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in the direction of inventiveness, I asked tion, "that inventors are abnormal people, for his views on that subject.
"Money can help, of course."
"Are experiments costly? Would it help much if there were endowments to promote experiment?"
"Some experiments don't cost muchhardly anything at all; just a little time. and material. The working out or commercializing an invention costs money, but that is usually done by the company that expects to make money out of it. What they need is to do something so the inventor can make money out of his invention and not have it all go to the company that buys up his rights. If an inventor could make $50,000 out of his first invention, he would turn right around and put that money into making other inventionssome that might be worth millions to the public. That is a characteristic of a true inventor. Inventors have insufficient means to fight a patent case with the present methods of procedure in the courts, and it amounts to a nullification of the patent as far as the inventor is concerned. There are many corporations that know this and make a business of appropriating every patent of value. Sometimes a competing company will give the inventor enough to pay a little on his debts and fight the pirating company, but the inventor gains nothing if they are successful. I think courts ought to protect the inventor against business men, for I never knew one that had the faintest idea of modern business methods. If the English court practice was adopted in this country, it would be a great thing for the inventor."
"Is it true," I asked, repeating one of my written questions for further elucida
doing their work in a sort of frenzy of illumination?"
"Nothing to it," he assured me. "Those long-haired fellows that act queer and figure out queer things, I don't call them real inventors. Once in a while they may hit something, but not often. There are perhaps five hundred real inventors in the world-men with scientific training, and imagination. imagination. They have made about ninety-five per cent. of all the good things in the way of inventions and improvements. They are usually connected with some big plant; you may not hear of them, but they are there, working out all kinds of machines and processes. are the real inventors, not the long-haired kind."
"If you had any maxims or conclusions you could give to those men,-things you have found out, fundamental laws, you know, what would they be?"
"Ah, these men know more about their own work than I could tell them. I have n't any conclusions to give; I am just learning about things myself. They are doing the same. They are working out their things, and I am working out mine."
"Do you ever speculate about the inventions we may have fifty or a hundred years from now?" I asked.
"No, not very much. Nobody can tell what the conditions will be. We may discover laws that will upset all our calculations. We discover what we think are fundamental laws, then they are upset by another discovery. The only thing to do is to work along and bring out every practical and useful fact we can."
BY KATHERINE METCALF ROOF Author of "A Lighted House "'
C Mildred Tremain's life that the ex
IRCUMSTANCES had so ordered
perience of falling in love at what is usually conceived to be the susceptible age had been denied her. She had had other interesting, if more impersonal, experiences. In her nomad life on the Continent with her invalid father she had observed, thought, enjoyed, and had arrived at that expensive stage of development where her pleasures, if more completely realized, were rendered less in number by the process of discrimination and elimination. The chances of her falling in love at all had therefore become reduced as the likelihood of her finding an adequate object became less. Yet the miracle happened, after all, in her late twenties. In Gilbert Fleming she found a being apparently designed to meet every side of her rather complex nature.
Too essentially tactful to arouse antagonism, Mildred Tremain was admirably. adapted to a companionable human existence. She was artistic in her appreciations, yet content to enjoy the fruits of art instead of mistaking her appreciation for creative talent and joining the army of dilettante amateurs and imitative producers.
Although Gilbert Fleming had given her her first experience in love, she felt no pang in the realization that, aside from those more or less superficial affairs that most men over thirty have had, Fleming himself had had the far more tangible and penetrating experience of matrimony. He had been married for nearly three years to a woman he had loved, and they had had one child, a boy whom Mildred had not seen before her engagement. That first love and marriage, she decided in her innermost communion with herself, could
not have contained such complete understanding as existed between Gilbert and herself. She had seen Amy's picture-an intense, delicate face with a high forehead and great eyes, a serious concentrated face. Amy had been a "college woman," one, Mildred felt, with a life dedicated to progressive movements and ideals and, she was convinced, with no sense of humor. She wondered sometimes how companionable Gilbert had found her-Gilbert with his gay, whimsical point of view, his sensitive, cultivated American mind, which met all discomforts, as well as deeper troubles, with a light, courageous philosophy. Yet she felt not the faintest pang of jealousy toward the dead wife or toward the child, to whom Fleming was unselfishly devoted.
