« AnkstesnisTęsti »
and the mountains that shut all in. On keep it in youun's mind fur sumpen to hold the other she looked down to the mysteri- on to.” Then he went away. ous pool. It was dark and still, and peo- Nothing could have shown Hannah ple said it had no bottom. At Sewanee the depth of her fall as completely as this she had heard this idea laughed at. offer did. Nothing could have proved as
Sewanee ! she bowed her head on her cruelly the hopelessness of her position. hands. Her grandmother did not want That Dock Wilson should dare such a her, need she stay here? The talk would proposition ! She sat down again, casting grow in the valleys, but at Sewanee it her apron over her head, and rocking herwould soon die ; then Miss Agnes could self back and forth. The strength of the marry Mr. Dudley, and all be well. She man's love had not touched her yet. would be left desolate—but she was only Hannah Wilson ! He had coupled the one. Trampled in the dust — left for names. Hannah Wilson ! what better dead! who cared?
than Lizer Wilson? To Agnes Welling A noise startled her, and she rose quickly, and her friends, all were Covites' toto find Dock standing before her. · Does gether. Was there a true difference? BeGranny want me?" she asked.
tween herself and Agnes Welling there was Dock stood silent, with one hand grasp- a wide difference, but between herself and ing a young maple until it shivered and Dock? And between Dock and the much dropped its scarlet leaves about him ; admired Si Durket? This last difference while the girl watched and trembled as was plain enough, and Dock's kind face, the young maple did. At last Dock raised glorified by his love, rose up before her. his head, and his eyes were full of pain Soul and body he would die for her—he and fire.
would work and fight for her, and never “ Lizer says thet you need not a-been think she had descended to his level! She so beggitty last night to Si, kase Si only remembered how he had worked for her done what he done kase youun's Granny and watched over her in the spring—askaxed him to do hit to save the two families. ing no return. An' there worn't no other man would tuck The swaying motion ceased, and her youun's now.” A fresh shower of scarlet apron fell from over her face. Now he leaves fluttered down about him. “I didn't offered to stand between her and the knock her, kase I ain't never knocked a world ; and he knew that Si, who made woman yit. I told her she were a-lyin', the talk, would keep it alive. an' she knowed hit, an' I were one man What was the difference between her thet would lay down an' be chopped to and Dock? Somehow or other he seemed pieces fur you--body an' soul. An hit's above her now. Marry Dock, then Miss true, Hannah ;” and his eyes were filled Agnes would know that the talk was not with a light that would have glorified any true, and would marry Mr. Dudley. With face on earth. “ Hit's God's truth ; but the thought of Sewanee there came a visI never would have told hit, 'ceppen furion of her leaden lined future. everybody a-turning 'gainst you. I ain't Suddenly the sound of the horn came nobody, an’ I knows hit; an’ I don't ’llow to her. She looked at the sun ; it was not thet you hev come down to me—thar ain't supper-time; what could it mean? Again no sich foolishness in me. But all is a- the sound, and this time more sharp, and talkin', Hannah_"shaking his head sadly some one was waving to her down in —“an' I kin give you a honest name, an' the field. Quickly she went, and saw I kin work fur you, and shoot fur you, her grandfather beckoning. Before she an' I wouli. An' no pusson would dar' reached him she heard the words—" Mr. to tuck Hannah Wilson's name 'twixt Dudley's to the house—" and her heart tongue an' teeth to spit hit out, kase I'd seemed to stop. Had Agnes sent for her kill 'em. An' if you wants to go ’way, I'll to come back, and give the talk the lie? go, an' if you wants to stay, I'll stay. An' She laid hold on the old man's arm to I'll never cast nothin' in youun's teeth, ner steady herself. The joy shook her as no sot up to be no ekal o' yourn. Don't pain had done. gimme no word now,” he added, swaying “Mr. Dudley !” the little maple-tree back and forth, “but " Thet's hit. He's come to tuck you
away, chile, an' stop the talk. Mertildy's ren's vision, then cleared as she looked in a mighty takin', an' Lizer Wilson looks proudly into the astonished eyes of Lizer like she's been frost-bit. Lord, gal, you Wilson-and into the sad face of Dock, are done saved, and nobody'll dar' to talk who had come up while they talked. no mo'. An' thar'll not be no mo' kitchen People might say what they pleased fur you to Sewanee.”'
now, but no girl in any valley had ever Gramper !” she staggered a little, had a chance like this. And Si! How Si stopping him with a sudden gasp. “What would rage to think of what his talk had is you a-sayin'?"
accomplished! Hannah could stand with The old man hurried her on, and his the best now, and the Warrens be acvoice was a little less tremulous as he re- knowledged as the equals of all. peated his words.
