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filled Caryl's with descriptions of JeanneArmande, the velvet bodice, the beet-root skirt, the blue room, the white cats, and the dinner, together with the solitary pupil, whose knowledge of botany was something unparalleled in the history of the science. Caryl's was amused with the descriptions, and cared nothing for the reality. But when Miss Vanhorn heard the tale, it was the reality that menaced her. No one knew as yet the name of the solitary pupil, nor the relationship to herself; but of course Mrs. Lorrington was merely biding her time. What was her purpose ? In her heart she pondered over this new knowledge of botany, expressly paraded by Helen; her own eyes and hands were not as sure and deft as formerly. Sometimes now when she stooped to gather a flower, it was only a leaf with the sun shining on it, or a growth of fungus, yellowly white. “Of course it is all a plan of old Moreau's,” she said to herself. “Anne would never have thought of studying botany to gain my favor; she hasn't wit enough. It is old Moreau and the Lorrington together. Let us see what will be their next step.” But Helen merely decorated her stories, and told nothing new. One day some one asked: “But who is this girl? All this while you have not told us; nor the place where this remarkable half-house is.” -“I am not at liberty to tell,” replied Helen's clear even voice. “That is not permitted—at present.” Miss Vanhorn fidgeted in her corner, and put up her glass to catch any wandering expressions that might be turning in her direction ; but there were none. “She is giving me a chance of having Anne here peaceably,” she thought. “If, after a reasonable time, I do not accept it, she will declare war, and the house will ring with my hard-heartedness. Fortunately I do not care for hard-heartedness.” She went off on her solitary drive; mistook two flowers; stumbled and hurt her ankle; lost her magnifying-glass. On her way home she sat and meditated. It would be comfortable to have young eyes and hands to assist her. Also, if Anne was really there in person, then, when all the duets were sung, and the novelty (as well as difficulty) over, Mrs. Lorrington would be the first to weary of her protégée, and would let her fall like a faded leaf. And that would be the end of that.
Here a sudden and new idea came to her: might not this very life at Caryl's break up, of itself, the engagement which was so obnoxious? If she should bring Anne here and introduce her as her niece, might not her very ignorance of the world and crude simplicity attract the attention of some of the loungers at Caryl's, who, if they exerted themselves, would have little difficulty in effacing the memory of that boy on the island They would not, of course, be in earnest, but the result would be accomplished all the same. Anne was impressionable, and truthfulness itself. Yes, it could be done. Accompanied by her elderly maid, she went back to New York; and then out to the half-house. “I have changed my mind,” she announced, abruptly, taking her seat upon Jeanne-Armande's hard sofa. “You are to come with me. This is the blue room, I suppose; and there are the four cats. Where is the bodiced woman 7 Send her to me; and go pack your clothes immediately.” “Am I to go to Caryl's—where Helen is ?” said Anne, in excited surprise. “Yes; you will see your Helen. You understand, I presume, that she is at the bottom of all this.” “But—do you like Helen, grandaunto” “I am extremely fond of her,” replied Miss Vanhorn, dryly. “Run and make ready; and send the bodiced woman to me. I give you half an hour; no longer.” Jeanne-Armande came in with her gliding step. In her youth a lady's footfall was never heard. She wore long narrow cloth gaiters without heels, met at the ankles by two modest ruffles, whose edges were visible when the wind blew. The exposure of even a hair's-breadth rim of ankle would have seemed to her an unpardonable impropriety. However, there was no danger; the ruffles swept the ground. The Frenchwoman was grieved to part with her pupil; she had conceived a real affection for her in the busy spot which served her as a heart. She said good-by in the privacy of the kitchen, that Miss Vanhorn might not see the tears in her eyes; then she returned to the blue room and went through a second farewell, with a dignity appropriate to the occasion. “Good-by,” said Anne, coming back from the doorway to kiss her thin cheek a second time. Then she whispered: “I
WHEN the two travellers arrived at Caryl's, Helen was gone. Another telegraphic dispatch had again summoned her to her frequently dying grandfather.
“You are disappointed,” said Miss Vanhorn.
“You will have all the more time to devote to me,” said the old woman, with her dry little laugh.
