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technical composition was almost flawless. Mrs. Suddeth rose to her feet, and Suddeth had trained his salon to a first- slipped her arm about her daughter with hand knowledge of iambics and trochees one of her rare caressings. “My dear lituntil they were all but as quick as he to tle daughter! We shall have our summer detect technical flaws, which was his first here as we have planned it. Then, in the rule of criticism. Technical flawlessness fall, Paris, for the two of us, you and me! was the first great law, and “Egeria" met In that year abroad a good many things
The little salon that had begun by may be solved for all of us that have been honoring Mrs. Hale ended with the shoul- waiting to be solved until you might have der-raising of Suddeth. It was often thus. your share in them. Let it all go, now
"But people looked last night!" the girl “MOTHER!" said Velma the next morn- insisted angrily. “They looked, I tell you. ing, coming unheralded into the music And I won't have them looking at you, room where Mrs. Suddeth sat, running pitying you; perhaps scorning you-" through a new score of sorts. "I want to “I think that no one either pities or talk to you, very frankly."
scorns me,” returned Mrs. Suddeth with Mrs. Suddeth looked up with a little a sudden cool calm.
“Let it all go, now, smile. It was the new generation, assured Velma. We shall talk it over at a better of itself, addressing the elder on debatable time, I promise you." ground, with the unanswerable argument She kissed her daughter again, and all but uttered. Her thought was in her turned back to the piano. Velma stood words as she answered her young daugh- uncertainly for a moment; then she turned ter.
disappointedly and left the room. "Well, the solution, my dear!"
She was crossing the wide hall when a But Velma did not find it so easy to maid, a new one, intercepted her with a begin, and fussed through stacks of music card. Velma had already seen the shadow quite as if she were searching for a definite in the doorway, and when she read the title instead of a definite word. Finally engraved name, "Mr. Henry Whitmore, her convictions conquered her uncertainty, The Sunrise Publishing Company,” she and she blurted out her question:
gave the caller one fluttering glance and "I want to know-if you know—and if then went forward eagerly. you know, how can you seem not to-that “Mr. Whitmore? I am so glad to see Father-I know that Mrs. Hale is per- you.
I am Miss Suddeth- last night my fectly charming and good and all that _" father read a part of your letter to him
She came to a piteous halt. Her mother here-when he presented the author of ran lightly through the rest of the melody, the 'Letters' to us all. Oh, it was charmthen let her hands drop idly in her lap. ing to be allowed to know at last who There was a little silence before she spoke. wrote them. You came to see my father?"
“My dear,” she said at last, "you must "Not your father, Miss Suddeth.” Mr. not do your father any real injustice. I Whitmore smiled. “I sent my card to understand him- thoroughly. He needs
your mother.” the spur of a new face, a new mind, an “You know the author of the 'Letadoring swinger of the chalice, every so ters,'
she persisted eagerly. "Do you often. This taking of fancies is no new know her?" thing-you happen merely to have come "I have never seen her.” on one of them at its full. Try to think “Then,” cried Velma, with the enthuno more of it, except as inconsequent.” siasm of twenty for great moments, “I
"But Mother," Velma protested indig- want to be the one to introduce you-oh, nantly, "that poem last night— 'Egeria!' Mother, here is Mr. Whitmore! You 'll -- it was- I was ashamed - it was so plain wait for a bit, until I telephone—" - it was written for nobody but for the She looked excitedly at Whitmore, as woman who wrote the 'Letters. I think he went quickly toward the door of the it 's a queer crowd that has grown up out music room where Mrs. Suddeth stood here in these years--and I 'm not a prude waiting, and then, stopped midway in her either! I know a great many things—but quick little rush for the telephone at sight I am angry!"
of the little tableau, stared crassly. Whit
more was holding her mother's hands with nate honesty, crude and raw, conquered an ardent reverence.
her desire to be dangerous and subtle, and "At last!” he said. “But when is the she added fairly, “Mr. Whitmore, of the world to know ?"