She started when Hannah's quick step “ Come fur me ?” the girl whispered. sounded in the lobby, and Max lifted his “ Mr. Dudley ! ” and she flung up her head and drew himself away from the suphands as one who is mortally wounded. port of the post. His tired eyes dilated, How low-how low she had fallen! She and his pale face grew whiter as the girl clung to a post of the back piazza, unable approached. And Lizer paused, with upto go farther. Dudley come for her—then lifted iron, and Dock drew a step nearer. all thought the worst of her. And Agnes ! You wanted me, Mr. Dudley ?” and
Come on, gal, come on. Mr. Dud- Hannah paused in front of him, with her ley's awaitin'fur you; an' youun's Granny's hands clasped and two crimson spots on awaitin'. I reckon she's right sorry she her cheeks. put you up loft. An' Lizer Wilson is Yes, Hannah.” His voice was very a-scorchin' all the clothes she's a'tryin' to low, and the girl realized, by a subtle iniron—don't you smell 'em? An' yander stinct, all that he suffered saw clearshe is a-peepin' at you."
ly the marks of despair on his face, and Hannah straightened herself up, and wondered why she did not die of shame. the shivering ceased. She stepped quickly “ Yes, Hannah;" then he paused, as if to through the lobby, where Lizer was iron- steady his voice. “ I have come to ask ing, to the front piazza, where Max Dud- you to marry me, and help me to stop this ley and Mrs. Warren were waiting. talk. Your grandfather and grandmother
Max leaned against one of the posts, have given their consent, and the matter holding his Oxford cap by the long tassel ; lies with you.
We know that there is no and behind him, through a purple mist, the truth in anything that has been said; and gorgeous, autumn-tinted mountain - side.
everyone who knows you, Hannah, knows Standing there, he looked so lonely—so you to be a good, true woman, and as such apart—as if some magic line had been I have come to offer you the protection of drawn between him and his kind, while an
His voice was very low, but atmosphere of deathlike stillness seemed to Hannah thought that she had never heard hem him in. And watching him curious- anything sound so sweet before. All bitly, with anxious, flickering eyes, old Mrs. terness passed from out her heart—all Warren waited.
doubts—and the great humiliation of her For weeks the old woman had been un- life seemed turned to glory. Then his der a great strain, struggling with all her voice ceased, and in the tense stillness Mrs. strength against the many warring passions Warren rose, with a strained look in her that tore her and cried for utterance. All eyes. What was it she saw in Hannah's this morning she had hurried from one face! Dock leaned forward-Mr. Warthing to another, to keep from an out- ren drew a step nearer, and Lizer forgot burst of some sort, until now the supreme the heavy iron she still held poised. excitement of Max Dudley's coming "I'm obleeged to you, Mr. Dudley, fur seemed to have weakened her beyond the true words you hev said this day," movement, save for the nervous rocking Hannah began, “an' fur stannin' up fur of her chair.
me thet couldn't do nothin' fur myself. He had made his offer calmly and quietly An' I knows what hit means, Mr. Dudley, in the presence of all, and for a moment for you to say the words you have said things had grown dim before Mrs. War- this day, an' I prays the Lord will bless
you for hit all.” And while she spoke soul ing him in the dusk, and he had much to
-thar's a Presently he heard him coming, and diffrunce as wide as all this valley," with Melville shrank from the task he had set a little, sweeping gesture. “An' you ain't himself. How could he tell Dudley what fur folks like me. But thar's one o' my had happened ! But Max was upon him own folks, Mr. Dudley, hev offered me his by this, and started, as if from a dream. honest name, an' please God all will hap “What has happened?” he asked, and out right. But all the same, God bless laid his hand on Melville's shoulder. you, Mr. Dudley."
