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absence, have decided to show their faces in the story only,” he adds hastily—“not the version Wald again."
given by the village gossips.” It is Jeanne's turn to change color. From “Well, sir, before Count Paul was one-andtemple to throat blushes mantle over the child's twenty, he had the misfortune to fall in love. pale skin ; her eyes sink beneath Wolfgang's His sweetheart was a village girl who had sat to questioning gaze.
him as a model-Wendolin the miller's daughter The master has compassion enough to look Malva.” away from her. “She loves me—a little—not Jeanne raises her eyes to the master's face; (picking up a flower that has fallen from Jeanne's but Wolfgang has turned sharply away; his arms hand and shredding it, petal from petal)—"she are folded across his breast. She was the handloves me—not !” He flings down the stalk with somest maiden of the Höllenthal. You may see a certain gesture of impatience.
her portrait, any day you choose, just as Count “What better answer could be expected from Paul painted her, in the altar-piece of St. Ulrich such an oracle! Do you know, Miss Dempster, Church. Some think,” says little Jeanne, " that that the sun is down—that, unless I wish you all her troubles sprang from that picture. No good-by this very instant, I shall lose my train ?” maiden prospers in earthly love, you know, who
“Lose it, sir,” says little Jeanne promptly. has given her face as a model for the Holy “ I invite you, in Mamselle Ange's name, to drink Mother's. But these things are too deep for me. tea with us. Give up dust and heat and engine- Yes, she was the handsomest maiden of the Hölsmoke for once, and walk to Freiburg, as every- lenthal, and the best—to this day, tears come body used to do before the railroad was made in the village people's eyes when they speak of across the mountains.”
Wendolin's Malva—and young Count Paul was “The invitation is tempting, Fraulein Jeanne. to marry her at Easter. All the Von Egmonts On an evening like this the very sight of an en- at the Schloss here were beside themselves with gine among our Black Forest valleys is an abomi- mortification. Such a crime as a Von Egmont nation. Still, I have my evening class in Freiburg, marrying a peasant maiden was not written, my good, studious lads to whom work means Ange says, in the records of their house. Count work-"
Paul had already determined to be a painter “ And Euclid, Euclid. Let the good, studious (that, in itself, was blow enough to the family lads have a holiday, poor wretches! They will pride), and was to go to Rome for the winter to be none the duller to-morrow, depend upon study. If Malva had willed, he would have taken
her with him as his bride ; but the maiden had “The philosophy is pleasant if not sound. self-respect enough to say no. 'I will win the "Fais ce que tu aimes, advienne que pourra.' As heart of the Countess and of her daughter yet,' I certainly love this garden better than my hot said Wendolin's Malva. “Every good woman is town lodging,” says Wolfgang, “ I will risk put- pitiful. When the gracious ladies see me alone, ting it into practice.”
without Count Paul, when they see how I shall He pauses, transfers his pipe—the eternal work, and learn and fit myself to be his wife, they meerschaum-from his lips to his breast-pocket, will soften toward me.' and with an air half of enjoyment, half of regret, • But the gracious ladies,” goes on little looks around him.
Jeanne, “never softened. When young Count “ Paul von Egmont need not have wandered Paul had been gone about three months, they far a-field in search of inspiration,” he remarks came one day, in their velvets and furs, to Wenpresently. “Had the lad contented himself with dolin's house, bringing with them a letter—a letpainting pictures of homely Schwarzwald lives, ter, so they said, that had just arrived from a of homely Schwarzwald landscapes, his work, brother artist of Paul's in Rome, and that it at least, might have boasted originality. In Rome, much behooved Malva to listen to. That letter like so many of our German students, he has was the maiden's death-blow.” become but a pale copyist of greater artists' Wolfgang rises hastily. He crosses to the thoughts. But that is how men miss their true farther side of the terrace and stands there, his vocation - their true happiness also-nineteen back turned toward the western after-glow, his times out of twenty."
face veiled in shadow. Overhead the swifts are “Count Paul has missed happiness,” says circling, with happy cries, athwart the sun-colJeanne, “if the village gossips say true. You ored heaven. A solitary thrush calls low from know his story?"
the Wald. The garden, gay with such hardy “Not so well but that it might be good for flowers as can stand the Black Forest climate, me to hear you repeat it, little Jeanne.” The is at the zenith of its summer bravery. A spirit familiar epithet seems to escape, unawares, from of freshness, purity, peace, seems moving, like a Wolfgang's lips. “I know one version of the visible presence, over the fair and fragrant earth.
