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of him seemed to waver a moment. Then Tressady himself mounted, caught her, and in another moment, after a few plunges from the excited horse, they were off down Manx Road, followed by a shouting crowd that gradually thinned.
«You are hurt!» he said.
«Yes," she said faintly; «but not much. Will you tell him to drive first to Mile End Road?»
«I have told him. Can I do anything to stop the bleeding?»
He looked at her in despair. The handkerchief and the delicate hand itself that she was holding to her brow were dabbled in blood.
<<< Have you a silk handkerchief to spare?» she asked him, smiling slightly and suddenly through her pallor, as though at their common predicament.
By good fortune he had one. She took off her bonnet, and gave him a few business-like directions. His fingers trembled as he tried to obey her; but he had the practical sense that the small vicissitudes and hardships of travel often develop in a man, and between them they adjusted a rough but tolerable bandage.
Then she leaned against the side of the cab, and he thought she would have swooned. There was a pause, during which he watched the quivering lines of the lips and nostrils and the pallor of the cheeks with a feeling of dismay.
But she did not mean to faint, and little by little her will answered to her call upon it. Presently she said, with eyes shut and brow contracted:
"I trust the others are safe. Oh, what a failure-what a failure! I am afraid I have done Aldous harm.»
The tone of the last words touched Tressady deeply. Evidently she could hardly restrain her tears.
«They were not worthy you should go and speak to them," he said quickly. «Besides, it was only a noisy minority.»
She did not speak again till they drew up before the house in the Mile End Road. Then she turned to him.
"I was to stay here for the night, but I think I must go home. Aldous might hear that there had been a disturbance. I will leave a message here, and drive home.»>
«I trust you will let me go with you. We should none of us be happy to think of you as alone just yet. And I am due at the House by eleven.»
She smiled, assenting; then descended, leaning heavily upon him in her weakness.
When she reappeared, attended by her two little servants, frightened and round-eyed at their mistress's mishap, she had thrown a thick lace scarf round her head, which hid the bandage and gave to her pale beauty a singularly touching, appealing air.
«I wish I could see Madeleine,» she said anxiously, standing beside the cab and looking up the road. «Ah!»
For she had suddenly caught sight of a cab in the distance driving smartly up. As it approached, Naseby and Lady Madeleine were plainly to be seen inside it. The latter jumped out almost at Marcella's feet, looking more scared than ever as she saw the black scarf twisted round the white face. But in a few moments Marcella had soothed her, and given her over, apparently, to the care of another lady staying in the house. Then she waved her hand to Naseby, who, with his usual coolness, asked no questions and made no remarks, and she and Tressady drove off.
« Madeleine will stay the night,» Marcella explained as they sped toward Aldgate. «That was our plan. My secretary will look after her. She has been often here with me lately, and has things of her own to do. But I ought not to have taken her to-night. Lady Kent would never have forgiven me if she had been hurt. Oh, it was all a mistake-all a great mistake! I suppose I imagined—that is one's folly-that I could really do some good-make an effect.»
She bit her lip, and the furrow reappeared in the white brow.
Tressady felt by sympathy that her heart was all sore, her moral being shaken and vibrating. After these long months of labor and sympathy and emotion, the sudden touch of personal brutality had unnerved her.
Mere longing to comfort, to «make up,» overcame him.
«You would n't talk of mistake-of failing if you knew how to be near you, to listen to you, to see you, touches and illuminates some of us!»
His cheek burned, but he turned a manly, eager look upon her.
Her cheek, too, flushed, and he thought he saw her bosom heave.
«Oh, no-no!»> she cried. «How impossible, when one feels one's self so helpless, so clumsy, so useless. Why could n't I do better? But perhaps it is as well. It all prepares one-braces one-against->
She paused, and leaned forward, looking out at the maze of figures and carriages on the Mansion House crossing, her tight-pressed lips trembling against her will.
Against the last inevitable disappointment-that, no doubt, was what she meant. If you only understood how loath some of us are to differ with you,» he cried; «how hard it seems to have to press another view -to be already pledged!»
"Oh, yes!-please-I know that you are pledged,» she said, in hasty distress, her delicacy shrinking as before from the direct personal argument.
They were silent a little. Tressady looked out at the houses in Queen Victoria street, at the lamplit summer night, grudging the progress of the cab, the approach of the river, of the Embankment, where there would be less traffic to bar their way-clinging to the minutes as they passed.
