Puslapio vaizdai

den, which was inclosed by an iron fence. On the other side lay a long, low grassy hill, which resembled a huge, recumbent animal-earth, warm, breathing, asleep. Over the hill was the ocean, sleeping, too. Outside the garden were lots of little dark, whitebacked humans Doña Ana's "low class." They were listening to the music, and as they listened, they wound in an ellipsis, round and round, past the casino and back again in a slow, sticky movement, as though stirred with a big spoon. They could see the whole show, too the whirling and twirling, eating and drinking of the exclusive club. There were three times as many taking the crumbs as those who sat at the table. "Romantic!" said Pablino, waving an arm around.

In a moment I perceived that he had selected this spot for himself to be romantic in-German romantic. He began to smile mysteriously and to come closer, as if he had a pleasant surprise for me.

"I love that ribbon around your hair," said he, "blue-blue, like your eyes." He leaned slowly toward it, with his lips puckered.

I backed into the shrubbery. "Don't do that! Americans don't like that sort of thing."

"Americans? But you are woman, nicht wahr?"

I did not know whether to admire his impudence or his assurance.

"Take me back to your mother," I said crossly. "I think you are acting very foolishly."

He stepped back, still with the curious smile trembling under his mustache, and posed himself in front of the tree-fern, his hand on his heart. He was in black broadcloth evening clothes, rings on his fingers, and a fob like a door-knob on the front of his waistcoat. The tree-fern did not now resemble a bursting fountain. Its fronds curled about the man like petals of a great flower. He was its heartthe worm-eaten heart of tropic beauty. "After mature deliberation," he said, "I have decided to make you an offer of marriage. I have consulted with my father, and he agrees with me that

it is a wise thing for me to do. You are good family. My father and mother both like you. And after we are married, we 'll live in Washington or New York; I'm tired of Latin America. You have an uncle in the Senate " "How do you know?"

"Why, my dear girl, naturally one would make inquiries. Twice one does not make a marriage mistake. And after we are married-"

"But we are not going to be married."

His jaw dropped. He bent toward me, pointed his forefinger at himself, and said rapidly with the utmost amazement:

"But you don't know who I am, hein?"

"But I don't care who you are." "But you don't know who I am, hein?"

"And I don't care who you are." "But you don't know who I am!" His finger fairly bored into his chest. "But I know who you were the husband of Belen."

"What difference does that make?" He seized my wrist-the marks of his fingers were there the next day-and ground his teeth in my face. "If I thought-" Suddenly he threw my hand down and puffed out his chest. "Ha! ha! Wohl, I did n't think there was a woman in the world would refuse me."

As we stood, narrowly observing each other, I heard a rustle behind me, and a stone whizzed neatly past my ear. I spun about. Some one hidden in the shrubbery by the fence began to laugh, low, spiteful laughter. Other voices near by took it up. I could imagine all those little people on the hill giving voice to it-woe and bitterness, sin and mockery, as they wound in their ellipsis and looked across the fence.

The noise stopped with the suddenness of a whip-crack. Two little policemen in high helmets popped out there. I had a glimpse of something light, bent, and skimming the hill, then the white-backs ringed the policemen in excited circles, and it ended. A sleeping creature had stirred in his sleep; that was all.

I looked for Pablino, and saw his back, very stiff, just disappearing around a bend in the path. He had dropped me like a hot cake.

TWENTY minutes later I was climbing the stairs to the Dove casa, alone, with mixed emotions. Better dark corners and specters alone than see any of the Doves again that night. In the morning I would hunt another boardingplace. Don Pablo once said to me, "It must always be looked for, the motive. So a German says, the motive; what motive?"

I thought I saw the motive here. "We'll live in Washington you have an uncle in the Senate." No wonder they had been kind.

No, I saw nothing. Nothing real. The motive of the Dove casa was hunger of a family to develop itself and to climax in the son. It had no regard for any other family, and so it had become inhuman and monstrous.

When I came to the head of the stairs the Dove door was ajar and moving slightly, as though some one had just passed through. I stood by the door, pushing it gingerly, to see who was behind. I heard some one panting when a brown hand slid out, gripped my arm, and drew me in. The door shut noiselessly.