“Finish the maiden's story," says the master, two months ago, the first visit that I paid was to after a time. “It has an interest for me beyond St. Ulrich churchyard." what you can understand. Tell me as much as “And you saw Malva's grave? It is a fine you know of-of Malva's death.”
marble cross, is it not? But the Wald people “I know more of her death than of her life,” say a stone-mason's bill can make poor amends says
little Jeanne. “Old Fritzel's granddaughter, for a broken heart.” blind Lottchen, used to tell me about it. To all “ Poor amends, in truth!” repeats Wolfgang, who were sad or stricken, Wendolin's Malva was with bitter emphasis. good; and often she would have the blind girl And then there is silence. hold her company for days together, and talk to her, when the two were alone, of her love and of her sorrow. Count Paul is going to be a
CHAPTER II. great painter'-this ran through all her thoughts - and he will choose for himself a noble wife.
DUTCH MICHAEL'S HOUR. It were sin and shame, his brother painters say, that he should marry a peasant maiden because SILENCE profound, yet fraught with inarticuof her yellow hair and white throat. I should late murmurs, just as the air is haunted by imdrag him down to my level; I should stand be- palpable odors from the adjacent forest; sweet, tween him and his art; I should make him un- dewy silence, such as a city-wearied man might happy with mean jealousies—1, who would die well travel a few hundred miles, now, in this July to please his least wish and think death sweet !' weather, to enjoy. And then she would weep-at times, blind Lott- Schloss Egmont lies in one of the remoter chen could hear her weeping quietly the whole valleys of the Höllenthal—a district curtly hinted night long-or she would rise, when she thought at by guide-books, uninvaded by the great dethe rest of the house slept, and pray for Count vastating army of personally-conducted cockney Paul and for strength to be true to him.” sight-mongers. Less than two years ago the
“True!” repeats Wolfgang, very low. “Have older people of St. Ulrich village had never heard I not heard that she wrote Von Egmont a letter a railway-whistle. No telegraphic wires link its taking back her plighted troth, declaring that it interests with those of the outer world. The was better that both should marry in their own church-clock, set approximately right on Sunday class of life ?"
mornings, possesses an hour-hand only. Do not “That letter was written under the Gräfin's the storks go and come? Are there not the seadirection. She was Paul's step-mother, you know, son of resin-gathering, the season of timbersir ; no real mother would so have risked her floating, the rising and setting of God's sun, son's happiness. And Paul—there, say the peas- throughout all the changes of the year? What ant people, was his sin-he took the simple maid- need men here with such finikin apportionments en at her word. Ange and the Fräu Meyer have of time as quarters or minutes ? heard there were other influences that helped The deep discordance of a far-away supperagainst poor Malva. Some say there was a great bell rouses Jeanne and her master from the revEnglish lady in Rome, whose fattery drew the erie into which both have sunk. For fifteen years young painter into her train of admirers; and or more that bell has rested in idleness: no need some say there was an Italian play-actress, and to summon Mamselle Ange, the housekeeper, and some say there were both. About all this I know Jeanne, the solitary occupants of the Schloss, to nothing. Malva died. Her picture hangs, where their homely meals. During the past ten days, you may see it, over St. Ulrich high altar, and however, the prospect of Count Paul's return has her grave is in the Kirchhof beside the big yew. roused the household into a sort of galvanized The carved marble cross at her head was placed life. Dinner-bells, calling no one to dinner, are there by Count Paul's order. It came from rung;" shutters are opened of a morning and Munich, and cost more gold than Malva had closed at night; Hans the gardener is learning, touched in all her life. But he never troubled in a twenty-year-old livery, to wait at table; a himself to visit the spot; he never shed a tear flag, moldily displaying the Von Egmont quarover her grave. Blind Lottchen kept it fresh terings, floats, as was its wont in palmier times, with flowers while she lived, and, now that Lott- from the topmost pepper-pot turret of the house. chen lies there too, I have planted pinks and As Jeanne and Wolfgang draw near, Mamrosemary above them both. I will go to the selle Ange appears suddenly at the central baseKirchhof with you any evening you choose, ment doorway–a lamp in one hand, an open sir."
