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door,-you need not even enter,—and as your husband steps inside, my assistants will take him in charge at once. There will be no scene, believe me.' He pressed a button and explained to two of his staff, big, husky chaps in white jackets. So it was arranged, and she was to drive up somewhere between five and five fifteen that afternoon.
"That same afternoon a swell little coupé pulled up in front of a big jewelry shop, and the girl flitted inside, while Jim waited on the box around the corner along with a lot of real coachmen, waiting for his call. Did I say the girl was goodlooking? Well, she was, peaches and cream, and hair always in a half-curling effect, and gushing over with the news that it was her birthday and that pa,pa was evidently wealthy; one of those fellows that don't care how much they spend as long as it 's in the family,-and the clerk took it all in. Pa had given her money for her birthday-fifteen thousand. It was lovely; so much better than last year, when it was a lot of bonds or something that it was an awful time getting the money for. She trailed along the show-cases, dropping bits of family history and enthusiasm until finally she got settled in one of those private booths with quite a bunch of plunder spread out in front of her on the little table. She decided on about fifteen thousand dollars' worth or so, and then she had covetous eyes on one other piece, a sunburst or something that she just must have, too. It would run it up to somewhere around twenty thousand. If pa were only there, she just knew she could coax him; but she had an idea. She looked at her watch; it was after half-past four. Pa would be home, and why not bring it up with the rest? And she just knew he 'd get her that, too. Of course they 'd have to send up, anyway, because she would n't think of carrying so much money with her, and her carriage was waiting outside, and their clerk could go right up with her and save time.
"Well, the clerk saw the manager, and he saw some one else, and in the end the clerk helped the girl into the coupé, and climbed in after, with the whole lot done up in a nice case, and they started uptown. Jim, on the box, headed for the sanatorium, and stopped all nice and se
date before it. The clerk helped the girl out; she was carrying the package, girllike and enthusiastic. Why not? There was n't anything to suspect in a lone girl and a peach at that, and they went up the steps together. A butler opened the door in advance, the girl turned for a second to call down to the coachman, and motioned the clerk to enter. He stepped in without a thought. And that was the last the girl ever saw of him.”
He had finished.
"By Jove! that was clever, I say, what!" remarked the Englishman. The engineer nodded.
Some scheme that; fits together like a puzzle and perfectly automatic."
"Ah, you Americans!" The German gracefully complimented the race that produced such genius. But Goya, Palacios, and the padre were peacefully asleep.
Unnoticed in the night, the woman in the yellow satin dress had seated herself on the rope; she leaned forward tensely.
"Jim," she called hoarsely. "Jim, oh, Jim!"
The Englishman and the engineer stiffened suddenly in their canvas chairs; the German misunderstood. "Get oudt!" he said contemptuously. The engineer prodded him with his elbow.
'Shut up!" he whispered.
The man looked over, startled.
"So you were the girl that turned that trick!" he said. "Curious, ain't it, what a small world it is in the long run? But I'm not Jim."
"Not Jim!" she retorted cynically. "Why, that game was only played once. You 've got it down pretty fine; how did you know? Turned nice and respectable, maybe."
"No," he went on, "I'm not Jim; I'm the chap that rode up-town in the coupé with you. It was four days before they 'd listen to me. The firm gave me a year's vacation with pay, and then fired me. I got a fair settlement from the sanatorium for false imprisonment. I thought I was down and out, but as a matter of fact it gave me my start. On the whole, you and Jim did me a pretty fair turn; but I did n't think so at the time." He held out his hands palms down, and moved ten supple fingers under the faint light from the lantern. "I guess you 've forgotten," he added.
"That's right; I'd forgotten. It's a long time back now, ain't it?" she returned. "That 's right; Three-fingered Jim he was."
"I met Jim, and we never knew each other. Funny, was n't it?" he resumed. "Well, we sort of drifted together, and by and by ran a game,—it was better than prospecting, and that was the beginning. By and by I learned what I 've been telling. Jim got lost in a rush for a new camp somewhere-some misunderstanding, I never rightly knew what. He was always on the level with me. Funny how we come together, ain't it? It ain't much of a world, is it, it 's so little?"
