Monday, October 29, 2007


The Man Between By AMELIA E. BARR

The Man Between
THE thing that I know least about is my
beginning. For it is possible to introduce
Ethel Rawdon in so many picturesque ways
that the choice is embarrassing, and forces me
to the conclusion that the actual circumstances,
though commonplace, may be the
most suitable. Certainly the events that shape
our lives are seldom ushered in with pomp or
ceremony; they steal upon us unannounced,
and begin their work without giving any premonition
of their importance.
Consequently Ethel had no idea when she
returned home one night from a rather stupid
entertainment that she was about to open
a new and important chapter of her life.
Hitherto that life had been one of the sweetest
and simplest character--the lessons and
sports of childhood and girlhood had claimed
her nineteen years; and Ethel was just at that
wonderful age when, the brook and the river
having met, she was feeling the first swell of
those irresistible tides which would carry her
day by day to the haven of all days.
It was Saturday night in the January of
1900, verging toward twelve o'clock. When
she entered her room, she saw that one of
the windows was open, and she stood a moment
or two at it, looking across the straight miles
of white lights, in whose illumined shadows
thousands of sleepers were holding their lives
in pause.
"It is not New York at all," she whispered,
"it is some magical city that I have seen, but
have never trod. It will vanish about six
o'clock in the morning, and there will be only
common streets, full of common people. Of
course," and here she closed the window and
leisurely removed her opera cloak, "of
course, this is only dreaming, but to dream
waking, or to dream sleeping, is very pleasant.
In dreams we can have men as we like
them, and women as we want them, and make
all the world happy and beautiful."
She was in no hurry of feeling or movement.
She had been in a crowd for some hours, and
was glad to be quite alone and talk to herself
a little. It was also so restful to gradually
relinquish all the restraining gauds of fashionable
attire, and as she leisurely performed
these duties, she entered into conversation
with her own heart--talked over with it the
events of the past week, and decided that its
fretless days, full of good things, had been,
from the beginning to the end, sweet as a cup
of new milk. For a woman's heart is very
talkative, and requires little to make it
eloquent in its own way.
In the midst of this intimate companionship
she turned her head, and saw two letters lying
upon a table. She rose and lifted them. One
was an invitation to a studio reception, and
she let it flutter indeterminately from her
hand; the other was both familiar and appealing;
none of her correspondents but Dora
Denning used that peculiar shade of blue
paper, and she instantly began to wonder why
Dora had written to her.
"I saw her yesterday afternoon," she reflected,
"and she told me everything she had
to tell--and what does she-mean by such a
tantalizing message as this? `Dearest Ethel: I
have the most extraordinary news. Come to
me immediately. Dora.' How exactly like
Dora!" she commented. "Come to me immediately--
whether you are in bed or asleep
--whether you are sick or well--whether it is
midnight or high noon--come to me immediately.
Well, Dora, I am going to sleep now,
and to-morrow is Sunday, and I never know
what view father is going to take of Sunday.
He may ask me to go to church with him, and
he may not. He may want me to drive in the
afternoon, and again he may not; but Sunday
is father's home day, and Ruth and I make a
point of obliging him in regard to it. That
is one of our family principles; and a girl
ought to have a few principles of conduct
involving self-denial. Aunt Ruth says, `Life
cannot stand erect without self-denial,' and
aunt is usually right--but I do wonder what
Dora wants! I cannot imagine what extraordinary
news has come. I must try and see
her to-morrow--it may be difficult--but I
must make the effort"--and with this satisfying
resolution she easily fell asleep.
When she awoke the church bells were ringing
and she knew that her father and aunt
would have breakfasted. The feet did not
trouble her. It was an accidental sleep-over;
she had not planned it, and circumstances
would take care of themselves. In any case,
she had no fear of rebuke. No one was ever
cross with Ethel. It was a matter of pretty
general belief that whatever Ethel did was
just right. So she dressed herself becomingly
in a cloth suit, and, with her plumed hat on
her head, went down to see what the day had
to offer her.
"The first thing is coffee, and then, all being
agreeable, Dora. I shall not look further
ahead," she thought.
As she entered the room she called "Good
morning!" and her voice was like the voice
of the birds when they call "Spring!"; and
her face was radiant with smiles, and the touch
of her lips and the clasp of her hand warm
with love and life; and her father and aunt
forgot that she was late, and that her breakfast
was yet to order.
She took up the reproach herself. "I am
so sorry, Aunt Ruth. I only want a cup of
coffee and a roll."
"My dear, you cannot go without a proper
breakfast. Never mind the hour. What would
you like best?"
"You are so good, Ruth. I should like a
nice breakfast--a breast of chicken and mushrooms,
and some hot muffins and marmalade
would do. How comfortable you look here!
Father, you are buried in newspapers. Is
anyone going to church?"
Ruth ordered the desired breakfast and Mr.
Rawdon took out his watch--"I am afraid
you have delayed us too long this morning,
"Am I to be the scapegoat? Now, I do not
believe anyone wanted to go to church. Ruth
had her book, you, the newspapers. It is warm
and pleasant here, it is cold and windy outside.
I know what confession would be made,
if honesty were the fashion."
"Well, my little girl, honesty is the fashion
in this house. I believe in going to church.
Religion is the Mother of Duty, and we should
all make a sad mess of life without duty. Is
not that so, Ruth?"
"Truth itself, Edward; but religion is not
going to church and listening to sermons.
Those who built the old cathedrals of Europe
had no idea that sitting in comfortable pews
and listening to some man talking was worshiping
God. Those great naves were intended
for men and women to stand or kneel
in before God. And there were no high or
low standing or kneeling places; all were on a
level before Him. It is our modern Protestantism
which has brought in lazy lolling in
cushioned pews; and the gallery, which makes
a church as like a playhouse as possible!"
"What are you aiming at, Ruth?"
"I only meant to say, I would like going to
church much better if we went solely to praise
God, and entreat His mercy. I do not care to
hear sermons."
"My dear Ruth, sermons are a large fact in
our social economy. When a million or two
are preached every year, they have a strong
claim on our attention. To use a trade phrase,
sermons are firm, and I believe a moderate tax
on them would yield an astonishing income."
"See how you talk of them, Edward; as
if they were a commercial commodity. If you
respected them----"
"I do. I grant them a steady pneumatic
pressure in the region of morals, and even
faith. Picture to yourself, Ruth, New York
without sermons. The dear old city would be
like a ship without ballast, heeling over with
every wind, and letting in the waters of
immorality and scepticism. Remove this pulpit
balance just for one week from New York
City, and where should we be?"
"Well then," said Ethel, "the clergy ought
to give New York a first-rate article in sermons,
either of home or foreign manufacture.
New York expects the very best of everything;
and when she gets it, she opens her
heart and her pocketbook enjoys it, and pays
for it."
"That is the truth, Ethel. I was thinking
of your grandmother Rawdon. You have
your hat on--are you going to see her?"
"I am going to see Dora Denning. I had
an urgent note from her last night. She says
she has `extraordinary news' and begs me to
`come to her immediately.' I cannot imagine
what her news is. I saw her Friday
"She has a new poodle, or a new lover, or a
new way of crimping her hair," suggested
Ruth Bayard scornfully." She imposes on
you, Ethel; why do you submit to her selfishness?"
"I suppose because I have become used
to it. Four years ago I began to take her part,
when the girls teased and tormented her in the
schoolroom, and I have big-sistered her ever
since. I suppose we get to love those who
make us kind and give us trouble. Dora is not
perfect, but I like her better than any friend
I have. And she must like me, for she asks
my advice about everything in her life."
"Does she take it?"
"Yes--generally. Sometimes I have to
make her take it."
"She has a mother. Why does she not go
to her?"
"Mrs. Denning knows nothing about certain
subjects. I am Dora's social godmother,
and she must dress and behave as I tell her to
do. Poor Mrs. Denning! I am so sorry for
her--another cup of coffee, Ruth--it is not
very strong."
"Why should you be sorry for Mrs. Denning,
Her husband is enormously rich--she
lives in a palace, and has a crowd of men and
women servants to wait upon her--carriages,
horses, motor cars, what not, at her command."
"Yet really, Ruth, she is a most unhappy
woman. In that little Western town from
which they came, she was everybody. She ran
the churches, and was chairwoman in all the
clubs, and President of the Temperance
Union, and manager of every religious, social,
and political festival; and her days were full
to the brim of just the things she liked to do.
Her dress there was considered magnificent;
people begged her for patterns, and regarded
her as the very glass of fashion. Servants
thought it a great privilege to be employed on
the Denning place, and she ordered her house
and managed her half-score of men and maids
with pleasant autocracy. NOW! Well, I will
tell you how it is, NOW. She sits all day in her
splendid rooms, or rides out in her car or carriage,
and no one knows her, and of course no
one speaks to her. Mr. Denning has his Wall
Street friends----"
"And enemies," interrupted Judge Rawdon.
"And enemies! You are right, father.
But he enjoys one as much as the other--that
is, he would as willingly fight his enemies as
feast his friends. He says a big day in Wall
Street makes him alive from head to foot.
He really looks happy. Bryce Denning has
got into two clubs, and his money passes him,
for he plays, and is willing to love prudently.
But no one cares about Mrs. Denning. She is
quite old--forty-five, I dare say; and she is
stout, and does not wear the colors and style
she ought to wear--none of her things have
the right `look,' and of course I cannot advise
a matron. Then, her fine English servants
take her house out of her hands. She is afraid
of them. The butler suavely tries to inform
her; the housekeeper removed the white
crotcheted scarfs and things from the gilded
chairs, and I am sure Mrs. Denning had a
heartache about their loss; but she saw that
they had also vanished from Dora's parlor,
so she took the hint, and accepted the lesson.
Really, her humility and isolation are pitiful.
I am going to ask grandmother to go and see
her. Grandmother might take her to church,
and get Dr. Simpson and Mrs. Simpson to
introduce her. Her money and adaptability
would do the rest. There, I have had a good
breakfast, though I was late. It is not always
the early bird that gets chicken and mushrooms.
Now I will go and see what Dora
wants"--and lifting her furs with a smile,
and a "Good morning!" equally charming,
she disappeared.
"Did you notice her voice, Ruth?" asked
Judge Rawdon. What a tone there is in her
`good morning!'"
"There is a tone in every one's good morning,
Edward. I think people's salutations set
to music would reveal their inmost character.
Ethel's good morning says in D major `How
good is the day!' and her good night drops
into the minor third, and says pensively `How
sweet is the night!'"
"Nay, Ruth, I don't understand all that;
but I do understand the voice. It goes straight
to my heart."
"And to my heart also, Edward. I think
too there is a measured music, a central time
and tune, in every life. Quick, melodious natures
like Ethel's never wander far from their
keynote, and are therefore joyously set; while
slow, irresolute people deviate far, and only
come back after painful dissonances and frequent
"You are generally right, Ruth, even where
I cannot follow you. I hope Ethel will be
home for dinner. I like my Sunday dinner
with both of you, and I may bring my mother
back with me."
Then he said "Good morning" with an intentional
cheerfulness, and Ruth was left
alone with her book. She gave a moment's
thought to the value of good example, and
then with a sigh of content let her eyes rest on
the words Ethel's presence had for awhile
"I am filled with a sense of sweetness and
wonder that such, little things can make a
mortal so exceedingly rich. But I confess that
the chiefest of all my delights is still the
religious." (Theodore Parker.) She read the
words again, then closed her eyes and let the
honey of some sacred memory satisfy her soul.
And in those few minutes of reverie, Ruth
Bayard revealed the keynote of her being.
Wanderings from it, caused by the exigencies
and duties of life, frequently occurred; but
she quickly returned to its central and
controlling harmony; and her serenity and poise
were therefore as natural as was her niece's
joyousness and hope. Nor was her religious
character the result of temperament, or of a
secluded life. Ruth Bayard was a woman of
thought and culture, and wise in the ways of
the world, but not worldly. Her personality
was very attractive, she had a good form, an
agreeable face, speaking gray eyes, and brown
hair, soft and naturally wavy. She was a
distant cousin of Ethel's mother, but had
been brought up with her in the same household,
and always regarded her as a sister,
and Ethel never remembered that she was
only her aunt by adoption. Ten years older
than her niece, she had mothered her with a
wise and loving patience, and her thoughts
never wandered long or far from the girl.
Consequently, she soon found herself wondering
what reason there could be for Dora
Denning's urgency.
In the meantime Ethel had reached her
friend's residence a new building of unusual
size and very ornate architecture. Liveried
footmen and waiting women bowed her with
mute attention to Miss Denning's suite, an
absolutely private arrangement of five rooms,
marvelously furnished for the young lady's
comfort and delight. The windows of her
parlor overlooked the park, and she was
standing at one of them as Ethel entered the
room. In a passion of welcoming gladness
she turned to her, exclaiming: "I have been
watching for you hours and hours, Ethel. I
have the most wonderful thing to tell you. I
am so happy! So happy! No one was ever
as happy as I am."
Then Ethel took both her hands, and, as they
stood together, she looked intently at her
friend. Some new charm transfigured her
face; for her dark, gazelle eyes were not more
lambent than her cheeks, though in a different
way; while her black hair in its picturesquely
arranged disorder seemed instinct
with life, and hardly to be restrained. She
was constantly pushing it back, caressing or
arranging it; and her white, slender fingers,
sparkling with jewels, moved among the
crimped and wavy locks, as if there was an
intelligent sympathy between them.
"How beautiful you are to-day, Dora!
Who has worked wonders on you?"
"Basil Stanhope. He loves me! He loves
me! He told me so last night--in the sweetest
words that were ever uttered. I shall never
forget one of them--never, as long as I live!
Let us sit down. I want to tell you everything."
"I am astonished, Dora!"
"So was mother, and father, and Bryce.
No one suspected our affection. Mother used
to grumble about my going `at all hours' to
St. Jude's church; but that was because St.
Jude's is so very High Church, and mother is
a Methodist Episcopal. It was the morning
and evening prayers she objected to. No one
had any suspicion of the clergyman. Oh,
Ethel, he is so handsome! So good! So
clever! I think every woman in the church
is in love with him."
"Then if he is a good man, he must be very
"Of course he is quite ignorant of their
admiration, and therefore quite innocent. I
am the only woman he loves, and he never
even remembers me when he is in the sacred
office. If you could see him come out of the
vestry in his white surplice, with his rapt face
and prophetic eyes. So mystical! So beautiful!
You would not wonder that I worship
"But I do not understand--how did you
meet him socially?"
"I met him at Mrs. Taylor's first. Then
he spoke to me one morning as I came out of
church, and the next morning he walked
through the park with me. And after that--
all was easy enough."
"I see. What does your father and mother
think--or rather, what do they say?"
"Father always says what he thinks, and
mother thinks and says what I do. This condition
simplified matters very much. Basil
wrote to father, and yesterday after dinner he
had an interview with him. I expected it, and
was quite prepared for any climax that might
come. I wore my loveliest white frock, and
had lilies of the valley in my hair and on my
breast; and father called me `his little angel'
and piously wondered `how I could be his
daughter.' All dinner time I tried to be angelic,
and after dinner I sang `Little Boy
Blue' and some of the songs he loves; and I
felt, when Basil's card came in, that I had
prepared the proper atmosphere for the interview."
"You are really very clever, Dora."
"I tried to continue singing and playing,
but I could not; the notes all ran together, the
words were lost. I went to mother's side and
put my hand in hers, and she said softly: `I
can hear your father storming a little, but he
will settle down the quicker for it. I dare
say he will bring Mr. Stanhope in here before
"Did he?"
"No. That was Bryce's fault. How Bryce
happened to be in the house at that hour, I
cannot imagine; but it seems to be natural for
him to drop into any interview where he can
make trouble. However, it turned out all for
the best, for when mother heard Bryce's voice
above all the other sounds, she said, `Come
Dora, we shall have to interfere now.' Then
I was delighted. I was angelically dressed,
and I felt equal to the interview."
"Do you really mean that you joined the
three quarreling men?"
"Of course. Mother was quite calm--calm
enough to freeze a tempest--but she gave
father a look he comprehended. Then she
shook hands with Basil, and would have made
some remark to Bryce, but with his usual
impertinence he took the initiative, and told he:
very authoritatively to `retire and take me
with her'--calling me that `demure little
flirt' in a tone that was very offensive. You
should have seen father blaze into anger at his
words. He told Bryce to remember that `Mr.
Ben Denning owned the house, and that Bryce
had four or five rooms in it by his courtesy.'
He said also that the `ladies present were
Mr. Ben Denning's wife and daughter, and
that it was impertinent in him to order them
out of his parlor, where they were always
welcome.' Bryce was white with passion,
but he answered in his affected way--`Sir,
that sly girl with her pretended piety and
her sneak of a lover is my sister, and I shall
not permit her to disgrace my family without
making a protest.'"
"And then?"
"I began to cry, and I put my arms around
father's neck and said he must defend me;
that I was not `sly,' and Basil was not `a
sneak,' and father kissed me, and said he
would settle with any man, and every man,
who presumed to call me either sly or a flirt."
"I think Mr. Denning acted beautifully.
What did Bryce say?"
"He turned to Basil, and said: `Mr. Stanhope,
if you are not a cad, you will leave the
house. You have no right to intrude yourself
into family affairs and family quarrels.'
Basil had seated mother, and was standing
with one hand on the back of her chair, and
he did not answer Bryce--there was no need,
father answered quick enough. He said Mr.
Stanhope had asked to become one of the family,
and for his part he would welcome him
freely; and then he asked mother if she was
of his mind, and mother smiled and reached
her hand backward to Basil. Then father
kissed me again, and somehow Basil's arm
was round me, and I know I looked lovely--
almost like a bride! Oh, Ethel, it was just
"I am sure it was. Did Bryce leave the
room then?"
"Yes; he went out in a passion, declaring
he would never notice me again. This morning
at breakfast I said I was sorry Bryce felt
so hurt, but father was sure Bryce would
find plenty of consolation in the fact that his
disapproval of my choice would excuse him
from giving me a wedding present. You
know Bryce is a mean little miser!"
"On the contrary, I thought he was very;
luxurious and extravagant."
"Where Bryce is concerned, yes; toward
everyone else his conduct is too mean to
consider. Why, father makes him an allowance
of $20,000 a year and he empties father's
cigar boxes whenever he can do so without----"
"Let us talk about Mr. Stanhope he is far
more interesting. When are you going to
marry him?"
"In the Spring. Father is going to give
me some money and I have the fortune Grandmother
Cahill left me. It has been well invested,
and father told me this morning I
was a fairly rich little woman. Basil has
some private fortune, also his stipend--we
shall do very well. Basil's family is one of
the finest among the old Boston aristocrats,
and he is closely connected with the English
Stanhopes, who rank with the greatest of the
"I wish Americans would learn to rely on
their own nobility. I am tired of their everlasting
attempts to graft on some English
noble family. No matter how great or clever
a man may be, you are sure to read of his
descent from some Scottish chief or English
"They can't help their descent, Ethel."
"They need not pin all they have done on
to it. Often father frets me in the same way.
If he wins a difficult case, he does it naturally,
because he is a Rawdon. He is handsome,
gentlemanly, honorable, even a perfect horseman,
all because, being a Rawdon, he was by
nature and inheritance compelled to such perfection.
It is very provoking, Dora, and if I
were you I would not allow Basil to begin a
song about `the English Stanhopes.' Aunt
Ruth and I get very tired often of the English
Rawdons, and are really thankful for the separating
"I don't think I shall feel in that way,
Ethel. I like the nobility; so does father, he
says the Dennings are a fine old family."
"Why talk of genealogies when there is
such a man as Basil Stanhope to consider?
Let us grant him perfection and agree that
he is to marry you in the Spring; well then,
there is the ceremony, and the wedding garments!
Of course it is to be a church wedding?"
"We shall be married in Basil's own
church. I can hardly eat or sleep for thinking
of the joy and the triumph of it! There
will be women there ready to eat their hearts
with envy--I believe indeed, Ethel, that every
woman in the church is in love with Basil."
"You have said that before, and I am sure
you are wrong. A great many of them are
married and are in love with their own husbands;
and the kind of girls who go to St.
Jude's are not the kind who marry clergymen.
Mr. Stanhope's whole income would hardly
buy their gloves and parasols."
"I don't think you are pleased that I am
going to marry. You must not be jealous of
Basil. I shall love you just the same."
"Under no conditions, Dora, would I allow
jealousy to trouble my life. All the same, you
will not love me after your marriage as you
have loved me in the past. I shall not expect
Passionate denials of this assertion, reminiscences
of the past, assurances for the future
followed, and Ethel accepted them without
dispute and without faith. But she understood
that the mere circumstance of her
engagement was all that Dora could manage
at present; and that the details of the marriage
merged themselves constantly in the
wonderful fact that Basil Stanhope loved
her, and that some time, not far off, she was
going to be his wife. This joyful certainty
filled her heart and her comprehension, and
she had a natural reluctance to subject it to
the details of the social and religious
ceremonies necessary, Such things permitted
others to participate in her joy, and she
resented the idea. For a time she wished to
keep her lover in a world where no other
thought might trouble the thought of Dora.
Ethel understood her friend's mood, and
was rather relieved when her carriage arrived.
She felt that her presence was preventing
Dora's absolute surrender of herself
to thoughts of her lover, and all the way
home she marveled at the girl's infatuation,
and wondered if it would be possible for her
to fall into such a dotage of love for any
man. She answered this query positively--
"No, if I should lose my heart, I shall not
therefore lose my head"--and then, before
she could finish assuring herself of her
determinate wisdom, some mocking lines she
had often quoted to love-sick girls went laughing
through her memory--
"O Woman! Woman! O our frail, frail sex!
No wonder tragedies are made from us!
Always the same--nothing but loves and cradles."
She found Ruth Bayard dressed for dinner,
but her father was not present. That
was satisfactory, for he was always a little
impatient when the talk was of lovers and
weddings; and just then this topic was uppermost
in Ethel's mind.
"Ruth," she said, "Dora is engaged,"
and then in a few sentences she told the little
romance Dora had lived for the past year,
and its happy culmination. "Setting money
aside, I think he will make a very suitable
husband. What do you think, Ruth?"
"From what I know of Mr. Stanhope, I
should doubt it. I am sure he will put his
duties before every earthly thing, and I am
sure Dora will object to that. Then I wonder
if Dora is made on a pattern large enough
to be the moneyed partner in matrimony. I
should think Mr. Stanhope was a proud
"Dora says he is connected with the English
noble family of Stanhopes."
"We shall certainly have all the connections
of the English nobility in America very
soon now--but why does he marry Dora? Is
it her money?"
"I think not. I have heard from various
sources some fine things of Basil Stanhope.
There are many richer girls than Dora in St.
Jude's. I dare say some one of them would
have married him."
"You are mistaken. Do you think Margery
Starey, Jane Lewes, or any of the girls
of their order would marry a man with a few
thousands a year? And to marry for love is
beyond the frontiers of such women's intelligence.
In their creed a husband is a banker,
not a man to be loved and cared for. You
know how much of a banker Mr. Stanhope
could be."
"Bryce Denning is very angry at what he
evidently considers his sister's mesalliance."
"If Mr. Stanhope is connected with the
English Stanhopes, the mesalliance must be
laid to his charge."
"Indeed the Dennings have some pretenses
to good lineage, and Bryce spoke of his sister
`disgracing his family by her contemplated
"His family! My dear Ethel, his grandfather
was a manufacturer of tin tacks. And
now that we have got as far away as the
Denning's grandfather, suppose we drop the
"Content; I am a little tired of the clan
Denning--that is their original name Dora
says. I will go now and dress for dinner."
Then Ruth rose and looked inquisitively
around the room. It was as she wished it to
be--the very expression of elegant comfort
--warm and light, and holding the scent of
roses: a place of deep, large chairs with no
odds and ends to worry about, a room to
lounge and chat in, and where the last touch
of perfect home freedom was given by a big
mastiff who, having heard the door-bell ring,
strolled in to see who had called.
DURING dinner both Ruth and Ethel were
aware of some sub-interest in the Judge's
manner; his absent-mindedness was unusual,
and once Ruth saw a faint smile that nothing
evident could have induced. Unconsciously
also he set a tone of constraint and hurry;
the meal was not loitered over, the conversation
flagged, and all rose from the table
with a sense of relief; perhaps, indeed, with
a feeling of expectation.
They entered the parlor together, and the
mastiff rose to meet them, asking permission
to remain with the little coaxing push of his
nose which brought the ready answer:
"Certainly, Sultan. Make yourself comfortable."
Then they grouped themselves round the
fire, and the Judge lit his cigar and looked
at Ethel in a way that instantly brought curiosity
to the question:
"You have a secret, father," she said.
"Is it about grandmother?"
"It is news rather than a secret, Ethel.
And grandmother has a good deal to do with
it, for it is about her family--the Mostyns."
The tone of Ethel's "Oh!" was not encouraging,
and Ruth's look of interest held
in abeyance was just as chilling. But something
like this attitude had been expected,
and Judge Rawdon was not discouraged by
it; he knew that youth is capable of great and
sudden changes, and that its ability to find
reasonable motives for them is unlimited, so
he calmly continued:
"You are aware that your grandmother's
name before marriage was Rachel Mostyn?"
"I have seen it a thousand times at the
bottom of her sampler, father, the one that is
framed and hanging in her morning room--
Rachel Mostyn, November, Anno Domini,
"Very well. She married George Rawdon,
and they came to New York in 1834.
They had a pretty house on the Bowling
Green and lived very happily there. I was
born in 1850, the youngest of their children.
You know that I sign my name Edward M.
Rawdon; it is really Edward Mostyn Rawdon."
He paused, and Ruth said, "I suppose
Mrs. Rawdon has had some news from her
old home?"
"She had a letter last night, and I shall
probably receive one to-morrow. Frederick
Mostyn, her grand-nephew, is coming to New
York, and Squire Rawdon, of Rawdon
Manor, writes to recommend the young man
to our hospitality."
"But you surely do not intend to invite
him here, Edward. I think that would not
"He is going to the Holland House. But
he is our kinsman, and therefore we must be
"I have been trying to count the kinship.
It is out of my reckoning," said Ethel. "I
hope at least he is nice and presentable."
"The Mostyns are a handsome family.
Look at your grandmother. And Squire
Rawdon speaks very well of Mr. Mostyn.
He has taken the right side in politics, and is
likely to make his mark. They were always
great sportsmen, and I dare say this
representative of the family is a good-looking
fellow, well-mannered, and perfectly dressed."
Ethel laughed. "If his clothes fit him he
will be an English wonder. I have seen lots
of Englishmen; they are all frights as to
trousers and vests. There was Lord Wycomb,
his broadcloths and satins and linen
were marvels in quality, but the make! The
girls hated to be seen walking with him, and
he would walk--`good for the constitution,'
was his explanation for all his peculiarities.
The Caylers were weary to death of them."
"And yet," said Ruth, "they sang songs
of triumph when Lou Cayler married him."
"That was a different thing. Lou would
make him get `fits' and stop wearing sloppy,
baggy arrangements. And I do not suppose
the English lord has now a single peculiarity
left, unless it be his constitutional walk--
that, of course. I have heard English babies
get out of their cradles to take a constitutional."
During this tirade Ruth had been thinking.
"Edward," she asked, "why does
Squire Rawdon introduce Mr. Mostyn?
Their relationship cannot be worth counting."
"There you are wrong, Ruth." He spoke
with a little excitement. "Englishmen never
deny matrimonial relationships, if they are
worthy ones. Mostyn and Rawdon are bound
together by many a gold wedding ring; we
reckon such ties relationships. Squire Rawdon
lost his son and his two grandsons a year
ago. Perhaps this young man may eventually
stand in their place. The Squire is nearly
eighty years old; he is the last of the English
Rawdons--at least of our branch of it."
"You suppose this Mr. Mostyn may become
Squire of Rawdon Manor?"
"He may, Ruth, but it is not certain.
There is a large mortgage on the Manor."
Both girls made the ejaculation at the same
moment, and in both voices there was the
same curious tone of speculation. It was a
cry after truth apprehended, but not realized.
Mr. Rawdon remained silent; he was debating
with himself the advisability of further
confidence, but he came quickly to the
conclusion that enough had been told for the
present. Turning to Ethel, he said: "I suppose
girls have a code of honor about their
secrets. Is Dora Denning's `extraordinary
news' shut up in it?"
"Oh, no, father. She is going to be married.
That is all."
"That is enough. Who is the man?"
"Reverend Mr. Stanhope."
"I never heard anything more ridiculous.
That saintly young priest! Why, Dora will
be tired to death of him in a month. And he?
Poor fellow!"
"Why poor fellow? He is very much in
love with her."
"It is hard to understand. St. Jerome's
love `pale with midnight prayer' would be
more believable than the butterfly Dora.
Goodness, gracious! The idea of that man
being in love! It pulls him down a bit. I
thought he never looked at a woman."
"Do you know him, father?"
"As many people know him--by good report.
I know that he is a clergyman who believes
what he preaches. I know a Wall
Street broker who left St. Jude's church
because Mr. Stanhope's sermons on Sunday put
such a fine edge on his conscience that Mondays
were dangerous days for him to do business
on. And whatever Wall Street financiers
think of the Bible personally, they do like a
man who sticks to his colors, and who holds
intact the truth committed to him. Stanhope
does this emphatically; and he is so
well trusted that if he wanted to build a new
church he could get all the money necessary,
from Wall Street men in an hour. And he
is going to marry! Going to marry Dora
Denning! It is `extraordinary news,' indeed!"
Ethel was a little offended at such unusual
surprise. "I think you don't quite understand
Dora," she said. "It will be Mr. Stanhope's
fault if she is not led in the right way;
for if he only loves and pets her enough he
may do all he wishes with her. I know, I
have both coaxed and ordered her for four
years--sometimes one way is best, and sometimes
the other."
"How is a man to tell which way to take?
What do her parents think of the marriage?"
"They are pleased with it."
"Pleased with it! Then I have nothing
more to say, except that I hope they will not
appeal to me on any question of divorce that
may arise from such an unlikely marriage."
"They are only lovers yet, Edward," said
Ruth. "It is not fair, or kind, to even think
of divorce."
"My dear Ruth, the fashionable girl of today
accepts marriage with the provision of
"Dora is hardly one of that set."
"I hope she may keep out of it, but marriage
will give her many opportunities. Well,
I am sorry for the young priest. He isn't
fit to manage a woman like Dora Denning.
I am afraid he will get the worst of it."
"I think you are very unkind, father.
Dora is my friend, and I know her. She is
a girl of intense feelings and very affectionate.
And she has dissolved all her life and
mind in Mr. Stanhope's life and mind, just
as a lump of sugar is dissolved in water."
Ruth laughed. "Can you not find a more
poetic simile, Ethel?"
"It will do. This is an age of matter; a
material symbol is the proper thing."
"I am glad to hear she has dissolved her
mind in Stanhope's," said Judge Rawdon.
"Dora's intellect in itself is childish. What
did the man see in her that he should desire
"Father, you never can tell how much
brains men like with their beauty. Very
little will do generally. And Dora has beauty
--great beauty; no one can deny that. I
think Dora is giving up a great deal. To
her, at least, marriage is a state of passing
from perfect freedom into the comparative
condition of a slave, giving up her own way
constantly for some one else's way."
"Well, Ethel, the remedy is in the lady's
hands. She is not forced to marry, and the
slavery that is voluntary is no hardship.
Now, my dear, I have a case to look over, and
you must excuse me to-night. To-morrow
we shall know more concerning Mr. Mostyn,
and it is easier to talk about certainties than
But if conversation ceased about Mr. Mostyn,
thought did not; for, a couple of hours
afterwards, Ethel tapped at her aunt's door
and said, "Just a moment, Ruth."
"Yes, dear, what is it?"
"Did you notice what father said about
the mortgage on Rawdon Manor"'
"He seemed to know all about it."
"I think he does know all about it."
"Do you think he holds it?"
"He may do so--it is not unlikely."
"Oh! Then Mr. Fred Mostyn, if he is to
inherit Rawdon, would like the mortgage removed?"
"Of course he would."
"And the way to remove it would be to
marry the daughter of the holder of the
"It would be one way."
"So he is coming to look me over. I am
a matrimonial possibility. How do you like
that idea, Aunt Ruth?"
"I do not entertain it for a moment.
Mr. Mostyn may not even know of the mortgage.
When men mortgage their estates
they do not make confidences about the matter,
or talk it over with their friends. They
always conceal and hide the transaction. If
your father holds the mortgage, I feel sure
that no one but himself and Squire Rawdon
know anything about it. Don't look at the
wrong side of events, Ethel; be content with
the right side of life's tapestry. Why are
you not asleep? What are you worrying
"Nothing, only I have not heard all I
wanted to hear."
"And perhaps that is good for you."
"I shall go and see grandmother first thing
in the morning."
"I would not if I were you. You cannot
make any excuse she will not see through.
Your father will call on Mr. Mostyn to-morrow,
and we shall get unprejudiced information."
"Oh, I don't know that, Ruth. Father is
intensely American three hundred and sixtyfour
days and twenty-three hours in a year,
and then in the odd hour he will flare up
Yorkshire like a conflagration."
"English, you mean?"
"No. Yorkshire IS England to grandmother
and father. They don't think anything
much of the other counties, and people
from them are just respectable foreigners.
You may depend upon it, whatever grandmother
says of Mr. Fred Mostyn, father will
believe it, too."
"Your father always believes whatever
your grandmother says. Good night, dear."
"Good night. I think I shall go to grandmother
in the morning. I know how to
manage her. I shall meet her squarely with
the truth, and acknowledge that I am dying
with curiosity about Mr. Mostyn."
"And she will tease and lecture you, say
you are `not sweetheart high yet, only a little
maid,' and so on. Far better go and talk with
Dora. To-morrow she will need you, I am
sure. Ethel, I am very sleepy. Good night
again, dear."
"Good night!" Then with a sudden animation,
"I know what to do, I shall tell
grandmother about Dora's marriage. It is
all plain enough now. Good night, Ruth."
And this good night, though dropping sweetly
into the minor third, had yet on its final inflection
something of the pleasant hopefulness
of its major key--it expressed anticipation
and satisfaction.
What happened in the night session she
could not tell, but she awoke with a positive
disinclination to ask a question about Mr.
Mostyn. "I have received orders from some
one," she said to Ruth; "I simply do not
care whether I ever see or hear of the man
again. I am going to Dora, and I may not
come home until late. You know they will
depend upon me for every suggestion."
In fact, Ethel did not return home until the
following day, for a snowstorm came up in
the afternoon, and the girl was weary with
planning and writing, and well inclined to
eat with Dora the delicate little dinner served
to them in Dora's private parlor. Then
about nine o'clock Mr. Stanhope called, and
Ethel found it pleasant enough to watch the
lovers and listen to Mrs. Denning's opinions
of what had been already planned. And the
next day she seemed to be so absolutely necessary
to the movement of the marriage preparations,
that it was nearly dark before she
was permitted to return home.
It was but a short walk between the two
houses, and Ethel was resolved to have the
refreshment of the exercise. And how good
it was to feel the pinch of the frost and the
gust of the north wind, and after it to come
to the happy portal of home, and the familiar
atmosphere of the cheerful hall, and then to
peep into the firelit room in which Ruth lay
dreaming in the dusky shadows.
"Ruth, darling!"
"Ethel! I have just sent for you to come
home." Then she rose and took Ethel in her
arms. "How delightfully cold you are!
And what rosy cheeks! Do you know that
we have a little dinner party?"
"Mr. Mostyn?"
"Yes, and your grandmother, and perhaps
Dr. Fisher--the Doctor is not certain."
"And I see that you are already dressed.
How handsome you look! That black lace
dress, with the dull gold ornaments, is all
"I felt as if jewels would be overdress for
a family dinner."
"Yes, but jewels always snub men so completely.
It is not altogether that they represent
money; they give an air of royalty,
and a woman without jewels is like an uncrowned
queen--she does not get the homage.
I can't account for it, but there it is. I shall
wear my sapphire necklace. What did father
say about our new kinsman?"
"Very little. It was impossible to judge
from his words what he thought. I fancied
that he might have been a little disappointed."
"I should not wonder. We shall see."
