Puslapio vaizdai

then Spektor advanced valiantly. First, to propitiate the man, he bought a whole salmon and held the wet, limp thing, wrapped in newspapers, in his arms, as a man holds a baby. Then he made his proposal. M. Abasch listened impassively, often interrupting the fervid Pinchas by calling aloud his wares to the passers-by. Would he pose? He would pose, yes, and at fifty cents an hour; but on fish-days, no. "It is settled!" cried the delighted sculptor, and gave his card into the big, wet hand of the fish-man, then shook it in joy and gratitude.

"At ten to-morrow morning," he said for the fifth time, and left the chilly place. Near Norfolk Street he grew aware that the fish was heavy and so laid it in the lap of an old match-woman who squatted beside a door. Then Spektor made his way back to Lubin's café and ordered two bottles of wine for Editor Kempinski and his cronies.

"By the sketch-model," said Kempinski, "which I have at your studio seen, your Moses is grander than the Moses of Michelangelo. It takes a Jew to shape a Jew."

M. Abasch, clothed in a long ulster and a diffusive odor of fish, came punctually to the studio door the next morning. The iron framework on the platform had been covered with clay by Yuski Golubok, and stood there knobby and ominous, a masterpiece unborn.

Spektor welcomed his model with vast affability; he had never been half so polite even to Ludwig Samoschein. He ushered M. Abasch behind the screen, placed a rug upon the model's platform, and awaited the appearance of the fish-dealer. Yuski sniffed the air and muttered:

"A smell it is to drive a wagon! Is it perhaps a Neptune to be, not a Moses?"

When the model for the nowi came forth from behind the screen, Spektor gave a gasp of delight. Such a fellow it wasa prophet out of the Old Testament! With torso like a gladiator, arms full and muscular, from the fine head, large eyes, and patriarchal beard to the well-formed feet it was a perfect Moses. Spektor draped the robe about him, tied on his sandals, placed him in position with the two tablets, and set feverishly to work.

The superfluous clay dropped down in strips and chunks. Out of the rough,

lumpy mass a wonderful and rugged figure began to shape itself.

During the pauses for rest, Pinchas regaled his model with conversation, wine, and sandwiches. It was a perfect day.

The following morning, as Spektor was at work upon the feet of his prophet, the silent fishmonger developed a sudden loquacity, and spoke feelingly of wife and children and the poor condition of his business, hinting at impending changes in his destiny. But Pinchas gave him only half an ear, and, when the posing was over, pressed three dollar-bills into the fish-dealer's hand and said pleasantly:

"To-morrow at ten, good Mr. Abasch." M. Abasch murmured his thanks, looked mournfully at Pinchas, and left.

The sculptor sat down before his growing masterpiece and regarded it. The rough proportions were not yet perfect, but they were suggestive of perfection. The head was merely outlined in mass. Now that he had found so fine and reliable a model, he would leave the head until the last.

M. Abasch did not come the next morning. The impatience of Pinchas swelled into tremulous anxiety and fear. At eleven there came a knock-a timid knock upon the brass Medusa head on the door. A slim, undersized creature stood there, a shrinking, apologetic manikin in wrinkled, narrow trousers, boots with curling toes, a shiny coat, and an ancient derby hat with wide brim. This he took off, revealing a small, conical head as bald as an egg. The beady little eyes twinkled, and under the scanty, scrubby beard a broad smile spread almost to the batlike ears.

"I am D. Abasch," said the midget. "My bruder to Philadelphia has gone a new fish-business to start. I have come to take his place, to poise for you."

"You," exclaimed Pinchas, glaring down at the sorry, ratlike D. Abasch"you pose for my nowi!"

"Yes," said the young brother of the patriarch; "I have just at present nothing to do. Fifty cents an hour my bruder says you pay him. I will do it for thirtyfive."

"What," repeated Pinchas, with a terrifying laugh, "you pose for my nowiyou!"

"Yes," answered D. Abasch, a surprised and harried expression passing over


his weazen features. "Is it too much?
Well, I will poise for twenty-five cents-
an hour twenty-five cents."

"Not for twenty-five dollars!" bellowed
Pinchas, despair and fury mastering him;
"not for a thousand dollars-if you pay
me. Your brother has went to Phila-
delphia? Tell him to Sheol he shall go!"
He shut the door with a crash, and D.
Abasch shuffled down the steps.
flung himself upon a couch in a cloud of
plaster-dust. The bust of Ludwig Samo-
schein looked down upon him threatening;
it seemed malign and full of scorn.
Where, ah, where was he to find a model
now? He wrung his hands, groaned, up-
braided his evil star and all the tribes of
Israel. Had the curse of the old orthodox
Hebrew of Seward Park fallen upon him,
after all?

"Where find another model?" echoed Kempinski, the Yiddish editor, at Lubin's that night. "Advertise, friend Spektor; advertise. I will fix up a notice and put it in my paper. It has the largest circulation. Prophets will come by dozens."

