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quired, were it ever so casually, about Mrs. Powell's good health, reminded him. that Brookfield was waiting to see him with all his worldly goods her endow.

"Everybody thinks you 're after my money," he told her frankly one evening, after a good supper had made him expansive; "and I don't know but that you'd be a good investment."

For the first time in their acquaintance. she appeared taken aback.

He admitted her with the same grave consideration that he would have shown to any business acquaintance, and gave her a chair beside his desk.

"I've decided to buy a place out on Cherry Avenue," she announced, “and I want you to manage it for me. They want eighteen thousand; but you must make them do better than that."

"Almost all of the price will have to go on a mortgage, I warn you. I have n't got anything like eighteen thousand dollars."

"Look here, John Brinton," she demanded, "what do you mean?”

"Nothing-nothing at all," he assured her earnestly, and hurried away in search of his pipe. But the rebuff set up a barrier between them. He did not see her so often after that; beneath his gruff exterior he was more sensitive than most women.

He went home rather earlier than usual that evening, and was about to enter, as had become his recent custom, by the front door; but the front door was closed and locked. So were the front windows, star

"I've come to talk business," she informed him when he went out into the reception-room to meet her. "Take me into your sanctum sanctorum!"

One morning, several days later, she ing glassily by force of the shades pulled called at his office. down behind. In some vague agitation of foreboding he made his way around to the kitchen. From beside the kitchen stove, like the grim ghost of his past, the red-wrappered figure of Mrs. Mallet rose to greet him.

"Evenin', Mistah Brinton," she said, with the smile of a conquering Ethiopian


He did not gasp; he merely asked what place it was. His composure was perfect. "It's the old Gregory place, and it's just what I've been wanting all my life. I simply fell in love with the walnut wainscoting of the dining-room," she rippled on. "And all the old furniture goes with the house; I shall hardly need to buy a thing. And the fountain-I 've always wanted a fountain! And the lawn. and the stables and the tennis-court! Do you know how to play tennis? You ought to learn; you need the exercise. The executor has consented to let me have a lease for three months to make sure I want it; I'm going to move in right away. It will be just the place to have Alice's wedding; and it's just the place I 've always wanted to live in. The heirs are crazy to sell, and," she concluded firmly, "I'm going to buy it."

"I'll see what I can do," said Brinton.

"I'll see what I can do," he repeated. "All right. I'm sure you 'll manage it. And now I must run; I'm tremendously busy. Remember, I simply must have it; I give you a free hand."

With this assurance, the irony of which evidently did not strike her, she swished away. Brinton greatly appreciated the swishing. He treated himself to a cigar, and entered on one of his periods of cogitation.

"Where's Mrs. Powell?" he asked. "Busy movin' in her new house. She ain't comin' back heah no mo'." Mrs. Mallet's cheerfulness increased with the information. "She say to tell you she 'd ax you ovah to suppah, but she 's so much upset, all she kin do is 'tend to Miss Alice and Mistah Chahley. She hopes you kin come Satuhday evenin'; but Ah saydoan' go."

A certain insinuation in her voice held Brinton. He waited.

"Ef Ah was you, Ah 'd look out for mahself, Mistah Brinton," she continued, rolling her eyes with prophetic fervor. "It's common talk she 's a-goin' to gouge you to pay foh huh fine new house. I'm a-tellin' you, as yoh frien', them up-an'comin' females is wuth watchin'. The day she come heah, when I see how she was headed, I says to huh, 'Miz Powell, my ideas is so fuh from bein' yoh ideas of how a house had ought to be run-'"

Brinton retreated into the dining-room. The red cloth was back on the table, and the carpet rocking-chair stood on its parallel lines before the window. He opened

the door of the front room; the curtains were down, the wicker chairs were missing, the air was already tainted with its ancient mustiness. He closed the door. "Have you seen my newspaper?" he called to Mrs. Mallet.