Mildred was not a woman possessed of a wide and overflowing maternal instinct. That is to say, her heart did not go out toward every child she saw simply because it was a child. It is possible that she would not have suffered deeply if denied the experience of motherhood. At the same time she was far from being devoid of maternal instinct. She took children upon the same basis of selection as grown people, liking some, finding others unsympathetic; but her heart had gone out in advance to Fleming's son. She felt stirred at the thought of him. She hoped he was like Gilbert. She had seen a picture of him taken two years before, he was six now, a beautiful boy with a mass of curls and large eyes, a picturesque child of a type that lent itself to the photographer's art.
It happened that it was a bare month before the wedding when she first saw Arthur. His father, intensely alive to the significance of the meeting, brought him.
It was not surprising that the child should shrink from a stranger, Mildred reminded herself afterward; she had prepared herself beforehand for such a possibility. But Arthur had been too young when his mother died to remember her, and his grandmother, far from consciously or unconsciously seeking to prejudice him against his new mother, was sincerely pleased with Gilbert's choice. Yes, it was natural enough, yet something in the way. the child turned his shoulder, in his fretful, inarticulate sound of repulse, gave a chill to Mildred. Wisely, she did not attempt effusive overtures.
"I believe in letting children alone when they are shy, instead of trying to force their interest," she said to Gilbert, who agreed as he passed his hands lovingly over the child's curls.
"He is a little out of sorts to-day. He is n't like himself," he apologized. The meeting was not quite as he had imagined it.
Arthur climbed up into his father's lap and regarded Mildred frowningly over his shoulder a minute, then buried his face in Fleming's arm.
"He does n't look like you." Mildred had searched the child's features in vain for any resemblance to Gilbert's strong, keen, responsive face.
Arthur, whimpering, began to try to attract his father's attention. "You must n't interrupt, dear," Fleming reproved him gently; but Arthur continued to keep up a fretful undertone of protest while they talked. In a way, he was a beautiful boy, Mildred reflected, observing the child without letting him become aware of it. Yet somehow the impression left her let down, chilled. There was something about Arthur's face-the large, face-the large, I cold, dark eyes, the long upper lip; the relaxed mouth, which dropped at the corners and was seldom closed-that was not pleasing. She caught the thought back half formulated. She would love Gilbert's child, of course, and he would love her; she would win his love.
A FEW days after they had returned from their honeymoon, and were settled in their new house on the Sound, Arthur was brought home by his grandmother. It was natural, Mildred told herself again, that
the child should cling to his grandmother, natural that he should cry in parting with her. She reproached herself for the reflection that Arthur's roars-of unexpected volume, for his speaking voice was low-seemed more suggestive of anger than of sorrow.
She set herself to work unobtrusively to win the little boy's love. She gave him books and toys, she read to him, she told him stories. He accepted these attentions impersonally, listening solemnly. He was an intelligent child with an excellent memory. She took him into town to the hippodrome, but he was afraid of the animals, and cried to be taken home. All attempts to amuse him that met with his approval he accepted; personal demonstration of any kind he instantly rejected. For the first time in her life Mildred worked to please, and without success. Arthur continued literally and figuratively to turn a cold shoulder upon her advances. continued to regard her attempts with somber eyes and the relaxed lips that seemed to be part of his unfriendly stare. With his father he was always demonstrative, demanding of him his undivided attention. The moment Gilbert's interest was centered upon Mildred, Arthur would begin to whimper and pull at his hand. Indeed, the second day after the stepson's arrival, Mildred realized that he was jealous of his father's affection for her and that, child as he was, his interruptions to their conversations were intentional. Well, that was natural, too. She fought back any lack of sympathy in herself, willing to be patient; but Arthur did not become. reconciled to the situation. Any demonstration between herself and her husband in his presence produced such a tempest of tears that it was abandoned by tacit consent. Gilbert, however, was disposed to take the child's attitude lightly.
