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his personal feelings under the unselfish mantle of professionalism, a poor peasant family would have been left wifeless and motherless, and two little souls would never have had their chance at life. Yes, he was glad !-glad to have seen his way, and to have followed it. Yet, the possible cost to himself! And again his doubts surged up, and he cursed the world that made necessary such sacrifice; he railed against the Being that could stand by and see such things happen, unintervening. He thought of his wife: to have anything befall their boy—and by his handit would kill her! He thought more of Henry....Henry, perhaps writhing in suffering past human endurance, calling to his unhearing father; perhaps even now lying quiet, spent, and pale; dying.... perhaps even dead....
It was well that the mare was homeward-bound; for her swiftfooted instinct guided the cart around black curves and along blacker brinks of nothingness, where a pressure on the wrong rein would have meant calamity. The major held the lines loosely, staring dumbly ahead into the darkness; hearing nothing, seeing nothing, saying nothing, even in encouragement to the horse; reading his own soul.
The unspeakable horror of that drive! Anguished suspense... tortured imagination...bitter self-accusation...fearful doubt. ...Overhead was the star-dotted shroud of sky; on either side, the taunting ghosts of obscure glacier and snow-peak; behind, a road that dropped away to responsibility fulfilled; ahead, a black way that led...whither?
Yet the eons of such an hour eventually passed.
It was too dark to read anything from the face of the choreboy, who had raced forward to meet him at the final curve in the road. The doctor vaulted over the wheel, again seized his pack, and ran across the rest of the slope toward the hotel. The place seemed strangely dark and silent. He had expected to find it ablaze with light, and echoing with scurrying footsteps...Perhaps, after all, the danger was over, the people had gone to bed, and Henry was asleep. As he flung open the door, he fronted a dim light in the hallway. His host, pacing to and fro, with his face in the shadow, advanced to meet him. The Frenchman indicated a doorway leading off the corridor, and said simply, in a curious whisper:
Then he drew in his breath quickly, turned, and walked noiselessly away. The major moved to the doorway, and stood on the threshold. A look of wonder overspread his face. His hand loosened its grasp on the strappings of his pack, and it tobogganed to the floor.
On a bed, improvised from the parlor lounge, was stretched a quiet figure. The face was hidden, but light hovered about a pale hand that rested on top of the white counterpane. The waxen fingers still clutched tightly their infinitesimal booty-a mangled spray of eidelweiss. From either end of the bed, two yellow tallow-sticks sent searching, flickering pointers to the corners of the room. The place roared with silence. The major did not enter.
At last, he knew.
Upstairs, in his room, Major Pearce raises his greying head from shoulders that have for long hours been hunched over the writing-table. The blue blotting-pad is damp with an irregular blotch, of a lighter stain than ink. Dawn is venturing through the motionless window curtains.... The major turns dazed eyes about the room. His face is deeply lined, and drawn with sleepless fatigue....He rises, to go to the window; and his feet stumble over a bulky volume which his clenched elbows convulsively pushed from the table, in the darkness of awhile ago. It is his medical encyclopædia ; its hoarded blossoms have been scattered over the floor, beneath the table....He stoops to pick them up, with careful fingers. Presently he straightens, and moves to the window....He stands for a long time looking down at a bank of snow, with flowers, an easy arm's-length away, glistening in the rosy morning light....
“Strange!” he muses...."Ruddy life-s0 close to cold death....
He crushes the handful of petals in his grasp; then sits down at the table, to write to his wife.
Richard W. Griswold.
HE fall of 190- I spent in London collecting material for my
Life and Works of Sebastian Torr for the English Sebastian Torr Society. This task, I soon found, could merely end in my serving cold my predecessor's data as to this strange, obscure poet of the previous generation. I could only annotate superabundantly the thin book of verse that was his, retell the handful of anecdotes, and deduce lamely from them the shadowy career of a poet. It was in a fit of despondency following this discovery, that I endeavored to beguile a rainy afternoon by visiting the gift shops of the city, tentatively searching for a wedding present. The marriage was still afar off, so under the removed urgency I wandered from shop to shop, marvelling at length over their servile adherence to type. Mrs. Creighley's, ultimately arrived at, concentrated the elements. It was dark and narrow; very few objets d'art were exposed to the visitor: here and there under glass lay objects of hand-hammered silver, necklaces meandering among the folds of claret velvet; a few examples of Chinese pottery, consummately cracked and holding rock lilies whose bulbs had been scoured for their high lights; little trays of uncut jewels, carelessly displayed—tourmaline, aquamarine, stones prized for their negative watery tints. Mrs. Creighley likewise represented a type. She was handsome in a business way; she wore draperies rather than gowns, yet gave an impression of efficiency and shrewdness. A portion of her stock-in-trade had found its way to her person, a gun-metal chain on an odd enamel ring. Her appreciation of her "little things" was too readily ecstatic and her voice low but over-rich. In her Commerce was flattering Art by imitation, to the embarrassment of Art.