"You will be dressed in an hour?"
"In less time. Shall I wear white or
"Pale blue and white flowers. There are
some white violets in the library. I have a
red rose. We shall contrast each other very
"What is it all about? Do we really care
how we look in the eyes of this Mr. Mostyn?"
"Of course we care. We should not be
women if we did not care. We must make
some sort of an impression, and naturally
we prefer that it should be a pleasant one."
"If we consider the mortgage----"
"Nonsense! The mortgage is not in it."
"Good-by. Tell Mattie to bring me a cup
of tea upstairs. I will be dressed in an hour."
The tea was brought and drank, and Ethel
fell asleep while her maid prepared every
item for her toilet. Then she spoke to her
mistress, and Ethel awakened, as she always
did, with a smile; nature's surest sign of a
radically sweet temper. And everything went
in accord with the smile; her hair fell naturally
into its most becoming waves, her dress
into its most graceful folds; the sapphire
necklace matched the blue of her happy eyes,
the roses of youth were on her cheeks, and
white violets on her breast. She felt her own
beauty and was glad of it, and with a laughing
word of pleasure went down to the parlor.
Madam Rawdon was standing before the
fire, but when she heard the door open she
turned her face toward it.
"Come here, Ethel Rawdon," she said,
"and let me have a look at you." And Ethel
went to her side, laid her hand lightly on the
old lady's shoulder and kissed her cheek.
"You do look middling well," she continued,
"and your dress is about as it should be. I
like a girl to dress like a girl--still, the
sapphires. Are they necessary?"
"You would not say corals, would you,
grandmother? I have those you gave me
when I was three years old."
"Keep your wit, my dear, for this evening.
I should not wonder but you might need
it. Fred Mostyn is rather better than I expected.
It was a great pleasure to see him.
It was like a bit of my own youth back again.
When you are a very old woman there are
few things sweeter, Ethel."
"But you are not an old woman, grandmother."
Nor was she. In spite of her seventy-five
years she stood erect at the side of her granddaughter.
Her abundant hair was partly
gray, but the gray mingled with the little oval
of costly lace that lay upon it, and the effect
was soft and fair as powdering. She had
been very handsome, and her beauty lingered
as the beauty of some flowers linger, in fainter
tints and in less firm outlines; for she had
never fallen from that "grace of God vouchsafed
to children," and therefore she had
kept not only the enthusiasms of her youth,
but that sweet promise of the "times of
restitution" when the child shall die one
hundred years old, because the child-heart
shall be kept in all its freshness and trust.
Yes, in Rachel Rawdon's heart the wellsprings
of love and life lay too deep for the
frosts of age to touch. She would be eternally
young before she grew old.
She sat down as Ethel spoke, and drew the
girl to her side. "I hear your friend is going
to marry," she said.
"Dora? Yes."
"Are you sorry?"
"Perhaps not. Dora has been a care to
me for four years. I hope her husband may
manage her as well as I have done."
"Are you afraid he will not?"
"I cannot tell, grandmother. I see all
Dora's faults. Mr. Stanhope is certain that
she has no faults. Hitherto she has had her
own way in everything. Excepting myself,
no one has ventured to contradict her. But,
then, Dora is over head and ears in love, and
love, it is said, makes all things easy to bear
and to do."
"One thing, girls, amazes me--it is how
readily women go to church and promise to
love, honor, and obey their husbands, when
they never intend to do anything of the kind."
"There is a still more amazing thing,
Madam," answered Ruth; "that is that
men should be so foolish as to think, or hope,
they perhaps might do so."
"Old-fashioned women used to manage it
some way or other, Ruth. But the old-fashioned
woman was a very soft-hearted creature,
and, maybe, it was just as well that she
"But Woman's Dark Ages are nearly
over, Madam; and is not the New Woman a
great improvement on the Old Woman?"
"I haven't made up my mind yet, Ruth,
about the New Woman. I notice one thing
that a few of the new kind have got into their
pretty heads, and that is, that they ought to
have been men; and they have followed up
that idea so far that there is now very little
difference in their looks, and still less in their
walk; they go stamping along with the step
of an athlete and the stride of a peasant on
fresh plowed fields. It is the most hideous
of walks imaginable. The Grecian bend,
which you cannot remember, but may have
heard of, was a lackadaisical, vulgar walking
fad, but it was grace itself compared with the
hideous stride which the New Woman has acquired
on the golf links or somewhere else."
"But men stamp and stride in the same
way, grandmother."
"A long stride suits a man's anatomy well
enough; it does not suit a woman's--she feels
every stride she takes, I'll warrant her."
"If she plays golf----"
"My dear Ethel, there is no need for her to
play golf. It is a man's game and was played
for centuries by men only. In Scotland, the
home of golf, it was not thought nice for
women to even go to the links, because of the
awful language they were likely to hear."
"Then, grandmother, is it not well for
ladies to play golf if it keeps men from using
`awful language' to each other)"
"God love you, child! Men will think what
they dare not speak."
"If we could only have some new men!"
sighed Ethel. "The lover of to-day is just
what a girl can pick up; he has no wit and no
wisdom and no illusions. He talks of his muscles
and smells of cigarettes--perhaps of
whisky"--and at these words, Judge Rawdon,
accompanied by Mr. Fred Mostyn, entered
the room.
The introductions slipped over easily, they
hardly seemed to be necessary, and the young
man took the chair offered as naturally as if
he had sat by the hearth all his life. There
was no pause and no embarrassment and no
useless polite platitudes; and Ethel's first
feeling about her kinsman was one of admiration
for the perfect ease and almost instinctive
at-homeness with which he took his place.
He had come to his own and his own had received
him; that was the situation, a very
pleasant one, which he accepted with the
smiling trust that was at once the most perfect
and polite of acknowledgments.
"So you do not enjoy traveling?" said
Judge Rawdon as if continuing a conversation.
"I think it the most painful way of taking
pleasure, sir--that is the actual transit. And
sleeping cars and electric-lighted steamers
and hotels do not mitigate the suffering. If
Dante was writing now he might depict a constant
round of personally conducted tours in
Purgatory. I should think the punishment
adequate for any offense. But I like arriving
at places. New York has given me a lot of
new sensations to-day, and I have forgotten
the transit troubles already."
He talked well and temperately, and yet
Ethel could not avoid the conclusion that he
was a man of positive character and
uncompromising prejudices. And she also felt a
little disappointed in his personality, which
contradicted her ideal of a Yorkshire squire.
For he was small and slender in stature, and
his face was keen and thin, from the high
cheek bones to the sharp point of the cleanshaven
chin. Yet it was an interesting face,
for the brows were broad and the eyes bright
and glancing. That his nature held the opposite
of his qualities was evident from the
mouth, which was composed and discreet and
generally clothed with a frank smile, negatived
by the deep, sonorous voice which belongs
to the indiscreet and quarrelsome. His
dress was perfect. Ethel could find no fault
in it, except the monocle which he did not use
once during the evening, and which she therefore
decided was a quite idle and unhandsome
One feature of his character was definite--
he was a home-loving man. He liked the society
of women with whom he could be familiar,
and he preferred the company of books
and music to fashionable social functions.
This pleasant habit of domesticity was illustrated
during the evening by an accidental incident--
a noisy, mechanical street organ
stopped before the windows, and in a blatant
manner began its performance. Conversation
was paralyzed by the intrusion and when
it was removed Judge Rawdon said: "What
a democratic, leveling, aggressive thing music
is! It insists on being heard. It is always
in the way, it thrusts itself upon you, whether
you want it or not. Now art is different.
You go to see pictures when you wish to."
Mostyn did not notice the criticism on
music itself, but added in a soft, disapproving
way: "That man has no music in him. Do you
know that was one of Mendelssohn's delicious
dreams. This is how it should have been rendered,"
and he went impulsively to the piano
and then the sweet monotonous cadences and
melodious reveries slipped from his long white
fingers till the whole room was permeated
with a delicious sense of moonlit solitude and
conversation was stilled in its languor. The
young man had played his own dismissal, but
it was an effective one, and he complimented
himself on his readiness to seize opportunities
for display, and on his genius in satisfying
"I think I astonished them a little," he
mused, "and I wonder what that pretty,
cousin of mine thought of the music and the
musician. I fancy we shall be good friends;
she is proud--that is no fault; and she has
very decided opinions--which might be a
great fault; but I think I rather astonished
To such reflections he stepped rather pompously
down the avenue, not at all influenced by
any premonition that his satisfactory feelings
might be imperfectly shared. Yet silence
was the first result of his departure. Judge
Rawdon took out his pocketbook and began
to study its entries. Ruth Bayard rose and
closed the piano. Ethel lifted a magazine,
while it was Madam who finally asked in an
impatient tone:
"What do you think of Frederick? I suppose,
Edward, you have an opinion. Isn't he
a very clever man?"
"I should not wonder if he were, mother,
clever to a fault."
"I never heard a young man talk better."
"He talked a great deal, but then, you
know, he was not on his oath."
"I'll warrant every word he said."
"Your warrant is fine surety, mother, but
I am not bound to believe all I hear. You
women can please yourselves."
And with these words he left the women to
find out, if they could, what manner of man
their newly-found kinsman might be.
* * * * * * *
ONE of the most comfortable things about
Frederick Mostyn was his almost boyish delight
in the new life which New York opened
to him. Every phase of it was so fresh, so
unusual, that his Yorkshire existence at Mostyn
Hall gave him no precedents and no experiences
by which to measure events. The
simplest things were surprising or interesting.
He was never weary of taking those exciting
"lifts" to the top of twenty-three story buildings
and admiring the wonderful views such
altitudes gave him. He did not perhaps comprehend
how much he was influenced by the
friction of two million wills and interests; did
not realize how they evoked an electric condition
that got behind the foreground of existence
and stirred something more at the roots
of his being than any previous experience had
ever done. And this feeling was especially
entrancing when he saw the great city and
majestic river lying at his feet in the white,
uncanny light of electricity, all its color gone,
its breath cold, its life strangely remote and
quiet, men moving like shadows, and sounds
hollow and faint and far off, as if they came
from a distant world. It gave him a sense of
dreamland quite as much as that of reality.
The Yorkshire moors and words grew dull and
dreary in his memory; even the thought of the
hunting field could not lure his desire. New
York was full of marvelous novelties; its
daily routine, even in the hotel and on the
streets, gripped his heart and his imagination;
and he confessed to himself that New York
was life at first hand; fresh drawn, its very
foam sparkling and intoxicating. He walked
from the Park to the Battery and examined
all that caught his eye. He had a history of
the city and sought out every historical site;
he even went over to Weehawken, and did his
best to locate the spot where Burr and Hamilton
fought. He admired Hamilton, but
after reading all about the two men, gave his
sympathy to Burr, "a clever, unlucky little
chap," he said. "Why do clever men hate
each other?" and then he smiled queerly as
he remembered political enemies of great men
in his own day and his own country; and concluded
that "it was their nature to do so."
But in these outside enthusiasms he did not
forget his personal relations. It took him but
a few days to domesticate himself in both the
Rawdon houses. When the weather drove
him off the streets, he found a pleasant refuge
either with Madam or with Ethel and Miss
Bayard. Ethel he saw less frequently than he
liked; she was nearly always with Dora Denning,
but with Ruth Bayard he contracted a
very pleasant friendship. He told her all his
adventures and found her more sympathetic
than Madam ever pretended to be. Madam
thought him provincial in his tastes, and was
better pleased to hear that he had a visiting
entry at two good clubs, and had hired a
motor ear, and was learning how to manage
it. Then she told herself that if he was good
to her, she would buy him one to be proud of
before he returned to Yorkshire.
It was at the Elite Club Bryce Denning
first saw him. He came in with Shaw McLaren,
a young man whose acquaintance was
considered as most definitely satisfactory.
Vainly Bryce Denning had striven to obtain
any notice whatever from McLaren, whose
exclusiveness was proverbial. Who then was this
stranger he appeared so anxious to entertain?
His look of supreme satisfaction, his highbred
air, and peculiar intonation quickly satisfied
Bryce as to his nationality.
"English, of course," he reflected, "and
probably one of the aristocrats that Shaw
meets at his recently ennobled sister's place.
He is forever bragging about them. I must
find out who Shaw's last British lion is," and
just as he arrived at this decision the person
appeared who could satisfy him.
"That man!" was the reply to the inevitable
question--"why, he is some relative
of the old lady Rawdon. He is staying at the
Holland House, but spends his time with the
Rawdons, old and young; the young one is a
beauty, you know."
"Do you think so? She is a good deal at
our house. I suppose the fellow has some
pretentions. Judge Rawdon will be a man hard
to satisfy with a son-in-law."
"I fancy his daughter will take that subject
in her own hand. She looks like a girl of
spirit; and this man is not as handsome as
most Englishmen."
"Not if you judge him by bulk, but women
want more than mere bulk; he has an air of
breeding you can't mistake, and he looks
"His name is Mostyn. I have heard him
spoken of. Would you like to know him?"
"I could live without that honor"--then
Bryce turned the conversation upon a recent
horse sale, and a few moments later was sauntering
up the avenue. He was now resolved to
make up his quarrel with Dora. Through
Dora he could manage to meet Mostyn socially,
and he smiled in anticipation of that
proud moment when he should parade in his
own friendly leash McLaren's new British
lion. Besides, the introduction to Mr. Mostyn
might, if judiciously managed, promote his
own acquaintance with Shaw McLaren, a sequence
to be much desired; an end he had
persistently looked for.
He went straight to his sister's apartments
and touched the bell quite gently. Her maid
opened the door and looked annoyed and uncertain.
She knew all about the cruelly
wicked opposition of Miss Denning's brother
to that nice young man, Basil Stanhope; and
also the general attitude of the Denning
household, which was a comprehensive disapproval
of all that Mr. Bryce said and did.
Dora had, however, talked all her anger
away; she wished now to be friends with her
brother. She knew that his absence from her
wedding would cause unpleasant notice, and
she had other reasons, purely selfish, all
emphasizing the advantages of a reconciliation.
So she went to meet Bryce with a pretty,
pathetic air of injury patiently endured, and
when Bryce put out his hands and said, "Forgive
me, Dodo! I cannot bear your anger any
longer!" she was quite ready for the next act,
which was to lay her pretty head on his shoulder
and murmur, "I am not angry, Bryce--I
am grieved, dear."
"I know, Dodo--forgive me! It was all
my fault. I think I was jealous of you; it
was hard to find that you loved a stranger
better than you loved me. Kiss me, and be
my own sweet, beautiful sister again. I shall
try to like all the people you like--for your
sake, you know."
Then Dora was charming. She sat and
talked and planned and told him all that had
been done and all that was yet to do. And
Bryce never once named either Ethel or Mr.
Mostyn. He knew Dora was a shrewd little
woman, and that he would have to be very
careful in introducing the subject of Mr.
Mostyn, or else she would be sure to reach the
central truth of his submission to her. But,
somehow, things happen for those who are
content to leave their desires to contingencies
and accidentals. The next morning he breakfasted
with the family and felt himself repaid
for his concession to Dora by the evident
pleasure their renewed affection gave his father
and mother; and though the elder Denning
made no remark in the renewed family
solidarity, Bryce anticipated many little
favors and accommodations from his father's
After breakfast he sat down, lit his cigar
and waited. Both his mother and Dora had
much to tell him, and he listened, and gave
them such excellent advice that they were
compelled to regret the arrangements already
made had lacked the benefit of his counsels.
"But you had Ethel Rawdon," he said.
"I thought she was everybody rolled into
"Oh, Ethel doesn't know as much as she
thinks she does," said Mrs. Denning. "I
don't agree with lots of things she advises."
"Then take my advice, mother."
"Oh, Bryce, it is the best of all."
"Bryce does not know about dress and such
things, mother. Ethel finds out what she does
not know. Bryce cannot go to modistes and
milliners with me."
"Well, Ethel does not pay as much attention
as she might--she is always going somewhere
or other with that Englishman, that she
says is a relative--for my part, I doubt it."
"Oh, mother!"
"Girls will say anything, Dora, to hide a
love affair. Why does she never bring him
here to call?"
"Because I asked her not. I do not want
to make new friends, especially English ones,
now. I am so busy all day, and of course my
evenings belong to Basil."
"Yes, and there is no one to talk to me.
Ethel and the Englishman would pass an hour
or two very nicely, and your father is very
fond of foreigners. I think you ought to ask
Ethel to introduce him to us; then we could
have a little dinner for him and invite him to
our opera box--don't you agree with me,
"If Dora does. Of course, at this time,
Dora's wishes and engagements are the most
important. I have seen the young man at the
club with Shaw McLaren and about town with
Judge Rawdon and others. He seems a nice
little fellow. Jack Lacy wanted to introduce
me to him yesterday, but I told him I could
live without the honor. Of course, if Dora
feels like having him here that is a very different
matter. He is certainly distinguished
looking, and would give an air to the wedding."
"Is he handsome, Bryce?"
"Yes--and no. Women would rave about
him; men would think him finical and dandified.
He looks as if he were the happiest fellow
in the world--in fact, he looked to me so
provokingly happy that I disliked him; but
now that Dodo is my little sister again, I can
be happy enough to envy no one."
Then Dora slipped her hand into her brother's
hand, and Bryce knew that he might
take his way to his little office in William
Street, the advent of Mr. Mostyn into his life
being now as certain as anything in this
questionable, fluctuating world could be. As he
was sauntering down the avenue he met Ethel
and he turned and walked back with her to
the Denning house. He was so good-natured
and so good-humored that Ethel could not
avoid an inquisitive look at the usually glum
young man, and he caught it with a laugh and
said, "I suppose you wonder what is the matter
with me, Miss Rawdon?"
"You look more than usually happy. If I
suppose you have found a wife or a fortune,
shall I be wrong?"
"You come near the truth; I have found a
sister. Do you know I am very fond of Dora
and we have made up our quarrel?"
Then Ethel looked at him again. She did
not believe him. She was sure that Dora was
not the only evoker of the unbounded satisfaction
in Bryce Denning's face and manner.
But she let the reason pass; she had no likely
arguments to use against it. And that day
Mrs. Denning, with a slight air of injury,
opened the subject of Mr. Mostyn's introduction
to them. She thought Ethel had hardly
treated the Dennings fairly. Everyone was
wondering they had not met him. Of course,
she knew they were not aristocrats and she
supposed Ethel was ashamed of them, but, for
her part, she thought they were as good as
most people, and if it came to money, they
could put down dollar for dollar with any
multi-millionaire in America, or England
either, for that matter.
When the reproach took this tone there
seemed to be only one thing for Ethel to say or
to do; but that one thing was exactly what she
did not say or do. She took up Mrs. Denning's
reproach and complained that "her
relative and friend had been purposely and
definitely ignored. Dora had told her plainly
she did not wish to make Mr. Mostyn's
acquaintance; and, in accord with this feeling,
no one in the Denning family had called on
Mr. Mostyn, or shown him the least courtesy.
She thought the whole Rawdon family had
the best of reasons for feeling hurt at the
This view of the case had not entered Mrs.
Denning's mind. She was quickly sorry and
apologetic for Dora's selfishness and her own
thoughtlessness, and Ethel was not difficult to
pacify. There was then no duty so imperative
as the arrangement of a little dinner for
Mr. Mostyn. "We will make it quite a family
affair," said Mrs. Denning, "then we can
go to the opera afterwards. Shall I call on
Mr. Mostyn at the Holland House?" she
asked anxiously.
"I will ask Bryce to call," said Dora.
"Bryce will do anything to please me now,
In this way, Bryce Denning's desires were
all arranged for him, and that evening Dora
made her request. Bryce heard it with a pronounced
pout of his lips, but finally told Dora
she was "irresistible," and as his time for
pleasing her was nearly out, he would even
call on the Englishman at her request.
"Mind!" he added, "I think he is as proud
as Lucifer, and I may get nothing for my civility
but the excuse of a previous engagement."
But Bryce Denning expected much more
than this, and he got all that he expected.
The young men had a common ground to meet
on, and they quickly became as intimate as
ever Frederick Mostyn permitted himself to
be with a stranger. Bryce could hardly help
catching enthusiasm from Mostyn on the subject
of New York, and he was able to show
his new acquaintance phases of life in the
marvelous city which were of the greatest
interest to the inquisitive Yorkshire squire--
Chinese theaters and opium dives; German,
Italian, Spanish, Jewish, French cities sheltering
themselves within the great arms of the
great American city; queer restaurants, where
he could eat of the national dishes of every
civilized country under the sun; places of
amusement, legal and illegal, and the vast
under side of the evident life--all the uncared
for toiling of the thousands who work through
the midnight hours. In these excursions the
young men became in a way familiar, though
neither of them ever told the other the real
feelings of their hearts or the real aim of
their lives.
The proposed dinner took place ten days
after its suggestion. There was nothing remarkable
in the function itself; all millionaires
have the same delicacies and the same
wines, and serve these things with precisely
the same ceremonies. And, as a general thing,
the company follow rigidly ordained laws of
conversation. Stories about public people, remarks
about the weather and the opera, are in
order; but original ideas or decided opinions
are unpardonable social errors. Yet even
these commonplace events may contain some
element that shall unexpectedly cut a life in
two, and so change its aims and desires as to
virtually create a new character. It was Frederick
Mostyn who in this instance underwent
this great personal change; a change totally
unexpected and for which he was absolutely
unprepared. For the people gathered in Mrs.
Denning's drawing-room were mostly known
to him, and the exceptions did not appear to
possess any remarkable traits, except Basil
Stanhope, who stood thoughtfully at a window,
his pale, lofty beauty wearing an air of
expectation. Mostyn decided that he was naturally
impatient for the presence of his
fiancee, whose delayed entrance he perceived
was also annoying Ethel. Then there was a
slight movement, a sudden silence, and Mostyn
saw Stanhope's face flush and turn magically
radiant. Mechanically he followed his
movement and the next moment his eyes
met Fate, and Love slipped in between.
Dora was there, a fairy-like vision in pale
amber draperies, softened with silk lace. Diamonds
were in her wonderfully waved hair
and round her fair white neck. They clasped
her belt and adorned the instep of her little
amber silk slippers. She held a yellow rose
in her hand, and yellow rosebuds lay among
the lace at her bosom, and Mostyn, stupefied
by her undreamed-of loveliness, saw golden
emanations from the clear pallor of her face.
He felt for a moment or two as if he should
certainly faint; only by a miracle of stubborn
will did he drag his consciousness from that
golden-tinted, sparkling haze of beauty which
had smitten him like an enchantment. Then
the girl was looking at him with her soft,
dark, gazelle eyes; she was even speaking to
him, but what she said, or what reply he made,
he could never by any means remember. Miss
Bayard was to be his companion, and with
some effort and a few indistinct words he gave
her his arm. She asked if he was ill, and when
a shake of the head answered the query, she
covered the few minutes of his disconcertion
with her conversation. He looked at her
gratefully and gathered his personality together.
For Love had come to him like a twoedged
sword, dividing the flesh and the spirit,
and he longed to cry aloud and relieve the
sweet torture of the possession.
Reaction, however, came quickly, and with
it a wonderful access of all his powers. The
sweet, strong wine of Love went to his brain
like celestial nectar. All the witty, amusing
things he had ever heard came trooping into
his memory, and the dinner was long delayed
by his fine humor, his pleasant anecdotes, and
the laughing thoughts which others caught up
and illustrated in their own way.
It was a feast full of good things, but its
spirit was not able to bear transition. The
company scattered quickly when it was over
to the opera or theater or to the rest of a quiet
evening at home, for at the end enthusiasm
of any kind has a chilling effect on the feelings.
None of the party understood this result,
and yet all were, in their way, affected
by the sudden fall of mental temperature.
Mr. Denning went to his library and took out
his private ledger, a penitential sort of reading
which he relished after moods of any kind
of enjoyment. Mrs. Denning selected Ethel
Rawdon for her text of disillusion. She
"thought Ethel had been a little jealous of
Dora's dress," and Dora said, "It was one
of her surprises, and Ethel thought she
ought to know everything." "You are too
obedient to Ethel," continued Mrs. Denning
and Dora looked with a charming demureness
at her lover, and said, "She had to be
obedient to some one wiser than herself," and
so slipped her hand into Basil's hand. And
he understood the promise, and with a look
of passionate affection raised the little
jeweled pledge and kissed it.
Perhaps no one was more affected by this
chill, critical after-hour than Miss Bayard
and Ethel. Mostyn accompanied them home,
but he was depressed, and his courtesy had
the air of an obligation. He said he had a
sudden headache, and was not sorry when the
ladies bid him "good night" on the threshold.
Indeed, he felt that he must have refused
any invitation to lengthen out the
hours with them or anybody. He wanted
one thing, and he wanted that with all his
soul--solitude, that he might fill it with
images of Dora, and with passionate promises
that either by fair means or by foul, by
right or by wrong, he would win the bewitching
woman for his wife.
"WHAT do you think of the evening, Aunt
Ruth?" Ethel was in her aunt's room, comfortably
wrapped in a pink kimono, when she
asked this question.
"What do you think of it, Ethel?"
"I am not sure."
"The dinner was well served."
"Yes. Who was the little dark man you
talked with, aunt?"
"He was a Mr. Marriot, a banker, and a
friend of Bryce Denning's. He is a fresh
addition to society, I think. He had the
word `gold' always on his lips; and he believes
in it as good men believe in God. The
general conversation annoyed him; he could
not understand men being entertained by it."
"They were, though, for once Jamie Sayer
forgot to talk about his pictures."
"Is that the name of your escort?"
"And is he an artist?"
"A second-rate one. He is painting
Dora's picture, and is a great favorite of
Mrs. Denning's."
"A strange, wild-looking man. When I
saw him first he was lying, dislocated, over
his ottoman rather than sitting on it."
"Oh, that is a part of his affectations.
He is really a childish, self-conscious creature,
with a very decided dash of vulgarity.
He only tries to look strange and wild, and
he would be delighted if he knew you had
thought him so."
"I was glad to see Claudine Jeffrys. How
slim and graceful she is! And, pray, who is
that Miss Ullman?"
"A very rich woman. She has Bryce
under consideration. Many other men have
been in the same position, for she is sure they
all want her money and not her. Perhaps
she is right. I saw you talking to her, aunt."
"For a short time. I did not enjoy her
company. She is so mercilessly realistic, she
takes all the color out of life. Everything
about her, even her speech, is sharp-lined as
the edge of a knife. She could make Bryce's
life very miserable."
"Perhaps it might turn out the other way.
Bryce Denning has capacities in the same
line. How far apart, how far above every
man there, stood Basil Stanhope!"
"He is strikingly handsome and graceful,
and I am sure that his luminous serenity does
not arise from apathy. I should say he was
a man of very strong and tender feelings."
"And he gives all the strength and tenderness
of his feelings to Dora. Men are strange
"Who directed Dora's dress this evening?"
"Herself or her maid. I had nothing to
do with it. The effect was stunning."
"Fred thought so. In fact, Fred Hostyn----"
"Fell in love with her."
"Exactly. `Fell,' that is the word--fell
prostrate. Usually the lover of to-day walks
very timidly and carefully into the condition,
step by step, and calculating every step before
he takes it. Fred plunged headlong into
the whirling vortex. I am very sorry. It is
a catastrophe."
"I never witnessed the accident before. I
have heard of men getting wounds and falls,
and developing new faculties in consequence,
but we saw the phenomenon take place this
"Love, if it be love, is known in a moment.
man who never saw the sun before would
know it was the sun. In Fred's case it was
an instantaneous, impetuous passion, flaming
up at the sight of such unexpected beauty--
a passion that will probably fade as rapidly
as it rose."
"Fred is not that kind of a man, aunt. He
does not like every one and everything, but
whoever or whatever he does like becomes a
lasting part of his life. Even the old chairs
and tables at Mostyn are held as sacred
objects by him, though I have no doubt an
American girl would trundle them off to the
garret. It is the same with the people. He
actually regards the Rawdons as belonging in
some way to the Mostyns; and I do not believe
he has ever been in love before."
"He was so surprised by the attack. If
it had been the tenth or twentieth time he
would have taken it more philosophically;
besides, if he had ever loved any woman, he
would have gone on loving her, and we should
have known all about her perfections by this
"Dora is nearly a married woman, and
Mostyn knows it."
"Nearly may make all the difference.
When Dora is married he will be compelled
to accept the inevitable and make the best of
"When Dora is married he will idealize
her, and assure himself that her marriage is
the tragedy of both their lives."
"Dora will give him no reason to suppose
such a thing. I am sure she will not. She is
too much in love with Mr. Stanhope to notice
any other lover."
"You are mistaken, Ethel. Swiftly as
Fred was vanquished she noticed it, and many
times--once even while leaning on Mr. Stanhope's
arm--she turned the arrow in the
heart wound with sweet little glances and
smiles, and pretty appeals to the blind adoration
of her new lover. It was, to me, a humiliating
spectacle. How could she do it?"
"I am sure Dora meant no wrong. It is
so natural for a lovely girl to show off a
little. She will marry and forget Fred Mostyn
"And Fred will forget?"
"Fred will not forget."
"Then I shall be very sorry for your father
and grandmother."
"What have they to do with Fred marrying?"
"A great deal. Fred has been so familiar
and homely the last two or three weeks, that
they have come to look upon him as a future
member of the family. It has been `Cousin
Ethel' and `Aunt Ruth' and even `grandmother'
and `Cousin Fred,' and no objections
have been made to the use of such personal
terms. I think your father hopes for a
closer tie between you and Fred Mostyn than
"Whatever might have been is over. Do
you imagine I could consent to be the secondary
deity, to come after Dora--Dora of
all the girls I have ever known? The idea is
an insult to my heart and my intelligence.
Nothing on earth could make me submit to
such an indignity."
"I do not suppose, Ethel, that any wife is
the first object of her husband's love."
"At least they tell her she is so, swear it
an inch deep; and no woman is fool enough to
look beyond that oath, but when she is sure
that she is a second best! AH! That is not a
position I will ever take in any man's heart
"Of course, Fred Mostyn will have to
"Of course, he will make a duty of the
event. The line of Mostyns must be continued.
England might go to ruin if the Mostyns
perished off the English earth; but,
Aunt Ruth, I count myself worthy of a better
fate than to become a mere branch in the
genealogical tree of the Mostyns. And that
is all Fred Mostyn's wife will ever be to him,
unless he marries Dora."
"But that very supposition implies tragedy,
and it is most unlikely."
"Yes, for Dora is a good little thing. She
has never been familiar with vice. She has
even a horror of poor women divorced from
impossible husbands. She believes her marriage
will be watched by the angels, and
recorded in heaven. Basil has instructed her
to regard marriage as a holy sacrament, and
I am sure he does the same."
"Then why should we forecast evil to their
names? As for Cousin Fred, I dare say he is
comfortably asleep."
"I am sure he is not. I believe he is
smoking and calling himself names for not
having come to New York last May, when
father first invited him. Had he done so
things might have been different."
"Yes, they might. When Good Fortune
calls, and the called `will not when they may,'
then, `when they will' Good Fortune has become
Misfortune. Welcome a pleasure or a
gain at once, or don't answer it at all. It was
on this rock, Ethel, the bark that carried my
love went to pieces. I know; yes, I know!"
"My dear aunt!"
"It is all right now, dear; but things might
have been that are not. As to Dora, I think
she may be trusted with Basil Stanhope. He
is one of the best and handsomest men I ever
saw, and he has now rights in Dora's love no
one can tamper with. Mostyn is an honorable
"All right, but--
"Love will venture in,
Where he daurna well be seen;
O Love will venture in,
Where Wisdom once has been--
and then, aunt, what then?"
THE next day after lunch Ethel said she
was going to walk down to Gramercy Park
and spend an hour or two with her grandmother,
and "Will you send the carriage for
me at five o'clock?" she asked.
"Your father has ordered the carriage to
be at the Holland House at five o'clock. It
can call for you first, and then go to the
Holland House. But do not keep your father
waiting. If he is not at the entrance give
your card to the outside porter; he will have
it sent up to Fred's apartments."
"Then father is calling on Fred? What
for? Is he sick?"
"Oh, no, business of some kind. I hope
you will have a pleasant walk."
"There is no doubt of it."
Indeed, she was radiant with its exhilaration
when she reached Gramercy Park. As
she ran up the steps of the big, old-fashioned
house she saw Madam at the window
picking up some dropped stitches in her knitting.
Madam saw her at the same moment,
and the old face and the young face both alike
kindled with love, as well as with happy anticipation
of coveted intercourse.
"I am so glad to see you, darling Granny.
I could not wait until to-morrow."
"And why should you, child? I have been
watching for you all morning. I want to hear
about the Denning dinner. I suppose you
"Yes, we went; we had to. Dinners in
strange houses are a common calamity; I
can't expect to be spared what everyone has
to endure."
"Don't be affected, Ethel. You like going
out to dinner. Of course, you do! It is only
natural, considering."
"I don't, Granny. I like dances and theaters
and operas, but I don't like dinners.
However, the Denning dinner was a grand
exception. It gave me and the others a sensation."
"I expected that."
"It was beautifully ordered. Major-domo
Parkinson saw to that. If he had arranged
it for his late employer, the Duke of Richmond,
it could not have been finer. There
was not a break anywhere."
"How many were present?"
"Just a dozen."
"Mr. Denning and Bryce, of course.
Who were the others?"
"Mr. Stanhope, of course. Granny, he
wore his clerical dress. It made him look so
"He did right. A clergyman ought to look
different from other men. I do not believe
Basil Stanhope, having assumed the dress of
a servant of God, would put it off one hour
for any social exigency. Why should he? It
is a grander attire than any military or naval
uniform, and no court dress is comparable,
for it is the court dress of the King of kings."
"All right, dear Granny; you always make
things clear to me, yet I meet lots of clergymen
in evening dress."
"Then they ought not to be clergymen.
They ought not to wear coats in which they
can hold any kind of opinions. Who was your
"Jamie Sayer."
"I never heard of the man."
"He is an artist, and is painting Dora's
likeness. He is getting on now, but in the
past, like all artists, he has suffered a deal."
"God's will be done. Let them suffer.
It is good for genius to suffer. Is he in love
with you?"
"Gracious, Granny! His head is so full
of pictures that no woman could find room
there, and if one did, the next new picture
would crowd her out."
"End that story, it is long enough."
"Do you know Miss Ullman?"
"I have heard of her. Who has not?"
"She has Bryce Denning on trial now.
If he marries her I shall pity him."
"Pity him! Not I, indeed! He would
have his just reward. Like to like, and
Amen to it."
"Then there was Claudine Jeffrys, looking
quite ethereal, but very lovely."
"I know. Her lover was killed in Cuba,
and she has been the type of faithful grief
ever since. She looks it and dresses it to
"And feels it?"
"Perhaps she does. I am not skilled in the
feelings of pensive, heart-broken maidens.
But her case is a very common one. Lovers
are nowhere against husbands, yet how many
thousands of good women lose their husbands
every year? If they are poor, they
have to hide their grief and work for themselves
and their families; if they are rich,
very few people believe that they are really
sorry to be widows. Are any poor creatures
more jeered at than widows? No man believes
they are grieving for the loss of their
husbands. Then why should they all sympathize
with Claudine about the loss of a
"Perhaps lovers are nicer than husbands."
"Pretty much all alike. I have known a
few good husbands. Your grandfather was
one, your father another. But you have said
nothing about Fred. Did he look handsome?
Did he make a sensation? Was he a cousin
to be proud of?"
"Indeed, Granny, Fred was the whole
party. He is not naturally handsome, but he
has distinction, and he was well-dressed. And
I never heard anyone talk as he did. He told
the most delightful stories, he was full of
mimicry and wit, and said things that brought
everyone into the merry talk; and I am sure
he charmed and astonished the whole party.
Mr. Denning asked me quietly afterwards
`what university he was educated at.' I
think he took it all as education, and had
some wild ideas of finishing Bryce in a similar
Madam was radiant. "I told you so,"
she said proudly. "The Mostyns have intellect
as well as land. There are no stupid
Mostyns. I hope you asked him to play. I
think his way of handling a piano would have
taught them a few things Russians and Poles
know nothing about. Poor things! How can
they have any feelings left?"