For a moment there was silence; then the woman's voice broke in. It held a queer note, an odd, hard forlornness; this little link with the past that had brushed into view brought up the forgotten decades in a condensed vision.
And I thought you was Jim-and Jim dead! It's a long time now, ain't it? Say, you don't know how thinking you was Jim gave me a turn-and those days. Billy McGlory's, Tom Gould's, and me a kid in Bleecker Street with old Mother Hackelbaum, and watching her jew over the swag o' nights. Nice chance for a girl, was n't it! Jim dead, nice and respectable, and me knocking up and down the coast deck steerage. Madre de Dios! I never had no chance." She broke off abruptly.
"No," said the man, swiftly as he shot a gesture toward the after deck, "and that kid will be saying the same some day, and there won't be anything but spiggoties to listen."
The woman straightened with a sudden movement.
No sentiment, no mush, no nothing. I just says the kid 's yours; it's funny I don't feel queerer about it." The voice choked a little. "Maybe I 've thought like you have, too; it must be that. I'll put it in your arms across the rope before I leave the boat to-morrow. Good night, bo.”
"Poor kid!" said the man, slowly.
"I thought you would n't understand. What do you want me to do? Wake it up an' put it in your arms now?" She laughed scornfully. "The kid 's yours, that 's all-to give it its chance, for there is n't none for it on this coast. The kid's yours," she repeated hoarsely; "that 's all.
She faded back into the shadows of the after deck. The little group separated for the night.
Late that night a disheveled figure crept irresolutely to the taffrail, and looked down on the boiling wake kicked up by the screw. Eight bells sounded like a chime from far forward, and the first officer, coming off watch, saw the figure slowly climb a coil of hawser and then, shuddering, stumble uncertainly back among the sleeping steerage and lie down once more by the tiny figure that sleepily nuzzled against the hardened throat and painted cheek with the great and aimless tenderness of baby love. Nor did the first officer hear the low sound that blended with the throbbings of the ship: it was a voice in Ramah.
Ar daybreak the next morning the Mopucha swung at anchor off Coquimbo. Back of a dozen or so gay-roofed houses, clustered thatched huts, interspersed with an occasional touch of irrigated green, rose the desert hills, where here and there little lines of burro pack-trains straggled down to the coast. At six o'clock a shabby port-officer was pulled out. He climbed the gangway and nodded grandly to old Goya, the cacao-planter, who was ready to go ashore, and passed into the chart-room with the captain. McCampbell winked.
"He can't read," he said. "Maybe we have no quarantine, or, if so, I fix it."
The port-officer and the captain emerged.
"That kid-say, have n't I got no rights? Do you know what a baby is to a woman? No one 'll touch that kid except over-" She paused. "Why, there "Quarantine-twenty-four hours," said is n't any one 'll do for that kid what I would; I'll give it its chance all right, all right."
the latter. The port-officer had been warned by telegraph.
McCampbell took him in tow, and presently from below came the pop of a champagne cork, and presently another. Almost as though signaled, a couple of lanchas crawled alongside, while the winches clattered and banged as the cargo was worked out; from the main deck McCampbell and the port-officer looked amiably down. The woman in the yellow
satin dress touched the former on the shoulder; she spoke rapidly in Spanish.
"Bueno," he remarked; "it makes no difference. You paid to Callao; you lose."
Her shoulders moved in a tired shrug. "No me importa nada—what of it?"
But it was evening before a passenger might be landed; thus was the day of quarantine fulfilled. There were only two, old Goya and Chiquitita. At the foot of the side-ladder a discarded ship's dinghy rose and fell on the long swells, fended by a pair of dusty, desert-blown natives. Old Goya descended, and carefully seated himself in the stern; he gallantly spread a gaudy poncho on the weather-beaten thwart beside him. Chiquitita stepped deftly aboard on a rising swell. Her face was inscrutable as she carelessly scanned the faces that lined the rail. If it softened, no one knew, for it was masked in the
gaiety of rouge and carmine, while the soft folds of the rebozo hid the sobbing play of the muscles of the throat, maybe.
HAVE a friend, an intermittent philosopher, who in moments of reflective calm preaches contentment to those who live in dull provincial towns. The other evening he pleased himself greatly by striking out a rather fine phrase. "Peoria," he said, "is as big as New York, and a country cross-road 's as big as either."
