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ing, and his feet were flying. He plunged along until he reached the mass of briers. They tore his hands where he thrust them out to open a passage. They tripped his feet and pulled him to the ground. But he fought through them, impatiently and fiercely. And then he reached the road. He turned into it on a run. He ran until his feet were weighted with lead, and his lungs were choked. Nobody could see him, and nobody could hear him, and he waved his arms and burdened his lips with oaths. His ear caught the muffled beats of hoofs pounding in the dust-covered road. There was the hum of wheels before him. He crushed himself against the bushes at the roadside to let them pass. They stopped, and a light flashed in his white face. Phil's kindly eyes were peering into his. The great Colonel, who had been crying, even as the wagon approached, "To the rescue!" was tugging at his torn hand.
"Fred, old man," cried Malcolm-" Fred, how did you do it?"
Strong smiled faintly. He turned to Malcolm and gripped his hand.
"They are n't going till next week," Phil whispered in his ear.
"Great God!" cried the Colonel," the boy is hurt. He is bleeding all over. Then he opened his lungs.
"Back to the hotel!" he roared, and the wheels went spinning toward Bar Harbor.
THEY were all dancing. It was the last dance of the season. The perfume of crushed flowers was in the air, and there was a hum in the room which arose above the music. You could hear words of farewell, light laughter, and pretty compliments. Malcolm and the younger Miss Hardeservice fell out from the moving throng, and went over to a corner where Mrs. Hardeservice sat admiring her two daughters. The Colonel was not there. He was up in his room framing a letter which would assist him to discount his pay in advance. Strong and Miss Hardeservice were promenading the room. Malcolm, Mrs. Hardeservice, and her younger daughter kept their eyes on them. They were a handsome couple. In Miss Hardeservice's cheek was a bright color. Her lips were parted in a half-formed smile, and her eyes sparkled under the light.
Strong's face had a light of reckless daring. Both tall and fair, many eyes followed them. Malcolm, watching them closely, showed in his face how he envied the fire and spirit of his friend. There was a look of hunger and discontent in his dark eyes. The younger Miss Hardeservice saw it, while she watched her sister. When Malcolm turned to her with a guilty start, she was slightly pale, and her fan
was moving quickly. He dared not look into her soft eyes.
"Won't you go out for a promenade on the veranda?" he said.
The walking-space was crowded, and they found two chairs. He wanted to say something, but his lips were treacherous. They faltered and stumbled over the words. He was comparing himself with Strong. The editor was brave and reliant. Strong would ask Bess to marry him before she left Bar Harbor. He knew that, and he felt a pang when he remembered that this was the last night. If he could only make his lips say what he wanted them to confess. It startled him when he thought how every one fancied that he loved Eleanor. He looked at the little Miss Hardeservice in a frightened way. She was very quiet. Suddenly he bent over. Three words, and he was trembling fearfully. Something in her eyes and in the way her hand fluttered sent a flash of courage through him. The words came forth of their own will.
When they went back to Mrs. Hardeservice, Bess's olive cheek was tinted with a soft color. Strong was not about, and Eleanor had gone up-stairs to her father. Mother and daughter followed her. Bess, like a shy child, entered the room where her father and Eleanor sat. The pink in her cheek had not faded, and her eyes were soft and liquid. The old soldier's face was down between his hands. Eleanor sat erect, a little pale, and her eyes were feverishly bril liant.
Bess went up to her father and curled her arm about his neck, so that her hand rested on his cheek. The Colonel sighed. Eleanor had just told him that she was going to be married to Strong. His first thought had been of Bess, and the shock stunned him. Bess crossed the room to her mother, who was smiling softly, and, leading her up to the old man, knelt at his feet. He was kissing her as they told him the truth, and Eleanor was pressing his great hand to her lips. The old Colonel sobbed like a great boy, and then smiled through his tears.
Strong meanwhile was smoking a cigar before going to bed. Malcolm came up to him. He felt guilty. The editor greeted him warmly, over-heartily. He was elated, and his manner showed it; but he had the disposition of a conqueror. He felt that he could afford to be generously kind to his friend. They had both striven for the same prize, and he had won; all honor to a noble rival who had lost.
Malcolm was embarrassed. He could scarcely believe his good fortune. He had beaten a more able man, a man whom he loved, and for whom he felt sympathy; and yet he could not grieve for the other. It was fate that he should succeed over a better man. He
HE arm of land called the Eastern Point, stretching out from the town of Gloucester and forming its harbor, possesses more attractions for one fond of the sea than does any other place on the coast that I know. Its shore toward the sea is protected by an armor of granite that breaks the force of storms, and within its shelter ride safely at anchor great barks from Italy and Spain, the fishing-fleet, and picturesque coasters, with their deck-loads of hay and timber. In the background rise the foreign-looking towers of the city, and at its extreme point is the old Eastern Lighthouse. Opposite, guarding the other side, is the rock of Norman's Woe, and stretching back toward the city are the dark Manchester Hills.
It was this intimacy with the sea that led me to make the Point my home. I moved into a farmhouse, a comfortable building of the American country type, surrounded by great birchtrees, a row of which stretched along the sea-wall across the lawn at its back, and beneath which I have the whole harbor spread out before me. In front of the house lies the lake, bordered by old willows and covered with lily-pads. Beyond the lake are Brace's Rock, the cliffs, and the sea.
of the birches in sunlight; farther away, tall elms line the old fort-road. Grass meadows stretch up toward the hills, and gray rocks jut from the green. Over the meadow thence to the sea are blueberry-bushes and rich furze, changing with different seasons, making a brilliant carpet in pleasant weather, or softly toned into grays when clouds hide the sun. Then comes the delicate fringe of pale-green seagrass, changing at another season into a golden yellow. All the gamut of color exists in rich profusion, from the deepest to the highest tones, tempered generally by the blues of the atmosphere. It is a place in which to live and study, like some of the old towns of France. My dog and cat take walks with me, and we enjoy them together; for Nature tempers us brutes into reasonable beings, and we find content in her society.