"Poor little chap!" he exclaimed with. a tender amusement. "I really believe he is jealous, he has always had me so absolutely to himself. We must deal gently with him. It will wear away in time."
And Mildred assented, smiling sympathetically. Indeed, she did not at this time admit her doubts to herself. But Arthur's feeling did not wear away, and at the end of four months Mildred was forced to admit that she had made no progress in his affections.
Arthur had a nurse over whom he tyrannized, ruling her by persistent fretting and by what Mildred could not but believe to be an organized system of tears, so that there was little real necessity for Mildred to deal with him. Yet all her attempts to assume little duties that the nurse or grandmother had performed for the motherless child were resisted by him. Gilbert, coming home late in the afternoon after Arthur's supper-time, remained unaware of the true nature of the situation. The hour before the child's bedtime he gave up to him, as his custom had been since the death of Arthur's mother. The intensity of his devotion to his son was obvious. Mildred felt no pang in this, neither did the relation between herself and Arthur in any way connect itself in her mind with Arthur's mother. The thing that was beginning to trouble her was her feeling toward the child himself.
Aside from his obvious unfriendliness toward her, Arthur was everything that she did not like in a child. She had tried in vain to find anything lovable about him. He was perfectly healthy, but he was cowardly. He was afraid of almost everything. If a dog came toward him with friendly wagging tail, he would run with his fretful cry to his nurse or father. She had given up her beloved little Boston bull on Arthur's account. Barkis, who was almost maudlin in his devotion to children, had persisted in his attentions to Arthur at their first introduction, and the child had stood clinging to his nurse, bawling-Mildred felt that no other word was adequate with rage and terror. When Barkis, undiscouraged, had planted persuasive paws upon the boy's knickerbockers, Arthur, nerved to action in his panic, had struck out at him with a stick. Arthur was fond of carrying large sticks, which he would brandish to the danger of neighboring eyes. Barkis, be-. wildered, his doggish feelings as well as his humorous features wounded by the child's blows, had trotted off, and Mildred had sent him to a cousin who had long coveted him.
She tried to dwell upon the child's good points, his affection for his father, his intelligence, yet even in that there seemed a suspicion of the prig. She reminded herself that he was a truthful
child despite his timidity, and that was much. She must not let herself dislike him. It was serious enough that the child disliked her, and of that fact there was no longer any room for doubt. With that sense of shock with which we discover in young children characteristics that are associated in our minds with maturity, she began to realize the workings of an unmistakable malice in Arthur.
"You can't send a ball half as far as Aunt Eva can," he observed to Mildred at a golf game that he was permitted to follow. Such remarks were frequently upon his lips. When his aunt's excitable little fox terrier-viewed calmly by Arthur from the security of the motor-refused to come at Mildred's call, Arthur's face was radiant. "Dick does n't like you," he exclaimed gleefully.
Yet, fortunately, Mildred felt, Gilbert did not realize any serious significance in these things. To him Arthur's vagaries remained the idiosyncrasies of a beloved child.
One day Mildred sat watching Arthur as he played intently with a train of cars on the veranda, his loose mouth open. She observed that the child's habit, which, while it irritated her, she would not have ventured to correct, was due to a relaxation of the jaw rather than to the artless trick of early childhood. It had an unpleasant suggestion of weakness of character; yet, she reflected, Arthur was peculiarly persistent. At that moment he raised his eyes and glanced in her direction, his forehead-his mother's intellectual forehead-for the moment uncovered by his picturesque curls. Something shot through her sharply. She covered her face with her hands. Was it possible that she disliked Gilbert's child! It seemed an enormity to feel that way toward any child, most of all one bound to her by such a tie, the son of the man she loved.
