem countenance in face of so en-
chanting a spectacle. Also, her features — ^her yellow
hair, the ever-changing, gray eyes, the mobile and rosy
mouth, the delicate skin — ^had too much of the soft and
dazzling loveliness of the morning. ^^ If a man wished
to let himself be bewitched," thought he, " there would
be an ideal enchantress." She was one of the few
women he had known who had worn well — ^about the
only one, indeed. When he first knew her he had not
thought that she was especially attractive, beyond the
freshness that is the almost imiversal birthright of
youth. But as he had studied her, as he had observed
and felt her varied moods, her charm had grown.
!Even things about her, in themselves unattractive, were
fascinating in the glow and throb of her naturally
vivid personality — ^not an intellectual personality, not
at all, but redolent of the fresh fragrance of the pri-
mal, the natural. ^^ An ideal enchantress," he mut-
tered, and the lot he had sternly marked out for him-
self seemed bare and lonely, like a monk's cell beside
the glories of the landscape beyond its narrow
"How can you be out of humor on such a morn-
ing? " cried she, as the prow of her canoe slid gently
out of the water and she rose to her feet.
" On the contrary, Pm in a fine humor." And his
look and voice bore him out. " Didn't I tell you I was
going to town to-day? I simply took my walk
She laughed. " Neither did I expect you. I sim-
ply took my outing here." And when he blushed in
confusion and annoyance, she laughed the more gayly.
" You are so amusing," she said tenderly.
" Fll adnut," said he, " that I thought there was
a chance you might come. And I thought, if you did,
it would be the best opportunity to have a plain talk
She seated herself, or, rather, balanced herself, on
the forward curve of her canoe. He occupied a big
bowlder near the maple imder which he always painted.
THE GUILE OF INNOCENCE
" I see," observed she, " that you are getting ready
to say a lot of things you don't mean. How you will
thank me some day for having been patient with youl '^
He averted his eyes, muttered something incoherent,
searched confusedly for his cigarettes. " You always
keep the case in your lower left-hand waistcoat pock-
et,'* said she. And sure enough, there it was — ^to his:
increased confusion. But, when their glances met, the-
twinkle in her gray eyes — ^merry as the sunbeams that
were changing the yellow of her hair to the reddisli
yellow of the finest gold — ^proved irresistible.
** It's simply impossible to be serious with you,"*
cried he, in what he would have liked to think a vexed
"And why should you be?" inquired the girl.
** You used to warn me that I took everything, myself
included, far too seriously. Now, you're getting into
the habit of taking yourself, oh, so solemnly! — ^which
is far worse than seriously. You're more like a dis-
mal preacher, a man with a mission, than an artist with
the joy of living laughing in his heart. You made a
great hit last night."
He, off his guard, looked as pleased as a boy that
has just got a present of a gun. ^' Glad I didn't dis-
grace you. You remember how nervous you were
'< Your talk about that shirt was a little disturbing.
It came out well. At least, I think it did. People don't
notice your clothes. They look at you"
" Now, how am I to say what I've got to say, if
you keep on like that? " demanded he. " Oh, but you
are crafty ! "
" I don't want to be lectured, Chang."
He settled himself with an air of inflexible resolu-
tion. "I'm not going to lecture," said he. "I'm
going to deliver myself of a few words of good sense
and then say good-by."
She looked upon the groimd, and her expression
wrenched his tender heart. In vain he told himself
that he was an egotistical fool ; that the girl was prob-
ably more than half faking, to work upon him ; that the
other half of the feeling in her expression was the
flimsiest youthful infatuation, certain to disappear in
^ few days, a few weeks at most. There, before him,
was the look of suffering. And when she lifted her
<«yes for an instant they said more touchingly than her
voice could have said it: "Why don't you strike and
Jiave done with me? I am helpless."
He got up, tossed his cigarette far into the lake.
^*This is too rotten!" he cried. "How in the devil
did I ever get into such a mess? ''
She waited, meek, silent, pathetic.
THE GUILE OF INN OCENCE
** Fve about decided to go away — ^to go back to
Paris," said he.
" Maybe we can cross together," said she. " Moth-
er and I are going soon. She wants me to go right
• away — ^there, or anywhere, wherever I wish."
He dropped to the bowlder again, a sense of help-
lessness weakening his backbone and his knees. Of
.what use to fly? This girl was free — ^had the means
to travel wherever she chose, to stay as long as she
liked. In his excitement he saw visions of himself being
pursued roimd and round the earth — ^till his money
gave out, and he, unable to fly farther, was overtaken
and captured. He began to laugh — laugh until the
tears rolled down his cheeks.
** What is it? " asked she. " Tell me. I want to
** You are making me into an imbecile," replied he.
** I was laughing at myself. I'm glad I had that laugh.
I think I can talk sensibly now — ^without making
myself ridiculous." Once more he put on a highly im-
j pressive, highly ominous air of sober resoluteness. He
began: ^A short time ago you did me the honor of
telling me you were in love with me."
**Yes. Do you — do you think poorly of me for
having been frank?'' And the gray eyes looked in-
" No, I don't,'* confessed he. " As a general prop-
osition, I think I should have thought — ^well, queerly
— of a girl who came out with such a startler on no
especial provocation. But in this case the effect is puz-
zUngly different. Probably because I can't in the least
" Oh, no — that's not the reason," cried she. " It
was only right that I should speak first. You see,
when the girl's poor, and marrying her is going to
put the man to great expense — ^it'd be — be — down-
right impertinent for her to say such a thing. It'd
be as if she asked him to support her for life."
"Maybe so," said he. **The money side of it
didn't occur to me. Naturally, you, who have much
money, would think more about it than I, who have
** Would you be afraid to — ^to marry — ^a woman
who had a lot more money than you? "
" Not in the least," declared he. " How ridicu-
A chill of suspicion crept into her face.
** I don't want to marry, and I shan't marry," con-
tinued he. ^^ But if I did want to marry, and wanted
the woman, I'd not care who she was or what she was
or what she had or hadn't — so long as she was what I
wanted. And I don't think even you, crazy as you are
THE GUILE OF INNOCENCE
about money, could suspect me of having the same
His tone and his manner would have convinced any-
one. They convinced her. She drew a huge sigh of
relief. " I'm glad you said that — ^in just that way,"
" I'm sure I don't see what difference it makes,"
replied he. " You don't mean to say you've be«i sus-
pecting me of wanting your money? "
She hung her head foolishly. " I've got a horrid
mind," confessed she. " It came to me that maybe you
might be holding out for fear father'd cut me off."
"You have got your nerve!" ejaculated he. "I
never heard of the like ! — ^never ! "
** Now you're disgusted with me," cried she. ** I
know I oughtn't to have told you. But I can't help
telling you everything. It isn't fair, Chang, to think
I'm worse than most girls, just because I let you see
into me. You know it isn't fair."
" You're right, Rix," said he impulsively ; and the
sense that he had wronged her pushed him on to say,
*' It's your frankness and your courage that I admire
so much. I wish you weren't attractive. Then it'd be
easier for me to do what I've got to do."
Her face became radiant. " Then you do care
for me? "
"Why, of course I do," said he heartily — but in
a tone most unsatisfactory to ears waiting to drink in
what her ears longed for. " Do you suppose I could
stand so much of anyone I didn't like? "
" You aren't frank with me ! " said she a little sul-
" You've some reason why you won't let yourself
say you love me. And you won't tell me what it is."
" How many times have I got to tell you," cried
he heatedly, " that I don't care for you in that way —
any more than you care for me? "
She was all gentleness and freedom from guile.
** But every time you say that, you say it angrily —
and then I know you don't mean it."
" But I do mean it ! "
Her face looked stubbornly imconvinced.
" I tell you, I do mean it ! " he repeated with angry
" You are mad at yourself for liking me so much.**
He made a gesture of despair. " Well, have it your
way — ^if it pleases you better to think so." He rose
and stood before her, his hands thrust deep into the
outside pockets of his loose sack coat. "Whatever I
may or may not think of you, I am not going to marry
anybody. Do I make myself clear?"
THE GUILE OF INNOCENCE
But everybody gets married," said she innocently.
Oh, Chang, why do you want to be eccentric? " And
up into his gazed the childlike eyes. "You told me
yourself that eccentricity was a stupid caricature of
" Eccentric — eccentric," he muttered, for lack of
anything else to say. What an impossible creature to
talk seriously with! She was always flying off at a
tangent. Controlling his exasperation he said in a
low, intense voice : " Eccentric or not, I am not going
to marry. Do you understand? I — am — ^not — ^going
— ^to — ^marry."
"Why do you get angry?" she pleaded sweetly.
** It's unreasonable. I can't make you marry me — can
I? I don't want to marry you if you don't want to
marry me — do I? "
He strode away, back again to where she sat in
graceful ease on the end of her canoe. " I'm not so
thundering sure of that ! " he cried. " By Jove, you
sometimes make me feel as if I had a halter round my
neck. Where did you get this infernal insistence? "
" From my father," said she, quiet and calm. " I
can't help it. When my heart gets set on a thing I
liold on like grim death."
He looked roimd, like a man dreaming. "Am I
awake? Am I really awake? " he demanded of lake and
trees and stones. Then he addressed her, "What are
you up to? I know you don't love me. I know you
don't want to marry me. Then tchy do you do it? ''
" I don't know," she said, " I just can't help it.
Sometimes when I'm alone and think over things I've
said to you I can't believe it was really I — or that such
words really were uttered. . . . There can be only one
"And what is that? For Heaven's sake, let's
" That I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that
you love me."
** Really!" exclaimed he, with a fantastic attempt
at scornful irony; and away he strode, to halt at his
former seat, the big bowlder imder the tree. " Really ! "
** You must see it yourself," urged she, serious and
earnest. " Honestly, Chang, could a girl talk to you
as I have — ^a girl as proud and as modest as I am —
and with no experience — could she do it, imless she
were absolutely sure she was talking to a man who
loved her? "
There was something akin to terror in his eyes —
the terror of a man who feels himself sinking in ocean
or quicksand and looks about in vain for aid. Down
he sat, to stare out over the shining, sparkling lake.
THE GUILE OF INNOCENCE
"You know I'm right," said she with quiet con-
Up he started again in agitation. " I must be get-
ting weak-minded ! " he cried. " Or are you hypno-
" If anybody's done any hypnotizing I guess it
must be you that have hypnotized me."
"Maybe so," said he, with a confused gesture.
** Maybe so. Lord knows. I don't."
" And now," pursued she, " that it's settled that we
love each other ^"
** What ! " he cried, with some of his former energy.
But it subsided before her calm, surprised gaze. He
stared stupidly at her feet, extended and crossed. " Is
it settled?" he muttered. "Is it?" And then he
straightened himself — a kind of rearing, insurgent
gesture — ^the gesture of the last fierce stand in the last
"Yes, Chang, it's settled," said she soothingly.
"You are such a big, foolish dear! But — ^as I was
about to say — " She hesitated.
" Go on," he urged, with a large, ironic gesture
matching the boisterous irony of his tone. '* Say any-
thing you like. Only, don't keep me in suspense."
"Have you had your breakfast?" she aeked so-
" I take only coffee. I had it.'*
^^ But that's not enough for such a long morning
as you have," protested she,
" Isn't it? All right. I'll eat whatever you say —
eat till you tell me to stop."
** It really isn't enough," said she, refusing to relax
her seriousness. " But, to go on — now that it's set-
tled that we love each other — ^the question is: What
shall we do about it? "
" Yes," said he, nodding his head in solemn mock-
ery. " That's it. What shall be done about it? "
" How queer your voice is, Chang," observed she,
with a look of gentle, innocent worriment. ** Whafs
the matter? "
I had only coffee," said he.
You mustn't do that again. . . . Have you any
suggestion to make? "
" None. Have you? "
" Chang ! " she said reproachfully. " You have a
"Have I? What is it?"
" The only possible suggestion. You know very
well that the only sensible thing to do is to get mar-
" I'm dreaming," jeered he. " Yes, I'm dreaming."
" You're laughing at me, Chang ! "
THE GUILE OF INNOCENCE
** Oh, I don't care. Fm so happy ! The only thing
that stands in the way is father."
** Oh, father ! Yes ; there is father ! " And he
nodded ironically, repeating: "Father — there's
*^ But Fll soon bring him round," cried she. *^ His
will's very strong, but mine's much stronger."
*^ I believe that ! " said he with energy. *^ You've
got the strongest will we've had since Joshua ordered
the sun to stand still and the sun did it."
"You're laughing at me again!" reproached she
with an injured air.
"No, no! How could I?" protested he. "But
suppose father refuses his consent. What then? "
" But he won't," she said with an emphatic little
*^ But he might. He doesn't know me as well and
love me as dearly as his daughter does.^
" Chang, I feel as if you were laughing at me !
** How can you ! " said he. " But let's go back to
father and stick to him. Suppose he refuses — ^abso-
lutely refuses ! What then? "
" I hadn't thought. It's so unlikely."
" Well — think now. You'd give up your romantic
dream, wouldn't you? "
She beamed, happy, confident. " Oh, that won't
happen. He's sure to consent."
^* He's sure not to consent," said Roger, dropping
his irony. " What then? "
She was silent. Her face slowly paled. A drawn
look came round her eyes and mouth. He laughed —
a sarcastic laugh — a sincere sound that indicated to
her acute ears an end of the irony she had been pre-
tending not to suspect. She glanced up quickly. Her
eyes fell before his.
'^You see," said he, a little disdain in his jocose
mockery, " I've shown you your own true self. Now,
you will be sensible. Go back to your Peter and let
the poor artist alone." He rose, came to her, held
out his hand. '^Grood-by, Rix. I must catch my
She did not take his hand.
" Surely you'll shake hands," said he gently,
f riendlily. " I understand. I like you for what you
are, not for what you ought to be. Come, give me
your hand, my friend."
She sighed, gazed up at him* '^ Suppose I said
I'd give up everything for you. What then?" she
** Why, you'd be saying what isn't true."
^ Chang," she said earnestly, ^^ I think Fd give up
THE GUILE OF INNOCENCE
crerything for you. But since it is you who ask me —
you to whom I feel I must tell the exact truth — ^I had
to be honest. And the honest truth is I don't know.
[And any girl, in the same circumstances, would say
precisely the same thing— if she weren't lying— or just
**You are a trump, Rix!" he exclaimed. There
was a look in his eyes that would have thrilled her, had
she seen it. But before she turned her gaze upon him
again, he had controlled his impulsive self-revelation.
In his usual manner he went on: ^^ I'm proud of your
friendship. It's always good to be reminded that there
are people of the right sort on earth. But you see
yourself now that I was right from the beginning. We
don't belong in the same class. We couldn't com-
fortably travel the same road. We ^"
** Would you marry me if I gave up everything
for you? " she interrupted.
** No," was the prompt reply. ** Any man who did
that to your sort of girl would be a fool — and worse.
But don't forget another fact, my dear. I wouldn't
marry you in any circumstances. I'm not marrying.
Fm married already, as I told you before. I don't be*
lieve in any other kind of marriage — ^for my kind of
man. I love my freedom. And I shall keep it."
There was no mistaking the ring of those decisive
words. The girl shrank a little. She began in a
choked, uncertain voice : " But you said ^"
*^ Rix, my dear friend, I said nothing that contra-
dicted what I've always told you — ^what I believe in as I
believe in my work. You knew perfectly well that I was
merely ironic a few minutes ago. I didn't want to part
from you with you imagining you were broken-hearted.
That's why I let you nm on and on — ^until you came
that fearful cropper. Oh, what a cropper for romcmtic
She laughed with a partial return of her old gay-
ety. " I do feel cheap," said she — " dirt cheap."
**Not at all. Just human. But — really I must
be going," said he briskly.
" When shall I see you again? " And she tried to
speak steadily, with smiHng eyes.
" Let me see. I'll be back in two or three days.
In a week or ten days I'll have that picture about done.
I suppose you'd like to see it. I'll send your mother
a note, asking her to bring you. Well — ^good-by,
He took her hand, released it. She stood, paling
and flushing and trembling. " Is that — all? " she
murmured. " Won't you — " Voice failed her.
He bent and kissed her hair at her temple. Sud-
denly she flung her arms round his neck, kissed him
THE GUILE OF INNOCENCE
passionately, her embrace tight; and a shower of tears
rained upon his cheek. With a hysterical cry more
like joy than like grief, yet like neither, she flimg her-
self free, sprang into the canoe and pushed off. And .
she went her way and he his without either looking
3CB. BICHMOND CALLS
R06E& W48 working in the studio, with doors and
windows wide. It was fiercely hot. He had reduced his
costume to outing shirt and old flannel trousers — ^the
kind they make in the Latin Quarter — baggy at the
hips, tapering to a close fit at the ankles and hanging
with a careless, comfortable, yet not ungraceful loose-
ness. He was working at the picture. He had not de-
cided on a name for it. Should he call it April? — or
Dawn? — or The Water Witch? Or should he give it its
proper name — ^Rix? That title would mean nothing to
anyone save himself. But to him the picture meant
nothing else. True, there was landscape in it ; the play
of early morning light on foliage, on leaping water, on
placid water made it the best landscape he had ever done
— ^incomparably the best. The canoe, too, was a marvel
in its way. But the girl — there was the picture ! He
made another infinitesimal change — ^it would have been
impossible to count the number of those changes he had
made. Then he stood off at a little distance to look
MR. RICHMOND CALLS
" Is it in the canvas — or is it in my mind? " said he
He could not tell. He rather feared he was largely
imagining the wonders he thought he saw in that pic-
tured face and form.
" It may be rotten, and I a fool hypnotized by her
and by my own vanity, for all I know. But — ^what do
I care? I am getting the pleasure."
Pleasure? Never before had he taken such deep,
utter joy in his work. Not merely joy in the doing —
that was his invariable experience — but joy in the com-
pleted work. Never before had he brought anything so
near to the finish without a feeling of dissatisfaction^
sense of failure, of having just missed his aim. He
viewed the picture from a dozen points. And each time
he beheld in it something new, something yet more
** I'm damned if it's there ! It simply can't be. Not
the greatest genius who ever lived could produce what
I imagine I see."
He took a dozen new positions, standing long at
each view point. But the illusion — ^it must be illusion ! —
refused to vanish. The work — ^the figure part of it-
persisted in appealing to him as a product of tran-
^ That business didn't stop a minute too soon — ^noi
a minute ! For it's evident I was on the verge of falling
"On the verge?'* . . . What was the meaning of
the illusion of a picture greater than ever artist made?
• . . On the verge?
" Why, hfiuig it all, I've done nothing but think
about her since we kissed. I'm bewitched! I'm in
love ! "
The kiss was a week old now — ought to have lost its
power long ago; for there is power in a kiss from a
pretty woman, even though a man does not love her.
But this kiss had an extraordinary, an unprecedented
quality. Other kisses — ^in days gone by — ^had given
their little sensation and had straightway drifted into
the crowd of impressions about the woman or about the
general joyousness of Ufe when the senses are normal
and responsive. But this kiss — ^it had individuality, a
body and soul of its own, a Jack's bean-stalk kind of vi-
tality. It was more vigorous day by day. He could
feel it much more potently to-day than on the day it
was given. Really^ it did not make a very powerful
impression then. He had experienced much better
kisses. He had felt awkward — a little ridiculous —
rather uneasy and anxious to escape. Now
** Not a minute too soon — not a minute ! As it is,
Fm going to have the devil's own time forgetting her."
MB. RICHMOND CALLS
What had become of all his projects for a career,
for rapid striding into fame? Gone — quite gone. He
simply wanted to stay at the studio and work on and on
and yet on at the one picture — at the one figure in that
picture. He had vaguely decided on a scheme for an-
other pictyre when this should be done. What was it?
Why, a picture of a woman sitting under a tree, her
hands listless, her whole body relaxed and inert — except
her eyes. Her eyes were to be winging into the depths
of the infinite. He had planned out the contrast be-
tween the eyes, so intensely, so swiftly alive, and the
passive rest of her. And who was this woman? Rix!
He had still more vaguely planned a third picture. Of
what? Rix again.
^^ Not a minute too soon? By Heaven, a minute too
"Well, what of it?" demanded he gloomily of his
gloomy self. Why, pay the bill. Pay like a man. " I
couldn't marry her if I would. I wouldn't marry her if
I could. But I can pay the bill for making a fool of
' myself." He glowered savagely around. " The next
time a good-looking woman comes here," he muttered,
** m take to my heels and hide in the woods till she's
gone. I see I'm no longer to be trusted in female soci-
ety. At my age — with my plans — after all I've been
through — ^to make such an easy ass of myself!" He
sat down despondently on the bench — sprang up — ^for
was it not there — ^lying there — ^just where he had seated
himself — ^that he had first seen her? He glanced round
the studio. He grofiuied. Everything in it reminded him
of her; and there, in the center, in the most favorable .
light, on the easel — ^was she herself !
He rushed outdoors. Sunshine shimmering and
sparkling on the foliage — ^he could see her, the yellow
hair aflame with sunbeams, flitting gracefully through
the aisles of the forest ! A heavy bill it was to be ! But
he set his teeth. ^^ She is not for me, nor I for her. If
she were here now I'd talk to her just as I did. But,
thank God^ I didn't realize until I had done the only
thing that's sane and honorable. I wonder how long it
will be before I can begin to forget? "
Every morning he awoke vowing he would not touch
or look at her picture that day. Every morning he cut
short his walk that he might get to the studio earlier
and busy himself at the picture. He partially consoled
himself with the reflection that at least he was improv- .
ing it, was not altogether wasting his time. And he
found evidence of real strength of purpose in the fact
that he kept away from the waterfall. For two weeks
he daily feared — or hoped — ^whether fear or hope or
both he was not sure — ^that she would come to the
studio. As the days passed and she did not appear he
ME. RICHMOND CALLS
felt that she was getting over her infatuation; to stay
away thus long unless her enthusiasm had cooled was
wholly unlike her impetuous and brave nature. This
thought did not make him happier exactly, but athwart
its gloom shot one sincerely generous gleam : ^^ Anyhow,
Fm paying alone," said he to himself. ^^ And that's as
it should be. It was altogether my fault. I am older,
more experienced. I ought to have seen that the
strangeness and novelty of our meetings were appealing
to her young imagination — ^and I ought to have broken
off at the very outset. If she had been a poor girl lead-
ing a quiet, dull life the consequences might have been
serious. Yes, and I might have been weak enough to
marry her out of regret — ^and that would have been
misery for us both."
He tried fighting against the desire to spend his
days with that picture. He tried yielding to the desire.
But neither abstinence nor excess availed. He tried
savage, sneering criticism — found that he loved her for
her defects and her weaknesses. He tried absurd ex-
travagance of romancing — found that he had quite lost
his sense of humor where adulation of her was concerned.
The kiss flamed on. He decided to leave — ^to fly. But
he discovered that if he went he would surely take the
picture; and of what use to go, if he lugged his curse
along with him?
One afternoon late he went to the door to get the
full benefit of a cool breeze that had sprung up. He
saw, a few hundred yards away, Rix and a man climb-
mg up through the dense woods toward his workshop.
He wheeled round, rushed in and put the picture away
— far back in the depths of the closet, behind a lot of
other pictures. In its place on the easel he set a barely
begun sketch — one of his attempts to distract his mind.
Then, with no alteration in his appearance — ^his hair
was mussed this way and that, and his negligee shirt
was open at the neck and rolled up to the elbows — ^he lit
a cigarette and saimtered to the door again. His not
making any effort to improve upon his appearance was
characteristic and significant; rarely indeed has there
been a human being habitually less self-conscious than
he. It would take a very vain person to continue to
think of himself or herself on becoming suddenly a spec-
tator at some scene of tremendous interest. Roger was
in that state of mind all the time. His senses were so
eager, his mind so inquisitive, his powers of observation
so acute that his thoughts were like bees on a bright,
summer day — ^always roving, and returning home only
to xmload what had been gathered and quickly depart
again in quest of more from the outside.
As the ascent was steep he had ample time to com-
pose his thoughts and his expression. She must not see
MR. RICHMOND CALLS
or feel anything that would make it, however little,
harder to pursue the road Fate had marked out for her.
The man beside her was obviously her father — obvi-
ously, though there was no similarity of face or man-
ner or figure. The relationship was revealed in that
evasive similarity called family favor — & similarity
which startlingly asserts itself even in dissimilarities, as
if the soul and the body had a faint aureole which ap-
peared only at certain angles and in certain lights. He
was a little, thin man — dry and dyspeptic — ^with one of
those deceptive retreating chins of insignificant size
that indicate cunning instead of weakness. He had a
big, sharp nose, a rough skin and scraggly mustache,
with restless, gray-green eyes. He was very slouchily
dressed in dusty gray. When he took off his straw hat
to wipe his brow Roger was astonished by the sudden
iriew of a really superb upper head which transformed
his aspect from merely sly to dangerously crafty — ^the
man with the nature of a fox and the intelligence to
make that nature not simply a local nuisance but a gen-
eral scourge. " I'd like to paint him," thought Roger
— and compliment could no further go in an artist who
detested portrait work.
As the two drew near Rix waved her sunshade at
him and nodded. He advanced, holding to his cig-
arette. When she extended her hand — ^a gloved hand, for
she was in a fashionable, white, walking costume — her
eyes did not lift and her color wavered and her short,
sensitive, upper lip trembled slightly. " Mr. Wade, I
want you and father to know each other," said she. As
her voice came the thrill that shot through him dropped
his cigarette from between the fingers of his left hand.
He and Richmond gave each other a penetrating,
seeing glance, followed by a smile of immediate appre-
Richmond gave and took back his hand quickly —
the hand shake of the man who is impatient of meaning*
less formalities. "I've come to look at the picture,'*
said he, in his voice the note of one who neither wastes
his own time nor suffers others to waste it.
Roger froze instantly. " I'm sorry you've had your
journey for nothings" said he.
Richmond looked at him aggressively. Roger's tone
of the large, free spirit that does as it wills was to Rich-
mond, the autocrat, like a challenging trumpet. ^^ It's
here — ^isn't it? " said he.
*^ But it's not finished," replied the big artist, gen-
tle as the voice of a great river flowing inevitably on its
"No matter," said Richmond graciously. "We'll
take a look at it, anyhow."
" Oh, no, we shan't," said Beatrice, laughing. " He
MB. RICHMOND CALLS
^■^— ^■^^— ' ' -^■^^^— ■— a^i^
has a rule against it, father. And he's like iron where
his rules are concerned. But you'll give us some choco«
late, won't you, Mr. Wade? "
" Delighted," said Roger, with a gesture inviting
them to precede him into the studio.
Richmond looked round him scrutinizingly. " Noth-
ing to distract your mind from your work, I see.
That's the way my office is fitted up. I'm always suspi-
cious of chaps surroimded by elegant fittings." And he
gave Roger an approving look that was flattering, if a
trifle suggestive of superiority.
"It's not wise to judge a man by any exteriors,"
said Roger. "What he does — ^that is the only safe
Richmond reflected, nodded. " Yes," said he. ** Yes.
Is that the picture?" He pointed one brown, bony
hand at the sketch on the easel.
*^ No," said Roger curtly, and he flimg a drape over
the sketch. Turning to Beatrice with rather formal
friendliness, he inquired, " How is your mother? "
** Well — always well," said Beatrice. " She sent
you her best. But she's cross with you for not coming
Richmond grinned sardonically. " From what I've
heard of Wade," said he, " he's not the kind you find
nestled among the petticoats with a little cup in his
hand." He smiled upon Roger. ** In America, at least,
you never see men who amount to anything at these
social goings-on. In five years I've been to only one
party in my own house, and to none in anybody else's
" May I help with the chocolate — ^Mr. Wade? "
" No. You two will sit quietly. I don't mind being
While he made the closet give up the necessary uten-
sils and concocted the chocolate with the aid of spirit-
lamp stove the three talked in rambling fashion. Sev-
eral times Richmond brought up the subject of the
picture; every time Roger abruptly led away from it,
Beatrice with increasing nervousness helping him. But
Richmond was not discouraged. It became evident that
he had made up his mind to see that picture and was
only the more resolved because the artist had his will
set against it. Finally he said:
" It's really necessary, Mr. Wade, that I see the pic-
ture. Your friend. Count d'Artois, speaks highly of
your work. But I always judge everything for myself.
And I must see before I decide about giving you a com-
mission — a dozen panels for an outing-club house I and
some of my friends are going to put something like half
a million into."
MB. RICHMOND CALLS
"Why, father, you didn't tell me anything about
it!" exclaimed Beatrice, flushed and agitated. And
Roger imderstood that she, nervous about his sensibili-
ties, was letting him know that she had not arranged
Her father's amused laugh confirmed Roger's im-
pression that Beatrice was telling the truth. " No, my
dear, I did forget to ask your permission," said Rich-
mond ironically. " I S'pologize. Now, Wade, you see
I'm not asking out of idle curiosity or merely because
I'm anxious to see what you've made of this girl of
mine. So, don't bother with bashfulness. Trot out the
But Roger smilingly shook his head. " I couldn't
imdertake any work at present."
" Honestly, Chang, I didn't know a thing about
this," cried the girl. Then, to her father : " He's so
peculiar that he wouldn't "
" Oh, no, I'm not such an ass as that," interrupted
Roger good-naturedly. " Sugar in your chocolate, Mr.
Richmond? No? When are you sailing, Miss Rich-
Beatrice understood — abandoned the sub j ect. " Per-
haps we shan't go," she replied.
And she went on to detail at length and with much
vivacity the merits and demerits of several plans for the
summer she and her mother were considering. Rich-
mond's frown deepened. After five minutes he set down
his empty cup and cut squarely across her stream of
" The panels will be a good thing — from the finan-
cial standpoint," said he^ a note in his voice like a rap
for imdivided attention.
Beatrice glanced anxiously at Roger, said to her
father : ^^ Oh, papa, don't let's talk business. This is a
^^ / came on business," retorted Richmond. ^^ And I
know Wade wouldn't thank us for coming if we were
here just to fool away his time."
"I usually knock off for chocolate at this hour,'^
said Roger. " About the panels — ^thank you very much^
but I can't do them."
"Why not?" inquired Richmond, so much irrita-
tion in his tone that it was scarcely polite.
Roger looked amused. " I haven't thought of the
reason yet," said he courteously. "If I change my
mind later I'll let you know."
Richmond did not conceal his disgust with what
seemed to him an exhibition of youthful egotism border-
ing on impertinence. Beatrice, eager for her father to
get a favorable impression, looked woefully depressed.
**You misunderstood me, Mr. Wade," said he, resum-
MB. RICHMOND CALLS
ing the Mr. to indicate his disapproval. ^^I did not
offer you the commission."
**And I didn't accept it," said Roger, laughing.
^ So, there's no harm done. Let me give you some
** Thanks — no. We are going." And the financier
rose. ^^ Come along, Beatrice."
The girl, pale and crestfallen, half rose, reseated
herself, looked appealingly at Roger, who seemed not
to see, then stood. "When can we see the picture?"
she asked, casting desperately about for an excuse for
** We don't want to see it at all," her father put in,
with a jovial, sardonic laugh that revealed unpleasantly
his strong, sallow, crowded teeth. ^^ Mr. Wade needn't
bother to complete it. I'll send him a check for what-
ever you settled as the price "
"Father!" gasped Beatrice despairingly. Then,
to Roger, with a nervous attempt at a lively smile : " He
doesn't mean it. He's simply joking."
"Your father and I understand each other," said
Roger tranquilly. " The picture'U be done in a few
days. I'll send it to Red Hill immediately. I always
like to get a finished job out of the place. I've got a
terrible habit of tinkering as long as a thing's within
reach. As for the check" — ^he smiled pleasantly at
Richmond, who looked — and felt — small and shriveled
before the large candor of the artist's expression —
^^ your daughter is a poor business woman. She forgot
to make a bargain. So it lies between your generosity
and mine." Roger made a courtly bow, with enough
mockery in it to take away affectation. ** I'm sure mine
win come nearer the value of the picture. I'll make you
a present of it — ^with my compliments."
" Can't permit it ! " said Richmond angrily.
But Roger remained suave. "I don't see how
you're going to help yourself," said he. " I can send it
back to you as often as you return it to me, and if you
can refuse to take it in, why, so can I. You can't make
me ridiculous without my making you ridiculous also.
You see, you're in my power, Mr. Richmond." All this
with the utmost good humor and friendliness.
Richmond could think of nothing to say but a repe-
tition of his curt " Can't permit it ! " He glanced in
the direction of his daughter, jerked his head toward
the door. ^^ Come along, child. Good day, sir." Rog-
er's expression, from the height of his tall figure, was
so compelling that he put out his hand, which Roger
took and shook with the cordiality of a host to whom
^^7 guest is inviolable.
Beatrice and Roger shook hands — that is, Beatrice
let her hand rest lifelessly in Roger's until he dropped
MB. RICHMOND CALLS
it. He bowed them out into the sunshine and stood in
the doorway, watching them. At the edge of the forest
Beatrice turned suddenly and started back. Roger saw
her father wheel round — ^heard his sharp " Beatrice ! "
— saw his look of furious amazement. The girl came
almost rimning. Roger braced himself, through his
whole body a gripping sensation that might be either
terror or delight.
When she stood before him, her eyes down, her
cheeks pale, her bosom heaving, she said : ^^ The other
day you asked me whether I'd give up everything for
you. I didn't know then. I do know now.''
^^ Pardon me, but I did not," said Roger, calm and
** However it was," she rushed on, " that question
came up. And I didn't know then whether I would or
would not. Well — ^I know now."
** Your father is impatient."
** I'm sure I would," she said, a fascinating haughty
humility in her face, in her voice. And she looked so
brilliantly young and ardent.
Roger's glance fled before hers. A brief electric si-
lence, then he laughed pleasantly. " And Vm sure you
wouldn't. And it doesn't matter whether you would or
wouldn't. Good-by, Rix. Your father's look is aimed
"How cruel you are — ^and how blind !'* she cried,
eyes and cheeks aflame. And as quickly as she had come
she sped away to rejoin her father.
