Puslapio vaizdai

He retreated a little before he turned he felt in his pocket for the coin, opened again to make the artistic repetition. up a further course of questioning.

“Garn, and fry yer ugly face! And No, he did not really believe his paeat it for yer dinner!"

rent to be made of money. Yes, he would Then he went on. Was it his thrash- actually put it in the bag. No, he ing or the thump on the ear that made would n't spend it; course not. (With a his head so dizzy? He felt soft and look like a martyred saint.) He always strangely near tears, and the tears were did put his mission'ry in the bag, which not tears of pain, either. He wandered was another lie. Oh, yes (despairingly), about for a while until he found himself he quite understood what would happen once more at the gate of the girl's house. if he did n't. He sat on the railings and brooded.

"Anybody'd fink," said Nash to himNash was in love!

self as he bent his steps dejectedly

toward the mission house he frequented THE following Sunday dawned wet and sometimes on very wet Sundays—“anycold, and a dreary drizzle that set in in body 'd fink a ha'penny 'd break 'im!" the early morning bade fair to continue Half-way down the street he met Arfor the rest of the day.

thur Wiltshire, whose jaws were tightly Archibald John Nash was in poor bound together with toffee. Wiltshire spirits. He rose late and busied himself hailed him with a grin, but Nash gazed about the house in order to have an ex- at him gloomily. cuse for not going to church.

“I b’lieve you've bin and spent yer At dinner-time he brightened some- mission'ry!” he said at last. what; but the meal ended, and the old Wiltshire grinned again, and, taking a gloom settled upon him. At half-past paper from his pocket, held it out to two he washed himself with despairing Nash, who sadly selected the largest thoroughness, brushed his hair, put on piece. 'In another moment his jaws his best jacket, and presented himself were as tightly bound as his companion's, before his father.

and the two walked on in happy silence. That gentleman was stretched at Suddenly Nash gave evident signs of length on the parlor sofa, clay pipe in his choking. Wiltshire stopped in alarm mouth, reading the police news in the and patted him solicitously on the back. Sunday paper.

He looked up as his "What 's up?" said Wiltshire. son halted before him and surveyed him Nash hooked his forefinger round the with a grunt. Nash answered with obstruction and cleared his throat for utastute meekness the questions of his sire. terance.

Yes, he had washed his neck. Yes, "See that gel!" he asked, pointing. and under the collar, too, which was a Wiltshire looked across. A maiden of lie. Yes, he had a handkerchief, and about twelve years, splendid in Sunday would use it if need be. No, he would finery, her gloved hand holding a large n't tie it round his cap or lose it or use it gilt-edged Bible, passed by on the other to polish his boots. Yes, he quite side. She elevated her nose as she saw understood what would happen if he did. Nash and ostentatiously turned her head No, he would n't put his hands in his

away. pocket and look like a young slouch who Wiltshire gaped, mouth open. had been brought up in a pigsty. No, "My gel!" said Nash, briefly. "Go on he would n't fight or play marbles or across with you and ask her to come for a walk in the puddles, and it was his strict walk with me. intention to come straight home. Yes, He watched Wiltshire as he ran he quite understood what would happen across, and then, as he saw the girl stop if he did n't.

and look back doubtfully, affected the "Well, get along with you," said his utmost unconcern, though his heart was father, and relieved at having safely sur- full of a strange trepidation. vived the ordeal of inquisition, Nash Wiltshire came running back, grinning proffered a diffident request for a “ha'- from ear to ear. penny for the mission'ry," and immedi

"She says to tell you you 'll get a jolly ately wished he had n't, for his father, as good hiding when you get home for play

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"Strange emotions were surging within him. 'If that boss-eyed Bill Porter

comes 'anging round you any more,' he said, 'I 'll paralyze 'im!'”

ing the hop, and her mother says she "That 'll learn yer to grin," he said. ain't to 'sociate with ragamuffins, and An' when I see Bill Porter I 'll corpse she did n't know it was you when she see him. Now sling yer hook!" you, because you had such a clean face, Wiltshire went, and after a pause Nash and she says did it hurt to wash it, and followed his divinity at a safe distance. how long did it take, and she can't come He saw her enter the iron-roofed mission a walk with you, anyhow, because she's house, and he himself remained outside, going a walk with Bill Porter after school, dejectedly leaning against the wall. and you 'd better look out, because Bill He saw the boys and girls come troopPorter says he can fight you with one ing into Sunday-school, the good boys hand tied behind his back, and—” and girls with their little Bibles and

Wiltshire ceased for lack of breath. hymn-books in their hands. Nash would Nash's face was a study. Amazement, have scorned to have been seen with a wrath, and bitter contempt reflected hymn-book; he would have died rather themselves in turn on his visage. He than be seen with a Bible. He felt caught Wiltshire a cuff across the ear that a youth who could, in the open which nearly sent that youth into the street, carry both was utterly unregengutter.

erate, unworthy of the name of boy, an outcast, an outlaw, against whom the Just then the children began to come hand of all honest persons should be out in chattering troops.