From the high land on the middle of the Point the shore stretches off to Thatcher's Island, with its two needle-like lighthouses, and down the coast on a fair day the eye can make out Plymouth: one of real New England faith and enthusiasm can almost see the Rock. You take in the whole sweep of ocean, horizon, and sky. The vessels lie anchored at your feet in still waters, and the town nestles comfortably in the distance. One afternoon I was watching the schooners sailing out on their mackereltrips. All sail was set, even to the great staysails high up between the masts, the wind being fair from the northeast. Two or three coasters were at anchor, with mainsails up to keep their noses pointed toward the wind; the sun was shining, but far down toward Marblehead the sky was black. One or two schooners anchored near shore were taking in their canvas, a sure
sign that the barometer was falling. Another, pointing out under full sail, came about. The sky and water in the west had turned so dark a purple that the usually brown seaweed showed a golden yellow. A lull came in the wind, allowing a dull rumble of thunder to roll from Manchester; a vivid fork of lightning shot across the sky with a splitting shock, and a low-lying yellow cloud of dust rose from Magnolia. The wind was starting from the west with a rush; all the ships were brought up to meet it; and sails were coming down with a run, a brilliant, uncanny white against the intense black sky. The schooners were almost human in their panic as the fierce squall broke and the rain came down as though the heavens had been ripped open.
Such storms seldom touch the Point; tearing in from the sea, they pass over the harbor toward Annisquam, and in as short a time as it takes them to come up, they have swept out again. Then the sun shines out against the clouds piled up in the east; the vessels pluck up fresh courage, and are again on their courses, or have come quietly to anchor. The great arch of a rainbow stretches from north to south, and the day dies in a glowing mass of splendor. As the stars appear faintly through the deep blue, the riding lights dot the harbor,
bad weather, when I was rigged in oilskins and carried a lantern, it served only as an appetizer to a snug evening before the fire. One night in February I had gone as usual for the mail. The air was heavy with moisture; the night very dark and still. The glare from the town made the atmosphere brilliant in that direction, and the yellow lights of the vessels were reflected in the calm water almost to my feet. The only sound came from the booming foghorn on Thatcher's Island. A gentle wind sprang up, ruffling the reflections, and brought across the water to the ear the sound of a band playing in Gloucester.
That was the only time I remember when loneliness became oppressive. The music was not of the classic order, nor of the quieter kind, dreamy and soft, but of the real city Germanband sort. I smelt New York, heard the abominable street-cars, saw the carriages driving fast to a dinner or the opera with a bit of white something inside, and I felt homesick. The hoarse whistle of a steamer offshore interrupted the music and my memories. Then the fog-bell sounded at the Point, and a white cloud of steaming vapor poured in from the sea and rushed past me over the harbor, blotting out the lights, the water, and everything but loneliness. My wretched lantern kept company
the green of a new arrival creeping slowly to her berth; then come the splash of an anchor, the rattle of a cable; and night is here.
Some evenings, when the wind has died away, leaving the air damp with heavy dew, the quiet of the harbor is often intensified by a chance noise. The cry of a man on shore hailing a schooner to send a boat for him will only make the quiet doubly still. One has an instinctive desire to go out and tell him to hush. The road along the beach was my regular even ing walk, to get the letters and New York paper. Generally it was a pleasant one, and even in
with me on one side, and my ghostly shadow clung to me against the mist on the other. The trees dripped big drops that seemed to crawl in under my sou'wester and down my neck, and the salt air was fishy. That bad music had upset my contentment.
A winter's gale is always good and entertaining company, and a walk to the lighthouse sure to be exciting. The harbor is crowded with craft, coasters tugging at their anchors, burying their noses in the heavy southwest sea that rolls across the harbor. The more graceful fishermen courtesy to the black lighthouse
tender and to the high, white steamers bound to Portland and Nova Scotia. Far out, many another craft under reefed foresail and jib is making for safety, sinking half-mast deep between the heavy seas. Seaward the cliffs are pouring cataracts of salt water inland, the very waves seeming glad to get ashore. A great angry, gray-green wall gathers together, and, as the back-wash runs out, piles up, and then hurls itself onward with dull thunder-to rise in a cutting mass of spray as it tears over the rocks. As darkness comes on, you climb over the slippery stone to a safe place, watching the ocean getting blacker and the rising columns of spray more ghostly; the shrieking wind and the noise of the waters sound like the cries of men cast away. I can almost see the wreckage
to which they must be clinging, and it becomes too real to enjoy. I turn to go home, almost pitching headlong in my haste. I know absolutely that it is all imagination, yet as a great souse of spray comes pounding upon my back I do not linger. That last dash seems almost an evidence of contempt on the part of the ocean, and as I scramble into the furze and bushes inland I have very little breath with which to give a sigh of relief. The farm-house looks wonderfully cheerful as I pass the stone woman of Eastern Point standing grim in the gathering darkness, and as I take a last look at the rising and falling lights of the harbor my dog welcomes me into cozy comfort. The wind has risen and brought driving sleet, that dread of sailors. The house trembles with the shock