"There was no piano in the room, Granny,
and the company separated very soon after
"Somehow you ought to have managed it,
Ethel." Then with a touch of anxiety, "I
hope all this cleverness was natural--I mean,
I hope it wasn't champagne. You know,
Ethel, we think as we drink, and Fred isn't
used to those frisky wines. Mostyn cellars
are full of old sherry and claret, and Fred's
father was always against frothing, sparkling
"Granny, it was all Fred. Wine had
nothing to do with it, but a certain woman
had; in fact, she was the inspirer, and Fred
fell fifty fathoms deep in love with her the
very moment she entered the room. He heard
not, felt not, thought not, so struck with love
was he. Ruth got him to a window for a few
moments and so hid his emotion until he could
get himself together."
"Oh, what a tale! What a cobweb tale! I
don't believe a word of it," and she laughed
" 'Tis true as gospel, Granny."
"Name her, then. Who was the woman?"
"It is beyond belief, above belief, out of
all reason. It cannot be, and it shall not be,
and if you are making up a story to tease
me, Ethel Rawdon----"
"Grandmother, let me tell you just how it
came about. We were all in the room waiting
for Dora, and she suddenly entered. She
was dressed in soft amber silk from head to
feet; diamonds were in her black hair, and on
the bands across her shoulders, on her corsage,
on her belt, her hands, and even her
slippers. Under the electric lights she looked
as if she was in a golden aura, scintillating
with stars. She took Fred's breath away.
He was talking to Ruth, and he could not
finish the word he was saying. Ruth thought
he was going to faint----"
"Don't tell me such nonsense."
"Well, grandmother, this nonsense is
truth. As I said before, Ruth took him aside
until he got control of himself; then, as he
was Dora's escort, he had to go to her. Ruth
introduced them, and as she raised her soft,
black eyes to his, and put her hand on his
arm, something happened again, but this time
it was like possession. He was the courtier
in a moment, his eyes flashed back her glances,
he gave her smile for smile, and then when
they were seated side by side he became inspired
and talked as I have told you. It is
the truth, grandmother."
"Well, there are many different kinds of
fools, but Fred Mostyn is the worst I ever
heard tell of. Does he not know that the girl
is engaged?"
"Knows it as well as I do."
"None of our family were ever fools before,
and I hope Fred will come round quickly.
Do you think Dora noticed the impression
she made?"
"Yes, Aunt Ruth noticed Dora; and Ruth
says Dora `turned the arrow in the heart
wound' all the evening."
"What rubbish you are talking! Say in
good English what you mean."
"She tried every moment they, were together
to make him more and more in love
with her."
"What is her intention? A girl doesn't
carry on that way for nothing."
"I do not know. Dora has got beyond me
lately. And, grandmother, I am not troubling
about the event as it regards Dora or
Fred or Basil Stanhope, but as it regards
"What have you to do with it?"
"That is just what I want to have clearly
understood. Aunt Ruth told me that father
and you would be disappointed if I did not
marry Fred."
"I am sorry to disappoint you, but I never
shall marry Fred Mostyn. Never!"
"I rather think you will have to settle that
question with your father, Ethel."
"No. I have settled it with myself. The
man has given to Dora all the love that he
has to give. I will have a man's whole heart,
and not fragments and finger-ends of it."
"To be sure, that is right. But I can't say
much, Ethel, when I only know one side of
the case, can I? I must wait and hear what
Fred has to say. But I like your spirit and
your way of bringing what is wrong straight
up to question. You are a bit Yorkshire yet,
whatever you think gets quick to your tongue,
and then out it comes. Good girl, your heart
is on your lips."
They talked the afternoon away on this
subject, but Madam's last words were not
only advisory, they were in a great measure
sympathetic. "Be straight with yourself,
Ethel," she said, "then Fred Mostyn can do
as he likes; you will be all right."
She accepted the counsel with a kiss, and
then drove to the Holland House for her
father. He was not waiting, as Ruth had
supposed he would be, but then she was five
minutes too soon. She sent up her card, and
then let her eyes fall upon a wretched beggar
man who was trying to play a violin, but
was unable by reason of hunger and cold. He
looked as if he was dying, and she was moved
with a great pity, and longed for her father
to come and give some help. While she was
anxiously watching, a young man was also
struck with the suffering on the violinist's
face. He spoke a few words to him, and taking
the violin, drew from it such strains of
melody, that in a few moments a crowd had
gathered within the hotel and before it. First
there was silence, then a shout of delight; and
when it ceased the player's voice thrilled
every heart to passionate patriotism, as he
sang with magnificent power and feeling--
There is not a spot on this wide-peopled earth
So dear to our heart as the Land of our Birth, etc.
A tumult of hearty applause followed, and
then he cried, "Gentlemen, this old man
fought for the land of our birth. He is dying
of hunger," and into the old man's hat he
dropped a bill and then handed it round to
millionaire and workingman alike. Ethel's
purse was in her hand. As he passed along
the curb at which her carriage stood, he
looked at her eager face, and with a smile
held out the battered hat. She, also smiling,
dropped her purse into it. In a few moments
the hat was nearly full; the old man and the
money were confided to the care of an hotel
officer, the stream of traffic and pleasure went
on its usual way, and the musician disappeared.
All that evening the conversation turned
constantly to this event. Mostyn was sure he
was a member of some operatic troupe.
"Voices of such rare compass and exceptional
training were not to be found among
non-professional people," he said, and Judge
Rawdon was of his opinion.
"His voice will haunt me for many days,"
he said. "Those two lines, for instance--
'Tis the home of our childhood, that beautiful spot
Which memory retains when all else is forgot.
The melody was wonderful. I wish we could
find out where he is singing. His voice, as I
said, haunts my ear."
Ethel might have made the same remark,
but she was silent. She had noticed the musician
more closely than her father or Fred
Mostyn, and when Ruth Bayard asked her if
his personality was interesting, she was able
to give a very clear description of the man.
"I do not believe he is a professional
singer; he is too young," she answered. "I
should think he was about twenty-five years
old, tall, slender, and alert. He was fashionably
dressed, as if he had been, or was
going, to an afternoon reception. Above all
things, I should say he was a gentleman."
Oh, why are our hearts so accessible to our
eyes? Only a smiling glance had passed between
Ethel and the Unknown, yet his image
was prisoned behind the bars of her eyelids.
On this day of days she had met Love on the
crowded street, and he had
"But touched his lute wherein was audible
The certain secret thing he had to tell;
Only their mirrored eyes met silently";
and a sweet trouble, a restless, pleasing curiosity,
had filled her consciousness. Who was
he? Where had he gone to? When should
they meet again? Ah, she understood now
how Emmeline Labiche had felt constrained
to seek her lover from the snows of Canada
to the moss-veiled oaks of Louisiana.
But her joyous, hopeful soul could not think
of love and disappointment at the same moment.
"I have seen him, and I shall see him
again. We met by appointment. Destiny
introduced us. Neither of us will forget, and
somewhere, some day, I shall be waiting, and
he will come."
Thus this daughter of sunshine and hope
answered herself; and why not? All good
things come to those who can wait in sweet
tranquillity for them, and seldom does Fortune
fail to bring love and heart's-ease upon
the changeful stream of changeful days to
those who trust her for them.
On the following morning, when the two
girls entered the parlor, they found the Judge
smoking there. He had already breakfasted,
and looked over the three or four newspapers
whose opinions he thought worthy of his
consideration. They were lying in a state of
confusion at his side, and Ethel glanced at
them curiously.
"Did any of the papers speak of the singing
before the Holland House?" she asked.
"Yes. I think reporters must be ubiquitous.
All my papers had some sort of a notice
of the affair."
"What do they say?"
"One gave the bare circumstances of the
case; another indulged in what was supposed
to be humorous description; a third thought
it might have been the result of a bet or dare;
a fourth was of the opinion that conspiracy
between the old beggar and the young man
was not unlikely, and credited the exhibition
as a cleverly original way of obtaining money.
But all agreed in believing the singer to be a
member of some opera company now in the
Ethel was indignant. "It was neither
`bet' nor `dare' nor `conspiracy,'" she
said. "I saw the singer as he came walking
rapidly down the avenue, and he looked as
happy and careless as a boy whistling on a
country lane. When his eyes fell on the old
man he hesitated, just a moment, and then
spoke to him. I am sure they were absolute
strangers to each other."
"But how can you be sure of a thing like
that, Ethel?"
"I don't know `how,' Ruth, but all the
same, I am sure. And as for it being a new
way of begging, that is not correct. Not many
years ago, one of the De Reszke brothers led
a crippled soldier into a Paris cafe, and sang
the starving man into comfort in twenty minutes."
"And the angelic Parepa Rosa did as much
for a Mexican woman, whom she found in the
depths of sorrow and poverty--brought her
lifelong comfort with a couple of her songs.
Is it not likely, then, that the gallant knight
of the Holland House is really a member of
some opera company, that he knew of these
examples and followed them?"
"It is not unlikely, Ruth, yet I do not believe
that is the explanation."
"Well," said the Judge, throwing his
cigarette into the fire, "if the singer had
never heard of De Reszke and Parepa Rosa,
we may suppose him a gentleman of such
culture as to be familiar with the exquisite
Greek legend of Phoebus Apollo--that story
would be sufficient to inspire any man with
his voice. Do you know it?"
Both girls answered with an enthusiastic
entreaty for its recital, and the Judge went
to the library and returned with a queer-looking
little book, bound in marbled paper.
"It was my father's copy," he said, "an
Oxford edition." And he turned the leaves
with loving carefulness until he came to the
incident. Then being a fine reader, the words
fell from his lips in a stately measure better
than music:
"After Troy fell there came to Argos a
scarred soldier seeking alms. Not deigning
to beg, he played upon a lyre; but the handling
of arms had robbed him of his youthful
power, and he stood by the portico hour
after hour, and no one dropped him a lepton.
Weary, hungry and thirsty, he leaned in despair
against a pillar. A youth came to him
and asked, `Why not play on, Akeratos?"
And Akeratos meekly answered, `I am no
longer skilled.' `Then,' said the stranger,
`hire me thy lyre; here is a didrachmon. I
will play, and thou shalt hold out thy cap
and be dumb.' So the stranger took the lyre
and swept the strings, and men heard, as it
were, the clashing of swords. And he sang
the fall of Troy--how Hector perished, slain
by Achilles, the rush of chariots, the ring of
hoofs, the roar of flames--and as he sang the
people stopped to listen, breathless and eager,
with rapt, attentive ear. And when the singer
ceased the soldier's cap was filled with coins,
and the people begged for yet another song.
Then he sang of Venus, till all men's hearts
were softly stirred, and the air was purple
and misty and full of the scent of roses. And
in their joy men cast before Akeratos not
coins only, but silver bracelets and rings, and
gems and ornaments of gold, until the heap
had to its utmost grown, making Akeratos
rich in all men's sight. Then suddenly the
singer stood in a blaze of light, and the men
of Argos saw their god of song, Phoebus
Apollo, rise in glory to the skies."
The girls were delighted; the Judge pleased
both with his own rendering of the legend
and the manifest appreciation with which
it had been received. For a moment or two
all felt the exquisite touch of the antique
world, and Ethel said, in a tone of longing,
"I wish that I had been a Greek and lived
in Argos."
"You would not have liked it as well as
being an American and living in New York,"
said her father.
"And you would have been a pagan,"
added Ruth.
"They were such lovely pagans, Ruth, and
they dreamed such beautiful dreams of life.
Leave the book with me, father; I will take
good care of it."
Then the Judge gave her the book, and with
a sigh looked into the modern street. "I
ought to be down at Bowling Green instead
of reading Greek stories to you girls," he
said rather brusquely. "I have a very important
railway case on my mind, and Phoebus
Apollo has nothing to do with it. Good morning.
And, Ethel, do not deify the singer on
the avenue. He will not turn out, like the
singer by the portico, to be a god; be sure of
The door closed before she could answer,
and both women remained silent a few minutes.
Then Ethel went to the window, and
Ruth asked if she was going to Dora's.
"Yes," was the answer, but without interest.
"You are tired with all this shopping and worry?"
"It is not only that I am tired, I am
troubled about Fred Mostyn."
"I do not know why. It is only a vague
unrest as yet. But one thing I know, I shall
oppose anything like Fred making himself
intimate with Dora."
"I think you will do wisely in that."
But in a week Ethel realized that in opposing
a lover like Fred Mostyn she had a
task beyond her ability. Fred had nothing
to do as important in his opinion as the cultivation
of his friendship with Dora Denning.
He called it "friendship," but this misnomer
deceived no one, not even Dora. And when
Dora encouraged his attentions, how was
Ethel to prevent them without some explanation
which would give a sort of reality to
what was as yet a nameless suspicion?
Yet every day the familiarity increased.
He seemed to divine their engagements. If
they went to their jeweler's, or to a bazaar,
he was sure to stroll in after them. When
they came out of the milliner's or modiste's,
Fred was waiting. "He had secured a table
at Sherry's; he had ordered lunch, and all
was ready." It was too great an effort to resist
his entreaty. Perhaps no one wished to
do so. The girls were utterly tired and
hungry, and the thought of one of Fred's
lunches was very pleasant. Even if Basil
Stanhope was with them, it appeared to be
all the better. Fred always included Dora's
lover with a charming courtesy; and, indeed,
at such hours, was in his most delightful
mood. Stanhope appeared to inspire him.
His mentality when the clergyman was present
took possession of every incident that
came and went, and clothed it in wit and
pleasantry. Dora's plighted lover honestly
thought Dora's undeclared lover the cleverest
and most delightful of men. And he had no
opportunity of noting, as Ethel did, the
difference in Fred's attitude when he was not
present. Then Mostyn's merry mood became
sentimental, and his words were charged with
soft meanings and looks of adoration, and
every tone and every movement made to express
far more than the tongue would have
dared to utter.
As this flirtation progressed--for on Dora's
part it was only vanity and flirtation--Ethel
grew more and more uneasy. She almost
wished for some trifling overt act which
would give her an excuse for warning Dora;
and one day, after three weeks of such
philandering, the opportunity came.
"I think you permit Fred Mostyn to take
too much liberty with you, Dora," she said as
soon as they were in Dora's parlor, and as
she spoke she threw off her coat in a temper
which effectively emphasized the words.
"I have been expecting this ill-nature,
Ethel. You were cross all the time we were
at lunch. You spoiled all our pleasure
Pray, what have I been doing wrong with
Fred Mostyn?"
"It was Fred who did wrong. His compliments
to you were outrageous. He has no
right to say such things, and you have no
right to listen to them."
"I am not to blame if he compliments me
instead of you. He was simply polite, but
then it was to the wrong person."
"Of course it was. Such politeness he had
no right to offer you."
"It would have been quite proper if offered
you, I suppose?"
"It would not. It would have been a great
impertinence. I have given him neither
claim nor privilege to address me as `My
lovely Ethel!' He called you many times
`My lovely Dora!' You are not his lovely
Dora. When he put on your coat, he drew
you closer than was proper; and I saw him
take your hand and hold it in a clasp--not
"Why do you listen and watch? It is vulgar.
You told me so yourself. And I am
lovely. Basil says that as well as Fred. Do
you want a man to lie and say I am ugly?"
"You are fencing the real question. He
had no business to use the word `my.' You
are engaged to Basil Stanhope, not to Fred
"I am Basil's lovely fiancee; I am Fred's
lovely friend."
"Oh! I hope Fred understands the difference."
"Of course he does. Some people are always
thinking evil."
"I was thinking of Mr. Stanhope's rights."
"Thank you, Ethel; but I can take care
of Mr. Stanhope's rights without your assistance.
If you had said you were thinking of
Ethel Rawdon's rights you would have been
nearer the truth."
"Dora, I will not listen----"
"Oh, you shall listen to me! I know that
you expected Fred to fall in love with you,
but if he did not like to do so, am I to blame?"
Ethel was resuming her coat at this point
in the conversation, and Dora understood the
proud silence with which the act was being
accomplished. Then a score of good reasons
for preventing such a definite quarrel flashed
through her selfish little mind, and she threw
her arms around Ethel and begged a thousand
pardons for her rudeness. And Ethel
had also reasons for avoiding dissension at
this time. A break in their friendship now
would bring Dora forward to explain, and
Dora had a wonderful cleverness in presenting
her own side of any question. Ethel
shrunk from her innuendoes concerning Fred,
and she knew that Basil would be made to consider
her a meddling, jealous girl who willingly
saw evil in Dora's guileless enjoyment
of a clever man's company.
To be misunderstood, to be blamed and
pitied, to be made a pedestal for Dora's superiority,
was a situation not to be contemplated.
It was better to look over Dora's
rudeness in the flush of Dora's pretended sorrow
for it. So they forgave each other, or
said they did, and then Dora explained herself.
She declared that she had not the least
intention of any wrong. "You see, Ethel,
what a fool the man is about me. Somebody
says we ought to treat a fool according to his
folly. That is all I was doing. I am sure
Basil is so far above Fred Mostyn that I
could never put them in comparison--and
Basil knows it. He trusts me."
"Very well, Dora. If Basil knows it, and
trusts you, I have no more to say. I am now
sorry I named the subject."
"Never mind, we will forget that it was
named. The fact is, Ethel, I want all the fun
I can get now. When I am Basil's wife I
shall have to be very sedate, and of course not
even pretend to know if any other man admires
me. Little lunches with Fred, theater
and opera parties, and even dances will be
over for me. Oh, dear, how much I am giving
up for Basil! And sometimes I think he
never realizes how dreadful it must be for
"You will have your lover all the time
then. Surely his constant companionship
will atone for all you relinquish."
"Take off your coat and hat, Ethel, and
sit down comfortably. I don't know about
Basil's constant companionship. Tete-a-tetes
are tiresome affairs sometimes."
"Yes," replied Ethel, as she half-reluctantly
removed her coat, "they were a bore
undoubtedly even in Paradise. I wonder if
Eve was tired of Adam's conversation, and
if that made her listen to--the other party."
"I am so glad you mentioned that circumstance,
Ethel. I shall remember it. Some
day, no doubt, I shall have to remind Basil
of the failure of Adam to satisfy Eve's idea
of perfect companionship." And Dora put
her pretty, jeweled hands up to her ears and
laughed a low, musical laugh with a childish
note of malice running through it.
This pseudo-reconciliation was not conducive
to pleasant intercourse. After a
short delay Ethel made an excuse for an early
departure, and Dora accepted it without her
usual remonstrance. The day had been one
of continual friction, and Dora's irritable
pettishness hard to bear, because it had now
lost that childish unreason which had always
induced Ethel's patience, for Dora had lately
put away all her ignorant immaturities. She
had become a person of importance, and had
realized the fact. The young ladies of St.
Jude's had made a pet of their revered rector's
love, and the elder ladies had also shown
a marked interest in her. The Dennings' fine
house was now talked about and visited. Men
of high financial power respected Mr. Dan
Denning, and advised the social recognition
of his family; and Mrs. Denning was not now
found more eccentric than many other of the
new rich, who had been tolerated in the
ranks of the older plutocrats. Even Bryce
had made the standing he desired. He was
seen with the richest and idlest young men,
and was invited to the best houses. Those
fashionable women who had marriageable
daughters considered him not ineligible,
and men temporarily hampered for cash
knew that they could find smiling assistance
for a consideration at Bryce's little office on
William Street.
These and other points of reflection troubled
Ethel, and she was glad the long trial was
nearing its end, for she knew quite well the
disagreement of that evening had done no
good. Dora would certainly repeat their
conversation, in her own way of interpreting
it, to both Basil Stanhope and Fred Mostyn.
More than likely both Bryce and Mrs.
Denning would also hear how her innocent
kindness had been misconstrued; and in each
case she could imagine the conversation that
took place, and the subsequent bestowal of
pitying, scornful or angry feeling that would
insensibly find its way to her consciousness
without any bird of the air to carry it.
She felt, too, that reprisals of any kind
were out of the question. They were not only
impolitic, they were difficult. Her father had
an aversion to Dora, and was likely to seize
the first opportunity for requesting Ethel to
drop the girl's acquaintance. Ruth also had
urged her to withdraw from any active part
in the wedding, strengthening her advice
with the assurance that when a friendship began
to decline it ought to be abandoned at
once. There was only her grandmother to
go to, and at first she did not find her at all
interested in the trouble. She had just had
a dispute with her milkman, was inclined to
give him all her suspicions and all her angry
words--"an impertinent, cheating creature,"
she said; and then Ethel had to hear the history
of the month's cream and of the milkman's
extortion, with the old lady's characteristic
"I told him plain what I thought of his
ways, but I paid him every cent I owed him.
Thank God, I am not unreasonable!"
Neither was she unreasonable when Ethel
finally got her to listen to her own serious
grievance with Dora.
"If you will have a woman for a friend,
Ethel, you must put up with womanly ways;
and it is best to keep your mouth shut concerning
such ways. I hate to see you whimpering
and whining about wrongs you have
been cordially inviting for weeks and months
and years."
"Yes, you have been sowing thorns for
yourself, and then you go unshod over them.
I mean that Dora has this fine clergyman,
and Fred Mostyn, and her brother, and
mother, and father all on her side; all of
them sure that Dora can do no wrong, all of
them sure that Ethel, poor girl, must be mistaken,
or prudish, or jealous, or envious."
"Oh, grandmother, you are too cruel,"
"Why didn't you have a few friends on
your own side?"
"Father and Ruth never liked Dora. And
Fred--I told you how Fred acted as soon as
he saw her!"
"There was Royal Wheelock, James Clifton,
or that handsome Dick Potter. Why
didn't you ask them to join you at your
lunches and dances? You ought to have pillared
your own side. A girl without her beaux
is always on the wrong side if the girl with
beaux is against her."
"It was the great time of Dora's life. I
wished her to have all the glory of it."
"All her own share--that was right. All
of your share, also--that was as wrong as it
could be."
"Clifton is yachting, Royal and I had a
little misunderstanding, and Dick Potter is
too effusive."
"But Dick's effusiveness would have been
a good thing for Fred's effusiveness. Two
men can't go on a complimentary ran-tan at
the same table. They freeze one another out.
That goes without saying. But Dora's
indiscretions are none of your business while
she is under her father's roof; and I don't
know if she hadn't a friend in the world, if
they would be your business. I have always
been against people trying to do the work
of THEM that are above us. We are told THEY
seek and THEY save, and it's likely they will
look after Dora in spite of her being so unknowing
of herself as to marry a priest in a
surplice, when a fool in motley would have
been more like the thing."
"I don't want to quarrel with Dora. After
all, I like her. We have been friends a long
"Well, then, don't make an enemy of her.
One hundred friends are too few against one
enemy. One hundred friends will wish you
well, and one enemy will DO you ill. God love
you, child! Take the world as you find it.
Only God can make it any better. When is
this blessed wedding to come off?"
"In two weeks. You got cards, did you
"I believe I did. They don't matter. Let
Dora and her flirtations alone, unless you set
your own against them. Like cures like. If
the priest sees nothing wrong----"
"He thinks all she does is perfect."
"I dare say. Priests are a soft lot, they'll
believe anything. He's love-blind at present.
Some day, like the prophet of Pethor,[1] he will
get his eyes opened. As for Fred Mostyn, I
shall have a good deal to say about him by
and by, so I'll say nothing now."
[1] One of the Hebrew prophets.
"You promised, grandmother, not to talk
to me any more about Fred."
"It was a very inconsiderate promise, a
very irrational promise! I am sorry I made
it--and I don't intend to keep it."
"Well, it takes two to hold a conversation,
"To be sure it does. But if I talk to you,
I hope to goodness you will have the decency
to answer me. I wouldn't believe anything
different." And she looked into Ethel's face
with such a smiling confidence in her good
will and obedience, that Ethel could only
laugh and give her twenty kisses as she stood
up to put on her hat and coat.
"You always get your way, Granny," she
said; and the old lady, as she walked with her
to the door, answered, "I have had my way
for nearly eighty years, dearie, and I've
found it a very good way. I'm not likely
to change it now."
"And none of us want you to change it,
dear. Granny's way is always a wise way."
And she kissed her again ere she ran down
the steps to her carriage. Yet as the old lady
stepped slowly back to the parlor, she muttered,
"Fred Mostyn is a fool! If he had
any sense when he left England, he has lost
it since he came here."
Of course nothing good came of this irritable
interference. Meddling with the conscience
of another person is a delicate and
difficult affair, and Ruth had already warned
Ethel of its certain futility. But the days
were rapidly wearing away to the great day,
for which so many other days had been wasted
in fatiguing worry, and incredible extravagance
of health and temper and money--and
after it? There would certainly be a break
in associations. Temptation would be removed,
and Basil Stanhope, relieved for a
time from all the duties of his office, would
have continual opportunities for making
eternally secure the affection of the woman
he had chosen.
It was to be a white wedding, and for
twenty hours previous to its celebration it
seemed as if all the florists in New York were
at work in the Denning house and in St.
Jude's church. The sacred place was radiant
with white lilies. White lilies everywhere;
and the perfume would have been overpowering,
had not the weather been so exquisite
that open windows were possible and even
pleasant. To the softest strains of music
Dora entered leaning on her father's arm
and her beauty and splendor evoked from the
crowd present an involuntary, simultaneous
stir of wonder and delight. She had hesitated
many days between the simplicity of
white chiffon and lilies of the valley, and the
magnificence of brocaded satin in which a
glittering thread of silver was interwoven.
The satin had won the day, and the sunshine
fell upon its beauty, as she knelt at the altar,
like sunshine falling upon snow. It shone
and gleamed and glistened as if it were an
angel's robe; and this scintillating effect was
much increased by the sparkling of the diamonds
in her hair, and at her throat and
waist and hands and feet. Nor was her brilliant
youth affected by the overshadowing
tulle usually so unbecoming. It veiled her
from head to feet, and was held in place by
a diamond coronal. All her eight maids,
though lovely girls, looked wan and of the
earth beside her. For her sake they had been
content with the simplicity of chiffon and
white lace hats, and she stood among them
lustrous as some angelic being. Stanhope
was entranced by her beauty, and no one
on this day wondered at his infatuation or
thought remarkable the ecstasy of reverent
rapture with which he received the hand of
his bride. His sense of the gift was ravishing.
She was now his love, his wife forever,
and when Ethel slipped forward to part and
throw backward the concealing veil, he very
gently restrained her, and with his own hands
uncovered the blushing beauty, and kissed
her there at the altar. Then amid a murmur
and stir of delighted sympathy he took his
wife upon his arm, and turned with her to
the life they were to face together.
Two hours later all was a past dream.
Bride and bridegroom had slipped quietly
away, and the wedding guests had arrived at
that rather noisy indifference which presages
the end of an entertainment. Then flushed
and tired with hurrying congratulations and
good wishes that stumbled over each other,
carriage after carriage departed; and Ethel
and her companions went to Dora's parlor to
rest awhile and discuss the event of the day.
But Dora's parlor was in a state of confusion.
It had, too, an air of loss, and felt like a gilded
cage from which the bird had flown. They
looked dismally at its discomfort and went
downstairs. Men were removing the faded
flowers or sitting at the abandoned table eating
and drinking. Everywhere there was
disorder and waste, and from the servants'
quarter came a noisy sense of riotous feasting.
"Where is Mrs. Denning?" Ethel asked a
footman who was gathering together the silver
with the easy unconcern of a man whose
ideas were rosy with champagne. He looked
up with a provoking familiarity at the question,
and sputtered out, "She's lying down
crying and making a fuss. Miss Day is with
her, soothing of her."
"Let us go home," said Ethel.
And so, weary with pleasure, and heartheavy
with feelings that had no longer any
reason to exist, pale with fatigue, untidy with
crush, their pretty white gowns sullied and
passe, each went her way; in every heart a
wonder whether the few hilarious hours of
strange emotions were worth all they claimed
as their right and due.
Ruth had gone home earlier, and Ethel
found her resting in her room. "I am worn
out, Ruth," was her first remark. "I am
going to bed for three or four days. It was
a dreadful ordeal."
"One to which you may have to submit."
"Certainly not. My marriage will be a
religious ceremony, with half a dozen of my
nearest relatives as witnesses."
"I noticed Fred slip away before Dora
went. He looked ill."
"I dare say he is ill--and no wonder.
Good night, Ruth. I am going to sleep. Tell
father all about the wedding. I don't want
to hear it named again--not as long as I live."
THREE days passed and Ethel had regained
her health and spirits, but Fred Mostyn had
not called since the wedding. Ruth thought
some inquiry ought to be made, and Judge
Rawdon called at the Holland House. There
he was told that Mr. Mostyn had not been
well, and the young man's countenance painfully
confessed the same thing.
"My dear Fred, why did you not send us
word you were ill?" asked the Judge.
"I had fever, sir, and I feared it might be
typhoid. Nothing of the kind, however. I
shall be all right in a day or two."
The truth was far from typhoid, and Fred
knew it. He had left the wedding breakfast
because he had reached the limit of his
endurance. Words, stinging as whips, burned
like hot coals in his mouth, and he felt that
he could not restrain them much longer.
Hastening to his hotel, he locked himself in
his rooms, and passed the night in a frenzy
of passion. The very remembrance of the
bridegroom's confident transport put murder
in his heart--murder which he could only
practice by his wishes, impotent to compass
their desires.
"I wish the fellow shot! I wish him
hanged! I would kill him twenty times in
twenty different ways! And Dora! Dora!
Dora! What did she see in him? What
could she see? Love her? He knows nothing
of love--such love as tortures me."
Backwards and forwards he paced the floor
to such imprecations and ejaculations as
welled up from the whirlpool of rage in his
heart, hour following hour, till in the blackness
of his misery he could no longer speak.
His brain had become stupefied by the iteration
of inevitable loss, and so refused any
longer to voice a woe beyond remedy. Then
he stood still and called will and reason to
council him. "This way madness lies," he
thought. "I must be quiet--I must sleep--
I must forget."
But it was not until the third day that a
dismal, sullen stillness succeeded the storm
of rage and grief, and he awoke from a sleep
of exhaustion feeling as if he were withered
at his heart. He knew that life had to be
taken up again, and that in all its farces
he must play his part. At first the thought
of Mostyn Hall presented itself as an asylum.
It stood amid thick woods, and there were
miles of wind-blown wolds and hills around
it. He was lord and master there, no one
could intrude upon his sorrow; he could nurse
it in those lonely rooms to his heart's content.
Every day, however, this gloomy resolution
grew fainter, and one morning he awoke and
laughed it to scorn.
"Frederick's himself again," he quoted,
"and he must have been very far off himself
when he thought of giving up or of running
away. No, Fred Mostyn, you will stay here.
'Tis a country where the impossible does not
exist, and the unlikely is sure to happen--a
country where marriage is not for life or
death, and where the roads to divorce are
manifold and easy. There are a score of
ways and means. I will stay and think them
over; 'twill be odd if I cannot force Fate to
change her mind."
A week after Dora's marriage he found
himself able to walk up the avenue to the
Rawdon house; but he arrived there weary
and wan enough to instantly win the sympathy
of Ruth and Ethel, and he was immensely
strengthened by the sense of home
and kindred, and of genuine kindness to
which he felt a sort of right. He asked Ruth
if he might eat dinner with them. He said
he was hungry, and the hotel fare did not
tempt him. And when Judge Rawdon returned
he welcomed him in the same generous
spirit, and the evening passed delightfully
away. At its close, however, as Mostyn stood
gloved and hatted, and the carriage waited for
him, he said a few words to Judge Rawdon
which changed the mental and social atmosphere.
"I wish to have a little talk with you,
sir, on a business matter of some importance.
At what hour can I see you to-morrow?"
"I am engaged all day until three in the
afternoon, Fred. Suppose I call on you about
four or half-past?"
"Very well, sir."
But both Ethel and Ruth wondered if it
was "very well." A shadow, fleeting as
thought, had passed over Judge Rawdon's
face when he heard the request for a business
interview, and after the young man's departure
he lost himself in a reverie which
was evidently not a happy one. But he said
nothing to the girls, and they were not
accustomed to question him.
The next morning, instead of going direct
to his office, he stopped at Madam, his mother's
house in Gramercy Park. A visit at such
an early hour was unusual, and the old lady
looked at him in alarm.
"We are well, mother," he said as she
rose. "I called to talk to you about a little
business." Whereupon Madam sat down,
and became suddenly about twenty years
younger, for "business" was a word like a
watch-cry; she called all her senses together
when it was uttered in her presence.
"Business!" she ejaculated sharply.
"Whose business?"
"I think I may say the business of the
whole family."
"Nay, I am not in it. My business is just
as I want it, and I am not going to talk about
it--one way or the other."
"Is not Rawdon Court of some interest to
you? It has been the home and seat of the
family for many centuries. A good many.
Mostyn women have been its mistress."
"I never heard of any Mostyn woman who
would not have been far happier away from
Rawdon Court. It was a Calvary to them all.
There was little Nannie Mostyn, who died
with her first baby because Squire Anthony
struck her in a drunken passion; and the
proud Alethia Mostyn, who suffered twenty
years' martyrdom from Squire John; and
Sara, who took thirty thousand pounds to
Squire Hubert, to fling away at the green
table; and Harriet, who was made by her
husband, Squire Humphrey, to jump a fence
when out hunting with him, and was brought
home crippled and scarred for life--a lovely
girl of twenty who went through agonies for
eleven years without aught of love and help,
and died alone while he was following a fox;
and there was pretty Barbara Mostyn----"
"Come, come, mother. I did not call here
this morning to hear the Rawdons abused,
and you forget your own marriage. It was
a happy one, I am sure. One Rawdon, at
least, must be excepted; and I think I treated
my wife as a good husband ought to treat a
"Not you! You treated Mary very badly."
"Mother, not even from you----"
"I'll say it again. The little girl was
dying for a year or more, and you were so
busy making money you never saw it. If
she said or looked a little complaint, you
moved restless-like and told her `she moped
too much.' As the end came I spoke to you,
and you pooh-poohed all I said. She went
suddenly, I know, to most people, but she
knew it was her last day, and she longed so
to see you, that I sent a servant to hurry you
home, but she died before you could make up
your mind to leave your `cases.' She and
I were alone when she whispered her last
message for you--a loving one, too."
"Mother! Mother! Why recall that bitter
day? I did not think--I swear I did not
"Never mind swearing. I was just reminding
you that the Rawdons have not been
the finest specimens of good husbands. They
make landlords, and judges, and soldiers, and
even loom-lords of a very respectable sort;
but husbands! Lord help their poor wives!
So you see, as a Mostyn woman, I have no
special interest in Rawdon Court."
"You would not like it to go out of the
"I should not worry myself if it did."
"I suppose you know Fred Mostyn has a
mortgage on it that the present Squire is unable
to lift."
"Aye, Fred told me he had eighty thousand
pounds on the old place. I told him he
was a fool to put his money on it."
"One of the finest manors and manorhouses
in England, mother."
"I have seen it. I was born and brought
up near enough to it, I think."
"Eighty thousand pounds is a bagatelle
for the place; yet if Fred forces a sale, it may
go for that, or even less. I can't bear to think
of it."
"Why not buy it yourself?"
"I would lift the mortgage to-morrow if I
had the means. I have not at present."
"Well, I am in the same box. You have
just spoken as if the Mostyns and Rawdons
had an equal interest in Rawdon Court.
Very well, then, it cannot be far wrong for
Fred Mostyn to have it. Many a Mostyn has
gone there as wife and slave. I would dearly
like to see one Mostyn go as master."
"I shall get no help from you, then, I
understand that."
"I'm Mostyn by birth, I'm only Rawdon
by, marriage. The birth-band ties me fast to
my family."
"Good morning, mother. You have failed
me for the first time in your life."
"If the money had been for you, Edward,
or yours----"
"It is--good-by."
She called him back peremptorily, and he
returned and stood at the open door.
"Why don't you ask Ethel?"
"I did not think I had the right, mother."
"More right to ask her than I. See what
she says. She's Rawdon, every inch of her."
"Perhaps I may. Of course, I can sell
securities, but it would be at a sacrifice a great
sacrifice at present."
"Ethel has the cash; and, as I said, she is
Rawdon--I'm not."
"I wish my father were alive."
"He wouldn't move me--you needn't think
that. What I have said to you I would have
said to him. Speak to Ethel. I'll be bound
she'll listen if Rawdon calls her."