This excellent woman was engaged, upon my entrance, with two ladies who were spreading bits of brocade critically upon their knees, and matching jewels with them. Her quick welcoming smile, however, urged me to take my liberty of the shop, which I did, arriving at last in the further corner upon a pile of what appeared to be framed texts. I found them to be autographed letters: Whistler inviting a lady to dinner; Dégas making an
appointment with a model; the menu card of a dinner given by the brothers Goncourt, signed by all the guests with much too lively maxims and nicknames. The name these documents enjoyed in common was the familiar Eddy Greater, the soubrette of the seventies, who was in the height of her fame during the years of Sebastian Torr's last illness. The reading I had done for a study of his period was full of her engaging figure. The successive light operas of Offenbach were then enjoying tremendous runs in Paris and London, culminating in “La Boite au Lait" and "Madame Favart," bright theatrical things, full of gay tunes and famous women. The musical actresses of the seventies, who remembers them now? Mildred Palmer, with the face of a sheep and her mass of copper-colored hair, maintained by the son of a famous Scotch peer until the arrival of her dropsical millionaire from India. Little Manina Shayer, who is reported to have sung A Soldier's Maid eight thousand times. They all drove their carriages in Hyde Park, made flamboyant descents on Paris, and drove the organized society of modest ladies of fashion to a jealous distraction. Eddy Greater was not as magnificent in manner as Mildred Palmer, nor did she command as socially distinguished a clientele; she was not as pretty as Manina Shayer, nor as good a singer; nor was she the clever actress that was Rosalie Barlow. But she was the most intelligent and the most versatile of all the great lights-of-love. The men of letters of the time, such as were unmarried and unprincipled, flocked to her dinners and even galloped beside her in the park, if they were in society, or sent verses to her if they were not.
One often wondered what became of them as time went on. In the first place, that type of musical play went out, under the press of Gilbert and Sullivan; newer prima donnas, more ingenuous and better chaperoned, took their places. The old fellows in the club used to say that Mildred Palmer followed her millionaire to India and now looked very much like a rajah's lady; and that Manina Shayer, whose mixed blood became more and more evident with time, retired to a plantation in the West Indies with a quadroon. Well, what became of Eddy Greater, a part of whose correspondence I was discovering, framed and passe-partouted.
"Ah, you've the autographs !" murmured Mrs. Creighley, suddenly appearing at my elbow and lighting a discreet lamp. “Of course I can't show them to everyone.”
“They're of the greatest interest. Where did you get them?" I asked. "Oh, they've belonged to a cousin of mine, a very interesting
She used to sing on the stage when she was a girl, and these were addressed to her. A Mrs. Clarke."
"Oh, she was... Mrs. Clarke was...the...?"
"Yes. She bore the absurd name of Eddy Greater. Fancy calling yourself Eddy! She enjoyed a certain fame in her day. You wouldn't have remembered her very likely. But look at the correspondence! Whistler, Zola, Manet....I'm asking three-fora-pound, though I'm really quite frightened to show them to some people—some people, that is, mightn't understand !"
"She might have some really interesting—"
“Oh, yes. There's a great deal more than this. But she won't part with it. She has all sorts of manuscripts and little sketches. She only allows me to sell these, because—well, to tell the truth - I believe her resources are very low. I like to help her, of course!"
"Is she in London ?" “Yes, indeed, she is. She's in the shop.” I looked about me vaguely. "She's in my office in back! She's having a cup of tea with
I fancy she's brought some more things to sell me, butit's a real struggle for her, you know. To give them up, I mean."
“Could you present me to her, Mrs. Creighley ? My card, here. I've been engaged in studying the lives of many of these men
“Oh, she wouldn't open her mouth to you. She sits there, so for hours. But sometimes she's lively enough, Heaven knows. I don't mind you're trying, though. Can you come in now ?"
Mrs. Creighley then led me into her inner office, an apartment that proved to be better lighted than the shop,, but no less ranged about with objects of display. Mrs. Creighley's desk-one saw her sitting at it, urging up the price of the heirlooms as they came to her—was scarcely mercenary enough to break in upon