Docstoc

AT THE SIGN OF THE

Document Sample
AT THE SIGN OF THE Powered By Docstoc
					       6                                                                                                                                               TilS
                                                                                                                                                         I             yLHSTDAY        CALL.




                                                                                                                             OF THE
                                                                                                                 AT THE SIGN NOTE.
                                                                                                                 ONE POUND
                                                                                                                                                      she lived with her mother, an Invertebrate     looked in at Athe '  uncurtained window,          might have been, and hers        was that    "And you never loved blm—not the least
                                                                                                                                                      person. In'the mixing of whose brains        closcto, which Mollle was standing, and             strong feeling of betrayal In a priceless           cried, for indeed, under all tha
                                                                                                                                                      some important ingredient had palpably the light flared suddenly on 'Owen Staf-                                                             bit?" I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       trust that Is so apt to warp and put wrong circumstances,   It would hava seemed to
                                                                                                                                                      been left out.                               ford^; face, dark, ugly, distorted, bV the          a noble nature.                                   me Btranse if she had not.
                                                                                                                                                        "Come and see me to-mprrow," I       caid. jiassions that convulsed it, for not love,            "Ithink our mothers ought to tell us."  "What I   liked—or           if you like to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            loved,
                                                                                                                                                      as we reached the doorstep, and I       saw not" passion, but instincts lower and"               she said presently— "ought to open our  call It so," she. said bravely, "Is dead.
                                                                                                                                                      that she half hesitated, for within all.vji deeper than passion were there, and 1                eyes for us— gently, of course, for if we
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How could I     love what caused me such
                                                                                                                                                      dark jjnd uninviting as a tomb— "I can heard her utter a sharp cry of fear, for                                                         sickening fear, and what revolted me,"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       do 'not learn by other people's experience
                                                                                                                                                      lend, you some new books, and would like even her ignorance knew that this was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       we are bound to do so by our own. and  and she shuddered with a sharp physical
                                                                                                                                                      to see vour sketches.*"                      not. love. The match went out and hid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       then it comes awfully rough on a girl, memory as she crossed her own thres-
                                                                                                                                                        "Ishall be delighted.". she said, adding. the brute, and the terror of her sweet      doesn't It?"                                    hold and went straight to the matches.
                                                                                                                                                      "I.won't auk you in to-nittht. :-for mother face,"aand terrorcan show most such a emo-
                                                                                                                                                      Is in town."
                                                                                                                                                                                  '    ¦           tion     woman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      is the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   fatal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         time   "Poor Mollie—poor little    child," I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              my heart burning within me as I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        said,    When we had gone all over the tiny
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thought place and seen that it was secure I        kissert
                                                                                                                                                        "You are here alone?VI cried in c.s much   ns this, with a certain kind of man; often
                                                                                                                                                                                                   it makes but a wild beast of him, and it   of that poor fondy, her mother.                 and left her, waiting till the chain rattled
                                                                                                                                                      amazement as if I not know alreadv
                                                                                                                                                                           d'.d                           one of Owen Stafford now.             "What shall 1 do?" v,ent on the girl, in the door and a light appeared in an up-
                                                                                                                                                      what irresponsible. -incredible fools moth- made ;                                      "for I can't tell her. She "would r.ot listen per window. I       felt easier now about the
                                                                                                                                                      ers on occasion can be.                        I  hearu a stifled sound, km-w that be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              when I  begged her not tc leave me in the girl, knowing that her best friend In the
                                                                                                                                                         "Yes," she sa!d, bravely: then, meeting had' her In his arms, and instantly I                                               even if matter was herself, but my anger rose
                                                                                                                                                      my look, answered: "Idon't like it.. I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             listen
                                                                                                                                                                                                 dashed through the open door, calllns house alone— she would not will go away— against                                   cast about in my
                                                                                                                                                                                            toid cut
                                                                                                                                                      mother so, but she cou:d not understand tnd her name. I         heard a strangled oath, I heher this. Perhaps cannot for some mind for the bestand I of seeing him
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                told
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              for                   1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        he                              the man.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chance
                                                                                                                                                      it."                                              then Mollle rushed at me in the dark-         knows that
                                                                                                                                                                                                          trembling violently, and clung to months: until my art lessons begin hire alone and thrashing the matter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 nest),
                                                                                                                                                         "But you have some old servant with me as it she were mad with fear.                 I must stay."                                      At breakfast next morning Sarah asked
                                                                                                                                                      you?"                                                                                     "AndI do little to help you." I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        can                             said. me IfI   would execute a small     commission
                                                                                                                                                         "Only a little girl who goes home at       We were out of the dolJ's passage into                                        here, and for her. and that I      was to take a shawl
                                                                                                                                                                                                 the dark night In less than a second, and In deep vexation. "Iam rarely                       she had knitted to old bedridden Mother
                                                                                                                      beyond all arjrurnents, ail     night."                                                                      pulled her even if I "in tbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         lived         place how could I
                  T stood  hign up on the vtl- with       such eoul-ftarvatlon must have been        fcr sometimes                                                                               fche never let go my hand as I
                                                                                                                                                         I: stamped my foot on the gravel "In an up and across the green, and neither of protect you? And IfI         spoke to Sarah, she Goodenough, who lived on the village
                   lajro groen. a cottage with
                                                                                                     experience,    the inhcrtn*. rigntneTis of a                                  -
                                                                                                                                                      apparently unreasoning rage, but alas! us spoke till we were inside the door of simply would not understand— or shs green at the Sign of the One-Pound-One.