"I don't like to speak to Ethel."
"It isn't what you like to do, it's what you
find you'll have to do, that carries the day;
and a good thing, too, considering."
"Good morning, again. You are not quite
yourself, I think."
"Well, I didn't sleep last night, so there's
no wonder if I'm a bit cross this morning.
But if I lose my temper, I keep my understanding."
She was really cross by this time. Her son
had put her in a position she did not like to
assume. No love for Rawdon Court was in
her heart. She would rather have advanced
the money to buy an American estate. She
had been little pleased at Fred's mortgage on
the old place, but to the American Rawdons
she felt it would prove a white elephant; and
the appeal to Ethel was advised because she
thought it would amount to nothing. In the
first place, the Judge had the strictest idea
of the sacredness of the charge committed
to him as guardian of his daughter's fortune.
In the second, Ethel inherited from
her Yorkshire ancestry an intense sense of
the value and obligations of money. She was
an ardent American, and not likely to spend
it on an old English manor; and, furthermore,
Madam's penetration had discovered
a growing dislike in her granddaughter for
Fred Mostyn.
"She'd never abide him for a lifelong
neighbor," the old lady decided. "It is the
Rawdon pride in her. The Rawdon men have
condescended to go to Mostyn for wives many
and many a time, but never once have the
Mostyn men married a Rawdon girl--proud,
set-up women, as far as I remember; and
Ethel has a way with her just like them. Fred
is good enough and nice enough for any girl,
and I wonder what is the matter with him!
It is a week and more since he was here, and
then he wasn't a bit like himself."
At this moment the bell rang and she heard
Fred's voice inquiring "if Madam was at
home." Instantly she divined the motive of
his call. The young man had come to the
conclusion the Judge would try to influence
his mother, and before meeting him in the
afternoon he wished to have some idea of the
trend matters were likely to take. His policy
--cunning, Madam called it--did not please
her. She immediately assured herself that
"she wouldn't go against her own flesh and
blood for anyone," and his wan face and general
air of wretchedness further antagonized
her. She asked him fretfully "what he had
been doing to himself, for," she added, "it's
mainly what we do to ourselves that makes
us sick. Was it that everlasting wedding of
the Denning girl?"
He flushed angrily, but answered with much
of the same desire to annoy, "I suppose it
was. I felt it very much. Dora was the loveliest
girl in the city. There are none left like
"It will be a good thing for New York if
that is the case. I'm not one that wants the
city to myself, but I can spare Dora STANHOPE,
and feel the better for it."
"The most beautiful of God's creatures!"
"You've surely lost your sight or your
judgment, Fred. She is just a dusky-skinned
girl, with big, brown eyes. You can pick her
sort up by the thousand in any large city.
And a wandering-hearted, giddy creature, too,
that will spread as she goes, no doubt. I'm
sorry for Basil Stanhope, he didn't deserve
such a fate."
"Indeed, he did not! It is beyond measure
too good for him."
"I've always heard that affliction is the
surest way to heaven. Dora will lead him
that road, and it will be more sure than pleasant.
Poor fellow! He'll soon be as ready to
curse his wedding-day as Job was to curse his
birthday. A costly wife she will be to keep,
and misery in the keeping of her. But if you
came to talk to me about Dora STANHOPE, I'll
cease talking, for I don't find it any great
"I came to talk to you about Squire Rawdon."
"What about the Squire? Keep it in your
mind that he and I were sweethearts when we
were children. I haven't forgotten that fact."
"You know Rawdon Court is mortgaged
to me?"
"I've heard you say so--more than once."
"I intend to foreclose the mortgage in
September. I find that I can get twice yes,
three times--the interest for my money in
American securities."
"How do you know they are securities?"
"Bryce Denning has put me up to several
good things."
"Well, if you think good things can come
that road, you are a bigger fool than I ever
thought you."
"Fool! Madam, I allow no one to call me
a fool, especially without reason."
"Reason, indeed! What reason was there
in your dillydallying after Dora Denning
when she was engaged, and then making yourself
like a ghost for her after she is married?
As for the good things Bryce Denning offers
you in exchange for a grand English manor,
take them, and then if I called you not fool
before, I will call you fool in your teeth twice
over, and much too good for you! Aye, I
could call you a worse name when I think of
the old Squire--he's two years older than I
am--being turned out of his lifelong home.
Where is he to go to?"
"If I buy the place, for of course it will
have to be sold, he is welcome to remain at
Rawdon Court."
"And he would deserve to do it if he were
that low-minded; but if I know Squire Percival,
he will go to the poor-house first. Fred,
you would surely scorn such a dirty thing as
selling the old man out of house and home?"
"I want my money, or else I want Rawdon
"And I have no objections either to your
wanting it or having it, but, for goodness'
sake, wait until death gives you a decent warrant
for buying it."
"I am afraid to delay. The Squire has
been very cool with me lately, and my agent
tells me the Tyrrel-Rawdons have been visiting
him, also that he has asked a great many
questions about the Judge and Ethel. He
is evidently trying to prevent me getting
possession, and I know that old Nicholas
Rawdon would give his eyelids to own Rawdon
Court. As to the Judge----"
"My son wants none of it. You can make
your mind easy on that score."
"I think I behaved very decently, though,
of course, no one gives me credit for it; for
as soon as I saw I must foreclose in order to
get my own I thought at once of Ethel. It
seemed to me that if we could love each other
the money claims of Mostyn and the inherited
claims of Rawdon would both be satisfied.
Unfortunately, I found that I could not love
Ethel as a wife should be loved."
"And I can tell you, Fred, that Ethel
never could have loved you as a husband
should be loved. She was a good deal disappointed
in you from the very first."
"I thought I made a favorable impression
on her."
"In a way. She said you played the piano
nicely; but Ethel is all for handsome men,
tall, erect six-footers, with a little swing and
swagger to them. She thought you small
and finicky. But Ethel's rich enough to have
her fancy, I hope."
"It is little matter now what she thought.
I can't please every one."
"No, it's rather harder to do that than
most people think it is. I would please my
conscience first of all, Fred. That's the point
worth mentioning. And I shall just remind
you of one thing more: your money all in a
lump on Rawdon Manor is safe. It is in one
place, and in such shape as it can't run away
nor be smuggled away by any man's trickery.
Now, then, turn your eighty thousand pounds
into dollars, and divide them among a score
of securities, and you'll soon find out that a
fortune may be easily squandered when it is
in a great many hands, and that what looks
satisfactory enough when reckoned up on
paper doesn't often realize in hard money to
the same tune. I've said all now I am going
to say."
"Thank you for the advice given me. I
will take it as far as I can. This afternoon
the Judge has promised to talk over the business
with me."
"The Judge never saw Rawdon Court, and
he cares nothing about it, but he can give you
counsel about the `good things' Bryce Denning
offers you. And you may safely listen
to it, for, right or wrong, I see plainly it is
your own advice you will take in the long
Mostyn laughed pleasantly and went back
to his hotel to think over the facts gleaned
from his conversation with Madam. In the
first place, he understood that any overt act
against Squire Rawdon would be deeply resented
by his American relatives. But then
he reminded himself that his own relationship
with them was merely sentiment. He
had now nothing to hope for in the way of
money. Madam's apparently spontaneous
and truthful assertion, that the Judge cared
nothing for Rawdon Court, was, however,
very satisfactory to him. He had been foolish
enough to think that the thing he desired
so passionately was of equal value in the
estimation of others. He saw now that he was
wrong, and he then remembered that he had
never found Judge Rawdon to evince either
interest or curiosity about the family home.
If he had been a keen observer, the Judge's
face when he called might have given his
comfortable feelings some pause. It was contracted,
subtle, intricate, but he came forward
with a congratulation on Mostyn's improved
appearance. "A few weeks at the seaside
would do you good," he added, and Mostyn
answered, "I think of going to Newport for
a month."
"And then?"
"I want your opinion about that. McLean
advises me to see the country--to go to Chicago,
St. Louis, Denver, cross the Rockies,
and on to California. It seems as if that
would be a grand summer programme. But
my lawyer writes me that the man in charge
at Mostyn is cutting too much timber and is
generally too extravagant. Then there is the
question of Rawdon Court. My finances will
not let me carry the mortgage on it longer,
unless I buy the place."
"Are you thinking of that as probable?"
"Yes. It will have to be sold. And Mostyn
seems to be the natural owner after Rawdon.
The Mostyns have married Rawdons
so frequently that we are almost like one
family, and Rawdon Court lies, as it were,
at Mostyn's gate. The Squire is now old,
and too easily persuaded for his own welfare,
and I hear the Tyrrel-Rawdons have been
visiting him. Such a thing would have been
incredible a few years ago."
"Who are the Tyrrel-Rawdons? I have
no acquaintance with them."
"They are the descendants of that Tyrrel-
Rawdon who a century ago married a handsome
girl who was only an innkeeper's
daughter. He was of course disowned and
disinherited, and his children sank to the
lowest social grade. Then when power-loom
weaving was introduced they went to the
mills, and one of them was clever and saved
money and built a little mill of his own, and
his son built a much larger one, and made a
great deal of money, and became Mayor of
Leeds. The next generation saw the Tyrrel-
Rawdons the largest loom-lords in Yorkshire.
One of the youngest generation was my opponent
in the last election and beat me--a
Radical fellow beats the Conservative candidate
always where weavers and spinners hold
the vote but I thought it my duty to uphold
the Mostyn banner. You know the Mostyns
have always been Tories and Conservatives."
"Excuse me, but I am afraid I am ignorant
concerning Mostyn politics. I take little interest
in the English parties."
"Naturally. Well, I hope you will take an
interest in my affairs and give me your advice
about the sale of Rawdon Court."
"I think my advice would be useless. In
the first place, I never saw the Court. My
father had an old picture of it, which has
somehow disappeared since his death, but I
cannot say that even this picture interested
me at all. You know I am an American, born
on the soil, and very proud of it. Then, as
you are acquainted with all the ins and outs
of the difficulties and embarrassments, and I
know nothing at all about them, you would
hardly be foolish enough to take my opinion
against your own. I suppose the Squire is
in favor of your buying the Court?"
"I never named the subject to him. I
thought perhaps he might have written to
you on the matter. You are the last male of
the house in that line."
"He has never written to me about the
Court. Then, I am not the last male. From
what you say, I think the Tyrrel-Rawdons
could easily supply an heir to Rawdon."
"That is the thing to be avoided. It would
be a great offense to the county families."
"Why should they be considered? A
Rawdon is always a Rawdon."
"But a cotton spinner, sir! A mere millowner!"
"Well, I do not feel with you and the
other county people in that respect. I think
a cotton spinner, giving bread to a thousand
families, is a vastly more respectable and
important man than a fox-hunting, idle landlord.
A mill-owning Rawdon might do a deal of
good in the sleepy old village of Monk-Rawdon."
"Your sentiments are American, not English,
"As I told you, we look at things from
very different standpoints."
"Do you feel inclined to lift the mortgage
yourself, Judge?"
"I have not the power, even if I had the
inclination to do so. My money is well invested,
and I could not, at this time, turn bonds and
securities into cash without making a sacrifice
not to be contemplated. I confess, however,
that if the Court has to be sold, I should
like the Tyrrel-Rawdons to buy it. I dare
say the picture of the offending youth is still
in the gallery, and I have heard my mother
say that what is another's always yearns for
its lord. Driven from his heritage for Love's
sake, it would be at least interesting if Gold
gave back to his children what Love lost
"That is pure sentiment. Surely it would
be more natural that the Mostyns should succeed
the Rawdons. We have, as it were,
bought the right with at least a dozen
"That also is pure sentiment. Gold at
last will carry the succession."
"But not your gold, I infer?"
"Not my gold; certainly not."
"Thank you for your decisive words
They make my course clear."
"That is well. As to your summer movements,
I am equally unable to give you advice.
I think you need the sea for a month,
and after that McLean's scheme is good.
And a return to Mostyn to look after your
affairs is equally good. If I were you, I
should follow my inclinations. If you put
your heart into anything, it is well done and
enjoyed; if you do a thing because you think
you ought to do it, failure and disappointment
are often the results. So do as you want
to do; it is the only advice I can offer you."
"Thank you, sir. It is very acceptable. I
may leave for Newport to-morrow. I shall
call on the ladies in the morning."
"I will tell them, but it is just possible
that they, too, go to the country to-morrow,
to look after a little cottage on the Hudson
we occupy in the summer. Good-by, and
I hope you will soon recover your usual
Then the Judge lifted his hat, and with a
courteous movement left the room. His face
had the same suave urbanity of expression,
but he could hardly restrain the passion in
his heart. Placid as he looked when he entered
his house, he threw off all pretenses as
soon as he reached his room. The Yorkshire
spirit which Ethel had declared found him out
once in three hundred and sixty-four days
and twenty-three hours was then in full possession.
The American Judge had disappeared.
He looked as like his ancestors as
anything outside of a painted picture could
do. His flushed face, his flashing eyes, his
passionate exclamations, the stamp of his
foot, the blow of his hand, the threatening
attitude of his whole figure was but a replica
of his great-grandfather, Anthony Rawdon,
giving Radicals at the hustings or careless
keepers at the kennels "a bit of his mind."
"`Mostyn, seems to be the natural owner
of Rawdon! Rawdon Court lies at Mostyn's
gate! Natural that the Mostyns should succeed
the Rawdons! Bought the right by a
dozen intermarriages!' Confound the impudent
rascal! Does he think I will see
Squire Rawdon rogued out of his home? Not
if I can help it! Not if Ethel can help it!
Not if heaven and earth can help it! He's
a downright rascal! A cool, unruffled, impudent
rascal!" And these ejaculations were
followed by a bitter, biting, blasting hailstorm
of such epithets as could only be written
with one letter and a dash.
But the passion of imprecation cooled and
satisfied his anger in this its first impetuous
outbreak, and he sat down, clasped the arms
of his chair, and gave himself a peremptory
order of control. In a short time he rose,
bathed his head and face in cold water, and
began to dress for dinner. And as he stood
before the glass he smiled at the restored
color and calm of his countenance.
"You are a prudent lawyer," he said
sarcastically. "How many actionable words
have you just uttered! If the devil and Fred
Mostyn have been listening, they can, as
mother says, `get the law on you'; but I
think Ethel and I and the law will be a match
even for the devil and Fred Mostyn." Then,
as he slowly went downstairs, he repeated to
himself, "Mostyn seems to be the natural
owner of Rawdon. No, sir, neither natural
nor legal owner. Rawdon Court lies at Mostyn
gate. Not yet. Mostyn lies at Rawdon
gate. Natural that the Mostyns should succeed
the Rawdons. Power of God! Neither
in this generation nor the next."
And at the same moment Mostyn, having
thought over his interview with Judge Rawdon,
walked thoughtfully to a window and
muttered to himself: "Whatever was the
matter with the old man? Polite as a courtier,
but something was wrong. The room
felt as if there was an iceberg in it, and
he kept his right hand in his pocket. I believe
he was afraid I would shake hands with
him--it is Ethel, I suppose. Naturally he is
disappointed. Wanted her at Rawdon. Well,
it is a pity, but I really cannot! Oh, Dora!
Dora! My heart, my hungry and thirsty
heart calls you! Burning with love, dying
with longing, I am waiting for you!"
The dinner passed pleasantly enough, but
both Ethel and Ruth noticed the Judge was
under strong but well-controlled feeling.
While servants were present it passed for
high spirits, but as soon as the three were
alone in the library, the excitement took at
once a serious aspect.
"My dears," he said, standing up and
facing them, "I have had a very painful interview
with Fred Mostyn. He holds a mortgage
over Rawdon Court, and is going to
press it in September--that is, he proposes
to sell the place in order to obtain his money
--and the poor Squire!" He ceased speaking,
walked across the room and back again,
and appeared greatly disturbed.
"What of the Squire?" asked Ruth.
"God knows, Ruth. He has no other
"Why is this thing to be done? Is there
no way to prevent it?"
"Mostyn wants the money, he says, to invest
in American securities. He does not.
He wants to force a sale, so that he may buy
the place for the mortgage, and then either
keep it for his pride, or more likely resell it
to the Tyrrel-Rawdons for double the money."
Then with gradually increasing passion he
repeated in a low, intense voice the remarks
which Mostyn had made, and which had so
infuriated the Judge. Before he had finished
speaking the two women had caught his temper
and spirit. Ethel's face was white with
anger, her eyes flashing, her whole attitude
full of fight. Ruth was troubled and sorrowful,
and she looked anxiously at the Judge
for some solution of the condition. It was
Ethel who voiced the anxiety. "Father,"
she asked, "what is to be done? What can
you do?"
"Nothing, I am sorry to say, Ethel. My
money is absolutely tied up--for this year,
at any rate. I cannot touch it without wronging
others as well as myself, nor yet without
the most ruinous sacrifice."
"If I could do anything, I would not care
at what sacrifice."
"You can do all that is necessary, Ethel,
and you are the only person who can. You
have at least eight hundred thousand dollars
in cash and negotiable securities. Your
mother's fortune is all yours, with its legitimate
accruements, and it was left at your
own disposal after your twenty-first birthday.
It has been at your own disposal WITH
MY CONSENT since your nineteenth birthday."
"Then, father, we need not trouble about
the Squire. I wish with all my heart to make
his home sure to him as long as he lives. You
are a lawyer, you know what ought to be
"Good girl! I knew what you would say
and do, or I should not have told you the
trouble there was at Rawdon. Now, I propose
we all make a visit to Rawdon Court, see
the Squire and the property, and while there
perfect such arrangements as seem kindest
and wisest. Ruth, how soon can we be ready
to sail?"
"Father, do you really mean that we are
to go to England?"
"It is the only thing to do. I must see that
all is as Mostyn says. I must not let you
throw your money away."
"That is only prudent," said Ruth, "and
we can be ready for the first steamer if you
wish it."
"I am delighted, father. I long to see
England; more than all, I long to see Rawdon.
I did not know until this moment how
much I loved it."
"Well, then, I will have all ready for us
to sail next Saturday. Say nothing about it
to Mostyn. He will call to-morrow morning
to bid you good-by before leaving for Newport
with McLean. Try and be out."
"I shall certainly be out," said Ethel.
"I do not wish ever to see his face again, and
I must see grandmother and tell her what we
are going to do."
"I dare say she guesses already. She advised
me to ask you about the mortgage. She
knew what you would say."
"Father, who are the Tyrrel-Rawdons?"
Then the Judge told the story of the young
Tyrrel-Rawdon, who a century ago had lost
his world for Love, and Ethel said "she
liked him better than any Rawdon she had
ever heard of."
"Except your father, Ethel."
"Except my father; my dear, good father.
And I am glad that Love did not always make
them poor. They must now be rich, if they
want to buy the Court."
"They are rich manufacturers. Mostyn
is much annoyed that the Squire has begun
to notice them. He says one of the grandsons
of the Tyrrel-Rawdons, disinherited for
love's sake, came to America some time in
the forties. I asked your grandmother if
this story was true. She said it is quite true;
that my father was his friend in the matter,
and that it was his reports about America
which made them decide to try their fortune
in New York."
"Does she know what became of him?"
"No. In his last letter to them he said he
had just joined a party going to the gold
fields of California. That was in 1850. He
never wrote again. It is likely he perished
on the terrible journey across the plains.
Many thousands did."
"When I am in England I intend to call
upon these Tyrrel-Rawdons. I think I shall
like them. My heart goes out to them. I am
proud of this bit of romance in the family."
"Oh, there is plenty of romance behind
you, Ethel. When you see the old Squire
standing at the entrance to the Manor House,
you may see the hags of Cressy and Agincourt,
of Marston and Worcester behind him.
And the Rawdon women have frequently been
daughters of Destiny. Many of them have
lived romances that would be incredible if
written down. Oh, Ethel, dear, we cannot,
we cannot for our lives, let the old home fall
into the hands of strangers. At any rate, if
on inspection we think it wrong to interfere,
I can at least try and get the children of the
disinherited Tyrrel back to their home. Shall
we leave it at this point for the present?"
This decision was agreeable to all, and
then the few preparations necessary for the
journey were talked over, and in this happy
discussion the evening passed rapidly. The
dream of Ethel's life had been this visit to
the home of her family, and to go as its savior
was a consummation of the pleasure that
filled her with loving pride. She could not
sleep for her waking dreams. She made all
sorts of resolutions about the despised Tyrrel-
Rawdons. She intended to show the
proud, indolent world of the English landaristocracy
that Americans, just as well born
as themselves, respected business energy and
enterprise; and she had other plans and
propositions just as interesting and as full of
youth's impossible enthusiasm.
In the morning she went to talk the subject
over with her grandmother. The old
lady received the news with affected indifference.
She said, "It mattered nothing
to her who sat in Rawdon's seat; but she
would not hear Mostyn blamed for seeking
his right. Money and sentiment are no kin,"
she added, "and Fred has no sentiment about
Rawdon. Why should he? Only last summer
Rawdon kept him out of Parliament,
and made him spend a lot of money beside.
He's right to get even with the family if he
"But the old Squire! He is now----"
"I know; he's older than I am. But
Squire Percival has had his day, and Fred
would not do anything out of the way to
him--he could not; the county would make
both Mostyn and Rawdon very uncomfortable
places to live in, if he did."
"If you turn a man out of his home when
he is eighty years old, I think that is `out of
the way.' And Mr. Mostyn is not to be
trusted. I wouldn't trust him as far as I
could see him."
"Highty-tighty! He has not asked you
to trust him. You lost your chance there,
"Grandmother, I am astonished at you!"
"Well, it was a mean thing to say, Ethel;
but I like Fred, and I see the rest of my
family are against him. It's natural for
Yorkshire to help the weakest side. But
there, Fred can do his own fighting, I'll warrant.
He's not an ordinary man."
"I'm sorry to say he isn't, grandmother.
If he were he would speak without a drawl,
and get rid of his monocle, and not pay such
minute attention to his coats and vests and
walking sticks."
Then Ethel proceeded to explain her resolves
with regard to the Tyrrel-Rawdons.
"I shall pay them the greatest attention,"
she said. "It was a noble thing in young
Tyrrel-Rawdon to give up everything for
honorable love, and I think everyone ought
to have stood by him."
"That wouldn't have done at all. If Tyrrel
had been petted as you think he ought to
have been, every respectable young man and
woman in the county would have married
where their fancy led them; and the fancies
of young people mostly lead them to the road
it is ruin to take."
"From what Fred Mostyn says, Tyrrel's
descendants seem to have taken a very respectable
"I've nothing to say for or against them.
It's years and years since I laid eyes on any
of the family. Your grandfather helped one
of the young men to come to America, and
I remember his mother getting into a passion
about it. She was a fat woman in a
Paisley shawl and a love-bird on her bonnet.
I saw his sister often. She weighed about
twelve stone, and had red hair and red
cheeks and bare red elbows. She was called
a `strapping lass.' That is quite a complimentary
term in the West Riding."
"Please, grandmother, I don't want to
hear any more. In two weeks I shall be able
to judge for myself. Since then there have
been two generations, and if a member of
the present one is fit for Parliament----"
"That's nothing. We needn't look for
anything specially refined in Parliament in
these days. There's another thing. These
Tyrrel-Rawdons are chapel people. The rector
of Rawdon church would not marry Tyrrel
to his low-born love, and so they went to
the Methodist preacher, and after that to the
Methodist chapel. That put them down, more
than you can imagine here in America."
"It was a shame! Methodists are most
respectable people."
"I'm saying nothing contrary."
"The President is a Methodist."
"I never asked what he was. I am a
Church of England woman, you know that.
Born and bred in the Church, baptized,
confirmed, and married in the Church, and I
was always taught it was the only proper
Church for gentlemen and gentlewomen to be
saved in. However, English Methodists often
go back to the Church when they get rich."
"Church or chapel makes no difference to
me, grandmother. If people are only good."
"To be sure; but you won't be long in England
until you'll find out that some things
make a great deal of difference. Do you
know your father was here this morning?
He wanted me to go with you--a likely,
"But, grandmother, do come. We will
take such good care of you, and----"
"I know, but I'd rather keep my old
memories of Yorkshire than get new-fashioned
ones. All is changed. I can tell that
by what Fred says. My three great friends
are dead. They have left children and grandchildren,
of course, but I don't want to make
new acquaintances at my age, unless I have
the picking of them. No, I shall get Miss
Hillis to go with me to my little cabin on the
Jersey coast. We'll take our knitting and
the fresh novels, and I'll warrant we'll see
as much of the new men and women in them
as will more than satisfy us. But you must
write me long letters, and tell me everything
about the Squire and the way he keeps house,
and I don't care if you fill up the paper with
the Tyrrel-Rawdons."
"I will write you often, Granny, and tell
you everything."
"I shouldn't wonder if you come across
Dora Stanhope, but I wouldn't ask her to
Rawdon. She'll mix some cup of bother if
you do."
"I know."
In such loving and intimate conversation
the hours sped quickly, and Ethel could not
bear to cut short her visit. It was nearly five
when she left Gramercy Park, but the day
being lovely, and the avenue full of carriages
and pedestrians, she took the drive at its
enforced tardiness without disapproval.
Almost on entering the avenue from Madison
Square there was a crush, and her carriage
came to a standstill. She was then opposite
the store of a famous English saddler, and
near her was an open carriage occupied by a
middle-aged gentleman in military uniform.
He appeared to be waiting for someone, and
in a moment or two a young man came out of
the saddlery store, and with a pleasant laugh
entered the carriage. It was the Apollo of
her dreams, the singer of the Holland House
pavement. She could not doubt it. His face,
his figure, his walk, and the pleasant smile
with which he spoke to his companion were all
positive characteristics. She had forgotten
none of them. His dress was altered to suit
the season, but that was an improvement;
for divested of his heavy coat, and clothed
only in a stylish afternoon suit, his tall, fine
figure showed to great advantage; and Ethel
told herself that he was even handsomer than
she had supposed him to be.
Almost as soon as he entered his carriage
there was a movement, and she hoped her
driver might advance sufficiently to make
recognition possible, but some feeling, she
knew not what, prevented her giving any
order leading to this result. Perhaps she had
an instinctive presentiment that it was best
to leave all to Destiny. Toward the upper
part of the avenue the carriage of her eager
observation came to a stand before a warehouse
of antique furniture and bric-a-brac,
and, as it did so, a beautiful woman ran down
the steps, and Apollo, for so Ethel had mentally
called him, went hurriedly to meet her.
Finally her coachman passed the party, and
there was a momentary recognition. He was
bending forward, listening to something the
lady was saying, when the vehicles almost
touched each other. He flashed a glance at
them, and met the flash of Ethel's eyes full of
interest and curiosity.
It was over in a moment, but in that moment
Ethel saw his astonishment and delight,
and felt her own eager questioning answered.
Then she was joyous and full of hope, for
"these two silent meetings are promises," she
said to Ruth. "I feel sure I shall see him
again, and then we shall speak to each other."
"I hope you are not allowing yourself to
feel too much interest in this man, Ethel; he
is very likely married."
"Oh, no! I am sure he is not, Ruth."
"How can you be sure? You know nothing
about him."
"I cannot tell HOW I know, nor WHY I know,
but I believe what I feel; and he is as much
interested in me as I am in him. I confess
that is a great deal."
"You may never see him again."
"I shall expect to see him next winter, he
evidently lives in New York."
"The lady you saw may be his wife. Don't
be interested in any man on unknown ground,
Ethel. It is not prudent--it is not right."
"Time will show. He will very likely be
looking for me this summer at Newport and
elsewhere. He will be glad to see me when I
come home. Don't worry, Ruth. It is all
"Fred called soon after you went out this
morning. He left for Newport this afternoon.
He will be at sea now."
"And we shall be there in a few days.
When I am at the seaside I always feel a
delicious torpor; yet Nelly Baldwin told me
she loved an Atlantic passage because she had
such fun on board. You have crossed several
times, Ruth; is it fun or torpor?"
"All mirth at sea soon fades away, Ethel.
Passengers are a very dull class of people,
and they know it; they rebel against it, but
every hour it becomes more natural to be dull.
Very soon all mentally accommodate themselves
to being bored, dreamy and dreary.
Then, as soon as it is dark, comes that old
mysterious, hungering sound of the sea; and
I for one listen till I can bear it no longer,
and so steal away to bed with a pain in my
"I think I shall like the ocean. There are
games, and books, and company, and dinners,
and other things."
"Certainly, and you can think yourself
happy, until gradually a contented cretinism
steals over you, body and mind."
"No, no!" said Ethel enthusiastically.
"I shall do according to Swinburne--
"`Have therefore in my heart, and in my mouth,
The sound of song that mingles North and South;
And in my Soul the sense of all the Sea!'"
And Ruth laughed at her dramatic attitude,
and answered: "The soul of all the sea is a
contented cretinism, Ethel. But in ten days
we may be in Yorkshire. And then, my dear,
you may meet your Prince--some fine Yorkshire
"I have strictly and positively promised
myself that my Prince shall be a fine American
"My dear Ethel, it is very seldom
"`the time, and the place,
And the Loved One, come together.'"
"I live in the land of good hope, Ruth, and
my hopes will be realized."
"We shall see."
Song of Solomon, VI. 11.
IT was a lovely afternoon on the last day
of May. The sea and all the toil and travail
belonging to it was overpass, and Judge Rawdon,
Ruth and Ethel were driving in lazy,
blissful contentment through one of the
lovely roads of the West Riding. On either
hand the beautifully cut hedges were white
and sweet, and a caress of scent--the soul of
the hawthorne flower enfolded them. Robins
were singing on the topmost sprays, and the
linnet's sweet babbling was heard from the
happy nests in its secret places; while from
some unseen steeple the joyful sound of
chiming bells made music between heaven
and earth fit for bands of traveling angels.
They had dined at a wayside inn on jugged
hare, roast beef, and Yorkshire pudding,
clotted cream and haver (oaten) bread, and
the careless stillness of physical well-being
and of minds at ease needed no speech, but
the mutual smiling nod of intimate sympathy.
For the sense of joy and beauty which makes
us eloquent is far inferior to that sense which
makes us silent.
This exquisite pause in life was suddenly
ended by an exclamation from the Judge.
They were at the great iron gates of Rawdon
Park, and soon were slowly traversing its
woody solitudes. The soft light, the unspeakable
green of the turf, the voice of ancient
days murmuring in the great oak trees, the
deer asleep among the ferns, the stillness of
the summer afternoon filling the air with
drowsy peace this was the atmosphere into
which they entered. Their road through this
grand park of three hundred acres was a wide,
straight avenue shaded with beech trees. The
green turf on either hand was starred with
primroses. In the deep undergrowth, ferns
waved and fanned each other, and the scent
of hidden violets saluted as they passed.
Drowsily, as if half asleep, the blackbirds
whistled their couplets, and in the thickest
hedges the little brown thrushes sang softly
to their brooding mates. For half an hour
they kept this heavenly path, and then a sudden
turn brought them their first sight of the
old home.
It was a stately, irregular building of red
brick, sandaled and veiled in ivy. The numerous
windows were all latticed, the chimneys
in picturesque stacks, the sloping roof
made of flags of sandstone. It stood in the
center of a large garden, at the bottom of
which ran a babbling little river--a cheerful
tongue of life in the sweet, silent place. They
crossed it by a pretty bridge, and in a few
minutes stood at the great door of the mansion.
It was wide open, and the Squire, with
outstretched hands, rose to meet them. While
yet upon the threshold he kissed both Ethel
and Ruth, and, clasping the Judge's hand,
gazed at him with such a piercing, kindly
look that the eyes of both men filled with
He led them into the hall, and standing
there he seemed almost a part of it. In his
youth he had been a son of Anak, and his
great size had been matched by his great
strength. His stature was still large, his face
broad and massive, and an abundance of
snow-white hair emphasized the dignity of a
countenance which age had made nobler. The
generations of eight hundred years were crystallized
in this benignant old man, looking
with such eager interest into the faces of his
strange kindred from a far-off land.
In the evening they sat together in the old
hall talking of the Rawdons. "There is
great family of us, living and dead," said the
Squire, "and I count them all my friends.
Bare is the back that has no kin behind it.
That is not our case. Eight hundred years
ago there was a Rawdon in Rawdon, and one
has never been wanting since. Saxon, Danish,
Norman, and Stuart kings have been and
gone their way, and we remain; and I can
tell you every Rawdon born since the House
of Hanover came to England. We have had
our share in all England's strife and glory,
for if there was ever a fight going on anywhere
Rawdon was never far off. Yes, we
can string the centuries together in the battle
flags we have won. See there!" he cried,
pointing to two standards interwoven above
the central chimney-piece; "one was taken
from the Paynim in the first Crusade, and
the other my grandson took in Africa. It
seems but yesterday, and Queen Victoria gave
him the Cross for it. Poor lad, he had it on
when he died. It went to the grave with him.
I wouldn't have it touched. I fancy the Rawdons
would know it. No one dare say they
don't. I think they meddle a good deal more
with this life than we count on."
The days that followed were days in The
House Wonderful. It held the treasure-trove
of centuries; all its rooms were full of secrets.
Even the common sitting-room had an antique
homeliness that provoked questions as
to the dates of its furniture and the whereabouts
of its wall cupboards and hidden recesses.
Its china had the marks of forgotten
makers, its silver was puzzling with halfobliterated
names and dates, its sideboard of
oak was black with age and full of table
accessories, the very names of which were
forgotten. For this house had not been built in
the ordinary sense, it had grown through
centuries; grown out of desire and necessity,
just as a tree grows, and was therefore fit and
beautiful. And it was no wonder that about
every room floated the perfume of ancient
things and the peculiar family aura that had
saturated all the inanimate objects around
In a few days, life settled itself to orderly
occupations. The Squire was a late riser; the
Judge and his family breakfasted very early.
Then the two women had a ride in the park,
or wandered in the garden, or sat reading, or
sewing, or writing in some of the sweet, fair
rooms. Many visitors soon appeared, and
there were calls to return and courtesies to
accept. Among these visitors the Tyrrel-
Rawdons were the earliest. The representatives
of that family were Nicholas Rawdon
and his wife Lydia. Nicholas Rawdon was a
large, stout man, very arrogant, very complete,
very alert for this world, and not caring
much about the other. He was not pleased
at Judge Rawdon's visit, but thought it best
to be cousinly until his cousin interfered with
his plans--"rights" he called them--"and
then!" and his "THEN" implied a great
deal, for Nicholas Rawdon was a man incapable
of conceiving the idea of loving an
His wife was a pleasant, garrulous woman,
who interested Ethel very much. Her family
was her chief topic of conversation. She had
two daughters, one of whom had married a
baronet, "a man with money and easy to
manage"; and the other, "a rich cotton lord
in Manchester."
"They haven't done badly," she said
confidentially, "and it's a great thing to get girls
off your hands early. Adelaide and Martha
were well educated and suitable, but, "she
added with a glow of pride, "you should see
my John Thomas. He's manager of the mill,
and he loves the mill, and he knows every
pound of warp or weft that comes in or goes
out of the mill; and what his father would
do without him, I'm sure I don't know. And
he is a member of Parliament, too--Radical
ticket. Won over Mostyn. Wiped Mostyn
out pretty well. That was a thing to do,
wasn't it?"
"I suppose Mr. Mostyn was the Conservative
"You may be sure of that. But my John
Thomas doesn't blame him for it--the gentry
have to be Conservatives. John Thomas said
little against his politics; he just set the crowd
laughing at his ways--his dandified ways.
And he tried to wear one eyeglass, and let it
fall, and fall, and then told the men `he
couldn't manage half a pair of spectacles;
but he could manage their interests and fight
for their rights,' and such like talk. And he
walked like Mostyn, and he talked like Mostyn,
and spread out his legs, and twirled his
walking stick like Mostyn, and asked them
`if they would wish him to go to Parliament
in that kind of a shape, as he'd try and do it
if they wanted a tailor-made man'; and they
laughed him down, and then he spoke reasonable
to them. John Thomas knows what
Yorkshire weavers want, and he just promised
them everything they had set their hearts
on; and so they sent him to Parliament, and
Mostyn went to America, where, perhaps,
they'll teach him that a man's life is worth
a bit more than a bird or a rabbit. Mostyn
is all for preserving game, and his father was
a mean creature. When one thinks of his
father, one has to excuse the young man a
little bit."