Roger heaved a great sigh. " Now," said he aloud,
" I've seen the last of her, I can resume."
AN INFUBIATE FATHEE
"I SUPPOSE you went back to apologize for me/'
said her father as they started on together.
" You don't understand him/' replied she miserably.
** Artists — ^great artists — are different.'*
^^ He is a good deal of a man. D'Artois was right.
I'll see that he does those panels." And Richmond gave
the nod of a man who has money and knows that money
Beatrice stopped short; her eyes opened wide.
** Why," exclaimed she, " I thought you disliked him ! "
" Not at all— not at aU," replied her father. " He's
a disagreeable chap. But all men who amount to any-
thing are. A man who's thoroughly agreeable is in-
Tariably weak. An agreeable man's rarely worth more
than twelve or fifteen a week. What this world needs is |
more people like this friend of yours. I saw that he had
built himself up solidly from the ground. I wish I had
a son like that! Your brothers are pretty poor ex-
cuses, thanks to the vicious training your mother has
given them. * Be a gentleman — ^make everybody com-
fortable — don't do anything to hurt anybody's feelings
or to make yourself conspicuous.' That is, be a
cipher." Richmond snorted. ^^ A gentleman is a cipher
— and ciphers count for nothing unless they're annexed
after a figure that stands for something. But I sup-
pose a successful man can't expect to have strong sons.
He has to be thankful if they're not imbecile or dis-
Beatrice had been caught up and whirled all in a
twinkling from depth to height. The way down
through the woods was rough and toilsome. She flitted
along as if it were smooth as a French highroad. She
beamed upon her father. " What a difference between
the ordinary young man — the sort we meet — and a man
like Roger Wade ! " cried she.
^^ Those tailor's dimimies ! " said Richmond contemp-
tuously. " You can't compare a man with them."
He was on his favorite topic for private and public
addresses — ^the topic that enabled him to express the
views which had won for him the name of being the most
democratic of the big financiers. Like all men of
aboimding mentality he was a huge talker; get him
started and the only thing to do, whether one wished or
no, was to listen. Usually, Beatrice, who was not fond
of silence and soon reached the limit of her capacity for
listening, would imperiously interrupt these monologues
'AN INFURIATE FATHER
— and both would enjoy the tussle between their wills
as each tried to compel the other to listen. But this
discourse — composed though it was of commonplaces he
had repeated and she had heard scores of times — she
drank in as if it had been the brand-new thing her soul
had long thirsted to hear. Like all fluent talkers Rich-
mond often fell victim — ^in conversation, never in action
— ^to the intoxication of bubbling ideas and phrases.
Before they reached the place where they had left the
T cart to await their return Richmond had not merely
committed himself finally and completely to the gospel
of the aristocracy of achievement, he had hailed that
aristocracy as the only one worthy of consideration,
had ridiculed and denoimced all others as utterly con-
Beatrice took advantage of his pause for getting the
horses under way. She gave his arm a loving squeeze.
** Pm so proud of you ! " she said tenderly, gazing at
him with sparkling eyes and delicately flushed cheeks.
** I knew you'd feel that way about him ! ''
"About whom?" said her father, whose flooding
sermon had borne him swiftly far from view, or remem-
brance even, of the text whence it had sprung.
" About Chang."
" Chang? What Chang? Who's Chang? ^
** Roger Wade."
" Oh, of course/' said he indifferently. " He's a
case in point."
" I knew you'd help me with him," pursued the hap-
" Of course I will," said Richmond. ** Hasn't he
been doing what you wanted about the picture?"
^^ I want Aim," said she, feeling close and sympa-
thetic, completely in touch with this splendid, broad-
minded father of hers.
Richmond reined in the horses so sharply that one
of them reared. It took a minute or so for them to be
quieted, with the groom racing round from the seat be-
hind to steady their heads. When the cart was moving
smoothly on Richmond said: ^^What did you say just
as that brown devil began to act up? "
" I want to marry Roger Wade," replied Beatrice,
too strongly under the delusion to read plain signs
aright. " You see why. You've said yourself that he
was one of the realest men you had seen. You can't
wonder at my caring for him. All the others seem so —
so puny — ^beside him. I'd be ashamed to show any of
them as my husband. What shall I do, father? How
can I get him? "
If one finds oneself pointing south when he ought to
be pointing north there are two ways to act. One may
veer gently and gradually, hoping that the shift will
AN INFURIATE FATHER
pass unobserved; or one may make the change with
speed swifter than thought or sight, and may point
north so stiffly that it will seem impossible that one ever
was pointing, or ever could point, in any other direc-
tion. When Richmond found it necessary to flop he did
not sidle — ^he flopped. He proceeded to flop now — ^with
a jerk and a bang. ^^ What are you talking about?
he said savagely. " You're going to marry Peter.
The instant prompting of instinct to Beatrice was
that her father would not help, would not consent,
would not tolerate. But straightway came the memory
of his gallant democratic speechifyings still echoing in
her ears. " You know I couldn't marry a Peter after I
had seen Roger," she said gayly. ^^ All the time you
were talking — as we walked down from his studio — ^I
knew what you really had in mind. You were giving it
to me for thinking of Peter when I plight have the other
man. You thought I was hopelessly frivolous and snob-
bish like the rest of the family. But I'm like you,
father. I don't want to be married to a tailor's dummy.
I want a man! " She nodded brightly at his thunder-
ous face. " And we'll get him — ^you and I ! "
Richmond did not relent, not a whit. She had taken
him so completely by surprise, had put him in such an
absurdly false position that temper got the better of
prudence. He did not view the situation calmly and
proceed along lines of wisdom — ^using common-sense
argimient, appeal to material instincts and that mighti-
est of weapons, gentle ridicule. He hurled at her
through his eyes the hot wrath of his tyrant will. ^^ You
are going to marry Peter, I tell you. Fm astounded at
you. I'm disgusted with you. I'd have thought you
could see straight through a cheap, lazy fortune
hunter. Vanity — always vanity ! He makes a few flat-
tering speeches, and you believe he is in love with you.
And you begin to make a god out of him. I'm glad
you spoke to me about this. If the Vanderkiefs had
any idea of it they'd drop you double-quick."
Beatrice knew her father — ^knew when he was in
earnest. Never before had she seen or felt a deeper
earnestness than this of his now. She sat dazed, staring
at the restless ears of the thoroughbreds before her.
" No good ever comes of marrying out of your own
class," continued he. ^^ I thought you had more pride.
I know you have. You were joking. Let's hear no
more about it."
^^ He is not a fortune hunter," said Beatrice in a
" I tell you he is ! " cried Richmond violently. " The
impudent hound ! No wonder he tried to work off that
picture of his as a gift ! " Richmond laughed with a
sneer. ** The impudent puppy ! "
'AN INFURIATE FATHER
"He is a great artist," said Beatrice. "D'Artois
"What of that? What's an artist? What stand-
ing has he got? But don't talk about it. I'll not be
able to contain myself." He faced her sharply. " Look
The girl turned her eyes slowly, with her woimded
soul's suffering revealed in them. But Richmond did
not see people ever; he saw only his own purposes.
** How far has this gone? "
She eyed him steadily long enough for him to get
the sense of an immovable obstacle squarely across the
path of his indomitable will. ^^ It has gone so far that
I'll not marry anyone else," she said, neither hot nor
cold. "I couldn't."
"Don't let me hear that kind of talk!" shouted
Richmond, in his rage forgetting the groom. "You
are going to marry a man who can make you happy — a
man in your own station — a man who has family and
"But you said Roger was of the only true aris-
tocracy," pleaded Beatrice. " You said "
" And a fool I was, to talk to a silly, little idiot of
an ignorant girl with no experience of Ufe, with no
ability to understand what I was talking about. I
wasn't discussing a husband for you. I wasn't discuss-
ing the world as it is. I wasn't discussing people of
our station. I wasn't discussing fortune-hunting ar-
tists. It shows how little sense you've got, that you
could twist what I said into an appeal to you to marry
an impudent fortune hunter ! "
In his fury at her for being thus stupid he gave the
off thoroughbred a sharp cut with the whip. The horse,
unused to such loutish disrespect to his royal blood,
leaped forward, started to run. For five minutes Rich-
mond had to fix his undivided attention upon the horses ;
they gave him a bad scare before consenting to submit.
The girl, unconscious of what was going on, sat in
the blinding storm of her own unhappiness.
" You and Peter are engaged? " was her father's re-
"In a fashion.'*
" What does that mean? •'
**Not much of anything," replied his daughter
Richmond's strong, sallow teeth looked as if they
were crowded because they were pushing eagerly to the
fore in competition to be first in sinking into the prey.
Said he: "I want the date of the wedding fixed at
•*Did you hear?**
AN INFURIATE FATHER
"Why don't you answer?"
** You didn't ask a question. You issued an order."
" And you will obey it."
"Did you hear?"
" I won't tolerate sullenness. I am your father. I
know life — ^the world — what is best for my family —
for you. I don't often interfere. When I do, I expect
^^ It seems to me you are blustering a good deal,
for one who is sure of obedience," said Beatrice, in a
way that brought out all her latent resemblance to the
incarnation of passionate will and willful passion who
" I've always been indulgent with all my family —
with you," fumed Richmond. " But I think you know
me well enough to know I'm not to be trifled with."
" Nor am I," said the girL And again she eyed him
in that unyielding way.
"Where did you and your mother pick up that
vagabond, anyhow?" demanded Richmond.
" / picked him up. D'Artois told you ^"
" D'Artois was talking about him as an artist, not
as an equal."
^^ Equal ! " cried Beatrice. And she laughed mock-
** Don't be impudent to me ! " raged her father.
**YouVe been brought up in a certain way. You're
not fit for any other way of Kfe. You are not to be
allowed to make a fool of yourself, to muddle your life
up. I'll have no scandals in my family — ^no scoundrels
blackmailing me to release my daughter."
Beatrice's look at him was so appealing, so remi-
niscent of his bold talk about democracy, about the
democracy of achievement, that some men, if they had
been in his place, would have been ashamed and con-
founded. Not Daniel Richmond, however — ^not whai
his plans of social grandeur, nursed all these years in
his secretest heart, were endangered.
When Rhoda was marrying the Earl of Broadstairs
he had been able to keep his pose intact — ^had con-
trived to protest against one of his children's yielding
to the craze for "decayed aristocrats with fly-blown
titles," and to yield only because " personally. Broad-
stairs wasn't as bad as some," and because the girl and
her mother had made it clear to him that her heart
would be broken if she didn't get the man she loved —
at the price such luxuries cost. He had assumed that
Beatrice had been equally well brought up — ^to love
where she should, to do as well in the American upper
'AN INFURIATE FATHER
class as her sister had done in the foreign upper class.
This revelation of her waywardness, the waywardness
of the child who was his especial pride, for whom he had
dreamed the most dazzling splendors of social gran-
deurs in New York — ^this astounding revelation put.
him in the rage of his life. His face was a study in
hatefulness. Beatrice shivered as she looked at it —
but not with fear.
*^ Yes," said she calmly, after a pause. ** Fve been,
brought up in a certain way. But I was bom to insist,
on having what I want. I want Roger. And, father,,
I'm going to have him — ^in spite of you both.'*
After a pause, in a voice of dreadful calm Rich-
mond said: "You are going to marry Peter Vander-
kief within six weeks or two months — or you are going-
to get the shock of your willful life.'*
" No,'* replied she, in a voice of calm equally dread-
ful. " I have already had that shock. I thought:
mother was the snob. I thought women were the snobs.
But I see it's the men — worse than the women — ^you
worse than mother. Oh, father," she said, changing
suddenly to passionate pleading, " how can you be like
this! Your—ot all men!"
" Never mind me, young lady," snapped her father,,
flying to the safe refuge of rage. " Pm going to savfe
you from this blackmailing fortune hunter." And the
unpleasantly crowded teeth showed savagely through
the ragged gray mustache.
" I have asked him to marry me, and '*
" What ! '' shouted Richmond, again forgetting the
groom. " Are you crazy f **
" I am," said Beatrice simply. " I love him. Fm
crazy — ^permanently crazy.*'
" Your mother will take you to New York this very
day. You'll sail day after to-morrow morning."
^^ I shall do nothing of the kind," said the girl.
The sound Richmond made was in the guise of
laughter — of mockery. But no snarl or roar could
have been so fraught with menace. **We'll see about
this, miss," said he. ^^ I'll show you who is master in
my family. I'll show you you can't go on degrading
yourself with this low intrigue. That hound! So he
thought he could fasten himself on me — did he? I'll
teach him ! "
" I have proposed to him. He has refused me. I've
made love to him. He has repulsed me."
Richmond's cruel mouth under his ragged mus-
tache was horrible to see. " You shameless girl ! " he
cried. " It'll be one of the servants next. I must get
you safely married at once. If your mother wasn't
absolutely incompetent she'd have had you settled long
'AN INFURIATE FATHER
" I shall marry no one but Roger Wade," came
from the quiet figure beside him in a quiet voice.
** Have you got no sense at all? You say the pup-
py refused you. Don't you know why.'* '*
** I know the reason you'd give."
** And that's the real reason. He has heard about
me! He's got brains enough to understand that his
best game is to — — "
" Don't you say another word against him ! "
cried Beatrice, at the end of her forbearance. ** You
talk of my being a fool. What do you think of your-
self? You don't want me to marry this man. How
do you go about preventing it? Why, you show me
that you are not the father who, I thought, loved me,
but that you couldn't love anybody. You show me that
you are not the kind of man I thought, but a snob, a
hypocritical snob — ^yes, a hypocritical snob, who has
been pulling wires behind mother — ^you all the time
railing at her and at me and at Rhoda as snobs. And
then, when you've shown me the truth about my sur-
roundings, you go on to attack the man I love — to j
say about him things I know to be false. Is that what
you call clever?"
** I'm glad you're letting me see you in your true
colors," said the father, so exhausted by his passions
that his voice came as little more than a hoarse whis-
per. ** As for that — ^that fortune-hunter who has been
making a fool of you — don't ever mention his name to
me again! **
^ Do you want me to jump out of this cart? " cried
the daughter, quivering with fury.
Richmond pushed the horses into their swiftest trot.
He did not speak again until he reined in at the en-
trance to the gray chateau. Then he said viciously,
** Go to your rooms and get ready to leave for New
York and Europe. You have two hours and a half."
Richmond, shrewd student of human nature and
well versed in his favorite child's peculiarities of wiH
and temper, did not underestimate what she had re^
vealed to him — ^neither that which she had revealed con-
sciously nor the no less important things she had un-
consciously implied. Also, he had seen the man folr
whom she confessed infatuation, had measured his
physical attractions and had got a fair notion of liie
inner charms which made the physical charms so po-
tent, it was a time for swift and summary action;
this adventurer must be got rid of before he could use
the foolish child's infatuation to put himself in a po-
sition where he might cause scandal and, if he chose,
could exact heavy blackmail. Theoretically, Richmond
regarded his daughter as lovely and fascinating
enough to bring any man in the world to her feet.
Practically, he believed feeling for her had no part in
the doings of " that fortune-hunting hound." He had
been young and now was not far from old, yet he had
not seen any exception to the rule he held axiomatic—*
that wherever money is involved at all it is the only
Yes, it was a time for action, instant and drastic.
As he drove back toward Wade's studio he strove with
his rage, trying to calm it so that his sly brain might
plot one of those subtle tricks which had got him his
vast fortune and had made him about the most admired,
most hated and most denounced man in American
finance. But every time he thought of his child's weak-
minded lack of self-respect or of the brazen impudence
of the penniless artist he fell to grinding his teeth again
and to cursing his inability to lock her up until she
recovered her senses, and to horsewhip the artist out
of the neighborhood. Richmond had been so long used
to having his will of any and every human being he
}iappened to need that he latterly had become really
insane when opposed. It was enough for a man to
appear in his pathway; at once he began to take the
worst possible view of that man's character, a method
which greatly assisted him in stifling the voice of con-
) science. Time was when he, like all men who have built
themselves up from small beginnings, had his temper
well under control, a bloodhound to be released only
when it was prudent and advantageous to do so. But
the habit of power had wrought as destructively in him
as it has in almost all those who have become rulers.
His temper was fast becoming a dangerous weakness —
that traitor within who overthrows where foes without
could never prevail.
When he arrived in sight of the studio there sat
** the hound " on the doorsill, smoking a pipe. Roger
did not move until Richmond was within, perhaps,
twenty yards — reasonable speaking distance; then he
rose and waited in large tranquillity. Richmond ad-
vanced until he was about ten feet away. There he
halted. To have gone nearer would have been to put
himself, the small of stature and the spare of build,
absurdly in contrast to the towering Roger — ^like a
meager little bush at the base of a tree. Across the
space between them he hurled at Roger one of those
glances which Roger himself had described as ^^ aimed
" What can I do for you, sir? " inquired the young
man at length. He showed not a hint that he was
aware of the wrath storming in the small man.
"You — ^you danm scoundrel!'* ejaculated Rich-
mond between his teeth — ^for the feeling of futility
acted on his rage like oil on fire.
Richmond's mien had prepared Roger for some-
thing like this, so he bore the shock with infuriating
composure. He eyed his insulter without moving
a muscle of his face, then turned and crossed the
threshold of his studio, reaching for the door to
" Hold on there ! '* cried Richmond. " Fve got
4Something to say to you.'*
Roger went on in and closed the door. Richmond
4stared at it with mouth ajar. What sort of a scheme
was this? What did the fellow calculate to gain to-
ward his ends by making such a move? Richmond
could not but admire its audacity. ^^ No wonder he
has succeeded in convincing the little fool that he is
sincere.'* He advanced and opened the door. He en-
tered the big, bare room ; Roger, crayon in hand, was
standing before the sketch that had been upon the
easel when they left. He did not glance toward Rich-
mond; he did not pause in his work. Richmond had
not entered without having thought out a plan of pro-
cedure. Plain talk was the thing — ^not insulting, but
plain. He must frankly assume that the artist was a
detected and baffled plotter of a marriage for money,
^^ My daughter has confessed to me," said Rich-
mond in a tone that was at least not insulting. ^^I
have talked with her, and she is already ashamed of
herself. So I have come from her to inform you that
it will be useless for you to pursue your projects
The big, young man stood back from his sketch,
eyed it critically. A thin stream of smoke curled from
the pipe in the comer of his mouth. He went on draw-
ing as if he were alone in the room.
" I wish you clearly to understand," pursued Rich-
mond, ^^ that your attentions are distasteful to her and
to her family. Acquaintance with her must cease."
Roger sketched on.
As physical violence was out of the question, Rich-
mond did not know what to do — how to extricate him-
self from the absurd position into which his wrath had
hurried him. He glowered at the big artist*. The
sense of impotence set his rage to steaming. ^^ And
I must tell you that if you had not had the cleverness
to hold off — ^if you had lured that foolish child into
marriage — ^you'd never have got a cent — ^not a cent!
I'd cast off a child of mine who so disgraced her family.
I'd forget she existed. But now that she realizes how
she was trapped — ^what a slick citizen you are — she's
ashamed of herself — ^ashamed of herself. There ought
to be a law that could reach fellows like you."
j While he was talking Roger was pushing his easel
into the huge closet. He now closed and locked it,
threw his coat over his arm and strode calmly past
Richmond and out at the door. Not a word, not a
glance, not a sign. Richmond followed him slowly.
Roger marched at a long, swinging gait down the hill
toward the east and disappeared into the woods. Rich-
mond stared after him. When the undergrowth hid
him from view Richmond took out his handkerchief and
mopped his face. In a long life dotted with many an
unusual scene between him and sundry of his fellow-
men he had never experienced the like of this.
" The scoundrel ! *' he said, a look of reluctant re-
spect in his wrathful eyes. " The best game I ever. ran
He must hurry his girl out of the coimtry — and
not give her an unwatched moment until the steamer
was clear of the dock.
Meanwhile, Beatrice had gone to her mother.
Mrs. Richmond was taking advantage of a lull in
the entertaining to give herself a thorough physical
overhauling. The lower part of the west wing was
fitted up as a complete gymnasium, with a swimming
pool underneath. She had played basket ball with her
secretary and companion, Miss Gleets, had fenced ten
minutes, had swum twenty, and was now lying on a
lounge in her boudoir, preparing to go off into a de-
licious sleep. In came Beatrice.
" Well, mamma," said she, " the fat's in the fire."
Mrs. Richmond opened her drowsy eyes. ** You've
told your father? "
Beatrice nodded. " And he promptly blew up."
** I was sure he would.*'
Beatrice's expression — strange, satirical, sad, bit-
terly sad — could not but have impressed her mother
' had she not been more than half asleep. " You knew
him better than I did," said the girl. " Still — ^no mat-
** We'll talk about it after I've had my nap."
** Oh, there's nothing to talk about."
** That's true," said her mother comfortably, as she
slid luxuriously down the descent into unconsciousness
— or is it an ascent? " You know there's nothing to do
but to obey your father. And he's right. You'll be
better satisfied with Peter." And Mrs. Richmond was
Beatrice stood looking at her mother. Her ex-
pression of somewhat undaughterly pity vanished and
there was a rush of tears to her eyes, an uncontrollable
tremor of the fresh, young lips usually curved in re-
sponse to emotions in which tenderness had little part.
** Dear mother," she murmured. She understood her
mother's lot now, and sympathized in a way which
Daniel Richmond's wife, unconscious what havoc those
years of gradually deepened slavery had wrought in
her mind, her heart, her whole life, would have regarded
as hysterical and silly. Love had lifted Beatrice above
the nctrrow environment in which she had been bred and
had quickened her to a sense of values she could hardlj I
have got otherwise. She saw her mother as she was*
as her mother could no more have seen herself than the
lifelong drunkard, happy in his squalid sottishness, _
could reconstruct and regret the innocence from which
he has dropped into the depths by a gradient so easy
that it was unnoted. The girl realized that her
mother's chief substantial happiness was inability to j
comprehend her own fate. " Thank God," said she to '
herself, " I had my eyes opened in time." And one
hy one before her passed faces of fashionable matrons,
young and old, whom she knew well — hard or harden-
ing features, like landscapes upon which only bleak
winds blow and only meager light from cold, gray
skies falls; eyes from which looked shriveled souls,
souls in which all human sympathy, save the conde-
scending charity that is vanity rather than sympathy,
had dried up; lives filled with shams and pretenses;
trim and showy gardens in which no flower had per-
fume, no fruit had taste, and where shone not one of >
the free, beautiful blossoms of genuine love. Not hard
hearts really, but shriveled ; not unhappy lives, but
stunted and sunless, like plants grown in the luxurj
of a rich loam — in a dark cellar. The shock of dis-
illusionment as to her father completed for Beatrice the
transformation that had been started by the imder-
mlning effect of Roger upon her conventional ideas —
as a thunderbolt crashes down a weakened dam and
releases its floods.
Beatrice passed a light and caressing hand over her
mother's beautifully arranged hair, bent and kissed her.
Then she stole from the room — ^with a lingering glance
of tenderest sweetness back from the threshold.
An hour and a quarter ticked away in that splen-
did room, with its wall coverings and upholsteries of
dark-red brocaded silk. Li stepped Richmond, brisk
and bristling. He frowned at his sleeping wife, tap-
ping his foot impatiently upon the floor. " Lucy ! "
he called sharply.
Mrs. Richmond's eyes opened, saw him. Over her
face flitted an expression as primeval and as moving as
that of a weary slave awakened from delightful sleep
to resume the hated toil. "Why did you wake me? "
she cried peevishly.
" Where's Beatrice? "
I Mrs. Richmond resumed her normal expression of
haughty discontent. ** She was in here a while ago/*
replied she. " Li her rooms, probably.^
" Did she tell you? " asked he.
"Yes," snapped her husband. "What else is
there, pray? Has she been up to something else dis-
" Why, Dan, she's done nothing disgraceful," cried
the mother. " Every girl has those passing fancies.
But she'll not oppose you. Anyhow, her own good
Richmond gave an impatient snort. ^^ She's a fool
— an impetuous fool."
His wife ventured a sly, catlike look from the cor-
ner of her eye into his back. " You always say she's
the most like you of any of ^"
" She takes her impetuosity from me. I hardly
need say from whom she inherits her folly."
" I can see nothing to get excited about." And
Mrs. Richmond stretched herself in preparation for a
leisurely sitting up.
Richmond regarded his wife with his habitual ex-
pression of disdain for her uselessness. He said per-
emptorily : " You are going to town this evening with
her, and you take her abroad day after to-morrow."
Mrs. Richmond sat up as if she had been prodded
with a spike. **I can't do it!" she cried. "I can't
get ready. And we've got invitations out for "
" I'm going to send my own secretary — ^Lawton —
along with you, to watch her and report to me," said
Richmond. ** You have shown that you are unable to
take care of her. Excited? Indeed I am excited. To
find that a wretched fortune hunter has just about
foisted himself on me. And what of our plans for the
girl's future? Have bridge and these masseuses and
hair women and all the rest of the fiddle-faddle that you
fuddle about with taken from you the last glimmerings
of sense? " He was storming up and down the room.
** Good Heaven ! Have I got to take one eye off my
business to keep guard over my family ? Are you good
for nothing, Lucy?"
" I hope you were careful what you said to her/*
exclaimed Mrs. Richmond, alarmed by his complete
lack of self-control. There had been many bitter
scenes between them since their love waned as their
wealth waxed. But theretofore he had attacked her
with irony and sarcasm, with sneer and jeer. Never
before had he used straight denunciation, made coarse
and brutal by a manner he had hitherto reserved for
the office. " You can't treat her as you treat the rest
of us," she warned him.
" And why not, pray? " demanded he. As she was
silent, he repeated. " Why not? I said! " he cried in a
tone so menacing, so near a blow, that she flushed a
deep and angry red.
^^ Because you have made her independent," the
wife was stung into replying.
" What imbeciUty ! *' scoffed he, enraged by this
home truth that had been tormenting him for several
hours. *^ She's got less than any of the rest of you.
Pve purposely kept her where she'd have to behave her-
self and love me. Your mind never was strong, Lucy.
It has become flabby."
Mrs. Richmond was completely possessed by her
anger. A cowed creature is hardest to provoke, can-
not be roused until it is literally crazed; then it is like
any other lunatic. She laughed in the face of her ty-
rant. " Love ! " she jeered. " Love you ! You haven't
the least sense of humor, Dan, or you couldn't say that."
^^ It's true, Beatrice has less than the rest of us. But
Rhoda and I need more than she does. Anjway, my
life's practically over. Pve got no future — ^no hope
elsewhere, or " — she sprang up and her eyes glittered
insanely at him — " or do you suppose I'd stay on with
you — ^you who have become nothing but a slave driver?
Then there's Rhoda. She and her husband need quan-
tities of money. The little you've given her is nothing
to what dhe wants and fawns on you to get. As for
the boys, they're too fond of being rich and showing
off to dare do anything but cringe "
"A nice brood you've brought up, haven't you? "
frothed her husband.
** They're your children at heart — all of thenu
You've ruined them. Yes, you — ^not I, but you ! "
He turned his back on her, ^^ You go to Europe
day after to-morrow, all the same," he cried.
^^ m do nothing of the sort ! " retorted she.
^^ You will spend the money I allow you in the way
I direct, or you will not get it," rejoined he. ^^ Ring
for your secretary and your maid and the housekeeper.
Set this swarm of idlers in motion. There's no time to
" I'll not go ! "
"Do you want me to give the orders? Do you
want the servants to ^"
" Oh, you — devU! " she screamed. Then she burst
into hysterical tears. "And I've got no will. I'm a
weak, degraded nothing. If I were a dozen years
younger ! Oh — oh — oh ! "
Richmond rang the bell. " I've rung for your
maid," said he. " Stop that slopping — and get busy."
His tone indicated that he was not wholly pleased with
His wife hastily dried her tears and hurried into
her dressing room to remove the traces and to hearten
herself with a stiff drink of brandy. Richmond con-
tinued to pace the boudoir. Marthe, the suave aad
ladylike, appeared with a note on her tray. She cour-
tesied to Richmond and moved toward the dressing
room door. "What have you got there?" demanded
" A note for madame — from mademoiselle,*'
Richmond snatched it from the little, silver tray,
tore it open. His hand shook as he read. " Where did
you get this? " he asked, in a voice from which all the
passion had died.
^^ Mademoiselle gave it to Fillet as she was driving
" Go ! " said Richmond ; and as she went into the
hall he entered the dressing room. His wife was before
the dressing-table mirror powdering her nose. He
flung the note down before her. "Read that," he
Mrs. Richmond read:
This is to say good-by — for the present. I've gone
to New York to stop with Allie Kinnear and look about.
Pve no plans except not to come under father's roof
again. I thought he loved me. I've foimd that he
hasn't any heart to love anybody. He can't bribe me
into putting up with his tyranny. I'm afraid he'll be
cowardly enough to vent on you the rage for what's
all his own fault. But he'd do that if I stayed on. So,
I don't make it worse for you by going. Forgive me,
mamma. I love you better than I ever did in my Iife»
Pm so sorry to go — ^yet glad, too,
Mrs. Richmond laid the note cahnly aside and re*
sumed powdering her nose. She turned her head this
way and that, to study effects from different lights.
Apparently the note had made upon' her no stronger im-
pression than would have been made by the swift passage
of a fly between her and the mirror.
^^ She's gone," said Richmond, in a dazed way.
" And I doubt if she'll come back,'* said his wife.
** You must bring her back."
Mrs. Richmond was searching in the drawer for
some toilet article. ^^ I can do nothing with her," said
she absently. ** You know that. Where has Marthe
** You act as if you did not care," snarled he.
"And I don't," replied the wife indifferently.
" She's better off. I hope she'll marry Wade."
** Marry f " sneered Richmond. " Do you suppose
he'd marry her when he finds out that she has cut her-
self off? "
"Maybe so," replied Mrs. Richmond, with intent
Richmond, with the wounds to his vanity inflicted
by Roger open again and burning and bleeding, gave
a kind of howl of rage. ^ Don't be a fool!** he
shouted. " I say he will not marry her ! **
" Then you ought to be satisfied," said his wife
" Satisfied? " Richmond, white with rage, shook his
hand in her very face. "Satisfied? With the only
one of my family that was worth while gone — ^you talk
about my being satisfied! "
"Then why did you drive her out?** inquired she
Richmond flung out his arms in a vague, wild ges-
ture, and rushed to the open window.
"You might go to Kinnear's and talk with her,"
suggested his wife.
" Say what? " demanded Richmond over his shoul-
" How should I know? "
He wheeled round. "Are you on her side or on
** Oh, I'm just a fool," said Lucy.
Richmond's scowl at her changed to a scowl into
vacancy. The scowl faded into a mere stare. Sudden-
ly he burst out in a voice from which grief had washed
every trace of anger : " I've got to have her back ! I've
giot to have her back.*'
Mn. Richmond's expression of amazement slowly
yidded to one of sullen jealousy. " That's right,"
sneered she. ^^Gro and apologize to her. Knuckle
down to her."
The husband, a wholly different figure from the
bristling, bustling, self-assured tyrant of a few min-
utes before, went out without another word. The wife
looked after him. The himiiliation of having her
daughter exalted while she herself was in the dust un-
der his contemptuous foot had one consolation — ^the
tyrant had met his match and might himself soon be
BSATKICE IN CHAINS
In any city but New York, and even there in any
set but the one to which they belonged, the Kinnears
would have been regarded as rich. But in the company
they kept, their strainings and strugglings to hold the
pace were the subject of many a jest and gibe. Had
they not been of such superior birth — ^not merely Colo-
nial but Tory and forced to do exceeding shrewd and
heavy bribing to get back the estates forfeited to low-
bom Patriots — ^they would have ranked almost as
hangers-on. Another generation, another dividing up
of those meager millions, and the Kinnears would cease
to make any part of the blaze of plutocracy's high so-
ciety, would shine as modest satellites, by reflected light.
Thus, it was necessary that lovely Alicia Kinnear marry
money — ^big money. Beatrice Richmond's brother Hec-
tor was about as good a catch as there was going; so,
Beatrice and Allie became friends at school — ^Alicia,
being a sensible girl sensibly trained from the cradle,
needed no specific instruction from her mother in the
noble and useful art of choosing friends. The friend-
BEATRICE IN CHAINS
ship grew into intimacy, and Alicia saw to it that noth-
ing occurred to produce even temporary coolings — ^this,
with not the least show of sycophantry, which would
immediately have disgusted Beatrice; on the contrary^
what Beatrice most admired in dear Alicia was her inde-
pendence, her absolute freedom from the faintest taint
of snobbishness. If Beatrice had been more experi-
enced she might perhaps have become suspicious of this
unalloyed virtue. There is always good groimd for sus-
picion when we find a human being apparently entirely
without a touch of any universal human failing; Nature
has so arranged it that each of us has a little of every-
thing in his composition, and the elements that show im
a character are rarely so important as those deep out:
of sight. However, Alicia was a sweet and generous;
girl, and gave a very pleasant and praiseworthy quality
of liking where she felt that her station and circum-
stances permitted her to like — ^and how many of us can
make a better showing? ^
When Beatrice, with Valentine, her maid, and two ^
trunks, entered the big, old house in Park Avenue where
the Kinnears maintained upper-class estate, Alicia was
waiting with open arms. "Your telegram only just
came," said she, hugging and kissing Beatrice delight-
edly. " But the rooms are ready — ^your rooms — ^and
we've got Peter coming to dinner to-night."
^ Peter ! " Beatrice made a face. *^ Give me any-
one else — €myone dse.**
Alicia's blue eyes — beautiful eyes they were, so
clear, so soft, so delicately shaded — opened wide.
<* Why, Trixy, I thought—
**So it was,*' cut in Beatrice. "But that's oflf.
Close the door" — ^they had just entered the sitting
room of the charming suite set aside for " darling Bea-
trice " — " and I'll tell you all about it — ^that is, all I
can tell just now."