«Oh, how could they put up that woman!» she said presently, her eyes still shut, her hand shaking as it rested on the door. «How could they! It is the thought of women like that the hundreds and thousands of themthat goads one on. A clergyman who knows the East End well said to me the other day, The difference between now and twenty years ago is that the women work much more, the men less. I can never get away from the thought of the women. Their lives come to seem to me the mere refuse, the rags and shreds, that are thrown every day into the mill and ground to nothing, without a thought, without a word of pity, an hour of happiness. Cancer-three children left out of nine-and barely forty, though she looks sixty. They tell me she may live eighteen months. Then, when the parish has buried her, the man has only to hold up his finger to find some one else to use up in the same way. And she is just one of thousands.>>
I can only reply by the old stale question, said Tressady, sturdily-« Did we make the mill? Can we stop its grinding? And if not, is it fair, even, to the race that has something to gain from courage and gaiety-is it reasonable to take all our own poor little joy and drench it in this horrible pain of sympathy, as you do? But we have said all these things before.>>
He bent over to her, smiling; but she did not look up. And he saw a tear, which her weakness, born of shock and fatigue, could not restrain, steal from the lashes on the cheek. Then he added, still leaning toward her:
"Only, what I never have said-I think is what is true to-night. At last you have made one person feel-if that matters anything-the things you feel. I don't know that I am particularly grateful to you. And, practically, we may be as far apart as ever.
But I was without a sense when I went into this game of politics; and now-»
His heart beat. What would he not have said, mad youth-within the limits imposed by her nature and his own dread-to make her look at him, to soften this preposterous sadness!
But it needed no more. She opened her eyes, and looked at him with a wild sweetness and gratitude which dazzled him, and struck his memory with the thought of the Southern, romantic strain in her.
«You are very kind and comforting,» she said; but then, from the first, somehow, I knew you were a friend to us. One felt itthrough all difference.>>
The little sentences were steeped in emotion-emotion springing from many sources, fed by a score of collateral thoughts and memories, with which Tressady had, in truth, nothing to do. Yet the young man gulped inwardly. She had been a tremulous woman till the words were said. Now-strange!through her very gentleness and gratefulness a barrier had risen between them. Something stern and quick told him that this was the very utmost of what she could ever say to himthe farthest limit of it all.
They passed under Charing Cross railway bridge. Beside them, as they emerged, the moon shone out above the darks and silvers of the river, and in front the towers of Westminster rose purplish gray against a west still golden.
«How were things going in the House this afternoon? » she asked, looking at the towers. «Oh, I forgot. You see, the clock says close on eleven. Please let me drop you here. I can manage by myself quite well.»
He protested, and she yielded with a patient kindness that made him sore. Then he gave his account, and they talked a little of Monday's division and of the next critical votes in committee, each of them, so he felt in his exaltation, a blow dealt to her-that he must help to deal. Yet there was a fascination in the topic. Neither could get away from it.
Presently, Pall Mall being very full of traffic, they had to wait a moment at the corner of the street that turns into St. James's Square. In the pause Tressady caught sight of a man on the pavement. The man smiled, looked astonished, and took off his hat. Lady Maxwell bowed coldly, and immediately looked away. Tressady recognized Harding Watton; but neither he nor she mentioned his name.
In another minute Tressady had seen her
vanish within the doors of her own house. Her hand had rested gently, willingly, in his. «I am so grateful!» she had said; «so will Maxwell be. We shall meet soon, and laugh over our troubles.»>
the constant poem of her beauty. But, though she knew it, she glanced at him anxiously as he approached her. It had been to her a kind of luxury of feeling, in the few moments that she had been waiting for him, to cherish a
And then she was gone, and he was left little fear of him-of his displeasure. standing a moment, bewildered. Eleven? What had he to do?
Then he remembered his pair, and that he had promised to call for Letty at a certain house, and take her on to a late ball. The evening, in fact, instead of ending, was just beginning. He could have laughed as he got back into his cab.
MEANWHILE Marcella had sped through the outer hall into the inner, where one solitary light, still burning, made a rather desolate dark-in-light through the broad, pillared space. A door opened at the farther side. « Aldous!»
He came out, and she flew to him. He felt her trembling as she touched him. In ten words she told him something of what had happened. Then he saw the bandage round her temple. His countenance fell. She knew that he turned white, and loved him for it. How few things had power to move him so! He wanted to lead her back into his library, where he was at work; but she resisted.
«Let me go up to Annette,» she said. «The little wound-oh! it is not much, I know it is not much ought to be properly seen to. We will do it between us in a moment. Then come; I will send her down for you. I want to tell you.» But in her heart of hearts she was just a little afraid of telling him. What if an exaggerated version should get into the papers -if it should really do him harm-at this critical moment! She was always tormented by this dread-a dread born of long-past indiscretions and mistakes.
He acquiesced, but first he insisted on half leading, half carrying her up-stairs, and she permitted it, delighting in his strong arm.
Half an hour later she sent for him. The maid found him pacing up and down the hall, waiting..
