Puslapio vaizdai
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stantly."

and Fava stood languidly tossing con- And Reginald, his shoulders bent in unfetti at the dancers. Here nothing was accustomed lines, continued to stutter: changed.

"I tell you it 's nothing, absolutely "Where 's Thallie?”

nothing. She won't

thank you, you He answered:

know! A headache! The noise and "You see, I 'd have been here much heat-" sooner, but I met some friends. Campo- Nevertheless, Frossie was already in formio-

the doorway. The Magenta Cavalry, "Campoformio was here just now with with the resignation of good soldiers to Mr. Holland."

the unexpected, were putting on their “Of course. To be sure.

So he told pearl-gray capes. Mr. Goodchild was me.

But before that. One after the trying to withdraw his fingers from Prinother! Or else I 'd have been here in- cess Tchernitza's hand, as fat as a pin

cushion, blazing with sapphires and em"Is Thallie with Mr. Holland, then?" eralds too gorgeous to be real.

"No, the fact is, she did n't feel well “My daughter, ma'am! Pardon me, She asked me to take her home. You see, but my daughter 's been taken ill! We I'd have been here much sooner — " don't know yet what it is. We think it 's

Mr. Goodchild, turning pale, asked not cholera-” quickly:

“Cholera! Bah! One moment. My "What ails her? What is the matter day at home is Tuesday. Drop in, and

, with my daughter?”

I 'll finish telling you about the astral Reginald wanted to vault the box-rail colors.and conceal himself among the dancers. "Yes, yes! the astral colors! I implore Putting on the wretched imitation of a you, ma'am! My daughter!" smile, he managed to get out the words: "Bring her along. You'll meet a “The heat and noise-"

friend of mine who does crystal-gazing, a "What a pity, Monsieur," said Fava, very clairvoyant person. Tuesday, and with a homicidal look, "that you did n't don't forget, because I feel somehow that take my advice!"

you and I are kindred spirits, that we But Mr. Goodchild's hands were trem- have met elsewhere, if not in a previous bling on his knees.

existence, at least on the Ripa-banks of "Young sir, it is not necessary to break Devachân—" bad news to me so slowly.”

But Aurelius, forgetting his '

manners “Really, on my word of honor, it is for the first time in his life, had rushed only a touch of vertigo."

into the corridor. "Vertigo!" cried the father, leaping to In the street, all scuffing along behis feet. "That might be the beginning tween a walk and a dog-trot, they passed of anything!"

Campoformio's chauffeur, who doffed his "No! no! She asked me particularly cap respectfully.

it was nothing. She 'd rather Aurelius and Frossie darted into the you did n't bother. In fact, she wants to pension. The lieutenants lighted Tosbe alone.”

cana cigars and set out for the cavalry “Because she does n't want to spoil our barracks. Reginald returned slowly to his pleasure,” Frossie retorted, rising. “Come, hotel. Dad.”

He locked his bedroom door. He paced "It may be the beginning of cholera," the floor. From time to time he stopped gasped Aurelius, frozen with horror, star- before a looking-glass, stared at his face, ing wildly at them all.

exclaimed in the tones of one newly Azeglio burst out laughing.

roused from intoxication, "What, is it "Calm yourself, Signore. This year there is no cholera anywhere in Italy." The stimulations of the evening were

to tell

you

a

you?"

a

dispclled. Even the charm of all these And at last a delicious relief pervaded his weeks had been dissolved. The pinions despondency, with the thought that life of romance, after lifting him high above might hold out opportunities as tempting himself, had shriveled, at the contact of as before. reality, and let him drop back to earth. “When we 're in wrong, we owe it to

On each side, indeed, there had been a ourselves to struggle out." Though he disillusionment and a revulsion so intense repeated that aloud, he still heard the that his past expectations of felicity now voice of conscience, whispering of manappeared insane. He saw between him- kind's traditional obligations. Soon, howself and Thallie an abyss which had ever, lifting his head defiantly, "But she opened in one moment like the fissure of told me with her own lips that she felt an earthquake, which he took for a gulf she could never lay eyes on me again.” eternally impassable.

And this speech of hers, the true causes “No, we were never meant for each of which he did not know enough to other. I must have been crazy to think fathom, became for him the open sesame

What 's more, she knows it now as to liberty. well as I." And as though she were Next morning, while Florence was still there before him, he cried accusingly, dim, Reginald and his baggage left the “You do know it, you ought to have Hotel Alexandra. John Holland, glancknown it from the first, as well as I !" ing down from a window, saw him drive And soon: “They were right, the Ghilla- away. For some time the historian's keen moors. Good Lord! if I 'd taken their gray eyes remained fixed on the summit advice! Or if I were back where I stood of Mont' Oliveto, growing the graver before I ever met her!"

so.

as the illumination of the sunrise spread. Presently the old fancies, that had At the railroad station Reginald caught often come to him before his journey into a train for Naples. As the engine was Italy, returned, in poignant contrast to puffing out of Florence, he thought: the mockery of this night. Somewhere, "After all, decency demands that I amid the darkness, perhaps in the direc- send some plausible excuse from Naplestion of Lake Como, she existed in the a death or something-a sort of loophole. flesh- the sumptuous mistress of his pre- For if I should want to come back —” vious ideals, whose image had been But he knew in his heart that he would dimmed by this blundering infatuation? not come back.