"I saw a good deal of Mr. Mostyn in New
York," said Ethel. "He used to speak highly
of his father."
"I'll warrant he did; and he ought to keep
at it, for he's the only one in this world that
will use his tongue for that end. Old Samuel
Mostyn never learned to live godly or even
manly, but after his death he ceased to do
evil, and that, I've no doubt, often feels like
a blessing to them that had to live anyway
near to him. But my John Thomas!"
"Oh," cried Ethel, laughing, "you must
not tell me so much about John Thomas; he
might not like it."
"John Thomas can look all he does and
all he says straight in the face. You may
talk of him all day, and find nothing to say
that a good girl like you might not listen to.
I should have brought him with us, but he's
away now taking a bit of a holiday. I'm sure
he needs it."
"Where is he taking his holiday?"
"Why, he went with a cousin to show
him the sights of London; but somehow they
got through London sights very quick, and
thought they might as well put Paris in. I
wish they hadn't. I don't trust foreigners and
foreign ways, and they don't have the same
kind of money as ours; but Nicholas says I
needn't worry; he is sure that our John
Thomas, if change is to make, will make it to
suit himself."
"How soon will he be home?"
"I might say to-day or any other early
day. He's been idling for a month now, and
his father says `the very looms are calling
out for him.' I'll bring him to see you just
as soon as he comes home, looms or no looms,
and he'll be fain to come. No one appreciates
a pretty girl more than John Thomas does."
So the days passed sweetly and swiftly onward,
and there was no trouble in them. Such
business as was to be done went on behind
the closed doors of the Squire's office, and
with no one present but himself, Judge Rawdon,
and the attorneys attached to the Rawdon
and Mostyn estates. And as there were
no entanglements and no possible reason for
disputing, a settlement was quickly arrived
at. Then, as Mostyn's return was uncertain,
an attorney's messenger, properly accredited,
was sent to America to procure his signatures.
Allowing for unforeseen delays, the perfected
papers of release might certainly be on hand
by the fifteenth of July, and it was proposed
on the first of August to give a dinner and
dance in return for the numerous courtesies
the American Rawdons had received.
As this date approached Ruth and Ethel
began to think of a visit to London. They
wanted new gowns and many other pretty
things, and why not go to London for them?
The journey was but a few hours, and two or
three days' shopping in Regent Street and
Piccadilly would be delightful. "We will
make out a list of all we need this afternoon,"
said Ruth, "and we might as well go to-morrow
morning as later," and at this moment a
servant entered with the mail. Ethel lifted
her letter with an exclamation. "It is from
Dora," she said, and her voice had a tone of
annoyance in it. "Dora is in London, at the
Savoy. She wants to see me very much."
"I am so sorry. We have been so happy."
"I don't think she will interfere much,
"My dears," said Judge Rawdon, "I have
a letter from Fred Mostyn. He is coming
home. He will be in London in a day or two."
"Why is he coming, father?"
"He says he has a proposal to make about
the Manor. I wish he were not coming. No
one wants his proposal." Then the breakfasttable,
which had been so gay, became silent
and depressed, and presently the Judge went
away without exhibiting further interest in
the London journey.
"I do wish Dora would let us alone," said
Ruth. "She always brings disappointment
or worry of some kind. And I wonder what
is the meaning of this unexpected London
visit. I thought she was in Holland."
"She said in her last letter that London
would be impossible before August."
"Is it an appointment--or a coincidence?"
And Ethel, lifting her shoulders sarcastically,
as if in hostile surrender to the inevitable,
"It is a fatality!"
THREE days afterward Ethel called on Dora
Stanhope at the Savoy. She found her alone,
and she had evidently been crying. Indeed, she
frankly admitted the fact, declaring that she
had been "so bored and so homesick, that she
relieved she had cried her beauty away." She
glanced at Ethel's radiant face and neat fresh
toilet with envy, and added, "I am so glad
to see you, Ethel. But I was sure that you
would come as soon as you knew I wanted
"Oh, indeed, Dora, you must not make
yourself too sure of such a thing as that! I
really came to London to get some new gowns.
I have been shopping all morning."
"I thought you had come in answer to my
letter. I was expecting you. That is the
reason I did not go out with Basil."
"Don't you expect a little too much, Dora?
I have a great many interests and duties----"
"I used to be first."
"When a girl marries she is supposed
"Please don't talk nonsense. Basil does
not take the place of everyone and everything
else. I think we are often very tired of each
other. This morning, when I was telling him
what trouble I had with my maid, Julia, he
actually yawned. He tried to smother the
yawn, but he could not, and of course the
honeymoon is over when your bridegroom
yawns in your face while you are telling him
your troubles."
"I should think you would be glad it was
over. Of all the words in the English language
`honeymoon' is the most ridiculous
and imbecile."
"I suppose when you get married you will
take a honeymoon."
"I shall have more sense and more selfishness.
A girl could hardly enter a new life
through a medium more trying. I am sure it
would need long-tested affections and the
sweetest of tempers to make it endurable."
"I cannot imagine what you mean."
"I mean that all traveling just after marriage
is a great blunder. Traveling makes
the sunniest disposition hasty and peevish,
for women don't love changes as men do.
Not one in a thousand is seen at her best
while traveling, and the majority are seen at
their very worst. Then there is the discomfort
and desolation of European hotels--
their mysterious methods and hours, and the
ways of foreigners, which are not as our
"Don't talk of them, Ethel. They are
dreadful places, and such queer people."
"Add to these troubles ignorance of language
and coinage, the utter weariness of
railway travel, the plague of customs, the
trunk that won't pack, the trains that won't
wait, the tiresome sight-seeing, the climatic
irritability, broiling suns, headache, loneliness,
fretfulness--consequently the pitiful
boredom of the new husband."
"Ethel, what you say is certainly too true.
I am weary to death of it all. I want to be
at Newport with mother, who is having a
lovely time there. Of course Basil is very
nice to me, and yet there have been little tiffs
and struggles--very gentle ones--for the mastery,
which he is not going to get. To-day he
wanted me to go with him and Canon Shackleton
to see something or other about the poor
of London. I would not do it. I am so lonely,
Ethel, I want to see some one. I feel fit to
cry all the time. I like Basil best of anyone
in the world, but----"
"But in the solitude of a honeymoon among
strangers you find out that the person you like
best in the world can bore you as badly as
the person you don't like at all. Is that so?"
"Exactly. Just fancy if we were among
our friends in Newport. I should have some
pleasure in dressing and looking lovely. Why
should I dress here? There is no one to see
"Of course, but Basil spends all the time
in visiting cathedrals and clergymen. If we
go out, it is to see something about the poor,
or about schools and such like. We were not
in London two hours until he was off to Westminster
Abbey, and I didn't care a cent about
the old place. He says I must not ask him to
go to theaters, but historical old houses don't
interest me at all. What does it matter if
Cromwell slept in a certain ancient shabby
room? And as for all the palaces I have
seen, my father's house is a great deal handsomer,
and more convenient, and more comfortable,
and I wish I were there. I hate Europe,
and England I hate worst of all."
"You have not seen England. We are all
enraptured with its beauty and its old houses
and pleasant life."
"You are among friends--at home, as it
were. I have heard all about Rawdon Court.
Fred Mostyn told me. He is going to buy it."
"Some time this fall. Then next year he
will entertain us, and that will be a little different
to this desolate hotel, I think."
"How long will you be in London?"
"I cannot say. We are invited to Stanhope
Castle, but I don't want to go there.
We stayed with the Stanhopes a week when
we first came over. They were then in their
London house, and I got enough of them."
"Did you dislike the family?"
"No, I cared nothing about them. They
just bored me. They are extremely religious.
We had prayers night and morning, and a
prayer before and after every meal. They
read only very good books, and the Honorable
Misses Stanhope sew for the poor old women
and teach the poor young ones. They work
harder than anyone I ever knew, and they call
it `improving the time.' They thought me a
very silly, reckless young woman, and I think
they all prayed for me. One night after they
had sung some very nice songs they asked me
to play, and I began with `My Little Brown
Rose'--you know they all adore the negro--
and little by little I dropped into the funniest
coon songs I knew, and oh how they laughed!
Even the old lord stroked his knees and
laughed out loud, while the young ladies
laughed into their handkerchiefs. Lady
Stanhope was the only one who comprehended
I was guying them; and she looked at
me with half-shut eyes in a way that would
have spoiled some girls' fun. It only made
me the merrier. So I tried to show them a
cake walk, but the old lord rose then and said
`I must be tired, and they would excuse me.'
Somehow I could not manage him. Basil
was at a workman's concert, and when he
came home I think there were some advices
and remonstrances, but Basil never told me.
I felt as if they were all glad when I went
away, and I don't wish to go to the Castle--
and I won't go either."
"But if Basil wishes to go----"
"He can go alone. I rather think Fred
Mostyn will be here in a few days, and he will
take me to places that Basil will not--innocent
places enough, Ethel, so you need not
look so shocked. Why do you not ask me to
Rawdon Court?"
"Because I am only a guest there. I have
no right to ask you."
"I am sure if you told Squire Rawdon how
fond you are of me, and how lonely I am, he
would tell you to send for me."
"I do not believe he would. He has oldfashioned
ideas about newly married people.
He would hardly think it possible that you
would be willing to go anywhere without
"He could ask Basil too."
"If Mr. Mostyn is coming home, he can
ask you to Mostyn Hall. It is very near
Rawdon Court."
"Yes. Fred said as soon as he had possession
of the Court he could put both places
into a ring fence. Then he would live at the
Court. If he asks us there next summer I
shall be sure to beg an invitation for you also;
so I think you might deserve it by getting me
one now. I don't want to go to Mostyn yet.
Fred says it needs entire refurnishing, and if
we come to the Court next summer, I have
promised to give him my advice and help in
making the place pretty and up to date. Have
you seen Mostyn Hall?"
"I have passed it several times. It is a
large, gloomy-looking place I was going to
say haunted-looking. It stands in a grove of
yew trees."
"So you are not going to ask me to Rawdon
"I really cannot, Dora. It is not my
house. I am only a guest there."
"Never mind. Make no more excuses. I
see how it is. You always were jealous of
Fred's liking for me. And of course when
he goes down to Mostyn you would prefer me
to be absent."
"Good-by, Dora! I have a deal of shopping
to do, and there is not much time before
the ball, for many things will be to make."
"The ball! What ball?"
"Only one at Rawdon Court. The neighbors
have been exceedingly kind to us, and
the Squire is going to give a dinner and ball
on the first of August."
"Sit down and tell me about the neighbors
--and the ball."
"I cannot. I promised Ruth to be back at
five. Our modiste is to see us at that hour."
"So Ruth is with you! Why did she not
call on me?"
"Did you think I should come to London
alone? And Ruth did not call because she
was too busy."
"Everyone and everything comes before
me now. I used to be first of all. I wish I
were in Newport with dad and mamma; even
Bryce would be a comfort."
"As I said before, you have Mr. Stanhope."
"Are you going to send for me to the
"I cannot promise that, Dora. Good-by."
Dora did not answer. She buried her face
in the soft pillow, and Ethel closed the door
to the sound of her sobs. But they did not
cause her to return or to make any foolish
promises. She divined their insincerity and
their motive, and had no mind to take any
part in forwarding the latter.
And Ruth assured her she had acted wisely.
"If trouble should ever come of this friendship,"
she said, "Dora would very likely
complain that you had always thrown Mostyn
in her way, brought him to her house in
New York, and brought her to him at Rawdon,
in England. Marriage is such a risk,
Ethel, but to marry without the courage to
adapt oneself. AH!"
"You think that condition unspeakably
"There are no words for it."
"Dora was not reticent, I assure you."
"I am sorry. A wife's complaints are selfinflicted
wounds; scattered seeds, from which
only misery can spring. I hope you will not
see her again at this time."
"I made no promise to do so."
"And where all is so uncertain, we had
better suppose all is right than that all is
wrong. Even if there was the beginning of
wrong, it needs but an accident to prevent it,
and there are so many."
"Yes, for accident is God's part in affairs.
We call it accident; it would be better to say
an interposition."
"Dora told me Mostyn intended to buy
Rawdon Court in September, and he has even
invited the Stanhopes to stay there next summer."
"What did you say?"
"Nothing against it."
"Very good. Do you think Mostyn is in
London now?"
"I should not wonder. I am sure Dora is
expecting him."
In fact, the next morning they met Dora
and Basil Stanhope, driving in Hyde Park
with Mostyn, but the smiling greeting which
passed between the parties did not, except in
the case of Basil Stanhope, fairly represent
the dominant feeling of anyone. As for
Stanhope, his nature was so clear and truthful
that he would hardly have comprehended
a smile which was intended to veil feelings
not to be called either quite friendly or quite
pleasant. After this meeting all the joy went
out of Ruth and Ethel's shopping. They
wanted to get back to the Court, and they
attended strictly to business in order to do so.
Mostyn followed them very quickly. He
was exceedingly anxious to see and hear for
himself how his affairs regarding Rawdon
stood. They were easily made plain to him,
and he saw with a pang of disappointment
that all his hopes of being Squire of Rawdon
Manor were over. Every penny he could
righteously claim was paid to him, and on the
title deeds of the ancient place he had no
longer the shadow of a claim. The Squire
looked ten years younger as he affectionately
laid both hands on the redeemed parchments,
and Mostyn with enforced politeness
congratulated him on their integrity and then
made a hurried retreat. Of its own kind this
disappointment was as great as the loss of
Dora. He could think of neither without a
sense of immeasurable and disastrous failure.
One petty satisfaction regarding the
payment of the mortgage was his only comfort.
He might now show McLean that it
was not want of money that had made him
hitherto shy of "the good investments" offered
him. He had been sure McLean in
their last interview had thought so, and had,
indeed, felt the half-veiled contempt with
which the rich young man had expressed his
pity for Mostyn's inability to take advantage
at the right moment of an exceptional chance
to play the game of beggaring his neighbor.
Now, he told himself, he would show McLean
and his braggart set that good birth and old
family was for once allied with plenty of
money, and he also promised his wounded
sensibilities some very desirable reprisals,
every one of which he felt fully competent
to take.
It was, after all, a poor compensation, but
there was also the gold. He thanked his
father that day for the great thoughtfulness
and care with which he had amassed this
sum for him, and he tried to console himself
with the belief that gold answered all purposes,
and that the yellow metal was a better
possession than the house and lands which
he had longed for with an inherited and insensate
Two days after this event Ethel, at her
father's direction, signed a number of papers,
and when that duty was completed, the
Squire rose from his chair, kissed her hands
and her cheeks, and in a voice full of tenderness
and pride said, "I pay my respects to
the future lady of Rawdon Manor, and I
thank God for permitting me to see this hour.
Most welcome, Lady Ethel, to the rights you
inherit, and the rights you have bought." It
was a moment hardly likely to be duplicated
in any life, and Ethel escaped from its tense
emotions as soon as possible. She could not
speak, her heart was too full of joy and wonder.
There are souls that say little and love
much. How blessed are they!
On the following morning the invitations
were sent for the dinner and dance, but the
time was put forward to the eighth of August.
In everyone's heart there was a hope
that before that day Mostyn would have left
Rawdon, but the hope was barely mentioned.
In the meantime he came and went between
Mostyn and Rawdon as he desired, and was
received with that modern politeness which
considers it best to ignore offenses that our
grandfathers and grandmothers would have
held for strict account and punishment.
It was evident that he had frequent letters
from Dora. He knew all her movements, and
spoke several times of opening Mostyn Hall
and inviting the Stanhopes to stay with him
until their return to America. But as this
suggestion did not bring from any member of
the Rawdon family the invitation hoped for,
it was not acted upon. He told himself the
expense would be great, and the Hall, in
spite of all he could do in the interim, would
look poor and shabby compared with Rawdon
Court; so he put aside the proposal on the
ground that he could not persuade his aunt
to do the entertaining necessary. And for
all the irritation and humiliations centering
round his loss of Rawdon and his inabilities
with regard to Dora he blamed Ethel. He was
sure if he had been more lovable and encouraging
he could have married her, and thus
finally reached Rawdon Court; and then, with
all the unreason imaginable, nursed a hearty
dislike to her because she would not understand
his desires, and provide means for their
satisfaction. The bright, joyous girl with
her loving heart, her abounding vitality, and
constant cheerfulness, made him angry. In
none of her excellencies he had any share,
consequently he hated her.
He would have quickly returned to London,
but Dora and her husband were staying with
the Stanhopes, and her letters from Stanhope
Castle were lachrymose complaints of
the utter weariness and dreariness of life
there the preaching and reading aloud, the
regular walking and driving--all the innocent
method of lives which recognized they
were here for some higher purpose than mere
physical enjoyment. And it angered Mostyn
that neither Ruth nor Ethel felt any sympathy
for Dora's ennui, and proposed no
means of releasing her from it. He considered
them both disgustingly selfish and illnatured,
and was certain that all their
reluctance at Dora's presence arose from their
jealousy of her beauty and her enchanting
On the afternoon of the day preceding the
intended entertainment Ruth, Ethel, and the
Squire were in the great dining-room superintending
its decoration. They were merrily
laughing and chatting, and were not aware
of the arrival of any visitors until Mrs.
Nicholas Rawdon's rosy, good-natured face
appeared at the open door. Everyone welcomed
her gladly, and the Squire offered her
a seat.
"Nay, Squire," she said, "I'm come to
ask a favor, and I won't sit till I know
whether I get it or not; for if I don't get it,
I shall say good-by as quickly as I can. Our
John Thomas came home this morning and
his friend with him, and I want invitations
for the young men, both of them. My great
pleasure lies that way--if you'll give it to
"Most gladly," answered the Squire, and
Ethel immediately went for the necessary
passports. When she returned she found
Mrs. Nicholas helping Ruth and the Squire
to arrange the large silver and cut crystal on
the sideboard, and talking at the same time
with unabated vivacity.
"Yes," she was saying, "the lads would
have been here two days ago, but they stayed
in London to see some American lady married.
John Thomas's friend knew her. She
was married at the Ambassador's house. A
fine affair enough, but it bewilders me this
taking up marriage without priest or book.
It's a new commission. The Church's warrant,
it seems, is out of date. It may be right'
it may be legal, but I told John Thomas if he
ever got himself married in that kind of a
way, he wouldn't have father or me for witnesses."
"I am glad," said the Squire, "that the
young men are home in time for our dance.
The young like such things."
"To be sure they do. John Thomas
wouldn't give me a moment's rest till I came
here. I didn't want to come. I thought
John Thomas should come himself, and I told
him plainly that I was ready to do anyone a
favor if I could, but if he wanted me to come
because he was afraid to come himself, I was
just as ready to shirk the journey. And he
laughed and said he was not feared for any
woman living, but he did want to make his
first appearance in his best clothes--and that
was natural, wasn't it? So I came for the
two lads." Then she looked at the girls with
a smile, and said in a comfortable kind of
way: "You'll find them very nice lads, indeed.
I can speak for John Thomas, I have
taken his measure long since; and as far as
I can judge his friend, Nature went about
some full work when she made a man of him.
He's got a sweet temper, and a strong mind,
and a straight judgment, if I know anything
about men--which Nicholas sometimes makes
me think I don't. But Nicholas isn't an ordinary
man, he's what you call `an exception.'"
Then shaking her head at Ethel,
she continued reprovingly: "You were
neither of you in church Sunday. I know
some young women who went to the parish
church--Methodists they are--specially to
see your new hats. There's some talk about
them, I can tell you, and the village milliner
is pestered to copy them. She keeps her eyes
open for you. You disappointed a lot of people.
You ought to go to church in the country.
It's the most respectable thing you can
"We were both very tired," said Ruth,
"and the sun was hot, and we had a good
Sabbath at home. Ethel read the Psalms,
Epistle and Gospel for the day, and the
Squire gave us some of the grandest organ
music I ever heard."
"Well, well! Everyone knows the Squire
is a grand player. I don't suppose there is
another to match him in the whole world,
and the old feeling about church-going is
getting slack among the young people. They
serve God now very much at their ease."
"Is not that better than serving Him on
compulsion?" asked Ruth.
"I dare say. I'm no bigot. I was brought
up an Independent, and went to their chapel
until I married Nicholas Rawdon. My father
was a broad-thinking man. He never
taught me to locate God in any building; and
I'm sure I don't believe our parish church
is His dwelling-place. If it is, they ought to
mend the roof and put a new carpet down
and make things cleaner and more respectable.
Well, Squire, you have silver enough
to tempt all the rogues in Yorkshire, and
there's a lot of them. But now I've seen it,
I'll go home with these bits of paper. I shall
be a very important woman to-night. Them
two lads won't know how to fleech and flatter
me enough. I'll be waited on hand and foot.
And Nicholas will get a bit of a set-down.
He was bragging about Miss Ethel bringing
his invitation to his hand and promising to
dance with him. I wouldn't do it if I were
Miss Ethel. She'll find out, if she does, what
it means to dance with a man that weighs
twenty stone, and who has never turned hand
nor foot to anything but money-making for
thirty years."
She went away with a sweep and a rustle
of her shimmering silk skirt, and left behind
her such an atmosphere of hearty good-nature
as made the last rush and crowd of
preparations easily ordered and quickly
accomplished. Before her arrival there had
been some doubt as to the weather. She
brought the shining sun with her, and when
he set, he left them with the promise of a
splendid to-morrow--a promise amply redeemed
when the next day dawned. Indeed,
the sunshine was so brilliant, the garden so
gay and sweet, the lawn so green and firm,
the avenues so shady and full of wandering
songs, that it was resolved to hold the
preliminary reception out of doors. Ethel and
Ruth were to receive on the lawn, and at the
open hall door the Squire would wait to welcome
his guests.
Soon after five o'clock there was a brilliant
crowd wandering and resting in the pleasant
spaces; and Ethel, wearing a diaphanously
white robe and carrying a rush basket full
of white carnations, was moving among them
distributing the flowers. She was thus the
center of a little laughing, bantering group
when the Nicholas Rawdon party arrived.
Nicholas remained with the Squire, Mrs.
Rawdon and the young men went toward
Ethel. Mrs. Rawdon made a very handsome
appearance--"an aristocratic Britannia in
white liberty silk and old lace," whispered
Ruth, and Ethel looked up quickly, to meet
her merry eyes full of some unexplained
triumph. In truth, the proud mother was
anticipating a great pleasure, not only in the
presentation of her adored son, but also in
the curiosity and astonishment she felt sure
would be evoked by his friend. So, with the
boldness of one who brings happy tidings,
she pressed forward. Ethel saw her approach,
and went to meet her. Suddenly her
steps were arrested. An extraordinary thing
was going to happen. The Apollo of her
dreams, the singer of the Holland House
pavement, was at Mrs. Rawdon's side, was
talking to her, was evidently a familiar
friend. She was going to meet him, to speak
to him at last. She would hear his name in
a few moments; all that she had hoped and
believed was coming true. And the clear,
resonant voice of Lydia Rawdon was like
music in her ears as she said, with an air of
triumph she could not hide:
"Miss Rawdon, I want you to know my
son, Mr. John Thomas Rawdon, and also
John Thomas's cousin, Mr. Tyrrel Rawdon,
of the United States." Then Mr. Tyrrel
Rawdon looked into Ethel's face, and in that
marvelous meeting of their eyes, swift as the
firing of a gun, their pupils dilated and
flashed with recognition, and the blood rushed
crimson over both faces. She gave the gentlemen
flowers, and listened to Mrs. Rawdon's
chatter, and said in reply she knew not
what. A swift and exquisite excitement had
followed her surprise. Feelings she could
not voice were beating at her lips, and yet
she knew that without her conscious will she
had expressed her astonishment and pleasure.
It was, indeed, doubtful whether any
after speech or explanation would as clearly
satisfy both hearts as did that momentary
flash from soul to soul of mutual remembrance
and interest.
"I thought I'd give you a surprise," said
Mrs. Rawdon delightedly. "You didn't
know the Tyrrel-Rawdons had a branch in
America, did you? We are a bit proud of
them, I can tell you that."
And, indeed, the motherly lady had some
reason. John Thomas was a handsome youth
of symmetrical bone and flesh and well-developed
muscle. He had clear, steady, humorous
eyes; a manner frank and independent, not
to be put upon; and yet Ethel divined, though
she could not have declared, the "want" in his
appearance--that all-overish grace and elasticity
which comes only from the development
of the brain and nervous system. His face
was also marred by the seal of commonness
which trade impresses on so many men, the result
of the subjection of the intellect to the
will, and of the impossibility of grasping things
except as they relate to self. In this respect
the American cousin was his antipodes. His
whole body had a psychical expression--slim,
elastic, alert. Over his bright gray eyes the
eyelids drew themselves horizontally, showing
his dexterity and acuteness of mind; indeed,
his whole expression and mien
"Were, as are the eagle's keen,
All the man was aquiline."
These personal characteristics taking some
minutes to describe were almost an instantaneous
revelation to Ethel, for what the soul
sees it sees in a flash of understanding. But
at that time she only answered her impressions
without any inquiry concerning them.
She was absorbed by the personal presence of
the men, and all that was lovely and lovable
in her nature responded to their admiration.
As they strolled together through a flowery
alley, she made them pass their hands through
the thyme and lavender, and listen to a bird
singing its verses, loud and then soft, in the
scented air above them. They came out where
the purple plums and golden apricots were
beginning to brighten a southern wall, and
there, moodily walking by himself, they met
Mostyn face to face. An angry flash and
movement interpreted his annoyance, but he
immediately recovered himself, and met Ethel
and his late political opponent with polite
equanimity. But a decided constraint fell on
the happy party, and Ethel was relieved to
hear the first tones of the great bell swing
out from its lofty tower the call to the dining-room.
As far as Mostyn was concerned, this first
malapropos meeting indicated the whole
evening. His heart was beating quickly to
some sense of defeat which he did not take
the trouble to analyze. He only saw the man
who had shattered his political hopes and
wasted his money in possession also of what
he thought he might rightly consider his
place at Ethel's side. He had once contemplated
making Ethel his bride, and though
the matrimonial idea had collapsed as completely
as the political one, the envious, selfish
misery of the "dog in the manger" was
eating at his heartstrings. He did not want
Ethel; but oh, how he hated the thought of
either John Thomas or that American Rawdon
winning her! His seat at the dinnertable
also annoyed him. It was far enough
from the objects of his resentment to prevent
him hearing or interfering in their merry
conversation; and he told himself with passionate
indignation that Ethel had never once
in all their intercourse been so beautiful and
bright as she revealed herself that evening
to those two Rawdon youths--one a mere
loom-master, the other an American whom
no one knew anything about.
The long, bewitching hours of the glorious
evening added fuel to the flame of his anger.
He could only procure from Ethel the promise
of one unimportant dance at the close of
her programme; and the American had three
dances, and the mere loom-man two. And
though he attempted to restore his selfcomplacency
by devoting his whole attentions
to the only titled young ladies in the room, he
had throughout the evening a sense of being
snubbed, and of being a person no longer of
much importance at Rawdon Court. And the
reasoning of wounded self-love is a singular
process. Mostyn was quite oblivious of any
personal cause for the change; he attributed
it entirely to the Squire's ingratitude.
"I did the Squire a good turn when he
needed it, and of course he hates me for the
obligation; and as for the Judge and his fine
daughter, they interfered with my business
--did me a great wrong--and they are only
illustrating the old saying, `Since I wronged
you I never liked you.'" After indulging
such thoughts awhile, he resolved to escort
the ladies Aurelia and Isolde Danvers to
Danvers Castle, and leave Miss Ethel to find
a partner for her last dance, a decision that
favored John Thomas, greatly relieved Ethel,
and bestowed upon himself that most irritating
of all punishments, a self-inflicted disappointment.
This evening was the inauguration of a
period of undimmed delight. In it the Tyrrel-
Rawdons concluded a firm and affectionate
alliance with the elder branch at the
Court, and one day after a happy family dinner
John Thomas made the startling proposal
that "the portrait of the disinherited,
disowned Tyrrel should be restored to its
place in the family gallery." He said he had
"just walked through it, and noticed that
the spot was still vacant, and I think surely,"
he added, "the young man's father must
have meant to recall him home some day, but
perhaps death took him unawares."
"Died in the hunting-field," murmured the
John Thomas bowed his head to the remark,
and proceeded, "So perhaps, Squire, it may
be in your heart to forgive the dead, and
bring back the poor lad's picture to its place.
They who sin for love aren't so bad, sir, as
they who sin for money. I never heard worse
of Tyrrel Rawdon than that he loved a poor
woman instead of a rich woman--and married
her. Those that have gone before us into
the next life, I should think are good friends
together; and I wouldn't wonder if we might
even make them happier there if we conclude
to forget all old wrongs and live together
here--as Rawdons ought to live--like one
"I am of your opinion, John Thomas,"
said the Squire, rising, and as he did so he
looked at the Judge, who immediately indorsed
the proposal. One after the other
rose with sweet and strong assent, until there
was only Tyrrel Rawdon's voice lacking.
But when all had spoken he rose also, and
"I am Tyrrel Rawdon's direct descendant,
and I speak for him when I say to-day, `Make
room for me among my kindred!' He that
loves much may be forgiven much."
Then the housekeeper was called, and they
went slowly, with soft words, up to the third
story of the house. And the room unused
for a century was flung wide open; the shutters
were unbarred, and the sunshine flooded
it; and there amid his fishing tackle, guns,
and whips, and faded ballads upon the wall,
and books of wood lore and botany, and dress
suits of velvet and satin, and hunting suits
of scarlet--all faded and falling to pieces--
stood the picture of Tyrrel Rawdon, with its
face turned to the wall. The Squire made a
motion to his descendant, and the young
American tenderly turned it to the light.
There was no decay on those painted lineaments.
The almost boyish face, with its loving
eyes and laughing mouth, was still twentyfour
years old; and with a look of pride and
affection the Squire lifted the picture and
placed it in the hands of the Tyrrel Rawdon
of the day.
The hanging of the picture in its old place
was a silent and tender little ceremony, and
after it the party separated. Mrs. Rawdon
went with Ruth to rest a little. She said
"she had a headache," and she also wanted
a good womanly talk over the affair. The
Squire, Judge Rawdon, Mr. Nicholas Rawdon,
and John Thomas returned to the diningroom
to drink a bottle of such mild Madeira
as can only now be found in the cellars of
old county magnates, and Ethel and Tyrrel
Rawdon strolled into the garden. There had
not been in either mind any intention of
leaving the party, but as they passed through
the hall Tyrrel saw Ethel's garden hat and
white parasol lying on a table, and, impelled
by some sudden and unreasoned instinct, he
offered them to her. Not a word of request
was spoken; it was the eager, passionate command
of his eyes she obeyed. And for a few
minutes they were speechless, then so intensely
conscious that words stumbled and were
lame, and they managed only syllables at a
time. But he took her hand, and they came
by sunny alleys of boxwood to a great plane
tree, bearing at wondrous height a mighty
wealth of branches. A bank of soft, green
turf encircled its roots, and they sat down in
the trembling shadows. It was in the midst
of the herb garden; beds of mint and thyme,
rosemary and marjoram, basil, lavender, and
other fragrant plants were around, and close
at hand a little city of straw skeps peopled
by golden brown bees; From these skeps
came a delicious aroma of riced flowers and
virgin wax. It was a new Garden of Eden,
in which life was sweet as perfume and pure
as prayer. Nothing stirred the green, sunny
afternoon but the murmur of the bees, and
the sleepy twittering of the birds in the plane
branches. An inexpressible peace swept like
the breath of heaven through the odorous
places. They sat down sighing for very happiness.
The silence became too eloquent. At
length it was almost unendurable, and Ethel
said softly:
"How still it is!"
Tyrrel looked at her steadily with beaming
eyes. Then he took from his pocket a little
purse of woven gold and opal-tinted beads,
and held it in his open hand for her to see,
watching the bright blush that spread over
her face, and the faint, glad smile that parted
her lips.
"You understand?"
"Yes. It is mine."
"It was yours. It is now mine."
"How did you get it?"
"I bought it from the old man you gave
it to."
"Oh! Then you know him? How is
"The hotel people sent a porter home with
him lest he should be robbed. Next day I made
inquiries, and this porter told me where he
lived. I went there and bought this purse
from him. I knew some day it would bring
me to you. I have carried it over my heart
ever since."
"So you noticed me?"
"I saw you all the time I was singing. I
have never forgotten you since that hour."
"What made you sing?"
"Compassion, fate, an urgent impulse;
perhaps, indeed, your piteous face--I saw it
"I saw it first. I saw it all the time I was
singing. When you dropped this purse my
soul met yours in a moment's greeting. It was
a promise. I knew I should meet you again.
I have loved you ever since. I wanted to tell
you so the hour we met. It has been hard to
keep my secret so long."
"It was my secret also."
"I love you beyond all words. My life is
in your hands. You can make me the gladdest
of mortals. You can send me away forever."
"Oh, no, I could not! I could not do
that!" The rest escapes words; but thus it
was that on this day of days these two came
by God's grace to each other.
For all things come by fate to flower,
At their unconquerable hour.
And the very atmosphere of such bliss is
diffusive; it seemed as if all the living creatures
around understood. In the thick, green
branches the birds began to twitter the secret,
and certainly the wise, wise bees knew also,
in some occult way, of the love and joy that
had just been revealed. A wonderful humming
and buzzing filled the hives, and the air
vibrated with the movement of wings. Some
influence more swift and secret than the birds
of the air carried the matter further, for it
finally reached Royal, the Squire's favorite
collie, who came sauntering down the alley,
pushed his nose twice under Ethel's elbow,
and then with a significant look backward,
advised the lovers to follow him to the house.
When they finally accepted his invitation,
they found Mrs. Rawdon drinking a cup of
tea with Ruth in the hall. Ethel joined them
with affected high spirits and random
explanations and excuses, but both women noticed
her radiant face and exulting air.
"The garden is such a heavenly place," she
said ecstatically, and Mrs Rawdon remarked,
as she rose and put her cup on the table,
"Girls need chaperons in gardens if they
need them anywhere. I made Nicholas Rawdon
a promise in Mossgill Garden I've had to
spend all my life since trying to keep."
"Tyrrel and I have been sitting under the
plane tree watching the bees. They are such
busy, sensible creatures."
"They are that," answered Mrs. Rawdon.
"If you knew all about them you would
wonder a bit. My father had a great many;
he studied their ways and used to laugh at
the ladies of the hive being so like the ladies
of the world. You see the young lady bees
are just as inexperienced as a schoolgirl.
They get lost in the flowers, and are often so
overtaken and reckless, that the night finds
them far from the hive, heavy with pollen
and chilled with cold. Sometimes father
would lift one of these imprudent young
things, carry it home, and try to get it admitted.
He never could manage it. The lady
bees acted just as women are apt to do when
other women GO where they don't go, or DO
as they don't do."
"But this is interesting," said Ruth.
"Pray, how did the ladies of the hive behave
to the culprit?"
"They came out and felt her all over,
turned her round and round, and then pushed
her out of their community. There was always
a deal of buzzing about the poor, silly
thing, and I shouldn't wonder if their stings
were busy too. Bees are ill-natured as they
can be. Well, well, I don't blame anyone for
sitting in the garden such a day as this; only,
as I was saying, gardens have been very dangerous
places for women as far as I know."
Ruth laughed softly. "I shall take a
chaperon with me, then, when I go into the
"I would, dearie. There's the Judge; he's
a very suitable, sedate-looking one but you
never can tell. The first woman found in a
garden and a tree had plenty of sorrow for
herself and every woman that has lived after
her. I wish Nicholas and John Thomas
would come. I'll warrant they're talking
what they call politics."
Politics was precisely the subject which
had been occupying them, for when Tyrrel
entered the dining-room, the Squire, Judge
Rawdon, and Mr. Nicholas Rawdon were all
standing, evidently just finishing a Conservative
argument against the Radical opinions
of John Thomas. The young man was still
sitting, but he rose with smiling good-humor
as Tyrrel entered.