When he entered her room she was lying on her sofa in a white wrapper of some silky stuff. The black lace had been drawn again round her head, and he saw nothing but a very pale face and her eager, timid eyestimid for no one in the world but him. As he caught sight of her, she produced in him that exquisite mingled impression of grace, passion, self-yielding, which in all its infinite variations and repetitions made up for him
«Now describe exactly what you have been doing," he said, sitting down by her with a troubled face and taking her hand, as soon as he had assured himself that the cut was slight and would leave no scar.
She told her tale, and was thrilled to see that he frowned. She laid her hand on his shoulder.
"It is the first public thing I have done without consulting you. I meant to have asked you yesterday, but we were both so busy. The meeting was got up rather hurriedly, and they pressed me to speak after all the arrangements were made.»
"We are both of us too busy,» he said rather sadly; «we glance, and nod, and bustle by->»
He did not finish the quotation, but she could. Her eyes scanned his face. «Do you think I ought to have avoided such a thing at such a time? Will it do harm?»
His brow cleared. He considered the matter.
<< I think you may expect some of the newspapers to make a good deal of it," he said, smiling.
And, in fact, his own inherited tastes and instincts were all chafed by her story. His wife-the wife of a cabinet minister-pleading for her husband's bill, or, as the enemy might say, for his political existence, with an East End meeting, and incidentally with the whole public; exposing herself, in a time of agitation, to the rowdyism and the stonethrowing that wait on such things! The notion set the fastidious Old World temper of the man all on edge; but he would never have dreamed of arguing the matter so with her. A sort of high chivalry forbade it. In marrying her he had not made a single conditionwould have suffered tortures rather than lay the smallest fetter upon her. In consequence, he had often been thought a weak, uxorious person; Maxwell knew that he was merely consistent. No sane man lays his heart at the feet of a Marcella without counting the cost.
She did not answer his last remark. But he saw that she was wistful and uneasy, and presently she laid her fingers lightly on his.
<«<Tell me if I am too much away from you too much occupied with other people.» He sighed the slightest sigh-but she winced.
I had just an hour before dinner,» he said; you were not here, and the house seemed very empty. I would have come down to fetch you, but there were some important papers to read before to-morrow.» A cabinet meeting was fixed, as she knew, for the following day. Then, I have been making Saunders draw up a statement for the newspapers in answer to Watton's last attack, and it would have been a help to talk to you before we sent it off. Above all, if I had known of the meeting I should have begged you not to go. I ought to have warned you yesterday, for I knew that there was some ugly agitation developing down there. But I never thought of you as likely to face a mob. Will you please reflect he pressed her hand almost roughly against his lips-«that if that stone had been a little heavier, and flung a little straighter-» He paused. A dew came to her eyes, a happy glow to her cheek. As for her, she was grateful to the stone that had raised such heartbeats.
Perhaps some instinct told him not to please her in this way too much, for he rose and walked away a moment.
There! Don't let 's think of it, or I shall turn tyrant after all, and plunge into (shalls and (sha'n'ts! You know you carry two lives, and all the plans that either of us cares about, in your hand. You say that Tressady brought you home?»>
He turned, and looked at her.
Yes. Edward Watton brought him to the meeting.»
But he has been down to see you there several times before, as well as coming here?» «Oh, yes; almost every week since we met at Castle Luton.»>
"It is curious," said Maxwell, thoughtfully; for he will certainly vote steadily with Fontenoy all through. His election speeches pledged him head over ears.»
«Oh, of course he will vote,» said Marcella, moving a little uneasily; « but one cannot help trying to modify his way of looking at things. And his tone is changed.»
camp in the East End at such a marked and critical moment was strange, to say the least of it. It must point, one would think, to some sudden and remarkable strength of personal influence.
Had she any real consciousness of the power she wielded? Once or twice, in the years since they had been married, Maxwell had watched this spell of his wife's at work, and had known a moment of trouble. «If I were the fellow she had talked and walked with so,» he had once said to himself, << I must have fallen in love with her had she been twenty times another man's wife!» Yet no harm had happened; he had only reproached himself for a gross mind, without daring to breathe a word to her.
And he dared not now. Besides, how absurd! The young man was just married, and, to Maxwell's absent, incurious eyes, the bride had seemed a lively, pretty little person enough. No doubt it was the nervous strain of his political life that made such fancies possible to him. Let him not cumber her ears with them.
Then gradually, as he stood at her feet, the sight of her, breathing weakness, submission, loveliness, her eyes raised to his, banished every other thought from his happy heart, and drew him like a magnet.
Meanwhile she began to smile. He knelt down beside her, and she put both hands on his shoulders.
