Puslapio vaizdai
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pony with.”

a day later he had not been worth loading a a cool thousand it meant at the first go off, and

he had promised his next surplus to Job, who “You have fatted him till he could carry needed the money at once on his land. No the pony himself, now."

matter; the old people must wait. From those “All I ever said was”- Enrique spoke again that have not shall be taken even that which -“he has looked at her. Very good; so has they have. Dunsmuir felt the want of money all many another long-legged coxcomb about the the more, now that he had begun to straighten town.”

his affairs and to handle a salary again. He “ And I am forbidden the house till her was impatient to be free. father's return.”

Pacheco had been arrested. Vargas had re“Yes, but you art her novio, wolf in sheep's turned with his mules from Sheep Mountain, clothing."

and was looking after his daughter. Alan was “If I am a wolf, what is he?”

on parole. Dolly was cold, and would not talk “A very white little lamb beside you. If of her brother. Her shame for him went hard he sees her, it is in the American fashion, which with her; it was like a bilious sickness. She means anything or nothing." Enrique's shoul- was for abjuring sentiment henceforth in any ders went up; his hands said the rest. “Extraor- and every form. Away with it all! The lights dinary people ! He has gone with three of were out in her own secret place of worship; them to-night, his little countrywomen; not a cold daylight showed the images to be mere gray hair nor a wedding ring in the company. tawdry dolls; her flowers of passion were turned You might hear their parrot voices screaming to rags and shreds of tinsel. Not one kind word the length of the street. With him it is not An- could Philip get from her in her revolt; not tonia ; it is any girl.”

a single acknowledgment of all that had so “I am in hell with thinking on them.” nearly come to pass between them.

“ You will get there fast enough without so much thinking."

XVI.

Philip reported this conversation to Duns- The river was now at its lowest. Coffermuir. It was agreed now that Alan should be dams were in place, which were to cramp it and sent away; but where ?

turn it aside, and at night, when the pile-drivers, The family wound still rankled. The family and the steam-hoists, and the dump-carts were itself on the other side had greatly changed in silent, the harassed stream made loud its comfifteen years. The present members had their plaint. Dunsmuir's orders were to“ go ahead” own burdens sufficient to their incomes; cor- and put in his dam on a pile foundation where respondence had nearly ceased.

the rock gave out, that water might be turned “Chuck him into a big school, and let him into the ditch by May 1, in time to reap the strike out for himself and learn his insignifi- next season's crop of contracts. Dunsmuir had cance,” said Philip.

protested in vain against the issuing of con“Send him to heaven if you happen to know tracts which called for this early delivery of the way!" was Dunsmuir's answer. The Amer- water. He had submitted his own plan of the ican schools were all alike in his estimation, dam — excavation till solid rock should be skin-deep in scholarship, vulgar in tone, in- reached, that the masonry might rise in one ordinately expensive.

coherent mass from a permanent and homo- . Then Philip somewhat diffidently proposed geneous foundation. But such construction the Continent as a compromise, with his mo- . demanded more time than the contracts were ther's assistance in placing Alan at Zurich giving him. or Vevay. She would dote on another boy to “What 's the matter with piles and con“run” in vacations; and Alan would find it not crete ?" Norrisson had asked; and he menso disagreeable to be preached to by an adora- tioned several dams with pile foundations that ble woman old enough to be his mother, who, were doing their duty. While in Denver, soon as she was not his mother, would know when afterward, he took the occasion of meeting a to“ let up."

friend, an engineer of reputation, to put the case To his surprise, Dunsmuir fell in with the of the Wallula dam, and asked his opinion. The proposition at once. Philip cabled his mother, engineer gave it, unofficially, on the facts as and wrote, sending Alan's picture; the lad's Norrisson presented them; he said that a pile good looks, he well knew, would be a great foundation would serve. Norrisson quoted him point in his favor. Meantime Philip talked triumphantly to Dunsmuir, who was unshaken, to him like an elder brother. He could have though considerably irritated by Norrisson's wished to see him more touched in temper, and methods of warfare. If he had wanted a conless placidly flattered by the attention his pas- sulting engineer, why had he not retained one times excited. Dunsmuir raved over the cost; and got his report after a personal examination?

Vol. XLIV.-92.