So they did, but they were not prophets, merely deposed rabbis, old-clothesmen, peddlers, unemployed and unemployables, old and young, fat and lean, tall and short, some in tow of their wives; a motley crew, hopelessly unfit, with no figures, no beards; no hair, no height.

Pinchas wailed aloud at Lubin's. Then silent, astute old Simon Kuch, the shadchen, or marriage-broker, pricked up his


"If I can find a man a wife and a woman a husband, cannot I find a sculptor a model?" said he. "For a commission and expenses, Pinchas Spektor, I will bring you ten men to pick from."

"Done!" cried Pinchas. he must be. Ludwig Samoschein will not "But a Jew have a Gentile; he says a Jewish monument of a Jew, by a Jew, for the Jews."

Old Simon nodded, but said no more. The very next day he brought four different candidates to Pinchas's studio, but Pinchas rejected them all. The following day Simon herded in five more. Pinchas, in disgust, also refused as imThese possible. Simon Kuch, muttering, shrugging his shoulders, and shaking his head, went sadly away. In half an hour he returned with another candidate. Spektor gave a cry of delight. A tall man stalked

beside the little shadchen, a fine figure of an elderly man.

Pinchas sharply. "Is he not a first-class "Look at him," said Simon, watching Yiddish type, a patriarch, a nowi? See beard, a long beard, a fine beard, never what a head he has, and hair; and what a touched by shears or razor!"

Pinchas expressed his gratification, and asked the man his name. The model made answered for him: no reply. But impressively Simon Kuch

"His very name is a prophet's name, a Bible name, Pinchas Spektor: Ezekiel is his name. Only"- and here he dropped his voice-"he has one bad thing the matter with him." "Eh?" said "What you say?"

Pinchas, suspiciously.

hoarsely; "the poor man is dumb-and "He is dumb," whispered old Simon, deaf!"

relieved; "it is better even, maybe. I hate "It is no matter," answered Pinchas, models what talk, talk, talk like barbers."

Kuch, quickly. "You have then my com"You are satisfied, then?" asked Simon mission-and expenses?"

Pinchas paid all at once, and something over, and Simon, nodding sagely to Ezekiel, went away.

What an Hebraic type, what a father gloated over his model. He was glad that in Israel, what a nowi, was here! Pinchas his statue. What long, thick hair, what a he had not yet worked upon the head of fine, venerable elder's head, what bristling brows, deep-sunken eyes, and eagle nose! He was a grandfather out of Palestine, a Moses himself. true prince of the House of David; nay,

Pinchas set to work at once. mime he gave directions to his model, who In pantofollowed them exactly. Day after day Ezekiel came, posed, and got his meed of dollars. Wrapped in dreams, Pinchas worked away in the strange silence. It was as if the model himself were only a lifeless twinkled at times, Pinchas thought, with statue, so quiet was he. Only his eyes a strange, hidden meaning, and sometimes, liar smile upon the lips of Ezekiel. But when caught unawares, there was a pecuPinchas himself was now happy, and sang sinister bust of Ludwig Samoschein smiled as he wrought upon the clay. Even the down upon him. The pompous Samo

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Already little Pinchas saw his masterpiece cast in everlasting bronze to bear his name to after generations, saw it muffled in its white cloth upon its marble pedestal on the day of the unveiling. What multiWhat multitudes were assembled to do honor to him and this heroic creation of his fancy! He heard the music play, heard the speeches of the mayor and the East Side celebrities, the shouts of the people-his people-as the covering fell and the glorious work blazed forth in all its beauty of gilded bronze high above Delancey Street. Ah, might but his mother in far-off Warsaw behold this triumph of her son! What, compared with joy such as this, were the mere ten thousand dollars of Banker Samoschein?

Ten feet high the great model stood; it was nearing completion. In a few days it would be ready for the founders. Possessed with a gust of mad inspiration, Pinchas worked along. Then, late one afternoon, he threw down his tools, gave a shout, clapped Yuski on the back, and cried out that his nowi was done.

Strangely enough, something like a deep sigh of relief came from the lips of Ezekiel. He left his platform at once and vanished behind the screen. He emerged with a clasp-knife in one hand and a small dark mass in the other, sat down upon the edge of the platform, tucked his prophet's robe about him, and crossed his long legs. It was a plug of tobacco he held in his hand. Slicing off a piece, he put it into his mouth, chewed deliberately, then spat against the base of the great monument.

"Pretty good, pretty good," drawled he, nodding his shaggy head.

"What!" cried the confounded Pinchas. "You speak! You ain't dumb? You ain't deaf? Who-what 's your name?" "Never was dumb," said the model, chewing slowly. "Name 's Ezekiel."

"Ezekiel, yes; Ezekiel what?" gasped Pinchas Spektor, hoarsely.

"Waal, Cattermole-Ezekiel Cattermole of Henniker, New Hampshire."

[graphic][merged small]




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

Tpromising young M.P. who came to

HIS is the story of a handsome and

sit not only for his constituency, but also between Scylla and Charybdis. The ancient heroes sailed between those points of danger, as we know, but modern heroes sit more than they sail, even when not members of parliament.

