Puslapio vaizdai

"Softly, friend," he said, leaning back against the cushions. "You are a younk man, and I am an alt man. I haf seen moch off t'e vorld. T'e t'oughtless man pridleth not his tongue; he speaketh at random; and is gaught in the voolishness off his own vords."

"What do I care what you have seen!" I exclaimed petulantly, now thoroughly exasperated. "Have the goodness to keep to your own end of the carriage, and I will keep to mine."

In a moment I was sorry I had spoken so harshly to the man, and the more I sought to justify my words, the more inexcusable did they become. He had really done nothing at which I could take offense. The garrulousness of age, and the very natural desire to exercise his knowledge of the English language-I began to cast about in my mind for some means with which to soften and undo in a measure that which I now considered my extreme irritability; but, at the same time, I had no desire to stimulate the now happily pent-up flood of proverbs to renewed activity. I gave a sidelong glance toward the corner to which he had retired, and where he sat with his legs drawn up under him, motionless save for a certain nervous activity of his two thumbs, which revolved one over the other. I could not tell whether he was watching me, for his eyes were invisible in the deep shadows made by his overhanging eye

brows. Upon second thought I determined to let well enough alone, and, lighting my little pocket-lantern, hung it to the hook at my shoulder, and attempted to read; but I was unable to fix my mind upon the story. Over the left-hand corner of the book I held, those long, bony, large-jointed thumbs tirelessly, incessantly revolved. Hold the book as I might, I could not drive the impression from my mind. I was forced to count the revolutions of those dreadful thumbs. My mind was fully made up to seek another compartment at the first stop we made. Still the thumbs turned and twisted, their size exaggerated in the light from above. I fell to counting their revolutions, almost unconsciously at first. He seemed to have a system-nine times outward toward me, ten times inward toward himself. Again and again I counted-always the same, with a maddening regularity. On we sped through the night. It was raining now, and huge drops chased one another down the window-pane. The "rackety-tack" of the wheels, the easy swaying of the carriage to the left and then to the right, and the turn and twist of those immense thumbs- I closed the book in despair, and was in the act of thrusting it into the shawl-strap, when with the rapidity of a thunderclap there

came a grinding crash, and the carriage left the track, and, after bumping along over the sleepers, fell upon its side. My companion was thrown upon me. He grasped me with his long arms, and wound his legs about my body. We were shaken about like pills in a box. There was an inWE terval of silence, then the hissing of escaping steam, and shrill screams, all of which I heard

in my struggles to escape from

the octopus-like grasp of my companion. At length I succeeded in breaking away, and with a strength incredible and incomprehensible to me now, I forced the door above my head (for the carriage was lying upon its side) just as a number of men came up with lanterns. We soon had the little Frenchman, or whatever he was, out of the wreck, which was not a very bad one, only two carriages having left the track in consequence of a spreading rail. He was quite insensible, but when we got him to the flagman's hut, some distance down the track, he came to himself, and we speedily discovered that he was only a bit shaken up. However, to my extreme embarrassment, he threw himself upon his knees at my feet, hailed me as his deliverer, and called me by many other highfalutin names. His gratitude was boundless, and in vain did I explain to him with all the emphasis at my command that I had done nothing to earn it. He would hear nothing of the sort, waved away my explanations as "motesty," "prafe motesty," and, to my dismay, insisted upon embracing me at intervals.

I will not dwell upon the uncomfortable details of the rest of the journey to Paris. Suffice it, that I was unable to escape from my bête noire until I reached the Gare du Nord, where I succeeded in eluding him, it is true, but only

for seven sweet days, after which blessed period he found me, and, embracing me in a paroxysm of joy, took up his lodging in the building where I had my apartment and studio-a huge, rambling brick building in a quarter somewhat frequented by paint

ers. Then followed a period upon which I look back with a shudder; days when I kept my studio door (which at intervals resounded with that hated, timid knock) locked and barred even to my best friends, fearing the entrance of my grateful


bête noire. I remember the unreasonable shudder of disgust I felt one night when I had gained the court in fancied security, only to meet him coming in the opposite direction, feel the grasp of that horrible hand upon my arm, and hear the hissing s's in my ear. I could not work; it was out of the question. My picture, which I had intended for the Salon, was barely begun. My bête noire showered delicacies upon me. The concierge, for example, who did my cooking, would bring me game out of season when I expected a chop, until at last I forbade him to receive the things from "la tête énorme," as he styled him. I fancy the villain lived well in the interval.