“I was anxious,” Melville faltered, "Hannah! Gal!" a sharp voice cried, “What has happened?" and all turned quickly, “Is you crazy- “Nothing. The girl refused me. A crazy! Si 'll never come agin—never!” princess could not have done it more There was a moment's pause, and Hannah grandly; and the old grandmother died looked down into the old woman's face, in a fit. But what ails you?” pityingly. How gray and drawn it looked; " Cartrightand she said, soothingly, “Num mine, “Well, Cartright?" and leaning against Granny, hit's all right-hit's a better man a tree, Dudley took off his cap and passed 'an Si Durket, Granny."
his hand wearily across his brow and eyes. " True, Hannah ?" And Max laid his The scenes in the Cove had tired him more hand on Hannah's shoulder.
than he had realized until now, and now “Astrue as God's daylight, Mr. Dudley,” he felt almost too weary to go farther. turning her beautiful face
up to his. “An'“What about Cartright? He knew where yander he stands—Dock Wilson
I was gone; has he posted me for a There was a low moan, and the old fool ?” woman reeled forward heavily.
“Worse than that.”
Dudley started forward, taking hold of Melville. “What has he dared to say !'
"About you? Nothing. It is-it is XX
Miss Welling.” The grasp on Melville's
shoulder became almost unbearable. “Oh, The high that proved too high, the heroic for Dudley, Cartright is engaged to Miss Well
earth too hard, The passion that left the ground, to lose itself ing! Asked her at noon-announced it in the sky,
at once, and Mrs. Skinner says that ProAre music sent up to God by the lover and the fessor Welling is 'immensely pleased.' I
bard, Enough that he heard it once : we shall hear it
told you Cartright was working for his own by and by
ends; and I thought that you would like
to have a walk after hearing. So I slipped It was cold, but Melville waited patient- away ; nobody knows I am come.” ly at the top of the mountain for Dudley. There was a moment's silence, then He would not go farther, for fear of miss- Dudley turned homeward, walking slowly.
THE POINT OF
IME was when the Westerner of fiction in hot weather. They do the thing they hate
was a rudely heroic figure, chivalric and because they cannot get away from it. One
resourceful, reckless of life as the new looks in vain for any trace of that gay courage school of novelists, and inured to adventure and defiance of hardships which animated, as one of Mr. Davis's heroes. He lived by for instance, the men who “dammed the Sacpreference in a mining camp, or if geologic ramento,” or inspired the little band of outconsiderations prevented that he was apt to casts from Poker Flats. Equally wanting be a rancher, an Indian fighter, or at least a is any remnant of that stern delight in the cowboy. There was more than a suggestion conflict with an unwilling and grudging natof the untamed wilderness about him, and ure which made the life of many a New though generally impossible he was always England farmer a heroic epic. For them the interesting
hardships and discomforts of life loom large, The Westerner of recent fiction is an en- and its courage and inspiration do not exist. tirely different character. His home has been Worse still, this state of affairs is looked changed, for one thing, and instead of the upon not as due to peculiarly adverse cirRockies or the Great Plains he now affects cumstances or individual incapacity, but as what might be called in semi-nautical phrase the common lot of Western farmers, imposed
the West - middle-west. He has upon them by social forces against which it A Questionable lost his naïvely reckless ways in is vain to contend.
"Social conditions,” Mr. Type.