letter in the other. No man has ever definitely “ I have been there already," answers Wolf- made out if Ange be maid, wife, or widow. It gang shortly, “When I came back to the Wald is the custom throughout the Fatherland to call
housekeepers “mamselle,” irrespective of age, deed! A beauty, and her friends, and her maid, nation, or social status; and Ange, for more just in the season of the small fruits ! Mr. than thirty years, has reigned supreme over the Wolfgang ” (awakening to the master's presence still-room and kitchens of Schloss Egmont. A with a jump, our good Mamselle being at once Scotchwoman by descent, Angela Macgregor's short-sighted and absent, her existence is passed in youth was spent in Spain, from which country a chronic condition of surprise), “ I believed you she accompanied the Countess Dolores von Eg- to have started for Freiburg an hour ago. May mont to the Schwarzwald. From that day to I ask you to hold the inkstand upright-I mean this she has never left the grand duchy of to the left ?—the ink leaks when it is held straight. Baden. “I dislike the country, the climate, and If you will wait a minute, Mr. Wolfgang, I shall the language,” Mamselle Ange will tell you in give you something to carry home with you. My moments of expansion ; “but I stay here for the last two bottles of raspberry vinegar have not sake of Paul and Salome. Dolores made me turned out as clear as I could wish." promise to be true to the children. I have kept · Mr. Wolfgang will drink tea with us tomy word-yes, even when their father brought night," interrupts little Jeanne. “The lesson home another wife. One may be allowed to do was so long–I had so many faults in my exerone's duty, I suppose, without liking it ? " cise—that Mr. Wolfgang lost his train, and—"
“ The children" have long passed away out "And will have the pleasure of walking home of Ange's sight. Salome, brilliantly married in by starlight, Mamselle Ange's present of raspher teens, is mistress of a London embassy. berry vinegar in his pocket,” remarks Wolfgang, Paul, self-exiled at the age of twenty, divides his with composure. homeless Bohemian life between the different " It is not over-clear, Mr. Wolfgang-not to art capitals of Europe. But Ange remains at compare with my company vinegar—but it will her post. “When the boy marries,” she declares make you a nice, wholesome drink during the with a sigh, “I will take little Jeanne by the hot weeks. And where means are small,” says hand and make my way to Inverness. Paul will Ange, with a compassionate shake of the head, return with his bride to Egmont some day, and “of course, every little is a help.” I shall go back to my father's house, among my Jeanne glances in an agony at Wolfgang ; father's people, to die."
but the point-blank mention of his poverty has At the present moment excitement, unwonted, evidently not disconcerted him. A diverted smile heightens our good Mamselle Ange's complexion. lights his face : as he follows Mamselle Ange up Her cap, at no time secure as to its foundations, the winding stair which leads from the basement is suspended over her left ear; the points of her to the parterre floor, he sings, half aloud, the first pelerine hang jauntily from the opposite shoul- bars of “ The Wanderer": der. 'Tis evident the arrival of the letter-carrier
“Tired and worn, as the sun goes down, has broken in upon some mysterious chemistry of
The Wanderer enters his native town, the still-room. A huge checked apron envelops
And see! His old friends pass him by ; Ange's person from chin to ankle; the skirt of
So bronzed his cheek . ..." her dress is pinned up in the style called “ fishwife" by the fashion-books ; a pungent odor of "I do not, generally, admit strangers to this raspberries and vinegar breaks on the sense at room,” cries Mamselle Ange, pushing back an her approach.
oaken door on the left side of the landing. “ Here is a fine prospect before us all!" she • However, for once-Jeanne, my dear," with exclaims, or rather soliloquizes, as Jeanne and meaning—" for once, we shall be glad to bid Mr. the master draw near. “Salome obliged to start Wolfgang welcome, and to give him a slice of curfor St. Petersburg on political affairs-something rant cake, a cup of English tea, such, I am sure, new for our princess to be so dutiful in accom- as he does not often taste.-Come in, Mr. Wolfpanying her husband ! Paul, no one knows gang ') accompanying the invitation by a cerewhere, in Germany, and a parcel of fashionable monious courtesy). · This used to be Count fools coming to Schloss Egmont next Thursday! Paul's study; you see his portrait there, above Yes, fashionable fools !" ejaculates Ange, in fiery the bookcase, as he was at fourteen; and Jeanne staccato. “The celebrated London beauty, and I make it our summer parlor. One might Vivian Vivash. What do we want with cele- call it a comfortable room, if it were possible brated beauties in the Black Forest ? And her ever to be comfortable out of Great Britain. friend—a lady of title—and her other friend, a Two lone women
seem less stranded, at all baronet-and a maid! To be entertained by events less like sand on the seashore, here than me! •Trespassers' (easy enough for Salome to elsewhere, in Schloss Egmont.” write in that airy style) .upon our good Mamselle It is a room well loved by little Jeanne; the Ange's hospitality. Very great trespassers, in- more, perhaps, in that she has no British expe