Llexford was very handsome and most promising. With his past we have no concern, for it was all gone by before my tale begins. He was over thirty now, and the time, he reflected, had come for him to marry. Yes, most certainly the time had come for him to marry. He had not cared to marry young, but he certainly did not intend to put it off until he should be old, and he was now past thirty, and did not need to look in the British almanac to be reminded of the fact. He had his life quite to suit himself, and a part of that which had particularly suited him had been his adamant attitude as to marriage. He had thoroughly reveled in serene security, in the face of all manner of approaches, not to say attacks. No wily mother had ever tripped him up, nor had any clever girl succeeded in even becoming

an object of common gossip with him. He felt great satisfaction whenever he contemplated all this-almost as much satisfaction as when he contemplated himself in the mirror. He really had cause to be content in both cases. He was of good family, had tens of thousands of pounds of securities in the Bank of England, a seat both in parliament and on horseback that could not be shaken, a ready tongue, a ready pen, well-shaped calves, and a mustache that curled even when he was not thinking. What more could mortal ask? He certainly asked nothing more.

For it could not be said that he had asked a wife yet. He was only beginning to think at odd minutes during his life at large, and in listless hours during his life upon the dark leather benches, that it might be advisable to ask a wife after a while. He was jolly well tired of not having any fixed place for his belongings, and somewhat weary of not having any fixed place for himself. Vacant houses began to look inviting, and he noticed babies in the park. When friends fired attractive women at him, he felt no inclination to scorn the openly laid snare, but, instead, observed


the women with marked attention and wondered how they looked with their hair down, how much of it came down, and how much came off, and whether they would age young. It will be readily seen that he was not of a reckless, risky, romantic nature; no man who scans life with a calm and inappreciative eye ever is. He was simply a well-set-up member of parliament, with out a care in the world, who really thought that the time had come for him to marry. A few days after the beginning of the session he dined at the house of a friend whom he was pleased to style-to himself "a most inferior person." The friend had no idea of his own caliber, gave splendid dinners, and always had interesting people at them. At this dinner the most interesting personality was Mme. Scylla. Mme. Scylla was the reasonably young widow of a Greek. The Greek had died three years before, leaving a fortune in the Argentine Republic. The fortune was so large that when towns were wrecked by earthquakes or thousands of square miles of precious pampas were burned over, it did not matter in the least to the widow. Perhaps if it had mattered, Mme. Scylla would not have betrayed the fact, for she was a most impenetrable lady, who liked to sit with. her elbow on her knee and her chin supported in a crotch formed by her left hand's little finger and the finger next to it and stare thoughtfully straight into the eyes of a man, until, between her bewildering gaze and bewildering beauty and bewildering riches, the man stared at almost went mad with love. Ever so many men wanted to marry her, but she refused them all. She never gave her confidence to any one, so no one knew whence she came, what was her nationality, or why she would not marry again. No one ever guessed the truth, which was that she had a secret ambition to be everything in the world to some man, and contemplated a much more literal interpretation of that phrase than most women consider necessary. She intended the man whom she should marry to be a power, and she took no end of pains in fitting herself to make him so. Whether she should win out or not was a question that goes beyond the end of my story. My story deals only with the beginning of that end.

Mme. Scylla, with green veils wreathed about a blue-and-yellow embroidered un


der-sheath, and a great band of azure enamel and emeralds holding her hair à la Mme. Recamier, was wholly a new experience to Llexford, and when he found her at his side at the table, he was joyful indeed. She was on the wrong side, and he could not talk to her very much, but she was wonderful. Just to glance sidewise at her was like having a rainbow marry into the family, and before very long he discovered that she was quite the best educated woman whom he had ever met.

"You are the member of parliament, are you not?" she asked presently.

He was pretty sure that she knew the answer already, but he bowed.

"Why don't you say something of the United States' new industry?" she asked then; and added immediately, "You know that they are beginning to plant poppyseed there?"

He had not happened to hear of it. Of course it startled him. Poppy-seed means opium, China trade, commissions of inquiry, and many other interesting things.

"Come and see me some day, and I will tell you all that I know," she said; "it may be of service to you. I have a friend whose brother lives in America-in the States. All that I know is quite the truth."

He felt what a tidbit, politically considered, her information would make. Yes, certainly he would call; oh, most certainly.

He called.

After the third or fourth call she began to be very friendly, and she was so beautiful and so rich and so brilliant, that he gave himself over to the delicious sense of not having to care if they were falling in love. The sensation of being free from the need of precaution was marvelous to him. When their eyes met he did not look away. It was perfectly safe, whatever happened. He sent her flowers without caring if they did betray sentiment. He sometimes came informally early or stayed confidentially late. And when she asked him why he did not bring in a bill to illuminate country sign-posts at night, he felt a vague mental wonder as to whether the two-halves-of-one-soul theory were not true after all, for the bill was drafted in his desk at home, "home" being the club this month. He told her of the coincidence, and she opened her great eyes in

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