BY BRAND WHITLOCK
He, however, lives in New York, and this expression of his taste, while it need not vitiate his large and profound generalization, indicates a distinction which mankind somehow persists in making.
From the upper deck the passengers watched them off. Between the koon-can player and the grandson of an archdeacon was a tiny baby figure against the rail, gay with fluttering ribbons and the fluffy clothes of Spanish childhood, while one hand bravely clutched a finger of the koon-can player. The pale, frightened little face was set, with tremulous lips and humid eyes, which followed a dusty, discarded ship's dinghy as it crawled across the long swells. What the baby eyes saw in that discarded dinghy and mellow evening glow only God knows.
But the rest of the upper deck saw nothing but a tawdry, yellow satin dress close to a fat little cacao-planter from back of Coquimbo who had money.
There is, to be sure, a sense in which one city is all cities, since all have the same problems, all live and grow by the same general, though obscure, laws, and all at last come to the same end of death and taxes. But while fundamentally alike, cities, nevertheless, are individual, and among them there are those that impress us by a peculiar and fascinating personality; they have for us the interest which among men envelops great personages. In a more general sense they may be well governed and orderly, like the cities of
Germany; or picturesque, like the cities of Italy; or vivacious, like the cities of France; or heavy, like the cities of England; or nervous and bustling, like the cities of America: but these are only the broad and tentative beginnings of a classification which cannot, I suppose, be carried out with any scientific accuracy. It would not do to attempt to classify them according to their forms of government. The four or five large cities of my own State of Ohio, for instance, while governed by a uniform code, nevertheless by their local customs somehow burst the bonds of this law asunder, and each to a degree has its own informal and individual code.
And then there are curious paradoxes in cities. For instance, the German cities have, I suppose, according to the ideas of our own municipal reformers at least, about the worst form of government in the world, a cumbrous, complicated bureaucracy, centuries old; and yet they are undoubtedly the most efficiently governed cities in the world. But there is a quality which they lack, and by that one may dis
tinguish those towns he loves among the cities of his acquaintance. It is the quality of charm.
THE CHARM OF DUBLIN
Now, to me at least, Dublin possesses this rare and delicate property, and she is the only city among those I have visited in the British Isles that has it. London has an immense and fascinating interest, and Glasgow is marvelous in its realization of democracy in government, while Edinburgh, a reactionary and incorrigible stand-patter among municipalities, is distinguished by romance and beauty. But of them all Dublin alone has charm. It is a quality which the wise man, jealous of the illusions of which life is too eager to strip him, will not attempt to define; it is too rare, too delicate, too evanescent. Perhaps, if it could be defined, it would vanish with the illusion that creates it. It is with cities as with women, to whom the poets have sometimes likened those cities they love: they have charm or they have it not. There is no accounting for it, just as there is no accounting for tastes: it is, or it is not; it exists for some and not for others. "I can't understand what you see in her," your dull and unimaginative companion will amaze you by exclaiming.
As the metropolis of a nation that no longer has a capital, Dublin expresses the various attributes of a race which for eight centuries has withstood the efforts of England to subdue and absorb it, and with an amazing vitality has retained its own characteristics; and it stands preeminent and unique among cities, since its lord mayor is the first citizen of his land. To see the sun break out of the clouds and flood with light St. Stephen's Green, sparkling with the rain that only a moment since was falling, is to have a visible symbol of its whimsical character.
"O Ireland!" exclaimed my poetic friend O'Farrell, glad to be home again, as we witnessed this pretty phenomenon, "always between a smile and a tear!”
Perhaps its charm is some mystic element of the pathos that has been inseparable from the tragedy of Irish history, the affection of a vague pity which the city would be the first to scorn, though the wit and humor and the careless freedom of its people contribute their part as
well. As is inevitable with any people who have felt the oppression of alien and extrinsic government, it thinks lightly of the laws it had no part in making, and yet it is a very shrine of reverence and devotion. Thus the spirit of Dublin is profound, as profound as the deeps in the native of this lovely land, the very eidolon of this sad and happy, this fierce and kindly, this bold and gentle, proud, humorous, sensitive, hospitable people. Do not their very songs, the lightest of them, all quaver off in the end to that weird and melancholy chord which once was swept from the five insufficient strings of the old Irish harp? Certain, too, it is that the atmosphere of this old town is filled with the haunting tragedy of her history; and yet in these times there is a new and wistful longing, the quivering new hope in the renaissance of the old land.
