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Suddeth turned again in bewilderment to his friend, who stood, erect, with her head flung back. Velma after one swift glance at her mother, refused to meet her eyes again and turned instead, directly upon Mrs. Hale:
"You told me, last night, how you came to write them where they were written -all their inspiration! You told me everything about them that I longed to know! You dared to desecrate them-so! But I shall know the truth of them from my mother-she knows how they were written-how she came to write them."
Suddeth looked at her with anger in his eyes, but his voice was composed. "Are you mad, Velma?" he asked in a low voice. "Apologize, instantly, to my friend."
Whitmore stepped forward. "If Mrs. Suddeth will permit me," he said gently, "I happen to be the only member of our firm who knows the identity of the author -my lips are still sealed by a most solemn vow of secrecy-but if the authorship of the 'Letters' has been laid at this lady's door, I must affirm to my absolute knowledge that those who assert it are mistaken in their contention. The author of the 'Letters' is not this lady. Please make no mistake about it. She is not the author."
this dead town for a bit. I had to stay out here in exile-establishing residence, even as the gossips said. The idea came suddenly, that afternoon he lectured on identity-I 've always wanted that sort of fame and the adulation that goes with it, and this town seemed far enough from New York to make it safe. A fool idea, was n't it? And I was really sitting next to you," turning swiftly on Mrs. Suddeth, "that afternoon! Next to the woman who really wrote the thing. Next to his unknown Egeria!"
She went down one step, but turned back to look at Suddeth, and leaned back against a pillar, shaking with laughter. "Oh, you egoist!" she cried. "You have been seeking for understanding all your life-you 've had it there-she knows you to the dregs of you. And so do I! If you were worth it we could have some illuminating confidences. illuminating confidences. Good luck to the poems, Veddie. Don't think you can persuade these people to save you-if they don't announce by to-morrow, I will. For I'm out of town to-night."
They watched her go down the walk. Whitmore withdrew with Velma from the immediate vicinity of husband and wife. Suddeth raised his eyes at last, and met, irresistibly, his wife's. The look in hers was not a comforting one nor an inviting one, and he seemed to change his mind from a congratulatory to an accusative
"I am stunned by this duplicity," he uttered, after a long pause. "It isastounding to find so dangerous a secret in one's home, unknown."
"If you will come to me after luncheon, Vedder," Mrs. Suddeth replied, "we 'll have a little talk, you and Velma and I."
THE most important literary revelation of the year was sent broadcast through the land that night, and the next day Suddeth's salon died a death comparable only to that engendered by laughing-gas. But the principals were out of reach, for they had all left town, and Mrs. Hale soon lost herself to the world of Athens in a new matrimonial nomenclature. Suddeth sought to establish himself in New York. Velma and her mother went abroad, and it was from Paris that her publishers received Mrs. Suddeth's second volume. It was widely praised, by none more ardently
than by Suddeth in the several critical columns to which he had access. Mrs. Suddeth received these duly, with their distinctive, mouth-filling phrases, from her clipping bureau. She also received them in envelops addressed to her by Suddeth's hand-the extent of personal communication to date. Velma's devotion to her mother is unusual, and Mrs. Suddeth's
salon in Paris is a center. So far Suddeth has not offered to follow them abroad. It may be added that both Suddeth and The Sunrise Publishing Company have on file a canceled contract. "Egeria" was never published, and Athens's bibliophiles still lack the saving humorous touch to their utterly respectable collections of first editions.
THE BELOVED-THE BEAUTIFUL BY EDITH M. THOMAS
The Beloved-the Beautiful!
She dwells-but ah, none knoweth where she dwells, "T is nowhere, for her home is everywhere,
A waving tent far up the cloudy air,
A sleeping-room in hyacinthine bells,
A crypt where noon-day stars glance back from deepest wells!
The Beloved-the Beautiful!
I have not seen her shape, her goddess face,
Yet I the fond caressing cincture knew
That round her viewless form a wild vine threwIn parting boughs could guess her windowed place, By widening water-rings her silver steps could trace.
The Beloved-the Beautiful!
Her voice is low-is shrill-is far-is near;
'T is as the dreaming bird's in moon-loved nest, As Dawn's faint laughters circling east and west Around the world and dying up the sphere,
Or as the Wind's that knows where sleeps the vanished Year.
The Beloved--the Beautiful!
Her years? They are beyond my skill to count!
That her sweet years by æons must be told:
The Beloved-the Beautiful!
The Beloved-the Beautiful!
Herself entire she is unfain to show,
But in withdrawing most would she be seen;
Having but kissed the garments that around her flow.
THE LATE SIR CASPAR PURDON CLARKE, FORMERLY DIRECTOR OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK
(EXAMPLES OF AMERICAN PORTRAITURE-XXII)
YOUNG vieant, ap the long path of
UNG Hearne, a Peri at the gate, looked wistfully up the long path of the West Point hotel to its piazza blossoming with laughing, chattering girls. Each gray-coated, white-trousered, bellbuttoned figure that turned in at its forbidden portals stopped short at sight of him to fall in limp incredulity upon the nearest support.