"Yes, suh. I was jes lookin' it ovuh when you come in." She brought it to him, and he sat down before the diningroom window to read.

the front door of his house, dragged the rocking-chair out upon the front porch, and sat down to smoke in the twilight. The afterglow was fading among a raveled mass of cirrus clouds that hung above the tree-covered hills to westward. He puffed his pipe, grim, taciturn, lonely.

It might have been any week-day evening of the last twenty years over again; and yet it was not the same. Nor was the supper of bacon and eggs, fried potatoes, and boiled, creamless coffee the same as it had been before Mrs. Powell invaded his home. The descent from Spanish omelets, hashed-browned potatoes, muffins, and white table-cloths was too abrupt. He went to bed early to escape the vacantness of the house, and slept badly in consequence. Along toward midnight he heard Charley come in, humming a tune, and tramp up the bare flight of stairs to bed.

He did not go to Mrs. Powell's house for supper on the following Saturday evening; early in the afternoon he called her up by telephone to say that he would be detained at the office. The woman who answered the telephone said that Mrs. Powell was out, but a message might be left.

"Is this Miss Powell?" asked Brinton. "No; this is Mrs. Powell's housekeeper," the voice replied.

"Please tell her it will be impossible for me to come out this evening," said Brinton, and hung up the receiver. "Mrs. Powell's housekeeper!" he repeated, still suffering from the shock that had made him forget to give his name.

His mood had been morose when he gave up the prospect of a good supper at Mrs. Powell's, and it grew more morose as the afternoon wore on. Gloomily he went home to the house and meal of his ante-Powell days. After supper, while Mrs. Mallet drawled a melancholy strain over her dish-washing, he moped in his rocking-chair before the dining-room window, a deserted, misused man, but proud -too proud to truckle to any one who had misused him. He even disdained to get himself the baking-soda and water that prudence would have prescribed as a precaution against threatened indigestion.

After Mrs. Mallet had taken her loosejointed departure, he rebelliously unlocked

Some one drove briskly up the street in a little rubber-tired runabout, and drew up before his front gate-some one, a woman, in fact, Mrs. Powell.

Brinton, with his external grimness abated only by the sudden quickening of the light in his eyes, went out to meet her. She stepped out as he drew near.

"What do you mean by disappointing me at supper?" she demanded. "I've come to get you to spend the evening, anyway. I want to show you my new house." She made no effort to find whether he was compliant; she calmly took his compliance for granted. The novelty of the method, as far as John Brinton was concerned, helped to make it effective.

"Just look after my horse for a minute," she continued; "he 's my latest investment, by the way. How do you like him? I think I left a pair of scissors-a pet pair, too-in your house when I went away. I'm going to run up-stairs to get them; I'll be back in a minute."

Brinton, with amazing docility, gave his attention to the horse. Presently he went as far as the hall to get his hat. He waited a moment, listening to Mrs. Powell overhead, before returning to the buggy; his expression was thoughtful, somewhat chastened, but no longer melancholy.

They drove away, Mrs. Powell competently handling the reins. She suggested a little turn out West Street, to enjoy the evening, before going to Cherry Avenue; and guided the horse in the proper direction without waiting for the formality of a reply. She gossiped about her new house and her new housekeeper and her new horse and Alice and Charley. Brinton thawed rapidly, as he usually did when she set herself to thaw him, and was inveigled into making a few remarks on his own account. When they had been gone about three quarters of an hour, she turned to him with a sudden exclamation.

"Oh, bother! Do you know what I 've done? I left those scissors on your hat-rack. Well, we 'll drive back and get them."

Very leisurely, through the gathering.

blue dusk, they drove back to Grove Street. He volunteered to go in for the scissors, but she stopped him.

"I can put my hand right on them," she said; "you hold the horse while I run in." A moment later she hailed him from the doorway. Her arms waved with excitement. "Come quick!" she called.

Brinton hurried up to the porch. "The plumbing must have burst somewhere," she explained. "Listen! I can hear water dropping from the ceiling."

He struck a match, went into the front room, and lighted a lamp. The ceiling of the room was soaked, and a little stream of water trickled down. Carrying the lamp, and followed by Mrs. Powell, he went into the dining-room. Water was dripping down.

