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than common fellowship of need. .... It was Trilby, Trilby, Trilby! a poor fallen sinner and waif, all but lost amid the scum of the most corrupt city on earth.” But the world interferes in the shape of an anxious mother whom we pity because we know she has the germ of better things, and a reverend uncle, who is best satirized in Mr. Du Maurier's effective drawing; and this power of love becomes a deadened thing. After all that he has endured, who can blame Little Billie for his bitter thought on looking at the Atlantic that warm summer afternoon,Ah! Tray, the best thing but one to do with the sea is to paint it. The next best is to bathe in its waters. But the best of all is to lie asleep at its bottom."
The atmosphere of the book is the atmosphere of Paris-that “ Paris ! Paris! Paris !” over the roofs of which Little Billie gazed enchanted the day of his arrival, and in which poor Trilby is finally engulphed. Not the least happy inspiration of the author is the design on the cover of the printed volume, representing a human heart ensnared in a spider's web. And this is the story of Trilby's life.
Burton J. Hendrick.
A WEDDING BREAKFAST.
ISS ELEANOR THORNDIKE felt that inas
much as her wedding was to take place at noon, two things were essential for its complete success; the early arrival of her aunt from the East, and the proper appearance of the table for the mid-day breakfast. The first of these difficulties seemed to be solved, for her aunt Miss Jenks had promised to patronize the Limited, and would consequently reach the city by eight o'clock, while Radway the caterer was to undertake the breakfast, and so there was little reason for anxiety on that score. Nevertheless the girl felt some uneasiness despite the “ fast time and punctual service” which the company guaranteed, and even though Radway's men had been ordered to appear not long after daybreak. As a matter of fact, Miss Jenks arrived at the Thorndike residence at just the hour she was expected, which may account in some degree for the hearty welcome she received from her usually undemonstrative niece.
It is hardly justifiable to attribute the cordiality of Eleanor's manner to the punctuality of the Limited Express. It was rather the expression of a love for her aunt which amounted to devotion. It was a love which had made the girl stubbornly insist in the early spring, that the ceremony should never be performed until her aunt should be able to make the long journey from Connecticut. Nor did Eleanor lack the sympathy which the whole family shared with Miss Jenks on account of her deafness. Suffering from this weakness, and never catching the gossip and bits of repartee which she had once been the keenest to appreciate, she clung devotedly to her own cheerfulness of heart as a heritage too precious to yield to her old enemy-Melancholy. And her face was always bright with a lovely radiance, bringing gladness to the Thorndike household, or to any other household she might enter.
But she possessed other qualities beyond the charm of her personality. One of these was a peculiar consideraation for the convenience of her friends, whether she herself were the hostess in Norwich, or the guest of her cousins in Germantown. On this occasion mindful of the care and anxiety encumbent upon Mrs. Thorndike and all the family, as well as upon Eleanor, she simply withdrew to her room. Miss Jenks thought it was a very big apartment for one small woman to occupy, for it extended across from the broad windows commanding the Boulevard, to the little corner alcove over the dining
Had she not been deaf she might have been disturbed by the waiters moving about in the room below, or she might have found annoying the clink of knives and forks, and the unavoidable rattle of plates. But she heard none of these things. She simply revelled in the pretty boudoir with its low ceiling and delicate curtains. Nor did the bath in the alcove escape her observation. The elaborate tiling, the soft, heavy towels, and especially the immaculate tub with its enamel finish were tempting, alluring her to indulge in the refreshment which she sought after her wearisome journey.
Heard at a distance, the sound of hot water rushing violently into a bath tub resembles the muffled beating of the sea upon the rocks of a steep cliff. Of course this sound was not audible to Miss Jenks, nor was it at that moment heard by the other members of the family. The prim Mr. Radway, however, who happened to be in the room below where the table was spread, easily distinguished the noise of water pouring into a tub, but failed to compare the sound with that of the ocean beating upon rocks. It may have been due to the fact that his attention was drawn to what appeared to be dew-drops glistening on the petals of the orange blossoms. which composed the centre-piece. He was still the more surprised that the upturned bowls of the spoons laid together in a conventional curve, were bright with drops of the same moisture. His surprise knew no bounds as a small series of drops lit heavily with a splash upon the edge of the salad, and slowly trickled over the mayonaise dressing. Mr. Radway had acquired much of his reputation as a caterer through his tact at all crises; but now as he looked upwards at the ceiling, what he saw for a moment disarmed him. From a little aperture near the chandelier thin streams of water trickled outward in long lines, forming a star with countless points, or more truthfully, imitating the figure of a lawn sprinkler with arms innumerable. As he looked closely he could see that the streams were of variegated colors, conforming themselves exactly to the different tints of the ornamented panels, now becoming a deep lavender, and now a pale yellow, and swinging themselves in these new hues upon the spotless cloth beneath, bathing the silver, or running down over the slippery moulds of pâté-de-fois-gras. But the steady roar in the room above brought the caterer to himself.
“Wilson,” he growled, addressing a stupefied character with a shaven face, "call Mrs. Thorndike at once !"
Before she reached the room the figure on the ceiling had changed or rather developed. In some places the plaster leaving its customary abode, had settled itself among the soft recesses of the jellies, or had fallen a limp mass over the silver platters, like a yellow tarpaulin; the dull thud of the dripping slime beating a steady accompaniment to the rush of the water pouring into the bath tub. The woman was at first despondent, sinking down into a big Chippendale chair, and gazing up deploringly at the trickling ooze. Without warning, a large globule of pink slime yielding to the persuasive influences of gravity, threw itself at her feet, in close proximity to the cherished gown which she had brought from another land. The impetus was sufficient. Mrs. Thorndike abandoned the suppliant plaster, hurrying from the dining-room, and out through the library in the direction of her sister's chamber.
As she reached the door she turned the knob quickly, and leaned with her whole weight against the heavy oak panel, but the catch-lock seemed to mock her efforts. Then she knocked loudly; there was no reply, nor even the movement of anyone within. She called a waiter and asked him to knock. The whole door resounded like a deep drum as the man's hand fell upon it; there was still no answer from within. One sound however was barely audible--that of water rushing downwards against the bottom of a bath tub.
When Miss Jenks came out of the guest chamber, and appeared in the gown which she was to wear at Eleanor's wedding, she seemed to be the most collected member of the family. She had forgotten the tediousness of her journey, and her natural smile plainly said that she had left all her cares in the little New England home, and that she had come to give pleasure and to take pleasure, and to add her own benediction at her niece's wedding.
“ Esther,” she whispered to her sister whom she found standing pensively in the hallway, “I feel already like another person, I've had such a refreshing bath. But I was sorry to waste so much hot water. It seemed to flow out just as fast as it poured in. If you lived in a house where every drop had to be carried up in pails, you'd appreciate what that means. I'm quite sure there's something wrong with the pipes. If I were in your place I'd have the man come to-morrow and find out what's the matter.”
For a moment Mrs. Thorndike found it difficult to speak, but she was soon master of herself.
Carrie,” she said, speaking loudly yet not unkindly, " I'm delighted that you feel so much better. You don't look as though you had travelled an hour. It's too bad that you had any trouble with the water, James has sent for a plumber to come this afternoon."
After the ceremony had been performed, the two sisters walked out arm in arm to the wedding breakfast. Miss Jenks was surprised to find that the table had been laid in the conservatory.
She spoke confidingly, “ You did not have the breakfast in the dining room after all, did you? I suppose it