** Oh, you and Hanky will make it up ^"
** Never! Whoever I may marry, it'll not be he."
Alicia looked shocked, grieved. And she was
^shocked and grieved. But underneath this propriety
^of friendly emotion she had already begun to consider
that, if this were really true, Peter would return to the
ranks of the eligibles — and he was through Harvard,
while Heck Richmond was a junior and only a few
months older than herself. An inexcusable duplicity —
that is, inexcusable in any but a human being circum-
ustanced as was Alicia.
} Beatrice laughed at her bosom friend's mournful ex-
pression. ** Oh, drop it," cried she. " You know Peter
is no real loss. He^s all right, of course — a clean, de-
cent fdlow, with a talent for dressing himself welL But
no one would ever get recited about him."
BEATRICE IN CHAINS
" Does anybody get excited about anybody, nowa-
days?" laughed Alicia.
Beatrice nodded ; into her eyes and out again flashed
a look that could not but put so shrewd and sympathetic
a friend as Allie into possession of her secret.
"Who?" said Allie breathlessly. "The Count?
Oh, Trixy, you're not going to marry away off "
** Not the Count," was Beatrice's quick, disdainful
interruption. "What do you take me for? He's
shorter than I and horribly old — over forty."
" I don't think age matters in a man," obserred the
" I do," retorted Beatrice. " Not, of course, if
one's marrying for — for other things than love. But I
couldn't love an elderly man."
"Is forty elderly?"
" Isn't it? " replied Beatrice.
" But who is he? " implored Allie, aU aquiver with
Beatrice permitted a beatific expression bordering
on fatuous folly to overspread her fair, young face.
" Do you remember — down at Red Hill — ^the last time
you were there — ^the biggest, grandest, handsomest man
you ever saw ^"
" The artist ! " cried Allie in dismay. ** Oh, dear-
est, I thought you were just flirting. And you are.
You wouldn't — Your mother'd never — ^never — con-
sent. Isn't he — ^poor? "
" How can you talk like that? " exclauned Beatrice,
with all the new convert's energy in indignation.
"Well — one has got to live, you know," urged
Allie. " And if he's poor — and your father doesn't con-
Beatrice laughed curtly — she had many mannerisms
that reminded one of her father. " I'm not married yet
— ^nor engaged."
" Have you tedked with your father and mother? "
inquired her worldly wise friend.
Miss Richmond again gave a sweetened and feminine
version of her father's sardonic laugh. " That's why
I'm here. I've broken with father."
**0h, Trixy!" exclaimed Allie in terror. "You
canH do that ! "
"Oh, yes, I can. I have." She beamed on her
friend. ** And I've come to ask you to give me shelter
for a few days — ^till I can look about. Father wanted
me to marry Peter. I refused. He insulted me. Here
Alicia kissed her with enthusiasm. " What a strong
dear you are ! " cried she. This remark seemed to her a
wise and friendly — and discreet — compromise. It did
not approve unfilial conduct. It did not encourage
BEATRICE IN CHAINS
Beatrice to weaken her opposition to Hanky Vander-
kief. It did not commit the Kinnears to anything what-
soever. ^^But you must dress for dinner. Of course
I'll give you another man. I'll change my man to you
and take Peter. It's good to have you here. I must
rush away to dress."
But Miss Kinnear was not in such mad haste that
she could not look in on her mother, who was being
hooked up by her maid. ^^ I'll finish mamma, Grer-
maine," said Alicia. '^ I want to say something to her."
And the instant they were alone she came out with it:
^^ Beatrice has broken with her father because she
doesn't want to marry Peter. And she has come to stay
Alicia hooked; her mother stood patiently, appar*
ently studying in the long mirror the way Grermaine
had done her soft, gray hair. Of all the women in New
York who led the fashionable life, not one was able to
invest the despicable arts of prudence and calculation
with so much real grace and virtue as Mrs. John Kin-
" What shall I do, mother? " Alicia finally asked.
** Nothing," replied Mrs. Elinnear, in the tone of
one who has deliberated and decided. " We'll wait and
see. Certainly, that dreadful, dangerous devil of a
father of hers can't object to us giving his daughter
shelter — ^while we wait for him to try and get her back.
• • • Beatrice is very obstinate."
^^ Like iron — ^like steel. She says she's in love with
an artist. He is terribly handsome, but not the sort of
man one would marry."
^^ No, American. I never heard of him. I can't re-
member his name."
" Good Lord, the girPs crazy," said Mrs. KinneaTi^
^^ Why did Mrs. Richmond let a man of that sort have
a chance to get well acquainted with her daughter?
Still, who'd have thought it of Beatrice? I'd as soon
have expected you to do it."
" Beatrice has got a queer streak in her," explained
Alicia. ** You know, her father is — or was — ^very ordi-
" No, that's not it," replied Mrs. Kinnear reflect-
ively. " Those things aren't matters of birth and
breeding. I've seen the lowest kind of tastes in people
of excellent blood."
** How sweet you look! ... I must dress. You ad-
vise me to do nothing? She didn't want Peter at din-
ner. So— -I'll take hun."
That little rest between the " so" and the "I'll'*
was an excellent instance of the way mother and daugh-
ter kad of conveying to each other those things impos-
BEATRICE IN CHAINS
sible of speech — ^the things that sound vulgar or shock-
ing or basely contriving if put into words. And in no
respect does the difference between the well bred and the
common display itself so signally as in these small-large
matters of what to say and what to imply. By this
significance of silences mother and daughter were in the
position — ^the happy position— of being able most sin-
cerely and most virtuously, to deny even to themselves
any and all intent of subtle or snobbish or intriguing
thought. To impute such thoughts to such people is to
excite their just indignation. As Allie departed to
dress, her mother sent after her a glance of admiring
love. She had brought her daughter up not as daugh-
ter, but as bosom friend, and she was reaping the rich
reward ; for Allie Kinnear, earing so little about every-
one else that at bottom she neither strongly liked nor
strongly disliked anybody, reserved and poured upon
her mother all the love of her heart.
When the five women at the dinner were in the draw-
ing-room afterwards waiting for the men, Mrs. Kinnear
found an opportunity to say to Allie : ** Ridimond tele-
phoned just before I came down. He is delighted that
Beatrice is with us — ^wants us to keep her until he
** She says she won't see him,*' said AUda.
^ I think I can persuade her.'*
Mrs. Eannear was right. When Richmond called
the foUowipg afternoon and Beatrice reiterated her re-
fusal, Mrs. Kinnear said in her inimitable way, sweet,
sensible, friendly: "My dear, don't you see that you
are putting yourself in the wrong? '*
"Why quarrel with him?'* objected Beatrice.
** Why stupidly repeat again and again that I will not
marry Peter? My mind is made up. I shall not change,
and he knows it.*'
Mrs. Kinnear had already debated — ^without letting
herself know what she was about — ^whether or not to do
all in her power to maintain the strained relations of
father and daughter, " and help save poor Beatrice
from the misery of marriage with a man she hates — ^a
man who deserves a good wife." She had decided
against siding with the girl because of the dangers in
incurring the relentless wrath of powerful Richmond.
So, her reply now was : " Dear Beatrice, you needn't be
afraid of your father."
She had calculated well. Beatrice reared proudly.
*^ Perhaps it does look as if I were afraid to face him,"
said she, all imconscious that Mrs. Kinnear was bend-
ing her to her will as easily as a basket maker bends an
osier withe. " Yes — ^I'll go down."
!And down she swept, to pause in statuelike coldness
upon the threshold of the drawing-room, where her
BEATRICE IN CHAINS
small, wiry father was pacing agitatedly. *^Well,
father? " said she.
They looked at each other in silence — ^measuring
each other — or, rather, daughter submitting calmly to
her father's keen, measuring eyes, while she wondered
how a man so strong and daring as he could hare such
a pitiful weakness as snobbishness. At last Richmond
said pleasantly : ^^ Beatrice, I've come to take you back
She advanced to a chair, into which she dropped
with graceful deliberation. ^^ I thought you had come
to apologize." Her tone was a subtle provocation.
He flushed a little — a faint glow upon his dry,
wrinkled face with its huge forehead, its huge nose and
its dwindling and wily little chin. " That, too,'* said
he with astonishing self-restraint. ** I was so mad yes-
terday that I lost my head. My digestion isn't what it
once was. My nerves are frayed out."
"You admit you wronged Roger Wade?"
Richmond winced, but held to the game he had de-
cided upon. ** I admit I know nothing about him— ex-
cept, of course, what D'Artois said. But I can't hon-
estly say I believe in him. I still feel he is a f ortime
" I can understand that," said Beatrice, tmbending
a little. " I suspected him, myself.'*
** Trust to your intuition, Beatrice,*' cried Rich-
mond cordially. ** It always guides right."
^^ I'm glad to hear you say that," observed his
daughter. ^^ For my intuition was that he was simple
as a baby about money matters. The nasty suspicion
came afterwards — ^when I was piqued because he had re-
Richmond made a large, generous gesture, strove —
not unsuccessfully — to accompany it with a large, gen-
erous expression. "Well — that's all past and gone.
Are you ready to go home? "
" I am not going home, father," said Beatrice in an
ominously quiet tone.
Richmond ignored. **0h, you want to stay with
Allie a few days? Why not take her down with you?
. . . The fact is" — ^Richmond cleared his throat —
** the place seems lonely without you."
Beatrice's glance fell. Her sensitive, upper lip
moved nervously — ^the faintest tremor quickly con-
" My car's at the door," he went on, an old man's
fear-laden eagerness in his voice. " It'll take us straight
to the station." He glanced at his watch. " We'll be
in time for that first express."
Beatrice did not dare look at him. She said in-
sistently : " You will say nothing more about my marry-
BEATRICE IN CHAINS
" ' 11 I I II iim iiJiii I I- nil u Jill
ing Peter? You leave me freie to marry wbom I
Richmond drew down his brows. Temper began to
tug at the comers of his cruel mouth. Really, this in-
surgent child of his was exceeding the outermost limits
of fond, paternal forbearance. ^^ You've had time to
think things over," said he in a voice of restraint.
** You're a sensible girl at bottom* And I know you
have decided to act sensibly."
Beatrice rose. ^^ Yes, I have," scud ^he.
** Then — come on," said Richmond, though he knew
perfectly well that was not what she meant.
" You read my note to mother? "
** I pay no attention to hysteria. I waited for your
good sense to get a hearing."
" I shall stay in New York," she said gently. " I
am of age. I intend to be free."
** What nonsense ! " cried he, with an attempt at
good humor. " Where'll you stay? "
" Here for the present."
** Do you think the Kinnears will harbor you? "
** I'm always welcome here."
** As my daughter. But just as soon as they — ^any
of the people you know, for that metier — find out that
I regard anyone who's receiving you as abetting you in
your folly and disobedience — •■ — ^"
" The Kinnears are my friends," said Beatrice
coldly. " You exaggerate yourself, papa— or, rather,
Richmond laughed — a vain, imperious, ugly laugh.
^^ I can make the old woman upstairs put you out of the
house in two minutes — ^and Allie will be afraid to speak
Beatrice gave a disdainful smile.
" These Kinnears — and about everyone you know —
have large investments in the things I control." And
his tone and the twinkle in his eyes made the words con-
jure dire visions of possible catastrophe.
" Oh ! " exclaimed Beatrice, paling. She looked at
him with startled eyes. " I see ... I see." She was
calm and self-contained again. ^^ I must not get my
friends into trouble. Yes — ^I'll leave at once. I'll go
to a hotel."
At this he lost patience. " You force me to be se-
vere with you," said he, coming close to her and shaking
his fist in her face. " Now listen, young lady. You
are going home with me. And you are going to marry
Vanderkief within six weeks."
Beatrice's expression was, in its way, quite as tm-
pleasant as her father's. ** You can't ruin me^ father,"
said she with an ugly little laugh. ^^What you gave
me is invested in Grovemments."
BEATRICE IN CHAINS
Richmond ground his teeth. ^^ Don't remind me of
my infernal folly. But I've had a valuable lesson. Not
another cent do I give away till I'm dead."
^^As soon as I can support myself," said Beatrice,
** you'll get back what you gave me."
" Support yourself ! " Richmond laughed — ^with
real heartiness. He was surveying her standing there,
in a fashionable carriage dress and looking engagingly
fine and useless. '^ What could you do? "
'^ That remains to be seen," said Beatrice, flushing
"Enough of this!" cried Richmond. "You cer-
tainly can't think me so weak and meek that I'd let you
marry that fortune-hunting painter chap. I'll ex-
" Not to me," said Beatrice, walking calmly to the
door. " Good-by, father."
^^ If you don't do as I say," exclaimed Richmond,.
« rU ruin him."
Beatrice stopped short. She did not turn round,
but from the crown of her head to the sweep of her skirt
her whole figure expressed attention.
" He has a small competence — ^lef t him by an aunt,"
pursued Richmond, tranquil now. " I'U wipe it out.
I'll make him a beggar, and then I'll see that he is driven
from the country."
Beatrice turned round. " You — ^would do — thai I *'
she said slowly.
" Just that — and probably more/' her father as-
sured her genially. " I think I have a little power —
despite the belief of certain members of my family to the
" But he has done nothing ! " cried she. " I've told
you he refused me — again and again. He has done
everything to discourage me. He has wounded my
pride. He has trampled on my vanity. He has told me
plainly that in no circumstances would he burden him-
self with me."
" Then why do you persist? " said her father
She did not answer. Her head drooped.
Richmond laughed. ^You see, your story doesn't
hold together. This is Rhoda and Broadstairs over
again. They conspired together to bleed me out of
more than he had asked in the first place. I let them
do it. But I knew what they were about. This is a dif-
ferent case." White and shaking, he waved outstretched
arms at her. ^^ You and your vagabond will never get a
cent out of me, living or dead. And he knows it. I told
^You sair him?" said Beatrice eagerly. ^^What
did he say? "
BEATRICE IN CHAINS
Ridimond grew fiery red at the recollection of that
interview, thus brought vividly back to him. " No mat-
ter,'* said he roughly. " You'll find that he wants noth-
ing more to do with you. And when I get through
with him he'll be glad to hide himself in some dark,
cheap comer of Paris. He'll have to beg his passage
" Father, I told you the truth," said the girl with
passionate earnestness. '^ He has never sought me. I
have no hope of marrying him. I persisted — ^persist —
because" — she drew her figure up proudly — ^**I love
** A lot of pride you've got," sneered her father.
** Yes, I have," replied she. " I love him so mudi
that I'd not be ashamed for the whole world to know it.
I'm not one of those milk-and-water, cowardly women
who have to wait till they're loved before they begin to
give what they call love. I love him because he is the
best all-round man I ever saw — becaues he is big and
broad and simple — because he's honest and sincere — ^be-
cause he — because I love him ! "
Richmond was silenced. She looked fine as she said
this — ^tiie sort of woman an intelligent, appreciative man
is mighty proud to have as a daughter. He was moved
so powerfully that he could not altogether conceal it.
But that was an impulse from a part of his nature
deeply sepulchered and almost deadr— quite dead so far
^ influence upon action or practical life was concerned.
** You're stark mad, Beatrice ! " he cried. " This has
j^ot to be cured at once. Come home with me ! "
" Father/' she pleaded, " you never denied me any-
thing in my life. And this I want more than all ^"
" I thought you said you had no hope,'' cried her
father, encouraged to see weakness in the feminine
pathos of her tones. ^^ Now, drop this nonsense ! Come
with me and marry Vanderkief or I'll beggar that artist
and drive him out in disgrace. Take your choice. And
be quick about it. I'll not make this offer again, and
I'll not stop the wheels once I set them in motion. In
two days I can have him made penniless."
Beatrice looked at her father ; her father looked at
her. She laughed — a quiet, cold laugh. "You win,"
said she. "I'll go."
And five minutes later she, having passively sub-
mitted to Allie's and Mrs. Kinnear's farewell embraces,
descended to enter her father's automobile. Richmond
took the seat beside her with an expression of mere tran-*
quillity upon his shrewd, dangerous face.
He had accomplished only what he felt assured in
advance he would accomplish. Whenever he played
trumps they won.
PETEE VISITS THE FBISON
We may hesitate, back and fill, creep forward with
trembling caution, in matters affecting our own affairs.
But we show no such nervousness when it comes to in-
terfering in the affairs of another. There we are swift
and sure. We give advice freely ; we say " ought *'
in authoritative tones ; we even enforce judgment if we
have the power. Why not? If matters do not turn
out well the fault will lie not upon our advice, but upon
the blundering way our advice was executed. Besides,
we shall not be called on to pay the bill ; destiny never
settles its accounts in consequences vicariously. Rich-
mond had given far less thought to his daughter's af-
fairs than he habitually bestowed upon the small de-
tails of a small business deal. He felt he did not need
to think about them ; he knew what was good for her.
Was he not her father? — and was it not a father's duty
and privilege to know what was best for a daughter?
So, the obstacle to the fulfillment of the destiny he had
ordained for her must be swept away.
He was a man who looked at ends, not at means.
Taking all the circumstances into account, he was
rather inclined to believe that his daughter was right
about Roger Wade's not wishing to marrj her; that
for some mysterious reason the poor artist was firmly
set against marrying her — ^perhaps was in love with
some other woman, perhaps had a wife hidden away
somewhere. But Roger's innocence or guilt was aside
from the point — ^the said point being that his daughter
must marry Yanderkief and so contribute her share
toward broad and solid foundations for the family he
was building. Thus, guilty or innocent, this artist
:who had had the misfortime to cross his path must be
sacrificed if necessary.
He felt neither pity nor hatred for Roger Wade
as he contemplated the possibility of having to ruin
him. Richmond was as impersonal as are all the large
forces of destiny, self-appointed or impressed — cholera
germs or conquerors, cyclones or captains of industry.
When he raised or lowered the price of a stock or of
a necessity of life, destroyed an industry or annexed
a railway, he looked on it as a destiny-ordained trans-
action; effects upon the happiness or misery of un-
known fellow-beings did not enter his head. The sui-
cides that followed his wrecking and looting of the
M« M. & 6. made no impression on him. If a man of
action paused for such refinements of sensibility as in-
PETER VISITS THE PRISON
cidental evil effects from his great designs there would
be no action. If the Almighty were a sentimentalist
how long would chaos be postponed? ^^ The larger
good " was Richmond's motto, and those who attacked
his right to set himself up as judge in so high and
difficult a matter were silenced by his pointing to his
triumphant success in establishing and maintaining
himself in destiny's American board of directors.
Beatrice, observing this relentlessness of his in a
romantic, impersonal way, and thinking only about his
exhibition of power and about the glories of victory,
had often admired, had been filled with pride. But now
that she had personal illustration of the meaning of
that sonorous word, relentless, she was feeling rather
differently. And hand in hand with horror of her
father there entered her heart a great fear of him*
She had fancied herself free ! She had gone haughtily
away, had stepped proudly about, had admired herself
for superior strength and courage. Here she was,
back at Red Hill, as much in chains as her mother and
her brothers and Rhoda, Countess of Broadstairs.
Through and through she was afraid of this man who
would stop at nothing — and whom nothing could stop.
Bitterly and vividly and in self-scorn she was realizing
the truth so compactly presented by Montaigne where
ho reminds us that the pedestal is not part of the bust.
But, although she could not lie to herself about her
fear, she resolutely hid it. Her front was calm and un-
daunted. She accepted her check like her father's
own daughter — with neither whimper nor frown. She
was chattering gajlj all the way down on the train.
She greeted her mother as if she had merely been away
for a day's shopping. She was the life of the dinner
table, played bridge afterwards with her old-time skill
— and that meant undivided attention upon the game-i
Her father was puzzled. Did this cheerfulness in-
dicate a plot to escape? Or, was Beatrice secretly
delighted at being able to extricate herself from a situ-
ation extremely distasteful to her sober sense, without
being forced to the mortification of having to confess
her folly? Or, was it simply the natural and incurable
frivolity of womankind? Richmond hoped and half
believed that the last two guesses contained the truth;
but he did not on that account relax his vigilance. It
was his fixed policy to leave no point in his line un-
covered, and to cover with the greatest care those
points where danger seemed least likely. Thenceforth
Beatrice should make no move without his knowledge.
She was never alone except when shut up in her own
apartment — and he had the telephone there discon-
nected. He was careful not to make his espionage irri-
tating ; it would not definitely disclose itself to her un-
PETER VISITS THE PRISON
less she tried to do something out of the ordinary. So
far as he could judge, she did not realize that it
A few days and Peter came down, to be received by
her with a friendliness that delighted him, and Rich-
mond no less.
Perhaps had Peter been bom to make his own way
in the world he would have developed a good mind and
enough character to have enabled him to acquit himself
creditably. As it was, however, his thinking had al-
ways been hired out and his character had remained al-
most rudimentary, except that he had been taught to
resist any and all attempts to get money out of him —
had been taught in much the same way that Nature
teaches the oyster to close its shell when anything
disagreeable tries to enter, teaches the worm to squirm
out of the way when it feels a touch.
Unlike his mind and most of the rest of his char-
acter, Peter's vanity was far from rudimentary. Those
bom to wealth or position get a quaintly false notion
of their own intrinsic importance — ^just as a prize
milcher probably mistakes the reason for the assiduous
attention of which she is the subject — the care with
which she is washed and curried and fed, humored and
petted, ever spoken to caressingly and considerately.
Peter's vanity was as highly sensitized as the sole of
the foot. He was constantly alternating between
ecstasy and torment, according as he interpreted the
actions of those about him — for he assumed that every-
one was thinking of him all the time, that whatever was
said was a compliment for him or an envious fling at
him. Otherwise, one might travel far and search dili-
gently without finding so amiable, so kindly a fellow
as he. His extreme caution with money — except in
self-indulgence, of course — did not produce any dis-
agreeable effect upon his associates; they either were
rich, young men, trained like himself to suspect every-
one of trying to ** trim *' them, or were parasites up<m
the rich, accustomed to the paiurious ways of the rich
and rather admiring stinginess as evidence of strength
of character. And it certainly was evidence of admi-
rable prudence; for the merely rich man shorn of his
riches is in much the same plight as a dog with its tail
cut off close behind its ears.
When Peter and Beatrice went for a walk, Peter
after a while noted the retainer of Richmond's personal
staff lingering with unobtrusive persistence in the off-
ing. "Why's that fellow skidking after us?" in^
Beatrice laughed. " Oh, father's nerves."
^^ About cranks and anarchists and socialists — eh?
Wdl, I don't wonder. The lower classes are gd±ing
PETER VISITS THE PRISON
damned impertinent in this coimtry. I'm strongly
tempted to go to England to live. There's the only
place on earth where a gentleman can count on being
treated like one all the time."
" Yes, it is comfortable," said the girl. " Except
the climate ! "
" That is rotten — ^isn't it? ... I wish the fellow
would drop us." Peter halted, frowning at the distant
figure. " I think I'll call out to him."
"Oh, don't bother," said Beatrice. "He's doing
" But I feel as if we were being spied on."
"What of it?" cried she with a radiant smile.
*^ We're not going to do anything that anybody
"But I've got some things to say to you — came
down especially to say 'em."
" Are they things that have to be shouted? ^'
" No — but — ^he makes me uneasy — and there's you.
You've got a way of looking and talking — ^as if you
weren't taking anything seriously."
She was smiling as he spoke. But if he had been
a close observer he might have seen an expression of a
quite different character veiled by the laughter of lips
" I came down to say some pretty sharp things to
you," he went on. "But, now that Fm with you, I
don't seem able to get them out. But they're there all
the same, Beatrice, and I'll act on 'em when I get away.
I'm sure I will."
**Well?" said she. An expert in woman's ways
would have gathered from the accent she put into the
word and from her accompanying manner that this
young woman had decided the time had come to make
it easy for Hanky to unburden himself.
" You're not treating me right," he burst out.
**You don't give me the — ^the respect that everybody
else does; the — ^the consideration that I've been used
Peter walked in silence beside her for some distance ;
these matters of which his sense of personal dignity
was compelling him to complain were difficult to put
into words that would not sound priggish and con-
ceited. Finally, he made a beginning: "Of course,
you're a splendid girl — ^the best I know — and that's
the reason I want you. There isn't anybody else who
combines all the advantages as you do. But — ^honestly,
Beatrice, isn't the same thing true of me.^ "
He looked at her, with his mind and his face ready
to resent evidences of her familiar mockery. But she
was gazing ahead, eyes serious and sweet mouth free
PETER VISITS THE PRISON
from any hint of a smile. ^^ Gro on, Hanky," said she
Peter felt that at last he was coming into his own.
With a great deal more confidence he proceeded : ** You
make me fed as if — as if I were cheapening myself —
hanging after you this way, taking things off you I
wouldn't take off anybody else on earth."
** Why, this engagement. There's hardly a girl in
New York — ^in our set — ^who wouldn't jump at the
chance. That isn't conceit. It's fact."
" It's both. Hanky," conceded the girl, without re-
serve. She looked at him, asked gravely; "Do you
really want to marry me?"
"Haven't I told you?"
** When I don't love you? "
" I've been thinking about that," said Peter, with a
notable air of experienced man of the world. " And it
seems to me you're only showing what a fine girl you
are. I'd be inclined to shy off from a girl who loved
me before we were married. I like delicacy — and —
and reserve — and purity — ^in a — a lady. By Jove, it
seems to me there's something kind of — of brazen and
forward in a girl's giving way to her feelings — when
— ^when — she's not supposed to know about that kind
of thing. It's — ^it's — ^well, it smacks of the lower
dasaes. They go in for that sort of thing — ^they and
the sort of women one doesn't talk about."
A long silence followed this outburst of upper-class
philosophy. Peter was revolving what he had said^
with increasing admiration for his own acumen. As
for Beatrice, after a fleeting smile of derision which
he did not see, she resumed her own distinct line of
thought. She looked at him several times — a scruti-
nizing look — a look of appeal — a look of doubt. Fi-
nally she said with some effort: "Peter — suppose I
told you I loved another man? "
He shook his head incredulously. "You wouldn't
love any man till you had the ri^t to. Besides, where
is there another man who's so exactly what you waqit
in every way? You know we're exactly suited to each
other, Beatrice. It's — it's like predestination. You'd
hate to give me up as much as I'd hate to give you np."
Centered though her mind was on whether she could
venture to make a confidant of him, she began to won-
der at him. True, she had permitted him to speak
frankly. True, their intimate acquaintance from child-
hood made him feel free to exhibit his innermost sdf
without any especial nervousness or reserve. Bujt
iliere «ti}l remained something unaccounted for. Where
had he got the courage to face her thus aggrepsively?
How came he to be infatuated with himself so far be-
PETER VISITS THE PRISON
yond the loftiest soarings of his most self-satisfied
mood theretofore? It was not long before her feminine
shrewdness pointed her to the cause. ^^ Some woman's
been at him — ^been trying to get him away from me.'*
In ordinary circumstances this would have pleased her
no better than it would please the next woman. But
just then she sincerely hoped her underminer had been
" Peter,'* said she thoughtfully, "have you been
considering giving me up? "
Peter looked flustered. But he did not hem and
haw ; he came straight back at her. ^' I havai't liked
the way you've kept me on the string," confessed he.
" Is there some other girl? " inquired she eagerly.
" I've seen quite a lot of Allie lately," admitted
Peter, and his manner let her know that he had been
giving a large amount of thought to the advantages of
making her jealous. " And I'm sure if I'd been to Allie
what I've been to you she'd not treat me as you have."
AUie! Then it was aU right. ''Dear AUie" had
been working in the interests of her friend. Beatrice
sent a loving thought to her.
^^And you must admit Allie has a lot of good
points," pursued Peter, calculating that his judicial
manner would set the jealous flame to spreading and
** She's much nearer your ideal of what a girl
should be than I am," said Beatrice with discourag^g
enthusiasm. ^^ She's fond of the same kind of life that
you are. Peter — ^why don't you love her?'*
Peter stared gloomily at the ground, thai fell to
switching off leaves with his stick. Was Beatrice jeal-
ous and taking this method of hiding it? Or was she
really indifferent to the danger of losing one of the
few first-class catches in America? The fear that the
latter might be the case made him so miserable that he
could not keep up the pretense about Allie.
Beatrice, desperate, hesitated no longer. ^^ But
first. Hanky, I want you to do me a favor. I want you
to pretend that we are to be married and that it's to
be in — say — ^in three months. Allie will understand.
I'll explain it all to her."
Peter began to bristle. " Pretend to whom? " said
** To father. And you must say you simply can't
marry for three months. I must have time to — Na
matter. I hope — ^in fact I'm sure that I'll be able to let
you off in a month."
^^ And have everybody say you chucked me? I like
that— I do ! "
^^You know. Hanky, no one would believe for a
minute that any girl would chuck youJ*
PETER VISITS THE PRISON
^■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■^■iM"""—— — ^— — ■■■■■i1^^^——pi— ^i^i^i^iWi^^^—
" But — but you'd be doing it, just the same," he
exploded. ** And — ^I want to marry you.'*
"Now, Peter, you know perfectly well you like
" Yes, I do like her better. Sometimes I don't like
you at all. But I always love you."
"Habit — simply habit," Beatrice assured him
airily. " You'll do it, won't you? "
" No ! " cried Peter, stopping short. " No, Fll not
do it. I've made up my mind to marry you. And I will."
" Aren't you ashamed of yourself. Hanky Vander-
kief ? " cried Beatrice. " Why, I always thought you
were a gentleman."
"Oh, when we're married you'll be all right —
mighty glad you did. A girl doesn't know her own
" Shame on you! Trying to take advantage of the
fact that my father's got me in his power."
This admission delighted Peter. " He's set on your
marrying me? " he inquired.
*^ That's why I want you to help me."
" Then that settles it ! " exclaimed Peter trium-
phantly. ** We'll be married."
"You — side with him — ^against m^/" Beatrice's
scorn was superb. " Oh, I wish I could marry you—
just to pimish you for that! "
Peter looked uncomfortable but dogged. ** I'd not
dare offend your father, anyhow. It'd cost me a pot
of money. He's got me up to my eyes in a lot of his
deals. And if he turned against me — ^gad, I'd look like
a sheep just after shearing. Beatrice, don't you see
it? There's no escape for us. We ought to marry.
We want to marry. We've got to marry."
Beatrice's answer was a glance of contempt. ^I
understand now," said she bitterly. "You'd marry
Allie Kinnear, if you dared. But you don't dare be-
cause you're afraid it'd cost you a little money."
" A little ! " cried Peter. " About a third of all
^^ And you've got about five times as much as you
oould possibly spend. Oh, I had no idea you were so
contemptible. You'd marry me against my will —
against your own heart — for fear and for money .*•
" I say, now ! " protested Vand^kief . ** Tliat
ain't fair, Beatrice."
" WUl you help me? " demanded she.
" I can't — and I won't," replied he unhesitatingly.
^' And, furthermore, I'm going to put it up to you and
your father that if you don't marry me next moatU
FU not marry jovl at all." And Peter drew himself to
his full height and swelled himself to his excellent full
figure and looked fiercely resolved.
PETER VISITS THE PRISON
Beatrice stood motionless^ her gaze fixed upon a
worn place in the grass just across the lake and not
far from the cascade.
^^ What do you say, Beatrice? " he asked rather
" You meant that? '*
He nodded emphatically. *^ I did. 1 do,'^
** You'd speak to father ? '*
His eyes shifted. ^^ If you compelled me to.**
** Look at me, Peter.''
With considerable difficulty he forced his eyea to
meet hers. All the latent selfishness and pettiness in
his nature seemed to her to be flaunting from them*
** Fm doing what's best for ^ot^," said he sullenly.
She gave that short, nasty Dan Richmond laugU
of hers — and his own face certainly did not suggest
the sunny and generous side of his character. ^^ Very,
well, dear Peter," said she. " We're engaged."
'^ And the marriage is next month, remember," he
insisted. ^^ We want to get to London before the end
of the season."
" The thirty-first of next month." She was still
looking at him with eyes full of sardonic — one might
say, Satanic — ^mirth. **Poor Peter!" she said.
** I can take care of myself," retorted he jauntily.
^And of you, too. Your father understands you*
He'll see to it that you don't have the chance to make
a fool of yourself and spoil your life after you're
Beatrice burst into a laugh full of pure mirth.
" You are a joke ! " she cried. " Poor Peter ! '*
** Let's go back to the house," said he angrily.
** Yes — ^to tell the glad news."
**Now, don't put on with me, Beatrice. Do yeu
think I haven't got good sense? I know that in reality
you are delighted. You seem to have a prejudice
against doing anything in the ordinary way. You
want to make me feel in the wrong — ^to get an advan-
tage over me from the start. But I'm on to you. So
— come along!"
Beatrice laughed again. And again she said,
"^^ Poor Peter!"
UNDER COVEE OP NIGHT
Back at the house Beatrice and Peter went into the
east drawing-room, where Mrs. Richmond was giving
tea to her half dozen guests. As they entered from the
hall Richmond appeared in the opposite doorway of
the billiard room. He swept Peter's face with one of
his keen glances. As soon as the agitations and read-
justments incident to new arrivals were over, he took
his daughter aside.
" Be^i quarreling with Peter? " said he.
She turned her head, called out : " Hanky — just a
minute. You'll excuse him, Mrs. Martini? " And
when Peter, red and ill at ease, was with them in the
deep window, she said: " Tell him."
"Your daughter has — ^has consented," said Peter.
Richmond beamed and wrung his hand.
" And as we want to get to London for the end of
the season," continued Peter, " we'd like to be married
the last of next month."
^^ No objection — ^none whatever," said Richmond*
** Fm not sure/' said Beatrice, all this time inscru-
tably calm. ^^ I'll have to talk with mother first. It's
not easy to get together the clothes in such a little
" Nonsense," cried Richmond. " There's the
^* And you'll want most of the things sent to you
in London," suggested Peter.
Beatrice shrugged her shoulders. ^^ Just as mam-
ma says." And she strolled over to the tea table and
cut herself a slice of layer cake, which she proceeded
to eat with much deliberation and enjoyment.
The two men stood together observing her* Up
came Mrs. Martini, slim and willowy and dressed in the
extreme of the skin-tight fashions of that year.
