Puslapio vaizdai

schein himself came in a roaring motor, Ten feet high the great model stood; in company with his pretty wife, she be- it was nearing completion. In a few days jeweled like Sheba's queen, and effusively it would be ready for the founders. Poseloquent about art. At sight of her the sessed with a gust of mad inspiration, Pindumb, half-naked Ezekiel made a wild chas worked along. Then, late one afterdash behind the screen.

noon, he threw down his tools, gave a "Fine, fine!” remarked the banker, rub- shout, clapped Yuski on the back, and cried bing his hands. “And you will have it out that his nowi was done. ready by October 17? Was I not right, Strangely enough, something like a deep Spektor, to say we could find a good Jew- sigh of relief came from the lips of Ezekiel. ish model? Was I not right to say it must He left his platform at once and vanished be a Jew-a monument of a Jew, by a behind the screen. He emerged with a Jew, for the Jews? It is Moses to the clasp-knife in one hand and a small dark life."

mass in the other, sat down upon the Already little Pinchas saw his master- edge of the platform, tucked his prophet's piece cast in everlasting bronze to bear his robe about him, and crossed his long name to after generations, saw it muffled legs. It was a plug of tobacco he held in its white cloth upon its marble pedestal in his hand. Slicing off a piece, he put on the day of the unveiling. What multi- it into his mouth, chewed deliberately, tudes were assembled to do honor to him then spat against the base of the great and this heroic creation of his fancy! He monument. heard the music play, heard the speeches "Pretty good, pretty good," drawled of the mayor and the East Side celebrities, he, nodding his shaggy head. the shouts of the people-his people--as “What!” cried the confounded Pinchas. the covering fell and the glorious work “You speak! You ain't dumb? You blazed forth in all its beauty of gilded ain't deaf? Who—what 's your name?" bronze high above Delancey Street. Ah, "Never was dumb," said the model, might but his mother in far-off Warsaw chewing slowly. "Name 's Ezekiel.” behold this triumph of her son! What, "Ezekiel, yes; Ezekiel what?" gasped compared with joy such as this, were the Pinchas Spektor, hoarsely. mere ten thousand dollars of Banker "Waal, Cattermole- Ezekiel CatterSamoschein ?

mole of Henniker, New Hampshire."

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Author of “Susan Clegg and her friend, Mrs. Lathrop," etc.

THIS is the story of a handsome and an object of common gossip with him. He

promising young M.P. who came to sit not only for his constituency, but also plated all this-almost as much satisfacbetween Scylla and Charybdis. The an- tion as when he contemplated himself in cient heroes sailed between those points of the mirror. He really had cause to be danger, as we know, but modern heroes sit content in both cases. He was of good more than they sail, even when not mem- family, had tens of thousands of pounds of bers of parliament.

securities in the Bank of England, a seat Llexford was very handsome and most both in parliament and on horseback that promising. With his past we have no con- could not be shaken, a ready tongue, a cern, for it was all gone by before my tale ready pen, well-shaped calves, and a musbegins. He was over thirty now, and the tache that curled even when he was not time, he reflected, had come for him to thinking.

thinking. What more could mortal ask? marry. Yes, most certainly the time had He certainly asked nothing more. come for him to marry. He had not cared For it could not be said that he had to marry young, but he certainly did not asked a wife yet. He was only beginning intend to put it off until he should be old, to think at odd minutes during his life at and he was now past thirty, and did not large, and in listless hours during his life need to look in the British almanac to be upon the dark leather benches, that it might reminded of the fact. He had his life be advisable to ask a wife after a while. quite to suit himself, and a part of that He was jolly well tired of not having any which had particularly suited him had fixed place for his belongings, and somebeen his adamant attitude as to marriage. what weary of not having any fixed place He had thoroughly reveled in serene se- for himself. Vacant houses began to look curity, in the face of all manner of ap- inviting, and he noticed babies in the park. proaches, not to say attacks. No wily When friends fired attractive women at mother had ever tripped him up, nor had him, he felt no inclination to scorn the any clever girl succeeded in even becoming openly laid snare, but, instead, observed the women with marked attention and der-sheath, and a great band of azure wondered how they looked with their hair enamel and emeralds holding her hair à la down, how much of it came down, and how Mme. Recamier, was wholly a new experimuch came off, and whether they would age ence to Llexford, and when he found her young. It will be readily seen that he was at his side at the table, he was joyful innot of a reckless, risky, romantic nature; deed. She was on the wrong side, and he no man who scans life with a calm and could not talk to her very much, but she inappreciative eye ever is. He was simply was wonderful. Just to glance sidewise at a well-set-up member of parliament, with her was like having a rainbow marry into out a care in the world, who really thought the family, and before very long he disthat the time had come for him to marry. covered that she was quite the best edu

A few days after the beginning of the ses- cated woman whom he had ever met. sion he dined at the house of a friend whom "You are the member of parliament, are he was pleased to style—to himself—“a you not?” she asked presently. most inferior person." The friend had no He was pretty sure that she knew the idea of his own caliber, gave splendid din- answer already, but he bowed. ners, and always had interesting people at "Why don't you say something of the them. At this dinner the most interesting United States' new industry?" she asked personality was Mme. Scylla. Mme.