The argument ceased in words. A few days no conviction left for any new work so long thereafter Dunsmuir received an official com- as he was chained to this. He knew his munication to the following effect:

bondage at last, and his soul cried out against

it; yet he could not go forth, a penniless, broDEAR SIR: It will be necessary to proceed im- ken man, with the scars of failure upon him. mediately with the construction of the dam, in He had worn out his powers of waiting. A accordance with the plan suggested by me and discussed in our last conversation. You may con

specious victory had granted him the respite sider this authoritative. Very truly yours,

of three months of action in command of forces PRICE NORRISSON,

he called his own; he could not bear now to feel Manager.

the screws take hold again in the same old ROBERT DUNSMUIR,

shrinking places. Chief Engineer.

Then followed those lower considerations

that lie in wait for moments of irresolution to Such an order from the manager to the chief worry the doubting heart. The truth concernengineer precisely indicated the relation being his resignation would never be known. Gostween them, as Norrisson intended it should. sip would have it, in circles where an engineer's The chief's resignation was in order, else he reputation is discussed, that here was a prewould remain as the servant of the company, sumptuous dreamer who fancied himself called not the responsible agent of the work. In his to a great work, who, after more than a decade first outburst of indignation Dunsmuir wrote spent in contemplating it, was found unequal such an answer as the situation demanded. It to the initial problem of its fulfilment. How was some consolation to watch Philip's face he hated that word theorist ! there was nothing while he read it aloud to him with satisfied he so loved as to be considered practical. Now, emphasis.

the practical man would be his successor. He “ Understand, I don't make it personal.” would reap the honors should the dam stand; Dunsmuir looked kindly, almost fondly, at if it went out, how easily the blame might be Philip, who had not a word to say. “It is the shifted back upon the theorist. Dunsmuir was old issue that parted us the first time. It has well acquainted with the dark side of his proparted better friends than your father and I fession — the long waitings, the jealousies, the ever pretended to be; and I don't say the wrested honors, and the bitter rewards. He alternative is of his contriving. I was my own knew how a man's one mistake may follow promoter some weary years; I should know him to his grave, while his successes are forgotsomething of the difficulties on that side. But ten or credited to another man. my choice is plain. I must stick to the first At daybreak, when the wind fell, and with principle in our profession, Philip: the honest it a silence upon the sleeping house, he stoleout builder can wait, he can fail, he can starve; from his bedroom to the office, and abstracted he cannot botch his work. I speak for myself, his letter of resignation from the post-bag. His who am the only one accountable.”

decision was already reversed, yet he hesitated “ I shall leave the work when you do.” before the act that should cancel all that brave

“ I don't see that you need; and I should be talk of the night before. as jealous for you as for my son.”

Yet why assume that it was a betrayal of “I shall go with you, sir, for the sake of the work ? What are the risks that success will · adding my protest

, and because of what you not justify ? It was well enough known in the have just said."

history of engineering that there is an heroic “ There are moments of defeat worth more margin outside the beaten track of precedent than many a victory,” said Dunsmuir. which bold spirits yet may tread. He was half

But in the silence of night, when conse- angry with Philip, now, as he thought of their quences obtrude, he revised his decision. No conversation, that the younger man should have man may be captive, even to his own will, for as seen no way out of the difficulty but his chief's long as Dunsmuir, without suffering the prison resignation. Decidedly Philip was too conserchange. If Norrisson's company owned the vative. Of what use to be twenty-three and an scheme, the scheme owned Dunsmuir; and he American! The letter was torn into bits and knew it now. He thought of his debts; of his went into the waste-basket, and Dunsmuir sat children, restless and half-educated; of his for- out the dawn, and heard the house awake, saken connections in the world that no longer scarcely moving, face to face with the first deep, knew him. A morbid dread of change had secret humiliation of his life. By breakfast-time grown upon him; his fixed life had singular- he had got his most presentable arguments in ly, appealingly unfitted him for a fresh start. order. He sat working them, in silence, during He had lost the habit of society; he was out the meal, and when it was over he summoned of touch with the new movements in his pro- Philip into the office, and said to him coldly: fession; he had no elasticity, no imagination, “I have called a halt, Norrisson. It is 100