"Here is Cousin Tyrrel," he cried; "he
will tell you that you may call a government
anything you like radical, conservative, republican,
democratic, socialistic, but if it
isn't a CHEAP government, it isn't a good government;
and there won't be a cheap government
in England till poor men have a deal to
say about making laws and voting taxes."
"Is that the kind of stuff you talk to our
hands, John Thomas? No wonder they are
neither to hold nor to bind."
They were in the hall as John Thomas finished
his political creed, and in a few minutes
the adieux were said, and the wonderful
day was over. It had been a wonderful day
for all, but perhaps no one was sorry for a
pause in life--a pause in which they might
rest and try to realize what it had brought
and what it had taken away. The Squire went
at once to his room, and Ethel looked at Ruth
inquiringly. She seemed exhausted, and was
out of sympathy with all her surroundings.
"What enormous vitality these Yorkshire
women must have!" she said almost crossly.
"Mrs. Rawdon has been talking incessantly
for six hours. She has felt all she said. She
has frequently risen and walked about. She
has used all sorts of actions to emphasize her
words, and she is as fresh as if she had just
taken her morning bath. How do the men
stand them?"
"Because they are just as vital. John
Thomas will overlook and scold and order
his thousand hands all day, talk even his
mother down while he eats his dinner, and
then lecture or lead his Musical Union, or
conduct a poor man's concert, or go to `the
Weaver's Union,' and what he calls `threep
them' for two or three hours that labor is
ruining capital, and killing the goose that
lays golden eggs for them. Oh, they are a
wonderful race, Ruth!"
"I really can't discuss them now, Ethel."
"Don't you want to know what Tyrrel said
to me this afternoon?"
"My dear, I know. Lovers have said such
things before, and lovers will say them evermore.
You shall tell me in the morning. I
thought he looked distrait and bored with our
Indeed, Tyrrel was so remarkably quiet
that John Thomas also noticed his mood, and
as they sat smoking in Tyrrel's room, he resolved
to find out the reason, and with his
usual directness asked:
"What do you think of Ethel Rawdon,
"I think she is the most beautiful woman
I ever saw. She has also the most sincere
nature, and her high spirit is sweetly tempered
by her affectionate heart."
"I am glad you know so much about her.
Look here, Cousin Tyrrel, I fancied to-night
you were a bit jealous of me. It is easy to
see you are in love, and I've no doubt you
were thinking of the days when you would be
thousands of miles away, and I should have
the ground clear and so on, eh?"
"Suppose I was, cousin, what then?"
"You would be worrying for nothing. I
don't want to marry Ethel Rawdon. If I
did, you would have to be on the ground all
the time, and then I should best you; but I
picked out my wife two years ago, and if we
are both alive and well, we are going to be
married next Christmas."
"I am delighted. I----"
"I thought you would be."
"Who is the young lady?"
"Miss Lucy Watson. Her father is the
Independent minister. He is a gentleman,
though his salary is less than we give our
overseer. And he is a great scholar. So is
Lucy. She finished her course at college this
summer, and with high honors. Bless you,
Tyrrel, she knows far more than I do about
everything but warps and looms and such
like. I admire a clever woman, and I'm
proud of Lucy."
"Where is she now?"
"Well, she was a bit done up with so much
study, and so she went to Scarborough for a
few weeks. She has an aunt there. The sea
breezes and salt water soon made her fit for
anything. She may be home very soon now.
Then, Tyrrel, you'll see a beauty--face like
a rose, hair brown as a nut, eyes that make
your heart go galloping, the most enticing
mouth, the prettiest figure, and she loves me
with all her heart. When she says `John
Thomas, dear one,' I tremble with pleasure,
and when she lets me kiss her sweet mouth,
I really don't know where I am. What would
you say if a girl whispered, `I love you, and
nobody but you,' and gave you a kiss that was
like--like wine and roses? Now what would
you say?"
"I know as little as you do what I would
say. It's a situation to make a man coin new
words. I suppose your family are pleased."
"Well, I never thought about my family
till I had Lucy's word. Then I told mother.
She knew Lucy all through. Mother has a
great respect for Independents, and though
father sulked a bit at first, mother had it out
with him one night, and when mother has father
quiet in their room father comes to see
things just as she wants him. I suppose
that's the way with wives. Lucy will be just
like that. She's got a sharp little temper, too.
She'll let me have a bit of it, no doubt, now
and then."
"Will you like that?"
"I wouldn't care a farthing for a wife without
a bit of temper. There would be no fun
in living with a woman of that kind. My father
would droop and pine if mother didn't
spur him on now and then. And he likes it.
Don't I know? I've seen mother snappy and
awkward with him all breakfast time, tossing
her head, and rattling the china, and declaring
she was worn out with men that let all the
good bargains pass them; perhaps making fun
of us because we couldn't manage to get along
without strikes. She had no strikes with her
hands, she'd like to see her women stand up
and talk to her about shorter hours, and so on;
and father would look at me sly-like, and as
we walked to the mill together he'd laugh contentedly
and say, `Your mother was quite refreshing
this morning, John Thomas. She has
keyed me up to a right pitch. When Jonathan
Arkroyd comes about that wool he sold us I'll
be all ready for him.' So you see I'm not
against a sharp temper. I like women as Tennyson
says English girls are, `roses set round
with little wilful thorns,' eh?"
Unusual as this conversation was, its general
tone was assumed by Ethel in her confidential
talk with Ruth the following day. Of
course, Ruth was not at all surprised at the
news Ethel brought her, for though the lovers
had been individually sure they had betrayed
their secret to no one, it had really been an
open one to Ruth since the hour of their meeting.
She was sincerely ardent in her praises
of Tyrrel Rawdon, but--and there is always a
but--she wondered if Ethel had "noticed what
a quick temper he had."
"Oh, yes," answered Ethel, "I should not
like him not to have a quick temper. I expect
my husband to stand up at a moment's notice
for either mine or his own rights or opinions."
And in the afternoon when all preliminaries
had been settled and approved, Judge Rawdon
expressed himself in the same manner to
Ruth. "Yes," he said, in reply to her timid
suggestion of temper, "you can strike fire
anywhere with him if you try it, but he has
it under control. Besides, Ethel is just as
quick to flame up. It will be Rawdon against
Rawdon, and Ethel's weapons are of finer,
keener steel than Tyrrel's. Ethel will hold
her own. It is best so."
"How did the Squire feel about such a
"He was quite overcome with delight.
Nothing was said to Tyrrel about Ethel having
bought the reversion of Rawdon Manor,
for things have been harder to get into proper
shape than I thought they would be, and it
may be another month before all is finally
settled; but the Squire has the secret satisfaction,
and he was much affected by the certainty
of a Rawdon at Rawdon Court after
him. He declined to think of it in any other
way but `providential,' and of course I let
him take all the satisfaction he could out of
the idea. Ever since he heard of the engagement
he has been at the organ singing the
One Hundred and Third Psalm."
"He is the dearest and noblest of men.
How soon shall we go home now?"
"In about a month. Are you tired of England?"
"I shall be glad to see America again.
There was a letter from Dora this morning.
They sail on the twenty-third."
"Do you know anything of Mostyn?"
"Since he wrote us a polite farewell we
have heard nothing."
"Do you think he went to America?"
"I cannot tell. When he bid us good-by
he made no statement as to his destination;
he merely said `he was leaving England on
"Well, Ruth, we shall sail as soon as I am
satisfied all is right. There is a little delay
about some leases and other matters. In the
meantime the lovers are in Paradise wherever
we locate them."
And in Paradise they dwelt for another
four weeks. The ancient garden had doubtless
many a dream of love to keep, but none
sweeter or truer than the idyl of Tyrrel and
Ethel Rawdon. They were never weary of
rehearsing it; every incident of its growth
had been charming and romantic, and, as they
believed, appointed from afar. As the summer
waxed hotter the beautiful place took on
an appearance of royal color and splendor,
and the air was languid with the perfume of
the clove carnations and tall white August
lilies. Fluted dahlias, scarlet poppies, and all
the flowers that exhale their spice in the last
hot days of August burned incense for them.
Their very hair was laden with odor, their
fingers flower-sweet, their minds took on the
many colors of their exquisite surroundings.
And it was part of this drama of love and
scent and color that they should see it slowly
assume the more ethereal loveliness of
September, and watch the subtle amber rays
shine through the thinning boughs, and feel
that all nature was becoming idealized. The
birds were then mostly silent. They had left
their best notes on the hawthorns and among
the roses; but the crickets made a cheerful
chirrup, and the great brown butterflies displayed
their richest velvets, and the gossamer-like
insects in the dreamy atmosphere
performed dances and undulations full of
grace and mystery. And all these marvelous
changes imparted to love that sweet sadness
which is beyond all words poetic and enchaining.
Yet however sweet the hours, they pass
away, and it is not much memory can save
from the mutable, happy days of love. Still,
when the hour of departure came they had
garnered enough to sweeten all the afterstraits
and stress of time. September had
then perceptibly begun to add to the nights
and shorten the days, and her tender touch
had been laid on everything. With a smile
and a sigh the Rawdons turned their faces to
their pleasant home in the Land of the West.
It was to be but a short farewell. They had
promised the Squire to return the following
summer, but he felt the desolation of the
parting very keenly. With his hat slightly
lifted above his white head, he stood watching
them out of sight. Then he went to his
organ, and very soon grand waves of melody
rolled outward and upward, and blended
themselves with the clear, soaring voice of
Joel, the lad who blew the bellows of the
instrument, and shared all his master's joy in
it. They played and sang until the Squire
rose weary, but full of gladness. The look of
immortality was in his eyes, its sure and certain
hope in his heart. He let Joel lead him
to his chair by the window, and then he said
to himself with visible triumph:
"What Mr. Spencer or anyone else writes
about `the Unknowable' I care not. I KNOW
IN WHOM I have believed. Joel, sing that last
sequence again. Stand where I can see thee."
And the lad's joyful voice rang exulting out:
"Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling-place
in all generations. Before the mountains
were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed
the world, from everlasting to everlasting
Thou art God! Thou art God! Thou art
"That will do, Joel. Go thy ways now.
Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling-place in
all generations. `Unknowable,' Thou hast
been our dwelling-place in all generations.
No, no, no, what an ungrateful sinner I
would be to change the Lord everlasting for
the Unknowable.'"
NEW YORK is at its very brightest and best
in October. This month of the year may be
safely trusted not to disappoint. The skies
are blue, the air balmy, and there is generally
a delightful absence of wind. The summer
exiles are home again from Jersey boarding
houses, and mountain camps, and seaside
hotels, and thankful to the point of hilarity
that this episode of the year is over, that they
can once more dwell under their own roofs
without breaking any of the manifest laws
of the great goddess Custom or Fashion.
Judge Rawdon's house had an especially
charming "at home" appearance. During
the absence of the family it had been made
beautiful inside and outside, and the white
stone, the plate glass, and falling lace evident
to the street, had an almost conscious
look of luxurious propriety.
The Judge frankly admitted his pleasure
in his home surroundings. He said, as they
ate their first meal in the familiar room, that
"a visit to foreign countries was a grand,
patriotic tonic." He vowed that the "first
sight of the Stars and Stripes at Sandy Hook
had given him the finest emotion he had ever
felt in his life," and was altogether in his
proudest American mood. Ruth sympathized
with him. Ethel listened smiling. She knew
well that the English strain had only temporarily
exhausted itself; it would have its
period of revival at the proper time.
"I am going to see grandmother," she
said gayly. "I shall stay with her all day."
"But I have a letter from her," interrupted
the Judge, "and she will not return
home until next week."
"I am sorry. I was anticipating so eagerly
the joy of seeing her. Well, as I cannot do
so, I will go and call on Dora Stanhope."
"I would not if I were you, Ethel," said
Ruth. "Let her come and call on you."
"I had a little note from her this morning,
welcoming me home, and entreating me
to call."
The Judge rose as Ethel was speaking, and
no more was said about the visit at that time
but a few hours later Ethel came down from
her room ready for the street and frankly
told Ruth she had made up her mind to call
on Dora.
"Then I will only remind you, Ethel, that
Dora is not a fortunate woman to know. As
far as I can see, she is one of those who sow
pain of heart and vexation of spirit about
every house they enter, even their own. But I
cannot gather experience for you, it will have
to grow in your own garden."
"All right, dear Ruth, and if I do not like
its growth, I will pull it up by the roots, I
assure you."
Ruth went with her to the door and watched
her walk leisurely down the broad steps to
the street. The light kindled in her eyes and
on her face as she did so. She already felt
the magnetism of the great city, and with a
laughing farewell walked rapidly toward
Dora's house.
Her card brought an instant response, and
she heard Dora's welcome before the door
was opened. And her first greeting was an
enthusiastic compliment, "How beautiful
you have grown, Ethel!" she cried. "Ah,
that is the European finish. You have gained
it, my dear; you really are very much improved."
"And you also, Dora?"
The words were really a question, but Dora
accepted them as an assertion, and was satisfied.
"I suppose I am," she answered, "though
I'm sure I can't tell how it should be so, unless
worry of all kinds is good for good looks.
I've had enough of that for a lifetime."
"Now, Dora."
"Oh, it's the solid truth--partly your
fault too."
"I never interfered----"
"Of course you didn't, but you ought to
have interfered. When you called on me in
London you might have seen that I was not
happy; and I wanted to come to Rawdon
Court, and you would not invite me. I called
your behavior then `very mean,' and I have
not altered my opinion of it."
"There were good reasons, Dora, why I
could not ask you."
"Good reasons are usually selfish ones,
Ethel, and Fred Mostyn told me what they
"He likely told you untruths, Dora, for
he knew nothing about my reasons. I saw
very little of him."
"I know. You treated him as badly as
you treated me, and all for some wild West
creature--a regular cowboy, Fred said, but
then a Rawdon!"
"Mr. Mostyn has misrepresented Mr. Tyrrel
Rawdon--that is all about it. I shall not
explain `how' or `why.' Did you enjoy
yourself at Stanhope Castle?"
"Enjoy myself! Are you making fun of
me? Ethel, dear, it was the most awful experience.
You never can imagine such a life,
and such women. They were dressed for a
walk at six o'clock; they had breakfast at halfpast
seven. They went to the village and inspected
cottages, and gave lessons in housekeeping
or dressmaking or some other
drudgery till noon. They walked back to the
Castle for lunch. They attended to their
own improvement from half-past one until
four, had lessons in drawing and chemistry,
and, I believe, electricity. They had another
walk, and then indulged themselves with a
cup of tea. They dressed and received visitors,
and read science or theology between
whiles. There was always some noted
preacher or scholar at the dinner table. The
conversation was about acids and explosives,
or the planets or bishops, or else on the
never, never-ending subject of elevating the
workingman and building schools for his children.
Basil, of course, enjoyed it. He
thought he was giving me a magnificent object
lesson. He was never done praising the
ladies Mary Elinor and Adelaide Stanhope.
I'm sure I wish he had married one or all of
them--and I told him so."
"You could not be so cruel, Dora."
"I managed it with the greatest ease
imaginable. He was always trotting at their
side. They spoke of him as `the most pious
young man.' I have no doubt they were all
in love with him. I hope they were. I used
to pretend to be very much in love when they
were present. I dare say it made them
wretched. Besides, they blushed and thought
me improper. Basil didn't approve, either,
so I hit all round."
She rose at this memory and shook out her
silk skirts, and walked up and down the room
with an air that was the visible expression of
the mockery and jealousy in her heart. This
was an entirely different Dora to the lachrymose,
untidy wife at the Savoy Hotel in London,
and Ethel had a momentary pang at the
thought of the suffering which was responsible
for the change.
"If I had thought, Dora, you were so
uncomfortable, I would have asked Basil and
you to the Court."
"You saw I was not happy when I was at
the Savoy."
"I thought you and Basil had had a kind
of lovers' quarrel, and that it would blow
over in an hour or two; no one likes to meddle
with an affair of that kind. Are you going
to Newport, or is Mrs. Denning in New
"That is another trouble, Ethel. When I
wrote mother I wanted to come to her, she
sent me word she was going to Lenox with a
friend. Then, like you, she said `she had no
liberty to invite me,' and so on. I never knew
mother act in such a way before. I nearly
broke my heart about it for a few days, then
I made up my mind I wouldn't care."
"Mrs. Denning, I am sure, thought she did
the wisest and kindest thing possible."
"I didn't want mother to be wise. I wanted
her to understand that I was fairly worn out
with my present life and needed a change.
I'm sure she did understand. Then why was
she so cruel?" and she shrugged her shoulders
impatiently and sat down. "I'm so
tired of life," she continued. "When did
you hear of Fred Mostyn?"
"I know nothing of his movements. Is
he in America?"
"Somewhere. I asked mother if he was
in Newport, and she never answered the question.
I suppose he will be in New York for
the winter season. I hope so."
This topic threatened to be more dangerous
than the other, and Ethel, after many and
futile attempts to bring conversation into
safe commonplace channels, pleaded other
engagements and went away. She was painfully
depressed by the interview. All the
elements of tragedy were gathered together
under the roof she had just left, and, as far
as she could see, there was no deliverer wise
and strong enough to prevent a calamity.
She did not repeat to Ruth the conversation
which had been so painful to her. She
described Dora's dress and appearance, and
commented on Fred Mostyn's description of
Tyrrel Rawdon, and on Mrs. Denning's refusal
of her daughter's proposed visit.
Ruth thought the latter circumstance
significant. "I dare say Mostyn was in
Newport at that time," she answered. "Mrs.
Denning has some very quick perceptions."
And Ruth's opinion was probably correct, for
during dinner the Judge remarked in a casual
manner that he had met Mr. Mostyn on the
avenue as he was coming home. "He was
well," he said, "and made all the usual
inquiries as to your health." And both Ruth
and Ethel understood that he wished them to
know of Mostyn's presence in the city, and
to be prepared for meeting him; but did not
care to discuss the subject further, at least
at that time. The information brought precisely
the same thought at the same moment
to both women, and as soon as they were
alone they uttered it.
"She knew Mostyn was in the city," said
Ethel in a low voice.
"She was expecting him."
"I am sure of it."
"Her elaborate and beautiful dressing was
for him."
"Poor Basil!"
"She asked me to stay and lunch with her,
but very coolly, and when I refused, did not
press the matter as she used to do. Yes, she
was expecting him. I understand now her
nervous manner, her restlessness, her indifference
to my short visit. I wish I could do
"You cannot, and you must not try."
"Some one must try."
"There is her husband. Have you heard
from Tyrrel yet,"
"I have had a couple of telegrams. He
will write from Chicago."
"Is he going at once to the Hot Springs?"
"As rapidly as possible. Colonel Rawdon
is now there, and very ill. Tyrrel will put
his father first of all. The trouble at the
mine can be investigated afterwards."
"You will miss him very much. You have
been so happy together."
"Of course I shall miss him. But it will
be a good thing for us to be apart awhile.
Love must have some time in which to grow.
I am a little tired of being very happy, and I
think Tyrrel also will find absence a relief.
In `Lalla Rookh' there is a line about love
`falling asleep in a sameness of splendor.'
It might. How melancholy is a long spell
of hot, sunshiny weather, and how gratefully
we welcome the first shower of rain."
"Love has made you a philosopher, Ethel."
"Well, it is rather an advantage than
otherwise. I am going to take a walk, Ruth,
into the very heart of Broadway. I have had
enough of the peace of the country. I want
the crack, and crash, and rattle, and grind
of wheels, the confused cries, the snatches of
talk and laughter, the tread of crowds, the
sound of bells, and clocks, and chimes. I
long for all the chaotic, unintelligible noise
of the streets. How suggestive it is! Yet it
never explains itself. It only gives one a full
sense of life. Love may need just the same
stimulus. I wish grandmother would come
home. I should not require Broadway as a
stimulus. I am afraid she will be very angry
with me, and there will be a battle royal in
Gramercy Park."
It was nearly a week before Ethel had this
crisis to meet. She went down to it with a
radiant face and charming manner, and her
reception was very cordial. Madam would
not throw down the glove until the proper
moment; besides, there were many very interesting
subjects to talk over, and she wanted
"to find things out" that would never be told
unless tempers were propitious. Added to
these reasons was the solid one that she really
adored her granddaughter, and was immensely
cheered by the very sight of the rosy, smiling
countenance lifted to her sitting-room window
in passing. She, indeed, pretended to be
there in order to get a good light for her new
shell pattern, but she was watching for Ethel,
and Ethel understood the shell-pattern fiction
very well. She had heard something similar
"My darling grandmother," she cried, "I
thought you would never come home."
"It wasn't my fault, dear. Miss Hillis
and an imbecile young doctor made me believe
I had a cold. I had no cold. I had
nothing at all but what I ought to have. I've
been made to take all sorts of things, and do
all sorts of things that I hate to take and hate
to do. For ten days I've been kicking my old
heels against bedclothes. Yesterday I took
things in my own hands."
"Never mind, Granny dear, it was all a
good discipline."
"Discipline! You impertinent young
lady! Discipline for your grandmother!
Discipline, indeed! That one word may cost
you a thousand dollars, miss."
"I don't care if it does, only you must give
the thousand dollars to poor Miss Hillis."
"Poor Miss Hillis has had a most comfortable
time with me all summer."
"I know she has, consequently she will
feel her comfortless room and poverty all the
more after it. Give her the thousand, Granny.
I'm willing."
"What kind of company have you been
keeping, Ethel Rawdon? Who has taught
you to squander dollars by the thousand?
Discipline! I think you are giving me a little
now--a thousand dollars a lesson, it seems--
no wonder, after the carryings-on at Rawdon
"Dear grandmother, we had the loveliest
time you can imagine. And there is not, in
all the world, such a noble old gentleman as
Squire Percival Rawdon."
"I know all about Percival Rawdon--a
proud, careless, extravagant, loose-at-ends
man, dancing and singing and loving as it
suited time and season, taking no thought for
the future, and spending with both hands;
hard on women, too, as could be."
"Grandmother, I never saw a more courteous
gentleman. He worships women. He
was never tired of talking about you."
"What had he to say about me?"
"That you were the loveliest girl in the
county, and that he never could forget the
first time he saw you. He said you were like
the vision of an angel."
"Nonsense! I was just a pretty girl in a
book muslin frock and a white sash, with a
rose at my breast. I believe they use book
muslin for linings now, but it did make the
sheerest, lightest frocks any girl could want.
Yes, I remember that time. I was going to
a little party and crossing a meadow to shorten
the walk, and Squire Percival had been out
with his gun, and he laid it down and ran to
help me over the stile. A handsome young
fellow he was then as ever stepped in shoe
"And he must have loved you dearly. He
would sit hour after hour telling Ruth and
me how bright you were, and how all the
young beaux around Monk-Rawdon adored
"Nonsense! Nonsense! I had beaux to
be sure. What pretty girl hasn't?"
"And he said his brother Edward won
you because he was most worthy of your
"Well, now, I chose Edward Rawdon because
he was willing to come to America. I
longed to get away from Monk-Rawdon. I
was faint and weary with the whole stupid
place. And the idea of living a free and
equal life, and not caring what lords and
squires and their proud ladies said or did,
pleased me wonderfully. We read about
Niagara and the great prairies and the new
bright cities, and Edward and I resolved to
make our home there. Your grandfather
wasn't a man to like being `the Squire's
brother.' He could stand alone."
"Are you glad you came to America?"
"Never sorry a minute for it. Ten years
in New York is worth fifty years in Monk-
Rawdon, or Rawdon Court either."
"Squire Percival was very fond of me.
He thought I resembled you, grandmother,
but he never admitted I was as handsome as
you were."
"Well, Ethel dear, you are handsome
enough for the kind of men you'll pick up
in this generation--most of them bald at
thirty, wearing spectacles at twenty or earlier,
and in spite of the fuss they make about
athletics breaking all to nervous bits about
"Grandmother, that is pure slander. I
know some very fine young men, handsome
and athletic both."
"Beauty is a matter of taste, and as to
their athletics, they can run a mile with a
blacksmith, but when the thermometer rises
to eighty-five degrees it knocks them all to
pieces. They sit fanning themselves like
schoolgirls, and call for juleps and ice-water.
I've got eyes yet, my dear. Squire Percival
was a different kind of man; he could follow
the hounds all day and dance all night. The
hunt had not a rider like him; he balked at
neither hedge, gate, nor water; a right gallant,
courageous, honorable, affectionate gentleman
as ever Yorkshire bred, and she's
bred lots of superfine ones. What ever made
him get into such a mess with his estate?
Your grandfather thought him as straight as
a string in money matters."
"You said just now he was careless and
"Well, I did him wrong, and I'm sorry for
it. How did he manage to need eighty thousand
"It is rather a pitiful story, grandmother,
but he never once blamed those who were in
the wrong. His son for many years had been
the real manager of the estate. He was a
speculator; his grandsons were wild and
extravagant. They began to borrow money ten
years ago and had to go on."
"Whom did they borrow from?"
"Fred Mostyn's father."
"The devil! Excuse me, Ethel--but the
name suits and may stand."
"The dear old Squire would have taken the
fault on himself if he could have done so.
They that wronged him were his own, and
they were dead. He never spoke of them but
with affection."
"Poor Percival! Your father told me he
was now out of Mostyn's power; he said you
had saved the estate, but he gave me no
particulars. How did you save it?"
"Bought it!"
"House and lands and outlying farms and
Then a rosy color overspread Madam's
face, her eyes sparkled, she rose to her feet,
made Ethel a sweeping courtesy, and said:
"My respect and congratulations to Ethel,
Lady of Rawdon Manor."
"Dear grandmother, what else could I
"You did right."
"The Squire is Lord of the Manor as long
as he lives. My father says I have done well
to buy it. In the future, if I do not wish to
keep it, Nicholas Rawdon will relieve me at
a great financial advantage."
"Why didn't you let Nicholas Rawdon buy
it now?"
"He would have wanted prompt possession.
The Squire would have had to leave his
home. It would have broken his heart."
"I dare say. He has a soft, loving heart.
That isn't always a blessing. It can give one
a deal of suffering. And I hear you have all
been making idols of these Tyrrel-Rawdons.
Fred tells me they are as vulgar a lot as can
"Fred lies! Excuse me, grandmother--but
the word suits and may stand. Mr. Nicholas
is pompous, and walks as slowly as if he had
to carry the weight of his great fortune; but
his manners are all right, and his wife and
son are delightful. She is handsome, well
dressed, and so good-hearted that her pretty
county idioms are really charming. John
Thomas is a man by himself--not handsome,
but running over with good temper, and
exceedingly clever and wide-awake. Many
times I was forced to tell myself, John
Thomas would make an ideal Squire of Rawdon."
"Why don't you marry him."
"He never asked me."
"What was the matter with the men?"
"He was already engaged to a very lovely
young lady."
"I am glad she is a lady."
"She is also very clever. She has been to
college and taken high honors, a thing I have
not done."
"You might have done and overdone that
caper; you were too sensible to try it. Well,
I'm glad that part of the family is looking
up. They had the right stuff in them, and it
is a good thing for families to dwell together
in unity. We have King David's word for
that. My observation leads me to think it is
far better for families to dwell apart, in
unity. They seldom get along comfortably
Then Ethel related many pleasant, piquant
scenes between the two families at Monk-
Rawdon, and especially that one in which the
room of the first Tyrrel had been opened and
his likeness restored to its place in the family
gallery. It touched the old lady to tears, and
she murmured, "Poor lad! Poor lad! I
wonder if he knows! I wonder if he knows!"
The crucial point of Ethel's revelations had
not yet been revealed, but Madam was now
in a gentle mood, and Ethel took the opportunity
to introduce her to Tyrrel Rawdon.
She was expecting and waiting for this topic,
but stubbornly refused to give Ethel any help
toward bringing it forward. At last, the girl
felt a little anger at her pretended indifference,
and said, "I suppose Fred Mostyn told
you about Mr. Tyrrel Rawdon, of California?"
"Tyrrel Rawdon, of California! Pray,
who may he be?"
"The son of Colonel Rawdon, of the United
States Army."
"Oh, to be sure! Well, what of him?"
"I am going to marry him."
"I shall see about that."
"We were coming here together to see you,
but before we left the steamer he got a telegram
urging him to go at once to his father,
who is very ill."
"I have not asked him to come and see
me. Perhaps he will wait till I do so."
"If you are not going to love Tyrrel, you
need not love me. I won't have you for a
grandmother any longer."
"I did without you sixty years. I shall
not live another twelve months, and I think
I can manage to do without you for a granddaughter
any longer."
"You cannot do without me. You would
break your heart, and I should break mine."
Whereupon Ethel began to cry with a passion
that quite gratified the old lady. She watched
her a few moments, and then said gently:
"There now, that will do. When he comes
to New York bring him to see me. And don't
name the man in the meantime. I won't talk
about him till I've seen him. It isn't fair
either way. Fred didn't like him."
"Fred likes no one but Dora Stanhope."
"Eh! What! Is that nonsense going on
Then Ethel described her last two interviews
with Dora. She did this with scrupulous
fidelity, making no suggestions that
might prejudice the case. For she really
wanted her grandmother's decision in order
to frame her own conduct by it. Madam was
not, however, in a hurry to give it.
"What do you think?" she asked Ethel.
"I have known Dora for many years; she
has always told me everything."
"But nothing about Fred?"
"Nothing to tell, perhaps?"
"Where does her excellent husband come
"She says he is very kind to her in his
"And his way is to drag her over the world
to see the cathedrals thereof, and to vary that
pleasure with inspecting schools and reformatories
and listening to great preachers. Upon
my word, I feel sorry for the child! And I
know all about such excellent people as the
Stanhopes. I used to go to what they call
`a pleasant evening' with them. We sat
around a big room lit with wax candles, and
held improving conversation, or some one
sang one or two of Mrs. Hemans' songs, like
`Passing Away' or `He Never Smiled
Again.' Perhaps there was a comic recitation,
at which no one laughed, and finally we
had wine and hot water--they called it `port
negus'--and tongue sandwiches and caraway
cakes. My dear Ethel, I yawn now when I
think of those dreary evenings. What must
Dora have felt, right out of the maelstrom of
New York's operas and theaters and dancing
"Still, Dora ought to try to feel some interest
in the church affairs. She says she
does not care a hairpin for them, and Basil
feels so hurt."
"I dare say he does, poor fellow! He
thinks St. Jude's Kindergarten and sewing
circles and missionary societies are the only
joys in the world. Right enough for Basil,
but how about Dora?"
"They are his profession; she ought to
feel an interest in them."
"Come now, look at the question sensibly.
Did Dora's father bring his `deals' and
stock-jobbery home, and expect Dora and her
mother to feel an interest in them? Do doctors
tell their wives about their patients, and
expect them to pay sympathizing visits?
Does your father expect Ruth and yourself
to listen to his cases and arguments, and visit
his poor clients or make underclothing for
them? Do men, in general, consider it a
wife's place to interfere in their profession
or business?"
"Clergymen are different."
"Not at all. Preaching and philanthropy
is their business. They get so much a year
for doing it. I don't believe St. Jude's pays
Mrs. Stanhope a red cent. There now, and if
she isn't paid, she's right not to work. Amen
to that!"
"Before she was married Dora said she
felt a great interest in church work."
"I dare say she did. Marriage makes a
deal of difference in a woman's likes and dislikes.
Church work was courting-time before
marriage; after marriage she had other
"I think you might speak to Fred Mostyn----"
"I might, but it wouldn't be worth while.
Be true to your friend as long as you can.
In Yorkshire we stand by our friends, right
or wrong, and we aren't too particular as to
their being right. My father enjoyed justifying
a man that everyone else was down on;
and I've stood by many a woman nobody had
a good word for. I was never sorry for doing
it, either. I'll be going into a strange country
soon, and I should not wonder if some of
them that have gone there first will be ready
to stand by me. We don't know what friends
we'll be glad of there."
The dinner bell broke up this conversation,
and Ethel during it told Madam about the
cook and cooking at the Court and at
Nicholas Rawdon's, where John Thomas had
installed a French chef. Other domestic
arrangements were discussed, and when the
Judge called for his daughter at four o'clock,
Madam vowed "she had spent one of the
happiest days of her life."
"Ruth tells me," said the Judge, "that
Dora Stanhope called for Ethel soon after
she left home this morning. Ruth seems
troubled at the continuance of this friendship.
Have you spoken to your grandmother,
Ethel, about Dora?"
"She has told me all there is to tell, I dare
say," answered Madam.
"Well, mother, what do you think?"
"I see no harm in it yet awhile. It is not
fair, Edward, to condemn upon likelihoods.
We are no saints, sinful men and women, all
of us, and as much inclined to forbidden fruit
as any good Christians can be. Ethel can do
as she feels about it; she's got a mind of her
own, and I hope to goodness she'll not let
Ruth Bayard bit and bridle it."
Going home the Judge evidently pondered
this question, for he said after a lengthy
silence, "Grandmother's ethics do not always
fit the social ethics of this day, Ethel. She
criticises people with her heart, not her intellect.
You must be prudent. There is a remarkable
thing called Respectability to be
reckoned with remember that."
And Ethel answered, "No one need worry
about Dora. Some women may show the
edges of their character soiled and ragged,
but Dora will be sure to have hers reputably
finished with a hem of the widest propriety."
And after a short silence the Judge added,
almost in soliloquy, "And, moreover, Ethel,
"`There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.'"
WHEN Ethel and Tyrrel parted at the
steamer they did not expect a long separation,
but Colonel Rawdon never recovered his
health, and for many excellent reasons Tyrrel
could not leave the dying man. Nor did
Ethel wish him to do so. Under these circumstances
began the second beautiful phase
of Ethel's wooing, a sweet, daily correspondence,
the best of all preparations for matrimonial
oneness and understanding. Looking
for Tyrrel's letters, reading them, and
answering them passed many happy hours,
for to both it was an absolute necessity to assure
each other constantly,
"Since I wrote thee yester eve
I do love thee, Love, believe,
Twelve times dearer, twelve hours longer,
One dream deeper one night stronger,
One sun surer--this much more
Than I loved thee, dear, before."
And for the rest, she took up her old life with
a fresh enthusiasm.
Among these interests none were more
urgent in their claims than Dora Stanhope;
and fortified by her grandmother's opinion,
Ethel went at once to call on her. She found
Basil with his wife, and his efforts to make
Ethel see how much he expected from her
influence, and yet at the same time not even
hint a disapproval of Dora, were almost pathetic,
for he was so void of sophistry that
his innuendoes were flagrantly open to detection.
Dora felt a contempt for them, and
he had hardly left the room ere she said:
"Basil has gone to his vestry in high
spirits. When I told him you were coming
to see me to-day he smiled like an angel. He
believes you will keep me out of mischief, and
he feels a grand confidence in something
which he calls `your influence.'"
"What do you mean by mischief?"
"Oh, I suppose going about with Fred
Mostyn. I can't help that. I must have some
one to look after me. All the young men I
used to know pass me now with a lifted hat
or a word or two. The girls have forgotten
me. I don't suppose I shall be asked to a
single dance this winter."
"The ladies in St. Jude's church would
make a pet of you if----"
"The old cats and kittens! No, thank you,
I am not going to church except on Sunday
mornings--that is respectable and right; but
as to being the pet of St. Jude's ladies! No,
no! How they would mew over my delinquencies,
and what scratches I should get
from their velvet-shod claws! If I have to
be talked about, I prefer the ladies of the
world to discuss my frailties."
"But if I were you, I would give no one a
reason for saying a word against me. Why
should you?"
"Fred will supply them with reasons. I
can't keep the man away from me. I don't
believe I want to--he is very nice and useful."
"You are talking nonsense, things you
don't mean, Dora. You are not such a foolish
woman as to like to be seen with Fred
Mostyn, that little monocular snob, after the
aristocratic, handsome Basil Stanhope. The
comparison is a mockery. Basil is the finest
gentleman I ever saw. Socially, he is perfection,
"He is only a clergyman."
"Even as a clergyman he is of religiously
royal descent. There are generations of
clergymen behind him, and he is a prince in
the pulpit. Every man that knows him gives
him the highest respect, every woman thinks
you the most fortunate of wives. No one
cares for Fred Mostyn. Even in his native
place he is held in contempt. He had nine
hundred votes to young Rawdon's twelve
"I don't mind that. I am going to the
matinee to-morrow with Fred. He wanted
to take me out in his auto this afternoon, but
when I said I would go if you would he drew
back. What is the reason? Did he make
you offer of his hand? Did you refuse it?"