                                                     "You know hi* wife?"                            g'rl will   shine out triumphant, and you
                   latticed  window      pane*.
                                                 '•No. Phe wlJom                           know that her instinct is absolutely true,                  there was only too much reason init. Yet the rectory.                                  would think that you encouraged him—it Preoccupied as Iwas with Mollle'swith                 af-
                   BrOt&fcdcd by three   nas- I— Idon't th'rV h>e romes vrrv the Chace. and she will shake herself clear of wror.g-
                                                                       is
                                                                           to
                                                                               haony ai
                                                                                                                                                       how could I   Interfere? What could I  do    Then by the light of the hall lamp I so difficult to make a good woman un- it,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Is                                               fairs. Itook the shawl and went out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    walking mechanically        toward the
                nificent or.l:s that stood horr<\" rbe added. Cropping her voire.          and loathe It without an .nrtant's he.V.                    to protect her?                           looked at her, and saw how the soft pink derstand       a tad man. She nearly always
                                                                                     said Stafford's attitude of that If ever Owen
                                                                                           tatfon. at'd I'knew                                          •"My child," I   aald. "1 am an fid wo- of her face was gone, yet for all the blames her own sex. And the Owen Staf- green.
                clcse a;rair.5t its lintel and

                ocsly; and In all the years
                                                 "Yen Lave hfard the" ?tory?" I
                sr-erccd to n'ard it Jeai- rnt?>or bitterly: "Cli\ h«? tell you himself? movpd
                                               H» r oirVUly a raanmaV's crpital out of
                                               cne little fault in a
                                                                                                                  iriencjship were rs-
                                                                                                   and his true nttitude- realized to--
                                                                                           ward her. his shrift «voi:ld be short.
                                                                                                                                                       take an old woman's advice?"        -
                                                                                                                                                         "Indeed Iwill," she said eagerly, "I vixen about her, none of the outraged is all for her none for him."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    —
                                                                                                                                                       man In comparison with you— will yoa soared look, as if she had seen some fords always reckon safely on the girl's                        Suddenly Mollie's flgure came In sight
                                                                                                                                                                                                  frightful thins, there .was nothing of the not telling. Ifshe does, the world's blame half way down the slope and as 3udder.lv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               disappeared under the girfht trees that
                that I fcrcw it Inever making orlginnlly).\mrinna (usually of his                                                                      loved you the very first moment Isaw personal conceit of the modern girl, but I "Ishall be meeting him at every turn," sentineled the little hostel, and at tifl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          t

                                                                                             "Iam sorry."              slowly, without
                               '                                     ItIs re* on wh'cn any Miterr.csi orshe u^irl personal appH-
                                                                                                             scribe of                                            I think we shall always be saw that she was mortally hurt, dlsll- said poor Mollle. "and how am I ccn- same moment I                           paw Owen Stafford run-
                saw    a sirs' 5 '"UPtom^r p;i
                                               he opc-:iiy hang? all his lnfidfl'tlps. his
In or out or any indication of drink atxiut excesses : and the v/orld condones hlr
                                                                                                                                                       you— an£                                                                                                                      to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ning oulckly in the same direction and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              vanishing at the precise point where Mol-
the place, though r.gairst its wall was overy infamy If be ran only exploit on*,                                                                                                                                                                                                              lle had gone.
hung a fadeO br?rd and upon It In still error of Jils wife as the cauro of them!"                                                                                                                                                                                                                For a moment I      stood confounded. It
mere faded letters v:as Inscribed: iff/.