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late now to back out of the work; it would be “Ye have spoken! Deny it if you can." His desertion. I do not give orders here, it seems, big voice rang as clear as a sheet of iron under but that is the fortune of war. They have cap- the hammer. tured my scheme by the strong arm. They can “Why should I wish to deny it? It is the make what hash of it they please; but for bet- American way to speak to the girl first; her anter or worse I stay with it, and pride may go to swer is the only one any man would take.” the dogs. My pride shall consist in making the “I know nothing of your American ways. dam as strong as their infernal meddling will But if you have spoken to my motherless child let me. If it goes, at least I shall know all was before that you spoke to me, ye have done me done that could be done with such a manage a treachery worthy your father's son; and you ment in the saddle. I know no fathers or fa- may quit my house!” thers' sons in this business. It's a fight, and they Philip jumped to his feet, and the table rehave won. Let them make the most of it.” coiled with a loud jar; for a moment there was

There was little Philip could say not seem- no other sound in the room. Then he said, ing to remind Dunsmuir of his recantation. striving for self-control: “I don't know whether Dunsmuir understood him. They spent a bad you consider yourself in a position to insult my day, each inside his defenses. The pause in the father; but I am in no position to answer you work left them conscious of each other's pres- as your words deserve. As my father's son, or ence as a burden in the room where they had as anybody's son, my record is before you. By labored and argued together harmoniously. heaven! I don't know why fathers should be Philip brought on the explosion by a restless so arrogant. A father is not a god. If you are allusion to Dolly. He was always trying the the one appointed to look after Dolly, it's not ice of Dunsmuir's doubtful sanction, boy-fash- my fault if you have neglected your business. ion, to know when it would bear. To-day he No, sir; I will finish now. I found her here ventured too far; it cracked without warning; where you had fixed her, at the mercy of your it thundered from shore to shore.

scheme. I was first, and I took no advantage Philip had hazarded a nervous expression that was not simply a man's. If I don't deof the hope that, whatever grinds or hitches serve her, do men generally deserve the girls should come to the work, the peace of the re- they marry? None the less I mean to make her lation might stand ; and since men do not love me, if I can. I am not called traitor for usually mean each other when they talk in this nothing. I shall take all the chances now, whatstrain, Dunsmuir became fidgety and Philip ever comes.” more nervous.

Dunsmuir listened coolly to this explicit He had never had a home life before, he though somewhat mixed defiance, and smiled awkwardly expatiated, unsupported by a sign to himself

, “ The lad has spirit, after all.” His of encouragement from Dunsmuir, even for as eyebrows went up like clouds after a storm; a long as he had lived in the cañon; never known gleam of humor tugged at the corners of his a girl in her home as he had been privileged grim mustache. He held, with most short-temto know

pered men, that you cannot make a doubleHe paused, and Dunsmuir growled:“ I don't dealer forsake his guard; anger being like drink, know where you got the privilege. The home in that it exposes a man. When, therefore, he is one thing, the office is another.”

had seen this smooth-mannered son of the Philip, seated on the table-ledge, thrust his “commissioner" in a fine, loose-tongued rage, hands into his pockets to hide that they were - with his jacket off, so to speak,- his own tall trembling. “The distinction comes á trifle mood unconsciously subsided. Presumably the late," he said.

charge of treachery had not come from very “I will thank you to take note of it now. deep. We have worked together well enough; my “We have taken a hot day for it,” he redaughter is another matter."

marked, with moderation, while Philip's men“She is to me."

tal reflection was that he would be happy to “ What is she to you ? "

punch his much-desired father-in-law's head. “ She is the girl I hope, with your leave, to Dunsmuir filled his pipe, thrust his hands marry.”

into the pockets of his loose riding-breeches, " And how long have you had this hope ?” and strode out upon the blazing porch, where

“I hardly know," said Philip, white with the western sun, barred by shadows of the pilstress of feeling. “I have been trying, for some lars, lay half across the floor. The seat of his time, to speak to you."

wooden chair was as hot as a hearthstone ; he “ I don't know what has prevented you. Are kicked it away, and took a canvas one, stretchyou sure you have not spoken to her?” Duns-ing his long length on it, with a loud, obtrumuir laid his keen blue eyes on Philip's con- sive yawn. He was in one of his man-childish scious face.