"He never made me an offer. I count that
to myself as a great compliment. If he had
done such a thing, he would certainly have
been refused."
"I can tell that he really hates you. What
dirty trick did you serve him about Rawdon
"So he called the release of Squire Rawdon
a `dirty trick'? It would have been a
very dirty trick to have let Fred Mostyn get
his way with Squire Rawdon."
"Of course, Ethel, when a man lends his
money as an obligation he expects to get it
back again."
"Mostyn got every farthing due him, and
he wanted one of the finest manors in England
in return for the obligation. He did not
get it, thank God and my father!"
"He will not forget your father's
"I hope he will remember it."
"Do you know who furnished the money
to pay Fred? He says he is sure your father
did not have it."
"Tell him to ask my father. He might
even ask your father. Whether my father
had the money or not was immaterial. Father
could borrow any sum he wanted, I
"Whom did he borrow from?"
"I am sure that Fred told you to ask that
question. Is he writing to you, Dora?"
"Suppose he is?"
"I cannot suppose such a thing. It is too
This was the beginning of a series of events
all more or less qualified to bring about
unspeakable misery in Basil's home. But there
is nothing in life like the marriage tie. The
tugs it will bear and not break, the wrongs it
will look over, the chronic misunderstandings
it will forgive, make it one of the mysteries
of humanity. It was not in a day or a week
that Basil Stanhope's dream of love and
home was shattered. Dora had frequent and
then less frequent times of return to her
better self; and every such time renewed her
husband's hope that she was merely passing
through a period of transition and assimilation,
and that in the end she would be all his
desire hoped for.
But Ethel saw what he did not see, that
Mostyn was gradually inspiring her with his
own opinions, perhaps even with his own passion.
In this emergency, however, she was
gratified to find that Dora's mother appeared
to have grasped the situation. For if Dora
went to the theater with Mostyn, Mrs. Denning
or Bryce was also there; and the reckless
auto driving, shopping, and lunching had
at least a show of respectable association.
Yet when the opera season opened, the constant
companionship of Mostyn and Dora became
entirely too remarkable, not only in the
public estimation, but in Basil's miserable
conception of his own wrong. The young
husband used every art and persuasion--and
failed. And his failure was too apparent to
be slighted. He became feverish and nervous,
and his friends read his misery in eyes heavy
with unshed tears, and in the wasting pallor
caused by his sleepless, sorrowful nights.
Dora also showed signs of the change so
rapidly working on her. She was sullen and
passionate by turns; she complained bitterly
to Ethel that her youth and beauty had been
wasted; that she was only nineteen, and her
life was over. She wanted to go to Paris, to
get away from New York anywhere and anyhow.
She began to dislike even the presence
of Basil. His stately beauty offended her,
his low, calm voice was the very keynote of
One morning near Christmas he came to
her with a smiling, radiant face. "Dora,"
he said, "Dora, my love, I have something
so interesting to tell you. Mrs. Colby and
Mrs. Schaffler and some other ladies have a
beautiful idea. They wish to give all the
children of the church under eight years old
the grandest Christmas tree imaginable--
really rich presents and they thought you
might like to have it here."
"What do you say, Basil!"
"You were always so fond of children.
"I never could endure them."
"We all thought you might enjoy it. Indeed,
I was so sure that I promised for you.
It will be such a pleasure to me also, dear."
"I will have no such childish nonsense in
my house."
"I promised it, Dora."
"You had no right to do so. This is my
house. My father bought it and gave me it,
and it is my own. I----"
"It seems, then, that I intrude in your
house. Is it so? Speak, Dora."
"If you will ask questions you must take
the answer. You do intrude when you come
with such ridiculous proposals--in fact, you
intrude very often lately."
"Does Mr. Mostyn intrude?"
"Mr. Mostyn takes me out, gives me a little
sensible pleasure. You think I can be interested
in a Christmas tree. The idea!"
"Alas, alas, Dora, you are tired of me!
You do not love me! You do not love me!"
"I love nobody. I am sorry I got married.
It was all a mistake. I will go home
and then you can get a divorce."
At this last word the whole man changed.
He was suffused, transfigured with an anger
that was at once righteous and impetuous.
"How dare you use that word to me?" he
demanded. "To the priest of God no such
word exists. I do not know it. You are my
wife, willing or unwilling. You are my wife
forever, whether you dwell with me or not.
You cannot sever bonds the Almighty has
tied. You are mine, Dora Stanhope! Mine
for time and eternity! Mine forever and
She looked at him in amazement, and saw
a man after an image she had never imagined.
She was terrified. She flung herself on the
sofa in a whirlwind of passion. She cried
aloud against his claim. She gave herself up
to a vehement rage that was strongly infused
with a childish dismay and panic.
"I will not be your wife forever!" she
shrieked. "I will never be your wife again
--never, not for one hour! Let me go! Take
your hands off me!" For Basil had knelt
down by the distraught woman, and clasping
her in his arms said, even on her lips, "You
ARE my dear wife! You are my very own
dear wife! Tell me what to do. Anything
that is right, reasonable I will do. We can
never part."
"I will go to my father. I will never come
back to you." And with these words she rose,
threw off his embrace, and with a sobbing
cry ran, like a terrified child, out of the room.
He sat down exhausted by his emotion, and
sick with the thought she had evoked in that
one evil word. The publicity, the disgrace,
the wrong to Holy Church--ah, that was the
cruelest wound! His own wrong was hard
enough, but that he, who would gladly die
for the Church, should put her to open
shame! How could he bear it? Though it
killed him, he must prevent that wrong; yes,
if the right eye offended it must be plucked
out. He must throw off his cassock, and turn
away from the sacred aisles; he must--he
could not say the word; he would wait a little.
Dora would not leave him; it was impossible.
He waited in a trance of aching suspense.
Nothing for an hour or more broke it--no
footfall, no sound of command or complaint.
He was finally in hopes that Dora slept.
Then he was called to lunch, and he made a
pretense of eating it alone. Dora sent no excuse
for her absence, and he could not trust
himself to make inquiry about her. In the
middle of the afternoon he heard a carriage
drive to the door, and Dora, with her jewelcase
in her hand, entered it and was driven
away. The sight astounded him. He ran to
her room, and found her maid packing her
clothing. The woman answered his questions
sullenly. She said "Mrs. Stanhope had gone
to Mrs. Denning's, and had left orders for
her trunks to be sent there." Beyond this
she was silent and ignorant. No sympathy
for either husband or wife was in her heart.
Their quarrel was interfering with her own
plans; she hated both of them in consequence.
In the meantime Dora had reached her
home. Her mother was dismayed and hesitating,
and her attitude raised again in Dora's
heart the passion which had provoked the
step she had taken. She wept like a lost
child. She exclaimed against the horror of
being Basil's wife forever and ever. She
reproached her mother for suffering her to
marry while she was only a child. She said
she had been cruelly used in order to get the
family into social recognition. She was in a
frenzy of grief at her supposed sacrifice when
her father came home. Her case was then
won. With her arms round his neck, sobbing
against his heart, her tears and entreaties on
his lips, Ben Denning had no feeling and no
care for anyone but his daughter. He took
her view of things at once. "She HAD been
badly used. It WAS a shame to tie a girl like
Dora to sermons and such like. It was like
shutting her up in a convent." Dora's tears
and complaints fired him beyond reason. He
promised her freedom whatever it cost him.
And while he sat in his private room
considering the case, all the racial passions of
his rough ancestry burning within him, Basil
Stanhope called to see him. He permitted
him to come into his presence, but he rose as
he entered, and walked hastily a few steps to
meet him.
"What do you want here, sir?" he asked.
"My wife."
"My daughter. You shall not see her. I
have taken her back to my own care."
"She is my wife. No one can take her
from me."
"I will teach you a different lesson."
"The law of God."
"The law of the land goes here. You'll
find it more than you can defy."
"Sir, I entreat you to let me speak to
"I will not."
"I will stay here until I see her."
"I will give you five minutes. I do not
wish to offer your profession an insult; if you
have any respect for it you will obey me."
Answer me one question--what have I
done wrong?"
"A man can be so intolerably right, that
he becomes unbearably wrong. You have no
business with a wife and a home. You are a
d---- sight too good for a good little girl that
wants a bit of innocent amusement. Sermons
and Christmas trees! Great Scott,
what sensible woman would not be sick of it
all? Sir, I don't want another minute of
your company. Little wonder that my Dora
is ill with it. Oblige me by leaving my house
as quietly as possible." And he walked to
the door, flung it open, and stood glaring at
the distracted husband. "Go," he said. "Go
at once. My lawyer will see you in the future.
I have nothing further to say to you."
Basil went, but not to his desolate home.
He had a private key to the vestry in his
church, and in its darkness and solitude he
faced the first shock of his ruined life, for he
knew well all was over. All had been. He sank
to the floor at the foot of the large cross which
hung on its bare white walls. Grief's illimitable
wave went over him, and like a drowning
man he uttered an inarticulate cry of agony
--the cry of a soul that had wronged its destiny.
Love had betrayed him to ruin. All
he had done must be abandoned. All he
had won must be given up. Sin and shame
indeed it would be if in his person a sacrament
of the Church should be dragged through
a divorce court. All other considerations
paled before this disgrace. He must resign
his curacy, strip himself of the honorable
livery of heaven, obliterate his person and
his name. It was a kind of death.
After awhile he rose, drank some water,
lifted the shade and let the moonlight in.
Then about that little room he walked with
God through the long night, telling Him his
sorrow and perplexity. And there is a depth
in our own nature where the divine and human
are one. That night Basil Stanhope
found it, and henceforward knew that the
bitterness of death was behind him, not before.
"I made my nest too dear on earth,"
he sighed, "and it has been swept bare--that
is, that I may build in heaven.
Now, the revelation of sorrow is the clearest
of all revelations. Stanhope understood that
hour what he must do. No doubts weakened
his course. He went back to the house Dora
called "hers," took away what he valued,
and while the servants were eating their
breakfast and talking over his marital
troubles, he passed across its threshold for
the last time. He told no one where he was
going; he dropped as silently and dumbly out
of the life that had known him as a stone
dropped into mid-ocean.
Ethel considered herself fortunate in being
from home at the time this disastrous culmination
of Basil Stanhope's married life
was reached. On that same morning the
Judge, accompanied by Ruth and herself, had
gone to Lenox to spend the holidays with
some old friends, and she was quite ignorant
of the matter when she returned after the
New Year. Bryce was her first informant.
He called specially to give her the news. He
said his sister had been too ill and too busy
to write. He had no word of sympathy for
the unhappy pair. He spoke only of the anxiety
it had caused him. "He was now engaged,"
he said, "to Miss Caldwell, and she
was such an extremely proper, innocent lady,
and a member of St. Jude's, it had really
been a trying time for her." Bryce also reminded
Ethel that he had been against Basil
Stanhope from the first. "He had always
known how that marriage would end," and
so on.
Ethel declined to give any opinion. "She
must hear both sides," she said. "Dora had
been so reasonable lately, she had appeared
"Oh, Dora is a little fox," he replied; "she
doubles on herself always."
Ruth was properly regretful. She wondered
"if any married woman was really
happy." She did not apparently concern
herself about Basil. The Judge rather leaned
to Basil's consideration. He understood that
Dora's overt act had shattered his professional
career as well as his personal happiness.
He could feel for the man there. "My
dears," he said, with his dilettante air, "the
goddess Calamity is delicate, and her feet are
tender. She treads not upon the ground, but
makes her path upon the hearts of men." In
this non-committal way he gave his comment,
for he usually found a bit of classical wisdom
to fit modern emergencies, and the habit
had imparted an antique bon-ton to his
conversation. Ethel could only wonder at the
lack of real sympathy.
In the morning she went to see her grandmother.
The old lady had "heard" all she
wanted to hear about Dora and Basil Stanhope.
If men would marry a fool because
she was young and pretty, they must take the
consequences. "And why should Stanhope
have married at all?" she asked indignantly.
"No man can serve God and a woman at the
same time. He had to be a bad priest and a
good husband, or a bad husband and a good
priest. Basil Stanhope was honored, was
doing good, and he must needs be happy also.
He wanted too much, and lost everything.
Serve him right."
"All can now find some fault in poor Basil
Stanhope," said Ethel. "Bryce was bitter
against him because Miss Caldwell shivers at
the word `divorce.'"
"What has Bryce to do with Jane Caldwell?"
"He is going to marry her, he says."
"Like enough; she's a merry miss of twoscore,
and rich. Bryce's marriage with anyone
will be a well-considered affair--a marriage
with all the advantages of a good
bargain. I'm tired of the whole subject. If
women will marry they should be as patient
as Griselda, in case there ever was such a
woman; if not, there's an end of the matter."
"There are no Griseldas in this century,
"Then there ought to be no marriages.
Basil Stanhope was a grand man in public.
What kind of a man was he in his home?
Measure a man by his home conduct, and
you'll not go wrong. It's the right place to
draw your picture of him, I can tell you that."
"He has no home now, poor fellow."
"Whose fault was it? God only knows.
Where is his wife?"
"She has gone to Paris."
"She has gone to the right place if she
wants to play the fool. But there, now, God
forbid I should judge her in the dark.
Women should stand by women--considering."
"What they may have to put up with. It
is easy to see faults in others. I have sometimes
met with people who should see faults
in themselves. They are rather uncommon,
"I am sure Basil Stanhope will be miserable
all his life. He will break his heart, I
do believe."
"Not so. A good heart is hard to break,
it grows strong in trouble. Basil Stanhope's
body will fail long before his heart does; and
even so an end must come to life, and after
that peace or what God wills."
This scant sympathy Ethel found to be the
usual tone among her acquaintances. St.
Jude's got a new rector and a new idol, and
the Stanhope affair was relegated to the
limbo of things "it was proper to forget."
So the weeks of the long winter went by,
and Ethel in the joy and hope of her own
love-life naturally put out of her mind the
sorrow of lives she could no longer help or
influence. Indeed, as to Dora, there were
frequent reports of her marvelous social success
in Paris; and Ethel did not doubt Stanhope
had found some everlasting gospel of
holy work to comfort his desolation. And
then also
"Each day brings its petty dust,
Our soon-choked souls to fill;
And we forget because we must,
And not because we will."
One evening when May with heavy clouds
and slant rains was making the city as miserable
as possible, Ethel had a caller. His card
bore a name quite unknown, and his appearance
gave no clew to his identity.
"Mr. Edmonds?" she said interrogatively.
"Are you Miss Ethel Rawdon?" he asked.
"Mr. Basil Stanhope told me to put this
parcel in your hands."
"Oh, Mr. Stanhope! I am glad to hear
from him. Where is he now?"
"We buried him yesterday. He died last
Sunday as the bells were ringing for church
--pneumonia, miss. While reading the service
over a poor young man he had nursed
many weeks he took cold. The poor will miss
him sorely."
"DEAD!" She looked aghast at the
speaker, and again ejaculated the pitiful,
astounding word.
"Good evening, miss. I promised him to
return at once to the work he left me to do."
And he quietly departed, leaving Ethel standing
with the parcel in her hands. She ran
upstairs and locked it away. Just then she
could not bear to open it.
"And it is hardly twelve months since he
was married," she sobbed. "Oh, Ruth,
Ruth, it is too cruel!"
"Dear," answered Ruth, "there is no
death to such a man as Basil Stanhope."
"He was so young, Ruth."
"I know. `His high-born brothers called
him hence' at the age of twenty-nine, but
"`It is not growing like a tree,
In bulk, doth make men better be;
Or standing like an oak three hundred year,
To fall at last, dry, bald and sear:
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May;
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light.'"
At these words the Judge put down his
Review to listen to Ethel's story, and when
she ceased speaking he had gone far further
back than any antique classic for compensation
and satisfaction:
"He being made perfect in a short time
fulfilled a long time. For his soul pleased
the Lord, therefore hasted He to take him
away from among the wicked."[2] And that
evening there was little conversation. Every
heart was busy with its own thoughts.
[2] Wisdom of Solomon, IV., 13, 14.
TRADE and commerce have their heroes as
well as arms, and the struggle in which Tyrrel
Rawdon at last plucked victory from apparent
failure was as arduous a campaign
as any military operations could have afforded.
It had entailed on him a ceaseless,
undaunted watch over antagonists rich and
powerful; and a fight for rights which contained
not only his own fortune, but the honor
of his father, so that to give up a fraction of
them was to turn traitor to the memory of a
parent whom he believed to be beyond all
doubt or reproach. Money, political power,
civic influence, treachery, bribery, the law's
delay and many other hindrances met him on
every side, but his heart was encouraged daily
to perseverance by love's tenderest sympathy.
For he told Ethel everything, and received
both from her fine intuitions and her father's
legal skill priceless comfort and advice. But
at last the long trial was over, the marriage
day was set, and Tyrrel, with all his rights
conceded, was honorably free to seek the happiness
he had safeguarded on every side.
It was a lovely day in the beginning of May,
nearly two years after their first meeting,
when Tyrrel reached New York. Ethel knew
at what hour his train would arrive, she was
watching and listening for his step. They
met in each other's arms, and the blessed
hours of that happy evening were an overpayment
of delight for the long months of
their separation.
In the morning Ethel was to introduce her
lover to Madam Rawdon, and side by side,
almost hand in hand, they walked down the
avenue together. Walked? They were so
happy they hardly knew whether their feet
touched earth or not. They had a constant
inclination to clasp hands, to run as little
children run; They wished to smile at everyone,
to bid all the world good morning.
Madam had resolved to be cool and careful
in her advances, but she quickly found herself
unable to resist the sight of so much love
and hope and happiness. The young people
together took her heart by storm, and she felt
herself compelled to express an interest in
their future, and to question Tyrrel about it.
"What are you going to do with yourself
or make of yourself?" she asked Tyrrel one
evening when they were sitting together. "I
do hope you'll find some kind of work. Anything
is better than loafing about clubs and
such like places."
"I am going to study law with Judge Rawdon.
My late experience has taught me its
value. I do not think I shall loaf in his
"Not if he is anywhere around. He works
and makes others work. Lawyering is a
queer business, but men can be honest in it
if they want to."
"And, grandmother," said Ethel, "my father
says Tyrrel has a wonderful gift for
public speaking. He made a fine speech at
father's club last night. Tyrrel will go into
"Will he, indeed? Tyrrel is a wonder. If
he manages to walk his shoes straight in the
zigzaggery ways of the law, he will be one of
that grand breed called `exceptions.' As for
politics, I don't like them, far from it. Your
grandfather used to say they either found a
man a rascal or made him one. However,
I'm ready to compromise on law and politics.
I was afraid with his grand voice he would
set up for a tenor."
Tyrrel laughed. "I did once think of that
role," he said.
"I fancied that. Whoever taught you to
use your voice knew a thing or two about
singing. I'll say that much."
"My mother taught me."
"Never! I wonder now!"
"She was a famous singer. She was a
great and a good woman. I owe her for every
excellent quality there is in me."
"No, you don't. You have got your black
eyes and hair her way, I'll warrant that, but
your solid make-up, your pluck and grit and
perseverance is the Rawdon in you. Without
Rawdon you would very likely now be strutting
about some opera stage, playing at kings
and lovemaking."
"As it is----"
"As it is, you will be lord consort of Rawdon
Manor, with a silver mine to back you."
"I am sorry about the Manor," said Tyrrel.
"I wish the dear old Squire were alive
to meet Ethel and myself."
"To be sure you do. But I dare say that
he is glad now to have passed out of it.
Death is a mystery to those left, but I have
no doubt it is satisfying to those who have
gone away. He died as he lived, very properly;
walked in the garden that morning as
far as the strawberry beds, and the gardener
gave him the first ripe half-dozen in a young
cabbage leaf, and he ate them like a boy, and
said they tasted as if grown in Paradise,
then strolled home and asked Joel to shake
the pillows on the sofa in the hall, laid himself
down, shuffled his head easy among them,
and fell on sleep. So Death the Deliverer
found him. A good going home! Nothing to
fear in it."
"Ethel tells me that Mr. Mostyn is now
living at Mostyn Hall."
"Yes, he married that girl he would have
sold his soul for and took her there, four
months only after her husband's death.
When I was young he durst not have done it,
the Yorkshire gentry would have cut them
"I think," said Tyrrel, "American gentlemen
of to-day felt much the same. Will
Madison told me that the club cut him as
soon as Mrs. Stanhope left her husband. He
went there one day after it was known, and
no one saw him; finally he walked up to
McLean, and would have sat down, but
McLean said, `Your company is not desired,
Mr. Mostyn.' Mostyn said something in reply,
and McLean answered sternly, `True,
we are none of us saints, but there are lines
the worst of us will not pass; and if there is
any member of this club willing to interfere
between a bridegroom and his bride, I would
like to kick him out of it.' Mostyn struck
the table with some exclamation, and McLean
continued, `Especially when the wronged
husband is a gentleman of such stainless
character and unsuspecting nature as Basil
Stanhope--a clergyman also! Oh, the thing
is beyond palliation entirely!' And he
walked away and left Mostyn."
"Well," said Madam, "if it came to kicking,
two could play that game. Fred is no
coward. I don't want to hear another word
about them. They will punish each other
without our help. Let them alone. I hope
you are not going to have a crowd at your
wedding. The quietest weddings are the
luckiest ones."
"About twenty of our most intimate friends
are invited to the church," said Ethel.
"There will be no reception until we return
to New York in the fall."
"No need of fuss here, there will be enough
when you reach Monk-Rawdon. The village
will be garlanded and flagged, the bells ringing,
and all your tenants and retainers out to
meet you."
"We intend to get into our own home without
anyone being aware of it. Come, Tyrrel,
my dressmaker is waiting, I know. It is my
wedding gown, dear Granny, and oh, so
"You will not be any smarter than I intend
to be, miss. You are shut off from color.
I can outdo you."
"I am sure you can--and will. Here comes
father. What can he want?" They met him
at the door, and with a few laughing words
left him with Madam. She looked curiously
into his face and asked, "What is it, Edward?"
"I suppose they have told you all the
arrangements. They are very simple. Did they
say anything about Ruth?"
"They never named her. They said they
were going to Washington for a week, and
then to Rawdon Court. Ruth seems out of it
all. Are you going to turn her adrift, or present
her with a few thousand dollars? She
has been a mother to Ethel. Something ought
to be done for Ruth Bayard."
"I intend to marry her."
"I thought so."
"She will go to her sister's in Philadelphia
for a month 's preparation. I shall marry her
there, and bring her home as my wife. She
is a sweet, gentle, docile woman. She will
make me happy."
"Sweet, gentle, docile! Yes, that is the
style of wife Rawdon men prefer. What does
Ethel say?"
"She is delighted. It was her idea. I was
much pleased with her thoughtfulness. Any
serious break in my life would now be a great
discomfort. You need not look so satirical,
mother; I thought of Ruth's life also."
"Also an afterthought; but Ruth is gentle
and docile, and she is satisfied, and I am satisfied,
so then everything is proper and everyone
content. Come for me at ten on Wednesday
morning. I shall be ready. No refreshments,
I suppose. I must look after my own
breakfast. Won't you feel a bit shabby, Edward?
"And then the look and handclasp
between them turned every word into sweetness
and good-will.
And as Ethel regarded her marriage rather
as a religious rite than a social function, she
objected to its details becoming in any sense
public, and her desires were to be regarded.
Yet everyone may imagine the white loveliness
of the bride, the joy of the bridegroom,
the calm happiness of the family breakfast,
and the leisurely, quiet leave-taking. The
whole ceremony was the right note struck at
the beginning of a new life, and they might
justly expect it would move onward in melodious
Within three weeks after their marriage
they arrived at Rawdon Court. It was on a
day and at an hour when no one was looking
for them, and they stepped into the lovely
home waiting for them without outside observation.
Hiring a carriage at the railway
station, they dismissed it at the little bridge
near the Manor House, and sauntered happily
through the intervening space. The
door of the great hall stood open, and the
fire, which had been burning on its big hearth
unquenched for more than three hundred
years, was blazing merrily, as if some hand
had just replenished it. On the long table
the broad, white beaver hat of the dead
Squire was lying, and his oak walking stick
was beside it. No one had liked to remove
them. They remained just as he had put
them down, that last, peaceful morning of his
In a few minutes the whole household was
aware of their home-coming, and before the
day was over the whole neighborhood. Then
there was no way of avoiding the calls, the
congratulations, and the entertainments that
followed, and the old Court was once more
the center of a splendid hospitality. Of
course the Tyrrel-Rawdons were first on the
scene, and Ethel was genuinely glad to meet
again the good-natured Mrs. Nicholas. No
one could give her better local advice, and
Ethel quickly discovered that the best general
social laws require a local interpretation.
Her hands were full, her heart full, she
had so many interests to share, so many people
to receive and to visit, and yet when two
weeks passed and Dora neither came nor
wrote she was worried and dissatisfied.
"Are the Mostyns at the Hall?" she asked
Mrs. Nicholas at last. "I have been expecting
Mrs. Mostyn every day, but she neither
comes nor writes to me."
"I dare say not. Poor little woman! I'll
warrant she has been forbid to do either. If
Mostyn thought she wanted to see you, he
would watch day and night to prevent her
coming. He's turning out as cruel a man as
his father was, and you need not say a word
worse than that."
"Cruel! Oh, dear, how dreadful! Men
will drink and cheat and swear, but a cruel
man seems so unnatural, so wicked."
"To be sure, cruelty is the joy of devils.
As I said to John Thomas when we heard
about Mostyn's goings-on, we have got rid of
the Wicked One, but the wicked still remain
with us."
This conversation having been opened, was
naturally prolonged by the relation of incidents
which had come through various sources
to Mrs. Rawdon's ears, all of them indicating
an almost incredible system of petty tyranny
and cruel contradiction. Ethel was amazed,
and finally angry at what she heard. Dora
was her countrywoman and her friend; she
instantly began to express her sympathy and
her intention of interfering.
"You had better neither meddle nor make
in the matter," answered Mrs. Rawdon.
"Our Lucy went to see her, and gave her
some advice about managing Yorkshiremen.
And as she was talking Mostyn came in, and
was as rude as he dared to be. Then Lucy
asked him `if he was sick.' She said, `All
the men in the neighborhood, gentle and simple,
were talking about him, and that it wasn't
a pleasant thing to be talked about in the way
they were doing it. You must begin to look
more like yourself, Mr. Mostyn; it is good
advice I am giving you,' she added; and Mostyn
told her he would look as he felt, whether
it was liked or not liked. And Lucy laughed,
and said, `In that case he would have to go
to his looking-glass for company.' Well,
Ethel, there was a time to joy a devil after
Lucy left, and some one of the servants went
on their own responsibility for a doctor; and
Mostyn ordered him out of the house, and he
would not go until he saw Mrs. Mostyn; and
the little woman was forced to come and say
`she was quite well,' though she was sobbing
all the time she spoke. Then the doctor told
Mostyn what he thought, and there is a quarrel
between them every time they meet."
But Ethel was not deterred by these statements;
on the contrary, they stimulated her
interest in her friend. Dora needed her, and
the old feeling of protection stirred her to
interference. At any rate, she could call and
see the unhappy woman; and though Tyrrel
was opposed to the visit, and thought it every
way unwise, Ethel was resolved to make it.
"You can drive me there," she said, "then
go and see Justice Manningham and call for
me in half an hour." And this resolution
was strengthened by a pitiful little note
received from Dora just after her decision.
"Mostyn has gone to Thirsk," it said; "for
pity's sake come and see me about two o'clock
this afternoon."
The request was promptly answered. As
the clock struck two Ethel crossed the threshold
of the home that might have been hers.
She shuddered at the thought. The atmosphere
of the house was full of fear and
gloom, the furniture dark and shabby, and
she fancied the wraiths of old forgotten
crimes and sorrows were gliding about the
sad, dim rooms and stairways. Dora rose in
a passion of tears to welcome her, and because
time was short instantly began her pitiful
"You know how he adored me once," she
said; "would you believe it, Ethel, we were
not two weeks married when he began to
hate me. He dragged me through Europe in
blazing heat and blinding snows when I was
sick and unfit to move. He brought me here
in the depth of winter, and when no one
called on us he blamed me; and from morning
till night, and sometimes all night long,
he taunts and torments me. After he heard
that you had bought the Manor he lost all
control of himself. He will not let me sleep.
He walks the floor hour after hour, declaring
he could have had you and the finest manor in
England but for a cat-faced woman like me.
And he blames me for poor Basil's death--
says we murdered him together, and that he
sees blood on my hands." And she looked
with terror at her small, thin hands, and held
them up as if to protest against the charge.
When she next spoke it was to sob out, "Poor
Basil! He would pity me! He would help
me! He would forgive me! He knows now
that Mostyn was, and is, my evil genius."
"Do not cry so bitterly, Dora, it hurts me.
Let us think. Is there nothing you can do?"
"I want to go to mother." Then she drew
Ethel's head close to her and whispered a
few words, and Ethel answered, "You poor
little one, you shall go to your mother. Where
is she?"
"She will be in London next week, and I
must see her. He will not let me go, but go
I must if I die for it. Mrs. John Thomas
Rawdon told me what to do, and I have been
following her advice."
Ethel did not ask what it was, but added,
"If Tyrrel and I can help you, send for us.
We will come. And, Dora, do stop weeping,
and be brave. Remember you are an American
woman. Your father has often told me
how you could ride with Indians or cowboys
and shoot with any miner in Colorado. A
bully like Mostyn is always a coward. Lift
up your heart and stand for every one of your
rights. You will find plenty of friends to
stand with you." And with the words she
took her by the hands and raised her to her
feet, and looked at her with such a beaming,
courageous smile that Dora caught its spirit,
and promised to insist on her claims for rest
and sleep.
"When shall I come again, Dora?"
"Not till I send for you. Mother will be
in London next Wednesday at the Savoy. I
intend to leave here Wednesday some time,
and may need you; will you come?"
"Surely, both Tyrrel and I."
Then the time being on a dangerous line
they parted. But Ethel could think of nothing
and talk of nothing but the frightful
change in her friend, and the unceasing misery
which had produced it. Tyrrel shared all
her indignation. The slow torture of any
creature was an intolerable crime in his eyes,
but when the brutality was exercised on a
woman, and on a countrywoman, he was
roused to the highest pitch of indignation.
When Wednesday arrived he did not leave
the house, but waited with Ethel for the
message they confidently expected. It came
about five o'clock--urgent, imperative,
entreating, "Come, for God's sake! He will
kill me."
The carriage was ready, and in half an
hour they were at Mostyn Hall. No one answered
their summons, but as they stood
listening and waiting, a shrill cry of pain
and anger pierced the silence. It was followed
by loud voices and a confused noise--
noise of many talking and exclaiming. Then
Tyrrel no longer hesitated. He opened the
door easily, and taking Ethel on his arm,
suddenly entered the parlor from which the
clamor came. Dora stood in the center of
the room like an enraged pythoness, her eyes
blazing with passion.
"See!" she cried as Tyrrel entered the
room--"see!" And she held out her arm,
and pointed to her shoulder from which the
lace hung in shreds, showing the white flesh,
red and bruised, where Mostyn had gripped
her. Then Tyrrel turned to Mostyn, who
was held tightly in the grasp of his gardener
and coachman, and foaming with a rage that
rendered his explanation almost inarticulate,
especially as the three women servants gathered
around their mistress added their railing
and invectives to the general confusion.
"The witch! The cat-faced woman!" he
screamed. "She wants to go to her mother!
Wants to play the trick she killed Basil Stanhope
with! She shall not! She shall not! I
will kill her first! She is mad! I will send
her to an asylum! She is a little devil! I
will send her to hell! Nothing is bad enough
"Mr. Mostyn," said Tyrrel.
"Out of my house! What are you doing
here? Away! This is my house! Out of it
"This man is insane," said Tyrrel to Dora.
"Put on your hat and cloak, and come home
with us."
"I am waiting for Justice Manningham,"
she answered with a calm subsidence of passion
that angered Mostyn more than her reproaches.
"I have sent for him. He will be
here in five minutes now. That brute"--
pointing to Mostyn--"must be kept under
guard till I reach my mother. The magistrate
will bring a couple of constables with him."
"This is a plot, then! You hear it! You!
You, Tyrrel Rawdon, and you, Saint Ethel,
are in it, all here on time. A plot, I say! Let
me loose that I may strangle the cat-faced
creature. Look at her hands, they are already
At these words Dora began to sob passionately,
the servants, one and all, to comfort
her, or to abuse Mostyn, and in the
height of the hubbub Justice Manningham
entered with two constables behind him.
"Take charge of Mr. Mostyn," he said to
them, and as they laid their big hands on his
shoulders the Justice added, "You will consider
yourself under arrest, Mr. Mostyn."
And when nothing else could cow Mostyn,
he was cowed by the law. He sank almost
fainting into his chair, and the Justice listened
to Dora's story, and looked indignantly
at the brutal man, when she showed him her
torn dress and bruised shoulder. "I entreat
your Honor," she said, "to permit me to go
to my mother who is now in London." And
he answered kindly, "You shall go. You
are in a condition only a mother can help and
comfort. As soon as I have taken your deposition
you shall go."
No one paid any attention to Mostyn's disclaimers
and denials. The Justice saw the
state of affairs. Squire Rawdon and Mrs.
Rawdon testified to Dora's ill-usage; the butler,
the coachman, the stablemen, the cook,
the housemaids were all eager to bear witness
to the same; and Mrs. Mostyn's appearance
was too eloquent a plea for any humane
man to deny her the mother-help she asked
Though neighbors and members of the
same hunt and clubs, the Justice took no
more friendly notice of Mostyn than he
would have taken of any wife-beating cottonweaver;
and when all lawful preliminaries
had been arranged, he told Mrs. Mostyn that
he should not take up Mr. Mostyn's case till
Friday; and in the interval she would have
time to put herself under her mother's care.
She thanked him, weeping, and in her old,
pretty way kissed his hands, and "vowed he
had saved her life, and she would forever
remember his goodness." Mostyn mocked at
her "play-acting," and was sternly reproved
by the Justice; and then Tyrrel and Ethel
took charge of Mrs. Mostyn until she was
ready to leave for London.
She was more nearly ready than they expected.
All her trunks were packed, and the
butler promised to take them immediately to
the railway station. In a quarter of an hour
she appeared in traveling costume, with her
jewels in a bag, which she carried in her hand.
There was a train for London passing Monk-
Rawdon at eight o'clock; and after Justice
Manningham had left, the cook brought in
some dinner, which Dora asked the Rawdons
to share with her. It was, perhaps, a necessary
but a painful meal. No one noticed
Mostyn. He was enforced to sit still and
watch its progress, which he accompanied
with curses it would be a kind of sacrilege to
write down. But no one answered him, and
no one noticed the orders he gave for his own
dinner, until Dora rose to leave forever the
house of bondage. Then she said to the cook:
"See that those gentlemanly constables
have something good to eat and to drink, and
when they have been served you may give
that man"--pointing to Mostyn--"the dinner
of bread and water he has so often prescribed
for me. After my train leaves you
are all free to go to your own homes. Farewell,
Then Mostyn raved again, and finally tried
his old loving terms. "Come back to me,
Dora," he called frantically. "Come back,
dearest, sweetest Dora, I will be your lover
forever. I will never say another cross word
to you."
But Dora heard not and saw not. She left
the room without a glance at the man sitting
cowering between the officers, and blubbering
with shame and passion and the sense of
total loss. In a few minutes he heard the
Rawdon carriage drive to the door. Tyrrel
and Ethel assisted Dora into it, and the party
drove at once to the railway station. They
were just able to catch the London train.
The butler came up to report all the trunks
safely forwarded, and Dora dropped gold
into his hand, and bade him clear the house of
servants as soon as the morning broke. Fortunately
there was no time for last words and
promises; the train began to move, and Tyrrel
and Ethel, after watching Dora's white
face glide into the darkness, turned silently
away. That depression which so often follows
the lifting of burdens not intended for
our shoulders weighed on their hearts and
made speech difficult. Tyrrel was especially
affected by it. A quick feeling of something
like sympathy for Mostyn would not be reasoned
away, and he drew Ethel close within
his arm, and gave the coachman an order to
drive home as quickly as possible, for twilight
was already becoming night, and under
the trees the darkness felt oppressive.