                                      "       I felt the ;jfrl shrink a llttl» from mv
                                            harshness,   and I  hated the disagreeab'."                                                                                                                                                                                                       looked so like an assignation, then to thesome
  "The s'.gn cf 'The one-pound-crse.'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Instinct told me  they had both gone
                                  to invad*
                                            task of disillusioning h*r. but I was play-                                                                                                                                                                                                       One-Pound-One,     the   only hou^e behind
  Often Ihad It in my mind                          ing   Or-en Stafford for her     soul,nnd It
that    cueer little hprtel and call for a should not be mv fault if I not win.                                                                                                                                                                                                               those trees, and I   hurried swiftly up and
                                                                                  did                                                                                                                                                                                                         stood looking at the door of the ancient
 giass of mulberry wine, or raspberry vine-      "My dear." I       said, "when I a wreck
                                                                                    see                                                                                                                                                                                                       place, which had so often exercised my
 gar, or some such old-fashioned cordial, of a woman I             always want to knew what
         pictured the aghast face of mine hands she has passed through and how
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         curiosity.       .»   ¦




but I                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I heard voice? within, one raised In en-
host or hostess as a woman doing such they have lued her: to what lengths rray                                                                                                                                                                                                                            treaty was Owen Stafford's    and without
 a thing, in such a place, and only idled not Jealousy and her vrcngs have driven                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a moment's        hesitation       lifted the later*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I
                                               her?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of the door and walked In, finding myself
                                                                  Stafford Is
 when Icame near It, weaving strange a manOwen fashion; I a mangreat taste.             of
                                                            cf               hear a          deal                                                                                                                                                                                                        /in an humble, sanded room, that no
                                                     —
 fancies about the place and forbearing to ab t Mm in town. And I know this
 tju^stion as to who dwelled within.
                                                                                   do
                                                 that h!s wife Is far more sinned against                                                                                                                                                                                                                 stretch of the wildest Imagination could
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          see fitted v.-»th a bar, while the owner ot
   One r.utumn day I     stood watching the than sinnfng. He does net strike me as                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the place, whoever It might be. was
 boys and girls who came pouring out of a man who could ever be true to one                                                                                                                                                                                                                               absent.
                                               woman— his                  —
 the village schools at the top of the green other, and fancy would be excited beauty
                                                                           for he is a
                                                                                           by an-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bfollie was standing with her back to
and betook themselves shouting to their lover, and another Is                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            me. Owen's face as I   entered was grave,
                                                               the world full of beauty."                                                                                                                                                                                                                earnest, yet ashamed, and wore the look
play; a flock of geese waddlod slowly to-        She walked silently beside me. and 1
 ward the    pool that lay on the other side waited anxiously for her to spoak. fear-                                                                                                                                                                                                                    of a man pleading strenuously for himself,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         trying, as many a one has done, to make
cf the road: the stones gleaming ¦white Ing lest the clamour should be over her
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         previous good conduct plead against one
in the Gods Acre were divided but by a eyes and the mischief be done, for often                                                                                                                                                                                                                          moment of mad folly, and I    knew by her
                                               nature s!ngs
low hedge from thope bounding, happy as the man's as loud In the girl's heart
                                                                    but in a voice which she                                                                                                                                                                                                             attitude that she was listening, that the
youngsters.      Away to the left rose the
                                               knows not rlie true meaning, and If she                                                                                                                                                                                                                   living eyes upon her were effacing the
gray c'd Suffolk church, its squat Ivied be a real w «n:an. and if she                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   memory of those others that had so ter-
                                                                                       surrender                                                                                                                                                                                                         rified her. and that she was Infinitely
tower rearing itself into the blue and daz- her»dr to tha: tide of love which in its
zling white cf the clear October sky. and origin is           divine, then Is she a renegade                                                                                                                                                                                                             mere In danger of him now than she had
                                               to man's !a«vs. and all the tears and r»-                                                                                                                                                                                                                 been then.