«Dear!» she said, half laughing and half crying, "I did speak so badly; you would have been ashamed of me. I could n't hold the meeting. I did n't persuade a soul. Lord Fontenoy's ladies had it all their own way. And first I was dreadfully sorry I could n't do such a thing decently-sorry because of one's vanity, and sorry because I could n't help you. And now I think I'm rather glad.>>
« Are you?» said Maxwell, dryly. «As for me, I'm enchanted! There!--so much penalty you shall have.»
She pressed his lips with her hand.
«Don't spoil my pretty speech. I am only glad because-because public life and public success make one stand separate--alone. I have gone far enough to know how it might be. A new passion would come in and creep through one like a poison. I should win you votes, and our hearts would burn dry. There! take me-scold me-despise me. I am a poor thing-but yours!»>
Maxwell stood at the foot of her sofa, considering, a host of perplexed and unwelcome notions flitting across his mind. In spite of his idealist absorption in his work, his political aims, and the one love of his life, he had the training of a man of the world, and could summon the shrewdness of one when he pleased. He had liked this young Tressady, for the first time, at Castle Luton, and had With such a humbleness might Diana have seen him fall under Marcella's charm with wooed her shepherd, stooping her goddess head some amusement. But this haunting of their to him on the Latmian steep.
(To be continued.)
Mary A. Ward.
IMPRESSIONS OF SOUTH AFRICA.
BY JAMES BRYCE, M. P.,
AUTHOR OF THE AMERICAN COMMONWEALTH,» «THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE,» ETC.
LACED in the center of the southern hemisphere, many thousands of miles from any other civilized community, and with a civilized population still extremely small in proportion to its vast area, South Africa has only just begun to excite the curiosity and interest of mankind. Twenty years ago even England seldom thought of her remote colony, except when some Kafir war compelled the despatch of imperial troops; and the rest of the world scarcely noted its existence. Now the discovery of extraordinary mineral wealth, a passionate struggle of races, and the possibility that the clashing interests of great nations may come to mingle in that struggle, have drawn all eyes to the southern extremity of the African continent-a continent the greater part of which was unexplored fifty years ago, and which even twenty-five years ago was an object of indifference to those European powers which have of late been so eagerly striving for a share in it.
The best way to understand the economic conditions and material resources of South Africa, as well as the political problems which now excite our interest, is first to understand the physical features of the country. They are very remarkable. Africa south of the Zambesi River consists, broadly speaking, of two regions. There is a strip of low land lying along the coast of the Indian Ocean-a strip only a few miles wide in the south, between Cape Town and East London, but gradually widening as it runs northward, till in the Portuguese territory north of Delagoa Bay it measures from fifty to one hundred and fifty miles across. Behind this strip, to the north and east of it, lies a great mass of high ground, rising from the Indian Ocean in hills and mountains from 4000 to 11,000 feet in height, but farther inland, at a distance of from forty to two hundred miles from the ocean, stretching out in a huge plateau elevated from 3000 to 5000 feet above sea-level, the more easterly part being the higher. The outer-that is, the southern and easternedge of this mass of high land is formed by a long chain of mountains, in most places higher
than the plateau itself. It has no general name, but the central part is called the Drakenberge or Kathlamba range. This chain receives on its seaward side, and thereby cuts off from the plateau within, the great part of the rains which come up from the Indian Ocean. Thus the plateau is much drier than the coast strip or the outer slopes of the mountains, and the westerly part of it, being farther from the rain-sending ocean, is drier than the easterly. Moreover, over all this country, except a small district around and north of Cape Town, the rains are summer rains, which fall in the months from November to February. Under the intense heat of the sun the country soon dries up, and for seven or eight months in the year it is parched and arid-much of it, as we shall see presently, little better than a desert.
This great and dominant physical fact-a low and comparatively well-watered coastbelt with a high and arid interior-has determined the character of South Africa in many ways. It explains the very remarkable fact that South Africa has, broadly speaking, no rivers. Those that run south and east from the mountains to the coast are short and rapid torrents after a storm, but at other times almost dry. In the interior there are, indeed, streams which, like the Orange River or the Limpopo, seem on the map to have long courses; but they have so little water during three fourths of the year as to be of no service for the purposes of navigation, while most of their tributaries shrink in the dry season to mere lines of pools, scarcely supplying drink to the cattle on their banks. This is one of the reasons why South Africa remained so long unexplored. People could not penetrate it by following waterways, as happened both in North and in South America; they were obliged to travel by ox-wagon, making only some twelve miles a day; and for the same reason the country is now forced to depend entirely upon railways for internal communication. There is not a stream fit to float anything drawing three feet of water.
Here is one result of the peculiar physical conditions I have described. Another, of no less moment, is the fact that the interior plateau gains from its height and its dryness a generally salubrious climate. The parts of the coast strip lying north of Durban, the ris