Caryl's was a summer resort of an especial kind. Persons who dislike crowds, persons who seek novelty, and, above all, persons who spend their lives in carefully avoiding every thing and place which can even remotely be called popular, combine to make such nooks, and give them a brief fame—a fame which by its very nature must die as suddenly as it is born. Caryl's was originally a stage inn, or “tarvern,” in the dialect of the district. But the stage ran no longer, and as the railroad was several miles distant, the house had become as isolated as the old road before its door, which went literally nowhere, the bridge which had once spanned the river having fallen into ruin. Some young men belonging to those New York families designated by Tante as “Neeker-Bo-Kers” discovered Caryl's by chance, and established themselves there as a piace free from new people, with some shooting, and a few trout. The next summer they brought their friends, and from this beginning had swiftly grown the present state of things, namely,
two hundred persons occupying the old building and hastily erected cottages, in rooms which their city servants would have refused with scorn. The crowd of summer travellers could not find Caryl's; Caryl's was not advertised. It was not on the road to anywhere. It was a mysterious spot. The vogue of such places changes as fantastically as it is created; the people who make it take flight suddenly, and never return. If it exist at all, it falls into the hands of another class; and there is a great deal of wondering (deservedly) over what was ever found attractive in it. The nobler ocean beaches, grand mountains, and bounteous springs will always be, must always be, popular; it is Nature's ironical method, perhaps, of forcing the would-be exclusives to content themselves with her second best, after all. Caryl's, now at the height of its transient fame, was merely a quiet nook in the green country, with no more attractions than a hundred others; but the old piazza was paced by the little high-heeled shoes of fashionable women, the uneven floors swept by their trailing skirts. French maids and little bare-legged children sported in the old-fashioned garden, and young men made up their shooting parties in the bare office, and danced in the evening—yes, really danced, not leaving it superciliously to the boys—in the rackety bowling-alley, which, re-floored, did duty as a ball-room. There was a certain woody, uncloying flavor about Caryl's (so it was asserted), which could not exist amid the gilding of Saratoga. All this Miss Vanhorn related to her niece on the day of their arrival. “I do not expect you to understand it,” she said; “but pray make no comment; ask no question. Accept everything, and then you will pass.” Aunt and niece had spent a few days in New York, en route. The old lady was eccentric about her own attire; she knew that she could afford to be eccentric. But for her niece she purchased a sufficient although simple supply of summer costumes, so that the young girl made her appearance among the others without attracting especial attention. Helen was not there; no one identified Miss Douglas as the rara avis of her fantastic narrations. And there was no surface sparkle about Anne, none of the usual girlish wish to attract attention, which makes the eyes brighten, the color rise, and the breath quicken when entering a new circle. That old woman of the world, Katharine Vanhorn, took no step to attract notice to her niece. She knew that Anne's beauty was of the kind that could afford to wait ; people would discover it for themselves. Anne remained, therefore, quietly by her side through several days, while she, not unwilling at heart to have so fresh a listener, talked on and instructed her. Miss Vanhorn was not naturally brilliant, but she was one of those society women who, in the course of years of fashionable life, have selected and retained for their own use excellent bits of phrasing not original with themselves, idiomatic epithets, a way of neatly describing a person in a word or two as though you had ticketed him, until the listener really takes for brilliancy what is no more than a thread-and-needle shop of other people's Wares. “Any man,” she said, as they sat in the transformed bowling-alley—“any man, no matter how insignificant and unattractive, can be made to believe that any woman, no matter how beautiful or brilliant, is in love with him, at the expense of two looks and one sigh.” “But who cares to make him believe 7” said Anne, with the unaffected, cheerful indifference which belonged to her, and which had already quieted Miss Vanhorn's fears as to any awkward self-consciousness. “Most women.” “Why?" “To swell their trains,” replied the old woman. “Isabel Varce, over there in blue, and Rachel Bannert, the one in black, care for nothing else.”
“Mrs. Bannert is very ugly,” said
Anne, with the calm certainty of girlhood.
“Oh, is she 7” said Miss Vanhorn, laughing shortly. “You will change your mind, my Phyllis; you will learn that a dark skin and half-open eyes are superb.”
“If Helen was here, people would see real beauty,” answered Anne, with some scorn.
“They are a contrast, I admit; opposite types. But we must not be narrow, Phyllis; you will find that people continue to look at Mrs. Bannert, no matter who is by. Here is some one who seems to know you.”