moods, not so lovely and pleasant as he might

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have been. It might well be doubted if at “Not precisely; only from the house." Philip's age he had thought greatly of father's “I don't believe it. There must be some rights himself.

mistake. It's the silliest thing I ever heard," Philip went about his preparations for leav- cried Dolly, indignantly. ing with the haste Dunsmuir's hint demanded. “Silly if you like, but quite true. Your But he proposed to retreat with his baggage in father's language is plain.” good order, not to have his things hurled after Here Philip grappled with a trunk, hurling him. He swept a place on the office table, his weight upon the handle; the bulk gave which he heaped with small effects from draw- way more quickly than he had expected, he ers and pigeonholes. Then he shot out across lurched forward, rose too suddenly, and his the hill bareheaded to the tent where the ju- bump of self-esteem smote the rafter overhead nior assistants worked, returning with an arm- with a blinding crash. He dropped sidewise ful of drawing-tools and rolls of paper. on the trunk, and clutched his head, setting his “I suppose I may take these- copies of my teeth upon the brutal pang. As if that were

I drawings for the head-works?” He indicated, not enough, Dolly, sickening at the sound of the without looking at his chief, a roll of photo- blow, began to "poor” him and pity him with graphic blue-prints.

all her might. “Take anything you want.”

“Oh, how it hurts !” she moaned, as if the Half an hour later Dolly heard him in the head had been her own. She dropped on her attic chamber, dragging trunks about furiously; knees before him, and begged to see the place. he was making a lane for his own, which were He shuddered, feeling her cool hands take soft stowed far back under the eaves, bitterly hold of his throbbing wrists, and the natural recalling meanwhile how he and Dolly had man in him demanded that he snatch her indiscussed their location three months before. stantly and kiss away the anguish of his double They had been civil to each other in those hurt. Why not be the traitor he had been days, and Dolly had insisted that he should take called? But the barbarian was not on deck the high part, as he was tall, and he had refused this time; he subsided, with a groan, which because he went less often to his trunks than Dolly thought was for the aching head. she to the family chests. No talk could have When Philip looked up, frowning and blushbeen smaller, but it was a thing to remembering with pain, and his clouded eyes met hers now when all the little homely intimacies were brimming with purest mother-pity, he blessed at an end. Already the spent days and bygone God that he had not wounded her innocent evenings began to glow and shine like memory trust, or blotted the memory-all that was left pictures in the retrospect. Under the eaves the him — of their perfect days together in the temperature was near to that of the stoke-hole cañon. of a steamer. Dolly opened the door, letting in He gave thanks again, that afternoon, when a breath of freshness and a vision of herself, Dunsmuir made overtures of peace on mag. on a bright background, in a thin blue muslinnanimous terms, including a withdrawal of all frock.

uncertain charges. “Leave it open, will you, please? I want the About four o'clock the up-cañon wind, forelight," Philip panted.

runner of a dust-storm, began to blow. The “ What are you looking for? It 's frightful women ran about, shutting doors and windows, in here; can't you wait till evening?" and Dunsmuir was driven in from the porch. “ I shall not be here this evening."

Dead leaves, chips, bits of paper, whatever was “ Going to town again ?”

detachable, drove past the house, whirled in “ I 'm going to leave.”

the murky onset of the storm. Dolly appeared to be closely considering a Dunsmuir heard the hammock slapping the veil of dust-laden cobweb that wavered from piazza-posts; the willow rockers slammed to the nearest beam.

and fro; one went over with a crash, and the “To leave the cañon? Dear me! Jenny must front door banged wide, filling the room with sweep this place," she parenthesized.

dust. Every day for six weeks Dunsmuir had Philip gave her no answer. Down came a meant to fix that latch ; he cursed it now, and trunk on top of another trunk with an offen- went outside to pick up chairs and pile them sive slam.

to leeward, locking the door after him in the “I did n't understand you. Are you going teeth of the storm. Half his letters and papers on some other part of the work ?”

were on the floor, and where he stepped to pick “I have left the work.”

them up he left prints of his feet in the dust. I suppose it's none of my business why?” Philip came down-stairs, pale from his hurt, “ It is; and I don't mind telling you. I've with bloodshot eyes. He was dressed for the been fired.”

road, and carried a canvas covert-coat on his “Not from the work ?"

arm. A transit-book he had forgotten showed

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in the inside pocket; he drew it out and tossed serve for a lassie! When the work is done, it on the desk.

when the dam is in, why, then, if I am content “ I 'll send you those vouchers to-morrow," with the way you have borne yourself, we 'll he said to Dunsmuir. Then he asked which speak of this again. This is no time for marof the men should drive him to town. rying or giving in marriage."