** What are you two looking so gloomy about? " in-
Richmond scowled. ^^ Gloomy?" said he, with a
disagreeable laugh. ^^We feel anything but gloomy.
That is — er — of course my feelings are somewhat con-
fused. I've just learned that Peter's going to take
Beatrice away from me the end of next montL"
Peter's smile in response to Mrs. Martini's effusive
oongmtulations was sickly, was with difficulty kept
alive long enough to meet the requirem^its of eonven*
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
Beatrice had not shown the faintest sign that she
was conscious of imprisonment. So far as Richmond
observed, not once had she made any attempt to break
through or even to explore the limits assigned her.
Had it not been for the discontent plain to see upon
Peter's florid, vigorously healthy countenance through-
out the four days he lingered at Red Hill, Richmond
would have assumed that his daughter had regained
her reason as he had felt confident she would. Beatrice
did make an effort in public to treat Peter as her fianc^;
but she had to give it up. Her nerves refused to assist
her in her game of hypocrisy beyond a certain point
— and Peter had become physically repulsive to her.
She did not regard this defect in her otherwise perfect
pose as serious. She knew that her father was not
one to relax vigilance because he had won. So, what
advantage would there be in striving, and probably fail-
ing, to remove his last suspicion?
Without betraying herself she had thoroughly ex-
amined all the metes and bounds of her prison. She
found it everjrwhere worthy of her father's minute in-
genuity. By means of his pretext of alarm about
cranks and kidnapers she was being thoroughly spied
upon without the spies suspecting what they were
really about. By day there were the personal guards,
to inform him if she tried to communicate with Roger
either personally or by message. By night there were
the watchman within and the three patrobnen without,
and a system of burglar alarms that made it impossible
for anyone either to leave or to enter without flooding
the whole house with light and starting up a clamor of
bells from attics to cellars.
Apparently she was as free as air — free to roam
anywhere in the vast wilderness surrounding the gar-
dens and terraces and lawns from the midst of which
the big chateau rose. Really, she could not move a
step in secret— and to give Roger the warning she
must see him face to face without her father's knowl-
edge. For, if her father purposed to keep faith with
her, it would be folly to give him reason to feel he
would do well to ruin Roger anyhow ; and, if he did not
purpose to keep the agreement under which she had
returned and had accepted Peter, it would be madness
to provoke him to attack Roger immediately. She
must see Roger secretly.
If chance there was, that chance must be under
cover of night — anight, when she was at least free from
the espionage of human eyes. How could she get out
of the house undetected and get back into it unsus-
pected? And if she could accomplish this well-nigh
impossible feat, how arrange to meet Roger — when she
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
could not communicate with him, when she did not
even know where he lived?
Every system of human devising has its weak
point. By observing and thinking Beatrice discovered
the weak point in this system of her father's. As soon
as she formed her plan she got ready this note:
It is absolutely necessary that I see you for a few
minutes. My only chance is at night. So, come down
to the cascade at one o'clock the morning after you get
this. Don't fail me. Don't think me hysterical or sen-
timental. I might almost say this is a matter of life
The burglar alarms were switched on every night
by Conrad Pinney, the superintendent, just after the
house was closed. They were switched off at five in
the morning by Tom, the indoors watchman, when the
lowest rank of menials in the service of the establish-
ment descended from their httle rooms under the eaves
of the west wing to make ready the first-floor rooms
for the day. The house was closed as soon as the last
member of the family went up to his or her rooms.
To escape, she must choose the moment or so between
the ascending of the last member of the family and the
switching on of the alarms — ^and it must be on a night
when some one member of the family stayed down lon^f
enough after the going of the rest to make it certain
there would be no accidental glancing into her rooms
to see that all was welL To get back into the house
she must wait until it was opened at five o'clock and
slip in unseen by the menial sweepers and cleaners and
On Tuesdays and Thursdays her father brought
from town a bundle of papers which he usually sat up
with until midnight or even one o'clock. Then he and
Pinney often walked up and down the terrace before
the main entrance and smoked for twenty minutes.
Peter went away on a Monday. On Tuesday night there
were no guests. At dinner were only the family — her
mother, her father and herself, her mother's secretary.
Miss Gleets, Mrs. Lambert, the housekeeper, and Pin-
ney. As they sat at table Beatrice revolved her jttoj-
ect, decided she would risk a slight change in it that
would spare her a night outdoors and the danger of
being seen as she entered in the early morning. After
dinner she and her mother and the housekeeper and
Pinney played bridge until half past ten. By eleven
o'clock everyone was gone from downstairs but her
father, Pinney, and two servants. In her room in
the dark she waited imtil half past eleven, then changed
to outing dress, descended and slipped into the gray;
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
salon. Its windows had been locked for the night.
She unlocked one, opened it, went out upon the broad,
stone veranda, closed the window behind her. The sky
was fortunately overcast, or she would have been in
full view, as the moon was on that side of the house.
She crept along in the shadow of wall and shrub-
bery until she was in the woods. There she struck into
a path and fled down the hill toward the boathouse.
When she was about half way she remembered the out-
side watchmen — remembered that the boathouse was
one of their stations. It would be folly to risk run-
ning into them; she must make the trip to the studio
on foot by rounding the end of the lake — full five miles
instead of less than three. At the shortest she would
be gone, not about two hours, but more than three. So,
it was useless to think of getting in before her father
went to bed and the alarms were switched on. Instead
of hurry there was time to waste — all the time before
five in the morning. She strolled along, taking the
longest way and keeping entirely clear of the watch-
men's routes among the several groups of widely sep-
arated outbuildings — the stables and garage, the
water, lighting and laundry plants, the kennels, the
hothouses, the farm and dairy buildings.
A fine, soft rain fell, but it did not trouble her as
the foliage was now — early May — so thick that it was
almost a roof. When she came out of the woods near
the studio the rain had ceased and the moon, never so
thickly veiled that it did not give her light, sailed in
a clear path among the separating clouds. She looked
at the watch on her wrist; it was nearly one o'clock.
** I came too quickly," she said. " I must do better
She found the studio door open, as she expected;
there were no tramps in that region, and Red Hill was
guarded only because New York thieves might plan an
expedition expressly to plunder it. She dropped the
hasp from the staple, pushed the big door open.
The room within was in the full pour of the moon
now straight above the huge skylight. She looked
round, her heart beating wildly — ^not with fear, not
with expectation, but with memory. From that bench
there she had first seen him. There she had watched
him making chocolate. There they had sat drinking it,
she admiring the swift, vivid play of emotion upon his
handsome face — and what interesting emotion ! — so free
— so simple — so strong — so genuine! She went to the
bench, seated herself, stretched herself at full length —
and sobbed. ** Oh, if you only knew ! " she cried. " I'm
so different now ! Fve learned so much — and I love you
— ^love you, Chang ! " It thrilled and comforted her to
speak out her heart without reserve in that place.
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
> I ' ■ W - I .1
She searched the room for some memento of him.
In one of the wide chinks in the masonry of the chimney
she found a pipe — ^an old, evil-smelling thing, its
mouthpiece almost bitten through. She laughed and
cried over it, touching it caressingly, making a face at
its really fearful odor, but loving it none the less. She
tore up an old newspaper, wrapped the pipe carefully
to shut in that odor if possible.
She sat on one of the rough, uncomfortable chairs
and proceeded to live over every moment of her ac-
quaintance with him — to recall all he had said and done
and looked, all his little peculiarities of gesture and ac-
cent ; to analyze his fascination for her — ^why she loved
him — ^the thousand and one reasons in addition to the
real reason — ^which, of course, was that he wfius Chang,
the biggest and straightest and honestest man she had
ever known, not even self-conscious enough to be mod-
est. The moon crossed the skylight; the room faded
into half darkness; the moon reappeared at the west
window, high up in the wall. She dreamed on and on
— ^the dreams with which she filled most of her waking
moments when she was alone. When she remembered
to look at her watch it was five minutes after three !
She sprang up, took the note from her bosom,
thrust it three quarters through the crack between the
closet door and its frame, just above the lock. Would
he get It that morning? Or, would it be several days
before he came there? ^^ I'll go to the cascade two
nights/' said she. " Then, if he doesn't come, I'll try
some other way."
When she reached the top of Red HiU it was day,
though the sun was not yet above the horizon. She
circled roimd until she was opposite the main entrance,
but well concealed. She had come down early so often
that she knew the routine through which the servants
would go. Just as the first rays of the sun lit upon the
topmost of the pointed roofs, Tom, the indoors watch-
man, appeared in the main entrance. The alarms were
off. She circled back to the west and, by way of the
dense shrubbery that would hide her from any chance
gazer from windows, she gained the veranda — the un-
locked window of the gray salon. Her heart stood still
while she was raising that window. When no soimd of
bells banging and clanging came she drew a long
breath, stepped weakly through, lowered and locked the
window. The rest of the journey was comparatively
free from danger.
When her maid came in at nine o'clock she was
sleeping soundly; and all traces of her expedition had
been removed by her own unaccustomed hands from
skirt and leggings and shoes. The old pipe in its news*
paper wrappings was hidden deep in a drawer of lin-
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
gene odorous of delicate sachet — a drawer of which she
had the only key.
Gretting awaj from the house the next night was not.
Several guests came from town in the afternoon*
She was obliged to stay down until the last, had difBcul-
ty in preventing Josephine Burroughs from following-
her into her room to chatter for an hour or longer. All
evening, as her father lingered in the drawing-room,,
she had forced herself to act in her gayest, most uncon-
cerned manner. Her nerves were on edge and she had
a fever. She knew the servants were closing the house
in mad haste. There was no time to change dress or
even shoes ; there was just time to send her maid away,,
to catch up a long wrap, turn out her lights and dart
downstairs. Probably no one was yet in bed, but she
must take the chance of some accidental late call upon
her. As she raised the window in the gray salon she
confidently expected to hear the bells, to be dazzled by
sudden flash of lights. She did not breathe until she
had it lowered.
It was after midnight. She congratulated herself
on having fixed one o'clock as the hour for the meeting.
She would have just time to reach the little cataract.
She had not gone far before her slippers were in a
dreadful state and her legs wet to the knees. ^^ The ex-
citement's the only thing that can save me from the cold
of my life,*' thought she. Colds were serious matters
with her — disfiguring, desperately uncomfortable, slow
to take leave. Long before she reached the lower end of
the lake she could feel that her dress was a bedraggled
wreck, high though she had held it. As she went along
the rough shore path she glanced from time to time at
the meeting place on the opposite side. The moon made
everything distinct ; he was not there. Had it taken
her longer to come than she thought, and had he gone?
Or had he disregarded her note? Or had he not yet
got it? "I don't believe Til dare come again,'* she said
to herself despondently. But she knew that she would.
She crossed the brook on the stones that fretted it.
She reached the place where she could see the grass
worn by his working at his easel, the mud of the lake's
brim creased by the keel of her canoe. She looked all
round, straining her eyes into the dimness under the
" Chang ! " she called.
She gazed, listened, waited. ** Chang ! " she called
again, a sob in her voice.
From the deep shadow of the maple tree immediately
in front of her came Roger's voice: ** Some one is com-
ing toward us in a boat."
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
** Don't move ! " she exclaimed in an undertone.
"No matter what happens, don't show yourself. I
must speak quickly," she hurried on. "That money
you said you had — ^you must sell out whatever it's in-
vested in and put it in Government bonds — ^right away.
Will you? Promise me ! "
" I can't," repHed he. " It's in bonds of the Wau-
chong Railroad, that's just gone into the hands of a re-
Beatrice gasped. " Oh! " she cried. But she must
not delay. " My father did it," she hurried on, " be-
cause he wants to ruin you and drive you out of the
Roger laughed quietly. " Don't worry, Rix. I'm
"I've got so much to say. I must see you
** No. This is good-by. I read about your engage-
ment, and I was glad you had made up your mind to do
the sensible thing. I hope you'll be happy — and you
will be. I'll send you the picture as a wedding present."
** Chang — don't believe that," cried she imploringly.
*^ I must see you. As soon as I can I'll let you know.
I'm watched. But I'll give them the slip and "
"You'll do nothing stealthy — ^not with my help,"
answered he. " I'll not come again ^"
The clash of oar in lock struck both silent. A row-
boat gUded from the shadows, thrust its nose far up the
muddy shore. Beatrice immediately recognised her
father the only occupant. He stood up, looking round.
He said in a voice of suspiciously pleasant intonation,
" I see Wade hasn't come yet. Well, Til wait and take
you back. The walking's bad — especially in that kind
Each could see the other's face plainly in that bright
moonlight. She showed no more sign of agitation than
he, and he was suave. Beatrice spoke. ^^ Yes, Fve
ruined my dress. And the sUppers — ^they're pulp.*'
She glanced round. " What time is it? "
*^ Half past one,** he announced, as the result of a
look at his watch.
It's later than I thought. I'm ready to go home
^^ I've plenty of time,** protested Richmond.
" No. Let's go. There's nothing to stay for.**
And she stepped into the boat, steadying herself
with a hand on his shoulder as she passed him cm her
way to sit in the stem. It had been almost necessary
that she steady herself somehow in passing him in that
rather narrow rowboat. She was hardly conscious that
she had touched him ; he was touching her as a matter
of course, and also his own guiding and steadying hand
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
■ II iia II ■ II ■ ■ I I a
WBM on her arm. Yet the incident, apparaitly trifling,
WBLS in fact most significant in itself and frai:^ht with
highly important consequences. In the first pleu;e it
showed that, though father and daughter fancied they
were hating each other to the uttermost, they in reality
were still father and daughter, with at least one strong,
uncleft bond of sympathy through the recognition by
eftdi in the other of qualities both intensely admired —
for two people who deeply hate do not touch each other
except in anger. Also, it altered their immediate rela-
tionship; it softened the animosities that were raging
for uttehrance in each, uld made it impossible for the
quarrel that was bound to come to be of exactly the same
compkxioii — of the same peculiar character it would
have taken had they not touched each other.
When she was seated he pushed off and disposed
himself at the oars. He kept to the middle of the lake^
where the Mght was clear and strong. They had not
gone many yards on that water journey of three miles
before her father said :
" You wanted to tell him what I warned you I would
^^ And then you intended to break your promise to
" No. I made no promise — ^not in so many words.
But I was going to stand by the engagement. Peter
has become repulsive to me, but — any man would be
equally so. And I might as well marry and have done
" A few years from now," said her father, ** you
will thank me for having saved you from your folly."
She dropped her hand into the water. The moon-
beams glistened on her yellow hair, on her smooth,
young face and neck.
"You ought to have known," pursued her father,
^^ that I would not have told you I would ruin Wade
unless it was impossible for him to escape. I have put
his investments in such a position that I can wipe them
out or not. What 1*11 do will depend on whether you
are fooUsh or sensible."
She glanced up for an instant. Then he was not so
guilty as she had thought — ^that is, perhaps he was not.
" You say you didn't intend to break the engage-
ment," he went on. ** Why, then, did you come here
" Because you had made it impossible for me to let
him know in any other way."
" You could have written," rejoined he ; the familiar
note of suspicion, of the keen mind on the scent for the
hidden truth was strong in his voice. " I've no control
over the mails."
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
**I didn't want to put on paper — such a thing —
about — ^my father."
Richmond rowed in silence perhaps ten minutes*
Then he said, and the note of affection was fully as
strong in his voice as the note of suspicion had been be-
" Was that your only reason? ''
" I thought so," replied she. " I realize now that I
also wanted to see him — to see if there was any hope."
** You'd feel fine — ^wouldn't you — ^if you made a
fool of yourself with this man and then found out that
he was already married? "
The change in her expression was apparent even in
that misleading light. During the long silence he saw
that she was revolving his sinister suggestion. He took
his time before going on in a calm, deliberate tone:
" We know nothing about him — except that he is a man
you, in your right senses, would never think of marry-
" That is true," replied she, ** if you mean by right
senses the sort of girl I was brought up to be."
" The sort of girl you are^^^ said he with gentle em-
phasis. The Daniel Richmond of rage and threat was
engulfed in the wise and skillful man of affairs.
She looked at him with her old-time, gay mockery.
^ YouVe decided to take a different tack with me, I see.'*
Richmond met smile with smile — ^and it was from
him that she had got the peculiar charm of her smile.
^^ I admit I've been blundering," sedd he. ^^ My eager-
ness to have you do what was best for you blinded mj
judgment. And it was very exasperating to see you
rushing headlong into a folly you'd repent all your life.
It's hard for an older person to remember how inexperi-
enced youth is, and to be patient. But I'll try to do
better. ... I sent your mother to see whether you were
in your room. I don't know why I did it. I've got in-
stincts that have saved me in tight places many a time.
She went, came back — said you were there. But she
can't deceive me face to face. She has learned that I
scent a lie like a terrier a rat. So, I went myself. When
I saw you were gone it sobered me." He said these
things in a thoroughly human way, sincerely, sboaply —
himself as he was for the daughter he loved.
*' I'd like to be able to — ^to do as you wish, father,"
said she with gentleness. ** But when I told you ^"
" Let's not discuss that now," he interrupted ** To-
morrow, perhaps. Not now."
Another silence, with the girl rapidly softening to-
ward her father — ^her always indulgent father, and she,
the recently worldly, could appreciate his point of view
— ^why, at times, her own new point of view seemed an
aberration in a dream.
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
She said: ^ Have you reason to think he is — ^is mar-
** So have you.'*
** He never told me — ^never hinted such a thing."
" Did he ever tell you he was not married? "
" Certainly not.'* Beatrice laughed aloud. " I
never told him I was not married.''
" You say you asked him to marry you? "
" Yes— I did."
** And you say he refused? "
^^ He refused absolutely. He laughed at the idea
that I really cared for him. If you could have heard,
father! That's why it'd be unjust for you to blame
him. It was every bit my fault."
" Why did he refuse to marry you? " her father
^^ Because he did not care, I suppose — care enough."
** What reason did he give? "
^^ He didn't think it would be good for his career.
He — Oh, he had a lot of reasons. They didn't seem
to me to amount to much, for, of course, everybody
wants to get married, and expects to, some time. That
was why I — hoped."
" Don't you think he may have been evading —
didn't want to tell you the real reason? "
Her father's calm, searching insistence, free from
anger or malice, friendly toward her, not unjust to
Roger — ^it began to agitate her, to fill her with vague
doubts and fears. ^^ But if he had that reason," urged
she, " he could have ended everything at once by telling
" Unless he had a reason for silence," replied Rich-
mond. And with quiet acuteness he explained : ^^ Maybe
he's planning to get rid of his wife so that he'll be free
to accept you — and the fortune he thinks goes with
"You're trying to prejudice me against him!"
cried the girl, all in a turmoil over this subtle attack,
which seemed to come as much from within as from with-
But her father was equal to this emergency. " If
you intend to keep your engagement," said he, " if you
have no hope of being accepted by this young man you
know nothing about — ^you wish to be prejudiced
against him — don't you, Beatrice?"
There seemed to be no effective answer to this
"Yes, I do want to prejudice you against him,"
continued Richmond. " I want you to wake up to the
fact that you've been doing all these foolish, compromis-
ing things for a man about whom you know absolutely
UNDER COVER OF NIGHT
"Fm sure he's not married!" exclaimed Beatrice
" Maybe not," was her father's unruffled reply.
**But it does look exceedingly strange — doesn't it? —
that a girl like you should be refused by a poor nobody
— for no reason."
^^ He is honest and independent," replied Beatrice
strongly — ^but not so strongly as she wished. "He
wouldn't marry me unless he loved me."
^^ But I should think," subtly suggested Richmond,
** it would be — ^well, not so very hard for a man to fall
in love with a giri who had so many advantages."
Beatrice's vanity lined up strongly behind her
worldly common sense in conceding plausibility — and
more — ^to this suggestion. She laughed, but she was
When they were near the house her father said
good-himioredly : "Will you take me in the way you
came out? I've told Pinney not to turn on the alarms
until I come out of my study — ^where he thinks I am.'*
So, father and daughter reentered Red Hill by
stealth, getting a lot of fun out of the adventure — ^and
separating at her door with a good, old-fashioned, old-
time hug and kiss.
PETEr'b bad QDAETEK HOD&
The bill for that excursion in flimsy dress and slip-
pers through tlie wet, cold woods was promptly pre-
sented; and, after the rude manner of all such bills, it
had to be met on sight. As has been hinted, Beatrice
did not have those refined, ladylike colds which enable ,
heroines of fiction to continue in undiminished lovel>«>J
ness. She had the plain, human cold that reduces itsl
victim to a wheezing, sneezing, snuffling hunk of mis'
ery, swollen of eyes and nose, laden with pocket hand-
kerchiefs. She let no one but the family see her at sudi
times — and was just as well pleased if they kept away.
Thus, she now had five days for uninterrupted re-
flecHon, in a humble, most penitential frame of mind>'
Her father did not disturb her, flattered her with &l—
tentions of specially selected flowers, of solicitous in-
quiries twice a day, not through secretary or butler
or valet, but personally seeking her own maid.
The third day her mother came with glowing ac-
counts of ivhat he purposed doing for her in commem-
oration of the marriage. The chief items were
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
nificent jewels and the Red Hill estate. As the jewels
would be too dear, to her who loved jewels, for her ever
to think of realizing on them, and as the Red Hill es*
tate would call for a huge annual appropriation from
her father's bounty for maintenance, it must be said
that Richmond, resolved to keep his children dependent,
had chosen not uncannily. But Beatrice was in no
mood to tear his acts into shreds in search for the slyly
concealed motive. Since he had reversed her expec-
tations by dealing gently with her when he caught her
at the cascade, she had almost restored him to flavor
in her thoughts. Nor did the fact that gentle dealing
was absolutely the only course left open to him affect
her g^ierous judgment. This news of the gifts, the
excited talk of her maid, on her own behalf and also
in repeating what was being said below stairs, the
journalistic comments on the approaching ^^ alliance "
— ^all these things tended to put marrying Peter before
her in a less unfavorable light. And she was not seeing
Peter — ^nor Roger.
Abased by her cold, she took a low view of her go-
ings on with Roger. She succeeded in shaming her
skulking pride into the open, where it made earnest
efforts to reproach her for having thrown herself at a
man who had promptly and decisively repulsed her.
No matter what his reason. He had shown her that he
did not love her — and did not want her love. The
older people grow, the less nervous they are about be-
ing sillily romantic ; they glory in the divine follies of
love. Young heart being all they have left of youth's
fair, fleeting riches, they try to enjoy it to the utter-
most. But young people, if at all sophisticated, shy
from extravagant romance; they fear to be convicted
of the horrible crime of being young and green ; they
dread falling victim to the humiliating swindle of lov-
ing more than they are loved, of giving more than they
get. Until Beatrice met Roger she had prided herself
on the control of her mind over her heart, on being
** woman of the world.'* She now began to smile —
faintly, but with attempt at mockery — ^upon her de-
liriiun of love. She did not regret it, did not repent it.
But she thought of it as a thing of the past.
Her father dropped in on her for a little talk be-
fore dressing for dinner. He had never been so atten-
tive — ^and no man could be more fascinating than Rich-
mond, when he wished. " I've got to make a tour of
the Northwest," said he. ** I must start not later than
the twenty-second of May — and be gone a month. I
wish you'd either put off the wedding till I get back
or have it before I go. When Peter comes down to-
morrow you and he can talk it over. You know I'd
rather you married before I go, I'm not as young
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
as I once was^ and there's an element of uncertainty;
in these journeys. But it shall be just as you say."
" It'll have to be put off," said Beatrice.
^^ Don't forget that Peter has made arrangements
for you to be presented at court the tenth of June."
" I simply can't get ready."
^^Your mother thinks you can," said Richmond,
showing his keen disappointment, but altogether in
regret, not at all in anger or reproach. ^^ Still, do the
best you can. Think it over. Talk with Peter."
^^I'll do the best I can," said Beatrice, She had
protested more strongly to him than she had in her
own heart, for she was now sunk down into indifference.
Nothing seemed to matter. The cold had left her
physically below par; her mental state was therefore
blackly pessimistic. Roger's lack of response seemed
profoundly discouraging; she began to doubt whether
she loved him — ^whether she ever had loved as she had
fancied. We should get very much nearer to the truth
about human adversities and disasters — ^the truth
about their real causes — did we but know exactly what
was the state of health of the persons chiefly concerned.
Beatrice well and Beatrice ill were two absolutely dif-
" Yes — ^I know you'll oblige me if it's possible,'^
said her father.
The next day happened to be a Sunday. Rich-
mond himself motored down to meet Peter, who was
arriTing in time for lunch.
As the young man descended from the train it took
no skill whatever at reading faces to discover that he
was out of humor — had been brooding over Beatrice's
treatment of him, and in the brooding had lost nothing
of the grouch he had taken away with him. A weak
man never looks so weak as when he is out of humor;
accordingly, Peter was showing his true character, or
lack of character, with a distinctness that irritated
Richmond even as he reflected how admirably it fitted
in with his plans. Peter was not to blame for his weak-
ness. He had not had the chance to become otherwise*
He had been deprived of that hand-to-hand strife with
life which alone makes a man strong. Usually, how-
ever, the dangerous truth as to his weakness was well
hidden by the fictitious seeming of strength which ob-
stinacy, selfishness, and the adulation of a swarm of
sycophants and dependents combine to give a man of
means and position. Richmond, for all his reverence
for Peter's lineage and wealth nearly two centuries old,
had not for an instant been deceived as to his personal
character. One reason why he felt so satisfied with
him as a son-in-law was his belief that Beatrice could
foe happy only with a man she could rule; and on this
- PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
Sunday of Peter's arrival with his weakness stripped
naked to the most casual eye by his bad humor, Rich-
mond was better pleased than ever with his selection
for his high-strung daughter.
^^ Peter," said he sharply, when he had him in the
The young man clinched his hands in a feeble ges*
ture of preparation for resolute resistance.
** Pve got to go West the middle of the month. I
want you and Beatrice to marry before I go — say, on
the twentieth. You have to be in London early in the
second week in June? *'
"Yes,** said Peter reluctantly — the yes of a man
lacking the moral courage to say no.
** PU not be in the East again before the middle of
Jime — maybe July."
** Can't do it," said Peter with a sudden scowl at
the back of the chauffeur separated from them by thick
"Why not?" inquired Richmond in the animal
trainer's tone and with the animal trainer's eye upon
the unhappy Peter. " Why not? "
" Pm not sure I shall marry at all," said Peter, and
his fright distorted his bluff at resoluteness into a sort
of nervous impudence, like that of the schoolboy brav-
ing the teacher's uplifted ferule because the rest of
the school is waiting with ears that long to hear him
howl and beg.
Richmond twisted his small, wiry body round in the
seat that he might bring the various batteries in and
behind his face full upon Vanderkief . ^^ Is this a
joke?" he demanded.
" I wish it were," replied Peter diplomatically.
** I've made some discoveries that will compel me to —
to relieve your daughter of — of the engagement which
— ^which is so distasteful to her."
Richmond's policy in dealing with his fellow-men
was to strike his heaviest blow first — that is, he blew
up the intrenchments before he charged the intrenched.
He laughed in that gentle, light way which is as the
soft tap of the nettle leaf that instantly produces a
swelling and a smarting. " So, this is why you've been
sneaking round these last three days, trying to dis-
pose of the stocks I let you in on."
Peter grew sickly pale. " I've — I've been — ar-
ranging my affairs somewhat," mumbled he.
Richmond laughed again — cheerily, genially.
" This world," said he, " is peopled by fools. But the
biggest fool of all is the fellow who thinks he is a lit-
tle less of a fool than the others. That seems to fit
you, my boy. You must think I was whelped only yes-
terday. Do you suppose I trust people because I take
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
'em in with me? Why, I'd have been in the jail or the
poorhouse long ago if I had. When I let you in I
locked the door behind you. I always do."
Peter's hands were trembling so that they shook
the stick round which he had them clasped.
** You think you've sold out," continued Richmond.
** Instead, you'll find to-morrow that you still have all
you bought through me — and that you've got to buy
as much more."
** But I can't do it," pleaded Vanderkief — and his
voice was not much better than a whine. "I've got
no ready money. I'd have to sell real estate that's been
in the family from the beginning."
"I'll take it on mortgage," said Richmond reas-
suringly. " So, you needn't worry about that, my
" But we never mortgage! " cried Peter. His face
became shiny with sweat. " No, indeed — ^we never
mortgage, Mr. Richmond. I'm much obliged, but we
^^ Grot to begin some time," said Richmond. And
seeing that his prospective son-in-law was in the proper
state of flabbiness, he went back to the point. " Now
— ^as to the trouble between you and Beatrice. Please
explain it. Let's see just what it is."
** She cares nothing about me."
" Who says so? "
" She does."
"When we became engaged."
" Yet you proposed and she t
Peter squirmed. " But I didn't know she carec
about — about some one else."
" Who? "
" An — an artist."
" I met him at your house." Peter's anger was
rising, as will the anger of the worst frightened boy
in the world if the whipping is kept up long enough.
" I might have known," he cried. " I did suspect, the
day I saw him painting her. But it seemed absurd
that a girl of her position "
" It is absurd," cut in Richmond. " Who told you
this story? "
Peter did not reply.
*' No. I'm not at all likely to-
" Then it was Allie Kinnear," said Richmond, aod^fl
Peter guiltily felt as if the information had bee
wrenched from him. " So, she'a trying to
" Mr, Richmond," said Peter with the stiffness of J
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
an insulted man of ancient lineage, ^^ I have the high-
est esteem for Miss "
** So have I," interrupted Richmond. ** She's a
pretty, bright, shrewd girl. She fools everybody.
But I'd have thought you would have been on guard."
** I assure you, sir, Miss Kinnear ^"
^ Oh — ^by the way " — ^Richmond broke into Peter's
sentence as if a thought on another subject had hap-
pened to flash through his mind. ** Bring those mort-
gages to my ofBce before two o'clock to-morrow," said
he carelessly. " I've an appointment at two-thirty.
That gives us a clear half hour — ^plenty of time."
Peter seemed to wither. The internal havoc was
more dire than the external; for, internally, he had
" Miss Kinnear is pretending to love you," went
on his tormentor, harking back to the matrimonial
business. ^' I want to find out just how far you've
walked into her trap."
" She has made no pretenses," protested Peter-
" I'm sure if she married a man it'd be because she
cared for him."
"Fudge, Peter — fudge!" laughed Richmond..
** You're a man of the world. You know what she
wants." Then, with gimlet eyes and with bony finger
poking into the heavy muscle of Peter's arm : " If you
wish to know what anybody wants you don't listen to
what they aay, you look at what they need.
This was the kind of shrewdness that made impi
sion upon Peter, the sensitively suspicious. He winced,
looked uncomfortable and sheepish.
" There's nothing in that artist story," scoffed
Richmond. " You know Beatrice. She's very proud.
Take my advice, don't speak to her about it. If she
got a notion that you were flirting with AUie — " Ric^<
mottd made a gesture suggestive of vague, vast
" I hope, sir, you've not got the impression that I
— that I — " Peter came to a full stop.
" I've got no impression at all except tliat yoW-
wish to marry Beatrice on the eighteenth,'
" The twentieth," corrected Peter.
"The twentieth, then." Richmond had now,
changed his manner to the benevolent paternal. " And
do be sensible, young man, and make no trouble be-
tween Beatrice and Allie,"
Thus it came to pass that when Peter and Beatrice
were strolling down the Italian garden after lunch,
Peter lost no time in obeying Richmond's orders. Nor
did he set about it with any reluctance, for Beatrice
was once more herself and, in a costume that gave her
every charm its best chance, was enough to turn a far
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
steadier head than Peter's had been in several years
where she was concerned. " Don't you think," said he,
" that we'd better change the date to the eighteenth? "
She made no immediate reply. They walked slowly ^
toward the arch at the farther end, he glancing at her
from time to time with a notion that she had not heard.
At last he asked: " Did you hear? "
She nodded, seated herself on an old stone seat
from the garden of an ancient palace, where it had no
doubt participated in many a fateful interview between
man and woman.
" What are you thinking about? " inquired he.
"About our marriage." She gave him a steady,
penetrating look — ^the sort of look that always made
him ill at ease with her and a little afraid of what mar-
rying her might mean. ** Do you want to marry me,
Peter? " she asked.
" What rot ! " exclaimed he. His glance shifted.
" You know you don't," rejoined the girl. " Your
good sense tells you I'm not the sort of woman a man
would enjoy being tied to imless she loved him. You
don't want to marry me, and I don't want to marry
** What's the use of this kind of talk? " he remon-
"Every use. Let's refuse to marry."
Peter looked strangely alarmed, glanced roimd as
if in mortal dread lest they were being overheard.
** If your father hears of this he'll blame me," he cried.
** I tell you I want to marry you. I'm determined to
marry you. I've given my word and you've given
yours. And we'll marry on the "
^* I ask you to release me," interrupted the girl.
** I'll not do it ! " And visions of money pouring
t)ut and mortgages pouring in put a note of shrill hys*
teria into his usually heavy voice.
" I thought I could marry you," said Beatrice^
^strong, vigorously strong under a surface of sweet
gentleness. " I find I can't. You'll release me."
** I will not ! " exclaimed Peter, once more shiny
with sweat and mopping industriously. " And I want
you to tell your father that I absolutely refused to re-
lease you — ^that I insisted on your marrying me."
" My father? " said the girl wonderingly. " What
Jias he got to do with it? "
Peter was winded for the moment. He recovered
•quickly, hastened to explain : " I — ^I've the highest re-
:spect for your father. I wouldn't like him to think for
:a minute that I was careless about my word — or that
I wasn't bent and determined to marry you. I want
you to tmderstand, Beatrice. I hold you to your
WETEB'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
** As I've told you, I love another man/' said Bea-
trice. ^ I thought I was getting over it. I find it was
simply a fit of the blues." She smiled absently. "I
ran across an old pipe of his that I had locked in a
drawer — a horrid, smelly, old pipe. And — Peter, were
you ever in love? "
"With you," said he, sullen and jealous — and cer-
tainly her expression, her tone, were not soothing to
his vanity, fine and beautiful though they were in
She laughed. "Your grandmother!" mocked she.