The lights were turned off in the house, but moonlight came bright in a window. I could see. It was Quintilla. She leaned against the door, steaming with sweat, panting, choking, and trying to muffle the sound in her skirt. And all the time she watched me with hostility.

One sleeve was torn off her shoulder, and her hair had come loose, and seemed to lift itself from her forehead and float around her in a multitude of dark little waves. She pulled herself together with unexpected suddenness. Throwing her head up high and looking me straight in the eyes, both hands pressed against her bosom, she whispered with indescribable passion:

"Don Pablino es mio!"

Her hand slipped up the door and shot the bolt. She stooped, ripped my slippers off my feet, and began pull

ing me along the hall in furious, but stealthy, haste.

"Chist! Vamos! pronto! para Doña Belen."

To Doña Belen! the dead Belen.

I would have fallen over the feet of a servant asleep on the floor by the kitchen door if Quintilla had not guided me around and started me up the ladder. I went up without a thought of propriety or impropriety or threats. I went up as if I were carried in a balloon.

Quintilla shut the trap-door behind us. It was pitch-dark until she turned on a light.

A little room, hot, close, and empty, with a peculiar sepulchral smell in which chloride of lime could be detected. I looked all around. There was a door, with a heavy, padlocked bar across, which must have led to the room above mine. And there was a window, bricked up on the outside; nothing else.

Quintilla had crouched down by the side wall. Suddenly a light jumped from another trap-door there, close to the floor. I was looking along the ceiling of a room on the floor below. Quintilla pushed me roughly to the little door.

"Ea, ea! mira! la esposa de Don Pablino! Que hermosa!"

I looked down into the room, and I saw the woman, and she was a leper. She sat on the bed, her knees drawn up, and her arms, one of which had lost semblance of an arm, clasped around them. Her face turned up to the opening. Some sort of whitish cowl was on her head, she wore nothing else but a grimy shift, which hardly covered her knees,-and from out that cowl her ashen face looked up, unblinking, unstartled as if she never could be startled again.

I could hardly withstand the look. I trembled. I stood motionless, contemplating the dismal fate of the woman to its reliefless end. I noted details: an image of the Virgin over the bed, a window nailed up half its height, a tray with remnants of food partly covered with a rag, a rope-andpulley dumb-waiter arrangement under the trap-door, odor of a den.

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The head turned, sank down on the knees, and a whimper floated up:

"Ay de mi-ay de mi-aydemi!" It was a continuing whimper, without pause, without inflection, and finally without syllables, like the cry of some little animal in a trap.

My shaking fingers fumbled for the hook of the trap-door, to shut the specter in. The door dropped with a crack. I mustered strength to walk away and to get down the ladder.

I was hanging to the foot of the ladder before I realized that the hall was lighted now. Doña Ana was coming down it, as heavy, steady as a juggernaut. A blue feather wagged on her head. She came on, and then she turned sharply into the kitchen without a word or a look for me. Two servants were coming out, their justopened eyes ready to pop out of their heads and roll on the floor like buttons.

Farther along the hall were two figures under a light, as in a cinema scene Quintilla and Pablino. The German had the girl by the arm and was shaking her like a mop. Her hair flew about. She was as limp as a mop while he shook her, but when he let go, she stepped back, gathered her hair off her face with her hands, and, holding it behind her head, smiled gently at him. Her bare, round elbows projected from her head like wings. She had a soft, veiled appearance. She was beautiful.

The German stared. His eyes had been sunk into his head with rage; now they came out from their caverns, and from them to the girl, as clear as lightning in the night, darted the look of a vile mind. A peculiar smile hovered on his lips. Sins of the fathers!

Now Pablino was coming down the hall. I hated him.

"She's alive-your wife."

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kill me there or die himself because of his fear of that word. Foam appeared in the corners of his mouth, which opened and shut. From his throat came a sound resembling a deep, rough voice:

"But not alone-"

A water-cooler stood on a table near by, with a glass under the faucet. Pablino turned the faucet, lifted the glass of water to his lips, then poured it over his head. He went up the ladder, fumbling at his hip-pocket. I caught the gleam of a revolver.