Each morning expensive cut flowers were left at my door by the florist, who refused to carry them away, saying that he had been ordered to leave them, and had no further knowledge in the matter. So there they stayed in the hallway, heaped up against the wall as if for a tomb in Père La Chaise, until swept away by the concierge, with semipious ejaculations. Can you imagine my position, then, with such unmerited gratitude thrust upon me? Finally I determined to end it all, and wrote to London, asking a friend to look me up quarters, as I would leave Paris at once. Carefully, but with a great show of carelessness, I let the concierge understand that I would attend the opera that evening, in order to cover

my outgoing. I intended to take the night train for Boulogne, thence go by boat to Folkestone. Finally we arrived at Boulogne. The night was a stormy one. Overhead the moon struggled with ragged clouds. It had been raining, for the pavement was wet, and the long lines of yellow gas-lamps were reflected prettily. There was a rush of the passengers toward the boat, which lay rocking and plunging at the jetty, and when we reached the gangplank the mail-bags were already being taken aboard, and a huge derrick was creaking and groaning as the deckhands hoisted some heavy cases over

the side. I hugged myself with delight, thinking that I had escaped from my admirer.

For an instant I fancied I saw the pallid face and shrunken figure of the little old man among the crowd already gathered upon the deck, and I sickened at the thought that my long and tiresome night journey had been endured for naught. Determined to know the worst, I jumped down from the plank to the deck where the face had appeared in the glare of the electric light, only to see it vanish over the companionladder leading below to the freight deck. I could not be sure that it was my bête noire, but I was bound to follow the figure and to satisfy my fears. Groping my way among the piled-up luggage and boxes, I reached a clear space only to feel strong hands grasp me from behind. I heard a scuffle, the arms were wrenched from about my neck, and, turning, I saw the little old man being forced up the gang-plank to the pier by two muscular-looking fellows. Before I could well collect my senses, the bell clanged noisily, the gang-plank was drawn up, and with increasing speed we left the jetty. I could make out a number of people seemingly struggling with some one under the brightly gleaming electric lights, and I fancied I heard a scream; but in less time than it takes to read this we had passed beyond the end of the jetty, with its final. red and green lights, and were on our way across the Channel. In looking over the papers at breakfast one morning several days after my arrival in London, I came upon the following:



On Wednesday night last, as the express-boat from Boulogne for Folkestone was about to leave the jetty, a person of singular aspect was observed by the officers acting in a manner fitted to arouse suspicion. He was seen to scrutinize the faces of

the passengers, and finally to follow a gentleman on board the steamer, where he secreted himself in a dark passageway, from which he leaped upon the back of the unsuspecting traveler and attempted to strangle him. Doubtless he would have succeeded in his murderous purpose, but for the vigilance of the "sergeant de ville," who promptly called assistance, and after a severe struggle with lean strength, succeeded in placing the nippers the assassin, who seemed to be possessed of hercuupon him. Taken before the police, he was unable to give an account of himself, and acted in avery violent manner. It is thought that the author of many mysterious crimes has at length been secured.

LATER.-The individual captured on the Boulogne boat on Wednesday proves to be a certain exalted personage of unsound mind who made his escape from a private "maison de santé" at The Hague. The sergeant de ville has been handsomely rewarded for making the capture of the unfortunate, who, in company with four keepers, left for The Hague this morning.


George Wharton E

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S Clayton rose to his feet in the still air, the treetops began to tremble in the gap below him, and a rippling ran through the leaves up the mountainside. Drawing off his hat, he stretched out his arms to meet it, and his eyes closed with delight as the cool, soft wind struck his throat and face and lifted the hair from his forehead. About him the mountains lay like a tumultuous seathe Jellico Spur, stilled gradually on every side into vague, purple shapes against the broken rim of the sky, and Pine Mountain and the Cumberland Range racing in like breakers from the north. Beneath him lay Jellico Valley, and just visible in a wooded cove, whence Indian Creek crept into sight, was a miningcamp-a cluster of white cabins-from which he had climbed that afternoon. At that distance the wagon-road narrowed to a bridle-path, and the figure moving slowly along it and entering the forest at the base of the mountain was shrunk to a toy. For a moment Clayton stood with his face to the west, drinking in the air; then tightening his belt, and grasping the pliant

body of a sapling that grew within reach, he swung himself from the rock. His dog, stirred from sleep by the crackling branches, sprang after him. The descent was sharp. At times he was forced to cling to the birch-tops till they lay flat upon the mountain-side.