“Mr. Dexter,” said Anne, as the tall form drew near. “He is a friend of Helen's.” “Helen has a great many friends. However, I happen to have heard of this Mr. Dexter. You may present him to me —I hope you know how.” All Madame Moreau's pupils knew how. Anne performed her task properly, and Dexter, bringing forward one of the old broken-backed chairs (which formed part of the “woody and uncloying flavor” of Caryl's), sat down beside them. “I am surprised that you remembered me, Mr. Dexter,” said the girl. “You saw me but once, and on New-Year's Day too, among so many.” “But you remembered me, Miss Douglas.” “That is different. me—about the singing. I should remember.” “And why not as natural that I should remember the singing o" “Because it was not good enough to have made any especial impression,” replied Anne, looking at him calmly with her clear violet eyes. “It was at least new—I mean the simplicity of the little ballad,” said Dexter, ceasing to compliment, and speaking only the truth. “Simplicity!” said Miss Vanhorn: “I am tired of it. I hope, Anne, you will not sing any simplicity songs here; those ridiculous things about bringing an ivy leaf, only an ivy leaf, and that it was but a little faded flower. They show an extremely miserable spirit, I think. If you can not give your friends a whole blossom or a fresh one, you had better not give them any at all.” “Who was it who said that he was sated with poetry about flowers, and that if the Muses must come in everywhere, he wished they would not always come as green-grocers?” said Dexter, who knew perfectly the home of this as of every other quotation, but always placed it in that way to give people an opportunity of saying, “Charles Lamb, wasn't it?” or “Sheridan?” It made conversation flowing. “The flowers do not need the Muses,” said Miss Vanhorn—“slatternly creatures, with no fit to their gowns. And that reminds me of what Anne was saying as you came up, Mr. Dexter; she was calmly and decisively observing that Mrs. Bannert was very ugly.”
You were kind to It is natural that
A smile crossed Dexter's face in answer to the old woman's short dry laugh. “I added that if Mrs. Lorrington was here, people would see real beauty,” said Anne, distressed by this betrayal, but standing by her guns. Miss Vanhorn laughed again. “Mr. Dexter particularly admires Mrs. Bannert, child,” she said, cheerfully, having had the unexpected amusement of two good laughs in an evening. But Anne, instead of showing embarrassment, turned her eyes toward Dexter, as if in honest inquiry. “Mrs. Bannert represents the Oriental type of beauty,” he answered, smiling, as he perceived her frank want of agreement. “Say creole,” said Miss Vanhorn. “It is a novelty, child, which has made its appearance lately; a reaction after the narrow-chested type which has so long in America held undisputed sway. We absolutely take a quadroon to get away from the consumptive New-Englander, of whom we are all desperately tired.” “New York city is now developing a type of its own, I think,” said Dexter. “You can tell a New York girl at a glance when you meet her in the West or the South. Women walk more in the city than they do elsewhere, and that has given them a firm step and bearing, which are noticeable.” “To think of comparisons between different parts of this raw land of ours, as though they had especial characteristics of their own l’” said Miss Vanhorn, looking for a seed. “You have not travelled much in this country, I presume,” said Dexter. “No, man, no. When I travel, I go abroad.” “I have never been abroad,” answered Dexter, quietly. “But I can see a difference between the people of Massachusetts and the people of South Carolina, the people of Philadelphia and the people of San Francisco, which is marked and of the soil. I even think that I can tell a Boston, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Louisville, or St. Louis family at sight.” “You go to all those places?” said Miss Vanhorn, half closing her eyes, and speaking in a languid voice, as if the subject was too remote for close attention. “Yes. You are not aware, perhaps, that I am a business man.” “Ah & What is it you do?” said the
old woman, who knew perfectly Dexter's entire history, but wanted to hear his own account of himself. “I am interested in iron; that is, I have iron mills, and—other things.” “Exactly; as you say—other things. Does that mean politics #" “Partly,” said Dexter, smiling. “And oil 7” “No. I have never had any opportunity to coin gold with the Aladdin's lamp found in Pennsylvania. There is no magic in any of my occupations; they are all regular and commonplace.” “Are you in Congress now 7" “No; I was only there one term.” “A bore, isn't it?” “Not to me.” “Congress is always a riot,” said Miss Vanhorn, still with her eyes closed. “I can not agree with you,” said Dexter, his face taking on one of its resolute expressions. “I have small patience with those Americans who affect to be above any interest in the government of the country in which they live. It is their country, and they can no more alter that fact than they can change their plain grandfathers into foreign noblemen.” “Dear me! dear me!” said Miss Vanhorn, carelessly. “You talk to me as if I was a mass-meeting.” “I beg your pardon,” said Dexter, his former manner