inevitably I    thought of Frith** pictures.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         llghtnlnjfimpression I of
The wScUeKl town seemed far away as 1
                                               p«-7;t.ir>«.-u of a lliotf—»• shall not t»luju xJUm                                                                                                                                                                                                         But that                         had
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         him before he realized my presence faded
turned to care over the peaceful, old-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   as his glance met mine ar.d darkened, for
world scene, at the var.derins village'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was his enemy, and well he knew It.
street in » hich no two houses were alike,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Mollle, seeing   that change in him.
and yet human hearts were the same here                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  turned and colored deeply, and T took her
as in ether places, and pain came hither
often. I
sin I
           knew, ar.d sometimes want, but
        never saw in broad daylight: no.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      —
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         gently by the shoulders and pushed her
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          toward the door.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Icame I came." she faltered, "to brtns
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mother Goodenou^h     some patchwork
nor sin's fairer, happier sister, love, for                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              pieces," and held out the Uttle bundle to
the uncouth gambols of the older lads and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chow me.
lasses on the green of evenings and Sun-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   "And I brought her               *
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    shawl from my
days couid hardly be dignified by the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •tlcter-ln-law," Isaid, and shut the door
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         on her and turned to face Owen Stafford.
most beautiful name In the whole lan-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Don't try to rub out the Impression you
guage cf man.-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         cvide on her yesterday." I  said contempt-
   But that very afternoon at the Ilall I                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                uously, "for you never Trill. TVhy don't
chanced to intercept a look, between a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         you try your arts on some one who can
man ar.d a girl that was an iilumxaUo.i                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  atand up to you? A girl of twenty with
 to m*-. for here la this Arcadian spo: was                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              a criminally neglectful mother— absolutely
going forward tiif usual tragedy, and It
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         alone In the bouse! You call yourself a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         man?"
is the oldest ard crudest one in tJis v/oild.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           "She suits me," he said (a man always
 of. a can resolutely fighting a g'.rl for all                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           tninks that a woman waa made to his
 ehe should hold ir.cst Oear in life. s!::ce                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             own especial order, till he happens to s«-o
it Is all cf treasure that she ever has or                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               one of a newer pattern that pleases him
Is ever likely to have In heart and soul                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 better, "and Ilove n»r." be added. "Ilove-
and  body.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               lier!" he repeated, doggedly. "IfT wero
  Ignorant. Innocent, left to find out by                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a free man Iwould make her my wl!>
titter experience th? kr.o-nledse of good                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 to-morrow."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "No doubt," Isaid, "because               the bo*t
and evil (for rr.cst mothers, may God for-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               order of woman always attracts the worst
gtve them, teach their daughters nothing,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         order of man. She is dangerously attrac-
 and with open eyts see them go blinii-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tive, and her very xocdnesa and truth
 folCed. iiivt laait ?, to the slaughter, and
                    1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         make the ruin of her all the more keenlv
 warn them r.ct). what chance hus such a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 desired by men of the world-wide type o*
one agains-'t the aKs of a man of the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Owen Stafford."
 wcrJd. raoiecver cne so much older than                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   "You are .very clever, very superior."*
hcreclf that she has insensibly slid with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                he said, and I could not but admire th>»
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         way he kept his temper, but the worse i
him into the intiir.acy one may afford al-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               man's morals as regards women, the bet«
 most to a beloved relation?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ter his manners always are: it 13 usually
   And the life cf thfs girl of 20 was                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   the reverse in other order* of infamv.
 starved, here in this drowsy backwater                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "One would say." he paused ar.d bowed,
 where fate had set her In vicarious pun-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                half-rcockingly, "that you speak from ex-
is-hment for a Fpendthrift father's sins,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                perience, that you nad been there your-
living !n a tmy house v.-ith a maddening                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 self."   .
mother and no: cr.e distraction or pleas-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Possibly." I  said indifferently. "Ifyou
ure natural to fcer bright, fresh youth.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 could flatter' yourself that you are an in-
 Who could wonder, then, that she
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         dividual and not a type. It would be mnrci
 stretched out eagerly toward that mental                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         satisfying to your fastidious taste.    But
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I warn you tr» let Molli« alone. You hat*
Fympathy which will make the desert                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ycur wife—but you hnve a daughter—" h.*
LlcEsom    a*   the rcse. and for the lack of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            started and rhpnsed color. "How wonUl
which to sensitive souls the palace makes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                you like to know that a man old enough
the cage?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 tobe her father waff pursuing your child?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To be kicked out of his and the world'*
   Ilooked at the pair as they sat talking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                way as Icarrion when he has done vrlth
together about art. while the drone of my
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         her?"