Breathless, he reached at last a boulder from which the path was easy to the valley below. With quivering muscles he leaned against the soft rug of moss and lichens that covered it. The shadows had crept from the foot of the mountains, darkening the valley, and slowly lifting up the mountain-side beneath him a long, wavering line in which met the cool, deep green of the shade and the shining bronze where the sunlight still lay. Lazily following this line, his gaze rested on two moving shadows that darted long, jagged shapes into the sunlight and as quickly withdrew them. As the road wound up toward him, two figures were vaguely visible through the undergrowth. Presently a head bonneted in blue rose above the bushes, and as they parted for an instant Clayton's half-shut eyes suddenly opened wide and were fixed with a look of amused expectancy where a turn of the path must bring rider and beast into plain sight. Apparently some mountain

girl, wearied by the climb or in a spirit of fun, had mounted her cow while driving it home; and with a smile at the thought of the confusion he would cause her, Clayton stepped around the boulder and awaited their approach. With the slow, easy swing of climbing cattle, the beast brought its rider into view. A bag of meal lay across its shoulders, and behind this the girlfor she was plainly young-sat sidewise, with her bare feet dangling against its flank. Her face was turned toward the valley below, and her loosened bonnet half disclosed a head of bright yellow hair.

Catching sight of Clayton, the beast stopped and lifted its head, not the meek, patient face he expected to see, but a head that was wrinkled and vicious-the head of a bull. Only the sudden remembrance of a dead mountain custom saved him from utter amazement. He had heard that long ago, when beasts of burden were scarce, cows and especially bulls were worked in plows and ridden by the mountaineers, even by the women. But this had become a tradition, the humor of which greater prosperity and contact with a new civilization had taught even the mountain people to appreciate. The necessities of this girl were evidently as great as her fear of ridicule seemed small. When the brute stopped, she began striking him in the flank with her bare heel, without looking around, and as he paid no attention to such painless goading, she turned with sudden impatience and lifted a switch above his shoulders. The stick was arrested in mid-air when she saw Clayton, and then dropped harmlessly. The quick fire in her eyes died suddenly away, and for a moment the two looked at each other with mutual curiosity, but only for a moment. There was something in Clayton's gaze that displeased her. Her face clouded, and she dropped her eyes.

"G' long," she said, in a low tone. But the bull had lowered his head, and was standing with feet planted apart and tail waving uneasily. The girl looked up in alarm.

"Watch out thar!" she called out sharply. "Call thet dog off- quick!"

Clayton turned, but his dog sprang past him and began to bark. The bull, a lean, active, vicious-looking brute, answered with a


"Call him off, I tell ye!" cried the girl, angrily, springing to the ground. "Git out o' ther way. Don't you see he 's a-comin' at ye?"

The dog leaped nimbly into the bushes, and the maddened bull was carried on by his own impetus toward Clayton, who, with a quick spring, landed in safety in a gully below the road. When he picked himself up from the uneven ground where he had fallen, the beast VOL. XLIV.- 99.

had disappeared around the boulder. The bag had fallen and had broken open, and some of the meal was spilled on the ground. The girl, flushed and angry, stood above it.

"Look thar, now," she said. "See whut you've done. Why didn't ye call thet dog off?" "I could n't," said, Clayton, politely. "He would n't come. I'm sorry, very sorry." "Can't ye manage yer own dog?" she asked, half contemptuously. "Not always."

66 Then ye oughter leave him ter home, and not let him go round a-skeerin' folks' beastis." With a little gesture of indignation she stooped and began scooping up the meal in her hand. "Let me help you," said Clayton. The girl looked up in surprise.

"Go 'way," she said.

But Clayton stayed, watching her helplessly. He wanted to carry the bag for her, but she swung it to her shoulder, and moved away. He followed her around the boulder, where his late enemy was browsing peacefully on sassafras-bushes.

"You stay thar," said the girl, " and keep thet dog back."

"Won't you let me help you get up?" he asked.

Without answering, the girl sprang lightly to the bull's back. Once only she looked around at him. He took off his hat, and a puzzled expression came into her face. Then without a word or a nod she rode away. Clayton watched the odd pair till the bushes hid them.

"Well," he thought, as he sat down upon a a stone in bewilderment, "if that kind of girl was partial to bull-riding in mythological days, I don't know that I envy the old furioso of Olympus when he carried off Europa."

She seemed a very odd creature, singularly different from the timid mountain women who shrank with averted faces almost into the bushes when he met them. She had looked him straight in the face with steady eyes, and had spoken as though her sway over mountain and road were undisputed and he had been a wretched trespasser. She had paid no attention to his apologies, and had scorned his offers of assistance. She seemed no more angered by the loss of the meal than by his incapacity to manage his dog, which seemed to typify to her his general worthlessness. He had been bruised severely by his fall, and she did not even ask if he were hurt. Indeed, she seemed not to care, and she had ridden away from him as though he were worth no more consideration than the stone on which he rested.