** That pipe — ^it was like one of those enchanted things
in The Arabian Nights. It made me see " — ^her eyes
grew fascinatingly tender and dreamy — ^^ and see —
and seel . . . Could you marry a woman who felt like
that about another man? "
** Then why did you engage yourself to me? "
" Because he won't have me," confessed she, her old-
time pride in her love rampant.
" I never heard such rot ! " exclaimed he in disgust*
" And I know you really don't want to marry me,'^
she went on in a voice of appeal, of confidence in his
manhood, in his friendliness for her, his childhood play-
If Richmond had been standing behind his daugh-
ter, making menacing faces at Peter over her shoulder,
that sore-beset, young man could not have felt him more
curdlingly. " You don't know anything of the kind,"
he blustered. " Don't you dare tell your father any-
thing Uke that"
She scrutinized him. ** You seem to have father on
the brain. . . . Peter — ^Hanky — what has he been say-
ing to you? "
" Nothing," lied Peter shiftily. " Not a word."
" That isn't true, Hanky. Is it? "
He himg his head.
** Own up. He's been — ^threatening you? "
" Now, look here, Beatrice — ^you are trying to get
me into trouble," pleaded and protested Hanky. " I
haven't said a word about your father's having spoken
to me of you."
"What has he been threatening?" persisted the
girl, her hand on his arm. " You can trust me. Hanky.
You know, I keep my mouth shut."
** I've got nothing to tell," he insisted with a kind
of whining doggedness. " All I say is, I want to marry
you. If you're stuck on another man and won't marry
me I can't help it. But / want to marry yo«t."
" I imderstand perfectly — ^perfectly," said Bea-
trice. ** He's compelling each of us to marry the other.
I want to marry another man. You want to marry
AlUe. But ^"
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
" I don't want to marry Allie ! " he protested with
the energy of terror. " I said nothing to you about
her. Anyhow, I regard her as an underhanded, de-
signing fraud. She told me about you and Wade. Yes,
she was the one that did it."
"Well, why not?" cried Beatrice. " Pve no ob-
jection. She knows I want to get out of marrying
Peter's eyes glistened with hope. "You gave her
leave to tell? You asked her to tell? "
"Practically. What of it?"
** I am glad to hear that ! " cried he with a gusty
breath of relief. " I was beginning to think women
were all alike — ^that there wasn't any such thing as sen-
timent in them."
Beatrice's eyes sparkled with mischief. "Yes,
Hanky, and she practically had my permission to make
love to you. Pm sure she's just dying to marry you.
Now, you'll release me, won't you?"
Peter lit a cigarette and inspected the horizon as
if hoping to sight something in the way of aid. "I
can't do it, Beatrice," he finally said, deeply apologetic.
** If I could tell you what a ghastly fix Pm in, I assure
you you'd not blame me."
" I don't blame you," said she. " It's just as well
for me to do it alone."
** You're going to release me? '* cried he eagerly.
** What would father say if he saw you now ! " said
The eagerness whisked out of his face.
" That's better," mocked she. " But I'll not tease
you, Hanky — ^with your soul torn between love and
money. I shall take the whole responsibility. I shall
refuse to marry you."
But Peter continued to look depressed. **Your
father'U think it was something I said."
" My father will not think I could have been dis-
couraged that easily — or at all — ^if I wished to be your
wife. He'll know you are too fond of money to risk
losing any. Don't be alarmed, Peter. Father will un-
derstand the instant you tell him."
"/ teU him!" cried Peter. "You'll have to do
that yourself. You're used to him. You don't realize
how he gets on my nerves. If I tried to tell him I'd get
permanent paralysis of the tongue before a word
" What a stupid you are ! Don't you see that I'm
letting you tell him, as a favor — ^to help you to escape?
You go to him — complain of me — ^urge him to make
me keep my promise. Understand? "
Peter saw it, looked humble apology.
"Put it to him as strong as you like," pursued
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
Beatrice. " You can't make it any worse for me, and
you'll make it a lot better for yourself."
Peter looked at her so admiringly that she sent him
away on the instant. She knew him — ^knew how easily
she could get him back if she wished, and how little it
would take to make him forget his resentment at her
failure to appreciate him and at her father's energetic
methods — and his dread of what life with so strenuous
a will as hers might mean. " Tell him right away,
Hanky," advised she, pointing with her sunshade to
where Richmond stood in the Ubrary window observing
ihem. " Let's get it over with."
Mrs. Richmond sat writing at a desk not far from
where Richmond was standing. As Peter started up
the walk toward the house Richmond said to his wife:
" What a chucklehead Peter is ! No wonder Beatrice
felt Kke balking."
" Oh, I shouldn't say Peter was worth getting ex-
cited about, one way or the other," replied Mrs. Rich-
" The yoimg men growing up nowadays are a
mighty cheap, thin lot. He's as good as any." Rich-
mond pressed his lips together firmly. " And he's the
best possible husband for her. A strong woman ought
to marry a small man if there's to be peace."
Mrs. Richmond sneered — faintly and covertly — ^at
the paper before her. She did not miss any of the pos-
sible implications of her husband's remark. For once,
however, she did him an injustice. He was not hitting
at her — ^had not meant to insinuate that a strong
man ought to marry a small woman, and that Daniel
Richmond had done this very thing. He was thinking
only of his daughter and Peter. He would have liked
to provide her with a real man ; he sincerely regretted
the exigencies of his game — of the game of life as it
lies — ^that forbade it, that forced him to give her only
a Peter Vanderkief.
He consoled himself by feeling that she would be-
fore many years appreciate what he had done for her
— ^this, when she should have installed herself in the
dazzling position her ability would make out of the
wealth he could give her and the prestige she would get
through Peter's ancient lineage. Being a man of im-
agination — as every man who achieves in whatever di-
rection must be — ^Richmond had a strong vein of senti-
ment, of romance. He could not but sympathize with
his daughter's heart trouble, now that her acquiescence
in his plans permitted him to be fair-minded — ^in se-
cret. But romance was a fleeting thing, while the
things he had been planning for her were not spring-
time ephemerals, but the substantialities that make a
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
human being comfortable and often happy the whole
life through from youth to old age.
When Peter entered, Mrs. Richmond had finished
her note and was just departing. "Will you drive
with me in about an hour? " asked she, passing him in
" Sorry, but Pve got ''
" Oh, if Beatrice needs you,'' laughed she, going on
and leaving the two men alone.
Peter interrupted Richmond's reverie with a bomb.
** Beeitrice has broken the engagement," said he nerv-
ously. " She refuses to marry me."
The small, wiry figure in the window swung round
with a jerk. Gone were the sentimental reflections in-
spired by the lovely prospect from that window, his
daughter the crown and climax of the loveliness.
** Why? " he shot at the young man.
Peter shrank only a trifle. He was strong in his
strong case. " Because she does not care for me and
cares for some one else."
" That trash again! You refused to release her? "
** Yes, sir," said Peter, proud of his virtue.
" She released herself."
Richmond wheeled roimd, noted his daughter seated
in the same place, twirling her pale-blue sunshade and
looking idly about. He wheeled back, started for the
"Pardon me, sir,'* said Peter, "but I am taking
the train for town. This puts me in an embarrassing
— ^painful *'
" Wait here," ordered Richmond, and disappeared.
Peter, discreetly standing well back in the room,
watched the father speeding toward the daughter and
awaited in nervous suspense the crash of the collision.
He marveled that she could sit placidly when she knew
exactly what was coming. ^^ She sure is the real
thing," he muttered. ** Where can you beat it? A sport
— ^that's what I call her — a good sport."
When Richmond arrived within comfortable speak-
ing distance of the placid girl with the sweet smile of
welcome he began. " How did Vanderkief get this false
impression?" said he in a flexible tone, readily con-
vertible either to geniality or to wrathful imperious-
"Has he told you I am willing to marry him?"
Richmond beamed. *^ I thought the numskull didn't
know what he was talking about ! " he exclaimed. ** He
says you won't marry him."
" Oh," said Beatrice with her merriest smile. ** I
thought you said he had a false impression."
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
Richmond shook his head impatiently. ^^ Have you
or have you not told him you'd not marry him? *'
"Yes," replied Beatrice, eyes dancing with the
pleasure of teasing him.
" Yes — ^what? *' demanded he.
** What you said,*' replied she.
« Beatrice— I insist on a serious answer. Peter
came to me and said ^^
"Oh, papa! Surely, you're not going over that
again. You said it all before."
Richmond paused to frame a question that could
be answered only plainly. "Did you tell Peter you
would not marry him? " he said sternly, though he had
too good a sense of humor not to appreciate her child-
" I did," laughed Beatrice, engagingly at her ease.
** Can you blame me? "
Richmond seated himself on the bench beside her.
** You realize the consequences of your refusal? " he
Her face became sober. The eyes with which she
met his gaze were as resolute as his own. " I realize
the consequences of not refusing," said she. "And
Fm prepared to take the consequences of refusing."
Richmond's baf9ed expression was pushed aside by
one of arrogant anger. " What did Peter say to you?
I understand this affair.' I'll make that yoimg man
writhe for his impudent treachery ! '*
^^He pleaded with me to marry him. He refused
to release me. He went straight to you ^^
"You can't trick me!" cried her father, his ex-
pressive eyes sparkling ominously. " Before I get
through with this situation I think all concerned will
regret having crossed my will. That's always the way
— ^good nature is mistaken for weakness."
** You may ruin Peter if you feel you can afford to
be so contemptible," said Beatrice unmoved, " and you
may ruin Roger Wade — though I doubt if he'll regard
losing a little money as ruin. But you —
" I told you I'd drive him from the coimtry in dis-
grace ! "
Through the youth of the girl showed her inheri-
tance of strength of soul, to make a woman of her, a
personality a match for his own. ** If you bring out
anything disgraceful about him that's true you'll be
only doing what's right," said she calmly. " If you
try to damage him with falsehood I shall myself tell
who's doing it and why."
A sense of his powerlessness against her silenced
''You may. do your worst, as I was saying,** she
went cm. ^ But I shall not marry any man I do not at
JETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUB
least respect; I shall not marry any poor, tiresome
creature like Hanky. IVe learned better. I've found
something with which to contrast life with him. And
I cannot and will not do it."
There, of course, had been a time in Daniel Rich-
mond's career when he had made his way and gained
his points by discussing and reasoning with his fellow-
beings. Every leader wins leadership by persuading
his fellows that he has the necessary qualifications.
•But that time had long passed ; for many a year Rich-
mond had been in the habit of deciding what to do at
a coimcil within his own brain and informing the out-
side world of his decision only by acts and orders. He
now continued silent, regarding the ground; he was
fighting for control of his temper, fighting for the
calmness to argue with this rebel daughter. To make
her reasonable he must first become so, himself.
** You have not known this artist long — ^have
you? " he said at length in the tone of a rational being
and a father.
" Long enough," replied the girl.
"Long enough for what?" inquired the father
pleasantly, though his daughter's tone — she being still
much ruffled internally — ^was teasing his temper.
" Long enough to know that I care for him."
Her father laughed agreeably. "You and I are
much alike, my dear," said he. " You know yourself
well enough to know that the real reason for your ex-
citement is opposition. Now, be reasonable. What
could I do but oppose? Can you blame me for oppos-
ing? Can you wonder that I am afraid you will do
something foolish — something you will regret your
whole life? Suppose this was a case of some other
father and daughter — a case you had no personal in-
terest in. Would you be on the side of the father or
of the daughter? "
There was no resisting this fairness, so fairly put.
Beatrice smiled. " On the side of the father," said she
promptly. " I don't expect you to understand, father.
I see all your arguments. I see how foolish and head-
long I seem to you. But — The fact remains that I
love Roger Wade. I know I am not making a fool of
myself in loving him. Oh, you'll say that in the same
circumstances other girls have said the same thing,
when they were simply blinded and deceived by their
craze for romance. But this case is the exception.
And I know it." She looked at him with her sweetest
expression. " Let me ask you a few questions. Do you
" I understand that sort of man perfectly. It's a
familiar type. Every girl with expectations has sev-
eral such buzzing about her."
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
**Is that honesty father? Is that really the Im-
pression you have of Roger Wade? "
The dangerous look reappeared in Richmond's face
— ^in his eyes, roimd his mouth.
" Now, don't get angry, father. That would be
confession, you know. One does not get angry in a
discussion imless one is in the wrong."
" Who wouldn't get angry, seeing a girl like you
bent on making a fool of herself."
** If you were where you were when you started, and
you met such a man as Roger, you'd be ^"
*^ Don't speak his name to me," cried Richmond,
twitching and squirming. '^ I ask you to take time to
come to your senses."
** I've tried that. When I don't see him, it's even
clearer to me than when I do that I must marry him.
Besides, if he weren*t on earth now, I still couldn't
marry the Hanky sort. Oh, father dear — can't you
see the change in me? As you say, I'm like you. Put
yourself in my place. Would you marry the sort of
person Hanky is — the sort all the Hankies are — ^if you
could — " She sighed. " But I can't. He won't.
Father, please help me ! "
There was a conflict of expressions in Richmond's
face as she made this appeal movingly. It was sheer
confession of fear of his own better self which loved his
daughter, which respected the things she was now
learning to respect — ^it was sheer confession when he
flew into furious rage — ^the one mood where a human
being is safe from the entreaties of heart and the coun-
sels of higher intelligence. *^You are crazy — ^plain
crazy ! '' he cried in his most insulting tone. ** There's
no excuse for you — ^none! Reasoning with you is time
"If I'm crazy there's every excuse for me," an-
swered she, with the placidity of the anger that is be*
yond the stage of bluster and sputter. " If Fm not
crazy there's no excuse for you."
** Answer me! Are you going to be sensible? Are
you ready to drop tomfoolery and make a happy and
contaited future for yourself? "
" If I can," replied she. " If Roger will "
Up sprang Richmond. "Not another word! I'll
show you, miss ^"
" Yes, one word more," interrupted she. " I want to
say just one thing more. If you do not agree to let
Peter and Mr. Wade alone I shall leave your house at
once — and this time it will be for good."
" You — ^threaten me!** he shouted, shaking with
fury, for that sense of ultimate powerlessness with her
had driven him quite insane.
" Do you wish me to stay or to go? '* asked she, her
PETER'S BAD QUARTER HOUR
color gone, but every sign of steadfastness in her face,
in her figure, in her attitude.
" Go ! '* he shrieked. " Go — and make a fool and a
scandal of yourself. Go ! Go ! Gro ! "
And away he rushed, a crazy man.
THE SECOND FUOHT
Petee met her in the main entrance. ^^ How did he
take it?'* he asked excitedly, his nerves obviously un-
" Not very well," replied she.
"Yes — ^I saw him tearing away into the woods.
Good Lord ! How can you take it so quietly ! '*
By way of answer Beatrice shrugged her shoulders
and lifted her eyebrows.
" Beatrice — ^honestly don't you think we'd better go
ahead and do as he wants? He is a dangerous man
— believe me, he is. I don't like to speak so of your
father, but everyone agrees that he "
" You can never tell a man's family any news about
what he is," said Beatrice.
" He'll make life a hell for you," groaned Hanky.
" And he'll make mischief for me."
"I think not," replied she. "He'll have other
things besides you to occupy him. He knows it's
wholly my fault."
** But, Beatrice — don't be obstinate. You must know
it'd really not be so rotten bad to marry me."
THE SECOND FLIGHT
^^1 thought I mentioned the fact that I'm in love
with some one else.''
" Oh — ^to be sure," said Peter. " I suppose that has
got something to do with it. But your obstinacy "
" That's it," mocked the girl. " Obstinacy. Well,
whatever my reason is, I'm leaving here by the next
" But I was going by that," objected Hanky. " I
must get away from here."
^' Better stay on and let father see you're not at all
to blame," advised she. " If we went up town together
he'd be sure you were conspiring with me."
« Oh, I'n stay— rn stay," cried Peter. « But where
are you going, Beatrice? "
^^ Not to get any of my friends in trouble," said she.
" I'll take Valentine and go to a hotel — ^to the Wolcott
Come and call. I'll not tell f atiber."
"At a hotel!" Peter stared stupefied. "You don't
mean you're leaving home — for good? "
"Wouldn't you — ^in my place?"
" No. I'd be sensible and marry the man my father
Beatrice looked at him quizzically. " Hanky," said
she, "you ought to fall on your knees every day of
your life and give thanks that you had the good ludL to
escape marrying me."
Her mischievous smile, her mocking tone, combined
with tibe words themselves, had an immediately tranquil-
izing effect upon him. Not for the first time by any
means he had a chilling, queasy misgiving that there
was truth in that view of a marriage between them.
After a pause he said:
" But what will you do? ''
'^ Blessed if I know," replied she, as if the matter
were of not the smallest consequence.
" You'll have no friends. Nobody'll dare be friends
" Have I any friends now? — any worth calling my
^' Then, as I understand it, you haven't got much
money. About enough to pay for dresses? "
"Thien — ^what will you do?" repeated he, a real,
friendly solicitude in his voice and, better still, in his
^^ That's unimportant. I'm escaping worse than I
could possibly be running into."
" Marry me, Beatrice," cried he. " It's not a bad
bet if you lose."
She put out her hand impulsively with a grateful
smile, the sweetest and friendliest he had ever had from
her. ^^ I like that. Hanky ! And I like you when you
THE SECOND FLIGHT
show what you really are. But I'm not taking advaa-
tftgc of your generosity.*'
" I mean it, Beatrice — ^in dead, sober earnest — on a
She shook her pretty head smilingly. ^^ 6ood-by.
Come to see me. If we run across each other when
father's about scowl and look the other way."
" What do you take me for? "
^^ For a person with a little sense. Keep solid with
father — ^for Allie's sake.
** But I want you ^"
She fled, laughing as if she had not a care in the
She tried to make her departure unobtrusive. But
her father would not have it so. Coming toward the
house with the worst of his rage about steamed away he
caught sight of her and her maid waiting while several
tnmks and packages were being loaded on the roof of
a touring car. At the sight he went insane again. He
rushed wildly toward them and shouted out, heedless of
the servants : " Take that car back to the garage, L4ry !
Valentine, go into the house — report to Mrs. Rich-
mond. And you" — ^he glared crazily at his daughter
— " if you leave here you walk ! — ^and you never come
Beatrice took the hand bag from her maid. ^^ Grood-
by, Valentine,'' said she. There was a wonderful, quiet
dignity in her bearing — ^a delicate correctness of atti-
tude, neither forward nor shrinking — evident sensi-
bility to the situation, yet no desire to aggravate it
by show of superior breeding or by defiance. It was
a situation savagely testing character. Beatrice re-
sponded to the test in a way that augured well for her
being able to look out for herself in any circumstances.
She smiled pleasantly, yet with restraint, to the agi-
tated servants and started down the road.
Valentine hesitated, then set out in her wake. " Come
back here ! '' shouted Richmond. " You are in my em-
ploy, not my daughter's."
Beatrice, guessing what was occurring, paused and
turned. ^^ Do as my father says," she said. ^^ I shall
not be able to keep you."
^' I, too, belong to myself, mademoiselle," replied the
girl with a quiet dignity equal to that of her mistress.
*^ I cannot stay here. I'll go with you if I may. But —
m not stay here."
Richmond, realizing that his rage of the impotent
had once more whirled him into an impossible situation,
disappeared in the house. Before Beatrice and Valen-
tine reached the lodge the auto overtook them. The
chauffeur, L^ry, swung the car close in to the footpath
beside the road, jumped from his seat, opened the door.
THE SECOND FLIGHT
** Did my father send you ? " asked she.
When the two women were seated — Beatrice insisted
on Valentine's sitting by her — Beatrice said : " I don't
Valentine gave a queer, little smile.
** But," continued Beatrice, " father will never make
"L6ry understands," said Valentine.
** Understands — ^what? "
** That you will win. Your father adores you."
" You don't know," said Beatrice, shaking her head
in a decided negative. ** And I can't tell you."
wade's lost fortune
Beatrice had selected Valentine as her maid after
trying more than a score of various nationalities. She
had selected her because Valentine was a lady, and she
could not endure servility or veneer manners in the close
relations that must exist between mistress and maid. In.
calling Valentine a lady Beatrice did not mean that she
was a " high-toned *' lady, or a iSne lady, or a fashion-
able lady, or any of the other qualified ladies, but that
she was just a lady — ^well mannered, with delicate in-
stincts, intelligent, simple and sincere. Valentine acted
as Beatrice liked to believe she herself would act if she
had to work for her living and happened to find being
lady's maid the most convenient way to do it.
At the Wolcott Beatrice registered beneath her own
name that of Miss Valentine Clermont. VSTicn the two
were in the little inside suite Beatrice took by way of
making a beginning in the direction of the practice of
economy, she said:
**For the present, at least, you are to be my com-
panion. I can't live here alone or just with a maid.
WADE'S LOST FORTUNE
So, the parlor is to be changed into a bedroom for
** Very well, mademoiselle," promptly acquiesced the
intelligent Yalaitine, showing how rightly Beatrice had
**Miss Richmond," corrected Beatrice with a smile.
" Pardon — certainly," said Valentine.
"We are rather cramped here," Beatrice went on,
" But I guess I'll be looking back on this as spacious
luxury before long."
Miss Clermont smiled.
** Why do you smile, Miss Clermont? "
" You do not know your father. Miss Richmond."
** I assure you we have parted finally," said Bea-
trice. " If you have any idea that in following my
fortimes you are going with a person in the position I
had until two hours ago, put it out of your mind. I
can pay your wages — ^beg pardon, salary it is now —
through next month — ^perhaps for another month after
that. Then I shall be — Well, mine is a precious small
income — and will be smaller. However, 111 see that
you get a place soon."
Miss Clermont smiled.
*^ Why do you smile. Miss Clermont? Because you
don't believe me? "
" Not at all. Miss Ridmiond," protested Valentine,
*^ If you're right about your situation — then I shall
stay with you until you are settled — and, possibly, I
can help you. If you are wrong — ^then I shall stay on
as your maid until you marry. After that — ^Monsieur
L6ry and I are engaged. When we marry we shall go
into business together."
Beatrice paused in arranging her hair, turned and,
half sitting on the low bureau, looked at her compan-
ion with the expression of one who has just given birth
to a new and fascinating idea. ^^ Why shouldn't we go
into business — ^you and I? " she said. " I'll have to do
something," she went on. "I simply can't content
myself to live on — on what I'll have after a few days
from now. I love luxury — ^nice surroimdings — good
things to eat — beautifid clothes. Why not dressmak-
" We should get rich at it," declared Miss Cler-
And then it came out that she and L^ry had been
planning a dressmaking business. Miss Richmond was
just what they needed to make it a swift and stupendous
success. They had ten thousand dollars. If Miss
Richmond could put in as much and would be a public
partner attracting fashionable trade, giving the estab-
lishment eclat by wearing beautifid dresses in fashion-
able restaurants or for drives in the Avenue, and so on
WAD E'S LOST FORTUNE
— and so on. ^^ I can put in at least ten thousand," said
Beatrice. " And I have ideas about clothes."
"Indeed, yes," assented Valentine warmly. "You
have a style of your own."
"Yes, I think you and I have got me up rather
stunningly these last two years," said Beatrice.
The dressmaking business was as good as started
before th6y had dinner — ^at which Miss Richmond had
her companion sitting opposite her. Miss Clermont as
a companion was a triumph. No one but a French-
woman comld hav6 glided so easily from menidi to equal.
" But then, I knew she could," thought Beatrice, " the
instant I looked at her hands, when she came to try for
the place. Hands tell more than faces — ^and hers are
the hands of a lady."
At noon the next day, while Beatrice and Valentine
were out walking, Peter telephoned, leaving word that
he would call at half past four. At that hour Beatrice
received him in the hotel parlor. He eyed her with ad-
miring wonder. He expected to find all sorts of signs
of her altered position — ^would not have been surprised ^
had she already begun to look dowdy and down at the
heel, fier radiance of i^irit, of body and of toilet
struck him as Httle less than miraculous. " You cer-
tainly are a cool one," said he. " Why, you don't look
a bit upfitt'*
^ Nerer felt so well in my life,'' declared Beatrice.
**I feel »o— so— free!"
Peter shook his head waminglj. ^Wait tOl you
hare had a foil dose. Wait till yoa really find out what
yoa're up against.''
**What is it.J^"
** Oh, you're out of your world. It's all Tery well
to jump into the water and swim for a few minutes —
just for the fun of the thing. But how about going in
for being a fish and Uvmg in the water— eh? "
^ I'd no idea you could do so well, Peter," said Bea-
trice. " Thafs both wise and witty. Why didn't you
begin that sort of talk sooner? "
*^ Oh, I say ! " protested the young man. " Pm not
such a mutt as you thought me. No one could be."
** Better and better," cried Beatrice. ** First thing
you know 111 be trying to steal you back from Allie."
Peter colored consciously. He said with a foolish
attempt at the offhand: "Oh — ^I saw her — at lunch.
She wants to come to see you, but don't dare. Your
] father's got her father right where he can put the
screws on him."
" She might have telephoned," said Beatrice, and
her tone even more than her look showed how Allie's
defection had hurt, how it was rankling.
Peter looked depressed. "Yes — ^I suppose she
WADE'S LOST FORTUNE
might," conceded he. " But don't be too hard on her,
Beatrice. You know how afraid we all are of your
" Fow're here/' said Beatrice sententiously.
" Yes.'* Peter reddened. " Hang it, I can't fake
with you. Fact is — ^well — ^while I hope I'd have come
anyway, still, I'd not be so open about it, I'm afraid, if
I hadn't your father's consent."
" He told you to come ! "
" He hasn't given up," said Peter with the air of a
peddler imdoing his pack. " Asked me if I knew where
you were stopping. I said yes — ^that you told me. He
asked where. I couldn't think of any side step, so I let
out the truth. Any harm in that? "
" Not the slightest. I'm not hiding from anybody."
" Then he said — just as I was leaving him on the
ferry this morning : " If you wish to call on my daugh-
ter and try to bring her to her right mind I've no ob-
" And I've no objection, either," said the girl, " un-
less you try to bring me to my right mind. That one
subject is taboo. You understand? "
Peter nodded. "I knew you meant it yesterday.
I'm going ahead with Allie. You and I are such old
friends that I feel I can talk things over with you.
You see, it's this way. I want to get married and set-
tied. We all marry and settle young in our family. I
can't have what I want — but I can get something
mighty good. Allie's a tnmip. Such a comfortable
" You couldn't do better,'* said Beatrice with more
warmth than she felt. For she had her eyes open to
Allie now — too recently open for her to be tolerant of
what were weaknesses of the same species as Beatrice's
own, if of a different genus.
" I'm not really in love with her," continued Peter.
" But "
" But that's of no consequence," said Beatrice.
" You're one of the sort that thinks whatever belongs to
them is the grandest ever. You'll soon be crazy about
^^ And she'll always look well, too. She's the image
of her mother, and the wi^y to test a girl's staying qual-
ity is to see how her mother holds together. Yes, Allie's
good for the whole run — right into the last quarter."
Beatrice and Peter went into the restaurant and in
a quiet comer sat down to the sociability of tea.
"Hanky," said she, "I am going to treat you as a
friend. I am going to ask you to attend to some mat-
ters for me which you must promise me never to speak
Hanky showed thi^t be was as highly flattered as
WADE'S LOST FORTUNE
the next young man would be by marks of intimacy and
confidence from a pretty and superior young woman.
" You can count on me — f dt anything I feel I've tbe
right to do," said he. " But, whether I do it or not,
I'll keep my mouth shut/'
Beatrice poured the tea in reflective silence. Not
imtil she had tasted her own cup did she venture to
begin expressing the thoughts she had been arranging.
"Roger Wade has about forty thousand dollars in-
vested in the bonds of the Wauchong Railway.''
Peter leaned back and gave a low whistle. He shook
his head and repeated the whistle.
** I see you understand."
" I begin to," said Peter.
Looking down at her plate and speaking somewhat
nervously and hurriedly the girl went on:
" I want you — through your broker or banker ot
however you please — ^I want you to buy those bonds at
what their market price was before the road went into
the hands of a receiver. I think it will take about fifty
thousand dollars. But buy them if it costs a hundred
thousand. I can't go higher than that."
Hesitatingly she lifted her eyes. Peter was sitting
back in his chair regarding her with an expression it
makes any human being proud to have caused in an-
A little color came into the girl's cheeks and into
her eyes a look of gratitude for the compliment and of
pleasure in it. She went on:
*'You understand, no one must know — ^must have
the ghost of a suspicion. Especially Roger Wade. But
no one — ^no one."
Peter busied himself at lighting the cigarette he
selected with care from the dozen in the huge gold case
he carried in the inside pocket of his sack coat.
" Your agent," continued the girl, as if laying be-
fore him a carefully thought-out plan, ^^ can say he
represents some men who are getting ready to fight to
get control of the road."
" I didn't know you knew anything about business,'*
said Peter huskily, just for something to say.
" A little," said Beatrice, who, in fact, was her fa-
ther's own daughter — ^though, of course, she was not
foolish enough to have failed to use to its uttermost
value the favorite feminine pretense of being hopelessly;
incapable when it came to matters like business. ^^ Will
you do it?"
" How much'U you have left? " said Peter.
"Plenty," Beatrice assured him. "Plenty.**
" I know better."
She made an impatient gesture. ^^I'll have more
than enough to carry out my plans."
WADE'S LOST FORTUNE
" There's no reason on earth why you should do
this," protested he. " You "
" Drop it, Peter,'* said she with a touch of her old
imperiousness — of her father's intolerance of objection
from inferior minds. " I know what I'm about. Roger
Wade is being stripped of all he has through no fault
of his — ^through my folly. I got him into the scrape-—
a scrape he wanted to have nothing to do with. It's up
to me to get him out."
He had no business to come fooling round you ! "
He didn't, Peter," said the girl with convincing
candor. " He — I see I've got to tell you. I pro-
posed to him, and he refused me."
" You did— that I "
Beatrice blushed and laughed. ^^ Oh, I made an
idiot of myself. I thought he was hanging back be-
cause he was awed — ^because father was rich — ^and all
Peter narrowed his eyelids and screwed up his
mouth in an attempt to look acute. ^^He's working
some sly dodge. Mark my word, some sly dodge."
And he wagged his head wisely.
" I wish he were ! " sighed Beatrice. " Because he
liked me I thought he — cared. You see, Peter, I'm
telling you everything. Will you do what I ask? "
Peter settled deeper in his chair. " I'd like to — ^I
Wimt to— but — ** At the beginnings of disappointment
and disdain in her expression he straightened, flushed.
"Yes, by gad, I «raZ do it!''
" Why did you hesitate? '^
j " I didn't/'
Beatrice looked at him doubtfully; suddenly she
realized. "You fear father'll find out you did it? I
hadn't thought of that. No — ^you mustn't, Hanky.
m get some one else."
" You've got to let me do it," insisted he. " Any-
one who didn't know all the circumstances would make
a mess of it. I want to do it. And it isn't much of
The event was that she yielded. Toward noon the
next day he telephoned that he had the bonds — ^had
paid forty-one thousand dollars for them — exactly.
*^ X've got them here at my house. I can bring them to
you this afternoon if you like."
"Po," said Beatrice.
And at four he came with a parcel. Her eyes
brightened at sight of it. " I, too, have a package,"
"So I sec. What is it?"
"Your forty-one thousand in Grovemments."
" But Grovemments are worth more."
The girl laughed " Not a cent. I didn't say forty-
WADE'S LOST FORTUNE
one thousand par. I had the e:8:act calculation made at
"What an ass I am, to forget you were Daniel
" Give me my railway bonds.'
The exchange was made^ he pretending that he did
not dare release his hold on his package until she had
given him a hold on hers. The waiters, idle in the res-
taurant at that hour, grinned at the sight of so much
gayety in two such superior-looking, young people.
And it certainly did look like a love affair — an engage-
ment. Nor is it surprising that Peter, full of the sense
of having done her quite a favor and not without risk
to himself, should have again become hopeful that this
girl — "such a stunner — and so dead square, too" —
might be thinking more favorably of him.
" Now that these thiAgs are strai^tened out, Bea-
trice," said he, " and as you've got over your notions
about Wade — ^why not give me a chance? "
She laughed. " Allie's affianced I " mocked she.
" I've told you that ''
" But," interrupted she, " I never told you that I
was — ^was cured^-^-of Roger Wade."
" But you are. And he^s off your conscience."
Be^iee's eyes had ajji expression that sent a pang
— and a thrill, t«a^— through him. "Peter — % love
him,'* she said with quiet intensity — Dan Richmond in-
tensity. ^^ And I think you know now what that means
He paled, stared at his cup. ^^ I wish to God I
didn't/' he muttered. ,
" Now, Peter, you don't mean that and you know
it. The only reason you keep after me is because
you've always been used to having your own way and
you hate to be baffled."
^ That's all the reason you stick on after Wade,"
She laughed. ^^ I'll admit that has something to
do with it. But not all, Hanky. And the other part's
the important part."
" You must know he's after your money," said he,
looking down sourly.
" And you? " retorted she.
" Oh, I," said he with Vanderkief hauteur. " I
fancy I'm above suspicion."
" Father says that the people who do the queerest
tricks are the ones that're above suspicion — and take
advantage of it. My, but you're red, Hanky. And
while we're suspecting — Did you get those bonds for
me just because you ^"
" Don't say that, Beatrice ! " he cried. " Honest, I
didn't. I wasn't trying to collect."
WADE'S LOST FORTUNE
" I believe you," said she. " Please don't do any-
thing to make me doubt.*'
" I won't. I throw up the sponge. I'll not annoy
you any more."
"You'n be friends?"
** I'd hate to lose your friendship," said he with his
slow, heavy earnestness. " It's the thing I've got
that's most worth while."