hostcta -and— brother's neighbor sounded                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lie wirced suddenly, and I   knew that he
in my ear. and 1understood why it was                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    loved his daughter, who by special grace
Hr. 2ta!Iord came ro often now to the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     *f God h<»- wished. to see exempted from
country seat he had once hardly deigned                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  'he lot of girls every wWt as pure as she.
 to honor, and ar.grily J realized that it                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "You hit hard." he said, ar.d his very
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "r<« were ¦white.
  was not the beautiful soul and spirit and
strorg brain Chat the man worshiped in
                                              •                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             "Imean to-^-for Mai'.le."I said. "She hi          *
the girl (not what pleases the understand-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         practically      no mother.            Ican't nrotect
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         her without shamirg her. without adver-
—
ing, out what pleases the eye is what the
voluptuary loves), but just her loveliness
   because Ehe was like nothing so much
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         tl**ne you to the whole ne ;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ghr>orhood. whj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         will blame the girl,no* you. She has onlv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         her own Inherent rls'.Uness ft heart :o
 cs a de.-p. soft, full pink rose. Often I                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               protect her. and you are gifted with every
brd kissed the girl for the mere pleasure
of the softness of her skin, and Indeed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   —
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          art. cv>ry seduction tbat experience can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          teafh. Go away leav» l.er! Do one goo»1
 that exqu'.site feast of color which was                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                :oeed In your life— znnke a comoanlon of
not damask ncr clear red and white, but
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         jrour-clauchter. and trv and he better to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Ihe*" yoor mother, who Icjves you still.**
pure velvety pir.k. almost blinded you to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   He ."hook his head.
the sweetness arU sense and spirit of the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   "Ican't ro tack to her." he said. hpA
 reet of b«r yours face.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Indeed I   knew thr>t no man ever looks
  "It bffan tvith a chilblain." droped tb«                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wilHrrly  fin the ruin ne has made.
hortcs«, .- end h!s mother would go on                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "MoTlle has a heart of gold." I       said;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "she is what I    v.-ou!l have liked my         owri
pouIticIAs it. a.id his leg nas had to coire
o2." •
  "Ard noxv he will fool that chilblain al-
                                                                                                                                                      friends— alu-n;- s
                                                                                                                                                       •¦-hen
                                                                                                                                                                        .                                  lusioned. and Isoom^d to   hear;
                                                                                                                                                              don't allov/ anv m-n '.o cross this of her voice in: which she spoke of* her like him as I before when he has be-
                                                                                                                                                   t. resliold till your mother                                                                    •"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       did
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                —
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the tone trol my .vclc*» nnd features—     pretend    to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          daughter to b<\ for Ihave none of my
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          own. Often I    have thinked God I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            —    never
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          brought a woman-chllC Into the world t>>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       **
*ay5," I  paid, absently, an I up to si,                                                                                                                                            comes           No father and    sale!,' "Ho deceived me.         , come t'Klv i.nd hcrrtole to me>? His face
                               got
                                                                                                                                                  mnn. mind-married or tingle, tack. or                                                                                                                   suffer n«« I have don«-
knowing that Molly would walk back with
me; and l<y the shade that Instantly                                                                                                               youp./f."
                                                                                                                                                                                               old         "Do you feel equal to coming Into the to-night"— she covered her eves with her                   He looked keenly at me. and a different
                                       came                                                                                                                                                              study?" I said, for my people would won- hand— "can I         ever forget It?"                   and better expression came into hla face.
over Mr. Stafford's features I                                                                                                                       "Xo one nhall.", 8he eaiu gravely.
                                 knew that                                                                                                             And as to your mother." I                         der if;she came to the house and ihey            "We must go flown," I        said brisk y.        "And so."I said pteadinsrly. "leave me
he had reckoned on a half-hour in ih«                                                                                                             apparent
                                                                                                                                                                                            said with did. not see her, and she* pulled herself "Meanwhile I             shall take you home to-          my little MoMIe—and it will b* made ur>
November duss with her. and hated             nit                                                                                                              Irrelevance.