Sunrise Company, is there with her.” Mrs. Suddeth raised her hand in invol- Mrs. Hale stopped short in the dooruntary warning to him, and looked over way, with a sudden clutching of her skirts, his shoulder at Velma. For a few seconds and a face that, on the instant, save for the eyes of mother and daughter were two bright red spots, went absolutely pallocked; then the girl's eyes wavered, and lid. Suddeth, his eyes gleaming, brought she swayed a little as her world rocked his hands together with a soft clap. beneath her feet. Then she turned away "And I have kept him waiting," he said. and went out to the veranda, and, with a “How odd that he did not telegraph me whirling brain, sank into a chair.
he would be here. And you here at this Where was the mistake! Did Mr. Whit- moment! My dear Whitmore-my dear more think he knew, and was he mistaken? fellow - ? or was her father mistaken? or had her His voice came back to them as the girl mother known all along and held her and the woman stared at each other. Mrs. peace? Details of the night before flashed Hale's face did not regain its color, but through her mind with the swiftness of a after one futile betraying step toward the dream, and above every incident rang her walk, her figure regained its poise, and her mother's words, so cordial then, so signifi- shoulders straightened to meet the mocant now: “You have done what few wo- ment. Already the invasion was upon men have had the courage to do!" Was them, for Suddeth with beautiful inforit possible-her mother the author of mality was dragging his guest through the the “Letters”! Mrs. Hale an unscrupu- hall, and after them, her lips set and her lous adventuress! And her father the be- eyes gleaming, came his wife. fooled! Velma said it plainly, and as she "My dear fellow !” he was saying. "So uttered the words, again with the swift- fortuitous! So good of you to let my wife ness of a dream, certain seemingly unex- amuse you until my return! Here is the plainable things in their home life straight- surprise-I know you have never met ened out with astounding clarity. She Mrs. Hale! The wonderful creator of the seemed to know without further words 'Letters.' The‘Egeria’of the poems, who—” just what the problems were that had been Even Suddeth stopped here, minus his waiting for their solution until she could period. Mrs. Hale was standing, tall and share in the solvingof them. “Egeria!" Her ready for the spring, her eyes narrowed, young lips curled with intolerant scorn. her lips drawn away from her white teeth
She sat there for a long time, the mur- until she looked common, and a reversion mur of voices drifting out to her every to the uncultured, uncontrolled primitive now and then from the room where Whit- type. Whitmore, after a glance at Mrs. more and her mother were still talking Suddeth, bowed formally to the lady, and, earnestly. Then, suddenly, looking up, stepping back, without offering his hand, she saw her father and Mrs. Hale coming glanced at Mrs. Suddeth again. She shook up the walk together. Mrs. Hale, as her head, and his lips, already parted, usual, was in blue, that matched her eyes, closed firmly. and made blacker her black hair and brows “What is it?" asked Suddeth. “My and lashes, and redder her clear red cheeks dear fellow, you don't understand — " and lips. Velma watched them with level "Is n't it plain, Father," Velma asked eyes as they approached.
clearly, “that Mr. Whitmore does n't rec"Where is your mother, my dear?" ognize Mrs. Hale?” Suddeth cried. Mrs. Hale and I are "My own stupidity!” amended Sudarranging a little dinner for to-night, and deth promptly. “Florence Woolson was I want her to call up the guests -a little the name under which the letters were aftermath of last night.” He smiled at his submitted — that name will serve, my dear friend, who smiled back almost tenderly. man, to jog your memory!”
“She is in the music room,” the girl But Mr. Whitmore's hands rested on told him, and then, just as he and Mrs. the head of his stick, and he surveyed his Hale were crossing the threshold her in- gloves discreetly.
Suddeth turned again in bewilderment this dead town for a bit. I had to stay to his friend, who stood, erect, with her out here in exile-establishing residence, head Aung back. Velma after one swift even as the gossips said. The idea came glance at her mother, refused to meet her suddenly, that afternoon he lectured on eyes again and turned instead, directly identity—I 've always wanted that sort of upon Mrs. Hale:
fame and the adulation that goes with it, “You told me, last night, how you came and this town seemed far enough from to write them-where they were written New York to make it safe. A fool idea, -all their inspiration! You told me was n't it? And I was really sitting next everything about them that I longed to to you," turning swiftly on Mrs. Suddeth, know! You dared to desecrate them-so! "that afternoon! Next to the woman But I shall know the truth of them from who really wrote the thing. Next to his my mother-she knows how they were unknown Egeria!" written-how she came to write them." She went down one step, but turned
Suddeth looked at her with anger in his back to look at Suddeth, and leaned back eyes, but his voice was composed. “Are you against a pillar, shaking with laughter. mad, Velma?” he asked in a low voice. "Oh, you egoist!" she cried. “You have Apologize, instantly, to my friend." been seeking for understanding all your
Whitmore stepped forward. "If Mrs. life-you 've had it there-she knows you Suddeth will permit me,” he said gently,
to the dregs of you. And so do I! If "I happen to be the only member of our you were worth it we could have some firm who knows the identity of the author illuminating confidences. . Good luck to -my lips are still sealed by a most solemn the poems, Veddie. Don't think you can vow of secrecy--but if the authorship of persuade these people to save you, if they the 'Letters' has been laid at this lady's don't announce by to-morrow, I will. For door, I must affirm to my absolute know- I'm out of town to-night." ledge that those who assert it are mistaken They watched her go down the walk. in their contention. The author of the Whitmore withdrew with Velma from the ‘Letters' is not this lady. Please make no immediate vicinity of husband and wife. mistake about it.