“Sit down." Dunsmuir looked at him hard. “I am willing enough to wait,” said Philip, “ You can't start till this is over.” He went out “if the terms of waiting are not made imposand gave an order in the kitchen, which was sible.” followed soon by Jenny with beer and biscuits. Dunsmuir smiled. “You may look at her

Philip would take neither, and Dunsmuir in reason, so far as is needful to keep out of finished the beer himself, feeding the biscuits her way. No, no, lad; ye shall be friends. to Jenny's boy, who had tagged his mother into Make each other's acquaintance, but keep the room, and declined to be peacefully evicted. to the windward of promises and—and such Every few mouthfuls the child paused in his toys. I have some notion of a man myself. copious eating, and pointed to the chimney, I'm not taking you on trust altogether — and saying: “ Hark! Win'!"

I 'm not so ruthless, nor so careless of my " Right you are, mannie. Wind that would household as you 've had the insolence to take the hair off your head if you were out in insinuate. Now, shall we take a fresh grip of it. Now the little beggar 's choking! Save us! the work? It would be a waste of good manwhere 's that woman?” Dunsmuir picked up material for you and me to quarrel.” the child by his garments, coughing and splut- They looked each other in the eyes hard tering, and handed him out of the door like a and long. Then Philip went to the mantelpuppy.

shelf and filled him a pipe, and they smoked “Have a pipe?" he suggested affably, when together in silence, while the wind fell, and peace was restored, with the sound of the wind scattering gleams from the low sun showed asserting itself.

lines and surfaces of dust like fine ashes that “Thanks, I don't care to smoke," said Philip. toned the colors of the room.

“What 's your quarrel with the work, man? “But am I not to have leave to explain ? " I never said you could not do your work.” asked Philip, frowning over the match with

"I never said you did. If you had, it would which he was lighting his second pipe. “Not not have been true,” Philip answered roughly. a word before the shutting down ? Consider, “ Then why do you quit it ?".

I have told her” “Should you care to work under a man that “You have told her enough, I have little had called you a traitor and the son of a doubt. I'll do the explaining myself.” traitor ?"

“ But she will think-" “ Tush! you would have it. You brought it “Let her think, and let her fash herself with on yourself. Ye knew I was hit between wind thinking. Philip, I mean this in fair kindness and water, and the less said about that the bet- to you both. If the lassie cannot bear with a ter. But you need not have come purring after touch of doubt beforehand, do you think you 'll my daughter."

be able to satisfy her hereafter ? Let her think, “ The time was ill chosen, I acknowledge; and let her misdoubt and upbraid you in her but the fact remains," said Philip.

thoughts. It 's what you well deserve, if I “ Let it remain, then. There's no occasion know what young men are. A little thinking to meddle with it. You did not come here to beforehand will do you both no harm. make love to my daughter.” “I had not done so— not more than I could

XVII. help — when you opened on me. But you have relieved me of my scruples. I intend to give The false position on the work began to my mind to it now.”

make itself felt. Dunsmuir settled into a cyni“ You said that before. Now suppose we cal tone, which he held from this forth: that the talk sense. It's ill changing horses when new plan was well enough; that the dam would you 're crossing a stream. I don't deny that stand; that he had been over-conservative, I'd rather have you than another on this job, but was not hidebound or wedded to a method. now we 've started in. There 's little time to He rather implied that Philip was. There was waste, and I might be a month wiring back a ghastly amity between the chief and the manand forth for a man to fill your place. Stay ager, which Philip blushed to behold. where you are, and behave yourself cannily, The work went on, but the light of a fine enand when the right time shall come, maybe thusiasm was gone. The changed atmosphere we can talk of it and keep our hair on. I pervaded the house. Dolly guessed that her would see first if you are a man of your word father and Philip disagreed about the work, as well as your work. What 's six months to and that Philip had been sullen in yielding.

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