Puslapio vaizdai

and omega

aboveboard, are the alpha of the caresses in your set. However, the new girl instils another element, hitherto foreign to the social intercourse.

To-day you recall, with great vividness, that winter evening before supper, when you lingered, on your way home, in the front hall at her house, planning with her to go skating.

"Oh, is n't it dark!" she piped suddenly. "I can't see you at all."

"And I can't see you, either," you responded.


"Where are you?" she whispered. "Oh, I 'm here by the door. Are you fraid?" you bantered innocently. Silence.


'S'posing you kissed me! Would n't that be awful!" she tittered in pretended horror.

But you you summoned your chivalry, and went forth secure in the knowledge that you had not taken advantage of her helplessness.

This was the end. From that evening dated her coldness. Another boy jumped in and supplanted you. You encountered them together, and they looked upon you and laughed. He informed you that she said you "had n't any sense." You sent back a counter-accusation, which he gladly reported. But enough; away with this Eve. What becomes of her you are able to decipher not. Let us consider the Fifth Love.

Her you acquire deliberately, with purpose aforethought, so to speak. A Love is now absolutely necessary to you, and casting about, you hit upon the girl across the street. You have known her virtually all your life. She is not very pretty; she is just a plain, jolly, wholesome lassie, who is continually running over to your house, and with whom you are as free as with your own sister; but she will do.

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you take her riding-a real, ceremonious ride, and not, as formerly, merely a lift down-town; you strive as hard as you can to enthuse over her and remark beauties in her. And she, meantime a little flustered and astonished at your unwonted assiduousness, accepts your crafty attentions and frankly confides to your sister that she wishes she had a brother.

Unsuspicious girl! She treats you with a camaraderie which should warn you, but which only proves your undoing.

Mindful of the lesson gained at the hands of the Fourth Love, she the sentimental, you resolve that you will not be classed, in this present instance, as having "no sense." Accordingly, one evening, upon parting with the Fifth Love at her gate, you baldly propose-well, you blurt awkwardly:

"Let's kiss good night."

With what scorn she spurns the suggestion! Then, while your ears are afire and you hang your head, she administers a severe, virtuous lecture upon the impropriety of an act such as you mention.

"But lots of boys and girls do it," you hazard.

She does not believe you; and, anyway, she never would. And she packs you home. You trudge across the street, angry, irritated, abashed, uncertain as to whether she was hoaxing you or whether she was sin


Girls are the darnedest creatures!

Evidently here closes the episode of the Fifth Love. It was but natural that thereafter you should be rather disconcerted when in her presence; and although she might act as if nothing had happened, you (plagued unmercifully by your sister) could not forget.

And the Sixth Love? Yes, she followed, with scarce a decent interval, hard upon the exit of the all too highminded Fifth. Maybe it was


in a spirit of pique that you sought her. Whatever the preliminary circumstance, regard yourself eventually head over heels again, immersed in the current of a passion equaled only by your affair with that Third Love-"cruel little Lilian."

This Sixth Love, too, has black eyes and an engaging plumpness. Black eyes, apparently, are the eyes most fatal to you. For the Sixth Love you would unflinchingly die, if life without her were the alternative; and you picture to yourself the manner in which she would mourn (you hope) when you are lying cold and still, with just your white face showing, in the family parlor.

No matter how circuitous it makes your route, going and coming you always manage to pass her house.

You wonder if she is proud of you because you can throw a curve. You would like to have her see that you are strong, and skilled in all the exercises to which boys are heir. You want to be her ideal, her knight. Sometimes you suspect that she does not thoroughly appreciate your prowess and good points, for she prates of other boys who do so and so, whereas you can easily do as much and


Now, whether or not it was due to the snake-curves (every boy is positive, soon or late, that he can throw a snake-curve), looking back you behold yourself possessed at last of this maiden of your choice. Of course no word of love has been uttered between you. That would be too silly and theatrical, almost morbid; furthermore, it is unnecessary. She has shyly confessed to you that she "likes" you, and this is sufficient. You generously refrain from urging her beyond this maiden admission.

Aye, 't is distance lends enchantment to the view! You have been so accustomed to the excitement of the chase that with

idleness you wax restive. The Sixth Love verges upon being a nuisance. Her black eyes, beaming for you alone, pall upon you. You grow callous toward her. You tire of always having her choose you at parties; you tire of her eternal assumption of proprietorship over you; you wish that she would not come so much to see your sister, and thrust herself upon you in your home.

And you set out to shake her off you skip out by the back door as she enters by the front; you avoid her at parties; you show her, in a dozen ways, that you do not fancy her any more.

Poor anxious, forsaken Sixth Love! It is she who turns the wooer; it is she who passes and repasses your house; it is she who haunts your steps, hoping that she

may catch a glimpse of you. Regardless of the fact that you yourself so often have played this game, you remain obdurate. Finally pride rises to her rescue, and she sends notice that she "hates you."