Nash came to turned.

himself, felt in his pocket with a guilty He relieved his feelings by stopping an start at the sudden remembrance of his exceedingly virtuous-looking boy who ha'penny, made up his mind on the inwore a mortar-board, another thing to stant, darted across the road to a shop at be scorned. He removed the offending the corner, purchased a halfpennyworth head-gear, filled it with the muddiest of chocolate-drops, “the best, mind yer, stones he could find, and handed it back. miss," and came back elate. He had “Take it home to yer mother,” said

found a way. Nash, “an' ask her to buy yer a 'at." The girl came out without Bill Porter.

When the procession of Sunday-school- Nash followed a yard or two behind goers ceased, Nash was at a loss for re- until they reached a quieter street; then creation. He picked up a stone and taking his courage, so to speak, in both threw it on the roof of the mission with a hands, he hurried up to the girl, looking sure aim, so calculated that the missile her boldly in the face. rebounded on the resounding metal, roll- Why, she was actually blushing! ing down with a fearsome rumble and "I say,” said Nash, “'ere 's some roar, ricochetting again and again before chocklits I bought yer. I 've got a it finally fell, its good work done, to the plane at home I 'll give yer. It came pavement. A bald-headed little man in out of a real carpenter's chest." a long-tailed coat came out suddenly and The girl hesitated, and finally, oh, seized at Nash, who artfully eluded him, fickle heart of woman! took the sweets. dodging round him, prancing and danc- “You must n't walk with me," she ing. He made remarks upon the uncov- said. "Somebody might see you. Beered nature of his pursuer's head until sides, I 'm going to meet Bill Porter at the latter longed for she bears to come the end of the road." and devour him as they had devoured "If I see 'is boss-eyed mug," cried the tormentors of Elisha. The bald- Nash, fiercely, "I'll smash it in! I 'll headed little man, his coat-tails flying, pulverize 'im. I'll—” returned crestfallen, and Nash took up The girl seemed touched; she smiled. his former position. Somehow the in- “Oh, you must n't!" she said. “I clination for further amusement failed. don't like boys to fight. But would you Floating before his mind's eye was the reely, though?" vision of a face, a delicate face framed in "I done it," said Nash, "many a time.” brown hair, with ruddy lips and sparkling The girl offered him a chocolate from eyes. Nash groaned in spirit as he the paper and giggled delightedly. realized how far she was from him, a Nash declined. He never ate sweets, he dirty little boy, as she had called him, explained loftily; they spoilt a fellow's with no particular advantages except

wind. He searched his pocket, proand he was bound to own it with pride- duced the end of a cigarette and a wax a talent for "scrapping." How to break match, struck the latter artistically on down her reserve? Nash longed for her the seat of his trousers, lighted the forwith a longing he could not quite under- mer with a practised hand, and puffed stand. Already he felt strangely soft- the smoke in a volume through his nose. ened as he thought of her. He wished "You 'll get it,” said the girl.

“Your he had not touched the boy's mortar- mother will smell you." board. He wished he had not thrown "Pooh!" said Nash, indifferently. “I the stone on the roof! A half-idea of know a good thing for that. Chew going boldly up-stairs, facing the bald

grass.” headed little man, begging his pardon The girl asked him if he smoked much. frankly, and holding out a hand in sym- He explained that he liked his "fag" bol that all was forgotten, came to him. after meals. He said he meant to smoke He had visions of the girl's look of awed in the house when he was fourteen and surprise and half-unwilling admiration.

had left school and gone to work. "An' Yes, that was it, the manly course. He if the old man don't like it,” he said, “ 'e would go and

can jolly well lump it, so that 's all about it!” They were now very near the girl's them, one after the other, and beat them home. The early evening dusk had all, and then, taking his gory countefallen. The street was silent, echoing to nance with him as security for his valor, the sound of their footfalls. The two. sought his divinity, only to find her turn stopped as moved by one impulse. from him in disgust; how he gained

“You must n't come any farther,” thereby his first experience of the suhtlesaid the girl, “or mother will see you. ties of feminine nature, and summed up

Nash looked at her in silence. Some- the philosophy of woman with a mutthing, he could not tell what, stirred tered, “You don't never know what 'll within him. The girl's face shone in the please 'em”; how he quarreled with half-light; the touch of her gloved hand Mary, and bought her a pearl-handled as she laid it gently on his arm thrilled penknife, on a card proudly labeled him.

