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horn's short memory, and, after a few moments of conversation, sat down beside Anne, who received him with the same frank predisposition to be pleased which she gave to all alike. Heathcote was not a talker like Dexter; he seemed to have little to say at any time. He was one of a small and unimportant class in the United States, which would be very offensive to citizens at large if it came in contact with them; but it seldom does. To this class there is no city in America save New York, and New York itself is only partially endurable. National reputations are nothing, politics nothing. Money is necessary, and ought to be provided in some way; and generally it is, since without it this class could not exist in a purely democratic land. But it is inherited, not made. It may be said that simply the large landed estates acquired at an early date in the vicinity of the city, and immensely increased in value by the growth of the metropolis, have produced this class, which, however, having no barriers, can never be permanent, or make to itself laws. Heathcote's great-grandfather was a landed proprietor in Westchester County; he had lived well, and died at a good old age, to be succeeded by his son, who also lived well, and died not so well, and poorer than his father. The grandson increased the ratio in both cases, leaving to his little boy, Ward, but a small portion of the original fortune, and departing from the custom of the house in that he died early. The boy, without father, mother, brother, or sister, grew up under the care of guardians, and, upon coming of age, took possession of the remnant left to him. A good portion of this he himself had lost, not so much from extravagance, however, as carelessness. He had been abroad, of course, and had adopted English ways, but not with any violence. He left that to others. He passed for good-natured in the main; he was not restless. He was quite willing that other men should have more luxuries than he had—a yacht, for instance, or fine horses; he felt no irritation on the subject. On the other hand, he would have been much surprised to learn that any one longed to take him out and knock him down, simply as an insufferable object. Yet Gregory Dexter had that longing at times so strongly that his hand fairly quivered. Heathcote was slightly above middle
height, and well built, but his gait was indolent and careless. Good features unlighted by animation, a brown skin, brown eyes ordinarily rather lethargic, thick brown hair and mustache, and very heavy eyebrows standing out prominently from the face in profile view, were the items ordinarily given in a general description. He had a low-toned voice and slow manner, in which, however, there was no affectation. What was the use of doing anything with any particular effort? He had no antipathy for persons of other habits; the world was large. It was noticed, however (or rather it was not noticed), that he generally got away from them as soon as he quietly could. He had lived to be thirty-two years old, and had on the whole enjoyed life so far, although he was neither especially important, handsome, nor rich. The secret of this lay in one fact: women liked him. What was it that they found to like in
.him 2 This was the question asked often in
irritation by his brother man. And naturally. For the women themselves could not give a reasonable reason. The corresponding side of life is not the same, since men admire with a reason; the woman is plainly beautiful, or brilliant, or fascinating around whom they gather. At Caryl's seven or eight men were handsomer than Heathcote; a number were more brilliant; many were richer. Yet almost all of these bad discovered, at one time or another, that the eyes they were talking to were following Heathcote furtively; and they had seen attempts that made them tingle with anger—all the more so because they were so infinitesimally delicate and fine, as became the actions of well-bred women. One or two, who had married, had had explained to them elaborately by their wives what it was they (in their free days, of course) had liked in Heathcote—elaborately, if not clearly. The husbands gathered generally that it was only a way he had, a manner ; the liking was half imaginative, after all. Now Heathcote was not in the least imaginative. But the women Were. Manly qualities, good hearts, handsome faces, and greater wealth held their own in fact against him. Marriages took place in his circle, wedding chimes pealed, and brides were happy under their veils in spite of him. Yet, as histories of lives go, there was a decided balance in his favor of feminine regard, and no one could deny it. He had now but a small income, and had been obliged to come down to a very simple manner of life. What he should do when he came down to nothing, he had not considered. Those who disliked him said that of course he would marry money. As yet, however, he had shown no signs of fulfilling his destiny in this respect. He seldom took the trouble to express his opinions, and therefore passed as having none; but those who were clearsighted knew better. Dexter was one of these, and this entire absence of self-assertion in Ward Heathcote stung him. For Dexter always asserted himself; he could not help it. He came in at this moment, and noted Heathcote's position near Anne. Obeying an impulse, he crossed the room immediately, and began a counter-conversation with Miss Vanhorn, the chaperon. “Trying to interest that child,” he thought, as he listened to the grandaunt with the air of deferential attention she liked so well. With eyes that apparently never once glanced in their direction, he kept close watch of the two beyond. “She is no match for him,” he thought, with indignation; “she has had no experience. It ought not to be allowed.” But Dexter always mistook Heathcote; he gave him credit for plans and theories of which Heathcote never dreamed. In fact, he judged him by himself. Heathcote was merely talking to Anne now in the absence of other entertainment, having felt some slight curiosity about her because she had looked so bright and contented on the mud-bank under the bridge. He tried to recall his impression of her on New-Year's Day, and determined to refresh his memory by Blum; but, in the mean time, outwardly his manner was as though, silently, of course, but none the less deeply, he had dwelt upon her image ever since. It was this impalpable manner which made Dexter indignant. He knew it so well ! He said to himself that it was a lie. And, generally speaking, it was. But possibly in this case (as in others) it was not so much the falsity of the manner as its success which annoyed the other man. He could not hear what was said; and the words, in truth, were not many or brilliant. But he knew the sort of quiet glance with which they were being ac