6

(To be continued)

and Fava stood languidly tossing confetti at the dancers. Here nothing was changed.

"Where's Thallie?" He answered:

"You see, I'd have been here much sooner, but I met some friends. Campoformio-"

"Campoformio was here just now with Mr. Holland."

"Of course. To be sure. So he told me. But before that. One after the other! Or else I'd have been here instantly."

"Is Thallie with Mr. Holland, then?" "No, the fact is, she did n't feel well She asked me to take her home. You see, I'd have been here much sooner-"

Mr. Goodchild, turning pale, asked quickly :

"What ails her? What is the matter with my daughter?"

Reginald wanted to vault the box-rail and conceal himself among the dancers. Putting on the wretched imitation of a smile, he managed to get out the words:

"The heat and noise-"

"What a pity, Monsieur," said Fava, with a homicidal look, "that you did n't take my advice!"

But Mr. Goodchild's hands were trembling on his knees.

"Young sir, it is not necessary to break bad news to me so slowly."

"Really, on my word of honor, it's only a touch of vertigo."

"Vertigo!" cried the father, leaping to his feet. "That might be the beginning of anything!"

"No! no! She asked me particularly to tell you it was nothing. She'd rather you did n't bother. In fact, she wants to be alone."

"Because she does n't want to spoil our pleasure," Frossie retorted, rising. "Come, Dad."

"It may be the beginning of cholera," gasped Aurelius, frozen with horror, staring wildly at them all.

Azeglio burst out laughing.

"Calm yourself, Signore. This year there is no cholera anywhere in Italy."

And Reginald, his shoulders bent in unaccustomed lines, continued to stutter:

"I tell you it 's nothing, absolutely nothing. She won't thank you, you know! A headache! The noise and heat-"

Nevertheless, Frossie was already in the doorway. The Magenta Cavalry, with the resignation of good soldiers to the unexpected, were putting on their pearl-gray capes. Mr. Goodchild was trying to withdraw his fingers from Princess Tchernitza's hand, as fat as a pincushion, blazing with sapphires and emeralds too gorgeous to be real.

"My daughter, ma'am! Pardon me, but my daughter 's been taken ill! We don't know yet what it is. We think it's not cholera-”

"Cholera! Bah! One moment. My day at home is Tuesday. Drop in, and I'll finish telling you about the astral colors."

"Yes, yes! the astral colors! I implore you, ma'am! My daughter!"

"Bring her along. You'll meet a friend of mine who does crystal-gazing, a very clairvoyant person. Tuesday, and don't forget, because I feel somehow that you and I are kindred spirits, that we have met elsewhere, if not in a previous existence, at least on the Ripa-banks of Devachân-"

But Aurelius, forgetting his manners for the first time in his life, had rushed into the corridor.

In the street, all scuffling along between a walk and a dog-trot, they passed Campoformio's chauffeur, who doffed his cap respectfully.

Aurelius and Frossie darted into the pension. The lieutenants lighted Toscana cigars and set out for the cavalry barracks. Reginald returned slowly to his hotel.

He locked his bedroom door. He paced the floor. From time to time he stopped before a looking-glass, stared at his face, exclaimed in the tones of one newly roused from intoxication, "What, is it you?"

The stimulations of the evening were

And at last a delicious relief pervaded his despondency, with the thought that life might hold out opportunities as tempting as before.

"When we 're in wrong, we owe it to ourselves to struggle out." Though he repeated that aloud, he still heard the voice of conscience, whispering of mankind's traditional obligations. Soon, however, lifting his head defiantly, "But she told me with her own lips that she felt she could never lay eyes on me again." And this speech of hers, the true causes of which he did not know enough to fathom, became for him the open sesame to liberty.

Next morning, while Florence was still dim, Reginald and his baggage left the Hotel Alexandra. John Holland, glancing down from a window, saw him drive away. For some time the historian's keen gray eyes remained fixed on the summit of Mont' Oliveto, growing the graver as the illumination of the sunrise spread.

At the railroad station Reginald caught a train for Naples. As the engine was puffing out of Florence, he thought:

"After all, decency demands that I send some plausible excuse from Naplesa death or something-a sort of loophole. For if I should want to come back-"

But he knew in his heart that he would not come back.

dispelled. Even the charm of all these weeks had been dissolved. The pinions of romance, after lifting him high above himself, had shriveled, at the contact of reality, and let him drop back to earth.

On each side, indeed, there had been a disillusionment and a revulsion so intense that his past expectations of felicity now appeared insane. He saw between himself and Thallie an abyss which had opened in one moment like the fissure of an earthquake, which he took for a gulf eternally impassable.

"No, we were never meant for each other. I must have been crazy to think so. What's more, she knows it now as well as I." And as though she were there before him, he cried accusingly, "You do know it, you ought to have known it from the first, as well as I!" And soon: "They were right, the GhillaGood Lord! if I 'd taken their advice! Or if I were back where I stood before I ever met her!"

moors.

Presently the old fancies, that had often come to him before his journey into Italy, returned, in poignant contrast to the mockery of this night. Somewhere, amid the darkness, perhaps in the direction of Lake Como, she existed in the flesh-the sumptuous mistress of his previous ideals, whose image had been dimmed by this blundering infatuation?

(To be continued)

[graphic]

" It must have been at some small hour in the morning that I was

aroused and gagged and pinioned”

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