"It must be up-stairs in the bath-room," said Mrs. Powell. "Hurry!"

He waited for another glance around, and then, with great deliberation, ascended the stairs. Mrs. Powell rushed past him on the landing, and into the bath-room. He entered in time to see her draw away a dripping towel that had obstructed the escape-pipe of the basin, into which both faucets were pouring steady streams.

He waited, the lamp in his hand showing his face lined with a sort of grim amusement, while she turned off the taps.

"I guess I'm responsible for this," she announced cheerfully, preceding him down the stairs. "I tried to get a little washwater when I was up here; it would n't run very well, and I must have left the taps open. I'd feel more contrite if your old house did n't need replastering, repapering, and almost everything else."

He paused at the foot of the stairs, opened the door of his bedroom, and looked in.

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tion of seeing that he had repaid in kind one of the shocks she had given him. A ghost of a grim smile played across his face. "Better go to the outside door," he said; "I 'm going to douse the glim."

His sudden flash of humor seemed to shock Mrs. Powell as much as his grim joke. She waited, staring at him.

"How long was it before that water would n't run?" he demanded, hovering over the lamp. "I heard you turn it on; it appeared to start about as brisk as ever." He chuckled wickedly. "Was n't Mrs. Mallet enough? Did you have to drown me out?" he demanded.

Mrs. Powell's amazement was gradually softened by half a smile. She looked him in the eyes with calm audacity.

"Well, suppose I did?" Her audacity seemed to need the prop of brave words; she colored a little. "Suppose I took that way as a short cut to develop some human emotions in you? Life 's short, and you 've been growing into a machine."

Brinton eyed her, silently, abstractedly. She became pinker and more uneasy.

"Perhaps you think I 'm after your money," she demanded, with a sudden flash of resentment.

"If you mean to say you 're not," said Brinton, "you 've got a lot less common sense than I've credited you with." Mrs. Powell gasped. "Well, of all the-"

"Money is a good thing to have around," said Brinton; "I'm just getting on to that fact.

to that fact. Only-well, I hope that 's not the only reason you took such an int'rest in me; I ain't so powerful humble." His wry, ironical smile helped a softening process that had begun to work on his face. "Anyway, as I remarked before, I think you 'd be a mighty good investment," he declared.

"John Brinton, you 're-you 're-" exploded Mrs. Powell in a voice that began in a gasp and ended in short laughter. "What?" he asked.

"A wonder!"

He chuckled again, neatly blew out the lamp, and followed her toward the door.

"If I am, I 've got nothing on you, if you'll excuse me for saying it." Gallantly he took her hand to assist her down the steps. "Mrs. Powell, ma'am, I believe you have the advantage of me in knowing my first name."

The Spirit of The Century



HE life literary has no relation more intimate, more fruitful, or more precious than that between a magazine and its contributors of long standing and reciprocal loyalty. The magazine makes the contributors, and the contributors make the magazine, one as much as the other. Those whose imaginings see in a magazine a fortress besieged, which the contributor enters by force or favor, by assault or by parley, wholly mistake the natural selection by which a magazine gathers its most valid asset-the group of writers attracted by its policy, whose presence attests the value and settles the success of the policy that has won them. Without the policy, these would not come; without these, the policy would not go. Both, not each, make the magazine.

Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, whose death removes a landmark on the horizon in medicine, in letters, and in the administration of the things that collectively make and guide the national mind, came to THE CENTURY in the mid-eighties, precisely as he came to "The Atlantic" in the early sixties. He wanted the magazine, and the magazine wanted him. A natural personal sympathy, ennobling in both and to both, united Richard Watson Gilder and S. Weir Mitchell. Both had the same passionate devotion to verse for its own sake. The measure and rhythm and harmony and technic played the same part in their lives that music has for many, though for neither did it exclude the more impersonal wordless art. Both had the respect for literature which the type-writer and cheap printing tend to destroy by making it easier to write and to publish and harder to read and to remember. There are some prints, early in the history of printing, in which proof-reader and printer wear swords because it was assumed that every one in the "chapel" was