Doña Ana came from the kitchen, began walking up and down, as grayfaced as dried grass. She said, without turning her head:

"Is she also a fool that she stays until he comes down?"

I could n't move. There were four shots-four irregular shots, and not a sound besides but the meaningless, maddening trickle from the almost emptied water-cooler.

Doña Ana stood by the ladder, her head turned up in a strange fixed position, as if she were a petrified block on the marble floor.

Pablino half sat on the rungs at the top. One hand still held the revolver. Suddenly it whirled, touched his forehead, and there was another shot. Then the body pitched over. As it fell, the arms flew out, and one hand struck Doña Ana across the face.

She reeled against the ladder, but kept on her feet. Her gray face turned until she found me. She said:

"My son has treated me well. Even in death he gives me a slap in the face."

She seemed like one going under ether, who feels impelled to demonstrate to somebody outside the whirling fog that he is still perfectly conscious. Her eyes strained wide open, then clouded as if she were sleepy.

She lay down on the bed and turned her face to the wall. She spoke again:

"My child always had a bath in the morning when he got up, and at night -every night-a nice, warm bath. And he never slept in the same clothes he wore in the daytime."

The Nineness in the Oneness


The nine arts are but nine aspects of a single divinity, the goddess Æsthesia; the Muses are not hostile to one another, but interdependent.



HE Renaissance is never far from the thoughts of the twentieth-century artist, and he often falls to thinking how it was that his illustrious ancestors of the fifteenth were able to practise without failing many different arts, and that it was not till the great tide of inspiration began to slacken that the painter ceased to design cathedrals. We remember, too, that in the seventeenth century our ancestors renounced the chisel and the pen, becoming almost exclusively portrait-painters in the eighteenth. Blake is the only painter that comes to mind who was at once a painter and a poet. In our own little renaissance in the fifties an interest in literature sprang up among painters. Rossetti wrote some poems imbued with the beauty of his early pictures, and Whistler contributed some prose fragments to our literature, and a description of evening which thrills in the memory and brings tears to the eyes when it is read aloud. But besides the nocturnes and "The Ten O'Clock" Whistler left some maxims which have borne evil fruit, and a doctrine that nobody understands painting but painters. Whistler no doubt said this, but what he meant was that nobody understands painting but a great painter, which, interpreted still further, means that nobody understood painting but Whistler; and since Whistler has gone from us, the doctrine promulgated is that the painter knows or should know nothing but his palette, and our feeblest dabbler believes that he paints exclusively for dabblers, which, when one considers it, is hardly a nobler ambition than to paint to please the public. It is a doctrine certainly to which Whistler would be the last man

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in the world to subscribe. He would have spurned such a doctrine, declaring scornfully that a man's art was for himself, and though he might allow some examples of it to be taken away and exchanged for pieces of money, I think he said once the examples returned to the artist and became his property "ultimately." But doctrine becomes sadly corrupted in the course of a few years, and what now remains of the master's teaching is a sullen suspicion regarding a painter's talent if he confesses to literary or musical interests. To play the piano, even though he plays it very badly, awakens doubt, and when it becomes known he has an organ in his studio and plays Bach, his name is not spoken again in Chelsea. He drops out; and it has come to pass that pure music existing of and through itself is regarded with more respect than music associated with words and a dramatic action; if words there must be, the musician had better write them himself, as Wagner did. Nor is the point considered that the musician may be without literary vision, for in the highest circles it is an article of faith that whoever writes his own libretto will be inspired to write the music if there be music in him, a valuable proviso, for we have all known a musician who began a dozen different poems, abandoning them all one after the other, and his music brought to nought by the doctrine, il faut que tout sorte de vos entrailles, repeated again and again by a sedulous friend. The suggestion that Wagner wrote his own librettos merely because he could write them better than anybody else was considered aggressive, and the remark that he wrote beautiful music to Mathilde Wesendonck's verses in even more doubtful taste. The phrase, il faut

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