                                                                                                                                                  beat her. Don't come to
                                                                                                                                                                                "I should like to together, and I            opened the door and wo night and wait to hear you lock your door,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          to you with your own child one day. God
                                                                                                                                                                                           rectory In went In, and found ourselves in a warm, and I
accordingly.     Uut Iwas delighted     see
                                         to                                                                                                        the morning, but to tea. the stay   and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               won't leave this place till I you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             sec          has a strange w.iy of vis!:lrs: ' sins of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the
that the was     not disappointed
                                at his re-                                                                                                        ppnnd the evening."                              and lamp-lit room that breathed the very at-. safe out of .the wood-or. rather, Owen                   th«» fathers on the children."
xnalning behind when we went out to-
                                                                                                                                                  .For in the day the house was In the goodness.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       . mosphere of peace and home, yes, and of- Stafford beaten off th« premises." , [                    He turned aside and stood looking out of
gelher Into the graynefs that almost hM                                                                                                           eye or the village                                                                                      Mollle put her soft cheek to nr.lne and         the casement, and in the pause came a
the trees, wonderful trees, that sat like                                                                                                                                street-It was, the dark-          For my brother was walking up and hugged me. and we                       down together,
great ladk-s sweeping in great
                               circles the
                                                                                                                                                  ness and night that I.      feared for her. and down with a kitten In his arms, listening and more than once wentsaw her glance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          loud knocking from the stick of the old
sward of the pirk with their full skirts.
                                                                                                                                                  ehe took my hand in one of
                                                                                                                                                                                          those grips to Sarah.' who was reading aloud in that wistfully around as if the cultured anJ                    bedridden woman overhead.
                                                    realli gvfitlcss,   hapless   creature white    cation In my words, "my f:.her—" she that onjy the right Bort of woman ever delightful voice- which made It a treat sympathetic surroundings brought all too                                            I went to the foot of the stnlrs and cried
  She squeezed my hand and said I      was          again.                                                                                        ,               .,
                                                                                                    patecd, then added firmly, "ho deceived' ;;Klvcs- and said: i'lfwill come/' and I only to hear her speak,, and Mollle's                                                                              out: "I«m coming. Mrs. Grodenough."*
welcome &s flowers 1n May on one of my                                                                                                             kissed the smooth pink cheek, velvet soft twitched? In -mine. I                              hand vividlybefore her the ghastly evening In            and then Icame back and waited.
brief vtitts—that she had not known that              While her mother took her dogs out            me. and I   never- forgave him."
                                                                                                                                                   as the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 knew what she was the little
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dark house, with only her moth"
                                                    for airings, and slept and, pottered her          That was all—but mv spirits rose," an<l standing petals of a rose, and left her thinking—what did these kind souls know er fast asleep for company.'
                                                                                                                                                                                            ;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           "You hare* conquered." he «atd. but h*»
Iwas in the village; and. indeed. 1 had             life away, was this poor girl being Im-                                                                     there, fitting her key In tha of;            man's wickedness?       The rector knew                                                     did not turn M-» head or let mo aee h!-»
but arrived the    nightbefore. She told me                                                         I loved the glrf for her fearlessness and lock.                                                                                                       And I   was glad to fee
that she had oeen hard at work, that soon
                                                    periously swept by iho experienced man          honesty. 1knew that here was the mak-.                                       "'                      himself. Sarah all men through him, and warmed to the girl and mndc athat Saran  perceptible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         face "Iwill not try tn soe Mollle again,
she «-u going to town to study from the
                                                    toward those rapids that must inevitably        ing of a -woman noble' bovond even thi             I^had    gone perhaps         three hundred       I saw:the tears spring. to the girl's brave stride toward a greater Intimacy thnn               nor will I wm* to the Chare while she U

life tn a big school, and she was very keen         breaR her In pieces, while he, strong           power of man to mar. 'And I         took the yards, thinking deeply, when I caught eyes as the; sharp contrast of this scene formerly existed between them, for had
                                                                                                                                                                                           felt                                                                                                          In this neighborhood. Rut remember thlj
                                            swimmer that he was. would gain' the
on It, and Very full of hope and all the shore no                                                   ungloved hand, strong as it needed to bo es in a cyclone, and some imperative in- with ; i , she had Just gone through rectory would be a haven for
                                                                                                                                                                                                   ¦
                                                                                                                                                                                                               the one                                                                            the    —that I  lov« her. and shall always lova
                                                       whit the worse for his adven-                for.the work It had to do. and thcusht stinct seized sharp by the shoulders and I
                                                                                                                                                                     me                                  camoL vividly:home to her.                                                        Motile to      h<T."
youthful ambition that goea so far toward                                                                                               ¦
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        come to, and all its influences for her
achieving success.