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But they met in believing that wisdom was the elder child of inspiration, that life was ill led if it was not seemly as well as round in all its parts, and that a nice regard for detail is the parent of a just dignity in letters. These are all the signs manual of the reserves of power. With a practical wrist, the rapier has a "punch" more deadly than a prize-fighter's fist. Dr. Mitchell, when "Characteristics" appeared in 1891, his first contribution to THE CENTURY, was already known. In medicine he had met the hurry and pressure that slay nerves with healing rest. He had probed the hidden secret of snake venoms. He had already displayed his various and efficient power in the organization and direction of institutions and societies, in science and in medicine. In letters, though in his mid-fifties, he had done little, and that little was promise rather than achievement. His short stories had caught the eye only of the selective critic, quick to see tendency. His handful of poems gave no hint of the work he was to do in the last twenty years of a life that has just ended at eighty-three. His two novels, "In War Time" and "Roland Blake," had perception, penetration, and the picture, but lacked weight. "Characteristics" had this. It was wise. Head-thought is as much needed in letters as heart-throb, Athena as much as Apollo. As "Characteristics" developed number by number, swarms of letters came both to author and magazine. Western debating societies discussed the issues it raised. Women's clubs wrote essays about it. Mature professional men East and West wrote long, full letters, particularly from those lesser places where the intellectual and brooding life so often, though not always, has time, but not companionship, as in the larger it has companionship, but

not time. It was both instantly and constantly apparent that THE CENTURY audience, so wide-spread, always growing, always changing, and yet always preserving a common character, had found in Dr. Mitchell the seer to whom it cared to listen.

For just short of thirty years since, the work of Dr. Mitchell has appeared in THE CENTURY. Here the "Lycian Tomb," child of solitude and of sorrow, so easily the foremost fruit of his verse, one of the greater threnodies, had its fitting illustration. The "Magnolia" deepened the note of thought. On the eve of the Spanish-American War, "Hugh Wynne" gave the patriotism of youth its high and heroic model. No novel of the Revolutionary period approached it. Story succeeded story; and poem, poem. Pastels came from his facile hand which had a stinging quality. On the threshold of his eightieth year he surprised no one more than the editor of THE CENTURY by breaking out in a detective story.

The readers of THE CENTURY need no catalogue. A man's position in letters is not to be decided while the rounded mound above him is still unsodded. At this hour there comes instead the memory of the man, inspiring, benignant, highminded, tender-hearted, leading day by day a life devoted to the nobler aspect of every task. The years take toll from some. They enriched him. He grew from sixty to eighty, sloping years for most; rising years for him. His writing grew more careful. He became more fastidious in his choice of words, more painstaking in his sentences, more anxious to put substance behind utterance. Repute, honor, wide acceptance, which make many careless, weighted him with responsibility.

One saw that he followed THE CENTURY closely, knew it number by number, weighed and appraised each issue as it came, saw it as a whole, was watchful of its level, place, attraction, and value, in this steadily moving procession. He came to know magazine conditions, to feel the audience, to know its reaction.

Of this manifold man much else could be said in many fields. From all he brought fruit. In each he stood in its foremost files. Universities knew him in letters and in science alike. His profession had given him every possible honor. He was a national figure. But on these pages this is not the image that falls now that he is gone. There is instead the vision -alas! only a vision!-of a spare figure which fourscore years could only stoop and not bow; a manner gracious, gentle, and never forgetful of life's daily due of courtesy and the comrade spirit; a mobile face whose modeling bespoke his mingled Scotch and American ancestry, with the thin beard of the man who both thinks and does,-your thick, short-bearded man does, and does not think, and your thick, long-bearded man thinks, and does not do, -and an expression which had charm, inspiration, command, and the cogent influence of personality as elemental as gravitation. No man and no woman met him but saw life brighter and gained in inspiration and enthusiasm, in desire to achieve, in willingness to serve, and in high determination that no day and no task should come back empty or lack lofty effort, be the day or task what it might. All his were noble, ennobling, and included a vision and horizon wider than earth's round, as the pages he contributed to THE CENTURY bear witness.

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