companied. Yet Dexter, quick and suspicious as he was, would never have discovered that glance unaided. He had learned it from another, and that other, of course, a woman. For once in a while it happens that a woman, when roused to fury, will pour out the whole story of her wrongs to some man who happens to be near. No man does this. He has not the same need of expression; and, besides, he will never show himself at such a disadvantage voluntarily, even for the sake of comfort. He would rather remain uncomforted. But women of strong feelings often, when excited, cast wisdom to the winds, and even seem to find a desperate satisfaction in the most hazardous imprudences, which can injure only themselves. In a mood of this kind, some one had poured out to Gregory Dexter bitter testimony against Heathcote, one-sided, perhaps, but photographically accurate in all the details, which are so much to women. Dexter had listened with inward anger and contempt; but he had listened. And he had recognized, besides, the accent of truth in every word. The narrator was now in Austria with a new and foreign husband, apparently as happy as the day is long. But the listener had never forgotten or forgiven her account of Heathcote's method and manner. He said to himself that he despised it, and he did despise it. Still, in some occult way, one may be jealous of results attained even by ways and means for which one feels a righteous contempt; and the more so when one has a firm confidence in his own abilities, which have not yet, however, been openly recognized in that field. In all other ways Gregory Dexter was a marked type of American Success. As the days moved slowly on, he kept watch of Heathcote. It was more a determination to foil him than interest in Anne which made him add himself as a third whenever he could unobtrusively; which was not often, since Miss Vanhorn liked to talk to him herself, and Anne knew no more how to aid him than a nun. After a while Heathcote became conscious of this watchfulness, and it amused him. His idea of Dexter was “a clever sort of fellow, who has made money, and is ambitious. Goes in for politics, and that sort of thing. Talks well, but too much. Tiresome.” He began to devote himself to Anne now in a different way; hitherto he had been only entertaining himself (and rather languidly) by a study of her fresh naïve truthfulness. He had drawn out her history; he, too, knew of the island, the fort, and the dog trains. Poor Anne was always eloquent on these subjects. Her color rose, her words came quickly. “You are fond of the island,” he said, one evening, as they sat on the piazza in the moonlight, Dexter within three feet of them, but unable to hear their murmured words. For Heathcote had a way of interposing his shoulder between listeners and the person to whom he was talking, which made the breadth of woollen cloth as much a barrier as a stone wall; he did this more frequently now that he had discovered Dexter's watchfulness. “Yes,” said Anne, in as low a voice as his own. Then suddenly, plainly visible to him in the moonlight, tears welled up and dropped upon her cheeks. She had been homesick all day. Sometimes Miss Vanhorn was hard and cold as a bronze statue in winter; sometimes she was as quick and fiery as if charged with electricity. Sometimes she veered between the two. To-day had been one of the veering days, and Anne had worked over the dried plants five hours in a close room, now a mark for sarcastic darts of ridicule, now enduring an icy silence, until her lot seemed too heavy to bear. She had learned to understand the old woman's moods, but understanding pain does not make it lighter. Released at last, a great wave of homesickness had swept over her, which did not, however, break bounds until Heathcote's words touched the spring; then the gates opened and the tears came. They had no sooner dropped upon her cheeks, one, two, three, than she was overwhelmed with hot shame at having allowed them to fall, and with fear lest any one should notice them. Mr. Heathcote had seen them, that was hopelessly certain; but if only she could keep them from her grandaunt! Yet she did not
dare to lift her handkerchief lest its white should attract attention.
But Heathcote knew what to do.
As soon as he saw the tears (to him, of course, totally unexpected; but girls are so), he raised his straw hat, which lay on his knee, and, holding it by the crown, began elaborately to explain some peculiarity in the lining (he called it South
American) invented for the occasion, at the same time, by the motion, screening her face completely from observation on the other side. But Anne could not check herself; the very shelter brought thicker drops. He could not hold his hat in that position forever, even to look at Brazilian linings. He rose suddenly, and standing in front so as to screen her, he cried, “A bat! a bat!” at the same time making a pass with his hat as though he saw it in the air. Every one on the piazza rose, darted aside hither and thither, the ladies covering their heads with their fans and handkerchiefs, the men making passes with their hats, as usual on bat occasions; every one was sure the noxious creature flew by. For a number of minutes confusion reigned. When it was over, Anne's cheeks were dry, and a little cobweb tie had been formed between herself and Heathcote. It was too slight to be noticed, but it was there.
THE RETURN MESSAGE.