the removal, and his chief purpose Garland assures us, are such that only men in life now seems to be to set forth the in- of exceptional endowments, and willing and iquity of existing social conditions. Octave able to master many of the best and deepest Thanet's missionary sheriff, it is true, is a and most sacred of their impulses, could suclineal descendant of the old type, as engaging ceed.” Men might start out hopefully and if perhaps as improbable as the gentlemanly ambitiously enough, but to no purpose. and high-minded gamblers or the simple- “ Conditions were too adverse; they simply hearted desperadoes in whom Bret Harte weakened, slipped slowly back into an ox-like revelled; but turn to the characters of that or else a fretful patience.” “Fate,” says Mr. self-proclaimed prophet of the Northwest, Dick Swiveller, contemplating his unpleasant Mr. Hamlin Garland, and what a falling off predicament, “ fate has brought me to this. we find! His people do not live ; they work. Very well; I wash my hands of it. Fate may Life, as he sees it, is a ceaseless round of get me out again—and I wish her joy of the fierce toil performed angrily and rebelliously job.” That is the attitude of Mr. Garland's by men who lack the force to make their re- farmers, except that they lack the cheerful bellion effective. They complain, and some- philosophy of Dickens's light-hearted scamp. times they grow brutal toward their woman- Surveying these things, the disinterestkind, but their revolt carries them no farther. ed reader cannot refrain from questioning They have altogether lost the fighting spirit. whether Mr. Garland is less true to life They shrink and cower before the winter's than he thinks, or whether there has really cold ; they shudder and wince at the pain of been a sudden and unfortunate change in the husking corn with worn fingers; they swear character of our Western citizens. In the and rage over the discomforts of heavy work nature of things, The many fail : the one
succeeds," whether they live in the East or the on occasion, to talk about them, and the ocWest; and when, as is the case with most of casion is when we come across someone who Mr. Garland's heroes, success means a polit- knows them well and is interested in them as ical career ending in an election to Congress, we are. Now, of course, when we talk about perhaps this is not greatly to be regretted. our friends to people who don't know them But it is cause for regret is the majority of well, and who perhaps are not especially Western farmers, being disappointed in this sympathetic to us, we talk commonplaces, or some other ambition, really take the help- and use that discretion in our utterances less, invertebrate attitude so frequently por- which people of prudence are expected to trayed by Mr. Garland. The miners and cow- use at all times. But when we are with peoboys of the early writers were not model ple who know our friends, and are interested citizens, but they were far more hopeful ma- in them, and whose minds excite our minds, terial for the upbuilding of an ideal common- and who seem to us worth talking to, then is wealth than are these weaklings. A man the time of our danger; for then we reach may gamble and drink and use his revolver down and bring out our thoughts, and put with an abandon untempered by any scruples our brooding hypotheses into words, and show regarding the sacredness of human life, and our acumen and the searching quality of yet have heroic possibilities; but the man our discernment by shaping our conclusions who, when confronted by difficulties, “ simply and offering them to be examined. Talk weakens and slips back," the man who, find- of this sort does not consist of sworn stateing himself in a thoroughly distasteful environ- ments, and of course among honorable peoment, querulously protests that society has ple involves no betrayal of confidences and put him there, and who, instead of striving no disclosures of things that ought to be hid. with might and main to get out of it, settles It is not testimony, but merely a conversadown to wait with a “fretful patience” until tion, where fact is scarce and opinion abunsociety shall be ready to remove him, devot- dant, and where one sentence so hangs by ing himself, meanwhile, to ineffective railings another, and every opinion is so related to its against those conditions which he has not the context that a single sentence singled out for courage to fight, has lost the very fibre of repetition is almost sure to misrepresent the manhood. It is a new attitude for Americans person who spoke it. to take, and it is singular enough that it I confess that when I get to discussing should appear on the fertile plains of the great my friends, even those to whom I am greatWest. Can it be that a real deterioration of ly attached, on such occasions as these, character has taken place there? or has Mr. I am liable to put into words the impresGarland mistaken individual cases for a type ? sions which happen to be strongest in my
mind at the time. I trust that I can hide T is a fact, and whether or not we grieve a friend's infirmities with anyone ; if I hapover it does not change it, that there is pen to know facts which ought not to be
usually a difference between what we disclosed, I am under no temptation to dissay of our friends to others and what we say close them; but in the exchange of speculaabout them to themselves. Persons for whom tions and impressions, I practise more lati
we have a real regard, we look upon as part tude. And, of course, latitude involves risks, On the Dis- of our lives and feeling a certain and risks involve occasional penalties. Somecussion of property in them, we often wonder times things that I have said in bursts of flus Friends.
how they are getting on, and what ency finally work around back to me through sort of a business they are making of life. the very persons of whom I have said them. When we see them we take notice, and we and give me bad dreams and distressing senremember what we hear about them, and spec- sations. People who are talked about show so ulate a good deal about them at odd moments little consideration for those who have diswhen they happen to come into our minds. cussed them! They hear that you or I have Unless we happen to be confessors to them, said thus and so about them; and if they or to have surer sources of information than have reason to believe the report, if the “ thus we usually do have, our knowledge of them and so was not pleasant to them, they accept is apt to be inaccurate, and our conclusions, it as the sure evidence of our true and being based on it, are liable to error. Yet, permanent attitude tow em, and credit because we think about them, we are likely, us sometimes with hostility or jealousy or