                                             ture?                                                  of my own boy, and wi: *^f>d . .:.¦ it • sucu turned me
                                                                                                                             ¦                                             round on -the path I."Mollie is allalone," I
                                                                                                                                                                                                       ¦
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     said, "and I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 have good. '^fcjJjSI                                      The door *lammed behind him. Ipicked
                                               No doubt he thought 'ie loved her. Many              a girl as this might be as niy own daugv had come and pulled me up outside Mol- brought her to spend the evening"— and as
                                                                                                                                                                   '                                                                                      "What a treat It Is to meet                    up th« nhawi ard clin:t>cd the stairs with
  "Mr. Stafford Is so eoort to roe," *he
said. "He brings me books on art from a manis not even by -'tha'c glorious nama
                                                    dignifies                                       tcr.                                          lie's door.             ¦_                             Sarah was intent on the bookmark that your brother," »hc sold to me.ans            man Ilka     it to the old woman, who garrulously to!d
                                                                                                                                                   , Itstood                                                                                                                                  at io:33   me how long yeara uko she had done a
                                             what
the Chnce. and lends me wonderful draw- sion (which             worthv to bo called pas-              She atooped her head (she, was tall and but I ajar, and all was dark within, and ; Placed before rising to greet us, we went out Into the dnrknesn for tn«
                                                                                                                                                                                                         must-be
                                                                                                                                                                                                              my brother was short-sighted, the                                                          thriving busmen*    In the "One-pound-
                                                         is the very fiowcr of life), aud           well grown) and kissed me,"* for -e ha 1 knew recognized two voices, and then I                                                                     third time that day together. "Ht« ey*.
                                                                                                                                                                               ¦                                   ¦

ings to copy. 1 don't know. how I     could Insolently offers the trashy
have Rot through the long months here fuil equivalent
                                                             for that priceless
without them. Sometimes the want of which every girl shouii guard treasure
                                                                               bauble as a
                                                                                  Jealously,
                                                                                                    always seemed .to understand one anoth-

                                                                                                    intervals of. time in. thls :remote" Suffolk und.-with-'all the
                                                                                                                                                                           -
                                                                                                                                                           what had brought me backl Owen girl's pallor; her slight' disorder, passed his voice— one could trust him
                                                                                                    er, tossed together with similar, tastes, at Stafford must have followed us at a dis- .; unnoticed',< and almost "immediately I
                                                                                                                                                   tance, probably listened to
                                                                                                                                                                                   .  iour discourse,- » her away upstairs" to;   remove her hat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  got , "Yea. Mollle, he will try and    blindfold"*'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             *<>« V0VI
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and explain his conduct away. What Will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Oh#," y»t mtthnuKM th* best stroke that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         had *rer been don* in that poor place wa*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         when Ow«n Stafford cot the victory over
some otjc to speak to was Hke a physical till, in exchange           It, s«i«»
ach*>." She^ paused, and J knew how very lifelong devotion for many receives tha                    village in- which I  :       -
                                                                                                                            did not sojourn bat thief,                    skill? of a'   professional      But she was too      plucky to "let
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                those you ¦¦ay?"                                         hlm-ptf »m! from that day forth became
                                                                that                                                                                       had slipped in as 'she [entered and tears fall, though , saw her hurt "was                                                                    a better man.
                                                                                                                                                   the very moment s my. ba'ck was turned. " very,; deep. For. sheI.
                                                                                a true ma.t         merely passed through.                 r ,                                                                                                            "Ishall       him," snld Molll?, Vfry de-
very nweet and satisfying the companion-'
                                            knows well how to give.                                .< A feeling of depression
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 had genuinely liked liberately, tell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "that I  have boen deceived in         And Mollle? Thank Ged. there are gooi
*hio ol.a dever man In such a nla.ee and       But wUia ilollv sooke 1 wu                                                       stolo over meaj -¦• "Ican't find -the matches." "she 'said, the man; ,ho ,             had been to her all that • ari him. and I                                         men. as tner# are <o.*l *irls nowaday*.
                                                                                   shirnc'i.                              •
                                                                                                    we aDoroached the tUur house in which and then I              heard a match struck and exceptional . elder 1brother who loved nor                               never wish trt dp«dtc to or hav*     «n<l McUle «1M not most th«              right on* loo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ani'thlne to do with him «ur.iln."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ¦

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:8
posted:3/30/2012
language:
pages:1