The little fire on the hearth and their belated
dinner somewhat relieved the tension;
but it was not until they had retired to a
small parlor, and Tyrrel had smoked a cigar,
that the tragedy of the evening became a
possible topic of conversation. Tyrrel opened
the subject by a question as to whether "he
ought to have gone with Dora to London."
"Dora opposed the idea strongly when I
named it to her," answered Ethel. "She said
it would give opportunities for Mostyn to
slander both herself and you, and I think she
was correct. Every way she was best alone."
"Perhaps, but I feel as if I ought to have
gone, as if I had been something less than a
gentleman; in fact, as if I had been very ungentle."
"There is no need," answered Ethel a little
"It is a terrible position for Mostyn."
"He deserves it."
"He is so sensitive about public opinion."
"In that case he should behave decently in
Then Tyrrel lit another cigar, and there
was another silence, which Ethel occupied in
irritating thoughts of Dora's unfortunate
fatality in trouble-making. She sat at a
little table standing between herself and Tyrrel.
It held his smoking utensils, and after
awhile she pushed them aside, and let the
splendid rings which adorned her hand fall
into the cleared space. Tyrrel watched her
a few moments, and then asked, "What are
you doing, Ethel, my dear?"
She looked up with a smile, and then down
at the hand she had laid open upon the table.
"I am looking at the Ring of all Rings.
See, Tyrrel, it is but a little band of gold, and
yet it gave me more than all the gems of earth
could buy. Rubies and opals and sapphires
are only its guard. The simple wedding ring
is the ring of great price. It is the loveliest
ornament a happy woman can wear."
Tyrrel took her hand and kissed it, and
kissed the golden band, and then answered,
"Truly an ornament if a happy wife wears
it; but oh, Ethel, what is it when it binds a
woman to such misery as Dora has just fled
"Then it is a fetter, and a woman who has
a particle of self-respect will break it. The
Ring of all Rings!" she ejaculated again, as
she lifted the rubies and opals, and slowly
but smilingly encircled the little gold band.
"Let us try now to forget that sorrowful
woman," said Tyrrel. "She will be with
her mother in a few hours. Mother-love can
cure all griefs. It never fails. It never
blames. It never grows weary. It is always
young and warm and true. Dora will be
comforted. Let us forget; we can do no
For a couple of days this was possible, but
then came Mrs. Nicholas Rawdon, and the
subject was perforce opened. "It was a bad
case," she said, "but it is being settled as
quickly and as quietly as possible. I believe
the man has entered into some sort of recognizance
to keep the peace, and has disappeared.
No one will look for him. The gentry
are against pulling one another down in
any way, and this affair they don't want
talked about. Being all of them married
men, it isn't to be expected, is it? Justice
Manningham was very sorry for the little
lady, but he said also `it was a bad precedent,
and ought not to be discussed.' And
Squire Bentley said, `If English gentlemen
would marry American women, they must
put up with American women's ways,' and
so on. None of them think it prudent to approve
Mrs. Mostyn's course. But they won't
get off as easy as they think. The women are
standing up for her. Did you ever hear anything
like that? And I'll warrant some husbands
are none so easy in their minds, as
my Nicholas said, `Mrs. Mostyn had sown
seed that would be seen and heard tell of for
many a long day.' Our Lucy, I suspect, had
more to do with the move than she will confess.
She got a lot of new, queer notions at
college, and I do believe in my heart she set
the poor woman up to the business. John
Thomas, of course, says not a word, but he
looks at Lucy in a very proud kind of way;
and I'll be bound he has got an object lesson
he'll remember as long as he lives. So has
Nicholas, though he bluffs more than a little
as to what he'd do with a wife that got a runningaway
notion into her head. Bless you,
dear, they are all formulating their laws on
the subject, and their wives are smiling
queerly at them, and holding their heads a
bit higher than usual. I've been doing it
myself, so I know how they feel."
Thus, though very little was said in the
newspapers about the affair, the notoriety
Mostyn dreaded was complete and thorough.
It was the private topic of conversation in
every household. Men talked it over in all
the places where men met, and women hired
the old Mostyn servants in order to get the
very surest and latest story of the poor wife's
wrongs, and then compared reports and even
discussed the circumstances in their own particular
At the Court, Tyrrel and Ethel tried to forget,
and their own interests were so many
and so important that they usually succeeded;
especially after a few lines from
Mrs. Denning assured them of Dora's safety
and comfort. And for many weeks the busy
life of the Manor sufficed; there was the hay
to cut in the meadow lands, and after it the
wheat fields to harvest. The stables, the kennels,
the farms and timber, the park and the
garden kept Tyrrel constantly busy. And
to these duties were added the social ones,
the dining and dancing and entertaining, the
horse racing, the regattas, and the enthusiasm
which automobiling in its first fever
And yet there were times when Tyrrel
looked bored, and when nothing but Squire
Percival's organ or Ethel's piano seemed to
exorcise the unrest and ennui that could not
be hid. Ethel watched these moods with a
wise and kind curiosity, and in the beginning
of September, when they perceptibly increased,
she asked one day, "Are you happy,
Tyrrel? Quite happy?"
"I am having a splendid holiday," he answered,
"But what, dear?"
"One could not turn life into a long holiday--
that would be harder than the hardest
She answered "Yes," and as soon as she
was alone fell to thinking, and in the midst
of her meditation Mrs. Nicholas Rawdon entered
in a whirl of tempestuous delight.
"What do you think?" she asked between
laughing and crying. "Whatever do you
think? Our Lucy had twins yesterday, two
fine boys as ever was. And I wish you could
see their grandfather and their father. They
are out of themselves with joy. They stand
hour after hour beside the two cradles, looking
at the little fellows, and they nearly came
to words this morning about their names."
"I am so delighted!" cried Ethel. "And
what are you going to call them?"
"One is an hour older than the other, and
John Thomas wanted them called Percival
and Nicholas. But my Nicholas wanted the
eldest called after himself, and he said so
plain enough. And John Thomas said `he
could surely name his own sons; and then
Nicholas told him to remember he wouldn't
have been here to have any sons at all but
for his father.' And just then I came into
the room to have a look at the little lads, and
when I heard what they were fratching about,
I told them it was none of their business, that
Lucy had the right to name the children, and
they would just have to put up with the
names she gave them."
"And has Lucy named them?"
"To be sure. I went right away to her
and explained the dilemma, and I said, `Now,
Lucy, it is your place to settle this question.'
And she answered in her positive little way,
`You tell father the eldest is to be called
Nicholas, and tell John Thomas the youngest
is to be called John Thomas. I can manage
two of that name very well. And say that I
won't have any more disputing about names,
the boys are as good as christened already.'
And of course when Lucy said that we all
knew it was settled. And I'm glad the eldest
is Nicholas. He is a fine, sturdy little Yorkshireman,
bawling out already for what he
wants, and flying into a temper if he doesn't
get it as soon as he wants it. Dearie me,
Ethel, I am a proud woman this morning.
And Nicholas is going to give all the hands
a holiday, and a trip up to Ambleside on
Saturday, though John Thomas is very much
against it."
"Why is he against it?"
"He says they will be holding a meeting
on Monday night to try and find out what
Old Nicholas is up to, and that if he doesn't
give them the same treat on the same date
next year, they'll hold an indignation meeting
about being swindled out of their rights.
And I'll pledge you my word John Thomas
knows the men he's talking about. However,
Nicholas is close with his money, and it will
do him good happen to lose a bit. Blood-letting
is healthy for the body, and perhaps
gold-letting may help the soul more than we
think for."
This news stimulated Ethel's thinking, and
when she also stood beside the two cradles,
and the little Nicholas opened his big blue
eyes and began to "bawl for what he wanted,"
a certain idea took fast hold of her, and she
nursed it silently for the next month, watching
Tyrrel at the same time. It was near
October, however, before she found the
proper opportunity for speaking. There
had been a long letter from the Judge. It
said Ruth and he were home again after a
wonderful trip over the Northern Pacific
road. He wrote with enthusiasm of the
country and its opportunities, and of the big
cities they had visited on their return from
the Pacific coast. Every word was alive, the
magnitude and stir of traffic and wrestling
humanity seemed to rustle the paper. He
described New York as overflowing with business.
His own plans, the plans of others, the
jar of politics, the thrill of music and the
drama--all the multitudinous vitality that
crowded the streets and filled the air, even
to the roofs of the twenty-story buildings,
contributed to the potent exhilaration of the
"Great George!" exclaimed Tyrrel.
"That is life! That is living! I wish we
were back in America!"
"So do I, Tyrrel."
"I am so glad. When shall we go? It is
now the twenty-eighth of September."
"Are you very weary of Rawdon Court"'
"Yes. If a man could live for the sake
of eating and sleeping and having a pleasant
time, why Rawdon Court would be a heaven
to him; but if he wants to DO something with
his life, he would be most unhappy here."
"And you want to do something?"
"You would not have loved a man who did
not want TO DO. We have been here four
months. Think of it! If I take four months
out of every year for twenty years, I shall
lose, with travel, about seven years of my life,
and the other things to be dropped with them
may be of incalculable value."
"I see, Tyrrel. I am not bound in any
way to keep Rawdon Court. I can sell it tomorrow."
"But you would be grieved to do so?"
"Not at all. Being a lady of the Manor
does not flatter me. The other squires would
rather have a good man in my place."
"Why did you buy it?"
"As I have told you, to keep Mostyn out,
and to keep a Rawdon here. But Nicholas
Rawdon craves the place, and will pay well
for his desire. It cost me eighty thousand
pounds. He told father he would gladly give
me one hundred thousand pounds whenever
I was tired of my bargain. I will take the
hundred thousand pounds to-morrow. There
would then be four good heirs to Rawdon on
the place."
Here the conversation was interrupted by
Mrs. Nicholas, who came to invite them to
the christening feast of the twins. Tyrrel
soon left the ladies together, and Ethel at
once opened the desired conversation.
"I am afraid we may have left the Court
before the christening," she said. "Mr. Rawdon
is very unhappy here. He is really homesick."
"But this is his home, isn't it? And a very
fine one."
"He cannot feel it so. He has large interests
in America. I doubt if I ever induce
him to come here again. You see, this visit
has been our marriage trip."
"And you won't live here! I never heard
the line. What will you do with the Court?
It will be badly used if it is left to servants
seven or eight months every year."
"I suppose I must sell it. I see no----"
"If you only would let Nicholas buy it.
You might be sure then it would be well
cared for, and the little lads growing up in it,
who would finally heir it. Oh, Ethel, if you
would think of Nicholas first. He would
honor the place and be an honor to it."
Out of this conversation the outcome was
as satisfactory as it was certain, and within
two weeks Nicholas Rawdon was Squire of
Rawdon Manor, and possessor of the famous
old Manor House. Then there followed a
busy two weeks for Tyrrel, who had the
superintendence of the packing, which was
no light business. For though Ethel would
not denude the Court of its ancient furniture
and ornaments, there were many things belonging
to the personal estate of the late
Squire which had been given to her by his
will, and could not be left behind. But by
the end of October cases and trunks were all
sent off to the steamship in which their passage
was taken; and the Rawdon estate,
which had played such a momentous part in
Ethel's life having finished its mission, had
no further influence, and without regret
passed out of her physical life forever.
Indeed, their willingness to resign all
claims to the old home was a marvel to both
Tyrrel and Ethel. On their last afternoon
there they walked through the garden, and
stood under the plane tree where their vows
of love had been pledged, and smiled and
wondered at their indifference. The beauteous
glamor of first love was gone as completely
as the flowers and scents and songs
that had then filled the charming place. But
amid the sweet decay of these things they
once more clasped hands, looking with supreme
confidence into each other's eyes. All
that had then been promised was now certain;
and with an affection infinitely sweeter
and surer, Tyrrel drew Ethel to his heart, and
on her lips kissed the tenderest, proudest
words a woman hears, "My dear wife!"
This visit was their last adieu, all the rest
had been said, and early the next morning
they left Monk-Rawdon station as quietly
as they had arrived. During their short
reign at Rawdon Court they had been very
popular, and perhaps their resignation was
equally so. After all, they were foreigners,
and Nicholas Rawdon was Yorkshire, root
and branch.
"Nice young people," said Justice Manningham
at a hunt dinner, "but our ways
are not their ways, nor like to be. The young
man was born a fighter, and there are neither
bears nor Indians here for him to fight; and
our politics are Greek to him; and the lady,
very sweet and beautiful, but full of new
ideas--ideas not suitable for women, and we
do not wish our women changed."
"Good enough as they are," mumbled
Squire Oakes.
"Nicest Americans I ever met," added
Earl Danvers, "but Nicholas Rawdon will
be better at Rawdon Court." To which
statement there was a general assent, and
then the subject was considered settled.
In the meantime Tyrrel and Ethel had
reached London and gone to the Metropole
Hotel; because, as Ethel said, no one knew
where Dora was; but if in England, she was
likely to be at the Savoy. They were to be
two days in London. Tyrrel had banking
and other business to fully occupy the time,
and Ethel remembered she had some shopping
to do, a thing any woman would discover
if she found herself in the neighborhood
of Regent Street and Piccadilly. On
the afternoon of the second day this duty was
finished, and she returned to her hotel satisfied
but a little weary. As she was going up
the steps she noticed a woman coming slowly
down them. It was Dora Mostyn. They met
with great enthusiasm on Dora's part, and
she turned back and went with Ethel to her
Ethel looked at her with astonishment. She
was not like any Dora she had previously
seen. Her beauty had developed wondrously,
she had grown much taller, and her childish
manner had been superseded by a carriage
and air of superb grace and dignity. She
had now a fine color, and her eyes were
darker, softer, and more dreamy than ever.
"Take off your hat, Dora," said Ethel, "and
tell me what has happened. You are positively
splendid. Where is Mr. Mostyn?"
"I neither know nor care. He is tramping
round the world after me, and I intend to
keep him at it. But I forget. I must tell
you how THAT has come about."
"We heard from Mrs. Denning. She said
she had received you safely."
"My dear mother! She met me like an
angel; comforted and cared for me, never
said one word of blame, only kissed and
pitied me. We talked things over, and she
advised me to go to New York. So we took
three passages under the names of Mrs. John
Gifford, Miss Gifford, and Miss Diana Gifford.
Miss Diana was my maid, but mother
thought a party of three would throw Mostyn
off our track."
"A very good idea."
"We sailed at once. On the second day
out I had a son. The poor little fellow died
in a few hours, and was buried at sea. But
his birth has given me the power to repay
to Fred Mostyn some of the misery he caused
"How so? I do not see."
"Oh, you must see, if you will only remember
how crazy Englishmen are about
their sons. Daughters don't count, you know,
but a son carries the property in the family
name. He is its representative for the next
generation. As I lay suffering and weeping,
a fine scheme of revenge came clearly to me.
Listen! Soon after we got home mother
cabled Mostyn's lawyer that `Mrs. Mostyn
had had a son.' Nothing was said of the
boy's death. Almost immediately I was notified
that Mr. Mostyn would insist on the
surrender of the child to his care. I took
no notice of the letters. Then he sent his lawyer
to claim the child and a woman to take
care of it. I laughed them to scorn, and defied
them to find the child. After them came
Mostyn himself. He interviewed doctors,
overlooked baptismal registers, advertised
far and wide, bribed our servants, bearded
father in his office, abused Bryce on the avenue,
waylaid me in all my usual resorts, and
bombarded me with letters, but he knows no
more yet than the cable told him. And the
man is becoming a monomaniac about HIS
"Are you doing right, Dora?"
"If you only knew how he had tortured
me! Father and mother think he deserves all
I can do to him. Anyway, he will have it to
bear. If he goes to the asylum he threatened
me with, I shall be barely satisfied. The
`cat-faced woman' is getting her innings
"Have you never spoken to him or written
to him? Surely"
"He caught me one day as I came out of
our house, and said, `Madam, where is my
son?' And I answered, `You have no son.
The child WAS MINE. You shall never see his
face in this world. I have taken good care of
"`I will find him some day,' he said, and I
laughed at him, and answered, `He is too
cunningly hid. Do you think I would let the
boy know he had such a father as you? No,
indeed. Not unless there was property for
the disgrace.' I touched him on the raw in
that remark, and then I got into my carriage
and told the coachman to drive quickly.
Mostyn attempted to follow me, but the whip
lashing the horses was in the way." And
Dora laughed, and the laugh was cruel and
mocking and full of meaning.
"Dora, how can you? How can you find
pleasure in such revenges,"
"I am having the greatest satisfaction of
my life. And I am only beginning the just
retribution, for my beauty is enthralling the
man again, and he is on the road to a mad
jealousy of me."
"Why don't you get a divorce? This is a
case for that remedy. He might then marry
again, and you also."
"Even so, I should still torment him. If
he had sons he would be miserable in the
thought that his unknown son might, on his
death, take from them the precious Mostyn
estate, and that wretched, old, haunted house
of his. I am binding him to misery on every
"Is Mrs. Denning here with you?"
"Both my father and mother are with me.
Father is going to take a year's rest, and we
shall visit Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Paris or
wherever our fancy leads us."
"And Mr. Mostyn?"
"He can follow me round, and see nobles
and princes and kings pay court to the beauty
of the `cat-faced woman.' I shall never notice
him, never speak to him; but you need
not look so suspicious, Ethel. Neither by
word nor deed will I break a single convention
of the strictest respectability."
"Mr. Mostyn ought to give you your freedom."
"I have given freedom to myself. I have
already divorced him. When they brought
my dead baby for me to kiss, I slipped into
its little hand the ring that made me his
mother. They went to the bottom of the sea
together. As for ever marrying again, not
in this life. I have had enough of it. My
first husband was the sweetest saint out of
heaven, and my second was some mean little
demon that had sneaked his way out of hell;
and I found both insupportable." She lifted
her hat as she spoke, and began to pin it on
her beautifully dressed hair. "Have no fear
for me," she continued. "I am sure Basil
watches over me. Some day I shall be good,
and he will be happy." Then, hand in hand,
they walked to the door together, and there
were tears in both voices as they softly said
A WEEK after this interview Tyrrel and
Ethel were in New York. They landed early
in the morning, but the Judge and Ruth were
on the pier to meet them; and they breakfasted
together at the fashionable hotel,
where an elegant suite had been reserved for
the residence of the Tyrrel-Rawdons until
they had perfected their plans for the future.
Tyrrel was boyishly excited, but Ethel's interest
could not leave her father and his new
wife. These two had lived in the same home
for fifteen years, and then they had married
each other, and both of them looked fifteen
years younger. The Judge was actually
merry, and Ruth, in spite of her supposed
"docility," had quite reversed the situation.
It was the Judge who was now docile, and
even admiringly obedient to all Ruth's wifely
advices and admonitions.
The breakfast was a talkative, tardy one,
but at length the Judge went to his office and
Tyrrel had to go to the Custom House. Ethel
was eager to see her grandmother, and she
was sure the dear old lady was anxiously
waiting her arrival. And Ruth was just as
anxious for Ethel to visit her renovated home.
She had the young wife's delight in its beauty,
and she wanted Ethel to admire it with her.
"We will dine with you to-morrow, Ruth,"
said Ethel, "and I will come very early and
see all the improvements. I feel sure the
house is lovely, and I am glad father made
you such a pretty nest. Nothing is too pretty
for you, Ruth." And there was no insincerity
in this compliment. These two women
knew and loved and trusted each other without
a shadow of doubt or variableness.
So Ruth went to her home, and Ethel
hastened to Gramercy Park. Madam was
eagerly watching for her arrival.
"I have been impatient for a whole hour,
all in a quiver, dearie," she cried. "It is
nearly noon."
"I have been impatient also, Granny, but
father and Ruth met us at the pier and stayed
to breakfast with us, and you know how men
talk and talk."
"Ruth and father down at the pier! How
you dream!"
"They were really there. And they do
seem so happy, grandmother. They are so
much in love with each other."
"I dare say. There are no fools like old
fools. So you have sold the Court to Nicholas
Rawdon, and a cotton-spinner is Lord of
the Manor. Well, well, how are the mighty
"I made twenty thousand pounds by the
sale. Nicholas Rawdon is a gentleman, and
John Thomas is the most popular man in all
the neighborhood. And, Granny, he has two
sons--twins--the handsomest little chaps
you ever saw. No fear of a Rawdon to heir
the Manor now."
"Fortune is a baggage. When she is ill
to a man she knows no reason. She sent John
Thomas to Parliament, and kept Fred out at
a loss, too. She took the Court from Fred
and gave it to John Thomas, and she gives
him two sons about the same time she gives
Fred one, and that one she kidnaps out of
his sight and knowledge. Poor Fred!"
"Well, grandmother, it is `poor Fred's'
own doing, and, I assure you, Fred would
have been most unwelcome at the Court. And
the squires and gentry round did not like a
woman in the place; they were at a loss what
to do with me. I was no good for dinners and
politics and hunting. I embarrassed them."
"Of course you would. They would have
to talk decently and behave politely, and they
would not be able to tell their choicest stories.
Your presence would be a bore; but could not
Tyrrel take your place?"
"Granny, Tyrrel was really unhappy in
that kind of life. And he was a foreigner,
so was I. You know what Yorkshire people
think of foreigners. They were very courteous,
but they were glad to have the Yorkshire
Rawdons in our place. And Tyrrel did
not like working with the earth; he loves
machinery and electricity."
"To be sure. When a man has got used
to delving for gold or silver, cutting grass
and wheat does seem a slow kind of business."
"And he disliked the shut-up feeling the
park gave him. He said we were in the midst
of solitude three miles thick. It made him
depressed and lonely."
"That is nonsense. I am sure on the
Western plains he had solitude sixty miles
"Very likely, but then he had an horizon,
even if it were sixty miles away. And no
matter how far he rode, there was always
that line where earth seemed to rise to heaven.
But the park was surrounded by a brick
wall fourteen feet high. It had no horizon.
You felt as if you were in a large, green box
--at least Tyrrel did. The wall was covered
with roses and ivy, but still it was a boundary
you could not pass, and could not see over.
Don't you understand, Granny, how Tyrrel
would feel this?"
"I can't say I do. Why didn't he come
with you?"
"He had to go to the Customs about our
trunks, and there were other things. He will
see you to-morrow. Then we are going to
dine with father, and if you will join us, we
will call at six for you. Do, Granny."
"Very well, I shall be ready." But after
a moment's thought she continued, "No, I
will not go. I am only a mortal woman, and
the company of angels bores me yet."
"Now, Granny, dear."
"I mean what I say. Your father has
married such a piece of perfection that I feel
my shortcomings in her presence more than
I can bear. But I'll tell you what, dearie,
Tyrrel may come for me Saturday night at
six, and I will have my dinner with you. I
want to see the dining-room of a swell hotel
in full dress; and I will wear my violet satin
and white Spanish lace, and look as smart as
can be, dear. And Tyrrel may buy me a
bunch of white violets. I am none too old
to wear them. Who knows but I may go to
the theater also?"
"Oh, Granny, you are just the dearest
young lady I know! Tyrrel will be as proud
as a peacock."
"Well, I am not as young as I might be,
but I am a deal younger than I look. Listen,
dearie, I have never FELT old yet! Isn't that
a thing to be grateful for? I don't read
much poetry, except it be in the Church
Hymnal, but I cut a verse out of a magazine
a year ago which just suits my idea of life,
and, what is still more wonderful, I took the
trouble to learn it. Oliver Wendell Holmes
wrote it, and I'll warrant him for a good,
cheerful, trust-in-God man, or he'd never
have thought of such sensible words."
"I am listening, Granny, for the verse."
"Yes, and learn it yourself. It will come
in handy some day, when Tyrrel and you are
getting white-haired and handsome, as everyone
ought to get when they have passed their
half-century and are facing the light of the
heavenly world:
"At sixty-two life has begun;
At seventy-three begins once more;
Fly swifter as thou near'st the sun,
And brighter shine at eighty-four.
At ninety-five,
Should thou arrive,
Still wait on God, and work and thrive."
Such words as those, Ethel, keep a woman
young, and make her right glad that she was
born and thankful that she lives."
"Thank you for them, dear Granny. Now
I must run away as fast as I can. Tyrrel will
be wondering what has happened to me."
In this conjecture she was right. Tyrrel
was in evening dress, and walking restlessly
about their private parlor. "Ethel," he said,
plaintively, "I have been so uneasy about
"I am all right, dearest. I was with grandmother.
I shall be ready in half an hour."
Even if she had been longer, she would
have earned the delay, for she returned to him
in pink silk and old Venice point de rose,
with a pretty ermine tippet across her shoulders.
It was a joy to see her, a delight to
hear her speak, and she walked as if she
heard music. The dining-room was crowded
when they entered, but they made a sensation.
Many rose and came to welcome them home.
Others smiled across the busy space and lifted
their wineglass in recognition. The room was
electric, sensitive and excited. It was flooded
with a soft light; it was full of the perfume
of flowers. The brilliant coloring of silks and
satins, and the soft miracle of white lace
blended with the artistically painted walls
and roof. The aroma of delicate food, the
tinkle of crystal, the low murmur of happy
voices, the thrill of sudden laughter, and the
delicious accompaniment of soft, sensuous
music completed the charm of the room. To
eat in such surroundings was as far beyond
the famous flower-crowned feasts of Rome
and Greece as the east is from the west. It
was impossible to resist its influence. From
the point of the senses, the soul was drinking
life out of a cup of overflowing delight. And
it was only natural that in their hearts both
Tyrrel and Ethel should make a swift, though
silent, comparison between this feast of sensation
and flow of human attraction and the
still, sweet order of the Rawdon dining-room,
with its noiseless service, and its latticed windows
open to all the wandering scents and
songs of the garden.
Perhaps the latter would have the sweetest
and dearest and most abiding place in their
hearts; but just in the present they were
enthralled and excited by the beauty and good
comradeship of the social New York dinner
function. Their eyes were shining, their
hearts thrilling, they went to their own apartments
hand in hand, buoyant, vivacious, feeling
that life was good and love unchangeable.
And the windows being open, they walked to
one and stood looking out upon the avenue.
All signs of commerce had gone from the
beautiful street, but it was busy and noisy
with the traffic of pleasure, and the hum of
multitudes, the rattle of carriages, the rush
of autos, the light, hurrying footsteps of
pleasure-seekers insistently demanded their
"We cannot go out to-night," said Ethel.
"We are both more weary than we know."
"No, we cannot go to-night; but, oh, Ethel,
we are in New York again! Is not that joy
enough? I am so happy! I am so happy.
We are in New York again! There is no city
like it in all the world. Men live here, they
work here, they enjoy here. How happy, how
busy we are going to be, Ethel!"
During these joyful, hopeful expectations
he was walking up and down the room, his
eyes dilating with rapture, and Ethel closed
the window and joined him. They magnified
their joy, they wondered at it, they were sure
no one before them had ever loved as they
loved. "And we are going to live here,
Ethel; going to have our home here! Upon
my honor, I cannot speak the joy I feel, but"
--and he went impetuously to the piano and
opened it--"but I can perhaps sing it--
"`There is not a spot in this wide-peopled earth
So dear to the heart as the Land of our Birth;
'Tis the home of our childhood, the beautiful spot
Which Memory retains when all else is forgot.
May the blessing of God ever hallow the sod,
And its valleys and hills by our children be trod!
"`May Columbia long lift her white crest o'er the wave,
The birthplace of science and the home of the brave.
In her cities may peace and prosperity dwell,
And her daughters in virtue and beauty excel.
May the blessing of God ever hallow the sod,
And its valleys and hills by our children be trod.'"
With the patriotic music warbling in his
throat he turned to Ethel, and looked at her
as a lover can, and she answered the look; and
thus leaning toward each other in visible
beauty and affection their new life began.
Between smiles and kisses they sat speaking,
not of the past with all its love and loveliness,
but of the high things calling to them from
the future, the work and duties of life set to
great ends both for public and private good.
And as they thus communed Tyrrel took his
wife's hand and slowly turned on her finger
the plain gold wedding ring behind its barrier
of guarding gems.
"Ethel," he said tenderly, "what enchantments
are in this ring of gold! What romances
I used to weave around it, and, dearest,
it has turned every Romance into Reality."
"And, Tyrrel, it will also turn all our
Realities into Romances. Nothing in our life
will ever become common. Love will glorify
"And we shall always love as we love
"We shall love far better, far stronger,
far more tenderly."
"Even to the end of our lives, Ethel?"
"Yes, to the very end."
A PAUSE of blissful silence followed this
assurance. It was broken by a little exclamation
from Ethel. "Oh, dear," she said, "how
selfishly thoughtless my happiness makes me!
I have forgotten to tell you, until this moment,
that I have a letter from Dora. It was
sent to grandmother's care, and I got it this
afternoon; also one from Lucy Rawdon. The
two together bring Dora's affairs, I should
say, to a pleasanter termination than we could
have hoped for."
"Where is the Enchantress?"
"In Paris at present."
"I expected that answer."
"But listen, she is living the quietest of
lives; the most devoted daughter cannot excel
"Is she her own authority for that astonishing
statement? Do you believe it?"
"Yes, under the circumstances. Mr. Denning
went to Paris for a critical and painful
operation, and Dora is giving all her love and
time toward making his convalescence as
pleasant as it can be. In fact, her description
of their life in the pretty chateau they
have rented outside of Paris is quite idyllic.
When her father is able to travel they are
going to Algiers for the winter, and will return
to New York about next May. Dora
says she never intends to leave America
"Where is her husband? Keeping watch
on the French chateau?"
"That is over. Mr. Denning persuaded
Dora to write a statement of all the facts concerning
the birth of the child. She told her
husband the name under which they traveled,
the names of the ship, the captain, and the
ship's doctor, and Mrs. Denning authenticated
the statement; but, oh, what a mean,
suspicious creature Mostyn is!"
"What makes you reiterate that description
of him?"
"He was quite unable to see any good or
kind intent in this paper. He proved its correctness,
and then wrote Mr. Denning a very
contemptible letter."
"Which was characteristic enough. What
did he say?"
"That the amende honorable was too late;
that he supposed Dora wished to have the
divorce proceedings stopped and be reinstated
as his wife, but he desired the whole Denning
family to understand that was now impossible;
he was `fervently, feverishly awaiting
his freedom, which he expected at any hour.'
He said it was `sickening to remember the
weariness of body and soul Dora had given
him about a non-existing child, and though
this could never be atoned for, he did think
he ought to be refunded the money Dora's
contemptible revenge had cost him."'
"How could he? How could he?"
"Of course Mr. Denning sent him a check,
a pretty large one, I dare say. And I suppose
he has his freedom by this time, unless
he has married again."
"He will never marry again."
"Indeed, that is the strange part of the
story. It was because he wanted to marry
again that he was `fervently, feverishly awaiting
his freedom.'"
"I can hardly believe it, Ethel. What
does Dora say?"
"I have the news from Lucy. She says
when Mostyn was ignored by everyone in the
neighborhood, one woman stood up for him
almost passionately. Do you remember Miss
"That remarkable governess of the Surreys?
Why, Ethel, she is the very ugliest
woman I ever saw."
"She is so ugly that she is fascinating. If
you see her one minute you can never forget
her, and she is brains to her finger tips. She
ruled everyone at Surrey House. She was
Lord Surrey's secretary and Lady Surrey's
adviser. She educated the children, and they
adored her; she ruled the servants, and they
obeyed her with fear and trembling. Nothing
was done in Surrey House without her approval.
And if her face was not handsome,
she had a noble presence and a manner that
was irresistible."
"And she took Mostyn's part?"
"With enthusiasm. She abused Dora individually,
and American women generally.
She pitied Mr. Mostyn, and made others do
so; and when she perceived there would be
but a shabby and tardy restoration for him
socially, she advised him to shake off the dust
of his feet from Monk-Rawdon, and begin life
in some more civilized place. And in order
that he might do so, she induced Lord Surrey
to get him a very excellent civil appointment
in Calcutta."
"Then he is going to India?"
"He is probably now on the way there.
He sold the Mostyn estate----"
"I can hardly believe it."
"He sold it to John Thomas Rawdon.
John Thomas told me it belonged to Rawdon
until the middle of the seventeenth century,
and he meant to have it back. He has
got it."
"Miss Sadler must be a witch."
"She is a sensible, practical woman, who
knows how to manage men. She has soothed
Mostyn's wounded pride with appreciative
flattery and stimulated his ambition. She
has promised him great things in India, and
she will see that he gets them."
"He must be completely under her control."
"She will never let him call his soul his
own, but she will manage his affairs to
perfection. And Dora is forever rid of that
wretched influence. The man can never again
come between her and her love; never again
come between her and happiness. There will
be the circumference of the world as a barrier."
"There will be Jane Sadler as a barrier.
She will be sufficient. The Woman Between
will annihilate The Man Between. Dora is
now safe. What will she do with herself?"
"She will come back to New York and be
a social power. She is young, beautiful, rich,
and her father has tremendous financial influence.
Social affairs are ruled by finance.
I should not wonder to see her in St. Jude's,
a devotee and eminent for good works."
"And if Basil Stanhope should return?"
"Poor Basil--he is dead."
"How do you know that?"
"What DO you mean, Tyrrel?"
"Are you sure Basil is dead? What proof
have you?"
"You must be dreaming! Of course he is
dead! His friend came and told me so--told
me everything."
"Is that all?"
"There were notices in the papers."
"Is that all?"
"Mr. Denning must have known it when he
stopped divorce proceedings."
"Doubtless he believed it; he wished to do
"Tyrrel, tell me what you mean."
"I always wondered about his death rather
than believed in it. Basil had a consuming
sense of honor and affection for the Church
and its sacred offices. He would have died
willingly rather than drag them into the mire
of a divorce court. When the fear became
certainty he disappeared--really died to all
his previous life."
"But I cannot conceive of Basil lying for
any purpose."
"He disappeared. His family and friends
took on themselves the means they thought
most likely to make that disappearance a
"Have you heard anything, seen anything?"
"One night just before I left the West a
traveler asked me for a night's lodging. He
had been prospecting in British America in
the region of the Klondike, and was full of
incidental conversation. Among many other
things he told me of a wonderful sermon he
had heard from a young man in a large mining
camp. I did not give the story any attention
at the time, but after he had gone
away it came to me like a flash of light that
the preacher was Basil Stanhope."
"Oh, Tyrrel, if it was--if it was! What a
beautiful dream! But it is only a dream.
If it could be true, would he forgive Dora?
Would he come back to her?"
"No!" Tyrrel's voice was positive and
even stern. "No, he could never come back
to her. She might go to him. She left him
without any reason. I do not think he would
care to see her again."
"I would say no more, Tyrrel. I do not
think as you do. It is a dream, a fancy, just
an imagination. But if it were true, Basil
would wish no pilgrimage of abasement. He
would say to her, `Dear one, HUSH! Love is
here, travel-stained, sore and weary, but so
happy to welcome you!' And he would open
all his great, sweet heart to her. May I tell
Dora some day what you have thought and
said? It will be something good for her to
dream about."
"Do you think she cares? Did she ever
love him?"
"He was her first love. She loved him
once with all her heart. If it would be right
--safe, I mean, to tell Dora----"
"On this subject there is so much NOT to
say. I would never speak of it."
"It may be a truth"
"Then it is among those truths that should
be held back, and it is likely only a trick of
my imagination, a supposition, a fancy."
A miracle! And of two miracles I prefer
the least, and that is that Basil is dead. Your
young preacher is a dream; and, oh, Tyrrel,
I am so tired! It has been such a long, long,
happy day! I want to sleep. My eyes are
shutting as I talk to you. Such a long, long,
happy day!"
"And so many long, happy days to come,
"So many," she answered, as she took
Tyrrel's hand, and lifted her fur and fan
and gloves. "What were those lines we read
together the night before we were married?
I forget, I am so tired. I know that life
should have many a hope and aim, duties
enough, and little cares, and now be quiet,
and now astir, till God's hand beckoned us
The rest was inaudible. But between that
long, happy day and the present time there
has been an arc of life large enough to place
the union of Tyrrel and Ethel Rawdon among
those blessed bridals that are
"The best of life's romances."

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