FETEB CAIiliS ON B06EB
Bbat&ice had carefully avoided learning anything
at all about the Wauchong Railway before investing
nearly half her fortune in its bonds. She wished to
spare herself the temptation to hesitate; and she was
too fond of money as a means, too alive to its value,
too well trained in the matter of foolish investments,
to trust her newly developed virtue far. But now that
the thing was done she made thorough inquiry into the
affairs of the railway. It did a losing passenger busi-
ness; it had made its money — very satisfactory earn-
ings — ^by reason of its northern terminal being in a
group of rich coal mines. Her father ruined the
road by so juggling traffic agreements with the coal
companies that the Wauchong's whole paying freight
business was at a stroke transferred to another road.
The bonds were next to worthless. On the face of the
facts she had spent forty-one thousand dollars for a
few ounces of waste paper.
She was glad to find, on searching her heart, that
she had not the faintest feeling of regret for her action.
PETER CALLS ON ROGER
^■^— — — ^■^— — — — ^ ^— — .— ^— ^-^^-^^^^^^^^— ^.^»^^-^.^»^^i^— — »» »— ^-1^^
It gave her a gratifying opinion of herself to discover
that, on the contrary, she regarded her investment with
satisfaction and pride. But these emotions did not clash
with a strong desire to recover the lost forty-one thou-
sand, if that could be brought about. She gave the
matter anxious and intelligent thought. The only plan
that came to her and seemed at all practicable was to
let it leak out in Wall Street that a big block of the
bonds had been taken at more than par by Daniel Rich-
mond's daughter after the wiping out of the road's rev-
enues. This news would probably boom the bonds and
stocks if sent out adroitly. But Beatrice decided
against the scheme; she could not forget the losses to
the innocent it would involve. Perhaps the time had
been — ^and not so very long ago, either — ^when this
view of the affair would not have occurred to her. But
since then she had experi^iced, had suffered, had
learned. With a sigh she put the bundle of bonds away
in her safety-deposit box and entered their cost to profit
and loss. Her total income was now reduced to just
under twenty-seven hundred a year. ** And I need at
least that many thousand," thought she. ^^ X^et us see
what this dressmaking scheme has in it.'*
And she proceeded to revolve Valentine's project
with a deliberate, pessimistic, flaw-seeing scrutiny that
would have commanded the admiration of her father
and would have increased his amazement how one so
strong in the head could be so weak in the heart. She
questioned and cross-questioned Valentine, who, for all
her cleverness, had far too much of the optimist in her
composition. Beatrice had learned from her father
that hope, an invaluable ally when the struggle is on,
is an enemy, the worst of enemies — a traitor and a de-
stroyer — if admitted to the counsels when the struggle
is planning. So, she took the worst possible view of
every phase of the proposed enterprise, and insisted
that all calculation be based upon the theory that they
would lose money from the start, would lose heavily,
must prepare themselves to hold out for the longest
possible period against not only bad business, but also
Meanwhile, Peter was engaged in strenuous com-
bat with a generous impulse which seemed to him as out
of place in his mind as an eaglet in the brood of a hen.
But the impulse would not expel; it lingered obsti-
nately, fascinating him as the idea of doing something
imconventional sometimes seizes upon and obsesses a
primly conventional woman. Finally, it fairly dragged
him into a kind of rake's progress of generosity — for
good has its rapid road no less than evil. It put him
alone in his speediest auto and, in the teeth of his dread
of being seen by Richmond or by some one who would
PETER CALLS ON ROGER
tell Richmond, drove him along the dusty highways of
Northern New Jersey until he came to Deer Spring —
to a charming old farmhouse in its farthermost out-
He went up the flowery lane to the old-fashioned
porch, so cool, so quiet, so restful, behind its odorous
veils of blooming creepers. A little exercise with the
big brass dragon's head that had served as knocker for
the best part of a century, and a pleasant-looking old
woman came round the comer of the house, wiping her
hands on her kitchen apron. Said Peter :
" Is Mr. Wade at home? "
** Not just now,'* replied she, her head thrown far
back that she might inspect him through the spectacles
on the end of her long, thin nose. " I reckon most like-
ly he's up to the studio."
"Where is it?"
" You follow the path back of the house — ^through
the woods and the hollow, then up the roimd-top hill.
You'll have to walk. It's a right smart piece — about ist
mile and a half."
" Is there any place where I could " — ^Peter stopped
and blushed; he had caught himself just in time to
prevent the word " hide " from slipping out — ** where
I could put my machine? "
" There's the shed behind the house."
« Thank you.^ And he sprang away to get the
auto tucked out of sight.
When this was accomplished his mind became some-
what easier and he set out for the studio. He got on
fairly well with himself — ^until he stood face to face
with the big artist. Wade regarded him inscrutably:
Peter regarded Wade with an expression which, in a
woman, would haye betokened an impending fit of hys-
"You don't remember me, Mr. Wade?^ said he.
** I remember you perfectly j** Roger replied.
" I — ^I called on a matter of — ^that is, not exactly
of — ^well — ^a matter."
"Win you come in? '* said Roger, standing aside.
"Thank you — ^Tll be glad to,*' was Peter's eager
Within, his eyes made for a covered canvas on an
easel in the middle of the big room. " Is that by any
chance Mr. Richmond's picture? " asked he.
" Mr. Richmond's picture? " said Roger. " 1 know
nothing of any picture of Mr. Richmond."
" For Mr. Richmond."
" Neither of nor for."
** I beg your pardon," stammered Peter. " I
rather hoped you'd let me have a look at it. You know,
I was engaged to Miss Richmond."
PETER CALLS ON JtOGEB
Roger continued in his waiting attitude. Peter
felt himself dwindling before this large, dark calm. He
shifted uneasily from leg to leg, opened and shut hia
mouth seteiul times, finally burst out : ^^ I say, what an
ass you must think me." And he gave Roger an hon-
est, pathetic look of appeal — ^an ingenuous plea for
The larg^, dark calm was rippled by a smile— a.
very human smile. It made yoimg Peter instantly feel
that he was talking Vith a yoxmg human being just like-
" t did want to look at the picture," said he. " YoU
know the one I mean — the picture of A^r."
Roger's gaze wavered a little, steadied. " I'm
sorry— but it's not finished," said he.
" Oh — ^I see. And, naturally, you do not want any-
body to look at it. Well — ^I'll come another time — ^if
Peter was desperate. He puffed furiously at his
cigarette, finally burst out : " Did you know that Miss
Richmond and her father had quarreled?"
" Really? " said Roger politely, and so far as Peter
could judge the news interested him only to the degree
mor6 discourJBtj^g than no interest at all.
"Yes— they've quarreled-— and she's Mt home — ^la
living alone at a hotel in New York — says she's never
Peter was not sure, but he thought he saw a some-
thing or other flash across the artist's face, like a huge,
swift-swimming fish near the surface of opaque water.
He felt encouraged to go on.
'^ I think I ought to tell you. Miss Richmond and
I were engaged. It's been broken off. Her father is
furious. She's in love with another man." Peter
glanced at Roger's inscrutable eyes, blushed, glanced
down again. ^^ She has sacrificed everything for this
^ther man. It's really stimning, the way she did it —
and a lot more I can't tell you. And I do believe she'll
4stick — ^will not go back — ^though she's got next to
nothing. You know her — ^know what a fine girl she is."
" Yes, indeed," said Roger cordially.
" She's at the Wolcott — ^if you care to call. I
.guess she's rather lonely, as all her old pals are shying
off. You see, her father's a deadly dangerous sort —
liable to do up anybody who sided with her."
Roger, his gaze upon a far, unseen country, was
pale and somber.
" I do hope you'n look in on her. Wade," said Peter.
^' She'd appreciate it."
Wade's eyes slowly turned with his returning
ilioughts until they centered upon the eyes of young
PETER CALLS ON ROGER
—————— ^»—^^———^^— —^^—i^—^-^——— ^ I I ■ ^^i— •^-^•^^-^^
Vanderkief. Suddenly Roger's face was illuminated by
that splendid smile of his. He grasped Peter by the
hand. " I'm glad to know you," said he. " And — I
beg your pardon — for things Fve thought about
" Oh, that's all right," cried Peter. " I'm not a
dog in the manger, you know. And I tell you she's
got a stiff stretch ahead of her — downright rough. Of
course she's no fool. Still, it wouldn't be possible for
any woman of her age and her bringing up to realize
what she was bumping into, dropping out of her class,
sacking her father and trying to scratch along on
worse than nothing. When you've got tastes a little
money's only an aggravation. Especially for her sort
of woman. Won't you try one of my cigarettes? "
" Delighted," said Roger, taking one.
" Well, I must move on," proceeded Peter. " You
don't mind my butting in? "
" Not in the least. It was a fine friendly — decent
thing to do. . . . Would you like to see the picture? " ^
And without giving Peter time to reply, or himself
a chance to repent the impulse, he flimg aside the drap-
ery ever the easel in the middle of the room. He and
Peter gazed in silence. It was a glorious vision of
morning in the springtime. Upon lake and cataract,
upon tree and bush and stone, sparkled the radiance
of the birthday of summer. That radiance seemed to
come from the figure of a yoimg girl in a canoe, her
paddle poised for the stroke — an attitude of exquisite
grace, a figure alive in every line of flesh and drapery
— ^a face shedding the soft luster of the bright hopes
and dreams and joys that are summed up in the thrill-
ing word, youth. Roger was right in thinking it
his best work, his best expression of that intense
joy of life which he was ever striving to put upon
Peter gave a long, furtive sigh. " Yes," he mut-
tered, " she can look like that,'* He had seen her look
just so once — ^when she told him she loved the artist and
would never change. Queer, how anyone could so love
that she got happiness out of giving love, even though
it was unretumed. Queer — ^yet, there it was. Roger,
with a sudden gesture, recovered the canvas. Peter
stood motionless, staring at where the picture had been
— ^it was still there for him. He roused himself, looked
at the painter with frank admiration and respect.
" That's worth while ! " said he. " No wonder she '*
Roger's frown checked him. But only for a mo-
ment ; then he went on, in an awed imdertone : " She's
more of a — ^a person than anyone I ever saw. If she'd
let me Pd be crazy about her. As it is, while I know X
can never get her, everything's stopped short with me
PETER CALLS ON ROGER
until I'm sure she's out of reach — ^married to some one
else. I'm a better man for having kndlm her, for hav-
ing loved her.*'
Roger was stam£ng with arms folded upon his
broad chest — ^poWerfid arms bare to the elbow* He
seined lost in reverfe.
"THiant you for shciwing me that/' said Peter
gratefully and htittibly. " Fd in^h to own it if it wasn't
that — ^well, I'd never be able to get aiiy peace of mind
if I had it about. I'd stare at it till I went crazy."
Roger flushed a significant, a guilty deep red.
teter got himself together with a shake of his big
frame. " I'm off, now. YouTl not say anything about
my having called — ^hot to her or anyone? "
" I do hot see anyone," said Roger in a constrained
" But you'D surely — " begail Peter, but he halted
on the threshold of impertinence. "Well — ^I hope
you'H look in at the Wolcott and cheer her up. Good-
by. Thank you again."
The young men i^ook hands with the friendliness
of intimacy. Roger Went with Peter to the door, where
they shook hands agaih. As Peter Was turning away
he happened to glance down into the woods to the left.
There, beating a hasty, not to say undignified retreat,
was Daniel Richmond!
"Now what do you think of that?'* cried Peter.
** What the devil is he doing here? ''
" Fm sure I don't know,'' said Roger indifferently.
"No doubt he recognized me," Peter went on.
** He's got me scared to a panic — for fear he'll half
ruin me — ^just out of a general insanity of meanness.
If he asks you what I was doing here say I came to
buy the picture. You don't know how much trouble
he could make for me."
" I'll probably not see him."
" Do — for her sake, do," urged Peter. " Be civil
to him. Try to soften him down. You ought to do it
for her — ^honest, you ought."
" That's true," said Roger gravely.
Peter departed. Roger stayed on in the doorway.
Presently Richmond reappeared, making his way
slowly up the steep toward the studio. He arrived
much out of breathy but contrived to put unmistakable
politeness into his jerky tones as he gasped: "Grood
afternoon, Mr. Wade."
" How d'ye do, Mr. Richmond? " was Roger's civil
rejoinder. His talk with Peter had put him in a frame
of mind to bear and forbear, to do whatever he could
toward ending the quarrel between father and daughter.
"I'd be greatly obliged — for a few — ^minutes of
your time," said Richmond between breaths.
PETER CALLS ON ROGER
He looked old and worn and tired. Violent pas-
sions, especially violent temper, freely indulged, had
played their wonted havoc. And these eroding emo-
tions had deepened seam and gutter painfully. There
had now appeared the gaimtness in eye socket and
under jawbone, about the saddest of the forewarnings
of decrepitude and death that show in the human coun-
tenance with advancing age. Roger pitied him, thi&
really superior man who had given his life furiously to
plowing arid golden sands and was reaping ill health
and imhappiness as his harvest. *^ Come in," said
When they were seated in the cool, airy workroom
and had lighted, Richmond a cigar, Roger his pipe,
Richmond glanced at the covered picture and said : ^^ Is
"Yes," replied Roger, not in a tone that invited
further conversation along those lines.
" Pve come to see you about it," persisted Beatrice's
father, apparently undiscouraged.
" I do not care to discuss it," said Roger.
** It is a picture of my daughter — ^painted for ^"
" It is not a picture of your daughter," interrupted
Roger, " and it was painted for my own amusement."
** My wife gave you the commission, with the idea
of a surprise for me."
Roger was silenced.
" So," Richmond went on, " the picture belongs
"No," said Roger quietly. "I purpose to keep
" You certainly have a strange way of doing busi-
ness," said Richmond with resolute amiability.
" I don't do business," replied Roger.
Richmond waved his hand. " Oh — call it what you
like. Artists paint pictures for money."
" I don't know about others," said Roger. " But
I paint for my own amusement. And of my work I
tsell enough to enable me to live."
" Very fine — ^very fine," said Richmond, in the tone
of a man who doesn't believe a word of it, but politely
wishes to seem impressed. « I saw from the heginniag
of our acquaintance that you were an unusual man.
I've thought about you a great deal " — with a sly sinile
— ^^ naturally."
Roger made a slight inclination of his head-
" I owe you an apology for the way I acted the
other day. And I make it* I lost my temper — a bad
habit I have."
" y^a, it is a bad habit," said Roger dryly. " A
particularlj ha^ one for a man in your position, I
PETER CALLS ON ROGER
How in my position?" inquired Richmond^ sur^
^^ Ob, an independent man like me, who asks noth-
ing of anybody, can afford that sort of thing. But
you, who are dependent upon others for the success of
your plans — ^that's very different."
" Um," grunted Richmond, little pleased but much
struck by this new view of him as slave, not master.
**Um." A long pause, with Richmond the more em-
barrassed because Roger's silence seemed natural and
^sy, like that of a statue or of a man alone. ^^ I also
— ^I also wish to say," Richmond resumed, " that on
thinking the matter over I feel I did you an injustice
in believing you — ^in accusing you — " H^ could not
find a satisfactory word frame for his idea.
^^In suspecting I was after your daughter ^nd
your money? " suggested Roger with an amused, ironic
*^ Something like that. But* Mr. W^d^, you are a
man of the world. You can't wonder at my bi^ving
such an idea."
£f ot in the least,^' assented Roger.
^^ At the same time I do not blame you for ]}exsxg
Roger smiled. ** B\^t, vxj 4^ar sir, I wafi nqt ^ixxgvj.
I didn't in the least care what you thought. J^jea if
you had succeeded in jour vicious little scheme for
robbing me of my competence, I still couldn't have been
angry. It is so easy for a man to make a generous
living if he happens not to have burdened himself with
" That matter of the railway bonds — it will be ad-
justed at once, Mr. Wade. I was sorry the exigencies
of a large operation forced me to — ^to ^^
In his indignation Roger forgot the resolutions
Peter had soothed and softened him into making. With
his curtest accent he said: "What you did was con-
temptible enough. Why make it worse by lying? "
Richmond sprang to his feet. Roger rose tower-
^g\y9 in his face a plain hope that his guest was about
to depart. Richmond sat down again. " You have
me at your mercy,'* cried he with a ludicrous mingling
of attempt at politeness and frantic rage.
" I? " said Roger, laughing. ** Oh, no. Neither of
us can do the other any harm. I wouldn't if I could.
You couldn't if you would. Don't you think we have
had about enough of each other? "
^*I have a favor to ask of you," said Richmond
Roger hesitated, seated himself. There was a look
in his visitor's eyes — a look of misery — that touched
PETER CALLS ON ROGER
*^ Mr. Wade," Richmond began again after a brief
silence, " I am a man of very strong affections — ^very
strong. Circumstances have concentrated them all on
one person, my daughter Beatrice. They say every-
i one is a fool in at least one way. I am a fool about
Wade, inscrutable, was gazing at the drape over his
^^ But,'' Richmond went on, ^^ if she married against
my will, much as I love her, foolish as I am about her,
I would cut her off relentlessly."
" Then you don't love her," said Roger. " If you
did you'd insist on her freely choosing the man she is
to live with, the man who is to be the father of her
" Our ideas differ there," said Richmond stiffly.
" I am not surprised that she has left you," pur-
sued Roger. ** You have made her realize that you
don't love her. And from what I know of her I doubt
if you will ever get her back until you change your
I notions of what loving means."
Suspicion was once more sparkling in Richmond's
wicked eyes. " You may be sure I'll not change, Mn
Wade," said he with a peculiarity of emphasis which
even the simple-minded Roger could not fail to imder*'
Roger laughed heartily. ^^ At it again ! " cried he.
** Really, you are very amusing."
" Be that as it may,'* snapped Richmond, " I want
you to know that I will never take her back — never t —
until I am sure ishe has given you up. You may stake
your life on that, sir. When I put my hand to the
plough I do not turn back.'*
Roger leaned toward the imhappy man distracted
by his own torturings of himself. " Will you believe
me, sir," said he earnestly, " when I say I am deeply
sorry that I have been the innocent cause of a breach
between you and your daughter. Perhaps it h just
as well that she has gotten away from you. It may
result in her developing into the really fine person Crod
intended her to be. Still, I wish to do all I can to heal
" That sounds like a man, Mr. Wade ! " cried Rich-
mond, all eagerness.
" I've been putting up with you this afternoon,^
pursued Roger, apparently not much impressed by this j
certificate of his virtue, " because I hoped to do some-
thing toward ending the quarrel between you two."
** You can end it," interrupted Richmond. ** You
can end it at once."
** Tell me how, and I'll do it," said Roger.
** She believes you wish to marry her."
PETER CALLS ON ROGER
" I am confident she never told you anything Kke
" She thinks you're afraid to marry her unless she
brought the money to keep her in the style she's been
** Impossible," said Roger.
^* She tells me you refused her. But she still
Roger had become red and awkward. " Your
daugbtf^r is something of a coquette," he stammered.
** But I assure you you are wrong in thinking she —
It's impossible for me to discuss this." He rose impa-
tiently. '* Your daughter does not wish to marry me.
I do not wish to marry her. That's the whole story,
sir. I must ask you to let me continue my work."
**If yoM mean that," urged Richmond, "you will
go to her and tell her so. She's at the Wolcott — ^in
New York City. You will tell her you do not love her
and would not marry her — and she'll come home," The
father's voice had grown hoarse and quavering, and
1 in his face there was a piteous humility and wretched-
ness — such an expression as only a dethroned tyrant
can have. " If you knew how her conduct is making
me suffer, Mr. Wade, you'd not hesitate to do me —
and her — ^this favor." That last word of abasement
came in little more than a whisper.
Roger seemed to be debating.
" You must realize she is not a fit wife for you —
she, brought up to a life of fashion and luxury. And
she will never have a cent from me — not a cent ! ''
Roger had not been listening. " Can^t do it," he
now said. " Sorry, but I can't.*'
** You wish to marry her ! " cried Richmond in the
frenzy of impotence struggling at its bonds. **You
hope ! "
Roger, too full of pity for resentment, regarded
the old man with friendly eyes. " Mr. Richmond,"
said he, " I repeat I do not wish to marry anyone. I
have made up my mind, with all the strength of what
little good sense I may have, never to marry. I do not
believe in marriage — ^for myself — for people who are
doing the sort of thing Pm trying to do. You might
as well accuse a Catholic priest of intending to marry."
** Fudge ! " snorted Richmond.
Roger shrugged his shoulders. " This interview
was not of my seeking. I wish it to come to an end."
*' You refuse to tell her you will not marry her? *'
** I refuse to make an impertinent ass of myself. If
you wish your daughter back, sir, go and apologize for
having outraged her finest feelings and ask her to come
home unconditionally. I could not say to her what
you request — for obvious reasons of good taste. If
PETER CALLS ON ROGER
you had a sense of humor you'd not ask it. But I \
don't hesitate to give you my word that you need not
have an instant's uneasiness lest your daughter and I
» " On your honor? "
" On my honor,"
Richmond gazed at him with eyes that seemed to be
searching every comer -of his soul. " I believe you,'*
said he at last. '^ And I am content." He had abrupt-
ly changed from suspicion and sneer and hardly veiled
insult to his most winning friendliness and geniality.
It was amazing how attractive his wizened and usually
almost wicked face became. " It's been my experience,'*
he went on to explain, ^^ that human beings are at bot-
tom exactly alike — ^in motives, in the things that ap-
peal to them. Once in a while there is an exception.
You happen to be one, Mr. Wade. I think you'll for-
give me for having applied my principle to you. Where
exceptions are rare it's most unwise for a practical man
to consider them as a possibility."
Roger smiled amiably enough. " No matter," said
he. " I hope you'll make it up with your daughter."
Richmond's face clouded, and once more that look
of anguish showed deep in his eyes. ^^ It'll just about
kill me if I don't," said he.
^ Go to her — like a father who loves/* said Roger
gently. And once more the impulse came, too strong
to resist, and he dropped the cover from the painting.
But this time he did not look at the picture — at Bea-
trice Richmond as incarnation of a spring morning;
he fixed his gaze upon her father. And the expression
of that sad, passion-scarred face made him glad he had
yielded to the impulse.
** I must have it ! " said Richmond. ^ Name your
" It is not for sale.**
** I tell you I must have it.**
" No — you can have her. I shall keep this.**
Roger was gazing absently at his creation. Rich-
mond, struck by some subtle accent in his words^
glanced quickly at him.
" m take it with me — back to Paris,** said Roger^
talking aloud to himself.
^ When do you go? ** asked Richmond abruptly.
** Next weeL**
"For the summer?**
** For good,** said Roger, covering the picture.
** I wish you every success,** cried Richmond heart-
ily. ** You are an honest, sincere man.**
The meaning of Roger*s quizzical smile escaped
XICHMONB TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
It would hardly have been possible for anyone to
hold crow in lower esteem as a repast than did Daniel
Richmond; and, long though his career and many its
ups and downs, seldom had he been called upon to eat
it. But on those few occasions he had eaten like the
wise man he was — as if it were a delicacy, as if it were
his favorite dish; as if he were afraid some one would
snatch away his portion should he linger over it. The
vicissitudes of fortime had now swung crow round to
him once more. He lost no time in setting about dis-
At ten the next morning, when Beatrice descended
to the parlor of the Wolcott in response to her father's
name brought up to her in his hasty scrawl on one of
the hotel's blank cards, she was greeted effusively. He
did not give her a chance to be uppish and distant. He
met her in the door, took her in his arms and kissed
** It's been an age since I saw you," cried he,' twink*
ling with good hiimor. ^* I'm amazed to find you still
She was quite taken aback, but succeeded in con-
cealing it and in accepting his suggestion as to the
dominant note of what she had assumed would be a try-
ing interview. *^ How's mother — and the boys?'* in-
quired she. *^ Much changed? "
** All well. Your mother holds together wonder-
There was no jest, however, but a moving earnest-
ness in his eyes as they fixed upon her a himgry, de-
vouring expression. And her own look at him strongly
suggested the presence of a veil of tears. Neither had
until now realized how much they cared about each
other, how strong was the sympathy through similarity
of character. He abruptly seized her and kissed her
again, his fingers trembling as he passed them over her
yellow hair. " I'm mighty glad to see you," said he.
^ Mighty glad."
** And I you," she replied, taking his hand and giv-
ing it an affectionate squeeze. And then she kissed him
and openly wiped away her tears.
This outburst of nature on her part was a grave
tactical blunder — for, in dealing with men of his sort,
the guard can never be dropped ; their habit of seeing
and seizing advantage is too powerful ever to relax.
RICHMOND TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
Upsetting to him though his agitation and delight
were, he did not cease to be himself. The instant he
saw how moved she was, how she was meeting his ad-
vances half way at least, if not more, he began to hope
he could spare himself the hated dish of crow. So, al-
though his napkin was tucked under his chin and his
knife and fork were in air, eager for the festal attack,
he did not proceed. He had intended his next words
to be a sweeping apology. Instead, he said:
** I see you've been thinking things over, just, as
" Yes,'' replied she.
** We were both hasty. You inherit my disposition
— and it's a rather difficult one." He was hesitatingly
caressing her hand. ^^ I wanted a boy with my sort
of brain," he went on. *^ But it didn't turn out that
way. You inherited, instead. Just as well, perhaps.
I'd have broken with a boy like myself. But the fem-
inine in you saves the situation. We can forgive each
other without pride interfering. . . . I'm sorry for
what I did, and I've no doubt you are. Let's forget
it all and go home and begin again."
"You mean that, father?" cried she, tears again
welling into her eyes. " Oh, you do love me ! And
I thought you didn't."
"This business has aged me ten years," said he,
thinking rapidly as be W€i6 still further encouraged by
those tears. ** I saw it myself when I shaiFed this
Beatrice hung her head. For the mom^it she felt
guilty. She — she had aged this loving, always-mdul-
This further evidence of feminine softness and af-
fection encouraged him to the point of believing him*
self once more master. He said, in a forgiving tcme:
^ But you didn't realize what you were doing. Well,
youVe had a valuable lesson, my dear, and you've got
the intelligence to profit by it. How long will it take
you to get ready?"
^^ Oh, not long; I've got some things to attend to,
but I can do it at Red Hill just as wdl as here, I think."
^^ Go up and pack, and I'll come back in an hour*'*
He rose. " What a weight this lifts off me ! " And his
appearance confirmed his words. ^*But I'm gladdest
of all because it vindicates your good sense. I knew
my daughter would see I was doing what was best for
her, would see it just as soon as her intelligeace re-
Beatrice had risen; at this last sentence idie sat
down again with a dazed expression. ^^ Fm afraid I
don't quite imderstand, father," said she, hesitatingly-.
^^ I'm afraid I misunderstood you."
RICHMOND TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
Richmond saw he had gone too far — ^probably not
much too far, but still beyond where her mood of peni-
tence had carried her — ^as yet. " Let's not discuss dis-
agreeable things," said he hurriedly. *^ Do your pack-
ing and let's get home. Once we get there everything
else can be settled easily."
But Beatrice, after trying in vain to arrest his
evading glance, kept her seat. " No, we must under-
stand each other first," said she decisively.
*^ Now, Beatrice," protested her father at the door
into the hall, " don't spoil your happiness and my
own ! "
" Listen to me, father. I've not changed my mind
about Peter — ^not in the least."
^ " Oh — ^bother Peter ! " exclaimed he good-humored-
" Do you still expect me to -marry him? "
Richmond saw there was no dodging the issue. He
met it squarely. " I'm sure you'll want to marry him.
But I'm not going to force you — or try to."
^^ But listen. I haven't changed my mind about
"Well — ^well," said Richmond, still good-humored
though not so easily. " It'd be foolish for us to quarrel
about him. You say he has refused you."
"Yes — ^but I haven't given him up."
" That isn't a very nice way for a girl to talk — is
it now, my dear? " said Richmond, laughing with some
"Why not?" said she.
^^ It's the man's place to do the courting and the
proposing. And if the man doesn't want you I'm sure
you've got too much modesty and pride to "
** I don't know whether I have or not," interrupted
Beatrice. " I've got a lot of you in me. I can't imag-
ine anything I wouldn't do to get him if I thought it
would help. And I haven't thought of much else but of
different schemes to bring him roimd. I'm like you are
when you see a railroad you want."
" But there's nothing you can do, Beatrice," remon-
strated her father.
" No — it seems not," she assented despondently.
'^ Oh, how it enrages me to be a woman ! When a man
sees a girl he recognizes as the very best for him, one
he can't and won't do without, he goes after her —
straight out — and everybody applauds. It ought to be
so with a girl."
God forbid ! " cried Richmond, laughing.
Oh, the men wouldn't be bothered as much as you
seem to think. Not many of them are tremendously
worth while. The women feel about most of them
mCHMOND TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
** Like they do about mashed potatoes in Indiana —
don't care whether they're eating 'em or not? "
" Just so," laughed she.
Once more he was at the hall door. He turned for
a last look and smile. *' I'll be back in an hour, and
out home we'll plan something to take your mind off
this unappreciative man."
Beatrice looked disappointed. ^^I thought you
were going to say plan something to bring him round.
That's what we must do."
This was the fatal one prod too many at the leashed
temper of Richmond. " Don't irritate me, Beatrice,"^
he said sharply — ^a plea verging on a rebuke. " Pleased-
try to be a little tactful with me."
" I see you haven't changed at all," cried she, tear»*
in her eyes again — ^hot tears of a very different kinJ
from those before.
^^I thought you wanted to go home," cried he»
struggling with his temper.
** I do — ^if you are willing to grant me the dearest
right a woman has — the right to select her own hus-
band." She came closer to him, clasped her hands and
laid them against his shoulder. And into his eyea
gazed hers, innocent, anxious. ^^ Oh, father, won't you
be sensible — reasonable? I've got to live with him — not
^ I'd do €dmoBt anythuig to please you, mj dear.
If he were in your class ^
** But that's just why I want him," cried she. ** Do
you think a man like that could grow up in my class? "
" There are lots of clever painters about — ^lots of
^^ I don't care anything about his painting," ex-
claimed she impatiently. ^^ I don't know anything
about it. I'm speaking of him as a man. A woman
•doesn't marry a talent — or a family — or a fortune.
:She wants a moM. Of course, if she can't get a man,
why, one of the other things is better than nothing.
But / can get a man, father — if you'll help me ! "
" Peter's almost as tall^ — and quite as handsome-r^
and much more like your sort of looking man."
" Father — father — ^how can you ! And you have a
sense of hiunor, too ! "
^ It's fortunate for you, my dear, tfaat Wade has
the good sense to see he would be ill at ease out of his
own class. If he were willing, and I were foc^sh, and
jou married him — ^how wretched you'd be when ^hs
awakening came! "
The girl turned sadly away. ^ You don't belieYB in
love," she said with bitterness. *^ You don't belime jfi
anything but money.^»
^^I want to see my daughter happy," said %
' RICHMOND TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
mond with a melancholy, reproachful dignity that made
her ashamed of herself.
** Yes — ^I know you do, father,'* said she. " But "
— ^with a look of hesitation that might readily have
be^i misitaken for weakness — " I see I must go my own
Richmond reflected that this did not mean much, as
Roger Wade was firmly set against marriage. So he
8«id. With hypocritical resignation: "Very weU, my
dear. Do as you like. All I want is you to come
Beatrice slowly shook her head. ** I can't go," said
Her father stared, astounded; her expression made
her words as far as possible from impulsive or careless.
" I see you haven't changed at all. If I went back
the same trouble would break out again — only worse.
Besides, what chance would I have to get him? You'd
work against me secretly if you didn't openly. No —
I don't trust you. I must make up my mind to shift
" What on earth are you talking about P " he ejacu-
lated. ^* Are you stark mad ? "
^Mo« Fm becoming Mae)" said she quietly.
^ WimH you, iit dom^ a m&iuteP "
Biehmond teated Jbtmself meekly. The fear that
had brought him there to apologize was chilling his hot
" I left home partly because of Roger Wade,** she
proceeded to explain, *^but not altogether. There
was another reason — ^as strong — ^maybe stronger. You
had opened my eyes to the truth about myself — ^to what
a degraded position I was in."
" Degraded? " echoed he wonderingly. Then, some-
what like an alienist hmnoring an insane patient: ^^ But
go on, my dear."
^* I had been imagining all along that I was free.
I suddenly found that I wasnH free at all — ^that I had
to do what you said — even about the things that meant
my whole life — ^had to do as you ordered or lose all the
things you had made necessities to me — all the luxury
and the enjoyments and the friends even. I saw I
wasn't anything in myself — ^nothing at all — and I had
been going round with my head high, so proud and so
pleased with myself! I understood why Roger Wade
didn't think me worth while. I understood why you #
could treat me contemptuously."
^* Is that all? " inquired her father, when she
paused for a reflective silence.
" No — ^just a little more. So — ^I'm not going back
home with you — ^not just now. I'm going on with the
RICHMOND TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
" With the— what f »
" Oh, I forgot I hadn't told you," said she with a
smile. *^ Valentine and I — and Monsieur L^ry, whom
she is marrying — are starting a dressmaking shop."
Richmond stood up straight, and his scanty hair
and thick eyebrows seemed to be assisting materially
in making him the embodiment of horrified amazement.
"Don't be alarmed, father. The name over the
door is not to be Richmond or Beatrice, but Valentine
— though, of course, I'll take part openly. I want
everybody to know, because I intend to make loads and
loads of money. You've no idea of the profits in fash-
ionable dressmaking. Eighty — a hundred — ^a himdred
^nd fifty per cent ! "
" You are joking ! "
She pretended to misimderstand. **No — ^fully
that," she cried delightedly.
"Beatrice! I forbid it."
" But I'm not asking you to invest," laughed she.
*^ In fact, we don't want any more capital or partners.
Personally, I wish L^ry were an employee instead of a
partner. But Valentine would insist, I'm sure ^"
"You will drive me mad!" exclaimed her father,
throwing his arms about wildly. ^^ This folly is worse
i;han the infatuation for that artist ! " And he started
lip, fumed about ^ *4ed and trem-
bling into a chair. " You'll be the death of me ! " he
" Now, do be reasonable, father/' she urged. ** Why
shouldn't I use my talents for business and for dress
and make myself rich? Dcm't talk to me about what
people will think. I don't care. I've found out what
people are worth. Why, even my friend, Allie Kin-
near, hasn't been near me."