"Pooh! Who cares!" you sniff, with a curl of the lip.

Thus lapses behind you the Sixth Love; and although you have a faint vision of her parading, to meet your eyes, your most despised enemy, whom, in bravado, she had immediately adopted, memory indicates that you were unaffected by the sight, save to sneer, and that already the Seventh Love was engrossing your attention.

For there was a Seventh Love, and an Eighth, and more besides, to constitute a long train of wee, innocent heart-troubles as evanescent as a dream, but at their time just as real; until from this series of shallow, dancing ripples of Boy's Love, lo! one day you suddenly emerged upon the deep ocean of Man's Love, and anchored in the quiet haven where She awaited-She, the gracious embodiment of the best in these her girlish predecessors.

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Miss Cushing was cousin to most of the distinguished New-Yorkers of the days before the plutocracy, but she had no immediate family, and she lived by herself in great seclusion. Like many women who have never married, she had elaborate theories in regard to the discipline and bringing up of young children, and spoiled

He looked down and saw Miss Henri- all those with whom she came into contact etta Cushing.

"Why, how do you do?" said the bishop, smiling. "This is a pleasant surprise." He held up his ticket hopelessly. "Can you help me?" he asked. "I can't make out this number. It might be a nine or a seven or a six."

"Pay no attention to the number," said Miss Cushing; "if the officers of this railway cannot write legibly they must take the consequences. Sit down next to me, and I shall not permit them to turn you out."

"I shall do that," said the bishop, gratefully, and he sat down.

Miss Cushing lived a few doors from the bishop in Gramercy Park, and they were old friends as well as neighbors. She was a little woman. Her hair, parted in the middle and drawn smoothly down in the fashion of another generation, was streaked with gray; but it was thick, and her brow was smooth, her gray eyes were bright, and there was a tinge of pink in her cheeks. She was dressed simply in black, but her clothes were very well made, as women observed, and there was always a remarkable piece of lace about her neck. She was rich even for these days.

by a too indulgent tenderness. Her liking for babies amounted to a passion, and she gave large sums secretly to charities of which infants were the beneficiaries. Her dominant feeling, however, was her sympathy for the sufferings of defenseless animals. She gave not only her money for this cause, but her time also, and served on the executive committee of the council of the society. The bishop settled himself in the chair next to Miss Cushing and relaxed his great frame. A sigh of relief and comfort escaped him.

"I hurried," he said; "I was afraid that I was going to be late."

Are you on pleasure bent," asked Miss Cushing, "or is this work?"

"There are some duties," replied the bishop, "which are so pleasant as to escape from the category of work by their very nature. It is one of these which is taking me to Oakdale. You see-" he continued, but Miss Cushing interrupted him.

Oakdale!" she exclaimed. "It must be a great trial and mortification to you to have that place in your diocese." She looked at him with eyes full of sympathy. "Why?" said the bishop.

"Why?" repeated
repeated Miss Cushing.

"Have you never been there? Have you never heard of their practices?"

"Practices ?" said the bishop. "Yes," said Miss Cushing; "barbarous practices."

The bishop looked perplexed. "I have been there," he said; "I have been there a good deal. At first the interest in horses and sport rather astonished me,-it is a hunting community, -but-" the bishop hesitated.

"Exactly," said Miss Cushing, showing a gleam of white teeth and then closing her lips very tight; "a fox-hunting community. You are a bishop, and you have been the president of a fellow-society to ours. Do you think it humane or Christian," she continued, "to pursue God's defenseless creatures for hours, yes, for days, till they fall exhausted in the mouths of ravening hounds?"

The bishop looked thoughtfully at Miss Cushing. "Do they do that?" he asked. "Are you sure of your facts?"

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Oh, quite," she replied. She opened a little bag and produced a roll of newspaper clippings inclosed in an elastic band. Removing the band, she flattened out the slips and arranged them for reference.

"Here," she began, "is the interview with a veteran fox-chaser in which he tells about a dog which chased a fox for five days and nights. What do you think of a man who would boast of such a deed?"

"I should think," answered the bishop, slowly, "that he was a liar."

"Quite so," said Miss Cushing, who did not catch the bishop's meaning. "He must be thoroughly depraved."

"But this account," said the bishop, "refers to the South. I am sure that at Oakdale the hunts last but a few hours, and I recall some one telling me that the only fox which they have killed in three years they happened on in a farmer's poultry-yard as they were coming home."

"They have deceived you," said Miss Cushing. "It is very natural. Look!" she continued. She held out a dozen short clippings. "These are recent accounts of the hunts at Oakdale, not the South. In each one it mentions by name the persons who were 'in at the death.' The death, you understand, means the death of the fox." She selected a clipping and began to read. It concluded: "The hounds finished at Smith's Corners. At the death

were "" Miss Cushing stopped as she read the first name, a woman's. "I suppose you know who that is?" she said to the bishop. "What would Tilly say if she knew that her daughter had married into that set, and was watching the death-agonies of a creature that never did any one harm? Our work in the streets and slums is difficult enough as it is; but when the daughters of one's friends are offenders too, it is somewhat discouraging."