Yes, it was true; but she must overcome it, for it was inescapable. Arthur would be a problem in her life for many years to come. It would be nine years at least before Gilbert would be willing to send him off to school. As she sat there thinking deeply, Gilbert himself came up and sat down beside her. Arthur paused in his play and ran up, claiming his father's knee. A servant came out on the porch, taking Mildred's attention for the mo
ment. As she stood there beside her husband and his child, determined to resist her impulse of antagonism, she dropped her hand upon Arthur's curls; but he shook it off, frowning.
"Why, Arthur!" exclaimed Gilbert. "What is the matter! Apologize at once to your mother, and tell her you are sorry."
"I won't. I'm not sorry," Arthur whimpered, beginning to cry.
With a grave face his father put him down and told him to go off and play by himself. Arthur remained immovable. "Arthur, did you hear me?"
Still Arthur did not obey.
"Arthur!" Gilbert's voice became stern. Arthur stared a moment in shocked unbelief; it was the first time he had heard such a tone from his father. Then very slowly he turned and began to walk away, his voice rising in a crescendo of sobs. Gilbert turned to his wife. Their eyes met.
"I am afraid he does n't feel quite at home with me yet," she said.
Gilbert's face was troubled. "He is a peculiar child. A little difficult at first, perhaps; but, once you have him, he is yours." How far Gilbert was from understanding! She smiled. "You may
have to work a little to win him," he concluded.
It was not a reproach. It may have been the irony of the suggestion or merely that the tension of her nerves had reached the cumulative point; but she made the confession she had never intended to make to him.
"I have tried, but I seem to have failed."
"Surely any woman can win the love of a little child, a baby!"
She turned and met his eyes again, and in that moment realized that it would be impossible for him to hold the child in any way responsible. For the first time since she had known him his expression seemed unsympathetic. For the first time it struck through her sharply, agonizingly that Gilbert's child might come between them.
One day toward spring Mildred and Gilbert, starting for a week-end, left Arthur screaming in the arms of his nurse. Gilbert listened with a worried face to the diminuendo of cries as they drove away.
"I don't know what 's come over Arthur. He can't be well," he said.
"I am afraid he has been a little bit spoiled," Mildred replied, and the next minute she was sorry for the speech.
"Possibly I have spoiled him, the little chap being left motherless so young: must watch myself about that." Gilbert was plainly disturbed, and Mildred hastened to reassure him.
When they returned Monday, Arthur was pale and heavy-eyed. He had cried incessantly, his nurse said. Mildred coaxed him, picture-book in hand, and even tried to lift him up into her lap, a familiarity she had ventured upon only once before. But Arthur, wriggling violently from her clasp, burst again into noisy tears. His father, entering the room in time to see the whole episode, reproved him severely. Arthur, his sob caught halfway, stared a moment, then his tears broke out again with renewed violence. Gilbert, with a set face, carried him wailing dismally from the room and left him in solitary confinement in the nursery. But at tea-time the nurse came down with an anxious face.
"Please, sir, could you come up and see Master Arthur? He seems to have a fever."
Gilbert hurried up the stairs, to find his son tossing about with flushed cheeks. That night Arthur developed croup. The nurse was in a panic. The croup kettle was mislaid. She could not put her hands on the usual nursery remedies. She completely lost her head. Mildred moved noiselessly about, filling hot water bottles, making poultices. Unfamiliar with the geography of the nursery, she quickly discovered oil for rubbing, and all the other necessary paraphernalia of this distressing seizure of childhood. Gilbert sat beside the crib, the child's hand in his, his anxious eyes never leaving the boy's flushed face; and Mildred, watching him, realized as she never had before what his son was to him.
She felt in some vague way responsible. She wondered if Arthur was not one of those people who have that mysterious faculty of putting others in the wrong. She apprehended without personal bias that his mother had been like that-not a woman who nagged or criticized, but one whose. very presence was a reproach to the shortcomings of others. Of course Arthur had not made himself ill on purpose, although