Mme. then; and added immediately, “You know Scylla was the reasonably young widow of that they are, beginning to plant poppya Greek. The Greek had died three years seed there?" before, leaving a fortune in the Argentine He had not happened to hear of it. Of Republic. The fortune was so large that course it startled him. Poppy-seed means when towns were wrecked by earthquakes opium, China trade, commissions of inor thousands of square miles of precious quiry, and many other interesting things. pampas were burned over, it did not mat- “Come and see me some day, and I will ter in the least to the widow. Perhaps if tell you all that I know," she said ; "it it had mattered, Mme. Scylla would not may be of service to you. I have a friend have betrayed the fact, for she was a most whose brother lives in America - in the impenetrable lady, who liked to sit with States. All that I know is quite the her elbow on her knee and her chin sup- truth." ported in a crotch formed by her left He felt what a tidbit, politically considhand's little finger and the finger next to ered, her information would make. Yes, it and stare thoughtfully straight into the certainly he would call; oh, most cereyes of a man, until, between her bewilder- tainly. ing gaze and bewildering beauty and be- He called. wildering riches, the man stared at almost After the third or fourth call she began went mad with love. Ever so many men to be very friendly, and she was so beauwanted to marry her, but she refused them tiful and so rich and so brilliant, that he all. She never gave her confidence to any gave

himself over to the delicious sense of one, so no one knew whence she came, not having to care if they were falling in what was her nationality, or why she love. The sensation of being free from would not marry again. No one ever the need of precaution was marvelous to guessed the truth, which was that she had him. When their eyes met he did not look a secret ambition to be everything in the away. It was perfectly safe, whatever world to some man, and contemplated a happened. He sent her flowers without much more literal interpretation of that caring if they did betray sentiment. He phrase than most women consider neces- sometimes came informally early or stayed sary. She intended the man whom she confidentially late. And when she asked should marry to be a power, and she took him why he did not bring in a bill to illuno end of pains in fitting herself to make minate country sign-posts at night, he felt him so.

Whether she should win out or a vague mental wonder as to whether the not was a question that goes beyond the two-halves-of-one-soul theory were not end of my story. My story deals only true after all, for the bill was drafted in with the beginning of that end.

his desk at home, “home” being the club Mme. Scylla, with green veils wreathed this month. He told her of the coinciabout a blue-and-yellow embroidered un- dence, and she opened her great eyes in


say it."

surprise. “How extraordinary!" she mur- had to make a speech at a banquet, and mured. And he thought so, too.

told her so. It is a real epoch in a man's life when "I'll tell you something very original he finds that the cleverest woman whom to say,” she said. And then she told he has ever met is interested in him and in him. his life and in his work. A day or so later “How did you ever think of that?" he he felt a sudden impulse to prove to her asked in real wonder. how brilliant he was, and so he said some- “I don't know," she laughed; "but do thing in the House. What he said did not develop quite as he had expected. In fact, He said it, and it created a tremendous it turned out to be a mistake, and later it amount of talk, all of the most soothing grew into a terrific blunder, which had and delightful kind. the honor of much scathing comment. He He made up his mind to offer himself felt much perturbed, and was inexpressi- on Sunday. It was eminently the right bly soothed on going to see her to find thing for him, and he was positive that he the first smiles that had been turned his loved her, too. "I am positive,” he reway for three days illuminating her lovely peated thrice over to himself. . face.

That evening he went to an informal “Do you know what you can do?" she little theater-party with some friends asked him, holding his hand in both of whom he had not met in years, and they hers and looking up into his face with an had with them the sweetest, most unsoexpression of almost masculine intelligence phisticated, blue-eyed child of seventeen. in her eyes.

She was not in society yet; he was the He did not ask her to what she referred. first “man” whom she had ever met. It He was silent, but in his answering smile is dazing to be the first man whom a really she found encouragement to speak. sweet girl has ever met. He had a seat

“There's a speech in Hansard-a next to hers. She was Charybdis. speech of a chancellor of the exchequer- The others talked of his clever speech, that will turn the tables completely." and he shrugged his shoulders and made Then she named the day, the year, and light of it. Any one could make speeches that particular chancellor of the exchequer. like that, he said, and felt a slight stab as

He was dumfounded. He could not he said it, remembering that he could not speak.

have made it if Mme. Scylla had not out"You see, it is n't where any one would lined it for him. Miss Charybdis had not look for such a reference," she went on, known that he had made a speech, and felt "but it is there. I would n't quote it, if freshly overwhelmed at such a state of I were you; I would simply refer to it. It things. It was wonderful to be sitting in will be more impressive."