She is not the author." Suddeth raised his eyes at last, and met, For a moment the five stood at bay. irresistibly, his wife's. The look in hers Mrs. Hale was still insolently poised; was not a comforting one nor an inviting Velma, unapologetic, gazed steadily at the one, and he seemed to change his mind first woman she had ever called a foe. from a congratulatory to an accusative Suddeth's eyes were the only ones that wandered, and they fled from his wife's "I am--stunned by this duplicity," he face to Mrs. Hale's and back again. He uttered, after a long pause. “It is looked at last at Velma. “Your mother ?” astounding-to find so dangerous a secret he muttered. “Are you sure?"
in one's home, unknown.” "I know," the girl said proudly.
you will come to me after luncheon, At that instant Mrs. Suddeth turned to Vedder," Mrs. Suddeth replied, "we'll Whitmore. “The issue has been forced,” have a little talk, you and Velma and I.” she said. “You may make the announcement of identity whenever you wish.” The most important literary revelation of
“You!" gasped her husband. Then he the year was sent broadcast through the turned upon Mrs. Hale.
land that night, and the next day Sud"You have made me absurd,” he said deth's salon died a death comparable only furiously, "and my salon ridiculous!" to that engendered by laughing-gas. But
Mrs. Hale threw back her head, and the principals were out of reach, for they shot a level gaze at him from her blue had all left town, and Mrs. Hale soon eyes. "You were that, and it was that, lost herself to the world of Athens in a before," she said.
She turned to Whit- new matrimonial nomenclature. Suddeth more. "Is it true she really wrote them?” sought to establish himself in New York.
"It is true," said Whitmore simply. Velma and her mother went abroad, and She shrugged her shoulders, and her it was from Paris that her publishers rehand tightened upon her parasol handle. ceived Mrs. Suddeth's second volume. It "It was a chance to make life interesting in was widely praised, by none more ardently
than by Suddeth in the several critical col- salon in Paris is a center. So far Suddeth umns to which he had access. Mrs. Sud- has not offered to follow them abroad. It deth received these duly, with their dis- may be added that both Suddeth and The tinctive, mouth-filling phrases, from her Sunrise Publishing Company have on file clipping bureau. She also received them a canceled contract. “Egeria" was never in envelops addressed to her by Suddeth's published, and Athens's bibliophiles still hand—the extent of personal communica- lack the saving humorous touch to their tion to date. Velma's devotion to her utterly respectable collections of first edimother is unusual, and Mrs. Suddeth's tions.
THE BELOVED—THE BEAUTIFUL
BY EDITH M. THOMAS
The Beloved the Beautiful!
'T is nowhere, for her home is everywhere,
A waving tent far up the cloudy air,
A sleeping-room in hyacinthine bells,
The Beloved the Beautiful!
Yet I the fond caressing cincture knew
That round her viewless form a wild vine threw
In parting boughs could guess her windowed place,
The Beloved the Beautiful!
’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,
The Beloved ---the Beautiful!
She is so ever-young-she is so old
That her sweet years by æons must be told:
Backward so far, so far, so far they mount,
The Beloved- the Beautiful!
With each away, that each in turn shall get
A splendor and a grace it had not yet,
Wherewith to dazzle Memory's aching eyes:
The Beloved-the Beautiful!
But in withdrawing most would she be seen;
Therefore, to find her in her last demesne,
Out of this world her lovers all must go,