riences whereon to found her ideas of comfort. the usual ending of a profile and a complexion. A wainscoted hexagonal room situate in the A face like Paul's must grow nobler under the inwestern tower of the Schloss, pine-woods influence of years." front, pine-woods on either side; a vista of blue “ Take away the millinery, the velvet, the moorland showing through a clearing among the point-lace, the Rembrandt effect,” remarks Wolfforests, at one solitary point. As a child, Jeanne gang coolly, “and one would call Paul von Egused to be told that blue streak was the sea. mont an ordinary-looking boy." When Fräulein Jeanne was old enough, said the “Ordinary !” exclaims little Jeanne, Mamwaiting-maidens, she should sail away thither, selle Ange chiming in an indignant second. “You like the wood-merchants floating down, upon can look at that forehead, at those lips, sir, and their rafts, to the country of the Mynheers, and call them ordinary? Count Paul's face is just the meet her father and mother, provided she worked most beautiful thing in the world,” says Jeanne, diligently at her sampler and sums meanwhile. with warmth. It is not the child's wont to be
Jeanne Dempster arrived at the truth of the demonstrative; but Wolfgang's disparaging tone, legend a good many years ago. She knows that a certain contempt with which he looks up at the blue streak is the Rhine plain ; knows that Paul von Egmont's portrait, have stung her out of her father and mother have crossed a sea the her accustomed reticence. "Whenever we leave navigation of whose currents not the most as- Schloss Egmont-yes, mamselle, whenever you siduous sampler-working—no, not even a mastery and I start off for Inverness—we will carry that of the rule of three-can facilitate. With wiser portrait away with us. I could not live without people than Jeanne, however, the magic of a be- it." lief is apt to linger longer than the belief itself. The master turns; he looks at his pupil with The blue streak is but the Rhine plain! And cool scrutiny. (How sharp is the contrast-the still, at seventeen as at seven, it remains a heav- thought flashes through Jeanne Dempster's mind en-kissed horizon to the girl's hopes—a far- —how sharp the contrast between the lad with stretching background to a thousand sweet and his affluence of spirits, of hope, and the man, unsubstantial dreams.
“not clean past his youth, yet with some smack The twilight by this time has died out; ex- of age in him, some relish of the saltness of ternal objects are no longer discernible; yet can time,” and with disappointment, satiety, regret, one feel the presence of the woods by the indis- printed, deeper even than his years should wartinct soughing sound, the piney aroma that en- rant, on his face !) ters through the open windows. Unpinning her “I should presume too far did I ask the reaapron, and setting her cap approximately straight son of Fräulein Dempster's enthusiasm," he before the one small mirror of which the study remarks, after a pause. “ As art, the portrait, like can boast, Mamselle Ange takes her seat at the all that Werner paints, has its merits. Beyond table, where a lamp and tea-equipage are set that—" ready. The master places himself in such a po- • Oh, you must never talk about Jeanne's reasition as exactly to confront the picture of Count sons,” interrupts Mamselle Ange. “Little Jeanne Paul von Egmont.
likes and dislikes, as she does most things, by inIt is an oil-painting, life-size, by Werner. stinct. From the time she could notice anyThe boy, in point-lace and velvet, seems to look thing she took to worshiping Paul's picture-I out with earnest, living eyes from the canvas; a believe, until I taught her better, used to say her side-light falls softly, yet with Rembrandt-like prayers to it.” intensity of effect, upon the fair young
Well for the child," answers Wolfgang, in “You are looking at a masterpiece, sir,” says a tone that brings the blood to Jeanne's cheekAnge, as Wolfgang stirs his tea somewhat ab- “well for the child, Mamselle Ange, that she sently. “It is said, from an art point of view, used to say her prayers to anything!" to be the best portrait Werner ever painted, let There is a flavor of heterodoxy about the realone the beauty of the subject. People used to mark that is little to Mamselle Ange's taste. She talk of Salome's good looks. “An aristocratic is an out-and-out conservative, a stickler for eveprofile,' said these German Hochwohlgeborens. ry inch of social grade or barrier, and has no idea * An alabaster brow-a complexion !' Salome of a person in poor Mr. Wolfgang's class utterwas not to be spoken of in the same day as the ing anything beyond the blankest copy-book truboy. Paul's heart was aristocratic, in the best isms. 'A man must be “de” or a “von” who sense of the word, and his heart was written on should venture, unrebuked, in Ange's presence, his countenance. Ah me!” muses Ange, “I upon such a solecism as freethinking. should recognize his smile among a thousand. “ Jeanne from her earliest years has been eduSalome, for aught I know, may be just a pretty- cated in The Truth.” Capitals poorly represent ish, faded woman, a doll that has lost its paint- the pious emphasis of voice. “She was a luck