"Remain long in Dublin, if you wish to know her," to me said Mr. Thomas M. Kettle, one of the brilliant young men of Ireland, whose wit and humor are much missed these days from the Nationalist benches in the House of Commons. "Stop here three days, and you'll think you know her; stop a fortnight, and doubts will arise; and soon you will discover that a lifetime is all too short to understand her."
To an American who has known Ireland only from her pathetic story, the sentimental songs, the reminiscences of her immigrants, the witty sayings of her exiled sons, their astounding facility in politics, and the fine indignant enthusiasm of Irish meetings when the envoys come to speak of home rule, this Dublin must always have a singular and absorbing interest. He will behold in her the capital of that race which politically is perhaps the most efficient and brilliant in the world, and he will be stirred by memories. and vicarious emotions as keen as though they were his own. Perhaps he will value her all the more because she is really so difficult of access.
I shall not forget my sensations that black night on the Royal Mail packet, plunging like a torpedo-boat awash through those angry waves, when suddenly I remembered that I was on the Irish Sea, and recalled how Phineas Finn had the immemorial dread of that rude
Perhaps an American whose own ancestors, as far as he had ever heard of them, were all Scotch and English might have reserved his enthusiasms and his emotions for the soil of those lands; but he found himself an Irishman in spirit the very first thing on awaking the next morning and looking out at the jaunting-car that had a friendly air of waiting for him on the opposite side of the street. It waited patiently while he breakfasted with a screen between him and the grate fire the drizzling rain made necessary that autumn morning, and the jarvey welcomed him at last just as though he had been expecting him, and no other, all the while.
I could have lingered on the way between the gray walls of Dublin Castle and the brooding roof of Kilmainham jail, where Parnell and Dillon and Davitt and the rest had been imprisoned, or when, later, the sun came out in Phoenix Park, with the viceregal lodge back among its trees, and the window in plain view whence a lord lieutenant had stood one morning and seen some men scuffling, as he thought, in mere sport, until he learned of the murder that had been added to the long and tragic toll. Or I might have sauntered along Sackville Street, which
the Irish still insist on calling O'Connell Street,-the very names of their streets were taken from them, it seems,—and recalled the Great Emancipation, and Isaac Butts and Parnell, until evening came to invoke the weary ghost of Mangan from the shadows. But my excuse for being there at all was to study the government of the town, and I must be about my business.
In that professional mood, of course, there are certain aspects that strike the eye, those little things that are the first indices to the manner in which a town is governed the tenue of the policemen, the regulation of the traffic, the degree of cleanliness of the streets, the kind of paving. One looks, for instance, with the specialized eye of that barber who, the morning after the President had visited our city, and I asked him how the chief magistrate had impressed him, told me that he "noticed that his hair needed trimming."
ITS DIGNIFIED ANTIQUITIES
ALL such things are superficial, of course, though they are significant, too, when understood, of much that is fundamental. However, one should go to headquarters, and so in my own little quest for knowledge of Dublin government I went to the city hall, though the initiated will not always go to the city hall of a city to learn of its government, since its true seat of power is sometimes in another place. But this little old building, the stones of which have been darkened by the weathers of one hundred and thirty-four years, has its own proper dignity, and in its central hall its own beauty, for there are statues of Daniel O'Connell and Chantry's splendid figure of Grattan, and the images of others of the nation's heroes and the town's worthies, and even of an English king. Dublin is proud of these treasures, as of the memories they preserve, though in the case of O'Connell and of Grattan there is little need of the numerous memorials one sees in Dublin, since they live veritably in the thoughts and somehow in the very lives of these intensely hopeful people. Dublin is proud, too, of the little council chamber where the aldermen sit, with excellent portraits of O'Connell and the elder Dillon to stimulate the Irish flow of oratory, and an