Paris nouveauté, as a peace-offering, with "Well, so long!" said Nash.

a sixpence given him for a birthday “Good-by,” said the girl.

present, or, at least, with fourpence halfThen they looked at each other in penny of it, spending the other three silence.

halfpence on chocolates; how she refused "Say," said Nash, suddenly, "lem me the gifts, and how he dashed them scornmeet yer to-night as you go to church. fully to the ground, where she left them, And I 'll tell yer what, I'll carry yer and whence, as soon as she turned the Bible for yer."

corner, he retrieved them, meeting her It must not be thought that the girl come upon a like errand; how they did not appreciate this evidence of de- "made it up,” kissed, and were friends; votion. She did not laugh or even smile. how he wrote her letters on pink noteHer breath came sweet against Nash's paper, and addressed them to “Duchess cheek as she leaned across to him.

Mary'; how she retaliated in kind with a “Good-by,” she said, and then added, sweet little note addressed to “Sir Archinot so softly but what Nash caught the bald,” which note he long wore next his whisper, "dear.

heart, or next the place where he imagNash caught her hand fiercely. ined that organ to be situated; how she Strange emotions were surging within cut him off a lock of her hair, which, him.

feeling that ordinary wrapping was too “If that boss-eyed Bill Porter comes profane for such a sacred treasure, and, ’anging round you any more,” he said, casting about for a suitable covering, he “I 'll paralyze 'im!" and then, turning finally encased in an envelop made from with a last "So long” he ran to the end a text; how he bore ridicule bravely for of the street.

her sake, and by means of her influence Of the further course of Nash's calf his nature was sweetened and refined love this chronicler may not in detail all this may not be told in this place, yet tell. How he survived the agonies of it is worth the telling. For this calf chaff from all his boon companions, who, love, which comes to most of us, this when his superiority in other directions boy-and-girl devotion that comes before was too plainly manifest, brought against the heart is saddened with a fuller knowlhim the damaging fact that he "went edge of the complexities of life, is it not out with a gel"; how he fought three of beautiful and worthy of remembrance?


An Empress in Exile
II.--Farnborough Hill and its Inmates



EET the Empress at Wil- All was satisfactorily settled, and the ton

Crescent to-morrow details of my life at Farnborough were (Wednesday) at four.” arranged, even to the hour of the train

ARCOS. which was to carry me thither on the This telegram from fifteenth. Mme. de Arcos, an old friend of my It was quite dark when I reached aunt's, was the prelude to some of the Farnborough station about six P.M., pleasantest and most interesting months February 15, and I was glad to find a of my life. Needless to say, the message carriage waiting for me.

carriage waiting for me. On the platwas speedily obeyed, and a few hours form stood a smart, but most goodafter its receipt I was already whirling natured-looking, French footman, cocaway in an express-train toward Lon- kaded hat in hand, and five minutes later don.

I had driven through the lodge-gates and The following day, Wednesday, Feb- had arrived at Farnborough Hill, where ruary 10, 1886, I started at 3:30 for through many circuitous passages, and Mme. de Arcos's house in Belgravia, passed along by various polite menwhere, after waiting a few moments in servants, I was finally shown up to my the drawing-room with Mrs. Edmund room. V-4, I was taken up-stairs by her and While I was waiting there, not knowher sister to see the empress, who had ing quite what to do next, there was a come to London expressly for this inter- knock at my door. A maid came to offer view.

her services, which I declined, and then Mme. Arcos had already told me that Mme. Le Breton walked in, accomI should find her imperial Majesty most panied by the empress's two Spanish gracious and I need not be in the least nieces, M and A- de Vintimidated by her; but despite this re- whom she introduced, as well as herself, assuring assertion, my heart-beats quick- and welcomed me most warmly to my ened a little as I entered her presence new home, apologizing for not having and made my first low, court courtesy. been at the entrance when I arrived. The empress half rose from her seat, at The coachman had brought me to a side the same time motioning me to one, and entrance instead of the principal one, in the conversation which ensued praised where Mme. Le Breton and the girls my French unstintingly, put me so com- had long been vainly waiting for the pletely at my ease, and interested me so carriage to drive up. At last they dismuch, as she sat there in her widow's covered the error, found that I was weeds, in the dim light of a foggy win- already in the house, and came up to me ter's afternoon,-she, once the most at once. Mme. Le Breton then rang for beautiful woman of Europe,—that I some tea, which was brought up by my quite forgot to lose my self-possession. amiable footman on a dainty little silver

In less than half an hour I had made tray. We talked a good deal about another deep courtesy, and had taken Chislehurst, and Mme. Le Breton was leave of the empress under Mme. de much astonished when I told her I knew Arcos's wing, was complimented by her her and the other inmates of the ex-imdown-stairs in the drawing-room on my perial household perfectly by sight, havtenue, and had a few friendly hints given ing seen them all constantly on Sunme on court ways and the little diffi- days, in the little church of St. Mary's, culties I should be ready to encounter. at Chislehurst, in 1879 and 1880. The

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