"It is n't possible that the mere lack of a permit can deter our His'n"-for Hearne's plebe days had early substituted this more manly epithet for his own effeminate surname. "How are the mighty fallen!"
Hearne answered them all with the pleasant grin which had helped to make him the most popular man in the corps. "Only six demerits left between me and graduation, my friends," he informed them. "My proud spirit is broken. Though even if I should go over the limit," he would add gaily enough, "my studies would save me, of course."
They chuckled at this again, but always
with an affectionate anxiety and regret in their laughter which Hearne felt and winced under. It seemed to bring nearer that dark cloud which hung so perilously close to him these days.
It rolled away for the time, however, when he saw Faith Ellery coming toward him, and his spirits rose buoyantly to meet the June radiance about them as he piloted her tenderly down the rocky path opening into "Flirtation Walk." When it is summer at West Point, when you have just reached twenty-one, and are engaged to the loveliest girl in the world, and when you mean to kiss her as soon as you round that kindly clump of evergreens, it is hard to believe the universe is not all it should be.
Hearne did not carry out that interesting intention, however, at the spot he had first designated. An uncomfortable memory of certain tender passages at Easter with a black-eyed girl from Vassar came ruthlessly between him and the sweet face at his side. He looked down at it remorse
fully, telling himself for the hundredth time the lover's refrain of unworthiness. How many truancies that class ring had played before it had come home to that small finger! The four careless years of light-hearted love-making, when he had helped sustain the reputation of the bellbuttons for gallantry and had joyously swelled the chorus of sweet nothings which had echoed through Flirtation's romantic paths for a hundred years, rose a relentless witness before the candid innocence of this girl's eyes and the grave purity of her young brow. It was before that that Hearne's heart prostrated itself in deepest adoration-something quite apart from the length of her lashes and the sun in her hair. She looked up quickly at his unconscious sigh.
"Those examinations?" she queried anxiously, and he nodded in gloomy re
"I'm 'boning' like mad for them," he informed her in the peculiar vernacular of the Point, "but what with extra drillsand thinking of you every second-I have so little time. And what I don't know!" he broke off with an eloquent groan. "I think I can skin through all right in everything but that vile engineering, but I'm afraid I'm going to 'fess' in that."
"Engineering!" Faith ejaculated. "Why, is n't that what Cousin Edward teaches?" "It surely is. And I very much fear your estimable relative is going to 'find me' on it-fire me- flunk me," he hunted hopelessly for more classic synonyms to explain the cadet dialect.
"But if he knew we were engaged!" Faith cried excitedly. "Of course they know I like you and they tease me about you," she confessed with adorable shyness, -"but if he knew what it meant to me -he 's very fond of me-he never could spoil our happiness so."
"Oh, he 's a good soldier," Hearne admitted grudgingly. "Of course I can't have much respect for any man who would teach such stuff, but he 'd do his duty, I'll say that for him. If he knew we were engaged, naturally he 'd have to mark me all the more exactingly." He went on to elucidate his point more clearly to the bewildered eyes Faith lifted to him. "He 'd be in something of the same fix that the Worm was in two years ago-the fellow I room with," he interpreted. "They call
him the Worm because he wriggles so when there are any 'fems' around-he has n't any use for them. I was as near a stayback at furlough then as I am to not graduating now, and the whole class was trying to keep me out of scrapes so I would n't have to miss the class supper in New York. I'd gotten up to the day before we left with two demerits left to my credit, when, as luck would have it, a 'cit' I knew at home passed through here. I took him into my tent, with me without a permit-I did n't think I never do," poor Hearne confessed sadly the key to his actions at the Point. "It would have been all right if the Worm, who was Officer of the Day, had n't been inspecting just at that time. The O.D. is under oath to report everything he sees, but of course he hates to tell on his friends and he does his best for them by keeping his eyes on the ground all the time. The Worm would never have seen a thing if just as he passed my tent I had n't toppled over my chair with a crash, and of course he looked up involuntarily-any one would have to, you know-saw the 'cit,' reported me,and I loitered on for three days in this beloved spot admiring the scenery after the class left."
"Oh, how horrid of him," cried Miss Ellery, with as much violence as her gentleness could muster.
"He could n't help it," Hearne answered blankly. "He had to do it-he could n't break his word. He felt worse than I did about it-gave up the class supper and stayed here with me, like the brick he is. It was a point of honor, you see, his reporting me."
They had left the narrow windings of the sun-flecked path and were seated in one of the many poetic nooks for which Flirtation is justly famous. Behind them stretched a lover's labyrinth of green and gold; below them the river flowed with a bored calmness; long years of chaperonage had inured it so that the wildest ecstasies of love failed to cause its silver surface a ripple of excitement. Faith leaned against a moss-grown rock watching it, while her lover lounged stiffly beside her in tender deference to that crease in his spotless duck trousers which is the joy and pride of every true West Pointer's heart. After some profitable discussion upon matters purely personal and vastly