gift to me, you see,” says Mamselle Ange, her in the old days it was • alle liebste Ange'—'ma old face softening. “One of your modern school bonne petite maman.' But nothing vitiates huof doctors, your scientists, your men of ideas, man nature like success. If Salome had married Mr. Wolfgang, discovered (in his own warm something lower than a prince, she might have a London study) that the sharp air of the Black heart in her still) : ‘After all, my hopes of seeing Forest must, if you reasoned far enough, be a the Schwarzwald this summer are doomed to be cure for failing lungs. He wrote a pamphlet disappointed. Political events have taken such a about it; and Jeanne's mother, nineteen years turn that the Prince's presence is needed at once old, and with death on her flushed cheeks, was in Russia, and, of course, I accompany him. We one of the first sent to Autogast to test the shall go by Paris-it lies not necessarily on our theory. She died; and the baby, of course, came road, but could I appear among my husband's to me. I wonder during my life how many ba- people’ (Salome taken with sudden affection for bies have come, of course, to me! At first I her husband's people !). did I not make a prelimtook small notice of the child; I don't care for inary visit to Worth? You inquire for my brother. wise, solemn babies who look you through and Paul, to the best of my belief, is wandering in through with their black eyes, and never cry. Germany, possibly may arrive at Egmont in the Besides, where was the use of troubling about a course of a week. He appeared at London late little wretch who would be taken away from me in April, as usual, for the exhibitions, and, as usual, as soon as she could run alone? However, that was a victim' (that his sister has never been) 'to day never came. Before Jeanne was three years sentiment. Who, do you think, is Paul's last fair, old (the girl's name is Janet, but everything gets impossible She? The reigning—ought I to say perverted if you live among Germans—to think the dethroned ?—beauty of the season, Vivian Vithat, at my time of life, I, Angela Macgregor, vash! He saw her first at the Academy, in an should pass by the fool's name of Mamselle attitude of rapt devotion, 'tis said, before her own Ange !)—before Jeanne was three years old there portrait, refused to be introduced—you know how arrived news that her father had gone down on little Paul frequents reputable society—and has his way to India, such fortune as he had with worshiped her at a distance, after his “æsthetic
and would I like—much my likings mat- fashion, ever since. Even in the Black Forest, tered !-to keep the child ? Yes, that is how my you must have heard of our Hyde Park goddess, luck-gift came to me.”
Vivian Vivash. Her smile has turned the wisest " In the days before Paul von Egmont had heads in Europe ; poets have sung her praises ; left his home?" asks Wolfgang, once more lift- artists have painted her charms. Not a shoping his eyes to the young Count's portrait. boy in Oxford Street but wears her photograph
“ Paul von Egmont started for Rome a few in a locket. Not a weekly social but records her months after the death of Jeanne's father. The triumphs or her defeats. We have had Vilad's heart was heavy enough, God knows, with vian Vivash bonnets, Vivian Vivash broughams. his own affairs, but I remember his taking Jeanne Preachers have made her the text of their admoin his arms--nay, child, there is nothing for you nitions, tobacconists have engraved her on their to turn so red about—and kissing her before he pipes. And still—I say it in pity, not envy—the started. Since then, all have left me,” says Mam- dear creature has not got a feature in her face. selle Ange, passing her hand across her fore. But you will see her—restrain your astonishment head—“ the old Count, his wife, Salome. But —and be able to form your own opinion. Thinkwhat,” suddenly recollecting her dignity, “what ing we should spend August at Schloss Egmont, can you care, Mr. Wolfgang, for these family I invited the beauty—as a pleasant surprise for histories ? You alluded, I think, to Jeanne's Paul—to stay there with us; the beauty, her religious principles. She knew her catechism- chaperon, and âme damnée,' Lady Pamela Lawin English and Scotch, I am no sectarian—by less, and little Sir Christopher Marlowe, a tame the age of eight. She has been spiritually fed baronet who usually follows in their wake. It is upon the works of Jeremy Taylor and Baxter. madness, you will say, for Paul to think of marAnd she was confirmed last April.—Yes, and rying a girl without money. My good friend, when these dreadful people come upon us, child, Paul's life has been one long madness. The time you can wear out your confirmation frock,” says has come when he is certain to marry some one, Ange, hastily unfolding her letter, then holding it and Vivian the beauty would be a less discreditsidewise at about an inch distant from her nose. able sister-in-law than a second edition of Malva, “ Seven-o'clock dinners, dressing of an evening, Wendolin the miller's yellow-haired daughter! are among the pleasures Salome has chalked out These trespassers on our best Ange's hospitality for us, as you shall hear :
will arrive at Egmont next Thursday, by which
time, Paul, I trust, will be there to receive them. ••MY BEST MAMSELLE' (Mamselle! And of course you and little Jeanne will inaugurate