the same box with a member of parliaHe was no end grateful. He had no

ment, and to think that he had also made doubt as to the other half of his soul now. a speech! To what dizzy heights might He took her hand and kissed it, and she not so great a being aspire! Her blue smiled again. She did not seem to be a eyes were afraid to contemplate the sun very passionate person, but then, he too closely for fear of some Phaëtonic was not a passionate person himself. And catastrophe, but she looked at his hand she knew all about Manchurian railway hanging loosely on the back of her chapconcessions, what ailed Mauritian credit, eron's chair, and the mere sight of that and why reciprocity seemed so loath to re- brought the color to her pretty face. She ciprocate. He was almost positive as to was able to be romantic and to love. As what the outcome was to be. Really, no likely as not, in ten years she would be as man could possibly do better. And she interesting as lots of other people. was beautiful, and rich, and, then, last, He went home in an odd state of mind. but not least, so clever.

The next day was Saturday, and he had He wondered whether she were Orien- intended offering himself to Mme. Scylla, tal enough to be going to get too stout who was out of town, on Sunday. He felt later in life. She was perfect now. And still more odd to think that that time next her hair?

week all sorts of new emotions would be It was a day or two after this that he running riot within him,-at least he


hoped and trusted that they would, - but her in his arms, and kissed her. It is the he did feel odd.

simplest way, and the most effective. She He rode in the Row the next morning, drew back, laughed, and began to adjust and contemplated the proposal with some her hair-pins. There was no ụse denying trepidation and some satisfaction. He still that she was beautiful. “Such a man!" felt odd. He did not think that the pro- was all that she said. And after that they posal would be any special strain; she must were very happy for some time. It was know that he loved her. “I must have quite wonderful to sit beside her, have his shown it,” he told himself, and then he re- arm around her, and feel her sinuous, peated firmly, “I must have shown it." jeweled fingers tapping his hand. “You Perhaps there would not even be anything shall be a great man,” she said, confisaid. Perhaps he would simply kiss her. dentially. "I'll manage it all for Anyway, it would be quite easy. He you." would start to show her something, would That was a fearful mistake for so clever drag a chair close to her side, would take a woman to make. Despite himself, he out a pencil to point out the particular felt his eyebrows shoot upward.

He passage, she would turn her head to watch could not share that view of his brilliant what he was elucidating, perhaps she future in any circumstances. would be seated on the divan-oh, it “You see, I am a very gifted woman," would be quite easy.

she continued happily; "I have tact and He raised his eyes at that, and there, intuition. You 'll make no more stupid right in front of him, rode the exceedingly blunders now.” pretty girl with a groom in attendance. Well! He drew a long breath and She smiled and blushed and bowed, and withdrew his arm. “The cigarettes are he-well, he rode home with her.

there, just at your hand," she said, pointAnd now began the sitting between ing; but although he could, and did, get Scylla and Charybdis in good earnest. Not one without rising, he did not replace his that he knew it then, for he was still too She sprang quickly up and brought certain that he loved the widow to be able him matches. "I will make you prime to give the lie to his opinion so quickly. minister,” she said, with her glowing gaze. But he felt very odd, vaguely uncom- “I am sure that I can do it, for all that fortable. There was

no denying that you lack I have in abundance." Mme. Scylla was brilliant, brilliantly He colored hotly. For a moment he beautiful, and beautifully rich; but, dash thought that his temper had slipped its ball it all! there is a charm in a young, inno- and chain. He took a match from her and cent girl who knows nothing of anything lit a cigarette. “My odalisque," he said and least of all of men.

then, trying to speak naturally, "don't forBut he went to make his proposal just get that women are, after all, a very small as he had planned, feeling that Monday part of a man's life.” And then he looked would find everything settled and two peo- at the rug, and his look was severe. He ple ecstatically happy. And yet, he told was not a bit happy. himself over and over most irrelevantly, “Not when it is a woman like me and that he did not need to marry a fortune a man like you,” she said. “You know and that he was jolly well sure that he as well as I do that of us two I am the could get on without the brilliant brains.

stronger character." And yet he was not so sure, after all. He bit his lip and moved his fingers And she was stunning. But the young girl curiously. He drew in a tremendous was lovely, too. Altogether his thoughts, as breath. he walked through the park, were most But then it came over him with a horrid uncomfortable. But he always knew that gasp that she was right, that she was cerhe was going to propose and that they tainly right. But she loved him. And were going to be ecstatically happy. No all men would envy him. And, after all, man doubts that or demands details of his she would be a help. imagination. Why under the sun should So he smiled in a ghastly sort of way, he?

said, “Conceited baby!” and noted that He came to the house and went in. She she liked it, and then he pretended that his was alone.

He went straight to her, took declaration had burst from him unawares,

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