returning. “I forgot for the moment that no one is in earnest at Caryl's.” “By-the-way—how did you ever get in here?” said Miss Vanhorn, with frank impertinence. “I came because I like to see all sides of society,” he replied, smiling down upon her with amused eyes. “Give me your arm. You amount to something,” said the old woman, rising. “We will walk up and down for a few moments; and, Anne, you can come too.” “I am almost sure that he is Helen's Knight-errant,” thought Anne. “And I like him very much.” A niece of Miss Vanhorn's could not of course be slighted. The next day Isabel Varce came up and talked a while; later, Mrs. Bannert and the others followed. Gregory Dexter was with aunt and niece frequently ; and Miss Vanhorn was pleased to be very gracious. She talked to him herself most of the time, while Anne watched the current of the new life around her. Other men had been presented to her ; and among them she thought she recognized the Chanting Tenor and the Poet of Helen's narratives. She could not write to Helen ; the eccentric grandfather objected to letters. “Fools and women clog the mails,” was one of his favorite assertions. But although Anne could not write, Helen could smuggle letters occasionally into the outgoing mail-bags, and when she learned that Anne was at Caryl's, she wrote immediately. “Have you seen Isabel Varce yet?” ran the letter. “And Rachel Bannert 2 The former is my dearest rival, the latter my deadliest friend. Use your eyes, I beg. What amusement I shall have hearing your descriptions when I come ! For of course you will make the blindest mistakes. However, a blind man has been known to see sometimes what other people have never discovered. How is the Grand Llama 2 I conquered her at last, as I told you I should. With a high pressure of magnanimity. But it was all for my own sake; and now, behold, I am here ! But you can study the Bishop, the Poet, the Tenor, and the Knight-errant in the flesh; how do you like the Knight?” “This place is a prison,” wrote Helen, again; “and I am in the mean time consumed with curiosity to know what is going on at Caryl's. Please answer my letters, and put the answers away until I come; it is the only method I can think of by which I can get the aroma of each day. Or, rather, not the aroma, but the facts; you do not know much of aromas. If facts were “a divine thing' to Frederick the Great (Mr. Dexter told me that, of course), they are certainly extremely solemn to you. Tell me, then, what every body is doing. And particularly the Bishop and the Knight-errant.” And Anne answered the letters faithfully, telling everything she noticed, especially as to Dexter. Who the Bishop was she had not been able to decide. In addition to the others, Ward Heathcote had now arrived at Caryl's, also Mr. Blum. In the mean time Miss Vanhorn had tested without delay her niece's new knowledge of botany. Her face was flushed and her hand fairly trembled with eagerness as she gave Anne her first wild flower, and ordered her to analyze it. Would she blunder, or show herself dull and incompetent : One thing was cer
tain: no pretended zeal could deceive old Katharine—she knew the reality too well. But there was no pretense. Anne, honest as usual, analyzed the flower with some mistakes, but with real interest; and the keen black eyes recognized the genuine hue of the feeling, as far as it went. After that initiation, every morning they drove to the woods, and Anne searched in all directions, coming back loaded down with spoil. Every afternoon there followed analyzing, pressing, drying, and labelling, for hours. “Pray leave the foundations of our bridge intact,” called Isabel Varce, passing on horseback, accompanied by Ward Heathcote, and fooking down at Anne digging up something on the bank below, while at a little distance Miss Vanhorn's coupé was waiting, with the old lady's hard face looking out through the closed window. Anne laughed, and turned her face, glowing with rose-color, upward to look at them. “Do you like that sort of thing?” said Isabel, pausing, having noted at a glance that the young girl was attired in old clothes, and appeared in every way at a disadvantage. She had no especial malice toward Anne in this; she merely acted on general principles as applied to all of her own sex. But even the most acute feminine minds make mistakes on the subject, namely, they forget that to a man dress is not the woman. Anne, in her faded gown, down on the muddy bank, with her hat off, her boots begrimed, and her zeal for the root she was digging up, seemed to Ward Heathcote a new and striking creature. The wind ruffled her thick brown hair and blew it into little rings and curls about her face, her eyes, unflinching in the brilliant sunshine, laughed back at them as they looked over the railing; the lines of her shoulder and extended arms were of noble beauty. To a woman's eyes a perfect sleeve is of the highest importance; it did not occur to Isabel that through the ugly, baggy, outof-date sleeve down there on the bank, the wind, sturdily blowing, was revealing an arm whose outline silk and lace could never rival. Satisfied with her manoeuvre, she rode on: Anne certainly looked what all women would have called “a fright.” Yet that very evening Heathcote approached, recalled himself to Miss Van