" I forbid it ! I forbid it ! " her father cried, shak-
ing his fists in the air. And off again he went into one
of his paroxysms of fury.
" But I'm of age."
^^ I'll have you locked up as insane ! I'll have a conn-
mission appointed to take charge of your property ! *'
*^ When I showed them my plans for the shop I
think they'd let me alone. We'll make barrels of money.
New York hasn't seen such a shop as I'd run. Thie
trouble with the dressmaking business is that no woman
who reaUy knows "
He seized her by the arm, glared into her face.
'^ This is an infernal scheme to bring me to terms ! Has
that artist put you up to it? "
^^ How absurd ! I haven't seen him. I doubt if he
knows I've left home. Father, since I seem not to be
able to get him I've simply got to do something;^ —
something that will keep me so busy I shan't have time
RICHMOND TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
to think. For I'm not — as you imagine — the victim
of a foolish girl's infatuation. I'm really in love,
father dear — sensibly in love."
^* No one is sensible who's in love," said he in a far
gentler tone. His rages had about exhausted his
strength. He was feeling an ominous feebleness of limb
and heart that alarmed him. ^^ Nobody's sensible who's
in love," he repeated.
*^ Nobody's sensible who isn't — ^if they get half a
chance," replied she. " It's the only thing in life."
And his haggard face and the hungry misery of his
eyes contained no denial of her confident assertion.
** Is there nothing that will induce you to come home,
Beatrice? " he pleaded with the weakness of exhaustion.
** I'll never speak of Peter — of marriage — again. PU
give you whatever income you want — ^in your own
Richmond winced; but those inward reminders of
oncreeping old age, lonely and loveless if this girl
turned from him, forbade him to draw back. "You
think you could get him if I were to consent? '*
"Perhaps." There was the ecstatic quiver of a
newborn hope in her voice.
" That is, you would marry him, even though you
were convinced he was a fortune hunter?"
** He might be afraid to undertake the support of
as expensive a girl as I am. He doesn't dream how
inexpensive I could be.''
A long pause, he gazing at the floor, she anxiously
watching him. "Well — I consent," burst from her
father. His tone suggested a false admission wrung
Another long pause, she eying him dubiously, he
avoiding her gaze. ** I don't trust you," said she.
** It's your own fault. You can't blame me. I couldn't
ever trust you, after the thing you did against Roger
— ^and your threats to Peter and to me."
** I am an old fool — a weak old fool ! " he shouted,
seizing his hat. ** I wash my hands of you ! I'm done
with you ! "
And out he bolted, running squarely into a woman
who was just entering the parlor. He did not pause
In the afternoon Mrs. Richmond came — beautiful-
ly dressed and diffusing a strong but elegant odor of
concentrated essence of lilies of the valley. ** I'd have
been here long ago," she explained as she kissed and
embraced her daughter and shed a few cautious tears,
'^ but I didn't dare. This was my first chance. Your
father has absolutely forbidden me. And I had always
BICHMOND TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
thought he was rather partial to you. But then, I
might have known. He cares for nobody — for nothing
— ^but those schemes and plans of his. You'd never be-
lieve he was the same man as the one I married. And
he isn't. Success has turned his head."
** He was here this morning," said Beatrice.
** Here ! " exclaimed her mother. " What for? "
" For me."
Jealousy sparkled in her mother's hastily veiled
eyes. " Trying to get you into his power again," she
** I suppose so," said Beatrice. " Yes — ^that must
have been it."
** Then you are coming home? "
" Oh, no."
The jealousy passed; the mother returned. " But,
Beatrice — he has changed his will and has cut you off.
He's leaving your portion to Hector."
Beatrice looked uncomfortable. ** I shan't say I
like that," said she, " for it'd be false. But Fm not
coming home, just the same. There's been a great
change in me^ mother."
** You always were headstrong," said her mother.
** I used to feel, when you were a baby, that the day
would come when there'd be a clash between you and
"Wdl — ^the dash 18 over. We'll let each other
alone after this."
^^But what is to become of you? Of course, FU
have something; and as long as I have anything — ^
Mrs. Richmond checked herself, flushed. ^^ In fact, I
have got a little, Beatrice. I put by in case there ever
should be this kind of trouble between him and the
children. I can let you have a good income — enough,
with what you've got, to make a showing you needn't
be ashamed of. Have you seen Mr. Wade? "
Beatrice put her arms aroimd her mother and
kissed her — ^tenderly, but with that carefulness which
one woman never neglects in caressing another who has
made a careful toilet. " If I need the money I'll tell
you, dear," said she. " No, I haven't seen him. Have
^^Late yesterday afternoon. He was striding
along the road — didn't see me."
"How was he looking?"
" Anxious and depressed, I thought."
Beatrice beamed. " You're not telling me that —
just to make me feel good?"
" No — ^no, indeed. He looked almost haggard."
Beatrice kissed her mother again. There could Kot
be the slightest doubt. Hcfr mother, in the habit of
siding with her children against their aggressive father
RICHMOND TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
and of protecting them from him, was moving in her
direction. "Why don't you go to see him?*' she
" If your father should find out ! "
** You've got the picture as an excuse. You know,
father thinks we met Roger in Europe."
"Yes — ^yes — ^I had forgotten. ... I don't know
what possesses m^! I .can't understand myself, even
thinking of helping you in such an absurd, idiotic thing
as marrying a poor artist."
"A poor man — ^not a poor artist," laughed Bea-
" I suppose," went on Mrs. Richmond, ** it must be
for the pleasure of seeing your father defeated in
something he has set his heart on. He has trampled
me so often I'd like to see him humbled once."
"You ought to have seen him when I told him I
was going into the dressmaking business."
" Beatrice ! " cried her mother — ^and her expression
of horrified amazement was a fit companion for that of
"I'm going to make stacks of mcmey," scdd Bea-
trice carelessly. "You know I've got taste — »nd ^
good business head."
" Didn't your father forbid you? '' ifemanded hat
mother, quivering with agitation. - /;
" Yes — and I reminded him I was of age."
" Why, it'll ruin us all ! " wailed Mrs. Richmond.
** Beatrice, I do believe you've lost your mind."
" Just what father said."
** Surely you won't do it, now that I've offered you
a good income. You can have fifteen thousand — ^in
addition to what you've got."
" And how would I pass the time? "
"Why, as you always have."
The peculiar, romantic — " crazy," her father
called it — ^look drifted into the girl's face, completely
transforming it. ** Yes," replied she dreamily, " but
that was before I knew Roger."
" What shall I do ! " moaned Mrs. Richmond. She
was anything but a keen observer, but she was woman
enough to understand that look. " If you married him
you'd give this up — ^wouldn't you?"
"I hadn't thought. Yes — ^I suppose I'd have to.
Looking after him would take all my time."
" Then you must marry him ! " cried her mother
resolutely. " I shall see your father at once."
"You'll simply get yourself into trouble, mother
" I'm not afraid of him now ! " exclaimed Mrs. Ridht-
mpnd with militant eyes and nostrils. " He has made ^
fool of himself — and he knows it. FU not have all Pre
mCHMOND TRIES TO MAKE PEACE
spent my life in building up torn down just because
he is such a monstrous snob. Why should he object
to a distinguished artist as a son-in-law? Why, Mr.
Wade would be an addition to the family, socially."
And so on and on, Beatrice letting her mother rave
herself into a fitting state of mind for a struggle with
her husband. Whenever she paused Beatrice brought
up the dressmaking to set her off again. And when she
was about to leave Beatrice called in Valentine and
presented her as *^ My partner, Miss Clermont." Mrs.
Richmond was quite done for. Her daughter's maid
treated as an equal — and become her daughter's busi-
ness partner ! " I'll telephone you to-night — or see
you to-morrow," said she as she was leaving. She did
not dare offend Beatrice by ignoring ^^ Miss Clermont."
So she made a bow that was a highly amusing specimen
of those always amusing compromises which no sentient
thing in the universe but the humorless himian animal
would attempt to carry off.
MRS. BICHMOND KEBELS
Fob some time after her mother left Beatrice 89/b
in a brown study» her ex-maid and partner seated
across the table from her and not yenturing to. iatev-
rupt. At last, Beatrice said: *^ I don't understami ill
at all. Fd never have believed mother would tfdie it
^^ You could hardly expect her to be pleased^ Mifl»
Richmond/' replied Valentine.
^^ Oh, I fanew she'd blow up and sail into me,?' said
Beatrice. ^^ I'm puzzling over the way she acted allouir
father. I never before knew her to revolt against him."
^^ ProbiUily — when Mrsw Bichmcmd seee hisn--^'' imm*
Miss Clermont's highly suggestive, imfinished> cammeniU
" No doubt," said Beatrice. " And yet — Manuna
was mad through and through — ^fighting mad. I never
saw her like that — ^with him. I shouldn't have believed
it was in her. I suspect — ^I hope — she'll make trouble.'*
Beatrice was right in her diagnosis of her mother's
rage. Mrs. Richmond was indeed fighting mad.
Everything that lives, even a human being weakened
MRS. RICHMOND REBELS
by luxury and by long and meek servitude, has its limit
of endurance, its point at which it will cease to rua
or to cower and will fight to the last gasp. That limit,
that point had been reached by Mrs. Richmond. There
were many things she liked in varying degrees— her
children, society novels, half a dozen friends, her maid
Marthe, an occasional man — ^the Count d'Artois just
at that time. There were three things only to which
she was deeply attached — ^three besides herself. The
first was her youthful appearance, which she struggled
so assiduously to retain. The second was wealth, which
gave her so many delightful moral, mental and phys-
ical sensations. The third and dearest was social posi-
tion. The mania of social position habitually seizes
upon persons of great afiluence and small intelligence;
it manifests itself early, often in a grave form ; but it
does not become virulent until middle life. With Mrs*
Richmond the mania was aggravated by her not having
been bom to fashionable society. Patiently, resolutely,
taikomely she had buUt herself up socially year by
year. She had endured humiliations, «nubs, insults, as
a gallant soldier endures the blows and buffetings of
battle. And her virtue had been vewairded. She had
attained social position — not, indeedly 8cci;irit]i^ Imt JE
America social security is inQNisaible; .kttt
rank among the very firsty rmntmtU^ m
as Richmond retained his wealth and no degrading scan-
dal undermined and toppled. Like the prudent soul
that she was, she remained sleeplessly vigilant lest some
such scandal should come from an unexpected quarter.
There were obcure relations — ^vulgar — ^no, worse —
positively low. True, everybody was cursed with such ;
but to Mrs. Richmond her own and her husband^s im-
possible kin seemed more awful than anyone else^s.
Then, Richmond, industrious social climber though he
was and as careful about matters of social position as
any of the other big men of finance who graciously-
permitted their families to be fashionable — ^Richmond
occasionally broke loose and offended by coarse and
greedy snatching at wealth owned by persons of social
power. Also, he occasionally almost overreached him-
self in his contempt for law and public opinion, and
put in jeopardy his reputation. But this danger was
not now haunting her as it once had. Through the
constant infractions of Richmond and his like the moral
code was no longer what it used to be, was a mere col-
lection of old tatters. Pretty much everybody who
socially was anybody despised it in private and pro-
fessed public respect for it only out of habit and for the
benefit of the lower classes.
Finally, there were the children. One could never
tell what one's children would grow up into. Of the
MRS. RICHMOND REBELS
four, she had regarded the younger daughter as the
safest because she was intensely proud, fond of social
position, of fashionable luxury — fonder of them than
of anything — except, perhaps, of having her own way
where opposed. Yes, Beatrice would never cause her
social anxiety. In the irony of fate it was she and only
she who had become troublesome. The refusal to
marry Peter Vanderkief was bad. The infatuation for
an artist, eminent though he seemed to be — at least, in
France — ^was worse. This dressmaking was worst.
To Mrs. Richmond's excited fancy it seemed to fore-
shadow social downfall — ^not from the fashionable set,
but from leadership in it. If there had been so much
as a single previous generation of fashionable Rich-
monds, or if their own fashion were a matter of twenty
)rears instead of a scant ten, the thing wouldn't matter.
Beatrice would be regarded as eccentric — and eccen-
tricity is a mark of aristocratic blood. But, in the cir-
cimistances, for Beatrice to become a dressmaker in
partnership with a French maid and a chauffeur
Mrs. Richmond burst in upon her husband at his
office with her fury intact. Richmond knew at a glance
that he had to deal with a revolt and a dangerous cme.
He showed that he understood all about its origm ^7
saying as soon as his secretaxj liad gqm
been to see Beatrice.''
^^ She told you this morning that she was goingf
into the dressmaking business? " said the wife, nostrils
dilating, eyes blazing at him.
" Yes." And Richmond concentrated himself in a
comer of his big chair. It looked like a gesture of
shrinking, of timidity. In fact, it was simply his way
of gathering himself together at the first onslaught of
"Here in New York!"
Richmond made a slight gesture of assent.
" And—LSryl "
Richmond from the comer of his chair stretched
out one hesitating hand to the papers on the desk be-
" What are you going to do about it? " demanded
the wife in a low tone that sounded as if it had forced
its way through clinched teeth*
Richmond leaned back in his chair, clasped his
hands behind his big head, stared out of the window.
"What are you going to do about it?" repeated
Still no reply.
"^Are you going to sacrifice all that Fve spent so
many years in building up? "
MBS. RICHMOND REBELS
^^You?" snapped Richmond, with contemptuous
sarcasm. " What have you done? "
*^ I've made our social position— that's what Fve
" You mean /'ve built it — ^my money cmd my power.
People recognize us because they don't dare anger me.**
This in tiie voice of axiomatic truth.
But Mrs* Richmond was too angry — ^too alarmed.
Panic has its courage more dangerous than valor's.
** Look at the Galloways," cried she. " They've got
more money than we have. Look at the Roebucks —
more money than we have — cuid Roebuck a man< you're
" I'm afraid of nobody ! " blustered he.
She answered this with a maddening, little, »ieer-
^g laugh, and went on : ^^ Look at the Fosdicks — ^and
the Bellinghams — and the Ashforths. More money
than we have."
" Yes- — and they're received." But his. tone* was
not all it might have been»
^^ You know the difference," said she,, in open con-
tempt of his flimsy evasion. ^^ They're in but not of.
We'ra both in and of. And why? .. • . Why? '• she
repeated fiercely. ^^ Why are we in and of, in spite- of
the enemies you've made— in spite of tibe shady things
you've done — ^in spite of ^"
" Now, see here, Lucy — ^I've not complained of
your way of managing your side of the family affairs.
You've done very well." This was said patronizingly,
but with a mildness that, issuing from Daniel Rich-
mond, made it sound almost like a whimper.
^^And since I got the Earl of Broadstairs away
from Sally Peyton and married him to Rhoda we've
been right in the front rank. There arenH but two big
families that still hold out."
" The Vanderkief marriage might have got them,"
" If Beatrice starts up as a dressmaker — ^with those
two servants ^"
"But — ^what can / do?" he interrupted violently.
*^ She's insane — ^insane ! "
** It's you that are insane, Dan," cried his wife.
•^ You knew the girl. You knew you'd made her hard
to manage. Why did you goad her? "
" I suppose you'd have let her marry that painter
fellow," sneered the husband.
^^ Anything but such a sccmdal as this," declared
she. " And it's got to be stopped ! "
Richmond shrugged his shoulders. " I offered to
drop the Vanderkief marriage. I offered to take her
back. I begged her to come back."
** But you didn't tell her she could marry Wade.**
MRS. RICHMOND REBELS
** Yes, I did ! " confessed he. " Yes — ^I did even
Mrs. Richmond frankly showed her incredulity ; and
that there might be no doubt, she said : " I don't be-
" Do you think I've got no sense? I saw what the
scandal would mean. Besides — ^" Richmond did not
give his other reason. He was too ashamed of his weak-
ness of love for the girl to expose it.
By this time Mrs. Richmond had recovered. " And
is that all youVe done? "
" All? " he cried. " All? What else could I do? "
** Gret her the man."
"Gret her the man?" repeated he, as if trying in
vain to understand.
" She doesn't trust you — ^and you can't be sur-
prised at that. You've got to get her the man. You've
mismanaged this thing from the start. You've driven
her on and on imtil now there's only the one chance
Richmond did not contradict this, even mentally.
He said presently : ** But I've talked with him and he
won't have her."
Again Mrs. Richmond was taken by surprise — so
much so that she said: " What did you say? "
Richmond showed his wild internal commotion.
With glittering eyes and teeth suggesting that -thej
were about to gnash he all but hissed : ^* Are yon j|et-
ting deaf? I said I had talked with him, and he won't
have her. I oan't make the man marry her — can I? **
In her excitement, in her amazement Mrs. Riiib-
mond leaned forward and said slowly : ** Did you go to
him and give him permission to marry Beatrice? "
*^ No," Richmond confessed.
*^0h," said his wife with sarcasm, ^^you went to
forbid him to marry her. Why do you deceive me
when we're in such a dangerous position? "
" I didn't deceive you," growled he. ** I went to
make sure he didn't wcmt to marry her. We got along
Mrs. Richmond showed relief. ** Then we're in a
position to make advances to him."
** I'll make no more advances ! " cried he defiantly —
^^I suppose you'd rather see the newspapers full
of your daughter making dresses in partnership with a
maid and a chauffeur," sneered Mrs. Richmond.
He winced as she jabbed surely at his one ^eak
point — the weakness she knew so well; her knowIe4ge
of it had given her the courage to attack him. And
she knew also that his one belief in her, his one use
for her^ was her skill as a social maneuverer.
MRS. RICHMOND REBELS
" You'll do whatever is necessary," she went on. " I
can't understand why you were so opposed to her mar-
rying. He's youngs but f amoiuh already. He'U be a
A long pause. Then : " Yes, he can painty?*' said
Richmond absently, a queer look in* his ususJly hard and
^^ Of course he can. D'Artois. told us so. I'll' go
ask him to dinner on my way home. If he accepts I'U
telephone Beatrice to come down."
**Yea — ^tliat's a. good Idea — excellent," said Bich-
mond. ^^ I want to get this, thing settled. It has un-
fitted me for business. A &w weeks more of it and: I'll
go to pieces^ Do whateyer you like. I don't care, so
lon^ &» you' settle things." And he took up his papers
to indicate that he had nO' mere time to waste.
*^ X hope this will be a^ lesson to you," said she.
'^ Next time any tiotible come» with the children you'd
better leave It to me."
Richmond muttered something into hifr papers.
Mrs» Richmond issued forth, in dignity aud in triumplu
No one, viewing her cold and haughty face, her beaju*
tif ul, expensive toilet, her air throu^out of the story-
book aristocrat,, would have believed her capable o# par-
ticipating in such a scene as she and her husband had
just enacted. She was secure from suspicion of such
vulgarities — secure behind the glamour of wealth and
fashion that veils the Richmond kind of sordid lives
and the sordid pursuits that engross them.
When Mrs. Richmond's auto stopped before Roger \
Wade's gate she saw him reading behind the leafy
screen of the front veranda. She waited and watched a
moment or so, but he did not glance up.
^^ Give the horn a squeeze or so/' said she to the
At the soimd of three sharp, imperious calls the
artist slowly lifted his eyes. Mrs. Richmond, her face
at the open window of her limousine, saw him observ-
ing her as one might a chance passer-by on the high-
road. When he saw that she was seeing him he rose
and advanced toward the gate at a pace that was nei-
ther fast nor slow — a pace somehow discouraging to
Mrs. Richmond. She awaited him with a smile of the
most flattering warmth.
"How do you do, Mr. Wade?*' cried she as he
opened the gate, and out wait her gloved hand to meet
his cordially. ** You have treated me shamefully,** she
went on. ^^ But one who is nobody must take what-
ever treatment a great man gives one and be grateful
that it's no worse."
The big, dark man, looking extremely handsome in
MRS. RICHMOND REBELS
his loose, white flannels, laughed amiably. He showed
his good sense by attempting no reply. He simply;
" I've stopped to ask you to dine with us to-morrow
night — ^very informally,*' said she. " It'd be an enor*
mous favor, as we're dreadfully dull."
" All this is very kind," said Roger, " but I can't
" Now, don't say that," urged she, her manner
making her insistence seem polite — a manner of which
she was admirably mistress. ^^ Mr. Richmond told me
this afternoon that I mustn't take no for an answer.
He has developed a great admiration and liking for
you. If you're not refusing just out of unneighborli-
ness, perhaps you'll come day after to-morrow even-
" I'll be on the sea," said Roger. " I'm sailing Sat-
" So suddenly ! " cried Mrs. Richmond with an ar-
resting agitation in her voice — obviously not the agi-
cation of pleasure, but of alarm. "Then, you must
come to-morrow evening. It is our last chance for
"Oh, there's Paris," said Roger carelessly. His
frank eyes were regarding her with a puzzled expres-
Mrs. Kichmond flung away the last shred of pre-
tense of merely social purposes. Her eyes pleaded and
her voice implored as she said: ^^ Mr. Richmond par-
ticularly wished to see you. Can't you arrange it —
for to-morrow evening — or this evening? "
^^ Thank you. It's really impossible." And
Roger's tone and manner were a courteous but final re-
fusal of all that she was implying. *^ Will you trouble
yourself with my adieux to Mr. Richmond and your
*^ I'm so disappointed I hardly know what to say,"
cried Mrs. Richmond with pathetic appeaL ^^ Do for-
give my rudeness, but — — "
^^ It's quite impossible for me to change ndy plans
for the little time I have between now and Saturday
morning." Roger was simply polite — ^not unfriendly,
yet certainly not friendly.
Mrs. Richmond's handsome eyes veiled their anger
behind a look of resigned regret. She dared not quar-
rel with him» must part with him on friendly terms.
** I understand. I am dreadfully sorry. But — as you
say, there's Paris. We haven't your address there, I
^^ I have no address," said Roger. ^I shall have to
And a place."
^^ D'Artois will know," said Mrs. Richmond hasti^ja
MRS. RICHMOND REBELS
to cover the almost blunt ^refusal to continue the ac-
quaintance. " We can find out from him."
^ I lead rather a secluded life there/' was Roger's
reply. ^^ One must fight constantly against the temp-
tations to distraction. But I needn't explain that to
the wife of a busy man of affairs."
" No, indeed," cried she, with undiminished cordial-
ity — and she did not find it difficult to be cordial to a
man whose charm she was now feeling, hardly the less,
perhaps the more, because he was defeating her will.
** Still," she went on, " we'll venture to hope that you'll
relent a little and not look on us altogether as intruders,
" You are too kind, Mrs. Richmond," said Roger.
He made as much of a move toward turning away as
"Again, I'm sorry — ^so sorry, about dinner," said
Mrs. Richmond, once more extending her hand. She
was all friendliness, all cordiality. ** And I'll hope you
and Fate will be kinder in Paris. Good-by. Mr. Rich-
mond will be really distressed. And Beatrice "
Roger's eyes shifted. A faint color crept into his
" She will think you're a sadly negligent friend.
She's at the Wolcott. If you are in town "
** Unfortunately, FU not be," interrupted Roger
curtly. *^ I'll have to trust to you to make my apol-
Mrs. Richmond once more looked defeated. ** Don't
forget us," she pleaded.
Thank you/' said Roger embarrassed.
Roger bowed. The machine got under way and dis-
appeared in a cloud of dust while he went slowly and
moodily back to the veranda to take up his book, but
not to read it.
As Mrs. Richmond's auto swung into the terrace
before the main entrance to Red Hill Richmond's auto
departed, having just set him down upon the stone
esplanade. He opened the door of the car for his wife.
" Well? " said he sharply.
"He can't — that is, won't — come."
I thought so."
" I know. Next week."
" No— Saturday."
Richmond startled. " Day after to-morrow? *•
" And he wouldn't come either to-night or to-mor-
They walked in silence side by side into the house.
"He's a splendidly handsome man," said Mrs.
Richmond. ^^Any woman would be proud to have
MRS. RICHMOND REBELS ^
him as her husband. And he has the air of a person*
age. ... I must telephone Beatrice.*'
" You must do nothing of the sort," ordered Rich-
mond in the tone which, when he first had begun to use
it with her, had made her feel like a servant. " You'll
not tempt her to make a public fool of herself."
" You don't imderstand her," protested Mrs. Rich-
" No matter. No telephoning. Small, timid people
never can understand that a person of her sort has un-
limited capacity for reckless folly."
" But what are we to do? " demanded his wife.
FU go to see him."
To say what? "
^^ What circumstances may dictate after I get
there," said her husband. " I'll go at once."
" Yes — ^yes. The time's very short," cried she.
** On the contrary, there's plenty of time."
And he turned on his heel and retraced his steps
toward the door. Mrs. Richmond paused to look
pityingly after him ; he was slightly bent ; his step had
lost its spring. Only once before had she seen him so
harassed — ^the time when he was trying to negotiate
apparently impossible loans to save his fortime from
ruin and himself from prison. She hated him with what
she believed to be an implacable hate. In fact, she
hated him only because he would not let her love him;
he fascinated her, a woman of the sort that craye a
master and really loye the servitude they profess to
loathe. She rejoiced in his defeats; she delighted to
waste his money where she could not sequester it. But
her soul did homage to him as its lord. She looked
after him longingly ; she would have given a good part
of her possessions to be an unseen and unsuspected
spectator at the scene between him and Roger. For
she would have staked all she had on Roger's admin*
istering to him the defeat of his life.
BOGEB SOKE BESET
RoGEB still seated on his front yeranda behind the
curt€un of creepers, was not a little astonished to see
that the solitary occupant of the runabout stopping at
his gate was Beatrice's father. His astonishment did
not decrease when the little big financier, advancing
briskly up the gravel walk edged by flowering plants,
hailed the first clear view of his face with a smile of the
utmost geniality — the greeting of an old and dear
" Pve come about that picture," Richmond has-
tened to explain. ** I wish — for my own sake — Fd seen
it sooner. If you'll pardon an old man — ^at least, a
much older man than yourself — ^for being quite frank
— ^it has given me an entirely different opinion of you.
It has made me very proud of my acquaintance with
you. I know that's blunt — but it's sincere."
Roger was as fond of praise as, the next human
being. He had cultivated the philosophy of indiffer-
ence only to uncritical censure. He blushed and stam-
mered out some awkward words of thanks — certainly
not the less awkward for the uneasiness Richmond's
manner had raised within him.
" My wife and my daughter were quite right and
I was wrong — ^stupidly wrong," continued Richmond.
They were seated now. " I'm not an art expert — and
not imagining I was or pretending to be has saved me
thousands of dollars and a lot of fake art stuff. But,
at the same time, a man who amoimts to anything in
any line always appreciates good work in every other
line — whether he likes it or not. So — ^I want that pic-
ture. Isn't there anything I could say or do that
would induce you to change your mind and let me
have it? "
Roger's brow clouded again; a strange, absent
look was in his eyes — the eyes of an artist, sensitive,
sympathetic, penetrating, yet devoid of the least sug-
gestion of craft. " I've been thinking that matter
over," said he with an effort. " I have decided not to
take the picture with me. So — ^you can have it — ^if
you'll accept it."
" My dear Wade ! " exclaimed Richmond, all en-
thusiasm. ^^ But you must be generous with me. You
must let me give you something in return. You know
how burdensome a sense of unacquitted obligation hu
All I have to give is money, unfortunately. You must
let me give that. It is the right of you fellows to
ROGER SORE BESET
pect it from us fellows. It's our privilege to give it."
Roger, unaware of the man; sides to the extraor-
dinary man seated opposite him, was wholly unpre-
pared for so adroit and graceful and sensible a speech.
He could only make an impatient gesture and say with
a decisiveness that seemed rude : " The picture has no
money value. I'll have to insist on your taking it on
my terms — or I'll give it to some one else. For I shall
not carry it abroad with me."
" That brings me to the main reason for my com-
ing," said Richmond, leaning forward, elbows on the
broad arms of the chair.
Roger was all at sea again. With Richmond's re-
quest for the picture he had jumped to the conclusion
that it was really the sole cause of the two visits of that
afternoon and the two exhibitions of sultry affability.
Now — what new complication was Richmond about to
disclose? — what new obstacle was about to appear in his
path back to peace and ii^iole-hearted work?
The financier did not keep him long in suspense.
" I want to persuade you not to go abroad," he pro-
ceeded. " Now — ^ple&se hear me out 1 You are an
American. Your proper place is here — ^your own
country. It needs you, and you ove it the services of
Roger eyed his guest with candid suspicion. Guile
being foreign to his nature, he knew of its existence
in his fellow-beings only as an incomprehensible but
undaodable fact. He knew Richmond was a man of
guile. Yet these sincere tones, these frank and friendly
eyes — Also, what possible motive could the man have?
Perhaps the picture had really converted him into a
friend and admirer, imafraid now that there was no
longer reason to suspect matrimonial designs.
^* Don't affect a modesty a man of your abilities
could not possibly feel," said Richmond, misunder-
standing or pretending to misunderstand Roger's em-
barrassed silence. ^^ Only mediocrity is modest, and it
is the crowd of fools that compels us, who can do things
and have sense enough to know we can, to pretend to
Roger laughed. ^^ There's truth in that," said he.
^^ Still, I'm sure my fate is a matter of importance only
to myself." His expression settled to sombemess
again. ^^ No, I shall go. Thank you, but I shall go.'*
" There is work for you here — ^big work," urged
Richmond. ^^I shall see that you get it — ^that you
don't have to wait for recognition and be wearied and
disgusted by the stupid injustices that keep men of
genius out of their own."
Roger's simple and generous face softaied, for his
heart was touched. ^^ I see you understand," said he»
ROGER SORE BESET
^^ I wish I could show my appreciation by accepting
your offer. But I can't. I must go.'*
^^ I admit that the atmosphere over there is more
congenial — ^much more congeal — ^to your sort of
work. But you'll find us less imsympathetic than you
think. Give us a trials Wade."
Roger was entirely convinced now, and was deeply
moved. ^^ I wish I could, Mr. Richmond. But if I am
to work I must go."
The older man leaned still farther toward the
young man in his earnestness. ^^Why, you painted
Jiere one of the greatest pictures I've seen. Of course,
my personal feeling may bias my judgment somewhat —
for I am attached to my daughter as I am to no other
human being " — ^Richmond's voice trembled, and there
were tears in his eyes — ^^ I'm a fool about her. Wade —
a damn fool! • • . Excuse my gettting off the track.
As I was saying, I may think the picture greater than
it really is. But I know that it is really great —
Roger tried to conceal his agitation.
^^You painted it here. That means, you can do
great work here. Did you ever paint a better picture
in Europe? "
^ No," admitted Roger.
•* Then you ought to stay."
Roger rose, seated himself, lit a fresh cigarette.
** CanH do it," he said curtly. " Let's say no more
about it. Don't think me rude or unappreciative. But
— ^you must take my decision as final."
" I'm older than you. Wade — ^twice as old. You
are a young man, just starting. I'm about all in. So,
I don't feel that I'm impertinent in pressing you."
Again Roger rose. This time he went to the edge
of the veranda. At the steps he turned suddenly.
" Don't think me imappreciative, sir," said he, " but
this is painful to me — ^very painful."
Richmond put on a most effective air of apology.
"I'm sorry — ^I beg your pardon — ^I did not mean to
intrude upon your private affairs. I was assimiing you
were free. It never occurred to me that there might
be obligations over there ^"
" I am free ! " cried Roger. " At least, I was. And
I intend to be so again. But — enough of this — of me.
m send you the picture — No, I'll see that it is sent
Richmond regarded the young man with the eyes
of a father and a friend. He went up to him, laid one
hand affectionately on his arm. " I know you don't
want to leave America— give up your ambition — ^the
one that brought you here, so d'Artois says. Tell me.
Can't it be arranged somehow? "
ROGER SORE BESET
" Impossible/' said Roger.
Richmond laughed gently. " A word for boys and
for old failures. . . . Can't you induce her to live on
this side of the water? "
Roger looked puzzled.
** It's always a woman," said Richmond, eyes twink-
ling. " If she really cares for you she'll live wherever
your career demands."
Roger's smile of exaggerated disdain revealed how
much of the boy he was taking with him into the thir-
ties. " You are mistaken," said he. " No woman has
ever dominated my life." His face grew stem again
and energetic. " And no woman ever shall ! "
" That's right — ^that's right," heartily approved
Richmond. ^^ Woman in the wrong place in a man's
life is almost as bad as if she were left out entirely.
Almost — ^but not quite."
" I don't agree with you," said Roger.
" Did you ever happen to know a man who had left
woman out altogether?" inquired Richmond.
" No — but I've seen many and many a life — ^an
artist's life — ^wrecked by women — ^by marriage."
Richmond took advantage of Roger's averted face
to indulge in a smile of satisfaction. He went on in
a careless tone that had no relationship to the smile:
Probably those chaps wouldn't have amounted to
much, anyhow. The man who has it in him to be
wrecked by excess of any kind is bound to go under.
Nothing can save him.''
^^ No doubt/' assented Roger, with assumed indif-
ference. The point Richmond had just made was new,
was impressive — appealed disquietingly to the young
man's pride as well as to his intelligence. For the first
time he looked upon his visitor as a dangerous man.
He stood at the edge of the veranda in that expectant
silence which compels a caller either to show cause why
he should stay or to take himself off. Richmond cov
ered his defeat and his embarrassment by returning to
his chair and seating himself in the attitude of one far
from the end of a leisurely and intimate visit. Roger
could do nothing but reluctantly reseat himself. They
smoked in silence a few minutes; then Richmond said
" So — ^you're opposed to marriage? "
" Unalterably," said Roger.
" I remember now. You said that to me the other
day when " — ^Richmond laughed with frank good hu-
mor — "when I was suspecting you of designs on my
daughter — or, rather, on my fortime. How absurd
that seems now. But I had some excuse. I didn't know
you then. If I had I might not have been so well
pleased by your views on matrimony."