HE parted from him with the old hankering for something better. What was amiss? Must it always be amiss? Had all women this hitch, this jar, with the men they loved Of course she loved him. Of course he loved her. Why could not there be the abandon and joy she had always dreamed of in her girlhood when she read of love? “She’’ was Ruth Lindsay. You would have called her a queen anywhere. Tall, handsome—oh, so handsome !—and still lovely; young, but strong ; grave, but cheerful; joyous, but wise; loved by all her school companions, half worshipped by half the men. And Ruth had parted thus, dissatisfied at heart—though she was too proud to own this—from Alfred Moshier. They had been engaged, now seven weeks, since they crossed the ocean on the Parthia. “I will not worry any longer,” said Ruth, aloud. She girt herself for work. She went down to old Mrs. Royal's and washed the baby, who needed it badly, aired the bedroom while Mrs. Royal sat over the fire. She went to the French reading, and laughed her best and brightest as the professor read “L’Ami Inconnu.” She came home, and looked round her work-room for something that would take her out of herself. “I will talk with the newts and moles,” she said. “I will see what they are saying.” So she lifted her telephone from the wall, called Caesar's boy Pompey, and bade him carry the heavy plates, and went down to her dreaming-place in the garden. She sent Pompey away, sank the plates herself, with her trowel, in the border, and began to listen to the endless sounds, which came in a strange refrain, as grass grows, and dews distill, and crystals take form in mother earth. She was soothed by the unrhythmed music ; more and more did it rest her, when suddenly, “Taap, tap, tap-tap-tap, taap—tap, taap, tap—tap—tap, tap, tap—taap—long and short, in tones no mole uses nor root of grass, sounded the word “Dearest” to her well-trained sense. “Fine-ear” himself, in the story, never listened more absorbed. “Dearest, dearest,” the taps went on, “answer—answer now.—MoSHIER.” More faint, but perfectly clear, came, “O. K. I am here—wire open. Your pet.” “My pet and my darling,” said Moshier, in answer ; “oh, I am
dead bored—say something sweet to me.” “Poor old boy poor darling dear ! where has he been o’ was the telegraph girl's reply. “He has not been with his heart's delight, he can tell you that,” tapped Moshier. And Ruth, or Fineears, threw the listening-cup upon the ground. She was one too many in this tête-d-téte. Moshier was an observer in the great Tamworth Observatory. He was using the time wire in this disgusting intrigue. Ruth had hit upon Mr. Trowbridge's curious discovery, by which you can take, with the telephone, anywhere from the ground, the “return message,” as the electricians call it. She sent her return message by mail to the faithless Alfred as soon as she reached the house. Her mystery was solved. He did not love her. And she-she had been trying, from mere loyalty, to love him. She wrote her proud note of dismissal with absolute joy. She went to the reception at Mrs. Mandell's once more perfectly happy.
THE MARKET BELL.
Sweet from his pipe the piper drew
And soared in triumph to the blue
The listening throng, or grave or gay, Were hushed beneath the music's sway.
When sudden on the silver notes
A shout went forth from eager throats—
Swift rushed the audience from the place; The piper piped to empty space.
An old-world story this, antique,
The keen-edged humor of the Greek,
The sweet, the clear, the sad, the fain,
Her mystic measures round us roll,
And, awed and blessed, we own control
For list! for haste! we know it well,
N the 7th of June, 1879, the stagecoach which runs forty miles through the Adirondack Wilderness drove up to “Paul” Smith's far-famed hostelry with two passengers only. These two were a young man and his wife. They had penetrated the great, wilderness of Northern New York for other purposes than pleasure. A glance at the young man would perhaps have set nine persons out of ten to asking why he should have come to so remote a spot to die. The wonder of the tenth might have expended itself over the fact that he had lived long enough to reach that remote spot. He must have presented an unpromising spectacle to the guides gathered on the hotel piazza, for his colorless face—save where the hectic spots burned redly, like signal-lamps of death—his wasted body, and his feeble strength indicated plainly enough what manner of disease it was which held him in its grim clutches. So wretched a specimen of a “sportsman” made mockery of a Winchester rifle or the daintiest of fly rods. Not even the zeal of the Adirondack guide, usually displayed with a hackman's energy in matters of business, could blind him to the absurdity of offering his services to this latest arrival, who was Vol. LXII.-No. 372. –55
manifestly too weak to sight a gun, or even engage in anything like an equal contest with a trout of ordinary size and vigor. So the guides, in rough sympathy, watched the stranger as he walked feebly into the parlor and sank into a chair, exhausted even by that slight effort. And yet the young man had not journeyed into this remote wilderness to die. He had come in search of larger game than deer. He had come hunting for health. And he found it. To-day, eighteen months after his first glimpse of the St. Regis Lake, he finds himself a comparatively well man. Those months have been passed uninterruptedly in the wilderness. For a year and a half the wasted lungs have fed upon this pure air, and upon nothing else. Slowly— very slowly at times, but none the less steadily—Nature has been patching up the delicate tissues, healing the tubercular formations, ridding the system of fever, checking the cough, putting flesh on the wasted body, and strengthening the flabby muscles. In short, in her own marvellous way, this mightiest of physicians has taken by the throat the disease which the doctors pronounce incurable, and in the very hour of its victory throttled it. An