"Yes," said the bishop; "your work is not only a good but a difficult one. However," he added, "I believe that the expression 'in at the death' must be used figuratively, because I have heard that all last spring the club hunted nothing but drags."

Miss Cushing looked at him in surprise.

"That is exactly what the club wrote to our secretary!" she exclaimed. "And what pained me very much was that the letter was signed by young James Braybrook. You know," she added, "that his mother, till her death, was my dear friend."

"Well," said the bishop, somewhat sharply, "why should you be pained by the fact that he signed the letter? It said that they had been hunting a drag, just as I told you."

Miss Cushing looked at the bishop in amazement. "Bishop Cunningham," she exclaimed, "your course is a matter for your own conscience, but I shall never consent to make flesh of one and fish of another. While I am in the council, our society shall protect drags as well as foxes." Drags as well as foxes?" repeated the

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'Ah, yes," he said mildly; "do you know what a drag is?"

"It is a small creature," Miss Cushing replied. "I have never seen one, as I disapprove of menageries; but I presume that it belongs to the fox family."

"You say that you have never seen one?" observed the bishop.

"Yes," said Miss Cushing; "I have never seen one, but that is not a reason why our society should suffer them to be tortured. It is high time that a stand was taken, when people of our class amuse

themselves with cruelty to drags. And I am going to Oakdale to investigate the matter myself and bring the offenders to justice."

"Good!" said the bishop. Then he seized his newspaper and disappeared behind it till a fit of violent coughing should pass away. His massive body shook and quivered, and Miss Cushing became alarmed. She called the porter. "Bring some water to Bishop Cunningham," she said.

Before the water arrived the bishop had recovered.

"I beg your pardon very humbly," he said; "these attacks come on, and there seems no way of stopping them."

"There is a troche," she said, "which is admirable for bronchial irritation; I cannot recall the name, but I shall send you a package."

"You are very good to me," said the bishop. He wiped his eye-glasses with his handkerchief and settled himself anew. So that is your errand to Oakdale?" he began, the corners of his mouth twitching


"Is it coming on again ?" inquired Miss Cushing, anxiously.

"I don't think so," said the bishop. He cleared his throat and shut his mouth with a grim expression. Then he turned to his newspaper again. "I'll glance at the morning's news," he said, "if you will excuse


When the train stopped at Oakdale, the bishop helped Miss Cushing to the station platform, and spoke to a liveried servant who was waiting there to take his bag.

"The trap will drive up, sir," said the man, “as soon as the train pulls out." He said this as he noticed Miss Cushing apparently looking about for a vehicle.

afraid that I shall have to trespass upon your kindness."

As the train moved away, a smart-looking pair of horses and a two-seated buckboard came up to the platform.

"Here we are," said the bishop, gaily, and he helped Miss Cushing in. "This is much better than a cab, and if we are not run away with or shied into a ditch, we shall arrive at the club in half the time in which a livery vehicle would have taken us. "Yes," said Miss Cushing; "it really has turned out very well."

Just then the footman turned around and spoke to the bishop.

"I beg your pardon, sir; I forgot to tell you that Mr. Braybrook sent his apologies for not meeting you himself, but there was an unexpected party of gentlemen-" Here the off horse shied at something invisible to man, and nearly succeeded in crowding the near one over a culvert. The footman's attention was occupied in holding on, and when the danger had been averted he had no opportunity for continuing.

"Mr. Braybrook!" exclaimed Miss Cushing to the bishop. "Are these James Braybrook's horses? Am I riding in his carriage?" Her tone expressed both horror and indignation.

"Well," said the bishop, "you could n't stop at the station all day, and it is too far to walk."

"No matter how far it was," said Miss Cushing, "I certainly should have walked, and I shall walk now."

"You will do nothing of the kind," said the bishop, mildly.

"But you must see," said Miss Cushing, "that this is improper. I have not seen James Braybrook since he was a baby; yet, for his mother's sake, I would save him from

"Are there no cabs here?" asked Miss public disgrace if he would abandon his Cushing, in a tone of surprise.

"No, madam," said the man.

"Have n't you arranged for some one to meet you?" asked the bishop. "You see, the village is two miles farther on, and nobody gets off here except people who are going over toward the club, and those usually arrange to be met."

"Dear me!" said Miss Cushing. “I wonder what I shall do."

"Oh," said the bishop, "you will come over with me."

"That is very kind of you," said Miss Cushing, "and in the circumstances I am

practices. However, I am investigating a case against him, and I cannot accept the hospitality of his carriage."

"Would it not be judicial to suspend judgment until you have investigated?" suggested the bishop.

"Stop the carriage!" demanded Miss Cushing. "I am going to walk."

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