ROGER SORE BESET
As these words flowed fluently from Richmond's
gracious tongue Roger cast at him a furtive glance of
" My older daughter," continued Richmond, ** is
a thoroughly worldly woman. She has married a title
— ^and is as happy as a normal woman would be over
getting the man of her heart's choice. But my other
Roger moved uncomfortably in his chair. Could it be
possible — No! No! Ridiculous! And yet — ^Preposter-
ous! As little danger of it aa of Roger himself giving in.
" Beatrice " — ^Richmond pronounced the name with
tenderness — and tenderness now seemed as essentially
one of his traits as hardness or cruelty or tyranny —
** Beatrice is entirely different. But you know her.
You artists read character. I needn't tell you she is
delightfully unworldly — foolishly romantic — ^need I? "
" No," said Roger in a hurried, harried way.
" Your painting shows how thoroughly you under-
stood — ^appreciated her. Wade, one of the finest things
I ever knew a man to do was your refusal to take ad-
vantage of her inexperienced young imagination. It
was noble — noble! "
Roger looked wretched. **I — ^I don't deserve
that," was his stammering but vigorous protest. ^^ My
motive was altogether different — ^wholly selfish."
"Oh, come, now," cried the older man jocosely,
she's not so unattractive. A man less scrupulous, less
honorable — ^might easily have fancied himself in love
with her. You'll admit that — ^won't you?
Roger was braced well back in his chair. " Yes,
said he in a tone not remotely suggestive of terror.
" I didn't mean to embarrass you. Wade," laughed
" Not at all — ^not at all," said Roger, his panic lu-
" So— it was really noble of you."
" I can't permit that, sir," said Roger. " My only
motive was my determination never to marry."
" I don't like to hear you say that," said Rich-
mond. ^^ As the father of a daughter, as a man who
wishes to see his daughter in the keeping of a man of
the right sort — and how few such there are! — ^I don't
like to hear any of those few declare against matri-
There was no misimderstanding the trend of this.
Incredible though it seemed, the man had come round,
was abetting his daughter in her willful whim of con-
quest! "I'm not opposed to marriage — for others,"
said Roger awkwardly. ^' I simply feel that it is not
wise for me. If a man whose life is given to creative
work marries a woman he loves he is content. It is the
ROGER SORE BESET
end of achievement, of ambition. Why strive after the
lesser when what seems to him the greater has been
achieved? If such a man marries unfortunately then
the bitterness and the agitations destroy his ability to
create. Happy marriage suffocates genius, unhappy
marriage strangles it. Death inevitable — ^in either
The words were not unlike those he had used in de-
scribing his position to Beatrice. His manner — the
tone, the look of the eyes, the expression of mouth and
chin — ^made them seem entirely different, far more pro-
foundly significant. A man, a serious man, rarely re-
veals his innermost self to a woman unless he and she
have reached a far closer intimacy than Roger had per-
mitted with Beatrice, But talking with Richmond,
with another man, one who could and would understand
and sympathize, Roger exposed a side of his nature of
the existence of which Beatrice had only a faint intui-
tion, no direct or definite knowledge. Richmond had
been pushed by the portrait well toward conviction of
Roger's high rank in the aristocracy he esteemed as
a man among men. He was now wholly convinced.
His daughter, he saw, had chosen more wisely than he
** I see your point,'* said Richmond slowly, thought-
fully. " I see your point."
Roger showed his deep sense of relief.
^ It is a good one — a very good one/'
Roger's tension visiblj relaxed.
^^ It is unanswerable/' was Richmond's final, sweep-
*^ Unanswerable/' echoed the painter decisivelj, yet
with a curious note of unhappfn^.
" But," pursued Beatrice's father, " what would
you do — ^if you fell in love?" And, ignoring the
painter's confusion in the bursting of this bomb, he
went on with an air of philosophic impartiality : ^* Love
laughs at reason — ^at ambition — ^at calculation of every
kind. Yes — ^I — about the last man in the world to be
suspected of sentimentality — I say that love is supreme
Roger, with an air of youthful positiveness — cock-
sureness — ^made a gesture of strong dissent.
Richmond smiled, went on : " Yes, young man —
yesl When love commands we all obey — ^you — ^I — aU —
we obey. We may squirm — struggle — ^but we siurrender.
What would you do if you fell in love? "
Roger leaned forward in his chair, looked firmly
into the keen, kindly eyes of Beatrice's father. "I
should fly," said he slowly.
The two men regarded each other steadily, each
reading the other's mind. And again beneath the
TtOGER SORE BESET
m K.'iii . . Lii^^fii. m
joung and romantic handsomeness Richmond s^w the
map nirith whom his daughter was not jet acquainted —
the man with the great character gracefully cpncealed
behind the romantic-lpoking painter-^a character in
the making as yet, but having the imposing outlines
that enabk one to imagjbe something of the final form.
At last Richmond said: "Yes — ^I beli^y^ — ^you — coul4
— ^fly — ^and wovld.^^
l^Qger flushed and hi3 gaze sank^ "I should feel
that I was false to all that means myself to me if I did
not,'* said h^f " Np matter how I loved her I woi^d
"And 3he?'* inquired Rid^nond. "What about
Roger smiled f aintly-r-a sardpnic smile. " Women
forget their caprices ^easily.'*
"Wpuld you forget easily?'' said the older man
gently — ^be looked very old amd very gentle and kind.
The handsome face of th^ young painter grew
grave. " Fm afraid not,*' said he. ** But if I could
forget a — ^a reality, certainly she could forget a fancy.'*
No one — except perhaps his wife, with her memo-
ries of Richmond's ardent and generous youth when he
had woo^d and won her despite her father's misgivings
about his pov^y and her own misgivings about his
size — but certainly no one dlse woyld have recognized
the face of Daniel Richmond as he replied : " Not if she
had, by some divine instinct, understood and appre-
ciated such a rare man as you/'
Roger's impatient gesture was almost angry. ** I
am not a man. I am a painter."
" And if she did not forget? *' persisted Richmond
in the same slow, insistent way, like conscience itself.
" If it was not a whim? "
Roger stood up. " I don't grant your supposi-
tion," said he. ^^ But, granting it, then at least Fd
not have made a mess of her life and of my own. For
if I were false to my art it would revenge itself by tor-
menting me. And the wife of a tormented man is not
Richmond sat staring at the floor of the veranda.
The wrinkles and seams and hollows in his face seemed
to be deepening. After a few minutes of silence, dis-
turbed by the irritating noisiness of a flock of spar-
rows, he said : " She refuses to come home. I offered
to concede — everything. I'd be glad to let her have
her way. But, as you say, it's impossible. She'll not
come home. She blames me. I thought I was alto-
gether to blame. I see Fm not. But — she blames me,
and always will. And shell not make it up with me."
A long pause, then there came from him in a mere ghost
of his normal voice: "And — ^it is killing me.**
ROGER SORE BESET
Roger sat motdonless, gazing at the bed of sweet
old-fashioned flowers before the veranda.
Richmond broke the long stretch of evening still-
ness: "Would you — ^would it be asking too much of
you — If you saw her you might persuade her to
make it up with me/'
Roger did not move — did not reply. He had re-
treated deep within himself.
" I know it isn't fair to you — or to her — ^to ask
it,'' went on her father's sad, monotonous voice, heavy
with heartache. ^^ I know that seeing her again would
only make it harder for you to do what you've got to
do— for I understand about those musts of ambition
that make men like us relentless. And I know that see-
ing you again — and seeing even more clearly the man
you are — ^would make it — ^impossible, perhaps, for her
to forget. But — " Richmond paused long before
adding — " I am an old man and — ^I have the selfish-
ness of those who have not long to live."
Roger still neither moved nor spoke.
Richmond observed him for a while, rose with a
painful effort. **Grood-by," he said, extending his
Roger stood, took his hand. " I'd do it if I could
— if I were strong enough," he said. " It's humiliat-
ing, but I have to confess I am not."
^^ Think It over. Wade. Do the best yoa can
And Richmondi his feet ahnost shuflling, went down
the steps and down the walk and out through the gftte.
He climbed heavily into his runabout — ^was gone.
Roger leaned against the pillar, staring into vacancy^
until the old woman had twice called him to supper.
Beatbicx and Mi^s Clermont were finishing break-
fast tbe foUowing morning when Richmond came. As
he entered the small sitting room with its bed folded
away into a lounge he made no effort to conceal his
feelings. In response to Beatrice's look of defiance he
sent to her from his haggard face a glance of humble
appeal — ^the look of the beaten and impotent tyrant —
for the pride of the tyrant is not in himself, but in his
power, and vanishes with it« ^'I'd like to see you
alone," said he, ignoring Valentine as a servant.
^*Mj partner, Miss Clermont," said Beatrice, in
the tone of making an introduction.
Bichmond's natural quickness did not fail him. He
instantly repaired hif mistake. ^^ Miss Clermont,'' said
he, bowing poUt^y. Then^ ^Pardon my abruptness.
I am much upset in mind."
Miss ClermoQt, idio wa3 now thoroughly adapted
to her new rank^ smiled politely and glided ii^to the ad-
joining room, closing the door be]bin4 hpr. 3iud Bea-
trice: ^You can't iinagine how •p)mDK4 ib^ ]f» We
shall make a fortune. Fm sure we shall. We have
rented a shop — ^in Thirty-second Street — south side —
three doors from Fifth Avenue. Frightful rent, but I
insisted on beginning at the top.''
" I saw Wade yesterday afternoon,'' said Rich-
The animation died out of the girl's face. And
with its animation departed most of its beauty, at
least most of its charm.
" I practically asked him to marry you."
Her eyes lit up, immediately became dull again.
" He was polite — everything a man could be. But
he — ^he will never marry."
** Until he loves," murmured Beatrice.
" There are men — " began Richmond.
"But they don't love!" exclaimed Beatrice.
^' Perhaps so," said Richmond, who would not have
ventured to discuss anything with her, however mildly.
Also, no woman, no young woman could be expected to
understand that marriage was not the one absorbing
longing of every unattached man, as it was of every un-
attached woman. "Anyhow, he will never marry."
" Until he loves," repeated Beatrice.
Richmond was silent. He would not aggravate Ker
unhappiness by telling her that Roger loved her.
^^ Is he still intending to go abroad? " she asked.
" To-morrow," replied her father.
" To-morrow ! " Beatrice started from her chair,
an expression^ of wild disorder flashing into her face.
But she fought for and regained control, sat back
quietly with a calm, " Oh, I thought it was to be next
** He has changed his plans."
The daughter was looking at the father with scru-
tinizing eyes, full of doubt. He saw it, said in the tone
that carried conviction, "I have come over to your
side. He is a much bigger man than I thought — or
than you know."
** I know enough," said the girl.
** At any rate, I wanted him for a son-in-law. I did
my best. I haven't anything he wants."
** Nor I," said Beatrice with a bitter, self-scorning
** He is opposed to marriage. He thinks *^
" He doesn't love," interrupted she. " That's the
whole story. Well " — she made a gesture of dismissal
— ^^ now, let me tell you about the shop."
" He has sent "
** Please ! " said she imperiously* ** No more about
^^ The picture — ^he promised to have it s^it to Red
Hill after he sailed. Instead, it came last night***
" Why did he do that? '* demanded she swiftly,
** I asked him for it.'*
" No, I mean, why did he change his mind? '*
"Oh, probably for no reason. That's a trifle,^
She was sitting up, straight and alert. Her eyes
were aglow with excitement. ** He is sailing to-morrow
instead of next week,'* she said rapidly. ** Instead of
taking my picture — our picture — ^his and mine — ^in-
stead of taking it with him as he intended at fitst, he
gives it to you. He first says hell send it when he sails,
then — after he has talked with you — ^he changes his
mind and gets it out of the house — out of his sight —
Richmond gazed nt her with marireling eyes. She
was clairvoyant — this tronderful daughter of Iri^!
Her cheeks flushed, her eyes sparkled. Her words
came joyfully tumbling over each other: "Why is he
in such a hurry to sail — ^to grt rid of ^ picture?
Because he's afraidl He distrusts himself. He's fight*
ing hard. He — Father, he Idres ine ! "
"Beatrice,*^ said Richmond tenderly, "he will
never marry. He is a man of the unshakftbte sort —
of my sort-' *^
Beatrice laughed. "You haven't changed in this
atfair-'-Hoh, no ! "
Richmond similed guiltily. " I should hav6 sdidj bt
is a man whose resolves haven't been shaken by age and
by fooHsh paternal fondness long indulged.^'
" Se is afraid! He is flying — ^flying from lovel "
Richmond's face wore a look of deepest anxiety.
** My dear, you will olily distress yourself with false
hopes. There are things about men — ^men like him —
that you don't understand."
" Of course. But thfere are klso other things that
you don't understand, father dear."
"The picture is at hotne. Won^t you cdnle and
"I must see hiih first. 1 ttmst dress &iid go at
once." And she was up and was hastily gathering to-
gether the businesslike papers strewn upon the table
among the breakfast didhcfs. "VoutI exdtlse me,
•* 1 asked him to cbffie tod see y<m — to beg ymi to
go home again."
She paused. " And h6 said? "
" He refused at fifst. As 1 #afi leAving-^I hbped
— ^he might."
She reflected. ** Nd, he^ not tame. Unless — but
I'll take no chances."
" I know he was touched by my appeal," persisted
her father. " Beatrice — go on with this dressmaking
if you must. But — forgive me and let things be witH
us as they were before." He stretched out tremblinjf
hands toward her. ** You're all Pve got in the world —
all I care for. Fm not ashamed or repentant for what
I did. I did it because I thought it was for your good.
But Fm sorry. I was mistaken."
** I do forgive you," said the girl, ** though I don't
like to say anything that sounds priggish and pious.
But you can't expect me to trust you, can you,
^^ I've tried to pay for those bonds, but he has sold
them to some enemy of mine — and for a good price."
^^ Aren't you ashamed about the bonds? " said the
daughter with a roguish smile.
** No," replied Richmond doggedly. ** In the cir-
cumstances — ^what I believed and everything — ^that was
the right move."
Beatrice laughed with a touch of her old mirthful-
ness, with all her old adoration of his skill and courage.
" You are so different ! " cried she. " Not a bit a hypo-
crite. We're friends again — ^until you try to under-
mine and ruin my dressmaking business."
" I'll give you all the capital you want," he eagerly
« No— thanks," said she. " But— I'll tell you what
you may do. You may buy a block of Wauchong bonds
I happen to own."
You did it? '* cried he, delighted.
You may have them at a himdred and fifty. I al-
ways try to make a reasonable profit on a deal.''
" I'll send you a blank check."
She put her arms roimd him and kissed him. There
was a trembling in his tight return embrace that sent
a pang through her ; for it suggested somehow his deep
impelling thought — ^fear — of the eternal separation —
the everlasting farewell, not far away from him and her
at the most. " Father — dear," she murmured.
*^ Don't harass yourself, child — about him," he
whispered. *^ Let me help you try to forget."
She drew away gently and looked at him, in her
eyes a will which he now admitted — ^proudly — ^to be
more imswerving than his own. Said she : " You didn't
teach me to forget — or to give up, either."
He sighed. " I'll wait and take you to the ferry.'*
And she went into her bedroom.
She had been dressing perhaps ten minutes when he
rapped excitedly on her door. ** What is it? " inquired
*^ He's come ! " cried her father.
The door swimg partly open and her face appeared
at the edge. "Roger? Downstairs?"
« Yes — ^I answered the telephone from the office."
^^I can't receive him up here. It's against the
rules. Yet I want — No— «ay I'll be down to the
^^ But I'm here/' suggested her father. ^^ He could
** He mustn't see you."
" I could wait in there — couldn't I? "
" Yes — ^the door is thick," reflected Beatrice aloud.
** Yes — say he is to pome up. Val — Miss Clermont has
gone out. . . . No — ^I'U see him in the parlor."
And Beatrice closed the door. It was not mapy min-
utes before she opened it again — to appear bewit^ching-
ly dressed in a new spring toilet — and the styles that
year were exactly suited to her figure. She was radi-
ant, and her father's depressed coimtenance did not
lessen her overflowing delight. " You can't deny that
he loves me — can you? " cried she.
" No," replied Richmond. " The fact is, I saw he
" Why didn't you tell me? " demanded she.
" You guessed it. What was the use? " evaded he.
"Guess?" The girl laughed. "You call that
guessing because you're merely a man. It was certain-
ty — ^proof — ^plain as if he had said so. But then, I've
known it for weeks. Now, keep well back in the eleva-
tor, dear, for he mustn't see you as I get out."
When the elevator was slowing for the parlor floor
Richmond caught his daughter's hand and pressed it
convulsively. " Good luck ! '* he said in an undertone.
** If you don't win to-day we'll follow him to France."
" To the ends of the earth," laughed she, kissing his
hand and gayly pushing him back to a rear comer of
The door closed behind her and the car resumed its
descent; of all the thoughts boiling in Richmond's ex-
cited brain not one was related to the strangeness of
his own conduct or to the amaaiing transformation in
a cold, tyrannical nature. In fact, the transformation
was apparent rather than real. The chase had ever
dominated him — the passion for the chase. And it was
dominating him now.
In the wall opposite the elevatof , and the width of
the rather wide room fi^om it, was a long miri^dr. No
man could well have been freei' tf om physical vanity
than this big, self-conscious Roger Wade. Beyond
his human duty of making himself inoffensive to the
eye in the matter of clothing, he did nothing whatever
toward personal adornment. Yet as Beatrice advanced
he was primping industriously and imconsciously. To
occupy his agitated mind he was standing before the
mirroi' smoothing his hair, arranging his tie, fussing
with the hang of the big, loose, dark-bluc» suit thflt
gave his splendid figure an air of freedom. Their eyes
met in the glass. He did not turn, but gazed at her —
and who would not have been charmed by a creature
so redolent of springtime freshness, from the yellow
roses in her hat, looking as if they were just from the
garden, to the scrupulously neat effect of stockings
and ties? She stood beside him, her yellow roses nod-
ding in line with his ear. And they made a delightful
picture — ^a rare harmony of contrasts and symmetries.
She laughed radiantly. " Chang ! '' she cried.
He was straightway so disconcerted that her amuse-
ment could not but increase. " Through primping? **
" I think so,'* he replied. ** I see you attended to
all that thoroughly before you came down.*'
" Yes,** said she with the air of half-serious, half-
jesting complacency she could carry off so well. ** Pm
ready to the last button. Let's sit over there — by the
window." Then, as they sat opposite each other:
**Why are you so solemn?"
Again Roger had to struggle to keep himself in
** Why do you avoid looking at me? " laughed she.
And so glad was she to see him again that she had less
difficulty than she had feared in hiding her anxiety,
her feeling that she was playing her last stake in the
game that seemed to her to mean Kfelong happiness or
He colored, but contrived to smile and to look at
her. It was an unsteady gaze, a grave smile. " Fve
come/' said he, " because I wish to urge you to go back
' home. Your father and I *^
"Yes, I know,'* interrupted she. "Father has
" And you're going back? "
" No — ^no, indeed. I've made the first step toward
being independent. I'm going to keep on. Father's a
dear, but he's not to be trusted. If he controls he
tyrannizes. He might try not to do it, but he could
not help himself. So — ^I'm to be a dressmaker."
"What nonsense, Rix!" exclaimed he. "There's
nothing so detestable as an independent woman — a mas-
** One that has a will of her own and proposes to the
man if she happens to feel like it.'' " suggested she,
with dancing eyes.
** Well — ^yes — if you insist on putting it that way."
"Woman, the weak, the foolish, the clinging —
that's your ideal? " said she.
He nodded emphatically.
"Isn't it strange," said she absently, ^that we
never fall in love with our ideak? "
Roger stirred about in his chairj much embar-
" I suppose it's part of our never — n^ver — wantin^r
to do what we ought — and never, never doing it if we
Roger took his hat from the floor beside his chair,
got ready to rise. ** If you*re determined on not go-
ing home I suppose it's useless for me to talk. But —
your father is old — much older these last few weeks,
Rix. If you could make it up with him ^'
"Oh, but I have," cried she. "We are better
friends than ever. I don't think we'll ever quarrel
The artist showed a rather conventional kind of
pleasure. " I'm sincerely glad," said he. " I like him
and I like you, and I'd have been sorry to go away
feeling that you two were at outs."
** You're not a bit natural, Chang. You don't talk
like yourself. What's the matter? "
** Probably Fve got too much on my mind — ^the
hurry of going so soon. That reminds me. I must
say good-by. I've got such a lot to do."
Her face did not change, but her heart began to
" You and your father are friends," proceeded he,
his inward state showing only in the fact that he was
absurdly repeating himself. ^^What I came to do is
done. So I'll go — as that was my only reason for both-
She gazed mockingly at him, shaking her head.
** Oh, no — Chang. That wasn't why you came."
*^ I assure you it W€U5. My only reason."
**You big, foolish Chang!" mocked she. "You
don't know your own mind. Now, do sit down. That's
better. Now — ^there you are, jumping up again.
What is the matter? "
** I must be going."
"Is it really true that big men are more stupid?
■m • • No, that wasn't why you came. You came be-
Now, Rixj" cried he angrily — for her eyes plainly
foretold what was coming. " That joke has gone far
enough — ^too far — ^much too far."
** About your being in love with me."
** Whether or not it's a joke that I'm in love with
you, it certainly is not a joke that you are in love
He sat on the arm of his chair and smiled ironically.
"Really?" said he.
"Really," declared she. "Shall I prove it to
He stood. *^ Fve no time. It's very pleasant dawd-
ling here with you, but ''
She ignored his hand, concentrated on his eyes.
" What else have you painted besides that picture? **
He blushed slightly. ** Pm very slow at my work.**
Her smile let him know that she was fully aware
how heavily she had scored. *^ You came over to stay
here in America,** pursued she. ** Yet, you are going
back — ^never to return, you annoimce. Why? . . .
You*re not going through fear of father. No — don*t
pretend. Fear isn*t in your line — ^fear of men. And
you*re not going through fear of me? You could
easily bar me out — make it impossible for me to an-
He had seated himself again. He was listening in-
*^ You are going,** she went on, ** through fear of
yourself.** She laughed softly. "A regular panic,
Chang!** she cried. "You didn*t intend to sail till
next week. You are running off in the morning — by
the first steamer.**
He made a faint effort to rise, gave it up, resumed
the study of his hatband.
" You were going to take my picture with you,**
Your picture? *' said he with feeble irony.
Our picture/' corrected she softly.
He waved the hat in a gesture of hopelessness.
** Then/' proceeded she, " you changed your mind
and decided to leave it. But you thought you wouldn't
part with it until the last moment — ^to-morrow morn-
ing. Oh, Chang! Chang!"
^^ I f oimd it more convenient to send it last night,"
said he with a brave effort at indifference.
"Convenient?" she laughed. "I can see you
storming against your weakness, as you call it. I can
see you resolving to be brave — ^to free yourself imme-
diately. But your scheme didn't work. For the only
result of not having the picture to say good-by to was
that you had to come here and take one last look at the
He laughed aloud — ^a forced, mirthless laugh.
** Same old Rix ! " exclauned he. " Of all the conceit ! "
"Isn't it, though?" retorted she with a coquettish
nod. ** But it's the truth, too — ^isn't it? "
" I'd hate to destroy any illusion that seems to give
you so much happiness."
" You couldn't, Chang. For " — softly — " I
couldn't feel as I do toward you if I didn't know, with
that deep, deep heart knowledge, that we are — ^like
He rose resolutely, in his eyes an expression tbat
thrilled and frightened her. She had from time to
time caught glimpses of the man of whom that was the
expression, but only glimpses — ^when he was at work
and unconscious of her presence. Now, somdiow, the
expression seemed to reveal this almost unknown man
within the Roger she loved. However, she concealed
** You see, Fve proved that you do love me,** said
she. " But, Chang " — solonnly — ** even though you
do love me and I love you, what does it amount to —
except for — ^for misery — ^unless we have each other? **
He slowly dropped to the chair again. He looked
at her sternly, angrily. ** It's the truth,** said he. ** I
do love you. It is a whim with you — ^a caprice — a piece
of willfulness. But with me " — ^he drew a long breath
— " I love you. The only excuse for the way you*ve
acted is that you're too young and light-hearted to
know what you're about."
Her hands clutched each other convulsively in her
lap. But she was careful to keep from her face all
sign of the feeling those words inspired.
He laughed with bitter irony. " To that extent —
you've had your way," he went on. " Get what satis-
faction you can out of it — for, while you've conquered
my; heart, you'll not conquer my wiU. I am not yours
to dispose of as you see fit. I can get over caring for
you — ^and I shall."
" But why, Chang? Why? "
For answer he smiled mockingly at her.
*^ In your heart of hearts you don't believe for an
instant it's a caprice with me. You know better,
Chang.'' Sincerity looked from her eyes, pleaded in
But Roger held his groimd stubbornly. ^^ I linow
it is caprice," he said. **I'm not clean crazy with
vanity, Rix. But even if you were in earnest — ^as much
in earnest as you pretend — ^perhaps as you think — still,
that wouldn't change things. We can't be anything
more to each other tiian friends. In any other relation
we'd be worse than useless to each other. You need a
man of your own sort. If I tied up with any woman
it'd be with one of my sort."
^^I don't understand," said she. ^^It wouldn't be
worth while for you to explain — for I couldn't under-
stand. All I know is, we love each other."
^^But marriage is a matter of temperaments. If
you had less will I might compel you to go my way,
to learn to Uke and lead my kind of life. If I had less
will I might adapt myself to you — and become a com-
fortable, contemptible rich woman's nonentity of a hus-
band. But neither of us can change — so, we part»"
^^ I've thought of those things,'' said she, quiet and
sweet and unconvinced. ** I've gone over and over
them, day and night. But — Chang, I can't ^ve
^ That is to say, you don't care what becomes of
me so long as you get your way."
She did not respond to his argumentative mood,
but took refuge in woman's impregnable citadel. '* I
trust my instinct — ^what it tells me is best for us.**
** You don't realize it," argued he desperately, " but
you count on my love for you making me weak enoug^h
to adapt myself to your kind of life.'*
** I count on our love's making us both happy.'*
** You wish to marry me simply because you thinl?
I'm necessary to your happiness?"
** Yes — Chang. You are necessary to my happi-
" And my happiness — ^have you thought of it? **
** I love you."
** And you feel that your love ought to be enough
to make me happy? "
" Your love is all I need," replied she with sad
" That's the woman's point of view," cried he. " 1*11
admit it's more or less mine, too — ^when I'm with you
or have been thinking about you till my head's turned.
But — ^Rix'* — he was powerfxilly in earnest now —
" while love may be all that's necessary to make a
woman happy, it isn't so with a man. For a man, love
is to life what salt is to food — ^not the food as it is
with a woman, but the thing that gives the food savor.''
He paused. But she sat silent, her gaze upon her
hands folded listlessly in her lap. He went on : " You
have been indulging this whim of yours without giving
it a serious thought. Now, I want you to think — ^to
help me save us from the folly your willfulness and my
weakness are tempting us to commit. I want you to
ask yourself: ^What sort of life would Chang and I
lead together? Would I tolerate his devotion to his
work? Would I respect him if he gradually yielded
to my temptings and gave up his work? Whichever
way it turned out, wouldn't I either dislike or despise
** You — don't love me," she murmured.
^^ I do. But I'm not so selfish as your inexperience
and thoughtlessness make you."
She scarcely heard. She was gazing with all her
mind and heart at the new Chang revealed clearly for
the first time in the intense earnestness of this their
first profoundly and crucially serious talk. This was
the man her father had warned her about. There were
dark circles roimd her eyes as if they had been bruised,
and in them the look of present pain. He happened to
glance at her. He saw — ^groaned. " No matter ! " he
cried. ** I love you. I can't bear it. I*m weak — con-
temptibly weak where you're concerned. We'll surely
fail — fail miserably. But we must go on, now. I had
a presentiment — ^I was a damn fool to come here to-day.
Yes — ^we've drifted too far. We must go on — over the
He stopped, appalled by his own passionate out-
burst. She shook her head slowly. " No, we must not
go on," said she.
Her tone instantly calmed his runaway passion ; he
stared in amazement.
"You really feel like that?" she went on — ^^ feel
it'd be weak and wrong for you to marry me? "
" I have told you the truth — about yourself and
about me," was his reply. " You surely must see it."
She gave a long sigh, furtive, deep. But her voice
was steady as she said sadly : " Then — ^we must give
each other up."
" That is certainly best," promptly assented he.
" You see now that you didn't want me, but only your
I see that we should not be happy. I don't under-
stand your point of view. I suppose I'm not experi-
enced enou£^. But I see you are in earnest — ^that it
isn't just a — a notion with you. So — " From her
face waned the last glimmer of its look of the spring-
time. Her voice sank almost to a whisper — " I give
He stood with aggressive erectness. *^ Then — it is
She nodded without looking at him. She could not
trust herself to look. " I'll not bother you any more,"
He saw that he was victor — ^had gained his point.
Yet never did man look or feel less the victor. He put
out his hand ; she let hers rest in it. " Grood-by, Rix,"
he said with a brave attempt at philosophic calm.
*^This is much better than seeing our love end in a
quarrel and a scandal— isn't it.? "
"You go — ^in the morning?"
Her hand dropped to her lap. He looked steadily
at her, with no restraint upon his expression, because
her eyes were down. " Grood-by," he repeated. He
waited for a reply, but none came. With that long,
sure stride of his, free and graceful, he went to the
stairway and descended — and departed.
La PmoTENCS was due to sail in twenty minutes. ^
One whistle had blown ; one of the gangways was cast-
ing off. Roger, with a suppressed excitement more
effective than any shouting or waving of iBsts, was su-
perintending the taking of his luggage from the ship.
^^ There's still one piece to come ashore — ^the old
leather trunk with brass nails,^^ he said to the polite
chief steward. " It must be found. Double your ef-
forts and I'll double your fee.** He turned, found him-
self squarely facing Beatrice Richmond.
The color flamed in his face ; it vanished from hers.
" You got my note? " she said. " And you are sailing
" I did not get your note,** replied he. " But I am
not sailing. . . . One moment, please." Then to the
chief steward: ^^ There is also a note for me. I must
** Parfaitement, Monsieur.** And the chief steward
raced up the gangway.
Roger and Beatrice stood aside in a quiet place,
a calm in the surging crowd of the voyagers and
their friends. Beatrice looked at him with that fine,
frank directness which had been her most conspicuous
trait in all her dealings with him. Said she : ^^ In my
note I asked you to take me on any terms or on no
terms. All I wish is to be near you and to love you."
She spoke the words without any trace of emotion
in either tone or manner — ^spoke them with a certain
monotonous finality that gave them all the might of the
simply genuine. And he answered in much the same
way. " I am not sailing/' said he, " because — because
to love you and to have you — ^that's life for me. The
rest isn't worth talking about.'*
** Not worth talking about," echoed she. " I don't
know whether we'll be happy or not, but I do know it's
my only chance to be anything but miserable."
"I don't know whether I could get over you or
not," was his matching confession, " but I do know that
I don't want to — and won't."
A moment's silence, with the two gazing up at the
towering steamer through the great doors in the pier
shed. Then his eyes turned to her, to look at her with
an intensity that made her feel as if she had been sud-
denly seized in strong yet gentle arms and were being
borne by mighty wings up and up and still up.
^^ Chang," she said between laughing and sobbing,
^^ I must have been crazy yesterday to refuse you."
" No — ^you're crazy to-day. So am I. That is,
I'm normal again — ^what's been normal for me ever
since I knew you. And I hope the day'll never come
when I'll be sane."
" Are you happy now? "
** As we used to be when we were together by the
" Like that— only a thousand times more so.'* And
they gazed at each other with foolish-fond eyes, and
from their lips issued those extraordinary sounds that
seem imbecile or divine, according as the listening ears
" Your father was right," said Roger. ** Love is
master." Again she was seeing the new and more won-
derful and more compelling Chang. " I found that
everything was going to stop stock-still if I went away
The chief steward, bearing the note, and his assist-
ants who had been collecting Roger's luggage around
him, now appeared. Roger tore open the note, read
its one brief sentence of unconditional surrender. Then
he dismissed the men with fees so amazing to them that
they thanked him with tears in their eyes. ^' But yoa
really must be careful," cautioned Beatrice. **Yoii
know we've got no money to throw away."
Roger gave her a look that dazzled her. ^^ I see
you understand," said he. " Well, we may be happy
in spite of all — all the difficulties."
She laughed* " I don't think, dear," said she,
" that you're so weak as you fear, or I so foolish. . . •
Maybe you'd like me to keep on with the dressmak^
He frowned in mock severity. " I don't want ever
to hear of it again."
^* Then you never shall," replied she with mock
humility. " You want a meek slave — and you shall
have one." Her lips moved with no sound issuing.
"What are you saying there?" demanded he.
"What Ruth said to Naomi." She gazed at him
with ecstatic, incredulous eyes. "Have I reaUy got
you? " she said.
He looked at her with an amused smile. It died
away slowly, and his gaze grew solemn. " That will
depend on — ^you," he said.
She saw there was more than the surface meaning
in the words ; then she saw their deeper meaning — ^saw
as clearly as an inexperienced girl may see, but only
so clearly, the hidden reality of the man she had been
striving to win, and would ever have to strive to keep.
And beautiful was the light in her eyes as she mur-
mured: ^Love win teach oaef
He half turned away to hide the wave of emotion
that ahnost unmanned him. When he spoke it was to
say in a queer, husky voice: ^* Let me see the express-
man about this luggage — ^then-^we^l go to lunch
" Let's go — ^in — ^** She halted, eyes dancingf.
" In a cab? *'
She blushed and laughed. ^ Isn't it about time? "
said she, eyes full of that charming audacity of hers.
*^ How well we understand each other ! How congenial
we are ! **
"Wonderful, isn't it?" cried he. "I hope there
have been other cases like ours — ^lots of *em. But I
She waited while he negotiated the return of the
baggage to Deer Spring. When he rejoined her — or,
rather, gave her his undivided attention, for he had not
let her get so much as three feet away from him — she
said : " Now I must telephone father."
" Oh, why hurry about that? "
" I must tell him not to engage passage for next
Wednesday," explained she.
And they both burst out laughing.
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