He was amused, and a trifle irritated. How could there be such a curious growth in the mountains, he questioned, as he rose and con

tinued the descent? There was an unusual grace about her, in spite of her masculine air. Her features were regular, almost classic in outline, the nose straight and delicate, the mouth resolute, the brow broad and intelligent, and the eyes intensely blue,- tender, perhaps, when not flashing with anger,- and altogether without the listless expression he had marked in all other mountain women, and which, he had noticed, deadened into pathetic hopelessness later in life. Her figure was erect and lithe, and her imperious manner, despite its roughness, savored of something high-born. Where could she have got that bearing? She belonged to a race whose descent, he knew, was unmixed English; upon whose lips still lingered words, phrases, and forms of speech that Shakspere had heard and used. Who could tell what blood ran in her veins ?

Musing, he had come almost unconsciously to a spur of the mountains beneath which lay the little mining-camp. It was six o'clock, and the miners, grim and black, each with a pail in hand and a little oil-lamp in his cap, were going down from work. A shower had passed over the mountains above him, and the last sunlight, coming through a gap in the west, struck the rising mist and turned it to gold. On a rock which thrust from the mountain its gray, somber face, half-embraced by a white arm of the mist, Clayton saw the figure of a woman. He waved his hat, but the figure stood motionless, and he turned into the woods toward the camp.

It was the girl, and when Clayton disappeared she too turned and continued her way. She had stopped there because she knew he must pass a point where she might see him again. She was little less indifferent than she seemed; her motive was little more than curiosity. She had never seen that manner of man before. Evidently he was a "furriner," she thought, from the "settlemints." No man in the mountains had a smooth, round face like his, or wore such a queer hat, such a soft, white shirt, and no "galluses," or carried such a shiny, weak-looking stick, or owned a dog that he could n't make mind him. She was not wholly contemptuous, however. She had felt vaguely the meaning of his politeness and deference. She was puzzled and pleased, she scarcely knew why.

"He was mighty accommodatin'," she thought. "But whut," she asked herself, as she rode slowly homeward -"whut did he take off his hat fer?"


LIGHTS twinkled from every cabin as Clayton passed through the camp. Outside the kitchen doors, miners, bare to the waist, were

bathing their blackened faces and bodies, with children, tattered and unclean, but healthful, playing about them; within, women in loose gowns, with sleeves uprolled and with disor dered hair, moved like phantoms through clouds of savory smoke. The commissary was brilliantly lighted. At a window close by improvident miners were drawing the wages of the day, while their wives waited in the store with baskets unfilled. In front of the commissary a crowd of negroes were talking, laughing, singing, and playing pranks like children. Here two, with grinning faces, were squared off, not to spar, but to knock at each other's tattered hat; there two more, with legs and arms indistinguishable, were wrestling; close by was the sound of a mouth-harp, a circle of interested spectators, and, within, two dancers pitted against each other, and shuffling with a zest that labor seemed never to affect.

Immediately after supper Clayton went to his room, lighted his lamp, and sat down to a map he was tracing. His room was next the ground, and a path ran near the open window. As he worked, every passer-by paused a moment to look curiously within. On the wall above his head a pair of fencing-foils were crossed beneath masks. Below these hung two pistols, such as courteous Claude Duval used for side-arms. Opposite were two old rifles, and beneath them two stone beer-mugs, and a German student's pipe absurdly long and richly ornamented. A mantel close by was filled with curiosities, and near it hung a banjo unstrung, a tennis-racket, and a blazer of startling colors. Plainly they were relics of German student life, and the odd contrast they made with the rough wall and ceiling suggested a sharp change in the fortunes of the young worker beneath. Scarcely six months since he had been suddenly summoned home from Germany. The reason was vague, but having read of recent American . failures, notably in Wall street, he knew what had happened. Reaching New York, he was startled for an instant by the fear that his mother was dead, so gloomy was the house, so subdued his sister's greeting, and so worn and sad his father's face. The trouble, however, was what he had guessed, and he had accepted it with quiet resignation. The financial wreck seemed complete; but one resource, however, was left. Just after the war Clayton's father had purchased mineral lands in the South, and it was with the idea of developing these that he had encouraged the marked scientific tastes of his son, and had sent him to a German university. In view of his own disaster and the fact that a financial tide was swelling southward, his forethought seemed almost an inspiration. To this resource Clayton turned eagerly; and after a few weeks at home, which were made

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